A Day at the Duck Race

00:13 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

A charity duck race is held in the Spinningfields area of Manchester every year on Good Friday. I've only been dimly aware of it in the past but now, as Red Rose Daddy works in that area, we are kept well informed of what's happening.

The Spinningfields Duck Race is held to raise money for Brainwave. This is a national charity which works with children with brain injuries aged from six months to twelve years, offering them physical and cognitive development therapy programmes.

We had lovely sunshine today, even if it was bitterly cold, so it was pleasant to stand beside the River Irwell and watch the ducks glide down the river (some more elegantly than others). Bud was particularly taken by the larger ducks from the corporate duck race which had all been dressed up for a 'Best Dressed Duck' contest.

Spinningfields Manchester Corporate Duck Race Ducks 2013 Best Dressed

We saw two duck races, a corporate one and a family one. We had four ducks in the family race but none of ours were prize winners. Shame as I would have enjoyed winning any of the prizes I think! They weren't the speediest of races and I think a sports commentator would have struggled but we enjoyed watching the ducks lazily drift downstream. 

Ducks Racing Duck Race Spinningfields Manchester 2013 for Brainwave

The races were started by Catherine Tyldesley from Coronation Street who had been filming that morning  The air was alive with the sound of duck quacks as duck whistles were on sale and we couldn't resist getting one for Bud. He didn't actually want to blow into it himself so his Daddy and I ended up doing it for him. There was lots going on in Spinningfields and it was very busy with lots of families enjoying the cold Easter sunshine.

Catherine Tyldesley Starts the Duck Race Spinningfields Manchester 2013 Corporate wooden ducks whistle quack

We really enjoyed our afternoon in Spinningfields watching the Duck Race, I can see this becoming a family tradition for future Good Fridays and it was great to know that we were also supporting a fantastic charity in doing do. Bud was a little giddy and slept for two hours when we got home! So many ducks is obviously tiring.

Friday 29//3/2013 Ducks (149/365)

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Rubber Ducks Duck Race Fancy Dress Charity SPinningfields Manchester Brainwave

I have a post about our visit to the Duck Race which will explain why Mr T was racing!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday 28/3/2013 Little Monkey (148/365)

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Baby girl dressed up monkey outfit hat tail

Wednesday 27/3/2013 No Photos Please! (147/365)

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Baby girl no photos please

Tuesday 26/3/2013 Clocking On (146/365)

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Children playing People's History Museum Manchester Factory Machine

Hevea Natural Rubber Panda Teether - A Review

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Teething is always a stressful time for parents. Thankfully Bud didn't suffer too much, his first two teeth took me completely by surprise when they popped out almost overnight! Little Miss started showing signs of teething a few weeks ago. Her gums are really hard and sometimes I catch a glimpse of white in them.

Little Miss enjoys biting at the moment, she'll bite on anything she can get to her mouth. It's a good job the teeth aren't there yet as, when she chomps on a finger, you can really feel it! Recently we were sent a Hevea Natural Rubber Panda Teether and I've been trying to replace other plastic toys, and our fingers for Little Miss to chew on.

Hevea Natural Rubber Panda Teether Teething baby

Hevea teethers are different from other teethers:

  • They are BPA, Phthalte and PVC free
  •  Have a hygenic, solid design which eliminates bacteria and can be sterilised in boiling water
  • Made from extremely strong and elastic natural rubber
  • Gently textured surface which provides a soothing sensation
  • Unique design with grooves and buds to help irritated gums
In addition to all these benefits, Hevea supports the World Wildlife Fund by donating £1 for every teether sold. 

Hevea Natural Rubber Panda Teether Textures Both Sides

Little Miss has really taken to this teether. It's light enough for her to hold it herself and the shape of it means that she can grip it tightly and doesn't lose it as much as other teething toys we have tried. She can easily bring it to her mouth too. The textured surface of the teether seems to be a hit and she will chew on it. I was slightly anxious about the join between the panda's arms and legs and the body of the teether and wondered if it would degrade but, after a couple of weeks use, it is showing no signs of doing so. It's so reassuring to know there are no nasty things in the teether and that it's safe for Little Miss to chomp on as much as she likes.

Baby girl playing teething Hevea Natural Rubber Panda Teether

The Hevea teether is available from bebecatalog where it features in their wide range of essential baby items. 

Disclaimer: We received this teether for the purpose of this review,all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spring Cleaning in Preparation for a Home Overhaul

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I'm quite excited at the moment. It feels like we are starting to get our home organised. I don't know if it is the onset of our absent Spring but we've been doing a lot of organising, throwing out and recycling in our house over the last few weeks.

Bud will be moving into his 'big boy bedroom' in the next couple of weeks. His Daddy and I have a great deal of work to do before that can happen though. His room is currently our 'spare' room. In other words, our junk room. We stash everything in there and most purchases spend a bit of time in that room before we find a home for them elsewhere. When Bud takes up residence this won't be possible anymore so we need to clear out the clutter. I'm looking forward to sharing a few more blog posts as we go through the whole process of creating my boy's first proper room.

I've been looking at ways to make a bit of extra cash while we go through this decorating process. Some of our unwanted possessions have found their way on to our local Facebook selling groups, with some success. I've also been sorting out some of our old, no longer used phones and gadgets and looking at ways to recycle my partner's old Samsung Galaxy S and my old HTC Wildfire. They are just taking up room at the moment and are both in good condition. Apparently they might be worth a good sum so I'll definitely be sending them off soon. It will be nice to make a little money to add some lovely animal-themed decorative items to Bud's room when he moves in. We already have cushions, throws, some wall stickers and a fantastic crocodile shelf but I have picked out a mural that I would love for the wall and I think it would be quite fitting for the junk from our spare room to fund that room's makeover.

The lack of spare room will mean that we need to keep on top of the clutter from this point forward. I'm going to try to not allow items that we no longer need to linger. We don't have the space and there are so many ways to either turn them in to cash or help someone else out with them. All Bud and Little Miss' old clothes and equipment go to my brother and his family as they have boys who are a bit smaller than Bud and are expecting a Daughter in May. Passing boxes to them really is the easiest way of clearing out the house and it's great to see their clothes and baby items being reused.

Do you recycle your old gadgets? What do you do with your children's clothes when they are too small?

This is a Sponsored Post.

Monday 25/3/2013 Really? (145/365)

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Baby Girl six months old purple polka dots

Sunday 24/3/2013 Daffodils (144/365)

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Daffodils open bloom

Saturday 23/3/2013 Marble Run (143/365)

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Small Boy Galt Toys Marble Run Playing

Friday 22/3/2013 Bedtime Story (142/365)

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Alfi Beasti Bedtime Story book small boy laughing reading Daddy

GlamourMom Nursing Bra Vest Top - Review and Giveaway

23:11 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Breastfeeding vests are a staple of my wardrobe these days. I love them because they offer me a great base layer and make it easy to feed discretely out and about. It can be difficult to find nursing vests offered in any other colour than black, white or grey though. I tend not to wear black as it doesn't suit me and white isn't the most practical colour with a baby and toddler around so I tend to go for grey. I'd much prefer to be able to choose vests in bright colours that I can match and contrast with dresses, shirts or jumpers on top.

More 4 Mums are always adding to their range and have recently introduced a brand from America called GlamourMom. They offer a range of nursing clothing including two vests. As I'm a guest blogger for More 4 Mums I was sent a GlamourMom Nursing Vest Tank Top to try out. I was delighted to see that the vests are available in a range of five different colours - red, black, grey, purple and blue stripe. It's so great to see this choice of colours, much better than I've seen on the high street.

GlamourMom Nursing Vest Breastfeeding Black

I love red and as I don't have a nursing vest in that colour I was pleased to be sent it. The vests are available in four sizes (small, medium, large and X-Large). I chose the X-Large vest which fits well. I think the Large would have fitted me too (I'm a size 14-16 on top) 

GlamourMom Nursing Vest Breastfeeding Red

The vest is made from 92% cotton, with 8% elastane for stretch. There is a fully fitted nursing bra which is firmly attached and breathable with the aerated panel that can be seen in the central photo again. The spaghetti straps are adjustable and the front of the vest clips to the base of the straps with a slide clip that sits flush and very flat against the strap.

GlamourMom Nursing Top in Red Breastfeeding Worn

The vest is really comfortable to wear. The strap arrangement is less bulky than others I have worn which means it is more comfortable and looks better when worn beneath other clothing. The thickness of the fabric ensures that it is supportive and holds everything in well. I also really like the length of the top as I sometimes find vests sit on my waistband which leads to them riding up. This one looks great. It is more than supportive enough to wear without a bra underneath as the attached nursing bra really does offer the necessary support. I've often worn nursing vests with a nursing bra underneath but haven't had to with this top.

I've now washed this vest several times and it has washed beautifully. The warm, rich colour hasn't faded at all. I'm so pleased with this vest and it has quickly become a wardrobe staple. It offers me the ability to feed discretely when I'm out and about and I find it more comfortable than any of my other vests.

More 4 Mums have offered me the opportunity to give away one of these vests or one of their GlamourMom  Transition Maternity and Nursing Bra Tops, these are available in white, grey and black in the same four sizes as the nursing vest and are designed to be worn throughout pregnancy and afterwards. Perfect for packing into a hospital bag and so comfortable to wear in those first days of breastfeeding. The winner will be able to choose from the two tops - the Nursing Vest or Transition Vest.

To enter simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter gadget below. Please ensure you take notice of the Terms and Conditions at the bottom.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Thursday 22/3/2013 Popcorn (141/365)

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Freshly Popped Salt Black Pepper Popcorn

Wednesday 20/3/2013 Popping (140/365)

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Small boy toddler popping bubble wrap

Tuesday 19/3/2013 Dolly (139/365)

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Baby girl holding her Lamaze Doll Dolly

LEGO Legends of Chima 4D Movie Xperience at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester

23:01 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Last week we were invited to attend a preview screening of the brand new LEGO Chima 4D Movie Experience at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Manchester. Bud and I went with his two cousins and we had a great time. We've never visited the centre before, I've always thought Bud was too young but we really enjoyed our trip and we'll definitely visit again.

We arrived a little early and spent time exploring the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. I'm sure we'll be visiting again so I'll write about that another time as we were all keenly awaiting the 6:15pm showing of the new film. I think Bud would probably have been quite happy if we'd just sat in the foyer of the centre where he could sit down and play with Duplo but we took our seats just on time.

Small boy playing LEGO Duplo LEGOland Discovery Centre Manchester entrance

The new Legends of Chima film is a twelve minute long movie Xperience which follows four young animals as they embark on a tour of the world of Chima with Plovar the Parrot. They rapidly get drawn into a battle between the Lions and the Crocodiles who have stolen some CHI. Their desire to assist the Lions to take back the CHI leads them, and us the viewers, on a whirlwind ride across the Chima landscape. You are flown over mountains and under waterfalls with the accompanying snow, water, light and wind effects to make it seem real! I was sitting next to The Brick Castle's Boy Three and he excitedly identified all the different LEGO Chima playsets featured in the film, they were very impressed by how easy it was to spot the different sets. The film lasted twelve minutes which was perfect for Bud, he was utterly entranced by it, but really engaging for my niece (12) and nephew (9) who both really enjoyed it too. It was actually my first 4D film experience and I was very impressed, especially with the very realistic snow fall that fell on us during the ride through the mountains! I had to hold Bud's glasses on his nose throughout the film. It turns out that 3D glasses aren't really built for soft toddler noses.

Small Boy 3D Glasses LEGO Legends of Chiman 4D

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and I think we will definitely return again soon, especially as I know it is toddler friendly. Red Rose Daddy is keen to visit and I think him and Bud will have lots of fun together there. We'll definitely be taking in the film again then too.

Small Boy LEGO Racing Car LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester

LEGO Legends of Chima 4D Movie Xperience is showing exclusively at LEGOLAND Resorts and Discovery Centres. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester can be found at Barton Square at the Trafford Centre Manchester and is open daily from 10am until 7pm. Check out their website for details of their special events calendar. 

Children's Crocs from Jelly Egg - A Review

23:14 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Bud's feet grow like weeds. He is continuously growing out of shoes and I am always frustrated by the lack of choice available for boys' shoes in the high street. I like him to have a smart pair of shoes and a pair of trainers at the very least and I'm always on the look out for funky sneakers for him.

To me Crocs were those plastic shoes that people wear on the beach, Bud has had them before and they've been great for him to run around in the garden and water in. When I was invited to choose a new pair from Jelly Egg online shoe store I was pleasantly surprised by the range available. As well as the traditional Crocs style sandals there were boots, fur lined slippers and sneakers too! I fell in love with the Crocs Hover Sneak range and I chose a red pair for Bud.
Red Crocs Hover Sneak Shoes
The shoes arrived quickly and were well packaged. The upper is a robust canvas whereas the sole is made from Crocs' Croslite material. I'm used to sneakers being heavy soled but these are so light. They weigh very little and I'm confident that the cushioning in the sole means they must be comfortable. Bud is incredibly resistant to new clothes and shoes. It seems to be some kind of awkward phase so I had to persuade him to put them on. Once on he was suddenly very pleased with his new shoes, pronouncing them 'smart and red and bouncy!' We aren't used to having laces in Bud's shoes so fastening them for him has taken a little getting used to. The laces are good quality and the eyelets they feed through are really well fixed. The shoes are quite wide around the toe. We got the size nine because Bud was in between eight and nine at the time of ordering and they fitted well with space for him to grow. The laces hold the foot in well when they are fastened. If I had any criticism it would be the laces, I find them slightly too long for a toddler's shoes but double knotting usually solves the issue. 

Bud was straight out into our front garden wearing them and has worn them frequently ever since. I love the colour pop of the red when worn with coloured jeans and Bud loves that they are easy to wear. His Daddy bough him two Jibbitz as the shoes have a little plastic runner on the laces where you can add a shoe charm. You can actually add these to your order when buying from Jelly Egg but we bought them later and Bud now has a dinosaur on each shoe. 

Red Crocs Hover Sneak Shoes Small boy

I've been really impressed with the quality of these Crocs Hover Sneak shoes and my first experience of the wider range of Crocs available.  Jelly Eggs have a full range of Crocs for Men, Women and Children. 

Disclaimer: We were sent these shoes for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Busy Weekends and New Bedrooms

00:03 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We have had such a busy weekend. It was Red Rose Daddy's birthday yesterday so we've spent a lot of time preparing for an influx of visitors. We always have friends and family over for birthdays in our family. We have three within three weeks (starting yesterday) so we try to mix it up with how we cater for everyone. Yesterday we had a big takeaway, cake and drinks. It is always lovely to get the family together and I love watching Bud play with his cousins and seeing Little Miss get fussed over by everyone.

Chocolate Swiss Roll Birthday Cake

The party really encouraged us to do a bit of spring cleaning. We've all been so busy recently that cleaning and housework has taken something of a back seat. Our shoe storage situation has become desperate and we have started to have to clamber over them to get upstairs! Clothes have also been taking over and I've been sorting out boxes to pass on to Bud's cousins. There are two boys who are a bit smaller than Bud and a baby girl is due in May so all our outgrown clothes go to their house now. We're also preparing to decorate Bud's new bedroom so it's really important for us to start getting rid of some junk and making some space. Bud's new room is currently our spare room and is crammed full of everything that doesn't fit anywhere else. It's a large, spacious room and will be a great new bedroom for him. This will also solve some of the issues we have with our lounge which is currently crammed with toys. I plan to rotate the toys so we have a selection downstairs with the bulk of them upstairs in his bedroom. This will mean we can reclaim our lounge as more of an adult space, it is currently part-playroom, part-lounge! 

We are planning a jungle themed bedroom for Bud and I've been saving ideas on a Pinterest board. I'm really looking forward to it all coming together. The walls are going to be green and I've been looking at the huge wall murals you can buy for one of the walls. I'd love one that features lots of animals, I think it would look wonderful. Lots of animal themed accessories should tie it all together nicely.

Of course Bud moving into the big room means that Little Miss will be moving into his old room. Our nursery is a lovely, peaceful room that should be fine for a little girl. I may have to look at getting some pretty stickers to make it slightly more girly but we shouldn't have to redecorate. This is quite a relief as I think Bud's room will be a big project! When all the decorating and moving around is done Red Rose Daddy and I will be in our own bedroom again. That's a room that could do with a lovely makeover too. In fact I saw some beautiful pale blue birdcage wallpaper today which would look amazing on one wall. My partner wasn't too keen on it so I might have to persuade him, or plan a shopping trip for us both to choose an alternative.

I'm starting to look forward to spending some time and working on the house. I'm hoping that, within a few months, we'll have some lovely newly decorated rooms for us all to enjoy.

Disclaimer: This post contains a sponsored link

Monday 18/3/2013 Driver (138/365)

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Driver Dog Golden Retriever Driving Van Motor Home Car

I saw a Golden Retriever driving a motor home today. Well, the vehicle was parked but he really did look like he was in charge. He even had a paw ready on the horn.

Sunday 17/3/2013 Partied Out (137/365)

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Baby girl fast asleep shoulder

Saturday 16/3/2013 Self Portrait (136/365)

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Baby Girl Mother Mummy Self Portrait

Friday 15/3/2013 Peaceful (135/365)

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Baby girl sleep peaceful fingers

Thursday 14/3/2013 3D (134/365)

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Kids Children wearing 3D glasses cinema film

We've been to a preview of the new LEGO Chima film at the LEGOland Discovery Centre with the cousins. I left Little Miss with her Grandma for the first  time. That was strange! We had a lovely evening and Bud loved the 3D glasses. 

Now You Are Six Months Old

14:54 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Dear Little Miss

You are now six months old. I can't quite believe how quickly these months have passed. It seems like days since we brought you home from the hospital on your third day of life. A surprise little girl instead of the boy that we were sure we were expecting. I had secret thoughts that you were a girl throughout my pregnancy but shared them with no-one as I was convinced your brother was a girl and didn't want to be wrong again! Your pregnancy was completely different though. You wriggled more (you probably had more room), my bump was smaller and I was so, so sick!

It's a cliché that second children fit right in and are easier than the first. I think that's usually down to parents having a bit more confidence and knowing how to handle a newborn! This was completely true in our case. You've been the easiest baby. You are a happy and pleasant girl who rarely cries. You smiled early and have hardly stopped since. Everyone falls in love with you and comments on what a lovely baby you are. You make me and your Daddy so proud! You've slept from midnight until 8am most nights since you were three weeks old. That took me a while to get used to as your brother didn't sleep through regularly until he was nine months old!

I sometimes feel a little guilty that I don't have the same time for you as I did for your brother. He tends to take over a little. He loves you so much though. I know he is rough with you and that he sometimes makes you cry but he is always so sorry. He doesn't know his own strength and doesn't realise how little you are. We are sure you will run rings around him when you get bigger so I'm sure you will get your own back on him then.

You are becoming a busy little bee who loves to play with her toys and some clear favourites are coming to the fore. Your Lamaze dolly and interlocking rings go everywhere with us. You love being on your baby gym and have recently started to enjoy the Jumperoo, although it always tires you out. You still won't roll over  much but can sit for a few seconds unaided. I'm convinced you may crawl before you roll regularly. Your legs are strong and I think you will walk early. I enjoy watching you on the floor as you manage to wriggle towards anything that you want, it's a slow process but you always get there in the end.

Your Daddy has come around to your name. He didn't like it at first but agreed that it did suit you. Grandad has too despite him disliking someone with your name. I love it, it is classic and elegant and I hope it will suit you as you grow. You are showered with so much love from your family and our friends and your nature makes everyone smile.

You are my little sunbeam, happy half birthday beautiful girl.

With all my love,
Mummy xx

Baby girl photos six months old photo per month

Wednesday 13/3/2013 Gingerbread (133/365)

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Gingerbead Biscuits Easter Rabbits Cookies Birds

Megson 'When I Was a Lad' - A Review

23:26 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I've blogged many times before about music and my abiding love for it. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to introduce my children to music and to ensure that they enjoy it as I did. As a child I was surrounded by music. My Dad was a passionate fan of  everything from 70s glam rock to Irish folk music and I've inherited many of his favourites and, of course, found my own. I have strong memories of singing along to all kinds of songs on family trips and the radio was always on.

I'm always on the look out for music to share with Little Miss and Bud and keen to find music away from the standard range of character-driven children's CDs that we can enjoy together. I was sent a copy of 'When I Was a Lad' by Megson for us all to listen to.

Megson When I Was a Lad CD Cover

Megson are an award winning folk duo, Debbie and Stu Hanna, who have recently welcomed their baby daughter, Lola Wren. They sought to combine their new parenthood with their love of music and came up with an album of traditional and original children's folk songs.

Track Listing:
1. Bee-o
2. All The Shops Have Fallen Down
3. Jenny Jenkins
4. Oats & Beans & Barley Grow
5. The Riddle Song
6. Me Fathers Farm
7. Dance To Your Daddy
8. Baby & The Band
9. The Leatherwing Bat
10. A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go
11. Five Little Ducks

We've really enjoyed listening to this CD. I was aware of Megson before listening although I've never owned any of their music I have enjoyed what I have heard before. We constantly have children's CDs on now as Bud regularly requests 'my music' so I added this to the rotation. The inclusion of songs like Dance To Your Daddy and Five Little Ducks was great as these were songs he knew with new arrangements and original compostiions like Baby & The Band have had us all singing along after just a few listens. Bud loves this song especially and shouts along with the chorus.

From a 'grown ups' point of view this CD is beautifully presented. The music is excellent and the Hannas' voices blend wonderfully together. I can see us enjoying it with or without the children. 

Megson are touring the UK this Summer. Visit Megson Music for more information. 

Disclaimer: We were sent this CD for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and unbiased. 

Making Bedtime Child’s Play (Guest Post)

00:07 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

At the end of a long evening, all you might be thinking about is climbing into bed and calling it a day. Unfortunately, the kids might be more interested in their toys than settling down! To avoid you feeling exhausted the next morning and your children feeling grouchy, here are some top tips to ensure you all get a good night’s sleep.

Baby girl sleeping deeply

Establishing a routine
Getting children used to a good sleep routine from a young age can be vital as they move towards their teens, with lack of sleep affecting academic performance. It’s important to note that as children get older they need less sleep, with five to nine-year-olds needing between eleven and ten hours a night, although the exact number varies with the individual.

Consistency is a particularly important aspect when implementing a bedtime routine with children. Childcare experts recommend a routine that lasts between thirty and forty five minutes, and which focuses on calming your child to prepare them for bed. Think about stopping playtime at least an hour before bedtime, and likewise with any time to watch TV.

Keeping your child safe and sound
It is also important to put children to sleep in the place they will spend the night so that they can feel secure when falling asleep alone. When buying your child’s bed, involve them in the process and make it sound like a treat. The range of kids’ beds at Littlewoods includes fun designs and styles which incorporate storage where children can keep toys. This can be useful during bedtime, since putting away toys used for daytime play signifies to your child that it is time to wind down.

Allow children one security toy so they can feel secure, without being overexcited. Children need to feel that bed is somewhere they can be safe while sleeping.

Implementing a bedtime routine is, of course, easier said than done! However, with perseverance it will lead to more sleep and brighter mornings for you and your child.

Tuesday 12/3/2013 Cactus (132/365)

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Easter Red Flowering Cactus Flowers

I'm terrible with house plants. They die. I try hard but our house seems to be somehow toxic towards them. This is the only one that survives. It's a Christmas cactus that my Mum bought for us at Christmas in 2010. It thrives. It has flowered at every Christmas and Easter since we bought it (yes, it's slightly early this year) and gets more beautiful each time. I love it.

The Jelly that Wouldn't Wobble - a Video Review

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We have been reviewing The Jelly that Wouldn't Wobble by Angela Mitchell, and illustrated by Sarah Horne for Izziwizzi Kids Playfest.

The book is available at all usual stockist and Amazon.

If you'd like to join in with Playfest then you can follow #Playfest on Twitter every Tuesday night from 8:30 - 10pm or on Facebook every Thursday night at the same time. 

Monday 11/3/2013 Quick Nap (131/365)

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Baby Girl Sleeping Jumperoo Fisher Price

We got Bud's old Jumperoo out this weekend. Little Miss loves it but finds it very tiring. She fell asleep in it again today.

Sunday 10/3/13 Oh! (130/365)

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Baby girl jake doll toy

Considering New Cars

12:51 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Ever since we became a car-free family we have become a little obsessed with new cars. We talk a lot about what we'd like from a new vehicle and what kind of car would work best for our little family. I'd quite like a seven seater as we transport family quite often and, with a toddler and a baby, travelling light is virtually impossible so a roomy car would be great. Red Rose Daddy, however, has his eye on a sporty saloon as this is the kind of car he has driven since passing his test,

There are so many things to consider when buying a car at the moment. The running costs of insurance, road tax and fuel have an impact upon every family budget and that's after buying your wheels in the first place.

I try to live in as environmentally friendly way as I can and I've been looking at a range of different hybrid cars recently. There is a range of cars which are powered by a diesel engine and an electric motor, for example. These cars are in the lowest bands for road tax so are exempt for the first year and low cost going forward from there. It's important to make savings wherever possible in the current financial climate and reducing esssential costs is a great way of doing so.

I'm still not sure what kind of car we will purchase later in the year but I know we will try to be as smart as we can about it and will be checking vehicle tax rates and insurance costs before we commit to a purchase. We don't want any nasty surprises from the automatic costs incurred by car ownership.

Saturday 9/3/2013 Ready to Go (129/365)

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Comic Relief fundraising jelly bath before

Today's Project 365 photo is a little cheat as Red Rose Daddy actually took the photo. It shows me and Jenny from The Brick Castle before our jelly bath for Comic Relief. If you'd like to view the video of the fun we had you can see it here and, if you enjoy that our sponsorship page is still open and can be viewed there too!

Our Jelly Bath for Red Nose Day

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Today we went off to The Brick Castle Towers (see what I did there?) to put our Red Nose Day fund raising plans into action.

Jenny and I sat in a paddling pool filled with Gelli Baff while I read 'The Jelly that Wouldn't Wobble' and Jenny's older children threw jelly at us. We laughed so much and we hope we fulfilled the remit to 'do something funny for money'. Everyone had lots of fun and it was especially lovely to see how well Bud played with Jenny's Boys 3 and 4, they are becoming great friends.

If you've enjoyed our efforts then Our Red Nose Day Giving Page is still open. We'd love it if you sponsored us!

The Puckababy GoGo - A Review

00:54 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

It can be really tricky keeping my two wrapped up. Both of them are quite warm generally. They get this from their daddy, I'm always cold. Bud continually sheds clothes and kicks off duvets and I check on him often after he has gone to bed, especially since he stopped wearing a sleeping bag. Little Miss is very similar and often kicks off her blanket when in the pram or car seat.

One of the trickiest ways to keep them warm is in the car. Thick coats aren't advised in car seats as they can stop the straps working as efficiently as they should in the event of an accident but in cold weather or on short journeys they do need an extra layer to keep them warm. Little Miss will kick off her blanket in the car. I was invited to try the Puckababy GoGo Kidz Jacket, a super soft sleeveless jacket which offers freedom of movement and warmth to the adventurous baby or toddler. It's like a blanket that can be worn so will keep a little one warm even if they don't like to be covered up.

Puckababy GoGo Kidz
The jacket resembles a hooded towel with a large pointed hood and a curved bottom. It fastens with a chunky big button and has a cute little pocket. It is made from a beautifully soft, furry microfibre (described by Puckababy as Teddysoft, and it really is!)

The Puckababy GoGo Kidz is designed for children aged from nine months upwards. For younger babies they also sell the Puckababy GoGo Newborn which works more like a swaddling cloth. Little Miss is now six months old but she is a very long baby so the Kidz works better for her. The armholes and hood are designed to grow with your child. I've tried this on Bud and it does fit him, a large nearly three year old, and would provide a lovely warm layer for him but he pronounced it 'for babies' and refused to wear it further. Just my boy to a tee at the moment!

I've been putting our Puckababy GoGo on Little Miss regularly recently, usually instead of a blanket. The other day we had a disastrous nappy change necessitating a full change of clothes. I popped the GoGo on Little Miss while I grabbed some new clothes for her. The house was warm and it provided her with enough of a layer to keep her warm. Generally she wears it in the car seat or if we pop across the street to her aunt and uncle's house. I am always confident that she is snuggly and warm wearing it and, if in the car seat we can tuck the end in around her legs well. Obviously there aren't any arms in the GoGo Kidz but this isn't an issue. In fact, on a really cold day you could pop it on underneath a coat to keep your child really warm. Bud and Little Miss both have waterproof suits and I think this represents a perfect solution for that extra layer of warmth in between clothes and the outer layer. It works really well. 

Baby Girl Puckababy GoGo Kidz Jacket

I can imagine that we will get a great deal of use from this little jacket as Spring and Summer arrive. It will be perfect to stash in my changing bag or underneath the pram for if a warm day turns a little cooler. As I mentioned earlier in this post, this jacket does fit Bud so I'm confident that Little Miss will get at least another three years from this. A great investment purchase for your little adventurer. I love how snuggly and cozy she looks in the jacket. It washes beautifully too.

The Puckababy GoGo Kidz is available in two colours, Teddy Grey (as shown in our photos) and Teddy White and is available from the Puckababy website for £31:95, with free UK delivery. Puckababy also have a great range of baby sleeping bags. 

Disclaimer: I received this item free of charge for review purposes, all opinions are honest and unbiased.

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