30 September 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. 

26 September 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?

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.

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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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.

16 September 2013

Yoomi 8oz Feeding System Review and Giveaway

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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).

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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. 

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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.

13 September 2013

Perfect Items For Babies and Children

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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

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.

Baking

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

Filling
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.

2 September 2013

Argh, Me Hearties

Being in a family with 3 males, it was inevitable that I would get stuck doing boyish things all the time. I was dreading the guns, fighting and all the usual male behaviour that I would have to put up with from them. But actually, so far anyway, there hasn't been much that I haven't liked. Thomas does like guns and a lot of boyish toys but he's not really fussed and will play with most things as long as it stimulates his mind. 

The one thing that both of the boys are in to at the moment is pirates. 

With cartoons, films and musicals around at the moment that all base around this, it has always been a favourite of the family. Thomas gets a bit obsessed though. His pyjamas have to have pirates on them, or a boat or something associated with pirates. 

Even places we go end up turning in to some sort of pirate game and it is great to see as it shows just how much imagination kids do in fact have.

Mummy Blogging, Yorkshire Blog, Parent Blog,Lakes become the swirling sea

Sticks become swords

Climbing frames become their scurry ship

Children's imaginations are so beautiful and a priceless tool for keeping them occupied during the holidays. So that got me to thinking, could we possibly go somewhere and do things based on this love for pirates?

Avast! Me hearties. Yes we can. 

There is fun to be had in our local town centre as they have opened a beach for the school holidays. Not only is there sand, water and bbq food, but they also have a pirate ship there which you can walk around and Thomas loves this. Getting to walk round and act like a real pirate, how much fun is that.

You can now even go on pirate family holidays at the Pirates Village, Gran Santa Ponsa where you can have an amazing experience playing pirate games and going on treasure hunts around the whole resort. Even the food and drink are fit for a captain. 

How amazing is that? Not only do your children get to have the most fun time ever, but you can top up your tan in sunny Majorca at the same time. 

It is so nice that both boys have this love for pirates in common and I think we'll be finding more pirate related things to do to keep them both occupied in the future. 

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1 September 2013

The Big 2... Oh!

Isn't it funny how life just seems to fly past sometimes?

Charlie will be turning 2 year old on Wednesday and I really don't know where the time has gone. It seems like only last week that we were bringing him home from the hospital to meet his big brother for the first time.

It feels like we have done nothing in these 2 years and like I have blinked my eyes and flown forward in time.

So, like any other parent usually does in these younger years, I've planned a little tea party for Charlie so we can all celebrate his birthday. Of course all the family will be there but also, a few friends are coming too, little ones to help celebrate with us.
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For that reason, I had planned to make up a few party bags so that the children would have some little bits to take home with them after the party. I have looked around to buy the little trinkets and sweets that come inside but it all seemed to add up and become quite expensive. 
I then came across these party bags which come pre-made to save the hassle of buying everything ourself. Not only that but there is so much choice to suit different ages and for girls or boys. What a fantastic idea!

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Then I thought we would need some little toys for games such as pass the parcel. I could wrap them and wrap them and wrap them until we had a present big enough for children to pass around and play the game to pass the time. 
I found that Hawkins Bazaar do a great range of small pocket money toys which would be perfect as little extras to put into the pass the parcel and that they also do little retro toys which would come in handy as the main toy inside the parcel itself. 

It's so great to be able to get a few things in one place and no it means that all the party things are sorted and will be ready to give out on his birthday.

I can't wait!

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