19 July 2015

Silent Sunday 19.07.15


18 July 2015

Review: Paddy's Bathroom Range

Bath time in our house has to one of the most enjoyable routine activities for the kids each night before bed. Logan only had a bath every other day before Harlow was born as he wasn't always dirty and I didn't want to dry out his young skin. However since Harlow's arrival the other half and I have started to bath the kids nightly to get Harlow into a little routine of knowing it's almost time for bed and time to hopefully sleep! Trying to keep bath times fun and interesting can always be a challenge especially since the kids are now having a bath every night. Luckily for them, more so for Logan, Paddy's Bathroom got in touch to see if we'd like to try some of their new and exciting products.

Paddy's Bathroom range has been created by the lovely Dad behind Ella's Kitchen. As you might have guessed Paddy is the son of said Dad (Paul Lindley) and it's lovely to see he's created a range of products for each child. Over at www.paddysbathroom.com you get to meet Paddy and learn that these products have been created because his Dad promised him and Ella that he would only use stuff in their bath that was kind to skin. Paddy asked that everything be super bubbly and smell great too hence Paddy's Bathroom was born.

Logan and Harlow were lucky enough to be sent a whole host of Paddy's Bathroom goodies (stuff for shiny hair, bubbly stuff, stuff for hands, foamy stuff and squirty stuff) which also included some fun bubbles and cute little bath toys. Logan was extremely excited to open the box and couldn't wait for his bath that evening. The bubbly stuff (RRP £5.99) is bubble bath that promises to smell like tangy tangerines, and boy does it! Logan wanted to pour this into the bath to watch the bubbles form and as soon as it's out of the packet the aroma of tangerines hits you. It's very fresh and quite nice although I think it wakes Harlow up a bit rather than helping her to sleep. Logan loves this bubble bath for two reason; one it is very bubbly with ample bubble making abilities, and two, he says it looks like green zombie slim! It does ooze out of the packet which appeals to Logan greatly.

We received two of the squirty stuff (RRP £4.49) which is foaming hair and body wash. One smells of squishy mangoes and the other juicy pineapples. Both smell so good you could eat them. Unlike the bubbly stuff, these hair and body washes come in a plastic bottle. At first I was completely baffled as to how to open them and then I noticed the little hole in the lid. Turns out you have to pull the end of the lid to open it up i.e. the lid doesn't come off but once opened you can squeeze out the contents. Great idea so there's no fiddly lids however try opening this lid with wet watery hands and it's a whole different ball game. I had to get my other half to pull these open with his impressive guns as I just couldn't manage. A little frustrating but a lovely product which foams up nicely to wash hair and body easily. Logan loved it because it squirts foam and although he's been going mad squirting the foam every where over the past 3 weeks, there's still plenty of product left.

Next up is the stuff for shiny hair (RRP £4.49) that smells like squeezy lemons. We all love the smell of this, it's very refreshing and it's great for making amazing silly hair do's with. Logan wanted a shark fin hair style so that's what he got. This product also oozes out of the packet like the bubbly stuff however it takes forever to wash out of hair and just when you think it's all rinsed, your child's hair is still foaming! I can forgive it slightly though because it does smell so good.

Stuff for hands (RRP £4.49) which smells like squeaky clean lemons is contained in a child friendly pump dispenser bottle and as the name suggests it's foaming hand wash. I've never seen Logan so keen to wash his hands until he received this to try. Even I'm forced to use it when Logan's around instead of my normal hand wash. It's great foaming fun though and smells amazing like all the other products.

Last but not least we received the foamy stuff (RRP £4.49) to try out which smells like rosy apples and is a foaming hair and body wash. It really does smell like apples by the way and like the stuff for hands it comes in a pump dispenser bottle so easy for kids to use. Logan really liked this one, it was his favourite smell I think and the fact he could wash his hair and body himself made him feel very grown up.

All of these products are 98% natural. The foamy stuff, stuff for hands and squirty stuff have 73% organic ingredients in them whilst the bubbly stuff has 63% and the stuff for shiny hair has 56%. It's a pleasure to know this as I believe you shouldn't scrimp on kids bath products especially if they suffer from dry skin. So many bath products out there don't do anything for kids skin whereas with the Paddy's Bathroom range I've always felt Logan and Harlow's skin to be soft and nourished after each bath. Perfect since they're getting a bath every night.

Paddy's Bathroom also have a Drop By Drop campaign going on at the moment. I'll let them explain more: "We created our Drop Buy Drop programme to help those who need it most, get access to clean water for health and hygiene. That's why we give 50 US cents for every single product we sell toward clean water initiatives that help families in Africa. Right now we are working with DelAgua, who are partnering with the Government of Rwanda, to provide water filters to some of the poorest families in Rwanda. The water filters make water clean for drinking, cooking + washing so kids don't get sick from dirty water. You can help us just by buying Paddy's Bathroom products."

Paddy’s Bathroom recently opened its doors to the world’s first Bubble Barber for two days only in London. We were invited but couldn't attend however I'm assured it was a great success and with a menu of bubbly barnets to choose from, little ones were given the chance to sport their favourite celebrity hairstyles in bubble form. This ranged from David Beckham’s Mohawk to Princess Leia’s Space Age Buns! To create your very own Bubble Barber check out the Bubble Barber how to video below.

Overall some really good products that smell amazing and keep your little one clean. I'm awarding an 8/10 because I love what the brand stands for, their Drop Buy Drop campaign and also that the products are kind to skin and make bath time fun. The stuff for shiny hair did annoy me in the fact it took ages to wash out and also the squirty stuff bottles I found a little tricky. The product pricing is fair compared to other products on the market at this level and basically Logan loved everything as it made bath time fun for him and his baby sister. Products can be purchased from selected Tesco, Asda and Boots stores.

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

Please visit www.paddysbathroom.com for more products and information. You can also see what Paddy's Bathroom get up to on Facebook and Twitter, so why not pop over and say hello.

I was sent a bundle of Paddy's Bathroom goodies in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

17 July 2015

Giveaway: Swimshop Goodies!

Recent studies show 57% of children age 7-11 do not know how to swim. This is astonishing since under the national curriculum all schools are required to teach children to swim a distance of 25 metres confidently using a range of strokes so that they can safely rescue themselves from drowning.

It is estimated that children require at least 25 hours of lessons to swim confidently a distance of 25 metres. Primary schools are offered 18 hours of swimming lessons per child a year, way below the recommended hours. If hours were raised to 25 across all primary schools as standard the number of children who can swim would rise by 200,000.

Many schools are unaware of their student’s ability to swim. The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) suggest that swimming should come under the physical education budget and be taught as a requirement much like any other subject.

As well as a lifesaving skill the ability to swim has vast health benefits and is one of the few sports you can continues to partake in into old age.

Swimshop, online swim costumes and swim aids supplier, are offering 3 lucky readers the chance to win a set of WIN deluxe armbands and a WIN fun fish float – with a choice of Steve Sharky or Polly Pink Fish. Perfect for parents helping their children to swim.

As well as this wonderful prize we are offering all readers a PDF download of fun swimming games you can enjoy with your children to make them feel more confident in the water. These are also handy workouts for adults. The Learn to Swim campaign sponsors Swimshop, swimming costumes and equipment online.

So what are you waiting for!? To be in with a chance of winning a set of arm bands and a fish float enter via the rafflecopter widget below.

5 July 2015

My Tips for Flying with an Autistic Child

It's not long until holiday season now, especially for those of us with kids in school, and most of us will be thinking of jetting away to a sunnier climate to enjoy a few cocktails and chill by the pool. It's hard enough flying with kids as it is however if your child is autistic then you have an altogether different kind of flight experience battle on your hands. Here's a few little tips that I hope can help to make your journey as positive as possible, from a mum who's been through that battle!

Once you've decided where the family is going and you've booked up, it's a good idea to start preparing your child right away for what to expect. Books, pictures, youtube videos etc are all great ways to show autistic children what they should expect from an airport and the holiday destination they're going to. A countdown on a calendar to the special holiday date can be quite beneficial too.

Next you should ask the airport you're flying from for some help. Quite a lot of airports have an Additional Needs team, however it's not widely publicised enough if you ask me. As a family we regularly fly from Edinburgh Airport ourselves and only found out about their Additional Needs service by chance from watching a TV documentary about it! Anyway, an Additional Needs team can meet you at the door, hold you by the hand and take you step by step through each part of the airport. It's great because no one bats an eyelid when you've got a person with a badge and a hi-vis jacket on putting you at the front of the queue, but most importantly because you get through quicker it also minimises stress for your autistic child.

Take a bag full of interesting and fun things for your child to do on the plane. Logan has a trunki himself, which he loves, and it's actually great for sitting him on and whisking him through the airport. He hates walking and making him walk can trigger a meltdown so having the trunki is a god send. Some of the things I include in this interesting bag for Logan are;
  • A favourite book - anything which captures his attention for at least 5 minutes. Last year it was the Busy Airport book which we had been reading in the house prior to our trip.
  • A sticker book - he's right into superheroes/ transformers/ angry birds etc and the Ultimate Sticker Collection books have plenty to choose from (Angry Birds Transformers).
  • Card games are great and a good distraction (Dobble Card Game).
  • A small new toy of some sort is always a nice surprise. Last year I popped in Crosshairs the transformer. He went down a treat.
  • Favourite snacks are good too, don't want them going hungry.
  • Gadgets & Headphones are great if you have them. I make sure to pack Logan's iPad and his headphones so he can watch a movie and play his games with sound.
  • Ear defenders - these are amazing especially if your child is noise sensitive. Logan has some of the Edz Kidz Ear Defenders.
  • Always remember a change of clothes, something comfortable and soft. My son hates any rough clothing against his skin so that's when joggy bottoms come in handy.
  • Try not to bring all the goodies out of the bag at once as kids can get bored quickly. Drag out the awesome bag of stuff for as long as you possibly can.
If you can I'd recommend booking your seats on the plane so everyone can sit together, I'd also recommend booking seats at the very back of the plane as you're near the staff if you need anything but you're also out of the way so less chance of you getting stressed if you think you're disturbing anyone. I book for the back of the plane and this way Logan can stand up in his seat if he likes and no one seems to bat an eyelid. Sometimes if we're lucky enough it can also mean we get off the plane first out of the back door. It's up to you though and some people prefer to sit near the wings for engine noise to put their kids to sleep however this won't always be suitable for a child with autism.

As some of you might know, toilets on planes are very noisy and can be quite scary to young children. For that reason, if you can, make sure your child has their ear defenders on or let them wait outside of the toilet before you flush. It might just save you a meltdown.

So that's some of the things we do as a family to help Logan travel abroad. Some people might think why bother however we don't want him to miss out and when he's there, by the pool or at the beach, he's in his element and enjoys every minute.


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