9/29/2015

My First Thomas & Friends Rail Rollers Spiral Station - Review

Last week we received the My First Thomas & Friends Rail Rollers Spiral Station toy to review. With Noah being such an avid fan of Thomas I knew before it even arrived that it would go down a treat with him. I was right because as soon as he saw the box his face lit up and he shouted "chooo chooooo!"

It does need to be assembled and it did take me a little longer than it should but that's because I'm useless when it comes to instructions. 
Although the toy is made of plastic once it's all set up it's very strudy and has passed the rough and tumble toddler test with flying colours.



This toy is aimed at 12+ month and is great for encouraging hand - eye coordination and is a lot of fun too. It come's with two train balls (Thomas and Spencer - more can be bought separately) which not only can be rolled down the colourful tracks but can also be spun around the Fat Controller and lifted to the top again with the little lift too.


"Start your winding journey from the Thomas & Friends spiral station! Ascend the engine lift, set off from Tidmouth sheds and then race down the rails to the bottom. When you reach the end, spin the roundabout to get your rolling engine into the lift and start your spinning journey once more."




As you can see by the photo's Noah has had an absolute blast playing with the Rail Rollers Spiral Station. At first I thought it may be a little too young for Noah to play with being 22 months old but I was wrong. It's makes a great toddler toy because there are so many elements that grow with your child.




Noah has had countless hours of fun with it already and his favourite part is probably the lift. He loves to transport the balls up and down and once they are running down the track he shouts "choo choooo!" 

At £32.99 I think it's great value for money. I can see it being a big hit with the parents come Christmas time and it would of been on Noah's Christmas list, that's for sure! 


- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own.

Mummy & Me - September



We are now at the end of September. We've waved goodbye to Summer and are welcoming Autumn with open arms. How fast has this year gone?

For the last few months I've been complaining that Noah will never smile in a selfie or when we are trying to pose together. Well this time I asked him to smile and I got this face! His cheeky gremlin face, ha ha! He is such a character, love him so much! 


Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

9/28/2015

My Top 5 Holiday Photo's


Well we are now officially in autumn! Bye bye summer, it was nice knowing you. You know when you decided to make an appearance those couple of days. Maybe next year you can hang about a little longer? That would be great!

Anyway, less of that. With the colder and darker evenings approaching and after seeing this fantastic blog post I thought I would post a little something to perk me up! Here are my top 5 holiday photo's!


Alcudia beach-
This is my all time favourite holiday photo and possibly one of my favourite photo's in general too. I shot this around 6 years ago now while Nick and I were on a 7 day holiday in Majorca. This is one of the many little piers that go out into the Mediterranean sea. You can always find tourists taking photo's and admiring the views from them and the locals tend to use them to catch fish and sell to local restaurants.



Sailing in the Med-
Another shot from another holiday to Majorca. We were on a boat ride in the Mediterranean sea. It was a scorcher of a day but it was so serene sailing on the crystal clear blue water. You would think this was a photo from the Caribbean if I hadn't told you otherwise!





Benitses Road Tip-
This photo feels like a lifetime ago and was taken roughly 10 years ago now. I went to Corfu and we took a road trip across the island in the blistering heat. We were situated in a small fishing village called Benitses and it was such a quaint little place. Very traditional, peaceful and very rural.



A room with a view-
This is another photo from my trip to Corfu. We had arrived in the night and it had been pitch black. Our hotel was located on a hill and we couldn't really see anything when we got there. When I awoke the next morning I opened the shutters on the balcony to see this view and I remember to this day that I was just speechless. It was one of those moments when a view just takes your breath away.




Arial view of Benitses
Wow, right? This photograph looks like it could be a post card. I remember sitting up on those hills after our ride around the island and feeling so humbled looking down at that view.

Looking back at these photo's has me so excited for our holiday next May. It will be the first time we have taken Noah abroad and it's such a huge milestone. Wish us luck!

9/26/2015

Project 365 - Week 39 - 39/52


20th September - 26th September / Week 39

263
Sunday saw us setting off for a three day adventure in the Lake District. I had won £300 Late Rooms voucher a few weeks ago so decided to book a little break for the three of us. We were all very excited!


264
Monday was our first full day in Keswick. We jammed as much into our day as possible. We visited the Beatrix Potter attraction, went on a boat ride across Lake Windermere, went out for lunch and dinner and explored through the quaint villages. I could easily live in the Lakes, everything is so beautiful.


265
Tuesday the weather was glorious so we decided to go to South Lakes Zoo for the day. I feel a little conflicted about Zoo's as I can see the pro's and the con's of raising animals in captivity but I have to say I was so impressed with South Lakes. Most the animals roam free in very large enclosures and you can see that they are so well taken care of. It was such a beautiful place and the three of us enjoyed ourselves so much. Noah's favourite animals were the Gibbons which he thought were hilarious! 

266
One of my favourite things about the Lake District are the beautiful independent stores you see on every street. Here in Lancashire you don't see many like this and our high street is just full of pound shops, betting shops and closed down buildings, horrible really. This was Noah's favourite and as you can see he had his eyes on that wooden camper van! This was the day our holiday ended and we set off home in the morning.

267
Thursday we of course were back home and we had lots of sorting and washing to do. Thankfully this beautiful bouquet arrived to cheer me up a little! Review coming soon.


268
Friday we had a lazy morning as we were all so tired from our mini break. This Thomas toy came for Noah to review so he was pretty made up with that. In the evening Nick and I decided to have a date night so Noah stopped out at his Nanny's while we went out for a meal and to the cinema. It was a great night and we have to do it more often. 

269
Saturday, family day. We took a trip to the park and visited family.


What have you been up to this week?

Three Different Dining Rooms


When decorating your dining room, it’s first important to determine what it will be used for. Do you plan on using it daily or just for special occasions? Different styles will require different considerations, and how you want to use your room will dictate how you should furnish it. 

When you are furnishing a dining room for daily use, it’s important to consider all the angles. For this dining room you will need a table and chair set that is durable yet functional. Consider a French country style or shabby chic. Both of these interior designs allow room for error. Purchase a natural wooden table or a distressed table. With these pieces you won’t have to worry about varnish or stains, nicks and chips or matching chairs. This style will give you the freedom to mix and match. A white, distressed table and a mixture of chairs will do the trick. Place a large area rug underneath and you have yourself a lovely looking dining room for daily use. 

But what if you only want to use this space for special occasions such a birthdays and Christmas? This design will also need some functionality to it but a little less than the previous design. An antique French style dining table will give you the space you need to host large parties for special occasions but the elegance of a room that’s just for show. French style chairs that are covered in cream fabric will the perfect touch for this luxurious but functional dining room. 

A dining space that is just for show gives you the liberty to create any type of room that you wish while leaving out nothing. Go with the most expensive furnishings and light fixtures. Add beautiful window treatments and rugs. Display your finest china in a display cabinet and watch as it takes your breath away every time you pass it. This is a room of extravagance and your chance to create the space you’ve always dreamed of having. 

Before designing your space think about what works best for you and your family. Is this a space that you will want to use for breakfast and dinner? Or this is a space that will only be used for special occasions of Christmases and family get-togethers? Or would you prefer this room to be a “look, but don’t touch” space? Whatever you choose, find the furnishing that best suit your needs.


- This is a guest post

9/24/2015

Planning our Next Getaway


We have just got back from a three day trip to the Lake District. It was great to have a family break away and we enjoyed ourselves so much. We visited the Beatrix Potter Attraction, had tea on a boat in the middle of Lake Windemere, went to the zoo and so much more. We tried to cram as much as possible into the time we had and it's safe to say we are all exhausted now!


Now we are home Nick and I have started to plan our next getaway. We've been discussing the possibility of having a weekend break, just the two of us. We love spending time with our son don't get me wrong, but with doing so sometimes you forget that you are a couple too and not just Mum and Dad.


With this post I've decided to put together a list of places that we would like to visit as a couple. I think it's easy to skip date nights and similar things after you've given birth. So I think it's important to try and schedule at least one thing together every few months. 




Luxury trip to LondonCan you believe that I've never been to London before, I'd also never visited the Lakes either but I was finally able to tick that off my list this week. I would like to do the same with London too. I would love to have a Luxury break in London where I would book a luxury hotel and totally unwind in style.

Spa Day
This is something else I am yet to experience and is at the very top of my to do list. How has this tired Mummy not treated herself to a spa day yet? The mind boggles! I've been looking into different spa day theme's and one that really stands out to me is the Moroccan Hammam Urban Retreat at Harrods. It looks absolutely stunning with it's traditional Moroccan style and the steam treatment sounds like something my skin could really benefit from.


Time for Wrestling
Okay well seeing as I really want that spa day I have had to compromise with this list. On top of Nick's to do list is to catch a WWE show here in the UK this November. Saying that, watching burly blokes roll around half naked isn't that much of a compromise I suppose!

Cream Tea Lunch
The one thing we've both agreed on is how much we would like to have a traditional cream tea whilst visiting London. I've had a scout around and really like the look of the River Thames Afternoon Tea Cruise. A little bit of sight seeing while you gobble down cakes and cups of tea sounds like heaven to me.



Do you have any suggestions for a weekend getaway? In or out of London? I would love to hear all about them.

Comotomo Baby Bottle & Teether - Competition


Introducing the world-renowned Comotomo Baby Bottle and Teether range and the opportunity for one lucky reader to win their own! 






















Comotomo are launching their innovative and five star rated baby bottle and teether range to UK parents for the first time. Sales have soared across the States for the specialist baby bottle which mimics breastfeeding unlike any other, and now the baby products that American parents swear by are available to purchase in Britain.


The revolutionary Comotomo baby bottle is designed to provide the closest thing to breastfeeding in a bottle. The super 3-inch wide mound and naturally shaped teat allows babies to latch on seamlessly and prevents ‘nipple confusion’ when transitioning between breast and bottle feeding. The container features (100% hygienic) medical-grade silicone which has a soft and skin-like touch and is gently squeezy to hold. The unique design also features two essential antic-colic vents to completely eliminate unnecessary air intake allowing peace of mind during feeding. The ‘mummy inspired and baby approved’ Comotomo bottle range is dishwasher, microwave, boiling water and sterilizer safe and is set to become a must-have for new parents across the UK. RRP £14.99 bottle, available from Amazon UK


The Comotomo Teether is soon to become your teething babies’ best friend. The soft, chewy and flexible teether provides the perfect shape and texture to soothe and ease sore gums. The brightly coloured squeezy ring design is easy for little hands to hold and the four prongs offer multiple chew points which are long enough to reach the back molars but short enough not to choke on. Once again the material is 100% medical-grade soft silicone which naturally prevents the build up of bacteria, is completely non-toxic and free from BPA, PVC and Phthalates. Simply throw in it boiling water or the dishwasher to sterilise and it’s good to go! RRP £7.50, available from Amazon UK.

How would you like to win all you can see in this post? Well here's your chance! The lucky winner will take home the two different sized bottles and one teether in the colours of their choice. To enter all you need to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck and don't forget to check out all my other competitions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

t&c-

1. The prize is two bottles and one teether and there will be 1 winner.
2. Prize sent directly from PR .
3. Competition ends 25/10/15
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

9/23/2015

How to Adjust Your Cleaning Routine for Your Newborn



Introducing a newborn into your life and your home will mean making some major changes. One of the less obvious changes will involve your cleaning routine. You may only need to make little changes, but these may be quite important in the grand scheme of things. Here are some ways you can adjust your cleaning routine in order to accommodate for the new addition to your family.


Hire a Domestic Cleaner

Looking after a baby, especially if it is your first child, can be highly stressful. You can read all about what to do and what not to do, but nothing is the same as actually experiencing it for yourself. If you are finding that you are not able to get any cleaning done, or if it is getting quite difficult for you to clean at all, you may want to consider hiring some outside help. Specialists such as Absolute Domestics provide a wide range of services, and may be able to assist you with keeping your house clean.

Organic Cleaning Products

Newborns can be extremely sensitive to particular chemicals that may seem like ordinary products to adults. Using cleaning products made from organic substances will give you peace of mind when it comes to your cleaning routine. You can be safe in knowing that you will not be causing any inadvertent harm to your child through your cleaning products.

Be Flexible

Newborns can be quite unpredictable, so they will have different needs at different times, and these may not be consistent at all. Because of this, you will need to learn to be flexible with your cleaning routine, especially if it is usually very structured. You might even want to divide your tasks up into smaller parts, so you do not have to leave anything unattended or half cleaned.

Additional Load

Having a newborn will mean more mess, so you will need to be prepared for this. This may include additional washing of clothes and linen, as well as more cleaning of benches, tables and other pieces of furniture. Try to clean everything up as soon as mess is made, or else you will find yourself with a mountain of mess to resolve at the end of each day. This may be a little different to cleaning up at the end of the day, but you will find it easier to cope with the child and the cleaning if you do it straight away.

Adjusting your cleaning routine may be a little strange and shaky at first, but you will soon get used to it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you think you are struggling – you will find that your friends and family will be more than happy to lend you a hand.

Did you have to change your cleaning routine for your newborn? What was the biggest change you had to make? Do you have any advice for soon-to-be parents? Leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

9/22/2015

Ready, set…Goodies! For when toddlers need to snack!



The right snack at the right time is just what toddlers need. Dietitians agree that toddlers’ tummies aren't big enough to take on board enough energy and nutrients from just three meals a day, so little ones need two to three snacks in-between, to boost energy, to fuel their explorations, and for healthy growth and development.

Wherever your little one needs a snack, whether they are running around in the garden, on a long car journey or on the way home from a swimming lesson, Organix Goodies has a choice of foods to suit any occasion.



Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix, says: “Toddlers need the extra nutrients healthy snacking can provide. Of course what's not healthy is snacking, or grazing, so much that your child is never hungry at mealtimes. But the right snack at the right time is often just what they need. And remember some treats can be tasty snacks but not all snacks should be treat foods!

“It’s all about good healthy snacking. Variety, a mix of sweet and savoury flavours and a balance of different foods are all important. So offer your little one lots of shapes, tastes and textures to help expand the repertoire of foods they eat, and this will also help ensure they’re getting a wider range of nutrients. Longer term you’ll also find benefits as your child will be more willing to try new foods, so you’ll be helping to develop their love of good food.”




7 reasons why toddlers need to snack
* Eating little and often is ideal as little tummies only hold small amounts
* Tops up little ones’ intake of nutrients, to meet their daily needs
* Provides essential calories to meet toddlers’ energy needs
* Adds variety to the diet with different tastes and textures
* Gives opportunities to try new foods either at home or out and about
* Keeps your little one going in between meals
* Helps teach healthy food habits


Signs your little one needs a snack?
If your little one doesn’t tell you they’re hungry, the chances are there will be a few other tell-tale signs to let you know he or she needs a snack.

Perhaps your toddler is a little tired, a little bit cranky, a little clingy, or you can see the start of a tantrum brewing? It probably means they’re ‘hangry’, that’s grumpy, hungry and in need food - and it’s real! So time for a snack – Ready, set…Goodies!


Ready Set Goodies!
It can be a challenge to ensure your little one is snacking healthily. The enormous range of Organix Goodies provides convenient, junk-free snacks whatever the occasion, whether eating at home or out and about, or in need of something for a lunchbox or party bag. They come in a variety of fun shapes and delicious flavours and textures, wrapped up in bright and colourful packs with activities to encourage play.

Busy little explorers will love Goodies soft oaty bars and the new mini oaty bites – packed full of juicy raisins and wholegrain oats, they will keep your active little one happy on the go. If you need to keep them going in between meals, Goodies savoury corn puffs are perfect for hungry explorers, and playful explorers will love the variety of textures and sweet and savoury tastes in Goodies biscuits and fruit snacks.


Mums and dads will love that all Goodies snacks come with the Organix No Junk Promise – a commitment to never adding anything unnecessary or artificial and parents can check as the labelling on our foods is always clear, open and honest.

You’ll soon find your little one’s favourites – and if your child is already a fan of Goodies why not try something else from the range – after all snacking can be fun too!


9/21/2015

Noah's Summer Favourites




Last week I put together a post showcasing my favourite items from Summer so today thought I would share Noah's too. I still cannot believe we are almost in Autumn, where has the year gone? We will be in December in no time, scary right?!

Hot Wheels
I just had to start this list off with Noah's greatest love, his car cars. These little Hot Wheels Cars which can be picked up from most supermarkets for just 99p each. He has collected half a dozen already and they have certainly been his favourites this Summer.


Peppa Pig Holiday Giant Soft Toy

Much to my dismay Noah recently discovered Peppa Pig and is now obsessed with her. He seems to have Peppa radar and whenever he spots her he screams "epppaaaa!" Noah was recently bought this cuddly toy and he's been babying her ever since. 
Dinosaur Hoodie
Noah is at that age now where he is starting to approve of certain things that he wears. If a piece of clothing has a vehicle or an animal on it he's impressed! One of our favourite pieces this Summer has got to be this
dinosaur hoodie from Esprit which can be found here. Not only is it super cool but it's great for the cooler evenings we've been having lately.




Farmyard Heads & Tails Puzzle
We are huge fans of Orchard Toys and recently reviewed this new puzzle from their collection. Farms, tractors and animals are three of Noah's greatest interests so it's no surprise to me that this puzzle is such a big hit with him. If you would like to win your own then make sure to enter my competition here.




A Collection of Nursery Rhymes
Noah is lucky enough to be a Parragon Book Buddy and receives a new title from them every month. Last month he received A Collection or Nursery Rhymes which is just that! It's like the ultimate book when it comes to nursery rhymes because it has every one you can possibly think of. The illustration and quality of the book is lovely too, it would make the ideal gift for a new baby or first birthday.



Leggings from Fred & Noah
Fred & Noah is a home run business ran by a Mummy of two. She makes the most comfortable leggings, tee's, bibs that you could imagine and in the most funky patterns. These leggings are the perfect for days out or days lounging around at home. Find more details here.




Cbeebies Magazine
Last but not least has got to be the Cbeebies Magazine! As cheap and cheerful as it is it's one of Noah's favourite things, especially if it comes with a toy and some stickers. He will have countless hours of fun sitting there sticking stickers, pretending to read, turning the pages and finding his favourite characters. Have you heard that the BBC may be cancelling the Cbeebies channel? If you are as outraged as me then make sure to sign the petition! We can't have Mr Bloom leaving our screens Mummies! We must act! Ha ha.


What have your children been enjoying this Summer?



9/19/2015

Project 365 - Week 38 - 38/52


13th September - 19th September / Week 38


256

In memory of a lost friend. I hope you've found peace now Andy.


257
Tuesday, wooden toy day! Here is Noah playing with his fab train set from IKEA.

258
Well isn't Noah a lucky boy?! Here is a huge collection of Bing books that I won for him over on twitter. I have put most of them away for Christmas but I did let him have the activity books early.

259
Here is Noah emulating his Daddy. How chuffed does he look with that guitar in his hands? I think he's going to be following in Nick's footsteps, that's for sure. The weather was absolutely gorgeous on Wednesday. Noah and I spent most the afternoon sunning ourselves in the front garden, safely of course! 


260
On Thursday Noah and I went out for lunch with my Dad and visited my Nanna too. We then popped round to my Mum's for a couple of hours. We went to the park and I stopped by a charity shop on the way there and boy wasn't I glad. Check out this tresure trove of books! 5 books for just £1! I managed to find Each Peach Pear Plum in there, such a classic.


261
Friday wasn't a very exciting day as I was finishing off lot's of jobs before our mini break away this Sunday. I did receive some lovely mail though. This book from Little Tiger Press is absolutely lovely, a new favourite! 

262
Today on Saturday we had a family outing with Noah's cousin and auntie. We had a picnic, went to the park, went shopping and had ice cream too. Such a lovely day. The boys had fun and the sun was shining too. Bliss.