25 February 2016

The Evolution of Barbie - Barbie Fashionistas

Barbie has always been a part of my life and with each doll Mattel release they seem to evolve, the release of the new Fashionistas dolls has been another interesting development. With dolls of all shapes, sizes, skin colour, eye colour and hair now available, it has been interesting to see some of these dolls up close.

When my daughter examined them as we took them from the box she only saw the different clothes, she didn’t see the different skin colour or sizes, although she did comment on the slighty wider legs of Chambray chic, but it was more of a passing comment than criticism. It certainly makes you look at yourself and think about how the comments we make have an effect on how they see the world.

These dolls are a great addition to our collection and for me epitomise what Barbie has always been about, clothing and fashion. Yes I would have liked to have seen more practical clothing and styles but the new flatter feet mean new shoes that I would have loved for my Barbie as a young girl. I remember my mum making dresses and trousers out of old scraps of material and being able to dress my dolls up in the clothes of the time, these offer just that.


21 February 2016

Gluten Free Creme Egg Brownie

I have been trying to eat less wheat and gluten in my diet, it doesn't agree with me and makes me feel lethargic and to be honest not that great. I do however love cake so have been trying hard to find recipes for gluten free cakes that taste great, are easy to make and will also be eaten by family too.

creme egg brownie


17 February 2016

Barbie Spy Squad Review

It is with great pleasure that we get to review yet another of the awesome and inspiring Barbie dolls that have been bought out for 2016. Barbie Spy Squad is a great new addition to the Barbie team and this time she comes with a kick ass attitude, just don't tell my daughter I said kick ass, she'll only repeat it!

This super action spy Barbie has her own pink spy glasses, pink streak in her hair and is rocking a pink glittery jacket worthy of any super spy, rather lucky my daughters favourite colour is pink then, underneath she is rocking her sleek spy suit in my daughters other favourite colour, purple.


14 February 2016

A Fabulous French Getaway #SummerLove

For the past five years we have holidayed in France, we love the sites, food and lifestyle and a big bonus is that we can drive there. I have a fear of flying and with the channel tunnel providing quick and easy access to France, it makes this a great alternative. However, this year I have decided I need to face my fear, I have spoken to a hypnotherapist and we are going to work on it together, even as I write this though, the thought of flying makes me feel slightly ill.

Our French holidays have always been in gîtes, these are holiday rentals, usually rural but sometimes in the middle of towns. This gives us our own space, where we can do what we want, when we want, make our own food and have plenty of room to play and relax together. This has always made our holidays special, spending time with just the four of us, enjoying something different to home.


13 February 2016

Visiting the Fairies at The Trentham Estate

The children had an inset day on Friday, so to make the most of this, we visited The Trentham Estate just outside Stoke on Trent, we had never been before but my mum has often told me about when she used to go with her parents years ago.

The beautiful grounds were once landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, so called because of his great capabilities, the huge man-made lake which was made from the River Trent is full of wildlife and surrounded by many different species of trees which makes this a perfect spot for bird watching.

We started our visit with lunch at the Italian Garden Tea Room, some hot chocolates warmed us up and then we all had some fabulous food, the cottage pie and soup being particular highlights and the view over the lake whilst we ate was wonderful. After lunch, we headed out to walk around the lake and spot the fairies

This wonderful dandelion sculpture was the perfect place to start, my daughter loves dandelions and is forever searching them out in the summer to blow the clocks and see the time, the seeds on these ones even look like little fairies.


11 February 2016

Happy Pony Stories Giveaway

Last week, we reviewed a wonderful new series of books called Happy Ponies, they were a welcome addition to our reading pile. These are such easy to read stories that you and your children can relate to, they have been thoroughly enjoyed in our house.

Best of all I am really excited to be able to offer the first three books in the series worth over £20 to one of my lucky readers, as well as five runners up prizes of a set of stickers from the series, perfect for those sticker loving pony fans you might have.

All you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below, T&Cs apply.


4 February 2016

Happy Ponies Book Review

We were recently sent some of a wonderful new series of books called Happy Ponies, this series of 20 books are based on real life ponies that live on a farm on the Isle of Wight. Gail, the author taught the ponies owner Nicola how to drive carriages pulled by the ponies and whilst out on their trips, Gail would imagine different characters and scenarios for the ponies.

The bright and colourful book colours are appealing to the eye and the playful ponies on the front were an instant hit for my daughter who coincidentally, is going on her first horse ride this weekend as a birthday treat from her best friend.


2 February 2016

A Visit to The Tower of London

Back in January, we visited London for a couple of days as a family, during our trip, we took in a few of the wonderful museums that London has to offer, including the Museum of London and the Tower of London.

I've been wanting to visit to the Tower of London for years but it costs quite a lot of money, however we were reviewing a new app called The Entertainer, using this, the tickets were two for the price of one. So, onto our visit, the tower is steeped in history and even today is a working palace/castle, with the Beefeaters, as they are so fondly known, living and working there to protect the crown jewels and should she need it, the Queen herself.

We headed to the crown jewels first but as photography inside is prohibited, I didn't get to take any pictures of the breathtaking crowns worn by past and present royalty, it was an honour to see it all though. The work and craftsmanship that has gone into the gold and the jewellery was just unbelievable, certainly worth a visit if you like all that glitters gold.

Then we moved onto The White House, this is the Castle Keep and stands in the middle of the tower complex, it is such a wonderful building to look at and really is the centrepiece to the attraction.

The White House is home to the line of kings, an amazing display of over 500 years of armoury, the detailed silver and engraved armour was divine and it was wonderful to see so much history in one room. The armour once worn by Henry VIII, with it's rather large codpiece was quite amusing.

Years of history from all over the world are brought to life in the wonderful exhibitions, my son particularly liked this dragon trophy. Trophies were made as a way of showing off the strength of an army, this one was made up with everything from scrolls to maps and rubies to bits of armour, the effect is brilliant and he was very imposing.

After a visit to see the ravens and the slightly gruesome tower torture exhibition, we headed out onto the riverside to see Tower Bridge, a big monument of London and something I have longed to see for some years, even against the grey sky it was beautiful and if we'd had time I'd have loved to walk over it.

We had a great time visiting the Tower of London, however I would say that had the children been slightly older maybe 8 or 9 it would have been a more enjoyable visit. A lot of the information and displays weren't really that easy for the children to understand, however they enjoyed looking at the armour and the jewels and seeing the ravens. After this we headed to the British Museum which I will blog about at a later date.