17 August 2016

Edinburgh Foodies Festival 2016

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The other half and I were invited along to the Foodies Festival in Edinburgh on Saturday 6th August for some food and drinks tastiness. As with previous years the festival didn’t disappoint. The sun was shining loads, so much in fact I got a great tan, there were plenty of stalls to eat from and plenty of food and drink stalls to buy from as well.

Here’s a little bit of background on the festival: “Foodies Festival was born in 2006 in Edinburgh, founder Sue Hitchen’s home city. Sue wanted to start a fun, family festival that celebrated local food and gave michelin star and top chefs the opportunity to cook their favourite recipes to a foodie audience. The first Foodies launched as part of the Edinburgh Festival and saw Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart cook for the crowd. Visitors enjoyed Foodies Festival so much that Sue was encouraged to bring the festival to other cities across the country. Starting in Brighton, launching the first food festival at Hampton Court Palace, and then expanding to Oxford, Bristol, Battersea Park, Clapham Common, Tatton Park, Ripley Castle near Harrogate and London’s Syon Park, Blackheath and Alexandra Palace.”

The festival was held at Inverleith Park, as per previous years, and is dog friendly so we took our little Frenchie along for the day. You can of course take children along as under 12s are free (when with an adult) however there isn’t that much for younger children to do, unless they're major food fans, hence why we left our two with granny. If you do take the kids be sure to book them into the children's cookery school though as that's always a winner. There’s plenty to see, smell and taste at the Foodies Festival so here’s a few snaps of our day.









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12 August 2016

Review & Giveaway: Finding Dory Dobble Card Game

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With Finding Dory now out in cinemas there’s plenty of merchandise floating around to keep the kids enthralled and entertainment by the loveable cute short termed memory fish. One of the fab pieces available is the great Finding Dory Dobble card game by Asmodee. If you’ve played the original Dobble game then you’ll know how fun and fasted paced it can be. This version is aimed at the younger generation and is perfect to get the kids brain’s ticking and the senses firmly on acute concentration mode.

Finding Dory Dobble is a game of speed, observation and reflexes. Something a lot of kids seem to be really good at, especially observation! It’s a fun filled race to find the one matching image between one card and another. The images may be different sizes and placed on any part of the card, making them difficult to spot thus heightening the tension of who will win first. Every card is unique and has only one picture in common with every other card in the deck. Sometimes you’re staring for ages and think they’ve got one wrong but there definitely is an image shared with every card. It works on some sort of algorithm which my brain is too dumb to  figure out! There’s 30 cards in the game which feature 6 images from the Finding Dory movie and like the original Dobble, the Finding Dory version offers 5 mini games which are quick and simple for children from 4+ to play with adults or friends. Each game should last around 10 minutes and can be played by 2-5 players at a time.


The game comes in minimal packaging of a small cardboard box with easy open plastic cover. Inside is the game itself contained in a cute Finding Dory tin complete with Nemo by her side. This tin can fit in the palm of your hand and is perfect to keep all the cards and instructions in. It’s especially great for travelling and can be played in the smallest of spaces, from the car to an aeroplane. I’ve taken the original Dobble travelling with us quite a few times in the UK and abroad as it’s perfect to keep Logan occupied especially whilst waiting in airport lounges. The Finding Dory version came with us recently when we travelled to Spain and was perfect when Logan required some down time from all the holiday buzz.


As mentioned there's 5 mini games to play and all are very simple and easy for a young child to grasp. The first is The Rapids. You basically set out 4 cards face up for your child, 6 cards face up for the adult and one card face up in the middle. The player to identify the matching picture for each of their cards, shout it out and turn their cards face down first is the winner. The second game called The Coral Reef is very similar but instead of putting your cards face down you have to shout out the matching picture to the card in the middle then place your card on top. Winner is the person who places all their cards in the middle first. The third game is The Waterfall. One card is placed face down in front of each player and the rest are face up in the middle. The winner is basically the person who claims most cards from the middle by matching and shouting out the picture match first. Game four is the revers of game three and is called The Water Vortex. The last mini game is called The Hermit Crab. Each player gets a card face down and the rest are piled face up in the middle. On the word "Go" players must turn over their card and try to match it with another players cards. The winner is the player with the least cards when the middle pile is empty.

So what did Logan and I think? We basically loved it. Although Logan’s 6 and can play the original Dobble this Finding Dory version gave him more of a chance of winning and spotting the symbols himself which boosted his confidence a lot. It kept us entertained for a good 30 minutes trying out all of the different mini games and because there’s 5 you can do a best out of 5 wins overall which is quite good. The only thing he grumbled at is he hasn’t seen the Finding Dory movie yet, I know bad Mummy, so he was a bit stuck for names but the instructions with the game do tell you the names so wasn’t that bad.


You can purchase Finding Dory Dobble directly from Amazon (RRP £12.99) or you could try your luck to win one of these fab Dobble games in my giveaway!!

To be in with a chance of winning simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below.


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11 August 2016

Learning from Baby Number One

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When you have your first child it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It’s a major learning curve no matter what age you are and for most of us you’re basically winging it and hoping for the best, I’m still doing it now! I’ve often heard people say that child number one is a practice run, ha ha, but now that I’ve had a second child there’s a few things I’ve learnt from the first and I’d love to share a few of these wisdom's with you lot. It’s nothing hard and fast and of course I’m still learning, every day’s a school day, hopefully some of these ring true with other parents though.

Milestones
Don’t stress about the milestones. When my son was born I was fixated on him reaching every milestone along with his peers but really I shouldn’t have bothered. In the end he was diagnosed with Autism and so didn’t reach some of his milestones like other kids however putting all that pressure on myself as a parent wasn’t healthy and kids will eventually reach their milestones when they are ready. Logan is hitting plenty of milestones and has even completed some ahead of other kids in his peer group. Now I’m just happy as long as he’s happy and there’s no pressure for anyone, as long as he’s trying his best that’s all I can ask even from myself.

Eating a pear all by herself!

When Harlow came along I didn’t really bother about milestones after my experience with Logan. Of course I made sure she was developing and doing the usually baby stuff but it’s never been a worry and I know she’ll get there when she’s ready. She’s currently picking up the odd few words and trying to chat to us which is very cute.

Stuff
Hands up who actually bought the whole of Mothercare before their first baby even arrived? I know I tried to and to be honest a baby doesn’t really need that much stuff at all. As long as they’re fed, clean, clothed and have somewhere to sleep all is good. I remember having a panic before Logan was born thinking I hardly had anything but in the end he didn’t use much of his things until he was a good few months old. With Harlow I didn’t rush out to buy a cot and only got her nursery ready not long before she arrived. I hardly bought any clothes at all and only the basics of a few vests and sleepsuits and she was quite happy. People are also very generous when a new baby is born so you always get tons of stuff so best saving your pennies for the essentials.

Harlow's hand me down toys from Logan.

Other People’s Kids
I seem to be a lot more tolerant of other people’s kids now after having a couple myself and whereas I may have been a bit over protective of Logan when he was little I’m now a lot more relaxed with Harlow. She’s got much more freedom than Logan ever did, poor soul, and my parenting skills have chilled when it comes to certain aspects. I think it’s a natural progression and you kind of have to or you just end up stressing yourself out over nothing.

Playing with awesome friends.

Feeding
My son definitely won’t be getting a McDonald’s, or chocolate, or sweeties, only healthy wholesome food for him. Bahahahaha, what was I thinking! I managed to stave off the junk food for as long as possible with Logan however I wasn’t going to deny him, life’s too short. With Harlow however she could see everything that Logan was getting so as soon as she could start eating she was all over chocolate and McDonald’s chips like a rash. Of course the kids get healthy meals most nights of the week from things like tasty cooked chicken and veg, mince and tatties, lasagne and garlic bread etc but come on! As long as your kids have a balanced diet who cares if they eat the odd McDonald’s or stuff their face with a whole bag of sweets every now and again. Life’s all about balance and remember how I talked about winging it!?

Quavers - no f***s given!

I'd love to hear what you've learned from baby number two so please feel free to share in the comments.

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10 August 2016

Review: Dotty Fish Leather Baby Shoes

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Finding the right shoes for your child can often be a pain in the bum. You worry about sizing, do they fit correctly are they too tight? You then see the price tag and worry about that, why pay so much when their feet grow so fast! And of course you want them to look good and match with your child’s cute and stylish outfits which often means you have to purchase a few pairs to go with different things. Ah the stress, I can feel the pressure building already. Picking shoes for your little one shouldn’t have to be so complicated and that’s where Dotty Fish come in.

Dotty Fish started back in January 2006 when Helen Chapman’s son, Joshua, was not yet one and he was given a gift of a pair of baby shoes that were very expensive. Helen tells us more: “I wanted to purchase some more but I couldn’t find anything at a reasonable price. I decided to do some research to see if I could come up with a more affordable shoe. This developed into “ShimmyShoes”, my first range of baby shoes. They proved very popular and went from strength to strength. I decided in July 2009, with things tough for everyone, to introduce a recession friendly shoe, and the “My Twinkle Toe” range was introduced along with a new website. “My Twinkle Toes” was featured as a successful on-line business and was shown as part of the ITV Programme “Tonight”. You can see a recording of the show below. We have carried on expanding, introducing more and more designs and all at affordable prices so there is something for everyone! We are constantly adding new lines to the collection and as we now do more than soft leather baby shoes we decided to re-brand and we have now become “dottyfish leather baby shoes + bibs + bobs”.”


Dotty Fish offer a wide range of gorgeous leather shoes for babies and kids up to the age of 5 years. They have lots of different colours, designs and styles to choose from and I was really happy when Harlow was sent a little pair for her holidays. Being the lush soft leather that they are the shoes Harlow received were perfect for the hot weather. Whilst her feet where becoming hot and sweaty in the more solid shoes I’d brought along the Dotty Fish leather shoes looked more comfortable and didn’t leave any marks on her feet. She would run around by the pool, at the park or in the zoo quite happily with her new shoes and they protected her feet really well. One other thing which I love about these shoes is that they never fell off! Harlow’s a bit of a diva, preferring to feel the fresh air on her toes, but even she struggled to successfully pull the shoes off. She did manage one at some point on the holiday which was a vast improvement on having to put her shoes back on at least 50 times a day.

Harlow received a pair of the very sweet Cupcake baby leather shoes which have, as you guessed, a cupcake motif on the front. They’re lovely little shoes and because of their bold design they really go with anything. The beauty of the Dotty Fish shoes though are they’re only £7.99 each!! What a bargain. It means you can easily get a few pairs without breaking the bank in the process. I also like using them when Harlow attends her little music classes as everyone takes their shoes off (it’s comfier) but I don’t want her getting cold feet so she wears her leather shoes. It still means she can run around quite happy and they give extra grip on the slippy floor.
As you can see from the photos above the shoes are still in good condition even after a hefty wear and tear from Harlow on our holiday. She was wearing them outside totally fine and that was running around mad by the pool, at the play park and anywhere else we went.

Dotty Fish aren’t just all about the shoes though, there’s some awesome tag blankets available from as little as £6.99. There’s some beautiful designs to choose from as well that’ll be sure to keep your baby happy and content for that well earned hot cuppa you’ve desperately been trying to have.

To give you a helping hand Dotty Fish have a special 10% discount code for all of my lovely readers. Just type in code: BREASTESTNEWS10DF at the check out, it’s valid until the 31st October 2016.

Overall the quality, price point and style of the products speak for themselves. They really are lovely, comfy for Harlow to wear and definitely stay on her feet for longer than other shoes on the market. Dotty Fish have the option to buy gift boxsets as well so an excellent birthday, Christmas or new baby gift. I’ll definitely be recommending to family and friends.

Please visit www.dottyfish.com for more products and information. You can also see what they get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello!


I was sent a pair of Dotty Fish shoes for Harlow in return for an honest review.

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4 August 2016

Our Summer Holiday Trip to Spain

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The school holidays are a brilliant time to get the family together however sometimes those 6 weeks feel like a life sentence as it’s so hard to stop the kids from getting bored. It’s especially tough for Logan as he thrives better on routine and not having anything set out from day to day can be difficult for him to process. To break up the 6 weeks a little bit for us I booked up a summer holiday to Benalmadena in Spain. It was a short flight from Edinburgh airport (2.5hrs, 3hrs at most) and a short bus ride to our accommodation. I played it safe and went for a week as after a little while Logan starts to miss home. And lets be honest a holiday with kids is never really a holiday as everyone’s running around so by the end you’re knackered and need a holiday from the holiday!

Edinburgh Airport’s additional needs team were amazing as always. I think that’s about the 5th time we’ve used their services and they honestly can’t be any more accommodating so if you’re travelling from Edinburgh Airport with anyone who has Autism (or any other needs) please do get in touch with them as it’ll make your airport experience a hell of a lot less stressful.

Anyway I booked us up to stay at the Los Patos Park hotel which is brilliant for kids with lots of water slides, a water play area, play park, kids club and plenty of entertainment on every night to keep the family happy. I normally book a villa as it’s like a home from home for Logan but thought I’d try something different this time. It was good, just so so busy and we all sort of got fed up on the same food after a week in the hotel so I definitely think our next holiday will be back to a villa for us. At least we tired it though and Benalmadena has a lot to offer families with young kids from the Bioparc Zoo, Sea Life Centre, Dolphin Park, Crocodile Park, Butterfly Farm, Cable Cars up the mountain and the Tivoli World theme park. We tried a good few of these parks and all were fab although Tivoli World doesn’t offer any service to people with disabilities so just be aware of this in case it applies to your family. Luckily for us when we went it wasn’t really busy and Logan got on most rides first time with no issues, thank goodness for that I tell you!

All in all we had a lovely week away, there were a few stress filled moments but that’s to be expected with going to a new place for Logan. I’ve got more trips planned for the rest of the year which we’re all looking forward to but here’s some photos of our time in Benalmadena for you to look at.











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27 July 2016

Review: Polarn O. Pyret Children's Clothes

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Most of you will know by now that I love a good piece of clothing for the kids so I was really delighted when Polarn O. Pyret sent over some fab holiday clothes for the kids to review before we all jetted off to sunny Benalmadena.

Here’s a little bit about the lovely brand that is Polarn O. Pyret for those who aren’t familiar with them. Believe it or not they started out in the 1900s as a company selling condoms! A young man named Nils Adamsson travelled around Sweden selling sewing machines and was struck by the size of families – and how poor they were. He wanted to help them have fewer children so in 1909, Adamsson bought a tobacco shop in Falk√∂ping, where he began selling condoms imported from Germany. Medical products were also sold alongside tobacco which gave the business a certain legitimacy. Then during the war in 1939-45, baby products began to be sold under the name of “Pyret”. How very interesting I hear you say!


Polarn O. Pyret are a brand that designs, produces and distributes throughout it’s own stores, concessions and of course online. And are firmly established as the leading childrenswear brand in Sweden at the moment. Their clothes are recognised for their quality, function and design so I’m guessing you’ll be desperate to know if they managed to stand up to the heat of the Spanish sun as well as some kids play.

Harlow received a gorgeous floral baby dress with matching bow headband to try out whilst Logan was sent a striped kids t-shirt and kids denim shorts for his holibags. You might think I was a bit mad to receive the denim shorts however they were perfect as the denim is thin, lightweight, 100% cotton and are three quarter length which covered Logan’s knees. Very handy since he fell and hurt his knee on the second day of our holiday and then had a big scab which he wouldn’t stop touching! With these shorts at least covering his knees it gave him some protection and made him forget a little. The shorts are super easy for Logan to pull on and off when required with an elasticated waist and have a tie at the front so no falling down by themselves. The tie is long enough to put in a bow and stayed in fine when Logan was wearing them, he even wore these shorts home on the plane as they are super comfy and stopped him from getting hot and irritable whilst travelling. The t-shirt was a perfect match with pale and dark blue strips as well as some white thrown into the mix. It’s super soft, 100% cotton and is a great fit. Logan received the 7-8 years size and even though he’s 6 (he’s very tall and looks more like 9) the t-shirt was perfect for his size. He genuinely loved both items himself due to the softness (being autistic he likes soft things against his skin) and because they were blue which is his favourite colour.


As for Harlow’s dress it is super cute and swishy and the matching bow headband just sets it off nicely. The dress is really soft so perfect for little toddlers delicate skin and it goes on easily with only a few buttons to do up the front and that’s you. Handy when you have an octopus of a toddler like mine. It’s a short sleeved dress which is ideal for warmer weather and because it’s quite light weight it doesn’t get in the way of any climbing fun. Harlow made sure of that anyway. The only thing about the dress is that the material seems to crease easily however because it’s swishy you don’t really notice as much as you would a smaller fitted dress. Harlow’s still on the small size for her age and even though we received a 12-18 month sized dress it still looked a wee bit big but not overly so.


All of these pieces are currently in the Polarn O. Pyret 60% off sale so if you’re heading off on holiday soon or your kids just need some new togs then be sure to head on over to their website and check it out. There’s still plenty of stock left and I’ve already spotted some cute bits for Harlow.

Overall brilliant kids clothes which are fabulous quality and made even better when you can purchase in the sale. I’ve previously bought Harlow some long sleeved dresses and romper suits from Polarn O. Pyret and I’m always happy with the quality of the garments. They wash really well and I’d definitely recommend to friends and family. Happy shopping!


Please visit www.polarnopyret.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what they get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over for a nosey.

I was sent these children's clothes in return for an honest review.

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30 June 2016

The Man's Birthday Weekend at Bluestone

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It was the other half's birthday a few weeks ago so I decided to treat him (and the kids) to a long weekend at the lovely Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales. I'd noticed a lot of good reviews and write ups from quite a few different bloggers so thought why not give it a go and see what all the fuss is about. I'm glad we did as it really was fab.

Bluestone is a lot bigger than I thought it would be hence why I'm very thankful that we hired a golf buggy to drive around in before we arrived. You can book tons of activities and extras on the Bluestone website when you've confirmed and paid for your accommodation. It's well worth having a look and doing this prior to arriving as the park can get quite busy. I even purchased a food welcome hamper so that we would have something to eat for us in the self catering lodge. Someone forgot to put it in our lodge though for our arrival so after a few phone calls and a visit from a park ranger we were all good to go.

Luckily for us, the weekend we arrived, it actually wasn't busy at all and I'd only booked Logan into one activity but managed to book him in for lots more at his request. The staff at Bluestone are great and couldn't have been more accommodating, even to the point that the lovely Iwan (who was working in the Adventure Centre) went out of his way and stayed on after his shift to help Logan. The other half and I couldn't have been more thankful.

The food in the resort was lovely and not at all overpriced, the little shops were great if you needed any supplies and there was plenty to do and see including the fab Blue Lagoon swimming pool. All in all it was a fantastic weekend where the sun shined all day. It was actually like being abroad really. There was never a dull moment and we were all knackered by the end of our stay. 

Here's a few photos to show you what we got up to.











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