Friday, 30 August 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Wall Stickers Review


Since we moved in back in November 2012 we have slowly done things to certain rooms of the house, but it has taken time and means that we have never ever got to Leo's bedroom. When we were living with my parents Leo had a lovely room decorated especially for him, blue walls for my blue eyed boy and it truly felt like Leo's room.

It was a such a nice room to just sit in, but his room here has never really felt truly his. I detest the yellow/lime green colouring, but just can't justify painting it all while we are renting. I felt like his room was destined to stay bland and by far my least favourite room in the house. 

We were recently sent The Very Hungry Caterpillar Room Decor Kit to try and breathe some life and personalisation into my little man's room. We have always loved The Hungry Caterpillar and often read the book, little Leo even has the DVD so I knew that he would love this addition to his bedroom.

There are 49 stickers in total within this set, and they are a really great size in fact I was surprised at just how large some of them were. The stickers tell the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he eats his way through each of the food his discovers throughout the week, making his transition into a beautiful Butterfly.


The stickers fill the bland walls perfectly and have stuck really well to the wall. I was a bit worried that they may peel off as Leo's wall is actually wall papered in that very annoying bobbly paper. I have had to push some of the stickers back down firmly from time to time where they have come back up, but if they stick to Leo's wall like they do, then on a flat bedroom wall there will be no problems at all. 

The actual quality of these sticks is second to none, I have used wall stickers in the past that have torn as soon as I have tried to take them from the sheet but I haven't experienced this with these stickers once.

When I was applying the stickers I had to remove some of them to get them lined up properly, but they still stuck back down perfectly, so you do have some leeway with re-arranging them if you need to pull them back up for any reason. 


As you can see they have really made this room more than just a room that Leo sleeps in, they have given it that mark to say that 'This room is Leo's!' and he has been loving pointing out the big fat Caterpillar to me as we go in for nap time and off to bed at night.

I think this set of stickers is great, either for the finishing touches to a room you have decorated or for families like me who are renting and cannot justify decorating the entire room for one reason or another. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sticker Set retails at £28.00, which is an absolute bargain for the size and quality of these stickers. I love how they have brightened up the dullest room in the house and given Leo something visual to look at. 



Disclaimer: I was sent The Very Hungry Caterpillar Wall Stickers for the purpose of this review. I have expressed my own personal experience with this set and everything expressed above is true to life.


Finding Flights


I have just got back from spending a week in Paphos, Cyprus. 

The weeks running up to the holiday were busily spent hunting for last minute flights for the very last minute holiday. Now I know August is the height of the holiday season but the majority of the flight prices for 2 adults and 1 child were eye wateringly expensive. So expensive that I could in reality have booked an all inclusive break with flights, transfers and food & drink!

It is suffice to say that I have seen my fair share of flight sites recently, all claiming to have the cheapest prices to send me away on my sunny week break. I am just glad that I looked under every stone in the time that I had, it turns out that it was cheaper to book the outward and return journey individually this close to flying out.

I found my outward journey for all 3 of us for under £300 at Jet2holidays.com a price that was well and truly under everything else I had been quoted by the other flight operators. Unfortunately the flight back with Jet2 was full already so I had to locate an alternative operator that cost considerably more. 

I have flown with Jet2 before on a rescue flight from Egypt back in 2010 when the volcano in Iceland erupted and grounded an astounding number of flights. It was actually for this very reason that Jet2 came to my mind when looking for flights. They offer reasonably priced holidays and flights as well a great service, and although we all go looking purely on price to start with we all want a good level of service to go hand in hand with that.

If you are in the market for flights at the moment and are within travelling distance to any of the airports that Jet2 operate from:

- Blackpool
- East Midlands
- Glasgow
- Leeds Bradford
- Manchester
- Newcastle

Then I highly recommend you check them out.

I am now back from my week away and I will have a full post on what we got up to, how Leo was on the flights and more in the coming days. 



Disclaimer: I collaborated with Jet2..com for this post and  I have personally used Jet2.com as stated above, and all experiences mentioned are true to life

A new bed

I am currently awaiting delivery of a new faux leather bed, and I have been occupying some of my spare time by looking at new duvet cover sets. The new bed has a lovely high head board and is comparable to a bed you may find in a swanky hotel room, so I have been looking at bedding to suit. 

For me I find bedding quite a personal choice, the designs and colours you go pick out speak volumes about what you like and what you are about. It is also something that you can choose to be as exciting or plain as you like, it's an opportunity to complete your bedroom image and express yourself.

Nothing beats slipping down under those brand new crisp sheets.

As the bed is leather I have been looking into some darker bedding sets that I think will really compliment the rest of the bed. I am really liking the look of the bedding ranges over at K&Co, especially the Buckingham Duvet Set which I will be ordering in anticipation of the new beds arrival.


I have had a few clothes from Kandco before now for Leo, but they have always been gifted to him and I had no idea that they had such a wide selection of products for sale. I have also discovered their Memory Foam Mattress's... Dare I treat myself?

I think in the not so distant future this is definitely something I will be investing in. I have had the same mattress for longer than I care to imagine, so I think when money is on my side then I am certainly falling into the qualifying grounds to treat myself.

For now though, I will continue to await the arrival of my new bed.

Disclaimer: This is a featured post with K&Co


Monday, 19 August 2013

When is the right time to move a toddler into a bed?


We are coming to a point now where we are seriously considering when the right time will be to put Leo into a big boy's bed. It is something that we have been giving a lot of thought, and something that we actually tried earlier this year... But it turned out to be completely the wrong time and we reverted back to what Leo was comfortable with. His cot.

Leo seems so secure in his cot, and to be honest I am in no real rush to take that away from him. He is perfectly happy but I think the time is approaching for Leo to make the transition from cot to bed. To make this transition easier I have been looking into a very special bed that is sure to put a big smile on his face. A car bed.

I know they are not for everyone but to a little boy they are the very things that Christmas is made of. My little guy absolutely loves anything with wheels, so my thinking is that maybe a car bed would be welcomed with a Leo seal of approval? 

Although it could be perfectly fine until all of the lights go off for the night, and that is when he could decide that he want's his cot back again. When we first tried to initiate the change Leo wouldn't even let me get off the bed, I had to stay with him stroking his head in the hope that it may help him lull into a deep slumber... That of course never happened and the next night the cot sides had magically appeared back on his cot.

I do feel more confident in now being the right time, and it is something that we will be giving a try once we have put some pennies together in order to purchase a new bed and mattress for the little guy. 

Anything to make the change fun and exciting for him, and to take away any in-securities that he may have about the change.

For now though I love that Leo is still happily upstairs sleeping in his beloved cot, tucked up with all of the toys that he adores so dearly, and of course blankie. It is actually because of blankie that I am more optimistic about the idea of transitioning Leo into a big boys bed. Blankie seems to make many things a lot easier than they otherwise could have been.

I think a car bed will add in the novelty and excitement that Leo needs, and if I could maybe find a Lightening McQueen bed, I think I may score brownie points as 'Best Mummy...EVER!'.

What age did you put your little one's into a bed for the first time? How did it go and do you have any tips on when/how to do it?



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

Life is like a pair of shoes...


I have made it no secret that I struggled in going back to work after taking 13 months off for my maternity leave. Although time has made things easier and I have adjusted to not spending all of my time with Leo, it has highlighted cracks in the path ahead of me and shown me that going back to work really is a tough choice to make.

Taking over a year off changes you, and when you do go back to that role you under took before coming a parent, sometimes it doesn't fit you in the same way that it once did. I know that for me that is exactly the case, during the time I was absent the office life hustled and bustled as it always did. But I wasn't there, I wasn't a part of all of these new changes. So when I did eventually come back to fill my old shoes, I realised how much smaller they had become. They didn't fit me in the same way any more and they seemed to have lost all of that sparkle and shine they once had. 

In reality though, it wasn't just the job or the people that had changed. I had changed too. In those 13 months I had been 'Mummy' day in and day out. I had changed in order to care for my baby, and he was my number one. It was around this time that I stumbled into the world of blogging and found so many doors opening up for me.

It took going back to work for me to actually see what I wanted for my future, what I still want. In an ideal world I would love to go back and re-train. I would absolutely love to get a marketing qualification under my belt and really throw myself into my future. There is still time for me to break away from my comfort zone and propel my way in a brand new pair of shoes, shoes that fit perfectly and have all of their glitz. 

I am currently gaining work experience in the industry of marketing and public relations, and who knows what the future will hold for me. One day in the not so distant future I in-vision handing in my old shoes and skipping down that yellow brick road ahead of me in a pair of ruby slippers.

For now though, I just have to hope that these old shoes stand their ground.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post



Toddler Shoes


It has been a year now since Leo decided to stand up and take those very first wobbly steps. I still find it so surreal that the little baby I brought home from hospital a little over 2 years ago is now a walking, talking little monster.

One thing I have always struggled with since Leo decided to get all grown up on me is finding shoes to fit his rather large feet. Right from his very first fitting this has always been a challenge, and in those early days I wanted nothing but Clarks shoes touching his precious little feet. We very rarely put shoes on Leo as a teeny tiny baby because I really couldn't see the point in doing so, and his very first pair of shoes came along just after he started to walk. 

I can remember Leo wondering what on earth was on his feet and it did take him a little while to get used to wearing shoes when we were out and about, but picking a pair that fitted him perfectly and were comfortable for him made all the difference. 

I still go to Clarks today to get Leo's feet measured, we still really struggle to find shoes that are in his size and usually either have to pick a design that we wouldn't have other wise chosen just because that is the only size they have for him, or go elsewhere. 

I have recently discovered that I can order Clarks shoes through John Lewis after I have been in and got Leo's feet measured, they have so much more choice than we are used to getting in store!

Having this extra choice online makes so much difference to us as we can actually pick a design that we WANT, not just because that is all they have... I really wish I had got online sooner rather than later and put an end to all of our shoe hunt missions. I cannot even begin to describe how I have struggled to find Leo a pair of sandals this summer, I have been into every shop on the high street and not managed to find a single pair in Leo's size. 

I should have thought to hop online and have a look, but the impatient person inside of me wanted the old fashioned experience of actually going into a shop.. Needs must though, and until Leo's feet decide to even out a little bit then we will be found doing all of his shoe shopping online.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post





Saturday, 17 August 2013

Golden Bear Introduce The New 'In The Night Garden' Toy Collection


I have a big In The Night Garden fan living under my roof, and it is a show that Leo likes to watch each evening in the time where we quieten down ready to go to sleep.

Very recently we went along and watched In The Night Garden Live, and Leo had the most amazing time watching his heroes come to life right before his very eyes.

Then not long after we return from this magical experience I was asked if Leo may like to have a play with a selection of new In The Night Garden toys that have been released by Golden Bear. I didn't really have to think about this for too long, because of course Leo would be more than happy to help out, it is after all one of his favourite shows.

We have been sent the Lullaby Iggle Piggle and a Large Talking Upsy Daisy for Leo to give his thoughts on, and they actually arrived at the perfect moment. Last week Leo was taken down with a viral infection, and my happy little chappy was lost among a dark grey rain cloud feeling poorly and sorry for himself. Then... A few new toys turned up and suddenly there was a slight smile back on his little face again.


Lullaby Iggle Piggle quickly became a firm favourite with Leo, he's a really good size and the perfect toy choice for bed time. If you push Iggle Piggle's hand his cheeks light up with soothing colours and he sways from side to side along with the music. The tunes are songs that will be very familiar to children who watch the popular television show only without the words, which I think is very fitting for a toy that will be accompanying your little one to bed. After all the last thing you want is a bedtime toy that get's your little one all rivalled up when they are supposed to be going to sleep.

Leo has been taking Iggle Piggle to bed with him each and every night since he arrived, and even if Leo has knocked Iggle Piggle's hand by mistake in his sleep it hasn't disturbed his sleeping slumber once. While Leo was poorly Iggle Piggle has been a real source of comfort for Leo, and this has meant that his new little friend has been on the receiving end of a few kisses!


I think another reason that Leo has a little soft spot for Lullaby Iggle Piggle is the fact that he has a blankie. Leo has his very own comfort blankie and has been pointing out Iggle Piggle's and then showing me his very own. It's always nice to have some common ground with those closest to us... right?

What I personally really like about this toy from a parent's point of view is that the motor that makes Iggle Piggle's head move from side to side is very quiet. It is not as loud as some motorised toys I have come across, which of course is something that needs to be considered when purchasing a toy that you want to help aid your child's sleep. 


The Large Talking Upsy Daisy is again a really great size, easy for little hands to get a hold of and even push her hand to make the sounds. She comes out with a number of well known phrases from the television show. Although Leo has played with Upsy Daisy she has not been as popular as Iggle Piggle, but then they are both offering a different level of play value.

Upsy Daisy is lovely and bright, soft and is perfect for any Upsy Daisy fan. 

I have to say that in comparison to other In The Night Garden toys that I have previously seen these two are the nicest. Some of the toys I noticed that were on sale at the live show we visited had what I can only describe as squished faces, and weren't the kind of quality that you would expect. From my personal experience with the new Golden Bear range, these new toys are of really high quality and set to be a real big hit with kids who love this show.


The Lullaby Iggle Piggle retails at £24.99 and is available to buy from The Entertainer Toy Shop.

The Large Talking Upsy Daisy retails at £14.99 and is available to buy from The Entertainer Toy Shop.

Over all I think the new Golden Bear range is really great, and I know that Leo is certainly a big fan. 

I have put together a little clip of these toys in use just so you can hear the different tunes and phrases that each of these toys comes out with. It will also give you an idea of just how loud the motor is on Iggle Piggle, but as I say I thought this was very quiet.



Disclaimer: I was sent the Lullaby Iggle Piggle and Large Talking Upsy Daisy for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.



Friday, 16 August 2013

The Kiddy Click n' Move 3 Pushchair Review


Kiddy are quickly establishing their place in the UK market, with more and more parents discovering this German brand and realising the superior products that they have to offer. Kiddy are one of the most popular manufacturers of car seats back in their home land of Germany, and I have had the pleasure of trying out two of their products over this year.

Back in March I told you all about the Kiddy City n' Move and how much Leo and I enjoyed using this very stylish, easy to use stroller. So when I heard that Kiddy were un-veiling some more exciting products I was really looking forward to seeing the new Kiddy Click n' Move 3, when I went along to the Birmingham Baby Show Kiddy were one of the first brands I tracked down.

The Kiddy Click n' Move 3 is an all round pushchair that can be used from the word go when combined with a Kiddy Evolution Pro Car Seat or Kiddy Click n' Move 3 Carry Cot. The pushchair unit it's self is suitable from 6 months plus, but it is great that all bases are covered so you can choose this as your pushchair for your newborn while getting a complete travel system at the same time.

I have been sent The Click n' Move 3 to try out with Leo, and over the past few months that is exactly what we have been doing. I had been highly anticipating the arrival of this pushchair, and was really looking forward to seeing how my expectations were going to live up to the reality.

The pushchair arrived safely all tucked away in it's box, so my first task was to get everything un-packed and get it all set up. Over the course of 2 years I have had plenty of practice in putting pushchairs together, and I am pleased to report that the Click n' Move is really simple to get up and running.

What is in the box?
- Pushchair Frame
- Wheels
- Seat Unit
- Bumper bar with in-corporated rain cover
- Instruction Manual


You have everything you need in the box to get you started. 
*The Carry Cot and Evolution Pro are not included in the initial price but can be purchased separately.*

I found the initial assembly of the Click n' Move really straight forward and only glanced at the instructions a few times. The wheels simply click into position and the seat clicks straight onto the frame. 

The part I found tricky and continued to find tricky until recently is the actual putting up and down of the pushchair. I have watched countless YouTube videos on how to do it, but I couldn't put what I had seen into practice. What I was struggling with was the technique, but I have finally cracked it.

The Click n' Move 3 has been designed to be a straightforward pain free method to put up and put down, I will demonstrate this a little later in the review.

Even with my initial struggles to get it up, within 10 minutes I had the Click n' Move all ready to take out on it's first walk.

My First Impressions

So I have taken the Click n' Move 3 out of the box and it is now set up in front of me.

We chose the Stone colourway for this pushchair and I have to say just how smart it looks. It sports a black frame, cream hood and seat lining.  

I love how the seat unit simply clicks on and off the frame so that you can very easily turn it around to parent facing/outward facing with complete and utter ease. 

I really like how big the hood is, it is one of the biggest hoods I have ever come across on a pushchair and offers a great source of protection from the elements.

Now I may have actually got a little excited about this next bit. A lovely spacious basket complete with a zip to keep all of those items stored away safe and sound. 

In terms of the actual pushchair I was really impressed with just how light it was once assembled, and how smooth it is to push around. Even with a feisty 2 year old in, it moved smoothly. The brake is perfectly accessible and just requires a push up or down with your foot in order to apply or dis-engage the break.

The recline is absolutely super on this pushchair and reclines completely flat with a means of the metal bar at the back of the pushchair.


Now for the handle bar... Luke has always complained about the height of my pushchairs handle bars. Apparently they just haven't been built with 'Dad's' in mind. This statement cannot be applied to the Click n' Move 3, the handle bar is fully adjustable and ranges from 84cm to 118cm. It really is perfect for taller parents, and as the handle bar can be adjusted you can cater for both parties who will be using the pushchair.

Out in the field...


We have been using the Click n' Move 3 in a variety of different scenarios, I am confident that we have experienced different terrains, times where I have had to fold the pushchair up in order to store it away in the car. We have been out and about in the park, smoothly cruised around the town, bumped over un-even ground and hopped on and off a few trains.

I have thoroughly enjoyed using the Click n' Move 3, Leo sits very comfortably and has been enjoying both seating positions available. I rest assured knowing that Leo is safely strapped into the seat with a 5 point safety harness, and it is been so easy to adjust the belt to securely sit Leo inside. There is no worry about him jiggling his arms out and trying to make a break for it... 

I have snapped up the chance to have Leo facing me again and we have been having some chats about things we see when we are out and about, we have been along to the river and fed the ducks and even had to make a quick get away when the Geese got a little to greedy! What is really great is that I can change the seating position to either parent/outward facing in a few short moments. If Leo tires of my chit chat and wants to look out at the world around him, then all I have to do is get him out of the seat, push in the two buttons on either side of the frame and simply pull the seat off, before turning it around and clicking it back on.


The handle bar on the Click n' Move 3 is such a great height and so easy to adjust by simply clicking in the buttons at either end of the bar. Although I am not tall I have been using the highest handle bar setting, I just find it really comfortable to push around at this level. The pushchair is so light even with my hefty 2 year old at the helm of the seat, I have found with other pushchairs that he is really starting to weigh them down, but this is not the case with the Click n Move 3. I can even push this pushchair around one handed, while taking a sneaky munch on a chocolate bar that I just couldn't possibly bring myself to share with Leo... Of course this only works when he isn't in parent facing mode.

A feature that both Leo and I have loved is the peek a boo window in the back of the seat unit. Leo discovered this on the very first occasion that he was sat in the Kiddy, and he looked up out of the plastic window at me and said 'Boo Mumma'. So every time we are out and about in it these days, Leo plays a game of peek-a-boo with me.

As I have continued to use this pushchair I have grown to love just how user friendly it is, the brake makes it so easy to simply kick it up or down with your foot. It is so smooth that one flick of your foot with activate or deactivate the brake. The basket is another favourite of my on the Click n' Move 3, I have never had a zipped basked before this but it is such a simple but brilliant asset. When you are on the move with a child, a child who has a lot of bits and pieces that they may need while you are out, sometimes a changing bag isn't enough. Especially if you are going for a long day out, so this basket really is an extension of your changing bag, and you can zip it up to eliminate the chance of items going a stray, and you can hide everything from view.


The basket is perfectly accessible in outward facing mode but when turned around in parent facing it becomes quite restricted due to how the seat sits over it. I found that I had to alter the foot rest up in order to get things in and out of the basket when in parent facing mode, as the gaps on either side don't give much maneuvering room.

Over all I think the basket is a very generous size, and even allows me to fit in my Pink Lining Changing Bag so I don't have to have anything dangling over my handle bars.

The bumper bar on this pushchair is actually hiding away the rain cover, I like how they are making use of space that wouldn't ordinarily get used. The rain cover on my other pushchairs is always found in the bottom of my basket, but Kiddy have taken this into consideration and completely freed up all of the basket space (they must know I like to shop!).


The rain cover it's self doesn't cover the entire pushchair as you may expect it too, and is simply designed to over the babies legs. The hood is so big that it does and would offer shelter from the rain,  but I have to wonder if this would be the case if there was a wind too? I quite like the traditional rain cover as I have a horrible OCD when it comes to the thought of my pushchair getting wet...

I do like the idea of just being able to pull out this rain cover for Leo if and when it does start to rain,  but I am a little skeptical as to how far this would go in a torrential down pour. Although... I am not one to go out walking when the skies are full of rain...


The wheels are all removable which is always handy when you are trying to get the pushchair in and out of the car. I have found the wheels very practical and they have allowed me to go over grassy terrain, cruise around shops and even over uneven gravel, admittedly over the gravel it did struggle a little and I had to put quite a bit of effort in order to get it back onto the desired concrete.

For the most part the wheels will let you go wherever you wish to go.

As mentioned above, I have found putting this pushchair up and down a little tricky, until recently anyway. It is actually incredibly simple and you just need to get used to the unique fold. I have put together a video to demonstrate the fold and many of the other features of the Click n' Move 3, but for now here is an image showing you what you need to do.


Putting the Kiddy Click n' Move 3 down

The very first thing you need to do is to pull up the release catches on either side of the handle bar, as highlighted in the image. This will recline the handle bar and seat unit somewhat.

Once you have done this you need to hold the handle bar and pull it up.

This will collapse the pushchair.

Putting the Kiddy Click n' Move 3 up



Push the circle button on the Left hand side of the pushchair and push down on the handle.

This will pop up your pushchair and you are ready rock and roll.

One quibble that I do have with this pushchair is that it doesn't fit in my Peugeot 206 very well at all. The boot is a no go as it is far to big to go inside even with the wheels off. It is the length of the pushchair that seems to let it down when it comes to my little car.. My only option is to squeeze it onto my back seat. Even here it is a real squeeze and I have had to push my seat right forward in order to actually get it into the car. The boot of the 206 is not the most generous in the world of cars, and if you have a bigger car then you really shouldn't have an issue getting it in and out.

Recap

- Lightweight aluminium frame
- Height adjustable handle
- Adjustable 3-position
- Removable safety bar
- Durable seat cover
- 5-point harness system
- Flexible seating option
- All round suspension offers superb comfort
- Easily removable front and rear wheels

- Easy to use parking brake


Our Overall Thoughts?

Overall I think this is a really well thought out pushchair, it is sturdy and handles beautifully. Even now with 2 year old Leo he is still sitting absolutely perfectly in the seat and has lots of space to stretch out in.

I like how the pushchair spreads Leo's weight out so that it is not heavy to push.

I really love the hood and the basket.

I do think that when folded the pushchair is rather bulky, and if you are going to be getting it in and out of your car quite often then you may wish to measure it all up to make sure this will be possible. But I do feel happy that out of all of the features with the Click n' Move 3, if my only quibble is fitting it in my car ... Then this is highlighting just how user friendly everything else is.

I think that if you were in the market for a travel system that you wanted to see you through until a time where you would no longer need a pushchair, then the Kiddy Click n' Move 3 offers a stylish design with accesseries to make this a very attractive option.

You can pick up a Kiddy Click n' Move 3 for £275.00 at Bambino Direct.

You can then go on to make it a complete travel system by investing in the carry cot for £99.97 and the Kiddy Evolution Pro Infant Carrier for £150.00.

I personally think that is a complete bargain for a complete travel system, especially with a pushchair that is set to see you through until you no longer need one.

We are big fans of Kiddy in this house and the Click n' Move 3 has been everything and more than we had hoped for.


I will leave you with the video that I have put together demonstrating the Click n' Move 3.



Disclaimer: I was sent the Kiddy Click n' Move 3 for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Mumma! Moon!


'Mumma! Moon!'
Squealed an excited Leo as he pointed up to the twilight sky.
I followed the trail of his finger and sure enough at the very end of his finger tip,
there was the moon in all it's crescent glory.

'Wow Leo! Look at the moon! 
If only we could bring it down for you to hold! Do you want it?'
'Yeh, yeh, yeh!' Leo chirps back at me as he continues to point way up high.

'Maybe if you jump high enough you could grab it?'
Leo jumps as high as he can, but it is no use. 
Arms outstretched as far as they could possibly stretch...
But it is just no use, the moon is still so very far away.

'Maybe Dadda could reach it for you baby?'
Leo runs off to find Dadda shouting 'moon' as he goes.
Dadda tries but not even he can get the moon for Leo.

'Maybe if you sit on Dadda's shoulders baby?'
Leo positions himself on Dadda's shoulders...
but no amount of stretching is getting him any closer
 to the moon that is still so very, very far away. 

Leo gets down and starts jumping as high as he can,
clapping his hands as if he is trying to tempt the moon from his perch.
But the moon can't hear Leo's calls.
He is just too far away.

'Maybe we could get a really long ladder baby? 
Then we could climb up to the moon and bring him back for you?'
Leo smiles, he likes this idea.
We look in the garage and agree that no ladder we could possibly find 
would be big enough for this job at hand.

Leo looks up at the moon longingly,
'Moon! Moon Mumma!'
'Yes baby, but he is just to far away.
Not you, nor I, nor Dadda can reach him 
but we can look at how he changes each night. 
We can leave him shining brightly in the night sky for everyone to enjoy'.

'Now little man it is time for bed, so say good night to the moon'.
Leo bids the moon goodnight as he stares into the twilight sky.
His hand rises up to give the moon a big old wave.
'Byeeee moon' says my beautiful little guy,
 who see's only the magic in the world.

He is so pure that he can in-vision holding the moon tightly in his hands,
he thinks that Mumma and Dadda could really bring the moon down to earth.
I just hope that this magic never leaves him.
That he see's the magic all around him forever,
for as long as the moon sits high up in the sky.

Goodnight Moon.


Monday, 12 August 2013

Pampers Unveil The Royal Baby Blanket


I recently told you all about how Pampers were inviting members of the public to share their personal experiences and good wishes for Kate and Will's as they prepared to welcome their royal bundle into the world. 

On the 22nd July 2013 Prince George Alexander Louis arrived.
All 8lbs 6oz of him.

Pampers have very recently unveiled their giant Baby Blanket – knitted with the nation’s good wishes for Prince George! As mentioned recently on my blog, to celebrate the birth of the new royal baby, Pampers has knitted a giant baby blanket made from the good wishes of love and support from the UK public, in aid of family support charity Home-Start UK. I hope you got involved too?


The campaign has received overwhelming support from all over the world – including Canada, China and Australia - with thousands of parents sharing their wishes of love and support for the royal couple. And for every message received, Pampers has donated a nappy to family support charity Home-Start UK with a final donation of 100,000 nappies being made. 

On Thursday, Pampers invited mums and babies to see the unveiling of this giant blanket and continue the nation’s celebration of the new arrival! Now that the blanket has been unveiled, Pampers will be donating framed sections of the blanket to neonatal units and children’s hospitals across the UK to display on their walls. Every little baby is a prince or princess to their mum and dad, and Pampers wishes them nothing but love, sleep and play. To find out further information visit www.pampers.co.uk.


Disclaimer: This is a Sponsored Post

Saturday, 10 August 2013

2 Years Wise...


It is coming up to 2 months since Leo turned 2 years old, and we haven't really slowed down since then.

We have been on many exciting trips in the weeks that have followed, and spent lot's of quality time together. Leo has enjoyed seizing the day and running off on his adventures with Mumma just as much as I have in taking him. 

My very clever two year old has begun to recognise the make and model of cars, I have a Peugeot 206 and if we are out and about he will point out another Peugeot and associate it with 'Mumma', he gets even more excited if it is a 206 in the same colour. Leo also recognises Daddy's VW van, and now if we happen to see a white VW... Then of course it has to be Dadda. The many White vans that I have driven past of late only to hear 'Bye Bye Dadda' chirp up from the back seat. Leo is also recognising his Uncle's Passat, which has been nick named 'Josh' after his baby cousin.


On the 19th July 2013 Leo took a momentous leap in learning to scoot on his Micro Scooter. I decided the time had come for my big boy to have the seat taken off, so that he could be just like the bigger kids who were now scooting circles around him. That very same day Leo rose to the occasion and discovered just how fun scooting could be.

Today Leo was able to scoot around with some of the bigger kids on our street, and even got to play with the boy next door for the very first time. Our street has been in drastic need of a re-surfacing for a while, so the last few days the road has had just that. Today the roadworks were finished and there were very few cars parked up, so as soon as the last work man cleared away... The kids came out in force to make the most of this new flat space.


Kids with bikes, scooters and skate boards took to the street. I had no idea we lived on a street with so many kid's, but Leo loved the opportunity to meet new people and make the most of all of his favourite toys. 

Leo very proudly showed off his super scooting ability.

He had such wonderful compliments on his Jakayaan Balance Bike.

He even got to try out the new Digger I bought him earlier this week.



Today Leo even had his very first knock on the door for 'Can Leo come out to play'. The boy next door and his little friend had made the very special visit to come and call for him. The very first time anyone had ever come a calling for my ever popular little man.

As Leo is a little young to just go out and play, I invited the boys into the back garden where Leo was patiently waiting for the boy next door to come and talk to him through the fence. If you could have only seen Leo's face when he saw that the boy next door was actually in his garden, and here to play with him... It truly was a picture!

Leo is just getting over a viral infection that has knocked him for six over the past couple of days, and in turn knocked me for six. Tonight though my little guy was back to his happy go lucky self and we giggled as we cooked dinner together. I offered Leo some chopped Pepper which he popped straight into his mouth, and then looked well and truly put out. Until I put some in my mouth and the crunchiness became the best game since sliced bread. 

Then came the bouncing around the kitchen like mad people just because we could, with a very giddy toddler shouting 'more, more, more!' as we got a little bit faster! 

Suddenly bedtime has caught up with us, a little bit later than usual but time just tends to run away with me, and now he is a big 2 year old boy... What is half an hour!?


Note to self: I must have the only toddler in the world who thinks that the only kind of phone call is a FaceTime chat... *Makes time to show Leo the old fashioned way that phone calls take place* 











The Bristle Blocks Basic Builder Case Review


As John Crane Ambassadors Leo and I have been tasked with reviewing a new toy each and every month over the British Summer. 

You can read our past reviews below:

This month our test subject is the Bristle Blocks 50 Piece Basic Builder Case.


This particular toy dates right back to my childhood, and I have fond memories of playing with them. I am really pleased that I get to introduce Bristle Blocks to Leo, and that they are still going strong.

For those of you not familiar with Bristle Blocks, they are a great introduction to construction toys. They are perfectly sized for toddler hands and are so easy to work with. The blocks have bristles all around the circumference, top and bottom of the block that allow you to interlink them with one another.

All the blocks are lovely and bright in an assortment of different colours, and have gone down a real treat with Leo. Leo is at the perfect age now to really demonstrate just how much play value these toys hold, now his imagination is really coming into it's own each new day brings a new game that can be played with the Bristle Blocks.

At the moment Leo has simply enjoyed stacking the blocks one on top of the other, or helping me build something that he will later pick up off the floor and run away with, just to stop me enjoying myself! 


The Basic Builders Set has a few exciting designs for older kids to try and build, we have kept this for when Leo is that little bit older so he can give it a go too. For now though it is lovely to watch Leo discovering which blocks fit best together, and if he puts a that block there...He can stack that one on top of it..

These blocks make Leo think hard, and you can see the concentration on his little face as he problem solves his construction dilemma.

They recommend that the Bristle Blocks are suitable from the age of 2 years plus, and I have to agree that this is about right. I think that Leo is just going to get more out of this toy as he continues to grow, and as his imagination continues to stretch for the stars. 

Watch this space, I will one day report that he HAS built the airplane... Or I for that matter!
For now though we will both stick to the stacking!



I really like the 50 Piece Basic Builders set as it includes a very handy travel storage box, this means I can pack all of the pieces back into the box for safe keeping to stop them going walkabout when Leo has one of his terrible 2 temper tantrums...The box fits perfectly in Leo's new toy box and I rest assured knowing that all of the 50 pieces are safely tucked away before it gets put away for the day.

This set retails at at £15.99, I think this is a attractive price when you take the play value into consideration, and it is a toy that will last for many years to come. It is also a toy that I can add more to by purchasing more blocks and different sets, so this toy really pushes the boundaries to whatever you want them to be.








Friday, 9 August 2013

Viral Infections In Children...

Viral infections in children are incredibly common.
In the 2 years of Leo's life he has managed to pick up 3 to date.
Before having Leo, I actually had no idea what a Viral Infection was? 
I didn't know that it would be one of the worst things that Leo would experience as a baby, and as a toddler.

In the May of 2012, just shy of his first birthday Leo was diagnosed with Roseola.
A viral infection that kept us both up all night.


'Roseola is a viral illness in young children. It most commonly affects babies and toddlers aged between 6 months and 2 years old. It is usually marked by several days of high fever, followed by a distinctive rash just as the fever breaks.

A child with roseola typically develops a mild upper respiratory illness, followed by a high fever (often over 39.5°C) for up to a week. During this time, the child may appear fussy or irritable and may have a decreased appetite and swollen lymph nodes.

The high fever often ends abruptly, and at about the same time a pinkish-red flat or raised rash appears and spreads over the body. The rash's spots turn white when you touch them, and individual spots may have a lighter "halo" around them. The rash usually spreads to the neck, face, arms, and legs.'

Leo had been incredibly grumpy and not himself.
But with that infection behind us, 
I didn't think he would come down with it again...

But I was wrong.
Very wrong..

Roseola can strike more than once.

On August 7th Leo was not 100%,
not in that last hour before bedtime anyway.

He was burning up like a radiator, and hot to the touch.
He was clingy and whinging but still got put to bed just like he always does,
and for a little while that is where he stayed.

By the end of the evening Leo had already navigated his way to my bed,
very quickly forming the starfish position leaving me nowhere to get comfy.
It was a night full of disturbed sleep,
a wakeful toddler wanting reassurance and Cars 2 on the iPad.

We had big plans for the following morning. 
Plans were forming and being cancelled in the wake of the night 
Leo and I had been subjected too.

As the day progressed Leo became more under the weather.
To accompany his temperature, a very familiar spotty rash was 
spreading all over his back and tummy.
A rash that looked very familiar to the Roseola rash he had been sporting once upon a time.
Then everything else began to add up.

- He had been off his food
- He had a runny nose
- He wasn't sleeping
- He had a temperature
- He now had a rash...

My little boy was fighting off the bane of viral infections.
Roseola... For a second time.


Last night there was not a lot of sleep to be had. 
Sleep became a distant memory,
memories from yesteryear crept back.
People wanted to make sure I had thought to do the glass test on the rash.
People were telling me it was everything but a viral infection,
Told me to take him to the doctor.

I failed to see the point in going back to the doctor. 
I had a very good idea what it was. I knew what I needed to do. 
I knew that the doctor would check his temperature, 
give him a once over and send us on our way with the merry words
'it's viral...Just keep doing what you are doing'.

I had to try and keep the fluids going into him, keep an eye on the rash. 
Give him all the cuddles and love I could muster where he would allow it, 
and finally try and keep him dosed up on calpol. 
Calpol has to be the hardest bit of it.
Leo will not allow calpol, So I have to try and sneak it into his milk. 
With this virus though he has been completely off his milk, 
which is not something that happens to Leo very often. 
That alone is enough to set alarm bells ringing for me.

I did call the doctor though, and she talked through Leo's symptoms with me and told me that she completely agreed. It was most likely Roseola and just to carry on doing what I was doing, and if I felt the situation escalated then to give them a call back.

Roseola is such a horrid virus, 
it has reduced Leo to screaming for over an hour on two occasions today.
It seems to shake his very being and it is horrible seeing your toddler affected so deeply. 
There have been moments in the thick of this virus where Leo has shone through as brightly as ever,
and even through my sleepy haze I can muster a smile for that beautiful boy of mine.

It has been a hard two days, but I think we are coming out of the other side of this awful infection now, so hopefully a sense of normality will resume tonight. Or else I will be kicking myself for writing this and not getting an early night as planned..

Through the black smog of Roseola here are a few things that have brought a smile to my poorly boys face..











How I Lost All of My Birthday Glitter...


Yesterday was my birthday. 
I had big plans for an exciting day out at Legoland but from the moment I woke up, 
to the time I finally got to bed... 
The day had it in for me.

With each passing moment, the day chipped away all of my birthday glitter.

The night before my big 24th,
Leo had become grotty, he was not himself.

That grotty-ness progressed and he ended up in bed with me.
By 4am I had decided to cancel my birthday trip and spend the day at home with Leo.

If only I had stuck to my guns.
If only I hadn't gone...

I was awoken to a smiley face,
as Leo tapped my head shouting 'Mumma' and I decided that Legoland 
was back on again in that mere moment. 

The bag was already packed, the pushchair was in the car. 
The wheels had been inflated especially for this exciting journey...
Arriving at the train station a very kind man helped me up and over the steps, 
but on the other side just as I was about to get on the train...
My front wheel popped.

Simply turning my pushchair around caused the wheel to go *BOOM*.
I stood there, with a very confused Leo.
My face must have mirrored his confusion, 
and a number of business men from first class rushed out of the train to help.

I had no choice but to take my poorly pushchair with me on my travels, 
as the train was set to leave.
Off we set on our latest adventure. 
With each turn of the train wheels,
 taking us further away from home.

Then disaster sets in...
Leo starts to cry.
Hysterically.

I told myself 'He will be fine when we get there'.
Almost trying to lull myself into a false sense of security,
knowing deep down that he was coming down with something.
He had been hot to the touch, burning up like a radiator.
I should have stayed at home..

Our journey involved a change.
A change with a poorly baby and a broken pushchair.
My heart was slowly sinking.
I decided the best option was to strap him back into the pushchair 
and see how far we got.
It became apparent very quickly that the only way to really push him, 
was to lift the pushchair up and roll him on the back wheels.

*Along comes Mr Know it all train conductor at Slough Station*

He told me in no un-certain way that this wasn't safe.
I should stop now.
When I had actually wanted to leave the pushchair somewhere 
at Slough station to pick up later, 
there was just no time with the connecting train to make the feesable.

So I stumbled on, loosing a little bit more of my birthday sparkle with each passing minute.

Legoland very kindly checked my pushchair in to keep for me.
But there were no pushchairs left for me to rent. 
I had a poorly toddler who just wanted cuddles and carrying around.
I had a heavy bag full of essentials for the busy fun day we were supposed to be having. 
But there wasn't much fun to be had.

Leo was getting progressively worse,
getting more clingy, more viral.
I began to notice a rash all over Leo's tummy and back.
Having only been there a few hours,
it was time to come home.

The few hours had given us chance to get on 2 rides,
The lines were horrific, but then what did I expect for a sunny day in the Summer holidays?
It would have been fine if Leo was his usual happy self.
But today Leo just needed snuggles with Mumma.
He needed to be at home.

I managed to leave the pushchair at Legoland,
One less problem for the way home on a busy train. 
Now however I need to try and get it home again...

On the transfer at Slough I ran into the same train conductor.
On this occasion we needed him to help us get my sister in law's pushchair onto the train.
I had Leo on one hip, and my bag on the other,
so I asked for his help.
I asked him to help us lift the pushchair onto the train.
His response?

'Sorry I can't, health and safety'.

Seriously!? 

Is this what the world has come to? 
Now you cannot even ask train staff to help you?
So I commented on the health and safety aspect, 
ironically it would be safer for me to assist and potentially drop my child? 
Or even drop the pushchair?
Yet earlier this very man had been cautioning me on the perils of child safety.
REALLY!?

Getting back home was not the end of my hellish day,
I was awake throughout the night with a poorly toddler.
A poorly boy who just wanted to watch Cars 2 on my iPad.
A poorly boy who was awoken bright and early by the road works right outside of our house.

And that is how I lost all of my birthday glitter.