Along with 99% of children under the age of four, both Jack and Phoebe are huge fans of Peppa Pig, so when we were offered the chance to review a Grandpa Pig’s Boat Construction Set they were delighted. At the moment Jack loves constructing things and Phoebe loves anything that Jack loves, so it was an ideal choice.

Grandpa PigGrandpa PigThe box contained all the component parts of the boat, clear instructions on how to construct it and a set of stickers to decorate the finished boat. The pieces are similar is size to another well known brand of large building bricks, so ideal for small hands and although the suggested age for the set is 18 months, at 20 months, Phoebe is far too young to follow instructions and I would have thought any child under 3 would definitely need assistance with the construction.

Having said that, under the watchful eye of Jack she loved putting each part where he said and aged 4, Jack was able to follow the instructions without any help.

Grandpa PigGrandpa PigGrandpa PigThey both loved decorating the boat with the set of stickers provided, and as usual it ended in a squabble over who got the last sticker!

Grandpa PigGrandpa PigGrandpa Pig

Grandpa Pig’s Boat is a free-wheeling boat and has wheels built into the bottom making it super easy to push around the room at speed. It’s robust and a lot bigger than I anticipated (in a good way) making it brilliant value for money. It’s also compatible with other sets in the range and other brands of larger building bricks, which is perfect for little minds to get creative.

Grandpa Pig

The articulated Grandpa Pig has also proven to be a big hit, so much so he now resides on Phoebe’s bedside table!

I’d highly recommend the Grandpa Pig’s Boat Construction Set for any little Peppa Pig fans. It’s priced at £19.99 and is available to buy from all the usual toy retailers including Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received the Peppa Pig Grandpa Pig’s Boat Construction set in exchange for an honest review. All photographs and opinions are my own.

From a mother to another

Yesterday JoJo Maman Bébé once again opened up their doors to start collecting for their ‘From a Mother to Another’ initiative. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the shocking levels of clothing waste that end up in a landfill whilst helping those in need in the UK with distribution via food banks plus helping thousands of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon.

In 2015, through the ‘From a Mother to Another’ initiative some 66,000 items of baby clothing were saved and sent to those in need and this year JoJo Maman Bébé would like our help to continue this good work.

So what can we do to help?

JoJo will be collecting good quality outgrown or unwanted baby and children’s clothes in sizes 0-6 years, at their 72 stores across the UK and Ireland until 5th March 2016.

If you’d like to take part in this campaign, here’s what you need to do:

From a mother to another

Please note JoJo Maman Bébé can accept the following:

Summer clothes, winter clothes, coats/rainwear, scarves/hats/gloves, socks/tights, sleepsuits/pyjamas, fabric sunhats.

But they cannot accept:

Underwear, books, toys, accessories, shoes/boots, any items with defects, any items which are stained or dirty.

Once JoJo have received your kind donations, they will double check them and will then pack the clothes into beautiful gift bags to deliver to their partner charities for distribution.

Nearly a third of the UK’s clothing ends up in landfill, equating to 350,000 tonnes a year. By extending the life of clothes by just three months of active use, carbon and water waste could be reduced by up to 5-10% a year. Sending good quality, little worn hand-me-downs to those in need via JoJo could mean they are worn by many more children and will make the world of difference to those in desperate need.

For more information on the ‘From a Mother to Another’ initiative click here.

  • Bridget CasementFebruary 4, 2016 - 7:25 pm

    I think this is such a great thing!! Do they do this often? I’m hanging on to all Theo’s good clothes for baby 2 but will deffo donate later down the line! xReplyCancel

vogue_hero_73-questions-season-1

Vogue’s 73 questions have been doing the rounds over the last few months and due to my nosey nature I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching various celebrities divulge snippets from their personal lives (and showcasing their beautiful homes) over on youtube.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon and Victoria Beckham have been some of my favourites and having been tagged by the lovely Donna over at What the Redhead said, here are my answers to Vogue’s 73 questions…

1. What’s your favourite movie?

My favourite movie of all time has to be Annie!

2. Favourite movie in the past five years?

Andy will confirm that I’m awful at remembering the names of movies. I did have a good giggle at Bridesmaids, was that in the last 5 years?!

3. Favourite Hitchcock film?

I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one.

4. A book you plan on reading?

I really want to read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I love a good thriller.

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?

Is it bad that I don’t remember what I read at school?! I’ve slept a lot since then!

6. Favourite TV show that’s currently on?

I’m a sucker for a reality show so I would have to say The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?

It’s a strong 9. I’m really happy.

8. iPhone or Android?

iPhone all the way.

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Definitely Instagram. Twitter moves too fast for me and as I’m barely on it I miss a lot of what’s going on, but I love having a good browse on Instagram.

10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?

On Instagram, I would say Liz Matthews over at lizmatthewsPR. She has the most adorable kids and what looks like a very fun life.

11. What’s your favourite food?

Japanese

12. Least favourite food?

Turkish Delight, it tastes so floral.

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Tuna, Onion, Anchovies and Olives. Or alternatively tuna and banana, deeeelicious!

14. Favourite drink?

Non alcoholic – Ribena, Alcoholic – Aperol Spritz

15. Favourite dessert?

My mum’s cheesecake

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Dark chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?

I’m not a huge fan of either. I do love a good peppermint tea though.

18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?

The constant worrying

19. What’s your favourite band?

I’m partial to a bit of One D at the moment (hangs head in shame!)

20. Favourite solo artist?

Adele

21. Favourite song?

I really don’t have a favourite. At the moment I love Justin Bieber: Love Yourself, One Direction: History, Naughty Boy: Runnin and Sia: Chandelier.

22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

Taylor Swift

23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

Saxophone

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

On my side/ribcage.

25. To be or not to be?

That is the question…

26. Dogs or cats?

Dogs

27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?

Whale-watching

28. Best gift you’ve ever received?

If the children count as gifts, then those two tinkers for sure. If not, my car was a nice surprise on my 30th, the boy did good!

29. Best gift you’ve ever given?

The children!

30. Last gift you gave a friend?

It was most probably a christmas pressie.

31. What’s your favourite board game?

Monopoly

32. What’s your favourite country to visit?

Japan – I studied Japanese at uni and used to live in Tokyo so it holds a special place in my heart.

33. What’s the last country you visited?

Mallorca

34. What country do you wish to visit?

I would love to take the children to Lapland (Finland) when they’re a bit older.

35. What’s your favourite colour?

Coral or Grey

36. Least favourite colour?

Orange, as a redhead it’s always been one to avoid.

37. Diamonds or pearls?

Diamonds

38. Heels or flats?

Heels

39. Pilates or yoga?

Neither really, I find them a bit dull.

40. Jogging or swimming?

Jogging

41. Best way to de-stress?

Exercise followed by a long soak in the bath with a good book.

42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Invisibility

43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?

Tittynope

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Protea

45. When was the last time you cried?

Watching Sean and Catherine’s wedding on The Bachelor last night! (Andy had to remind me that I don’t actually know them…I think I need to get a life!)

46. Do you like your handwriting?

On the whole, although it can be very messy at times

47. Do you bake?

Badly

48. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?

My knees

49. What is your most favourite thing about yourself?

My freckles

50. Who do you miss most?

My grandad, I would have loved for him to have met Jack and Phoebs.

51. What are you listening to right now?

London Grammar

52. Favourite smell?

Freshly cut grass

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

My dad

54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?

One of my best buddies Nat

55. A sport you wish you could play?

Polo

56. Hair colour?

Red

57. Eye colour?

Green

58. Scary film or happy endings?

Always a happy ending.

59. Favourite season?

Spring or Autumn

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Victoria Beckham, Peter Kay and Robbie Williams

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs

62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?

Beatles

63. Where were you born?

Good old Stockport

64. What is the farthest you have been from home?

New Zealand

65. Sweet or savoury?

Sweet

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Lip gloss

67. What book have you read again and again?

I don’t tend to read books again and again, apart from reading to the kids.

68. Favourite bedtime story?

I love reading all of Julia Donaldson’s books to Jack.

69. What would be the title of your autobiography?

I would never write one!

70. Favourite sound?

The children giggling

71. Favourite animal?

Elephant

72. Who is your girl crush?

Cheryl

73. Last photograph you took?

Jack teaching Phoebe all about dinosaurs!

photo

I love reading all about others so I am continuing the chain and picking a few other bloggers to participate if they fancy. Nicola and Jasmine consider yourself tagged!

  • Jasmine.February 2, 2016 - 7:01 pm

    Love this!!! XxReplyCancel

  • DonnaFebruary 2, 2016 - 8:33 pm

    High fives on the pizza toppings! It’s pretty much my ideal pizza and everyone else’s idea of hell :)

    I love Annie too and you will love The Girl on the Train. Such a good book! xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyFebruary 2, 2016 - 8:42 pm

      It’s the only pizza topping surely 😉 thanks so much for tagging me, I really enjoyed it.ReplyCancel

  • CharleneFebruary 3, 2016 - 12:21 am

    I loved learning about you! Thanks for the tip on a new Instagram follow and the, erm, interesting pizza topping. Might hold off trying that. You’re welcome to join my grown ups that like 1D support group.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah CantwellFebruary 3, 2016 - 2:09 pm

    This is great! I love finding out about fellow bloggers xxReplyCancel

  • Lisa backsnbumpsFebruary 3, 2016 - 6:41 pm

    I love these kinds of posts it’s great to get to know more about fellow bloggers xReplyCancel

  • VikiFebruary 3, 2016 - 7:56 pm

    Love reading these types of post and learning about the person behind the keyboard.

    I have to say, I’m a sucker for turkish delight…lol xReplyCancel

  • AmandaFebruary 3, 2016 - 9:12 pm

    this is great :) really enjoyed your answers…but TUNA AND BANANA?? that is weird haha. I love the pic – what a gorgeous room. I miss my Granddad too and wish so much he could have met my boys xxReplyCancel

  • LorraineFebruary 3, 2016 - 10:04 pm

    What a really fun post, I love ones like this! You get to really know the person behind the blog! I’ve never heard of Tittynope before now I must say! xReplyCancel

  • ChloeFebruary 3, 2016 - 10:05 pm

    I love this so much!!!!! I love hearing other peoples answers. Turkish delight is so icky! I definitely agree with that one. xxxReplyCancel

Geronimo FestivalLast week I shared the news that we have very kindly been asked to be Geronimo Festival ambassadors.

If you’re not au fait with the Geronimo Festival you can read all about it here, but in a nutshell it’s the largest children’s festival in the North West. You can expect a line-up jam packed with some of the biggest names in children’s entertainment, including CBeebies favourites Mr Bloom, Andy Day, Alex Winters and Cook & Line from Swashbuckle and since my post last week Geronimo has announced its most exciting line-up to date, with headliner CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher!

Alongside the big names, there’s also a whole host of activities for children and parents, including den making, zip wires, donkey rides, circus shows, baby ballet, face painting, storytelling, a petting farm, tree climbing, craft workshops and much much more.

Geronimo Festival really is a children’s festival like no other and Hello Baby has teamed up with the lovely team at Geronimo to offer one lucky family the chance to win a family pass for up to four people.

For your chance to win, comment on this blog post answering the following question AND fill in the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Q: Which venue is brand new to Geronimo in 2016?

A: Harewood House

B: Lyme Park

C: Chatsworth House

Full Ts&Cs are below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

  1. Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding anyone professionally associated with Hello Baby Blog or Geronimo Festival.
  2. The prize is one family pass to Geronimo Festival. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket).
  3. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  4. The winning family can attend either on May 2nd (Harewood House) or May 30th (Tatton Park). The date must be specified at time of confirming the prize.
  5. Travel and accommodation are not included.
  6. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival.
  7. The prize includes all events and activities at Geronimo but not food and drink from any stalls or bar.
  8. The prize draw starts at 12am on 1st February 2016 and closes at 12am on 29th February 2016.
  9. Entry is free and must be made by commenting on this blog post and filling in the Rafflecopter widget. Entrants can gain bonus entries by visiting Hello Baby on facebook, @hellobabyblog on Twitter, tweeting about the giveaway, following @geronimofest_uk on Twitter, visiting GeronimoFestival on Facebook and then completing the Rafflecopter widget featured in this post.
  10. The name of the winner will be published on this website within 14 days of the competition closing.
  11. Hello Baby Blog’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.
  12. By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions.
  13. Hello Baby Blog reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  14. Once the winner has been selected at random using Rafflecopter, I will inform Geronimo Festival of the winner’s name and they will then send on the prize. I’m sure this won’t happen but I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post or arriving late.
  • EmmaFebruary 1, 2016 - 4:13 pm

    Would love to win this! Harewood House is newReplyCancel

  • olivia KirbyFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:26 pm

    A: Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • Catherine McAlindenFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:34 pm

    Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • Jodie kinnearFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:37 pm
  • Eleanor MortFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:42 pm

    Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • Veronica WalkerFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:46 pm

    Harewood House!
    I would love this my my little angels & rascals 😉ReplyCancel

  • Nicola reganFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:47 pm

    Harewood house xReplyCancel

  • Emma FrancisFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:50 pm

    Sounds like perfect day out for my cbeebie addicts! XxReplyCancel

  • Emma CoelhoFebruary 1, 2016 - 9:03 pm

    Answer: Harewood house … I would love to win this to spend quality time with my family .. Kids would love this!! XReplyCancel

  • Lorraine HopeFebruary 1, 2016 - 9:11 pm

    Answer is A (Harewood House).ReplyCancel

  • Lauren PammaFebruary 1, 2016 - 9:29 pm

    A, Harewood House (I think I’ve done the widgetty thing right?!)ReplyCancel

  • Kate gaskellFebruary 1, 2016 - 9:31 pm

    Hardwood house Leeds! Fingers crossed thank you xReplyCancel

  • Kylie JonesFebruary 1, 2016 - 9:37 pm

    Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • Ellie JacksonFebruary 1, 2016 - 10:14 pm

    A. Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • Rebecca ColloffFebruary 2, 2016 - 5:10 am

    Harewood house xReplyCancel

  • Jan KitchingFebruary 2, 2016 - 5:53 am

    Harewood House is the new venue.ReplyCancel

  • Laura KellyFebruary 2, 2016 - 6:07 am

    Harewood House is the new venue in 2016ReplyCancel

  • Emma BillsboroughFebruary 2, 2016 - 7:25 am

    A. Harewood house ????ReplyCancel

  • Jenni - Odd Socks and LollipopsFebruary 2, 2016 - 8:57 am

    A. Harewood House

    This sounds so amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Helen HoneyfordFebruary 2, 2016 - 9:52 am

    a hareword houseReplyCancel

  • Adele sykesFebruary 2, 2016 - 11:36 am

    Would love this for my lot. Tha answer is A xxReplyCancel

  • Deborah VoseFebruary 2, 2016 - 12:40 pm

    Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • LauraFebruary 2, 2016 - 12:43 pm

    Harewood House is the new venue.
    Would be brilliant to win these tickets!xReplyCancel

  • MelissaFebruary 2, 2016 - 1:01 pm

    Harewood house is the new one ?ReplyCancel

  • Victoria HolmesFebruary 2, 2016 - 1:11 pm

    Answer is Harewood House.ReplyCancel

  • Michaela HannahFebruary 2, 2016 - 1:37 pm

    A. Harewood House. This looks like a fantastic festival, so glad it’s coming up north!ReplyCancel

  • Emma FoxFebruary 2, 2016 - 2:32 pm

    A: Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • LuLuFebruary 2, 2016 - 2:37 pm

    A) Harewood House is the new venue, looks like a great day out xReplyCancel

  • Kate HolmesFebruary 2, 2016 - 5:49 pm

    Harewood House is the new venue and a great one too.ReplyCancel

  • Robyn Logan ClarkeFebruary 3, 2016 - 9:39 am

    A: Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • oana79February 4, 2016 - 9:57 am

    My Emma would love to watch this! The answer is A: Harewood House.xxReplyCancel

  • Laura PearseFebruary 4, 2016 - 11:11 pm

    The answer is A: Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • Victoria LFebruary 5, 2016 - 11:46 am

    A: Harewood houseReplyCancel

  • Suzy TraversFebruary 5, 2016 - 8:40 pm

    A. Harewood HouseReplyCancel

  • claire woodsFebruary 7, 2016 - 10:58 am

    Harewood HouseReplyCancel

With it’s long nights and grey days, especially here in Manchester, there’s not much to love about Winter but as we move into February, thankfully Spring is only a month away.

Spring is most definitely one of my favourite seasons. The evenings slowly get lighter, tiny buds start appearing on early flowering plants and beautiful blossom trees make the days a whole lot prettier. It’s the season for new beginnings and it feels as though the world is starting to wake up again after hibernating during the long, cold Winter months.

Spring is also the perfect time to brighten up your home and the below ideas will breathe some fresh air into your living space and help transform your living room into a cheery, bright space perfectly suited for this season of fresh starts.

1 // ‘Spring clean’ your living room

A thorough ‘spring’ clean can be called for at any time of the year, but as the name suggests Spring is the most popular time to get elbow-deep in your home for a thorough clean that will make a huge difference. For many, Spring cleaning isn’t exactly a fun task, but your hard work will most definitely pay off as there is nothing more satisfying than sitting in a spotlessly clean room. Handy checklists such as this Spring cleaning checklist make the task more manageable and offer an overview of everything you need to know to perform a thorough clean.

Marie Kondo book

This Spring I’ll also be continuing with Marie Kondo’s advice and will be banishing clutter forever. I’ve successfully transformed my bedroom into a peaceful, clutter-free haven and I can’t wait to get started on the rest of the house. If you don’t already own it, I can’t recommend Marie’s book highly enough. Her The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever book has literally transformed my life!

2 // Re-arrange your furniture

Rearranging the floor plan of your living room is the ultimate no-cost decorating tip and offers a super quick update for the new season. It’s best to place your largest items of furniture first to anchor the space and move your small furniture items and accessories around them to suit. But don’t forget to be practical; If you’re primary activity in the living room is watching television, don’t have your sofa facing away from the TV!

3 // Embrace the outdoors

Incorporate nature into your living room with the addition of plants or flowers to bring some life into your refreshed space. A bunch of colorful flowers is the quickest way to give your living room a lift and studies have shown that flowers and plants don’t just brighten our surroundings, they’re also good for our mental health too!

Flowers in living room

Image Credit // Image Credit

4 // Add pops of colour

Spring is the perfect time to play with colour and one of the quickest ways to change a room for Spring is to add a few pops of color with some inexpensive pillow covers. Lose your dull winter scatter cushions and create a lighter, brighter room with bright pastels and colourful prints.

Pastel cushions

Image Credit

5 // Update your candles and diffusers

I have to admit our home is littered with Jo Malone diffusers and the scent of Pomegranate Noir wafts from room to room all year round. But we shouldn’t underestimate the power of fragrance on our mood, so come Spring we should think about changing our rich, woody candles and diffusers for something lighter and sweeter. Jo Malone Orange Blossom is the perfect fragrance for Spring.

Coffee table decoration

Image Credit

6 // Purchase a statement piece of furniture

If your budget allows, one of the easiest ways to breathe new life into your living room is to purchase a new piece of furniture. A new sofa will instantly give your living room a facelift and transform your living space dramatically.

Blush pink cushions

Image Credit

Disclosure: This post has been written in collaboration with Furniture Village.