Tuesday 29 November 2016

Me and Mine November

We actually had our Me and Mine photos taken near the beginning of the month, which isn't very representative of a month where I have felt ridiculously disorganised.  November has felt pretty manic for no real reason and my to do list is growing faster than I can tick things off.  It has been a lovely month though, full of Autumnal colours, hot drinks, cosy knits and snuggly afternoons.

My friend Kylie (Newport Photographic) took our photos and I just love how they captured us in Autumn.   I say it every month, but getting all 6 of us in the frame is a real challenge! 

This month Mama is loving having her little sister around, Carvery Sunday lunches, Black Friday shopping and getting my slippers back out again.

Daddy is loving getting back to the gym, playing Fifa, going out more with friends and how interactive Cora is.

Dylan is loving learning about festivals, school trips to the park, having a sleepover with his cousins and making sticker charts for his brothers (and then rewarding them all day with stickers).

Archie is loving learning songs for the Preschool Christmas show, playing in the eco-garden and coming home covered in mud, baking with Aunty Nat Nat and scooting through puddles.

Finn is loving Blaze and the Monster Machine, climbing on everything, Puddle splashing in his wellies and cuddling Cora

Cora is loving being able to roll, bathtime, sleeping in Mummy's bed and being tickled around her neck.

I can't believe we are already going into December, this year has gone so fast and December is going to be busy with Christmas shows, parties and of course the big days (we are celebrating Christmas twice as my sister is going away for the big day).
Read more ⇨

Sunday 27 November 2016

Little Tikes Playmat review

Cora has quite a few toys - the wonders of being a fourth baby, but her absolute favourite so far is her Little Tikes playmat.  She loves lying on her back batting and chewing the toys that dangle from it and staring at the toucan on the top.

Little tikes baby, little tikes playmat, activity mat

We started her on the playmat at only a few weeks old and whilst she couldn't reach the toys, she was fascinated with the bird.  There is a switch on the back that makes it move over the arch and it was brilliant watching her tracking it.  The mat seems to be growing with her as she develops and the bar moves down to make it the perfect height for tummy time too.  As she gets a bit stronger, we will sit her up so that she can play with the toys that way too.

Little tikes playmat, little tikes activity mat, tracking toy for babies, little tikes baby

The mat comes with a selection of toys including a mirror - but that is rarely hanging on the bar as her youngest big brother has taken quite a fancy to it and comes and removes it for her.  All the toys can be taken off and rearranged and you can add anything else too.

One feature that we haven't used much is the vibrating bar.  Under the mat there is a bar that can vibrate to calm the baby and it is operated by a simple switch.  Cora wasn't overly bothered or comforted by it, but I know some babies really respond well to this.

This is a really great mat and I would completely recommend it.  Cora will happily play for ages lying there and the boys love rearranging the toys for her (and pinching them).  It grows well with her and comes with a booster pillow for when baby starts off doing tummy time too. We love that Little Tikes now have a baby range as it is the same quality we know and expect from the brand. 

little tikes baby, little tikes baby activity gym,

As well as playmats, Little Tikes have a whole range of baby products from simple rattles to activity gyms for children of all ages.

Disclaimer : Collaborative post

Read more ⇨

Thursday 24 November 2016

Star Wars Toys from Thinkaway


Dylan has recently become rather obsessed with Star Wars which I find rather funny considering he hasn't even seen any of the films.  His glasses have Yoda on the side - they were the only ones he would even consider, and his favourite t-shirt has Stormtroopers on the front.  His Christmas list has 'Star Wars toys' on it which is a very broad term considering how many there are to choose from!

I remember watching the original Star Wars films as a child and then going to the cinema to see the more recent three.  None of us have seen The Force Awakens yet but my plan is to get the DVD and watch it myself first to see whether it is suitable for Dylan and introduce him to some of the earlier films if not.  

It is crazy how Star Wars has such a cult following across all ages and even children who haven’t seen the films are going crazy for the merchandise.  I think part of the appeal for my boys is the robot characters as they have always loved robots and they are drawn towards the R2D2 and C3P0 characters.  I would love to get Dylan a Star Wars toy this Christmas and Thinkway Toys have a couple of great options that I think he would love,


This 16 inch tall remote control BB-8 moves in all directions as well as spinning and rolling.  BB-8 has over 20 original droid-speak phrases as well as special preprogrammed actions with different moods – happy, sad, excited, worried, scared and frustrated.  BB-8 also makes different sound effects whilst his head moves, and a voice activated feature allows you to interact with him via a built-in microphone


This interactive R2D2 responds to pre-programmed instructions via the remote control, moving in all directions as it makes original movie sound effects and moves its head.  Using the 10 buttons on the remote control you can program over 1000 action combos or activate R2-D2's special projection facility to view an imprisoned Princess Leia™.

If you want to know more about the Star Wars toys that Thinkaway Toys have then why not hop over to twitter and join us for a twitter party on Wednesday 30th November 1-2:30pm, there will be Toys'r'us vouchers up for grabs too.  Follow me on twitter and the hashtag #ImAThinkingToy

If you fancy winning an R2D2 toy in time for Christmas then we have one to give away, entry is via the simple rafflecopter form below.

Read more ⇨

Tuesday 22 November 2016

What the Kids Wore // The Essential One

We first discovered the Essential One when I was pregnant with Archie and we had some adorable sleepsuits for him.  When I was pregnant with Finn I bought a whole load more and I love how soft they are and how well they wash.  I was really excited when they recently announced that they were releasing a children's range and we were sent some bits for the little three to try out.

I liked Cora's outfit until I put it on her and then I loved it - it is very feminine and the pale blue really suits her I think.  The tunic would look lovely in the summer on its own but works well in winter with a long sleeved vest, leggings and a cardigan too.  These leggings go perfectly and the whole range looks like it works together to mix and match.

Archie was sent a long sleeved top and some trousers with braces - he wasn't a fan of the braces but they were easily removable.  The trousers have an adjustable waist which is really important for us as he is so skinny and the top fits really well.  I think the sizing is quite true as all three are in their normal size.

Finn kept the braces on happily and they looked so sweet on him.  It isn't the kind of outfit I usually put him in and he looked so grown up and smart.  The braces aren't stretchy at all which I am not used to on kids clothing but Finn found them comfortable.  The cheeky monkey on his top seemed very apt!

Just like the girls range, the boys bits seem to work together too so that you can buy a selection and make lots of different outfits without worrying about matching colours.

The clothes feel lovely quality and well made as well as being as soft as I expect from the Essential One.  The clothing range is available from 3 months to 6 years and runs alongside their beautiful baby bits from newborn -18 months.

Read more ⇨

Monday 21 November 2016

Parenting My Way

I have been a parent now for over 5 years, not long compared to many but long enough. Long enough to have worked out a little bit about the parent I am and the parent I want to be. long enough to have made mistakes, to have done things I am not proud of, to have researched choices, to have seen advice change, to have learnt through trial and error, to have come to peace with most of my methods.

There is so much judgement in parenting, so many labels that we put on ourselves or others, so many different ways to do what we consider to be the best thing for our babies. 

After 5 years I have learnt my limits many times over, and then broken them. I have found where I fit, even if it doesn't really resemble any particular style of parenting but my own.

I feel passionately about breastfeeding, I wouldn't be without my sling, I bring my baby into my bed at night, I don't let them cry. these traits do not define me but they are part of me, choices I make that influence my everyday life. 

The term attachment parent seems so harsh when you wonder whether other parents are unattached? gentle parenting is fine unless you call others harsh parents.  Why do we need labels other than 'trying her best' because I like to believe that this is not only my style but every other Mama I knows.

I doubt my decisions every day. I feel guilty that the children don't have enough one on one time, that they have eaten too much processed food, that they have watched too much TV, that I got cross when I shouldn't, that I laughed when they fell, that other mums are doing this whole parenting thing better than I am. I think we all feel like this at times, I think that is how we know that we are doing it right, that we care.

With each child I have become more confident to trust my instincts.  Dylan was the baby who had my complete attention, but Archie benefitted from a more relaxed Mama.  Finn was parented by someone with more experience and Cora was born into a house filled with Love.  

Five years isn't long really, but it is long enough to know the kind of parent I want to be, it is long enough to find some kind of peace with my decisions, security in my beliefs and to find a wisdom that helps me see the bigger picture sometimes where I used to struggle. I am making this parenting thing up as I go along really, and I am just doing it my way.

Read more ⇨

Sunday 20 November 2016

What the Kids Wore // Lamb and Bear

I love finding new independent brands to buy for the kids.  I love them wearing things a bit different and I am passionate about supporting small businesses and other Mums.  Lamb and Bear is a brand started by a fellow blogger and her leggings are just stunning.  I love the penguins, the stegosaurus and these awesome crocodiles

Lamb and bear, crocodile leggings, kids fashion blogger

I think this print looks great on both boys and girls and Finn and Cora look adorable together in their matching leggings.  The dribble scarves are not absorbent like a bib but they look sweet and Cora definitely enjoyed chewing hers.  It did catch her dribbles and kept her vest dry for a while though and I really like the co-ordination of the outfit.

girls in crocodiles, lamb and bear, unisex kids clothes, kids fashion

The leggings are similar in size to Zara, Cora is wearing 3-6 here and Finn is in 18-24.  These are the sizes they usually wear and they are a comfortable fit on them both.  I love the contrast orange stitching and how well made and strong these feel. 

sibling style, lamb and bear, kids fashion blogger

These are definitely one of my favourite things in their wardrobes and I have just ordered some for Archie too as he loves crocodiles and I think he will love them.  They are available from 0-3 months to 3-4 years.  Check out Lamb and Bear to see them all.  You can also add an organza gift bag to your order if you are buying for a gift too!

twinning is winning, kids fashion blogger, lamb and bear
Read more ⇨

Saturday 19 November 2016

Summer Infant Baby Monitor Review

Cora is our fourth and final baby and I am reluctant to let her grow up.  The newborn phase is my absolute favourite, I love having a small person so completely dependent on me, the warmth of a little body curled up on my chest, the way they fit so perfectly in your arms.  Cora is fast leaving behind that phase, becoming more active and alert, so determined and more independent.  

I am not ready to let go of my tiny baby completely and whilst she now settles for bed around 8pm, she is usually in the Snuzpod on the floor in the living room and she comes upstairs when I go up around midnight.  I can tell the noises are starting to get distracting though, that she would probably sleep better if she wasn't moved around so much, if she could be in her bed for the night and so we have been testing the Summer Infant Babbly Band baby monitor in preperation.

baby monitor, babble band, summer infant

The brilliant thing about this monitor is how portable it is. The baby end is plugged in and static, but the parent end is completely mobile, in fact it is even wearable!  It looks like a watch and means that if Cora falls asleep in her crib, I can still carry on with whatever I am doing knowing that I can still here her.  I can walk around the house, hang washing out and play with the boys and know that I can't accidentally leave the monitor somewhere.

Everything is really easy to use and as well as hearing sound, there is also a bar on the monitor that changes colour when there is noise so even with headphones on I know if Cora has woken up.  I have had monitors in the past which are so noisy, but with the Summer Infant monitor I find that after the first 20 seconds it is pretty much silent when she is asleep.

The range is long enough for most places in my house, but it doesn't quite reach the kitchen and starts beeping there.  They kitchen and our bedroom are at opposite ends of the house and the kitchen is an extenstion so the walls are much thicker.  Generally the range is 600ft.

The Babble Band is easily charged just by placing it on top of the static device.  It sits neatly on top and charges during the day whilst it isn't in use.  It currently retails at £49.99

This baby monitor is so simple and easy to use and so practical, we are really impressed! 

Babble band, wearable baby monitor, summer infant

Read more ⇨

Thursday 17 November 2016

What the Boys Wore // Bogs Wellies

When I was looking for wellies for Finn, Baby Bogs were repeatedly recommended to me so I was excited when we were offered some to try.  Finn has only been walking for a couple of months and he still has the swagger of a toddler so I wanted boots that he would find easy and comfortable to walk in.  The baby bogs are perfect for his little feet, they are so much more than just a welly boot.

Bogs wellies, baby bogs, baby wellies, waterproof baby boots

Baby bogs wellies, baby wellies, waterproof wellies

These boots are machine washable with a soft fluffy lining.  The 3mm Neo-Tech™ insulation keeps Finn's feet at an optimum temperature and of course they are 100% waterproof.  The insulation and cosy lining makes these perfect winter boots whether there are puddles or not.  Finn has very wide feet and I was worried about the fit but I can get them on easily and he seems comfortable in them.  The handles at the side make them easy for slightly bigger small people to dress themselves and I find them useful to help pull them on.  Finn's have velcro on the back too to get a cosy fit.
He is loving splashing and kicking through puddles and I know he is going to get a lot of wear from these boots this winter!  The boots come in lots of different designs and I love the colours and bears on these ones.

Bogs wellies, toddler wellies, waterproof kids boots

Bogs wellies, micro scooters, puddle splashing, puddle scooting

Bogs don't just make baby footwear and the big boys were sent a pair of wellies each as well.  Their boots are lightweight and flexible and perfect for puddle jumping and scooting.  Trying to take a picture of a 3 and 5 year old in wellies proved to be very difficult as they really weren't going to stay still for me!  If you want to look at the designs you would be better looking at the Bogs website, my photos show how much fun you can have in them though. Dylans are blue and Archie's are covered in sharks.   

I am really impressed with the quality of these boots, we are a family that likes to be outdoors whatever the weather so it is important that the children are dressed appropriately.  These boots are designed to be worn for adventures and that is exactly what we intend to have in them.

Bogs Wellies, Bogs boots for kids
Read more ⇨

Sunday 13 November 2016

Ready for the Rain // Polarn O Pyret

Having small children I have had to adopt the attitude that there is no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing, and even in the depths of winter we like to get out and be active every day.  It is the first time Finn will get to really experience this season as last year he was tucked up cosy in his buggy or wrapped up warm in the sling.  This week I took him puddle splashing for the very first time and I loved watching his face as he realised he really was allowed to stomp right through a puddle.

Polarn o pyret raincoat, waterproof onesie, Pop rain wear, Polarn o Pyret, all in one rain coat

Puddle splashing is our favourite rainy day activity and over the four years that I have had a walking child we have learned where all the best puddles are.  Even when it is cold and wet we like to get out for a short time and it is the perfect way to stretch little legs, blow off the cobwebs and break up the day.  

Polarn o pyret rain suit, waterproof baby coat, waterproof onesie

The rain has already started to fall and Finn was sent a brilliant rain suit from Polarn. O. Pyret to help him out on his adventures.  It is lovely and thick for a waterproof suit but not padded so you can layer it differently for cold winter days or wet and mild autumn ones.  It feels so well made and fits generously - I imagine this one will last him all winter and next spring too.  (The Scandinavian sizes mean measuring your child's height will give you a much more accurate idea of which size to choose rather than their age.  Finn is roughly 80cm tall and this is size 86)

Polarn o Pyret waterproof rain suit, rain coat, polarn o pyret onesie

This winter I will start encouraging him to walk more and be in the buggy a little less, he will start running around with his brothers more and I need to know he is well protected.  I find myself climbing the walls when I am indoors with all four for too long so we will be out everyday for my sake as much as theirs!  I love the reflective strips on this which I think will come in very useful as the night's start earlier and the double zip makes it easy to get on and off.  There is elastic on both sides to go under the wellies to help keep everything in place and keep water out.  

Our winter is going to be cold and wet and so much fun and as long as we are all dressed up cosy and waterproof we will be enjoying it outdoors as much as we can.  

Read more ⇨

Friday 11 November 2016

Our Weekend at Butlins Bognor Regis

We had a fantastic weekend at Butlins Bognor Regis over the half term holiday.  It wasn't our first visit to Butlins, we went about two and a half years ago when we only had two children and we all loved it.  I knew that there would be so much for them all to do, although I was a little nervous about travelling with our four aged five and under.  

I remember before, writing about how amazing the staff are and that hasn't changed at all.  There was always someone about and they always had time to answer a question or show us the way.  The guys manning the indoor fairground rides were playing games with the children as they went round, the staff in the restaraunts always helped us out and the red coats kept them all entertained.  

There was so much to do for every age, and I loved watching Finn get as involved as his big brothers.   There is enough things included in your stay that you really don't need to spend much at all whilst you are there and the indoor fairground rides were perfect for my little trio.  There were four rides and despite us being there for half term weekend we didn't have to queue once.  It was the little things like that that made the break special and took away the stress.  The outdoor fairground rides were more suited to the bigger two so we timed it for naptime.  It is worth noting that the dodgems are only for slightly bigger children (Dylan was tall enough at 5 but Archie wasn't at nearly 4) which caused a bit of upset but Archie was easily pacified with a go on hook a duck.

As it was Halloween weekend the whole place was decorated and as well as a huge pumpkin tent where you could pay extra to carve a pumpkin, there was also a coffin scene set up that the boys could play in.  Lots of the shows had a Halloween theme too with the skyline gang in haunted house and Billy and Bonnie the bears having a Halloween surprise.  Butlins were very clear that whilst dressing up is allowed and encouraged, they wanted spooky not scary and there were always lots of children dressed up (no scary masks or pretend weapons). 

We visited the Splash park once and I wish we had found the time to go back.  It was perfect for young children.  My boys are all non-swimmers and they could have played in there for hours.  There was so much shallow water and a big water works with sprinklers and slides that was perfect for non-swimmers.  There were lots of staff and lifeguards around which was reassuring and there was a wave machine and deeper water for older or more water confident children.  

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins fairground

There were lots of shows on, the main one was Braniac Live this weekend but sadly we had to miss it.  The big show is ticketed so you are told which one you can attend but if you want to sit near the front you have to queue for a couple of hours and if you want to sit at all you have to queue.  There was no way we could stand in line for too long with all four and ours are too little to really get anything from it if we were sat or stood at the back so we decided to skip it.  The show was aimed at Dylan's age upwards so we weren't too bothered and we watched some of the others in the centre including the Skyline Gang and Fireman Sam.  These ones fitted with their concentration spans a bit better and we could turn up just as the show started and still find a space. 

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins puppet show

There were a couple of outdoor parks which we really appreciated.  My boys need to run off steam sometimes and we usually followed a show with something outdoors.  There was one park aimed more at preschool children and that was Finn's favourite.  I don't know if they are busier in the summer but they were pretty empty in this mild October so there was plenty of space to run and play. 

Little Green Radicals, Butlins Bognor Regis

Many of the areas had something for bigger and smaller children and the soft play that sits in the middle of the tent had an older and younger kids half.  There was also a quieter play area, one half with soft shapes and walkers and the other side with a craft activitiy.  We didn't make it to the set messy play sessions that they run, but there was always something going on and Dylan and Archie made pirate masks whilst Finn zoomed around the other side.  I found it a great place to chill out as each area is surrounded by a low fence so the children are contained and you can easily watch both sections from whichever one you are in.

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins play area

We really didn't spend much whilst we were there, we ate huge breakfasts and dinners that were included with our dining plan and then just had snacks for lunch.  We did go on the go karts and the ride on trucks (£5 and £2 respectively, trucks in the picture below) and we had one game of bowling (£14 for the four of us for one game as three and under play for free).  

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins racing
We did try out Scoop for ice cream, and then revisit it the next day - seriously good ice cream and you could get all sorts of flavours and toppings (we highly recommend the cookie dough).  They had three flavours of sorbet which is great for Finn who can't have dairy and I love the pink cow bench and tables outside.

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins Scoop

Butlins is such a fantastic place to visit with young children and all four of ours had a brilliant time.  There is so much included that you really don't need to spend much but there are lots of things you can pay for if you want something extra.  I made a little video about our visit if you want a better look at what we got up to.

We were provided with our weekend away for the purpose of this review as part of the Butlins Ambassador program but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...