My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Friday, 31 May 2013

'Inspect-A-Gadget' with MoneySupermarket

Here at The Hart of the Munchkin Patch, we decided to take part in the Inspect-A-Gadget challenge with MoneySupermarket.com. Through this test, a number of bloggers will look at affordable versions of popular gadgets that are popular on the market right now. This was a great challenge to be a part of, especially with the Summer holiday season fast approaching. Maybe through the series of reviews that are on offer by Inspect-A-Gadget bloggers, you might find some ideas for those less expensive electronics that you could pop into your hand luggage for the whole family to enjoy!

The gadget we chose to take us through the challenge was the 7 inch LélikTec Tablet. Firstly, here are a few technical details about the tablet ...

This is the newest Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
All winner A13 1.0GHz CPU (up to 1.5GHz maximum) + Mali-400 GPU
7.0 inch Capacitive Touch Screen. It is very slim and lightweight and supports wifi, 4 way G-Sensor, flash player 11.1 (BBC player, Skype Video calling)
Rich apps: Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Android market, Skype, Calculator, Google Mail, Google maps, iReader and Quick Office.

This tablet is available in a number of colours, including Black, red, white, blue and purple, so there is sure to be a colour to please everybody!

We selected the black, as we thought that we could brighten it up with cases and sleeves. When we chose the tablet, we thought that it would be perfect for Munchkin. She loves gadgets and plays with The Mr's tablet all of the time. At least, this way, he could claim his tablet back and she could have one of her own for her games! She loves to play them when we are in the car, which is not always convenient when The Mr needs to use the SatNav he has installed on it!

The tablet came very well packaged in a neat little box which clearly listed all of the prime features on the front. Inside the box with the device, came the UK power adapter, USB cable and a comprehensive instruction manual. 

Munchkin was very keen to try it out straight away, so I installed a couple of small, simple kids apps from the Google Play Store for her to get started. We slipped it into a tablet case that we already had and let her explore. She is very familiar with the operation of an Android tablet, and so it didn't take her long to find her way around!

The touch screen on this tablet is lovely and responsive and the colours are bright. Munchkin had absolutely no complaints at all with how the device handled her games and was engrossed for some time! The tablet has a reasonably fast charge time, but as a consequence of this, also has quite a fast battery drain time. To take this tablet on holiday or on long car journeys, we would need to add a travel charger I think. Especially with how battery intensive some of these children's apps can be, the battery life can be quite short. However, this did not bother her whilst indoors, as it didn't cause a problem with the mains adapter lead being a generous length.

The tablet comes with a number of popular apps readily available. Facebook, YouTube, GoogleMail ... This means that the tablet is also very useful to me (when Munchkin allows me to get a look in!) I have been able to install my Blogger app, along with a number of other networking platforms that I use daily, and these all seem to work fine on the device. Facebook seems to struggle occasionally and will need restarting, but let's face it, things can go a little crazy over there sometimes, so with the constant updating and volumes of images being generated every few minutes, I can accept this!

All in all, I am very satisfied with our choice of the 7 inch LélikTec Tablet. Munchkin is really enjoying having her own little device to play her games. No, it is not the fastest running tablet on the market ... it does not have the highest possible resolution display ... the battery life doesn't go on for hours and hours ... but this is a very low priced version of the bigger tablets that are out there. And for Munchkin, it is perfect! When you look at this handy, extremely lightweight, slim device and realise that it has cost you less than £50, I feel that it is rather impressive! 

Long car journeys won't feel quite as ... well ... long any more! Not for Munchkin, anyway!

We were given the 7" inch LélikTec Tablet for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own! We have been taking part in the MoneySupermarket 'Inspect-A-Gadget' challenge.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Munchkin Patch joins the Graco family!

We are Graco Ambassadors!

Here at the Munchkin Patch, we have been very busy for the last few weeks. A little while ago, we were selected by Graco Baby to be one of five chosen families to test their brand new Graco Evo Mini. We were delighted to have been recruited by the famous baby brand, and wrote about our First Impressions right away!

During our few weeks of testing, we took our Graco Evo Mini with us on a number of outings, and shared these with our readers in a number of ways. We've written blog posts, we've shared photos on our Pinterest Board, we've chatted on Twitter, added to our YouTube channel and we have displayed our pictures on Instagram. We had loads of fun sharing our experiences with you all!

As a result of lots of hard work and your support, we are really pleased and proud to announce that we at The Hart of the Munchkin Patch have been crowned Graco Ambassadors and now have the opportunity to bring you more reviews of Graco's wonderful products as well as news of things to look out for!

We are really excited about working with Graco Baby for the next 12 months and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us throughout our Graco Evo Mini Adventure!!

To keep up with news and offers, follow Graco Baby:

A 'Pocket of Paradise' in North Wales ... with some added fun ...

Can you say ‘Penmaenmawr’? It’s pronounced ‘Pen-mine-mowrr’ and you really want to roll those Rs to get it right. Still, you don’t need to articulate the name of this town correctly – you just need to know where it is and how perfect it can be for your next family break.
If you’re travelling from the north, you’ll see Conwy Castle before the valleys of Pennmaenmawr and if you’re coming from the south, keep your eyes peeled for Penrhyn Castle in Bangor. Either way, you’re just minutes away from this pocket of Welsh paradise.
The village is cushioned between two big mountains, one of which is an active quarry and well worth a walk around if you get the time. The other bears the path to Conwy Castle and on a sunny day, its surrounding beaches look almost Caribbean from the peak.
The village itself is quiet and the roads are twisty (in a lovely way). The pebbly shores make for one of the best places to go skimming stones in North Wales; you could spend a whole day there with the kids – and you know it’s a good beach when the ice cream stall serves ‘proper’ Mr Whippies.

Best holiday park nearby
Whereas North Wales on a whole is recognised for this type of secluded beauty – you definitely want some real fun from your family holiday. There is no better place nearby than Presthaven Sands – it’s packed full of stuff to do for the kids but this is also one of Haven’s best holiday parks for mums & dads too.
Things to do for grownups:
  • Heated indoor & outdoor swimming pools
  • 2 ShowBars and a new Live Lounge
  • Direct access to a sandy stretch of beach
Things to do for kids:
  • Heated indoor fun pool (with a slide and two HUGE tap waterfalls)
  • Plenty of sporty stuff with professional coaching
  • Playgrounds and kids clubs on-park

On top of those main things, there’s a load of aqua-based activities to get involved in and extras like laser combat, bowling, go karts, roller blading – the list really doesn’t stop.

Getting there…
Whether you fancy booking a holiday home or taking your own caravan, Presthaven Sands welcomes both holidaying ideas. It’s about a 40 minute drive away from Penmaenmawr and has the beautiful town of Chester in the opposite direction.
All you need to do to is get your North Wales holidays at Haven booked early (ideally before the kids break up for summer) and hit the road. It doesn’t cost much and if you get the weather, it’s better than going abroad anyway – purely because of the amount of fun things to do, coupled with the surrounding ‘shire-like’ scenery.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Time to Get Wig-tastic!

I was spending some of my spare time surfing the web, as you do, and I came across this post about Wig Wednesday on Fancy Dress Ball. I’d never heard about this before so I decided to do some research.

Wig Wednesday is a fundraising event organised by CLIC Sargent, one of the UK’s leading children’s cancer charities. The fun part of the fundraiser is that those participating get to spend the day wearing a fun wig whilst raising money for a really great cause!
The campaign has gathered a lot of attention by the media, mainly thanks to the celebrity involvement within the campaign. Singer Ashley Roberts, actress Michelle Ryan and national treasure Joanna Lumley have all donned their wigs to promote the campaign and show the fun side of fundraising!
In an interview with the Express, Ashley Roberts expressed her excitement in taking part in the campaign, and was keen to highlight the great work done by CLIC Sargent, and the importance of raising money for children suffering with cancer.
The aim of the wig day is to highlight how not only the disease itself changes their lives, but the treatment does too. Many children suffer dramatic hair loss due to the aggressive but lifesaving treatment, and many feel more comfortable wearing a wig which helps reclaim some of their personal image.
There are over 750 companies and 100 schools registered to be involved with wig Wednesday, but it’s not too late for you to join in too! Grab the kids and your partner and choose some fun wigs to wear all day, for a really great cause!
Once you’ve picked your wigs, make sure you tweet @WigWednesday with pictures of you and your family wearing the wigs to show your support. This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to the effects of cancer, and if you have time and your child is of age – then it may be helpful for you to spend some time explaining this to your little one (delicately of course!).
Picture above belongs to CLIC Sargent.
Picture below belongs to The Hart of the Munchkin Patch!! We didn't have any amazing wigs to hand, so decided we would have some fun online editing our own!!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

My babies have wrecked my wardrobe!

Everything changes!

Before my babies graced my life with their joyful presence, I had a brilliantly varied wardrobe. My choice of clothing was pretty much endless. Going out was never a stressful concept, as I would never have the struggle to find something to wear. My only dilemma would be about which of my many pairs of shoes would look best with my chosen outfit. 

My wardrobes would be stacked with all sorts! Dresses: some for formal occasions, others more casual, skirts, suits, smart trousers and jackets, and the crop tops I used to have - I had loads! Back in the day when my stomach was toned and my skin was tanned! Back in the day before my babies!

These days, my everyday wardrobe tends to consist of jeans, combat trousers and vest tops! And the thought of going out somewhere special will require several days careful planning, and often a shopping trip when I discover that nothing I have is suitable! I still have all the lovely clothes I wore back in my before babies days, but they tend to be packed away in bags and boxes, ready for the day that I might magically fit back into them again!

What I really need to do is restock and replenish.
I need to get my wardrobe back into a less embarrassing state!

I need to remind myself that being a mum doesn't mean being completely off trend. Sometimes I go shopping for clothes and feel as though designers are only making clothes with tall, slim 19 year olds in mind, but this is not always the case. I can still enjoy high street stores like New Look and find clothes that fit me and look decent. I suppose sometimes, I just need to be a little creative about how I wear them. 

Ok, so right now, cute little crop tops and figure hugging hot pants may have to take a back row pew as even the thought of squeezing myself into these kind of make my eyes water a little, but not everything in today's ranges should be ruled out! 

Although I may not feel totally comfortable wearing dresses that fall too far above the knee, or wearing tight leggings with tops that fall above the waist, knee length dresses and leggings can make a very flattering combination. 

Now I have spent far too long browsing the latest season's collections on New Look's website, and am dangerously close to spending lots of money that I just don't have. This is why I shall fill my online Shopping Basket with all of the goodies I have my eye on and accidentally leave my laptop open in a prominent place where The Man will stumble across my virtual Wish List!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Treating the family with Jellyegg!

Shopping in a 'Sunny Side Up' fashion ...?

Have you discovered Jellyegg?

We have used the site a number of times here at the Munchkin Patch. We've used it for ourselves and for gift ideas on various occasions. Munchkin and I decided the other day that we would sit down together and construct a kind of 'Wish List' using Jellyegg. I anticipated that this would be interesting, as Munchkin likes a lot of things!! If nothing else, it would give me some birthday present ideas ... and who doesn't like a bit of shopping, even if it is of the window variety?!

If you haven't heard of Jellyegg before, I recommend you take a look. A whole host of big brands all together on one site! 

Firstly, inevitably, we looked at all of Munchkin's favourite things!

Now, as you know, Munchkin is 3, and she is a real girly girl! She loves everything that is pretty and pink, and if it is adorned with flowers, butterflies and fairies, then even better! It's a good job there is plenty of pink prettiness to be found on Jellyegg.com!

That's one seriously pink Wish List!!
Munchkin's list contains goodies from Fatboy, Jibbitz, Kiddimoto, Crocs, Babybanz, Aladdin, Togz, LittleLife and The Sticker Family. All great names that we were already familiar with.

Munchkin then went on to make a list of all the things she decided Beastie Boo would love ...

Yes, Munchkin has decided that Beastie Boo would like products from Totseat, Mum2Mum, Doomoo, Fatboy, KidsKit, Kiddimoto, LittleLife, The Sticker Family, Togz and Rubbabu. I think that Beastie would be quite satisfied with her big sister's choices!!

Then I told Munchkin to find some things for mummy on the site. After directing her away from the Kiddimoto Balance Bikes and the Bumble Bee LittleLife Daysack, we found the sections suitable for me! This is what she came up with (with a little help, of course!) ...

She made some great choices for me. I especially love the range of Keen Footwear that they have available. I really love the boots - they look SO comfortable!

She even found something for the pooch ...!

There really is something for everyone at Jellyegg. And with some great, unique gift ideas too, you shouldn't be stuck for inspiration again! 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Shoes ... shoes ... shoes ...!

Living with girls ...!

Photo - Malin Jo Photography

The Munchkin Patch - home to The Man, Mummy, Munchkin and Beastie Boo. Yep, that's The Man and THREE of us girls! And if there is one thing we hear him say, over and over again, it's:

"You 3 women have too many blinkin' shoes!!!"

Well, what's a girl without her shoes ...? Lots of shoes ...?!

First of all, we have Beastie's shoes. Ok, so she's not walking yet, but that's not the point. Baby shoes are just too irresistible! We have managed to acquire a number of pairs of perfect, soft soled baby shoes since Beastie arrived 10 months ago. Then you have to take into account the numerous pretty pairs that once decorated Munchkin's little feet which were lovingly stored away for three years and brought back into the light of day as soon as the time was right! Yes, they are tiny, but in their numbers, they occupy quite a lot of space!

Next we have Munchkin. Now, Munchkin has lots of shoes, and she doesn't need mummy to obsess over the hundreds of gorgeous designs we see when we are out shopping. Nope, Munchkin is 100% her mummy's daughter, and she has a full established appreciation of pretty shoes herself already! For her, every shoe seems to have a name and a purpose! She has shoes for dancing, shoes for running ... she has shoes for riding her bike and she has shoes for jumping in puddles! She adores shoes, and she gets very upset when she grows out of a pair. It's a good job she is so little and that her feet grow at a very very slow rate! She is still wearing shoes this Spring that she had over a year ago! Munchkin's shoes drive The Man crazy, as he always seems to be tripping over a little pair of sandals or pink wellingtons!

Finally, there's me. I have always had a huge love for shoes. And being a short 4' 10", most of my shoes come equipped with a killer heel! Whether that heel is a stiletto, a full platform or a wedge, my shoes have a purpose, and that purpose is to add height! Therefore, I have to take extra care not to leave any of my collection lying around our home. The Man says they are a hazard! Either he is close to breaking his neck by tripping over them, or we are catching Munchkin just as she is slipping the highest pair she can find onto her feet, all ready to claim them as her own! So to prevent this from happening, I need to make sure they are put away safely!

We don't have very much free space at home, and are therefore always looking for space saving ideas. I think we may need to look into investing in some shoe racks or shoe bags! It would certainly not only save space and potential accidents, but it would also save me so much time! If I was to add up all the minutes spent searching for a certain pair of shoes for one or other of us girls each week, goodness knows what else I could squeeze into our daily routine!! Maybe Munchkin and I should shop for them together ... I wonder if we could get storage to match their pretty shoes?