Sunday, 31 October 2010

Winner of the Beary Special Giveaway

Thank you so much to all the entrants for helping raise awareness of the Children's Trust charity bear week.  I hope you joined in and had fun!

I have used to select a winner.

And that winner is.......

number 9......

@emmacella !!!

Congratulations. Please DM me on twitter @missielizzieb or email me at with your postal address and I'll get your prize off to you. x

Spooky Crafts

I love Halloween. However, this year for some reason I don't seem to have made the most of it. Maybe it's because we've had a hellish half term week, have all come down with colds, the weather has been bleak and we are all going a bit stir crazy!

Friday I decided it was time to start getting crafty. Having finally accepted that my seasonal home decorations will no longer be tasteful and sophisticated (pah!) but will now be garish splodgy paintings done by a 2 and a half year old, we got the aprons on and located the paintbrushes.

First we made some handprint spiders, inspired by an idea I saw from @Teach_Preschool. These are so easy to do and very effective. We used black glitter paint (I was very pleased with myself to have found this range of glitter poster paint in Poundland! Oh yes, I always love a bargain.) 

As the spider only calls for the four fingers to be painted, and not the thumb, it was easier to paint it onto the hand rather than let Ruby loose with a plate of paint.  Print one 'half' of the spider, with four legs and the body, then rotate the paper and repeat. Simples.  When the spiders have dried, we drew, cut out and glued on eyes.

As it was so much fun, we all had a go and in the end, we made a rather cute family of spiders: Daddy spider, Mummy spider and Baby spider.

We also coloured in pumpkin templates, did some leaf rubbings and made a spooky haunted house by doing a chalk rubbing on black paper of some plastic 'brass' rubbing templates I had knocking about from Early Learning Centre. With these splodges, I decorated the front window, as an open invitation to the children of the entire neighbourhood to come knocking for sweets/throw eggs at the front door.

And finally, by Sunday afternoon, I eventually got round to carving a pumpkin.  I couldn't quite manage Thomas the Tank Engine as was requested, so we settled for a Charlie & Lola theme instead.  You like?

For fabby crafty ideas to do with kids, may I recommend you follow my favourites @RedTedArt and @Teach_Preschool

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Join Daisy Chain Baby's 2nd birthday bash supporting The Children's Trust

On Wednesday 3rd November, online eco-friendly kids store will be hosting their 2nd birthday party in honour of The Childrens Trust.
The event, to take place at London's Museum of Childhood from 6-9pm, is set to be a fun & FREE evening as the DCB team celebrate two years of trading and raise funds for their chosen charity partners.
Join them for champagne, nibbles, the chance to win some great prizes at the raffle, networking, and to see the collection at heavily discounted prices (10% of all sales made on the night will also go to The Childrens Trust).
For an invitation to their party, please email Lins Drabwell - - and she'll pop you onto the guest list.
I for one can't wait for the big day - I've been to a few 2nd birthday parties recently and not one of them included champagne!! 
Congratulations on 2 great years in business and well done on all your great work with my favourite charity. Here's to a hugely sucessful evening.

A Beary special week and a beary wonderful giveaway

This year, for the first time, I Love My Bear Week is taking place – a seven day celebration of all things teddy bear!

Commencing on Monday 25th October bear lovers from all over the UK are being encouraged to join in the celebrations and help raise funds for The Children’s Trust at the same time.

There are loads of ways to take part.  You could take your teddy bear to work for a day, making a donation to The Children’s Trust; host a teddy bear picnic or teddy bear themed party for the kids over half term, or by buy a special edition of The Bestest Ever Bear’ poetry book.

The book published by Walker Books at just £4.99, with profits benefiting The Children’s Trust, is a charming book of bear poems, chosen and illustrated by Colin West with foreword by Phil Tufnell. Officially launched on 25th October, it's packed with poems about bears – from A.A. Milne and Furry Bear to John Agard and Sir Grizzly; from Spike Milligan and Polar Bear to Hiawyn Oram and Rare Bear.

‘The Bestest Ever Bear’ poetry book is available at Waterstones and other main bookshops and can also be purchased on-line

You can find out more about I Love My Bear Week or download information about bear themed activities from the Children's Trust website, and you can even make your donation online.  The charity care for children from all over the UK, providing care, education, therapy and rehabilitation to those with multiple disabilities and acquired brain injury through accident or illness.

To celebrate this special week, Royal Mail have kindly donated a beautiful presentation set of their new stamps, featuring, arguably the most famous bear in the world.  The new UK Winnie the Pooh stamps feature the original illustrations to AA Milne's classic, by EH Shephard.

Photo credit: Royal Mail

Along with the stamp presentation set, Royal Mail have also donated a gorgeous writing set, containing 30 sheets, 15 envelopes and a sticker sheet worth £9.99.

In addition to these lovely prizes donated by Royal Mail, the prize will also include a copy of the Trust's 'The Bestest Ever Bear' poetry book.

So please do get involved with I love my bear week and make a donation to the Children's Trust - no matter how small.

How to enter the giveaway:

1. Make sure you are following my blog.
2. Follow @Childrens_Trust on twitter.
3. Tweet the following : Its I love my bear week @Childrens_Trust & I'm entering @missielizzieb 's blog competition
4. Leave a comment below stating that you have done all these steps and leave your twitter name.

The competition will close at midnight on 31st October. Open to UK only.

Prize package consists of a set of Winnie the Pooh stamps, writing set and poetry book as described above.

Winner of the My Funky Party Giveaway is...

Firstly, a huge thank you to Angela at My Funky Party for sponsoring this giveaway. We had a massive response and it seems people really love the products. has chosen a winner, and that person is....

@mammamccann (Michelle McCann). Now, I know Chelle has recently changed her twitter name, and for the life of me (please forgive my weekend brain) I can't find her new one!

So please, if someone would remind me, or give Chelle a nudge to this post that would be great.

And Chelle, congratulations. You chose the Rosie Feltcraft doll kit. Please DM me @missielizzieb or email with your address so I can pass it on to My Funky Party.

Thanks everyone for entering. x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Christmas is coming and every little helps from Tesco Direct

Much as it pains me to admit this, Christmas is indeed coming and with a very vocal 2 year old I can't even shove it to the back of my mind until mid December this year.

Doing the weekly shop at Tesco I have seen some amazing bargains in the toys section, including my daughter's favourite characters at half price.  Now anyone with a toddler knows that they 'don't get' the concept of saving something for later, plus I quite want to keep the mystique of Father Christmas alive, so chucking these kind of things in my trolley is never going to work!

Thankfully, all these great offers are available online at Tesco Direct. Not only that, but I still get to collect clubcard points and there's free delivery if you spend over £50.  Perfect!

Grandpa Pig's train - now half price at £9

Thomas & Friends Cranky Playset half price now £20

My daughter is a little train obsessed so these will be perfect, but there's plenty more to choose from, and I should be able to get all the nieces and nephews pressies wrapped up here.  All it takes is a little bit of pottering online - something which I am quite expert at!

My nephew would love any of the Fireman Sam range of toys, like this

Fireman Sam helmet with sounds £14.97

Or any of the great toys from the Playmobil Toys range like the Police motorbike

Playmobil police motorbike £9.97

So, this Christmas, I can sit back with a nice cuppa, avoid the cold and the crowds and order it all online. Now, that's my kind of Christmas!

This is a sponsored post

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Funky Party Giveaway

This week I was lucky enough to win a gift voucher on twitter from the fabulous My Funky Party.

Rubbing my hands with delight, I trotted off to browse the website. Well, I was there for ages! There were so many lovely things that I just couldn't decide, and such brilliant value for money I quickly realised that my voucher was going to stretch a long way.

Here's a selection of delectable goodies that I loved.


Pretty floral and gingham jewellery box only £3.95

 I've bought one of these for my 18mth old niece as a stocking filler.  She has a Cath Kidson decorated nursery, and this will be ideal for storing all her little hair clips and bobbles.

Decorate a hairbrush kit only £2.50

 I though this was such a lovely idea.  My daughter hates having her hair brushed, and I think if she's decorated her own little brush, then the daily tackling of the birds nest should be much easier.  It will be a lovely rainy day activity to do together too.

Colourful critter pencils 75p each

Great value party bag treat or Christmas stocking filler. I love these adorable looking springy insects adorning the pencils.  I think they'd cheer me up if I was hard at work!

Charlie & Lola Thank You cards £4.00
We love Charlie and Lola, and these gorgeous cards will be perfect for saying thank you to granny for Christmas presents.  Reasonably priced at £4 for a pack of 8 cards and envelopes.

Cupcake cases only 90p

Finally, I couldn't resist these from the pirates party section. They will be perfect for Halloween baking and are only 90p for a pack of 72.  There are loads of other items in this range suitable for Halloween including garlands, paper plates, cups and napkins.

I have shown a selection of products, but there are many more including beautiful fabric bunting, transfer tattoos and party bags.  When ordering online you can pay by card or Paypal, and they offer free delivery too.  Also, check out the My Funky Party Blog for party ideas, inspiration and competitions.

My Funky Party offers both an online party supply store and a party planning/hosting business. Organising themed parties for children, if you are interested in this part of the business, check the website and contact Angela to find out more. They are currently looking for party hosts in the North West area, but opportunities for franchises will be coming soon.

My Funky Party have kindly offered the chance to win your choice of gift or party supply from their shop.  To enter, first browse the store and choose your favourite item (up to £10). Then come back here and leave a comment telling me which item you like best (this will be your prize if your name is picked at random).

How to enter:

1. Make sure you are following my blog
2. Check the My Funky Party Supplies webstore and chose your favourite item (value up to £10)
3. Leave a comment here telling me what it is (remember to be specific as this would be your prize)
4. For an additional entry, follow @myfunkyparty on twitter and tweet 'I'm entering the prize draw on @missielizzieb 's blog to win a @myfunkyparty prize ' YOU MUST LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT HERE TO GAIN YOUR EXTRA ENTRY

If you are having trouble commenting on my blog, please contact me on twitter @missielizzieb and I will post your comment for you.

Competition closes at midnight on Friday 22nd October. UK only. Good luck x

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Don't fence me in - imaginative play time

Finally my daughter is beginning to enjoy playing on her own!  Clearly this is a bit of a relief to me as it means I don't have to entertain her 24-7, but it is also important for her development I believe.

She has never been one to sit quietly by herself and play with toys, and I seem to have spent the last 2 years on my knees playing on the floor with her, so for the sake of my poor old joints I am rather pleased by this new development.

Earlier today, in that time after lunch and before her nap (when she's usually little miss cranky-pants), she got out some of her farm animals from the toy box.  She seemed quite content to play with them herself, so I nipped off and tidied away the debris from lunch.

This is what I found when I returned.

I thought it was so sweet, and when I asked what she'd been up to she replied "I have put all the animals in their fields Mummy".  Aww how cute!

Yesterday morning, when she was in the shower, I could hear her chattering away to herself.  She still gets quite self-conscious if she thinks I'm listening to her play and clams up all embarrassed.  But I peeked around the curtain and saw she had lined up all her toys in the bath and they were having a 'tea party'.  She'd even made a 'sandwich' from 2 sponges and was feeding it to her rubber ducks.

I love to hear her chatting away lost in her own imagination - I just have to find a way to do it so she doesn't know I'm listening.  x

Announcing the winner of the My Carry Potty

So many entries for this competition - thank you so much.

But there can only be one winner....

and that is......

mounting tension.......

drumroll please.......

Congratulations to......

Kelly Brett!!

Well done. I've never seen pick number 1 before, but I guess it has just as much chance as any number.  Kelly, please could you either DM your address to me @missielizzieb or email me missielizzieandmyshadow (at) and I will pass your details on. Your prize will come direct from the suppliers, but please let me know if it hasn't arrived in a couple of weeks.

Hope you find it as useful as we do.  For those of you not lucky this time, keep your eye on the My Carry potty facebook page as they are currently running a weekly competition.

Thanks for playing x

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A warm welcome at House of Baby


Mamas & Papas special event weekend 
Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October.

There will be an experienced Mamas & Papas representative on site for the whole weekend.
As well as their regular Mamas and Papas offers will be running, there will also be some extra exclusives.  Plus a special free prize draw to win a M&P Luxury Rocking Animal.  Come and join the fun!

 A couple of weeks ago I visited House of Baby, the baby superstore based in Bedford, and I have to say I was mightily impressed. We went specifically for a special Stokke weekend they were running, but I couldn't resist having a nose around while I was there.

We had been to the unit a few years ago before Ruby came along. In those days they were owned by another company, and I have to say the transformation at the store is incredible.

 Clean, bright and airy with eye-catching displays of everything you could possibly need (or want) for your baby or toddler. Stocking an impressive list of brands including Stokke, Phil and Ted, Mamas & Papas, Quinny, Silver Cross, Avent, Bloom, Hippy Chick and many many more.

Spread over 2 floors, unlike some baby stores they do offer a lift. I can't tell you how annoyed I get when shops put baby products upstairs and don't have a lift - how are you supposed to get up there with a buggy? I loved the nursery room layouts, they were so beautifully displayed and so peaceful and tranquil that Daddy nearly fell asleep in one of the nursing chairs!

The array of prams and buggies is awesome, but so is the knowledge and advice offered by the friendly dedicated team of staff. They are happy to let you have a 'road-test' of the buggies, and not just on their lovely polished floor like some shops. No, here you can actually take them outside into the car park and get a true idea of how they feel in the real world, how they handle curbs and different surfaces. Its great to be able to see all the buggies together and compare them in the flesh rather than just on the pages of a catalogue. You can see which ones are a comfortable height, how heavy they are, how easy to fold, whether they'd fit into your boot etc.

If the shopping all gets a bit much, they also have a rather nice coffee shop upstairs, again all kitted out for children, with drawing tables, highchairs and Bumbo seats.

You get a sense that this business is a real part of the community. They had recently participated in the MacMillan Coffee morning, and staff tell me that they have regular groups who meet in their cafe including a NCT ante-natal group.

House of Baby also offer a personal shopper, and you can book a one-to-one consultation - invaluable to new parents who haven't got a clue where to start! They offer essentials to suit a whole range of budgets, and their product knowledge is superb.

I was very interested to hear the staff talk about car seat safety and it is clearly a subject they are passionate about.  They will advise on the best model to suit your needs and your car, and if you buy in store will make sure it's fitted correctly before you leave.

If you can't get to their store in Bedford, then don't worry - they are online too. You can order all the products via the web with free delivery to UK mainland addresses, and they even offer a one hour delivery slot with a text message confirmation. The website is easy to navigate, the only trouble you might have is deciding which lovely products to buy. I have my eye on this fantastic child's art table from Bloom, and am trying to justify purchasing it on the grounds that it would double up as a cool coffee table!

House of Baby are also on Twitter - give them a follow and say Hi!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Win a My Carry Potty

It's #ToiletTrainingTuesday!!

For those of you who read my recent review of the fabulous My Carry Potty, I am excited to say that they have been kind enough to let me have another of these brilliant products to give away worth £19.99.

Potty training can be a stressful experience for many families especially in this fast paced modern society.  As a result of this hectic lifestyle more and more parents are simply putting off potty training until they have the time to dedicate to it – but of course that time never arrives and more children than ever before are still wearing nappies when they start school.
My Carry Potty is an innovative new take anywhere travel potty that takes the stress out of toilet training.

Made from high quality, durable plastic that’s easy on the eye and simple to clean. My Carry Potty is assembly free and ready-to-use with no need for a separate carrier case or fiddly disposable bags. The nifty rubber seal and clip shut lid provide a completely leak proof, odour-free container, so that whenever your little one is caught short, you don’t have to be.

Not only is My Carry Potty perfect when you are out and about, it’s also ideal for holidays, nursery and around the house too.
For some top potty training tips visit
So, to celebrate Toilet Training Tuesday, here's your chance to win your very own My Carry Potty.

All you have to do is:

1. Become a follower of my blog
2. 'Like' the My Carry Potty page on Facebook (you could enter their competitions while your there!)
3. Leave me a comment below stating that you have done both steps

For an additional entry, you can tweet the following "I'm entering the #toilettrainingtuesday competition with @missielizzieb 's blog to win a My carry Potty" Please leave an ADDITIONAL comment in the box to tell me you have tweeted.

The winner will be drawn at random after the closing date of midnight on Tuesday 12 October 2010. Sorry - UK entrants only. Please make sure you leave me a twitter ID or your facebook name so I can contact the winner.  The winner will be required to give me their address so I can pass it onto My carry Potty to send out your prize.  Good luck!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Grooving with the Zingzillas

We recently received a pre-release copy of the new Zingzillas album to review (big thanks to Louise from Rock Baby World).

The Zingzillas for those of you who have been living under a rock* / are imaginative enough to entertain your kids without the aid of cbeebies* (delete as applicable) are a bunch of melody-mad monkey musicians, who live on a tropical island and spend their time practising for their daily 'Big Zing Performance'.  They are influenced by their visiting guests and embrace all genres of music, introducing their pre-school audience to sounds as diverse as opera and bhangra.

So, as soon as Ruby had shredded the jiffy envelope and revealed the CD, I popped it into the DVD player. Now, at this point I should admit that we don't actually possess a CD player (apart from the one in the car).  Before anyone reports me to the authorities, I should explain that Daddy is a big vinyl fan, so listening and dancing to crackly sounding Blondie and The Jam is what our daughter is used to.

So, back to the CD playing through the telly.  This caused some confusion to Ruby as she knew instantly from the sound of the theme tune that is was the Zingzillas, but she moaned that there were no pictures!  Once she realised and accepted that it was just music, we quickly got into it and soon we were both bopping around the living room.  Even the dog pricked up her ears and got up on her back legs to dance with me too.  It struck me as a great way to let off steam on those cold and rainy days when we don't brave it out of the house.

There are 26 songs on the album, which I have to say is rather too many for the average attention span of a 2 and a half year old.  Although I suspect it will be a godsend on our next long journey in the car.  It's a great CD to put on in the background, and we listened to it all the way through whilst in the kitchen baking together.  In fact, a couple of times Ruby has been down for her nap for at least 20 minutes before I've realised it's still playing, and I've caught myself subconsciously humming along to the tunes!

Our favourites are 'Welcome to the Island' and 'Bhangra Beat' and I have to say 'Playing together makes it Twice as Fun' is annoyingly catchy, and one of those that gets totally stuck in your head.  Just like the TV programme, the album features renowned guests from the grown-up music world such as Dame Cleo Lane, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Sir James Galway and Evelyn Glennie.

The album is on general release from Monday 4th October and is available on CD and digital download priced at £9.99.

This product was provided to me free of charge for the purpose of reviewing.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Winner of the Badger Balm is...

I was overwhelmed with the response to this giveaway - it seems there are many many of us who have trouble sleeping from time to time.

Thank you so much for all your comments. Some were funny and some were very sad.  I feel like I know you all a little better now.

So, the winner drawn at random is....

Drum roll...

@Beckicklesie Well done Becca!  Please DM me an address @missielizzieb or email me at missielizzieandmyshadow (at)

I hope you'll come back and let me know how it works for you.  Remember, for best results you need an attractive person to administer it lovingly to your pulse points. Sadly this is not included in the prize ;0)

For those that didn't win, well I'm very sorry. I'd love to have given you all a pot, but instead I wish you peaceful and restful slumber. x