5/23/2017

Celebrating Organix 25th Birthday & Win A Hamper Of Organix Snacks - Competition



Leading baby and toddler snack food brand Organix are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2017. For 25 years, Organix has been setting standards for the food industry, providing parents with nutritious ‘no junk’ organic food for their little ones and campaigning for better quality food for children.

Organix makes their food in a sustainable way and to celebrate this milestone in their history, they are launching Making Things Better - their first sustainability report - which tracks their progress across 19 key areas. A letter from Organix to the children of future generations pledges their commitment to always keep improving and challenging the status quo (see notes to editors for full text).

Now the number one baby and toddler snack food brand in the UK, Organix originated from more humble beginnings, the kitchen of founder Lizzie Vann, who decided to turn her vision to improve children’s health into reality and set about developing the UK’s first organic baby food.
Long before it was popular to put purpose before profit, Organix was set up with a social mission at its heart – ‘Pure Food, Healthy Babies, Safer World.’ Since then Organix has worked tirelessly to pioneer healthy children’s food, lobbying Government and the food industry through impactful, attention grabbing campaigns, including:

* Food for Life (2003): led to changes in school meals and was championed by Jamie Oliver.
* Action on Additives (2007): sought the removal of six artificial colours from food targeted at children - food giants like Nestle, Coca-Cola and Cadburys changed their recipes as a result.
* Georgie, Porgie, Pudding and Pie (2008): Highlighted the poor quality and lack of regulation around nursery food.
* Out to Lunch (2013): transformed children’s food served in restaurants, at leisure attractions and on the high street.
* Engineering Taste (2016): shines a light on food engineering and how food companies are making misleading claims and leaving parents confused.


Organix will be marking their quarter century with a show stopping birthday cake which tells the story of their 25-year history through the medium of icing! The cake, comprises seven tiers of delicious sponges reflecting the flavours of two of their top selling foods – Carrot Sticks and Goodies Raspberry & Apple Oaty Bars – and is topped with another of their best sellers, a Goodies Gingerbread Man.


Fun Facts
* 12 million people have bought Organix snacks – that’s enough to fill Twickenham 150 times over!
* Organix have sold over 3,000 tons of Goodies raisins – that’s more than 21 blue whales!
* Organix have sold 1.6 billion rice cakes – that’s enough to share with one fifth of the world’s population!
* Organix have sold over 235 million Goodies soft oaty bars – laid end to end they would reach to Timbuktu and back 3 times!

I've teamed up with Organix to give away a hamper of Organix snacks to one lucky winner. Included in the prize will be the Organix Carrot Stix, Organix Goodies Raisins, Organix Goodies Gingerbread Men, Organix Goodies Soft Oaty Bars and the new Organix Punk'd Bars. To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog and social media competitions!


Hamper of Organix Snacks

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 18/06/17.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.
 

5/22/2017

Pampers Active Fit Nappy Pants

Back when Noah was around 6 months old I noticed a change in his movements and how active he was and how nappy changing became quite a challenge at times. He didn't want to lie down at all and quite frankly didn't have time to have his nappy changed, he thought he was too busy for that! One of the tricks that he liked to do was wait until I had taken his nappy off and then he would try and crawl off at the speed of light!

When you think of nappy pants the first thing that springs to mind is potty training and the toddlers who are ready to make the transition. But actually what I have discovered is, they can be used so much earlier than that – and are great to use on your wriggly baby!

I missed the trick with Noah, knowing more about Active Fit Nappy Pants would have saved a lot of unnecessary wriggle time… no fiddly tabs to have to wrestle with, simply pull up and go, hey presto. They would have made nappy change so much easier that's for sure!


Pampers nappy pants are made the same way as regular Pampers, but with all round stretchy and easy to put on waist. I wish I'd have known back then because as you can see with the photo above I had one super wriggly baby! Nappy pants would have certainly made my life a lot easier but lesson learned, I'll be buying them for Ava this time around!

Have you tried Pampers Active Fit Nappy Pants?


        - This post was brought to you in collaboration with Pampers.

5/20/2017

Project 365 - Week 20/52


14th May - 20th May

14th May 2017

15th May 2017

16th May 2017

17th May 2017

18th May 2017

19th May 2017

20th May 2017

As you can see by the photo's we've been on holiday this week, seven days in Puerto Banus, Spain! The weather was absolutely perfect and we had such a wonderful holiday with extended family. It was Noah's second time abroad and Ava's first holiday and it was such a great experience, although holidays don't really feel like holidays anymore with two young children in tow! We wouldn't have it any other way though, that's for sure! We stayed in a family members villa and it was by far the most luxurious place we've ever stayed at, it was 7 days of pure bliss. Noah and his cousins loved splashing about in the pool and play fighting with Nick and I enjoyed copious amounts of Sangria! We had trips to Puerto Banus harbour, to the beach, a couple of meals out, shopping trips here and there but most our days were spent relaxing by the pool. We are already thinking of booking our holiday for next year, back to Majorca I think!


What have you been up to this week? 


5/18/2017

Siblings - May 2017



I can't believe this is the third Siblings post that I've taken part in now, time is flying by with these two rugrats. Find our first post here and our second here, they have both changed so much in such a short amount of time. 

Noah started off quiet and very gentle around her but now he's so used to having his baby sister around that he's no longer quiet and often dives right on her! He's still gentle but his movements can come across quite boisterous but that's just how he is. He can come bounding over and then jump right next to her but when he leans in to give her a cuddle it's ever so gentle. One thing I know for a fact is how much he loves Ava, all he's ever done is show love and patience with her. It's so endearing to see. 

Ava on the other hand, well we know how much babies grow. She's no longer a newborn is now 10 weeks old. She absolutely adores to her family and to people watch, especially Noah. She loves to watch him play, she will babble along with him and she also seems to give some of her biggest smiles to him too. I'm so excited to watch their friendship blossom as they get older, squabbles and all. 




The Me and Mine Project

5/15/2017

My Breastfeeding Journey - The Early Days



When I fell pregnant with Ava last year I knew I wanted to give breastfeeding another go as unfortunately it didn't work out the first time around with my son Noah. I didn't want to put any pressure on myself but I knew that I wanted to start fresh and give it another try. With this in mind I teamed up with Medela just before Ava was born and wrote all about my breastfeeding hopes and fears which you can read here.

I've now been breastfeeding exclusively
 for two months and can happily say that it's going really well and I couldn't be happier with our journey so far. That being said the early days and weeks can be tough so I thought I'd write all about my own personal experience so far.

Before I get into all that I want to start by offering encouragement to any expectant mothers out there who are wanting to breastfeed or thinking about trying to. Whether
 it be their first child, second or tenth, if you've not been able to previously or are unsure about it. If you want the encouragement then please do take it and just give it a go, what's there to lose? Don't let previous experiences put you off as I could have easily done. I'm so glad that I tried again as it's been a whole different experience this time around. 


Let's start at where our breastfeeding story began, two months ago when Ava was born. The minute she entered the world she was placed on my chest for instant skin to skin and I gave her a cuddle in the towel as she gave out her first cry. I settled her in an exhausted haze and then brought her to my chest, she latched instantly and that is when our journey began.

We had to stay in hospital for 24 hours to be monitored after she was born which is a standard protocol when your waters break but your contractions don't start naturally. I didn't mind because it gave me time to rest and get my bearings before heading home with her. I remember laying in the hospital bed in the early hours with her and just gazing at her in awe. The midwives were amazing with me and one in particular offered me lots of support by showing me different feeding positions and gave me tips on how to get the ideal latch. Having this support so early on was just what I needed and I cannot thank them enough.



I found the first few days at home the toughest, especially at night. To begin with I struggled with her latch on the left side which made my nipple sore and cracked. As it was so sore I found myself feeding more on the opposite side as I wanted it to heal. Again I got great advice from the midwives who visited, they told me to feed through the cracked nipple, to apply lots of nipple cream and get lots of air to it because if I didn't feed on that side it could effect my supply. It was the perfect advice just at the right time. I did what they suggested and everything was fine in a day or two.

Then there's the cluster feeding, let me talk about that! When Ava was around two weeks old there was a couple of nights where she literally didn't stop feeding and being new to breastfeeding all kinds of thoughts and worries flooded through my head. Was she hungry? Was she not getting enough milk? Was there no milk left? Is this normal? I spoke to numerous people about this and they all assured me that it was all totally normal and it was her way of "upping supply" and perhaps a growth spurt too. So if you are currently going through a cluster feeding stage just bare with it, get comfortable, turn on Netflix and grab a load of snacks! It's the perfect excuse to relax and indulge while your baby does too!


We have now been breastfeeding for 10 weeks, a whole 70 days and our journey so far has been everything I had hoped it to be and so much more. I went into this thinking "just give it another go Jenna!" and now I can't imagine doing anything else! I love breastfeeding! 


Do you have any breastfeeding stories you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them! 


- Wrote in partnership with Medela. 



10 Ways Natural Playgrounds Encourage Child Development



Playgrounds play a key part in a child’s development. Climbing structures help with confronting dangers, while the interaction involved with a play environment helps to develop social skills. Clearly, playing outside helps children grow and develop. Adventure playgrounds built using wood, stone, sand and water, are a growing trend thanks to their sustainability and their suitability in a wide variety of landscapes. Put simply, they blend more seamlessly into different environments – from National Trust parks to schoolyards. However, the natural elements of play also benefit children’s development. Here’s how:

1. More versatile play
Fixed, unnatural playground equipment limits development. There is a finite number of ways for children to play creatively. When children become bored, accidents are more likely to occur and as such, providing versatility in play is key (Frost 1985, cited in Striniste & Moore, 1989).

2. Greater visual appeal
One study has found that children actively prefer natural materials and forms in playgrounds. This helps engender imagination and encourages children to interact with the playground. Again, boredom can cause accidents in playgrounds – so visual appeal is also vital. Installing natural play elements was also found to improve children’s spatial cognitive awareness, socialisation and fantasy play skills. (Herrington & Studmann, 1998). Environmentally, natural playgrounds are a better fit for national parks or other scenic areas.

3. Develop construction skills
Incorporating move able objects such as sand, logs, pebbles and rocks, natural playgrounds often also include buckets, spades, string or fabric. These can be used by children to learn construction skills. Natural play encourages creativity through the interaction of these elements. These construction projects, such as digging channels in sand or creating dams in water channels with pebbles, provide satisfaction to children.

Those children who do develop construction skills through play have been found to work more cooperatively. Research has shown that this helps with problem solving and creative thinking. A further study by Hestenes, Shin & DeBord (2007) found that in playgrounds that used natural elements, children were far more likely to use constructive play over functional play.

4. Increased physical fitness
The uneven landscapes and play equipment in natural playgrounds are beneficial to exercise: whether that’s climbing a wall, jumping over barriers, climbing over log structures or building their construction skills, a child’s physical fitness will improve.

5. Development of social skills
Compared to indoor play environments, outdoor playgrounds stimulate larger projects through the size and variety of equipment available. These larger projects generally encourage more sociodramatic play themes, as children tackle bigger obstacles in groups. (Davies, 1996).

6. Essential cognitive development
Pretend play and divergent thinking is supported by playground design, studies have shown. Creativity varies as a result of playground design – more pretend play and creativity occurs as a result of contemporary natural playgrounds compared to traditional designs.

7. Working together
Natural playgrounds promote the opportunity to work together, as opposed to traditional playgrounds that use monkey bars, slides and swings to encourage competition. Natural playgrounds create opportunities to construct solutions or confront problems together.

8. Length of play
Research has found that natural playgrounds encourage longer periods of active play. This increase in playtime has the additional benefit of providing better physical fitness. Put simply: your child will absorb more of the benefits of playtime, since natural playgrounds increase overall time playing.

9. Interaction with teachers
Taking the role of observer and guide, teachers are fundamental to play in schools. Teachers were found to be more likely to support and facilitate a child’s development when in the presence of higher quality outdoor play equipment. (DeBord et al., 2005)

10. Dealing with risk
Confronting risk — within reason — is an important part of a child’s development. Natural play areas are a good way to present elements of risk thanks to climbing and jumping challenges – but balanced with safety measures such as soft landing surfaces and generally softer equipment.



- This is a PR Collaboration

5/13/2017

Project 365 - Week 19/52


7th May - 13th May

7th May 2017

8th May 2017

9th May 2017

10th May 2017

11th May 2017


12th May 2017

13th May 2017

On a whole this week has been terrible. On Monday our 8 year old cat Ted had to be put to sleep after deteriorating quickly, it's left me in bits. He was considered my fur baby after watching him be born and he was very much part of the family. I'm only really just coming to terms with it and I think there will always be a little place for him in my heart. The bad news and heartbreak aside we had an okay week. Noah had nursery as usual and a couple of play dates and other than that we've been getting outside as much as we can. We've had some glorious weather towards the start of the week and we've been enjoying it as much as we can. We are now currently packing to go on holiday for the week, to Marbella! Wish me luck travelling with a three year old and two month old baby! I'm going to need it! See you next week!

What have you been up to this week?

5/12/2017

aden + anais Classic Sleeping Bag - Review & Competition



Once upon a time, a new mum found herself searching high and low for the muslin swaddle blankets her mother and grandmother and generations of Australian women before them had used to comfort their own babies. When she couldn’t find them anywhere in her adopted home of the USA, she made them herself, and aden + anais was born. 

I've been a huge fan of aden + anais ever since I fell pregnant with Noah almost four years ago. I received one of their large muslin swaddle blankets as a gift and instantly fell in love with the brand. I then proceeded to buy numerous pieces from their absolutely gorgeous collections, from the musy cloths through to dream blankets and they are items I've used on a daily basis.

I've been lucky enough to be working a long side aden + anais for the past couple of years and they are just a delight to be associated with. I've worked with them on numerous reviews, competitions and charity causes too.



When Ava was born I was asked if I'd like to choose an item from one of their new ranges and I just had to go for their Classic Sleeping Bag in the new Lovebird Sketchy Heart design. The aden + anais classic sleeping bag comes in an array of different sizes and prices start at £29.95. I opted for size 0-6 months in the 1.0 tog which is perfect for this time of year with a vest and sleep suit.

When it arrived it was presented in one of aden + anais signature presentation boxes which I think is a nice touch, it makes their products even more perfect for gifting. On opening I noticed straight away how soft and light the material is, just like every other product of theirs and I couldn't wait to get Ava all zipped up and cosy in it.    



There's no need to stress over loose blankets in the cot with their breathable classic sleeping bag. It's impossible for little legs to kick off, the wearable blanket slips over our baby's pj's and zips open from the bottom, making stealth night time changes possible and stress free. Even better yet, their 100 % cotton muslin is pre-washed so it's super soft from the start and stays that way wash after wash.

As you can see by the photo's Ava was delighted with her new sleeping bag and has been wearing it to bed for the past couple of nights. It's super soft, cosy and light and she seems so comfortable wearing it. She's just started to sleep for 7 hour stretches at night and I wonder if the sleeping bag has a part to play with her sleeping for longer, I like to think so! 

How would you like to win one in either the Lovebird Sketchy Heart design that we reviewed or the gender neutral Lovestruck design? 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!



aden + anais Classic Sleeping Bag worth £29.95

Terms & Conditions.         

1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 11/06/17.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.
 



5/10/2017

Top Beauty Trends For Summer



I've always loved makeup and I used to really enjoy taking my time to do my hair and make up in the morning but that all went down the pan the minute I became a Mother. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've worn make up since my second child was born two months ago as I just don't have the time to apply it, not a full face anyway. I can go as far as tinted moisturiser and a bit of mascara and then I have to get on with something else. This Summer I really want to start wearing it more, to feel better about myself, get back into some normality and just to make more time for myself too. With that in mind I thought I'd put together a post all about my favourite beauty trends for this Summer with the help of Ellisons wholesale beauty products.

Glossed lips 2016 was all about the matte lip, with certain celebrities embracing the trend by releasing their own matte effect liquid lipstick collections. However, this year we are set to see the return of glossy lips. A staple trend in the mid 2000’s, a trusty lip gloss was an essential for every make-up lover. Available in a variety of shades, you can introduce this versatile trend back into your make-up regime to guarantee a fresh, youthful finish.

Smudged eyeliner
If you’ve ever struggled to master the precision of a perfect cat-eye flick, you’ll be glad to hear that smudged eyeliner is set to be a popular look this upcoming season. A great accompaniment to the laid back summer months, this ‘unfinished’ eye look means less hours in front of the mirror and more time enjoying the sunshine. Whether you use a smokey kohl liner or a gorgeous, pigmented eye palette, this look can be achieved with ease for ultimate style.

Dewy skin
As with matte lips, matte skin finishes are also set to dwindle during spring/summer 2017. Embrace the gorgeous, natural dewy skin trend this year and show off a healthy, youthful glow that can be created with ease. We recommend opting for cream or liquid based products, such as cream blushers, bronzers and highlighters rather than powders. You should also choose satin finish foundations that offer lightweight coverage and a beautiful glow. If you prefer to have a higher coverage foundation, choose a buildable product or use a concealer before creating your dewy look.


What are your favourite beauty trends for the Summer? 

- This is a PR Collaboration. 

5/08/2017

Sophie La Girafe Baby Starter Kit - Review & Competition



Sophie la Girafe is famous in the parenting world, as famous as Mr Tumble or Peppa Pig! The iconic giraffe is spotted in the hands of so many babies and toddlers as she's not just ideal for teething but she makes a great toy too. Noah had his very own back when he was small and I’m already planning on buying one for Ava once she starts teething, we are such big fans!

Did you know that the brand doesn’t just stop at toys but they also have their own skincare range too? Sophie la Girafe Baby is an award winning, certified natural and organic skincare created for babies and sensitive skin of all ages. We were recently sent their starter kit to try out and I couldn't wait to give it a try.


The kit includes the following:
Sophie la girafe Baby Face Cream 20 ml - a face cream for sensitive skin.
Sophie la girafe Baby Body Lotion 20 ml -a rich and nourishing moisture lotion.
Sophie la girafe Baby Oil 20 ml - a multi-purpose and luxurious baby oil.
Sophie la girafe Baby Hair & Body Wash 20 ml - a nurturing, gentle cleanser.
Also includes a lovely Sophie greeting card, enhancing an already perfect gift.




The Sophie La Girafe starter kit is perfect for our bath time routine and for Ava because each product is ever so kind to her delicate skin. A little product goes a long way too as I only needed to use just a dash of each when bathing or moisturising her.

As you can see having a bath is one of Ava's favourite things so it was wonderful to include the SLG Baby into our routine. After Ava had her fill of splashing about in her tub and from smiling from ear to ear I quickly got her dry and used a little of the SLG baby oil which is absolutely divine. So divine in fact that I've been using it myself. I adore the gentle scent of all the range, how kind it is to sensitive skin and I'm looking forward to continuing to use it at every bath time.

How would you like to win a Sophie La Girafe Starter Kit? 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!    

Sophie La Girafe Baby Starter Kit

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 04/06/17.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.



5/06/2017

Project 365 - Week 18/52


30th April - 6th May


30th April 2017


1st May 2017


2nd May 2017


3rd May 2017


4th May 2017


5th May 2017


6th May 2017

May has dawned and has brought with it some welcomed sunshine and we've been enjoying it as much as we can. On Sunday we took a trip to the fair with family which we tend to do every year, it's a little tradition of ours. Noah loved the bouncy castles and trampolines more than the rides this year, I love watching him bounce about on them. On Monday it was a bank holiday so Nick was off work so we had a nice family walk around the nature reserve which is such a beautiful place. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was back to routine as Noah had nursery in the afternoons and he had a couple of play dates too. On Thursday after nursery we had to take Ava for her 8 week check and her immunisations, which every parent dreads and they never get any easier. She passed her checks with flying colours and had a great weight gain too which I was so pleased about. She took her immunisations as well as she could and didn't have any fever following them, so glad those are out of the way for now. Friday and Saturday we took it easy and stayed at home and visited family as we go on holiday next weekend.

What have you been up to this week?