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Unboxing Day – Num Noms Series 3

Unboxing Day

As the mother of a 7-year-old girl, there are certain things I can’t run away from e.g playground squabbles with her classmate, tantrums when told to tidy up and of course major toy obsessions.

Thanks to the likes of Toy and Me on YouTube, Num Noms were what Santa was asked for this year. We were kindly sent a set which made Cece incredibly happy. For anyone who has no idea what they are, Num Noms are small, scented collectable toys. Today marks the release of the series 3 collection and Series 1 of the Num Nom Lights #unboxingday.

Num Noms

Though there is a dedicated starter pack, I think the different style sets is a better way to kickstart a collection. We were sent the Series 3 Lunch Box Deluxe Character Pack (Style 1).

The Lunch Box Deluxe Pack Series 3 contains 13 characters and a host of new and special edition characters including an Erase-it Nom, Peachy Stamp-it Nom and Orange Pina Gloss-Up. As with most toys, they are not suitable for anyone under the age of three.

When buying toys, one of the main things I worry about is storage. I was impressed the package recycles as a storage. However, my eager beavers opened the box in such a rush they ultimately destroyed it.

Num Noms Series 3

Warm Stylish Coats for Girls

Winter Kids Coats

Using the word ‘freezing’ to describe the wether in London at the moment would not even be an exaggeration. I think because of how long the cold weather took to kick in, we all got comfortable. October felt so warm and many of us could still get away with leaving the house with no jacket.

Fast forward to November and things have changed. The crisp air came out of nowhere and slapped us on the face. Quite hard might I add. As a mother, one of my main worries during the cold season is ‘ how do I keep my kids warm?’ The ailments associated with Autumn/Winter is something I far too familiar with as I’m sure you are too.

Leaving the house when it’s cold is inevitable. However, if I had a choice, I’d stay coup up in my house all winter long. One of the ways in which I keep the kids warm when we do have to go out is by wearing them really warm coats. The same way I love buying coats and jackets for myself is the way I love to get some for the kids. Here are some of the warmest ones on the market right now.

Everything from fur liners to shearling collars, paired with the right accessories, kids are bound to be warm. No longer do you have to pick between style and practicality thanks to the like of Next, Boden and La Redoute.

Finding Dory with Specsavers

Finding Dory

I was so excited about the release of Finding Dory. I had the opportunity to watch it before it was released, however it coincided with my holiday. Being the sharer of joy that I am, I passed on the chance to someone who I knew would appreciate it. Whenever I can’t make it to an event, I know my homegirl Keeks will always cover for me. This is what she had to say:

Finding Nemo came out I was 11 years old. I loved the film and eagerly awaited the prospect of a sequel that never seemed to come – until now. Finding Dory has hit the big screen and I’m not going to lie I was very excited. My niece and nephew have been subjected to watch the original with me dozens of times so they were just as excited as me. I was gutted when I wasn’t able to attend the Specsavers screening. I couldn’t let my niece and nephew miss out, so my mum took them  instead. For anyone wondering, the exclusive screening was to celebrate the new Finding Dory frames available at Specsavers.

Finding Dory with SpecsaversAt £64, the frames are pricey. However, they are free for anyone under the age of 16 with an NHS optical voucher. The kids loved them how they looked on their face. When the kids got to try on the frames, my mum thought “They were really nice and suited them. Not only would I be happy for them to wear them but they actually loved them too. The animated designs meant if they had to wear glasses, it wouldn’t be a big deal.” Sienna, my eight year old niece has had her eyes tested before however, her brother Jackson, 5, hasn’t.  It was great to learn that Specsavers has teamed up with Thomson Screening to deliver free vision-screening software to schools nationwide.

SchoolScreenerEZ is a software which schools can download to carry out preliminary test of children’s eyes. It also includes a test for colour vision. 

The kids had a blast at the screening.  They loved the movie and really enjoyed having their faces painted and trying on the new Finding Dory frames too!

Need more information? Click here  https://www.specsavers.co.uk/screeningforschools

Jumping for Joy

Jumping for Joy

As a parent, there are certain situations that leave you jumping for joy. Recently, this child of mine has left me feeling all kinds of proud and the only way to express the sheer joy I felt was to jump for joy!

Since turning 7, this little madam has gone from strength to strength. She amazes me in ways that are indescribable. In her recent SATs, I was proud to hear how well she’d done. The idea of children her age being tested was one I disagreed with greatly but non the less I encouraged her to do her best. I’m not the type to put pressure on her because, well that is wrong. The little encouragement I provided and the effort we put in her homework has definitely reflected in her abilities.
Jumping for Joy

School is not the only place she amazes me. At home, she is an incredible sister albeit sometimes impatient. However today, it’s her sense of style that has left me jumping for joy. For Easter, which feels like yonks ago now, we were offered the chance to pick an outfit from Next. With it being so close to her birthday, I put the powers in her hands – as Paddy Mcguiness would say. The outcome? Great actually. We browsed through the endless selection on the next website and this is what she picked – the Pink Jewel Trim Shift Dress and Pink Cut Out Sandals.

I was so chuffed and maybe slightly surprised with her selections. The dress is the perfect blend of dressed up but not in an OTT way. With wedding season upon us, I’m sure we’ll get a lot of wear out of it. I also loved the sandals. I have been searching a similar pair for her younger sister. It’s also available in black which I’m considering for myself as we are going on holiday soon – however its constantly sold out!

Jumping for Joy
Jumping for Joy

Sofn’Freen’Pretty CoCo Curl Up

Sofn’Freen’Pretty

Sofn’Free is range of hair care  products that I’m very familiar with. Their Curl Activator Lotion used to be my must-have back in the day. To my surprise though, I had never tried the Sofn’Freen’Pretty range for kids. As a mother to two girls, hair care is very important to me. I began relaxing my hair at the tender age of 5 – I refuse to do this to my girls. In fact, relaxers are not the only thing I avoid putting in my children’s hair. I’m also doing my best to not use any hair extension on their hair.

Sofn’Freen’Pretty CoCo Curl Up

A couple of weeks ago, I was sent the Sofn’Free n’Pretty CoCo Curl Up to try and I’ve been using it none stop since. It has led to happier hair days in my household.  The CoCo Curl Up is a moisturising pudding that is formulated to fight frizz whilst sealing in moisture and adding shine.

I wash my kids hair every two weeks. Their wash routine includes shampoo and conditioning, detangling, moisturising before braiding it into a style. Many a time there’s tears involved.  CeCe –  my eldest has super coily locks and her sister Amelia has what I’d describe as 3c. I found that this product worked differently on the two textures.  On CeCe’s hair, I was disappointed to notice that there was no added shine or bouncy curls. It literally only added moisture to her hair which in essence made it easier to comb through and braid. With Amelia’s hair however, I found that not only did it moisturise her hair but it gave her defined curls and less frizz. Although still no shine.

Sofn’Freen’Pretty CoCo Curl Up

The texture of this product is described as ‘gel hydratant’ and I have to say it was my favourite thing about it. It wasn’t sticky or greasy but felt more like a skin moisturiser. The fact that the CoCo Curl Up promised shine but didn’t deliver made it lose some browny points from me.

The smell of this product evoked some pleasant memories and for the longest time, I couldn’t put my finger on what it smelt like. Thankfully, when I asked CeCe she immediately replied “ Mummy it smells like bubblegum”. YES she was right, it smells like Hubba Bubba!! I literally can’t stop smelling it. Its amazing!

Sofn’Freen’Pretty CoCo Curl Up is available from Paks or any afro hair store on the hughstreet.

Bratz Are Back

Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of toys. Furthermore, because I grew up with boys, the toys I was surrounded with were mainly action figures and video games. That doesn’t mean I didn’t come across the occasional doll though. I often came across Barbies and Bratz dolls.

Bratz are back

Fast-forward to today and being a mother to girls means I am inevitably surrounded by dolls. We have Barbies and majority of the Disney princesses in different sizes but one thing we don’t have is a doll of colour. Following a two year hiatus, Bratz are back and hoping to be better suited to the modern day girl. The initial concept of Bratz dolls was to create a diverse doll collection and that still remains the same.

I am a such fan of the revamped dolls. You can tell that there was time and effort put into coming up with them.  The new Bratz looks the same physically with some minor fashion changes but the new range includes an extra doll. Close, Yasmin, Sasha, Jade and Raya are now part of ‘Generation Z’ and empower girls to create their own world through creative play on multiple platforms. I truly believe they  are well suited to this day and age.

Bratz are back

After watching the Bratz movie on Netflix, CeCe was eager to play with her new doll Yasmin. She dresses her up, does her hair and takes her everywhere.  In her own word “ I like Yasmin because she came with a guitar and a hair brush so I can do her hair”.

There are new aspects of the Bratz dolls that I think is genius and others that I think needs refining. With CeCe being only six years old, I don’t think she can quite appreciate Bratz #SelfieSnaps.

The new Bratz dolls are now available from Argos.

KidZania

Mummy, I want to be a… , Daddy I want to be a…. If your child has ever uttered that sentence with their chosen profession at the end. Be it a doctor, a firefighter or even a journalist then you as a parent may be looking for ways to encourage and educate them about that profession. That’s where KidZania come in. A child-sized city designed to teach children life skills in a fun and engaging way.

Kidzania is an educational attraction new to London but already established in numerous places  including Tokyo and Lisbon. The concept is slightly confusing and admittedly scary but when you understand it, I tell you, you can’t help but love it. There are over 60 real life role play activities to chose from.

Kidzania London Welcome Kidzania Review

Prior to arrival, I had no idea what so ever what to expect. I invited my friend along whose daughter was the same age as CeCe ( Six ). When she requested more information, I wasn’t sure what to say. All I could come up with was that it’s entertainment venue for kids. What she gathered from that was that it was soft play.

Together, we drove from South East London to South West London. Underestimating Saturday traffic meant we arrived late and missed the tour of the place which meant we were left lost and confused. It’s still a pretty new venue. Yesterday,  was in fact its 1 month birthday in city.

To my surprise, I was pleased with the whole experience. Kidzania is located at the swanky Westfield London next to M&S and equipped with all the directions needed from the the parking lot up to the airport style entrance to the venue. Upon arrival, we were greeted enthusiastic staffs who helped book up in, provided our boarding passes, and a high tech bracelet which worked as a tracking device ( Lost kids is a thing of the past ) and a way to track activities on the day.

Kidzania Kidzania Ticket

KidZania operates the same way as an amusement park. You spot a ‘ride’ you want to go on and you queue up for that ‘ride’. Outside there is a notice, telling you how many people can go in at a time, how much Kidzos it would cost ( or sometimes earn )  and how long it would take. I thought this was really handy in explaining to the little one about patience and waiting their turn. At the entrance, the kids are also given 50 KidZo, which they can use to ‘pay’ things in KidZania be it food, or to enhance themselves career-wise.

CeCe and her friend chose to learn how to make smoothies at Innocent Smoothie Kitchen and chocolate at the Diary Milk making session. They also had a go at doing grocery shop at the Supermarket. Popular experiences include the Capital FM Radio room, wall climbing and styling session at the H&M store. Whilst  downstair is jam-packed with activities for the older kids ( 6 and above ).

Upstairs, was also filled with activities for 4 and younger. Due to a last minute change, I had to take Amelia with me. I was worried there wouldn’t be much for her to do but in fact there was. She was able to play in the Early Learning Centre which she thoroughly enjoyed. There was also a music room as well as an arts and craft area which she could have tried.

Kidzania London

Kidzania Review Kidzania Baby Kidzania ReviewKidZania is aimed at children aged 4 – 14 and although I was pleased with the experience that my six year old  had, I have to say its definitely more for the older kids. Say those aged nine and above. I also think the venue may work pretty well as part of a school trip. Parents can leave kids aged seven and above whilst they shop around in Westfield or relaxed in the wifi equipped parents lounge.

I was really pleased with the facilities at the location. Toilets were conveniently located. I was caught off guard by the air plane style toilet. There was even a Mothercare nursing room for parents with younger ones to breastfeed, warm meals and change a nappy.

Whilst there have been mixed review about KidZania, I have to say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It’s an amazing way to encourage learning and get kids to think about their future. I recommend a visit for parents with older children. For more information, please visit their website.

Kidzania Mascot

Kidzania Review

 “I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event and have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity”. 

Teacher’s Gift Ideas

School’s out for the summer!! Well, almost. With one day left before they break up for six weeks, I thought I’d compile a last minute gift guide to give you an idea of what type of gifts you can get you child’s teacher.

Last year, getting a gift for my child’s teacher really wasn’t on my agenda. However, this year I really want to get something for CeCe’s teacher. I feel like she, as well as the teaching assistants have really helped CeCe come a long way. She done amazingly well in her phonics screening and her reading is impeccable.

With this comes the added pressure of finding the right gift. I don’t know the teacher personally, so I can’t pin point what she will like so I’ve basically narrowed it down to what I think is suitable.I always strive to be different so aside from the obvious flowers, and chocolate, I think any of the below will make a good gift. I tried to cover all the grounds so there are sentimental gifts like the a little sunshine bracelet as well as unique ones like teacher’s tin and ones for unwinding like the bath oil.

I really hope this teacher’s gift ideas will help you figure out what to get. Teacher's Gift Ideas

  1. Teacher’s Tin | Presents for Men £7.99
  2. Small Black Keyboard Stationery Set | Music Room £2.99
  3. Joma  ‘A Little Sunshine’ Bracelet | £14.99
  4. Teacher Thanks Mini Tote Bag | All by Mamas £5.00
  5. Olverum Bath Oil | Olverum £23.50 125ml
  6. Elizabeth Shaw Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bites | Tesco £2.50
  7. TeaPigs ‘Pick n Mix’ | TeaPigs £15.00
  8. Colour Block Stripped Mug | Music Room £5.99
  9. The Teachers Treat Gift Voucher | Spa at Ramside £50

Party Bags and Supplies

Planning a children’s party has to be one of the most stressful thing you have to do as a parent. Ever since CeCe was born, the task of coming up with new and exciting ways to celebrate her birthday has been daunting. If you are a regular reader, then you’d already know that for her 6th birthday in March, we celebrated by having a Pizza Making Party at Pizza Express. This was such a fun and cost effective way to celebrate ( bonus was that I didn’t have to clean up after. )

Shortly before her birthday, I was approached by Party Bags and Supplies to see if I’d be interested in writing about their ready made party packs. The timing couldn’t have been better so of course I said yes. Unfortunately, due some miscommunications, I didn’t receive it in time for her birthday party so we used it for my niece’s birthday in May instead.

Party Bags and Supplies

I initially picked the Disney Frozen Party Pack, but after having to watch Frozen over and over again, I picked out the Tutu Much Fun party pack instead. In hindsight, I am glad I did. The Tutu Much Fun Party bag was perfect for an eight year old. It arrived in a box and contained 1 Tablecloth, 8 cups and plates with 16 napkins for setting the scene. Along with this came 8 pre-filled party packs with 2 hair elastics with ballerina shoes, 1 ballerina charm bracelet, 1 wand, a pack of rainbow drops and some star tattoos.

I was impressed by the quality of the products inside the pre-packed party pack. The bracelet did not look cheap like something that would leave your wrist looking green. The hair elastics were so beautiful and didn’t stretch out. I’ve been using it on Amelia’s hair when they are in pigtails. The only criticism I have for the pre-packed party bag was the rainbow drops. I thought they were unnecessary and didn’t match the ballerina theme the bag had going on. Also, the packs were rather small. To get it filled to the brim, you’d have to buy other things like crisps and sweets. For my niece birthday, we just included the content in a much larger party pack.

 Party Bags and Supplies

To my surprise, the paper plates and cups were very sturdy unlike those cheap ones that fall apart. The napkins were akin to kitchen towel. Thick enough to soak up spilt drink or hold slices of cakes.

In the first instance, browsing the Party bags and Supplies website was a bit confusing. I wasn’t sure where to visit to find exactly what I was after but then i used the search bar and all was well with the world again.

I wish when purchasing the packs, you got to select the number of bags you wanted rather than a default 8. The reason being for CeCe’s birthday, I invited 10 kids, you I would have had to buy 2 packs in order to accommodate the remain two.

For more information, or to see the range of party bag available, please visit http://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk

Vita Coco Kids Challenge

My girls have become lovers of Vita Coco after we tried it early last year. It’s a nice refreshing drink for children that is not jam-packed with sugar. We have previously reviewed it here. When the opportunity to win a month’s supply simply by designing a pair of sunglasses came up, I jumped at it. CeCe loves arts and crafts so I knew she’d absolutely enjoy the Vita Coco Kids challenge.

To help create a masterpiece, we received a box filled with felt tips, glitter glues, and of course some Vita Coco to keep her hydrated in the process!

Vita Coco Kids Vita Coco Kids Challenge

We put aside the task of designing for the long weekend just gone. After lunch, we set the table with all the needed equipments like scissors, pens, and paper. There was no way in this world Amelia would allow CeCe to have all the fun so she too sat down with a piece of paper and a pencil revving to join in the action. Runny nose and all.

Before we even started, CeCe knew what she wanted her glasses to look like. She was particularly excited about using the glitter glue which she gladly smothered the glasses with.  Upon completion, we had to wait a bit before adding the stickers of the funky monkey, I was really impressed with her final design.   It was a great way to end the long weekend and get my then poorly girl feeling better.

Vita Coco Kids Sunglasses

Vita Coco Bloggers

Alex and Alexa

One of my favourite things to do is dress my kids up. Its has become somewhat of a creative outlet for me. A way to showcase my love of fashion. I was so excited when I got the chance to attend the Alexa and Alexa press day which basically showcased their A/W15 collection. Read all the way to the bottom for a little discount code!

Alex and Alexa Accessories Alex and Alexa

If you haven’t heard of Alex and Alexa first of all I want to ask…Where have you been? Branded as the Net-a -Porter for children’s wear the site stocks some of the big names in kids clothing like Little Marc Jacobs, Dolce and Gabanna and Burberry. As well as clothes, the online store also stocks Toys, Nursery items and kids related home ware. This season, they have some new brands joining in. These include Someday Soon, Akid, Billy Bandit and Sophia Webster kids.

Kenzo Sweatshirt Kids Someday Soon Sweatshirt Kids Alex and Alexa Alex and Alexa Shoes

For those who have noticed, I have a ( slight ) obsession with sweatshirts, especially ones with slogans. When I was the Kenzo and Someday Soon one pictured below I fell in love!

So with further ado, here is what they have in stock for the coming season. Some of the products are already online with more to be added in the coming weeks. How amazing does the party wear rail look! I featured some of their items in my party wear edit last year and I can a lot more going into this year’s too.

Alex and Alexa Skirt Kids Partywear Alex and Alexa Party

For free delivery use FREEDEL expires May 25th.

 

5 Reasons to attend The Baby Show at NEC Birmingham

5 Reasons to attend The Baby Show at NEC BirminghamOn Friday 15th May, The Baby Show will be return to NEC in Birmingham until 17th May 2015. Whether you are a new mum, a dad or a parent to be, The Baby Show has something for you. Over 200 parenting brands will be showcasing their products! Here are 5 reasons to attend The Baby Show at NEC Birmingham.

  1. Diono, manufacturer of safety products for kids will be unveiling their S/S15 accessories.  This includes the highly anticipated Diono Buggy Tech Station and Travel Charger.
  2. ‘Love After Baby : How to keep the spark alive once baby arrives’ is a new panel being to the show’s schedule. On the panel are Denise Knowles, Bryony Gordon and Ben Wakeling all expert in the parenting and relationships field.
  3. Special Offers and Competitions. If you’ve never been to The Baby Show then you might not be aware  most of the exhibitors have special offers available as well as competitions running that weekend.  Thi year, some the brands with specials offers/competitions are Mamas and Papas, Vtech and iCandy.
  4. Expert advice on a range of topics. Need advice on breastfeeding? Is picking the right car seat driving you mad? Going potty because of potty training? With expert speakers, brand experts and more in attendance, it is the perfect time to get your questions answered.
  5. You don’t ave to pay full price for the tickets. Made for Mums, the official sponsor of The Baby Show is offering a 45% discount on tickets. Tickets cost £20 on the door and as little as £10.50 when booked online and using the MFMT code.

For more information visit The Baby Show website. You can click here to see a list of the exhibitors.

 

Denim on Denim

My style has really changed this year. The types of outfits I normally shy away from are the ones I am now leaning towards. This week, its denim on denim. I have always feared that I will end up looking like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears if I ever tried the denim on denim look. In fact, theirs are not the only bad  denim on denim look out there. Its a look that can easily go wrong if the shades of denim don’t match, if its over accessorised and so on.

Denim on Denim

 

Mummy Style Blog

Its bank holiday weekend and I can’t even tell you how glad I am about this. That extra day means I get to have a lay in. This week we are all spotting a bit of denim. Dad included. Although he is not in the pictures because he stayed up late to watch the Floyd Mayfeather and Manny Pacquiao fight. The way he was sprawled on the sofa you’d think he was one of the opponents.

You can’t go wrong with denim and Converse that is why we all donned our pairs. They are super comfy! I love how cute Amelia’s feet look in her pair. A mere size four! I was so happy to find this pair in the Next clearance for only £13! Even though I have other pairs of Converse, my dirty white pair are always my go to.

Kids Converse OutfitDenim OOTD

I am wearing H&M Denim Shirt ( Similar Here ) Zara Jeans ( Similar here but with ripped knees ) and White Converse from Office Shoes.

CeCe is wearing Denim Quilted Dress from Next ( Check Clearance ) with tights tights from Zara and a pair of Double Tongue Converse ( Similar here ).

Amelia is wearing Denim Dress from Next ( Similar here ), Blue Cardigan from Zara, tights from grey tights from Zara and Converse from Next ( Check Clearance of Click here )

A Walk by the River

We live so close to the River Thames and one of our favourite things to do is to take a walk by the river. The thames path is beautiful especially during the hotter months. You see so many different people either jogging, on their bikes or families like mine on the path.

A Walk by the River

A Walk by the River

The Easter holiday have come to an end. For us, it has been a really busy, but fun one. The weather has been absolutely beautiful these last few days so on Thursday last week, we decided to head to the play ground then for a walk by the thames after lunch. Long walks are such a cost effective way to get the kids out of the house. Not only do you sneak in exercise but depending on the area, you can teach the kids a lot too.

Royal Arsenal is truly a magnificent place that I wish we as a family appreciated more. The area boasts little cafes and museums perfect for developing little minds. On our walk, Cece pointed to the Firepower Museum where she visited with her  school last year.

Thames Path

Fun Day Out with Kids

On our way back we popped into our local Tesco express and picked up a pack of  ice cream and some sweets. We ended the day by watching movies on Netflix whilst cuddling on the sofa!

Linking up with Brilliant Blog Posts  | Point & Shoot  | Post Comment Love 

Happy 6th Birthday

Six years ago, on a lovely spring Thursday at 6:40am, my daughter CeCe was born weighing 3.4kg and looking the like the spitting image of her father. From the moment she was born, she filled me with joy. An unfathomable amount of it. She makes me laugh till me stomach hurts. She makes me proud beyond words.  To celebrate her 6th birthday, I thought I’d share 6 facts about her.

Happy 6th Birthday

1. She is funny.

Like laugh out loud funny. For example, on our way back from school one windy day, she fell over randomly. I stopped to asked her if she was OK and what happened. Her response? Maybe the wind pushed me. This still has me in stitches when I remember.

2. She looks like her dad. A lot.

I mentioned it above that she was the spitting image of her dad and I’m not even lying. People doubt she is my child but when she is with him there are no questions asked. They have the same ears, eyes, nose and mouth.

Happy 6th Birthday

3. She is fashionable.

Which I think she gets from her me of course. But don’t tell her dad. Like most girls her age, she enjoys picking out what to wear and insists on what to buy. If I was to dress her in something she hates, she’d be grumpy all day.

4. She wears glasses.

This doesn’t please her dad very much because he has ‘perfect’ eye sight. When Cece went to the opticians last year and was told to wear prescriptions for corrective reasons my husband  was adamant that she didn’t need it. I think he forgets that she can inherit from me too.

5. She is knowledgable.

Sometimes when she says things, I stop in my tracks and ask her to repeat it because I have no idea how she gained that knowledge. She knows things I actually wish she didn’t know for example song lyrics.

Happy 6th Birthday

6. Lastly, she I quiet, shy and sometimes gullible.

Yesterday, I told her the reason her friend’s mum had to take her to school was because I went to Nigeria and she believed me. She even asked his our family back home were doing. Oh dear. I love her for these qualities.

She has chosen to celebrate her birthday by having a pizza making party at Pizza Express. Due to availability, it will be taking place on her dad’s birthday in two weeks. Happy 6th Birthday CeCe!!

Vita Coco Kids

One of the things I pay attention to when buying food for the kids is of course content levels. I’d hate for them to have too much of something. I’m that parent that checks the labels before buying. With drinks, I tend to be weary of the sugar levels.

They enjoy drinking drinks like Ribena, Orange juice and fruit shoot but I always try and give them in moderation because of the sugar levels. With Amelia, I alway mix it with water to ensure I have reduced to an ideal level.

Vita Coco Kids

Did you know : Sugar can cause tooth decay in children. Dentists  advise drinking water and sipping sugary drinks from a straw to limi ‘free sugar’ contact with teeth. Free Sugar are harmful sugars that stay in the mouth’s saliva.

Did you watch the BBC documentary The Truth About Sugar? I did and I learnt a lot. If you didn’t I’d recommend you do. Some of the revelations were truly shocking and some were of course expected. I was surprise to see that fruit juice like orange and apple contain far more sugar than I thought.

With the help of nutritionist Amanda Hamilton, Vita Coco Kids have a launched a sugar guideline called The Sugar Maze.  It has been designed to help parents like me make an easy an informed decision on what children should drink.

Vita Coco Kids

I’v always enjoyed a nice glass of Vita Coco Natural Coconut water so when I saw Vita Coco Kids last year in Waitrose, I picked it up without hesitation.  ( I even tweet about it here ). CeCe and Amelia both love the Mango & Pineapple flavour whilst I prefer the Blackcurrant and Apple.

The World Health Organisation ( WHO ) has recommended that our daily sugar in take should not be more than 10% of our daily energy intake ( 50g ) whilst the UN agency advise only 5% ( 25g ). I think aiming for the middle is advisable.

The Sugar Maze Vita Coco Kids

The Sugar Maze by Vita Coco Kids make spotting high sugar culprits easy. On the maze, I was surprised to see that smoothies  and fresh vegetable juice were on the ‘ re-think your drink section’. However, according to their research smoothies contain far too much sugar and fresh vegetable juice may have high sodium levels. A 180ml carton of Vita Coco Kids contains 9g of sugar and other leading kids drink are well above 10g with high calories too.

 

 

The Ugly Duckling Book Review

The Ugly Duckling Book Review

There is a particular magic that reading brings to a child. It takes them to a whole new world led by their imagination. I really enjoy looking at my daughters faces when I read to them.

As members of the Parragon Book Buddies last month we received a ‘slide and see’ book called The Ugly Duckling. Like the last book we reviewed ( here ), The Ugly Duckling is a popular story brought to life with bold use of colours, illustrations and ‘slide and see’

The Ugly Duckling Book Review

Amelia is now 15months old and her curiosity is at an all time high. She is eager to know more and do things herself. The slide and see feature on this book encourages interactivity. Amelia loved sliding out the next page to hear more of the story.

Slide and See : The Ugly Duckling is available to purchase from Amazon.

Cost of A Child

Cost of A Child

Last weekend, I was in and out of the hospital because my sister in law was in labour. i spent so much money on food, going back and forth from the hospital and other things.

We Nigerians, Yorubas to be precise have what is known as a ‘naming ceremony’ 7 days after a baby is born. The muslims, have the Imam over to their house along with family and friends. For Christians, it takes place in a church followed by a party at home or a hired venue. Depending on the scale you want. My sister in law is having the latter.

Anyway, this led me to thinking about the cost of having a child. Not only do you have to buy necessities like clothes, car seat, pushchair and of course food but we also have to worry about child care etc.

Cost of A Child

According to research carried out by LV, on average the cost of a child up to the age of 21 is £229,251, an increase of almost £2,000 on last year’s figure. According to the report, the cost of childcare (nurseries, babysitting and after-school care) in particular has seen the most dramatic increase over the last 12 months, rising by 2.2% to reach £67,586.

I am not surprised by the new research which revealed an increase in the cost of a child. I had had CeCe almost six years ago now and it amazing how things have changed since then. When I had Amelia, I managed to cut costs because I new what we actually need and what we didn’t.

I believe as the child gets older, their cost decreases a little. Some of the ways in which we managed to cut the cost of having a newborn was by collecting from family members. When we have CeCe, as soon as she out grew things, we’d give it away this included carseat, pushchair and clothes so with Amelia we had to start afresh. Hence why collecting from family was necessary.

The internet hosts a bunch of websites that supply tips on how to minimise the cost of a child. I particularly love surfing HotUKDeals for bargains before I hit the shop. For example, if I needed say a new cot, I’d check for deals there. I also like visiting Money Saving Expert for expert tips and trick on ways to save money.

Wearing Converse

Wearing Converse

I remember I bought CeCe these pair of Converse from the Office outlet on eBay for a fraction of the price its sold on the hight street. It wasn’t her first pair of the shoes and it definitely wouldn’t be her last. I love wearing Converse for my kids. Heck, I too love me a pair. I own a pink which I rarely wear and my white pair have turn brown. Just how I like it. It’s the type of shoes that goes well with anything be it skirt, dress or trousers.

Wearing Converse

When ever we are going out and I say CeCe go put your shoes on, she always opts for these pair. The colour is also such a neutral one so it goes well with just about anything. She’s worn it with her Frozen Dress Up dress here and a Kin by John Lewis Knitted Dress here.

Wearing Converse

This time around, she is wearing it with a pair of jeans from H&M, a ladybird printed shirt from Next and a blue and white strip blazer from Janie and Jack ( Similar here ). The sun seems to be shinning a lot more recently and I hope its here to stay because dressing up warm is getting boring now.

 

 

Snufflebabe Review

Snufflebabe Review

The last fews days have really sucked not only am I dealing with a stressful situation, I am also nursing Amelia after a cold.

As fun as winter can be ( hehe, lies )  the illnesses that it comes with it can be really annoying. Just when I think I have finally batted out the cold from our house it returns. From mum to dad, dad to child and one child to the other. And round again. It just never leaves.

Snufflebabe Review

I blogged about our trip to the city to check out the new offerings from Snufflebabe and Dentinox and the products I received have really helping in getting rid of the cold as well as making sure it never returns

First up is the Snufflebabe Vapour Rub which  has now become a firm fav! At first, I thought the Vapour Rub was a tad too strong when compared to the one i’d previously been using called Mentholatum but it has grown on me. It contains a combination of eucalyptus, thyme oils with menthol that helps with decongestion. It is suitable for use from 3 months onwards. To use, rub onto the child’s chest and neck and the warmth of their body will release its vapour and provide prolonged congestion relief.

Next up is the nasal drops. I mentioned the Calpol Nasal Spray as one of my go to products here  Like the Calpol version, this one is suitable from birth and can be used not only for congestions brought by cold but also hay-fever. So its a must have all year round. There is also a nasal spray.

Snufflebabe Review

Another recent launch by Snufflebabe is the Nasal Aspirator. I am yet to use this product butI have heard good things about it like the fact that it awarded the Queen’s Award for Outstanding Innovation. It is also recommended by health care professionals and can even be prescribed by a doctor.

I really do wish I had these products when Amelia was much younger because a combination of all would have made clearing her blocked nose much easier!

Bio-Kult Infantis

Since CeCe’s hernia surgery, we are constantly prescribed high dosage of vitamin D because her levels were really low.  This has led to me being a little obsessed with her vitamin levels and nutrition.

She takes one multivitamin tablet a day, along with her dose vitamin D. Since Amelia was born I have also worried about her vitamin levels. Apparently, due to the minimal sunshine we get here in the UK, black people are having to be prescribed more Vitamin D. Aside from the vitamin d3 drops we reviewed here and the odd yoghurt that contains vitamin D, I couldn’t actually find a multivitamin product suitable for Amelia’s age.
Bio-Kult Infantis

Amelia suffers from hay fever, eczema and is suspected to be lactose intolerant. All these factors especially the lactose intolerance makes me worried.  Furthermore, her diet is somewhat restricted because she is very picky. So I worry whether she is getting the right nutrients.

As 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, a balanced gut flora is essential to stimulate the immune system for improved health and wellbeing. Bio-Kult Infantis is a unique multi-strain probiotic formula which has been specially designed for infants, toddlers and young children.

We were sent a months supply of  Bio Kult Infantis to review and we gave away three months supply here. Bio Kult Infantis contains omega3 and vitamin d3 and is suitable for infants. We have been taking it for two weeks now and I am not 100% sure if its my imagination but I am noticing a difference in her eczema.

Bio-Kult Infantis

Research shows that  giving an infant a probiotic directly is more beneficial than them receiving it via the mother and breast milkGiving Amelia Bio Kult Infantis is really easy. It can be mixed with milk, water or food or even applied directly on the nipple to help your baby develop a healthy and balanced gut flora. I ad a taste of it when I put it in water and it had no taste what so ever. So for those with really fussy kids, adding it to water, milk or even juice will not change the taste.

Although it contains milk, the levels are low enough to not affect those who suffer from lactose intolerance. Bio-Kult Infantis costs £11.95 for a box of 16 sachets and is available from high street retailers, independent pharmacies, health food stores and online.For more information visit www.bio-kult.com

 

The Perfect Blogger

The Perfect Blogger

The Perfect Blogger

Todays’s post was inspired by two phrases I saw on twitter this morning. The first one is by @LBQblog and its ” Spewing Sherbet”. The next I heard from Caroline Hirons and its ”Shitting Glitter”.

The conversation began when Hayley , the writer of London Beauty Queen tweeted ” Apparently because I have a beauty blog, I am not allowed to say anything vaguely un-positive because I interrupt readers’ ‘Happy Place’. There is no such thing as the perfect blogger and blogs are not happy places. They are written by humans with feelings. One day that said human may review a product not up to par. Another day, that blogger may bring reality to your door step by talking about what is going on in the world. Thats what blogs are all about. A platform to share our thoughts and opinions. I digress.

The tweet got me thinking about mummy bloggers and how it applies there too. Since the start of the year, I have read and commented on a lot of posts by mummy blogger many reflective ones like this post by Steph from Littlee and Bean. Her post raised a lot of question regarding blogging. She mentioned finance, diversity and the issue of hierarchy in blogging. A must read!

I enjoy reading blogs about a wide range of topics but mainly fashion beauty and of course parenting. But what I find with majority of the parenting blogs I read is that they are all ”shitting glitter”. Each to their own,  your space is your space and all that jazz. But what I like about blogs is substance. Something I cannot get from reading magazines. I am not looking for a happy place. I am looking for a place like mine. Where the human who writes it is sharing an insight to their life, their thoughts and their opinion. I am not looking for an definitely not looking for an escapism. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying each post needs to be gritty but a bit more substance will be appreciated instead of constantly “spewing sherbet”

Over the last few months Mummy Says, a blog written by Kiran Chug has become one of my favourites. She writes challenging, honest content and thought provoking posts like  The Good Enough Mother – And why I’m Happy Not Being Perfect. When ever I read her posts, I find by self nodding constantly in agreement.  I love reading posts that make me think about life. Posts that say what I am thinking but couldn’t really say myself.

I also enjoy reading Brummy Mummy of 2 a blog by Emma, a very lovely lady who I met at Britmums 2014. Like Kiran, her posts are thought provoking but in a really fun way. Her posts basically sums up motherhood exactly how it is. She doesn’t gloss up her life like other bloggers. with her what you see is what you get. Her images are unedited ( I think ), She swears ( sometimes ) and she isn’t “shitting glitter”.

On the other hand, not to name any blogs but there are some parenting blogs that as much I love reading, cripple me from being the mother I want to be. Their life is not be perfect, nobody’s is. But what they portray on their blog is this idealistic life that can leave readers feeling inadequate. ” Oh my kids eat three square meals a day, no junk food and lots of fruit and veg.” Really? They do this without a struggle. Day in day out? Wow, kudos to you.

These types of blogs make you question yourself. Am I doing enough as a parent? Should my kids watch less TV? ( probably in my cases )  So this year, I am appealing to all parent bloggers, heck to all blogger out there. Yes, constantly spewing sherbet brings the readers in but every once in a while take a break from it. Blogs are meant to be relatable and down to earth not aspirational and unrealistic.
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Grobag Baby Sleep Bag

Grobag Baby Sleep Bag

I recently shared our bedtime routine and I thought I’d share a review for a product that helps Amelia sleep longer through the night.

Grobag Baby Sleep Bag

When Amelia became mobile and was able to wriggle out of her swaddle, I invested in a Grobag Sleep Bag. This product has definitely made a difference in how we slept. One of the difference is that I didn’t have to wake up every so often to make sure she was nice and warm.

For those who don’t know, a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag is a wearable blanket that is designed to keep a baby at a comfortable temperature as they sleep. The good thing about the Grobag Baby Sleep Bags is that they have one for each season. In the warmer months, a 1.0 tog is ideal and as it gets colder you can move on to a 2.5 tog or higher.

Grobag Baby Sleep Bag

We were kindly sent the Candy Cloud Grobag in a 2.5 for the purpose of this review and I can hand on my heart say I truly love it. The purple trimming fits in nicely with the purple themed room Amelia shares with her big sister, CeCe. They are really easy to put on and remove thanks to the poppers on the shoulder and the zip at the size.The Sleep Bag comes with a nursery thermometer which indicates the room temperature along with a guidance table showing the correct tog of Grobag and clothing to be worn in different temperature.

The thing with a Baby Sleep Bag is that you don’t realise need it till you’ve actually used one. My initial worry was how safe they were to use. Upon research, I discovered that they were. That is if they are low tog and well fitted. The Gro Company have a wide range of Baby Sleep Bag to choose from and are available in sizes 0-6, 6-18 and 18- 24mths. For more information, click here

Our Bedtime Routine

Like most parents. I look forward to bedtime. In my house it is the last opportunity in the day to play with the kids. We start off by brushing our teeth. I like to kill two birds with one stone so I often opt for a quick bubble bath with some toys. This can take about 10- 20 mins then we rinse off and head to the room where everything is already laid out.

After getting dressed, it’s time to pick a book and get tucked in for a bedtime story. Before you know it, the girls are fast asleep. However, I am not the lucky mother of a child who sleeps through the night in her own bed so I often listen out for that cry ( thats on the days I bother putting her in her cot.)

It was until I had Amelia that I realised the importance of a routine. Once you have established a pattern that baby is used to, life becomes a little bit easier. When baby know what to expect next things sort of go smoothly.

Amelia’s bedtime routine started from the week she was born. At 6pm ( or thereabouts ), her Grandma would get all her bathing stuff ready, bathe her and pass her to me for a feed as she nods off. This routine has been taking place everyday since then ( Although there have been days that I just felt too lazy to bother. ) It is only recently though that I began including CeCe to the routine. In the past, it was simply go to bed at 8. There wasn’t really a prep time needed as all she’d do is put her PJs on. Sometimes she got a cuddle and a bedtime story.

We recently shared our bedtime routine with Johnson’s Baby which has been compiled into this short video.

Project Sunlight | #Clearaplate

Blogging has brought many great experiences into my life. Many that money can buy and very few that no amount in the world can pay for. Yesterday’s experience was the latter. As per usual, I dragged Amelia along to a trip in the city. This time it was to visit the Oxfam HQ to find out more about their new partnership with Unilever for Project Sunlight. The partnership which also inlcudes Trussell Trust and FareShare is providing thousands of people around the UK with access to emergency food support through distribution of surplus food and food banks.

Project Sunglight

Having previously blogged about Trussell Trust and Tesco’s  neighbourhood Food Collection, I still went into today not knowing what to expect. I have never had to use a food bank. But this is life, You never know what will happen tomorow. I spent the day with two other amazing bloggers who like me were not sure what to expect. However, one has had to visit a food bank for help when push came to shove and the other was on the verge of needing to go to one. Let me just say it now if you looked at both ladies you wouldn’t be able to tell. As a blogger,there is a certain level of perfection expected from readers. I guess that comes down to the whole something to aspire to that I blogger about early last year ( Read here ). But really and truly, you never know what is going on behind closed doors. I digress.

The day began with us meeting  Rachel Orr, Oxfam’s Head of UK Poverty programme.. She went into great detail about how Oxfam came to be involved with Trussell Trust and Unilever. She explained why there is a rise in the amount of people using food bank. Many find it hard to the believe that there is food porverty in the UK with it being the sixth richest country in the world and considering over 11,000 tonnes of food is thrown away daily. But this is the reality and changes need to be made.

Project Sunlight

The first part of the morning really didn’t prepare me for what happened in the afternoon. Honestly. I am not even sure how to put it in words. We met a lady who brought us to tears. No, not tears in our eyes but actual blubbering. She explained how she ended up at the food bank that day. She talked about her four children who all sounded amazing despite their unfortunate situation. She is unable to work or receive benefits and for the past year has been relying on help from her children’s school. Something she said resonates ” I came here not knowing if they will give me food or not but I had to have hope” Those words. The fact that if she hadn’t been given anything at the Brent Cross Food Bank, herself and her four children would have nothing to eat. Again. I can’t even phantom how she copes. upon my return home I began reading other food banks stories here and it really saddened me.

Something I witnessed at the Brent Foodbank was truly astonishing. A local shop owner brought in boxes of crisps to donate. I was told by the Project Manager at the Food Bank that this is a regular occurrence with this man. When ever he orders for his shop, he gets extra for the food bank. He was not the only one who brought food in that day too. The atmosphere was definitely not what I expected. People were jovial. As each person arrived they were greeted with a friendly smile, offered cup of teas and a listening ear. There is a stigma attached to those who find themselves in the unfortunate position to use a food bank but from what I saw yesterday it need not be. A huge chunk of the people who use foodbanks are due to benefits delay. You can find your nearest food bank by clicking here and if you want to find out how it works then click here.

Project Sunlight

Each person’s situation is assessed to find how much food they will need. So a single person will obviously need less than a family of three or a single parent with 4 kids. The food bank has  a chart that they follow when providing food. Using this chart, they provide food that will last up to three meals a day for three days.

Unilever and Oxfam through their tpartners Trussell Trust and FareShare are providing half a million meals to hungry families, in addition to the 2 million already given. You can find out more about the project here https://www.projectsunlight.co.uk/

 

I have linked this post with www.honestmum.com