30 September 2013

GIVEAWAY - Getting Your Child Prepared for Bonfire Night

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Although Bonfire Night is a family orientated event, the safety and comfort of children is always a concern. This is why the Personal Safety Division of 3M has compiled a list of top tips to help you keep your children happy and healthy this year.

Protect their ears – fireworks are considerably louder than the normal sounds that children will hear. In fact, they are more than twice as loud in terms of decibel level as road traffic and can be louder than a gunshot! Ear defenders are a practical way to reduce the potentially harmful noise of fireworks at the same time as keeping little ears warm.

Wear gloves –  children can easily become irritated by clothing that doesn't fit or is uncomfortable so it is best to provide gloves with fingers rather than mittens so they can have full use of their hands, especially when playing with sparklers. This will reduce the risk of them removing gloves altogether.

Reflective clothing – bonfires and firework displays are usually held when it is dark and so if attending a large event where crowds flock, it is best to ensure your children has some form of reflective clothing on so that you can keep an eye on them and can always see them. Reflective tape is a cost effective way of adapting their usual winter clothes.

Footwear – the best choice of footwear for a fun-packed bonfire night is either wellies or boots. This will ensure that their feet stay nice and cosy warm as well as protecting them from any embers or firework debris that may be on the floor.

Sand and water – if you are hosting your own bonfire night make sure that you provide buckets of sand or water for when sparklers go out. It may look like they are no longer harmful but the metal is still scorching hot, and it will prevent children picking them back up off the floor.

And don’t forget that if you are buying your own fireworks make sure they are marked ‘BS7114’ which is the British Standard marking for fireworks.

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In addition to raising safety awareness for children on Bonfire Night, 3M offers Peltor Kid Passive Ear Defenders, which are a cost-effective way for parents to help ensure their children are protected against and not frightened by noise from fireworks. They are available in attractive and vibrant colours of high visibility neon pink or green for just £12.44 plus VAT (RRP). For details and to purchase a pair, visit 3Mdirect

But how would you like to win a pair of these cute ear defenders for your little one? Then you are in luck as we have been given one pair to give away to one lucky reader. You can pick between neon pink or neon green ear defenders and all you have to do to enter for a chance to win is fill in the Rafflecopter form below.

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight on the 28th October 2013

Autumn Brights from George at Asda

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Now the cold months are coming in, it's time to wrap up warm and choose clothing that will cover you up more. That doesn't mean that you have to lose the style though. Autumn is upon us and that means we will be seeing a lot of reds, oranges and yellows around and so those should be our colours of choice in the clothing stakes. Fit in with the seasons and work with them.

I have decided to kit Thomas out in new clothing ready for these colder months and lucky for me, Asda have a huge range of Autumn Brights items at the moment. 

I like to buy clothing from Asda because they have a 100 day satisfaction guarantee and I think that if they believe that their clothing will still be in great condition after this time, then the quality must be fantastic. 

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We had fun choosing a whole new outfit including outdoor wear for Thomas. We chose a nice pair of jeans and a long sleeved top as the basic elements and for when it gets chilly the hoody will keep him warm. The quilted jacket keeps up with the autumn colours but is padded and warm for when the cold hits us with some nice high-tops to match and also a beanie hat and some gloves to keep Thomas nice and toasty. 

As an avid shopper at Asda, I am used to the sizings and know what will fit my boys. Thomas is tall and thin and usually, buying bottoms is quite hard work because they either fit in length or width, not both but lucky for him, Asda do a nice range of jeans and bottoms which have an elasticated waist which helps to fit better and will grow with the child.

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The outfit and accessories fit perfectly on Thomas and look cool for the great Autumn season we are coming in to. The reds and oranges and so in season and look bright and bold and stand out loads.

The gorgeous red quilted jacket is so stylish and yet still practical. It has quite thick padding to keep Thomas warm and has small pockets too which are great for holding Thomas' gloves in.

Pumps are so in fashion at the moment too and these Hi-tops are not only pretty but have a nice warm feel to them and have lovely Autumn colours in their stripes which again, fit in with our Autumn theme. Not only that but because they are hi-tops, they keep Thomas' ankles and bottom of his legs warm which will be great for the upcoming colder months.

I love these gorgeous Autumn colours and think that dressing for the seasons makes sense and cannot wait to see what the next seasons bring.

29 September 2013

Back to School with Boots

We have now officially done a full month at school now and the routine should be just about in full swing. But what happens when the routine goes out of the window and something happens such as illnesses, accidents etc? 

Well now you can be prepared as Boots have created a Back to School Wall Chart which gives you hints, tips and advice from Boots own Health Experts and parents from the blogging community. It shows exactly what the health professionals advise, what bloggers tips are and the perfect products to help protect your children. 

To have a look at the full three pages of the wall chart for yourself, just head on over to the Boots UK blog. You can have a look to see if there are any tips that will help you and your family.

Things like taking vitamin supplements to keep the immune system in tip top shape and always having a first aid kit handy as children can fall over there own feet sometimes. Or even, with the new school term, make sure that you have some blister plasters as those new school shoes could rub and make your child uncomfortable. 

Keep an eye on our blog as there will be another post soon showing how we got on with a few of the products shown on the wall chart and what we think of the tips too. 

28 September 2013

Project 365 Week 39

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Playing with their towels on. The boys got these as a present from one of their daddy's friends. They love wearing them whilst playing after the bath. 

Even though the police bike is electrical, Charlie still loves pushing Thomas around on it. 

My parents dog, Sam, has come to stay with us whilst they are away and the boys have enjoyed keeping him company. The next day, the boys play outside whilst Sam watches on. 

It's great to have friends around. Thomas loves it when one of his school friends pops round to have a play in the garden and have a bounce on the trampoline. 

Trying on their tights from Slugs & Snails, keep an eye out this week for out review of them.

And last up is not actually a picture but instead a video of Charlie trying to ride Thomas' Micro Scooter.

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27 September 2013

Our NHS?

There is always wide spread coverage about the NHS in the news these days. It seems that not a day passes that there isn't another scandal, pay-out or cut backs to the NHS. But isn't it supposed to be for us? How come there are so many cut backs when the NHS is still much needed in our country. 

How come there are so many cut backs yet one of the temporary directors at Leeds NHS Trust was earning approximately £1,300 per day! when this could have been used for more, much needed equipment. How can the trust afford to pay so much money out then they are cutting back on equipment and other staff which are actually in demand. 

A survey conducted by First4Lawyers that looked into medical negligence stats showed that 73% think it is wrong to cut funding to the NHS and 65% of people surveyed think that the NHS waste money on things that are not needed. Things like £1,300 a day for a director I bet! 

Did you know in fact, the NHS have allocated £22billion to medical negligence lawsuits this year alone. Almost half of the people surveyed, 45% in fact, said that they would seek justice if mistreated by the NHS. Maybe if the staff weren't overworked, they would not have as many accidents and lawsuits wouldn't happen.

Is it just me that is baffled about how the government can keep cutting the things we need the most, like the NHS, yet still people are getting paid over the odds in their employment and money is being wasted on lawsuits when it actually should be the opposite. 

We should be employing more doctors and nurses so that the current ones aren't overworked and therefore not making as many mistakes and actually having a better bedside manner. 

Maybe if they focused on what the NHS needs rather than the money involved, we would have a great National Health Trust!

- Featured Post

Mission To Lose Weight

Since having children my body has changed so much. I'm not much bothered about my stretch marks but am bothered about the way my body now looks. When I had Thomas my figure still wasn't bad, well apart from stretch marks, but after Charlie my body looks horrible. 

I am a very self-conscious person so wont be showing off my stomach any time soon but I still feel ugly when wearing clothes as now my stomach and legs just look big and horrible and my stomach is very saggy which makes me feel even worse. I have the dreaded 'muffin top'!

My lifestyle needs to change!

I have decided that as soon as Charlie gets a place a nursery, I am going to join the gym. It's not bad as we have one close to us so it's easy to get to (no making excuses when there is a bus strike or traffic!). 

So now, I have the task of buying clothing to wear to the gym.

I got some great running shoes from Millet Sports which are a must. They need to be practical and fit for purpose and flexibility is greatly needed whilst out and about running. Shoes also need to be comfortable as you want to be able to run without being in pain and also durable because exercise can become very vigorous and they need to be able  to handle the pace. . 

Clothing that are suitable for exercising which are tight fitting to help hold everything in and keep everything streamline. The clothing also needs to be thin and light so I don't get overwhelmed by the heat from them. You can actually buy specially made clothing made specifically for running and I'll definitely be looking into these. 

Clothing needs to be well fitted and Millet Sports do a range of sports bras, something that every woman who exercises should be wearing. They support your boobs and help to hold them down. Well, the last thing you want is to be coming out of the gym with black eyes from your boobs not being correctly supported! They are designed to maximise performance and are made with fabric that dry quickly and eliminates rubbing leaving you feeling comfortable.

Overall, I think I am ready to get into the gym and can't wait to start to feel fitter and healthier and hopefully, in time, my figure will shrink down a little and the 'muffin tops' will disappear. 

- Featured Post

26 September 2013

Win a QV Skincare Bundle

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When QV Skincare got on touch and offered us this giveaway, I couldn't wait to tell you all. The QV range is from Australia and is a recognised and trusted brand over there. QV is one of the few brands to use glycerol in many of its products instead of the usual petroleum jelly. This is actually better for the skin as Glycerol doesn't have that greasy feeling and doesn't block pores. It just leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated. 

It is also free from SLS. SLS is found in some soaps and can irritate the skin, so the QV range is SLS free and also free from fragrance, colour, lanolin and propylene glycol to help cleanse and moisturise without irritation.

So, would you lik to win a bundle of prizes from this range? Well then, you're in luck as QV Skincare have given us a bundle to giveaway to one lucky reader. The winner will receive:
Bath Oil
Wall chart & stickers
Parent & child leaflets
QV Crayons

Also, if you cannot wait till the competition ends and want to give this range a try now then you are in luck as I have been given a 15% off code for our blog readers. Just pop to their webiste www.crawfordhealthcare.com and just simply use the code MUMMY13 at the checkout!

Now for the competition, all you have to do to enter for a chance to win is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight on the 21st October 2013

Panache AW13 Sports Bra

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If you're a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I have been moaning talking about my weight recently and finally realising that I need to do something about it. I'm not too much overweight but do have what I would call a 'saggy' tummy from being pregnant with the boys and I hate it. So I decided that I will start going to the gym and doing everything possible to lose weight and tone up. 

That's when I started looking into sports bras. This is one thing that I will definitely need when exercising as having a big bust means that vigorous movements can cause 'bouncing' and actually hurts too. After extensively looking around for the best I could find, I cam across the new Panache Sports Bra for the Autumn/Winter 2013 season. 

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The Panache Sports Bra has a ‘banish the bounce’ and has had a huge success within the sportswear market as it reduces breast bouncing by an amazing 83%. 

The bra holds each breast by supporting and reducing movement during any exercise. This new range is made with a breathable, soft and lightweight micro-fibre and sports mesh fabrics which are comfortable to wear. 

It's new style and whole range of new colours stand out against other sports bras and alongside the usual black and white bras comes the new red and raspberry ones which have neon trims too.

Not only is it a supportive comfortable sports bra, but it is bright and bold and stylish too. 

I cannot wait to get in the gym and try it out to see if it does 'banish the bounce'

25 September 2013

I've Got The Sleepy Blues

I'm sure everyone hits this point once in a while. Bored of life, sick of the mundane, repetitive living and feeling low. That's how I feel just now.

I never seem to do anything different and know exacting what I will be doing everyday.

Get up, sort the kids, do breakfast, dress the boys, have a cuppa, take Thomas to school, play with Charlie, do some blogging, make dinner, put Charlie down to sleep and do some more blogging, pick Thomas up, play with the boys, make tea, bath the boys, get a bath myself, put the boys to bed and then watch telly until we go to bed. That's it! The same thing every day.

Even sleeping is a struggle at the moment. We usually get to bed around 11pm and I just lay there, struggling to sleep, stuck in my own thoughts till 1, 2, 3 and sometimes even 4am in the morning till I eventually drift off. Then having to wake at 7.30 to do the school run again takes its toll on me.

I think this is why I am feeling low at the moment. Not because I am sad, or low or depressed but because I am tired. I don't know how to break the cycle though. What is stopping me from sleeping? It's not like I am wide awake, in fact it's the opposite, I am very tired but just can't switch off.

But how can I stop this? How can I get more sleep when my brain won't switch off? I need help but what do I do?

Wednesday Words - Super Mum

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When this quote popped up on Google, I just needed to share it.
I feel that this is a total reflection on what, probably every, mum has felt at some point during bringing up a child. I know I have felt this way many times that why I had to have this as this weeks Wednesday Words post.

You may feel like you have failed, you have done something wrong or whatever, but in your child's eyes, you are perfect!

Crazy With Twins

24 September 2013

Hotter Shoes - Octavia

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When Hotter Shoes got in touch with me asking if I would like to review a pair of their new Autumn range of shoes, I knew that this was a must especially seeing the amount of choice I could pick from. This made it difficult to pick but eventually I went for a pair that suited me. 
Hotter Shoes have been designing and making footwear now for 50 years that are not only stylish and practical but also have comfort built in. 
They believe in something called a 'Hotter moment' which is that feeling of sinking your feet into soft, cushioned comfort and realising that Hotter Shoes speak only the truth when talking about their growing range of footwear. 

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Since I am trying to get fit and lose a bit of weight at the moment, I thought a sports shoe type would be much better for me so I chose the Octavia shoes which have a moulded footbed to make them ultra supportive.

The Octavia shoes are lightweight and their moisture wicking properties keep feet fresh on the longest days. These were the reasons that I decided on this choice. I wanted a pair of shoes that would support my feet whilst I am running or doing a work out but also were light to wear and had all the usual comfort properties whilst still looking nice.

The new range of Octavia shoes have a black sole and come in 5 different colours that you can choose from, chocolate, dark green, liquorice, ruby and the colour I went for, petrol, which is a dark blue.

Usual lightweight footwear are really slim and have a snug fit but these are actually quite wide on the foot which is great for me as I have wide feet. I chose a size 5.5 and they fit perfectly for me.

Wearing them, I found them comfortable and very easy to wear and the fact that they are moulded means that my feet just sit at the right angles to give me the comfort and support I need whilst exercising. The great depth of tread on the bottom of the sole means that they will last ages and will also grip very well which is great since we are forecast for upcoming snow.

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And the biggest plus of all, they didn't need 'breaking in'! This is one problem that I have nearly always suffered with and it usually takes me ages to fully break a pair of shoes in, to the point that most times they have gone out of fashion and off of my shoe rack.

You can tell that each and every aspect of the shoes has been designed for comfort and durability which is the reason that Hotter shoes has such a big following and has customers coming back again and again.

The Octavia shoes retail at £69 per pair which initially, I thought was a bit steep but actually after wearing them and seeing how comfortable they are, I think the price is quite reasonable. You can see more about them on the Hotter Shoes website.

GIVEAWAY: Childs Farm Top-To-Toe Cleaning Kit

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Childs Farm products are mild, gentle and contain zero nasties. They come in a lovely host of fruity flavours and keep childrens hair smooth and hydrated whilst giving them oodles of bubbles to play with. You can see more information in our Childs Farm Top-To-Toe Cleaning Kit review. 

Now, you have the chance to win a set of these fab bath products as the lovely people from over at Childs Farm have given us one to give away to one of our readers. 

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight on the 14th October 2013

22 September 2013

Childs Farm Top-To-Toe Cleaning Kit

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Childs Farm was created by mum of two Joanna Jensen, who was searching for the ultimate natural and organic products When she couldn't find the perfect products, Joanna set out to make a range of toiletries that are fun and appealing to kids on the outside and have the quality product on the inside that mums will love. From there Childs Farm was born...

Children need products that are mild and gentle and which contain zero nasties. All Childs Farm products contain certified organic essential oils and do not contain Parabens or artificial colour that can irritate the skin. They are also the only children's product to use highly acclaimed Argan Oil in their ingredients.

These bath products contain scents such as strawberry and mint, tangerine and sweet orange to make sure your children are squeaky clean. Each and every part of the processes have been done in Great Britain too. Every picked strawberry, every squeezed orange, all the mixing and fixing have all been done right here in the great British countryside. 

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We were lucky to receive the newly brought out Childs Farm Top-to-toe cleaning kit which contains travel-sized bottles (100ml) of ‘Groomed to Perfection’ Shampoo for luscious locks, ‘Tame that Mane!’ Conditioner for unruly hair, and ‘Clean, Calm and Collected’ Bubble bath for sweet dreams all tucked up into a clear pouch. 

Childs Farm say:
'This award-winning, innovative and affordable range of natural and free-from toiletries for children is the first kids range to contain argan oil, providing vital hydration and nourishment helping to smooth out tangles and add elasticity to the hair making the product even more effective and enjoyable to use.'

And I have to agree with them. Since using the products, Thomas and Charlie's hair has felt a lot smoother and more healthier as well as feeling hydrated and not 'dried out'. Such a great little set and I'm sure we'll be using more of this in the future although I am sure I will buy the bigger sizes as these travel sized ones didn't last very long especially when the boys got hold of them. 

The bubble bath made loads of bubbles from just a few drops and the scent it emitted was lovely and even made a fun game as Thomas tried to guess what was in each of the products by scent alone. 

Childs Farm Top-to-toe cleaning kit for kids retails at £9.35 and can be purchased online at Childs Farm or at Ocado, John Lewis and various other stockists too.  

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21 September 2013

Project 365 Week 38

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We have tried to be outside as much as possible this week. The weather hasn't been great so we have been playing in the garden or on the street mostly but have still had some great fun. 

Thomas loves his trampoline and is forever bouncing around on it or just running around the inside of it and this photo is just a great one of him reaching for the sky. 

Charlie having one of his sulks! No, I'm kidding, he is actually messing about here, pretending to be upset. He's a bit too melodramatic and may end up in some weird Easties soap storyline when he's older. 

My brother has collected cars for years and still has the ones that he got when he was a child and today he let Thomas take a few of them to play with. Thomas loves this blue car and likes the fact that his uncle gave him it.

We received a new children's magazine called DC Super Friends through today to review and the boys enjoyed playing with the toys that came with it. 

Getting outdoors is a breath of fresh air for the boys and meant that Thomas got to try out his new Micro Scooter that I won (you can read about that here) for him. 

Again, another day out side and this time Thomas was on his bike, with his helmet on of course, and Charlie was pushing around his tractor. Even though Charlie has a lot of ride-ons he actually prefers to just push them around.

This morning I woke up to a little boy snuggling up to me. It is so nice to have snuggles in a morning.

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DC Super Friends Magazine

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This week we have received a copy of the newly launched magazine, DC Super Friends which is aimed at 2-5 year olds. 

DC Super Friends includes stories about the super friends Batman, Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern and many others but is written in a way that makes it suitable for little ones. It is also packed with lots of creative learning quizzes and activities for children to get involved with.

It has colouring games, cut out and keep items and make and wear activities which are all great to help stimulate childrens minds and get them being creative. DC Super Friends stimulates the imagination of pre-school boys through play activities and great stories of role models uniting through friendship.

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The character fact files is great for young learners who are just starting to get involved into the world of the super friends as it means that they can learn more about the characters and every issue comes with a free toy so children can become even more involved with the characters. The first issue comes with 2 communicators  (walkie talkies) which are great for children who enjoy spy missions and being sneaky to find things. 

The magazine includes a fan mail section where children can send in their lovely pictures of the characters and they will be printed in the magazine and you can also win brilliant prizes in their competitions too. 

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It has a lovely story called Robot Rampage which is not too long in length and I read it to the boys as a bedtime story and it seemed the perfect length for that. I can tell that this magazine will be a hit in our household and we will probably have to start collecting the next ones in the coming weeks.

The magazine retails at only £2.99, which is a good price for a children's magazine especially when it comes with a gift each time. 

20 September 2013

Sudocrem Care & Protect

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As a parent, you learn as you go, you buy what you prefer and take advice from people whom have gone through everything before you. The one thing I have learned is that Sudocrem is a saviour. 

Now they have brought out a new cream. Sudocrem Care & Protect is an innovative new nappy rash product that offers triple protection against the causes of nappy rash.

It creates a protective barrier that seals in the skin’s natural moisture and protects even the most delicate skin against external irritants. It conditions the skin with Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 which help to protect the skin. Pro Vitamin B5 has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory on skin, and acts both as a moisturiser and an aid to stimulate the skin’s natural healing processes. Sudocrem Care & Protect acts as a barrier to protect delicate skin from the bad stuff, like the chemicals in urine and poo, and from chafing and rubbing.
I love Sudocrem and couldn't wait to give their new cream a try. I found that it is similar to the original Sudocrem whilst also being an entirely different product. 

Sudocrem Care & Protect still has that nice scent and protecting properties just like original Sudocrem but to differ, it is smoother and easier to apply.
The flip top bottle make application easy as it can be done one handed and is great especially now that you can just squeeze it out with ease.

The cream itself is very smooth and soft on babies skin and doesn't dry it out, it feels hydrated. 

Disclaimer: I received this item for the purpose of the review and will always give my honest opinion. Writing in italic is based on facts from the website or press release about the product.

19 September 2013

In The Night Garden Magic Mirror

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When KD UK got in touch with us and asked if we wanted to be part of their Mumbassadors programme, I was so excited. Our tasks, as part of the role is to write about their products and show how they have functioned for us. We have, over the years, bought loads of children's toys from the KD UK range (formerly known as Inspiration Works) and the boys love so many of the characters that they make toys for. 

We have received the In the Night Garden Magic Mirror for our first review which is suitable for children over 18 month old. It looks a little like a children's laptop and is bright and boldly coloured. Opening up the flip lid, it has a mirror and some little buttons. I was a bit confused as to why it has a mirror at first but it all became apparent as Charlie started to play with it.

The way it works is that you press the buttons of each character and the corresponding character will shine up on the mirror like 'magic' hence the name Magic Mirror. 

Not only that but as your child gets older and starts to be able to relate what the toy is asking to what they can see on the pictures, you can start to go through fun questions and try to get them right. This can be by using the pictures in the mirror or the numbers and colours on the buttons. 

KD UK say:
With this Magical Mirror your baby will discover colours, quantities and enjoy all of the characters original songs and lights. Images will magically appear alongside your little one's reflection in the mirror. Featuring the sounds of IgglePiggle, Macca Pacca, Upsy Daisy and the Tombliboos!

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I like the fact that the In The Night Garden Magic Mirror is fun and colourful but also educational which is always a great trait for a toy to have. The fact that you can learn as you play means that it is helping a child to develop and grow.

Both, Thomas and Charlie have enjoyed trying this toy out and even the usual rough play and throwing in temper tantrums haven't caused any problems with they toy. It is very robust which is definitely important in young children's toys. 

Seeing the eyes of your child light up as the different character magically appear along side them in the mirror is a truly beautiful moment to see as at that moment, they believe in the magic of the toy. 

You can find more about the In the Night Garden  and the Magic Mirror on the KD UK website

18 September 2013

Wednesday Words - Family

The one thing that holds everything together in my life, is my family. I couldn't survive without them and we help each other so much. It's not just about lending each other money when we are short, but it's a should to cry on, a helping hand or just a babysitter when you need a break.

Family doesn't even need to be blood related. It is the people that you form the biggest bond with, the people that glue your life together and the people that you will always be thinking about. 

Family is not an important thing.                      
                                It's everything.
Michael J. Fox 

Crazy With Twins

17 September 2013

Win a ‘Gran’ Trip to a Canary Island with Jet2holidays!

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Sunny Gran Canaria is still one of Europe’s hottest holiday destinations, I have always wanted to go there and one day hopefully I will get to visit, but for now one special blogger could be heading there this autumn thanks to a fantastic competition from Jet2holidays

Jet2holidays are on the lookout for an adventure loving blogger to travel with them to Gran Canaria, and share all of the delights that this island has to offer with their followers.
What’s more any blogger can be in with the chance to win this trip.
The fab getaway includes a seven night stay with half board at a 5-star Gran Canaria hotel for the winner and a very lucky friend.

That lucky blogger might just be you as all you need to do is tell Jet2holidays in 200 words or less why you’re the best blogger for the job.

Now, if I didn't have the kids to think of then this would be straight up my alley. Getting to go to such a beautiful island and not having to pay for the pleasure? Yes please... Hmmm now where can I hide the kids for a week, I'm sure my mum would have them (only kidding, she would rip her hair out having to get up with them during the night!)

Since we cannot go, I thought I would be a nice blogger and write about this competition so all fellow bloggers can enter and have the opportunity to win this fantastic holiday. So if you win, please do give me a mention and pop back to let me know how you great time away went.

You can find out more about this exciting competition on the Jet2Holidays news page, as well as how to enter.

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16 September 2013

Yoomi 8oz Feeding System Review and Giveaway

Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Yorkshire Blog

Feeding babies and getting formula to the right temperature can be hard sometimes. Microwaving can be hit and miss with heat and can heat bottles too quick meaning you then have to wait for it to cool down and heating in hot water can take forever.

The Yoomi 8oz Feeding System states that it can warm a bottle to it's ideal temperature in just 60 seconds.

Yoomi bottles have a clever integrated warmer which is activated by simply pressing the button on the side which causes the solution inside to generate heat. The bottle can then be tipped and whilst the baby is feeding the milk flows around the warmer which heats to breast milk temperature (around 32-34 degrees).

Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Yorkshire Blog

The Yoomi bottles now come with the Yoomi charging pod. You simply place the warmer into the pod and then can recharge it in the microwave in about 2 minutes using a “heat-shake, heat-shake” process, making recharging a lot quicker. 

Each bottle has an extra wide neck which does make preparation of the feeds much easier and cleaning too as I can get the bottle brush inside the bottle with ease. They have a natural breast shaped teat which makes it easier for babies to easy latch on and the bottles have 6 air vents which help reduce colic.

Since my boys are too old for bottles, I tried the Yoomi bottle for the first time whilst looking after my nephew. He is only 11 month old and loves nice warm bottles and will turn his nose up if it is too cold so I thought it was the perfect time to give the Yoomi bottle a go. 

The instructions are very easy to follow and take you down a step by step route of how to set the recharging pod. The time can differ depending on the power of your microwave but the instructions show how you will know that the warmer is fully charged and actually it was correct.

I think that because the warmer is just warming the bit of milk that the baby is drinking rather than the full bottle, it makes for quicker warming and means that the full bottle doesn't have to be wasted if all is not used straight away. 

Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Yorkshire Blog

Unlike other warmers, there is no second guessing whether the temperature is correct, Yoomi warms to perfect breast milk temperature every time!

How would you like to win one of these? Well you're in luck then because the lovely people from over at Yoomi have offered us a Yoomi 8oz Feeding System to give away to one of our lucky readers. All you have to do to for a chance to win is enter over on our Facebook Page.

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the compulsory entries, the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

15 September 2013

Project 365 Week 37

Yorkshire Blog, Parent Blog, Mummy Blogging,

This has been Thomas' first full week at school so we have been a little quieter. The fact that he is now at school till 3pm means that he gets tired a lot and so we don't do as much as normal.

We had a play at the park and I love this photo of Thomas on the climbing frame. We also had a walk through some woods and the boys loved hiding behind the trees and running around.

Every now and then I just need to get a photo of Charlie eating, it is his favourite thing to do, eat! He loves food and is forever munching on something. 

It was Charlie's birthday the week before this and so as to not make Thomas feel left out, my sister bough him some paints so he had something to open too. He enjoyed painting with them and trying to learn how to go between the lines.

The next photo is of Charlie and his version of telling us to shush. It is quite funny to see and he usually ends up with a finger up the nose and hissing at us.

We popped along to a small park which has a few animals there. Thomas and Charlie enjoyed seeing the small animals close up and this rabbit wasn't even bothered that they were so close.

Last up is Thomas playing with some skittles. Both boys enjoy playing with them although when Charlie throws the ball it ends up going backwards rather than to the skittles but it doesn't matter.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

13 September 2013

Perfect Items For Babies and Children

Mummy Blogging, Yorkshire Blog, Parent Blog,

As a parent I know just how much we have a need to make our babies and children comfortable in life and so will forever be trying out new products, new brands and even a totally knew way of living just to make sure our children are comfy.

Finding the right products for you and your child can be hard, especially when there is such a vast range out there, but what do we need? What are the products that are just a waste and what are the ones that are a godsend, the perfect products?

Well, only you can answer that question...

Every product is made for an individual and as we know, everyone is different. What one person may like another will hate and so a definite answer on this subject is not possible. It is down to personal preference.  

When you go to buy a baby product make sure you take in to account how it will fit into your life. There is no point buying a certain cot just because one of your friends said it is good because, what if it doesn't fit in your space? Measure the spaces you have a thoroughly check items online using blogs (like this one) to see what others have thought about the things you are buying. 

Make a list of everything you think you will need and then go through it buying the products that fit in with your life, your style and house better. 
Look online for deals and try to make multiple purchases from the same place to save on delivery costs. 

I remember someone telling me that I should not, in no circumstances, waste my money on a moses basket because they take up space and babies don't actually like them. This was actually far from the truth because both of my boys preferred sleeping in a moses basket rather than a cot. So makes sure you go on your own intuition as a parent can only learn by their own mistakes.

If you want something different then that is up to you. Go for a pair of sheepskin boots as they will be perfect for these winter months anyway.
Pay a bit extra for the pram which is a bit more colourful or pay less if you don't have as much money. Or even baby wear rather than using a pram. It is up to you, you are the parent and you have to live with what you buy.

Yes, do take other peoples advice into consideration but at the end of the day, that's all it is, advice. You choose what you think is best.

It doesn't have to be the perfect product for everyone, just the perfect product for you!

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12 September 2013

Neighbourly Love

The one thing I love about living on our street is that it is full of quiet people. About 80% of our residents are elderly and so we don't have horrible dance music blaring out at all hours. 

I love this though, they are all pleasant and we are on good terms with all of our local residents. The fact that I have lived on this street since I was born means that everyone knows me and I know that we can protect each other in a sense. We always check on our neighbours to make sure they are okay and will even pop to the shops for them if they are stuck in doors. I think being nice is the best way to a happy relationship with neighbours.

This infographic from Swinton shows where the best places to live are which have neighbourly spirit:

Find out the regional winners in the Swinton Insurance Good Neighbours Championships

I am so glad to see that Yorkshire is a joint winner as I do love our County. I think that it is full of nice people who are always happy to help and socialise with each other.

Good on the people from the North who seem to be the most neighbourly.

Then it seems that Wrexham has totally beat off any competition as far as the most neighbourly City goes. They are listed in the top 3 of every option. It seems that if you want to have a nice area to live in, then we should all move to Wrexham! 

What makes our street even more special for us though is that my parents live only 3 doors away from us and they own our house so we know that we are always safe and have them looking over our house when we go away and vice versa and because we have lived on this street for over 25 years, the neighbours are happy to protect and check on each other.

I am a stay at home mum and so am usually found at home looking after the boys. For this reason, I take in any parcels that get delivered to neighbours whilst they are out and they do the same for us if we are out. Regularly this happens from the house at the end of our street as they work long hours and last month the lovely woman brought me a bouquet of flowers round to say thank you. How nice of her to do that. She didn't even need to though as I am happy to help.

It is so nice to live somewhere that you feel safe and I am happy to say that I live in Yorkshire where our neighbours get on with each other.

Having a nice community can make living in your area the best thing ever. 

- Featured Post

Chicken Pox Saga - Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

I know, I know, we are way behind with this!

Well, with everything that has been going on at the minute. The busy school holidays and then the first year at full time school, it means that these posts have slipped but I am here now. Back to write them all up and show you our tips to keeping sane during the horrible annoyance which is Chicken Pox.


Whilst Thomas and Charlie were suffering from Chicken Pox, we decided to waste time by baking. I mean, what's not to love? You get to measure, mix, pour, spread and then eat, result!

We made a Victoria sponge cake with a jam and cream filling which was so yummy.

To make this cake, you will need:
200g self-raising flour
200g sugar
200g butter
4 eggs
2 tbsp milk

500ml double cream
Vanilla essence
Raspberry jam
  1. Pre-heat the oven to  200C and butter 2 x 8inch cake tins. 
  2. Mix the butter and the sugar together until they get a bit 'fluffy' and then add the rest of the ingredients a bit at a time until it is smooth.
  3. Divide the mixture between both tins and place in the oven for around 20 minutes until golden brown (See Tip Below!) then remove from the tins and place on a cooling rack.
  4. Whisk the cream until it is set and add the vanilla essence.
  5. Smooth the jam over one of the cakes and then dollop the cream on top. Then add the second cake to the top of this to finish the cake.

And there you have it. A lovely cake and a great way to spend time with your children.

Tip: To make sure a cake is cooked throughout, stick a metal skewer into the middle of the cake for a few seconds. When you pull it out, if it has cake mix on it then the cake needs a few minutes longer but if it is clear, the cake is cooked and ready to be taken out.

11 September 2013

Win a Lights & Sounds Train with Laura

A few weeks back we reviewed the new Dinosaur Train toys from TOMY. In this review, it included the Lights & Sounds Train with Laura which the boys absolutely love and are always playing with.

Not only does it include the dinosaur Laura but it has a light at the front and makes sounds too (check out our video to see it in action), you can then purchase the rest of the dinosaurs to complete the collection.

It is the prefect Christmas present for any child. Yes I am talking about Christmas already but you can never be too prepared!

Now, you have the chance to win one of these fab toys as the lovely people from over at TOMY have given us one to give away to one of our readers.

Mummy Blogging, Yorkshire Blog, Parent Blog,

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight on the 30th Septmber 2013