Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Review: Fisher Price Laugh & Learn "Say Please" Tea Set

I've grown up with Fisher Price toys in our house, so when the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set landed on our doorstep to review we were looking forward to start playing!

We are big tea drinkers in Make, Do and Push! Towers and have recently introduced Busby to the glorious beverage; this tea set arrived at just the right time.
The tea set compromises of a singing teapot, two teacups and a plate of cakes. The teapot is the only item in the set that does anything, which I was a little disappointed to discover as the cakes do look like they should sing (or do something)!

The teapot has three settings you can change to:
1. Learning Time
2. Music Time
3. Brewing Time (this isn't the official name for this setting, but that's what it sounds like)
The "teabag" label on the side of the teapot sings some rather catchy tunes about sharing, "please and thank you" and pouring; as a music-crazy toddler, Busby loves these, and we have a little dance every time they play. On a side note, I love how polite this teapot is - excellent manners!

Busby's imagination play has ramped up in the past month, so she has really enjoyed pouring us tea, and sharing her cakes with the various cuddly-toy animals we have dotted around the house. She has also started to understand the concept of "cupcake", and enjoys working out which of the shapes will fit in the teacups.

It's fair to say that the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn "Say Please" Tea Set has become a favourite toy in our house, if only for the music. However, it is very pink and this would put me off buying it for others.

The Fisher Price Laugh & Learn "Say Please" Tea Set baby toy RRPs at £17.

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*I was sent the above product free of charge in exchange for this review. All views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.*

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

What's in your changing bag? // Vicki from EllieBearBabi

Hello and welcome to "What's in your changing bag?"; my weekly Tuesday feature where I ask one Yummy Mummy (or Daddy) to share the innermost secrets of their changing bag, and the five items they couldn't possibly live without! 

Today I'm joined by Vicki from Ellie Bear Babi.

Hi Vicki - loving the wellies!
Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Vicki; Mummy to Mini who is 14 months born Jan 2013. Lover of all things Harry Potter, choccy, crafty and glittery related! SAHM, crafter of baby bits and other bobs, Staff Writer for Visit from the Stork, and Blogger.

Busy, busy, busy!
What is your favourite thing about being a Mama?
I love just being Mini's mum! She is such a little crazy, happy, fun-loving little girl. I enjoy every moment with her, we have such a great time together everyday; be that getting out and about, or just loading the washing machine, she really lights up my life.. I can't pinpoint a favourite thing just all of it... snot and all!

What would you say is the hardest thing about being a Mama?
At times the lack of sleep. Currently we are in a good routine 6.30pm - 7 am, but sleep patterns can change. Gone are the days of lying in! 

I hear you...
What three words would you use to describe Motherhood?
Unique, whirlwind, lovely.  

Great words - it certainly is unique!
How do you preserve/maintain your sense of self?
Before having Mini I studied psychology and adult nursing, I then worked within the fields of learning disability and childcare, however, after having Mini I became a SAHM. People keep saying "you will lose yourself!" "You're doing nothing with your life" etc, but honestly becoming a SAHM has freed me. I have never been more content and more assured of who I am than now. I blog as a hobby, as I enjoy writing, and through this I have met some amazing people. I also run my own little handmade craft company, Elliebearbabi, making baby bibs, blankets and other bits and bobs from Elliebearbabi HQ (aka my kitchen table). That gives me a little creative outlet. 

Fabulous. It's wonderful to have a creative outlet. 
So, the last question before we find out about your changing bag; if you could share one piece of Motherhoodly wisdom with us all what would it be?
Trust in yourself. Don't beat yourself up if things don't always seem to go to plan. Just relax and enjoy each day.

Fantastic advice! 
It's business time; what make is your changing bag?
My current changing bag is a YippyDadda - Zebrax black, which I am currently reviewing and have fallen quite in love with, crazy print and all!

Gosh... that's certainly a statement bag! Wowza!
What are the five items in your changing bag that you just can't live without?
1. My personal planner. This little beauty keeps me and our family life organised! Without this I would never remember what day it is, never mind keep doctors appointments etc.
2. Bumble bee reusable bag. We have to pay for plastic bags now here in Northern Ireland in shops. This little guy fits perfectly into my bag taking up hardly any space, and is so handy for keeping everything from leaves and lego blocks, to change of clothes, or all important sneaky choccie bar purchases!
3. Heart bubbles. This little tube came in a party bag from a recent family event, and Mini has fallen head over heels with the bubbles it makes. I keep it in my bag for moments when she needs entertaining, like waiting for appointments etc
4. Two pink megablocks stacked. Mini is obsessed with blocks, and can easily spend 15 minutes happily playing with these two! Cannot go anywhere without them!
5. Finally Ella's kitchen puffits. These are Mini's version of choccie; she goes mad for them! One little packet has quite a lot in it, so handy for snacks throughout the day. 

Thanks for sharing the contents of your changing bag with us, Vicki! I love your bumble bee bag!! We haven't tried the Puffits yet, but will look out for those as I think Busby would enjoy them. 

Vicki blogs at EllieBearBabi and tweets as @EllieBearBabi.  


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Monday, 14 April 2014

Review: Stokke Steps

Busby and I have felt incredibly privileged over the past few weeks, as we have been reviewing the fabulous new Stokke Steps. We were sent the Stokke Steps chair, with baby set, cushion set and tray. Compared to our previous IKEA Antilop, Busby found herself dining and drawing in a beautiful, and extremely comfortable, new throne!
Flopsy Bunny also joined in.
We attended the Stokke Steps launch back in January, and were very impressed with the fantastic new concept from Stokke:

Our unique modular seating system adapts to your child, step by step. For your newborn, baby, toddler and youngster, Stokke® Steps™ is a comfortable, practical and functional way to give your child the perfect seat from day one. Scandinavian design and engineering ensures optimal ergonomics as well as quality and style.

The Stokke Steps is a chair that grows with your Little One, from birth to... well, 10 years+ (I still fit into the chair at 26)! We definitely could have done with the Stokke Steps Bouncer Set when Busby was a newborn! Oh to be able to sit and eat dinner together without one of us having a baby in our arms...

There is something for every household with the new Stokke Steps design; the wood comes in two colours (natural and walnut) and the cushions come in four colours (blue, griege, orange and red).
The Chair
We chose the natural beech wood for the chair and then griege (a rather unsexy name for a colour) for the cushions, which fits into our slightly mismatch dining room very well!
Chair with Baby Set and Cushions

It was incredibly simple to put together, and I experienced great glee in showing Nick (and consequently all of our guests) how the baby seat clicks onto the chair with ease, and how the tray swiftly glides into place. Even though the Baby Set and the seat of the chair are plastic, the Stokke Steps is extremely sturdy, and the plastic just means it's very easy to clean.

Lots of people have asked me how the Stokke Steps compares to the Stokke Tripp Trapp. Well, my Mutti has the Stokke Tripp Trapp for Busby at her house, and having previously been impressed with it, I have to say that I do prefer the Stokke Steps. Busby looks far more comfortable in the Steps, and definitely looks more supported. The baby seat is adjustable, so perfect for ensuring your small 6 month old is safe and comfortable at the beginning of their weaning adventure, up until 3 years when they'll be able to use the Stokke Steps as an actual chair.

What we thought
My favourite thing about the Stokke Steps (other than how beautifully it's designed) is the five-point harness that keeps Busby strapped it. Busby (also known as Houdini) has found a way to escape from most highchairs she's sat in, but this keeps her safely in the seat. This means I can go into the kitchen, or nip upstairs, without the fear that she may be standing up (or worse) on my return.
(Top left: Adjustable foot rest. Top right: Adjustable seat. Bottom: Harness.)

I like how easy the tray is to take off. It was always a bit of a mission with our Antilop, but this glides off with the touch of two buttons. This also means that Busby can use the table when we're all eating together, which is something we enjoy doing as a family.
(Left: Under the table - just the chair. Right: Under the table with the Baby Set)
The tray is rather large, so it's an excellent (and wipe clean) surface for drawing, painting and sticking; something Busby really enjoys! It's great for keeping all the mess in one place, and as I've mentioned above the Stokke Steps is very easy to clean. The cushions and straps also whip off simply and are washable at 40ÂșC.
Large tray and a puzzled Busby!
There is an adjustable foot rest, which is fantastic for posture and comfort. It's also great for catching food that might have fallen on the floor previously!

How much...?
The Stokke Steps is pretty pricey, especially when you start adding all the extras on top. The Chair alone is £159, the Bouncer set is £149, the Baby Set is £79, the cushions are £33, and the tray is £39. However, this said, it is a chair that will grow with your child from birth to 10 years plus, as well as serve any further children you might have; it's certainly an item that's made to last and would be a great investment.

The Stokke Steps is a fantastic, well-thought out product that oozes quality; we will definitely be recommending it to friends looking for a child's chair that will last through the years. We will also be buying the Bouncer Set to add to the Steps for the next bundle of fun, as I think that it's a wonderful idea, and wish we'd had it the first time round!

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*We were sent the Stokke Steps free of charge in exchange for this review. All views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.*

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Week That Was: Captured #41

Hey there! Welcome back to The Week That Was: Captured!

Have you all had a fabulous week?

The rules are simple; link up a post about your week! It can be photographed, Instagrammed, written, videoed... basically in any format you wish! This linky is about capturing memories and I treat it a bit like an online diary.

Last week... 
I was so glad to read that Caroline has had a good week - she's had a super tough time recently and I'm so happy that her week was better. It was Franki's birthday week last week, and she made me laugh a lot with the photo of them eating donuts in bed! Anna's photo of her daughter dressed as Peppa pig had me giggling quite a lot - it's definitely one to take out on her 21st birthday.

Thank you to all of you who linked up last week; I hope you all manage to link up again!

Our week... 
This week has been delightful! Busby is at a really gorgeous age now, and we're having such fun together; everything is a discovery, and treated with so much wonderment. Being a parent really is the most amazing, precious and joyful thing you will ever experience.

Enough gushing... 

On Sunday we relaxed around the house.

The weather was pretty miserable on Monday so we stayed in and played. Busby had an epic nap on our bed, which she never does!

On Tuesday I worked. Busby's new shoes arrived!

It was my Mutti's birthday on Wednesday so we went out for lunch.

On Thursday Busby and I headed in Lewes to pick up some fabric that I'd ordered. We then headed to one of our local fields for a run around.

On Friday we had a "Mummy date" with two other Mamas from our Monkey Music class. It was so lovely to sit and chat in the sunshine, while getting to know each other. Busby and I then headed back to the local field in the afternoon, only to discover that all the grass had been cut so it smelt absolutely delicious! We had lots of fun throwing the cut grass in the air and watching it drift away in the breeze.

On Saturday all three of us headed to our local National Trust property for a picnic. My new iPhone 3-in-1 lens arrived before we left, so I had a great time messing around with the different lens at Sheffield Park!
1. Napping on our bed... and Mummy is trapped! (Monday) // 2. New shoes! (Tuesday) // 3. Lunch out (Wednesday) // 4. Happy face (Thursday) // 5. Grass is fascinating! (Friday) // 6. Lying underneath a tree, watching the leaves blow in the wind (Friday) // 7. Using the macro lens to take a photo of the teeny spider (Saturday) // 8. Shoes! (Saturday) // 9. Sheffield Park (Saturday)

I can't wait to find out what you've all been up to this week!

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Grab button for The Week That Was
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Friday, 11 April 2014

Daisies and Dandelions

Yesterday Busby and I visited our local field for an explore and play. Our garden is just a square of grass and isn't in a very good condition post-winter, so we're very fortunate to have some lovely big green spaces on our doorstep.

All of the daisies, dandelions and forget-me-nots were out, and she had such a wonderful time smelling and stroking all the flowers.

She loved running around the field and being as loud as she could!

I can't wait for our trip to the Lakes in a couple of weeks; she's going to be in her element.

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

What a difference... two years make!

On this day, two years ago, I found out I was pregnant with Busby.

I remember it well as we'd been out celebrating my Mutti's birthday the night before, and I woke up feeling rather rough after another night of not sleeping.

I took to google.

The first thing that popped up when I typed in "insomnia" was... "in pregnancy"

"I am late", I thought to myself, but dismissed the thought pretty quickly as suffered from endometriosis, and had been advised that conceiving would be tough. 

Fast-forward to this time last year, and we had a Busby! A 3-and-a-bit month old who gurgled, smiled and always seemed to be hungry. She already had such a personality back then! 

And now here we are, two years on. We have a thriving, feisty, fiery little toddler girl who loves reading, dancing and walking everywhere! It amazes me how much she learns on a daily basis, and how much she understands already. 

The last two years have flown past... I wonder what the next year will bring? 

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

What's in your changing bag? // Chantelle from Mama Mummy Mum

Hello and welcome to "What's in your changing bag?"; my weekly Tuesday feature where I ask one Yummy Mummy (or Daddy) to share the innermost secrets of their changing bag, and the five items they couldn't possibly live without! 

Today I'm joined by Chantelle from Mama Mummy Mum.
Hi Chantelle -  gosh what a brood you have there!
Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi everyone, I'm Chantelle. What can I tell you about me? Well I suppose first and foremost I'm a mum. I'm lucky enough to be able to stay at home and look after my four daughter's: Elise, Freya, Gracie and Layla. I'm married to the lovely "Daddy Hazelden". When he is not busy at work, he is busy playing on is beloved Xbox... I am sadly a call of duty widow! I'm addicted to social media, and when I'm not busy with the kids or blogging, you can find me curled up with my kindle in one hand and a glass of wine in the other!!! 

That sounds like a perfect evening!
What is your favourite thing about being a Mama?
My most favourite thing about being a mum is that feeling of unconditional love that I get from my children. There kisses and cuddles are a magical cure to any sadness I'm ever feeling.

What would you say is the hardest thing about being a Mama?
I guess the hardest thing about being a mummy is knowing that I can't always make things better for them. Some situations will be out of my control and they will have to find solutions to their own problems, even if I want nothing more than to help them.

So true. 
What three words would you use to describe Motherhood?
Hmm... just three words to describe motherhood? Challenging, emotional and rewarding.

So, the last question before we find out about your changing bag; how do you preserve/maintain your sense of self?
Honestly I don't know if I do maintain my sense of self really, and I guess I'm fine with that. I've always said that I was made to be a mum and that is how I see myself at the moment... Thoughts of me are kind of pushed to the side for now.

It is very difficult to make time for yourself - but it sounds like you get downtime with your kindle and wine!
Well, it's business time; what make is your changing bag?
I have to admit that I have quite a few changing bags but my changing bag of choice at the moment is my Pink Lining "Not So Plain Jane" in the purple dragonfly print.

Gorgeous! I love Pink Lining!
What are the five items in your changing bag that you just can't live without?
1. Baby wipes. I have a packet of baby wipes in my changing bag and in my hand bag. They are handy for every situation, and I use them not only for my youngest daughter, but the older kids too. 
2. Pooh Bear. We have two of these comforters; one for at home and one for when out and about... This is one thing that Layla will not live without.

3. iPhone. I did say I was a social media addict! My phone is like an extension of me and therefore an essential in my changing bag.

4. Snacks. You never know if you'll end up out longer than planned, so it's always worth having a few snacks in there just in case. 
5. First aid kit. My kids are so accident prone! My 6 year old is known as "first aid Freya" because she is forever falling over, so it is always best to be prepared with plasters etc where my children are concerned!

Thanks for sharing the contents of your changing bag with us, Chantelle! The first aid kit is such a fab idea! 

Chantelle blogs at Mama Mummy Mum and tweets as @MamaMummyMum.  


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