30 May, 2016

Days Out in Cotswolds // Crocodiles of the World





Welcome to my new series Days Out in the Cotswolds! I am very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the UK, I also know what it's like to have to entertain two young children.  So this series is all about finding great places to go in the cotswold, with the family. 
I hope you enjoy this series, kicking it off is a trip I took with the boys to a Crocodile Zoo! 



A couple of weeks ago myself and my boys took a trip to Crocodiles of the World in Carterton, Oxfordshire.  Crocodiles of the World is the UK's only crocodile Zoo. Home to currently 150 crocodiles, representing 15 different species from Caiman and Alligators, to the more endangered species such as the Cuban and Siamese Crocodiles.
Shaun, aka Croc Man as he was nick named after his tv documentary, started off with his collection of crocodiles at home. Eventually he moved to a small premises just outside Witney, after such success with visitors they relocated to an old farm in Brize Norton. Here is where Shaun and his team work to educate people on crocodiles and the importance of conservation.  




As we live literally a minute down the road I decided to take the boys for the afternoon. My youngest is currently obsessed with Peter Pan and loves Captain Hook and the Tick- Tock Croc, so I knew he would love this, and he really did! 


What I love about the site was that everything is easily accessible and child friendly. Pushchairs and wheelchairs have no problems in being navigated around, with plenty of space for others to walk by.  


The zoo has both indoors and outdoors areas, with all the crocs housed inside. 


You have the chance to get as close as possible to the crocs with the enclosures designed with glass fronts. It's fascinating to be able to watch them on land and underwater. 


As well as being home to crocodiles, the zoo also has a small number of other animals such as, meerkats, otters, birds, reptiles and tamarin monkeys .





The crocodiles are kept in various different sized enclosures depending on their size and needs as a species.



 One of outside area, home to the otters, meerkats, birds and monkeys. There is also the education room where talks and interactive sessions are held. 




Admissions in to the zoo are as followed: 

Adult : £8.95
Child:  £6.50 ( under 2's are free) 
Senior: £7.95 





The zoo is small in size compared to mainstream zoos, but there is a lot to look at and fantastic for a morning or afternoon visit. 



The park also offers extra fun by the form of keeper and VIP experiences these start from £35.00, a great present for someone who is crocodile crazy! 



The boys loved seeing the Meerkats, there was even a little port hole for them to stick their heads into which lets you get up and close to the meerkats.











There is a little play area for the kids to play about on and picnic benches for the parents to relax on. 





The whole zoo is filled with information and fun facts, from information on each species, a history of the zoo timeline or large  Alfie wanted to see if he could be as big as a t-rex using this extremely long measuring tape. 



I was extremely impressed with the zoo, we have been once before about a year ago but since then they have had some new additions especially to the outside/ picnic area which is really nice to sit on, especially in the summer.




Price wise I would say it was good value for money and not over priced like some places. The boys each got a little souvenir from the gift shop, which was reasonably priced as well.

There are activities on throughout the day such as talks, animal feeding and animal encounters. There is also an area for live crocodile photos, this is where you can stand and have your photo taken with a baby croc, there is normally a fee for this experience, so please be aware.

Crocodiles of the world is a lovely place to visit so if you have a croc enthusiast in the family or are looking for a nice trip out then Crocodiles of the World is the place for you!

Have you been to the Crocodiles of the World?




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24 May, 2016

Pink Gellac Review



I love pampering myself.  Having nicely manicured nails always makes me feel happy. However, the one thing I hate is when it chips. With normal nail polish that tends to happen within 2 -3 hours of applying my nail varnish, so now I rarely bother to paint my nails. The life of a mum is busy, constantly washing my hands, tidying up and playing games means my nails end up getting chipped fast.



 However recently I was sent a Gel Polish Starter Kit from Pink Gellac.

It has everything I need to be able to give myself the salon quality finish, but at home. This is perfect for me as I rarely have the time to go out and get my nails done and when I do have time to myself it's normally too late to go to a salon.

The kit comes with the following: 


1 x Colour 156 Tropical 
1 x Pink Gellac LED Lamp

1 x Pink Gellac Base2 

1 x Pink Gellac Ultra Shine 

1 x Pink Nail cleaner 

1 x Nail file 
1 x Cuticle stick
10 x Luxury Nail wipes
10 x Remover pockets

Check out my Video below for more information and a demonstration on how to apply at home. 



I really recommend using this product,its easy to use, the instructions are explained so easily. 
The colour looks amazing and the results have been fantastic. I am now on Day 17 of wearing and as I said in the video there was some slight chipping at the end of the nail and that's it. I think next time I will try and put more of a coating on the edge/slightly underneath the nail to see if that last longerThe only downside for me is that I cant get all my fingers in the LED lamp. I had to do my thumb separately. For me it wasn't a major hassle, however it maybe for some. 

The starter kit is currently on offer for £54.99 through the Pink Gellac website. 



* I was sent this product free in exchange for a review all opinions are my own. 




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17 May, 2016

Wicked Uncle Toy Shop Review


I love buying presents for people and especially for my children. However  I know that sometimes other people can get stuck on what to buy them and that's where Wicked Uncle comes in handy. 

Wicked Uncle is an online toy shop that stocks a variety of toys for a variety of ages. It makes buying toys easy with it's helpful search system, you can choose on the gender,age or interest of the child you are buying for, so for people who are unsure as to what would be suitable for the child they are buying for this makes it so much easier.

The website is extremely simple to use so for anyone who isn't great with computers fear not you can't mess it up.

Wicked Uncle is different from a lot of the high street stores because their products are very different to other toy shops about. I like the fact that there isn't a lot of the mainstream toys on there, it makes a refreshing change to see lots of different toys, especially ones that I may never of thought about.





Wicked Uncle was kind enough to send me a voucher to use on their site and so I wanted to share with you a selection of toys that they stock.




First up is this Magnificent Melting Monster, create your own putty monster and then watch it melt!

The pros to this product was that my kids enjoyed it, but unfortunately there wasn't much else good to say. 
The substance used for creating the monster was ridiculously hard, definitely not a putty substance. I spent a good 5 mins trying to warm it up in my hands, like it says on the instructions but even then it was still very hard. I think that many young children would struggle, I did as I was the one that ended up making it. 
I also don't think it melts it just falls down so again a bit of a fail. 
However this is no fault through the shop its just the product in itself. 



Next up is the Sat Nav Steering Wheel. I have always wanted to get one of these for the boys as they are fascinated with me driving, this is probably more age appropriate to my youngest but my 5 year old also enjoys the odd go on it. 
I thought it would be handy to have a toy of some sorts in the car so this is perfect. 


It's easy to put together, you just attach the wheel to the steam and your done. You will need batteries so make sure you buy them otherwise they wont be able to enjoy all the features. 
It's light weight and fairly easy to store in the car, we lie it down in the back in the footwell. 

Archie loves playing with this and likes to pretend he is driving like Mummy, our car journeys have been much more fun with this item. 


With over 72 different different spoken words and sounds it is a fantastic toy to keep the children busy whilst also teaching them all about directions. 

 Last but not least is the Sparkle Zoob Kit, I choose this because my 5 year old is obsessed with lego and building so I thought it would be another fun thing for him to play with. 


I prefer my children to be doing things and using their imaginations rather than being glued to a screen and so this is perfect, it's also great for their fine motor skills! 


With their rounded ball and claw like parts not only can they be endless in their imagination with design,  but they can bring their creation to life and play with them as they can rotate, spin and extend.  Alfie has been really busy creating his own robots and creatures, it's also be really good to use with his shape recognition as we can make the shapes as we are learning. 


 I was really pleased with the selection of products on Wicked Uncle and the delivery was super quick. You can even chose to have your items gift wrapped and sent with a card or message. It really is a fantastic website and we will definitely be using it again. 


*I was sent these products free in exchange for a review all opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. 





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08 May, 2016

Unicorn Slab Recipe





I've seen lots of these chocolate slabs recipes over Pinterest and thought that it would be the most perfect recipe for Archie and I to do and to ease him into baking! 

What you will need: 



  • 2 x 100g bars of milk chocolate of your choice 
  • 2 x 100g bars of white chocolate of your choice
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate Stars
  • Microwave
  • Freezer
  • Plastic container
  • Spoon



Method




  • Break up the chocolate into separate bowls.



  • Heat up the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute then once removed from the microwave, mix the chocolate using a spoon to make sure that there are no solid pieces. 






  •                   Pour both bowls of melted chocolate into a plastic container and mix. 





  • Add some sprinkles and chocolate stars. 

  •  Put it in the freezer for half an hour. 


  •  Remove the chocolate from the container and then smash!
And there you go! It's the most easiest recipe ever and you can really be creative with the extra ingredients. What about using dried fruit, nuts and raisins? or honeycomb or sweets? There is so many options to choose from and as I said before a great recipe for little ones. 








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05 May, 2016

Baby Number 3?




It's been almost 3 years since I last saw those two little blue lines come up on my pregnancy test and so recently I have been wondering, What about having baby number 3?

I think once you've have your first baby many people are quick to ask you when you're planning on popping out a second and not leaving it too late. But what about once you've had your second? I personally feel like there is some sort of stigma on wanting more than 2 children. Not everyone is like this, but I do feel there is a lot of  people that seem to think that your crazy to have more than two.

After I had my youngest I had a lot of people tell me "well, that's it your all done now"and it seriously got me thinking as to why people think two is the right number?
Is it because most people hope for a one of each gender? Is it because having two means that one parent can always watch one whilst the other has the other child meaning your never out numbered, or is it to do with the convenience and cost of having two?


I grew up with a twin sister and then when my mother remarried, I was blessed with 3 more siblings.  I enjoy being a part of a big family. I know I always have someone to talk to and the holidays are never lonely.

Growing up I loved being around babies and younger children, I was always happy to babysit and acting motherly was the most natural thing for me to do. So when my first two little lines appeared over 6 years ago I was so thrilled, yet terrified because I knew what was to come... giving birth!

Telling people I was pregnant was one of the hardest things I've ever done, I had a few people congratulate me, but then I had many telling me I'm too young to be a mother and basically I've  ruined my life! It was more of a devastating blow to them, then a joyous celebration.

As I've gotten older I can see why they thought/said that I was only 19 when I fell pregnant with Alfie. However, I know I have done an exceptional job. In 6 years I have raised so far.... because let's face it this could all change!  Two sweet and respectful boys and I don't think I could have done it any better at any other age. I have always been there for my children, I have never expected anyone else to look after them. They have always been my responsibility so why would a third be any different?


After Alfie turned one I started to get the questions  "So when are you going to have another?"
Now Alfie's birth was traumatic, so a year post delivery was still even too soon for me too even think about having another. I wanted to give my body the best time to heal both physically and mentally.

As Alfie approached his 3rd birthday, I did start to have those feelings of maybe now it's time for a second. It was that moment of my biological clock is ticking and a few months later I was surprisingly staring at my second lot of the two blue lines.

Having Archie made me feel like we had finally become a family and temporarily he was enough to complete it.... Until now.
Now I'm at that stage where I have been thinking a lot, especially over the last 9 months "What about another child?"
There is that little something niggling away at me saying I'm not finished yet, but to everyone else I apparently am. I have two, two's enough and I don't need anymore. But why is two the right number?

Whilst I would be happy, actually, I'd be over the moon to have another, I know that the timing is not right at present. I am still struggling with my weight from my last pregnancy and I know that to avoid extra risks and complications I should really lose a good stone or two.  Archie has also just started pre-school a couple mornings a week and so I am getting a bit of my life back and then there is my partner. He said he's done after two, but I think he is mainly worried due to my previous complications. I seem to have an issue with having straightforward deliveries, it's not an option according to my last two.  I know if we were to have another he would love it just as much as our other two so maybe at some point, he will change his mind....... I'm really hoping he will or we may have a problem!


At some point I would love to welcome a third child into our family, maybe not this year or next but in a couple of years. I'm so excited for our family to expand, I know I can't have the big family of 5 that I always wanted (due to my previous delivery doctors have suggested only one more). But I know that there is still the chance for one more until that time comes I will keep on being a full-time mum to my two beautiful boys and enjoy our time as a family of four.

 I have always been a believer in things happen for a reason, I believe my Grandma sent me Alfie after she died, I really found things really hard. However 6 months later I found out I was pregnant so I really do believe she was watching over me.  And I believe that at some point I will be sent another special gift when it's my time. 


Have you ever experienced the negativity that comes with wanting more than 2 children? Leave me your story in the comments below.  









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