Wednesday, July 1

Guest Post: A visit to BST Family Day by Sammie

I was invited to attend BST Family Day on Sunday, unfortunately Harry still had his Chicken Pox and we were unable to attend.  A very good friend Sammie who blogs over at One Blue, One Pink, very kindly stepped in for us to take our place and to share with you her thoughts on this much talked about event. 

So over to Sammie.

Firstly I want to say a massive thank you to Clare for giving us this opportunity for a family day out in London, I always appreciate offers that give the children new experiences, in fact this was a new experience for us all. 
Millie and I decided to go along with my friend and her daughter, so that we could have a nice girly day. Typically it rained when we arrived, but we didn't let that dampen our spirits, we simply had lunch a little early and sat under a tent watching the world go by! 
When the rain finally stopped it was almost time to take part in the Frozen Sing along, which was going to be a World Record Breaking Attempt. We were all very excited about this and of course sang our hearts out when the time came! 

Dick and Dom, then Justin Fletcher took over that stage, and as Millie and her friend do not know who Dick and Dom are, and only vaguely recognised Justin as Mr Tumble (true Disney Princesses at heart these two!)  we only watched a small part of these performances. What we did see was good, funny and all the children seemed very happy. I also liked the fact that a few more screens were scattered about so you didn't have to stand or sit right by the stage to see what was going on. 
One thing I found very annoying was that there was no printed event timetable, when I questioned the stewards about this they said that each stage had a timetable to the side of it, so we should just take a picture of each one, or if we could get online, look it up on there! I found this to be a bit strange and very unhelpful, as it meant we had to trudge across the field to each 'stage' to plan our day. Some might argue that we could have planned our day before we arrived, but when you are with children things do not always go to plan do they?! 
Millie was very happy when she spotted some Lego Ninjago characters, she watches the programme with her older brother Chester and is a big fan! On our way round we also spotted Tom and Jerry, Homer and Bart and Spongebob! 

There was a very small fair ground, so we let the girls have a go on the train, which they really enjoyed! 

All day both girls had been asking about Peppa Pig, we finally managed to track her down, along with her brother George. By following them back to the vip area!

Then we walked on over to the 'stage' to hear Peppa and George tell a story. The problem here was that the small catwalk like stage that they used for this was very high up from the ground, so adults struggled to see, let alone children! We had to put them on our shoulders which was back breaking for me! Nether the less both children really enjoyed the story time and joined in with the dancing too. We also caught a bit of the pirate show which was good fun. 
In truth I think as a family event there is definitely room for improvement here. The positioning of the stages, the food choice - there was A LOT to choose from but nothing really aimed at children, the lack of things for children to get involved in - nothing really hands on for them crafts etc, and more importantly the things that were there no one was really interacting with the children, so they quickly lost interest whilst we were standing there wondering what we were waiting for! 

So yes, we came home wondering what the day was all about, but nether the less we managed to have a good day, the company was good and the girls were happy that they met a couple of characters and got to sing along to 'Let it Go'! 
Huge Thanks to Sammie and her beautiful daughter for stepping in for us, it definitely sounds like there is room for improvement next year and I do hope that this feedback is taken on-board by the organisers. 
For those wondering the World Record Attempt was successful that day!
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Tuesday, June 30

Exercise essentials - Getting ready for the #RFL

I've only around 2 weeks to go until my Race for Life now and my fundraising is doing much better than my training has gone - I planned to use the time when Harry was in School to go for a jog a few times a week, well my children always seem to be ill, deadlines looming and life gets in the way.
I've currently raised £380.
I've failed big time, I'll be honest I hoped to be running the whole thing, yeah I doubt that will be happening but I'll attempt a jog.  Emmy has decided she would like to join me and I am thrilled - she wants to help raise money for Nanny as she says, and of course she wants a medal.  I do think I will end up carrying her for parts but I'm proud she wants to try.
I've managed to get out for a few jogs, it's not all doom and gloom and I have upped my home work outs too and I have had some wonderful help from fantastic companies who are 100% behind me helping to make sure I am race ready.
Going from zero exercise to well any is always going to bring about some aches and pains and I won't even pretend that I have enjoyed it one bit and I don't even know where to begin to tell you of the leg pains after my first 25 minute jog around the block - I know it was only 25 minutes but I seriously couldn't walk well the next day, and stairs were my enemy for a few days.  They say it gets easier - well I hope so as I've not found that yet.
My race essentials I am loving are:
I had no sportswear at all and Freya stepped in to help me greatly, they explained that I would be needing a very well fitted sports bra.  While my boobs definitely aren't as big as they were pre-kids and pre-breastfeeding two children they certainly need support as running down the stairs can leave me fearing a black eye.
  • The Active Zinc Print Moulded Crop Top Sports Bra is a very comfortable fit, with the crop top style I am finding it doesn't ride up when moving around.  I am able to comfortably star jump, run down the stairs and almost keep up with my workout DVD's (It's not a miracle fix sadly).  It does however pull everything firmly into place and keep it there.  With adjustable straps and three hook and eyes to fasten this really is a lovely fit.  The microfibre fabric helps to keep you cool while working out too as it allows your skin to breathe.  RRP £40
  • The Performance Wear Zinc Print Sports Pants are a cropped sports trouser made from a very lightweight and stretchy microfibre fabric.  These are very comfortable and move with you no matter how you move, they don't ride up or fall down and they have a very comfortable elasticated waistband.  They also don't restrict movement.  Working out even gently is a hot and sweaty business - these have ventilated women-specific sweat zones (yes that means crotch area obviously), the microfibre fabric helps to pull away moisture and the flat seams stop friction.  They also feature a small zip pocket in the back to hold your key while out running or a locker key while in the gym. RRP £42
  • Reebok Neon ZQuick Dash Trainers.  I have never owned a pair of running trainers and I wasn't sure I needed them to be completely honest with you, I mean trainers are trainers, they all do the same thing - right?  Well no, not at all.

    It was only when I began wearing these that I actually noticed the difference.  These hug your feet perfectly.  They are cushioned to protect your feet on impact with the pavement and the front features a NanoWeb material which allows airflow through the material - this means your feet don't sweat and over heat while wearing these and it helps to cool them down during your fun. 

    Having now worn running trainers I swear by them and they are the first thing I recommend to anyone who says they want to take up jogging - hey I am no expert at all but the fact this novice hasn't had sore feet or blisters must count for something. RRP £65 - currently on offer for £32.50
  •  Water bottle - a must to carry with me when out for a jog and I will certainly need during the race.
 Later on this week I will be sharing with you a few products which are aiding my recovery and easing the pain which comes with exercise for the unfit (me!).

I leave you with the mess which is me after a short jog - it's not pretty!
A photo posted by Clare Nicholas (@emmysmummy1) on

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Monday, June 29

Giveaway: Win 4 tickets to Shrek's Adventure in London



Shrek’s Adventure! London is a unique experience developed by Merlin Entertainments in conjunction with DreamWorks Animation, bringing to life the hilarious world of Shrek and his DreamWork pals!

The fully immersive walk-and-ride indoor attraction will take guests on a fantastical DreamWorks ‘tour’, combining ten laugh-out-loud fairytale themed live shows with captivating storytelling, an amazing 4D ride, dramatic special effects and extraordinary DreamWorks animation.

At Shrek’s Adventure! London you’re invited to STAR next to Shrek, Donkey and his pals from Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda! This one of a kind, kinda crazy, lots of fun, misadventure of a lifetime!


From 1st September, Premium Merlin Annual Pass holders can access Shrek’s Adventure! London. Simply turn up – and if the swamp attraction is full, you’ll get a ticket for the next available time-slot. You shouldn’t have to wait too long, but you never know, so it’s best to arrive early. If you can’t get a time-slot you like, we’ll book you into a day/time of your choice. Alternatively, avoid the uncertainty by pre-reserving a time-slot (there’s a £1pp reservation fee). Either way, don’t miss this exciting, unique DreamWorks Tours adventure – embrace your inner ogre, grab a friendly dragon, and HAVE FUN!
For our Standard Merlin Annual Pass holders: Shrek’s Adventure! London isn’t officially included this year, but we’ve found a way for you to jump into the action and help to save the day. From 1st September there will be limited number of timeslots available to pre-book. You’ll need to pre-reserve your time-slots (we’ll send you full details nearer the time).

Shrek’s Adventure! Is located at County Hall on London's South Bank close to Merlin's other leading attractions in the area: the London Eye, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and the London Dungeon. Tickets for adults from £23.40, children from £18.72. To purchase tickets or to find out more visit:

A Merlin Annual Pass takes all the hassle of planning days out away, as you get access to 31 worlds of fun, plus access to fantastic attractions such as Shrek’s Adventure!  To find out more about Merlin Annual Pass visit:

Giveaway Time
I'm offering one lucky winner the chance to win a family set of tickets to SHREK'S ADVENTURE! LONDON. If you would like to star next to Shrek, Donkey and his DreamWorks pals then please enter using the rafflecopter form below.
For a sneak peak of the attraction, watch this clip!

This giveaway is for 4 tickets only, travel is not included.  This giveaway will close at midnight on 18th July 2015.
Good Luck

While we haven't had the chance to visit yet (we are hoping to attend in a few weeks time), you can read what Chelsea Mamma thought when she went with her family this week for a sneak peak,  and for an added chance to win Boo, Roo and Tigger Too! is also hosting a competition.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  
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Friday, June 26

Project 365 2015: Photo Round Up Week 25 & 26

Here we are again, another double whammy - Sorry last weekend I swanned off to London for the Weekend to attend Britmums Live for the third year, a huge blogging conference which I love and once again had a fabulous time, but unfortunately on my return Harry broke out in Chicken Pox and has been very poorly all week.  This meant I was unable to post last weeks 365 as he is really suffering, infact he has barely eaten all this week as they are in his mouth, on his tongue and down his throat.  He has barely slept either as he is hot and uncomfortable with fever and itching - lets just say I am now a zombie surviving on coffee and this week has been VERY boring and dull, so apologises.
I need to say a HUGE Thank You to Paul for taking on the morning School runs for Emmy and a couple of the afternoon pick ups, and to my very good friends Lynsey, Mary, Ruth and Jo for helping with School pickups and swimming lessons this week.  It's at times like this when you need to call in all the help possible that true friends rally around.
Here we go:
Week 25
Day 163
Exploring the new forest while on our first camping trip.  It was a wonderful weekend spent with lots of blogging friends at Hormsley Campsite in the New Forest.
Day 164
Emmy and Harry loved the trailer attached to the bike at the campsite and had me and their cousins riding around and around, as did all of the younger kids there - I was a little saddle sore after.
Day 165
Pretty princess sporting the camping look still - unbrushed hair and she picked up a beautiful colour spending the whole weekend outdoors.
Day 166
Happy boy - we managed to grab the only shopping car/trolley in our Tesco.
Day 167
Oh the choices!  Not 1 or 2 School pictures to choose from but 14.  Really?  I managed to narrow down to just 2.
Day 168
Play date picnic as it was a beautiful day
Day 169
Day one of Britmums live and breaking a Guinness World record by wrapping attendees in toilet rolls - just your typical Friday really.
Week 26
Day 170
Day 2 of Britmums and spending time with one of my very good friend Liz during a very packed out Social Media session - sitting on the floor.
Day 171
I missed these monkey - they had raided my goody bag, a very fitting outfit choice here for Harry as a few hours later his first spots appeared.
Day 172
Arts and Crafts with my poorly boy, he had a lovely morning making cards for Nanny's birthday.  Also today our boiler was condemned as it was leaking gas.  We've since been told it's repairable and we need a new one - so a whole week with no hot water at all  it's not nice and we have another week to come I think.
Day 173
A lovely delivery of cakes for Paul for Father's Day from Mr Kipling - Harry being unwell claimed as his own.
Day 174
A very poorly boy. It breaks my heart to see him so ill and unable to do much to help.
Day 175
Emmy found this colouring in my goody bag and has spent every spare minute colouring it in beautifully.
Day 176
Minions are on the way to Tesco's this weekend at special family events in Tesco Extra stores. You can find more information on the website

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
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Thursday, June 25

Head to Tesco Extra Stores this weekend for Minion Fun and Frolics

Those of you with children will know that tomorrow see's the release of the much awaited Minions Movie and I have to say we are rather excited to see those lovable yellow fellows and the fun they will most definitely be having.
Emmy and Harry's love of Minions started ages ago while watching Despicable Me and was enforced while we were on holiday and I managed to win 2 cute Minions in the grab machines in the clubhouse.
If your children are like mine and also love these yellow dude's just as much as us then you can head on down to Tesco Extra stores and some Superstores on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June for family fun and frolics.
These events aim to help families across the UK get into the Minion spirit and have lots of fun - you will find:
  • Photo opportunities with life-sized Minion cut-outs and props
  • In-store treasure hunt competitions (with the prize of a family cinema ticket on both days)
  • Free sampling (Bananas, Apples and Minion Haribo)
  • Free Minion goggles and colouring book giveaways
  • Creative station
Tesco's staff members will also be getting into the spirit by dressing up and taking part in the activities.
For more information please look at the website
These events are taking place in ALL Tesco Extra stores as well as the following superstores:
Elmers End
Burgess Hill
Bathgate Blackburn Road
Hermiston Gait Edinburgh
Dalkeith Hardengreen
Carlisle 2
Wellingborough 2
Of course the stores are also fully equipped with Minion goodies to buy from Bedding sets, back-packs to cups and games.
Disclaimer: We received a lovely Minion's merchandise selection from Tesco
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