Happy 6th Birthday Little Squirrel

Another year has gone by in the blink of an eye, and how much you have grown this year.

You started school in August, and you have amazed us with how well you have settled in. We are extremely proud of how well you are doing, of how much you are learning, and with all the new friends you are making. I hoped you would love school as much as I did, so it makes my heart burst with pride and happiness to see the joy and confidence that school is bringing you.

August brought lots of new opportunities for you… You have started swimming lessons and you joined the local Rainbows unit, and more recently you and your little sister have started gymnastics and we are loving your gymnastic shows the two of you put on for us before bed these evenings.

This year you have loved spending time with your cousins, both in Stonehaven and in Co Cork, and in just a few weeks I am excited for you to spend some time with your cousins in London.

Cousin love!

As always, your face lights up when you see your Grandpa and Granny and Grandad. You are at your most content when I take you to Grandpa’s in Co Down, and we have enjoyed some trips to Donegal and Co Cork with him this last year. We celebrated Granny and Grandad’s Golden Wedding with a trip to Crieff Hydro with them and your McKenzie cousins. You were in your element spending time with your cousins here, from Ceilidh dancing to sleepover night in the bunk beds with Mirren and Sula.

Granny & her girls

This year your favourite films have included Mamma Mia 1 and 2, Coco, and you love all things Star Wars. Grandpa gave you a Star Wars figure of Jyn Erso from Rogue One a few years ago, and since then you have watched some of the Star Wars film series. You even requested a Star Wars birthday cake with Jyn Erso on it this year and Star Wars party decorations! You are most definitely taking after the Møller family with this love of all things Star Wars!

A common thread over your six years so far has been your love of food, and I am pleased to see this continue. You will try most things, and your favourite place to eat out so far is Wagamama. I look forward to exploring many more eateries with you over the coming years my love.

Your growth in confidence this year has been a real joy to watch, yet you are still my sensitive and thoughtful girl. You remind me of myself as a child, confident when surrounded by familiar people and places, yet you can hang back and feel shy in new or uncomfortable situations.

My darling girl, we think you are incredibly smart and you never cease to amaze us with how much you know, and how accurate your memory is. Your ability to recall details from years ago astounds us. You are very astute and you certainly don’t miss a trick.

You love your little sister, despite a natural sibling rivalry, and seeing you play, laugh and learn together fills us, and our home, with happiness.

Happy birthday my beautiful Martha. We love you and are so proud of you. All our love Mum and Dad x

May the force be with you 😉

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Happy 4th Birthday Littlest One

4 years of Ciara… Ciara, you are growing up to be the loveliest little girl, who lights up our lives every day.

You are one of the most loving and most affectionate little people I have come across and I couldn’t be happier that you are ours. You tell me every day that you love me. Earlier this week we were walking up Buchanan Street in Glasgow, and spontaneously, you stopped dead in your tracks and said “I love you Mummy”. I hope you never lose this quality dear Ciara, as it brings so much happiness in to our lives.

Some of the things that you love most this year are dogs… from Callie, the dog next door, Archie (Grandpa’s dog) and Waffle the Wonder Dog on CBeebies.

Clockwise from left – Archie, Callie, Mollie & Phoebe

Your favourite films and TV shows this year have included Pete’s Dragon, The Secret Life Of Pets, and Molly & Mack and the aforementioned Waffle!

You love Irish dancing in the kitchen with your Daddy and big sister, and your song of choice is Sally MacLennane. Other top tracks in your world this year have been George Ezra’s Shotgun and Mamma Mia.

Speaking of Mamma Mia, just a few weeks ago we were watching Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I was a little unprepared for the story line which revolved around Sophie reopening the hotel in memory of her beloved Mum Donna, who had passed away. I was really emotional watching this, and couldn’t quite hide the tears from you and your sister. Both Mamma Mia films hit a huge emotional chord with me… The story of Mother and Daughter, the music, both Meryl Streep and Julie Walters make me think of Mum in different ways…
You asked me why I was so sad, and I told you that the film made me think about my Mum and how much I missed her. Your response just blew me away…
“Is it because she’s dead? She still loves you. She’s in the stars and you’ll meet her again one day. She’ll come down from the sky and come through the window and you will love her.
Don’t worry she’s a star and when you’re a star you’ll hold hands and you’ll find her everywhere”.
Your words were subconsciously insightful and hugely comforting, and completely reflect your beautiful nature my darling girl. I will never forget this moment with you, and can’t help but think how proud and overwhelmed with love Nanny Møller would be by you.

Making memories with Grandpa, Grandad and Granny

Some of the highlights this year have been time with family. From your first trip to the cottage in Donegal with Grandpa, to celebrating Granny & Grandad’s Golden Wedding anniversary with your McKenzie cousins at Crieff Hydro, to a fun-filled, love-filled stay with your Møller cousins in Co Cork.

McKenzie Cousin Love

You share every day with your big sister Martha, and like any siblings you girls know how to wind each other up! However, you also have a huge love for each other, and you share almost everything you do with your big sister. We love watching you both play together, whether it is reading stories to each other, cuddling in bed in the mornings together, playing with your dolls together, playing Mums and Dads, or enjoying a kitchen dance party together. Always be there for each other my girls, as you will forever share the most amazing gift that is growing up together!

We are so proud of you darling Ciara, and we wish you the happiest of 4th birthdays.

Starting School – A Letter To Little Squirrel

Well here we are… today you start your school life. 5½ years have flown by in the blink of an eye. You have grown from a beautiful, wide-eyed baby in to a clever, bright, kind and loving little girl, and you have made us very proud parents. We love you very much and we can’t wait to see what your school years will bring…

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Left – the day you were born
Right – graduating from pre-school

I am so excited for you darling. I hope you love your school years as much as I did. I think you will… you are more than ready to begin your education. You have lots to learn, but you constantly amaze me with how much you already know. You are smart little one, and eager to learn, which I know will give you a good start.

You look amazing in your new school uniform, and I can tell from your face that you love it.

I am expecting to find a big lump in my throat as you walk through the doors of your classroom this morning. Today is only a short day for you, 09.30-12.00, but I will be thinking of you, wondering what you are doing, who you are making friends with, and hoping to see a big smile on your face when we collect you at midday!

My advice to you is to be kind, to listen, to ask questions, and to enjoy every minute!

Back To School With Smiggle

 

This has been the most exciting Summer as we get ready for Little Squirrel starting school in just a couple of weeks time…
First we visited our local school uniform supplier and got her all kitted out for her new school. Seeing your child in a school uniform for the first time – what a rush of emotions that was!
Next on our list for getting ready for school was to find the perfect school bag and the perfect pencil case for this first exciting term. So last month, at Little Squirrel’s request, we visited our local Smiggle store to find the schoolbag. She very quickly decided on this Fluffy Swirl Junior Backpack

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Fiffy Swirl Junior Backpack

We were really lucky as when we were in store this backpack was on sale and cost us only £17.50, when it normally retails at £36. I know she was drawn to the fluffy colourful design and the Smiggle-scented ears, but I have to admit I love it too! Such a fun backpack, but I am also really pleased at the quality of this product, it feels strong and is practical with three zipped compartments and two drink bottle compartments. We also have a friend who has had this backpack for 6 months now and it is lasting really well!

Not long after we had bought the schoolbag, I had an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing some products from Smiggle’s Back To School range, so this is what we received and what we thought…

We received two pencil cases. One was the Smiggle Bestie pencil case, a fluffy Smiggle character with one zipped compartment, that comes with a character back story and birth certificate. The product itself is well made, and feels lovely to the touch, but I am afraid it is a little on the small side in length, as it doesn’t have room for standard sized pencils…

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Left – Smiggle Bestie pencil case
Right – Dolly Squad hardtop pencil case

The other pencil case, pictured on the right above, was the Dolly Squad hardtop pencil case. Again, I love the fun, bright design of this case, but it is big and a little bulky I feel, that I don’t see her carrying this to school every day. We would most certainly get use out of it at home for storing colouring pens and craft supplies, but for a school pencil case I think we are going to buy ourselves a softer, less bulky one. Little Squirrel has her eye on the Fiffy character two pocket pencil case which is reduced from £12.50 to £8.50 at the minute. This one matches her school bag!

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Fiffy character twopocket pencil case

Next we received a pack of Juicy Highlighters – 5 scented highlighters, retailing at £4.50 (though included in a 2 for £5 offer at the minute), and the Ice Cream Highlighter, retailing at £5.00. Both are fun products, and my girls love the novelty of a scented pen, and I know they will get lots of use, and fun, out of these.

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Left – Juicy scented highlighters
Right – Ice cream highlighter

Finally, amongst our array of Smiggle goodies to try was the Now You See Me kids wallet and a reversible sequined A5 notebook. Little Squirrel loves the cute design on the wallet, and I think this will be handy to add to her schoolbag for carrying money in for school trips… The notebook is a hit with sequins and a unicorn for obvious reasons!

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Left – Reversible sequined A5 notebook
Right – Now You See Me kids wallet

I have to be honest, I am a fan of Smiggle. I love their bright, fun designs. Some products could be more competitively priced, but they regularly have super money-saving offers on making some of their products more affordable. At the minute they are running 2 for £5 on stationery essentials and have 50% off back to school goodies when you spend £20+. I have always been impressed with the quality of the products we have bought, and the girls love a trip in store, where they are dazzled with sights and scents.


Thanks to Gareth from Beattie Communications Group and to Smiggle for sending through this range of products for us to review. As always are opinions are honest and my own. Prices are accurate at the time of publishing this post.

Princess & Superheroes With One 4 The Kids Events

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Last month we were invited by One 4 The Kids Events to have lunch with Cinderella and Iron Man at Browns Bar & Brasserie, Glasgow.

I decided to use this invite as an excuse for some one on one time with my eldest. So we hopped on a train to Glasgow Queen Street, took a hop skip and a jump across George Square, and arrived at Browns for midday.

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Awaiting us at our table was a little bag with sweet treats for the kids and some colouring sheets and crayons for the kids to colour, and enter in to a competition to win a prize from the special guests!

Next we were served lunch. I had pork belly and Little Squirrel had fish and chips. The staff at Browns were really lovely and welcoming, and the food was served promptly. Little Squirrel’s fish and chips was delicious, however I was a little disappointed with my pork belly as it arrived with noticeably undercooked skin. The meat itself and the trimmings were super delicious, but the skin was nowhere near crispy, and this made the food loving me a little sad!

During lunch Cinderella and Iron Man entered our dining room and made their way around the tables, introducing themselves to all the eager young diners and posed for photos with those who wanted to!

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There was also a face painter there, who could transform your little one in to the princess/superhero/animal… of their choosing. Little Squirrel opted for a Princess design, of course!

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Once everyone had met Cinderella and Iron Man, and had their chance to get a photo, the kids gathered around for story time, with Cinderella reading her own story. The kids hung on her every word as she recounted the tale of the stepmother and stepsisters and her fairy Godmother and Prince Charming. After story time it was time for musical statues, with prizes being handed out to the best participants. Finally Cinderella and Iron Man decided on the best colouring sheet and awarded a prize to the winner.

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It was now time to leave and it was clear that everyone had throughly enjoyed a wonderful couple of hours, judging by the big smiles on the faces of all the kids, and the parents!

One 4 The Kids Events use performers from Wish Upon A Star Entertainment, who I wrote about on my last post, about Little Squirrel’s 5th birthday party. I am a big fan of Wish Upon A Star Entertainment. As a family who love Disney, but can’t stretch to a holiday at one of the Disney Parks, I feel Wish Upon A Star Entertainment, along with One 4 The Kids Events bring a little bit of that Disney magic to Scotland.

One 4 The Kids Events have a huge line up of similar events, ranging from Lunch with Moana to a Jurassic World encounter with an 8 ft T-Rex, to summer craft sessions, on this Summer across Glasgow and Edinburgh. Take a look at their Facebook page for more information and booking. You are guaranteed a magical experience!

Little Squirrel’s 5th Birthday Party with Wish Upon A Star Entertainment Scotland

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Regular readers will have noticed Little Squirrel turned 5 last weekend.
As this is her last year at nursery we decided to invite some of her nursery friends to her birthday party, which meant our numbers were too big for our usual house party.

Initially we were going to book a soft play party, but Little Squirrel requested a princess party instead…
So we booked a local church hall as our venue, and then the hunt was on for the entertainment.
I had a few recommendations for local businesses that could provide a princess for a birthday party, but in the end we decided to go with Wish Upon A Star Entertainment, who I was aware of through Instagram, and who were the most reasonable in terms of value for money!

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If you saw my last post featuring the birthday cake, you will know already the theme of our party was The Little Mermaid, so we booked for a mermaid princess (Ariel) to come to Little Squirrel’s birthday party as the entertainment.

So last weekend in a church hall in Kirkintilloch, Ariel came to entertain Little Squirrel and 15 of her friends as part of her birthday celebration.
She started by introducing herself to the children, and kicked things off by teaching them how to wave, smile, and march like a princess for their very own princess parade.

Next it was storytime; of course our princess read the story of The Little Mermaid… The kids were hanging off her every word. I was really impressed by how she involved the kids in different parts of the story, and injected some humour in to the story as well. She was engaging, and funny, and magical!
The performers at Wish Upon A Star entertainment are all trained to act, walk, and talk just like the characters they are portraying, and our princess really did just that! All the parents were asking me “is she really American?”.ArielstorytimeCollage.jpg

After the story was over, it was time for musical statues, which once again was executed excellently. The kids had to all pretend to be frozen, like when Anna from the movie Frozen turned in to an ice statue. After musical statues there was some time left for musical bumps, and then it was time for the cake presentation…

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Before it was time for Ariel to say Goodbye, we got a chance to have photos taken with her.

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Ariel with the Little Squirrels

For £100 we got a 1 hour princess party package. The whole experience far exceeded my expectations, and Jennifer who played the role of our mermaid princess was just amazing! She really transformed each element of the party from a traditional party game in to something unique and captiviting for her audience. I was really impressed with how well she engaged with all of the kids, with how accurately she played her role, and I think we all fell in love with Ariel a little bit!
I was a little concerned that a princess party would be too girly for some of our male guests (and we couldn’t afford to pay to have a superhero character attend as well) but  boys and girls alike were transfixed by Ariel, and it was clear to see how much the kids enjoyed the mermaid party experience.
I really couldn’t recommend Wish Upon A Star Entertainment highly enough. If you are thinking of hosting a princess/superhero party then check out their Facebook page, or email them with your enquiry at wishuponastarentertainment@yahoo.com

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Little Mermaid Birthday Cake

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We celebrated Little Squirrel’s 5th birthday last weekend, and the requested cake design was Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

I had already seen a Little Mermaid Cake design on a Facebook page that I knew would be perfect…

I adapted the design slightly from the above tutorial, but used this as a guide to the overall finished look I was going for.
I found this tutorial on Youtube for a more “realistic” Sebastian…

Here’s a close up of my Sebastian and Flounder…

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I love how simple and effective the finishing touches on this cake are, from the spirals for seaweed to the conical tubes for coral, not to mention Ariel’s shimmering mermaid tail!

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This was a really fun cake to make, and the birthday girl was thrilled with her 5th birthday cake!

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