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Our Amazing Day With Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Today we drove into London to a really special event hosted by Yellow Zebra Safari’s. If you haven’t heard of Yellow Zebra Safari’s before they are an award-winning luxury and adventure travel company specialising in African Safari’s. Taking Oscar and Archie on Safari has always been on our bucket list and as I have never been on one myself I just can’t wait to go! Taking your family on Safari is a trip of a life time with memories that are made that will last forever. Both our boys absolutely love animals and wherever we go a bag of Schleich animals comes along too. Oscar has said for a couple of years now that he would love to be a Zoo Keeper. So when we were invited to a fun-filled Safari day out I knew the boys would be so excited!

‘The opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat, to watch a herd of elephant walk past their vehicle, to spot a cheetah with its cubs, or listen to a pride of lions roaring at night. It is a magical experience that they will never forget.’

When we arrived the Safari themed room looked amazing. We had been told before hand that we would have a chance to meet some animals today. We met Safari Pete who Oscar and Greg couldn’t stop asking him questions. He knows everything you need to know about animals and safari’s and is a fountain of knowledge. Safari Pete is a wildlife adventurer and conservationist and works closely with the Yellow Zebra Safari team. His stories of his adventures are amazing and his knowledge of animals is amazing.

We were fortunate enough to meet several of Pete’s animals; Gumbo the Toad, Pinchy the Scorpion, Juliet the Barn Owl, two lizards, Boo-Boo the Monitor Lizard, Jay-Z the Crocodile, a snake, Lady Gaga the Tarantula and Steve and Baby Bear the Meerkat’s. Oscar was so lucky and got called up to hold the crocodile. We also got to see the lizards, snake and crocodile catch and eat their prey, which was really amazing. I had never seen this up close before. It’s incredible how quick the crocodile reacts to his prey and how the snake is able to swallow his meal whole.

We then sat down to our Safari themed lunch which was very yummy!

When booking a Family Safari with Yellow Zebra Safari’s you know you are getting the very best of everything. They will recommend to you based on the ages of your children where is best to travel too. Their team is made up entirely of professional safari guides, camp managers and people who were born and raised in Africa so you are getting the best knowledge and advice when designing your perfect trip. For example if you go on to thier website, we are a family of four with Oscar who is 8 and Archie who is 3. Archie being Under 6 they advise to stay somewhere that is malaria free. For us at this time a Safari in South Africa would be perfect for us. The Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands offer epic ‘Big Five’ viewing, while the malaria-free safari reserves of ‘SA’ cater well for families. The accommodation choices all look out of this World, from lodges to hotels there is the perfect stay to choose from for everyone.

When Archie is 6 we can then all go to Kenya which is home to Maasai Mara National Reserve which is the place to visit if you are looking for a safari, super size. In Kenya is a hotel in particular that has been on my bucket list for a few years now and I know the boys will love it. It is called Giraffe Manor,  most of the hotel grounds incorporates the Giraffe Centre of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and a group of giraffes lives in the Manor’s grounds, they even put their heads through the windows to say hello.

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 ‘EUROPE’S LEADING SAFARI TOUR OPERATOR’ IN 2015, 2016 & 2017′

After lunch we got to meet the Meerkat’s again and Oscar and I had one of them on our shoulder. They are Grandad’s favourite animal so he will be very jealous!

Oscar and Archie then got to choose a ceramic animal to paint which was great fun and now has pride of place in the playroom.

We had such a lovely day with Yellow Zebra Safari’s and can’t thank them enough for the wonderful experience the boys had meeting all of the animals and a big thank you to Safari Pete too. I am definitely booking one of his animal parties for Oscar’s next birthday! It was also lovely to catch up with Ruth and her family from Rock ‘N’ Roller Baby Blog.

*This post is in collaboration with Yellow Zebra Safari’s

So Kate Left The Hospital Looking Amazing…. Good On Her!

The internet is funny place! I have laughed out loud over the last few days at what people have written in regards to Kate Middleton leaving hospital with Prince Louis seven hours after giving birth and looking amazing. Good on her!

What was she supposed to do walk out on to the steps of St Mary’s Hospital to face the World’s press looking exhausted, dressed in a comfy tracksuit? I think not.

She looked amazing! Yes she had her stylist and hair and makeup team to help her but I’m sure anyone if they were in her position, under constant scrutiny would do the same. There is no way in the World I would walk out to be photographed by thousands of people and look awful. I’m sure behind the blow-dry, pretty dress and heels she was absolutely knackered and just wanted to go home quietly with her baby out the back door but she can’t, she’s a Princess after all. She does keep it real though, back when she left hospital with Prince George she didn’t try to hide her post baby bump and pretend to have a flat stomach instantly like some celebs do.

When I had Oscar by emergency caesarean section 8 years ago I was horrified when I looked back at the photos at just how terrible I looked. After three days in labour and a c section I wasn’t looking great, haha. I left the hospital the next day, I discharged myself and went home. I am a proactive person and would never stay in hospital longer than I have to. I like to get home and get on with it.

Can’t believe I’m even sharing this photo! Greg looks hot in his scrubs though 😊

So when I had Archie by planned Caesarean section I straightened by hair and did my make up. Yes some might think it’s crazy/not important but it made me feel ten times better! I had Archie at 9.30am and was home by 11am the next day. I was driving after 9 days and felt fine.

I can’t see what the problem is leaving hospital looking and feeling good. She’s setting a good example that you can be a Mum, look after yourself, be proactive and go home and get on with running a house and looking after your children (I know she has a Nanny to help her).

This was the taken when Archie was 2 days old

Good on you Kate, I can imagine the stories of disgust if she had left the hospital looking dreadful!

What do you think?

To The People That Just Don’t Get Blogging…..

This week alone I have seen three posts in blogging Facebook groups where friends/family/other School Mum’s have been rude to them about their blogs and sharing their families on the internet. As a blogger I see this, I think most do and what frustrates me the most is that if your not a blogger then you just don’t get it!

You don’t get that as a blogger you can earn bloody good money. Big campaigns can pay thousands of pounds and a lot of bloggers have given up their 9-5 jobs and now blog full time earning way more than they did before.

Some people see it that we are bragging and that makes me laugh too. Most things we share, experiences, holidays etc or when we review products are for others to read before they go and make a purchase or book a holiday. Most people just see it as useful information.

Some bloggers have even thought about giving up and the other people in our blogging community groups always urge them to keep going and ignore the few that ‘just don’t get it’.

Also those type of people say things like, “you get so much free stuff!” It’s not free! In return for a holiday or a day out or a product review work goes on behind the scenes to film and edit a video or write a blog post and make sure the photos are on point. It’s advertising for a brand on our blogs which is no different to them paying for a TV advert or a magazine feature.

Whether you like bloggers or not it’s the future of advertising and a great way of seeing ‘real’ people review a product or a great raw holiday video on YouTube that you can actually see what it’s really like.

As bloggers we can tell the truth, as it’s our blogs we can give you a real review rather than a biased one which helps people to get the truth before making a purchase. To me that can only be a good thing?! If you don’t get blogging and social media that’s fine, but please refrain from commenting on something you know little or nothing about.

Plus if you did understand and chose to try it yourself you would see all the amazing opportunities that come your way, you can work from home around the children and what an amazing blogging community you can become a part of. I personally have had loads of amazing opportunities; from being in television adverts, being a brand ambassador, to getting to review holidays and so much more!

Rant over…..

#Blogmas Day 2: Our Family Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas traditions start for us on the 1st of December when Oscar gets home from school and the fairies have brought our Christmas decorations. Our Christmas tree and decorations have always gone up on the 1st of December. When I was little my brother and I always woke up on the 1st to our tree and decorations and I can still remember just how amazing and magical that was and wanted to do the same for our boys. In their bedrooms they have snow globes and Christmas duvets and their stocking ready for the end of their beds on Christmas Eve.

When they wake up on the 1st the boys wake up and our two naughty Elves, Eddie and Ernie are back to stay with us until Christmas Eve and get up to lots of mischief. They bring Oscar and Archie a letter and come through the Elf door which must never be touched as the secret door leads back to Father Christmas so they can let him know how they are behaving. They always bring the boys their advent calender’s too. They each get a chocolate one and a toy one too.

On Monday we are going to see the big man himself at the Harrods Grotto. I always rush to book this in September/October as soon as I get my ‘You can book now’ email. We have been every Christmas since Oscar was born and I love getting the family photo taken every year. After we have been in the grotto Oscar and Archie always get to pick a Christmas tree decoration each and I always buy the Harrods Christmas Bear decoration too. We then walk around to Pizza Express for dinner. The boys love it and we get to see all of the Christmas lights around London on the drive home. Again this is something we did as children, going into London at Christmas to a big department store grotto.

We always put together and decorate a gingerbread house (I buy a kit) nearer to Christmas for everyone to enjoy on Christmas day. I buy loads of sweets and icing and we have great fun in the kitchen making our masterpiece. Its a really cheap and fun activity to do with the kids!

This year I have started a new tradition, a backwards advent. As Oscar is old enough to understand about charity and realises how lucky he is each day of advent we put something in our box each day, whether it be a toy, toiletries or food and on Christmas Eve we will take it to a food bank or charity collection for another family to enjoy at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve we always go to Oscar and Archie’s godparents house and they make pork baps and we sing carols around the piano and the children all play and have a great time. They always have a fantastic 10 ft tree and its just such a lovely house full of Christmas cheer. This is why Oscar wanted to start playing the piano as our friends children had lessons and would play a song each. As Oscar has been having lessons this year he has been practising ‘Jingle Bells’ ready to play for everyone this year. He is really excited! We then go home, the boys bath and get into their pyjamas and then we leave a mince pie and a glass of milk for Father Christmas on their plates they made at a pottery cafe and a carrot outside for Rudolph and then off to bed.

Please comment and share with me your family Christmas traditions!

Merry Christmas!

 

The Weeride Safefront Deluxe Bike Seat

Last month we were sent the number 1 selling bike seat in the UK and the US, the Weeride Safefront Deluxe Bike Seat. I had recently got a new bike myself as now Oscar has learnt to ride I thought it would be nice to go on family bike rides over the Summer as we have lovely cycling paths by the canal near us.


I got the Weeride Safefront Deluxe Bike Seat out of its box and it is simple and easy to fit on to your bike. It is centre mounted on the bike frame and is seriously sturdy once fitted!  The cushions are really padded within the seat to keep your little one nice and comfortable and supported and there is also a padded head rest on the front of the seat too so if you little one nods off on the bike ride they can sleep in comfort, which is a great idea!


The Weeride seat is recommended for children aged from 1-4 years. Once the seat is fitted in seconds you can take it off leaving the main support bar on so you can ride without your child too. You can also slide the seat into several positions on the support bar to make riding as comfortable and as safe for you as possible.


I love that with the Weeride Archie gets a great view of what is going on around us rather than some seats that just show them your back. Also I can easily chat to Archie the whole time and this was especially great on our first bike ride as he kept looking at me for reassurance.

On the seat there is a 5 point safety strap and movable footrests for extra child safety and also stops their legs dangling which could get in the way of you riding.


Overall the Weeride is easy to fit and really easy to use. Cycling is great fun and now we can go out whenever we want as Archie loves being in the seat. I will also be using it during the week as it gets warmer to get fit and I can take Archie with me rather than going to the gym in the evenings.


The Weeride Safefront Deluxe Bike Seat has an RRP of £119.99 but is reduced at the moment to £99.99 with free shipping. So grab your discounted seat now.

This post is in collaboration with WeeRide.

Archie is 2 & Little Tikes Birthday Giveaway 🎂

Today Archie is 2! I can’t actually believe it, it only seems like a few months ago that he was born. Time flies!

Archie is a real character as so different to how Oscar was at his age. He is a little rascal. If you say ‘no’ to Archie if he does something naughty he laughs at you, takes absolutely no notice and then says “happy, happy, happy.”

He’s a climber and finds it hilarious to empty the entire contents of my kitchen cupboards and as soon as I put everything back, empty them all over again. He is non stop!

He calls Daddy “Nanny” even though he can say Daddy but thinks it’s funny!

He loves playing with Oscar and it’s nice to watch them sit and play properly together.

It is also nice to see that he is starting to make his own friends now at his toddler groups and recognises them straight away and plays with them as soon as he sees them.

Today we are going to my Nanny’s for a little birthday party with family and a few close friends. As Archie loves Teletubbies I have got a teletubbie cake, balloons and decorations.

To celebrate Archie’s 2nd Birthday Little Tikes have kindly given us a Lil Ocean Explorers 3in1 Adventure Course to give away to one of my readers! It is a great toy and can be used from 6 months until 3 years. So enter below and good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Oscar’s Airfix Quick Build #QuickBuildTimeChallenge

Recently we were chosen to take part in Airfix’s #QuickBuildTimeChallenge. Oscar was super excited when our package arrived. Inside was a Airfix Quickbuild Hawk and a Lamborghini along with a stopwatch to see how long it took Oscar to build them. Previously when I think or Airfix models I thought of hows of building and glue and paint but not with the Quickbuild kits they are great for younger children that are old enough to want to build their own model independently.

The Quickbuild kits are for children aged 5 and over, Oscar is six so I was interested to see how he would get on building on his own and with the stop watch I have timed him which will give you a better idea of how easy they are and how long they really take…..

The pre-coloured pieces simply snap together, without glue or paints, to build an impressive model which can then be decorated with the included self-adhesive stickers. Plane models also come with their own display stand to show off your handiwork! The whole Quick Build range is manufactured in the UK and features some of the most iconic aircraft and vehicles ever constructed.

The instructions are easy to follow and Oscar has had great fun building them. He know wants to collect and build them all. There are 12 different models currently in the range and at only £12.99 they would make fantastic gifts. I have ordered a couple more to go in Oscar’s Christmas stocking.

Overall I am really impressed with the Airfix Quick Build range and it was nice to watch Oscar follow the instructions and build something all on his own. He was really proud of himself and they now have pride of place on his window sill in his bedroom.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the above mentioned Airfix Quickbuild kits for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own and they are great!

Hosting A Stress Free Christmas Day

With Christmas now less than a week away and Oscar finished school for the holidays I am trying to be super organised so Christmas runs as smoothly as possible. I reserved my Turkey from Waitrose back in November along with a few other bits and will pick it up on Friday morning. You simply turn up they give you your order and then you pay at the check out. It is always very organised and I am in and out of Waitrose in no time at all. I also have a Tesco delivery coming on Friday morning with most of our food and anything that I haven’t got I pick up from M&S. I always get my carrot and suede mash, pigs in blankets, yorkshire puddings and a few other bits from M&S too. I then go home and play fridge jenga until everything fits in.

On Christmas Eve I will bake the chocolate cake with Oscar and have brought a little snowman and the snow dog cake topper to go on top. I have also brought mince pies and some brandy butter for another dessert choice. Also on Christmas Eve I write a list of all the food that needs to be cooked for Christmas lunch and write all the timings next to each one and the order they need to be cooked in. I also lay the table the night before too.

Our Christmas day consists this year of my Mum, Dad, Brother and my Nanny joining us for lunch and then Greg’s Mum, Dad, Brother and his girlfriend, Sister and two of our closest friends coming over at about half three and then I do a buffet for us all at 6pm. So in total we have 15 people at our house. I love having Christmas at home and hosting!



Christmas morning I usually go downstairs before everyone else and take the giblets out of the turkey, put a large orange, a lemon and a cooking apple inside and rub butter under the skin. (I leave the butter out on the side over night so it is nice and soft). I use an online cooking calculator to work out how long it needs to cook for and remember to add 30-40 minutes on for resting time and put it in the oven. As a general guide, in an oven preheated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4): allow 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes for a turkey under 4.5kg. allow 40 minutes per kg for a turkey that’s between 4.5kg and 6.5kg allow 35 minutes per kg for a turkey of more than 6.5kg. Usually my Turkey is in by 7.15ish to be eaten at 1pm.

I then follow my cooking list for my roast potatoes, carrot and suede mash, peas, carrots, cabbage, sprouts, parsnips, bread sauce, gravy, sausage meat, pigs in blankets and Yorkshire puddings. Most bits go in the oven once the Turkey is out and resting. I cook everything in disposable foil trays so they can be thrown away rather than using up space in the dishwasher. Timing is key and makes it so much easier. I also love my kitchen to stay tidy so clear up as I go.

After lunch all that goes in the dishwasher is the cutlery and plates as everything else is disposable and the kitchen is clear and tidy straight away ready for round two which is the buffet I do at about 6pm. I usually serve new potatoes, cold tukey, beef and ham and salad a fish platter. Again I put it all on disposable platters from Waitrose and have brought disposable napkins, cutlery and plates from M&S so everything can go straight in the bin.

I honestly find it much easier being organised and its just like cooking a bigger roast dinner which is easy. I remember the first year I cooked Christmas dinner I panicked so much but was so surprised how easy it is! I even hosted Christmas Day two years ago four days before I had Archie.

Have a lovely Christmas and don’t forget to share your Christmas top tips too, I would love to see them! #christmastoptips

Merry Christmas!


 

The Power Of Skin To Skin

*This is a paid advertorial for WaterWipes

WaterWipes recognises that skin to skin bonding is absolutely vital for newborn babies. In their latest video campaign, they’re aiming to prove just how powerful the bond between mother and child truly is. I had caesareans with both Oscar and Archie and it was so important to me that we were given skin to skin contact as soon as possible. As soon as we were home I always made sure when feeding or when we were relaxing at home I always had Oscar or Archie laying on my chest often snuggled in bed together to encourage the bonding process between us as much as possible.

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WaterWipes have put together a lovely film which through an experiment they have shown clearly the natural power a new mum has to care for her baby. Using infrared filming techniques and equipment to monitor heart rate, breathing and blood oxygen levels, it captures for the first time the biological response to skin to skin contact. The film makes visible the innate ‘superpower’ that every mum has to stabilise her baby’s biology when held in the skin to skin position. The experiment was conducted in collaboration with three first time new mums by world renowned skin to skin expert Dr Susan Ludington.

After watching this lovely film it will show you how amazing nature really is and that all your newborn baby really needs is you…. their Mummy! World-renowned expert on skin to skin Dr Susan Ludington comments that, scientifically, your skin on baby’s skin is a potent combination and can do something absolutely amazing for your baby. I was so surprised watching it how the little baby’s heart beat and vital stats went up and responded when they had skin to skin contact with their Mothers. Dr Susan explains that mums’ bodies are extraordinary. We spend nine months making and then give birth to our baby. Then once baby is born, a mother’s body continues to do incredible things for her baby – she even has the power to regulate baby’s biology simply by holding her baby skin to skin.

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This video has made me feel that as a Mother by giving both my boys the most skin to skin contact as possible as newborns along with breastfeeding that I have given them the best start to life that I possibly could have. So get cuddling your newborns. As if you needed more of an excuse to snuggle up with them!

 

 

BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Outdoors Review

If you have read my blog before you will know I am a massive fan of anything BabyBjorn. A few months ago I went into London for an event and was shown the fantastic new carrier they have launched called the One Outdoors. It is designed for family days out, walks in the country and fun in the outdoors. The new carrier comes in its very own storage bag so is easy to carry with you which I love! The carrier neatly folds up and fits inside the bag.

Archie is 16 months old now and is a chunky little thing and with the new carrier having a sturdy waist belt and padded shoulder straps for maximum comfort when walking. Archie feels so much lighter and my back is supported completely. The carrier is made of water-repellent and moisture-wicking materials and is easy to wash and keep clean. The carrier has a detachable pocket on the waist belt for your mobile, keys, soothers or other small items you need for your child on family days out. This is great as I don’t have to carry a huge bag around with me on our walks. There is also several loops on the shoulder straps where you can attach things like a bottle, a jumper and Archie’s cuski comforter.

You can use the carrier in four different ways; facing in at two different heights, facing out and on your back. Archie faces out now and as he gets bigger he can go on to my back. I have used BabyBjorn carriers since Archie was a newborn and they have always been so comfortable, practical and I couldn’t imagine not using one. It is defiantly a parenting essential! The carrier One Outdoors is suitable from newborn until three years (15kg). It has a built in infant position and the seat of the baby carrier is 32 cm wide, which gives your child a proper ergonomic wide leg position when you carry the child facing you on your front or back. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute has tested Baby Carrier One Outdoors and acknowledges it to be a “hip-healthy baby carrier”. This means that it provides the correct support to the child’s hips and encourages good hip joint development, which is especially important in the first months. Happy days!


We had a lovely walk over the bank holiday weekend and built a den in the woods and walked through the bluebells. Archie loved being in the Outdoor carrier and we had a lovely time as a family. We go to the park and for walks all the time so our new carrier has made life a lot easier.

The BabyBjorn Carrier One Outdoors comes in two different colours; black with a red stripe and turquoise. It has an RRP of £169.99! We are going to have so much fun outdoors over the Summer as a family with Archie in his carrier and it is perfect for our Summer holiday too.

Disclaimer: We were sent the BabyBjorn Outdoor carrier for the purpose of this review, we absolutely love it!