Dearest Little Z – At 3 years and 10 months

Hello Little Z!

I only just realised it’s time for another post to mark your monthly milestones; 3 year and 10 months. Eek!! That means, with your birthday being so close to Christmas, I need to sort out your birthday very quickly, else no-one is going to make me one. I learnt that the hard way when you were about to turn one. I know I should learn to make them myself at home but I am really really rubbish at them. Plus I think I want a minions cake this year. I mean, you do. Ahem.

You have suddenly had some kind of mental leap this month and developed the art of smartly talking back. Repeatedly. You have an answer for everything and your very sharp memory now means I can’t lie (too much) to you any more. Gone are the days when I could use a shiny object to distract you. It’s like living with some kind of mini spy cum sleuth. You question everything and correct us. Mostly when its do with the Starbursts finishing. i.e. “No they’re not, they’re in the cupboard”. You’ve also mastered the power of whining. Oh my goodness. I reckon I could donate blood by the bagful if ears did really bleed. I know that sounds a bit gross. I really hope this phase doesn’t last too long. I think it’s given me a bit of a glimpse into the teenage years.

It was your uncle’s wedding this weekend and you loved every bit of it. When your auntie got married last year your Daddy and I spent the entire evening chasing you around the hall, making sure you kept your clothes on and trying to coax you out from under tables. We ended up pretty stressed and all bickery by the end of the evening. This year we let you do whatever the heck you wanted as long as you’d eaten and you were within sight. We had a much more relaxing time and you were as high as a kite from all the skidding about on the floors and devouring of various cupcakes. Well, mainly the icing! Surprisingly, you didn’t trash your little suit which I was fully expecting so you might even get one more wear out of it. We just need to persuade someone else to throw a wedding very soon. Especially as you looked so cute in it. You asked to have a go on my camera and then kept trying to direct people to “stand closer together and say cheese!” and then took a good few snaps. I think you quite like photography. You only attempted to half strip this time which was a vast improvement on the full strip of last year. Its been a long 3 days and we spent a lot of the day in pyjamas today watching different movies. The next few weeks are going to be fairly interesting in a variety of ways so I think a few calm days are in order now whilst your uncle and new auntie jet off on holiday. Oooh I would love a holiday right now. Somewhere hot maybe. I’m not sure it’ll happen for a good few months but you never know.

You’ve actually started to eat properly. Mostly. We jokingkly refer to you as our vegetarian as you still won’t eat much meat but you do love fish, usually of the fish finger variety. You still love fruit and veg and will choose that over any kind of protein so its always tricky to get you to eat in a balanced way. Who knows, maybe you have my foodie genes after all!

I finally applied for your primary school place. It took me a while to take the plunge but we finally did it and I really hope we get it. I’m sure we will as it’s not that far away but there are a couple of much closer schools so you know I guess. April is such a long way a way. I can’t believe this time next year you’ll be in the education system full time. It’s all exciting and daunting all at once!! I don’t think your best friend from pre-school is intending to go to the same school as you so its probably going to be a bit strange for you at first. Maybe I could persuade his mum? No? That may be a bit creepy of me though. Hmmm…we shall have to have a think! There are days when I think you’re very ready to go to school but mostly I’m secretly glad you’re a winter baby with this whole extra year before you’re immersed into school life.


CardNest – A review of some beautiful cards

I am terrible when it comes to preparing for birthdays and anniversaries. I actually do remember the occasion and then spend my time running around at the last minute panic buying things that can be delivered within 24 hours. I have also been known to Google places that will do the same day delivery. My hubby is even worse. Between the both of us, we have about 12 nieces and nephews in total so you’d think we’d be slightly more organised.

So when CardNest contacted me about sampling their cards and doing a review I was definitely willing.
I received two beautifully presented pack of 3 cards, attractively packaged with a nice varied selection. I got a variety of birthday cards, thinking of you cards and thank you cards as well as stamps!!! So all the stress is taken out of remembering to send a card. All cards are blank which allows you to scribble in your own personalised message. I like the mixture of classic simple graphics and quirky stylish images. I also liked that you get a little information on who has designed the cards each month. Its a lovely and especially nice that they support budding artists in this way.

CardNest 1

cardnest 5

CardNest 2


CardNest 4

Subscribers to CardNest are topped up each month with three ‘bright and beautiful cards for all sorts of occasions’. As well as those handy greetings, CardNest also delivers cards that aren’t occasion specific to help you keep in touch with the extra special people in your life. Whether you want to just say ‘hello’, tell a loved one you miss them or invite them for the weekend, it’s up to you. Read more about their mission here.

Sign up is ultra easy and you can check when the next posting date is to see when you’ll receive your batch. All cards are designed by their own artists so you’re getting something unique. You can also cancel anytime and aren’t bound into a contract.

It’s just £7.50/month in the UK and £10/month for subscribers outside of the UK, including delivery (first class stamps are an optional extra and available in the UK only).

CardNest are offering an exclusive coupon code which gives 50% off your first month (including stamps!).
Here’s your unique coupon code – this will expire on 7/12/14: *YEAROFF50*

Post Comment Love

Eid And Monopoly

Lately we seem to be caught in a regular flurry of friends and family events weekend after weekend. I can’t really remember the last time we’ve had a quite weekend with just the 3 of us. Not that I’m complaining but I do get the feeling that the cold I am now glamorously sporting is as a result of all the running around non stop. This weekend gone was no different as we all piled into our uncles house for a day of eid celebrating. In our family that usually means a day of 6 families getting together, sitting all over the place in the house, eating non stop through the day and nattering until its pretty late. We recently discovered photos of us from over 15 years ago that paint the exact same picture of us doing the exact same sitting about and eating too much. It’s not a bad way to spend the day really!

Over the years the dynamics have changes very slowly as all the children (of which I am one) have gotten married and had their own children. There are now son in-laws, daughter in-laws and little speedy kids (of which Little Z is one) that run about all day long, play with the gazillions of Uncles, Aunties, Grandads and Grandmas and try to put away a few too many Quality streets.

This Eid was the first time Little Z enjoyed a game of Monopoly. And not just any of traditional version of Monopoly. This was the Marvel version. Suffice to say he didn’t really understand the concept of collector edition versions of the game but he did love holding and “spending” the money given to him and throwing dice about randomly. On the flip side, his Daddy threw himself into the game with a somewhat worryingly detailed knowledge on how to play the game. I’ve never heard anyone use the phrase “One of the rules of Monopoly say….” so many times in such a short space of time. By 9pm I, a complete lightweight, was ready to go home and Little Z was more than flagging, ready to spend the night in my lap. The Hubby on the other hand kept asking for “another 10 minutes” as he and his partner in crime, my brother-in-law were in the lead. (I’m pretty sure they were stealing from the bank all night).

Eventually I gave up trying to coax him out the door and settled for a long natter with my cousin. The “10 minutes” turned into 11:45pm and even after what looked like a full bank heist the Other Half and his partner in crime threw in the towel on account of being almost bankrupt. We walked out all a bit weary and I’ve made a mental note never to play Monopoly with the Other half. It was 2am by the time we got home and crawled into bed, ready to do it all again, minus the Monopoly, with the in-laws the next day.


Quality streets




The Trunki PaddlePak – A Review and Giveaway

We were offered the chance to review a Trunki PaddlePak of our choice and after browsing their website chose Kaito, the Killer whale. The Trunki PaddlePak is a water resistant back pack which is the perfect thing for children that are out and about on their daily adventures and not so daily adventures.

Trunki PaddlePak 3

When Little Z was about 1, he would scream his head off and not go in the pool at all, clinging to his Daddy like a little koala bear. I remember sitting cross legged with him in the extremely shallow end of the children’s pool where he would instead play with his bucket and spade and tip out water happily.

When Little Z was about 1 and a half he got a bit more brave and would venture in, a bit tentatively at first, and then enjoy splashing us. He still didn’t like to be too adventurous but at least he was in the water and enjoying it and that’s the main thing. Over time we got him arm bands and cool shorts and cool tops and he now enjoys going more and more. We are at the “lets try to encourage him to get his face wet stage”.

So reviewing a Kaito PaddlePak was ideal to carry all his swim stuff, and arm bands, and sandals, and all the other stuff he insists on taking!

Paddle Pak 2

PaddlePak 7

PaddlePak Kaito 2

Trunki PaddlePak 6

Trunki PaddlePak Clip

Trunki PaddlePak Kaito

Trunki PadlePak 5

First Impressions of the PaddlePak

The recommended age for the PaddlePak is around age 5. With Little Z being nearly 4 we thought it would still be suitable for him and we were right. Little Z immediately loved it and wanted to wear it everywhere including in his car seat, which obviously isn’t possible. It made us chuckle a bit to see him looking like he was carrying a slightly biggish whale on his back and the black colour is ideal for our little mucky pup who would gladly roll about and tumble about on the floor ALL the time. Its definitely a good test of durability. It also wipes clean very easily which is another much needed feature on anything for a small child.

PaddlePak features

The Kaito whale PaddlePak is quite a spacious rucksack and has a 10 litre capacity. (Others hold 7.5 litres) I’m not sure we would ever use the totality of it. So far, we’ve used it to mostly carry snacks, drinks, a damp towel and wet swim clothes. The inner lining is water resistant feels of a good quality. It has a unique roll top with a clasp that clips together. Little Z can’t quite do it on his own but I do like it like that right now. Else he’d be spilling out the contents repeatedly showing all the contents off when the mood took him. The tail has a little zipped pocket on the inside and a mesh pocket on one side.

The PaddlePak has 3 fins, as it should for a whale! One on each side and a bigger black one on its back. One of may favourite little touches is it’s white teeth and pink tongue poking out from the top. It has adjustable straps and a Trunki grip to hold those cool little shades that little people wear. Its a really nice bag for little swimmers and those that could do with something water resistant. Even when Little Z isn’t going for a swim he loves taking snacks and drinks in his (which he has a knack for spilling!) so it is perfect for us. The fact that its so durable and easily cleaned makes it less likely to need putting in the washing machine too often.

The Giveaway….

PLEASE NOTE – This giveway is now closed and a winner has been picked. The winner is Kathy Cakebread

Trunki are kindly giving away one PaddlePak of your choice to one lucky winner. All you have to do to enter is the following:

Visit the Trunki website and leave a comment below to say which PaddlePak you would like. That’s It!

For additional entries, follow the links in the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is only open to UK entrants and the giveaway will close on the 15th October at 11pm. A winner will be chosen at random after this date.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Family Fever

Win competitions at – See more at:

The Lies We Tell – AKA Excellent Parenting Advice

As parents there are numerous times during the day you will be presented with moments where excellent parenting needs to kick in. The need to instil lessons that will stay with our children for a lifetime. The importance of teaching right from wrong. The little principles we should be ingraining into their little impressionable minds. There are also times when it is essential to stand firm and explain why your child can’t do something that’s not good for them.

It is possible that, as parents, we start to use little white lies. Ones that are essential at that point in time for the well being of their future. For example….

On explaining the importance of good healthy diet.
Little Z: Mummy can we get chips from Old McDonalds
Me: Ummm…Maybe not today…
Little Z: But whyyyyyy?
Me: Because its closed.
Little Z: But whyy?
Me: Err….Because some naughty little boy broke it and now he’s going to get in trouble from his mummy so its not going to open again.
Little Z: ………Ok then.

On encouraging child to eat 3 square meals a day every day…
Little Z: I don’t like my fishfingers
Me: Ok I’m going to give them to Daddy
Little Z: No I want them…
Me: Oh I don’t know…Don’t tell Daddy then
Little Z: Ok, shall I make them disappear in my mouth?
Me: Good plan!

On getting child to sit in a car seat at appropriate speed to go to the supermarket (i.e. less than 10 minutes)
Little Z: But I want to look at the horn / random thing on the floor, leaves / mushroom / the neighbours
Me: Pleeeeease get in the car seat, we’re going to be late!
Little Z: But I’m smelling the flowers…you smell Mummy.
Me: Ok you smell the flowers and I’ll go to Aunty P’s house
Little Z: I coming! *Rushes into car seat*

On explaining to child about why noisy toys and the appropriate volume to play them at within the house.
Little Z: Where’s my (extra loud) keyboard, car, drum set, recorder
Me: Ummm….
Little Z: But I need to play my (extra loud) toy / flute / car / drums
Me: I think the hairdryer took it….
Little Z: Oh ok….Shall we go out?
Me: Yes!

Of course it is entirely plausible that the lies we tell transform, exponentially, from little white lies into huge fantastical lies. Colourful stories spun on the spur of the moment. It is probably at this stage parenting advice may need to be reviewed. Slightly.

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