10 December 2017

Cinderella at the Nottingham Playhouse - Review

Last weekend we were invited to see the opening night of Cinderella at the Nottingham Playhouse.

If you grew up in Nottingham, then chances are you will have seen the panto at least once.  For me, it was a school trip that first took me to see it. I remember a few of the school years going to see it, sat on a steamed up bus trying to get through the traffic on a cold December night. Everyone super excited to have seen the play and hyped up on sweets.

The glitz of the costumes, the sounds, the singing and most of all the wonderfully adapted stories are what make this a great show. When I used to go the it starred Kenneth Alan Taylor, he has passed the baton on to the fabulous John Elkington but is still a huge part of the panto, writing and directing what was a spectacular show from start to finish.


5 December 2017

Reliving the 80s with Chad Valley at Argos

So you may wonder how I could possibly be reliving the 80s with the Chad Valley range, without leafing through a vintage Argos catalogue?

Well in this months Play Panel bundle, they sent us a toy which I had in the 80s and one which my friends and I used to spend hours playing on.

The pogo ball (or Lolo ball as it was known back in the 80s) is a great way for children to learn about balance, get them to use their core and generally have fun whilst falling over and laughing.

With it being winter, it hasn't been easy to get outside and use this, so we have been playing with it on the landing and in the dining room.

The kids have really loved it and even I have had a go on it (photo withheld!)  I am pretty much as good now as I was back in the 80s for those wondering; like riding a bike you never forget how to bounce on a pogo ball!

I wish I had a picture of me with my 1980s pogo ball, it was purple and yellow and the day it broke was such a sad day :(

Thankfully though I can relive those memories now with the children and show them the kind of toy I had when growing up.

It comes deflated and you use the helpfully supplied pump to blow it up; once it is fully pumped up you are ready to bounce. The platform has two textured footprints for grip and to show you where to place your feet, so even though my 6 year old daughter struggled to bounce on it, she knew exactly what to do.

There are some other fab toys in the bundle too, my daughter loves the Designabear and it hasn't left her side, we've had lots of fun being chased by the lights and sounds elephant whilst trying to get the hoops on his trunk and although we haven't played with the others yet, my son is eager to have a punch about with the inflatable boxing set. Winter sadly doesn't make for great outdoor playing conditions.

As for the scooter; we already had one of these, so we donated this one to charity.

This is a collaborative post, all words and opinions are my own.

11 November 2017

Santa Comes to Town on a Big Red Christmas Bus

Last year we were invited to see Santa on his Big Red Christmas Bus at the Giltbrook Retail Park in Nottingham.

This weekend he is back and one again, we were invited to see him.  Suspecting that this will most likely be the last year of believing for my son, I said yes.

I know it is a bit early too, but with the children only being with me every other weekend I took the opportunity to start the Christmas fun a bit earlier.

The great thing about Giltbrook is that it is out of town, meaning no parking fees, yet plenty of great places to get some shopping done too.

As we waited to board the bus I could sense the excitement in the children, as the sound of Michael Buble drifted through the air I could feel myself getting into the spirit too.


31 October 2017

Pumpkin Picking - Our Family Tradition

I love Halloween, it feels like the start of the winter activities and I love nothing more than dark evenings snuggled under blankets with candles glowing in the corner, stews bubbling away and thick socks keeping toes warm.

It also means we get to go pumpkin picking, this has become our tradition and something that not only allows us to go and choose that perfect pumpkin ourselves, but also enables the children to see where they come from and that food doesn't just come from the shops.

It also supports a local farm and business and for that I am happy to pay a bit extra for my pumpkins, the guys over at Maxey's have had their pumpkin patch for the last four years and we have visited every year.

Watching it grow and more and more people visit each year has been great and I take my hat off to them in creating something that brings people together.


20 October 2017

Chad Valley Designafriend Amelia Doll & Fluffy Friends Sitting Dog Plush Review plus Win a £75 Argos Voucher

The children and I are excited to announce that for the next few months, we are part of the Chad Valley Play Panel and will be reviewing some of the fabulous toys they have to offer.

Chad Valley have been part of our lives for many years so we are really excited to have them on the blog. 


29 September 2017

My Little Pony My Magical Princess Twilight Sparkle - Review

My daughter is a huge fan of My Little Pony, much like I was at her age and with the release of the new My Little Pony film later this month, I have a feeling that everything MLP is going to be on the Christmas lists of lots of mini folk this year.

The Magical Princess Twilight Sparkle is without a doubt one of the most extravagant toys we've ever had, it reacts to touch and sound and is as bright and colourful as you'd expect a pony named Twilight Sparkle to be.


25 August 2017

Sunsets in Norfolk

Norfolk is one place I have never been before, but with so many people telling me what a beautiful part of the country it was I decided to give it a go for our holiday this year.

My children knew nothing about the trip and even on the day we went I had kept it a secret, only letting on we were staying away for a week when we were half way there.

As we pulled into the caravan park they squealed with glee at the thought of staying there for a week, announcing that I was the best mummy ever.

Who knew that my choice would create such a reaction, with a pool, amusements and a short walk to the beach their little hearts were full to bursting with excitement.

We headed to Heacham just down from Hunstanton, it is one of the only places on the East coast that you get to watch the sun set into the sea. And what a sunset it was, we ventured down the first night after some tea and played on the beach as the sun lowered itself into the sea in a blazing orange and blue glory.

The children built sandcastles and found a dead crab which they named and then buried in the sand, I love how they are both confident enough to pick the crab up and investigate it.


24 July 2017

Weleda Gardens Open Day

Earlier this month we visited the fabulous Weleda gardens on their open day, if you haven't heard of Weleda before they are a world leader in holistic natural cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

With gardens all over the world it feels like such a privilege to have one so close to us, I have visited the gardens before for one of Weleda's insight days but wanted to take the children so they could experience the gardens and see the wonderful flowers and plants.

First off my daughter and I made flower crowns, I had never made them before but it was super easy and so much fun. We chose our flowers from the selection they had and then carefully wound each flower onto the wire.


19 July 2017

Eats from the Street Pop-up Foodie Festival Nottingham plus Easy Chicken & Chorizo Paella Recipe

We love finding new foods and flavours in The Mummy Diary household, in fact we can often be found celebrating different traditional holidays from around the world, with local delicacies, tastes and flavours.

One of our favourite, super quick dinners is my easy-to-make Chicken and Chorizo Paella. Straight up, this recipe started as just a bit of this and that cobbled together, but for you guys and to celebrate the arrival of Eats from the Street in Nottingham this weekend I have written it down for my readers.

What I love about cooking and finding recipes to suit your family is that they become your own and something you can be proud of, so don’t be afraid to stray and add something else if you like that flavour.


17 July 2017

A Jolly Good Party - Review

If you follow my blog you'll know that I love to decorate our dining room for special occasions, this year with the help of the lovely folk over at Jolly Good Party my birthday was no different.

Jolly Good Party have some of the most beautiful ranges of party decorations and accessories that you could ever wish to see. With an easy to navigate website it is a really lovely place to plan your party, whether for a wedding, birthday or baby shower.

I opted for items from their mint & gold ombre range, the box arrived with everything I needed for a party tea with my family. Plates, napkins, banners, table cloths, straws, balloons, garlands and cutlery, all colour coordinated, it was my idea of party heaven.

My daughter helped me lay the table and it looked absolutely fabulous and the perfect setting for some fabulous birthday fun.


5 June 2017

Ferry Farm Park at Hoveringham - A Fab Day Out

Farm parks seem to entertain all of the family, no matter what age. They can get a bit expensive though, so it is nice that Ferry Farm Park at Hoveringham offers the farm experience at a more reasonable price.

At just £6.95 each it is half the price of one of the other farm parks in the area, it has all of the animals you could wish of a farm park, animal feeding and petting as well as plenty of space to run around and explore.

With lots of outdoor and indoor play equipment, a sand pit and ride on tractors it is the perfect place to take a picnic and spend the day, it also has a wonderful restaurant offering home cooked food and cakes, which were delicious.

Since it was half term and mine and my daughters besties from Mummy Plus Three were heading there, we decided to join them, and I am so glad we did. It was a really lovely way to spend a sunny half term day.

We picked up some food and set about feeding the animals in the barn, my daughter has so much confidence when it comes to feeding them and loved the goats snuffling at her hands for food.


21 May 2017

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars - A New Hope - plus Competition

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars - A New Hope, a film that changed the world of film forever.

For me, I remember many a Christmas where we watched Star Wars together as a family. I sat watching in awe at the lightsabers and stormtroopers and thinking how amazing Princess Leia was. The love story, the action and comedy in the films is what makes them so special, with a brother and two male cousins I fondly remember playing with the Millennium Falcon that my grandparents had at their house.

Fast forward some *coughs* 30 something years and it is the turn of my son to enjoy the films as much as I did, which he does if not more. With new films having been released since my day and more set for release this year it is a great time to be alive for any Star Wars fans.

My son loves to play with his lego Star Wars, making up scenes from the film and it has been something he has enjoyed watching with his Dad, it is great that it can be passed on from generation to generation and be something all ages enjoy.

With the 40th Anniversary though comes the release of some beautiful new books from Egmont, bound in a black cover and colourful page edges, these are books to take pride of place on your book shelf, they look simple, clean and contain the stories from the films.


8 May 2017

Beautiful Nature - A Walk Amongst the Bluebells

I love this time of year, the beautiful blossom, bluebells and fields of yellow are all signs that summer is on its way.

We have some wonderful woodlands around Nottinghamshire and one place we have been a few times is Bunny wood, named as one of Britains best woodlands for bluebells and I couldn't agree more.

As we headed down the winding paths, dappled in sunlight, we passed piles of logs and instantly broke in to The Gruffalo, the sun cast a wonderful warm glow on us and it was a pleasure to walk through the woods, listening to the birds as they twittered away.

We stopped and looked at the bright yellow fields of oilseed and took a few pictures, these two melt my heart with there love for each other, even if they can spend hours bickering. When it all comes down to it, they love each other.


2 May 2017

A Family Lunch at Ego Mediterranean Restaurant

Last weekend we were invited to Ego in West Bridgford, a new mediterranean restaurant offering great food in a light and airy environment, but most excitingly on a Sunday they offer children's entertainment, to make dining with your little ones that little bit easier.

Both of my children are pretty good when we are dining out, I take books or felt tips to keep them occupied and they usually sit still. However, like most children they do get a bit bored after a while and this is where in addition to a colouring pack on arrival, the children's entertainment comes into its own.

With colouring in, balloon animals and some fabulous scratch art bookmarks the team from Party Crew keep the children entertained whilst you get some time to yourself, whether for a chat or to mull over the menu in peace. It is a great idea and one that I think makes the dining experience for everyone that little bit more relaxed.


12 April 2017

Easter Fun at Poundland

If you follow me over on Instagram then you'll know how much I love to decorate our dining room to celebrate special occasions throughout the year.

With Easter this weekend Poundland asked me to pop to one of their local stores and pick up some goodies to have fun with, with so much to choose from we could of gone a bit mad but I knew what I wanted and we set about picking up some things.


24 March 2017

Mother's Day Treats at Victoria Retail Park plus Competition to Win £100 Next Voucher

Finding that perfect place to shop as a mum isn't always easy, but with out of town retail parks such as Victoria Retail Park in Netherfield, there are not only plenty of shops and free parking spaces but also plenty of places to eat too.

With stores such as Next, TK Maxx and B&M to name but a few there are plenty of fashion, home stores and food shops to satisfy every shopping craving and to even find that perfect Mother's Day gift.

I love Next & TK Maxx and with the summer fashion slowly working its way through the winter ones, then there is no better time to look for some new items for your wardrobe.

I love these pretty summer dresses and shoes, perfect for days out, weddings or simply wanting that something special.

Next & TK Max


28 February 2017

Touched at Nottingham Playhouse - Review

Last weekend I was invited to see Touched, the latest production at the Nottingham Playhouse. Starring some very wonderful Nottingham talent, including Vicky McClure and Aisling Loftus.

It was a play I was excited to see since it represented moments in history that I know are still clear in the memory of some of my family. A section of society forgotten during the horrors of war, not on the front line but suffering none the less.

Image by Robert Day for Nottingham Playhouse


22 February 2017

Strong Women Standing Tall

I apologise in advance for the possible rambling nonsensical post that is about to follow, but it is straight from the heart.

This past six months has seen my life change in such a big way, I haven’t mentioned it on the blog until now but in August our family of four became three with my husband leaving our family home.

When someone leaves your life after 14 years of being there it is a huge upheaval, it is like a death and I spent several weeks in mourning.

But one thing that became clear was the strength of the women (and some men) around me, the group of women that supported me are amazing and for that I am so unbelievably grateful.


17 February 2017

Wonderful Wellies from Term Footwear - Review

Since we can often be found out and about in the countryside exploring, nothing is more important than good footwear.

As the saying goes there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing, so when we were offered some wellies to review from Term Footwear I knew they would come in handy.

Term' school shoes and outdoors is a British brand from a husband and wife team, who have been importing and selling a variety of children's footwear brands in the UK.  They started their business 6 years ago, to supply school shoes to the UK market and have learned much about the types of shoes British children need.  Term was born out of the desire to make a great shoes and boots that children want to wear. 

Term Footwear launched their brand with their own design of wellington boots, perfect for the winter weather!  The wellies are manufactured in the EU from high quality materials and conform to EU standards.  They are flexible and lightweight with an added advantage of a removable roll top sock.  The sock provides great warmth  and comfort (as wellies can be very cold in the winter) and when the spring arrives you can simply remove the sock and the boot will be one EU size larger, so they will last the child for the spring/summer too. 


22 January 2017

Winter Time Fun at Newstead Abbey

Happy New Year everyone. I know, I know, we are already near the end of January, but these past few weeks I have been working hard and looking after my two children, so me and my laptop have been having a break.

We are back now though with some pictures from our winter visit to Newstead Abbey. We love exploring the old gardens of this wonderful estate and with many different plants and corners to visit it is always a great adventure.