Showing posts with label brand collaboration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brand collaboration. Show all posts

Monday, 8 May 2017

Yummy Tastes

At 10 months, you would think we had weaning cracked, but in many ways we have only just started.  Cora was reluctant to start eating, and it has taken until the last couple of weeks for her to start dropping any milk feeds in favour of food.  Suddenly she is interested in trying new tastes though, she is eating bigger portions and of course being newly mobile, she is not content to watch her brothers eating anything without coming over to see what they have.



We have taken a mixed approach to weaning as that seems to be what suits her best, she has finger foods, our meals and some pre-packaged foods too.  The combination of these gives her a great variety and fits well into our lifestyle.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t often get to eat her own food in peace as her brothers have realised how much her fruit pouches actually taste like smoothies and I often have four little mouths all trying to get a spoonful.  Knowing they are full of goodness and have no added sugar means I don’t mind them sharing and we get through quite a few fruit pouches at the moment! (Peach, mango and banana is definitely their favourite).



Cora tends to eat our dinners when we are at home which is both convenient and incredibly messy (have you ever watched a 10 month old feed themselves spaghetti bolognese?).  When we go out for dinner I am a bit more fussy though and I worry about the salt in the meals.  I also find that all three boys now demolish a kids meal with ease and I am reluctant to spend out on a whole meal just for Cora, so I often take a Heinz pouch with me which is full of goodness and salt free so I know that she has something tasty to eat.  We all pay our ‘Cora tax’ by giving her little bits from our plate too.



When we are out for the day, I try to pack snacks that all 4 children can eat as it is much easier than packing seperate boxes for the bigger and littler ones and the Heinz biscotti are loved as much by the 4 and 5 year olds as they are by Cora and Finn. They are pretty mess free and convenient to take for trips to the park. I usually have cut up fruit, breadsticks and biscotti for the four of them to share.

I am never going to be that mum that makes everything from scratch, but I am ok with that.  Modern parenting is demanding and I know there are tasty options out there which compliment the home cooked meals and help provide my baby girl with the vitamins and minerals she needs.  Cora has a variety of tastes and textures, she eats with us as a family and she loves her food now.  

Weaning is such a fun experience and I have relaxed more this time, taken it at Cora’s pace and followed her lead.  I have no doubt in a few months she will be demolishing dinners the same way her brothers do!


Collaborative Post

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Easter Egg Hunting with Cadbury

The two week school holiday can feel rather long especially when the sun seems to have disappeared again.  My children have been buzzing with the excitement of Easter, talk of the magical bunny and what he may bring and asking to do activities, games and crafts in the lead up.  I love bringing the seasons to life for them, but sometimes I need a little help with ideas.

Cadbury have come up with some great Easter activities to try over this long weekend and we couldn’t wait to do our own Easter egg hunt.  We only have a tiny little garden and it has been sorely neglected over the winter, but whilst we were away last week my parents kindly came over and cleared it for us, so this was the perfect place to hold our hunt.  Admittedly all the weeds would have given us some much better hiding places, but this way they could run around afterwards (and create their very own car wash for the garden toys).


255,000 Cadbury eggs are made at the Bournville factory ever day (that is 177 a minute if you were wondering) and I am sure you can guess the best seller? It is of course the creme egg, which happens to be my favourite so those are what I chose to hide for them (with some bonus Cadbury caramel eggs too)


There are some other great activities on the Cadbury site including making pompom bunnies which I know is exactly what Dylan has been hoping to try and the activity sheets will keep them all entertained in the mornings when Mummy and Daddy haven’t quite had enough caffeine to function properly.

According to Cadbury's research, the top activities over Easter are eating Easter chocolate, seeing friends and family, giving Easter chocolate, going on an easter egg hunt and baking. 


Easter egg hunting is most definitely the boys' favourite activity though, they love the excitement, the race (everything is a race when you have two brothers and a sister) and of course the delicious Cadbury goodies at the end!

If you want to join in with the Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt then head over to their website to find a downloadable pack! There are over 300 hunts going on at National Trust sites in the lead up to Easter too, you can find more information on the Cadbury website



 This post is in collaboration with Cadbury


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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Made By Mum

I am the woman I am today because of my Mother.  She is the one who taught me about the world and about myself, the one who gave me the skills I needed to be independent, who gave me the strength to follow my dreams, who gave me the courage to stand up for what I believe in, who believed in me when I needed her most.
    


In many ways we are so similar, in others we couldn't be more different but I am #MadebyMum and with Mother's Day approaching I have been looking for the perfect gift for her.  Getting Personal have helped me find something that celebrates everything that my Mum has taught me, because her present should be as unique and special as she is.


My Mum taught me to be strong, and that our inner strength is powerful.  She had three children very close together and my memories of my childhood are fun and happy.  She reminds me that there are tough days (and tough weeks) but I can get through them and tomorrow will be better.  

My Mum taught me to be prepared, to think about the future, to save for a rainy day.  In many ways this is where we are different, I am more spur of the moment than a planner but the contents of my handbag include many strange and occassionally useful things much like hers.  

My Mum taught me how to love through her unconditional love for me.  I grew up feeling loved everyday and I hope my children feel the same way.  She is kind and compassionate, she helps others personally and in the community, she is passionate about recycling, she volunteers, she always has time for her grandchildren.


Getting Personal helped me to create a gift that celebrates what my mum taught me, how she shaped me, that I am #MadebyMum.  Their unique range of Mother's Day gifts is easy to personalise to create something perfect for the woman who made you who you are today.


Getting Personal have launched an exclusive #MadebyMum collection with gifts specially made for mum.  Their gifts are easy to personalise and the perfect gift from children big or small.

 What has your mum taught you?



Collaborative post
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Monday, 27 February 2017

Bedtime with Johnsons // The Results


It has been just over a week since I started trying the Johnson’s 3 step bedtime routine and I have been really enjoying the bonding experience. Cora loves the bath and it is wonderful watching her splashing around and squealing in delight. All the techniques I learned in the baby massage classes that I did with Dylan have come flooding back and we have both been enjoying that quiet time to wind down together before bed.


With last week being half term for us, I have struggled some nights to stick to the routine. There were two nights where I just couldn’t fit it in, one because I was doing solo bedtime for all four children and the other was Archie’s birthday and we had family round until late so Cora was too tired for anything other than milk before bed. I think that going forward there will always be some nights like this due to the craziness of having a bigger family and the freedoms we like to have. What I did notice was that bedtime, when we did follow the routine, was so much easier. Cora was never that difficult to get to sleep before, but the night’s that we followed the routine she was into a deep sleep very quickly. She has been so sound asleep that I have almost been tempted to try her in her own crib - but I haven’t quite braved it yet.


We have been using the Johnson’s Bedtime App to keep track of how we are doing and I completed the sleep analysis tool at the beginning of the week and at the end of it. Whilst the improvement may look minor so far, any sleep deprived parent can tell you that any improvement is pretty major, and I’m sure we’ll get there!

I love the feature on the app that allows you to create your own lullabies and soothing sounds. I remember finding YouTube videos of people hoovering in an attempt to get the boys to stay asleep as babies but this app has a variety of sounds (including a hoover) that you can layer together to find a combination that works for you. I have been using the Lullabies with Finn as he enjoys falling asleep to music and ‘Lullaby and Goodnight’ is his favourite.


Whilst following the three step routine hasn’t been a miracle cure for my growing eye bags, it has made bedtime more relaxing and enjoyable and I know that Cora will eventually start sleeping for longer periods at night time. Cora loves her baths, is chilled out for her massage and falls into a deep sleep very quickly as she drinks her milk.  The app is a great companion and I know it will come in very useful when we are away from home and Finn still wants the comfort of a lullaby.




This is a sponsored blog post by the Johnson’s brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own. Johnson’s clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use.
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Friday, 17 February 2017

Bedtime with Johnsons

Somehow my children have got progressively worse as sleepers. I don’t know whether we had a better routine with the first ones or whether it is just their personalities, but at 7 months Cora still has a long way to go before she is sleeping through, and at nearly 2, Finn doesnhave it mastered either. The team over at Johnsons have sent us some of their bedtime bath goodies and a guide to their 3-step routine to try and help us all get a better nightsleep.

This week I will be trying their routine every night and I will be reporting back to let you know how it all went. Neither Cora or Finn are good sleepers so we are going to be trying it on both of them.



Step 1) Warm Bath
Johnson’s have sent us their bedtime baby bath which is perfect for both the little two (and their big brothers too). Studies have shown that babies bathed with a fragranced bath product spent nearly 25% less time crying before sleep and whilst mine dont tend to cry, I am willing to try anything to keep them happy and asleep that bit longer. They both love to splash at bath time too, so I think it is a great way to get out the last of the days energy.


Step 2) Baby Massage
I went to all the classes for baby massage with Dylan, but having older brothers so close in age meant that the younger three didnt get the same experience. We have Johnsonbedtime baby oil as well as their baby cream and hopefully the touch and bonding time will help both little ones feel secure, loved and ready for sleep. I know that a massage always relaxes me and I think they are both going to really enjoy it, although Finn is rather tickly now!


Step 3) Quiet Time
With warm, soft and calm babies, I don’t really need an excuse for a cuddle so I know this step will come naturally. The Johnsons Bedtime baby sleep app has a selection of relaxing lullabies which I think Finn will love as he has always liked to fall asleep to music. Cora is still breastfed to sleep which is one of my favourite parts of the day as we snuggle up quietly together. At the moment she is still fed to sleep but the app is suggesting I try to get her to fall asleep on her own, so feed her until she is drowsy and then put her down. We may give it a go this week as she may then settle better in the night when she wakes.


We are really excited to be trying out this new routine and hopefully feeling the benefits!




This is a sponsored blog post by the Johnsons brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own. Johnsons clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use.

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Saturday, 30 July 2016

My School Years



Apparently I cried on my first day at school - not because I wasn't excited to start, but because I had two younger siblings and one of them was turning one on that same day and I didn't want to miss the party.  I had just turned 4 and with a late August birthday I was one of the youngest and smallest in the school.  This photo is from my first day (clearly before the tears) and I remember the smart red uniform so well.




School was very different 'back then' and my experiences at a private primary school are very different to Dylan's at a small infant school.  Whilst his school is considered small with only 180 pupils, that is double the number that attended mine.  My uniform was smart and strict with a summer and winter look.  Red blazers and hats and very specific brown shoes.  We wore a shirt and tie from Kindergarten although I think for the first year or two our ties were elasticated.

Dylan's uniform is still smart, but more practical.  He wears Polo shirts under his jumper which are much easier for him to get on and off and his school shoes must be black (much simpler to find).  Velcro seems to be the most common style in smaller sizes which is perfect as I haven't taught him about shoelaces yet!  


My mother bought my school uniform from Marks and Spencers and twenty something years on, that is where I am shopping for my son.  Their stainaway technology on their shirts is necessary when you have a four year old eating lasagne with his friends and the non-scuff shoes can withstand the battering he gives them in the playground.  Marks and Spencers asked me to look back at my school days and see how things were different, and they definitely were.

My first year of school was spent in a classroom and we learnt History and Geography alongside English and Maths however Dylan learns Phonics and Numeracy without even realising it.  His days are spent doing 'challenges' and the classroom is far more than one room, with his days spent between the playground, the IT room and the traditional classroom.  

The resources his school have are amazing compared to mine and the topic based learning means that part of the classroom is transformed into a pirate ship or a new planet in a way that encourages his imagination as well as learning.

My breaktimes were spent doing cartwheels and handstands up against the wall.  We played Bulldog and kiss chase and entertained ourselves with just our minds.  We made daisy chains and on sports day we competed in races, cheering when we won and being upset at coming last. Parents took photos and videos that we can still look back on now.  Dylan's 'sports morning' involved no competition, they just took part in sporting activities whilst the parents watched on aware that sharing on social media was prohibited.  His playground is painted with hopscotch, letters and numbers to encourage games and health and safety rules.


Both Dylan and I started school so young and the photos above - my first school photo at the end of the school year and him this week trying on his new uniform show us both at nearly 5 having learnt to read and write and count and learn alongside our peers.    We both love school and are keen readers and we both walked in every day of our first year in M&S Schoolwear.  


 Marks and Spencers are celebrating their back to school range by looking at how things have changed and evolved over the years.  If you want to share photos of your schooldays with them then use #MySchoolYears

Disclosure : This post is in collaboration with Marks and Spencers
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Monday, 28 March 2016

On the Go with Little Dish

Now that Finn is on the move, I often have three children going in three different directions and they are always on the go.  They share a love of exploration, adventure and food and I am sure the three of them eat far more than I do!  They all have a healthy (large) appetite with a love for fruit and vegetables and a desire to graze throughout the day.

I am always on the hunt for new snack idea to add variety to their diet and with Finn's intolerances to dairy and egg it is easier to find things that all three can eat rather than providing seperate and hoping that he doesn't pinch anything that his elder brothers have.  We mix up crackers, cheese, breadsticks and fruit at home, but always choose pre packed goodies for when we are out - they are so much easier to grab and go, portioned well and they love the novelty.

We were recently sent some of Little Dish's new GoGos to try out and they seemed the perfect choice for us.  Suitable from one year upwards and with Finn-friendly ingredients too.  They are full of healthy ingredients like chia seeds, oats and flax and help release energy slowly - ideal for a day out with little people.  They come in three flavours, raspberry, vanilla and ginger and the bags are just the right size too.

little dish, gogos, toddler snacks, little dish snacks, dairy free toddler snacks

We have been testing them this past week and they are a hit with all three boys.  Finn finds them a great size to grab and easy to eat with limited teeth too.  The fact they have no refined sugar makes me happier letting him loose with them and he loves the independence of his own bag.


Archie loves the ginger flavour and enjoyed dipping them in yoghurt too.  The bag is a perfect size serving for him at just turned three and the slow release energy is perfect for a child that doesn't stop moving. 


Dylan is four now so above the target age but definitely not too big to enjoy them and they have turned out to be a perfect after school treat.  He prefers the raspberry although they love to swap some if they have different flavours.  I am still quite fussy with what I let him eat and so these are a perfect compromise.  He feels grown up with his own packet of biscuits and I know that they are providing him with protein and contain only ingredients I am happy for him to eat.


They will definitely be added to our list of going out snacks, at 60p per bag or £2.50 for a multipack of five they are inline with what I normally pay (We tend to stick to the toddler food aisle for pre packed snacks for all three).  I would love to see a savoury flavour added to the mix in the future too as we are always looking for new savoury packaged snacks.


little dish gogos, sugar free toddler snacks,



I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher in return for writing this post]


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Friday, 23 October 2015

Never let your Imagination run out

We are at such an exciting part of Dylan's life at the moment.  At four years old he has just started school and he has embarked on the most amazing adventure - the one that will take him from  engrossed listener to (hopefully) avid reader.  The start is slow but I can already see the amazement in his eyes as he learns to decode a new word and make sense of what he sees.

The first step on his journey is without words - something that surprised me as it is so different from how I was taught to read.  His school books that are sent home to be read nightly have no words in.  His school told us that children need to learn to be storytellers before they learn words.  These books teach them about the importance of pictures, the wonders of imagination and that every part of this new adventure is fun.  


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Thursday, 22 October 2015

The Beginning of Weaning

After Finn's rocky start I was determined that he would lead the way with parenting. Whilst I had gone through pregnancy with set ideas on how I was going to parent and how the early days would be, nothing seemed to go to plan and I soon learned that I needed to follow his lead.

I had done my research on weaning and have weaned two babies previously, but Finn is that bit smaller and slower than his brothers and I wanted to wait until I believed he was ready before we started. The six month marker came and went and whilst he was starting to sit unaided, my instincts told me he wasn't quite ready. As the month progressed, he grew stronger, his coordination improved and he started showing a real interest in what we ate.

Just before he turned 7 months I decided we were both ready for the next little adventure and we started on the solid food. I decided that the best thing for Finn was to offer both puree and finger foods from the very beginning. As we had left it a little later than most I wanted to make sure he was getting some nutrients, but I wanted to promote the skills of self-feeding, so we have been offering him sticks of vegetables alongside the spoon feeds.


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