Saturday, 28 March 2015

Activities with Children In London:Part 2

So I have already shared some great places to visit in London with your kids if you are on a tight budget. However if you do have some money to spare over half term then here are some of the places I enjoy visiting with Michael.

1.Discover Children's Story Centre-Stratford. Adult/Child- £5. Free for under 2s.

I visited this for the first time last week with Michael and we really enjoyed it. He loved the indoor and outdoor area. There was puppets, dress up, a secret cave, slides, a pirate ship, crafts and lots more. We happily spent a good couple of hours there and had lunch in their outdoor seating area. I do love a good packed lunch! Really enjoyable if your children love their books like Michael does. It is a great place for imaginations to run wild.

2. London Transport Museum-Covent Garden. Annual Membership- £16.50. free for under 17s

I remember visiting this museum as a child and really enjoyed it so recently I decided to take Michael there as he is obsessed with cars and trains! Some of it Michael was too small to interact with but there was the All Aboard Play areas for him and play tables with trains to enjoy. Children can also have a go at being bus and train drivers and this was very popular. You pay for a ticket and this gives you entrance for a year so we will be making use of that!

3. London Zoo- Nearest station-Camden Town. Adults- £24.30 Kids-£17.10 free for under 2s

London Zoo is quite expensive but it is a great zoo to visit. There is so many animals to see! The gorillas, the Penguins, hippos, Tigers, the meerkats. The list is endless. We wanted to take Michael somewhere special for his first birthday and so this was our choice. He liked looking at the animals and it was a great day out. I would advise either avoiding the zoo shop or taking some extra money because the souvenirs can be pretty expensive. I personally like souvenirs only if they have the place you have visited written on them. So we avoided the stuffed animals we could have bought anywhere and bought Michael a children's cup for about £8. He still uses it now. 

4. Sea Life Aquarium- Southbank- Prices range from £15.90.

I am not a massive fan of the aquarium myself, not a fan of sea life! However Michael really enjoys it. It holds the largest collection of global marine life in Europe and you can see all sorts of sea life here from seahorses to sharks! If your child enjoys looking at animals, then they will enjoy the aquarium. Afterwards you can walk along the Southbank watching the street performers and pointing the boats out along the Thames. You can also see Big Ben and the London Eye. Along Southbank there is usually a carousel to ride which Michael rode last week when visiting the Transport Museum. 

5. Madame Tussauds- Nearest station-Baker Street- Adult-£33 Child £28.80

Michael has technically visited this place when I went when I was 8 months pregnant. My mother had a 2for1 voucher from The Sun newspaper so off we went. I really enjoyed having my picture taken with all the celebrities from David Beckham to the Queen. There are loads of wax works there to see. I enjoyed James Bond myself! There is also now a Marvel Super Hereos 3D experience that is a great show. Really enjoyable. I don't think I would take Michael for a few years yet, not until he can really appreciate he is seeing celebrities but for a older child, it is a great place to visit for a half term treat.

If you have any other suggestions then share them in the comments below.

Enjoy the half term!


Places to visit with Children over the Easter break in London

So it is now half term, and most parents know it can be difficult trying to keep your children entertained over the half term. However I am pretty lucky that I live near London and there are loads of free or cheap places to visit. Just take a packed lunch and your Oyster card and you are sorted!

1.V&A Museum of Childhood- Bethnal Green-Cost- Free for all.

Michael really loves this museum, and I must say it is my favourite museum for children. It has all sorts of toys to look at and discover with your child and has lots dotted around to play with. Great for walking around and playing. There is also a small cafe, store and a eating area downstairs if you have brought a lunch. I always bring lunch because they do charge over a £1 for a can of coke! 

2. Princess Diana Memorial Playground-Kensington Gardens-Cost-Free

If the weather is not too bad over the Easter break, I would suggest checking out this playground. It has everything that would keep a child happy, a pirate ship, slides, climbing frames, sand etc. It also has toilets near by and lost of seating/tables for lunch. You could also walk over to nearby Hyde Park to show your child the Peter Pan statue and the Lake. Lovely day if the weather permits.

3.Science Museum-South Kensington-Cost-Free

This is another great museum to visit with children. There is a lot of things to interact with and discover. Again they also have certain play areas dotted around and a lunch area. It makes for a really cheap day out and will keep your children happy and entertained.

4. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park-Stratford-Cost-Free

This is a must visit destination. It is newly built and has loads for chicken to enjoy. You could visit Tumbling Bay, the huge playground. Or relive the spirit of the 2012 Olympic Games by the 2012 trail or even just have a picnic in the park.

5. Hackney City Farm-Bethnal Green-Cost-Free but you can give a donation for the upkeep of the farm.

I have recently discovered this farm and Michael loves it. He is a animal lover completely. Your children can get close and see pigs, donkeys, rabbits, chickens and lots more. I love that Michael can experience a bit of farm live while living on the outskirts of London.

If you have any suggestions for free activities in London, please do share them in the comments. I will also be sharing some more activities that are great if you have some money to spare so check that out.

Enjoy the half term!


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Funny Moment of the Week

So this is not so much a moment but a picture. This week I was doing my make up and Michael was sitting on the floor playing with his cars. Or so I thought...

Turns out he was "playing" with my make up on the table and this was the result:
He was very very pleased with himself and thought he looked very pretty πŸ˜‚.

I also laughed my head at him when I bought him a bunny outfit for Easter and tried it on him. He looks cute in it but when he is 18 he is going to hate I took all these photos of him.

What is your funniest photo or moment of your child. Let me know in the comment below! 


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Great Mother's Day Gifts Ideas

So Mother's Day is next Sunday on the 15th March. It's also my mum's birthday on the 16th so that's two sets of presents she gets! I also buy for my nan as well.

I have been looking around and found some great ideas for gifts:

1. Yankee Candles I am obsessed with these and have loads! They come in loads of different smells and last ages. Costs also range depending on your budget so you can get little wax tarts or a large jar. My mum also loves candles so I have definitely got her one for next week.
Large Yankee candle-£19.99 from the Yankee Candle Site

2. Bath Products.   My mum has always loved her baths, and so I do try and give her some of her favourite bath products for any occasion. I like the Lush gifts sets, they are reasonably priced, are good products and always presented nicely. 
Gifts sets prices range but you can get some for under £10!

3. Flowers.   This is kind of a cliche present and a obvious gift perhaps but it is one my Nan loves every single time mainly because she loves flowers in the garden and they do brighten up the place. Obviously you can get flowers at a range of prices and if you have left it to the last minute, they are your friend.

4. Photo of the grandkids A really cheap and simple gift is a photo of your child in a nice photo frame. Last year I put a really nice photo of Michael and my mum on one side and then created a love heart with his foot prints. I also wrote a message and the result was a really touching, inexpensive gift. It went down a treat.

5. Box of chocs/ bottle of drink Really simple gift, reasonably priced and I think most women would welcome a box of their fave chocs! 
£10 says my brother brings a box of these to my mother. It is his no fail gift and he gives it for every single occasion. πŸ˜‚

6. Jewellery My nan loves jewellery and they are a really nice gift to keep and remind you of the person who bought it for you.
I mentioned to my partner when we were going round the shops last week that I really liked something like this so fingers crossed he took the hint and I will be opening it next Sunday.

7. Something Sentimental My mum has helped out a lot with Michael and he adores her so I really wanted to get her something really special and I think I have found it. Willow Tree do really nice and touching ornaments. They can be a bit pricey. I paid £32 for the one for my mum but they are really lovely. Or in many of the card shops you can buy a range of lovely things with mum/nan on that are a bit cheaper.
This is the one I have bought my mum.

8. Gift Card.  If you are really stuck and have no idea what to get your mum, or perhaps she is really fussy, then play it safe and go for a gift card. That way you know your mum will buy something with it she likes.

I hope all you mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, godmothers all have a great Mother's Day! 

I have a table booked at a local restaurant for myself, Michael, my mum, sister and brother and am really looking forward to it. We don't often see my sister and brother so it's a real treat to be able to catch up. It's also only 5 weeks until my sister becomes a mother herself! 

If you have any great gift ideas then leave a comment below. 


Friday, 6 March 2015

Great Youtube Channel for Mums

So I recently discovered a YouTube channel that I love and have to share. What'sUpMoms on YouTube create funny and imformative videos and they really are great to watch. They post on DIY, food tips, and general parenting tips. I love the parodies myself!

I found this video so funny and completely true that I immediately sent it to my sister who is expecting at the moment with my first niece!

Have a watch and a browse through their other YouTube videos.

If you have any YouTube videos, blogs, articles that you really get being a mum, then comment below.


Tips on doing housework with a toddler around.

So a lot of people, myself included, find it can be difficult keeping up with the housework while you have a toddler who pretty much demands attention all the time! Do you let the housework slip and concentrate on the toddler? Do you try desperately to find something that will keep the toddler entertained while you do a mad rush around the house?

Well I think I may have it cracked so here are some tips that have helped me: 

1. Get your toddler involved. Michael loves helping putting washing in drawers and trying to vacumn as well as doing the shopping. It keeps him entertained and allows me to get some of the jobs done. 

2. Use your child free time wisely, when Michael is napping, I take the time to do the jobs that are impossible to do with him around. Bleaching the toilet with a kid grabbing your legs is not a great idea! Likewise when he is eating his dinner, I am doing a quick clean up of the kitchen.

3. Clean as you go. I find it much easier to do quick bursts of cleaning around Michael than doing a big weekend clean up like I used to. Now it would be difficult to keep Michael happy while I cleaned for hours, and so it is much more doable to do it in shorter bursts daily.

4. Wait for bedtime. I don't really like doing too much cleaning when Michael is in bed, that's my time to relax and catch up with uni work but I do wait until Michael is in bed to clear up his things. If I put his toys away before that, he would just get them all out again!

5. Don't worry if your home is not perfect. As long as my place is relatively tidy, you can see the carpet and the kitchen sides then I am happy and it is ok to leave it sometimes!  Yesterday we took an imprompt visit to the park. We were there all afternoon, came back and most of the housework was not done but Michael had such great fun seeing the squirrels and ducks.

If you have any other tips that help you manage housework with toddlers, then leave a comment below.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Oh my toddlers are hard work!

So today has been a difficult day with Michael. He is not yet speaking at all so he can get pretty frustrated with himself at not being able to communicate himself.

We have had tantrums, we have had hitting (with a glass frame! Ouch!) and I took him over to his nan-nan for a visit(my mum) where he basically touched everything he was not supposed to. Sigh! Typical behaviour for a toddler, he has a box full of toys at his nan-nan's and chooses instead to touch her partner's computer and try desperately to eat the cat litter. 

So I think I need some serious relaxation time tonight once I can coax the child into bed, failing that hand him to my partnerπŸ˜ƒ. So here are some great ways to relax that help me unwind and recharge ready for another day with my sometimes (ok frequently) challenging toddler.

1. A nice hot bath. Complete with mellow magic on the radio, and some yankee candles(anyone else obsessed with these?!). Lovely! Especially if I have a nice glass of wine in my hand ☺️

2.Tv. I don't really watch TV during the day with Michael. Either we are out or I just don't get a chance. So I love sinking down onto the sofa and watching some of my favourite shows. It helps I have Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, Downton Abbey and Friends on dvd. I also like Teen Mom on mtv 😳

3. A book, I love to read but unless I am on the train to university, Michael likes to rip pages of books if I dare to read in front of him, so I read before bed. Great way to relax and get ready for sleep. Currently halfway through the West End Girls by Jenny Colgan.

If anyone else has any book suggestions,  please let me know, I never know what to choose when I visit the library. I am home with Michael tomorrow but do plan to take him to swim or soft play so hopefully that will tire him out and we will get a better day. Friday its my partner's day with him as I go University Friday's. Is it weird I look forward to a day of lectures and studying?!

Anyway let me know the ways you all relax after a long day with your kids in the comments below.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Tips on getting a fussy toddler to eat

Michael started as a great eater when he was 6 months old. Then he reached a year old and for some reason he would leave his food. At times we would get really worried about him because he would eat just little bits or snacks and never seemed to eat enough.

We now have it sorted and he eats a lot better so if you have a toddler who is leaving their plates untouched then here are some tips that worked for me.

1. If your toddler is leaving their food, do not make a big fuss about it. I found if I was around Michael trying to get him to eat, he was more likely to turn away. I now place his food on his little table and step away, it may take some time but he started to go towards his food and starting eating.

2. Praise when they do eat. I probably over do this but it works for Michael. When he eats his first bite, I immediately go into "good boy" and sometimes clapping. He is so pleased he is getting praised he then goes onto eating more.

3. I find if michael has his favourite food on the plate, he will go for that and leave the rest. So I would do him lunch, he would go straight onto the fruit and always leave the sandwich. It's fantastic he loves fruit, but we do like him to eat a varied diet otherwise if left to the choice all he would eat is fruit! So we now try to give him his lunch in stages, the bits he is less likely to eat first and then his favourite bits.

4. Change it up. Michael gets bored if he is fed the same food so with exception of one or two of his favourite snacks we try to give him different foods every day.

5. Eat with your child. We don't have the room for a dining table, so Michael has a little table and chair. But we still eat at the same time. If your child sees you eating then they are more likely to eat as well.

By following these Michael now eats a lot more than he used to, and they have really helped. If you have found any tips and tricks that have helped you to get your child eating, then please comment below.


How to help a toddler prepare for mum going into hospital

Ok so last Friday I got the news I have been waiting for, I have not one but two slipped discs in my lower spine :(

Which means I will be having surgery later this year, probably in July/August to cut away some of the disc that is on a nerve and causing a lot of pain. I could be in hospital anything from 2 days to a week with a good couple of weeks after in recovery and unable to pick up Michael.

I am dreading it! Not only do I hate being in  hospital, I have never spent a night away from Michael. He will be nearly 2 by that time but I really think he will feel that his mum is not there and she can't run around after him or pick him up for a while.

How on earth do you explain all of this to a toddler??

My partner should get some time off work so he will have his dad there but I was thinking of maybe getting him some little bits to cheer him up and keep him happy while mum is away. Stuff like a couple of summer toys, some of his favourite treats that he does not often get, and a build a bear dressed as a doctor so he knows where mummy has gone.

What do you guys think? Anything else I can do to make sure he is happy and comfortable? I am probably over thinking it and he will barely acknowledge I am there but I want to go into hospital knowing he is as happy as can be.

If you guys have any tips let me know in the comments below!



Hi everyone,

Let me introduce myself...

My name is Hannah and I am a mum to a beautiful 18 month old Michael. I am also juggling studying for a media studies degree. Should be all done and graduated this summer. Yay!

My son takes up a lot of my time and I am passionate about being the best mum I can be for him and enjoying him as much as possible while he still wants me around.

On this blog I want to discuss things all parenting related, and what things come up in our day to day lives with kids. Sharing funny stories, tips, products that are good etc, all welcome here.

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