Amy’s furry Valentine – A date at Build a Bear

Amy and I had a very special mummy – daughter date this morning. We braved wind and rain and ventured into town to create Amy’s very own furry Valentine on invitation of the lovely people from Build a Bear.

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Amy had been talking about making her own teddy for days, but once we arrived in the workshop and she was presented with the massive shelf of cuddly toys, she got quite overwhelmed by it all. Luckily, we had Lucy by our side. Lucy is one of the chef bearmakers at Build a Bear in Bristol’s Broadmead Galleries and showed Amy the Valentine’s range before helping her to build her very own furry friend. Much to my surprise, Amy didn’t choose the pink Hello Kitty or cute little elephant that I had secretly eyed up when checking out the range at home. Nope, my daughter built the most random creature the workshop has ever seen.

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Roar, that’s what she named her new friend, wears beige Safari trousers, a black and red Heart Throb t-shirt with hood, red sequined pumps and a pink handbag. Oh and do you know the cute sound buttons that you can at to the paws of your cuddly toy? None of that for Amy! Her lion plays the Star Wars theme tune when you press his paw. Don’t ask me why she was drawn to the Star Wars theme tune, she has never even watched any of the movies, but it had to be this sound and no other!

The next step was filling Roar’s belly with lots of with fluff and Lucy really got Amy involved in this part. Amy loved pushing the pedal down and sending lots of fluffy stuffing into her lion’s belly and when it came to giving Roar a shower, she was in her element. The shower made Roar’s fur really soft and fluffy and Amy loved brushing it to make him look extra pretty. Amy got so excited by it, she was still talking about it when I took her up to bed this evening.

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After stuffing, showering and dressing Roar, Amy also made him a birth certificate, which I think is a really lovely part of the experience. Amy is still a little young to understand the whole meaning behind it, but it’s fun touch that makes the experience extra special for older children.

Would I take Amy again? Absolutely! Admittedly, Build a Bear toys are a little more expensive than your average stuffed animal, but Amy really had a magical experience that I am sure we’ll repeat again over the coming months and years. The quality of the toys and the fun little and not so little ones have when creating their special furry friend really makes the extra pounds well spent.

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If you want to build a bear or any of the many other animals available in Build-a-bear workshops, make sure to support the Starlight Children’s Foundation by buying one of the special purple silk hearts available for a £1 donation in store All proceeds go to the “Million Hearts, Million Wishes, Million Ways to Help” campaign that supports seriously ill children.

Another way to get involved with the campaign is using social media. Make a friend and share a photo of them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram using #shareukbabwishes. For every photo shared, £1 will be donated to the campaign! Find more about it here.

We were invited by Build a Bear Workshops to create a Valentine’s friend free of charge. Our views are 100% honest.


Magic Moments: Amy’s first trip to the cinema

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I had been pondering for a couple of weeks now, if I should brave it and take Amy to the cinema. We have enjoyed quite a few Disney movies from the comfort of our home recently and Amy was mesmerised by them, but was she ready for the big screen and sitting still for the length of two hours? I really didn’t know, but seeing that Cinderella and her singing mouse friends kept her entertained for hours, I asked a couple of friends when they had taken their little ones to the cinema for the first time. Most of their children were around Amy’s age when they first went and after hearing mainly positive stories, I thought why not?

I had read so many raving reviews about Disney’s latest movie Frozen that I really wanted to take Amy, so when we sat at home on Saturday and had no idea what to do for the day, I bit the bullet and decided that Saturday would be the day for Amy’s cinema premier.

I showed her the trailer and when she got all excited about Olaf, the snowman, I knew that she would enjoy herself. We went to the afternoon screening at our local leisure complex and just walking into the building made Amy speechless. It has a huge foyer with ticket machines at the side and food stalls at the end of it and I would love to know what went through her little head when we walked through the door and she had no clue what to expect.

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We quickly bought our tickets and before making our way to our screen, we got ourselves the obligatory bag of popcorn, some pick a mix and a couple of drinks. Amy was rather chuffed with her selection of sweets was in absolute awe when she saw the big screen come alive.

As expected, she wasn’t too keen on sitting still, but luckily, there were only about 20 people in the cinema, so she could have a little wander around the room without disturbing anyone. The film itself was absolutely gorgeous and Amy enjoyed it just as much as I did. The storyline was easy enough for her to follow and the characters really appealed to her.

I’m not going to write a full-blown review on this occasion, there are plenty of them out there for you to read, but Frozen is definitely a movie that is worth watching, if you are after the perfect mix of drama, action and romance. Throw in a beautiful soundtrack and great animations and you have a movie for all the family. Amy and I enjoyed it so much that we will be pre-ordering the DVD – what more can you ask from a first trip to the cinema?

When did you first take your little ones to the cinema and what did you watch?


Dinner a la Amy: Cat stuffed with mushrooms and pepper

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Amy has been a little gourmet from quite an early age on. Her favourite is garlic and balsamic vinegar encrusted pork fillet with sautéed potatoes and pan-fried green asparagus, but she also loves Thai green curry or pickled chillies. Last night however, she had a rather different suggestion when I asked her what we wanted to cook for dinner.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: What do we want to eat for dinner tonight, Amy?

Amy: Betty! (the cat)

Me: Are you sure?

Amy: Yes, she’s yummy!

Me (playing along and obviously not considering doing any of it): Ok, shall we cook her or put her in the oven?

Amy: In the oven, it’s hot!

Me: And what do we want to have her with?

Amy: Mushrooms in her belly and pepper on her ears.

Doesn’t that sound tasty, who’s coming round for dinner? 

Disclaimer: No pets have been harmed during dinner preparations! 

Wot So Funee?


2013 in photos and our plans for 2014

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2013 hasn’t been an easy year for us as a family. There were more downs than ups, lots of struggles that I might or might not blog about in the future, but for the moment they are too raw to share with the world and the one person who has made me smile through it all every single day was Amy.

She’s really kept me going and made me put on a brave face when all I wanted to do was pull a blanket over my head and have a good old cry. She’s come on leaps over the last 12 months and my clumsy toddler has turned into a beautiful and empathetic little girl that knows exactly when I need a big hug, cheeky grin or one of her crazy stunts to cheer me up.

I can’t even say how much I love her. She really is my absolute everything and I am determined to make 2014 a year full of fun for us. I want to enjoy every single moment with her and make memories that we’ll never forget. Life is too short for negativity and what ifs, so this year will be all about grabbing every opportunity that comes our way and making the most of everything.

I also want to make Mummy Alarm more about us as a family. At the moment, it has more of a magazine(y) feel to it with lots of lifestyle and advice posts, but I created this space to record our life as a family and I feel like this has somehow taken a step back.

In 2014, I want to post a seasonal recipe every Monday from next week onward, a fun craft on Tuesday and my Wednesday Wishlist will be up and running every Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays will be open for any personal musings and on Saturday and Sunday, I will be sharing my favourite photos of the week as well as a post about our favourite children’s book of the last seven days. I hope you’ll enjoy it and stick around.

Lots of love and Happy New Year to you all!