All babies have a teddy bear, the softest and most cutest one we can find always ends up in the basket when there's a new birth or our little ones see them out and about and this week we were lucky enough to be sent a beautiful Cream Peyton Teddy Bear From Baby Gund which is available from Enesco.co.uk for just £22 each.
This bear is absolutely gorgeous , the softest touch and perfect for first borns .
Peyton comes in three shades, pink , blue and cream and all have a beautifully gross grain ribbon to match .
I absolutely love how amazingly soft the material is and there's no loose material making it last years if taken care of .
Instead of those button eyes and nose , it comes with stitched eyes and a fully formed stitched nose which to me makes it all the more precious .
Kind for the most precious of babies and even my teenager has got one on her bed , making it suitable for all ages. These bears are just perfect for any keepsake or gift .
Being machine washable and CE marked also means it can be cleaned and safely cuddled and loved .
It really is a stunning bear at a great 38cm in length .
A smaller bear is also available for a smaller price if your looking for a more personalized item as it displays ''My first teddy '' with beautifully stitched fonting on the foot of the bear.
Do you have a keepsake bear from your childhood, do you remember what type of bear it was or was it a different animal or toy , let me know in the comments below .
Disclosure - The above item was sent for review but all opinions are my honest opinions and my own .
As Joshua grows , so does his development with learning and being a homeschooler , I love to look for initiative ways that may encourage him to grow with learning in more enjoyable ways .
I've always enjoyed buying my children themed utensils and cutlery growing up and to be fare they never seemed anything but pretty looking or character based so I never thought about how it would help on an educational level.
A month ago I was approached by a company who asked me to take a look at their products and as soon as I took a look at what was available on their site, I knew instantly what I would get the most use out of and withing just a few days we received our first delivery from Uncommongoods.com and well Joshua was rather excited himself opening it .
I decided to get Joshua some new table wear , something to help encourage him to use his knife and fork , a new cup that would enable him to move away from the bottle without causing the spillages and some other inventive ideas that were included such as Construction and STEAM based items (STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking).
I was rather excited and so pleased that these products were available and in fact I was surprised I had not seen them before but this is what makes the site so enjoyable and fun .
Uncommongoods.com has a huge range of products ranging from household to gifts that are interesting ,unique and new . Designed by a small company or single person , their items ensure that they are crafted usually by hand with the best and utmost care and attention.
For me the inspiration behind why the products were made was what attracted me to giving them a try as well as knowing that they were normal families just like myself .
The most exciting product for me was the Construction plate and utensils .
Aimed at those aged 2+ and made in the U.S.A , this product was bright and cheerful and everything I as a child would want it to be .
Based on the obvious construction theme , the plate was inspired by a husband an a wife whose son loved construction and used cheerios pretending they were rubble . Using the fork and turning it into a Forklift , a Spoon as a digger and a bulldozer to push the food onto the fork , the fun was all in the imagination and with the theme set the children could enjoy playing while eating .
OK so I know some of you may be sat screaming at me saying ''Playing with their food?'' but this is not just any sort of playing , this is learning them to use their co-ordination skills, the utensils have their own place to sit on the plate and it may also help learning manners , we're always telling them to stop using their fingers ,it encouraging them to eat more , especially if you have fussy eaters, some children just need a little fun and encouragement .
You can purchase both the plate and utensils seperately
Construction plate - £12.52
Construction Utensils - £14.65
Another of the interesting products we looked at was the Create-a-plate.
This plate is STEAM inspired . Using a clear plastic plate which is separated into three sections it has all the space a plate needs to enjoy your meal but then add a removable back that allows you to add any of the 6 interchangeable educational pictures will ensure your child's senses will be motivated by having something new to learn or look at with each meal. You could even make your own pictures and use them instead , its adaptable to grow with the child and when they no longer want to add pictures , why not add a photo for that ever so more personal touch.
Just like the Construction plate , this create-a-plate is also dishwasher and microwave safe , just make sure you remove the picture from the plate before washing or heating .
The Create-a-plate costs just £16.70 and is aimed at any age , my 7 year old especially enjoys this one.
Being that I had a special little lady coming to visit me , I thought it only best to make sure there was a plate for her to enjoy.
My niece was born at just 24 weeks and although just 16 months now ,she still needs a lot of support . She is fed through a tube in her tummy but occasionally likes to enjoy a mushed up meal or fruit or yogurt . She is on oxygen and her muscles don't quite work as well as an average baby her age would be able to so she need a flat spoon to encourage her to eat and get that food from spoon to mouth .
This gorgeous earth -friendly bamboo made plate and spoon is made in China and even has a suction cup on the bottom so that you can attach it to the table or tray of to ensure there's no throwing of the plate and can be removed when it is no longer needed or for washing .
This Bamboo Suction Plate can be bought for just £20.93 and comes with a spoon to match .
For us , dinner time is usually a quick meal. I tend to make a hot meal on the evening for when my husband returns from work so we can all have a meal together so dinner usually consists of a quick snack or sandwich or pasta mix , depending on what they're fancying.
This adorable Choo-choo train takes dining to the next level at the table at meal times. The engine becomes a cup, the conductor's house becomes a bowl, the train's platform becomes the plate, and the coupling rods become the fork and spoon. We have used this for breakfast and dinner , cereals, sandwiches and fruity snacks and I just wished it all clicked securely together enabling me to take it with me out on picnics as it would be perfect for holidays .
The ideas behind the products seem to be so imaginative and there are so many more fun products I am wanting to try.
This Chew-Chew train is available to buy for just £16.75 .
Joshua was so impressed by his new plates and utensils that we even took the construction set with us to the Chinese buffet on his sisters birthday celebration. It was amazing to hear so much feedback and expression of interest when people seen how fun his plate and utensils were.
It was lovely to see him wanting to use his fork and using the bulldozer to push his food onto it , making vehicle noises and having fun while he ate was a great reward for us .
I am over the moon with the wonderful items that are from Uncommongoods.com , although from the U.S.A , the delivery was fast and the customer service was fantastic .
I love that the better to give programme, they've donated over $1,000,000 where they've donated to American Rainforests , RAINN, and more organisations . For every product you purchase , you get to pick a non profit and then they donate $1.
Its nice to see they 're giving back .
I love that they ship internationally and currently all returns are free at the moment .
I love the range of products and I really want to get the Tricerataco Holder to go with Joshua's dining sets and there are some amazing shelves that are mimics of a suspension bridge and a fire escape that would go amazingly in my sitting room on the wall . They also have some gorgeous Garden decor as well as some lovely doormats and rugs .
Have you given them a try before , will you , what is your favourite item on their site ?
As you all know , our family are great fans of games especially ones that the whole family can enjoy together and that are aimed for most ages so we were thrilled to be asked to review ''Bugs In The Kitchen'' by Ravensburger.
We are used to getting board games , you know the ones with a board and playing pieces with a dice to roll or a disc to spin but this was among the choice we had to chose from that seemed to look different to the usual games we were used to , hense why we chose this for our latest review.
''Bugs In The Kitchen'' is a game that is aimed for ages 6+ and for 2-4 players although my younger ones joined in and some even paired up to make teams so all were able to play together .
This game costs around £19.99 and is available from most stores .
We chose this game due to the feature of the HexBug nano , I've never seen a game like it and as the younger boys aged 7 and 8 years love HegBugs , I knew they would like this .
The interesting thing I found from the game is that the box was the actual carrier of the game and it turned into the board itself once put together which I loved.
There is nothing worse than having a flimsy box that is useless and usually rips after use and long term use and so using the packaging of the game and integrating it in the game itself makes it more appealing to me and there was very little waste to add to recycling afterwards also .
There were a few bits to put together but it was very simple to do and the instructions were a great help with easy to follow steps so I did not even have to show the children how to do it , they simply done it all without my supervision.
This year will be the 3rd National Unplugging Day event on Sunday 25TH June (surprisingly this is my daughters birthday also ) so it will be hard for me to join in but I am willing to give it a go .
The idea is that for the whole 24hrs on this day only , all Gadgets are turned of and that means no phones, computers, consoles, televisions or any other electronic devices for that matter.
We want all parents around the UK to pledge #GoGadgetFree for just one day to encourage the traditional family values of spending time together and with friends too without the use of technology.
You may already be in the long battle with your child now if you have a child who loves nothing more in life than their best friend the mobile phone or one who hides screaming at a computer console in their spare time other than running around in the fresh air after school or at the weekend.
I have 8 children and all of mine are already showing signs that technology plays too much of an impact in their lives and yes it is my fault . I understand I should be taking control and using my parental role to show them that there is so much more to life than living it through a screen. I work from a computer myself so it is hard to step away .
I tried this last year and at first the children just sat there , staring at the black empty screen that I had turned of by the switch , motionless and unable to understand why I was doing it . I tried to explain to them that a world of wonderful things and adventures were waiting for them and there were so many other things they could be doing that would be fun and exciting.
This year , the event is held on Sunday and so being that it is a full day where you have no excuses that your working or they are in school , you have the whole day to plan something great for the family to do together and what we usually do is this .
As soon as we wake up , we all get our breakfast and get ready . Remember even an electric toothbrush is banned if its plugged in by the mains so ensure everything you are doing does not need electricity, batteries are OK in some things like a toothbrush for example but try not to , even little things like this get them using their body and mind a little more, it is all good practice .
We pack all the essentials we need to take a trip out such as a first aid kit and packed lunch or picnic and go out for the day . All phones including the parents mobiles are left at home and we definitely do not wear a watch .
OK so a watch you might add is not really a gadget but in my eyes they're the biggest gadget by far and they definitely interfere with family values. For example, to me , family means spending as much time as possible without the worry of anything of anyone getting in the way .
I love spending time together with them and I find lately we look down at our wrists too often worrying about time , being home for a certain time or having dinner at a certain time or even making sure we are in a certain place at a certain time. What would you do if time was not an issue?
We all say it many times and often share our thoughts about wishing we had more time on our hands and so for the #GoGadgetFree day , time is also one of the important things I put away along with my working on computers and social media networking .
One day with no gadgets or technology and no time to hurry or wait for .
We take a trip somewhere, usually to a park or a beach , even going a few hours drive away to see family we may never normally get to see. We have all the time and all the attention we need for one day to enjoy it all together as a family . o you know how much time I actually spend taking pictures of our day out rather than just enjoying it with my family?
The children take pens and paper with them instead of an IPad and make games up on their way . Good old fashioned I Spy games and counting coloured cars or clouds become fun and not something they would necessarily enjoy doing before.
We get to the destination and they're running around in the fresh air , playing with siblings and talking to family when they would normally hide in their bedrooms or peer over the top of a screen with a quick ''Hi''!
You see them smiling more as they forget that they probably have around 100 emails, inboxes, missed calls from people who don't really matter and probably never met either but they're with you , for the first time in what seems like forever they're actually spending 100% of their time and attention with you as a family and it feels great.
Returning home , not due to the time but because they're all worn out from doing more and not sitting down all day , they're exhausted so you play a few board games before bed to wind down , read a few books , even talking to each other about how much fun you had and what your next plans are for your next family day .
Having an unplugging day is not just about getting away from the technology but it is more about remembering how family values are worth more than whats on the other side of the screen. Whats more important in life is always right in front of you and it costs nothing.
We love to play games , family values are encouraged so much more when your having fun , will you be joining in ?
This game is so fun , the idea is to make a trap for the '' Bug in the kitchen '' so that you can rid it from the area into one of the corners and trap it to remove it from the area . All you have to do it roll the dice, move one of the items the dice displays in any direction and make a clear path for it to walk straight into your trap.
It is a rather quick game but this means they do not get bored easily and they found it rather exciting as you can see.
Sorry for the old pics , my children are now home schooled and my sitting room had had a little makeover since this .
We got Scooby Stretch back last year but have since been waiting for the new arrival of the Mini Mr Stretch to share with you both products together.
If you may remember , these toys are not as knew as they look. In fact , back when I was my sons age , I too also had a Stretch , A Mr Stretch . The Original Mr Stretch or as we knew it by , Stretch Armstrong was an action figure in the shape of a short, well-muscled blonde man wearing black speedo pants. The doll's most notable feature was that it could be stretched from its original size (about 15 inches) to four or five feet and Stretch Armstrong is made of latex rubber filled with gelled corn syrup, which allows it to retain shape for a short time before shrinking to its original shape.
All kids loved him and not just kids but adults too . In fact you may be lucky in finding an original locked in some collectors room as they were very saught after and more so because they were such fun and if you were lucky enough not to stretch him to far and tear him, he would last for years and years to come.
The mini version is very much the same other than it is a fraction of the size at just 7 inch, the mini is the more handy option for taking everywhere with you , feeling a little stressed , just give him a stretch , its great for relieving tension .
The stretch range are amazing and great fun for the kids and adults .
Grab their arms, legs or torso or all and just pull as much as you can . When you let go of the figure , it returns back to normal and to its original shape . Pull, stretch and even tie him in knots , what ever you do , he goes back to his normal state .
The children of all ages from 1 year to 15 years have all enjoyed this expanding toy.
They take turns in seeing who can pull it the furthest and as you can see they really do stretch .
The age range for this toy is 5+ but with close supervision , my 1 year old loves his mini stretch .
My other little boy uses his as a stress relief whenever he feels upset and it is a great tool for calming them down .
I love the stretch range . You can purchase the full size for £21.99 or the mini for £10.99.
Their heads are the only thing that are not stretchable, you must ensure you do not pull at this although my little ones have done so and he seems to have survived .
There are other options available too. Not only do you have the original Mr Stretch and Original Scooby Doo , but you can now also get Scooby Zombie and Scooby Skeleton , Octopus in three different colours and Fetch the dog in three different shades also so there are plenty to choose from .
You do not even need to choose , you can collect them all if you like them that much .
What would you choose?
Last year you may remember we took part in the National Board Games Week hosted by Pork Farms.
National Board Games Championships are been held in so many micropubs across Britain. Also again, families can get involved by downloading a free family bundle to help them plan a board games activity night at home, and potentially win prizes in the process.
Anyone who loves board games can get involved by attending heats at their nearest participating micropub, with winners moving through to semi-finals and the grand finale during National Board Games Week (May 8th-14th).
Travel and accommodation will be provided by Pork Farms for finalists/semi-finalists. You can find out more at www.pork-farms.co.uk .
Families can also join in the fun from home through hosting their own board games night, using whatever board games they fancy . To do this just sign up at www.pork-farms.co.uk and Pork Farms will email you a free games night pack nearer the time, which contains things like printable winners certificates.
Families can share photos of their board games night with Pork Farms through social media and their website for the chance to win a stack of board games and a year’s supply of pork pies. It is a fantastic opportunity not just to be able to have fun but also get family together and spend some much needed family time together laughing and enjoying the games that all ages can join in on .
We have a large variety of games aimed for the children and ourselves to enjoy as a family mainly and so games night is always something we get excited about .
Over Halloween for instance we took out Cluedo and made a murder mystery themed evening at home with all the decorations, dress ups and of course the scary food , we had a great evening and it definitely would not have been as great without the game which we used as our main event of the party.
This year our new game chosen to add to our collection is Taboo.
Taboo is a great family game but it does say that it is aimed for ages 13+ .
This is an hilarious game that is a great thinking game.
The whole idea is that you have a word on a card and you have to try to get your team to say that word without giving them too many clues , for instance if you pick up the word ''Superglue'' , you may have a list of ''Taboo'' words underneath that word such as ''adhesive, strong ,bonding , epoxy'' . These words are the ''Taboo'' words you are not allowed to use while your describing the word ''superglue'' . So your not allowed to say the word superglue or the listed words underneath . It is harder than you think and I think this is why it is rated at such a high age to play although my children thoroughly enjoyed the game .
Taboo is a great thinking game and great fun.
The national games night does not mean it has to last just one night , in fact it can last the whole week or you could even make it a weekly thing if you prefer it is totally up to you , there is no end to gaming and our family love having board games nights all the time.
I absolutely love having a games week. It encourages the children to throw down their gadgets and electric toys and get back to good old board games that we as parents all remember spending hours playing as kids ourselves.
You do not just have to play together either, why not bring along more friends or family, neighbours or ho about making your own event at your local community centre or school and get competitive.
There are so many different choices you could play, Monopoly, Life, Jenga, Pie Face? No matter the age , there is something for everyone .
Don't forget to upload your pictures to Facebook or Twitter using #Porkfarmsgames too, you never know , there could be a large bundle of games winging its way to you if it catches the judges eye curtesy of HASBRO as well as a years supply of pork pies curtesy of Pork Farms themselves.
So what are you all waiting for?
Time to get that game face on and get your games out and join in on the fun .