Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Red Rose Baby 31 Weeks Update

I'm now 31 weeks pregnant with Red Rose Baby and things are starting to get a little real and scary! Baby three will be arriving in around eight or nine weeks and we're actually bizarrely relaxed. We still have tonnes of organising to do and a few key purchases to make, the biggest being somewhere for our little one to sleep. Apparently I spent my first three weeks at home sleeping in a drawer on the floor but I don't really want to repeat that with our little one!

The last few weeks have been something of  a struggle. My iron levels are low and I've been battling to raise them. I'm taking supplements now and trying to eat an iron rich diet. I'll be having a blood test tomorrow when I see the midwife again so keep your fingers crossed for an improvement. I suffer from anxiety rather a lot when I'm pregnant and was hoping to escape it this time around, sadly I haven't and it kicked in with a vengeance last week. I think a large amount of it was due to me feeling really weary and I've been feeling much better this week after managing to get some rest. 

My SPD has worsened in the last few weeks and I've been really struggling with pelvic pain. I have  a group appointment booked for next week so I'm hoping that will give me some relief from the pain and stiffness. The SPD is making pram pushing almost impossible so LM and I have been using a combination of her walking, using her Trunki ToddlePak or pushing her on her trike, which is much easier than the pushchair as the position to push it is higher. Generally we're having a lot of quiet days at home though which is working out well for both of us.

We've been trying to declutter and get rid of some of our unwanted possessions in the last couple of weeks. It's felt good to give some things away to people who will use them, and to sell others to give us some extra spending money for our newborn essentials. Many of the items are quite bulky too so it's been nice to have a little more room around the place. 

We're now looking forward to the Easter break and no school run. It's Bud's fifth birthday on Easter Saturday so this Saturday, my birthday, will see us entertaining around thirty children at his party. I'm very glad to have lovely family and friends to help with this! 

Here's my latest bump shot. I've been measuring two weeks ahead over the last few weeks and I think this will probably continue until the end, I do have big babies though! I think the photo makes me look bigger than I feel. I think I was bigger with Bud, and I'm around the same as I was with LM. I think we're in line for another nine pounder... eep! All hopes for a diddy seven or eight pound baby are in vain I think.

Red Rose Baby 31 Weeks Update

Time is flying by and I'm sure that, once Easter is over the weeks will speed by even more quickly. I'm looking forward to spending time with my two before the baby's birth and finally, hopefully, deciding on a short list of names. I have one girl and one boy's name in my head but I'm sure they might change. Lots of my Blog Bump Club friends are starting to have their babies and it's exciting to see my timeline filling up with them! I'm hoping physio will help me on Monday, and I'll update on how that goes the next time I check in with Bump.

Win tickets to The Baby Show at the NEC Birmingham

I love The Baby Show. I've been attending since I was pregnant with Bud and have always found the mix of exciting new products and show offers to be a fantastic combination for anyone looking to prepare for the arrival of their new baby or kit out their little ones.

The next exhibition takes place from Friday 15th May until Sunday 17th May, at the Birmingham NEC. The Baby Show is the UK's leading pregnancy and parenting event and is now in it's 13th year and will be showcasing the very best baby and infant essentials alongside innovative and exciting, not-on the high street brands with amazing discounts exclusively for visitors.

Win tickets to The Baby Show NEC Birmingham

Highlights include over 200 trusted brands, from the likes of iCandy, Maxi Cosi, tommee tippee, Milton, Mamas & Papas and Mothercare offering visitors the chance to thoroughly test and try before buying, exclusive discounts, competitions and offers, and catwalk shows with all the latest fashions in maternity, baby and toddler wear.

Expert speakers will also be on hand to give mums and dads advice including nutritionist and author, Annabel Karmel MBE, weaning expert Zainab Jagot Ahmed, breast-feeding guru Clare Byam-Cook, and sleep experts Jo Tantum and Alison Scott-Wright.

Win tickets to The Baby Show at the NEC Birmingham

I've teamed up with The Baby Show to give away Two Pairs of tickets to the show, valid on any day, Friday 15th, Saturday 16th or Sunday 17th May. the show is open from 9:30am to 5pm every day. Check out The Baby Show for lots more information about the show.

To win a pair of tickets please complete the Gleam widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entry options, for more chances to win. Please read the terms and conditions.

The Baby Show Tickets

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

Today I'm handing over to The Party Company who are going to share their top tips to make your Easter party go smoothly. There's also the chance to win a fun Easter prize so make sure you read through to the end!

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

Easter is early this year with Good Friday falling on Friday 3rd April, so there isn't a whole lot of time to grab your chocolate Easter eggs, craft materials, decorations and party supplies. Which is why we thought it would be good idea to share our top time-saving tips for Easter and also run a little ‘flash’ giveaway for a lucky winner to receive some children’s Easter goodies from The Party Company, including an Easter egg hunt kit, colour in egg baskets and bunting, plus little rabbit feet prints to follow.

We love this time of year, the weather is usually improving and the children are off school for a week or two, so it is a great opportunity to enjoy some family time.Of course the kids really look forward to it – mainly for the chocolate eggs, but there are lots of fun activities you can do together and delicious food to make, bake and eat.

Quick Edible Treats

A favourite for children at this time of year are chocolate ‘nest’ cakes with little edible eggs on top and they’re super easy to make but look and taste great!

To make crazy, crackled eggs, simply hard boil the eggs, then roll them around to crack the shells, then re-boil them in water containing food colouring – so easy!

A simple biscuit recipe is easy to mix up and young bakers love our cute biscuit cutters to give their cookies a traditional easter shape.

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

There’s nothing wrong with cheating, either – if you don’t have the time to make your own traditional hot cross buns, these are something you can definitely buy from the bakery.

If you are having a tea party, easter themed plates, cups and napkins really add a pop of colour and some fresh style – don’t forget the gorgeous finishing touches such as traditional stripey yellow straws. Even simple sandwiches and crisps look great when served on themed tableware.

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

Speedy Easter Decorations

Pick some daffodils from the garden or pop to the local florists and set a pretty table with a vase of flowers on top of a spring-like tablecover and you are halfway there!

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

Hang some inexpensive tissue pom poms or floral garlands for instant Easter magic or get the children making paper chains to keep them busy whilst creating some seasonal d├ęcor for the home at the same time.

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

Easter Activities for Kids

If you are busy and short of time, the best thing you can do is get the children creating and crafting at the table.  Easter is a great time to make fluffy cotton wool lambs using toilet roll holders and things like easter chick masks and hats etc.  There are lots of simple, fun ideas on our Easter pinterest board if you need some inspiration and we also sell easter crafting kits in our shop.

If you are planning to do an easter egg hunt, make it easy with an egg hunt kit which will usually contain all the essentials, such as cardboard baskets, fun masks, pointer arrows, stickers and more. Then all you need to do is buy some chocolate eggs and hide them.

Giveaway time!

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

To really get you in the Easter mood and to make life a little easier over the bank holiday weekend, why not take part in our ‘flash’ giveaway.  We are only running this until Monday 30th March, to make sure the winner receives their treats in time for Easter.

The prize consists of:
  • 1 Easter Egg Hunt Kit (containing 6 stickers, 5 pointers, 4 colouring pictures, 4 crayons and 4 masks)
  • 1 pack of Easter baskets (pack contains 4 colour in baskets to fill with Easter goodies)
  • 1 pack of Easter bunting (12 pendants to colour in, with ribbon)
  • 1 pack of Easter Bunny footprints
We've kept it simple to enter, just choose to do any or all of the entry options below and good luck!  The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Tuesday morning.  So come on, what are you waiting for?  Hop to it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag

Changing Bags are one of those very personal new mum essentials. I've always found it hard to find the perfect one that works really well for me and everything I need for my little ones. This hasn't stopped my trying though! As LM is getting bigger I've stopped carrying around a traditional changing bag as much, I'll just stash what I need in a handbag but, with a new baby on the way I need to get back to using a changing bag once more. The people at Caboodle Bags sent over their Everyday Changing Bag for me to try out recently and share my thoughts on with you.

Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag

Caboodle's Everyday Changing Bag is a practical, easy access bag which is designed to carry everything around that you and your baby will need. The Everyday range has been revamped for 2015 with a brand new colour palette which includes grey, teal, black and raspberry. We received the Grey and Teal version of the bag for our review.

First impressions are of a stylish bag. It arrives in a clear plastic dust bag, great for storage or if you are buying the bag as a gift. I love grey and teal, it's a classic colour combination and the teal spot effects is an understated and effective pattern. The outer fabric of the bag has a slightly shiny effect to it and it is made from 'Gucci coated nylon' which should allow any spillages to be easily dealt with.

Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag

The bag has an adjustable webbing shoulder strap. This is the only way to carry this bag but the strap is long enough to loop over the handle of a pram or pushchair. It adjusts using the typical slide mechanism and is long enough to wear across your body too - my preferred way of carrying my changing bag.

Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag

The top of the bag fully unzips to allow easy access to the interior of the bag. This is roomy and includes four pockets including a phone pouch and a zipped pocket for Mum's essentials. The lining has a really pretty grey fabric with a white stars pattern on it and you'll also find two additional pockets in there to help you stay organised.

Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag

Included with the changing bag you will find a travel changing mat which folds into three, a messy bag and an insulated bag which can be used for bottles, drinks or snacks. I'm planning to breastfeed Red Rose Baby but this bag will be really useful for their big sister and brother's snacks and drinks. The mess bag is really handy for dirty clothes or other items you need to take home to wash and the changing mat is a really good size, I find some of those included with changing bags to be very smll but this will adequately cover a public changing station for your baby to be changed in comfort.

Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag

On the outside of the bag you will find two open pockets which close with press studs and a zipped pocket on the back of the bag.

 I really like the Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag. I think the design of the bag allows you to organise yourself really well and I think it will be really useful for when Red Rose Baby arrives. Although the bag is roomy I'm not sure it will be big enough to include everything I need for a day out for three children but it will be more than large enough for day to day use. I do like to have the option of shorter straps on a bag as well as the shoulder strap but I can understand that they wouldn't fit with the design of this bag. Caboodle do have different arrangements on their other bags so I'd recommend looking at their other designs if this is a deal breaker for you.

The Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag is available for just £30 which I think represents really good value for money, especially compared with the price of some changing bags available It's a good quality, well thought out bag and I think we will use it a lot when baby arrives, especially on those everyday, shorter trips out. The range of designs means that I think most people would find one to their taste and Caboodle have two other bag ranges if it doesn't work for you.

To find out more check out the Caboodle website or find them on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: We received the bag for review purpose.

Beautiful New Baby Gifts from the Baby Box Company

New baby gifts can be tricky, especially for those who don't have much experience with newborns but who want to buy something a little more personal than a gift voucher for the nearest baby chain store. The boxed gift market is really expanding and I think it's a concept that works really well for new baby gifts so I was delighted to be invited to try out a gift from The Baby Box Company.

Beautiful New Baby Gifts from the Baby Box Company

The Baby Box Company sell a range of pre-selected boxed gifts and also have the option to make up your own gift, choosing from their range of products incorporating some gorgeous, and some of my favourite baby brands. Helpfully the pre-selected boxes are available in three sizes - according to price, and split into categories based on their contents - Luxury, Fab and Funky, Really Useful, Pure White and Twins. All of the boxes include products for both baby and their mum, which I think is a lovely touch as mum can often be forgotten about in those newborn days. If you opt to create your own box you can choose from the wide range of baby clothes, accessories, toys and treats for mum. 

Beautiful New Baby Gifts from the Baby Box Company Medium Pure White Box

We were invited to choose a box for review and selected the Pure White - Medium Box, which is sold at £25. The contents of this include a white bodysuit printed with a little dog (from their own range), a plain white knotted hat and two white muslin clothes (from the same range), a pair of white Sock Ons, a trio of BeeFayre Bluebell Scented tealights and a set of bath creamers (again from their own range). The gift arrived beautifully presented in a plain cardboard box tied up with bright red ribbon.

Beautiful New Baby Gifts from the Baby Box Company - Pure White Medium Box

I was really delighted with the contents of the Pure White box. I love white baby clothes on newborns and the funky dog design adds a little extra to the bodysuit. Sock Ons are a favourite, and trusted brand in our house and I've used them for both Bud and LM over the last few years. The Mum treats are so beautifully scented that the whole box was fragranced with lavender when it arrived, which just added to the pleasure of the gift. I'm going to be using the tealights and bath creamers over the next few weeks to relax with before Bump arrives. I think it's excellent value for money and a gift where you will use everything included is quite rare but very well received.

Beautiful New Baby Gifts from the Baby Box Company - Pure White Medium Box Contents

If Pure White isn't for you can find some bright and colourful products in the ranges on offer with both Maxomorra and Toby Tiger (two of my absolute favourites) featuring in the baby options, alongside gorgeous printed muslins from Aden & Anais. You can spend as little or as much as you like on the create your own box option and I think receiving one would make most families happy.

I'm so pleased with the gift we received from The Baby Box Company and I've stashed everything away for the arrival of Red Rose Baby. I'll even re-use the packaging box (not as the helpful suggestion of a baby sensory box included with the gift) but as somewhere to keep all of those tiny bits and pieces that newborns need. I would definitely recommend the range if you're looking for a newborn gift, especially if you are planning to post one. 

You can find The Baby Box Company on their website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Disclosure: We received the gift for review purposes. 
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