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Durex Real Feel Review

32680_DUREX_real_feel_pack_home_landingOkay, so my blog usually focuses on family life, so a review of condoms is a bit of a far cry from my usual content, but since BB was born I’ve not had a chance to arrange a more permanent form of contraception, so the opportunity came along at just the right time. Durex Real Feel condoms are made from a special new material which feels as close to the real thing as you’re going to get whilst being protected and the best part is, they’re latex free. Here’s me, talking about them a little bit more:

 

 

Durex has a dedicated site for their Real Feel condoms, and there’s a whole bunch of other bloggers over their talking about their experiences with the product, so do head over there to get the lowdown on what everyone else thought of them, as well as all of the ‘technical specifications’!

Easter at Thorntons

When I was pregnant, Thorntons Diabetic chocolate was just about the only thing that kept me sane, so when they got in touch and asked if we’d like to review some of their Easter eggs, we jumped at the chance. Yesterday morning, the postman turned up with this:

Thorntons Easter Eggs

Okay, so it may not be Easter quite yet, but we’ve been sampling the eggs already, strictly in the name of reviewing (ugh, my job is SO hard). The chocolate sheep and bunny lollies that you can see at the front are perfect for a smaller child and taste delicious. The Hopalot bunnies are also great for the littlies as they’re super Eastery (that’s totally a word…) without being too massive and getting them all hopped up (HOPPED up, geddit?!) on sugar.

The plain eggs are gorgeously simple, while the Super Scooter and Shining Star eggs are great for older kids who still want to get involved with the egg-giving traditions – and let’s face it, who doesn’t  like being given chocolate?!

My favourite egg was the big Special Toffee egg in the middle. The egg itself is set with tiny shards of toffee, and also comes with a slab of toffee in the box; the whole thing feels deliciously grown-up. Of course, being Thorntons, the chocolate in all of the eggs was excellent quality and everything we were sent both look and tasted amazing. I must admit, when I’m buying eggs for Easter, I usually end up going to the supermarket and doing some sort of multi-buy deal on branded eggs which contain some novelty item or another with a tiny, bland egg inside. However, after trying Thorntons eggs, I think this will be my new go-to shop for Easter treats.

They also do a whole range of other eggs, including smaller, brightly wrapped chocolate eggs which are perfect for Easter egg hunts, a great activity for getting the kids outside in the sunshine on a beautiful spring day.

Newborn Essentials – Our Reviews

Burrito Baby is a very lucky girl – she’s already being sent things to try out and review! Given that she has such a busy schedule of sleeping and milk-drinking, I thought I’d condense a few things down into one post of products that we’ve tried and loved in the last 5 weeks.

Aden+Anais Swaddling Muslins (£44.95 for a pack of 4)

aden+anaisWhen the lovely people at Aden+Anais found out how much Burrito Baby liked to be swaddled, they asked if we’d like to try out their extra large muslins, which are perfect for swaddling babies, amongst other things. We’ve found these muslins have come in super handy for a number of things – laying BB on while she was being weighed instead of putting her straight onto the cold scales, draping over her car seat and pram as a sun shade, and obviously using as a wiper-upper when she’s being burped. The patterns are so pretty and unique and the cloths have actually got softer each time we’ve washed them.

Sophie La Girafe Organic Skincare (from £10.99)

logoSophie-La-Girafe-Baby-range-with-Sophie-TEXTSMALL

I’m not a huge fan of putting unnecessary products on babies – their skin is so delicate at this age and let’s face it, babies smell good enough as it is without slathering them in strong fragrances. However, the Sophie La Girafe range of products has won me over. It has a barely-there, subtle fragrance and are super gentle on BB’s skin. The Baby Oil is one of my favourite baby products ever and is perfect for when I massage BB after her bath – I can honestly say that this is a product I’ll buy myself when our review sample runs out. Also, and this is totally shallow of me, I LOVE the look of the packaging, sitting on BB’s changing station!

Pink Lining Not So Plain Jane Changing Bag – £69.00

I’ve been coveting a Pink Lining changing bag for ages, so when they asked me if I’d like to choose one from their new range of designs, I spent an absolute AGE trying to decide which one I liked best! Eventually, I settled on the gorgeous bike print above, which is so unique and pretty, but this bag is about so much more than looks. It’s got space for everything we need to carry around with us for BB and loads of clever practical touches, like a key fob, phone pocket and mirror. I’m completely in love with this bag and have lost count of the amount of complimets I’ve received since I’ve been using it.

Daisy Baby Mei Tai Sling – £19.99

BB has been suffering with both infant reflux and colic, and the Daisy Baby Mei Tai Sling has been an absolute godsend. Keeping her upright is the only way to soothe her when the colic and reflux strike and the sling is comfortable for both her and me. At first, I was wary about using a sling, but the Mei Tai is very well made and feels sturdy and safe when BB is in it. The pattern is lovely and neutral enough that Husband would be happy to wear it too. BB is very happy when she’s in the sling and it holds her in a position which doesn’t put any unnecessary pressure on her hips.

tommee tippee Closer to Nature Complete Starter Kit Review

We’ve been really lucky over the last few months, having been sent some fabulous products to review for the new baby. We were pretty savvy with Sausage’s baby things and kept the vast majority of it, but it’s still nice for the new baby to have had some new things too – and I won’t lie, it’s been a treat for me, as well! One of the things that we’ve used the most up to this point is the tommee tippee Closer to Nature Complete Starter Kit. Within this kit is basically everything you could possibly need to bottle feed a baby, and it’s made my life SO much easier!

tommee tippee closer to nature Complete Starter Kit

As well as containing 8 bottles (4 small and 4 large) and all of the lids, teats and cuffs needed to put them together (including a couple of size 2 teats for when the baby needs a faster flow), there’s an electric steam steriliser, electric bottle warmer, two insulated bottle holders and a cleaning brush and tongs – see, literally EVERYTHING!

The Baby is feeding on demand at the moment, which means she’s ready for a feed roughly every three hours, so we get through a lot of bottles in one day! The steriliser is SO easy to use – it sits on the worktop and once I’ve loaded the washed bottles and teats into it, it takes about 6 minutes to work, with just the touch of a button. There’s plenty of space inside too, which means that I can stick dummies in there to be sterilised if I need to, too. This means that, even if I get behind with bottle washing, I can have a clean, sterile bottle ready before you can say ‘hungry baby’!

The bottle warmer has been a godsend, too. It has an adjustable thermostat, so I can set it to heat a bottle to just the right temperature and it won’t get too hot – perfect for sticking a bottle on to warm up while I change the baby’s nappy before a feed.

One of the things I really love about this kit is one of the most simple additions – there are 4 little pots for carrying measured out formula powder, and they sit neatly inside the neck of a bottle, which means you can take everything you need for a feed when you’re out and about and it won’t take up too much space in your bag.

All of the bottles are BPA free, which is a huge thing to take into consideration, since it was discovered a few years back that a lot of baby bottles contained this potentially harmful substance, so this has given us real peace of mind to see right on the box that tommee tippee guarantee to have left it out of everything in this kit.

At £100, this kit may seem pricey, but when you consider everything that’s included it’s actually a real bargain. It contains everything we’ll need until we start to wean the baby once she’s older and the steam steriliser doesn’t require any additional cleaning products to be added, just 80ml of water with each cycle. If you’re expecting a baby, I can highly recommend the tommee tippee Closer to Nature Complete Starter Kit – if you’re bottle feeding (or expressing) it’ll make your life SO much easier and when you’ve got a newborn baby to think about, every little helps!

Disney Princess Palace Pets Review

If you follow me on any social media, you’ll probably know that poor Sausage has been off school all week with tonsillitis. Every time we think she’s on the mend and ready to go back to school, she seems to get all run-down again, like today when she woke up with a stinking cold on top of it all. She’s feeling pretty droopy, so when a parcel arrived just for her yesterday, the timing couldn’t have been better. She’s had the Disney Princess Palace Pets app on Daddy’s iPad for a while now and she adores the game, which is basically a virtual grooming shop for all of the pets belonging to the various Disney Princesses, and the toys we were sent to review accompany the app.

Disney Princess Palace PetsThe main Disney Princess Palace Pets Pamper and Beauty Salon Play Set retails for around £33 and contains one Palace Pet (in this case it was Summer, a cat belonging to Rapunzel), and gives you a place to sit your animals while they’re being preened and pampered, as well as coming with various hair clips and brushes which can be used on tails and manes. We were also sent Blossom, Mulan’s Panda, Bloom, Aurora’s pony, and Treasure, a singing pussy cat who belongs to Ariel.

Sausage was absolutely over the moon with all of the toys, which seemed really true to the animations within the app (she immediately recognised Blossom as we pulled her out of the box!) and she’s been playing with it all pretty much ever since. All of the toys feel high quality and well made, although some of the parts are absolutely tiny, so I wouldn’t give them to smaller kids or those prone to putting things in mouths or up noses!

I like the fact that there are lots of different pets available, so if your child has a favourite princess you can buy the corresponding animal. The talking and singing cat is slightly larger than the other pets and as such retails for a slightly higher price (around £12.99, compared with around £5.99 for the smaller, non-talking pets) but I think all of the prices seem quite fair, given that it all feels sturdy and like it would last a while. This is definitely the sort of playset that I can see us putting away when Sausage has outgrown it, and passing it onto the baby shen she’s old enough for such toys.

This would make a great gift for any child who loves their Disney Princesses and it’s genuinely cheered my little lady up in a week which has been pretty miserable for her.

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We’re BRITAX Mumbassadors!

Since becoming pregnant, we’ve had some brilliant opportunities arise, with lots of reviews and experiences coming our way, but the one I’m most excited about is becoming an official Mumbassador for BRITAX! When BRITAX got in contact as asked if we’d like to represent their brand in 2014, we jumped at the chance to work with such a well-known and well-respected company and were super impressed with the range of products that they offer.

In terms of the new baby, (who’ll be here 3 weeks today, with any luck!) BRITAX are sending us one of their beautiful Affinity travel systems, which looks like this:

Britax-Affinity-Full-Travel-System-Cool-Berry-FREE-CARRYCOT_700_600_4FJCX

Isn’t it pretty?!

There were 6 different colour options and we let Sausage choose, so she went for the ‘Cool Berry’ option above and Husband and I decided we liked the silver chassis option. We’re also lucky enough to be being sent a second colour pack, and we’ve gone for ‘Cactus Green’, which is a nice, neutral option (you know, in case we ever have a little boy…) which I reckon will be ace at concealing all the inevitable muckiness that a toddler can do to a buggy!

Britax Affinity Cactus Green colour packThe Affinity has so many little features that I love, such as the anti-theft coding system, which gives your pushchair a unique code that stops it from being sold illegally. Another thing I love is the fact that the seat unit can be parent facing our outward facing – Sausage’s pushchair only had an outward facing mode and while I think it’s good for kids to see the world whilst out and about, it’ll be nice to have the choice. Once it arrives and we’ve had a chance to have a play, I’ll be writing about it a lot more.

BRITAX also wanted to get Sausage in on the act, and will be sending her one of their Group 2-3 car seats. At the moment, she just uses a booster cushion in the car, which we thought was adequate for her age, but the folks at BRITAX explained that a proper car seat should give side impact protection and spinal support. Their range of seats is actually suitable for kids up to the age of 12 and I’m really looking forward to having that extra peace of mind when we’re out in the car. Also, who doesn’t love a ZEBRA print option?!

BRITAX KID plusWe’re SO excited about working with BRITAX next year and cannot wait to start testing out all of our new goodies!

Sky Dancers Review

Sky Dancers JasmineA few weeks back, Sausage was sent a Sky Dancers doll to review. She’d been seeing the adverts all over Christmas, but silly Santa forgot to bring her one, so she was chuffed to get her hands on something she’d been coveting for a while. Sky Dancers are winged dolls which slot into a base and are supposed to fly majestically around when a string on the base is pulled. They’re apparently based on an ’90′s TV show, although we’re not familiar with the show ourselves.

I have to admit, the toy itself was a little underwhelming. I wasn’t impressed at all with the quality of the doll. It felt pretty cheap and the finish looked quite poor; it reminded me of the cheap dolls I used to buy from the market with my pocket money when I was little. The handheld base felt a little sturdier, but made an odd rattling noise when you pull the draw cord and some of the joins in the plastic were so poorly finished as to actually be a bit sharp from certain angles.

Sky Dancers Jasmine

As for the actual ‘flying’…well, I’m not sure what I expected, but it was all a bit disappointing. Sausage’s strength wasn’t adequate to lift the doll more than a couple of inches out of the base, which given that she’s in the target market seems a bit short-sighted, although Husband and I were able apply more force, which sent the doll shooting high enough to hit the ceiling. Once she’s up, she comes back down pretty rapidly and doesn’t float quite nearly as magically as the adverts appear to show. It’s a bit like a bedazzled lead balloon.

I think the prevailing factor for me is the price – had this toy been under £10, I may have been inclined to be a bit more forgiving about its obvious shortcomings, but it’s actually priced between £15 and £20 (the one we were sent is called Jasmine and retails for £19.99 on Amazon). If I’d paid 20 quid for this doll, I’d have been seriously unimpressed. I’d also have been more inclined to be subjective if it was something that I wasn’t impressed by but something which Sausage really liked, but it failed to hold Sausage’s attention for more than about 30 seconds, and this is the kid who can role-play her butt off for hours with her other dolls.

I hate being so negative about things as I’m well aware that these things are totally subjective and that some kids may love Sky Dancers, but for us the massive disparity between the quality and the price was far too glaring for us to give the doll a positive review.

Review of patient.co.uk – In Association with Tots100

Patient.co.uk_logoA while back, the peeps from Tots100 got in touch and asked if any of us would be interested in reviewing the health and well-being website, patient.co.uk, and given the fact that I’m currently pregnant and have a series of ongoing health issues, I thought it might be beneficial to me to give it a go.

After registering, users go through a questionnaire which I found to be really comprehensive. I had to give details of existing conditions and medications that I take, as well as questions about my medical history and family medical history. There’s a whole section of questions which are associated to lifestyle, including height, weight and exercise habits and by the end of it, I really felt as though I’d gone through every aspect of my medical and personal details.

Based on all of the questions, patient.co.uk then gives users a Q-score, which indicates areas which are good and those which need improvement. Obviously, the site picked up on the fact that my weight is far from ideal, but the thing I liked was that it didn’t focus entirely on the negatives. It made note of the fact that I don’t smoke and that I drink probably about once a year and took that into account, which is nice because sometimes, as a person with weight issues, it can really feel like the doom and gloom is poured on when it comes to anything health related, with nothing positive to focus on. In fact, overall I did better than I thought I would, which puts me in a far healthier frame of mind when it comes to attending to my health – I can make smaller, more manageable goals and not be put off by the feeling that I’m climbing a metaphorical Everest.

The site then signs you up for a 12-week health programme and emails you each week to remind you of your goals and encourage you as you go along, which are really helpful for motivation and maintaining the right frame of mind. The recommendations that I’ve received so far have been really helpful for me and will definitely help me to stay on the right track once the baby is born, and not slip back into old eating habits.

Patient.co.uk also have a handy widget which allows you to do a 30-second health check to see how healthy you are, which is really useful if you just want to do a quick assessment of yourself:

I’m really glad I took a look at patient.co.uk as it’s allowed me to really focus on what changes I need to make to my lifestyle and has made me realise that it doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle. It’s nice to find a site which highlights the positives and doesn’t make me feel like a failure before I’ve even started and I think it could be beneficial to everyone, even those without the need to lose weight, as a way to concentrate on being the healthiest you that you can be.

Moshi Monsters Trunki Review and Giveaway

Recently, we took Sausage on her first weekend away and suffice to say, she absolutely loved it. We stayed in a hotel for one night before going to watch a football match, and she was probably the most excited I’ve ever seen her about sleeping in a room that wasn’t her own, which had a TV on the wall and a bathroom attached to it.

What she loved most of all was being able to pack a bag of things that she’d need to take with her for the weekend; Sausage is MAD about bags and cases – there’s a running joke in our house that if something goes missing, the first place you should look is inside Sausage’s handbag collection. Ever since she was little, one of her favourite things to do was pack her toys inside a bag and pretend to be going on a trip, so when the people at Trunki got in touch, I knew we’d be on to a real winner with Sausage. Here’s the case we chose:

Poppet Moshi Monsters Trunki

Moshi Monsters are definitely the ‘in’ thing at the moment, Sausage has a huge collection of Moshi merchandise and toys, so we knew that the Poppet Trunki would appeal to her. Here’s the blurb:

Poppet is every bit as cute as her name suggests. With twinkling eyes and bright blue boots (wheels!) she’s the ultimate travelling companion for little monsters! Trunki was created to beat the boredom so often suffered by travelling tots. Designed to be used as hand luggage, kids can pack Trunki with all their favourite belongings whilst parents keep them in tow. It’s made from the same lightweight, durable plastic as adult cases, and has a generous 18 litre capacity for toys, games and spare clothes. Trunki comes with its own passport, which you can register online and fill with fun, travel friendly activities for the journey.

This would make a gorgeous gift for Christmas for any Moshi-mad kid, and even if they aren’t as Moshi crazy as Sausage, there’s a whole range of cases for kids to choose from.

Now, here’s the good news – we’re giving you the chance to win your very own Moshi Trunki! You can choose from the gorgeous Poppet case above or the equally awesome Katsuma Trunki.Katsuma Moshi Monsters Trunki

To be in with a chance of winning, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Our Liverpool Experience – Part One #LFC

If you read this post, you’ll know that last weekend we were invited by Liverpool Football Club to attend a match at Anfield, as well as taking in their new Family Fun zone, Stadium Tour and Museum. We’re all huge Liverpool fans, Husband having been a life-long supporter, and we were all so excited to have this opportunity.

Our trip started on Friday afternoon, as we decided to travel up early and stay in a nearby hotel before the match on Saturday. One EPIC 8 hour car journey later (it’s supposed to take 4-5 hours from where we live. M6 toll road of a Friday night? Awful!) and we finally arrived at our destination, tired and achey, but excited about the events ahead. We got our heads down at the hotel (review to follow later) and woke up bright and early the next day to travel to the stadium.

Shankly Gates Shankly Gates

Although the game against West Brom didn’t start until 3pm, we arrived at the stadium for 10.30am to start the tour. We parked in the Stanley Park car park which was really well staffed and just a couple of minutes walk away from the stadium, so we didn’t have far to go. The day started for me when we got out of the car – Liverpool is an iconic city for more than one reason, a hive of political importance, and drinking in the sights on the way to the ground amplified my excitement.  I’ve seen pictures of the rows of boarded up houses in pictures before, but seeing them in real life was both humbling and surreal.

Hillsborough MemorialHillsborough Memorial

Walking past the Hillsborough Memorial and into the Main Gates, we made our way to the museum entrance and joined our tour group. We were taken into the Players Entrance of the stadium, where the teams disembark from their coaches and go through to their changing rooms and one thing that strikes you is the size of the corridor – it’s tiny! We walked past all of the filming areas where the players stand to give their post-match interviews, and they’re literally just a couple of alcoves with the sponsorship on the walls!

On non-match days, tours are taken into the players locker room, but as it was match day that was off the cards. However, the West Brom kit man Pat Frost (who’s also England’s kit man) was kind enough to let us take a look around The Baggies locker room. It was a lot smaller than I’d imagined (although the tour guide told us that it was roughly the same size as the home team’s room) and we saw all the kit that West Brom were wearing on the day, laid out for them – including a pile of pants in the entryway!

West Brom Locker RoomWest Brom Locker Room

Next on the tour was the legendary ‘This is Anfield’ sign – something I’ve seen on the tv literally hundreds of times. Walking through the tunnel, onto the pitch side and touching the sign was a dream come true for Husband and me. Anyone who supports Liverpool or follows the premier league will know how iconic and important that sign is to Liverpool FC – Bill Shankly put it there during his time as manager as a way to remind the oppositions that they were in the best stadium in the world. As the tour guide pointed out, it’s not a ‘Welcome to Anfield’, it’s ‘THIS IS ANFIELD’, a powerful statement which gives you one final jolt of nerves before walking out onto the pitch to face The Mighty Reds.

THIS IS ANFIELD signTHIS IS ANFIELD sign

We sat in the dugout while the guides gave us some history of the ground, before moving over and sitting in the Kop, another iconic place in the world of Liverpool FC and football in general. The tour guides were so warm and welcoming and all of the information they gave was interesting and accessible. The tour group consisted of 5 year olds and 65 year olds, as well as everything in between, and they all managed to stay engaged during the talks.

The Spion KopThe Spion Kop – named for a battle in The Boer War, in which many Scousers lost their lives

After the tour, we made our way to the museum, which is packed with memorabilia from the 116 year history of the club (a particular favourite of mine being the huge Robbie Fowler board which simply proclaimed his as ‘God’!), and got our photos taken with Stevie G and a replica of the European Cup (not the real Stevie, obvs, but almost!). There were optional headsets that we could have all used, but Husband and I opted to take it all in for ourselves, while Sausage took full advantage of the extra information available on the headset unit.

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Once we’d done the tour and museum, we made our way to the Fun Zone, which is just across the road from the main gates of the stadium, and were really pleased with what we found. Entry was free and the area was filled with food stalls, picnic benches, and lots of fun set up for the whole family. We were peckish by this point, so we grabbed some burgers and sat and watched the Silky Skills man do some amazing things with a football and a keepie-uppy challenge. Sausage got her face painted with a Liver Bird and we bought some souvenirs (including two newborn LFC babygros for the baby!).

Soon, it was time to take our seats…

Tune in for Part Two of our Liverpool Experience to find out how the rest of our day went!

Thanks to the gorgeous Laura at Tired Mummy of Two who put us in touch with the LFC team.