THE TOY STORE, Oxford Street, London

When anyone speaks about coming to London with kids, one place that is always on the list of places to visit is Hamleys. And it is amazing! But there’s a new place in town folks and this place had me walking around like a child in a candy toy store, mouth slightly agape!

A few months ago I noticed that Dorothy Perkins at Bond Street tube station was shutting down but I had no idea what was replacing it. Until last Friday that is. I got off at Bond Street to run some errands and quite literally, could not miss this!!

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Amazing isn’t it?! It had every toy I could think of. Ben & Holly and Paw Patrol toys aren’t one’s you see just anywhere. I’m not sure when exactly The Toy Store opened but the perfectionist in me absolutely loved their displays. These pictures don’t even do it justice!

There were a members of staff dressed in various characters and a magician performing magic tricks. As you can see from the pictures, it was very quiet! I’m hoping that’s just what you get for a Friday morning and they’ll be bustling with business in no time.

Part of me cannot wait to take S while another part of me thinks I best keep him away as long as possible!!

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The Peppa Pig movie

…Except it wasn’t! It wasn’t a Peppa Pig movie!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you don’t have children, chances are you would have heard about the Peppa Pig movie that was released last week. When I found out about it, I put going to see it down on our half term to-do list. With S off for the whole week, we had several extra hours to fill.

I ended up going with a group of friends and their children. We were 12 of us in total. I have to admit, I was pretty excited for S. It was his first cinema experience and given how much he loves Peppa Pig, I knew he’d enjoy it. And he did…but I was disappointed (I know I know, it’s not really about me!).

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I was expecting a 50-60 minute movie with an actual story line but instead what we got was any Tuesday morning Milkshake on Channel 5. It started with the Milkshake presenters singing and dancing (on screen) and involving the kids in the audience. A Peppa pig character came on and they told us what episodes to expect. In total it was 5 or 6 episodes we’ve already seen and maybe a 20 minute new extended episode (which still had copied scenes from old episodes). Not very original people, not very original!

At the end of the day, the kids enjoyed it and so it doesn’t matter right?! Wrong..this was an opportunity for the people over at Peppa Pig World to actually make a movie…one that we could buy on DVD or download but instead they just regurgitated old episodes, stuck in a new one so we wouldn’t complain and are now sitting back making a tonne load of cash while us mere mortals are basically paying for our children to watch what they watch at home but on a bigger screen while eating popcorn.

Hmmm..think maybe I need to start thinking up a new children’s TV show!!

‘Tis the most wonderful time of the year

I absolutely LOVE Christmas…the magic, the enchantment, the presents!! 🙂

S and I spent a lovely afternoon with my uncle, aunt and cousin today. Earlier this week we went to Father Christmas World in Kent and S was so mesmerised by Santa, the elves and all things Christmas so today was the perfect addition to an already magical week.

We got there early in the afternoon and after a bit of lunch (and some mulled wine), we decided to make some biscuits. My cousin Renu dug out her cookie cutters and a recipe online and we got started.

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Our recipe required the dough to stand for a couple of hours and so we went into the living room to decorate and put up the tree.

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My aunt’s an amazing cook and assured us that 30-40 minutes was enough time for the dough and so back into the kitchen we went to roll out and cut our biscuits. Renu found a Peppa Pig ice lolly case which was a total winner in S’s books!

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20 minutes later they were ready to be eaten and they were good!!

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Thanks Renu!

Last year we made salt play dough Christmas tree decorations and S practically body surfed across all the flour. This year he took a keen interest in mixing, kneading and rolling out the dough. It was such fun to watch him get involved and be a part of it all. We’ll definitely be doing some more baking at home over the holidays.

Jumping in muddy puddles

As a whole, I feel most parents these days (myself included) feel like they have to constantly “teach” their kids. We feel guilty if we leave our kids to watch television for an hour (while we put our feet up) or leave them to play alone or going by a day when we don’t either read to them, do a puzzle with them or practice some phonics with them.

But there is so much learning to be done by having some serious fun as well. S has been watching peppa pig and one of the things he keeps saying he wants to do is jump in muddy puddles. But we all know “If you want to jump in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots”. And so off we went to Morrisons on Saturday to buy him some boots. It rained earlier today and so it was the perfect time!!

After his lunch we headed to Primrose Hill and started puddle hunting. And oh how he loved it!!

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The best part? He was actually learning. We went through the colours of the leaves, we talked about the clouds, we spotted puddles from a distance, we counted from 1-20 and lots more. He was having a blast and watching him made my day as well. He makes me miss being a child again!

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People complain about the English weather but there’s a lot of fun to be had, no matter what the weather.

Peppa Pig – are we taking it too seriously?!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you would have heard of one of the most popular pre-schoolers TV shows at the moment…Peppa Pig. It’s about a family of 4 pigs…Peppa Pig, her little brother George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig. It’s become so popular here in the UK, not only do you find Peppa Pig themed toys in every supermarket and toy store but there’s actually a Peppa Pig World down in the South of England.

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I have never encouraged S to watch any television or shows so until he was a little over two, he escaped the obsession that all the kids around him seemed to have with Peppa Pig. But when we were going on holiday earlier this summer, I downloaded 12 episodes as a back up for when he might need some entertainment. Let’s just say he’s now a fan!

Throughout our holiday he’d watch it for 20 minutes here and there and while listening in the background, I was surprised to find the image that was being portrayed by Daddy Pig. Call me stereotypical but when I think of Daddy Pig, I think of him being able to BBQ, set up a tent, read directions and hang a picture on the wall. All of which Peppa’s daddy isn’t able to do (or makes a mess of). And in walks mummy pig and gets it right so easily.

I honestly wondered if the show was being written by disgruntled single mother’s. And so I did some digging and it turns out the show is actually written by men (some of them dads). Am I taking Peppa Pig too seriously? I mean we all grew up watching Tom and Jerry but I certainly don’t believe that if I hit someone with a hammer across their head they’ll be alright.

And ironically, most of the angry mail directed at the writers of Peppa Pig is coming from women and not men. So are women not able to see the humour or are men just a lot more laid back about how they are portrayed on screen? Or, do men actually believe that Daddy Pig is a true representation of them?

I’m not sure what the answers are but one thing I do admire is the time Daddy Pig gives to his kids and even though he is “silly daddy” and “naughty daddy” and “messy daddy” according to his kids, he loves them very much.

If Peppa and George are able to laugh at Daddy Pig’s antics, shouldn’t we be able to as well? Let me know what you think.

Cute Conversations

Kids just say the cutest things!! A few days ago my newphew Z wasn’t feeling very well and he was clingy and whimpering and my cousin was at her wits end. So I asked her to pass him the phone when I was talking to her and this is the conversation that followed (he’s 2 and a half):

Me: Hi Z

Z: Hi Massi

Me: I heard you’re not feeling well?

Z: I no feeling well

Me: And you just want to be with mummy?

Z: Yes

Me: Okay, you stay with mummy and watch peppa pig but no crying okay.

Z: Okay Massi.

Me: Good, I love you.

Z: I love you *my heart melted*

Me: Bye

Z: Bye

And apparently he had a smile on his face the whole time!!
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I look forward to lots of cute conversations with S. His vocabulary has taken a sudden leap this week and all I want to do is kiss him because he sounds so damn adorable! 🙂