Monday, 15 December 2014

Mega Bloks First Builders Build a Bakery Set - A Review

There are certain toys that no child should be without and for me building blocks are definitely one of them so when we were asked to review the Mega Bloks First Builders Build a Bakery set I knew instantly that D would love them.

The set includes not only the standard building bloks but also cake pieces so that she can make cakes and build a bakery. When we first opened the set D loved making me cakes, asking me what combinations I wanted - she's really into pretend play at the moment so loved playing shop. 

After a while I noticed she had built a castle with the bloks for one of her princess dolls so the game had changed again. That's what I love about building blocks like these, they really encourage a kid's imagination - every time they come out you know they'll be a new game. There are so many high tech gadgets (I sound like my dad!) for kids these days it's great to see D playing with a good old traditional toy using her imagination and creating her own game. 

This particular set is clearly aimed at girls with pink and purple coloured blocks and pink packaging, and if I'm honest this is my only gripe. It's a fantastic set and I know it'll provide lots of hours play but the pink packaging is likely to put off boys and who's to say a boy shouldn't want to play with a bakery as well. I've always felt where possible toys like bloks can be gender neutral. 

If you're on the hunt for Christmas Presents Mega Bloks first builders are a great choice the Build a Bakery set RRPs at £19.99 and is available at Argos

We were sent the Mega Bloks first builders for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Gro Hush Baby Calmer Review

Freya is nearly 8 weeks old now and already been through the mill a bit with a tongue tie and reflux. The pain from her Reflux and trapped wind has unfortunately made it really difficult for her to settle at times and as with most newborns we've found it's particularly bad during the evening. So when I came across a discussion on twitter about the Gro Hush, a new product from The Gro Company I couldn't resist finding out what it was all about with the view to seeing if it could be helpful for settling Freya. Gro very kindly sent us a Gro Hush which we have used a number of times now and so far I have a feeling me and this little fella are going to be firm friends. 

I'm already a huge fan of The Gro Company products, the Gro blackout blind has been a lifesaver for the last 3 years and we've recently started to use the Gro clock with my older daughter with great success so with that in mind I had high hopes for the Gro Hush and thankfully wasn't disappointed. 

The Gro hush is Gro Company's latest big product, it's a hand held soother which you gently rest against your child's ear while holding and cuddling them as normal. It has 3 different white noise sounds (heartbeat, rain drops and waves) and automatically turns off after 10 mins. Although not the products prime intention I also felt the sounds are really relaxing for the person holding baby and could help them relax especially if baby is exceptionally upset and the caregiver is feeling stressed by the situation

When I mentioned I would be reviewing the product I had a few people comment that if the baby is bring held by mum what more comfort can you give? I completely get this and even agreed before trying the Gro Hush but I have to say it does give a little extra, many babies respond well to white noise and this is where the geo hush compliments the comfort given by the parent or caregiver. As you have to hold the Gro Hush it's not there to replace a parent and this is something that us especially important to me as I emphatically feel that a young baby needs touch and contact.

We first tried the gro hush during one of those evenings when it feels you've entered a twilight zone and baby just can't settle. F was about 6 weeks old and it was clearly growth spurt time! She was fed and clean so we settled down for a cuddle with the gro hush - F was asleep within a few minutes, result! We've used the gro hush a few times since when again F needed that extra but of help and it's always been a success, It's no miracle product and I'm in have no doubt it won't always work it's magic but it is a really useful tool to turn to when you're running out of ideas and need that extra bit of help. For me it's another great product from Gro. The gro hush retails at £34.99 and can be purchased from The Gro Company website as well as the usual baby stores.

We were sent a Gro hush baby calmer for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

My View on the NHS Booby Bribes!

So Breastfeeding back on the agenda with the NHS 'paying' mums to breastfeed

I'm trying to decide what I think about it and it just doesn't sit right with me. Yes we all know that breastfeeding is the ideal option for our babies especially in the first few weeks but this has got to be a mothers choice not something that is done purely to obtain a reward. I get that the previous pilot was considered a  success in that a number of those involved breastfed to either the required 6 weeks or 6 months and for those babies involved this will undoubtably been beneficial but how can this be the right way forward? For some Im sure this gave them an option to breastfeed when they may not have previously felt they could, but for others it would have been a means to an end - after all D will do what I ask if there is a reward at the end of it. 

The scheme is just so arbitrary and completely ignores that there are so many reasons why women choose to breastfeed or not. Some are embarrassed about feeding in public, some women will have a lack of knowledge not only about the benefits of breastfeeding but also about how to start or the difficulties they may encounter. For some women the initial pain of breastfeeding may put them off starting or result in them giving up early on and for others there may be other demands such as work or family which mean they make the decision to bottle feed their babies. Then of course there are the medical reasons why Breastfeeding is either not possible or difficult for some women.

For me, money is not the answer to any of those issues, Good quality support and advice is! 

My own daughter had a posterior tongue tie which was missed by the initial midwife checks and only found after 10 days of difficulties in feeding. I was literally at my wits end with the pain, F wasn't getting the milk she needed and we we're both exhausted and miserable. I was just very lucky that one of my midwives took my concerns seriously and referred me to a colleague of hers who specialised in Tongue ties. When finally diagnosed however we were advised that we would need to wait 3 months to get the tie snipped and even then we are likely to be told it can't be done on the NHS as baby isn't 'failing to thrive' So the fact that I was in pain, baby was suffering from trapped wind and Reflux due to the bad latch and our breastfeeding relationship was miserable at best wasn't a consideration as long as F was putting on weight? How many mothers will give up feeding in that time? How many will just think they simply can't do it or that the pain is just too much? We were lucky enough to be able to pay for a private consultant to perform the tie snip but that's not going to be the case for everyone and I can't help but wonder how many cases like this are just not diagnosed quickly enough or at all.

In my opinion there is a significant lack of knowledge and support for issues such as tongue ties, Midwives are given very basic training on diagnosing ties and health visitors even less. And with the NHS being so selective in who they will help there is clearly a lack of understanding there about how significant tongue ties can be in terms of women breastfeeding. Tongue ties are just one example of the issues women and babies may encounter medically and this is something I experienced personally but I am sure there are many more.

I just can't see the logic in scheme which feels so focused on individuals rather targeting the support systems as a whole. We ensure all women have access to the kind of help and support which would allow them to make an informed decision about how to feed their children and to recieve quality support should they encounter problems, have a change in circumstances or feel they need help in any way. This just screams of the whole fish or fishing rod scenario, I can't see how the NHS can sustain such a scheme on the long term, We need to be thinking about changing opinions surrounding breastfeeding, educating those who wish to breastfeed and support all mothers regardless of how they choose to feed their children - this to me is just just pure carrot and stick mentality! 

My 1st Years Personalised Baby Blanket Review

We're at that age at the moment where many of our friends are having babies and it can be tough finding a present which is that little bit special and having 2 babies myself I know from the other side how lovely it is to receive something which is personal to you or your baby. This for me is where My 1st years hits just the right note so if course we were thrilled when they asked if we would like to review one if their beautiful personalised baby blankets. 

We chose the Star Jacquard Knit Blanket because I personally love a knitted blanket and I felt the design was specisl but not fussy. When it arrived I was thrilled it was truly beautiful - soft, cosy and with Fs name embroidered in baby pink. 

Being a knitted cotton the blanket is just the right weight without being heavy or bulky and it feels very good quality. The blanket is also machine washable which having a baby with reflux is a bit of a necessity. I haven't needed to wash it yet but being 100% cotton I am hoping it will wash well without losing it's shape. 

The Jacquard Star Knit Blanket comes in white with a choice of 2 different fonts and 8 different colours for the name. Once ordered the blanket arrived within a few days and looked stunning in the free luxury gift box. 

As you can see Freya is a big fan and certainly appreciates how snuggly it is! 

If you've not visited it before My 1st years website is full of amazing gifts for babies and children as well as some lovely bits for Mums and Dads as well many of which can be personalised with no extra charge and would make beautiful keepsakes. All items come in a beautiful free luxury gift box and postage is also free for orders over £30. 

Browsing through the site is pretty dangerous though as there are so many things I would love for either myself or to give as a gift to others and with Christmas just around the corner I have the perfect excuse for some shopping! 

We we're sent the Personslised Baby Blanket for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

October Degustabox Review

With my life being in chaos due to the arrival of my beautiful 2nd daughter Freya, I took a month off reviewing Degustabox in September so I was thrilled to come home to Octobers box and extra excited as it's looking like a good un!

For those who haven't heard of Degustabox it's a fantastic food delivery service with a unique twist. Each month you are sent different products and you never know what you're going to get until it arrives. I personally love the boxes, I get to try foods I've not done so before which in turn means I try meals I haven't before and recently Degustabox have added an extra chilled item voucher in the box giving even more variety. 

Here's what was in the box this month

Enhance Drinks - £2.49

Jelly Belly £2.50
So love these, just need to try and keep the toddler away from them!

Dr Oetker Premium Extra dark Chocolate - £2.49
Dr Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder - £1.89
What can I say - looks like I'll have to get baking again, chocolate cake anyone?

Solo Marshmallow Creme £1.99
This stuff is pure indulgence, delicious Marshmallow cream perfect for baking.

Get Buzzing £1.30
I've not seen these bars before but love a good flapjack and anything which gives me a boost of energy is a positive as far as I am concerned

Bear Paws £0.55
Bear Alphabites (Sample Present)
D was thrilled when she spotted these, she's a big fan of bear products and as they contain no added sugars or any nasties in any way so am I!

Kent's Kitchen £2.50
I am so excited about trying this curry kit - so easy top use yet feel like your making a curry from scratch. 

Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce £1.39 (2)

Brioche Pasquier Pain au Lait with choc chips £1.60
Brioche Pasquier Sliced Brioche loaf £1.69
D loves the Pain au Laits which she refers to as breakfast bread and we actually buy these on a  regular basis. The brioche loaf is just crying out for another bread and butter pudding so you'll be seeing that on the blog soon.

Special K Cracker Crisps £1.89

If you like what you see and would like to try the fabulous Degustabox for yourself you can do so for just £12.99 per month which I might add is far less than the value of the products you receive. Simply  head over to their website and if you use the code below you'll receive a £3.00 discount when you first register. 


We were sent this months Degustabox for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own

Kiddylicious Munchbagz Toddler Snacks - A Review

Kiddylicious snacks

Having a nearly 3 year old means Im always on the lookout for healthy snacks - she's at the age where shes very aware of the joys of chocolates, cakes, biscuits etc so it can be much more of a challenge to find a healthy alternative we are both happy about her eating. Sadly gone are the days rice cakes are considered a treat although I can still just about convince her yogurt covered raisins are sweeties. 

So when the lovely people at Kiddylicious contacted me and suggested we try some if their snacks I jumped at the chance as I don't recall trying their products before and was keen to see what D thought of them.

We were sent some packets of the Munchbagz Krazy Kubez and as D is always very willing to help mummy review things (especially edible things!) she got stuck in at snack time. These are tiny little cubes of apple with either an orange or Raspberry. The first thing that struck me was that the snacks are full of flavour which is something I sometimes find is lacking in toddler snacks and whats really positive is that everything is made from real fruit, nothing artificial and with no added sugar. It's the perfect combination of something fun and attractive for the kids which doesn't make me feel guilty. I'm by no means a health food freak when it comes to myself or my kids but if there is the choice for something they would enjoy equally but one is healthy we'd all opt for that one right? 

Having a look at the other snacks Kiddylicious do I'll certainly try some others in the range. D is developing a love for crisps so I think she'll enjoy the fruit crisps range, actually so might I!

Kiddylicious snacks are available in most large supermarkets and to see their full range have a look at their fab website

We were sent some packs of Krazy Kubez for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own.

60 Days In Photos