Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Y-Volution Carver Review

I am not one to sit on the side line and let my toddler have all of the fun, oh no! I like to be involved and be a part of the action, so when the chance presented itself to try out the Y-Volution Y Fliker Carver – an adult scooter… I could hardly contain my excitement. The Carver is a scooter like no other I have ever seen, and it moves in a completely different way to your traditional scooter.

The Carver arrived in a big box, a box that was immediately handed over to Luke to put together. It took less than 15 minutes to put the Carver together and I know that if Luke had even glanced towards the instructions, and realised that the Allen Key were included within the box (just like I told him they would be), he wouldn’t have been running around looking for one like a headless chicken. So my advice would be.. Don’t do a Luke! Check the box first, it comes with absolutely everything you need to get the scooter set up.

Setting up the Carver is simply attaching the handlebar to the foot plates and making sure everything is secure.

Of course as Luke had put it together he called first dibs on using it. Leo watched as Daddy had his first go on the Carver, or ‘Mummy’s scooter’ as he has been calling it. To propel the Carver forwards you have to wiggle your body in order to gain momentum, that first ride is always funny to watch. Luke did make me giggle as he wiggled his bum and began to take those first nervous movements forward.

Within a few minutes Luke seemed to have the hang of getting the Carver moving, spinning shapes and even stopping thanks to the brake on the handlebar. So I informed him that it had to be my turn by now!

I placed my feet on the two foot plates provided, I began to wiggle and began to move the Carver forward. I felt a little nervous to start with, I had never ridden anything like this, not even as a child. I kept going and began to pull some wobbly shapes, it’s so easy to steer the Carver and within a few minutes I was building up confidence.

As the weeks have gone on the entire family has been making good use of the Carver, and it is so easy to use once you get used to how to do it. We have all been enjoying it, and Leo has loved having us big kids (his parents) out to play. Luke has pretty much claimed the Carver as his own, my younger brother and sister have been borrowing it and have managed to build up speed and pull some rather fabulous shapes!

I have personally found the Carver brilliant, I love the exercise that you do without even realising it. You can actually burn over 700 calories an hour using the Carver, and after playing with it for 10 minutes I could feel the muscles in my legs being given a good work out. The way you have to move to propel the Carver is just genius and I have found that it handles exceptionally well.

The Carver is a really unique looking scooter, it has 3 castor wheels. One at the front,  two at the back and the way they are positioned makes it a really sturdy ride. The castor wheels are brilliant as they just roll in any direction, this is great when you are drifting around a corner or carving some shapes out. I have become more adventurous the more I have used this scooter, and the more confidence we build with it, the faster we go.

We are currently using this on the drive at my parent’s house as they  have lots of space for us to make use of it. We haven’t tried any really extravagant stunts yet, but having seen videos of what the Carver can do, and having handled it myself I know that it would be more than capable to do much more than what we are currently doing with it. It’s described as the ultimate performance scooter and it really isn’t hard to work out why, it’s designed to perform tricks and stunts and comes in 3 different sizes so that kids and adults alike can enjoy them. The 3 sizes are Junior which is suitable for kids as young as 3, right up to 5 years of age. There is the 5+ and the 7 through to adult which is exactly what I have been using.

What I have really been loving about the Y Flicker Carver is just how easy it is to steer it is, and ultimately the brake on the handle bar. It is always nice to know that you can stop, especially if you find your toddler deliberately targeting you, and by targeting I do mean hurtling towards you at speed! The brake makes so much difference, traditional scooters usually have the foot brake on the back of the scooter, so having an easy to reach handle bar brake has been a godsend.

The Carver isn't all about stunts and driving it really fast, it’s great exercise, great fun and something completely different. We are thoroughly enjoying the Y-Volution Carver and Leo is LOVING having Mummy and Daddy out to play.

The Carver retails at £99.99.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Y-Volution Fliker Carver for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.  

Joules Clothing

With Autumn well and truly upon on us, thinking back to the summer that brought with it the weather we had all been craving, sunshine...Seems like a distant memory. That warm weather had shaken away any winter blues that we may have been harboring and it meant that the shorts and t-shirts could be broken out of the wardrobe and worn for the first time of 2014.

Leo had been sent a pair of new shorts from Joules, the BOB Boys Cargo Shorts and with the summer sunshine we made the very most of them. . I really liked the camouflage print and had wanted a pair in a similar style to this for a while.

With Leo being a tall toddler and with his 3rd birthday coming up, we had opted for the 3 year old sizing. They fit him perfectly and have lots of growing room, not to mention how great they look on my handsome man. So far the shorts have been modelled by Leo with his red Lightning McQueen canvas shoes and a selection of red tops.

The shorts wash well and they still look as great as they did when they were new. I think it’s important to know how clothes wash, as you really don’t want to find out that as soon as they have been through the wash a few times, that they aren’t going to last as long as you had hoped.

The BOB Boys Cargo Shorts retail at £24.95.

Along with Leo’s shorts I was also sent a rather lovely Joules Quilted Jacket. I fell in love with this coat the moment I saw it online, and when it arrived I loved it even more. The coat is fitted so it fits closely in all the right places. It looks slimming and is so comfortable to wear, perfect on a breezy day or when there’s rain in the air.

I opted for it in Black as I figured it would be easier to match up to what I was wearing on any given day, but it also comes in Navy and Red. I did really like the Red colouring but having been down this path before, I thought it would be more practical to go with Black.

The coat is:

-          Made out of premium fabric
-          Has a fitted body and sleeve
-          Quilted with cord shoulder and elbow patches
-          Contrast zip and lining detail
-          Popper fastening to the front
-          Showerproof
-          100% Polyamide
-          Machine washable

I actually found out just how shower proof this jacket was while on holiday in Cornwall back in August, it was a chilly day and I had decided this would be the perfect jacket for the weather. It was while we were out on a visit to St Michael's Mount that the torrential rain began, and it wasn't long before the persistence of the rain was dripping in on my bare skin. It has been perfect in showers, but if like me you find yourself in a never ending rain storm.. You may want a poncho to wear over the top!

This coat has quickly become my favourite, and it is a real treat for me as I have never had a coat like it before. It retails at £109 which is actually more than I have ever spent on a coat before, but I can see why it is worthy of such a price tag. You can currently grab it at the bargain price of £59!

As usual we have been really impressed with Joules, we love their clothes and we always get so much wear out of everything we have ever purchased from them.

Disclaimer: We were sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Art Nouveau Amber Pendant

As we begin to look forward to the festive season the mind starts to ponder the gifts that we will be purchasing for those closest to us, and let's face it the gifts we may hope to receive. With October now in full swing, the days growing colder and the nights having truly drawn in, it really is starting to feel a lot more wintry around these parts, and it is only natural that we look to fill our dark dismal days with something sparkly and beautiful.. Or is that just me?

I was recently sent a rather beautiful pendant that I have been really excited about sharing with you all. It is certainly an item that I will be making the very most of over the upcoming festive period, I expect that there will be a number of nights where I will be able to show case the Art Nouveau Amber Pendant.

The pendant is set on a Silver chain and there is no denying the varying hues of Amber that run through the stone. I have always admired Amber but never added any to my jewelry box until now, and it is defiantly a stand alone piece within my necklace collection. For me personally I usually opt for something more simple, and I can usually be found wearing my Silver finger print pendant that I had cast of Leo when he was 7 months old. This is a very special piece for me and is usually something I wear daily. The Amber Pendant will be an item that I wear for special occasions, and is going to look rather dazzling when it makes it's debut over the next couple of months. 

The pendant retails at £99.99 and would make the perfect stocking filler for that special lady in your life.. Don't you think?

I know that with each year we talk about Christmas that little bit earlier, but whether we choose to accept it or not we are officially on count down to the big day. I know that I like the idea of beginning my shopping that little bit earlier than the masses, and I would be telling porky pies if I said that I hadn't already tucked one or two things away, and over the next few weeks I intend to get a list together and beginning to strategically work my way through it.

This year I intend to be one step ahead of the game, I don't want to be sat up on Christmas Eve running around like a headless chicken. I want to be prepared, in my PJ's before 9pm and snuggled up with a good Christmas film accompanied by a rather large glass of Mulled Wine. 

When do you start Christmas shopping?

Disclaimer: I was sent the Art Nouveau Amber Pendant.for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.


Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is something that I have been talking about since January, it is an aspect I had never thought that we would need to pursue with Leo in the beginning, but as he has got older and not said as much as his peers it is something we have realised we will need to explore. It all started back in January at Leo's 2 and a half year assessment, and it is here that I feel that we were let down. 9 Months later we have never heard back from our Health Visitor, she never did call us back up for the check up we were promised despite me calling repeatedly, she couldn't even find the time to return my voice mails. I still feel very let down by the system as if she had done her job properly, we would have been well into the system by now, but as it happens we have gone through nursery and managed to avoid our Health Visitor all together which has been a much more tranquil solution, as I am beyond angry with how she has treated us, and how she has just let Leo fall through the net.

I can't fault the nursery at all, they have helped us no end since Leo began with them in January, I have seen such an improvement in him and have absolutely no doubt that he is coming along nicely. I want the speech therapy in place to just give us that extra push and to make sure that my big boy is ready to start school next September. After a rather long wait (at least 20 weeks) we were issued a appointment to see the therapist for an initial assessment. Last Monday I popped along to the nursery for a meeting so that they could observe Leo and make a start with spurring Leo on. We met in the office and Leo was allowed to play with puzzle pieces on the table, he was presented with two different images and asked which one he would like, it was here they wanted him to use his words and tell them. Of course Leo did this no problem and they were happy with what they were hearing. In the half hour that we were in the office they heard him putting sentences together and really giving it a go. I came away feeling positive after this appointment, and for the first time I didn't feel like strangers were passing judgement on why Leo's speech is delayed. When I walked out of the 2 and a half year check I felt awful, I felt judged and that I was failing as a parent. No one deserves to feel like that, these people are here to help us achieve the best for our children, and that is all I want for Leo. I want him to be absolutely everything he can be, and I want to do my best to put him in the best stead to achieve his dreams. That's all any parent wants right? 

I know having spoken with Luke about the speech therapy that he was worried that Leo would fall behind, that he may be bullied and he may take a while to catch up, but strangely I haven't felt worried. Maybe I should feel worried? But I don't. I know that there is nothing wrong with Leo, I know that he is putting more and more together with every day that passes, it was just Saturday that he told me 'My feet are tired', 'I want to go on a train', 'I want to see the fish', I don't want to go to bed', and it was just last night he was singing 'I'm all about that bass, no trouble' to me, and it was just today that he was copying everything that I said and falling about in raptures giggling. Yes his speech has been delayed, and sometimes he speaks before he thinks and his words come out in an order that doesn't seem completely logical at times, but he is getting there. He will be fine. 

I no longer blame myself, I know it is not my fault and it would have been a relief to be told that back in January. It would have been complete magic to come away with some positive encouragement after that appointment, but I left feeling like I had let Leo down in some way. I am so glad that I shrugged that negativity off and focused on my boy the same way that I always have. I am open to all the help and advice that anyone puts my way, I welcome it with open arms because I only want the best for Leo, I have taken him to groups, special need groups along with everything else that we have always done. We read books, he absolutely loves his books, we play games and we head out into the world. Children progress at different times and rates, and I am so positive about the development I see each day, I am glad that we have been given the speech therapy that will spur my little guy on further, and although I shouldn't say it... I am secretly giving that snarky health visitor the finger. 

39 Months Old

With another busy few weeks on our hands we seem to have passed through another month. It has been one with ample opportunity for adventure and one full of smiles and laughter. We have had a busy month you and I, what with a fun filled day out at Thomas Land, another with Mike the Knight and finally a trip to the Gloucestershire Light Railway where we both spent an entire day with Thomas the Tank! To say you were excited was an under-statement, you were excitedly skipping around and telling me all about the day ahead. You were going to ride on Thomas and meet the Fat Controller, you were going to see all of your favourite  trains on a real working railway.

It was a day out for just the two of us, and you were in your element when the time came to actually meet Thomas. The magic of the day only grew when Thomas’s driver actually let you go inside the engine room. There was a growing line of people and by this point you were point blank refusing to come out, you were looking all around and pretending to drive the train. This one experience for you made your entire day, and the driver could see just how much you loved trains, he even told me that you would most likely be a steam train driver one day! 

This month saw you heading back to nursery for your funded place, you went back with no teething problems at all and I was so pleased with how well you were doing. I could see improvements in you all the time, and I had been so happy when nursery had told me that they too had seen these changes. We have been waiting for your speech therapy consultant appointment to come through, and as usual have found that nothing is straight forward. The first appointment they cancelled and re-booked it, only for them to make a second error and us not being able to enter your appointment. It was after this that nursery told us that they wanted to push the appointment through quickly as they felt you were further behind. I agree that you are further behind than your peers but it is not that you are not developing and coming along all of the time, with me you have proper conversations, you tell me about your day, and you comprehend absolutely everything. It may sound crazy of me to say, but I am not worried about you, I know that you are doing well, you set your own bench marks and there is such a wide spectrum of 'normal', and little man, you are perfectly, absolutely without a doubt normal. Your 3 years old, charismatic. demanding, beautiful and perfect in your very own way. 

39 months see's you still napping giving half the chance, although we are seeing more of a resistance to nap even if we both know that you need it. 

Your doing so well in your big boy pants and nappies are only with us at night time these days. I haven't even thought about crossing this bridge just yet as I know it is going to be harder than combating the day time. This is something we will address in the New Year...

Until next month baby boy...


The Spills & Thrills on Sodor Take-n-Play Set Review

Leo turned 3 at the end of last June, and in anticipation of this Fisher Price who know of Leo’s love for Thomas, very kindly sent him a new set to try out. The Thomas and Friends Spills & Thrills on Sodor Take-n-Play set was a hit before it even came out of the box, as soon as Leo saw that it had train track and his favourite number 1 engine, excited doesn’t begin to give justice to Leo’s reaction.

Spills & Thrills on Sodor is a plastic track that you piece together and then lay against a wall, this tilts the track so that you can put the included die cast Thomas train on while gravity does what it does best. I had to follow the instructions to put it together as I wasn’t sure where each piece of track should be placed. Some of the track once placed cannot be removed again, so I wanted to make sure that I got it right first time.. And avoid any disapproval from my 3 year old. 

Following the instructions the set was soon together, I had managed to keep Leo entertained with his new Thomas train while I constructed his new track.  Of course he couldn’t wait until it was completely built to try it out, so mid completion Leo was hurtling Thomas down the tracks!

Leo has been enjoying this set since mid-May, and he is still enjoying it as much today as he did when he first received it. With Leo’s love of trains, and of course his love for Thomas, this ticks all of the boxes that Leo looks for in a toy. It has tracks for him to play with not just Thomas, but all of the cars out of his car box, and it comes with a high quality Thomas die cast train.

As a parent looking at this toy I can see exactly why Leo loves it so much, it’s bright, colorful and full of adventure, but obviously we both look at toys in a different light. For me l have found that the plastic tracks don’t stay in place at the bottom of the track like they are supposed to, so it means that I have to keep popping them back in when Leo notices and has a toddler melt down. I think for the money it could maybe benefit from being stronger plastic. Although having said that, the set features a carry handle at the top which means Leo can carry it around himself.

Leo is using the Spills and Thrills on Sodor to play out imaginative scenarios, and as the weeks go on the games are getting more adventurous. I love to just sit back and watch Leo playing his games, listen to the story lines progressing as he makes each character perform in his very own game of make believe. He puts all of the train sounds in and improvises them to reflect whether Thomas is driving fast, or slowly. He knows that bigger trains make different noises and that steam trains have whistles.

It really is fascinating to just sit and watch a child play their very own games.

Over all we both really like this set, I do think at £24.99 it is priced higher than I would like to pay for it, but now seeing how much Leo enjoys playing with it, I can see that it certainly provides the play value.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Thomas and Friends Spills & Thrills on Sodor Take-n-Play set for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Top 5 awkward office moments

There are many perils to working an office, especially if you work in close proximity to others, trying to get through your shift without becoming a talking point can be difficult at the best of times.
From having lipstick on your teeth, toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe or letting everybody hear your annoying ringtone, there are many office faux pas that lead to awkwardness and embarrassment but the following have to be the top 5:
5. Spilling the morning coffee - You arrive in the office, a little groggy from the night before and what better way to wake you up than a steaming cup of coffee, you walk slowly to the kitchen, make your morning brew and head back to your desk, spilling the contents all over it. There are not many things more embarrassing that calling the tech team to request a new keyboard or phoning the director to tell him that the important contract he’s due to sign is ruined.
4. Tripping hazards - If your office is a health and safety controlled environment, and it should be then the reality of tripping over something is very slim….very slim but not impossible. Catching your foot on a cable, slipping on a rogue piece of paper or just tripping in general can be highly embarrassing, if you should fall foul of this mishap then make sure you own up to the fall, skipping away like nothing happened can often look even worse.
3. Wardrobe malfunctions - Wardrobe malfunctions can affect any of us and at any time, but doing it in the office of just before a big meeting can be particularly cringeworthy. For men it doesn't get more embarrassing that sweat patches under the arms and leaving the zip down on their trousers. For the ladies in the office however there can be little more cringeworthy than having a ladder up the back of your tights or worst still, tucking your skirt into the back of your underwear.
2. Swinging on your chair - It’s getting towards the end of the day, your jobs are done and you take one last call. leaning back on your chair, you begin to rock back and forth, before ultimately plummeting to your demise. Not only is it dangerous but it’s a sure fire way to make you the victim of the office jokes for a few hours.
1. Accidental emails - Without question this is the biggest and sometimes most costly office faux pas. We’ve all heard the horror stories of those who finish off an email to their boss with a kiss on the end, and once you hit that send button there’s no coming back. Aside from bearing the brunt of a few jokes, sending an accidental email can be far more serious than you think, employees have often faced disciplinary action or worse still been fired on the back of bad mouthing a co-worker and sending it to that very person. It take but a few seconds to check the recipient of an email, and it could just save both your career and your dignity.

This article was written on behalf of Calibre Furniture, specialist providers of office equipment and furniture for all budgets.

Disclaimer: This is a Featured Post