Saturday, 31 December 2016

Milton Soother Steriliser - Giveaway

Milton Launch Award Winning ‘Mini’ in Limited Edition ‘Pearly Grey’

New colour available while stocks last

Bournemouth, UK – 16th May 2016: Milton, the leading expert in sterilising, today announces a limited edition ‘Mini’ Portable Soother Steriliser in on-trend “pearly grey” colour ideal for parents and care givers/guardians. The new colour will be available in June exclusively at Baby Brands Direct and only while supplies last.

The Mini is 100% watertight, cleans and sterilises soothers everywhere and is BPA free. Along with the new pearly grey colour, the Mini comes in three other existing colours (purple, blue and green). Milton updated the ‘Mini’ design in late 2015 to be easier to use, with a new tactile strap and the ability to hold a wider range of soothers.

“We continue to listen to the feedback of our parents and launch with new and fresh product variations,” said Tess Clark, commercial and marketing manager, Milton. “The Mini is already one of our most coveted products and offering a variety of on-trend colours makes for even happier customers, especially as family travel increases over the summer.”


The full range of Milton Mini Portable Soother Sterilisers has a RRP of £6.99 and is available at John Lewis, Mothercare, Ocado, Superdrug and Tesco as well as many independent pharmacies and nursery retailers.

The Milton product range continues to grow in distribution with Mothercare now stocking the award-winning Solo, both in stores and online.

The Mini is 100% watertight, cleans and sterilises soothers everywhere and is BPA free. Along with the new pearly grey colour, the Mini comes in three other existing colours (purple, blue and green). Milton updated the ‘Mini’ design in late 2015 to be easier to use, with a new tactile strap and the ability to hold a wider range of soothers. For your chance to win one just enter via the rafflecoptor below. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway T&C's: This give-away is open to the UK only.   The win will be chosen at random via rafflecoptor then the winner will be emailed 24 hours after the give-away has ended. The give-away will close on the 14/01/2017. The prize will be sent straight to the winner from connectedpr and Jade's Journey will not be responsible for any missing prizes, there is no cash alternative. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Electric Jukebox Review

Hope you all are prepared are ready for Christmas, over the last few weeks we have been using the Electric Jukebox, kindly sent to us to review. So here we go,

The purpose of the product is a music application that stream onto your TV via your internet connection. The packaging is good, it looks professional but unfortunately it is not as eye catching as I personally think it should be. The way the jukebox works and it controlled is by a wireless controller that senses your movement, similar to that of the nintendo Wii sticks. It is very responsive and actually very easy to control which cannot usally be said for these kinds of controllers, the small black box you can see in the photo is plugged into the HDMI port onto your TV.


The company promotes "29 million songs, 2 minute set up"... In truth 2 minute set us is over exaggerating. The set up was so simple and quick that even those who shy away from technology wouldn't have any issues. It is as simple as plugging it in, putting in your wi-fi password and then streaming what ever music you fancy.


The initial welcome screen again doesn't offer anything in terms of visual brilliance, its slightly bland, a black screen with the product logo on. Although I appreciate this is a product used for audio purposes in opposed to visual however to me it isn't just how a product works that makes it brilliant. It needs to look and feel great as well.
                                                         
The navigation system as previously mentioned works very well, the menus are easy to understand and simple to navigate through which is always a positive when using a new gadget. Despite the previous mentions to the bland colours, the menus are actually colourful and really make the product look exciting, it looks like something that will be fun to use. The way the icons are made to look like neon lights really emphasis the juke box feel.


There is every single artist you could ever think of on the product, in truly does offer a great range of music for all occasions, we used it to listen to Christmas songs while putting up the tree and also background music for when doing the housework. It would be great to use during a party as I'm sure you could find something that could suit everybody. The music playlist screen is fairly simple however this then fades into a screen saver whereby there is landscape photos and other interesting things.

The only disappointment with the playback is that there is a small delay in the crossover of songs, other music streaming apps available will allow a fade out/fade in crossover. In my opinion the smooth transition between one song and another is important.

Overall I like the product, I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. It has great potential. I prefer using my music on the go which unfortunately this product doesn't offer. However as a home music system it works great. After a while the motion controlled can become slightly tiresome, especially when typing. There is a voice activated system but Liam tried this and he has quite a strong yorkshire accent that the software struggled to recognise. If the developers could release some form of application on a mobile to allow you to type on your phone and then search on screen it would be great. With a bit of care and development I think this product could become a market leader and challenge companies such as Spotify.


***This product was sent to me for review purposes only, this has had no bearing on my opinions of the product***

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Family Film Night: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Every week we have a family film night, something Jared-David really looks forward too. This started when I was pregnant as we couldn't go out and about as much due to the issues I had. It was decided that each week we would get some snacks and pick a film.

This week we chose to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love Halloween and I love Christmas so it was a perfect choice. Jared-David has never seen this film last year I thought it would be too scary for him because lets face it a skeleton that basically steals Christmas isn't exactly joy to the world.


If you have never seen The Nightmare Before Christmas then I will give you the basics. There is a town called 'Halloween Town' Jack is the pumpkin king and one day off he goes and finds a load of tree's all with funny pictures carved/painted on them. Jack goes in to the tree with the tree on and discovers Christmas, he loves Christmas but thinks he could do it this year and let Father Christmas have a break. There is a lot of catchy songs in the film which Jared-David has been singing on repeat, well the first few lines then he mumbles.

Each week with our film we pick our snacks. Jared-David normally chooses something chocolatey this week he chose chocolate buttons, Liam had a selection of cheese and I had popcorn. The popcorn I had was chocolate marshmallow flavour. I'm normally a toffee kind of gal or sweet if we are in the cinema. I was a little bit unsure about it but WOW what a flavour! I loved it and I wasn't the only one handfuls were taken by both Liam and Jared-David. Good job I had a small bag of sweet as well.

I wonder what we will watch this weekend? Any recommendations?

Monday, 5 December 2016

Weekly Meal Plan

It's the start of a new week, which means it is time to plan what we will be eating this week. We have a busy week this week, Eryn is at hospital today, Jared has his school play on Tuesday and Wednesday and on Friday we are off to Panto. So quick easy meals are needed. 


Monday - Spaghetti Bolognese with garlic bread 

Tuesday - Pizza and curly fries

Wednesday - Slow cooker chicken curry with rice 

Thursday - Pork Casserole with mash and vegetables

Friday - Takeaway 

Saturday - Chicken stuffed with garlic & herb soft cheese wrapped in bacon with new potatoes 

Sunday - Roast beef with roast potatoes, veg and home made Yorkshire puddings 

This week I will also be making a cake which I will be sharing with you all. I'm really excited about making it and hoping that it looks as good as it looks in my head. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Weekly Meal Plan

We all have those days where everything we can think of just isn't what you want to eat. I have seen a few posts about meal planning and I always find them super helpful for inspiration. This is the aim of my post and hopefully the weekly meal plan will help inspire you.



Monday - Smokey Piri-Piri Chicken with cross cut chips and Corn on the cob.

Tuesday - Pork chops with mash potato and vegetables.

Wednesday - Creamy tomato pasta bake with a crispy cheesy top and cheesy garlic bread.

Thursday - Sausage and mash with baked beans.

Friday - Beef stew packed with veg and potatoes and some home-made wholemeal bread rolls.

Saturday - Lasagne with chips and salad.

Sunday - Toad in the hole made with Cumberland sausages mash, veg and gravy.

Recipe For Bread Rolls
I found this recipe many years ago and I love the bread I can't for the life of me remember where I found it, where it says bake for 25 minuets I would check before then possibly at 15-20.




















Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Red Vape E-Liquid Review

We were sent 2 e-liquids to review from the lovely people at Red Vape. In January 2016 Liam stopped smoking and switched to vaping instead since then he has tried a range of flavours from a range of different companies however he hasn't ever sampled any of Red Vapes products so the opportunity to review some of their liquids was an opportunity he wasn't going to pass on. There is also a discount code at the bottom for you to use on the website. The remainder of the post will be written by Liam.

Once Jade told me we had teamed up with Red Vape I couldn't wait to put my order in. In truth I had never really heard of the company before but after looking through the liquids on there website I was extremely impressed with the variety of liquids they had on offer. Many companies usually just focus on one flavour segment be it tobacco, fruit or custard/desserts. Personally I am not a huge fan of the tobacco flavoured liquids my usual go to flavours are fruit based liquids. I settled with Trinity Creme and Angel Berry. The description of both flavours were mouthwatering, Trinity Creme, a vanilla custard with caramel and a hint of nutmeg. The nutmeg is quite seasonal around this time of year as well. The Angel Berry is described as mixture of Raspberry, Dewberry and blueberries with an extract of granny smith apple this is all topped of with water mint to provide a subtle exhale flavour. 

The liquids arrived in a matter of days, like a kid on Christmas day morning I couldn't wait to open them up and start vaping them. The first thing that struck me was the packaging, for a liquid priced at a more than reasonable £9.99 the packaging was similar to that you would expect with many premium liquids sold for a higher price.

The bottle were again much better than you would expect for a liquid priced so low. Many companies will just use plastic bottle that you can squeeze to fill up your tanks, it is only when you get to the higher end of the price market that bottles become glass and you use the pipette to fill your tank. Red Vape offer a high quality high end product on a low budget. The glass bottles were modelled perfectly they were curved, sleek, stylish. They were also filled with some of the most vibrant colour I have ever come across in vaping, especially the Angel Berry.




Once I opened the liquids I smelt them before I vaped them. In my opinion if it smells good, it will taste good. The Trinity Creme smelt exactly as it was described, a vanilla custard. The Angel Berry smell was well and truly mouthwatering if it was a drink I would down a whole bottle (just don't ever drink e-liquid...trust me) I couldn't quite put my finger on what the smell reminded me of so I asked one of the lads I work with, within seconds he nailed it... The lollipops from Sherbet Dip Dabs.

So, the liquids passed the eye test and the smell test but would they pass the taste test? Of course they did.

I first tried the Trinity Creme, usually I avoid Custard based liquids, mainly because if you coil is slowly dying custard based liquids in my opinion become unbearable. I was extremely impressed with how smooth the liquid was. On the initial inhale your greeted by a sweet vanilla taste that slowly faded into a caramel undertone. The nutmeg then joined the party on the exhale and it left a nutmeg taste tingling on your tongue in-between vapes. As always when someone in the office has a new e-liquid everyone whether they are experienced or novice vapers needs to have a try and this occasion was no different, every single one of them enjoyed the taste this liquid presented at first and then left behind, it was a clean sweep for the guys at Red Vape.

It took me a matter of days to go through the full bottle of Trinity Creme so the Angel Berry was opened up. The flavour in this liquid was a little more subtle than the Trinity Creme but was just as good. On the inhale you had a mixture of all the different berries topped off with the sweet juicy apple kick at the end, the exhale was when the water mint kicked in, this helped add a little something different to the usual fruity liquids available on the market. Again, I let people from work have a taste. This liquid unlike Trinity Creme was met with mixed reviews, none of them particularly negative. They ranged from "Love it" to "It would be my emergency liquid" In my honest opinion I thought it was just lacking a little more fruity kick, if the water mint was replaced with a strawberry kick I think it would be a favourite amongst a lot of vapers.

It is worth noting that although I was testing these liquids in my RX-75 kit which allows me to vape thicker liquids with a higher VG at a high level of Watts, due to the 50/50 split you can use Red Vapes liquids in any set up you may have. These would be perfect little stocking fillers for a loved one who use an e-cig, they have so many different flavours so they really do cater for everybody. I know they are on my santa list.

Discount Code: JOURNEY15

To Sum up Red Vapes liquids in a few words it would be, affordable, professional, beautiful, mouthwatering and smooth.... essentially it is everything you could want from an e-liquid and a supplier.

Thanks for reading, as usual if you want to interact with me you can grab me on the below. 

Twitter @LiamBurton92
Instagram @liamburton92
Snapchat liamburton123


Disclaimer: We were sent this product for free as a review, this has in no way had any impact on the review and the review is based on my personal opinion of the product.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

A Babies First Christmas

When Jared-David was baby I seemed to find shopping for his first Christmas easy. Maybe this is because we went over the top with stuff! Stuff he didn't really need but companies make you think you do, I'm sure many of you will understand where I'm coming from. So now it is Eryn-Rose's first Christmas I was struggling on what to buy and I know I'm not the only parent to be stuck on what to buy a baby for Christmas.

Over the past couple of days I have started picking a few bits up. We have bought her a 3 toys and an activity play centre that she can sit in, we didn't want to buy too many and become over run with toys that she can't use yet. Below I have put together a few idea's of what you can buy for baby.
A Money Box - I got a Peppa Pig money tin for the poundshop, it can't be opened unless with a tin opener which I think is a great idea. I have also got my 4 year old one of these as he is very good at just finding money which he can then save for a day trip.

Spin Top - Whilst walking around the German Market at the weekend I spotted the beautiful princess spin top it was a bargain at £9. It's made from metal so will last and will also make a good collectable item.

Taggie - My son spotted the taggie and suggested to get one for his baby sister. He chose this design which is nice and girlie it was hand made by a local woman but I have seen these around in shops and online.

 Clothes - Something you can't go wrong with as you will always need clothes. I have bought these in a bigger size as I'm sure plenty of people will also get her clothes and I don't want her to have loads in the same size and not be able to wear them.

Blankets - All I seem to do is wash blankets that have either sick or poo on and the other day we had one blanket while all the others were drying. I have ordered Eryn-Rose a blanket with her name on just to make it that little bit more special.

Keepsakes - The carousel is something I spotted and fell in love with. This is a gift that she can keep forever, it plays music and the detail is amazing. I also bought her a Snow globe, this will be something that we can add to as a collection.

Baby Food - Ok sounds crazy but my mum came up with a genius idea (very rare for my mum). She is buying Eryn-Rose a selection of baby food, jars, rusks and baby rice and making her a little hamper. I have never seen any baby food hampers but what a great idea.

I hope that this helps you a little if you are struggling and if you have an idea's then I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Halford's Pontefract & Car Seat's

On Monday I spent hours looking at car seats I chose them on what I would need so rear facing isofix car seat here were two that I really like and both were affordable. Still a lot but hey I wouldn't need to sell a kidney to get it. I looked through their websites to see if their car seats were compatible with my car, my car wasn't listed. Meaning that I would now have to go to a shop to see if these would actual fit then return home to look for the cheapest place to buy the seat from. 

I went to my local Halford's who had the seat that I really wanted. I had been stood at the car seats for roughly 15 mins while the staff hid away like frightened mice afraid to approach any potential customer. I asked a young lad if he could help me, apparently he couldn't so went in search of the one person they have trained to help me. The store wasn't particularly busy but there was a lot of staff who basically were stood doing nothing and left the tills unattended for a long time, if I wanted I could of robbed them and they probably wouldn't of noticed. I was told the guy was just doing a 'fit' and would be 10 minuets. Those were possibly the longest 10 minuets ever as I was stood around for at least 20. 

I explained to the 'expert' about the car seats I had seen and which one I would like blaa blaa. He took one look at my car as just told me "No it won't fit". I kind of thought this would be the answer as the isofix seats are bigger then her current car seat which is about half a centimetre from touching my seat. He told me how his brother had a bigger version of the car but mine was the compact version and they are not designed to have back seat passengers on a regular basis, he went on about this for a while. I then asked what seat would fit my car and his answer was that I was best to keep her in the one she is in until at the eye line level but then she would need to go into a forward facing. 

If anyone happens to have a BMW 3 Series 3 door compact and has an isofix car seat that is rear facing then I would love to know what seat you use and the price. I have a maximum of £200 for a car seat that will last until she is 4 and is isofix. 

Also Halford's I really think you need to have a chat with the staff at the Pontefract branch as from what I could see only two members of your staff actually do any work, one being the car seat 'expert' and the other sporting a beard and I think he had a ponytail. 

 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Where To See Santa

Every year I take Jared-David to see Santa and every year it is becoming more difficult to find a Santa who isn't fully booked. Since when did they decide you need to book to see him anyway?! When I was a little girl I stood in line and waited my mum paid £2 I got a picture and a toy and I was over the moon. As times have changed I thought I would make a list for the people of West Yorkshire so they could see where Santa will be and dates, times and prices. 


Ackworth Garden Centre - Opens on the 12th November at 2pm and will be there until 2:30pm Christmas Eve there are a full list of dates and times in the link. Prices are not stated on the website, it does get busy so you could be waiting for a while. 

Pontefract at Voctoria Garden Centre - They offer a few options when it comes to meeting Santa, Breakfast with Santa and Tea with Santa as well as the Grotto. You can book online for any of the events in the past they have had limited available Grotto slots to purchase in-store. The Grotto opens on the 20th of November and the cost is £7.50 per child with a maximum of 2 accompanying adults, the prices includes the visit and a gift for the child. 

Carr Gate Garden Centre - Opens on the 12th of November it's book on the day only in store for the opening 12pm until 6pm. They recommend booking online for all other days, this is £8 per child and all children must be accompanied by an adult. The Grotto is open for weekends only during November then it's open daily from the 3rd December until the 23rd December. I have had a look online and people have already started booking the days so I would get in quick if you are planning on visiting here. 

Wakefield at Hampsons Plantworld - The grand opening is 19th and 20th of November where Santa will arrive by Horse and cart at 10:30am there will be free mince pies and mulled wine also as well as other fun for the family. They will be open 11-4 every weekend so that is from the 19th of November until the 24th of December. The cost is £7.50 per child and each child receives a gift when I spoke to Santa he told me that even the babies get gifts which is great. 

Bradford at Tong garden centre - Opens on the 12th November you must book online the charge is £12.50 and adults have to pay £2.50 which they then get back to spend in the garden centre. I personally think this one is a bit too expensive and I do not agree with the adult having to pay. The child gets to see Santa and will get a gift. 

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway - Runs from on the following weekends, 26/27 Nov, 3/4 Dec there are another two weekends but these are fully booked. This isn't just a visit to Santa it's a super special visit where you get to ride the train which I think makes it more magical. It is £17 per adult and child over the age of 3 toddlers 6mnths-36mnths are £8.50 under 6months go free. I think the price is fantastic considering it's a day out to meet Santa rather than just 10 minuet visit. 

MIddleton Railway - This is very similar to the above but is a cheaper option. These run on the following dates and can be either pre booked or purchased on the day but I would advise pre booking, 3/4 Dec 10/11 Dec 17/18 Dec and the 23/24 Dec. Booking is essential for the 24th of December. The cost of this is £8.75 per Adult £11.75 per child aged 3-12 and £7.75 for under 3's, children under 12 can travel for free if they do not require a gift from Santa. 

Totties  garden centre in Holmfirth - There are selected dates that Santa will be visiting so please do check the website and you need to call to book your slot. It is £5 per child and each child will get given a little gift. If you just want to have a look at the Grotto you can have a look for free from the 3rd of December. They also give 10% of to the Forget Me Knot Trust. 

National Coal Mining Museum  - This is amazing I'm so excited about this one. Santa arrives at the museum on 26th of November and is there every weekend until the 23rd of December. I'm sure under 5s normally can't go under ground but they can to visit Santa. Booking is essential and you will need to call them to book, the number is on the website. This is a really good priced visit Adults £5 Child £6.50, each child will get a certificate and a gift. They have a lot of Christmas events coming as well so I would definitely have a look on their website.  

Marion Centre in Leeds - Opens on the 19th Nov. There are a lot of dates on the website so take a look. Now there are a few options you can see Santa for FREE but the child won't get a gift, £3 for a gift, £5 for a photo, or £7 for a gift and photo. All the money raised will go to their chosen charity which is candlelighters. 

There are so many more that I could add to the list such as Eureka in Halifax, but the list would just go on and on. If you have any recommendations then please feel free to leave them in the comments or if you have an experience of any of the above then I would love to hear them. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Win 1 of 3 Copies of: Teletubbies Tubby Snowball DVD

The Teletubbies have recently returned to our screens which means any of us who have babies or toddlers will get to know to Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po very well over the coming years. I have the opportunity for 3 of you to win a copy of the DVD, this would be great to put away for Christmas and this will also be included in one of my gift guides. You can purchase the DVD from Amazon for £6.00.


The DVD contains six new and exciting episodes all set in Teletubbyland where it's cold and snowing. They find big snowballs and dance with snowmen as well as watch children make a caterpillar out of snow.

Episodes

  • Snowball 
  • Packing 
  • Number Four 
  • Flying 
  • Taps 
  • Party 
There are also some special features
  • "Behind the Scenes For Grown Ups: Building The Set" Featurette 
  • " We Wish You A Merry Chirstmas" 

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 11/11/2016 until 04/12/2016. The prize will be sent directly from the supplier Jade's long Journey is not responsible for any missing prizes and there is no cash alternative.    

Monday, 7 November 2016

Lekto Wood Fuels

If you have a real fire in your home you will know that this time of the year you will need a good stock pile of your preferred fuel to keep your home warm and cosy. We recently received some products to try out from Lekto Wood Fuels. We received some bark briquettes, birch briquettes and some natural fire lighters.
The first product we tried were the fire lighters. We have tried a few fire lighters from various places and we found that these were really good in comparison. The fire lighters are made from wood shavings and state a burn time of between 10-12 mins which I would say is about right from when we were using them. We popped about 2-3 in when lighting bigger amounts of wood. I have not tried these with coal but I imagine that they would be able to ignite them with how long they burn for I'd maybe use 4 and a bit of kindling. You can order these on their website but not on their own so you would need to select one of the options, for example you can get 100 fire lighters and half a crate of kiln dried brich firewood for £169.00
The Bark briquettes were something we were eager to try. The burn time is up to 8 hours which is pretty accurate. These are best used for when you want a nice steady warmth rather then a raging hot fire, ideal for overnight or for when you are just popping out to the shops. To use these we placed them on the fire when there was a few low flames but mostly embers. On a morning we would place other wood on top of what was left give the bark briquette a poke around which then helped with getting a roaring fire.

The Bark briquettes are compressed together under high pressure and are made from conifer bark. They roughly weigh 1kg and come packaged in 12kg pack. The packaging was to really good quality which would allow for out door storage whilst still in the packaging. There are several amounts you can purchase these in, bags of 20, 42 and 84.  
The Birch briquettes look very similar to what you can purchase almost everywhere and to a degree they are similar. They are similar in terms of shape and texture but they differ in size and burning time. When comparing these to a similar product these were albeit a few millimetres bigger than the ones I can purchase from my local shop, I'm not sure those few millimetres contributed to the longer burning time and it was more to do with the quality. Most of the time we chop wooden logs up and through them on but sometimes you just don't have time to stand and chop wood so these are perfect for that occasion. If you are wanting a quick and hot output I would suggest using these, our hot water is powered by the heat produced from the fire so as you can imagine we welcomed these. These briquettes produced very little ash but as it states on their website you can use the ash as fertilizer so it's a win win really. I would also like to point out that these do expands so when placing them in your stove please do not overload and be cautious. We used these alongside chopped wood to keep the fire going for longer periods of time.

You can purchase these in bags of 24, 48 and 96. They come in 10kg pack and again are well packaged so can be stored our doors or in a shed. We did store both briquettes in our coal shed in the garden and they were fine. These briquettes are made from pure birch sawdust.  

Sunday, 6 November 2016

A Book Review: Taboo By Thomas Piggott

I normally stick to certain genre's  when it comes to reading however I was asked if I would like to review Taboo. Taboo isn't in my normal genre's as it is a story of true events, something which I normally avoid as I find myself drawn into what I read and I worry that it will affect me in some way. Maybe it is a good thing to have what you read affect you?

So Taboo is written by Thomas Piggott, this is his first book. As the title suggests it is around a subject that many feel they can barely speak about let alone be able to write about, sexual abuse. I don't want to say too much of what goes on in the story as I would much prefer you to purchase the book and read for yourself.


The story is set during the 70's in the midland's. It tells the story of how an innocent child is befriended (groomed) by a man who wasn't a total stranger and used days out as an opportunity to commit such brutal acts of abuse. Thomas writes in brief about these trips to the cinema, I respect that Thomas has spent many years trying to push these nightmares out of his head however I believe more could of been shared about how he had changed as a child and the fact that nobody seemed to pick up on it or if they did they didn't say anything.



I believe many people sadly can relate to Thomas's story, the subject no one wants to speak about but there is always someone you know who has been through something similar. In recent years it has become clear to me that this is something that happens far more then it should and usually by someone we know love and trust. This can make it hard for anyone to speak out. Hopefully people will read stories like these and speak out to prevent more of this happening. To say I enjoyed the book would be the wrong words to use I just can't think of how to say that I enjoyed reading the book but I didn't enjoy reading about the pain that another person went through or the abuse that they have suffered. You can purchase the book on amazon as either a ebook or a paperback version.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

A Trip To The Ballet: A Child's Review

Since the arrival of Eryn-Rose Jared-David and I haven't spent much time together, so when Jared-David was  invited to be a #fdMiniCritic as part of first direct's Mini Critic campaign we couldn't say no. Jared-David was very excited about becoming a critic and being able to share it with you all.
With my posts it's normally my experience and opinion that is shared however this review will be different as Jared-David will be telling you all about what he saw and what he thought. As he is only four we thought it would be best to write everything down (the video was a disaster, nose picking and fidgeting).



Me: So Jared are you excited to watch the Ballet
Jared-David: Ummm yeah but what is it?
Me: Well Ballet is a type of dance and the one we are going to watch is of the story of Goldilocks and the three bears
Jared-David: Oooo my bear will like this and I will too I think

We caught the bus to Leeds and found our way to the Nothern Ballet. Jared-David told me several times how he liked the spinning doors and that they were very fun. Before the performance we spent some time in the foyer where Jared-David and his bear (David) took part in some arts and crafts. Of course when he made his bear head band his bear also needed one. Jared-David said this was so that his bear looked different and could be found if we lost him. After about an hour they opened the doors and called people to take their seats.
Jared-David: Wow mummy there are a lot of seats in here and they have instruments (pointing at the orchestra)
I explained to him what the orchestra was and that they would be playing some music.



After the performance I asked Jared-David a few questions and here is his review of the Ballet.
Me: Could you understand what was happening in the performance?
Jared-David: Yes, Goldilocks was a bit cheeky and went into the bears house.
Me: Can you tell me who your favourite character was?
Jared-David: Goldilocks because she is cheeky and I'm a bit cheeky sometimes (giggles)
Me: What did you think to watching this, would you like to watch this again
Jared-David: umm I like it and I was good when watching it there was no talking though
Me: That's because the story is told through dancing
Jared-David: Ahh I like the dancing it looks good
Me: What was your favourite bit
Jared-David: No mummy I always ask you what's your favourite part so what is your favourite part?
Me: I liked it when the sneaky fox came into the woods
Jared-David: My favourite part was when Goldilocks broke the chair it was funny


Jared-David went on tell me how the music sounded fun but he wouldn't be able to dance to that music it would be too tricky for him. I asked him if he would like to go again and he said he would go again and he would watch Goldilocks again because he really liked that, he said he would give it 4 thumbs up out of 5. He has told all his family and friends about how much he had at the Ballet and told his Dad that he wanted to go again with him too so he could see the dancing and the awesome costumes. We got to have a look at the behind the scenes stuff (lighting and moving props), he found this very interesting and enjoyed seeing how it all worked.



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

#CTSummerDays

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.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Diary Doll Review And Giveaway


 Lets talk about underwear, not a subject most people will talk about but we all have similar habits when it comes to your knickers. You will have knickers that are comfy and for everyday use, sexy knickers for when you are going out or having a romantic night with the other half and then you have them knickers that are only used for that time of the month. 

Diary Doll are pants that will make you feel more comfortable and confident, for when you are on your period or if you have a weak pelvic floor and leak a little when you laugh. You know what I mean that moment when you think it is safe to laugh or cough/sneeze but then a little bit of wee comes out. These pants were thought of with young women in mind who may suffer with heavy periods, I know that when I was a teenager I was so paranoid that when I was on my period I would leak and be the subject of the latest school taunts! I would of welcomed these pants. What makes these pants different is that they have a secret waterproof panel. This is what prevents the possible leakage.




So how did I get on with them? I had just had Eryn-Rose so this was the perfect time for me to try them out. Before I say what I liked about them I just want to touch on the packaging. One pant was on a little coat hanger and had the tag attached, I love the design label I think it is super cute and it doesn't seem to target any certain age group. The other pants came in a little box which gives you some information on the bottom, inside the box the pants are neatly folded and there is a little signature from Annabel and Carol which I think is a nice touch. Any way back to the pants, I found them really comfortable and soft. My first fear was that the waterproof panel might make me sweaty down there and also be really uncomfortable, you can't tell at all that the panel is there once they are on and I also didn't get sweaty which is a bonus. I felt more confident in going out when I had these on as I was certain that if I did leak that the pants had me covered. My mum tried out the second pair I thought it might be best to get two opinions from two different age ranges and different pant problems. My mum found them comfortable and light to wear which I agree with as it kind of feels like you are going commando! My mum has a busy job and she does suffer from the cough and leak problem, so for her to they needed to be comfortable while running around at work. My mum was happy with the sizing and said that they were a comfortable fit and also didn't lose any shape or feel after being washed. I'm really happy with the pants and they are a welcome addition to my underwear draw.



 
                              















If you fancy a pair you can purchase them from Diary Doll they are also available in 122 Boots stores, they are priced at £14.95. If you are feeling lucky you can enter below to win a the pants in size 14-16 in Black.   a Rafflecopter giveaway