Monday, 6 July 2015

Our Little Play Shop - Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

I'm in the middle of creating a playroom and it's not far off being finished - one of the things we have is an area for play shop, cafe and kitchen - I have a boy (Blake age 6) and a girl (Maegan age 4) and they both enjoy playing in this part of the room - I'm really pleased to share with you this lovely basket set from Casdon which we were sent to review.
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

One basket is full of minature boxes and cans (and one lemon!) - these are really sweet exact minature replicas of the real deal - right down to ingredients and nutritional info! 
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

They are lovely - the cans are plastic and feel like they would last, I have to be honest - I'm not sure the little cardboard boxes will last long - I imagine they will be quick to squash - however they have so far successfully survived 3 days of relentless brutle heavy handed playing from both a 4 and 6 year old!

The second basket is full of plastic fruit and veg which feel very durable and some have sweet detailing such as the nobbly bits in the potato and the perfectly formed bunch of grapes.
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

I'm glad we have two baskets so my children can both play at the same time - it's also lovely to see a little stack of baskets waiting to be filled in our little play shop!

Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

Both children have enjoyed playing and I'd say these baskets are that perfect unisex gift.
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets
Casdon Play Shopping Baskets

Disclaimer: I was sent the 2 casdon baskets for the sole purpose of this review - all photos, thoughts and links are my own and we did genuinely enjoy this toy.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Clangers - the New 2015 Toy Collection

When I was small I watched the Clangers - that whistle sound they make sticks in your mind.

For my 18th I had a Small Clanger toy that makes the whistle sound when you squeeze it - this little Clanger toy spent many, many years in a bag in various lofts but when we moved house last year - my little Clanger amused my children (I was surprised it still worked!) 

Here is my 1999 Clanger (front) with a new 2015 Clanger!
2015 Clangers Toys

Then recently, the Clangers returned to CBeebies and now my little people enjoy watching the show (and so do I!) 

I was very pleased to be sent some of the new toys to share with you - they are starting to arrive in the shops now!

We have a lovely soft plush Major Clanger (rrp £5.99) who is part bean filled and made from super soft plush - he's brilliant for cuddles! 

2015 Clangers Toys - Major Clanger

2015 Clangers Toys

And we also received an Iron Chicken (who's really not iron) with wings, head and tail which can all move for optimum game play along with metalic gold and silver finish. The small collectable figure packs (rrp £4.99) go perfectly with the Clangers Home Planet Playset.
2015 Clangers Toys - Iron Chicken
2015 Clangers Toys - Iron Chicken
2015 Clangers Toys - Iron Chicken
2015 Clangers Toys

The new toy collection boasts some wonderful items to look out for, such as Whistle and Dance Mother Clanger who is activated by squeezing her hand and will play music and make danceing movements. Also much anticipated is Musical Starlight Tiny who plays comforting music and has a starlight projection show from her tummy.

2015 Clangers Toys

Clangers collection from Character Online, starting to arrive in toy shops from the 1st July 2015. 

Emma in Bromley xx

disclaimer - I received a Soft Plush and an Iron Chicken toy for the sole purpose of this review - all words and thoughts are my own. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2015

I wanted to share with you a lovely Father's Day gift guide from B&Q

Stains on Panes Window Cleaning in Bromley

I wanted to share Stains on Panes with my readers this month.

Scott arrived to clean my windows - he was in a company sweatshirt and showed me is ID before we even got started which I thought was a great way to start.

It didn't take long to realise that Scott is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about what he does.

For my house - a 3 bed semi, Scott used his Reach and Wash pole system - the poles can be adjusted to suit different heights and the brush heads had been adapted by Scott to maximise there performance. 

Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Scott has a specially adapted backpack to use with the Reach and Wash poles allowing him to easily clean properties with restricted access.

Scott uses a method which involves firstly a scrub, then rinse followed by cleaning both the frames and sills.

Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Scott has a water tank inside his van which has a special resin filter to ensure that the water is pure - Scott used a TDS meter to show me the quality (impurities) of my own water from my garden tap - at a surprising 306 ppm, whilst Scott's own water from his tank showed only 5ppm meaning the purer water is less likely to leave chalk residue or smears that you might get from using my garden tap water.
Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Besides the Reach and Wash method, Scott can also carry out a traditional wash too, where he will still take the time to clean the frames and sills.

It started to rain whilst Scott was still cleaning but he wasn't phased by it and explained that the rain didn't affect the quality of the clean.

My front windows were lovely and clean whilst my rear 2 bedrooms and patio window (a much older style of window) are a little streaky - Scott explained that at some point in the past, someone had used the wrong kind of paint on the frames which started to come off during the wash  - Scott has reassured me that future cleans will solve the problem.

Scott recommended a clean every 8 weeks for my house - a 3 bed semi - at a cost of £20. 
Emma in Bromley Window Cleaning with Stains on Panes
Scott also carries out other maintenance jobs such as gutter cleaning and is fully insured in addition to being a member of the Federation of Window Cleaners.

One of Scott's passions is improving and adapting the equipment to perform better or coming up with his own ideas and inventions - he's currently working on a portable trolly system as a back up plan should he ever find his van out of action!

Stains on Panes clean both residential and commercial properties in and around Bromley - Kent and London regions. 

Find out more here:

Emma in Bromley x

* Disclaimer - I received a window clean for the sole purpose of writing a review. 

Monday, 15 June 2015

Miffy's Makeover Complete

Miffy’s Makeover Complete 

Dick Bruna’s stories all updated as bunny turns 60

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As Miffy celebrates 60 years this summer, 18 of Dick Bruna’s classic stories will have been updated for a modern British audience.
Miffy’s makeover has taken two years to complete - the first time in nearly half a century the books have been changed. 
UK publisher, Simon and Schuster tasked award winning British poet, Tony Mitton to refresh Bruna’s rhyming verse to suit the ears of today’s toddlers and pre-schoolers. The Dutch artist’s iconic illustrations – familiar to millions of British people who grew up with the Miffy books – remain the same.
The new range also comprises colourful activity, sticker, wipe clean and lift the flap books (including a timely miffy and royal baby title).
Lara Hancroft, Editorial Director of Simon and Schuster’s Children’s Publishing comments “Our new Miffy range aims to attract a new generation of young fans, ensuring a bright future for the little white bunny.”

Miffy Mums

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Tiny Pop to launch new Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small

Tiny Pop to launch new Miffy TVBrand new CGI series Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small to air from October 2015
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Sony Pictures Television has announced the launch of a brand new CGI pre-school show featuring Dick Bruna’s classic character, Miffy on its pre-school channel Tiny Pop. 
Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small airs exclusively across the channel’s Freeview, satellite and cable platforms from 2nd October. 
After launching on Freeview channel 126 in January this year Tiny Pop became available in 26.3 million homes. It has since more than doubled its ratings to become the third strongest channel overall for Kids 4-6, after CBeebies and Disney Junior.
With Miffy’s 60th anniversary celebrations in full swing this year, the new series marks the first time the iconic white bunny has ever been seen in CGI. 
Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small has been developed by London-based animation studio Blue-Zoo, and features 52 x 7’ episodes. It is the animated sequel to the successful Miffy and Friends, the initial stop motion series which aired in more than 70 countries from 2003 onwards. 
Featuring new children’s voices, plus new characters and locations, each CGI episode features Miffy exploring the exciting world around her, with simple narrative and cheerful songs to drive it along. It will be faster paced and have more expressive animation than the previous series, yet remains true to the simplicity and iconic style of Miffy’s creator, Dick Bruna.
Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small will become a key part of Tiny Pop’s evening block, Cuddle Time, which features gentle programming allowing kids, mums and dads to enjoy calmer family favourites before bedtime. Tiny Pop has the strongest evening viewing figures in the kids’ category, from 7pm-midnight.
Head of children’s channels for CSC Media, part of Sony Pictures Television, Francesca Newington commented: 
“Miffy has been adored by children and their parents all over the world for so long, we are delighted to welcome the new, CGI Miffy and her friends to Tiny Pop. We hope a new generation of British children will come to love Miffy.”
Mercis BV, Dick Bruna’s publishers and manager of his international rights has developed this new series and commissioned Blue-Zoo Productions to make the series. The series is distributed in Europe by Telescreen BV/m4e. 
Frank Padberg, Mercis BV commented: 
“We’re delighted to be partnering for the first time with Tiny Pop to bring this brand new CGI show to UK audiences.”

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Goodbye Snotface

One year anniversary ...

Maegan and Minty the Snail

My daughter, Maegan (age 3) has a thing for snails! She loves them and since last summer she named them. Usually there is one called Minty - that's always her favourite one!
Maegan Clement and Minty the Snail

It was raining on our school walk so there was an abundance of snails in our front garden as we were leaving to collect Blake. 

Maegan carefully chose two snails to come on the walk with us - one was Minty and one was called Yonna and she carefully carried them in her hands! 

Yonna was abandoned on a leaf not far from school but Minty made it all the way to school and back!

Maegan liked to tell Minty that she loved her and even kissed her "pet" snail!

Minty was returned (completely unharmed!) to her snail family in our front garden.

Emma in Bromley xx

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Miffy Turns 60 - Miffy Mums

Miffy MumsJune is a big month for birthdays in our house - My children's birthdays are on the 19th and 24th June, along with a few other family birthdays and father's day - June is always full of cake and fun.
On the 21st June - Miffy turns 60!
We all love Miffy don't we? I remember reading Miffy books as a child and love that my two also love reading Miffy - My daughter all has her eye on a giant Miffy lamp we spotted and I my children love playing Miffy's Garden on my iPad!
I'm really happy to have been chosen as a blogger to be a Miffy Mum, I'm hoping to share with you some lovely Miffy things.

Lets start with some books!

Maegan Clement (age 3) Reading Miffy at the Gallery whilst Blake Clement (age 5) reads Miffy's Birthday. Miffy Mums
Maegan (age 3) Reading Miffy at the Gallery whilst Blake (age 5) reads Miffy's Birthday.
Miffy's Birthday, Miffy at the Gallery and Miffy's Play Date. Miffy Mums

Miffy's Birthday, Miffy at the Gallery and Miffy's Play Date.
Miffy's  birthday - Miffy Mums
Miffy's Birthday - a really sweet hard back special edition book - My children really like reading this and it certainly gets you into birthday spirits - Cake anyone?
Miffy's Play Date is a lovely sticker book
Miffy's Play Date is a lovely sticker book - lots of stickers to complete the scenes, my youngest has really enjoyed matching the stickers up. 
Miffy at the Gallery - Miffy Mums
Miffy at the Gallery - sweet little hard back book with some lovely inspired art, explores modern and classic art forms - my little boy loves this book because it reminds him of our trips to the National Gallery (One of his favourite places).

Miffy turns 60 years young on the 21st June 2015.

The 3 featured Miffy books are published by Simon and Schuster

Miffy is also on Twitter and Facebook

Emma in Bromley xx

More on Miffy

Disclaimer - I received a selection of Miffy Books as part of being a Miffy Mum

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Continental Market in Bromley

Stall holder with plate of food
Come along and browse the stalls for a special gift or sample a wide range of food that will tempt your taste buds. From Jamaican traders offering their bespoke variety of jerk chicken, Quorn products, veggie wraps, mutton and lamb dishes to other regulars like Italian nougat and chocolate traders, and Crepes Temptation.
Thursday to Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm.
The vibrant atmosphere is further enhanced by our regular weekly Bromley Charter Market, so why not take a look?

  • Date: 4 Jun 2015 - 7 Jun 2015
  • Every day
  • Location: Bromley High Street pedestrian area
  • Cost: Free

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Break

So you may have noticed a slight blip in my blog posts - I have taken a little step back thought May - A strange month to take a step back given May saw me celebrate 8 years on twitter and marks the 6th anniversary of this very blog!

It's been a very (VERY) difficult decision to make but due to ... shall we just say "Personal Reasons" that I don't feel ready to elaborate just yet.

But things will be back to normal in June :-)

Emma in Bromley xx

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Farting is not ok thank you very much! - Fart is a Naughty Word

I was always raised to understand Fart was a naughty word - a profanity.

Fart is a naughty word

It's considered a naughty word in the UK and as far as I'm concerned, it remains a swear word and something I'd rather my children didn't say - in our house, fart is a naughty word.

Infact Wikipedia recognises it as vulgar. By the early twentieth century, the word "fart" had come to be considered rather vulgar in most English-speaking cultures. While not one of George Carlin's original seven dirty words, he noted in a later routine that the word fart, ought to be added to "the list" of words that were not acceptable.

So when I heard one of my son's five year old friends saying fart, I politely advised that we don't say it and to try and think of another word for it.

However it soon materialised that quite a large chunk of my 5 year old's friends say fart ... in school, in front of their teachers and peers and in front of their parents - they simply don't know it's a naughty word! 

Since when did such a vulgar term become acceptable? What's changed since my upbringing in the 80's that has seen this naughty word become acceptable in the UK because I'm still shocked to the core when I hear 5 year olds and younger saying Fart as if it's completely normal? 

At Christmas time there was a TV ad for "fart putty" broadcast on a channel aimed at very young children (Nick Jr)

And then there are children's books, TV shows and movies using the term fart - infact we were watching Garfield 2 this week which is rated U so the last thing you'd expect is naughty language but no! Garfield himself says "farting" 

It seems fart is acceptable in American based children's books, ads, films and TV shows and is creeping over to the UK as an ok word to say!?!

Am I the only parent that still sees this as a naughty word? 

What alternative words do you use? 

We have Windypops and Lovepuffs here :-)

Emma in Bromley xx

More TeaBreak Tuesday stories

Monday, 4 May 2015

May the Fourth be with You - Happy Star Wars Day

Stormtrooper Mood Light
May the 4th be with you - Happy Star Wars Day!

I wanted to share with you something on my shopping list for when I decorate Blake's bedroom in the near future! 

Stormtrooper Mood Light

Description:If you want to give yourself to the dark side but are still a little afraid of things that go bump in the night, then the best solution we can find are these unbelievably cool Star Wars helmet night lights. Styled on the helmets worn by Galactic Empires military, also known as Stormtroopers, they look great in the day time and simply awesome at night!

Price: £14.95

Emma in Bromley xx

Thursday, 30 April 2015

My Horse - Wearable Hobby Horse Review

My Horse wearable hobby horse - Emma in Bromley
My little Meg (age 3) adores horses - she has quite the collection, including vintage 80's my little ponies!

She had a wonderfully pink sparkly unicorn hobby horse that made a neigh and clippity clop sound from a button in it's ear. But this unicorn hobby horse did not last long - the fabric covering the stick was so thin a hole wore on the bottom within minutes and in an incident involving Blake (big brother age 5) the stick snapped and the unicorn hobby horse was no more.

My Horse wearable hobby horse - Emma in Bromley

When I was asked to review My Horse, I knew my little girl would be excited!

My Horse takes hobby horses to a new level - they are stick free! Making them more durable (less dangerous) and readily portable - you can pop it in your bag if out and about as they are a wearable hobby horse.

My Horse comes in a range of colours and styles and are of a gender neutral design - available in two sizes, both with velcro fastenings so they are pretty adaptable.
Maegan Clement with her My Horse wearable hobby horse - Emma in Bromley

We love that the horse is on an adjustable - Velcro fastening - skirted waistband so your little person wears the horse. Ours is age 3-6 and fits both my children comfortably.
Maegan Clement with her My Horse wearable hobby horse - Emma in Bromley

With soft but durable fabric and yarn loop mane and tail our My Horse has already lasted longer than the old hobby horse. My daughter loves the soft yarn and will play with it - often when sleepy. 

My Horse also has a lovely range of accessories such as small felt jumps to choose from and rosettes - The only problem we had was that the rosette didn't attach to the horse so I added a small stick on velcro dot.

At first Meg just wanted to cuddle her My Horse and use her like a soft toy, I have to say as a grown up, it did raise a little giggle when you realise your youngest is snuggling up to a horses head! This was simply because Maegan isn't keen on waistbands! But she loves her My Horse and I prefer her playing with this than a traditional hobby horse because it all just seems a lot safer without the long stick to either trip over or hit your big brother with!!!

Maegan Clement with her My Horse wearable hobby horse - Emma in Bromley
We've found that it's quite the conversation starter - other mums often come over to ask about our My Horse when we are in the park and it certainly catches the attention of other small people - it seems that most people who see My Horse, want a My Horse - I'm considering asking Ellen, the owner, for a stash of business cards to hand out!

The owner of My Horse is a mum herself - you can see how much love she has put into making My Horse.

We can't wait to take My Horse on our summer trips to the Lakes and Wales!

Please visit to see the current range.

Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer - I received a My Horse for the sole purpose of carrying out a review - all thoughts, link choices and photos are my own and I would (and do) recommend this product to others.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Did You Know Your 7 Year Old Daughter is Posting Selfies on Instagram? - Teabreak Tuesday

If we go back several generations, it was the norm to get your first part time job at 10, leave school at 15, fall in love and marry off at about 18 years old and live to about 60.
Skip forward a few generations to now and it's the norm to get your first part time job at 16, leave education at 22 and fall in love, marry off/start a family in your late 20's and live to about 85.

With life being extended, children have a chance to be children and enjoy childhood for longer, don't they?

So when I went to a girl's 8th birthday party recently I had a bit of an eye opener (my own children are 3 and 5) - there were two distinct groups, you had about two thirds in pretty pastel party dresses and sparkly shoes having fun with their friends and enjoying party food exactly as you'd expect for 7 and 8 year old girls but then there was that other third, a group of a few girls that literally left my jaw on the floor! I couldn't believe what I was seeing!

The 7 and 8 year olds who in my opinion seemed more like 14 year olds ... And looked it! They wore black high heels, cropped tops, leather jackets and stood around chewing gum, talking about which 1D they liked best, overly (I can't stress the overly bit enough) applying bright red lippy and alarmingly spending most of the party on their smart phones either taking selfies, using Instagram (seriously!) texting (goodness knows who) or randomly I spotted one just sat playing with the timer on her phone?! (Maybe giving the impression she was doing something "cooler"?) these girls demonstrated they were too old for party food by throwing biscuits across the table and one girl made a rather mean comment about the birthday girl while the others tittered .... nice!

After the party there were some gifts for party girl - lovely things like clip in hair plaits, dolls and craft kits but there was an awful lot of cards ... with cash - I couldn't help but feel that at 8 surely it's still more fun to open a gift than just collect all the money? And really is it that hard to find something in the shops your friends would like? 

Now I know I'm not "with the times" and I believe childhood should be embraced for as long as possible - makes sense given we live for longer! I also think that the age of consent should be raised to 18 but that's a whole other argument!

I was just absolutely gobsmacked by seeing 7 and 8 year old girls acting and looking like what I would guess as 14 year olds - having a daughter myself, that just scared me - I wonder how they have been allowed to get so teenage so soon?! 

I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion but does your 7 or 8 year old daughter really need those black high heeled shoes and cropped top outfit? does she need the brightest red lipstick? does she have to have a smart phone already? did you say she could use it during the party as much as she liked? are you really OK with your 7 year old daughter posting photos of herself in a crop top and pouting with her bright red lippy to a public instagram account? do you even know who she was constantly texting instead of joining in with the party games - after all you didn't stay at the party? 

Why don't you try harder at saying no, protecting your child and helping her to embrace her right to stay a child just that little bit longer - if at 7 she's already acting 14 - what's going to really happen to her at 14? 

I know I'm in no position to judge other parents and I really hate doing it but I have to say, I judge that first parent who irresponsibly bought their 7 year old daughter a smart phone and gave them complete free reign with it!

I'm pleased the birthday girl was still in the majority pretty party dress group and not looking and acting like she's an extra in the "mean girls" movie.

Maybe I baby my children too much but I do think as parents, surely we should be helping our children have a childhood?

Monday, 27 April 2015

Mulberry Silk Cotbed Duvet Review Silk Bedding Direct

Mulberry Silk Cotbed DuvetWhen I was approached by SilkBeddingDirect with an opportunity to review a luxury 100% mulberry silk cotbed duvet for them, I was excited to accept the challenge - within our family, we have asthmatics, allergies and sensitive skin so I was already aware of some of the benefits of silk bedding. 

 Silk Bedding Direct duvets are filled with 100% Mulberry silk (the type of silk filling is important) which makes them naturally hypoallergenic and dust mites can't live in silk and have a luxury 300 thread count cotton casing. Mulberry silk bedding is my personal preferred choice for my children given the asthma and allergies we have.

I wanted to quote a list from the website which highlights many more benefits of mulberry silk bedding:
 MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities)
 Eczema and dry or itchy skin
 Skin inflammations (psoriasis)
 Burns (particularly 1st and 2nd degree)
 Post-chemotherapy sensitive skin
 Vascular sclerosis

Mulberry Silk Cotbed Duvet

All Silk Bedding Direct duvets are filled with top grade long-strand 100% natural mulberry silk.  And, importantly, are loop sewn and tied by hand through the casing to prevent movement.  Hand sewing is used to avoid crushing the precious silk inside and is a much superior method to machine "pattern" sewing"

Mulberry Silk Cotbed Duvet
The duvet arrived in a lovely storage tote, and is extremely soft and snuggly - this one is being used on my daughter's bed - Maegan is 3 years old and loves how squishy her duvet is. 

SilkBeddingDirect children's duvets are thicker that the adult sized ones and we are using a Spring/Autumn weight - we've had some unusually hot weather so far this April and I have found that this weight has still been great for my daughter - the natural silk has meant overheating hasn't been an issue. 

along with the duvet, you also get clear care instructions and a lovely little touch - a 10% off code - SBD10E to share with friends and family (That'd be you x)
Mulberry Silk Cotbed Duvet
As a sweet little detail, there is a small inspection zip so you can peep at the mulberry silk inside - I've put a small stitch to keep it closed because Maegan can unzip it! 

There are also clips attached where you can join the duvet to an additional one to make a winter weighted duvet.
Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer - I received a Cotbed Duvet for the purpose of this review - all thoughts and photos are my own.

lifestyle blogger

Friday, 24 April 2015

Mr Men and Little Miss Vitamins from Haliborange

Mr Men and Little Miss Vitamins from Haliborange
We were sent some new Haliborange Vitamins to try with the children - Mr Men and Little Miss Immune Support and Omega 3 with Multivitamins.

Mr Men and Little Miss Vitamins from Haliborange
One of the first thing I noticed about these that are different to a rival brand we were using was that you can take 1 to 2 chewies a day - so for us, we found when we had cold going around the family, we could take both an Immune support with the Multivitamin one without worrying about taking too much. 

Mr Men and Little Miss Vitamins from Haliborange
The Immune Support ones are blackcurrant flavour and neither of my children liked the taste the first few times they tried them but all of a sudden they decided they did like them after all! The orange flavour ones were loved straight away!

These have big smiley faces and the texture of a jelly sweet so children are happy to have them. 
I loved details such as Mr Sneeze on the Immune Support packaging ad Mr Clever for the Omega 3.

Emma in Bromley xx

disclaimer - I was sent some of the new vitamins to try, I wasn't actually asked to blog about them, I just thought it would be nice to share with you because my children genuinely liked them and I know it's not always easy to get children to take their vitamins. 

mummy blogger