29 November 2011

Review: Red Rover Game

Now that Logan is getting a bit older I've been looking to introduce him to some more advanced learning games so when Fisher-Price offered us the Red Rover Game to test I happily agreed.

Red Rover is a fun filled memory matching game brilliantly suited to preschoolers. It helps them learn all about shapes, letters, colours and numbers as well as keeping them active at the same time. Red Rover is an electronic talking dog who comes with 12 bones each bearing a colour, number, shape or letter.

How to play the game: place the bones around the area of play and Red Rover will call out which bone he wants for example "Red Rover Red Rover Bring a Blue Bone Over!" Kids must race around to find the right bone to feed to Red Rover – if they are right, they keep the bone. But if they’re wrong, Red Rover will encourage them to try again. Whoever collects the most bones the fastest, wins. A great interactive game.

There are 2 modes which your child can play with Red Rover. The first is Level One which concentrates only on colours which is perfect for the very young children. The second is Level Two which brings in the letters, numbers and shapes so perfect to get that brain matter working.

This game is really simple and very easy to play. It's tidy as well which is fab as when you're finished playing all you have to do is put all of the bones into Red Rover's back pack. The fact that it doesn't take up much space either is a bonus.

Priced at around RRP £19.99 this game is suitable for children 3+ and can be played by 2-4 players. It does need 3 x AA batteries which aren't included so make sure and have some to hand if you're buying this as a Christmas presents for the kids.

As Logan is only coming up for 2 (in the next 2 weeks infact) he's still not sure of colours but this was a good game to help introduce them to him. I know his little friend along the road is much better at colours and she would be able to play this game no problem, she's just over 2. Logan got a bit frustrated that Red Rover didn't eat the bones and it was a bit of a shame that he didn't but then how would you be able to tell who won? I suppose if the child wanted to play alone then having the option of Red Rover eating the bones if they got the right colour or shape etc would have been quite good. Just an idea really, not sure if it would work in practice.

Overall a lovely game, simple, easy and helps your child learn at the same time. Unfortunately as Logan's a bit young it really didn't interest him too much although he did like to collect all the bones and through them over himself. He really did find this fun! As for pricing I think it's very fair since it's an electronic game and your child will be able to play this over and over again.

Mummies rating - 7/10
Logan's rating - 4.5/10

Please visit www.redrovergame.co.uk for more information about this product.

28 November 2011

Baby Sing Christmas CD GIVEAWAY

Baby Sing Christmas CD GIVEAWAY

Having just reviewed the lovely Baby Sing Christmas CD, the lovely people from Music for Baby have kindly agreed to give one away to one of my lucky readers!

So to be in with a chance of winning this brilliant CD all you have to do is leave a comment below stating you want to be entered into the competition and for an extra entry please tweet: "I want to win the Baby Sing Christmas CD with @BreastestNews and @Musicforbaby"

This is a UK only giveaway, closing date is 11th December 2011 at 12 noon.
Winner will be chosen using Random.org
Good Luck everyone!!

Review: Baby Sing Christmas CD

The lovely people at Music For Baby have kindly sent Logan one of their new Baby Sing Christmas CD's for us to review. With Christmas fast approaching I happily agreed and couldn't wait to introduce Logan to some festive songs.

This beautifully created CD full of excellent soothing Christmas songs for babies has been brilliantly produced with some classics from the ages. The woman who does the singing has an excellent soft warming voice which helps you to totally relax and take in the music. I can't wait to play this on Christmas day for Logan and the grandparents who will be coming round for dinner. It'll make excellent background music whilst we're eating!

You'll probably remember singing some of these Christmas songs from the CD at your school fayre or play when you were little. There are 18 songs altogether which include; Let It Snow, It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year, Away In A Manger, Winter Wonderland, Santa Claus Us Coming To Town, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Silent Night, Here Comes Santa Claus, O Christmas Tree, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, Frosty The Snowman, We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Plus the bonus tracks which have been remixed with additonal vocals; Here Comes Santa Claus, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Silent Night, Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Logan loves this music CD, he watches his Daddy impatiently as he loads it onto the PS3 and presses the play button. Logan can't quite dance yet but his little leg starts moving and he bounces up and down to the music. It's very sweet to watch him try and dance and this music really helps. He's taken such and interest in it, more than I would have ever imagined. I quite happily sing along to the music whilst it's playing and Logan likes this even more, his little eyes light up and he waves his hands around like crazy. It'll only be a matter of time before he starts to copy me, I hope!

Introduce your little one to the festivities of Christmas this year. Available from www.musicforbaby.co.uk RRP £10.00.

Overall brilliant Christmas CD, songs have all been well produced and are lovely to listen to. Very easy on the ear and clear so will be perfect for newborns as well as older children. I really would recommend this CD to everyone. It would make the perfect gift for Christmas! A little on the pricey side for a CD but it's well worth it. I would happily pay that as the quality is excellent.

Mummies rating - 10/10
Logan's rating - 10/10

Please visit www.musicforbaby.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what Music For Baby get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.

Review: Personalised Me To You Christmas Book

With Christmas fast approaching the people from PenWizard have brought out a very cute new product. It's a personalised Me To You Christmas book and boy does it look cute!! I was asked to review a copy and of course I said yes. How could I turn down such an offer of cuddly Tatty Teddies in a book.

So you might be wondering what this book is actually all about. Well the long and short of it is simply, your loved one’s name is lovingly spelt out alongside Tatty Teddy on the cover and throughout the illustrations in the book; in the snow, on the Christmas baubles, on a stocking etc. Just add the recipient’s name and include a personal love message and this beautiful gift will be delivered within 5 days.

It's a great little stocking filler and it's one that definitely shows you're thinking of that special person in your life. I made one for Kevin (which was provided free of charge for this review) and I can't wait to give it to him on Christmas day. The book has 24 pages and is 150mm x 170 mm with a pearlescent cover and makes the perfect personal gift for under £10.

My favourite scene has to be the Christmas baubles on the trees, it's so well done and a really nice touch. I even think I could go as far to say as once your special person has read it, if you have any kids they'll definitely have tons of fun trying to spot the name on each page! Or you could even make it for one of your kids, show them how much you care.

Last order date for Christmas delivery is Midnight Monday 19th December. You can purchase this lovely little book from www.penwizard.co.uk RRP £9.99.

Overall a brilliant simple little book which has been beautifully done. It doesn't have as much of a story as I would have thought but then again pictures can say a thousand words and this book truly is gorgeous. The pages are thick and of good quality. Price is a bit on the expensive side for a book even with it being personalised I think. Could maybe have been cheaper in my opinion.

Mummies rating - 8/10

Please visit www.penwizard.co.uk for more products and information.

27 November 2011

Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday

26 November 2011

Christmas Gift Guide for Babies!

So Christmas is fast approaching and by now you'll all be thinking about getting the presents sorted for family, friends and your all important baby. Or maybe perhaps you're a granny and you're looking to buy something for your little granchild this Christmas. Well look no further, here I have a selection of excellent Chritmas gifts for babies.

Nuby - Baby's 1st Toybox
This delightful little bundle of toys from Nuby is sure to keep your growing baby happy and entertained. It includes 1x Twisty Bugz teether, 1x Teether Tugz and 1x Safari Chimes. All are fab and I love them so much I couldn't possibley pick a favourite that's why it's fantastic Nuby have created this Baby's 1st Toybox, fab! Suitable from 0+ months and RRP £15.00 at Boots.

Boppy Nursing Pillow
This would be brilliant for a very young baby as it will help the mother to feed them whether breastfed or bottle fed. It can also be used to help babies sit unaided when they get a bit older and can be used for some comfortable tummy time with a bit of support. It'll make the perfect thoughtful gift. Suitable from 0+ months and prices may very.

Baby Blooms

This gorgeous bunch of flowers is actually baby clothes! Yes that's right, baby clothes. The ingenious people from Baby Blooms create gorgeous boquets of flowers, cup cakes, smoothies etc all from baby clothes. They're absolutley fabulous and the perfect gift for that little person at Christmas, especially if they're just born. Much better than real flowers too! Prices range from as little as £3.95 so something for everyone: www.babyblooms.co.uk

Miamoo Products

Treat that little person in your life this Christmas to some lovely natural skin care. You would only use the best for your skin and the same should be said for your baby. These great products from Miamoo are free from parabens, synthetic colours, SLS, fragrance etc. RRP from £6.00 and available from www.miamoo.co.uk and Boots Retailers.

Baby Sing Christmas CD

This beautifully created CD full of excellent soothing Christmas songs for babies has been brilliantly produced with some classics from the ages. You'll probably remember singing some of these Christmas songs at your school fayre or play. There are 18 songs altogether some of which include; Let It Snow, Away In A Manger, Silent Night, Jingle Bells etc. Introduce your little one to the festivities of Christmas this year. Available from www.musicforbaby.co.uk RRP £10.00.

Review: Fabric Flavours

I love buying quirky and different t-shirts for Logan so when the very kind people at Fabric Flavours offered Logan one of their cute Very Hungry Caterpillar t-shirts to review we quickly agreed.

Fabric Flavours create brilliant babygrows and t-shirts for kids with characters from all your favourite books and tv programmes. There's characters from Disney, Marvel, Mr Men, the Gruffalo etc all very bright and colourful. Fabric Flavours explain how their designers create the garments: "our designers apply all the tools of the trade to create these premium quality garments with techniques including foil printing, hand-stitching, cut hems, felt appliqué and diamante stones. We only use the best fabrics, pre-washed for extra softness."

When Logan received his very hungry caterpillar t-shirt it was loving wrapped in some tissue paper which was decorated with lots of little hungry caterpillar images. I thought this was very sweet and it made a brilliant extra touch, making the t-shirt all the more special.

Fabric Flavours have a great website. It's bright, bold and colourful just like it's clothing. Navigating is simple and quick and you can zoom in on the garments you want to view for extra detail.

The t-shirt itself is gorgeous, it's made from 100% cotton, is super soft and has been prewashed with softeners to make sure of this. It comes in 3 different sizes: 12/18 months, 2-3 years and 4-5 years. We received the 2-3 years t-shirt which is the perfect size for Logan. He's quite tall for his age but this t-shirt fits him well with plenty of space to grow.

The very hungry caterpillar name on the t-shirt has been expertly stitched on with not a loose thread in site. It's a beautiful colour of green, really lush and quite striking. The little fruit on the bottom of the t-shirt have little holes in them as if the caterpillar has munched through the fruit. Brilliant idea isn't it. The fruit are soft handle prints but the holes have been stitched onto the t-shirt. The only problem with these is that after washing the t-shirt at the recommended temperature of 40 degrees the stitching seems to have come loose and there is little ends of thread flying around which I will have to trim off. This is a real shame as the t-shirt is so lovely. Apart from that the t-shirt washes beautifully, stays white as ever and still very soft.

You can purchase this t-shirt from www.fabricflavours.com for £16.00 but you can also find Fabric Flavours clothing in Harvey Nichols and Selfridges in Manchester, London and Birmingham. Also as a nice little bonus in the month of December, if you purchase more than £30 it comes in a nice little gift box.
Overall a cute t-shirt, lovely quality but it's a shame some of the stitching came away. It could just be a one off though as the rest of the t-shirt is completely fine. The fabric flavours website is also great, easy to navigate and tons of different designs.

Mummies rating - 7/10

Please visit www.fabricflavours.com for more products and information. You can also see what Fabric Flavours get up to on Facebook and Twitter, so please pop over and say hello. Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you!

25 November 2011

Deep Sea World - Scotland's National Aquarium

I've always loved the water and the creatures that inhabit it. I find the ocean waves calming to watch and the fish interesting in the way they swim together so when Aisling from Deep Sea World in North Queensferry invited us along for a tour and a chance to see the big sharks we just couldn't say no!

Deep Sea World is located in the picturesque sea side town of North Queensferry, just under the Forth Railway Bridge to be precise. It's easy to find and access with road signs from Fife and Edinburgh guiding you in and a massive car park with plenty of space. You can also get the bus!

There is plenty of disabled access with a ramp for wheel chairs and buggies entering Deep Sea World and inside, the attractions are all on the one level apart from some small raised areas but all have access ramps so brilliant for wheel chair users and kids to get a clear view of all the fish and animals in the tanks. I also found there is plenty of benches around the attrations which is very handy for people who cannot walk far or wish to take a break. My partners grandad has difficulty breathing so this would be perfect for him. He could relax and catch his breath but also still see all the fish.

Ramp into Deep Sea World
Upon entering Deep Sea World you are greeted by a very friendly welcoming reception staff member  who takes your payment before you can enter the main area. Prices vary depending on many factors but the basic pricing is £12.50 for an Adult (15+) and £8.25 for a child (3-14 years). You'll be pleased to know children under 3 years of age get in free and they also have special family and concession prices. I love the fact that they have a Groovy Grandparents price (2 concessions + 2 children) for £36.00 so there's no excuse for the grandparents not to take the kids along and give you a rest. You can visit Deep Sea World's website for a full list of prices.

Main Area - with rock pools and tanks
The atmosphere is set for a watery adventure as soon as you enter with dimmed and coloured lighting as you can see from the photo above. We're standing at the rock pools in this photo which are full of small fish, star fish, anemones and small sharks. As soon as Logan spied the water he tried to climb over the glass and into the tank! Luckily one of the very nice staff members who introduces you to the animals in the rock pools showed Logan one of their star fish although Logan wanted to grab this out of his hands! You've got to remember Logan is only coming up for 2 so still a bit in the mind set that everything belongs to him...

Logan touching the star fish

Logan trying to climb into the rock pool!
There are lots of tanks of fish to see and they also have a reptile room with lots of frogs, some leopard geckos and a breaded dragon which they do a talk on. I noticed all tanks were full and also very clean which is a must for this type of attration. I was informed that all the tanks are cleaned first thing in the morning before visitors arrive. The staff are very passionate and knowledgeable about the creatures within Deep Sea World and it was a delight to watch the bearded dragon being fed, Logan certainly enjoyed it. Myself and my other half found the talks all very informative and definitely interactive with the crowds. Brilliant for kids to get involved and learn something new at the same time. There is a notice board at the start beside the rock pools which has a list of all talks and activities as well as times of when they will be taking place so you won't miss out.

The amazing tunnel
After the rock pools we headed down to the famous underwater tunnel. This by far has to be Logan's favourite part of the day. The tunnel is 112 metres long and holds a million gallons of water - amazing! This tunnel is one of the longest in the world and holds over 1500 animals within. The acrylic holding all the water in (and keeping us safe) is 6.5cm thick but this makes all the sea creatures look 30% smaller than they actually are so you may be thinking the sharks inside are quite small, you'd be wrong, they're huge! Another interesting fact for you is the acrylic used is the same as the stuff NASA use in their space shuttles and each panel of acrylic can withstand the weight of 2 African Elephants so you're in safe hands when travelling around the tunnel.

The massive shark!!
Deep Sea World have their very own shark room too, where they try to educate people on these very misunderstood creatures. They do a lot of conservation work and one which you might have heard of is the Angel Shark Breeding Project. Just recently (only about a week ago really) their female Angel Shark gave birth prematurely to one little pup. Luckily the pup survived and is being kept in a special nursery tank on it's own so it can be supervised so big fingers crossed for this little fella and after speaking to Aisling she thinks it won't be long till the female gives birth to the rest of her brood. These sharks are a critically endangered species so for them to be bred in captivity is a massive achievement. It's the first of it's kind in the UK!

The baby Angel Shark born at Deep Sea World
By now we were all feeling a little peckish so we headed on over to the cafe to grab a bite to eat. First impressions weren't as great as the fish tanks, some of the high chairs for children looked really grubby and dirty and the tables were a bit sticky which was a shame. The food area was clean though and all surfaces where the food was served looked clean and tidy. The price of food was reasonable compared with other attractions across the country costing just over £15.00 for 2 fish and chips with side order (beans, mushy peas etc), plus you got 2 drinks with the meals and we also got Logan a fruit shoot as a treat so not too bad. We brought our own food along for Logan as he can be fussy and no one seemed to mind in the cafe which was refreshing as not all kids like what's on offer. The only thing that let the meals down is that they don't seem to be freshly cooked, our fish was very hard and quite greasy which put me off a little although it did have a lot of flavour.

Logan crawling under the spider enclosure
Deep Sea World is home to not only fish but other sea creatures, these being the Common Seals. The seal enclosure opened in 2005 and can house up to ten seal pups for the one to two months they need to gain weight before being released back into the wild. We loved watching the seals but because it was raining we got rather wet so it would have been nice to have some sort of shelter beside the viewing area, afterall it is Scotland! You can see the resident seals in action below:

Some of the great things about Deep Sea World is that it can be visited any time of year since it's indoors. Like when we went to visit for example, outside it was freezing cold, raining and very windy but inside it was a lovely temperature and most importantly dry. They also have tons of different events throughout the year but one of the best all year round treats is that you can dive with the sharks. It's a brilliant idea and you can even purchase it as a gift to give to someone, what an excellent Christmas Present that would make! You don't even have to be an experienced diver to have a go, they even let kids do it (ages 8-15 years). I would so have loved to do this as a child and I was secretly hoping I'd be asked to jump in beside the sharks on our visit, I can only dream...

Last but not least we were extremely lucky to be show behind the scenes at Deep Sea World. It was all very exciting and we got to have a nosey over the massive underwater tunnel which is just as massive from above. They have small tanks behind the scenes where they keep the fish they have bread at the centre some of which include the deadly pirahnas! I was also told that an educational team travel round schools and centres with a little mini rock pool showing children the sea creatures that live within them.

The underwater tunnel from above
Overall a brilliant attraction, one that is fairly priced in line with other attractions across the country. Staff are friendly, passionate and knowledgeable and there is plenty to see and do. We spent almost 3 hours at Deep Sea World and if Logan wasn't so tired I'm sure we could have been there a lot longer. The only thing that let them down was the Cafe but with a few minor tweaks I'm sure this could be solved. As with any other attraction there is a gift shop and it had tons of different things to choose from so something for everyone.

Mummies rating - 8.5/10
Other Half's rating - 8.5/10
Logan's rating - 10/10

Please visit www.deepseaworld.com for more information. You can also keep up to date with all the latest news from Deep Sea World by following them on Twitter and Facebook. Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you!

19 November 2011

Review: Annoying Monsters

Tipped to be one of the must have toys for kids this Christmas these cool Annoying Monsters are sure to get on any adults nerves. Just what the kids want! Logan was very lucky to receive two of these noisey toys to test and review from Hawkin's Bazzar.

Here is the Annoying Monster story: "The Annoying Monsters were expelled from Planet Boggus for being too annoying. Most of the monsters on their old planet are like people here but nicer and furrier. They put up with the Annoying Monsters screaming, burping and farting for a long time. One day the Annoying Monsters decided to get into big trouble. They went to the swamp where the monster Queen sleeps and screamed for 40 days and nights. At first Queen Griselda found the non-stop noise irritating and aggravating. After two weeks it was bothersome. After 40 days it was unbearable. She ran out of the swamp shouting, "Stop pestering me! It's infuriating!" Her one eye was wobbling furiously and her green face had turned red with rage. The Annoying Monsters were thrilled. 'Oooh, the Queen isn't frightening. She's just like us!' Queen Griselda had them put on a spaceship and fired into space. Their ship landed on our planet. Now all they want to do is meet people and irritate them. Take the Annoying Monsters home - and find out how annoying they can be!"

These very Annoying Monsters are a bit smaller than I first thought they would be but they're very soft and squishy despite having a battery pack tucked inside them and although there meant to be monsters they're still really cute. There are 4 key areas on each annoying monster identified by a swirl pattern. The first of these is on one of their eyes, if you press this the annoying monster will scream in terror, and it's a bloody loud scream let me tell you. Logan almost jumped out of his skin when he first heard it! He got over it quickly and laughed though so all good. The second key area is on the tummy, if you press this your annoying monster will fart and belch till their hearst content. We all found this really funny to listen to, even the grandparents were having a giggle. The third swirl is on one of the feet, this is where you can tickle your annoying monster and they will shake and laugh as you do so. Last but not least you can find a swirl on one of their hands. If you squeeze this hand your annoying monster will listen to you talk or sing and repeat it back to you. Logan loved this and found it quite entertaining to listen to his own ramblings.

There are 6 monsters to choose from which include; frightening florence (purple), infuriating igor (red), pestering percy (green), bothersome boris (blue), irritating ethel (pink) and aggravating alfred (orange).

Logan liked to play with his Annoying Monsters, he found the noises they make quite funny and he loves running around with them in the livingroom whilst he watches some tv. They come with batteries but these are only for 'trying' out the toy so when we received our Annoying Monsters to review, they had already run out of batteries so luckily I had some spare to put into them. The battery compartment is easy to access with a screw driver and it's covered by a flap of the annoying monsters fur. It sticks down via 3 velcro straps which is sometimes annoying as Logan can pull this open and fiddle about with the on/off switch.

The only real issue I have with this toy is the price. It retails at £20.00 which I think is really expensive and although it's a fab toy for kids to play with I can't see them playing with it all the time. Logan does like playing with this but only for about 10 minutes at a time before he's on to the next toy, although the dog also finds it interesting so always an alternative use!

You can purchase these very annoying monsters from Hawkin's Bazaar for £20 however they are currently half price at the moment so it's the perfect time to grab a bargain for Christmas!

Overall lovely toy, well made and interesting with lots of funny noises which kids will find very amusing however not sure how much use it would actually get compared to how long Logan plays with his and the RRP is quite expensive.

Mummies rating - 6/10
Logan's rating - 8/10

Please visit www.hawkin.com for more information and products. You can also see what Hawkin's Bazaar get up to on Twitter and Facebook so why not pop over and say hello? Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you. 

Christmas Gift Guide for Kids Part 2!

Continuing on from the Christmas Gift Guide for Kids Part 1, you'll be sure to find more fab gifts for your little ones this Christmas. Only 5 weeks to go now so get cracking!

Whirlee Ride-On by Mookie
These fab little ride on toys are extremely light weight and can spin 360o which makes them excellent for any space indoors or out. Easy to carry or stack away when the kids have finished playing which parents are sure to be glad of. Suitable from 12 months + RRP £14.99 and available from Cuthberts Toys.

GloMate Junior

The GloMate Jr is a fully portable battery powered colour changing nightlight (3 x AAA batteries included). Toddler friendly shape, soft to the touch, durable, easy to clean and certified totally safe (lead-free and energy efficient LEDs NEVER get hot!) the GloMate Jr is a real pal! Take it under the covers, or around the house, in the car, even on holiday. RRP £12.99 from John Lewis and www.glomate.co.uk.

Transport Sounds Puzzle

Brilliant little puzzle that actually makes the sounds of the vehicles when the puzzle pieces are placed into the space. Very loud and interactive, perfect for little motor heads or to get children interested in knowing more about transport, batteries included. Suitable from 18 months + and available from Letterbox for around £14.00.

Hallmark Story Buddies

Does your child like books and reading? Well they'll love these news story buddies by Hallmark. Interactive cuddly toys who read the story along with you chipping in every now and then when you read allowed the key phrase. Brilliant to get your kids enjoying books. RRP £19.99 from Hallmark.

Annoying Monsters

These basically do what it says on the tin, they're monsters and they're annoying but still cute at the same time! Poke, prod and squeeze your annoying monster to here them scream. You can even record your own voice and your monster will play it back! RRP £20.00 Hawkin's Bazaar.

Winnie The Pooh Bath Products

Everyone loves Winnie The Pooh especially kids, so why not give them something different for Christmas this year with some fab Winnie The Pooh bath products. There's everything from bubble bath, wash mits and stacking rings to wind up pooh bear bath toys. All products can be purchased for £10.00 and under from Boots store nationwide.

17 November 2011

Children In Need with Build-a-Bear Workshop


The lovely people from Build-a-Bear Workshop offered Logan the chance to build his very own pudsey bear which we were very excited about. Luckily our nearest store in Edinburgh does a late night on Thursday's which is very handy for mummies and daddies who work full time like me. So after work on Thursday, ahead of the Children in Need telethon on Friday 18th November, I headed into the city centre to meet my other half and Logan who were travelling in by train.

Last year Build-a-Bear sold over 11,500 pudsey and blush bears, brilliant eh! The best thing about it is that they are back instore nationwide this year for you to get your hands on. The bears cost £15 and £5 of this goes to Children in Need. You can also buy lots of little accessories for your bear including a lovely little heart which goes inside the bear as you stuff it. It costs £1 and this goes to Children in Need as well.

In 2010 Build-a-Bear donated £135,000 to Children in Need and when I asked how much the Edinburgh store had raised in the last few weeks they were proud to announce they had donated £1000 already which is fantastic.

You could choose to create a pudsey or blush bear and we choose good old pudsey. Although the blush bears did look great, they have magnets in their cheeks and hands so you can put their hands up to their face as if they were blushing! Lovely idea and kids will think it's fab. I have to say the store manager was a delight to be around, she showed us step by step how to build up our bear. First we choose the skin i.e. the empty pudsey. Then we got to pick a sound for his hand so when pressed it would play your chosen tune. Logan loved to press the star wars theme tune button over and over again so we just had to get it!

We then went over to the big bear stuffing machine to choose a heart for inside the bear and also get him stuffed. Logan picked one of the beating hearts which is really nice, when you press it you can feel your bears heart beating away inside his chest. We also got to pick some of the fabric love hearts, we each gave one a kiss, made a wish and then placed the hearts inside the bear. Logan even put his own fabric heart inside the bear, I was very proud he was listening and taking part.

The stuffing machine was a little bit loud and Logan wasn't too sure about it really and got a little frightened but he was ok in the end. He liked it how the machine kept turning the fluff around and also the flashy lights. He helped to press the pedal to stuff the bear as well which was great interaction.

Build-a-Bear also have a little washing station where you can pretend to wash your bear and also comb his fur. We decided not to 'wash' our bear as it made a similar noise to the stuffing machine but we did brush our bear and Logan loved it. He had only learnt to brush hair just last week so got very excited when he was passed a brush.

Up next we got to choose some clothes for pudsey and boy do they have loads. We stuck to the traditional and got him some Children in Need pj's and slippers. He looks great and Logan loves him, I think the star wars theme tune has something to do with it!

Last but not least you get to sit down and write out pudsey's birth certificate on the computer. It only takes a minute and is very simple to do.

Thanks again to Build-a-Bear for inviting us along to make out very own pudsey bear. We got the bear for free however don't worry we're going to give a nice healthy donation to Children in Need directly on Friday through their website or by telephone.

16 November 2011

Would You Like a Cheaper Christmas?

Well there's only 5 weeks left till Christmas and with the credit crunch and crumbling economy you'll be tightening your belts like everyone else this year. So what can you do now to prepare for Christmas that will make things cheaper in the long run?

Yes the all important budget! I tend to write mine out on a spreadsheet, how much I would like to spend, what I want to spend it on etc and I try to stick to this. I know with all the festivities going around it's hard to rein in the spending and sometimes you do like to go that little bit further for some extra luxury at Christmas but if you are on a tight budget then you can't afford to be lax!

What's good about a budget spreadsheet is that you can add to it every year and check back the years to see what you bought and how much it cost etc. Handing for comparing.

Image Credit
Whether you like it or not it's one of those things that almost every does - send Christmas Cards. Don't get me wrong, we have a few friends that point blank refuse to send any sort of Christmas Card what so ever which is fair enough and I respect that however I do like to send cards myself. I feel it's all part of the Christmas spirit.

One of the cheapest places to purchase said Christmas Cards without losing quality or breaking the bank is the Card Factory shop. They seem to have packs of cards for only a few pound and if you have any left over you can always use them next year.

If you want to splash out a little with more personal cards then why not make your own with PhotoBox. They have great quality cards that you can add your own photos too and the always have discount codes available. Whether it be 3 for 2 mix and match, 50% off, free delivery etc so something for everyone and you could even get a little extra Christmas pressie at the same time if there's an offer on. We bought our own personalised cards from PhotoBox last year and they were a massive hit with all our family, friends and neighbours. Infact I can guarantee a few people will be doing personalised cards themselves this year! Oh and just to note when you purchase cards from PhotoBox a percentage of the sales go to the NSPCC charity for the protection of children which is really quite good.

Wrapping Paper
Now everyone likes to rip open their presents on Christmas Day and it's just not the same if your presents aren't wrapped so instead of buying wrapping paper why not make some for family and friends presents with your little one to help. You'll already most likely have paints, crayons, glitter, glue and pens in the house so why not have an afternoon of crafts and make some of your very own Christmas wrapping paper. You can always buy a massive role of paper from craft shops and it's pretty cheap so will still keep you in budget and family and friends will love it that you've went to all that effort to make their gift look as personal as possible. Kids will love helping out and will feel quite proud of their creation.

If you don't feel like you have the time and effort for that sort of crafty exercise then you can always buy cheap wrapping paper from The Card Factory and Poundland although it can be a little thin so do be careful.

And… if you can't be bothered to wrap your presents (I'm often like that) then there's always good old gift bags which you can purchase from Poundland, 2 for £1 I think you can get and they're a decent size so still cheap.

Image Credit
The Turkey
If you are going all traditional for Christmas dinner like me this year then you'll be opting for a big fat juicy turkey and they don't come cheap! I've noticed a few supermarkets have offers on their turkeys at the moment so it's not a bad idea to buy it now when it's reduced and keep it frozen for Christmas day. Nothing wrong with that at all and it'll save you some much needed pennies.

Nibbles & Drinks
Everyone likes a little nibble at Christmas and if you're hosting dinner or a party then now's the time to stock up on the nibbles. Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda all have massive price cuts on little nibbles such as tins of Chocolates from Asda for £4.00 - that's the cheapest I've seen them ever! Tesco have quite a few good deals on Chocolate mints at the moment with After Eights down to £1.75 for a decent sized box or there's Thornton's Chocolate Santa's for £4.00 which is half price. They also have a massive box of Cadbury biscuits for only £5.00 which is half price as well. As for crisps, if you can't find any offers on them just buy the stores own brand ones and put them in a bowl. No one will know the difference!

Drinks are also good to buy now and stock up for later or for Christmas presents. I've noticed Asda have a massive selection of quite good Whisky reduced at the moment, for example they have a 70cl bottle of Aberlour reduced from £25.97 down to £18.00 and I think they have a 70cl bottle of Singleton reduced to £20.00 at the moment when it's normally around £35.00. Offers may be store specific so please do check before rushing out and wasting your petrol!

Make Your Own Gifts
I know this isn't for everyone and it certainly isn't for me as I just don't have the time but if you're quite artistic or good at cooking why not make your own Christmas gifts this year. Some nice homemade cookies, cakes, jams, chutneys etc will go down a treat or if you're good at sewing why not make a lovely patch work quilt or teddy for the younger generation. I've been watching Kirstie's Handmade Britain on Channel 4 Wednesday's at 8pm these past few weeks and I have to say some of the crafts that she has taken part in look amazing. I really wish I could have done some of them myself and if I ever have some spare time in future I definitely will.

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Plan, plan and plan some more!
The more you plan the less likely you are to buy impulse gifts and spend way more money than you ever expected. Don't leave your Christmas shopping until the night before Christmas either. This will cause you no end of stress and all you'll have left in your purse at the end of it will be moths!

So there you have it, some tips to a cheaper Christmas this year. I really do hope it helps but I would love to hear your tips and tricks for a cheaper Christmas. Please share!

13 November 2011

Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday

Win One of Three Pairs of Bobux Shoes


Win one of three pairs of Bobux
The original baby & toddler footwear that combines nature with nurture

From birth to three, little feet undergo an enormous amount of change. Whether crawling, toddling or walking, a child’s footwear needs to support healthy, natural development.

Bobux, a leading New Zealand innovator in children’s footwear, draws on both science and working with globally renowned specialists and natural health researchers to create eco-friendly footwear that allows unrestricted development as babies and toddlers grow.

Bobux offer three ranges of footwear based around the philosophy that children do better when they’re comfortable, happy and free to develop as nature intended. Each shoe is designed to support key stages of a child’s development from crawling to walking.

Soft Sole (indoor wear) The first ever soft-soled elasticated leather baby shoe was created in 1991 by Bobux founder Chris Bennett. These are soft, breathable and flexible shoes for babies of 0 to 27 months. Made with eco-leather and non-toxic stitching and dyes. With a unique elastic ankle support, these Bobux originals works with little feet as they grip the floor, flex muscles and spread toes, assisting in crawling and making those first steps as easy as possible. The fun, colourful soft sole designs also work to stimulate little minds just as they’re starting to take in visual information. It’s like having a mobile on the end of their legs!

Pre-walk (outdoor wear): Feature a revolutionary duo-flex sole (leather round the edges and rubber underneath) to support but not restrict natural movement during those first few steps. The pre-walk range consists of sandals, ballet shoes and sport shoes.

i-walk (outdoor wear): A soft, flexible rubber-sole shoe with extra grip that conforms to the natural walking motion of little feet allowing them to grow and explore without restriction, avoiding malformation and spinal issues later in life. The i-walk range consists of sneakers, loafers, casual shoes and sandals.

To view the entire collection visit www.bobux.co.uk Prices start from £19

Click here to enter this competition

Competition closes on 4th December 2011
Open to UK residents ONLY

Good Luck!

Review: John Crane Transport Sounds Puzzle

Trying to get Logan to do a puzzle has been a lot more difficult than I thought. Some of the puzzles he has he gets very frustrated with and loses interest quickly if he can't put the puzzle piece into the shape. He sees myself and his Daddy doing it with ease and wants to copy but unfortunately becomes rather annoyed when he can't do it himself. So when the very generous people from Letterbox kindly sent Logan the Transport Sounds Puzzle by John Crane to test and review we gladly accepted and hoped that this puzzle would bring him some joy!

This puzzle is about the same average size as any other puzzle out their on the market that you can lift shapes out of, the big difference with this one though is that it is much thicker. Why? I hear you ask, well that's because this puzzle makes noises and sounds. Ingenious isn't it and since it's a transport puzzle it makes 6 different noises of transport that we see today. These are: an aeroplane, boat, car, motorbike, train and fire engine. All really noisy and loud to keep your toddler interested.

It's a very bright and welcoming puzzle with bold colours and when you lift the puzzle pieces out there is a little scene of that particular transport in action. For example you can see the train driving along the countryside on the tracks. So quite good to explain to your toddler what that particular mode of transport does or what it is used for which is great for extra learning.

The puzzle pieces themselves are thick and chunky and perfect for little hands to manoeuvre. They're hard wearing too as Logan has had a fly chew here and there and they seem to be perfectly fine. The sound this puzzle makes is very loud, a lot louder than you would have ever expected which can be annoying but it's a good tool to help your child interact and learn cause and effect.

It does say on the John Crane website that you lift the puzzle piece out to discover the sound but when Logan lifts his puzzle pieces out they make no sound, it’s only when you slot the puzzle pieces back in do they make a noise which isn't any problem for us. One thing we do have a slight issue with is that the sound can be quite temperamental. If Logan trods on the puzzle slightly the sounds will go off or if he puts a puzzle piece into the wrong shape it'll still make a noise but not necessarily the correct noise that corresponds to that puzzle piece. Also sometimes the puzzle doesn’t make any noise when you put the puzzle piece back into it's correct place so like I said a bit temperamental at times. None the less this is still a great puzzle and Logan doesn't really care if it makes the wrong noise or not although it could get a bit confusing for him at such a young age. I could imagine older children correcting the puzzle telling it that it's making the wrong noises though!

Logan does really enjoy this puzzle, it has to be his favourite now as it really engages him and spurs him on even more to fit the pieces correctly into the shapes. The puzzle pieces are a lot easier for him to pick up and a lot easier for him to slot into place as well so a big thumbs up for that. He finds the noises amusing and it always brings a little smile to his face when a noise burst out of the little speaker.

As for batteries you might be wondering, well you need 2xAAA to run this bad boy but don't worry, they're already included in the puzzle for you. You'll also be glad to know that this puzzle has and on/off switch so when your little one has finished playing just switch it off! Simple as that.

You can purchase this interactive noisy puzzle from LetterBox for £14.00. John Crane also do a Farm Sounds Puzzle and a Jungle Sounds Puzzle so keep your eyes pealed for these.

Overall a superb puzzle to keep your toddler entertained and to help them learn all about methods of transport. A few issues with the temperamental sounds however this can be overlooked by the quality of the puzzle and the amount of use it will probably get. Pricing is a bit high, it could really do with being a little cheaper but it's not something that will break the bank so still affordable.

Mummies rating - 7/10
Logan's rating - 9/10

Please visit www.letterbox.co.uk and www.john-crane.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what LetterBox get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.

9 November 2011

Review: Baby On Board Badges

When I was pregnant and commuting to work I always hated it when I would jump on a bus to get home only to find all the seats were taken and I would have to stand. Not so bad in the first few months of pregnancy but by the end you literally would kill for a seat. With a massive bump, swollen feet and having no balance what so ever the last thing you want to do is stand on a bus and cling to dear life whilst the crazy bus driver thinks he's in a rally car!

All too often this would happen and you sort of became invisible, people would completely ignore how heavily pregnant you were just so they could keep their fat bums on a seat. Every so often you would get a nice elderly gentleman or lady offering you there seat but lets be honest I wasn't going to take a seat from an elderly person. They needed it more than me.

Sometimes I thought maybe people didn't think I was pregnant, maybe they thought I was a bit over weight and didn't want to offend me by offering me their seat on the bus! I don't really think so though, I was clearly pregnant.
As you can imagine I was very please then when the lovely people from Baby On Board Badges offered me a handful of their delightful products to review, I gladly accepted. It's about time people realised you were pregnant and needed a seat on the bus/ train etc. These badges were created by mum-of-two Joycellyn Akuffo, founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk who commuted and stood during both her pregnancies.

First impressions are great, these lovely little badges are not overly large so not embarrassing but just big enough to wave at someone if they don't give up their seat on the bus for you. They look and feel well made and the finish is of good quality. The message on the badges are quite good. The ones I received were; "Yes! I'm Pregnant", "I Grow People - what's your superpower?", "Knocked Up" and "This One's Nearly Ready".
There are 30 plus different badge designs to choose from so something to suit every pregnant woman out there. My favourite was the "YES! I'm Pregnant". I wasn't too keen on the "Knocked Up" badge however, it just seemed to go a bit far for me. I was proud to be pregnant and although some of the slogan's are quite amusing and a lot of fun this one just didn't do it for me. Totally personal opinion though.

You can purchase your very own bundle of baby on board badges from www.babyonboardbadge.co.uk prices range from £1.50.

Overall lovely little badges and a great little extra gift to give when you find out your friend is pregnant or even an extra quirky gift to give at Christmas! Fair pricing but some of the slogan's are just not to my taste. They do have over 30 designs though so you can pick and choose as you please.

Mummies rating - 7/10

Please visit www.babyonboardbadge.co.uk for more products and information.

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