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Saturday, 8 May 2021

Unique and Useful Baby Products

Life with a baby is all kinds of wonderful but it can certainly keep you on your toes. From navigating your way through sleepless nights, managing multiple nappy changes to beginning the weaning journey, the days can be varied and at times if we're honest, a little hectic (it's a good job they're so cute!) But whichever stage you're at, there's a product out there to help. Over the last few weeks, I've been trying out some fabulous products which make life that little bit easier. Here is a selection of some of my favourite. 

Beatrix Potter Changing Backpack
When you leave the house with a baby, you need to be prepared for every eventuality, making sure you have to hand everything the baby might need in the time you're out. This can include wipes, nappies, nappy bags, bottles, two or three spare outfits, snacks, creams... the list goes on and on! And so it's worth treating yourself to a baby changing bag as you will certainly get use of it. I really love the Beatrix Potter Changing Backpack found at Enesco. It is perfectly sized to fit everything your baby needs with room for your own things too. It is made with wipeable PU fabric and the backpack design is really practical, leaving you handsfree which is always a plus when tending to baby! It also has the most delightful design; people always stop us to tell us how much they love the bag. You can find one here
backpack

Nupeaa Bottle Warmer Active
I'm obsessed with the Nupeaa Bottle Warmer Active. It's a device that enables you to warm baby's bottles to the perfect temperature when you're on the go. Traditional bottle warmers are designed to be stationary meaning you can't take them out with you when you're out and about, resulting in you needing to pack flasks, bottles and other necessities. The Bottle Warmer Active however, is designed to be portable enabling you to quickly and easily warm baby's bottle. You can select the desired temperature and baby's milk will be ready in as little as 4 minutes. When fully charged it holds the temperature for 6 hours. It is slim, sleek and stylish, not to mention incredibly useful. It even comes with a one press formula dispenser so you can make the perfect bottle in no time! I wish I'd have had one of these when my first two boys were babies! Find out more and get yours here

nupeea

SNOObear
A product that keeps your baby calm and settled whilst promoting sleep, is surely worth its weight in gold. Enter the SNOObear, a cuddly, snuggly bear with a white noise machine in its tummy. It plays the same sounds, plus some new ones, as the innovative and award-winning SNOO Smart Sleeper, helping baby transition from SNOO to a cot. It's also perfect just on it's own. The 6 soothing sounds it plays help settle baby and once the sounds have stopped, the bear 'pays attention' to any noises the baby makes so it can be ready to provide some more soothing sounds. It has finger holes in the arms so you can use it like a puppet which baby will love. It also can attach to baby's pram so they can be soothed on the go. We loved it! Find out more and get yours here
SNOObear

Minimani Baby Nail File
As every new parent will discover, cutting baby's teeny tiny finger nails can be particularly daunting. It's certainly not the easiest job to trim a wiggly baby's fingernails, particularly as many existing nailcare products such traditional nail clippers, can be bulky to use on tiny fingers and not to mention sharp. This is where the minimani comes in; it's a battery powered nail file which enables you to file baby's nails whilst they sleep or play. It is really quiet so won't wake them or frighten them. It has three different filing heads and 2 speed controls with left and right rotation options. It is safe and gentle yet effective too. I love that it has a light on it so you can file away when baby is sleeping. It is lightweight and comes in a handy storage box too. What a fantastic product! Find yours here
minimani
Munchkin White Hot Safety Spoons
Weaning baby can be lots of fun and even more so when you find a product to help make the process a little more smooth sailing. The Munchkin White Hot Safety Spoons have a patented White® Hot System where the spoon tip changes to white if the food is too hot for baby. The soft tips are really gentle on baby's gums and they also have long handles to assist in highchair feeding. They come in bright colours which your baby will love and this also encourages them to hold and explore the spoons themselves paving the way for self-feeding. Find out more here.

munchkin



*Disclaimer- we were kindly sent the first four items in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 





Thursday, 6 May 2021

Surviving the first few weeks with a newborn!

Congratulations, your little one is finally in your arms! As blissful as these early days can be, they can also be a bit of a blur. The first few days and weeks are all about survival as you get to know your new baby, begin to heal from the birth and settle into your role as a new mum. There are many products out there to help you during the first few weeks as a new mum or dad and here are a few of my favourites! 

Palmer's

Palmer's have some wonderful products for mums and babies. I used their products throughout my pregnancy to keep stretch marks at bay and keep my skin feeling soft, smooth and supple. Their range for babies includes their Baby Butter, Baby Oil and Nursing Butter. The Baby Butter which contains cocoa butter and aloe, is gentle enough for daily use and leaves baby's skin moisturised and soft. The Baby Oil is enriched with natural oils, cocoa butter and Vitamin E to help to protect baby's delicate skin. The Nursing Butter, which is a combination of cocoa butter and Panthenol, is designed for breastfeeding mothers, helping to soothe sore and cracked nipples. To find out more and explore the fabulous range, just click here.

palmer's

Sanature

Pregnancy and childbirth can cause a weakened pelvic floor which can result in urinary incontinence or urgency. Sanature incontinence pads help to keep you secure and comfortable. They are made with 100% cotton, allowing skin to breathe as well as leaving you feeling dry and protected. Their sanitary pads are also perfect for postpartum bleeding. Find out more here.

Sanature

Natural Birthing company

I love the range from Natural Birthing Company. Their products are designed and developed by midwives, aromatherapists and chemists so you can be confident that they are carefully tailored for use during pregnancy and following the birth of your baby. They contain naturally derived ingredients and help to relieve common pregnancy and postpartum symptoms. The Mama's Moments Maternity Kit has everything you need for this exciting time including Cool It Mama; a cooling body spritz which is just so refreshing to use during pregnancy, labour and for life as a new mum! It also includes breastfeeding oils, a wonderful postnatal compress solution, a perineal massage solution and two organic flannels!  Explore the range and find out more here!
Mama's Moments

Modibodi

Modibodi provide sustainable, reusable and effective underwear that replaces the need for disposable products such as pads, tampons, incontinence pads and panty liners. They use high quality fabrics with breathable, antimicrobial fibres with their own Modifier Technology™ and Modifier Air Technology™ to prevent against stains, leaks and odours. For both pregnancy and the postnatal period, Modibodi underwear is the ideal solution to help protect you from any leaks and keep you feeling comfortable. They even have a new detachable bikini which has a clasp at the side to ensure you can easily remove it and change when out and about. They can be washed, dried and reused meaning they are much more environmentally friendly than disposable products and more comfortable too! Find out more here!


SEAMS Couturiers Hand Cream

When you have a new baby, you will suddenly find yourself washing your hands a whole lot more (and especially during the current climate!) which can result in hands becoming dry, sore and cracked. SEAMS hand cream helps to keep skin moisturised, Its carefully crafted formula leaves hands feeling soft, supple and smooth. It is enriched with shea butter, rosehip oil and oat beta-glutan. It smells divine too! Find out more here!

SEAMS hand cream

The Positive Planner

Looking after your mental health and well-being is vital during pregnancy and the postnatal period. As wonderful as the motherhood journey is, with it comes a whole host of emotions and feelings. One minute you're deliriously happy cuddling your newborn and the next minute you can be crying from exhaustion. It's certainly not easy and that's why it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. The Positive Planner is one way you can manage your mental well-being. It has sections dedicated to daily reflections and mindfulness activities and offers positive and inspirational quotes. It also helps you to plan and manage your time effectively, offering organisational extras such as meal planners and shopping lists. This beautiful journal will help assist, support and lift you during this special time. Find out more here!


The Positive Planner

*I was kindly gifted these items in exchange for an honest review.

Gifts for new mums and babies

Bringing a little one into the world is a truly special time and a wonderful excuse for a celebration! If you're looking for that perfect gift to treat a new mum, mum- to- be or baby with then look no further than with my selection of unique, inspiring and beautiful gifts

Aska Maternity Movement Bracelet
Not only are these bracelets beautiful but they also have a very important function. They can be used to help you track your baby's movements and determine if there has been a change in the pattern or frequency of your baby's kicks. Any changes can then be reported to your midwife or local maternity unit. Once baby has arrived you can use the bracelet to help you remember which side you last breastfed from (just swap the bracelet to the corresponding wrist). These bracelets are made up of precious gemstones in three different designs, with a beautiful white freshwater pearl and sterling silver or gold plated sterling silver charm which can also be personalised. Both a stunning and practical gift, this will be a wonderful keepsake for her to treasure forever. Find out more and explore the range here.

Aska Bracelet

Petit Jovial
Bumps and babies should be treated with the utmost care which is why Petit Jovial skincare products are perfect for any mum-to-be, new mum and baby (and of course for the other precious members of your family!) Each product is 100% vegan and natural, containing no nasty or hidden chemicals. They contain no palm oil derived products and the company also donates towards Orangutan conservation products in Indonesia! The range consists of Body & Scalp Massage Oil, Nourishing Balm and Nourishing Bath Oil. The products smell simply divine and are wonderfully luxurious; what a treat! Find out more here

Petit Jovial

Bickie Pegs Peggie the Penguin®
This award-winning teether from the company behind Bickie Pegs Natural Teething Biscuits has been designed to stimulate touch, vision and oral development in babies. The cute design helps babies to reach both the front and back gum areas in the mouth so they can find that much needed relief from teething discomfort. It is freezer, dishwasher and steamer friendly and even features a handy safety clip and ribbon. This will surely become a firm favourite of baby's, offering both comfort and stimulation, which as every busy mum knows, is worth it's weight in gold! Find out more here

Peggie the Penguin

Vital Baby Microwave Sterilising Bags
Why not give the gift of convenience to the new mum with these incredibly handy microwave sterilising bags? They enable you to sterilise baby's bottles, teats, dummies, bowls, cups and spoons with ease by just placing them in the bag, adding a small amount of water and then microwaving for three minutes. They are ideal for use when out and about, on holiday or if you need a quick and easy solution at home. Each bag can be used up to 30 times. What a useful product! Find yours here.

vital baby sterilising bags
SnoozeShade
SnoozeShade is an ingenious invention designed to help babies sleep on the go as well as protecting them from the sun's harmful UV rays. Not only is it recommended by sleep consultants worldwide, but it has also won over 70 different awards! A SnoozeShade can be purchased for baby's carseat, pram, buggy and travel cot. The unique mesh fabric means that air circulates freely meaning your baby will remain in a well ventilated environment. A product that has safety at the forefront and also promotes sleep; it will surely be every parents best friend! Find out more here

Snoozeshade



Lamaze Toys
Lamaze Toys by TOMY have been carefully designed to encourage your baby to learn through play. They have been created in conjunction with child development experts, resulting in exiting and stimulating toys that support your baby's development. They are brightly coloured and feature a range of different sensory stimuli making them a favourite of babies, parents and experts! Explore the range and find out more here!

Freddie the Firefly, Lamaze

Lamaze book

BetterYou Hair, Skin and Nails Daily Oral Spray- The Madeleine Shaw Range
Motherhood is a wonderful journey but it can certainly take its toll on your body,  leaving you feeling in need of a bit of TLC. BetterYou has teamed up with nutritional therapist, chef and mother Madeleine Shaw to create a range of nutritional oral sprays to support women throughout each stage of motherhood. The Hair, Skin and Nails Daily Oral Spray contains six nutrients to help you get your glow back after pregnancy. It has a mango, peach and orange flavour, is quick to administer and is safe to use during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding too! Find yours here.
Betteryou

Nurturally Hands Free Pumping Bra
When it comes to expressing milk for your baby, the process is often time-consuming, fiddly and leaves you little free time (or hands!) for anything else. The Nurturally Hands Free Pumping Bra is truly innovative. It has a sports bra design and sling bottle holding system enabling mums to maintain an efficient pump to breast connection. It comes with a clear pump bag so you can even use the pump whilst moving around!. It has been designed to prevent leakage of breast milk as the bottles become heavier, maintaining the efficient connection at all times. The clever design can be adjusted so it can fit sizes S to XXL. It's wonderfully soft, comfortable and stylish and what's more, it's packaged beautifully, making this a perfect gift for any new mum. Find out more here!
Nurturally Pumping bra
Personalised My Little Sudocrem
I adore these sweet little Sudocrem pots. As any parent will know Sudocrem is an essential; it is clinically proven to care for and protect delicate skin, soothing redness and dry patches, whilst keeping skin supple. The My Little Sudocrem pots are the perfect size for popping in nappy bags and can even be personalised with your baby's name with a choice of three different designs. What a handy, cute and individualised gift! Get yours here.




Disclaimer: we were kindly sent some of the items in this post in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Keeping Safe as Lockdown Restrictions Ease

It's hard to believe that we have now been navigating our way through the coronavirus pandemic for over a year now. I remember first hearing about the virus towards the end of 2019 yet never believed so much would change and so quickly too. From the first rumblings on the news of a new virus to toilet paper and food shortages in the shops, to social distancing and strict lockdowns- it has been a difficult and often painful journey with many families sadly losing loved ones along the way. 

In England, lockdown restrictions are now beginning to ease. The vaccine rollout seems to have been having an impact on hospitalisations and the death rate is also falling. As Covid-19 case rates have dropped, this suggests that we may still be on track for the next stage of lockdown easing. But it's important to remember that we're not out the woods yet and that Covid-19 still poses a risk. As restrictions lift over the next few weeks and months, there are still ways to keep safe and to protect yourself. 

hand sanitiser

Enjoy Outdoors
Meeting friends outdoors is safer than meeting indoors as fresh air dispels and dilutes the virus. It helps to evaporate any liquid droplets that the virus is carried in. Ultraviolet light from the sun can also kill the virus.

Space 
Keeping a safe distance from those that are not in your household bubble is also effective at reducing transmission rates. Avoiding direct contact and face to face contact with other people helps reduce the risk of the virus spreading. 

Hygiene
Washing your hands and using hand sanitiser regularly is important as the virus may be present on surfaces that others have touched or that may have come into contact with water droplets containing the virus. You should also make sure that you cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and wash your hands afterwards, to prevent the virus spreading. 

Masks
Face masks are required by law in some settings unless you are exempt. It's advisable to wear face masks when indoors if social distancing is difficult or where you may come into contact with groups of people. 

face mask

Test
If you experience symptoms, it's important to self isolate and get a Covid test. If you test positive, this means that those you have had close contact with can be contacted and can be advised to self isolate. Many schools and workplaces require you to test regularly with lateral flow tests. They help to find cases of asymptomatic people who may still be spreading the virus to others. 

For more information on Covid-19 and to keep updated with the latest government guidance, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus


*Disclaimer- This is a paid collaboration.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Allergy Testing With Klarify.me

Allergies can be very common and are thought to affect one in four people in the UK over the course of their lifetime. An allergy is an immune system response to a foreign substance and the foreign substance is known as an allergen. Common allergens include pollen, certain foods, pet dander, insect bites and stings, medicine and household chemicals for example. For many people, these substances aren't harmful but in those that suffer with an allergy, they can cause an array of symptoms including sneezing, rashes, coughing or wheezing for example and in more severe cases, they can cause anaphylaxis which can be life-threatening. 

bee

Living with allergies can have a detrimental effect on an individual's day to day life. Whereas some symptoms of an allergy may cause only mild discomfort, an allergy can also cause more painful symptoms which can be hard to manage.

My husband is allergic to certain animals, most noticeably cats and within a few minutes of being near to one or if he has touched one, his eyes will start streaming and will become red and sore. He will also become wheezy and he will start sneezing a lot. When he was a child, he was wrongly diagnosed with asthma and it was only when the family pet died that his symptoms suddenly stopped. My own little boy seems to have a mild allergy to pet hair too and gets really itchy eyes around certain animals. 

cat

If a home allergy test had been available when my husband was a child, he may have been diagnosed with having a pet allergy a lot sooner. A home allergy kit can help you to determine what your body responds to and you can then discuss the results with your doctor who can then help determine an accurate diagnosis. 

Allergies can also occur at any point in your life; my mum suddenly became allergic to shellfish after many years of no apparent reaction to this type of food. A home allergy test would have been ideal in this situation. It was only when she tried them for a second time and later when she had them in a dish that she didn't realise contained them, that she discovered she had the same reaction and needed to avoid them. 

If you're considering allergy testing, Klarify.me have the ideal home test kit to give you comprehensive and reliable results in just two weeks. The kit tests for 295 different allergens, detecting specific antibody Immunoglobin to pinpoint potential triggers.  

Determining whether you have a particular allergy is quick and easy to do. You can then have some control over how much you are exposed to a potential trigger and can be more prepared to manage any potential exposure in the future. 

Have you ever used a home allergy test? I would love to hear more in the comments below!

*Disclaimer, this is a paid collaboration.
Sunday, 2 May 2021

Embracing Spring Adventures with Lighthouse Clothing

The recent lifting of some lockdown restrictions, the brighter, warmer days and the promise of better times ahead has really lifted my mood of late. Now that exercise is permitted outside of our local areas, it has been so wonderful to travel to some of our favourite places again; the boys love the freedom to explore woods, climb trees, run around and enjoy a picnic too! We try to get outdoors as a family when we can as it certainly keeps us from going stir crazy- it feels like such a luxury after the last 12 months. 

Once the first lot stage of lockdown easing had occured, we couldn't wait to book a farm trip for the boys. We were all so excited to have a day out but we were actually left quite disappointed; there were so many people (despite apparent restrictions on numbers) and not all the attractions in the farm were open and so the boys didn't get to do everything they wanted. I think we all actually left feeling a little flat and it hadn't been particularly cheap either!

The next day we had a day out at a National Trust property. We have been members for about a year and a half but hadn't actually been able to use our membership very much due to everything being closed or too far to drive to when the 'stay local' rule was in place. Although the property itself wasn't open, this wasn't a problem as the boys absolutely love exploring the extensive grounds, gardens and woodland of the property. They had so much fun; they ran and ran, span in circles, climbed trees, rolled on the grass and played hide and seek! They left very tired and happy, and so did we! After this trip, I decided that from then on, we would stick to exploring outdoor areas like woodlands, parks and National Trust areas and we would keep the pricer days out for special occasions. All the boys really need is some fresh air, a stick in their hand and somewhere to run and they are happy.

walking

We are so looking forward to exploring more places over the next few weeks and months. It's such a simple and enjoyable thing to do. It can also be done fairly spontaneously- we just pack wellies and raincoats in the car because as wonderful as a walk in the British Countryside is, one thing is for sure, you can't guarantee the weather here! I've so loved my new raincoat from Lighthouse Clothing; it's warm and waterproof, slightly padded, breathable and windproof. It even has a detachable hood. It's perfect for keeping me cosy and dry for the cooler, wetter days but also light enough for warmer spring days! 

Here's to better days ahead! 

Raincoat


*Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted a raincoat in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Reading Chest Book Subscription Review Plus Giveaway!

Is there anything more wonderful in life than completely and utterly immersing yourself in a book? Readers of my blog will know that I'm a big fan of reading and have been keen to introduce my little boys to the joys of reading from an early age. There's a whole world of discovery for little ones when they delve inside a book; books can transport you back in time, can launch you into the future, fly you through the stars and have you home in time for tea! By introducing children to the joy of reading, you give them the gift of new and exciting worlds, enabling them to journey on an array of spellbinding adventures. 

I've always tried to provide my boys with access to books and to read to them. Usually my boys would have their pick of books from the school library and we would also often visit the town library too. Due to the pandemic and the restrictions that have been in place throughout the lockdowns, these have not been an option. And so when Reading Chest got in touch to see if we would like to review their book subscription service we absolutely jumped at the chance! 

Reading Chest is a book subscription service which specialises in reading scheme books for ages 4 to 9 years. It was founded by a mum who found that it was frustrating not having enough suitable books at home to help her son learn to read. She found that the expense  of buying new books along with the the 'hit and miss' school library lending system (when your child forgets to swap them for example- my boys certainly do this all the time!) caused additional frustrations. She decided that there had to be a better way to give parents access to suitable books to support their children to read and thus the idea of Reading Chest was born!


Reading chest

Reading Chest enables parents and children to have access to a wide array of fiction or non-fiction books at the appropriate level. it is ideal for children that are just starting out on their reading journeys, those developing their reading skills, those who are a little reluctant to read and super speedy readers who never seem to have enough books at home. 

Reading Chest is a postal book rental service. When signing up to Reading Chest parents opt for a subscription package, either Bronze, Silver or Gold. The packages are designed to give a choice on the amount of books you would like to swap per month and additionally whether you would like the package to be shared between two children. The books are categorised into different reading levels, known as book bands. You can select your child's book band and also select from different reading schemes. You can choose between fiction or non-fiction or just any from a particular scheme. You can also make a favourites list or opt to add books to the book bin if you don't want to receive certain ones. 

Once you have selected your books you will get between 4 and 6 books initially depending on your package and once you have read them, you can send them back in the prepaid envelope and will then receive some more. The amount of times you can swap each month is dependent on your subscription package. 

Reading chest
Our thoughts
We thought this was a great service. The books arrived extremely quickly so the boys didn't have to wait long for their swaps. The initial package included a red book bag to keep their books in which the absolutely loved as well as a reward chart, stickers and a bookmark. It's really exciting for little ones to receive post just for them and they loved the surprise and anticipation of which books would arrive for them. I really liked how there were no late fees or due dates which I really appreciated because life can certainly get very busy at times. It was great to see the boys excited about reading. It's a thumbs up from us! 

To find out more just click here!

I'm delighted to be hosting this fabulous giveaway to win a three month Bronze gift voucher. Just enter the giveaway via the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: we were kindly gifted a subscription in exchange for an honest review.
Thursday, 15 April 2021

Creating a Letterbox Giftset!

After a year of being distanced from our friends and family due to the pandemic, we have all relied upon different (and often creative) methods of keeping in touch. One such method is communicating via post. There's something so wonderful about receiving a letter or a parcel from a loved one and it has been made all the more special over the last 12 months- oh how we have missed our family and friends!

Sending a letter or parcel by post is a great way of letting your loved ones know you are thinking of them. You may wish to send them something to mark a special occasion such as a birthday, graduation, christening or birth or, you may simply wish to let them know that they are in your thoughts. One such way to do this is to create a letterbox gift. Letterbox gifts have become very popular in recent years. They often contain a selection of treats for the recipient to enjoy. There are many different companies that sell letterbox gifts but they can also be easy and fun to create yourself. 

Here are some ideas and tips to help you create the perfect letterbox gift!

gift

Pick a theme
It can be lots of fun deciding on a theme for your letterbox gift. By creating one yourself, you can completely personalise it for your loved one. You can select an interest or favourite product of theirs and create a letterbox gift centred around it. For example, if they like chocolate, why not include some different chocolates for them to try? Or if they are a stationery lover, you could select some pens, notebooks, erasers and highlighters to include. You may also like to create a self-care box to help them relax, unwind and pamper themselves. This could include things like, facemasks, lip balm and hand cream.


You can include a themed notecard inside the box to let them know who the gift is from and to acknowledge the special occasion. It's possible to create your own designs by downloading themed images such as this graduation clipart or school clipart

Select the right box
It's important that the gift can fit through the letterbox so you are going to need a flat box but one with enough depth that you can include the selected items. Postal boxes can be picked up from the post office or can be purchased online from packaging companies. 

Decorate your box
Presentation is everything and your letterbox gift will be all the more special with a little attention to detail. You can place the items in some tissue paper or coloured shredded paper. You can also decorate it with stickers to make it bright and colourful.

Send it off on its way!
So there you have it, your box is all ready to delight that special someone. Be sure to purchase the correct postage and make sure everything is securely packaged to prevent the items becoming damaged. 

If you're in need of any ideas for your letterbox gift, just check out the suggestions below!

  • Selfcare box 
  • Pamper box
  • Beauty box
  • Chocolate box
  • Sweets box
  • Tea box
  • Hot chocolate and marshmallows box
  • Stationery box
  • Gin box 
  • Gardening box
  • Afternoon tea box

Happy Creating! 

*Disclaimer- This is a collaborative post. 



 

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The Soji Towel- A self cleaning, silver-infused bamboo towel

During the pandemic, we've all been a little more mindful to keep our homes clean and disinfected. One household item that can easily contain harmful bacteria is a towel. After just a few uses, towels can begin to harbour dirt and grime. They can often be the perfect environment for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow thanks to the warm, damp and absorbent nature of them. This is where a Soji towel comes in! Soji towels actually eliminate 99.0% of bacteria, mould, mites, fungus and allergens. This is all down to the natural silver and bamboo fibres that they contain. The silver prevents microbial life from replicating and the bamboo fibres wick away moisture reducing odours, keeping your towel fresher for longer!

Soji towel

Soji towels are a generous size, thick and snuggly so you can feel pampered and cosy after your bath or shower. They are hyper-absorbent leaving you warm and dry. They can be machine washed, even on a hot wash and are so robust that they don't lose their snuggly softness!

Soji

As these antimicrobial towels keep your towels hygienic and sterile, this means that they are completely hypoallergenic, perfect for those with sensitive skin. They prevent acne breakouts, skin inflammation and sore, distressed skin. 

They are also wonderfully soft, made with 600-thread count, ultra-fine bamboo threads. The way the towels are woven give them a plush like quality, perfect for snuggling up in after a bath or shower. 

Soji

And what's more, Soji Towels are environmentally friendly too. Bamboo leaves behind a much smaller carbon footprint than cotton. It requires less chemical pesticides, fertilisers and irrigation to grow making it a more environmentally friendly choice.

The benefits of a Soji Towel

Soji towel
So, why not make the switch today? Hygienic, luxuriously soft, kind to skin and eco-friendly too, what's not to love? You can find out more at www.sojitowel.com/kickstarter.

*Disclaimer- This is a paid collaboration

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

The Business of Blogging- My Blogging Journey So Far

My blogging journey began over four years ago just as I was navigating my way through parenting a small child and a baby. Around the birth of my middle child (the aforementioned baby), I had stumbled upon some blog posts that I could really relate to. They were focused on the trials and tribulations of parenting small children; some of these posts were humorous and others were heartfelt, but the main message of them was that it was ok to be finding it a bit hard- because parenting small children isn't always easy. It was like a revelation! I had honestly thought that it was just me that was struggling a bit. I remember wondering if perhaps I wasn't cut out for parenting. Why did I always have Weetabix in my hair when other mums seemed so glamourous? Why was I always running late? Why did it take me so long to leave the house with my baby? Why was I the only mum in the baby group that had struggled to breastfeed? Etc, etc. I really did give myself a hard time, I can see that now with the benefit of hindsight but at the time I felt like I was failing at being a parent. When I stumbled upon these brutally honest posts from parents that had decided to document their parenting journeys, thoughts and musings, it suddenly didn't seem quite so lonely. I could also then confidently say; 'it isn't just me!' 

Blogging

Shortly after, I decided to start my own blog. I had no idea how to do this so after some Googling I eventually figured out how to set up a basic blog. I then published my first ever post entitled 'The Glorious Rise in Real Parenting' in honour of the trend to share the 'real side' of parenting that had helped me so much. I hit publish and waited for the page views to start increasing. Only they never did. I genuinely had no idea that people wouldn't just stumble upon the post through the power of search engines but rather, had to be directed to it and this is where social media accounts are worth their weight in gold. Once I had eventually figured this out, I then made some social media accounts, invited a few friends and shared the post again. Over the next few weeks and months, I began to create posts with a bit of a humorous or heartfelt twist to them. It felt good to be creative!

I soon learnt that social media is the key to growing a blog. Taking my Facebook page for example, the small handful of followers that it had initially, slowly began to increase as these followers then invited their friends to like the page or commented and shared my posts which then opened them up to a wider audience. I was also able to join blogging groups where I have learnt some invaluable blogging tools and where there's a community of bloggers always willing to lend a hand.

It was also through social media that I stumbled upon something that has had the biggest impact on my blog's journey so far: I found a group of likeminded bloggers and influencers that were able to point me in the direction of paid blogging opportunities. Not long after, I had received my first payment for a blog post and over the next few years, as I wrapped my head around how it all works, my little blog had become my business which I made an income from.

Making my blog into a business had never been my intention but through this work, and in addition to my other business, I've been able to work hours to suit the demands of family life which has been such a blessing while they are still so young. We have also had some wonderful family days out and experiences through the blog as well as products to review which keeps life interesting. Whilst I had started the journey as a parenting blogger, I now consider myself to be a parenting and lifestyle blogger, enabling me to cover a wider range of topics. My Facebook page however, will always remain a place for sharing all the funny parenting mishaps and a way of communicating the message to each and every parent that they are doing absolutely fine- afterall, this is what I had needed to hear all those years ago and how indeed my blog came to be!

*Disclaimer: This is a paid collaboration. 

Friday, 2 April 2021

My Little Love Heart- Beautiful Baby Accessories

I was so delighted when I was recently contacted by the lovely Luisa, owner of My Little Love Heart, to see if I would like to review some baby accessories. I jumped at the chance! 

My Little Love Heart have an array of gorgeous baby accessories, which are handmade and beautifully designed in Perth, Australia. The items are carefully crafted and are made with 100% cotton, organic cotton and cotton/ bamboo so deliver the absolute best for your precious little one. Not only are the items beautifully soft but they are also eco-friendly and safe for baby too. 

baby

I was kindly given the opportunity to review a gift set which contained a baby bib, a bunny teether, a burp cloth and a bandana bib. I opted for the gorgeous koala design which I just love so much- I couldn't wait for it too arrive. When the parcel arrived, it was so beautifully packaged that it's clear how much thought and care goes into everything at My Little Love Heart. The items also did not disappoint, they are so beautifully soft and are wonderful quality too.

baby

The first item my little one wore was the bandana bib. This has been so handy as he is very dribbly at the moment so quickly soaks through his onesie and vest. These bibs help absorb moisture as they are made with a highly absorbent material with a bamboo backing. The front pleats also help to catch some of the excess drool. I love how practical these are but also how stylish they are too- they make a great little accessory for some of his little outfits.

bib

The bunny teether, is a really cute and clever design. It consists of a hardwood ring which is coated with a certified organic beeswax blend and it also has cotton fabric with a bamboo backing for the ears. My little boy loved exploring this teether.

teether

The baby bib is another really practical item that looks great too! It has double layers to protect baby's clothes and is super soft too.

Lastly the burb cloth is one of those items I will probably never be without while he is so little. It is handy for catching any little accidents as you burp them. The shape of them enables you to easily drape them over your shoulder for when your baby is being burped; I haven't seen this design over in the UK!

bib

I absolutely love the items from My Little Love Heart. The range of items available are simply stunning and it's clear how much love and attention goes into each and every product. A great eco-friendly, quality brand- I will definitely be putting an order in soon!

baby

You can visit My Little Love Heart here.

*Disclaimer- I was kindly gifted these items in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

My Birth Story

After convincing myself that this baby would definitely arrive a couple of weeks early, he certainly kept us waiting! My due date came and went and I tried all the usual tricks to get him to budge; pineapple, hot curries, bouncing on the birth ball etc, to no avail. I even had three different midwives attempt to give me a sweep but baby just wasn't ready to come out and so an induction was booked for when I was 12 days late. A couple of days before this date I went up to the hospital for a forth and final attempt at a sweep and this time, the midwife actually managed it! As I left the hospital I could already feel some strong cramps beginning and so I was sure that this time, baby would absolutely be here by the morning! 

That evening, I started getting contractions. These lasted throughout the night but a pattern didn't emerge. Sometimes they would be three minutes apart and sometimes as many as eight. At some point, they stopped and I must have fallen asleep because I woke up the next day with baby still in the same place it had been the night before! It looked like an induction was definitely on the cards. 

The following evening, the contractions once again started but this time I strongly suspected it was the real thing. They felt stronger, more powerful and with each one my whole body started to shake; something I remembered happening with my last labour. And so it was off to the hospital we went! 

When we arrived, my waters went in the car park. That was a strange experience! I then waddled up to the ward where I met the midwife. She did an internal examination and advised that as I was only three centimetres dilated, she recommended that we went home, relaxed for a while and came back when the contractions were two minutes apart. I will be honest, I really didn't want to go home. The contractions were feeling really strong and I suspected it wouldn't be too long until baby made an appearance. I didn't much fancy being too far away from the hospital (or the gas and air!) so I asked her if there was any way we could stay and she said if we preferred, we could have a little walk around the hospital for a bit. 

We left the ward and went outside to find a bench. I started to feel a bit chilly and there was a couple having a barney on the other bench which was killing my relaxed vibe so we decided to go and sit in the car for a while. As weird as this may seem and despite being in labour, this was actually quite a relaxing and special time. There was a huge full moon which I focused on each time I had a contraction and I also made sure I breathed through each one using the methods I had learnt in my hypnobirthing books. 

I had planned to do a hypnobirthing course when I found out I was pregnant. My first labour and birth had not been easy at all- I felt a little traumatised by the experience if I'm honest and this left me nervous and anxious about giving birth for a second time. Although the second labour and birth had largely gone to plan, I'd felt tense and scared which I have no doubt made the pain significantly worse. I vowed that if I was ever lucky enough to have a third baby, I would look into hypnobirthing as I'd read such wonderful things about it. However, before I could actually book the course, the pandemic happened, my business was forced to close and so I made the decision that I would be better not parting with the money. It was certainly disappointing but I decided to read up as much as I could about hypnobirthing. Through these books, I learnt some pretty invaluble tips in how to keep calm, feel empowered and create a positive birth experience. While I didn't use every technique the books suggested, my third and final labour was truly a beautiful experience and I honestly feel this is largely down to the hypnobirthing techniques I used and I will forever be recommending it to any mums to be! 

Back to the car- the contractions were now coming thick and fast and with each one I breathed through it using the breathing techniques found in the books. This might sound an obvious thing to do but when we are in pain we can often tense up and hold our breath- I'm sure I did this with my other labours. I can't claim the pain is less by doing this, but it definitely helps you stay in control, feel relaxed and helps remove the fear from the situation and it is this that makes the pain feel more manageable. After just one an hour, the contractions were two minutes apart and it was time to go back up to the ward! 

This time, I was officially in established labour and so I was able to stay on the ward and have gas and air (hurrah!) The midwife asked if I would like to try the birthing pool so I decided to give it a try. I wasn't sure I would like it to be honest so I remember feeling a bit guilty that she took nearly an hour to fill it up! However, it was so good to get into the water. The heat instantly helped with the pain and the water supported the weight of my bump. The midwife had set up some spa lights in the room and my husband found us a radio station with some great rock tunes. It was hard not to be relaxed! 

After a while, the contractions were coming in thick and fast and were really strong. At this point, my breathing techniques went out the window as rather than breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 8, I was sucking in the gas and air for as long as I possibly could. Before I knew it, these deep and intense contractions were replaced by the urge to push. It's a little bit of a blur now but after some time pushing, our baby boy emerged into the water. I don't think he realised he had been born as he didn't cry which caused me a moment of panic. The midwife gave him a little rub and he made a beautiful little cry. He was finally here! 

birth

After the birth I enjoyed some skin to skin cuddles and some tea and toast (I may or may not have called the lady that bought it to me a magical tea and toast fairy)! After a while I was moved to another room and at this point my husband had to go home. As it was only the early hours of the morning, I probably should have slept but I kept staring at our new baby boy and breathing in that intoxicating newborn smell! 

And so there you have it, my third (and final!) labour and birth story. Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat. I mean I won't (as there would be a husband shaped hole in the wall) but I would. 💕

birth

If you are interested in hypnobirthing, I have linked the two books I used below. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hypnobirthing-Practical-Ways-Birth-Better/dp/0349419388/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=hypnobirthing&qid=1598097764&sr=8-3

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hypnobirthing-Book-Antenatal-Relaxation-Download/dp/1911558021/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=hypnobirthing&qid=1598097803&sr=8-5

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

A Cracking Easter Gift Guide for 2021

Easter is typically a time to enjoy a chocolate egg (or two or three!) but why not shake things up by gifting your loved ones with something a little bit different this year? If you're in need of a bit of inspiration. I've put together an Easter gift guide full of egg-cellent ideas!

For Children...

STABILO Woody 3 in 1 Pencils
Your children can get creative this Easter with the wonderful STABILO woody 3 in 1 pencils. They act as colouring pencils, watercolours and wax crayons all rolled into one, creating bright and vibrant colours. They can be used on a multitude of surfaces including glass, coloured paper and card. They easily wash off glass enabling your little ones to create their own (non-permanent) masterpieces on the windows. They are also long-lasting; each pencil has 10mm led with the same amount of colour as eight standard colouring pencils! What a cracking Easter gift for little ones. Find out more here

STABILO

Haribo Chick 'n' Mix
What child (or adult) wouldn't love this Easter gift box from Haribo? It is packed with delicious Easter-themed sweets; TangfastChicks, Starmix's favourite Fried Egg, Jelly Bunnies and Spring Time Friends. They are contained in a cute and fun gift box to delight and excite your little one this Easter! Find out more here

Haribo


For Babies...

Peter Rabbit Bamboo Dinner Set- Beatrix Potter
This beautiful bamboo dinner set from Enesco is just perfect for baby's first Easter Sunday lunch. It consists of a plate, cup, bowl and cutlery with charming illustrations taken from the original Beatrix Potter stories to delight your little one during mealtimes! Find one here

Dinner set

For You...

Mermaid Gin
Not only is Mermaid Gin contained in one of the most beautiful bottles ever, it also tastes divine. It comes from the Isle of Wight Distillery and is a smooth yet complex blend. It features an array of interesting and beautiful botanicals including lemon zest, juniper and rock sapphire. A smooth and refreshing treat this Easter. Find yours here

Mermaid Gin

ARRAN Sense of Scotland Reed Diffuser

Relax, unwind and breathe in the exquisite scents bought to you by ARRAN Sense of Scotland. This family-run business have created an array of luxury fragrances  for bath, body and home which are made on and inspired by, the beautiful Isle of Arran. The reed diffusers make a wonderful gift this Easter enabling one to immerse themselves in the vibrant and carefully crafted fragrances. The After The Rain Reed Diffuser has delicate rose, zesty lime and deep sandalwood fragrances and has a stylish and classic design. To explore the range and find out more, just click here

ARRAN reed diffuser

Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted these items in exchange for an honest review.