Monday, 30 November 2015

Bepanthen: Caring For Sensitive Baby Skin

Over the years, I have used a plethora of lotions and potions for the boys. For Joseph though I have had to be more careful with what we use. He has really sensitive skin and eczema on his face which flares up if I use a cream that has any sort of fragrance in it. 

Although he has suffered with his skin everywhere else, Joseph hasn't been too bad with nappy rash. That was until he started teething, and now it's a nightmare. I don't know how the gums and teething pain is connected to a babies bottom, but for some reason, as soon as those pesky teeth start pushing through, nappy rash starts, and can become painful for the little one who is already suffering. 

With all this in mind and the fact that Joseph has inherited my very, very sensitive skin, we have to be very careful about what we use on it. One brand which I have always loved and stock up on to use daily is Bepanthen

To celebrate the fact that Bepanthen now comes in a handy flip-top tube, they kindly sent us a box of goodies which stated that we would receive some Bepanthen to trial and also a 'gorgeous selection of fun treats for you and toys for baby' and boy was I surprised when the box arrived.

How marvellous was this box of treats that had been sent to us. I wasn't expecting anything near as beautiful as this and as a mum of 3, I admit that my hormones are still playing up and I may have got something in my eye (okay, I cried!). 

Along with the Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment and Baby Moisturiser was an adorable set of Bepanthen friends and then an absolutely stunning blanket from The White Company for Joseph to snuggle in to. Goodies for me, as a busy mum who needs to relax once in a while, was a large candle, again from The White Company which just has an aura of Christmas about it, and then some hot chocolate and marshmallows from Whittards. This amazing box of goodies has made me so honoured that I have such a great job and am so thankful to the people at Bepanthen for making my day, well making my whole week actually!

And so, along we go to chatting about Bepanthen and the miracle cream it is. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment forms a long lasting barrier to protect the sensitive skin. Now packaged with a flip top cap instead of a screw-off one so can be used one handed whilst trying to hold down the wriggly one!

The breathable transparent layer contains no perfumes, colours, antiseptics or preservatives and is clinically proven to protect from the causes of nappy rash. When applied, the pro-vitamin B5 contained within the ointment gently aids the natural skin recovery, keeping the skin smooth and moisturised. 

It has been a godsend these past few months, helping to ease the pain of nappy rash and gently cooling the area, leaving the skin soft and helping it to heal. A must have product that I take everywhere with me, just in case it's needed whilst out and about.

The Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser is a new one on us and something I haven't tried before. Joseph gets horribly dry skin as well as eczema and so it was a great time to give it a go on his skin. I always try to keep his skin shielded from harsh chemicals to stop it from getting irritated and so it was nice to read that Bepanthen includes no alcohol, colours, fragrances, parabens and other preservatives, lanolin or paraffin. 

So after each bath, we don't bathe Joseph too often as water is one factor of drying skin out, I would let him dry naturally in his towel and then would gently massage the Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser in to his skin. As it contains pro vitamin B5, it deeply moisturises his skin leaving him with soft, smooth and nourished skin. 

Bepanthen is something I recommend to all new mums and have even added it to my nieces hamper that I've been collecting for when her little bundle arrives. They are a brand that I trust to take care of my babies skin and will continue to do so for the foreseeable. 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Miles Kelly: The Brothers Grimm Collection

When it comes to buying for the boys at Christmas, I like to get a little bit of everything for them. A few toys, something to wear, some goodies and some books. Books are important to me as I think that every child should learn to read and enjoy using their imagination as they work their way through an exciting fairy tale. 

Miles Kelly are an independent children's book publishers with an ethos to create 'Children's books to inspire and share' trying to reach as many children as possible with their beautifully designed books for kids aged 3–12 years old.

To see just how magical their books are, Miles Kelly sent the boys The Brothers Grimm Collection, a set of 8 books that aim to entice young readers to explore the wonderful world made by storytellers the Brother Grimm, bursting with magic and enchantment to take children on a beautiful adventure as they work their way through the books.

Each book has a main story but also includes 3 other stories too so there are altogether 32 different stories to choose from. The 8 main stories in the books are:

Snow-white and the Seven Dwarfs
Hansel and Gretel
The Frog Prince
Sleeping Beauty
The Elves and the Shoemaker
Little Red Riding Hood

And also includes much loved favourites such as Rumpelstiltskin and The Magic Porridge Pot and some of the boys new loves, The Golden Bird, The Valiant Little Tailor and The Gnome just to name a few. 

The books are absolutely stunning, with a gleaming, glittery cover and illustrations which are so quirky, they fit with the stories perfectly. They are also a great way to help younger ones to follow the story by helping their imagination whilst looking at the pictures and hearing the words being read to them. 

Reading through the stories, it is great to see the boys light up with excitement and let their imaginations run wild with the though of little elves that help make shoes, a prince that turns into a frog and a princess who sleeps for 100 years because she has a curse put upon her. 

The stories are full of content and draw the children in but are still short enough to read before bedtime, we sometimes do 2 if the boys are content and setted enough to do so. Who doesn't love to go to sleep after a good book. Laying your head on the pillow and dreaming about the magic and enchantment that you have just read. 

I love that the boys are enjoying the books together. Thomas is an avid reader now and these books are suitable for children between 5-8 years so are suitable and perfect for him to read. Recently, he has been picking one of the books and settling down with Charlie to read him a tale. 

Whilst the boys get to delve into the charms of the story, Thomas is also picking up a whole host of new words into his reading vocabulary and slowly gaining more confidence with his reading. It has been great to see the classics reborn into new and beautifully designed books.

The collection of books are all sold separately, but you can also pick up this fabulous The Brothers Grimm Collection Bag which includes them all inside a beautifully decorated bag. Check out the Miles Kelly website for more information. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

KiddieCubes: The Closest To Fresh, Home Cooked Baby Food

When it comes to weaning, I'm sure that all us mums, and dads also, go into it thinking that we're definitely going to make our own purées, blend our own food and cook from scratch for our little bundles. But sometimes, the events of everyday life can stop this from happening and we have to decide on baby food that is pre-prepared

This is where it becomes a minefield of choosing the right food, at the right stage, with the best ingredients. Lets just say that this is something, after having 3 children, that I have given loads of thought to and have used a lot of brands over the years to find the ones that I use and recommend.

So of course, when I heard about KiddieCubes, I first thought it was actually a genius idea and wondered how no one had thought of it before, I then I wanted to let Joseph loose on them to see if they got his seal of approval. Well now we've had the chance to give them the once over and here is what we thought...

KiddieCubes are the brainchild of Issy Langly-Smith, a qualified nutritional therapist, keen cook, busy working mum of three. Creating 14 tasty dishes in her kitchen using only organic and wholesome ingredients which are suitable for babies aged from four months upwards.Carefully balanced meals which are natural, include no added sugar, no additives, low in natural sugars and are vitamin and protein rich, perfect for little ones who have lots of growing and playing to do.

Like we hear all the time about how vegetables should be frozen as soon as possible to lock in flavour and goodness, this is the same with the KiddieCubes baby food. After gentle cooking, they are immediately frozen to lock in all that goodness that has just been lovingly made. 

The flavours are made into age appropriate ranges too. From 4 month old, KiddieCubes come in a simpler range. Root vegetables and fruit purées are on the menu to help babies gently ease in to new flavours whilst also giving them nice flavours and goodness from the natural produce. From broccoli, courgette and sweet potato to mango, peach and apricot, there is still a lot of variety in these first stage cubes. 

Stage 2 is where it gets more exciting, from 7 month old babies can have a lot more choice and so the dishes get more adventurous to help little ones experience new textures, flavours and foods. Veggie dishes full of lentils butternut squash, parsnips, cauliflower, just to name a few are a great way to move on to this stage. followed by trying meats in the Hearty Chicken and Veg Hotpot and Very Veggie Lamb Casserole dishes. There are also breakfast options when onto stage 2 as well. A Creamy Porridge or Go Bananas Porridge are a great way to start the day.

What's more, they are super easy to prepare too. It takes around 90 seconds to defrost 2 KiddieCubes in the microwave or on the hob in a saucepan which I think is great. Just simply pop a couple in a bowl, stick them in the microwave for 40 seconds, then stir and heat for a further 30 seconds. Joseph is currently eating 3 cubes at a time and this takes 120 seconds in total to heat up.

Each re-sealable KiddieCubes pack contains 12 x 25g cubes (each cube is the equivalent to one heaped tablespoon) so you are in total control of portion size and wastage is kept to a minimum. I like this aspect as being a very frugal person, I used to get sick of wasting the rest of baby food jars when Joseph didn't want to eat it all and always cursed the fact that we wasted so much food. 

This comes in to play when trying to feed him fish dishes. He's still not an avid fish lover and so sometimes I would end up wasting a whole jar or pouch because he's decided that he doesn't want fish that day.

With the Creamy Leafy Fisherman’s Pie I am slowly easing Joseph into trying it by using only one cube at a time to give him that little bit of fishy goodness and mixing it up with a couple of veggie cubes too to fill him up. I think it's great that I am able to do this and change up the meals slightly. 

Kiddie Cubes are available nationwide through ASDA, Ocado, and in Cook stores. Visit the KiddieCubes website for more information. 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Rustic Christmas from The Christmas Boutique

I love Christmas. I mean I actually adore it. All the fuss and getting to spruce up the house with sparkly sparkles, wrapping presents, eating goodies, advent calendars, exciting Christmas eves, eating more goodies, opening presents, Christmas dinner and eating even more goodies. It's just amazing. 

I'm one of those people who loves to do everything, wrap presents all lovely and neat, create a masterpiece of a mantle in my living room, let the kids decorate the tree to then have to redo it all the way it like it once they're in bed. It is just so exciting. 

I am always collecting new items too for our house. Every year the kids make something handmade to add to our collection and I also scour shops and places online to find quirky new items. 

This year, as always, we are going along the red and colour scheme as I think those colours just encompass the love and warmth of Christmas. But we've gone with a different theme, a more rustic look and I think it works so much in giving a warm winter home that Christmassy twist. 

This year I've received some gorgeous rustic looking items from The Christmas Boutique. I've worked with them previously last year and had some truly beautiful items, which you can read about here, and so loved browsing their website to find Christmas decorations to suit this years theme. 

The first thing that caught my eye was the Antique Finish Advent Numbered Metal Lantern Set which is priced, on sale at the moment, at only £19.98. I had purposely looked for a candle set as I knew that these would look amazing on a cold winters evening, lighting up the room in all their glory. 

You can celebrate the weeks to Christmas with this set of 4 lanterns, made from an aged antique finish metal, each holder has been produced at different levels & detailed with a cut-out number. This is such a traditional way to count down the four weeks of advent as each Sunday an additional candle is lit. 

I love this as it is such a rest way of counting down to Christmas and the origin of the Advent suggest that each candle represents four things - Hope, Love, Joy and Peace which I find just so suitable for a loving family home. I mean just how stunning is the set itself and also the thought behind the Advent weeks.  

To coordinate with this, I chose the Star Shaped Christmas Twig Wreath with Red Berries and this comes in at £12.95. This simple and natural design is truly stunning. Made from dark wood twigs and red berries, the natural looking star is a rural Christmas decoration perfect to match our décor. I have it next to the lantern set to give it a gorgeous glow but it also has a little string attached so it can be hung on the wall, door or anywhere really.

To finish off our collection, we received 2 sets of these gorgeous Reindeer hanging decorations which come in pairs or either red or gold and are £3.99 per pair. These are totally super cute and sparkly and just gleam on the tree. 

The prancing reindeer's hang perfectly on the Christmas tree and are slightly bigger than other decorations so they stand out with glee in either the gold or red finish. I think they are so quirky, something different than the usual baubles and just look sublime when lit up next to the Christmas lights. 

For more info visit The Christmas Boutique website where you can also purchase these wonderful items and more including free delivery on everything.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Whisbear: The Humming Bear

I always think that getting to sleep is the hardest part of the night time routine, not forgetting the 4am wake up of course, as it's something that you usually can't change. If you can't sleep, you can't sleep, it's that simple. I find that babies struggle with this even more as they're not used to a routine whereby they have to try and get to sleep, usually opting for falling to sleep where ever their head lands. 

I was lucky at first as Joseph was a great sleeper to start with, that was until he started teething. I think once the pain come, he was kind of frightened to sleep as he understood that this was time time that he pain was more prominent. 

So when Whisbear got in touch telling me about a new bear on the market that will help babies to drift off to sleep, I just had to try it out. When it arrived in a beautiful soft, velour bag, I peered inside to find this miracle product. Inside was a super cute bear and a device which makes the magic happen. 

Whisbear makes it possible for you to soothe your baby easily. The shushing device emits white noise, a sound that the baby remembers from their foetal life, which soothes your baby into a deep sleep. 

The Whisbear operates for 40 minutes before gently fading off and in this time your baby should drift off. In the unfortunate event that your baby does wake in the night, the CRYsensor recognizes the cry of your awakening baby and will immediately respond with the calming sound for an additional 20 minutes before entering its standby mode. 

Not only is it said to be a perfect sleep aid but it is a sensory stimulation toy too as it has rustling ears and paws as well as long legs, sewn from colourful and contrasting fabrics to provide your baby with a lot of entertainment. The legs also are magnetic so can fasten around the cot frame and also to a pram handle, changing bag or a car seat for use whilst out and about. 

Joseph has taken to it like a duck to water, loving the sound that it emits and cuddling the Whisbear to sleep on an evening. I love the design and Joseph loves playing with it during the day which I think also helps with the settling at night as it is something that he can associate with.

The device does a great job of soothing Joseph and he does settle with it, not always sleeping but it does calm him down which is also great. I like the CRYsensor as it has helped to get rid of his 1am wake up by easing him back off to sleep without me having to feed him. 

It has been great trying the Whisbear with Joseph and I think that it has helped immensely with settling him down for sleep on a night, making him drift off to sleep and the white noise is soothing to him and then also does help when he wakes during the night. 

For more information, pop over to the Whisbear website.