Friday, 31 August 2012

Cosatto Slim Jim Highchair Review

It comes as a shock to me, but not everyone wants their house looking like a toyshop just exploded in there! Some people have been there, done that, bought several T-shirts and are now ready for their white tablecloths, cream sofas and uncluttered house.  Not me of course, I am destined to have years of colour and mess as I share the house with two under twos from early next year.  My mum and dad however fall into the second category.  All their children have grown up and left home(ish) and they are enjoying the peace.

Their peace is interrupted every Thursday when they get a visit from my little monster as I go off to work for the day and the little corner of the living room reserved for baby bits is growing at a speedy rate.  They shouldn't have to compromise every room though and when we were offered the Cosatto Slim Jim highchair I knew they would love it.  

Dylan needs somewhere to sit and eat his dinners but high chairs can be quite cumbersome.  The slim jim folds away so
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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Life of a Foetus

It must be a bit of an easy life in the womb; lovely and cosy, fed on demand and nobody stopping you napping as you please.  Yes, there is plenty of growing to be done but no other worries as you are doing it.  Now that Squish can here what is going on outside the womb though, I wonder whether the things I do during my pregnancy affect the child that will be born.

As an unborn baby Dylan has heard plenty of live music including Less than Jake, Jimmy Eat World and Feeder.  It was when we went to a heavy metal gig that he decided to join in the moshing though and he is definitely a fan of a heavy beat now, often rocking an air guitar as well as the head bopping.  He went to see live comedians and travelled all the way to Morocco as a 25 week old bump,  where we enjoyed bartering in the souks, munching on tagine and camel riding (I realise this wasn't the most sensible idea but I couldn't resist).  Did any of this help shape the person he would become?

pregnant woman riding a camel, pregnant in Morocco

Squish is not being left out and has already
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Warner Bros. UV Review

Uv is a fabulous technology that means you can watch your DVD on all sorts of devices without needing to even insert the disk!  I found out about Warner Bros. and UV when I went to Britmums Live earlier this year and we have been busy watching Looney Toons and the Flintstones ever since.  

After registering online, you can use the unique code in your DVD box and add that film to your account.  That means that if you want to keep your DVDs in perfect condition away from prying fingers you need never remove the disk from the box.  It also means that should the little people in your life think DVDs make great colouring books, your films are still secure.

The first step is setting up a
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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Capture the Colour

When I heard about this competition from Travel Supermarket I couldn't resist getting my travel pics out.  Back in 2009 I backpacked around the world, met some amazing friends and saw some amazing sights.  My photo albums have long been put away and it was lovely to reminisce and remember the people and places.  The competition involves picking a photo for the colours blue, green, yellow, white and red so here are mine:

sulphur lakes, Tongarira crossing, new zealand

This photo was taken on the Tongariro Crossing, a 26km hike in New Zealand.  Not only did the walk
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Saturday, 25 August 2012

Silent Sunday 26/08/12

multicoloured roses, dyed roses

Love All Blogs
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Friday, 24 August 2012

14 Weeks Pregnant

My tummy continues to grow as the little person inside me does.  He or she is around 8cm long and the size of my clenched fist and may have already learnt to suck their thumb!  Here is my 14 week bump shot:

14 weeks pregnant with second child, bump watch

On the outside

My bump is definitely growing  and for the first time last week I got asked
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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Once so small

My little baby is turning into a little boy and I seem to be left wondering where the time has gone!  It was only 12 months ago that he was lying there helpless as a tiny newborn baby with his little scratch mitts on and that scrunched up face.  Now he is constantly on the move - crawling, rolling and cruising and outgrowing his clothes at an astonishing rate!

newborn compared to one year old, how much change, growing up

The smaller sleepsuit is the one he wore home from hospital, borrowed from his special keepsake box.  He may only have worn newborn clothes for a matter of days but once upon a time he fitted in them!  The second sleepsuit is size 18-24 months - the size he wears now!  He has not stopped growing and it is crazy to see quite how much has changed in one year!

When I see him sleeping peacefully in the cot I can still see that newborn baby.  His face has gained so much personality and his cheeky smile is contagious but when he sleeps he looks so innocent still.

I watch Dylan cruise around, pressing buttons, playing with toys, eating his dinner with his fingers and making sure he picks up every single crumb and it seems crazy to think that he was once so fragile, waking only for milk and then back to a sweet slumber again!

This first year has been magical and I can't believe how much my little boy has changed!  He is no longer a baby but a little person, imitating our actions, trying to copy our words and learning his own independence.  They really do grow up too fast!  He may be a big brother before we know it but he will always be my baby

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Albelli Photo Book - Review

Dylan's first birthday was big and colourful and I wanted a great way to capture that.  When Albelli offered me a photo book from their website I knew they were the right place to make my memories.  You can personalise your photo book in every which way imaginable and choose from a variety of sizes, shapes and page backgrounds.  

As Dylan's party was rainbow themed so is his book and the pages alternate through the seven colours as they share our memories.  I went for a large (30x30) square book so we could see the photos in all their glory and it did not dissapoint.

The book has a hard cover and I chose to personalise both the front and back with pictures.  The software is so simple to use although I did spend hours getting all the right pictures in and in the right order!  You can personalise your book either online or offline. I chose online as I thought it would be easier and it was great.  You can change each individual page layout and see the book as it will look when printed.  I found ordering it and understanding the prices very simple and the delivery service was great with emails keeping me up to date.

When the book arrived I instantly loved it.  The quality is fantastic and the pictures are clear.  I would definitely recommend Albelli if you want to make a special occasion into a physical memory.  Their prices are not the cheapest but the quality and service is exceptional!

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a £50 voucher for Albelli for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Monday, 20 August 2012

Folk Week Fun

 Every year one of our local towns holds a folk week festival.  The seafront pubs have live music all day and the stalls sell everything from funky clothes and jewellery to delicious fudge.  Clarence the Dragon and the Hobby Horses walk along the clifftops as jugglers and balloon makers entertain the children.  The atmosphere is friendly and all inclusive during the day and lively in the evenings with the pubs being so full the streets are lined with people until late into the night.

folk week, broadstairs seafront
The perfect place for a pub garden

This year we celebrated rather differently to
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Saturday, 18 August 2012

Silent Sunday 19.08

broadstairs beach, Silent Sunday, folking fun

Love All Blogs

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Friday, 17 August 2012

Cosatto Yo! Toffee Apple Review

Cosatto are one brand which I have loved since I was pregnant with Dylan.  Their products are funky and bright and exactly the kind of think we like to use.  When they offered me the Yo! in one of their new fruity colours to review I was over the moon as we had already been eyeing them up!

Cosatto yo!The Yo! toffee apple is a lovely orange colour and really is incredibly bright.  There is no losing this in the park and I love that is stands out from the boring black.  The box contains everything you need from the raincover to the footmuff and newborn headhugger meaning you can grab the baby and go!  The wheels clip in easily and the hood slides in - simple as that.  5 minutes and it is set up!  The rain cover is ready in a bag with a handy hook meaning it takes up no basket space.
cosatto yo! toffee apple
The stroller is light, although not as light as some others.  This is great as you want something a bit sturdier if you are using it for a newborn and you can hand a couple of bits on the handles without worrying about it tipping up.  I found the handles unnecessary for bags however as the basket is huge for a stroller and easily fits in everything we need for a full day out including blanket and jumpers.  I love this as I do like to carry round twice as much as I really need!

The buggy is
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Thursday, 16 August 2012

My Boys

The bloke is off work for a week and we are having a lovely time together as our little family of 3.  Yesterday the bloke and the baby wore their matching T-shirts.  The large one says 'It was him' and the smaller one says 'It wasn't me'.  They looked great together so I thought I would share a few pictures of my favourite boys.

dad and son in matching T-shirts
It was him!
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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

12 Weeks Pregnant

I made it to 12 weeks pregnant - all looks good and there is so much to look forward to! We had our first scan and everything looked healthy with baby.  I gave up my veins for the blood samples and was sent away with an appointment for a 20 week anomaly scan.  Squish is about the size of a plum and busy growing big and strong.

So this is me at 12 weeks:

On the outside

So it is safe to say I am showing.  It may be mostly bloating but pregnancy has given me a rather round tummy and hiding it for the last few weeks has been a mission in itself!  I have already dug out some of my summer maternity wear as I love the stretchy waist bands and the dresses are fitting well already.  I was nowhere near this big last pregnancy but they do say second time around you grow faster!  I am loving having a bump though and can't wait until it gets even more prominent!

12 weeks pregnant with second child

I am being asked by plenty of strangers how far gone I am now so I know the bump isn't all in my head.  I was 10 weeks + 1 the first time a customer at work asked me when I was due and now I think most people notice that my belly enters the room a little bit before I do.  Somehow though I have lost weight since finding out I am pregnant.  With Dylan I hardly put anything on though - I think my body took any extra fat and reassigned it to my bump and it is looking like this may happen again.

On the inside

I can get through the days without a nap now and I am so glad the extreme tiredness has gone. I still don't have all my energy but that may be down to a newly mobile toddler just as much as an ever expanding bump.  I have been lucky enough to escape any nausea or sickness again so I am pretty much symptom free now!  I am hoping it won't be too long until those first little kicks as I find it very unnerving not having anything to reassure me that baby is growing ok.  

Dylan has recently learnt to tantrum and I am starting to worry about how I am going to cope with a newborn and an 18 month old but truth is I won't have a choice.  I know it will be hard but we have made the decision to have them this close and I am looking forward to the days they can play together and enjoy the same things.

All in all everything is going well and I am really enjoying pregnancy again. 

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Kiddy Phoenix Pro Review

We found looking at car seats almost as exciting as looking at pushchairs.  There are so many styles and shades from so many different brands that it is hard to know which to choose.  The Kiddy Phoenix Pro is new to the UK and a bit different to the others on the market.  The main change is the lack of 5 point harness.

Kiddy's car seats use an impact bar rather than the harness and although originally I was dubious, once I have seen one and tried it, I am sure it is safer than our previous seat!  

As we don't drive, I need a car seat that will go in and out easily.  We are in my mum's car, friend's cars or taxis very often and most car seats need to be strapped in first with the seatbelt, then the child strapped in on top.  Not the Phoenix pro - The car seat just seats in the normal seat and the seatbelt does both jobs in one. There is the option of the K-Fix to permanatly secure the seat too but we love how easy this is to use.  

kiddy phoenix pro,

Once you have seated your child appropriately (there is a booster that can be added in to ensure a perfect fit) you just slide the impact shield in so it fits against your child's tummy and legs and pop the seatbelt round that.  The car seat cannot move at all as the seat belt keeps it very secure and the child is safe in the seat secured from armpit to knee in Dylan's case.

The Phoenix pro comes with an adjustable headrest and in a variety of colours.  I loved the reds in the seat we picked and though the colours would be perfect for a girl or boy.  Dylan was very happy in there and seemed comfortable and content.  When he fell asleep he seemed supported and there wasn't the usual head roll we tend to get.
napping in car seat, kiddy phoenix pro

Unfortunately without the K-fix the seat cannot be put into a recline position which I do prefer for car naps but this didn't seem to bother the little dude as he seemed comfy enough.  I can't think of anything else I would change about the seat though as it felt strong, comfortable, protected, innovative and secure.  The seat is suitable from 9-18kg or approx 9 months to four years so Dylan has plenty more growing space in there! The seat will retail for £200 which I think is a good price for such a sturdy and supportive car seat, after all your child's safety is so important!

•    Easy and quick to fit fitting for parents
•    Quick-release K-Connectors for isofix fitting (optional use)
•    Lightweight design makes it comfortable to pick up and move
•    Highly-protective shaped chest and headrests
•    Ergonomically designed for a comfortable ride
•    Adjustable headrest to choice of 7 positions
•    Unique shock-absorbent hidden panels for superb side-impact
•    Spacious inner dimensions to accommodate a growing child
•    Optimised front impact protection
•    3-way adjustable baby insert cushion
•    Advanced machine washable covers (30°C)

You can find out more on the Kiddy facebook page or tweet them @kiddycarseats and there is more about the Phoenix Pro on the Kiddy blog

Disclaimer:  We were sent a Kiddy Phoenix Pro for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Silent Sunday - 12.08.12

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Friday, 10 August 2012

On the Move!

Dylan has clearly taken turning one very seriously and decided it is time to get mobile.  His first birthday last Thursday saw him pulling himself up from sitting to standing on the sofa for the first time and gingerly walking round.  Fast forward a week and he can now get himself standing from lying on his back with the help of the sofa, confidently cruise round the furniture even letting go for a few seconds to test his balance and crawl! 

He is not crawling around the room but he can take to his knees and find his way to the sofa or a table to get himself stood up.  He still seems convinced that crawling is not for him but he can do it now when he wants to! After months of worry as all his friends overtook him and started taking their first steps whilst he sat immobile and content he has joined the ranks and moved himself!

My arms are incredibly happy.  28lb is a lot of weight to carry round and although the havoc has already begun, I am enjoying his new found independence almost as much as he is.  It won't be long until his legs lose some of that puppy fat and his tummy slims down so I am making sure we have plenty of cuddles now whilst he is still my chunky little monkey.  

I am so proud of him for doing it and although some days it felt like he would never get it, I know from experience that he likes to learn new things with no warning.  He waits until he completely understands what to do and then goes for it!  It wouldn't surprise me if he started walking soon!

learning to crawl

So to anyone else with a baby that doesn't crawl - they will eventually!  They may be a little late and not that bothered about it but they will get moving and you will almost wish they weren't as your house will look like a hurricane has hit!

The other big change this week has been the start of the tantrums.  Dylan has developed a temper and when he falls down whilst trying to stand up he starts screaming and angrily hitting the sofa as his eyes say 'you should have helped me mummy!'  I much prefer our other developments to the pinching and hitting that comes with these tantrums but I am hoping that standing firm now means the behaviour won't last too long.

So turning one has bought many changes and we are only a week in!  Did you find that one was a major milestone for your little one?

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Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Rainbow First Birthday Party

I was very excited at the prospect of organising Dylan's first birthday.  I had seen pictures of rainbow cake and despite never having made a cake by myself before, I decided to base the party around this theme.

first birthday bunting, rainbow birthday party, photo bunting

Armed with rainbow bunting, multicoloured plates and bowls and plenty of balloons, I set about decorating for our rainbow extravaganza.  I made some birthday bunting using 13 pieces of coloured card and sticking a photo of Dylan from each month on them.  I pegged them to a piece of string and made my very own memory bunting following Dylan from a tiny newborn to a mischievous one year old.

rainbow first birthday, first birthday party ideas, rainbow bunting, homemade first birthday, homemade birthday bunting, first birthday ideas

We had all the usual party food and for desert I decided on plenty of fruit as well as cakes so the little people could have a healthy lunch.  As well as plates of watermelon and assorted fruit I made a fruit rainbow using strawberries, slices of orange, melon, green and purple grapes.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

ERGO Carrier Review

I have been asking around about the best way to carry my son.  At eleven months he is a chunk at 27lb and the stretchy wrap we had for those early days is tending to droop now with his weight.  Everyone had different recommendations as there are so many choices out there but the idea of the ERGO carrier stood out.

A soft structured carrier, the ERGO carrier is more dad friendly than a wrap and more comfortable for baby than many other structured carriers.  The carrier consists of a soft panel, padded waist and shoulder straps and a handy sleep hood to stop little heads from rolling back.  It can be worn on your front, back or hip and there is a seperate newborn insert which can be purchased making the carrier suitable from 7lb to 44lb!

I was still dubious about how comfortable it would be considering the size of Dylan but decided to jump straight in and wear it for a day out at Wingham Wildlife Park.   That meant four hours of baby on my front or back (haven't attempted a hip carry yet) but that is what I want from a sling - the comfort to wear it all day.  Luckily it didn't dissapoint.  I wore him comfortably and at the end of the day could still have carried on for longer.  The straps spread his weight throughout my body making him feel so much lighter than usual!

He loved being carried on my back as he could see everything I could.  He had no problems seeing into all the enclosures whereas in the buggy he may not have seen over the fences.  When he got sleepy I had him on my front as I did find putting the sleep hood on from behind a little tricky.  It kept his head comfy and sheltered and he happily napped cuddling me!

I was really impressed with the carrier and have been putting it to the test rather a lot lately!  I find it so much easier to pop him on my back for a short trip or going to the beach than to pack up and strap him into a pushchair and we can chat as we walk.  I point out cars, flowers and people to him and we can have our own private conversation as his head is up by mine.  

I am absolutely loving my ERGO carrier and would recommend them to anyone who wants to carry their baby or toddler.  Suitable from birth to 4 years they are perfect for both long or short journeys and really distribute the weight well.  So much better for your posture than carrying a child on your hip for long periods of time and 'daddy friendly too'.  They come in a range of gorgeous designs although my favourite is still the galaxy grey that we have tested, make sure you purchase them from an approved supplier though. They retail for around £90 which I think is great value as they last for a several years and hold a high resale value.

Disclaimer:  We were sent an ERGO carrier for the purpose of this review but all thoughts, words and photos are my own.
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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

You make me Smile - Week 8!

We are now into week 8 of You make me Smile and I am loving reading your entries every week.  This week has been particularly exciting as it was Dylan's first birthday so I have plenty of smiles to share!

I may have mentioned (several times) on twitter that I have made a rainbow cake but I am still so impressed wit myself so here is the umpteenth photo of my Rainbow cake.

rainbow cake, you make me smile

After what seems like months of worrying about Dylan's movements he spent most of his birthday pulling himself up on the furniture and confidently walking round, making me realise I have a lot of things to move higher!  He keeps letting go for a few seconds and his balance is great so he is finally taking some steps in the right direction!

baby in the park, first steps, first birthday

And finally (as we seem to be on a birthday theme) it was lovely to have so many of our friends and family together and we had 50 guests as Dylan's garden party!  It was very busy but the babies loved playing together and it was nice to spend this special day with all the important people in our lives.

birthday party, first birthday

So why have you been smiling this week?  Post three photos with as many or as few words as you like, add the badge and link up!  Please share the loved and go and comment on as many of the other posts as you can. 

You make me smile

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Sunday, 5 August 2012

How to make a Rainbow Cake

Rainbow cake is perfect for a baby or child's birthday, is fun to make and eat and not even too difficult! Six/seven layers of sponge in every colour of the rainbow and a great suprise once you cut into it!  A rainbow theme makes a perfect first birthday idea for a little boy or girl.

For Dylan's first birthday I had some very ambitious plans.  Having never made a cake before by myself, I set the goal of a six layer rainbow cake to go with the rainbow theme I was planning.  Here are a few things I learnt:

-Always make a practice layer.   It helps make sure the mix is right and that the colour comes out how you want it.

-Liquid food colouring will not cut it.  The paste is fantastic though and goes a long long way (I would recommend Sugarflair).

-Icing a 6 layer cake is not the easiest part!

-Don't be afraid to ask for help.  I tweeted and had so much advice and recipes and found this one particularly helpful 

So here is my recipe for rainbow cake.

how to make rainbow cake, six layered rainbow cake, homemade rainbow cake, step by step guide, baking rainbow cake, easy to make rainbow layer cake

16oz/450g butter
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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Silent Sunday

rainbow cake, first birthday cake, homemade rainbow sponge, silent sunday

Love All Blogs
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Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Day That

On this day exactly one year ago I made the decision to go into the local maternity unit.  I had not been able to sleep for a couple of days and was worried that with my impending due date I would be too tired for the labour.  We left early - just as the sun was rising but I was too busy worrying about what might happen to pay any attention.

Dylan was born later that day and I can honestly say I have no idea whether the sun shone or the heavens opened.  I was absorbed in my labour and in my newborn baby boy.  It was the biggest day of my life and one I remember with a tear in my eye, yet I missed much of it's beauty.

I have always been a fan of sunrises and sunsets, and although I have been awake for very few of the former, I remember each and every one:

  Walking down to the beach after staying up all night as a 13 year old at the millenium.  Watching the first sunrise over the waves, struggling to stay awake but knowing it was an important moment

 Staying up all night for a full moon party on Thailand's iconic island and realising it was 6am.  The picture I took of the sun rising over the sea is coloured pink and purple and remains the best picture I have ever taken.

 Arriving at Angkor Wat in Cambodia after
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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Nun-Night Nought Year Old

To my gorgeous boy,

Tomorrow is just another day - only it is not.  Tomorrow we will be celebrating it being a year since you came into this world with your long legs and loud cry.  A year of tears, tantrums, smiles and cuddles.  A year unlike any other and one that I would go back and relive in a heart beat.

It is amazing to think how much has changed.  Once upon a time you were a helpless baby, feeding non-stop and only happy when on mummy's chest.  After a month everyone kept telling me they had not yet seen your eyes as even then you loved your sleep.  Suddenly you started to be awake for periods of the day.  You followed me with your eyes and started smiling that beautiful gummy smile.

one day old baby, letter to my one year old
One day old
Now you are a curious, mischevious and still super loud child.  Barely a baby but not yet a toddler.  You love to explore with your hands and mouth and push yourself forward in the pushchair so you can see round the sides.  You are happiest when you have everyone in the room's attention and you have never struggled to get it.  You may not be crawling or walking yet but you have no problem getting to things you want and are cruising round the furniture.  

You are
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