Friday, 21 November 2014

My Car Seat Worries - Road Safety Week Car Seat Q&A

When it comes to worries about Ted his safety is top of my list. I constantly fret about what possible hazards he may face on a daily basis but that is part and parcel of being a parent.

We have a great new car seat from Kiddicare which we are really looking forward to trying out but my brain has gone in to overdrive now with concerns about it being fitted correctly.

As part of Road Safety Week I wanted to share with you some of my worries which include car seat safety in particular with some advice from Mark 'The Car Seat Expert' at Britax.

Worry Number 1: Is my seat fitted correctly?

I know they come with manuals but we all know how confusing those things can be. As a parent sometimes you need that reassurance of a second set of eyes to feel the seat is strapped in securely.

Mark answered another parent's question which was similar to this. They wanted to know if you buy a seat online who can check it for you?

Mark: Some local authorities do offer this type of service through their Road Safety office network but you need to check to see if this is available locally.  The best option is to purchase from a trained retailer who can provide expert help & guidance.

The Kiddicare website has a huge range of seats and they are so helpful, I would always drop them an email if I had any concerns and I recommend you to do the same regardless of retailer.

Worry Number 2: Should Ted be wearing his coat in the car?

I read about this on social media and it is something I know a lot of parent's probably aren't aware of. I certainly was oblivious to this when Ted was tiny, we were allowed to leave the hospital with him like this and nobody told us to take his snowsuit off!

The actual question was - Can you put thick jackets/coats on children in a car seat or does it make a difference to the distance between straps and their body?

Mark: If a child is wearing a thick jacket or bodysuit, the harness on the child seat cannot be firmly fastened, will not fit the right place and will not be close enough to the body. In the event of an accident, the belts will need to compress the jacket before it can restrain the child. This reduces safety considerably and it is therefore unadvisable for thick clothing to be worn whilst the child is in the child seat.

I hope this information gets through to all parents so please let anyone you know aware of this too!

Worry Number 3: When do I need to put Ted in a new car seat?

We moved Ted in to his forward facing seat earlier than the 'age' we were advised but he was a big baby so his height and weight seemed right for his seat. It appears we aren't the only ones confused by the height/weight/age issue as this parent asked...Car seats for children under 4 go by weight, does the height matter?

Mark: There are currently two regulations in Europe running parallel that relate to child seats. ECE R44 uses groups with weight ranges and ECE R129 uses a mixture of age and height. Some really useful information on both regulations can be found on our website:

In general terms, a child can use a rear facing child seat until they reach the maximum stated weight or until their head reached the top of child seat. In the case of forward facing child seats, the maximum height is usually governed by the headrest but the child eye-line should not be allowed to exceed the top of the seat shell. However, always adhere to the information in the product’s user guide for accurate information on any individual child restraint system.

For more questions from the Q&A from Mark visit the Kiddicare blog here.

I feel a lot happier about Ted's car safety now that I have had my questions answered. I think we all worry about these things but few parents know where to find the right information. Britax's website really is a great help for advice on car seats. I wrote a post last year about choosing a suitable car seat too if you want to find out more about selecting the right seat for you.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

5 Simple Wedding Planning Tips

You are engaged? Whaaaaat?! Congratulations!!!

Ok so that is the pleasantries out of the way...the ring is on your finger and you are a blushing bride to be. Now what? 

Wedding planning can turn the sweetest of ladies in to a full on Bridezilla at the drop of a hat but I have 5 simple tips to help the start of your wedding planning run smoothly.

Number 1 - Talk to your Fiance. 

This sounds silly but so many brides get swept away with their dream wedding plans and forget to ask your partner what they wants the day to be like. Involving them in the planning, even a small part, will make them feel important to you and I am sure they will then be more understanding about your neeeeeeeed of a horse drawn carriage on the big day!

Number 2 - Decide on a budget.

Why start married life buried in mountains of debt? With so many marriages ending in divorce and money being a big player in relationship breakdowns do you really want to risk it? 

Decide on a budget with your partner and work out what you can reasonably afford. Speak to family members and see what they are able to help with too, you will find most will be happy to buy one or two bits for the wedding which will give you more money to spend elsewhere.

Number 3 - Planning is Key

Get yourself a wedding planner/diary. There are some great ones out there that have checklists for everything from booking the venue to sending out thank you cards after the wedding. I have this one from Hallmark, it goes with my colour scheme and includes everything I need for the big day! 

Remember to keep receipts and quotes etc from companies in case you need to query or return anything. Clothing may need altering etc and when it comes to weddings there are plenty of companies out there making big money from your special day so don't let them take advantage! 

The planning stage also includes a guest list. This can be the hardest part of all but stick to your guns, it is your day so surround yourself with people who love you and you want to be there. 

Write a list of everyone you know and then sit down with your partner and decide who MUST attend, who can be a MAYBE and who can just be invited to the reception.

I know this bit is super stressful but when you have limited room at a venue you must fill it with people you want to be there! 

Then it's all about the table plan!!! (a whole other blog post!)

Number 4 - To Theme or not to Theme?

Themed weddings can be a great way of tying everything together. It doesn't have to be a Circus or Woodland themed wedding, just one or two colours you love will work. We have gone for Sage Green and Dusky Pinks for our big day and the colours will be a basis for the decorations and wardrobe.

Number 5 - Make Do and Mend

This doesn't mean darning old socks and donning hand me down party dresses although if that is your thing.....??

Think about years gone by and how people used to hand make decorations and bake their own cakes. Draw on any creativity you or friends and family may have and cut costs by making your own decorations etc.

I will be making my own favours boxes with the help of some wedding guests. Scotch tape and pretty paper can make some gorgeous little gifts. 

I hope I have given you some pointers to get started on that wedding planning. Good luck with everything and please share any advice you have for brides to be in the comments below!

My Christmas Gift Guide 2014

Santa is making his list...and checking it twice, so how is your Christmas list getting on? I normally leave all of my shopping until the last minute but this year I am feeling much better prepared. I have picked up some great bargains over the past few months and have half of my presents sorted with the rest planned and ready to buy on pay day.

I wanted to share a few present idea's with you, some are bargains, some are lovely finds and some are just cool things I would be happy to find under the tree. Click on the images for the website link and you can get shopping!

Up first is this gorgeous throw from QVC. From the Kelly Hoppen range it has a simple paisley print and is so soft. This will feature in our bedroom makeover which will be coming soon to the blog but I think it also makes a really nice gift and is currently reduced to £27.36.

Kelly Hoppen Paisley Print Velvet Throw

The Christmas range in Asda is fab at the moment, they have this Christmas Pudding sugar bowl and these retro Heinz Egg Cups each for under £10! Perfect Secret Santa Gifts.

George Home Christmas Pudding Sugar Bowl
For stationery addicts like me Got2Jot is an amazing website full of top brands and unique finds. I love this set of notecards by Green Gables. A set of 12 cards and envelopes each with hand lettered words on like Super, Peachy and Hooray. £7.50 

I am also offering one very lucky reader a chance to win a set of these great notecards, just check out the details at the bottom of this post!

Hand lettered postcard set x12

For those kitchen heroes among you or even the kitchen novice I have a great gadget that we have been trying out. The Ninja Storm Food Blender is a food processor and drinks maker. It is so easy to use and you can chop, blend or mix food in it including ice! I have had several blenders in the past and they all struggle with ice but this one whizzes it up in no time. 

It has a fantastic design with a lid that fits directly on the bowl to store food/drinks and keep them fresh. It has a pourer for drinks and the big silver button on the top is the only control you need. Just press in short bursts to chop or hold the button down for continuous blending. 

I really like the design of this although appreciate the colours (red, blue, black or green) aren't everyone's cup of tea. It is small enough to pop in a cupboard and does look quite funky sitting on the worktop too. I will share a few more pictures of this in action on the blog soon. This is also on offer on the QVC website for just £26.52.

Ninja Storm Designer 400w Food Processor & Drinks Maker

Finally I picked up this Peppa Pig Theme Park Ride Set for Ted and my Goddaughter Bella for their birthdays from Tesco for just £5! 

It was a total bargain hence why I got two. I am not sure they have any left in store but the Tesco toys clearance is on at the moment so you may find some more bargains there!

Hope you have enjoyed seeing what I am loving this Christmas, I would love to hear what presents you have got already!


To win yourself a cute notecard set from Got2Jot just enter via the Gleam form below. Remember to comment your favourite item from their website to win and there are bonus entries for Twitter users!

Terms and Conditions apply.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Little Book of AWESOME from Got2Jot!

I mentioned in a couple of posts that I recently attended the Tots 100 Blog Camp. It was a fab day and I learnt so much about photography, blogging and the wonderful world of YouTube. I had so many notes to take and luckily I had a gorgeous new notepad to scribble them all down in! 

This super colourful notepad by Happy Jackson is from a great website called Got2Jot. Sarah, the founder of the website actually lives just 10 minutes from me which I was surprised to find out, it really is such a small world! 

I have loved this website for a while now as it stocks some of my most favouritest things in the world...Happy Jackson products and a huge range of other stationery from well known brands. 

Happy Jackson is one of my all time favourite stationery ranges. I love the humour in all of their products and they are really colourful and playful.

This Little Book of Awesome is just is bright pink as you can see by the pictures and stands out against the dull green chairs on the 7.55 train from Northampton to Birmingham!

The front and back pages are covered in these doodles and they resemble school books with a labelled section for your name, class and subject! 

The vibrant mint green that runs along the edge of each page looks fab with the pink (pink and green have always been my fave combo) and it is finished off with a yellow elastic to keep the pages together. I always love a notepad with gilded edges!

At just £6.95 this would make a great gift, perhaps you could add a sweet message inside too for a loved one to find! 

Some of my other loves in the range are the Behold The Tools of a Genius pencil case and the Hole Punching How much FUN can one person have A4 Ring binder (again with the humour!)

Why not take a whizz over to the Got2Jot website, there are lots of great Christmas gift idea's for little ones and big ones alike!

*I was sent this notepad to review for you but all thoughts are my own!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

October Product Review Round Up

October Product Review Round Up

The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes

Those of you that don't know him, Alfie Deyes is a YouTuber who has a channel called PointlessBlog where he shares the most random of video's and has a great daily vlog too! He is currently dating fellow Youtuber Zoella (you may have seen her on her channel or on TV..or billboards...) and is a really well known YouTube celebrity. 
Now that the introductions are done I will get to the review. I got Alfie's book The Pointless Book for my birthday and it is great fun. It is essentially a journal but each page has a little activity on. From crosswords to pulling the page out, writing a message and popping it in a book at the library (as you can tell most are silly and 'Pointless').
I really like the idea of completing this book, filling it with my answers and doodles and passing it to Ted when he is a teenager. He can find out what a total cool kid his Mum was at 26!

I would say this was predominantly aimed at teenage girls as they are PointlessBlog's main demographic. I can imagine it being in most 13 year olds Christmas Wish List and rightfully so, I think Alfie is a pretty good role model and I would rather my child looked up to him than the likes of that Bieber idiot!

Mummy Stuff Bag by SewLomax

This little bag is very cute and a nice gift idea for Mummy's. SewLomax make hand embroidered accessories that are super stylish and unique. This pouch is about the size of a small makeup bag and is designed to store Mummy essentials. 

It fits nicely into Ted's changing bag and although many would use it for makeup I decided to use mine to store my camera cables and accessories! The hand embroidered detail on the front is simple but effective and I love the signature SewLomax Bobbin on the zipper. 

You can check out the full range on their website.

Length: 19cm Height: 13cm Width: 6cm

Little Tikes Vacuum Cleaner - Asda

As I have mentioned on the blog before I love the fact that Asda do Little Tikes toys as they are one of my favourite toy brands. This Little Helpers Vacuum Cleaner was in the 2 for £14 deal a few weeks ago in store and online. 

When this toy arrived I was a bit surprised at how small it is. Aimed at 3+ years I am not sure that many 3 year olds would be small enough to use it standing up as the hose is quite short. I then looked on the website and saw the child was sitting down using it so perhaps it isn't made to be a pull along vacuum? It does however have a gentle suction power so can suck some bit's up which is good fun and the tiny balls spin about when turned on. 

Ted wasn't really that interested in the vacuum function so perhaps we will try it again when he is a bit older and see how he gets on, he spent most of the time pulling it along and waving it above his head! 

A final heads up...this was a pain to get out of the will need a screwdriver!

Aldi Maternity Range

I was very excited lately when I was sent an Aldi Baby Changing Bag to review for you. I love Aldi as I am sure you well know and the fact they now do a budget maternity range and more baby products make me so excited! 

The maternity range is so much of a bargain that you can get a nursing bra, leggings, dress, long sleeve nursing top and changing bag all for £50! 

Maternity leggings - £6.99
Nursing bra - £6.99
Maternity feeding top - £9.99
Ladies maternity dress - £11.99 
Baby changing bag - £14.99

The bag is fab, it reminds me of the Pacapod Jura changing bags, even the pattern is similar so I am amazed Aldi have got away with that one! This bag is just £14.99 which is a fantastic price, I have one changing bag that is worth £70 so know they are quite an expensive piece of baby kit.

The fold out zipped flap is great for easy access to nappies and changing mat which comes with the bag. The detachable strap comes off easily but is also very strong, I usually cram ours full and it easily holds the weight.

The pattern isn't the most beautiful and we have the brown/red version, I prefer plainer bags without the print but for the price you can't complain. It certainly isn't hideous! I also like the little zip pocket on the front which I use for my 'Mummy bits' like phone, keys and purse, this means I don't have to rummage about in the main bag trying to hunt them down!

As well as the maternity range Aldi have introduced more baby items to their extensive baby and toddler range including these adorable shoes we got Ted for £4.50 a pair. I love them but sadly they don't stay on his feet due to the lack of support at the heels. They just seem to slip off the back of his feet which is a real shame.

*Some of these products were sent for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Calling All London Parents! Exclusive FREE Hello Kitty Event!

Beloved icon Hello Kitty will be celebrating her 40th anniversary by spreading happiness and hugs in London’s iconic Hamleys store. 
Since 1974, Hello Kitty has been spreading kindness all over the world, and in 2014 she’s been celebrating her big anniversary and giving hugs across the globe.
Now in London, Hello Kitty will be marking her 40th anniversary celebration through the global hug-a-thon at Hamleys, on Saturday 1st of November between 12pm and 4pm.
Hello Kitty will also be unveiling a very special, life size cake complete with an edible ruby bow! Come along with all your friends to have a slice of the delicious cake, and have a hug with Hello Kitty on her special day.

Date: Saturday 1st of November
Time: 12pm – 4pm, big cake unveiling at 1pm
Address: 2nd Floor, Hamleys, 188-196 Regent Street, W1B 5BT