2/29/2016

A New Year a New Me


Every year I make New Years Resolutions but usually I don't stick to them. When the clock stuck midnight on NYE I felt different this time and I new 2016 would be a year of changes for me, changes I would stick to. 

I made a note of my New Years Resolutions in my journal but I thought I would share a few here too to let you know how I am getting on them and what I'm going to be doing next.

Hair cut
Okay so this probably doesn't sound like a big deal, it's just a hair cut but there's more to it than that. For the past ten years I've wanted to have a drastic change when i comes to my hair and I also wanted to donate it. I finally did it a few months ago when I had over 10 inches cut from my hair. I then donated it to the Little Princess Trust who make wigs for Children who have Cancer. It felt great to do it for myself and for the charity. If you are thinking about donating then please read more about it on the website.

Lose weight

I put on almost three stone when I was pregnant and for the past two years I've been trying to shift the weight. I can't say that I had been trying hard because I would soon lose motivation but again I felt differently this year and I knew I was going to stick at this time. 2 months into Slimming World and I have finally lost my first stone and I couldn't be happier!

Dental work

Last but not least is dental work. I sucked my thumb as a child which gave me crooked teeth so I've always felt self concious about them. The Centre for Advanced Denistry offer expertise across a wide range of treatments and provide a friendly yet professional service. I can't wait to have another goal ticked from my new year, new me resolutions.


Have you been sticking to your New Years Resolutions?


- This is a PR Collaboration.

The Beatrix Potter Collection - DVD Box Set - Giveaway



2016 marks 150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter!

One of the world’s best-loved children’s authors, who has captured imaginations around the world with her beautifully illustrated Tales. I used to love reading the takes of Beatrix Potter as a child and remember the stories with great fondness. 

To help celebrate this significant landmark anniversary Beatrix Potter fans everywhere can now enjoy a special boxed set collection of stories – The Beatrix Potter Collection - released by Abbey Home Media on Monday 7th March.

This superb three DVD box set features the complete collection of the classic Peter Rabbit episodes which lovingly recreate the enchanting Beatrix Potter stories. With timeless animation and wonderful music, children and adults alike will be enthralled by mischievous Peter and his friends including Benjamin Bunny, Mrs Tiggy Winkle, Jemima Puddle Duck, and Pigling Bland.
 

Based on the original and authorised editions, the stories feature the characters that have won the hearts of generations, and makes a perfect gift in time for Easter. 


The triple DVD boxset includes the following 9 beautifully animated stories based on the Peter Rabbit Books by Beatrix Potter:

The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends:
The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies and Mrs Tittlemouse, and The Tale of Tom Kitten and Jemima Puddle-Duck

The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Mr. Jeremy Fisher and other stories:
The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Mr. Jeremy Fisher, The Tale of Mr Tod: The Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, and The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town-Mouse

The Tale of Pigling Bland and other stories:
The Tale of Pigling Bland, The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding and The Tailor of Gloucester.

To celebrate the 150 year anniversary I have a box set to give away. To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions


Beatrix Potter DVD Box Set

t&c-

1. 1 prize to 1 winner.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR.
3. Competition ends 03/04/16
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.

5. UK entries only.

2/27/2016

Project 365 - Week 8


21st February - 27th February


21/02/16


22/02/16


23/02/16


24/02/16


25/02/16


26/02/16


27/02/16

I think these photo's pretty much sum up our entire week! We've spent the majority of it outside, exploring, doing lots of walking, playgroup, shopping, going to the park, nipping out for lunch, visiting family and so on. It's been a great week as we've done so much together and I'm just itching for the weather to become a little warmer now so we can get out even more! 


What have you been up to this week?

2/26/2016

Mummy & Me - February




Another month, another Mummy & Me. Noah has changed so much since we started this link up last year in May. I'm so pleased Nicola over at Life Through My Eyes came up with this because it's so lovely to look back on.

Like every other month February has flown by in the blink of an eye, time just seems to go way too fast when you have a little one! I chose these two photo's for this month as I think it pretty much sums Noah up at the moment, sticky out tongues and bumped heads!



Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

2/25/2016

The Baby & Toddler Show - Giveaway






All the amazing shopping and expert advice new and expectant parents need to give their baby the best start. The Baby & Toddler Show is the largest event of its kind in the North West with an amazing line up of big name brands, unique innovative products, local companies and services and experts on hand to give you a helping hand in parenthood.

This exciting time in a parent’s life has been all wrapped up at the show so you can enjoy all this…

* Save money with unbeatable deals on top brands and baby essentials - 100s of unique and useful products which you won’t find on the high street.

* Guaranteed best prices on car seats, prams, buggies and furniture – find all the big name brands in one place including Bugaboo, Britax, Mamas & Papas, Maxi-Cosi, Quinny, Silver Cross, Cosatto, Bloom, Cybex, Joolz and many more...


* Over 150+ top brands and products to test, try, compare and buy - meet knowledgeable experts and have hands-on demos to find the right products for you.

* Hear from expert speakers giving new parents everything they need to know on sleeping, feeding, budgeting, first aid and more

* NEW for Spring 2016: The Vital Baby Feeding Area will provide visitors with a peaceful and relaxing area to feed your little ones when they get hungry. There will be plenty of seats and high chairs as well as sectioned-off areas for mothers who would prefer to breastfeed in private.

Visiting is easy and stress-free – EventCity is really easy to get to, there is FREE PARKING, easy access for bumps and babies, and a free feeding and changing area too.

Find everything you need in one place and try, test and compare products and get demonstrations from knowledgeable experts so that you get the right products for you.

Plus – all mums-to-be and new mums will receive a goody bag which includes lots of branded products such as nappies, cream, wipes, cosmetics and more! Visit the website www.babyandtoddlershow.co.uk/manchester to find out more information and to see the full exhibitor list.

Save 1/3 on tickets, quote NBT31 and purchase tickets please visit www.babyandtoddlershow.co.uk/book-tickets/

How would you like to win a pair of tickets to the event? I have a pair to give away to one lucky reader which can be claimed online for either of the three dates in Manchester. To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions.

The Baby & Toddler Show Tickets
t&c-

1. 2 tickets to 1 winner.
2. The winner will be given a voucher code to claim their free tickets online which must be printed.
3. Valid for the Manchester event only, winner can choose which day.
4. Competition ends 08/03/16
5. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
6. UK entries only.

2/24/2016

Importance of Nutrition in those first 1000 days



It feels like a lifetime ago when I fell pregnant with Noah but in reality it has only been three years come March. Ever since that red line appeared on my home pregnancy kit I knew how important it was to consume the right nutrients and vitamins for the baby. Not only for their growth then and there but also detrimental for their health and development later in life too. SMA Nutrition is working with medic Dr Ellie Cannon, best known for her weekly health column in the Mail on Sunday, to educate mums further about the importance of protein levels and nutrition in their baby at this time.

I had actually been taking folic acid before I fell pregnant as I had read that it also helps with conception. We did fall pregnant the first month of trying, so who knows, perhaps that helped? Once we had conceived I switched to a highly recommended pregnancy multi vitamin. Not only did I take the vitamins but I also made sure that I was having a healthy and balanced diet full of protein, iron and calcium, but of course I had a naughty treat here and there when the cravings kicked in! (Hello chips and gravy and chocolate milkshake!)

I was lucky that during pregnancy I didn't have to suffer with any morning sickness and didn't have too many problems with my appetite either but I did have low iron levels here and there. I was prescribed iron tablets and also ate as much spinach as I could which seemed to eliminate that problem.


Nutrition for a baby's first 1000 days (from conception to their second birthday) is extremely important and they recommend that you breastfeed for at least 6 months. Protein is one of the key components in breastmilk that helps to ensure healthy growth and development. The protein level in breastmilk decreases as your baby grows, meaning it contains the right quality and quantity of protein to help them grow at a steady rate. We bottle fed Noah and now at 2 years old he drinks cow’s milk. Protein is just as important now than it was when he was newborn and his needs increase and change as he gets older. The correct amount of protein not only supports growth and development but it also decreases the chance of obesity further down the line.


We began our weaning journey a little earlier than recommended as we followed Noah's lead. He snatched a pear from me and started gnawing on it and from then on there's been no stopping him when it comes to food. Once our weaning journey started we didn't let food replace any milk feeds and we were very conscious of making sure he had the correct nutrients.


Noah is now a fully fledged toddler and watching him grow and develop over the last two years has been the most rewarding (and sometimes bitter sweet) moments of my life. He has always been a great eater, from guzzling his milk like a champ to munching through his lunch like a gannet. He's a little foodie, that's for sure and enjoys pretty much anything you put on his plate. 

We've teamed up with SMA Nutrition to promote the importance of nutrition and protein in the first 1000 days of our little one's lives. We would like to invite you to ask any questions regarding nutrition, growth or anything else you have in mind below in the comments section. Dr Ellie Cannon will respond to a selection of the questions asked and I will write up a follow up post in the next few weeks. 


Do you have any questions that you would like to ask? Feel free to leave them below in the comments. And don’t forget you can also watch a video all about the importance of protein here. Thank you.


- This is a sponsored post

2/23/2016

BABYBJÖRN Complete Feeding Set - Giveaway





BABYBJÖRN’s colourful kitchen range helps children eat by themselves as early as possible. The BABYBJÖRN Feeding Spoon has a soft tip; it feels gentle in and around the baby’s mouth and is soft on sensitive gums. The shape makes it easy to get food out of a jar or up from a plate and the handle is comfortable to hold. RRP: £8.99.


The clover shaped BABYBJÖRN Plate makes it easier for the child to scoop up food with his spoon. The plate stands steady and is hard for small hands to grab and throw on the floor. The BABYBJÖRN Spoon, for right and left-handed children, is easy to grip and designed to work with a child’s motor skills. The spoon shape ensures that, once in the child’s mouth, no food remains on it afterwards. RRP: £19.99.

The BABYBJÖRN Soft Bib (pictured above) is a further development of the popular BABYBJÖRN Bib, made of even softer material than the original. Treat your baby to a bit of luxury! With beads around the neck that feel soft against the child’s neck, it has an adjustable closure that is easy for parents to button and unbutton. The ergonomic design fits the child’s body perfectly and the food stays in the deep catch-all pocket, not matter how active the child is at the table! No more messy bibs to wash, just rinse the BABYBJÖRN Soft Bib and use again. Available in colours to match the other products from the BABYBJÖRN kitchen line. RRP £9.99.


The new BABYBJÖRN Cup is the perfect first cup for your child. The cup’s easy to grip materials and soft distinctive shapes, make it simple for them to learn to drink from an open glass, just like mum and dad.

Developed with paediatricians, industrial engineers, children and parents the BABYBJÖRN Cup helps to get your baby drinking properly. What’s more with its unique design and low centre of gravity, the cup is very difficult to knock over. Functional, yet visually appealing, the BABYBJÖRN Cup contains no BPA or phthalates and is made from durable and recyclable plastics so it is safe for the microwave, the dishwasher and the environment. 
Stylish as well as practical, the BABYBJÖRN Cup can also be used as a feeding container and is designed to fit perfectly with the BABYBJÖRN Spoon. RRP £8.99.





We were sent these products to try out a few weeks ago and have nothing but great things to say about them. The cup and bib in particular have been used so much, at almost every meal time. I love how bright and funky each product looks but each one is also really well made and made from PVC free, recycled plastic. 

How would you like to win a complete BABYBJÖRN feeding set? A bowl, fork, spoon, bib and cup worth £47.00? To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other competitions!

BABYBJÖRN Feeding Set

t&c-

1. 1 bundle to 1 winner (x1 bib, x1 cutlery set, x1 bowl, x1 cup)
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR.
3. Competition ends 28/03/16
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

2/22/2016

Protect your Parcels from Doorstep Thieves




It’s nearly payday! And time to treat yourself to that little black dress or perhaps those corset heels that have been calling out your name. You’ve trawled the internet and, after some ‘umming and ahhing’ over the options, you’ve finally made a decision.. But what if your parcel fails to arrive?

Amazon alone delivers over 70million packages a year in the UK*, so it’s no wonder that some opportunist thieves take advantage of unattended packages left in garages or front porches. Others follow delivery vans around and when a package gets dropped off, they swoop in a few minutes later and swipe it.

So how can you help prevent parcel snatching?

* Opt for the delivery option that requires your signature, so you know your goods are in safe hands. It’s worth paying that little bit extra for the peace of mind it provides.

* If you can’t be home to receive the parcel, arrange for the package to be dropped off at a local post office.

* If a package needs to be delivered while your away, consider sending it to a friends or relative’s house instead.

* Use a delivery company that will alert you with a text or e-mail when the delivery takes place.

* Invest in a CCTV system. Burglars are VERY camera shy and will often avoid a property with a camera and opt for an easier target.

* If you’re going away on holiday, take advantage of the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ scheme. Their team will hold onto your letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them once you’re safely home again.


Follow these top tips to make sure your purchases are protected and don’t end up in the wrong hands! For more home security advice and information, check out Yale’s website.


*The Guardian

My Favourite Summer Dresses




Summer is just around the corner and with a new season comes a new wardrobe. Not that I need any more reasons to buy new clothes but I also have a holiday coming up and I'm also losing weight so I have countless excuses to buy some new clothes.

When shopping for fashion online I can often feel a overwhelmed as there's so much to choose from and the search filters on most websites just don't cut it for me. I can spend hours looking on a website and then just click off with frustration and not buying anything.

Last week my prayers were answered when I discovered a website that is brand new to me. Lyst is a shopping experience which is totally unique to every user. The more you use the website, the more it learns about you are your tastes. In doing so it will filter out the things you won't like and show the things you will love which makes shopping online so much more enjoyable. It doesn't just end there though as you can also plan wardrobes and wishlists through the website and can also set alarms so when anything you like goes into the sale it will alert you!

With all this in mind I've decided to put together a few of my favourite things from their website, focusing on the dresses! A girl can never have too many dresses! 





Farrow Black Harbour Dress
From Farrow, a lightweight woven sleeveless dress with off white and black allover stripes. Features pointed collar, faux chest pockets, wide straps, half button placket, elastic waistband, side front button plackets on skirt, flare hem and classic fit. Lightweight woven dress with off white and black allover stripes. Pointed collar. Faux chest pockets. Wide straps. Half button placket. Elastic waistband. Side front button plackets on skirt.



Victoria Beckham Blue Embroidered Dress
Sky-blue cotton-piqué. Snap fastenings at back. 100% cotton; embroidery: 100% silk. Dry clean. Fitted at the bust, loose at the hip. Mid-weight, non-stretchy fabric. Victoria, Victoria Beckham's sky-blue sundress is crafted from airy cotton-piqué – intricately embroidered with dotted red threads. It is suspended from crossover spaghetti straps with a flattering empire waist and full skirt. We like how the pockets add to its relaxed feel.


White Cotton Broderie Anglaise Dress
Women's white short sleeve dress with a removable waist belt and broderie anglaise detailing throughout. Crafted from 100% cotton, this dress features two slanted hand pockets, an open neckline with soft collar, and pleat detailing on the front and back. Finished with a cotton skirt lining.




Have you seen anything on Lyst which takes your fancy or perhaps you would like to share your favourite dresses with me. Leave a comment below!


- This is a PR Collaboration. 

2/20/2016

Project 365 - Week 7


14th February - 20th February

14th February 2016

15th February 2016

16th February 2016

17th February 2016

18th February 2016

19th February 2016

20th February 2016

Noah has been a bit out of sorts this week, a combination of a few different things I think. Teething, restless nights, loss of appetite and a bit of trouble going to the toilet bless him. Other than that we've had a great week! We did lots during the week with playgroup, a trip to the park with his cousin, lots of walks, an afternoon at eureka museum and family visits too. With having so much to do the week just seemed to fly by! Another week done and dusted! 


What have you been up to this week?


2/19/2016

Geronimo is back!





Following a hugely successful first festival in 2015, Geronimo is proud to announce it is not only returning to Tatton Park in Cheshire for a second year in 2016, but it also has a new second home at Harewood House, just outside Leeds.

Taking place over the weekends of 1 – 2 May (Harewood House) and 29 – 30 May (Tatton Park), Geronimo is back, bigger and better with a huge programme of events lined up for both venues.

Set against the wonderful woodland backdrops of two of England’s premier visitor attractions, Geronimo will yet again be delivering an exciting array of acts, amazing experiences and wonderful adventures, including lots of new attractions – all resulting in a fantastic family day out!

What's happening on the day:The return of Mr Bloom to the Geronostage Zone! Geronimites can ‘pop along’ and say ‘Ello!’ with Mr Bloom, where there’ll be a bundle of veggie stories, gardening games, and catchy nursery songs for tiddlers and parents alike. Alex Winters from Cbeebies will be hosting the main stage each day alongside popular children’s TV presenter, Katy Ashworth, who will be performing live on stage each day, along with daily meet and greets. Join Cook and Line from Swashbuckle in a rip-roaring pirate adventure! Full of fun songs and silly slapstick comedy, this energetic and interactive performance will be loved by children of all ages.

The Adrenaline Zone will challenge even the bravest adventurers with tree climbing, den making and a thrilling zip line that will reach speeds of up to 60KPH! For those who like things a little less fast paced, there are fencing and archery taster lessons and Parkour sessions where Geronimites can learn how to jump and roll like a Pro.

What's new:
New for 2016 is the Arena Zone, an extravaganza of live displays featuring motorbike display teams, sheepdog shows with a difference (we haven’t got any sheep so we had to use geese instead!) and owls in the falconry show – on horseback (what else would you expect at Geronimo?). For history fans, watch the Knights of the Royal Order as they carry out a live joust, or check out a local band of cowboys showing off their horse handling skills.

If you thought the Library Zone sounded dull then think again! Join some dance classes to learn Bollywood or Zumba moves or enjoy a gigantic drumming session – beware, it’s going to be noisy! For fans of Frozen, there will be a Frozen singalong and the talented Mr Yipadees show will be bringing instruments to life.

What's returning:

Catch award winning theatre productions in The Theatre Zone, with Pocket Story Theatre - winner of the primary times children’s choice awards at the Edinburgh Fringe. Fabularium is the most eccentric of travelling shows and Les Enfants Terrible present the Imaginary Menagerie--- travel with Dr Longitude as he regales you with his strange stories and takes about his travels.

Gasp in awe at the breathtaking aerial trapeze show, try your hand at plate spinning, or hop onto stilts in the Circus Zone. This zone also includes a full circus show and Circus fudge will also be performing his show from Glastonbury festival – don’t miss it!

Enjoy a hands-on wildlife experience in The Pasture Zone where kids of all ages can climb aboard for a ride on one of the donkeys or Shetland ponies. Crocodile Joe will be hosting his amazing reptile show and new for this year, there will be the largest collection of giant Tortoises coming to Geronimo.
In the 3ft and Under Zone, little ones can join a fun class with Tumble Tots, take a ride on a balance bike or take a dance lesson with baby ballet. For the tiny tots, simply chill out in the baby yoga tent.

Fans of live music are in for a treat at the Bandstand Zone with popular acts on throughout the day. The lineup will be announced shortly.

Creative kids can join in the many craft workshops in the Funky Junk Zone. From amazing woodwork workshops, hair braiding, face painting and fairy making workshops, to stone carving and totem pole making, there is something for everyone to get stuck in to.
Or why not enjoy some old fashioned fun in the Fairground Zone? With an old fashioned Helter Skelter, traditional carousel and steam powered swing chairs for kids and grown ups who are still kids at heart!And where better to have some fun than in the beautiful woodlands of Tatton Park and Harewood House? Transformed into the Woodland Zone, Geronimites can make a mud pie or fairy potion, learn to create a whistle from a carrot or build a den. Older kids can monkey around in the trees in a mobile high ropes course or strap on a helmet and ride the mountain bike course.



We attended Geronimo in 2015 and it was one of the highlights of our year! There was so much to do for the whole family and the weather was beautiful. As soon as we left we knew we had to come back next year. So here were are, it's 2016 and we are so excited to be an Official Ambassador of Geronimo 2016! Bring it on Geronimo! 



Themed Children's Books




We love children's books! So much so that we have hundreds already and Noah is only two. We are always expanding our collection because lets face it, you can never have too many books!

When Noah was only a few months old I started a new family tradition revolving around books. That tradition is to have themed books for every holiday or special occasion, whether it be Easter, Halloween or even Pancake day! Reading themed books together isn't great for just learning and bonding but I think it also adds to the excitement of these holidays or festive periods.


We currently display Noah's themed books on little shelves on his bedroom wall which do the trick but we would like more space. I've recently been looking at free standing shelves and there's a lovely range of children's bookcases and furniture at Room to Grow. I think a big bookshelf is always a great statement piece for any room.

With Mothers Day just around the corner I thought I would take the opportunity to stock Noah's shelves with some Mother and Child themed books. I think it will be lovely to sit down with him in the afternoon and read these books together. Below are some of the books I have already bought and others I am still thinking of buying.


I Love My Mummy - Giles Andreae & Emma Dodd.

My Hand to Hold - Smriti Prasadam-Halls & Alison Friend.


Why I Love My Mummy - Daniel Howarth


My Mummy and Me - Tina Macnaughton





Do you buy your child themed books or perhaps you would like to suggest any other books I could purchase for Mothers Day? Leave me a comment below!

2/18/2016

I See Me: Who Loves Me? - Review




If you know me at all you would know that amongst my favourite things are children's books and personalised gifts, combine the two and well that's perfection to me. I See Me is my go to website when I am looking for a personalised book as I know I will find what I'm looking for. They have over 40 titles, a different book for every occasion and each one can be personalised in many different ways.

I See Me is an American website but the books are available to order here in the UK. With a shipping time and cost of 2 weeks and £6.50 I think that's really reasonable but it's worth a mention that they are launching a UK website later this year.


We were recently sent one of their newer books called "Who Loves Me?" to review. As this book was personalised for Noah the title was changed to "Who Loves Noah?" Not only is the title of the book personalised with your child's name but the name is featured in the book through out. Accompanying the name of your child you also personalise each page with the name of a friend or relative. Not only that but you can also add a photo of your child on the first page a long with a message. This is what I love about I See Me, there are so many ways to personalise the book.








This book is perfect for pretty much any occasion from birthday through to Valentines day. 
It's a tale which tells your child how much their family and friends love them. When we read the book for the first time I almost cried because the words in the book are just so beautiful. 






From the words through to the illustrations this book is just perfection in my eyes and Noah must think so too as he always seems to choose this book over others on his bookshelf. We read it a lot in the day and he's starting to remember which family member is featured on each page! This is a new favourite and one in which we are going to treasure for years to come.


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