- February 10th, 11:36
We also thoroughly enjoyed the snow along with most of our friends if the pictures on my Facebook page are anything to go by. It’s not the first time it’s snowed since Florence was born but certainly the first time she’s been able to enjoy it! As soon as it started on Saturday night she was watching out the window and kept asking to go outside and build sand castles. She was a bit confused I think but not anymore! She’s become fully accustomed to snow now and we even built our own little snow man in the front garden which she was thrilled to bits with! Then we came inside to have hot chocolates and bake cakes to warm us up which is also something she enjoys doing. Since getting her toy kitchen for Christmas all she wants to play at is ‘cooking’ so if she gets to do some for real she loves it!
The only thing with it being so cold and snowy is that I just don’t feel much like going out anywhere and want to stay in and eat lots of yummy food instead. Not the best way of staying trim I know but it’s exceptionally difficult if you’re buggy reliant like me and the roads are snowy and icy! I absolutely love the brand ‘Bugaboo’ and chose to have the ‘Bugaboo Bee’ when I had Florence. Living in the City it’s a brilliant buy but it is quite difficult when it does snow… But then I think most buggies are. The ‘Bugaboo Chameleon’ is great though because you can buy special ‘Snow Wheels’ for it which can be used on lots of difficult terrains making it still a doddle to be out and about with a buggy no matter what type of ground you have underfoot. While the Bugaboo Bee is great for me most of the year I can’t help but think I would have chosen the ‘Bugaboo Chameleon’ if I lived anywhere else! I was recently sent the ‘Snow Wheels’ to try out and not having a ‘Chameleon’ myself I had to pass the task on to a friend. She lives in the countryside so had chosen the ‘Chameleon’ because it is a bigger buggy than the Bee and can take a bit more rough terrain anyway but she tells me she’s been really pleased with the new ‘Snow Wheels’ and here’s what she had to say:
I have always loved my ‘Bugaboo’ and have had amazing customer service both upon purchase and after care when I had a minor problem so I would never be deterred from buying accessories as I know they would also be to the high standard of everything else ‘Bugaboo’ do. I hadn’t however heard that they made ‘Snow Wheels’ as such and possibly wouldn’t have looked into it more because it doesn’t really snow much in the UK. For that reason then I think they are badly named because they are useful for so much more than snowy weather but the name is the only bad thing about them I hasten to add. For the most part the front swivel wheels which come with the ‘Chameleon’ are really great, easy to use and with the back wheels being big and ready for rough terrain do very well on a day to day basis. We, however live in the countryside and very often go walking in wooded areas which can be extremely rough under foot and in bad weather awfully muddy. We also like to walk on the beach which is a short distance from where we live and it’s not at all easy with the usual front swivel wheels. The ‘Snow Wheels’ which I think would be more aptly named as ‘all terrain wheels’ are super duper when it comes to pushing on sand, in mud and where the ground is rough underfoot. They don’t swivel in the same way as the ordinary wheels which can make it harder going round corners etc but the ease at which you can push on the beach is so effortless it makes them totally worth while! When it snowed last week I watched so many people jay walking in the road with their buggies so that they could get a bit of ground where the snow had been uncovered by car tyres and lots of others who were just slipping and sliding all over the place. I was happily walking in my snow boots with the special wheels on my buggy and having no problems whatsoever! The thing I like absolutely best is that they are really easy to fit to the chassis and come in a little bag which mean you can put them away and not get mud everywhere when you get back to your car! Brill product, if I didn’t already have them I’d be rushing out to get them! Fantastic price too!
Vicky, Mum of one, Norfolk.
‘Bugaboo’ ‘Snow Wheels’ can be purchased (among other retailers) at John Lewis for £49.95, www.johnlewis.com and for more information on stockists, the ‘snow wheels’ or any ‘Bugaboo’ product please see the ‘Bugaboo’ website www.bugaboo.com. It’s also worth noting that ‘When you choose a ‘Bugaboo’ product to help you on your way, something else good happens as well – as ‘Bugaboo’ contributes 1 % of its total revenue to The Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. This means more women and children living with HIV in Africa will get the medicine they need to lead a more normal, active and hopeful life.’
So, what activities have we been up to recently? So many actually that I can’t think straight but one in particular that stands out from the past week or so is the ‘Kids AM’ cinema at our local ‘Vue’ at London’s new ‘Westfield’ shopping centre in Stratford! If you’ve not been to ‘Westfield’ yet then you’re missing out, it really is the best shopping centre I’ve ever been to and has literally everything you could think of, including a ‘Vue’. I recently found out that they offer special ‘Kids’ screenings on weekend mornings and in school holidays; we decided to take advantage and pop along to see ‘Mr Popper’s Penguins’. The cinema can often be a very pricey affair, especially if you’re going as a whole family and have everyone to pay for including snacks so it’s great that ‘Vue’ offer these ‘Kids AM’ screenings at special prices from just £1.50 per person. Prices do vary from cinema to cinema but at Stratford Westfield that’s the price for adults as well as children! The films are relatively new releases, not the most recent, but I’d say from the past few months and honestly when it’s making a saving like that who really minds! They also offer a special children’s popcorn with a fruit shoot for just £1.50 which is great too and means you can give the children the whole experience for not very much money at all. I like the fact that when we went it wasn’t busy and Florence could get up and stretch her legs without disturbing anyone as the cinema is so roomy and of course I like the price! It was a bit of a shame that the website stated a different film to the one that was actually being shown but on the occasion we went the film was still suitable for Florence so we didn’t mind too much! We’ll be going back for sure!
For more information on ‘Kids AM’ screenings at a ‘Vue’ cinema near you please see their website www.myvue.com.
So from the silver screen to the stage, you may remember that I’ve talked about how excited we are that CBeebies
to hit the stage at Easter time and we can’t wait to go! I’m delighted then to be running a competition for one of my readers to WIN a family ticket to the show! If you would like to be in with a chance of being the winning family then do read on… (and if you’re not lucky this time, don’t worry because there’s still time to book your tickets to see the show – details of how under the competition!)
Win Family Fun at CBeebies Live! this Easter
CBeebies fans will not want to miss this! We’ve got 1 family ticket for you to see CBeebies Live! brand new arena spectacular, Reach to the Stars, at Wembley Arena, London on Sunday 1 April at 11 am! A family ticket is for 4 people, minimum 1 adult.
A host of the biggest stars from Britain’s most popular children’s channel CBeebies are coming out to play in this new arena tour. Robbie Rotten is determined to show that he is the biggest star on CBeebies! His dastardly plan involves the capture of the other CBeebies characters and it’s up to the audience to work with PC Plum and the rest of the Stars of CBeebies to find out what has happened and set them free.
Mike the Knight, Justin Fletcher MBE, Phil Gallagher, Mister Maker, Postman Pat with Jess the Cat and the ZingZillas will be joined by CBeebies presenters Andy Day, Katy Ashworth and Andrew Agnew in this all-action show that will tour nine cities around the UK in Easter 2012. Combining big screen video footage and live performance, a host of CBeebies favourites including Mr Tumble, Squiglet and the stars of LazyTown will join in the fun, interacting with the audience for an incredible live experience.
CBeebies Live! is at Wembley Arena, London on Sat 31 March to Sun 1 April, 5 performances only. For further information please go to www.cbeebieslive.com No cash alternatives, accommodation or travel are provided in this competition. The tickets are non-transferable.
Q: Who plans to capture the CBeebies Live! characters?
To enter just send you answer, name and address to [email protected] with ‘CBeebies’ as in the subject line by midnight on March 14th. Entries will be put into a hat and drawn at random on 15th March.
Don’t forget that if you’re not lucky this time there’s still plenty of time to buy your tickets for the CBeebies Live! Reach to the Stars tour! Tickets are now on sale (and for more information about the show visit the website www.CBeebiesLive.com) I can’t think of any child I know who wouldn’t be jumping up and down with glee at the thought of going and with Children’s tickets from £12.50 and family tickets (for 4 people) from £50 (subject to booking fee) it’s a really affordable treat for the whole family!
Admittedly Easter seems a long way off but it will come quicker that we think I’m sure but of course we have February half term to contend with first. I’ve written a series of guest blogs for The baby Website with some fun, unusual and FREE or cheap ideas for days out with the children so if you’re interested in coming to London for a family day out do check them out here http://www.thebabywebsite.com/blog/ . And if you don’t find anything to take your fancy from the many ideas on my guest blog posts I have to say that the ‘London Transport Museum’ is also offering some rather fabulous things for the holiday by holding a ‘Junior Art Curators’ Week’ from Monday 13th – Friday 17th February 2012. Take a look at what’s going on!
Make a mini art gallery
Time: 12:00 – 13:30
Suitable for ages 5 plus
Curate a poster parade in a mini art gallery box. Choose a theme for the gallery – circus and fairgrounds, sport and sea-side, or for the really creative kids out there, they can create and draw their own themed posters. Design the layout, position the posters and the gallery is complete and ready to take home.
Design a picture frame
Time: 14:00 – 15:30
Suitable for ages 5 plus
Families can make a frame for their favourite mini London Transport poster or photograph from the Museum’s collection. Using card and paints it can be 3D, animated or traditional.
Story Telling: Every picture tells a story
Suitable for under 5s
Derek the Designer needs help to make a very special poster for all his friends at London Transport Museum. Little visitors can help choose a theme, colours and design. Every poster will tell a new story.
Kids go FREE. Adults are charged £13.50 (£10.00 concessions) and tickets allows
free entry for a whole year. www.ltmuseum.co.uk
Obviously I usually write about children and their needs but sometimes it’s nice to cater for our own needs too and with Valentines Day coming up I’m trying to come up with a nice idea for a meal for Jonny and me! A few days after the event my Mum is taking Florence for a night (gulp – first night away from me) and we will have the whole night on our own so I might very well cook him a nice meal then but I’ll have to get my thinking cap on as to what to buy him for a present. It’s always tricky to buy for men I think, whereas us women are usually happy with a bag or some shoes or even just a box of chocolates! And speaking of bags… I’ve recently found one which would not only be the perfect present for any gal but also it can be any type of bag you like, baby bag, small lap top bag, hand bag… You name it! It’s great. I’ve been reviewing the ‘Mia Tui’ ‘Grace’ bag and I’ve been absolutely loving it! If my husband had bought it for me he’d definitely be getting brownie points this Valentine’s day! It covers ‘baby bag’ well but what’s really great is that it also covers ‘normal handbag’ just as brilliantly! Back to thinking about my own needs and not that of just me as a Mummy because that is important too!
Since having a baby I’ve become even more of a bag fanatic than I was before! With children, just as with everyday life, your needs and expectations for a bag change dramatically and it suddenly is very important what you are carrying! It’s got to be functional as well as look good and it’s got to have enough room in it to store everything you need. On top of this, because bags are not cheap and because time is often of the essence , it’s kind of got to be good to take out when you’re on your own too. Or it has for me at least anyway! Bags which scream ‘I’m a Mummy’ are lovely, often pretty and of course functional but do I use them when out without a little one? I try not to if I’m honest as I feel it looks a bit strange to carry an obvious baby bag when you don’t have the baby with you; it does then mean having to transfer all my keys etc and is a bit of a faff! The ‘Mia Tui’ then really comes into it’s own. The ‘Grace’ bag which I’ve been using is just one of many in a lovely collection of bags which can take you to the office, out for the evening or to Mummy and Baby groups quite efficiently! The bags are made of PU but are exceptionally well disguised that I really wasn’t sure if it was leather or not. This of course means they are waterproof inside (which can be blue or pink) and out, a big plus when being used with children, I’ve lost track of the amount of spilled drinks in bags! My ‘Grace’ bag is mustard coloured and really does look lovely. It’s also bigger than it looks, it’s very compact but there’s room for everything, pockets for nappies, a bottle holder, area for pens, phone and wallet, a zipped outside pocket and it comes with a handy matching clutch which I put snacks and make up in so that I can easily find them. Best bit is that it has an extension strap meaning you can wear it long over your body leaving your hands free and hang it over your buggy handles or you can keep it short and use it over the arm like you would carry any every day hand bag! A great baby bag which goes beyond that and you could easily expect to pay twice the price for it! I love some of the other designs they have in the ‘Mia Tui’ range as well, there’s some great bags for all occasions in some fantastic shades like pewter! If you’re looking for a bag, look no further!
‘Grace’ bag by ‘Mia Tui’ £39.99 (The brown colour is currently on special offer at £29.99). For more information on the ‘Grace’ and the rest of the ‘Mia Tui’ range please see their website www.miatui.com.
MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEKS 27 & 28
It’s actually been quite an exhausting fortnight and I’ve been suffering a bit which I hate. I can’t stand it when people complain about being pregnant and I’ve become one of those people this past fortnight I’m afraid, but I think I do have good reason! I’ve been having heart palpitations in the evening which was a bit worrying and it kept making me feel really dizzy every time it happened. I went to the Dr who sent me for some blood tests and they came back the very next day to say that I am both a little bit anaemic and deficient in calcium so I am now being prescribed supplements for both and will hopefully get my energy back and the palpitations will stop! My Mum’s been telling me for days that she’s read all pregnant women are supposed to be taking Vitamin D for calcium but that Drs haven’t been following guidelines and prescribing straight away. It seems she’s right because my Dr said pretty much the same when he prescribed them for me. Anyway, I’m just really pleased it’s something small as I’m a bit of a worrier and was thinking perhaps I had a problem with my heart! I’ve steeled myself to get on the scales and can report that I have gained 10lb which isn’t too bad I suppose… I’ve definitely had a growth spurt so I was prepared for it to be a lot more; this bump is HUGE compared to last time. Florence was a tiny little 6lb 5oz which was bad enough getting her out so I really hope it’s not a sign that I’m having a giant baby this time! I don’t want to take drugs in labour if I can help it so a nice little baby would be best from that point of view! People keep asking us about names and to be honest we just don’t have a clue. We have lots of girls’ names we like but none we’ve settled on and we just can’t agree on any boys’ names yet! I feel certain we’re having a boy so I’m trying to focus on boy names but it’s really hard! I have some quirky middle name ideas though but I’m going to keep them close to my chest for the time being. Florence is Florence Mary Ladybird to give you a clue to my thinking!
My ‘Pregnancy Product of the Week’ this week is something I think a lot of people will like. It’s the ‘Fast Food Swimsuit’ by the brand ‘Boob’. I have to hold my hands up and say that I don’t take Florence swimming much these days as I ordinarily wear bikinis and while I would happily wear one pregnant on a sunny beach I think it’s a bit much to do so at the local swimming pool what with my big pregnant bump and all! I’ve no idea why it’s called the ‘Fast Food Swimsuit’ but perhaps it’s because it’s a fast fix to looking good in the pool? It really is quite flattering and because it has ruched ties at the sides which can be adjusted you can have as low or high leg as you like which is the same with the front cleavage area. You can also adjust the shoulder straps to suit your own style too. I like the straps in the traditional way but if I was sun bathing the fact they can be removed completely and still give good hold is quite a plus! It is, I suppose a fairly expensive swim suit although looking around at others, not at all too much money or the most expensive. Of course this is a maternity swim suit so it you could be forgiven for thinking it would not be something you’d wear post pregnancy; in actual fact the way the tummy area works is very clever and it could easily not be a maternity item. What makes it ever so practical though is the fact that it has a discreet nursing option for when you are breast feeding. You can just slip the material up and pop your boob out for your baby to feed and no one need be any the wiser! I am a 34D and will probably be an E when I have the baby just as I was with Florence but I wouldn’t have any concerns about it giving me good support. This is a versatile and practical swim suit which looks quite glam too and I’ll definitely be wearing it lots in the future! I recommend it unreservedly!
‘Fast Food Swimsuit’ by ‘Boob’ is priced at £59.00, comes in UK sizes of 4/6 – 18 and is made from 80% polyamide 20% elastane. Chlorine resistant. Machine washable, 40° C, without fabric softener. For more information on the entire ‘Boob’ range please see http://shop.boobdesign.com/
That’s me for another week then so see you next time when I’ll be reviewing lots more lovely products and days out with children. Have an absolutely fabulous half term everyone and if you, like me, have a baby bump check out the fantastic competition below to WIN tickets to ‘The Baby Show’, definitely not something to be missed!
(All opinions and words, apart from those in green, are my own. I have not been paid for this article although I did receive some products to keep after I had reviewed them.)
It gives me very great pleasure to launch a new exciting competition in conjunction with Bebecar. We are offering 6, YES 6 lucky winners the chance to WIN a pair of tickets to this years first Baby Show in London at ExCel (24th – 26th February).
Bebecar pushchairs are designed and engineered to an extremely high specification because providing safety, quality, and functionality to you and your baby is paramount to them. Each model is equipped with a wide range of features to ensure that all your journeys are safe, comfortable, easy and enjoyable. Bebecar offer the perfect combination of sleek design with performance. An extensive choice of chassis finishes and exclusive fabrics are available allowing you to choose the look and feel you want for your pushchair. Bebecar pushchairs not only look impressive but are designed to last. If you would like to know more about Bebecar and their products then head over to their website www.bebecar.com or alternatively visit them at their stand at The Baby Show, Excel and if you’re one of our 6 lucky winners you’ll be able to do just that!
To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is like and share Bebecar’s facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bebecar/253770784656429 then send me an email to [email protected] stating your name, telephone number and address with ‘Baby Show’ in the subject line. Entries will be put into a hat Thursday 16th February at mid day and drawn at random. You have one week to enter this fab comp so hurry, make sure you don’t forget!
The Baby Show celebrates ten years
with a brand new look
London ExCeL, 24th-26th February 2012
The UK’s most popular shopping event for parents and parents-to-be The Baby Show is back! To celebrate its tenth year the highly anticipated London ExCeL show, running from the 24-26th February, promises to offer the perfect day out for parents to-be. This unique shopping event takes the hassle, stress and confusion out of pregnancy with first class speakers, facilities on hand and all the products you could possibly need. The show will have over 250 must-have brands including Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, Emma’s Diary, Bonusprint, Britax, tommee tippee and Pregnacare as well as an exclusive baby boutique that offers products unavailable on the high street. The show promises some fantastic money saving opportunities as well as the convenience of it all being in one place. Tickets are available in advance for £12.00 or two for £20.00 and for more information visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk.
The Baby Show in association with Prima Baby and Fisher-Price is a mecca for all parents and parents-to be looking to experience the latest, greatest and exclusive products in food & feeding, pushchairs, nappies & wipes, toys, clothing, furniture, car seats and carriers, from major UK and international brands often with substantial discounts and never before seen show offers that you can’t get anywhere else! This year hosts a huge selection of wheeled goods from brands such as Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, UPPA BABY, Babystyle, Britax, Stokke, Mima and O’Baby and parents are invited to speak directly to the brands themselves whilst getting an unrivalled opportunity to test, compare and buy.
Melanie Hall, Show Manager states: “The Baby Show ExCeL is going to be an amazing shopping experience for expectant parents. They can come and enjoy the day with their partners, friends or family and see the fantastic brands, get advice from some great experts and talk to like-minded people. It really is a fantastic shopping opportunity for parents to-be.”
This year’s show celebrates a welcome return to Mamas and Papas who are going to be wowing visitors with a fantastic giveaway of a Mylo pushchair every two hours of every day as well as giving away a book with vouchers off high street brands of up to £400! Bonusprint are also offering a £10 off voucher to each and every visitor to capture those digital memories that often lay hidden on a memory card in print or on canvas. Two lucky visitors also have the chance to win £1000 of goodies to keep their children entertained with Fisher Price and get a FREE bottle with MAM. Visit the Prima Baby stand where they will be giving away a free goody bag when you purchase an issue of the magazine or you can subscribe for 12 months and get a free 5 pack tommee tippee gift set, all for just £20, saving a whopping £43.60. As if that isn’t enough, Mothercare are also offering a massive 10% off all their stock over the weekend so it is well worth stocking up on all those essentials for both mum and baby as well as a few treats along the way!
Visitors will also get the chance to see some fantastic new brands at the show that are new to the UK and currently aren’t available on the high street such as folic acid enriched thirst quencher Water Baby, beautiful footwear brand Jack and Lilly and some fantastic new products from Cheeky Rascals.
The Baby Show has once again surpassed itself with the introduction of fantastic new and international brands such as stunning baby and children’s clothing direct from Spain – Maisel Bebe and Selenita as well as showcasing those hard to find designer brands Me & I, Koochu Bags and Lin & Leo.
Face of the Show
The highly popular Face of The Baby Show will be returning for 2012 and offering parents the chance for their child to be crowned as a winner and seen on The Baby Show website. Proving ever more popular each year, Bumpkins (formally Sonam studios) hosts a photography stand where each child who has their photo taken by these baby and child photography experts will automatically get an entry to also win three photo shoots with the studios to capture those key milestones and family moments as well as being able to take their photo away for free.
The show aims to make visitors lives easier including being able to enjoy a relaxing shop without baby by leaving your little one with the trained supervisors and all the latest toys in the free Fisher-Price crèche and not having to worry about the heavy bags with the Emma’s Diary shopping drop-off, collect by car and home delivery services as well as the Mums meeting point which is an ideal place to meet other like-minded mums and share experiences. 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 to take the weight off their feet. The tommee tippee feeding area also provides a private breastfeeding area, bibs, spoons and warming facilities to help make your day straight-forward and enjoyable. For an extra treat head to the Superdrug beauty bar with an exclusive show offer of 25% off all own brand products and the chance to pamper yourself at the Andrea Fullerton Nail Bar or have your eye brows threaded by the expert team.
The main stage
It’s not just shopping that attracts people to The Baby Show as it is also full of expert advice from information on health, nutrition and breastfeeding with Clare Byam-Cook, baby first aid with The Red Cross, and advice on the best car seat and pushchairs. The fantastic Mothercare fashion show showcases the latest ranges, shows how to put a great look together and ensures that all mums and mums-to-be can keep themselves at the forefront of fashion right throughout their pregnancy and child’s early years. We are also extremely privileged to introduce two of the midwifes from Bafta Award winning Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute to calm those labour fears and let everyone know what it’s really like working on a busy ward.
For parents who are looking for something a little different and to keep their children as fashionable as them, Boutique Baby is an exclusive section of the show with designer brands and products not normally found on the high street. Perfect for a little treat or an unusual gift for someone.
The Baby Show at ExCel London takes place between 24th – 26th February 2012. Tickets are available in advance for just £12 each from www.thebabyshow.co.uk