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. Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:12:10 +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 Spirit Riding Free Toys – Review https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/spirit-riding-free-toys-review.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/spirit-riding-free-toys-review.html#comments Sun, 14 Apr 2019 23:59:04 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21463 Spirit Riding Free Toys Review

If you haven’t seen Spirit Riding Free, it is an animated series created by DreamWork. The story is of a girl called Lucky who moves to a new town and begins a friendship with a wonderful but wild horse called Spirit. You can follow her adventures along with her two friends Pru and Abigail on Netflix now. A great little show for horse mad kids or those who love a sweet show about friendship. We have been trying out some fabulous Spirit Riding Free toys for review which are out on the market now.

Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Feeding Set

Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Feeding Set

[Gifted]

The first of our sets by the toymaker Flair is the Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Feeding Set. This is a fantastic set which comes with Spirit the horse, Lucky the doll who is poseable, a bucket, 4 carrots, a blanket, water bottle and a book. We absolutely love this set. Both the doll and horse are a decent size which makes for wonderful imaginative play for children.

Switch

Spirit has a silicone mouth that when switching on, underneath, as shown above, he can eat his carrots. Yes, eat them. They come out the slot you see above just where his belly is. He moves his head up and down when he wants something to eat when the button is pressed on his back. He also makes realistic horse noises.

Eating Carrot

When Spirit eats a carrot you place it in his mouth, holding in the button on his back. He will make eating noises and when you gently push the carrot in, his jaws move and he swallows the carrot. It comes out of the stomach area.

Feeding Carrot

Spirit on his own is a lot of fun to play with, he’s a good size and easy to play with. He comes with different accessories like a blanket to put over him, a bucket to keep the carrots in and a water canteen for both Spirit and Lucky. Spirit has long silky hair that you can have fun brushing or plaiting.

Reading with Lucky

Lucky is a well-sized doll and I like that she is poseable. She sits on Spirit well and can be played with on her own. She is dressed in boots and her riding outfit which is simple to take off and put back on. Good for small hands as there are no fiddly bits. The book that comes with it is an added bonus. Aria loved reading it to Lucky and it made a great bedtime story too.

Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Feeding Set Love

Aria is a bit fan of the Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Feeding Set. She adores Spirit and hasn’t stopped playing with him or hugging him since he arrived. This is a great set and fantastic for those who love horses or the show. Plus you don’t need to have batteries for the initial play.

Spirit Classic Sounds and Action Horse Set

Spirit Riding Free Sounds and Action Hacheta horse Set

The Spirit Classic Sounds and Action Horse Set is another great set from the range. This is Hacheta isn’t she pretty. She is smaller than the last place set, but a lot of fun too.

Spirit Riding Free Sounds and Action Hacheta horse playing

The set comes with a food bucket, hay, horse, brush and star hair clip. By pressing on the button on her back or by pressing her head downwards, Hacheta will make horse noises. Her head and tail are poseable.

Spirit Riding Free Sounds and Action Hacheta horse hair

Her mane can be brushed and put into a hairstyle using the clip that comes with it. As you can see this was Aria’s favourite part of this toy. The tail is plastic.

Spirit Riding Free Sounds and Action Hacheta horse

The horse stands on his own but moves it’s leg when putting in a rear-up position. She’s a fun horse and it’s one to take out and about. We really enjoyed playing with this one. It’s a great wee set for imaginative play and acting out Free Spirit episodes.

Spirit Free Blind Box

Opening Blind Box

The last Spirit toy we have is the Spirit Blind Boxes. These are a series of 8 unique Mini horse figures that you can collect. You don’t know which one you are going to get.

Spirit Riding Free Blind Box Sets

The box has a horse, little stable to store your horse in and a collectors checklist. Which one will you get? We really like that the box that it comes in can be used to store the horse in.

Playing Blind Box

Each of the Spirit Blind Bag horses is just over 2 inches tall. They are simple and fun to play with. Sturdy and well made, these make a great little stocking filler, Easter gift or pocket money toy. They are great toys for taking out and about and galloping about the house with. Great wee price too.

They are available in Smyths Toys and Amazon.

Disclaimer:- We were sent these toys for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Spring Break, Animals, Oreo And Disney Our Weekly Photos – Week 15 https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/spring-break-animals-oreo-and-disney-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/spring-break-animals-oreo-and-disney-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 13 Apr 2019 22:30:00 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21465 Blair Drummond

Care Bears

Disney On Ice

Oreo
Animals

It’s been the second week of Spring Break here and I’ve had some of the week off to spend some time with the kids since last weeks weekly photos. We have seen animals, watched Care Bears, Disney on ice, a visit from Oreo and more. We started to the weekend on a high after going to see Dumbo. We did some shopping on the Saturday during the day as we had a new Aldi open, we couldn’t not go and check it out. Aria was very excited it sold Unicorn ice-cream cones. Of course, those were bought. Saturday evening I went to Aria’s best friend’s Mum’s hen night. Hen nights make me feel a little uncomfortable when you don’t really know anyone, but I knew a couple including my sister in law so that was good. It was a fun night and lots of drinks were had.

Sunday morning, thankfully I was too hungover. Aria and I watched the new Care Bears show. I love that I can share a toy and film that I loved as a child myself with her. And they haven’t really changed all that much. They are still the same characters, do the same things and still light up the room. Care Bears and Sindy were my two favourites as a child. Shame Sindy didn’t survive from the 80’s. Do you have a toy that you loved as a child that is still about?

We finished Sunday with gymnastics and an early night for me. The kids have had a busy week. Monday Robert and I were at work. The kids were with my Mum at home and had lots of fun playing football outside. Although, now we have had some neighbours complain, but not sure if it’s because our street is busy with cars just now as the road in front of ours has roadworks so they are cutting through ours. Time will tell. We came home to little Oreo bounding towards us with a little bow in his hair. I got some photos of him since he was just back from the groomers. Football training in the evening.

Tuesday Robert and I were off work. It was a glorious sunny day and we headed through to Blair Drummond safari park to see the animals. There are a few more photos on my Instagram, but I loved the photo of Robert and the two younger ones in the wild animals in transit shot and the one of Aria as she climbed out. We had a wonderful day there, it was dry and the kids loved it. The big kids too. I will blog more about it separately as it’s such a great place to visit.

We ended the day going to Callander where I spent a lot of my childhood as my parents had a caravan there. They were also married there. It’s a beautiful wee village and one I have fond memories off. We had some chips at the duck pond before heading home for Lucas to go to table tennis.

It was back to work Wednesday. The kids went to Robert’s parents and went to inflataworld with their cousins. Then out for dinner. They had the best time and a lovely day. I had such a busy time at work trying to cram 5 days work into 2 and make sure everything was covered.

Thursday and Friday Robert and I were off work the last two days of spring break. Thursday, Aria and I went to see Disney on Ice. I absolutely love Disney on Ice. I went as a child and have loved it ever since. It was lovely to share it with her. Robert had a football presentation for the sponsor of the oldest teams strips. He works so hard for the club and I don’t know how he does it all.

Today, Friday, we went swimming. The kids choice. I had wanted to go to the seaside, but we don’t get to go swimming all that often so it won. I’m not keen on it, the whole getting changed, ready in cramped changing rooms isn’t my ideal day out. They loved it, we had lunch and then I worked on the garden, well cut the hedge, while the boys went and played football and Aria played outside. There we have it spring break.

To be honest, the kids are only back 4 days and off for a long weekend. Not sure what the plan is for the weekend, we do have football, but you never know a trip to the seaside or a folklore place of my choice might be on the cards. I will fill you in next week.

Writing wise, I need to get on with it, but it’s getting there. I will keep you all posted. Have a lovely weekend and let me know what you’ve been up to?

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BABY Born Surprise! – Review https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/baby-born-surprise.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/baby-born-surprise.html#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2019 08:00:15 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21460 Baby Born Surprise Toys[Gifted]

There is a new BABY Born doll on the block and it is super cute. Meet BABY Born Surprise! Yes, Surprise! A little different from the baby dolls and accessories you are used to seeing with BABY Born. These are something a little special and exciting, they are blind bags. And wait until you see how CUTE they are. Little Miss couldn’t wait to open these.

Baby Born Surprise

Remove the plastic packaging and you are left with a beautifully wrapped little package in a gorgeous pink colour, tied with a blue ribbon.

Baby Born Surprise Unwrap

Once you remove the pink fabric, there is a little pod inside that pops right up revealing your first surprise.

Baby Born Surprise Inside

Remove the wrapping, which is a gorgeous square of pink material with BABY Born Surprise! on the print. A bit of paper with the details and a surprise packet. Don’t forget the most wonderful little bundle of joy! Meet your new BABY Born Surprise! Here is Spring Flower. Isn’t he or she the cutest wee thing?

Baby Born Surprise Sleeping

Open up your little blind packet and you will find your baby bottle. Is it pink or blue? This determines whether it is a boy or a girl. The bottles are even well made, look pretty and are soft and squishy. By removing the cute little cosy swaddle pocket, this will reveal the colour of your baby’s hair and boy or girl hair band. Just look how adorable they are. The doll’s body is hard and posable. The head is poseable but much more squishy.

Baby Born Surprise Wiping Eyes

One of the most exciting surprises is revealing what colour your baby’s eyes. What will yours reveal? To do this, you need to use a wet tissue or a wipe. Think of it as being a bit like removing your eye makeup.

Baby Born Surprise Waking Up

Wipe of the eyes and off comes the covering. However, this can only be done once. Once, it’s off that’s it.

Baby Born Surprise Awake

Peekaboo I see you! Our little BABY Born Surprise! has purple eyes. Aren’t they pretty?

Baby Born Surprise Feeding

Next is to feed your little cute with her bottle. Fill it up with water is easy, squeeze and away it fills. Place the bottle in the baby’s mouth and squeeze. Fill the baby’s belly for the next surprise.

Baby Born Surprise Nappy

Your baby will wet it’s nappy. Once the nappy is wet, watch for a lovely pattern to reveal. This one reveals what your baby’s favourite food is. Spring Flower loves watermelon.

Baby Born Surprise Ice-Cream

Our second little bundle of BABY Born Surprise! was Berry Ice Cream Cone. Another sweet little girl to join our playtime fun.

Baby Born Surprise Dolls

Aren’t they fabulous? Lots of fun surprises, fun dolls and pocket sized for on the go fun.

Baby Born Surprise So Cute

The cosy swaddle is easy to remove and put back on, perfect for little fingers.

Baby Born Surprise playtime

There is also a fun collector guide with surprise games. information about your baby and a birth certificate you can fill in.

Baby Born Surprise Bedtime

I love that even the packaging can be part of the imaginative role playing fun. Here is Little Miss putting her little bundles to bed with the fabric blanket in their little pods.

Baby Born Surprise Baby

We are huge fans of BABY Born and even bigger fans of BABY Born Surprise! They are so cute, great for playing and taking on the go. Each package has 10 surprises to find, so there are lots of doing when you open your wrap. There are a total of 12 BABY Born Surprise! dolls to collect in series 1. Aimed at children aged 3 and upwards,  these are perfect for kids like my Little Miss who loves dolls, surprises and cuteness. These are right up her street.  The toys are well made, thought out and will be played with again and again. These are one of those toys that make you smile when you see them and say awww.

BABY born Surprise! are available from SmythsThe EntertainerArgos and other good toy stores. With an RRP of £11.99 and I think they are great value for money. With the egg-shaped packaging, they would make a fantastic Easter alternative gift. Or for any occasion.

Disclaimer:- We were sent these BABY Born Surprise! dolls for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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Mother’s Day, Dumbo, Chalk And A Purple Sky Our Weekly Photos – Week 14 https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/mothers-day-dumbo-chalk-and-a-purple-sky-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/mothers-day-dumbo-chalk-and-a-purple-sky-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 06 Apr 2019 22:30:06 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21398 Mother's Day

Chalk

Dumbo
Purple Sky

After leaving you last weekend weekly photos with Lucas promising me ice-cream for Mother’s Day, I bet you are all wondering if he came through on his promise…well…he did. We went, just the two of us, to an ice-cream shop and he had good old vanilla and I had cherry and Turkish delight ice-cream. It was Mother’s Day, after all, calories don’t count do they? Don’t worry, he’s back to his usual tween self, but I will always have this moment, etched here forever.

Last weekend was filled with football. I went to Tyler’s two matches on Saturday with Aria, while Lucas and Robert went to Robert’s wee team. It was wet and miserable. But, come lunchtime the sun was splitting the trees. Aria went to her wee bestie’s as a surprise for her birthday and I went into Glasgow for a few hours to meet up with the writing group. There were only a few of us, but it was nice to chat, have a drink and chat about writing. It is quite inspiring to chat with like-minded people.

Sunday, Mother’s Day, Lucas and Robert went to their match. I didn’t go as I wasn’t needed and Aria had been so cold and wet the day before, I thought she too deserved the day off. I got a lovely card, flowers and an iced biscuit which was amazing. We went to Robert’s parent’s house with his sister and family for dinner that evening which was nice. To top the day off, I was given permission to take the photo of my three babies. Not often I get that or get them in the one place for longer than 3 seconds. One to cherish.

It’s spring break here so the kids have been off this week. It has been nice not to have to get up super early to get Lucas out for his bus, make packed lunches, get bags packed in the evening or deal with school uniforms. They had a day of playing outside and crafts with my Mum on Monday. Not forgetting some playing with Oreo the dog. There is also no football training, at least this week, so Robert is enjoying the well-deserved rest and we are all able to have dinner at a decent hour.

Work has been very busy this week and although I’ve had two days off, I’ve been on email and calls a lot of the days off too. It’s been hard to get that balance, but I’ve tried. Monday night Aria wasn’t very well and up a lot. So, Tuesday when I was off, we stayed home. The boys played some football outdoors, we made some lunch and then did some chalk drawing outside. It is a big favourite and the neighbours don’t seem to mind, yet. It’s not like we don’t get enough rain for it to wash away.

Wednesday, the weather was a washout. The kids were at their Grandparents house and played some Monopoly. We were a bit late getting home from work but picked them up and it was still raining.

It was back to work Thursday for me and I captured a beautiful purple sky. Just as I was taking the photo above, just about where a Mausoleum is, a whole flock of birds flew as I snapped. Pretty impressive and just sheer luck on my iPhone.

I had Friday off and the kids and I went to the cinema. It’s a place we don’t go often or all of us, there isn’t usually something on we all like and Tyler doesn’t really like the cinema. I’ve mentioned before, but baddie music seems to make him really sensitive and he shakes and gets scared. They all, however, wanted to see Dumbo, so off we went. We have an Odeon Luxe close by so that makes it extra special with the recliners. So comfortable. We all enjoyed the film. It was a little dark, but not as dark as I was expecting from Tim Burton. I may have shed a tear, but Aria was in floods of them. Bless. Aria wore wings for the occasion to fly like Dumbo as you can see in the photo above. Coming home the kids played outdoors at football and scooters before dinner.

A quiet Friday evening. I am tired this evening. I’ve not been able to up my medication any further yet, as I feel drowsy enough at the level I’m on. I will see what next week brings. Tomorrow evening, Saturday, I have a hen night for Aria’s best friend’s Mum so that will be fun. No football at the weekend will see what it brings.

Next week Robert and I have 3 days off to do something with the kids. We have Disney On Ice, a football presentation and a safari park and hopefully a trip to a wee Scottish seaside town if the weather is kind to us.

Are your kids off on holiday? What have you been up to?

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Common Health Conditions During Pregnancy https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/common-health-conditions-during-pregnancy.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/04/common-health-conditions-during-pregnancy.html#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2019 15:40:16 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21380 [AD] Now, it’s been a while since I was pregnant, just over 6 years, but having been pregnant at least 3 times, I had my fair share of experiences and memories. There are a lot of health conditions that rear their ugly head in pregnancy. Morning sickness is probably the most common. I suffered from this in all three pregnancies, pretty much from the get-go. You can read about my last pregnancy on my blog from when I announced I was pregnant. Having seen this information from Emma’s Diary about Common Health Conditions during pregnancy, I thought it was not only useful, but it was a good time to share some of my experiences. Have a look at the infographic below on Common Health Conditions During Pregnancy and let me know your experience in the comments below.Emma's Diary Common Pregnancy Conditions 8 JPG

My first pregnancy was an exciting one. I had been trying for a while and knew that I wanted to try for a baby sooner rather than later. You see I was advised of this by my renal clinic as I have a chronic kidney disease, which you can read about if you want to know more. At this point in my life, the main problem was with the pain levels and leaking of protein and blood in my urine. It’s a relatively rare disease and still, not a lot is known with the outcome or how you get it. Obviously, I was concerned about passing it on to my offspring, but they didn’t know if I was born with it. I discussed with my then-fiancée and we decided that it was something we would cross. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 24/25, so I’d lived perfectly healthy until a few years prior.

When I fell pregnant I was doctor-led care rather than midwife-led care just in case of any complications. I have bad morning sickness from the start and sucking sugary or mint sweets help, but really, I just had to wait until the feeling passed. I was sick throughout this pregnancy, but it wasn’t severe like hyperemesis-gravidarum which my lovely friend Jen at Mum in the Madhouse shares her experience. I think this is the most common of health conditions during pregnancy.

I was checked often for Anaemia as I already loose blood through my kidney disease daily, my iron and blood levels are low. Anaemia is another common health condition and one that gets checked when you have your blood done, so make sure you go to that appointment. Like the infographic says above cutting down tea and coffee, which I didn’t drink and eating lots of green leafy veggies help. This is what I did. Although low, I didn’t suffer too badly.

Pregnant

Pre-eclampsia is one of the most common health concerns that I wanted to talk to you about. Before even getting pregnant I already showed one of the symptoms which are protein being present in your urine. This is something midwives and nurses check for. With already having it, my urine levels were monitor closely for any changes. My blood pressure checked often. I got kidney scans, just to make sure all was fine, which it was, my kidneys functioned well during pregnancy, surprising my renal doctor. My baby got their kidney’s scanned to make sure everything looked ok from inside the womb and things were looking good. I did get quite a few kidney infections, but that was to be expected. I am more prone to them anyway, so spent my last few months on antibiotics to prevent any more, especially the closer to the due date I got.

My baby was due on the 31st of December, not the ideal time of year, but not something we get to decide. I planned to finish up work on the 22nd of December, a bit ambitious I know, but with only 6 months maternity leave I wanted to make the most of that time with my baby. Plus, he could have been two weeks late. Instead, I started getting really bad headaches and started to swell up a fair bit the week before. I finished up a week earlier than planned as I just wasn’t feeling great. I went to visit my sister in law who had had twin baby girls in October and spent some time with a baby before I had my own. I’d never even changed a nappy in my life, never mind look after a baby. My sister in law told me I had a moon face. My face had swelled up so bad.

Off I trotted to the doctors. My blood pressure was high, they didn’t want to take any chances. On the 22nd of December, I made the trip to the hospital. Thinking a few checks and I’d be home. It wasn’t to be. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia! That night I was given a sweep and the gel to start labour. They needed to get the baby out. Granted, I was full term so that wasn’t the concern. The issue was my blood pressure going up and the level of protein in my urine going up.

I was monitored the next day and induced into labour. I wasn’t feeling great at all. Nothing seemed to be working and baby didn’t want to come. They tried to burst my waters, but it looked like they had already gone, where, I guess I’ll never know. With the drip in, everything came thick and fast. I remember it being after midnight and realised it was Christmas Eve. I remember telling the midwives that I needed to have this baby out by Christmas day. The contractions were coming thick and fast on top of each other it felt.  They eventually gave me gas and air which was such a welcome relief, but that made me sick in the end. I asked for an epidural, but they decided then to check my kidney function. The results were in and I could get my epidural. I was in so much pain at this point, my blood pressure was through the roof and the baby was getting distressed. It took 4 attempts to get the epidural to work and by this point, there was no break between contractions.

My worst fear starting to transpire. My friend’s sister had a stillbirth baby a few months earlier and I was terrified this was happening. My baby’s heart rate was dropping rapidly. They checked my cervix and couldn’t believe it I was fully dilated. Baby’s heart rate was dropping very quickly with ever contraction. All of a sudden there was 15 people in the room. Midwives, anaesthetists, surgeons, doctors and goodness know who else. It was packed. I heard hushed voices, I knew there was a problem. My blood pressure was through the roof and they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat. I was turned from side to side, but nothing. I was prepped for an emergency C-Section.

One doctor got me to push in between vomiting, two pushes later and the doctor pulled my baby out with the forceps. It was the scariest time of my life. It was stressful, painful and not at all how I imagined my birth to be, but my baby was here. They took him away to check him over, but I heard him cry. The most wonderful sound I thought I could ever hear.

Born
The time was 5:25am and Lucas was 6 1/2 lbs. He was perfect.
Baby

My little Christmas miracle arrived. He’s just celebrated his 12th birthday on Christmas Eve and he’s thriving. I couldn’t be prouder.

It was a scary time. I was ill for a while after it and had my blood pressure monitored until it came down. Also, a few blood tests ran. I thankfully didn’t develop pre-eclampsia with my other two who were much bigger babies with a much smaller bump and Mum in the end. Please, if you experience swelling, headaches, high blood pressure or just don’t feel right, please get it checked out. Things worked out ok for me, but I was glad I went to the doctors when I did.

I would love to hear about your Common Health Conditions During Pregnancy. What did you experience?
Disclaimer:- This post was written in collaboration with Emma’s Diary, but this is my story and something I feel passionate about sharing.
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Wings, Spring Break And Trees Our Weekly Photos – Week 13 https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/wings-spring-break-and-trees-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/wings-spring-break-and-trees-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 30 Mar 2019 22:30:59 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21390 Wings

Spring Break
Trees

Thankfully, the weather seems to have turned around and we have had some sunshine. What a contrast from last week’s weekly photos. There was no football on Saturday so we had a nice day of me deciding it was time to have a clear out. Everyone takes cover at that point, everything goes. Lucas went to the cinema with a friend and Aria and Tyler played outdoors. Aria had fun with some neighbour kids colouring in the pavement with chalk. It was lovely to see what she created. I now need to buy more chalk.

Sunday, the weather wasn’t as kind with it being windy and rainy, football match for Lucas. Aria was so cold, I left the match early, missing the only goal and a win for their team. The rest of Sunday we played with some toys, Robert had some football meetings and I spent some time blow drying Aria’s hair. It has gotten so long. You can see why Aria got cold after seeing how she wanted to go dressed above. Complete with wings! Yes! She knows her own mind that one. How can you say no?

And look at the length of her hair. Before we knew it, it was Monday morning and we were getting ready for back to work and school. It was a busy day for us all and we were tired by the end of the day. My medication is kicking my butt on the drowsiness front. At bedtime, we read a twitter friend’s book. You can see it on Instagram called Monsters United. It was a great book and introduced a discussion about the environment and how humans are causing our wildlife or monsters of the deep issues in this case.

Tuesday I did school hours and picked up all three kids at different times, homework, made dinner, which didn’t quite go to plan when I stuck my index finger to the hob and burnt off a chunk of skin. Cue lots of cold water, screaming and ouchiness! Then it was off to parent council. It was a long day. I do enjoy finding out more about the school, helping out and discussing our area with the local counsellors.

Another busy day at work for Wednesday, work has been manic recently. Then there is trying to fit in blogging and social media. However, the sun did shine and I got this sweet sun shining through the trees photo from outside my work. Considering how bad the weather was last week, I couldn’t not stop and snap the shot, could I? Yes, there are many eye rolls from my husband and work colleagues as I hold up the car park to take the picture.

Thursday turned out to be a very special day, I certainly didn’t realise how special it was going to be in my parenting life. It will be a day I will not forget. It started off like any other day, getting Lucas to school, my Mum came over for the younger two and Robert and I headed to work. A busy day at work, lots of parenting feels at times there too. Engineers can be a bit like that sometimes. Then, it was hometime. I got home to Lucas tipping out the football drawer looking for a specific top. He was going to 121 training and asked if I’d pick him up as he wanted to talk to me. He didn’t want to talk just now, so of course, I spent the next hour wondering what was wrong. Had something happened at school? Had someone said something to him? Did he lose at Fifa? You have no idea how passionate this boy gets about Fifa. I asked Tyler if he knew, my Mum, but they had no idea. Robert dropped Lucas at training, nothing was said. Robert and Tyler went to football training and Aria and I went to pick up Lucas. He asked if I could speak to him alone while Aria went into the car. Oh goodness, this is serious. Well, do you know what he said? “Mum, what are you doing on Sunday?” Me; “I don’t know, going to your football match, why?” Him; “Well, I have £4 saved up and wanted to take you for an ice-cream for Mother’s Day.” Oh my, I was speechless. I never expected to hear something like this and I was so touched. He usually lives in his own wee bubble, but it looks like high school has certainly changed him. This I will remember forever, even if it doesn’t happen, the thought was there. It was there and he has no idea how much this means to me.

And now we are on Friday. I am off work and it’s the last day of term before spring break. It was dressed down at primary, I am loving Little Miss choice of outfit. She was delighted. Now the kids are off for 2 weeks for spring break. I am off for a few days to go days here and there. Fingers crossed we get some more of that sunshine.

After ending the week on a high, let’s see what the weekend brings. What are you up to?

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Disney On Ice – Dream Big Review https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/disney-on-ice-dream-big-review.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/disney-on-ice-dream-big-review.html#comments Thu, 28 Mar 2019 11:31:11 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=20457 Disney On Ice

I am a huge fan of Disney and one of my favourite Disney shows is Disney on Ice. I have been going since I was 12 years old, which is a long time. And they only get better and better. Every time I think I’ve seen them all, they get better. Back in September, we went through to Glasgow to see the new Disney On Ice show Dream Big. As you can see Aria and I were very excited to see the show. This one in particular as we knew Moana and Maui was going to be shown and they are big in our house. So we got our giant Candy Floss with the hat and our snowcones at the ready for the show. 

Mickey Mouse

The start of the show has the arena going with the Fit to Dance. This is the warm-up and really does get everyone in the audience up to dance. They are so enthusiastic and really get others up on their feet.
Tower
The stage is set with all the theatrics. Then out comes the classic and everyone’s favourite, Mickey and Minnie were the hosts along with Tinkerbell. She is my favourite and added a lovely bit of sparkle and light to the day.  The comperes for the evening were Mickey and Minnie plus Tinkerbell, who gracefully added a touch of fairy dust to the entire evening. Tink introduced Fit To Dance and it was really good to see her and seemed so right that I’m stunned she hasn’t been a regular feature before now.
Aladdin

Aladdin was first up. I really like the story of Aladdin and it was nice to see it come to life as it’s not normally one covered in Disney on ice. I loved the Genie and the whole thing was well done. There are lots of skating and tussling with the street scene and they cover the story well in such a short time.

Beauty and the Beast

The next Princess to grace the ice was Be Our Guest, Belle with Beauty and the Beast. One of Aria’s favourite. The song and music from this are wonderful and has everyone dancing along. I loved the Be Our Guest part with the dancing cutlery. Plus Lumerie is brilliant.

Rapunzel

Rapunzel was up next and one of my favourite Disney films so far. I love how much of a kick-ass Princess she is and one that holds a special place in my heart as my oldest loved this film and her when he saw it as a little tot. I always enjoy how they bring the story of Rapunzel’s hair to life on the ice.

Moana

Moana was the one we were waiting for. It’s such a great film, if you’ve not seen it, you need to. It’s great for all ages and the songs are just fab. Moana and Maui did not fail to disappoint, they were brilliant. Maui was huge and looked just like you’d expect. He played the part so well and the skating in that suit was incredible.

Fire

The effects of the Moana display were incredible, the fire on the ice when it was set on fire by the Lava Monster. The crowd was amazed and the kid’s faces were in awe. Incredible.

Little Mermaid

You Can’t Dream Big without the ultimate Dream Big Princess, the one who wanted to be human and made it come true. I am always in awe at how the characters can dance in those incredible costumes. It really is amazing.

Sleeping Beauty

Aurora and Prince Phillip, two classic Disney characters from Sleeping Beauty were the first on after the interval. It wasn’t all sweetness and light for Sleeping Beauty when Maleficent’s gigantic dragon came onto the ice. There may have been actual screams. It was huge and incredible. It is nice to see the older Disney films being featured, I know Aria still lives in hope that one day Snow White will be there.

Disney on Ice Dream Big

Cinderella is such a beautiful story about perseverance, kindness and love. This was a nice one to see brought to life on the ice. Can you believe there was even the Cinderella carriage? Disney on Ice really do go above and beyond every time.

Frozen

Frozen is the one that gets all the crowd singing and everyone just loves Frozen don’t they? Who doesn’t love a giant Snowman called Olaf? You can’t not love him. I’ve seen Frozen a few times from the Disney On Ice presents Frozen and a few more, but it’s always a bit different and always incredible to watch. It really is an emotional one. Listening to all the little voices singing along with Let it go, it really brings a lump to your throat.

Finale

I just love Disney on Ice finales. The whole cast is involved and there is always some spectacular display. It was incredible from the customers to the lighting. I know I say this every time I see Disney on Ice, but this one was my favourite.

Princesses

We have loved this year’s show which was called ‘Every Story Begins With A Dream’ such a great way to bring these stories to life and Disney really know how to do magic. It really is a night out to remember.

There another awesome show available now. You won’t want to miss this one. It’s going to be the best one ever. Everyone will love it, young and old and memories that last a lifetime will be made. The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice show will bring beloved characters, both classic and new to life through wonderful figure-skating. Check out if it stops near you:-

BHGE Arena – Aberdeen – 20.03.19 – 24.03.19
First Direct Arena – Leeds – 27.03.2019 – 31.03.2019
Resorts World Arena – Birmingham – 03.04.2019 – 07.04.2019
The SSE Hydro – Glasgow – 11.04.2019 – 14.04.2019
M&S Bank Arena – Liverpool – 17.04.2019 – 21.04.2019
Motorpoint Arena – Cardiff – 24.04.2019 – 28.04.2019
SSE Arena – Belfast – 03.05.2019 – 05.05.2019
City West Hotel – Dublin – 10.05.2019 – 12.05.2019

Check out Disney on Ice for more details. You won’t regret going to one of these shows.

Disclaimer:- We were given two tickets to see the show, but all thoughts and words are my own.

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L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory – Review https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/l-o-l-surprise-diy-glitter-factory.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/l-o-l-surprise-diy-glitter-factory.html#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2019 20:23:00 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21346 L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory box

We are HUGE L.O.L. Surprise! fans and little Miss couldn’t wait to get her hands on the new L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory to try out. Who wouldn’t love customising their L.O.L. Surprise! dolls? Find out how we got on.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory Unboxed

Within the box you will find the following:-

  • 4 colours of glitter
  • 4 colours of fuzz
  • Fuzz glue
  • Glitter glue
  • Mixerball
  • Stand
  • Face masks
  • Mannequin
  • Exclusive L.O.L. Surprise! doll
  • 2 outfits
  • Accessories
  • 4 brushes

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory Setup

It’s simple and easy to set up. There are spaces on the stand to fit the tubs of glitter and fuzz. The ball fits together with the doll stand in the middle. Sitting on the slots on the stand. It comes with a paper doll and some cool looking confetti inside.

L.O.L. Surprise! box

It wouldn’t be L.O.L. Surprise! without L.O.L. Surprise! blind bags. These ones come in a cool box. The box is surprisingly well made and great to keep your little L.O.L. Surprise! accessories in when finished.

L.O.L. Surprise! Blind Bags

There are 14 exciting blind bags to open and a sticker. Opening blind bags is what every little one wants to do and I have to say I was excited to see what was in there too. I’m not alone, am I?

L.O.L. Surprise! Opening Blind Bags

Ripping them open is all part of the fun.

L.O.L. Surprise! Doll

Within the blind bags, you will get your exclusive L.O.L. Surprise! doll. It comes with white hair for customisation which allows you to wash it off and start again.

L.O.L. Surprise! Inside Blind Bags

Just look at all the cool things you get in the blind bags, fab isn’t it?  The two bottles are for the glue. One is for the fuzz and one is for the glitter.

L.O.L. Surprise! Facemasks

I think my favourite things in this set is the facemasks, they are super cute. These peel off their plastic backs to stick onto the doll or mannequin’s face. Stopping the glitter or fuzz sticking to their faces. It’s a great idea and the dolls look like they are going for a spa day.

L.O.L. Surprise! Doll to Glitter

The first thing you want to do before you start your L.O.L. Surprise! doll makeover is to put your doll in the middle of the holder. This will make it easier to put in the ball once it’s got glue on it.

L.O.L. Surprise! Adding Glue

Next is to add the glue to one of your brushes. Making sure you use the right glue for glitter or for the fuzz. The stand makes it easier to hold the while painting on the glue. Plus it saves you handling it when trying to put it in the ball.

L.O.L. Surprise! Glitter

Add the colour of glitter you want to add to your L.O.L. Surprise! doll to the bottom of the plastic ball.

L.O.L. Surprise! Glitter Factory Unlock

Matchup where the lines are on the ball once you have placed the holder with the doll in the middle. There is a lock that slides along to hold it in place. The lock is the heart shape you see above. I love the colours and I was pleasantly surprised at how well made the ball was and locked. It held it in place and there was no leakage, which is always good when it comes to glitter.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Ball Spin

Now for the fun part. Spin the ball around with your doll inside to get it suitably covered in glitter. I love that the set has spaces for the tubs and the brushes. I was also pleased the ball didn’t come out of the holder, it really does fit well. Aria loved spinning it around and it’s great to watch.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory Spin

As you can see the dolls gets glitter stuck to her. And it sticks to the ball too, but it washes off easily.

L.O.L. Surprise! Facemask

Just a day at the L.O.L. Surprise! makeover spa.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory

She doesn’t look too bad, does she? You can touch it up using a little bit of glue, glitter and your brushes. Put her in the stand to dry or wash off and start again. And you can customise any of your L.O.L. Surprise! dolls and pets like this.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory Clothing

We washed the ball and left it to dry. Time to decorate and customise her clothing.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Fuzz

The orange/pink coloured glue is for the fuzz. There are little hangers on the stand for the clothing, they really have thought of everything with this set.  Hang them on and you are ready to paint with glue. We used the little applicator brush for these. Once ready we put them in the ball. Along with the pink fuzz.

Fuzz

The fuzz is really good. It’s soft, light and fluffy. I’ve never really seen anything like it, but the effect it gives is really cool. It’s like suede. Put the accessories in the ball with the fuzz and spin to cover the clothes.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Mannequin

The last thing we put in the glitter factory was the L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Mannequin. She’s a fab little accessory, that you can put the clothes on you want to glitter or fuzz. Add it to the middle stand, glue, facemask and away you go. Without your L.O.L. Surprise! doll getting covered. Isn’t she cute?

L.O.L. Surprise! Clothes Hanging

Here we have the L.O.L. Surprise! Clothes hanger with the fuzz-covered skirt and the black glitter covered top.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory Stand

It is a lot of fun playing with this set. I love that everything can sit in the stand and you can add more L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls as storage. The stand itself is just over 30cm high and 17cm wide. So it’s a fair size. You don’t have to stop at decorating the dolls, you can decorate pets and the accessories too. The possibilities are endless.

Start Again

One of the good things about it is that it can be washed off and started again. Now, it is messy and some of the fuzz peels off if too thick, but you can touch it up with brushes and glue. We decorated the bottle accessory too with the black glitter and it turned out great. It does tidy simply and I love that everything is contained within the set.

L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glittered

Here we have our L.O.L. Surprise! Doll customised via our L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory. We love this set, it’s got so much to it and the fact you can use it on any L.O.L. Surprise! dolls is a huge bonus. It’s a whole new level and including crafting it’s great. It can be messy, but you can minimise it and everything is washable. The L.O.L. Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory is available from Smyths, Amazon and other retailers. With an RRP of £39.99 it’s not the cheapest, but you do get a lot of items and the fact it can store the dolls in the stands is a great addition. We are big fans!

Which characters or pets would you customise with the L.O.L Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory?

You can read our previous L.O.L reviews L.O.L. Under Wraps, L.O.L. Series 2, L.O.L Confetti PopL.O.L Pearl Surprise and L.O.L Biggie Pet Surprise.

We're going on an adventure

Disclaimer: We were sent this L.O.L Surprise! DIY Glitter Factory for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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Snow, Bubble, Colouring And A Birthday Our Weekly Photos – Week 12 https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/snow-bubble-colouring-and-a-birthday-our-weekly-photos.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/snow-bubble-colouring-and-a-birthday-our-weekly-photos.html#comments Sat, 23 Mar 2019 22:33:42 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21338 Snow

Bubble
Mum

Colouring

Can you believe we had snow again since I last spoke to you last week’s weekly photos? Just look at that photo, for a brief period we were covered in snow. Poor Tyler played football in that, yes, the game didn’t get cancelled. The poor kids were so cold that it got called off halfway through the second game. He had ice in his boots!

The rest of Saturday we went down to the shopping centre. It was warm and there was no snow indoors. Stationery was required for some of the school goers, and we got a bit carried away. I treated myself to a writing magazine, so all was right with the world. Robert’s friend was over from Australia for the night, he met up with him and a few other friends at night. The kids and I watched a film and Lucas and I played Carnival Games for a bit. It’s my new favourite game.

Sunday, Robert was poorly. The kids and I played around and all went outdoors to play in the afternoon.  Lucas game got cancelled due to the weather. The snow was starting to disperse for some iced rain. Aria coloured in a sweet early Mother’s Day card for me. She does love colouring. Dinner and gymnastics rounded off our weekend. It goes so fast, doesn’t it?

Monday morning already and my Mum was watching the kids. School and work for the rest of us. I came home early and we had birthday gifts, cards and birthday cake for my Mum’s birthday. It was Tuesday,  but we celebrated on Monday since she was there. She loved her cake and gifts, so that was a win. Tuesday was her birthday and you can see a rare photo of the both of us. She says she found me in a cabbage patch, as we aren’t very alike. lol.

While Lucas was at table tennis, Tyler was at football training with his Dad, I was putting Aria to bed and she fell. Smacked her head off the floor. Giving herself a huge egg-sized bump and bruise. Not wanting to put her to bed after that, we stayed up and watched some Worst Witch for a while as she calmed down. She finally gave in to some sleep and we checked on her a lot, but other than a bump and bruise in the morning she was doing ok.

Wednesday school for the kids, football training for the oldest and a long day at work. Same Thursday. The evening was pretty busy as both boys have football at the same time in different places and Aria was very excited about her school trip to the farm the next day. She read me her reading book and told me what she was looking forward to doing.

Hurrah for Friday. Aria had her trip to the farm, the weather isn’t looking the best. I am off work for some catching up and some writing. I sent my first chapters off to be evaluated. And Aria had some fun with her brother’s wobble bubble ball. What are your plans this weekend?

It’s been a strange and busy week. I am grateful for small things. How has your week been? project-365-2017-badge

Sunday Snap
Silent Sunday Linky
The Ordinary Moments
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Simply Be Style – Review https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/simply-be-style.html https://www.susankmann.com/2019/03/simply-be-style.html#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2019 16:09:53 +0000 https://www.susankmann.com/?p=21329 Butterfly Tunic

[Gifted]

For a while now I’ve struggled to know what to wear. I never really had an issue in the past, but I think since I turned 40 I am more conscious I don’t wear anything too young, which is crazy, right? Also, when it comes to colours, I just don’t have the confidence anymore. So, when I was asked to choose some clothes to suit my style from Simply Be I had no real idea of what I was looking for. Before, I even discuss what I picked. I really wasn’t sure about Simple Be, I’ve never bought from there and I thought it was just for plus sizes. I am a 12, a 10 in somethings, but a standard 12 is usually best. I’m busty and hippy, therefore, a 12 fits better. I was pleasantly surprised in the range of sizes they did, accommodating those of all shapes and sizes. It was a welcomed change and the stuff looks great too. I will certainly be going back for more.

Hanky Hem Tunic

First up on my Simply Be style was this gorgeous, hanky hem tunic. This item comes as a pack of two with the plain black one above and the butterfly one at the top. I love that these can be styled with leggings or jeans. It is something for a casual day shopping or smart casual for a day in the office. They are comfortable enough to play around on the floor with the kids but look good to wear out. When I looked at these they were less than £20 for both, which is a great value and I will be buying more. They wash great and I loved them for work. Coming in sizes 10 right up to 32, I am amazed the cover the range and this particular item I think would look good on everyone.

Simply Be Style

For something a bit more stylish and for heading out for lunch with a friend or an evening meal or a day shopping, I went for something with a little bit of sparkle. The stripes on this navy and silver tunic style jumper have an illusion at the side where it has smaller stripes. I thought it looked good on and wasn’t made of that itchy material you find some glitter jumpers have. I felt it was something pretty and liked how it sat. I think this could be a staple part of my wardrobe. This was £38 on the website when I looked, which is a good value. It is well made and I’ve not seen a striped top with this illusion effect before. I paired this up with some black Like the other items, this is available in sizes 8/10-32/34. I’d love to know if you have tried this type of top or similar.

Simply Be

I have a few weddings this year and one is an evening one, I wasn’t sure about wearing black to a wedding, but things have changed. Plus, evening receptions only are different. Arent they? I went for this gorgeous Chi Chi London Silver Lace Midi dress. It looks lovely on, it fits great and it has a stunning swishy skirt. You’ve got to have a swishy skirt for evening dancing, right?

Chi Chi London

This dress had a gorgeously intricate, metallic embroidered top have with a lovely neckline. The sleeves I found to be a little tight at three-quarter length, but the rest is beautiful. It is such a nice dress to wear and I love the mesh material skirt with its many layers.  The length is just below my knee, I’m average height and the dress is 104 cm.  I paired it up with some little black heels and a black satin bag. My plan is the loose bun at the back with a clip to dress it up.  Throw on some make-up and some deep red lippy and I’m ready to go. What do you think? Suitable for an evening reception?

I really enjoyed shopping on the Simple Be site and I have ordered a couple of other bits since. I would highly recommend you check them out too if you haven’t already. They have a great range, their sizes fit well and are very reasonably priced. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d never thought to buy from there before. Next time I will get a bit more adventurous and splash in some colour. I’d love to know what you think of my choices? What you’ve bought and thought of Simply Be? And what my next buy should be? I need all the help I can get.

We're going on an adventure

Disclaimer:- I received the dress and tops from Simply Be for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

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