Archive for May, 2013

Cadbury World

Written by mummybird. Posted in Days Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hands up if your a chocoholic ……. oooh that will be me then!!! We recently got the chance to review Cadbury World in Bournville from Superbreak and I was so excited its somewhere I have always wanted to go but I was waiting until the children were old enough to really enjoy it.

Last weekend me and the children jumped in the car with my Mum and Dad and made our way to Birmingham. Like me my Mum is also mad about chocolate and its somewhere she has always wanted to visit too, so she was keen to join us. We arrived around lunch time and we were booked into the Cadbury tour at 3.10pm. The children were super excited and couldn’t wait to look around.

Five Ways for a Business to Go Eco-Friendly

Written by mummybird. Posted in The Birds

Starting a Green Startup

Startup companies and businesses are great for the economy, especially since they help to employ more people. In recent years, there has been a major focus on organic products and products that are environmentally friendly. As potential business owners begin to develop their very own business, many are deciding to become a green business as a way to help the environment, while also selling their products and creating more business to generate increased revenue.

Startups Going Green

One of the first steps for any startup is to apply for a business credit card. Many potential business owners may ask themselves what are the best credit cards available. The best credits cards will typically have a low APR rate or annual percentage rate, along with a low interest rate. The reason these cards are considered the best is because credit cards with high interest rates and APR percentages will end up costing business owners more in the future, just about every time they use the credit card for their business.

Getting Started Quickly

Once the lowest apr credit card has been made available for the business owner, they will be able to get started with the process of properly running their business, while also going green. Going green will also allow these businesses to save money in the long run, which is even more rewarding. Having this type of credit card as a business owner is necessary when buying products for the business.

Five Ways for a Business to Go Eco-Friendly

Every little bit counts when it comes to protecting the environment. Whether the business is small, moderate, or large, there are several ways for a business to become eco-friendly and stay that way. These effective methods include:

  • Go Paperless – Going paperless is definitely one way to start helping the environment. Even for business owners who have several employees, they can complete everything online instead of sending out notices on paper and using traditional paper documents. Documents and files can be stored on the computer, notices can be sent out via e-mail, and businesses can go paperless fast.
  • Advertise Online – Advertising online instead of using brochures is also a way to save paper. There are many ways to advertise online, including having a website setup for the business or even social media pages for the business. It is a great way to gain exposure for free without wasting trees!
  • Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs – Compact fluorescent light bulbs help to save energy and can help business owners save money at the same time. In fact, these light bulbs are commonly referred to as “energy smart light bulbs” because of their ability to save energy.
  • Recycle As Much as Possible – Recycling as a business owner always helps to make a difference. It is vital for business owners to consider all of the ways in which they can reduce waste. There should be special bins in the office that are designated for recycling paper and recycling plastic bottles, and a separate trashcan for things that cannot be recycled. However, most things can be recycled and business owners should encourage their employees to do so, at least while they are at work.
  • Use Energy Star Products – There are tons of products, ranging from televisions to air conditioners, all of which have the Energy Star seal on them. These products have been designed to help reduce the amount of energy used to make them work. If any of these products are being used in the office, it is best to get them with the Energy Star seal.

There are so many different ways for a startup business to go green. Going green is good for the economy and for the pockets of the business owner as well. Saving money and the environment at the same time is definitely something to be proud of.

Labyrinth from Ravensburger

Written by mummybird. Posted in Review, Review - Board Games / Family Games, Review - Puzzle Club

Being part of the Ravensburger puzzle club has given us a fantastic opportunity to try out some pretty amazing puzzles, the children love doing them as much as I do so its a pleasure trying them out so we can review them for you. Last week I took delivery of our latest puzzle to try and was surprised to find it was actually a board game.

Duplo Valley at Legoland Windsor

Written by mummybird. Posted in Days Out, Review

 

Last weekend my parents, the children and myself headed to Legoland Windsor for the grand opening of their Duplo Valley Splash and Play area. We have never been to Legoland before but it was on my list of places to go with the children this year. Both of my children are mad about Lego especially Little Bird, its all he plays with and talks about he is a true Lego Fan and I knew Legoland would be his dream place to visit.

Me and My Girl

Written by mummybird. Posted in The Birds

When I found out I was pregnant in 2005 I was praying that my baby was going to be a girl. I had always wanted a little girl first and was over joyed when a 4D scan at 26 weeks confirmed that I was indeed having a girl. From that moment pink was all I bought and I couldn’t wait to meet my princess. At the beginning of August my little girl arrived a day later than she was due and I was overwhelmed with the love I felt for her.

When my princess was born she didn’t cry, she arrived wide awake I will never forget her massive eyes looking around the room as if to say ‘whats just happened?’ she was calm and relaxed from the off in fact she was the perfect baby. This little girl is amazing and has been a pleasure to bring up.

Something I love most about Big Bird is how honest she is, even if it means she will get herself into trouble she will always tell the truth. I love how this little girl looks up to me knowing I have all the right answers to all of her questions. I love how she looks after and plays so nicely with her little brother, yes they have their ups and downs like most kids but generally they get on well and they always watch out for each other.

Since the childrens Father left us 3 months ago my relationship has completely changed with Big Bird. Before she was very independent, she only liked kisses and cuddles on her terms when she wanted them, but when she did want them you always knew they were special and she really enjoyed them.

Now Big Bird is like my little shadow, she loves being with me all of the time. She also loves kisses and cuddles anytime any place, I am still used to not pressuring her into them so when she just walks up and cuddles me for no reason it means the world to me and I always make a point of stopping what I am doing to give her a big squeeze back. This little girl might only be 7 years old but she has a very wise head on her shoulders.

When her father left I explained to her how hard I had tried to make him stay, and this little girl turned around and said to me “do you think you tried too hard Mum ? Maybe if you had not tried so hard he would have stayed.” Obviously I burst into tears because I never dreamed for one minute my 7 year old would come out with that. Since that moment the wise words have fallen none stop from my girls mouth and she surprises me every time I hear them.

After 3 weeks of her dad leaving he came to visit one night, when he left we both hadn’t cried for the first time and she said to me “are you ok Mum?” to which I replied “yes” and she followed it up with “its getting easier when Dad leaves now isn’t it? but I feel sorry for him because he is going to be very lonely on his own in his flat, maybe he will come back when he realises how lonely his life will be without us.” My heart just broke and on this particular occasion I was ok when he had left, but I had to walk away because after this little girls words the tears began filling up in my eyes.

As the weeks and months have passed this little girl has been my little star, the first few weeks she saw me completely broken, she saw me on the floor crying and she would just sit there and cuddle me until I stopped. She would sleep in my bed with me because she knew I was missing her father and I slowly noticed that she was copying my behaviour and trying to help me bring up Little Bird. Then a protective side to her kicked in, I caught her many times telling Little Bird off for saying something about their dad because she didn’t want him to upset me. I was quick to say to her that he could say anything he wanted it didn’t matter I was a grown up and could handle it.

This little girl from the beginning of all this mess has taken the time to stop and look into my eyes and my face to see if she can see how I am feeling. She is quick to pull me up and say “you have been crying ….. why?” and most of the time she is right and its clear she can read me so well. Every time her father would leave she would stare at me to see if I was ok, and if I looked upset she would just cuddle me.

This little girl in the first few weeks of her father leaving saw me constantly crying, I was always on the phone talking or texting family and friends and every time it beeped she would look into my eyes again to see if I was ok. Nearly every message and phone call would have me in tears and one day she said “STOP looking at your phone it upsets you, I wish I could take it away from you and hide it.”

Then last week my mum came around to babysit and she asked Big Bird if she thought I had been better since seeing the life coach a week ago and I had to laugh when Big Bird said “ohhh yes Mummy has definitely been better, and thank goodness because I couldn’t go through all that again!” Bless her.

This week the childrens Father came round to do bedtime, they were in the bathroom about to brush their teeth and (I was trying to stay out of the way so they could see their father) I walked into one of the bedrooms to put the childrens ironing away, when I reached up to hang the clothes on the rail Big Bird left her father for a minute to come over to me and she gave me a big hug from behind. It was at that moment I realised this little girl was telling me that she loved me and she was there for me no matter what.

Since that moment its made me really think about my little girl and what shes been through recently, sadly her Fathers decision has made her grow up really quick. I feel like her childhood has been taken away by him and I will never forgive him for forcing her to grow up so quickly. Some of the stuff she has said has shocked and saddened me and its all down to one person.

This week she told me that a friend at school told her that her parents are sleeping in separate bedrooms so Big Bird told her “If you want to come and talk to me at anytime I can help you because I have been through it.” Voice of an angel, innocent words from my baby girl.

Big Bird has always been more of a Daddies girl in the past but clearly that has all changed, I guess him leaving has done some good for me and my girl because our bond has just got stronger and stronger over the last 3 months and I don’t think its something he or anyone else will ever break. As for me and my girl I love having her around, yes she has her moments where she plays me up but all in all shes a fantastic, caring, loving child and I wouldn’t swap her for the world.

I Love my Princess to the moon and back, or as we tell each other at bedtime ……

Love you lots like Jelly Tots

xxx

 

Brownies Enrolment

Written by mummybird. Posted in The Birds

On Wednesday this week Big Bird had her Brownies enrolment ceremony. She has been practicing her Brown Promise for weeks now and is proud to know it off by heart:

I promise that I will do my best:

To love my God,

To serve the Queen and my country,

To help other people and

To keep the Brownie Guide Law.

Big Bird was a bit nervous standing up in front of all the other Brownies and the parents to say her Brownie Promise,  she was given a certificate and three badges to officially welcome her to her Brownies group. Me and Little Bird were really proud to watch her become a new member of the group. Love you princess xxx

My Blue Nose Friends App

Written by mummybird. Posted in Review, Review - Apps

In April 2013 the creators of Me to You and Tatty Teddy & My Blue Nose Friends, Carte Blanche launched their first app, opening the door to an interactive world of Blue Nose Adventures with an exciting new Blue Nose Friends – Tatty Puppy app. Children from 4-8 years old will love playing with their favourite Blue Nose Friends, Binky the Panda, Passion the Lovebug, Blossom the Rabbit, Cottonsocks the Sheep, Peanuts’ the Hamster and Coco the Monkey, plus special appearances from other new friends.

The free app features a fun mini-game, Peanuts’ Biscuit Bake, which is set in Peanuts’ kitchen. Children will enjoy rolling dough and cutting biscuits into the shape of their favourite Blue Nose Friends. Peanuts puts the biscuits in the oven to bake and children can decorate them with brightly coloured icing, plenty of sprinkles and yummy sweets. Once the biscuits are ready, children can take pictures of their creations and send to their best friends.

The extended version of The Blue Nose Friends – Tatty Puppy App (RRP £1.99) comprises six games, Blossom’s Skip & Jump, Coco’s Beach Band, Passion’s Magical Garden, Cottonsocks’ Card Match, Binky’s Hide ‘n’ Seek and Peanuts’ Biscuit Bake.

  • Blossom’s Skip & Jump is set in a magical woodland. Children tap on the screen to get Blossom to jump over the skipping rope as many times as possible. To earn more points players can make Blossom jump extra high by twirling and summersaulting into the air and retrieving bonus fruit and vegetables.
  • Coco’s Beach Band has seven different instruments that can be shared between the five cute beach characters to create musical harmonies.
  • Passion’s Magical Garden is really bright and colourful! Using colour variations, children can create their own fun and unusual flowers like kissing flowers, chiming bluebells and sweetie flowers.
  • Cottonsocks’ Card Match is a memory game based around matching pairs. Children can play this game themselves or against their friends to see who can match the most of the Blue Nose Friends character car.
  • Binky’s Hide ‘n’ Seek. Binky hides in the magical virtual world and children can tilt and move their device to find him and earn puzzle pieces.

Tatty Puppy introduces the games and then leads players on a magical adventure through Tatty Teddy’s blue wardrobe. In the wardrobe are enchanted doors which open on to different games. Players can also watch story animations by unlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle during each game. Both versions of the app feature recognisable voices from the interactive Tatty Teddy & My Blue Nose Friends plush toys and encourage creativity, musicality, numeracy and memory skills.

Big Bird absolutely loves this app, she is mad about Tatty Teddies and her favourite game is the skipping games. She loves playing it with Blossom who is her favourite character.

The Tatty Teddy Blue Nose friends App is available on iOS from the 25th April and android from May. Free mini-game or full version £1.99.

 

 

Come Fly with me …..

Written by mummybird. Posted in The Birds

Last week I decided to hit one of my fears head on and I booked myself up for the Fearless Flyer course with easyJet. I have always dodged the topic of flying and thought it was something I would NEVER do. When the childrens father walked out 3 months ago I decided it was time I changed this, after all there is so much out there to see and I need to show my children the world.

I had been looking at Fear of flying courses online and quite a few airlines do them, after quite a few telephone conversations I found one that I felt suited me and that was with easyJet called Fearless Flyer. I didn’t have long to prepare myself for the course because it was a week away which was ok I was ready in my head to do this.

There are two parts to the course. The first part took place last Thursday at the Hilton Hotel in Watford. It was a 3 hour course where they help to deal with any misconceptions that you may have about flying and give you proven techniques to be able to delete those old mind patterns that you have running in your head.

We listened to Captain Chris Foster talk us through all the noises and what happens on a flight. Then we had the chance to ask him some questions. There was approx 100 people on the course and I was surprised to see just how many people had a genuine fear about flying. Everyone was different with their fears, there was anything ranging from being scared the plane would fly to high (as in going to the moon) to planes crashing, but at the end of the day we all had the same thing in common ….. Fear of Flying.

My favourite part of the course was listening to the host Lawrence Leyton talk, Lawernce has been a regular guest on many National TV and radio shows and was commissioned to star in his own prime-time TV special on Channel 4 called ‘Fear of Flying’, where he successfully cured a large number of the UK’s most extreme phobics who could not fly. Lawrence’s presentation style is very unique, he firmly believes that learning should be fun and he certainly delivers it that way, I could of listened to him for hours.

Lawerence taught us three techniques to help us handle our fear of flying. These techniques can not only be used for flying but any fear you have in life and I think they may well come in handy later on in life so I will remember them for when I might need them. After the course I felt really relaxed about flying and I left the hotel excited about the flight I was due to take 2 days later on Saturday. I wish that I could actually of got on a plane straight after the talk because I was really looking forward to it. I couldn’t believe the change in me, me ACTUALLY saying I was looking forward to flying.

On Friday morning I woke up thinking about the flight I would be having the next day and I couldn’t wait to get on with it. If fact that night when I had put the children to bed I started to think of all the places I wanted to fly to which inspired me to write this post.

On Saturday morning me and the children headed off to Luton Airport with my Mum and Dad so me and my Dad could take to the sky for our Flight Experience. The children were going to stand with Nanny and watch us go up as I showed them there was nothing to worry about. I was relaxed all the way to the airport and dare I say I was actually a little bit excited about doing this. All the way there the children kept asking if they could come up in the plane with me and kept telling them that it was only me and grandad that would be doing it.

When we arrived at check in there was a long queue of familiar faces I recognised from the course on Thursday night. Captain Chris Foster made his way down the queue to talk to everyone and when he got to me I said I was looking forward to the flight and the children had been asking if they could come to. He said “let me have a word and see what I can do.” Then another gentleman from the course came up and said they could come with me if I wanted for an extra fee. I couldn’t believe it, the children had the opportunity to come up with me so we could all do our first flight together, we were all so excited.

We picked up our tickets and headed through to security to have our bags checked. I walked through first followed by the children, when Little Bird walked through the security man set the alarm off to see his reaction bless him he stopped and looked worried. Then we laughed and told him what the security man had done, he was ok.

Then we headed off to our plane, when we got there we had to wait a little while to get on the plane and the children enjoyed looking around at the planes out of the window. Then we got the call that we were going onto the plane, we handed in our tickets and headed towards the plane. The children were getting really excited and I was really looking forward to it as well, especially now I had my children with me too.

I was still really calm about getting on the plane and as I climbed the steps with the children I couldn’t wait to get up in the air. We decided to have a wing seat, I wanted to sit by the window so I had Little Bird next to me and Big Bird sat next to my Dad opposite us. I was really surprised just how fast the plane went when we took off, I knew it had to go fast but wasn’t sure how that would feel, I found myself wishing it to take off as soon as possible and once it began to lift I felt relieved.

It was amazing being up in the plane with my family. I looked out of the window and enjoyed the view until the plane started to turn. That was when I thought “ooooh I am not sure about this.” I didn’t like the feeling of pressure in my head and looking out of the window disoriented me so I decided to stop looking out of the window whilst we turned and that was much better. We flew around the airspace for 40 mins apparently we went Southend way and then Clacton on Sea before heading back to Luton.

I was really surprised when we went through the clouds and I saw how blue the sky was, it looked really grey and miserable from the ground but up high it looked beautiful. The clouds looked like big balls of cotton wool that were ready for bouncing on and the children kept saying it looked like the place the Cloud Babies from Cbeebies would play.

Then we could feel the plane slowly coming down as we headed back to Luton. I was shocked when Captain Chris Foster announced that we would be landing in 1 minute 22 secs, I thought ‘wow thats pretty accurate’ and before we knew it we were down again. There was a cheer from the plane and everyone looked happy they had done it. I received a certificate for completing the course. I was really proud of myself and the children were pleased that they got to join me and we all did our first flight together, its something I will remember forever.

Me and my Dad after the flight.

When we landed my Mum told me that she had filmed us going up in the plane and here is the footage, I was chuffed to bits with this. Thank you Mum. x

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUt24GvDvN4&feature=youtu.be’]

Now I have done the Fearless Flyer course and experienced a flight I am so proud of myself and how far I have come. I have wonderful friends who have offered to take me and the children away on holiday to Spain this summer but after a conversation with the childrens father last night I am not sure it will happen. I really want to fly again but do not know when it will happen, for now I am happy that I have done it and look forward to when I can fly again, one things for sure it will happen again one day.

 

Spread my wings and FLY

Written by mummybird. Posted in The Birds

I am 36 years old and have never been on a plane, its something I have dodged for many years but when the childrens Father left it got me thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. I want to take the children to amazing places and see amazing things and experience the world but theres one problem ….. I am terrified of flying.

Last week I saw a life coach who helped cure my Emetophobia and I had a feeling that my fear of flying was related to that. I have been hunting online for ‘Fear of Flying’ courses and I found one last minute that started this week. I signed up and couldn’t wait to start.

Last night I headed off to Watford to the Hilton hotel to do part 1 of Fearless Flyer by easyJet, the course went well (I will write all about it in another post) and I left thinking I can not wait to get on a plane. Part 2 is the flight, we are booked onto it tomorrow afternoon and I am really looking forward to it. I NEVER thought I would see the day that I said ” I was looking forward to a flight,” but I honestly am.

Tomorrow we are going up in a plane and flying over London for 45 minutes and then landing. I am feeling really excited about it and can’t wait to get there and see what this crazy world of flying is all about. Over the years I have dodged holidays abroad and tonight I have been sitting here thinking of all the places I want to take the children, so I have started a list,  here’s what I have come up with :

(Obviously not all in one go, I know it will take years to get to all these places.)

I still can’t believe I have been having thoughts to go to these places, it would never have cropped up in my mind before. Its like an alien has got into my head and changed me and I love it. I actually feel excited inside when I think of taking the children away somewhere different. As you can see from my list I started with a short flight, something to get me and the children used to it and then moved up to the big flight of Australia. Again I would NEVER have thought that those words would of come out of my mouth but BANG they have.

My parents are going away on holiday for 3 weeks in June and tonight I rung them to see if I can join them for a week, again OMG I can’t believe I actually asked that. I am not sure if we can make it happen but my mum is looking into it for me. Anyone who knows me well won’t believe I am actually writing these words and feeling this way but its totally true. I don’t know whats happened to me but I like it.

Its a crazy feeling but I finally feel like I can spread my wings and ……………… FLY!!