My Sunday Photo - 39/52

Noah has always been fascinated with his shadow, just like most children so he asked me to take this photo on the way to nursery this week. I love how it turned out, especially as it was just a quick shot as we were running late. I love the colours, the Autumn leaves on the floor and how Noah looks like Peter Pan! I was also baby wearing Ava at the time so she's in the photo too! 



Project 365 - Week 38/52

17th September 2017

18th September 2017

19th September 2017

20th September 2017

21st September 2017

22nd September 2017

23rd September 2017

Wow, we are coming up to the end of September! It'll be Christmas before we know it and I can't quite believe it! How fast has this year gone? This week has basically been back to routine of nursery, family visits, shopping and so on, nothing really to shout home about but it's been a nice week none the less. Noah had a little wobble with nursery this week and I think it's all down to him waking at 6am most mornings, he's always shattered. When he wakes at 7am or 7:30am, he's like a different child and has so much more energy to concentrate and play. Hopefully next week will be better as it wasn't nice having to take him when he was so tired and upset. Ava has been her easy going little self and has been getting into a bit more of a routine with her naps now we have a bit more structure to the week. She's also coming on leaps and bounds with weaning, she loves food just like her brother! When it comes to the weekend we've had quite an easy going one so far with a trip to the arcades this afternoon, Noah had a ball and won lots of prizes.

What have you been up to this week?


TotsBots Out & About Kit - Review

TotsBots are one of my favourite reusable nappy brands, one that I've supported ever since we switched to cloth nappies back when Noah was a baby. What I love about TotsBots is that they continue to push boundaries when it comes to their products, from how they design their prints, through to continually improving their nappy range. I'm always excited to see what they'll bring to the table next. Their new Out and About Kits are something to be really excited about!

One thing which always daunted me when using cloth nappies in the early days was using them when out and about. I worried about what I would do with the wet or soiled nappy, or any wet clothing. It sometimes put me off using them anywhere other than at home because I thought it was easier just to use a disposable nappy when going out. The Out & About Kit eliminates these worries and makes using cloth nappies easier and much more convenient.

The Out & About Kit consists of one happy mat and one waterproof wet bag, which are both made with such care and attention to detail. The changing mat is double sided and is not only great for changing on but it makes a vibrant play mat too.

At the moment the kit is only available in the Kaleidoscope print (which is one of their most popular prints) but they do have happy mats and wet bags available in different designs which are sold separately. You can also match your cloth nappy to these by purchasing the Kaleidoscope print in a TeenyFit Star, Easyfit Star or PeeNut wrap. 

The TotsBots Out & About Kit costs just £22.00 which I think is excellent value for money. It's perfect for parents who use cloth nappies and parents disposable ones because changing mats and wet bags can be used by both. If you like the look of this kit, whether you use cloth nappies or not you'll have to grab it quick, it's only available from the website and for a limited time only.

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

Top Tips For Car Care

Keeping your car in tip top condition can save you hundreds of pounds in the long run so it is really important to keep on top of it before it gets out of hand. Ignoring small problems now can lead to big problems in the future and there is nothing more vital than knowing your car is safe, especially with children on board. Here are is my personal car maintenance checklist.

Keeping your tyres in good condition is extremely important. A tyre blowout at 70mph on the motorway can, and does, cause fatal accidents. You should check your tyres before every journey to ensure they are safe. Look for any foreign objects which may be stuck. You are looking for any signs of external damage.Check tyre tread and pressure at least once every 2 weeks.  The law in the UK states that tyre tread is a minimum of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central 3 quarters of the tyre. If it is below 1.6mm, replace it immediately. Check your car manufacturers handbook for tyre pressure or it is sometimes stamped in the sill of the driver’s side door.

Service your car
Servicing your car at least once every 12 months will help ensure it is in top working order. Standard checks in a service include a brakes check, wheel alignment, clutch, battery and much more. Oil and filter changes keep your engine running smooth and you will be advised of any work which may need to be carried out in the future. You can usually also arrange to have your car valeted at the same time which take out the hassle of having to clean the car yourself.

Not only a legal requirement but also another way of keeping your vehicle safe. Carried out every 12 months, MOT’s ensure that your vehicle is safe to be on the road. If a fail is given, the work MUST be carried out before the vehicle is allowed to be used on the road. Most garages offer MOT’s and many can be booked online, for example, you can now easily reserve MOT tests in Wakefield, online from Ossett Tyre House.

Hopefully I have given you some valuable tips for maintaining your vehicle. Remember that you can’t be too careful when it comes to car safety, not only for you but others on the road too.

- This is a PR Collaboration. 


5 Tips For Balancing Indulgence & Responsibility When Preparing For Baby

Having a baby is a life changing experience. Sometimes these changes can be simply wonderful. However, sometimes it can be a little harder to let go of your old lifestyle. Although your baby will be a priority, it is important that you don’t lose sight of yourself. You need to find the right balance between enjoying your own life and taking care of your little one. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to do this. Below are five tips for balancing indulgence with responsibility when preparing for your baby.

You can maintain a beautiful interior
When you are busy taking care of your baby, it can be hard to find the time to look after your home. Instead, everything can get a little out of control. Don’t worry, it is still possible for you to maintain a beautiful interior. It is all about making the right design decisions. You should try to streamline your possessions, so that you have less to keep clean. You should also invest in plenty of storage. Ideally, you want to choose hidden storage, as this is the best way to keep everything out of your eye-sight. Make sure that your design scheme is as practical as possible.

You can make responsibility fun
When you are carrying, breastfeeding, or raising your baby, it is vital that you stay fit and healthy. One way to do this is by taking part in an exercise class. Don’t make this a punishment, make it a reward. Look around for a class that you are actually excited to go to. You could even try to get your friends involved or use it as an opportunity to meet new people.

You can maintain a stylish wardrobe
If you love to take care of your appearance, you should still take the time to do this once you have had your baby. This is a great way to remind yourself that you deserve a little attention. Although your wardrobe should be practical, it should never be boring. You just need to find clothes that are easy to clean and gentle on your baby’s skin.

You can still drive a car that you love
When you have your baby, you will need to drive a vehicle that has enough space for a sturdy car-seat. It should also provide the space that you need for your family to grow. Don’t worry, you can still find a vehicle that you can be excited about driving. For instance, you could choose the used Mercedes-Benz C Class. This is an extremely elegant vehicle and its base models are well equipped with safety technology. Why compromise when you can have the best of both worlds?

You can still maintain a healthy social life
Although you will be spending a lot of time with your little one, this doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your friends. Instead, you can combine play dates with girly catch-ups. This is ideal if some of your girlfriends have their own children. However, even if they don’t, you could still arrange to meet at a park or in a coffee. It may take a while for you to get into your new routine, but it is important to stay connected with all of your friends.

- This is a guest post collaboration. 


Appy Kids Co Drinks - Review & Competition

It's September, it's back to school! Or back to nursery in Noah's case! We've had such a change in our routine lately, as Noah now attends nursery on Monday through to Thursday. This is quite a shake up compared to the hours that he did last term because he's gone from 15 hours to 30 hours a week. As he's now attending full days I've started preparing him a packed lunch to eat during lunch club which is great because it breaks up his day and gives him time to refuel too.

I really enjoy packing Noah's lunch and I always ask what he'd like me to include. He always chooses what he'd like to have on his sandwiches and he usually makes lots of healthy choices too. Appy Kids Co recently sent us a selection of their drinks to try out and I've been including them in his lunch bag, along side his sandwich, crisps, cheese, salad, fruit and water.

For the purpose of this review we were sent four different variety's of Appy Kids Co drinks; Paw Patrol - Apple, Paw Patrol - Orange, Dora and Friends - Mixed Berries and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Multifruit. All four of these juice drinks are made from natural ingredients, contain no artificial flavourings, are fortified with vitamins A, C and E and are low in sugar and calories too. 

Appy Kids Co values families before profit, so all their wholesome products are created using ethically sourced premium ingredients, to ensure that they are always affordable, approved by the family, and loved by kids.

They are on parents’ side, and believe that you should have the freedom of choice when choosing better produce for your family. This is why their offering consists of delicious drinks and snacks specifically targeted to children and made using goodness from nature. They've spent many years developing their own formulations and delicious flavours to have lower sugar and calories without compromising on taste or quality. They also educate families about food and the way it should be enjoyed. They encourage families to engage in a healthier active lifestyle through play, exercise, workshops and informing them about the foods they eat.

We've tried Appy Kids Co juices before and they always go down a storm, especially the orange and apple variety. The mixed berries and multifruit juices made a nice change though as they were new flavours for Noah to try.

Although Noah loves his water he's been enjoying the juices as a guilt free treat and he loves the fact that some of his favourite characters are on the cartons. 
These award winning drinks don't just have to be for kids though as Nick has also been enjoying them too, though it's quite funny seeing a grown man with a Dora and Friends juice box! Appy Kids are ideal for in your child's lunch box, for trips out, for picnics or just to enjoy at home. I would definitely buy them again and you can too at stockists such as Tesco, Ocado and Whole Foods. To keep up to date with all their latest news and offers check them out over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

How would you like to win a bundle of Appy Kids drinks? The prize consists of 4 boxes of Paw Patrol Orange and 4 boxes of Paw Patrol Apple. That's a 40 cartons of juice to one lucky winner! 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

8 Boxes of Appy Kids Co Juices

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win 8 boxes of Appy Kids Co juices. 
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 15/10/17
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.


My Sunday Photo - 38/52

My big, clever and beautiful girl. One of her favourite things to do is to sit and rummage through her little toy boxes, she seems to make a bee line for her duck teether and lamaze duck rattle every time! She is changing so much week on week, she's growing so fast!



Project 365 - Week 37/52

10th September - 16th September

10th September 2017

11th September 2017

12th September 2017

13th September 2017

14th September 2017

15th September 2017

16th September 2017

Another week has been and gone! I thought that the weeks would pass slower now that Noah going to nursery 30 hours a week but they seem to be going even faster. It's been a strange week this week, not the best as both children have had the sniffles and they've both not been sleeping much. This means they've got one exhausted Mummy on their hands but all part and parcel in having two little ones, especially when one seems to pick up the bugs from nursery and brings them all home. Speaking of nursery Noah is really taking it in his stride and he's really enjoying himself, although it's like trying to get blood from a stone when I ask him what he's been doing that day! I get lots of yes and no answers! Typical boy for you! Ava on the other hand although she still sleeps and naps terribly she is just a delight and is taking to weaning like a pro. She is the epitome of a little ray of sunshine, a little ray of sunshine who doesn't like to sleep!

Colds, lack of sleep and nursery aside we've not really done much out of the ordinary this week. The weather has been awful but we've tried to get out as much as we can and Nick has been continuing the work on the attic, it's still early days yet though. My Mum came to visit on Tuesday, which is always nice and a little break for me. Noah was so happy to see her when we picked him up from nursery, it was a big surprise! We've been having a lazy weekend to finish our week, we've all got lots of sleep and rest to catch up on. 

What have you been up to this week?


Kitty Surprise - Review

Surprise, surprise! It's Kitty Surprise! This toy takes me straight back to the 1990's, back to my childhood! I remember them being all the rage back when I was little, though I was never lucky enough to have one of my own. With that in mind, when the chance came to review one I happily accepted because I knew the kids would just love her and I'd also get to do that thing all us parents are a guilty of, relive a bit of my childhood!

Our Kitty is called Jilly and she arrived in the most fabulous of packaging; a cardboard cat carrier! We made sure to open the box carefully so that we could keep it as it'd be great for role playing and for storing Jilly and her kittens too.

Once out of the box I was delighted by how cuddly and soft she was. She's perfect for snuggling and perfect to pet like a real cat. She's also very pretty to look at with her bright blue eyes and combination of white and purple fur. Noah made a point of telling me that he loved her fluffy tail and hair and Ava always seems quite fascinated, almost hypnotised by it! Jilly also has a collar and name tag around her neck which I think is such a lovely touch.   

So that's enough about the Mummy, let's talk about the babies! All Kitty Surprises come with one kitten which has already been "born", but the fun and excitement is still to come, what's inside her tummy?

I turned over the Kitty Surprise to show Noah that she has more babies in her belly and he couldn't wait to see how many kittens she was going to have. He took each kitten out so carefully and lined them up next to one another. 
Jilly had three babies, all girls and all different! Noah named them, Kit Kat, Pippy and Yoda! (He wanted to call his baby sister Yoda so he's pleased as punch that he's finally been able to use his favourite name!)

My favourite feature about Kitty Surprise is that you don't know how many kittens she will have until you open her up! Your Kitty Surprise could have between three to five kittens inside her pouch, she could even have twins! You can tell the gender of the kittens by the little ribbon around their neck, which again is such a lovely touch that they've included. It's worth a quick mention that the kitten which is on display with the Kitty Surprise can miaow but the ones don't. It'd be nice for them to all make noises or for them all to be inside her belly upon opening but Noah didn't seem to mind. 

Kitty Surprise has lived up to all my expectations and more, it's no wonder why this toy is just as popular now as it was back when I was a child. It's a great toy for role play and ideal for encouraging children to be kind and gentle to animals. It's been so endearing to watch my son take child care of the kitty and her kittens and I know that she will be loved for years to come. In my opinion there should be more toys like this on the market.

There's a wide range of different of different Kitty Surprise to choose from, different colours and different hairstyles! If cats aren't for you then you'll be happy to know that the range doesn't stop there as there's also a Safari and Puppy Surprise range too! This toy is suitable from 3 years and upwards and prices start at £27.99.

Do you have a little one that would love this toy?

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


5 Creative Gift Ideas For Children For Any Occasion

Whether you are looking for a gift for a niece, a nephew, or the child of one of your friends, it can be difficult to know what they like most, which can make choosing a gift even harder. What is the best way to choose something you know that they will enjoy while also being unique in your gift-giving ideas? These five creative gift ideas are wonderful for children of all ages. Choose one of these gifts and then personalise it for the children in your life.

1. Extra-Ordinary Disney
It’s not a stretch to say that most children love something from the world of Disney. After all, Disney World is the happiest place on Earth! But most kids already have their favourite Disney toys, so you have to get a bit more creative if you want to gift them some Disney magic. The World of Miss Mindy Disney collection is a unique, quirky set of figurines that you won’t find anywhere else. This collection takes common Disney characters and brings them to life in a new, exciting way. Any child would absolutely love to have one!

2. Custom Clothing
Most kids love when they get to wear something special, so why not give the special kids in your life some custom clothing? It’s very easy to get hats, t-shirts, socks, and more printed with custom logos, words, and more. Try making them a shirt or hat that has their name on it or that features one of their favourite characters. They’ll think of you every time they wear it!

3. DIY Kits
Give a gift that keeps on giving by choosing a DIY kit for the best kids in your life. Various do-it-yourself kits such as build your own terrarium, colour a pillowcase, or even paint-a-sculpture kits are all easy to get hold of, and they provide hours of amusement! In addition to being fun for the kids, they teach them creativity and how to follow instructions when crafting, which can be very useful life skills.

4. Books
Another great gift that can be adjusted to suit all children is a book. This ticks so many boxes: life skill learning, absorbing entertainment, an activity that can be independent or enjoyed with parents. Depending on the child’s reading level, age, and interests, visit your local bookstore and take some time to enjoy looking through an array of eye-catching imagery, magical stories and good old-fashioned clever writing.

5. Decor
While you might not immediately think of decor when you think of gifts for children, many kids love having something new that they can see in their room every day. Getting them a lamp shaped like their favourite animal, a picture frame they can put a photograph in, or a poster from their favourite series or film is a great way to spruce up their bedroom decor with a fun gift.

From collectable figurines to DIY kits to pop-up books there are too many wonderful creative gifts for children to count! What thoughtful gifts have you given in the past?

- This is a PR Collaboration.


In The Night Garden Large Motion Sensor Ball & Baby Makka Pakka - Review

In The Night Garden is a kids TV show that is loved by many and is a firm favourite in countless households across the UK. Both my children absolutely adore In The Night Garden and we've got quite the collection of ITNG merchandise. From soft toys and plastic figures through to books and even iPad apps. When we were offered two new In The Night Garden toys to review I was happy to accept and was excited to see what the children would make of them.

At the time of taking these photo's Ava was 5 months old and I was positive that she recognised the characters as soon as I pulled the toys from their packaging. She seemed to make a beeline for the Large Motion Sensor Ball so I decided to introduce her to that first.

The Large Motion Sensor Ball is 14cm in height and is made from bright coloured material. At first glance you may be a little underwhelmed by it, it's just a ball after all but you'd be very wrong. The ball is very eye catching with it's contrasting colours and familiar In The Night Garden characters and it also plays familiar noises and quotes from the programme too. It's suitable from birth and is something your child can enjoy for years to come. At first they can use it to work on their motor skills and as they get older they can learn to throw and catch with it. At the moment Ava bats it to and fro and giggles when you throw it onto her lap. She also likes to attempt to crawl after it! 

Next up we have the In The Night Garden Baby Makka Pakka Soft Toy and how adorable is he? He's one of the cutest little toys that I've set eyes on and I think that Ava thinks so too, she's always trying to eat him! This is also suitable from birth as he's made from such soft material and is just the right size for young babies. He also has a rattle in his body and has hands and feet which crinkle, perfect for sensory play. Not only is he great for play but he also makes the perfect snuggle buddy.

We've had these toys for a few weeks now and I can't tell you how well they've gone down. The ball in particular is a huge hit, not just with Ava but with Noah too. There's not a day that goes by that one of them isn't playing with it. Ava just has to set eyes on it to smile from ear to ear. 

The In The Night Garden Large Motion Sensory Ball and the Makka Pakka Baby Soft toy both retail at £9.99 each. You can find these toys and more of the In The Night Garden range over on the Golden Bear Toys website.

Do you have a little one who'd like these toys too?

- We were sent these products for the purpose of this review. 

3 Ways We Are Preparing For Autumn & Winter

I still can't believe that Summer is over. It was over before it really began really. I can probably count the days of sunshine on one hand but we made the most of it when it did appear, that's for sure. As mentioned in a post earlier this week you can already feel the change in the seasons, the air has that crisp edge to it and you can sense that the cold is on it's way. With that in mind I decided to put a post together which lists how we are preparing ourselves and our home for the colder months.

Updating our wardrobe
It's time to say goodbye to the summer dresses and vest tops and say hello to thick knit tights and jumper dresses. I feel like we never had a chance to wear our summer clothes this year but at least they were worn on our holiday to Spain earlier in the year. This week I've been looking to buy the kids new sweaters and coats and both Nick and I could do with some new clothes too. There's something lovely about dressing up in your knitwear and coats and heading out for a walk with the family, especially if hot chocolate is involved!

Investing in new radiators
If you read my blog then you'll already know that we were able to buy our first home a few years back. We were then brave (or crazy) enough to undertake a full house renovation and with only so much money to spread so many different ways we had to compromise on a few things. The house needed central heating fitted throughout and in a couple of rooms we had to buy smaller radiators than we really needed. This means some rooms can become quite cold no matter how high you have the radiator on.

Now we are a little more settled I'm looking to update them and I've been looking at Haverland RC Wave electric radiators for the kitchen and living room. Not only do they have a contemporary, stylish and slim design but they are also energy efficient and reduce the cost of your energy bills. Each radiator has its own thermostat and programmer, so I can set the temperatures I need to keep each room cosy without wasting energy. They can also be installed DIY, unlike our central heating radiators, so I can get them up and running as soon as they arrive without spending more on an electrician’s fees! I think this is a winning combination and something we really need.

Having a clear out
Every year around this time I tend to have a huge clear out. Anything that we've not used in the past six months, things I've forgotten about, broken toys, unworn clothes. I either bin them, give them to a friend or take them to the charity shop, depending on the item of course. Having a big clear out makes room for the mountain of toys that I'll probably receive for the kids at Christmas and just makes you feel a bit better in general.

Have you started preparing for the colder months? I'd love to hear your tips and ideas!

- This is a PR Collaboration. 


Organix Goodies & Gruffalo Prize Pack - Competition

Organix Goodies is partnering with Chessington World of Adventures Resort and its new Gruffalo River Ride Adventure as it splashes into the Wild Woods, to offer little explorers (and mums and dads too) the chance to GO FREE. 

Thanks to Goodies, everyone’s favourite toddler snacks, little ones can come face to face with the Gruffalo, as they join Mouse on a picturesque riverboat journey through the deep dark wood, with exciting twists and turns along the way. 
Look out for The Gruffalo promotion on multipacks of your little ones’ favourite Goodies snacks – from tasty oaty, crispy and fruit bars; corn puffs, including the new puffcorn; breadsticks and gingerbread men, farm animal and alphabet biscuits. Each multipack contains a voucher which gives one adult or one child free entry to Chessington World of Adventures Resort.

In more good news for visitors to Chessington World of Adventures Resort, for the first time you’ll be able to buy your favourite Goodies snack foods (cheese and herb puffs, oaty bars, gingerbread men, and raisins) and Organix finger foods (carrot sticks and apple rice cakes) at the Resort too. Plus, a couple of Goodies foods will also be part of the Kids’ Meal Deal at Chessington’s Original Sandwich Company and the Coffee Hut.

All Organix and Goodies foods come with the Organix No Junk Promise, a stamp of reassurance for parents that they are made with the best organic ingredients and contain nothing unnecessary, so hungry little explorers get great tasting snacks without the junk #SmallWins.

Celebrating its partnership with the new Gruffalo River Ride Adventure at Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Organix are giving a lucky winner the chance to win a Gruffalo DVD, Gruffalo book, Gruffalo plush bear and a £10 bundle of its top selling Goodies healthy snacks. To enter simply use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

Organix Goodies & Gruffalo Bundle

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 08/10/17
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.


My Sunday Photo - 37/52

Jumping in muddy puddles and getting very muddy and wet, one of Noah's favourite things to do. A child's right of passage, that's for sure! I can't wait until Ava is walking and then they can both splash about in the puddles together. 



Project 365 - Week 36/52

3rd September - 9th September

3rd September 2017

4th September 2017

5th September 2017

6th September 2017

7th September 2017

8th September 2017

9th September 2017

This week marked Noah going back to nursery, he was so excited to go back to see all his friends and his teachers. He was only there two days last week with the term starting midweek but next week he will be there Monday through to Thursday. It's been a week adjusting to Noah's big change though he didn't need much encouragement. He was raring to go and both days I picked him up he ran up to me giving me a huge hug. Other than that we've had a nice week, despite the weather being horrible for the majority of it.

So here's a little overview of our week. Sunday we went to "fun in the park" which was still fun even though it was raining for it's entirety. Nick and I got to go on a huge bouncy castle with Noah, it was hilarious as it was wet through so I couldn't stand up at all. Monday I had Slimming World and my Mum watched both the kids whilst I walked down to it. I lost 1 1/2 this week which brings me to a loss of 19lb in total. I'm getting there! I then walked back home and we went in town and out for some lunch, the four of us. It was great, although it's almost impossible to shop with an almost four year old! Tuesday was Noah's last day off before nursery so we made the most of our day. We all got wrapped up and went out to play in the rain and puddles. Noah loved it and I did too, any excuse to jump in muddy puddles with him. Wednesday and Thursday Noah was at nursery and as I mentioned he had a great time and loved being back with his friends although a lot of them went to school this time. He came home with lots of paintings and ate all his packed lunch both days. Friday and Saturday weren't very exciting as we've just started work on the house, so we've been so busy with that!

What have you been up to this week?