Monday, 13 April 2015

Girls love diggers too. Diggerland: a review.

We were given the opportunity to go to Diggerland recently and I knew D would absolutely love it so a couple of weekends ago we headed down to Kent and went to see what it was all about

Im all for honest reviews so I must admit I couldn't get my head around a digger themed attraction but seeing Daisy's grin as we walked through the gates and the many many happy faces of adults and kids made it clear that they got it and D for one was super excited.

For those who don't know Diggerland is an adventure park with rides and attractions made from diggers, tractors and dumper trucks. Both Adults and Kids get to ride and control REAL construction machinery as well as enjoy the rides created from diggers. 

At a metre tall D is just big enough to use the rides as long as she's with an Adult so Mr R got to play diggers as well. D loved it and despite the cold got stuck in proving that Diggers are very much for girls as well as boys! 

The weather however wasn't on our side and the wind was bitter so we didn't get the opportunity to experience as many rides as we'd have liked to, however D was more than happy with a hot choc and soft play stop so we could escape the wind for a while. Like many family attractions Diggerland has an indoor soft play area for the kids which we spent some time in while we had a drink and warmed up. My only criticism would be that the soft play area and the cafe felt a little underwhelming  compared to the rest of the park. However the facilities were really good and staff throughout the park were helpful and friendly.

The concept of Diggerland is fab, so unique and a real change from the usual theme parks. Daisy loved them and I feel had she had been a bit bigger she would have loved it even more as she would have been able to ride without an adult. The park itself is really accessible and having F with us I was left holding the baby (literally!) for most of the day but could always see D on the rides and didn't feel left out.

For me best thing about Diggerland is it is unique, there is simply nothing like that out there, we have visited a fair few attractions aimed at kids and families and this stands completely alone in what it offers and having two girls it might not seem like the most obvious choice for a day out but why should't it be - girls love Diggers too!

We were given complimentary tickets to the Park in Kent in return for an honest review, all words and opinions are my own.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Johnsons #SoMuchMore

We we're asked a while back to attend a PR event with Johnsons but sadly with pre school commitments and my fear of travelling into London with 2 children I had to decline. However the lovely people at Johnsons kindly sent me some products so I could still be involved in their #SoMuchMore campaign. 

#SoMuchMore is all about highlighting the important of bathtime with our little ones, we all have different routines bath time wise but for most it's a chance to spend real quality one on one time with the little and for the littles to experience the wonderful sensations of abs throne - the touch, smells and sounds we take for granted but for them are so so much more 

For us Bathtime is an integral part of our bedtime routine, we started this at about 3 months with D and now F has got involved at 5 months. After tea we head upstairs and have a bath, the girls go in together now. Then it's book, milk for the baby and bed.

The most important thing about bathtime in our house is that it's Daddy time, Mr R arrives home just as the girls get in the bath so this is their special one on one time with him. Yes it's a chance to get clean after the typical shannegans of a messy toddler and weaning baby but it's also about fun, time away from TV, phones, laptops and a chance for everyone to wind down and relax before bed.

Johnsons have recently launched their so much more campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of bath time activities and to highlight how important this special time of day can be to a babies development. Here's some of their key findings.
  • 9 out of 10 parents say that bath time is more than just getting their child clean
  • 64% of parents say that for them Bath time is a tech free time
  • 42% of parents believe bath time is important to their child's brain development however only 23% understand the important of baby massage for Brain development
If you check out their website you can get the full picture as well as tips on how to make the most of bath time 

We love bathtime in our house, it's noisy, splashy and often the only time of the day we are all in the same place. So to also find out our children are benefitting both developmentally and emotionally during this time just makes it all the more special. 

Looks like another excuse to share some delicious baby bath time shots ;)

We were kindly sent some Johnson's products to help us write this post but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Baby Led Weaning - And we're off!

As we reach the end of our first week of weaning, I thought I'd do a little post, mainly as a little diary for F when she grows up but also to share some cracking baby meets food photos! 

We decided to start baby led weaning with F at 24 weeks (I know, I know!) as she'd been sitting well for some time and little miss grabby hands was bound to get her hands on her sisters food at some point anyway so we went shopping, stocked up on fruit and veg and took the plunge.

As F isn't quite 26 weeks yet we started cautiously and stuck to fruit and veg, I intend to start introducing pasta, bread, dairy etc in a couple of weeks. 

So far I'm pretty sure she's enjoying it, we've had very few gagging incidents and although it's messy and it sometimes feels like she's probably not taking too much in yet (although there has been a little bit of nappy evidence to say otherwise) it's been lovely having her up at the table eating with us and she's thoroughly enjoying herself. 

Yes meal times now take twice as long, yes she's getting through 3 outfits a day and yes I'm scraping food of most surfaces in the house but I love baby led weaning check out how little grabby hands is doing 

However my love for Baby Led Weaning might be thwarted by this one who has been dying to feed her little sister for months and typically F loves it!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Gousto Recipe Box Review

I'm a busy mum and despite my love of cooking I rarely have the time (or energy) to put together fancy meals so often end up pulling out the old favourites like Spag Bol or Chilli. I know there's nothing wrong with that but like everyone I'd love to be able to cook something a bit special sometimes - I love food and for me a good meal is a real treat.

So when the lovely people at Gousto approached me to try out one of their recipe boxes I practically but their hand off. The concept of Gousto is right up my street - fantastic home cooked meals but without any of the fuss of planning, shopping, weighing out or preparing. 

If you're not aware of Gousto, they are a fantastic service which allows you to choose and cook delicious meals with leaving the house. You make your selection online and the food and recipe are delivered to your door. There are 10 new recipes each week all using organic vegetables and British meat. 

I was like a kid at Christmas when our delivery arrived. We received all the ingredients for 3 meals (mushroom stroganoff, Steak and leak Mash and lamb Koftas) and I mean ALL the ingredients, everything you need is there right down to stock cubes, herbs and spices.

The ingredients are clearly very good quality, the meat is labelled with its origin and the organic veg was all fresh looking. 

The box also includes recipe cards and information on when the meals should be cooked by taking into consideration the shelf life of the ingredients. This was a slight negative as we reviewed our box on Friday and the meals needed to be eaten by Monday or Tuesday this was by a problem for us but for some it might be difficult depending on family commitments. 

After cooking the meals I can't fault the recipes, they were easy to follow and the meals themselves were very tasty, I'll  certainly be making the stroganoff again as that was a real favourite. 

With the meals sent to us my only grumble would be with the steak meal, the picture on the website and recipe card shows a thick cut of steak but the actual recipe is for minute steak. This could be misleading although I must confess the minute steak was very tender.

As a concept I'd really recommend Gousto it's great for those too busy to shop or as a treat or break for busy parents. The website is really easy to use and you can often find a deal for those using the service for the first time.

We were kindly sent a Gousto recipe box in return for a full and honest review.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Being Mummy

I kiss away ouchies and Hug away anger

I am the finder of lost Princess doll shoes and the maker of Paper Dolls

I am the hunter of bedtime monsters and the provider of midnight cuddles

I wipe noses, wipe bottoms, wipe sticky faces and fingers

I'm the pusher of swings and the chaser of Gruffalos

I don't get enough sleep, almost never visit the loo alone and often have an invader in my baths and showers

I have milky stains on most of my clothes and I haven't had a reason to wear heels for years


I get to spend my time with the 2 most beautiful, funny, imaginative, loving and fabulous people ever

I'm a Mummy

And I bloody love it! 

Happy Mothers Day ladies

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Baby Led Weaning, The Journey Starts Here!

When we started weaning Daisy at 6 months we went down the BLW route and absolutely loved it - she got the hang of things really quickly and was soon eating a huge range of foods. I wasn't blogging at the time so couldn't diarise her progress as such but we took a photo a day which we'd send to Dad so have this to show her when she's older - here's a couple of my faves! 

Inspecting Brocoli for the first time!

Getting the hang of things now!

Freya's nearly 5 months old now and as expected I'm getting lots of comments that I should be feeding her a 'little something' by now, suggesting the delights of the dreaded baby rice! Freya has been taking an interest in us eating but no more than she takes an interest in every new thing happening around her. We waited till 6 months with D, who was a really hungry baby and breastfed every two hours till 6 months so we'll definitely be going down the same route with F. Plus I'm in no hurry to move things along any quicker than necessary - call me lazy but I'm more than happy with just milk at the moment as is Freya. 

Leading up to the start of weaning F and during her first few weeks I hope to record her progress on the blog, I'd love her to have a record of her first foods and achievements as she gets older. I'll also be writing some blogs on BLW as a concept and hopefully answering questions people might have who are thinking of weaning their little ones and are sceptical of BLW or anxious about avoiding the traditional puréed route. 

In the meantime here's a few more pics of my fabulous BLW graduate!

Daisy loves sweet potato wedges!

Tuna fishcakes and Brocoli

Giz a kiss!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

She's 4 months old!

I can't actually believe she's 4 months so as I've been super slack on the old baby update posts I thought it was about time that I got my act together and got one sorted. 

Freya has thankfully been a blissful baby, she's slept through from about 2 months, waking for a feed about 11pm and despite the few frustrating catnap days is sleeping well throughout the day as well. With a busy and noisy toddler in tow this is a lifesaver. 

As always now we we've reached 4 months theres been the odd murmur about weaning, now Im have no interest in starting a when to wean debate but for me it's 6 months, we did the same with D (who was a big and very hungry baby!) and will be doing the same with Freya. I intend to go down the Baby Led Weaning route again with Freya so there will be no rush and we'll take things at her pace. 

Eating wise we have now moved completely to bottles, the breastfeeding, pumping and topping up just wasn't workable with a 3 year old to look after as well. Freya has reflux so has to be held upright after feeds so  this meant I was almost constantly feeding Freya whilst trying to distract D who was desperate for a bit of attention. I found giving up breastfeeding hard, at first I was really worried about people's opinions but I also found I missed the closeness. I always hold F close when we feed but it's never quite the same as feeding your baby with your own milk, That said the decision was the right one for us as a family and F is doing just great. 

Weight wise Freya is now just over 13lb and hanging out on the 25th Percentile. She's quite a bit smaller than D was at the same age so it's a bit of novelty have a dinky one this time round. I've had the odd comment about her being small but she's doing perfectly - eating well and judging by the beautiful smiles she treats us to, very very happy. 

Freya is also starting to play now, grabbing and reaching for her toys, Ds hair or in fact anything which catches her eye. She's rolled from front to back a handful of times and when doing tummy time is starting to push with her legs and lift her bottom up. D didn't crawl until 10 months but with a big sister to follow and play with I have a feeling we won't be waiting that long for Freya. 

No teeth at the moment although with the continual stream of goop that covers us all and the house I suspect there may be some on their way!

She's also found her voice and we are treated to some wonderful screeching and chatting throughout the day. I love this age when they are starting to be more aware of whats around them and trying to communicate. 

I think my favourite thing about the last 4 months has been watching how Daisy has responded to her new little sister. She absolutely adores her and Freya is constantly watching her and you can see she can't wait to get involved in her games. I'll never forget we were at soft play a few weeks ago.......
D - Im sooooo excited!
Me - Are you excited to be at soft play, we haven't been for a while have we?
D - No Im so excited to have a little sister!
D also has a little routine where she has a quick hold of F before we go downstairs in the morning smothers her in (sometimes quite frankly terrifying) cuddles at least 20,546 times a day!

All in all I really couldn't have asked for a happier, more contented and dare I say it easier baby, we had a pretty easy ride with D at this age and thankfully it looks like F is going to be the same. That said I'm very well aware that at 4 months everything could and may well change!