Thursday, 18 September 2014

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY ABBIE!

We cannot believe you are TWO, it seems like only yesterday we were celebrating your 1st Birthday with friends and family, things have changed so much in a year, more than we could ever have imagined! The difference in you between then and now has been insane, if we start from the top (literally), your hair..it has grown about 4 inches since last year, instead of rocking the 90's curtains look, you now have beautiful golden locks with bouncy little curls at the end, it sits perfectly on your shoulders and I can now play with it like I always dreamed about before I was even a mother, little plaits, ponytails and bunches, you're such a good girl and always sit still so I can do it :).

Your speech is incredible! People are always amazed at how much you talk and how clearly, you can count up to 28 quickly and can recognise most numbers when written down too! The same with the alphabet, you know that like the back of your hand and can tell us what each letter is too! You can write the number 1, even though to us, that's easy, it's just a line, for a 2 year old it's amazing that you can write it then tell us what it is! Last time I wrote an update like this was 10 months ago, you could say so many words then but now you know too many to even write down, you understand almost everything we say and you talk to us like a proper little girl now too, you have amazing manners, saying please and thank you, we are so proud of you! You can spell a few words too (thank you alpha blocks!), cup, mug, sum and pig now :)

You have a good little temper on you, usually if we ask you not to do something or you don't get your own way, you can certainly throw yourself around, usually backwards, but sometimes forward and digging your head into the floor whilst fake crying, you forget we were young once too, we know all the tricks in the book ;). 

You are more into your food now, eating what we eat most of the time and enjoying it! Your current favourite foods and carrots, peas, mange tout (so posh!), grapes, banana and apples, if you could eat all of that together every day, I think you would! And you've recently really started loving pineapple and pasta, yummy!

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Today we had a busy day of present unwrapping, visitors and fun! As soon as you came down you went straight for the biggest present and started unwrapping it! After that you weren't too bothered about anything else, so we both helped you out and you started realising good things were suddenly appearing and got a little more into it! 

You've been well and truly spoilt today, an easel, ride on car, peppa pig goodies, chalk board, toy phone, books, sticker books, Raa Raa toys, In the Night Garden bits, bath toys and clothes galore! Aside from about 5 items in the last picture, all those clothes are brand new!! Lucky lucky girl!












Time to have some birthday cake now and chill out for a bit, ready for your party on Saturday, yay! :) Lots and lots of pictures then too!

We love you so much
Mummy & Daddy!

x

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Linky | Sunday Best



This week I am excited to be co-hosting the Sunday Best linkup at Sparkle & Stretchmarks  with Amy of In My Bubble!

We will be joining in every week in c0-hosting this linky, so please be sure to give all of your hosts a follow and visit their blogs if you haven't already! 

There are very few rules, but here are the ones I have:

1) You can link up any post that you wish, but the URL must lead to a post and NOT to your blog home page.

2) Please try to visit and comment on as many other linked-up posts as you can (one is better than none!), and please leave #SundayBest on your comment so the blogger knows that's how you found their post!

3) Please add the Sunday Best button on your blog homepage or your blog post - the more the linky is shared, the more people link up and the more we can all interact!







  

Friday, 5 September 2014

Product Launch | Thule RideAlong Mini


About Thule
The Thule brand was established in 1942. Under the motto Bring your life, Thule globally offers a wide range of premium products for active people that allow them to bring what they care most for safely, easily and in style. It offers among other things roof racks, bike carriers, roof boxes, computer/camera/sports bags and child related products like child bike seats and multifunctional strollers. The products are sold in more than 125 countries world-wide! 

Thule RideAlong Mini is the latest addition to Thule’s growing product range, it is a front-mounted child bike seat that is safe and easy to use, with the design and functionality simplifying daily commuting as well as bike adventures for the whole family. 

The child bike seat is one of the most integrated and easy to use front child bike seat on the market. Intuitive and smart solutions such as the adjustable, padded 5-point harness, and the single-hand adjustable foot straps and foot rests, ensure maximum comfort and safety, allowing you to focus on what is most important: enjoying the ride with your family.

“This type of front mounted bicycle child seat is already used extensively in many countries and is a natural extension of the Thule Active with kids category. The Thule Ride Along Mini is designed to be easy to use, enhance the biking experience for the child and help you when you want to bike or commute with two children,”. 



Key Features:

· Childproof safety buckle with large buttons to quickly secure your child

· Soft handle bar for your little one to place the hands on during the ride

· Detachable, water-resistant padding - machine washable and reversible offering two colour options

· Mounts/dismounts from the bike in seconds thanks to the slam lock fixation to the quick release bracket

· Correct mounting of the seat is indicated via an integrated safety indicator on the quick release bracket

· The universal quick release bracket fits bikes with both normal and ahead stems

· The seat is lockable to the bike thanks to an integrated lock

· Meets stringent safety standards & is TÜV approved.

The RideAlong Mini will be available in store as of April 2015!
Look out for our review of the original Thule RideAlong at the weekend!

x


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Fashion | Toddler Styling with Sainsbury's!


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

When it comes to buying clothes for Abbie, I don't want to spend a lot of money, but I want things that are still going to look cute, stylish and high quality! There are so many places that sell gorgeous kids clothes and I have to be honest, I think supermarkets provide the best! Sainsbury's in particular always have amazing bits, every season when stock is rotated, i'm amazed at the quality and variety they have! Now we're coming into Autumn, they have created looks with the main colours purple, brown and red and I have to say I love it so much! We have a Sainsburys store not too far from us with everything you can imagine when it comes to providing for your little ones, shoes, tops, jeans, coats, vests, pyjamas, everything, the prices are always really reasonable and perfect if you're on a budget (who isn't eh!). 

Above I have picked my favourite bits from the Sainsburys Tu website for you all, and explained them below as well as prices etc...

Skinny Jeans
I still think skinny jeans are the most adorable item of clothing a toddler can wear, they instantly look so grown up in them, Abbie's at the age now where she stuffs things in the pockets so every time I do the washing I have to check them for pieces of lego and crisps! These jeans come in a dark wash with adorable little heart buttons!

Price: £6
Average Price Online: £12
Saving: £6

Cat Jumper
Now it's cooling down, fluffy jumpers are perfect for layering them up and keeping them warm, I loved the style of this with the little cat face on the front and a little red bow for added detail, plus a cricket style hem and cuff, to finish off the look, it's a must have this season to add to your little girlie's wardrobe! 

Price: £9
Average Price Online: £14
Saving: £5

Blue Gilet
This is probably my favourite item from the autumn collection, a gorgeous navy blue quilted material with a tan trim matched with pretty little brown bows and a black and white heart lining inside, it will no doubt keep them warm this season! There are also adorable little heart poppers to to keep them snug! I would suggest getting one size up from what they usually wear as it'll be on top of 2 or 3 layers depending on the weather! It also looks so much more expensive than it actually is..

Price: £10
Average Price Online: £19!
Saving: £9

Cat T-shirts
Basic tshirts are a must for any childs wardrobe, they pretty much wearing them every single day and are bound to get them mucky quickly so you don't want to spend a fortune! Sainsburys always have amazing tshirt bundles which is why we get most of Abbie;s from there! With these you will get a pack of 3 cat inspired tops, the first is a lovely tan colour which has an adorable little cat decal, the second is a white top with lots of little cat faces across it whilst the this is just a plain autumnal red tee with slightly ruffled sleeves!

Price: £8
Average Price Online: £10
Saving: £2

Boots
You can't complete an outfit without shoes, and these new boots from Sainsburys really are gorgeous, keeping in theme with the tan look, these are sturdy, amazing quality and have a really pretty 3D butterfly effect across one side with little flowers, the heel is low so easy to walk in and they will make that clip cloppy noise as your little ones walk (which they all love!). Match it with some skinny jeans, tee, fluffy jumper and a black winter hat and your little one will be all set for winter!

Price: £14
Average Price Online: £25
Saving: £11

Purple Jeans
Just to add a splash of colour to this collection, I added these gorgeous purple jeans, with little ruffled pockets, a turned up hem on the legs and an elasticated waist band, these jeans will probably fit them for a good 6-12 months beyond their age, we actually got these for Abbie at our local store and were so impressed with the quality, soft enough they can still jump and run in without restriction any movement! Adding a splash of plum to their autumn wardrobe is a must have :)

Price: £8
Average Price Online: £19
(hard to find online actually)
Saving: £11

Keep an eye out for more bargain finds next week :)
Where's your favourite place to get clothes for your little ones?

x

Review | Cosatto Hug Carseat

Todays post is a review of the Go Lightly Hug Carseat from Cosatto. Cosatto are my favourite brand when it comes to pushchairs & car seats, with their stunning designs and funky patterns, they have very quickly become one of the most popular brands in the country! Their slogan 'Baby Stuff with Personality' is exactly what they provide, we are lucky enough to be Brand Buddy's for them and have enjoyed testing out a range of other products too! They are below :)



My first thought of the car seat was the size of it, it is pretty big, but when you ask someone for a hug no-one wants a little one, it's gotta be big!! :) We are used to our Mamas and Papas which is probably half the size, with that in mind Cosatto have described it as a 'big teddy bear with tough guy credentials' and I couldn't agree more, with comfort and style as well as supreme safety and a gorgeous pattern, it's everything you could need in a car seat! The Hug is suitable from 9 months right through to 11 years so despite the fact it's a little on the pricier side, it will be the only car seat you will need until they grow out of it!

Features
Conforms to ECE R44/04
Easy to install
Forward facing
Fits both front and rear seats
Side impact protection
5 position recline
5 point safety harness with quick release buckle
Compatible with standard 3 point seat belt
Height adjustable head rest
Comfy padded armrests
Size: L: 64cm W: 50cm D: 50cm
Weight: 9.5kg

"The squishy tummy and chest pads will keep precious passengers snug and safe on every journey. With luxury fabrics, piping and leatherette details Hug is a premium quality plush car seat"

I think the Golightly design is my favourite, it's modern and girly without being over the top, it can grow with Abbie and stay in 'style' throughout the years too! Abbie absolutely loves this car seat, she kept trying to strap herself in before we'd even adjusted the straps, I think she just loves a good ol trip in the car! But seeing her in it looking comfortable and secure is a big thing off my shoulders :)

Installing
We did have a few problems getting it into the car properly, we had a Mamas & Papas one before which we've been used to taking out and putting back in, we assumed all car seats were the same, how wrong we were ha ha. We followed the instructions and through a bit of fiddling we finally got the hang of it, it did take about 30 minutes to get everything in and secure properly but thats a small price to pay for ensuring it is perfectly installed!








































































































You can buy your very own Hug carseat for £220 either online with Cosatto or from one of their national partners listed on the website! Cosatto have lots of other fab and funky designs to choose from, including the new A/W collection you don't want to miss! My 2 favourites are the Kimono Ooba & Orange Squash 3sixti Highchair!


x


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Toddler Holiday Wishlist with H&M!

As you may or may not know, we were recently picked as Butlins Ambassadors for 2014/15, this means that we can finally have our first family holiday and boy have I been preparing early! We are heading off mid December once all the Christmassy decorations are up so that'll be pretty magical I think! In the meantime I've already written up our checklist of things we need, a separate one for Abbie, Ben & I, complete with necessities, clothes & what snacks to take for the car journey, yes really. 

With all that excitement, I have also decided to start saving for new winter clothes as at the moment Abbie's wardrobe is all pretty floaty and not so cosy outfits, luckily we have a few months to save up and I've had lots of fun browsing! My current favourite store for kids clothes is H&M, literally everything they have, I want for Abbie, what I like most is that it's really affordable but the clothes are all amazing quality too, just what you need when looking for bits to keep your little ones warm and cosy! So after the H&M kids catalogue came through the post yesterday morning, I dove straight in circling what I liked until I realised I hadn't left anything unmarked...so it was time to move to the laptop and to create a wish list, I added everything I liked to my basket, knowing I would go back later on and delete the bits that were too pricey or that weren't completely necessary! So here we go, i've shared my favourite items in this post, all of which I am hoping to have enough money to buy, not just for the holiday but for the winter too!


SOCKS | GLOVES | HAT  

Winter Warmers
Definitely need some cosy jumpers and cardigans for the time of year, I am in love with number 2 the most, I just think a toddler wearing a hoody is the cutest thing ever, Abbie's gonna look like a proper little girl in it! The denim jacket with the furry hood is probably my favourite item out of the lot, and typically, the most expensive, but it's so adorable and denim always stays in fashion so it can be passed down too!

Accessories
Wooly hats, fluffy gloves and snuggly socks, necessities for any winter wardrobe whether you're a toddler or an adult! Abbie doesn't mind wearing hats in the winter, last year we bought her an adorable little owl one with fluffy ears and big eyes on the front, it keeps their head warm as well as their ears whilst making them look super cute as well! Gloves are probably a little more challenging to make them wear but once they reach the age of 18 months+ it's a lot easier to get their little fingers into the right parts! Ha ha. 




When it comes to playtime they need to be able to move easily, leggings, tracksuit bottoms and long sleeved tshirts will do just that whilst still keeping them warm! There is an amazing soft play area at Butlins so all the leggings above would be perfect for running around in and climbing the frames etc, my favourites are probably the little grey ones with the little bunnies on, i'm hoping she'll get these for her birthday! :D. I've just realised there's a pattern emerging in the colour scheme, grey and pinks, I guess thats the colours for the Autumn season!

When we visit the fairground she needs to be warm and comfortable still, so i'd probably put her in a pair of jeans, some boots, long sleeved top and a nice snuggly jumper, perhaps with a body warmer over the top for some extra warmness, also the perfect outfit for a trip to the beach too, yes we will be going! :)


One of my favourite things to do now I have a little girl of my own is to dress her up! I always thought she was too small before and dresses looked a little, well, silly and always too long on her, but she seems to have had a big growth spurt recently and now looks about 6 years old in them! I picked the black and white striped dress and black tights for a gorgeous monochrome look, then matched it with the baby pink cardigan for a little softness and well, I can't forget the pink theme can I! 

Review | Degustabox July


Hello all
Today's review is the July Degustabox (better late than never), we have lots of fun each month reviewing these and always get excited before it arrives! We always wait to do our food shop when we know the Degustabox is gonna be delivered, it gives us inspiration on meals we can cook with ingredients provided and boy were we glad we waited this time! This was the opportunity to make some dinners we hadn't tried before with products we hadn't ever tried! Here are our thoughts on this months box!



Maggi Range
Ever since I was about 9 years old I've been brought up with Maggi sauce in cooking, we had a friend of the family who was Nigerian and she was a goddess in the kitchen and added it to everything possible! Since then I've used it all the time, I remember introducing it to Ben (who by the way is not one who likes to try new foods), but he loved it, he always asks me to add it into the cooking and since having Abbie, she loves it too, especially on her rice at lunch!

Ive seen the adverts on telly for the So Juicy and Tray Bake products and always wanted to try them but I never actually have, possibly because it's something a little different, so upon opening my box this month I was super excited to see 6 packets that we could try! I think the one i'm most excited to try is the Soy & Garlic chicken, I'm in love with oriental flavours so this would be perfect with rice and a dash of maggi sauce too! It's on the menu for next week so will post the picture of what we had!


It was DELICIOUS! And without sounding too cheesy, it was so juicy, the chicken was melt in your mouth and not at all dry, the flavours were perfectly balanced too! I decided to cook it with noodles and stir fried veg with an extra drizzle of soy sauce and some sesame oil, definitely will be cooking it again! :)




Portlebay Popcorn
A small crew from Decon who want to make great tasting fun and interesting food and decided on Kracklecorn, a bit different from you average popcorn. 
"One bite of our sweet and salty artisan treat and the love affair will begin"

The flavours sent were Chilli & Lime, Slightly Sweet & Salted & wait for it...Crispy bacon and maple syrup! I'm not actually the biggest fan of popcorn, I just find it too sickly and the texture isn't really my cup of tea! I was reluctant to try them for this reason but I did and I was pleasantly surprised by the chilli & lime one, as I mentioned above I love oriental flavours and this was perfect, sweet, sour and with a touch of heat, I ended up eating the whole bag myself! The bacon and maple syrup one was weird, ha ha, I will be honest and say it wasn't for us, it was an unusual flavour and definitely doesn't tickle our fancy at all, pancakes with maple syrup yet, with bacon on popcorn? Definitely not. But I'm glad I tried to and it's definitely worth a taste!



Green & Black's | Lemon Bar
Infused dark chocolate with a zesty lemon flavour striking a balance between a fresh citrusy hit and enticing rich dark chocolate. "The subtle lemon flavour tang of the bar will transport you back to hose long hot summer days of years gone by."

What I love about Green & Black's chocolate is that although it's nice to wolf down an entire bar of chocolate of this size, they make it so you literally can only treat yourself, a few squares of this is enough, because it's dark chocolate it's a bit richer and stronger in taste, but still enjoyable! We actually made hot chocolates with whipped cream and shaved some of this on top and it was delicious!


Frank's Honest Snacking 
Blueberry & chocolate snack bar!
I love love love snacking bars, I'm always looking for healthy alternatives and if chocolate is involved in that then its the best of both worlds! Ha ha. I really enjoyed this, it has the usual texture you'd expect with healthy chocolate bar alternatives, they are made using dates which creates a slightly grainy texture, I find these sorts of bars really do fill that gap between meals, it doesn't leave me wanting more which is perfect! I have since bought other flavours of this range and it's gone down well with Ben & Abbie too!



Dr Oetker Cake Toppings
Eton Mess
Violet Crystals

Inspired by the latest baking trends, new Dr Oetker Eton Mess & Violet Crystals Sprinkles are the perfect way to add extra colour and flavour to all your home baking and desserts. These edible decorations can be easily added to your home baking to create your own very special look! We made cupcakes and cookies with these as toppings and silly me forgot to take proper photos on my camera, we added nutella then topped them with these two, so yummy! A little goes a long way with these too so you're definitely getting your moneys worth!


Zeo Drinks 
Forget the usual sweet and sticky soft drinks, when it comes to refeshing yourself this summer, discover ZEO. It's a crisp, dry soft drink with a tingling taste sensation that comes in three light fruity flavours, peach and Grapefruit Burst, Citrus Crush & Lime Zest. 

I don't usually get excited about drinks, food yes, but not drinks, but these were really yummy, I fell in love with them and have since bought them on almost every food shop! My favourite was definitely the Burst flavour, so refreshing and thirst quenching without all the nasty sugars that are in most products of it's type! They are all unique in their flavour, the perfect drink for Summer!

x