Book of the week!

Welcome to this week's book of the week!

This week's book is one that we've had on the shelf for a little while but not read until this week. 

You're All My Favourites by Sam McBratney tells the story of a family of bears. 

Each night Mummy and Daddy bear tell the three baby bears that they are wonderful but the bears start to wonder if they can each be wonderful bears. Surely one of them is better or more loved than the other? How do Mummy and Daddy bear known that they are wonderful?

Mummy and Daddy bear explain that they can each be different and still be wonderful. It doesn't matter if they have patches, are a boy or a girl, are little or big.

You're All My Favourites is beautifully illustrated by Anita Jeram. The pictures are neutrally coloured but continue to be engaging. The story is a lovely tale of how being different is OK.

As it tells that siblings can be loved fairly I also feel it would be a great story to for those about to have a sibling. 

Our copy of the book was a gift but it's currently available for £5.99 from Amazon. Take a look here.

Happy reading!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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Movie of the week!

Yes, its that time again! Time for a brand new movie of the week! 

This week's movie is one of my all time faves! A film that I watched and loved when I was younger and bought on DVD as a grown up! As Halloween draws nearer its also the best time to watch it!

This week's movie of the week is Hocus Pocus!

Staring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, the movie tells the story of the Sanderson sisters during the Salem witch trial era.

Punished for their crimes they are sentenced to death but not before they cast a spell allowing them to return at anytime with a simple lighting of a candle.

300 years later the disbelieving Max Dennison moves to Salem from Los Angeles with his sister Dani and their parents. Desperate to impress Allison, a girl from his local school that has already spurned his advances, Max lights the black flame candle. Expecting it to be "a bunch of hocus pocus", he's alarmed when the Sanderson sisters do actually return!

On the advice of the talking black cat, Thackery Binx, Max takes their spell book and makes off into the night with Allison, Dani and the cat, with the sisters hot on their tail! 

Will the witches track them down? Will Max be able to banish them once and for all? 

Well its Halloween night so anything can happen! 

The Disney made Hocus Pocus is a great family friendly Halloween movie but there are a couple of scenes which maybe frightening for little ones. I'll be quite honest I didn't intend to let our 3 year old, Joseph, watch it but he picked it out and was quite happy watching it. It's rated PG but if you've not seen it before maybe give it a pre-watch before the kids do. 

On the run up to Halloween Hocus Pocus will probably pop up on the TV but if you can't wait its currently available from Amazon for the bargain £2.99! Click here to take a look! 

Happy watching!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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Family Day Out - Belton House

Built in the 1680's for Sir John Brownlow, Belton House is described as 'a classic country house' by the National Trust. Set in 1300 acres of land it offers beautiful grounds, which are just waiting to be explored and enjoyed. 

Belton House is around an hours journey from where we live in Nottingham, so it's on our radar for days out, especially as we're National Trust members. Back in June, with nice weather forecast, we set out for our first visit! 

We started by venturing into the house. There's no set route to follow so you are free to wander around. Now, I say free to wander around obviously there are ropes and raised skirting in other areas to stop you going fully in and making yourself at home. This lead to what is now known among our family and friends as 'the Belton House incident'!! As many parents do we always feel a bit tense going into these kind of places with a 3 year old but after our trip to Wordsworth House last year we felt a little more at ease. 

We shouldn't have! In two of the rooms the ginger hurricane squeezed past the rope pole but luckily I managed to scoop him back round before any damage was done. Apparently he wanted to sit on the beds and try the chairs! Having explained he wasn't to go behind the robes we continued around the house. Unfortunately, one of the next rooms didn't have ropes. It had raised skirting, which Joseph didn't see as he sped over to one on the chairs, tripping as he went, nearly face planting a beautiful side table and triggering an alarm!

Two National Trust volunteers were quick to respond to the chaos as Daddy retrieved him. Completely horrified, I was sure we would be banned from all National Trust properties and have our membership revoked! But we were reassured by the lovely staff that no harm was done and that it often happens. The sound of the alarm certainly tamed the hurricane and he asked to be carried for the rest of our time in the house! 

Beside that experience, we enjoyed our time in the house. There is so much history to Belton and it was fascinating to hear of its connections to King Edward, Wallis Simpson and the abdication crisis. There's also an amazing collection of books. ceramics and portraits. 

Outside there are stunning gardens to be enjoyed and admired. 

It's clear that the volunteers work incredibly hard to maintain them. 

There's also a fantastic play park and it's quite possibly one of THE best we have ever had the joy of playing on! Joseph enjoyed the park so much and we were easily on it for over an hour!

Now as you know I always like to share the important info with you all! Obviously following our experience, if your little ones are fast moving or maybe a little wayward, reins are a good idea. Joseph will definitely be wearing his next time! Pushchairs aren't practical as there's stairs and backpacks have to be carried in hand or left near the door to avoid items being knocked over and damaged. There's plenty of parking, super clean loos, baby changing and the usual cafe. 

There's also a gift shop with lots of National Trust items on offer and there's a selection of toys and games for the little ones too! At the side of the play park there is an awesome little train but there's an addition charge so make sure you have some cash with you! 

Belton House has so much to offer. A beautiful country house for grown-ups to admire, with a garden for the whole family to enjoy and a fantastic park for the kids to run around and have adventures in. 

We will definitely be returning soon, even if its just for a snooze on the lawn!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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Book of the week

Have your ever wanted to go on an adventure around London? Maybe on the back of a lion?

Well, you can with this week's book of the week!

Katie in London is the story of a little girl and her brother, Jack, and their amazing trip around the city!

After their Gran drops to sleep something amazing and unexpected happens! One the Trafalgar Square lions comes to life!

He soon takes Katie and Jack on a sight seeing tour of London as they ride on his back. Stopping by all of the well known tourist attractions including St Paul's Cathedral, The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, it is quite the adventure. 

The illustrations are beautifully detailed and the exciting story keeps little ones enthralled! 

Our 3 year old, Joseph, is currently a big fan! 

Katie in London will make a great addition to your lcollection. It's the type of book that is great to read to children but also for them to read themselves when they are a little older.

I bought our copy a few years ago when I was lucky enough to visit Buckingham Palace as part of the summer opening but you can also get a copy from Amazon for £5.99 by clicking here. The cover has been updated so looks a little different to the one above.

Happy reading!!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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Movie of the week!

Our 3 year old, Joseph, has a new found love for dinosaurs and Lego style movies. Put the two together and what do you get? 

You get this week's movie of the week! 

Lego Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape sees the return of the characters from the hugely successful Jurassic franchise, with original cast members Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard providing voices.

Following similar plots, the movie sees one of the dinosaurs escape! Adventures occur as they try and locate the dinosaur as soon as possible.

In the usual, and now hugely popular, Lego style animation the movie is entertaining and funny throughout. At just 44 minutes long it is the ideal movie to pop on so you can get a few things done or enjoy a peaceful cuppa! Plus, who doesn't enjoy the sound of Chris Pratt in your living room.

We currently have ours on repeat via Netflix but you can also watch it for free on Prime and it's currently £5.00 on Amazon for the DVD version.

I'd highly recommend The Indominus Escape if you have your own little dinosaur and/on Lego fan!

Happy watching!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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Family Day Out - Legoland Windsor

Based in Windsor the Legoland resort offers 55 rides and attractions. Aimed at children from 3 to 12 it offers a range of different themes, including vikings, ninjas and Star Wars.

I was incredibly lucky to win 2 tickets to Legoland earlier in the year and when I saw the prices I was glad I had! Prices vary dependent on the day you visit but they start at £30 and go up to £50 and there's no lower price for children, so if you're a large family this could be an expensive trip! The tickets we had were for 2 adults so I bought our 3 year old's ticket through the website before travelling. I also used our Tesco clubcard vouchers meaning I got the ticket for around half the usual price! There was also the parking charge to pay for and I pre-booked that too. 

As we are based in Nottingham it would have been quite a trek for one day so we headed down the night before and stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, which was a bargain and cheaper than a Travelodge!

As we arrived at the park our 3 year old, Joseph, decided he was going to walk all day and didn't want the pushchair. This was a huge mistake! Obviously there was lots of walking but I don't think any of us were prepared for it being as hilly as it was! We also somehow got a bit confused by the map and signs and went in the wrong direction a couple of times! 

The park is a mix of models and rides and I'll be quite honest that some of them were a little dated. This didn't stop the fun though!

Our favourite part was definitely the Ninjago area! Joseph is a huge fan of the series and we all loved the interactive 3D ride!

This new addition brings the park a little more up to date and we had already been considering a visit because of the new Ninjago area. I do wonder thought that if we had paid full price we may have been a little disappointed. Now, I'm not saying it isn't still worth a visit, as it definitely is, especially for Lego lovers but I do say that you should hunt down a bargain!

As you can see, we had lots of fun!

Mummy Snowy Owl
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Book of the week!

Our book obsession continues with a brand new book of the week! 

Its another Thomas related book but this time it comes with sound effects! 

Thomas and Friends Noisy Sound Book is a story of the famous Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Bertie, and you can puff along with them on their adventure by pressing the button within the book. 

The story tells of them having fun on a journey but things take a turn when Bertie realises he's forgotten to collect Dowager Hat and they have an accident.

Don't worry though as Harold is soon on hand to help!

Told in a rhyming style the book is illustrated in alike to the most recent television series. It engaging and well liked by our 3 year old Joseph.

Now I realise that noisy books can be a bit annoying when they are played with repeatedly but this one honestly isn't that bad. Yes, it make a noisy but the train sound is fairly quiet. 

Thomas and Friends Noisy Sound book is a welcome addition to our book collection.

You can currently buy the book from Amazon for £6.99.

Happy reading!

Mummy Snowy Owl
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Movie of the week!!!

Yes, it's back!! Just like book of the week the rainy days and lack of sunshine have brought about the return of movie of the week!

Now as a non-Disney film (shock horror) this wouldn't usually be a first choice in our house. I always feel a bit of betrayal when we watch an animation which doesn't feature the famous castle in the open credits! In fact when Joseph was a bit younger he used to shout no if a film didn't show said castle, but if any film was going to change our minds it would be this one, making it our current fave. 

This week's movie of the week is Trolls! 

Featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand and James Corden, to name just a few, the movie is a tale of a community of Trolls.

After the Bergens invade the village and kidnap a group of trolls for a feast, where they are the main course, the brave and super happy Poppy and the grumpy Branch set off to rescue their friends and family. 

With tales of friendship, determination, bravery, as well as being true to yourself, Trolls is a truly watchable film. It is brightly and beautifully animated and the soundtrack is a mix of great old and new hits. You won't be able to keep your feet still when Can't Stop The Feeling drops and you'll shed a tear over the emotional rendition of True Colours.

If you haven't already give it a watch! We've got it downloaded to our Sky box and it's still available on Sky Movies but if you're box free Amazon also have it for £6.99 and there's a sing-along version! Order it here! 

Most of all enjoy movie time!!

Mummy Snowy Owl
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Book of the week

Books, books, books. We are back in love with books!! So its time again for book of the week!

This week its a book bought for our 3 year old, Joseph, by his grandma. 

Written by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe, Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp, opens with two pages of dinosaurs, their names and how to pronounce them. 

The books continues with each dinosaur and a rhyme featured over two pages. Those featured include a Diplodocus, Tyrannosauraus and a Ankylosauraus!

It is a great book for those starting to learn to read, as well as those dinosaur lovers! 

Joseph's copy was a gift but you can currently buy a copy from Amazon for £6.99 by clicking here.


Mummy Snowy Owl

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Keep Calm and Eat Out

Going out to eat should be a relaxing time. A break from routine. A treat for the family. Bring children into the mix though it can turn into a stressful and unpleasant experience.

So, how can you make it enjoyable and relaxing? Especially when you have a toddler or preschooler in the mix?!

Well, this is how.........................

1. Be prepared
Its probably the Snowy Owl in me but you have to be prepared when it comes to eating out with kids. The days of picking somewhere at random are behind you, at least until the kids are older. Be prepared and check, check, check. Check the menu and pick your child's meal or give them the options to mull over before hand. Check the food hygiene rating and check the Trip Advisor reviews.

2. Scope out the venue
This might sound a bit odd but on arrival have a good look round. Where are the toilets? You don't want to running round with a toddler shouting 'I need a wee', whilst in a rugby style hold under your arm while your looking for the loos! Do you want them to play on the park or in the soft play before dinner? Will they come when its time to eat? If not try and avoid them seeing it by using a different entrance or maybe even tell them you have to book a time after dinner!

3. Keep them busy
You've only just ordered and there's a ringing in your ears. A ringing that sounds a little bit like 'is my dinner ready yet'. This is followed by loud sighs everytime a waitress goes by with food that isn't for them. They grow restless and start announcing their starving and haven't been fed all day. Keep them distracted with the usual colouring or take along a couple of toys. We love the Toys in a Tin range and we also have an awesome hand me down Thomas the Tank Engine set.

4. Take a snack
Yes, I realise this sounds somewhat ridiculous! Who takes a snack with them when going out for meal? Well, if its somewhere that's normally busy or our 3 year old is especially impatient or a bit hangry (hungry and angry) we do. A little box of raisins or a few strawberries and grapes are our go to snacks. Enough to tide him over but not enough to fill him up!

5. Pull out the electronic big guns
Let's admit it pre-children many of us would have frowned on those using tablets and phones to keep little ones entertained but when there's cutlery being used as a weapon and salt being tossed around like an exorcism the electronics are the ultimate shusher.

Now, deep breath, be prepared, keep calm and eat out!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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Book of the week!

Wow! Where did the week go? It's already time for a new book of the week!

This week brings another hand me down, and this time it's an educational one!

Hide and Seek ABC offers two rhymes to each page, along with an animal hiding behind its first letter. 

As you pull the tab the animal appears!

It's a great way for children to discover animals and learn about the alphabet. 

Its brightly illustrated and is a book that our 3 year old, Joesph, will read cover to cover without getting bored, making it a great addition to our collection.

As I mentioned earlier our copy is a hand me down but there's a few secondhand copies available at Amazon. Click here to take a look! 

Happy reading!

Mummy Snowy Owl
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