My Outdoor Winter Essentials

One of our favourite things to do as a family is to explore the great outdoors. When the weekend arrives we always have a couple of trips out planned, no matter what the weather! We've had days out in the sunshine, in the rain and even in the snow. As long as you are dressed appropriately and are well prepared there's no stopping you and your family from getting outdoors and making memories. Here is my list of outdoor winter essentials.

1. Suitable footwear
Whenever we plan on spending the day outdoors we make sure that we are all wearing suitable footwear because there's nothing worse than being on a long walk with sore feet. I find myself wearing trainers in Spring and Summer and wellington boots or hiking books in Autumn and Winter. At the moment we've been relying heavily on our wellies a lot as the weather is so temperamental. 

2. Wear lots of layers.
The temperature has really taken a drop recently, it's bitter cold. I'm also heavily pregnant at the moment so my coat no longer fastens which has made it impossible to stay warm. I've recently been looking into investing in some thermal and waterproof coats for the whole family and Engelbert Strauss has quite a few which have taken my fancy. 

3. Bring a thermos.
You can be wrapped up as warm as you possibly can but once you've reached your destination there's nothing better than sitting down with a warm drink. I have a huge thermos that I fill with hot chocolate for our days out. I make sure to pack marshmallows and extra cups in my rucksack as well as a few snacks. To be honest, a hot chocolate after a long walk out is our favourite part! 

What are your winter essentials?


Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio - Review

For the past couple of months I've been working a long side Graco as one of their Generation Graco Ambassadors. As part of our partnership I was invited down to London Zoo in October to meet the team and have since been sent numerous products to test and try out. The first product I was sent to review was the Graco Milestone which has been great car seat for us, you can read all about here. The second product arrived last week, the Graco Modes 3 Lite travel system. 

The Graco Modes 3 Lite is a travel system which it's suitable from birth through to 15kg and designed to grow with your baby. Included in the package is the chassis, stroller seat, carry cot, car seat, cosy toes and rain cover. As you've read it really does contain everything you need to get you started, all at an affordable price too. 

With Noah being three years old we were unable to give a in depth review of the carry cot and car seat so was asked to focus on the stroller seat for the purpose of this review.

First I have to mention that assembling the stroller was very quick and easy. In fact it was easier to not follow the instructions as that just made the simple task confusing, so we skipped that part. 
My initial impression was good as straight away I noticed three things which are always a major plus for me when it comes to pushchairs and strollers, it was lightweight, sturdy and had a huge shopping basket.

Stroller features

Suitable from birth up to 15kg
An easy one-second, one-hand fold offers convenience for busy parents
Flexible Fast Action fold works with or without the stroller seat to fold 2 ways
Storage lock engages automatically when folded and stroller stays upright
3-wheel manoeuvrability with locking front-swivel wheel
One pivoting child cup holder to hold snacks, drinks or treasures
Multi-position reclining for child's comfort
Extra-large basket to hold all your essentials
Click Connect provides a one-step, secure attachment of infant car seat 
Lightweight, sturdy frame make it easier to take on-the-go
Convertible 3- or 5-point harness grows with your child

What we like:
The one second, one hand fold. This is absolutely genius and a godsend for us parents, talk about making our lives easier! It's also light weight and easy to steer and manoeuvre. 

We don't use strollers often anymore with Noah being three but I found that the seat had plenty of room for him to sit comfortably. This is a huge pro for the stroller as I've found quite a few different brands be quite small on the seating front.

Possibly my favourite element to the Graco Modes 3 Lite has got to be the shopping basket, it's so spacious and would make shopping so much easier. There's nothing worse than having a decent pram with a really small basket.

One thing that I always associate with Graco is the cup holder. They include them with selected car seats and on certain pushchairs and I think it's great! It's also quite the novelty for the toddlers too!

What we'd like to see improved:
There's not much that I'd like to see different but there are a couple of things I'd like to mention but they are only suggestions down to my own personal preference.

I found that I did struggle sometimes with positioning the seat as you do this with a toggle at the back of the stroller. I personally prefer a click action for this rather than a toggle that you have to pull because I just find the process a bit of a hassle.

This is another suggestion which is totally down to preference as some people prefer their prams with tyres and others prefer plastic wheels. I find that plastic are good for everyday use but do prefer tyres on a whole as I find them better on all types of surfaces.

My overall verdict for the Graco Modes 3 Lite is that it's a great travel system which is excellent value for money. It'd be ideal for a new parent who have their budget stretched as it would meet all their needs without breaking the bank. The Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio is available at Babies ‘R’ Us at £389.99.

- We were sent this product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.


November Degustabox - Review

Another month, another Degustabox! As mentioned in my previous posts we absolutely love our Degustabox subscription and receiving our monthly box is always one of the highlights of our month. We like to sit down as a family wit our box and open the box together and there's always something included which is suitable every one of us.

What was inside November's box.

1. Hartley's Glitter Jelly - 75p each
2. Christian Potier Sauce - £2.50 
3. Butterkist Choc Mallow Popcorn - £1.49
4. Butterkist Sweet Cinema Style Popcorn - 28p
5. Ryvita Thins - £1.89
6. Ryvita Crackers - £1.29
7. Pipers Crisps - £2.00
8. Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps - £1.19
9. J20 Glitterberry - £2.49
10. Michel et Augustin Cookie Squares - 89p
11. Appy Kids Co Drinks - £1.49
12. The Good Cider - £1.50 each

The November Degustabox was called the Christmas Box and you can see why as there were lots of items included which are perfect for the Christmas season. I'm planning on sitting down with a selection of cheese and the Ryvita crackers on Christmas Eve, enjoying the Glitterberry J20 on Christmas Day and making up some Hartley's glitter jelly for a treat for my son on Boxing Day. I thought that the box was absolutely perfect, another big thumbs up from us!

Degustabox costs £12.99 per month but if you would like to try it for the first time use the code: CTOMW at the checkout to receive a huge £7.00 off! That means you can get your first box for just £5.99! 

What products or brands would 
you like to see in Degustabox next?

- We were sent this product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.


Disney On Ice Presents Frozen - Review

Last Wednesday we had a rather exciting night as we were invited to attend Disney On Ice presents Frozen at Liverpool Echo Arena. We were all very excited and all week Noah had been telling everyone that he came into contact with that he was going to see Olaf and I often heard him squealing, "Disney Ice, Disney Ice!" 

Liverpool Echo Arena is a good hour and a half drive away from where we live but we made it within good time to pay a visit to the meet and greet. Whilst we were there we picked up our tickets and enjoyed some complementary fruit kebabs and drinks whilst we waited for some very special guest to arrive and I don't mean the array of famous footballers who were also in attendance! Introducing Anna, Elsa and of course, Mickey Mouse! Noah was a little bashful posing with the Disney princesses but as soon as he saw Mickey appear he literally ran across the room and gave him a huge hug! 

Once we'd had our fill of the meet and greet we decided to head over to the arena as the show was due to start shortly. It didn't take long for us to find our seats as the stewards and staff were very polite and helpful, a credit to Liverpool Echo Arena. Our seats were quite high up which was a bit of shame but better having high up seats than no seats at all. Though it's worth a mention that I've seen photo's taken from the ground floor which left me feeling a little disappointed as with those seats you are able to have a more immersive experience. I felt with being so high up we weren't able to see the characters up close and missed out on the details from the costumes and set design. If we were to come again I'd make sure to book rink side or lower tier tickets, that's for sure.  

We didn't have to wait long until the show started and what a way it began! Out skated Minnie and Mickey and after a little talk they introduced some of our favourite characters. We saw the likes of Timone and Pumba, Nemo and Dory and even Woody and Buzz! To be honest this was actually the highlight of the experience for us as it was great to see the familiar Disney characters that we know and love. 

It was then time for the show to start. The lights dimmed, snow fell, the music started and it was so atmospheric that I got goosebumps. I did wonder how Noah would fare sitting still for so long as he's not usually one for being still but he sat transfixed for almost the entire show. The whole experience was incredible, from the choreography and the set design through to the pyrotechnics and the music. It was literally like being in the movie and the only way we could have had a better time would have been to have had better seats but that's all. I'd recommend the show to all Disney fans out there as it's an experience you wouldn't want to miss and one that would be a hit with all the family.

- We received tickets free of charge for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.