31 December 2015

Review: Orchard Toys What A Performance

There's no better thing to do at this time of year than play a family game together. In your normal routine and day to day life you can often find yourself busy and exhausted and sometimes the really great kids games get put to the back of the shelf in favour of something quicker and less taxing. We've all done it and you know what, there's no shame in it. We're only human after all and sometimes all it takes is a special game to remind us of how fun family games can actually be. Thanks again to Orchard Toys for stepping in and saving us from the monotonous day to day routine of iPads and PlayStation games. I think everyone needed a little break from the gadgets.

What A Performance is a brilliant children's game from Orchard Toys which can also be played and enjoyed by adults. It's colourful, eye catching and has lots of different little bits and pieces to keep the kids, and adults, engaged and entertained. It comes with; a board, 4 counters, cup and dice, sand timer, pack of cards, red decoder to read your forfeit and a little spinning wheel which can decide what type of question from the cards you'll get. The board itself has 4 pieces which slot together like a jigsaw and on each square there's different things that could happen. You might land on a normal square with nothing or you could land on a spin it, forfeit, action, make a noise or who am I etc.

The game is really easy to play and understand. The pack of cards you get have 3 different types of actions on one side and a fuzzed out forfeit on the other side, which you have to read using the red decoder. The actions on the cards are either; Who am I?, Make a noise! or Action! So to explain easily: for Who am I? the player has to pretend to be something (like a karate expert, dog or car) without making any noise at all and everyone else playing the game has to guess what they are. For Make a noise! without making actions or speaking the player has to hum a tune/whistle (usually a nursery rhyme song) or make the noise of an animal etc and the other players have to guess what it is. For Actions! it's a case of do what is written on the card whether it's stand up using no hands to hopping or touch your nose with your tongue etc. No one has to guess on this part but the player has to use the sand timer and do the action in time.

Now to where the forfeit comes in. If the player can't or won't perform the specific task or no-one guesses correctly then they have to take a forfeit. The forfeit is on the back of each card so you simply turn the card over and read using the red decoder. Forfeits are often things like move back 2 spaces, miss a go or move back to where the last player is.

It really is a fab game and we've played it with 3 generations, what a laugh. It was brilliant watching Logan's grandad pretend to be a ballet dancer! It's normally the first game Logan reaches for now as well when we ask if he wants to play a game with all the family. Even his baby sister, Harlow, was trying to get involved although she just helped to role the dice. 

This game is recommended for ages 5 and over however if your child isn't a confident reader it might be harder for them to read the actions on the cards without giving anything away. Logan's been really good at reading when playing this game but there's still a few words even he can't quite get his tongue around so an adult has to help. The game can be played with a minimum of 2 people or you can even play as teams if you have more than 4 people which is really good, especially at bigger family gatherings. Priced at £15.95 What A Performance will provide hours of fun.

Overall a great game and one which I'd definitely recommend for school aged children and adults. It's a game that'll never get boring and would make a great gift or present for that special child in your life. Pricing is fair and if you look around I'm sure you'll be able to grab it cheaper on a few different websites.

Mummy's rating - 10/10
Logan's rating - 10/10

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

I was provided with a copy of the What A Performance game in return for an honest review.

27 November 2015

Fancy Being a Superhero with Ella's Kitchen

The first thing Logan asks for when he comes in from school is a snack with sweeties! He loves a little snack and of course sweets (who's kid doesn't) but I don't want to be feeding him full of E numbers all the time. The odd treat is totally fine, I'm not strict, but I want him to have a healthier approach to snacks as well and maybe reach for something that's tasty but won't make him hyper at the same time. We've all been there at the other end of the sugar high!

Super pleased with his cape making kit!
That's when Ella's Kitchen came to our rescue with their fab new children's snack range aimed at kids aged 3+. They have a selection of scrummy fruit and veg snacks which are sure to keep your little ones taste buds satisfied whilst they do more important things like being superheros and saving the world. Logan was lucky enough to be sent a big box of goodies from Ella's Kitchen and since their new snack range is promoted with their own Ella's Kitchen superheros the big box didn't just include snacks! Oh no, Logan was thrilled to receive his very own superhero cape making kit along with an awesome chalk board and some chalks so he could plan out his design. As well as this he got to pick which Ella's Kitchen superhero he wanted to be and he chose super mouse! Hence why he has some mouse ears and a cute mouse tail on in the photos.

Ella's Kitchen's new tasty snacks for older kids.
So what new snacks do Ella's Kitchen have then? Well there's 4 new fruit and veg puree pouches to choose from; orange & carrot, apple & cucumber, mango & pumpkin and strawberry & beetroot. Quite a few new and exciting combinations there which some how work quite well. Logan's favourite though was the strawberry & beetroot as he's a massive strawberry fan. These pouches are the ideal size for school break time snack or to put in packed lunch boxes. Logan's baby sister, Harlow, even nabbed a few for her lunch time treat so perfect for little ones too.

As well as the pouches there's 3 new fruity snack bars on the go; banana & raisin, pineapple & coconut and raspberry & mango. They're perfect finger sized bars which make a great snack at any time. By far our favourite is the banana & raisin, even Harlow chomped on one since she's doing baby led weaning.

Nom nom this banana & raisin bar is delicious!

The pouches are priced at £3.49 for a box of 4 and the fruity bars are priced at £2.50 for a box of 5, making them both affordable healthy snacks for your little ones. As with all of Ella's Kitchen products these pouches and bars are 100% organic so you know your kids are getting not only a healthy snack but one free from the harsh chemicals of farming too.

Having a blast making his very own cape.

Overall Logan, Harlow and I were all really pleased with the tasty treats on offer and I'll definitely be purchasing some more from the supermarket very soon. Fair pricing, healthy and tasty, what more could you ask for!

Mummy's rating - 10/10
Logan's rating - 8/10

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

This is a collaborative post. 

21 November 2015

Edinburgh Christmas Foodies Festival 2015

Having been invited to the Foodies Festival in Edinburgh earlier this year, the other half and I were thrilled to find out that there would be a Christmas Foodies Festival happening in Edinburgh too. We love our grub and couldn't wait to see what treats were in store for us this time round. The festival took place last weekend and we went along on Sunday to see what it was all about. Logan got dropped off at his Granny and Grandads, as it's not really his thing, and we headed on through with baby Harlow in tow.

Instead of being held outside the Christmas Foodies Festival was thankfully held indoors at Edinburgh's International Conference Centre. Sunday was a miserable rainy day so it was perfect to pop indoors, keep warm and browse some amazing foodie stalls. The festival opened at 10am but we rocked up at just after 11am and it was pretty busy already. Since the festival was so big it was split into two different halls, one with the cookery demos and stalls you could buy lunch etc and the other was mostly artisan stall holders.

Scottishbeardman checking out the locally produced Mead.

There was so much to do and see at the festival we spent a good 4-5 hours there and the time literally flew by! The artisan part of the market was lovely with over 150 different food producers from around Scotland. There was everything from cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and even mead. It was great as it meant the hubby and I could pick up some tasty Christmas presents for our loved ones, well that's if I don't eat/ drink everything first.

A Vegan area was included in the festival which was lovely to see and of course there was a Scottish Gin theatre for all you gin lovers out there. One thing which was really quite good was the Elf Cookery School for children under 12. Kids could basically bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes. I saw lots of kids taking part and if we had brought Logan along I would have let him join in too.

In the main hall there was a stage which had live music throughout, it really was a lovely Christmassy atmosphere. You could even enter a chilly eating competition, register a team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth if you really wanted to.

We mainly had a good walk around all the stalls sampling what each one had to offer and buying the odd bits and bobs here and there. We found a lovely whisky stall which housed the Douglas Laing boys and some lovely malt whisky blends. Then we found a stall housing a company called The Rookery who specialise in some tasty Mead, all hand crafted by the way. All of the stall holders were very friendly and quite a few were willing to cut some deals on the day so it's always worth a little haggle sometimes. We had a great time and will definitely be attending future Foodies Festivals.

Harlow enjoying her burger from the Street Food Stalls.

The other half and I were given tickets to attend this event. All opinions are my own and completely honest.

Giveaway: Nemo and Giraffe Book

Logan and I were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review Nemo and Giraffe back in May of this year, and I'm excited to say I now have 2 copies of the awesome book to give away to two of my lucky readers!

This book is a lovely story about equality and friendship and it's sure to become one of your child's favourite books. We love it in our house and still read it now. It has pride of place on Logan's book shelf.

It's just in time for Christmas too and would make a great present from Santa or as an extra stocking filler. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is enter using the simple rafflecopter widget below. Easy peasy!

And if you don't win this giveaway there's no sweat, you can always purchase your very own copy of Nemo and Giraffe from Amazon or Ebay.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

19 November 2015

Review: Cuddledry Bamboo Hand Towel

For any parent trying to get your child to practice good hand hygiene can be like hitting your head off a brick wall! Well for me it sometimes is anyway. Logan is so preoccupied with getting out of the toilet as fast as possible so he can enjoy whatever game he was playing on the iPad that he loathes to wash his hands. That's when Cuddledry comes in with their new Bamboo Hand Towel for kids. Logan was lucky enough to be sent one for us to review and I've been desperately hoping it'll help him with his hand washing routine.

The bamboo hand towel from Cuddledry has been especially made for little hands. It's like a little incentive for them for potty training or in the case of my Logan, an encouragement towards helping him actually wash his hands. I'm sure all kids can't be bothered to wash their hands at some stage but Logan has never really seemed to enjoy it. It may be a sensory thing due to his Autism? He's getting there of course but needs an extra help sometimes.

Anyway back to the hand towel. It's super soft and made from antibacterial bamboo fibre and pure cotton. Embroidered on the towel is a tiny handprint design which can be blue or pink and there's a hanging loop so it can have its own special place of your child's choosing. Perfectly sized for toddlers and little ones to handle, and the bamboo content will keep it silky soft after washing, so ideal even for children with eczema or sensitive skin. I've washed this hand towel and it comes out perfect every time. If you have the apron bath towels you'll know how soft they stay after washing and this hand towel is just the same.

The hand towel comes in a lovely gift box which has a carry handle on top. It would be perfect to be given as a gift to your little one as part of the encouragement they need for potty training. Or even as an extra stocking filler for Christmas. It's only £6.99 so won't break the bank and I can see this product lasting for a good while due to it's exceptional quality.

Personally Logan really likes his hand towel. I still have to prompt him to use it, however since it's not as heavy as the normal hand towel we have in the downstairs loo so makes it easier for him to actually dry his hands. Normally I have to help him a bit as he just dabs his hands and runs off leaving everything wet! This hand towel is the perfect size and so light weight even Logan's baby sister, Harlow, can throw it around.

Overall a great little product and serves it's purpose well. I can see it being good for when travelling with children as well or even at a childminders/ nursery. Pricing is fair and this hand towel would definitely make an excellent gift for new potty trainers or older boys and girls like Logan.

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

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

I was sent one blue Cuddledry hand towel in return for an honest review.

1 November 2015

Review: Powell Craft Kids Clothing

I really love unusual clothes for my kids. Anything a bit different always catches my eye and if I'm truly honest, both my kids have better clothes than me half the time as I can't stop buying for them! It's for that reason that my heart sang with great pleasure when Powell Craft agreed to let me review a couple of items from their collection for the kids.

Here's a little bit about Powell Craft first of all: "Powell Craft Ltd has been a family-run business since 1962. The product range has grown and diversified from wooden toys in the 1960s through to decorative homewares and scented gifts and the introduction of beautifully hand-finished cotton nightwear. The last decade has seen the launch of a wide selection of childrenswear, babywear, nursery accessories and the hugely popular rag dolls."

Logan and Harlow were both sent an item of clothing each from the new Autumn/Winter collection which was very kind of Powell Craft. Logan received one of their gorgeous new rain macs and Harlow got her hands on a pair of super soft cord dungarees. The A/W 2015 collection features lots of different items with the lovely cord clothing also coming in long and short sleeve dresses, skirts, trousers and coats with adorable animal appliqué designs. There's a large range of knitwear too such as fleece lined hooded jumpsuits, cardigans, dresses, hooded tops, babygrows and even pram and cot blankets in both boys, girls and unisex designs. So tons of options to choose from for your precious little ones.

We'll start with Logan's rain mac first. When I first laid eyes on this coat myself I knew it would be a winner with Logan too. I picked out the Robot design for him but you could also choose from; transport vehicles, vintage tractors, vintage plane and nautical for boys. There are of course some lovely prints for girls too so please do check them out on the Powell Craft Boutique website. The robot design is very cool with lots of little retro style tin robots in red, blue and grey dotted all over a dark blue background. It really is rather striking and Logan has had a few complimenting words when we're out and about regarding his coat. There's two pockets at the front which fasten with a popper stud and the front of the jacket closes with 5 popper studs as well. It's quite easy for Logan to do himself although he's a lazy boy sometimes so Mummy has to do it! The rain mac comes with a hood of course and the inside is lined with a lovely red sort of toweling type material which helps prevent Logan from sweating. He's had rain macs before that haven't been lined and he gets all sweaty in them which he doesn't like so this lining is perfect. All in all it's a lovely jacket which seems to be true to size. Logan is in size 6-7 year clothes and I received the 6-7 year rain mac which fits perfectly with room to last. You can get your hands on one for your kids from size 1-2 years to 6-7 years at a price of £34.

Harlow's super soft cord dungarees are super cute as well with an appliqued fox design on the front and little vines down one leg. The foxes chest has a flowery pattern which matches the buttons and turn ups on the legs of the dungarees. They're super cute and only make your baby look even more adorable if that's even possible. As you can see from the photos these dungarees look fab and matched with a long sleeved top for winter and a little headband they're perfect. The cord material used is quite thin which meant it was easy for Harlow to crawl around and maneuver in them without a problem. They don't seem to crease easily which is a bonus but the only down side for me is that they don't have poppers/buttons etc in between the legs so when doing a nappy change you have to take the whole dungarees off. You do get used to it after a few nappy changes, it's just a little bit inconvenient is all. We can live with it though since they're so nice. The size that Harlow received was 6-12 months and I'm sure weight wise they'll do her till then however she is quite long so not sure if they'll last in the legs. As long as she's comfy in them though so we'll have to wait and see. As well as this fox design there's a whole bunch of other cute designs to choose from in sizes 6-12 months up to 4-5 years at a price of £26.

Overall two fabulous products that are stylish, different and easy for the kids to wear. Logan gets tons of compliments in his rain mac and enjoys wearing it which is fab as he can be funny about certain fabrics with his autism. Harlow also gets lots of compliments in her little dungarees and they make an excellent change from wearing leggings or dresses all of the time. Pricing seems fair for what you get and we've had these clothes for over a month now and both are going strong with no damage or fading in the wash etc. We're happy all round.

Mummy's rating 8/10
Logan's rating - 10/10
Harlow's rating - 10/10

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

I was sent two items of clothing as stated in this post in return for an honest review.
Family Fever

27 October 2015

Tops Tips for Surviving The First 6 Months

You may think you’ve done the hard part, you’ve just given birth no less (or your partner has) but now comes the tougher bit – surviving the first 6 months! Babies definitely don’t come with instructions so here’s a few little tips to hopefully keep you going.

Stock Up on Nappies
Sounds simple enough but make sure you’ve got enough nappies stock piled up for the first few months, you’ll be surprised by how many you actually use. Babies grow quickly too so don’t get lots of newborn or you’ll find yourself with surplus nappies and a dangerously naked baby poo bomb waiting to go off.

Pre-prepare Meals
If you can I highly recommend pre-preparing healthy homemade meals before baby arrives. Make things like lasagne, cottage pie, fish pie, soups, beef stew etc. It really does help as one, you’re so exhausted you can’t be bothered cooking anything, and two, you’ll get fed up of eating ready meals and rubbish all the time. Plus is you eat healthily you’ll feel much better for it, think maximise that post pregnancy weight loss.

Have a Cuppa
I love my tea and have at least 4-5 cups a day, sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me going and keeps me sane. Try taking 5 minutes to yourself and having a cup of Tick Tock’s Original Rooibos Tea which is naturally caffeine free. You’ll thank yourself later for taking some time out.

Family & Friends
If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends close by then make sure and take advantage in the early days. Everyone loves a newborn baby and wants lots of cuddles so rope in your nearest and dearest to come over whilst you take a shower/ have a bath or even get some well needed sleep.

Feeding Frenzy
Whether your breastfeeding or bottle feeding be prepared for you baby to want to feed all the time! They’re like little machines who’ll stop at nothing to get their milk so make sure you have everything you need within reaching distance. Think TV remote, your mobile, healthy snacks, glass of water etc. Once you’ve started feeding your little one you’re usually stuck for a bit so don’t feel trapped and be prepared.

So that’s my top tips for surviving the first 6 months with baby and of course, Good Luck!

This is a collaborative post.

23 October 2015

Baby & Toddler Snack Inspiration

Trying to figure out what to feed your kids sometimes can be a little tricky. You've exhausted all your fail proof snack ideas and need some inspiration to make snack time a bit more exciting. Well fear not! I have some lovely tasty snack ideas right here thanks to Nairn's Oatcakes.

I was lucky enough to have been sent a little pack of goodies from Nairn's Oatcakes along with a handy 'healthy eating for healthy kids' booklet to kick start my old brains cells and get the snack ideas flowing. Since I've been doing baby led weaning with Harlow this has come in quite useful as I'm always looking for something different to give her. She's an eating machine and will happily try anything however the last thing I want is for her to get bored. Her big brother, Logan, can be a bit fussier but he usually does try the odd new thing so it's worth a go.

As you can see from the photo I was given a fab little selection of products which included; Nairn's Rough Oatcakes, Nairn's Oat Crackers, Nairn's Fine Milled Oatcakes and some new Nairn's Astro Bites. All of these products can be found in Asda and Sainsbury's so pretty easy to get your hands on.

First up I decided to try a sweet snack idea with Harlow to see what she would think. To be honest I'd never thought of oatcakes as being part of a sweet dish, to me they've always been savory but Harlow has a sweet tooth so I was hoping this would go down well. So I put together some Fine Milled Oatcakes with yogurt and strawberries and Harlow was delighted. The strawberries were the first to be scoffed, then the yogurt got licked before she finally decided to munch on the oatcake. She definitely gave it her best shot anyway. The recipe advises using Greek yogurt however I didn't have any at the time so just spooned on some fromage frais and we were good to go. All in all a great snack as the yogurt provides beneficial bacteria to support their digestive tract as well as protein and calcium. The strawberries provide vitamin C to keep their immune system healthy and the oatcakes will help to maintain energy levels throughout the day.

After the success of the sweet option I thought I'd go for a mix and try the kids with some cheese and grapes this time. It's an old classic but often forgotten about until I'm in a restaurant debating whether to have the sticky toffee pudding or cheese board! Any how this snack went down really well and Harlow happily scoffed hers. Again it's a great snack because it provides protein to balance blood sugar levels and of course the grapes are a great source of antioxidants including vitamin C.

There are a good few other recipes to try and in fact the most simple of all is basically dipping your oatcakes in your soup instead of bread for a change. The other half and I liked this idea so we tried it out for ourselves. It was actually pretty good and we both felt it kept us fuller for longer. It also has to be one of the quickest lunch options out there which is prefect when you're time strapped but want something healthy and nutritious. When I eventually return to work I'll be popping a packet or two of some rough oatcakes in my handbag to accompany my lunch time soup from the deli.

Last but not least lets not forgot the tasty Astro Bites now. I never let Harlow try them as thought she was just a bit too young at 9 months old so I've kept them aside for Logan (he's almost 6). He quite likes them and I tried some myself and thought they were super tasty. I'm sure I might have tried some previously at the Edinburgh Foodies Festival so to have some in the house was great. I think I'll be buying them for Logan's snack at school break time in future.

There are many more recipes and ideas for healthy children's snack time so please check out www.nairns-oatcakes.com for some inspiration.

This is a collaborative post.

6 October 2015


As most of you will know my son, Logan, is autistic and he often feels the need to chew. Whether it be his hands, fingers, clothing etc. He's always chewing or fiddling away with something. For this reason I've tried out a few different sensory chew aids, such as pendants, for him to wear and chew as he sees fit however none have ever lasted and he even chewed through one in a couple of days. The other half and I weren't sure what to try next and that's when I spotted Chewigem on Dragon's Den of all places! Of course I got in touch with them straight away to see if Logan could try out some of their products.

A little bit about Chewigem first: "Whilst on maternity leave, Jenny McLaughlan and husband Stuart, came up with the idea for a necklace that would be safe for babies to chew on whilst teething. As a result GUMIGEM ® was born. However, it became apparent that there was another market interested in these necklaces. They began to receive a lot of emails from thrilled parents of Autistic children or parents of children with other sensory disorders that found the necklaces a godsend. These emails touched a nerve with the couple and they investigated the market further. It filled them with such joy to be providing a product that was benefiting these children so much, that they set out to launch a site dedicated to these customers who have the need to chew."

So Chewigem was born from the idea of Gumigem. It's brilliant really as there's so many fab teething necklaces out there on the market but I always find it hard to track down a good sensory chew necklace or pendant for Logan. He's such a heavy chewer that everything gets chomped into tiny pieces! This in turn costs me a lot of pennies as you can imagine as I'd rather he chewed the pendants than his hands.

Normally when you visit a shop/ website which sells sensory aids they only have a handful of chew items so I was really surprised to see that Chewigem have quite the collection on their site. There's at least 20 different types of products to choose from which is fantastic. Chewigem is UK based and provide a range of chewable jewellery designed to meet the needs of children and adults who basically need to chew. The products available are non toxic, stylish, come in a wide range of colours and are also quite discreet compared to other products on the market. They are made from a similar material to that of most baby teethers so completely safe. Since I needed something hard wearing for Logan to chew I choose to review two Button Pendants and one of the Emotichew bangles. 

The button pendants Logan received were the Cadet and Splash design. They came in their own little zip lock bag, which is handy for keeping them clean and dust free and also for transporting. Logan loves both designs however the Splash is his current favourite since it's blue as that's his favourite colour. As you can see from the photos the button pendants are a round disc shape and are quite thick. They sink in slightly in the middle as if you've pushed your thumb into them. It's a brilliant shape and works well for Logan to hold and chew. The button pendants are the strongest chews Chewigem have hence the reason I chose these. I like that they come with quite a long cord so that you can shorten if you so wish however Logan was happy to have his long. The necklace fixes together with a break away clip which is safe for children to wear and easy to use.

I'm happy to say that the pendants have been super durable with Logan's aggressive chewing and because they're quite thick they've lasted the longest out of any sensory chew he's had. We received these at the start of September and now into October and they're still going strong with no marks to the pendant what so ever! He has had the odd nibble on the material used for the cord and although it has a couple of little threads coming off it's still holding up to the onslaught.

The Emotichew bangle is a fabulous idea, having both a green and red side to it which can be turned either way. Green for when your happy and approachable and red when you may be sad and need some space for a while. Logan did understand the concept of this bangle however I'm not sure he knew how to really use it when he needed it so it hasn't worked for him so far. Maybe when he's a bit older it'll help. He kept taking it off at school as well and it got lost a few times. Thankfully the staff found it again so we're leaving this one for the time being. It's still an awesome design and Logan has been nibbling on it. There don't appear to be any marks or signs of cracking etc, I'm happy with it.

The Button Pendants and Emotichew can be purchased directly from www.chewigem.co.uk and they also have a sale on at the moment which you must check out. The Button Pendants retail for £12.95 and the Emotichew retails for £7.95 (child's version). Delivery is free if you spend over £40 and if you like Chewigem on Facebook you can get an extra 10% off!

Overall brilliant sensory aid chew products at an equally great price. I'm so pleased they've lasted more than a week and over a month is unheard of for Logan so really really pleased with that. Apart from him not quite getting to grips with the Emotichew it's still a fab product and probably when he's older he'll use it. The fact that they do an adults version is really good too. Logan wears his pendants to school every day now and we'll be using them for the foreseeable future.

Mummy's rating - 10/10
Logan's rating - 10/10

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

I was sent two button pendants and an emotichew bangle in return for an honest review.

5 October 2015

Dear Gran

Hi Gran!

You know I don't normally do all the soppy mushy stuff but can you believe it's been 9 years since you were taken from us!! I write it morbidly on the calendar every year (as you do) and had to do a double take this year. I just can't believe it's been that long. It feels like only yesterday when all the drama unfolded and you suddenly slipped away, the night before your holiday too damn. You were in the middle of redecorating your hall in the house as well and you never even got to see it finished.

I missed your last and final birthday on this Earth before that fateful night, how was I to know it would be your last? But I'll never forgive myself for it now, so young and so stupid. I'm sorry I didn't make it over. It wasn't intentional but things happened and you know... I still remember the phone call, rushing through to see you, family waiting at the doors. It all seemed surreal, like it was part of a film. How could this be happening? Why in hell was this happening to a person who was so kind and gentle!? The world seems to work in mysterious ways and who am I to question it?

Having you in my life was fantastic, you were like a second mum to all of us gran kids. Always there when we needed you always in waiting for us with a cup of tea and homemade cakes or the amazing toast you made. It kills me that Logan and Harlow will never get to experience this, that you were taken before they were born. You would have been the best great granny out there.

Everyone misses you. There's not a day goes past where not one of us thinks about you. Why did it have to happen when you were so young!? I guess that's life though, never knowing what's going to happen round the corner. It's fair to say that Di misses you the most, he's lost without you and I can't blame him. Things just aren't the same anymore, it feels different now. I feel so guilty for not visiting much but it's painful. Everything reminds me of you, you're everywhere. I know I need to make more of an effort though, it's only fair.

I wish things hadn't happened the way they did, I wish you were still here with us, I wish everything was back to the way it was but these are only wishes and I know what's done it done... I miss you.

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,
In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

Twinkly Tuesday
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

21 September 2015

Review: I See Me Personalised Story Books

During the summer holidays Logan turned from a good big brother to a naughty big brother, constantly harassing his baby sister to get attention and generally being a little pest. It was really frustrating for the other half and I, we weren't sure what to do. Disciplining didn't always work and I hated having to give negative attention all the time. Ignoring sometimes worked but you can't ignore everything, especially when Logan's 5 and Harlow's 8 months. Thankfully we were saved in a sense when I See Me agreed to send us one of their personalised books for Logan to review.

First a little bit about I See Me: "we provide the highest quality, most personalised children's books available. We opened for business in May of 2000, after a year of active product development. My husband Allan and I received a personalised book as a gift for our first son in 1998. While we loved the fact that it was personalised, we thought that the illustrations could have been much better and the story more customised to the child. Thus I See Me! was born."

So what could I See Me have possibly sent to help us with our big brute brother problem? Well Logan received a gorgeously personalised book entitled "The Super, Incredible Big Brother", and you know what, it couldn't have arrived at a better time. Logan was still being a major annoyance monster to Harlow but when this book arrived things seemed to turn a corner and I could finally see the light. The Super Incredible Big Brother book is personalised for one big brother and one sibling i.e. Harlow. It literally is the perfect gift for a new big brother and includes both Logan's name and Harlow's name throughout the book. This book is a very good quality hard back with thick glossy pages inside. When you open the book on the second page you have the option of personalising this too with the big brother's full name, a photo of them and also a place to put some nice words from the sibling. I chose to put "To a wonderful big brother! I love you! Baby sister - Harlow". There's space to put the year as well (2015) so big brother can look back and see when they received the book.

The book is written by Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Jill McDonald, and can I just say what a fabulous job both have done. The story is captivating and very reassuring for the new big brother as well as the illustrations being fun, friendly and ever so colourful. Throughout the book both Logan and Harlow's names are used within the story and through the illustrations which gives it an even more personalised touch. Logan loved it that he could see his name in big bold fonts surrounded by beautiful drawings.

You might have noticed from the photo above that the book comes with a little something extra for the special big brother. It's a coordinating Super Incredible Big Brother award medal with a place on the back to write the proud big brother's name! How frigging awesome is that! The medal we received along with the book was the icing on the cake for Logan, he loves receiving awards and I think to know he was receiving an award for being a Super Incredible Big Brother really made his day and started a turning point for us. Almost over night he stopped being so mean to his baby sister and started to interact more with her. He wanted to help her and be helpful to Mummy and Daddy too. It really was a pleasure to see. Logan loves his medal so much I can't not mention that he wore it in bed all night that first time he received it then he wore it into school the next day to show all of his friends and teachers. He was so proud it melted my heart.

I'm so glad he's back to his incredible big brother self and I'm hoping it continues. We read the book frequently at bed time as a little reminder to him how super he really is as a big brother. This book is available directly from www.iseeme.com for $34.99 with a shipping cost of £6.50 and 2 weeks turn around. There's so many books to choose from, and I mean loads, with your child taking the starring role. Each book allows you to include a dedication to go inside the front cover, some offer the option to upload your child’s photo (which our book did for inside the front cover) which will be used throughout the book and some even feature options to further customise your child’s skin tone, hair colour, hometown, birth date, favourite colour and best friend’s names.

Overall we totally love this book in our house and it made such a difference for us. I would definitely 100% recommend it for any new big brother and also any big sister as I See Me have a book for them too. In fact it would make an excellent gift from new baby to their older sibling. Pricing is more on the expensive side as it works out to around £23 for the book plus £6.50 shipping on top but I think it is well worth it. The book is excellent quality from the cover to throughout the pages, I just can't praise it enough and you definitely get what you pay for with this.

Mummy's rating - 10/10
Logan's rating - 10/10

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

I was sent a copy of the I See Me "The Super, Incredible Big Brother" book and coordinating medal in return for an honest review.

Family Fever
Laura's Lovely Blog

20 September 2015

Silent Sunday 20.09.15


19 September 2015

Keeping Your Kitchen Clean When You Have Little Ones & a GIVEAWAY

I've noticed that as a family we seem to be using the kitchen an awful lot more than we used to. It's one of the main areas in the house that we seem to congregate in and with more loitering comes the inevitable mess. I'm talking toast crumbs, drips of spilled juice, splashed cooker hob from tasty dinners, yucky sink from cleaning too many dishes, grubby fridge door from hungry little fingers, the list is endless! There's always something that needs cleaning in the kitchen so here's a few quick tips to keep your kitchen clean when you have little ones.

Have a To Do List
Tackling everything at once will give you a migraine so why not write up a nice To Do List so you remember to do certain jobs on certain days. For example; clean cupboard doors on Monday, bleach sink on Tuesday, wipe worktop daily, clean the kettle and toaster on Wednesday etc. Lists and planners like this help you to keep on top of jobs with a gentle visual reminder. You could even be super fancy and laminate your list.

Share The Jobs
Sounds simple enough but sharing the jobs out can make life so much easier. You could add a Name column to your To Do List and make sure everyone has something to do. Even getting the kids involved with a simple task such as wiping the worktop helps them to realise how important it is keeping the kitchen clean.

Get The Right Products
There's no point in putting in lots of effort with the kitchen clean if you don't have the right products! Fear not though, Dettol have this under control with a massive range of brilliant products to keep your kitchen clean and sparkling as well as the rest of your home. Their antibacterial wipes are amazing and I use them all the time, they definitely make my life easier especially when cleaning a messy high chair.

Clutter Free
Keeping the kitchen clean when you have kids will be made easier when you don't have clutter around. Don't be tempted to keep that paper work in the kitchen, it'll only get in the way and get covered in some form of food. If the kids dump toys now and again be sure to tell them to tidy them up so no one's tripping over them and it's one less thing for you to clean in the Kitchen. Making sure the kitchen is clutter free also adds to the feeling of looking cleaner than it probably is. When I see clutter I always think of dust and food crumbs but when there's clutter free surfaces and flooring things just seem cleaner.

Little And Often
This motto seems to be the key in a lot of things especially when trying to keep your kitchen tidy when you have kids. Doing tasks little and often won't only help you to keep on top of things but sometimes with kids it's the only thing you can do. For some of us there's no way we could spend a good couple of hours deep cleaning so a spare minute here and there will have to do. Little and often jobs could include wiping down the cooker hob so oil and grease don't build up, a quick wash of the fridge trays, doing the dishes etc.

Hand Washing
There's no use trying to keep your kitchen nice and tidy if your hands are filthy, this is especially true for little hands. They seem to get so dirty and their touch turns everything into a sticky mess. Prevent extra work for yourself by making sure hand washing for little ones is fun. Stock up on Dettol's Kitchen No Touch Soap Dispenser and your messy hand problems should be solved.

So that's some of the little tips I follow to help keep my kitchen clean and tidy with kids around. It's never easy though and I completely appreciate that. There's always something that needs doing but to give you a hand along the way Dettol have agreed to give away a Goodies Bundle* of their products so you get off to a great start with kitchen cleaning.

To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a collaborative post however all words and opinions are my own. *The Goodies Bundle from Dettol will be similar to the products shown however may vary due to stock etc.

17 September 2015

It Doesn't Always Have To Be Pink #2

As most parents know having a little girl means there's normally a pink explosion in the household which can literally take over if you're not careful. Back in April I wrote a post called It Doesn't Always Have To Be Pink to show parents alternative clothes for girls. This is version #2 for you all with some lovely brands who have some super cute clothing and accessories for your precious princess.

Fred and Noah
Fred and Noah make both boys and girls clothes from some very funky unique patterns and prints. They're handmade with care so attention to detail is spot on. They can be found on Etsy and stock clothing such as leggings, dribble bibs, printed tees, headbands etc in sizes 0-5 years. I've recently purchased a little pair of Bambi leggings for Harlow to wear and I honestly can't wait till she's old enough to put them on.

I love sweetpetitekids, they always have such unusual patterns of fabric to make their gorgeous baby and toddler leggings from. You can also get matching dribble bibs to go with your leggings for added cuteness. As you can see here Harlow is sporting her giraffe leggings and matching dribble bib. They're super soft and must be so comfy for baby to wear. Sweetpetitekids make leggings in sizes from 0-4 years.

This fab website is an eco-friendly online boutique stocking some gorgeous kids organic brands which include; Anarkid Organic, Boys & Girls, Fred's World, Maxomorra, Nosh Organics, Piccalilly, Poco Nido and The Bunting Tree - as well as tights from Slugs and Snails. They always have a fantastic sale every now and again so I make sure and purchase some unusual pieces for Harlow. I suggest you check out DaisyChainBaby.co.uk for some cracking clothes for your little one.

Roses and Bows
Every little girl needs some accessories for her outfits and what better way to do that than by purchasing some awesome hair accessories from Roses and Bows. They have a massive selection to choose from and their delivery time is pretty quick for handmade items. We prefer the headbands with bows since Harlow doesn't have much hair but you can get the bows on clips as well.

So that's some of the baby clothes and accessories we've been loving recently. If you know of any others that I should be looking at then please let me know. Or if you'd like to be featured in my next It Doesn't Have To Be Pink post then please drop me an email.

14 September 2015

Review: Cuddleduck

I've been on the hunt for more bath toys recently as some of the one's we have are getting a bit past it if you know what I mean. It always seems to be the way with bath toys, they get all grubby after a while and never seem to last that long. The Cuddleduck from Cuddledry was brought to my attention a few weeks ago and when it was agreed Harlow could try it out I was very pleased. This little duck isn't just a bath toy but also a teething toy so it came along at the right time for us.

The Cuddleduck has been created by the makers of the awesome Cuddledry Apron Towel. Harlow and I reviewed this back in February and we're still using it today. Since the Cuddledry towel is so amazing I had high hopes for this little duck and I wasn't disappointed.

Our very own blue polka dot Cuddelduck arrived in his own smart presentation box. You don't have to have blue of course as there's always pink or original, but we chose blue as Harlow has enough pink in her life at the moment. He's a bath teether toy, retails for £6.99 and is completely safe for babies to chew on. He's handmade in Spain using natural rubber, which has no nasties, and is painted using child safe paints which conform to the EN71 European toy safety standard. He has natural antibacterial properties which means he's perfect for babies with sensitive skin. He's pthalate free and non toxic too.

These little Cuddleducks have a lovely rubber texture to them which makes them soft and easy for your baby to hold. Harlow absolutely loves her duck and gives him a good old chew whenever she gets hold of him. She seems to be able to hold onto the Cuddleduck for a good while whilst chewing. This makes my life easier especially at bath time since she's preoccupied with a toy and I can get on with washing her and her big brother.

Someone also kindly mentioned on Instagram that if I was putting this Cuddleduck in the bath I should block up any holes with a glue gun so it lasts longer and doesn't go mouldy however as you'll see from the photos Mr Cuddleduck doesn't have any holes so he's perfect for the bath. Well done Cuddledry for thinking of this, it made me one happy Mummy.

One thing I did notice was that where the Cuddleduck joins together, in the middle, the join looked a little rough round the edges. Maybe it's just the mold that's been used to create the duck but it could maybe do with being a bit smoother if at all possible. Saying that Harlow loves her Cuddleduck and even though she has two bottom teeth he's managed to last so far. Hopefully he'll still be intact when she gets her top teeth! I have to say I've had a nibble on the duck myself (all good reviewers would surely do the same) and I'm optimistic that he'll survive the baby teething stage and beyond.

Overall a great little duck for teething babies (or to keep yourself company in the bath) and these ducks would make a great 'extra' present to pop into a gift bag when one of your friends or family has a baby. The pricing is fair to me because of what the ducks are made of and because of the potential to last longer than other bath toy ducks.

Mummy's rating - 9/10
Harlow's rating - 10/10

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

I was sent a blue polka dot Cuddleduck in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Family Fever


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