6/30/2015

Cloudbabies - My First Baba Blue & Baba Green - Review


One of my favourite things to review has got to be children's toys. Treating my child on a monthly or weekly basis due to the blog is always welcomed and appreciated. 

Last week we were sent two new toys from the Cloudbabies range and I have to admit I was probably more excited than a 27 year old should be! 




First up we had My First Baba Blue which retails at £19.99. He is a soft plush doll that is roughly around 11 inches tall. He is classed as a sensory toy as he is made out of many different textures and colours, all of which make different sounds. One foot crunches, the other foot jingles and you can also untie his scarf and undo his jacket to reveal a little mirror on his belly. All of which I think are a great feature.

As you can see he is very cute! With his winter attire I think he would make a lovely Christmas gift (Did I really just mention the C word?!)








Next up we have the slighter smaller and even more adorable Baba Green which costs a very reasonable £6.99. 
He is roughly around 6 inches tall and unlike the other doll he has a hard plastic head so isn't as snuggly as Baba Blue.

If you watch the tv show you will know he is a green thumb, is a little quieter than the others but is the best storyteller there is! This is why he is my favourite!


Both dolls are extremely cute (I keep saying this but they are!) and have both gone down a storm with Noah, especially Baba Blue. He loves to look after him like a baby and he likes to push him around in his toy pram. 





What we thought-

Noah loves to take care of both dolls just like you would a baby. He will share his food and drink with them and even push them around in his toy pram. They have both gone down a storm and it's a pleasure to watch Noah enjoy them so much.


The dolls are colourful, attractive and totally adorable!

Baba Blue in particular is great because he's not just a plush doll but is sensory which helps develop your child's fine motor skills too.


The mirror underneath Baba Blue's jacket is a nice feature as Noah really enjoys discovering it when he undresses him.  

Both dolls are priced well too and I wouldn't protest at paying the RRP for either. You can buy them here.

It's also great to see the Cloudbabies range expanding! 




- We were sent these dolls for the purpose of this review however all opinionsare my own. 

6/29/2015

Mummy & Me - June


Hello June, Goodbye June! We are now half way through the year, how has that happened?! Time really does fly by even quicker when you have a child.

June has been a lovely month. We've been out and about a lot in the fresh air and I've really appreciated being able to stay home with Noah. I think he does appreciate it too but you can't tell from these pictures, haha. I just had to have both for this months photo's as Noah's expressions are just priceless!



"Really Mum? I'm so not in the mood for ANOTHER selfie!"



"Mother... seriously. Just stop! Totally embarrassing!"

He loves me really, I promise!

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

6/27/2015

Project 365 - Week 26 - 26/52


21st June - 27th June / Week 26


172
Sunday was Father's day, Nick's second one. It was a busy day! We woke and gave Nick his presents (A BBQ and a book) and then we headed over to the Christening and First Birthday Party of my friends baby. All go go go! We then popped over to my Mum's so Noah could spend a bit of time with her so Nick and I went bowling for an hour. Such a busy day, but a fun one! 

173
Monday saw both Nick and Noah coming down with my cold and flu symptoms so we all had a sick day together. 

174
Thankfully Noah felt so much better on the Tuesday so we had a lazy morning but then we went on a long walk and I took him to the park. I always think that getting out in the fresh air makes you feel so much better.


175
Wednesday morning brought us glorious weather so I contacted my friend and arranged a little play date. We decided to take the little ones on a walk and for a picnic in the park. We had such a great afternoon together as we usually do and I can't wait to do it again.


176
On Thursday my Mum decided to pay us a visit. When I knew she was almost here I sat Noah near the windowsill to look out for Nanna. When she appeared he started jumping up and down with excitement. He loves it when people come to visit. We went to the park, again! The weather was hit and miss but we didn't want that to stop us getting out and about. 

177
On Friday we decided we couldn't wait any longer to set foot on our new lawn (you are supposed to wait three weeks for it to knit together, it has been 2) we set up Noah's slide and as you can see by this photo he was absolutely ecstatic!


178
Saturday we had another very busy but very fun day! We started the afternoon off by Nick, Noah and I meeting up with his Nanny, Auntie, Uncle and Cousin. We had a meal at Brewers Fayre before going on a lovely long walk in the sun shine. It was a scorcher and thankfully Thomson park has a little paddling pool so we all took our shoes off and took a dip! We also went to the park and went on a little stream train. So much fun! 

We've had a busy busy week. Have you been up to much?


6/23/2015

Competition - Win 1 of 3 Fitbug Orb's with Kiqplan Fitness App


If you read my blog regularly you will of read that I am currently on a mission to not just lose weight but to become healthier too. I blog about it often and it's something I feel very passionate about at the moment so you can understand my excitement when I was offered the chance to give this prize away to you guys! 


Kiqplan have kindly offered my readers the chance to win their very own Fitbug Orb and Kiqplan subscription. Not only that but there are three to giveaway and you choose which colour Fitbug you would like AND which fitness plan too! It's like all our birthdays have come at once! Make sure to enter!


If you haven't heard of Kiqplan before then let me explain what they are all about. Kiqplan is a digital coach which can change the way you look and feel in just 12 weeks. Kiqplan is your trainer, nutritionist and lifestyle coach all in one. By following steps, targets and work out videos it helps you every step of the way and keeps your motivation high. 





Above are the fitness apps that Kiqplan currently offer and I like how they offer different routines because we all have different areas that we want to focus on. There's a few that I would love to try myself, goodbye baby bump in particular! You can purchase them on iTunes and Google play.

So let's get to the exciting part! For your chance to win 1 of 3 Fitbug Orbs with Kiqplan Fitness App of your choice simply enter via the Rafflecopter entry form below. Good luck! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
t&c:
1. 3 sets of prizes available.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR.
3. Competition ends 20/7/15
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

6/22/2015

Delightful DIY Ideas to Transform your Kids’ Bedrooms



As parents you’ll want your children to feel their bedroom is a safe and happy place to be and this is the perfect chance for you to get creative with your home d├ęcor. There are some relatively easy ways to transform your kids’ bedrooms into a place which is not only personal to them but is also something they can delight in.

With a little elbow grease, a little know-how and some durable tools, you’ll be ready to take on some of our suggestions. Make sure you get decent equipment though from somewhere like Anglia Tool Centre, as you’ll want to ensure your tools are fit for purpose. Without further ado then, what follows are a selection of our most innovative suggestions to try:

Fun Uses of Lighting
You can brighten up their bedrooms even more by turning lampshades into protectors. Place non-flammable fabric cut-outs on the edge of over their lightshades and you can project shadows their favourite characters from books and films on the wall. Also, if you fasten and drape some sheets from the ceiling and adorn these with fairy lights you can create a comforting night sky effect above them as they sleep.

Washing Line Wall Art
Instead of hammering lots of nails into the walls to hang framed pictures, with just two nails at either end of the room, you can hang a string washing line across instead and peg pictures on to this. The best part about this is you can quickly hang everything from family images, to pictures they’ve drawn and posters, without the faff of having to reframe or re-nail these images at a later date.

Alternative Storage
Do away with flat-pack furniture and buy some cheap wooden pallets to turn into cool looking storage solutions. With a quick sanding, a lick of protective paint and a couple of screws to secure it to the wall, the internal sections of each pallet can become makeshift shelves. Also if you add some extra pieces to the end sections of the pallet, they can be used like pots to store other items too.

Chalkboard Decoration
Instead of painting or papering each wall, you can line one area as a feature wall with chalkboard slate which you and your kids can draw on together. Again, you can draw the latest characters they like or just let them get creative and colour one part of their room the way they choose.

As alluded to above, you don’t need to be a DIY master to tackle these jobs just a little effort and the right tools. So give some of these a try and make your kids’ bedrooms into the special spaces they should be.

A Walk in the Park and a Picnic with Petit Filous Pouches #SummerDaysOut



For the past couple of days the weather has been absolutely glorious! The sun has been shining, the birds have been singing and we have been making the most of every daylight hour.

Noah is at his happiest running around and exploring the great outdoors, he loves being outside in the fresh air. With his love of nature and animals I often say he's a little David Attenborough in the making!

A few days ago Noah and I decided to go on a little adventure, just the two of us. Our plan was to take the very long route to the park and to have a little picnic in the sun.




We had been asked to try the brand new Petit Filous pouches and report back with what we thought about them so we just had to bring them a long. Petit Filous in a pouch, perfect for picnics! 



I rushed around the house like a headless chicken preparing everything we needed. I slapped a little bit of make up on my face and slathered Noah's face in sun cream. I made sure I have thrown everything we needed into the basket of the pram, strapped him in and off we went! 

As I said the walk was a long one but thankfully Noah doesn't protest about being in the pram so it was rather nice to be walking out in such glorious weather. Noah pointed out all the birds, the tree's, the cars - another one of his favourite things to do! 



Once we arrived at the park he had a little run around, a swing on the swings, a slide down the slide. You know, the usual park antics! Then it was time for lunch!


We found a table in the shade and got stuck in. I packed Noah a soft cheese sandwich, cheese nibbles, cucumber and a peach Petit Filous pouch. He was so excited to try the new pouch that he insisted on eating that before anything else!



What we thought-

Noah can be a little hit and miss with yogurts. One week he will love them and gobble them up but others he isn't really interested in them. Thankfully I don't worry about his calcium intake because he still drinks a lot of milk and he eats a lot of cheese too but I would still like him to have more. 


With that in mind I did wonder how he would take to the pouches and I was hoping that they would encourage him to eat more of the yogurt. The pouches did just that and I am so pleased! He easily consumes the whole pouch in a matter of minutes and really enjoys them too. I often hear "mmmm" as he's toddling about with the pouch in his hand. Thumbs up from Noah!


What we liked-

The three different flavours; Strawberry, Raspberry and Apricot are a lovely variety to begin with.

The pouches are very convenient and easy to use.

They are pretty much mess free, hurrah!

The texture is a little thinner than a regular Petit Filous which I think is a great change for the pouch variety.



What we didn't like-

I think that 79p per pouch is rather pricey and would put me off buying them on a regular basis. I will probably just buy them as a treat every now and again. 

We would love to see them expand the range of flavours in the future too. 



- We were sent a voucher to buy this product however all opinions are my own.

6/20/2015

Project 365 - Week 25 - 25/52


14th June - 20th June / Week 25


165
Sunday was spent as usual, a morning with Mummy and Daddy. Then my Mum came to take Noah out for lunch. This boy is always in such demand! Nick and I made the most of the freetime by doing DIY and a few jobs around the house.

166
Monday it was time for playgroup. We were half an hour late but we made it and we met up with friends too. Noah always has a blast when we are there and I really think it has helped with his confidence. A few months ago he would of cried if a stranger spoke to him and would literally cling to me. Nowadays he's fine and as soon as we arrive he runs off to play with the other children and parents. 

167
Starting him young! He's obsessed with the dishwasher!

168
On Wednesday it was Nick's 29th birthday! My Mum came round to visit us during the day and then when Nick came home from work I cooked up a big roast dinner to celebrate! Fab day. 

169
Thursday was the start of my cold and I felt absolutely dreadful. Noah's Nan actually offered to take him for the afternoon to give me a little break which I really needed. I think he had a ball while he was there. She said he was playing outside most of the day with the dogs, her Goddaughter and his Granddad. It was nice for him to have a little change of scenery too I think! 

170
Friday was such a miserable day. We ended up getting ready to go for a walk and it was cold and drizzly but we still went out. How is it that my toddler is wearing a winter hat and coat in June?!

171
Today, Saturday I feel like the world most rubbish Mum. I'm asbolutely smothered in a cold, aching and feel so sick. I've had limited contact with Noah because I really don't want him to catch it so Nick has been watching him most of the day. Naturally, this makes me feel guilty but I just really needed some time. I sat in the bathroom with the shower on hot just so the steam could clear my sinuses. I've had it a few days now so I'm hoping it's going to pass soon. Urgh.

Have you had a good week? 

6/19/2015

How to Find the Perfect Suburb to Call Home


Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes the perfect suburb to call home, so asking 100 people will likely generate just as many opinions. Determining criteria for how to find the perfect suburb, however, is more straightforward and can be applied to a large number of people.
Here are some tips and questions to ask yourself when considering the right suburb for you and your family.


How Safe Is It?

Check police statistics to find out the frequency and types of crime that suburb experiences, as well as crime locations within suburbs. Also, it’s worth comparing statistics over time to see whether crime is rising or falling. A high safety rating brings peace of mind and confidence that you and your family are less at risk. A safer area may also lead to lower house and contents insurance premiums.


How Convenient Is It?

Consider the activities you like to do and places you regularly visit, such as sporting activities, music venues, social clubs, work and shops. How convenient is a particular suburb to these places, and how much travelling time would you need each occasion you visit them?


What’s the Transit System Like?

If you need to commute from home to work each day, would it be a comfortable drive? Or if mass transit is your preferred method, is there a nearby bus stop or railway station with a reliable timetable that gets you to work and home in reasonable time?


What Are the Schools Like?

If you have school-aged children or are planning to raise a family, the school zone can be crucial. Certain suburbs are renowned for their educational facilities, and some research is required to determine the catchment areas of popular government schools and proximity to private schools. Demand for places at certain schools can also push up property values due to the competition for a limited housing supply in catchment suburbs.


Is a New Development the Way to Go?

New developments in new suburbs may not be as close to city centres, but they are generally more affordable than longer-established areas of similar housing quality closer to CBDs. New developments offer the chance to buy a home and land package for an affordable price that offsets the distance from places of employment. Researching options on the internet can help you locate suitable areas, and checking out builders online, such as at www.coralhomes.com.au, provides useful information on what is available for a price range suiting your needs.


Will Homes in the Suburb Rise in Value?

Property prices in any suburb are subject to market forces and will experience rises and falls over time. Factors such as local facilities, proximity to commerce and educational institutions, the local environment, local and national economic conditions, planned developments and property presentation all affect a suburb’s property values. You need to consider whether the balance of factors is likely to increase the value of your home in the medium to long term.


There are many factors to consider when narrowing down your list of potential suburbs to call home. Contribute your ideas and experiences below to help out other house hunters.


- This is a guest post.

6/18/2015

Leading a healthier lifestyle



This year I made a conscious decision to start leading a healthier lifestyle. Losing weight was one of the main results I wanted to achieve by this decision but it wasn't the only reason. I was tired of making the same poor decisions when it came to my lifestyle choices and I wanted to do something about it. 


Over the past few months I've actively changed the way I think about food and the decisions I make about physical activity. I've been putting these new and healthier lifestyle choices into place and I am seeing such a benefit from doing so. So far I have lost 17lb, I am more active than I have been in years and I'm feeling pretty awesome because of it! 



Being move active.


It's hard to find time to exercise when you are looking after a toddler but chasing after them is a work out in itself. I recently bought an exercise bike which I go on every other night but my main source of activity is walking. Every day I make a point of getting outside, in the fresh air. Whether it be a quick burst to the park with Noah or a couple of miles through the woods it all helps and I feel so much more energised for doing so. 

I recently bought a Fitbit band to track and log my steps, food and water intake and it's been motivating me to really push myself each day. I've also recently bought some fitness gear from Esprit as I didn't have anything suitable to wear when working out.

I feel like my fitness level is really increasing and I would love for it to continue because I'm feeling so much better in myself for it. 



                                                             Eating and drinking better.


Along with becoming move active my diet has changed dramatically. I am currently on Slimming World which I don't look at as a diet, it's food optimising. It changes the way you look at food and teaches you how to choose and balance the right foods. 

When you are following a plan like this it doesn't mean that you need to cut out any treats that you do like to indulge in, you can still have them. This I think is better in the long run because by not depriving yourself of a treat every now and again it keeps you motivated and on plan. 



So there you have it. This has been my progress in the past couple of months and I'm happy with things are going. Hopefully I can keep at it and further down the line report back with even more positive results.



Have you got any fitness or healthy living tips you would like to share with me?
I would love to hear them!

6/17/2015

Father’s Day Presents for an Extreme Sports Fanatic


If your Dad’s into the more adventurous side of life, why give him a boring old father’s day gift? Instead, find a gift that’s really going to appeal to his wilder side and help him make memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s a guide to help you choose a father’s day gift for your extreme sports loving Dad


GPS Enabled Watch 
This is a great present for the actual or aspiring adventurer, as it’ll act as both tracker and incentive no matter how much activity your Dad’s already doing. A GPS watch will keep track of all his activity and sports, so he’ll know how many miles he’s run, how many km he’s biked, how far he’s swum… the list is endless. Some slightly more expensive models even include a heart rate monitor, and call notifications from his smartphone – so he can stay connected on the go. Perfect for the active dad, or to spur on a bit of a couch potato. 

Bungee Jump 
Has your dad done every extreme sport around? Are you looking to give him a pure adrenaline rush for father’s day? Well look no further, and send him on a bungee jump! A crane will hoist him up to a dizzying height of anything up to 300ft, and let him admire the incredible views for a few minutes… before the final checks are made and the instructor says ‘3, 2, 1, Bungee’ at which point he’ll look his nerves dead in the eyes and take an enormous leap off of the crane. At the maximum height of 300ft he’ll experience 4 full seconds of free fall that will feel like an eternity, until the elastic snaps back and propels him skyward again. This isn’t one for the fainthearted, and you probably want to be pretty sure he’s up for it first, but if he is then it’s an experience he’ll remember forever. If you’re feeling brave you could even do it with him… 

Penny Board 
If he’d prefer to keep his feet firmly on the ground where they belong, then treat him to a penny board! Particularly good if he was a bit of a rebel in his youth, a penny board is a kind of lightweight plastic skateboard, that’s a combination between a traditional skateboard and a longboard. While normal skateboards are good for air tricks they’re very slow for long distance riding, so a penny board is much better for cruising and taking in the sights. Penny boards are also significantly more durable, and can last for years if properly taken care of!

6/16/2015

How well do your children eat?



Today I thought I would write all about Noah and his eating habits.

From the very start of our weaning journey we have continuously introduced new foods to our son. I think that the variety of tastes, textures, colours have played a big role in how he eats today. Persistence is key too. If they turn their nose up at it once then try offering it again further down the line. 


On a whole (and at the moment) Noah is a good eater. He loves fruit and vegetables, his favourites being strawberries and carrots. He will usually try anything that you put in front of him which makes meal times easy and rather stress free.

That being said if he's grumpy, unwell or teething then it can be a struggle to get him to eat anything. He will tend to just pick at his meal, whine about it and then throw it all on the floor! 

I recently came across this
infographic from My Voucher Codes and I think it shares some interest facts and statistics on children's eating habits and parents feeding habits. Did you know what 67% of parents let their children choose what they want to eat? 

At the moment Noah doesn't choose what he eats, we eat as a family most of the time and he loves his vegetables. I pray it stays this way but I'm not counting my chickens just yet because children are temperamental little things!


How well do your children eat?