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Month: July 2018

#Blogstravaganza #79

#Blogstravaganza #79

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast!

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from Magical Mama Blog!  Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

 


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A Day Out with Kiddylicious – LEGOLAND Windsor

A Day Out with Kiddylicious – LEGOLAND Windsor

*We were provided with two Kiddylicious snack boxes and entry to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort for the purpose of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Ever since our girls were born, Kiddylicious meals and snacks have been a staple in our house. They make tasty, healthy and nutritious snacks that both of our kids still absolutely love. So when we were invited to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort for a day out with Kiddylicious, I knew they’d have an absolute blast with lots of yummy foods to keep fuelled up along the way!

 

 

I’ve heard such good reports about LEGOLAND, but until this trip we’d never had the chance to visit. Our girls have been into LEGO for some time now, so they knew straight away what the park is centred around. One of the attractions we were most looking forward to, was the digital LEGO Reef that’s been added new to the park for the 2018 season. It’s a floor to ceiling interactive reef, that allows the kids to create their own personalised virtual fish, which they can they see projected onto the big screen! Not only that, there are ‘feed me‘ buttons dotted around so they can feed their pet fish too! We were also looking forward to visiting Miniland, as there are new landmarks to see including; the USA, India, Russia, Australia and China.

 

 

Getting to LEGOLAND Windsor –

As we are Midlands based, LEGOLAND is a couple of hours drive away from us. Our girls usually travel quite well and thanks to Kiddylicious, they had a bowl of Little Bistro Oaty Porridge before we set of to keep them going on the journey. The porridge went down a storm! It’s full of flavour and really filling, as well as being suitable for children with or without a dairy allergy. Once they’d eaten up, they were mega excited to jump in the car and get going!

 

 

En route to LEGOLAND, I decided to download the official park app as I’d heard such great things about it. I like to plan our days out so that we can make the most of them and the LEGOLAND app is ideal to help you find your way around the park. It has a resort map as well as ride information and live queue times, so you know what rides are suitable for the kids to go on. The queue times were really accurate and super helpful when we planned where we were going next. We found it useful to join the longer lines when the kids were getting ready for a snack. That way they didn’t realise they were waiting, as they were so occupied with what Kiddylicious had sent them to munch on. Their favourite queue snacks were by far the Coconut Rolls, they’re dairy, gluten and nut free. They’re portion controlled and an easy ‘grab’ snack!

 

 

Picnic time –

LEGOLAND has many designated picnic areas where you can take time to rest and enjoy your lunch. As we went on one of the hottest days of the year, we found a nice shady spot and the girls delved into their Kiddylicious lunch boxes! They really enjoyed the Cheesy Stars and hubs and I were impressed when we read that 6 pence from every pack sold is donated to Make-A-Wish-UK. A charity that supports children and young people living with life threatening conditions. They were taken with the Biscotti too, in fact we’ve had to stock up on these since we arrived home!

 

 

After we’d enjoyed out picnic, the girls decided they wanted to go on the Fairy Tale Brook ride. They were completely in awe as the boats took us om a journey around all of their favourite fairy tale scenes. Fairy Tale Brook was a huge hit and I would highly recommend it if you have smaller children in tow!

 

 

Home time –

After a very tiring but very enjoyable day, it was time to head back to the car and drive home. As you can imagine, both girls were asleep withing 5 minutes of leaving the park, all of that fun had completed worn them out! Hubs and I were super tired too, so we were glad that Kiddylicious had sent some of their Little Bistro meals for the kids to have for their dinner. They really enjoyed them and it meant we didn’t have to start cooking when we got back. The Little Bistro meals are handy to have in the house for days like this. They’re microwave friendly, they have no added salt or sugar and they’re a great source of protein. They make super quick, guilt free meals!

 

 

We had such a great day out at LEGOLAND Windsor, thanks to Kiddylicous. There really is something for everyone to enjoy and it’s definitely somewhere we’ll be going back to in the future. We’ll remember to take out Kiddylicious snacks along too, they made the whole day so much easier with two toddlers in tow!

 

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Does Staying at Home with the Kids Mean I Lack Ambition?

Does Staying at Home with the Kids Mean I Lack Ambition?

My husband and I had a conversation recently, mainly about the family life of professionals. He told me that one of his colleagues had informed him that he does so well at work, because his wife ‘lacks ambition‘. What he meant was, his wife had given up her professional role to stay at home with the kids and that it was the right choice for their family. It would seem that he appreciated this ‘lack of ambition‘ though, as he felt it allowed him to progress swiftly in his own career. As you can imagine, I was a little taken aback by his admission.

I’ve previously written about my marriage and I’ve commented on the main reason it’s working so well. That reason was the fact that I stay at home to look after the kids. Yes this is so my husband can progress in his career and yes it meant I had to leave my first business behind. Does it mean I lack ambition though? Am I forever destined to be mother and housewife, with no desire to follow my dreams? I think not.

Ambition doesn’t always wear the same mask –

The thing about ambition is that it means different things to different people. From being a teenager, it was always my ambition to work for myself. I knew I wanted to be my own boss and a lot of hard work got me there. My husband always dreamt of working as a medical professional, he continues to work hard in this field and he will go far. This demonstrates ambition in two different ways, but both are ambition nonetheless.

Stronger than my ambition to build a business, was my desire to become the best mum I could be. It was my ambition to become a stay at home parent, that was and still is the environment in which I want to raise my children. How can that not be ambition? It’s a dream and it takes a lot of working towards, I believe I have succeeded. I have have fulfilled my ambition.

I do always put my husbands work needs before my own, but that’s because I want to, not because I have to. Just because I want him to achieve his goals and because I’m happy to work around his aspirations, doesn’t mean I’m faltering on the ambition front. Ambition doesn’t just have to be associated with career prospects, it covers life as a whole.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat –

The comment this guy made frustrated me most, because my ambition to be self employed will never disappear. That’s why I built up a blogging and freelance writing business from home. Just because people don’t always fulfil their ambition by taking the traditional route, doesn’t mean it’s not achievable. I know from my own experience that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Referring to your loved one as ‘lacking ambition’ is entirely unacceptable, given that there’s so much to be achieved without leaving the comfort of your own home.

So whatever your ambition may be, whether it’s to rise through the ranks of your company, to be a stay at home parent or to build a business of your own. Never, ever believe that you are lacking in ambition. Never let anyone tell you that you don’t aspire to do anything or be anyone. You are you for a reason and you’re already achieving so much.

 

 

 

 

 

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#Blogstravaganza #78

#Blogstravaganza #78

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast!

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from Mummy Here and There! Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

How many ice creams have you eaten recently? . . I'm not a big ice cream person really but lately I have had so many with it being so hot. I'm not a fan of the heat so I'm loving the cooler, brezzier weather today. I have to admit, this ice cream was amazing and a meal all on its own from @theshakelab . . It was definitely what we needed after a busy day out at @intutraffordcentre and @traffordcity on Sunday #manchester #visitmanchester #traffordcity #traffordcentre #intutraffordcentre #whatsoninmanchester #shakelab #theshakelab #wafflecones #icecream #summerdays #sunshine #heatwave #britishsummer #pblogger #kcacols #blogstravaganza #daysoutinmanchester #ukdaysout #daytrips #ukdaytrip #weekends #familylife #familytime #chillfactore #sealifemanchester

A post shared by Tracey Bowden (@onefrazzledmum) on

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Cup of Toast


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Smoking in Public Places and Why it Makes me so Mad

Smoking in Public Places and Why it Makes me so Mad

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I’m a non-smoker, as are all of my immediate family. I do think smoking is a dirty habit and I do get annoyed when people think it’s OK to smoke around myself and my children. I do understand that smoking is an addiction. I’m aware that once you’ve started, it must be terribly hard to stop. However, I also think that just because you have an issue that you can label as an ‘addiction’, it doesn’t automatically give you the right to make other people suffer along with you. Especially when they don’t consent.

My inspiration for this post came from a recent visit to a children’s play area with both of my girls. On one the hottest days of the year, we donned our hats and sun cream and headed to the park. The perfect Sunday morning jaunt. After we’d been there a little while, we were joined by a toddler and her grandmother. The issue was though, that the grandmother thought it was entirely acceptable to smoke on the playground. She showed absolutely no concern for the health of anyone else’s children, never mind that of her own granddaughter.

Smoking and health –

This blatant act, of what I believe to be anti-social behaviour, made me so angry. If she really couldn’t wait until she was in the privacy of her own home to smoke, the least she could have done was taken herself away from the children’s play area. I will never think it’s acceptable to smoke around other people and their children, public area or not.

It’s a well know fact that smoking is a contributing factor to many serious health concerns. According to the NHS, smoking is responsible for a whopping 90% of lung cancers, as well cancers of the mouth and oesophagus. Smoking can also cause significant damage to the heart and blood circulation, increasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Not to mention an array of respiratory diseases.

What about our children though? What are the effects of passive smoking? Well, children that are exposed to cigarette smoke are at far greater risk of developing health problems than those that don’t. Illnesses such as meningitis, persistent coughs and an increased risk of cot death are all associated with second-hand cigarette smoke. Asthma can also become worse if sufferers are exposed to smoke.

No excuses –

The thing is, in this day and age we have been so well-educated on the risks of smoking. Steps have been taken to protect the public to a certain extent, there really are no excuses for smoking. There are NO benefits to such a destructive habit. I’m absolutely sure that some people will disagree with my opinion, I’m sure there are people who believe that they can do as they please. To me this just shows ignorance, a lack of education and a lack of empathy.

 

How do you feel about smoking in public areas? 

 

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#Blogstravaganza #77

#Blogstravaganza #77

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast!

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from The Next Best Thing to Mummy! Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

 

I'll let you into a secret. We were at a supposedly family friendly festival 2 weeks ago and it was dreadful. Today we have also been at a family friendly festival and it has been amazing. We have watched Cbeebies favourites onstage, met the Gruffalo, practiced circus skills, said hello to some parrots, eaten some great food, met Bumblebee, driven a car and much more. We can't wait for tomorrow…Geronimo you have been amazing. If you are anywhere near Knebworth come tomorrow for round 2. It is non stop fun #awanderfulchildhood #capturingtheday #followyoursunshine #freespiritedchildhood #Blogstravaganza #lovelifeoutside #moretoexploreoutdoors #myhappyviews #mycolourfulkids #myhappycapture #outdoorsfamilylife #pixel_kids #rememberingthesedays #snaphappybritmums #todaysmomentintime #travelmadfam #ukexplore #ukftb #wanderlustkids #wearetravelmums #whatevertheweatherkids #worldoflittles #bucketlist #happiestplaceonearth

A post shared by Family Travel and Days Out (@ourbucketlistlives) on

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on’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
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Bunny Jump from University Games – Review

Bunny Jump from University Games – Review

*We were gifted a Bunny Jump board game for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

This week we’ve been testing out the new Bunny Jump board game from University Games! I’ve always been a fan of board games, but up until recently our girls have been too young to grasp them. So I was very excited when this opportunity came up and with a game that is perfect for their age group!

 

 

The aim of the game –

Bunny Jump is a really fun game, one that had us all in fits of giggles! You spin the arrow, which tells you how many carrots you are allowed to pull from the rabbit hole, if any at all! Once you do manage to pull a few carrots, you have to be ready to catch the bunny if jumps up from its den! I’ve never seen my girls so engrossed in a game and for so long! We’ve played it every day since it arrived and they still can’t get enough of Bunny Jump!

Fun for all of the family –

Now that our eldest daughter has started nursery, we are always looking for ways to spend quality time together as a family. So when Hubs comes in from work of an evening, we’ve really enjoyed playing Bunny Jump together. I’m especially looking forward to breaking out the games during the winter months, when it isn’t as easy to head outdoors to make fun.

Overall, I’m super impressed with Bunny Jump from University Games. The girls love it and we love it. I know that this will be a firm favourite in our house and now that I know our girls have so much fun playing board games, I can’t wait until we get to add even more to our collection!

 

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Sports Day. I Just don’t Find Forced Competition Fun.

Sports Day. I Just don’t Find Forced Competition Fun.

Ok, I know this title will have readers turning their nose up before we even begin. I know this is an unpopular opinion, as each person I’ve had this conversation with has disagreed wholeheartedly. The thing is though, I just don’t like sports day. In fact, I hate it. No, it’s not because I’m rubbish at sport, I’m actually pretty good. It’s also not because I’m unfit, I’m really not. I’m not a stranger to exercise, I think it’s a very important part of life and I do think sports should be celebrated in schools. I just can’t stand the forced competition of sports day.

I know, I know. I’m a total party pooper. I’m the parent that’s spoiling the fun for her kids. Just bare with me a minute though and picture this; a sports hall packed full of of three and 4 years olds, each bringing with them about 3 generations of ‘support’. The immediate race for a school bench on the front row, parents giving each other the side eye and immediately disliking the person who got there first. A room full of knackered toddlers and tired out teachers ready to make them compete against against each other, for the amusement of the parents who are probably still falling out over seats. If you think this sounds fun, you’re a better person than me.

 

Life isn’t always about competition –

I’m told that sports day is so important because it sets the bar for life. Children need to learn how to thrive and how to come out on top. They also need to learn disappointment and the fact that life can be a bit rubbish sometimes. I do agree that they need to experience all of this, I just don’t believe that a room full of screaming adults is the best place to start dishing out life lessons.

The thing that bothered me most about sports day at my daughter’s school, was the sheer lack of self-awareness displayed by the majority of adults in the room. It went from being ‘fun’, to being forced competition in a matter of seconds. Parents were literally shouting at their children to run faster and amazingly, were unable to hide their disappointment when they lost. Oh but if they won, well you’ve never seen a celebration like it. In my opinion, setting a very poor example for their impressionable offspring.

Like I said, I do think sports are a good thing and I think there are ways to enjoy them together. I just can’t grasp why, in 2018, we still force our children to compete against each other from such a tender age. I don’t see how it benefits them and frankly I think it brings out the worst in many parents.

The trouble is, that the kids seem to love sports day. They absolutely lap it up and leave with huge smiles across their faces. Mine included. So it would seem that I need to settle myself in for the next decade of forced competition sports days. It appears that I’m among the minority.

 

 

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