Casdon Kenwood Mixer

My boys have always loved imaginary play, especially baking and cafes. We have wooden food you can dice, plastic veg, wooden pull-apart meats, teapots, coffee machines, tea sets, a cash register, pretty much anything you can imagine would be needed for role-play we have it! We even have a little wooden macaron and fresh cream cake set, which my 5yo loves to pretend to make and then sell at his cafe.

We used to have a plastic mixer which was well loved, so much so that it only lasted about 10 weeks until it broke at the hands of my 5yo, so we were so excited to find this new Casdon Kenwood Mixer!

The mixer is so realistic, and promotes imaginary play as well as hand-eye co-ordination, social skills, and also problem solving. It’s been a big hit here in our hoouse. This mixer features  two speed settings, a whisk beater, a spatula, and a recipe book. The mixer can also be either hand or battery operated, which adds another dimension to the mixer.

The mixer is £22.99, and in my opinion is very worth it. It’s easy to use and is easy for the kids to change the whisk over too. It’s very robust, and also looks so realistic. Both of my boys love it, and I think they will for quite a long time too.

Happy (fake) baking kiddies!

Disney Crossy Road Review

We are huge fans of Disney in our house both online, in movies, on TV, on our tablets, and also for toys, so we always get excited about new additions; and Disney Crossy Road is one of them! They have just released pixelated minifigures and pixelated plushes to coincide with their very popular app Crossy Road.

Each character comes with a unique rarity status; rare, epic, secret, legendary, limited edition! There are over 40 characters to collect which include Mickey, Toy Story, Big Hero 6 and Lion King. They are great collecting-fun for all of the family, not just the children!

My five year old loves his new Buzz plush! Buzz is £9.99 and makes the perfect bedtime companion or travel partner.

We’ve also loved the Crossy Road pixelated minifigures. You can buy them in either small mystery boxes for £2.99, or in packs of 4 for £9.99.

My boys had lots of fun with their minifigures.

The Disney Crossy Road collection is available online, and also from Tesco, Asda, Toyrs R Us, Smyths, and Argos.

And if your kids love watching other people open toys and surpise eggs etc, then there are also some great unboxing videos over on Moose Toys, which my boys also enjoyed too!

Happy collecting!

 

 

 

Don’t forget to be a wife too!

This is a post to all of the wives out there, but it isn’t exclusive to them, I just happen to be one, hopefully anybody in a relationship can take something away from this.

When you fall in love you forget the world around you. Your every waking thought is consumed with this exciting, butterflies-in-tummy, love. Your world is a bright place, with kites and bunnies, sunshine and lollipops. You feel madly in love! The reality though is that this is not love, not real love anyway. Real love is not always pretty.

Some days my husband comes home to Mary Poppins; the kids have behaved, the house is clean, the kids are fed and bathed and already in their pyjamas, I have clean hair, my makeup is still intact, dinner is in the slow cooker, and there’s a smile on my face. Other days my husband walks into the lair of Cruella De’ville; the kids have misbehaved since morning, they don’t know how to share, they fight, they cry, they refuse food, they shout, every task has been a battle, there’s been wee on the floor, food on the floor, four million poops, sand all over my kitchen floor, chalk on the walls, paint in their mouths, things have been thrown, things have been smashed, inedible items have entered the digestive system, mommas had no time for breakfast or lunch, everything’s gone wrong, mummy wants to cry, mummy’s mentally packing her suitcase, mummy feels not up to the job, mummy didn’t have time to shower, mummy’s got greasy hair, and there is no food in for dinner. Whatever the mood, my husband gets the brunt of it both good and bad!

Some days I am madly in love, and can’t wait to see my husband, other days I feel so exhausted and just want to go to bed at 7pm to recharge, but this will not help my marriage.

Relationships are hard work. They require maintenance, and without it they end up being scrapped. They die, yet all they needed was a drop of water, something to revive it. I make a point of telling my husband several times a day I love him, I write him little notes to leave in his lunch bag, I send him silly pins on Pinterest. He deserves my best, not just my derailed self first thing in the morning with huge hair and mascara stained eyes, or end of the day stressed-out me. I want him to see me at my greatest even though he loves me regardless.

Being a mummy subconsciously robs you of some of your identity as a wife – not in a negative way, your children become your priority, and makeup etc seem less significant because time is precious and totally used up. This is why you have to consciously make an effort; wear makeup, wash your hair, look good, feel good – YOU still matter!

I’m a nightmare for going to sleep at 6:30 with our boys. Some days are hard, and tiring, and all I want to do is sleep (& sometimes I do), but I force myself to get up and spend some time with my husband, and our relationship gets invested in, and ultimately grows stronger.

When weeks are busy I get so grotty and unbearable, I snap at my husband, even his breathing irritates me, yet I always discover it’s because we’ve not spent any time together for a few days – I’m a weird one! The quote “Leave me alone, I’m lonely” describes me to a tee. Once we spend time together I feel so much better, united, revived, and loved. Even five minutes together makes all the difference.

Anyway, enough rambling, go love your husband, relationships don’t come with a lifetime guarantee, you have to keep renewing it.

Go be a good momma, but remember you’re a wife too!

X

Schleich Wildlife New Forest Playsets

My five year old is a big lover of animals, and animal toys, so it goes without saying that he is a huge fan of Schleich products. I must admit, so am I, their quality always astounds me. Last week we discovered that Schleich had bought out a new range of play sets, so we thought we would road test one of them; The European Forest Dweller Play Set.

It consisted of a wild boar, a red deer, and a fox. They all live in the forests of Europe. My five year old loved them, and of course the animals ended up having a fight! Of course!

These animals have been subjected to an awful lot so far here with us; Show & Tell at school, Scooby Doo adventures, sandpit adventures, and have travelled a lot of places with us. They are definitely a big hit. These animals are aimed at 3-6 years and cost £13.99.

If the forest play set isn’t your kind of thing don’t fret, there are many more sets to choose from. They have three categories of play sets; Wild Life, Farm World, and Eldrador. The first two are pretty self explanatory really, but Eldrador…it’s dragons! (This set is aimed a little higher in age range at 5-8 year olds). Prices range from £9.99 through to £14.99.

If you haven’t given Schleich a try yet you most definitely should, you won’t be disappointed!

Scooby Doo Mystery Minis Range

We are huge fans of Scooby Doo here! Both of my boys love it. We watch it, we read it, we play it! We’ve even had a Scooby Doo themed party which I’m sure you saw in October last year over on my Instagram! We have a lot of Scooby Doo toys, one of our favourites is the Scooby Doo Mystery Of The Frighthouse Playset. It’s fab!

My boys love creating their own adventures, and the Scooby Doo Mystery Minis range has further added to their Scooby fun! There are some really cool monster-catching vehicles in this range, which come with a 2.5″ action figure included. There are three different ones to choose from; Monster Trawler, Monster Catcher, and Monster Motorbike (all including a figure). We have the Monster Catcher with Fred. These are £9.99 and well worth the purchase!

We had a lot of fun using it with the Fright House set we have!

We have lots of the 5″ figures, probably more than we should have, but we have a whole lot of love for Scooby Doo and friends (& villains),  so we were really excited when Scooby Doo Mystery Minis Figures came out. They sell them in packs of two for £4.99. My boys loved them! There are six different packs to collect and they include the Mystery Crew and a selection of villains.

We paired our Minis with our playset again, it kept them occupied for hours, and they actually shared!

There are so many great items within the Scooby Doo range from Character; stackable soft toys, goo pod figures, playsets, and so many more.  Go and have a look!

Scooby FTW here!

 

 

Being A Depressed Mother

This week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, a cause very close to my heart.

I have suffered with depression for a very long time, but have only broken my silence about it over the last few years despite suffering since I was around nine years old, and have only received medical help for it in the last seven months. The struggle has been horrific and nothing could have changed that, but it didn’t have to be so long. Shame held me back from speaking out, I felt weak, and often like I was just being stupid. I thought nobody could possibly understand me and my messed up thoughts, but I was wrong, and I only wish I had known this when I became a mother. I didn’t want to be a depressed mother.

I’ve suffered with depression secretly for a long time, although the odd red flag has maybe caused suspicion with my close ones, but I like to be the strong one, the confident one, the one who has it all together, the one who can manage on her own, when in reality none of those things are true. I’m not confident, I fake it, I’m not strong, I don’t have it all together, and I hate doing things alone. But I became accustomed to hiding my deep, dark secret, I was ashamed. And these feelings escalated once I had my first child, I had a constant voice telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I was going to ruin his life and upbringing, that he deserved so much more than me. I didn’t take care of myself, and put him first in everything, even to my own detriment, he came before everything because anything less than that meant I had let him down. I plodded on through and then ten months into being a first time mother my little surprise came along, and then after nine months I was left with a 17 month old and a newborn. It was hard. I had some real crazy thoughts and emotions, and I never told anybody, I kept it all inside for fear of losing my babies. If only I had reached out for help, it would have been so much easier. I won’t go into all of the symptoms and details this time, but I’d say it was pretty on par with post-natal psychosis, which is very scary now I look back, how I managed to come through it amazes me. I don’t know where the strength came from, or perhaps I was that good at faking a sane state of mind?

I really wish my midwife or health visitor would have made an appointment with me, a mental health appointment, and maybe I would have opened up. If they could have reassured me it was ok to suffer with mental health issues when you’re a mother. I wish I would have spoken out, reached out, cried out. I was so scared that my children would be taken off their “crazy mother”, but now I know that’s a lie. I wish I knew back then. I wish I knew it was ok to sometimes lock myself in the bathroom and wish for a different life. I wish somebody else would have told me that they too were close to running away, or that they wished their eyes would never open again. I wish somebody else would have told me they yelled too, and dreaded what the day held.

Don’t get me wrong, we all have bad days as parents, but if that cloud is not shifting, and odd thoughts creep in, or you feel overwhelmed and unable to get through the day, then please reach out and get some support before it escalates, it will be ok. It happens to lots of people and it is nothing to be ashamed of, not at all, in fact it takes tremendous courage to ask for help, so be brave, you deserve to be happy too.

It took me until September last year to seek medical help and try some medication, and i have to say i was petrified, I made and cancelled so many appointments, and then one day I went. I knew I had to, I was gripped daily by a black cloud and anxiety had became my best friend and worst enemy, I’d reached rock bottom and there was no way out on my own. I was worried I didn’t have any more fight left in me and my children would become motherless. I had to go for them. I was a sobbing mess, but it was the start of a band new way of life, six weeks into an antidepressant and my life radically changed, that chemical imbalance in my brain had been sorted, mostly. I’ve gone from 95% bad days, to 95% good days. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a miracle cure, and some days I’m left scared to death the tablets will never work again because the back cloud has consumed me, but to me it has been life changing, and to my children and husband no doubt too!

If you are reading this and anything resonates with you then please, please, please, go and see your doctor. Your life matters, and your children need a happy, alive mother, you matter so very much. Be brave and speak out, you’re not a failure admitting you need support, you are a warrior! Don’t fight your monsters alone.