Design Your Dream Garden Competition

In Partnership with Cheshire Artificial Grass.

Children’s creativity is endless! They have the imagination to dream up the wackiest and most inventive ideas, and at times during our busy lifestyles, we do not always take the time to marvel at their thoughts and creations. In partnership with Cheshire Artificial Grass, we set up a Facebook competition to celebrate the inspiring minds of our children. 

Outdoor play and creative thinking are essential for child development. Our aim was to encourage children to unleash their creative skills and help get children more engaged with their garden (the place where outdoor play comes alive).  

To enter the competition, children were asked to design their dream garden and send in their artistic creations to be in with a chance to win an arts and craft set.  

We were fortunate to have so many amazing entries and every one of them deserved a prize but unfortunately, there could only be one winner. 

Although one lucky child won an arts and craft set, we did not want the other children’s artistic creations to go unnoticed! 

Here are 8 garden entries picked at random for you to enjoy:

Evelyn’s Garden 

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This garden is full to the brim with trees! We really liked how Evelyn pictured her garden filled with nature and lots of green (the greener the better)! We would like to thank Evelyn for her lovely drawing and entering the competition. 

The Lovely Garden

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Using your Printer for Homeschooling

When we first heard that schools were likely to close, the first thing I decided to stock up on to help us prepare for homeschooling was printer paper, and plenty of ink. Forget toilet paper shortages, a printer paper shortage would have been a big problem for us as our printer is such a key tool for homeschooling our four children.

I will share with you a few examples of resources that you can easily print off to help keep the kids entertained and educated until their school lessons are back up and running.

If you are low on ink, you can stock up at Cartridge Save, take a look at the HP Ink Cartridges which last really well, seeing you through all of the school closures.

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Protecting your baby and your family: 5 benefits of saving cord blood

Getting ready for a new arrival to the family is one of the most exciting times of your life. But before they welcome little one to the world, families will face numerous decisions that will affect their child’s future even before it is born – from deciding on the perfect name, to choosing a paediatrician and making their birth plan.

One decision that has been added to the list for expectant parents is whether they should save their baby’s umbilical cord blood.

According to recent statistics published by the BBC, more parents are choosing private cord blood banking than ever before, with a whopping 60% increase in cord blood collection and storage in the UK between 2014 and 2018. This number is expected to continue rising over the coming years as more families are increasingly recognising the benefits of their baby’s umbilical cord.

But what is cord blood? How does cord blood banking work? And what exactly are the benefits of saving cord blood?

I’ve teamed up with Cells4Life, the UK’s leading cord blood bank, to answer all of your cord blood banking questions and to help make one decision on your long list easier.

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Book Shopping with Books2Door

We can never have enough books in our house, with four kids who are all keen readers (as well as us parents!) One site I’ve been ordering from lately is Books2Door who have some great collections for the children. I find the website simple to navigate and it’s easy to find products that will suit our family.

Here are some of the books we’ve chosen lately..

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SantaCycle Down: Ricky Zoom Christmas Special

Have your kids discovered Ricky Zoom? This colourful all-bike show for preschoolers has been showing on Nick Jr since October, and if your children have already been watching then I’m sure they will be glad to hear about the new first ever Ricky Zoom Christmas special which is zooming onto screens on Monday!

We had the chance to watch the episode ahead of it’s TV premiere and it’s a lovely festive tale, full of the magic of Christmas and all the speed and excitement of Ricky Zoom and his friends.

In the Christmas special, Ricky Zoom and his loyal bike buddies – Loop, Scootio and DJ – come face to face with SantaCycle himself on Christmas Eve. He has crash landed in Wheelford in a spot of bother, as his fuel has run out! With the help of these four friendly bikes, and a selfless Christmas sacrifice from Ricky Zoom, they manage to capture the magic of Christmas and get Santa flying again ready to deliver presents to all the little bikes around the world.

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44 Cats Children’s TV Series

Have you heard of 44 Cats? It’s a fun TV show for young children on Nick Jr, and it has also just been released onto the POP TV Channel on Freeview, so that even more children can watch.

The series concentrates of four cats, named Lampo, Milady, Meatball and Pilo who play together in their band called the Buffycats. Along with lots of catchy music, the show has good morals for little ones as each episode has an underlying message of friendship, diversity and helping others. Each episode of 44 Cats is under 15 minutes long – an ideal length for younger viewers like my 2 year old, N.

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Family Mini Break in Stratford at Hallmark Hotel Stratford-upon-Avon The Welcombe #DYB #Ad

Over October half term, we spent a couple of days in Stratford-upon-Avon, staying at the Hallmark Hotel Stratford-upon-Avon The Welcombe who had invited us to come along and try out their hotel (Ad). This was our first time in Stratford-upon-Avon, and being so close to London it made an ideal city to visit for a short break.

We found plenty in the area to keep our family entertained, and with The Welcombe having a selection of seven self catering apartments within their hotel this made it an ideal place to stay in comfort with our gang of kids. We had the space to spread out in our apartment, but also the convenience of the facilities within the hotel (the swimming pool being the highlight for the kids.) The Welcombe is a Grade II* listed 19th century neo-Jacobean mansion, so there is plenty of history and style for the adults to appreciate too!

Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon

The Hallmark Welcombe Hotel is a short stroll or drive to the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, where you can find lots to see and do. Of course, Stratford-upon-Avon is home to William Shakespeare and this is a huge draw for tourists. When you visit the town centre, you can’t miss all of the landmarks such as Shakespeare’s birthplace, family homes, school and theatre.

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Colic Awareness Month – Letter to New Parents, and Giveaway

Did you know that September is Colic Awareness Month. It’s something that you probably wouldn’t even think about until you have a new baby, but if your baby does suffer from colic it can make life miserable for all involved! There is no right or wrong answer to how to solve colic, but sharing experiences with other can really help and that’s why Infacol have developed Colic Awareness Month in September as a time for parents, carers and healthcare professionals to swap stories of soothing crying babies and to offer support, solidarity and information to anyone that might be going through a rough first few months with their newborn.

If you are not sure what Colic is all about – according to NHS Choices, colic is the name for excessive, frequent crying in a baby who otherwise appears to be healthy. It affects 1 in 5 babies and tends to begin when a baby is a few weeks old. Normally, it stops at 4 months of age but can go on until a baby is 6 months old. Other signs that a baby might be suffering from colic include when that baby clenches their fists, draws up their legs and goes red in the face. One of the theories is that it is caused by trapped wind which is very uncomfortable for babies.

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The Way Home for Wolf

We are all big readers in our family, with bookshelves stacked up in every room. It’s really important for me to encourage the children in this from a young age, and one of the best ways to do this is by having appealing and good quality books around the home. However many books we have already read, it’s still always a joy to come across another great one!

The Way Home for Wolf is a heartwarming new picture book from the best-selling creators of The Lion Inside. This book stands out for its gorgeous illustrations as well as it’s positive message, and is a story that I really enjoyed reading to my toddler (as did her older brother as you can see)

The Way Home for Wolf tells the tale of a plucky young wolf cub named Wilf. He’s very stubborn and believes he can do everything by himself, even wanting to lead the pack although he is just a young cub! But during his journey, young Wilf gets left behind, finding himself lost and alone in the chill of the arctic night. In his time of need, Wilf comes across a new friend who’s willing to help.. and then another.. and then another. He soon learns the benefit of letting others help in your time of need, and realises that with the help and kindness of the other animals he can soon be guided back exactly where he wants to be – back with his pack.

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Flipazoo World Toys Review

Flipazoo World is a fun imaginary world including soft plushes and smaller play sets, each with a quirky and clever twist. Every animal can flip and instantly turn into another one, giving you 2 fun characters in one. We were sent some products from the range to try out, and have had lots of fun with these cute characters.

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