**All the products or trips featured below have been offered to me by companies to review with either goods kept in return or as sponsored posts. The opinions are however always honest and my own experiences of the product or event.
Glossy Box review
I was approached by Glossy Box to review one of their monthly boxes back in September and I figured it sounded like a good concept so agreed to sample the September box and give a review on the site.
My first beauty product review and I was quite excited, I even commented on Twitter about it using the hashtag #glossybox. Immediately I got pretty much attacked by beauty bloggers demanding to know 'who I was' and generally being green with envy that they had not be selected to do the review. I was even more excited, clearly this was going to change my life.
The concept is a nice one, you subscribe monthly to the delivery of one box per month. In each box is about 5 products some full size, most trial/sample size of 'mojor' brands for you to try out and the idea being re buy the ones you like. I thought a years subscription would be a great present for someone to receive, meaning a monthly gift all year.
When the first box arrived I was over the moon, it smelt divine and the packaging is top class. A beautiful pink box with black paper and pale pink ribbon bundling the contents together.
The products in my first box were good, an HD Brow set, some perfume samples, a few Salt Scrub sachets and a full size tube of Neal and Wolf conditioner. I gave to brow set to my mum, the samples I chucked in the cupboard and the conditioner turned my hair into silk and got me compliments daily until it ran out.
I did however notice much unhappiness on Twitter. Many of the HD Brow set had arrived smashed to pieces or un packaged and people were not happy!
I have emailed the PR company to see what happened to those complaints and received this reply:
''Every single subscriber that contacted us with a photo of their damaged HD Brows got a replacement sent to them. We then sent out an email to all subscribers to contact us if they received a damaged product so we could replace it - in case they were not aware that we were offering replacements.''
I also raised the issue of the boxes random nature, I noticed many complaints of 17 year old girls getting anti aging products etc and it was not just me who felt a little peeved when we read of other peoples boxes containing in our opinion better items. The PR company did respond on those issues so I have included the reply below:
''Although we believe that the real value of GLOSSYBOX is within the experience of finding out about new brands and products, we are confident that it is very good value for money.
Our brand team work hard to make the quality, price and size of the box equal throughout all of them. We try to customise our boxes to the best of our abilities and are still learning every month on how to do better. Some customers may have received unsuitable items in the past and we are aware of this and promise to improve in the future.
Sometimes, there will be a difference in value of products sent to subscribers in terms of retail price. However, while GLOSSYBOX on the whole always offers fantastic value for money, that is not the point of the concept. On the whole, the idea behind GLOSSYBOX is that we help women discover products they may not have known about or considered if they had not been featured in our box. This means that on and off, you will receive a product that you would never have bought. Often, women will complain to us about receiving a fake tan because they never work on their pale skin or don't think nail wraps are suitable for them. The fun part for us is then hearing back a week later from the same women with a message about how many compliments they have been receiving after using the fake tan we sent them! We have heard back from women saying that it was the first fake tan they ever used that looked natural on their skintone and made them look younger and more rested. We heard back from mothers who initially thought that nail wraps are only for young girls into very fashion-forward products and after trying the nail wraps, many of these busy mothers realise this is an amazing way to look groomed and have smudge and chip free nails! This is what we endeavour to achieve at GLOSSYBOX. ''
I get their point but I have to say I felt seriously let down by the second box I received in November. There was nothing in it I would use at all and if I was paying for that I would be very annoyed.
However the pink boxes are very cute and are now being used as hair clip storage in Tabithas room so every cloud etc....
Check out the site GLOSSYBOX if this sounds like your kind of thing.
Feather and Black Kids Range.
One of my favourite perks from blogging is being part of a parent panel for major brands. I was approached by Feather and Black to join theirs and jumped at the chance.
I am familiar with them already, a while ago they took over a company local to my home town, The Iron Bed Company; both brands are ones I have purchased previously.
My bed that I have owned since I was 19 is an Iron Bed Company bed and it is still going strong to this day.
All the parent panel bloggers were invited down to the Fulham Road store to meet with Adam Black and his team to discuss the childrens range. It was a great chance to browse the products up close and meet the people who work hard to meet all the needs of us demanding parents buying children furniture. It was clear to see that all the team are passionate about design, service and quality.
I also found it very refreshing to see that the parent panel venture is not just a way to build links to their site and increase their SEO, they really wanted to hear our feedback about buying furniture for our children and what we expect from their service in return.
We were all offered to chose an item from a selection to review and I chose the Noah Toybox as Tabitha is at the age where her room goes from perfect order to mayhem in seconds.
The delivery was faultless, it arrived spotless and most surprisingly no packaging. No boxes to bin that was all taken care of by the delivery men. They just put it down in her room and we were ready to go!
My favourite feature is the pistons that control the lid so no smashing down onto tiny fingers, and making it easy to lift and remain up while she rummages about for her favourite toy.
I do however have one warning for you about Feather and Black. Do not go into that store thinking you will walk out with the same bank balance, even when things are being given away.
The Noah Toybox was given to me by Feather and Black for the purpose of the review. The Noah Bed I purchased because I am easy led when confronted with beautiful things.
Poundland Halloween costume review
I am not the biggest fan of Halloween, in the village I grew up in it generally meant people threw eggs at each other so I tended to give it a miss.
However this year Tabitha has a party at nursery and I figured I had better at least get her involved. I was over the moon when Poundland approached me with the offer of a voucher to deck her out in their range for her party.
I used the Poundland branch search on the website, found my nearest store and headed down there.
The range was huge and after standing for ages unable to choose which one to go for I realised with my £10 voucher I could afford to buy quite a few!
Tabitha is going to take her pick on the day and we will take in the other outfits incase any busy nursery Mums have forgotten.
Thanks Poundland for making our Halloween so much fun and not breaking the bank.
The Baby Bow Boutique review
I brought Tabitha-Lo her first hair clips two days after our five month scan.
She is nearly two years old and I have had no call for those clips and after two house moves they have long since vanished.
As we can 'just about' gather a tiny clump of hair and get in a clip that stays put (if no one touches it) for about thirty seconds we have announced 'Clip Fun' can begin...
I have been following The Baby Bow Boutique on Twitter for a while and have had to make do with recommending them to others and browsing the collections for the last eighteen months I reckon they took pity on us and sent us some goodies to try out.
The clips arrived in a gorgeously girlie pink drawstring bag which is very useful for storing them. Tabitha-Lo was literally jumping up and down with excitement when she saw them especially the ladybird and Hello Kitty ones.
Unfortunately she likes looking at them in her hand far more than she like them in her hair but this is slowly improving. The key to getting her to keep them in is to stealth style get them in, never comment on them and under no circumstances show the child her own reflection at any stage of the day.
As you can see above they look quite scrummy and I am hoping will along with the dresses and pink buggy trim help us out on the 'oh he's lovely' comments that make me want to hurt people.
The Sanctuary Spa Review.
Every now and then I doubt if I should continue with blogging, or if I should continue carrying out reviews on the site.
Every now and then something comes along and you think, 'Balls to that!'
I got invited to review a day at The Sanctuary - Covent Garden and funnily enough didn't turn it down!
I was a bit nervous about the whole thing especially attending alone but determined not to miss the chance of a bit of mummy pampering I arrived at the spa at 11am on a Sunday morning. (I could have arrived anytime from 9.30am as part of the package.)
The staff were really helpful and took time to explain everything to me about the treatments I was having, where to find the restaurant and took me round to each area personally to book me in for my lunch and make sure I was clear with where to go for each of my treatments.
I had two treatments included in my day package, a sleep retreat therapy and an express pedicure, both these treatments are just 30 minutes long.
I started the day with my sleep retreat therapy. After changing into my swimsuit and dressing gown I was pointed in the direction of the Koi Carp Lounge and the Sleep Room waiting area to be called to the treatment with my fellow 'sleep retreaters' who slowly gathered around me in the waiting area.
I'd like to state now that I was not keen on the wooden walk ways over the Koi Carp pools I am always sure in situations like this I will slip and fall like a clumsy mare into the water this 'oh gifted Sanctuary designer' does not make for a relaxing time. By the time I was called to the darkened galley of a sleep room I was frankly as tense as a banjo string and laid rigid counting down the minutes on a plastic vibrating mattress while some stupid woman told me to think of the my most annoying thought and then put it in a box. I hate that stuff.
To help me get over the sleep retreat debacle I ventured first to the pool and then to the jaccuzzi/steam room areas. No one spoke to me, there was no imminent death or humiliation issues just hot bubbly water and relaxation. Heaven.
After wondering around slightly aimlessly for a while I found the relaxation VIP lounge, its not really called this I should add but where the Koi Carp lounge is more suited to hen groups and gossiping PR girls this lounge is more aimed at the pouty upper class woman wanting to sit in the dark alone, drink coffee/champagne under dim lights and squint at posh magazines. I fitted right in *cough*.
I actually managed to sit/lay for nearly an hour under a furry blanket sipping coffee and reading magazines it was heavenly and I wished I just come straight in here when I arrived rather than the poxy sleep retreat. I wonder if they'd have let me trade it in for a glass of champers if I'd asked nicely?
I had to leave the VIP lounge for my pedicure appointment which was pre booked so that they would dry over lunch, a great bit of planning by myself I thought. I have to admit they looked fabulous and still do two weeks later. The staff were a good blend of polite yet chatty and not the stuck up beauty therapy wenches I've been exposed to during some treatments.
Lunch was the next highlight of my day and I mean highlight. The food was amazing. I felt a bit of a loner sat on my own but the fact that I was eating a perfectly cooked steak helped ease the pain! If you visit the Spa don't skip the restaurant it is excellent.
I could have stayed until 6.30pm as part of my day but me being me I was twitchy by 4pm and had to head home, I 'm sure some other female company would have changed that but on my own I felt a bit out of place.
My negatives of the day were the walk ways over the pond, its only time until 'Miranda' films a sketch there, the sleep treatment it was a total waste of everyones time, and basically being alone *gets out worlds smallest violin*
Overall however I would highly recommend The Sanctuary to anyone after a spa day, just make sure you take a friend and skip the sleep retreat, get all the other treatments and use the jacuzzis and pool until you are shriveled like a prune, eat in the restaurant and then sleep it off in the VIP lounge. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Check out the prices of treatments and packages and get booked in.
Restaurant review: Satori Gyoza, Kingston.
Last weekend I fell on my blogging feet butter side up if that makes any sense to anyone else?
I was child free for the weekend and given two great review opportunities to experience.
I love Japanese food and thought this was too good to miss.
The restaurant is situated within the department store so this is not your 'date night' kind of place but for good food whilst out shopping I was really impressed. The staff were very friendly and helpful, willing to help you select from the menu if it was all too confusing for you. The conveyor belt seating is a must for those with older children, the plates are all colour coded by price so as they pass by you know what you are spending. The prices were very reasonable and as we were child free we even indulged in a tasty Japanese beer or two.
There is also a open kitchen hot plate so you can see the food being cooked by the chefs which makes for great visual entertainment too.
We had a lovely lunch. I would always suggest getting a Bento box as a great option if you have no idea what you are ordering and the sushi we chose was beautifully presented.
It has been a few years since I grabbed lunch in a shopping center and I can honestly say this beat the hell out of a burger from a fast food outlet!
We will be back for more, besides I saw some nice shoes there for Tabitha too!
In The Night Garden Live Review
We headed off to Richmond Park last Monday to see In The Night Garden Live and I thought you would like to see what a fabulous time we had.
I can honestly say we ALL really enjoyed the show even Daddy, but here is a little run down of the best points of our day out.
Firstly I would fully recommend the premium tickets, they were well worth the extra money if only for the no queuing on entry and the ease of getting out of the seating areas as soon as possible when it ended. This is especially useful if you intend to queue for the individual photos with the stars of the show afterwards.
The premium tickets also meant we were this close to the stage had excellent views of the characters throughout the show.
The show itself was fantastic, the puppets were amazing, the puppeteers did a great job and did not distract from the characters at all.
The only negative thing I have to say is don't buy a Pinky Ponk helium balloon, if the shock of paying £8 for it doesn't kill you, the meltdown when it comes off its string in the middle of Richmond will....
That evening after we arrived home we found Tabitha in her room getting her special friends ready for bed so we figure the whole thing left a lasting impression.
Night, Night, Makka Pakka.
You can win your own tickets to see In The Night Garden Live here.....
We were given our tickets in return for an honest review and also given tickets to giveaway to a lucky readers family. I wrote this review because I liked the show not because I was paid to.
GTech Germ Guard Power Sweeper
Right I'll be honest normally I would have said 'thanks but no thanks' to this review, but you see my beloved Dyson had a little accident involving a Fisher Price Dog.
So while I got hold of another rubber belt for my old faithful Dyson and as I am one of those mad people with kids who has cream carpets the email hit my inbox just at the right time.
The Gtech Germ Guard Power Sweeper is a very good bit of kit, it is rechargeable and a full charge gives you about 30 minutes of go.
The sweeper was properly put to the test me not having a hoover, I actually did the whole house over a few days when I could stand the floors no longer. The results were excellent, the pull out drawer fills with fluff and crumbs and is easy to empty. The contents also shows how effective the suction is on this little beauty.
I have got quite attached to it. Tabitha calls it the 'Whoosh' and I think it has helped her overcome her fear of the Dyson as the noise is more subtle she is now less hysterical when I use the big hoover.
Anyway I'm ranting, its only a floor sweeper. Get one, you'll love it.
Baby Royale Bamboo blanket Review.
Hello Baby Direct gave me the chance to review this Babyroyale luxury baby blanket and even though Tabitha is not a newborn she does love a snuggle with a blankie so I agreed. I was also quite intrigued by the material and wanted to see if it really was as soft as they said.
When I buy a blanket for a newborn the main thing I look for is softness, you don't want to put anything else next to their skin. Usually my fabric of choice would be cashmere for its high quality and powder puff softness.
I'm afraid Baby Royale Bamboo Blanket cannot compare to a cashmere one, it is not as soft or of a similar quality. I did not find it luxury enough to justify the label.
The blanket is a good buy for the price, it does stand its ground as a nice gift. If you want a gift that is slightly different and like the alternative material angle it might be for you. The blanket does come beautifully boxed and washes very well.
No7 Sumptuous Bathsoak and Body Serum Review.
With Mothers Day on Sunday fast approaching I though I would do a mummy product review and why the hell not I hear you say! Oh that was me was it? Nevermind.
My bath has recently been taken over by ducks; big ones, little ones, yellow ones, black ones, one that tells the temperature and one that squirts water. It seems less bother to just jump in the shower these days than fight with the ducks. I tend to lose anyway and they all dive in for the attack once I'm rinsing my hair.
This week however I had some lovely inspiration to ditch the ducks and have some serious mummy bath time. I was sent some of the No7 Sumptuous Bathsoak and Body Serum from Boots to try out and took great pleasure in telling myself it was for research and I must allocate myself a long hot soak.
This bath soak smells divine and left my skin feeling soft and velvety. My skin can at times be quite sensitive to this type of product but was fine with both the soak and the serum too. The serum absorbed into my skin quickly and left no stickiness or residue. It rehydrated my dry knees and backs of my heels almost instantly. I would definitely use these products again.
Which means the ducks are in trouble.....
Maclaren Beginnings Range Review
When I say Maclaren what do you think of? Pushchairs? Formula 1?
Things are changing at Maclaren, they still make the fabulous unbeatable buggies but they are now branching out. A fabulous range of beautiful nursery furniture has hit Harrods shop floor and also a range of high quality toiletries for Mother and Baby 'Beginnings' is now available online.
Several months ago I was very kindly sent as a total surprise a box heaving full of the new smellies range by Maclaren called Beginnings Range. It has taken me this long to actually tell you about it because we are still wading through the products.
My bathroom is now adorned with five fragranced candles that fill the room with the most beautiful scent even without them being lit.
I am a real sucker for packaging and admit to buying items just because they are well presented. Maclaren did not let me down on this front, each item was boxed in cardboard tubing and the minimal branding and muted colours made it very visually appealing.
The actual products smell amazing, all made with
The best part of this review is I am giving you the chance to win your own travel kits of the range, and never fear its one for you one for the baby so you won't have to share!
The travel kits retail at £25.00 each.
Should you not be successful in the competition, products are available from
All you need to do to enter the competition is ....
Comment below telling me what aromatherapy scent is commonly used to encourage sleep?
You must also be following @mumrablog on Twitter or Google Friend Connect and/or 'Like' Mumra on Facebook to enter.
For an extra entry using Twitter simply retweet :
" I've entered @mumrablog Maclaren Beginnings giveaway have you? http://bit.ly/gCwx7h "
The winner will be chosen at random by Mumra on 31st March 2011.
The winner will be announced on the site and contacted directly.
For an extra entry using Twitter simply retweet :
" I've entered @mumrablog Maclaren Beginnings giveaway have you? http://bit.ly/gCwx7h "
The winner will be chosen at random by Mumra on 31st March 2011.
The winner will be announced on the site and contacted directly.
Please note this competition is run from the homepage and closes on 31st March 2011.
Slendertone Final Review
Well it has been 10 weeks since I got sent the Slendertone to review.
I firstly must admit to struggling to stick to the 5-7 days usage, not because of it being difficult to stick to just because of sheer crapness on my behalf. I've been much more likely to use it 3-4 times a week.
I have managed to increase my sessions from starting at Settings 1 Level 40 to Settings 2 Level 80 which I never thought possible when I first started. In fact I would have thought that would have shot me half way across the room.
I had a c-section with Tabitha and have since really noticed the damage that it did to my stomach muscles. It is a savage task the doctors carry out, cutting through the stomach muscle. They are one of our thickest muscles and it is a longtime in re fusing together after the operation. Building it back up to its previous condition is a long slog I have found.
I have been advised my my gym instructors to work my core muscles to help rebuild the strength but I have noticed the most improvement since using the Slendertone. It has helped me carry out more repetitions of exercises when I am at the gym and also given me a flatter looking tummy.
So am I working a totally flat stomach with six pack? Well no not quite, but my jeans belt is two holes farther back and I have lost 1.5 inches from around my waist.
I will be sticking at using the belt, I can't see why I won't always use it now I have one.
I think its the watching your stomach contract and release during the waves of electrical current that makes you realise how intense they are, recreating that tension with exercise is near on impossible.
Using the belt alongside a healthy eating diet and regular exercise has to be the perfect answer to a flatter tummy.
Graze Box Review
The last few days I have been enjoying the delights of having a graze box delivered to my door. This was what I had on Tuesday in my letterbox, beats the hell out of a bill!
If you haven't heard of graze.com I suggest you check out their site immediately.
Graze boxes are already very popular with office workers as they can be delivered not only to your door but also to your desk. I personally think they could be a great idea for us stay at home mums too. There is very little time to grab healthy snacks during a hectic day charging about after a toddler and besides everyone likes a treat in a pretty box, right?
The cute little boxes arrive packed full of healthy treats and keep you from ripping open the packets of biscuits or chocolate bars.
So what is in them I hear you ask?
The company has been very clever and allows you to rate your preferences when you sign up. So if you want a standard nibble box or a healthy treats selection simply click the box it then lets you go on to say what choices you love and which ones you'd be willing to try out. All this combined means you end up with a selection of foods every day that help you discover new foods and also chow down on your favourite things.
Each evening you receive an email asking you to rate your box, if you have decided you didn't enjoy something just let them know and it won't show up in your box again. Simple.
Graze have very kindly given me a special code for all my readers that means you can try out their great service by receiving a FREE GRAZEBOX and GET A SECOND HALF PRICE.
Simply go to www.graze.com and enter my special promotional code
valid until 31/3/2011. ( click 'get started' and enter code in top right )
Are you seriously still here?
Slendertone Review Week 1
I remember Slendertone belts from years ago. I was never sure if they were just a gimmick or if they really worked. I never actually knew anyone who had one and in my experience things that sound too good to be true, usually are.
One of my Twitter associates is often raving about hers and I’d recently begun thinking it might be worth trying. She strikes me as a hard woman to please, who wouldn't say it if she didn't mean it.
Then as if by magic the chance arose to review one, so grabbed it with both hands.
I have been using the belt for a week so far and the experience is somewhat life changing. I've quickly fallen into the patterning of popping it on after dinner and seeing how high I can get the setting.
The belt is easy to use, you charge it up, stick the pads on, peel the covers off and your ready to go...
I have so far only had one problem, in the first session I felt uncomfortable on one side and found the pads were not correctly placed, moving them solved it on the second go.
Can I feel a difference?
Yes I think I can, my stomach muscles seem to be stronger during a workout and they feel tender in the morning after using the belt.
Over the last week I have noticed my c-section scar changing too. It has always been a bit of a crease and it is closely verging on being a plain old surface scar as the upper skin tightens from using the Slendertone.
I'm using the belt at least 5 times a week for 20 minutes and can currently get up to setting 1: level 65 in comfort.
If it carries on being this impressive I reckon this will be me on my winter holiday.
Boob job and face transplant extras...
I am reviewing a Slendertone System + currently available for £119:00
I ❤ Fashion Pony
I first stumbled across Fashion Pony on Twitter and started to regularly dribble over the clothes. I'm an average girl and shop at most high street stores for my clothes. I adore fashion and would love to be able to own a designer wardrobe but most of the time I have to make do with the high street versions.
The biggest fear when you wear high street is being caught somewhere with the same thing on as someone else and this is why I love Fashion Pony. The range is original and exciting, nothing middle of the road here.
I was hugely flattered when offered an item of the range to try out for review and knew immediately what I wanted as I'd been looking at it for weeks.
Grey cable knit jumper dress teamed with black leggings and grey army style boots is my perfect winter shopping outfit. I was surprised by the jumpers softness and this is not a lightweight cheap knit, it is heavy and really silky thick wool. It is perfect for this time of year.
Fashion Pony also has a fashion blog which is packed full of fashion gossip and up coming trends. Click the image above to drop by...
Baby Loves Disco at Brighton Komedia Club
Heading out on a chilly winter Sunday to take my baby girl to her first disco seemed slightly mental (especially as there was thick snow everywhere), but we were determined to get Cinderella to the ball.
|Waiting for the Choo Choo....|
Baby Loves Disco had taken over the Komedia Club in Brighton, transforming the popular venue into a baby safe disco complete with facepainting, party games, snacks and most important of all a fully licensed bar.
|Beautiful winter evening in Brighton.|
Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly staff who stored our buggies and belongings without any fuss allowing us to hit that dance floor.
Tabitha was partying for the day with her friend Betty and both Mums were eager to see how the little ravers would cope with such a busy place. Turns out neither Tabitha or Betty gave a seconds notice to their new surroundings, as both spotted toys and scooted off to play without even a glance over their shoulders.
This left the parents shadowing the little ravers for most of our stay (not to dissimilar to a private security team), apologising to crying children, handing back stolen toys, dodging eager dancers and providing refreshments when required.
|There was no stopping Betty from getting in the thick of it!|
|The venue was busy and well laid out for adults and children.|
Throughout the event the DJ kept the crowd entertained with a variety of competitions (for both the kids and the parents) and a constant supply of popular tunes spanning the last few decades which evoke that dancing feeling in most of us.
Its safe to say both parents and children enjoyed their time at Baby Loves Disco. The event is very well thought out and supervised, making it perfect for friends with kids looking to get together for a fun and secure afternoon of gossip, laughter and the occasional bought of Dad dancing.
Speaking of which I was genuinely pleased to see so many Dads in attendance. I can't stand estrogen only fuelled events, they make me twitch and imagine witches conventions.
Once Tabitha & Betty have mastered some new dance moves (and the art of sharing) we will be returning to Baby Loves Disco the next time it rocks up in Brighton.
Find the next Baby Loves Disco event nearest you.
Entry Price: £8 per walking human (Includes baby snacks)
|"One day i'll be up here.."|
Muddy Puddles All in One Review
Playing in the snow is such a huge part of your childhood. That feeling of woolen gloves so matted with snow from making snowballs, your hands don't hurt until you go inside and warm up, then they sting like hell!
I was desperate for Tabitha to be able to enjoy the snow should we get any this year, so started looking at outdoor suits a while ago. When i was a Nursery Nurse i used wet weather suits often on my children and found the saying "no such thing as bad weather just bad clothes" very true. As long as the child is dry and warm much fun can be had whatever the weather.
In my search i was directed to Muddle Puddles at TPToys and after chatting with them about their suits they kindly offered Tabitha an All in One to review.
When the suit arrived i was gobsmacked by the quality, i had thought it would be an over suit like an anorak fabric or waterplay apron, i was wrong. The suit is fully lined and the waterproof outer layer is soft and malleable, it has little shoe covers that attach for non walkers and popper off to make way for wellies. The issue of sodden gloves is addressed with fold over mitten ends on the arms, so much easier than gloves! Why do normal winter coats not have these for toddlers?
Tabitha loved playing in the snow, her first real winter experience. She swept the snow off the benches with her mitten covered hands and ploughed through the powder covered grass kicking it up into the air.
The best part (other than her of course looking totally awesome wrapped up like a giant ladybird) was that when we got in and unzipped and de-wellied her she was bone dry underneath, even her hands.
I have a feeling we will be using the Muddy Puddles All in One a lot this winter.
Maclaren Universal Cosy Toes Review
Since i have been blogging one company has been unbelievably kind to me by suppling products for review and once again they have given me another excellent product to try.
Tabitha is a nightmare for keeping blankets on her legs when out in the buggy so as the Siberian winter approached i began thinking of getting a cosy toes for her. As I don't drive some days no matter how cold it is i have to go out of the house with Tabitha in the buggy so it is important that she is warm and comfortable. Choosing one I found hard, the ones i mostly see are the fluffy or fleecy ones in bold colours and patterns. They look very snug but are just not to my personal taste i prefer things understated and classic looking. I got myself confused, searching for so many different types and overloading my head with a zillion cosy toes eventually i just didn't like the look of any.
I was so relieved when Maclaren said they would supply me with one as i was hopeful it would follow suit of their buggy designs and be stylish yet functional. I was not let down. The cosy toes they supplied matches the buggy i reviewed a few months back for them The Maclaren Quest Sport, a classic charcoal grey with a simple brand logo in white stitching across the front, the outer fabric is cotton but the inside is fleece lined and very soft to the touch.
Getting it in place on the buggy is pretty straight forward. The straps need to be lengthened to accommodate the extra fabric and Tabithas growing tummy, a job i hate doing. Those adjusters are fiddly on every buggy i've ever used. Maclaren we'd love you even more if you found a way to make that a quicker action. Tabitha is quite a tall girl and has long gangly legs so i was a bit concerned that a cosy toes maybe something she would grow out of quickly but she seems to have a fair bit of room for growth in the bottom of it.
I have two buggies and have found that the cosy toes will fit the 5 point harness on both. However a little adaption to the fixings is needed ( i have sewed two duffle coat toggles onto the back of my Bugaboo to secure the ties in place ) It is obviously designed for a Maclaren but its certainly is not untransferable if necessary.
I like to find a fault in the products i review but i really am struggling with this one. Tabitha has no objection to being zipped up in it when we go out. No more using cot blankets and having them dragging along the pavement. The seams are well made and strong, the zip smooth and sturdy. Tabitha looks so warm wrapped up like a snug bug in her pushchair, i don't think twice about venturing out on cold weather days.
A cosy toes is a must have for this time of year and if your looking for something timeless and well made, Maclaren are the people to see.
Thomas likes it too!
Family Mumra visits London Zoo
Last week we were lucky enough to be given some tickets to visit London Zoo.
The weather held out for us and we set out on our 90 minute train journey to London.
This was our first proper family outing and i wasn't sure who was more excited when we got there Tabitha or Mr Mumra as he ran through the planned route...
"penguins then monkeys, we need to go there ...and there ....oooh look they have..."
It was such an excellent experience though seeing Tabithas little face responding to so many new visions through out the day. Some other zoo visits i've felt cheated by staring into seemingly empty areas wondering 'is there anything in there' but i was treated to some brilliant views of the animals and they were so easy to spot and interact with that Tabitha was engaged by them too.
London Zoo is so beautiful, laid out to allow you to move around and see all the areas without feeling like your lost in amaze of attractions. There were so many great small touches around the place too; climbing frames, story tents, water play and secret gardens give the children an extra special adventure.
We stayed for five hours and could have stayed longer easily. The restaurant was great for lunch, clean and comfortable serving a good mix of food and the fabulous idea of having a self service microwave to heat babies food so no queuing with a bowl in hand while baby screams blue murder in the highchair.
I cannot recommend London Zoo more as a perfect place to take the children for a day out. When we move back to London we will be buying a yearly membership for sure. I'm already looking forward to spending summers picnicking and watching Tabitha grow with the Zoo using new apparatus and absorbing new knowledge with every visit.
The only dilemma we were faced with was at the end of the day when we visited the gift shop....one huge soft toy or three small ones. It was however our dilemma Tabitha was fast asleep by then.
Babymeka Keepsake Box Review
A few weeks ago the people at Babymeka made a lovely offer to make up one of their keepsake boxes for Tabitha-Lo. Being the perfect type of gift for a newborn i suggested they make one up for one of my oldest friends Helen who was due to give birth anyday.
The box arrived well packaged and totally unscathed by royal mails bumpy service, so could have been sent directly to the mum to be but i was nosey and wanted a good look first!
The box was a gorgeous pearlised pastel colour really classic and sturdy, decorated beautifully and adorned with the babies first name and date of birth. Inside the company had supplied us with their basic package (£25.00) this included:
Various items from the day of the babies birth...
CD single No.1
Card containing a receipt for bread and milk
1st and 2nd class stamps
Scroll bound in ribbon with meaning of names
The site Babymeka lists additional options for more expensive packages as well as Mummy to be packages stocked with goodies.
The contents of our box was padded out with co-ordinated shredded paper. This also left some space for me to add my own gifts inside.
Helen was really pleased with the keepsake box. She felt the product was original and liked the idea of having the items to show Isaac when he was older. The box is attractive enough to be on show in his nursery and could be added to with other memorable items as the years pass by.
Between us the only negative point would have been that the quality of the paper the name scroll was printed on could have been higher to ensure longevity or allow the parents to frame and have on display.
Overall a winner, i would buy this gift for another new baby and like the mum to be box as a maternity leave gift for a colleague perhaps.
A keepsake box starts off a collection of items that will grow throughout a childs life, which means so much more than a babygrow set or teddybear.
Maclaren Quest Sport Review
Over the past two weeks Tabitha has been zooming round town in new wheels. Maclaren have given us a Quest Sport Buggy to review and we have been strolling our towns cobbled streets putting it to the test.
My choice of buggy from day one of finding out i was pregnant was always a Bugaboo. I have had the opportunity to test nearly every buggy due to my childcare work and had found it the best suited to my needs. Oh, and it comes in Dark Indigo Denim, sold.
It has always been the plan however to move Tabitha into something more lightweight once she was big enough. I really jumped at the chance to try this Maclaren as i've always thought they were sturdy lightweight buggies and a make i'd have considered buying.
So the big issue. Have Maclaren managed to sort out the hinge issues that caused the recall of US models in 2009? I was relieved to see that the hinges of the Maclaren Quest Sport were totally concealed in an attractive shell and means there is no chance of myself or Tabithas fingers being caught in the mechanism. Problem solved.
Infact the Maclaren symbol on this circular disc is my favourite design feature on the Quest. It features on the harness lock also and gives the look of a racing car seatbelt. My only gripe is that the straps on the harness once done up to fit Tabitha in securely leave a long piece over and flapping loose. I realize this is needed to extend as she grows but as a teething 8 month old i am struggling to stop her chewing them constantly. I would have liked another slide buckle to keep them tidy and laid against the parallel strap to stop this.
The handles are comfortable to hold being covered in a padded foam. I'm about 5'6 and i have to say i'd have liked a bit more height in the handles. Taller parents may struggle with them being not height adjustable. However Tabithas Daddy did comment on a positive of the handle for him....'They'd be like rocket launchers if they had buttons on them.' ?!
The buggy comes with a raincover that fits in the basket so can be carried about at all times. One thing the Bugaboo drove me crazy with was the size of the raincover being so impractical. We did have a problem with the first Maclaren cover we got. The darted seam on the front was faulty and split when Tabitha kicked against it. I contacted Maclaren via one of their many contact points (Twitter and Facebook are constantly updated and give great customer service.) A new one was sent out the same day and arrived the following afternoon. I tested the seams by giving them a good pull and she will not be kicking her way through this one!
Overall i'm very happy with the buggy. Umbrella buggies are a vital piece of parenting kit when the baby turns to toddler and beyond. This buggy ticks lots of boxes for me, the colors are bright and modern, the fabrics are strong and easy to wipe clean. It is light as a feather i can hold it above my head, so ideal for holidays and lifting in and out of the boot.
The biggest selling point though is that Tabitha has now started to climb into the Maclaren for her daytime naps or to watch tv, treating it like her own armchair which for me says it all.
Brio Magnetic Train Review for HelloBabyDirect.co.uk
I was recently given the opportunity by HelloBabyDirect.co.uk to review one of their products. When i heard it was a Brio Blocks Magnetic Train i was really pleased as in all the nurseries i have worked we have used Brio products and found them excellent. Brio toys in general are well designed, classic and durable.
Tabitha is just under the recommended age for the train but it has not stopped her enjoying it. She loves to break the train up removing the blocks and having a good bite on them (she is teething!) The wheels fascinate her, she spins them around with her fingers. The train will grow in pleasure for Tabitha as she gets older. She will be able to appreciate the magnetic nature of the blocks and use her fine motor skills to rebuild it time and time again. Overall a brilliant toy just what i would expect from Brio.