Tips and advice: How to choose a pre-school for two year old twins

November 21, 2014 in Baby development, Family, Parenting, School, Twins, Uncategorized, Working parent by Emma Day

Based on my recent experiences of looking for a pre-school for my two and a half year old twins; here are my top tips for how to choose a pre-school for your two year old… 

Firstly… think about what kind of childcare is most suited to your family?

Types of childcare

Nurseries tend to have longer hours, more structure and more facilities, but they are expensive.

There are also childminders, nannies or au pairs to consider, childminders usually mind your child in their own home, along with a small number of other children (dependant on age as to how many they can take). Nannies or Au Pairs live with you in your house and tend to do chores as well as mind the children.

Then there are Pre-schools. Most of these take children from two years old, but you should check, as some don’t take them until a little later. Pre-schools are generally a lot cheaper than nurseries, sometimes they receive charity funding or government funding, which lowers the price per session. 

Tips for choosing a pre-school

  • Schedule a visit to look around. Don’t go on the website or word of mouth alone. You don’t know how up to date the website is, and what works for other children, might not work for you.
  • Meeting the staff and having a chat with them, will give you an idea of the types of attitudes they adopt towards the children and how much they care.
  • Prepare some questions you want to ask before you get there.

Questions might include:

What age can children start at this pre-school?
Do you take children who are still in nappies?
What hours / days / times are the sessions?
How much are the fees?
Is lunch / snack provided? If yes, is there an additional charge?
How often do you get to view the records kept of your children’s progress?
What methods of discipline do they use if your children are naughty?
Do you have availability or is there a waiting list?
How many staff members are trained first aiders and what qualifications do the staff hold?

Twin specific questions

How seriously do they take differentiating between your twins?
Do they treat twins as individuals?
Will your twins be encouraged to interact with the other children or will they always be paired together?
If your twins have developmental delays… Are they fully trained and equipped to deal with that?

  • Whilst visiting, look at what the children currently in the pre-school are doing. Do they seem happy? Is there any structure to the activities or is it just free play? If it is just free play, you might want to ask how often they do more structured activities. 
  • Go with your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right – don’t send your children there. If you love the vibe from the staff and the other children.

Funding

In the UK, when your child turns three years old, you can qualify for a set number of hours of childcare for free. Some people qualify for this when your child is two. This can include people on a low income, benefits or children who have been referred by a health visitor. You must always check with the childcare provider that you wish to use, if they offer these free childcare places, as some don’t.

People on working tax credits or students in full time education, can also qualify for a percentage of their childcare fees paid, you can read more about that here.

Bad pre-school Vs Good pre-school: How I chose which pre-school to send my twins to

November 20, 2014 in Baby development, Childhood, education, Family, Little snippets of twin life, Parenting, School, toddlers, Twins, Uncategorized, Working parent by Emma Day

When Bunny was two years old, I put her into a nursery for one whole day and two half days per week, whilst I was at university getting my degree. I was fortunate enough to have the funding paid for as I was a full time student at the time. When it came to choosing a nursery, I simply looked online. I found a website which showed all the facilities of each local nursery and I fell in love with one, before I even saw it. They had their own nutritionist, meaning that a healthy breakfast, mid morning snack, cooked lunch, afternoon snack and light dinner were all well researched and included in the price. They had a room for babies on the top floor, tweenies on the middle floor and a pre-school on the bottom floor. Bunny loved every second of her two and a half years of nursery.

Bunny aged 2

Bunny, aged 2 years and 4 months.

This time around, however, I am not a student, and I have twins. To put twins into a nursery for one day, would cost me £80. I can’t afford that. When they are 3 years old, they will get a free place, but that’s not for another six months. The twins have reached the demanding stage of two year olds, where they need constant attention and supervision, as they are really naughty. They are behind on their developmental milestones and don’t really talk yet. At the same time, I am trying to run two blogs and write a book. I need more time for my writing and I think it’s time for the girls to start socialising with other children and having a few mummy-free hours each week. I think it will be good for all of us.

terrible two's with twins

The twins aged 2 years and 4 months.

So with that in mind, I decided I would need to choose a pre-school, rather than a nursery. But how do you choose one? Well, I’ve used my experiences over the last few weeks, to put together a guide of tips and advice for choosing a pre-school, which you’ll see published on this blog tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s how I chose…

First of all, I visited the pre-school attached to the school which I intend to move Bunny to. How easy would that be, if I could drop them all off at the same time? 

It turned out, it would only cost me £9 for both of my twins to attend a 3 hour session at this pre-school, which is really good value. However… I really wasn’t impressed once I was inside the building and all my maternal instincts were screaming “NO NO NO!”

These are the things I didn’t like:

The pre-school manager saying, “We’ll never know the difference between them, so you’ll have to write their names on them or something”. My twins are believed to be non identical, however they are extremely alike, but I would expect a good pre-school to learn to tell the difference and treat each twin as an individual. It’s bad enough that one set of their grandparents has never bothered to learn their names!

There seemed to be no structure. It was just a free-for-all playtime and a lot of the children didn’t appear to even be being supervised.

The manager said to me, “We like to take a lot of risks here. If a child climbs on something, we let them. That way, when they fall off and hurt themselves, they will know not to do it again”. This horrified me. I expect pre-school to be a safe place where my children don’t get hurt. If they allow them to climb on things that are dangerous… what happens if they hit their head? Or worse? I can’t bear the thought of my little girls getting hurt. Aside from which… the presumption that a 2 year old “won’t do it again”, because they hurt themselves, isn’t really true. My twins have a developmental delay. They don’t understand as much as other two and a half year olds and they don’t speak much yet. If they fall and hurt themselves doing something, they don’t make the connection between action and consequence. Neither would a child that had only just turned two. 

The attitudes and apparent lack of care in this pre school had me running for the hills. 

I then looked around another pre-school, a bit further away. And wow… what a difference!

Not only was I was greeted enthusiastically, but the twins were too. On arrival, the manager said to me, “The first thing we will do, when your twins start here with us, is learn the differences between them, so we can treat them as individuals”. That’s exactly how it should be, and it shows that they care, from the very outset.

The children were outside doing gardening, when I arrived and they all seemed very happy and very well supervised. I was told that a lot of the play structure is child led. So if a child talks about a certain thing, for example, the colour of the leaves in autumn, or if a non verbal child is enjoying playing with leaves in the garden, then they will tailor an activity around leaves. They then write a storyboard of how they came up with the activities and the different things the children have said, done or enjoyed. The parents can then read all about it, when they pick up their children.

I told her about the “risk taking” comment from the other pre-school and the manager was horrified. She said that the children’s welfare is paramount and they do all they can to prevent them from getting injured. They also said they are trained to deal with children who have developmental delays, which really reassured me.

The atmosphere and attitudes between the two pre-schools couldn’t have been more different. The second pre-school costs a little bit more money and is further away, but I’m sure it will be worth every penny. It’s an easy choice to make, now I’ve seen them in person.

 

Hub’s rude improvised rendition of Walking in the Air

November 18, 2014 in Christmas, controversial, Entertainment, Holidays, Videos by Emma Day

Although it’s only mid November, a lot of my Christmassy posts from last year seem to be getting some read-time. So I thought I should share with you a video clip, that I took on Christmas Day last year.

Let’s set the scene…

We’ve just finished our Christmas dinner. Hubs has had a few beers and begun singing. Improvised, made up, new renditions of Christmas songs. At the dinner table.

RUDE, improvised Christmas songs.

I decided to hit record on my phone and see what he came up with. It was completely unrehearsed, but I’m so glad I filmed it… so I can humiliate him now! Mwahahaha! 

I can only apologise for all the giggling and camera shake, but it was pretty impossible to hold the camera still whilst wetting myself.

I highly recommend you don’t play this video clip in front of young children, or if you are easily offended or prudish!

 

If you like this vid… let me know and I’ll post more. I have more!

Side Saddle Shopping #MySundayPhoto

November 16, 2014 in Blog Hops / Memes / Linkies, My Sunday Photo, Shopping by Emma Day

The twins decided that the normal way to sit in a shopping trolley was a little dated, so they invented a new way!

shopping

I am a warrior

November 13, 2014 in #EmmasArmy, Cancer, Charity / Awareness, Health, Medical, Mental health, Radioactive mum by Emma Day

Most of the time, I am a positive person, who can see the bright side of everything and I try my best to see the good in everyone. I try to be a good person and do things that help and inspire others, especially when it comes to my blog. But there are times, as some of my readers know, when it all just gets too much and I break down into a fit of depression. I’ve blogged about depression before, I’ve also blogged about cancer and depression and I’m sure I’ll blog about it again in some form.

Depression brings guilt. SO MUCH guilt. For not being a better person, for not feeling motivated enough to do anything useful. For letting people down. For not inspiring people. It brings extreme insecurity, self loathing and irrational thoughts.

The last few days, have been like that for me. I have been at the lowest point I can remember since being on the low iodine diet last year. I have quite frankly felt like I was losing the plot. One of the reasons is what I blogged about the other day, being near my due date for the baby I lost in an ectopic pregnancy.

But this morning, something happened which brought about a small and uplifting change.

As I was sitting at rock bottom, in floods of tears, feeling wretched and weak, I received a tweet from a stranger. Just four words. Four words that meant so much to me. They inspired me. They reminded me of who I can be. They motivated me to see a doctor for the abdominal pain I have been in for about two weeks. The kindness of a stranger. Four words.

“You are a warrior”.

This person, had seen this tweet (from a month ago) …
image

 

And replied with “You are a warrior”

I tweeted back a thank you, and I received replies, telling me how strong I was.

Bearing in mind, that at the point in time when I was reading the tweet, I was the weakest I’ve been for a very long time… this exchange did something to me. It reminded me of all the fights I’ve won. All the things I’ve overcome. Not just Cancer, but other serious illnesses, miscarriages, ambitions, obstacles in my life, grief, a broken heart, broken friendships, physical and mental challenges, amongst so many other things too. 

I questioned it.

Am I a warrior?

I never give up. No matter how low life kicks me, I always think that there is someone worse off. I always get up. Maybe I am a warrior?

After a few hours of thinking about this, I picked up the phone and I called my doctor. This afternoon, I saw my doctor and told her about the pain I was in, and that I was generally feeling low. It turns out, that the wound site from my large loop diathermy three weeks ago (to remove pre-cancerous cells from my cervix) is infected. The pain and a lot of the other problems I was having, were down to this. That wasn’t the end though. On top of my surgical infection, I also have a kidney infection. My doctor said that the combination of the two were bound to affect my mood, because I had been suffering for so long before seeing her. I felt so relieved, that had she not just had her fingers somewhere intimate, I could probably have hugged her!

I left with a prescription for 35 tablets which will hopefully, over the next week, restore me to full health and my normal happy positive self. And you know what? If I hadn’t had that tweet, I’m not sure I’d have even gone to the doctor.

So the moral of this story? Well there are several, depending on how you look at it. but the biggest for me is this… Four kind words can make a difference to someone’s life. Even a stranger. 

So I challenge each of my readers to do the following two things after reading this post…

1) Ask yourself… “Am I a warrior?”. Think about all the things you have achieved/survived in your life. No matter how big or small. And be glad you got through them. YOU ARE A WARRIOR. And if you are feeling brave… share them in the comments on this blog. Tell me why YOU ARE A WARRIOR. Share the positivity. Be proud.

2) Pass on those four words. Or any four words. Or three, or five. Say something kind to someone. A friend, a relative, a stranger. Tell someone you are thinking of them and that they are strong.

 

 

I’m still feeling low, that’s not changed, but I am a little less low and I am feeling inspired. I am going to beat this.

I AM A WARRIOR

 

****Thank you to the kind stranger on Twitter, for making a difference****

 

I’m still fundraising for #EmmasArmy against Cancer. Please sponsor £1 or two. I walked 104 miles in 10 days and then I Marched on Cancer in Cardiff. #EmmasArmy is an awesome team of people doing spectacular things to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Help us meet our target.

 

Mama Owl
Ethans Escapades

Mumsnet Blogfest 2014 – My honest opinion

November 9, 2014 in Blogging, controversial, Uncategorized by Emma Day

Despite the drama at last year’s controversial Mumsnet Blogfest, I decided to go again this year. I love going to events where I can socialise with like minded bloggers and Blogfest gives you the opportunity to learn new things during the talks too.

 

Blogfest 2014 (1)

 

I arrived just in time for coffee, pastries and a few hugs before the first panel session started. 

 

Blogfest 2014 (2)

 

I’m afraid, I just wasn’t into it. I was bored from the start and ten minutes in, one of the panellists stated a very strongly formed opinion as though it were fact. It was an opinion that I would never agree with and the way it was declared, grated on me. I thought “here we go again” and not wanting to be made angry from the start of the day, I got up and left.

It was the best move I made.

I found the lovely team from Mark Warner Holidays, who not only remembered me, but were keen to hear how I was and asked about the current status of my health issues, including last year’s Thyroid Cancer and my more recent removal of pre-cancerous cells from my cervix. We had a lovely long chat and despite it only being 10am, I started on the delicious mulled wine the the Mark Warner bar staff were making from their Alpine Ski themed bar!

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I also met the highly talented team from WAH London, who painted my nails. I was so lucky to have left the talk when I did, because it meant I didn’t have to queue at all to get my nails done. Along with a lovely lady from Talk Talk, we had a really nice chat about twins and nails and all manner of things, whilst drinking more mulled wine. I was really thrilled with the gorgeous job that they did of my nails, designed to match my dress.

 

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I had such an enjoyable morning.

It was really nice to chat to so many of my blogging friends. Particularly Laura from Tired Mummy of Two, because I was so thrilled to hear the news, that her daughter Elizabeth is on her very last week of chemotherapy – she too has beaten Leukaemia! I hope they have a really fab time celebrating.

 

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Throughout the day, I caught up with lots more blogger friends and entered some of the competitions run by the sponsors. I caught up with my 2013 sponsor Coca Cola, who have recently launched their new product, Coca Cola Life. You can see my review of Coca Cola Life here.

 

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I had a delicious lunch of noodles and prawns (I was warned by other bloggers that the beef dish was awful) and then hit the desserts, which were totally yummy!

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I thoroughly enjoyed the talk by James Dearsley from The Digital Marketing Bureau about how to get more out of Google. He made it interesting, lively and funny. I actually felt that I had learnt a lot from that session and I have come away with a ton of questions to email the poor guy as he ran out of time.

 

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I also enjoyed the session on YouTube, as this is an avenue I want to explore more on my blog. I learnt an awful lot from that session too and really hope I can put it into practise.

Unfortunately I didn’t get anything out of the other sessions I went to. I found them boring, only vaguely related to blogging and one went way off on a tangent away from the topic title. I left most mid-way through in favour of socialising, drinking wine or chatting to brands.

My highlight of Blogfest, was Lucy Porter. She was SO funny. I was quite literally laughing out loud. There was lots of rude jokes about the male anatomy and plenty of swearing. What a way to end Blogfest – absolutely hilarious!

 

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Toddler twins on the London Underground #MySundayPhoto

November 9, 2014 in Blog Hops / Memes / Linkies, My Sunday Photo, Photography, Travel, Twins by Emma Day

Toddler twins on the underground

On Thursday, I braved the train and then the London Underground, with the twins… Never again! That’s all I can say!

OneDad3Girls

Bunny makes her Brownie Promise

November 5, 2014 in Childhood, Entertainment, Family, Parenting, Working parent by Emma Day

June 2014 Aliya starts Brownies (1)

Bunny joined the Brownies just before the Summer holidays and was really excited about making her Brownie promise in October. 

I was a Brownie myself and am a little saddened that a lot of the old traditions have been lost. There was a lot more structure and formality when I went. We wore full uniform every meeting, we held registration in our sixes and we had to have a small bag with a set list of items in it, every week. For example, a 20p coin in case we needed a phone box, a piece of string in case something needed securing, a safety pin, a hairband, a plaster, etc. Badge ceremonies and promise ceremonies were formal events, where parents attended and we had to skip around the toadstool and re-enact the Brownie story before we made our promise. Badges were always collected from the toadstool, with a salute, whilst our parents watched on proudly. The leaders were named after owls, and the sixes after different types of fairy, so it all coincided with the Brownie story. 

Nowadays, it seems nearly all of that has been lost. However, I still wanted to be a part of my daughter’s Brownie journey.

I can’t be a “parent helper” at Bunny’s school, because I have the twins during the day, but in the evening, I have the chance to take a more active role in her interests. And so… I became a Brownie parent helper, with the intention of doing the leadership course and becoming a Brownie leader.

This meant the Brownie pack had to come up with a name for me. The leaders at Bunny’s Brownies are all named after animals. There were some interesting suggestions, but Beaver (the leader) said the children should be considerate and pick a name I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be called in public. (I’m afraid I can’t help but wonder if she knows the slang for beaver?!). Anyway, I didn’t fancy being called rat, guinea pig, dog or cow, so I chose the suggestion of Bluebird.

I am now Bluebird.

Anyway, enough about me…

The day finally came around for Bunny to do her Brownie Promise. She was overexcited and under-rehearsed. Patience is not something that comes easily to Bunny, but her confidence comes in bucket loads. Despite never having rehearsed the steps or what to do with her partner prior to making her promise, she loudly declared she wanted to go first. This always makes me cringe as she doesn’t have the best habit of listening. She rushed through her promise, not entirely sure of what she was doing and made a few mistakes as she refused to watch the other girls first, but she still did it. She recited the promise, but forgot the law. Nevertheless, I was glad I got to witness it and I felt like a very proud Mummy. That was my first baby up there, becoming a fully fledged Brownie. It brought back all the happy memories from my own time at Brownies and I really hope that Bunny has as much fun as I did and takes her promise and the Brownie law as seriously as I did. 

The Brownie promise has changed over time too. All references to God have been removed. I don’t really know how to feel about that. I know that in modern society we have to be inclusive, but it’ a shame to alter a tradition that has been around for so many decades.

For me, Brownies instils discipline and routine, as well as an easy outlet for socialising and making new friends. Brownies are meant to always be kind and think of others before themselves, so it’s not the sort of place you ever have to worry about bullying or your child not making friends. She started Brownies not long after turning 7 and she can stay until she is 11 if she chooses.

I’m really looking forward to Bunny receiving her badge book, so we can see which ones she fancies working towards.

 

 

Ethans Escapades

Top Christmas Stocking Fillers for Girls (under £10)

November 4, 2014 in Childhood, Christmas, Competitions, Entertainment, Family, Games, Giveaways, Reviews, Shopping, Toys, Uncategorized by Emma Day

This is my guide to this years top Christmas stocking fillers for girls. All of these products are under £10 each and will be in my 7 year old daughter’s Christmas stocking. Most products are suitable for children aged 3+ and some are also suitable for boys too. 

 

Win all these Christmas stocking fillers!

Furthermore, one lucky reader, will win ALL of the products featured in this guide! Keep reading to find out how to enter.

FIMO Kids Play Set

FIMO Kids Play Set from Craft Merrily

FIMO is a polymer modelling clay which children can mould into different animals or shapes. When they are happy with what they have created, they have the option to bake it in the oven, to set it, so they can keep it forever. I know my daughter loves to create things with modelling clay and often gets grumpy if her sisters squish what she’s made or if the clay dries out and falls apart. So she is going to love FIMO as she’ll be able to keep what she creates. These playsets are available for £8.95 each and there’s a whole range of FIMO available to buy on the fab craft website CRAFT MERRILY.
Robo Magical Mermaids

Zuru Robo Magical Mermaids from Tobar

These mermaids swim when they get wet! Their tails swish from side to side and you can decide whether you want her to swim on her front or back, by moving a weighted band. These 25cm mermaids sell at £7.99, come with batteries and are suitable for age 3+. There are three mermaids to choose from and each one has a different hair colour and tail design. My daughter loves anything to do with Mermaids, so I know she will love these. You can see more about these magical mermaids on the Tobar website or you can buy them from Argos, Amazon or Smyths toy stores.

Lalaloopsy Tinies
Lalaloopsy Tinies.

These are miniature versions of the Lalaloopsy dolls, suitable for Age 4+. They come in packs of three and there are over a hundred to collect. You can also buy little playsets to go with them. Bunny always wanted some Lalaloopsy dolls, but her Christmas wishlist is so big, she can’t have everything. The Lalaloopsy Tinies make the perfect stocking filler at only £3.50 for a pack of three and mean she can still have some Lalaloopsy in her life. You can buy Lalaloopsy Tinies online at The Toy Shop.

 

Denim Shoulder Bag KitsDenim Shoulder Bag Kits from Baker Ross.

Bunny loves anything to do with crafts, but particularly if the end product is functional and girly. These kits allow children to customise little handbags with stickers, beads and other little decorations. The kits are bought as a pack of three, so could be split between three children  to give them one each, or you can give all three to one child and challenge them to see how different they make the three bags. You can buy a three pack from Baker Ross for £5.25 making each kit a massive bargain at only £1.75 each.

 

Rant and Rave Books
From Me to You – Rant and Rave Journal.

This creative Journal gives children the opportunity to rant on one side of the book and rave on the other side of the book. Different journals are available; Bunny is going to be testing out the School journal and we have a Holiday Journal to give away in the prize bundle. These make great records for both adults and children to look back on, but they also give your child a space to vent and the grown ups a way to learn more about what makes your child tick. You can order rant and rave journals online at From Me To You for £9.99.

Although it’s not in the stocking filler price bracket, From Me to You are also putting one of their Christmas Journal’s into the giveaway!

 

FrameAgain
A framed photo from Frame Again.

These fab funky and colourful photo frames are not only customisable, but they can be linked together with magnets. These are on the higher end of the stocking filler budget at £9.99 each, but they are well worth it. This is a forever present, that your child can treasure. Children love having pictures of their own. My own daughter Bunny will absolutely love this. We are having a photo of the whole family framed for her. She will love the bold colours and chunky design too. 

 

Lego Mixels

Lego Mixels

Lego Mixels are quite simply awesome! Each packet costs only £3.00 and contains the Lego pieces to make one Mixel creature. But if you buy all three sets of Mixels, you can MIX them together to make a bigger Mixel. How cool is that?! There are 9 Mixels to collect in series 3 – or you could win them all in the giveaway! Bunny loves Lego and I think she will love the versatility of mixing the packets to make the combo creature. You can find out more about Lego Mixels by visiting the Lego Mixels website.

Lego Minifigures pic

Lego Minifigures

There are 16 Lego Minifigures in series 12. These include everything from princesses to pizza delivery men. I think these are fab as they inspire children to build new things with Lego to go with their minifigures. They inspire creativity and each one is only £2.49 so they make perfect stocking fillers. My daughter will love adding these to her “big girl Lego collection” (as opposed to the Lego Duplo that her sisters play with). Minifigures come blind bagged, so children have the added surprise of not knowing which one they will get. The giveaway winner will receive 16 minifigures. Find out more about Lego Minifigures here.

gruffalo-hat-scarf-and-glov_1

The Gruffalo Hat Gloves and Scarf set from Briers

Briers actually have quite a few items in their adorable Gruffalo range which would make great stocking fillers, including an umbrella and a variety of gardening tools. Into the giveaway, we are putting this gorgeous hat, gloves and scarf set, which retails at £9.99. It’s really soft, warm and cosy and if they did an adult version… I’d want it! You can see more of the Gruffalo range from Briers here.

 

Playmobil Figures series 7

PLAYMOBIL Fi?ures Series 7

The popular PLAYMOBIL Fi?ures have now launched series 7 of their characters. These range from scuba divers to chefs and videographers. These figures will provide a great deal of inspiration for creative and imaginitive play. These will form the start of Bunny’s PLAYMOBIL collection, but one I’m sure she will want to grow. They make an ideal stocking filler as they cost only £1.99 per figure. You could even do a whole stocking just full of PLAYMOBIL!  (giveaway prize is one PLAYMOBIL fi?ure series 7). You can find out more about Fi?ures Series 7 on the PLAYMOBIL website.
Topps Disney Frozen Activity Cards

Topps Disney Frozen Activity Cards

The Disney Frozen obsession rife in Primary schools across the globe is far from over and my daughter is no exception to the list of fans. Topps cards have created Disney Frozen collector cards and matching Frozen tins to store them in. Bunny will be over the moon when she finds the starter pack and tin in her Christmas stocking and no doubt, this will be the latest playground fad! Both the starter pack (£4.99) and the tin (£5.99) are in the giveaway. You can buy these from most newsagents and supermarkets or from Topps Direct. You can also buy single packs of cards for £1 each.

 

Foxes Fairytales

Fox’s Party Fairytales

Fans of Fox’s party rings, will LOVE these. They are like party rings without the holes (so you get more biscuit for your money) but they have actually updated the ingredients to make them suitable for vegetarians. Fox’s Party Fairytales have fairytale pictures stamped into them, these include a prince, princess, castle, tiara, pony and frog. I am not actually sure I can bring myself to put these in Bunny’s stocking because I really really want to eat them! I do think they make a nice change from chocolate though and at £1.15 for 20 biscuits, they are ideal for Christmas stockings.

 

So there you have it… the Crazy with Twins guide to 2014’s top Christmas stocking fillers for girls!

 

You can have the chance to win ALL of the products featured in this article!

Just enter by following the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.

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Giveaway Listed on ThePrizeFinder.com and Competition Hunter

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What can you not bear to leave behind when holidaying in the UK?

October 31, 2014 in Competitions, Holidays, Travel by Emma Day

Let me tell you… when you go on holiday with toddler twins, it’s easy to end up taking everything but the kitchen sink. Even moreso when they were babies! Holidaying in the UK is becoming more popular for families with young children, due to the fact there is no restriction on luggage and you really can take the kitchen sink if you want to.

I got asked by holidaycottages.co.uk what items can I not bear to leave behind, when holidaying in the UK?”

(I’m afraid that when I started writing this post, I spent a little bit too much time on their website and now I have a head full of dreams, of spending Christmas in a cosy little country cottage somewhere, with an open log fire and sheep in the garden!)

Here are my top five…

1. My camera.

Camera

 

As a family travel blogger, my camera is essential to take EVERYWHERE. In fact, let’s not stop there. When we go on holiday in the UK, we take all our technology! My camera, my laptop, chargers for both and the cable that connects the two. The camcorder, two tablet computers and a variety of mobile phone chargers. Yes, it appears we have become “one of those families” who are technology dependant. Deprive me of WiFi on holiday and I go CRAZY! It’s what I do. It’s my passion and I love it!

 

2. My car.

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(Okay… so the one in the picture isn’t technically mine!)

My car is my wings. It’s my freedom. I love to be able to go where I want, when I want, especially on holiday, when there are always places to go, sights to see and new things to try. We learnt the hard way in Italy, that twin toddlers do NOT appreciate coach trips. Or train trips. Or aeroplanes. It is so much easier if they can sit in their own car seats and have a little rave in the back seats to the radio.

 

3. My onesie.

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British weather is renowned for being unpredictable and quite frankly rubbish. I HATE being cold. I am only happy when I am warm, so my onesie is like my best friend. It’s nice to put on first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening or any time I feel cold.

 

4. Tea.

The Claremont Hotel (41)

 

I am 28 years young, but I like my cup of good old fashioned English breakfast tea like an old lady. I have become a bit of a tea addict. On holiday I have to have a nice cup of tea in the morning when I wake up, when I’m getting ready to go out, after a shower, and before I go to bed. It relaxes me and it warms me up.

 

5. My window cleaner.

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Yep, you heard me. Because you see my window cleaner is actually… Hubs! And he does not stop at cleaning windows. He enjoys cooking and I think he secretly enjoys cleaning too. Whenever our apartment gets messy, he will tidy it up. If we don’t feel like eating out, he will cook us a nice homemade meal. He takes care of us all on holiday and I’m not sure what we’d do without him!

So there you go. My top five things I cannot go on a British holiday without! What items do you consider your “must-have” items when holidaying in the UK?

 

This is my entry into the holidaycottages.co.uk must-haves competition

 

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