Fisher-Price Hippo Projection Soother - Review

Most parents need a little help when it comes to settling their little ones to sleep at night and I'm no exception that that rule. Ava is about to turn 6 months old and is nowhere near self settling. She needs to be nursed, sung too, rocked, cuddled and kissed every night before she's even remotely ready to go to sleep. I'm not one for sleep training or anything like that, I think a baby will self settle when they are comfortable and ready, however I am open to trying out sleep aid products because I had success with them back when Noah was a baby.

With a baby that won't sleep and our past success with baby sleep aids I was really excited to team up with Fisher-Price on the Hippo Projection Soother review to use during our bedtime routine, to see if it helped. When it arrived my first impression was how cute it was! All chunky, cheerful and pink, just like Ava! It was easy to get out the box and just as easy to open it up to pop in the batteries. We couldn't wait to introduce it into our bedtime routine and started using it that very night.

There are 3 buttons on the Hippo Projection Soother. One which plays natures sounds, one that plays lullaby music and the middle one which turns the light on or off. Once it's on it 
plays for 30 minutes which gives Ava plenty of time to unwind and drift off to dreamland. The music is reasonably quiet which is just what you need at bedtime, it's so soothing and relaxing. I've come across some toys in the past which have been very loud and with no option to turn it down, these have woken my kids up more than helping to settle them. Thankfully this isn't the case with the Hippo Projection Soother, it's perfection.

Miss Hippo (as she's fondly known as) is now a permanent feature on our bedside table next to Ava's co sleeper, the perfect distance for her to hear the music and see the stars projected on the ceiling. It's fitted right into our bedtime routine and I'm sure that it's really helping her unwind and relax at night.

The Fisher-Price Soother is ideal for bedtime and nap time both at home and away, and if you aren't a fan of pink you'll be happy to know that it comes in blue too! It's suitable from birth and costs a very reasonable £22.99.

Do you know a little someone that would like this too?

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

3 Steps To Get Your Life Back On Track

We all face issues that keep us immobilised, and sometimes the only way to move forward is to get a strategy together and ruthlessly see it through. Taking back control is hard, especially if you’ve been pushed around or ignored for a long time, but it isn’t impossible. Make a positive start today.

How Clear is the Problem?
The first step is to identify the problem, and its many parts. Think carefully about what bothers you about your daily life before you worry too much about how you’re going to change your circumstances. It might even be worth noting it down because personal issues are usually more complicated than they first appear – even to you – and there’s no clear distinction between an external issue and a mental health issue.

It might be that there’s a mix of issues, in which case you should locate the source of each and categorise it as either a long-term or a short-term issue. For example, stress at work might be short-term if a new member of the team is abusive to you or makes you feel uncomfortable. Whereas it might be a long-term issue if you’ve been held back for promotion too long unfairly, or if you’re victimised by everyone you work with. Financial worry tends to be long-term if it’s reached a stage whereby you consider it to be holding you back. Likewise, paralysing family-based issues tend to be long term. Make sure you’re clear about what kind of problems you’re dealing with, and where they stem from. This might make you feel better on its own, but you may need to take the next step.

What Can You Do Realistically?
The reason it’s important to work out the source of the issues and their longevity is that you need to make realistic steps. The second step is to use this information to work out which problems you can do something concrete towards solving, and which ones are always going to be an issue for you.

Some problems require you to change your outlook so you can stop looking at them as negative, and deal with them in a healthy way. For example, if you have a disabled relative who requires more help than you feel able to give, then you need to find new strength or a way to get more help – but unless you’re a doctor, you won’t be able to attack the problem at source by curing the illness itself.

However, not all problems require you to change your outlook – to resolve some problems you need other people’s outlooks to change. You need to know about your problems before you can take the final step towards solving them.

Enact the Plan
Once you understand your issues better, you can either find ways to adjust to the circumstances of your life if that’s what you think is required, or you can take more active steps. If you’re facing long-term family issues that you shouldn’t have to change yourself to deal with, then the best thing you could do might be to search locally for Family Solicitors in London.

Just as each problem you might face is individual by nature, the solution will also be – it’s important that you’re the one making the decisions when it comes to getting your life back on track, so trust yourself and do what seems right to you.

- This is a PR Collaboration 

Siblings - August 2017

Siblings is one of my favourite posts to write every month and back when Ava was born I was so excited to be able to document my children in this way. It's so lovely to be able to look back at my previous posts to see how much they've grown, not just in their physical form but how their relationship has grown too. I mean look how much they've changed since my first Siblings post back in March, it's enough to make me want to cry!

August has been a great month, we've really enjoyed ourselves. Noah has been off nursery for half term so it's been nice to enjoy all the free time and have spontaneous trips here and there. Not only has August been great to us but Ava has come on leaps and bounds. She can now sit up unaided and loves to play with her toys so now that Noah can now play with her properly he thinks it's amazing!

The three photo's I chose this month sum up the relationship between Noah and Ava to a tee! Ava is always watching him in awe, she laughs and smiles at everything he does. He only has to look at her and she smiles from ear to ear. Noah on the other hand is in his element having a little friend to entertain and he thrives of all the love and attention that he gets from her. He'll have even more fun once she's on the move, which will be in no time knowing Ava!
The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

August Degustabox - Review

Another month brings another Degustabox delivery to our door and I'm so excited to share what was inside this months box. I was so impressed with last months July box as I always tend to be but somehow this months was even better! Degustabox try to run with a different theme every month which I really like the idea of as it adds some extra excitement when discovering whats inside. Recently we've had a Summer box, BBQ box, Valentines box and this month's is aptly named the Back to School box.

What was inside August's Degustabox

1. Seabrook Crisps Multipack - £1.00
2. Bahlsen Pick Up Black N White
 - £1.69
3. Hellman's Real Mayonnaise - £1.69 

4. JellySqueeze - x2 £0.69

5. Light Bites Popped Crisps - x2 £0.99 

6. Maggi Fusian Noodles - x2 £1.39 

7. Twisted Halo Coconut Water, Ginger & Vodka - £1.50
8. Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce - £1.89

9. Orangina Limited Edition Summer Bottles - x2 £1.20

10. Refreshers Softies Sweets - £1.00

11. Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Toffee Whole Nut - £0.65
12. Cadbury Curlywurly Squirlies - £1.99

Total: £19.95

As you can see there are a handful of products which would be ideal for back to school and in your child's lunchbox. Noah goes back to nursery full time next week so the Pick Up biscuits, JellySqueeze and Seabrook crisps will be a nice treat along side his sandwiches, tomatoes, cheese and fruit. I'm quite apprehensive about him not eating his lunch while he's there as he'll be so distracted so I think that having these added treats will actually encourage him to sit down and eat.

Don't worry, they've not forgotten about us grown ups! Nick and I are excited to try everything else which is inside the box, especially the noodles and light bite crisps because neither of us have tried them before! I'm so impressed with this months box, even more so than last month which I didn't think was possible!

Degustabox costs £12.99 per month but if you would like to try it for the first time use the code: CTOMW at the checkout to receive a huge £7.00 off! That means you can get your first box for just £5.99!

What products or brands would you like to see in Degustabox next?

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

Mummy & Me - August

Okay, August has officially been the quickest month of the year, maybe of my life! Seriously, where has this month gone? Another month calls for another Mummy & Me post and here are the photo's I decided to choose. We've had lots of family days out and spontaneous trips this month and I often forget to get photo's of myself with the kids however here are two that I did manage to get, thanks Nick!

The first photo is one that was taken this Friday at a family birthday meal. Ava was exhausted after being passed around from family to family member, being cooed over and smothered in kisses. She does really well with this, better than Noah was at her age (he had stranger and separation anxiety) but her bottom lip does quiver if she can't see me or hasn't been with me for a while. I love cuddles like this, they are only little for such a short amount of time. The second photo was just a quick shot after we'd had a game of bowling, which I lost of course! I'm terrible at bowling! Look how mesmerised both kids are by this Plants VS Zombies game, future gamers or what?!

My Sunday Photo - 35/52

- A visit to the Grandparents house. Ava is absolutely besotted with their dogs and watches every move that they make! How cute is this photo?

Project 365 - Week 34/52

20th August - 26th August

20th August 2017

21st August 2017

22nd August 2017

23rd August 2017

24th August 2017

25th August 2017

26th August 2017

It's been a funny old week this week, another one which just seems to have flown by. As we are nearing the end of the summer holidays I can see that Noah is really itching to get back to nursery to see all his friends, he's so excited! We've been trying to make the most of all the free time we have left by doing our usual; play dates, shopping, play group, my mum came to visit, walks, visiting family, shopping, family days out, trips to the park and so on. The weather has been really hit and miss though so we've been dodging the rain whenever we've been out, it's so temperamental. I'd go into more detail about our week just like last week if I had the time but as I type this miss Ava Jean is shouting for me to give her a cuddle! So I'll have to be brief! 

What have you been up to this week?

My Breastfeeding Essentials

I've now been breastfeeding for almost six months and I couldn't be happier with our journey so far. Back when I was pregnant with Ava I wondered how I'd fare when it came to trying to breastfeed again, as things didn't go to plan with Noah. I've previously wrote about my breastfeeding hopes and fears and all about the early days in my breastfeeding journey. Today I thought I'd write all about my breastfeeding essentials which have made our journey easier.

Nipple Cream
When Ava was a newborn she nursed continuously and we had cluster feeds every other day, which is totally the norm for such young babies. We were also still working on our latch which made my nipples sore and cracked. Nipple cream worked miracles and definitely is number one on my breastfeeding essentials list.

Nursing Bra's 
Okay so nursing bra's don't give your boobs a lot of support, they kinda hang loose and free! Although they don't look particularly attractive, they are so comfortable and making feeding so much easier. Ava has actually associated the noise of the click of my bra strap with milk, as soon as she hears that noise she stops what she's doing and stares at me in anticipation! It's even woken her up from sleep before!

Brita Water Bottle
I've always drank lots of water but I've found I drink double the amount now that I'm breastfeeding. I'm always thirsty! I cart my water bottle around with me wherever I go, especially when feeding because I'm always always parched when she's nursing.

Breast Pump 
Now this isn't an essential for everyone but I've started to express every now and again so that Nick can feed Ava on occasion. It's great to be able to do this when you know you have a busy evening ahead and need your partner to step in and help too. Being a Medela Mum I have a Medela Swing Maxi which is fantastic and so easy to use, I'll be reviewing it in the next couple of months.  

I wish I could dive into a pack of biscuits every time I get hungry which is quite often when breastfeeding but I'm trying to be good! I tend to turn to bananas when hunger strikes as they are so filling and give me an energy boost when I need it the most. I can eat two in a day and I swear it helps with my milk supply and my mood, who knows! I know they've become my go to when feeding.

Easy Access Clothing
Breastfeeding tops and dresses are great but aren't necessary if you don't want to spend a small fortune. My wardrobe is full of breastfeeding friendly garments such as kaftan tops, empire line dresses, layered t shirts and jumpers. I now base my outfits on how accessible my boobs will be and you'd be surprised to know that you can feed quickly and discreetly in so many different types of clothing.

Netflix and chill? More like Netflix and boob! Netflix has become my best friend on many occasions, especially when Ava has her cluster feeding sessions. Sometimes you just have to curl up in bed with your baby with plenty of skin to skin, with your drinks and snacks and a new box set to binge watch! It's the perfect excuse to enjoy milky cuddles with your baby and totally unwind.

What are your breastfeeding essentials? 

Num Noms Series 4 - Review

Num Noms have been taking the UK by storm ever since their launch last year, just as I predicted in my first Num Nom review. One look at those cute and colourful collectables and I could tell they were going to be all the rage for both boys and girls alike. Noah's loved collecting toys for as long as I can remember and has quite the Num Nom collection so when we were offered the chance to review season 4 he was very excited to expand his ever growing collection.

Num Noms Series 4 has landed with a menu of cute new characters and delicious scents – including the launch of a new variety of Noms; available in scented Nail Varnish and flavoured Glitter Lip Gloss! Cookies, Fancy Cakes, Creamery, Baked Goods, Creme-Filled and Pasta are among the yummy variety of children’s collectables for this season’s tasty foodie theme. We were sent the Num Noms Series 4 Lunch Box Deluxe and Series 4 Starter Pack and Noah couldn't wait to get his hands on them.

Num Noms Series 4 Starter Pack – RRP £9.99
It’s a recipe for sweetness with Num Nom Series 4 Starter Packs! In eight delicious varieties of Cookies & Milk, Tea Party, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Frozen Yogurt, Snack Break, Princess Cakes, Frosted Donuts and Bundt Cakes. A great price at just £9.99 they make the perfect spending money treat or birthday present to a best friend.

Num Noms Series 4 Desserts Tray – RRP £16.99
If that doesn’t sound tasty enough, Num Noms Series 4 Deluxe flavours of Sweets Sampler and Desserts Tray will also return in the style of super cute Lunchboxes, which can be re-used to carry your collectables too. This was Noah's favourite of course, he loved putting all the Num Noms back inside and carting them around. We also role played with the case and pretending it was a shop, it's worth keeping the box but with it being thin card it doesn't last long. 

As you can see the new series is a wonderful addition to the Num Noms franchise and possibly our favourite one yet. You can go wrong with all the sweet scents and Noah really enjoys to stack and create marvellous and yummy creations with them.

What Num Noms theme would you like to see next?

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

Yeti In My Spaghetti Game - Competition

We are currently experiencing our first ever summer half term with Noah starting nursery last year and it's been quite a ride! Although Noah only went to nursery 15 hours a week last year it's been such a change to our routine, we've enjoyed the extra free time to have spontaneous days out here and there but he's really missed going and seeing his friends.

There's only so much you can do to keep a three (almost four) year old entertained day in day out in the summer holidays, especially when you have a baby too and that's when games like Yeti in My Spaghetti have come to the rescue! 
In this wacky game, Yeti is just chillin’ on the noodles… but as you remove the spaghetti one by one, Yeti could fall into the bowl, and that is not cool! Try to keep Yeti steady on the spaghetti, at least during your turn, if you don’t wanna lose!

We've played Yeti in my Spaghetti a long with other games continuously throughout the holidays, more so when we've had rubbish weather outside. We've played it as a family, with friends and Noah's even played it on his own whilst I was settling the baby for a nap. It's a fab game and one that's easy to play and understand, so it's ideal for a wide range of different ages.

  • Suitable for age 5+ years
  • Includes: 30 noodles, yeti, bowl and instructions
  • Dimensions: 26.5 x 9 x 26.5cm
  • Weight: 384g
  • Warning: Choking hazard. May contain small parts. Unsuitable for children under 36 months
  • Helps to develop hand-eye coordination and balancing skills
  • Suitable for 2-6 players
Yeti in my Spaghetti can be purchased in store or online in most reputable stores with prices starting at around £14.99. How would you like to get your hands on this game? To enter simply use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions

Yeti In My Spaghetti Game

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner of the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 17/09/17
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

Project 365 - Week 33/52

13th August - 19th August

13th August 2017

14th August 2017

15th August 2017

16th August 2017

17th August 2017

18th August 2017

19th August 2017

Another week has been and gone, it doesn't feel like two minutes ago that I was writing last weeks post. With Noah still being off nursery we've had no set routine again, this has it's advantages such as spontaneous trips out but the down side is that it's hard to be able to get Ava into any sort of nap routine with a boisterous three year old bounding around. We are all loving it though and it's bittersweet to know that he'll be going back to nursery full time in September, 8:30am-3pm on Mon, Tues, Weds and Thurs. He's got another year there and then he starts School, how scary is that?

Anyway, back on topic. We've had a great week again. Sunday was our usual family day out and we visited one of our favourite places again. We love going to Bowland Wild Boar park and go half a dozen times a year, so much so we are actually thinking of getting annual passes. The weather was lovely too, so glad we went and made the most of the sun.

Monday was quite easy going. Noah had a play date next door and stayed for tea. We then went food shopping and I went to Slimming World. I only lost -0.5lb this week but it's better than nothing and it does bring me to 14.5lb loss so far! On Tuesday I decided to take the kids over to see my Mum and Nanna just like last week, so it was a ride in the taxi and then a half hour journey on the train. You'd think it'd be hard work with two young children but it's really not, the most difficult part is making sure I've packed everything we need to take and getting everyone in the taxi. Again we had a lovely day with my Mum and then went to visit my Nanna.

Wednesday I invited Noah's friend around for a play date as he'd been there earlier in the week. They had lunch together and had a whale of a time the entire afternoon. Thursday was playgroup time and then another play date in the afternoon! Noah loves playing with his best friend who lives next door so it's always lovely for them to have that time together, they play really nicely and it keeps them both busy too. I think I managed to have a warm cup of tea!

Friday and Saturday we had two lazy days, which is unlike us. The weather has been so hit and miss though that it's kind of the perfect excuse to relax and do absolutely nothing. We did however go shopping and visit family, but nothing out of the ordinary!

What have you been up to this week?

Teletubbies Shuffle 'n' Giggle Ping - Review

Can you believe that it's been 20 years since the Teletubbies first hit our screens? I was 9 years old when they aired the very first episode and I remember watching it with my younger siblings, we were all transfixed. It wasn't long after when Teletubbies fever hit the UK and pretty much everyone I knew was after a Teletubbies toy for Christmas and it'd sold out everywhere! Although I think my Mum managed to get hold of a Po for my baby sister, lucky Sadie!

Teletubbies fill me to the brim with nostalgia and it delights me that they are still around today so that my own children get to enjoy them too. Not only are Teletubbies still here 20 years later, but back in 2015 we were introduced to the Tiddletubbies, baby Teletubbies and boy are they cute! When I was offered the chance to review a toy from the new Tiddletubbies range I was extremely excited, as you've probably guessed!

We weren't sure which toy was going to arrive as it was out of two different options, then selected at random so this added to the excitement when the toy was being delivered. On opening the box we discovered a Shuffle 'n' Giggle Ping which is from Character and retails at £24.99. My first impression was that this could be the cutest toy I've ever seen and I wanted to hide her and keep her for myself! As soon as I got it out the box Ava started reaching for her, probably because of how bright and colourful she is.

The Shuffle 'n' Giggle Ping is suitable from 18 months and is such a clever, interactive toy and would entertain a whole array of different age ranges. Ping is made from soft plush material which make her irresistible to kiss and cuddle (or latch on to if your child is anything like Ava!) She has big brown eyes, a sweet little smile and the signature Teletubbies antennae.

Simply press Ping's back and she shuffles and crawls a long floor. When I did this for the first time both Noah and Ava's eyes lit up, they couldn't help but smile and they both wanted to grab hold of her. Ping also babbles and giggles which never fails to make Ava smile, she's so enamoured by her.

All in all I think this is a fantastic toy, one which can grow with your child and I think it costs a very reasonable price too. Noah and Ava have played with Ping ever since she arrived and that says it all really, we know how fast children and babies lose interest in their toys! In particular, I think Ava will grow to love this toy even more as she gets older, especially once she starts crawling herself, which won't be long now! I know she'll be crawling after Ping in no time!

Are you a fan of the Teletubbies? 
Do you have a little one that would like this toy too? 

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