My Sunday Photo – Coffee Table

coffee table
Staying with last weeks theme of baby bump photos because I’ll never get this chance again. This week marks 38-39 weeks pregnant. The bump now makes a perfect coffee table for my morning coffee. A nice big bottomed mug sits perfectly on top of the bump. The problem comes when I try to eat something and it ends up all down me because I can’t get close enough to a table or plate to catch the crumbs! I’m sure all pregnant ladies will know my predicament!
Photalife

Dear Beautiful Boys

Dear boys,

There are now precious few days before the 2 of you become 3.

I need to tell you that I love you. I feel the need to hug you a little bit tighter. I need to hold on to you as you are. To pause time. To make sure you remember how it was before your brother arrives. How much you love each other now. How close you both are. How even though two are becoming three I’ll still have just the same amount of love for you and more than likely more.

My heart gets bigger everyday. Every time I hug you both. Every time I see you do something for the first time. Every time you make me proud. Every time you make me laugh. Your new brother will bring us more love. He’ll be the baby all of a sudden and I am well aware that in the moment he is born you two will suddenly seem very very old again.

dear boys

Flixster up until now you’ve been the baby. Despite you reminding me all the time that you’re not a baby because you don’t wear nappies anymore! You’ll always be my baby. All three of you are my babies and always will be. You seem so loving towards your brother already. Keep hugging the bump. You are always saying hello to him. Recently your favourite phrase is to say that when I’m busy you will help to sing to the baby. I hope you do. I hope the new baby doesn’t disrupt you too much. You make me proud everyday with the things you do and say. You’re so observant and remember so many things that I didn’t think you would from being little. I hope your brothers birth is as magical as yours.

When I look back I don’t know where the time has gone. 3 and a half already. School next year, I’m not ready to let go of you yet. Please don’t grow up too quickly my baby.

Big boy, my first-born, my original baby. I hope you find the transition to three ok. I almost hope in a gentle way you don’t really notice that there’s much different.

I will still be there for you. I’ll still read with you and help with your homework. I’ll still listen when ever you need me to lend an ear. I’ll still nod along even when I have no idea what you’re really talking about (as it was prob a dream or something that happened at school) I’ll still be there to kiss you goodnight (and every single one of your teddies that currently crowd your bed). You will be the oldest of three. I hope that doesn’t make you feel too responsible. Daddy and I will still always be here for you, you don’t have to do it all alone.

You’ll be first to do many things like go to high school, sit exams etc. But don’t let that worry you. As we always tell you as long as you always try your best it doesn’t matter what happens. Yes I’ll prob say you should lead by example but it’s because you are the eldest. I’ll need you help most of all with the baby. Of course you are still only little yourself, just 6 but I know you can help me. Help me get to know the baby. Help me to show him lots of love. You can help Flixster and show him how to be gentle around the baby. I want you to be the proud older brother.

dear boys

As we all look forward to a new chapter in our lives together never forget how much we both love you.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky.

Love Mummy xx

Any Niggles?

Still pregnant? If you’ve ever had a baby then you’ll know this famous phrase! I know people are just being nice but I find it odd the things people ask you…

Here are some other things you get asked all the time near the end of pregnancy:

Anything happening?

No – and even if it was I probably wouldn’t want to mention it until we knew baby was safely here.

Are you sure it’s not twins?

Commenting on the size of a bump….yes I’m pretty sure since most pregnant women do opt for a scan at 20 weeks so can be fairly certain theres only one child in there. Unless of course you are having twins or more and can answer yes!

Oh you look ready to pop!

What? I’m not a balloon! If by pop you mean go into labour then what exactly is meant by that? Do I look tired and uncomfortable because I feel it?

Don’t go into labour here!

Well I’m sorry I can’t actually control when I go into labour but I’ll try my best to leave if I get any ‘niggles’!

Best get the hot water and towels!

Where did this come from? Towels I sort of understand but whats the hot water for? You wouldn’t wash a baby in it, you wouldn’t drink it? I’m genuinely confused if anyone has the answer I really would like to know what the hot water used to be used for. I’ve had two home births and hot water (apart from the water in the birth pool) was not on the requisite list! Read about my last home birth here.

My all time favourite comment………

Have you had the baby yet?

Where to start with this…… surely people can see that you’re still pregnant if they are asking in real life. If they are asking on social media or by text message then you know you probably would have mentioned such a thing? And if you haven’t theres generally a reason why you haven’t mentioned it yet. Maybe you have family to tell first.

 

pregnant

 

 

Power Rippers – No batteries needed!

This week we’ve been testing out a new toy called Power Rippers! Despite what you might think this toy needs no batteries, hurrah! The power for the Power Ripper comes from your own hand. The faster you pull, the faster your ripper will go!

power rippers

There’s 16 fab Power Rippers to collect in the first set. With lots of different characters available from sharks to robots. With single Power Rippers starting at a RRP of £4.99 theres something for everyone’s budget.

power rippers

The way they work is with a rip cord which slides easily inside the ripper and you pull and pull until you’re happy with the speed, then let it rip!

Want to race the Power Rippers with friends then you can with the 2 in 1 Competition Play set which also opens up into a battle arena!

power rippers

Rev up your Power Ripper and watch it loop the loop on a long track. Or battle with friends for the best time against each other in a head to head loop the loop. Set up the track however you want and add a fantastic jump at the end. Be quick though to catch the action. These Power Rippers don’t hang around long!

power rippers

In battle mode you can go head to head with friends to battle the Power Rippers in the arena, think robot wars on a mini scale. Will your Power Ripper win the ultimate battle and keep going longer than the other rippers?

When you’re finished for the day, pack everything back up in the case and it’s ready to travel anywhere!

Overall Experience

power rippers

What we loved:

  • Theres no batteries needed so it’s just set up and go
  • Theres lots of way to play, we liked the long track best
  • The battle arena was fun to watch and more a game of luck than skill which is great for smaller children
  • We got quite a lot of play from the set and the boys were keen to play again the next few days
  • The track set up is pretty easy to do with lots of configurations possible

Other thoughts:

  • It can be tricky to get the hang of starting the power ripper on the track so be sure to practice lots before you agree to battle with friends (unless you want to lose!)
  • Mind your fingers! Power rippers are powerful so keep your fingers well out-of-the-way of the fast spinning wheel!

Power Ripper Video

Most of our video footage had to be shot in slow motion as the Power Rippers are just so quick!

If you want to find out more visit the Power Ripper website.

Power Rippers are available now in many toy shops across the UK.

We were kindly sent the toy for review but were not paid for the content, all our views are our own.

my sunday photo
This weeks photo is me.
For all my flaws and dislikes of my own picture, one day I’ll look back and want to see what I looked like pregnant.
I’m 37 weeks now, time has flown. I haven’t really got many pictures of the bump so when my mum took this at the Ideal Home Show this week I thought it would make a good memory. This is most likely our last baby, the last boy in the trilogy. He has no name yet and we won’t pick one until we meet him. I’m planning another home birth and all being well he’ll arrive near his due date (hopefully after my birthday). Although in theory I’m ready for him any day I’d like to have a few more weeks of my final pregnancy to enjoy before he arrives.
Photalife

Winter Wonderland Eventcity 2017

If you’ve ever dreamed of an indoor Christmas themed fun park then look no further than Winter Wonderland at Eventcity. Event city is next door to the Trafford Centre. There are rides, shows and fun galore to be had when you walk through the doors of this very special Christmas treat!

Last year we had so much fun the boys didn’t want to leave and we can’t wait to go again! In addition to the rides there are bouncy castles and slides a plenty, with food and drink available to buy inside too.

winter wonderland event city

Winter Wonderland 2017 runs from 9th Dec – 1st Jan 2018. It is all indoors at Eventcity right next to the Trafford Centre. So no matter the weather you’ll be sure to have fun! With loads of free parking available you’re sure to have a fab time. Each session lasts 4 hours and includes all rides. Also the Rainbow show (with Zippy and George!) and the Christmas Circus. As well as meet & greet with the big man himself, father Christmas! Of course the sessions after the 24th December don’t include Santa as he’ll be off having a very well deserved rest!

And if you have been inspired by the amazing acrobatic acts at the circus show , there is also an opportunity to try out your own circus skills in special workshops on site.

Meanwhile there will be a chance for children to create their own amazing models in the interactive building block zone.

winter wonderland event city

The mammoth 22,000sqm exhibition space at EventCity will be transformed in to an unbelievable wonderland extravaganza. Featuring over 50 family rides and attractions all under one roof. Including new rides for 2017, and all included in one ticket price.

Rainbow

As well as the rides and the bright lights, there will be a dazzling array of colourful shows and this year, Winter Wonderland is delighted to welcome the nation’s favourite children’s TV characters Zippy and George from Rainbow who will no doubt bring lots of magic, mayhem and comedy capers!

winter wonderland eventcity Rainbow dominated the nation’s television sets for 20 years and continued to capture hearts long after its final episode screened. Families and children who fell in love with show’s famous characters will have the chance to meet Zippy and George. When they roll into Manchester this winter for the Christmas spectacular with their comedy capers.

Booking Information

Advance prices for Winter Wonderland start at £20.50 per person with a family ticket for a single session costing £70 and can be booked through the Winter Wonderland website.

Children under 3 go free! (A ticket for them is not required)

We have been kindly offered a family ticket to give away for Winter Wonderland. Ticket for use on the evening of December 11th. See below for entry to this fabulous competition.

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Winter Wonderland 2017 – Family Ticket

Radio Controlled Minion – Mel

This week we are celebrating all things minion. With the release of Despicable Me 3 on DVD and Blu-ray it’s time to rekindle the minion love in time for Christmas.

radio controlled minion

Bladez toyz kindly sent us our very own radio controlled Mel Minion to test out. If you like me have minion mad people in your house this little guy makes a fantastic gift.

radio controlled minion

Aimed at ages 3+ he comes with a simple remote control. The remote control features just one large button with just two options.

radio controlled minion

Even little hands are able to grasp the concept of moving Mel around the room. The two controls are forward and spin. So you have to spin Mel to the direction you want then move him forwards.

All the inflatable r/c toys in the Bladez range do need inflating once you get them out of the box. But don’t worry you won’t need a pump. I managed to do this in just a few breathes without feeling dizzy! Far easier than inflating some party balloons that’s for sure!

radio controlled minion

Look out in the box too for a small repair patch incase any minor accidents happen with the inflatable you’ll be able to repair him. I did have to stop my youngest from trying to ride the minion!

We loved playing with the radio controlled minion, he is a great first introduction for little people to remote control toys as he’s just so easy to control. He worked well on both carpet and hard wood floors. So whatever you have he’s fun to control.

radio controlled minion

The Workings

You will need 6 AA batteries to power him, 4 for the minion and two for the remote control.

radio controlled minion

So be prepared on Christmas day with the batteries if it’s a gift as they are not included. He comes with a switch on his base with a choice of “Off”, “On with sounds” or “On without sounds”. The sounds on Mel are minion noises which do repeat after a while so if you get fed up of hearing it (which my boys didn’t!) then you can always run him without them!

Available to buy at The Entertainer and other toy shops.

With thanks to Bladez for sending Mel. I was not paid for this review, as always opinions are my own.

I’m 35 weeks pregnant now and have a current craving for syrup sponge pudding! Now it’s hands down my all time favourite pudding so no surprise that it’s a craving. My love of syrup sponge has been long known about by most of my family. Even on my wedding day the hotel chef made it as a special off menu dessert for our wedding breakfast. I even had two helpings as one of my guests knew he didn’t like it and sent his portion to the head table for me! So when Panasonic approached me about their new Panasonic combination microwave range I couldn’t think of a better recipe to include in a post about microwave cooking!

microwave syrup sponge

So I give to you the recipe my wonderful hubby uses to make a quick and easy microwave syrup sponge pudding whenever the mood takes me! I lucky to have such an indulgent husband that he will make this on demand. He knows not to come between a pregnant women and her syrup sponge!

Ingredients you’ll need:

5 Tablespoons of self-raising flour

2 Tablespoons of caster sugar

1 large egg

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons golden syrup (also extra for serving with if you are like me and like it to be very syrupy!)

Lemon zest (optional)

Custard to serve (or cream if you prefer)

microwave syrup sponge

How to make microwave Syrup Sponge Pudding

We use a 1 pint size microwaveable bowl to mix and cook in. Put the coconut oil into the bowl and microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Add the flour and the sugar into the bowl and mix together. Next add the milk and egg, lemon zest (if using) and mix again. Last add the golden syrup to the top of the mixture, this will not need mixing in as it will sink to the bottom of the bowl and make a delicious syrup topping when poured out.

microwave syrup sponge

Put the bowl into the microwave and cook on full power for approximately 3 minutes, during this time keep an eye on the pudding and stop the microwave if the pudding stops rising and springs back to the touch.

Allow to cool for a minute then carefully tip the pudding out onto a plate to serve. Split the pudding into portions in bowl and add some custard to serve with.

Ah voila! Syrup sponge in minutes whenever you fancy!

microwave syrup sponge

Panasonic sponsored this post but I have full editorial control over its content.

my sunday photo
Last Sunday we went out to Tatton Park, which is a fabulous country park, mansion, farm and gardens about an hour from our house. The picture was the boys on the adventure playground. Whilst it is a lovely picture of them to me it shows that sometimes the camera does lie. On the surface it looks like we were having a fab family day out in the Autumn sun. In reality my eldest had moaned and groaned all the way around the other attractions as all he wanted to do was go to the playground. His face was permanently in a grump until we eventually got to the playground! Despite telling him numerous times we’d get there in the end! And of course it turned back into a grump when we had to leave.
Photalife
5 second rule junior

This week we’ve been playing 5 Second Rule Junior kindly sent to us by University Games. 5 second rule junior

5 Second Rule Junior is aimed at children aged 6 and up and is a junior version of the already popular 5 Second Rule game. You do need a minimum of 3 players for this game so its worth remembering that if you’re going to be buying it as a gift.

5 Second Rule Junior has a simple concept to play but is harder than you first think. 5 seconds really isn’t that much time when you’re against a clock!

How to play 5 Second Rule Junior

The winner is the first player to get to the finish line of the relatively small game board. Which on first glance seems easy. But it’s not all that easy to think quickly and stay focussed in 5 seconds!

5 second rule junior

To advance forward on the game board you have to answer the question on the card and name 3 examples of the question asked. Younger players are allowed to just give 2 answers. An example fo this would be “Name 3 things you take on a car journey”.

5 second rule junior

If the player answering the question names the 3 things within the 5 seconds then play passes to the next player to answer the same question. You can’t name the same things though. As you can imagine this gets harder and harder as the question goes round. Someone at some point will lose! For those players that have successfully managed to name 3 things (or 2 if they are younger) then they all move forward a space on the board. Or two spaces if the question has gone round that many times!

In addition to the plain spaces on the board there’s some helping hand spaces too which allow you 10 seconds for your question if you land on them.

5 second rule junior

What did we think?

We really enjoyed playing 5 Second Rule Junior. So much so we’ve had it out each time we’ve had visitors over half term. It’s a fun way to keep the children entertained. The concept is easy to understand and game play has lasted just long enough to keep everyone’s attention. As most of the players get to have a go at each question you really do have to concentrate on game play. This avoids duplicating someone elses answers.

My 6-year-old was quick to get in a sulk if he couldn’t get his 2 answers. However he was easily pleased with being allowed to use the timer. The timer makes a silly sort of mooing noise each time it’s turned over! Be sure to use the timer though on a flat surface. If you don’t all the tiny ball bearings won’t move down and time 5 seconds properly…and nobody likes a cheat!

5 second rule junior

We were not paid to review this item, as always all opinions are our own.