Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 31, 2014

We are having two days worth of celebrations whilst Gracie is off school. Today we decorated the house, dressed up and Gracie and Zach went trick or treating with their Grandma and Grandad. They looked super cute in their matching pirate costumes and insisted on replacing 'trick or treat' with 'Happy Trick or Treat' at all the houses! Tomorrow we will be doing craft activities and having a little family Halloween party.
 


Do you celebrate Halloween? I'd love to hear what you've been doing!

Childrens craft activities

Halloween Hama Bead Decorations

Thursday, October 30, 2014


My kids love Hama Beads and this year we are planning a little family Halloween party. Of course you can't have a Halloween party without decorations and so we decided to make some of our own quick and easy decorations using Hama Beads. In case anyone was thinking of trying some easy Halloween crafts I thought I would share pictures of how we did them. 

Spooky Spiders


Easy but fragile, the spider would make a great hanging decoration out of reach of the kids as the legs will be easily broken! You can change the colour of the eyes, Gracie chose purple and we decided to give him some teeth to make him all the more creepy.

Creepy Cobwebs


Cobwebs are really easy to make in all different shapes and sizes. Also great to use as Halloween Coasters!

Ghoulish Ghosts



The ghosts are slightly more complicated but are really cool we made a few facing different directions and the kids love them.

Hope you like them!

family life

The One Where We Took The Chunks For A Photoshoot!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Having a new baby so close to Christmas means that you can get away with giving all the family a framed picture of your new addition or in our case their first photo of all three of the kids together. It is a great money saving gift. We get nice photos to add to our collection and everyone else loves their new photo especially from the kids. Best of all you can get photo shoots done so cheap these days. We didn't have a big budget so we popped into our local Max Spielmann store and spent just £20 on a collection of photos and a disc containing all of the photos taken. 

The only problem is it can be difficult getting three young children to pose for a camera for pictures taken by a stranger. Zach spent most of the shoot with his arms in the air crying 'Mummy!'. Luckily we did manage to get a few super cute pictures so I thought I would share one of the best and one of the worst with you!



It was hard choosing the worst there was the one with Zach crying but I thought this second one has more comedy value when you look at Elsie's face and then Zach's! I was happy that the first picture actually has all three kids looking at the camera. I would definitely say that's a win!

baby bath

The Baby Show Olympia 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Yesterday I travelled to London with Elsie to The Baby Show at Olympia. I usually only attend the Birmingham show so this was my first ever London show. My main reason for wanting to attend was to see some of the new pushchair releases that I wouldn't otherwise see until next year! It is also great to see some of the smaller stalls from newer companies more local to London. I thought I would share with you some of my personal highlights from the show.

Stokke 


I was lucky enough to be invited to a small event held by Stokke at the show where I got to see some of their latest products including the Trailz. The Trailz is the new all terrain buggy from Stokke. I love air filled tyres on a pushchair, they are brilliant for families who spend a lot of time outdoors. The Trailz is the pushchair for adventurers perfect for country walks or strolls on the beach. I also love that is has a basket. It is the only thing I feel is missing with my Xplory! 



I of course had to try Elsie out in an Xplory kitted out with the new Cloud Grey Winter Kit. How adorable does she look in it?! I've always admired the winter kits and the cloud grey is just beautiful. In fact seeing an Xplory with a winter kit back when Gracie was just a few months old was what made me instantly fall in love with Stokke. The Cloud Grey winter kit is most definitely on Elsie's Christmas list.


I also stopped off for a quick cuppa at the Stokke stand and had a sit down on a giant Tripp Trapp. We have a Stokke Steps at home but I'd love a Tripp Trapp. In fact I would love to replace all my dining room chairs with Tripp Trapps for all the family! 

Stack A Jack

This I had never seen or heard of before but it is a crib that can be taken apart and converted into a high chair or table and chair set. It's quite genius really how it grows with your child. Definitely a very clever idea and something that caught my eye!

iCandy



I was excited to see the iCandy Raspberry and was quite sad that Elsie was asleep every time I walked past so I didn't get to play with it. It is the perfect stroller, lightweight and very spacious. The seat unit lies flat so is suitable from birth which is always a good point for me. It is parent and world facing. I also love a pushchair that allow you to change the colour and the raspberry has flavour packs that can be bought separately so you can mix and match or change for the seasons. My favourite feature is the box in the basket that can be used to store all your valuables.



Cupcake Babies

I won't say too much yet as I actually have one of these to review so will go into more details very soon but this is the world's smallest baby bath. It is actually inflatable and comes in a small carry case with a rubber duck toy.and is perfect for travelling. It is shaped like a cupcake case, hence the name. I also think this would make a fantastic photography prop! It is being released in the UK shortly. 

Of course there were lots of other great stalls I could spend all day talking about them but these are my top picks for anyone still hoping to visit the show!

competitions

Win a Limited Edition Laduree Sonny Angel Figure!

Monday, October 20, 2014


To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the phenomenon that is Sonny Angel, a new limited edition sweet series has been created. The Sonny Angel team have teamed up with the iconic Parisian bakery Ladurée to create some 'sweet' new Sonny Angels. The Patisseries collection introduces 12 new characters, six angels wearing the baker's signature macarroons and six topped with artistically beautiful pastries. Like all Sonny Angel series there is also a super secret character! Of course you never know which you will get as each angel is a complete surprise in it's blind box.

My Limited Edition Sonny Angel!


Now you have a chance of owning your own limited edition Sonny Angel by entering our competition to win! To enter all you need to do is complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can purchase the new Limited Edition Sonny Angel at www.kindtoys.co.uk

Christmas 2014

Competition: Win Tickets To The Festive Gift Fair NEC 20-23 November

Saturday, October 18, 2014



The Festive Gift Fair returns to the NEC this November from the 20th - 23rd. Have a perfect day of festive shopping at the biggest and best shoping fair of the year. With over 325 stalls you're sure to find the perfect Christmas gifts for all the family. The variety is huge from toys and decorations to food and drinks. If you pick up too much you can take advantage of the present crèche while you continue to shop til you drop! Easily accessed by bus,train or car there's no reason to miss this seasonal event. You can read all about the Festive Gift Fair and all of this years exhibitors go to www.festivegiftfair.co.uk


I have five pairs of tickets to the Festive Gift Fair which can be used on any of the days to give away to five lucky readers. To enter all you need to do is complete the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Zach's First Trip To The Barber's

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Anyone who knows me will know just how much I love Zach's beautiful long hair! I was determined to keep it long for as long as I possibly could. Choosing to trim it myself every few months as I know how I like it. It's his rock star hair! Or it was! For months both Andy and my Dad have been teasing him and winding me up saying they would shave it all off while I'm out. Well this week I gave in. He had his first ever trip to the Barbers. I was way over emotional about taking him and was so worried it wouldn't suit him having short hair! Of course I had to go though being his first time. My god did he cry! Luckily he stayed still whilst crying so although it broke my heart watching him cry whilst chunks of his hair fell around him, he ended up with a cool new haircut and not a new hat to hide his bald head. I have to say the lady did a fab job and did his hair perfectly. He looks so grown up though and I love the style! I didn't get the best pictures of it but wanted before and after shots to show the difference!





What do you think?! Do your kids like having their hair cut?

baby bouncer

Review: Fisher Price 2 in 1 Sensory Stages Bouncer

Thursday, October 16, 2014

 
Over the past few weeks Elsie has been testing out the Fisher Price 2 in 1 Sensory Stages bouncer. The sensory stages bouncer features a two sided activity bar with developmentally appropriate colours, music and toys for growing babies. One side of the activity bar has black and white ladybird and butterfly pictures that are really eye-catching for babies when they are first taking notice of their surroundings. It also has a mirror in the centre. The other side has brightly coloured safari animals with the lion in the centre which has flashing lights in his mane. The bright colours are great when the baby starts to become even more active and aware. We were pleasantly surprised when we discovered that when you flip the bar around it plays totally different music on each side, the black and white side plays calm, soothing sounds and the brightly coloured side plays more upbeat music. The bouncer emits calming vibrations to soothe and calm baby. So what did we think of the Fisher Price sensory stages bouncer?

Snotty Children and Sleep Deprivation!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

With Gracie starting school this September we knew it wouldn't be long until we experienced the joy of her bringing home bugs to share with the rest of the family. This week we've been living in the house of snot. I thought I would be fine as I haven't had a cold since having the flu jab months ago. However I didn't think of how badly having three children up at intervals in the night would affect me. 



Gracie came home Friday with her first cold of the season which slowly got worse and worse leaving her crying in the night and me following her around in the day picking up a trail of snotty tissues as I went. It was only yesterday when I spotted her and Zach had been swapping drinks bottles that I realised what would happen next. Then last night, yes you've guessed it, it was Zach's turn for crying all night and struggling to breathe. Then there is Elsie who thinks sleep is for losers making my nights just that bit more difficult! 

Sleep deprivation is well and truly kicking in. I'm getting awful migraines that along with the tiredness make me feel sick. 

Someone please tell me it gets better?! Does anyone have any tips for boosting children's immune systems? I'd love for you to share!

baby

Elsie: Six Weeks Old: The First Smile!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Elsie was six weeks old on Wednesday. Am I the only one that finds that hard to believe?! We got some great news this week, she is finally putting on a good amount of weight and when weighed on Wednesday was 9lb 9oz! Now that is huge for her after dropping so low after birth. She started at 8lb 5oz and within a week was 6lb 12oz so to finally be back above her birth weight is a huge success! I find it crazy though that at six weeks old she is still lighter than both her sister and brother were at birth. We are all definitely noticing a difference in her now though. Her cheeks are filling out and her 0-3 months clothes finally fit her nicely. I think she is definitely going to rival her siblings when it comes to being a chunky baby. 




She loves riding in her pushchair. I treated us to a beautiful Stokke Xplory last week! Finally have my dream pushchair after four whole years of swooning over it! Seems as I have to walk everywhere until we get a new bigger car I deserve to do it in style right? And doesn't she look snug?


She is so aware of what is going on around her now. She is having a good go at holding her head up for as long as possible and loves having tummy time on her play mat. I absolutely love this picture of her staring at the camera during a tummy time session.


Look at this! On Wednesday she decided to celebrate being six weeks old by giving us her first smile and I managed to capture it on camera! Look how big her smile is!

children's toys

Review & Competition: Stretchkins Unicorn

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Another product expected to be very popular this year is Stretchkins! The life size cuddly toys are great for children to play/dance/cuddle with. They have bands on the hands and feet to attach to your child's hands and feet so they can stretch with them! They encourage active play making it lots of fun to move around.  They are suitable for children ages 3 and over and there are four different characters available; Unicorn, Frog, Puppy and Elephant.



Gracie was sent the Unicorn Stretchkin to try out. The toy itself is great quality, lovely and cuddly with big fluffy hair. Gracie wanted to play with it straight away so we unpacked it and played with it almost immediately. She had so much fun boucing around with her Stretchkin strapped to her hands and feet. It is certainly perfect for burning energy and having fun when the weather is too miserable to play outside! Gracie is almost 4 and the unicorn is almost the same size as her. I would definitely say she would get a good few years use out of it. It also makes a great cuddly pal for bedtime! The Stretchkins range is available from all good toy retailers and are priced between £16.99-£20 so definitely shop around for the best deal. They would make a perfect christmas gift! 

You can find the Stretchkins toys at Smyths Toy Store as well as various other retailers. *This is the cheapest place to buy at time of publication*

You can find out more news about Stretchkins by following @recreationltd on Twitter

I have one Unicorn Stretchkin to give away to one lucky reader all you need to do for a chance to win is enter the rafflecopter form below.


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baby bath

Review: Stokke FlexiBath

Thursday, October 09, 2014

A foldable baby bath?! You might wonder why you would ever need a foldable baby  bath but I can tell you, you just do! You know when you go on a UK holiday and you fill the car with all sorts of 'essentials' then you spend your whole holiday fighting a toddler into a shower just to get the sand out of their hair! Or when you are walking around your house looking at the piles of stuff you've accumulated since being a parent and you just can't find anywhere to store that big bulky baby bath so you admit defeat and it ends up taking up awkward floor space or half the dining room table! Well if you can relate you need to read all about the Stokke FlexiBath! 

The foldable baby bath.

Stokke® Flexi Bath® is a foldable baby bath suitable from birth to four years. The space saving design makes it easy to store and convenient to use at home or when travelling, encouraging more shared bath time moments. The optional Stokke® Flexi Bath® Newborn Support provides additional comfort for newborn babies.
Elsie enjoying a soak in her Stokke FlexiBath

Now the FlexiBath as a newborn bath, there is a newborn support available for the bath which isn't a necessity but I think it would definitely be worth getting if you are planning to use the FlexiBath for a newborn. I haven't got the newborn support so have been using the bath without but do find sometimes Elsie slides around a lot and babies can be very slippery. She does however love the bath. She was so relaxed and loved how she had plenty of room to kick her legs around. I like how easy it is to fill up and the water seems to stay warm in it. The plug inside is great! I had a cheap baby bath with the older two and the plug area always used to annoy me as it wasn't easy to clean, whereas with the Flexibath the whole plug is removable so can be taken out and rinsed out easily.

The Stokke FlexiBath is deceivingly big when opened up.
The Stokke FlexiBath folds flat making it the perfect storage solution.

I always liked the idea of a space saving bath, but wondered how necessary it would be. I've definitely found it to be very useful, especially with having three children now, we seem to have so much stuff around the house. With all the kids chairs and toy boxes along with baby bouncers, play mats, you get the picture! It gets to a point where you sigh in relief at anything that can be stored away nicely out of the way! What I also like are items that have multiple uses and the FlexiBath has also been used for water play in the garden this summer and I've even seen it used at the beach, which I would never have thought of!

The Stokke FlexiBath is perfect for playing outdoors.
I wasn't sure about the fact the FlexiBath is stated to be suitable for up to 4 years! Looking at it you wouldn't imagine it would fit an average four year old in it. Of course having a tall almost four year old myself and still waiting for my new baby I had to test this out! As you can see above Gracie is sat comfortably in the bath and I think the picture really shows the baths true size. She loved playing outside in the FlexiBath and I found it really practical as it saved me blowing up a paddling pool and was much easier to empty .

Overall, I love the FlexiBath! It's a tad pricey but totally worth the price tag in my opinion. I do think it would be great if the newborn support was included in the price. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is short of storage space or travels a lot as it really does fold small.

The FlexiBath has a RRP of £35 and comes in five different colour ways; Pink, Blue, White, Orange and Clear.


You can find more information on the FlexiBath and it's stockists on the Stokke Website

You can also keep up to date with Stokke on their Social Media Pages
Stokke Lovers (Official UK Facebook Page)
Stokke Official Twitter Page










bath bombs

The New Lush Christmas Range at #LushCoventry #LushChristmas

Monday, October 06, 2014

So on Friday I was invited to spend the evening at my local Lush store with lots of lovely fellow blogger's to see the new Christmas collection. I'm a huge Lush fan already and choose to use their amazing haircare products myself. Of course they do more than just hair care and I was super excited to see and try out some different products. As a mum the only pamper time I ever get is to have a nice bath whilst the kiddies sleep so I really wanted to see the new bubble baths and bath bombs they had to offer.


Here are just some of the new products that stood out to me!

Bubble Baths

The Christmas Penguin is a super cute bubble bar with a beautiful citrus scent. I bought one of these as a bath time treat for Gracie but might sneak a bit for myself too!
Candy Mountain is another amazing bubble bar. I mean its a unicorn horn, how awesome?! It smells like sweet candy and is similar to the already popular rockstar soap (which is another fave of mine!)

The eye-catching Holly Golightly has a spicy fragrance and will turn your bath water all glittery and green! 

Bath Bombs

The Dashing Santa and Butterbear bath bombs would make great novelty presents! Dashing Santa will fizz up to release the sweet scent of satsumas and Butterbear has a vanilla like fragrance.
The Golden Wonder bath bomb smells of sweet orange and lime oils and contains a glittering surprise. 
 The Northern Lights bath bomb is purple in colour and when dropped into water it becomes a spectacular colour display. The jasmine and ylang ylang scents will make for a nice calming soak.

Soaps

The Fairy Ring soap is stunning in appearance but I can't say I was overly impressed with the scent which is a shame. The jasmine and ylang ylang just wasn't as exciting as I hoped after being drawn in by the appearance of the soap.
One of my favourites of the night was the Baked Alaska hand and body soap. It certainly stands out with it's bright colours and strong lemony scent. I wish I had picked some out to try. I'll have to pop this on my Christmas list.
Reindeer Rock was another delight. It has a gorgeous berry scent, which I could still smell on me when I got home and it looks so cute and christmassy!

You can see more of the Lush Christmas range here: www.lush.co.uk//products/christmas or you can now find them in your local Lush store.

competitions

Win tickets to The Baby Show Olympia 24-26 October 2014

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Baby Show is returning to Olympia from 24th-26th October 2014. The Baby Show is the UK's leading  pregnancy and parenting event. With 1000s of products from 100s of leading and boutique baby brands, The Baby Show gives a huge range of choice to new and expectant families. Find all your essentials - prams, buggies, travel systems, car seats and nursery furniture as well as lots of stylish, handy and innovative products from adorable clothing to feeding accessories. 



To celebrate I have one pair of tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader.

To enter all you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter form below. There is one compulsory entry and a few extra entries to give yourself extra chances of winning.

Good Luck!


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And then there were three

Friday, October 03, 2014

I worried whilst pregnant about how having another baby would affect the relationship between Gracie and Zach. Now they have never had a perfect relationship. They are a typical brother and sister, one minute cuddling and playing together, the next they are fighting and screaming at each other. I have to say though they are mostly good together. Seeing how Gracie adjusted to Zach arriving made me worry less about her reaction but I worried more and more about the effect it would have on Zach more than anyone. He has always been a mummy's boy and doesn't like to share!


The first week was hard on us all,bringing Elsie home at 4 days old to then have her re-admitted less than two days later. The only time I saw Gracie and Zach was visiting times, I missed the whole of Gracie's first week of school and when I finally came home I was still in pain from the section and so couldn't do much for them. 



Since Elsie has been home I've noticed a big difference in Gracie and Zach. They are amazing with her much more loving than they have ever been to each other. They are entertaining themselves more and playing nicely both together and with Elsie too. They both seem to have grown up all of a sudden and if anything I am finding having three of them to be easier than having two! I've also managed to get lots of really cute pics of them all together which I could never do with just Gracie and Zach together. I definitely think three is the perfect number for us!


If you have children, how many do you have? Do you think you would have more?

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