22 June 2012

5 Things to Do Before Your Baby Arrives

When I was pregnant with my son I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself leading up to the birth. Some of the questions swirling around in my head where: what should I buy, what was really not that important and what should be done before he arrives? I really wished I’d had a list from other experienced mums points of view so I knew I was doing the right thing and not wasting my precious time.

So to help out other mums to be I’ve written a little list of 5 things to do before your baby arrives. Hopefully this list will show you what needs to be done to keep you happy (and stop a nervous break down) before your bundle of joy enters this world.

#1 Sleep, zzzzzZZZ!
Yes that is right. Catch up on as much sleep as possible because when your baby arrives you won’t be getting any! I know it’ll be a lot harder if you already have a child to look after so rope in your other half, the grandparents, cousins and friends etc to help look after your older child for maybe an hour or so whilst you catch up on some much needed sleep.

If you are a full time worker like I am then sleep during the day is not really possible so try and have a power nap on the way to and from work if you get the bus/ train and when you get home have a quick snack then a power nap to see you through the evening if you can.
Don’t be afraid to go to bed early if you are feeling tired, your body will thank you for it in the morning.

To help with your sleeping during pregnancy why not try out one of those ingenious Theraline pillows. I’ve heard they work wonders!

#2 Cook
To save you the hassle of cooking for a few weeks after your baby is born, as this will be the last thing on your mind, why not cook up batches of meals before your baby arrives and freeze them for after the birth. That way all you’ll have to do when your baby is here is to defrost and reheat an already tasty homemade meal.

I never did this when I was pregnant but I really regret it when my son was born. I so wished I had cooked batches of meals to have as living on rubbish frozen meals from the super market just didn’t cut it.

Some of the meals which are great to precook and freeze are; Lasagne, Shepherd’s Pie, Soup, Spaghetti Bolognese (then you just cook pasta when you need it), Fish Pie, Chilli Con Carne etc. I’m sure there’s plenty more but these are some of the ones I can think of at the moment.

#3 Visit a Second Hand Market
There are lots of second hand markets out there now for babies and children. One of which is the Jack and Jill Market. I’ve booked a table in July for myself to sell a few of Logan’s old things and stuff he no longer needs or uses.

The criteria for items is strict, everything has to be nearly new and nothing damaged/ missing pieces/ broken etc is allowed to be sold. My friend has been along to sell things and thought it was so great she’s going back again but the point for you is since everything’s practically new but at such a low price you’ll be sure to pick up a few bargains. Items sold at this market include (but are not limited to) car seats, buggies, prams, travel systems, clothes, toys, cots etc. So definitely worth a look and I’m sure it’ll save you lots of pennies.

#4 Let People Know Your Plans
By this I mean let your relatives and friends know what your plans are for when your baby arrives. Some people love lots of visitors at the hospital whilst others prefer to keep it private and wait till they arrive home before they get visitors. Some people don’t want visitors for the first week which is totally fine too, it all depends what you want and the sooner you tell people the better so as to save confusion or hurt feelings when the baby makes an appearance.

You will be tired after the birth and of course you’ll want time to bond with your baby and if you’re breastfeeding having lots of visitors in hospital or at home isn’t the easiest thing to deal with so a gentle word with relatives is best. If you don’t feel up to it then ask your birth partner to help out by spreading the word.

#5 Enjoy Going Out
Now I don’t mean go out and party party! I mean enjoy going to the cinema, having meals out, getting pampered, spending time with friends etc as having a new baby is obviously hard work and I’m not saying you can’t do these things when the baby arrives but it does mean your time will be limited as to what you can do until your child is a certain age.

For me I exclusively breastfed so leaving my son with anyone until he was weaned was a no go so I never went out properly to anything until my son was 13 months old. I even missed my Dads 50th Birthday Party as I just couldn’t leave my son and children weren’t allowed at the venue. Logan wouldn’t take a bottle or milk expressed or otherwise which was hard but I wanted the best start for him for what I felt was right so that’s what I did. Some people might think I’m mad but I feel I did the best I could.

So there you go 5 things I would highly suggest you do before your little one arrives. It would be really interesting to hear what other people think would be useful to do before baby makes an appearance.

Fashion Friday #16


Kermet the Frog T-Shirt: Next
Shorts: Cherokee (Tesco)
Laptops: Vtech

21 June 2012

Review: Vertbaudet Summer Boys Clothes

Well now that the better weather is here *cough* well some of the time anyway, it's a good idea to get your kids some good practical summer clothes that can be worn on those hot stuffy days. Vertbaudet kindly sent Logan some clothes to test out for them and they're great little summer pieces.

I'll let Vertbaudet tell you what they're all about: "At Vertbaudet we are committed to giving our customers the very best of everything. That is why you can expect 100% quality, 100% value and 100% service from us. That’s our 100% Vertbaudet promise! You can also take advantage of exclusive designs, more choice, more fashion! Our clothes are designed to meet the growing needs of children. The little design details and features we add, make our clothes easier to put on and take off - helping children to learn to dress themselves. Our practical design features include: elasticated waistbands, side zips, press-studs, clever fastenings and two leg lengths. At Vertbaudet we pride ourselves on the quality of our products. So much so, that we offer a 6 month guarantee on any item you buy. We will refund the cost of any item that doesn’t live up to your expectations - your statutory rights will not be affected."

So what did Vertbaudet send Logan to try? Well he received a lovely pair of 2-in-1 Cropped Trousers and a gorgeous Hooded Sweatshirt. The cropped trousers are brilliant. They have an elasticated waist which are easy to pull up and down and they have ties at the front to help them stay up. You can get them in 3 different colours; beige, green or grey. We got the beige and they're very nice so don't shy away from them just because they're a light colour. Logan's been wearing his for the past month and they've washed really well and come up clean every time. They're in the style of combat type trousers and can be converted easily to bermuda shorts by rolling them up and using the poppers at either side of the trousers. We did this when the weather got very hot a few weeks ago and they definitely helped keep Logan cool, although remember the sun cream! They're 100% cotton poplin featuring 2 large pockets at the front and 2 at the back. The great thing about being able to roll these trousers up is that your little boy can go paddling in the pool/pond/sea without having to take his trousers off or getting them wet.

Vertbaudet currently have these trousers in the sale for £9.80 (check them out) which is a healthy 30% off so now's the perfect time to buy. Sizes start from 2 years and up, we asked for the 3 year old size as although Logan is 2 he's big for his age. I'm glad I did ask for the bigger size as these trousers are quite neat on Logan. I don't think he'll get much wear out of them but then again they only need to last this summer.

The Hooded Sweatshirt is just as good as the cropped trousers. It's lightweight and made from pure cotton so great at keeping your child warm if there's a bit of a wind but won't make them hot in the sun due to the breathable cotton. I think this type of hooded sweatshirt would be perfect for those cool summer nights or maybe on holiday at night when it starts to get a bit cooler as well but it's too hot for a jacket. It's very easy to put on, just pull it over your child's head and ask them to pop their arms into the sleeves and your done. We tried to put this on when Logan was having a tantrum, as it was cold and we didn't want him catching a chill, and it went on so easily he hardly even noticed. There's a little motif at the front and has a v-neck which is nice, haven't seen many hooded tops like this. You can purchase in 3 different colours: dark pink, steel grey or green however I think the green is more of a turquoise as that's the one we received and it isn't a strong green if you know what I mean.

This hooded sweatshirt is machine washable at 40c which is the same as the cropped trousers and retails for £16.00 (check it out). It did maintain it's shape after washing so I'm pleased about that as some sweatshirts tend to shrink, this one obviously didn't. The sizing starts from aged 2 as well and I think Logan really likes this jumper. It must have been comfortable for him to wear as he didn't try to take it off or complain it was irritating him in anyway and he did like the bright colour.

So there you have it, some great summer kids clothes that are quality and practical all rolled into one with a brilliant 6 month guarantee. What could be better? The price of the cropped trousers in the sale is great but I think the hooded sweatshirt is a little bit on the expensive side for what you get. Saying that Logan loves his and it's done him well so far, hard wearing too. The sizing is on the small side for these clothes so I would always tend to order the size above, it's been that way for Logan for both of these items so maybe something to watch out for.

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

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

Review: Welch's Grape Juice Drinks

The very generous people from Welch's sent the family a massive box of their tasty grape fruit juices to test and review for them. We received them just in time for the Jubilee weekend which was great as we could sit outside in the back garden enjoying the sunshine with a fresh fruit juice to keep us cool.

I'll let Welch's tell you a little bit about themselves: "Welch’s has been producing 100% Pure Grape Juice since 1869 and are proud to offer a variety of products that address the nutrition needs of today's families. Naturally abundant in antioxidants, including polyphenols, Welch’s is a fabulously healthy drink full of grape goodness. Welch’s grapes are picked at their peak and pressed into juice within eight hours, so you can enjoy the perfectly ripe flavour all year. Welch’s 100% Pure means just that - all juice with nothing added. No wonder it counts as one of your five a day*."

Welch's have three grape juices to choose from in their range. The first is their 100% Pure Purple Grape Juice. This juice is made from American Concord grapes which contain polyphenols, bold taste and antioxidant power. These polyphenols are plant nutrients which gives the grapes their deep purple colour. You'll be surprised to note that this juice is made using the whole Concord grape, including skins and seeds, pressed to release polyphenols into every glass. Many of the polyphenols in Concord grapes are the same as those found in red wine and growing research suggests that certain polyphenols may play a role in supporting heart health. So in light of that, research suggests that the Concord grapes of Welch’s 100% Pure Purple Grape Juice help support a healthy heart too.

I found the purple grape juice to have a really strong flavour and you can taste that it hasn't been sweetened at all which is good for your health but my son didn't like it. The flavours were too strong for him. I didn't mind it too much but could only manage a small glass every now and again. My other half loved it and drinks this along with the other juices every day.

The purple grape juice has been the starting point for Welch's but recently they introduced two new tasty delights to the market, their 100% Pure White Grape Juice and 100% Pure Rose Grape Juice. The 100% Pure Rosé Grape Juice includes a blend of White and Red Grapes which is very refreshing but the taste can be a little strong which put my young son off a bit. Fair enough though as he's not a massive juice drinker. My fiancé on the other hand loves fresh juice drinks and has been guzzling this stuff left right and centre so no complaints there. It's the perfect juice for these lovely summer days and makes a brilliant alternative to wine. For a different taste experience Welch's suggest serving this juice over ice or with sparkling water.

The 100% Pure White Grape Juice is Welch's second new flavour and is equally delish with it's smooth crisp taste. Made with a blend of the finest sun ripened White Grapes it's the perfect drink to accompany any breakfast dish and with it being 1 of your 5 a day it's sure to set you off with the right start. I preferred the taste of this juice to the other two as it wasn't as sweet but everyone has different tastes so you should try them all to see which is your favourite.

These fruit juices are perfect for picnics, BBQs, a summer of celebration or festive occasion. Welch's also have some great mocktail ideas to try with their juices so feel free to visit their website for more information. All juices are available from leading supermarkets for RRP £2.59.

Overall very nice juices, a bit strong at times for myself and my son but my fiancé had no complaints what so ever. Price is reasonable and in line with other fruit juices on the markets which is great and these do promote a healthy lifestyle which I'm all for.

Mummies rating - 7/10
Other Half's rating - 9/10
Logan's rating - 5/10

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

*A 200ml glass of Welch’s Rosé Grape Juice represents one portion of fruit or vegetable a day.

13 June 2012

Review: Monster Pet Supplies Dog Toys & Treats

Not so long ago I heard on the grapevine that Monster Pet Supplies were looking for pets to test out their wide range of amazing pet accessories which they provide at www.monsterpetsupplies.co.uk. Since our family pet is a female Staffordshire Bull Terrier I happily offered up her services and pondered what treats might be sent her way. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are known for their love of chewing (amoung other things!) so whatever was being sent was in for a tough testing!

Lexie pie (the dog) was lucky enough to be sent 3 items to test which included; Good Boy Mighty Bump Ball, Happy Pet Migrator Mallard Plush Dog Toy & Deli Treats - Chewy Twisters with Real Chicken. Quite a little selection so read on to see what she thought.

Good Boy Mighty Bump Ball
This little beauty is a spikey hollow ball with a hole in the end which you can stuff full of treats, anything from normal dog treats to peanut butter can be shoved in this and your dog will be kept amused for atleast an hour. It's very bouncey and I was surprised to find it actually has a beef smell about it and when I read the packaging I found that is has been infused with beef flavouring. That will surely make any dogs day! This ball comes in 3 different sizes as well; 6.5cm (£4.80), 8cm (£7.21) and 10cm (£7.99), Lexie received the biggest one which is just a bit bigger than the palm of my hand and I would recommend it for bigger dogs. I found this ball to be very durable and it happily withstood the power of Lexie's jaws. She chewed and chewed and it didn't seem to have any damage so thumbs up. My son, who's 2 and a half, also loved throwing this ball for Lexie pie as it's very bouncey so it was nice to see them playing together. Oh and it also floats!

Happy Pet Migrator Mallard Plush Dog ToyI have to say this was my personal favourite that Lexie was sent. It's a cute little mallard duck which has a squeaker inside it that imitates the call of a duck. Fantastic idea and oh boy does Lexie love it! The squeak of the toy gets her excited without even setting eyes on the duck so a great way to get your dog to interact and play. The duck comes in medium (£4.39) or large (£8.38) and I think Lexie received the medium at 23/24cm but it's hard to tell as there's no sizing on the website but the medium is perfect for her size. She wouldn't need it any bigger really. The only problem with this toy, well not the toy but Lexie really, is that as soon as Lexie "catches" the mallard she wants to "kill" it. She'll hold it down and rip the fur off it and if I let her continue I know she would destroy it so as long as you can get the duck back off your dog it'll be fine.

Deli Treats - Chewy Twisters with Real Chicken
Now these treats are something special. They're thin sticks of raw hide with a twist - see what I did there! They've got real dried chicken wrapped around them for an extra tasty bite. Lexie loves these treats and cries for one when I show her the packet! The bag can be resealed once opened with the handy zip lock and there's no artificial colours or flavours added to these treats with 100% chicken breast meat being used. There looked like there were around 10 or see treats in the bag but I forgot to count so just going by memory and there's no info on the amount so purely a guess here. These retail for around £2.49 which is quite good for what you actually get and Lexie pie loves them so can't complain.

Overall some fantastic dog products and ones which I'm sure your pet will love. The ball is very hardy and withstood quite a bashing by Lexie pie and my son so really happy with that. The mallard is great for fetch and retrieval work but not made to withstand a lot of chewing etc as it's a soft toy really. The dog treats were delish, so Lexie says anyway, you'll just have to take her word for it! Prices sound reasonable and in line with other products of a similar nature on the market at the moment so no complaints there.

Mummies rating - 8/10
Lexie's rating - 10/10

Please visit www.monsterpetsupplies.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what Monster Pet Supplies gets up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.

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