Sunday, 19 February 2017

New Spring Crafts with Baker Ross

We are part of the Baker Ross blogger network and we get to try out lots of their lovely arts and crafts products. I'm a bit rubbish with craft bits though but fortunately Baker Ross cater for non-pinterest mums like me and have a whole host of easy to do kits on their website!

We were sent some exciting bits from their Spring range and Elliot couldn't wait to get stuck in.

The first thing that caught his eye was the Pond Pals Sticker Scenes (£3.49 for 4). He absolutely loves stickers of any description so this was the perfect activity for him.

There come in a pack of 4 and feature animal stickers such as heron, otter, kingfisher, swan, newt, frogs and fish. All the stickers are repositionable so it's an activity that can be used again and again. This was a big hit with Elliot and he's already asked me if Baker Ross do anymore sticker scenes!

The Creative Colouring Flower Wreaths (£2.50 for 6) was our next activity and this is another perfect kit for the little ones. The flowers on the wreaths are quite detailed and I'm sure any adult would enjoy colouring them but Elliot loved adding a splash of colour!

His colouring isn't overly neat and he's no where near able to stay in the lines but I don't think that matters, the finished result looks lovely :)

The wreaths also double up as Pat Butcher-esque earrings ;) 
 One of the other items we received was the Easter Train Kit (£1.99). This little kit includes foam pieces that slot together and no glue is needed. It does say it is easy to assemble but actually I found this so fiddly!! I knew Elliot would really struggle to do this one as it's aimed at older kids (5+) so I started it off for him but it was quite tricky.

I eventually managed to get it all put together and then noticed one of the train walls was round the wrong way meaning the wheel hole was in the wrong area...doh! Couldn't be bothered to take it all apart as it had taken me so long so our train is missing a wheel and probably wouldn't get too far! Elliot enjoyed decorating the train but I fear for it's durability.....!

Next up was the Super Mum Magnet Kits (£3.95 for 6) which Elliot really enjoyed. The superhero outfits can be mixed and matched and everything (except the capes) is sticky backed so no glue needed. This makes it a really good activity to do when you don't want to make lots of mess!

The last craft kit was the Bug Pom Pom decorations (£3.75 for 3) but this looked like it could be a bit fiddly for Elliot to get stuck into so we decided to leave this for another day when he wasn't so tired!

Are you a fan of crafts? Do you like ready to go kits like this or do your children prefer something more creative?

For a whole host of crafty bits, check out the Baker Ross website HERE

Disclaimer: We received the products for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

Friday, 10 February 2017

Tommee Tippee Newborn Products (Electric Steam Steriliser, bottles, thermometer) - Review

In my first pregnancy I was pretty overwhelmed with the amount of brands and products out there catering for baby needs. However one brand stuck out, Tommee Tippee and it's one I've continued to use into my second pregnancy and also now baby Erin is here.

I was recently sent some Tommee Tippee products to review and we couldn't wait to put them to the test.

Tommee Tippe Electric Steam Steriliser (Special Edition)

I was quite excited to receive the electric steriliser as we only had a microwave one last time and this was a step up from that! There are several different versions but we tested out the Special Edition - I don't think there is any difference other than the colour, the standard sterilisers are white and transparent but our one had a sleek black design.

The box contained one of the Closer to Nature feeding bottles - the Tommee Tippee bottles come in several different sizes but this one was the small 150ml variety which is perfect for our newborn needs. Also enclosed in the box was a dummy and plastic tongs for holding the just sterilised items.

What I love about this steriliser is that it is SO simple to use. And not just simple but really quick too. Very important for those times when you run out of bottles and you need one, right now!

All you need to do is fill the steriliser base with 80ml of water - this is very straightforward as this amount is marked on all the Tommee Tippee bottles so you know exactly how much you need. Once you have added the water, load the steriliser up with your bottles - it will hold up to 6 bottles which is really handy when your baby is feeding lots in the early days.

There is room on the bottom layer of the steriliser for the bottles and the top shelf is for your teats and lids. When you're all loaded up, you simply just press the on button on the front of the steriliser (this will turn orange to let you know it's working) and 5 minutes later it's done! The steriliser will kill 99.9% of household bacteria which is great and is 100% natural using no chemicals.

I'm really impressed with this piece of kit, as mentioned before it is so easy to use and super quick. It is also really quiet so whilst it is sterilising, it barely makes a noise so won't interrupt naptime!

My only criticism is the power button doesn't feel very sturdy and sometimes you do have to press several times before it stays orange but that is just a small niggle, overall I think the electric steriliser is a great product and I know we will be using it  alot over the next 12 months!

Closer to Nature 150ml Bottles 

Tommee Tippee have designed these bottles to mimic a Mum's breast, with an easy to latch on teat shape. This is to ensure the switch from breast to bottle is as easy as possible. Breast feeding didn't work out for us but we had absolutely no issues getting Erin to take one of these bottles from the moment we got home from hospital.

I find the bottles very comfortable to hold and I'm able to feed one handed with no issues....quite important for night time feeds when I'm scrolling through social media to stay awake!

I like the fact that the bottles all have the Easi-vent valve - this eliminates excessive air flow so baby can ingest more milk and less air. The teats are a good shape - they gently elongate and flex during feeding to mimic a breastfeeding action. I have noticed that Erin doesn't really have any excess milk around her mouth when she is feeding so I assume she is getting a good latch on!

The bottles are sturdy and well made and we haven't had any leaking issues. They are also very easy to clean with our Tommee Tippee bottle brush.

Anytime Soothers

We never used a dummy when Elliot was a baby - I wasn't against them, he just never really took to it. (I think he was so greedy that he quickly realised the teat didn't disperse milk!)

I assumed it would be a similar story with Erin but I popped these Anytime Soothers into my hospital bag and didn't think anymore of it....until night 2 when she screamed and screamed! She wasn't hungry, she didn't need a clean nappy so I thought I'd give her a go with a dummy. And it worked!! She very quickly settled down and soothed herself to sleep by sucking on the dummy. 

Now two weeks later I am still using the soothers with her and they do come in very handy. She doesn't have one at night time but she can get a bit distressed when we change her bum (especially if she's hungry!) so it's good to be able to pop one in her mouth and know she will be instantly soothed. 

The Tommee Tippee soothers come in a range of designs with teats available in ages 0-6mths and 6-18mths. 

Bath & Room Thermometer

This is a nifty little gadget that we have used lots since bringing Erin home. Not only does it tell you the temperature of the room but also the temperature of baby's bath. The water should be between 36.5C and 38C and if it's too hot, the LED light on the display with illuminate red as a warning. It also couldn't be easier to use - a little tap on the display is all that's needed! The thermometer also floats in the bath too. 

My husband has been on bath duty over the past two weeks and he said this product is really easy to use - he likes the simple display which makes it very clear to see what the temperature is and it saves guess work when running the bath! 

Baby Milestone Cards #ParentOn

The last thing I want to talk about is these fab baby milestone cards that Tommee Tippee have produced. Milestone cards seem to be a recent fad, I'm sure I don't remember them being so popular when Elliot was a baby! These ones are great because they feature some of the realer moments of parenthood....such as "I was sick on Mummy today!" and not just the standard "I rolled over today" that you get on general milestone cards. 

I am really impressed with all the products we were sent from Tommee Tippee - it's great to find a brand that you completely trust and I have no doubt I will continue to be a fan / loyal customer as my children grow up!

*Disclaimer - We were sent these items in return for an honest review. As always, all thoughts are my own and I am a genuine fan of the Tommee Tippee brand! We were also sent the Ultra bottle and the Baby Nail Clippers - we've not tested these out yet but will be doing so over the next few weeks

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Pregnancy Update ~ Introducing Baby Erin :)

You may have seen my little announcement on social media last week but baby Erin finally made her appearance into the world! She was born via elective c-section on 24th January at 11.02am and weighed in at 9lbs...not quite as large as her big brother ;)

I might try and write up my c-section experience but for now, here's some photos of Erin looking rather cute!

I think my husband's phone has some amazing filters because I know for a fact I looked a lot worse than this!!

I love this photo of Elliot and his Grandad (my Dad) holding Erin

Monday, 23 January 2017

Valentine's Bouquets from Prestige Flowers - Review & Giveaway

I love getting fresh flowers but sadly it doesn't happen too often! It was a real treat for me then when I was given the chance to review a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from Prestige Flower's luxury Valentine's range - lucky me!

Prestige Flowers are an online florist with a website packed full of beautiful flowers including bouquets for every occasion. They have been voted the number one online florist on ReviewCenter with many many glowing reviews to back this up!

You can order up to 9pm for the next day delivery but even better, you are even able to get same day delivery if you are in a real hurry. Perfect if you forget that special someone's birthday ;)

I was pleasantly surprised when I took a look at the website, there are some beautiful bouquets on there that won't break the bank. I've always thought that ordering from an online florist would be really expensive but actually it seems better value than visiting a local florist! Plus they deliver 7 days a week which is handy.

When my Prestige Flowers Valentines Flowers arrived they were well packaged in a large box, the delivery didn't need signing for either so the driver helpfully left them on my porch. What a lovely surprise to come home to!

He was itching to get inside this box!!
I was sent the Ti Amo bouquet (£44.99) which as the name suggests, was brimming with romance and passion. Featuring beautiful long stemmed red roses, hypericum berries in a bed of folded aspidistra leaves, this bouquet was certainly something special. The roses were a gorgeous deep dark red colour and the berries and leaves complimented them perfectly. I don't think I've ever had Valentine's roses before so this was a first for me! The flowers were secured in luxury black wrap and placed in a very nice black gift bag. Also included was a flower care guide booklet and mini box of truffles.

I was really impressed with the beautiful bouquet and wouldn't hesitate to use Prestige Flowers again.  If you fancy winning yourself a lovely bunch of flowers from Prestige, follow the Rafflecopter link below:

*Disclaimer - We were sent these flowers in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 20 January 2017

Cool Tops for Baby Girls

 I'll just start by saying that I am the least girly girl there is - fashion baffles me and my wardrobe is generally made of shirts, hoodies and jeans! When I discovered I was having a baby girl, I did have a initial panic - girly stuff, eeeeek!!! That only got worse when I started looking at all the cute baby clothes in the shops -

Fortunately, I've since managed to find soooo many nice things that aren't too fussy and girly. I'm not completely opposed to pink but you'll notice there's a distinct lack of pinkness on my outfit choices below!

Top (Left to Right):



I absolutely love the Unicorn sweatshirt from Zara and I'm definitely going to be picking one of those up for the new arrival. I've never shopped in Zara before but I've discovered they have some really lovely baby bits so I'll definitely be popping in the next time I'm in Southampton!

The Diary of an Ordinary Mum

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Pregnancy Update ~ Second Baby (Week 39 - FINAL UPDATE WOOHOO!)

Well (finally) I have almost reached the end of my pregnancy - woohoo! As of today I am 39 weeks pregnant and booked in for my c-section at some point next week....although only a few people know the exact date. Got to have a bit of mystery haven't we ;)

Despite the majority of my pregnancy flying by, this past week has just been SO slow. I did originally try not to make too many plans and attempt to take it easy but that plan didn't work, I've been out and about pretty much every day - anything to pass the time!

I had my last clinic at the hospital last week so I don't have to see the dietitian regarding Gestational Diabetes again - which is good because I cannot tell you how much time I have wasted sat in the waiting room waiting for my appointments!! I spent over 3 hours at the hospital last week and my appointment lasted about 30 seconds...grrr. Still, that's done with now. I'm still testing my blood sugars 4 times a day and taking medication to control my levels but the hospital are very happy with my numbers...phew!

My final appointment is my pre-op meeting. I didn't have one of these last time as I ended up having an emergency c-section but I've been told that they will just take some bloods, get me to sign consent forms and go through what will happen on the day. Exciting/scary stuff!

I've been feeling quite tired this week but apart from that, really well. I'm sure by this point in Elliot's pregnancy I was in hibernation mode and really suffering from a bad back. I stopped driving a few weeks before he was born too as a) it was uncomfortable with a big bump and b) my Nan said I shouldn't be driving whilst so pregnant hah! But I suppose with a second pregnancy, life has to go on and there's another person to think about already! Elliot still needs to get to his swimming/sports classes/parties so I'm still driving......sorry Nan ;)

I've been fending off the inevitable messages this week from friends enquiring if I've had the baby yet - I know they mean well but I have to be honest, it does drive me up the wall! I've even started to purposely check myself into places on Facebook when I go out so people know I'm not in labour yet and jump to conclusions! #noImnotinlabouryet

We're out! I'm not in labour!

The supermarkets all seem to have baby events at the moment so I stocked up some more nappies and wipes this week. I also picked up some items such as bath toys, sudocrem, back seat mirror and a really lovely play mat. I think I have everything I need now but my theory is the shops are open 24/7 so if we're desperate, we'll be ok! My kitchen is starting to look like a shrine to Tommee Tippee - we were lucky enough to be sent a big box of items to test out such as an electric steriliser so look out for some reviews coming over the next few weeks once baby is here and we find our feet :) (And read the instructions...)

So that's it, my final update - this time next week we should be a family of four! I'm so excited to start the next chapter and looking forward to blogging my way through the baby years. I'm just hoping we manage to get some sleep!

Run Jump Scrap!Mummuddlingthrough
Twin Mummy and DaddyMaternityMondays

Sunday, 15 January 2017

10 Things We're Looking Forward To in 2017

January is normally cold, wet and a bit boring. Christmas has come and gone and those warm Summer months seem an age away! Inspired by Sabrina at The Mummy Stylist who recently wrote about things she is looking forward to in 2017, I decided to do the same to ensure those January blues are well and truly chased away :)

1. New Baby!! 

This of course has to be number one on the list, our lives are about to get turned upside down again! We are booked in for a c-section so I know we will definitely have the new arrival within two weeks - I think I'm ready now, my bags are packed, all her clothes are sorted and put away and the moses basket has been washed and aired, (Thanks Mum!). We just need to have a practise run with the putting the car seat in the car - it's been a few years, we're a bit rusty!

2. Greg Davies Tour

I love this man! I'm not usually one for live comedy shows but he's my favourite comedian and I couldn't not get tickets. I love all his shows he does on telly, he's hilarious and I can't wait to see what he talks about on his tour! (Just a pity I have to wait til Dec 2017.....months away!)

3. Justin's Party

Pic credit - Imagine Theatre
This is more Elliot's thing than mine but we have tickets for Justin's live tour - front row tickets no less! We saw Justin a couple of years ago and Elliot really enjoyed himself so I'm looking forward to taking him to this. 

4. Sunshine

I do love the Winter but it gets to this time of year and I long for the hot Summer days where we don't have to drag coats and hats and boots out with us. I'm looking forward to spending lots of time outside this year and making the most of where we live

5. Favourite shows returning for 2017

I hate that all our favourite TV shows stop over the Winter and I hate the cliffhangers that come with them! Ones I'm looking forward to returning are Designated Survivor, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead but I'm also pretty excited about 24:Legacy. Obviously I'll miss Jack Bauer but I just hope it's as gripping as the original series. 

6. Singing in a choir

I know I always go on about choir but it really is one of the best things I've ever done! I joined Just Sing in January 2014 and I have loved every minute so I'm really excited to see where this year takes us. I know we will be recording our very first professional CD in March so can't wait for that but I'm hoping we have lots more exciting performances lined up. Last year we got to sing with G4 twice and I'm hoping they invite us back again :) 

7. 40th Birthday Celebrations

Not for me I have to say, I have a few years to go yet! My husband turns 40 in October though and I'm really hoping he lets me throw a big party for him. I had a big 80's themed party for my 30th and everyone got dressed up so hopefully we can do something similar for him...any excuse for fancy dress ;)

8. New Beginnings at School

Big one for Elliot this year as he'll be off to big school in September for his first year in Reception. He really can't wait and in a way I can't either as I know he's more than ready but it still makes me a little sad that he's growing up so fast!

9. Fun Days Out

We love getting out and about but it's not quite as fun in the Winter and we haven't been to many local attractions recently. There's lots we want to do this year including a return visit to Marwell Zoo, dinosaur hunting on the Isle of Wight, expanding our knowledge at the Natural History Museum in London and getting the most out of our National Trust passes.

Kingston Lacey, one of our favourite National Trust locations

10. Getting Back to Normality...

Might sound like a funny thing to say with a new baby about to arrive but I'm looking forward to getting on with things, getting into a new routine and not being pregnant! I'm looking forward to going back to Slimming World again - I've had to be quite strict over the last 3 months with what I eat and the gestational diabetes and it will be good to have carbs again! I lost over 2 stone last year so I want to continue my good work and get into a healthier weight bracket.

I'm also looking forward to treating myself to some new clothes - my maternity outfits are literally falling apart at the seams so a shopping trip is very much needed once the baby is here!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday BestRachelSwirl
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