- April 27th, 11:57
http://adserver.adtech.de/?adlink|3.0|311|1072359|1|16|AdId%3D6699352;BnId%3D1;link%3Dhttp://www.askamum.co.uk (They love my blog, ooo-errr how exciting!)
I’M ON THE ‘FAMILY FUN’, ‘BEST FAMILY TRAVEL’ AND ‘BLOG OF THE YEAR’ NOMINEE LISTS!
Two weeks before I gave birth to Florence I went to stay in Bristol with a friend of mine who was appearing on ‘Deal or No Deal’ and she invited me to come and be her friend in the audience. Everyone thought I was mad to go away from home so close to my due date but I never like to stop, that’s just boring, so off I went and had absolutely no problems whatsoever! It was without a second thought then that this week I decided to make the journey up to Norwich to surprise my Mum for her birthday. I told her that a friend of mine would meet her in the City as she was bringing her a gift from me when in actual fact Florence and I turned up to surprise her instead, take her for a birthday lunch and then spend the rest of the day with her. Jonny came up on the Friday night to spend the weekend and we had a lovely time with family before returning to London! It was really great to see my Mum on her actual birthday and lovely for Florence to see her for one more time before we’re baby on boarded!
We took with us to Norwich Florence’s new Raa Raa the Noisy Lion DVD and Florence has been thoroughly enjoying watching it! From the producers of Fifi and the Flowertots, Roary the Racing Car and Little Charlie Bear comes this new lovable character currently to be seen on the CBeebies channel and now to be owned on DVD! Follow Raa Raa and his friends as they solve mysteries, go on adventures and have lots of fun while mastering language and communication skills. With this all new DVD containing 8 episodes your little one won’t be disappointed! Florence as with most of her friends has become Very fond of Raa Raa recently and he always brings a smile to her face. We think the DVD is brilliant! It’s boisterous, loud and full of colour – just perfect for a toddler and the best bit is that it encourages little ones to use all their communication skills not just speech; it models the use of sounds, gestures and facial expressions. It’s narrated by national treasure Lorraine Kelly and the stories really are very sweet. The characters from Raa Raa himself to all of his pals, Crocky the crocodile, Zebby the zebra, Ooo Ooo the cheeky little monkey and the rest are all very charming, brightly coloured and engaging. All in all it’s a really good watch with lots of elements to entertain and occupy little minds. We also loved the fact that this particular DVD comes in a gift box complete with a small plastic toy of Raa Raa which is super cute. We weren’t so keen on the fact that once the presentation box has been opened you are left with just a cardboard sleeve for the DVD and not a proper case, it will get ripped at some point meaning I’ll have to buy a case for it and we think it would be better for storage and care if it came with a hard plastic case but that really is our only complaint! Great buy for a tiny tot!
‘Raa Raa the Noisy Lion – Welcome to the Jingly, Jangly, Jungle’
‘Raa Raa the Noisy Lion – Welcome to the Jingly, Jangly, Jungle’ Was released on DVD on March 26th and is priced at £10.20. It is published by BBC Worldwide.
The weather has been changeable and most of our days out recently have involved getting more than a little wet but we’re typical Brits and we don’t mind, we just carry on regardless! We are the people you see on a beach huddled under an umbrella having a picnic in gale force winds and in the height of British Summer we’re in the garden BBQ-ing despite torrential downpours; a little bit of hale and sunshine combined, as the weather seems to have been lately, would never put a spanner in our works! We spent the day at London zoo (more about that next week) in the wettest of conditions and still had a fabby time so when we visited ‘Beale Park’ in Berkshire recently, the fact that we got slightly wet from time to time and pelted with hail stones was actually run of the mill! We rather enjoyed the beautiful rainbows too!
‘Beale Park’, a wildlife park and gardens, had been billed to me by family that live near by as not particularly good at all so we had entered without high expectations and were extremely pleasantly surprised. I had expected something very small with not very many animals and in fact found a vast area with lots of lovely farm animals including Florence’s favourite meerkats, and absolutely tons to keep the little ones entertained! There are many different areas within the park and gardens which are gorgeous to walk round and it feels very secluded and intimate despite being a large area. There are beautiful lakes and green areas all round which are beautifully kept. I was also very impressed with the animal enclosures which were large and clean and I could see how well the animals were cared for which is always a plus. We’ve recently been to a farm local to us which was not up to ‘Beale Park’ standard and it was very depressing to see. I like the way ‘Beale Park’ have made their enclosures exciting for little ones including tunnels for them to run in and pop up in bubbles placed in the middle of animal enclosures meaning they get a really novel and exciting way to view!! There are also terrific viewing platforms for some enclosures which again just makes things a little more interesting for little ones; they’ve certainly thought very closely about the needs of children and what they will find interesting and exciting. The other fantastic thing we found was the many different play areas designed for children of all ages. They have a very specific under 5s Little Tykes area which is just delightful and was such a hit that we had our hands full getting Florence to leave. There is also a play ground for mixed ages and another one for older ones (but Florence still enjoyed playing in the sand here too)! In the summer time they have outdoor splash pools so would be perfect for taking your swimming costumes and there are many places to picnic along the way too! You could easily spend the whole day here if the weather was suitable and not get bored! There is so much I could say about ‘Beale Park’ and what an enjoyable time we spent there with Florence’s Granddad and Aunty Phoebe but I have to say the thing we enjoyed the most was the lovely little train ride round the park, it was absolutely delightful and Florence thought it was marvellous! It’s not an expensive day out and we will most certainly pop back there the next time we are in the area because for us, with a two year old, it was the perfect mix of animals, play and fun! We loved it and we recommend it highly! We visit lots of farms and wildlife parks, some with big thrilling attractions attached to them right down to inner City farms and ‘Beale Park’ has to be one of the most charming so far. Well worth a visit!
‘Beale Park’ Wildlife Park and Gardens is located in Lower Basildon, Reading, RG8 9NH, Tel 0844 826 1761. Admissions start at £6 for adults and £4 for children (in low season) with under two’s entering for free. There are discounts and family ticket options available. For more information please see their website www.bealepark.co.uk.
Florence’s favourites – The Meerkats at ‘Beale Park’ and enjoying the lovely little train ride with Aunty Phoebe!
Obviously when you go to the farm you have to make sure that your hands and clothes are thoroughly clean afterwards and especially as I am pregnant I know I have to be careful. I don’t like to use too many chemicals with little ones around though and in general am mindful of the environment and like to try an ecologically friendly approach where I can. Obviously there are times when chemicals can’t be helped and you simply have to use them but I’ve found a range of natural products recently which really do do a great job and eradicate the need for stronger materials. The range comes from ‘Greenscents’, an ethical and sustainable cleaning company. Based in Somerset, this is a family business which started out at the kitchen table and now produces cleaning products for the home which are not only environmentally friendly but they work! They are pure, hypoallergenic and they also have wonderful scents. When I’ve been using them to clean they have made my house smell divine, especially the minty aroma which I particularly like in the toilet cleaner. For washing clothes I found the lavender to be my favourite but to be honest they were all pretty good. I’ve been testing the loo cleaners, laundry liquid and conditioner and the multi surface cleaner, all of which I have found exceptional. I simply love the fact that they do the same job as other detergents without damaging the environment and also, in particular they are the safest option for a young family. I’ve been super impressed with the laundry liquid which not only makes your clothes smell wonderful but works ridiculously well. I couldn’t believe it when it got tomato stains out of my daughters pale peach cardigan. Admittedly it didn’t get out some dried on blood stains on my pillow cases but then neither did they come out when I ran it through a boil wash with biological liquid and I had to employ a soak in biological powder to remove the said stains so I think ‘Greenscents’ can be forgiven for that one! They are not expensive and they seem to last quite a long time too, a little goes a long way which makes them even more inviting! What’s not to like? They work well, they smell great, they look good, they’re made by a family so you are supporting a small business and most importantly they are natural, ethical and sustainable! Love these products and can’t see any reason why I would go back! I think they’ve got to be tried to be believed but honestly, do take my word for it and give them a go. You absolutely won’t be sorry when you do!
‘Greenscents, brilliant cleaning for a brighter future’ products can be purchased on line at www.greenscents.co.uk, prices start at just £2.50 and all products are both ethical and sustainable. For more information please see the website.
Now, talking of being clean, while out and about this week, our favourite product to travel with HAS to be the new wet wipes from ‘Little Angels’ at ‘Asda’ for they have an absolutely brilliant space saving added extra which makes them totally worth the little extra in price! I would definitely recommend trying these new soft baby wipes which include a built in pot of nappy cream! Basically the hard lid (always a favoured way of packing wet wipes as far as I’m concerned – can’t stand it when they just have sticky piece of plastic covering them which inevitably loses its sticky meaning the wipes dry out) splits in half and one side gives access to the wipes while the other hides a secret pot of nappy cream beneath! Absolutely love it, what a genius idea. I think ‘Asda’s’ ‘Little Angels’ range is incredibly good value in general, not to mention superb quality. Their nappies, I have always found are equally as good as the leading competitors and I have friends who wouldn’t even consider buying another brand so I know others feel the same way. These new wipes are of the same standard and I have to say have proved very helpful and with another baby on the way are an excellent way of saving me some much needed space in the ever growing collection of things I will have to take out with me! Cheers ‘Asda’ for another great product at a totally affordable price!
The wipes and their marvelously designed lid with cream!
‘Asda’s’ ‘Little Angels’ cotton soft baby wipes with nappy cream pot (64pk) are priced at £2.48. For more information please see their website www.asda.com.
It’s worth noting that the ‘Asda’ Baby Event has started again and is running its sensational discounts for the next two weeks! With some brand new products on the list this time as well as old favorites it really is not to be missed and those extra savings will be very welcome in my household so I’m sure they will be in yours too! Some of the fantastic offers include:
Little Angels Comfort Dry Nappies £6
The Nania Trio Plus Car Seat £25
Graco Junior Maxi Car Seat £25
Westborn Moses Cot £25
Red Kite Sleep Tight Travel Cot £25
Mamas and Papas Pollyana Pony Rocking Animal £40
Ella’s Kitchen First Taste Packs £2.50
Graco Pop Art High Chair £25
Folic Acid, Free from Asda Pharmacies (218 Nationwide)
There are also great savings to be had on clothes in the ‘George’ range so make sure you check it out!
Don’t forget I’m running a competition to win a family ticket to the 2012 In the Night Garden Tour! If you would like to be the lucky family receiving a complimentary ticket then just read on to find out how:
IN THE NIGHT GARDEN LIVE – TOUR 2012
Top-selling children’s show, In the Night Garden Live, is back by popular demand with a new 2012 tour and we have tickets to give away! The smash-hit show brings the world of In the Night Garden to the stage with children able to see their favourite CBeebies’ stars Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends up close.
In the Night Garden Live takes place in its own all-weather, purpose-built inflatable showdome with many family-friendly facilities. This site-specific structure proved to be a huge hit with children and parents on its previous tours and this summer will be travelling to 3 London venues: the Live Quarter at The O2 (24 May to 9 June); Old Deer Park, Richmond (16 – 30 June); and Brent Cross (7 – 22 July).
To be in a chance with winning a family ticket (for 4 people, minimum 1 adult), please answer the following question:
Q: What does Makka Pakka like collecting?
Email your answers plus the info stated below to [email protected] by midnight on Wednesday 9th May
Please provide your name, email address and contact number, as well as stating which venue and performance you would like to see. No cash alternatives, accommodation or travel are provided in this competition. The tickets are non-transferable and subject to availability. For further show information www.nightgardenlive.com or 0333 300 0023.
I just wanted to mention another of the things I was given whilst being a VIP blogger at The Baby Show in February (information on the next show at the bottom of this post) as I’ve just got it out to put in the infant car seat ready for the baby’s first ever car journey! It’s a Morrk Baby Hoodie for all seasons and it’s so super cute, I can’t wait to see the baby wrapped up in it! I’m going to bring you a proper review of it once the little one has been using it a while but I just had to show you how cute it is and I think it’s going to be really practical too! It’s a lovely blanket made from one layer of anti-pil poly spun lambskin breathable fleece and one layer of 100% cotton jersey and is universally useful for car seat and push chair/pram travel across all our seasons of unpredictable weather. I think it’s going to be super handy and so much better to use with a delicate new born than a regular blanket which might well be fine in the moses basket but in a car seat I always found them to be super tricky to keep in place with Florence. This one fits snugly inside the seat and has special sections cut away for the seat belt to go through so you are assured of it remaining in place protecting the tiny one! Can’t wait to use this product and watch this space for a full review later!
All ready for the baby to go in the car seat!
The All Season is available in size 1 (0 – 6 months), size 2 (5 – 18 months), with a few colourways also available in size 3 (18 months – 4 years). Priced at £39.95.For more information on this and all their products (which are also rather splendid) please see their website www.morrk.co.uk.
Now just before I go into my pregnancy diary I have a quick little competition for all you lovely single parents out there doing a fantastic job! I have loads of single friends and we were talking at my baby shower about who’s getting married (my good frined Kate), who’s still single and how to meet that perfect partner. I actually know loads of people who have met their The One on dating websites so they obviously work and I encourage my single friends to sign up. Why not? What have you got to lose? And now here’s a great opportunity to WIN a month’s subscription for www.uniformdating.com!
WIN a free month subscription for Uniformdating.com!
As seen on TV!
We have an exciting competition for all you singletons that might be looking for love Summer…courtesy of UniformDating.com!
Looking for that summer romance you’ve always dreamed of? Why rely on the British sun to bring some heat into your life when you can enter our competition to win a month’s free trial on popular online dating website Uniformdating.com! Uniformdating.com has hundreds of thousands of single people, all looking for love. The website is designed especially for people who work in uniform and perhaps aren’t always able to socialise in the evenings, or for people who fancy those that work in uniform – perhaps you’ve always dreamt of dating a sexy fireman or policeman?! This could be your chance!
10 lucky winners will get the chance to use the website and experience all benefits for a whole month for FREE! Who knows what will happen and who you might meet? Life may suddenly become a lot more exciting at just a click of a button.
Complete the well-known phrase:
‘Love is in the…’
Send your answer along with your contact details to [email protected] by midnight on Wednesday 23rd May and include the words Uniform Dating in the subject linbe for your chance to WIN!
MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEK 39
Well, this is almost it and if I said I was slightly nervous it would be an understatement. All this week those early day fears of worrying about how much love I will have and will there be enough for two have resurfaced. I expect it’s my hormones but I can’t help but worry about Florence. I feel sad that our time, just me and her, will not be the same any more and I kind of feel worried for her. I can’t bear the thought of her being sad in anyway and it literally breaks my heart to think of her missing me. I’m so worried she will feel left out, usurped, unloved… It makes me well up just thinking about it. I wonder if I might have PRE natal depression? Is that even a thing? I think my midwife must have thought I was mad when I burst into tears at her comment about everything changing for Florence. I know other women who have said that they felt exactly the same and none of them have gone on to feel like it after the baby is born so I’m sure I won’t either but it does just make me feel incredibly sad that Florence will have to share me for the first time in her life. I never had to share my Mum and I can’t help but worry that we’re doing her a great disservice by bringing another little person into her life? When I look to the future I see that she will be happier with a sibling and that they will have each other. I know the more people you have in your life, the more back up and people on your team the better and when they are old and grey they will be happy they have siblings but I just can’t bear to think of my little girl being sad or worried or alone… I so hope I’m worrying about nothing and she’ll be none of these things but it’s my instinct to worry about her and those, bad as they sound, are my worries. I see no reason in not being honest and I know it sounds like I’m ungrateful or that I don’t want this baby but that’s not true, I just don’t want it to affect my lovely girl in a negative way. She is so happy and wonderful; I just don’t want life to change for her for the worse. She’s the light of my life, my whole heart and I want her to always feel that, no matter what. I always say to her ‘You’re my best girl’ and the other day she said that line to me, ‘You’re my best girl Mummy’, made me melt. I can’t tell you how much I love her because there are literally no words which would do it justice! And then that brings me back to knowing in my heart that I will, somehow, as odd as it seems now, love this new baby the same because I remember feeling just as detached in my last pregnancy and wasn’t able to foresee that I would be able to love the baby in the way people assured me I would. It just happened I guess and that’s Mother Nature…
Me, my bump and my special girl just before my baby shower last weekend!
With all the running around London I do my ‘Pregnancy Product of the Week’ for week 39 has got to be feet related. Now being a busy Mum I barely have time to enjoy pampering at home let alone in a beauty salon and with money being tight it would be out of the question entirely. That said, it is lovely to have a bit of attention from time to time especially when it comes to my poor over worked and put upon feet. The last time I had a pedicure was just before my wedding in September 2010 and I just loved the way it got rid of all my hard skin. This is something that because of expense I have taken to tackling at home myself. It’s ok, I’m actually quite good at painting nails and enjoy it so I don’t mind not having the money to go to a salon but as time goes on in pregnancy it becomes increasingly harder to reach the nails and even harder to get to my heels and sort them out. Please then, let me introduce you to the ‘Bliss softening sock’! These socks claim to hydrate hardened hoofs with a self-activating gel lining, immediately soften tired treads, last for up to 50 uses and soften, smooth, and pamper with olive oil, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E. The people at ‘Bliss’ say:
You’ll get a ‘kick’ out of this pair of toe de-toughing, sole-smoothing, hardened heel-helping softening socks. They’ll leave feet feathery soft and spotlight-ready in 20 minutes!
All sounded a bit too good to be true to me but… I’ve been pleasantly surprised! They do actually work and you have to do no more than pop them on your feet like a normal pair of socks! The perfect way to pamper any feet but when pregnant this easy peasy option makes them all the more appealing don’t you think?! Having had them in use for a few weeks now I can report great change for the better and they continue to work just as well with each use. I would say 20 minutes a night (although I haven’t been doing them every night since they recommend twice weekly) is about right although they do say you can keep them on over night if you wish. I think they feel be a bit heavy for me to wear over night but they are perfectly comfortable for an evening! Absolutely love this product and although initially I thought they sounded a bit expensive, when you think of how many uses you get out of them and how much time, effort and money it saves in the long run they are actually extremely great value! So make like those in ‘Made in Chelsea’ and get yourself some ‘Bliss‘ treats but from the comfort of your own home!Highly recommend!
The softening socks!
‘Bliss’ softening socks can be bought on line at www.blissworld.co.uk and can be found in high street retailers. They have an RRP of £36.80.
If you, like me, love to shop then don’t forget that The Baby Show is back next month with some really exciting offers. This time it’s in Birmingham and even though it’s a long way to travel for me I’d still love to go cause it’s such a fabulous day out! Find out all the latest Baby Show news at the bottom of this post!
I hope I’ll be back for another pregnancy diary next week for week 40, I certainly have lots to plan, my midwife told me off for not being more prepared – eek! But perhaps it’ll be the story of my birth? We shall see!
In the meantime follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby
(All opinions and words, apart from those in green and The Baby Show information below, are my own. I have not been paid for this article although I did receive some products to keep after I had reviewed them.)
250 baby & parenting brands Fisher-Price crèche and Free Emma’s Diary Collection point On-hand facilities for parents
The Baby Show is back offering a shopping haven for new parents and parents-to-be at the NEC Birmingham from 18th-20th May 2012. Forget the hassle of the high street, The Baby Show takes out the stress and confusion of shopping for your baby by housing the UK’s biggest baby brands all under one roof, so you can compare and try products before you buy! With over 250 must-have brands including Fisher-Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, Marks & Spencer, Britax, tommee tippee and new companies Mammae, Poco Nido, Kinderroom and Curaprox, there will be brilliant buys for all!The UK’s leading parenting experts will also be on hand to offer advice on sleep, breastfeeding and first aid.Tickets are available in advance for £12.00 or two for £20.00, to book tickets visit www.thababyshow.co.uk.
The Baby Show in association with Prima Baby and sponsored by Fisher-Price is an exciting event filled with the latest and greatest products in food & feeding, pushchairs, nappies & wipes, toys, clothing, furniture, car seats and carriers, from major brands. Parents who come to The Baby Show will also find substantial offers and savings that cannot be found elsewhere.
Melanie Hall, Show Manager states: “The Baby Show is the destination for expectant and new parents. It is a fantastic day out; offering first class information, a chance to talk to like-minded mums and see the UK’s best baby brands all in one place. Our aim is for each parent to come away feeling happy, informed and confident in what they have chosen. ”
Fisher-Price will have the best available toys on display, ensuring thatparents and parents-to-be will find something that’s ideal for little ones at every age.
Prima Baby at stand N15 are giving visitors a free goody bag when two issues of Prima Baby magazines are purchased for just £2 (RRP £2.80 per magazine).
Face of the Show
The show sees the welcome return of the hugely popular Face of The Baby Show which offers parents the chance to enter their baby in the competition to find the face of The Baby Show and have the chance to be part of the 2013 marketing campaign. Hosted by Bumpkins (formally Sonam studios) each child will be photographed, capturing the very best images to be entered into the competition. What’s more, all parents will be given a free copy of the photograph of their child to take home from the photo experts at Bumpkins.
For those looking for a relaxing and tranquil day out knowing your little one is cared for, the Fisher-Price crèche provides the perfect place and the safest hands in which to leave your children, where they can enjoy the latest toys for free and be supervised by fully trained and professional carers. The show is geared to making visitors lives easier and offers a home delivery service as well as the Emma’s Diary FREE shopping drop-off and collect by car service. There’s also the Emma’s Diary Mums meeting point, a fabulous arena to meet other new and expectant mums for a well-earned cuppa! The Pregnacare Juice bar will be serving fresh juices and smoothies across all three days to quench those shopping thirsts and give visitors a chance for a refreshing break. Superdrug are also at The Baby Show, be sure to stop by the Beauty Booth and take advantage of some great show discounts.
Free at the café!
Plum Baby’s under 1’s Cafe, will be serving little ones a sample of free baby food from 9.30am -5.00pm every day, as well as offering exclusive show offers on the Plum range.
The main stage
Not only a shopper’s dream, but The Baby Show is an event filled with expert advice from information including talks on breastfeeding by Clare Byam-Cook, sleep with Jo Tantum and first aid talks from The British Red Cross.
New brands showcasing at the event this time include:-
Partners Labour of Love – A brand new app to assist pregnant women in the build up to birth
My Beauty Bundle – Perfect gift for pregnant women or new mums
BabyDam – Has changed bath time for good
SnuggleBundl – Innovative approach to lifting your baby
Laboraide by Opro – A product to assist in pain-free birth
Baby Mum-Mum – Food snack for babies, big American brand – new to the UK this year
Waterbaby– New bottled water containing Folic Acid for a healthy pregnancy – new to the market this year
The Baby Show at Birmingham NEC takes place between 18th–20th May 2012. Tickets are available in advance for just £12 each from www.thebabyshow.co.uk