22 August 2017

The girls have fun with Zhu Zhu hamsters

There have been some funny chirruping noises coming from the girls bedroom's the past few days, a few squeaks and lots of giggling and laughter from the girls too. You see they have been testing out a new toy that we have been sent to review.

Do you remember Go Go pets? A hand sized toy pet that would run around your room. Well they are back, they have been updated and have a new name, Zhu Zhu Pets. There is also a new website and there has even been a TV show too.

Zhu Zhu pets are about the size of my palm, fun fluffy likeable little things with big embroidered eyes and a tuft of stiffened hair on top. The Little Ones have been sent both 'Chunk', the blue one, the rodent to go to when you need some muscle and 'Mr Squiggles' the orange one, the hamster of all trades that just needs to get a bit more organised.

We were also sent the Zhu Zhu pets adventure ball (rrp £12.99) and the Hamster wheel and tunnel set (rrp £14.99) for the hamsters to run around in.

Each pet has several different settings. Nurture mode, activated by pressing a button on it's head, causes the pet to 'talk' to you, cooing and squeaking and making cute noises. In Explore mode (activated by pressing a button on the pet's back) the pet starts moving and exploring across the floor where it runs in a variable pattern and even reverses and changes direction if it bumps into something thanks to a clever little sensor on the end of it's nose. There is also a secret setting by holding down the Explore button that causes your hamster to do a little dance and sing. The pets go into Sleep mode after four minutes or if they tip over conserving battery life.

Both girls love their hamsters and have been playing with them non stop the past few days, they work best on a hard floor but ours run perfectly fine on the carpets too (just watch out fluff doesn't tangle round the wheels). Little 3 loves them too and all of them think it is funny to stand in the kitchen with them on the hard floor and jump out the way as the run towards them.

As well as the Zhu Zhu hamsters themselves we were sent the wheel and tunnel set, once I had put it together which was fairly easy, we tested it out. Put the pet in the end of the tube and press the button on it's back, it will then run up the tube and into the wheel and eventually adjust its position and come back out again.

Mr Squiggles is obviously well trained and turns right on entering the wheel and does this manoeuvre with no difficulty (see the video below), however, Chunk must have a different running pattern and tries to turn left at the top of the tunnel, he then bumps his nose sensor and reverses several times over before falling backwards down the tunnel more often than not. It doesn't seem to bother Little 1 much as she just corrects him but I can't help but feel that defeats the idea.


As well as the wheel we were sent the hamster ball, after clicking a little plastic stabilising piece onto the bottom of your pet to stop him sliding around in the ball you just pop him in and press the back button before shutting the lid and he is off. This really reminded me of my pet hamsters running around in ball like this when I had them as a child. Just like a real hamster he careers across the carpet, bumps into something and reverses off in another direction. 

The only thing about the ball that I wasn't so keen on is that it was in two halves that kept popping apart and had to be aligned up to click back together, Little 1 at almost 8 couldn't do it herself and I took a moment to do it a few times, a bit of clear tape solved the problem and stopped it coming apart though. We had to tape down the door too after the end of the first day as it would open by itself whilst in use, none of this bothers the girls though, they love their Zhu Zhu pets, wheel and ball. 

Tonight they have both made their hamsters a bed in their slippers and taken them up to bed with them, and I know that they will be the first thing they get out in the morning.

N.B We were gifted these items in return for a review, all opinions in this post are our honest thoughts.

4 August 2017

Lets go fly a kite

Hasn't the weather been dismal this week? I mean it is so grey out, no clear skies and fluffy clouds, just a layer of thick grey stuff and a whole lot of drizzle, showers and heavy downpours thrown in too. I have been thinking about a lovely afternoon we had on the common on weekend a few weeks ago when it was scorching hot and the sun was out.

1 August 2017

What the Little Ones wear- Joules dress

You all know the girls love dresses, given the choice they would not own a pair of shorts or trousers but sometimes they are more practical for my outdoorsy girls, however, more often than not they will be in a dress.

The current favourite for Little 2 is this one from Joules, perfect for this mixed up summer weather. A lovely lightweight cotton dress with a double layer skirt, pink and white stripes on the top with gold shiny spots and a blue skirt.

26 July 2017

School's out for summer

Today the Little Ones finally broke up from school, I think we may well have been one of the last. It has been a long term and all three children have been particularly grumpy and tired in need of the summer break.

21 July 2017

The Little Ones are VIP wildlife explorers at WWT Slimbridge

For those of you who regularly read my blog you will know that we are members and regular visitors of our local wetlands centre WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. We have visited in the depths of Winter and the heat of the Summer, and we have had hours of fun jumping in puddles, and exploring the centre too already this year.

We were recently contacted by Slimbridge and asked whether the Little Ones would like to become VIP Wildlife Explorers for a day to road test their summer activities for them. We had already spotted the adverts for 'Dusty's Wildlife Explorers' when we were last there and having planned to go at the start of the holidays anyway, we were certainly willing to be the first to try them out. 

9 July 2017

Cooling off the Little Ones

The weather has certainly been warm lately and we have all been feeling it here at Loving Life with Little Ones, the girls have been coming home from school all hot and flustered and Little 3 has been tossing and turning at night.

7 July 2017

MOKURU stick- the new fidget toy?

Hands up if you like to keep your fingers busy or if your child has a fidget spinner, well fidget spinners are so over... we have a new fidget toy in our house- the MOKURU stick and it is pretty addictive.

3 July 2017

Out and about- Growing in confidence

Getting out of the house at the weekend is a must when you have three children, some days they might just spend most of the day out in the garden or spend an hour at the local park but we try to take them out and about at least once each weekend. There are lots of places to go near us in Gloucestershire for a walk and to explore and plenty of places to go and burn some energy close to home too. 

26 June 2017

The one about fruit!

Fruit, One of your 5-a-day right. Well, there is certainly no trouble getting this stuff into the Little Ones, in fact I am actually worried that they eat too much of it, can you actually eat too much fruit?

24 June 2017

Paw Patrol Rescue Track Sets- Zuma and Skye's Lighthouse and Marshall's Pet Rescue

Little 3 has now reached the grand old age of 27 months and has begun to show a lot more interest in watching the television with the girls and with a greatly improved attention span he will sit and watch for quite a while if you let him. A current favourite programme of his is Paw Patrol and he just loves the character Marshall the most. 

When Spin Master recently got in touch and asked if we would like to road test their Paw Patrol Rescue Track set it was an instant 'Yes' as I knew they would be a hit with Little 3.

19 June 2017

Close Parent day and night cloth training pants

I mentioned in my last cloth training pant review that we have been trying out several different brands of washable cloth training pants over the last few weeks, this post is all about Close Parent training pants.

Close Parent pop in nappies were our go to cloth nappy when Little 3 was younger and we loved them. It only seemed right to stick with the brand we trusted and loved to try their training pants too. Not only do they sell day time ones for leak prone toddlers, they also sell the most useful potty training product I have come across- leak proof night time training pants, you can read how we got on with those below.

13 June 2017

#PrezzoLaFamiglia- A giant bowl of pasta- don't mind if we do!

We were recently invited by Britmums and Prezzo to take part in their #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge. The challenge was to try out the NEW Prezzo LaFamiglia pasta sharing dish as a family and share our thoughts. Well, with pasta being the favourite meal of three members of our family and the thoughts of a giant bowl of pasta that I didn't have to cook, we were totally up for it.

8 June 2017

We're forever blowing bubbles

'5...4...3...2...1, Right, Please get out of the bath NOW, I am not asking again'. You would think it would be a battle to get small people into the bath but no, in our house we have to battle them to get out! The Little ones love the bath especially the younger two, Little 3 always asks 'Avin a bath Mummy?' every night as we are getting down from the tea table and more often than not the answer is 'Yes'. 

5 June 2017

Da da da da....superundies!!

Little 3 has now been in pants around 6 weeks and he has done really well, however, he has a tendency not to tell us he needs a wee if he is busy doing something. This means he is still having the odd accident now and then, particularly at the end of the day when I am busy in the kitchen cooking tea and miss the signs that he needs to go. 

I was getting a bit fed up with a toddler wandering into the kitchen soaked to his socks and did a twitter shout out for some recommended cloth training pants to help contain the mess.

1 June 2017

What the Little Ones wear- it is all in the detail

I don't know about you but I really don't like children's clothes that have those plasticy transfer pictures on the front, they look fab to begin with but after a few washes they look like they are faded or starting to crack or peel and even decent brands that last a little longer look tatty very quickly.

28 May 2017

A picnic lunch anyone?

The Little Ones love nothing more than having picnics and tea parties, indeed I have written about them several times before. Now that Little 3 is 26 months old he totally gets role play and joins in with his sisters as they set up extravagant tea parties with their toys and get the whole family involved in their games.

24 May 2017

A visit to Snowshill Manor and gardens

When the sun was shining last weekend we decided to get out of the house and go exploring for the day. We packed a picnic and opened our National Trust handbook to see where we could go nearby, we chose to head to Snowshill Manor and gardens somewhere we hadn't explored before. A Tudor manor house owned by the collector Charles Wade and used to store all his collections while he lived in the priest house in the courtyard.

19 May 2017

What the Little Ones wear- Here kitty kitty

There is one dress in Little 2's wardrobe that got worn again and again and again all through the winter and on into the spring, now sadly after shooting up recently it has gotten too small for her. It is this one, a mock pinafore kitty dress, admittedly again from Lilly and Sid, but I did say that a lot of the Little Ones current wardrobes come from them right now!

13 May 2017

Potty training out and about with Dry Like Me

We first began Potty training Little 3 over the Easter holidays and although we stayed in for the first day or two we didn't want to be stuck inside for a whole week while Little 3 was getting the hang of it all. Dry like Me offered us the perfect solution, they kindly sent us some of their award winning potty training pads for Little 3 to try out and so we put them to the test.

3 May 2017

What the Little Ones wear- glitter and unicorns

Little 2 likes glittery clothes at the minute, she is still very much into the princess and dressing up age and likes to look pretty with glitzy hair bands, shimmery body lotion and loves it when she feels as though she has a bit of sparkle. 

30 April 2017

A potty training toddler, a week on

If you read my post 'It is time for big boy pants!' then you will know that the past couple of weeks we have been attempting to toilet train Little 3. 'Attempting' was the word the first few days when things really didn't seen to be going all that well and I was beginning to think 'perhaps, he isn't ready yet' even though I had been sure he was.

28 April 2017

I can do it myself (review)

Now that he is two years old Little 3 has suddenly had another developmental surge and begun to develop a taste for independence. 'Me do it' is a very common phrase these days as he wants to have a go at doing things himself.

He has started to try and dress himself by pulling things over his head and has recently become very good at putting on his own pants and trousers after showing no interest at all in doing it a few weeks ago. He tries really hard to put on his socks and shoes but can not do it at all yet, he will try for quite some time before giving up and asking for help if there is time for me to let him have a go himself.

26 April 2017

A super sunny Easter trip to Cornwall

Now that we have been back at school (myself included) the past few days I have had time to think about the super Easter holidays that we have just had, normally we don't do anything at Easter as Daddy is working but this year we did things differently, Daddy took a week off and we had such a good time.

After returning from a long weekend at Butlins celebrating Daddy's 40th birthday with family we spent a few days at home together, an afternoon doing an Easter duck hunt at the local wetlands centre and exploring a new National Trust house near us too. 

We then had the opportunity to join friends in Cornwall for bank holiday weekend and decided to go, we were so glad that we did.

23 April 2017

What the Little Ones wear- Gorgeous girlie dresses from Lilly & Sid

If you ask the girls what they want to wear the answer every day, almost certainly, will be a dress. A dress and tights for Little 2 (she loves choosing tights to match her dress) and just a dress for Little 1 who can sometimes be persuaded to wear a pair of cropped leggings underneath if it is colder (she doesn't really like tights).

20 April 2017

It is time for big boy pants!

Little 3 only turned two years old a month ago but he has been showing a lot of signs that he might be ready to have a go at toilet training over the last couple of months. The past two weeks I have spotted further signs and decided that although he is still young and as I have the Easter holidays off work now is the right time to give it a try.

14 April 2017

Playing on the beach at Bognor Regis

Last weekend we spent time enjoying ourselves for Daddy's 40th birthday, we went to Butlins all the way down in Bognor Regis and the weather was amazing. Even though it was just the beginning of April the sun was out, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was warm, warm enough for summer dresses and t-shirts.

Although the children were having so much fun on the soft play and rides, when they were not in the swimming pool or hankering for another game of crazy golf, we couldn't go all the way to Bognor without a trip to the beach.

6 April 2017

Spring has sprung.. running free

Now that the weather has turned and Spring is well and truly upon us we have been taking the opportunity to get out and about in the sunshine as a family a whole lot more in the last few weeks. The Little Ones have had great fun running around, exploring and just enjoying being outdoors free of coats and thick jumpers. Little 3 in particular has been having great fun now that he can keep up with the girls and is really happy and chatty when we have been outdoors with him running free.

4 April 2017

Fuzzikins cosy cats craft kit review

My girls both love creating and crafting, they like making and decorating, gluing and sticking and making all sorts of different things. Sometimes they get out all the crafty bits and do their own thing but they are also great fans of crafting kits. We were recently asked to test out a new kit from Fuzzikins Craft called Fuzzikins Cosy cats.

2 April 2017

Beauty and the Beast: write, inspire, create with Parragon book buddies

As you know we are Parragon book buddies and are lucky enough to be sent books for the Little Ones to review by the lovely people at Parragon. This month we were asked to read a gorgeous book right up Little 1's street, Beauty and the Beast-Write, inspire, create.

29 March 2017

We took the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness midweek meal challenge

It's 4pm on a Thursday afternoon, we have just walked in the door from school and the Little Ones are STARRRRVING, I have given them an apple and a biscuit which won't placate them long, the toddler is clinging to my legs shouting 'ungee' (hungry) and asking to be picked up. Glancing at the clock I realise that we have to be at Brownies in an hour and I need to feed them fast.

21 March 2017

What the Little Ones wear.... My new fashion series

When it comes to clothes for the Little Ones I like to buy things that look good, now when I say good I don't mean posh or smart or clothes that can't be played in, I mean funky colours and appliques, cute patterns and for the girls, pretty colours and twirly dresses. 

The Little Ones clothes need to be sturdy and practical and at the same time not break the bank. I need clothes that can stand dirt and pasta sauce, a super long wash with a hefty scoop of stain remover and a spin in the dryer. I need them to still look decent after half a dozen wears, and I have come to learn over the years which brands can stand this and the ones that can not.

After having two little girls who love to wear dresses and pretty patterns as well as all bright and lovely colours and spending 5 years buying from the girls section it came as a bit of a shock when Little 3 came along at how much blue, black and grey there is for boys and not much else. I went on a mission and found some places and brands that offer more colour and something different for boys and I would like to share them with you.

I often get comments about my children's clothes, particularly Little 3, and so I decided to start up this series and tell you about the clothes the Little Ones wear and where we found them.

So take a look below about what is coming up and be sure to pop back to find out all about them and see them in action soon.

Do you have any favourite brands you can share with me?

19 March 2017

Dreaming of fun family holidays

Everyone likes a change of scenery and the feeling of getting away from it all for a few days, a change is as good as a rest as they say, and as a parent to three children I certainly like to get away and have some fun with my family without the usual thinking about what needs doing at home.

As a family we usually go away for a week in the summer and sometimes the occasional weekend away too. We love simple family fun on our breaks, there has to be a beach, the Little Ones really love to spend their time on the beach and preferably a swimming pool nearby too. With three young children there isn't much opportunity for relaxing on holiday (No reading my book on a sunbed by the pool here!) so we like to spend our time exploring on the beach, visiting places of interest and going on fun days out the children have chosen. Since having children, and with all three of them currently needing costly passports we haven't holidayed outside the UK since our honeymoon 8 years ago!

Both when I was living with my parents and before Daddy and I had children, I visited much of Europe, either having a holiday somewhere or travelling through for a day or two on the way to our main destination. There are many places I would like to take the Little Ones and return to myself. There are also a few destinations further afield that Daddy and I would love to visit and travel to as a family when the Little Ones are older, I think we had better start saving.

With the girls growing up fast and Little 3 having just turned two years old and almost out of the nappies and naps stage, we have thought quite a bit about taking the Little Ones on holiday to Europe. In the past we have travelled with various companies or arranged the separate parts of the holiday ourselves but I do think that now we have children, specifically a toddler, it would be worth using a company geared up for young families, such as Tots to Travel who safeguard your family holiday by handpicking family friendly villas and cottages around the world.

So where would we take the Little Ones if we could?

The Italian lakes- A couple of the first proper holidays that Daddy and I went on together were to italian lakes, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda, many, many years ago and they still remain my favourite holidays. We fell in love with Italy, the lakes, the scenery and the architecture. Daddy and I have a dream of visiting all the large lakes in Italy and spending time exploring the large towns and cities. I would love to take the Little Ones to Italy, on a speed boat across the lakes, a train through the mountains, a gondola in Venice and for them to experience all the things that we did. 

The Netherlands- When I was about 9 or 10 I went with my parents and brother, I remember we went to Rotterdam and Amsterdam and I have memories of driving past miles and miles of tulip fields, visiting giant windmills and the Alkmarr cheese market. I would like to take the Little Ones back there.

France- Daddy and I have been to France several times staying on the Brittany coast and we have been to Disneyland Paris too. The girls would love to go to Disneyland Paris one day and I would like to return to paris and the Eiffel Tower where Daddy proposed.

Canada- I have never been to Canada but we would really like to, we would like to travel around the country and see the scenery, explore the coastline and visit Niagara Falls. I would love to go skiing in the mountains too. Canada looks really beautiful in all the pictures and photos on the internet and I would really love to see this for myself.

The last holiday I would really like to go on and experience with my family is a Safari holiday in Africa. I would love to go out on Safari in the hope of catching a glimpse of animals in the wild and sitting on the deck of a lodge somewhere as an elephant wanders up for a drink. I reckon the Little Ones would love to see all this too, one day, maybe, I'd better buy a lottery ticket!

N.B This was a collaborative post.

14 March 2017

A second birthday for Little 3

I can not believe how fast the time is going these days and how quickly the Little Ones are growing up. Today in our house we celebrated another birthday and this time is was that of Little 3, my boy turned 2 years old.

Little 3 has changed a lot in recent weeks, he has grown from a toddler into a little boy, his language has had yet another jump and he is using proper mini sentences now. He has gotten a lot taller all of a sudden and he just looks more like a little boy too.

Luckily his birthday fell on my one day off every two weeks so I was able to spend the whole day with him. Nanny happened to be off too, so with the girls at school we took him out for the day to the local wetlands centre where we wandered around spotting ducks and birds, watching otters and admiring carpets of daffodils. 

Later. after the girls were home from school, we had some yummy chocolate cake and a few birthday presents with the grandparents while Little 3 practiced doing laps of the living room on his new scooter.

At two years old Little 3 loves..
Thomas the tank engine
Playing with his sisters
Riding a scooter
Building towers
and puddle jumping.

 Happy 2nd Birthday Little 3 xx

8 March 2017

Rain doesn't stop the Little Ones play

I have said it before and I will say it again that keeping three children entertained indoors for a whole day can be hard sometimes, especially when they include a toddler. With the recent wet, windy, wintery weather we have been having we haven't been able to get outdoors as much as we would like at weekends, but we have still been trying to get out even if only for a short trip to the park or a scoot around the block.

Last weekend it was chilly and windy and the threat of rain hung heavily in the thick black clouds outside but we decided to take the Little Ones out for an hour anyway as we all needed to run of some excess energy, they were going bonkers indoors.

We wrapped up warm with jumpers, hats, coats and wellies and set off just down the road to a spot we don't frequent nearly enough. A hill with short walks, a view point and plenty of things to climb on and entertain three children. The Little Ones were all in good spirits and we took the opportunity to take a few pictures of all three together, the last time they were all willing to pose together was at Christmas!

After a bit of climbing and a few (or not so few) goes on the slide we set off up the path thinking we might just do a small circuit as it looked like it was going to start pouring down any minute. Within about two minutes both girls had started collecting sticks and were stomping through a leaf filled gully getting thoroughly muddy and having a great time.

Very soon there were armfuls of sticks and the girls were asking us to carry them, having seen the colour of the sky and thinking we really did need to stay near the car I suggested we built a den. The girl's eyes lit up and we looked for a suitable spot.

Then the building began, the girls set off to find logs and sticks to give to Daddy to build the den up against a tree they had chosen. There were big logs and little sticks and plenty in between.

It wasn't long before the den was good enough to play in and the girls looked pretty pleased with themselves. By now it was raining a bit but not too heavily and they still wanted to play so we allowed them a bit longer.

While the girls were busy building Little 3 was exploring, he was particularly interested in pinecones and the spiky evergreen trees. It was great to watch him feeling, finding out and learning, he loves the outdoors as much as his sisters do.

We decided to head back down to the play area next to the car, as I knew any minute the heavens would open. The Little Ones all went on the slide once more and climbed on the climbing frame. While the girls were busy I watched Little 3 trying to navigate a set of steps by himself, he can't go down steps without holding on at the moment and there wasn't anything to hold on to so he was trying to step down but was wary in case he lost his balance (I was right there in case he did!). He ended up sitting down and going down on his bottom instead which is what he does on the stairs at home.

Suddenly the rain began to pour and I mean pour, we were close to the car so all dashed to it and jumped inside, as we shed our coats the girls were talking about their den and saying what a brilliant time they had had, they wanted to know when we could come back and visit our den again. I think we all had a great hour on the hill that day and the rain really didn't stop the Little Ones play.