Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Idea's

For those of you who are like me and rather unorganised for Christmas this year , Do you think i can blame it on the fact i had a baby four months ago?  probably not. Or for those of you who won't be getting paid from work until Christmas eve i thought that i would make a very quick Christmas gift guide , as it might make a change from fighting over the last Lynk and Dove gift sets in boots or buying your own body weight in quality streets and selection boxes for people.

Adult Gift Ideas


* A Degustabox subscription box, I have been reviewing these lately and they are a monthly food subscription box service and you can read my full review here and here or visit there website www.degustabox.co.uk. These would make a great present for a foodie and they are a lovely surprise delivered each month. You could take out a subscription for £12.99 per month including posting and packaging and you can cancel your subscription at any time so you could just buy them one or two boxes . You could order on Christmas eve/ Christmas day and then just print out your order confirmation or write in a card that you have ordered them a surprise subscription box that will be getting delivered each month for however many months you plan on buying one for.


* A magazine subscription from Unique magazines , most people love reading magazines and if you visit Unique magazines website www.uniquemagazines.co.uk you are bound to find a magazine they would enjoy and you could order them a magazine subscription which i would personally love as a gift. Again you could just either print your confirmation e-mail off or write in a card what you have ordered and you could do this as late as Christmas eve or Christmas day and then your loved one can have there favourite magazine delivered to there door each month.

New Or Expecting Parent Ideas


* BabyNatal baby care classes, i reviewed these classes a while ago With Katy who runs the Newcastle classes and they are brilliant and you can book for one person to attend or for a couple. And they are really useful and informative classes that will teach parents to be everything about caring for a newborn baby. I even found them really useful and i have three children ,you can read my review here. Or they also do baby first aid classes which i believe that every parent should be trained in as you never know when it may come in useful, again these classes can be booked for individuals or couples. And you can book them by contacting Katy on Twitter here if you live in Newcastle or via the website www.babynatal.co.uk if you live elsewhere in the country as they have classes all over the country.


* Newborn baby photo shoot. When Jacob was born we had some gorgeous photos taken of him by Tina at I just love baby's photography which you can view here, and she does gift vouchers so that people can a buy friend or relative a gift voucher for a newborn photo shoot and you can see her work on her facebook page here. Every parent wants nice photos of there newborn baby and every new parent or parent to be would love something like this. So you could book something like this with a local photographer for in the new year/whenever baby is due.

Baby's and Toddlers


* A Sassy Bloom subscription box, i love Sassy Bloom i have received a few boxes which you can read about here and here. And Sassy Bloom is basically a baby subscription box service for children up to the age of two and you sign up and fill in details about the child on there website www.sassybloom.com and then once a month a box will arrive packed with goodies suitable for the child they cost £29 a month but you can cancel at any time or you can buy a one off as a gift. So you could order a one of these and it will be delivered as a surprise in the new year.


* A baby massage or baby yoga course. I have attended baby massage with both Sophia and Jacob and also baby yoga with Sophia at Much Loving Touch which is run by the really lovely Stacey and she runs classes in Northumberland and North Tyneside and they are brilliant classes that both of my children enjoyed and i am taking Sophia back to toddler yoga in the new year. You can view there facebook page here for more details but its normally around £30 for a five week course. And they would make great presents for a baby as they have no idea whats happening at Christmas and they are hard to buy for and also they will love these classes and get to spend time with there mummy or daddy doing something fun which is way better then any toy.

Children

Unfortunately i think that most children will be after toys as gifts so you will probably have to be brave and face the manic Christmas eve shoppers at the toy shop. But i have seen a great idea on another blog called Zena's Suitcase about creating a treasure basket for young children and toddlers to explore which you can view yourself here. 


Teens

I have a twelve year old and she no longer wants or plays with toys any more , sob sob. If someone was to buy her a gift i know that she would love either


* Cold hard cash , which she will then waste in Claire's
* Itune vouchers and mobile phone top ups which you can buy from pretty much any shop.
* Concert tickets , you can buy them online and print off the tickets.
* Vouchers that she can then go and buy whatever she wants with.

So there is my quick and easy very last minute Christmas gift ideas in case you are after a present a bit different for someone or you just don't want to face the crowds in the shops tomorrow. As i have to go to the shops for a few last minute things and i am dreading it, wish me luck and i wish every single one of you a very merry Christmas.


Monday, 22 December 2014

Chloe's Tweenager Christmas Eve Basket

A couple of day's ago you may have seen me post about creating my younger daughter Sophia a toddler Christmas eve basket which you can read about here . Well i have also created her older sister Chloe who is twelve year's old a one too. Obviously as there is a huge age gap between my girl's  (10 years ) i have put totally different things into Chloe's basket. But i have kept the idea similar pyjamas, an activity of some sort, some sweet treats and then i added a few extra little bits i have seen whilst out shopping and was going to add to her stocking but i have included in the basket as she has far to many stocking fillers this year already.

Chloe's Tween Christmas Eve Basket
I have really enjoyed making this basket for Chloe and i hope that she likes it as she obviously has knowing that Santa is not real for a good few years now . But i still want to make Christmas as magical as i can do for her for as long as possible. So here is a look at what i have put in Chloe's tween Christmas eve basket.

Contents of Basket
I have brought Chloe the same basket that i brought for Sophia, which was only around £5 from Home Bargains, and i can just give Chloe the basket to keep and she can store all her little bits and bobs of which she has many such items in her room.

As i mentioned in Sophia's basket post i wanted to include an activity as Christmas eve is long and boring when you are a child. Chloe is far to old for colouring stuff and i have not included a book like i did in Sophia's as Chloe has hardly any interest at all in books. I thought about including a Christmas dvd but we have built up quiet a collection of Christmas dvds over the years and the ones that we do not already own are on sky movies so i thought a dvd would be pointless . So i have opted to get Chloe a make your own gingerbread house. Chloe loves baking and she kept asking for a gingerbread house last year so hopefully she will be happy with this and enjoy making it and it will keep her occupied for an hour. I brought this one from Home Bargains for £4.49 but you buy them from pretty much anywhere for a similar price.

Build Your Own Gingerbread House
I got some Christmas pyjamas and some Christmas slipper socks. My dad has brought Chloe a onesie from next for Christmas eve as he always buys her nice Christmas eve pyjamas every year but i thought i would get her these anyway's as we are planning on having a lazy day at home on Christmas eve watching films all afternoon so she can wear these on the day time, as if she could Chloe would live in pyjamas. The pyjamas were around £10 from New Look teen department and the slipper socks were £1.50 from Primark.

Christmas Pj's And Cosy Socks
As i mentioned we are having a lazy afternoon watching films on Christmas eve so i got Chloe some sweet treats the same as her sister to have while watching films. She has some Cadbury festive biscuits, a chocolate lolly from Sainsbury's, some chocolate coins from Tesco and a marshmallow lolly.
Sweet Treat's
I also got her a cheap Christmas mug from the pound shop and a wispa hot chocolate sachet. we have a tub of hot chocolate in the cupboard but i thought it would still be nice to add a little sachet to her basket and we have mini marshmallows and squirty cream to add to it which she loves and we always have every Christmas eve.

Christmas Mug And Hot Chocolate
Reindeer dust, i know Chloe is far to old for this but i brought her sister some so i had to get Chloe some too this was 99p from the card factory.

Reindeer Dust
A lush bath bomb, she loves Lush bath bombs so i got her a Santa one to use in her bath on Christmas eve. As everyone has to have a nice bath before putting there new Christmas pyjamas on before bed.

Lush Santa Bath Bomb
Little extras. These were things i have just brought when i have been out and seen them and was going to add to her Christmas stocking but she has lots of things already for her stocking so i thought i would add them to her basket. I have got a Christmas lip balm which is candy cane flavour and this was £2 from Claire's. I got this Christmas bauble which has nail varnish and nail glitter in from Primark for £2 and i got the Christmas present earrings and they were only £1 so i got them for Chloe to wear on Christmas day.

Little Christmas Extra's
So that's what is inside Chloe's  tweenager Christmas eve basket. I am hoping she will like it and that it will help get her all excited for Christmas. What have you put inside your child's Christmas eve basket this year if you have made one?













Sunday, 21 December 2014

December Degustabox

Last month you may have heard me mentioning Degustabox on social media, which is a monthly food and drink subscription box service. For those of you who are unsure of the concept of subscription boxes you basically just sign up for and pay the monthly fee which is only £12.99 per month including posting and packaging and then once a month you will receive a box delivered to your door which is packed with between 9-14 surprise food and drink products. Each month the items in your box will be completely different and it is a great way to try out lots of new foods and drinks you may never have tried before. And there is no long sign up commitment you can cancel your box any time you like as long as it is before the 10th of the month. It really is as simple as that.

Opening My Well Packaged Box
Last month i was really lucky and was sent a Degustabox to review which you can read about here. And we were really impressed with are first box. And i was lucky enough to be sent another box to review this month too. The boxes normally arrive at the end of the month but as it is Christmas next week the boxes arrived early this month, which was a nice surprise. So here is what was inside the December Degustabox.

Contents Of December's Degustabox
  • One bottle of Eisberg non alcoholic wine RRP £3.49. I have never tried non alcoholic wine before as i like normal wine far to much but i have not had an alcoholic drink for the last two and a half years due to being pregnant for the last two Christmases and i wont be drinking this Christmas either as i will have two babies to look after, so i will be trying this out over Christmas so i don't feel left out when every else is drinking. This would be perfect for anyone who is driving , working, pregnant, does not drink or someone like me with young children to drink over the festive period.

Eisberg Alcohol Free Wine
  • Four cans of Gloworm mixer drinks RRP £1.50 each so £6.00 in total. I had never heard of these drinks before but they are mixers that are designed to go well with alcoholic drinks and would be great for making cocktail type drinks with over the festive period. We received Raspberry & Orris flavour to mix with vodka, Cucumber and Apple to mix with Gin, Pear spice & Lime to mix with Rum and Ginger & Lemongrass to mix with Bourbon. I wish i was drinking so that i could try them out as they sound great. 
Gloworm Mixer Drinks
  • Two packets of Bahlsen biscuits RRP £1.79 each or £3.58 in total. We received a pack of milk chocolate and a pack of caramel biscuits. Again i had never heard of Bahlsen biscuits but they were really yummy and they disappeared straight away in are household as they were so yummy and i will defiantly be keeping an eye out for these in the future as they have more chocolate then biscuit , always a winner in my eyes.
Bahlsen Biscuits
  • One bag of Popchip crisps RRP £1.79. I have seen these advertised ( i am sure Katy Perry advertised them? ) but i have never tried them before. We received the BBQ flavour and they were really nice and everyone in are household liked them. They make a nice change from regular crisps as they have half the fat of normal crisps but still taste Delicious. I will defiantly be buying these again. 
BBQ Popchips
  • One jar of Bonne Maman marmalade RRP £2.30. Again i have never heard of Bonne Maman and Marmalade is not something that we buy a lot of , we do like it we just do not buy it often. I tried this and is really nice on toast and is much tastier then the well known jars from the supermarkets i have brought in the past. 
Bonne Maman Marmalade
  • One bottle of Frylight Infuse Chilli spray RRP £2.00 . We always use frylight when cooking as it is much healthier and a lot less greasy then regular cooking oils. I have never tried the chilli one before though, but the other half loves spicy chilli type sauces and meals so i am planning on using this when i next make a stir fry or for cooking steaks or making spag bol or chilli. 
Frylight Chilli Spray Oil
  • One Kent's Kitchen Brazilian Moqueca Capixaba meal kit RRP £2.50. We have tried a Kent's Kitchen meal kit that was in my last Degustabox and they are so handy they have all the oils and spices you need to create a meal you just simply add your meat and/ or vegetables to the oils and spices and it creates a lovely authentic meal in minutes. I have never tried Brazilian food before and i have never even heard of Moqueca Capixaba before so it will be interesting to see what that is like.
Kent's Kitchen Meal Kit
  • One pack of Pukka Herbs clean green tea RRP £2.39. I have never heard of this brand before and i have never tried this tea before . But i think that this will come in handy for after Christmas as lets face it we all over indulge over Christmas and new year and the majority of us go on some kind of health kick. I for one know that i will be as i have baby weight to shift so this will come in handy after Christmas to kick start my healthy eating and clean eating regime. 
Pukka Herb Drink


So what did i think?

 Firstly i have seen a lot people mention on social media that they were disappointed with this months box as it was not very festive and they were expecting a Christmas box. In a way i do agree that it is not very festive at all but these boxes were meant to go out at the end of December so i think that they are more of a January new year health kick kind of box with the green tea, healthy pop chips and the healthy Frylight spray. I don't think that were ever intended to be a Christmas box they were just delivered early due to Christmas.


So on to what i thought,  i was impressed with the contents of Decembers box as there was a wide range of products there was a good mix of drink products , sweet and savoury snacks and cooking ingredients. There was a couple of brands that i am familiar with but there was also a lot of new brands that i had never heard of before and that i have and will enjoy trying out. There was nothing that i dislike in the box and the same as last month everything that was in the box was good quality products and they are all regular sizes that you would buy in the shops and not full of small samples.

The contents of this months box are worth £24.05 so that is almost double the £12.99 that you pay for the box which is great value. The thing that i love the most about Degustabox and subscription boxes is that they are like a surprise each month as you have no idea at all what will be inside the box until you open it. And i love that you get to try out products that you may never have tried or heard of before.

Overall i did like this months Degustabox but i didn't like it as much as my first box which was really amazing so i would give Decembers Degustabox a 8.5/10 .We really like Degustabox and i think that we will be taking out a subscription in the new year as it is a little surprise each month that are whole family enjoys arriving.

If you like the look of these Degustabox's then you can order a one yourself and it is really quick and easy to do you just visit there website www.degustabox.co.uk fill in your details and pay £12.99 per month for your box via direct debit which includes postage and packaging . If you order before the 20th of the month you will receive your box at the end of the month and if you order after the 21st of the month you will receive your box by the 8th of the following month , but this will differ over Christmas and new year. If you want to cancel your box you can at any time just by contacting them and cancelling before the 10th of the month. Easy peasy.

You can follow Degustabox on Twitter or Facebook to find out what others think of these boxes as i am not the only one who thinks that they are so great. And if you fancy ordering a one yourself then i have a discount code that you can use which will give you £3 off the price of your first box which will mean you only pay £9.99 for your first box which is amazing value! The code is VUH4B and you just enter it at the checkout to receive £3 off your first order.

If you try out your own Degustabox i would love to know what you think as i am sure that you will be as impressed as i am with them and love them too.

* Disclosure : I was kindly sent this Degustabox free of charge for the purpose of this review , however all opinions and words are my own honest account of the product's we received. 












Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sophia's Toddler Christmas Eve Basket

I love Christmas as it such a magical time of the year when you have children. As a mum i am always looking for new Christmas traditions and new ideas of things that can make Christmas that little bit more magical and special for my children. Last year i seen a few people mention Christmas eve boxes/baskets they had made there children and i thought they were such a lovely idea, as Christmas eve can be rather long and boring when you are a child as you are so desperate for Santa to visit . So a Christmas eve basket will be something nice for them to have on Christmas eve morning to occupy them (hopefully).

Toddler Christmas Eve Basket
This year i have made Sophia a toddler basket and Chloe a Tweenage one , i was going to make Jacob a first christmas one but he will only be four month's old and will not have a clue what is happening so i have not bothered this year. I have really enjoyed buying little bits and putting these baskets together and i hope that the girls enjoy them as i think that this will become a one of are new family Christmas tradition's. So here is what is inside Sophia's basket , who will be 19 month's old on Christmas day.
Sophia's Christmas basket
I got the basket from home bargains for around £5 , i think the red material makes them look rather festive and because it is a basket i can keep them after Christmas and use them to store things in her
wardrobe.
The Basket
I think that as Christmas eve is so long and boring for children that it is a nice idea to include some kind of activity to keep them occupied. As Sophia is still so young i have got her a Christmas colouring book which was from poundland and some crayola first crayons which are for children aged 12 months plus as they are nice and chunky so they can not snap them. Sophia loves colouring so i think she will really enjoy this.

An Activity
I also thought it would be nice to include a Christmas book , again as she is still young i did not want to get her a book she could rip the pages out of so i got her That's Not My Fairy book which is from usborne. Sophia has a few of these books and she loves them and they are great books for baby's and toddlers so i thought this would be a nice one to add to her collection. I got this from amazon for £4.

A Christmas Book
A letter from Santa , i love the idea of children getting a letter from Santa and i was lucky enough to review this letter service from the Lapland mail room recently which you can read about here. I have kept this letter which also includes an activity pack in so i can put it in her Christmas basket. I am also planning on keeping this after Christmas and putting it in her keepsake box. We loved these letters so much that we are planning on making it a one of are family Christmas traditions that the children receive a letter from Santa each year.

A Letter Of Santa
Sweet treats, Sophia loves chocolate but i did not want to get her lots of sweeties but i have included a chocolate lolly from sainsburys, some white chocolate coins from tesco , a little cadbury mouse and some cadbury festive biscuits. Obviously i wont let her eat all of them but we will give her some of the chocolate and a few biscuits on Christmas eve while we watch Christmas films.

Sweet Treats
A tradition that we have had in are house since Chloe was very young is to sprinkle reindeer dust outside on Christmas eve before bed, so the reindeer can find there way to are house. Chloe normally brings some home from school every year but now she is in high school so wont be and  i seen this in the card factory for 99p and brought some although i know most people just make it them self with porridge and glitter.
Reindeer Dust
Nice cosy pyjamas everyone has to have new Christmas pyjamas . Every single person i know gets new pyjamas for Christmas eve. My dad has always brought them new pyjamas to wear every Xmas eve and he has got Sophia some Sofia the first ones as it is one of her favourite programs but we seen these ones in Asda for £8 and couldn't resit them so we have got her them and we are just going to let her wear them on Christmas eve day time as we are planning on having a lazy day at home watching films and wearing pyjamas, then she can wear the new ones of her grandad on the night time.

New Pyjamas
Slippers, we have never actually brought Sophia any slippers before but she loves Doc Mcstuffin and she is obsessed with shoes and would wear her shoes all day if we let her . So we thought she would love these and she can wear them when she comes downstairs on Christmas morning as we have wood flooring and it will be cold. These were £6 in Asda.

First Slipper's
A Christmas bib, Sophia never wears bibs but since we had Jacob and she See's him wearing them all the time she has actually wore a one and keeps them on. So we thought we would get a Christmas one that she can wear on Christmas day like her brother. This one is from Zippy suit and is really cute and festive and Jacob has a similar one and they only cost £1.50, total bargain.

A Christmas Bib
We also got this personalised stocking as i have a smiliar one off when i was a child and Chloe has a similar one of when she was born and last year Sophia had a first christmas one so i wanted to get her a nice one she could keep and use every year this year. It was only £5 from a little stall in the shopping centre where we live.

Christmas Stocking
So that's what in Sophia's Christmas eve basket. Do you make your children a Christmas eve basket and if so what do you put in them?











Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Review: Bright Starts Nest And Sing Pots

Hand's up who still has Christmas shopping to do? I do. Every single year I say that I will get organised for Christmas early and every single year I am still doing a little bit of last minute present shopping on Christmas eve. And one gift that I always find hard to buy is presents for young children as a mum to two very young children I know that there is a huge selection of baby and toddler toys on the market but to be honest a lot of them kind of do the same thing. So I am always on the look out for something a bit different when I am present buying as I don't want to buy a gift that someone else will buy for my children.

So when Bright Starts asked if Sophia (18 months old) would like to try out a one of there toys called Nest 'n' Sing Pots of course I agreed. When Sophia was younger we had a Bright Starts bouncer and play mat for her and she still has a few of there smaller baby teething toys and rattles which she loved. But I never knew that they also made toys for toddlers until recently and I had never seen the Nest 'n' Sing Pots before so I was really interested to see what they would be like.

Bright Starts Nest 'n' Sing Pots
When they arrived Sophia's face lit up the moment we opened the box and she seen them and she had to play with them there and then. The Nest 'n' Sing Pots are three saucepans that all stack together and they are the perfect size for toddlers and baby's to play with and they are really light too . They are nice and bright and colourful which young children love and they play really catchy tunes , but don't worry all you parents out there the tune is not loud and annoying like so many toys can be. I have never had to turn the sound off yet and we have had them a few weeks now.

The little pots all stack together and Sophia easily stacks them up and really enjoys doing so as when you stack them up that makes the music play. There is also a pop up carrot on the top green pot which pops up and down and she loves this and laughs at it. There is also a little button on the front of the blue bottom pot which lights up when the music plays and baby Jacob (3 months) is amazed by the red flashing light and never takes his eyes off it.


Bright and cheerful
As I mentioned the music is not annoying on these Nest 'n' Sing pots there is some familiar tunes you may recognise but there is also some rather cute little rhymes about the pots and about cooking which is good for teaching children about cooking. And it also encourages children to stack the pots as each time they stack a pot it will play a tune or say which pot they have stacked.

Sophia really loved the Nest 'n' Sing Pots she has been playing with them every single day since we were sent them a few weeks ago. They are recommended for children aged six months to three years but I think a slightly younger baby would enjoy them too as my son Jacob is three months and he loves the music and the flashing light on the front. And even a slightly older child might enjoy them too as they would be perfect for playing with in a toy kitchen.

Perfect for little hands to play with
What we loved about the Nest 'n' Sing Pots is that they are not big and bulky they easily stack together when not being played with and easily fit in the toy box without taking up much room. They are lots of fun for toddlers to play with and most importantly they are easy for toddlers to play with as the handles on the pots are nice and big and easy for little hands to grip, and they are so easy to stack together and the carrot is easy to push down too. Young children will love the music these play and mums and dads will too as it wont drive them crazy.

Having fun playing with her pots
I really recommend these Nest 'n' Sing Pots to anyone who is looking for a present for either there own or a relative or friends child as they would make a really lovely present. They are different to any other toy that I have seen recently too. And they are really affordable at just £14.99 which I think is great value for such a great toy that will bring hours of enjoyment for a young child. I know that this will be a toy that will continue to be played with in are household for many years to come, and I will be buying Sophia and Jacob many more Bright Start toys in the future as they both love this one so much.

Thank you Bright Starts for sending Sophia this toy she loved it lots and we give the Nest 'n' Sing Pots a huge 10/10 as she loves them so much and I can not fault them in anyway at all. You can find out more about the Bright Starts Nest 'n' Sing Pots on there website here or you buy your own from toy retailers such as toys r us and amazon.

* Disclosure : I was very kindly sent the Nest 'n' Sing Pots from Bright Starts for the purpose of this review, however all views are my own honest account of this product.








Family Fever

Friday, 5 December 2014

Review: Tommee Tippee Gingerbread Gift Set

Anyone who follows me on Twitter or knows me in real life will know that I love Tommee Tippee. I really do they are without a doubt my number one baby product company we have a house full of there products from steriliser and bottle warmers to nail clippers and cutlery. Tommee Tippee is a brand that I have been using with all three of my children over the last twelve years of being a mum and they are a company that I know and trust as they make great baby products. I am not just saying this because I live right next to Tommee Tippee head quarters , it is literally a few minutes walk from my house and I am forever popping into there factory shop to pick up things for my children. Tommee Tippee is just a brand that I know a lot of parents all over the country love.


Recently I was invited to a Mothercare re-opening event at the Team Valley store in Gateshead which you can read about here and I even got to interview Myleene Klass which you can read about here .Whilst there I also got to meet the really lovely Sarah from Tommee Tippee and she showed me all the Tommee Tippee products displayed in the Mothercare store (there was a lot). And Tommee Tippee have a few products which are designed exclusively for Mothercare , such as there coloured nappy bins and also some oh so cute  Gingerbread Christmas themed bottles and soothers. I fell in love with them on sight , they are that cute! They come in either pink or blue and are so perfect for baby's first Christmas.

I recently ran a giveaway with Tommee Tipeee on my blog for someone to win a one of these gift sets and I secretly wanted to enter myself so I could win it for my son Jacob. But I was kindly sent a one for Jacob to review. When the gift set arrived it was in such cute packaging and looked really festive with Christmas trees and snowflakes on the box. The gift set include two 260ml/9floz feeding bottles and two soothers. The set is recommended for babies aged 0-6 months as the bottles have slow flow teats but I still use these type of bottles with Sophia who is eighteen months old so you could buy them for a slightly older baby too if you wanted.


One Bottle has a little gingerbread man on and a house and the other bottle has Christmas stockings and presents on. The soothers are the same one has a stocking on and the other a gingerbread house. The bottles and soothers are really festive looking but the designs on them are not to big so you would still be able to get away with using them after Christmas too.


As I keep mentioning I love Tommee Tippee products and I use theses style bottles with Jacob and Sophia so I am use to using them and I have tried other bottles out over the years but these are the ones I keep coming back too as I just find them the best ones around. They are so easy to use they are easy to put together and I love that they have clear markings on so you can easily see how many ozs of milk is in the bottles when you are making them up. And they last a long time and wash well too.

Jacob is a baby who loves his dummy so he loves the new soothers and I think he will look so cute over the Christmas period when he is dressed up in his little christmas outfits with his Christmas soother in as they will complete his little elf outfit and christmas jumper perfectly. And we will be using his Christmas bottles on Christmas day too as he is only three months old so he will be having a bottle of milk for his Christmas dinner this year as he is still far to little to eat yet.


I think that this gift set would make a lovely gift for a baby who is celebrating there first christmas as lets face it all us parents love to make a big fuss over a first Christmas and to be honest there is not a lot of toys that you can buy a very young baby , as I am really struggling buying Jacob things for Christmas . So something like this gift set would be great as it is cute and festive yet very practical and something that a baby needs and will use. This gift set gets a huge thumbs up from both myself and baby Jacob and we give it a 10/10.


You can buy your own Gingerbread gift set from Mothercare in-store or online and the gift set is priced at £14.99 which I think is great value. And it really will make a lovely gift for either your own child or a friends or relatives baby this Christmas. And go check out this super cute Christmas story book that Tommee Tippee have created to go with these gift sets as it is sure to get you into the festive spirit.

* Disclosure: I was very kindly sent a Gingerbread Gift Set from Tommee Tippee for the purpose of this review , however all views are my own.





Tuesday, 2 December 2014

November- What A Month

I can not believe that it is now December , this year really has flown over so quickly! I really am certain that time speeds up once you are a parent. November turned out to be a rather great month for us , I always love November as its my birthday month and its close to Christmas and I have an excuse to shop and spoil my children. I also love winter as it means cosy nights in and lazy pj days and stodgy home cooked meals like stews and roast dinners.

This November has been a pretty great month as I said it was my birthday on the 11th November- my parents should have called me Poppy saying as I was born on remembrance day. On my actual birthday I did not do much as Jacob had his injections in the morning and then we had baby group in the afternoon. However we had a Chinese for tea ( my favourite) and I got some lovely presents of Lee and the Children. I was treated to a long overdue hair cut and colour and I opted for dark chocolate and caramel ombre hair and had a good few inches cut off to bring my hair back to life as it was in a right state after having Jacob. I got a vanilla cupcake Yankee candle ( I love them) and bath products, soap and glory things , smellies and chocolates. And the best bit was the other half done the night feeds and let me have a lie in, when you have a young baby sleep is the best gift ever!

A couple of days after my birthday grandma was on babysitting duty so me and Lee went out for a very rare meal together as we never get any time together since having Sophia and Jacob and we use to be out at least once a week before we had them. It was lovely to just go out and spend time together alone. We went to Prezzo and had a lovely meal then we had a leisurely afternoon shopping.

Also the day we went out lee won £1000 so he went out and bought me a new laptop just for blogging as mine was rather old and slow. And we spent the rest on Christmas presents , I think we will have three spoilt children once again this year. And then later on that day I received an e-mail from Mumsnet saying that I had won £1300 worth of kitchen appliances! I won a £400 oven a £400 hob and a £500 dishwasher, so we had a super lucky day.

Also in November Jacob has changed so much he is no longer a whingey baby he has turned into a lovely happy little boy who smiles and laughs all the time and hardly cry's anymore unless he is hungry. He is sleeping better too he goes to bed at 7pm and wakes anything between 1-4 times a night for a bottle but then goes straight back to sleep until 7am. Life is so much better when you have some sleep and a break from constant crying. The girls have had a good month too Chloe continues to enjoy high school and went to a concert to see Ed Sheeran and Ella Henderson in November ( I am very jealous) and Sophia is just her normal happy self who is learning new words every single day and is now 18 months old! And we have booked Jacobs christening for february so we will have something to look forward to early next year too.

And blog wise wow what can I say it has been an amazing month. Firstly I got to attend a Mothercare re-opening event as a vip blogger and I got to interview Myleene Klass - amazing! I also started earning money from my blog with two paid opportunities and I even got offered a freelance job opportunity off the back of my blog too. I have also worked with some amazing brands this month such as Degustabox, Dr Browns, Tommee Tippee, Teen Parcel, Lapland Mailroom, Funky Giraffe Bibs, Jellycat & Bellakidz and Berry Clever. I also became a blogging ambassador for Mama Academy and I could tell people I had been a tester for the recent Mother And Baby Magazine awards.And I have booked my Britmums live ticket for next year which I am already feeling nervous about. My page views have went crazy this month and have more then doubled. I really am so thankful that people actual read my blog and this has given me the kick up the bum I need to blog more and make more of an effort with my blog as I have so many ideas in my head and have been so lucky to continue to be working with some more great brands this month too.

I cant wait to see what happens in December, I am getting so excited for Christmas as I cant wait to see Chloe and Sophia's faces on Christmas morning and it will be Jacobs very first Christmas. And I am looking forward to spending quality time with family , eating , drinking and being merry. I hope everyone else had a good November too and fingers crossed we all have an amazing December .


Saturday, 29 November 2014

I Was A Mother And Baby Magazine Award Tester

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen that I was a product tester for the recent Mother And Baby magazine's annual award's. Which awards the best baby products around and covers everything from Pram's and Highchairs to nappies and baby foods. And I know as a mum I do often opt to buy things that have won awards from Mother And Baby magazine as I know it means other mums love the product so it must be pretty good. And I am an avid Mother And Baby magazine reader as it has been my magazine of choice for the last three years with having my youngest children so close together, in fact I even read it 12 years ago when I was pregnant with Chloe!

Anyway back at the start of the year I was browsing Facebook one day when I seen an announcement from Mother And Baby Magazines Facebook page saying they were looking for parents to be testers in the 2014 awards. So on a whim I filled in the application form and applied , I never in a million years thought that I would get picked as I had never reviewed anything in my life as it was before I even set my blog up.

Mother And Baby Retweeted me

Anyway a few weeks later I received an e-mail from Mother And Baby asking if I would be interested in testing out some products for them with a group of friends who had children of a similar age to Sophia but I would need somewhere to store the products I would be testing. At this point I had no idea what product I would be testing. I replied saying yes that would be fine and then I received another e-mail a week or so later saying that I had been selected to test highchairs and I would be testing three for a couple of weeks with my friends and then we would have to fill in some (a lot) of  questions about each product after we had tested them.

And in May three highchairs arrived, a one which will remain nameless - simply because I don't want people to think badly of them that they wanted the highchair back when everyone else let me keep them. A Nuna Zazz, and a Stokke Tripp Trapp. I have to be honest and tell you I fell in love with the Tripp Trapp, it is amazing that it will last from birth to adulthood. So we tested the highchairs out and then filled in the questions about the products. And I packed all the highchairs away to be sent back as I never in a million years thought I would be able to keep them , but I only had to send one back and was aloud to keep the Tripp Trapp and Nuna Zazz - yay!

And I thought that was the end of it but I then received an e-mail asking if I would like to test some more highchairs and of course I said yes as it had been great fun trying new products. This time we were sent the Munchkin Booster Seat, Knuma 4-in1 Connect, Graco Duo Diner, Joie Mimzy Snacker and Kiddicare Munch. We were meant to be sent another highchair but that somehow got lost by the courier. So we tested them out for a couple of weeks and filled in the questions back in early august just days before baby Jacob was born.

And I was aloud to keep all the highchairs, I couldn't possibly keep them all so I gave some to the people who helped me test them and I kept the Graco for Sophia as she loves it. The Tripp Trapp I kept for Jacob and the Munchkin has gone to granddads house. I also kept the Knuma as I love it and the Nuna Zazz as the other half loved that one. I know I am crazy having four highchairs when I only have two babies. But since testing so many different highchairs I now love highchairs and I know what I like and what I don't like about them. I really am becoming a bit of a highchair expert - yes I know I am a geek.

We tested the highchairs in May and July but the results were only announced this week and I was eagerly awaiting the results on twitter as I had no idea which highchair would win as there were also ones shortlisted that I never tested. And I had a few favourites so I was not entirely sure which would win and the winner was the Graco Duo Diner, which was Sophia's favourite highchair, she really loves it and it is the one she took a shine to out of all the ones we tested.

Now that I have a house full of highchairs I am planning on doing some blog posts reviewing the highchairs I have as before I took part in this I had no idea at all about highchairs and Sophia's old one was a John Lewis one and it was rather rubbish if i'm honest. So it will be nice to pass on what I have learnt about highchairs to any other parents out there who are planning on buying a one and also have no idea what to look for. As there have been so many times recently I have wanted to tell people which is the best as I have tested so many, but I couldn't as I had to keep my involvement in the awards quiet on social media until all the results were in and the awards announced.

I have loved being a tester for the Mother And Baby magazine awards and I have learnt so much , I think that it has made me a better reviewer on my blog as I now know what is expected in a review and what the brand is looking for in a review and also what us mums and dads are looking for in a review too. If anyone fancies being a reviewer next year I would recommend applying , its lots of fun, you get to try some great products and you learn a lot. Don't just do it hoping you will get freebies though as I never in a million years thought I would get to keep one highchair never mind nearly all of them, as it really does depend what you are testing if you are testing a high value item the chances are you will have to send it back. But if you see the advert next year I say go for it just apply and be yourself and you never know you might be lucky and get chosen just like I did.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Berry Clever

Since becoming a mum I seem to really really love lists. Lists are the only way I can seem to be organised now I am a mum of three, as I am always forgetting something. I love lists so much I even have lists of my lists , my iPhone is full of lists I even have a notebook full of them. I also sometimes spend ages trying to find out what baby and children products are good or not so good . As I don't want to be going out and spending a fortune on a pram to find out actually it is rather rubbish. And I normally end up spending ages searching online for review's.

So imagine my utter delight when I came across the website Berry Clever it is a website that is full of lists of baby and children products all grouped together nicely. And the best part of these lists is that next to each product there is real mum review telling you if the product is meh ( bad) or love (good) and also a quick review of what mums thought, Genius! And if you sign up you can leave your own reviews on products you love or hate to help other parents out too. There is even a pet section for all those pet lovers out there.

So what is Berry Clever I hear you say. Well Berry Clever is a fairly new website that was set up by two mums  Emma and Kristi to make shopping a bit less daunting for us new mums . As there is so many baby and children products out there it really is hard to find out a.) what products we actually do need and b.) what products are actually any good.

When you visit Berry Clever all the products are grouped together so they are super easy to find and the website is so quick and easy to use. You just look up the product or the kind of product you are after and then look to see what mums are rating or hating. People can also make lists of say for example 'must have newborn products' and they will have a list of newborn products that they think are essential, super helpful.

And it is not just baby products that are on Berry Clever there is also book's and toys for older children too. There is everything from prams and cots to medicines and bedtime stories. Everything that us mums use and need with honest reviews from normal mums just like you and me. So if you are expecting a baby, have a baby , or have children and are a bit stuck on what christmas presents to buy them ( that would be me) or maybe you are a pet owner or you just fancy checking out a new site then go on over and check out Berry Clever for yourself. It is free and so quick and simple to join and you can see what products are recommended or even better love or meh your own products so mums like me no longer have to spend hours trawling the internet looking to see what reviews that pram we have are eye on has. Oh and also to give me some ideas of what toys my children would like for Christmas. Go on go and check www.berryclever.com out for yourself as I predict that it will soon become your go to baby and children shopping site as it has certainly became mine.

  Lindsay x

* Disclosure : I am working in Partnership with Berry Clever.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Review: Dr Brown's Baby Bottle's

Anyone who read's my blog or follows me on twitter will know that Jacob has been one rather unsettled baby as he has been suffering from colic since he was two week's old. Any parent who has had a baby who suffers from colic will know just how hard work it can be as your baby just screams in pain for hours on end every day. It is so horrible to watch your tiny little newborn baby screaming in pain and if you are like me you often end up in tears yourself due to feeling sorry for them and down to sheer exhaustion as you spend hours trying all sorts of different things to settle them. It also ruined those first precious few weeks with him as all he done was cry , I felt like I could not fully enjoy him as he was such an unhappy little man.

I tried everything to get rid of his colic, we went to see the doctor who said it was normal for babies to cry a lot. The health visitor said he may just have a underdeveloped digestive system due to him being born a little early and this may be causing him colic. We tried winding him , walking around the room with him, pushing him in his pram, taking him out the car, using infacol and massaging his tummy ( don't do this unless you have been shown how to properly) the list of thing's we tried was endless.

And then someone mentioned Dr Brown's to us, a bottle that has been specially designed to help with colic. So we went out and brought a one to use on a evening when Jacob was the most unsettled to see if this would help him. And his colic definitely started to improve and we seen a drastic reduction in Jacobs screaming episodes. So imagine my delight when Dr Brown's sent us some more bottles to try out.


Dr Brown's were first designed in 1996 by a doctor to help prevent trapped wind in babies due to there special internal vent system ( blue tube in the bottle) and they have rapidly grown into a well known globally recognised brand that parents have grown to know and love.

Dr Brown's say that

" We offer a complete feeding system for happier babies, one that includes the only fully vented vacuum free feeding bottle. Widely recognised by parents and health professionals as the most effective way of preventing colic symptoms caused by regular bottles and teats. Dr Brown's feeding system offers your baby the opportunity for a more comfortable feed.
Dedicated to promoting good health in mothers and their babies, Dr Brown's goal is to provide the best technology-driven products available. Whether your baby is fed on expressed breast milk or infant formula, you will be amazed by the results."

So what were my first impressions of Dr Brown's ? As I mentioned I had previously went out and brought a single bottle to try out myself on Jacob and was impressed with its effectiveness in helping with his colic symptoms. I was then sent the Dr Brown's natural flow 240 ml twin pack bottles to try out. The first thing I noticed about Dr Brown's is the size of the bottle as it is taller then the bottles we had previously been using and at first I was a little worried it would not fit in are steriliser, but they fitted in no problem at all. Also I would make sure that you read the instructions before using these bottles as I did not and I shook the bottle when I made it up to mix the formula up and due to the vent hot milk came pouring out the bottle all over. But if I had read the instructions then I would have knowing not to do this and to stir the formula instead. Also when it came to assembling the bottle I was a little daunted at first due to all the extra parts but I need not have been as it was so simple and quick to put all the parts together.

What did Jacob think of them? At first he was a little unsure of the teat as it was a different shape to the one's he was use to and he is a really fussy baby and only takes certain dummy's and bottle teats, but after a few attempts he stopped fusing and drank from the teat. Jacob is a really hungry greedy baby and he sucks really hard on the teats and with his normal bottles the teat kept collapsing on him but they have never collapsed once while using Dr Brown's. They are also really easy to hold for us parents. Jacob has also been being sick a lot less while using these bottles as beforehand he was a really sickly baby. He has also been a lot more settled after feeds and is bringing wind up more easily and not screaming in pain for hours anymore.

Did they help with his colic? I have definitely noticed a huge difference in Jacob the last few week's and he rarely screams in pain anymore. He seemed to calm down more or less as soon as we started using Dr Brown's as he was not gulping his feeds down as fast as he was beforehand. We have also noticed that he was not as sick as normal while using these bottles.



Good point's
  • They really do help when a baby is suffering with colic.
  • The teat does not collapse when baby is sucking
  • Milk flow is natural and satisfying for baby
  • Easy to use
  • Fit in steriliser
Bad point's
  • When the bottle come's out the steriliser it is hard to see the numbers to fill the water to as they are pale imprints in the bottle rather then the black print I was use to
  • Are a little bit fiddlier then regular bottles to assemble.
Would I recommend ? 

Yes I would do as if you have a baby who suffers with colic or trapped wind then these bottles really do work at helping them. I have heard a few other parents from Jacobs baby group mention that they also use these bottles and recommend them. I also know of parents who have brought these bottles to use with there newborn baby from birth. If you have been using a regular baby bottle then you may find these a little fiddly at first but after you have used them once or twice you get use to them and they are very simple and quick to assemble and use. I would also advise people to read the instructions before using so they don't do things wrong and end up covered in hot milk like I did. Overall these bottles really have helped with Jacobs colic and he is a much more settled and happier baby since using them. The bottles are also really well made and we have been using them for a few weeks now and they have sterilised really well and still look brand new . So thank you Dr Brown's for helping my little boy combat nasty colic and let us finally see what a happy little boy we have now he is no longer screaming all the time in pain from trapped wind. I would give Dr Brown's 8/10

You can find out more about Dr Brown's by visiting there website www.drbrowns.co.uk or following them on Twitter or Facebook. You can buy Dr Brown's bottles at most baby retailers such as Boots , Mothercare, Babies r us and John Lewis.

* Disclosure: I was sent two Dr Brown's bottles for the purpose of this review, however all views are my own.

We're going on an adventure

Monday, 24 November 2014

My Interview With Myleene Klass

As you may know I recently attended the Mothercare Team Valley Gateshead grand re-opening as one of there VIP bloggers along with Hannah from Mums day's , you can read all about the fabulous new look Mothercare store here. The store was re-opened by celebrity and fashion designer Myleene Klass as she designs her award winning Babyk nursery and fashion range for Mothercare.

Myleene has a reputation for being really lovely and one of the few celebrities who are down to earth and normal , you never hear of her having any diva demands or getting kicked out of nightclubs. In fact she is mostly photographed on the school run or out and about with her two adorable young daughters.

So when I was asked by Mothercare if I would like the opportunity to interview her I was a little hesitant at first as 1. I am fairly new to blogging 2 I have never interview anyone before in my life, never mind a celebrity! 3. I had no idea at all what to ask her 4. I was a little bit nervous at the prospect as I had no idea what to expect and had visions of her agent putting a stop to any questions I may ask.

But I need not have worried at all as I was free to ask her whatever I wanted.The first thing I noticed about her was just how gorgeous she was and the second was just how friendly she was greeting everyone who entered the store especially the children and she was happy to get photographed and mingle with the shoppers. I had asked my Facebook friends and also other bloggers on Twitter and in Facebook groups what I should ask Myleene and here is how I got on ......

Rather cheekily one of the first things I asked Myleene was if she had heard of Mama Academy which is a new UK based charity set up to try and reduce the still birth rate here in the UK , please do go and check out there website and see what good work they do. And I recently became a one of there blogging ambassador and you can read about why I am here. Anyway I cheekily asked her if she had heard about them and told them a little about the charity and she told me to give the details to her assistant which I gladly did.

When it came to my turn to interview Myleene my baby son Jacob decided that it was time to be fed so with baby in my arms I began my interview , and Myleene greeted me by asking if I would like to find somewhere to sit to feed baby as I was interviewing her in store surrounded by her beautiful range of children clothing. She also asked about Jacob and could not believe my chunky little monkey was only two months old and she happily chatted about her own children Ava and Hero throughout the interview. It really was just like talking to any other mum. So here is what I asked Myleene


Q 1.) My friend Faye wanted to know where you got the pink dress you were photographed in at the Mothercare Solihul store opening recently? 

One word Littlewoods.

Q 2.)How do you manage to juggle being a mum and working while still looking so glam?

(Laughs) Well I have a very good make-up artist. No it is hard I am not going to lie, it is a constant juggling act. It is so unbelievably tiring , take yesterday for example I done the school run then I was on a photo shoot , I had a meeting ,then I had to travel. But as a mumma you just get on with it and do it as you are constantly multi tasking when you have children.

Q 3.) You have been designing clothes for Mothercare since 2008, how did that come about?

When I was pregnant with Ava I wanted to buy her a little black dress but I could not find a one anywhere. The shops were all full of pink and lemon, So I approached Mothercare and pitched to them my idea and I thought they would turn me down as everyone was saying why did I want to dress babies up in black it was morbid like they were going to a funeral. But Mothercare agreed and the clothing range was a success and it just grew from there.

Q 4.) Do your daughters wear and have any say in your clothing range?

Ava and Hero always wear BabyK , even some of the boys stuff. Apart from school uniform they are not photographed in anything else. They will sometime say make a dress with something on , like one year they wanted a dress made of feathers so they could fly. So I made a feathery dress and it was a sell out, it was the best selling item in the collection and we kept running out of stock.

Q 5.) What has been your inspiration for your current range?

Fifty's , I love the fifty's vintage look.

Q 6.) What is your one favourite item from the collection?

I love them all , how can I chose just one. For the boys it would have to be the peacoat ( she points to the coat and I have to confess it is really nice and stylish perfect for a little boy to wear in winter) For a girl I would chose the floral dress as it took age's to source this fabric and I love all the details on it like the bow on the front. It is a very girly dress but it is still edgy with the pink flowers and the black background.



Q 7.) Do you design all the pieces yourself?

Yes , I could tell you what fabric every item is made from and where it was sourced. Obviously I do have help as I would never be able to do it all on my own, I have a design team who I meet with regularly. They will help me with things such as if any clothing items would be banned In certain countries. I even went into my daughters school and I talked about designing , about the fabrics and where they come from.

Q 8.) Have you ever thought of designing a maternity wear range?

It is something I have thought about in the past, but to be honest when I was pregnant I just brought clothes in bigger sizes and I only really wore maternity clothes right at the end of my pregnancies. And maternity clothing can be expensive when you are wearing it for such a short space of time. It is not where I am at the moment and I have no plans to design a maternity range anytime soon.

Q 9.) A few mums have mentioned that they love your girl range but will you be expanding your boy range. 

 I have just found out I have won an award for my boys range which I am incredibly proud of as I put so much effort into my boys range. I make sure the items are stylish and practical and I make sure that they have attention to detail, like the jeans I design they are not just a pair of jeans I make sure they look nice, fit well and I add leather detailing to the pocket. My range may not be for everyone but that will always be the case, it sells well and I am happy with it.
( All you mums out there her boys range is really nice , there was also just as many boy clothes as girls displayed in store. I cant wait until Jacob is old enough to wear it as there really was so many lovely boy pieces)

Q 10.) My friend Karen wanted to know will you be releasing anymore classical music?

Music is always a huge part of mine and my daughters life and it always will be. I am still involved in music but at the moment I have no urge to release a album, it is incredibly hard work with long hours with touring and promoting and I can't do that as a mum and its not where I am at in life right now. But never say never as with classical music it never gets old it will always be there and I can go back to it later in life if I want to ,I don't have to be young dancing on stage like Gaga.

Q 11.)  What was your best and worst baby buys when your daughters were small.

Worst would have been gripe water as I brought it but never used it and never knew what to do with it as I never had colicky babies. But everyone said it was a must buy item when I was pregnant so I got some. Oh and baby monitors as they always lost signal when I was moving around the house.
Best buy would have to a travel highchair, as I travelled a lot when Ava was small and we ate out a lot and I never had to worry or ask if there would be a highchair available as I could just put her in it anywhere we went and she was happy.

Q 12.) Apart from being a mum what do you enjoy most designing, modelling, presenting or music?

All of them as they are all my job and as a mum we juggle so many roles everyday. And not just one job defines who I am they are all so important to me and such a big part of my life. That's not a cop out, I just love them all.



Interviewing Myleene really was just like talking to any other mum she was so friendly and very chatty. She always kept mentioning her daughters and asking about my children and she was brilliant with every child she came into contact with in the store. She really is as nice as everybody says and what I noticed was yes she may be a celebrity but she is just a working mum with two small children she clearly adores and she is just like all of us working mums out there constantly juggling work and her home life, just looking a bit more glamorous then the rest of us.


Special  thanks to my friends Karen, Faye, Victoria, Stacey and Carly and also Emily from www.twinmummyanddaddy.com Jai from www.kiddyreviews.com and also Kate for providing me with some great questions to ask Myleene.