Review of orchard toys games

Review of orchard toys games

Disclaimer: these games where gifted in exchange for review!

We have long brought and worked with orchard toys. My games cupboard is bursting at the seams with fun games we’ve picked up over the years. I will always say they have been a crucial part of Elijahs learning and development over the years. I’d like to apologise for this taking so long. Moving house in a pandemic and life got in the way so sorry! without further a due on with the review.

So first of all we where sent spotty sausage dogs. It’s a game where you build the sausage dogs up and then you try to match the colours and count using your child’s numeracy and colour co-ordinations skills. Elijah is three and quite advanced at many games so we where sent some harder games to play! Elijah is slowly getting the hang of playing so this is a game that will last us years.

Then we have penalty shoot out. A simple and fun game. You roll the dice pick up the shirt with same number as your dice then you turn over to see how many goals you have. It’s a great counting game and the winner is whoever has the most goals. This is fantastic for counting further then ten whilst you try to count the groups of balls which a lot of children’s games stop at. Elijah likes the colours on this and gets annoyed when he doesn’t get number four as it’s his favourite t shirt of the game 😂

And finally we have Dino-snore-us (I do love a pun) this game is Elijahs first proper board game and he loves it. It’s quick so it doesn’t drag on and Elijah doesn’t get bored. The aim of the game is to collect as many eggs as you can and not wake the dinosaur. He gets really excited when the dinosaur wakes up and I have to admit he is quite the cheat at this game!

Thankyou so much to orchard toys for sending us some lovely toys.

If you wish to find your own you can buy on their website or many retailers. Sometimes they’re in the special buy isle at aldi so keep those eyes peeled! The games are always affordable too!

Here’s there website with a link to the game ! https://www.orchardtoys.com/buy/dino-snore-us-game_492.htm

Review of Jaques of London toys.

Review of Jaques of London toys.

Disclaimer these toys have been gifted in exchange for review.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll probably know how much we love jaques of London toys as this is the second time we have collaborated with them. We have some beautiful products from them and they are such fantastic quality so I jumped at chance to work with them again.

With it being spring I wanted to choose toys that would be suitable to play outside. Despite it being sunny then snowing three hours later we still try to get out as much as we can to play!

First of all I choose the the nine pin quoits game. It’s a game I can play with Elijah and Elijah can play with anybody who comes round to play it’s a simple game of tossing a hoop onto the quoits in the hope of getting the most points and winning. Elijah however likes to cheat and puts them on himself when he thinks I’m not watching! It comes beautifully packaged and comes with a bag so you can take it wherever you go. You can take it to the beach or to a friends house the world is your oyster with this game! Click the link below to find it directly! You can the. use my link at the bottom of this post to get a 15 % discount.

Nine Pin Quoits – Garden Game

We also choose a biscuit set. No they cannot be eaten they are wooden! Elijah loves all the different varieties of biscuits his favourite is the gingerbread man. Which means a singalong every time he sees it. We have a a lot of pretend afternoon tea party’s and picnics in the garden or indoors so it’s great for all weather! They are made of wood so a toy that will last for years and years to come . You can find them on link below and if you wish to purchase use my link for 15 percent of you can find at the bottom of this post!

Let's Pretend Biscuit Tin

Overall we adore their toys and will continue to buy them for gifts as they are so beautifully wrapped! all their toys are high quality so can be passed down from generation to generation.

Use this link for 15 percent off!

https://jaques.games/15off

It’s a new year…

It’s a new year…

Whilst i wanted to write a blog post talking about the highs and lows of the last year in a reflective manor i couldn’t feel more against it this year. Normally i would set myself a list of unrealistic expectations and then feel sadness when i could not keep simple promises to myself. The simple fact is last year was terrible, Not the sort of year you try to find positives from but a year you shut the book on and perhaps think of burning. To many i am sure the last year had some positives that they could find but for me the only positives to come from the last year has been that i have learnt that i do not need to invest so much time and energy into others and to nurture myself. It is because of this new found self love that i am able to separate myself more before i become victim to my depressive and intrusive thoughts. Last year i became very invested in my phone, like many people had found themselves i realised that i had become addicted. The need to keep up to date with others gave me many expectations on what i should be doing with my life, how i should have myself together, how i should have life that is to be a insta worthy place. I would find more and more that i would question my appearance based on others, I would think does my house look good enough? I would think am i parenting correctly? am i doing enough? I would find myself in the endless scroll that never ended. Though i do not blame myself for becoming attached to my phone as it was my only means of contact to the outside world i still feel that it sucked the life from me. Since discovering my addiction i decided to use my phone less, take breaks and to remember the things that are posted online are often snippets of reality that are only showing the best bits of a persons life…

With that being said this is why i have often gone missing for chunks of time, i needed to concentrate on me and to take away the expectations put onto myself to create content that would be worthy of reading or seeing. There will no doubt all over the world be new fitness fanatics, artists, dieters and peacekeepers being created as we land on the other side of the chapter of last year creating more pressure for us to perfect our personal flaws. But know this, we do not have to improve ourselves, we are perfect as we are. Creating unrealistic goals and achievements can put extra pressure on us that at a time of such uncertainty that only sets us up for more disappointment. Remember if there are goals you wish to achieve set them for yourself in the mindset that there is no race to achieve them, there is no failure in giving up and it is okay to have no aspirations for this year.

I feel we will still struggle on this year as we all continue to battle the biggest pandemic in our lifetimes that forces us to hide away in our homes to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. The battle has still only just begun but know that you do not need to change yourself in a pandemic because others are, all you need to do is survive. To not only survive but to find your own happiness, to listen to the stresses and thoughts you have and to try and make yourself feel happiness in yourself by doing things you may love and by taking the time for you.

It is a new year and instead of making crappy pointless goals this year how about you make only one to be happy, to look after you first and let everything else fall into place. So watch your favourite films, cry reading books and have so many baths you become a shrivelled mess. But do not think of yourself as a failure or a underachiever. We do not and have never needed to change. May this year be a year that brings you comfort and joy.

Shopping list by orchard toys review!

Shopping list by orchard toys review!

Disclaimer- I was gifted a box of orchard toys in exchange for review of the shopping list game. All opinions are my own!

I have had shopping list for a few years now. I remember seeing it in a charity shop and picking it up and taking it to the till to try teach Elijah some words. We have had many, many games together with this game and have found orchard toys to be very beneficial in the teaching of Elijahs speech development and recognition of words, letters and numbers.

When I was sent the box with the updated version I was excited as I had a very old version with one of the lists missing. (Charity shop bargains can sometimes have their downfall). Elijah loves a new game that teaches him things and he was so excited.

Shopping list is a game which works by seeing who can collect all their shopping first. As Elijah’s still a bit to little to race against others we work to just complete the shopping list and name everything on the list. Elijah loves picking up the items and comparing against the list and putting in his basket. He thrives on the praise of getting things right so this is the perfect game for him.

There are several lists to choose from even one on a phone to make more modern. You can also choose from a basket or a trolley to put the shopping In too. Elijah likes the baskets the most as he plays with a toy basket the most! We love finding the food items and talk about the food groups they may belong too or what we use a product for like washing powder. The possibility’s to learn through this game are endless.

They have even brought out add on packs to game such as fruit and veg and clothing to teach your child new words and to identify more complex items. The mini packs that you add on you could play without the original set too so perfect for a quick game on the go or to take to a family’s house to play with them!

I will always and have always recommended this game to anyone with a young child and will be rehoming our old game to a friend and sharing the love!

You can check out orchard toys here – https://www.orchardtoys.com/

Or their Instagram is here- https://instagram.com/orchardtoys?igshid=23nidsqmaux8

Thanks for reading! Check out some of their other fantastic games here!

A home movie date for kids!

A home movie date for kids!

Looking for things to do stuck in? A movie is a obvious choice but can you make it fun? Children are simple creatures, no offence to my child but if I cut his food slightly difference he’ll be fooled into eating the whole thing. So to make a movie special for the both of you is easily achieved.

So first of all choose snacks, favourite snacks. Im all for healthy snacks but when you go to the cinemas do you take a veg platter? No you take chocolate. Sugar and treats in moderation is not a issue so enjoy a treat. Once you’ve decided what you want to serve at your movie showing then work on presentation. Putting food in little bowls and displaying them nicely on a tray makes it feel like a little buffet. A buffet of your favourite naughty snacks. You can get popcorn containers for as little as a pound. If your feeling Christmassy then displaying on a load of Christmas platters and using Christmas themed cups can make it that little bit special.

Make the environment different. Do you sit on the sofa all day and have a cosy rug? set up a load of pillows and blankets on the floor with your snacks in the middle and spice it up. Change the lighting in your room shut the blinds and put fairy lights everywhere. The comfier the better. With young children you could ask them to invite their favourite toys so come sit and watch the film with them.

If your children are older you could make them or get them to make cinema tickets for the night. You could also play a game to decide who gets to pick the film! For younger children pick a film they’ll like that you don’t watch often. Musicals are great as children are free to dance and sing along unlike in the cinemas.

Ban phones. Put phones away like you would in the cinemas and wind down. Talk to your children about the film and what they like about it during the film.

Just remember to enjoy each other’s company and only pay attention to the film and eachother untill it’s done. Don’t worry about work or talking to people. It’s important to spend quality time with children and such a simple activity with no technology is perfect for this!

Hope your not forced to watch frozen or trolls for the millionth time like me!

Has bullying affected who i am today?

Has bullying affected who i am today?

In short the answer is yes, when people push their trauma and jealousy upon you to lessen their load you will obviously have that load weighing down on you. This year has been a year of reflecting and boy have i had a lot of time to do that. It seems no matter your age being a child in school, a highschooler who doesn’t quite fit the mould of society or as a adult minding their own business when apparent “friends” begin indirect tyrains against you well, it can happen to anybody. But the thing is, some of us grow up, some of us don’t thrive on the sadness of others.

My bullying started as a high schooler and why? Because in a conversation to another girl a “friend” i said something as a question, obviously kids can be mean and twist what you say. After this happened basically the whole year hated me. For something so pathetic i was physically and emotionally bullied for three years. As a young child at the age of 11-13 every day became a tyrant of abuse. It got bad and eventually i moved school. You know what i left that school and i no longer felt scared, i found my people, i had lots of friends and i was never sad a day of high school any longer. I remember crying on my leaving day as i was afraid to leave my new safe place and my friends. But you know what a few of those friends stuck around and now 12 years later are still my closest and bestest of friends.

I thought i had left highschool behind, in that i mean the term childish bellittling and bullying. Apparently adults old enough to be my grandparents in previous work places have even felt the need to bring me down for no reason whatsoever. Strangers have commented on my social media and given me abuse for no reason what so ever. Friends who i’ve told my darkest secrets too belittling, copying and slandering me everyday in places they think i couldn’t see. All i have ever done is try to please everyone and do right by everyone and you know what screw that! I’m done!

Going to therapy enabled me to think. To stop playing the victim and move on. In therapy i was once told i have two options, to forgive or to accept what has happened and move on. I decided that forgiveness is the way, this way i don’t allow anyone to hold a power over me anymore. Whilst forgiveness doesn’t warrant a message to everyone i have ever been wronged by it is by rationalising peoples actions and relating to my own life.It is also forgiving myself for when i have became like others and pushed my trauma on others too, when i have reacted meanly to others.

I worked out that a lot of people have trauma like me, they feel angry at the world. Whilst i hold it in and cause myself more upset the way they process is through upsetting others. Of course this never solves any ones issues and just causes more guilt to ad to their portfolio. I have accepted that this is why i have been bullied, not because of who i am. Nobody really cares about me or my life some people just fixate on something they don’t like and can’t let go. I can now see why others do it, i understand and i am saddened that this is the way someone would push their feelings out.

I have given up caring about my past regarding bullies, sure the trauma stays behind but i now know why, i know i am not the issue, the defendant is. But still i have the feeling of extreme self consciousness. I regularly get anxious about others and the need to be liked, i struggle with everything regarding myself. I have times i want to delete my social media so that i don’t get others a chance to see into my life and judge me. But i know that i am able to grow from this, I am able to deal with bullying better. I am able to understand others emotions better. I am not as upset by others actions and im able to process things with a better head.

I am able to know how to deal with any issues that may arise as Elijah starts school and can teach him to be kind and compassionate. I can teach him to be strong and respectful for others and their feelings.

But i give no bully’s power over me anymore. Whilst others move on with their lives now i will slowly do it too.

Review of the lollipop baby camera! 🍭

Review of the lollipop baby camera! 🍭

I was kindly gifted this camera in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

So my baby camera started to break about a month ago and I was looking for a camera that didn’t require to be turned on constantly and carrying around a monitor whenever I went. The sound of static would stop me sleeping and the out of range was useless. So when lollipop contacted me I was excited to try something new. I immediately jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did.

The turn around time is so quick It arrived the next day and was a beautiful camera. You can even order it with prime! It was really well presented and easily shows how to connect and fit it. I choose the colour blue as we’re planning on decorating Elijahs new bedroom in the new house and wanted something that wouldn’t stand out too much! The camera can wrap around bits and bobs or be hung against the wall with a stand they supply which is fantastic! The Camera is really flexible and you can move it around. It also comes with wire hiders so you can attach to wall or hide against a wall without damage and need for nails for the wires!

Setting up was a bit confusing but once I worked it out it was fantastic. The camera works through a app on phone and sends notifications if your child moves across a area, Cries or even makes any noise. You can also have camera set as background audio so hear constantly or just have notifications and open when you hear them. I sleep and wake up when I hear a notification. I thought I wouldn’t but I hear it when it’s on loud. It’s fantastic if your walking round house or hanging washing out too. I can now have a bath without worrying about a monitor breaking or not hearing.

The sound quality is fantastic. The photo quality is amazing. The day and night mode both pick everything up and you can also set up recording of your little ones moments. You can also talk thorough the camera which is interesting and the best bit is you can play music or white noise so that your child sleeps. Elijah already has a white noise machine but sometimes I play the hoover sound and he notices no different.

You can change a lot of settings for your child. You can change how sensitive you want it and loud you want it. As the photos below show the clarity and the notifications so you know what’s going on when you watch it. Elijah is rugby tackling James when he went to read his bed time story and get ready for bed which I found hilarious I got a notification about the noise. The second he was talking to James after refusing to sleep 😂

Overall it may be a bit pricey but you get what you pay for I’ll use for a few more years and if I was to have another child I’d buy this again! I wish I had it when he was a newborn!

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

Halloween activities you can still do!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Now that it’s more and more clear Halloween won’t be happening in the normal way this year there’s still lots of ways to have fun. Last year I threw a Halloween party for Elijah and his little friends and this year we can’t even trick or treat. But with a little positivity we can still enjoy ourselves!

So here’s some things you can still do to celebrate Halloween safely.

Pumpkin picking. You can go pumpkin picking outdoors and safely. There you can distance, sanitise and make a day of it. Most places require a time slot too so there’s not too many people out there with you. It’s a great way to exercise and enjoy some time with others and feel the escape of the house. You also support the farms and small businesses too! We love it and have been every year for last five years!

Pumpkin carving. Once you have a pumpkin you still can enjoy carving or painting it. You can download stencils online and print of or you can design your own pattern to carve. Kids love the sensory activity of scooping the pumpkins out! Make it into a fun activity for all the activity.

Halloween crafts. Colouring and paining activities with themes such as Halloween can be great too. There’s so many printable activity packs free online for the taking. You can also paint some loo rolls and add pipe cleaners to make spiders! The possibilities are endless.

Halloween baking! Bake a cake or cookies with a Halloween theme and enjoy making spooky treats! Cut cookies before baking with a ginger bread man shape and you can make a skeleton! Make hotdogs and cut bits up to look like fingers then add ketchup for blood!

Dress up and have a little disco at home! Make Halloween snacks too! Have your own party. Play party games and enjoy yourself. Skype friends and have a virtual party too!

If your not isolating see family or friends for a coffee and call it trick or treating? Track and trace compliant of course!

Get cosy, watch Halloween movies, listen to spooky music. Whatever it is you do to get in the Halloween spirit. Just remember you’re not alone we’re all in this together.

No matter what you do just enjoy yourself and have a spooky time!

Hello again.

Hello again.

Sorry it’s been a long time. I’ve been battling a bit with lack of enthusiasm both with writing and with life. But i think I’m slowly coming out of the other side. So what’s new? Well I don’t think I’ve spoken about it on my blog as yet but we got a puppy. A blog post will surely come next all about him but for now you can’t say I didn’t tell you! we’re also in the progress of buying a new house.

Yes we choose the pandemic as the time to move of course…how typical of me. As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough I thought you know what let’s pick up everything we have and move. So obviously I’m stressed out of my mind with that. You know they say it’s one of the most stressful things you can do moving house? Well it’s true and even more so now we are sellers at same time as buyers. I thought we would stay in this house forever when we first moved in but as lockdown broke it came increasingly clear that we didn’t like our neighbour hood and me coming to the rescue of my neighbours and treating injury’s on the side of the road came to common a occurrence.

James’s business is doing really well despite the pandemic. He was able to work throughout due to being a outside worker and being able to distance. This has meant that we wanted to move more for the fact of James wanting to create his own water now and having parking at the house.

So we decided we’d move. At first we thought about moving to the countryside then I realised I barely ever see my family or friends anymore since moving so decided to move back to where I grew up. This meant we’re able to see family and friends and walk to each others more which will be lovely for Elijah growing up. The house we’re buying is beautiful we have loads of privacy and trees lots of space and heatedly attached to our neighbour. The perfect place for us all to enjoy. It’s a shame neighbours can make your life a miserable time and cause you to move. But I guess that’s life. So five weeks later we’re still waiting for a date while everyone works behind the scenes we want to be in before Christmas but who knows.

The exciting thing will be making the new house our own and more trips to Ikea! I went to Ikea for the first time in years and years the other day and I’ve never been so excited! Ikea is literally a dream! Everywhere you go in the show room is beautiful styled rooms that you can then go ahead and purchase. Honestly I was mind blown and had to seriously stop myself from buying things till we move.

But for now organising and sorting. We’re trying to enjoy the last moments in our house and make as many memories as we can. I get sad at times thinking how well leave the house we brought Elijah home too, the house he took his first steps and said his first words. It’s going to be odd seeing the house empty. I’m sure they’ll be lots of tears when we leave. I’m scared Elijah and the pup won’t understand we’re moving we tell Elijah everyday but still the fear lingers.

Not the most thrilling of posts but this is why I’ve been gone. It’s funny how stress messes with us! It can consume you when things are time pressured. But here’s to hope things will move forward soon!

Christmas gift guide- personalised hooray heroes books.

Christmas gift guide- personalised hooray heroes books.

Disclaimer- this is a gifted item sent for this post.

As you have seen before I was previously sent a book for Father’s Day for Elijah too give you his dad as a present! We absolutely loved this book so when they asked us to try another we couldn’t say no! With Christmas coming up and my dads birthday I thought this would be the perfect time to order for my dad something from Elijah they can read together!

So making the book is quick and easy you can customise everything about the characters to freckles and hair styles! You put your family’s names in and have chance to dedicate a page to them too! The personalisation is lovely and makes it a truly unique gift. As well as personalising it you can choose what stories you have in the book too!

Elijah already loves it and says he can’t wait to wrap up for grandads birthday as he’s starting to understand birthdays more. He knows that it is Elijah and grandad on the front too! My dad is quite young so it’s great that he is still able to look his age in the book too which I find is a issue when buying personalised gifts for a grandparent.

These books are fantastic quality and made to last for years! I am excited to give him a great keep sake he can have for years to come and store away for memories as Elijah gets older. Maybe he will give back to Elijah when he is older too!

They sell plenty of different stories and personalised bits so make the perfect place for presents for parent, grandparents or even themselves! Go check them out at

https://hoorayheroes.co.uk or https://hoorayheroes.com

Thanks for reading! Charlie-Jane!