elizabeth shaw 2

A Treat For Mum- Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates

I was lucky enough to go on three Easter Egg hunts this weekend and my brother, sister and I have done very well with our chocolate stash over the last few days. I always feel a bit bad that Mum and Dad don’t get Easter chocolates too and we like to share our treats with them but we really like it best of all when we can surprise them with a treat of their own.

I was very happy when Elizabeth Shaw offered me the chance to treat my Mum with a box of their chocolates- I know she has had some from their range before and liked them so this sounded great. They then made it really difficult by giving me a list of different flavours to choose from- they all sounded delicious! There was Orange, Mint, Lemon, Cappucino and Salted Caramel which all made my mouth water!

In the end I went with orange because I love chocolate orange flavour and although I planned to treat my Mum I was hoping she would share with me too!

The box of Milk Orange Crisp Chocolates arrived today with perfect timing as my Mum was worn out from listening to three hours screaming at a soft play centre and chasing my brother round so he didn’t keep trying to climb up the slides. I was able to give them to her when we arrived back home and she was thrilled with her treat.

We all tried them this afternoon and they were lovely- really good orange flavour and very tasty.  I liked the crispy honeycomb bits and Lottie liked the fact they were all wrapped up in shiny parcels like huge coins! We made sure we saved some for Dad when he got home from work and he really liked them too.

It was really nice to be able to give my Mum a treat especially after being spoilt myself with chocolate this past weekend but I think the Elizabeth Shaw range would make a great present for most grown ups for any special occasion or just as a special treat or thank you. I think I might keep an eye out for the salted caramel ones next!

 

 

 

elizabeth shaw 2

Only Joking! My top 15 jokes for kids

I have been asking people to tell me their favourite children’s jokes and thought I would share some of my favourites here on my blog.

What’s sheep’s favourite sweet?  A chocolate baaaa

What do you call a man with a spade in his head? Doug!

Why was 6 scared of 7?  Because 7, 8, 9!

What time do you need to go to the dentist? Tooth- hurty!

Knock Knock. Who’s There? Europe. Europe Who? No need to be so rude!

Did you hear about the magic tractor? It went down the road and turned into a field!

Why can’t the bicycle stand up by itself? Because it’s two-tyred!

What do you call a three legged donkey? A Wonkey!

What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? A Carrot!

There are two mice in the airing cupboard, which one’s in the army? The one on the tank!

Why did Cinderalla get kicked out of the football team? She kept running away from the ball!

What do you can a dinosaur with one eye? Do-you-think-he-saurus

There are two fish in a tank, one looks at the other and says ‘Do you know how to drive this thing?’!

Shakespeare walks into a pub and the landlord says ‘hey, you’re Bard’

A man walks into a pet shop, he says ‘I’d like to buy a wasp’ The man behind the counter says ‘I’m sorry sir, we don’t sell wasps’. The man says ‘well you’ve got one in the window’.

Thanks to my family and friends for sharing their jokes and also @2016NewDad and @Mikes005 on twitter, you gave us a good laugh!

Have you got any great jokes to share?

 

 

 

 

You Baby Me Mummy
elizabeth shaw 2

My Top 10 Days Out for Easter and a Chance to Win an Amazon Voucher

We have been working with a great new website, Wiki Places For Kids to share some of our favourite days out and have found some brilliant suggestions from other people.

When they asked us to team up with them and come up with a list of suggestions for family fun in our local area (Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire) over the Easter holidays we got straight to work.

So many other schools seem to have broken up already and I are feeling quite jealous as we are still a week away from our holidays. Even so we are looking forward to visiting some of these places when we finally get there!

Great Days Out in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire

Stanwick Lakes

We have had a pass for Stanwick Lakes ever since I was a baby and it is one of our favourite places to go- especially when it is warm enough to get soaking wet in the sand and water play areas. It’s nice for a walk and has a great play area to run around it. There is an indoor play area and a café too. They often have other events going on too.

Salcey Forest

There are lots of different routes you can take at Salcey Forest including an awesome treetop trail and currently the Gruffalo Trail which we did the other week- my little brother and sister loved it!

Xtreme360 Trampoline Park

I recently discovered Xtreme360 for a friend’s birthday and it was brilliant. We had such a good time on the trampolines and I liked the fact there were different types. I am hoping to go back soon and my sister is desperate to visit. This is definitely on my list for a fun few hours.

Spy Mission

Spy Mission is an awesome place to visit with a couple of friends. I have been to a few birthday parties here and it is always brilliant. I would recommend this for children age 6 and upwards.

Twinwoods

Twinwoods in Milton Ernest is just about the most amazing place you can go for any sort of adventure you might be looking for-you can do the climbing wall, drive in the race room, fly in the wind tunnel, surf, swim or go to the play area- there is something for everyone and I would love to go back and try surfing again.

Wood Green Animal Shelter

I really like visiting Wood Green Animal Shelter, it’s a great place for all the work they do with animals and it’s a nice place to visit too. Even if you aren’t looking to adopt an animal you can still have a look around- see the animals who are waiting to be rehomed, visit the maze and little playground and pop to the café. It’s a lovely place to have a walk around.

Wicksteed Park

We haven’t been to Wicksteed Park for a couple of years but now my brother and sister are both old enough to come with me I would love to go back. I really enjoyed all the rides there and have had a great time when I have been in the past.

Woburn Safari Park

For a bigger day out we really like Woburn Safari Park Even if it’s raining there is still plenty to see and as you do most of it in your car it doesn’t matter if the weather is bad. We spent ages watching the monkeys last time- they are so funny. I like the fact that you can drive round the actual safari park more than once if you want. There is also plenty of other animals to see when you get out of the car-we loved the penguins. We enjoyed riding on the swans on the lake too.

Laser Planet Milton Keynes

I went to Laser Planet in Milton Keynes with my friend a couple of months ago and we had a fantastic afternoon, we played team games and individual battles and got a score sheet after each game. It was really cool. You can go with friends or on your own and can either have one game or play for the whole day. If you like computer games this is awesome!

Daytona Milton Keynes

Daytona Race track is one of my favourite places to go. I love doing their Arrive and Drive sessions and have been a few times- I have raced against lots of different people and it’s great because you never know who you are going to be up against. It isn’t a long outing but it makes a great activity for a special treat.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my favourite local days out. If you are looking for inspiration in your own area then you can visit Wiki Places for Kids for some brilliant ideas.

Win!

In the meantime we have teamed up with Wiki Places for Kids to offer our readers the chance to win a £20 Amazon Voucher- check out the rafflecopter form for details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

elizabeth shaw 2

Into the Wilderness – Our Bushcraft Adventure

Last Saturday was absolutely amazing- the best day out we have had as a family in ages. We left home early in the morning and headed out to Hatfield Woods, for a day of bushcraft with the people at Camp Wilderness.

My sister and I got more and more excited as we got nearer but as we headed down tiny winding roads I started to wonder if we were going in the right direction as we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere!  Eventually we saw some signs for Camp Wilderness and a lady was waiting to send us in the right direction, after letting some horses who were using the track out first we trundled on down until we found where we were to park up.

As we got out of the car we met Kyle who immediately became Lottie’s favourite person by making her a star magic wand with nothing but a stick- it was very clever though! We headed up a big hill, saw our base for the day and met Jade, the lady who had organised everything.

Once we got settled in we tucked into drinks, biscuits and fruit- including watermelon, which I love, and then joined a group of grown up bloggers and their children. We learnt that this was the very first time that Camp Wilderness had run a family day and we were the very first families to be able to experience the camp together which was quite exciting.  We were then spilt into two groups and some people went off to the other base while we stayed where we were.

We all sat round the campfire and our leader explained how when they are running a camp the fire is kept going all the way through- I was really surprised by this as the camps last several days, but they showed us how to gently put things on the fire to keep it from burning out without hurting ourselves. They then talked to us about all the different ways you can start a fire. This was really interesting and we got to try out some of the techniques. Lottie and I got to start a fire using a battery and some wire wool which makes sparks, we thought this was really cool. There was also a flint and steel tool you can use, gunpowder, sun and a magnifying glass or even rubbing two sticks together. I didn’t think this actually worked but it does! Although it takes a really long time and a lot of hard work to get the embers going that way… I think if I were ever stranded I would like to have the tool with me!

We were split down into two further groups and told we were going to form tribes, Kyle was going to be our guide and  we had to come up with a name, design a flag and decide on the history of our tribe. We quickly became the Yippee, Yippee, Yippee Awesome tribe and got going with our flag. My little brother decided this would be a good time to wander off and see whether he could climb up a tree stump- he was very happy when he realised he could and decided he needed to shout toddler noises at all of us to celebrate. This was very funny because Kyle was shouting back to him and it ended up sounding like some kind of chant… we soon decided this should be adopted as our tribe song.

                                                                    

After we had shared the details of our tribe with the whole group it was off to find a great spot to test our new fire-making skills. We soon got our fire started and fed it with plenty of dry wood to keep it going. While we waited for the fire to be ready we had a go at making models with clay – we made faces for the trees!

        

Before long the fire had calmed down enough to cook on it and we went off to the camp kitchen to find they had prepared us some delicious burgers ready for us to cook. We got these cooking and the smell made my tummy rumble!  Fortunately it wasn’t too long before they were ready and we got to enjoy them with some rolls, salad and the most amazing potatoes ever that the people in the kitchen had made. We loved cooking our lunch outside and it tasted fantastic. After lunch we were taught how to safely put out the fire and scatter the ash so it looked like we had never even been there. We even got to have our faces painted with the ash, which made great camouflage. Although with Lottie’s wand made her she looked more like a forest fairy!

                                             

It was soon time to head back to base where we learnt about camouflage and keeping ourselves hidden in the forest. We all used some camouflage (and helped the leaders with theirs!) and then we played some concealment games. These were good fun and involved lots of running about, hiding and climbing in ditches!

Then we went and talked about foraging and how if you are in a survival situation you are safer to eat meat that you trap then risking berries or mushrooms that could be poisonous if you didn’t know what you were getting. We learnt all about different types of traps you could build and saw how they worked. We even got to look at different animal furs and see if we could recognise them- I got some right, I found them a bit weird to touch!

We were shown how to make tribal bracelets but at that point Sam decided he had had far too much excitement for one day and was really tired and grumpy so my Mum had to take him off for a walk. The bracelets were quite tricky to get started and Lottie and I couldn’t get them to work without help and whilst one of the leaders offered to help us we got a bit distracted by the arrival of marshmallows! The bracelets we saw that other people had made looked really good though.

The marshmallows were worth the wait- they were delicious, and I learnt that if you keep low near the fire then you don’t get so much smoke in your eyes. Don’t toast them for too long though as they drop off into the fire if you are not careful! We also had some hot chocolate and yummy marshmallow crispy cakes made by the kitchen- I can’t believe how much they could make out in the forest!

It was then time to get going but we asked if we could have a quick peak in one of the tents before we left- they were huge and looked really nice and warm- one of the leaders said they had lived in one all last year so they must be comfortable!

I would definitely love to attend one of the residential camps– it would be amazing to do with friends. My sister took a leaflet about school trips too which our deputy head is looking at, these look fantastic. There are going to be some open days later in the year for people to go and have a look and perhaps try a few of the things we were lucky enough to do.

If you fancy popping along to one of the free family open days and learning about bushcraft you can visit their Events page on Facebook for more information and can pick from an amazing day at:

Chalmondeley Castle in Wrexham on 22nd April

Penshurst Place in Tonbridge 20th April

Hatfield Woods on 13th May

Daylesford Festival at Moreton in Marsh 20th May

We can’t recommend it highly enough and for them to be able the entertain Sam who isn’t yet 2 as well as Lottie who is 5 and me all in one go as well as lots of older kids then Camp Wilderness must be doing things well!

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer- we were invited to take part in the Family Bushcraft Day with several other bloggers but all views are my own

 

Potty Adventures
elizabeth shaw 2

Into the Wilderness

I am so excited!!

We have been invited to go on an adventure tomorrow and I can’t wait… I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight!

We are joining some other bloggers on a day out at Camp Wilderness and it looks amazing.

The people at Camp Wilderness run Summer camps, school trips and all sorts of fun things but they are also having some open days for families to enjoy outdoor adventures and learn more about bush-craft.

My sister and I have been looking at the itinerary all week and we can’t decide what we are most looking forward to- she is very excited to make campfires, I can’t wait to do everything! We are going to be doing exercises with camouflage, learning how to make fires and cooking on them, learning about trapping  and doing camp crafts- it all looks awesome. My Mum says she is looking forward to toasting marshmallows!

I have just finished getting ready to go and have got my walking boots, raincoat and water bottle so I think I am set- just got to try and get some sleep now ready to leave early in the morning!

 

 

elizabeth shaw 2

Dreaming of Sunshine!

It’s lovely now we are starting to see some signs of Spring and the sunshine again and it’s really nice to be able to go out without getting wrapped up in coats and wellies but it has made me dream of going on holiday.

We were supposed to be going to Belgium next weekend for a little break but unfortunately because my Dad has been quite unwell my parents decided to cancel it to be safe, although I have been told we will be doing something else just as fun instead, it does mean I won’t be getting to build a sandcastle just yet.

I love visiting different places and am really wanting to go on a plane which we haven’t done yet. There are so many different places I would like to go to- my Uncle travels a lot and I love to hear about the places he has visited.

Win!

I got myself a Lonely Planet travel journal to keep notes in when we go away and it’s really cool, but I am saving it for a big trip before I get started. My Mum brought another one so we could give it away to one of our readers who also loves to travel- to try and win a copy you can enter below- we’d really love to hear about the place you like most in the world, whether it’s somewhere for sunshine or something colder… maybe I can add it to my list of places to visit.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

elizabeth shaw 2

The best (and worst!) things about being a big brother!

I am getting excited because we will have a new baby cousin any day soon. I quite like babies, especially when they don’t wake me up with their crying in the night. Unfortunately though my cute baby sister grew into an annoying little sister and my cute baby brother became a tantrum throwing toddler- although they both have a few good points sometimes!

I know you don’t get to choose whether to have younger siblings or not but I thought I would list some of the best and worst points about being a big brother for my little cousin before his baby sister arrives!

10 things that are good about being a big brother

  1. You can boss them around!
  2. Being able to play with toys that you have probably really outgrown
  3. You can read them your favourite stories
  4. You can help them learn how to do things…like walk and talk and cause trouble!
  5. Sometimes you can encourage them to try things they might not otherwise have done- my sister plays hockey now because she liked coming to watch me play when she was small.
  6. If you are the older one you get to stay up a bit later
  7. You are allowed to do a few more things at times
  8. When they are babies they get all excited when they see you and kick their legs!
  9. It’s really cute when they smile at you- Lottie smiled at me first out of everyone and we were the first people Sam laughed at.
  10. They can be really funny and they say silly things.

The 5 worst things about being a big brother.

  1. They boss you around!
  2. Little brothers and sisters are very noisy
  3. They always want whatever you are playing with.
  4. You have to watch what they want to on T.V sometimes… but it’s always the same episode you have already seen.
  5. They think you are a climbing frame
    Cuddles with my brother when he was tiny!

     

    Mostly there are more good things than bad and most of the time I wouldn’t want to change them… except maybe when my sister and her friends are chasing me at school!

 

elizabeth shaw 2

My Top 10 Travel Must Haves with Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador Programme

My Mum has a theory when we are travelling that as long as we have our passports, tickets and money we have everything we need. These are her absolute travel essentials and the final things she checks when we get into the car whenever we are going away. Her explanation with this is that with the passports and tickets we can get where we are going and then as long as we have some money we can buy anything else we may have forgotten.

In theory this isn’t a bad list of essentials but in practise she actually has a big spreadsheet of what each person needs for the trip and checks it all off carefully. This still didn’t stop her forgetting her hairbrush the other year and not realising until we had embarked on an overnight ferry crossing!

Mark Warner are searching for five bloggers to work with in 2017 as part of their Family Ambassador Programme. This would be so exciting and we have decided we should have a try at entering- although there will be lots of proper full time bloggers I would love to be involved and would really enjoy working with them on a child’s viewpoint.

As part of the process to find their Ambassadors Mark Warner have asked bloggers to write about their travel must haves and create a mood board. My sister Lottie and I had lots of fun with this!

I think children have different priorities to adults when it comes to travelling. I love to visit new places but also feel much more comfortable when I have just a few familiar things around me so my travel must haves are all things that make me feel comfortable and allow me to get stuck in and enjoy new experiences.

Teddies and Toys

My first essential is a favourite teddy or toy- it doesn’t matter how old you are, as long as you have a teddy you love with you wherever you are will feel like home! Lottie and I had a great time using our toys to show you the rest of our travel must haves- we felt sure they would need to have the same!

Drawing Equipment

We decided we would need to have drawing things with us- this would give us something to do on the plane, something to keep us busy if we got delayed anywhere and somewhere to make notes for me to use for my blog.

Spending Money

It’s always nice for children to have their own little bit of money to spend on holiday. I love to buy a few souvenirs and whilst my Mum and Dad treat us when we are away it’s also fun to decide carefully what to spend my own holiday savings on.

Camera

I love to take phots and it’s so nice to have them to look back at after a holiday and remember all the good things you have done. I would definitely take my camera as one of my travel must haves.

Comfortable Shoes

Even Barbie has swapped her heels for comfy trainers on her holiday and comfortable shoes are one of my travel must haves too! I love to visit new places and also enjoy playing sport so these are essential for me. We wouldn’t want Lottie to miss out on an adventure by complaining her feet hurt so we would all make sure we packed suitable footwear.

Sun Protection

Sun hats, glasses and lotion are all travel must haves even if they might seem a little boring to children. Being well covered up means we are allowed to go out and have fun so it is definitely essential. Fortunately my little brother loves wearing sunglasses and sunhats now and so we won’t have too much trouble keeping him from throwing them out of the pushchair this year!

Swimming Costumes

I love swimming and would like to be on a holiday with either a sunny beach or a nice warm swimming pool right now so I would be certain to pack my swimming costume.

Beach Toys

We could spend the whole day on the beach… swimming things and a bucket and spade and we would be set. We would spend the day making The Ultimate Sandcastle, paddling in the sea, examining the rock pools and searching for shells. Buckets and spades are on the must have list.

Bedtime Stories

A good book or a favourite bedtime story will make an unfamiliar bed feel nice and cosy. We would have to choose our favourites carefully not to make the suitcases too heavy but at least a few books would have to come with us.

Snacks

However much you like trying different foods we have found there is always a point in a holiday where you just want to eat a digestive biscuit! Obviously you need to have something tucked away for midnight feasts too!

We hope you have enjoyed our ‘top ten travel must haves’ and our entry into Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador Programme.

We would love to know what your travel must haves are… and what your children might choose?

 

 

 

 

 

elizabeth shaw 2

Splashing About- TERM Wellies Review and a chance to win!

We seem to have spent the last few weeks battling illnesses and bugs so when the weekend came and everyone was well we were all desperate to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air. It also seemed a perfect time for Lottie to try out her lovely new Term wellies that she had been sent to test.

Lottie had a birthday party in the morning so we  all went off to pick her up and after a short delay with a very flat tyre we headed off to the lakes.

We had a great afternoon scooting and running around and enjoyed the play area. Lottie really enjoyed wearing her new boots which until then she had just been wearing to dance around the house in.

She says they are REALLY comfortable and lovely and warm. I am quite jealous as they don’t go up to my size! I would definitely have a pair if they did. Sam loves them too, he keeps stealing them from the cupboard and putting them on when Lottie isn’t looking! We will need to get him his own pair so that she actually gets to wear them when she needs them!

There is a really good choice of colours. Lottie went with the bright red pair and they are really nice. They have a toasty inner lining which keeps them warm in the winter and can come out in the Summer. This also allows a bit more room when your feet grow. They have a little reflective bit at the back too which is useful to help keep you safer at night.

My Mum says that at £21.99 they are a little more money than she would normally spend on wellies but that she can see why because they are much better quality and Lottie can wear them for hours without complaining they hurt her feet which she normally does! She also says they are ‘true to size’. We got Lottie a size larger than her normal shoe size which is what we do with wellies but actually the normal shoe size would have fit her fine.

Maybe no party clothes  next  time!

 

I really like the Term wellies and my sister would definitely recommend them (she would wear them all the time if she was allowed to wear them to school!) We are pleased to have been able to team up with Term to offer you the chance to win a pair of these fantastic wellies in your choice of colour and size EUR 21 to EUR 35.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

elizabeth shaw 2

Building a Bird Nesting Box

We recently took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch and while looking on there website we found some instructions for building your own nesting box.

My Mum and Dad had given me my own toolbox for my birthday and I thought this looked like a good project to attempt to start with. We printed off the instructions and went to the shop to buy the parts and then I measured up the wood and got going.

My Dad cut the wood for me and drilled the hole but otherwise I was able to do most of it myself with just some supervision. We added some roofing felt to the roof as we thought it would make it better but this was the only change we made as the instructions were really easy to follow. We also attached a hook to the bottom to allow us to add a bird feeder.

If you want to try it yourself this is the link for the instructions we used

I was really pleased with it and gave it to my Grandad for a birthday present. He said it was the best present he had!

I am now going to make a nesting box for our garden and my Mum’s friend has asked me to make her one so I am going to be very busy! I think I might use woodstain on the next one but you don’t have to do that if you use the right type of wood.