Review: Duvet day with Vertbaudet

September 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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Vert Baudet Duvet Cover Autumn is coming and it’s actually really nice to not feel so bad about staying indoors and cuddling up on the sofa to eat sweeties and watch a family film! On this occasion, Dr Doolittle! Duvet day with Vert Baudet duvet cover Do you have regular family duvet or movie afternoons? As much as everyone says that too much TV is equivalent to damaging your child’s IQ, everything in moderation I say, and family movie days are really good quality time in my opinion – all children need down time. Duvet day with Vert Baudet duvet cover Are you enjoying the shorter days, cooler weather and opportunity to snuggle up on the sofa? Vertbaudet kindly sent us the North Pole boys duvet cover and pillow case set available from their website.  We always find lots of great stuff for boys on the website, it’s nice to shop off the high street for more unusual styles and colours, cuts and finishes.

Review: Swivel Bath Seat

July 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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We’ve been putting the Swivel Bath seat from Kiddicare to the test in our most recent round of reviews.

It’s suitable from six months but I confess that we’ve been using it from five months.  It’s very supportive so I had no concerns about Sully being too small.

It’s really handy because it means that baby can be upright and join in bath time with older siblings, and you can have the water deeper than if you’re using a bath sponge or reclining seat.  I was finding that from about four months of age, Sully was wriggling his way out of the plastic reclining seats.

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The seat swivels on a base which sticks firmly to the bottom of the bath.  It provides a snug seat with plenty of support.  It’s light and portable so comes with us when we stay with friends or family. It’s even handy out of the bath!

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The only tiny downside is that water collects and remains in the base so you need to unsucker it from the bath and drain out the water.

Overall this is fantastic, a real bath time helper.  The best part; it’s only £8 from Kiddicare at the moment.

We received this product to review.  I stick to the Bloggers with Integrity code to post honest, open reviews.

Review: LegoLand Windsor

June 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Days Out, Reviews | 4 Comments
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We’ve reviewed quite a few family days out over the years, but none quite as exciting as LEGOLAND. For weeks before the trip our four year old was asking how many sleeps to go. By the morning of the trip he was beside himself with excitement. He wasn’t disappointed – and neither were we.

We visited on the opening day of the Duplo Valley Splash Park – and the sun shone hot and beautifully all day for us.

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We started at the Star Wars exhibition (at The Beginning) – I confess to not being a fanatic but found the models fascinating – the atmosphere, lighting and sound effects were totally transporting and magical. Within moments of being inside we felt like big kids – husband and I beamed at each other, excited to find out what was around the next corner.

From there, we explored the park and rides. We were lucky to have Q-Bot passes so we didn’t have to queue for any of the rides, although the park wasn’t overly busy either so it would have been ok – if you’re planning to visit, avoid inset days – we went on the last Sunday of half term and it was relatively calm – maybe people assumed it would be manic. Q-Bot isn’t cheap so visit the Q-Bot page to find out more.

Our favourite rides included the Fire Academy (in Traffic) which you pump to move along in your engine to the house and then pump water to put a pretend fire out – it’s a race against each of the other engines. We also loved Laser Raiders (in Kingdom of the Pharaohs) – you travel around in ghost train style carts with laser guns shooting at targets above the skeletons heads. Four year old thought it was amazing – he shot nothing but had no idea and thought it was the best thing ever!

The Pirates of Skeleton Bay show at The Harbour was fantastic – true stuntmen (stunt people?) with flips and jumps off the tallest towers into the water with flames and all sorts – we were all gripped and it was a nice pitstop before lunch. We ate at Burger Ranch – I had a falafel burger which was huge and tasty – enough fuel for the rest of the afternoon and being ruled by our stomachs as a family, we were ready to sit and eat something filling. We did give in and buy one of the kids refillable drinks bottles which was pricy at £7 but we bought it late in the day so didn’t really get to use the refills – I can’t remember if they were free, I think so. There are lots of tea and coffee stops which is really hand.

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After lunch we visited MiniLand which is just amazing – mini model towns and cities from across the UK, Europe and US made of Lego. The London attractions were stunning, as were the docks and US space centre / NASA areas – you felt like you were getting a true birds eye view of these somewhat classified places you’d never get to visit. We could have wandered around for longer but we were more interested than Bear who was desperate to get to the Splash Park. I went to find a cash machine for ice creams while the boys changed into their swimmers. They didn’t play for long but the sprinklers were a hit and the warm weather enticed more people in to play. It was well supervised and although it looked a little precarious in parts you could see that the surfaces were all non-slip (paranoid parent). I packed my cossie but didn’t feel I was missing out by staying at a safe viewing distance – I’m still covering up the body of a busy mum with a six month old and a chocolate habit.

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We also managed to squeeze in a 4D viewing of a Lego Chima movie which was fab – the fire, smoke, rain and snow took us all by surprise and I admit to squealing slightly. Opposite there, in the Exploratorium you can sit and build Lego Heroes which was a great chance to stop and do something quietly for 20 minutes. After that, husband took Bear on the Atlantis Submarine Voyage which sounded amazing and I wished I’d been on it too – a real deep sea adventure complete with sharks.

So as well as a Pirate Boat ride, panning for gold (which you receive a medal for), balloon flights and more, we finished with a quick look around the shop where I secretly got Bear a Lego watch for his fifth birthday, as well as buying myself a bright pink Lego Box for my desk. Well….I still love Lego too.

The service everywhere was really good, everything is really clean, there are plenty of toilets and baby changing facilities – everything is very well planned and laid out. Thumbs up.

All in all we had an incredible day. It’s well worth the trip, the ticket price (maybe not the Q-Bot ticket so pick your day wisely) and I would absolutely guarantee taking home shattered but very happy children. Enjoy.

 

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We were lucky to be given free entry and Q-Bot passes. I stick to the Bloggers with Integrity code to post honest and open reviews which are informative, useful and hopefully inspiring.

Review: Grubby Buggy

June 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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About a month ago two things happened.  I purchased a second hand pushchair – a little light weight stroller for the nursery run.  And I received an email from Grubby Buggy.  I didn’t even really need to read the content as the name said it all.  And I knew I needed to try it out.

The buggy I purchased was in good condition, but was definitely pre-loved.  It was in a far better state than many of the pushchairs Grubby Buggy receive to work their magic on but I was still excited to see the results.  They basically transform pushchairs from the milk splatted, biscuit encrusted, mud stained messes that we get them into, back to something close to what they once were.  You can see some of the worst offenders on the Grubby Buggy Facebook page.

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You can also see how ours faired here.  I was really impressed with the fact that they black the wheels again, and the logos on the sides of the buggy were gleaming white.  For people looking to sell a second-hand buggy it’s well worth doing to get the top price.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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If you’re in a rush don’t worry, collected, cleaned and returned in 48 hours.  Not bad.

Prices start from £3 for a rain cover, up to £90 for a three in one pushchair, carry cot and carseat.  Delivery is free if you’re local to Gloucester but chargeable for other parts of the UK.

I thought the service was really good.  You would need to weigh up the value of the buggy with your needs – if you were looking to buy a new one because you’re was so filthy it would be well worth it as a clean would be a fraction of the cost of a new buggy.

Explore the Facebook page and website for more info.

We were lucky enough to have our pushchair cleaned for free in return for a review.  I stick to the bloggers with integrity code to post honest and open reviews.

Review: Day out at Warwick Castle

June 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Days Out, Reviews | Leave a comment
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This Spring we were lucky enough to spend a day at Warwick Castle finding our inner knights and princesses on a chilly but bright day.

We arrived and walked through a medieval village where we talked to knights and learnt about their swords and mallets, much to the delight of our curious four year old who was allowed to hold a sword. We tasted the most delicious peppery cabbage soup, played catch the rat, a giant game of Operation and tried out the stocks.

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On from there we explored the castle confines – we had our baby in the buggy which obviously isn’t suited to the many steps and narrow castle walls so we relaxed with a hot chocolate in the basement cafe whilst the bigger boys went off and had fun. If you do have a baby sling or carrier I’d highly recommend it as even the baby change and toilets are down some steps and not easily accessible.

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Next we watched a bird of prey display – the Stellar’s Sea Eagle was an incredible creature and totally mesmerised us all as it flew from the trees to castle walls.

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At lunchtime we sat in the castle quod and watched an amazing sword battle – the host/compare was part of that and talked about the history surrounding Warwick – he was very funny, engaging and had all of the children hanging on his every word. It was nearly our favourite part of the day.

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We only travelled from Oxford but it was a very cold day and we wanted to head home at a good time – but we were adamant that we wouldn’t miss the fireball trebuchet before we left. This is watched from the grassy hill running down to the river. The huge contraption on the other side of the bank is an amazing site to see. The same narrator talks through the history of its use and how it works before a huge flaming fire ball is launched across the grounds. For adults and children a like it was totally breathtaking. This was by far our favourite part of the day.

Our four year old savoured every moment of our trip – even a walk through the house with it’s treasures – weapons, coins, furniture and a great deal more. I secretly snapped pictures of the wallpapers and curtains being mid way through house renovations – well, a spot of period charm could work well alongside modern retro…. right?!

All in all an amazing day out. Avoid taking the buggy if you can, and if you want to visit the princess tower, make sure to arrive in good time for your slot otherwise they won’t let you in!

Tickets for a family of four cost £80 if you book 7 days in advance. More information about Warwick Castle tickets here. I believe Tesco Clubcard do offers from time to time.

We visited on a press trip and did not pay for our tickets. I pledge to only post honest and open reviews which are accurate and useful.

 

Review: Tesco Loves Baby Nappies & Wipes

May 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | 4 Comments
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With the sad demise of Huggies nappies in the UK, we were looking for an alternative – especially as nappies cost so much, we wanted a cost effective option too.

We put Tesco Loves Baby, Aldi’s Mamia and Cheeky Bots nappies, also available at Tesco to the test.

Today I’m reviewing the Tesco Loves Baby range and having already purchased some of the products because I was swayed by the pretty packaging, we were happy to oblige when asked to road test the nappies.

I always stick to a promise to readers, and to myself to post honest reviews and I can honestly say that we haven’t had one leak with Tesco nappies – they’re great.  Some nappies are stiff and uncomfortable, others just feel cheap and the worst ones leak from the sides within a matter of minutes.

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We’ve been really happy with both the quality and the price of both the nappies and wipes – and when they look good too it’s an added bonus.

Tesco regularly has baby offers and events so watch out for discounts.  The Clubcard voucher double up scheme has also just started again and you can double up for vouchers redeemable against baby products.

A 36 pack of nappies is currently £5.97 or two for £10.

There’s loads in the range as well as nappies and wipes – bottles, feeding equipment, teething products and dummies to name but a few.

Happy nappy shopping.

 

This is a sponsored post.  I stick to the Bloggers with Integrity code to post reviews that are as honest as Santa, as useful as Supernanny and as accurate as Carol Vorderman.

Review: Sistema Sandwich Boxes

April 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Foodie Stuff, Reviews | 1 Comment
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When you become a parent, you develop a bit of a tupperware habit.  I’ve also realised this week that I am definitely a grown up as I have a tendancy to decant dry goods into pretty jars or plastic containers – herbs and spices, gravy granules (yes I cheat) and even baby formula.

Ready for back to school, we’ve been putting Sistema sandwich boxes and drinks bottles to the test.

As soon as we unpacked the boxes, our four year old (Bear) insisted we add name labels and sit down for a packed lunch.  So we did.  First, we packed up the Slimline Quaddie which has lots of compartments – a big section underneath ideal for sandwiches and a banana, and three smaller compartments on the top.  One contains a small square drinks bottle.  Daddy has one of these lunchboxes for work, and uses the bottle for sauce for his pasta, stir fry or salad, so Bear insisted on having ketchup in his.

We added cucumber, a satsuma, crisps and a strawberry whoopie pie to the other sections – and then we ate.

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We also put the Squeeze Bottle to the test which is simple, slimline and has an easy twist opening and can be squeezed as the name suggests. It does what it says on the tin really.  And importantly, it doesn’t leak.

Finally, we tried out the Lunch Cube, which again has great compartments and is ideal for kids lunches or adults. With a sandwich section in the bottom and two compartments in the top, it fits everything in neatly.

Having sections in lunch boxes means you can cut down on waste – there’s less need for foil or film because everything is kept in its place.

Age four also seems to be a particularly picky and fussy age – our son seems to be as fussy about the contents of his lunch box as he does about the box itself.  These were a hit so we’re happy!

There are plenty of places to buy Sistema products in the UK.  And the prices are very reasonable too – £5 for the Slimline Quaddie lunch box on Amazon.

You can find out more about the Sistema story in this video…

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We were sent these Sistema products to review. I stick to the bloggers with integrity code to post honest and open reviews.

Review: Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair & newborn set

April 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment
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I hadn’t realised until recently how much time we spend sitting at our dining room table. So being able to have Sully, our newborn at the table with us has been fantastic.

There are some baby necessities you just can’t predict needing but I guarantee that for anyone with an older child, especially of school age, this is just invaluable.

We’ve been using the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair with the added newborn set since Sully was born. He used to sleep in it and now he sits with us while we have breakfast, lunch, do homework, play board games and watch silly videos on the iPad. He’s always a part of everything we do which I love.

The whole Stokke philosophy is based around connection – The Xplory pushchair has a high seat which faces you on eye level and without getting overly slushy, it really is amazing how much more involved you are with your baby on a daily basis when you can push them around and communicating with them. Even if it is just ridiculous cooing faces in those early months.

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We’ve just started weaning Sully and the newborn seat is perfect for that too. It’s comfortable for a small baby yet upright enough for feeding. We’ll shortly move to the baby set having used one at Barefoot Books today and realising that he’s big enough to sit in it.

The Stokke Tripp Trapp is an investment – you can use it from birth right up to adult by moving through the newborn set, baby set and then just using the wooden chair and moving the slats down.

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I really can’t recommend this highly enough. Of all the products I’ve ever bought or reviewed as a parent, this is just a huge must have. I absolutely love it and love having Sully sitting right with me.  I’m looking forward to seeing him grow up with it.

You can read my review of the Stokke Xplory here.

Watch the Tripp Trapp video too…

We were sent the Tripp Trapp to review along with the newborn and baby sets. I stick to the bloggers with integrity code to post honest and open reviews.

Review: Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 Car Seat

March 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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We’ve tried and tested a number of different styles and brands of car seat – some dreadful – some really good.  Ease of use and fitting as well as safety are top priorities.

The Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 car seat includes a new piece of design which is a first – a bolster bar that slots in across the front of the child for added security – seen in the picture above.  It’s recently won a Which! Best Buy Award which is a real help to parents looking to make an informed choice.  This is a group 1, 2 and 3 car seat which grows with your child  – it can be used from 9kg-36kg.

Check out what we thought of the car seat – it’s a definite thumbs up.  If our four year old had his way, he’d be using the safety bar despite not really needing it at his age, it was a real hit.

This is what the Which! report has to say:

“It offers impressive side crash protection and head support and is a great
choice if you have a car that allows you to use the Isofix installation option.” It approves of the
dual option to use Isofix connectors or simply install it with the regular seatbelt, which is required
in any case for use during Group 1 stage, when the ‘Kiddy Impact Shield’ system protects the
younger child until they weigh 18kg. The impact shield has been shown to significantly reduce the
risk of serious injury to the child in simulated crash tests at 41mph.

Extremely low pollutant levels, excellent safety, outstanding ease of use and good quality were
all recognised by the judges and led to top marks. According to Which magazine the Kiddy
Guardianfix Pro 2, “Is easier to fit with the Isofix connectors than with the adult belt alone, but a
good belt routing means the risk of installing it incorrectly is low”.

The box made a good car too….

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The Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 car seat retails at £250 – visit the Kiddy website for more information.

We were lucky enough to receive the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 car seat to review. I stick to the bloggers with integrity code to post honest and open reviews.

Review: Scosche Rhythm Pulse Monitor

February 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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Everyone tells you that it’s harder to lose the baby weight second time round, so after baby number two, I’ve enlisted a little help.

We’ve been reviewing the Schosche Rhythm Pulse Monitor (£99.95 from the Apple Store), which allows you to accurately monitor your exercise and daily activities including pulse rate, calories burned, speed, pace, route and distance.

It’s a great looking gadget which you strap onto your forearm, with the monitor against the inside of your arm.  It’s small and lightweight and fits easily under your clothes.

It operates with one button and syncs easily via blue tooth with your  smartphone or tablet – I am using it on my iPhone with the Scosche Rhythm app, downloaded for free from the App Store.  Once you’ve paired the device with your phone and opened the app, a clear, personalised dashboard gives you stats about your workout.  All you do is switch the device on and press start in the app.  What’s great is that you can also stream music wirelessly with it.

At the end of your workout you can see how many calories you’ve burned and various stats about your pulse rate.  I was amazed to see that the 20 minute round trip to school each morning is burning 250 calories!  Because you can see the calories clocking up as you go, it’s a great incentive to work harder.

You can enter your own activities, such as the 30 Day Shred DVD that I’m currently doing.  Choose your own workout each time you press start and record the details of your own workouts.  You can add details to the calendar and keep track of your progress and weight loss.  It’s a great way to motivate you to set a goal and stick at it.

So far, I’ve lost a stone of baby weight – I have another to go but I feel good about what I’ve achieved so far in three months!

We were sent the Scosche Rhythm Pulse Monitor to review. I stick to the bloggers with integrity code to post honest, open reviews.

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