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.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Dear Rosie Posie Beastie Boo ...

Here's a verse that mummy wrote,
Especially for you.
A few short words for a little girl,
Who I've named Beastie Boo!

Walking, talking, running around,
You can't quite join me yet.
But today we smile as it's now 12 months,
Since the day that we first met!

My baby sister - Beastie Boo,
That name has kind'a stuck.
To have a sis' as sweet as you,
Just has to be pure luck!

The first few weeks of your new life,
Were full of changes and firsts.
Then bit by bit and day by day,
You grew in little bursts.

We laugh, we cry, we make a mess,
Drive mummy around the bend.
But in you I know I've surely found,
A true forever friend.

So here we are, your special day,
The day that you turn one.
A time to think all about,
Our future packed with fun.

I'll help you learn, be by your side,
In everything you do.
Happy birthday little one,
My sister Beastie Boo!


Friday, 28 June 2013

Making a house a home!

Making a palace for our Princesses!

Some time in the not too distant future, we will be looking to move home ... again. The home we are currently in was only intended as a temporary stop, and we have now reached the point where we are feeling the lack of space. With a nearly 4 year old Munchkin and a year old Beastie Boo both tearing about the place, leaving a trail of toys in their wake, I have tripped over one too many building blocks and stepped on far too many dolls house pieces! The walls seem to be closing in on us a little more every day as the number of toys increases at a crazy rate. We need more space!

When we do move, I would like this time to have the opportunity to decorate for the girls. Up until now, we have decorated the walls with carefully placed pictures and wall canvases, the floors with pretty rugs and have done what we can to make a special place for them. 

As I mentioned, Munchkin will be celebrating her 4th birthday in less than 3 months, and has developed a real little girl's personality now. She knows what she likes and could tell you exactly how she would want her bedroom to look.

In one, single word, she could tell you exactly how her room would look ...


Munchkin is, unmistakably, a girly girl. She loves everything to be pink, and has, what she thinks is a sharp eye for things that do and do not match! A little interior designer in the making here ... That would be interesting! She loves pink that much, she has already decided that Beastie couldn't possibly grow up liking pink too. Beastie must love red ... or maybe purple ... just as long as it's not pink! 

There are all sorts of adventurous things I have thought about doing with Munchkin's walls, from funky feature walls to hand painted murals. However, none have been possible so far due to our living space. 

Whatever we decided to do, I will have to look up some hints and tips first! With the websites, books, magazines and eBooks that are available these days, all bursting with ideas and advice on how to get the job just right, our only real dilemma should be in the decisions! I know that I would like for us to do the job ourselves. Ok, so DIY has never been a very strong point of mine, but it shouldn't be too hard, right ...? I did find an eBook full of ideas and how-to guides on DIY decorating, and feel it may be getting quite a lot of use when the time comes ... very soon!

I have just asked Munchkin how she would like her room to be decorated when we move home, and yes, she came back with the one-word answer; "Pink". However, when I prompted a little more information from her, we were really going places with the imagination!!

So ... I need to paint ponies ...

'Pink up' the walls ...

Cover the floors with anything pink and fluffy ...

... And the list goes on!!!

Now, where is that eBook ...?!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Walk the Walk for breast cancer!

Patron HRH The Prince of Wales

Roll up, Roll up – this is more than just another Walk in the Park!

Welcome to the fun and crazy world of The SunWalk London, organised by grant-making breast cancer charity, Walk the Walk. But this is not just another walk in the park! 

On Sunday 30th June 2013, London’s Battersea Park will host a unique and wonderful cocktail of 3 amazing walking challenges, live stage music, circus sideshows, stalls, dancing, delicious food, stilt walkers, clowns and escapades and experiences for all. 

There’ll be plenty of entertainment for the children, including popular Children’s TV Stars Andy and Sid, who will be holding their own unique show! Stars from Strictly Come Dancing will also be hosting three exclusive “Dance the Dance” workshops, with the chance to get up close and personal and meet the dancers afterwards. Join Anton and Erin, Darren and Lillia, and Matt and Nicole for an unforgettable experience! Tickets for Andy and Sid’s shows, and for Dance the Dance are available at www.walkthewalk.org or on 01483 741430. 

For the whole family, there’ll also be free live music in the park from X-factor star Misha B, chart-topping band Sam and the Womp, singer/songwriter Sam Gray and the Urban Voices Collective, the singing group famous for performing at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. 

There is free entry into SunWalk City all day. But if you really want to do something to make your day extra special, sign up now for one of the three Power Walking challenges - a 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon. You are not only going to have a day of experiences and visual delight, but you’ll be getting fitter, reaching your own goal, and raising money and awareness for breast cancer. 

The whole family can take part, with a Power Walking challenge for every ability and as always all Walkers over the age of 13 will wear the Walk the Walk trademark of brightly decorated bras – with this year’s Circus theme, there promises to be some wild and wonderful creations! Walk the Walk has raised in excess of £86 million for vital breast cancer causes, since it launched 17 years ago, with money granted for research into breast cancer and to help improve the lives of those with cancer now. 

Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk The Walk said:

"The SunWalk is going to be the most exciting day, not only do we have our 3 fantastic challenges, all day music from live bands including Sam and the Womp and Misha B...my personal favourite is the exclusive opportunity to learn to Dance the Dance with some of the country’s favourite dance stars from Strictly - imagine learning to Jive, Tango or Salsa with these stars of the dance floor. Meanwhile our younger visitors can meet the much loved Children’s TV stars Andy and Sid for their BIG party, while the rest of us can get into learning circus skills, enjoying all the attractions or just sitting back with great food and enjoying the atmosphere. It is just a fun magical day ...and best of all it is going to achieve so much for all those with cancer. You will just have to come and find out for yourself!”

Gaby Roslin, Radio presenter on BBC London 94.9 said:
"The SunWalk is such a family affair and the fact that we can all do the walk, together, as a family and raise money for such an incredible charity, means we wouldn't miss it for the world. As a patron of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, to whom Walk the Walk has granted over £18 million, I feel overwhelmed on the day, seeing all those women and children who are there to raise money too, because someone they know had or has cancer. Nina is an inspiration, what an amazing woman. I feel blessed to know her and to be a part of this".

Full details can be found at http://www.walkthewalk.org/Home. This looks like it is set to be a fun filled family day out in London! Last year (2012), SunWalk London raised more than £250,000 towards beating breast cancer. Visit the website to see how you can do your bit, no matter how big or small, to fight the fight against breast cancer!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Justin joins the LolliBoppers!


LolliBop, the UK’s biggest day out for kids, has announced CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher will be performing at this year’s event.

Taking place in its brand new home, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the BAFTA –award winning star of CBeebies will be performing live for LolliBoppers on Saturday August 17 and Sunday August 18.

Justin Live! promises an all singing, all dancing extravaganza guaranteed to bring the house down.

LolliBop’s event manager, Jenny Kane said:

 “Justin Fletcher is top of the charts when it comes to kids entertainment and our new venue deserves to host the number one superstar of CBeebies. We’re delighted Justin is able to be a part of LolliBop 2013.”

The all-mouse reggae band, Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew, are also confirmed for Friday August 16, as part of a busy summer touring the nation. Last seen at LolliBop 2011, the cool, mystery-solving mouse will be back on stage performing his latest hits for fans throughout the day.

Another new addition to the LolliBop 2013 line up is everyone's favourite postman, Postman Pat and of course, Britain's most famous black and white cat, Jess! They will be at the festival over the three days meeting pint sized festival goers. 

LolliBop promises all the fun of a festival without the hassle of camping. With an incredible line up, all aimed at children under the age of 10, LolliBop combines the hottest names in kids entertainment, as well of hundreds of activities, workshops and interactive areas.

The 2013 programme also includes Dick and Dom, Skylanders, Science Museum Live, Cloudbabies, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Peppa Pig, Poppy Cat, the Wot Wots, Transformers, The Go! Go! Go! Show, the Mr Men and Little Miss Village Green Event and Shaun the Sheep’s Championsheeps. LolliBop's live theatre tent – The Lollipalladiam - showcases performances from pioneering and internationally renowned companies and artists. There is also a brand new Discovery Zone, Meadows area, Enchanted Woods, Lolli Promenade and much more.

Tickets are on sale now, from £20pp.

Monday, 10 June 2013

My First Crayola Party! Our thoughts ...

"Helping little hands create!"

Crayola, the widely popular brand, famous for bringing us fantastic, high quality art products designed for the little people in our lives, are now offering a new range of supplies that are perfect for the the littlest of budding artists! 'My First Crayola' is a collection that is suitable for toddlers and preschoolers who enjoy using their creative sides to express themselves!

On Monday, 10th June 2013 (8-9.30pm), we will be joining a number of other lovely bloggers on Twitter for our #MyFirstCrayolaParty! Ahead of the party, Munchkin and Beastie were kindly sent a selection of lovely products from the My First Crayola range to test out with their friends. Here, we would like to share with you our thoughts on the products that we were sent!

Here are the goodies that we were sent ...

My First Markers
My First Character Markers
My First Colour & Flip Book
My First 'At The Farm' Colouring & Sticker Book
My First 'Seaside Fun' Colouring & Sticker Book
Musical Rub Art Station

The first thing that the kids reached for were the My First Crayola Colour & Flip Books! (RRP £4.99) These seemed to be an instant hit. With these, little artists can mix and match pictures to make storytelling fun! Coupled with the vibrant My First Crayola Markers that are included, the kiddies got to work straight away , colouring in the different combinations of heads, tummies and feet and making up funny names for their creations as they were going along! There were lots of giggles coming from the kids as they were combining the flaps to make all sorts of zany characters! We had Alien Ballerinas, Dinodogs and a whole host of fabulous mixes!

The Colour & Flip Books come with 3 My First Crayola Washable Markers, but the kids were also enjoying the box of 8 markers that they had been given, which gave them a few more colours to be creative with! The lovely thing about these markers is the tip - they are very 'blunt' which I found minimised the mess that Munchkin is so good at making with pens! It also seemed to make her less inclined to scribble too fast, which always results in either very soggy pages or/and dry marker pens! I noticed that she was much more careful with these. I like the way, as with other Crayola markers, that the lids can be placed on the end of the pens whilst they are colouring, as Munchkin is the worst for leaving 'lidless' pens around to dry out. At least this way, we weren't faced with numerous lids rolling off the table! Another big advantage to these markers, is that they are washable. They do not seem to stain the skin or clothes. Munchkin managed to cover her arms in bright red ink as she kept laying her arm in the coloured sections before they had the chance to dry. The glossy pages of the Colour & Flip Book mean that the ink stays wet for longer than it would on regular paper. However, using a wet wipe removed all traces of ink from her skin within seconds of wiping her. I was really pleased about this!

As well as the My First Crayola Washable Markers, we were also lucky to be able to try out the range of My First Crayola Toddler Grip Washable Markers (RRP £4.49) which were perfect for Beastie's little hands!

Bright, sturdy and chunky, My First Crayola Markers are twin sets of appealing, animal character themed, easy grip ergonomic markers which are designed to fit a toddler's grip comfortably. A green monkey, a yellow lion, a blue elephant and a red bear are the characters that are available in the collection, and Beastie absolutely loves them! This was her first experience of taking pen to paper, and she was very intrigued!

The chunky grip made them easy for her to control, and also come with the special blunt tip which is designed especially for your mini DaVincis! These Character Markers are suitable for 12m+ and, like the other markers in the My First Crayola range, are non-toxic and washable. We really like these markers and know that Beastie will continue to use them as she learns more and more about putting marks on paper (and preferably not the walls!)

Munchkin loves stickers, so the combination of stickers and colouring make the My First Crayola Sticker & Colouring Books (RRP £2.49 each) another favourite with her! Children can scribble and stick with the two differen books in the collection - At the Farm and Seaside Fun. With these, storytelling brings your child's creations to life. The themed activity pages enable young art lovers (12m+) to reinvent their creations over and over again with 30 re-positionable stickers and 24 large scale colouring pages. Munchkin and her party guests enjoyed deciding where all of the stickers would be best placed within the book and talking about what they thought was going on in their pictures! 

I loved watching the little ones becoming little storytellers when they were creating their scenes with the stickers. Crayola certainly has a way of bringing the imagination to life!!

Last, but by no means least, we had a play with the final product in our My First Crayola bundle - the My First Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station (RRP £9.99). With this piece of equipment, you can fine tune your child's creativity as they can select one of the two dual sided rubbing plates, insert them into the frame with paper and use the crayon tool to design original drawings by simply rubbing over the surface! As character images emerge through the textured plates, they create tuneful melodies and fun sound effects to keep young children engaged and enthralled! 

The easy grip crayon tool meant that this product was suitable for all of our little party guests, who were aged between 11 months and 5 years! The kit comes complete with 4 chunky crayons that fit the tool perfectly, and the children enjoyed creating scenes with the tool which could then be removed from the frame and coloured in! The Rub-Art Station requires 3xAAA batteries, which provide hours of fun! The rubbing plates can be stored by sliding them onto the back of the frame, and this also provides a handy little storage compartment for the chunky crayons. This is especially handy when you have little ones as it keeps the whole kit together to avoid disappointment caused by missing parts.

To find out more about the My First Crayola range, join in the chat on Twitter between 8-9.30pm by following the Hashtag #MyFirstCrayolaParty. Here I will be joining 9 other mummy bloggers to bring talk, information and fun competitions for a whole 90 minutes of Crayola Chit-Chat! So get the kids tucked up in bed nice and early, grab your chosen tipple and pop on over. You can find me on Twitter as @MunchkinHart

More information regarding our #MyFirstCrayolaParty can be found over on Blog By Baby

Hope to see you there!!

We were sent the mentioned products for the purpose of this review and to enable us to give accurate information during our #MyFirstCrayolaParty on Twitter. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.

Friday, 7 June 2013

LolliBop 2013 ... What's in store?

Recently, we shared a little about our experiences of the LolliBop Festival: The BIG Bash for Little People. We love LolliBop, and are really looking forward to joining in the fun again for our third time this year. However, we are extra excited, as this year, we will be attending as ...

This year, we have been invited to be official LolliBloggers!!
Now we would like to share with you some of the fun that can be had this year at the festival's new venue - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park!

LolliBop, The Big Bash for Little People, is returning for 2013 to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London with an incredible line-up designed to delight mini festival goers.

Joining some of the hottest names in kids entertainment, as well as hundreds of activities, workshops and interactive demos is the Mr Men and Little Miss Village Green Event and Shaun the Sheep’s Championsheeps!

The ever-popular Mr Men will be hosting a fun maypole activity area and favourite characters such as Mr Bump, Mr Tickle and Little Miss Sunshine will be meeting and greeting fans at the Mr Men and Little Miss reading hubs. 

Shaun the Sheep will be personally on hand at the Championsheeps with sheepy shenanigans including Shirley’s Pie-athalon, the Naughty Pig’s Sack Race and Get Fit with the Flock. Kids and parents are ‘wool-come’ to get involved!

Other big names confirmed so far, include: 

LolliBop favourites Dick and Dom return with their special mix of madcap games, songs, jokes and a foam pie or two…

Peppa Pig will be at the festival all weekend meeting and greeting all her little fans 

CBeebies' very own Sid Sloane and Andy Day will be hosting their very own Big Birthday Bash and everyone is invited! Expect lots of energetic songs and silliness and plenty of audience participation

Watch and learn how to ‘Copy Poppy’ with Poppy Cat on the Lolli Live stage

Straight from Nickelodeon to the Lolli Live Stage, The Go! Go! Go! Show are bringing brand new pop songs, catchy, easy-to-learn dance moves and loads of laughs

Sing and dance along with the adorable Cloudbabies mini show 

Older LolliBoppers will love The Diary of a Wimpy Kid activity, which include exclusive clips of the author Jeff Kinney talking about the books and a master class showing how he draws the characters. There’s also a Wimp Wars quiz

Experience the life-size Transformer Optimus Prime Truck, along with the Transformers Station; showcasing the new Beast Hunters toys, viewings of the cartoon series Transformers Prime and free green screen pictures 

Witness the amazing wildlife showcase with National Geographic Kids Animal Man

Laugh along with hilarious antics from the amazing 8ft Titan the Robot 

Returning LolliBoppers will also see old favourites mixed with new attractions for 2013, including:

LolliBop Live – Popular CBeebies presenter Alex Winters is comparing the live stage which plays host to some of the biggest names in kids entertainment, with live music and performances from stars of stage and screen

Lollipalladiam - is a live theatre tent showcasing performances from pioneering and internationally renowned companies and artists. This year it features Spooked, the critically acclaimed Broken Rose Performing Arts first show for children – a hilarious and spectacular blend of dance, theatre and spoken word featuring skeletons Molly, Jinny and Charlie. 

Science Zone - Make a rocket, hold a dry ice cube, or get messy with gooey slime in the LolliBop lab - brimming with exploding experiments for pint sized guests to try! London’s Science Museum will also be attending with live demonstrations and interactive activities. 

Run wild and have fun in the LolliSports area. With activities including retro favorites like swingball, hula-hoop and frisbee to football tournaments and sports day style races. 

3ft and under is also making a comeback but this time is it within the brand new Itsy Bitsy Zone. Activities for babies and toddlers will include soft play, baby massage, storytelling, mini discos and much more 

The Lolli Promenade – Situated on the River Lea! We’re very lucky to have a real river running through our new home, so why not relax and enjoy an ice lolly at the Lolli Promenade which also features beach hut crafts and bandstands. 

Discovery Zone - will host a number of educational, interactive and hands on activities where kids can learn a new skill like beatboxing in one of the many workshops. 

Lolli Stops – Enjoy crafts from puppet making, and customised fashion workshops,, to balloon modelling, and graffiti painting, there is a something to make and do around every corner.

The Meadows - A perfect spot to chill out, enjoy your lunch and watch our special street performers 

There is also a wide selection of food and drink stalls at LolliBop. Extensive covered buggy parks, baby changing and breast-feeding areas are also available.

So grab your mini LolliBoppers (and your not-so-mini ones!) and take yourselves off for an unforgettable day out at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park!

For more tickets and more information: http://www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Hope to see you all there!