Fab lunch boxes from Monbento

T and A don’t have school dinners, which means that every school morning the hubby or I have to make packed lunches for the 2 eldest kids. 

Now we don’t mind doing this because it means we can choose what they eat and we know it nutritious. The problem is the fact that the kids are always breaking their sandwich boxes, lunch bags or losing the little containers. So when I got the chance to review the lunch boxes from Monbento I was thrilled that I would a have a lunch box to replace A’s missing sandwich box as well as the chance to review the fab looking products. 

The website, I must say is ace and I love and want loads of the items on there. 

They asked me what item I would like to review and because I was thinking in a practical mind I chose the bright pink kids MBTresor lunch box. (which can be found in the kids section on website)

  

So a few days later when the box arrived I was thrilled at how bright the pink was. (I loved it)

With utter excitement I instantly started inspecting the lunch box and opening all the different compartments, to see what was inside. The lunch box consisted of;  

 

  • 1 main compartment
  • A divider tray
  • 2 smaller container
  • A lid, that once closed makes the whole box air tight.

It also had a little twist off circle in the lid where you could place a personalised picture, note or you could choose from 1 of the 5 pictures provided to make the lunch box your own.  

  

I must say I really loved this little feature because it gave the box that extra added touch that is prefect for kids (and adults!).

The plastic that the box is made of is really good quality and feels really strong. Which again is prefect for kids because it means it’s not going to break easily when the drop it or throw it in their bags etc.

I decided that I needed to test out this rather amazing looking lunch box before I let the kids get hold of it. Luckily enough I had a 3 day training course that I had sign myself up for and I would need a lunch box.  

 

It was the prefect opportunity. So each morning I made my lunch in the lunch box. I would go to my training and I would have the people there asking me about it. 

They too shared my thoughts on how great this lunch box looked. They were shocked when I explained that it was a child’s lunch box and not an adults one. 

One of my fellow trainees asked my for the website address and told me she was going to look into buying one herself. 

It has loads of great points such as:

  • Lightweight
  • Versatile 
  • Colourful 
  • Compact 
  • Airtight (to lock on freshness)
  • Good quality

I can honestly hand on heart tell you I love this product. The only down side is they are rather expensive at £16.00 for the kids lunch box and £24.00 for the adults. 

But for a product this good quality and I would pay that price because the lunch box will last and give you many uses.

Plus it is microwave, freezer and dishwasher friendly. It is airtight, food grade and BPA free. 

I love this product so much that instead of letting the kids have it like, I intended. I decided to keep it for myself.

I may look into buying the kids some when they stop losing everything. Although the good things is you can buy replace ment items off the website as well as complete personalising your very own Monbento lunchbox.

Nikki x 

Disclaimer…
I was sent the lunch box to review in exchange for the product, but the thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Pitta bread Pizza 

Like most kids my children LOVE pizza and are regularly asking if we can order one from local takeaway or Domino’s. They will be happy with frozen pizza’s and we have even got the make your own pizza bases. 

The problem is I always end up over cooking the frozen and premade pizzas or they will be just right on out side and soggy in middle.

I believe it must be a fine art when trying to prefectly cook a prepacked pizza and it is a skill I am seriously lacking on.

That’s why when I saw a close friend posting a picture of her kids and the pitta bread pizza’s I was amazed and excited at the idea and was eager to try it myself.  The great thing about pitta bread pizza is you can make loads of little individual pizzas and they can all have different toppings. So no one has to pick the bits they don’t like out before eating.

To make pitta bread pizza’s you need these ingredients: 

 

  • Pitta bread – a pack of 6 for 49p
  • Cheese – we only used half this pack. £1.09
  • Peppers – pack 3 for £1
  • Tomato purée – 50p
  • Chorizo – £1
  • 1 Onion – 10p

(The little smiling girl isn’t needed for the recipe but she really like to help with cooking and have her picture taken)

Which means this whole meal that feeds 5 to 6 people costs £4.18.

Of course you will needs herbs and seasoning to sprinkle on top. We used Oregano, Basil and Pepper.

Making the pizza’s is so simple that even the children can do it. My kids love creating their own pizza’s especially E (who was my little helper making them today).

So here is what you have to do.

  • First wash and slice up your onion, peppers and grated your cheese.
  • Then remove pitta breads from the packaging and squirt on a blob of tomato purée on to the pitta bread. 
  • Spread the tomato purée evenly around the pitta bread. (I find using the back of a tea or table spoon works better at spreading then a knife).  
  • Next you open the chorizo and start adding your desired toppings to your pizza.  
  • Once you have everything places in your pizza, top with cheese and place on a grill pan.
  • Before you place the pizza’s up the grill sprinkle on a few herbs to give added flavour.  (this was E’s favourite part!)
  • Then place under the medium heat grill until cheese has melted and the edges are golden brown. So about 5-10 minutes.

I tend to accompany the pizza’s with carrot and cucumber sticks, sliced tomato, olives or a little side salad. But best of all is the fact that pitta bread pizza’s are healthier the take out pizza, it great fun for the kids to learn about different foods and toppings plus it kind to your purse.

Pitta bread pizza’s have become a firm favourite in our house and the kids regularly have them for lunch and even sometimes for tea.

Have you ever tried pitta beard pizza’s?

Nikki x 

Entertaining the Kids, thanks to Twinkl

I always stress out when the kids start their half term holidays, mainly because I am always at a loss at what to do to help keep all the kids entertained. Having the age range of 18 months to 10 years old doesn’t help either. This is because normally the activities I have planned for the older kids are too hard for E and baby to take part in and vice a versa.

That was until I told about the great website Twinkl  

 It is and amazing education resource site that can be use for home education or by teachers and parents that what to help their children learn and get the best they can out of education. The site is aimed at children under the age of 10 and is full of great ideas and activities for all children of all ages and levels of education and ability. 

I really enjoyed taking a look around the website to see everything it had to offer. I love the fact that it had resource for the EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3, EAL and best of all SEN. Because it meant that I could look at and print off resource to help all my children (including Baby) with their education and that there were activities for older kids and print out flash cards to help Baby.   

   

I also enjoyed the new feature that means you can create your own learning resources on Twinkl create based around thinking you and your family enjoy or for any upcoming projects you may want to work on together.

There are 3 levels of subscription on the website, such as:

  • Free Membership – this allows you access to a majority of the resources 
  • Gold  Membership – this is the low cost high quality option and cost £29.95 a year
  • Platinum Membership – this allows you access to all the resources and cost £44.94 a year

Plus they have a forum in which you can talk to professionals or fellow parents and home educators to support each other and swap ideas as a community.

My boys were super excited when they saw all they even had a MineCraft activity and resource section and begged me to start printing them out!  

 

They were very eager to start building their own little MineCraft world. 

I was just happy with how easy it was to navigate throught such an brilliant site that has an abundance of ideas, activities and study aids that you are bound to find something to keep the whole family happy and also make learning a easier and more fun experience for everyone. 

And thanks to Twinkl I was able to make it through another half term with some happy and entertained children.

I really suggest you take a look and see for yourself just how great the site truly is.

Nikki x 

 

Disclaimer… For this review I was compensated with a Platinum Membership, but all opinions are my own.  

We went on a bear hunt!

After being inspired by the children’s new favourite book.  

I decided that this half term we would go on our own little bear hunt. This meant us going on a walk down into the wood near my house while reciting the story repeatedly and while I tried to snap as many picture as I could. Plus it meant I got to final test out the back sling I brought to carry Baby in.

The weather has been very bloody beautiful this week and has been a welcomed changed because it meant that our walk wouldn’t be put on hold. I arranged a day out with a friend and her children, but the original plan was changed and we instead decide to packed a picnic and go on a adventure. 

OUR HUNTERS!   

We were all really excited to go for a hike around the woods. Even Baby was excited and was loving her new carrier. So off we set, with our picnic packed the kids raring to go and everyone excited for the fun.

“We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.” 

 

“We’re Going To Catch A BIG One.”   

 “What A Beautiful Day!”

 “We’re Not Scared.” 

 

We had great fun and we ticked most of the books adventures, like mud, forest, a little beck (almost a river). Lucky for us there wasn’t a snowstorm or any dark caves. 

Sadly we didn’t find any bears but we saw sheep, cows, horses and a cute family of donkeys. 

 

We managed to get round our walk and at end we worked out that we had all managed to do about 4 miles and were completely exhausted. But like kids do they some how managed to find loads of energy just as we got home to sit down. 

It was then that the boys asked if they could have a camp out. I thought why not the weather is lovely and I knew our tents needed to be aired out soon. (It had been a few years) 

So we got out a tent and put it up in the garden.

 

The boys wanted a camp fire to roast marshmallows but that wasn’t possible, instead we managed to talk them into a BBQ for tea.

They seemed happy with them. 

Soon it was time for my friend and her girls to leave, Hubby and our girls went to bed. Which left me and the boys to try to snuggle down and get comfy in the tent in the garden. 

 

As you can tell they were very happy and really excited. 

When I first agreed to the idea of camping in the garden I had seriously thought that they would have been happy to sit in tent, tell ghost stories and then realise it was cold, uncomfy (my air bed bust a few years back, so we were sleeping on just hard ground) and that they would want to crawl back into their own beds in time for me to curl up on sofa and watch Scandal.

I was very wrong and we stayed out there all night. They even stayed out there this morning when I had finally decided I could pretend to sleep anymore an I needed the loo and then a coffee!

I was happy to see they loved camping as much as I normally do. Hopefully next year when baby is a little older we can look into booking a family camping holiday.

Do you ever acted out your kids books?

Have you ever camped in the garden?

Nikki x

Ps, sorry it’s such a photo heavy post but I hope you enjoyed it.

country kids
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Yes, they’re all mine!

As a mother to 4 and a step mum to 2, my family is classed as a “large family” and because of this people I know, strangers on the bus, in shops or on the street and even sometime professionals feel they have a right or needs to pass comments or judgements over me and my family.
Saying stuff like “You have your hands full”, “Don’t you own a TV?” or “Haven’t you got enough!”. These are normally quickly followed by the question “Are you having anymore?”. (This is normally said as they pull a face like they have smelt or tasted something terrible!) 

Most of time I can easily ignore these comments and just right them off as people trying to be funny or ignorant. Even if it does really worry me when random strangers or people that I barely know insinuate that my hubby and I are baby making machines!

The worst I have had is when people I thought were my friends make annoying accusations that I only have “so many children” so that I don’t have to work and I can sponge off benefits or my husband! (Who works full time I might add)

Those types of comments tend to take a little more to forgive or forget. Instead I choose to ignore them because I don’t feel the need to live my life or raise my family the way other people think I should. 

My family and I don’t want to fit into the norm because we want to be ourselves!  And I love them for that.

In all honesty I never thought I would have a big family. As a teenager I didn’t even want children but at the crazy age of 16 I found myself pregnant. It wasn’t planned and at the time I thought my life was over. Luckily as my bump grew, so did I and by the time I was 17 I gave birth to my eldest son T. It was then that I feel in love with motherhood and I realised I wanted more then just 1 child. 

That been said I never dreamed I would give birth 4 times and have added children to make my family whole.

But just because a family is larger then most doesn’t mean that the parents have a larger, unsatifiable appetite then everyone else. It just means they have been blessed with hearts and arms to be filled buy all their beautiful children. 

It’s not for other people to make them feel bad or pass unwanted comments about someone’s about parenthood because every family is different and special! 

I don’t go around judging people because they chose not to have more then 1, 2 or even 3 children because that is a personal choice that is completely up to them. 

So why do people feel the need to pass comments on my choices?

  

Nikki x 

How to have a fun Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is a holiday that as a child I quickly over looked. But now I’m a mum and my children are growing up, Easter is slowly starting to become one of my favourite of the holidays. 

I love the fact that it marks the start of spring, I love the fact the damp an miserable wintery showers are replaced with brighter, sunnier days and of course I love the fact that we can indulge in loads of chocolate.

Every Easter we have a certain lot of traditions that we follow. We always do some sort of baking, we wear silly Easter mask and of course we have a Easter Egg hunt, this year was no different. That is why I thought I would share my tips on how to have a fun Easter egg hunt.

  • Firstly buy loads of different size eggs  That way you can make if fun for older and younger children. I tell my children they have to hunt down 2 big eggs each and the little ones are for whoever find them first.

  • Stick clues or arrows directing the kids to the treats   It makes the hunt more fun and gives the children clear instructions, which means the hunt doesn’t turn in to excited, chocolate fuel anarchy. (Have you ever seen a suger infused toddler with a chocolate crazier glint in their eye, it terrifying!)


  • Give everyone a fair chance    I do this but letting they younger ones have a few minutes hunting eggs down before the older kids. This is because the toddlers are normally so excited/amazed by the shiny, bright foil cover eggs that they are either too caught up in their first found egg they forget the rest or they want to unwrap it straight away and eat it that they don’t see the other eggs. Also it prevents the older kids running round and hogging all the eggs leaving it the younger one at a unfair advantage. You could also change this by having you help the younger ones find the eggs while the older ones have fun.

  • Have fun!       Remind the children it’s all meant to be fun and that there isn’t a loser or a winner it the taking part and havingf fun that counts.

Do you have a egg hunt or any Easter traditions in your family?

Happy Easter everyone! 🐰🍫🐣

Nikki x 

”2015EasterLoveLinkyParty”

magic moments

5 ways to know you cracked Motherhood!

As many mother’s know having kids is never easy. It might seem like this amazing idea while your pregnant and you will dream and this beautiful baby that you swear will never know what a McDonald’s tastes like, they will never throw tantrums and every day will be amazing because will have managed to always make yours presentable and have your make up done before leaving the house in a morning.

Yes I was one of those mothers too and my motherhood dreams came tumbling down around me within a matter of days of my first son T being born. I left the hospital hobbling like a lady needing a zimo frame after my emergency c section. Every time I moved too quickly or took too big a step my stomach would hurt and it would feel like my inside might fall out. It’s safe to say I didn’t look presentable and it didn’t help that the only clothes I could fit in and felt comfortable were my old unflattering maternity clothes due to swelling after surgery. Basically I was a mess!

By the time I became a mum a second time round all my previous preconceptions of motherhood were out of the windows and I was a single mother. That was until I met my hubby and we started a family together and got married.

So now 4 kids down the line I believe all of these bits of my life have made me realise how much it takes to be a great mum and that sometimes you just need a pat on the back for managing to make it through the day in one piece.

so here my list of 5 ways to know you cracked motherhood:

  1. When your able to some how go to the loo, while holding a clingy teething baby that will start screaming if you so much as hint at putting her down and are able to hug a stroppy toddler, who is sulky because of a reason only they know and understand.  ←  This is a win, because hey at least you were able to go to the loo.
  2. You manage to open and enjoy a bar of chocolate with out your little angels seeing, hearing or even smelling the hidden treat.  ←  As parents we all know how good are little ones are at zoning in on chocolate, so if you managed to eat 1 bar without getting caught, well done.
  3. When you able to make it out of the door in a morning with a smudge of mascara on, your hair brushed and your have matching shoes.  ←  Win!
  4. When your able to feed your baby, while talking on the phone to organise a play date for your eldest and help your toddler put their shoes on with your free hand.  ←  This is unleashing the awesome mummy powers that turn you into SuperMum!
  5. When one of your offspring grabs you and hugs you close for no reason other then to show you how much they love and missed you.  ← This is one of the best and most amazing moments in motherhood. It’s that moment when you realise you are this little persons everything and they love you just as much as you love them.

There are millions of other motherhood wins that we win every day. They don’t even need to be the big things to be a mummy win it can be the simple things like getting to drink a brew while its hot or getting to actually have a relaxing soak in the bath. A mummy win can be anything that makes you feel Proud and Happy to be a mum!mother win

What are your mummy wins that let you know you cracked motherhood?

Nikki x

 

 

magic moments


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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My first Blogiversary

This is a post that has been playing on my mind for the last few weeks. You see as the weeks turned quickly to days. I was wondering what I would actually do to mark this occasion.

Would I do a review, a giveaway, write a deep meaningful post or just mumble along through a random post and see what I can up with. (If you can’t guess I have chosen the latter)

Then a really happy coincidence happened. I was given a spa day voucher by the Hubby at Christmas and I had booked the day for me and one of my best friends to enjoy. We had thrown around some dates and I had actually booked the 17th March for our day together, not realising it was our spa day. (A very happy surprise)


I must say we had a great day and the rest and relaxation of my spa day was excatly what I needed. We even went out for a kid free lunch at Nando’s. Which was extremely strange but also really nice. It was a proper lady’s that lunch sort of day and was prefect to celebrate my first Blogiversary.

I will say that that most of today has been spent with me thinking back about when and why I first started my blog.

It was the begin of Down syndrome awareness week (just like it is now) and it was also my first one as a DS mum and at the time and I still wasn’t in the best of places when it came to fully accepting my daughter’s DS. It was a hard time, so I wanted to learn more about my daughters condition and other parents experiences. This meant I was reading loads of different blogs, that DS parent from all around the world.

It was then that I decided that I would join the world of bloggers and I would put my little Baby’s story out there. I am really glad I did because it help me get all my feelings out and it help me come to terms with everything my  family and I were going through. It was great and by the time I had written a handful a post my feelings had already started changing. A year on I can happily say the DS isn’t an issue anymore. Compared to when I started this blog and DS was always in my mind, now I hardly ever think about it. I can go days, weeks and sometimes even months without DS being in my thoughts. When I look at my Baby I don’t just think DS anymore, I think of how much of a wriggle bum she is, how much she loves cuddles, how she cries if someone around her is sad or how she is as stubborn and determined as I am.

It is because of this determination that I know she will be fine and that baby won’t let anything stop her.

It is also why my blog has changed numerous times of this year as I find where I belong and what I want to share. I think I have finally found my little bit of the blogosphere. I have made it my own and it maybe be a bit random, a bit disorganised and full on my children. But that’s me!

I find it hard to believe that I have been blogging a year! It has been a great and what a year I might add. And that Something that started out as a random thought and as just a hobby, is now this massive part of my life. I don’t think I would know what to do without it.

So here is to a great year everyone and a massive thanks to all my followers on here, twitter and my blog Facebook page.

I hope you all enjoy reading and I can write another post similar to this on my 2nd Blogiversary.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Nikki x

Super Busy Mum

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Play at Brewers Fayre at the Old Brickworks

I can not begin to explain how excited I was when I received and email offering me and my family a VIP invite to the Play at Brewers Fayre event at The Old Brickworks pub and restaurant in Drighlington, for the launch of their new Beano themed indoor play area.

The family at The Old Brickworks, Brewers Fayre.

The family at The Old Brickworks, Brewers Fayre.

What made it even better was the fact that it was the day before mine and the Hubby’s wedding anniversary. so it meant that we could all go out for a family meal while the kids had loads of fun in the new play area.
When we arrived Dennis was stood outside waiting to meet people and take photo. The kids were thrilled and even Baby was intrigued to see who this person knew person was, instead of crying like her brothers and sister did as babies.

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The kids were blown away by the new play area and couldn’t wait to play and were itching to go explore all the new equipment. We had never been to the Brewers Fayre before so the whole experience was new to us. It was one I was excited to be taking part in.

The new area had all been designed with children in mind. There is a Toddler zone which is prefect for the little menace’s to have fun, a Treetop play house for the older one’s (height restrictions apply) and they even have a party room that has been named ‘The Den’. Which means that you can actually book the space out for your child’s birthday party. The play area is open every day from 9.30am – 8pm and its only cost £3 for 90 minutes of play. Plus you get to meet Dennis and Gnasher in person.

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As you can see the kids loved it. The day was made extra special because there was an amazing lady that who was doing some beautiful face painting. Of course P and E were straight over to get their faces done. P wanted a dinosaur, where as E went for Frozen.

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Once the kids had their fun, we decided that it was time to eat and went in the main restaurant to get our meal. I had order a chicken and bacon salad, whereas the hubby had chosen the Brewers Fayre burger. We both really enjoyed our meals and were extremely pleased. The kids ordered off the children’s menu, with P and E having The Big Bad Dog, while T and Baby had pasta meal such as Macaroni cheese and Spaghetti Beano-ese.
I only really managed to get a few picture of the food because everyone wolfed it down it was that tasty.

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The Hubby mentioned that he really loved the little extra added touch they added to the meal, such as the wrapper for the burger or how the hot dogs came in a little basket.
I was really impressed with the prices that you could get the meals. You could order off the children’s menu for £3.99 each and there is a Brewers Fayre Day Time Value offer where you can choose 2 adult main meals from a choice of 12 for just £10. Plus you can order 2 desserts for £2.(This is on weekdays only)

Brewers Fayre doesn’t just have an indoor play area though they also have an outdoor play area. For those lovely summer days when you want to let your kids run free and play while you enjoy a cheeky pint or glass of wine.

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It is safe to say that we had a really great time (I think the amount of photos I took shows that) and the Hubby was already arranging our next visit before we had even left. He has loads of ideas about use having the kids parties there too. I guess we will have to see what happens, but I know I would be more than happy go to Brewers Fayre for lunch again.

I would really recommend!

Nikki x

Disclaimer… I was not paid for this review, however we were given a complimentary meal in exchange for my honest opinion.