We Love Charlie’s Toy Shop!

Jo with Jenni from Charlie's Toy Shop

When Thomas was a few months old, I volunteered to host a social event for my local NCT branch in my home and it was to be a pizza and a toy shop party. The toy shop bit of the party was sorted by Charlie’s Toy Shop and it is run by a lovely fellow local mum called Jenni. Jenni came to my house earlier than everyone else to set up and we ended up having a good chat and getting on like we had known each other for ages, despite not meeting until that evening. When the party started, Jenni told a story about her having a condition called Factor V Leiden which is a genetic condition that means you are more susceptible to blood clots. Jenni suffered a clot a couple of years after her son Charlie had been born and decided that she wanted a change of career to spend more time with her son and enjoy life in general. With her nursery nurse qualification and sales training, opening a toy shop seemed the natural thing to do.

Ever since that evening, which was nearly 5 years ago, I have regularly purchased toys and games from Jenni as they are always excellent quality, they are always educational and the delivery always comes with a smile! Therefore,  I jumped up and down with excitement when a few months ago, Jenni asked me to be an ambassador for Charlie’s Toy Shop and help spread the work about the fantastic and personal service she provides. Unfortunately, due to Thomas’ accident earlier on the summer (more will be explained in a blog post on my new parenting, travel and lifestyle blog which is launching soon) I have had not had the chance to tell you until now. The ambassadorship will mostly be mentioned on my new blog but having known Jenni for so long, I felt I could not leave this blog without mentioning Charlie’s Toy Shop and the amazing work she does. Over the years, we have had many toys from Jenni but a few of the boy’s favourites are below:

Charlie's Toy ShopBright Stanley Book and Jigsaw Set

Charlie's Toy ShopWater Wow! Pet Mazes

Charlie's Toy ShopMy First Addition Snap

Charlie's Toy ShopABC Sticker Book

I look forward to telling you even more about Jenni and Charlie’s Toy Shop on my new parenting, lifestyle and travel blog which I am launching in the next couple of weeks. Thank you Jenni for choosing me to be your ambassador. I am very honoured and proud to shout about Charlie’s Toy Shop far and wide!








Why Writing Matters & National Stationary Week 2016

NSW 2013 with date and website and partners (no website)This week, it is National Stationary Week #NatStatWeek  and with Thomas starting school in September, this year it is more important to us than ever. Thomas loves going to preschool and nursery and they have provided him with a great foundation for him to build on when he starts reception later on in the year. However, an issue that preschool, nursery and I struggle with is actually getting Thomas to sit down and write anything.  He would rather be playing with friends, watching the TV or playing outside. The preschool and nursery are not that worried about it as when he is in the mood, he can write beautifully. I just worry as my writing is awful and I prefer to use a computer/tablet myself for taking notes. Technology is increasingly taking over our life’s and I want to do everything that I can to ensure that Thomas and Daniel can write and write well.

Thomas' handwriting

Here are some reasons as to why writing matters and why we should be encouraging our children to keep on writing!

  1. It is fail-safe. You do not need to worry about batteries dying or hard drives breaking. Your writing is simple there!
  2. Knowledge is power. Your brain takes in more information when you are writing it down
  3. Hand writing enhances brain activity and memory keeping young (and older!) minds sharp!
  4. Hand writing encourages imagination and simulates the brain. As Thomas and Daniel gets older I would like them writing stories and making their imaginations come alive!
  5. There is nothing more personal than a handwritten letter saying thank you or congratulations. The handwritten cards are always opened first.

National Stationary Week Goodies

We were sent some items to help us celebrate National Stationary week. Thomas loves the pencils and the pencil sharpener while I love the notebooks, the coloured pens and the gorgeous handbag pen. National Stationary week is carrying on all week until Sunday 1st May so make sure you follow all the action on Twitter.

Follow @NatStatWeek on Twitter and make sure you are using the following hashtags:






Happy writing everyone!

We were sent some items from National Stationary Week sponsors in exchange for this post. All opinions are own.

Paw Patrol: Pups & The Pirate Treasure DVD Review And Free Printables!

Paw Patrol


Thomas and Daniel love Paw Patrol so when they found out that a new DVD was coming out. They were very excited! Pups And Pirate Treasure DVD features six episodes of the hit TV series and is sure to keep your little ones entertained over Easter! It’s the pirate pup’s life in these six PAW Patrol adventures! Join the pups as they discover a secret pirate cave and embark on a treasure hunt! Plus, stop a ghostly pirate ship from sailing away and dive into the bay for more water rescues.
The spirited pre-school adventure series returns as the gang stumble on to a secret cavern that was once a pirate’s hideout where they discover an incomplete treasure map. The adventure is on as the pups follow clues to find the missing map pieces, and eventually to a sunken pirate treasure!
Catch up with Ryder and the puzzle solving dream team this Easter half term as the pup pals get ready to sail the stormy seas to rescue their friends, and find the hidden treasure!

Thomas and Daniel loved all the episodes on the DVD despite seeing them many times on the TV already. They love seeing pirate ships and finding the treasure. Daniel also loves seeing anyone wearing hats so this fits the bill for him, even though he does not fully understand what is going on. I am sure this will be played many times over the Easter break!

Just in case, the DVD will not keep your pirates occupied over the Easter break, I have some free printables that they can colour in. The PDF file is here and the images are below

Paw Patrol Sheet 1 Paw Patrol sheet 2 Paw Patrol sheet 3


Who is your favourite Paw Patrol character? I like Skye and Everest!

Title: Paw Patrol: Pups And The Pirate Treasure

Release Date: 14th March 2016

Runtime: 89 mins (1 disc)

RRP: £9.99

Certificate: U

Special Features: Video storybook: Pup, Pup and Away




3.       SAVE THE BAY


5.       POOL DAY

6.       CIRCUS PUP


We were sent a copy of Paw Patrol: Pups And The Pirate Treasure in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own. We were not required to give a positive review. There is an affiliate link in this post

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