|FUN|Christmas makes round up

Christmas light scavenger hunt http://www.larabeeuk.co.uk/2014/12/funchristmas-light-scavenger-hunt.html?m=0

Robin tree decoration http://www.larabeeuk.co.uk/2014/12/createrobin-felt-ornament.html?m=0

Children's Christmas lantern http://www.larabeeuk.co.uk/2014/12/createchildren-jar-lantern.html?m=0

Glow in the dark reindeer food http://www.larabeeuk.co.uk/2014/12/createglow-in-dark-reindeer-food.html?m=0

Lolly stick Christmas trees http://www.larabeeuk.co.uk/2014/11/createlolly-stick-christmas-tree.html?m=0

Pipe cleaner and pony bead candy canes http://www.larabeeuk.co.uk/2014/11/createpipe-cleaner-and-pony-bead-candy.html?m=0

Sequin contact Christmas tree http://www.larabeeuk.co.uk/2014/11/createsequin-and-confetti-contact.html?m=0

|REVIEW|Miamoo travel pack

Just before our trip to Hoylake we were lucky enough to be sent a Miamoo travel pack to review.

I love the concept of Miamoo which is the brainchild of The Apprentice star Saira Khan, having a small child with very dry skin, breakouts of pimples and bouts of eczema I was really keen to try these products which claim to 'naturally protect sensitive skin'.
Miamoo products are not tested on animals and the only animal product they contain is silk (in some products) so of course, as a wannabe vegan this is great news.

Our first impressions were really positive, I didn't think the packaging would appeal too much for my superhero loving nearly 4 year old, but he loved it.  His face lit up when he opened his pack and took out all the bottles asking what each one was.  He loved the idea of having his own little travel kit to take on our road trips and it makes him feel very grown up!

We've used all of the products now and will be placing an order soon for some full sizes.  T loves the buba oil which leaves his rather dry and rough legs soft and well moisturised.  The shampoo is a winner because it doesn't 'hurt his eyes' and the cheeky cream was great for popping on a grazed knee, formed a little barrier and stopped it bleeding.  I think I'll be keeping a spritz and wipe spray in the fridge in the summer for spraying on his hot face for instant freshness.  I really can see the products becoming regulars for the whole family.

The sizes are perfect and actually contain a lot more product than you would expect.  We are certainly big fans.

The travel kit is priced at £15 and most of the full sized 200ml products are £6.

Disclaimer: we were sent this travel kit free of charge in return for our honest review.

(photo from Miamoo.co.uk)

|CREATE|catnip fish cat toy

Yup the crazy cat woman is back again with another handmade toy for her cat!  In a bid to stop Twiggy tearing around the house like a loon, I thought that she might benefit from a few more toys and different stimulation.  So this week I've made some super simple catnip fish toys, we're putting these in Twiggy's Christmas stocking.

You don't have to add the catnip, but pets at home states 'Genuine Cosmic Catnip is a 100% natural herb that stimulates a harmless, playful reaction in most cats'.  Personally ours doesn't need much encouragement to play but I thought it would be something different for her.

You will need
Catnip, available from Pets at home (not shown)
Small bells (not shown)
Embroidery floss
A needle and scissors
Rice (not shown)

1. Start by cutting out a simple fish template from paper and use to cut out your felt?  You can find our template here if you'd like to use it.

2. Using simple blanket stitch sew around the edge of the fish, make sure that the stitching is nice and tight and close together so the catnip stays inside.

3. Fill with a few teaspoons of rice, catnip and a bell in each.

4. Voila a nice and simple toy for your cat to play with!

You can see the ribbon toy DIY here if you are interested.

;) Lx 

|FUN|stick man boo bag

With Christmas on the way I thought I'd create T another one of my Boo bags  a story bag where I fill a plain bag with a book and some linked activities.

I'm working on a series of these bags for 2016, so if you have any ideas for great books I could use, I'd love some recommendations please!

The format I'm going to use for my monthly bags are:
1. Something to read
2. Something to learn
3. Something to make
4. Something to eat 

Sometimes there may be more than one thing to do and learn and sometimes there might be something a little extra in there too! 

For this bag I've stuck to the 4 elements.
1. A copy of the book
2. Some colouring and learning pages (details below)
3. A stick man craft
4. A box of matchmakers

I decided to use Stick Man as my book of choice as its a book we haven't got but I know T likes, this bag will be his first advent book, so he'll get this to do on 1 December, which is why my photos are a little limited! 

For my 'something to learn' I turned to the fantastic Twinkl resources website where I found an abundance of printables. I used the addition sheets and some colouring sheets but there are loads to choose from if you wanted to here's the link, some may need a subscription to download. 

Something to make is an actual stick man, I've included a stick, some pipe cleaner limbs, some googly eyes and some green paper to cut out some leaves.  Once we've made our stick man I'll update with some photos! 

For 'something to eat' I thought matchmakers would be apt as they look like twigs so we can chomp on those whilst reading the book. 

I love putting these little bags together for T and I love his face when he opens one, it's like having a little gift each time. 

The other boo bags I've made are The snowman boo bag and Polar express boo bag

Please do hit me with some great book recommendations, I'm absolutely loving the ones I'm planning so far, like Paddington and What the ladybird heard next.

 Toddler Approved Tuesday

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|Week 57 - 24 November

Wow!  It certainly is starting to feel like Christmas is on the way isn't it?  It was lovely to see a few Christmas posts pop up in last weeks link, and some great reviews for suitable Christmas gifts.  Thanks so much to everyone for your support as always.

Remember you can post your weekly post to the #toddlerapprovedtuesday Facebook page too, I like every one which will mean you continue to show up in my feed when you post new posts! 

If you are not yet in the Facebook group send us a request and we'll add you. Feel free to post anything in there all through the week if it's relevant.

I have a Stick man boo bag for you this week!  If you are not sure what I mean by boo bag, have a look at this post as it gives a little more detail and context.

Becky has put together a post for Home made Christmas decorations that kids can make so pop over to check out what she has featured there. 

My showcase

Stir it up Sunday is one of my favourite Christmas traditions and marks the start of our Christmas celebrations.  I shall be using this great Christmas pudding recipe from our friends at Tickle Fingers this year.

These easy but super effective cards from A Whole Latte Love Blog are just toooo cute!  I think they are really great.

We would absolutely love it if you would join us, the linky will open every Tuesday and Wednesday.  Every week Becky and I will each pick our favourite two links for our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday showcase which will be featured on our posts and in the weekly #ToddlerApprovedTuesday email, which hits over 125 email addresses each week!

Remember to share your post and the linky using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk for us to be able to Retweet).  

1. Link as many posts as you like (well with in reason!), remember to copy and paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up.
 Toddler Approved Tuesday

2. Pop by and comment on as many as you can. Can't comment? Why not Pin It or share on Facebook or Twitter instead? It only takes 2 seconds to click the share button!

By linking up you agree to receive future email notifications regarding #ToddlerApprovedTuesday. These emails can be unsubscribed from by clicking the unsubscribe button in the email.

|FAMILY|team bramham on the road - hoylake

At the end of September we were on the road again with one of our little trips away.  This time we went 'up north' and visited Liverpool, Hoylake to be precise. 
We were going to be visiting relatives but our plans changed last minute so we had the whole weekend to ourselves. 
We had a leisurely drive up, which was actually really smooth going, I was really grateful as I drove as The Hubs had to have some treatment in the hospital the previous day and couldn't drive after his sedation. 
After stopping on the way for lunch, which actually seems to be one of T's most favourite things to do now!  We arrived in Hoylake in the early afternoon. 

After checking into our hotel, The Holiday Inn Express which is a great family friendly hotel, read our review for more details, we decided to go and find the beach, well, we didn't have to go far before finding a fabulous beach with miles and miles of soft beautiful sand, T wanted to have a paddle, but the sea is so far out in Hoylake he made do with running barefoot on the sand instead.
We were blessed by fabulous weather, the sun was shining and the wind was warm, we had a fantastic long walk and then returned to the hotel, where we enjoyed a quick drink before unpacking.

Our first evening was spend dining in Marco's USA which was amazing and we highly recommend for families check out our review for full details.
We had a lovely meal then I took the little fella up to bed whilst The Hubs sat in the hotel lobby and watched the rugby with a couple of drinks! 

The next morning after breakfast, we headed out to Knowsley safari park here we spend most of the morning and early afternoon, again there's a full review just click on the link ;) 

We followed up by heading into Liverpool, where our intention was to park up and have a look round, but the excitement of the hotel stay and safari park had left someone a little sleepy and so we didn't make it any further than just a drive around, with The Hubs showing me the Liver birds and us looking at the fabulous hotels along the docks. 

After showers we decided to pop over to the pub opposite the hotel, where we had our evening meal.  Service was slow and the food was ok but we enjoyed a drink and T enjoyed watching the iPad, although as you can see from the picture, he was getting very sleepy!
We headed back to the hotel and all had an early night, the next morning we headed home. Our intention was to visit a different beach and maybe go into Liverpool again but The Hubs was feeling a bit tired after a busy few days so we headed home instead. 
We had a wonderful time in Hoylake and highly recommend it as a place to visit. I can't wait to go again. 

|DAYS OUT|Knowsley safari park

WARNING! photo heavy, skip to the bottom for a brief review! 

A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of a trip to Knowsley Safari Park during a little break in Liverpool.  Situated between Manchester and Liverpool.

Although we've been to a few animal attractions this year, this was T's first safari park, the weather stayed beautiful for us so we were fortunate to see all of the animals out and about.

The park has a lovely long drive through numerous animal attractions, including lions and rhinos and rheas and of course monkeys!!!  The roads are wide enough for quite a few cars to get close enough to see the animals.

There are also lots of different types of deer which were lovely to see up very close.

We went through the monkey enclosure, much to The Hubs disgust!  One rather large male decided to rise with us all the way around, trying to pull off the windscreen wipers, climbing on top of the roof and finishing off with leaving us a big poo on the bonnet, there was an alternative route to see the monkeys and I've had to promise never to make The Hubs go through them again ha ha.  T loved it though, I'm glad he's experienced and enjoyed it.

I love going to safari parks or zoo's and seeing animals which are new to me.  I really enjoyed seeing the moose, they had a beautiful enclosure at the bottom of a little valley which was nice and secluded. It was great to see moose in the UK.
When we'd finished driving round we decided to park up and have a look at the other attractions/enclosures, although you can actually go around the drive through as many times as you like, which is brilliant, especially if it's busy and you don't get the best views the first time.

T enjoyed a couple of the rides and we all went on the little train which went all around the park and was really lovely, if not a little breezy!
We visited the giraffes and elephants and even went to the Sea lion display which was brilliant, the lady presenting was amazing, I could have listened to her all day, she was so knowledgeable and friendly but aimed it just right to keep the kids interested.  T particularly liked the sea lions, they were new to him so it was great that he got to see the show.

Photo from knowlsleysafariexperience.com 
My personal favourite enclosure was the Bat forest where T and I walked through the fruit bat forest, I love bats and really enjoyed being that close to them, T was a little unsure so I carried him, but said he wanted to go in again so wasn't to afraid!
We ate in the cafe which worked out pretty reasonable in price.  Food was adequate, I had a jacket potato, The Hubs had a tuna baguette and T had chips, after having a cooked breakfast in the morning and raisins and apple for a snack he wasn't particularly hungry.

We had a wonderful day out and probably could have stayed longer had we not wanted to nip into Liverpool, definitely highly recommend if you are in the area.
The park is only open at weekends until February with very reasonable prices and would make a fantastic winter day out.


Lovely park with a great selection of animals
Lots of animal enclosures to walk around as well as drive through
Plenty of rides and play area
Lots of parking
Great sea lion show!
Rides could work out a little pricey with larger families, although no more expensive than other attractions.
Disclaimer: we were very kindly given free entry for our honest review.

|FOOD|Marco's USA - Hoylake

When we were in Liverpool recently, we were fortunate enough to dine at Marco's USA in Hoylake which was attached to the Holiday Inn Express hotel we stayed in.

It's not somewhere we really would have considered with T, but they made us feel extremely welcome, one thing we noticed is that we weren't pushed into a small corner but we're give a central table in the middle of the restaurant, we've found in some places we've been to that they tend to shut you away or push you into a corner when you have children, assuming that all children misbehave when out!

T was in a fabulous mood and behaved brilliantly, our waiter, Tom, was exceptional, talking to T and giving him colouring sheets and making him laugh, we really appreciated this, it was lovely to go out to what felt like an adult restaurant but being able to take T.  Where we live most child friendly establishments are not the type of places that we would go to as a couple.

Despite there being 2 large parties that night, service was great and our waiter was very attentive.

The menu's are very varied, with lots of vegetarian options, however, I opted for a couple of sides to make up a salad which they were more than happy to provide.  I had buttered new potatoes, tomato and mozzarella salad and some homemade coleslaw, which was absolutely delicious.

The hubs ordered a burger with prosciutto and cheese, which came beautifully presented with lovely thick cut chips.

T was quite tired by the time we came to eat and so couldn't make up his mind what to order, in the end he ordered a ham pizza and the waiter brought him out a few chips as that was what he asked for! 

For desert I had ice cream with limoncello which was divine, LOTS of limoncello which was very much appreciated!

T had the children's portion of brownies along with a big dollop of ice cream, which he gobbled up and claimed it was 'yumptious' 

The Hubs had a New York cheese cake which was delicious.

By the end of the night T was getting tired so we left after desserts, however, had it just have been The Hubs and I we would most certainly have stayed for a couple more drinks and enjoyed the warm and friendly atmosphere. 

The cost of our meal and drinks was very reasonable, we would definitely consider dining at a Marcos if we ever come across one again.

We found no cons to Marcos at all and would highly recommend as a fantastic family restaurant.

Disclaimer: we were given free accomodation to the Holiday Inn Express and were asked to dine at Marcos and paid for our food ourselves.