My Mum is Fantastic – Nick Butterworth

Well, do you need any further motivation to read a book to your child, beyond a title of ‘My Mum is Fantastic’. It is, of course, based on a true story – *wink wink* But okay, I’ll tell you a bit more about this board book from Nick Butterworth.

“I love that this book tells the truth. Mama IS fantastic” – Ameli, Age 7

Targeted at those over 6 months, this is a sturdy board book with 13 strong board pages. The 26 page story isn’t just for babies though, but the single lines of large-font story are great for early readers too. As such it’s a lovely read for bed time, too, since it’s short but engaging.My Mum is Fantastic

Read more: My Mum is Fantastic – Nick Butterworth

Party Ideas For The Fantastic New Beauty And The Beast Movie

I, along with much of the rest of the world, went to see the new Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson on the weekend and I absolutely loved it. I found myself smiling through most of the movie – right up to the mass of villagers and their pitchforks descended on the castle, anyway.


YouTube Direkt

While I think Luke Evans plays dangerous vapid vanity with frighting acuity, Emma Watson absolutely stole the show, as I’m sure she was supposed to, being the lead actress and all. I could honestly not imagine a better actor for the role of Belle, a headstrong, before her time, literate girl from a French village (with an exquisite peasant wardrobe! I’d dress like that all the time, if I could!)

If an actress brings something of herself into a role, Emma Watson is the perfect person for this. Alone up there (if I recall) among the Disney films that look at love as more than a physical attraction based on a your place in society – a beautiful maiden in one or another form of distress, and a prince – and it’s one of the few that place the female lead in the heroine role, so there are many reasons to love this story, original or new.

Something I thoroughly appreciated in the new film, however, was how reminiscent, but better, it was of the original, with similar dream like sequences and choreographies. It harked back to the original so much, yet was so enhanced and just beautiful. Everything about it was beautiful. I walked out of the cinema thoroughly inspired.

I did also walk out thinking that this new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was going to spark many a Beauty and the Beast birthday party with the crowd that may have outgrown the cartoon version some years before. I know if I was planning a party around now, I’d probably be planning Beauty and the Beast!

So here are some of the best party ideas I’ve found, but I expect there’ll be many new, fresh ideas coming out as the new Beauty and the Beast fanbase grows!

Top 10 Food Ideas

There are some incredible Beauty and the Beast Party Food ideas around, but I don’t know many mamas who have the time, skill or resource to go to the lengths some of the Pinterest mamas do, so here are some of my favourite, I-could-probably-do-that, Beauty and the Beast party food ideas.

Top Party Game & Decor Ideas


LOL Surprise Dolls Review

To my eternal chagrin, my little Aviya is a collector. She loves collecting things – it used to be rocks, then it became Shopkins, then NumNoms, and now, LOL Surprise Dolls. It’s a good thing we have a big house with plenty of room for little things.

The other thing about this particular little girl is that she loves pass the parcel. It’s her favourite party game – she loves it so much, for Christmas I wrapped 50 little collectables in a big ball for her Christmas present. She loved it.

So, LOL Surprise Dolls are totally her cup of tea!

LOL Surprise is a big ball, wrapped in seven layers, with each layer revealing a ‘surprise’. 
Read more: LOL Surprise Dolls Review

STEM/STEAM Wild Science Perfume Factory

I don’t know if it’s just because Ameli is of a particular STEM/STEAM age, or if it’s that there’s been a huge push in that direction lately, but involving girls in science, and kids in science generally, seems to be everywhere at the moment. We were recently sent a Wild Science Perfume Factory set to review and it’s been a huge hit here.

Ameli is quite science-keen anyway, with Project MC2 ranking high on her favourites list, so the Wild Science Perfume Factory is right up her street. You know how some toys are a the thing of the moment for five minutes, then they aren’t a thing at all five minutes later? This isn’t one of them. On the first go, Ameli spent over an hour mixing and matching – an hour’s a long time for something to hold her attention! Since then, she’s taken to applying her perfume daily and creating top ups from time to time too.

The kit includes a stand, a scoop, five vials, a perfume bottle, tweezers, stirring sticks, mixing pot, red liquid pigment, special base perfumes, sticky labels, Sodium Polyacrylate Crystals, a measuring cup, a graduated pump and cotton ball filters.

The base perfumes are Eucalyptus, Jasmine, Peppermint and Rose essential oils.

Read more: STEM/STEAM Wild Science Perfume Factory

Easter Decorations #BostikBloggers

You may remember how I turned our bean plant from last year’s allotment into a festive twig decoration back in December? Well, when I was thinking of how to bring a bit of Easter and a bit of spring into the house and thought of my twigs nestled away for next Christmas and decided to bring them out again. Read more: Easter Decorations #BostikBloggers

DIY Easter Bonnet #BostikBloggers

It’s that time of year where daffodils and dandelions abound, which means spring has sprung and summer is coming! But before blissful days on the beach – I’m an optimist – there are a few things to do first – like enjoy Easter!  The Bostik Blogger box this month was a fairly simple one, with bold and beautiful colours, beads, ready made felt stickers and a few other springy and Easterish bits and bobs.  It happens to also have been this week that Aviya popped dug out her sun hat, so it seemed fated, really, that we should be decorating Easter Bonnets this week. Read more: DIY Easter Bonnet #BostikBloggers

Mother’s Day Crafts With Gel-A-Peel Pearly Pastels

Following our first experience with Glow in the Dark Gel-a-Peel a few months ago, we were keen to try the Gel-a-Peel Pearly Pastels in time for Mothering Sunday. Of course this sees me overseeing the decoration of my own gifts, but hey ho, these are the sacrifices we must make.  I absolutely loved the ‘frames’ that came with the kit, so decided to make them, but rather than cutting the pictures to size to fit inside, just used them as overlays. I love it!

Read more: Mother’s Day Crafts With Gel-A-Peel Pearly Pastels

Dear Home Ed Mama Who’s Decided To Send Your Child To School

My children have been educated at home since pretty much the day they were born, and as such, we’ve always mingled with people who intend, or do, home educate their children. As a result, we’ve come across pretty much every ‘type’ of home educator known to man, I’m sure. From those who do it for religious reasons to those that do it for anti-establishment reasons, from those who do it purely while they wait for schools to come available, to those who do not intend to send their children to school, ever.

We’ve met and engaged with all the styles too, from the extreme unschoolers who don’t even like ‘themed’ activity days at the home ed groups, to those who follow a strict curriculum, from those who teach nothing at all formally, to those who have flashcards for their two year olds. We have met them all.

The biggest shock for me in the home learning networks has been the difference in parenting styles. Our first home educating network consisted mostly of the style of parenting known as attachment parenting or gentle parenting. Subsequent groups introduced us to much stricter, more regimented parenting styles.Read more: Dear Home Ed Mama Who’s Decided To Send Your Child To School

26 Free Dr Seuss Book Readings And Movies

Happy Dr.Seuss Birthday! I know this makes me sound old, because I never asked this as a kid, but where’s this year going! I just packed away the Christmas decorations, and here we are into the 3rd month of the year already.  The 3rd month does start with a bang though, with World Book Day and Dr Seuss birthday on the 2nd of March.

If you don’t have the fantastic collection of Dr Seuss books there are a good selection of the short movies available online that you can watch in a pinch:Dr SeussRead more: 26 Free Dr Seuss Book Readings And Movies

March Literary Days to Celebrate And Observe

March Literary Days To Celebrate and Observe

March might be starting to smell a little like spring, but there are still a lot of indoors days for us, which means lots of time for reading and celebrating the voices that fill our book shelves.

The star of this month’s literary celebrations, of course, is Dr Seuss’ birthday, which happens on the 2nd of March. We always have lots of fun activities planned for Dr.Seuss’ birthday, because he’s such a fun person to celebrate. Read more: March Literary Days to Celebrate And Observe