Sunday, 27 January 2013

Charming & tasty valentine's cakes from Baker Days

The new way to celebrate - petite and personalised cakes  delivering perfectly fresh and delicious cake through the letterbox from just £14.99

Well I am really pleased I got to review this product, I am quite smitten with it! Baker Days kindly sent me a valentines cake of my choice to review so my lucky husband has had an early gift this year! Baker Days produce letterbox cakes which can be personalised and there are some lovely designs and flavours to choose from:

I opted for the Love Birds cake and decided on the message "twit wooooo!" (well it amused me). Not long after a neat little box arrived through the post and this is what you we found when we opened it:

It's a really lovely little tin and so great that it can fit through a letterbox, it means you don't have the worry about somebody being in to sign for it, which makes for a stress free gift! The cake is really neatly packaged and travelled no trouble at all.

I was really pleased with the design I chose and my other half thought it was very sweet, and most importantly delicious! In order to do a thorough review I obviously had to try a slice... or three. I had meant to only have a small slice and leave the rest for my husband but it was so moist, tasty and very very moreish I had almost half of it! I'd say they are the perfect size for two to share which is what you want on Valentines Day really.

If you fancy a change from flowers and chocolates this is a fantastic idea, I would have been over the moon to receive one as a surprise gift through my door. They do a great range of cakes for other occasions too, everything from birthdays to get well soon cakes. I have a friend who's recently given birth and I think a new baby cake would be a great surprise for her.

To discover their huge range of letterbox cakes, the website is well worth a visit: and if you do get one, please try and save a slice for me!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Reliving adventure

I am well out of season with this photo (definitely no snow here) but for me it fitted this weeks Gallery theme 'adventure' perfectly. It just sums up childhood adventures for me and reminds me of the long days we used to spend running off into fields with friends, even a trip to the nearby brook could be made into an adventure. Here is my little girl a little fed up with the mud on her feet after such an adventure with her older cousins.

The girls told me about the meadow they visit with wide eyes that reminded me of myself at their age – like it was a deserted place miles away, which only they knew of! Off they all went to explore and build a rope swing over a muddy ditch. I was a bit of a kill joy and followed behind as my little one was only 2! She was so excited to be able to go on the adventure with all of them but didn't last as long as she got hungry & fed up with muddy feet so home we went. 

She'll get the hang of it!!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Britain's Best Days Out – Woburn Safari Park

We were very lucky to be sent a family ticket to Woburn Safari Park courtesy of Money Saving Expert and Tots 100 and their 'Britain's Best Days Out' promotion. We jumped at the chance for a family day out together during the Christmas break. I was curious to find out how a trip to a safari park in chilly December would work out but my fears of shivering monkeys hiding in their houses were unfounded – turns out winter is the time to go!!

On entering the park we decided to explore the safari element first and started the drive:

On the look out for some friends for giraffe!

We saw rhinos, emus, buffalo and elephants all strolling about and typically my 3 year old was very excited about the ducks on the pond!

We had a great view all the way around, there were hardly any cars there so we could tour at our leisure and stop for as long as we liked next to pacing tigers, lazy bears and curious monkeys. The highlight for me as a child at safari parks was always the monkeys jumping up on the cars. They didn't disappoint! One jumped onto the bonnet then climbed round to the wing mirror to get a closer look at my giggling daughter. Then he jumped on the roof for a ride causing excited squeals inside our car!

We also had a touch of extra excitement at the lion enclosure as the keepers closed the gate and a jeep told us to follow him out the side exit. Oooo we thought... what could be happening??! Luckily as it was so quiet we went round again and this time were allowed into the lions den. Here we found the beautiful (and huge) lionesses up on the hill looking down, just as curious as us, to see what was going on. It seemed as though the male had been taken inside for some reason. Probably something mundane like tea time but we made up some great alternative stories.

We followed our way out of the safari drive but our day was far from over as there is a fantastic foot safari area.

Some zoos, are really spread out but as the animals who need the space here have the safari area, this foot section is compact and the perfect size to explore with little ones. It's nicely laid out for exploring and more like a petting zoo but with exciting animals!

A big fan of the film 'Madagascar' my daughter was desperate to go through the walk through lemurs so we headed there first to avoid any nagging. On the way we saw tortoises and snakes, and were followed along the fence by free roaming marmosets.

The lemur walk through is fantastic, you have to leave buggies outside these enclosures but it's a short walk to retrieve them. You walk down a wooden walkway which in itself is an adventure for a toddler! The lemurs were all lazing about on the handrails looking like they weren't all too impressed with the English weather. It's fantastic just how close you can get to these animals. When they do perk up they make such a racket you wouldn't believe it.

On exiting we were at the base of the penguin pool where we were able to watch them swim underwater, it's not a huge pool but big enough, and at this time of year we had it all to ourselves. We sat here, just us, eating our lunch and watching the penguins play. My little girl adored it - every time she sat at the window, one came down to chat to her!

After a quick walk through the goats and a look at the river hogs we decided it was time to warm up a bit and went into the soft play indoor area. I normally avoid these bits on days out but in the winter it seemed like a good idea! Daddy and I enjoyed a hot cuppa while Squiggle had fun playing in the ball pit.

We had a couple more walk through areas to visit – the squirrel monkeys and wallabies – so once we had finally coaxed her out on we went!

The walk round 'monkey business' area here has to be one of my favourite parts, they are so playful and the staff are happy for a chat and answer questions. Last time we visited we had a slight mishap when one of the cheeky creatures went to the toilet on my daughters head – this time I was prepared and didn't linger under any trees!!

When we had first parked up we purchased tickets to the sea lion and 3d indoor show. Had it not been winter I might have skipped this as there are plenty of other things to do in the park. The sea lion show was great though and the 3D film was Christmas themed so my daughter enjoyed it. If you do go in the winter though don't expect to warm up in there... brrrrrr!!

With an exhausted but happy child it was time to head home and we still hadn't fitted in the walk round bird enclosure where you can feed them nectar, or any of the bird shows.

We had an absolutely wonderful day, completely relaxing, interesting, and full of memories.

I absolutely loved Woburn, there's no 'exit through the gift shop' attitude, it's the perfect size for little ones to explore, and the animals seem well cared for. If you do choose to visit the shop it has a nice selection of relevant toys and there are a couple of places to eat available. I wouldn't rave about these but I'm more of a picnic person and here you are never too far from the car to head back for your sandwiches!

We will visit time and time again I'm sure and I am definitely going to do another Christmas treat visit next year.

Monday, 14 January 2013

The oh so relaxed second pregnancy...

Well I knew I was pregnant but I just suddenly seem to have realised that this usually equals a baby being born.

At 32 weeks this finally sunk in as we were clearing out the cupboards and I was flicking through an old notebook to see if it could be chucked. In it I found a list I had made in preparation for our daughters arrival, our first baby. It was do detailed and specific:

8/10 white 100% cotton vests washable at 50 degrees. Short sleeved.

8/10 white 100% cotton baby grows washable at 50 degrees. Front buttoning.

2 x decorative girls baby grows.

...and so on.

At first it made my laugh at how new everything was then and how different I was. This has now turned to slight panic, I have a couple of months to go and haven't actually thought to check I have everything.

We know this baby is a boy so we don't really have many clothes that can be used again, the nappy mat went in the bin long ago and the play matt is bright pink and has been lent out to somebody? I know where the moses basket is but the stand has disappeared... I can't remember what I packed in my hospital bag... my free boots changing bag is now in tatters... The baby monitor is broken... I think it's time I put some thought into this.

I think I assumed as we'd done it all, we had it all. Not so though!

It's nice to be relaxed but a list may be on the cards. I think there are some things I might do this time that I didn't before.

I would love some advice on products I am considering this time, which I didn't use before. Mainly:

A baby sling
This seems like a good idea with 2 children. Has anybody had good experiences with them?

A buggy board
My daughter will walk a bit but can be tempted to run off or complain of sore legs and beg for a carry. At 3 it's not worth getting a double buggy, is this a good solution?

An electric pump
We struggled last time and I fed my daughter with a mixture of breast feeding and formula. I had a hand pump but it didn't work for me, think perhaps I should try this this time?

Any tips? I think it's time to do a bit of planning, stay calm and hopefully everything will fall into place just in the nick of time.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Happy New Year... it starts here

My first post of the year... so clearly my New Years resolution wasn't to be more punctual!

Christmas was a wonderful, relaxing time with family which is always so hard to give up! 2013 will be a new chapter for us with a new baby due and lots to sort out with the house. It also signals change as I think I am finally loosing the battle with commuting hours, child care and train fares, so will need a big plan of action post maternity leave! I didn't have my blog last time I was off on maternity leave, I'm hoping it will give me more time but I'm guessing it might mean the opposite.

I hope 2013 brings nothing but good things for everybody and I look forward to sharing our news, reviews and competitions. X