28.6.16

#insidebabysbrain with Kiddylicious | Giveaway

As you most probably know by now, Kiddylicious are a massive favourite of ours. I love their products, their brand and what their brand stands for (if you want to check out their range of products and learn a little more about them then check out my Kiddylicious haul here!!). They are such a forward thinking brand and their recent campaign #insidebabysbrain has uncovered some amazing stats!
According to recent research from Kiddylicious, almost half of parents (49%) with babies and toddlers view snacking as a negative food habit, despite it being vital in the early stages of sensory and physiological development! Confusingly though, over one third (36%) of the nation's parents who admit to enjoying snacks themselves in between meals, do not allow their baby or toddler to enjoy the same thing?!? A huge contradiction right??

With this research in mind, Kiddylicious joined forces with child expert Dr. Jacqueline Harding to look #insidebabysbrain and explore why snacking is so important. Dr Harding explains:

“Babies are intelligent: they are information-gathering decisions makers! They are very busy making hypotheses about the world. So, playing with food is the sort of experimental work they do as researchers! From their body movements and facial expressions, we can get a glimpse of what might be going on in their minds – figuring out the taste and texture of foods. What’s it like inside babies’ brain? Well…it’s rather busy –if we were to take a look inside their brains we would see that it is flooded with neural transmitters that induce learning and plasticity. In other words, they are very receptive to new experiences and want to learn. This is all very important when it comes to opportunities to learn through the senses. Babies are born with around 30,000 taste buds coating their tongue, throat, cheeks and even the roof of their mouth, so they experience food in a completely different way to adults (who have just one third of this). The safe introduction of a variety of tastes and textures (as advised by your health visitor and doctor) can assist with sensory development”

To help us parents understand why snacking is so important for babies and toddlers and the development impact it has, Kiddylicious has made a great video that I would really recommend you watch...it's fully of super cute squishy babies as well :)



To celebrate the launch of #insidebabysbrain I am teaming up with Kiddylicious to offer 3 of my readers a change to win some Kiddylicious goodies to help your little one develop through snacking! The 3 winners will each receive a box of Kiddylicious wafers (10 packets) and a box of Kiddylicious Fruit Puffs (6 bags). The wafers are Bubbas favourite and I can assure you that little ones will live these snacks! To be in with a chance of winning click on the link below.




So there you have it. The research confirms that snacking is good!! So babies of the world snack away and Mummies...you had better get down to your local super market and stock up on lot's of Kiddylicious goodies for your little one before the eat you out of house and home :)

To visit the Kiddylicious website and download their free guide all about what goes on #insidebabysbrain then click here: http://www.kiddylicious.com/uk/insidebabysbrain/

Note: Prizes are being provided by Kiddylicious but I have not been paid or sponsored for this post. All views and opinions are honest and my own.

26.6.16

Britmums Live 2016! | Blog

So this weekend I went along (Thanks to my wonderful sponsors, Kiddylicious) to my first EVER BritMums Live event and what an experience it was!

BritMums Live 2016, Lanyard, Name Tag, Ami Roberts, Blogger, Blog, @Mymummyspam, My Mummy Spam, BML16, Event Tag,

For those of you that don't know what BritMums Live is then where have you been?? :) BritMums Live is basically a HUGE conference that over 500 parent bloggers attend each year to learn new skills, meet other bloggers, network with brands and listen to some inspiring keynote speakers. The whole aim of this event is the educate, empower and inspire bloggers to be better and I can defiantly confirm that I felt all of these things at the end of yesterdays event.
Girls, Friends, Bloggers, My Mummy Spam, Ami Roberts, Night out, Party, Ging out, Camden, outside, river, lock, For me, the event actually started on Friday night when I attended the BritMums Live fringe party in a beautiful hotel in super trendy Camden. I went to the party with a few of my mummy bloggers who I have been speaking to for a while (Faye from Tales & Tea, Stacie from Parker & Me and the lovely Chantal from Milk & Nappies...maybe I need a name with & in it as it seems to be a bit of  theme!) and it was a chance for us to have a few drinks and mingle with some of the other bloggers before the main event the next day. I made a beeline bumped into Colette from We're going on an adventure whose blog I have loved reading for ages and who is one of the nicest people around. I also had a chance to have a chat with Emma from Me, the Funny, funny, BritMums Live, name tags, suck, body, random, silly, drunk, man and the Kids, Tim from Slouching Towards Thatcham, Martyn from Inside Martyns Mind, Jenny from The Brick Castle, Clare from Sons, Sand and Sauvignon and Amie from Finding our Feet... The list is endless and I am sure that there are people that I have missed out as well! All of these bloggers are so lovely and down to earth and just damn brilliant people so I would highly recommend checking out their blogs if you haven't already :) Overall, the fringe party was great fun and we then headed off to a bar afterwards to meet our other mummy blogger friend Jade from Raising the Rings. It was a great night and I think we all woke with a little bit of a headache the next day from the wine :)


My Mummy Spam, The Brewery London, London, Event, Sign, outside, Ami Roberts, Blog, Blogger, BritMums Live 2016, After a few hours of sleep it was then time to head down to The Brewery for the fun and games to start. After getting in and grabbing our name badges and some coffee it was over to BritMums founders Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howze for a great welcome speech. Next we were introduced to the first 3 guest speeches. The first was a fantastic poem written by blogger Kirstie Pelling called BritMums We Are Live!! It was a great way to open the day. What I wasn't expecting from this day was to be in tears within the first hour of being there. The second speaker to take the stage was the amazingly strong and inspiring Anne-Marie Cockburn who sadly lost her 15 year old daughter Martha to an accidental overdose. Anne-Marie has written a book documenting what life was like for the first few months after Martha's death and listening to her speak and read from the book was just heart breaking. Finally we had the amazing Julie Creffield who spoke to us about ways to achieve our goals. She is the author of Too Fat To Run and she really spoke to me and I'm looking forward to reading her story and blog when I get a chance.

My Mummy Spam, BritMums Live 2016, BML16, BritMums, Blogging, Blogging event, Boots, Boots Soltan, suncream, advert, soltan, GIF, Silly GIF, Fun girls, cute girls,

Next it was time for coffee and crepes in the Hub which was the place to be to connect with brands. There were so many amazing brands there and getting to chat to them about their products and brand was a great opportunity. Rather than go through all of the brand stuff here (as it would make this post even longer than it already is) I will be doing a haul post and video within the next week to talk through all of the amazing brands I met and all the goodies we got :)


Then it was on to the heavy stuff, the stuff that I had really come for...the breakout sessions. There were 4 breakout sessions offered and within those 4 sessions there were a number of options. I chose to attend Understand SEO, YouTube: Collaborate & grow your audience, Understanding Google Analytics and then finally a Table Talk Roundtables focusing on Parents under 30. I'm not going to explain all of these session to you as it was so informative and I have so much that I learnt that I wouldn't be able to write it all down. What I will say is that the session were brilliant. Every single one gave me at least 3 things that I could take away and implement to my blog and brand and (hopefully) you will start to see major improvements on here because of what I have learnt at this event.
BritMums Live 2016, BritMums Live, BritMums, Event, The brewery, London, hall, stage, sign, tables, event room,

Then it was back off to the main stage for a chat with Cherry Healey (TV present who has now written a book and is a freeking hilarious person!!!) and then onto the blogger's keynotes. During this, a selectin of bloggers had been chosen to read (or perform in the case of Tim from Slouching Towards Thatcham) their blog posts. They were funny, tear jerking, informative, moving and clever. It always amazes me what some bloggers are capable of and I can only aspire to one day be up at their level and maybe even on that stage reading one of my posts one day. On that note I think I may need to put my PJs on as  am dreaminggg!!

BritMums Live 2016, BritMums Live, BritMums, BML16, Friends, Bloggers, girls, pretty, event,

After all of this is was exhausted!! The day flew past in a flurrie of business cards, notes and chatter and it was only when I stopped that it all caught up with me. After picking up an amazing goodie bag it was then time to head home. I was exhausted (mentally and physically) but brimming with ideas and inspiration. I was sitting on the train wishing that I had the energy to get my laptop out ad get started right away but I just couldn't. I'm still obviously eager though as it's been less than 24 hours since I have been home and I am already tapping away and putting all of my plans and ideas that I have got from this weekend into play.

Once again, I just want to say a huge thank you to Kiddylicious for sponsoring me to go to this event. A lot of bloggers receive sponsorship to go to BritMums Live as it is an expensive trip but after speaking to a lot of bloggers whilst there I am so pleased that Kiddylicious chose me. They have been so supportive, caring and easy to work with and from speaking to others, they unfortunately haven't had the same sort of relationship with their sponsors so THANKS KIDDYLICIOUS! YOUR DA BOMB!!!

If you are a blogger and your thinking about going to an event like this then please do it! I have come away feeling re energised and feeling like I really know my blogs direction. It is so easy to get lost in the world of blogging and loose your way but I can honestly say that the people I have met this weekend along with the amazing stuff I have learnt has really helped me to remember what My Mummy Spam is and what I want to do with it. Now...when do tickets go on sale for next year??? :)

24.6.16

Aquafresh Brushtime App | Review

I have always been really passionate about Bubba brushing his teeth. As soon as his first tooth popped through we went and brought him a little toothbrush and his own toothpaste so that we could help him to look after his precious teeth. Bubba now knows that we brush our teeth morning and night and even though he can't do it himself, he gives it his best shot and we then give them a good scrub once he's finished giving it a go. He even has 2 toothbrushes and he insists on using both of them whenever it's time to do our teeth :) But I do know that not all children are as willing as Bubba is when it comes to brushing their teeth.



In fact...here is some shocking information from the Oral Health Foundation about our children's teeth:
1. A third of all children starting school each year have signs of tooth decay.
2. Sugar makes up 15% of the daily calories consumed by 4 to 10 year olds.
3. 40% of children do not visit the dentist do not visit the dentist each year as recommended.
These facts horrify me and that is why I am so determined to help Bubba understand the importance of good dental care. That includes the correct way to brush and how long to brush for.

Aquafresh obviously share my mind set in the importance of teaching our children and to help us parents and the little ones along they have created the Aquafresh Brushtime App and we were lucky enough to give it a try to see what we thought of it. This app aims to help parents avoid those brushtime battles and makes brushing fun and entertaining whilst teaching the little ones the right way to brush and how long to brush for. Your little one can pick what character they want to brush along with, pick the background (the beach, a mouth etc) and even get to pick the music and what type of dancing the character does (the goofy dancing had me and hubby in stiches mainly because hubby thought the app had stolen his moves!!). The app then has a timer of 2 mins and counts down so your child can see how long they need to carry on brushing for. For me, the best part of this app has to be the way that it shows your child where they should be brushing and for how long. It basically gives them instructions as they go and I even learnt about how I should be brushing bubbas teeth.
I love this app! If I am being honest, it's a little bit too old for Bubba but I found it educational and he thought it was hilarious watching me and hubby dance along to the music. I think it's clever, fun, informative and exciting for kids and should hopefully offer a bit of support to those mummies and daddies that dread brushtime each morning and night.

To get yourself this app then click here!


23.6.16

Things I am loving right now... | Blog

I was considering making a favourites type vlog on my YouTube channel but videos are seriously hard work what with the editing and uploading so I thought I would do a post just talking about the things that I am loving right now. I'm not going to commit to doing these posts one a month or anything like that (as we all know how good I am at those...fitness Friday??where did that go??) but will just post when I feel like it about stuff that I am loving right now :) It will be a mix of things so not all baby/Mumm related so lets get on with what I am loving at the moment :)

1. Orange Is The New Black
I am OBBSESSED with this at the moment. As I am writing this Hubby is working late, Bubba is in bed and I have watched 2 episodes of this additive programme already! If you have been under a rock for the past few years then let me fill you in on what this is all about. OITNB (as it is shortened down into) is a Netflix original programme all about life in a womens prison and I'm not going to say much more than that as I don't want to give anything away. It's funny, humbling and heart felt with a bit of sex and violence thrown in for good measure. If you haven't seen it yet then give it a go...you won't be disappointed.

2. Haviana Flip Flops
I got my first pair of these bad boys about 4 years ago when we went to Kenya and I have never looked back. These are pretty much all I wear in summer as not only are they so freeking comfortable, they also go with everything. Some people may think they are a bit plain looking nut that is actually what I love about them. Don't get my wrong...I wouldn't wear them out for dinner or to a fancy doo but for day to day wear they are perfect and brilliant value for money.

3. New furniture
This may sound like a strange one but a few weeks ago we brought some new furniture and I love what it has done it our living room. We brought a beautiful new corner sofa from Next (who's service was AMAZING by the way) and a storage unit from IKEA for all Bubbas toys and our toot and they have book really brought the room together. It's only taken 2 years but I am finally happy with our living room.

                                                                4. The seaside
Summer has started (apparently!) and we have had a couple of really lovely day recently. We are lucky enough to live about 15 minites away from Southend on Sea and Bubba loves nothing more than going down to the sea front and throwing peddles into the sea or playing in the water fountains. It's an inexpensive, fun and a lovely way to spend some quality time with my little boy.

So that is what I have been loving. I'm pretty sure I could think of more if I wanted to but I am getting to a good bit of OITNB and need to give it my full attention :)
I'd love to know what you have been loving recently. Let me know in the comments below :)


21.6.16

Supporting Barnardo's Big Toddle with Mamia | Review

You will all know by now that I love Aldi Mamia and this year Mamia are sponsoring the UK's biggest and best charity event for under 5's...The Barnardo's Big Toddle. This event is all about children helping children by taking part in short sponsored walks. Thousands of nurseries, playgroups, childminders and parents organise Big Toddles to help raise money for Barnardo's vital services. This event has been going since 1997 and has already raised a staggering £14 million pounds!!!!!!! You can organise a big toddle yourself or you can register to join one of the Barnardo organised ones. Find all the information about that by clicking here!
As I said, Mamia is sponsoring this fantastic event and they sent us the perfect hamper full of the essential things you need for you little fundraiser!


Mamia Nappies - This is obvious really but what is super great about these nappies is how absorbent they are which means that your toddler won't need to be changed half way through their big toddle. They will stay dry and comfy for hours.
Mamia wipes - We do not leave the house without some wipes my toddler seem to get dirty no matter what we are doing so these would be great for an grass or mud that your little one picks up during their walk.
Mamia Juice - We gotta keep our little champions hydrated and with these handy bottles it means even once the juice cup is empty you will still be able to fill them up.
Mamia food pouches and fruit pots - Toddlers have tiny little legs compared to ours and if your toddlers anything like mine they tend to run every where rather than walk so thy use so much energy! Keep hungry at bay with these scrummy, easy to feed treats.
Mamia bubble bath and shampoo - After all that walking that your little one will be doing, there is nothing better than a nice bubbly bath at the end of the day to wash the day away. This shampoo and bubble bath smell amazing and the bubbles last for ages so your little one can splash for as long as you let them :)

I know I have said it before but I will say it again...I really do rate the Aldi Mamia range and love what they have sent us. If any of your little ones are doing a toddle then a huge good luck to them and I would love to know how they can on :)
To register to take part in Barnardos Big Toddle then click here:

http://www.barnardos.org.uk/bigtoddle.htm

note: this hamper was sent to us for the purpose of this post but all reviews are honest and my own.

The Best Bedtime Story! | Review

Before Bubba was born, Hubby and I both spoke about how much we hoped Bubba would enjoy books. We agreed that even when he was a little baby we would read him books and then as he got older incorporate them into his bedtime routine. Even before he was born, we had purchased a few books that Hubby would read to my bump so that he felt a bit connected (as chatting to my bump abut his day just wasn't his thing) and one of the books we purchased was called 'The Little Boy Who Lost His Name'. This is a personalised book that tells the story of a little boy who is trying to find his name and it is honestly a beautiful book, in design and content. Recently, Lost My Name approached me and asked if we would like to try their new book and I leapt at the chance!

Before I get into telling you all about the new book we were sent, I just want to take a second to tell you a little bit about the people behind these books as I love their story! Lost My Name was founded in 2012 by three Dads and an Uncle who wanted to created a personalised book that was bigger and better than any that had come before. They set up small and started to retail their books. People purchased them and word got round about the amazing book about a child that lost their name. They then appeared on (and won investment from) Dragons Den and that when was Hubby and I actually first saw the book. I said to hubby at that point that if we ever had children then they HAD to have that book! Fast forward a few years and Lost My Name is now going from strength to strength and winning awards left right and centre and now we get to try out their second book ''The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home''.

The first thing that I love about these books is the ease at which you can order them. The website Lostmyname.com is so easy to navigate around and super user friendly. With the book we ordered, all we had to do was type in our address, Bubbas name and then make sure that the satellite image was correct and it was done. You also get the option to add a personal message at the start of the book which I love as it is so nice to remember when you got the book and leave a little message for your little one in it.

A few days later and our book was here!! I was super excited and it really didn't disappoint and this leads me on to the second thing I love about these books...the quality. The paper quality, the print, the colours...everything about the book screams quality at me. Lost my name also don't scrimp on the amount of pages in the book. I think sometimes when you get a book like this it looks like there are loads of pages but actually the writing is just a huge font and I always feel a little short changed. That is not the case with this book. It took me a good 15 minutes to read the whole thing to Bubba and I think that is the perfect snuggle and story time length :)


Lastly I want to applauded the guys at Lost My Name for such a genius concept. The way that this story is written and the way that it incorporates your child into it is fantastic. To cut the story short, your little astronaut fly's through space encountering a whole host of weird and wonderful things during the adventure until he/she fly to earth and (this is may favourite bit) see their house from space and comes home. Lost My Name includes a satellite image over your home in the book and it is such a great addition. To me, it takes personalised stories to a new level.

Overall I would really recommend this book and their other story ''The Boy/Girl That Lost His/Her Name''. Priced at £19.99 and available direct at the Lost My Name website, I think these make a wonderful gift and addition to every child's storybook collection.

Note: we were sent this book in return for this review. All opinion and views are honest and my own.



20.6.16

Fighting... | Blog

At the moment everything seems to be a fight. I am not sure if it is because bubba has always been pretty easy going and 'good' as such or if it's because he's now getting to the age where he now understands things and knows how to push my buttons. I don't know what it is but it is proving so hard to manage at the moment.
Now when I say fight I obviously don't mean physical fighting as I would never lay a finger on Bubba. I mean a battle of wills. Bubs is a stubborn and strong willed little boy and he is really showing that at the moment. It actually amazes me how long he can stand his ground for which I suppose will set him in good stead for later life but it is driving me round the bend right now. The biggest thing we seem to fight over at the moment is food and what Bubba will and won't eat. To be fair to bubba, I think me and hubby have created this a little bit as a month or so ago bubs was poorly with a throat infection so, like most other parents, we would let him eat whatever he wanted so that he was eating something. Even though he is better now, Bubba still seems to think he can eat whatever he wants whenever he wants and we are now going through a battle of wills to break that habit. This is what was happening:

8am breakfast: I would give bubba cereal and then he might pick at it but if he didn't want it I would then offer him toast or a banana and sometimes even both if he didn't want one or the other.
10am snack: This would generally start as a bag of Kiddylicious banana bites or some rice cakes. Once he had finished these he would then want more so I would give him a box of raisins or another Kiddylicious things. He would then want more and I would have to put my foot down as I am pretty sure my child would eat snacks all day long if he could.
12pm Lunch: Bubba doesn't like sandwiches so lunches can be really difficult. He tends to have beans on toast or pizza or a dairylee dunker with some fruit or crisps..something like that. Once he had picked his way through that (not really eating an awful lot of it) I would then let him have a yogurt or a biscuit or something like that.
3pm snack - Part of bubbas routine is to have a snack after his nap. He has always done it and you can see when he comes down after his nap that the first thing he wants is a snack. We tend to have a little after nap snuggle on the sofa whilst he has his snack and he would have Kiddylicious smoothie melts or apple bites or he might have some animal biscuits or something like that. He would then do what he does in his morning snack and want more which I won't let him do and 8/10 a tantrum ensues so I may give him a breadstick or something like that which then stops the tantrum and normally means we are clear until dinner time.
5pm Dinner - This is one of the biggest problems. He is going through a stage of only eating spaghetti bolognese or shepherds pie. I don't know why it is those two dishes but that is all he will eat for me. I haven't helped this because if he won't eat the dinner I've given him (fish pie for example) then I will do him spag bol as I was so worried about him not eating dinner and waking up hungry in the night so I would give him what he would eat.

So as you can see a lot of this is down to me and what I have created and I know that but something needs to give. What hubby and I have decided to do is to cut down on the snacks in the hope that he will be hungry for his main meals and only offer him the one main meal (something that we know he likes obviously). It is not easy as Bubba is trying to fight and tantrumming to get the snacks he wants but so far it has worked. Yesterday he didn't eat his lunch so when he woke up from his nap he was offered his lunch again and he didn't want it so he didn't get ay snacks. Every time he went to reach to the snack cupboard he was offered his lunch again so we aren't starving him as if he was really hungry then he would eat the pizza he was offered at lunch. It came to dinner time and he refused to eat the roast dinner we put in front of him. So hubby got him down from the table and he went off whilst we ate. About 10 minutes later he came back and we sat him up the table again and after about 5 mins of sitting and looking at his dinner he ate the whole lot. He was then allowed desert as he ate all his dinner.
MUMMY & DAADY 1 - BUBBA 0!
It is so hard though as I hate seeing Bubba upset and tantrumming but I know we have to do this to avoid him become a serious fussy eater and to stop him thinking that he can live of snacks and not eat proper dinners. So I am persevering and at the moment I am okay. I am feeling strong and Bubba is co-ordining...but it's dinner time in 3 hours so it could be a different story then :)


15.6.16

Less than two weeks... | Blog

Oh my goodness......it is less than two weeks until I am off to London to attend #BML16!!!! I am such a mixed bag of emotions about the event and I needed to get them all out to try and process them so here goes...

Excitement! That is the main thing I am feeling I think. I am really excited about all of the amazing session they are running and the speakers that are going to be there and I am also SUPER excited about seeing all of the lovely bloggers that I have grown close to over the past year or so.

Nervousness! This feeling sneaks up on me when I am least expecting it and I get super nervous about meeting all of these new people and not fitting in or getting left or something like that. It's so silly as I know that won't happen but it doesn't stop me for feeling really nervous.

Sad! Now this may sound like a really strange one but there is a totally valid reason behind it. I am saying away the night of Britmums as it will be finishing late and I didn't fancy travelling home late from London on a Saturday night. This means that I will be spending my first ever night away from Bubba. I know, it sounds crazy but I have been there every single morning that Bubba has woken up. It makes me so sad that I will miss him for one night but I have to remember that it is just that..one night.

Pride! I feel so proud that I am going to Britmums this year. I remember this time last year when I have just started blogging, I saw all of the bloggers I was following talking about Britmums and how they were so excited and had sponsors etc and I remember saying to Hubby that I wanted to go next year. Not only am I going this year but I have been sponsored to go by the amazing Kiddylicious which makes me literally burst with pride! The fact that I am working with a brand that is in our local supermarkets and who produce products that I see babies munching on every single day makes me so so proud. If you would have told me this time last year that Kiddylicous would be sponsoring me to attending #BML16 I would have laughed but now it's under 2 weeks away and I can't quite believe how lucky I have been :)

Fear! This is the first time that I am going to be meeting all of the bloggers I have been talking to and reading about and I am so scared. It is honestly a little bit like fear at times and sometimes I get so scared that I think that I can't go. That feeling passes very quickly though as I get a tweet or a message from one of the mummy bloggers being lovely.

So...there is my brain dump! hahaha! Overall I am super excited about #BML16 and can't wait to meet lot's of lovely people, learn some great things and represent that wonderful Kiddylicious!
Are you going to #BML16? Let me know in the comments as it would be great to know some faces :)




14.6.16

BRIO Ant | Review

After a pretty stressful time last week (check that out here if you are wondering what I am talking about) it was a welcome treat when Bubba received the BRIO ant with rolling egg through for us to review. When I first was approached about this I was a little apprehensive as I didn't know how it would keep Bubba's attention and entertain him for very long but I was pleasantly surprised.


This super cute wooden ant is painted with simple yet eye catching block colours and comes with a yellow egg on it's back with rolls around as it is pulled. Bubba loved this about the toy and he giggled every time he pulled it and could see that he was making the egg roll. It was a great visual aid to help bubba understand a little bit of cause and effect. The egg also comes off which Bubba really liked and he spent a bit of time playing with the egg on it's own and rolling it back and forwards to me.



I am a sucker for wooden toys and this ant is no exception. To me, wooden toys always seem timeless and real quality items. They are also so durable too which is great when you have a rambunctious toddler like I do. Bubba was pulling and pushing and dragging this poor ant all over the house and
there is not a mark to be seen on it. If I was plastic I am pretty sure he would have broken it by now as the concept of 'gentle' is a little lost on my son! :)


If I am being honest, I really couldn't find any faults with this toy. My originally doubts about it not being entertaining enough were squashed when Bubba sat and played with it for 20 minutes straight (which is a really long time for him to play with one thing)! I also know he loves it because it is one of the first things he reaches for when he goes into his toy box. The RRP for the BRIO ant is £17.99. In my opinion, to get a quality toy like this that will last and grow with your little one for under £20 is a bargain!

Overall, I would highly recommend this toy as a treat for your little one or to give as a gift. It comes in a lovely box and I do honestly think that this is a perfect, inexpensive but quality gift that any child would be happy to receive. To get your little one an BRIO ant, click here.

Note:
I was sent this product for the purpose of this review but all opinions are honest and my own.


12.6.16

Lullaby Baby from Nursery Rhymes 123 | Review

If you have been reading my blog for a while it will come to no surprise when I saw that Bubba loves music. Ever since he was small he has loved musical instruments, singing, dancing...basically anything that involves a bit of music.
Recently we were sent a lovely album full of some beautiful nursery rhymes and lullabies called Lullaby Baby from Nursery Rhymes 123. Nursery Rhymes 123 began in 2010 as a collaboration between BAFTA award winning director and father-of-2 Dan Smith and UK based singer-songwriter Martha Bean. Having been frustrated at the lack of good quality children's music available on YouTube, they decided to create some beautiful music that no only children would love, but that wouldn't drive parents around the bend as well.


They defiantly achieved that with this album. Including the classics Row your boat, rock a by baby to more contemporary numbers like You are my sunshine and Lavenders Blue, which was featured several times in the new Cinderella from Disney, there is something for everyone on. This album is aimed to help soothe and calm young babies and children and with its beautiful strings and piano tracks. I have to mention the voice that is on this album. I believe that it is Martha Bean singing and her voice is so hypnotising and relaxing..it's honestly beautiful and even makes row your boat sound like an indie master piece!
This album is available to purchase on ITunes for £7.99 or you can listen to the album in full on Spotify. You can also grab a copy on all major download and streaming sites including Amazon, Google Play and Apple Music. To visit Nursery Rhymes 123's website and see the other albums they have on offer, click here.



Note: this album was sent to me free of charge for review purposes but all opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Treating Hubby with Warner Brothers | #WBFathersday

All Daddy's deserve a little TLC and none as much as my Hubby, Bubba's Daddy. I could honestly gush on for ages about what an amazing daddy and husband he is but that would make this post go on for ages and ages. Also, post isn't to rave about Hubby but to share with you the amazing event that Warner Brother put on to treat the Daddy's in our lives.

 Warner Brothers had invited me and Hubby along for the ultimate Father's day treat...a movie night!!! Hubby and I love a movie night and there is nothing better in my opinion that snuggling up with the one you love and watching a good film. On the train on the way to London it was safe to say that Hubby was a little excited and I couldn't blame him!! This was the first time in ages that we had been out on an adventure without a pram, a huge changing bag and a toddler in tow...even I was super excited!

Walking into the screening room, I felt s little bit lie a VIP!! There was lot's of yummy nibbles and drinks (including some chicken things that hubby ate at least 10 of!?!?) and lot's other bloggers that we were able to mingle with before the movie started. Then, before I knew it, it was 7pm and time for the film to start!!


Once we were all settled into the intimate screening room it was time for us to watch Creed (Ryan Coogler, 2015) which seemed like the perfect film for Dads! Boxing, fighting and Sylvester Stallone...what more could you want? If I am being honest, I hadn't seen any of the Rocky films before and I was a little worried that I wouldn't understand the story but it didn't really make much of a difference as it was such a great film. Hubby loved it and it was a great way to thank him for being such an amazing daddy to our little boy.


What really finished the night on a high was when hubby was given a huge goodie bag filled with some fantastic DVD's and (hubby's new favourite thing) a Rocky Balboa Trilby hat! He didn't take it off the whole way home :)


Thanks so much to Warner Brother's for inviting us to this fantastic event. Hubby and I had such a great time and it was the perfect way to celebrate fathers day. How do you plan to celebrate the special men in your life this fathers day? Share your moments using the #WBFathersday hashtag on twitter :)


11.6.16

10 things that make me ME! | Vlog

And now for something a little bit different (or however that phrase goes!)
Recently, I found out that there is such thing as a vlogging linky and knew that I had to join in!! For those who aren't bloggers then you are probably question what on earth a linky is! A linky is post that is hosted by someone and gives everyone a chance to link their posts up to this one post to get your posts put there and share them around. Normally these linkys have themes to them (review pots, pregnancy posts etc) and the Vlog Star linky is no exception.

This weeks theme was '10 things that make me ME'. This was actually really hard to do as I have never really thought about what makes me me before and after a while of thinking and asking Hubs what he thought I was able to come up with my answers...so here it is!




This post is linked with:


You Baby Me Mummy

10.6.16

Accident & Emotions | Blog


My poor little pickle has had his first proper accident. He has had the odd bump to the head and tripped over loads of times but Tuesday's accident lead to a trip to A&E and ultimately a cast on his tiny leg.

If you are a parent then you will know what toddlers can be like. Bubba is a typical boy. He is into everything, is constantly running around and climbing and is always getting into mischief so to be honest it's surprising that he hasn't hurt himself sooner. AND before anyone out there gets judgey (which I'm sure you guys won't as your all lovely!) no matter what we do, accidents will happen. It's a fact of life and can't be avoided. Well it could if you wrapped your little ones up in a bubble like that film Bubble boy but that wouldn't be nice for anyone and I certainly wouldn't want Bubba to grow up like that. Accident's happen and that's that.

Bubba slipped down one step. That's all. Just one little step and then started to limp. He was taking a couple of steps and then falling down and crying. I honestly thought he has just twisted it as it was only 1 step and it wasn't like it was swollen or hot or anything like that. So I gave him some calpol and nurofphen and figured that he would be okay in the morning. He wasn't okay in the morning.

My poor little pickle was still limping and crying and it was then that I knew that something was wrong. After a phone call to 111 and a (relatively) quick trip to A&E we were told quite bluntly that Bubba had broken his leg. I was so shocked when the nurse (this is important...it wasn't a doctor..it was a nurse) said this to us and hubby's face was a picture as he thought I was just over reacting! Then a couple of minutes later it changed and the nurse said he had a small fracture and she showed us this sharp looking bit of bone on the X-ray. I had no clue was I was looking at and was too busy having a mental melt down about the fact that my poor baby had to wear a cast for goodness knows how long to ask any questions. In hind sight I should have questioned how we had gone from broken to small fracture in the space of 5 minutes as thinking about it now, that seems like a huge jump!

There wasn't time to think about things though as before I knew it Hubby's was having to pin Bubba down whilst I tried to comfort him and the man had to cast his leg. This poor orthopaedic guy that was doing it even said (as he was wrestling with Bubba) ''wow...he's strong..are we sure he needs this?' but no one around said anything so after about 10 minutes, off we were sent with a 20 month old in a cast and an appointment for 2 days time to see a consultant and discuss next steps.

I was such a mixed bag of emotions then next 2 days. I felt so proud that Bubba was getting on with things so well as within an hour of being home he was walking, running and even trying to kick a football with his plastered leg. Then again I felt so sad for him and so worried about what could be lying ahead. In my head if he had fractured or broken it then that would mean he would need a cast on for a good couple of weeks and what with it being so hot at the moment I was really questioning how we would all cope. In the next moment, I would feel optimistic. Loads of kids have plaster casts and loads of kids unfortunately suffer with things worse than a plaster cast so if they can cope then so would we. It felt like a bit of a rollercoaster to be honest.

Then came the day I was dreading. Friday. The day (I was told) that Bubba would have to have his current cast taken off by a saw/drill type thing and then we would see the consultant and have his next cast fitted. To say I was dreading it was an understatement. I knew that the drill/saw type thing would scare the life out of Bubba and I was dreading him having to feel like that. I was also so nervous about what the consultant was going to say and I had prepared myself for bad news and already had it in my head that he was going to have to wear the cast for at least 2 weeks so we would have to cope. I had even gone as far as ordered Bubba a waterproof cast cover so that he could still have a bath. Extreme I know but I like to prepare!

So, in we go to the consultant and he really calmed cut bubbas cast away using a pair of special scissors whilst bubs watched Mickey Mouse on the ipad (god bless the ipad!) and then told me that he thought that the fracture was tiny so therefore he doesn't think he needs to be replastered and sent us off with an open appointment should bubba start limping again. I was ecstatic!!!!! I can't even begin to explain how happy I was that my little pickle didn't need to have another cast but on. It meant no more sweaty feet, no more walking like a pirate and he could finally have a bath again (which he loves!). I went home floating on a little cloud of happiness.

As the day has gone on my happiness has been dampened a little by the emotional roller coaster we had just gone on and in a way it 's all felt a little unnecessary. I was questioning if Bubba had needed the cast at all? Why were we told it was broken when it was a tiny fracture? Why didn't a doctor look at his x-ray before they put him in a cast and told us he would have to be in one for longer after Friday? So many questions and now, on Friday afternoon after everything has been done and Bubba is back to his rambunctious self, I am left feeling drained. I think the mixture of not sleeping through worrying, running around after Bubba to make sure he didn't slip and the tears and stress of the past couple of days has come to a head. BUT..I keep reminding myself that Bubba is fine and that is all that matters at the end of the day. It might have been a tough few days but stuff like this happens, it's real life and it's all worked out in the end thank god!!

So that was my past few days?? How was yours?? :)

9.6.16

Don't be a hero! | Vlog




8.6.16

Children will listen..

I love me a bit of musical theatre and there is a song from a musical called into the woods which has really been resonating with me recently.

Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.

Children may not obey,
But children will listen.
Children will look to yo
For which was to turn,
To learn what to be.

Careful before you say
''Listen to me''
Children will listen.

I was watching Hubs and Bubs out in the garden this afternoon and hubs bent down to pull a weed out that had grown and wrapped itself around one of our hydrangeas. He was shaking the leafs where he was trying to unwrap the vine type weed and then all of a sudden Bubba comes up behind him, takes hold of a leaf and starts shaking it. I don't think he knew what he was doing and why he was doing it but in his head Daddy was doing it so he should too.

Yesterday we had to take the bars off of bubba cot (another story for another blog post!) and hubby had the allen key and was unscrewing the bolts. What did Bubba do...he picked up another allen key and started trying to help. He had never held or seen an allen key before but he watched what hubby was doing and started to do the same.

The other morning, I was sitting on the bed getting ready for work and I started to do my make up. Bubba picked up my powder and face brush, opened the lid, swept the brush in the powder and started to put it on his face. It was in that moment it dawned on me what little sponges these little people are and how true those Stephen Sondheim lyrics are. Children really do listen and will look to us to learn what they are meant to do and be.

Hubby and I always try to show Bubb the right way and be good examples. It's not easy and we don't get it right all the time but we try. If we can tr~y then I don't understand why others can't. A while ago we went to the Zoo and whilst Bubba was playing in playground a group made up of 2 women with what looked like under 1's in push chairs, 2 men and about 2 or 3 older children who had run off to play. I couldn't believe it when they started f'ing and blinding so loud that most people in the playground could hear them. It wasn't the swearing that shocked me as much as the way that there were speaking. They were being so aggressive and one of the women was arguing with one of the men and she was threating to 'punch his f*(&ing lights out' whilst almost squaring up to him. The children that were around them were watching and really taking it all in. What kind of lesson is that teaching the kids?? I know people have bad days and have arguments but having to speak and act like that in front of kids...really? Is there any need for it??

All I am trying to say is sometimes WE ALL need to stop and think about what we are doing and who is watching us. Remember that these little people around us look up to us and learn from what we do so we have to teach them to be kind and caring by being just that ourselves.

5.6.16

#EstimationNation Challenge with Smart Energy GB

A little while ago an email landed in my inbox that intrigued me. It was from Smart Energy GB and they wanted to know if I wanted to attend a #EstimationNation social media bake off challenge to help launch a national Government campaign and spread the word on the importance of smart meters. The email explained that the event would be hosted by Great British Bake off Runner up
2015, Ian Cumming and would be an afternoon of fun baking challenges...with a twist. I (obviously) jumped at the chance to be involved in something as exciting as this but I was a little confused how baking would help launch smart meters...
Arriving at the Open Kitchen in London, I had a belly full of butterflies but they didn't last for long as within a couple of minutes I had bumped into Cassie from Lily's little learners and Lynn from Mrs Money Penny. There were bloggers for all different blogging backgrounds, finance bloggers, fashion & beauty bloggers, food bloggers and of course us good old parent bloggers. Everyone was so friendly and I felt really at ease. I then was lucky enough to grab a chat with the host himself, Mr Ian Cumming! If I am being honest, I felt a little starstruck as I had watched him on telly but he was such a lovely, down to earth guy and we stood for a while discussing his family, blogging and photography (which is his actually job when he's not baking!).
It was then time for us to be given an introduction to the #EstimationNation campaign by the lovely people from Smart Energy GB. They explained how it is their task to help everyone in Great Britain understand Smart Meters, the national roll out and how to use their new meters to pay for their gas and electrical easily and efficiently. They then went on to explain how, at present, we estimate our gas and electric usage and bills are sent to us based on this. You wouldn't estimate other areas of your life so why do we estimate this? We were then shown the AMAZING Smart Meter TV advert and I think it gives a clear message and is really thought provoking (as well as pretty funny) Click here to watch it!
Next it was up to the kitchen for our baking challenges. After a health and safety briefing we were paired off and given our first recipe with the twist that there were no measurements for any of the ingredients and no cooking times...we just had to estimate! I was paired with the lovely Tom from Diary of a Dad and we got to work on the first recipe which was for light and fluffy Chiffon cupcakes! No only was this challenge difficult because we were blind baking, it was made even harder because these cupcakes use oil instead of butter and the eggs have to be separated and whipped to make the cakes light and fluffy. We THOUGHT we had done a really good job and the batter looked okay, they cooked and looked the part and then even tasted alright but they were a bit more like a stodgy muffin than a fluffy cupcake. We later found out it was because we didn't use enough oil!

After a quick tea break it was then time for us to start on our next challenge. Cheese scones!! I was totally honest with my baking buddy Tom and told him I had never eaten a scone in my life let alone baked one so I had no clue about this one! We tried to follow the recipe as best as we could as guessed what we thought were the right amounts. The scones came out the oven and they looked and smelled amazing!! I was so impressed that we had made these and I couldn't wait to try one. I bit into the golden puff and instead of the cheese, flaky, scrummy flavour I was expecting I was left with what tasted like a mouthful of dry flour with a hint of cheese!! I don't know what we had done wrong but they were awful!!!!! This really proved the point of the whole afternoon...estimation is not good!
Finally, after all the excitement of the baking, it was time for a glass of vino, some canap├ęs and the awards! Ian and the guys from Open Kitchen had judged our two bakes and had awarded best bakes for both recipes and also the wooden spoon awards for the worst. I am proud to say than mine and Tom's scones were awarded WORST in the class :) I am not lying when I tell you that they were really really bad! We won a voucher to use for cooking lessons which was fantastic (and hubby was happy about it when I told him...cheeky git!).




The guys at Smart Energy GB filmed the whole day and you can check out the video here (keep an eye out for yours truly!!):



Overall, it was a fantastic afternoon which really showed me the importance of Smart Meters and what Smart Energy GB is trying to do. We don't estimate with any other areas of our life so why do we do it with one of our biggest household bills. I can't wait to get my smart meter and if you want to find out more about the roll out then click here!


1.6.16

Some days are wonderful..

Today, we have had a pretty normal day. Had breakfast, went up to the post office, went off to a play group...just all the normal things that we do each week and it was only today that it dawned on me how much I love these days. They are truly wonderful :)
Bubba was poorly last week and I think this is one of the reasons that I have really enjoyed today as he has been back to his normal, smiley, cheeky self. It's the little things that I have really enjoyed about him today. Listening to him chatting to himself as he plays, throwing a ball with him, having lunch together..these are all things that we always do but today they have just seemed even more wonderful than normal.

He has honestly been an joy to be around today and I have enjoyed being in his company so much. Don't get me wrong, I always love being with my little by but if you are a Mum then you will know what I mean when I saw that some days are just really hard! But not today! Today has been a good day...so far..he's currently napping so who knows what kind of mood he might wake up in!!
:)
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