Our new Sylvanian Families obsession

A loves little dolls an little figures.  Her dolls houses and little plastic characters are the things she plays with the most and it is lovely to watch her sit and do role play with them.  Having previously had boys, I had never considered Sylvanian Families before but whenever I have seen them, I have always thought that they looked very cute and definitely something that I would have loved when I was a little girl.

So as you can imagine, when I handed A the package to open and she found a Sylvanian Families set inside, she was just a little bit excited.

Sylvanian Families 1

She had never seen Sylvanian Families before and we had a nice time looking at the set and then we spent some time on the iPad looking at the different families that you can buy.  We were sent Freya’s Day at the Seaside (RRP £12.99) which includes Freya Chocolate Rabbit in a swimsuit, a table and umbrella, deck chair, swimming ring, towel, bag and even a glass of orange juice.

Sylvanian Families 2

A got to work straight away setting up the set and she loved all the little things which she enjoyed using in her little role play game that followed.

Sylvanian Families 3

Freya the rabbit is really cute and I hadn’t realised that the Sylvanian Families animals are made of flocked plastic, so they are really soft to touch which makes them extra sweet.

Sylvanian Families 4

A has been playing with Freya endlessly over the last few days and has used it with other toys to make little seaside role plays.  The set fits in well with her dolls house and other small toy sets and I have been pleased to see that it has encouraged A’s imaginary play.   I am also impressed with the quality of the set and the attention to detail is amazing.

Sylvanian Families 6

We have been on the website a few times now looking at the different sets and I have realised that I may have created a monster as A is busy making a list of the many, many sets that she wants and I have a feeling that we could be having a Sylvanian Family birthday and Christmas this year.  You can create whole towns with the sets and there are lots of different animals to choose from too.

Sylvanian Families 7


We were sent the Sylvanian Families set for the purpose of this review.  All images and opinions are our own.

All I want for summer is a large paddling pool

When the weather is good, we love nothing more than spending time in the garden. We have a big collection of outdoor toys and games that we have collected over the years.  We are lucky enough to have a reasonably sized garden and if you ask the children what they like doing out there, R and L would say playing football or cricket and A likes bouncing on the trampoline. But the one thing they would all agree on is playing in the paddling pool. They love it.

paddling pool

Last year, we bought a large inflatable paddling pool and during the really hot weather, the children were in and out of it all of the time. It easily fitted all three of them and they splashed, wrestled, squirted each other and chilled out to cool down.  Even the teen was a fan and it was lovely to see him enjoying some fun play with his younger siblings in the pool.

They each have their favourite things to do in the pool

R invented his own ‘poolympics’ and tried to find a range of different ways to dive into the pool. He spends many happy hours running and diving to see how big a splash he can create.  He dives and somersaults into the pool like a lunatic usually managing to water the whole garden in the process.

paddling pool fun

The teen will play but is far happier on his own, sat in a chair with his feet cooling off in the pool, reading or checking on life via his phone.  He can also be a complete trickster and last summer he snook upstairs and filled some water bombs to launch on his unsuspecting brothers who were lounging in the pool below. Cue much screaming and laughter.

paddling pool

L like making waves and tends to walk and run around the pool and then then the garden and back to the pool again before getting into a kicking splash fight with his brother.

paddling pool

A prefers a quieter time in the pool.  She will get into the rough and tumble with her brothers but she like to take watering cans and cups into the pool and play making drinks for everyone.

paddling pool fun

I bought some cheap water guns from the local supermarket and they all spent many happy hours running around the garden squirting each other like crazy.

Lots of people I know have invested in proper easy up pools with chemicals and I have thought about it, but in the end I have dragged our inflatable pool out for another summer and as it cost around £40, I think it was great value for the amount of fun we have all had with it and whatever your garden size, there is always a paddling pool to fit.

Outdoor fun doesn’t have to be expensive and it is always lots of fun.

This post was written in association with Homebase

Flapjacks, anuses and emotional swings

I am pleased to announce that true ‘funee’ form has resumed in the Stressy house this week.

First up we had R’s first set of proper sex education lessons in school which he seemed to find quite amusing.  On the way home from school, I asked home, I was asking him what he had leant about and he said it was all about hormones and emotional swings.  At this point, L rushes over thinking he has missed something and asks; “what swings are those, are we going to a new park?”  R and I both burst into laughter leaving L looking slightly puzzled until I could stop laughing long enough to explain.

Daddy was the next ‘funee’ of the week when he asked the children who had been eating flapjack in the shower.  After a while, it occurred to me that the ‘flapjack’ was in fact my new handmade soap with oats in.  Silly daddy.

Last but no means least was little miss A.  When we lie in bed in the evening after a story, she often sits and talks to her toys and plays for a few minutes.  One evening she had renamed one of her teddy bears Anus.    I tried not to draw too much attention to this and suggested that maybe she meant Angus to which she replied that it was Anus.  I smiled to myself and mentioned it to the world of Twitter as it had amused me.  At least four people quickly replied that Anus the bear must be a cousin of Winne the Pooh.  This made me chuckle even more.  Luckily, Anus the bear has reverted back to good old Beary again now, which I am quite relieved about.


 Wot So Funee?

Summer holidays: love them or hate them?

That time is nearly upon us again and for some is already here. Cries of “where did that year go?” heard from many passing parents and lots of smiles and fist punches from the school children soon to be given their freedom for six weeks.

There has been a lot of talk about school holidays changing and I have no doubt that the summer holidays will eventually be cut short. Six weeks is a long time, I accept that, but I love it. I love the summer holidays. I love the freedom of lazy mornings, not having to drag my children into uniform and battling with their hair. For a few weeks, there will be no more morning grumpiness or shouting over breakfast.

Instead there will be calm, sitting around in pyjamas, breakfast on the patio (if it doesn’t rain), day trip and picnics.  It doesn’t matter if it rains but sunshine would be lovely.  I’m sure that there will be arguments; my boys can only be nice to each other for so long and my little diva always gets squawky when she’s not the centre of attention or tired, but it doesn’t matter.  Everything seems easier for us without the constraints of the school day.

I know that I am lucky.  Being a work at home mum, I don’t have the headache of finding childcare for the holiday and I know how expensive it is too.  I also have my husband at home most of the time which can be a godsend at times.

I hear so many parents moaning about the summer holidays; the length, the cost, having to find things to do and sometimes just having to spend time with their children, but why not embrace the time.  Children grow up so quickly that they probably won’t want to spend the holidays with you when they are teenagers.  The holidays don’t have to be stressful; the internet is full of budget ideas to keep the children amused.  Try having a boredom box filled with things to do.  Rotate different games and toys for them to play with.  A good sized paddling pool is worth hours of fun and they have really come down in price this year.

Summer holidays are time for some quality family time.  Money is always tight this time of year, so budgeting is essential and we try to do things that cost no or little money.  Planning is key and we  always have a plan of the things that we want to do and a rough idea when we want to do them.

The most important thing is that we always look back on our summer holidays fondly for months and years afterwards.  Happy days.

Bring it on, I can’t wait.  See you at the beach.summer



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