Sunday, 29 January 2017

Tantrums To Smiles - A new logo!

For those of you who regularly read my blog you may have noticed some changes happening over the last week or so, both on here and over social media.

We have a new header/logo!


This logo was actually designed by the lovely design team over at Tamba via Kay. Kay has recently set up a new blog over at theserandomacts.co.uk which covers all aspects of family lifestyle but also covers all the random acts of kindness Kay and her family are doing. Kay has a refreshing desire toto spread the love and kindess, changing the world 1 random act of kindness at a time, pretty amazing right!

As one of her firsts acts of kindness on her new blog she offered to design me a new logo/header for my blog alongside her team at Tamba and the above is what I received. I totally love it! The bright and fun feel to the logo really reflects us as a family and everything we cover on this blog. Can you spot our beloved pet rabbit Mabel hiding in there too?

I have now rolled this out across all our social media pages too including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and it feels so nice to finally have an eye catching logo that ties all my blog channels together nicely!

What do you think of our new Logo?

xXx



Sunday, 22 January 2017

Evelyn has glasses!

Back when Evelyn was a baby I started noticing her left eye turning inwards. I took her to the doctors and health visitor but was told this would adjust itself and was fairly common.

However when her eye was still turning at around 18 months, and seemingly getting worse I headed back to the doctors for a second opinion. Thankful this time we were really listened to and Evelyn got referred to see the Optometrist for them to have a proper look at what was going on.

A few months later our appointment arrived and she was given some tests. Its turns out she has severly reduced vision in her left eye, a bad squint in her left eye and is very very long sighted. The optometrist said that when Evelyn is doing something seemingly simple like watching TV, the concentration its takes her to see this is the equivalent to 5X more concentration than we would take to read a small print like a newspaper.


I can't lie my heart sank a little when he told us. I felt so sad for my little girl and the fact she may have been struggling to see things without any help. I was angry that we were fobbed off the first time but also glad we finally had a plan in place.

Evelyn was given glasses (she chose a Gruffalo pair and a Witch and Chips pair) from our local Specsavers and was so excited to wear them.


Its been around 6 weeks now since she got her glasses and we went back for our follow up appointment Monday. However the news wasn't what we wanted, whilst some improvement has been made in her right eye the left eye and her squint hasn't improved.

The optometrist has decided the best option for Evelyn is so give her a patch along side her glasses in the hope this will strengthen her left eye. I really worried she would hate the patch but she has taken to wearing it so well! She calls her self a pirate and the funky stickers she was given to put on top her patch certainly help.


I am so proud of how well Evelyn has adapted to wearing glasses. She's only 2 and a half and whilst she struggled keeping them on at the beginning she now happily keeps them on for most of the day. I felt so sad for her when we first found out she would need glasses, as a parent you never want there to be anything wrong with your child. I am confident though that these will really help her in the long run and that is definitely the main thing!

Does anyone have any experience of this with your children?

xXx

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