Life in our household has been some what chaotic over the last few months. I returned to work (granted it's only 2 days a week but it's 20 hours so long days), we've been away quite a few times and we've also had a few illnesses. Quite frankly I don't know if i've been coming or going.

I'm struggling to get back into a household routine since returning to work. I used to be quite organised with meal planning, batch cooking etc and we'd all have meal times together. Sadly with me often finishing work at 8pm, I occasionally miss mealtimes. My husband works in Bristol so he also comes home quite late. Between cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing, school runs, homework and working, life is busy.

Annabel Karmel recently asked us to review her new range of tasty Frozen Toddler Meals which are available in Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Ocado and Iceland. There are 6 different meals to choose from and they are suitable for ages 1-4. The RRP is £1.75.



I'll be the first to admit that i've never given my girls Frozen ready meals, i'm not sure why but I didn't like the idea of it. When I thought about it I realised I was being silly as I have batch cooked meals, then frozen them and then given them to the girls. Buying Frozen meals from someone I trust is no different. I've used Annabel Karmel's recipes for nearly 5 years. Both Eva and Ophelia loved her weaning recipes which made the weaning process much less stressful. 

Annabel's new meals go through the natural freezing process and are inspired by the recipes in her books. They are high quality and nutritionally balanced. Each meal is low in salt and contains 1 of your 5 a day.  They are free from artificial additives and preservatives.
The range includes:

  • Mummy's Fish Pie
  • Hidden Veggie Bolognese 
  • Yummy Beef Lasagne 
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Chicken, Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta
  • Tasty Cottage Pie
  • Scrummy Macaroni Cheese with Broccoli
All of these meals are literally my girls favourite home cooked meals. Lasagne and Spaghetti Bolognese are always a winner in our house and both of my girls adore Curry. I thought they would notice that they didn't taste the same and that they weren't cooked by me but they were fooled. The only one they realised didn't taste as good as mine was the Lasagne. They thought the Fish Pie was much nicer than when my husband or I have cooked it. 


The meals can either be cooked in the microwave or in the oven. The portion sizes are ideal for a toddler. Ophelia has pretty much eaten all of hers when we've given them to her. Eva has also been eating them but she is 5.5 and often asks for garlic bread or vegetables with hers. 


I've had a sneaky taste of all of the meals and I am very impressed with the flavours. The Curry is really tasty and the Chicken, Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta tastes just like how my husband makes his sauce. I was also impressed with the fact that none of the meals were watery. Quite often with ready meals I find they have a watery consistency but these didn't.


Overall, Ophelia has been really enjoying these meals. They've been so helpful when life has just gotten in the way. Also when we've had family babysitters over we've gotten them to give these to the girls for food and they have found that easier than cooking meals.


We have now bought a stash of these for our freezer. I won't be giving these to the girls everyday but I will definitely be using them when life is crazy. I'll also be pulling them out and using them when they don't like my cooking (which does happen a few times). 

Have you tried these or any of the Annabel Karmel range?

*This is a sponsored post with Annabel Karmel. All words and opinions are however my own and are truthful.






The first time we went camping with both of our girls it was the stuff of nightmares. It almost brought hubby and I to tears. The whole trip was great in the end but setting the tent up and trying to get organised almost had us throwing it back in the car and driving home. It took the best part of 4 hours, including several trips back and forth to the car which wasn't anywhere near the tent. Not ideal with 2 little ones. Arwyn ended up doing it all himself whilst I attempted to keep the girls entertained. However, we recently went glamping with Ready Camp which has restored our faith in The Great British holiday.


Ready Camp are pre-erected safari style tents with 2 bedrooms, real beds, a sofa, dining table and chairs, plug sockets, a small radiator and a small kitchen area making them perfect for families. We chose to go to the Minehead site for a weekend break away. 


Usually packing for camping trips is stressful for us. Not having to pack things such as beds, tables etc made it much easier and also made the car journey more comfortable. Usually we are squashed in amongst everything but the kitchen sink. All we had to pack was bedding, clothes, toiletries, food and some toys for the kids. 

We arrived at the camping site which is on top of a hill with breathtaking views of Minehead below. It had a reception area with a small shop and onsite shower facilities. It's a small but spacious site. There wasn't a park or recreation area.


We were able to park directly next to the tent which was very handy. We unzipped the tent and unpacked and got settled in about 10-15 minutes which was amazing. All we had to do was pop the bedding on, place the food in the fridge and leave our bags in the rooms. We were able to relax and get on with our break away in record time. 


The tent is spacious and housed the 4 of us comfortably. There is actually space to sleep 6 people as there are double bunkbeds in the one room and also a mattress underneath the bed. The first thing we were impressed with was the fact that the furniture was of good quality. The beds were real beds (not fold up or camp beds). There was a lovely wooden table and chairs for eating. 



The kitchen area is small but more than adequate as there is a fridge with a freezer section, a 2 hob stove, kettle, microwave, cutlery and various tableware. There isn't running water in the tent so you need to collect water from the camp facilities. 


Underneath the double bed were fold up chairs which we placed on our decking area. We spent most of the weekend out on the decking as the weather was so lovely.

The shower/toilet/washing block was literally a 5 second walk from our tent. It was clean and warm with everything you could need and cleaned daily.

Despite the weather being beautifully warm in the day, the nights were chilly. Luckily we'd brought some blankets to use. We left the heater in the children's room which really helped keep the chill off. On our first night we got a Chinese to eat from the town centre. We all slept well and in fact ended up having a lie in on both mornings. All the fresh air must've warn us out! 


On the Saturday we went to Minehead beach which was a short drive away from the site. The kids loved running around. We then went for a pub lunch in a fab place which had an outdoor play area to keep the girls entertained. 


We returned to the campsite and soaked up the sun whilst playing outdoor games. We played with bubbles, balls and even rolled down the hills. We then had a BBQ for dinner which Arwyn cooked in the tent.



On Sunday we had an afternoon tea in Minehead which was amazing. We then drove to a Lavender farm (sadly there were no purple fields as it was the wrong time of year) but we had a drink and an ice cream in the sun.



We had a fantastic time glamping with Ready Camp. It was lovely to spend some quality time together as a family and just enjoy getting back to nature and the basics. There is something about camping that makes you feel like a child again. We spent the 2 days laughing and smiling and wishing we could stay longer.



The only thing we'd like to see differently at the Minehead campsite is perhaps a small outdoor park for the children to play in. I also think the tents could be placed in a different area as they are right opposite the toilet block rather than on the large field overlooking the stunning scenery. However, that wouldn't put us off returning as we had such a fantastic time. 

You can watch our weekend away here:



*Thank you to Ready Camp for inviting us to stay at the Minehead camp site in exchange for a blog review. As always all my opinions are honest and my own*







Before I met Arwyn the only time I had been on holiday to France was on a school trip to Brittany. Arwyn always enjoyed trips to France. When he was younger he used to go on a driving holiday there every year, with his favourite places being when he stayed in homes in the South of FranceHe described the trips as full of sunshine, relaxation, wine, cheese, fresh bread and long walks. They sounded right up my street. France is now one of our favourite Countries to holiday in, especially with the children. Here are some of our favourite trips.



Paris:
We’ve been to Paris many times. It’s my favourite city in the world. It’s full of romance, excitement, incredible food and lots to explore. One particular trip that stands out is when we visited for Arwyn’s 30thbirthday. It was a special time as not only was it his big birthday trip but it was also our babymoon, so our last holiday together before we became parents for the first time. 
We stayed in a beautiful hotel but when we checked in we were given a massive surprise. They knew it was a special birthday so they had upgraded us to a club suite. It was incredible. We had a stunning room and club access. We took full advantage of the club access with hubby enjoying the wine and me eating all the macarons. Our room even had a doorbell which we found rather amusing. It had a turn down service where they left us exquisite chocolates and other treats every evening. We didn’t want to leave the room.
We ate in an amazing restaurant which was around the corner from where we were staying. We stumbled across it by accident and I’m so glad we did. It was a small bistro. The owner was working and barely spoke any English but he was so friendly and helpful. The food was delicious too. The atmosphere in there was great, it was warm, welcoming and cosy.
We didn’t do a lot of site seeing but we did take lots of beautiful strolls. We also sat outside in café’s and people watched in the bustling city streets (one of our favourite things to do). I could honestly sit and do it for hours.
Disney is our special/happy place so we took a daytrip to Disneyland. It was Christmas season while we were there so it was even more magical.

Eurocamp:
We recently had a family holiday to the Eurocamp site, La Croix de Vieux Pont which is 1.5 hours away from Paris. It was honestly one of the best family holidays we have had. The nearby village was so pretty. It reminded me of the village in the ‘Bonjour’ scene in Beauty and the Beast. We were very fortunate to have had a week full of sunshine and warm weather. We stayed in a 2-bedroom chalet which was perfect for us. We went in the pool, to the beach, on a pedalo, played family games, went for walks, had lots of bbq’s and just generally had a fantastic time. Normally with those types of holiday’s I don’t feel like I’ve had a break away but both hubby and I said how relaxed we felt. 


It was very easy to get to. We took a ferry from Dover and then drove to the campsite which took us about 2.5 hours. The French motorways are so much nicer than the UK ones to drive on. I can’t recommend it enough for a family holiday.



Disneyland Paris:
As I’ve already mentioned Disney is our happy place. We visited lots of times before we had children and we’ve visited lots of times since. It’s very easy to get to. We’ve flown, been on the ferry, the Eurotunnel and the Eurostar and our favourite way to get there is driving on the Eurotunnel. 

Even though the park is in France, pretty much all of the cast members etc. speak English which is very handy.


Christmas is our favourite time to go as it’s even more magical. This year we have annual passes for the parks so we have already visited 3 times. The annual pass has saved as lots of money as you get discount on rooms, food and shopping. 
The only downside of visiting Disneyland Paris is that it is a full-on holiday and you come home feeling like you need another holiday to recover. That’s why we like combining it with a break somewhere else in France to relax afterwards.

I have quite a big wish list of places I would like to visit in France. Saint- Tropez is top of my list, closely followed by Cannes. I think they’d make great people watching destinations. The Provence Region looks beautiful too. 



Have you visited France? Where is your favourite place in France? Where would you recommend for a family holiday in France?

*This is a collaborative post*







The Celebrity Cup sponsored by Bulmers will make a welcome return to the Celtic Manor Resort this summer, and you could be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets for you and a friend to attend the star-studded golfing event!


Mixing golf with glamour, stars from the worlds of sports and showbiz will once again tee up for a weekend of fun and frolics when the Celebrity Cup returns this year.

Some of biggest athletes and celebrities will swap paparazzi for putters and battle it out in teams representing Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland.

Famous faces taking to the course at this year’s tournament include rugby legend Scott Quinnell and TV presnter Gethin Jones hoping to hit a hole in one on home turf for Wales; Mrs Browns Boys’ Brendan O’Carroll and singing superstars Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden aiming to score an ace for Ireland; rugby superstars Rory Lawson,Greig Laidlaw, Thom Evans and Max Evans teeing up for Scotland; and TV personalities Denise Van Outen, Peter Jones and Bradley Walsh pitching in for England.

This year I am attending with my husband and we can't wait. The Celtic Manor is a beautiful hotel and every time we visit we always feel like we've been away on holiday. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the https://www.celtic-manor.com/whats-on/the-celebrity-cup/about-the-celebrity-cup or call the reservations team on 01633 410 262.

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, simply enter via Rafflecopter below.



















a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions 
  • The prize is 2 tickets to the Celebrity Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort 30th June-1st July
  • Any additional costs incurred during your visit, such as transport to and from the event, overnight accommodation or food and refreshments, are not included within the prize and are at the winner’s expense
  • Only food and beverage purchased on site will be permitted to be consumed at the event
  • Tickets include complimentary car parking at the event
  • Competition tickets are not redeemable for their monetary value
  • UK entrants only
  • Competition ends on 18th June

That special little chap or lady have started walking about and causing all sorts of mischief. They climb up and down the furniture, they cry like it’s the end of the world when you ask them not to lick their fingers and put them in the plug sockets, they throw wobblies in public and food at the walls. They’re great and don’t they just know it. Now it’s their birthday, and you’re not quite sure what to get them.

In the eyes of toddlers, designer clothes are for rolling in muddy puddles, jewellery is a percussion instrument, electronic devices are for smashing open and seeing what’s inside. Rightly so. But the question remains, what to give the little person that has it all?

We once heard a rumour that no child can have too many toys? Maybe so, maybe not, but whatever the truth, it can’t be denied that the best toy in town is the imagination. Let’s check out some gifts for the imagination here:

1. Soft toys

There are many toys. Many little plastic trucks, many little wooden people, many little houses, pets, beasts and more. Some toys glow alight, others speak your name, others sing their ABC, others will even shed a tear. So why soft toys?


Soft toys in the UK, USA, UAE, from Brazil to Bhutan, from Samoa to Senegal – everywhere, in fact – beat so many of their plastic, wooden and tin counterparts because of their intrinsic cuddlebility. This means that not only are they fantastic for playing out the fantastical stories of our children’s minds, but also those of their dreams. Nothing beats a toy you can spend the day with then cosy up to at night. Those most special of soft toys will be more than toys; they will be best friends.

2. Picture books

No matter how young or old you are, books activate the mind. Classic children’s stories such as The Wind in the Willows, Swallows and Amazons, The Railway Children and The Tale of Peter Rabbit ignite children’s imaginations today as much as when they were first published. But probably your toddler isn’t quite ready for a classic story just yet. Pop-up books can be beautifully made and utterly delightful to explore, but they are also delicate things, and toddlers are set on discovering the world around them as much with their hands as their eyes and ears. So if you want to gift a book – and why wouldn’t you? – choose something that’s full of bright colour and engaging imagery, one with simple yet fun storylines, one with rhymes, one with characters that your toddler will  love (mischievous personalities are popular, we hear).



3. Sketch book and crayons

It’s sad that us grownups ever stopped drawing stuff – we used to love it so! If you managed not to give up colouring in, sketching, painting, drawing, then good for you. Toddlers may be unpredictable, but they’re nobody’s fool, so present them with a sensible gift like some colouring pens and pencils and let them get on with the important matter of articulating their thoughts and feelings on paper.


*This is a collaborative post*
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