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
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
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
Whilst I was pregnant with Gabe I was sent two maternity/nursing bras by the lovely people at Bravado. I wore both bras through the rest of my pregnancy and you can read my review of what I thought of them as maternity bras here.
Now Gabe is here I am, so far, managing to breastfeed and this boy likes his boobs so my nursing bras are getting plenty of use! I thought I would write a quick update on how I’m finding the Bravado Essential Embrace and the Body Silk Seamless nursing bras.
I’ve found both bras very easy to use as nursing bras. The clips are easy to open, and I’ve almost mastered closing them with one hand! Both bras also have cups that drop down fully which I prefer as it makes for easier access. I find this particularly important in the early days of breastfeeding when getting the baby in the right position and latched on is hard enough without having to push bits of bra out of the way!
The absolute star bra for me in these first few weeks though has been the Body Silk Seamless. If you’ve read my first review you might remember I was a bit concerned that it wasn’t very supportive but the soft, stretchy material has been an absolute godsend in these first few weeks. I have pretty much lived in this bra day and night since Gabe was born as it is so comfortable. The stretchiness of the Body Silk Seamless was invaluable in the days when my milk came in and my boobs were bigger than my head and very uncomfortable. There’s no way I could have squeezed them into any of my other bras.
Now things have settled down a bit in the boob department I am also wearing the Essential Embrace bra more – particularly if I’m going out in public as I do find it a bit more supportive.
The Body Silk Seamless has just launched in a new colour – the lovely Silver Belle. This silver grey colour is lovely and makes a change from boring black. In fact I love this bra so much I’ve just ordered another one myself!
**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.
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.
Considering how many photographs I seem to take every week we don’t actually have that many on display in our house. So when Wallcreate got in touch and asked if we’d like a photo canvas I was very happy to accept. We’ve got a big canvas of Toby that we got a while ago so I decided this time we would have one of our wedding pictures. Our wedding photos were taken by my very talented sister-in-law and we have a beautiful book of them all but only a few are on display.
The canvas we received is 30 x 40 cm which I think is a great size for the picture – I don’t think I’d want my head any bigger on the living room wall! The canvas is great quality and securely fastened to the frame. It also came with some hooks for hanging it on the wall. Our canvas has a white edge, I think I prefer a wrapped edge (when the picture is extended around the outside of the frame), and this is available, along with a few other wrapping options at no extra cost. Standard delivery is £3.97 and our canvas arrived very quickly and well packaged.
The size of canvas we received is currently on sale at £18.97 (50% off the RRP) which I think is a really good price. Wallcreate do canvases of all different shapes and sizes and you can either choose to upload your own photo on their website or email it to them. You can also send a physical photograph if you don’t have a digital copy and this can be made into a canvas too! Wallcreate also have a massive selection of canvas art if you would rather get a print than one of your own photos.
The lovely people at Wallcreate have given me the opportunity to give away one 30 x 40 cm canvas here on Toby Goes Bananas and all you need to do to enter is complete the Rafflecopter below.
Giveaway ends midnight 22nd February 2015
UK residents aged 18 and over only
**Disclosure: I was sent a photo canvas in return for this review. All opinions are my own.
It’s that time of year when lots of us are thinking about getting healthier and perhaps losing some weight in the new year. Maybe you just want to shed a few of those festive pounds that seem to creep on over the holidays or perhaps you’ve got a lot of weight to lose. Whichever of these it might be then a meal replacement diet could help you on your way. Now I know this kind of diet isn’t for everyone, and there are some that argue it’s just a quick fix and doesn’t help you improve your diet in the long run. However, there is no doubting that this kind of diet does work (and I speak from experience here). It can be beneficial to choose a meal replacement diet if you find it difficult to make healthy choices as all the decisions about what to eat are taken away from you.
There are lots of different meal replacement diets on the market, some, like Lighter Life where you have to attend weekly group meetings, or others like the Cambridge diet where you have a personal consultant. If you would prefer to buy your meal replacement products online then there are a few options available too; The New You Plan is one of these options.
The New You Plan is a very low calorie diet (VLCD) which offers soups, shakes, hot meals, bars and snacks. They also provide 24 hour online support to their customers, along with an active Facebook community. There are a few things to consider before starting a VLCD and you should always check with your doctor that it is safe for you to use this kind of diet. If you are unsure if this is the diet for you there are some FAQs here.
If you would like to try The New You Plan then you can win a one week ‘Get Started’ bundle by completing the Rafflecopter below. The bundle contains 30 products and is currently retailing at a sale price of £41.99. The winner will be contacted by a member of The New You Plan customer services team who will help you choose the right products for you.
Giveaway ends midnight Sunday 8th February.
UK entrants aged 18 or over only
**Disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.
We’ve loved working with Munchkin over the last year, and they’ve sent us so many fantastic products to use from bowls and spoons, to booster seats and bath toys. However, we haven’t actually tried the Munchkin LATCH bottles. When they launched in June of this year we were about to start trying to wean Toby off his bottles all together so we didn’t really need any new ones. If we have another baby though I would definitely use Munchkin LATCH – those clever people at Munchkin have worked really hard to make a bottle that functions as much like a breast as possible, making combination feeding (which we did with Toby for the first couple of months) as easy as it can possibly be. In the words of Steve Dunn, Chairman and CEO of Munchkin Inc
“Lots of bottle companies attempt to make bottles that look like the breast – LATCH was created to truly function like the breast. We know how important breastfeeding is for babies and mums, so we designed a product that provides an easy transition between the breast and bottle and back. We created a bottle that can be introduced into a mother’s breastfeeding routine and ultimately help her achieve her feeding goals.”
There is lots more information all about the LATCH’s innovative features over on the Munchkin website here.
And those lovely people at Munchkin are giving away a LATCH Newborn Starter Set worth £29.99, which includes 2 120ml bottles, 2 240ml bottles, 4 Stage 1 teats, 2 Stage 2 teats and the LATCH bottle & teat brush, and all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is complete the Rafflecopter below.
Giveaway ends midnight Sunday 4th January
Open to UK residents aged 18 and over
**I was not compensated in any way for hosting this giveaway.