30 October 2016

Our fun and easy Halloween toddler party

We hosted a Halloween party to a few friends and their small children. Cue lots of noise and four sugar-infused toddlers! It was fun though. We had some easy Halloween snacks, perfect for toddlers, and I got creative with sugar skull make up. 

Aili, my daughter, told me she wanted to be a Halloween princess. So princess it was, with her pink and black spider dress, and her sugar skull makeup. I have wanted to do this makeup on her for the past two Halloweens and she is now finally big enough to sit still long enough for face painting. 

The problem was though that she found the sugar skull makeup too scary... So what did I do? We watched lots of YouTube tutorials of kids getting their sugar skull make up on. I showed her loads of pictures of toddlers with the same kind of makeup. And on Halloween day, she finally relented! She was very clear on though that she wanted it pink, so I did some pink petals, and she loved her "scary" makeup. She repeatedly kept checking herself in the mirror and laughing at her reflection.

toddler girl wearing a pink and black Halloween dress

halloween blackboard art wall with chalk pictures of pumpkins and spiders

toddler girl with sugarskull make up

easy Halloween pretzel stick snacks and muffins on a plate

strawberries dipped in white chocolate and ghost faces piped on

mum and toddler wishing you a happy halloween

autumn leaves as table decoration

several munchkin pumpkins and candles on a mantelpiece

For snacks I wanted to have something fun and Halloweeny, but not spend too much time in the kitchen. So I prepared something very quick and very easy, and fun for toddlers. 

For the brooms you need pretzel sticks, Cheesestrings, and chives. They look fantastic, but need to made right before serving as the sticks start to draw moisture from cheese eventually. We had both Halloween strawverry ghosts, made with dipping them in white chocolate, and pretzel sticks with marsmallows stuck on them. Just need to pipe the ghost faces on them to make them extra spooky! And with chocolate chip muffins, I just stuck a mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup on top and piped legs and eyes on the spiders after they had cooled down. Easy peasy!  

They look great don't they! Although, to be honest, I probably did not really need to as the only things the kids actually ate were the pretzel sticks (with no garnishes) and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups... I can't blame them though, those mini cups are scrumptious! 

As for decoration, we went very easy and very cheap. Did a bit of blackboard wall art, and dotted pumpkins and fallen leaves around the place. And after Halloween, pumpkins will be roasted (yum yum) and leaves into the green bin!  

mother and daughter carving pumpkins

toddler looking at a jack o lantern in dark

two jack o lanterns with one eating a mini pumpkin and one made by a toddler

And for the All Hallows' Eve we've got plenty of chocolates to give to trick and treaters and a carved pumpkin to lead their way to us! 

How did you celebrate Halloween?

29 October 2016

Our sunny day at the Lee Valley Park Farm

This summer we visited a working farm not too far from ours. 

We had lots of fun spotting all the different animals. There were horses, goats, sheep, chicken, owls, falcons, mongoose, cows and bunnies. All kinds, and we got some pretty close encounters! 

toddler wearing sunglasses

green rolling hills and blue skies at lee valley park farm

father and daughter looking at goats

goat climbing on a hut

toddler girl feeding a goat

childs hand feeding a goat

chicken huts at lee valley park farm

daughter on mums shoulders pointing

cows at lee valley park farm

toddler on daddys shoulders

toddler girl standing next to a fence

father and daughter at lee valley park farm

mum walking with toddler at lee valley park farm

dad and daughter looking at a white horse

toddler looking at a horse in a pen

horse and toddler face to face

Those weren't the only animals we saw...

The reason we visited it was because the farm had set up a Paw Patrol day and with a little pup fan in our house, it the felt like a good idea. Well, it wasn't such a great idea when we realised we had to queue over an hour with other little pups... So daddy queued and we ran around the play area while waiting. 

Eventually we got to see Paw Patrol - both Chase and Marshall. My normally quite boisterous and social three year old was so star struck she didn't know what to do with herself. She was all quiet, muted and nervous, staring at her idols. After a bit of coaxing and making sure she was looking at the camera I got snapping.   

toddler cuddling paw patrol chase mascot

toddler looking at paw patrol marshall mascot

toddler in front of paw patrol marshall mascot

It was nice visiting a working farm like this - our daughter being the city girl she is, she doesn't really see animals much. Lee Valley Park Farm is not too long a drive from ours, so easy to get to, and has a lot of things to see and do - lots of animals and lots of play areas too! 

Have you visited any working farms?

20 October 2016

Summery denim dress: toddler outfit of the day

There are so many pictures I want to share here, and so many posts I am itching to write... But I seem to be dangerously short of one key ingredient. Time. 

I could tell you of the day we went to the London Zoo. Or the London Aquarium. Or our farm visit. Things to do in Folkestone. My work / emergency make-up kit. My new favourite beauty products. My daughters first weeks of nursery. The funny things she says to avoid sleep. Our trip to the Emirates Air Line. New toys. Tips on how to entertain kids at airports. Lots of posts planned, lots of drafts, and little time to complete them. I am sure there are many more I just can't remember right this second.  

So instead of stressing myself over how many things I should write about, I will show you a few summery outfit pictures. These were taken during our visit to Emirates Stadium, way back in July. That is a post in itself, which will come out as soon as I steal a bit of time to myself and my blog. 

In this summery outfit my daughter is wearing a Sainsbury's Tu Clothing denim dress - one of her favourite summer dresses. It was paired with her cardigan from when she was a flower girl, and her Adidas trainers. Those blue reflective sunglasses I love, and thankfully, they have escaped summer and inquisitive toddler hands relatively unscathed so far, so I am sure we will see plenty more outfit pictures with them. I am wearing one of my favourite maxi dresses, and a Part Two striped jersey blazer. 

toddler wearing blue reflective sunglasses

mother and daughter sitting on emirates stadium steps

toddler wearing a dip dye denim dress

mum and daughter sitting on steps at emirates stadium and smiling

toddler girl running outside emirates stadium

What do you think of our outfits?

14 October 2016

The time we failed to pick pumpkins at a farm

It is October. Pumpkin time. Social media is filled with pictures of pumpkins, and more importantly, of family trips to pumpkin patches, so I decided we must go with the Instagram-flow and get our own pumpkin patch pictures. Off to our local Pick Your Own farm we went in search of our own baby and daddy and mummy pumpkins. 

It was our first time picking our own produce, so we weren't sure what to expect. Other than of course, some pumpkins and maybe some other vegetables too.

daughter riding on daddys shoulders while daddy picks strawberries

closeup of strawberry bushes

father and daughter picking strawberries at a farm

toddler girl running between strawberry rows at a farm

view of the parkside farm pick your own farm fields

Only, they didn't have any pumpkins. Nought. In fact, no local Pick Your Own farm had any pumpkins. Squashes maybe, a few measly ones awarded by the poor season, but no pumpkins. The nearest pumpkin patch was over 26 miles away. That was a few too many miles to go for just one vegetable.

So no, we didn't get our handpicked pumpkins or the Instagram worthy pictures of an over-excited toddler running between rows and rows of orange. But what we did get was loads of strawberries. A huge amount, thanks to the very late warm weather. They were sweet, and lusciously red, and oh so sinfully sweet, especially when secretly munched in the field... 

We picked a few french beans too before it was time to go home. And gosh did they taste amazing when we had them for dinner. Maybe it is the freshness, where you take them practically from field to pot, or the fresh air, or just the fact that it was you that picked them. But they did taste so much more flavoursome than anything we have ever bought before. 

toddler girl running around

toddler girl holding a bunch of buttercups

toddler girl picking buttercups on a farm

toddler girl smiling and holding a bunch of buttercups in her hand

mum and daughter holding a basket of strawberries on a field

mum and daughter at parkside enfield pick your own farm

pick your own farm strawberries and french beans in a basket

And yes, we did get our pumpkins in the end. We picked our Halloween pumpkins, just like most of UK does, from our local supermarket. 

Not quite as magical as a pumpkin patch, but hey, it'll look just as fine as a Jack'O'Lantern!

You might also like: Our Sunday at the farm, Autumn walks and muddy bottoms, and Walking the toddler -  a trip to Forty Hall 

13 October 2016

"I love you daddy" T-shirt: toddler outfit of the day

She got this cute T-shirt as a birthday gift. It says "I love you Daddy". Isn't it just the cutest?

She hasn't been that cute with her daddy though. For quite a while she has really played up with the whole love thing. Saying "I don't love you daddy" or "I don't like you daddy", and then professing her undying love towards mummy. She has actually said "I don't like you daddy, I love mummy".

toddler girl wearing a marks and spencers straw hat

toddler girl looking at pokemon go with daddy

toddler girl sitting in the garden wearing i love you daddy t shirt

toddler playing with a balance bike

toddler girl adidas trainers

straw hat with a pink woven butterfly on it

toddler girl wearing a i love you daddy t shirt

Of course, she only really does it to annoy him. You know the way kids like to push your buttons to see what that does to you? Well, that's what I think has been her end game. She want to see how far she can push him and what he will do. Maybe it is because she feels so secure with him, her stay at home daddy being the main carer for her, that she knows he will always be there for her. Or maybe she sees him so much she gets very excited with mummy, and just wants to prioritise interacting with mummy, and that's the way she verbalises it.

I don't know why she does it. And you won't get much useful answers from a three-year old! Thankfully she seems to have got over it. Finally. It has taken about six months. Now she is quite happy giving her daddy kisses again, and telling him she loves her. Kissy, cuddly, little girl, and daddy is really loving it.

I think I'll have to go and get this shirt out again, just to celebrate the newly affectionate little girl!

toddler girl in the arms of her daddy

Have you had issues like this?

You might also like: Styled by daddy: toddler OOTD, Styled by daddy Part 2: toddler OOTD, and Made by mummy: toddler OOTD

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