2 March 2018

Review: Baby & Me Wash Bag from Cuddledry

As a family we travel a lot which often means packing a lot of stuff for everyone and carting it with us. We do love a good old getaway including staycations here in the UK and of course travelling abroad to sunnier climates. Speaking of which I could really do with some sun at the moment as getting sick of this snow! Anyway with travelling, especially with children, there always seems to be a bulk load of toiletries and essentials you need to take with you. When the family and I travel I normally take a few medical supplies as well such as calpol, plasters and antiseptic cream as you just never know what will happen on your journey.

Now, I have the normal sort of toiletry bags and make up bags for all my stuff but by the time I've included the kids products I can end up with like 3-4 different bags of varying sizes! It's a bit of a pain and I worry I'll end up forgetting or losing something so this is where the Baby & Me from Cuddledry steps in. It's a gorgeous high quality wash bag for parents with babies on the go.

Unlike all other wash bags it has two completely separate sections, one for you and one for your baby, clearly colour coded, with plenty of space in each for all the different toiletries or medicines you need.  Each compartment also features a wet and dry section, and the parent compartment even includes refillable BPA free 100ml bottles – perfect for travel.  No need to pack twice or rummage to find things any longer. And do you want to know what I think? I honestly love it!

The Baby & Me is an excellent size for keeping all your travel bits and bobs in and has two handles on top for easy carrying. The two separate sections means you can keep your products on one side and babies on the other. I love the wet and dry sections too which are separated by a zip to keep wet items away from everything else. I used these parts for things like shampoo, shower gel, perfume, toothpaste etc. Honestly so so handy. The parent side also comes with x2 BPA free re-fillable toiletry bottles which are excellent for plane travel. I have massive bottles of shampoo and conditioner at home but hate using hotel shampoos at times so these are perfect for putting my hair products into.

The wash bag material itself is high quality with easy wipe clean lining and outer. So it doesn't matter if it's bouncing around inside your suitcase or you drop it on the ground the outside is easily wiped cleaned. Same with the lining, no mascara or cream marks here. Quick wipe and all better again. The Baby & Me wash bag retails for £24.99 and comes in one colour. It's a lovely white, grey and very light green/teal. I took this bag on my travels down South to Paultons Park recently and it was ace. I fitted everything in I needed plus all the kids stuff without an issue. On the way back I packed in even more with some hotel toiletries for the kids and it still had plenty of room so I'm super impressed.

Overall a gorgeous wash bag which I'd highly recommend to friends and family. At £24.99 it's a great deal for such a good size and I love that it's the only toiletry bag you'll need to fit all your goodies in for travelling with baby. The quality is lovely and I can see this bag lasting for a long time. It'll certainly be with us on a few travels this year and hopefully in future.

I was sent the Baby & Me wash bag in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

28 February 2018

February Half Term Trip to Paultons Park

It was our February half term a couple of weeks ago and the schools in Fife were off for 3 days. Instead of mopping around the house and watching the kids fight I decided to book up a staycation trip and visit Paultons Park down South in Romsey, Hampshire. Paultons had a half term deal on their website where you could book and stay with a partner hotel (some included breakfast) and receive two days tickets to enter the park. So that’s what I did. There were several hotels to choose from and prices varied but I went for the Moorhill House Hotel situated in the New Forest 13 miles from the actual park itself.

Like previous trips down South we decided to drive. According to google the drive down should have taken around 7hrs ish but in reality the traffic plays a big part with busier roads so it actually took us 11hrs!! And that was leaving at 8.30am in the morning. It’s worth it though as Paultons is a lovely park which has Peppa Pig World inside it too. When we arrived at the hotel we couldn’t wait to check in and get some sleep. Our room was spacious with a big bathroom, small table and chairs, huge bed and bunk beds for the kids. It’s all we needed as we had no intentions of spending any length of time in our room. It’s worth mentioning that this hotel is dog friendly so you can bring your pooch which is lovely and there’s also ample free parking. Just drive slowly through the New Forest to reach it as there’s horses running free!

On our first morning we woke up bright and early, filled our tummies with a scrummy hot breakfast and headed to Paultons Park for it opening at 10am. We were 15 minutes early however the staff at the entrance scan your tickets so you can go straight in and have a nosey at the shop before the actual park gates open at 10am. I took the family straight to the first aid office as this is where you can collect a Queue Assist pass if a member of your party needs it. As you’ll probably know my son, Logan, is autistic and struggles with queues a lot. The Queue Assist pass allows him to enter a ride via the exit so he doesn’t have to wait and become distressed. Paultons Parks queue assist pass basically allows you to jump the queue once for each ride they have. It’s slightly frustrating when all your son wants to do is go on the same ride again and again however I do understand what they’re trying to do. Most of the ride attendants were amazing at letting us on to rides quickly however others had the idea that only one person/family with a queue assist pass was allowed on to the ride before another family could get on. This may work for some people depending on their needs however for children (and adults) with autism this can be extremely difficulty to comprehend. I think this really needs to be looked at by Paultons and maybe some staff training should be put in place.

Anyway, the actual park itself is lovely. It’s big (and clean) with lots of rides for small children as well as the big ones. I was really pleased that for most rides the height restriction was 900mm which meant my daughter, Harlow, could get on lots of things. She’s 3 years old but is still short for her age which can sometimes limit her at theme parks but there was honestly tons of rides she could enjoy at Paultons. I think her favourite had to be George’s Dinosaur Adventure. Even I thought this ride was great. Our first day there we spent a lot of time on the smaller rides and for the first time ever Harlow decided to go on lots. The second day she decided she didn’t want to go on that many rides which was fine as we spent that day going on all the bigger rides with Logan so it worked out well.

The kids really enjoyed the soft play located in Peppa Pig World. Us adults enjoyed it as well as it meant we could grab a cup of tea and relax our tired feet for a moment. As well as all the rides Paultons Park also have some animals on site such as birds and reptiles. They’ve also just opened a new area called Little Africa which is really nice to walk around. We enjoyed the nocturnal house in the this area which is home to some lovely creatures. Logan found it fascinating to see the animals of the dark.

We also happened to meet up with some friends when we were down there which was lovely and it gave the kids company on the rides instead of just adults. After finishing up at the park we headed to a restaurant just 5 minutes away to grab some food and have a good old catch up. It was busy but lovely, the food was budget friendly and you got a lot of it.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and we're looking for our next theme park to visit. We haven't done Alton Towers yet which has Cbeebies Land so I think that'll be on the cards soon. It's also closer to us with hopefully just a 5 hour drive depending on the roads but we'll save a longer trip for later in the year.

27 February 2018

Review: Personalised Children's Clothing from Teether.co.uk

I absolutely love buying the kids cute clothes and the funkier the better. I try to buy things that are a bit different or have a cool slogan or even better - personalised clothing. You really can't beat a lovely piece of personalised clothing for kids. It always makes it seem more special and of course the kids love having their very own clothes personalised just for them.

Recently Logan and Harlow were sent some lovely clothes from Teether.co.uk, an online baby boutique specialising in children's personalised clothing. Teether have recently set up and are adding new collections to their website every day so do keep checking back for lovely new designs. As for my two Harlow received a gorgeous pair of personalised pjs and Logan received a fabulous personalised hoodie.

Harlow received the personalised girls fantasy pjs and absolutely loves them. They have a gorgeous holographic design on the front that says "Unicorn + Mermaid + Princess = Harlow" with a unicorn horn, mermaid tail and princess crown also beside the writing. You can get them from a size 6-12 months all the way up to 5-6 years. I requested the 3-4 years for Harlow since she was 3 in January and they're fab. Harlow is just a little short for her age so the bottoms are slightly long however since they're nightwear it really doesn't matter. If anything it keeps her snug and cosy. The colours are a soft white and baby pink and the material itself is so gentle next to little ones skin. It really is very soft and I was pretty impressed with the quality. I've washed them at least 3-4 times already and they haven't stretched, faded or become bubbled. So definitely winner all round.

Logan was absolutely overjoyed to receive is personailsed hoodie from Teether.co.uk and loved that is was so unique to him. I picked a size 9-11 years black hoodie and asked that it be personalised with his name but also a lovely quote. So he got his name on the back with cool Wolverine claw marks and he also got a brilliant Wolverine quote on the front. For those of you who don't know the hubby and I picked the name Logan from the Wolverine film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I was pregnant in 2009 with Logan when the film was released and we just thought Logan was such a lovely name so it stuck.

Anyway back to the hoodie! It's lovely and cosy and soft against Logan's skin. He can't wear anything itchy (sensory issues) so he likes soft comfortable clothing. This hoodie fits the bill well. The colours and design are lovely and bold. Very shiny and totally awesome (Logan's own words). He really can't wait to wear this out and about and has already requested it several times. These hoodies aren't currently on the Teether.co.uk website however a quick email to the team and I'm sure they'll have one printed up for you.

Overall these items of clothing are gorgeous and I'd definitely buy from Teether.co.uk in future as the quality is so good. Another great thing as well for you guys is that orders over £10 get free shipping and once you see the clothes available your basket will be full!

We were provided with these items in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

25 February 2018

Mother's Day Gift Ideas with B&M Stores

Mother's Day is arriving pretty quick this year in the UK with only 2 weeks left to go! So when Sunday 11th March rolls around you'll want to be prepared with some lovely gifts to shower your mum with and show her how much she really means to you.

There's lots of different gift ideas out there but I've been looking at some lovely options that won't break the bank. Working together with B&M Stores I've managed to hand pick a few of their brilliant Mother's Day gifts on offer that mum will truly love. I've gone for things I think mum's would really appreciate and also things which I would love and use myself. Read on then to see what I picked up for my own Mum and mother-in-law.

Mother's Day Cards
I thought I'd start with the obvious. A lovely Mother's Day Card. I always feel a good card sets the right tone for any celebration and I tend to lean more towards the cute and funny cards. They're just really nice and it's fab to make people smile. B&M Stores have a wide range of cards to choose from and most of them are just 99p. You really can't go wrong with that. I purchased a cute "Love You Mum" card and a "Have a Pawfect Mother's Day" card which has a little dog on the front. So sweet.

I love receiving chocolates for Mother's Day (or any day for that matter) so that's why I choose this giant Galaxy chocolate bar. It literally is massive and at £2.49 it was such good value compared to a box of chocolates. I like getting the most for my money, as you can probably tell, and this is such a lovely gift to give.

Beautiful Scents
Having a fresh smelling home is a top priority of mine so there's always candles, plug ins or some kind of smelly dotted around each room. When I spotted these gorgeous reed diffusers I just had to get them. They're so pretty and sparkly and only cost £1.99! Such excellent value and a gorgeous gift. B&M also have a lovely mum specific diffuser and votive set for £4.99 which is really lovely too.

What Mum doesn't love a good old framed family photo to display for all to see? That's why I snapped up these amazing sparkly glitter frames for £1.99 each! They hold sized 6x4 photos but you can of course get the same kind of frame for bigger or smaller sizes which is handy. I'm going to find a lovely photo with the kids to put in these for the Mums. They'll love it.

Money Pots
We're all about the savings in this house, as the saying goes "if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves". I think my Mum and mother-in-law would probably enjoy a little saving challenge too and what better way to do it than with a Money Pot. These money pots can only be accessed when they're full as you have to smash them open. Great fun! And if you fill them full of £2 coins I bet there'll be a good saving of a few hundred pounds at the end. These pots are only £3.99 each and B&M have some wine bottle shaped Mother's Day ones for the same price depending on what you prefer.

Slogan Mug
A good cuppa sets you right for the day so you've got to have a pretty mug to go along with it. I've starting collecting a little variety of slogan mugs myself as they're just so lovely and I know the Mums would appreciate a gorgeous mug too. From a mere starting price of £1.49 B&M have a wealth of fancy mugs to choose from. They of course have Mother's Day specific ones but I really like the two I chose - Good Vibes and Stand Tall & Be Fabulous.

After all of this I finally purchased some holographic large pink gift bags at £1.29 for two which fit everything in and altogether I spent just £13.59 per Mum. I think you'll agree that both Mums will love all of these gorgeous presents and it definitely hasn't broken the bank at all. If these gifts aren't for your Mum though don't worry. B&M have a brilliant selection of other lovely gifts to choose from. Why not check out their website to get an idea of what they have. Simply click on the Mother's Day link at the top of the page.

This is collaborative post. All opinions are my own.

23 February 2018

Circus Magic with Cirque Berserk

A circus is one of those things you've just got to go and see in your life time. It's family fun at it's best and the kids love the magic and excitement of the whole event. I've never taken Logan to a circus before but have been meaning to for a few years now. He loves watching cool stunts on youtube so the circus is the perfect show for him to go and see.

Luckily for us then that we were invited along to see the amazing Cirque Berserk at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh on Tuesday. It's a real circus made for the theatre and we couldn't wait to see what acts they had in store. The hubby, Logan and I decided we would get the train through from Fife to save rushing around with parking and the traffic plus Logan quite enjoys the train journey.

When we arrived at the Festival Theatre we grabbed some drinks, sweeties and a brochure to see what was to come. Since we had a few minutes to wait it was the perfect distraction to keep Logan busy reading about all the different performances he would be watching on stage. Soon we took our seats and waited patiently for the show to start.

Before the lights dimmed though an announcement came over the speakers to let everyone know that the show was very interactive and taking photos and videos was massively encouraged. This was really refreshing as most shows aren't like this at all. We were also encouraged to share our pics and video footage on social media which is great as I know a lot of you like to see what I'm up to on my insta stories. So of course I shared loads and will probably keep putting up little videos now and again.

As the music started and the curtains opened the fabulous Timbuktu Tumblers bounced their way onto the stage with much enthusiasm. They're a fabulous bunch of African Acrobats with a complete zest for putting on a brilliant show. From that moment on the three of us were captivated by one act after another! You can see that it's a completely professional show with time, care and dedication put in by each personal involved to make it awesome. One of my favourites had to be Germaine Delbosq who is an amazingly skilled footjuggler from France. She honestly threw those balls, rings and fire about like it was nothing. I loved it all. Logan's favourite had to be Tweedy the Scottish clown. He was clumsy, cheerful and full of mischief. Just what every 8 year old loves. The hubby's favourite was the fantastic Lucius Team who performed the motorcycle Globe of Death! It was amazing and scary to watch all at once. I was peeking through my hands at some points.

These are just a few of the acts from Cirque Berserk which will delight and fascinate you and have your heart jumping into your throat in equal measures. It's honestly amazing and Logan has been telling all his friends about it at school. So if you have time this week I highly recommend getting yourself to the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh to experience the magic of Cirque Berserk. If you miss it don't worry as the show is in Glasgow from 7th June so get booking those tickets asap!

I was provided with tickets to see the show in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

21 February 2018

Review: Dinosaur Lotto from Orchard Toys

Orchard Toys have recently released a whole host of new games and jigsaws to the market and Harlow has been lucky enough to receive one to review. Harlow was sent the Dinosaur Lotto game and couldn’t wait to get stuck in when it arrived through the door.

Dinosaur Lotto is a simple fun dinosaur themed matching and memory game which is sure to capture the imaginations of little ones. It’s suitable for ages 3-7 and has two ways to play. You get 4 double-sided jigged boards, 24 item cards and an instructions sheet with the game. It really is a lovely game which players will grasp quickly and the aim is to take it in turns to turn over the colourful dinosaur cards and be the first to fill their dinosaur board with matching pictures.

Like I said there are two ways to play, with the jigged boards having both illustrated and blank sides for simple or more challenging gameplay. This means that both younger and older players can play at the same time by choosing which side of the board they want to suit their needs. So the illustrated side of the board has photos of the items you need to fill your board whereas the blank side doesn’t. The illustrated side is obviously easier to fill however in order to fill the blank side you need to look at the dinosaur picture provided (at the top of the board) and guess what cards match the picture. It’s a great challenge for older children. My son is 8 and he stilled enjoyed doing this with his little sister. He’s competitive so of course wants to win!

As well as being a great game it’s also a brilliant way for children to find and identify dinosaurs as there’s a wide variety of characters to spot and discuss. Not forgetting how colourful this game is as well which will help reinforce recognition for the younger players. Harlow’s quite good at her colours but sometimes gets them mixed up. This game has been perfect for swatting up on her skills especially when I ask her to look for the green dinosaur or the purple dinosaur etc.

What I really love about this game is that it takes seconds to set up and play but also seconds to put away. It’s great for bringing out to have some one to one time or to play as a family. It’s also a really handy size for taking on trips and holidays too. When we next go up North I’ll be packing this in the suitcase to take with us along with a few of the other portable Orchard Toys games.

Overall a perfect family fun game which I’d highly recommend. Dinosaur Lotto retails for £7.50 so won’t break the bank and it’s fab for those dino mad kids in your life. As an extra little bonus Orchard Toys have a lovely section on their website entitled Things to do. If you click in there you’ll be able to find some free fun fact sheets on dinosaurs. It’s a great way for some extra home education and learning.

We were sent this game in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

12 February 2018

Experiences Not to Miss When Travelling Abroad with Kids

As a family we love our little holidays away from the front door and some of the best have been abroad. We also love experiencing new and wonderful things and what better way to do this than when you’re travelling. It’s something to look forward to and definitely something the kids will talk about for years to come.

One of the best experiences I had abroad as a child was spending the whole day with family on a gorgeous beach, swimming and snorkelling in the water. It was so care free and fun. I remember seeing lots of little fish and exploring the different caves along the coastline. So if you’re looking for something different for your family to experience when travelling abroad please do read on for my suggestions.

Camel Rides
On a recent trip to Lanzarote I noticed quite a large sort of Camel Ranch on the way to our hotel in Puerto del Carmen. My son got very excited when he saw it and so I investigated further at the hotel. Turns out it was a Camel Safari tour which took you on a stroll through desert terrain so you could enjoy the mountain views. It’s suitable for children aged 7+ and they can either ride single seater or two seater if they prefer to be beside a parent. It’s a lovely idea and the Camels all look well cared for. We never managed to go on our recent trip sadly but at least I know it’s there and we’ll definitely be going next time.

Snorkelling and Freediving
One thing I highly recommend doing with the kids abroad is snorkelling or freediving. Snorkelling of course is simply obtaining a mask and snorkel and floating on top of the water (preferably near a reef) to see what you can spot down below. Freediving is basically donning a mask and flippers, holding your breath and diving under the water without any breathing equipment. It’s a good way for kids to practice their breath holding skills (hands up who else did this in the bath as a child!) and of course see some beautiful wildlife under the sea in it’s natural habitat. Make sure you're equipped for your adventure by checking out Simply Scuba. There’s lots of lovely places to snorkel and freedive all over the world from Egypt to the Canary Islands. I’ve personally snorkelled in Egypt with my Dad and the creatures we sighted were amazing. I think the octopus had to be my fav.

Swim with Dolphins
If your children are slightly older then why not book a trip to Mexico to swim with the dolphins or even visit the Whale Sharks out in the open ocean. It’s a great thing to have on the bucket list and your kids will love it. There’s something so beautiful about being up close and personal with animals of the deep so I highly recommend. I swam with dolphins when I was in early pregnancy with my daughter and they could totally tell she was in there. Fascinating to watch.

Climb a Mountain
This might be hard for younger children however Calamorro mountain in Benalmadena has lovely cable cars that travel all the way up to the top. This means children of any age can go and enjoy the mountain and you can take in the great views. At the very top they even have a birds of prey display during certain times which is beautiful to watch. Especially the vultures! Those birds are so big when you see them up close. My son’s favourite part was when one of the little birds of prey was bobbing about and landing on people’s heads. Very hilarious as you can imagine.

The Beach
Sounds simple but you can’t go abroad with the kids and not visit a lovely beach. One of the best beaches we’ve visited as a family has to be the one in Caleta de Fuste in Fuertaventura. It’s super family friendly with the waters being calm and full of little fish. A top tip is to take some crackers/biscuits along with you from your hotel so you can feed the fish. The splashing and commotion they make when you throw some crumbled crackers in will have the kids delighted. My two personally loved it and kept them occupied for ages.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


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