Thursday, 20 October 2016

Are We Scared Into Safety?

Is it just me or are more and more companies using scare tactics to get us to spend more money? I'm not going to argue with research because that would be really silly. I'm also not saying that safety isn't important because it is especially when it comes to our children. Surely I'm not the only person who finds that the health visitors scare you more than reassure you? 

Over the past 11 and half weeks I've barely had a night where I haven't woken up several times. Yes I have a baby but Eryn-Rose is not waking me up, the fear of Eryn-Rose not waking up is what is waking me up. I'm up several times just to check that she is breathing, I worry about this before going to sleep. This is classed as normal for the first few days/weeks and yes I did the same with Jared-David but it only lasted for two weeks. I can pin point when this feeling and sheer fear started, it all began when the health visitor came. If you already have a baby or children you probably already know what conversation I'm meaning and if you haven't had this conversation then I will give you a heads up. When the health visitor is discussing sleeping she will go through safe sleeping and the dangers etc. Eryn-Rose sleeps in a moses basket and will be going into a cot (with a bumper made from breathable material) when she is bigger. During this conversation cot death was spoken about so much which is what terrifies me and is the cause of me waking up a thousand times a night. I bought Eryn-Rose those baby sleeping bags because I personally find it makes me feel less anxious about her sleeping, as the health visitor pointed out she could suffocate with a blanket then reels off loads of ways that this could happen also lets not forget the conversation about using too many blankets and over heating baby. This is number one of being scared into safety because as parents we aren't stupid and we manage fine until a scary story or talks of cot death are brought up, this can cause us to buy all sorts of expensive gadgets. Baby monitors with sensor mats (guilty of owning), expensive sleeping bags (again guilty), special mattresses, monitors with cameras where you can sit and watch your child sleep instead of relaxing watching the soaps! 

The health visitor isn't so much too blame for this one but how many of you have fancy expensive car seats?? Well I don't and there are a few reasons for this which I will get too as I go on. It seems to me that every few weeks there is new research about babies and children and thier car seats. Jared-David is 4 and has been in a forward facing car seat since he left the baby car seat. I know research shows that rear facing seats beyond baby stage is safer but I can't afford to pay a couple of hundred for one and it also would not fit in my car! This is something that seems to get left out when all these professionals are scaring you into switching. I drive a 3 door BMW there isn't much leg room in the back and even Eryn-Rose's car seat is just a few centimetres from actually touching my seat, there just isn't enough room for them to stay in rear facing seats beyond baby car seat stage in fact after speaking to some people and having them look and try some seats it would be unsafe for me to have them in my car. The research is there to give people that option to make an informed choice on the type of car seat they use. Another scare point about car seats is that if you leave a baby in them for longer than X amount of hours they could die due to restricted breathing. I feel this information may put a lot of new or anxious parents in a tricky situation, for some parents it can be hard finding time to go places or visit family. If like me you have family that live 3-4 hours away this research may make you decide to stay at home rather than visit family. Again we are not stupid and anyone who can drive 4 hours straight with a baby/child and not have to stop for a wee or for food, tell me your secret? 

Breast is best! Yes another thing that health visitors love to ram down your throat. I wanted to breast feed but due too a few issues that you may have read I couldn't. So bottle feeding it is, well now I feel like I have let my baby down as I have been repeatedly told that breast milk is the best thing to give my child and without it she isn't getting all this fantastic stuff which can protect her and make her super human, ok I made up the super human bit but I'm sure you have have the chat. Anyway back to bottle feeding and the dangers that imposes, never pre make bottles. I fill my sterilised bottles with water and add the milk powder I don't fill them all up but there is always one with water in. Now the health visitor has said how this can make her ill and this that and the other but for generations before us this was how it was done but actually filled with the milk then it was heated up. My daughter isn't a fan of warm milk and she is on demand feeding I know the times roughly but she isn't always bang on time, I would also like to add my son was fed the same way and he was never seriously ill from having pre made bottles. After further talks and such I found that this information is given more for the ease of covering their own asses and that most don't really mind too much as long as baby is happy healthy and gaining weight nicely. Many people will spend money on expensive milk making machines or bottle warmers etc etc but do we really need it? Have a chat with people who were bottle fed and had pre made bottles see how many were seriously ill. 

The point of me writing this isn't to dismiss any advice or research it is simply to say that I think they have gone to far. The advice that is given comes across in a negative way death and illness always seem to be the reason why we shouldn't do something. There is rarely a positive and I think when it comes to new parents that it is important to make sure that they have information that doesn't just say do it this way or bad things will happen. Forward facing, rear facing, bottle or breast give advice and information but please stop all these scare tactics it's daunting enough with a new baby and exhausting so just back off.    

Friday, 7 October 2016

Moving House

When it comes to moving house I feel somewhat of an expert. I have moved house 10 times, however the last two times weren't as part of a posting with the armed forces and I didn't have two children and a dog to move with me. I must admit I do enjoy moving house it's a great opportunity to de-clutter and start fresh and clean. We had been looking at houses to rent for over a year and nothing seemed suitable or if it was suitable they wouldn't allow pets. So after looking we finally found the perfect rental, we viewed the house and applied for it the same day and three weeks later we were moving in. 

Stage 1 of moving house is packing up everything and only leaving the essentials out which for us was a lot as we had a 8 week old baby. As Liam was at work I was ferrying things across as and when I could during the week. One Wednesday when Liam was off we rented a van through Hertz to shift all the big items, luckily only one thing got broken in transit. 

Stage 2 of moving house is the unpacking which I'm still in the process of this isn't because we have lots of stuff its purely through lack of time. I have got most rooms unpacked in between school runs and nappy changes but a couple of boxes and bags are still waited to be emptied. I enjoy this part of moving as I get to rearrange where everything goes, during this stage I also realised my son has a lot of stuff. 

Stage 3 of moving house making all those change of details calls to the bank, council, DVLA etc. The list is endless plus you have to see who is the cheapest energy provider for this new bigger house, for us it was the same company which is good but if your not sure you can always check on U switch

Stage 4 of moving house is cleaning the old one. Liam dealt with this he cleaned the carpets and bleached the whole house. This is important for a few reason, you might not get your bond back if you don't clean it and also it just shows respect. We had a few issues with the old house which were never fixed even though we had reported it several times none of them our fault (damp). Hopefully the Landlord won't try and use this an excuse to not give us our bond back. 

Stage 5 of moving house relax and enjoy. Seek out your local takeaways have a nice meal and enjoy your new home. Most of the new house is decorated so we don't need to worry about that we are just going to do the bedrooms next year. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Eat Sleep Doodle A Review And Giveaway

A few weeks ago we were sent a fun little product to enjoy from Eat Sleep Doodle. Eat Sleep Doodle have a range of products that you can colour in and draw on. As there name suggests their products include food related items, place-mats, aprons, cups and even a table cloth which I think would be great to have on a child's table at a wedding. They have backpack's and Ipad cases, sleep includes duvet covers and pillow cases

We were sent a Dinosaur pillow case, Jared-David is into Dinosaurs again so this was a great design for him. They have a notepad and a world map pillow case if your not a dinosaur lover. The packaging is small so if you were to order just one it should fit through your letter box with no problems. The pillow case is large in size (75x50cm) which is good as I was worried that if it was small that it would affect the detail on the case. Another concern of mine was that the material would be thin and feel as if it wouldn't last, but the material is made of 100% cotton and has a good strong feel. 

The pillow case comes with coloured wash out pens, a set of these pens can be bought from their website in case you fancy doodling on something that they don't yet have. The colours are basic colours and I think it would be good for them to have more of a selection and have them as additional sets which you could purchase separately. The pen's do wash out, I followed the instructions on the packaging on how to wash and would advise this to anyone who has one.

Jared-David really enjoyed colouring this in with the help of a few friends as you can see in the pictures. As well as this being really fun it helps with pencil control as I was setting him challenges to keep the colours in the lines. It also help to develop the imagination and story telling as Jared-David decided to play a few games with his dino helpers then create a story to tell me. 

I personally think this is a great product and it has helped with Jared-David not just in learning but also with going to bed better on a night time. These would make a great gift for Christmas for any dinosaur lover little or big. If the pillow case isn't your thing then have a look on their website as their are so many cool fun gifts to colour, and everyone loves colouring plus it is good for calming down and lowering blood pressure. 

 If you are feeling lucky or just fancy having your own dinosaur pillow case then I have a giveaway that will make 3 of you reading this very happy. Just enter the rafflecoptor below and keep your fingers crossed. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Uk entries only, winners will be notified by email and have 28 days from the date shown on the email to claim the prize. If the prize hasn't been claimed after 28 days then another winner will be selected. Winners are selected at random via rafflecoptor. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. The giveaway runs from 30/09/2016 until the 30/10/2016.   

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Knowsley Safari Park

Before life returned back to school runs and early mornings we had one last family day out. I spent a few days looking around for a place that we would all enjoy and was suitable to take a 4 week old. After discussing some places with Liam we decided on a trip to Knowsley Safari Park we all love animals so I knew it would be a good day. 

Set off early and managed to leave on time for once which was good as on the way there we hit some traffic around Manchester area. Getting to Knowsley from Wakefield was fairly quick and easy of course when you get closer to the Safari Park it is sign posted. When you get there you drive up to the pay point, we had pre-paid online which also made the tickets cheaper (£36 2 Adults 1 Child ) you get a free activity pack which is fun for the kids as there are stickers to place on the map. There is an option to purchase a guide book but we didn't get one. After paying you can choose to either go straight through Safari or you can park up and have a walk around the where some other animals are, we went for the Safari. 

I have been to Longleat so I knew what to expect. We were lucky because it was a nice sunny day which meant the animals were out. As soon as we drove through we had some animals right next to us, Jared-David went and sat on Liam's lap in the front so he could see them better. The first lot of animal was a mixture of Ungulates which are hooved animals, Camels, a selection of Deer there was even a Somali Wild Ass. There were a few silly jokes about the Somali Wild Ass, which was super cute and looks very similar to a Donkey. On our way round to the Lions we saw some White Rhino's which was amazing although I was terrified that they would charge at the car ( I've seen Jumanji ). There are so many animals and I'm not sure on all of the names of them but they do have a list on their website. They did have Baboons which you can chose if you want to drive through or not, there is a warning that stating that if you choose to drive through them you do so at your own risk. We went through and instantly I began to regret the decision as I saw cars getting ripped apart, the road was covered in bits of windscreen wipers and other car parts. Jared-David found this hilarious and I have to admit it was funny and I will admit I laughed at the brand new 15 and 16 plate cars leaving with no wipers and scratches. We had a few Baboons jump on the car one gnawed at the screen wash part on the bonnet and luckily that was all that happened. The Baboons was my favourite part it was so interactive and so funny. 

After our Safari drive we parked up to explore the rest of the park. This is where the Elephants and Giraffes were. Two of the Elephants were eating and it was amazing to be so close to them where the Giraffes were there was a platform which Jared-David and Liam went up so they could be level with them. Unfortunately there is no way for those with pushchairs or wheelchairs to get access to this platform. As well as having a Safari drive the park has a few shows throughout the day one of birds of prey and sea lion, I really wanted to see the sea lion show but due to access I couldn't. They have a wild trail which we found fun and although not suitable for pushchairs we did force it round. Whilst walking the trail we spotted the moose in the middle and took part in a scent trail which they have dotted around the track, we had the pleasure of sniffing badger poo. After the trail walk Jared-David and me went for a wonder in the bat caves, I practically crawled on the floor and still had bats fly into my head.

There are a few rides at the park which require you to purchase tokens, Liam took Jared-David on a little ride which was rather expensive to say they weren't on it for long. The food at the park is really good value for money and filled us up, well we still had room for ice cream but the food was nice. I really enjoyed our day out but I do think they would benefit from making the walk around area's and show area more pushchair and wheelchair friendly, as most people who tend to visit these places are families and many have small children who are in a pushchair. Of course there is the option to leave your pushchair and enter some parts but you do so at your own risk and we had a 4 week old and a lot of stuff on the pushchair. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

I Forgot How To Mum

Before the summer holidays started I made a list of places we would go and things we would do during the summer holidays. I think my then pregnant brain was being a tad too optimistic, I thought I could have a baby and then go here there and everywhere. I don't normally admit this but, I was wrong! 

When I had Jared-David he didn't come home until he was three months so leaving the house was easy. He kept to the hospital routine when he came home so we knew when he would want feeding and how many bottles to take with us when we went out, not that we went out much. With Eryn-Rose it has been different, I felt like I had forgotten how to mum. The first two weeks I was ill but I was still determined to make sure we got to go out and do things. 

Our first trip out was to the beach, we wanted to leave early to make sure we had a full day there despite me feeling like I had been hit by a bus. Of course leaving at the time we actually wanted to didn't work out as Eryn-Rose wanted feeding and changing then she was sick. You can't completely plan things when you have a newborn she is the one in charge not you. Once she had been all settled it was time to sort out her bag, we took way too much of everything. Looking back I have no idea why we thought we would need to take 6 sterilised bottles. We bought the pre-made milk as we knew it would be easier then taking the powder then finding somewhere for water etc. So that was our first experience of a day trip with a newborn. I also forgot how oblivious people are to prams!! Now I know some people are clumsy but how do you not see a bright pink and cream pram!! 

Prams that is another topic. When choosing Eryn-Rose's Pram I looked at a few I wanted an Egg or a Silver Cross but I didn't want to pay the same amount that I had paid for a car. I found a cheaper but similar to Silver Cross pram but when I went to get it (the day in went into the sale) they had sold out and when they got more back in the price went back up. I took to ebay, it's where Jared-David's pram came from. Hours of searching I couldn't find the three that I really liked at a price I could afford, that is when I saw a pram of no expensive brand, I could choose the colour and there were more then 3 colour options. The carry cot is similar in shape to the egg and the travel system style (the seat and car seat) are similar to the silver cross. At half the price of the ones I had been looking at I decided that I wanted it so I did. It came from Poland just like Jared-David's. Now when I was looking at pram's my daughter's comfort and safety was what I was thinking of and one thing I have noticed about pram's is this, they are small! and seem to be getting smaller. I understand that this baby is small but seriously they need a bit of space and if you want to charge £1000+ for something at least give the tiny human some space. Even the shopping baskets are getting smaller. It seems to me that these companies design the pram for the ease and comfort of the parents and not the baby. 

I could carry on rambling about all the other things I forgot about. I forgot about how much they love a cuddle which is such a plus and something every parent, brother/sister and grandparent should make the most of.

Thursday, 8 September 2016


A few weeks ago there was an event in Leeds held by Cotton Traders to celebrate their century of great British summers. The event was a summer throw back with fairground games and a BBQ. Unfortunately we didn't end up going to the event but the lovely people sent us a box full of goodies so we didn't miss out. 

A lot has changed in a century from fashion to how we spend our summer days which you can read all about on their website. Usually as a family we would go on a little holiday however this year what with having Eryn-Rose we had to settle for a day trip and fun at home and local parks. Trying to keep a four year old occupied in the house can be hard work and although we did have day trips Jared-David did get bored on the days when we were home. So what did we get in the box I hear you cry?

Sunglasses, ok so as a country we are not famous for the sun but these little beauties are still needed. We got two pairs Eryn-Rose is modelling a nice yellow pair and Jared-David got the blue pair. Little fact for you - sunglasses were invented in the 12th century. Over the years they have become more stylish and also more protective. 

This was my favourite goodie, a design your own kite. Jared-David was busy colouring his it had been raining and I was feeling creative. Since the PokemonGo app Jared-David has found an interest in them so I thought I would use the other kite to create a one of a kind Pokemon kite. These are great and will keep your kids (and adults) entertained for a long time. Kite have been around for years and I pretty sure every kid loves flying one. 

There were a selection of inflatables for us to play with including the Saxophone which Jared-David is posing with. We also got an inflatable lolli pop and the beach time classic a beach ball. I think the beach ball is the most played with at the beach a side from buckets and spades, we like to take them to the outdoor swimming pool as well. 

pasty face shows that I haven't been in the sun much but hey I have a stick of rock so I'm happy. Jared-David was opening the rock before I could even see what flavour it was, it's bubble gum. We got a few other sweets and some bubbles which we all enjoyed including the dog. It has been really receiving these items it made me think of how summer has changed from when I was a child. I want to make sure that my children enjoy a summer outside engaging with the family and these items will definitely help. Please do take a look at the Cotton Traders  celebrating a century of summer, it's interesting to see how things have changed since 1920. 

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Whoosh 3D - 3D screen protector review

So my latest product review is a 3D screen protector. The lovely people and 3DU sent me their 3D whoosh screen cover product. Now in the ever evolving technological world the new big thing is 3D, whether it be 3D games or 3D movies it's all about increasing the immersive atmosphere. Now usually you'd have to wear 3D glasses to make such an effect possible but this product eliminates the need for the glasses with its special screen protector. 

When the product arrived everything you need is supplied within the package including a dust cloth, dust removal film, the screen cover, the application code, the appliance to apply the screen cover and also £15 worth of vouchers for the company 3DU. The protector is applied in the same way any other screen protector is. By sliding the sticky screen cover over your phone and ensuring that there are no air bubbles. Now because I was using my phone to put the cover on I obviously have no pictures of this step but I found it relatively easy to apply the cover and there are step by step instructions supplied with the product. 

Once I had got the screen cover on then the fun started. I downloaded a free application from the app store called Whoosh3D. At this point you need to enter a code which was located on a card that was again included with the product. Now within the app you could stream 3D videos direct to your phone. The speed of the streaming was good with little to no delays there was some tinkering I had to do with the settings to get the best picture however once I had set the best picture quality I could no believe how well the product worked. I must admit I was a bit sceptical about how well the product would work but I was not great fully disproved. 

The product is £20 and as of yet is only available for the iPhone 6, 5S and 5C. The product can be found on 3DU's website and will be delivered very quickly. Mine arrived within a matter of days. Overall I would recommend this product to anyone who loves technology and the latest a gadgets and at £20 is one of the more affordable pieces of tech on the market.

I was sent this item for free to review, however this has no bearing on my opinion of the product.