Monday, 21 May 2018

Our Weekly Journal - Our First week With Bee

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Our Weekly Journal - Our First week With Bee


We survived our first week with Bee, and he survived too! Mummy went back to work on Monday and we were not sure how the week would go. Bee is a breast fed baby, he is fed on demand which is usually  every two to three hours. He is also allergic to dairy and soya so weaning is a little bit tricky.
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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Shark Bite, Let's Go Fishing and Mr Bucket Toy Review

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Shark Bite, Let's Go Fishing and Mr Bucket Toy Review


We were approached by Pressman Toys and asked if we would like to review* some of their games. Yes! We shouted, we would love to.

Bear has had his eye on Shark Bite and Mr Bucket for a while. Bear also loves fishing games (I made a really simple magnetic one ages ago that he still loves to play with).

We were sent Shark Bite, Let's Go Fishing and Mr Bucket to review. All the games are a fun way to help develop hand eye coordination. Which was our favourite?
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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Wenallt, Cardiff - Not Just Bluebells

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The Wenallt, Cardiff - Not Just Bluebells (although they are gorgeous)


If you read any guide on where is best to see bluebells in Cardiff (or in fact in South Wales) the Wenallt will always be in the top ten, probably number one or two. 
At the beginning of May the woods are transformed and a carpet of mauve appears. If the weather is kind and the sun shines the bluebells will glow. 

It is a popular place for dog walkers and photographers alike, but what else is there?

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Thursday, 3 May 2018

How to Grow Potatoes with Children

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How to Grow Potatoes with Children


Children love gardening - they love the digging, watering and the harvesting. Many plants can be grown without a garden, just a big pot and somewhere to put it.

Sadly many children think fruit and vegetables come from the supermarket. They do not know that potatoes grow in the ground, tomatoes on bushes, apples on trees. It is easy to show them by growing your own fruit or vegetables. It doesn't need to be much, you can grow fruit or vegetables in pots. Start with potatoes but also try strawberries and tomatoes.

Bear has helped in the garden since he was old enough to walk. When I said we were planting potatoes today he asked "and tomatoes Nanny?" "I have to check they are red before I pick them" Yes, he remembered from last summer and he's only three.

Growing potatoes is easy, here's a quick guide. Even if you have never grown anything before, try this.
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Monday, 30 April 2018

Forest Farm Nature Reserve- A Toddler Explores

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Forest Farm Nature Reserve- A Toddler Explores


We are very lucky to live in Cardiff, there is so much to visit. We love the castles, museums and parks  but it can be months between each visit. We hadn't been to Forest Farm since last Autumn when we took Bear on his bike and he rode off with me running like an idiot behind shouting for him to stop. He did eventually!

"Too fast Nanny!" he explained "bike wouldn't stop".

It was a very cold day a few weeks ago when we decided to go back, this time without his bike!
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Saturday, 28 April 2018

Our Weekly Journal - Catch up, Spa and Colds

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Our Weekly Journal - Catch up, Spa and Colds


It’s been a few weeks since my last journal, a combination of both Bear and Bee being poorly (nasty, nasty virus), time whizzing by and inertia, in the guise of Minecraft. If you have never played Minecraft Do.Not.Start! It sucks all your time and energy. If you have played, you know exactly what I mean.

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Friday, 6 April 2018

Ravensburger PJ Masks Jigsaw Puzzle - Review

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Ravensburger PJ Masks Jigsaw Puzzle - Review

We love jigsaw puzzles and Bear loves PJ Masks so when Ravensburger asked us to review* their PJ Masks Jigsaw Puzzle we were very excited! 
The weather had been very cold and wet and I had been struggling to find things for Bear to do indoors. He also had the beginning of a very bad cold and he was very particular about what games he played. A jigsaw puzzle was the perfect solution.
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Friday, 16 March 2018

Get Creative at Easter with the Disney Store

Get Creative at Easter with the Disney Store

The Disney Store sent* us a surprise box for Easter. Bear and I were so excited! What would it contain? Chocolate eggs maybe? Or something different? Bear loved opening the box, and in between oohs and ahhs and cuddles asking "What's this?" "What's it for?" and the usual "Why?".

Easter means different things to different people. For some it's a religious time, all about the original meaning of the holiday. Going to church and celebrating the miracle of Easter.
For others, like us, it is about eggs (of course), family having time together and getting creative.

In the UK it also often marks the change from winter weather to warmer sunnier spring weather (I live in hope with all fingers crossed). Daffodils and baby animals feature heavily, especially rabbits and chicks! A new beginning.

So what did we get in the box?

Being-Creative-at-Easter-with-the-Disney-Store-box-with-soft-toys-and-spiderman-box-inside
Whats in the box?
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Monday, 12 March 2018

Our Weekly Journal - Cakes and TVs

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Our Weekly Journal - Cakes and TVs


After the week-end the snow cleared really quickly except for a few places where it had been blown into large drifts. Our school run, down a narrow lane, was made a little trickier by the snow that had drifted and partially blocked one side.  Bear was really pleased to find some left outside his school.
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Monday, 5 March 2018

Our Weekly Journal - The Beast From The East Brings Snow

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Our Weekly Journal - The Beast From The East Brings Snow


How are you all? Did you have lots of snow? In Cardiff we were warned that the snow fall would be as bad as 1982. I remember that year well as I was almost nine months pregnant when the snow fell and couldn't get out the house for over a week. The drifts were up to three meters high. Luckily my son decided he wanted to stay warm and cosy, tucked up inside and didn't make an appearance until two weeks after his due date.
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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Mothers Day Gift Guide

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Mothers Day Gift Guide*


Mothers Day this year is next Sunday, 11th March. It is a time to reflect on all the wonderful things that makes your mother so special to you.

If, like me, your mum isn't here anymore, then maybe you have a special woman in your life - your granny, an aunt or the mother of your grandchildren who deserves a gift on Mothers Day.

There is still time to buy a thoughtful gift without breaking the bank. If you are looking for something from the children or a gift to supplement a traditional bunch of flowers then here are a few ideas to inspire you.
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Monday, 26 February 2018

Our Weekly Journal - Days Out and Minecraft

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Our Weekly Journal - Days Out and Minecraft

I may have to change this series to Our Monthly Journal! It is ages since I last posted, for many reasons.
I have had a few coughs and colds, my SAD makes me lethargic but we have been busy and I will catch up in a minute.

I have a confession - Minecraft. I'm not a spotty teenager sat in my room, I'm a Granny! And I'm hooked. If I'm not out and about with Bear I am playing Minecraft. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but there you go, I'm hooked!
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Thursday, 15 February 2018

LEGO Safari Animals at Cardiff Bay - A Toddler Explores

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LEGO Safari Animals at Cardiff Bay - A Toddler Explores


It was a freezing cold day in Cardiff on Tuesday, but the sun was shining so we headed down to Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay to see the LEGO Great Brick Safari. It's a free display of wild animals made entirely from LEGO bricks. Some have half a million or more bricks  (yep some have 600,000+), and took hours to build. The display is there throughout half term until Sunday 25th February and definitely worth a visit.
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Friday, 26 January 2018

Age - Does it really matter?

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Age - Does it really matter?


It's a new year so everyone will be adding another year to their ages. Firstly Grandad, in January. Then our children in February, me in March, our daughter-in-law in April and son-in-law in May. Another year, another number.
The grandchildren will be joyous at the extra year and some of the adults will be sad, but why? Age - does it really matter? If you have health and happiness surely there's little difference in being twenty-nine or thirty?
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Monday, 22 January 2018

Our Weekly Journal - Soft Play and Colds



Our Weekly Journal - Soft Play and Colds


Another short and late post as we have all had colds (flu?) here. Bad chests, nausea, achy limbs, sore throats - in fact so much I won't bore you with the details. Needless to say I have spent most of it on the sofa or in bed.

Bear was quite poorly last week too but seems to be getting through it now. He is still loving Welsh school so that is good news.

On Tuesday we popped around Bears house while he was at school and Grandad took Mummy to look at a new pram for Bee. I stayed in and had lots of baby cuddles with Bee.
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Walking Into the New Year with Vionic Walking Boots - Review

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Walking Into the New Year with Vionic Walking Boots - Review*


Since my husband had his new hip last year we have been trying to walk more. Our aim is to be out walking in the Brecon Beacons by the summer. It has got off to a slow start, mainly because of the weather. I'm happy to walk in all weathers but not thunder and lightning of which there seems to be a lot around this year! Then Christmas came and I became a bit of a couch potato, so when I was sent a pair of Everett walking boots by Vionic I was determined to start the New Year walking.
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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Ravensburger Toy Wonderama Jigsaw Puzzle - Review

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Ravensburger Toy Wonderama Jigsaw Puzzle - Review*

Jigsaw puzzles bring back so many memories. Each Christmas my mother had one spread across the dining table that we would all add a little to as we wandered by. How she found time as a mother of four children I'll never know. So when Ravensburger sent me the Toy Wonderama jigsaw puzzle to review it wasn't just the picture on the front that took me back to my childhood.
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Monday, 15 January 2018

Our weekly Review - Cefn Mably Farm Park and a Horse Ride

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Our Weekly Review - Cefn Mably Farm Park and a Horse Ride

It's been so busy again this week. Bear started Welsh school on Monday and loved it. He then started coughing badly in the night so Mummy took him to the doctors on Tuesday. He has croup, but just needs a close eye so went back to school. We collected him at 11.30 and brought him home. We didn't want to make his cough worse by letting him out in the cold or running around. He seemed lots better on Wednesday so after school we went to Cefn Mably Farm Park.
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Monday, 8 January 2018

Our Weekly Journal - A New Year and Welsh School

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Our Weekly Journal - A New Year and Welsh School


This week was our last week with having Bear full time. He is so small and only three but in Wales all children over three are entitled to some free care. This can be either nursery or pre-school. Bear lives in Caerphilly which has some excellent schools that teach in the medium of Welsh. None of us speak Welsh so thought going to Welsh pre-school would give Bear some understanding of the language before he starts real school in two years time.
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Sunday, 7 January 2018

How To Stay Warm This Winter on a Budget

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How To Stay Warm This Winter on a Budget


Oh my goodness it's cold out there! It may look lovely and sunny but my thermometer is reading 5 degrees and with that wind it feels so much colder. It's nice to be tucked up indoors although I remember the year when our boiler broke. It was the coldest week of the year and we had a huge hole in the side of the house. It certainly made me think about how to keep warm without stress and running up huge bills.

This year I'm teaming* up with Contact Numbers UK to help promote their #WinterHeatingHelp campaign.

British Gas have a number of ways to help keep cosy this winter with smart meters, "Hive" active heating systems and flexible tariffs. When it comes to boilers, you don't need to be a customer to contact British Gas for support. They offer it to all!

Not everything needs to cost more. Here are some of my favourite tips.
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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Christmas Made Easy - Newsletter Number One

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Christmas Made Easy - Newsletter Number One


If you haven't signed up to my Christmas Made Easy newsletter here is what you are missing!

I won't be sending emails every week, just when there's something that needs doing so you won't be overwhelmed, Christmas will just be spread across the year.

January


I hope you had a wonderful Christmas but now is the time to start planning next years celebrations. This is your to do list for January but firstly make sure you hit the sales before everything is sold out.

1. Things to buy this week while they are discounted in the stores;
  • Wrapping paper
  • Christmas Cards
  • Napkins
  • Christmas crackers
  • Decorations
  • Replace broken lights and trees

2. Christmas Cards;

Put all the Christmas cards with addresses in a pile and when you have a few minutes add them to your address book - don't tell me you don't have an address book!! Add it to the list above.

3. Make a note on the computer or in a book. (If in a book and you don't have one add it to your list above) you'll need this later in the year.

A list of the food and drink you ran out of and everyone loved

A list of all the food that you didn't touch/threw out or hated

A list of all the stuff you wish you had bought 

4. Open a dedicated savings account

Christmas is expensive. It is estimated that in 2016 people spent over £1000 on it. That would mean saving over £80 per month. Not many of us can afford that so start saving now to spread the cost. Decide what you can afford (even £20 a month will give you £220 by November).
Set up a direct debit or you will forget. Maybe have a penny jar? Put your loose change into it, it will mount up over the year. DO NOT TOUCH! it's for Christmas.

5. Set up a photo album called Xmas 2018

You need this to store photos of everything you buy or make in advance. By November you will have forgotten that perfect bargain you bagged in January.

Your Xmas 2018 photo album can be anywhere that's easy for you to access. Below are some free ideas but beware that some have limits on space and may cost you if uploaded using your mobile data;

On your computer
Facebook (don't forget to change the settings to only you can see it)
iCloud (Apple users)
Amazon Cloud Drive (Apple and Android)
Flickr
Google Photos
Dropbox

That's enough for January. Click on this link* for a simple, print friendly pdf version. I'll email with a very short reminder in a week or two; see how much you can tick off before then.

Happy planning


*this was only available to those who had signed up to the newsletter

This was a long newsletter as it's our first! They won't be as complicated as this again so don't despair just sign up here!

Subscribe to Christmas Made Easy Newsletter

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