12 Months of Random Acts of Kindess for 2018

So by now my regular readers and followers will know that it has been a while since I posted. In fact I haven't posted since September. Over 3 months since my last blog post. 3 months since my last video even. And Instagram? Well over on Instagram I've only shared a snippet of our life. The laptop has barely opened and so right now as I type, it all feels strange, yet also feels like I am where I am meant to be, speaking of meant to be, the new year upon us has, obviously, got me thinking about a whole host of things. But especially where I want to be, New Years resolutions have been put in place (I shan't bore you with the list of the usual...gym, me time, blah blah and more blah!) But what I did think I would share with you is this list (and FREE printable planner) of 12 ways me and the monsters are going to pay it forward in 2018, or at least try too, with these 12 random acts of kindness, month by month.

Random acts of kindess for 2018. 12 ideas families can complete.

My Little Pony Movie GIVEAWAY! [Closed]

As adults, well as parents, I think its safe to say we live in a time when nostalgia is high. I don't really remember it being like this when I was small. In the 80's when my Mum spoke of Andy Pandy and the pigs who sang (I truely cant remember there name...someone remind me?) and a horse who danced, I don't recall her being able to show me them, zoom forward to today and when I tell my kids about Button Moon, Fraggle Rock and Rainbow Brite I can log onto YouTube and they can watch episodes, I can hop on ebay and buy them the toys I played with. Today's kids get the full experience. Books, toys, clothing if they want, its all there with the click of a few buttons!

I remember Ellie being small, and although she is only 13, the internet wasn't this big thing it is now. It was still new, it was still this strange place where you didn't really trust putting bank details in.  But there was one thing I searched high and low for...My Little Pony - The Magic Coins DVD. Its one thing I vividly remember from my childhood. Sat on the sofa, snuggled up to a bright orange cushion, under a duvet with chicken pox (this is exactly how I remember it, whether this memory is correct or a mish mash of a few memories is another thing!). 

So when Evie and Elsie recently developed a passion for the (all new!) My Little Pony crew, well you can imagine my delight! And you can imagine how excited we were when Egmont Publishing got in touch and asked if we would like to be sent a bundle of My Little Pony Movie books, I knew the kids would love them so off course I said yes! And when they asked if my readers would like to win a bundle of books, again, off course I said yes! Just fill in the Gleam widget at the bottom of this post and a winner will be announced at the weekend (26th November 2017).

So whats included in the prize bundle?

In this all new book, a retelling of the movie - A new dark force threatens Ponyville and we join Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria, where they meet new friends and take on exciting challenges on a quest to use the Magic of Friendship and save their home.

This book was a perfect introduction to the movie, Elsie especially has enjoyed the book and we have read it many a time! I must admit its a great story, for both a book and a movie!

Again, this book tells the story of the movie in book form, but with a twist! At the end of each page you are asked to search the pages for certain things, this could be a certain pony. It could be a bird! Turn the pages and find out what you need to find, ohh not forgetting the Rarity figure you get with the book (maybe she will help you!) 

This was without a doubt the mini's favourite from the collection! I mean, off course it is! Show me a 4 and 5 year old who dont like a sticker! And this book has 1000, and puzzles, colouring pages and more!

Another book that retells the story, but in this one you can colour in the pictures as you go, and the stickers included are of epic proportion!!

Now lets face it, you came here for the giveaway...so here it is! And remember to keep an eye on your emails on Sunday night, I'll be emailing the winner then!

How To Start A Painted Rock Community PLUS Painted Rock Ideas To Get You Started

At the end of summer I noticed a group that kept popping up on my Facebook, it was a group about making someone smile by hiding a painted/decorated rock and I really wanted to be a part of it-except this group was the other side of the country- I didn't let this beat me though, I collected some rocks and me and the kids set about decorating them, then with hope in our hearts we set of and hid them, we got home and opened a Facebook page, Skegness Rocks, and I added my friends, whilst my anxiety nagged in my head that they would all think I was completely of my rocker I pushed these thoughts out of my head, and then, something I truly never believed would happen, happened, and they started adding their friends, and within 7 days we had a thousand members.  And not only were they adding friends they were getting involved too, and in that week the community had racked up over 100 stones, scattered around our little seaside town.

This post contains affiliate links.

Luvabella Review

Imagine my delight when we were asked by Spinmaster to review the brand new, and just released, Luvabella doll! /you haven't heard of Luvabella? Where have you been! She is set to be the NUMBER ONE selling toy for Christmas 2017 and, let me tell you this doll has caused some controversy since a video of the prototype went viral on Facebook at the beginning of the year! Why? Well, with her true-to-life facial expressions and personality! Not only does she move, talk and play just like a real baby. Through touch and play she affectionately responds to your love from the moment she opens her eyes and giggles, even learning new skills, just like a real baby! So what did we think? How did we get on? And, more to the point is Luvabella worth her £99.99 price tag? Read on to find out...

9 Tips For Saving Money In The Run Up To Christmas

Hands up who over spent over the summer? Now hands up who has seen the 13 weekends until Christmas memes on Facebook and panicked a little more than they should have! I asked some money saving bloggers for tips on how you can save money in the final months of the year in the run up to Christmas.

5 Ideas For...Cooking With Kids

I love nothing more than getting in the kitchen with my kids, they love to cook, make and bake everything from cakes to snacks, to lunch time treats and helping me cook tea, I am a big advocate of getting the kids involved and teaching them the skills they need. My Mum and sister think I'm nuts putting Elsie in charge of a chopping knife and graters. But she has been cooking with me since she was 18 months old and is more than confident to use them in a controlled and supervised environment. Any how, I digress, when Worktop Express got in touch and asked me to share the kids favourite recipes I knew that this sort of round up post would be just perfect for anyone wanting to start cooking with kids...

Fruity Yoghurt Bites | Cooking With Kids

If you are looking for a recipe to cook with kids this one couldn't be easier, it uses store cupboard essentials and is loaded with dried fruit for a yummy treat perfect for any age! And whats more it cooks quickly too so little children wont have long to wait to try the fruits of their labour!

5 Essentials For...Children's Afternoon Tea (Buckets of Tea Guest Posts)

If you are new around here, Hi, I'm Becky and if there is one thing I love its a list! With this in mind I created the 5 Essentials For, a guest post series for parenting and lifestyle bloggers. This week Candace shares her top 5 essentials for afternoon tea. This just sounds like so much fun, and something my kids would love, I can't wait to create a perfect afternoon tea using Candace's essentials!

Blog Stars Little Stars with Edinburgh Life With Kids

Welcome back to Blog Stars Little Stars, the guest post series where some of my favourite blogger s interview their little stars and we find out what the kids really think! This week Laura, blogger at Edinburgh Life With Kids, handed over the reins to her littlest star Katie (4) you can find Laura on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

What My Kid Wore Wednesday | Thrifty Fashion For Kids #9

Welcome back guys! Sorry I have been so up and down with posting our outfits, this summer has been cray! I love linking up to the What My Kid Wore Wednesday linky (if you love kids fashion go check it out!) I know last month I promised I would be back every week, but I mean I do not know where the weeks go, but here we are almost a month later! Anyhoooo, here I go babbling again! This week I thought I would share Evie's hand picked outfit!

Zomlings Series 6 | Review

My kids love a mini collectible figure, especially if it comes in a blind bag! So when the guys at Magic Box Toys got in touch and asked us to get involved with the launch of the BRAND NEW Zomlings Series 6, I had a bunch of very excited kids awaiting the parcel in the post!

The Snowman Tour LIVE

So,  I just saw a meme on Facebook, 14 Mondays until Christmas (as I type this its Monday 11th September),quite fitting because I want to talk about Christmas! One of our Christmas traditions is to sit and watch the Snowman as a family. Something I have done since I was small myself. So when I got an email from Carrot Productions inviting me to The Snowman LIVE this Christmas, I just had to tell you about it...

5 Ways To Save Money This Autumn

Autumn is almost here, and with the new season, comes new ways to spend your money! The summer has passed and the money we think we are going to save on days out and hungry kids will be spent on heating bills and saving for Christmas! So how can you save money this autumn? Here are 5 tips to get you started on saving the pounds and pennies!

5 Ways To Make Your House Feel New (without moving home!)

Hands up if your bored of your home? Bored of looking at the same walls, bored of looking at the same wallpaper. Hands up who would love to move house? But you know, it makes so much more sense to improve the house you have by renovating and redecorating, following these 5 tips you can easily transform your home making it feel like you live in a completely new house...but without the hassle.

Crumble Topped Apple and Blackberry Loaf | Cooking With Kids

Over the summer the mini monsters have really got back into cooking, and we have had fun finding ways to adapt some of our favourite cooking with kids recipes.  Last year we made a cheese and apple loaf  and it went down a treat, we have made it a few times since. We had a collection of blackberries hanging around after the kids went foraging and I was going to make a standard crumble but then thought a nice apple and blackberry loaf topped with a crunchy crumble would go down a treat...

Crumble Topped Apple and Blackberry Loaf

Blog Stars Little Stars with Twinderelmo REVISITED

Welcome back to Blog Stars Little Stars, the guest post series where some of my favourite bloggers interview their little stars and we find out what the kids really think! This weeks Blog Stars Little Stars comes from Charlie, 8, who's Mum Beth blogs over at Twinderelmo. You can follow Beth on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

My Little Loves August 2017

I absolubtly love the Little Loves linky and its always been one of my favourite posts to write, I've dabbled in the linky a couple of times and now I have established a blogging routine I hope that I can keep up, but rather than joining in weekly I have decided I will share my Little Loves at the end of each month.

Easy DIY Cereal Box Notebook

Back to school can be a pretty stressy time for a preteen, that back to school shop when you want something different to everyone else! But the fact is, with only a couple of shops around and money tight, its Poundland and Wilkos like everyone else, that is unless you fancy trying some easy DIY! Not only do you save money but you will have something completely unique too! Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some quick and easy stationery DIY's to fill school bags and desks with items that are completely unique to the maker, starting with this super simple 5 minute craft that turns an old cereal box and some paper into a notebook.

Thrifty But Stylish Fashion Finds For Kids #8 | What My Kid Wore Wednesday

Welcome back guys! Sorry I have been so up and down with posting our outfits, this summer has been cray! I love linking up to the What My Kid Wore Wednesday linky (if you love kids fashion go check it out!) and I have really missed linking up, can you believe it was about a month ago since  last posted about kids fashion! Anyways enough babble from me, lets get on with the show...

Tips For Dealing With Chicken Pox

So your child has chicken pox and your googling ALL the tips for dealing with it! From oat baths to calamine lotion you have read it all! But what really works? What are other Mums and Dads top tips for dealing with the dreaded pox! I asked around and here are all the tips you will ever need.

Emoji Movie Inspired Popcorn Mix

Hands up if your little ones are super excited for the Emoji Movie? It was released on August 4th and my mini monsters are super excited to go this weekend. To get them in the mood we made this super fun popcorn mix inspired by all of our favourite emojis! Not that I will be bagging it up and smuggling it into the cinema...because that is frowned upon and apparently very very naughty...ahem...

5 Essentials For...Babywearing (The Mothers Room Guest Posts)

If you are new around here, Hi, I'm Becky and if there is one thing I love its a list! With this in mind I created the 5 Essentials For, a guest post series for parenting and lifestyle bloggers. This week Vivienne shares her top 5 essentials for baby wearing. I didn't really know much about baby wearing when my monsters were small so I hope this list will help any parents thinking of starting their own baby wearing journey.

5 essentials babywearing

5 Ideas For...Making Use of Craft Sticks

Last week over in the Kids Make and Bake Club EXCLUSIVE Facebook page I asked what the members had in their craft box that they never used, craft sticks came up a couple of times, so I thought I would have a hunt around and kind some amazingly awesome crafts and activities using craft sticks....

Craft Stick Activities

Blueberry and Lemon Scones | Cooking With Kids

Scones are such an easy bake for kids and the monsters have been obsessed with making scones ever since they were introduced to our easy recipe for cheese and chive scones at the beginning of summer. I wanted to make something a little different (as nice as they are there are only so many cheese scones one can eat!) We had some blueberry's hanging around in the fridge so I decided to on some summery blueberry and lemon scones, perfect for a summery snack. The basis of this scone recipe is as simple as the savory scones, making it a great recipe for cooking with the kids.

Looking for an easy to follow scones recipe? Try this Blueberry and Lemon version for a delicious scone with a difference.

Potty Training Tips - How We Went from Wet to Dry (Day and Night) In Less Than A Week

Potty training. Something all us parents have to go through. And, I wont lie, its the thing I get asked about most, what are my tips and how did I get my toddler potty trained in a week day and night! I thought this could be something that could really help out some of my readers, so here it is, especially for you, my top tips to getting your toddler dry day and night in less than a week!

The only potty training tips you will ever need, 100% success rate AND try day and night in less than a week!

Blog Stars Little Stars with Five Little Doves

Welcome back to Blog Stars Little Stars, the guest post series where some of my favourite bloggers interview their little stars and we find out what the kids really think! This weeks Blog Stars Little Star is 5 year old Eva daughter of Laura from Five Little Doves where she shares her life raising rainbows, the highs and lows of motherhood and raises awareness of the subjects close to her heart. You can follow Laura on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Mermaid Sensory Bin With Water Beads

This summer, lets face it, has been somewhat of a wash out, and its been tough trying to find so many rainy day play ideas. A sensory bin is always a great boredom buster and I always make sure we have lots of sensory bin fillers in our craft cupboard. So that when boredom hits I can quickly whip up something like this mermaid themed sensory bin to keep the mini monsters busy!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, I did the search so you didn't have too!
Mermaid Sensory Bin - Using Water Beads, Pearls and Shells

7 Super Fun Ways To Spend Family Time

I think we can all agree, there is nothing better than some quality family time. As ours usually revolve around a walk along the beach or a board game, as lovely as this is, I wanted some new fun ideas, so I asked some of my favourite bloggers to share their fun ways to spend family time.

Looking for ways to reconnect as a family? here are 7 super fun ways to spend family time

5 Essentials For...Keeping Kids Entertained On Holiday (Bubbablue and Me Guest Posts)

I don't know about you but I love a list! Especially a list that helps you out, with this in mind I created the 5 Essentials For, a guest post series for parenting and lifestyle bloggers. This week Emma is sharing her top 5 essentials for keeping kids entertained on holiday. A great list as we head into the peak of summer.

Come and Join The ALL NEW Kids Make And Bake Club...ITS FREE!

Back in 2015 I had an idea, a YouTube channel showing kids, and their parents, loads of fun craft and baking ideas, made by the kids, for kids. It kinda fizzled out last year as it was hard to find collaborater's who had the same vision as me. But, guess what guys? Almost a year after we shut down, we are relaunching the

and exciting things are about to happen! Each week over on our YouTube channel we will share a super fun activity idea, that you can do at home, using stuff readily available from the high street or around the house!

BUT there's a catch!

The new videos will be secret so the only way to access them is by joining the club!

Its gonna be a blast, and best of all? It's free, so tell your friends. They will not want to miss out!

As well as weekly videos, their will be an EXCLUSIVE Facebook community where you will recieve daily play prompts, monthly 'live' videos, craft alongs, bakes with us, along with sneak peaks, behind the scenes and I'm sure there will be bloopers too! 

Whats more, if all of this wasn't enough, every few months I'll be choosing a member of the Kids Make and Bake Club community to win a bundle of craft and baking goodies to add to their collection!

Favourite Holiday Memories

With so many social media channels, sharing holiday moments has never been easier. But do you find that you 'forget' these moments too? That is forget until they pop up on Timehop or On This Day years later. Photobooks, like the ones available at https://www.truprint.co.uk/ make capturing holiday moments, fun and easy!

Truprint recently sent me this infographic, sharing that people's top holiday moments include stumbling upon somewhere incredible, meeting new people and uncovering a spectacular view.

With this in mind I asked some blogger friends to share a photo with me, of their favourite holiday moments. They all take lovely photo's so I've left links to their blogs and Instagram so you can go follow.

Blogging bestie Beth, who blogs at Twinderelmo, shared this photo and said 'Getting to fulfil my childhood dream by taking my babies to Disneyland. It was everything I ever dreamed of and more. Their faces when meeting the characters and seeing the parades will stay with me forever. Follow Beth on Instagram for more fun family photos.

Laura, from Dear Bear and Beany, said 'Our first holiday as parents. Alice was 10 months and it was my birthday. We went out for dinner, at 5pm of course as that's what you do as parents! It will always have a special place in my heart'. Find Laura's Instagram HERE.

Vicki from Family Travel with Ellie, shared the coolest moment ever... Monster hunting on Loch Ness aboard a high speed RIB - fast, exhilarating , a little scary at times! Follow more of their adventures HERE.

Jodie, from The Maidenhead Mum shared this stunning photo and said that 'Watching my 3 year old see the sights in Venice. So many mind blowing things for a little one!' was one of her top memories. Find Jodie and family over on Instagram.

Laura, from over at Mumoam, also shared a Disney snap. ''This was is fave holiday. Disney world orlando. My son is in a wheelchair and was treated like royalty. It was incredible and we've been back since and will go again the future hopefully!'' Find Laura's Instagram HERE.

Becka, from Mummy est 2014, says ''We went to Feurterventua last summer when J was a tot. It was our first family holiday and was perfect. J was off exploring and was so much more 'alert'. J was non-verbal at this point (social communication difficulties) and it was this holiday that he first started to visually communicate by pointing to planes he saw. Sun, sea, sangria (for mummy) and communication from my boy-how much more perfect can it get'' You can find Becka over on Instagram.

After seeing all of these holiday memories it's made me desperate to book a holiday for during the October half term (boo to the fact that we cant go on a holiday this summer...hmmmpph!)

What is your most precious holiday memory? Let me know in the comments below!

This is a collaborative post.

Blog Stars Little Stars REVISITED

Back in 2014, I started a little guest post blogging series for parent bloggers 'Blog Stars Little Stars' in which my favourite bloggers asked their little stars questions about themselves, it made for some interesting answers, from mummies drinking beer, to favourite places being the hospital. So I thought it was time to bring it back. So today I am relaunching Blog Stars Little Stars the same way I launched it many moons ago...asking my little monsters some burning questions! Do they know ow old I am? Do they know my favourite food? And where do they think is my favourite place? Lets get started...

Parent Bloggers Guest Post Series - Blog Stars Little Stars

Back in 2014, I set up a guest post series for parent bloggers, then my confidence got knocked and it kind of got put on the back burner. Since gaining a little of my confidence back I thought I would re-start the series after throwing the idea around with a couple of bloggers who guest posted previously.

Sri Toys Wooden Red Riding Hood Play Set | Review

Some toys come and go, some toys last a whole childhood. When I think of toys that will last the test of time, I always think of wooden toys. So when Sri Toys got in touch and asked if we would like to review a play set, of course I said yes! I knew the kids would love to have something new to play with over the summer and as they love small world play I was really hoping we would get sent one of the gorgeous story themed play sets that Sri Toys sell....

Thrifty But Stylish Fashion Finds For Kids #7 | What My Kid Wore Wednesday

Welcome back guys! Another week, another outfit, or 3, to share! This week has been absolutely awful, weather wise, so the first week of summer has been spent indoors, mainly in our pj's but you know getting dressed on occasional days, if only for a couple of hours (in fact as I type this I am sat in my jammies, and its almost 11am!) Before school broke up I managed to get to have a look in the charity shops and grab a few bargains, if you are heading into town, I suggest you go and check out your local Oxfam, they stock mainstream stores 'seconds' and I have picked up loads of brand new Marks and Spencer school uniform for just 99p each! And I also grabbed some brand new Marvel bits for just £1,49 each too, I also spotted some brand new TU t shirts and shorts for 99p each too. They just have the tags cut out, so they cant be taken back to the stores as faulty. You should definitely go check them out!

Easy Banana Bread | Cooking with Kids

So you want to make banana bread, or more you want to make banana bread with the kids, you need an easy banana bread recipe you can make quickly with minimum mess and lots of enjoyment? Then this is the recipe for you and your tot! From scooping to squishing this super easy banana bread recipe has it all!

Cheese and Chive Scones | Cooking With Kids

Let me set the scene, you are wide awake on a Friday night/Saturday morning, you are less than a week into half term and you know that if you don't online shop you all may die in a supermarket trying to do a food shop with 4 kids in tow. So you do your online shop and you sleepily check out and all that jazz...Monday morning comes and you have promised the kids a picnic, you log into your app to check what time your shop is coming. Except's its not. You didn't actually check out and your weather app, says that its gonna start raining soon and its gonna rain until approximately 2 minutes past bedtime. You really do not fancy venturing out to the food shop let alone enjoying a soggy sandwich picnic! You search the cupboards and all you can find is some flour and a scraping of baking powder. And in the fridge the salad drawer is bare, alongside some 'it will do salad' you find some sorry looking chives,  a lump of cheese, a scoop of butter and the bottom of the tub and there's just enough milk for the rest of the day (if nobody comes around  for a cuppa) you're thinking to yourself sh*t sh*t sh*t... not even any bread to make a sarnie for the kids, you're gonna have to go shopping. In the pouring rain. With the kids in tow.

Well stop, stop right there.

That was before you read this post.

That was before you read this super easy recipe for cheese and chive scones,  oh and don't worry that the picnic was cancelled this recipe is one that you can cook with kids so should keep that boredom at bay, but it can get a little messy what with flour flying around...don't say I didn't warn you!

Thrifty But Stylish Fashion Finds For Kids #6 | What My Kid Wore Wednesday

Welcome back guys! Another week, another outfit to share! This week has been o hit and miss with the weather! Rain one day, roastie toastie the next...then back to rain coats and wellies...then back to sun cream and sunhats! I mean make up your mind already! Luckily Sunday was nice so I got to do my fave thing of carbooting for some thrifty fashion for the kids! I managed to pick up Jenson some Adidas for just £1, and Evie chose a couple of dresses, that I am sure will make an appearance over the summer! I found Ellie a couple of tops (which I will share next week in a holiday special...Ells is of on her jollies to spend 3 weeks with her Dad, so I thought I would hare some outfit inspiration whilst I pack!) for 50p each and for Elsie I picked up this super cute dungaree set, for a super cheap...wait for it...TWENTY RUDDY PENCE!!! Nope you didn't read that wrong...20p! For a 2 piece outfit, 10p a piece! I mean how could I say no!!