Sunny Days and Paddling Pools – The Ordinary Moments

There is something about water that makes children instantly happy. Our water table has been outside since April and the children get excited whenever they start playing with it. The novelty of it being new has well and truly worn off but they still love it – what kid doesn’t love to play with water?!

But their water excitement has gone up a level since the weather turned nothing short of glorious and we got the paddling pool out. There is something about being able to watch a paddling pool fill up, throw bath toys in it and then jump in too that makes children the happiest they could be.

We only get the paddling pool out for a short time each year but the children love it. They love to practice swimming in it, using it to water the plants and jumping in and out of it as often as possible. The amount of games they create just by using the paddling pool is ridiculous and it has been everything from a boat to a space ship!

So the paddling pool may not last long – only as long as the British weather decides – but whilst it is in the garden it is a very ordinary moment for us. Part of our daily routine and something that adds so much fun but really couldn’t be simpler. It makes a normal day at home something that childhood memories are made of.

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Afternoon Tea with M&S

There is nothing I like more than afternoon tea but it’s not always convenient to go out or just so much nicer to stay in with friends and have a lovely afternoon accompanied by a pot of tea, cake and biscuits.

M&S have a lovely new summer range of cakes and biscuits that are perfect for a homemade afternoon tea, a tasty treat or just something to have when people pop round. The cakes are full of summer flavours – lemons, rhubarb, blackcurrant and strawberry all sounding so fresh and tasting wonderful too.

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We put together a little afternoon tea and had M&S Battenburg Biscuits, All Butter Jam Roly Poly Swirls, Handcrafted Lemon Meringue Tartlets and Rhubarb & Custard Cake. The biscuits were great for dunking but equally as good just for eating – and really moreish too. They have a great texture, staying together well when they’re bitten into – the perfect biscuit for afternoon tea.

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The Lemon Meringue Tartlets were a beautiful little treat, bitesize and with so much flavour. If you were looking for something little to satisfy a sweet tooth these would be just the thing with all the flavours of the season in one mouthful.

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The Rhubarb & Custard Cake didn’t taste too rhubarby – it tasted sweet and fruity with the lovely custard flavour topping. It was a beautiful cake, nice and moist and it held together well too.

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M&S will definitely be my first stop when looking for sweet treats in the future. Our afternoon tea was lovely and those biscuits were so different – a wonderful addition to a cake stand!

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Disclosure: We were sent the above products for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.

Persil’s Messy Adventure

Last weekend we were invited to Victoria Park in London for a very Messy Adventure thanks to Persil and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate who had a great new interactive storybook to unveil.

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For the first time Roald Dahl’s characters have come together for an adventure that your children can star in. Persil has teamed up with the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Quentin Blake to give every family their very own Messy Adventure this summer.

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For the first time ever, some of the best loved – and most feared – heroes and villains of Roald Dahl’s stories have been brought together in a brand new interactive adventure story, as part of a marvellously messy and ground-breaking partnership between Persil, the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Quentin Blake.

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My Messy Adventure lets every child become the hero of their very own Roald Dahl story, where they will get to meet The Witches, Matilda or James – not forgetting his giant peach – along the way. Free to play at www.persil.co.uk/Roald-Dahl, the story hopes to encourage families to get outside and go exploring this summer.

The ‘My Messy Adventure’ story can be accessed on a smartphone or tablet, and is totally interactive and enriched by the outside world. This innovative new format allows children to enjoy Roald Dahl’s amazing stories and Quentin Blake’s iconic imagery in a way they have never experienced them before. The child will even feature in the story as a customisable Roald Dahl-themed avatar featuring completely new Quentin Blake illustrations for a fully personalised experience.

The adventure aims to encourage children and parents to embrace the power of technology to learn and experience the great outdoors on their doorstep. Ultimately the kids are in control as they are challenged by the characters they meet to complete messy challenges and tasks, such as hunting bugs or collecting dry leaves. The path they take will determine their unique and personal journey, culminating in a ‘digital scrapbook’ to showcase their exciting adventure. With several characters to choose from, the story guarantees hours of fun during the summer holidays.

Along with LP and Little Man, I was lent a tablet to use on the day to go through our very own Messy Adventure with the help of some completely in character actors.

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Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side and it rained quite a lot but we still managed to work through some of the adventure – with the story encouraging children to throw grass in the air, twirl around or dig a little hole – things they could do in the garden at home or out and about on weekends or during the summer holidays.

To find out more visit www.persil.co.uk/Roald-Dahl and play along!

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Thanks to Aby for taking some lovely photos of us – just wish we’d had a chance to chat more!

Disclosure: We were invited to the above event for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.

Preparing for School with George at Asda

LP starts school in September and we have been preparing her for it gradually – she has had a transition session already and I have explained that she’ll stay at school longer after the summer holidays, she’ll get to do PE, have lunch with her friends, go on excursions sometimes and have lots of school based adventures. But LP is more excited about wearing her ‘school unicorn’ each day.

Although LP can’t say school uniform yet she knows exactly what it is, seeing her preschool friends wearing their big brother’s and sister’s hand me downs or the logo jumpers some of them choose to wear. She knows that she’ll wear school uniform every day and she’s excited to dress the same as her friends.

In preparation of starting school George at Asda sent us some of their school uniform range for LP to wear and I have never seen a child so excited – she couldn’t wait to put it on, happily stripping off her clothes to try on her new school clothes.

School Uniform

2 Pack Pinafore Dresses – £7 / Pleated Skirt – £3.50 / Bow Detail Trousers – £3.50 / 2 Pack Polo Shirts – £2.50 / Flower School Shoes – £10

LP doesn’t wear skirts often and so she was most excited to try on the Pleated Skirt and the Pinafore Dresses. Both were so well made and fitted her well with room to grow. She’ll be 4 at the end of August but is still very much in age 3-4 clothes.

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The Polo Shirts were also a good size, with three buttons at the neck and made of soft material – I think LP would happily have kept these on all day! The Trousers were on the big size but she will definitely grow into them.

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One thing LP loved was the shoes. She loved that they had flowers on them and a strap that she could undo herself. I really liked that they had a padded top to make them comfortable and look really well made. Above all, I loved the value. £10 for school shoes and only a couple of pounds for each uniform item – just £2.50 for two polo shirts! George at Asda have a great range of uniform for every age and every school uniform style. I know that LP will love wearing her new school uniform as soon as September comes.

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LP is now all ready for school and is so excited. Each day she asks to go to big school and I know she cannot wait for September to come. I’m not quite ready for school just yet but we have a whole summer to enjoy before then.

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Disclosure: We were sent the above products for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.

Love the Little Things – 27/52 – #LittleLoves

This week has been a lovely week. The last few weeks, if I’m honest, have felt like an uphill struggle. Always things to sort with the house, working and having far too much on the calendar that stops you doing the things you need to do or just have time to relax. This week has been a great balance of working, time at home, family time and time to just sit in the sun. It has been a good week!

So once again I am linking up with Morgana with a few of the things I have been loving this week…

Read

Not much! I have been getting back into blog reading and commenting but forgot to make a list of posts to recommend so I don’t really have anything to tell you about. I was planning on downloading the new 50 shades book to read. Has anyone read it? Was it on a par with the others or even worse? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Watched

I have been catching up with Hollyoaks and Home and Away as Hubby has been working in the evenings a lot this week. They are my guilty pleasures of TV viewing – as well as TOWIE – and are so easy to watch whilst I’m blogging.

Hubby and I also watched The World’s End. It was classic Simon Pegg with lots of familiar actors and a lot of laughs. Classic Simon Pegg storyline too with loads of twists and turns and a lot of references to pop culture. If you liked Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead then you’d like The World’s End.

Wore

A dress! I had a lovely day out with Hayley yesterday and decided to wear a dress. It never usually happens unless it’s an occasion – I stick to trousers at all times. It felt different but lovely. I may have to wear dresses in the future!

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Heard

LP and Little Man snoring on their baby monitors. We have had a week of sickness, early wake ups and exhaustion from the heat but when they have both finally slept it has been really deep sleep and loud snoring!

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Made

Jam. Lots and lots of jam! I have mentioned constantly the amount of strawberries we produce in our garden and last year I started a bit of a tradition of making jam. So this week I turned 2kgs of strawberries into jam – about 8 standard size jars if you’re interested!

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I also wrote on my Bucket List that I wanted to make a different type of jam this year so I enlisted the help of our trusty rhubarb plant and made four jars of rhubarb jam too! Both recipes will be over on Eat Your Heart Out soon.

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and lastly…

We have launched a new recipe linky over on Eat Your Heart Out this week so if you have any recipes new or old that you’d like to share then do link up on a Thursday! I hope you’ll join in with our Recipe Round-Up.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

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