Celebrating The Small Things:Week Thirty

This week on ‘celebrating the small things’ this week as me thinking back on lavender field photoshoots, special allergy treats and Pimms in the sun.

Lavender Field Photoshoot – For someone who at the begining of the year always shied away from the camera terribly, I feel that although I’m certainly not confident in front of the camera but have started to fear it a lot less!

I had been chatting to the lovely Rachel Thornhill for a while now and whence asked me if I would like a photoshoot in the beautiful Mayfield Lavender fields I jumped at the chance.

Not only did I get some fabulous images of the day but I got to meet the lady inside my phone and was pleasantly surprised that she was as lovely as I had invisidged.

Treats For My Allergy Boy – Life with Frankie’s allergies can be a real mental challenge sometimes as the ability to give him what he wants is completely taken out of my hands and the ‘mum guilt’ is immense!

Recently we were out to eat pretty late and the selection of food was pretty limited. The others were all grabbing tasty treat whilst Frankie looked on. After nearly exhausting every option we stumbled across a place that served fries covered in vegan cheese. His face lit up and my heart my full over something so simple.

It’s Pimms O’Clock – This is probably one of the silliest small things I’ve written about but I can honestly say that being out in the sunshine, watching the kids play and having a Pimms in my hand is certainly one of my guilty pleasures…it also helps when the playful children start to argue!

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Twenty Three

‘Celebrating The Small Things’ this week is taking us back to half term and finding small moments to be grateful for in a pretty amazing week!

Location, Location, Location – It will be no surprise to many of you that I have always had a strong want to live by the sea. The outdoorsy life, laid back feel and plenty for the children to do has always appealed to me, but no so much to my husband.
During half term I actually realised we are really lucky to live exactly where we do. We had a pretty hectic week of commuting into town as well as a trip to Brighton that for so many just wouldn’t be doable. So with this in mind I’m incredibly grateful we can be by the sea and central London in under an hour and have plentiful countryside right on our doorstep, so no more moaning from me…well for a while anyway!

Understanding Food Allergies – Allergies are not something that feature to much on here but are certainly something that affect us on a daily basis. Frankie is allergic to a whole host of foods and although it is something he is slowly learning to deal with there are always those occasions where its pretty hard going for him.
We attended the Num Noms Launch Party at the Good Housekeeping Institute where there was going to be pizza making going on and I had already pre warned him that he might not be able to take part in this section of the day. He was disheartened but still very much wanting to go along.
Looking at the ingredients when we arrived I could sence the disappointment that was going to set in until a lovely lady came over and asked what she could find that would make the pizzas suitable for him.
His face lit up and I was so grateful that he wouldn’t have to miss out as he doses on so many other occasions.

Keeping Friendships Alive – A while ago now my husband’s best friend and his family emigrated to New Zelend. This was a huge wrench for him as they had been good friends since school and we all had grown close as we got married and started families.
It was amazing to have them over and spend quality time together. It felt like yesterday as soon as we saw them and through the help of social media we have all been able to watch everyones adventures over the past few years, but there is nothing like actually getting together and spending precious time with special people.

Exploring Stories With Pizza Express And Puffin Books

If a poll was taken with my family on which was their favourite restaurant I know that Pizza Express would win hands down!

The children love the delicious food that is served quickly to quash those all to familiar ‘I’m starving’ moans and as a parent I love the family friendly vibe that you get in each and every restaurant. The hustle and bustle means I don’t feel I need to be continually asking the kids to be quiet and with the great activities that are always on offer there is actually not much chance for fidgety bums and fingers to get restless.

It was in fact an exciting new activity pack and competition that Puffin Books have created for Pizza Express that saw us making our way to one of their Brighton branches last week.

We were taken to our seats by our super friendly waiter that handed the children their activities packs and they got started on them straight away. The Story Explorers Adventure Journal was full to the brim with activities and games inspired by different books and it really got the children’s creative juices flowing.

After trying to create their own Grey Huffley from their favourite series – Diary Of A Wimpy Kid they feasted on a starter of dough balls and vegetable crudités while I indulged in some delicately battered calamari that I had to keep Izzy away from!

Actually if you are a fans of Diary Of The Wimpy Kid too then there is a brilliant competition you can enter where you can design your own book cover and submit it online for your chance to win a family portrait down for you by Jeff Kinney, the author of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid himself.

As we waited on our mains we were treated to a visit from caricaturist Sean Savage who created a fantastic portrait of us all. The kids absolutely loved it and found the size of my teeth hilarious!

With our special memento safely tucked away we ate a delicious selection of pizza and pasta that didn’t fail to disappoint.

Aside from being so family friendly another highlight of Pizza Express for us is the way they cater for Frankie and his multiple allergies. The kids menu can be adapted perfectly which always makes him feel inclusive rather than having to have something completely different which can happen in so many other restaurants.

We had a quick break between courses where it was Izzy’s job to make up the chatter boxes that came in the activity packs. These are always a hit with us and they played for ages asking each other questions to unveil the final answer.

A meal out isn’t complete without desert and at Pizza Express you really are spoilt for choice. The children dived into ice cream sundaes and brownies whilst I went for the mini biscoff cheesecake dolcetti which I told myself was a lighter option!

Full to the brim and bursting with ideas on stories they were going to create and illustrate when they got home really meant that Pizza Express has been a feast for our minds as well as our bellies and we highly reccomend a trip there soon so you don’t miss out on all the fun!

*Collaborated post

Top Five Reasons To Visit Elderflower Fields

Elderflower Fields was the festival that broke our family festival and camping virginity! Our happy place that is probably one of the only times of the year in which we can really switch off from the world.

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We are getting set to visit for the third time this year and couldn’t be more excited. There is still time for you to join in the fun, so take a look at my top five reasons for visiting if a family festival is something you have been considering this year.

Peace And Quiet – Of course a festival is lively, music filled and full of the hustle and bustle of the crowds; but it is equally a place you can sneak off into the woods for a secluded walk, plot up in the middle of a field and watch the fun from afar and of course the peace and quiet of sleeping under the stars.

Family Time – With the fast pace lives we all lead in this day and age getting away for the weekend with little internet connection and phone connection allows you to spend real quality time together without ant distractions.

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Food – If you are a foodie then this is definity the right festival for you. The amount of top quality, locally sourced vendors at the festival is unbelievable. Each and every one serving the most sumptuous food using top quality, ingredients made with love by the passionate owners.
Another bonus for us is the fact that Frankie’s multiple allergies are always catered for without any problems.

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Learning New Skills – Aside from a few all the activities at Elderflower Fields are included in the price making it fantastic value for money and allows the children to take part in a things they wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Over the past few years mine have learned a whole host of circus skills, trapeze tricks, kayaking and so much more.

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Building Independence – The festival isn’t as big as some and at no time have I felt worried about the safety of the children which is great for allowing them to build their confidence by independently moving to and from different activities and getting stuck into tasks on their own.

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I really could go on and on with reasons to visit Elderflower Fields, but really the best way to see exactly what I’m talking about is to visit yourself. There is still time to grab tickets ‘here’ so don’t miss out.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Nine

This weeks ‘celebrating the small things’ is a bit about how I’ve been trying to think positively when things are not going the way you hoped. I am always a glass half full person and I wholeheartedly believe that thinking positively isn’t about expecting the best but accepting that whatever happens is the best thing for that moment in time.

A No No To Wheat For Frankie: We seemed to be spending a lot of time at St Thomas’s with Frankie this year in a bid to see if we can tick a few allergies off his huge list!
The other month we had a success with baked egg and I had high hopes for the wheat challenge but sadly it wasn’t to be. We had got right to the end of the five hour long test before he broke out in hives and was having itching in his throat and ears. We were both devastated as he had been sitting there all morning planning all the new foods he would be able to eat and this all came crashing down in one foul swoop!

On a positive note the reaction wasn’t as bad as it could have been and there is still good chance he could pass the challenge at a later date which we have everything crossed for.

And So Came The Snow: For me the attraction of snow is very short lived. Yes it looks very pretty and I love getting out to take photos in it, it is great fun to get the sledges out and bomb down the hills with the kids but it brings everything to a complete standstill, everything get cancelled and the kids eventually get bored of the whole thing!

I did however manage to embrace it as much as possible is as its such a rarety to get a few snow days in the UK. We went out and and enjoyed playing in the white stuff and then equally enjoyed getting back in to snuggle up with a hot chocolate.

Birthday Parties: Birthday parties when you have five children tend to take up a huge amount of the weekend, it is lovely for the kids but I often find myself thinking of the hundred and one ways I could be filling my day instead of being there though.

I have to say though this birthday party that was for Oscar’s best friend was an absolute delight.

None of the other children had really formed firm friendship groups whilst at nursery and would never really mention specific friends until primary school age. Oscar however is a different child althoghter and has a best friend that he speaks of very fondly and recalls their adventures at playgroup with such passion.

Its times like this the mum guilt kicks in for moaning about them having their own special times as they are such important experiences for them.

The Polish Bakery:Review

There was a big knock at the the other day which lead to a cheery man at  clutching a bag of goodies from The Polish Bakery.

I have to admit I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to Polish cuisine so I wasn’t to sure what to expect in my parcel.

The Polish Bakery has been running since 2003 and produces handmade bread, buns, rolls, cake, doughnuts and even birthday cakes with authentic recipes and ingredients directly from Poland.

My parcel included a loaf of their premium white bread, rye bread with prunes and a delicious cheesecake.

Frankie who has multiple allergies was over the moon that he could eat the rye bread and claimed the whole loaf to himself!

It was a perfect combination of ingredients and the juiciness of the prunes added a really good soft  texture to a drier style of bread.

The premium bread was beautifully soft and kept for much longer than most fresh breads.

I saved the best for last with the delectable cheesecake. There was in fact a bit of an argument over the last slice!

The cheesecake looked more like a tiramisu and was a delicious creamy cake with a delicate chocolate taste.

I didn’t imagine their products to be that different to the style in British bakeries but I was very pleasantly surprised and will certainly be going back for more!
*collaborated post

FEGO Banstead:A Eatery Perfect For All The Family

FEGO Banstead:A Eatery Perfect For All The Family

How often do you walk past a restaurant or cafe and immediately dismiss it for not being ‘child friendly’?

For me this is something I do regularly with my brood, as lets face it eating out with small children isn’t always the most enjoyable and stress free experience.

For a while now I have passed by FEGO in Banstead gazing in at their stunning decor and  scrumptious looking cakes longing for a few childfree hours to while away my time.


It looked far to pristine to take my motley crew into and the thought of them in there would bring me out in a cold sweat before my feet passed the threshold!

With these thoughts still firmly in my mind when I was asked along to visit FEGO I was more than a little apprehensive as to how they would cater for us.

We arrived at FEGO on a busy lunchtime during half term and were greeted with a smile and shown to our table near the back of the restaurant that was buzzing with a great atmosphere and full of a real eclectic group of people…including children!

The menus were brought over and I was happy to see there were a good range of different meals without the menu being large and over bearing. We were also welcome to chose from the breakfast menu even though we were there for a late lunch.

I love flexibility in restaurants as lets face it a stack of warm pancakes are welcome at anytime of day!

There is something to cater for all tastes from full english breakfasts to delicious salads, juicy burgers to pizzas and so much more.

The boys were kept amused with the colouring sheets while waiting for their burgers that they picked from a great selection that offers something a little different to the usual chip heavy childrens menu.


I opted for spicy scrambled eggs that were a tasty combination of eggs, cheese, avocado and tomatoes with a fiery kick of jalapeño and my obligatory soya latte.

Frankie’s allergies were catered for brilliantly and not a scrap of their burgers were left on either of their plates.

Crispy fresh chicken breasts served in soft rolls with plenty of salad and juicy, homemade beef burgers would be hard to resist.


It wouldn’t be a meal out without a sweet treat to finish it off. The boys went for a bowl of creamy blueberry ice cream and a sticky waffle covered in vanilla ice cream and sumptuous chocolate sauce.

All my preconceived ideas of this restaurant were quashed the minute I entered the restaurant.

The staff were all warm and welcoming, the food was beautifully presented and a delight to eat and the decor is simply stunning.



FEGO has something to offer the whole family from grabbing a quick pastry to a cosy date night with a cheeky cocktail or two.

There is so much more that I want to try such with their infamous ‘coffee in a cone’ being top of my list.

*collaborated post.

Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes

Easter is always a tricky time for Frankie and his allergies but this year he is feeling it even more so.

For a few months he had been allowed dairy and it had opened up his eyes to the world of real chocolate.

We had all really hoped that this would be the first year he would be able to get a Easter egg the same as his siblings but sadly this isn’t the case.

Stomach problems, bad skin and mood swings had all come on in force again and the doctors decided it was probably down to the dairy so we had to say goodbye to it again.

It’s been a hugely tough couple of months as he was so enjoying everything that came will the inclusion of dairy so this Easter I’m going to have to go that extra mile to make it special for him.

These cupcakes that mimic a chick cracking from an egg have really put a smile on his face and could easily be converted to your usual ingredients.

Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes 

  • 100g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g dairy free spread
  • Egg replacer for equivalent of 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder 
  • Pack ready roll fondant icing 
  • 12 decorative chicks
  • 12 cupcake cases 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F and lay out cases into cake tin.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with electric whisk until combined.
  3. Place ingredients into cases as bake for 13/16 mins.
  4. Once cook allow to cool on rack.
  5. Whilst cooling roll out a small amount of icing to about a thickness of 2cm.
  6. Cut out a circle slightly larger than the cakes and create a cross in the middle.
  7. Lay on top of the cake and peel up edges of the cross to open a whole in the centre.
  8. In this gap place one of the chicks to create the look of a hatching chick.

Olsson Haircare Collection Review

We are a pretty sensitive bunch in this house with my husband and youngest two being eczema sufferers and psoriasis causing regular problems for me.

Over the years I have found plentiful products that deal with sensitive skin but not so much in the realms of haircare.

I found this particularly hard with the boys as I have always been very careful to keep their baths product free so when it comes to hair washing it always has to be done before they get in the bath which they hate and just adds extra time and stress to bath time.

We were asked by the Scandinavian company Olsson to try out their haircare range that has been formulated especially for sensitive skin.

Their products have been geared towards allergy and asthma sufferers but would be suitable for the whole family to use.

All additives, perfumes and parabens have been avoided, leaving a haircare range that would cover a huge range of allergies and sensitivities.

It is a complete collection that covers cleansing, conditioning and styling and offers shampoos, conditioners, mouses, hairspray and styling wax.

I am always a little apprehensive about trying new things on the children but given they all have the seal of approval from Allergy UK it put my mind at rest and was happy for us all to see how they stood up to the test.

The volume shampoo left us all with squeaky clean hair and I didn’t miss the fact it wasn’t scented like I thought I would be.

It caused no irritation to the boys scalp or their skin even though the suds were I the bath with them for a good while.

The wash off conditioner was a great addition to our haircare routine and the addition of aloe vera and B5 left all our hair really soft and conditioned.

Number three has very unruly, long hair that always need a little extra TLC so the spray in conditioner was easily combed though and didn’t leave any sticky residue like a lot of leave in conditioners can.

The styling products were left down to my to try and first up was the spray, lift and hold mousse. Instead of spraying into your hand and applying to your hair it is sprayed directly onto the roots.

It was a little watery for my liking but still gave me good hold and was easy to blow dry once on.

With my flyaway hair a good hairspray is an everyday essential for me and Olsson have created a medium hold hairspray that didn’t sting my scalp like many hairspray a can and controlled my straggly hairs perfectly all day.

I found the whole of Olsson’s range perfect for the whole family. No irritations and perfectly cleansed and styled hair for us all!

*we were given these products for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Celebrating National Pizza Day With Sweetpea Pantry

Who doesn’t like pizza would be an easier question to ask than who does.
Pizza is the the most popular choice when it comes to takeaways with pepperoni coming in as the top choice; and if you thought pizza was a relatively new thing you would be very far from the truth as the first ever pizzeria was opened in Italy way back in 1738!

There are a whole variety of toppings available now and as a family we love evenings of making up our own combinations.

It is the perfect meal to allow everyone to get hands on and pick the things they they really like.

To celebrate National Pizza Day I have joined up with the lovely people at Sweetpea Pantry who challenged us to create on own pizza using their fab Playful Pizza Dough Mix.

A while ago we were lucky enough to try out their Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix and were more than impressed with the child friendly mixes that are easy to prepare, healthy and great fun.

The Playful Pizza Mix lived up to what I expected and created the perfect base to make our creation.


I decided to steer away from the norm and create a sweet pizza but keeping  sugar to a minimum with a few products that are low in sugar but still taste good.

Take a look and see if it is something you fancy giving a try, it would actually be the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Heart Pizza

  • Pack of Playful Pizza Dough
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g dairy free milk choc chips
  • 50g dairy free white choc chips
  • 300g Jim Jams reduced sugar hazelnut spread
  • 50g freedom vegetarian mini marshmallows
  • Handful of raspberries
  1. Mix the dough according to the instructions.
  2. Once ready take one of the three dough balls and create a heart shape leaving a slight lip around the edge to create the crust.
  3. Prick the dough with a fork and cook for 10 mins.
  4. Take out and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Next take the hazelnut spread and cover the base.
  6. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips first, followed by the marshmallows and finally add a few raspberries to the very top.
  7. Place under the grill until the marshmallows have slightly toasted and the chocolate has melted slightly.

Let me know if you give this a try as I would love to know what you think!