Tried & Tested

19:44:00 The little things... 0 Comments

Which carseat Is best?*


Is it just me that finds car seats past newborn baby stage an absolute minefield? With all of the newly introduced guidelines I felt a bit lost with it all.

Both of my babies had the same Maxi Cosi Pebble, it came up lovely and clean and although not perfect it did Alex just fine. He actually still uses it at a year old because he still fits fine and it is great for moving about when out with his Nan & Granddad. But I wanted something a little bigger which I would expect to be a little comfier.

Which carseat?


I took ages researching what would be best and it was a little overwhelming to be honest. There is so much information out there but I find this website to be the most informative and most easy to read. I will copy a part of it below so you can see too what regulations are in place for an infant seat.

Babies and infants need to be carried in rearward-facing baby seats. This reduces the risk of death or injury in a crash by 90% compared with being unrestrained.

Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby's head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats. So, it is best to keep your baby in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible. Only move them to a forward-facing once they can sit up unaided and they have exceeded the maximum weight for the baby seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat. Or, you could consider using a larger (group 1 or group 2) rearward-facing seat.

I knew I was after a Group 0+ & 1, which allows you to keep your child rearward-facing until they are 18 kg in weight, which that website says is roughly four years old. Some can be turned into forward-facing seats when the child has reached 13 kg in weight, or they can continue to be used rearward-facing. I found the Maxi Cosi Pearl 2-way to fit into this category and actually was really nice to look at too, and came in various colours.

Which carseat Is best?* Maxi Cosi Pearl 2 way

Which carseat Is best?* Maxi Cosi Pearl 2 way

Which carseat Is best?* Maxi Cosi Pearl 2 way


The 2wayPearl complies with the latest car seat safety regulation known as i-Size (R129) offering secure ISOFIX installation in combination with the 2wayFix base. Hope you're still following, there is a lots of jargon thrown about and acronyms isn't there with car seats?

Anyway, on to the Pearl itself. Not only does it look nice compared to seats we have had before but it is just so easy to use. From the isofix base beeping and lighting up when it is/ isn't fitted 100% correctly, to the harness straps being simple to fasten. Unlike a Britax seat we currently have for Daisy, where the straps are constantly twizzling.

I wanted to share some of the regulations I found and how I have deciphered them for Alex's next seat. And also what we have gone for and are pleased with.

Hayley xx
*PR samples have been supplied but all opinions are my own
Tags: Tried & Tested

Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket


If you have followed my blog for a while you will know how passionate I am about ensuring my children swim regularly and have confidence in the water. And hopefully one day build up a life long skill that could potentially save their life, or somebody else.

I have taken both children from about 7/8 weeks to lessons and thankfully both have loved it from day one. They may have an off day where they're a bit under the weather or tired and are a bit grumpy, but on the whole it is usually them that are causing havoc splashing about in the pool.

For me it is all about having fun at this age, learning to swim is great but they have to be able to enjoy it if you want them to learn anything. There is plenty of time for strict lessons teaching them the different strokes. But for now it is all about fun, games and getting about in the pool with confidence.


Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket

Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket


Daisy can now swim unaided and has been able to for a few months (she is just 3), I am not saying it is some fancy front stroke, but she can get herself to the side of the pool or from one side to the other.

When we are on holiday or swimming together I like her to wear her Konfidence jacket, and Alex will be the same as soon as he fits in his. It gives me that reassurance that she has that helping hand at all times, even when just playing in the shallower areas.I of course will not allow her to swim out of her depth without one of us in with her, right by her side.

 It has removable flotation aids around the waist which allows them to feel that bit more secure but without restraining them, and allows them to feel free in the water. As Daisy's ability progresses, the floats can be removed in pairs to reduce the buoyancy and encourage further development, making the Jacket fully adjustable for your child's swimming skill level. Eventually, all floats are removed and allows the child to swim freely, yet giving them the stability and consistency of wearing the jacket. Anyone who has had a toddler knows how important consistency is, they DO NOT like change!!! (Or maybe that is just Daisy)!

Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket

These photos were from our latest holiday in France and you can see how cute the design is. She is super impressed that it how bows and frills on!!

As you will already know I am sure we are Konfidence Swimologists this year so keep your eyes peeled for more adventures with the jacket and other fab products from the range.

Hayley x

*PR Samples are used int his post but all opinions are 100% my own


Cleaning Hacks - Steam Mop Vs Standard?*


I must be of "that age". The age where you get excited over clean sheets, washing on the line outside and well, a clever old mop.

Never did I think I would be sharing my thoughts on mops but after trying a few (I have a dog with messy, massive paws and two grubbs for children) I feel compelled to share them with you. Hold on to your knickers, it is about to get exciting :)

I got my steam mop about 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. They were all of the rage all of a sudden and with a dog about the house (downstairs anyway) and at the time a baby learning to crawl about I figured it was a good time to get one. SO you basically fill it with water, plug it in and off you go. It doesn't take long to heat up and isn't too difficult to use. But as time has gone on I have used it less and less.

If the floors are particularly gross or someone has been unwell or something has been spilt then I use it but day to day I was finding myself resorting back to my old map, just for convenience.

I now have the Vileda 1-2 Spray mop. Same principal in that you fill it with cleaning fluid, this time it fills the handle rather than a little tank. You then pull a lever to squirt the water/ cleaning fluid out onto the floor and you then mop it with the flat head of the mop. Very, very easy. I have then just been chucking the mop pad into the washing machine once a week or when it really dirty. Really nice and easy. It couldn't be more simple. It doesn't take much space to store either.

So now I am leaning towards this. It is so simple. I of course will keep using my steam mop but for day to day quick mop ups and freshening up of the floors this is my go to. I find myself reaching for it every day after meal times and then once I have hoovered too.

So basically you don't NEED a fancy steam mop at all, this is a far more cost effective way to ensure floors can be cleaned with ease. Especially for those people who don't have much storage.

One tip I do have is when the mop head is grubby put it in the washing machine with a cap full of Zoflora, that way it disinfects it, cleans it and makes it smell amazing too!

Cleaning Hacks  - Steam Mop Vs Standard?* Vileda





*This post includes PR Samples but all opinions are my own




The Medela Swing Versus Manual Pump


Breastfeeding – lots of people say it’s the most natural thing in the world, but do you know what, it really isn't to some people. As in it doesn't come easy. It’s understandable to feel nervous about it if you’ve never done it before. And actually expressing made me feel more nervous than actually breastfeeding weirdly. I thought I would talk about what I used in case it is of any use to anybody else, this is in no way sponsored.

The Medela Swing Versus Manual Pump

Breast pumps aren’t the easiest products to try before you buy and actually it's not something you can see much of when they're sat in the box on the shelf, but you might be able to borrow a friend’s or at least have a look at one before you can buy one. If not just have a good old research into posts online, which have a good guide too actually.

So my experiences; I had a hand held Tommee Tippee pump off my sister before I decided I couldn't cope with it, was getting stressed and caved in and bought a Medela Swing one crazy afternoon. All on the recommendation of my friend who had got one and found it much easier to use. I was surprised how much these things cost, I was a bit naive and hadn't really looked into it until a mad dash to boots that one day when I was at my whits end!

I found the Tommee Tippee difficult to attach and get the suction cup on properly, and as a result would only get an ounce or so off each breast. I just found the whole process really awkward and uncomfortable, I think the pumping with my hand bit just made it feel really uncomfortable. I know it is completely natural but personally that is how I honestly felt.

The Swing has lots of pieces, be prepared for tricky cleaning and putting it together being a little awkward but honestly once I had it up and running I found it so much easier and actually expressing wasn't such a chore. I should say that breastfeeding came relatively easily to me and so expressing was for when I returned to work and went out, I am not sure how easy I would find expressing if I had to do it full time.

Once you have taken it apart a few times to wash though it gets easier and actually isn't as complicated as it looks in the first instance!

I was able to get at least 5 ounces off each breast most of the time which was plenty for a feed.

It is a little noisy but it works much harder than you could with your hand and I found the cup much easier to attach too. You can adjust the suction strength by simply pressing a but to to make expressing milk as comfortable as possible for you, which I found really helpful. Especially when I was using the pump as a bit of a "rest" for feeding baby myself when they were a little sore at times. Both of my babies have been a little "rough" in the early days.

I also loved how you could run it without being plugged into mains electric, it takes battery's. The suction pressure isn't quite as good but it was effective enough to stock the engorgement I had when I was working and that was good enough for me!

I would say though that not everyone has the same luck with either expressing or breastfeeding and you just have to find what works best for you.

Hayley x



Be Bold & Beautiful with Boden: Giving Birchbox a go...


The jury is still out with the service I am afraid.

I have just had my second Birchbox; March & April. And if I am honest, which I always am on here, I am not completely sold on the service. I was disappointed with the first box, my only saviour was the They're real Duo lipstick from Benefit, which wasn't full size but was close enough for me. Otherwise I went away feeling a bit MEH about it.

I wasn't going to order a second box but I got home one day and found the next box on the doorstep, I didn't realise I had set up a subscription. I thought I had just bought a one off purchase. That rubbed me up the wrong way a little if I am honest. But upon opening it I was pleasantly surprised.

It was the collaboration with Boden edition and the box itself is gorgeous, floral and bright. And it was a little drawer which was quite useful unlike the bog standard beige box from last month. It felt like you got a little more value for your money which is always nice.

Inside the samples were so much better from last week, I may actually use all of them at some point.

It seems that most people have had the Nip & Fab full size item but sadly I didn't. I would have liked to have tried some of that range and it would have been a perfect opportunity to. But my personalisation isn't quite right I don't think, so if I was to get another box then I would need to look into that. My box did however contain the Manna Kadar Cosmetics HD Powder, which prevents shine and sets makeup into place. It’s ideal for my normal-to-oily skin which can feel quite shiny in these warmer months. Again it was a brand I have wanted to try too. Which I guess is the plus about these boxes, you get to try brands you wouldn't usually reach for.

All subscribers receive an exclusive £10 Boden Gift Card to use on new season items which is a fab little bonus too. Some of their new range is gorgeous, especially the children's new seasons range. I am sure it will get spent! Some of my favourite items include:

Be Bold & Beautiful with Boden: Giving Birchbox a go... Boden childrens SS17

One great thing about this box is that it lead me straight to Boden and I have rediscovered my love for them. I am not sure my husband will see it that way though...

In case you are interested the standard Birchbox subscription costs £10 (plus £2.95 p&p).

Hayley


Searching for the Perfect Baby Photos*

My biggest passions outside of my blog are travel and photography. Of course these go hand in hand with my blog and well my hobby for photography has come as a result of my blog. I love experimenting with my (husbands!) DSLR and seeing what results I can get. I am lucky in that Ben is a keen budding photographer too, he has been on a few courses and gets some beautiful photos of our family and our adventures.

Baby Photography

Although I am lucky to be able to get some really nice photos of our family I sometimes think it is nice to get an outside perspective and well something a little different to what we usually would take.

I came across Bidvine online which allows you to search for local photographers (amongst lots of other services) and thought I would see what I could find on there and maybe if I could find a photographer who was local to me, within my budget and had a style that would fit blog and personal taste then I would try them out.

Thankfully Bidvine is really simple to use. You simply choose the type of photography you require (I chose baby photography to get some baby photos of Alex), enter your postcode and then answer a few basic questions such as your budget.

Bidvine

Bidvine

The next stage is that you get an email saying when you will receive your quotes. When I submitted my request it said I would have my quotes by the end of the week, which was good because I wanted it booked and sorted ASAP. Babies grow too fast and I had already left it a bit late to get the newborn squishiness!

I soon received a quote from a few professional Photographers and it was great to see the options I had available and I was really pleased when the quotes came in within the price range I had set. I actually had two replies within a few hours of sending off the request which I thought was super speedy! Although I must say that all quotes came at the top point of my budget specification so that is something to bear in mind and I guess you could always negotiate if you felt you needed to once you had chosen a photographer.

I was pleasantly surprised with the service at Bidvine and found the website really simple and easy. I would certainly recommend it to others and will be sure to use it again in the future I am sure.



*PR Collaboration

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

Alex has been waiting patiently for somewhere to call his own. The idea was that we would have had our building work done by now and that  he would have a gorgeous, cosy room to house all his cute bits in and of course sleep in.

Sadly it hasn't quite gone to plan so for now he has the room how it was until we finally get going with the extension. However he has got some gorgeous bedding and toys in there to brighten it up and make it more cosy for him.

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*


The Zoobaloo range from Silver Cross is everything that I wanted for his bedroom, colourful, fun yet classic at the same time. The white linen looks luxurious and well baby-ish which I love because after all toddlers and white do NOT mix so we have to make the most of these things when they're still babies.

The colours are bright but not garish and the animals are such a fun touch, he loves talking to them.

We have the bedding sets as well as the sleep sacs, mobile and changing mattress and it really has made the room look more like a nursery. As soon as it really is a nursery then I will share a little tour but for now some more photos of Baby A happy in his new room.


A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*


*PR Collaboration but all opinions are my own

Toddlers & Their Fussy Eating #MamiaDaysOut

Daisy loves nothing more than a picnic lunch or tea, when the weather is nice enough I try to get us out having our meals as often as I can. She always eats better when she is happy and without too many distractions like her toys and sadly the TV.

Although Daisy does enjoy to eat when she fancies she also has a really fussy, limited diet. We are making progress over the past month or so but still she likes very bland, white/ beige foods which is so frustrating because as a baby she would eat anything!

toddlers fussy eating


toddlers fussy eating

She does love fruit and often raids the fruit bowl and more often than not would choose fruit over most things but vegetables are a different story altogether.

I still buy a lot of fruit pouches which are great for weaning but in our case good for healthy, no mess snacks. As well as being full of the vegetables and fruit which is good for them, the vegetables are very welcome in our house! I pop a few in the fridge at a time (they don't need to be kept in there but I think they make a nice cool snack) and can grab one when ever we need them. I quite often grab one for after swimming or for a car journey as they don't make any mess!

We go on holiday next week and again one of the only things (food wise) that I will pack in our case is some pouches but also some of the rice cakes just so I can be assured that we are getting some vitamins in her when we are away but also because they're such easy things for her to grab when she is on the go tearing about the beach!

We have always bought Mamia ones from Aldi as we do shop them when we can and they're much cheaper than their branded alternative. We were recently sent a lovely hamper with a few in and with some new flavours which we were happy to try out. Thankfully there isn't a pouch we have tried that Daisy isn't a fan of!

I should point out that all of the snacks by Mamia are 100% organic which is always reassuring. I will be picking up some of the fruit pots for Alex in a few months too when he is all set for weaning!

toddlers fussy eating


Hayley x

*PR collaboration with BritMums. All opinions are our own and although we do buy these for yourself we were gifted some samples to try and share with you. 

Playing Princesses


Daisy's imagination really has come out of nowhere. For a while now she has liked to look after her "babies" by rocking them to sleep, feeding them and giving them lots of cuddles.

More recently though she has taken a real interest in role play and will spend hours sat by her dolls house making conversations between the characters, tidying the house, putting them to bed, bathing them and even walking the dog! It really amuses me to listen to her chatter on, it all goes to show what she actually picks up on a day to day basis from our lives! You can hear her saying little phrases that we use and role playing tasks that we just complete without thinking. 

We recently received a pack full of lovely Sofia the first goodies and Daisy has been in her element since. Yesterday I caught her "gardening" with them, digging in the soil and smelling the flowers! They were a tad mucky after but being plastic they rinsed off without any problem. 


The little figures are a perfect size for little hands to carry about and play with and the way their heads move back and forth amuses Daisy! As if they are nodding! Of course she also loves how they're dressed beautifully like the tv programme and each have their little pets with them.

Sofia and her buddies have already been to the park, had a bath, rode the dog and gone to bed with her. I am sure they have plenty more adventures to come! 

We also received the camera which she also loves. She is forever pinching our GoPro to pretend to "cheeeeeese" so she is pretty proud to have her own now that makes fancy noises. 

All of the toys we received are available to buy from Smyths Toys.
Hayley xx

*PR Collaboration but all opinions are our own

Top baby picks 2016
09:39:00 The little things... 0 Comments


I think I did one of these posts just after Daisy was born and thought I would do one now that Alex is 2 months old and I know what I truly think is useful and what I couldn't be without now that I have had a bit of time to try them out this time around.

A stretch wrap can be really useful for when baby is newborn, it means they can be on your chest at all times and feel lovely and close as well as giving you your hands to do tasks when they're not wanting to be put done, it was perfect for being able to hold Daisy's hand when out and about. The Ama Wrap is the perfect choice.


stretch wrap
Useful for camping!

The Tommee Tippee back to nature bottles and soothers are a staple for us, Daisy transitioned to these after she became used to taking a bottle but having used them from just week 3 with Alex he has taken to them really well. They are far cheaper than some of the brands I was forced into using with Daisy too so that was a relief! (I was forced by her awkwardness into not liking to take a teat!)

Next is the Stylfile Nipper Clipper and baby file. Babies are such rascals for scratching themselves and actually not all baby outfits have built in mitts and well my little fella won't wear mitts so I do have to try and trim his nails as much as I can.


Tommee Tippee Teats
Stylfile Nipper Clippers

 I absolutely love this sleep bag from Silver Cross that we were kindly gifted. It is so luxurious and soft. I used sleep suits a lot with Daisy as she is such a wriggler she would wake up cold in the night once she had kicked her blanket off and also she liked to be held tightly and I think they gave her the feeling of being swaddled almost. It was much easier to breastfeed her and then put her down if she was all snuggly in her bag! I will certainly be putting Alex in them as well as soon as he fits!


Silver Cross Sleep Suit

Rockin Baby Ring Sling
I will be doing a separate post on this soon but I am in love with ring slings and in particular one from Rockin Baby. They are so quick and easy and with a toddler in tow most of the time I can't be faffing too much as she really does have zero patience. The designs are gorgeous, I am not going to show you a photo of mine just yet because I want it to be a post all of its own! If you don't know much about them as a brand you can find out more here.

My absolute favourite item though has to my aden + anais swaddles though. They are basically HUGE muslin cloths that you can use to swaddle, cover baby, use as light blanket, sun shield or a muslin! So many uses and I have never found any as soft as these, even after washing. 


So there you have it, a few of my random but top picks for new babies!

Hayley xxx

Tried & Tested: The Connecta sling
12:16:00 The little things... 6 Comments

I adored "wearing" Daisy and pretty much stuck to a stretch wrap such as an Ama wrap that I mastered after watching YouTube videos. I still love this kind of wrap mainly because of how close it brings baby to you and how almost immediately you can feel baby go heavy with being so close and content.

With a pesky toddler in tow though I felt I needed another option for those days that I don't have time to tinker about and also to avoid a double pushchair at all costs! I'm too tight to splash out on that option and logistically I don't fancy it one teeny bit! 

I was telling a friend all of the above and she offered me her Connecta to try out. At first glance I looked at all of the straps and thought it looked like a puzzle, a bit complicated. 



But when you open it out it all just makes sense, it's got arm hole/ straps like a rucksack and it kind of just slips on to your front. You adjust the length so it sits nicely and then clip closed at the back around your hips so it's nice and secure. 

A little baby can either sit froggy legged in there or with his legs out of either side of the bottom like you see with most carriers.



You can see in the photo above I have got what I call "the sunroof" closed to keep the sun off Alex completely and it makes it snug and dark for when they're snoozing. It also makes a great rain cover but also it acts as a support for wobbly heads in those early days.

This carrier is so comfortable once you have got your adjustments right, I did find it took some tinkering with to start with but then it was just quick and easy to put on and slip baby into. It is still nice to have your baby held so closely and securely to you, almost as snug as the stretch wraps but a far more secure and slightly structured feeling. 

The Connecta Baby Carrier is really simple to use compared to others I've tried, no looking up instructions or you-tube videos like I had to with the stretch wraps! It’s also very simple to adjust – featuring thick set crossable straps, which give you maximum comfort and ideal weight distribution meaning it's an easy ride. 

 You don't need to be an attachment parenter to see the benefits of these slings, particularly if you are on your second baby and need your hands for other tasks!  

There are so many gorgeous designs to choose from, something to suit most people probably. They aren't cheap and actually are one of the pricy options I've looked up but they do last a long time, you can carrier toddlers in them on you back piggy back style! I've not attempted this with Daisy as I don't think we would get her down and it's not the reason we have it but it looks possible! 

The only thing I would like to see is a mini pocket somewhere on it just to slip maybe your  keys in but that is me being greedy! 

Enjoy! 

Hayley xxx

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Tried & Tested: Peppa Knick knicks (Asda Little Angels First Pants)



Well we officially hit the milestone where a toddler hates to wear anything, they much prefer to be free and naked and well nappy-less is the ideal! It's not rare to have to chase Daisy around trying to get a nappy back on her at least 3 times a day!



She thinks she is very clever to be able to get it off and thinks why would I want another back on? Well my little lady these are a little trickier to get off completely and actually you don't seem to have the inclination to want to purely because you think you're wearing Knick Knicks! And not just any old Knickers but ones with Peppa, George and even teddy and dinosaur on! What could be better for a Peppa Pig obsessed 2 year old? These are the Little Angels First Pants from Asda

 

Before anyone comments and says she is taking her nappy off as a sign to start potty training then you'd be wrong in this case. I have tried and will continue to do so but Daisy isn't quite ready yet, she hasn't found the on and off button just yet. But these are a great way of her popping them down and sitting on the toilet or potty. 

 
They are pretty much like a pull up nappy, elasticated sides that can be torn off if it's a nasty nappy after, or pulled up and down for feeling like a "grown up" or potty training. Although I always thought I'd go straight to little girl knickers so Daisy would feel the sensation of having an accident, to hopefully encourage her to potty train naturally. 

However I do think these are a great transition from nappy to underwear, they feel slightly different to wear and are obviously different to put on and off! 

I should talk about absorbency really and I'm happy to say even though they don't look as if they will hold as much as a usual nappy they really do. And I am happy to report there is no sag! 

For me the design of these is a winner, anything with Peppa on will be accepted in this household by the little boss lady! Along with them being soft and easy to use this is the reason I will definitely be using them until we make the transition into big girls pants. 

Hayley xxx

*PR sample but all our own views 

Tried & Tested: Waterwipes


Whilst pregnant with Daisy the brand Waterwipes passed me by but since having her I've seen quite a bit about them and even had a pack in an old subscription box that I dabbled with back when she was around 6 months old.

 This time around I knew that they were the only thing I wanted touching my bambinos bum in those first few weeks after being born. 

 

Being made with just water and an incy bit of fruit extract you can't find much that would beat them in being so pure and gentle on those cute little bottoms. As an FYI they are suitable from birth, all that is found in them is 99.9% purified water and Citrus Grandis seed extract, aka grapefruit seed extract.

So I had a couple of packs and popped a mini pack in my hospital bag and a few more in the changing basket ready to tackle those first nappys! With Daisy I used cotton wool and water before moving straight on to ordinary Johnsons wipes just a few days later, no one wants to wait for cooled boiling water when you don't even have time to boil a kettle some days with a newborn!! 

I used them with Alex until just last week, so a little over 3 weeks. I found them to clean him up nicely and leave him with a fresh bottom, much as any other wipe would but this time I knew nothing nasty had been put on him. 

Sadly I haven't restocked yet and that purely comes down to price at the moment. On a measily maternity wage you really do have to watch your pennies and I just can't seem to part with the money for wipes. Especially as with a toddler who is still using about a trillion a day it just didn't make financial sense this week. 

But I'm keeping my eye on them to come on to promotion and then I'll stock up again, probably saving them for those times when Alex needs that little more TLC, after an explosion when you want to be as gentle as you can! 

My only other observation after using them is that they are much wetter than other brands I have used which is a bit of a double edged sword really, it's easy to wipe mess away or lift the mess but it can also make the job a bit more messy by adding additional wetness to the area making a bit more tricky to handle! 

All in all they got an 8/10 from us and lived up to expectations! Not the most exciting review but seriously, I can't get too excited about a baby wipe can I? 

Hayley xxx

*PR sample but all opinions are my own
Thursday, 16 June 2016

Lidl vs Aldi toddler nappies


I should start by saying that I am not working in collaboration with either Aldi or Lidl ,it's purely my opinion after trying both ranges of nappies over the past few months with Daisy who is now 2 years old and I thought some of you may be interested in what we thought of them.

 


I'll be honest, we have used the Mamia range from Aldi for a while now and always stock up when the baby event is on. We buy the nappies (and have bulk bought for our newborn too) but also the fruit pouches, wipes etc. I think it is safe to say we highly recommend their range of baby products, for the money they cost they are incredibly good value. 

I usually stock up when we go to Aldi as its not somewhere we go very often as its not in the best location and I'm rarely over that way shopping, however with our little boy making his arrival and being a bit all over the place in the lead up I was a bit shabby with the organisation and it turns out we run out!

I don't usually shop at Lidl but I went with my parents the one day and so thought I'd try their range out as a last minute option. As with Aldi they're well priced compared to a lot of the well known household brands and so it was worth the risk! Sadly they didn't stand up to the test. Firstly the fit was really odd, I know this can vary by child but they just didn't seem to sit right around her bottom and one cheek was always escaping! This lead to a few leaks which always drives me mad! 

But the worst bit was that Daisy seemed really uncomfortable and kept complaining about "my bum"! I kept putting it down to her hating wearing a nappy or well any clothes if we are honest!!! But when I was bathing her I noticed she had little scratches all around her little waist and when I felt the nappies waistband I realised it was really scratchy on the seam area. It wasn't consistently every nappy when I checked but they seemed to be put together a bit shabbily. So I won't be repurchasing. 

Have you tried either? 

Hayley xx

hursday, 28 April 2016

On the hunt for trendy, non-frumpy duo purpose maternity wear


 On the hunt for trendy, non-frumpy duo purpose maternity wear, as in that you can wear where you actually have a baby not just a bump? And ideally that you can breastfeed in too, if you are choosing to feed that way of course. 

I looked and looked and well there isn't much choice out there, not that is my kind of style anyway. Not that I really have a "style" as such, but I mean I just wanted some key pieces that won't make me look like a frumpy, round pregnant lady and allow me to still feel slightly young, and dare I say it, fashionable. And then to add on to that I wanted a few pieces that I could actually wear after I give birth to hopefully breastfeed in too.





There are a few places I have got some nice pieces from such as New Look, H&M & ASOS but I do find the availability poor for my size range, so I found if you wanted anything in a small - medium then more often than not it just wasn't available in my size. Although when I did get hold of them, they were of decent quality and some of the prices are good. You don't really want to be spending too much on something that is only going to serve its purpose for a few months but then again you also want to feel nice.

I was introduced to Angel Maternity online and was really surprised with what I found. There is so much choice and actually so much I would personally buy for myself!


I have the top left top in size XS (I am usually an 8-10 as standard UK sizing) and absolutely love it. Although Angel do lines that have separate purposes of maternity and nursing, this is an item that is dual purpose. You would think it is just maternity, it covers the bump nicely, gives a nice shape and doesn't drown me or just go straight up and down which so many items do! Then under the cross over bits (which don't just float open to flash all to every Tom, Dick & Harry) there are "slits" to allow you access to your nursing bra to feed discretely from. 




I still have my baby firmly in my bump but after having Daisy previously I just know that this will be a godsend when baby does arrive.

I would love to hear of any other places I can try to find more key pieces for my bump and feeding wardrobe. 


This posts includes a PR Sample, but all opinions are my own


Friday, 22 April 2016

Letting our little explorers do what they do best... #LittleTrikers


Is there anything better than being outside in the summer? Seeing the sun shine on your children, the breeze blowing their wispy baby hair and ice cream dribbling down their chins... 



It feels like we haven't had the sunshine for such a long time but the weather this week has brought us a little bit of promise... finally! Fingers crossed for more good weather in the summer so we can get out and about and do some exploring!

Daisy loves nothing more than being outside and rooting around for interesting things, even more than she loves Peppa Pig!!!Anything I can do to get away from that little pink rascal is good by me! 

Building on last year’s award-winning Little Trikers Challenge, Little Tikes is once again encouraging us parents to enjoy adventures with their family by getting out and about with their Little Tikes’ Trike. They are offering you the chance to go on an adventure with your own Little Triker by winning one of 20 trikes!  You can find out more and join in atwww.facebook.com/littletikesuk.



The idea being that you leave the pushchair behind at home and take a trike instead! A much more fun option for toddlers yet still a relatively easy one for us mums and dads who still need to get them about with as least hassle as possible.

All you need to do to be in with the chance of winning is to share your family fun days with the Little Tikes Team by posting videos or photos to the Facebook page. The competition runs until Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May and the winners, chosen at random, will be announced on Tuesday 3rd  May.

We have been lucky to have the new 5-in-1 Deluxe Ride & Relax® Recliner Trike to get out and about with. We absolutely love it and even being heavily pregnant its so light and easy to move about that even I can manage! Even if I do have to take it much slower than Daisy would like and have lots of rests! 



This is a little video of us using it earlier in the week, trying to make the most of the spring time sunshine!


This post is in collaboration with a PR company but all opinions are our own

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Beebies Baby Club: Subscripton Box



I have always had an interest in subscription boxes, especially those such as GlossyBox and Birchbox but have never took the bait and actually tried them. I used to have Nonabox when Daisy was first born, which I absolutely loved but sadly the company stopped trading and that put an end to that!

This box set up is very similar, in that I am trying out the pregnancy and baby box from Beebies.
They also do boxes for when your children are here which are tailored to your baby's gender and age. The pregnancy box is adapted to how far along you are and if you know what you are expecting, in terms of gender.




I decided to do an unboxing video on this occasion as I thought it would be good to see my first reaction to opening it and seeing what the contents were!

I was really pleased! And I think quite surprised by the quality of items in there. The box is £20 a month which is fairly reasonable, and it certainly is when you see what you get in it.

I think the only item which I am a little dubious about is the maternity dress, and that is purely down to the colour. I am a Plain Jane when it comes to clothes, especially when pregnant and I am feeling rather huge! But having said that I do have a wedding and a few events to go to over the next few weeks so I am positive I will wear it, and the cut and style is lovely!


Overall it is a big thumbs up from me!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Thursday, 4 February 2016

I haven't done a beauty post in some time and that is mainly because my routine has been pretty steady and not much has changed. However with being pregnant and lazy there have been a few new additions this past few months.




So the biggest hero this last few weeks has been Batiste dry shampoo, no surprise there as it has featured a fair few times on my blog! But I am currently trying to "train" my hair into thinking that it doesn't need washing every single day which I had sadly got into the routine of doing. Now I am going to be having a toddler tearing around as well as a baby to care for so let's be honest, it is never going to happen! Also it really isn't great for your hair.

I usually would use the original scent but was drawn to picking up the Tropical edition this last week, it smells divine! I don't think I need to go into any further details here except this is a pregnant womans MUST
HAVE product!


Another hair product is from Salon Science and is the Reglosse Smoothing Serum. I basically towel dry my hair (gently!) and then smooth around 4-5 drops of the serum through my hair and then pop the towel back on so it has time to be absorbed, before combing it through, Now this isn't the cheapest serum or hair oil that you will find (it retails around the £18 mark in Boots etc) but to me it really is worth it. My hair is super glossy once it has been dried and is still looking healthy come day 2-3. Some times this kind of product can lace my hair a bit lank and floppy, basically no life in it! But this is On point! (Trying to be down with the kids!!!)




Another product that I have featured before is the Body Shop Vitamin E moisture cream, but it really does deserve to be on this list again! With my hormone ridden skin playing havoc then I am having to moisturise as often as I can. I have been using this as a bit of a face mask after a shower too, lathering it on thickly and let it become absorbed as much as possible. It can take a little while but it is so worth it, my skin is really gaining from it. I do still love the Tropic Skincare product but for now I am happy to use this one and give my skin as many vitamins as I can!


Last but by no far least are some Clinique Chubby Sticks. These are new to me, having used Clinique as a brand for a while I wondered why I never picked these up before. I was lucky to get these for my birthday after they were spotted on my birthday wishlist at the end of last year! It was a great little pack but my favourites at the moment have to be the Cheek colour balm (01 Amp'd up apple) and the Shadow tint for eyes (01 Bountiful beige). Basically they are like crayolas for your face!! So, so easy and smooth, easy to blend and have staying power, which I really didn't expect when I first saw them. As a busy working mum that needs to do her makeup in record time they are perfect!


Hope this has been of interest,

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx
*I was sent the Salon Science product as a PR sample but all opinions are my own

Friday, 21 August 2015

Makeup Revolution Haul A/W 2015


If you read my blog then you'll know this isn't the first time I have blogged about Makeup Revolution. I am yet find a brand in similar quality for the amazing prices they offer. I should say this isn't a collaborative post (I have collaborated in the past, but this time every penny spent was my own!) and so all opinions are my own, I am in no way being biased.



I did my make up out not so long ago, cleaned my brushes, you know the drill. Well I felt I needed some new pieces in there to liven things up. It is really quite satisfying buying more than one new thing at a time, it feels like a complete overhaul - well in reality it really isn't I guess!

I've said it before but I really do like drug store makeup, but as a sideline to my staples such as Estee Lauder Double Wear, Benefit Mascara and Smashbox primer. You really can't beat it for price, and if you only wear it for a couple of months before moving on then it really doesn't matter too much. ( In a non wasteful way!)

So I went online at Superdrug and thought I would see what I could find.

Makeup Revolution Highlighter Golden Lights & Peach Lights

I bought two highlighters this time, at £3 each they weren't the cheapest item in my order (believe it or not!) but thought they were great value so why not. To be honest I am not a big fan of golden lights, I expect it to be good with a tan but it has that orangey tint that I really don't look for in my highlighter.  I simply use my highlighter to brighten up my above my cheekbones, around the eye area and where ever else looks like it needs brightening up. The Peach lights does just this and actually suits my skin tone without looking TOO obvious. I think this product will last forever, you barely need to touch it to transfer it to your brush and skin. It is highly pigmented and picks up nicely. 





Makeup Revolution Lip Gloss Tube Eye to Eye

This was one of those items I just threw into my basket for the simple reason that it was just £1! I didn't have high expectations for this product, I expected a sticky, claggy formula that would make me feel like a 13 year old girl again. I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn't last a long time before wearing off but for the price I really like it. It is a great day to day colour and just brightens up my lips and adds some shine, perfect for work where I don't want much impact. I will be looking at other colours for sure. 


I Heart Primer No Shine Please 25ml


To be completely honest this was the disappointment from my order. I don't like the consistency of the primer and I hated how it made my face feel. Yes it made my make up stay put and appear Matt but it felt heavy on my face and somehow it felt wet all day? It could just be my skin but I won't be using it again. Again a great price though of just £1.91


Makeup Revolution Pressed Powder Translucent

I am never too fussy when it comes to my translucent powder, as long as it actually is translucent and doesn't give off much colour I am happy. Once I had worked out how to open this product (You slide not lift open) it was fine, it will do the job nicely. Nice and light and will fix my make up how I need it to. £2



Makeup Revolution Salvation Palette Waiting

This was the most pricey item in my basket at £6. But a palette for £6?!! Crazy prices. There was so much choice but I finally settled for this one, I already have a couple with Iconic 2 being my go to palette for most day to day make up looks. I knew I would like this product as I have tried a few similar palettes from Makeup Revolution, the colours are nice and I like how the matte colours are separated from the shimmery shades. And also this palette has a mirror - hooray! Great price and I highly recommend!






Enjoy!

Hayley xx

Monday, 20 July 2015

Crabtree & Evelyn preview (Review)

Hello,

I know, I know! I said preview, which in PR terms means Christmas. How very dare I? Especially when it seems we aren't even going to get a few weeks of summer. But I am afraid you will have to think about it at some point...

So I was recently invited along to the Crabtree & Evelyns Christmas press launch. Sadly I couldn't make it, why is it most of the press days are in London?! (Stupid question I know!) I can make my way down there easily enough and am actually down there most weeks for work but sadly not on this day.

Anyway they kindly sent me a lovely little package and I have chosen some of those products to show you. And to make the most of the rare, tiny bit of sunshine I decided to shoot them outside in the garden.




I should start by saying I am not new to this brand and quite often purchase them as gifts. They are a nice, premium brand that is always well received. I should add though that I have never bought anything for a male from there and actually never noticed they even do mens products, until now! 


First up is this hand therapy cream. This was much appreciated, my hands are so dry and horrible at the moment. Although they have been like that since I have been a mum, all that extra water exposure I guess! I knew I would love this, mainly because I have used their hand creams before. The scent is gorgeous and as usual it is easily absorbed into the skin. I do find those tiny screw tops quite tricky to use, especially to put the lid back on when your hands are a bit slippery. And I have already lost it twice and panicked that Daisy would spot it before me! But I love this and I definitely will be considering as gifts for the baskets I put together for the ladies in my life (mums, nans, sister etc) for Christmas. It is so nice! 


Next up is this beauty. Pomegranate, Argan & Grapeseed bath and shower gel. This smells like I could eat it! This is actually 30% off at the moment online!



I mentioned mens products before and this is the product that I was talking about! This is Verbena and Lavender cologne. At first when I opened up the package I wasn't sure if it was feminine or masculine, but upon smelling it I can confirm its definitely for a man! It is so nice though! I wouldn't mind my husband smelling like this! I am not sure if I would pick it up in store purely because Lavender portrays more of a feminine smell to me, but if I was encouraged to try it I would have changed my mind! This will also be going on the list for gifts! 

Lots of love, 

Hayley xxx

I was sent these samples in return for my honest opinions
Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Roller Lash? Is it all it is cracked up to be?

There has been loads of hype around this product from Benefit and loads of vloggers and bloggers have already written and talked about it. I am as usual a bit late to the party!


Before my holiday I was umming and arring about which make up to buy to take with me,  ended up buying some cheap mascara from Collection (previously Collection 2000) to take with me and decided to get either They're real or Roller lash by Benefit when I got back. The main reason being I didn't want to dry it out or anything daft while I was away, also I don't tend to wear much make up when abroad anyway.

But then ASOS sent out a discount code for something like 20% off all items! I went straight to the beauty section and filled that basket quicker than you can say bargain! So I got the Roller Lash mascara along with many other bits and bobs, mainly Barry M actually.

And I LOVE IT! It isn't as dramatic as They're Real by any stretch and it takes a few coats to get a volumised, heavier lash. But the lift, length and curl is lovely. Just what I love in a mascara!


The brush is slightly different to what I would usually go for when in the drugstores but I have learnt to love it. It is what I can only describe as a smile shape, slim and quite hard (I couldn't find a better word!). Usually I would go for a wide, bristley brush!

So is it worth the money? YES! Is it better than any other mascara I have tried? Ummm tricky question. I think I am going to restock on the They're Real and apply the Roller lash first and then dramatise with the other! Best of both worlds! For now I am using the Rimmel GLAM mascara to volumise!

Lots  of love,

Hayley xxx


Elasticizer... EMPTY

I don't often do empties posts, mainly because I just wang anything I finish right into the bin. And actually if I am completely honest I don't often finish many products, I get bored before I finish and simply throw in a drawer never to be seen again or give it away.


But this I have finished. I have no idea how! One minute it is full and I am trying to use as little as possible each time, because I love it so much then the next minute it is flipping empty!!! What the heck?! I only use it once a week, possibly two if my hair is feeling it needs it. It basically brings back the elasticity into your locks, making it feel healthier, more manageable and look sleek!

Anyway, I love this product, Philip Kinglsey Elasticizer. I did a full review on it last year and thought it really did deserve another mention on my blog. I have never found a hair product like it! I highly recommend it!

Lots of love,

Hayley xxxAn everyday skincare and mummy make up regime

Please bear with me on this one, it isn't my finest hour (well 4 minutes!) but practise makes perfect (or at least a tad better anyway!!)...



Lots of love,

Hayley xxx

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Possibly the worst glitter varnish of 2014

I'm usually nice and positive on here, okay I'm honest and do say when I'm not happy with something but I wouldn't go out of my way to do so.

I had a mini Rimmel haul in Boots before Christmas for some sparkly, seasonal bits and pieces. One of the products I bought was Rimmel precious stones in Ruby Red 002, it's what looked like a deep, very sparkly red colour. Perfect for the big day! 

Applying glitter Polish is never overly easy but I've never tried anything like this before. It was very opaque and almost slid of the nail when being applied. I had to do 3-4 coats to make it resemble what it should have looked like and I was ok with it. Not majorly over the moon but if you didn't look too close it looked alright. Nice and sparkly! I put a Rimmel top coat over as usual and as recommended on the bottle. 

Well, it must have lasted about 3 hours before it started falling off, and falling off in huuuuuuuge pieces! Awful. By lunch time my nails looked disgusting. 

I give it a whopping 0 out of 5!! I must add I've bought many Rimmel nail products before and been very happy with them, but not this one! 

Have you tried any of that range??

Love, Hayley xxx


Sunday, 5 October 2014

T-Zone Facial range*

I have seen the T-Zone skincare range in stores before but always look past it really. For some reason it jumped out at me as a "teenage" brand for troublesome skin. Something I would have perhaps used 10 years ago (how old am I??). 




















When I was gifted a few of the products in the range I thought that I should definitely give them a try at least once. Especially as my skin is so up and down at the moment with hormones.

The product photographed is the Blackhead fighting scrub. Now I don't have blackheads, I have never really suffered with them but I do get troublesome hormonal skin. One thing I loved as soon as I flipped the lid was the smell of tea tree, I love anything tea tree! It smells so fresh and clean to me. I started to use this straight away and although I had my doubts because I have a loyal favourite face scrub that I use I still actually enjoyed it. It made my skin all tingly, not in a harsh way but in a refreshing way. I wouldn't or haven't been using this daily but every 2-3 days and my skin does feel nice and actually appears much less blemished.

I was also sent the spot zapping cream which did make me nervous. I have had bad experience of these in the past!! Skin peeling, red raw you get the idea! So I skipped this item and will hand it on to my sister who seems a lot less sensitive than me. 

The other item I have used was the Skin clearing moisturiser. I decided to take it with me on holiday last week and thought it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try, I wasn't planning on wearing much make up and thought it was a great chance to get the most out of my skin. I liked this product, felt it was tad sticky at first but it soon sunk into the pores and did leave my skin feeling nice. I came away really pleased with it! 

Some other products in the range:












You can get these from various outlets and are at a nice budget price compared to some brands. 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

I was gifted these products but all opinions are my own

Monday, 25 August 2014

*Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

I was lucky last week to see someone retweet one of Philip Kingsleys tweets for #freebiefriday and so thought I'd do the same! Got to be in it to win it! And I never win anything, but I won!! Must have been my lucky day. 

If I'm honest I'd never heard of the brand (when I googled it I thought I must have been living under a rock as it has so much hype around it!!) So thought I'd take a look on their website and find out a bit more, the Elasticizer which is what I won is their hero product. 




It's basically a pre- shampoo treatment, you rub it into your scalp and roots area and leave on for 10 minutes before washing out and shampooing. It simply makes the hair more supple and stretchy and so it won't snap which it usually would when it dries. If you put your hair up a lot like I do then you are prone to the breaking of hair, but this will help. They recommend you use a least once a week. 

Don't get this muddled for the Extreme version which is different!

I love a hair treatment and often do masks and oils to look after my mane as part of my weekly pamper routine. Especially at the moment as I feel like I'm losing so much hair post pregnancy. 

After using just once I honestly could feel a difference! I'm really honest when it comes to reviewing products and I promise I could feel that it had done something. My hair had more life and it did seen more flexible but also it seemed super clean, like a salon wash. I've got a huge bottle to use that will last a while I'm sure but I'd definitely purchase, even if it is on the more pricy side (for a mummy on maternity anyway!) than your usual Aussie or Herbal Essences brands!

One thing about this mask is that it's not sticky and smelly (ok that's two things), which really helps if you need to wear it for a while for it to work before washing off. It washed out easily, my tip would be don't apply too much if hair treatments as they can cling to hair making it hard to get all  of the residue out.




Thumbs up from me!! 

I might just enter more competitions in future!!!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Avon Haul #2

My latest mini Avon haul included:

Colour Correction Palette
Concealer brush
Glimmerstick in smoky grey
Fixing spray 


I buy most months from Avon as a friend of mine is a representative and often drops the book around. You get a real mix if products in the catalogue varying from super cheap like the Color trend range aimed more at the teenage market (although I have been known to order bits from it like nail polishes!) and then the higher end of the brand like Anew (aimed at the lets say more nature audience). 

I've used bits and pieces of their make up and bath bits and bobs etc for years now, I'm not loyal to anything really from it but I do like to try things from there and there bubble baths etc can be really good value for money for every day bath times as well as their sun lotions. 

First up the colour correction palette. 


This was on offer for £7.50 (usually £10.50) and so I thought I'd give it a whirl. It comes with a funny little brush that again I won't be using. My other fault with this is that it would be useful if it came with a reminder of which segment was for, I'm no expert and had to look back in the book to remind myself. Although I did experiment anyway!  But just so you know, pink is for a glow, beige hiding blemishes, yellow conceal redness and orangey to brighten skin! 

This is after using the product- no other make up. 


All in all a thumbs up! 

Next up is a concealer brush, a bargain at £2.50. I was a little sad how small it was, my last brush was slightly bigger and flatter but I guess I've just got used to and hooked to my last one! It worked just fine though and I'm sure it'll become my staple concealer brush no trouble. 


I've used the glimmersticks a few times and they're really good! No mess, no need for sharpening and go on smoothly! Really recommend. 

A few weeks ago I tweeted about the make up fixing spray and how I didn't really like it, it's very wet feeling! Which is odd when you've just put your make up on. However I've stuck with it and actually it's very good at keeping base make up in place! 

This is the finished make up job using Makeup Revolution iconic 2 eye pallete and hot and spice blush palette too, along withTropic eye brow define set. 


Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Friday, 1 August 2014

Makeup Revolution #2

You may have seen my previous post on Makeup Revolution and my mixed reviews on the products- if not find it here. Generally I loved them but did find a few of the bargain £1 lipsticks a bit like a crayon. 

So.. I tried a few of the palletes. There is a real buzz around them in the blogger world at the moment and had to try at least one as especially the eye palletes got brilliant write ups. 

First up is the Blush and Contour pallete in Hot spice. Retails at £6.


How nice is the packaging? For such affordable prices I don't think it looks bad at all! 


The colours in this pallete are really warm and rich, usually I would go for more pinky peach tones but it's nice to try something different and actually these would compliment a tanned complexion nicely. 

Here are some swatches..




(Picture using blush and eye pallete for a very natural around the house look today)

In this pallete you get a good sized mirror which is great as so many don't now and I know some of their other products don't come with them. 

Next up is an eye pallete for just £4 which I chose from Superdrug last week on a little shopping spree. I went for this pallete as the colours are neutral and can be used for all occasions, there were some amazingly bright ones which took my eye but for starters I thought I would try this one: Redemption Pallete Iconic 2



I'm afraid I stormed right in before taking some nice glossy photos of this! I get a bit excited and have to use things right away!!! As you can see I threw the applicator away firstly, who uses those sponge flimsy applicators anyway? That's a bit of disappointment and also no mirror in this pallete. But then for the price you can't complain! 

This product is my favourite that I have tried of Makeup Revolutions, it's nicely pigmented, goes on nicely and lasts all day without the need to touch up. 

It's a mix of shimmery tones and matte which is what I like best about it! The lighter tones on the left I have been using as highlighters too. I will definitely be purchasing a few more of these! For the price how could I not??



Which products have you tried and liked or disliked?

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

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