WHO WANTS TO GO ON A GRUFFALO HUNT?

Last weekend was my first Easter as a mummy. I had been so excited at the thought of Milos daddy being off work for four whole days, he travels a lot and we are renovating a house so time together is often last thing at night while he snoozes and I catch up on crappy tv. I couldn’t wait to do the family thing. To name a few we planned picnic, a trip to the park, a safari trip (not an African one unfortunately) dinner with grandparents and daddy also wanted to build a patio in the garden. But the thing I was looking forward to the most was a Gruffalo Spotters hunting trip.

 

I don’t think I’ve been to Sherwood Forest since I was a child, the home of legendary Robin Hood and some ridiculously big trees, it is now also one of the locations where you can go Gruffalo Spotting. Run by the Forestry Commission I wasn’t sure what to expect, in all fairness this was suggested by friends as their kids (Louis 3 and Haley 2) are slightly older than Milo and massive Gruffalo fans.

We arrived at the forest and parked up, it was busy but there was plenty of parking (approx £6 for the full day) We headed to the main area and purchased our little spotters kit for £3 from the cafe, this was also an excuse for the grown ups to have super yummy hot chocolates with tons of whipped cream and marshmallows. Louis became an immediate detective and scoured the floor with the magnifying glass, looking for ‘clues’ and stickers were handed out and we all had to wear one.

We had all downloaded the app prior to arriving and it didn’t take long to work out how to use it. We followed the ‘clues’ and each one led to an interactive sign that when you held your phone up and pointed it at the sign the scene came to life and a Gruffalo character appeared on the screen, you could then take a photograph with your little ones looking like they were whisked off to another world inside the pages of a story book. You have the chance to find mouse, fox, owl, snake and of course the Gruffalo.

It took us about an hour and a half to complete the trail, the kids had an absolute blast, they hunted the characters like tiny cluedos and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a two and three year old so occupied for so long. The only trouble we had was keeping the kids still long enough for a photo, they were too busy rushing off for the next clue.

Currently there are 26 locations you can hunt the Gruffalo, check out the Forestry Commission website for more information.

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TIPS : DO NOT forget to download the app for free before you go, where we went there was no chance of downloading when there due to lack of signal, and the app really is the main part of the hunt. Also make sure your battery is fully charged, I am well known for always having less than 10% battery, but I made sure I was camera ready because missing out on vital photo opportunities and a chance to see the character come to life would be such a shame. I’d like to have included some of my pictures with actual people in too but I can only describe them as a blur of children running off in all directions – major mummy fail!

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Here is the star of the show….amazing how they appear in the picture like they are really there!

Should you buy the Spotters Activity Kit? They are available for £3 at cafés / visitor centres (cash only) of participating forests. Inside the kit you’ll find:
An evidence collection bag
5 animal activity and facts cards
A Spotter’s Guide
Stickers of The Gruffalo characters
A special magnifying glass, ruler and a pencil.
It’s a little extra fun for the kids, you can do the hunt without but our tiny adventurers just loved it.

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The ‘Evidence Bag Activity Kit’

With parking only costing £6 and the spotters kit £3 it can be a really cheap day out. We took a picnic and made use of one of the hundreds of picnic benches and splashed out a little on those hot chocolates.

Well done Sherwood Forest, you gave us a wonderful day, entertained our children with some good old fashioned outdoor fun, yet brought to the table a little bit of magic. I would absolutely recommend this to absolutely any parent, not just those with little Gruffalo fans

The Ultimate Baby and Toddler Holiday Packing List

So summer is nearly here. That means it’s holiday time. Traveling with a little one can seem very daunting. We were pretty scared the first time we took the babies away as we are used to travelling around and living out of a backpack, so we thought traveling with the babies would mean traveling with everything including the kitchen sink. However, like most things it was never that bad, so we have put together a list of things you will need to pack for them:

On the Way (the journey there – road, air, train):

  • Car Seat
  • Car Window Shade
  • Pram
  • Pram Shade
  • Blanket
  • Baby Sling / Carrier (Milo and Matilda both love hanging out in their slings, they have the BabyBjorn and Connecta)
  • Soft Books
  • A New Toy (pick up a few new things from Poundland or ebay and as they will have never seen them before they will be entertained for at least an hour!)
  • Basic First Aid – Calpol, Teething gel, Plasters etc
  • Sunglasses (if you’re going somewhere warm hopefully the little one will need these as soon as you get off the plane)
  • Sun Hat
  • Sun Cream
  • Changing Bag – wipes, nappies, nappy bags, changing mat
  • Muslins / Swaddle clothes (we love bamboo breathable swaddles as they can be used for wiping up mess, a nursing cover, blanket, sun cover over the pram etc etc)
  • A change of baby / toddler clothes
  • A change of clothes for you incase of any accidents
  • A plastic bag for any type of random emergency uses
  • Ready-made bottles of formula – this sometimes can be ordered from the Boots store through security which can make things at security easier for you
  • Formula powder
  • Bottles / Teats
  • Bottle Warmer
  • Water
  • Lots of Bibs (if your little ones gets soaked from dribble then a great dribble bib should keep them dry for the whole journey)
  • Food Pouches (ALDI’S Mamia food pouches are very reasonable priced to stock up on for the journey)
  • Snacks – fruit etc
  • Feeding equipment – spoons, beakers
  • A good app to keep them entertained on your tablet or phone. Milo and Matilda love the ‘Baby TV‘ app and ‘Infant Zoo’ app
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Milton Wipes (to wipe down high chairs and toys that have been dropped)
  • Passport
  • Travel Insurance
  • Don’t forget if you’re traveling in Europe you will need to add your little one on to your EHIC card.

On Holiday

  • Arm Bands, Pool Floats, Pool Toys
  • Swim Wear (M&S have some very very cute swim wear)
  • Swim Nappies
  • Baby / Toddler Shampoo and Bodywash (Milo and Matilda cannot recommend enough the Burts Bees – as its super soft and smells yummy)
  • A universal travel bath plug, for turning basins into baby baths
  • Hairbrush
  • Nail Scissors / Nail File
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrush
  • Travel Steriliser
  • Breast Pump
  • Pacifiers
  • Lots and lots of wipes
  • Toddler Reins
  • Beach Towels
  • UVA protection pop up tent
  • Plastic bags
  • Cot sheet
  • Sleep bag / Gro bag – don’t forget you will need the correct tog for the climate you will be visiting
  • Night Light
  • Baby Monitor
  • Travel Black Out Blinds
  • Lot of Sun Cream (the ones that are coloured are great to help you make sure the little one is fully covered, also its a good idea to test on your little ones skin before you travel to check for sensitivities)
  • After sun
  • Insect repellent/ after bite for insect bites
  • Extra Bottles and Teats
  • Cool Clothes for the Day
  • Warmer Clothes for the Evening
  • Sleepsuits / Pyjamas
  • Check your accommodation has a cot / cotbed ready for you

Hope you all have a lovely holiday wherever you may be heading off too.

Product Review – Zippy Bibs

Meet Mr. Dribble…..

So Milo likes to dribble…..and I mean he is a dribbler. We’ve had clothes so wet that he looks like he’s just taken a dip, head first, into the sink. I’ve suffered severe embarrassment at mother and baby groups because my child looks like an extra from the little mermaid and it never seemed to matter what I did he was always wet.

I have in the past tried bibs of every type, style and brand and his clothes still ended up soggy around the neck and on at least two or three occasions he ended up with the dreaded dribble rash.

Then one day we were at a trade show, with the business version of Milo and Matilda not the human versions. We hadn’t seen much to be honest and we’re just about to head home when we came across Zippy Bibs. We were pretty much sold based on the stunning designs and the multi layers providing extra dribble protection but I’m always a sceptic until I’ve tried something out. So that’s exactly what I did.

Milo rocking his Zippy Bibs in his first ever home photo shoot

 

I just love love love these Bibs! What more can I say…..well lots actually but I’ll stick to the basics.

Finally we can now go a full day without needing multiple changes, there hasn’t been a wet neck since and there most definitely hasn’t been dribble rash. Not only that but Milo looks even cuter in these adorable bibs (if he could look any cuter than he already is of course) and we have one suitable for any outfit. The cotton top layer is stylish and soft but it’s the secret under layer of a water-resistant fleece that is the magic to these bibs. It is impenetrable to baby dribble, it has solved the issues that I had with wet necks and multi clothes changes and I just love them (just in case I haven’t made that clear already)
My favourite thing is the two press stud design aspect, giving you use of the bibs from birth to approx two years of age. They wash well and still look fantastic despite spending half their time either covered in dribble or spinning around the washing machine.

They are available individually or in a set of 4. With so many designs to choose from you’d be hard pushed to only buy one set. I can’t recommend them enough!

Zippy Bibs – available in a set of 4 for £12

 

I was given a set of these zippy bibs to sample and try before we retailed them. As always, all our reviews are 100% honest and all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Film Review

Yesterday I took a few hours off from being mummy and became the little girl again. I went to the IMAX with my mum and grandmother to see the new Disney ‘Beauty and the Beast’ film. The original film was one of my absolute favourites when I was a child and I can still remember going to the cinema with my friends in 1991 to see it.

The film was amazing and the casting, costumes and sets really did just make the original film come to life. Most of the dialogue and soundtrack is the same. However, there are a few new scenes and songs along the way – which I didn’t love very much. But that could just be because of how much I love and know the original songs.

I wouldn’t say I was normally a very big fan of Emma Watson, but she did play the character of Belle very well. We all love a Disney princess and Belle is one of the best – she is a great inspiration to our little girls – smart, strong and brave. We also love the fact that Disney is showing our children that love really can conquer all.

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Welcome us to the world of blogging….

This is super exciting.

Now lets be honest, we don’t expect millions of readers or to become the next you tube vlogging sensation (i’m not sure even we know what vlogging is?) However if nothing else comes of this then it would be nice for the kids to look back 20 years from now and read a few stories, see what we did when they were tiny and how we tried to create a life that could involve staying at home and watching them grow.

We might not talk about anything of any importance, but then just the other day one of the babies wise grandmas said ‘to a little one the little things are the big things. Make sure you listen to them when they tell you about those little things, then one day they will trust you with the real big things……’ Or something to that effect. Sounded really inspirational to us anyway.

Now lets introduce ourselves. A group of friends for well over 15 years now, we have grown together, gone to college, then university, traveled the world together and then finally we have done this. Probably the hardest thing, yet by far more rewarding than anything else we have done. We had babies. Tiny humans who will rely on us for at least the next 18 years, our parents say thats laughable and its at least the next 30, but we will start with 18. Long gone are the days we’d drive around for hours laughing endlessly at just how funny we thought we were. Now there are so many car seats, prams/pushchairs/strollers and changing bags we can’t even share a car.

It was once we started Maternity leave we decided that going back to work full time was not an option, babies really do grow too quick and we didn’t want to miss out on anything, because we just can’t get enough of the snot, sick, poo explosions and other daily delights our children treat us too. That’s when Milo & Matilda was born. A small independent business, a place where the most beautiful handpicked goodies for tiny people are sold.

I guess thats it to start. All thats left to say is congratulations (to ourselves) on starting this blog.

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