Itty Bittys from Hallmark - Review and Giveaway

10:23 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Brand new to the UK this October are the Itty Bittys from Hallmark, a range of small soft toys which have been taking the USA and Australia by storm since their launch a couple of years ago. The collectable plush toys are modelled on some of the most iconic film and television characters from the last century and it's so much fun to see your favourite characters in tiny, plush form. The toys have become so popular that sought after editions have been selling on eBay for up to £100, considering they will sell here for £6 that is some demand!

Itty Bittys from Hallmark Launch in the UK

We received a parcel of Itty Bittys from Hallmark and we've all been delighted with them. They measure about four inches in height and are packed with beans in their base which allows them to stand up on their own. You can feel the beans and, actually, whenever I hold an Itty Bitty in my hand I find myself touching the beans, it's quite tactile and relaxing. The plush fabric is beautifully soft which adds to how lovely they feel to hold. Their size makes them perfect to hold in your hand.

Itty Bittys from Hallmark Launch in the UK

Itty Bittys will launch in the UK with Batman from DC Comics the first on to shelves. Never has the Dark Knight been so cute. He arrived in our parcel with Superman and I can envisage a few Batman Vs Superman battles in our house ahead of the big film release next year. There is  a Peanuts range (we were sent Snoopy) and Wizard of Oz set on the way, and I'm fairly sure a Christmas range too as we have a little Santa and Rudolph. All of the figures are beautifully detailed, each with their own Itty Bitty label, and so much fun to play with.

Itty Bittys from Hallmark Launch in the UK

LM and Bud have been delighted with the Itty Bittys and have each claimed their favourites - LM loves Superman while Bud has adopted Batman. My favourite is Snoopy so everyone is happy. I'm sure Santa and Rudolph will enjoy being on display in our home over Christmas. The US Itty Bitty range has over 80 characters so I'm looking forward to seeing how the range expands in UK stores. There is so much potential for different characters to be included! I'm sure these are going to be very popular and I'm already planning to purchase at least one more for Bud and LM, how cute will they look peeking out of a stocking on Christmas morning? At £6 per figure they are good value and I can imagine people will love collecting them.

Itty Bittys from Hallmark Launch in the UK

I've teamed up with Hallmark to offer one of my readers the chance to win an Itty Bitty bundle for themselves (contents to be confirmed). To win please complete the Gleam widget below, the blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entry options, please read the terms and conditions.

Itty Bitty Bundle

Win a Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Bag

09:22 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Regular readers might remember us reviewing the brand new Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Bag a few weeks ago. LM loved this toy and it's one that has been in regular use ever since it arrived, whether using it to check on her soft toys, to see if they are healthy, or on the rest of the family too!

Win a Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Bag Giveaway

The neat blue medical case has gone with LM on countless outings, allowing her to be ready for any eventuality or animal emergency. The vet tools are great for little hands and super stylish with their green glitter.

This is a really lovely role play toy and I'm sure that it will be on a lot of children's Christmas lists this year so I'm delighted to have one to give away to one of my readers. Be quick though as this giveaway will only run for one week and then your chance will be gone.

To meet one of the new characters from the Doc McStuffins Pet Vet episodes please watch the video below:

To enter the giveaway simply complete the Gleam widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entry options. Please read the terms and conditions.

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Bag

Cloggs Sorel Slimshortie Women's Boots

00:11 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I've been on the lookout for a solid pair of winter boots for some time so, when the people at Cloggs got in touch to ask if I'd like to choose a pair of shoes from their range, I knew which section to start my search in. Cloggs have a fantastic range of boots and, while my heart went after some gorgeous patterned Dr Martens I eventually chose the Sorel Slimshortie boots in black.

Cloggs Sorel Slimshortie Women's Boots

If you're unfamiliar with Sorel then you probably won't know that they are renowned as a Canadian manufacturer of hardwearing boots which are perfect for use in bad weather, especially the snow! They have a fantastic range of long lace-up snow boots but I decided to go for a shorter, pull on style in Slimshortie.

These boots look like they are a fashion ankle boot but this belies the thought and quality of them. They are a really sturdy, heavy duty boot which will really help to keep the weather out this Winter. The boots are made from waterproof leather and oiled suede with a webbed strap and buckle detail which wraps around the side of the ankle. The toes of the boots are reinforced with rubber so they aren't going to scuff if I catch my toes on the pushchair (this happens rather too often!)

The sole is amazing. It's made from vulcanised rubber and grips brilliantly. I'm looking forward to trying it out in the ice this Winter and I'm sure I will enjoy the confidence that the extra grip offers me when I'm pushing the pram on the school run.

Cloggs Sorel Slimshortie Women's Boots

I really like the small heel which gives me a little lift but is still really comfortable. An added feature of the boots is the in-built arch support. This is really important to me as I have high arches and really notice the difference when I have extra support in this area.

I've now been wearing these boots for a few weeks and they've come into their own on the rainy school run. I can stomp through puddles to my heart's content without any leakage or water damage to the boots. I've owned a range of different expensive hiking boots over the years and, in terms of protection against the weather, none have stood up to the weather as well as the Sorel boots have. I guess the Canadians really know about boots!

The boots sit just above my ankle in height which is actually a very flattering length, I've worn them with leggings and jeans tucked in to them, tights and jeans worn over the boots and all look great. I can see myself wearing them a lot with thick black tights and skirts or dresses this winter as a change from trousers.

Cloggs really do have an incredible range of shoes and boots on their site and many of them are available at a discount The Sorel Slimshorties boots are currently £35 off their usual price at £84 which I think is an excellent price. I can see these boots lasting all the way through this Winter and a few more to come.

Check out the Cloggs range of brands and shoes available, they offer free delivery until 9pm and often have offers available. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

I was supplied with the boots for review purposes.

Potty Training Help from Thomas & Friends - Review and Giveaway

22:35 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Regular readers will know that LM and I are on our potty training journey but everyone needs a little extra help sometiems so we've been looking at two potty training books from Egmont UK, featuring that favourite little blue engine, Thomas.

Potty Training Help from Thomas & Friends - Review and Giveaway

The brand new range of Thomas & Friends Potty Training Books features two separate titles - Thoma & Friends My Thomas Potty Book and Thomas & Friends Well Done Thomas Activity Book.  The first book talks your child through every stage of potty training, exploring everything you will need to start potty training, whether using a potty or going straight to the toilet. I loved that it included toilet seats and steps as well as traditional potties as LM is a potty refusenik and we've gone straight to the toilet when training her so she recognised the familiar step and seat straight away. Of course it also covers choosing 'big boy and girl pants' too. The book contain a reward chart and stickers which really helps to motivate a toddler, LM loves collecting a sticker every time she sits on the toilet.

Potty Training Help from Thomas & Friends - Review and Giveaway

The Thomas & Friends Well Done Thomas Activity Book isn't specific to toilet training and can be used to reward any particular area of behaviour which you might want to focus on, I can imagine it would be great for helping children to stay in bed at night, for example. It's packed with stickers, rewarrd charts and certificates and centred on telling your child that they have done great, well done.

Potty Training Help from Thomas & Friends - Review and Giveaway

Potty training can be daunting but it's a really exciting time for growing up toddlers. It's a really excellent idea to have books like this in your potty training kit and to have a really familiar character like Thomas to help your child set off in to the unknown of potty training.

Potty Training Help from Thomas & Friends - Review and Giveaway

The books are really lovely and LM and I have loved looking at them and giving out the stickers (every one gets one in our house) as she's started training properly over the past week or so. I'd love to see more books in the range featuring a wider range of characters. LM loves Thomas as her big brother is a huge fan but incorporating a few different characters in to the range would mean that they would be interesting to the vast majority of toddlers.

Potty Training Help from Thomas & Friends - Review and Giveaway

I've teamed up with Egmont UK to offer a set of both books to one of my lucky readers. To enter please complete the Gleam widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entries. Please read the terms and conditions.

Thomas & Friends Potty Training Books

Books received for review purposes.

Dora and Friends Comes to DVD

22:28 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

LM discovered Dora and Friends when we hosted a Twitter Party to celebrate the launch last year and she's been a huge fan of the show ever since. The show sees Dora the Explorer all grown up and living in the city where she goes on lots of adventures with her friends - Pablo, Naiya, Emma, Kate and Alana - and her magic charm bracelet.

Dora and Friends Comes to DVD

Dora has moved to a beachside city named Playa Verde. She is busy with school, volunteering and spending time with her new friends. Playa Verde is no ordinary town. Around every corner, there are portals to magical worlds filled with surprises, obstacles and villains waiting to test Dora and her friends with challenges. Luckily, Dora has new tools to aid her and her friends -like a smart phone featuring Map app and other magical gadgets galore.

The new DVD features four episodes and runs for 88 minutes. The episodes are:
  • We Save a Pirate Ship
  • The Royal Ball
  • The Magic Ring
  • Dance Party
Dora and Friends Comes to DVD

We've seen all of the episodes already but LM will love being able to watch them whenever she chooses, especially her favourite episode - Dance Party.

Dora and Friends on DVD is out now and available from all usual stockists, including Amazon.

Why not check out our review of the Dora and Friends toys?

We received the DVD for review purposes

Schleich Ocean Creatures

11:43 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We love Schleich in our house. Their brand of painted scale model of animals are amongst the most played with toys in our house and this has been the case since we discovered them with Bud a couple of years ago. Last year's main craze was for dinosaurs and the children amassed quite a collection over the course of birthdays and Christmas, and the occasional treat, but this year we've been very keen on sea creatures. The opportunity to review Schleich's sea creatures came at a perfect time for Bud and LM and they were absolutely delighted with their parcel.

Schleich Ocean Creatures Set

We received the following items:
Schleich Ocean Set
Blue Whale
Killer Whale (did you know that they aren't actually whales?)
Blue Shark

Schleich Ocean Creatures Set Blue Whale and Orca Killer Whale

The latter five are the individual models which you find in the Schleich units in their stockists, whereas the Ocean Set is a boxed presentation set which includes four creatures - a shark, seahorse, Manta Ray and sea turtle, The models included in the sets often aren't available individually so they represent a good value way of either completing your collection or buying Schleich for the first time. They are also much easier to wrap - if you've ever sat trying to wrap Schleich dinosaurs on Christmas Eve you'll probably appreciate that! The creatures contained in this set are smaller than those available individually but, at just £14:99 for all four represent excellent value for money.

Schleich Ocean Creatures Set Shark, Dolphin and Sawfish

The five individual models are amazingly detailed. Bud loved talking about the Blue Whale and Orca (he won't call them Killer Whale). These are the largest two models and are beautifully detailed. Perfect for children to really explore the creatures and familiarise themselves with their appearance. Bud and LM asked lots of questions about things like the whale's blowhole and the fins on the fish. The Sawfish was very interesting to them as they had never seen one before so we had to go and look them up on the internet.

Schleich Ocean Creatures Set Seahorse, Manta Ray, Shark and Sea Turtle

We adore Schleich models. They are more expensive than other model animals but I think they are well worth the extra cost. They are such excellent quality and so realistic. Once my children eventually lose interest in them I'll be putting them away in the attic for any future grandchildren to enjoy. They are a truly timeless toy.

Schleich Ocean Creatures Set

To find out more about the range check out the Schleich website. You can find them in all usual stockists including Amazon.

We received the toys for review purposes.

How Long Does it Take to Clean Your Home?

11:17 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Cleaning is one of those never ending tasks. You finish it and it's time to start again. You mop a floor then the toddler comes along and drops her bowl of cornflakes in the centre of the room (true story!). It can seem like something of a thankless task and one that doesn't often get as prioritised as it should in our home.

How Long Does it Take to Clean Your Home?

We tend to do most of our cleaning at the weekend when Ian is at home. I'm busy with the children in the week and he's at work so the washing up and the laundry gets done but the big cleaning jobs are saved for then. Saturday morning is a favourite time. Bud and LM watch TV while we chase around like mad things trying to get the house into some sort of state so we can go about the rest of our weekend and get out and have some fun. Of course vacuuming takes place most days, we do have small children in the house after all!

At the moment we are going through a big declutter and trying to get rid of lots of things that have either outlived their usefulness or no longer fit. With three children around this needs to be kept on top of otherwise we end up being a bit overwhelmed by 'stuff''. Keeping on top of the clutter  means that we can reduce the time we spend cleaning as there's less stuff to move around to get at the important areas  Getting into the children's rooms to do this is crucially important so they can have room to play and we can stand a chance of our lounge not being overwhelmed by their things!

If I think our cleaning is never done, imagine how the people at Karcher feel? Their team is behind cleaning some of the most famous monuments in the world!

How Long Does it Take to Clean the Statue of Liberty?

How long does it take to clean the Statue of Liberty?

Karcher have created a quiz which challenges people to test their geography knowledge by pinpointing some of the famous world monuments that they clean on a map. I can honestly say I'd never considered this before, but someone has to keep Lady Liberty and other monuments looking their best. I can't imagine taking on a project the size of the Statue of Liberty, Karcher must have an excellent team in place. Surely once it is finished it is time to start again. Click HERE to view the quiz and test your knowledge

How long does cleaning your home take?

In association with Karcher.

KD UK Peppa Pig Magic Book Giveaway

18:05 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We are now KD UK Mumbassadors (in case you haven't spotted my new badge) and we're looking forward to testing out their fantastic range of electronic toys and sharing them with you all. LM is currently trying out My First Frozen Tablet and we'll be sharing our review of it in the next few weeks.

KD UK Peppa Pig Magic Book Giveaway

To celebrate KD UK have supplied me with a Peppa Pig Magic Book to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. This would make the perfect Christmas (is it too early to talk about it yet?) gift for the little Peppa Pig fan in your life and I know it will prove very popular with pre-schoolers who love Peppa.

The Peppa Pig Magic Book features an interactive booklet with twenty pages and lots of activities to learn about colours, shapes, numbers, reading and to help develop logic. It even arrives with stickers so your little one can customise their magic book to their own design.

Use the stylus to answer the different questions and, if you touch the heart, Peppa will snort or laugh!

The Peppa Pig Magic Book is suitable for children age 3+ and requires two AAA batteries, which are included. It has an RRP of £14:99 and is available from all good toy stores.

KD UK Peppa Pig Magic Book Giveaway

To have the chance to win the Peppa Pig Magic Book for the little one in your life please complete the Gleam widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entry options. Please read the terms and conditions.

KD UK Peppa Pig Magic Book

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet: Find & Fetch Findo

14:23 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Regular readers will know that we have featured a few Doc McStuffins toys over the past few months and LM loves the range which effortlessly combines little girl friendly role play with the characters from one of her favourite shows. The latest toy from the little Doctor's range that LM has tried out is Find & Fetch Findo from the new Doc McStuffins Pet Vet range.

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet: Find & Fetch Findo

Find & Fetch Findo is an interactive toy based on Doc's new friend from the Pet Vet episodes on Disney Jr. He arrives wearing a cute scarf and with a lead, bone and brush and ready to play once you've inserted the 2 AAA batteries he requires.

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet: Find & Fetch Findo

Findo is super cute. His lead is turquoise with paw prints on it and you can attach his lead to his coller and take him for a walk. He's not too great on carpet but walks well, using the small wheels in his paws, on smoother surfaces like wooden and tiled floors.

To play with his bone simply walk him up to it (aiming for the pink heart) he will 'find' it and pick it up with his nose, using the magnets in both.

The pink sparkly brush can be used on Findo's head, he'll bark in response although we found this a little tricky for LM to be able to do it herself consistently. It's very cute when it works though.

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet: Find & Fetch Findo

LM loves Findo and has been carrying him around since he arrived. She already has the Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Bag and she has been using the tools from that to make him feel better too. We're both huge fans of the Doc McStuffins range generally as it's so easy to combine different toys and play with them together. This is bound to be another hit with fans of the show.

Find & Fetch Findo is available from all good toy stores with an RRP of £29:99.

Toy received for review purposes.

Win the Ultimate Potty Training Bundle from HUGGIES® Pull-Ups®

22:22 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Potty training is underway at Red Rose Towers and LM is making her first proper steps towards becoming dry in the day. As regular readers will know, we are HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® Ambassadors this year and we've been working with them to help LM along her potty training journey. She's getting so much better that we braved a day out recently and I'll be sharing all of our tips for days out during potty training soon.

Win the Ultimate Potty Training Bundle from Huggies

HUGGIES® Pull-Ups are encouraging parents and toddlers to say goodbye to nappies and hello to learning pants! The new learning liner inside HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® allows children to feel wetness for a few moments, before quickly drawing the moisture away. This way, little ones will start to learn the difference between wet and dry and means they can ultimately stay dry on their own.

HUGGIES® Pull-Ups®, specifically designed to make potty training easier, have teamed up with Crayola® and My Carry Potty® to help make sure your child graduates to real undies with ease. Crayola® helps to unlock your child’s artistic potential. Ideal for the smallest of hands the safe and easy to use My First Crayola Jumbo Crayons® come in an array of bright colours and are the perfect tool for the Crayola® My First Colouring Book®. My Carry Potty® serves as the perfect stepping stone in your little one’s potty training journey. The lightweight and leak-proof potty comes in a variety of attractive designs that makes it fun and practical.

Win the Ultimate Potty Training Bundle from Huggies

For your chance to win two packs of HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® day time, two packs of HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® night time, Crayola My First Crayola Jumbo Crayons®, Crayola My First Colouring Book® and a My Carry Potty®, simply complete the Gleam widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entries. Please read the terms and conditions.

Visit for helpful tips and advice and to request your free sample.

Huggies Potty Training bundle

Sponsored Video - The Art of Toddling from M&S

10:02 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Those first steps along the road from crawling to cruising around the furniture, tottering, then toddling, then walking confidently, and eventually running are some of the most memorable moments you experience in those early years of parenthood. Seeing your baby stride out into toddlerhood often causes a real mixture of emotions - pride and wonder, combined with a touch of sadness about the passing of those baby days.

The Art of Toddling from M&S

When I think back to Bud and LM and their first pairs of shoes I remember taking an age to choose. There were so many different features that I considered - flexibility, style, shape, design, colour. Both got their first pair as they started to walk and I found that the shoes helped them along that journey, especially for LM who needed shoes to add stability. It's so important to choose carefully, after all, no matter how quickly their feet grow out of them, you'll keep that first pair for a lifetime (I did anyway). In a few months time I'll be embarking on the first shoes journey again with Little E although the idea of him running around seems a long way away at the moment.

M&S have created a new visual showcase which shows the art of their fashion, the craftmanship, quality and design which goes into every item they sell. This particular video shows the ease of movement and comfort offered by their Walktime toddler shoes. When you buy from M&S you are buying into over a century of quality and tradition and their toddler shoes are designed to support tiny feet in their transition from crawling to running around.

I'd love you to take a look at the video and share your memories of your children's first shoes in the comments. What did you look for? Have you kept their first pair?

To see the rest of the videos in the M&S 'Art of...' showcase, check out their YouTube Channel.

In collaboration with M&S

Crabbkins Baby Accessories Review and Giveaway

13:32 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I love seeking out the quirkier baby accessories to use with Little E and often find them in the handmade so, when Crabbkins Baby Accessories got in touch to offer me one of their gorgeous Nappy Pouch and Wet Wipe Pouch Sets I was delighted to accept. Crabbkins sell a range of handmade accessories from their online store and their mixture of gorgeous fabrics and practical designs make them the perfect addition to any changing bag.

Crabbkins Baby Accessories Review and Giveaway Nappy Wet Wipes Pouch

We were sent the Nappy Pouch and Wet Wipes Pouch set, buying the two items together allows you to save £5 on the individual cost of both. The items are available in a choice of nine different fabrics and you can state your choice by email if you're ordering the set, and whether you would prefer to have two matching items or two different fabrics.

The nappy pouch is a sleeve which holds four disposable nappies of any brand. The pouch is shaped like a sleeve and you pop your nappies in the end of it. There's a button and loop fastener to prevent them from sliding out and the blue elephant print we received is super cute, perfect for a baby boy.

Crabbkins Baby Accessories Review and Giveaway Nappy Pouch

The Wet Wipes pouch is a case for your usual pack of disposable wipes and it will fit any packs that open on the top of the packet. You fit it around your packet of wipes and then you can pop your hand through the hole to pull out a wipe as needed. The packet is lined in waterproof fabric which will protect it from the wet wipes inside. We have the wipes pouch in a beautiful blue floral print and it's a pleasure to carry it around in my changing bag.

Crabbkins Baby Accessories Review and Giveaway Wet Wipes

All parcels from Crabbkins arrive beautifully packaged in tissue paper and tied up with string which makes them perfect to send as a new baby gift, or take along to a baby shower. Why not check out their wider range of accessories which includes changing mats, towels and dummy clips?

Crabbkins Baby Accessories Review and Giveaway Package

I've teamed up with Crabbkins to offer the chance for four of my readers to win either a nappy pouch or wet wipes pouch in their choice of fabric. To enter please complete the Gleam widgte below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entry options. Please read the terms and conditions.

Crabbkins Baby Accessories

These items were provided for review purposes

Liz Earle Superskin™ Face Serum

23:05 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I've been using Liz Earle products for around ten years now, ever since I discovered the Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser and loved the effect it had upon my skin. A decade later, with a new baby bringing sleepless nights, my skin needs a little extra help so the opportunity to try out the new Superskin™ Face Serum couldn't have come at a better time.

Liz Earle Superskin™ Face Serum

Superskin™ Face Serum combines three botanic ingredients -

  • Persian Silk Extract to even skin tone
  • Pomegranate Flower Extract to lift and firm
  • Rhubarb Root Extract to plump and smooth
There are three steps to application. Using clean fingertips, apply one or two pumps to your face then smooth it over your whole face. You then need to press firmly all over your face to aid absorption. This feels a bit strange but I quickly got used to this new part of my skincare regime.

The serum arrives in a metallic silver bottle with pump dispenser. I really like pumps as there is no waste, you can dispense how much you need.The bottle is really stylish and would grace any dressing table. I use two pumps for my face and this is enough for generous coverage. The product has a luxurious texture, you feel like you are doing your skin a favour as you apply it. The serum has quite an unusual fragrance, not unpleasant but it reminds me of the clay facial masks of my teenage years - earthy and herbal. It's quite strongly scented but this dissipates after a few minutes. It's designed to be an extra step in between cleansing and moisturising so you cleanse as normal, use the serum then follow with your usual moisturiser for best results.

I've been using the serum for just over a week and I'm delighted with the results. My skin feels smoother and brighter already and yesterday two people told me I looked really well without any prompting. It's a pleasure to use the serum and it's going to be a part of my skincare routine from now one. This photo is taken without make up and with no filter, I am enjoying how great my skin feels at the moment.

Liz Earle Superskin™ Face Serum

At £48 for 30ml this is a high end beauty product but I think that the bottle will last a long time and, for these results, I think it is worth the price. It actually feels like you are benefiting your skin by using it and it feels like it has improved the effects of my moisturiser too. In combination they are an excellent base for make up, I think my foundation lasts longer when I have used the serum and my moisturiser before applying it.  I really rate Liz Earle products and this is yet another hit product from the range.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Gas Safety Week - Carbon Monoxide Detector Giveaway

10:18 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

This week is Gas Safety Week, it's perfect timing for that nip in the air we've all been feeling as thoughts turn to putting the heating back on. In fact our morning heating has gone back on this week to ensure that the house is toasty warm when we get up for Bud to get ready for school. and I've teamed up with them to offer one of my readers the chance to ensure that their home is protected against Carbon Monoxide leaks. by winning a CO detector for their home.

Every year in the UK, more than 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, and around 40 people die. Small children and the elderly are most at risk. It's known as the Silent Killer as it is odourless and tasteless. You might have no idea you have a problem until it is too late. There are certain things that you can look for in your home that might indicate a Carbon Monoxide issue.
  • The flame on your cooker should be crisp and blue. Yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked.
  • Dark staining around or on appliance.
  • Sooty marks on the walls around boilers, stoves or the cover of gas fires.
  • Pilot lights that frequently go out.
  • Increased condensation inside windows
There are some physical symptoms that can indicate Carbon Monoxide poisoning, as follows:
  • Headaches
  • Feeling woozy or unnaturally sleepy. 
Progressing to:
  • Vomiting and stomach pain, S
  • Shortness of breath
  • Eventual collapse
If you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning turn appliances off, leave your home and get outside. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you think you are in danger ring the National Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 11 999. 

An astonishing 1 in 11 boilers in the UK are estimated to be unsafe so it's crucial that, if you have any concerns, you get your appliances tested. CORGI HomePlan is campaigning for every home to get a carbon monoxide detector, so that they can keep their family safe. These work in much the same was as smoke detectors and will emit an alarm if Carbon Monoxide is detected. We have one in our lounge and it's so reassuring to know that we are protected.  To find out more on how you can protect your home visit CORGI HomePlan

Gas Safety Week - Carbon Monoxide Detector Giveaway

I've teamed up with CORGI Homeplan to offer one of my readers the chance to protect their home by winning their own Carbon Monoxide detector. To enter the giveaway simply complete the GLEAM widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional options. Please read the terms and conditions.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy Doll

12:38 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

LM loves her dollies and she can often be found pretending to feed them, pushing them in her pram or generally playing with them. This has intensified since the birth of Little E and she loves copying me by caring for her dolly in the same way as I look after her brother, When the opportunity came up to review the  new Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy Doll I knew she would be delighted by it.

Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy Doll Blog Review

The boy doll (very definitely a boy) arrives with a range of equipment, a potty, juice box, dummy and two cloths (one for his face and one for his bottom). He requires 3 AA batteries which are fitted into his back by unscrewing a panel. Once you have done this you simply select EN as your language and switch on the doll using the two switches on his back. He's then ready to go.

Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy Doll Blog Review

He's an interactive doll who talks to his 'mama' (so not so great for boys sadly), He will tell the child what he wants and he asks for a hug, a drink, food, to go on the potty and to have his sore tummy rubbed. When he needs cleaning a yellow light will shine around his mouth or on his bottom and you will need to use the cloth to rub the area until the light goes out and he is clean.

Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy Doll Blog Review

When his tummy is sore a red light shines and your child has to rub it until it goes away. He has a full head of hair which is well rooted (great for when he inevitably gets carried around by it) and a t-shirt and nappy which LM loves to take off and put on again. If you lie him down his eyes close as if he's asleep.

Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy Doll Blog Review

LM is absolutely delighted with this doll. He's a really good size and the interactive element really keeps her entertained. He's quite a demanding little fellow and will cycle through his different needs and his forty different phrases at a fair speed. If you need a break from his demands you can pop his dummy in and he will stop talking.

Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy Doll Blog Review

It's an expensive doll at around £50 but it's beautifully made and a fun, interactive experience in baby care for a little girl. LM loves it.

Cicciobello Rumbly Tummy is available from all usual stockists including Smyths Toys.

We were sent the doll for review purposes.

Red Rose Baby - Little E is Three Months Old

13:43 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I'm a little late with this update on tiny boy but he's now hit three months. I always find that a bit of a milestone. The newborn days are behind us now and he's into the baby days properly.

Little E is Three Months Old

Little E is an absolute delight. I know everyone thinks that their baby is but he's a happy, smiley little ray of sunshine and we all adore him. He really does have a winning smile and he shares it with everyone who cares to make eye contact with him, especially if they talk to him.

A photo posted by Pippa Ainsworth (@redrosemummy) on
He had his first set of jabs this month and breezed through them. I'm anticipating a more torrid time with his next set as he will receive the new Meningitis B vaccination then. At ten weeks he started sleeping through the night. He will sleep from around 11pm to around 7am most nights. I was a bit shocked by this as I thought his sister was a one off. She slept through the same at around five weeks, something that everyone tells me is unusual in breastfed babies, but I seem to have been lucky enough to get another great sleeper. Both have done much better than Bud ever did - he didn't sleep through until he was nine months old and was a year old before he managed it consistently! Little E is feeding well and gaining weight, I haven't taken him to the clinic to be weighed but he was around fourteen pounds at twelve weeks (based on the highly unscientific scales trick).

A photo posted by Pippa Ainsworth (@redrosemummy) on
Family life has settled down a little with the school holidays in full force but three is still something of a shock. A couple of friends told me that going from two children to three was hard but I underestimated how hard it truly is. There's been so many occasions when I have felt the need to split myself into two or three, Bud or LM will need something and Little E will be crying, or I will be feeding him and LM will be trying to sit on my lap at the same time. Sometimes she will cry because I can't give her the attention she needs at that particular moment which is really difficult.

We've had a few adventures in August, including Little E's first festival and museum visit. I'm finding it difficult to get out with all three children on my own so we try to fit as much in to Ian's time off as we can.

Little E loves his siblings. They see his biggest grins and the cause of the excited wriggles that are so sweet. He's not rolling over yet but I don't think it will be too long. He's a big baby and I think they are often slower. If I leave him in one place he won't be in the same position when I return and seems to move imperceptibly across his play mat. He's strong and pushes through his feet if you hold him upright, I think he may be an early walker but we will see, not too early I hope!

What's Happened? What's Happening? #WHWH 10/09/2015

07:00 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

The last week or two has all been about fitting a few final days out into the summer holidays and getting ready for the start of the new term.  Both our families love the outdoors so we have been making the most of the summer and getting out and about visiting local parks, camping and exploring the countryside. It was lovely to see so many linked up posts showing outdoor adventures so we've chosen a nature theme for this weeks round up.  We really enjoyed reading about Life with Naomi's Hedgerow Safari at Gazegill farm near Rimmington. It sounds like a really fun activity that both our families would enjoy. There are some beautiful pictures of a pair of baby shrews and a young toad that you must check out. If you live in the area I would suggest contacting the farm and finding out when the next free event is planned.

The second post we are featuring is In the Playroom's write up of their day at Drusilla’s Park in Sussex. As our children love animal this seems to be an ideal place to visit if we are ever in the area as it offer lots of interactive activities from sensory trails to the zoolympics. As well as interactive walk through animal exhibits both our girls would adore the Hello Kitty Secret Garden, Europe's only Hello Kitty themed attraction!

What's Happening? was a little lonely last week however we loved We're Going on an Adventure's Ten Reasons Why York Maze is Amazing, with the puntastic laughs, the money back map and the friendly staff, it's somewhere that's certainly on our must do list for the future.

What have you been up to? What are you planning?

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