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Sunday, 24 July 2016

BubbleBum Junkie **REVIEW**

Since having kids the back of our car looks like a busy table at a car boot sale! Every time we get in the car they both insist on bringing a toy, a drink often a snack, however there is nowhere to actually store these once in the car. They therefore usually end up on the floor or the drunks getting spilt on the back seats and crumbs scattered everywhere. So when we were recently offered a Junkie to try from the lovely people at BubbleBum I hoped this would solve our problem. 


The Junkie aims to eliminate everything I mentioned above with its funky, fun design and various compartments to cater for all your children's needs. The Junkie features 2 drinks holders, a large insulated tote style bag which can also be removed leaving a large collapsible pocket area for toys to be stored. The Junkie also has 2 fold down trays and even a "tech holder" to hold a tablet. 


Our first impressions of the Junkie were great, we loved the design and whilst quite bulky it felt sturdy and well made, which is great for kids as we all know they can be quite rough or boisterous. The black gloss and splashes of yellow on the Junkie meant it wasn't to garish and didn't look out of place once stored in the car. 

The "tech holder" is a great edition to the Junkie. We don't tend to have the tablet in the car for short journeys but for long trips such as holidays etc this will be perfect. It means both kids can watch something on the tablet without arguing over who gets to hold it. The tablet holder is at just the right level for them both to be able to watch too so this got a big thumbs up from us. 


The only cons we found with Junkie were that the fold down trays are quite small and as the Junkie is stored in the centre of the back seat with the trays are attached to the main Junkie body. This means that for us the trays didn't seem to come out far enough into James and Evelyn's lap to make it practical to use. It meant they had to lean in to the centre of the car to use it and since Evelyn has harness straps she found it quite frustrating she couldn't do this. 

The insulated tote bag that comes with the Junkie is a fantastic idea. Its perfect for storing snacks and drinks in when on a long journey (and no worrying about food melting or getting too warm!). Its also great for letting the kids pack their own snacks in and taking along for a picnic etc. Both kids loved the cute design on it.

For us the Junkie is perfect it means all the kids toys, drinks and snacks can be stored neatly away keeping the floor clear of everything, it can then be easily removed from the car when needed. Yes the Junkie could benefit from a few tweaks such as the distance and size of the trays however these are such small issues compared to how useful the Junkie has been for us. 

If you have kids who like to bring everything in to the car definitely check out the BubbleBum Junkie

xXx


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Restoring your pelvic floor with INNOVO.

I may be only 26 but I have had 2 babies and being a young naive 19 year old when I had my first baby pelvic floor exercises were something I didn't pay much attention too. Oh how I wish I had listened to that midwife who lectured me on the importance of doing my pelvic floor exercises and thrust various leaflets about it in my face.

So when the opportunity came about for me to out INNOVO I was intrigued and excited to try it. INNOVO is a non-invasive way to restore your pelvic floor, treating the primary cause of urinary leaks rather than just masking the symptoms. INNOVO sends targeted impulses via a set of conductive pads to safely and effectively activate all the muscles of the pelvic floor or to calm your bladder.
INNOVO recommend you use the equipment for 5 days a week over 12 weeks, slowly increasing intensity as you feel necessary. The optimum intensity to reach is between 70-75 (or higher if you feel you need to). I started at around 25 but had quickly increased to around 40 after a week. Once  INNOVO say that the feeling shouldn't hurt and therefore if you increase intensity and it hurts you should go back down a little and try again in a few days. I did stick at between 40 and 50 for a few weeks until I felt ready to increase intensity. I ultimately reached around 80 and whilst I could definitely feel the "contractions" of my pelvic floor it most definitely was not painful. After the 12 weeks it is recommended you continue to use INNOVO for 1-2 times a week in order to keep your pelvic floor strong.


The feeling when you are wearing the equipment is hard to describe. As I mentioned above it should never be painful but you can feel some light contractions of your pelvic floor muscles. The contractions will seem to start in your bum cheeks but these will slowly move around to the top of your inner thigh and in to your pelvic floor. Once you feel these muscles contracting this is the correct intensity and these are the muscles you should be feeling contracting to know it is working and targeting the correct area.

The INNOVO machine consists of 2 leg straps which wrap around your bum cheeks and the tops of your legs, 8 conductive pads which are stuck on specific places on the leg straps. Also in the pack you will find the main INNOVO machine which is a handheld device with cables coming from the top. You connect these cables to the two connectors on the leg straps (one red one blue), when you do this ensure you listen for 2 clicks on each one to ensure they are connected correctly. From the handheld device you can control the intensity of the "contractions" and it also shows you the 30 minute timer which counts down and beeps when you reach the end.


93% of users found a significant improvement after just 4 weeks and 86% of users would define themselves as dry or near dry after the full 12 weeks. Which I think are pretty impressive stats and from my personal experience I would certainly agree.

Priced at £249 the INNOVO isn't cheap but as someone who has previously suffered from a weak pelvic floor its hard to put a price on the relief and joy the Innovo can bring. Is it worth it? I would say yes definitely! The INNOVO has managed to give me back a pelvic floor and the ability to run, cough, sneeze and laugh without the worry of a leak all without the need of surgery or invasive treatment. If you think £249 is a little un-affordable in one payment INNOVO allow you to spread the cost in to 5 installments of £41.50 making the INNOVO even more affordable.

INNOVO has given me back the confidence to run around with my little boy, to jump on a trampoline and most importantly laugh without worrying about any embarrassing leaks! The treatment is so simple and all you need is 30 spare minutes 5 days a week to sit/lay with the equipment on and enjoy some time to just relax knowing INNOVO is doing the work for you.

If you want to find out more about how INNOVO might be able to help you, check out the website here - www.restorethefloor.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.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Confessions of a summer parent - surviving the school holidays!

When you think of summer you think trips to the beach, bbq's, days in the garden splashing in the paddling pool, oh and these 3 little words that send shivers down every spine.... School Summer Holidays!

Its not so much that I don't enjoy having time with my little boy in fact I love getting to spend time with him and so does Evelyn and lets face it nobody likes getting up for the school run, so thats an added bonus of no school! However the difficulty comes when you have to try and entertain a child who has been used to being at school, occupied and with their friends all day. Whilst I always have these great ideas of what to do and days out planned its just not practical to expect to be able to fill each day with something thrilling. If not for anything else days out can be really expensive and there is only so many days out you can do in 6 weeks.


Water play is a life saver for us in the holidays, its my go to cheat idea of something to do and its cheap! I set up loads of tubs of water, the hose pipe, the paddling pool and grab loads of £ shop water guns and toys and just let them run wild whilst mummy gets a bit of time to chill in the garden. I can even dip my feet in the paddling pool when it gets too hot and the plants and grass gets watered in the process! Its a total win win situation here.


I also always try and plan some "play dates" with my sons school friends. Ok so it sounds mad as I will then not only have my won child but someone elses too but there is a method to my madness! When my son has his friends over he is quite happy playing and they tend to entertain themselves with a little help of some preplanned activities and maybe a new xbox game. Then we swap and James goes to his friends house and I can grab some peace and quiet!! I want to say I will get the cleaning done whilst he is at his friends but who I am kidding im most likely to stick my feet up and watch some cheesy soaps!

Do you have any tips and tricks to get through the summer holidays? I would love to hear them!

xXx

This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Garden Adventures with HiPP Organic.

Both Evelyn and James love being outdoors which is great as I love knowing they are enjoying themselves outdoors rather than being stuck indoors watching TV missing out on all the adventures to be had. I am always trying to keep the garden fun and engaging so they don't get bored. Its easy to forget that for our children so many things are new and exciting and I love watching them discovering the world at their own pace. 



So when the lovely people over at HiPP asked us to become HiPP Explorers and share our adventures we were very excited! HiPP Organic’s product vast range has more than 120 products, covering every stage of weaning including pouches, jars, tray meals, cereals & fruit pots. They are also perfect for enjoying outdoors!




      When it comes to lunch/dinner time getting Evelyn in from the garden is often a struggle. HiPP have that covered though with their heart shaped tray microwavable meals that can easily be enjoyed alfresco if needed. Don't be put off by the fact these are microwavable though as HiPP Organic are passionate about providing the best possible quality food for all babies and young children meaning these meals are not only delicious but nutritional too. One of Evelyn's favourite meals is Pasta and with HiPP being the only brand to offer pasta shapes in their meals includinzoo animals, alphabet letters and numbers I knew these would be a bit hit with her and I wasn't wrong. 



HiPP Organic understand the moments that matter to mums like being able to get outdoors and having fun in the garden. So our HiPP Explorer challenge this month has been all about getting in the garden and the kids have loved it. There are so many things you can do in your garden whether its getting out a paddling pool and enjoying a splash, hunting bugs and insects, eating lunch outdoors (even in a toadstool tent like Evelyn!). You could also take the opportunity of having some garden space to plant your own fruit/veg or flowers. We used this mini veg patch planting kit for the kids to plant some of their own seeds and grow their own veg, they are so excited to watch it grow. This is also a great opportinity to teach your child about planting, watering and caring for plants and also about how veg is grown. 



Getting outdoors is all about exploring the world around for us, its about feeling the grass on our toes and the sun on our skin! 

Family beliefs and values embody the HiPP Organic brand, who are instinctively organic and have been for over 60 years providing the best products in their meals for your little ones.  HiPP believe in organic for a better legacy, using farming techniques that leave the soil full of nutrients for the next generation.

If your children enjoy being outdoors too why not give alfresco dining a go with some of the delicious HiPP Organic meals. 

xXx

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Soak & Sleep Bedding **REVIEW**

It doesn't get much better than fresh new bed sheets when you slip in to bed, so when we were offered some new bedding from the Soak & Sleep range I jumped at the chance!

Soak & Sleep aim to provide fantastic bed and bath products for a lot less than those on the high street whilst still maintaining a high quality. Soak & Sleep have stripped away the glossy advertising and fancying bags instead opting for their team to travel the planet and commission the finest products they could find at the prices they could afford keeping luxury in mind. The Soak & Sleep aim is simple, gorgeous home comforts, honestly priced, all powered by great customer service and that is exactly what you receive with Soak & Sleep. 

Our bedroom is quite neutral in colour (we are hoping to add a feature wall but can't decide on wall paper!) so I went for this gorgeous grey luxury embroidered bed linen and a beautiful quilted bedspread to accompany it in the stone colourway.


When the items arrived I could immediately tell these were top quality! They arrived quickly and well packaged with the bedspread coming in a large clear plastic zip bag which could easily be saved and used to store the bedspread when not in use.

The bed linen features a beautiful embroidered design which is finished with a flourish of mother of pearl buttons for that elegant touch. This has a 220 thread count and is amazingly soft. The design is chic and classic with the elegant touches from the embroidery, makes this a lovely set which could easily fit in to so many decor styles and feels amazing.


We ordered the double size to fit our bed and it fit perfectly. The pillows didn't slip around in the case and the duvet was secured with the   at the bottom of the duvet cover keeping everything in place throughout the night.

I haven't had a bed spread on my bed before but I am not sure I could ever be without now I have one! It really finishes off the bed and the over all look of the room. The Classic cotton quilted bedspread is a beautiful, vintage-style bedspread with a practical cotton casing which is washable too. I have found it the perfect thickness to sleep under in the summer too when the duvet is just too warm. 


If you like the look of our bed set up and want to purchase your own, or you want to check out the full (and amazing!) range Soak & Sleep have to offer you can check out their website here - www.soakandsleep.com


xXx


** I was provided these items free of charge, I then produced this review. All photos, words and opinions are my own. **

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music Watch **REVIEW**

You may have noticed I have been posting about trying to lose weight recently and become over all more healthy, so when the lovely people over at TomTom offered me one of their TomTom Spark fitness watches I was so excited to give it a try. 

I have seen a few of these fitness watches in the market and had been thinking of giving one a try in a hope it would help me keep motivated and that is exactly what the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music does! I have been using the watch for a few weeks now both on the school run and during exercise sessions and even swimming with my little girl. It has been great to be able to physically see how many steps I have been doing and even checking on my heart rate during exercise taking all the guess work out of exercise, enabling me to keep track of exactly how I am doing rather than just the weight on the scales! 



The TomTom Spark Cardio + Music watch is a GPS fitness watch that not only enables you to track all your exercise but listen to music wirelessly whilst you do so!  The watch features a unique combination of an integrated music player, built in heart rate monitor, 24/7 activity tracker, multi sports mode including walking, running and swimming and the GPS in the TomTom Spark makes it easier than ever to track progress and improve overall fitness levels.

I was a little worried about how the watch would fit as I have quite small wrists and struggle to find a normal watch that fits comfortably, however the TomTom Spark watch strap is made from rubber which enables it to fit comfortably around your wrist, offering flexibility and making it comfortable to wear day to day. The new and improved sleeker, slimmer design also means it isn't too bulky and easy to wear for long periods of time without being in the way. 



The TomTom spark comes pre-loaded with some fantastic running tracks from The Ministry of Sound however with 3GB (around 500 songs) of music storage available there is plenty of room for you to add your own music. I found the whole process of doing so really quick and easy. The in depth instruction booklet you get with the watch explains how to do this.

The display on the TomTom spark is a large LCD display which is controlled by a large 4 way button beneath, If you are anything like me you will try and use it as a touch screen at least once since we are all so used to everything being touch screen now. I actually like the button over a touch screen as it means you don't accidentally "touch" the screen and change something. The directional 4 way button makes navigating the watch easy and once you have scrolled through a few times you get used to wear all the functions and the layout of the watch. When you are not actively using the watch it displays a large clear 24 hour clock making it a functional watch day to day when you are not using it in the gym etc whilst it still records steps etc.

Another great feature on the TomTom Spark is the built in heart monitor meaning their is no need for extra bulky or fiddly heart rate monitoring equipment as it can all be done via your watch, although this feature does not work when using the watch for swimming. The watch can however be used up to a depth of 40m in water!



The App used with the TomTom spark watch is the TomTom MySports app which can be found in the app store. It clearly displays all of your data making it easy to read and see how you have done. The app stores your data too so you can go back and check previous days when needed. The app does seem to update quite often which isn't an issue but make sure you do these updates to keep up to date with the latest updates for your watch and info.

The current price of the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music is £189.99 and if you order before the 19/08/2016 you can claim your free TomTom Bluetooth headphones when you purchase a TomTom Spark or TomTom Runner 2 music edition. The headphones are usually priced at £49.99 so this is a fab saving if you are thinking of purchasing one!

You can check out the watch in more detail or view more from the TomTom range via their website which can be found here - www.tomtom.com/en_gb.

xXx

** I was provided these items free of charge, I then produced this review. All photos, words and opinions are my own. **

Saturday, 25 June 2016

James is moving School!

James has been at his current school for almost 2 years now and whilst I won't want to go in to any details about the reasons why, lets just say it was lots of small things rather than one big issue. We decided to look at moving James to a new school. 

We found a lovely local school which had actually been our second choice when we did the applications back when James started school and we were excited to learn about a place soon becoming available. I nervously filled out the in year  school applications form and sent it off to our local council, if  I am honest I didn't really believe we would get the space. However much to all our surprise James was offered the space and was able to start whenever he wanted! 



It was obviously a big decision for all of us but James the most and now that we had a place secured if we wanted it, I wanted him to be sure of his own decision. I took him along to visit the school, meet the teachers and just get a general feel of how the school was. He absolutely loved it! I don't know if it was the forest school or outdoor area that sold it for him but he came out of our look around with a huge smile on his face which made me feel much happier about our initial decision to consider moving him. 


We sat down with James that evening and talked to him about his options and what each choice would mean. Whilst he may only be 6 and a half I felt that he was old enough to have an input in the decision, after all its him that will be attending the school and its his journey. He confidently chose the new school and we asked the same questions several times over the next 2 weeks and every time we got the same answer, the new school was his choice. 


So the decision has been made a new school chosen and now a date set for him to move. He will be starting his new school this Monday, I am feeling overwhelmed with emotions at the moment as I just want him to settle well and make new friends. As parents that is all we ever want isn't it, our children to be happy and know they are loved. This has been a huge change and decision for all of us and my emotions and nerves are all over the place at the moment. 


I have met lots of the mums and teachers of the new school and they all seem so lovely and friendly I am hoping the children will be just the same making James transition between schools as easy as can be. 




(James saying goodbye to his teachers on his last day!)

Keep an eye out for an update as I will be popping a few pictures up of him in his new uniform and letting you all know how he got on in his first week. 

Have you ever moved a child to a new school? How did your child get on once moved? 


xXx