Monday, 29 September 2014

Review: Parragon Life Canvas Stationery

I've been meaning to write this review for a while. I completely organise my life using lists in various notebooks as well as drafting many posts on paper whilst out and about. I keep a notebook and pen in every handbag and changing bag I own so I'm never caught short. What I really do love is unusual yet stylish stationery. For that reason I was overly excited when Parragon announced their new 'Life Canvas' range and offered to send me some samples. I wasn't sure which I would be receiving and I couldn't have been more pleased when a package containing the 'Paris' journal and mini sticky notes dropped through the letterbox.



The A5 journal contains 160 pages of elegantly designed pages. So pretty you almost wouldn't want to write in them! The quality of the journal is fantastic, I have no doubts that it will be long lasting. Words just can't even describe how much I love my journal!





The mini sticky notes are just as cute! No more boring post it's! with 275 individual sticky notes, this set should last you ages. It features 11 different whimsical designs and best of all, they come in a tiny pocket sized folder. They are super tiny and super cute, an essential for any fellow stationery hoarders!




You can catch up with the latest news and products on Parragon's social media pages

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Review: Barbie & Me Colour Change Glam Bag

Back in July I attended the Christmas in July event with Amazon and one of the products that really stood out for me amongst the toys was the new Barbie colour changing bag. My first thought when given a demonstration was 'Gracie would love this for Christmas'. Well now I've been lucky enough to test this item out and see what she really thinks of it. 


This is definitely a toy for a girly girl, although enjoyed by Zach, so not exclusive to girls I did find that it really did make a great impression on Gracie who likes to think she's a big girl and it really opened up her imagination whilst playing. The bag is great for role playing and the accuracy of the colour changing is pretty impressive. The bag opens up and contains a selection of cute charms which can be stuck on the front to accessorise the bag. 



To play with the bag and activate the colour changing mode. You simply hold the bag against any item of clothing and press the heart shaped button for the bag to match up the colour. The bag is aimed at girls between 3-7 years and I think it is perfect for girls of that age. Gracie is only three but has easily learnt how to use it properly and loves it. I have to admit the amount of times the bag has been played with so far definitely justifies the high cost of the bag.


The bag retails at £29.99 and will be available to buy at all good UK retailers including both Hamley's and Amazon who will be listing it in their Top 10 Toys For Christmas. I can see this toy being hugely popular and featuring on every little girls Christmas list this year!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Happy Birthday Zach!

It seems crazy to me to think that two years ago today my baby boy was born! Although it seems like he's been around forever, he is my baby and always will be!! It's amazing how quick they grow up especially the first two years. I've been looking at photos over the last few days of Zach in his first two years and had to share a few of my favourites to celebrate!




Happy Birthday Little Man!!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Review: Munchkin Latch Bottles

I first saw the Munchkin Latch bottles at Britmums Live and I was instantly impressed. I applied while I was there to join their panel of bloggers and test out the bottles on Elsie. Of course I had planned to breastfeed but also wanted to try expressing milk after a few weeks to introduce bottles so I could have an occasional break and give Daddy or big sister a chance to bond through feeding. I ended up introducing bottles earlier than expected as she needs formula top ups after every feed to help with her trouble putting on weight. This means I've managed to try out the Munchkin latch bottles early on.



The Latch bottles were designed to mimic the breastfeeding experience, the teat moves and functions like the breast which helps to ease baby's transition from bottle to breast and vice versa. The teat stretches, moves and pumps so that baby can latch and feed just like they would on your breast. There are a few things that make this bottle unique, as well as the moving teat (most other brand bottles are shaped like a breast yet don't move or stretch like your breasts do), the anti colic valve is fitted to the base of the bottle to prevent air bubbles travelling through the milk, therefore reducing the chance of colic. You can read more about the bottles here.

I was quite worried introducing bottles so early as I know that it can sometimes affect a baby's latch when breastfeeding. Elsie has been using these bottles since she was around 4 days old now and she is now just over three weeks and I'm happy to say she has no trouble latching on when it comes to breastfeeding. She is quite happy with the bottles too, thankfully the mixture hasn't got confusing for her and the bottles are really helping us to continue our breastfeeding journey and ensuring she is getting enough milk.


I find out of all my babies, Elsie is the only one who doesn't tend to bring her milk back up following a bottle and I definitely think the latch bottles have something to do with that! I am very happy with the bottles, they are definitely the best I have ever tried and I can honestly say I have tried most other brands of bottles at some point with both Gracie and Zach.

As you can see from the photo we were sent the newborn starter set which contains two 4oz bottles, two 8oz bottles, four stage 1 teats, two stage 2 teats and one bottle and teat brush. We also received another one of each bottle meaning we have six bottles in total which is more than enough for one days use. The newborn starter set costs around £29.99, the single bottles are around £6.99 or you can go straight for a 3-pack of bottles which is around £16.99. I have spotted them on offer at Boots at the moment though so worth doing research as you might be able to grab them at a bargain price!

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these bottles to parents especially those in a similar situation as us who need to combine both breastfeeding and formula feeding. I am very happy to still be able to breastfeed despite the problems we have had and I'm even more happy that although she needs to use bottles too, we have found the perfect solution that works for us both.

 The Munchkin LATCH products are now available to buy in Boots stores across the UK and online. 

You can find out more about the latest news and products on the Munchkin UK social media channels.





Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mike The Knight: 'Journey to Dragon Mountain' at Warwick Castle

We were recently asked to visit Warwick Castle for a special VIP screening of Mike The Knight's first feature length film 'Journey to Dragon Mountain'. Although Elsie was just two weeks old and only just out of hospital I just couldn't turn down the chance to take Zach to meet Mike The Knight as he is probably his biggest fan! So crazy me ventured to Warwick Castle on my own with all three little ones for the special event. 

The morning started with a meet and greet with the Warwick Castle and HIT Entertainment staff, special goody bags on arrival for the kids and some yummy jam tarts and fruit kebabs to eat before the screening. The room was full of excited children waving their Mike The Knight flags and wearing their Mike The Knight hats. I had Zach roaming around shouting 'Mike Knight, Mike Knight!'. Now the film would have to be good to keep all these kids entertained for a whole hour.

The film features the King (AKA Mike The Knights Daddy!) who tells the kingdom about a sparkly jewel stolen from Dragon Mountain by the Viking's and how when he tried to return it he had an encounter with the dragon itself who was retrieving his missing jewel. When the Viking's are then once again spotted with the jewel, Mike and the King end up on a difficult journey trying to return the jewel to Dragon Mountain in order to save the kingdom of Glendragon. Will they succeed?!

Both Gracie and Zach loved the film! Gracie even hung around after to be filmed talking about how much she loved the movie. She liked that Evie was in most of the film and she thought the Viking's were very funny. Zach was very excited that Mike The Knights Daddy was in the movie and that he looked so much like Mike. He couldn't wait to tell his Dad all about it when we got home. I liked that it had a lovely happy twist to end the film.


Photo Credit www.anewadditionblog.co.uk

Photo Credit www.anewadditionblog.co.uk

After the screening had ended the kids got to meet Mike The Knight himself! This was open to all guests of the castle for the selected weekends. Zach was a bit wary until Mike put his hand out to hold his hand and he soon grabbed it and started talking to him. In fact the kids loved him so much that they followed him to the meeting spot again later for more cuddles and chatting. The second time they even got to meet Evie too, who just happens to be Gracie's favourite character in the show.


Along with the chance to meet Mike The Knight, there were plenty of medieval style games for the children (or adults) to join in. A particular favourite of ours was the horse racing where of course all the kids wanted to be Galahad!


We spent a few hours enjoying the castle grounds afterwards, living close to the castle we have done this a few times and we think Warwick Castle is a great attraction for a family day out.

Mike The Knight 'Journey to Dragon Mountain' is available to buy now from Amazon here for just £5. Would make a perfect birthday present or stocking filler for any Mike The Knight fan!

It's not too late for you to take your family for a fun day out with Mike The Knight as he will be at Warwick Castle again this weekend (Saturday 27th September, Sunday 28th September) For information and booking tickets visit https://www.warwick-castle.com/booking/

Disclaimer
We were invited to the VIP screening for free in order to give our thoughts on the movie but all opinions are our own.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Miscarriage: My Life One Year On

Today is a strange day. One year ago today I was excited, it was my Dad's birthday and the day of my first scan with baby number 3. I couldn't wait to ring my Dad that evening while he was working away to tell him the news. We had managed to keep it quiet the whole 12 weeks. Of course I never got to make that exciting phone call. Instead I rang him to briefly say Happy Birthday desperately hoping he wouldn't notice the sadness in my voice and know there was something wrong. 

A year ago today I sat alone in a room staring at my baby on the sonographer's screen praying that there had been a mistake and that my baby did indeed have a heartbeat. There wasn't. It was one of the hardest days of my life so far which led to a difficult few months and I really don't know how I got through it. 

The strange thing is, today should be an extremely hard day but it isn't. Today I am thinking about that day whilst holding my beautiful daughter, who is four weeks exactly today. Of course it doesn't mean I don't feel sadness about the baby that wasn't to be. I do however completely understand the meaning of the title 'Rainbow Baby'. Elsie was a huge surprise so quickly after the devastation and she has really been like a light at the end of the tunnel. I think I would definitely be in a different place if it wasn't for her.

So today I am just going to enjoy my three babies and be thankful for everything I have got. 


Monday, 22 September 2014

Review: Panda Soft Drinks

I have fond memories of panda pops back when I was at school. They were one of my favourite treats from our local shop, usually on the walk back from school. Well the iconic drink has made a comeback! The new range consists of still juice drinks, flavoured waters and squashes. The still juice drinks come in raspberry and blackcurrant flavours, the flavoured water comes in orange & pineapple and blackcurrant flavours and the squash comes in either tropical or summer fruits flavours.

We were sent samples of the blackcurrant flavour Panda Splash flavoured water to try out. The 250ml bottles make them ideal for lunchboxes, picnics or even just to keep in your bag as a handy drink whilst out and about.


I love the handy size of the panda pop drinks. At £1.99 for a pack of six they are great value for money. They have a very refreshing taste meaning when the kids had finished drinking theirs they didn't ask for more straight away like they do with many other drinks but it was their first choice when they wanted another drink. I also like that they only contain natural flavours with no added sugar.



We have actually bought Panda drinks a few times since being sent these samples. They have become a favourite with all of us especially the bottles of squash. Although Gracie doesn't yet take lunches to school, it'll be our first choice for a lunchbox drink.

Panda Still juice and Panda Splash are available to buy at Asda, Tesco and Ocado. Panda squash is sold in Tesco costing 99p for a 1 litre bottle.

Disclaimer
we were sent samples of the item featured for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.