About me

Hi. I’m a mum of two small boys (“wow you have your hands full” is the usual response I get to that)

This blog is mainly a collection of honest reviews of baby/child products, cheap or free play at home ideas and reviews of family days out in and around the North Yorkshire area where we live. When I’m not with my boys I love bargain hunting so expect bargains, freebies and money saving ideas.

Reduced Food

I always (except maybe on a Saturday night) try to make a healthy, home made meal for our family for dinner made with fresh ingredients. It does get expensive though and food prices seem to go up and up.

So, I try to find as many food bargains as I can by checking out the reduced food section. Some days there isn’t anything spectacular but I have managed to grab a few bargains if I get .there at the right time.

Firstly, find out what time your local supermarket reduces their food. This is normally first thing in the morning and again late evening. You can find a lot of fresh meat a good price this way to make for dinner that evening or freeze for future use. Vegetables and fruit tend to be reduced the most when they start to go squishy but this is no problem if you cook it straight away to make baby purée or even a stew or soup if your little ones are out the baby stage.

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This morning I went to my local Tesco after the school run and picked up these 1.5kg of chicken drumsticks for only £1.89. Add some chips and veg and we will be having a cheap meal tonight.

 

Painting

Before my youngest son was born, me and my biggest man would get the paint out at least once a week. Sometimes just some free style creation other times we would do hand and foot prints (which usually turned into my son painting his entire body. And I mean his ENTIRE body) But so what? We had until Daddy came home to clean up and get a bath. (Which I often also needed)

But after his brother was born it became harder. With constant milk feeds and nappy changes we didn’t have so much time on our hands and after the monkey got mobile there was no chance of us getting creative.

So, I am so glad that he is at last old enough to join in.

 

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Painting is so beneficial for children.

  1. It’s a great way for them to express themselves, especially before they have language.
  2. It really boosts their confidence. They love the praise they get for creating something and the joy it brings to other people i.e. making a picture to give to Grandma.
  3. Just like with adults, painting is a stress relief for children too. They can let out their emotions and feel more soothed.
  4. As a creative activity it helps the brain to develop.
  5. I feel it is so important for children to just get mucky sometimes
  6. Most important it is so much fun for them

With my eldest we use simple washable poster paint and I usually give him free rein to create whatever comes to mind. However some days we do pick a topic. For example we looked at a book about the ocean for inspiration and when we were finished we stuck on shells we had collected from the beach.

My youngest is still small enough that there is still the worry of him putting the paint in his mouth so I make my own.

This is so simple to do. I just add a couple of drops of food colouring to some plain natural yoghurt and mix. This way he can hold the pot himself, dip the paint brush in and really feel as though he’s joining in with big brother. It will also wash off very easily and doesn’t stain the skin.

Are You Having Anymore?

“Are you having anymore?”

It’s a question I get asked far more often than I like.

No matter where I go there seems to be somebody who is interested in reproduction plans. Sometimes it’s my mum who asks “do you you think I’ll get some more grandchildren one day?” or a relative who you haven’t seen in a while who wonders “is this it? or are you having more one day?”

Even at mum and baby play groups it seems other mums, even those ones you’ve hardly said more than a polite ‘hello’ to, are curious about your future plans to procreate or not. “Isn’t he a big boy now” they say, “are you planning on anymore?” It’s as though once your child is no longer a tiny baby cradled in your arms people expect you to want to have another baby as soons as possible.

If playgroup mums aren’t bad enough, then there is always a stranger ready to weigh in their own opinions. “What a lovely boy” they coo whilst scanning my shopping. “Do you think you will have more one day?” What I want to say is “just let me buy my f- loaf of bread!”

But instead I have perfected my response. “Maybe one day,” I say with my friendliest smile “but for now I am very happy with my two boys.”

Because you see, it’s not something I want to talk about constantly to my family and it’s never something I want to discuss with a stranger.

On paper it looks like the right choice to stick to the two amazing children that we have. They make me feel so proud and happy everyday.

  • We have a two bedroom house and can not afford to move so more children just wouldn’t work right now.
  • I am not working so finanically another baby would be too much strain.
  • I am constantly tired and unsure if I have it in me to go through another pregnancy, birth and the subsequent sleepless nights.
  • My husband doesn’t think he wants anymore children. And I respect that.

The problem is your heart doesn’t care about what’s on paper. It doesn’t care about the facts. It doesn’t listen to the sensible brain.

My heart yearns for another baby one day. It will most likely never happen but I can deal with that because I feel so blessed to already have two children. To have gone through all those amazing experiences twice. My problem is I am only 23. I have so many child-bearing years ahead of me that I find it hard to say I will definitely not have any more children.

So I will continue to smile and give my polite response because people will never realise that when it comes to making small talk you should just stick to the weather.

And everytime I have to answer that question it will hurt inside. Just a little.

But then maybe I will remember the poonamis, cracked nipples and being so tired you try to give your three year old the baby’s bottle and I won’t feel quite so broody.

 

Competitions

I enter a lot of competitions. I try to enter some everyday but many can be time consuming. The easiest to enter are ‘click to win’ competitions. All you need to do is type in your email address and click to enter. The website below is an example of this sort of competition entry. Right now they have loads of toys and baby items including baby bottles set, Teletubbies toys and baby play gym.

http://winit.motherandbaby.co.uk/

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Children’s Character Clothing

My son is very into Spider-Man, Avengers and Minions right now and with him liking to match his brother everyday clothing can get expensive. The best place to go for character clothing has to be Sports Direct. Right now character t-shirts start at just £1.50

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This Jurassic World t-shirt is just £2.99

With boys and girls favourites such as Fireman Sam, Frozen, Minnie Mouse and Super Mario starting at 0-3 months and going up to 13 years I’m sure you will find something for the little ones and the big kids.

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They have t-shirts, leggings, swimwear, hats, underwear and much more available. Link to the website is below.

Sports Direct Character Clothing

 

Review: NRM York

This weekend we went to one of my sons favourite places, The National Railway Museum in York. However this time was made even better by the fact that my youngest son is now walking.

In my opinion the NRM is one of the best free to enter attractions in the area, (note: there is a £9 car parking charge) there is just so much to do. So, if you are looking for something to do when the weather has let you down, I recommend you head here. Even for those of you who visit regularly, like us, it is definitely worth going back for another visit as the displays and engines change frequently so there’s always something new to do.

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You will probably spend most of your visit in the main hall where the majority of engines are on display. These do change regularly as new items are added to the display that are swapped round with those on display at other museums.

There are around 100 out of 280 locomotives displayed at York at one time. One not to miss is the Mallard. It was built in 1938 and broke speed records for steam locomotives that are still unbeaten.

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What appeals to the children the most here is that they can see inside many of the trains. Whilst some have steps to walk up so you can take a peep inside others are actually open so you can sit inside. They have everything dating back from the 1800s through to the late 20th century.

Also situated inside the Great Hall is one of a few cafes and gift shops. The prices are high, as to be expected, so we do usually bring a picnic (there are many benched inside and outside to sit to eat your own food). The gift shop does sell an array of lovely items though from bigjigs and Thomas tank toys through to merchandise for the Mallard and Flying Scotsman such as tea towels and mugs. If you do decide to enjoy a drink or snack from the cafe there is a lovely little children’s play area in the main hall that has been recently refurbished.

If you do manage to get the kids away from the big locomotives, then there are many more areas to explore.

All areas in the museum are accessable via stairs or lift so are wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

With the works, station hall and warehouse to also take a look at you could spend the whole day here. Make sure not to miss out the station hall. This is my favourite area where the royal coaches among other things are displayed. There is also another quaint cafe situated here between the carriages.

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Outside there is a lovely play area (weather permitting). I didn’t think we were going to get the boys away from here. There is also the miniature railway ride (£3 per person).

Not to miss on your visit:

  1. Great Hall
  2. Station Hall
  3. Indoor Play Area
  4. Model Railway
  5. Warehouse
  6. The Mallard Experience (charges apply)
  7. Outdoor Play Area
  8. Miniature Railway (charges apply)
  9. The Turntable Demonstration and Talk
  10. The Viewing Platform (to see trains coming out of York station)

Review Score 9/10

For the adults:

Newly opened is the Countess of York, a beautifully restored carriage offering Afternoon Tea. Bookings can also be made for evening meals, private events and weddings.

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Scooters

If your children are anything like my 3 year old then forget bikes, it’s all about scooters these days. The Entertainer currently has 50% off scooters.  Follow the link below.

50% off scooters!

The only problem is choosing which one to get. My son loves Blaze, Paw Patrol and Spider-Man. There’s also plenty for the girls to choose from.

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