28 February 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful - Week 8

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

Another hard week trying to think of things to be cheerful about, it is very very hard at the moment but I'll see what I can come up with!

#1 We Rescued a Hedgehog
Well on Friday afternoon last week I was washing some dishes at the sink and preparing lunch when I looked out of the kitchen window and noticed a little hedgehog running around on our grass. Very unusual I thought as hedgehogs normally only come out at night and rest during the day. I was a bit concered as we have a lot of cats and dogs in our neighbourhood and I would not have been able to live with myself if a cat or dog got a hold of the poor wee hedgehog so I called the SSPCA who asked me to scoop him up and put him in a little box and they would come round to see if he was ok. They took him away for examination so that was my good deed done for the day!

#2 Reviews
A lot more lovely reviews will be coming soon! It's all very exciting and Logan is loving all the new things he's getting to try. It's good because it stimulates him and gets his little mind working, just what a growing boy needs. Check out our Reviews page for up and coming reviews.

#3 Graco Ambassador Competition
I have been 1 of 5 people chosen to test the new Graco Fusio Pushchair and be in with a chance to win £500 and become a Graco Ambassador! It's all very exciting so over the next month please keep an eye out for post, reviews and some different exciting stuff invloving the Fusio Pushchair. And please support me along the way, it will be very much appreciated.

Review: ALDI Mamia Senstive Baby Wipes & Mamia Ultra Dry Nappies

Are you trying to save some money on those baby essentials such as nappies and wipes? Then I may just have the solution for you. The lovely people from ALDI have kindly sent us some of their wipes and nappies to test and review. A lovely pack of Mamia Senstive Baby Wipes and a pack of Mamia Ultra Dry Nappies. Here is what we thought of them.

Mamia Sensitive Baby Wipes
I was rather sceptical of these wipes at first because they were such a great price I thought the quality could never match it! How wrong was I. These wipes are fantastic, I would even go as far as to say they are much better than some leading brands! You get 80 wipes in a pack and they are nice and thick and very moist. Some wipes I have tried were very dry and so thin and just did not clean my son's bottom well. My son has been having very bad nappy rash recently and these wipes did not hurt his bottom and he was quite happy for me to wipe him clean. They are hypoallergenic as well (and fragrance free) with Aloe Vera and Chamomile to help keep baby's skin soft and smooth. The packaging is good too with the lid retaining its stickiness so that the wipes can be firmly shut away so they do not dry out. You can buy these wipes from ALDI stores for an amazing 85p! These wipes have also won the Mother & Baby Silver Award for Best Baby Wipe in 2008/9.

Mamia Ultra Dry Nappies
The design on these nappies is very cute and this makes them appealing to the eye. They are a little bulkier than some nappies but this has not been a problem for my son, he is quite happy to wear them and I have had no complaints from him so they must be comfy. We have the size 4/4+  Maxi nappies which go from 15-44 lbs and my son is a big boy so there is plenty of room in them for him. You get 48 nappies in this size pack. Unfortunately for my son he has had some bad diarrhoea over the past week but it was the perfect time to try these nappies out. I can confidently and happily say that we have had no leaks from these nappies at all and they have kept all the yuky poo in, thank god. These nappies have been dermatologically tested and are hypoallergenic perfect for babies with sensitive skin like my little boy. You can buy these nappies from ALDI stores for £4.99, which works out at just over 10p per nappy! They are also available in different sizes not just size 4/4+.

I really struggled to find any problems or faults with both of these products and I still cannot find any!

Overall these are both great products which I would happily recommend to friends and family. They tick all the boxes when it comes to price, quality and practicality. A good all round baby essential buy and one that will save you some pennies without compromise.

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

You can find more amazing baby products from Aldi on their website: www.aldi.co.uk

27 February 2011

Silent Sunday - Look Who We Rescued...


Silent Sunday

26 February 2011

Review: Zoli Buzz B Nail Trimmer

Are you struggling to cut your little wrigglers nails? Well this might be the gadget for you! The lovely people at Mama TENS have kindly sent us the Zoli Buzz B Nail Trimmer to test and review. Here is what we thought of it.

The Zoli Buzz B Nail Trimmer is a safe alternative to trimming your babies nails with clippers or scissors. It is powered by one AA battery (which is included) and is safe to use from newborn to toddler (0-2 years). The nail trimmer uses soft emery pads which are specially designed for baby's nails so it won't harm the surrounding skin and it comes with a handy little carry case so very easy to transport and keep clean and safe. You also have the power to control the speed of the nail trimmer with 2 different power settings. There are 4 different emery pads to choose from; 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months and 12 months+.

We chose the 12 months+ emery pad to use on Logan's nails and it worked pretty well. His nails were quite long when we used the nail trimmer so it did take a lot longer than using a nail clipper however we can only use the nail clipper when Logan is asleep as he wriggles around too much and we would end up hurting him by mistake. Using the Zoli Buzz B Nail Trimmer prevents any risk of injury and can be used at any time not just when baby is asleep. Logan found this nail trimmer very amusing and laughed when it touched his skin, I think it was tickling him, and he sat quite happily to have his nails trimmed.

The battery was easy to access and change without a problem and I quite like the fact that the nail trimmer has a little rubber non-slip grip around the edge so if you get sweaty hands whilst trimming your little ones nails then it won't slip and possibly cause injury. The Zoli Buzz B Nail Trimmer is perfectly designed to fit comfortable in the palm of your hand whether you are left or right handed.

You can buy this lovely nail trimmer from Mama TENS for £24.99 which includes delivery. I think this would make the perfect gift for any first time parents.

The only problem I can see with this nail trimmer is that you may have to replace the emery pads after a while however I cannot seem to find anywhere that stocks them so I am a little confused at this.

Overall a lovely little safe nail trimmer although a bit expensive but the safety feature far outweighs the price if you are using it often. A little confused about how to replace the emery pads which is a shame and lets it down a little.

Logan's rating - 8/10
Mummies rating - 7/10

Please visit Mama TENS for more information and other great products.

25 February 2011

Fashion Friday #2


T-shirt: Tesco £1.50 (in the sale)
Accessories: Skibz £9.00
Cord Trousers: Asda (handmedown)
Socks: Debenhams £5.00 (5 Pack)
Toy: Fisher-Price Tappy The Turtle (handmedown)

24 February 2011

Review: Mother's Day Gifts www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk

The very generous people at www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk have sent me some lovely Mother's Day goodies to test and review. I was sent the IOU Mum Cards, Dear Mum from you to me Journal and the Aroma Home Fluffy Feet Warmers. Here is what I thought of them.

IOU Mum Cards
I really think these are a cute little quirky gift for Mother's Day, a little extra present you can give with the flowers and chocolates. The box is very nicely presented and keeps the cards safe and secure. You get 30 IOU favour cards to show your mum how much you appreciate her. The idea is that you give these to your mum and she can call in the favours any time she likes and you have to oblige. There are 25 cards in the pack with specific IOU's and 5 cards which your mum or you can customise. Some of my favourite IOU's include; first bite of my next bar of chocolate, make you laugh and be your butler for the afternoon. I feel these cards are more designed for people who are still staying at home with their mums however they could still work if you live separately. You can purchase these cute little cards for a fantastic £2.99.

Dear Mum from you to me Journal
The concept of this is great and so is the reality. Millions of people must want to ask their mum a ton of questions about their life but just don't know where to start! This is the perfect gift for that and something that you can keep for generations to come. Very high quality journal with high quality paper inside. Questions include; What were your favourite childhood toys or games?, What was the first piece of music you bought? and What piece of advice would you like to offer me? This is truly one of those gifts that keeps on giving and I cannot recommend it enough. You can purchase this brilliant journal for only £8.99.

Aroma Home Fluffy Feet Warmers
If your mum is like mine and always has cold feet then she will really appreciate a gift like this one. It does exaclty what it says on the tin, keeps your feet snug and warm in a soft fluffy slipper. These feet warmers are fragranced with strawberry and vanilla, which smells delicious by the way, and are very soft and kind to the feet. They have a good sole on them as well with nobbly bumps to keep them from being slippy on laminate floors. The inserts which you heat to keep your feet cosy slip into the top of the feet warmers and only take 1 minute at max to heat in the microwave depending on the wattage your microwave has. You can purchase these fluffy feet warmers for a cool £14.99, well worth every penny.

Overall these are great gifts and I would happily buy them for my mum. My favourite would have to be the fluffy feet warmers, a good all round winner for any mum and will definitely be appreciated. The IOU Cards are more geared towards people still living with their mum so maybe a bit limited but still a good quirky gift.

Mummies rating - 9/10

You can find more information and more brilliant Mother's Day Gifts from www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk

23 February 2011

Review: MunchCup Snacks by Benjoy

The lovely people at Benjoy have asked Logan and I to test out their MunchCup Snacks. They sent us the Multigrain Bites and Crunchy Grape Slices. Here is what we thought of them.

Multigrain Bites
The little cups these snacks come in are the perfect size for little hands. The multigrain bites are tomato and carrot flavour and all with 100% natural ingredients. The ingredients include; rice, quinoa, oats, wheat, tomato and carrot juices. Suitable from 1 year+ as they are quite small and would need some teeth to crunch them. You get 4 yummy munchcups in one packet and these are very handy for taking out and about with you. Logan quite liked the taste of these but when I tasted them I thought they could have done with a little more flavour.

Crunchy Grape Slices
Logan has always refused to eat grapes so I thought this would be a good alternative to get him interested in the fruit. The ingredients that are in these cups are only 100% grape! Yes that's right, 100% grape! Fantastic, no little nasties in there at all. The grapes have been freeze-dried which is a gentle process that removes the water from the grapes without destroying nutrients and creates a lovely crunchy texture. These are also one of your 5 a day and must have been very tasty as Logan took to them really well. He held the cup and picked out the pieces one by one.

One unique selling point with these MunchCups is that they have an anti-spill cover over the top so that your child can put their hand in and get the snack but the pieces won't fall out if the tub is tipped upside down. Well Logan has this anti-spill system sussed already. He turns the cups upside down and puts his hand in but leaves enough room to let the snacks fall out! I did however test the anti-spill myself and I could not get the snacks to fall out so it definitely does work. Logan has just discovered how to make the snacks fall out, he likes to make a mess!

The recommend retail price for this product is from £2.49 to £2.69 and can be purchased from Morrisons, Ocado, Waitrose and many more.

Overall these are great little healthy tasty snacks and a good price for a pack of 4 as you get a lot of snack in each cup.

Logan's rating - 7.5/10
Mummies rating - 7/10

Please visit www.benjoy.co.uk for more information.

Shoe Wars

Is it just Logan or do other children hate having shoes on their feet as well?? As a baby I never really put anything on Logan's feet other than socks and I feel this has been my undoing when it comes to the shoe wars. From the first time I did put shoes on his little (big) feet he has always tugged them off again! He has even had many a tantrum in the back of the car because he cannot pull his shoes off.

We bought him some lovely first shoes from Clarks and they mostly reside in his mouth and not on his feet. And as soon as I take them out of his mouth and try to put them on his feet I get the usual obligatory tantrum! He just has a massive thing for shoes I guess, I hope it doesn't turn into some weird fetish as he gets older!!! The little gem has even taken a shining to his teddy bears trainers which we got from Build-A-Bear.

Logan having his feet measured for the first time.
So far the only footwear that I have managed to keep on him for longer than 10 minutes has been his little Nike Air Max trainers. I'm not sure if it's because these have laces and not velcro as he loves to chew and suck on the velcro straps. My plan is now that we have a set of reins I can get him out of the buggy more and walking around. This should distract him from the shoe munching although he has taken up a new hobby, lunging into bins!!

Whilst out shopping every bin we passed Logan just had to try and touch. My cries of "NOOOOO that's dirty!!" were completely ignored but since he was on reins he had to stop, I was in control! However this led to a nice tantrum at not being able to touch the bins. Maybe I shall try and get him to push the buggy with me next time, give him something to focus on?

Reasons to be Cheerful - Week 7

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

This week I'm really struggling to find some reasons to be cheerful as a lot of things have happened which are not so good but I'm going to try and see what I can come up with as the "reasons to be cheerful" are a little reminder that life isn't all that bad.

#1 New Phone Sim Card
The other half and I had been searching for new contract phones as our contracts were up and we thought it would be nice to treat ourselves. After a little chat, we decided there was nothing wrong with the phones we have and that we should just keep the phone but get different sim cards as we get a rubbish signal with Vodafone in our house, so we've now changed to orange and the signal we get is great plus it's saving us £40 a month - fantastic!!!

#2 Saving Money on Gas & Electricity
In keeping with the saving money theme so far, the other half and I sat down with a cup of tea to work out if we could save any money on our Gas and Electricity. We're currently with Scottish Hydro Electric and their customer service is first class, best customer service we have ever had so we did not want to lose that. I called them up and they said they can put me on a cheaper plan that will save us some pennies so we are both really pleased about that. Thank you Scottish Hydro!

#3 Logan Walking
Logan has been walking for a few months now but he's getting more confident and a lot faster so we've bought him a set a reins so that when we're out and about he can walk along with us safely. He loves it and has been walking around the shopping centres with us with a massive smile on his face. The reins we have are from Tommee Tippee, they’re nice and padded to protect Logan's little body.

22 February 2011

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is just over 5 weeks away on 3rd April 2011. Why not beat the rush and be prepared this year and buy your mum a gorgeous gift in advanced. Can you imagine, no worrying about when the postman will turn up and no stress of going into town to bardge round the shop with everyone in your way!

Here are a selection of very interesting and unquie gift ideas for mother's day.

Why not purchase a SodaStream? Echo friendly and with prices starting at £55.00 you can't go wrong.

IOU Mum Cards
Have you not been spending enough time with you mum? Why not buy her these IOU Mum Cards, at £2.99 they are the perfect quirky gift.

Fluffy Feet Warmers
Does you mum like to wear slippers? These fluffy feet wearmer from aroma home with keep his toes cosy in this cold weather and make them smell delicious with a strawberry and vanilla scent. All for a fabulous price of £14.99

Dear Mum from you to me Life Journal
Don't know enough about your mum but wish you did? Get her the Dear Mum from you to me journal of a lifetime. Perfect to share a chat about your mums memories for a beautiful £8.99

You can find the SodaStream at: www.sodastream.co.cuk
All other gifts can be purchased from: www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk

Review: Alphatastic

Are you looking for that unique gift idea for the little person in your life. Well I may have just discovered it for you! Alphatastic are specialists in creating exclusive personalised artworks of your child's name which are truly beautiful. We were lucky enough to be offered a fantastic discount from Alphatastic in return for a review. Here is what we think of them and their products.

The first impressions are from their website which is very well layed out and very user friendly. I always feel a good website will entice buyers to purchase instead of just browsing. They have some fantastic themes to choose from which include; Noah's Ark, Toy Box Girl or Boy, Fairy Princess, Princess Play Party and Pirate Bay. We chose to have Logan's name done in the Noah's Ark theme.

These children's name pictures are created undividually and uniquely each and every time from original hand drawn and painted artworks. You can be sure you will definitely be getting quality from Alphatastic. These lovely works of art would make great gifts for new born babies, a first christening gift or birthday or christmas gift. They will last a life time as they are made using conservation grade standards and it will be very much appreciated by the recipient.

When ordering Logan's name artwork we also asked for it to be framed so that we wouldn't have the hassle or expense of doing this ourselves. Very handy I thought especially if it was a gift for someone else. All are bespoke designed, handmade frames with safety-glazing. Perfect for a child's room as you will have no fear of glass smashing everywhere!

One of the things that I really really like about these children's name artworks is that you can also have a little message included in the artwork, for example we have Logan's date and time of birth as well as his weight just under his name which looks fantastic and it will be something he can treasure forever. Everyone wants to make their child's room look special and unique and this is certainly the way to do it. No one else will ever have the same piece of art and with prices starting at £37.95 it's a bargain!!

The prices are worked out as such; £37.95 for a short name (4-6 Letters mounted) and £39.95 for a long name (7-11 Letters mounted). You can have the artwork framed for an extra £20.00 which is a fabulous price in my opinion as the other half and I are right into our art and we have had numerous things framed and £20.00 for a bespoke handmade frame is a good price. All in all it would cost you up to around £59.95 plus £5.95 P&P but that is an amazing price for something so unqiue and that lasts forever. Your artwork is very well packaged too so there is absolutely no need to worry about the pesky courier damaging it. Alphatastic aim to delivery your artwork within 14 days but you must allow up to 28 days just incase as these are all individually done. We received Logan's in just over a week, I think it was, so not too bad at all.

Alphastatic was created by husband and wife team Matt & Terri, so a small family run business, which I am all for. This country needs more small businesses. I have probably hassled Matt with hundreds of questions in the last few weeks and nothing has every been too much trouble, very polite and friendly with a good sense of humour. Matt and his wife have taken 3 years to develope the business with Alphatastic finally going live on 1st November 2010. Matt and Terri can be found on twitter and facebook so very up to date with the times, it's always good to see.

We really can't wait to put this artwork up in Logan's room. We're having has room decorated first though but I'll be sure to post photos when it's all done.

Overall I highly recommend these gorgeous works of art and will definitely be recommending them to family and friends. Don't forget you can also buy gift vouchers so that people can make them themselves if you are unsure of what they would like. Fair pricing, excellent quality, friendly and helpful people, what more could you ask for!!

Since this is something Logan's can't really rate I've asked the other half to chip in and give me his score out of 10.

Mummies rating - 10/10
The Other Half's rating - 10/10

Please visit alphatastic for more information.

21 February 2011

World Book Day 3rd March 2011

There are only 10 days now until World Book Day on 3rd March so why not celebrate by taking your child to the library and getting them interested in books! There is never a bad time to start gaining your child's interest in books and the sooner you start the better in my opinion.

I have been trying my hardest to get Logan interested in books from as young as 3 months old but he was a little too young then! He is more interested now but still likes the odd chew of a book instead of looking at it. No harm done though, he still has the opportunity to see books every day and I hope this will help him to develop a healthy appetite for reading.

20 February 2011

Silent Sunday - Hello There!


Silent Sunday

19 February 2011

Review: Luscombe Drinks

Looking for that extra special little non-alcoholic tipple for your party, then Luscombe Drinks could be the answer to your prayers!

The people at Luscombe Drinks have kindly asked us to review a few of their drinks and provided us with Elderflower Bubbly (wild), Sicilian Lemonade (organic) and Cranberry Crush. Here is what we thought of them.

Elderflower Bubbly (wild)
I am not a massive fan of elderflower as it is quite sickly for me but this drink was actually very refreshing. A complete surprise to me and I managed to drink it all without having that sickly feeling. As well as the elderflower this drink has a touch of sicilian lemons added to it which I think gives it that refreshing taste and with the added fizz it is just lovely. Perfect drink to wash down some yummy chocolates!

Sicilian Lemonade (organic)
This drink is very very refreshing, perfect for a hot summers day with a few ice cubes as well. It has been certified organic and has won the great taste gold award in 2007, 2008 & 2009. The lemon tastes like it has been freshly squeezed which must be hard to preserve in a bottle until it reaches the customer so they have done an excellent job with this.

Cranberry Crush
The Cranberry Crush had to be my favourite. So crisp and like the others, so refreshing and full of taste. I like it that it has a fizz to it and would be perfect to serve to guests at parties. This has been certified organic as well and in 2010 Luscombe Drinks donated 15p of every bottle of this drink sold to Breast Cancer in the months of September, October and November. I think that was such a superb thing to do and I hope they do it again this year.

Luscombe Drinks are made with quality fresh ingredients and do not come from concentrates. They have no additives, preservatives, colourants, flavourings, enhancers, acidity regulators, artificial sweeteners, animal by-products, artificial pesticide residues and GMO`s. All the Luscombe Drinks are made in Devon, within the historic setting of the Domesday farm.

Their drinks are hand-made in batches, with real ingredients, so each batch may vary slightly due to the raw ingredients varying slightly due to the seasons. They often come with  sediment in the bottles which is evidence to show how natural these drinks are. And to prove this my bottle of Sicilian Lemonade did have sediment at the bottom of the bottle, a quick shake before pouring and all was fine.

Luscombe Drinks have won a ton of awards for their amazing drinks, far to many to list but they have won awards from Great Taste, Taste of the West and BBI Awards. Mostly all of these awards are Gold and they won Best Drink Producer in 2010 from Devon Life Food & Drinks Awards.

You can buy the Luscombe Drinks in either 74cl or 32cl bottles at independant retailers and some well known department stores including Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges. Drinks are priced from £1.50 and are starting to appear in cafes and restaurants which definitley shows it's popularity.

Overall these are very tastey drinks and so refreshing, both myself and the other half agreed on this. The price is ok, not the cheapest but not the most expensive!

Mummies rating - 9/10
Other Half's rating - 9.5/10

Please visit www.luscombe.co.uk for more information and some great cocktail recipe ideas. Luscombe Drinks also have their own Facebook page, please tell them The Breastest News Blog sent you!

18 February 2011

Pancake Day Recipe

Pancake Day is fast approaching (just under 3 weeks away), what kind of pancakes will you be making?
Here is a little bit of the story behind Pancake day.

What is Pancake Day?
Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (familiarly known in the British Isles as Pancake Day) is the day before the start of Lent, an important period in the Christian calendar.

Lent recognises the forty days and forty nights that Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness. The traditional method for Christians to observe Lent was to begin by confessing their sins and being “shriven” or offered forgiveness, before spending the period fasting. Many Christians still recognise Lent by giving up something they enjoy.

Why Pancakes?
In preparation for the Lenten fast, it was traditional to have a feast which would empty the cupboards of foods forbidden during the fast. Pancakes would use up eggs, butter and sugar, which were usually considered foods not to be eaten during Lent.

So what kind of Pancakes will you be making on Pancake day? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Basic Pancakes

120g Plain Flour
2 Eggs
300ml of Milk
Vegetable Oil for Frying

1. Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and beat with a whisk or fork. Gradually beat in the milk, drawing in the flour from around the edge, until you have a smooth batter.

2. Cover and leave to stand in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Heat a little oil in a 18cm heavy-based frying pan, tilting the pan to spread the oil evenly.

4. Pour in just enough batter to thinly coat the base of the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden on the under side. Flip over, and cook the other side until golden.

5. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

6. Repeat with the remaining batter to make eight pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

250g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
250ml Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
50g Butter, melted plus an extra small knob for the pan
100g Bluberries

1. Heat the oven to 110C/gas 1/4, and place 4 plates in to warm.

2. Sift the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a mixing bowl.

3. In a jug, combine the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and whisk together, without worrying too much about any remaining lumps. Tip in the blueberries and stir a little more.

4. Heat a cast-iron frying pan or griddle over a moderate flame. Add a small knob of butter and melt. Ladle in enough batter to make an 18cm round. Repeat the process until all the batter is used up.

5. When bubbles appear on the top, take a peek to check if the underside is golden. When it is, flip over and cook until golden on both sides.

6. Keep the pancakes warm, on top of the plates in the oven while you finish making the whole batch.

7. Warm the maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan, or in the microwave oven. Arrange the pancakes on the 4 warm plates, pour over the buttery syrup and serve.

Pancake Background Info from deashelper
Recipes from uktv

Fashion Friday #1

Every Friday I'm going to post a photo of Logan and list where his clothes are from and what price they are. Thank you to www.petitmom.co.uk for the great idea.

Dungarees: Asda £10.00
Socks: Debenhams (5 Pack) £5.00

17 February 2011

Giveaway: PlayMais 500 Piece Bucket

So you loved the PlayMais review and desperately want some for your own budding artist. Well here's how to get your hands on a 500 Piece PlayMais Bucket which PlayMais have kindly agreed to give away to one of my lucky blog readers.

500 Piece Bucket

To be in with a chance of winning:

1. Follow this blog (or tell me you already are).
2. Follow @BreatestNews on Twitter (or tell me you already are) and tweet '@BreastestNews I've entered to win PlayMais 500 Piece Bucket with www.thebreastestnews.co.uk '
3. Follow The Breastest News Blog on Facebook (or tell me you already are).
4. Then leave a comment here telling me which method of entry you have chosen. Extra entries will be given to those who complete all 4 steps.

This is a UK only giveaway, closing date is 3rd March 2011 at 12 noon.

Winner will be chosen using Random.org

Good Luck everyone!!

Review: PlayMais

Over the last few weeks I have been searching for some new crafty things to do with Logan. He's still young at 14 months old and enjoys the odd scribble with his crayons but I really wanted something else, something more exciting! This is when we discovered PlayMais. The lovely PlayMais people kindly sent Logan and I a box to try out and review. Here is what we thought.

So what is PlayMais? PlayMais is a new craft toy using 100% natural ingredients. Sweetcorn and plant dyes are moulded into colourful building blocks which can stick to each other using just a dab of water. So no nasties in there, it can even be eaten although I don't think it tastes that good as Logan had a nibble and he spat it right back out! PlayMais is also biodegradable so no need to worry about the environment when playing with this toy. The box that PlayMais is packaged in is also just cardboard, another bonus for the environment.

In each PlayMais box you will find a simple inscructions book, a little knife (which is fully biodegradable and made of cornstarch) to help cut up the blocks if need be and also a sponge to help with sticking the blocks together. All you need to have great fun with your child. I must say that Logan loved this stuff. I was not sure how he would react to start with but as we began to play it soon became apparent he enjoyed it. He passed me the blocks and I would stick them together making flowers and stick men. Logan would then break them apart, he loved it. Even though he was too young to build really, he loved being part of it and passing me the blocks. I love this stuff because it is not messy at all. The dye doesn't come out of the blocks and it's so easy to stick the blocks together. And because it is 100% natural and can be eaten I do not have to worry about Logan hurting himself.

PlayMais can also be stuck to other surfaces such as plant pots, glass, paper and cardboard. Great for the older child to explore their creative talents.

PlayMais have several different kits that you can buy and the starting price is £2.99 for themed kits which include; a Lion, Giraffe, Fish, Cow or Princess. At £2.99 for a good crafty kit you're not going to break the bank. They have some Generic boxes which come in Small, Medium and Large as well as Basic Buckets with 500 or 1000 pieces. The good thing about the buckets is that you can keep everything contained, quite handy I think. For the really creative and talented children there are also larger themed packs which include; a Farm, Jungle, Safari, Deco, Princess and Sea. Last but not least is the Colourline collection. This allowes parents to buy the PlayMais blocks in one colour which is good if your child has a preference or you need more blocks to make a certain sculpture. Colours include; Pink, Orange, Green, Blue, Red and Yellow.

PlayMais is available to purchase from John Lewis, Amazon and all good toy shops and retailers. Prices range from £2.99 to £19.99. To find more stockist please visit topbananatoys and click on the PlayMais icon. You can also watch a video showing PlayMais in action!

To top it all off PlayMais has also won awards for being such a great product in its native Germany but is already taking the UK by storm. It currently holds accolades from NATLL Good Toy Awards, ToyTalk Awards and Creative Play.

Overall I think this is a brilliant crafty toy and definitly one for the younger children to enjoy from an early age. I will be recommending this to friends and family for sure. Good prices too and nothing that will break the bank at the end of the day. I didn't have one single problem with this toy at all. Big thumbs up from Logan and I.

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

Please watch out for our PlayMais Giveaway coming soon! An excellent 500 Piece Bucket to be Won!

16 February 2011

Review: SodaStream

The lovely people at SodaStream kindly offered us one of their products to test and review. They sent us the Stream sodastream just one of their many sodastream designs.

Mother's Day is fast approaching so if you are looking for that perfect gift I think this would make an ideal unique Mother's Day present.

We were very excited to receive the sodastream as my other half can remember them from when he was little. He would get a fizzy drink from the sodastream every time he visited his granny. A very fond memory for him so he has been helping with the review.

First impressions are good, it comes in a cardboard box which can only be good for the environment and minimum plastic packaging inside. This was quite easy to set up as well, hardly any fiddle bits at all and even though I got stuck with one instruction it was my fault as I was being a bit stupid. The other half kindly pointed out my mistake. It only took us 10-15 minutes at most to set up and make ourselves a fizzy drink and once the sodastream is fully set up it'll take you seconds to get yourself a fizzy drink from then on. Perfect if your in need of your quick fizzy drink fix and want to save the environment as well.

There are tons of different flavours for the sodastream from apple, lemonade and cola to blackcurrant, green tea and blueberry sport. For a full list of flavours please visit their website: www.sodastream.co.uk. Prices for the flavours range from £3.29 for a 500ml bottle or £4.99 for a sample pack of flavours. You can even purchase the variety sample pack for £12.99 which we have and you get a good selection of 12 samples in the pack. Definitly worth purchasing to try out the flavours before commiting to a 500ml bottle just incase you do not like the flavour you have purchased.

The sodastream machine itself starts from £55.99 and goes all the way up to £149.99 for the really fancy ones. The Stream machine that we have comes in two colours, white or grey. We have the grey one and it fits in perfectly with all our other kitchen appliances. I like the size of the machine as well, it is just small enough to fit under our kitchen cupboards but big enough so that it does not look cheap. There is nothing worse than spending quite a bit of money only to receive a little appliance that you thought would have been much bigger.

The Gas Cylinder that comes with the sodastream needs a licence as it's CO2 which is contained within it. The licence is provided with the purchase of the machine which is very handy and sodastream also offer a gas cylinder exchange. Here is how it works "When the gas in the cylinder is used up, you exchange the empty cylinder for a full one, paying only the cost of the gas refill". This can be done on the sodastream website and you can also purchase spare cylinders if need be. I really like the idea of refilling the cylinder as it will save waste and in turn say the environment. If you keep using the sodastream instead of buying tins and bottles of fizzy juice this will save the environment too as well as saving you money. A good all round winner really. The only thing that you will have to keep repurchasing (apart from the flavours) is the Bottles in which you make your fizzy juice. These have an expiry date on them so you will need to purchase more once these ones expire. You can buy a pack of 2 bottle for around £9.99.

So when trying the machine out to get our fizzy drink we thought it was quite simple and the drinks tasted lovely. Not every drink was to our taste for example the cola as it was very sweet and you automatically compare it to coca cola and it's just not the same. The lemonade is delicious and we loved the apple as well so there is something in there for everyone. One problem which we noticed was that the drinks didn't hold their fizz long. We put as much fizz into the bottle of water as possible then added our flavour before trying. The first time you taste the drink it is lovely and fizzy but after keeping the bottle in the fridge and drinking the next day it seems to have lost some of the fizz which is a shame. From one of your bottles you can fill around 4 slim wine glasses or roughly 3 normal tumblers which is quite good if you have family round. We both liked the fact that you can put the bottles in the fridge on their sides and they do not leak, excellent.

Overall the SodaStream is a great value for money product and an ideal unique gift for your loved one that they will cherish for some time. Easy to clean, easy to assemble and very tastey drinks. Both the other half and I agree that we really like this product. Our only problem was the loss of fizz happened quite quickly and we wished it would stay fizzier for longer.

Mummies rating - 8/10
Other Half's rating - 8.5/10

15 February 2011

Review: Jackson Reece Baby Wipes

Logan has been having a hard time of late with his teething and this in turn has caused him to have severe nappy rash which at some points began to crack and bleed. Not nice to say the least! We had to go back to using cotton wool and water to clean his bottom as although some leading brands of wipes claim to be sensitive to babies skin they weren't. They actually made his nappy rash worse by irritating it and also stinging his little bottom.

We were really glad when Jackson Reece sent us some wipes to review for them and thought this was the perfect opportunity to try them out.

It was a tense moment before using the wipes on Logan's little bottom to see how he would react to them and although his bum was still sore when we wiped him with the Jackson Reece wipes he did not cry or try to squirm away as they were not stinging his bottom. I think the actually fact I was wiping his bottom was sore but not the wipes. Fantastic I thought and when I read the packet of wipes they contain Aloe Vera and Tea Tree Oil, all the things Logan's little bottom needs to heal and be soothed. The wipes also contain Lavender Essential Oil which smells great, is relaxing which combats stress and has a healing effect and is useful for skin problems, wounds, insect bites and stings. So by the sounds of it these wipes could be used for much much more than just bottom wiping! Oh and they contain no nasties!
I like the fact that these wipes are nice and thick and don't break up in your hands or whilst wiping babies bottom. They do not stick together in the packet either so it is much easier to grab a wipe at a time rather than pulling out the whole packet! I've had some name brand wipes do this and when you have a squirming baby and poo every where it is the last thing you need.

Apart from the fact that these wipes are a hit with Logan they are a big hit with me. Their full packaging is biodegradable and so are the wipes which are made from wood pulp from a sustainable source. Jackson Reece are the first company to have fully biodegradable packing and wipes. They have also won numerous awards from mother & baby, practical parenting & pregnancy, practical pre-school and tips best of the best. This proves to me that other mums find these wipes fantastic and that the company doesn't have to push their product on anyone as people genuinely think it's fantastic. I am one of those people.

These wipes are available from stores such as Mothercare, Superdrug and Sainsburys. The rrp is around £2.00 for the 72pk natural herbal wipes and £1.00 for the 10pk flushable wipes. For more stockist please visit www.jacksonreece.com.

Overall these wipes are fantastic. I have well and truly been converted from other name brands to Jackson Reece wipes. And for the safety of your child's bottom I urge you to do the same. Excellent price for what you get and I would highly recommend these.

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

14 February 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful - Week 6

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

#1 Love is in the air
It's Valentine's Day today and love is in the air. I've never seen so many men in the supermarkets buying cards and flowers! It's lovely to see everyone getting into it and reminds me that love isn't dead yet. I know Valentine's Day can be a bit of a manufactured love with all the industries trying to get you to buy their flowers, chocolates and cards etc but I still think it's nice. And I got some lovely Molten Brown goodies from the other half.

#2 Goodies
Logan and I have been very very lucky and have lots of goodies to try out and test before I review them. I had no idea when I started that it would take off in the way it has and it's been great. We're really enjoying ever minute of it and spending that extra time together is a bonus. Hopefully soon we'll be invited to some baby events!

#3 Decorating
We're going to be having a few of our rooms decorated in the house soon. They badly need freshened up and there's nothing better than a nice coat of paint to do it. We might be moving Logan into the big room soon as well so we're having some funky wall paper on a feature wall and some bright paint to compliment it. Thank you to the father-in-law who is a painter and decorator by trade, he'll be doing the work and he is fantastic at it.

Review: Penwizard Personalised Children's Book

The people at Penwizard kindly offered us a free personalised children's book for Logan in return for a review. We gladly accepted as Logan is becoming more interested in books now and instead of chewing them he now turns the pages although sometimes upside down!

I've always loved reading myself and I'm very keen to have Logan follow in my footsteps when it comes to reading and enjoying a book but it's difficult to know where to start. Buying a personalised book seems to be the way forward. I think it might keep a child's interest for longer if their name is mentioned in a book however I think this will not be appreciated by the younger child to start with.

We picked the Roary Racing Car book from the penwizard site - Your Child Visits Silver Hatch. But there are many different books to choose from including; peppa pig, fifi and the flower tots, football, princess and many more. I thought you might have been able to personalise the book with a child's photo and their name however it was just their name on penwizard. You do get to change the appearance of the character who plays your child in the book so we made him look like Logan, blonde hair blue eyes etc and you can change the length of hair as well and even add glasses if you wish. The book we received has quite a story and I would suggest it may be best for children ages 3+. Logan is 14 months old and just did not appreciate how long it was. He did like the colours and the fact that I kept saying his name although he ignored me and the book after a while.

Each book costs £14.99 and is of good quality but I think the price is a little bit expensive. Good idea to give as a gift though and I'm sure would be very much appreciated by both child and parent as it's very personal. Once you have purchased your book it can take up to 5 days to arrive, ours arrived within the 5 days and was well packaged to protect it from the pesky mail man and his bending habit.

Overall the book is good quality and an ideal gift but is a little expensive and it's a shame you cannot put your child's photo in the book as well as their name.

Logan's rating - 7/10
Mummies rating - 6/10

Please visit http://www.penwizard.co.uk/ to get your child their own personalised book.

13 February 2011

Silent Sunday - It's all been a bit too much...


Silent Sunday

12 February 2011

Valentine's Day Cookies

Valentine's Day is almost upon us and for those of you who aren't quite as organised as some others why not bake these very simple cute love heart cookies for that special person in your life? You could even get the kids to help you!

I found these little cookies on allrecipes.co.uk created by Jelly and photo by Gigi.

*350g butter, softened
*320g sieved plain flour
*125g sieved icing sugar
*1 tablespoon of milk
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Prepare;
1. Preheat oven to 170 C/ Gas Mark 3
2. Mix butter in a mixer until light, add remaining ingredients.
3. Knead until velvety. Roll one-half of the dough at a time to about 6mm thickness using the smallest amount of flour possible.
4. Cut out and bake on a lightly greased baking tray for 12 minutes. Cookies will be almost white when cooked.

As you can see very easy recipe and very quick to make. Perfect when you don't have a lot of time on your hands and simple enough to make with the kids. An all round winner. Enjoy!

Review: Nuby Natural Touch First Cup & Supper Sipper Beaker


As well as the teethers, Nuby have kindly sent me two of their drinking cups to review. The Natural Touch First Cup and Supper Sipper Beaker.

I have been trying out different cups to see which one Logan liked the best but nothing so far has really worked out and I was struggling. Logan needed his cow's milk and I didn't want him tipping it over his head as he would be a bit stinky when it started to dry so it was a pleasure when I received these cups to find they were no spill.

Nuby Natural Touch First Cup
This cup is Step 1 for 6m+ but although Logan is 14 months old he still loves to hold his cup with handles as it requires less effort for him. He can be a little lazy! The easy drink SoftFlex silicone spout is lovely as I know it won't damage his teeth and he can drink from it easily where as other cups he's struggled a bit to get a good drink. The silicone spout is easy to clean as it is all one piece (has a built in Vari-Flo valve), no little bits to take apart and put together again which is fantastic. Nothing worse and especially if you forget what bit goes where! It is also dishwasher safe in the top rack. The only problem I have with the spout is it seems to leak a little, I'm not sure if this cup is faulty or not but we have had some leaking. Not loads but some drips. It does come with a plastic lid to put over the top of the cup so if it was in the changing bag it wouldn't spill. I quite like the fact that on the back of the cup it has measurements of ML or OZ (holds 8oz/ 240ml) so you can see how much your baby is drinking. Quite handy if you are changing from a bottle to a cup. The cup has a cute little train design on the front which I like, adds a little something to it. This cup is BPA Free and can also be bought in Step 2 (9m+) and Step 3 (12m+). The Step 1 retails at £3.99 and comes in a range of colours.

Nuby Supper Sipper Beaker
The colour of these beakers are very eye catching and definitely draws Logan's attention to it which is really good as I am trying to get him to drink more water along with his cow's milk. I wasn't too sure how he would do with this beaker as he prefers cups with handles but he took to it like a duck with water. Holding it up to get  a better drink and zooming around our livingroom with it. I was very happy with this, it's just the right size for his little hands. This Supper Sipper Beaker is Step 1 which is from 6m+ but you can also buy Step 2 (9m+), Step 3 (12m+) and Step 4 (18m+). So if you child does like this design of beaker then they go all the way up to 18m+ so no need to stress about finding another drinking cup when they have finished with Step 1. The beaker can hold up to 300ml which is perfect for taking out and about so your child will always have enough to drink. It also comes with a plastic lid to cover up the spout so no leaking in the changing bag. This beaker hasn't leaked at all for us, hooray! It is no spill and it does live up to its name. Easy to clean as with the other cup but this one doesn't say it's dishwasher safe so I would not risk it. The beaker is also BPA Free and Step 1 retails for £3.99. There are a range of colours you can have this beaker in and Nuby have it reduced on their website for £2.99 at the moment. It has even won an award - practical parenting and pregnancy bronze award 2010/2011 for feeding equipment.

Overall great cup and beaker. I would actually recommend these to friends and family which says a lot as I haven't done so with any other cups. Good price and you get value for money from these products and with a range of colours there is always going to be something to suit everyone.

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

Please visit Nuby at www.nuby-uk.com for more information and to purchase their products.

Logan Loves...


Yes that's right, cushions! A few weeks ago Logan took a shine to the cushions on my sofa in the living room and thus the love affair began.

Logan has decided that the cushions no longer belong on the sofa where they sit nice and pretty for visitors to see, No, they belong on the floor where he can jump on them, put his head on them and roll around in them. No matter how many times I pick them off the floor and return them to their rightful place on the sofa, minutes later I will always find them on the floor! They only get a rest when Logan is shipped off to bed for sleepy time.

I am not sure if the cushions have done something to Logan to make him have this vendeta against them! Maybe one of their feathers tickled him? Who knows, all I know is that my cushions are no longer safe...

11 February 2011

Review: Boots No7 & 17 Spring Collections

This is one for all the mummies out there. Want to look fab and sexilicious for Valentines Day? Well read on and see what I thought of the Boots No7 Spring Collection & Boots 17 Spring Collection make-up.

I was sent a number of different items to try out from each collection. Here's a little list of what I had;

Boots No7 Spring Collection
*Spring Collection Stay Perfect Nail Polish - rrp £12.50
*Spring Collection Gel Eye Liner - rrp £10.00
*Spring Collection Lipstick - rrp £10.00
*Spring Collection Eye Shadow Palette - rrp £7.00

Boots 17 Spring Collection
*Lasting Fix Nail Polish x2 - rrp £2.99 each
*Photo Flawless Eye Liner - rrp £3.99
*Photo Flawless Foundation - rrp £6.29
*Vintage Love Metallic Nudes Eye Shadow Palette - rrp £5.49
*Photo Flawless Mascara - rrp £5.99

Boots No7 Spring Collection
The nail polish in this collection is lovely, nice girly pink colour and it stays on for ages. I like that it is easy to wipe off with nail varnish remover as well. I hate it when you have a nail polish that refuses to be removed. The only problem I really have with this is that it smells really strong! Not something you want when you have a child and a dog in the house. The eye liner was a nice turqoise blue and you have to apply it with the brush provided. This was rather fiddly for me as I much prefer a pencil but each to their own. It has a nice texture and was easy to apply to the brush so not too bad. It gave my eyes an edge to them and it sort of draws other peoples eyes to yours. I loved the lip stick as it was very moisturising however it never stayed on long at all, maybe an hour or two so you would have to keep re-applying it. It was a nice natural shade of pink as well so I could see this going with a lot of different skin tones. The eye shadow palette is more for the adventurous types amoung us, with green, blue, pink and yellow colours. There is also a little mirror in the eye palette which is great if you're on the move however there is no brush included to apply the eye shadow which is a real shame. The eye shadow did stay on for quite a while though which is great, maybe 4 - 5 hours until I had to re-apply it again.

Boots 17 Spring Collection
I absolutely love the foundation in this collection. It basically does what it says on the tin - Gives you a flawless finish! Now I have very dry skin and some foundations stick to my dry skin and make clumps of the stuff on my face which looks hideous. This foundation didn't do that, it is amazing! I will definitely be purchasing this in the future. I tried the Honey colour and although I have very fair skin (blonde hair you see) it gave me a healthy complexion which wasn't too dark. The nail polish is great, hardly any smell which is fab, it applies easily and would be perfect to give your nails a snazzing up for your work environment. I work in an office and these colours are perfect without being over the top. The eye liner was a pencil which was very easy to apply a little bit soft so don't push too hard when applying however I like it a bit softer as if the pencil is too hard you don't get much liner on your eye. I wasn't too keen on the mascara, the colour was fine but the brush was curved so much it felt wierd to use, I didn't feel like I was putting much mascara on my eye lashes. The funky metallic eye shadows are brilliant they're so sparkley and make your eyes come alive. Unfortunately they don't last long only a few hourse before I needed to re-apply but they look really good when you put them on. The palette also has a mirror and a brush and is small enough to keep in your handbag without taking up tons of space.

Overall I would probably pick and choose my favourites from each collection to keep at home and in my handbag, some really good make-up at a good price. Some aren't to my taste or maybe don't last as long as I would like but it's all personal preferance really.

Mummies rating - 7/10

10 February 2011

Review: Nuby Twisty Bugz & Bug-a-loop Teether

Logan has been badly teething over the last 2-3 weeks so Nuby have kindly sent us some teethers to try out and review. We were sent the Twisty Bugz & Bug-a-Loop Teether. Here is what we thought of them.

Nuby Twisty Bugz Teether

I really love this little teether, it is so interesting and colourful. Logan seemed to think the same, he really likes the clicky noise it makes and the little strings the bugs have for antenie. There's so much to do on this one little teether that it kept Logan amused for quite a while meaning I could get things done around the house. It was a god send! This teether is recommended for 6m+ and has won the Mother & Baby Gold Award in 2009 for best baby toy 6-12months. This teether is priced at £4.99 from the Nuby webstie.

Bug-a-Loop Teether
This little beauty has to be a mother's must have teething toy! I've been taking it every where with us and Logan is quite happy to take it and chew on it for our whole shopping trip. It's the first thing I give him when he gets grumpy and he loves it. I also use it for when I'm changing his nappy as it keeps him occupied so no squirming baby and poo every where! It has multi teething surfaces to help those little teeth break through more easily and to soothe sore gums. It has also won the Practical Parenting & Pregnancy Silver Award 2010/2011 for baby toy under £20. This toy is recommended for 3m+ and is BPA Free. This teether is priced at £3.99 from the Nuby website. Well worth every penny.

Overall these are fantastic teethers, very well made and I would highly recommend them. They are well worth the money and will be well used. Both teethers have won awards from baby magazines which tells you they must be quality so you're not just taking my word for it.

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

Please visit Nuby's shop to buys these teethers.

Feature: howopia

Ever wondered how to do just about anything?? Then this is the site for you howopia
Howopia is a delightfully little site that concentrates on providing Guide's for doing (almost) absolutely everything! You name it and it's probably on there. Here are a few of my favourites;

*How to sort out Childcare
*How to connect with your Newborn (for the Dads)
*How to go Shopping with your Toddler in tow
*How to make the World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
*How to Cure Cradle Cap

They have much much more than the small selection I have chosen and they're written by people like you and I. You can write for the website which I think is fantastic and you can get paid for it too, bonus! Using your own experiences to make some money and help others is always a good thing. Howopia's mission "is to share knowledge for the masses by the masses". What a brilliant idea!

The founders behind this genius site are Mark Smith and Nick Beeny. Both have a wealth of knowledge and over 30 years experience between them. Mark with over 20 years in publishing and digital media and Nick with over 10 years in online marketing, early stage and start-up online businesses.

Reading some of the How To Guides, I actually find them very useful and interesting and the one for making the world's best chocolate chip cookies will most certainly be trailed in my house soon. The recipe is so simple and well written even I could bake these! This is what I like most about the site, their How to Guides are well written and simple so that anyone can easily understand them. For me it is important that how to guides are straight talking, no one needs confusion when you are trying to do something for the first time. The more basic the instructions the better I say.

Overall brilliant site, can't fault it. Very user friendly, great how to guides and layout. I will be using this site myself in future.

Mummies rating - 10/10

The lovely people at LilyPad PR have agreed to give donations to the delightful Petitmom in return for this feature. Petitmom is helping to raise money for the Walsall Maternity Ward. I would like to take this opportunity to thank LilyPad PR, you are very kind and generous. Much appreciated.


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