Susan K Mann https://www.susankmann.com Award Nominated Mummy & Parenting blogger. Blogging about the highs and lows of being a working mother of two princes & princess, living out our own fairytale in Scotland. Sat, 10 Nov 2018 23:55:54 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://www.susankmann.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/cropped-icon-32x32.jpg Susan K Mann https://www.susankmann.com 32 32 115109339 Autumn Leaves, Baking And Wellies Our Weekly Photos – Week 45 https://www.susankmann.com/2018/11/autumn-leaves-baking-and-wellies-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/11/autumn-leaves-baking-and-wellies-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 10 Nov 2018 23:55:54 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20748 Throwing Leaves

Baking

Sunset

Wellies

Elves

How have things been since I left you with last weeks weekly post? Last Friday the two little ones and I found a huge pile of leaves on the walk home from school. What else were we going to do other than throw them in the air for a photo and have some fun. They both loved it and it really reminds us that it’s the simple things in life. At night we went to watch some fireworks and ate some pakora and chips in the car. This is our family fireworks tradition, but we couldn’t do it on Monday as Lucas and Robert had football.

Saturday was a washout in terms of the weather and Tyler’s football match got cancelled. We stayed in for the whole day, which is pretty much unheard of, but with a busy few weeks in the past and always busy with football it would do us good. We got Morrisons delivery, drew some photos, built some toys and had some food. I rested and did some writing, so it helped all around.

Lucas football was on, on Sunday, but was a bit further afield. Just Robert and Lucas went to the match. The rest of us had another day at home. We built the Scalextric which was so much fun and had lots of fun with that. We also watched our first Christmas film of the season. It was the new elf on the shelf one and it was cute, sweet and like all good Christmas films, made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Aria loves the elves and going from three believing in Santa and the elves last year to one, I am clinging on to every minute I can. Sunday was also the day I captured the most amazing sunset. I just love the colours in the sky. You know I have a nose for seeking out the pretty skies and it didn’t fail to disappoint.

Monday was back to work and school. I had the doctors on Monday for a wee procedure. Healthwise, I am still not feeling that great. The migraines are back, but there has been a lot of different things going on, so it may just need to settle down. I am not as bad as I had been, I think, but I just don’t feel myself and yes, it is starting to get to me. But, there is nothing else for it, I have to get up and get on with it. I wasn’t able to drive or walk much on Monday after the doctors, so my mum to Tyler and Aria to see the fireworks display locally. They loved it as did my Mum, she doesn’t get to take them out all that often.

My Mum’s puppy seems to be doing well and the kids are enjoying taking him out for a walk. Tuesday, I finished work early to do the school run, homework,  etc. I took full advantage from feeling like I wasn’t doing enough with the kids and being a grumpy mum. I bought the ingredients for rocky road and top hats. I saw them on a friends facebook recently and had totally forgotten all about them. They are the party food of the 80’s. Simple to make with chocolate on the bottom, marshmallow, then more chocolate and topped with a smartie.  Tyler set to work on making both and he did a great job. He just loves to bake and loves watching the Great British Bake Off. He was chuffed to make them and even gave me some to take into work the next day for a meeting I had. They went down well and my colleagues enjoyed them.

Wednesday was work, school and football. Nothing exciting. I have been so tired and struggling to get as many words in as I’d like at night. On the NaNoWriMo front, which is National Novel Writing Month where you write 50,000 words in November, I am trying. I’m not doing as well as I’d hoped and I’m behind, but at 12,000 words so far, it’s 12,000 more words than I had in October. I will keep going. Anyone else doing it?

Football was off Thursday and Aria was feeling great, she was off school. Seemed to be shortlived as she was feeling better when I got home from work. She was sad on Friday as a friend from school was leaving. It’s hard for them isn’t it? She still has her bestie there, which I’m sure will all be good.

I had Friday off to catch up with chores and hoped to catch up with writing. I got a fair amount done which I included in above, but not as many as I wanted. My head was fuzzy and sore, so I didn’t want to push it. The weekend ahead has two football matches, although it looks like it’s going to rain the whole time. Just as well my new wellies arrived. What do you think? My first ever adult pair of wellies. Also fitting in a trip to the cinema to see The Nutcracker. What about you?project-365-2017-badge

Photalife
Sunday Snap
Silent Sunday Linky
The Ordinary Moments
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Scalextric Endurance Set – Review And Giveaway https://www.susankmann.com/2018/11/scalextric-endurance-set-review-and-giveaway.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/11/scalextric-endurance-set-review-and-giveaway.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2018 11:07:24 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20724 Scalextric Endurance and expansion packs

I remember my very first Scalextric as a child. Yes, it’s been going that long, longer, in fact, it’s actually been going for over 60 years. Isn’t they incredible for a toy? My Dad and I played for hours racing those cars around. It was a blue and orange one. Toys like this are lovely, to be able to share those childhood memories with your own kids. For as much as the toy has kept going and is fundamentally the same, it’s changed and changed for the better. We have been trying out the Scalextric Endurance Set, the Track Extension Pack 1 and the Ultimate Track Extension Pack.

Inside Endurance

We couldn’t wait to build the set and get stuck into the race. Inside the Scalextric Endurance Set is everything you need to get started. There is plenty of track, corners and the starting section, two cars, cables and spares for the cars. The instructions show you how to set a track, how to join it together and away you go.

Building the track

The track clicks together. It is much better and more sturdy than days gone past. The kids clicked most of it together and I helped with any bits that were a little stiff.

Dismantling

Underneath, you can see that the tracks stay together well. To dismantle the track, you need to click down on the arrows above to release the track and it will separate with ease. I think this is a great new idea, making it simple for kids to use and it means that the metal tracks don’t separate for connectivity disruption.

Underside of the car

The Scalextric Endurance Set comes with a basic circular track that totals 22cm. The two cars are supplied come with two-speed limiter controllers, allowing younger kids to use how fast the cars can go, so they don’t keep flying off the track. The cars have the metal sections underneath which connect with the metal on the track to make it go. These parts are removable to allow them to be replaced due to wear and tear. The set comes with spares and it shows you how to remove them. It is simple, even I did it.

Expansion Pack

The Scalextric Set Extension Pack 1 contains two racing curves, borders and barriers, which are hugely helpful. The Scalextric Ultimate Extension Pack has a Leap ramp, two straight track pieces, two hairpin curves, two-quarter straight track, four sideswipes and some borders and barriers. The borders and barriers make a huge difference when keeping those cars on the track.

Corner

The corner packs hook underneath the track easily, you don’t have to add the barriers on, but once you start racing the cars, depending on the speed they do help stop the cars flying.

Scalextric Endurance Set

We set up a relatively basic track with the transformer as the start. You need to make sure you can plug it in. The controllers then plug into that. We went with a few bits from the expansion packs to mix things up and then added to the barriers. It was simple to do and built within 20 minutes. It isn’t at all flimsy, looks and feels great.

Scalextric Endurance Racing

As soon as it was built, Aria and Tyler couldn’t wait to race. The controller’s plugin and the cars slot easily into the track. There is a switch on the controller that moves allowing free reign of speed up to controlled and everything in between. I think this is a great feature. Kids are tempted to press down full throttle and off it flies from the track. The kids counted how many times around the track they could go and the first one to three wins.

Scalextric Endurance Cars

The cars look great, don’t they? Proper formula one racing cars. There are others you can buy to go onto the track, but we love these ones. They are bright, colourful and there are no stickers to put on. You know, as a parent that sometimes drives me nuts unless I can do it myself.

Corner Track

You can see here why they borders and barriers make good use with the track changeover pieces, the cars can crash into each other which adds to the fun. It means the cars can go faster round the bend and I think they look more like a real race track too.

When you win

When your sister wins. They made up all sorts of games, see who could go round the fastest, how many laps can you do before coming off and who can get the car off the track first. There is so much fun. Plus, loads of different track styles too. A figure of 8 is next on our list.

Racing

It really is a great toy that appeals to all ages. My oldest is at high school now and too cool to play with toys, but not this. As you can see he loved it. The cars go really fast and it wasn’t the easiest to capture. I love that it can be simply put away for next time. The boxes make great storage for them too.

Scalextric Car

I love that Scalextric appeals to all different ages of kids, which is great when you have three different ones like me. It is suitable from ages 5 upwards. Even adults love it. If they are anything like my husband, he is very competitive and wants to beat the kids at the game. Scalextric is a timeless toy, one that will never date and come out in years to come. Not only that, you can add to it year after year. Make it as personalised as you want. It does take up space at the time, but it can be put away within a few minutes. It’s a toy that gets families together, cheering each other one and it gets them away from screen time. It is fun and it would make a wonderful family Christmas gift this year, for the whole year round.

Expansion Pack 1

Endurance

Giveaway

 

 

 

 

I am giving away a Scalextric Endurance Set and Track Extension Pack 1 to one lucky reader. Add you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter entry

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t wait or you don’t win, you can purchase the sets here Scalextric Endurance Set (RRP £64.99) Track Extension Pack 1 (RRP £29.99) and the Ultimate Track Extension Pack (RRP £55.99)

Disclaimer:- We were sent the Scalextric Endurance Set along with the Track Extension packs for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Halloween And Gymnastics Our Weekly Photos – Week 44 https://www.susankmann.com/2018/11/halloween-and-gymnastics-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/11/halloween-and-gymnastics-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 03 Nov 2018 23:55:59 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20712 Gymnastics

Happy Halloween

Halloween Door

Witch

 

Well, things started to improve health wise. Still not great, but got new tablets, when I left you with last week’s weekly post then it went a bit downhill again, but I am fine and I’ll get there.

So… last weekend was a busy and oh so cold one. Saturday was Tyler’s football match. I froze my butt off watching it, but these boys love it and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. In the afternoon I went to Glasgow to meet up with some lovely writer people. We chatted, talked writing and made some goals. On the writing front, I have decided to do NaNoWriMo. For those that don’t know what this is, it is 50,000 words in the month of November. I want to use it to finish my re-write of my novel. I know it seems a lot and I am not adding to the pressure. If I even get a quarter of the way through, it’s way more words than I did in October and I really want to polish this novel. Wish me luck.

I cleared out that kids toy room in the loft too, along with a bunch of junk, so that was completed last Saturday when I got back. Since the snow is coming, we got snow boots for us all. I decided to be an adult and get a pair for myself. I always wear the most inappropriate footwear. There have been many heels worth to walk up hills or even the giant’s causeway in my time. It is time for me to embrace sensible footwear.

Sunday… wow it seems so long ago. Sunday so a football match for oldest that got a little bit overhyped by the other team and at school. The kids on both team a lot go to school together as it’s in our hometown. Thankfully, Robert and the other coaches didn’t let our kids get carried away. The parents watching, myself included, may have gotten a little carried away, but do you know what? They played their hearts out and they won. The cheers went up and the smiles on their faces, the needed this win and they shook the hands of the other team. We all felt for them, but they got to enjoy the win too.

Also on Sunday, in the evening, Aria and her wee best buddy went to their very first gymnastics class. Those who have followed Aria on here will know I’ve been trying to get her to go to class for such a long time. She’s forever doing the splits, cartwheels, forward rolls, etc. I knew she’d love it, but she’s shy and stubborn. With the help of her friend, she went in and there was another friend there too, so the three of them had the best time and she cannot wait to go back. The teacher said she did well and I am so proud of her.

It was back to work and school after a busy weekend. The nights are so dark now, I feel I will miss the beautiful sunsets sitting at my desk. Tuesday the fairies came to visit through the fairy door to decorate for Halloween. Aria absolutely loved it and it was so cute. I, however, had a migraine from hell. I had been feeling much better with them, but with all the illness, medication change and a few other hormonal and body changes, I think they might be back with a vengeance. On top of everything else, I feel like pulling my hair out. I was so ill at night, I went home lay on the couch and crawled to bed as soon as Robert was home from football.

The next morning I woke up feeling awful. My eyes were heavy, my head was banging and my ears were wooshing, but I had to go help at the school Halloween activity day. We didn’t have a lot of parent council helpers, so there I was. Couldn’t be helped. The kids dressed up and they looked fab. I donned my witches outfit and took this photo. I wouldn’t normally post it. I look terrible, pale, drawn and my skin is a mess right now. But, I am posting it as I want to look back in a few weeks when my health is better and see that it does get better as right now, it doesn’t always feel that way. The activity day was a huge success, the kids had a blast and it was great to see. That is the main thing. In the evening we went out guising (Scottish trick and treating) and then down to my sister in laws for dinner which was nice.

Thursday was back to work for me and the kids took lots of sweets in to share with friends. Football training like every evening for the boys and little miss and I read some books.

Today, Friday, I’ve been trying to rest and catch up with some things. Tonight, we are going to see some fireworks hopefully. Football this weekend, but we are hoping to have some chilling time at home. Play some games, do some jigsaws too. Maybe eat some of those sweets. What about you? Until next week and hopefully some health improvement. Have a good one.

project-365-2017-badge

Photalife
Sunday Snap
Silent Sunday Linky
The Ordinary Moments
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Coastal Adventures in Northumberland with Parkdean Resorts https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/coastal-adventures-in-northumberland-with-parkdean-resorts.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/coastal-adventures-in-northumberland-with-parkdean-resorts.html#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:00:33 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20655 Beach

A couple of weeks ago we had a weekend off football due to half term. We decided to make the most of it, we got in the car and headed down to Northumberland for a coastal adventure. We do love the area and the beaches were calling out to us. It’s about a three and a half hour drive from us as we are not far from Glasgow. Not too bad and lots of entertaining and sleeping were done in the car. We arrived at Parkdean Resorts Cresswell Towers Holiday Park where we were staying for the night at around 3 pm so it was getting on in the day, but that didn’t stop our exploring.

Cresswell

It was pleasantly warm outside, although windy and we couldn’t wait to hit the beach. The nearest beach is Cresswell beach and it is beautiful. Being only a few minute’s walk from the caravan park it’s a perfect one to visit.

Walking to the beach

We walked along the path through the sand dunes. Lucas had a go at jumping off a few not so high ones. It’s a nice walk and the view is just spectacular when you get to the end of the path.

Beach View

As I said it was warm, but the beach was quite quiet. A few dog walkers, kite flyers and a couple walking. We pretty much had it to ourselves. I’ve never been to the beach in the autumn months and I have to say, I think I have been missing out big time. It was perfect. I will be back more often now I know what I’ve missed out on. This beach is gorgeous, clean and relaxing. There is something therapeutic about listening to the sea and the waves lapping, isn’t there?

Sandcastle Building

The kids had a great time. The sand was perfect for building sandcastles, sculpting into shapes and for making footprints in the sand. Why not try writing your name with a stick?

Playing Frisbee

The boys bought a frisbee at the onsite shop at Cresswell Towers Holiday Park and brought it to the beach. It provided endless fun and lots of running about.

Kite Flying

With the wind getting up, we had to fly a kite, didn’t we? Perfect conditions and space available to have some fun and try out some stunts.

Playing in the water

Thank goodness for wellies and being able to splash about in the sea looking for sea life creatures. There wasn’t any about that day, but we did have a lot of fun looking for them.

Collecting Shells

We collected some shells, which travelled all the way back to Scotland with us. There were so many lovely ones.

Seaweed

The beach is fascinating, with so much to see and do. We found this very interesting piece of seaweed. It’s educational and fun.

Cresswell Beach

We all had such a lovely time at Cresswell beach, we were sad to leave, but it was starting to get dark. I would highly recommend it to anyone staying close by, it’s a gorgeous sandy beach, a real hidden gem.

Woodhorn Windmill

Before heading back to our home for the night to Cresswell Towers Holiday Park, we went for a wee drive. I came across this beautiful building, Woodhorn Windmill, which is just a few miles down the road. I imagine it looked very different in its day, but it captured my attention and I stopped to get out and have a look around. There really is so much to see and do around this area. Just a drive along the coastal route is gorgeous.

Sunset

Heading back home to Cresswell Towers Holiday Park we were treated to this stunning sunset. You know me and a pretty sky. With the sea in the background, I could just look at that view forever.

Inside Caravan

We picked up a takeaway that evening and headed back to the caravan. The kids just love being together with us. Working all week, it was nice to have some family time. Having a bite to eat around the dining room table was fun. Then, we took the short walk up to the Tower Tavern to check out the entertainment and have a drink. There was some kids disco on. My kids aren’t quite as keen on discos yet, but enjoyed watching. We did promise sometime in the arcade section of the complex before heading back to the caravan for a film. All the beach air was tired us out.

Church

Up early the next morning and out for a wander before out next coastal adventure. Cresswell is a lovely, quaint little place. We passed a beautiful little church, it’s bells ringing out to welcome its morning service goers.

Cresswell Tower

We headed a little further down the road to Cresswell Pele Tower. This is literally a stone throw away from the Cresswell Towers Holiday Park. It is a gorgeous 15th-century tower which is in pretty good condition.

Inside Cresswell Tower

You can’t go in the actual tower as it’s locked up, but you can walk around the grounds feeling the history that was made here. The kids had a great time exploring and asking lots of questions about what might have been here in the past.

Cresswell Ices

A seaside visit is not complete without an ice-cream. Unfortunately, it was a little too early in the morning for Cresswell Ices, but we plan to come back, don’t worry. There is also another lovely place called The Drift Cafe close by which seems very popular and a nice place for a bite to eat.

Warkworth Castle Entrance

Later on that morning, we headed further down the coastal road, which is a lovely drive, to Warkworth Castle and Hermitage.  It is part of the English Heritage so free if you are a member or if you are a member of Historic Scotland it is also included. Warkworth Castle is a gorgeous castle and has some stunning views. The castle itself is great for exploring and you can do a guided tour with the headsets which my husband did. He found it fascinating, but the kids and I just explored on our own. We didn’t head down to the Hermitage, but I’d like to visit one day. You have to go on a boat to there.

Warkworth Castle

The castle is steeped in history and the walls look like they could tell a story or three. It is very well preserved and was great for taking pictures.

Exploring

Exploring is what kids do best and this castle has lots of places to explore. There are lots of stairs to climb and different rooms with different information to see. The kids can climb up the hills and walk about the rooms.

Castle

The historic fortress is very picturesque, and you can visualise what it must have looked like back in the day. Over those walls is a breathtaking view of the coast.

Warkworth Grounds

As you can see it is a vast site and the whole family really enjoyed their visit. There were rooms, nooks and crannies to explore, hide and pretend to be a king or queen.

Warkworth

Aren’t those views stunning? The little village of Warkworth looked so nice, we decided to take a stroll down and have a bite to eat before heading on our long drive home to Scotland.

Ice-Cream

We finished off our wonderful coastal adventure of Northumberland with some ice-cream.

We created a little video of our adventures if you fancy a watch. I’d love to know what you think of it. It’s my first time doing a video like this. We had a lot of fun.

Cresswell Towers Holiday Park

Cresswell Towers Holiday Park is situated in a nice quiet coastal town. It’s a relatively small park, with a lovely friendly atmosphere. There are loads to do with an onsite shop, Towers Tavern activity centre with a bar, food, entertainment and an indoor heated pool. There is also a lovely kids playpark onsite which allows the kids to burn off some of that energy. There is everything you would need onsite and lots of areas within the park to explore.

Cresswell Towers Caravan

The caravans are lovely. Spacious, clean and well equipped for everything you would need. There are all the mod-cons in the kitchen, two bathrooms in the one which had three bedrooms and the living room had a lovely fireplace, tv and lounge area. It was cosy and even with the high winds that weekend it wasn’t cold in the evening.

Pin for later

Coastal Adventures in Northumberland

It was a bit of a whirlwind tour, but we loved every minute of it and lots of memories were made. We only touched the surface, there is so much more to see and do. If you fancy a coastal adventure, this is where you need to come and stay at Cresswell Towers Holiday Park, it’s the perfect location. A coastal adventure to Northumberland is top of the list for next time. Why not share your own coastal adventure or search for more ideas using the #CoastalAdventures hashtag?

Disclaimer:- This post was done in association with Parkdean Resorts, but we chose what to do and all words and thoughts are my own. 

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Autumn Trees, Haircuts And Ear Muffs Our Weekly Photos – Week 43 https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/autumn-trees-haircuts-and-ear-muffs-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/autumn-trees-haircuts-and-ear-muffs-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 27 Oct 2018 22:55:50 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20687 Autumn TreesLittle Miss

Haircuts

Ear Muffs

When I left you with last week’s weekly post last weekend it was our October week from school. We finished off the week with a busy weekend. Saturday morning Tyler had football, we had lunch and headed to the ice-skating rink which is next to my work. We hadn’t been there before as we have one in our town but thought this one might be quieter to help Lucas learn to skate. He’s been enjoying going to the ice-skating disco but needs a bit more confidence in the skating part. It was fun, we all gave it a go. A spot of shopping in the afternoon for our twin nieces birthday gifts. Aria had other plans and fell in love with these Disney ear muffs from Primark. With the look of this weekends weather up here, she might have the right idea. She couldn’t wait to try them on before I’d even taken the label off. Cute aren’t they?

Sunday was the girls 12th birthday. I can’t believe those teeny tiny girls that my sister in law gave birth to are 12 already. We started the day with a football match for Lucas and then went to my sister in laws for family birthday dinner and not one, but two awesome cakes. They had a lovely birthday and we got them the Harry Potter sorting hat, so it provided some after dinner fun. It was a late night, but we all had a great time and Aria was looking very grown up in the picture above. Her hair is getting so long too.

It came around too quickly, Monday morning always does. It was back to work and school. They needed the week off, but on the whole glad to be going back. The boys had gotten haircuts at the weekend. They get their own choice of haircut, within reason as long as they ask for it themselves, which they do. They like to have things cut into their hair like stars, etc, but know that’s a summer thing. They look so different with haircuts, don’t they? Lucas grows like wildfire, it’s crazy.

I had Tuesday off as I was going to the doctors. I still haven’t been feeling great as you know. I am struggling to keep up with everything as I’m so tired and drained on top of feeling poorly. Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling better than I was, but I’m still not right. I got lots of tests at the doctors, blood, samples and a flu jag which, I happened to have taken a reaction to and have a huge swollen, red, burning arm. Lots of witch hazel is helping. I’ve got some new tablets and hopefully, things start to calm down.

Every evening at least one of the boys have football training, which means Robert is there too. It is a lot, but it’s all worth it. I did get to capture the gorgeous autumn tree before the sun went down when on the school run with Aria. The trees are such a gorgeous colour, aren’t they? The year’s last smile. The sunlight is strong and makes the photo even more special I think.

Wednesday and Thursday was a school day for the kids and work for me. They have been enjoying the days Oreo has been over and he’s getting used to walking. Work has been busy and most nights I’m going to bed after dinner. I don’t get dinner until after 9 pm by the time Robert comes in from training. I’ve started reading again which is good and I’m enjoying herb tea which seems to help ease my stomach.

I had Friday off to catch up with all the things I’ve fallen behind on blog-wise, home wise, kid-wise and writing wise. I got through very little of it, but better than none. Not great today, Friday. I got some junk cleared out that house. This evening, I am watching the new Netflix show The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Only watched one episode, but it seems good. Have you watched it? Now I’m off to read my creepy book. Well… it is that time of year.

This weekend is another busy one, football matches, snow boots to be bought and a writing meeting in Glasgow. You? I hope you have a good weekend. project-365-2017-badge

Photalife
Sunday Snap
Silent Sunday Linky
The Ordinary Moments

Spectrum Mum

 

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Baby Secrets Pets – Review And Giveaway https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/baby-secrets-pets-review-and-giveaway.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/baby-secrets-pets-review-and-giveaway.html#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2018 13:10:42 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20685 Baby Secrets Pets

Like a lot of little girls, my little one is obsessed with blind bag style toys and cute little figures. Baby Secrets Pets have both and are super cute into the bargain. We were a big fan of Baby Secrets when they first came out and are loving the new range. These include Baby Secrets Pets, Merbabies and a new range of Baby Secrets, series 2. We are checking out the Baby Secrets Pets. Have you seen them?

Opening Pets

They are so exciting and Aria couldn’t wait to open. To start with you peel back the wrapper to reveal the excitement inside.

Inside Baby Secrets Pets

Inside you will find a super cute baby pet, the collectors guide, birth certificate and the container is a little bed, basket or bath for your new little pet. Our first little character was a cute little dog, a hot dog as such.

Pets

With a total  of 32 pet characters to collect some of these cats, dogs, unicorns, kolas and maybe even a panda. Which one will you get? Will it be a rare one?

Baby Secrets Cat

Our second little baby pet was a cute little kitty cat, complete with cone, bandage and nappy. Isn’t she cute?

Boy or Girl

Now we have opened our pets, it’s time to tell if they are a boy or a girl. To do this, dip them into the water and watch the magic happen. The baskets make perfect little baths for their reveal. Our little kitty’s nappy changed pink. Woohoo she’s a girl. And our little puppy’s changed blue. We got one of each. Isn’t they adorable?

Playing

Aria absolutely loves these and I think there will be quite a few on her Christmas wish list. They are fun for playing and perfect for taking out and about. She takes them over to her grandparents for playtime too. A great little toy for putting in your bag for when the need arises.

Birth Certificate

A big part of the Baby Secrets sets is filling in the birth certificate. What will you name your pet? Meet Nellie the puppy and Harli the kitten.

Baby Secrets Pets

We are big fans of The Baby Secrets collections, especially the pets. They are a lot of fun and at £2.99 they make a perfect stocking filler. And pocket money toy. We are looking forward to building our collection and looking after our pets.

Check out our unboxing of Baby Secrets series 1. They are a lot of fun too.

Giveaway

baby Secrets prize

To celebrate the launch of Baby Secrets Series 2 we’re giving away a bundle, which will include the Baby Secrets single and activity packs.BABY Secrets Series 2 brings a host of cute new characters, each with their own unique outfits and fun careers and even seasonal characters perfect for Christmas! With 50 new characters to collect, including stylist baby, jurassic baby, elf baby, superhero baby and astronaut baby, you’ll have so much fun discovering which babies you have. Single packs include a cute baby character and come with a birth certificate, collectors guide and is secretly hidden away in a brand new pink bathtub. The activity packs come complete with two exclusive babies, one surprise baby, a new pink bathtub, three birth certificates, collectors guides and either a duck-themed seesaw, car, teacup ride or swing chair. For ages 4+. Enter in the Rafflecopter entry below:-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:- We were sent some of the Baby Secret Pets for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts are our own.

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Clean Up Scotland with McDonald’s https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/clean-up-scotland-with-mcdonalds.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/clean-up-scotland-with-mcdonalds.html#comments Tue, 23 Oct 2018 07:00:29 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20528 Clean Up Scotland Event

On Sunday morning we started the day the right way! We got out of bed on a dreich day and did something good for our community, something educational for the children and something memorable for us all. We headed down to McDonald’s at Thornliebank and met up with McDonald’s staff, franchise owner, manager and members of the public, all volunteering to help ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’ as part of the Clean Up Scotland Campaign. You may have seen that last week I asked my followers which area of Thornliebank you wanted to see us clean with the McDonald’s volunteers- and the area with the most votes was Orchard Park Avenue. This was just one of the clean-up events that took place this weekend in partnership with Britmums.

Litter Pickers

We each received our litter picker, tabard, gloves, rubbish bag and got our briefing for the day. The rain was pouring down, but that didn’t dampen our group’s spirits – we were raring to go, and it was a wonderful thing to be part of.

Litter

Just look at all that litter. Everything from cans, to food packaging to sweet wrappers – it’s disgusting and it’s having a massive impact on our community. Not only does it look unsightly, but it’s harmful to the environment.

Did you know that McDonald’s is committed to helping our communities and the environment to help take positive action against litter throughout the UK? Since 2007, McDonald’s have been partners of Keep Scotland Beautiful and have taken part in hundreds of litter picking events as part of the ‘Clean Up Scotland’ campaign. If that doesn’t show commitment I don’t know what is.

Litter Disposal

Everyone who took part in the clean-up were volunteers, with the McDonald’s volunteers giving up their own time to be involved. The litter pick was a lot of fun. Everyone was upbeat, despite the weather, and we made a small difference to a huge problem.

We even had one member of the public come up to us and thank us for the wonderful job we were doing. Do you know what? That made every bit of it worthwhile, even if it gets us one more member of the public to spread the word and join in, it is a start in hopefully a domino effect. We can Keep Scotland Beautiful. We can Clean Up Scotland.

The kids loved taking part. The novelty of the litter pickers, the fun of doing something different and being part of the group. They learned about many different types of litter and how wrong it is to discard that wrapper. The impact was huge for them to see those areas where it had gathered, that just one person dropping one piece, leads others to do the same. The items we were picking up, they were amazed had been discarded – full bottles or juice, forks, cartons of milk, which… well, stunk. I can safely say they are now going into school and telling all their friends never to drop little. Little Miss has added a litter picker to her Christmas list. She’s on a crusade now and do you know what? We all might get them. Let’s do this people, we CAN make the difference. This is such an important lesson to teach our kids and seeing this first hand, really was a life lesson.

After

Seeing the difference in the photos above from the areas covered in litter to the parts now cleaned like above by us was hugely satisfying. I spoke to some members of the McDonald’s crew about how they tackle litter on a day to day basis. They told me that they go out three times a day and clean up the area around their restaurant. Then three times a week or more they go into the wider community and pick up litter, every week!  It is not just McDonald’s litter either. They pick up all litter. I was pleasantly surprised by this. They were all proud to work for such a great company and took pride in the job they did for the community. I think it’s great.

While I was taking part in the Clean Up Scotland Campaign with McDonalds UK I was given the opportunity to speak to the Thornliebank branch owner and find out his thoughts on the campaign and why he feels it’s important to take part in this video.

Clean Up

A rubber glove? The things people just chuck away. I don’t even want to think about why or how? But, do you know what, we did it and we would do it again. Speaking to the restaurant manager, Alan McDowall, I asked him why he thought taking part in the Clean Up Scotland campaign was important. He said: “As a local restaurant and employer we like to take pride in our community. I like to be a good neighbour as I’m also a local resident as well. Litter picking is just one of the many ways we get involved in the local community. And I don’t speak for this branch alone, I speak about McDonald’s as a whole.”

Clean Up Scotland

McDonald’s aren’t only trying to help the environment with its litter pickups, they also run their delivery vehicles on recycled biodiesel from cooking oil for the last 10 years and plan to start rolling out paper straws to all its restaurants in the near future. Every little bit helps.

Keep Scotland Beautiful

In the end, we gathered a whopping 13 bags of litter. Incredible in one stretch of street. I have no words on why there was so much rubbish, but it was great to see the difference we made. Well done to our team, I was proud to be part of it, even my wee mum came along. It was a satisfying way to spend a Sunday, just a few hours out of day made a huge difference. My kids had fun and learned the effect litter has on the community. If you’ve been inspired to do your bit for this important cause, why not organise your own litter pick? I’d love to know your thoughts?

Disclaimer: This post is part of a paid project with McDonald’s UK and BritMums, promoting McDonald’s Love Where You Live campaign encouraging local communities to take action and work together to tackle litter in their area.

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Beach, Castle, Cute Puppy And a Pink Sky Our Weekly Photos – Week 42 https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/beach-castle-cute-puppy-and-a-pink-sky-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/beach-castle-cute-puppy-and-a-pink-sky-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 20 Oct 2018 22:55:07 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20586 BeachCute Puppy

Pink Sky

It’s been the school October week here so it’s been a bit of a different week. Last week I left you on my weekly post, I was feeling a bit better, but still not great. This week health wise I’ve been still feeling much the same. The breathing is better which is good, but I am still feeling very queasy and my jaws ache, so I struggling to drink. With a kidney disease, this isn’t good and I can feel it taking its toll on my body. I had another wee health issue, so it’s set me back, but other than being really drained I feel things are going in the right direction. I just need to learn to take it easy when I can, but I’m justs plodding along. How has your week been?

Last weekend we had no football with it being the school October week so we made the most of it and went away for the weekend to Northumberland. I will blog all about our trip separately, but for not let me just summarise the awesome time we had. We travelled down on the Saturday afternoon, after a highly nutritious MacDonald’s lunch. We got to the caravan and checked in. Then, headed straight to the beach. It was warm and dry. We flew kites, built sandcastles, jumping in the water, collected shells and flew a frisbee. It was so much fun. Do you know, I’ve never been to the beach when it’s not been the summer and it was amazing. I think it might be my favourite time of the year to go. I could listen to the water for hours. It was just lovely. As you can see the kids loved it too. We went back to the caravan for some dinner, board games and watched Moana. Such a great movie.

Sunday, we were up early to make the most of our last day. We walked along the beach, visited a few week places and then headed to Warkworth Castle. It was such a wonderful place to visit, steeped in history. We all enjoyed it and then stopped for some ice-cream before heading home. It wasn’t a long time away, but it was our time and we make the most of our weekends together.

Then, Monday morning comes round all too quickly. Thankfully, the kids were off. They went over to the inlaws for a fun-filled day out with their Grandparents and their cousins. They went bowling and had a great time while I was at work.

Tuesday I had the day off. We watched my mum’s new puppy for a bit. Have you met Oreo? Isn’t he cute? We tried to take him for a few walks, but he wasn’t so keen. The kids are smitten and Twilight is coming round. We made a load of crafts including these robot ones and went to the park. We had a living room picnic lunch and went to see Smallfoot. It’s not a bad film. The kids enjoyed it.

It was back to work for me on Wednesday. It was a busy day and the kids were at home with my mum and Oreo. They played games and the boys played Fortnite. Took the puppy out for a walk, well went it would walk. I had an appointment at night,  so my mum put Aria to bed until I got in.

Work and back to football training are where we were on Thursday, the nights are getting darker and I’m glad it’s Robert that coaches and takes the boys to football and not me. Aria and I watched some Worst Witch.

Woohoo it’s Friday, I made it. I had the day off to spend some time with the kids. I went to get my jaw checked out first though as it was really painful. Today, Friday, we tidied out the loft playroom. It was badly needing it. I don’t get a lot of time to do these types of things and it was worth doing. They are loving the space again. One half for the boys and one half for Aria and all her Sylvanian families and kitchen toys. I did some Christmas shopping and we played together for a bit.

Tomorrow it’s back to football matches and we have a bit of a busy weekend with some stuff. I will fill you in next week. I hope you have a good weekend. project-365-2017-badge

Photalife
Sunday Snap
Silent Sunday Linky
Debs Random Writings
The Ordinary Moments

Spectrum Mum

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Robot Crafts For Kids https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/robot-crafts-for-kids.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/robot-crafts-for-kids.html#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 10:05:27 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20584 Robot Crafts For Kids

To be honest I wasn’t sure about this month’s Tots 100 #BostickBlogger craft which had a robot theme. I’ve not been keeping great and I just wasn’t sure I was up to it, but whilst being on half term the kids and I got to work and came up with these three crafts for you to enjoy. Let me know what you think of them. 

Robot Crafts For Kids – Robot Face 

Robot Face Crafts Items

What you’ll need:-

  • Bostik Glu Dots
  • Cardboard shapes or foam shapes
  • Cardboard Rectangle
  • Paper Plate
  • Googly Eyes
  • Accessories if you’d like. We added a pompom

Add the Face

Step 1

Start by adding the robot face. We did this by sticking a grey rectangle of cardboard to the plate using Bostik Glu dots. These are so good for crafts and no mess.

Stick in the middle

Step 2

Now you have your face to get started on whatever face you want to add.

Add the eyes

Step 3

We added two eyes to the face. We used pre-cut shapes, but you can easily cut out cardboard too.

Add googly eyes

Step 4

Next, we added some googly eyes to add some fun to our robot.

Add other bits to the robot

Step 5

Feel free to add different shapes to the face to make it up.

Add the mouth and head

Step 6

Add a mouth to the robot and we added a little bit at the top.

Robot head

Step 7

We added some more squares to make some other parts of the robot face.

Add the mouth

Step 8

Next, add on a mouth. You can make it a smiley mouth or whatever you feel like.

Add pom pom

Step 9

Add any final accessories to your robot face.

Robot Head Craft

Step 10

Our Robot Face Craft. It’s a fun one to do and great for little kids. Would make a good Halloween mask too.

Robot Crafts For Kids – Toilet Roll Robot

Toilet Roll Robot Craft Items

What you’ll need:-

  • Bostik White Glu
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Accessories
  • Toilet roll tube
  • Paper to cover the tube or paint
  • Googly eyes

Cut the paper to size

Step 1

We chose to cover our toilet roll tube in this very cool, sparkly, cellophane wrap. If you don’t have anything, you can paint it.

Adding robot body

Step 2

Adding a bit in the middle for the robot body. We chose this sparkly paper. This was little miss choice, but it doesn’t have to be sparkly like this.

Cut to size

Step 3

Cut it to size and stick on using the Bostik White Glu.

Stick on body

Step 4

Now you have your main body, it’s time to add your accessories.

Add eyes to the robot

Step 5

Next, we added some googly eyes.

Adding decoration to the robot

Step 6

Yes, it’s a very sparkly robot. Here are our accessories to add.

Adding to the robot

Step 7

Stick on the accessories onto the robot. As many or as little as you want.

Making Robot Arms

Step 8

Use the pipe cleaners to make the arms. We twisted them around your finger to make them springy.

Sick on arms

Step 9

Stick the arm onto the robot.

Adding other arm

Step 10 

Make and add the other arm.

Add robot antenna

Step 11

We added on an antenna to the robot, again a personal choice.

Add mouth

Step 11

Why not add a wee mouth to your robot. Is it a smiley one?

Toilet Tube Robot Craft

Step 12

Our Toilet Roll Tube Robot. Isn’t he fab? Might have to make a family of them.

Robot Crafts For Kids – Cardboard Box Robot

Cardboard Box Robot Items

What You’ll Need:- 

  • Bostik Foam Pads
  • Paper Cups
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • Cardboard
  • Straws
  • Craft Sticks
  • Googly Eyes
  • Accessories
  • Pens

Stick the smaller box onto the larger

Step 1

Stick your smaller cardboard box onto the larger one using the Bostik Foam Pads to make the robot body.

Middle Robot

Step 2

Add on a piece of cardboard to the middle of the robot for the accessories.

Robot Accessories

Step 3

Chose what accessories that you want to add.

Add robot buttons

Step 4

Add little stick on pads so that it looks like buttons.

Decorate

Step 5 

Decorate with as many as you like to

Add arms

Step 6

Adding some arms is what we wanted to do next. For our arms, we used two craft sticks and foam hands, but you can use whatever you have to hand.

Make hole

Step 7

We made a hole in the box with our craft stick and pushed part of the way in.

Stick on hand

Step 8

Stick on the hand and then do the other side.

Add Robot eyes

Step 9

You can either stick on eyes or draw them on. We are big fans of googly eyes for crafts here so that’s what had to go on here.

Adding accessories

Step 10

Adding accessories can be anything you have to hand. The boys wanted to add robot antenna to this cardboard box on. So, we thought straws would be good.

Robot straws

Step 11

Push the straws through the top of the box on both sides.

Robot Face

Step 12

We drew on a smiley face.

Robot Legs

Step 13

Totally optional, but the boys wanted robot legs. These paper cups made great legs.

Legs

Step 14

The legs were a great addition to it.

Cardboard Box Robot Craft

Step 15

Our Cardboard Box Robot Craft, what do you think of our new buddy?

Pin for later. 

Robot Crafts For Kids

There are our robot crafts. We’d love to know if you make any of them.

Disclaimer:- We were sent a box of craft materials from Craft Merrily as part of being a Tots100 #BostikBlogger

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L.O.L. Surprise Eye Spy Under Wraps – Review https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/l-o-l-surprise-eye-spy-under-wraps.html https://www.susankmann.com/2018/10/l-o-l-surprise-eye-spy-under-wraps.html#comments Fri, 19 Oct 2018 07:00:48 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20569 L.O.L. Surprise Eye Spy Under Wraps pack

Being big fans of L.O.L. Surprise products we couldn’t wait to try out the latest one, L.O.L. Surprise Eye Spy Under Wraps series. Have you seen it? How exciting does it look? 
Unzip

We couldn’t wait to get started and made a start unveiling with the iconic zip in the packaging. The new one is such a great concept with more secrets and surprises to unveil using the special Eye Spy experience.

Magnifying Glass

The main difference with this one is that it is not in its usual ball shape, the L.O.L. Surprise Eye Spy Under Wraps is a capsule shape. Once inside the first layer, you will find a magnifying glass. This allows you to see all sorts of hidden writing and messages on the packaging and inside the wrap.

Decipher the code

There are a whopping 15 surprises to find in the L.O.L. Surprise Eye Spy Under Wraps set. The one above is needed to be able to open the very special capsule. You need to decipher the code using the glasses to get in. It’s all very exciting.

Capsule

We are now down to the exciting capsule. Through the window, you can see your doll with its disguise on to cover it.

Unlocking

Using the codes above and the magnifying glass to decipher the codes to open the compartments on the capsule. You turn the dials to match the photos to open.

Blind Bags

Once inside you will find bind bags containing more surprises. Unlock each compartment to get them all before unlocking the doll.

LOL Surprise

Once opened you will have all the items above. You can even guess the doll you are going to get.

Unveil Doll

The most exciting part. Unveiling the doll from her disguise.

Remove clothing

If you are able to discard the silicon outfit carefully, it can be reused as an outfit or PJs for your L.O.L Surprise doll. It is a lot of fun.

LOL Under Wraps Doll

Here we have our very special L.O.L Doll from the L.O.L. Surprise Eye Spy Under Wrap. Isn’t she fab! I love the colour of that outfit. The other surprise, is she a spitter, crier or does she pee? Or maybe she’s a colour change doll? The capsule is great for keeping the items in and the doll can sit in the capsule or on top. It can be used as a house or a little changing room.

Carrying LOL Surprise

As you can see Aria is a huge fan and absolutely loved this L.O.L. Surprise Eye Spy Under Wraps set. I think it’s an interesting one with a bit more depth to it in finding the surprises. I like the added code features, but it wouldn’t be as easy for younger ones without the help of an adult. It is fun and the kids just love it. The doll is cute and we love all the different accessories. I can see this being on many Christmas lists, this year at £14.99 I think this is a good price for everything you get.

You can read our previous L.O.L reviews of the different series L.O.L. Series 2, L.O.L Confetti PopL.O.L Pearl Surprise and L.O.L Biggie Pet Surprise.

Disclaimer: We were sent this L.O.L Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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