Saturday 31 December 2016

Thoughts On Saturday - Goodbye 2016


Thoughts On Saturday - Goodbye 2016. 

I thought on New Years Eve it would be appropriate to say goodbye to some of the celebrities that have died this year. This isn't a complete list, it's a small list of those that had an influence in my life.

Friday 30 December 2016

10 Reasons I Can't Sleep At Night


I used to be able to sleep anywhere, tie a piece of string across a room and I could hang there and sleep happily all night. For the nights I found it difficult to sleep, like Christmas Eve or before going on holiday or when my mind is racing and will not shut up, I have a couple of strategies. You know the sort of thing, reciting something boring in your head until you drop off, the proverbial counting sheep, although I don't count sheep I recite the Kings and Queens of Britain. Yeah, works for me a treat.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Bears Boxing Day Christmas

Where is Bear? I don't know..

Our weekly update is very late because something happened, yes! Christmas happened!! We only have Bear when Mummy and Daddy work so we are on holiday except everyone came over on Boxing Day - Bears Boxing Day Christmas.

Saturday 24 December 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 52


#MySundayPhoto Number 52. Well I've managed to post a photo ever week thanks to Darren Coleshill and his linky. Even weeks when my photos were rubbish, or we have been poorly with flu we still managed to find one photo.

This week is a selfie of Bear and me. I never get any photos of us together as I am always the one taking the pics. 

You may have guessed that I have added a couple of filters and embellishments this week :-)

Merry Christmas to you all


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Thoughts On Saturday - Christmas

When I started Thoughts on Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I wanted somewhere to reflect and express myself on things that have happened, or that I've read, that make me think. This week though it's Christmas Eve and I wanted something a little lighter.

I haven't forgotten the awful events that have happened in the world this week, in Berlin and elsewhere. My sympathies and thoughts are with all those who have been affected by these tragic events and with those who have lost someone they love.

As it is Christmas Eve, Thoughts on Saturday is all about Christmas.

Thursday 22 December 2016

The Christmas Tag


I was tagged by the lovely Jenni over at Chilling With Lucas to answer some Christmas related questions for 'The Christmas Tag', so here we go... 


Monday 19 December 2016

Flu, Bear and Me


This week we should have been getting festive. Trimming the tree and making greeting cards but Bear and I have been poorly with flu. I have been so tired with a sore throat and achy limbs. Bear has had a bad cough and runny nose with hives. Hives are a rash that can be caused by an allergy, a sting or a virus. Bears is due to a virus and there is little we can do except treat the symptoms, Calpol, anti-histamine cream and various smelly oils and balms.

Sunday 18 December 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 51

#MySundayPhoto Number 51 was supposed to be all Chrismassy. You know the sort of thing, a tree, a toddler in a Christmas jumper, reindeer and lights. But we got the flu.

Poor Bear has a nasty cough and hives and I have a sore throat, achy joints and a cough.That means we have taken no photo's and have cwtched* on the sofa all week.
So I thought I'd use a photo from last week. This is a rainy, grey day in Cardiff. Bear, Grandad and me are watching an ambulance go past "ne nah"  outside Burger King. It's freezing and raining, we go inside so Bear can watch the cars through the window.

If you look closely you will see Cardiff's Christmas tree. Honestly it's there, look closely!! Yep, that has cost us, the people of Cardiff,  £30,000 to loan for 3 years. China saw us coming didn't they. The baubles are peeling, it was suppose to be 40m high and is just about 40 feet. At least Cardiff Council had a sense of humour and joked on twitter they had sacked the person who ordered it. We all laughed into our council tax bills.

*Cwtch - best Welsh word ever, it's not possible to translate exactly but means cuddle, hug, with love, warmth, mmmmm, cosy, more hugs and so much more.


Saturday 17 December 2016

Thoughts On Saturday. Aleppo, Fake News and Southern Rail


Thoughts On Saturday. Aleppo, Fake News and Southern Rail.


I don't think any one could avoid the horrors of Aleppo this week. I am in a quandary though. I do not know who to support. As I understand it, it's a civil war in Syria between the government forces and rebels. Rebels who rose up four years ago in the Arab Spring and one of their strongholds is the second city of Syria, Aleppo. The government forces are being backed by Russia and the rebels by the USA. So the rebels are good then? Well no, part of the rebel group is ISIS and they are bad. 

Friday 16 December 2016

5 Minutes Games For Toddlers - Blow Football


5 Minutes Games For Toddlers - Blow Football

All you need is some straws, a small box for the goal and something light for the ball. I used pompoms and made my own goal as I didn't have a small box. Remember this should take less than 5 minutes to make and toddlers do not worry about how good the goal is!

Tuesday 13 December 2016

toucanBox Craft Subscription Box review

toucanBox Subscription Box

I was asked to review a toucanBox* with Bear. They describe their craft boxes as suitable for children from 3 - 8 years old and Bear is only 2. This I thought would be fine as all his crafts are closely supervised and I am careful that he doesn't have anything with small parts or dangerous items. So why would I even consider a craft subscription box that is for an older child? Two reasons really, firstly if he had an older sibling he would be exposed to all these things anyway and secondly, toucanBox are great! Have you ever seen one? I reviewed a box last year when Bear was one and he was definitely too young. I'll show you what we received this time and you can decide whether it is right for your child.
The box arrives through your letterbox so you do not have to wait in and it's addressed directly to your child. Even Bear who is too young to read understood the toucanBox was for him.

Monday 12 December 2016

Painting and Photography


Some weeks are quiet and some are really busy. This week turned out to be a bit of both. Bear hadn't been feeling well, he had a blocked nose and hadn't been sleeping very well. On  Monday we decided to stay in to ensure he would get a nap. After breakfast he asked to do painting. "Painting, painting" he said, so painting it was.

He started with yellow I asked if he was doing a treasure map and the yellow was the sand. He wasn't too sure about this but we all chatted about pirates and he liked that idea. Then he painted with blue "is that the sky?" I asked, "no, water". He had painted lots of parallel wavy lines like Grandad had last week. I'm always amazed at his memory.

Sunday 11 December 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 50


#MySundayPhoto Number 50 is probably technically the worst photo I have taken of Bear. It's blurred and I only just managed to get Bear into the frame. It is like that because we went to Mambo, a soft play centre, and Bear loved it. He just didn't stop smiling and skipping or running. Two and a half hours and he only paused once when I made him stop to have a drink. He just was so happy and because of that I love this picture.


Saturday 10 December 2016

Thoughts on Saturday #1


I used to like Question Time on the BBC. I loved shouting at the TV, disagreeing with the panelists and ranting on Facebook with like minded (or not so like minded) friends. Then we had Brexit.

David Cameron and Brexit have a lot to answer for, not least that QT is now so boring. Blah, blah, Brexit, blah, blah! Just SHUT UP I want to scream.

Friday 9 December 2016

Mambo Soft Play Cardiff - A Toddler Explores


Mambo Soft Play Cardiff - A Toddler Explores. Mambo is a soft play centre in Cardiff. We pass quite often as we drive around Cardiff and have been meaning to let Bear explore it for ages. It was raining in Cardiff today and Bear was so full of energy we needed to get out so it was a perfect excuse to visit.

Thursday 8 December 2016

5 Minute Games For Toddlers - Treasure Chest


5 Minute Games For Toddlers - Treasure Chest is a simple game made from a box and a piece of paper.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas at Dyffryn Gardens - A Toddler Explores


We love Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan. We have National Trust membership so do not have to pay every time we visit. We enjoy the gardens at any time of year and it is a great place for toddlers too. Bear loves to explore and at the moment they have a 12 Days of Christmas Trail.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Beer52 Craft Beer Subscription Box Review


A knock on the door and I have a special delivery, a Beer52 craft beer subscription box for me to review*. I must say that I was really excited to try this.
I'm not usually a beer drinker, when I'm out I opt for lager as I know exactly what I'm getting. Craft beers by their very nature are each unique and that is what appealed to me with the Beer52 box, I could try different beers chosen by experts.

Monday 5 December 2016

Sun and Ice


This week we were blessed with lots of glorious sunshine but boy was it cold. On Monday we decided to go to the park so Bear could enjoy the sun. He wanted to wear Grandads cap and scarf and he looked so cute. Our own little cockney.

Sunday 4 December 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 49


On Thursday the sun was shining and although it was frosty it promised to be warm and bright so off we all went to Dyffryn Gardens (one of our favourite National Trust properties). As we got closer the fog got thicker until we could hardly see. Where had the sun gone? Sadly it had hidden behind the fog and cloud.

Dyffryn Gardens have a 12 Days Of Christmas Trail and Bear had great fun finding lots of them. We didn't stay to find them all because it was freezing so #MySundayPhoto Number 49 is 6 Geese A-Laying. What I really liked was that many are interactive and encourage children to play. Bear enjoyed moving all the eggs from the baskets into one on the end. Don't worry they were rubber and bounced.



Friday 2 December 2016

5 Minute Games For Toddlers - Lacing

5-minute-games-for-toddlers-lacing-text-over-image-of toddler-threading-yarn-through-holes-in-card

Todays 5 Minute Games For Toddlers is Lacing. I could say it is great for hand-eye coordination or fine motor skills and colour recognition but all I shall say is that it takes 5 minutes to make and toddlers love lacing things.

Thursday 1 December 2016

5 Minute Games For Toddlers - Hide and Seek with Lights


Our third 5 Minute Games For Toddlers is an old favourite Hide-and-Seek. This time with lights.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

5 Minute Games For Toddlers - Fishing


The second 5 Minute Games For Toddlers is the classic game Fishing. An old favourite and can be made in minutes. If you have older children they will love to make this game too.

Tuesday 29 November 2016

5 Minute Games For Toddlers - Skittles


Here's my first 5 Minute Games For Toddlers - Skittles.  As the winter gets a grip and the weather forces us indoors it's good to have some games that don't take long to make and will entertain a toddler for more than a minute. I thought I'd share games as I make them as even though many are old favourites when you have a bored toddler it's not always easy to think of the obvious. 

Monday 28 November 2016

Mud and Music


It's been a wet and cold week so we have spent lots of time indoors. This has meant entertaining a toddler and we have done all the usual painting and drawing but also it has been a week of Mud and Music. Bear found my Christmas bells and was fascinated by them so we sang Jingle Bells, not once, no, but many many times.

Sunday 27 November 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 48


#MySundayPhoto Number 48. Gosh I can't believe I have posted a photo every week for 48 weeks! This week we popped into Marks and Spencer to buy me some boots. Bear wandered off with his Grandad and beguiled all the ladies with his smile and cute ways. He was so good even waiting his turn in the traffic jam (queue to you and me).

As we were leaving I noticed he had fallen behind. All I can say is if there is an ampersand then it is put there for toddlers to climb though!



Saturday 26 November 2016

A Postcard From The Past


I received a postcard this week. It was sent from Oxford on 13th October 1909. It wasn't delayed, it wasn't even sent to me. It was sent by a young man to his sweetheart.

Monday 21 November 2016

Traffic Jams and Trumpets


I've called this weeks update Traffic Jams and Trumpets. Lets start with the traffic jams. The traffic jams are not on the journey to us in the mornings, or our journey to the shops or days out. No this is Bear, lining his cars up at the garage;

"Traffic jam" he states
"Why is there a traffic jam?" I ask
"Lights" he declares "Green! Green!" he demands

So at the tender age of two Bear has worked out that red lights cause traffic jams.

Sunday 20 November 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 47


#MySundayPhoto Number 47 is Bear at Tots. They have a craft table and this week they were making elephants with the trumpet as their trunk. Bear didn't like that idea but did love the trumpet. I was surprised at how many of the children couldn't blow the trumpet, and even more that couldn't make a noise. Bear of course could make a noise, again and again!



Friday 18 November 2016

Seasonal Affected Disorder - I Get SAD

This time of year I get Seasonal Affected Disorder. I get SAD. I just want to retreat into my shell and hibernate for the winter. I have been like this for as long as I can remember but only in the last thirty years or so has SAD been given a name and even more recently actually recognised as a disorder.

Monday 14 November 2016

Painting and Playgrounds


The weather changed this week, it is still very sunny and quite dry but so cold! It didn't stop us getting out and having fun though so we went to Roath Park. We love Roath, it has safe paths for Bear to ride his bike and a great playground. There are also opportunities to feed ducks and in the summer go boating on the lake.

Sunday 13 November 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 46


#MySundayPhoto Number 46 is of Bear at Techniquest in Cardiff. We love it there, it's a hands on museum. They have a new exhibit Imagination Playground that we went to last week to review. 

This photo was taken in a darkened room full of different exhibits, here mist rolls out of a lighted hole and down a slope. Bear was fascinated by it. He could touch it and it wasn't hot. He only knew about steam and that is always hot!



Friday 11 November 2016

Mountain View Ranch - A Toddler Explores


Mountain View Ranch is between Cardiff and Caerphilly on the top of Caerphilly Mountain. We have driven past it many times and looked down from the Ridgeway Walk. Every time we say we must visit but something always crops up. On Thursday it was freezing but the sun was shining so we decided to have a look. We were lucky, from 7th november the ranch is closed during the week and only open at weekends. We nearly missed our chance.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Imagination Playground At Techniquest - A Toddler Explores


Bear loves Techniquest* so imagine how pleased we were to be invited to experience part of Techniquest’s 30th anniversary celebrations: Imagination Playground.

The exhibition is a mobile block-based play system designed to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. Created by award-winning architect David Rockwell, Imagination Playground is the newest addition to the upper east wing of the centre. We just couldn't wait to try it out.

Monday 7 November 2016

New Friends and New Games


We went to Mountain View Ranch near Caerphilly this week. We have been meaning to go for ages but always ended up doing something else.

Sunday 6 November 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 45


#MySundayPhoto Number 45 is of Bear and Grandad on a tree swing at Mountain View Ranch near Caerphilly. It's not the best photo ever as they were in deep shade under a massive tree but the huge smile on Bears face tells it all.



Thursday 3 November 2016

Cardiff Castle - A Toddler Explores


Cardiff Castle - A Toddler Explores. We have been to lots of castles but always forget the one on our doorstep. We put that right the other day and had a very quick visit. What did Bear think?

Tuesday 1 November 2016

The Difference between then and now? Mostly waiting

Me (in the pink cardigan), my sister and brother and other children waiting. Probably for our supper.
What's the difference between now and when I was a child? Mostly waiting. We were good at waiting. We waited for everything.

Monday 31 October 2016

#Blogtober16 Day 31 Happy Halloween


When I started #Blogtober16 challenge of writing a blog post every day throughout October I never thought I would actually achieve it. But here I am on day 31 writing my last. Todays challenge is Happy Halloween. So I thought I'd show some cute photos of Bear dressed as pumpkin playing with the pumpkin we carved last night.

Balance Bikes and Buses

This week wasn't going to be about balance bikes and buses. We were going to Halfords just to buy a helmet as Bear is so fast on his little bike I worry he'll crash and bang his head. Bear has a Toddlebike2 at our house, I should really review it but in short it's fab! He has a big balance bike at home and we had discussed bringing it to ours every day.

Bear discussing buses with Grandad


Sunday 30 October 2016

Seconds Matter - Arthritis is a Pain

I was approached by Premier Bathrooms* to help raise awareness of Seconds Matter, a campaign to raise money for those with arthritis. This is a cause close to my heart as I hate arthritis! Yes I hate it. Our lives are ruled by it.

Grandad is waiting to have his hip replaced and we both hope it will improve his mobility and definitely reduce the pain he has. If someone knocks at the door I go as he just can't move quickly. Pain, constant pain. Arthritis is a pain.


#Blogtober16 Day 30 A Letter To Someone

#Blogtober16 Day 30 A Letter To Someone is todays prompt. I have already written a letter to my grandson and have thought hard about who I would write a public letter to. I do not write letters often as we now have social media and it is so easy to post a text or send an email. The only times I write is usually at a time of despair or loss. Where the written word feels more sincere and personal, and of course I wouldn't share those on here. I have decided to go back in time, to when letters were the only way to communicate and send a letter to my great great grandmother. Someone I have never met (she died in 1910) and who I have no photos or any other personal documents.

#MySundayPhoto Number 44


#MySundayPhoto Number 44 was taken this week. The trees in Roath Park are looking gorgeous. Bear is trying out his new balance bike. I tried to get one facing Bear but he just kept riding past me so quickly I struggled to keep up. I need a balance bike too!



Saturday 29 October 2016

#Blogtober16 Day 29 Three Confessions Of Your Choice

#Blogtober16 Day-29-Three-Confessions-Of-Your-Choice

When I wrote #Blogtober16 Share a secret about yourself I couldn't think of anything at all. Three confessions? Well that's a tall order too.
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