Team Honk Relay

This week Hannah from Mumsdays was very proactive in organising a NE parenting blogger (pblogger) meet, we overcame challenges of geography and parenting to get together, we lucky three, Hannah, Rita from Three Boys and a Cat and I to get the ball rolling and talk about a very important endeavour.


The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world. An example close to my heart is that £500 could provide six months of support for a young person in the UK with mental health issues.

The Team Honk Blogger Relay starts in Lands End on the 12th January 2014 and finishes in John O Groats on the 23rd March 2014. We aim to raise over £20,000 for Sport Relief. #teamhonkrelay involves over 200 bloggers, their friends and families in a route that zig zags up the UK taking in 38 regional teams and a range of non-motorised transport, and Joss and I are part of the Durham team, getting the Team Honk relay baton from Durham to Alnwick, my girl and I will be taking the baton from Gateshead to Newcastle along the route.

Our plan says that on the 16th March Rita will collect the baton from the Darlington Team Honk team, on the 17th of March Rita will be braving a 20 mile walk in a onesie from Durham to Gateshead via Mammybear in Washington for cake (we like cake, we bloggers!) At the Angel of the North Rita will meet Joss and I for a photo opportunity and then we will carry the baton on foot with Joss in our toddler carrier from the Angel to the Sage in Gateshead and it is hoped that other slingy mams will join us on our walk!



I will take the baton back home with me that evening and then 18th March we’ll be passing the baton on to Hannah who will cycle it from Blyth the 30 miles to Alnwick, phew! If you are a NE blogger who could take the baton from Newcastle to the coast at Tynemouth or further North then do speak up!


How can you help? We have a local target of £500 to raise, and if you’d like to sponsor us you can do, here

You can also spread the word on social media:

Team Honk Twitter & Hashtags: @team_honk #teamhonkrelay

Sport Relief Twitter & Hashtags: @sportrelief #SR14

TeamHonk facebook: #/teamhonk

TeamHonk pinterest:

Honk honk!

27 and 28/365 Joy in the Mundane – toddler fixes

In a fix with a toddler? Teething, tantrums, bad weather?

This week has seen all three, those pesky teeth have a lot to answer for though, just getting through the week has felt like our Amazing Achievement! I’m now working three days a week instead of two and trying to re-focus how Joss and I spend our two days together to make sure we get the very best out of them.

It makes me laugh when people assume we stay at home in winter, with no car I guess it would be easy to assume we can’t get out and about but the truth is we’re never at home. With a puddle suit and wellies the outdoors is the place to be for a boisterous 20 month old!


Our next best place to head in a downpour is the library, though we’re not very quiet (shhhhhh….sorry!) we are both bookworms and ours has a lovely community feel


I’ve also been looking at some great pins for play ideas on Pinterest, easy to lose an hour on there, but we’ve made playdough and played with coloured shaving foam in the bath this week and picked up new ideas for the activity list I keep on our fridge to remind me to try something new together

Do you have any good toddler play ideas? We’d love the hear them!

Spread a little happiness…

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed and a sleepless night today. I was feeling a bit ‘blah’ (OK worse than that, I was feeling grumpy and sorry for myself). Over a restorative cup of tea I read a few blogs and came across the Spread a Little Happiness blog hop; fate, no?!

So here’s what cheers me up and I hope it spreads a little happiness for you too:

Being daft with my mini me, getting out in the fresh air, drawing and being noisy are great for getting out of a fug:

This is also my What’s the Story photo for this week, Joss has discovered running and screeching at the same time which makes for some ace photos, I’m gonna photoshop a few when I get a sec as it looks like she’s running away from something, anyone want to suggest some ideas for me?!



Learning to be grateful is great:


Putting on an oldie but goodie and shaking it out or enjoying some trashy TV to escape the news and doom and gloom, this week it’s been Beastie Boys and Girls


And finally, because I think these resources are brilliant and mental health enhancing, check out Action for Happiness’ 10 keys to happier living


Where’s the Scone? and other My Little Big Town books

My Little Big Town kindly sent us three books for review; the Monster Book of Colours, Monster Book of Numbers and Where’s the Scone?

Given their handy size we’ve taken these books on lots of days out with us, though I think I’d have preferred a hardback book at the rrp of £4.99 the size does make them very portable.


Where’s the Scone? Is Beth Dexter-Smith’s first book, it tells the story of a party where all of the animals bring some food, counting from down from ten to one in rhyme. The characters are beautifully illustrated, really great fun and there are ‘hidden extras’ to spot on each page, three ladybirds, seven dragonflies… The characters are a great mix of popular favourites like apes, bees and swans, but I best liked the nine bream licking icecream and Joss loved shouting ‘where’s the scone…s’gone!’

More fun characters show up in the Monster books, Three Yips, Nine Jib jabs, a Fuzzblot, Noop-Noop, Twiddlypuff and Chubba. Joss loves words so enjoyed the sound of the monsters and did a lot of talking to herself about them when she pored over the books. For me the Colours book is great, clear bright pages, the Numbers book is brilliant up until it reaches ten, but I found it a little hard to understand why the book jumps from 10 to 15, 20, 25 and 50 when so clearly aimed at a younger audience. I don’t want this to detract from Calvin Innes’ illustrations though, as these are a hit with Joss.



Disclaimer: We received these books to review, all views are our own.

Something Special Mr Tumble’s Big Book of Counting Review

The lovely folk at Egmont kindly sent us a copy of Something Special Mr Tumble’s Big Book of Counting to review, Joss is a big fan of lift the flap books and although she doesn’t see a lot of Mr Tumble on TV she recognised him straight away!

This book is great for the stage she’s at, she can recite her numbers 1-5 but doesn’t have the concept of counting yet, so this is a lovely book to start to reinforce some of the skills she has, whilst having fun.


Each number appears on its own on a large colourful page and encourages the child to trace its outline with their finger, which tells me that it’s a book that grows with the child as they learn to recognise numbers and also to write them in time to come, then there’s a short rhyme, followed by a scene under the flap with lots of fun things to count, Joss liked the bakery page best!



As you can see she was a bit excited here, I think it’s that there is something new to spot each time we read the book! With bright colours and thematic pages this would make a lovely gift for a toddler regardless of whether they have seen the Something Special show or not, I love the size too, large enough to sit together on the floor or sofa and have a really good pore over the pictures to see what we can spot.


Thanks Egmont and Mr Tumble!

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of this book to review, all views are our own.

I’m linking this into Read with Me, as I haven’t picked up anything but uni books this week! Hope to have time to start my novel next week!


20 21 22 23/365 – Joy in the mundane – New things

I started my nine month secondment this week, I’ve taken up a really interesting research post and am finding my feet at the moment. This meant a first overnight stay leaving Joss in Daddy’s fun and capable hands, thankfully they enjoyed themselves and I am reaping the benefits of having a handle on my anxiety as it went really well and I didn’t feel the crushing guilt I expected to.

Continuing my search for joy in the mundane with Project 365 we have:

20 Grapefruits: I just love them

21 A splodge in the puddles at the Coast brings out the kid in me too, linking this one into Small Steps Amazing Achievements as this was Joss’ first muddy puddle (or muddle) jump

22 A country walk is always bracing and clears the mind

23 A great hotel room with good curtains, something I aspire to, there’s something about the heavy fabric that appeals to the old fashioned girl in me!