Saturday, 22 April 2017

Chuggington Toys - Brand New for Easter! Review

Elliot is a typical 4 year old, he loves trains. Playing with trains, watching trains, waving at trains, going on get the idea! His Grandad is a real train buff so that's definitely where he gets it from :)

We were lucky enough to be one of the first families in the country to receive some of the very latest Chuggington toys. Elliot was over the moon and couldn't wait to rip into the box to see what he'd got!

The new range features 24 collectable Little Chuggers and various ConnecTrax track packs. The track is really handy as it is compatible with lots of other pre-school train sets - and I'm sure we've all got at least one of them in the toy box!

We received the Track Pack which contained sturdy blue track and Chug Patrol Wilson who is one of the exclusive chuggers. We also had Hanzo and Hoot & Toot which were 2-car chuggers and then Koko and Wilson who came in little plastic sheds which also fit onto the track. All the chuggers fit together too so they can be played with separately or as one long train.

The set is aimed at 2+ and the little chuggers are perfect for toddlers who are just getting into trains - they are very sturdy and well made and can be used really easily on the track. At 4 and a half, Elliot is probably a little old for these toys as he is used to playing with his Thomas Trackmaster sets but that said he did have lots of fun with the chuggers still.

I like that the Track Pack comes in a zip up bag, we managed to squeeze all the chuggers in there so it makes it really handy to take out . There are other chuggers in the set so we might have to look out for the others to add to the collection!

These toys are brand new and will be hitting the shops this Easter so keep your eyes peeled for Chugginton coming to a toy shop near you!

*Disclaimer: We received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views are my (Elliot's!) own

When you try and take a picture....!

Friday, 14 April 2017

My Week in Pictures - 14th April 2017

It's been ages since I've done one of these weekly round ups but this year is flying by, and I want to be able to look back and remember what we've got up to!

Top Row:
- Poor little Erin caught chicken pox last week which was no surprise seeing as Elliot had it previously and it seems to be doing the rounds at his pre-school. Despite the spots, she was still so happy!
- Whilst Erin and I were at home in pox quarantine, Elliot was at a birthday party at his new favourite place Ramp Rats. It's an indoor skate park specifically for kids and he loves it! He's now nagging us for a skateboard....yikes!
- I had a good old clear out of Elliot's winter clothes this week and intended to put them all away in this big bag...Elliot had other ideas!!

Middle Row:
- On the Sunday my parents did an egg hunt in the garden for Elliot which he loved. It wasn't Easter weekend but it was the only day that everyone in the family was free to have lunch together so it was great spending some time together. The weather was gorgeous too and their lovely garden was the perfect place for an egg hunt!
- We have been loving the warm Spring weather and Elliot has been outside lots. His Nanny bought him this Imaginext toy at a baby sale (£2, what a bargain) and he asked me to bring it outside for him to play with.

Bottom Row:
- Elliot loves driving past this amazing dinosaur sculpture in Poole and we actually stopped to take a closer look this week. The dinosaur now has eggs underneath her and Elliot was so excited!
- Erin has changed so much since she was born but it amazes me how much she looks like Elliot. There's no doubting that they are siblings!
- We had a Mummy and Elliot day today and went to see Justin Fletcher in Southampton. It was lovely to spend some one on one time with him and he loved the show!

Hope you've all had a good week x

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Turtles Half-Shell Heroes Mutant Loader Vehicle with Mikey - Review

I'm not quite sure how Elliot got into  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but it's one of those things that has crept up on us. He enjoys watching them on his iPad and TMNT stuff was at the top of his list last birthday and Christmas! ( I remember going a bit mad when Sainsbury's had their toy sale - so much TMNT stuff!!)

With that in mind, when I got offered a Turtles Half-Shell Heroes Mutant Loader Vehicle to review I could hardly say no could I! In fact, just like the Imaginext Arkham Asylum, he bugged me everyday waiting for the postman! 
So what does the loader vehicle do? In simple's for catching the baddies! They can be scooped up on to the forklift and with a turn of the wheel, they are lifted and flipped into the capture cage. 

Well....Elliot loved this! He immediately went and got his other TMNT figures and each and every one got scooped up into the cage, good guys or bad guys...he wasn't picky! 

The vehicle comes with a Mikey figure who is coming out of his shell for the first time this possible?! Where did he leave his shell?! Also, in my day he was called Michelangelo - how long has he been known as Mikey!? 

What I loved about this toy is that it's really chunky and well made, perfect for younger TMNT fans.(2+). Some toys can be quite flimsy but Mikey and his vehicle have already been bashed around and fallen from a great height several times with no breakages. 

The Half Shell Heroes Mutant Loader Vehicle costs £19.99 and can be purchased from most leading retailers. You can find out more about TNMT at the TNMT Toys Collectors Club or Flair PLC

*Disclaimer: We received this product in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own

Monday, 3 April 2017

Newborn Essentials - Things We Actually Used!

When you're pregnant you're bombarded with recommendations of things you MUST buy. I fell for this on my first pregnancy and ended up with a ton of stuff I never really used but felt like I had to have just because I'd been told to.

This time round I was abit more savvy and didn't make any unnecessary purchases, instead sticking with the things I'd tried and tested for myself the first time round.

So here's my list of essentials - stuff we actually used!

Asda Little Angels Newborn Nappies - At half the price of Pampers, I really don't think you can beat the Little Angels range of nappies. They are soft on bums and sizes 0-2 even come with a freedom section at the navel to protect the umbilical area which can be extra sensitive in the first few months.
Hayley Westenra - Hushabye CD - This is a bit of a random one but Erin really reacts to music and I found that this CD, which is a collection of gorgeous lullabies, really soothes her if she's tired. Our favourite is Hayley's rendition of Brahms Lullaby!
Kinder Valley Nursing Pillow - This was on offer for £9.99 in Asda so I picked one up thinking I'd use it for feeding Erin. I haven't actually used it for that purpose but we do use it to prop her up in if she's on the bed or playmat. She likes to be able to see everything and it's a bit better for her than being flat on her back! It's also good for practising tummy time.
Silver Cross Isofix - We bought ours when Elliot was a baby and couldn't be without it now. Initially we thought we could just make do without one and save ourselves some money. But after getting drenched one too many times as we faffed about strapping the carseat in we decided to invest...and I'm glad we did! It's so quick and easy, it literally takes a second to pop the seat into the mount and it makes things so much easier when trying to get the carseat in in the dark!
Sudocrem - Love this product! I'd never used it before having kids, now I've always got a pot stashed away for emergencies. It's great that it's multipurpose, for instance it works really well on nappy rash but also, I used it after my c-section which really helped. Also good for sunburn!
Professional Photos - These days most of us have decent cameras on our phones but I think it's lovely to have some professional pics done of baby, especially in the early days when they are so small and squishy. A very talented lady called Samantha Prewett did ours and I'm so pleased, I would never have been able to achieve this using my camera and (lack of) skills! She even wrote about the shoot on her blog.
Babymoov Changing Bag - I initially bought a cheap changing bag on Amazon to use with Erin but you really do get what you pay for as it broke within a few weeks. My husband took pity on me and treated me to a lovely Babymoov bag for Mother's Day and I love it! It's got loads of pockets which I love and I can fit so much in there..which is very important when you have kids. (one pocket is just for snacks alone!)
Neutral 0% Baby Products - We were sent some of these to review for the blog but I really like them and will definitely continue to use on Erin. I like that they are specifically for sensitive skin so I know that her soft delicate newborn skin is having anything too harsh on it.
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine -  The prep machines have had a lot of bad press recently after some customers found mould in their machine's pipes. We checked ours for mould and it was fine...phew! I love the prep machine, it's so handy for making bottles and a god send in the middle of the night when you have a screaming hungry baby! I only wish we'd had one when Elliot was a baby! I'm a big fan of the Tommee Tippee products and other essentials we use are the bottles and electric steriliser.

What was your number one essential item for a newborn?!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Jonathan Adler's New Fisher Price Range - Review

When you think of Fisher Price, you wouldn't normally associate Jonathan Adler, iconic American potter and designer. However last year he was named as Fisher Price's new Creative Director and he has been bringing his sense of style to some brand new products.

A new range of baby toys, suitable from birth, is inspired by contemporary art and features bright bold colours, geometric prints and gorgeous animal designs. It's never too early to develop a baby's sense of style!

We were lucky enough to be sent a selection of these new toys and Erin finally got a chance to do her first review! Obviously she is only very young still (9 weeks at the time of writing this!) but it's never too early to introduce toys to your baby to encourage their development.

Monkey Mirror (RRP £19.99)

This was my favourite of the range! Featuring a very cute monkey face, the mirror is perfect for tummy time. I love the clash of the geometric pattern and the bold colours and the attention to detail. There are lots of things to play with including a squeaky monkey, clacking bananas, a crinkly panel, fleecy grass, a jingling parrot and of course the mirror. The other side features colouring jungle animals. 

I have been encouraging tummy time recently and usually Erin gets a bit grumpy (she's prefers being propped up so she can see around!) but I think the mirror is going to be a great help getting her to spend time on her tummy. There are so many features on the mirror to keep baby entertained and I love the fact it can just be folded up for easy storage. It's really lightweight too so it would be an ideal toy to pop in your suitcase if you were going away with your baby. 

Activity Alligator & Activity Elephant (RRP £12.99 each)

These are lovely sensory toys that can be attached to your buggy or changing bag which is handy. Much like the monkey mirror, the toys are brightly coloured and feature the same geometric pattern as the rest of the Jonathan Adler range. 

The alligator has bright red and orange scales, a crinkly belly, a knotted tail and lots of different textures to boost baby's senses. He has a rattle attached to one foot and some rings on the other which make a fun clacking sound. I love that he is made of such lovely soft material, it feels almost suede like. 

The elephant is similarly coloured with a variety of textures including crinkle, corduroy, knit and plush. Like his alligator friend he features dangling toys which include a colourful butterfly and noisy rattle. He makes a really satisfying crunchy noise which Erin was fascinated with! 

Signature Style Pegs - Giraffe Spinner (RRP £4.99)

This cute little fella is bound to be popular with babies. He is bright and eye catching and features the same striking patterns as the rest of the range. Sensory stimulation is provided by the spinning bird and clacking rattle. Like the activity animals, the giraffe can be attached to your changing bag or buggy. 

We loved the giraffe and Elliot spent ages showing Erin the spinning bird! 

I think this is a lovely range and I adore all the bright colours and funky patterns. Sometimes baby toys can be a bit samey but Fisher Price are definitely onto a winner with these ones. I like that that toys are suitable from birth - Erin is still very young so she's not quite at the playing stage yet but she has started to find her hands and the toys are brilliant for her with all the sensory stimulations.

Are you a fan of Fisher Price toys for your children?

Selected Products available from Argos

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Gruffalo Spotting at Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset

You wouldn't think that going Gruffalo spotting was your typical Mother's Day treat but this is what we got up to! The sun was shining and Spring had most definitely sprung so we packed up a picnic and headed over to Moors Valley Country Park, a lovely big country park on the Dorset/Hampshire border.

I had recently heard about the new Gruffalo Spotter app and Moors Valley Country Park was one of the 26 parks in the Country that the app worked at. It's something completely different and something I've not tried out before but the augmented reality app brings the Gruffalo characters to life.

We arrived at the park nice and early and made our way to the Visitors Centre to pick up our Gruffalo Spotters kit. This was £3 and contains activity and fact cards, magnifying glass, ruler, pencil and an evidence bag to store all your bits and bobs you may pick up on your Gruffalo adventure! The app can still be used without the kit but it might be fun for slightly older kids to fill in as they make their way round the trail. In hindsight we probably wouldn't have bothered with the kit as Elliot was more interested in looking for the actual clues in the forest and not what was in the bag!

Moors Valley have wooden Gruffalo sculptures so of course we had to go and see these first - I wonder if they are true to size?!

The Gruffalo trail began and I immediately noticed that it took visitors along a different route to where we would normally go - we saw parts of the forest we'd never seen before! We followed the clues along the way until we eventually found the mouse. This is where we tested out the app - I pointed my phone at the Mouse footprint sign and all of a sudden we could see the Mouse on the screen! It's really clever and Elliot loved it. At the end you're able to take a photo - we tried to get Elliot to hold his hand up so it looked like he was petting the mouse...not sure it worked very well though hah!

We had a lovely stroll through the forest following the clues but we did take a bit of a detour at lunchtime. We headed up to the lookout point - it was a bit steep pushing the buggy up but worth it at the top for the views and the fact it was so quiet! We had our first picnic of the year - it was so warm and almost felt like Summer.

We rejoined the Gruffalo trail and found the remaining characters. Unfortunately my phone decided to die just as we got to the snake! It's a great app but totally drained my battery. We managed to watch the animation on someone else's phone but what a pity we couldn't get a picture of Elliot and the Gruffalo!

The trail takes you back to the start of the forest but we decided to go the other way and continue walking as it was such a nice day. We ended up at the railway station which was perfect as Elliot was starting to flag....but his tired legs were soon forgotten when we got an ice lolly!

The railway is always a winner with children and you can ride the little steam trains around the park. This weekend they were offering "driver for a fiver" and collecting for charity so my husband took Elliot to have a go at driving a train. I thought he looked the part!!

We ended our visit with a quick stop in the adventure playgrounds - you could spend hours in here, there are so many things to play on. There's a separate play area for little ones but Elliot loves the big slide in the bigger play section!

We always have a brilliant time at Moors Valley Country Park and this time was no exception. I loved the Gruffalo Spotter app and we can't wait to return in the Easter Holidays to do it again!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Neutral 0% - Baby Products for Sensitive Skin - Review

We were recently introduced to a brand new product range called Neutral 0%  which has just been launched in the UK and is specifically designed for those with sensitive skin.

I don't have sensitive skin but I do have a new baby and luckily for us the range includes baby products which are just perfect for baby's soft, delicate skin.

Neutral 0% were first launched in Denmark and they have been working with the Danish Asthma and Allergy Association for over 25 years to develop clean mild products for sensitive skin. A complete product range including home, baby and skin products is now available to UK shoppers via their website.

Erin is only 7 weeks old and she has very dry skin which is very common in newborn babies. I've been reluctant to use too many products on her as some baby body washes can actually be quite harsh on delicate skin but I was intrigued to see if the Neutral Baby Bath & Wash gel would improve the dryness.

The Bath & Wash gel (250ml £7.49) is a mild product which contains 0% perfume or colourants. We only needed to use a small amount for it to create a decent amount of bubbles and when used on Erin's skin it was really easy to lather up. It left her skin feeling lovely and soft and in the week we have been using the product her dry skin does appear to be clearing up.

Chilling out at bath time!

Much like the Bath & Wash gel, the shampoo (250ml £6.99) contains 0% perfume or colourants. I was really pleased to be using such a gentle product on Erin's hair as she's actually lost most of her hair on top since she was born and I don't want to encourage any further hairloss....she already looks like she'd been taking hair style tips from Terry Nutkins ;) The shampoo left her (remaining) hair feeling really soft and silky.

Our last product to try out was the baby wipes. Like most parents, I get through a ton of wipes - I wipe bums, clean mucky faces, clean off dried baby milk from the sofa, remove my make up with them...the list goes on! I've even been known to clean the mud off my boots with a wipe after a particularly wet and muddy visit to the farm! Would the Neutral baby wipes stand the test? My first thoughts were that the wipes were quite dry and not as moist as our usual brand. But they were very soft and perfect for little bums as they contained no nasties. Erin has had a bit of nappy rash since she was born so these wipes are perfect for her sensitive skin and I feel good knowing that the wipes reduce the risk of skin irritation.

The Neutral 0% range can only be found online at the moment but one great option from their website is a subscription service so you never need to run out of those important wipes! You can pay for a monthly delivery and the longer your subscription, the less money you pay. If you have children you are always going to be using wipes so I think this is such a great idea!

If you have sensitive skin, why not check out the Neutral 0% website - look out for offers including bundle buys and free delivery over £25.

*Disclaimer: We received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own

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