The Mama Tag

Tags are something which used to be on my site a lot of the time when I first started blogging, These are something which I have not done in a long time now which makes me said as I think this is a good way to get to know bloggers who you read a lot. Today I have been tagged in the mama tag by the wonderful Claire here is my answers to the questions which means you can learn more about me which is always fun because who isn’t nosey and want to know more.

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU HAD YOUR FIRST CHILD?

I had Jess when I was 20 but I would have been classed as a teen mum for the start of my pregnancy .

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING PREGNANT FOR 9 MONTHS?

My pregnancy with Jess was pretty fast as some of you may know if you have been around for a long time. I actually only knew for about 14 weeks that Jess was on her way I did not find out till I was 26 weeks so of course it flew by. I think the hardest part for me was the fact that I had to adjust in this short period of time that I was going to be a mummy and of course this was very scary.

CAN YOU THINK OF ANY GOOD THINGS YOU ENJOYED DURING THOSE 9 MONTHS?

Again because it was not long I will not say that I did not love it however, I hated not been able to be as active as I had been.The adjust to now been heavily pregnant and showing was something which I struggled with I am sure if I had another child I would enjoy it a lot more than I did.

IN YOUR OPINION, WERE ALL OF THE THINGS YOU HEARD ABOUT CHILDBIRTH ACCURATE OR WAY OFF?

I had heard all the horror stories of course before I had Jess however, it was not too bad for me even though I ended up having an emergency C section. I think there were points which I became scared in but of course everyone has different pain thresholds and people think different thinks are scary, So childbirth is going to be different for every single Mama.

WOULD YOU HAVE HANDLED CHILDBIRTH DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD RE-DO IT?

I think that I would love to be able to have my partner at the next birth or if we could actually do this again. I think that I would love him as well as have been able to have my mum this I am sure is going to calm me down when I am feeling scared and stressed out. It is very unlikely that my mum would be at a next birth because someone will need to be on hand for Jess.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY?

RELAX do not over think it because of the fact that is the more you stress and worry the worse you are going to be. There is nothing you can do if you are going to end up needing a C section to become a mama this is going to happen it usually is only offered if it is the safest option. Things can change so fast and you can not do anything about them I am glad I did not worry too much about my c section because I had done some research about them previously.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A MUM?

I would say it is the work-life balance because as you will know I have been doing my degree alongside been an mum. I feel guilty when I am spending time doing work or when it is nice weather and she is in childcare so at the moment I can get things ready for moving house alongside actually trying to find a job. I know this is something which most mamas struggle with even if they are at home the guilt is real. I have a feeling I feel it more because there is weeks where I have to solo parent due to Joe’s job and at one stage she hated me leaving her in case I did not return as well.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MUM?

I would say this is like watching Jess grow up because it is amazing watching her personality she has become a really cheeky but funny little girl with a hint of sarcasm. I love watching her face when she is on days out or experiencing something for the first time that sheer look of wow. It doesn’t even have to be big things it can include her just been able to have an ice cream, I am loving the toddler stage minus the tantrums.

WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED ABOUT BEING A MUM?

How tired it is possible to become and this does not actually stop even when they become older they still can wear you out. Jess makes me so tired watching how much she files around the tantrums which she gives me even wears me out which is never great. I thought that I was tiered before when I was a student well I can tell you when your a mama there is only so many nights you can burn the candle at both ends.

WHAT IS THE BEST MEMORY YOU HAVE INVOLVING YOUR CHILD?

I think think it was when we actually became a family for the time when the drama has stopped and we could enjoy having Jess. This mixed with the first time I saw Jess once I knew that I had to stop her from been adopted because this had been the plan. I knew I could no longer go through with it and i wanted my daughter to be mine.

WHAT WAS THE MOST EXCITING MILESTONE?

I would say them all because they are so special in their own way. Talking or walking I would say are the big two but now we can not get her to stop running off along with the fact that we sometimes we would pay for a little bit of piece and for her not to be constantly talking. We want them to hit the milestones as soon as they can but sometimes we regret it when they can do things we really don’t want them to do.

WHAT IS THE WORST THING YOUR CHILD HAS EVER DONE?

Tell people I have broken her ankle when I have not done anything must be up there as one of the worse. If only more people heard I am sure that social services would have been quickly round to make sure I am not a bad parent. I also hate it when she has a tantrum in public but I know sometimes that she can not help it and that’s how she can communicate that something is wrong.

WHAT HABIT DO YOU WISH YOUR CHILD DIDN’T HAVE?

Getting everything out instead of just a few toys is one so the whole floor looks a complete mess rather than just one area of the room is one of them. Another one which she does is been so sarcastic things like when she says thank you very much sometimes I do not know if she is been real or taking the piss out of us.  I know it is part of her personality but this can be so annoying.

WHAT HABIT OF THEIR MAKES YOU MOST PROUD?

I am proud of how polite she is she will say please and thank you without having to be asked which is amazing. She is so nice as well as will try and make everyone happy without you having to ask she will end up including everyone.

DO YOU SHARE ANY SIMILARITIES WITH YOUR CHILD? (BOTH PHYSICAL AND PERSONALITY?)

I think she is more like her daddy in personality but she can be stubborn like me. She is my double when I look at pictures of myself when I was her age I wish I had some of them I was Jess’s age to share with you.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR CHILD TO BE IN 10 YEARS?

I just want Jess to be happy and healthy that is all that matters to me.

IS THERE SOMETHING THAT HAVING A CHILD HAS TAUGHT YOU?

That the things which may have mattered so much to you before you became a mama maybe are not as important when you have children. You change and of course, have to put their needs ahead of your own which can be super hard sometimes but it becomes natural as a mama.

DID YOU IMAGINE YOU’D BECOME A MUM AT THE AGE YOU BECAME A MUM?

No, Jess was not planned and in an ideal world I would have waited and had her when I had finished uni and has been more settled. But I would not change it at all now I love being her mama.

DESCRIBE YOUR CHILD IN ONE SENTENCE.

Jess is a ray of sunshine, a bundle of energy and just someone I always want to be around. I am proud to say she is my daughter.

I am not going to tag anyone as everyone I can think of has been tagged however, if you have not done it and would like to I tag you to do the mama tag. If you do please leave your links in the comments I will be sure to check them out.

Charlotte xxx

 

Day’s Out- Getting Lost In York Maze

York maze is a place which I have heard so much about and living at the moment in the city. I thought that there was not a better time to visit the maze and get lost than this summer. This year they have decided to do the maze in the theme of dinosaurs as it is 25 Years since the release of Jurassic Park. If I am honest the reason why we have not visited before this time is due to the fact that I thought it was expensive for a maze at £14.95 for adults. This visit has changed my mind on the York Maze.

We visited on a warm Sunday afternoon so I expected it to be busy with people wanting to make the most of the nice weather. We arrived at York Maze around 1pm and actually did not end up leaving till close to when it was closing at 6.30 and would have loved more time which is always a sign of a good day. There was plenty which we did not manage to get done including the The House of Cornfusion, The Pig Racing and the shows. These are something which I think we are going to have to go back and do one day.

Of course, we did manage to do a lot of things during the afternoon at the maze. We completed the whole maze without getting too lost in which is a bonus we went to every check point which there are 6 of in around an hour of been in the maze. I have been told by a member of staff it should take you around an hour and half with a map which is available when you buy your ticket  for £1.50 which has a map and compass so I am pretty proud we managed to do it without.  A couple of tips which I would give you before entering the maze is making sure that you have been to the toilet there is nothing worse than needing a wee half way around and also make sure you have enough water in order to stay hydrated you could be in there for a while.

There is plenty to do which does not include using the actual maze this is where we spent a lot of our time Jess as you may know loves spending a lot of time in the sand pit. Due to it been a very warm day we let her play in the water element of the sand pit and this did mean that she came back drenched but this is the sign that she did have a really good day out. Jess also decided that she wanted to do some building with bricks which she has basically to herself which she enjoyed they are like the foam bricks which you find at soft play centres and this for sure is somewhere which she could have spent a lot more time.

We spent some time in the different kinds of mazes as well including the mineshaft maze which makes you crawl through the maze like a mineshaft which is great fun for kids. However, as an adult it can really hurt your knees which is something which happened to me. Of course, if it is wet before you visit this is an area which your child may come back from super muddy but this is something which risk. I did notice as a result of this Jess had a number of bruises on her knees the next day as well the joys of having a toddler.

I think that my favourite part of the maze was actually the Crowmania ride this is something which you my have to que for however it is well worth the wait. We managed to get the last ride of the day which I am very glad about to be honest. The ride is around 30 minutes long and goes around the fields while your sat on a tractor which is always enjoyable. There is a story with it and there is so many fun jokes its very interactive and at times a bit like a pantomine. Beware you will get wet on this ride however, if it is a hot day like when we went you will actually love this.  I wanted to be even wet her which would have been even more amazing.

There is also a chance to hold some of the animals which the maze is home to which included the tortoise which we managed to stroke. This is something which I have never done before and I think was not what I expected. There was also a millipede out when we were around this section and of course Jess been the kind of child she is had to hold it. I personally found it super tickly and then we held a snake which I think it is the first time I have done this. I sure may do this again it even started to wrap itself around my arm I must have been warm.

As I said previously, there was elements which we did not do due to time, also there is bits we did not do because Jess is too young currently. This includes a climbing frame which you have to climb up a volcano and then you can travel down the slide. There is also a race which would be great if Jess was a lot older because I am competitive and would love to race against her, there was a long que when we had been visit and there is only two allowed on at a time so this is something to bare in mind.  For sure there is plenty to do for the children and you could easy spend all day the maze.

If you are like us who do not always take food out with us, you will be glad to hear that the food at the maze is actually a reasonably price and the food is actually really tasty as well. Drinks for coke is around £1.80 which is so cheap for a attraction. I think a meal for  3 of us including ice cream came to less than £30 so this is something to bare in mind you do not have to take a picnic with you if you do not want to.

York Maze is open till the 3rd September so plenty of time for a visit. Tickets are £15.75 for adults and £14.75 for children however, there are discounts for booking online. You can also get a family of 4 ticket for £59 something we would have done but Jess is under 3 and you do not pay for these. Despite the price I would recommend it there is so much for all of the family we went with Grandma who also enjoyed it, one tip is make sure you give your self enough a minimum of 3 hours if not all day if you want to experience the maze and all it has to offer.

Have you been to York Maze if so what were your thoughts?

 

Charlotte xxx

What To Look For In Your First House

Keys

Purchasing a house is something which we are going this summer as you know, currently we do not have a date which we will be moving. One of the things which people have asked is what we have looked at in the houses which we have purchased. There is a few things which we have looked at before we put the offer in our house.  Of course even though this is our first house this is actually a family home as well because we have Jess. Today I am I going to share with you some of the things which we asked or checked.

Check how much mortgage you can get

This is something which I would really recommend going into the banks . Yes I know it can be boring and asking for a mortgage chat even as someone who get anxious very easy I managed to do around 5. This allowed to to see what amount we could borrow and then also allowed us to know the price range of properties we could purchase meaning we did not pick a dream house but not be able to afford to live there that nearly happened. We thought we may be able to get about 50k more than we could actually borrow.The leg work in the process will help you avoid heartbreak I promise it is worth it.

Ask what your new neighbours are like

There is nothing worse than moving in and finding out that your neighbours are not the best and could cause you some actual problems. This is something which we have made sure we asked at every house we were looking at and due to the fact that the lady who lives at the house we have purchased showed us around we got the truth. Some estate agents will not actually know what the neighbours are like, we know that we have a family with a girl one side and then an older couple who have grandchildren visit at times. This is going to be good because of course you don’t want to find out you have noisey neighbours if you have a young family like us.

Why are they moving?

This is something which we did actually ask as well because we did not want to find that there is some problems wit the house and this is the reason for the move. This is something which we asked the majority of the houses which we saw and found out the reason for most was due to the fact they were downsizing, this is one of the reasons the lady is selling her house to us. Again if they do not really want to tell you why they are moving this may start giving you some warning signs that everything is not ok.

How long have you lived in the house?

This is something which we did ask because most people do not purchase a house and then move again within a very short period of time. This may make it harder for some of them to answer the questions. Just because they have not lived there long does not mean that there is a problem with the house they could be moving because of moving for work. This for sure is something to keep an eye on. If something does not seem right it is likely that there is not something right.

Check your commute/ School run

This is something which we made sure that Joe was not too far from work I think that at the moment it is only 40 minutes. Of course, at the moment I do not have a job but I am looking at ones which are about an hour max of the house. We have made sure that we are close to schools because of course Jess will be starting school in 2 Septembers time. We have managed to make sure that Jess have found a nursery which is close to the new house so that she does not have to commute.

Make sure you have enough space

If you are like us when there is a chance that we may have another child in the future. If this is something which we do I do not want to have to move house because we would need the space. In the house we have actually purchased we have two spare bedrooms which will mean we still have a spare room if we have another child. This will save us having to move house for a long period.

Check the wifi speed

The internet is something which we do actually use the internet so much because of course I spend a lot of my time on my blog. Where as Joe on the other hand is always playing with his friends online which means that he needs to be able to have good wifi in order to not lag in the game because this for sure can be too annoying. We have found fast wifi and we have found that this is not actually going to be breaking the bank.

Parking

Make sure that you are going to be able to park outside your house because this is something which is very annoying if you can not.We are going to be lucky and actually have a drive but currently I at my house when we pull up it is unknown if we are going to be able to park which can become very annoying. I would check near the house at different time of days and different days in order to know what it is like. There is nothing worse than been able to park during the day when your at work but not when you want to be able to when you have finished at home and are on an evening of chilling out.

How far things are way

This is something which we had on our spreadsheet for far the basics which we need are away from the property. For example we had how far the primary school was which Jess could attend in a few years time. How far the local shop is away for when we need basics like milk and bread along with the major supermarket which we could do our weekly shop is away. This also included the train stations as it is likely when I get a job I will have to commute without the use of a car.

Check the eco rating of the house

This may give you an indication on how eco efficient the house is because the last thing you want to be doing is spending all of your money on the bills. This is something which we looked at and for free you can see how you could improve the rating. This is good because you could save yourself some money in the long run however, it does not tell you the price of the bills this is something if comfortable you may feel like you want to do with the owner.

Make sure you visit more than once

There is nothing worse than only seeing a place once and then putting in an offer. This is because it might not be as you remembered it. We have bought the first house which we saw however, there was around 15 viewings of different houses which we shortlisted to those which met our needs. Then there was around 5 which we viewed a second time and then we found the one but it allows you to compare things between the houses and also make sure you remember the correct house.

Of course we have only purchased our first home recently but these are what I would recommend for anyone who is looking. We used Zoopla to find the houses which we found worked for us both been able to have the app really helped. Enjoy the time you spend looking we started viewing houses and selected one within a month but had been looking online for over a year so I feel like we kind of knew what what we wanted.

What tips would you give to someone who is looking to purchase their first home?

 

Charlotte xxx

 

Making Trips So Much Easier With Micro Trike Review

Jess is like any two year old who is closer to three she wants to be able to walk however, this is not always possible.  Regular Jess will have a tantrum if we have to put her in the pram now she claims she wants to be a big girl. Recently we were lucky to be sent a micro trike to test out and promote.

Micro trike is something which we had so many questions about from people when we have been out and about with it.  I think this is because it is so much different from a normal toddler trike this does not have pedals like a standard trike would have.  Instead, it has a parent handle and you push your child like you would in a buggy and this is without the battle of them not wanting to go into the buggy. The Micro Trike is suitable from 18 months and up to a maximum weight of 20kg which is great. However, I know Jess is close to this weight so may only be able to use it for a few more months maximum a year.

The micro trike is something which we have taken on the nursery run when we want to get there fast. To be honest, we have been using it every day since we got it, Jess has been around outlets, shops and even Ikea on it.  One of the bonuses is that it is so light so if Jess wants to get off the micro trike she can and we can either continue to push it until she wants to get back on or carry it. It does fold flat which is always a bonus one less bulky thing to carry. Also, this is good for storage as space when you have children can be golden ours lives in either the footwell of the set we do not use in the car or in the boot depending on how full the boot is.

The trike is so simple to put up and down all you need to do is one movement to push the seat to flatten, in order for your child to be able to sit on it. Then you have to extend the one-handed push handle one of the benefits of this been one handed is you still have on arm free. We have found it actually makes me walk to nursery a lot quicker because I can swing my arms.  You could use the extra arm for carrying shopping bags or holding your child’s hand when they are not on it.

The push handle on the micro trike can be adjusted if you need it to be meaning different heights could push it.  The footrest for the child can also be adapted however, this is something which we have not yet had to do with Jess.

We now have tantrums is we do not use the trike it is so easy to push just glides.  It really is so easy to manoeuvre you just need to be careful if there are holes in the path not to get the small wheels caught. This has happened a couple of times to use and Jess has gone over the handlebars. I know I should really have the harness on but Jess wants to be a big girl and get on and off when she pleases.  I will warn you as well about going on and off the pavement this can be a bit of a hassle and something you need to take care of doing.

Micro Trike claim that this could replace your buggy, for us it has at the moment but I do not think I will be in any rush to sell the buggy. The reason behind this yes at the moment we have had a lot of nice weather, however, when it changes there is no protection from the elements for your child.  There is also the fact if your child does fall asleep a lot this is not really possible on this trike, we try and avoid using it when Jess is really tired.

Where can you purchase?

Micro Trikes can be purchased on Amazon for £80 and come in a range of 4 colours, Black , White, Pink, and Blue.  I would recommend them and can see them been very popular in the next couple of months to a year, if the amount of people who have asked me about it purchase one.

Do you have a micro trike if so what are your thoughts on it?

Charlotte xx

We were gifted this Micro Trike but I was not required to write about it, I just wanted to share our thoughts as we are really impressed.

July Favourites 2018

It has been such a long time since I shared my favourites of the month. This is usually because I do not have a lot of favourites or I end up forgetting, however, this month I have had a few. They range from a couple of beauty pieces,  some household items, a little bit of food and of course who could forget a few things Jess has been loving.

Raspberry Pavolva

The first item I want to share with you is the Possibility 3 in 1 Raspberry Pavlova. This I only actually use as a shower gel because I am still loyal to my Lush hair care routine.  As some of you may know I used to be obsessed and only use lush shower gel but I thought I would give this a try. Oh wow, the smell of this is so amazing it does actually make me want to be able to drink or eat this.

That is because of the fact it is so nice to smell, sometimes I find that cheaper shower gels do not actually lather up enough.  This is one which does actually lather up so well and it is also mosituring which is something I am finding I am needing because the sun is actually drying out my skin. I was shocked to find that it was only £2 for the huge 500ml which is a fraction of the price of lush.  I think that this is one which I would be purchasing again I want to try some of the other favourites because if they are the same as this I can see myself getting obsessed.

Summer Romance

Body spray is something which I actually love in the summer months because it helps me smell better. When I picked up the Possibility shower gel picked up the Summer Romance body spray. This is something which just before I go out I spray all over the outfit I am wearing.  It smells of berries and floral goodness which of course just has to scream summer to me. The scent does last for a while which is always a bonus because there is nothing worse than having to respray you outfit throughout the day. This body spray is going to last me for a while because it is 250ml and you do not need too much. It was on the 3 for 2 offer and came in at £4.99 so is not going to break the bank either.

Naked Noodles

Noodles are something which I have been loving for the past couple of months. I think this because it is something easy to make for lunch and at the moment I am trying to write as many blog posts as I can before Joe finishes for summer and we move house. So I have found myself when I am bored of sandwiches reaching for Naked Noodles which are Egg Noodles in a range of flavours.

I actually am yet to find a flavour which I do not like which is always a bonus. They are full of flavour which I always like because there is nothing worse than noodles which taste like nothing. They only take about 4 minutes to be ready which as a busy person is something you want.  I have been picking these up when they have been on offer I know you can get them at Asda and Iceland for as little as 75p.

Dyson V6 Trigger

You know when you are getting a little bit older when one of your favourites this month is a hoover.  Yes I am loving the Dyson V6 Trigger which is the handheld hoover which we have currently. This is something which is amazing because it does mean that I can just get it out and clean up the mess which Jess has made.  It is so handy that you can actually take this out to the car as well we always have a messy car because of the amount of time we spend in the car. It does not struggle too much with my hair which is great because I molt more than a dog so sometimes we find it hard.

Even Joe loves it because of how easy it is even cleaning it is so simple.  I managed to get this when it was on offer for around £100.  This is something I know we are going to get even more use out of when we move into the new house.  The only thing which annoys me is that I forget to put it on charger and then sometimes struggle to hoover everywhere I need to.

Micro Trike

The final couple of things which I have been loving this month well technically they are Jess’s. The first one is the Micro Trike this is something which I was fortunate enough to be sent after entering a competition.  This is that good that basically it has replaced her pram which I did not think would happen. Jess uses this to ride to nursery it is a trike which folds down so basically nothing which means that it can be stored so easily.  We have used it in a range of places including Ikea and never had any problems. In the next couple of weeks I hope to have a full review of the trike up but for sure this is something which we have been using every day since we got it.

Orchard Games

The final item which we have been loving this month is the Orchard Games.  I picked them up in Aldi when they had them for £2.99 because we wanted some games so that Jess is not always on Youtube after nursury. I picked up the Teddy Holiday Snaps which is basically snap, Holiday Heads & Tails which is where you have to match the pictures in order to win and the final one we have it a counting game. Where you have to spin the spinner and then find the number of shells on a card. The one who wins is the one who has the most sandcastles.  These games have kept us all entertained and have actually been so fun and Jess is learning every time when play. I have actually found Jess playing this on her own. This just shows how much she loves the games.

What have you been loving this month?

 

Charlotte xxx

 

First Aid On The Go

Traveling is something which we spend a lot of our time doing or it feels like we spend more and more time in the car.   Whether it be traveling to do things with the new house, which is like a 40-minute drive, going to see the grandparents or a day out.

I am one of those people who feels like something is going to happen. When you have a toddler it is easy for them to fall over and hurt themselves this is something which Jess does frequently. I swear her legs have more bruises on than anyone I know because she is always falling over. Because of the fact that Jess is always falling over, I thought that I would share with you what we have in the car first aid wise.

Calpol

I have added some elements into the first aid kit bits that I knew that I might need which was not included. The first thing which I added is some Calpol, well Morrison’s own brand this has actually been a help because once we needed it as Jess had bumped her head and was complaining about pain. Calpol can come in for a number of different problems such as teething or generally feeling unwell so it is always worth having it to hand.

Ibuprofen

The same can be said for ibuprofen I think we picked this up from Home Bargains. A headache is something which I can struggle with if I am in the car for too long. I sometimes end up hurting myself on a day out I have been known to have injuries so trying to the amount of pain I am in is always a bonus.  These will also come in should I have any other pain the same could be said for Joe.

 

First Aid Kit

We do have an actual first aid kit in the car which is full of most of the things which we could ever need in it. It does have some first aid cream in which is essential for us because Jess seems to be having a lot of grazes and cuts.  We also have the dressings in because you never know when you are going to need to cover a wound and we have a range of the sizes.

This also includes some bandages which if you remember at the start of the year I bruised my arm so badly I had to have it in bandages so these would have been needed.  There is plenty of plasters there which we need. I actually ordered this from Amazon but unfortunately, they no longer sell it so I can not link it. I think this was about £9 and we can fill it should we need anything else in the first aid kit.

Anti Bite

Getting bitten is something which happens to a lot during the summer months. I must have tasty blood or something this is the reason why I have decided to add some anti bite stickers for to the first aid kit. It does not matter where I am at the time I  can even be indoors and get bitten these are basically like plasters for your bites.  These are something which I may remove from the first aid kit when the weather becomes a lot cooler.

Paw patrol plasters are a must if you have a toddler like us who is obsessed with the pups. Jess does like using plasters is there is a need for her to have one, however, we have found that it can be hard to get her ones small enough more so when she damages areas like her toes. We picked these up on offer and they seem to cheer her up when she has a graze.

Antibacterial Spray

The final item which we have in the first aid kit is one which has been a godsend to us. This is the Morrisons Sterilising and Antibacterial spray. This is designed to spray on any cuts which you have to make sure that they do not become infected. When Jess managed to cut her chin and it would have been able to put the cream on. This spray has actually meant that Jess has not go anything infected. If she now gets a cut even if we are in the house she will ask for the spray. This is something which I would recommend putting in your first aid kit.

What do you have in the first aid kit in the car? Or do you not actually have one?

 

Charlotte xxx

Review: Hopster TV & Learning App

There is a time when Jess wants a little bit of time when she has quiet time. Sometimes she will use YouTube but that does mean that she can access anything because I do not have any parental control on the app. However, recently we were contacted by Hopster who is a learning and TV app for children who are between the ages of 2-5 years.

Screen time has allowed Jess to be able to learn a lot of her numbers and colours . It also gives me a break when maybe she has been a little bit full on and I do not want her to push me too much or the fact that I need to do something which means she needs to actually entertain herself.  Hopster is also a great app to download if you happen to be traveling this is something which Jess used so much when we used to commute.

We have been using Hopster for a couple of months now this has allowed us to form actual opinions.  We have used previous apps in the past, however, even when you have paid for them we have noticed that it has still had adverts.  This is something which you do not have on Hopster it is 100% advert free this does mean that Jess that on the app rather than actually getting on something else which causes her to get annoyed.

The app is far from basic they have so much on it including

  • Shows
  • Music
  • Books
  • Games
  • Create
  • Plus a themed area which changes regularly

The shows can be downloaded which means there is no need to use up your data when you out and about. This is something which I love because there is nothing worse than having no data left.  The choices of shows on there include Pingu, Ben and Holly, Thomas and also Fireman Sam.  I have actually downloaded some of them to my phone so that when Jess is losing her mind and needs to wait for something such as food I can give her this to ease the meltdown. I think there are around 800 shows which means that Jess should not get bored of the same episodes.

The books section is one which we love this is because Jess loves books and not always been at home means reading can be hard.  There are some of our favourite stories on the app including the tiger who came to tea which is one that I have loved since my own childhood.  There are also a number of books which I have not heard of on the app because it is always amazing to be able to find more books. Again there is such a good selection which means your child can not get bored with the books.

Painting is something which Jess adores but she is only able to do at nursery. This is because we do not have the space to be able to paint when we are at Daddy’s I can not wait till we can craft at the new house.  Jess for sure loves to be able to paint and create artwork on Hopster regular I find Jess has saved pictures onto my camera roll. She even has used it in the car when I do not want Jess to nap because the trip is not too far. I think that this is great should you not be able to do traditional arts and crafts.

I have had a lot of fun on the games with Jess. A couple of our favourites on Hopster include the app where you have to collect the flies and feed them to the frog. I know this is one which Jess enjoys playing on as well. I know that another game which Jess loves on the game is the alphabet hotel which is where you have find the same letter as your playing on, trace the letter and make words using the letter. This is something which Jess can spend hours playing on and I think this is the way she has learned a lot of the alphabet along with attending nursery. I am glad to see that over the time which we have been using Hopster Jess’s knowledge has increased and I do put this down to the fact that she has been playing games which are educational.

Hopster is available via a paid subscription for £3.99 a month, £19.99 for 6 months or £34.99 for 12 months. There is no contract and you can cancel the subscription at any point. You do get 1 month free trail which means that you can see if the app is for you before forking out anymore for it.  Personally I feel for the amount of quality content and the variety you get, the prices are great value for money. Once subscribed you can then access Hopster on multiple devices. This is something which I need to do but it on Joe’s phone so I do not always lose my phone to Jess.

Have you used Hopster with your child? If so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xxx

We were given a subscription to Hopster in exchange for review, however, all thoughts as my own.

My Top Honeymoon Locations

Traveling and exploring the world is something which I have loved since a young age. I soon want to see even more of it at the moment this has not happened for several reasons.  I think that hopefully next year we will be able to go on a short haul flight with Jess. I would love for her to be able to do long-haul flights in a few years because it would mean that I could visit some of the places which I have been dreaming of visiting on honeymoon. Before you all ask no we have no plans at the moment to currently get married.

 
The Maldives

The pictures which I have seen of The Maldives look amazing everything looks so picturesque. 1,000 coral islands make up this part of the world which means there is more than enough space for everyone.  Depending on where you actually stay as well it could see you have to get a speedboat or a seaplane to your resort. There is a range of stunning places to stay as well including iconic overwater bungalow, an opulent villa hidden away on a secluded beach, or a luxury hotel room.

This place looks so Instagram friendly and there are some amazing options which you can choose to do to make the honeymoon even more romantic. These include sunset cruises to beach picnics, private candle-lit dinners to oversized bubble baths filled with rose petals. This for sure is a place I am sure even I could relax in it does look like paradise.

Dubai

This is somewhere which I have seen several people visit in the past few years. There is not a huge flight time I think it is around the 7 hours mark and you can even fly from the North which is always a bonus.  I love the idea of been in a city but also been able to have beautiful beaches which you could relax on. There is also a water park which looks amazing. I love water and this would be somewhere which would be great to visit.

Helicopter rides, boat trips around Dubai look and sound amazing it would be the best way to experience such a beautiful place. The views which you could also have while you dine would be some of the best in the world. I think if Dubai is not a place which we visit on our honeymoon it for sure will be a place where we visit at some time in the future.

South Africa

South Africa sounds like a perfect country to visit on your honeymoon. This would be great to visit in the winter months as this is when it is the warmest in the country.  It is home to safari’s which would be amazing because for sure I would love to be able to see some of the animals in the wild which we have only seen in the zoo’s previously.

South Africa is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful undisturbed natural beauty spots.  Some of the beaches just scream at me and make me want to jump on them asap. The flight time is only 11 hours which I am unsure about doing with Jess but maybe when she is older and it’s our honeymoon it may be fine.

Carribean

I have not chosen an island which I would love to visit on the honeymoon. This could be due to the fact that they look so amazing a lot of the places have a private beach and this makes me feel like it is even more romantic.  It is always warm which means that it would not matter what time of year we decided to get married and go on the honeymoon.

The feeling of the white fairytale sand between my toes is something which I can imagine.  Seeing some of the wildlife in the sea is something which I would love to do. There is something about having turtles and fish swimming between your legs sound tropical. I think this is something which we could do as a family as well. I know it would be somewhere where I would like to visit on our honeymoon but it is more than likely that Jess will be coming as well.

California

This is a place where Joe visited when we started dating so I have been able to see pictures first hand of some of the places which he had. From some of the stories which he has been shared with me I know I would love to see some of the places which he has seen.

I think the mixture of being able to do some shopping and get bath and body works candles which for anyone who knows me is like the dream. As well as being able to be on the beach and make some amazing memories at a special time. This is again a place which if we do not visit on our honeymoon is a place which we will actually go.

When looking at honeymoons and long-haul flights I have been using Destination2. They have some amazing looking holiday destinations as well as ones which are designed as honeymoons. For sure when we are looking to book a holiday this is one site which I will be visiting.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

 

Charlotte xx

 

This post is sponsored by Destination 2

Day’s Out- Twycross Zoo

 

Going to the zoo is something which we love to do. Jess has been to the zoo previously at Chester, and also visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park. We keep taking her back due to the fact that she loves the animals and she is now telling us what the animals are which she can see.

We decided to take her grandparent’s and her Great Nan as a proper family day out because it is only around an hour and a bit from their house. This is when we found out that Nanny had never visited a Zoo previously.  It was a shame the day was not bright and sunny instead it was very dull and cold nothing a jacket could not help with though.

We arrived at the zoo about an hour after Twycross opened which meant that is was not too busy. This did mean that some of the animals were just waking up and as a result of Twycross having a lot of primates, they were finding their place in the territories. It was amazing to actually because it is very rare you actually get to hear this because the zoo’s usually got so busy and do not have as many primates as Twycross.

Twycross has one of the best and I think largest ape and primate collections in the UK, and you can tell. It really is incredible with apes of all types including gorilla, chimpanzee, and gibbons. These are animals which I love to watch because we can see how similar to the apes we actually are. However, as a result of Twycross having so many primates, this means they do not have as many of the other animals which you may expect to see at the zoo.

Giraffes are one of the animals which I love being able to watch and I think this has actually rubbed off on Jess because we spent a while in the Giraffe house. Twycross only has males however, they have so many different types and who knows in the future they may get some females and we might hear the pitter patter of baby Giraffes. I hope so because they are so cute and it would make me want to visit again in the future.

The Elephants when we visited were undergoing crate training due to staff telling us that they are actually going to be moving. I think they said they were going to Blackpool Zoo as a result of them not having enough space for them to have a male which means that they can not breed their elephants. I do hope that they manage to get some more because it would be a shame for them to loose them. For sure I know going to see the elephants is one of the highlights of a trip to the zoo.

There is a nice mix of outdoor and indoor enclosures so you can observe the animals in whichever part of the enclosure they choose to be in. This does mean that if you go to the zoo in the winter or when the weather is not great you are still going to be able to see the animals which are always a bonus.

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Review: Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie

 

A couple of weekends ago now you may remember that we took Jess to the cinema for the first time. We actually went to see Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie. As a result of my blog and all you amazing people reading we was allowed to got to the preview of the film. This means that I can give you my thoughts on this film and tell you weather it is worth spending some time going to see Thomas & Friends.

Plot

When a mischievous little racing car called Ace passes through the isle of Sodor on his way around the world. Thomas is inspired to embark on his own ambitious trip. Travelling full steam ahead across five continents.  Thomas discovers magnificent new sights and experiences exciting places and cultures. Along the way, he makes friends with an inspiring and fun Kenyan engine called Nia. With so much for Thomas to learn about the world, will Nia be successful in teaching him a lesson about the true meaning of friendship? Featuring a world of wonder, curiosity and amazing animal friends, join Thomas on an epic adventure, fulfilling his dream of seeing the world!

My Thoughts

It was great to see Thomas explore another island apart from Sodor, for sure he does see a lot of the world. Which shows little people who are watching that if you put your mind to it when you are older you can explore the world. This means that you will experience new cultures just like you see within the film.

Thomas gets to visit 5 continents which you see some of the cultures from the countries which he does actually get to visit on his travels. The main one which we do get to see is Africa this is where Thomas does actually meet his friend Nia she does teach us some elements of the culture. We also do also see Asia a little bit with Thomas going to see China however, we do not see the cities like you might think you would we see the mountains which have snow on instead.  South America we see in lot of detail however, this is just typical Amazon however ,this may make some children want to help save the planet so we do not damage areas which we saw Thomas visit in the film.

One element which I think this film should have done better is make us see elements of different cultures from the continents which I think they did well in.  I think that they could have also made sure that they did more of North America because there was only a short period of time spent there as well as Europe which they did actually fly through. This may have helped other children to see the cultures which may be different to theirs through Thomas.

This film also has a nice message that you can not do everything on your own sometimes you do have to ask your friends for help. You should not be afraid to have to ask your friends for some help in order to be able to achieve something which you want. This is something which Thomas learns throughout the film and he also sees who is actually his friend.

Overall

I think this film was good and Jess did actually enjoy the film and since she has spoken to me about when she went to see Thomas at the cinema.  However, I do think that 80 minutes running time is a long time for children who this film is aimed at to sit.  This means that on top of the adverts and trailers could be way too long, I think this could be one of the reasons why the ending to me seemed very rushed

Will you be going to see Thomas this summer?

 

Charlotte xxx

We were gifted tickets to go and see Thomas