Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review: SticktoStigu Planner

As a blogger I could not be without my endless selection of planners and notebooks.  I'm most at home perusing notebook and stationary shops, looking for yet another notebook for yet another function. By nature, I am a hugely disorganised person. To-do lists and strict planning enables me to keep on top of my commitments. 

I can often be seen with a bag full of notebooks each there for a different purpose. From planners and diaries to post ideas notebooks and to-do lists, I have a notebook for everything. 

I recently got given the chance to review a planner from SticktoStigu. Essentially an annual planner, notebook and to-do pad all rolled into one, it is exactly what I have been looking for. 

The first thing I noticed (and loved) was the size of the planner. I have recently brought quite a few notebooks specifically to use in conjunction with my blogging. They are often far too small to capture all the details that I need to include. This planner is perfect in size. It has enough space to capture everything I need whilst also being able to fit into my handbag. The fact that it is a ring binder is an added bonus! 

As I opened up the planner, I was really happy to find there was an introductory page explaining the planner's concept and how it can be used on a weekly basis. As an all in one planner, the SticktoStigu planner also offers practical tips and quotes to help keep you on track to meet your goals.

With plenty of space to write to do lists this planner is perfect for anyone wanting to keep track of tasks they need to complete. The week by week calendar has space to write down all your deadlines. 

I'm looking forward to the new year where I can put my planner to good use. It's time to get organised or at least attempt to! Order your copy from SticktoStigu. I couldn't recommend this planner enough!

*Disclaimer - I was sent this planner to review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Terrible Twos Have Arrived Early!

Where has my happy little boy gone? I need help! 

I think I am in the midst of my hardest week yet as a parent. It has been worse than the weeks he has been ill, in hospital or teething. At least I knew how to deal with those issues. I felt like I could help him and comfort him. Now I seem to be dealing with tantrums alongside teething and illness. Seriously, send me chocolate or wine. Actually send both!

This week Jack seems to have entered a new stage in his development. He may only be 20 months old but we must have hit The Terrible Two's early. I will be honest, it probably is not that. It's worse! 

I thought I knew what toddler tantrums were.

 I was wrong. 

Until you have listened to your toddler tantrum for 45 minutes about the fact that you dared give him a banana even though he asked for one, then you have no idea. 

So far this week he has had tantrums because:

  • I would only let him have one chocolate out of the advent calendar
  • I put cheese on a sandwich instead of giving it to him on it's own.
  • Daddy put on Peppa-Pig
  • I wouldn't let him pick up my piano stool
  • I turned a page in his book. He wanted to do it himself
  • He threw all of the balls out of his ball pit
  • I wouldn't let him move the ironing board

Those are only some of the reason's he has had tantrums. The problem is, once he has started and has worked himself up into a complete frenzy, you can't reason with him. His arms flail, he stamps his feet, throws himself to the floor and the screaming starts. One minute Jack is calm and giving me cuddles and the next minute he is screaming at the top of his lungs. He has decided this week that he doesn't need to nap. Judging by the mood he was in at 4pm today, he definitely does! I even took him out in the pushchair. No, that didn't work either.

Now I know that Jack is of an age where he is learning that he can make choices and have different opinions. He is growing and knows what he likes and dislikes and will push for that even if it means defying you. He is a beautiful little boy who has so much love to give and has brought so much love into my life.

This week however he has driven me slightly bonkers. Of course, we will emerge out the other side (hopefully) very soon. Until then I'm going to pray that the naps start and the chocolate and wine arrive.

Best of Worst

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

Welcome back to my Christmas Gift Guide Series. Today I'll be showing you some things you could get those special women in your life.

1. Yankee Candle - Sparkling Snow - Candles are becoming an increasingly popular item amongst women, with Yankee Candles leading the way. I could have picked from a vast array of scents but I settled on Sparkling Snow as this is a Christmas gift guide and Sparkling Snow is Christmas themed. With a fresh scent of snow-covered pines, this large jar candle will burn for between 100-150 hours. Perfect for those of you who like to sit down and relax with a festive scent.

2. Urban Decay - Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette - Urban Decay have established themselves firmly as a beauty brand that creates fantastic eyeshadow palettes. Their latest palette - the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette was created with Gwen herself and contains 15 of her must have shades. Whilst it contains a few bright tones including both blue and pink eyeshadows, there are also plenty of neutral shades to choose from; This would be perfect for anyone who would love to create a strong focus on their eye make up.

3. Michael Kors - Jet Set Travel Continental Zip-around Wallet - For those people who would like to spend a little more this Christmas then a Michlel Kors wallet is perfect. This saffiano leather wallet contains a smartphone holder, multiple card slots, note compartments and a zipped coin purse. Perfect for those on the go, it comes with a removable wrist strap.

4. Asos-  Pretty Dinosaur Print Tee and Legging Set - I love a good pair of pyjamas. There is nothing better than settling down in the evenings in your comfiest pyjamas. I love Asos's range of printed pyjamas.

5. New Girl Seasons 1-3- Boxsets are a popular Christmas present. My current go-to boxset is New Girl. This is perfect if you are looking for a light-hearted funny television show. Season 4 has also just been released so get watching!

6. Lush Gift Set - Under The Mistletoe - This gift set contains 16 of Lush's most popular products including many limited edition favourites. This is perfect for anyone who likes to relax with a Lush bath product.


Monday, 14 December 2015

Care For Your Bear: A Campaign From Dettol

As a mom, you spend a lot of time keeping your toddler clean. Jack gets messy so many times during the day. Whether its through putting food in his hair, through messy play or outdoor fun - if there is a way to get messy, Jack will no doubt find it.
I was recently sent some information from Dettol's Care for Your Bear Campaign which highlighted the importance of keeping your child's soft toys clean to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. The information shocked me.
New laboratory research by Dettol has revealed that a child's soft toy/teddy has the highest levels of bacteria in the family laundry basket. 3/4 teddies do not get washed after a child has been ill and 1/5 have never been washed at all!
I spend so much time trying to keep Jack away from germs and keep him healthy. Whilst I hoover, clean and wash Jack's clothes, I never considered that so many germs could be on his teddy bear. The information below really surprised me. In particular the fact that 25% of teddy bears contained bacteria linked to faeces and 66% of teddies contained Staphylococcus Aureus which is linked to food poisoning and skin infections.

The Dettol Care For Your Bear Campaign, supported by Hygiene expert Lisa Ackerley, aims to raise awareness of the germs and bacteria found on teddies and soft toys whilst also helping you prevent it.

The Dettol Care for Your Bear Guide (shown below) has some helpful tips on how to keep your child's teddies clean. One of their tips really caught my eye. They suggest washing your teddy bears separately to avoid cross contamination. This is something I hadn't even considered doing. On the occasions where I have washed Jack's teddies, I have usually just put them in with other items.

Alongside the information regarding Dettol's Care For Your Bear Campaign, I was also sent a bottle of Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser. 

When you wash clothing at a temperature of below 60 degrees Celsius, bacteria can survive in your washing machine and on your clothes. Working alongside your usual detergent, Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser kills 99.9% of bacteria. All you need to do is add two capfuls to the fabric softener drawer of your washing machine.
If you want to join in with this campaign, then all you need to do is head over to Dettol's Twitter Page @dettolteddy and share a picture of your child's favourite teddy bear with #careforyourbear. Entrants will automatically be in with a chance of winning a Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser.

DISCLAIMER - I was sent this item for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Jack's 20 Month Update

Dear Jack,

You are 20 months old! This month we have had lots of lovely days out. We have been to a few farms, plenty of parks and soft play. We have to get you out of the house a lot more now. We needs to tire you out! A month doesn't pass by where you don't seem to get some kind of illness. This month was the turn of Chickenpox. 

How you look

You had your second haircut this month. Whilst I love your hair slightly longer, shorter hair makes you look older, like a proper little toddler. You were quite happy to have it cut which also suprised me. Daddy managed to distract you with a little bit of Peppa Pig. When I look at you, I see a smaller version of myself staring back at me. Considering you didn't look like me at all when you were born, I find our similarities truly amazing.


How you sleep 

Your sleep has really improved this month. For the last few months, you have been waking up several times a night. This was tough for all of us as we were all struggling to get a good nights sleep. This month you have been sleeping through! You have generally been going to bed at around 7.30pm  and waking up at around 6.30am. In other major news, you are self-settling to sleep. Up until this month, we have either rocked you to sleep or lay with you in bed until you drop off. This month you have started to settle when Daddy puts you to bed. You moan a few times but then quite happily drift off. We are no nearer in you settling for me. On the nights I have tried to put you in your cot, you have had a complete meltdown.


You are becoming quite a cheeky little boy. You like to try to test limits and then flash me a cheeky grin. I can't help but melt at your dimply cheeks. You are so loving and love to give kisses and hugs. Separation anxiety has become an issue this month. Chickenpox left you feeling quite poorly. All I could do was hug you and reassure you. 


I have no idea what is going on with your eating. One day you can eat really well but the next few days you refuse most of the meals I offer you. You are a small child anyway, so I have been worried about the amount of food you are eating. I am trying not to make a big deal out of it as I am certain that as soon as I do, you will refuse even more food. I have tried giving you new tastes, old favourites - pretty much everything I can think of. Pretty much to no avail.


Everyday I get excited waiting for you to do something new. This month you have finally worked out how to get downstairs safely. You are also becoming more adept at negotiating coming down a slide. Until this month you couldn't be persuaded to stop and sit at the top of the slide. When I take you outside you can walk much further on your own and even follow my pointing directions.

Language wise you continue to learn new words daily. Your favourite word this month is cake. You are constantly asking for it, it's not really making dinner time any easier. You have started to name animals and body parts and try to repeat words I say.

As always I am very proud of you and love you so so much.

Love Mum 


Friday, 4 December 2015

My Favourite Christmas Movies

 I love a good Christmas Movie. As a mom, I don't get a lot of time to watch movies. I plan to use what little time I have to watch a few of my favourite movies this Christmas.

1. Miracle on 34th Street - Easily my favourite Christmas movie of all time, Miracle on 34th Street is a movie I watch every year. I don't feel like it's Christmas until I have watched it. This film has everything - romance, emotion and humour. You name it, it has got it!

It tells the story of Kris Kringle who is the grotto Santa at Cole's Department Store. He believes he is the real Santa and as his popularity soars so do the stores profits. An attempt to discredit him leaves him in court trying to prove he is the real thing. 

2. The Snowman - I imagine that this movie is a favourite amongst most people. I love a good animated movie and am going to watch it with Jack this year. That's if he sits still long for long enough! 

3.  The Holiday - This is set during the holiday period so I am counting it as a Christmas movie. This is a romantic comedy with a star studded cast including Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black. 

It tells the story of Iris and Amanda who swap homes during the holiday season to escape heartbreak. What follows is romance as they both meet new people whilst abroad.

4. Love Actually - This is such a super cheesy movie but it makes me feel so cheery so I had to include it. It starts five weeks before Christmas and counts down until the day itself. It follows various people during the holiday season. I love the story of Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) and House Assistant Natalie (Martine McCutcheon.) My favourite moment is Juliet and Peter's wedding and the "All you need is love" aisle moment. Talking about this movie is making me want to watch it right now!

5. Home Alone - I love all of the Home Alone movies but the first one for me is unbeatable. Eight year old Kevin is left home alone after his family mistakenly leave for the holiday season without him. Two con-men try and rob the family home and only Kevin can stop them. I have watched it so many times but I still find it as funny as the first time I watched it.
What are you favourite Christmas movies? Let me know, leave a comment below!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

How Jack's Bedtime Routine Goes In Reality

17:00 - I give Jack dinner. He throws the plate on the floor and refuses to eat.

17:02 - I try spooning food into Jack's mouth. He clamps his mouth shut.

17:04 - Jack is saying 'No' repeatedly. I don't think he wants his dinner.

17:05 - He starts shouting 'Cake.' I say he needs to eat his dinner first. He pretends to eat.

17:06 I breathe deeply and try to explain that he is pretending to eat which doesn't count. Then I realise I am talking to a 19 month old.

17:10 He eventually starts to eat. I dare not look at him for fear of distracting him from eating. 

17:15 He has eaten some food. I do an imaginary celebration in my head.

17:20 I take him upstairs and we play. When I say play, I mean Jack tries to get me to sit on his toddler chair. I can't as it will break. He lies on the floor and screams.

17:25 The screaming has stopped. We move on quickly to puzzles. 

17:45 That went better than expected. Isn't he clever? I look at the clock and realise we are edging SLOWLY towards bedtime.

18:00 I take Jack into the bathroom. He immediately starts to try and climb into the bath. After removing him, I start running the bath.

18:05 Jack loves bathtime. He has lots of toys in the bath including boats and various cups. 

18:07 I spot a Thomas the Tank Engine. How on earth did that get there? I'm not moving it, it will just have to stay where it is.

18:10 I'm washing Jack's hair. He is screaming. This is pretty normal. He wants me to wipe his eyes.

18:15 I take Jack out of the bath. Let's just say he didn't want to get out.

18:20 I dry Jack whilst Jack is hugging me. I'm wetter than he is.

18:25 PJ's on, hair brushed now time for the toothbrush.

18:26 He has spotted the toothbrush. He wants to brush his teeth. When I say brush, I mean he wants to suck the toothbrush.

18:27 I brush his teeth first. I've made up a song about teeth. It's not very good. It can't be as Jack's screaming has recommenced.

18:30 We turn the lights down and let Jack pick a few books. He removes all the books from the bookshelf. There are now 20 books on the floor. I'll just sort that tomorrow.

18:45 I kiss Jack and tell him I love him. Wayne settles Jack in his cot. He is moaning about going to bed.

18:46 We are downstairs. I can hear noise in Jack's room.

18:47 What is that noise?

18:49 Somehow there was a car in his cot. He was sitting in the dark playing with it.

19:00 Silence. I'll enjoy this for an hour or two.

19:01 I cant . I need to do housework

Binky Linky

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Christmas Tag

I saw The Christmas Tag over on Confessions of a Nagging Mother and thought I would do that. I love Christmas so why not!

Favourite Christmas movie?  This is easy! Miracle on 34th Street. I absolutely love this movie. I watch it every year as it is just one of those feel-good Christmas movies. I haven't watched it yet this year so I may do that soon.

Do you open your Christmas presents in the morning or afternoon?  I have no idea how anyone opens them in the afternoon. How can they be that patient? I open mine in the morning. As soon as we get up, we go straight downstairs and start unwrapping. 

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?  My favourite Christmas Memory was not that long ago. It was only last year! I loved Christmas last year as it was my first Christmas as a mom. Jack was only 8 months old and wouldn't have understood any of it.  It reignited my excitement of Christmas and with Jack being 20 months old this Christmas, i am even more excited

Favourite festive food?   I love a homemade Trifle. Specifically my Mom's trifle. I think I could eat one all to myself even though one is meant for four people. I think I'm going to give making one a try this year, I will let you know how that goes.

Favourite Christmas gift?  I got engaged a few years ago and received an engagement ring for Christmas. I really wanted one but had thought I wasn't getting one. It was such a special gift.

Favourite Christmas scent?   I have no idea. I really don't. 

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?   I have never had any Christmas Eve traditions but this year we are going to start one for Jack. I've made him a Christmas Eve Box and we will spend Christmas Eve watching a Christmas movie and putting out food and drinks for Santa and his reindeer's.

What tops your tree?   A star!

What's the best part of Christmas for you?   Having time together with Jack and Wayne. I love seeing all our family and spending time with everyone. The whole of Christmas is so special to me.

I'm tagging everybody who reads this to take part in The Christmas Tag. Let me know if you do one. I hope it gets you in the Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: The One for Teenage Girls


 Continuing on with my Christmas Gift Guides, this week is the one for Teenage Girls.

1. Happy Jackson Happiness Lies Within Travel Mug - I love Happy Jackson Products. With a striking pink and green design, this travel mug is perfect for your hot chocolate or cup of tea. With the quote 'happiness lies within' printed onto the mug, this Happy Jackson mug will brighten up any cold day.

2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera and 10 Shot Bundle - White - With instagrams popularity showing no signs of waning, photography is becoming ever popular with the teenagers of today. The Instax Mini 8 Camera goes that one step further and allows your photos to be printed instantly. Simply point the camera, press the button and wait for your picture be printed.

3. Soap and Glory Well I'll Be Glammed - For beauty lovers, you can't go wrong with a Soap and Glory Gift Set. Instead of splurging on a bath set, why not give a make up set a go. The Well I'll Be Glammed set includes a mascara, brow-tint and precision shaping pencil, two lip-glosses, two eyeliners, a shimmer powder, an eye shadow in six shades and three make up brushes.
 Perfect for those teenagers who would love to try a gift set of best-selling products.

4.  Girls Brown Fringed Slouchy Handbag - This handbag from River Island is a limited edition product. Fringing continues to trend throughout A/W 2015 and this bag rocks the fringe trim well. Perfect for a casual daytime look, it's a bargain at £20.

5. 25 - Adele - Adele's new album 25 continues to break records. Now the fastest selling album of all time, it continues 11 songs including number one single Hello.

6. Muji Makeup Storage - For makeup lovers Muji continues to be a popular option for makeup storage. Selling both Acrylic and PP storage, these storage items are perfect for a teenager with a lot of make up and not a lot of space.


Monday, 30 November 2015

Sudocrem: Care and Protect Review

Jack is currently cutting his back molars and is subsequently suffering with nappy rash yet again. This has been a reoccurring problem during the 19 months of Jack's life. Our saviour and just about the only thing to stop the nappy rash has been Sudocrem. So when we got sent Sudocrem: Care and Protect, I couldn't wait to give it a try.

Sudocrem: Care and Protect works to protect against the causes of nappy rash. It contains a triple-action formula specifically designed to prevent nappy rash becoming a problem that your child suffers from.
1. Protective Barrier - It forms a protective barrier which helps to keep the skin clear of spots and rashes.
2. Conditions Skin - Sudocrem: Care and Protect contains Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5. These keep the skin healthy and soft.
3. Guards against infection - When the cream forms a protective barrier around the skin, it stops key irritants such as wee and poo from causing nappy rash and subsequently infection.
When I first received Sudocrem: Care and Protect I was pleased to find it came in a tube and not a tub. Whilst I love the Sudocrem products themselves, I find the tub packaging isn't the most practical. Instead of getting the cream stuck under my fingernails, I was able to squeeze out just the right amount and apply it without the mess that usually ensues. You can even apply it one handed, which is handy when you have a fidgety toddler to change. 
I have been applying Sudocrem:Care and Protect at every nappy change for the last two weeks. I still have just under half a tube left! As the cream is so much thinner than normal nappy rash creams, I have found that a small amount goes a long way. I am happy to report that Jack's nappy rash has improved since using this cream.
Priced at roughly £5.00 for a 40g tube, it is more expensive than the Sudocrem Treatment tubs. The difference is that Sudocrem: Care and Protect aims to prevent Nappy Rash whilst Sudcrem is there to treat it.
Alongside the continued improvement of Sudocrem products, Sudocrem are also keen to help improve baby changing facilities. It is so important that all parents have somewhere to change their babies nappies. Dad's change nappies too! It's just not good enough that baby changing facilities are either only available in ladies bathrooms or sometimes are not available at all. This is an issue that has been highlighted time and time again but Sudocrem have been trying to encourage retailers to improve their baby changing rooms for a while.
Sudocrem: Care and Protect have just launched their third 'Baby Changing Awards' whereby the public will vote for who they believe provides the best changing room facilities. This year's awards also includes a new category - Best Service Station - as babies still need changing whilst travelling!  All entrants will also be in with a chance to win a short holiday break at a traditional family hotel in Dorset.
If you would like to nominate a changing room for the award, then head over to the Sudocrem website or email  All you have to do is let them know which baby changing room you are nominating and why. Providing a photo as well is preferable. Entries will be judged by Nick Wilkie and Sudocrem. The closing date for entries is the 13th of Decemeber 2015 and the winners will be announced in the first week of January 2016.
The winning baby changing rooms will receive a special certificate and use of the Sudocrem: Care and Protect logo. Everyone who nominates their favourite changing facilities will also be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win one of several prizes.

*DISCLAIMER- I was given this product free for review purposes, however this is an honest review and all opinions and words are my own.
My Petit Canard

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: The One for Toddler Girls

Today in my Christmas Gift Guide series, we will be looking at gifts for the little girls in your life. There are just so many beautiful things to choose from, here are just a few!

John Lewis, Wooden Doll's House, Leckford House -  On many little girls Christmas lists this year, will be a dolls house. This wooden doll's house from John Lewis will not disappoint. With a pink roof and doors, this doll's house opens from either side and from the roof to allow easy access inside. With dolls and furniture available separately, this will be a popular present come Christmas Day.

Sweet Sorbet Kitchen - A toy kitchen can keep a toddler entertained for hours. This kitchen in pink, has a microwave and oven where they can spend time cooking and a sink so they can wash their dishes afterwards. With great storage space to be found in the kitchen cupboards, you may even manage to keep your toddlers room a bit tidier.

Little Tikes, Cozy Coupe Pink - The ever popular Cozy Coupe car is back and in pink. With a pink exterior and a blue roof, it will catch the eye of those little girls who want to feel like a princess when they play. With a handle for push along play and the ability to propel yourself forward, this is great for indoor and outdoor use.
Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag - Pink - This 60 piece pastel building block set will enable your toddler to build just about anything they wish, from castles to forts and more. 

Disney Frozen Sing-A-Long Elsa - This sing-a-long Elsa will allow little Frozen fans to sing along to one of it's most popular tunes, Let It Go. With three ways to sing, your little one can listen to Elsa sing, they can sing a duet with her or they can sing on their own. The magic microphone makes this doll truly interactive. I have a feeling this could be a popular toy this Christmas.

Mini Artist My First Set - Toddlers absolute love mark marking. Get your child creative by letting them scribble, paint and make a mess with this craft set. Complete with crayons, chalks, paints, stencils and more, this craft set has everything needed for your little one to create their very first masterpiece.

What are you getting your little girl for Christmas? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!
Mummy and Monkeys

Monday, 23 November 2015

Our Week with Chickenpox: What I Have Realised

As a parent, there will be many times when your child is ill. At 19 months old Jack, alongside the usual coughs and colds has also had bronchiolitis and suspected seizures (they thankfully weren't.) The past week he has had another common childhood illness to contend with - Chickenpox.

Late on Monday evening I noticed several spots on Jack's back. He had been suffering with a temperature that day so I automatically thought it may be heat rash. After waking up on Tuesday and looking at them again, they evidently were not, so I booked him into the doctors. A few hours later the doctor told us as they had not yet blistered, it was most likely a viral rash but if we were to see blisters, it would be chickenpox. Sure enough on Wednesday the blisters appeared. We are now onto Day 7 of our week with Chickenpox and they are finally scabbing. He has spots pretty much everywhere with his face, fingers and ears looking the worst.

It has been quite a difficult week. He is only 19 months old so has no real understanding why we can't do what we usually do. It's such a common illness. 90% of adults are deemed immune as they have had the illness as a child. Unfortunately I'm not in that 90% so I could be getting it too. Fingers crossed I don't as the thought of being that unwell and looking after Jack too makes me want to lie down.

Here are some of the things that I realised:

1. If they have spots on their genitals they will itch them consistently. - Jack has spent half the week bent forward pulling at his privates. Trying to keep his hands off that spotty situation has proved impossible. 

2. Keeping a toddler indoors is difficult - I have realised this week how much Jack loves being outside. He has spent half the week pointing at the front door fetching me his coat and shoes. He has spent the other half of the week screaming because I won't take him outside.

3. He has noticed a change in his routine - I didn't realise how much a change in his routine would affect him. Jack is aware that we go outside and play and that we go to baby classes. This week when we have been housebound, he has known that things are different but doesn't know why.

4. You feel like the spots are never going to go - Day 7 and they are still going strong. I feel like I'm stuck in an endless loop of spots and calamine   lotion. I'm really hoping they don't scar.

5. Keeping his nails short will help - Your child will want to scratch at their spots and once they have started its hard to get them to stop. Make this more difficult by cutting your child's nails short. Keeping them clean is also important as it will minimise the risk of infecting the spots. I won't lie, cutting them was difficult.

6. Calamine lotion was our saviour - It may have had him looking like Caspar the friendly ghost but calamine  lotion really helped prevent the itching. You can apply it when needed and it generally worked a treat.

7. Nights are horrendous - If you think days are difficult with Chickenpox, nights with Jack have been awful. Just as he is dropping off to sleep he gets an alrighty urge to itch. This urge went on for 9 hours until 3am on Tuesday. It goes without saying that the next morning we were all a little tired and grumpy.

8. You may not have anything wrong with you (yet!) but that doesn't stop you from scratching - Just talking about Jack's spots sets me off. I have scratched my arm that much that I have given myself a rash. Talk about setting an example.

Has your little one had Chickenpox? What did you do to survive? Tips welcome. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Best of Worst
Binky Linky
Mummy and Monkeys
My Petit Canard

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: The One for Toddler Boys

If you are starting to realise just how near Christmas is, and you haven't brought many gifts, then you are not alone. To help get you started, here are some of the things that I think my little boy will love. Maybe yours will too!

1. Bigjigs Railway Station Carry Set  - As a lover of wooden toys, this railway station caught my eye. A figure of eight track that weaves in and out of a railway station, this set also includes a brightly coloured engine, two carriages and 11 freestanding figures and trees. As someone who has not enough space and way too many toys, I was delighted to find that it can be collapsed down and stored away in the railway station storage box.
2. Villac Piano - A piano, would be a fantastic addition to most toddler musical instrument collections. Coming with a piece of music, I am sure it will entertain your toddler for hours.
3.That's not my... - The 'That's not my...' book collection from Usborne Publishing is one of the most popular collection of books aimed at toddlers. With touchy-feely patches and simple repetitive text, toddlers will learn key words whilst being able to feel different textures. Books include: That's not my train, That's not my Meerkat and That's not my Puppy.

4. Zara Leggings - Zara Leggings come in a fabulous array of prints and colours. From bright graphics to subtle neutrals, Zara Leggings are a must in a toddlers wardrobe. My favourites include the Christmas Print Leggings and Car Leggings.

5. Vtech Fire Truck - If your toddler loves Fireman Sam but isn't quite at the age where the branded toys are appropriate then the Vtech Fire Truck may be for you. It sing songs and has realistic sound effects. It also comes with a smaller fire truck.

6. Scuttlebug - A foot to floor ride on, the Scuttlebug allows lots of fun and freedom. The 3 step folding system means the Scuttlebug can be taken anywhere with ease.

I'd love to hear what you would recommend for a toddler boy. Comment below! Look out for my next Christmas Gift Guide: The One for Toddler Girls


Monday, 16 November 2015

Kalenji Run Light Review

As a runner, safety is of paramount importance. Making sure you are visible to other pedestrians and runners couldn't be more important than over the winter months. Lots of my runs take place on unlit roads or roads where the visibility is poor. Add uneven surfaces to the mix and you have an accident waiting to happen. All it takes is one fall or one wrong decision for disaster to strike.

In an effort to improve my fitness further, I have joined a running club. In the few months I have been attending, I have already learnt how to make myself safer when I'm running. I wear hi-visibility clothing and also make sure other people are aware of the routes I am taking and what time I should be back. One suggestion from a fellow runner was to purchase a running light. This gives the runner additional lighting when running and makes them more visible to motorists. As a person who regularly runs alone, this was a great suggestion - so when I got sent a Kalenji Running Light from Decathlon, I couldn't wait to give it a try.

Sitting just below the chest, the Kalenji Running Light has three lighting modes: 90, 180 or the full 250 lumens. You can change the mode and adjust it to suit the breadth of light you need on your run. As well as the main front light beam, the Kalenji Running Light also offers 3 flashing LED lights on the back of the pack. This means that you will be seen in both directions. I found this particularly helpful as I sometimes run on country lanes with a very small footpath. The rear light gave me that extra bit of reassurance that I would be seen. With the battery life lasting between 2-5hrs (depending on the strength of the light you choose), it is perfect for longer evening runs.

When I first put the Kalenji Running Light on, I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was. After adjusting the straps to find a comfortable fit, I took it out on the roads in my local area. I immediately noticed how lightweight the product was. The last thing you want to be doing when running is carrying a heavier than needed piece of equipment.

I found the light lit the path perfectly in front allowing me to have an excellent view of the pavement ahead. I have previously tried other lighting devices including most recently a running headtorch. I found this far excelled the headtorches I had previously tried. I could quite comfortably look ahead whilst running without having to look down to check my footing. The beam of light emitting from the front of the pack remained steady throughout my run.

If your looking for a runlight that is durable, lightweight and good value for money, then head over to Decathlon and take a look at the Kalenji Run Light. I've already recommended it to several running friends from my running club.

*DISCLAIMER- I was given this product free for review purposes, however this is an honest review and all opinions and words are my own.


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

October Favourites

Nearly mid-November and I have only just got around to writing my October Favourites! Jack being ill at the beginning of the month put paid to this being published on time. Now I have a healthy little boy again the blogging can recommence. This month my favourites aren't just going to be toddler based. I love writing about Jack but there are things that I love every month and want to include too. These are my favourites, Jack's will follow in a separate post.
The skincare item I have loved using.... Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is something that I have seen dominating beauty bloggers skin care posts for a while now. I wanted to give it a go to see if it was worth the hype and after spotting it as part of a gift set in Boots, I brought it. Coming with two muslin clothes, I have been using this cleanser both first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I have really noticed a change in my skin this month with it feeling hydrated and soft. A new staple in my skincare routine.
The bath bomb I have loved using... Golden Wonder
I'm in love with Lush Products at the minute. I recently brought a large number of Lush items, take a look at my recent haul. My favourite this month is the Golden Wonder Bath Bomb. With a gorgeous citrus scent, this zesty bath bomb looks spectacular in the bath and actually may topple snow fairy as my favourite scent. I love this bath bomb!
The Planner I have loved using... Blogger Planner
As quite an unorganised person, I needed a new diary to keep me on track. What better than the Bloggers Planner. With a handy calendar, pages for notes, hauls, content ideas and favourites this has kept me on track and allowed me to plan and make lists. Two things I love doing.
The TV I have loved watching... Big Bang Theory
I own all of the Big Bang Theory Series on DVD and even own a Bazinga T-Shirt. Whilst I own the boxset I have only ever watched a few episodes on E4 and brought the boxset after loving those. I'm now halfway through series 3. It has me laughing from start to finish. I love Sheldon.
The Music I have loved listening to... Ed Sheeran
I have owned Ed Sheeran's latest album X since it came out over a year ago. It is still in the car and is the first album I would choose to listen too. My favourite songs are Sing and Thinking Out Loud.
The food I have loved eating... Jaffa Cakes
I have no idea why I love these so much but I just cannot stop eating them. Dark chocolate, sponge and an orange centre = perfection
What were your favourites in October? Let me know so I can give some of them a try.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Jack's 19 Month Update

Dear Jack,

You are 19 months old! This month you haven't been quite yourself as you have been busy dealing with a stomach bug, a cold and a sore throat. I hate seeing you ill and wish I could take the discomfort away and be unwell instead of you. You are slowly getting better. The only reason I can tell is your energy levels have returned and the temper tantrums are back.

How you look

I look at you in your cot asleep and wonder how the tiny newborn I once had, has turned into a toddler. With your gorgeous blue eyes, your dimply cheeks and mischievous grin, you make me smile even when you are having a bad day. Even though you have spent some of this month ill and therefore at some point must have lost some weight, you are starting to outgrow your 9-12 month clothes. Tops that once fitted perfectly, now are too short in length. We have some way to go before 12-18 month trousers fit you but will just stick with elasticated ones for now.


How you sleep 

Your sleep this month has continued to be a problem. Illnesses of course haven't helped. Since you have been back to your usual self nap times have become a nightmare. You tell me you are tired and point to be put down in your cot. Once you are in there you realise that I am not holding you and then cry. Problem is, as soon as I pick you up, you cry to be put down. Your naps are shortening in length too. What used to be a 90 minute nap is now barely lasting 30 minutes. At night time you are struggling to settle to bed. You settle better at night for Daddy than you do for me.


Your are becoming more loving every month. You now come up to me shouting mom and give me a hug and a kiss. You loving blowing kisses when you say bye-bye. You are quite cheeky and love testing limits. You have definitely learnt the art of the temper tantrum. This is quite difficult to deal with as you seem to only want to be in certain rooms and let me know (loudly) when you are unhappy. You think nothing of lying on the floor and stamping your feet.


Food has been difficult this month. You have been unwell for large chunks of the month. This has severely affected your appetite. No matter what I do, certain days you have hardly eaten. You have just started getting your appetite back but still refuse to eat at certain mealtimes.


You are continuing to develop and change on a daily basis. Your language is the main thing that I have noticed a large change in. You can now say hi, bye, what's this, grandad, Laila, moon, stars, shh, car, how are you and much more. You have learnt most animal sounds. You continue to be as active as ever, never wanting to keep still.

Love Mum 


Monday, 9 November 2015

BurnMeOn Chopping Board Review

I absolutely love personalised items. A short message, a name or a date to capture a special moment. A personalised message makes an everyday item special. I have brought many personalised items over the last few years including engraved toddler items, cards and personalised fridge magnets, so when I was sent an Eat, Drink and Be Merry Personalised Chopping Board from BurnMeOn, I couldn't wait to open the packaging and take a look. 

BurnMeOn are a company who specialise in creating bespoke laser-burnt items that can take pride of place in your home. Alongside a range of off-the-shelf items, their personalised homeware range is in my opinion what sets this company apart from those who sell in a similar field. Their range of products currently includes chopping/cheese and meat boards, ipad/tablet stands, spoons and badges. With plenty of ready to go items also available, there are plenty of slogans to choose from. However, if you are looking for something a bit different - a personalised item may be the way to go.

Perfect for the festive season, the Eat, Drink and Be Merry Personalised Chopping Board is a perfect gift for this time of year. Measuring 30cm by 20cm approximately, this rectangular board is made from hevea wood. 

Upon opening the packaging the first thing I noticed was the quality of the product. With the option of having this personalised with your family name, the chosen font allowed the personalised message to stand out with the seasonal slogan 'Eat, Drink and Be Merry' also included.  Whilst the product is fantastic visually, it is also very durable. I have been using it regularly since I have received it and only have positive things to say.

I currently have my eye on the Soundwave Personalised Ipad/Tablet Stand and have added it to my Christmas wishlist. With the ability to pay by Paypal/debit or credit cards and UK Standard delivery costing only £2.00, I would get your orders in quickly. With gifts perfect for Christmas and Birthday's, if you are looking for a piece of homeware with a personalised touch then look no further.
*DISCLAIMER- I was given this chopping board free for review purposes, however this is an honest review and all opinions and words are my own.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Review: Love2read Personalised Photo Book

Reading forms an important part of Jack's bedtime routine. Every night Jack brings me three books to
read to him. He will sit there mesmerised by the photos and will listen intently to every part of the story. As our book collection grows so does Jack's love of reading.

We have been asked by Love2read to make and review a personalised photo book. I could not wait as being able to read Jack a book where he would recognise the people in the photographs is something I have never done before.
Love2Read was founded by Caroline, a mom who wanted to help her children to read. The aim of each unique book is to help your child develop a love of reading. These books are unique in the way that they are created. Instead of following a conventional story, you can create a personalised photo book based around family members, celebrations and special events.
We returned from our first family holiday abroad last month so I decided to create a book that captured all the special moments of our holiday. The website was very easy to navigate and after watching a short demonstration I began to make my book.

After browsing through my holiday photos I picked my ten favourite pictures and uploaded them. I love how much control you have over how the books look. You can put the pictures in any order and can even change the colours of the photo's borders. I tried to include photographs of family members and objects that he would recognise. There are photographs of myself, Jack's dad, Jack, his uncle Stuart and his cousins. This will allow Jack to interact by pointing at the various photographs and naming the family members. Once I had uploaded the photographs, I then added in short sentences and phrases that described the images. This will help Jack associate images and words.  There is also a "Can you read the words" page which helps children recognise key words from the book. These high frequency key words are often the first words a child will learn when they go to school.
From here it is just a matter of paying online for your book and waiting for it to arrive.
When our book arrived I could not wait to take a look. I was really impressed with the quality of the book. The yellow front cover of the book makes it stand out amongst those on our book case. A photo collage, on the cover, of familiar faces also helps! The photographs are clear and help give the book a professional finish.
Perfect for any celebration, I will be purchasing a few more books as stocking fillers. I'm particularly interested in the "My Mum and "My Dad" books and may buy these alongside the "Christmas 2015" book. If your looking for a present this Christmas that really has a personal touch then look no further. This has quickly become a book that Jack loves to look at. I just have to make sure he looks after it!
Head over to their website to take a look and follow them on twitter to keep up with any news.
*DISCLAIMER- I was given this book free for review purposes, however this is an honest review and all opinions and words are my own.
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