With our recent holiday, 7yo has a renewed interest in playing with her princesses. When we were offered to try out some of the new wooden toys from George Home (Asda), we couldn’t say no.
There was no question that our choices would be princess themed, so she chose the Wooden Princess Castle (£30) and the George Home Play Tent (£15)
The wooden castle comes flat packed needing assembly. Before you recoil in horror at having to build a toy, let me reassure you there are only a handful of screws to deal with.
Every piece is wooden with a lovely smooth finish. The pieces have great detailing on, with pretty butterfly cut outs on the window shutters. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the pieces I was piecing together.
The whole castle didn’t take too long to put together at all, and each piece was clearly labelled so it was almost foolproof. The most taxing part for me was working out where the tool box was hidden in the house so I could find the screw driver.
I loved the opening doors and the open back of the castle. It means that there is a great interactive front of the castle which looks great when not being played with, but also by turning it around there are open rooms that you can add people and furniture into. The castle comes with a King and Queen wooden doll, but you can purchase additional furniture. We are improvising with lego furniture and other pieces that we have around.
I think the castle set is a great price at £30. It’s so well built that it can withstand rough play from younger children as well as being loved by older children.
Here’s my video on how easy it was to put together.
The tent was very easy to put together, just a few rods that slotted into the outer material of the tent. 7yo immediately told me it was going to be her dressing room, and despite being aimed at children two years and over, 7yo can stand up inside it, so it’s her changing room and currently holds her pyjamas until it’s time for bed.
I like the simplicity of the tent design, but yet the material makes it a very pretty feature for any little girl’s bedroom. There are sturdy velcro pieces at the base by the door flaps, and little pieces of material to hold the doors open in place.
This is really good value at just £15. Here’s my short video of putting this tent together.
Disclosure – I received the toys free of charge but all opinions are my own
When it comes time to think about buying for Grandparents, I am usually at a loss. My Mum is very difficult to buy for as she never wants anything (and has most things she wants). Hubby’s Mum also has everything she wants, so I do struggle to think of new and original ideas each year.
I’m determined to get ahead this year (so no peeking Mum if you’re reading), and collecting ideas for the Grandparents. I have been quite pleased with some of the ideas that have made themselves known to me.
I’m retired Mug – Mug’s are always a safe bet when stuck for a gift idea. They can be stuffed full of sweets or fudge etc, or you could add a rolled up drawing from the kids to make it more personal.
Gardening Angel egg cup and cosy – What a cute little egg cosy.
Garden Tool Stool – Save those knees from getting dirty and store everything together in one place.
Baby Piglet Watering Can – How different is this! I think this is a great two in one gift as an ornament that’s useful. There are different animals available too.
A small selection of the products perfect for Grandparents available to buy from Treat Republic. They offer personalisation on a wide variety of the items available. I didn’t have any trouble looking through the website and choosing some gifts for 7yo’s Grandparents this year (I can’t show them here in case they are seen before the big day). I am still deciding between a couple of products that I think are suitable for other members of the family, as the site doesn’t just offer products for Grandparents, there is a wide range of choices for everyone.
Disclosure – I received a gift free of charge in return for this post but all opinions are my own
Anthony Nolan is the UK’s blood cancer charity. This year on October 10th, they launched their “Kindest of Stranger” Campaign, encouraging people to talk about what random acts of kindest they have done for strangers, or have had done for them. This is to raise awareness for the charity and the bone marrow register. You can follow the campaign on Twitter using #thankyoustranger
I remember when 7yo was a baby, and I had recently returned to work. It had been snowing that day, and more snow had settled since I had started work. Leaving late at night, in the dark and on icy roads, I was nervous to say the least driving home. Somehow, I left the car park easily and the drive didn’t appear to be that bad, until I got to the roundabout, and my car slid on some ice. I slid across the roundabout and honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to hit the central reservation, or whether I would avoid it.
Thankfully I managed to steer slowly to the road and continued on for a few more hundred yards before I stopped, physically shaking and unsure what to do next. Panic was freezing me and I couldn’t seem to will myself to continue the drive home. I was going to call Hubby when a car stopped next to me and a lovely lady asked if I was OK. She talked to me for a few minutes until she could see I was OK and left. She gave me the confidence to make the rest of the drive home. It wasn’t a long drive, and I was thankful for that. One stranger, a few minutes of her time and I was able to carry on. I couldn’t thank her enough for what she did for me in those moment. You just never know when you are going to need the help from someone.
Flipping the coin, at home we like to help out strangers by donating our old toys, clothes etc to charities that hopefully pass on our unwanted items to those less fortunate than ourselves. We don’t necessarily know the people we are helping, but that doesn’t matter. If someone can receive a little comfort from something we do then that’s all that matters.
My video tells a little more of my story of my experience of kindness of a stranger.
Tuesday 29th July 2014 – Disney World Florida Holiday Day 9
I can’t quite believe we hadn’t made it to Epcot yet. Hubby’s Mum didn’t really want to visit Epcot, neither did 19yo, but I was really looking forward to it. I wasn’t coming all the way to America, not to see everything.
The day started off very grey and threatened some rain as we arrived. We had left the ponchos behind at the hotel, so thought we were going to be doomed. Thankfully the sun came out and despite some grey sky, it was a super hot day again.
We started off by exploring some of the park near the entrance and ended up in the Journey into Imagination. On to the Living Seas where after a ride to see Nemo and his friends, we were looking at lots of sea life, Manatees and loads more.
At this point when it was time to around the world, hubby’s Mum decided she didn’t want the walk, so left us for the rest of the day as we explored all the different countries.
We didn’t see it all by any means, but we were lucky with some of the character spots we saw, and had a great chat with Mary Poppins. Hubby wanted to try some Japanese food for his lunch, and 19yo wanted Chinese. 7yo couldn’t decide and neither could I, so we both decided to wait until we spotted something we liked the look of. It would be impossible to try everything, but hubby ended up with a Japanese curry and green tea cheese cake, whilst the girls both had Chinese meals. I got the best of it all and picked at everyone’s meals so I could sample more.
I wanted the ladies in Japan remaking their Hidden Mickey which was a great spot. I had meant to look for more but the trip overwhelmed me slightly and I hadn’t been focusing on the Hidden Mickey’s very much. That’s something to think about for the next trip!
The walk around the World didn’t take as long as I thought it would, but we didn’t deviate from the main path, and next time, I definitely would to see more.
As we arrived back at the hotel, we learned that Frozen would be playing on the outside screen by the restaurant this evening, so after a late dinner as we grabbed seats in the outside patio area, we all settled down to watch Frozen. We also had a bonus from the hotel as we cold see the Epcot fireworks and also the Hollywood Studios fireworks going off. All from the comfort of our seats with a drink in hand.
I’m not sure where the week went, and there was no photo on Monday for some reason. I can’t remember exactly why either.
12th – We found some conkers on our dog walk today
13th – No photo today
14th – I discovered these chocolates when shopping, and the bag didn’t last very long.
15th – My new Filofax arrived today. A full review will be on the blog shortly. I am determined to become organised!
16th – The dog had a great pose on her when she was asleep today
17th – Sprats are in season so we enjoyed some for dinner. Great memories of childhood
18th – 7yo was trying on hats when we were in town this afternoon. She really wanted me to buy her this one.
We’ve all had those moments when you go to the cupboard and there is something that really needs using. I had some left over tortilla wraps in the cupboard that I really needed to use up, and there was also some odds and ends of meat in the freezer, so the pork & chicken stack was born.
- Chicken breast / thigh chopped
- Pork chop, diced
- Mexican spices
- tomato puree
- grated cheese
- tin chickpeas
- tortilla wraps
- Brown the chicken and pork in a pan with the mexican spices, add tomato puree and a little water to make a base, cook through for five minutes. Add a tin of chickpeas and warm through.
- In a large dish, layer tortilla wraps, spread a little tomato puree over and add some mixture to the centre of the wrap. Sprinkle grated cheese around the edge and place another wrap on top. Repeat until you have used all the mixture.
- Sprinkle some more cheese on the top layer and cook in the oven for 10-15 mins at 180 degrees.
- Slice and serve with salad.