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“Together is a Wonderful Place to Be.”

10 Aug

Hi Folks,

We’re trying our hardest to try & make life more normal here in our house. Now that we can see family members… we’re making plans & trying to plan days out for the kids, since we’ve had to cancel our Summer getaway. Things like seaside days out, strawberry picking, picnics etc…

Planning is always so much more fun when you have pretty pens & a Personal Planner or Family Wall Planner. Every year I have a Family Wall Planner made for us from Personal Planner. I love them soooooo much! They really are the best planners around.

With each Personal Planner or Wall Chart – you will get a sheet of stickers. Great for high lighting special arrangements. Another great feature is that you can upload all of your important dates, birthdays & anniversary’s. So each year you don’t have to go through writing in all of the dates… with one click everything uploads. It’s utterly perfect – I hate the task of the laborious date writing. So this handy little feature scraps all of that.

The family wall planner has enough room for each individual family member. They get their own colour coordinated section & photograph. Perfect for logging school dates, play dates & trips to the vet… of course our Chihuahua Coco has her own section on the family wall planner.

The most exciting & fun aspect of these lovely planners is that you literally design it all yourself. So it’s a perfect fit for you & your life. Whether you want it to aid with your studies, or if you need it to help with organising your office at home whilst working from home or like me… you want to plan fun family days out… Personal Planner has you covered. And what’s more… shipping is entirely FREE!!!

So… I have some super exciting news!!!! I’ve teamed up with Personal Planner for a phenomenal GIVEAWAY!!! All you have to do is head on over to my Instagram page & FOLLOW ME, LIKE & SHARE. Just look for the Personal Planner giveaway post.

For 15% off right now please use Discount Code: SUMMERISHERE 

Thanks so much as always for reading & good luck in the giveaway!!!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Lockdown Learning

20 Jul

Hi folks,

I can’t believe that the academic year has come to an end & we’re now into the Summer Holidays. I feel so sad that Seth didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to his Pre-School Teachers & Class Mates. We found out last week who his new Reception Class Teacher would be & which of his friends would be in his class. Seth is so excited to get back to school in September. He just loves to learn.

We’ve been doing lots of fun learning activities over lockdown & I think we’ll be carrying them on into the Summer Holidays too. Learning is much easier when its fun!

We had another lovely delivery of goodies from Best Learning.

My Learning Board iPoster  is utterly fantastic! It’s perfect for helping with Spelling, Writing & Counting. It’s interactive with touch technology & you can also use the wipeable pen too. There is 12 separate learning activities already built in. It’s perfect for fun learning games together. Lots of fun sounds & songs will keep your little ones entertained for hours. We’ve had so much fun with this lovely interactive toy. You can also hang it on a wall, perfect for a play room, study area or kids bedroom. The integrated calculator is great too… Seth thinks it’s magic.

Inno Pad: Smart Fun Lessons. This is such an amazing compact toy. It comes with 16 separate learning pages that slide into the Inno Pad for different learning experiences. The pages themselves are made from durable plastic… meaning they’re sturdy but also can be wiped clean. Skills that can be learned include alphabet, numbers, time, colours, fruits, shapes, animals, the weather, emotions, professions, music, various transportation & problem solving. The learning levels range from basic to advanced. This is toy is great for travel… it’s really lightweight & slimline. It’ll be great for travelling when we go to visit family etc…

Seth loves problem solving & having quizzes, so he’s had so much fun playing with it. It’s great for a childs development, as well as promoting creativity. We’ve had fun playing this together, but Seth also like independent play & learning. He can off & play with this & figure it all out for himself.

Magic Puzzle Globe. This lovely little globe comes in 26 pieces with a little stand. We did have to help Seth with putting this together. It’s been great though for helping Seth with basic geography. Seth is only 4 years old, but he’s utterly obsessed with asking where each country is in relation to the United Kingdom. So this has been such a great learning aid.

Our magic Puzzle Globe lives in Seth’s room, because he loves to go over to it & find all of his favourite countries. I just love the wonder & amazement on his little face when he looks & then finds different places.

“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein.

If you would like to read a little more about the toys we’ve reviewed – please click the highlight text.

Thanks so much for reading.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

29 Jun

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all safe & well. Hopefully we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel during this strange time. Pandemic parenting sure is a mine field. Homeschooling, trying to keep the little ones entertained & all the while, trying to shield them from all of the scariness.

Seth is now 4 yrs old & he’s currently at pre-school… well, not at the moment. He’s not been to school since lockdown began. So all of his recent learning has been here at home. A few weeks ago, we were sent the amazing Chameleon Reader.

I have been utterly blown away by this product. Seth calls it ‘The Magic Book Wand’. Seth has always loved books & has his own little book corner for reading in his bedroom with his own little corner sofa. We love reading together, but he’s at an age where he wants to be independent sometimes with his reading, but he hasn’t the reading ability yet to sit & fully read on his own. So this ‘magic book wand’ is perfect!

So… first of all… Whats in the Box?

  • Chameleon Reader Pen (batteries included)
  • 5,000+ Audio Stickers
  • 7 Audio Controls Book Mark
  • My Library Card
  • My Music Card
  • Card Album
  • USB Cable
  • User Guide

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/50049764163/in/dateposted-public/

First of all, I’d like to start by saying that this is so easy to use. This will work with ANY book & turn it into an audio book. So I can literally read books for Seth & record it for him. You simply choose a book… place a little chameleon on each page & record the audio of each page with a little tap.  Then, when your little one taps the sticker with their pen, the page will be read out…it really is MAGIC!

We started with The Gruffalo.

Seth’s reaction when he realises it’s me reading the story is just magical!

This clever little gadget will record up to 4 audio tracks per page. So 4 separate languages can be spoken which is ideal for bilingual children. The possibilities are endless.

The Chameleon Reader is great for getting the kids away from screens & is great for keeping them entertained while travelling. We’ve loved using it over lockdown, it’s been such a great learning aid.

Right now, Amazon have a great deal on, you can buy the whole starter pack for £89.99 with free one day delivery on Prime.

This would make such an amazing gift. I’m thinking of getting family members to record themselves reading books, as we don’t live near family. I think it’ll be lovely for Seth to be able to hear his favourite stories read out by his grandparents.

I hope you you’ve enjoyed this review. Click the bold text to be linked to websites for further reading & where to purchase.

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Play, Learn, Grow!

18 May

Hi folks,

I hope everyone is staying safe & staying positive. We’re all fine here… plodding on as best we can. I think one of the hardest aspects is keeping the kids occupied. Going out for a morning walk is great for burning off energy & then playing in the garden is also a massive help. But when the rain comes… it’s a whole different story.

We were sent some lovely toys from Best Learning who you can find on Amazon here.

Seth is 4 years old now. He’s really missing nursery right now. He’s missing all aspects of it… the structure… the learning & most of all; his friends. I’m not homeschooling as such, like I’m not setting out a full structured school day… but I am integrating learning into play. Seth loves to learn. The recent VE Day Celebrations have really piqued his interest in our little island & learning more about the UK as a whole. This i-Poster of the United Kingdom really did arrive just at the right time.

The i Poster has over 300 facts & questions about the UK. There’s also all sorts of different fun questions to test your knowledge in the quiz mode. There’s also a fantastic feature that will sing the national anthem too! As you can see from the photo above, we have ours hung up. Its in the front room as a permanent feature now. It really is a beautiful toy/ learning aid. Seth loves choosing an area of the UK & pressing it to find out facts.

We have a weekly phone call from Seth’s teacher & he has told her all about his talking map. The material is great – it wipes down easily if grubby fingers have touched it. It’s also super easy to use, simply touch the area you want to learn about & the map will come to life just like magic. Seth really thinks its magical.

Ted was sent the My Spin & Learn Steering Wheel. It’s the cutest little toy. Ted instantly took to this toy & its a one he will consistently choose to play with everyday. My favourite thing about this toy is the ’emotions’ feature. I’ve not come across many baby/toddler toys that touch on emotion. This is so lovely with a light up button referring to each emotion. It also incorporates light, shapes, sound, music & it also spins. Great for hand eye coordination. There’s so many elements to this toy that makes it different to other interactive toddler toys.

The wheel itself is the perfect size for little hands to hold & carry. It’s great for developing dexterity & motor function.

If you’re looking for some fun & educational toys to keep the little ones entertained – then Best Learning are a great place to start.

I hope you’ve all found this review helpful. Don’t forget to stay safe & stay positive!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Staycation Isolation

1 Apr

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all doing okay. So much has changed & happened since my last blog post!!! How crazy is everything at the moment?

We’re very lucky, as both me & the hubster & the kids are all home safely together. Oh & we can’t forget Coco too. The hubs is now working from, so we’ve been self isolating for quite a while now. Seth has no idea about the virus really, I mean, he’s only 4 yr old, so we decided it was better to keep it from him. We didn’t want him feeling scared or worried. Our families don’t live close by, so it isn’t like he see’s family everyday. So in that respect… he’s not noticed any difference. He did ask about nursery… but we just said we are having extended holidays from school for Easter. He hasn’t even questioned it. And Ted, well, he’s only 17 month old… so he’s none the wiser too.

I’ve been focussing on keeping the boys entertained. It was easier last week, as the weather was so lovely! So we could get out in to the garden.

 

We’ve chalked our walk, we’ve played in the mud kitchen, picnicked in the garden etc… while the weather has been nice… we’ve been out breathing as much fresh air as possible.

To make this time as fun as possible, we’ve decorated the house for Easter, early. I just wanted to inject some fun & some colour around he place. We’ve also added rainbow colours to our windows too.

We’ve had so much fun crafting & making decorations. With Seth only being in preschool for half a day each day, I’ve decided not to make a home schooling timetable. I’m still encouraging learning & I’m constantly asking little maths questions etc… while we play, but I wanted to focus this time on fun & making memories rather than it more about school. It’s such a scary & uncertain time, so our focus is being fun, carefree & present. I’m making a photobook for the boys of this time… so in years to come they can revisit this time & see that even though things were scary… we tried our best to make it fun. Like a colourful, cheerful, Staycation.

We’ve had PizzaParty picnics, we’ve camped in the front room, we’ve excavated dinosaur eggs, we’ve had wildlife in our front room, we’ve painted etc… Seth keeps telling me this is the most fun holiday he’s ever had. I think he loves that his Daddy is home all the time & working in our office at home & isn’t going out to work. I think he’s loving the novelty of it all. The weirdest part is that he hasn’t asked to go out at all. He’ll ask to go in the garden, but he’s not asked for days out. I really thought he would have. But it’s like he’s so happy & content at home. This whole thing has made me realise though, just how much I actually go out. I’ve always gone out a lot & joined groups etc… with the boys. But since passing my test in December & buying a 2nd car, I’m out even more.

I’ve been trying each day to find a positive in this whole saga. So far… I’ve come up with so many. It’s also opened up my eyes to how much stuff I take for granted too. I have a new found respect for food. I mean, I waste very little food anyway, but now, I’m literally making sure that each thing is used & nothing is wasted.  Today I got an amazing Fruit & Veg delivery from a local market stall… everything is so colourful & looks & smells amazing. I’ve never been so excited to eat a salad for tea!

I’ve had some amazing video calls with family  friends too. The amount of giggles I’ve had is fab – considering the circumstances. I do feel that it’s brought people together.

I’m planning each week on Sunday & making a menu for things to make for tea.

Keeping organised is really helping me to get through this bizarre saga. I love meal planning & prepping… I find it really therapeutic. I’m in the process of making some strawberry yogurt… I can’t wait. The boys love fruit yogurt – so I’m on to a winner!

I do hope you’re all keeping safe, well & positive. I cannot wait for the massive celebrations to be had once this is all over!

Love, huggles, & much love,

Hayley xxx

Everything is Easier With Sleep!

30 Jan

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year! Sorry its been a wee while since my last blog post. It’s been a very busy few months! I wanted my first blog post of 2020 to be more like my older blog posts… back to basics. More info, tips, advice & general rants about surviving day to day as a stay at home – work from home Mama.

I’ve been joking for a long time now that I’ll one day write a book on the bedtime routine I use for the boys, as they both sleep. I’m constantly being asked what my secret is. But to be honest… I have no idea lol. So… I thought I’d share with you all, what we do each evening. I don’t do anything magical, but, you mind find something you’ve not tried. Or, I might be just doing the same as everyone else.

I love reading blogs & I get a lot of my fave tips from other parenting blogs. So hopefully… I can pass some on to you too.

Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m no guru or medical professional. This is only what we have personally implemented in our own home for our bedtime routine. 

Okay, so lets start right at the very beginning. Seth was born at 38wks via c-section. I was determined from day 1 to be this amazingly successful breast feeding Mama. That just didn’t go to plan. Within the first 6 days, Seth had lost over 14% of his body weight dropping from 8lbs to 6lbs 13oz. We were rushed into hospital – literally the worst day of my life. The guilt I felt was immense. That first week quite literally was sleep deprivation at it’s finest. I had Seth constantly on my boob & when he wasn’t attached to me – an electric breast pump was. I was emotional, recovering from major surgery, I felt guilt that I wasn’t providing for my baby & I felt let down by my breast feeding support nurse. Whilst in hospital Seth began to combination feed. With amazing support from my Husband, GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Consultant & Paediatrician, I made the decision to stop breast feeding… I had zero milk. Still to this day – I struggle with the feelings of guilt & like I let Seth down in that first week of his life.

Once we were discharged from hospital, Seth gained weight steadily on formula. But, he struggled with extreme colic. It was horrendous. No matter what we did, he’d scream & scream. Even with the help of Infacol & a special milk, he’d struggle. We had a SnüzPod at the side of our bed as I just don’t like co-sleeping ( personal choice). But I’d say for a good 8 weeks, Seth slept upright on my chest or Grahams. It’d be the only way he’d settle. So it’d be hours upon hours of just sitting awake on a night in bed, so Seth could sleep & get relief from the colic. I remember on a morning, retching & throwing up from sheer exhaustion & my Mam telling me over the phone that she’d not heard of anyone dying from sleepless nights. Ah yes, just to add… both my family & Graham’s live quite a distance away from us. So we have no regular childcare or family just popping in to help.

After around 8 weeks, the colic settled, from then on, Seth would sleep 6hrs: Midnight to 6am. We used to class that as sleeping through the night. When you go from zero sleep to 6hrs right through, you feel like you’ve had a week at a spa retreat lol. Seth slept in his SnüzPod beside me until he was 5 & a half month old. He began to outgrow it at that point. So, he went into his own room in a full size cotbed. He looked so tiny. But he slept great & started to sleep from around 9pm to 6am, which was just amazing. At around 7 months old though, Seth started with partial awakening which lasted around 2-3 month. He would literally wake every 45mins screaming. All we could put it down to was teething. That was so hard. Functioning on such little sleep is tough. But, as a parent, you just want to comfort your baby. The only way they can communicate they’re hurting or they’re upset – is through crying. Thankfully, the partial awakening stopped as quick as it had started.

With Seth being our first, we had no experience of a sleep routine. Graham has always gotten home around 6pm/6:30pm, unless he has assessments to mark etc… then it could be much later. On occasion he does have nights away with work or through freelance work. But I’m always here with being able to work from home. We’d both agreed that we didn’t want bedtime to be negative or a battle ground. So, we have never ever used bed as a punishment. Neither of us agree with the cry it out method or self soothing method. I’ve also never let Seth nap in his room. When napping during the day, I’ve always let him nap downstairs. I just always wanted to keep the bedroom for bedtime to make a clear distinction between bed & nap. I’ve also been careful of danger naps… napping after 5pm has always been a no no, unless they’re poorly.

Seth’s routine from being 6 month has been:

  • No napping beyond 5pm… so I’d wake him gently from a nap if he was napping late afternoon or, I’d keep him awake by playing etc…
  • Teatime has always been around 4:30pm/5pm for the kids.
  • Bathtime 6pm – we don’t do bath time every night as Seth has always had baby eczema. Again, this is just a personal choice. I’ve always found, that a bath later than 6:30pm is too stimulating & tends to keep them awake.
  • CBeebies bedtime hour is always on in our house… PJs on, Milk & chill time. So we have no running around or loud toys from bedtime hour starting. Once bedtime hour is over – no more Kids TV. That has always been our rule. Kids TV is too stimulating, so nothing after 7pm. No tablets either & especially not in the bedroom. Again – that’s just personal choice.

Seth is now 3 years old & has gone to bed for 7pm since he was around 20 month old. We take him to bed, he has a wee, we read a story & that’s it. He goes to sleep. Obviously, as a baby, it wasn’t as simple as that. So, after the partial awakening had ended. We always gave Seth his bottle upstairs on our bed around 7:30pm. Then, we’d let him fall asleep in our arms & we’d carry him to bed. If he woke in the night, we’d give him a bottle in our room but with no lights on, no TV. Just keep it super boring. No talking etc… So he’d have the bottle & go back to bed.

One night, Graham was away in London & I took Seth up for his bottle. I lay with him on our bed & he was just looking at me, as if he was saying “well I ain’t sleeping here”… so I carried him to his room & put him in his cot. I took the monitor downstairs & I sat just watching him. I half expected him to cry as he was still awake… but he didn’t. He just lay there stroking his quilt & fell asleep! From that moment, we would give him a bottle & then put him in bed awake for him to nod off.

Still to this day, Seth has his little ambient blue night light plugged in so it’s not super dark. He loves his room & his bed. He’s now graduated to a big bunk bed – he sleeps on the bottom bunk as he’s only 3, we do have blackout blinds & black out curtains in his room – mainly for when it’s Summer. But he still likes his blue light on.

When Ted was born, we already had a good bedtime routine in place, so Ted just kind of fell in line with that.

At this point – I just want to point a few things out that we do:

  • Both boys were bottle fed. Ted from day one as I didn’t want to try breast feeding in case I let down my baby all over again.
  • Both boys have used soothers. Ted always goes to bed with a soother.
  • I have always kept the cot free & empty of toys, bumpers etc… I never used a sleep/grow bag purely as both Seth or Ted would settle in them. So I always used cellular blankets & a tight fitted sheet on the mattress. Seth now takes his quillow to bed & Cub (his little Ikea Bear)
  • Both boys have slept in a full size cotbed – so they’ve lots of space to stretch out. Seth had the sides off his cotbed from 23 month old & then he went into a full size single/bunk bed from age 3.
  • During nap times, both boys have always napped downstairs.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/44167779470/in/dateposted-public/

Nap times downstairs were a little bit of a mine field when Ted was first born. By this time Seth had outgrown day time naps & began going up to bed at 7pm. But Ted needed somewhere safe to nap. With a 2 & a half year old running round, I was always scared that a moses basket or a lounger would get knocked over. So, we went with a large playpen that had a firm memory foam & sprung mattress from iSafe. It was a life saver. It’s spacious & safe for Ted to nap in. We still have it now. Ted is 15 month old & loves his naps in there. I do allow soft toys in his play pen – purely as I can see him at all times. He doesn’t have toys in his cot bed upstairs. That’s totally free of clutter.

Ted follows the same routine as Seth with regard to when he gets his PJs on, bath time & tea times etc… From 8 weeks old, Ted has pretty much slept from 11pm right through. From around a year old he’s started to go to bed around 8pm, but recently, he’s started asking for bed once Seth has gone up. So, we put Seth to bed, then around 7:30pm, Ted will have a bottle in our room & then goes straight into his room to bed. We put Ted in his cot awake & falls asleep with no problems. We have video monitors on both boys in case they need us in the night. Ted sometimes will wake in the night for a bottle. But it’s literally a quick bottle & straight back to bed.

Ted was in a SnüzPod from birth to 5 month. He outgrew it from 5 month so he transferred to the Joie Kubbie Sleep which is also a side sleeper. He slept in that until he was 10 month old. The he went into his own room into a full size cot bed.

It’s lovely being able to have evenings free. But, being poorly or teething throws the sleeping lark out the window. But that’s just parenting, you have to expect sleepless nights at times.

When we go on holiday, we still follow our bedtime routine. That may sound strict, but Seth still only being 3yrs old, he doesn’t really appreciate a late night as a treat. By 7pm he’s asking for bed as he’s so tired. He’s so active, so he’s ready for his bed. Keeping the routine is constant. We’ve just always kept it up & over time it’s paid off. We’ve taken the boys out at night for meals etc…

I think in the beginning, it can be a bit of a shock to the system at just how much your life does change when you become a parent, but they’re only little for such a short time. Me & Graham met at University & we were together 7 year before we got married. Then we had 5 years together after we got married just us… so we have done the late nights out etc… I think we’re happy being home all snuggly now lol. I’m sure once the boys are packed off to University, we can become party animals again lol.

So there you have it… that’s our bedtime routine. See… I have no hidden secret. It’s just been keeping a good routine in place day in & day out. I hope you’ve found this useful?

Thank you so much reading 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Out and About with Versatrax

26 Jul

Hi folks,

We’ve had such lovely weather for the last few days… I really do hope that this is it now… Summer has finally landed!?

I can’t believe that Seth has completed his first full term of pre-school. I’m so glad that we decided to take early intake with him rather than waiting until September. He has come on so much & his development has been amazing in the last few month.

I love that each day he gets excited for his walk to school with Mammy & Baby Ted. It’s one of the first things he says when he wakes up. Driving whilst doing the school run is so not enjoyable. Parking is a nightmare! We walk too & from school everyday. I think it’s good for kids to walk & to get out in the fresh air, rather than bundled in to a car all of the time. We’re very lucky in that our school is only a very short walk away. It only takes us 10-15mins to get there… depending on how slowly Seth wants to walk lol.

Ted just loves being out & about in a buggy too. We’ve just received the Joie Versatrax. It is absolutely gorgeous.

With Joie you always know you’re going to get safety & quality. But the Versatrax isn’t just reliable & safe… it also has that ‘fancy feel’. It has lots of added little extras that just make it all the more luxurious. The tan leather trims & cup holder – really finish this travel system off perfectly.

I love that this is a sturdy travel system, yet folds so compact. It literally folds down in half. Also, there’s no back breaking manoeuvres or fancy footwork needed to collapse this pram. It’s so simple & quick. I am quite literally the most clumsy person I know, & even I have mastered this easy procedure. A click of the safety switch & you’re pretty much done!

Once folded this pram will stand freely. So it’s perfect if you’re short on space. Also, you won’t need to prop it against your hallway wall. There’s nothing worse than a pram or buggy that doesn’t free stand & has to be propped against your cream walls. It’s also great for if you’re in a restaurant etc… you can fold it & stand it out of the way with ease.

I love that this pram gives you the option of forward or rear facing. Ted is 8 month now & loves to be nosy & look at what’s going on. However, he is teething & it’s been making him a bit upset. Sometimes he likes to rear face when he’s feeling a little under the weather. So the Versatrax gives us that option. It’s so simple to unclip & turn round.

Like all Joie products… the Versatrax is super comfy. We’ve had no complaints from Ted. The seat is comfy & has a nice soft feel. No sharp edges or corners. Everything is finished off beautifully. The seat will fully recline & has a soft touch harness. There’s also calf/leg support too. So your little one can really kick back & relax.

The Versatrax handles beautifully. The push bar is comfy to hold & has a one handed push. Now you all know that one handed push is a big requirement for me. I need to be able to push the pram/buggy with one hand while I’m holding Seth’s hand too. We have 2 busy roads to get across on our school run. So need to have hands available. Also, I’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist/hand. Vibrations can really trigger the pain. The Versatrax has lovely foam filled rubber tyres making it a smooth ride for your little one & a comfy one for you while pushing it. There’s hardly no vibration.

There’s also a really big storage basket on the bottom & is very easy to access. A big basket is a must for us, as I just seem to have so much stuff with me all of the time lol.

Here is a list of the features:

  • Suitable from birth with flat reclining seat
  • Adjustable forward and rearward facing seat
  • Pairs perfectly with Joie infant carriers gemm™, i-Gemm™, i-Level™, and i-Snug™ with the included adapters or with other infant carriers using Maxi-Cosi® style attachment
  • Pairs perfectly with ramble™ XL carry cot using the included adapters
  • One hand easy fold and setup, with seat rearward or forward facing
  • Freestanding when folded
  • Carry strap built in
  • Water repellant canopy
  • Full-size UPF50+ canopy with eyeshade visor
  • Multi-position recline for backrest tilt options
  • 2 position calf support
  • Front and back access storage basket
  • All wheel suspension for a smooth ride
  • Sweet Stride™ single front swivel wheels
  • One touch brakes
  • SoftTouch, 5-point harness
  • Height adjustable pushbar
  • Locking front swivel wheels
  • Cup holder

This really is a fantastic travel system. If you’re looking for a travel system that you can rely on, look fancy, is great on space & easy to use… then this is the one for you. Travel systems have a reputation for being big & bulky. But this certainly isn’t like that. It’s sturdy, lightweight, easy to use & folds very compact. It really is perfect for everyday family life! It’s going to be great for travel too as it doesn’t take up much space in the car! So look out for my review on how it is on holidays!

Thanks so much for reading & I hope you’ve found this review helpful!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

My Fave Must Haves!

1 Jul

 

Hi folks,

Wowzers… how are we even 7 month into 2019 already!? This year is going by super fast… but then, I’m just super busy 24/7… so no wonder it’s flying by.

Parenting is so much easier, when you’ve got the best parenting must haves to help you! I mean… where would I be without my most fave Joie products!?

In May we had a lovely birthday break in the Yorkshire Dales & then in June we had a lovely little Haven Holiday to Blackpool. For both holidays – we took our Kubbie Sleep with us for Ted. I know I’ve written a review about the Kubbie Sleep already, but I just wanted to say once more – how much we love this travel cot. I so wish we’d had this for when Seth was a baby too. It’s great as it’s a travel cot – but also a side sleeper. Side sleeping has been such a lovely bonding experience for us. We have never co-slept. So having a side sleeper has been the better, more safe option for us. And it’s even better when you can carry on side sleeping while travelling too.

As you can see from Ted’s happy little face… he loves the Kubbie Sleep.

One of the things we love about it, is that it folds down small into it’s little carry bag. It’s so easy to assemble too. There’s nothing worse that a really fiddley travel cot.

It has a lovely thick, firm mattress for your little one to sleep on. The metal poles come apart & collapse easily to fit into the carry bag. The bag is perfect for storage too – it’ll keep your Kubbie Sleep nice & dust free between each use. The mattress can also be removed easily too for playtime & tummy time… Perfect!

This really is the perfect travel companion. You can find my original Kubbie Sleep review here. This really is a must have item when travelling with baby. We tried Ted in a regular travel cot & he would not settle at the mattress just was not firm enough. Yet he settled so quick in the Kubbie Sleep. I cannot recommend this travel cot/side sleeper enough.

Now… It’s no secret that I’m also a massive Joie buggy fan! Let’s Meet Mirus

The Mirus can be used forward & rear facing by simply moving the push bar. It’s nice to have the option of rear or forward facing. Ted is super nosey… so I do tend to forward face him. But, if he’s a little upset – which he has been recently with teething… it’s nice to be able to see them.

A massive thumbs up from me has to be the anti scuff brake! I hate the fact that all of my shoes get scuffed on the toe from flicking the brake up on most other buggy’s. But the Mirus has the brake on the side of the push bar!!! So with a flick of a switch you can put the brake on & off with your hand. No more scuffed shoes!

The seat fully reclines making it suitable rom birth. There’s an easy to use handle/lever on the back of the seat making it easy to recline if your little one nods off & you want to make them that little bit comfier. I also love that it’s a one hand fold. I am so cack handed & clumsy – it’s unreal… and even I can fold the Mirus with just one hand. It falls into a fold position really easily & automatically locks into position. When folded, it stands upright. Great for storage. We keep ours in our front porch & it just stands neatly against the wall & is so slimline when folded that it doesn’t get in the way.

The basket on the bottom is a great size too… great for carrying your picnic when on days out lol.

I love the large hood – great for Summer days when the sun is shinning.

I use the Mirus every day on the school run as we don’t live too far from school. The Mirus will manoeuvre easily when using only one hand. There’s a few busy roads I need to cross so I need to be able to hold Seth’s hand while I push Ted in the buggy. One handed push is not a problem for the Mirus. You’ll also receive a rain cover as standard too – which is a total must have.

Seth has really taken to holding Ted’s hand actually while he’s in the buggy… so cute.

This pushchair is also fully compatible with Joie 0+ infant carriers… no adaptors needed. So in effect… this would be the only pushchair you’d actually need to buy. So, if you’re on a budget, you could save money on buying big expensive travel systems.

This is such an excellent buggy… lightweight… one handed fold… one handed push… comfy… what’s not to love!? I’ll be taking this buggy away with us too when we travel, so you can expect more updates on it is to travel with.

Thank you as always for reading & I do hope you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

 

Making Memories

20 May

Hi folks,

I love the month of May. Spring is everywhere & everything looks so beautiful… the weather is on the turn to sunnier times & it’s also mine & the hubsters Birthday month.

We always try to do something nice for our birthdays as they’re only 4 days apart. But when you have little ones in tow… plans have to change & adapt. This year we had the most amazing little break in the Yorkshire Dales in a stunning Georgian Cottage.

So… first of all… let me tell you about this simply beautiful cottage. Green Cottage is an elegant Georgian Cottage set on the green of one of Yorkshire’s most picturesque villages. It’s an ideal base to explore the Dales in any season. And… it’s 100% Family-friendly… that includes doggies too. A dog bed & bowl can be provided if needed. Our Coco is such a little diva though & likes her own little comforts – so we took her fave bed & mini food & water bowl… most dog bowls are big enough for her to bathe in lol.

The space itself:

The house is fully detached and set over three floors. Don’t worry thoughif you have little ones, then baby gates can be provided. Seth is 3 & Ted is 6 month so we very much need baby gates on the stairsso this was fab for us. They were already installed too!

Lower Ground Floor

  • Kitchen diner (featuring an extendable table to seat up to 6 guests and fully equipped with Rangemaster cooker, dishwasher, fridge with freezer shelf and microwave along with plenty of good quality cooking and baking equipment, glasses, crockery etc). Honestly…the kitchen has EVERYTHING you could possibly need. Even down to the colourful plastic kids crockery from IKEA that we all know & love & can’t live without! We ate in both nights… did ‘snacky food & we had sparkles… obvs

  • Utility room (with washer-dryer, iron and ironing board and a drying space for muddy boots and outdoor gear)There’s great tray there to stand your dirty shoes in there’s a radiator right underneath the coat rail too – so if you’ve gotten a little damp – everything will dry off.

  • Bathroom (with spa whirlpool bath, and toasty underfloor heating). The bath is utterly divine! I had visions of having an uninterrupted bubble bath with a glass of sparkles… but of course that lasted all of 5 minutes until Seth came bounding in lol. But that’s Mama Life for you!

Ground Floor

  • Living room (sofas to comfortably seat 5, log burner, digital Smart TV with Freeview, BBC iPlayer etc as well as lots of books, maps and games) we took our amazon fire stick with us & connected it to the WiFi. So we were able to watch Disney Life, Netflix & Prime. Please note that the play pen in the living room is ours & not part of the cottage.

  • Snug / third bedroom (large day bed which can be made up into full size single bed, second TV, desk)

  • Shower room (walk in monsoon shower with extra large enclosure, heated towel rail) There is also a toilet. It’s fab as there is literally a toilet on each floor. Essential for toilet training! Seth is totally dry now, but we’re still only in our first month of toilet training… so a toilet on hand is utterly essential lol.

First floor

  • Master bedroom (king size bed with deep, comfortable mattress, large wardrobe and antique dressing table) oodles of spaceLoads of room for a travel cot. A travel cot can be provided too if you don’t want to take one.

  • Twin bedroom (two full size single beds with pocket sprung mattresses, chest of drawers and clothes rail) a waterproof mattress cover can be provided too! Perfect!Please note that the bed guard rail is ours & not part of the cottage.

  • WC with basin (‘Jack and Jill’ style access from both upstairs bedrooms, ideal for families, or can be set up as en-suite for either bedroom)

Outside

  • Enclosed garden to rear and side, paved and gravel with outside seating, and a charcoal BBQ
  • Bike store (lockable for up to 5 bikes, can also be used as a pram store)
  • Direct access to the village green – a large expanse of grass free for all to stroll, sit or play
  • Play area visible from back gate – swings, slide, football posts etc. We spent quite a lot of time in the little play area. Seth loves a park. There’s also plenty wide open space to run around or to picnic. But, if you take your fur babies… please ensure you scoop that poop! There’s nothing worse than dog poop making the place dirty!

As you can see from above & from my photos… everything is catered for.

The bedding was so comfy!!! Egyptian cotton bed linen on all beds, 13.5 tog thick duvets (hypoallergenic and feather / down) and plenty of soft and fluffy Egyptian cotton towels. As you can see… Ted had to try out the king size bed lol.

There’s a welcome pack with all the basics for your first couple of days (loo rolls, hand soap, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, bin bags, tea towels and kitchen cleaning supplies) as well as tea, coffee, milk, bread and a few local treats. This was soooo nice!!! It just means that you don’t have to pack a lot of shopping. And it also means that it’s all ready for you to get the kettle straight on when you arrive… coz let’s face it… we all need that first brew when we arrive somewhere! Especially when you’ve had to sing Baby Shark & Old McDonald Farm all the way there lol.

 

Also… when we arrived there was a lovely big box of toys left out for Seth to explore, as well as plenty children’s books. There were even a few laid out on his bed for him. That was such a lovely touch & Seth was super excited!

So as well as a travel cot, baby gates & toys… the owners can provide a highchair – which Ted thought was VERY comfy & there is also a baby monitor. Oh & I did mention the plastic IKEA crockery, but there’s also a MAM Baby Cup too. Just so many little things that have been added to make your break so much easier! This cottage is really like a home from home.

For our furbabies, there is a lovely fluffy blanket provided & the use of a hose pipe outside to wash down those dirty paws.

 

Okay… so you’ve heard all about the gorgeous cottage… but what did we do while we were there? We investigated Settle. What a stunning little town. Seth particularly enjoyed The House That Jack Built. He got some lovely new Melissa & Doug toys. There are so many gorgeous shops, tea rooms & places to eat, to investigate. There’s also the Watershed Mill. It is absolutely stunning… the scenery is simply breathtaking. We popped there for a little bite to eat over lunch time.

We spent a lot of time playing on the green outside of the cottage & in the little park. We were only there for 2 nights… next time we’ll be booking for a week.

The cottage has a lovely organised folder of leaflets & places to visit etc… so helpful for when you’re planning days out.

This beautiful cottage is simply worth every penny. If you book before August & quote: “IxxyPoco” you will be given an exclusive discount. You can book a year in advance. So use that code before it runs out. Simply head to Green Cottage on AirBnB & send a message to the owners quoting my blog.

Thanks as always for reading & I hope you’ve been inspired to book yourself a lovely break away ❤️

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Weaning Must-Have, Teething Troubles and School Styling

13 May

Hi folks,

Can you believe we’re at the weaning stage already with Ted!? It feels like only yesterday that he was born. And yet here we are… already at the foodie stage.

Weaning can be so stressful. Finding foods & textures that your little one will entertain. Then there’s the worry of finger foods… I get so anxious in case they choke!

Of course weaning always feels less daunting when you have plenty of Nuby products on standby.

Stackable Bowls with Lids

These bowls are fantastic! In the pack you will get 4 bowls with lids & 2 spoons. The bowls are microwave safe & also dishwasher safe when used on the top shelf. They’re great for feeding on the go, as you can pop the lid back on to save any mess getting in your bag. They’re also perfect for food storage too!

Catch All Bib

The bib in this pic of Ted was actually Seth’s! So it’s already seen us through 1 weaning journey. Proof that Nuby products do stand the test of time!

This bib wipes down easily & also catches any foodie falls! It fastens with Velcro. This bib may be 3yrs old… but it’s still fantastic!

Titan Grip & Sip Cup

This little sippy cup is fab for getting your little one used to a cup from using bottles. The handles are great for little hands to be able to hold onto. It’s also non spill & it comes with a little lid too for keeping it clean & hygienic on the go.

Ted’s really enjoying trying to hold his own drink at the moment & this cup is great for that.

Wacky Teether

Any parent will tell you that teething is so upsetting & traumatic. Poor Ted has 2 teeth poking through on his bottom gum. He’s been so upset with himself. Luckily though, he’s gotten some relief with his Wacky Teether. It’s a lovely size for little hands to be able to grab on to.

With all of the different textures, it’s perfect for massaging sore gums. The crinkly fabric & bright colours will also keep them entertained too.

Ted loves his Wacky Teether!

Trendz Mini Backpack with Reins

Trendz Water Bottle

Seth has recently started Pre-School… he absolutely adores it! His Trendz Backpack has come in so handy. To avoid all that awful traffic, we walk to school. But with having the buggy too for Ted, I feel like I need several arms to be able to hold Seth’s hand & push the buggy.

With Seth being a ‘big boy’ he doesn’t always want to hold hands, so it’s great being able to attach the reins on to his bag & then keeping it on my wrist. It’s just a little reassurance that he’s not going to wander too far or jump into a road.

Inside the backpack – there is plenty room for spare clothes… we all know what it’s like during toilet training. There’s also a zip compartment inside as well as a big pocket.

The water bottle is a great size for school too & also has a push button that releases the drinking spout. Great for keeping it clean & hygienic. Its non-spill too!

It’s easy to wash – it’s dishwasher safe… Hoorah! And… it’s shatterproof! Durability is a must have when you have a rather boisterous 3 year old!

I do love Nuby products they just seem to make everything a little easier lol.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

I hope you’ve found my review helpful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.