From Newborn to Toddler with Tiddlers & Nippers

As you have probably guessed this week I am a massive fan of stationery. I love how there are so many different uses and there really is something for everyone. However, there doesn’t seem to be much around for pregnancy, babies and toddlers apart from the usual memory books. When I discovered Tiddlers & Nippers I was excited!

Tiddlers & Nippers

Tiddlers & Nippers have come up with a range of notebooks/ journals to help you track everything about your baby from newborn all the way to toddler. I wish I had known about these when Erin was first born because I would have found them super useful.

For 0-6 months there is the Tiddler Tracker.

For 6 months + there is the Tiddler Weaning Tracker

For 12 months + there is the Tiddler Toddler Tracker

For everything else there is the Nipper Notebook

Each journal comes in a variety of colours and designs.

Tiddler Toddler Tracker

Erin is currently going through a bit of a strange phase with her food at the moment. Sometimes she will eat okay and sometimes she will only eat one thing like sandwiches. It’s hard to remember what she has eaten and when sometimes which is why the Tiddler Toddler Tracker is perfect. There is plenty of space to write down what Erin has eaten and had to drink each day and also how many oz of milk she has had.

This journal isn’t only about food though. There is space on each page to track sleep, what you and your baby gets up to and any milestones they may have achieved!

Now that we don’t do as many baby/ toddler classes as we used to the activities section is really useful for us. I try to vary what me and Erin do each week and this helps me choose something different to do each day so nothing gets repetitive!

The Tiddler Toddler Tracker has enough space for 6 months worth of tracking which means it will last for quite some time.

Nipper Notebook

The Nipper Notebook is a ruled notebook where you can document anything you want about your child. In the front there is page to put some information such as name, birth date and weight when the child was born and contact information.

This is a lovely notebooks just for writing down anything that might happen or thoughts that you have about parenting.

I think I’ll be using my Nipper Notebook to take out and about with us to write down anything amazing Erin does or any good ideas I have/ see while we’re out.

Which of these Tiddlers & Nippers journals do you like the sound of the most?

Dislcaimer: We received products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Organise Your Life With Busy B

I like to think I’m quite an organised person. I love lists and I like nothing more to make plans. However, I love to write things down properly and not have it all on my laptop. This means the need for some stationery to help me plan. Busy B have a wonderful range of products which are perfect to help you organise your life.

Busy B

Budget Book

Like a lot of families, John and I can easily find ourselves overspending now and again. This year I really want to figure out where we can save some money and this budget book is perfect.

The budget book has sections for each month of the year with pages for regular and extra income, Direct Debits and Standing Orders, expenditure and credit/ store card spends. Each month also has a little pocket for receipts which is lovely as it keeps everything nice and tidy.

There are also additional pages for Christmas spends, holiday savings and regular savings. I personally love the Christmas pages as I shop all year round and I sometimes forget what I’ve bought and who for.

Meal Planner

Every now and again I write about meal plans. It used to be weekly but we’re having food issues with Erin at the moment so they’re just not working. However, I do like to plan for me and John and this meal planner and shopping list book is fantastic.

There sheets inside the meal planner are detachable so you can either take the whole book out with you or just one sheet of paper. The planner also comes with 2 magnets which are perfect for popping your lists on the fridge!

Travel Wallet

I love going away and I absolutely hate when I don’t have a holiday booked. Being a bit of a control freak when it comes to traveling though means needing to know  where all of our documents are. They also need to be easy to get to for whenever I need to get to them. The Busy B Travel Wallet is everything that I’ve been looking for!

Now that we are a family of three it made me happy to see that there is space for up to 6 passports. This will make going through the airport a breeze!

The front pocket is perfect for travel cards or any other tickets you may have.

There is also a large pocket at the back which is fantastic for any printed tickets, itineraries or hotel bookings etc.

This travel wallet is going to make traveling so much easier for us and it will also take a lot of stress and panic away from me. The other great thing is that it is so stylish so I will be more than happy to carry this around with me when needed!

Like the look of these products?

Busy B are giving my readers 15% off* with the code MEHIM

*The code is for one use per customer and is valid until 31st July 2017.

Disclaimer: We received these products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Colour and Fun Children’s Stationery

National Stationery Week is about more than about pretty notebooks, cool pens and gorgeous planner. We need to make an effort to remember and include our little people during National Stationery Week. Erin is now nearly 16 months old and just beginning to discover painting, crayons and pens.  Colour and Fun helped us out with a whole range of products to get Erin interested.

Before we get into reviewing the products, I will say that I did test out most of these for the purpose of this post. Erin has a tendency to try to eat everything at the moment and she also can’t really tell me what she thinks of anything.

 Baby Colour pens

When it comes to buying pens and crayons for babies, especially as young as Erin, safety is a massive selling point.

These baby colour pens have a lovely rounded tip so babies aren’t able to pull them off. The caps are also baby friendly as they are vented safety caps to prevent choking. On top of that, they’re super washable pens so they shouldn’t stain!

100 colour pens

You’ll be spoiled for choice with this massive bumper box of colouring pens. The box has 100 pens and a really nice variety of colours. There are varying shades of each colour which allows you to be really creative with whatever you’re using them for.

I decided to borrow one of Erin’s colouring books to test out some of these products because, well, I don’t have one of my own! If I had to draw with them you’d have been seeing pages and pages of stick men.

The pens have quite thick nibs but don’t let that put you off. The very tip of each pen is a fine so they work really well for both detail and colouring in larger areas. Colouring in with these pens is also super smooth. Some pens can be quite scratchy but I didn’t find that to be the case with these.

I found the colours to be a true representative of the colour on the casing which is great. I’ve had cheap sets of pends in the past where the colours turned out to be awful but that is definitely not the case with this set.

megastamps

I think the Megastamps are probably my favourite product from everything we received. They’re so much fun.

As you can see from the picture below, I’m really not all that creative when it comes to thinking up what to draw or write. However, I wanted to show off what each of the stamps were.

I love that there is a range of colours and pictures. Each stamp only took one sort of firm press down on the paper and just look how good they turned out. The quality is fantastic. There was no ink running and messing up the image so they have all come out really clear.

I can see Erin loving these when she’s a little bit older. They’re going to be great for teaching her what each stamp is!

72 Wax Crayons

Ah, wax crayons. I remember having these as a child and I couldn’t wait to get Erin some. In true Erin style though she has tried to eat them so far. I don’t think they tasted very nice though.

In the box you get 72 wax crayons and they’re exactly what you’d expect from a wax crayon really. The box doesn’t have the widest range of colours though which is a bit of a shame. However, there are multiple crayons in the same colours so at least if you break one/ run out of one you have another spare.

24 colouring pencils

Colour and Fun

Erin is most definitely not allowed these colouring pencils yet because she is only 1 and they’re pretty sharp. The pencils are recommended for children over 3 and they’ll be a bit more aware of what they’re doing. Knowing Erin she’d take her eye out with them!

The pack of 24 pencils have a lovely range of colours and they’re really smooth to colour in with. I hate seeing harsh lines when colouring but I didn’t get that at all.

I really like that these pencils come in a slim box. I think I’d like to take a colouring book away with me sometimes to keep me occupied on an evening/ on the train and these wouldn’t take up much space at all in a bag.

Colour and Fun

Erin is now set for a very long time with colouring equipment but I think I need to get a colouring book for myself now to enjoy them too!

Find out more about Colour and Fun here:

Disclaimer: We received items for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Dreamgirls at The Savoy Theatre

I normally don’t pay too much attention to any plays or musicals that come out in London. However, when I found out about Dreamgirls I was desperate to see it on a stage. It’s one of my favourite musical films and I Amber Riley who stars in it is an amazing singer. She recently won an award for her part in Dreamgirls! I recently went on a trip to London without John or Erin and my sister bought me Dreamgirls tickets as a birthday present.

Dreamgirls

Dreamgirls is currently being performed at the the Savoy Theatre. As theatres go, this one is one of the nicest that I have been to in London but it’s no wonder really is it.

The seats were comfortable and the view was fantastic. We were sat in the front row of the upper circle in what were classes as obstructed view seats. I had no problems seeing at all but I did have to lean over sometimes but that was because I wanted to get closer!!

Dreamgirls

I’ll be completely honest and say that I was dying to see Amber Riley play Effie White. Imagine my disappointment when we got to the Savoy and read that it was an alternative instead. Heart dropped! However, I soon got over that when I heard Karen Mav sing. I didn’t think you could get much better than either Jennifer Hudson or Amber Riley but my god this girl can sing. When she sang And I Am Telling You I had actual goosebumps and was close to tears. I could not fault her performance in the slightest and I’m actually glad we got to see her play Effie.

The whole cast was fantastic though. I wasn’t sure how Jimmy Early’s character would come across on stage but Adam J Bernard was wonderful. He had the cheek and charm that Eddie Murphy did in the film. He had the audience clapping along and cheering for him which was great!

I did, of course, have favourite moments in the show and some which I wasn’t prepared for. There were a few changes compared to the film version of Dreamgirls and one of the biggest was the song Listen. The theatre version is a duet between Effie and Deena. I was ready to hate it but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it was as good as Beyonce singing it on her own but it really worked with the story.

There was nothing I disliked about Dreamgirls. The songs were great, the performances outstanding and the sets/ costumes dazzling. Dreamgirls is now one of the best musicals I have seen on the stage. I would quite happily go back and see it again tomorrow.

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The Flavour-Led Weaning Cookbook + Giveaway

When we started weaning with Erin I wanted to make sure she had a really varied diet. I am such a fussy eater myself and I will try anything to make sure Erin isn’t like this. However, the cookbooks we used were a bit boring to be honest. Purees were plain fruit and veg and there was nothing too exciting to try. I was so exited when I discovered The Flavour-Led Weaning Cookbook by Zainab Jagot Ahmed.

The Flavour-Led Weaning CookbookThe Flavour-led Weaning Cookbook offers over 100 first-tastes recipes your baby will love. It will be your best-friend in the kitchen from day 1, guiding you every step of the way with expert and realistic advice, meal plans and recipes.

Flavour-led weaning uses baby-friendly herbs and spice as safe, healthy and natural flavour-boosters. It will encourage your baby to love their food from their very first taste. It will show you how to bring a rainbow of colour to your baby’s diet. And will ensure your baby gets all the nourishment they needs at every stage in their weaning journey.

Flavour-led weaning works in harmony with spoon-led and baby-led weaning. This book includes meal plans for all the weaning stages, plus delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together.

I am going to be completely honest and say that I didn’t expect this book to be too different from the others I already have. I was so wrong though.

The book starts off with a really detailed section about weaning and what to do. There is loads of information about signs that your child may be ready and also which fake signs to look out for. This is a lot of information about different ways to wean, stages of weaning and different things to try at different stages. Something I really loved was that there was a lot of information about allergies and what to be careful with.

When it comes to the recipes there is so much choice. There are plenty of different curry options along with fish dishes and burgers, just to name a few. Zainab Jagot Ahmed uses herbs and spices in her recipes to enhance the flavours which is fantastic. The recipes are also easily adapted in case you want to miss out something or add something of your own.

What I love the most about this book is that it really does cover everything. There are the simple and more basic purees at the beginning but recipes cover family meals as well. I wish I’d been able to begin with this book but we’re having so much fun trying new and exciting recipes now.

Where to buy: Amazon

    

giveaway!

Giveaway ends 20th May 11:59pm

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The Flavour-Led Weaning Cookbook Giveaway

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London Duck Tours

I have been to London many times before but something I have never done is to go on a bus tour. During my recent London Getaway I decided to change this. Me, my sister and her boyfriend were really excited to be heading off on a London Duck Tour.

London Duck Tours

When we arrived at the Duck Tour bus stop near the Southbank Center I was really excited. The ‘Duck’ was sat there waiting for us. I knew that it was a bit of a mix between a  bus and a boat seeing as it went in the water on the tour.

On the day of our booked tour there was a memorial service happening so we had to change from the Classic Sightseeing Tour to the City of London Tour. We were given the opportunity to come back later in the day instead but we were all happy to go along with whatever.

Some Places we visited on the tour

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Monument to the Fire of London

Bank of England

Tower Bridge

MI6

London Eye

Houses of Parliament

Our tour guide was absolutely lovely and was happy an cheery the whole way through the tour. Although the tour had been changed quite last minute, he was very knowledgeable about the other route. What was really nice was that he spoke when there was something to see but he didn’t fill quiet gaps just for the sake of it. He did manage to squeeze in some Harry Potter trivia though which my sister was pretty happy about, especially as it was something she didn’t know.

The whole tour lasts around 75 minutes with the first 45 minutes or so being on land. Once you reach MI6 though it’s time to splash down and go into the Thames. This was my favourite part I think as you get fantastic views of London and I found it to be quite peaceful on the water. Something I will say though is take a coat or jacket with you. We went on a warm day but I was pretty cold once we hit the water!

We all had a fantastic time on our Duck Tour and I’ve since been looking at maybe doing the Christmas tour later in the year! Although the tickets could work out quite expensive for a large family, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay to go on another tour. Between the knowledgeable tour guide, spacious and comfortable Duck and the views, I couldn’t have asked for more!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Selfies with Dinosaurs at Jurassic Kingdom

On a recent trip to London I was determined to do something a little bit different. When the opportunity to go to Jurassic Kingdom arose, I jumped at the chance. Who doesn’t want to go somewhere with life size dinosaurs? Me, my sister and her boyfriend most certainly did.

When we headed to Osterley Park, ,about 25 minutes outside of central London, we had no idea what to expect from Jurassic Kingdom. We didn’t even know if we were really in the right place until we got right up to Osterley House when signs became a bit clearer. Having never been to Osterley Park before, we were all impressed by how beautiful it was. It’s definitely somewhere I would go back to.

Picking up our tickets at the box office was a bit of a pain. There was a queue of maybe 4 or 5 groups in front of us. No one moved for ages. No one said anything. No one from the box office called anyone forward. It was only when I asked the woman in front of us if they were actually waiting that I was told that they were only waiting because they wanted to pay by card and the machine wasn’t working. The queue system wasn’t handled very well and I hate to think how long I could have been stood there for.

Before going through to Jurassic Kingdom there was a few different food and drink stalls as well as VR systems to try out (extra cost) and somewhere to buy merchandise.

It was an absolutely glorious day when we visited. It was also during the Easter holidays which meant Jurassic Kingdom was pretty busy. We didn’t mind this at all although it was a bit strange going without Erin and there being so many children running around. My sister took on the task of taking part in the fun trail task we were given at the entrance.

Honestly, we all really loved Jurassic Kingdom. I don’t care that we’re all 30+ and didn’t have a child with us. It was so fun seeing which kinds of dinosaurs were there, taking selfies with some of them and also learning a bit as we went.

As you can see, Chris was much better at the selfies than me! The sun was blinding and I couldn’t see what I was taking pictures of. I had to hope for the best.

The stars of the attraction, the dinosaurs, were so impressive! Being only 1 Erin may have been a bit scared but the other children running around seemed to love them and were really excited!

All three of us thoroughly enjoyed our visit and we had so much fun and laughed loads! It may not have been what we would have picked to do on another day but it has made us all want to try new things.

Tickets for the London event were £13.50 per adult and I do think this was a little expensive, especially considering the other locations cost £2 less.

Jurassic Kingdom is moving around the country until the end of October. Check out dates, locations and prices here!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

 

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Keeping warm with The Hot Water Bottle Shop

I know it’s the middle of April but we live in the UK. Spring doesn’t necessarily mean warm weather and I HATE being cold, especially on an evening. A hot water bottle normally does the trick to warm me up quickly.

My hot water bottle is getting quite old now. It was something John bought me a few years ago. Now that there are three of us in the house one hot water bottle just isn’t enough. We were lucky enough to be sent new hot water bottles from the Hot Water Bottle Shop. John has been given my old one while Erin and I have got lovely Mummy and daughter bottles. Poor John always gets the second hand stuff.

hot water bottleErin generally wants whatever I have so I love the idea of us having our own hot water bottles. As you can see from the picture above, Erin has a small hot water bottle with a pink polka dot cover while mine is larger with a purple cover. Erin’s bottle is a bit more fun than mine and I like that!

These hot water bottles are a bit different than what I’m used to. These are Eco hot water bottles and I’d never even heard of them before. Unlike the traditional hot water bottle, these come in the form of a hard plastic. However, the bottle gets softer as you add the water!

hot water bottle

hot water bottle

One aspect of these bottles that I really like are the screw top lids. I HATE the tops on traditional hot water bottles because I always seem to get water spill out  no matter what I do.

Before I used these for the first time I was worried that they wouldn’t be as comfortable as what I was used to. I was really wrong. I was also a bit worried about how warm it would get for Erin. I did wait quite a while after boiling the kettle before filling hers. She didn’t quite understand what the bottle was far and I think it will be some time before she does. At the moment, she’s happy to have hers with a bit of warm water in just to be like Mummy.

These hot water bottles are fantastic quality and I know we’ll be using them for a long time. Even before using them you can tell they’re better than a regular, cheap hot water bottle!

REMEMBER: Never leave children and babies unattended with a hot water bottle.

Disclaimer: We received items for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Asda Little Angels Nappies

Months ago we used to use Asda Little Angels nappies all the time. I don’t know what happened but we had quite a few bags where the quality wasn’t great so we changed brands. When I was asked to try the new Little Angels nappies I figured it was worth a try.

Little Angel Nappies

We received a pack of 78 nappies (Prices vary depending on pack size) to try and I made sure we used the whole packet before writing this review. After my experience with this brand before, I wanted to make sure there wasn’t going to be the odd one or two that didn’t meet the same standard.

Little Angel Nappies

The first thing I noticed with these nappies is how amazingly soft they are. We were also using a different brand at the same time so I could compare and wow, the other were not as nice as these. Since using the ASDA Little Angel nappies I have definitely noticed that they are kinder to Erin’s skin than other brands. This is something John has commented on as well.

Little Angel NappiesI’ve been really impressed at how well these nappies hold liquid. Erin has a tendency to wake up in the night and we’ve regularly had to change her nappy so that she can go back to sleep comfortable. I actually can’t remember one night where we’ve needed to do this since using ASDA Little Angel nappies. Apparently, they can hold up to 30 times their own weight which is really impressive.

One of the coolest features of these nappies is the tabs. Yes, the tabs. You see, the tabs are supposed to close in a certain position on the nappy. If they close outside of this position it means that it’s time to go up a size. I never really know how nappies are supposed to fit properly so I find this super helpful.

I have to say, I am really impressed with the changes to the ASDA Little Angel nappies. Although we don’t regularly shop at ASDA, I would probably do an online order once a month just for these!

Disclaimer: We received these items for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Sleep App

It’s no secret that Erin often doesn’t sleep very well. She can sometimes wake up 3 or 4 times a night and is a nightmare to get back to sleep. When Johnson’s got in touch about their Bedtime Baby Sleep App I was excited. I had hope that we might finally crack it.

Johnson's BedtimeAlong with using the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Sleep App, Johnson’s recommend also using their three step bedtime routine. In order to enable us to try to the 3 step routine and the app, we were provided with a gorgeous sleep hamper!

The 3 step bedtime routine

The 3 step routine is aimed at babies aged 7 weeks to 36 months so you can start really early if you like. We did start Erin with a routine straight away but it wasn’t quite this one.

 

Step 1 – warm bath

We have always given a bath before she goes to bed but sometimes they could be for quite some time. Erin loves playing in the bath so it has never really been a relaxing, unwinding time for her. Learning about this routine has made us realise that we need to cut down bath time to keep Erin a bit calmer before bed.

Step 2 – Gentle Massage

Unfortunately, Erin has always hated this. We tried and tried to make this a nice time for her but she’s more focused on hating getting out of the bath and then having her bottle.

Step 3 – Quiet time

When Erin has had her bath we get her ready for bed and head upstairs to her bedroom. We have the lights low and only her nightlight and baby monitor light on. This is when she has quiet time with Daddy and her bottle!

Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Sleep App

The app is a lovely resource for figuring out your baby’s sleep routine. The app is super easy to set up and it only took a couple of minutes. There are loads of great features to help you combat sleep problems and to see areas you need to work more on.

The sleep analysis was by far the most helpful feature for us. It helped us to realise where Erin was sleeping too much in the day and that we needed to cut her nap time down a bit if possible. This then made her a bit more tired at bedtime which resulted in her sleeping for longer before waking up.

I really loved the lullabies on the app as well. While we don’t use these for Erin at bedtime we do use them during the day for nap time. Sometimes Erin struggles to settle down during the day in fear of missing out on something and I find these really helpful for calming her down.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, I would absolutely recommend the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Sleep App. I wish we had known about it months ago really. I think it would have helped us stop getting into some bad habits at bedtime. The app is free so there is no reason not to have it, especially as it’s available on both Android and Apple.

Disclaimer: We were sent a Johnson’s sleep hamper to help with this post. All opinions are our own.

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