Celebrating The Small Things:Week Twenty Seven

This week sees me celebrating much loved toys, birthday celebrations and the love of small businesses.

Lego – Lego has been the most played with and loved toy in our house for over fifteen years now. Those little bricks that clog up the hoover and create the most excruciating pain when trodden on can be a nightmare to tidy away but I love the way it keeps them occupied for hours and always them to use their imagination in a whole host of ways.

Birthday Celebrations – With Oscar starting school this September it has been so lovely to have already meet some lovely Mums and their new starters.

I feel so lucky that my children attend a school where it is so family oriented and such great friendship groups are build for the parents as much as the children.

This has allowed Oscar to celebrate a birthday of one of his new found friends and who is is so eager to start his school life with in the next few weeks.

Book Launches – Through my work I have had the opportunity to work with some absolutely amazing companies and this is just one of the many reasons I love my job.

I do however have a real passion for smaller businesses that are just starting out in this very competitive and crazy world of business.

So when I was asked along to cover the launch of the lovely Kate Bodell’s first book I was so happy to be able to be part of her journey.

Going along and seeing the love and support she had from her doting family and friends was so special and I was so happy to be part of this.

‘Bumbelinda’ Secret Garden Book Launch

Tucked away in hustle and bustle of South London is a beautiful little secret garden that I was lucky enough to visit the other day for the launch of he lovely new book ‘Bumbelinda‘ that has just been published by the lovely Kate Bodell.

I arrived at the launch to be greeted by a beautifully decorated garden within a local primary school and a group of friendly faces that welcomed me and pulled me into the group that exuded the excitement and passion they had for the launch of Kate’s first childrens book.

Kate is a writer and illustrator based in South London who is a teaching Mum of two that has used all her experiences with children to put together the amazing picture book – Bumbelinda.

We were treated to a reading of the book by Kate herself and with an audience of little ones it was going to be a tough nut to crack!

We all settle in the sunshine whilst Kate introduced us to Bumbelinda, the fairy that has turned all those preconceived pink and fluffy images of fairies on their head with her scruffy appearance and toilet humour.

Bumbelinda being different to your stereotypical fairy means that this cute tale also appeals to little boys that might sometimes overlook the magic of believing in faries can bring!

When a very excited little girl stumbles across Bumbelinda she soon finds the task of getting her two wishes grated a pretty tricky one and I will let you all find out if she manages to convince Bumbelinda to make them come true!

Kate has poured so much love and effort into this wonderful book and this shines though in each and every detail.

The book is full of fun and as you turn each colourful page there is a cleverly hidden message about friendship and following your dreams.

I actually see Izzy very much in this story and this is probably why she was so taken with the story, along with the boys who love her cheeky character and her love of the word ‘poo’.

*collaborated post

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

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Themed World Book Day With Party Delights UK

World Book Day is one of the favourite days of the school year for my lot…well and for me actually. I love going through all their most loved books and choosing which characters they want to become.

There has been a huge variety of different characters chosen over the years and I have to say some have been easier to create than others. One author that is always top of the list though is Roald Dahl.

He brings back so many found memories of my childhood and I would get completely immersed in his tales, from the shenanigans of the evil Witches to the heart felt adventures of The BFG to the trials and tribulations of the mischievous Twits and the troubled life of darling Matilda.

His thought provoking tales have bought so much enjoyment to myself and my family over the years that it would be rude not to honour his work on such a special day.

On paper as well as on screen Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is alway a hit and the boys were lucky enough to be sent a Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka outfit each from the lovely people at Party Delights UK.

They are certainly the people to go to to get kitted out for World Book Day, and its not only the children they have thought of, there is also a section for the teachers too.

There are way to many costumes to list on here but there are some firm favourites such as Harry Potter, David Walliams, The Gruffalo, Alice In Wonderland and many more.

Frankie was thrilled will his costume that had all the finer details that are often left out such as Willy’s cane, a super cute bow tie and of course the spectacular top hat.

Oscar’s Charlie Bucket outfit came complete with authentic grubby patches and a little attachment inside the jacket to hold the all important golden ticket!

Head over and take a look yourselves at the fantastic range and get your little ones kitted out in style for this very special day.

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

Celebrating The Small Things:Week One

When I first started blogging it was a subject I knew very little about, and to say that I went into it blindly would be an understatement; but through the encouragement of family and friends I began my blogging journey and haven’t looked back since.

Over the past few years my blog has gone from strength to strength, it has now become my full time job and has bought me and my family some of the most amazing opportunities and allowed us to meet some wonderful people…some of which I would now class as good friends.

My blog is a place that I come to when I want people to find out about a great day out we have been on, somewhere I can give advice on great new products I have tried out or to celebrate big milestones in our lives; but as the New Year sets in and we naturally evaluate the different parts of our lives I have realised there is one area I have really overlooked when it comes to writing…The Small Things.

There are so many small moments in our lives that we take for granted or miss all together, moments that although may seem small and insignificant they give us great pleasure and we should learn to cherish and show our gratitude for them all.

I have decided to now do a weekly post highlighting all those little moments that would normally pass me by as a document to look back on in years to come and remember fondly.

Brotherly love: When it comes to the youngest two its always been a bit of a love hate relationship, with the latter certainly being more predominant, so when a special moment such as Frankie requesting to take his little brother out to share his birthday treat is an occasion that should be marked.

Lego: This may seem like a strange one, but the wonderful world of Lego has bought us all so much joy since Christmas in many ways. It dominated the youngest two’s christmas lists this year but has brought the whole family such pleasure and brought us together for some much needed quality time as we all muck in trying to make the next creation.

Storytime: Its been more than a few years since Izzy has requested a bedtime story, and to be truthful its not very often she willingly picks up a book! So after buying her the fantastic Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls it has been an absolute pleasure to see her engrossed in reading and sharing what she has learnt about a whole host of ‘kick arse’ women.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Getaway:Review

All of my older children have been fans of the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series and there is always great excitement when a new book is released. The realistic, comedy fiction books that are aimed at older children and teens have been capturing the imagination of children since 2007 and have gone from strength to strength.

We have all loved watching the trials and tribulations of Greg Heffley and his family and friends as he struggles with life in and outside school.

His chaotic life with his lovable family and quirky friends draws you in and really allows you to bond with the characters.

There is always great excitement with each new book release so you can imagine the excitement when we were sent a copy of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Getaway to preview before its release.

This time we see Greg and his family setting off to warmer climbs to avoid the stress and strain of the Christmas holidays.

As you have probably guessed the visions of a relaxing few days soaking up the sun turns into a disater even before they arrive at the airport.

Flight delays, stomach problems, sunstroke and venomous spiders are just a few of the problems the family encounter on their suposide relaxing getaway.

I will now leave you to find out if the whole of Christmas is ruined of if they manage to grab some kind of good from the usual disastrous situation.

This book has not failed to live up to the other editions and would make a for a great present under the tree this year.

Breakfast With Dame Jacqueline Wilson At The Foundling Museum

Dame Jacqueline Wilson has been a part of our family for many years with her books being a source of great pleasure over the years. In fact my eldest who hardly ever picked up a book would often be found engrossed in the adventures of Tracey Beaker which always bought me such delight.

A new generation of fans is now coming through in the family with Izzy and Frankie finding a love of her books.

When we were asked along to The Foundling Museum have breakfast with her I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed and the children…and myself were super excited at the prospect.

The Foundling Museum in West London is currently home to the Hetty Feather exhibition that is showing how the history of the Foundling Hospital has been bought to life through the character of Hetty Feather in Jacqueline Wilson’s top selling book that has since been won awards as a fabulous stage show and extremely popular TV series.

The interactive exhibition at the museum allows the children to see historical artifacts from the days of the Foundling Hospital and try on period costumes which allows them to get a real feel for how things would have been in this era.

Izzy and Frankie also loved putting pen to paper and creating a menu of food they would love to eat and comparing it to the bland and basic meals the poor Foundling children would have had to have eaten.

After exploring the exhibition the children all settled down for Jacqueline Wilson to tell us a little more about the museum and read an excerpt from the Hetty Feather book that the children all listened to intently. 

They then all queued patiently to get there copies of Hetty Feather signed and to have a chat with the wonderful lady herself.

We came away with wonderful memories of meeting such a humble and inspiring lady and highly recommend going along to see the exhibition yourselves which is on until the 3rd September.

Monkey On A Plane Launch With Emirates 

Ever since the Emirates airline went up all those years ago I have promised myself a trip on them.

Time passes quickly and as with so many things in London, I push them to the back of the list due to my complacency of being lucky enough to live here.

With this in mind when I was asked along to the Emirates Aviation Experience for the launch of their exciting new book I was excited by the book launch and the chance to experience the airline in equal measures.

After a quick ride we arrived at North  Greenwich and made the short walk to the Aviation Experience where we were going to hear all about the fantastic new book launch of Monkey On The Plane.

Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre the dynamic duo behind this book have cleverly taken the ideas of a four year competition winner who’s brilliant ideas were picked to be turned into a real life  book that is perfect to spark the love of travel in any child.

The children got themselves super cosy on a selection of beanbags and listened intently to the adventures of Enrico the the monkey who was fed up with his boring life in the forest and was ready to take of on all kinds of exciting adventures.

Sarah and Philip kept the children engaged throughout with their brilliant storytelling and interactive activities that allowed them to try their hand at their own illustrations.

They were then able to get their own books signed by the authors whilst sitting inside a super cool replica A380.

The Aviation Experience is the perfect place to experience the trill of flying whist on terra firma.

As well as being able to sit onboard a plane the can climb inside the cockpit and try their hand at being a pilot, get up close to the Rolls-Royce engine, take in all the information in the interactive displays or climb on board on of the simulators that get you as close to flying a plane as possible.


Next up we were ready to take to the sky onboard the airline.

I have to say that although I really wanted to experience this I’m not the best with heights!

Sweating palms and shouting at the children to sit still and not even dare to stand up we slowly climbed to the top and made our way across the river.


Once I hit the top my nerves settled and I was able to enjoy the trip and point out all the famous landmarks to the children with the help of the onboard guide.

With thoughts of travel firmly in the little ones heads our journey home was spend reading their books and planning all the places they would like to visit themselves.

If you have a trip abroad planned soon or you just want your little one to have a little more knowledge of the wonderful world of travel then Monkey On The Plane is available to download ‘here’ .

I would love to know what you think.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Screening

Sometimes you can open a book and immediately get lost in it; It can capture your imagination with every word and you can become completely immersed in the whole story.
This is what ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ by the fabulous author Michael Rosen has done for each and every one of my children…well I should include myself too really!

I’m sure there are not many parents out there they haven’t squelched and squirched though the mud at bed time or wadded through the swishy swashy grass whist keeping a little one occupied in the doctors waiting room.

This book has truly been a saviour to me on many occasions, and over my nineteen years of parenting this is a book I have never tired of.

When we were asked along to the screening in Leicester Square of this timeless classic that is due to hit our screens on Christmas Eve I’m not sure if it was the children or me who were more excited!


The animation that has been produced by the masterminds behind the Snowman and The Snowdog started and within the first few minutes I knew I was going to be hooked.


The siblings are left at home by their parents under the supervision of their eldest brother, and after getting a little restless set out on a walk to try and discover a grizzly bear, encountering all the familiar obsticals along the way.

There is the same hurried journey back home, but this time little Rosie forms a bond with the friendly bear and finds it hard to say goodbye.

To turn this short story into a thirty minute long adaptation the story has or course been added to a little but has in no way detracted to much from the original story.

With the enchanting storyline, magnificent illustrations and fabulous music dare I say this could be set to become a festive favourite and even knock The Snowman off of its pole position for me!

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt will be showing on channel 4 at 7.30 on Christmas Eve and repeated again on Christmas Day at 5.25pm

Dr Seuss And Nick Butterworth At Discover Story Centre

I had the delight of visiting the Discover Children’s Story Centre last year and fell in love with everything about it.

Since our last trip they have undergone a refurbishment and everything has only been bettered!

The Story World now spans two floors where the children can explore flashing lights and music inside a cool cave.

Sit quietly in the book corner and let their imagination run wild by creating their own story to stash away for others to read.

Weave through pathways whilst encountering lettered stepping stones.

Jump onboard the sail boat or climb and slide to your hearts content on the ropes and slides.

If quiet crafting is your thing then they still have the beautiful trees full of spoon people that you can create and leave in the trees.

Or if concentrating on crafts is not your thing like number four then they are also fabulous to balance on your nose!

We had booked ourselves into The World Of Dr Seuss exhibition and were hit by an explosion of colour and a very enthusiastic story teller as soon as the doors were open.

The children were taken over and read the famous Dr Suess Cat In The Hat book and even with all the exciting surrounding that they must have been itching to explore every child sat captivated by the animated story teller who had them hooked on her every word.

They were then free to explore!

They could take part in crazy golf, climb aboard the Once-let Wagon, dance along to the music of the boomband, dress up as Thing 1 or 2 and much, much more.


We made our way into the Story Garden from here where they were free to run around and let off some steam before our next adventure.

Not only does the Discover Children’s Story Centre have a whole host of activities to amuse the little ones inside their own centre, they also put on some fantastic events at the nearby Stratford Library.

For me this was the highlight of the day as the legendary author Nick Butterworth was there for a book signing.

Nick Butterworth and his classic stories have been a part of my life since I had my eldest child nineteen years ago and through his great writing and beautiful illustrations we have all become very fond of his books.

I was a little apprehensive upon walking into a very formal looking set up and realising I was going to have to keep the children in one spot for an hour.

These feelings soon past as Nick took to the stage to talk about his life and works that was interesting for the adults and still fun and engaging for the children.

It was so nice to meet the man behind the stories and find where he found his inspiration.

He was a very humble, down to earth man that just ozed passion for his work and his readers.


For me Discover Children’s Story Centre offer a space for children to forget about technology, learn bundles through play and let their imaginations run wild and grow in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

It really is a place you need to see to believe and I love it more with each visit!

Keep an eye out for all their upcoming events and I know I can’t wait to see what they have to offer over Christmas.

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