Top Social

A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

WICKED WEDNESDAY | #5 Well this cannot be right?

|
This week is flying by and its time for another Wicked Wednesday. I need to begin this post by saying that my husband is a great father, actually he is amazeballs. Little lady adores her Daddy so much but there is one thing that crazes me - She is a well behaved toddler most of the time and she will go about her day in a sort of calm manner as long as Peppa Pig is within reach! However as soon as her Daddy walks in from work my child goes absolutely bonkers. Is this just my child?

How To Distract Your Toddler

|
Toddlers, toddlers, toddlers! They are busy little people aren't they? As you know I have a very mischievous toddler and it's becoming quite difficult to try and get five minutes to myself. Last week she turned it up a notch and discovered an escape route out of her high chair - what a nightmare! So you could say that my daughter keeps me on my toes. We all know that life with little ones can be exhausting and we can't let them watch the TV all day.


Whilst looking for ideas to distract my toddler I have found that there are quite a few household items that have become handy. These activities can help develop fine and gross motor skills, enhance toddler thinking skills and help build their self-esteem as they accomplish tasks on their own. So let's get to it so you can enjoy that cup of tea.

Play Fetch

Now I know what you are thinking, how could she think playing a dogs game is a distraction? But seriously my daughter loves playing fetch with me and it guarantees a distraction for ages. We cannot help but giggle when we play fetch because she will always make a huffing and puffing noise when she returns with the ball - I think that this is down to Daddy Pig being very unfit! Bad Daddy Pig! When we are outside we will always play fetch with the dog and they both will try and fetch the ball, as you can assume she never gets the ball and gets a little grumpy. 

Muffin Pan Fun 

This is an activity that you could do for your little one with supplies you already have around the house. Give your toddler several plastic balls and an empty muffin pan - it is as simple as that! If you want to get involved you can easily turn this into a learning activity by counting the balls or naming the colours. My daughter knows most of her colours and I would have to say that this is partly due to this activity we are trying our numbers but it goes something like this...2,2,2 go! and then she runs!


Colander & Straws

There is nothing more exciting than pulling straws out of a colander. For this activity you simply have to place the straws into the colander and hand it to your toddler, just wait and see what they make of their new toy. Amelia loved to pulling the straws and handing them back to me so I could repost them for her, but after a couple of times it was far more interesting reposting them herself. However fun with straws doesn't end there...there are so many more activities that can encourage independent play - pulling the straws out of the container and put them back this one can be time consuming for beginners so I would have to recommend a Netflix binge. 


The Peg Drop

Some children are obsessed with pegs aren't they? Amelia obsession started when I asked her to help me hang the washing outside and before I knew it she ran off with the peg bag to place them all down her slide. Pegs are so much fun outside but can be great for indoors too. The peg drop is a quick and easy activity to prepare for, you simply need pegs and two containers then get your toddler to transfer pegs from one basket to another. We have also tried pegging them around her basket to shake things up a bit but Amelia insisted on trying to peg herself and pegged her finger...so be wary with little fingers! 


Pom Poms

Every household needs a packet of pom poms to hand because they are great for any emergency lets play/distract situations. If you don't, trust me you need some. There is just something about pom poms that children love and they come in all different shapes, sizes and colours so they will be sure to distract your toddlers attention instantly. We have used pom poms for a range of different toddler activities our favourite has to be using them with her Melissa & Doug cleaning set, soon enough we became quite the expert with cleaning pom poms! I love simple fine motor skill activities that I don't have to search high and low for materials. 


Building Blocks

Building blocks have always been a favourite among children thanks to the fact that they are challenging and lots of fun, especially for toddlers. By using the building blocks requires your child to put them in a position so that they don't topple over and in doing so enhances their hand eye coordination and their pincer grip. Your toddler will learn how to create different structures using building blocks which stimulates their creative mind. So whether its stacking blocks, stacking cups or lining up batteries it will always keep your toddler distracted to finish your cup of tea. 


What ways do you distract your toddler? I would love to know.

Explore The Adventure: Ash End Children's Farm

|
A couple of weeks we were visiting family in Rugby and we decided we all wanted to do something a little special. And so we decided to take a trip to Ash End Children's Farm. It was quite the adventure. We went on an egg hunt, fed a lamb,  had a ride on a tractor or jumped on an inflatable pillow, all in one place! My favourite part of the day was the inflatable pillow, as you could imagine. 


Each entrance ticket entitled each child to visit the farm and their talks, take an egg home, ride a tractor, and they could even sit on a pony! The entrance fee also included a bucket of feed for the sheep and goat, however we lots of feed in the rabbit enclosure, because some little lady wanted to make the Bing Bunny happy!. 


At reception, we were told about all the actitivities that we cooudl do through the day, there were so many of them. It was hard to choose. We had our work cut out! But before we could figure out which way to head first, a certain lady decided to run off and feed some ducks. Next it was lambs, I couldn't wait to see them. My word they were so adorable, but as soon as some of the sheep made loud noises my daughter ran away to hide behind a bale of hay, making us all giggle. 


After the sheep, she wasn't really up to seeing the animals and pretty much cried at every enclosure, so we stopped for some lunch. There was a small café where you can buy hot and cold food, there was also a few picnic tables which would of been great if we thought about a packed lunch.  We choose a couple of different sandwiches to share and all chose to have a hot drink, as it started to get a little cold. Onto the next adventure.


After lunch, it was like we had a completely different child and she started to enjoy seeing the animals. Little lady got very excited when we came to the pig enclosure, but it was rather pongy I have to say. But that went straight out of the window when we came across some very adorable piglets!


After the pig we then came the to bunny enclosure. And this where we lost our bucket of feed and a bread sticks over the enclosure, clearly little lady thought that they need extra food. We were then lucky enough for actually see some of the rabbit up close as they made their way around the children. Our daughter has never actually seen a rabbit up this close, so this was an experience for her. She was very patient and gentle with them. 




Now it was time for the egg hunt. But before we did, we went to a hosted talk about eggs, chicks and chickens. As I sat there with the pram taking photos Daddy and Little Lady sat together so they could touch some of the chicks, can you tell she got very excited! After the talk we then walked through to see some chick in their incubators, and as we walked through the enclosure the older the chicks were. We then got to pick an egg to take home.



It was time for a very bumpy ride on the tractor for everyone. I wasn't looking forward to this one as you can imagine, even Nanny and Grandad were trying to get out of going on the tractor with a little guilt trip from the grandchildren. Finally after one bumpy ride, seeing scarecrows and pigs we made our way back to the Big Play Barn. However on the way, a certain little miss followed all the lambs. It was their feeding time and she got to feed them a bottle and have a cuddle. 



Before heading off home we did go to the Big Play Barn but I didn't take any photos because my husband and I were having too much fun on the inflatable pillow. Even though there was an age restriction up to eleven years old we still had a go, that was until Grandad came on to out bounced everyone before staff came over to us, to tell us all off. Whoops! So if you're looking for a day out with the family and you are in Warwickshire then make sure you visit Ash End Farm, you won't be disappointed! 

It's All About The Brows

|
There is no doubt about it brows are having a serious moment right now and those days of thin, over plucked, arched eyebrows are long gone and big bold brows are in. Unfortunately some of us are not born with big bold brows. Only a few lucky people are blessed with perfect brows and for the rest of us it is a constant battle and the products we use can be a game changer in achieving perfection. When I say I wasn't blessed in the brow department, I am seriously not joking. They are bushy, they are wild and they even have bald patches - they are two completely different shapes (Yes, I know brows are supposed to be like sisters rather than twins). Mine don't even look like they are related, the hairs are all over the place and even when I have tweezed them they still look CRAZY!

So yes, I am not blessed in the brow department but it doesn't mean I can't fake it! ;)



Many brands want to get on this 'big brows are in' train and now there seems to be so many different ways to do eyebrows and lots of products available. From spoolies, gels, highlighting the brow, all-in-one pallets, anything that is going to put you in the running for those perfect brows. But the most important thing to remember with brows is that they need regular taming. You could do this yourself at home or book an appointment to see a professional. There are professionals that specialise in HD brows, something that I would love to do but never seem to get around to organising. I have tried so many brow products and I was quite surprised when I realised I had a lot in my collection. I thought that it would be a good idea to have an all in one post about the products I use and hopefully help you find the perfect combination.



1. BROW PENCILS: This is one of the most basic ways to fill in your brows. Most have probably experimenting with filling in those unruly brows and brow pencils can come in a good varied shades and of a waxier consistency. I use this Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil as you able to achieve different effects from a natural to bold brows and has great staying power. The pencil itself is easy to use and is a medium hard pencils so drawing lines to imitate hairs is no problem.

2. BROW POWDERS: This would be my favourite way to create big bold brows. You can easily fill in the sparse gaps and build the colour gradually while still making them appear natural and well groomed. Sometimes if I am in a rush to get ready I will always go for a powder first and I can get great looking brows in just a few strokes. I use L'Oréal Paris Brow Artiste Genius Kit in Medium to Dark. Inside this kit you get a tinted wax, setting powder, a mini pair of tweezers and a double ended brush which comes with a firm angled brush on one end and a spoolies on the other. The kit is so neat and compact and comes with a mirror in the lid so it is perfect to pop into your handbag.

3. BROW PENS/LINERS: These are a great way to distribute pigment colour on your brows using feathery strokes for a natural look. One of the best brow pens on the market is the Soap & Glory Archery in Brownie Points. I love the fact that this has a dual ended application - a tint and a pencil. The tint tip is used to outline my brows creating the initial stencil tip be filled in and the fine tip helps create the look of eyebrow hairs really easily. The pencil end has a waxy formula and you are able to build up the product allowing you control which part of your eyebrow you want to be darker or lighter.

4. HIGHLIGHTING THE BROW: For your eyebrows to pop using a white liner, a shadow or a concealer to highlight the top and bottom is essential. The product that I have been using to highlight my brow is Maybelline Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye Concealer in Light. Its creamy, blends well, dries relatively fast, great for using to high light the brow and make them pop.

So there you have you have it ladies the secret combination of products I use to get the perfect eyebrows. What products do you use? What is your secret to perfection?

Sweet Potato Broccoli Pancakes

|

It's been a while since I have done a foodie blog post and what better way to get back into the swing of things than with these. Toddlers can be fussy little things sometimes and if they are anything like my daughter trying to cook for them can be a nightmare. Well until now, these are a great savoury finger food for little ones and you won't believe that they are packed with veggies! These would be perfect for beginner eaters and older children who turn their noses up to veggies...and...ahem for adults! 


To make these delicious pancakes you will need:


200g sweet potato, cubed
175g broccoli florets,
1 egg
80g cheese
30g bread crumbs
1 tsp onion powder
Plain flour to thicken mixture



Super easy and simple instructions

1. Steam sweet potato and broccoli 

2. In a blender, add all ingredients until it has a pasty consistency 

3. Add flour to the mixture for a thicker mixture 

4. In a frying pan add oil and spoon mixture then cook each side until gold brown. 

5. Serve with sour cream, ketchup, cream cheese. 

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

|
APRIL IS TESTICULAR CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 

To ensure we help spread the word underwear brand Tommy John have teamed up with the Testicular Cancer Foundation to raise awareness through their #KnowYourBalls campaign. Please help and raise awareness! 

What is testicular cancer? Testicular cancer occurs when normal, healthy cells, which are carefully regulated by the body, begin to reproduce uncontrollably within the an area pf the body such as the testicles.

A few facts.... 

Over 2,200 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in the UK each year


It most commonly affects men between the ages of 15-45 and is statistically the most common cancer in men aged between 25-49 in the UK. If caught at an early stage men can expect a high cure rate with 99% of men disease free at one year


Signs and Symptoms 

A small pea sized lump can be felt in around 90% of cases and in over 80% of cases this will be painless 

Dragging sensation, ache or pain 

Back pain caused by an enlarged lymph node in the back 


Additionally, Tommy John will host an Instagram Giveaway: To enter, you must share on of these testicular cancer info cards on Instagram using #KnowYourBalls, and tag someone who could benefit from the knowledge. Follow @TommyJohnWear and @TesticularCancerFoundation for a chance to win. Come and spread the word! 

IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO HELP RAISE AWARENESS FOR TESTICULAR CANCER!!!

BEETS BLU Wireless Heart Monitor

|
I am in no way a fitness fanatic but it seems to me that heart rate monitors have become quite the craze, with many companies developing their own innovative products and I can understand why. Being able to track your heart rate during a work out can not only make it more efficient, but it can show you whether you need to up your game or prevent you from over working. Furthermore you are able to track your calories burned, monitor your fitness over a period of time and to help keep you motivated. 


So you can understand how pleased I was when a Beets BLU representative got in contact to ask if I would be interested in reviewing their Heart Rate Monitor. I have previously worked with Beets BLU in reviewing their key finder and if this was anything to go by then I knew that the product would be good. I would be lost without my pager tag locating my keys on a regular basis, any parent with a mischievous toddler who loves keys will understand how frustrating it can be to find your keys in your shoe! 

WHAT IS BEETS BLU HEART RATE MONITOR?

My first impressions of the Beets BLU Heart Rate Monitor was that it looked really simple and easy to use. The instruction manual was clear and concise and in multiple languages, the instructions also had an image with numbered functions so I knew exactly what I had to do. The heart rate monitor is small and light weight device which is then attached to your chest by a soft strap, which is easily adjusted. 

To begin using the Beets BLU Heart Rate Monitor you simply attach the monitor pad to the chest strap, adjust to fit around your chest, wet both electrodes with a little water to ensure a good connection to the skin. Easy!


HOW DOES THE HEART RATE MONITOR WORK?

To sync the device to your phone you simply have to turn on your Bluetooth and open up the Beets BLU app. Then you will have to enter a few details about yourself like your age, gender, and weight then connect via the Bluetooth to the Heart Rate Monitor. I did find that the Beets BLU app was fairly basic and doesn't offer many options other than showing your current BPM and the amount of calories your are burning per minute. But this was no bother as this device can be paired with a wide range of tracking apps including RunKeeper, Endomondo, iCardio and many more. I decided to go with an app called MapMyFitness and it paired with the device immediately and worked really well. It tracked my heart activity during my work outs and allowed me to see if I was actually working out effectively and would always encourage me to push myself further during my next work out.



FINAL THOUGHTS

My only complaint about the Heart Rate Monitor would be that initially I had some trouble syncing the device to the Beets BLU app, but knowing that it could be paired with a number of apps this was a minor flaw. Overall, I was very satisfied with the Beets BLU Heart Rate Monitor. It was easy to use and does exactly what it claims to do and I believe that anyone would be able to use this product and it would be a fantastic product for fitness beginners to fitness fanatics. This Heart Rate Monitor has helped me so much with my motivation and I will always try and push myself that further to try and achieve my goals in order to loose weight and become fitter. So if you are on the look for motivation to work harder then look no further than the Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor!

A Poorly Little Lady

|
So some of you may have noticed that it seems as if I have fallen off the face of social media and the blog over the last few days. Today is probably the first day where our household has had a bit of normality and I have been able to sit down and write, my beauty has been so poorly. 


I knew a few days ago that there was something wrong with her because she was quiet, not getting into mischief and became cuddly. To be honest with you all I love the cuddling part something she rarely does but trying to locate my keys and the television remote - not so much.

On Friday we became very worried when her temperature reached 39.1 and we made an appointment with the GP, who advised us to keep giving her Calpol and Nurofen which did help lower her temperature. But that night was horrendous as she would only settle for about 20 minutes before waking up screaming, it was a long night for all of us. 

The next day she wasn't any better with her temperature and it hit 39.8 so we telephoned for an out of hours appointment. Lady was so poorly she wouldn't do anything other than lay there, cry and she wouldn't settle on her own, I had to hold her all the time (which was not helping with her temperature). It was so hard to see her so poorly especially as there was nothing we could do to help her - we just felt so helpless. We finally got to the hospital and the doctor was so great with her. We were told that she was doing well considering she had an ear and throat infection which was causing further pain with her tonsils. My poor little lady. 

The doctor gave her some antibiotics along with Calpol and Ibuprofen. But we had to wait around the hospital for a little while as the doctor wanted her temperature to go down before leaving and 40 minutes later after she destroyed the children's area we were allowed to go home. We put our little lady straight to sleep and caught some much needed shut eye ourselves...we needed it!

The next couple of days she began to get back to herself especially when we got a visit from Nanny and Grandad - it was like she was a different child! Grandparents just have that effect on them, don't they? It's been a few stressful couple of days but thankfully she is on the mend. 

10 Things About Me

|
I thought to myself today that I have been blogging for quite some time and now would be the perfect opportunity for all you lovely readers to get to know me a little better, that you won't find on my About Me page. 
1. I have a degree in Criminology and Sociology which explains my forensic science obsession. 

2. I am one of three children - I am the poor forgotten middle child! Any other middle children out there? I have an older brother who has two girls and a boy, a younger sister who has two girls. Our family seems to have lots of girls!

3. I am too obsessed with Pinterest. Its one of my favourite things ever I can be pinning for an hours and hours admiring all the beauty that is Pinterest. Are you following me? You should :) :) 

4. Hello my name is Kelly-Anne and I am a tea addict! Haha. No joke I do not cope well without a cup of tea first thing in the morning, I also think a nice strong cup of tea solves all problems. 

5. I was definitely born in the wrong era. There is something that I admire about life in the 1950s - their values, the music, the décor and I have always been drawn into the beauty and glamour of women in the 1950s. They always wore feminine clothing in their hour glass figures, hair was never out of place and their make-up was iconic. 

6. Autumn is by far my favourite season. I love the beautiful colours and digging out all those cosy cardigans, jumpers and boots. 

7. I want a piglet. Ever since I can remember I have been a little obsessed about pigs I don't know why I just adore them. I have been trying to convince my husband to get me a tea cup pig to keep in our back garden, I think Amelia would love one! ;) 

8. I get too excited whenever I see new stationery. Anyone else like that? No, just me who is the geek then. 

9. I am an awful when it comes to giving gifts. I guess its because I am worried they won't like their gift so as you can imagine at Christmas time my stress levels are quite high. 

10. I hate boats. Even thinking about it now makes me queasy! 

Post Signature