28 January 2015

Week 39/40 Pregnancy Update: OMG, I'm Having a Baby!

Being pregnant with your first baby is a totally different thing to when you are pregnant with your second, third, forth baby. Your first baby is about finding out all these things about pregnancy, learning as you go, admiring every second and dreaming about that little person that you get when it's all over. 

When you already have children, it is totally different. You have done it all before so in a way, you are just working through the motions. The sickness, 12 week scan, feeling baby move for the first time, 20 week scan and finding out the gender, kicks getting harder, heartburn and then labour. 

I've followed this list and ticked everything off as I went, but then tonight I realised something. Yes, labour will happen soon and that will be the last thing off my pregnancy list, but after that, I'll have a baby. 

A baby! My third baby. How did this happen. Like, I obviously know how it happened, but, after going through this list of pregnancy timings, I kind of forgot that there would be a baby at the end of things. 

And that knocked me for six!

Today, I am 39 weeks and 5 days. Between now and the 9th of February (which is when the hospital have to induce me) my baby has got the chance to make his own decision on his birthday and arrive any day he wants. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

At 40 weeks, the baby will be on average, around 51cm in length and have a weight of 7lb 6oz. He will now understand my voice and will be more comfortable around me over anyone else when arrives. That is why skin to skin contact is so important. For all those months, bump has heard my heartbeat constantly and so, when the skin to skin happens, it calms down the baby after such a big birthing experience. 

So, at the moment, it is just a waiting game. He will arrive when he is ready but hopefully soon as I, and the rest of the family, cannot wait to meet him and get baby cuddles. 

27 January 2015

Baby and Toddler Event at Asda

It's come to that time again wher Asda have their Baby and Toddler Event. The event that any parent looks out for and that mums to be can stock pile everything ready for their babies arrival. 

I love these events as it means that I can get some great deals on things that I was already going to buy. That's why I always wait for these events to come up before I start to collect things. Namely, baby bottles because, as always, the fab Tommee Tippee bottles are in the event for only £9.81 for a pack of 6. What's more, this includes the coloured ones too which are just extra cute.

When it comes to bath products and wipes, I always choose Johnson's as they are gentle on baby's skin and their scent is divine. The Johnson's baby Skincaring Essentials Box is £10 and includes near enough every Johnson's product that you can think of, all inside the cute box which is perfect as a nappy storage box for when baby arrives. 

The Johnson's Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes Multipack are £7.97 and includes 12 packs of their wipes. That is so cheap for Johnson's wipes. So much so that I have actually ordered 5 of these boxes so that I have enough to last ages. 

For sleep time, this cute Chicco Goodnight Stars Projector Blue is only £15 and comes in either blue or pink. I love this as not only is it a night light, but it is a projector too. The enchantment of the projected starts and the relaxing musical background help baby to sleep and soothe little ones. 

Then, getting on to the more expensive of the baby products, you can pick up this lovely Mamas & Papas Barnie Buggy for only £60 in the Baby and Toddler event. This cute stripy pushchair is suitable for girls and boys with its yellow, stand out, colour frill. It's Mamas & Papas so is a name that you can trust and, at that price, it's a steal. 

The Asda's Baby & Toddler is on now until Sunday 8th February both online and in store. You can find all these bargains and much more on the Asda website

26 January 2015

Aldi Baby & Toddler Range

I'm sure you all know by now, that I am due my baby this week, on Friday in fact, so when I see that a supermarket is having a baby & toddler event, I make it my mission to pop in and see what deals they have on offer for me to stock up on. 

This week is the turn of Aldi, whose Baby & Toddler range goes on sale on the 29th January and we have been lucky enough to be sent out some of the range to try out before the range goes live, and I can tell you now, they have some fab items coming up, perfect for babies. 

Whether you are stocking up for your bump or buying gifts for pregnant friends, there is so much to choose from at Aldi. 

Muslin cloths are a must when you have a newborn. Sickness is a daily occurrence and so being prepared and having a muslin cloth close by is a great idea. I also find that they are great for covering up whilst breastfeeding too. These from Aldi are £3.29 for a pack of 3 which a cute owl on one of them. 

2 gorgeous blankets arrived, a fleece blanket (£2.79) which has a cute owl embellishment on the front, so suitable for us as we have an owl theme running through most of the babies items. We then also received a gorgeous blue cellular blanket (£2.49) which is truly stunning and so cosy, perfect for a newborn bump. 

I love hooded baby towels as they are so comfy for little ones, once they've had a bath and need warming up quickly. They hug their head and protect them from the cold. This one from Aldi is only £3.49 and comes in a gorgeous white towelling fabric and, since we are having a boy, we received the one with blue edging and an aeroplane theme. 

Babygrows, the one thing that is essential for newborns. My boys lived in them for the first few months of their lives as I find that babies are more comfortable in them as they are snuggly. This 3 pack that we received is so sweet as they have an elephant design with a white and grey colour-way. 

So, so many baby and toddler items will be in the range which goes on sale on the 29th January. But do hurry as stock never lasts long and you don't want to miss out on these fab products. You can find out more information on the Aldi website

25 January 2015

Cosatto Ooba Duck Egg Travel System - Initial Thoughts

A few weeks back I was privileged to be invited to the Cosatto SS15 Press Event at their HQ in Bolton (you can tea about my day here). Being a mummy to be, I was excited to have a sneak peek at their new designs as ranges and it was great to test out and have a go at the pushchairs before I decided on which one I wanted for bump. 

After much thought, and loads of deliberation, I just had to go for the Cosatto Ooba in Duck Egg. I mean, it just oozes style and prettiness, whilst being sturdy and so practical. 

The Cosatto Ooba is the cream of the crop when it comes to luxury pushchairs, and being a Cosatto, it means that it comes with everything you need for a pushchair and more. With a rain cover for each of the seat, carrycot and car seat units, footmuff and a coordinating changing bag, you literally are, ready to go with the Cosatto Ooba.

Ooba’s compact folding lightweight chassis and the 2-way multi-height handle means that using this pram is super easy and simple. The brake is on the handle so is easy to click on and off without having to search for it with your feet. Even the wheels are easy to clean as they are quick-release and so can be taken off for cleaning, as can the carrycot liner. It has a luxury leatherette fabric and exquisite tailoring which stands out from the crowd too.

Lightweight aluminium chassis
All round suspension
Leatherette handle with adjustable height (99 – 108cm)
Flip-over handlebar means no need to remove the seat unit to change direction
Compact, easy to fold and carry
Quick-release handle mounted brake
Quick-release removable wheels
Lockable front swivel wheels

I love the chassis of the pram. It is huge and sturdy, so durable and I know that my baby will be safe in the care of it. 
It's a bit bigger than other prams too which is great for my husband who usually struggles when it comes to pushing prams. He has a bad back and so cannot lean forward to push small prams. The fact that the handle on the Ooba rises so high means that he won't have a problem with pushing it. 

Suitable from birth
Comfy lie flat bed – perfect for newborn
Removable apron
Carry handle built into hood
Removable and washable liner for easy cleaning
Carrycot suitable for occasional overnight sleeping
UPF 50+ sunshade protection hood
Toy loops in hood

Seat Unit
Suitable from 6 months to approximately 15kg (3 years old)
Cosy Toes with zip off reversible liner
Duo Directional™ mode (in or out facing seat)
Multi-position recline
Multi-position adjustable calf support
Removable bumper bar and cover
5 point safety harness
UPF 50+ sunshade protection hood
Toy loops in hood

Hold Duck Egg Car Seat
Group 0+ suitable from birth to 13kg/29lbs
Easy to get from A to B without waking baby
Rearward facing on front and rear vehicle seats
5 point harness with quick release buckle
Free head hugger, tummy and chest pads

I adore the Duck Egg design. The colour is boyish but still unisex enough to be suitable for a girl too. The leatherette fabric just gives it that elegant edge and the patterned inner ouzes style. 

So far I cannot fault the Cosatto Ooba Duck Egg Travel System. Not only does it come with everything you will need for travelling in style, but it is so robust and durable that I am putting my full trust in it to protect my baby whilst we are out in the big wide world. 

I cannot wait to push little bubs in this and show it off to the world and will be back in a few weeks with an update as to how we are getting on with using the pram and our overall opinion on it. 

For more information on the Cosatto Ooba Duck Egg Travel System or to check out other products available, check out the Cosatto website

24 January 2015

Baby Wear from House of Fraser

I'm sure everyone has heard of House of Fraser, the department store that is probably the most sought after place to go when you are wanting to buy designer brands and splash the cash. Not only do they offer gorgeous fashion for men and women, but they do fabulous children's ranges too. 

When I was offered to try and find a baby outfit for £30, I assumed that this would be a challenge. I mean, even children's brands can be expensive sometimes, so I wasn't expecting much to be honest. But I was wrong and managed to do quite well within the budget since they have some great kids and baby offers on at the moment. 

So, what did I choose?

Pumpkin Patch Baby Boys Long Sleeve All In One
Pumpkin Patch is a fab brand that has grown throughout the years and their in-house design team draw on inspiration from the kids in their lives to ensure each garment is fresh and fun with the distinctive Patch signature.

This gorgeous bold red suit is perfect for a stylish little baby with its ocean theme. Super soft material will keep bubs cosy warm and will be gentle against his skin and the popper fastenings means that we have easy access for nappy changes. 

Lilly & Sid Baby Boys Fox Appliqué Sleepsuit
Lilly & Sid are a boutique brand that have beautiful designs and super soft specially selected cotton to make sure that the babies in your life and in the best possible comfort.

This sleepsuit, with its cute navy and red stripes and it brown cuffs that match the fox appliqué, is a truly stunning item. Again, with poppers for easy access, it washes so well and is lovely and soft to touch. 

When it comes to baby wear, bibs are an essential item. The amount of times little babies throw up, mixed with their dribbling which only gets worse when they're teething, they are a must have item. 

Kite Baby Boys Mouse Bandana Bib
This is such a great design of bib, the pretty little mice on the front and matching red edging is super cute. Bandana bibs are so stylish for little ones to wear and seem to be everywhere at the moment.
A very generous sized bib that will fit bubs for a while to come. 

Name It All Over Print Bib
Again, a bandana bib, the Name It bib stands out with our favourite theme, owls. With a basic cream colour and owl repeated pattern throughout, it is such a simple yet beautiful design.
This bib is quite small so will fit for the first few months. I like that it's a snug fit though as it means that it will protect bubs chin from dribble and stop him from getting a rash. 

Overall, I am so impressed with the amount of baby clothing that I could get and cannot wait for bubs to arrive (due next Friday!!!) so that he can wear them. To check out the deals for yourself, visit the House of Fraser website

23 January 2015

My Top 5 Baby Must Haves

Since I only have a week left until I am due my third little boy, I thought I would write a post about my top 5 baby 'must have' items. Now, these aren't essentials as I'm sure we all know that we need sleepsuits and babygrows. These are more about the products that I love and will be using with bubs.

Guidelines say that covers should not be used with babies and so blankets of sleeping bags are advised. I have bought the Mr Moose Grobag for bubs as not only is is super cute with its snowflake embroidery, loveable appliqué and the Mr Moose character, but it is also a 3.5 tog sleeping bag so will keep bubs snuggly and warm throughout the cold night. 

When it comes to travel systems, there are so many baby Pushchairs/Prams to choose from. From strollers, to 2 in 1's, 3 in 1's, it can get so confusing when trying to purchase the perfect one for you. I like to have the full kit, the biggy when it comes to prams, including a carrycot and carseat, so everything is an all-in-one and matching. 

We decided on the Cosatto Ooba Duck Egg Travel System which has everything you need in a pram. Huge, robust wheels just in case the snow decides to make a re-appearance, complete with rain-covers for every seat unit, a cosy toes and a matching bag just to complete the look. This is one product that I cannot wait to get using!

Finding something for my baby to sleep in that is not only comfortable, but easy to squeeze at the side of my bed and makes for easy access during the night has been hard work. Cots are just too big and bulky for newborns to sleep in and mean that you can't easily access your baby during the night without having to actually get out of bed. 

So instead, we will be getting a SnuzPod 3 in 1 Bedside Crib which has a see through zip-down mesh wall so that we can easily view our baby during the night and have simple access to him. And since it is smaller, it can be placed right next to the bed too. 

Even though I will be starting off by breastfeeding, I do plan on mix feeding after a while too. The only problem I have with this, is trying to get a bottle made in a hurry as, when a baby wants a bottle, they want it right now, that minute. But boiling water and making the bottle, cooling it down all takes time. 

That's why I've got the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine which will prepare a bottle in less than two minutes. First it filters water, then an initial hot shot of water kills any bacteria present in the formula and helps it to dissolve before topping up to the desired amount ready for feeding time. How fab is that?!

And then it comes to changing bags. There are so many brands and types out there that it can be quite confusing as to which is best to get. Well not for me. I have always wanted a Pink Lining changing bag and so have the Blooming Gorgeous Changing Bag in the Wise Owl design. 

Not only is this a super cute bag in this design which matches perfectly with the owl theme that we have running through bumps things, but it has the gorgeous statement pink lining inside and so many compartments to hold bottles, nappies, and anything we need for bump. I really cannot wait to have this on the back of the pram, full with everything we need for bubs. 

So, that's it, my top 5 products that I can't wait to use when bubs arrives. Not only do these products stand out from the crowd with regards to the pram and changing bag, but they are also practical and will help speed up feeding and the sleeping routine. 

What is your must have baby item? Is there one thing that you just couldn't live without?

22 January 2015

Sales Galore at Shoetique

Shoetique opened in 1992 finally venturing into the online world in 2009 and are now one of the leading online footwear retailers in the UK. Taking their 30 years' worth of experience in the footwear industry to bring you the highest quality shoes. Focused around delivering a 5-star service to their customers and are currently rated the No1 footwear retailer in the UK by Trustpilot. 

When I was given a budget of £40 to try and purchase a pair of shoes for myself, I assumed that it would be a hard task but I was wrong. Shoetique have an amazing January sale on at the moment, great deals of up to 50% off top branded shoes. Not only that, but this week, they have a great deal of the day on FitFlops whereby every day this week, one pair in their range has a price cut to give amazing savings. 

I actually managed to pick myself 2 pairs of shoes for under £35! And here's what I chose.

The Heavenly Feet Bounty are mule sandals. The cross-over red fabric straps have a buckle feature on the side for added detail. They have a 3 inch wedge heel with a 1 inch platform at the front.
With a clip on design and soft faux leather linings, the cushioned foot-bed gives amazing comfort, so much so that it doesn't even feel like I'm wearing heels. 
The bright, bold colour stands out a mile and shoes off the shoes and their amazing style. 

Mustang Shoes £17.50 in light grey
These Mustang pumps come in various colours but I picked the light grey as I thought that they had a lovely summery look to them. They are an easy slip on design with an elasticated front for added ease when getting on and off
Complete with a tartan textile linings and a soft cushioned insole to bring excellent comfort and have a hard wearing textured rubber sole for added grip and stability. 

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of both pairs of shoes, the customer service I have received and the fast delivery that I experienced. If you want to check out that amazing deals that they have at the moment, check out the Shoetique website.

20 January 2015

Bazaar Bag From Beanbag Bazaar

When Beanbag Bazaar got in touch with me asking if we would like to review a Bazaar Bag, I couldn't say yes fast enough. I knew that it would be one thing that the boys would love, but also, I assumed that it would be great for me, being so heavily pregnant. 

So, a bit about the Bazaar Bag.

The Bazaar Bag is the staple beanbag from Beanbag Bazaar. Their original, big and bold bean bag. Coming in with an approximate size of 180cm x 140cm, it is a huge chunk it in the size stakes. For extra piece of mind, the whole beanbag has been double stitched for extra strength and the inner beans are locked in with 2 zips to stop any from escaping. 

The size of this beanbag means that it can easily fit two adults on it and can be shaped into four different seating positions although the boys just love the jump and splat where you land position! Available in 8 colours, we decided on aqua as I knew eventually it would go into the boys room and this colour matches perfectly with their bedrooms theme. 

When we received the beanbag, it arrived in 2 huge boxes. One containing the outer beanbag with some beans included inside, the other box had a huge bag of beans inside it which we put straight into the beanbag to plump it out into it's fullest shape. 

The Bazaar Bag is huge to say the least. It's waterproof material means that it can be used outdoors, although when not in use, it must be stored inside, and it's bright, bold colouring stands out so much.

First of all, for the boys, this is the perfect item. They sit on the Bazaar Bag whilst reading, playing, watching television, anything really. They even fell asleep on it the other evening which was so adorable. I guess it is just that comfortable that they couldn't resist having a snooze.

For me though, being 8 and a half months pregnant means that I struggle to get comfortable but now I lay on the Bazaar Bag and relax whilst the beans inside the bag mould to my bump and give my body comfort to lay in a position that would usually hurt to do so.

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with the Bazaar Bag. It is essentially a piece of portable furniture that can be taken to anywhere inside the house and into the garden too. The quality material makes it durable and it's easily movable whilst also giving support whilst sat on it and being amazing comfortable too.

To view more information on the Bazaar Bag, check out the Beanbag Bazaar website.

The UK's Most Mischievous Toddler

I'm sure we all remember that one time that our children did something so mischievous that you just wanted the ground to swallow you up where you stood. I remember a few times over the years with the boys. 

Firstly, when Thomas decided to play with the talc powder and made our living room look like a snowy wonderland. Yes, it smelt nice but it was a bugger to get off the carpet.

The time when they decided to try our mummy's make up and covered themselves in mascara, really expensive mascara. The one that I had just bought and then needed throwing away as they had ruined the bristles. 

Or maybe when they wanted to see what it would be like if it rained popcorn and threw a whole bag over the bannister, right down the stairs. You wouldn't think it would be hard to clean, but trying to get toffee popcorn off a carpeted floor took hours as it has really got stuck in. 

I can't complain though as I'm sure every child has done something mischievous in their lifetime. my mum recalls the time that my sister and I went downstairs one morning and decided to feed the dog. We couldn't open his food so opted for things out of the cupboards instead and resorted to throwing food at him rather than actually aiming for his mouth. Cereal, butter, rice, eggs, he was covered. Oh how I'm glad we don't have a dog for my boys to try this with. 

Time4Sleep decided to try and find The UK’s Most Mischievous Toddler in their latest competition and called for parents to upload a photo showing just how mischievous their children were. After nearly 200 entries they narrowed it down to the top 20 finalists and one of these will be crowned the winner, bagging a fantastic family trip out worth up to £200. 

The 20 finalists have been placed into a photo album on the Time4Sleep Facebook page and you can pop along and vote for your favourite by liking and commenting on the one you think should win. Although, note that voting is simply to help them chose the winner, and the picture with the most votes will not necessarily win.

What's more, everyone who votes will automatically be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a set of memory foam pillows. So what are you waiting for, pop along and vote for your favourite for a chance to win a prize too!

16 January 2015

Being A #KurioFamilyBlogger - Kurio Tab

Just before Christmas, I wrote about the joy of being selected as a #KurioFamilyBlogger and the fact that it meant that we would get to test out one of their products, The Kurio Tab. (You can read that initial post here) I knew that this would be something that both boys would love and, although I'm not one for giving or letting my children play with technology much, I wanted to give it a try and see the difference between a tablet made for children compared with a regular one. 

Could it really be a great educational tool without making my children vulnerable online? Well, the answer to that, is yes!

When it comes to setting up the tablet, you, the parent, gets to decide how it will be used. Whether your child can access the internet, how long they play for, what type of content can be used etc, and, because the parents panel, where all the settings are decided, are password protected, it means that your child can only access what you set. 

With the boys, I restricted internet use, they are only 5 and 3 and so do not need to be using the net at all. But, just to mention, the Kurio Tab has genius internet filtering system whereby it filters, categorises and updates 450+ million websites daily to keep children safe online. Children will not be able to access websites that are adult only content and you can even go into the settings and block websites that you don't like too. 

The tablet is really easy to set up. Once you have created your own parental profile, you then have to create your child's profile too (you can have up to 8 profiles on the one tablet) and also set up any online places too such as the Google Play Store etc which can only be accessed through the parent profile. 

Playing the tablet is super easy. Once you've selected your profile, all the apps are shown on screen, which you can side left and right to find more of them. Full of games, apps and books, it really is ready to play with. No need to start downloading games because there are already loads pre-installed on the tablet. 

The one thing that I love, is that all the games featured, aren't just boring ones that kids learn nothing from. They all have purpose. Even Cut The Rope 2 (a favourite of the boys) teaches them about coordination and how to work things out whilst also being a very fun game to play. 

Talking Ginger is another favourite of the boys. You basically have to wash and clean the little cat and collect pieces of a puzzle by completing little tasks and playing mini games. I also like that this has a feature whereby it shows Ginger brushing his teeth and counts down a timer whilst he's doing it to show children just how long they should be brushing there teeth. I must admit that the boys do enjoy taking the tablet into the bathroom so they can brush their teeth whilst Ginger does too.

Most importantly though, it's not just about sitting down and staring at a tablet all day and the Kurio Tablet is the 1st tablet with Body Motion Gaming. That's right, it comes with a little stand to hold the tablet up and has a few games that need to be played whilst stood up, away from the tablet. Exercise and fitness games such as swimming and skiing are fun for the boys. They enjoy standing in front of the tablet and waving their hands in the air like mad-men to win the races. I love this too as it means that they are up and moving about whilst playing. 

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with the Kurio Tab. Not only is it a fun, educational tablet, made specifically for children, but it also has safety and security at the forefront of it's design to give parents peace of mind that their children cannot access anything untoward. 

You can find out more information and view all of the Kurio products on the Kurio website.

Best Places To Play Bingo With The Entire Family

Way before bingo reached the shores of the UK, the game was originally played in Italy and France. Whilst in Germany, bingo was played for an altogether different purpose. It was not just for fun, but was used for educational purpose as well. Times changed, and the game moved to the States where it was known as ‘Beano’. The name soon got changed when someone accidentally shouted out ‘Bingo’, and the rest is history.

The game has come a long way indeed. In this day and age, bingo is played in clubs, churches, parties and even virtually. While the elderly prefer hitting the bingo halls, youths who are more tech savvy, choose to stay back home and play bingo in sites like newlookbingo.com. For those who want to paint the town red can get involved in the fun bingo events, whilst who wish to stay back home for a quiet evening, can play free bingo online as well.
Photo from Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net
Bingo has won hearts of millions of people. The fact that it’s so easy with a chance to win a substantial amount of money, has made the game so much popular. In fact, instead of typically playing bingo online, one can also choose to play in a family gathering as well. Here are some cool places to try out this game:

If you have a spacious backyard or garden, get your friends and family together and plan a barbecue. It will be fun to have everyone together and experience the adrenaline pumping bingo action.

This might sound a bit offbeat, but playing bingo on a tree-house (if you have one) can be super fun. Remember the days when as a kid we would hide inside the tree house or the attic to have some ‘me time’? Well, this is a similar idea, just that there will be no deathly silence.

Besides the usual, living spaces, trying out bingo in a totally new place can really make up for a boring evening. So try out this game in some wacky place. I don’t care how zany it is, I would love to hear your experience with bingo.

13 January 2015

Tech Too My Animal Slide Tablet

One thing Charlie loves at the moment, is animals. He is obsessed with them and is always pointing them out on the television and pictures etc so when we received the My Animal Slide Tablet to review as part of being a KD Mumbassador, I knew that he would love it.

The My Animal Slide Tablet is from the Tech Too range of KD's toys and all the toys in the range are based around the fact that children love to imitate the actions of their parents. The range is  designed to include a wide range of interactive games and stand out to children as a tablet, keys, remote or phone type toys, that children associate with being parents 'toys'.

Each of the toys include interactive features and educational gaming activities whist diverting your children's attention from your own tablets and phones and gives them their own to play with.

So, on to the My Animal Slide Tablet...

The My Animal Slide Tablet is all based around animals and their babies. It is a tablet that features a whole host of animals on the screen but then simply use the slider to reveal even more animals that are hidden away.

Featuring over 40 animals, there are six activities to choose from based around the animals on the screen. IT all based around children learning whilst having fun. Through playing the games, and listening to the tablet talk, children can discover animal names and point out the ones that they already know, learn about colours, numbers and animal habitats and, Charlie's personal favourite, match the baby animals with their adult counterparts.

The benefits of this tablet toy is that children get to play and learn at the same time. It teaches about animals and what each of their babies are called, where they live and all other information too. It helps children to understand about animals and is an introduction to counting skills too. 

It also develops the understanding of matching skills (animals to their babies), hand-eye coordination and improves observation skills with the fact that children need to search for specific items on the tablet whilst listening to what is being said and working out which animals or locations fit with the questions.

Charlie absolutely loves playing with the My Animal Slide Tablet from Tech Too and already, I have noticed a difference in his understanding of animals. He can point more of the obscure ones out on the tablet and, after a bit of looking, can work out which ones match together and is even trying to say more of their names too which is great.

For a child that is learning to say more words, identify animals and differentiate between them too, this is a great toy to have a leads to hours of fun for them. 

You can find more information about the Tech Too My Animal Slide Tablet and the rest of the range on the KD UK website

9 January 2015

Week 37 Pregnancy Update

I know, I know, I forgot to update you all with how my scan went last week. (You can read about why I was having a scan here) but I have just been mega busy this week with Thomas going back to school, Charlie starting nursery and sorting everything out in the babies room, ready for him. 

Anyway, last Friday I went into hospital for a further growth scan. I was exactly 36 weeks then and bubs was estimated at weighing around 6lb 1oz, not a bad size really. But since my growth charts are based on the fact that both, Thomas and Charlie, were big babies, he is measuring up a little small compared to them. 

A close up of bubs face at my scan
Now, this is nothing for me to worry about as it may just mean that he won't be as big as them (I mean, not every baby is the same) but the hospital did say that my midwife may want to send me for another scan at 38 weeks just to make sure he is growing okay in there. 

Being at 37 weeks means that I am now classed as 'term' in my pregnancy. Despite being physically ready to come into the world, this doesn't mean that he will arrive any time soon. A normal labour can come anywhere between 37-42 weeks as this is classed as full term. 

Getting towards these last stages of pregnancy, I have become very tired indeed. Although I know that it's great that he's cooking well inside me, I really can't wait for his due date to arrive now as I feel bad for the boys, who keep asking me to play but I cannot. I'm either too tired or, cannot get down into the floor without being in pain. 

There are many old wives tales about things that can help you go in to labour, spicy food raspberry leaf tea, fresh pineapple etc, but, to be honest, nothing works (I have tried these before), baby will only arrive when he is good and ready. 

You can however, go on long walks, bounce on exercise balls etc as these are shown to help baby engage into the pelvis and soften the cervix which could cause contractions, but again, if baby isn't ready to labour, then these will more than likely just be Braxton Hicks that will wear off after a while. 

I have been having a lot of tightening's over the past couples of weeks now so can imagine that bubs is getting ready for his big arrival, but if not, I'll be here next week with my next update. 

8 January 2015

January Sales Must Buys

Photo by Salvatore Vuono from freedigitalphotos
Is it me or do the January sales get earlier and earlier each year. I remember when the January sales started on New Year’s Day. Then they crept back a few days and started Boxing Day. Now I am sure they start way before Christmas. Does this mean by first week in January all the good deals have gone? 

Well no not all, there are still good deals to be had, if you know what to look for. From my searching the sales I have decided there a few things that you defiantly have to buy in the January Sales.

Christmas Food 
Things like cake and puddings can have a very long shelf life. Check the best before dates though to make sure. You might not want to save it to next year as I know a few people who would eat Christmas pudding any time of the year and cant as the puddings aren't on the shop shelves.

Christmas cards, wrapping etc
I have noticed that the later into January you leave it the more of a reduction they have. Yes it’s a bit early to be thinking about our next Christmas but when the stores just want to get the Christmas stock off their shelves they are really reducing the prices. Too good to be missed really and can really save pounds. But do store them away properly so that they don’t get ruined or damp. Ideally keep them somewhere you won’t forget too.

Photo by foto76 from freedigitalphotos
You know all those rows of boxed smelly's that lined all the shop aisles. The ones we all picked up last minute so to give an extra little present. Shops buy them in the tonne load. They always get left with a fair few and they make it to the bargain aisle too. Now if you’re really organised that’s some of next year’s Christmas presents sorted. Or maybe use them in the year for birthday gifts. 
Most of the stores at Christmas time sold gifts of some sort and these too can be ideal presents next year. Just browsing the stores at VoucherBin I found several of my favourite stores had further reductions off their sale prices. Again it’s saving more money on next year’s spending.

Genuine deals and bargains
It does seem that everyone has a sale just because everyone else is having a sale. Some of the sales are brilliant but a lot of them can be just to draw you in and then to sell you something else. If you’re shopping online, like at Mothercare (oh that reminds me must check out the prams in their sale!) or in store always ask yourself if it’s a genuine bargain. If it’s a few pounds or lots of pounds of the original price, it’s only a bargain if you actually want the product. If your only looking at a product because its reduce does sort of mean you don’t really want or need the product. Bit like buying dog food because it’s on a special deal but not actually owning a dog.

Have you managed to find any fab deals in the January Sales?

Chuggington Brewster’s Big Build Adventure Set

Being an Official Tomy Blogger, I am lucky enough to receive some of their brand new toys to review and trial. Not only is this a privilege to do, but the boys love it too, obviously, as it means that they are gifted toys from their favourites ranges, and this time, that is Chuggington. 

The Chuggington Stack Track range is huge. A plethora of tracks that can all be built separately to create their own little set, or can be built together to create new tracks, vast tracks that can be built outwards or upwards for extra speedy fun. 

We have been lucky to receive the Brewster's Big Build Adventure Stack Track Set which can be build into 4 different layouts using the one set. We chose to go with the layout shown in the front of the box as it gave extra height, thus more speed to the trains but you can also see all of the layouts available on the box too and they are easy to assemble together.

The Stack Track risers are what gives the extra height and these are easy to put together, even Thomas can connect these to the track when he decides to change positions of the track.  

The track comes with Brewster and Tyne engines so that you can play as soon as it's built and features a rotating crane that will lift the engines up and down to the highest and lowest points on the track. The rickety bridge collapses as trains go through and can be fixed by simply flipping the switch to allow trains to run through. Lets see whether Brewster and Tyne can fix it before anyone falls through the bridge. 

This set is great because it also has a working escalator which takes the trains to the very top of the track. You simply twist the crank and the escalator will begin to climb, pulling any trains with it, up to the top. 

Thomas and Charlie love playing with the Brewster’s Big Build Adventure Set, keeping the occupied for hours as they create the track, play with the crane, bridge and escalator and try to work out new layouts which will get the trains zooming around faster and faster. 

If you decide that you want to expand your track, then you are in luck, as the Brewster’s Big Build Adventure Set comes with 2 adapters so that this track can easily connect to any other from the range. 

You can find out more information on the Tomy website about the Brewster’s Big Build Adventure Set, the whole Stack Track range and where it is available to purchase. 

7 January 2015

Morlands Sheepskin Slippers

The one thing I hate about Winter is being cold, I hate having cold feet. I always have a few pairs of slippers to wear so that I can keep warm and so, when Morlands asked if I wanted to receive a pair of their sheepskin slippers, I jumped at the chance.

Morlands have been making sheepskin slippers since 1825 when James Clark produced the first pair in Somerset and by 1870 they had moved over to Glastonbury which was the heart of the sheepskin industry. Since then, Morlands has become a leader in their industry, known mainly for their slippers and rugs. 

They do a huge range of slippers and eventually, I decided on the Moorlands Sheepskin Ballerina Slippers which are priced at £49 and I picked them in the lovely Damson red colour. I love the contemporary ballerina style slipper as they look modern and stylish. Maintaining Morlands superior sheepskin qualities, with a super-plush sheepskin lining and suede upper, you can feel the quality as you slip your feet into them.

The ballerina style is elegant and the design features a bow embellishment and a feminine demi-heel on the hard sole. They feel like I'm wearing proper shoes as the sole gives them a fierce durability whilst the sheepskin lining gives warmth and comfort.

Coming in a solid green box, with the Morlands logo emblazoned on top, the slippers include a Morlands pouch to keep them in when not is use and a shoe Morlands shoe horn to help with getting them on and off if needs be. 

I absolutely love these slippers, not only are they pretty, stylish and a funky colour, but they are super comfy and keep my feet toasty warm with their sheepskin lining. To make sure I get the best use out of them, I have now packed them into my hospital bag for when I go into labour. We all know just how cold hospital floors are and so, I thought that these would give me warmth and a touch of extra comfort whilst moving around the hospital with my new baby. 

Morlands stands for traditional values and skilled workmanship. For over 190 years, they have delivered the finest sheepskin to people who care about luxury and quality with classic designs and contemporary styles and colours to keep up with current fashions but also make sure that their heritage is passed on through their products. 

One thing remains the same throughout the centuries and that is Morland’s unrivalled passion and expert craftsmanship.

2 January 2015

36 Week Pregnancy Update

So, today I hit the 36 week mark. Only 4 weeks left till my due date and soon, bump should arrive to meet us all and have cuddles. 

This week has been great Christmas-wise and spending time with the family, but bad in the pregnancy stakes as my midwife appointment, again threw up some problems which needed checking out. 

First of all, even though I had a growth scan 2 weeks ago, my bump is measuring smaller than it should be and is now crossing over a percentile line and I need to go for a scan again to check that he is growing okay. My scan is this afternoon so I'll update you once I'm back home. 

Secondly, my midwife, had me on the bed to check bumps heart rate and thought it was a little fast. To be sure that everything was okay, she kept the doppler on my bump for 7 minutes and during this time, bumps heart rate was staying at around 190bpm which is way too fast (ideally, it should be 110-160bpm) and so this meant that I needed to go into hospital to be monitored. 

Laying on a hospital bed for an hour with machines checking bumps heart rate was horrible. I hate laying on my back at the best of times, but with a pulled muscle and a heavy baby, it meant that I was so uncomfortable indeed. Luckily, after being monitored, bumps heart rate had dropped to around the 140bpm mark and they said that everything was fine. They did note though, that I am having contractions, regular contractions, around 5 minutes apart. These are not painful at all and not massive ones so they weren't really worried but did point out that it could be a sign that bump will arrive early and that, if I was to get any bad pains, I should come straight back in. 

So, that was my week of pregnancy. I will update again once I have more news and am a little sad that soon, these updates will be finished although that does mean that I will get to meet bump and that's a plus!

1 January 2015

Christmas Time Means Family Time

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love every aspect of it. Collecting presents through the year, wrapping, bowing, decorating, glitter, Christmas crafts, opening presents, oh and of course the food. 

After all the present and decorating, Christmas finally begins for us on Christmas Eve. The boys get a cute parcel of treats (all Christmas based) with treats and craft items, a letter from Santa confirming that they're on the Nice List and a magic key which gets placed on our tree so that Santa can enter our house, we don't have a chimney you see.

Reindeer food is sprinkled in our garden, all the way up the path, like a brightly glittered runway for the reindeer's to see, and then mince pies, milk and carrots are left indoors for a snack. 

The boys usually play up at bedtime, they're not tired, need a drink, are hungry or want to tell me their life stories, as you do, but not on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is the only night of the year where they go to sleep without no fuss. Because they know that Santa only visits sleeping children. 

Morning arrived and we were all woken by daddy shouting Christmas songs until we got out of bed. It actually took Thomas a while to realise that it was in fact Christmas Day and of course he then went mental and rushed downstairs. 

The first thing he noticed was his bike and he was so happy. You see, Thomas had been asking for a new bike for ages and, we had been telling him that Santa might not have time to make all of the toys that he wanted (the full Fireman Sam set) and a bike too and so it was a shock when he received everything that he had asked for. 

Charlie, on the other hand, wasn't bothered about the presents. He just enjoyed opening them. Ripping through the wrapping paper and putting the gifts at the side so he could open more. I think next year Santa should just treat him to wrapped up empty boxes haha!

We spent the next few hours opening toys, setting them up and playing until it was time to go to my parents house for dinner. We go there every year to have a big family meal. The kids loved having their own little table to sit at and enjoyed pulling the crackers and getting crappy gifts. I swear the jokes get worse and worse each year though! 

One of the great things about Christmas is that I don't need to cook as, at night, we go back around to my parents house for a Christmas party where the whole family comes round to celebrate. Eat, drink and be merry. Well, I say drink but there wasn't loads of that going on as 3 of us are pregnant! How cute is our Christmas bump photo. 

Boxing Day is spent trying to organise everything a little. Working out where the new toys can go and realising that there just is no room for it all. We need an extension just for Christmas presents haha!

It has been a truly amazing Christmas. I love our little family and spending time with the extended family too. Just imagine, next year there will be an extra one to open presents for, dear lord, I don't have a clue how we will manage to fit anything else in here!