31 May 2015

Review & Giveaway: Dobble - the fast paced card game!

Nowadays everywhere you look kids have their heads in some kind of tech gadget and my son is no different. He loves a gadget of any sort and to be honest they've helped him develop with his autism but he also loves good old board games and card games, and it's nice to get him away from the technology for a while too so when I was asked if Logan would like to try out some funky new card games I happily agreed. We were sent Dobble and Jungle Speed Safari but I'll concentrate on Dobble in this review.

So what is Dobble? Well it's a fast paced fun packed card game with 55 cards which have over 50 different symbols with 8 symbols per card but always only one symbol is shared between any two cards which makes for some fun fast mini games. You can have between 2-8 players and play 5 different mini games which last around 15 minutes each. This version of Dobble is designed for ages 6+ (and adults of course) but there is a children's version for the younger ones in the household. It's all about speed, observation and reflexes to find the matching symbol before your opponent.

Dobble comes simply packaged in a little cardboard box with an easy pop open plastic cover. Inside is the Dobble game with 55 cards and circle shaped instructions securely contained within a handy tin tub. The tin tub is fab, keeps everything tidy and would be perfect for taking on holiday or when travelling. It also means you don't have to keep the box, which can be recycled instead.

As I mentioned there's 5 different mini games to choose from to play however no matter the game, you always need to be the fastest to spot the identical symbol between two cards, shout it out loud and then take the card, place it or discard it depending on the rules of the mini game you're playing. Since it was usually myself and Logan (who's 5) playing Dobble (as Daddy had to hold Harlow) we stuck to the two simplest of the mini games to give Logan a chance of winning. The first one we tried was The Towering Inferno. Each player gets a card face down to start and the rest of the cards go in the middle face up. You then turn your card over and try to match the symbol of the card in the middle with your card, shout out the name of the matching symbol, then take the card to add to your pile. This continues and when the cards in the middle are all gone, the winner is the person who has the most cards in their pile. It's easy and simple to do.

The second easiest mini game is called The Well which is basically The Towering Inferno but in reverse. So the cards are dealt out to each player this time face down with one card face up in the middle. Then it's the person who can match the symbols and place their cards in the middle first with no cards left who's the winner. Another easy game but very effective. The other 3 mini games had a bit more to them so we've not attempted them yet. We might try them when we have more players involved i.e. grandparents.

So what did Logan and I think? Well we loved it and we've played Dobble every day since receiving the game to review. It's easy to take out and set up but also easy to put away, plus it's a fun enjoyable game to play with your kids and one that's easy to understand and get in to. Sometimes I find children's games a bit over complicated but this one is great. It's a perfect travel game too and we'll definitely be taking this with us when we go on holiday.

You can purchase Dobble directly from Argos (RRP £12.99) and it's even down to £9.99 at the moment so saving a few pennies. Or you could try your luck to win one of these fab Dobble games in my giveaway!!

To be in with a chance of winning simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below.

I was sent a copy of Dobble in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

27 May 2015

Review: Mama Jewels Necklace

Breastfeeding Harlow has been a great bonding journey so far and as you know any handy products out their to help aid breastfeeding is right up my street. With Harlow getting bigger she's developed quite the little grip and when I breastfeed her she likes to pinch at my skin, grab my hair or grab my top and flash me to the world, so when Mama Jewels got in touch to see if I'd like to review one of their nursing necklaces I happily agreed.

A little bit about Mama Jewels owner Amanda; ”I looked around the baby group and realised that most of the mums, like me had stopped wearing jewellery, when I asked why they said ‘Our children keep breaking our jewellery so we just had to stop wearing it’ That was the moment I decided to use my jewellery design skills to create a necklace that a baby can’t break, can be washed, and is completely non-toxic for when babies chomp on it,  but still looks gorgeous. Mama Jewels was born!”

I completely understand how Amanda must have felt not being able to wear her lovely jewellery. I get frustrated at times and not just because the jewellery could get broken or damaged but because I have some rings, watches and necklaces that could potentially scratch Harlow due to their size and jagged edges. It's lucky for us Mummy's then that Amanda created the very stylish Mama Jewels. Mama Jewels were kind enough to let me choose the necklace I wanted to review so I had a nosy on their website and boy was it a hard choice. There's so many lovely necklaces to choose from but in the end I went with the Liberty print Betsy teal wooden teething necklace because I liked the look plus I thought it would go with a lot of the tops I currently wear. 

The Liberty print Betsy teal wooden teething necklace is handcrafted and as the name would suggest it's ethically made in England using fabric from Liberty's in London. Having visited Liberty's a good few times and looked in awe at their amazing fabrics I couldn't wait to get my hands on this necklace and I wasn't disappointed. The fabric is lovely and soft with a few different shaped wooden beads arranged and knotted so they don't move around. The necklace is a slip knot so very easy to put on and take off as well as easy to adjust to your preferred length. I tend to wear it short when not breastfeeding and then just pull it long when Harlow needs fed so she can play with the beads and not my skin, hair or top. It works really well and the great things is I don't have to worry about her hurting herself on this necklace or it being broken. She's had a good old pull and even a little nibble on it and so far it's survived with no damage, she doesn't have any teeth yet mind you so hopefully it'll survive when the teeth come in.

I didn't realise that this necklace could be washed so I was pleasantly surprised to see on the info card when it arrived that yes indeed you can stick this in the washing machine! How fab is that, especially after a dribbly baby has been chomping on it. This particular necklace is priced at £17.95 which is very reasonable but there's lots of other necklaces on the website to suit different styles and price ranges. There's some even as cheap as £9.00 which are in the sale at the moment so why not grab a bargain!

Overall a great product and perfect for any Mums out there breastfeeding or otherwise. The necklaces are reasonably priced and you could definitely buy a few to go with different outfits as there's so much choice. You can even have certain pieces of Mama Jewels personalised and if you're pregnant Mama Jewels stock some lovely sterling silver Mexican bola chimes. Also if you're looking for a new baby gift then there's even some gift hampers which look adorable. Wish I had received one of these when I had Harlow.

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

Please visit www.mamajewels.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 the Liberty print Betsy teal wooden teething necklace in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

22 May 2015

Personalised Gift Solutions Discount Code

With Father's Day fast approaching we'll all be worriedly thinking about what to get that special Dad of ours this year and when you have small children it's an even bigger thought on what to get their Daddy. I always think it gets harder and harder every year so to hopefully make life a little bit easier for everyone why not check out PersonalisedGiftSolutions.co.uk. They have a massive range of personalised products which can be sent straight to your door and there's free delivery on everything!

Here's a little bit about the company: "We are a small family run business, based in Southampton, specialising in creating and selling high quality personalised gifts that are guaranteed to bring smiles to faces. After what seems like a lifetime slaving away in the corporate world (approx 15 years in reality), we finally decided enough was enough and took the decision to go it alone. So in early 2014 we established our own business selling personalised gifts and escaped the rat race for good!"

To help you out even further Personalised Gift Solutions are offering all my readers a special 15% off discount code, hurray! Did you know it can also be used on there many sale items as well! Just enter 15%OFF4BREASTESTNEWS at the checkout.

Here's a few of my favourite Father's Day gifts from the Personalised Gift Solutions website.

Personalised Luxury Coffee Hamper

Complete with; Personalised mug, Personalised coffee tin, Union Columbian Ground Coffee, Union, Brazil Ground Coffee, Union Rwanda Ground Coffee, Divine Milk Chocolate, Duchy Originals, shortbread fingers and Chic chip crunchy cookies. A coffee lovers dream. RRP £69.95.

Personalised Man Shed Wooden Sign

What man wouldn't want to proudly display this lovely sign on their man shed for all to see. Just change the name to suit. RRP £12.95.

Personalised Beer 3 Pack

Most Dad's will deserve a nice cold beer on Father's Day to relax and unwind so make it extra special with this DAD 3 pack. RRP £21.95

For more products and information check out www.PersonalisedGiftSolutions.co.uk or pay them a visit on Facebook.

I was sent a discount code for my readers in return for this post.

12 May 2015

Celebrating Siblings - Being A Big Brother

Logan absolutely loves being a big brother to his little sister Harlow and although she's only been here for 17 weeks there's not a day goes by where he doesn't want to talk or interact with her. Like I've said before the other half and I weren't sure how he would take to big brotherhood since it's a massive change to have another little person sharing your Mummy and Daddy. We've definitely struck it lucky though, for now anyway, so to celebrate him in all his big brother glory (just like Prince George and his baby sister, Princess Charlotte) the lovely people from Ella's Kitchen sent Logan a big box of goodies.

Logan loves a surprise present and was thrilled when I showed him the big red box with his name on it. We opened it together and I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of fab goodies for him to enjoy. He wasted no time in getting stuck in anyway and true to form invited Harlow down on the floor to have a play with him. Of course she just watched but was absolutely fascinated at what her big brother was doing. Even the dogs had to have a look!

Some of the lovely items in the box included an amazing colouring book (The Great Extendable Colouring Book), a set of very cool crayons (Playon Crayon), a big brother top to wear, a certificate to say how awesome a big brother he is and also a ton of Ella's Kitchen snacks. Some of the tasty snacks in the box were; cheese + leeks crunchy wheels, raspberries + peaches crunchy rings, bananas + raisins oaty nibbly fingers, the green one smoothie, the orange one smoothie, the red one smoothie and parsnips + poppy seeds savoury biccies. Logan hasn't eaten all of his scrummy nibbles yet but his favs so far have to be the smoothie pouches. They're delicious and perfect for him to take to school as a healthy snack as well so I might have to stock up. You can check out Ella's Kitchen shop and products here.

I was sent the Ella's Kitchen box of goodies in return for Logan showing what it's like to be a big brother. All words and opinions are my own.

11 May 2015

Review: Nemo and Giraffe Book

As you already no doubt know, Logan and I love a good story book and hopefully Harlow will take an interest in stories as she gets a bit older. For now though she's happy looking at the pictures. I was contacted by Lee Hunter, author of Nemo and Giraffe, not so long ago to see if Logan and I would like to review her children's book. It looked like a lovely book with a lovely story so I happily agreed and kept my fingers crossed Logan would like it too.

A little about the author, Lee Hunter, first: "I am the author of "Nemo and Giraffe", this is the first children's book that I have written and it is the first in what will hopefully be a series. "Nemo and Giraffe" is based on the life and antics of my own indoor cat, Nemo. The aim of this book and series is to help young children form positive relationships with cats and all pets and to learn how to care for them from a young age. I am currently a Childminder in Elgin, Scotland and work daily with children under 5 in the comfort of my own home. A great struggle for me within my childcare setting is teaching the children to be considerate of our cat, Nemo and how he may become frightened if they scream, jump or grab him and by promoting their awareness of his feelings they are able to not only improve their behaviour but also their awareness of themselves and others."

Nemo and Giraffe is a gorgeous little story book with around 12 back to back beautifully illustrated pages on the adventures of Nemo the house cat and his best friend Giraffe (who by the way is a cuddly toy). The story starts by stating that best friends can look like anything at all and that no two best friends are the same. It describes how best friends can be boy or girls, big or small, hairy or scaly etc to emphasis that looks don't matter when it comes to being the best of friends. It then goes on to describe Nemo, the indoor cat, why he likes to be indoors and also that his best friend is a Giraffe so he doesn't feel lonely. Nemo and Giraffe move home together and get up to all sorts as any dynamic duo best friends would. Throughout the book Nemo's feelings are described when he encounters different situations for example how he is frightened of fire works or how happy he is to watch the birds with Giraffe. It's a great and simple way to introduce children to the idea of feelings and being a good friend.

As I mentioned the illustrations are beautiful, they're very cute and child friendly, and they suit the book perfectly. Lindy Damen was employed by Lee Hunter to illustrate the book after Lee managed to secure funding through a successful Kickstarter campaign. So Lee has self published this book which is great and so ambitious. It's nice to see someone going after their dream, well done Lee. *Coughs* just to note Lee would love an agent and to have her next book in the series published by an agency professional so if there's anyone out there reading this that can help please do get in touch with Lee.

Logan was captivated by this book as you can see from the photo of us reading it together. He loved the story and pictures to go along with it and sat entranced throughout. At the end we even discussed how best friends can be anyone and it doesn't matter what they look like, thankfully he fully agreed which was lovely. The story isn't too long either with sometimes only a handful of words per page so it keeps your little one interested and engaged as you're not taking forever to move onto the next page.

The book can be purchased in Paperback (£4.99) or Kindle Edition (£2.36) from Amazon for whichever suits your family. I think the Kindle Edition would be a fab purchase for if you wanted to take on holiday. I know when we travel we always have to take bedtime stories so this would save much needed space.

Overall a lovely book which is perfect for teaching children about their feelings, other people's feelings and friendship. This would be great as a good behaviour treat, Birthday/ Christmas present etc or if your little one is struggling to understand how to be a good friend then this is for you. Nemo and Giraffe play together well so sets a good example.

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

Please visit Nemo and Giraffe on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

I was provided with a copy of the Nemo and Giraffe book in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

10 May 2015

Silent Sunday 10.05.15


8 May 2015

Bargains of The Week - w/c 04.05.15

Another week and yet more bargains purchased. It seems I've been making a start to buying Birthday and Christmas presents already! Check out what I've bought.

Superhero Action
I like to try and plan ahead for Birthday and Christmas presents so I've been making a start for the kids already. I spotted this cool Iron Man Mega Laser Set in Debenhams for only £24 (original price £40). I really think Logan will love it. It's kind of like laser tag so Logan and Daddy (or myself) can run around the house pretending to shoot at each other. Lots of fun to be had.

Planning Ahead
More planning ahead here but this time for Harlow. This cute Skip Hop Tree Top Busy Bead Tree was £14 in Debenhams (original price £28.00) and is quite a good size. I thought it would have been smaller from the photo but was pleasantly surprised that it's a bit bigger for little hands. Suitable from 12 months + so Harlow will get this for her birthday.

School Shoes
Logan recently shot up a size in footwear so it was a mad dash at the weekend to get him some new schools shoes. It wasn't just half a size he grew, it was a whole size so his poor toes must have been touching the front of his old shoes. Buying shoes for Logan is always a bit stressful as every time we seem to go for shoes there's never a large selection in the size he needs! Just our luck I guess, but this time we managed to find a nice pair of school shoes that he liked. We bought Clarks shoes similar to these Stomp Rex ones which retail for £36. We got Logan's pair for £21.99, which isn't a massive saving however still better than nothing especially for school shoes.

My Pal Violet
There was a fab deal on Amazon just the other day for LeapFrog's My Pal Violet. Originally £19.99, little Violet was reduced to a bargain price of £6.99! When I spotted this deal (thanks to My Mummies Pennies) I snapped it up for Harlow as it's age suitable from 6-36 months.

7 May 2015

Scottish Road Safety Week: 4th-10th May 2015

All this week it's Scottish Road Safety Week so if you haven't already had a chat with your little one about road safety then what better time to discuss it than now. Scotland's roads and indeed roads all around the UK are getting busier and busier so teaching our children about road safety should be a big priority. According to dontriskit.info: "the number of people killed and injured on Scotland's roads has fallen significantly in recent years. However, sadly latest figures show there were 1,062 child casualties reported. Of those 143 were seriously injured and nine died. That is nine too many." For that reason here are some top tips on road safety for your kids and also a refresher for yourself as a parent.

Crossing The Road

1. Find the safest place to cross. A Pelican Crossing or Zebra Crossing is best. Take extra care at a Zebra Crossing of course. You can check out the rules of Pedestrian Crossings at www.gov.uk.

2. Stop before you get to the kerb, not directly on it as passing traffic can still clip you or you could stumble on to the road.

3. Now use your good old Stop. Look. Listen. Think skills.

4. If you see traffic coming let it pass. There's no rush that involves risking your life. Playing chicken isn't smart!

5. When you think it's safe walk straight across the road to the other side. I was told it's best not to run in case you trip or fall.

6. Try to avoid crossing between parked cars where possible and please don't crossed between vans/ buses etc as traffic simply won't see you coming.

7. If you do need to cross between parked cars try and do it beside the smallest cars so traffic will see you and also use your Stop. Look. Listen. Think skills thoroughly.

Being Visible

1. Being visible is good for children since they're smaller than us adults so when walking, especially to nursery or school, children can wear bright colours, for example a bright jacket or bag and sometimes you get these with high-visibility strips on them. Some shoes even have them, I know my son's welly boots do.

2. At night time when out and about or in darker months it's sensible to wear reflective clothing.

3. Older children usual think reflective or fluorescent clothing is a load of old rubbish and often refuse to wear it because it's not fashionable so make life easier on them and buy the reflective/fluorescent stickers for their bags or coats. Hopefully it's a compromise you can win as a parent.

Correct Child Car Seat
Keep your child safe in the car by making sure they have the correct child car seat for their age, weight and size.

According to childcarseats.org.uk: "The law requires all children travelling in the front or rear seat of any car, van or goods vehicle must use the correct child car seat until they are either 135 cm in height or 12 years old (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seat belt. There are very few exceptions. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 years are restrained correctly in accordance with the law."

You can find out what type of child car seats need to be used by age/ weight etc here.

Lastly for everyone's safety including your child's, please wear your own seat belt - it's the Law!

Image courtesy of Which.co.uk - click to visit website

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

6 May 2015

Starting Your Breastfeeding Journey - Which Products?

You're pregnant and you want to breastfeed, excellent! Let's have you as prepared as possible for whatever may come your way whilst breastfeeding. There's tons of products on the market and you really don't need them all so here's a short list of some products you may want to get your hands on before your baby arrives.

Lansinoh Nipple Cream
Washable Breast Pads
Nursing Scarf/ Cover Up
Nursing Bras
Breastfeeding Pillow
Breastfeeding Friendly Clothes
Breast Pump

Now you don't have to buy everything breastfeeding but above are some of the items I've found I used most often during breastfeeding and they've definitely helped keep me going. The Lansinoh Nipple Cream is fab especially if you're a first time breastfeeding mother. Your nipples will take a bashing unfortunately but this cream is amazing and I highly recommend using it when you feel your nipples start to become tender. I used it again second time round but I didn't need it for quite so long as my nipples got used to the breastfeeding quicker this time. It can be bought from most supermarkets or chemists.

Washable Breast Pads are great and will save you money in the long run. They're comfy to wear, don't irritate, don't scrunch up like their disposable counter parts, are highly absorbent and easy to put through the wash for the next time you need them. A nursing scarf or cover up might come in handy although not essential however if you're a bit nervous about breastfeeding in public, which a lot of women are, then maybe the Loveyush Nursing Scarf might be for you. Click on the link to check out my review.

The Loveyush Nursing Scarf in Acrtion
One thing you'll definitely need is a couple of nursing bras and I'd say go and get sized maybe a week or two before you're baby is due. When your milk comes in a few days after birth your boobs will swell and you won't think they'll fit into your nursing bra however this will calm down as your baby gets the milk supply sorted so don't go up a bra size, stick with what you have as long as it's comfortable of course. For those women who have a slightly larger bust like myself I recommend Bravissimo for nursing bras. You can purchase online but it's better if you can get to a store to be measured up.

A breastfeeding pillow isn't essential either but my lord it'll save your arms from feeling like dead weights when your baby decides to settle in for an hour long feeding marathon. It's also amazing if you've had a c-section, like myself, as it takes the baby's weight and pressure off of your surgery wound. I'm currently still using my Baroo Maternity Pillow however a Nursing Pillow would probably be more suitable. There's loads of different brands out there on the market so have a Google and see if you can get a bargain.

Chilling on the maternity pillow
Again you don't have to buy specific breastfeeding clothes but making sure you have some breastfeeding 'friendly' clothes in your wardrobe will sure help. I'm still wearing a lot of my maternity tops as these are a bit bigger allowing you room and comfort to access your breasts for your baby. All I've really done is get my hands on an Emma-Jane Nursing Vest to pop on under some of my tops. It doesn't work with all my tops but it's great for the baggier ones. This vest will hide your mummy tummy and also doubles as a bra with plenty of support. I really do like this and have been wearing it loads. Next also have some nursing vests however you'll need to wear your bra underneath those ones.

I don't use a breast pump myself as frankly I'm a lazy mare and I'm lucky enough to be able to take a years maternity leave however lots of breastfeeding mums do express their milk for lots of different reasons. They may need to go back to work and still want to breastfeed so express to give it to their baby and also to keep their supply up. Some mums need a little break or maybe their partner wants to be involved in feeding or some mummy's like a little night out with the girls or a date night so expressing helps them to do this. There's also the little babies who are born prematurely but can still have their mummy's milk if she expresses. Whatever the reason there's no mad rush to buy a breast pump but if you do plan on expressing check out the Tommee Tippee, Medela and Nuby ones on the market. I'd suggest reading a few reviews before purchasing as well, just to make sure you get the right one to suit you as some aren't cheap.

Happily breastfeeding

3 May 2015

Silent Sunday 03.05.15 - Week 18


TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

2 May 2015

Bargains of The Week - w/c 27.04.15

Time for another Bargains of The Week and a chance to see what I've been purchasing recently. It does seem to be all about the clothes these days but I think that's because I'm trying to stock up and plan ahead so Harlow actually has something to wear when she gets bigger. Anyway, on to the bargains.

For Baby Girl
I nipped into Sainsbury's when they had their 25% off clothing sale and noticed they had a seperate half price sale rack as well. When I went to the till I was pleasantly surprised to note that even the half price clothing was allowed an additional 25% off. As you can imagine I had a big smile on my face that day.

I managed to buy 5 pairs of socks in size newborn which were originally £3.50 down to £1.75 half price then with the 25% off it made them £1.31! What a steal. I then spotted these super cute 3 pairs of tights in size 6-12 months, originally retailing for £6 down to £3 half price then with 25% off which made them £2.25! Another steal. Last but not least I couldn't resist the moccasin slipper socks (size 6-9 months) which were £5 down to £2.50 half price then reduced again to £1.87 with the 25% off. All this cuteness for only £5.43. Happy days!

Books Again
As always I like to have a look at the book display stand in Sainsbury's and they had 2 lovely books on offer which I couldn't resist. I bought the Usborne Peep Inside The Garden book for Harlow for when she's a little bigger and the Usborne Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers about Dinosaurs book for Logan which he loves by the way. The garden book is £3.49 (£5.24 on Amazon) and the dinosaur book is £4.99 (£9.99 on Amazon).

We Love a Superhero or Two
Superheroes in our house are much loved in any shape or form so when I spotted this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles top in Sainsbury's down to £4 from £8 I just couldn't resist for Logan. It's a size 7 which he should grow into around August so perfect for starting off his next wardrobe.

Debenhams for the Boy
I had to return some tops to Debenhams the other day that I had bought for myself. They weren't any good and not very breastfeeding friendly which was a shame but whilst I was mooching around having a look at the sale section I spotted this lovely coat for Logan for when he's older. It's a nice Ted Baker number and perfect for the cold wet weather we have in Scotland. As you can see it was up at £40 odd pound but with 60% off it was reduced to £17.60!

Since we've recently booked up a little holiday in the sun I thought I'd need to make an effort and look for some swimwear for baby girl. Something that would keep her skin safe and protected whilst paddling in the baby pool. As my luck would have it this baby was reduced in my local Sainsbury's store. Size 6-9 months it was £8 reduced to £2.80. What a bargain.

As always please do share any bargains you've come across recently. I love to see what types of bargains people have got their hands on.


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