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Blogger Board Game Club – Get Packing

We were very pleased to be asked to be part if the Blogger Board Game Club by Asmodee since this is something we can do with just Isabelle. Having a younger brother means that she craves a bit of one on one time with us, so playing a game can be the perfect way.

Blogger Board Game Club - Today we're reviewing the game Get Packing where you have to get a set number of objects into your suitcase and be able to close it in the quickest time. Suitable from age 6

Get Packing

Get Packing is a fun game for 2 – 4 players aged 6 and above.

Each player has a little suitcase and a set of objects such as sun cream, a pair of pants, a hat and sunglasses.

There are a set of destination cards, and each country card tells you the items that you have to fit in your suitcase.

The aim of the game is to be the first person to fit all of the items in your suitcase first, and be able to shut it.

It sounds simple, but the items have to fit in a certain way to fit and be able to close it. The first person to complete three suitcases is the winner.

It sounds simple enough, but our first attempts were pretty bad.

There is a sheet that you can look at which shows how the items fit in which we’ve let Isabelle use the first few times. Now that we’ve done it a few times we don’t need to look at the help sheet so much.

Our Thoughts

Isabelle really liked the look of this game, especially the little suitcases. Initially she found it quite frustrating until we realised that there was a help sheet.

Blogger Board Game Club - Today we're reviewing the game Get Packing where you have to get a set number of objects into your suitcase and be able to close it in the quickest time. Suitable from age 6

We played it so that once you turned the country card, you had to find the right suitcase on the sheet and pack it as quickly as you can. Once we had done this a few times it was only Isabelle that looked at the help sheet.

Isabelle thinks she’s ready to take it to the next level and do it without the help sheet next time.

We thought it was a great game and have played it several times now. You can buy Get Packing from Amazon and other game retailers for around £22.99.

*We were sent this game for the purpose of taking part in the Blogger Board ‘Game Club review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Knowing your Maternity Rights – My Journey

Knowing your Maternity Rights and making sure that you get a good deal during your pregnancy and your return to work should be high priority to put your mind at rest. Using this handy guide from Smart Cells ensured I knew when and what was expected of myself and my employer.

Knowing your Maternity Rights and making sure that you get a good deal during your pregnancy and your return to work should be high priority to put your mind at rest. Using this handy guide from Smart Cells ensured I knew when and what was expected of myself and my employer.

From the moment you get the positive test or whilst your trying for a baby you should have a read of your employer maternity policy since it comes into play right from the word go when needing time off for midwife appointments and ultrasound scans. It’s totally up to you when you choose to tell your employer that you’re pregnant, and legally you aren’t required to do so until 15 weeks before your due date, but I would say that it also depends on the kind of job that you do as you may need to have reduced duties or extra support in place.

We did the usual announcement once we’d had the all clear from our twelve week scan. We told family and friends and then let work know which was such a relief as I felt totally rotten, and how they didn’t guess I will never know.

Maternity Rights

Once you have informed your employer there are four main legal rights:

  • Paid time off for antenatal care
  • Maternity leave
  • Maternity pay or maternity allowance
  • Protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal

Once you’ve informed your employer they are legally obliged to perform a risk assessment which includes heavy lifting or carrying, sitting or standing for long periods of time, exposure to toxic substances and working long hours.

All I had to do in terms of getting time off for my midwife appointments and ultrasound scans was fill in a form with the dates and let my team know when I wasn’t going to be around so I never endeavoured any issues, even in the later stages where I was having physio and repeated blood tests.

Risk Assessment

I work in admin and although some days I can be sat at my desk for a long time, I have the option to be able to get up and walk around or change the task that I’m doing so I didn’t ever feel that this was a problem until the latter stages of my pregnancy when I had back ache. I had a risk assessment at the beginning when there weren’t any issues and then had this repeated around the 30 week mark when I was suffering with lower back pain. Whilst this was noted and I was given a back support which I didn’t find very comfortable, there wasn’t a lot that could be done other than getting up and down regularly. I was very sensible, making sure that I didn’t sit and suffer. I was also given pregnancy physio to help with this as well.

As with most things I get these confirmed by email so that I have a record to refer to if I ever need to should any queries arise. It may seem suspicious to do this, but it’s better in the long run if you have something to refer back to. Conversations taken place in a coffee room or corridor can sometimes be forgotten.

Protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal

Thankfully this isn’t something that I’ve had to deal with but not everybody is so lucky. Employers should ensure that the work you do is safe for you to carry out, and if it’s not they should be offering alternative work or changes to your hours. In some cases where this isn’t possible they should suspend you on full pay.

If you feel that you aren’t being treated fairly you should talk this through with your employer in the first instance (don’t forget to follow it up with an ‘as discussed’ email) and if a satisfactory solution isn’t found then you can take this further via an employment tribunal.

Maternity Leave

Statutory Maternity Leave is anything from 2 to 52 weeks. It’s a personal choice how long you take and for most of us it’s dictated by our financial situation.

I opted to take the full 52 weeks with the final 13 weeks being unpaid, but was able to use some annual leave so not all of the 13 weeks is unpaid thankfully.

Of course this isn’t your only option as shared Paternity leave is now available so you can share this time between you dependent on your personal circumstances. This wasn’t an option for us as Chris was self-employed but if I’m being honest I’m not sure I would have wanted to give up the time off I’ve had with Freddie.

Paperwork

Around the 20 week mark you will be given a MAT B1 form signed by your midwife which you will need to give to your employer to enable to claim Statutory Maternity Pay.

It wasn’t until this point that formal discussions began regarding what maternity leave I was intending to take. I knew that I wanted the full 52 weeks, and also wanted to leave as late in the pregnancy as possible so that I could have as much time with my baby as possible. This isn’t set in stone as things do change. I struggled with my back towards the end but managed to last until 38 weeks. Every day I thought I was going to go into labour and kept having a recurring dream of going into labour in one of the meeting rooms where a senior work colleague had to help me give birth. Thankfully that didn’t happen!

Employee Rights

During Maternity Leave your employment rights such as pay, holidays and returning to a job are protected, this includes being offered a suitable alternative vacancy if you are made redundant during maternity leave. You also have the right to ask for flexible work and not be forced to return to work early, with the right to take your full 52 weeks.

As I write this post I am due to return to work in a couple of weeks and currently haven’t finalised what job I’m returning to. I completed a Flexible working request to drop to two days a week which isn’t sustainable in my current role so negotiations are underway at the moment.

Returning to Work

You only need to inform your employer that you’re returning to work if it’s before 52 weeks. When returning to work after maternity leave of 26 weeks or less your employer must allow your return with the same pay and conditions as you were before. They can not stop you from returning to the same job because its considered dismissal and maternity discrimination. When returning after taking 26 weeks or more your employer must let you return to work and back into the same job role. They can only offer you a different job role with a strong reason. You cannot be dismissed after maternity leave if your job still exists, or it would still exist if you had not gone on leave, or if they offer you a new role if its something your not able to do or has worse pay and conditions.

Breastfeeding Mothers

A lot of mothers make the decision to wean babies from breastfeeding once they return to work, but your employer is required by law to provide you with a space to feed your baby or express milk. This should be discussed with your employer prior to returning to work. Provisions should be made for a comfortable place to feed/express and store the milk.

I will still be breastfeeding when I go back to work and have already discussed this with my Manager. I have a lockable room that I can use and the use of a fridge to store my milk. I’m anticipating needing to do express twice a day, once at 11am and again at 2pm. I’m not particularly looking forward to this but we’ll see how it goes.

So in a nutshell, I would keep the lines of communication open with your employer so that everybody knows where they stand. I recommend starting a folder either on your computer or a good old fashion paper folder for the following:

  • Print off a copy of your employer Maternity Policy which should outline all that is required and at what stage so that you can tick off things as and when you’ve done them
  • Make sure that you follow all conversations up with an email so that you have a record to refer to further down the line.
  • Keep a record of all appointments and time taken off for all pregnancy related appointments
  • Ask your HR department to confirm your maternity pay once submitted. They may be able to provide you with a breakdown of what pay to expect so that you can plan ahead
  • Know your rights so that you have a satisfactory and smooth return to work

*This is a collaborative post

11 Month Baby Update

11 Month Baby Update

11 Month Baby Update – Wahhhhhh Freddie’s nearly a year old which means back to work for me this month. I’ve had the best time off with him watching him grow into the awesome funny little dude that he is. I genuinely don’t know how I feel about leaving him, but with two weeks to go just the thought of leaving him makes me well up.

You’ve probably heard of separation anxiety where the baby doesn’t cope very well being separated from their Mummy, well I think I have it but it’s me that doesn’t cope well without him. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s my last baby or because I’m breastfeeding or it may be that we’ve literally spent the last eleven months together 24/7. I’m burying my head in the sand hoping that its all a joke that I have to go back to work. Surely they’re going to email and tell me that they don’t need me and no need to pay my maternity pay back right!

New Stuff

  • Climbing the stairs
  • Saying ‘up’ all the way up the stairs
  • Saying ‘Hayyyyyy’
  • Saying No to everything
  • Pointing and shaking his head
  • Worked out how to use a non-spill cup and then spits all the water out
  • Speech – he can say a few things now
  • Went his first toddler group

Loves

  • Just everything really except Nappy change time
  • Ride on toys

Hates

  • Nappy change time/getting dressed

Teething

We’ve had quite a few nights where he’s cried out in a painful cry kind of way as well as red cheeks but no new teeth at the moment.

Play

I took him to his first Toddler Group last week. He’s been to baby groups but not ones with screaming, running around 2/3 year olds. It was quiet to start with but then as more people came it got louder. His little face watching all the toddler race around was a bit unsure and I thought he was going to cry, but instead he banged the maraca that he had as hard as he could and joined in with the shouting.

I put him on a ride on car and that was it, he loved it and kept going back to find one so that’s pretty much what we spent the rest of the time doing.

He’s also stolen Isabelle’s kitchen and play food which he seems to loves bashing about.

Growth

Freddie has just had his 10 month/12 month check up with the Health Visitor. We were sent a questionnaire for both age brackets and he was weighed and measured. He now weighs 20lb 7oz and measures at 75.5cm so is apparently tall for his age.

I didn’t feel like I had any concerns. The emphasis seemed to be in getting him to have half a pint of cows milk a day from 12 months, but I’m still breastfeeding and anticipate still doing so at 12 months. Sleep was mentioned and as usual I mumbled through this as co-sleeping still seems to get the disapproval of most people. We were offered a referral to the sleep clinic which I politely declined.

Weaning

We’re still enjoying our food journey. He loves trying new foods and likes a wide variety. He’s loving the sandwich thins for sandwiches which are the perfect size for little ones with his favourite filling being cream cheese and strawberry.

He has a drink of water with every meal and the little monkey loves to suck the water in and dribble down his front or just sprays it all over the place!

Feeding

All going well. Still breastfeeding and thankfully he’s cut down the night feeds which is much better. I’m going back to work at the end of this month so I’m hoping this is t going to cause him too much upset.

Sleeping

He’s finally cut down on his night feeds so sleeping a lot better. We’re still co-sleeping but we’re going to put his cot in our room first of all with the sides up to see if he will go down and if not then we’ll attach it to our bed as a bit of an extension so that we all have a bit more room.

It’s the putting him down that we struggle with. You can do this in as much slow motion as physically possible and he still knows and wakes up. I know that you’re supposed to put them down awake but he just looks at you with a ‘don’t be silly’ look on his face!!

As I said l, we’re happy to co-sleep so it’s not something that I’m going to push too much.

Lisa x

7 Tips To Personalise Your Open-Plan Look

7 Tips To Personalise Your Open-Plan Look

7 Tips To Personalise Your Open-Plan Look

Modern living means open plan homes. It’s light, breezy, and allows for a modern sense of space and design. It does however take a bit of design work to get right. Whether you’re living in an older home, and looking to create a greater sense of space, or you’ve got an open plan layout you want to make better use of, there are tips and tricks you can use to keep the space feeling modern, and open, while still keeping everything in its place. Embrace open plan with these top design tips.

1. Brighten It Up

Open plan is all about making your space feel light and breezy. The best way to do that is to let in more light. Adding texture to your lighting, by mixing up wall sconces with hanging lamps and floor lamps will give your lighting some dimension. Using similar fixtures throughout an open plan layout, such as using round ceiling lamps in the kitchen and round floor lamps in a living space, can also help you bring the space together and feel more unified.

2. Let In Lots Of Natural Light

Of course, what to do with your lamps is only part of your lighting options. Use some lighter curtains on your window and arrange furniture to take advantage of outside lighting when you really want to add some brightness and freshness. Adding mirrors to bounce the light not only helps your space look bigger, but it also helps keep the room bright.

3. Create Zones With Furniture And Colour Palette

Any interior designer will tell you the most effective way to organise an open-plan layout is to create zones. Think about how you want to divide up the space. Kitchen work area in one space, entertaining in another, and a cosy spot for family time can flow into one another nicely, depending on how you arrange the furniture. Get creative. Use bookshelves as room dividers. Make use of accent colours to designate spaces in separate ‘rooms,’ and create a sense of flow with multi-function furniture like a coffee table that can double as a desk, or a kitchen island that can work for entertaining, or as a worktop.

4. Pop With Some Color

Speaking of color, just because you’re going with something open-plan and modern doesn’t mean you should feel the need to stick to neutral tones. Have some fun with brightly-coloured furniture and accents here and there to tie the room together, or designate space by function. Bright kitchen appliances that lead into matching bright chair cushions for your table helps provide some flow from a kitchen workspace to an entertainment space. Get creative and mix and match a bit.

5. Soften Things Up

Of course, you want your nice, bright, open plan space to be welcoming. Welcoming means keeping things cosy. Stay away from monochromatic colour palettes and harsh lines. Add some soft furnishings, like throw pillows. Light, bright cotton curtains add personality and privacy while giving a touch of softness. Finish up with a gorgeous area rug to tie the room together. Remember to keep at least three pieces of furniture to anchor the rug to one area. It’s a cosy way to divide the room!

6. Know When To Leave Well Enough Alone

Open plan is great, but before you go knocking down any walls, think practically. What will you use the room for? Don’t do anything without consulting with a contractor, especially in an older home. Once you’ve determined which walls are safe to come down, think about storage space. As beautiful as open-plan is, you might consider keeping cupboards, closets, and pantries. Does your open-plan living space open out to the front or back doors? And if so, would you want to leave a mudroom in the space to keep everything organised, tidy, and ready for entertaining? It all depends on how you want the room to function.

7. Personalise To Pull Everything Together

It also depends a lot on you, and what you want in your home. Personalise your open-plan space to stop it looking too modern and sterile. An accent wall, photo wall, or scattered shelf displays throughout the space add personal touches that stop your open-plan space from looking too bland. Avoid the cluttered look by keeping photo themes together along your walls, and keeping any collections together. You don’t need much to add a memorable personal touch.

If you want to upgrade your interiors, the best way to modernise is to go with open-plan. Opening up your floor plan takes some work, and some thinking, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You don’t need to scale down to the bare essentials to create a sense of openness and keep your home from feeling too cluttered.

Lisa x

*This is a collaborative post.

Be prepared with a Baby First Aid Kit

Be prepared with a Baby First Aid Kit

Be prepared for all Baby Ailments with a Baby First Aid Kit – As parents of three kids we’ve been through everything from teething to chickenpox, and we’ve learnt from past mistakes that it’s best to be prepared for literally every common childhood illness under the sun as you’re guaranteed to need something at three o’clock in the morning when it strikes!

Be prepared for all Baby Ailments with a Baby First Aid Kit - As parents of three kids we've been through everything from teething to chickenpox, and we've learnt from past mistakes that it's best to be prepared for literally every common childhood illness under the sun as you're guaranteed to need something at three o'clock in the morning when it strikes!

I’m all for treating illnesses and prevention can often be the key, but I hate taking medicines and am the same with my kids. If there’s a more natural approach then I’m more likely to give it a go.

This is a list of what we like to keep a supply of for as and when we need it:

  • Plasters – loads of different sizes
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Arnica cream
  • Teething Gels and powders
  • Baby Paracetamol
  • Baby Ibuprofen
  • Thermometer
  • Cotton wool
  • Calamine lotion
  • An icepack (kept in the freeze)
  • Cough medicine
  • Cream for stings and bites
  • Antihistamine medicine
  • Tweezers
  • Bandages
  • Mepore tape
  • Scissors

Treating at home

Obviously there’s a time and a place for treating babies and children at home, and if you have any concerns you should seek medical advice but minor illnesses such as coughs and colds can be treated effectively at home.

Let your instincts take over, if you feel that something isn’t quite right or is out of the ordinary for your baby then get help. There’s a lot to be said for a mother’s instinct.

You should always seek advice should your baby’s temperature be higher than 39C (38 or above for 0 – 3 month olds).

Alternative Treatments

Choosing alternative treatments such as homeopathic treatments is a personal choice but can offer relief from minor illnesses such as teething, coughs and colds and can be used by the whole family.

Hyland’s Baby Cough Syrup for dry tickly coughs can be used from six months onwards to relieve symptoms – just one in their extensive range of treatments for babies. children and adults.

Let me know in the comments if you think I’ve missed something off or if you have any tried and tested tips for treating babies and children.

Lisa x

Having fun with BabyLed Foods

Having fun with BabyLed Foods – We started our Baby Led Weaning journey a couple of weeks short of Freddie turning six months. He showed a LOT of interest whenever we were eating and would grab anything that was in his reach.

Although Freddie is my third baby, he’s the first that we opted to try baby led weaning with. I’m not sure why really, other than not really being ‘in the know’.

I did a lot of reading and a lot of searching on pinterest for ideas of what to give him which was suitable for his age range. We started off with single vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato and broccoli followed by single fruits before we got a bit more adventurous.

BabyLed Spreads


When Keith from BabyLed Food got in touch to see if Freddie would like to try out his BabyLed Spreads I was intrigued by the grown up sounding flavours and the versatility of how you can use them.

BabyLed Spreads were created by a dad who liked to experiment with meals for his daughter which are packed full of flavour whilst being healthy and quick to prepare. The flavours are what drew me in and we were sent:

  • Green Pea, Rocket & Dill
  • Red Lentil & Sweet Potato
  • Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea
  • Ricotta & Bean
  • Avocado, Red Pepper & Tomato
  • Carrot, Apple & Hummus

The spreads come in tiny 41ml glass jars which seem teeny but they’re the perfect size for a baby portion so there’s no waste, and due to the ingredients they must be eaten within two days of opening.

What can you do with the spreads?

There are lots of lovely recipe ideas on the BabyLed Food website but you can of course use them as sandwich fillers or as a dip for breadsticks or vegetable sticks. We really liked the idea of using them as a pasta sauce which is such a quick meal to make for your baby and seems to have a big thumbs up from Freddie.

What did we do with our spreads?

I was really excited for Freddie to try these and struggled to pick which flavour to try first. I wanted to keep things simple to start with so most of Freddie’s meals were finger food type foods.

Babyled Foods

Green Pea, Rocket & Dill

We made the Green Pea, Rocket and Dill spread into a pasta sauce. I just cooked some pasta (is it just my kids or do they like some shapes more that others?) and then mixed into the pasta. I didn’t heat it through since the pasta was hot.

babyled_foods

Red Lentil & Sweet Potato

Again we made the Red Lentil and Sweet Potato spread into a pasta sauce this time with macaroni pasta served with red and yellow pepper slices. We don’t give Freddie the bowl as he just throws it everywhere so we put a few bits on his tray which he can pick up and we sneak a few spoonfuls in as well which seems to work well.

BabyLed Foods

Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea

The Spicy Pumpkin and Chickpea Spread was my absolute favourite spread. It smelt gorgeous and having looked at some of the suggestions decided to make freddie a toastie for his lunch. I did this in a pan by melting a little bit of butter in a frying pan, spreading bread with some butter of both sides, spreading on the spread and adding a bit of grated cheese. Sandwich the two slices of bread together and fry in the butter. I used a fish slice to squash it down a bit so that it stuck together and then cut it into strips. This was so yummy that I used the rest for myself in the same way to dip into my tomato soup. Totally scrummy!

BabyLed Foods

Ricotta & Bean

We used the Ricotta and Bean spread as a filling for wraps. We buy the mini ones which are perfect for little ones lunches. I just spread it on the wrap and then rolled it tightly so that it stays together before cutting into little bite sized wheels.

BabyLed Foods

Avocado, Red Pepper & Tomato

We used this as a pizza base on muffins. I toasted the muffins first, spread on the Avocado, Red Pepper and Tomato spread and added grated cheese then put in the grill to melt. This went down so well that I used it the following day as a sandwich filling with grated cheese.

babyled_foods

Carrot, Apple & Hummus

The Carrot, Apple and Hummus spread was a lovely sandwich filling using sandwich thins which are quite small so perfect for making little ones sandwiches and went down a treat.

Our thoughts

I’m a huge fan of these spreads and am looking forward to trying out the rest of the flavours in the range. I wasn’t very adventurous with the use of the spreads since little Freddie doesn’t really allow me much time for anything other than quick meals, but already have my eye on the Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Giant Cous Cous and Spicy Chickpea and Pumpkin Patty recipes.

The BabyLed spreads can be bought from Amazon in different multiples and work out at around 77p per jar.

Oh oh oh…..I forgot to say that they also do sweet jars such as Rhubarb & Fig and Raspberry & Beetroot. Yum

For more inspiration on how to use the spreads and see what others are doing head on over to the BabyLed Food Instagram feed.

*We were sent a selection of BabyLed Spreads for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Basic Fun Easter Gift Review

Basic Fun Easter Gift Review


?????Basic Fun Easter Gift Review – I know that we’ve already done an alternative Easter Gift Review but when we were offered the opportunity to receive some Basic Fun items that would be suitable as Easter Gifts we jumped at the chance.

Let me tell you why – Retro My Little Pony!

Need I say more!

Basic Fun Easter Gifts - If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to chocolate for the littles this Easter then here are a few from Basic Fun that I'm sure your kids would love to receive

The My Little Ponies that Isabelle plays with whilst are lovely, are not the My Little Pony’s that my sister and I played with as kids. Nowadays, the ponies have far more features, are slimmed down and the range is huge, but they were the must have toy and you were lucky if you had one.

We did also get a Little Lucky Lunchbox and a Cutetitos so lets not get too nostalgic.

Basic Fun Easter Gifts - If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to chocolate for the littles this Easter then here are a few from Basic Fun that I'm sure your kids would love to receive

Little Lucky Lunchbox

We hadn’t seen these before so Isabelle was super keen to get this cracked open to see what was inside.

The Little Lucky Lunchbox is a cute metal lunchbox which varies in design (so also collectible) and each lunchbox contains two foodie friends and two secret surprises. There are ten different lunchboxes to collect and 50 different surprises to collect. These retail for £6.99 from Amazon and other retailers and are suitable from 4+ years.

Basic Fun Easter Gifts - If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to chocolate for the littles this Easter then here are a few from Basic Fun that I'm sure your kids would love to receive

What we got

Oh Isabelle does love a surprise toy. The sight of the checklist is enough to send her over the edge with excitement!!

We got an Orange Bubble can where the lid pops off so you can hide things inside and a squishy Taco which had a little blind bag hiding inside it.

The two surprise gifts were a Foodie Friends Sticker which is a Blackberry and the other surprise was a little Pig.

Isabelle really loved the Lunchbox and it’s contents since it’s the perfect size to use as play food for some of her other toys. She’s already added this to her extensive list of ‘wants’.

Basic Fun Easter Gifts - If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to chocolate for the littles this Easter then here are a few from Basic Fun that I'm sure your kids would love to receive

Cutetito

This is Isabelle’s second Cutetito, she also has Luckito the cat which she loves.

Each Cutetitos comes wrapped like a burrito with the foil wrapper like you would get from a street food seller. Unwrap the burrito to reveal which of the Cutetio bunch you will get.

This time we got: Chihuahito the dog!

She’s purple and is Medium Spice which I think Isabelle would be able to handle.

Basic Fun Easter Gifts - If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to chocolate for the littles this Easter then here are a few from Basic Fun that I'm sure your kids would love to receive



This revelation has sparked up the old ‘can I have a dog’ question for Isabelle as she would like to have her own dog that she can carry around and a chihuahua is currently top of her list. Never mind that we already have a lovely dog, albeit a big and hairy and certainly not one you can carry around.

Isabelle likes to keep her Cutetitos in their wraps so they look like they’re in sleeping bags.

My Little Pony Retro

Basic Fun Easter Gifts - If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to chocolate for the littles this Easter then here are a few from Basic Fun that I'm sure your kids would love to receive

I saved the best til last, in my opinion. Isabelle was quite intrigued to see what kind of toys I used to play with in the olden days. Cheeky Monkey! A My Little Pony Retro…….

???????She noticed straight away that the pony has fatter legs and is bigger than the ponies that she has. She loved that it had lovely colourful hair and that it came with a comb which I’m not sure mine did.

The names are different which I’m not aware of when these changed. Isabelle recieved Confetti which she absolutely loves.

What chocolate alternatives are you getting for your kids?



Lisa

*we were sent these items for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links.



Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review

Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review

Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review – We’ve been sent a set of Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies from Interplay to review which Isabelle was very excited about.

Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review - These cute fuzzy little bunnies can be coloured then wiped clean ready to start all over again. In this set each bunny comes with it's own sleeping bag and accessories to create your own designs. They even have little s

What you get

The Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies set comes with:

  • 1 Large Fuzzikins Bunny
  • 1 Medium Fuzzikins Bunny
  • 1 Small Fuzzikins Bunny
  • 3 Felt tip Pens
  • 3 Fuzzikins Felt Beds
  • Felt Accessories for the Fuzzikins Bunnys
  • Practice Colouring Templates
Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review - These cute fuzzy little bunnies can be coloured then wiped clean ready to start all over again. In this set each bunny comes with it's own sleeping bag and accessories to create your own designs. They even have little s

We cut out the practice colouring templates so that Isabelle could work out her designs before she coloured on the bunnies which I thought was quite a good think since Isabelle’s a bit of a perfectionist.

Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review - These cute fuzzy little bunnies can be coloured then wiped clean ready to start all over again. In this set each bunny comes with it's own sleeping bag and accessories to create your own designs. They even have little s

Each Bunny had it’s very own sleeping bag with accessories including sleep masks which were a nice touch.

Once she had completed her designs she made a start on the real thing. The bunny’s were really easy to colour on and can be wiped clean if any mistakes are made or if you fancy changing the designs.

Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review - These cute fuzzy little bunnies can be coloured then wiped clean ready to start all over again. In this set each bunny comes with it's own sleeping bag and accessories to create your own designs. They even have little s

The sleeping bag much to my relief were already pre-made and came with felt stickers to design the beds with. There were even Super Hero masks and a cape for them.

The Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies set is aimed at children 4 years and over and retail at £9.99 from leading retailers.

Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review - These cute fuzzy little bunnies can be coloured then wiped clean ready to start all over again. In this set each bunny comes with it's own sleeping bag and accessories to create your own designs. They even have little s

Our thoughts

Isabelle is very much into role play and add a bit of craft into the mix and you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of finding something fun to do.

I set her up with this kit and away she went with no additional help needed since there was no cutting or sewing, everything was ready and easy to use.

Once she’d created her designs on the templates, she coloured the actual bunnies and then played with them for ages. She’s not ready to wash them yet as she really likes the way they look, but she’s looking forward to changing their style soon.

I think this was a lovely kit which would be perfect for a rainy day or a home day when I’ve got loads to do. At £9.99 this is a really good price for what you get. There are other kits and animals that you can get in the range to add to your collection.

The Fuzzikin’s Bedtime Bunnies get’s a huge thumbs up from us.

Lisa x

Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies Review - These cute fuzzy little bunnies can be coloured then wiped clean ready to start all over again. In this set each bunny comes with it's own sleeping bag and accessories to create your own designs. They even have little s

10 Month Baby Update

10 Month Baby Update

10 Month Baby Update – we’ve hit double digits and this little boy us getting more fun every day.

New Stuff

  • He hates getting changed or dressed and will struggle and roll away. Crawling and rolling away with no clothes on is his favourite and makes him laugh so much
  • Laughing – actually chuckling at things rather than being tickled
  • Baby chat – he loves to chat away and laugh to himself. So flipping cute!
  • Pulling himself up and down quite swiftly without any problems
  • Opening drawers and cupboards
  • Standing for a few seconds without holding on
  • Sofa surfing – he’s just started to move around holding onto the sofa

Loves:

  • Being on the move. None of our kids have been very good at sitting still
  • Music – he likes singing (or my attempts) nursery rhymes
  • Banging – he has a toy hammer that he likes to bang on the floor and on other toys
  • Things in a box or a bag. I put things in a box or bag for him to find whilst I need to get things done
  • Isabelle being silly. Hi holing faces, crawling around after him or playing peek-a-Boo. He loves it!
  • Cuddles – he likes to put his head on your shoulder and clings to you and says ‘ahhh’

Hates:

  • Sitting still
  • Getting changed or dressed
  • Having his face wiped

Teething

He’s currently got nine teeth and I think we’ve got another one on the way as he’s had red cheeks and been off his food for the last few days.

Play

He loves to play with the best bit standing at his toy box turfing everything out onto the floor. He likes cars which we push across the floor and he goes after them. Building blocks up so that he can knock them down so he can clap to himself is also a big hit.

We have a toy basket downstairs and one upstairs which we swap around so that it’s a bit exciting when he sees a toy that he hasn’t seen for a day or two.

Growth

I haven’t had him weighed this month but he’s wearing mostly 9 – 12 Month clothes. The tops are fine but he keeps crawling out of some of his trousers which fit him lengthways but are too big around the waist.

Weaning

This is going really well. His favourite food is fruit and he’s willing try everything that we give him.

I have tried to give him the odd blitzed meal just to save on the cleaning up but he doesn’t seem to want to open his mouth unless he’s the one putting the food in it. We’ve been documenting this on our Instagram feed if you’re looking for any meal inspiration.

Feeding

Urgh I feel like this is going to be a fraught topic each month. He’s feeding really well, just mostly at night! He’s feeding most hourly and quite frankly I’m knackered.

He feeds during the day but he seems to like to feed in the quiet and dark which would be great if I didn’t need to get up and sorted every morning for the school run or maybe if I got the chance to have a day time nap it wouldn’t be so bad.

Sleeping

Or lack of. Freddie’s feeding almost hourly at the moment so neither of us is getting enough sleep but his day time naps are pretty non-existent as well. He might have about half an hour in the morning and maybe (but mostly not) another half an hour in the afternoon.

I’ve tried sitting on the bed without any noise to get him to go down and taking him out for a walk but it just seems to be pot luck whether or not he sleeps.

If we don’t get an afternoon nap in then dinner time becomes a bit of a nightmare. He’s too tired to eat and we then limp on until his bedtime feed at 7pm.

Having reread all of the above it’s a bit doom and gloom which in fact it isn’t. He’s such a character now whose already shown his mischievous side. He loves to be around all of us, playing with his toys, chasing him around or singing songs. Although he doesn’t sleep a lot, he doesn’t cry a lot which I think is what keeps me together.

How do you get through the knackering days which seem to go by in a huge blur?

Lisa x

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 – Mermals

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 – Mermals

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 – Mermals from Spinmaster. When Isabelle first saw the advert for these she did her usual pause and rewind the TV so that she could show me them in the hope that we would stop what we were doing immediately, go to the shops and buy them ALL!

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

The Season 5 range is slightly different as they are colour changing which just adds to the excitement tenfold.

There are lots of different sets to collect from pocket money affordable single packs at to playsets, and with over 80 to collect it’s a pretty long check list.

Within the series there are lots of different types of Hatchimals including:

Mermals – Half Hatchimal half Mermaid – Blue Sparkly Egg
Underwater friends – Blue Sparkly Egg
Mermal Twins – Blue Sparkly Egg
Sunshine Surf – Special Edition – Blue Oval Egg
Mischief Marsh _ Yellow Swirly Egg
Racing River – Purple Horn Shaped Egg
Blissful Bay – Limited Edition – Pink Sparkly Egg
6-Pack Shell – Peach Eggs
One Dozen – Blue Sparkly Egg

Each type of Hatchimal comes in a different type of egg as above but you won’t know what’s inside until you open them.

Of course, the first thing that Isabelle always does with collectibles is scan the checklist and pick out the ones that she would like to get the most before she opens the eggs.

How do you open the eggs?

Each of the eggs has a heart on them which you press and the egg cracks revealing your hatchimal. Isabelle tried her best to split the eggs in half, but some of them are impossible to open this way, and then her impatience gets the better of her and she just pulls them apart.

We were sent a Single Pack, a 6-pack Shell, and a 4 pack with bonus totally 13 hatchimals which was very exciting.

What we got:

A Single Hatchimals Season 5 Pack
A Four Pack Hatchimals CollEGGtibles + Bonus Pack
A 6-Pack Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Shell Pack

In the single pack we unboxed a Sunshine Owling which is a common Hatchimal. She was very impressed with this one as it had its very own surf board.

In the 4 pack + bonus we got four mermal eggs in which we got Mer-pandoo, Mer-Seaspoon (rare), Mer-Unikeet, and (*drumroll) – Koalabee which are Mermal twins, and a Blissful Bay Egg which contained a limited edition Blissful Kangaroose.

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

In the 6-shell pack she got Sapphire Anteagle, Sapphire Owlicorn, Sapphire Burtle, Sapphire Girreo, Sapphire Foxfin and Sapphire Penguala.

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

How do they colour change?

Parts of each of the hatchimals change colour in the water whether it be their tail or a gem that they are holding onto which then changes back once they are dry.

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

The Hatchimals CollEGGtibles are recommended from age 5 upwards and are available from most toy shops and Amazon.

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

There is also an App that you can download to keep track of the Hatchimals that you’ve collected.

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

Our thoughts

Isabelle loves a collectible and has quite an extensive range of different collectibles that she likes to add to on birthdays, christmas or through saving her spending money. She loves the element of surprise, and whilst there does always seem like a lot of packaging compared the end result she does play with them time and again which makes them worthwhile.

She was very excited that out of the twelve Hatchimals she managed to get a rare, a limited edition and a set of twins which she was so thrilled with. The colour changing aspect of these Hatchimals makes them extra special, and also gives her a good excuse for taking them in the bath.

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

These sets would definitely make a lovely gift whether it be for a birthday, Christmas or even as an Easter Gift.

Which Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 is your Favourite?

Lisa x

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 - Mermals from Spinmaster. See what we thought of the new range and which Hatchimals we unboxed

*We were sent some Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 5 sets for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links.