After five weeks of holiday we now only have one week to go before Toby goes back to school and Gabe starts at his new nursery. He was going to the local preschool last year but as it is only open for 18 hours a week and we are entitled to the 30 funded hours he is moving to a different private nursery where he will be going into the preschool room. Read more
One of my favourite things to do when I was younger was to get the big photo albums down from the shelf in my mum and dad’s spare room and look through all the old pictures from when I was little. Of course as a child born in the 70s there aren’t that many photos from my childhood and each album would probably cover a few years. Things are very different now and since the boys were born I have taken literally tens of thousands of my pictures but they are nearly all on my computer and hardly ever get looked at. Read more
Here we go again… Yes, I am once again attempting to lose some weight. Having had two babies in the last four years, and pretty much not had a full night’s sleep in all that time I am currently about two and a half stone more than I would like to be. I know I need to change my eating habits and my attitude to food if I am ever going to lose weight and keep it off but with so much to lose I would like a bit of a kick start first. And so when Shake That Weight got in touch and asked if I would like to try their products I was happy to give it a try.
Shake That Weight is a meal replacement diet, and although I am familiar with this kind of diet and have tried them before they all work a little differently. There is a tool on the Shake That Weight website which enables you to put in your height, weight and exercise levels and they will recommend which of their plans would work best for you.
The tool recommended the Woman Plan for me, which is a Total Food Replacement plan. This means four Shake That Weight products a day and no ‘conventional’ food. Read more
Back in the summer of 2014 when Toby was just one we reviewed Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Since then Monski Mouse has appeared at the Underbelly Festival in London, Brighton Festival, and been back to Edinburgh (among others) and this year she is back again.
Producer, mother of two and DJ, Monski Mouse first launched her show in response to becoming a mother after ten years of DJ-ing at clubs, festivals and events in Australia in 2012.
‘The massive lifestyle change involved in becoming a Mum, led me to look for an option to continue to work as a DJ without the 1am starts. It turns out I absolutely love performing for the 0-5 age group, it is such a blast and the show has catapulted my career far ahead of where it was before.’ says, Monski Mouse.
Set in the beautiful 1920’s spiegeltent, with it’s circular wooden dance-floor, Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall makes a point of creating a space and experience appropriate for the 0-5 age group and their parents/carers. Playing a selection of retro hits and children’s music, Monski Mouse and her Dancers, encourage parents/carers to party and play hard with their little ones, while they are still young enough to not be embarrassed by ‘dad-dancing’ or the ‘mum-step’.
We had a brilliant time when we went to the Baby Disco Dance Hall and we would love to go again but London is a bit of a trek for us….so instead I’ve got a family pass for the May Bank Holiday to give away so you can go and see Monski Mouse instead (and tell me all about it!). The family pass includes four tickets (one of whom must be a child) to the disco on either Sunday 28th May at 3pm or for Monday 29th May at 1pm (you can choose which date you would prefer). All you need to do to enter is complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
Giveaway ends midnight Sunday 21st May
Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be picked
Open to UK residents aged 18 or over
Back in 2014 I tried out the Exante Diet Total Solution for one week and wrote all about it here. Since then I’ve had another baby and moved house, and found myself in need of losing some weight again. Having two small children though means that a total meal replacement diet isn’t really what I’m looking for any more. And so that’s where the Exante Diet Flexi Solution comes in.
The Flexi Solution is a 1200 calorie flexible diet – it combines two Exante meal replacement products, one healthy recipe meal and an Exante snack every day. This kind of plan fits in really easily to my family life – I can have my meal replacements for breakfast and lunch but still eat dinner with the rest of the family. We try to eat healthy meals anyway so with a few adjustments we can still all eat the same meal in the evening. Read more
I vaguely remember watching the Clangers when I was young so when the series was revived on CBeebies last year we waited eagerly for the first episode. It quickly became a favourite with Toby and after the first series had aired we regularly watched it again and again on iPlayer – at one point Toby insisted on watching the Eggbots episode every day!
When I was at Britmums last year I was lucky enough to meet Tiny Clanger in person, and bring home a few Clangers goodies for Toby too. He still loves watching the programme and for us it signals the start of the wind down to bedtime every night. I think even Gabe is starting to enjoy it too.
The great thing about the Clangers is that every episode is about how the little pink creatures are kind to one another and the other characters they meet on the Blue Planet. The lovely people behind the Clangers want to spread the message and are encouraging everyone to join in with #ClangersForKindness – you can see what some young Clangers fans think kindness means in this video.
Toby is only three and still learning about kindness – he’s getting there though and occasionally will do something lovely that really surprises me, whether that’s a surprise cuddle or sharing his chocolate raisins (that one doesn’t happen very often to be fair!). He has started to be much kinder to Gabe recently too – the other day I had to tell him off a little bit for trying to take away a stacking toy that Gabe was playing with. Toby likes things to be done the ‘right’ way so gets annoyed if Gabe isn’t putting the pieces on in the right order. I popped out of the room after I’d spoken to Toby and when I looked back through the door he was finding the right pieces but then giving them to Gabe to let him stack them on the stick – it’s so lovely to see him being kind to his brother and them playing nicely together.
We were recently sent a Tickle ‘n’ Whistle Tiny Clanger and Clangers Astronomy Set which includes a build your own planet mobile. We were also sent a copy of the Clangers magazine and a whistle to recreate the Clangers sound all on our own!
Toby absolutely loves Tiny Clanger – he has carried her around everywhere since he got her and even had to take her to nursery this week. The toy whistles just like the real Tiny, and even plays the Clangers theme tune. Gabe has enjoyed listening to Tiny and moving her arms and ears around too – when Toby has let him get a look in that is!
We haven’t made the mobile from the astronomy set yet – I think Toby would need a lot of help to do it and we’ve not had the chance to sit with him to do it what with all the new kitchen chaos we’ve got going on at the moment. I think it would be great for an older to child to make on their own though, it comes with everything you need, and I love the cute little tin too.
We have a Tickle ‘n’ Whistle Tiny Clanger, and a Clangers Astronomy Set to giveaway – all you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter below – and make sure you share an act of kindness from your child in the comments for extra entries!
Giveaway ends midnight 4th December 2016
UK entrants aged 18 and over only
Winner will be contacted by email within 24 hours of giveaway end
**Disclosure: We were sent the featured products in return for this post. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links
Back in April we were sent some lovely clothes for Toby and Gabe from the Rockin’ Baby Spring/ Summer collection so when they launched the Autumn/ Winter collection and asked if would like to feature something I jumped at the chance.
This time Toby was sent this brilliant Bug Print rain mac. I love the colours of this coat – mustard is one of my absolute favourites at the moment. The bug print is fabulous – it met with Toby’s approval too which is more important now he’s three and has plenty of his own opinions about his clothes!
We decided to head out into the garden for a photoshoot and to see if we could have our own mini-beast adventure.
Toby is wearing age 4-5 and I would say it’s pretty true to size – it fits him well and he is a big three year old. The rain mac is really well made – it’s fully fleece lined, even the sleeves, which I really like.
The seams are all bound to make them really comfy, and the hood is a sensible size and stays up easily. I can’t comment on the waterproof-ness of the rain mac as we haven’t had any rain since we got it but it certainly kept Toby toasty out in the garden. We haven’t used our garden much since we moved but Toby really enjoyed exploring – even if we didn’t actually find any mini-beasts! He did have a go at practising his ‘feelers out, what’s about?’ pose from the CBeebies Mini-Beast Adventure programme.
The really great thing about all Rockin’ Baby clothing is that for every item that is bought another is given to a child in China or West Africa.
Toby loves his new bug print rain mac and so do I – I’m actually very tempted to get him the matching wellies too!
We also have one Rockin’ Baby Blue Stripe rain mac in age 3-4 to give away.
To enter just complete the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
**Disclosure: We were sent the featured clothing for the purposes of this post but all opinions are my own.
Linking up with Hannah for Funky Kid Friday
Serenata are perhaps more well know for their fresh flowers but did you know they also sell a large selection of hampers as well? When I was given the opportunity to try a hamper from Serenata it took ages to choose which one to get. Had I not been pregnant I might have got one of the hampers with wine and other treats but seeing as I’m not drinking at the moment I decided to treat Barry with the Trio of Ale and Cheese hamper.
The hamper contains:
- Cheese Board Chutney 105g
- St Peter`s Golden Ale
- St Peter`s Organic Best Bitter
- St Peter`s Ruby Ale
- Hand Waxed Whittington Oak Smoked Cheese 170g
It’s worth mentioning that this is different cheese and chutney to that in pictures on the website, and the cheese was also different to the one listed in the details on the website. This wasn’t a problem for us but perhaps something to keep in mind.
When the hamper arrived it was well packaged with cellophane and straw, it also had a little card inside and if you order from the website you can choose your card and a personal message to put in it – great if you are sending the hamper as a gift.
Barry was very pleased with the contents of his hamper. The cheese and chutney go very well together and are a great complement to the organic beers. All the products certainly seem to be high quality.
The Trio of Ale and Cheese hamper has an RRP of £34.99. If I’m honest, I felt this was a little expensive given the actual value of the products included in the box. For this price I was expecting to receive more of an actual ‘hamper’ of some kind, or perhaps a more decorative presentation box, rather than the products just packaged inside the postage box. Having said that I still think the hampers would make a great gift and you do get free delivery – even free next day delivery for orders made up to 10pm the night before (or you can pick a delivery day that suits you) which is brilliant service!
Serenata have a large selection of hampers available to suit any budget and the nice people there have been kind enough to allow to give away one of their hampers up to the value of £40. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a hamper is complete the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
UK entrants aged 18 and over
Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of give away ending. If no response is received within 30 days a new winner will be selected
**Disclosure: I was sent this Serenata hamper in return for this review. All opinions are my own.