The Mummy Tag

The lovely Janine at Janine's Little World tagged me in The Mummy Tag a few days ago. I'd seen tons of other bloggers do it but hadn't been tagged myself yet, plus I don't really do a lot of tag posts. I thought this one was nice so I gave it a go!

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum or a Working Mum?

I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mum. I've had a few jobs since my eldest was born but I'm happy that I can earn a little money from my blog. I love it but I know when E is at preschool I'll get back into "proper" working life. I think I'd be bored at home on my own!

2. Would you have it any other way?
No, not right now. I want to spend as much time as I can with them when they're little - they'll never be this small again! I love being there for everything that they learn and never missing a milestone.

3. Do you co-sleep?
Yes! Almost every day since day 1. C came home from hospital when he was about 3 weeks old and we started shortly after that. We attempted the Moses basket and cot but he slept better in our bed and liked having me near him. We continued to co-sleep when I was pregnant with E (not fun!). A few weeks before I was due to give birth, we eased him into his toddler bed then when E was born she came in with us. C was two when he stopped co-sleeping. E is almost 21 months and I think I'll probably get her into a toddler bed at around the same age.

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
With C I'd have to say the Fisher-Price Jumperoo. We got so much use out of it and he loved having a little bounce every day. I saved it for E and she didn't like it at all! With E, I'd have to say muslin cloths (something which I never used with C so I didn't know what I was missing!) and the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine. What a Godsend. I know some people think of these as a lazy item but it is honestly so helpful if you're bottle feeding. Ooh, Sock-ons too!

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
We're done. Two is enough. I love pregnancy but with developing severe pre-eclampsia with my first, being constantly monitored with my second then the symptoms coming back, my body hates it! I do love being pregnant but my kids are crazy enough. I'm not sure I could do it again!

6. Date nights? How often do you have them?
We have never had a date night since C was born almost four years ago. Oops!

7. Your child’s favourite show?
The kids are big fans of CBeebies and Tiny Pop. Bing, In The Night Garden and Twirlywoos are loved by both. C loves Toby's Travelling Circus, Peg + Cat and Postman Pat and E loves My Little Pony and Miffy's Adventures Big and Small!

8. Name one thing you bought before you had the baby and never ended up using?
I did a lot of research plus I budgeted when I was pregnant with C so I don't think I bought anything that didn't get used. Probably just pram shoes! They never stay on so what's the point?!

9. Your child’s favourite food?
C has been quite fussy lately. His favourite food at the moment is probably scampi! E loves all form of vegetables. I love that she eats so well. Lettuce, sweetcorn, peas and cherry tomatoes are probably her favourites.
 

10. How many cars does your family have?
None! 

11. Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?
Oh goodness. I was always a slim size 8 in my teens then I got together with Chris. We got very comfortable quickly and loved sitting in with a takeaway and a drink watching a movie. I remember being just over 11st at my booking appointment when I was pregnant with C. I lost all my baby weight and more, going down to about 9.5st after. I had E and I've piled the weight on now and I am at my heaviest - I haven't even weighed myself because I'm scared of the number that will show up! I am working to get rid of it for good though.

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
It has to be DisneyWorld, right?! It looks so magical and I know that Chris and I would enjoy it just as much as the kids! We'll just have to get saving.

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
Boston! Chris and I have always wanted to go.

14. How has your life changed since having kids?
Before having C, people (Chris mostly!) would describe me as being a bit of a spoiled child. My parents did everything for me so when he was born I really had to grow up. It was honestly the best thing that's ever happened to me. I have changed completely but in the best way.

15. Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”
The kids are nice to each other! I love when they hold hands or just generally look out for each other. They may be only young but they are well aware of their feelings and know how to be affectionate towards each other.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
H&M, Next and Matalan for high street but mostly handmade Instagram shops!

17. Favourite make-up and skincare products?
I'm not into make up AT ALL. I take tips from my 14 year old sister!

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Pampers. That goes for both nappies and wipes. I find Huggies wipes too thick.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
No, I never wanted any. I was completely adamant that it wouldn't happen. Then I met Chris and completely changed my mind - as cheesy as that sounds! He was the person I wanted to have children with. He's the best person I know and we're so lucky to have him.

20. Best part of being a mum?
The unconditional love, teaching the kids things for the first time, being their first port of call. I am the person who my kids come to for anything and I love that. I love that they need me.


I now tag Tammy at Us Two Plus You, Jenna at Chic Geek Diary and Cassie at Lily's Little Learners.


Look in my Letterbox #57

I had kind of a quiet post week this week. I've won so much this month - It's been one of my best yet. I'm really excited to write May's "What I Won" post! I'm still waiting impatiently for most of my prizes to get here. Anywho, here's what I received this week. As ever, I'm linking up with Alice-Megan's Look in my Letterbox. This is one of my favourite linkies so if you're interested in sharing and are also as nosey as I am - come link up too!

Wins:
Funky Giraffe bibs
 I love Funky Giraffe! I had a few of their bibs when C was little and they are by far the best I've ever used. So fashionable too!

Lily's Driftwood Bay DVD
I entered tons of blog giveaways for this DVD and finally won! I haven't yet put it on yet but it looks cute and I think the kids will love it.
 
Num Nom Mystery Pack
I've entered so many blog giveaways for Num Noms too but had no luck. The kids watch more Tiny Pop than CBeebies now so when the toy adverts come on, C keeps telling me that he wants Num Noms for his birthday. He also spotted them on a trip to Toys R Us and fell in love with the café playset. Num Noms had a giveaway on Twitter recently where you had to get your child to draw a num or a nom. I let C choose one on the computer and he got to drawing. I was so chuffed that he won one for himself!
 
Disney goody bag
 I won this in an easy Twitter giveaway with Thomson Holidays - you just had to let them know where you'd like to visit. I, of course, said DisneyWorld - we just have to save up a bit first! I didn't know what to expect in the goody bag but I was blown away. How fab!

Purchases:
Frozen scooter
Helen from Mummy to the Max recently introduced me to Amazon Warehouse Deals. These items are marked as "used" but really it's that they item has been already purchased and returned in great condition, they could have a slight scratch or the box may be damaged. I saw this scooter at a bargain price of £8.34 (RRP £31.90) and I had to snap it up. I didn't even know what the age range was, I just knew I'd keep it for E. It arrived and said age 2 on the box so it will be perfect for her birthday. The box was in great condition and all the pieces were included - fabulous bargain!

Reviews:
Braun groomers
We have received these as part of my Father's Day gift guide. Keep an eye out for that soon!

Other:
Boost
I think this was a SoPost freebie. Chris took it but I had a sip and quite liked it!
 
Rimmel nail polish
This was another little freebie that one of my Facebook friends shared. I can't wait to try it.

Did you receive anything nice this week?

Ravensburger Bing Bunny 4 in a Box Jigsaw Puzzles - Review

CBeebies is always on in the background when we're home and Bing is definitely one of my kids top three TV shows. Every time the opening credits roll, I hear a chorus of "Bing's on!" then their eyes don't come off the TV until it's over.



When C was offered the chance to review Ravensburger's Bing Bunny themed 4 in a box puzzles I knew I had to say yes. I definitely think he would disown me as a mother if I said no and he found out.

When the puzzle arrived and I opened it out of the packaging, both children were excited at seeing their favourite characters Bing, Flop, Pando, Amma, Padget, Sula, Coco and Charlie on the outer box. The puzzles are recommended for children aged 3 years + so for reviewing purposes I did them with C first but over the past few weeks E has had a go but, of course, can't quite work them out just yet. 



As I mentioned before, there are four puzzles included in the box. Each puzzle has a different amount of pieces - 12, 16, 20 and 24. When completed, the puzzles are all the same size so the individual jigsaw pieces get smaller as the amount of them increases. I wanted to start C off with the easiest puzzle - the 12 piece - to see how he got on before gradually progressing. 



As I imagined, he had no problems whatsoever. He does own jigsaws and enjoys doing them so this was no different. Except the fact that he was a bit more excited by the characters. As we did the rest of the puzzles he did need more help (understandable as he's just shy of 4 years old) but I know he'll be whizzing through them in no time. 



Both children loved the bright, recognisable images on the finished puzzles and gave cheers when they were completed. I love how each puzzle has a different coloured border. It really helped C understand which pieces go together as I don't think that he would be able to tell solely by size at this age. The jigsaw pieces themselves were very well-made and perfectly finished. C has no trouble holding them and slotting them into place. He has asked to do them quite a lot over the past few weeks and I definitely think I'll be picking up more character puzzles for him to have a go at.
The Bing Bunny 4 in a box puzzle retails at around £5.99 from all good toy and bookshops. You can find out more at the Ravensburger website and keep up to date on their YouTube and Twitter accounts.

(We received this item for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

 

Win £30 to spend at Party Bags & Supplies

Planning birthday parties are stressful. I am such a stress head and worrier at the best of times so you can imagine what I'm liking planning a party! My childrens birthdays are 16 days apart so to help alleviate the stress, I've decided that I'm just goung to host joint parties, whilst they're still young at least!


I have four months to plan C and E's. That might sound like ages away but it isn't in "mum world". I've usually started long before now but I don't even have a theme and only a handful of birthday presents in. One of my least favourite things to do is finding everything to match. I am so rubbish at it but luckily Party Bags & Supplies can help with that. You can buy almost everything that you need for a party in one place and save so much time. From party bags (filled ones too!), napkins, plates, cups, straws to cupcake stands, 6ft posters and cardboard cutouts - your party will be completely sorted with minimal amounts of brain melting.

I have a tricky task this year of planning a mixed gender party. I'm quite lucky that with them only turning four and two and spending so much time together, that they do like the same things. Scrolling down the list of themes for ideas, I spotted "Toy Story". How did I not think of throwing them a Toy Story party? They are always watching the movies and constantly fighting over who gets to play with their Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie toys.

The Toy Story selection is wonderful and their primary coloured plates and kids snack boxes would tie in well with the branded items. I think I've now mentally planned their party in my head and the prices are so affordable that you won't break the bank!

 
I absolutely love all their Frozen party bits too. I think the kids would too - it's so hard to choose from all their fab themes! They even offer items for adult birthdays and other occasions such as Baby Showers and Graduation parties.

The lovely people at Party Bags & Supplies are offering my readers the chance to win £30 to spend on their website - you could kit out your child's upcoming birthday party! All you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below.

T&C's:

  • One winner will win £30 to spend online at the Party Bags & Supplies website
  • The giveaway will run from May 26th until June 9th
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only
  • No automated entry
  • One entry per person
 Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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Siblings - May 2016

I haven't done a Siblings post since March - I forgot last month! - and I feel like C and E have grown so much in the space of just two months. E can speak much more now. She picks up every word she hears and sometimes I can't believe that she isn't even two yet. She seems a lot more grown because of C. She learns so much from him and he seems to enjoy teaching her. 


I always write about them bickering and this hasn't stopped but it has lessened. Tiredness plays a big factor in this and also when they both want to play with the same toy. Most of the time, you can find the two of them playing together nicely, doing something silly and in fits of giggles at each other. In the morning whoever wakes up first will wake the other. They don't usually come to wake us - their laughter does that! It is the sweetest way to wake up though.

I always said that I wanted a short age gap because the ten years between myself and my sister was too much and I definitely think I made the right decision. When E was really little and couldn't interact much with C, it was hard for him but now that she's more of a toddler and likes the same things as he does (she now loves Spider-Man, trains, cars and dinosaurs!), he loves spending time with her and even tells me that she is his best friend.

They make me so proud every day. C is the best big brother and really looks after his little sister. E has very firmly planted her bum in the centre of our family and rules the roost but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

 
The Me and Mine Project

Captain Pug, The Dog who Sailed the Seas by Laura James - book review

A couple of weeks ago, we received a lovely new book to have a read of - Captain Pug, The Dog who Sailed the Seas by Laura James which was just published at the start of this month. The book is aimed at children aged 5-7 years old and although C isn't quite four yet, I thought it would be a story that he would enjoy me reading to him.


The first thing I noticed was the appearance of the book. It's a definite upgrade and natural progression from toddler/preschooler books into books for older readers. The pages aren't packed with text, you still have wonderful comic-style illustrations which really draw your attention and help you to picture the scenes more clearly. 




The book follows Lady Miranda, her Pug and also features her maid Wendy and Running Footmen Will and Liam. Lady Miranda has a party at the boating lake. She dresses Pug up in a little captains outfit ready for a day at the water. Pug soon realises that he doesn't think he can be a captain as he remembers that he walks around puddles when they're outside and he hates having baths.

At the boating lake, Lady Miranda and Pug get separated. The Lady Miranda side of the story is her and her footmen trying to find Pug while Pug has a very clever idea of trying to become a famous captain so Lady Miranda can find him easily. He gets to sail of different types of boats, meeting different people along the way, and discovers which ones he likes and dislikes sailing in.

It is a really lovely story which some factually correct information about boating and some funny bits thrown in too. I personally love the running mentions of Pug being a food lover and the fact that Lady Miranda says that she needs to put him on a diet.

There are six chapters, each of them being relatively short. As C is just used to very short preschool books. I read two or three chapters a night to him as I didn't want him to feel too tired to read to the end. He loved looking at the pictures and really seemed interested in the story. Some of the words I know he didn't recognise but I'm glad that he is being introduced to new words in this way. 


I'm excited for the new release - Cowboy Pug - in January 2017. After reading and loving Captain Pug, I will definitely be buying it.
You can purchase your own copy of Captain Pug (published by Bloomsbury Books) from all major bookstores at an RRP of £5.99. 

(We received a copy of the book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Look in my Letterbox #56

I missed last week's Look in my Letterbox because, if I'm honest, I fell into a bit of a slump and needed to take a bit of time out. This means that I have two weeks worth of post to share - hooray! As ever, I'm linking up with Alice-Megan's Look in my Letterbox linky.

Wins:
Star Wars stickers
I won these in Anker International's May the Fourth be With You giveaway on Facebook. Stickers and Star Wars - two of C's favourite things!

Customised Converse
I won these from Blingderella's Facebook page. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that I'd won. Perfect for E!

Mascara
 This was a little surprise that just turned up from Powder.

Dinosaur book
 C is dinosaur obsessed so this little win from Mojo Mums was perfect for him.

Octonauts toys
 These came from Smyths Toys on Twitter. I've already got two big Octonauts playsets put away for C's birthday so these will go along with them.

Reed diffuser
 This was a little blog win - it smells so nice!

Rainbow door
 How cute is this little fairy door? It came from Mystical Forest Creations on Facebook. I think it will go in E's room!

Finding Dory plush toys
 I won these from Bandai on Facebook. Both kids love Finding Nemo and I can't wait for them to see Finding Dory too. E has become a little fond of the Nemo plush!

Case of Pringles
 I won these from Nisa Locally on Facebook a while ago. I originally put Sour Cream & Onion in my winning comment but they were out of them so we got BBQ instead - they'll still get eaten!

Paddy's Bathroom bath foam
 I love the Paddy's Bathroom range! This win from Your Baby Club on Facebook came at the perfect time as we were just running out of kids bath wash!

 Superhero Dad book
My favourite type of win - kids books! I love the Toppsta website. You need to do a quick review of the book on their site when you've received your win but it's so worth it.
 
Beauty bundle



 This is incredible! I was totally blown away when I opened the parcels. I won these from lovely blogger Emma at What Emma Did. My sister has already stolen some!

My Little Pony DVD
Another little blog win! Both kids love MLP and I've previously won two different My Little Pony DVD's which they loved.

Purchases:
Knee socks
 I got a gorgeous Spanish style dress from a boutique on Instagram and of course I needed socks to match it. I spotted these on eBay for £5 and had to snap them up. Now all I have to do is wait for the dress to arrive!

Flower crown
 I bought this from @kopashop on Instagram. She does the most beautiful flower crowns in all different sizes. Beautiful!

Headbands

I was browsing Instagram and saw that @staceysbowtique posted a picture of these headbands with a code for 15% so I couldn't let them pass. I've wanted a heart one like the bottom headband for ages so I was so pleased to finally get my hands on one for E.

Other:
Toucan box
 I got an email from Toucan Box inviting me to try a free box. I decided to get one for C. We haven't done it yet but it looks really good. I definitely think I'll get him more.

Did you receive anything nice this week?
 

WOW Toys Reward Charts - Review & Giveaway

I first heard of WOW Toys when C was little from reading fellow bloggers reviews. We finally got our hands on some toys - Dexter the Digger and Dudley Dump Truck - early this year. Both kids quickly became obsessed with them and even now, four months later, they are still played with every single day. 



I've since been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review a couple of their reward charts which are suited to preschoolers aged 1-5 years. There are three in the range: Dinos, Racers and Fairies. I opted for Dinos for dinosaur obsessive C and Fairies for E.



The reward charts remind me a little bit of an advent calendar. It is effectively a box with three rewards, stepping stones (with magnets underneath) and a magnetic star. When your child gets rewarded, they get to move the star to the next point. There are 10 points in total with numbers 1, 5 and 10 issuing a reward. I love that the first point "pays out" because it helps them understand that if they keep going with the good behaviour, they'll get more treats. There are also words of encouragement to help your child along.


I love how bright and funky the boxes are. C loved having his name on the left side and moving his star up the board. The toys get bigger in size as you go up so by the end C was really excited to see what was under flap number 3. E probably was too but she doesn't have the vocal abilities to tell me so! The boxes can either stand on a shelf or be hung. We stood ours up so that the kids could move their stars easily. 


In the Dinos chart you receive, in order, Rocky the Caveman, Chompy the Dinosaur and Royce the Chariot. All three slot together so when you've collected them all, you can make Chompy ride around pulling Rocky in the chariot.

Similarly to the Dinos chart, the Fairies one comes with Daisy the Fairy, Sparkles the Unicorn and Lily the Ladybird. Daisy slots inside Lily to be pushed around too. 


The kids both got so much enjoyment out of opening these reward charts and I feel like they're a quite different to most others on the market. We used ours as a reward for finishing dinner as that is something that we struggle with and I truly feel like they had a positive effect. They still play with the toys now. They are such great quality too (not that I expected anything else after Dexter and Dudley!) and I cannot fault them at all.

The reward charts retail at £12.99 which I think is amazing because you're paying for your child's excitement, better behaviour plus a cool playset! You can purchase them from WOW Toys on Amazon. You can keep up to date with all the goings-on on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The lovely people at WOW Toys are kindly giving my readers the opportunity to win 1 of 3 Reward Charts! You get to choose which design you'd like and all you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below.


T&C's:
T&C's: 
  • The giveaway will run from 11th April until 18th April
  • One winner will win one copy of Q Pootle 5: Pootle the Explorer on DVD
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only
  • Prize will be sent directly from Abbey Home Media
  • No automated entries
  • One entry per person
- See more at: http://www.mumofaprematurebaby.co.uk/2016/04/win-copy-of-q-pootle-5-pootle-explorer.html#sthash.kschkI3m.dpuf
T&C's: 
  • The giveaway will run from 11th April until 18th April
  • One winner will win one copy of Q Pootle 5: Pootle the Explorer on DVD
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only
  • Prize will be sent directly from Abbey Home Media
  • No automated entries
  • One entry per person
- See more at: http://www.mumofaprematurebaby.co.uk/2016/04/win-copy-of-q-pootle-5-pootle-explorer.html#sthash.kschkI3m.dpuf
  • The giveaway will run from May 20th until June 4th
  • Three winners will win one WOW Toys Reward Chart of their choice
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only
  • Prize will be sent directly from WOW Toys
  • No automated entries
  • One entry per person 
 Good luck!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

(We received these WOW Toys Reward Charts for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)  


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