Friday, 15 August 2014

Chuggington StackTrack #Review

Chuggington is a children's British animated show aired daily on Cbeebies, you can join Wilson, Brewster, Koko, Hoot, Toot and Piper, as they learn to ride the rails, learn valuable lessons about friendship and working together. The trains are set in the fictional town of Chuggington where they are given individual tasks to complete, if they successfully complete their mission they are rewarded with a badge. 

At Christmas Liam received a Chuggington stack and track expansion pack, for those of you that don't know what the expansion pack it, its the track that is expanded onto the main play sets but the expansion pack alone cant really be played with without any trains which at that point Liam had none so at Easter he decided with his money he would buy one of the main playsets and some trains.

When we were asked to review some more of the Chuggington range of toys you can imagine we were delighted and excited to do so, as the pack would just add to the ever growing collection Liam already has. We received the Chuggington Stacktrack play set an extension pack and two trains too play with.

The Stacktrack comes with well put together instructions detailing exactly how to put the track together and which bits go where - but to be honest you really don't need them as this toy is all about using your imagination and creating the tracks as you want them you can make it so you have one huge track that runs along the floor or you can buy more of the tracks and build them upwards in height there is no limits to this track except of course the size of your room or the ceiling!

The track all fits together really easily and once put together seems to be very sturdy the sets are aimed at children 3+ however even Adam who is two found it very easy to put the track together and really enjoyed the set - the boys also loved the added extras such as the traffic lights change colour when the train goes through them and at each side of the bridge/tunnel there is a barrier that you can leave down to stop the trains or lift up to watch them speed down the little hill.

The trains really resemble the characters almost exactly as you see them on the television series, they are very light weight, bright in colour and are very well made so they are not going to be broken easily the only part that I would say is a bit flimsy would be the plastic part on the back that you use to attach them to the other trains - if you have a child that tends to put things in there mouth still like Liam does these can be easily chewed and misshaped.

Other wise this set, in fact the whole selection of toys from this Chuggington range I love and the boys love they don't seem to get bored, if the track does start to get boring we simply take it apart and build it up a different way and in a different shape - A great toy with hours of fun to be had!


Thursday, 14 August 2014

A new baby is definitely on the way #14weeks

If you follow my blog and you follow me I can only apologies for the lack of posts, you see the last couple of months my mind has been else where, through the smiles at Britmums live 2014, I somehow lost my voice, lost my voice to type, lost my way, you see this pregnancy has shaken up my whole world and I know a new baby should be a joyous occasion, I should be getting excited, I should be planning, but for selfish reasons through the evenings when I eventually have time to sit down and think about being pregnant, I was trying to convince myself that somehow the tests might be wrong that maybe me jeans that are getting tighter might be because I ate too much pizza the night before, and the sickness that had somehow taken over me was a bug.

Denial, is the best way to describe how I have been feeling, some might say I am selfish, I know there are so many people that would love to be in my position, but I guess in your own heart and head you cant help the way you feel or think.

The weeks leading up to my first scan, seem to have taken forever giving me too much time to think, but finally that day arrived I explained to the boys where we were going that morning and to be honest it was really quite emotional telling them, I found tears running down my cheeks as I explained to them that we were going to see a baby on the screen we were going to see there new brother or sister - they were both excited, I couldn't but help think what if I go and my tummy is empty, what if I go and the baby doesn't have a heart beat, it would be my fault for wishing it away for not believing there was anything their I was a wittering mess on the bus, with Liam asking excited questions.

Another part of me was emotional because with both Liam and Adam myself and there dad was excited for there scans we went together, he had held my hand and we had chatted excitedly in the waiting areas, this time was so different, this time I know how he feels about another baby, I know to a certain extent I am alone.

When I arrived at the waiting area for my scan I was sitting with my head down the room full of loving couples, couples who's eyes I felt were boring into me, I could imagine what they were thinking look at her a single mum already two children and here for a scan, I have never felt so uncomfortable and alone.

It felt like a lifetime until the lady from the ultra sound scan room to call us in, I got on the table nerves fluttering would the baby be alright? if it was alright how many weeks am I? how would the boys react? The lady passed the scanner over my stomach and there it was a beautiful baby a strong beating heart, a tubby tummy, a baby that was stubborn and lazy, baby didn't want to move it didn't want its photo taking (that's why the pictures are not that great) even making me shake my tummy about doing a wiggle, just made baby put its hand over its face - I was in love the moment I saw the baby on the screen it was real and it was there, I think this is the most emotional scan I have had so many thoughts and worries just melted away I honestly just felt love, like I already have for the boys and Liam although he is only four he held his mummies hand, he fetched Adam some raisins out of his bag when he started to get impatient and moany.

He asked "how can we get that baby out, I want the baby here now" he really brightened up my mood and made me laugh and I am so proud of Liam, in fact of both of my boys and I know I will be just as proud of this new baby, I really feel bad for any untoward thoughts I had about this new little one now I have seen that baby is real, I feel like I can finally start sleeping at night, finally start planning, I know I will always have worries but it is just a part of being a parent.


Friday, 20 June 2014

09.59 Im on the train! #BritMums

Officially today 09.59 I am on the train heading to London on my own never been to London never really travelled that far on my own but I am going for one of the UK's biggest blogging conferences It is BritMums Live 2014.

This will be only my second ever blogging event I have ever been too since I started blogging last year and I couldn't think of any better or bigger one I want to be a part of.

My day should start like this get up do my hair makeup, get dressed, get the boys up they both eat all there breakfast get themselves dressed and happily go to the childminders whilst giving me time to get home have a cuppa before getting to the station but in reality I know that its really not going to be bliss it will look more like this.

The boys get up really early clamber over into my bed before they start squabbling about who is laying which side of the bed, I get up bring them down stairs, give them breakfast they both refuse to eat it, I put the TV on they spend the next half hour arguing about which toys they both want from the adverts on the TV, all this whilst I am running around trying to put my makeup on get dressed - break up the fights.
Next it is time to get the boys dressed, they run off with there clothes decide they don't like what they are wearing, throw tantrums on the floor....... half hour later we are dressed, out the door the boys walking as slow as possible to the child minders.

Once they're there I manage time for a quick kiss and cuddle before practically running back home picking up my case and jumping in the taxi.

phew..... and breath 09.59,  I am on the train heading for London!! time to relax take in the scenery and look forward to a fabulous weekend with lots of wonderful bloggers!

If like me you are on the way to London cant wait to meet you!!


Belvoir Fruit farms #Review and #Giveaway

Summer is finally here and finding a perfect summer drink, keeps thirst at bay can be difficult - as you all know now I am pregnant, I wont be drinking any wine or Pimms over the summer months. I do love cordial though especially the fruity type so I couldn't wait to try out Belvoir fruit cordial, in fact I was a little bit over enthusiastic when it arrived as it was making my mouth water looking at the lovely bottle!

The bottle doesn't actually look that big does it? but don't judge a book by its cover - because you have to dilute the cordial down this little bottle makes an astonishing ten pints of cordial - that's what I call value for money, because of course whatever mummy is drinking the boys will want to be drinking too so in my house you want to buy things that are going to last and this little bottle certainly will.

The elderflower cordial, is really fresh tasting not to sweet in fact I found that it is very subtle it leaves your mouth feeling great none of that residue that some drinks leave, not only can you drink the elderflower cordial, if your feeling more adventurous you could try adding some to a cake or biscuit mix to give it that added fruit flavour - perfect for hot summer days out or a picnic.

Belvoir Fruit farms have been generous enough to offer me a fantastic children's baking set and a case of six of there yummy fruit cordials to giveaway to you one of my readers worth £45 so for your chance to win simply enter via the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

Only the first step of the Rafflecopter is mandatory, all other steps are optional.  Only one entry form per person is allowed (however, you can tweet with the bonus click entry daily as well to increase your chances).

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once the Rafflecopter picks a winner, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within 28 days, the prize will be allocated to another person.

Please note the competition will open on 20th June 2014 midnight and will close on 11th June 2014 at midnight.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

#BOOTD #TrendyThursday

So I am doing things a little bit different this week usually I take pictures of the boys together wearing a lovely outfit but for the next few weeks I am going to take it in turns. One because its nice to look back on something that they have individually chosen and two because last week although you see on the pictures they are happy in truth they were scrapping about who was having there photo taken - ending in tears as usual these boys can fight over a piece of paper!

So this week as Liam is out on a trip today myself and the lovely Adam have been having some lovely bonding time and this is what he chose to wear today, again you know I am a fan of next and Adam is a fan of toy story so he picked out this buzz light year T-shirt to be honest he just wanted to wear the T-shirt! but his jeans I popped on him are from next too.

I Love the writing on the back the most, it has some meaning behind it for myself - I also love that the T-shirt is bright where the picture is and it makes your child think they are the character Adam finds this T-shirt very amusing when he looks in the mirror!

Both the T-shirt and jeans are available in Next right now they have some lovely things!

The Little Life of Ickle Pickle

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Addis Sit and Store #Review

With us being lucky enough to live in a new build property - our house is lovely, but one of the down sides of living in a newer house is the lack of storage, most days I find myself tripping over train tracks, toy cars and anything else the boys have decided to play with on that particular day.

We were sent the Addis sit and store, to try as a storage solution. The tub is around 40 cm in diameter and stands around 43cm tall, plenty of space to put all those loose toy cars in especially in the living room where I am forever tripping over things.

I love that the tub has a lid it means at the end of the day when the boys have finished playing I can scoop all the toys up put them in the tub shut the lid and they are out the way.

The lid of the tub is shaped as a seat, so the boys can sit on it when they have friends over as we don't have enough seats. The tub is actually made really well and is very sturdy - I would recommend if they are a bit smaller like Adam giving them some assistance to sit on it as for little legs in is a bit tall, but Adam is only two in fact he would rather sit inside the tub than on top of it, its all a big adventure! However Liam has absolutely no trouble siting himself on it!

Over all we Loved the Addis Sit and Store, its a low cost storage solution in which is ideal for keeping toys tidy and will keep the children happy having somewhere to sit.

The Addis Sit and store prices range between £13 and £15 and is available in a choice of two colours either red or blue.

We were sent the Addis sit and store, storage solution for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Our Little Secret - Tikka Masala Dine in Kit #Review

As you all know around a month ago I started my new job, well by the time I get in from work I am usually tired and hungry and to be quite honest I really don't want to be spending hours in the kitchen cooking, I want to eat something that is ready fast - yes I know what your thinking we could all do with a live in chef! but from a practical point on view, I want to be able to make something that is going to be ready in less than half an hour.

Our little secret is a new range of meal kits, cooking sauces and micro-meals that are family friendly and offer easy to prepare meals with Indian, Oriental and Mediterranean Flavours. I tried the Tikka Masala Dine-in Meal Kit

On the box its ready in less than twelve minutes - " breaths a sigh of relief" so its quick and easy let me tell you about it and what I thought of the taste of the kit. The meal kit includes dry spices, paste, sauce and rice, all vacuum packed so that all you need to add is the meat or vegtables of your choice.

The whole range has a handy chilli rating on the front of the pack so that you can choose a recipe to suit your palate - this one has two out of three chillies and was already pretty hot so be prepared to add some extra cream to cool things down if necessary. and there is an easy guide on the front of each pack so you can see quickly and easily the nutritional content of each pack.

Our Little Secret have really easy to understand guidelines on the back of each pack so you can follow each step - you really don't need to be a chef to be able to put this fabulous dish together its simple!

The packaging promises an effortless meal and that is exactly what you get as everything apart from the meat is in the box. You just chop up the meat of your choice - I went for chicken but you could also use lamb, fish, prawns, pork or your favourite vegetables - leave to saute for 2-3 minutes then add the paste and the rest of the sauce cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes or until the sauce has thickens up.

The rice which is in the box as well is done separately taking just two minutes in the microwave - and there you have it a fantastic higher end gourmet dinner in less than fifteen minutes, fantastic don't you think!  

The meal took around fifteen minutes to prepare and it was really delicious. I was very impressed at the quick and easiness of the meal even though I thought at a glance of the packet I thought it would be more difficult. The tikka masala tasted delicious, I didn't actually add anything extra to this kit and I was a little worried it might be on the hot side but to be honest I thought it was actually quite mild and I really enjoyed tucking into it when I had finished work. The kits cost £3.49 and the sauces are priced £1.49 which I think is a great price.

Our Little Secret is currently available nationwide in Morrisons and Makro.


I was sent this product for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

An Unplanned Pregnancy #BlogBumpClub

Last week as I walked up and down the corridors in Accident and emergency - don't worry I wasn't hurt I was working, as most of you know its a job I desperately yearned for and somewhere I actually Love, I love the hustle and Bustle of the hospital it keeps me on my toes. I was summoned by a patient that was quite upset, I cant go into to much detail for confidentiality reasons - but she was really upset, she asked me if I would test her urine for her as she thought she might be pregnant, Of course I would it was my job, I gave her some reassurance and wondered off to carry out the test, as I stood in the little room where we carry out all of our clinical tests, it suddenly occurred to me, little thoughts whizzing round in my brain - I couldn't remember the last time I had a period, I was racking my brains trying to think, trying to work out if anything stood out in my mind as to when the date was, nothing I was completely drawing a blank.

But I didn't feel pregnant? my breasts were slightly tender but no more than usual, with the boys I was quite sickly in the first few months, I felt nothing had no symptoms at all - I couldn't be could I?
on my dinner I wondered over to the shop and picked myself up a pregnancy test, I was sending myself round the bend on what ifs - I needed to know and to be honest there was not one part of me that thought it could actually be positive.

I headed straight to the toilets and did it - weed on a stick, a bit crude maybe, but true I weed on a stick and then sat and watched as the urine worked its way up the paper inside the little stick - I was thinking please be negative, but as it crept up the stick there was no denying that the pregnancy positive line was there. I am Pregnant.

It wasn't sinking in, I spent the rest of my shift thinking, day dreaming, swallowing back tears, I had convinced myself, I could just get rid of the baby no one would have to know, but another part of me was already feeling that mothering instinct, like I did when I found out I was pregnant with the boys, an instinct to protect them and to love them no matter what.

It is the situation that makes me question everything, with the boys daddy, the same daddy as the un - born baby has, still not a part of our lives full time and I have just started a new job my life was moving on and now I feel like it is making a stop again.

I have told a few people that are close to me, most are quite cross with me for being so "stupid" for letting them down because they love me, because they want me to move on in my life and you know its horrible, heart breaking in fact, to tell people you are pregnant and no one says congratulations, the way that I have been thinking about things is this baby did not choose to be conceived but the baby was conceived, at that moment in love and it will be loved by me its daddy and its big brothers and the rest of my family once it is here.

This baby is growing safely inside my tummy and that's where it is going to stay and that is a definite decision I have made, I cant believe the other option even entered my head if I went through with a termination, I would never have forgiven myself, a baby is a joyous occasion or it is meant to be, there is never a right moment to have children, but it is not the end of the world either.
I also need to for once put myself first and not worry about what everybody else thinks. I am blessed in that I am lucky that I can have children, there are so many people that would give there right arm or leg to be where I am now and pregnant, I am going to cherish every moment and do what is right for me.

I haven't had an appointment with the midwife yet nor do I know exactly how many weeks I am but If I am right I think I am around nine - ten weeks already, nearly into the second trimester I know its still early to be telling people but I want to share my thoughts feelings with you all.

 "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” - John Lennon


Mother's Always Right

The World cup is coming look what the boys are wearing! #Bootd #TrendyThursday

I have been away for a few weeks just because I have been so busy with my new job and other trials and tribulations that life bring! but I never mind that I am back for another Baby's Outfit of the day and Trendy Thursday and with the world kicking off this week, what a better time to show you these lovely T-shirts from Sports Direct, I was looking at getting the boys some real England T-shirts but I just cant justify spending a ridiculous amount of money on two T-shirts for them both.

So I went with these World cup T-shirts they are both Polo T-shirts and have the England flag embroidered on the top Left corner of them and the world cup trophy on the right side of them and they have World Cup 2014 on the sleeve.

The T-shirts are fantastic quality, they are really quite thick and as you can see above both of them have lots of room to grow Adams T-shirt is 2-3 and Liam's T-shirt is age 4-5, the only thing I am not so sure about is the white colour, just because the boys like to roll around in the dirt! I am not an avid football fan but I do like to watch the World cup and Liam and Adam Like that they have football T-shirts - they love to kick the ball around the garden! The T-shirts are priced at just £4.99 (a Bargain!!) and are available in store and online now with Sports Direct.

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Ickle Pickles Life