TOMS Animal Initiative With WildAid 

TOMS are a company that have been on my radar for many years now, as not only do they make beautiful shoes for both adults and children…they also have a fantastic ethos behind what they do thus enabling them to provide over 70 million pairs of shoes for children in need over the past 10 years.

This is why I was very excited to go along to an event at their flagship store on Carnaby Street the other week to see how their generosity was stretching to yet another great initiative.

I was firstly taken back by the store itself to be honest.

I had only ever bought TOMS shoes from concessions in shops such as Office and didn’t realise they offered so much more than just their trademark canvas shoe.

The shop itself is home to a beautiful coffee shop serving delicious coffees and snacks as well as a huge range of shoes, boots, sandals, bags and sunglasses.

After taking in everything they had to offer we got down to taking about the new animal initiative that TOMS are working on in conjunction with WildAid.

The majestic giant pandas of Sichuan are in such grave danger that there are now less then 2000 in the world.

TOMS have bought out a limited edition range of vegan shoes for both adults and children by taking inspiration from this beautiful creature.

They are hoping that through this they will be able to to provide impoverished students living ammongest these pandas with the education they need to protect these endangered animals.

I known I for one in this age of throw away culture would love to be able to purchase a beautiful yet practical shoe and feel pleased that I have helped in some way towards the fight for this magnificent animal.

A Magically Messy Afternoon With Persil And Beauty And The Beast

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks you couldn’t have missed all the hype that has been surrounding the release of the new Disney film ‘Beauty And The Beast’.

A true Disney classic that in my mind would be hard to be recreated; so when we were asked along by Persil to a screening at The Mondrian Hotel on Southbank I have to say I was certainly more excited than Izzy…well just, to see how it would be played.


Upon arriving we were welcomed into a dimly lit room that just shouted “be our guest” at me with a table filled with beautiful gold candelabras and deep red roses.

It was definitely a table fit for a room full of little princes and princesses.


Lots of hungry tummies were filled with plates of scrumptious food and with a little bit of room left they got the chance to get creative and decorate their very own cupcakes.


As you can imagine after all that fun there were more than a few sticky fingers and faces around which if your children are anything like mine tend to get wiped on the nearest object, which is usually a cuff or more often than not my trousers!

This is where my good friend Persil comes to the rescue, and believe me I have put their washing products to the test over the years.

Persil have collaborated with Disney for the release of Beauty And The Beast and are giving away a £5 Disney Store voucher with every purchase of 22 and 38 wash Persil capsules.

This in turns means happy parents and happy children!

 

Full to the brim and eagar to get into the cinema we all took to our seats and were in for a very special screening indeed.


Izzy face lit up the minute Emma Watson took to the screen and I was immediately drawn into the familiar songs and spectacular cinematography. 

However it was not your run of the mill cinema viewing as at pivotal points during the film the cinema came alive with bursts of confetti, feathers and much more cascading over the audience to make it a truly interactive experience.

I left the hotel with a tear in my eye, snow in my hair and a head full of memories that Izzy and I will never forget.

Getting Kids Active In The Great Outdoors

A while ago now I wrote a post about the sad decline in outdoor play and it is still something that I am very passionate about.

Getting outside has a huge number of benefits; many of which you might not have even considered:

  • Boosts Mood all children have some level of stress or anxiety, even if it isn’t glowingly obvious to us as parents. By getting out into the sun they can get a boost of serotonin from the sun that will help to lift their mood and help them release some of those feel good chemicals.
  • Sleep Stimulation the brain contains the pineal gland that is stimulated by the sun. This helps with promoting sleep so anything that can help induce this is a winner in my book.
  • Improves Vision it has been found that children who play for extended periods outside have better distance vision than those that play inside.
  • Builds Social Skills without the use of electronic stimulation or other distractions, being outside makes it easier for children to come together, socialise and make strong friendship groups.
  • Builds Immunity that old favourite ‘the five second rule’ is always used in our house and I really don’t worry to much about a bit of dirt. Getting ourside and getting dirty allows the immune system to build itself which in the long term will help your little ones fight off the bigger nasties that childhood brings.

For me though the biggest benefit to outdoor play is exercise.

With obesity increasing twofold in the past decade it is down to us as parents to educate our children on the effects of exercise and try to get them into our everyday lives.

What child doesn’t love a trip to the park to jump on the play equipment and have fun.

They are having fun whist exercising and not even knowing what wonderful benefits it is having on them.

Outdoor play equipment allows children to build their gross motor skills, promote well being, build self confidence and put in those foundations for healthy living habits for life. 

What do you do to get your little ones out in the great outdoors?

*collaborated post

Making The Most Of Those Early Years

The other day I make the announcement that in a few months time I’m going to be a Nanny!

As you can imagine this revelation has caused me to have a million and one thoughts flooding through my mind and one of the things that has become even more apparent is the fact the time passes way to quickly.

That age old saying of ‘this time will go so fast’ is so true and I feel as though I have blinked and my eldest has turned into a young woman with her own family on its way.

With Oscar growing at a rapid rate I’m going to make the most of the precious time I have left with my youngest before I lose him to school.

We still have a while yet and I have decided that with Wednesday being the only day we have completely to ourselves it is going to be used to have as much fun as we can.

It’s going to be a day to forget about the housework and the millions of other boring jobs that need doing and just having quality time that I will never get back again.

Those early years are so precious and short that I’m going to make the most of these moments.

The dirty dishes and grubby carpets will still be there but those precious little moments with your babies won’t.

We started this off last week with a trip to Worthing where we threw stones into the sea, chased waves and ate scrumptious fish and chips and ice cream.

You can’t get much more perfect than that!

LOL Surprise Launch

Over the years we have had countless collections of collectables. Some have been a huge hit and some have been five minute wonders.

When we were asked along to the launch of the US hit LOL Surprise I was intrigued as to what this new craze was going to bring.

We arrived at Westfield and were immediaty greeted with a huge stage and lots of buzzing children that were eagar to see the launch of the dolls that was going to be hosted by the hit YouTube child star Tiana from Toys And Me.

My daughter spends hours watching all of her unboxing videos and was super excited to get to meet her in person.

After Tiana launched through a huge paper screen to take to the stage she unveiled the new LOL Surprise dolls in front of a a crowd of little ones that were hanging on her every word.

There was then a chance to go and meet her in and take away our own doll to take a look at for ourselves.

We headed off with a gang of blogging buddies to investigate what had caused such a big hype over in America.

For me the best way to describe these collectables is that it is like having a ‘pass the parcel’ package all to yourself.

Each ball is covered with seven layers that hold a secrecy message sticker, collectable sticker sheet, water bottle charm, shoes, outfit, accessory and finally the doll under each separate layer.

The doll itself will be a complete suprise and it is up to you to find out if she will cry, wee, spit or change colour.

 

The dolls were a huge hit with Izzy as well as Frankie and they loved the element of surprise that came under each wrapper and the want to know which each different doll would do.

I can for see a lot of pocket money being spent on these as Izzy is very keen to grow her collection. 

I’m Going To Be A Nanny!

Yes and not a Nanny of the childcare kind…a real life Grandma in my late thirties!

When someone says Nan or Grandma the immediate image that is conjured up in my mind is a grey hair lady with fluffy slippers on and a set of knitting needles in hand.

Of course I know that this is far from the truth these days and probably a small minority fit this stereotype, but I for one didn’t feel ready to become part of this category.

When my eldest came for dinner with her partner a few months ago my heart told me that the news of the pregnancy was coming.

Those glances to each other, egging one another to break the news was apparent before they had even muttered a word.

The mixture of worry of my reaction and the excitement of their impending arrival was written all over their faces and although for a good few hours before they broke the news I knew what was coming.

Although Alice is only 19, having her own family has been on her mind for a while now even if she had never admitted it to me. 

She has proved me wrong over the past few years by going it alone and creating a life with her partner that I thought would fall at the first hurdle but they have worked hard and created a home together and for them this was the obvious next step.

I was a young Mum myself and know only to well the troubles, isolation and unimaginable life change a new baby can bring.

That said youth does give you that carefree optimism and fresh outlook at everything that is sadly taken away with age.

So many things have been wirling  through my mind for the past few months and having my daughter’s baby shower at the weekend made everything that little bit more real.

All those worries are still in my head about how she will cope and what is she going to miss out on by having a baby so young; but selfishly I wondered where it left me.

With my youngest bearly out of nappies and my life still revoving around mums and toddler groups and school runs I didn’t feel ready to move onto that next phase in my life.

I am quite content with being a mum of young children and had hoped that as mine grew and that empty nest feeling began to set in I would then be able to sit back and enjoy my grandchildren, not whist I’m very much in the preschool phase of my life.

All this said I know this is the right thing for her and once my first grandchild is born I will not look back and will be there to love and support them every step of the way.

I am however still trying to find a slightly cooler name than Nan as this is still not sitting well with me!

The Teletubbies Turn 20!

Teletubbies
It must have been around this time of year twenty years ago when I was going in elbows first to get my hands on the sell out Teletubbies soft toy at my local Woolworths store for my newborn, that had absolutely no idea when an impact these four cute and cuddly characters were having on a nation of preschoolers.

It’s hard to believe that they have graced our screen for such a long time and although they have had a few changes over the years they have kept the ability to capture the hearts of over a billion children spanning over a hundred countries.

All of my children have fallen for their charms and you can imagine the delight on my youngest ones faces when I told them we were going along to celebrate their twentieth birthday and take a sneak peek at the new series that is set to hit our screens on the 13th March, with a special birthday show on the 31st March.

I arrived at The Riverfront on The Southbank on the Sunday morning with two super excited boys just itching to meet their favourites!

Before the screening we were treated to a yummy brunch whist the children ran wild in the soft play area, created masterpieces, got their faces painted and watched in awe as a magician covered children in a humongous bubble.

Teletubbies Teletubbies The Riverfront, Southbank   

Sufficiently full and a little worn out we headed to the cinema where a hub of excited children were donning their party hats in anticipation of the arrival of the ‘real’ Teletubbies!

Teletubbies Teletubbies  

Chris from Cebebbies took to the stage to introduce the larger than I expected characters and there were gasps and cheers from the entire crowd.

Teletubbies
After joining in with the new ‘Big Hugs’ song that includes a lot of bottom bumping…a big hit with my potty minded children the Teletubbies left the stage for a rest and we were treated to a viewing of the new series.

David Walliams and Rohelle Humes have been addded to the already star studded cast and it’s not just the voiceovers that have had new additions.

The Teletubbies have been treated to a brand new play area called the Hidey Hub that homes the Tubby Bounce, Tubby Slidey, Tubby Uppy Downy and Tubby Spinny.

It’s a great new area that was a big hit with my two, especially the Tubby Slidey which is a seemingly never ending slide…what child wouldn’t love that!

The changes don’t stop there as we can also welcome the Tubby Car that sees them all driving around in their super sweet car that cleverly has a steering wheel for each of them.

The Tiddly Tubbies also play a big part in the new series and I have to say I love them as much as the children do.

Unbelievable a cinema packed with under five’s was left in silence.

This is a hard audience to crack and the Teletubbies did it with no problem at all which just goes to show that the magic that was created with them twenty years ago is a winning combination and is a real testament to the writers they Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po are still going strong today.

I would love for you to tune in on Monday 13th and let me know what you think.

Teletubbies