Monday, 18 September 2017

The Wedding Days Q&A #3

Welcome to my blog series 'The Wedding Days' where other couples (some bloggers, some non bloggers) share details about their big day by answering some questions. I LOVE weddings and seeing a few photos too! I'm really missing the planning of our big day which you can read about here where I've answered these questions about our own wedding *here*. So if you're anything like me, you're going to love this series too. If you want to get involved and share your wedding day with us too then email me on mummymemories2013@gmail.com and I'll keep this going for as long as I've got posts to publish. Hopefully a new post every Monday :)

Today we have Sarah who blogs at Casual Gamer Mum and you can find her on twitter too at @causalgamermum 
Tell us a little bit about you and where you met your husband/wife? (include the proposal story if you want to)I'm Sarah, a Danish language student and parent. I live in Denmark but I'm originally from the UK. I met my Danish husband on a computer game called World of Warcraft. We first made contact on a forum then played the game together. After visiting one another, I moved to Denmark to live with him.
 
There wasn't a proposal as such. We weren't planning to marry so soon, but with dreaded Brexit looming, we decided to simply go and get it done in order for our family to have a little more security. I know it doesn't sound romantic, but we still had a wonderful wedding day and we love each other immensely.
 
Where was the big day and when was it?
 
We married on September 30th, 2016. We chose to marry in Ribe, Denmark's oldest Viking town. It's a charming place with plenty of history. Since my husband and I have a keen interest in history, it was an ideal location for us. We married in Det Gamle Rådhus (The Old Town Hall), a gorgeous old building.

What did the Bride wear (where did you get your dress, what were your accessories, colour theme, flowers, shoes?)
Budget was an important factor in our wedding day. We didn't have much money to spend. I wanted an outfit that I could easily wear again. I bought the whole outfit from ASOS for a steal at £50!
I wore a short chiffon dress in ivory, some nude tights and peach suede flat shoes for comfort, as we'd be wandering around the town after the ceremony. Accessories included a glittery headband and a hot pink clutch bag. I chose not to hold a bouquet due to practical reasons. I had a colour theme in mind for myself. I was inspired by peach and pink.

What did the Groom wear?
 
Comfort was key. My husband purchased his outfit online. He wore a light blue long-sleeved shirt, beige chinos and black leather shoes. Simple, but smart too.

The wedding party?
Nobody was invited to our wedding so we didn't have a wedding party. If I did have a wedding party, I'd want them to wear what they wanted, but fitting into the chosen colour scheme.

Did you have evening entertainment?
 
We went to a grill restaurant in Esbjerg. We treated ourselves to the 'all inclusive' deal which meant we could have unlimited drinks, even including champagne!

What’s the best bit of advice you could offer a future bride?
 
I know this is said a lot by people, but make sure your wedding is what you and your partner want. Don't give into pressure. You may only get one shot at it, so do it your way.
 
I'm actually on my second marriage. My wedding to my first husband wasn't what I actually wanted after all. It was too fancy and mainly for the guests' benefit. My second wedding was much more my 'thing'.

Now the wedding day is over, is there anything that you regret spending money on?
Not much money was spent, so I have no regrets.

Did you stick to your budget? Finally, other than marrying the person you love - what was your favourite thing about your wedding day?
We stuck to a small, decent budget. The budget was a bit lower because I didn't have a bouquet.
 
My favourite thing about my wedding day was being able to relax and not stress out. We didn't have a set plan after the ceremony and brunch. It was nice to simply wander around, visit the local Viking museum, then eat ice cream and Belgian waffles at the ice cream parlour. Total bliss!

 
 
Thank you Sarah, it was lovely reading about your wedding day! It's lovely to see how everyone's wedding days are so different. I completely agree with you, it's important to make sure your wedding day is what you want and it sounds like you made your day just what you wanted it to be. I love that you can wear your wedding outfits again too - I think I'd get weird looks if I was seen out in mine :( I love wearing my wedding shoes out though :) @causalgamermum
 
 
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Monday, 11 September 2017

Chocolate Sprinkle Stix by John Adams - review

Today we got an exciting delivery from John Adams - one of our favourite toy brands, it's a brand new food craft product called Chocolate Sprinkle Stix. It's designed to let kids aged 6+ to create their own chocolate sprinkle stix treats! In the box was also some chocolate for melting, sprinkles and breadsticks. I also had some free from chocolate buttons too so Isabelle could get involved as well (she's got cows milk protein allergy but that doesn't stop her having a chocolate treat with this cool toy!). A cool new allergy friendly treat idea if you adapt it a little - for gluten free, you can get free from bread sticks too and suitable sprinkles. These have wheat in but Isabelle can tolerate wheat now.

I didn't tell Oliver that we were getting this and as soon as he saw it he said he has seen it before and wanted it. quoting "sprinkle stix's, sprinkle stix's, melt the chocolate and dip!" - he must have seen it on tv?! Anyway - Why wouldn't he want it? Kids love cool things like this and treats too. It's kept them quite for ages this afternoon, ok they may not eat all their dinner today though - oops!





The Chocolate Sprinkle Stix lets you make your own bite sized treats at home, quickly and very straightforward to use. So easy to put together and very simple to follow instructions included. Safely melt your chocolate using hot water from the tap! At first I thought yeah right - how's that going to melt some chocolate? But this clever little toy does just that - safely without boiling water! I did add a little extra warm water from the kettle that had been boiled a while before because we were short on time.
Dip your breadsticks into the melted chocolate so that the sprinkles will stick to it creating your yummy treat.

Finally it's time to pour in your sprinkles for the impressive sprinkle blast!

This toy is so much better than I originally thought it would be! I'm impressed.

The children both loved it and had lots of fun. Oliver is age 8 and Isabelle is 3 - she's used to playing with toys for older children because she's got a big brother and it's impossible to keep her away from his toys. She needed a little bit of help but actually it is so easy to use she was just fine using it too!

Requires 2 x AA batteries for the sprinkle blast to work.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this toy to anyone else, it would be an ideal gift for Christmas too and I'd happily buy it for someone as a present.




Move over cake pop machine that's now redundant in my kitchen because I don't have to go to so much effort now for my children to have a chocolatey sprinkle treat, in fact with this they can even do it themselves - yay!





*Please note that we were sent this item in exchange for our honest thoughts!*

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Plan A Themed Birthday Party That Your Child Will Remember Forever

We all remember our best birthdays. It could have been when you hit double figures for the first time, and you ran downstairs at the crack of dawn to find an exquisitely wrapped Gameboy complete with an official case and Tetris. Nothing has ever come close to that birthday. When you’re a child, your birthday holds more significance, and you place a huge emphasis on the party, the food, and the entertainment. As a parent, you want to provide your child with memorable experiences and what better way to do this than to throw a themed birthday party. Take a look at these celebration ideas to inspire your party planning.

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For The Comic Book Fan

Lots of boys and girls like to think of themselves as the next superhero. What with Marvel and DC comics bringing out multiple films every year, popular culture is rife with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. If your child’s reading book of choice at bedtime is a comic, it might pay to plan a superhero themed party. The dress policy could be heroes and villains, the cake could be in the shape of your child’s favourite character, and you could set up a sleepover night complete with an Avengers movie marathon.

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For The Mad Scientist

As your little darlings grow up, they become more curious and want to know more about the world around them. Whether their obsession is mini beasts, chemistry experiments or space, you could immerse your child in a scientific theme. Set the playroom up like a science lab, complete with party food that has morphed into science experiments. You could make jelly in brain moulds and place fruit cordial in test tubes. To take the theme even further, purchase one of the many cool science kits available for your little mad scientist’s birthday present. You could opt for a kit that concentrates on plants, the human body or making a live volcano. Give your child a white lab coat and see their face light up as you reveal their party theme.

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For The Sports Enthusiast

Whether your child loves athletics, cycling or football, you can create an active birthday party theme for your mini Wayne Rooney or little Laura Trott. This theme lends itself to particularly good weather, so if your child is blessed with being born in the summer months, you can utilise your garden. Set up some races, games and active challenges to add a level of competition to the party. If the weather is not so balmy, think about venturing to a local trampoline park for a bouncy day out or head down to your nearest indoor athletics track for your relays.

We have only touched upon the hundreds of possible themes that you could select for a celebration. A themed birthday party is one of the best ways of ensuring that a birthday lingers in your child’s memory for many years to come. Coupled with a thoughtful gift, a delicious cake and being surrounded by family and friends, your child will feel your unconditional love and appreciate all of your efforts when planning for his or her big day.


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The Weddings Days Q&A #2

Welcome to my blog series 'The Wedding Days' where other couples (some bloggers, some non bloggers) share details about their big day by answering some questions. I LOVE weddings and seeing a few photos too! I'm really missing the planning of our big day which you can read about here where I've answered these questions about our own wedding *here*. So if you're anything like me, you're going to love this series too. If you want to get involved and share your wedding day with us too then email me on mummymemories2013@gmail.com

Today we have Emma - who I grew up living next door to! I remember like it was yesterday being told off for sneaking through the hedges instead of walking the long way round. My mum still lives next door to her parents who are lovely and Emma is who told me about my own wedding photographer!
 
Tell us a little bit about you and where you met your husband/wife? (include the proposal story if you want to)

My name's Emma and I'm 31. I met my husband online. He proposed on my 29th birthday by doing an indoor picnic (it was raining outside) and putting my ring on the hand of a m&m on a m&m birthday cake.

Where was the big day and when was it?

We married on 21st May 2016 at The De vere Hunton park.

What did the Bride wear (where did you get your dress, what were your accessories, colour theme, flowers, shoes?)

I wore an ivory princess style wedding dress. Brought it from Anns bridal in Leighton buzzard. I didn't have many accessories just a fingertip length veil and a silver bracelet. My shoes were ivory satin brought by my mum. My colour was Cadbury purple.


What did the Groom wear? (did you hire suits? Were they the same as best man?)

My husband wore a dark grey suit with ivory waist coat and ivory cravat. We hired all our groomsmen suits. The groomsmen wore the same suit but with a slightly different colour waist coat and a purple cravat.

The wedding party? (did you have bridesmaids/flowers girls/page boys and what did they wear?)

I had 2 bridesmaids in purple chiffon dresses and 2 flower girls in ivory dresses.

Did you have evening entertainment? (include little extras like sweet tables ect)

We had a dj for evening entertainment and also had a popcorn machine and sweets.

Now the wedding day is over, is there anything that you regret spending money on?

I don't regret spending anything on the wedding day. I feel like I didn't have anything that wasn't necessary.

Did you stick to your budget?
We got as close as possible.

Finally, other than marrying the person you love - what was your favourite thing about your wedding day?
 
Wearing the dress of my dreams and feeling amazing.

Thanks Emma for sharing your wedding day with us, the photos are beautiful and you looked amazing too. There's so many bits that remind me of our wedding, the perfume you wore and the flower girl dresses to name just a few!

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

I want shops to keep the GIRL / BOY sections in clothing stores.

This blog post may get me a few unfollows but I have to be honest I say what I think. So many people are having their say about this at the moment and I'm getting a little irritated by everyone disagreeing with each other over something so simple, some people are being really rude on social media and there's just no need for it!
 
LABELS - do they really matter on clothing?

Let your children wear what they want to!
 
It's clothing... If your little boy wants to wear a top with a flower on it that's ok - shock, horror he may grow up to love flowers! (result if he brings mum home some flowers in the future huh?)

If he is in love with Disney and wants to play dress up, as a parent you need to help your children to discover who they want to be - your job is not to tell them who they are.

If your daughter wants to play with a toy car - does that mean she's paying with a 'boys' toy because last time I checked women drive too! 

And whilst we are at it - dinosaurs? Just for boys? I think not. Blue is a colour - pink is a colour. I actually think a lot of children prefer pink because it just looks like a happier colour than dark blue? Maybe consider that. Oliver loves bright colours.
 
To hell with it, Oliver had a toy doll when he was a toddler! He's just fine. Now he is 8 years old and very into lego, batman, star wars and the idea that he ever played with a doll isn't something he remembers but boys see their parents with babies - why can't they be the same? Its a toy.
 
Here's a confession for you; my son has never been allowed to play with a toy 'gun' but he has been allowed a doll!
 
In my opinion and please don't be offended if you let your child play with toy guns because that's your choice, a gun is not an ideal toy for a young child - it's a toy weapon. A doll however just teaches your child love and to be caring. If he picks up a stick and pretends it's a gun - that's using his imagination and being creative so I wouldn't tell him to stop but I won't be buying him a toy gun to run around with pretending to kill people. That's not a game.
 
I want shops to keep the GIRL / BOY sections. Why?
 
This is not because I think we should have or should need labels that say 'boy' or 'girl'. It is NOT because I think boys should have boys clothes and girls should have girls clothes but it's because I want to be able to find what I am looking for quickly- as a mum of two who often goes shopping with the kids knowing what I am looking for, I don't have the time to be hunting around the whole section.
 
If I am looking online I like to click 'boy' and the age I'm looking for. If I wanted something different - I'd search for it, I've no problem with that.
 
I don't care what the labels say - if its for a boy and my daughter likes it then she can wear it and same for my son. 
 
By all means take the labels that say the gender off the items that's fine but please keep the separate sections to make life easier.

I want to be able to find what I am looking for quickly whether I'm looking for a flowery dress or a top with buses on... I don't want my shopping experience made even longer trying to find what I am looking for. Why can't we get rid of the gender labels if we really need to and just have sections. I don't know what you're going to call those sections - but I just don't want them all jumbled up. Clothes for everyone I say - I know what my children want to wear, I know what to buy for them and I don't need anyone else to tell me if that's ok or not!
 
You can put your child in the clothes they want without a label telling you it's ok to do so!
 
 
 
 
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Monday, 4 September 2017

The Wedding Days Q&A

Welcome to my blog series 'The Wedding Days' where other couples (some bloggers, some non bloggers) share details about their big day by answering some questions. I LOVE weddings and seeing a few photos too! I'm really missing the planning of our big day which is why I created this series! So if you're anything like me, you're going to love this series too. If you want to get involved and share your wedding day with us then please get in touch - mummymemories2013@gmail.com
 
I'm going to start this series by telling you about my own wedding day!
Tell us a little bit about you and where you met your husband/wife? (include the proposal story if you want to)

It was 10 years ago when I first met Michael when we were 18 years old through mutual friends - he had a girlfriend at the time and I refused to kiss him! I remember making him wait 45 minutes to meet me at cassiobury park in Watford! (sorry about that darling) he soon went to university and we stopped talking. I went on to have my first baby when I was 20 - Oliver! Then when Oliver was 2.5 years old, I officially became Michael's girlfriend! After a few years of being together I fell pregnant with Isabelle.

The proposal - Michael knows me very well, I would have been so shy had he of asked me to marry him in front of a lot of people so on Christmas Eve 2015, he cooked me a meal and got down on one knee. He was a bit nervous so didn't wait until the end of the meal - it was cute. The ring was perfect for me too!

 
Where was the big day and when was it?Our big day was at Shenley Cricket Centre in Radlett - the first venue we looked at, we did look elsewhere but it didn't compare to Shenley, we completely fell in love with the venue and when I was looking around I couldn't stop imagining how I would decorate it for the day. Because we booked it a few years in advance too we got a fantastic price on the package - having said that, even though it's gone up just a little it's still an amazing price!

The staff were amazing too and helped make the day exactly what we wanted it to be.

Saturday 25th March 2017 was the day!


What did the Bride wear (where did you get your dress, what were your accessories, colour theme, flowers, shoes?)

My wedding dress was from Berketex Bride - I actually got it at the National Wedding show in London which meant although it was from their new range I got it for a big discount! I had it altered a bit to have detachable straps.

I had the most beautiful veil from Rainbow Club *click here to have a look!* and a pair of hand painted shoes from Elizabeth & Rose *click here to have a look!* I also had a matching clutch bag which is perfect for when I re use them!

My tiara was by Berketex Bride too and my jewellery was a mixture of places, earrings were a bargain from Warren James, necklace was from Debenhams and the bracelet was from Next - all of which matched which was lucky!

I got a fur shrug in the sale from John Lewis for £20 although I didn't need it in the day as for a March wedding we were very lucky with the weather! I did use it in the evening though.

Our co
lour theme was lilac - chosen by the groom actually, I wanted blue to begin with but I'm so happy we had lilac as it just looked lovely.
Our flowers were roses and gyp. My bouquet was cream, pink and lilac roses with gypsophilia. My bridesmaid - who is my sister in law, had cream roses with gyp. The flower girls had heart wands with lilac roses. Button holes and mother of the bride/groom were cream roses. The table centres matched our flowers too and I used jam jars which I decorated using ribbon, lace and little wooden hearts.


What did the Groom wear?

Michael picked a traditional wedding suit, black tailcoat and grey striped trousers, white shirt, ivory waistcoat and ivory cravat. He wanted to be a little different from the other men and decided he would have an ivory cravat to match me whilst they had lilac to match the bridesmaid. It worked really well and looked lovely.
 
The wedding party?

I had one adult bridesmaid - my brother's wife. My brother gave me away as my dad passed away when I was 17. we had two flower girls and two page boys, 1 best man and 1 usher.


The flower girls had cute little BHS dresses called Isabelle click here to have a look!

My bridesmaid had a lilac dress by kaliko and picked her own shoes. Her jewellery and hair piece was by Glitzy Secrets.


Page boys were so cute as they matched the men! click here to have a look!
 


Did you have evening entertainment?

We had a DJ who was great, our first dance was "how long will I love you" by Ellie Goulding. The DJ followed this by "your love keeps lifting me higher..." which got everybody up dancing. We had a green screen photo booth, a candy floss and popcorn cart as well as a sweet table. Everyone - especially the kids loved this!

What’s the best bit of advice you could offer a future bride?
 
Don't worry about the little things, everything will come together! Don't worry if something doesn't go completely to plan - no one else knows what you've planned. Make sure you book a photographer you like, that you get along with and understands you as a couple. We spoke to a few before we met the photographer we wanted.

Now the wedding day is over, is there anything that you regret spending money on?

No. For what we had I think I spent the money really wisely and we had a lovely day.

Did you stick to your budget?

We went over our original budget by about £1000 - oops.


Finally, other than marrying the person you love - what was your favourite thing about your wedding day?
Oliver's speech in the ceremony - he did so well and read an Irish blessing infront of 50+ people. Everyone loved it. And watching the children
 

I hope you've enjoyed reading about our wedding day! If you'd like to get involved then get in touch :) #TheWeddingDays
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LEGO Batman Movie Night 8th Birthday Party

Oliver really wanted a birthday party this year, after listening to the ideas he had and having a look around at prices I just couldn't justify spending a small fortune on a party for an 8 year old, we're talking £23per child on just the party - you've got the get the cake, party bags and bits on top of that meaning you'll end up spending loads on just a few hours fun - however much I love this newly turned 8 year old - I wanted to get him presents as well not spend the whole budget on a party which will last a few hours. If that money got each child something to keep then that would be a different story of course. 

This said I obviously wanted to give him a birthday party that he would love, so thinking caps on and a look back at his birthdays throughout the years which you can read about here*click* and we decided to have a LEGO Batman Movie night party.
I printed out some invites for his friends and let him pick 8 friends to invite - including his little sister there was 9 of them, she wouldn't accept she wasn't actually invited and gatecrashed the whole thing which the boys tolerated lets say! She's not the quietest film watcher and they handled that really well considering. 
LEGO Batman movie is Oliver's favourite you can read about it here when we went to the Lego Batman Premiere  and also again here when we went to The Summer Lovin Lego Batman event to celebrate the launch of the DVD, so he knew that he wanted it to be LEGO Batman themed. 


The room was decorated with yellow and black lanterns - batman colours of course, 3 balloons - one was a number 8 balloon, one was a giant batman (nowhere local did a lego batman balloon :( so we had to settle for this one instead from the Card Factory) and another happy birthday super hero themed one which I found in a little local gift shop randomly the day before his party because it fitted so well we just had to have it.

I decided to create a skyline that looked like Gotham City to give the room a little something extra! I used A4 card from the kids craft box, luckily we had just enough black and yellow to make it. I then printed a bat sign to be the bat signal! The boys all thought it was cool. 


The movie was the main entertainment of course but in addition to this all the boys got to dress up as Lego Batman (and one batgirl of course!) with super cool costumes from jakks This was a huge hit with the boys and they loved to dress up as batman, a few of them were a bit unsure to begin with but especially after the movie they all got really into it and had so much fun. I remember loving to dress up as a child, children have the most incredible imaginations and wearing costumes really helps them to extend this further. All the parents agreed it was a fab idea and such a different thing to do for a birthday party. 

You can read more about the LEGO Batman and Batgirl costume when I publish the review really soon, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled, I'll pop back here to link up too. 

We had LEGO Batman plates and bowls for popcorn from Amscan, as well as cool matching napkins. 

A party just isn't complete without with out party wear, we were sent some Batman party wear from Party Bags and Supplies which was Batman themed and fitted in perfectly with our party as well as looking fantastic.

The items were all great quality too. The rrp for this set is £28 which is a great price considering all you get without having to fuss about getting the bits separately. Included was 8 x cups, 8 x plates, napkins a packet of 20, a table cover and 8 x filled party bags which was amazing because it took all of the stress away from sorting party bags - something I've always spent ages wondering what should be put into them and you must do them - party bags are expected by children now days! My son would be so confused if he wasn't handed a bag of goodies at the end of a party, it's not that this is something I think is 'required' it's just something that they are used to now and it's harmless fun anyway isn't it.

Inside the party bags there was a temporary superhero tattoo, a wrist band, a toy and a packet of sweets - all batman themed which was great. I would always head to party bags & supplies to get my party supplies easily in future. They arrived so quickly too. 



During the film the boys all got popcorn, to my absolute amazement 3 huge bags disappeared so quickly.. I should have got more! *please note, if you do this... buy more popcorn - also maybe dish it up for them into pots instead of help yourself... some got loads and some got hardly anyway. 

Food - mini sausage rolls, pizza and chips! Crisps and a variety of drinks including lemonade which usually I don't let Oliver have but as it was a special treat he could have it. 

The cake - a normal batman cake wouldn't do. I also really wanted to get a cake that Isabelle could join in on and as she is allergic to dairy - she's got cows milk protein allergy, I decided the only option was to make the cake myself. 

Luckily a few years ago I got a bit obsessed with a cake decorating magazine that was out, probably still is and I had a few tools left over from it so I used those to create this as as well as normal kitchen knife. 


Chocolate sponge cake with chocolate buttercream icing covered in ready to roll grey icing, a bat logo made using black and yellow ready to roll icing and a combination of lego bricks made using ready to roll icing in black, yellow, grey and white. The kids loved it and it tasted nice too! 

So how was it having 9 children in my house and only me - my darling husband disappeared to the garden with a book to relax and left me to get on with it. He did help with a few bits including the food but that was it, actually it was fine. Would I do it again? yeah, they all seemed to have a great time!

It's a unique idea and saves money too.






He got so amazing presents for his birthday too so you'll be seeing some LEGO reviews coming soon including this amazing set! 



*please note that we received batman costumes as part of a review coming separately.

The party wear was gifted to us for the purpose of a review*

 
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