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Friday, 13 January 2017

Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier **REVIEW**

With James now at school and Evelyn regularly attending toddler groups Im always worrying about them bringing home bugs and getting ill. I know sometimes its inevitable but if there was a way to help cut the chances of this happening wouldn't you take it?

We were recently asked to test out the AeraMax DX55 air purifier and I was intrigued to see if it would really work. After having a read about the air purifier it would seem the AeraMax DX55 certainly cuts down the chances or those bugs and viruses staying in the air in our home and so I was excited to give it a try.


It may be coincidence but we have had the AeraMax up and running for a little while now and nobody has come down with a cough or cold yet! Normally with this cold weather and 2 kids running around atleast one of us has come down with something, I will keep you updated though!

We don't smoke or have pets but I was interested to hear it could help eliminate mould spores too.
The AeraSafe™ Antimicrobial Treatment offers built-in protection from the growth of odour causing bacteria, mildew and fungi on True HEPA filter. Our house is terraced and seems to suffer quite badly with condensation in the winter. As you know the extra moisture seems to increase the chances of some mould building up around the window frames. Whilst we do of course wipe this down I do worry about the spores that could be in the air after cleaning it especially in the bedrooms where the condensation seems to be worse so it would could to know this could help capture those too.



The AeraMax DX55 four-stage purification system captures 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen and other allergens, dust mites, mould spores, pet dander and cigarette smoke.


"The Fellowes AeraMax™ Air Purifiers use a combination of the most effective filtration and cleaning methods as part of a 4-stage filtration process to remove 99.97% of airborne pollutants and particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This level of performance combined with a feature set and interface designed for any indoor environment, makes it the perfect clean air solution.

I placed the AeraMax DX55 in our living room, its the room we all spend the most time in and as our house is kind of open plan, I gathered this would probably be the best place for it to work at its best and provide the most benefit. The AeraMax is actually recommended for rooms up to 18m² so covers plenty of ground for a standard home.

I really like the clean design and whilst I initially thought it looked quite bulky now its in place it is actually fine, it kind of reminds me of a portable heater. The AeraMax DX55 has a small black touchscreen display which is simply to use and understand and really responsive to touch. I like the fact it has lights that indicate just how clean your air is.


The AeraMax DX55 air purifier has 2 filters ( Carbon and True HEPA filter) which are easy to install and change. The display on the front will show a light indicating when these need changing too so no guess work is needed and you can be sure that your air purifier is working at its best at all times.


I am looking forward to having this running in the spring/summer to see how it helps with hayfever as all of us seem to suffer during peak times. I will be sure to check back in with you all to let you know but judging from our results so far I think its going to be a big help.

The Fellowes AeraMax DX55 air purifier is priced at around £199.99 which may seem like a large outlay but once you have the air purifier its only the filters to purchase. For me the price seems really reasonable for peace of mind that the air quality in our home has been significantly improved and we may just keep away those pesky bugs this winter!


If you would like to find our more about the AeraMax DX55 air purifier or any other products in their range check out the Fellowes website here - www.fellowes.com

xXx


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

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Becoming WWT Members!

Just before Christmas both myself and my husband decided we wanted to take out a yearly membership to somewhere we could visit as a family regularly on those days when we were stuck indoors. We had a good look online and discovered the WWT wetlands centres and knew this would be a great place for us and the kids.

WWT (Which stands for Wildlife and Wetlands Trust) have 9 centres dotted all across the UK, and if you decide to become a member you can visit all of these unlimited amounts of times inclusive of your membership price. Membership cost us £81 (for 2 adults and 2 children although you can add up to 6 children for the same price!). You can also pay monthly making it just £6.75 a month which we agreed was a great price.

If its thrill rides you are looking for then the wetlands centre may not be for you. However what the wetlands don't have in thrill they certainly make up for in beauty, adventure and knowledge.


"They’re great places to get close to wildlife. They’re places to relax, be inspired and feel at one with the world around you."

James is 7 and Evelyn is 2 and they love visiting the wetlands centre, we have only visited the Slimbridge centre ourselves as this is the closest to us and we love it! We will certainly be visiting the other centres if we are ever passing or on holiday.

From the winding wooden walkway bridges that appear to float above the waters filled with a huge array of birds, to the sunken bird watching hut where flamingo's and birds mix and you feel like you are in the water with them There is so much to see and do at the Slimbridge wetlands centre.


At Slimbridge wetlands centre there are also play park area's with lots of opportunities to climb, swing and slide and if little ones still have energy to burn a visit to welly boot land is a must! Stepping stones that reach out in the ponds where ducks swim between the stones are one of James favourite places to play during our visits.


Whether its bird watching, getting outdoors or letting the kids burn of some built up energy whilst learning all about birds and wildlife then a WWT membership could be for you! These 2 are absolutely fascinated by all the wildlife around them when we visit and each time we visit they find something new, learn something new and are always excited to get wet and muddy.


If all this wasn't enough though the wetlands centres often have special experiences on offer throughout the year. Most recently they had a magical Father Christmas visit where you could take part in a whole host of Christmas activities (inc crafts and breakfast with elves and father Christmas) ending with a magical visit to see Father Christmas. We also managed to catch the end of the LEGO brick animals trail which saw an array of LEGO animals dotted around Slimbridge wetlands centre complete with facts about each animal. Being a huge LEGO fan James loved this and even better it was all included in our membership price!.



If you are interested in finding out more about WWT centres and the work they do, finding your local WWT centre or even becoming a member you can visit their website here - www.wwt.org.uk.

Have you ever been to a WWT centre? If so what one did you visit and did you love it as much as us?


xXx

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

After school clubs - Pushy Parents or Gaining Experience's?

I was recently asked about why James took part in so many after school clubs and it got me thinking. As I write this post James currently belongs to 3 after school clubs having recently dropped swimming lessons to concentrate on swimming club. When I was asked the question the person insinuated that perhaps it was me who was "pushing" James to attend these groups and I can't lie I felt a little bit offended and upset.

James attends a Beaver scouts group, an after school football club and belongs to our local swimming club all of which have been his choice to join.
I have to admit that to begin with swimming lessons were something I suggested, for me having my children know how to swim has always been important. Swimming is something that could one day save his life and so I felt it important he could at least get himself out of danger if he needed too. However since joining he has loved it and has continually asked to go even after learning the basics. Now he has moved on to a swimming club (giving up lessons in the process) which again has been his choice, we gave him the options and this was his decision.


Both Beavers and Football are clubs he has approached me to attend, which I have obliged too as they seemed to be things he had a genuine interest in. I personally don't feel that I push him in to doing any clubs and I am always asking him if he wants to continue when payment comes around for each club and he always answers yes (very enthusiastically!), eagerly anticipating the next class, group and adventure.

Of course I am thrilled that he wants to take part in these clubs, although my bank balance maybe not so much!. I feel like being a part of these clubs are giving him experiences and opportunities I feel I would be unable to give him. It gives him the chance to get involved and to form friendships with people he may otherwise not have met.


Beaver Scouts for example, he recently went on a camping sleepover with his Beavers group, they slept in tents and had hot chocolate around a campfire. James adored being able to enjoy this with a group of kids his own age and the independence that being away from mum and dad enjoying it all gave him. It gave him some independence and I know he felt a bit of freedom having all this fun away from me and his dad. Time for him to be independent, find his own little personality and use some of the tools we have parents have hopefully instilled in him for moments just like this.

So to that mum who thinks I push my child in to attending groups, have you ever tried to "force" a very strong willed 7 year old to do something they don't want? No? Well its pretty much impossible!

James takes part in these clubs because he wants to, he enjoys them and if/when he decided any of these clubs are not for him then I (and my purse!) will be more than happy for him to choose to leave at a time that he decides. I am very sorry if my son gaining experiences and opportunities that we are lucky enough to have access too offends you but these are his choices and as his mum I will respect these.

Do your kids belong to any after school clubs or groups?


xXx

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year!

As the new year count down nears and 2017 is just hours away I wanted to wish all of my readers a

 Happy New Year!! 

I am sure for many of us this year like many others has had its up and downs but as the year comes to an end I have been focusing on the positive things I will be taking out of 2016. I chose not to really set any resolutions last year and just focus more on spending time with my family. This definitely gave me some perspective about what really matters. 

I am a worrier, I get anxious over the smallest of things that I seem to have the ability to make in to a huge issue in my mind. So in 2017 I will be really focusing on trying to to let these things get to me so much. 

I have joined a local gym and have been looking at joining up at a beginners yoga class which will be a big leap for me but one I have been thinking about for some time and this year I want to push myself to take that leap and do something new. My weight is something I have been unhappy about for some time and so I will be setting myself smaller monthly goals each month in the hope that by the end of the year I will be much happier with my weight. 

I also want to get outdoors more and have more "adventures". We have just purchased a WWT wetlands membership for the year to encourage us to get outdoors more. I will be writing up a "wish list" board with the kids of things they want to do this year, then we can tick them off throughout the year as we hopefully get through them. 

For me its not always about the big fancy moments or the huge achievements we may or may not have reached this year. For me its about those ordinary moments I am grateful to have been able to have. Its about the memories that we made and that I will treasure in my mind for a lifetime. Its about being grateful for the simple things, for life and enjoying it. 

Whatever you are hoping for in 2017 I hope its a happy, healthy and memorable year for you all, for all the right reasons! 


Do you have any hopes, wishes or resolutions for 2017?

Happy New Year and thank you for taking the time to read my blog! 


xXx

Friday, 30 December 2016

Motherhood - A lonely journey.

There are many things our friends, family, health professionals etc tell us about and prepare us for during pregnancy and once we have a new baby. But for me the feeling of loneliness was one I was definitely not prepared for nor did anyone tell me about.


When my first baby arrived I would trap myself in the house, it was my safe place. A place where I didn't have to pretend to be happy and perfect, I didn't have to pretend to have it all under control. I could stay in my pyjamas and feel safe and un-judged. The days were long, really long and I would be counting down the minutes until my husband would walk through the door from work and I could speak to another adult and I was no longer "alone". It was like this wave of relief would hit me as soon as he walked in the door. Another person to talk to, to help, to understand how utterly daunting this journey is and to almost pass the reins on to each evening.

I felt ashamed that I often resented the life I had. I struggled to adapt and questioned whether parenting was really for me. I knew there are people out there who would give the world to have a baby and here I was wishing my days away until my husband would get home, struggling with something I had been led to believe would come naturally. I guess its hard when you just want to give this new baby everything and all the love you have, to find time to love yourself and give yourself a bit of TLC.

In the beginning just after my husband went back to work, adjusting was hard! I had suddenly gone from working 6 days a week surrounded by adults and having a role and an importance to being a mum in what felt like an isolating and lonely place. For a while being a mum felt like the most difficult job in the world and I was a complete novice, except unlike in a job where someone was there to guide you I was alone in a scary, new situation.

Whilst the daunting fear of looking after a new baby did go and it did get a little easier once we had found some sort of routine, the loneliness was still very much there and now a new feeling had crept in, I was jealous of my husband! Yep as crazy as that sounds I was jealous that he got to leave the house, alone! He got to have some Independence at work and talk to other adults, he got a break from the nappy changing, the feeding and the constant need to care for someone so dependent on you. I became resentful and at times it would feel like I had cut the raw deal out of this parenting malarkey.


Parenting is not always the easy journey so many programs and people make it out to be! For some people that love is instant but for others it takes a while. For some people they slip in to a routine and have it all under control. For others like myself it takes time, there are other feelings that seem to overwhelm us like the fear or the loneliness.

James is now 7 and Evelyn 2.5 years old and it has most definitely got easier. I still get a little jealous that my husband gets to get out of the house and have some time away but I certainly don't resent him anymore. The loneliness is much easier too, I definitely found with my second baby that I had more confidence to approach mums and just be me, I felt more confident in my parenting choices which certainly helped me doubt myself less too. I worried less about being the perfect mum and focused more on just being the mum I wanted to be and not what I thought I had to be.


Mums and Dads there is no right or wrongs to parenting, that's why there's no manual or guide (unfortunately!). Each journey is unique in its own way and we will all encounter a rocky path or mountain we need to navigate at some point. It doesn't mean we don't love our kids any more or less, it doesn't mean you are any less a parent or that you don't deserve it just as much as anyone else.

This is our journey as totally exhausting, lonely, emotional and magical it may be. Don't be afraid to speak out, ask for help or just shout from the roof tops just how your feeling! Those feeling of loneliness are totally normal and caring for a tiny new totally dependent little person is draining more mentally and physically then we can ever really prepare for.

Sometimes we just have to remember to cut ourselves a break and give ourselves a little bit of that love too!


xXx



Friday, 23 December 2016

Vileda Windomatic **REVIEW**

Cleaning the windows is one of the jobs I really hate!! Our windows seem to get really wet from condensation too, especially in the winter when its cold outside and we have the heating on inside. Meaning they need wiping over on a daily basis, which in itself is a pretty tedious job and I never seem to be able to get the windows smear free when I do this.

So when we were recently offered the chance the give the Vileda Windomatic a try I was intrigued to see if it would really work and if it could help make clearing the windows a little quicker in the mornings!

The Vileda windomatic comes as one whole unit with a detachable container that collects the water. The windomatic charges via a cable (you need to charge it for 6 hours before the first use) and gives up to 20 minutes cleaning, meaning you don't have to worry about changing batteries etc.

The Vileda windomatic is lightweight and easy to hold and the wide vacuumed rubber blade makes quick and easy work of cleaning windows, it also tilts and flexes by up to 15 degrees to ensure you can get in to all those tricky to reach corners. But that is not all it can be used for!

As well as cleaning windows here are just some of the things the Vileda Windomatic can be used for -

- Clearing condensation on windows
- Cleaning up drink spills
- Clearing your car windscreen of moisture/condensation
- Cleaning mirrors

I can honestly say since using the windomatic clearing the windows in the morning now takes mintues and isn't a job I hate! Its quick, easy and leaves us with clear, dry and smear free windows every single time.

Here is our windows before and after and this took under 2 minutes!



As you can see they are totally clear and dry too. In the spring I will be getting my husband out on the ladder to clean the outside with this too, meaning it will save us money on having to hire a window cleaner too.

The Windomatic has been great having around for when the kids are eating too. Evelyn is currently moving from drinking out of a beaker to a cup and as I am sure you can imagine we are getting quite a few spills. The windomatic however makes light work of sucking up the spilt drink leaving the table clean and dry in seconds.

The Vileda Windomatic is priced at £49.99 and in my opinion is totally worth that! It has several uses and we are using it daily making it really worth while and a household gadget that now I have I don't want to be without.


I would give the windomatic a 4.5 out of 5. The only reason its not a 5 is because of the usage time. 20 Minutes is fine if your just using it to clear condensation of a morning. However if you wanted to tackle a bigger job like cleaning the windows I would be worried about running out of charge before the job was done.

If you want to find out more about the Vileda Windowmatic you can find lots of information on the website here - Vileda Windomatic.

Are there any cleaning jobs you really hate?

xXx



**I was not paid for this post, I did receive the windomatic free of charge for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Traditions, Keeping traditions alive!

There is something so magical about Christmas that totally love, even more so now we have children to enjoy it with! 

When I was little I always remember the little Christmas traditions we had as a family and how special and exciting they made Christmas. It was the little things such as every Christmas me and my sister would take it in turns 1 person chose things for Santa and the other for the Reindeer. For Santa my dad always used to take us to this little shop in the high street to choose a little miniature bottle of alcohol (my sister once picked the Tequila with the worm inside!) I bet my dad was thrilled!

Another tradition we had as kids was on Christmas morning. Once we had woken up my dad would go down stairs and "see if Santa had been", he would then bring our stockings upstairs and we would open them on mum and dads. Eating our obligatory piece of fruit found in the bottom of our sticking before heading downstairs to discover more presents! 

I adore thinking back to our little traditions and have really tried to carry these on with James and Evelyn now, along with making our own of course. 



Now that we have children we have our own traditions as well as keeping some of our own childhood traditions. One of our new traditions is going to visit Santa somewhere different each year and always on Christmas eve. We have been to see Santa on a steam train and even in the  caves. I hope that in years to come if my children have kids they will remember how magical our traditions were and will want to continue them on and create some of their own! 

I love hearing about other people Christmas traditions and you never know they may even inspire you to start a new tradition! So here are some more Christmas traditions from other fabulous bloggers - 

Becky from Sparkly Mummy - "Everyone gets new PJ's on Christmas Eve and we spend Christmas Day in them and we always watch the snowman, nightmare before Christmas and the Grinch on Christmas Eve"

Ashleigh from 3 girls mummy - "Each year we wrap up the living room door so the kids have to tear it down to get through to the Christmas tree and see what Santa left!"


(Photo belongs to Ashleigh from 3girlsmummy.co,uk)

Jada from Unique young mum - "I do elf on the shelf, even as a parent it's so much fun getting involved in it and thinking of new places to hide Buddy (our elf) my son loves waking up every day throughout December up until Christmas Eve looking for him!"

Cathryn from Cardiff mummy says - "Every year, my children do a little show for me and my husband, they make it up themselves, singing, dancing etc. Last year it was all based on the song When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney. 
It came about because I told them that's what me and my brothers did when we were little for our parents and they loved the idea and I love that we are continuing the tradition."

Emma from Sophie Ella and Me - "I put together a Christmas Eve basket for my daughter each year and include Christmas pyjamas, a soft toy, chocolates and other festive goodies! I think it's such a lovely tradition to start!"


(Photo belongs to Emma from SophieEllaandMe.com)

Hannah from Han Plans - "Since Jaxon was born we read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. Growing up it was standing in the kitchen with my mum and cutting out the pastry circles for mince pies while listening to Any Grant's Home for Christmas album"

Katie from Living life our way - "We always decorate a gingerbread house together on Christmas eve."


(Photo belongs to Katie from livinglifeourway.com)

Irina from Wave to mummy - "We have a special Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. In Finland, my native country, you celebrate Christmas one day early so I always cook us a few traditional Finnish dishes. After dinner you would (in Finland) have gifts, so we will also open one gift."


Do you have any special Christmas traditions? I would love to hear about them in the comment section below! 



xXx