With the start of the summer holidays, I don’t envy the working mum who has to somehow juggle full-time work with young children looking to be kept animated for seven days each week – luckily, with my little one still at the age of three I can find some comfort in the regular opening hours of the nursery!
And so, the launch of Tickety Toc’s very first toy range could not have come at a better time – and to top it off, taking place in the toy heaven that is Hamleys on Regent Street.
Tommy and Tallulah, stars of the show which screens on both Nick Jr and Channel 5’s Milkshake, were there in all their (bigger than) life-sized glory to greet the VIP testers, who included Denise Van Outen joined by husband Lee Mead and their daughter Betsy.
Other VIPs enjoying a day out with the family included Tamzin Outhwaite, John Sergeant, Laila Rouass, Lauren Crace, Charlie Condou, Shaun Dooley and Luisa Zissman.
The children were all smiles as they joined in with the activities and dancing led by Channel 5’s Milkshake! presenters Kemi and Olivia.
While the obvious point of conversation was the fact that Van Outen and Mead were pictured out together for the first time in months, helping to put to bed rumours of marriage problems – I took the opportunity to chat to TV presenter Kate Garraway and see if she had any tips about the joys of juggling.
Mum to Darcey, seven, and William, three, 45 year old Garraway gave a wry smile when I asked for her words of wisdom.
‘Like alot of parents out there these days I do rely on my own parents – their grandparents – who help to look after the children when I’m working, but when it comes to summer, everyone, even my parents want to take their holidays, so I’d definitely advise people to plan, so no-one gets left in the lurch’.
The Tickety Toc toy range is available from a range of retailers including Argos, Smyths and Amazon and include talking Tommy and Tallulahs, a Clockhouse playset, and a musical Pufferty train, with prices ranging from £6.99 to £30.
One of the nicest ladies in showbiz, it’s always a pleasure to catch up with singer, Britain’s Got Talent judge – and most importantly, fellow working mum Alesha Dixon.
Bumping into her at the Little Black Dress cocktail party, in the glamorous surroundings of Piccadilly’s Hotel Café Royal, she broke the news that she’s joined the online retailer and fashion brand’s board of directors.
Fresh from releasing her latest album Do It For Love, Dixon spoke of her desire to see Little Black Dress develop into ‘more of a lifestyle brand’, for the company to forge links with charities such as domestic abuse charity Refuge and plans to create her own collection early next year. And so, yet another string to add to her bow.
Dixon, who’s mum to daughter Azura Sienna (who recently turned two), was all smiles as we discussed our little ones, using the words ‘it’s great, isn’t it?’ to describe parenthood. Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself! Juggling motherhood and the world of work is never an easy one, but it always helps to do it with a smile!
I’m still recovering from celebrating my boy’s 2nd birthday over the weekend, but so glad we were able to treat him to a gala screening of the new Paw Patrol film, Mighty Pups on Sunday.
Like many other two year olds, he’s a huge fan and thoroughly enjoyed it – to be fair, even my nine year old admitted to enjoying it!
The screening in Leicester Square was full of excited children, as well as a few celebrities with their little Paw Patrol fans – most of whom couldn’t wait to pose with the life-sized pups!
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of my boy with any of the characters from the film, as he refused to let me put him down when we arrived – isn’t it weird how kids get freaked out when they see cartoon characters in real life?
The film follows the usual format of the regular episodes, ie, ending with the pups saving the day, but facing bigger and more problems when some certain residents of Adventure Bay end up with super powers. And at just under an hour in length, it’s not too long for our fidgety kids.
Paw Patrol, Mighty Pups is out today (May 17), for all you dedicated parents!
I’m going to try and to be a bit more prepared for the next school holiday and think about things to do with the kids in advance, and not just leave it to the night before!
I’m lucky to have discovered 5 Minute Fun who come up with simple – and enjoyable! – ideas to keep little fingers busy and most importantly allowing you to grab five minutes to yourself.
It was great to see both my toddler and nine year working together to make a fabulous owl from the goody bag they kindly gifted us!
I’ve spoken before about how difficult it is to get them to enjoy the same activity, so this was a Godsend.
And the activity cards (only £1.99 atm!) could keep the whole family occupied for ages doing little fun tasks, in the house or outside, which don’t involve any extra cash being spent.
Check them out ahead of the forthcoming Easter holidays!