Peter Rabbit - Tales of the Start of Spring on DVD Review and Giveaway

12:39 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

LM loves Peter Rabbit. She's an avid fan of the adventures of Peter, Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail and loves watching them outwit Mr Tod and Tommy Brock. The catchy theme tune will always bring her running to see what the friendly rabbits are up to now.

Peter Rabbit - Tales of the Start of Spring on DVD Review and Giveaway

We recently received the brand new DVD Peter Rabbit - Tales of the Start of Spring to review and LM was delighted. She was so excited to see her favourite on the cover and we had to watch it straight away. Released on Monday 30th March the DVD is timed perfectly to be offered as an alternative gift for Easter, or simply a Spring treat for your little ones.

The DVD features over 100 minutes of all action bunny adventures, including the special 22 minute long episode 'The Tale of the Start of Spring' alongside The Tale of the Radish Robbers, The Tale of the Secret Treehouse, The Tale of the Dash in the Dark, The Tale of the Broken Bed, The Tale of Benjamin’s New Map, The Tale of the Terrible Trap, and the Tale of the Peekboo Rabbits.

Peter Rabbit - Tales of the Start of Spring is available from all usual stockists including Amazon. Inside the pack you will find a free 'Hop Outside Guide' which is packed with suggestions for you to get outside and have an adventure with your children, just like Peter!

I've teamed up with Abbey Home Media to offer one of my lucky readers the chance to win their own copy of the DVD. To enter 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.

For more information on Peter Rabbit DVD releases please visit their Facebook page.

Peter Rabbit Tales of the Start of Spring

Free competitions at ThePrizeFinder

Disclosure: DVD sent for review purposes. Contains affiliate link

Easy Easter Ribbon Cards

11:25 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

This month's Bostik Craft Bloggers Box saw us challenged with creating an Easter craft, I have to confess to struggling for inspiration but the inclusion of some pretty ribbon finally gave me the idea I needed.


Easy Easter Ribbon Greeting Card Craft

You will need:
A sheet of A4 card
Lengths of ribbon
Pencil
Scissors
Bostik Glu Pen
Stickers to decorate if required

Easy Easter Ribbon Greeting Card Craft

1. Fold your card into four and press firmly to get a clean fold.

2. Draw an egg shape on to the front of your card.

3. Carefully cut out the egg shape by piercing the centre of the egg then cutting inside the outline.

4. Cut your ribbon into lengths small enough to fill the space of the cut out egg.

5. Fold out your card then stick the ribbon behind the cut out so it covers the whole space. I think it's nice to have a few different colours and textures of ribbon and to alternate these as you fill the space.

6. Glue around the inside of the card then press down the cover firmly to seal it.

Easy Easter Ribbon Greeting Card Craft

6. Decorate with stickers if required, this is handy to cover any untidy cutting on your outline.

Easy Easter Ribbon Greeting Card Craft

You may notice a little spotting before the glue dries, this will usually dry clear though.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Bostik Craft Bloggers Network and was supplied with a box of craft materials for this post.



Red Rose Baby 31 Weeks Update

14:18 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

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

12:36 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

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

Top Time-Saving Easter Tips and a Giveaway!

19:22 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

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

Caboodle Everyday Changing Bag

16:10 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

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

12:44 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

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. 

Easter Family Fun at The Lowry - Room on the Broom

18:00 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We're regular visitors to The Lowry in Salford and always enjoy their wide and varied programme of shows. This Easter is no different with two fantastic fun family shows on the way for the school holidays and I'm going to be running two giveaways for family tickets.

Room on the Broom at The Lowry Easter 2015

First up is Room on the Broom and we're so excited to see this. Based on the classic story by Julia Donaldson, the tale of the witch and her friends and their adventure with a rather grumpy dragon. The stage adaptation is from Tall Stories, we loved seeing their version of Emily Brown and the Thing a few months ago and I know Bud and LM will love the chance to see Room on the Broom. You can see a little of the show here


Room on the Broom is on at the Lowry from Tuersday 7th April until Sunday 12th April. Click here to find out more information and to book tickets. It's aimed at children from age three upwards, and their grown ups of course.

I've teamed up with The Lowry to give away a family ticket to Room on the Broom on Saturday 11th April 2015 at 11am, to enter 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 and ensure that you will be able to attend the performance if you are chosen as the winner.

Family Ticket to Room on the Broom at The Lowry

Check out my other giveaway to win a family ticket to see Cirque Surreal at the Lowry this Easter.

www.theprizefinder.com

Easter Family Fun at The Lowry - Cirque Surreal - The Voyagers

17:59 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Cirque Surreal - The Voyagers comes to The Lowry this Easter with an amazing show to enchant families and I have a family ticket to see the show up for grabs.

Easter Family Fun at The Lowry - Cirque Surreal - The Voyagers

Bringing their enchanting mixture of circus, dance, drama and comedy to The Lowry with their new show The Voyagers, Cirque Surreal sees leading performers from ten countries to perform a modern fable of five Voyagers travelling through space and time under powerful mystical lunar influences beyond their control. 

Described as 'Britain's biggest and best contemporary circus' by Sky One the show sounds like a fantastic night out for families. The show will be performed at The Lowry from 2nd to 6th April, click through to find out the details and book tickets.

I have a family ticket to give away to the performance on Thursday 2nd April 2015 at 7:30pm. To enter 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 and ensure you can attend the performance on Thursday 2nd April if you win.

Family Tickets to Cirque Surreal at The Lowry


www.theprizefinder.com 

Transformers Prime Complete Season 2 DVD Box Set

16:12 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Brand new from Transformers is the second season of Transformers Prime, which will be available as a complete season box set from Monday 23rd March 2015.

Transformers Prime Complete Season 2 Second Box Set

The second season is complete in this box set and is found on four DVDs. It features more than nine hours of exciting action, with the full season of twenty six episodes here together for home viewing. Bud is just starting to find shows like Transformers Prime interesting and exciting (he's growing up) and I was really pleased to find that he loved the adventures.

The storyline of these episodes sees the Autobots and Decepticons go to battle against each other once more, with Decepticon Megatron recruiting Optimus Pax into his ranks by convincing him that the Autobots are evil. Deceptiocon ranks are quickly fractured following Breakdown's murder and Starscream and Airachnid's departure.

Meanwhile with the Autobots, Jack and Arcee travel to Cybertron in an attempt to restore their leader Optimus Prime's memory. Optimus becomes resigned to Megatron being beyond saving and realises that his arch nemesis must be destroyed once and for all.With Autobots and Decepticons competing to find Cybertron artefacts on Earth, Trion orders the location of the Orion Keys in the hope that they can be used to restore Cybertron and the Autobots will be able to return home.

The series has really high quality CGI animation and Ian has been just as keen to watch as Bud - they've been enjoying a little Father and Son bonding with Ian telling Bud about his old Transformers toys. In fact it's been such a success that I think we might be adding the first season DVDs to Bud's birthday list to add to his collection.

The Transformers Prime Complete Season 2 DVD Box Set is available from all usual retailers, including Amazon, we'd definitely recommend it to those looking for an adventurous series, especially if they are Transformers fans!

Disclosure: We received the DVDs for review purposes. Contains affiliate link.

Five Tips For Gardening With Kids

21:03 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Spring has arrived and one of our favourite family activities for this time of year is to get out into the garden and prepare it for the forthcoming year. Both Bud and LM love to help their Dad with digging and planting and generally making our outside space fun to be in. I've been asking a few of my fellow bloggers for their tips on helping kids to enjoy gardening and I've put together a few of them for you.

Five Tips For Gardening With Kids

1. Let them plant their own seeds - Tami at Mummy of Two got Little Mr A involved with planting sunflower seeds at home and he loved this activity. Bud also loves to plant seeds, whether at home or with his Grandad who has an annual sunflower growing competition for all of the little grandchildren. It's really fun to check on the sunflowers' progress every time we visit their grandparents. Ian likes to grow vegetables in our garden and Bud gets very excited about planting his favourites and waiting for them to grow. He spent Sunday planting our latest delivery of seeds from Suttons, the only difficulty is getting him to understand that they don't grow very quickly!

Gardening With Kids - Planting seeds with Grandad

2. Encourage them to care for the wildlife in the garden - If your children are interested in animals but less keen on getting their hands dirty then caring for our furry and feathered friends can be an excellent way of enjoying your outside space together. Over 40 and a Mum to One made homemade bird feeders with her son. These are a simple but effective way of encouraging children to get outside and to improve their awareness of the world around them and the fact that we need to care for wildlife. Bee hotels and insect houses can also be very effective for this.

3. Let your children explore with their senses - the garden is a great place for sensory play and there are so many different ways for children to stimulate all of their senses outside. Jen from My Mummy's Pennies got out in to the garden with her children and they explored using touch and smell using the plants in the garden and a watering can. You can extend this further by planting to stimulate the senses - herbs are a great way of doing this and children will love smelling plants like lavender and thyme, or tasting the first strawberries of the season straight from the plant. 

4. Gardening as gifts - planting in home decorated pots is a lovely way of giving a really personal gift. I love these Terracotta pots from Mama Smiles and I think they would be perfect for Spring gifts. You could plant a hyacinth bulb in one and even stencil a message or the recipients name using the sponge painting technique. Perfect for grandparents, or friends and relatives. We regularly make cress pots at our toddler group and these are super simple - simply take a plastic drinks cup, decorate with stickers and fill with cotton wool. Wet the cotton wool thoroughly and sow cress seeds on top. They are pretty and grow quickly, a bonus for impatient toddlers! Older children and adults might want to try planting in eggshells, you can even dye them to match your home decor, Made in Pinterest shows you how. 

Homemade Seed Pots

5.  Early Science - getting into the garden is a great way of teaching children about the world and early Science. Kids love to understand how things work and how seeds grow into plants is something that can be discussed with even small children. Nurture Store has a great science experiment showing how green beans grow and iGame Mom shares nine different activities that can be carried out with toddlers upwards. Whether comparing the size of seeds, to dissecting them and watching them grow, most children will be fascinated to carry out the experiments.

Do you garden with your children? How do you get them involved in the garden?

Featured Post

Kit for Kids By Carla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow

11:33 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

It's only when you fall pregnant that you really and truly understand the benefits of a good pillow and I've been no different this time. Weeks of pain with SPD and pregnancy insomnia kicking in has meant I've been in real need of a little extra support so I was delighted to be offered the Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow from Kit 4 Kids.

Kit for Kids By Carla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow

This is a curved pillow which promises support for backs and bumps,  When it arrived I was initially confused as I didn't think it had a pillow, on closer inspection I realised that the cover is the dimpled fabric and this can be removed for washing. The pillow inside is made from wipe clean fabric and the cover can be machine washed at up to sixty degrees. It's super easy to remove and replace the cover for washing and the envelope style opening means that there aren't any buttons or zips which could make it uncomfortable.

Kit for Kids By Carla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow

I've found this pillow to be really supportive and comfortable. I've been using it as a back support more than anything else and it's been carried around the house with me since it arrived. It's been great to help me find a comfortable position for working in when I'm at the laptop or just watching TV and I've added it to my pillows in bed where it gives me much needed support around my upper back and neck.

Kit for Kids By Carla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow

The dimpled fabric on the cover offers heat regulating properties and I can honestly say that I've not found myself getting too warm when using this pillow. My hair gets really thick during pregnancy and this often leads to me feeling a bit warm in bed but I haven't found that to happen as much when using this pillow. I was quite surprised by this as I thought that the wipe clean fabric inside would make it warm.

I think that this pillow will see me well through the rest of my pregnancy and I'm looking forward to using it when baby arrives too. I think that the supportive nature of the pillow will make it fantastic for breastfeeding as I always need a good pillow when feeding at home.

Kit for Kids By Carla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow

Post-Baby Update

As expected I've been using this pillow on a daily basis since it arrived. I took it to hospital with me when I went in to give birth to Little E and it was a welcome, and comfortable addition to the standard issue hospital pillows.

Kit for Kids By Carla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow

I've been using it as a breastfeeding support every day and it's been brilliant. The shape of the pillow makes it really easy to tuck around myself and supports Little E well. The cover has been washed many times now and it dries really quickly which is great for coping with leakages or babies who spit up. A quick wash and it can be put back on as soon as it is dry. We often use it to support Little E too and it's easy to pop him down upon it (in a safe place). We also use it when Bud and LM ask for a cuddle with their little Brother as it offers lots of support for them. 

Kit for Kids By Carla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow

The pillow has been a big hit generally in our house and I quite often find that one of the children has swiped it to get comfy if I leave it unattended for too long.

The ByCarla Heat Regulating Mum and Baby Support Pillow is available from Amazon and a range of different retailers with an RRP of around £40, we'd really recommend it for use in pregnancy and afterwards, I think it will be used in our house for a long time to come!

Disclosure: The Pillow was supplied for review purposes.

Vital Touch Natalia Pregnancy Skincare

17:00 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I'm something of a skincare fan and I always prefer those products which are beautifully scented with essential oils, especially during my pregnancies. I'm always on the hunt for gorgeous products to use to nourish my skin, it can be quite troublesome when I have a bump so discovering a lovely new range of products like Vital Touch Natalia has been a real treat over the past few weeks.

I was sent a very generous parcel from Vital Touch Natalia which included i-the following prenatal products:
  • Prenatal Bath Soak
  • Mum's Miracle Balm
  • Prenatal Instant Unwinder 
  • Prenatal Anti-stretch Butter
and the Labour and Birth Box which includes an organic flannel, Labour Massage Oil, Labour Bath Ease and Labour Instant Energiser. 

Vital Touch Natalia Pregnancy Skincare

Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying out all of the prenatal products and have been so pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the products. It's really important to me to use natural and organic products in pregnancy and the Natalia range has fit the bill perfectly.

The first product I used was the Prenatal Bath Soak, this contains Calendula, Aloe Vera and a blend of the essential oils Lavender, Vetiver and Ylang Ylang.. Just a few capfuls swirled under the hot tap gave a relaxing, beautifully scented bath which was a pleasure to soak in. I definitely think I'll be replacing this when it runs out.

The Prenatal Anti-Stretch Butter is a real pleasure to apply. I've been struggling to make time to connect with bump in this pregnancy. Running around after two children and busy family life has meant that I haven't been taking enough time to look after bump and think about the new little person on the way. This butter arrived at the perfect time. It's a mixture of Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Rosehip Oil, blended with the essential oils Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli and Frankincense. I haven't really suffered from stretch marks since my first pregnancy but it's always lovely to massage your bump with a gorgeous textured and scented butter like this one. I really love using it and I can see the 60ml jar that we have received lasting some time.

Vital Touch Natalia Pregnancy Skincare

Next up was Mum's Miracle Balm and, oh my goodness, this is definitely going to become a staple for us I think. I've been using it for everything since it arrived and it's stood up well to every task thrown at it. LM and I have both had dry skin on our torsos and I've been massaging this into that, in just a few days the texture of our skin has really improved and the itchiness has gone. I've also used it on my cuticles, elbows and lips. I really love it. I can see it being a godsend when I'm breastfeeding Red Rose Baby too. The balm is a mixture of Shea Butter, Calendula, Rosehip seed and Vitamin E, with added Lavender and Rose oils. You do need to melt it between your finger tips before you apply it but a little goes a long way and it definitely lives up to it's name.

Instant Unwinder has been much needed here and I've actually taken to carrying it around in my bag. It's a super cute rollerball glass tube which you dab on to your wrist or behind your ears 'for instant stress relief'. Regular readers will know that I've really suffered with nausea during this pregnancy and one of my most immediate triggers is scents. If I don't like how something smells it makes me feel so sick. One of my best ways to combat this is by smelling something else so having this product to hand has really helped. I've found the mixture of Lavender, Vetiver and Ylang Ylang really centring and relaxing. It's actually been great for helping me to get to sleep at night too.

Vital Touch Natalia Labour and Birth Box

The Labour and Birth Box is definitely going to be stashed in my hospital bag for use during Red Rose Baby's arrival. I've not tried the products out yet as neither I or Red Rose Baby are ready for them to arrive yet! I have had a little try on my hand and smelled them too and they smell amazing. The Instant Energiser has a wonderful fragrance and I can see it being very useful for an instant wake up during those night feeds too! I'm sure I'll be writing about the products in the box when I come back to blog Red Rose Baby's birth story. I'm sure I will be using them!

I'm very pleased to have discovered Natalia  Vital Touch and I can see myself being back to order more products in future. Their 100% natural ingredients and high percentage of organic ingredients fits with the type of products I love to use on myself and my family and they've definitely made the most recent couple of weeks of my pregnancy more comfortable. I'd highly recommend them.

To check out the full range, including their new baby products visit the Vital Touch website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with all of their news.  

Products received for review purposes.

What Can't You Live Without? #NotWithout5Things

09:35 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Essentials are funny things aren't they? Ask any group of people what their must have items are and you'll get a myriad of answers. From that porridge for breakfast, a slick of lipgloss on the way into work, to a mid morning coffee and snack, or a glass of wine in the evening there are lots of parts of everyone's daily routine that they will see as important and crucial. I'd describe them as those things that make you smile everyday, the mini boosts that everyone needs to help them through the daily grind. They may not, strictly speaking, be essential for survival but they really do help a day to pass better!

I've been thinking about those five things that make me smile, those everyday essentials that might be a little indulgent but definitely make life easier.

1. The Internet - I don't see most of my friends that often, in fact with some of them I'm lucky to see them once a year! I keep in touch by using the internet everyday. In addition to this it's my source of work, news, information and entertainment. I could live without it but life would be much poorer without it and I'd feel a lot more isolated.

2 Good Coffee - Decaffeinated at the moment so Red Rose Baby doesn't jig around even more than usual but I'm a real coffee connoiseur. If I can buy my own beans, grind them and enjoy a couple of cups of great coffee every morning I'm a happy person. I've turned finding decent decaf into an art form during my pregnancies and am look forward to the odd cup of 'proper' coffee I manage each week.

3. Extra Strong Mints - these are a pregnancy essential for me and I'll probably never eat another one as long as I live after Red Rose Baby arrives but at the moment they are definitely essential. They have been one of the few things that have managed to keep the edge of my nausea and now, in later pregnancy I really like the texture of them. I start to get a bit stressed out when I realise we don't have many left and always keep them well stocked at them moment!

4. Lotions and Potions - specifically those that smell amazing. I'm a firm believer in aromatherapy and  I love products packed with essential oils and those that have an effect just by using them. Whether it's relaxing lavender, energising bergamot or calming rosemary I use beautifully scented products every day in the shower and afterwards. Obviously you have to be careful what you use in pregnancy but their use gives me a much needed few minutes of 'me time' every day.

And finally....

5. Family Time - it's really easy to take your family for granted but I build in time every day to connect with my two and talk to them about their day and have a really good hug. This has been even more important since Bud started school. We try to spend some quiet time to read a story and talk before they settle down for the night and I hate missing out on this time. I only really do so when I'm out for the evening and Daddy does our usual joint bedtime routine solo but I always think of it as a special time of day for all of us.

British Gas have produced a video showing the general public talking about their five things which vary from loved ones through to make up. Obviously a reliable energy supply really is an essential for us all It's quite surprising how people over estimate the amount that they spend on energy in the video too! It's a really interesting watch and made me think about energy costs and the importance of conserving it. Check out The Source from British Gas for more ways to save on energy costs in your home.

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I'd love to hear about your five things. What are the things that make your daily life more bearable?

In collaboration with British Gas

What Kind of Parent Are You?

10:14 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

As Mother's Day approaches I think it can be a time to reflect on being a mum and what it means to you. I can remember my pre-children days when I thought about what kind of parent I would be. I really don't think I am the mother I thought I would be. Not in a bad way, necessarily, although no amount of thinking about motherhood can compare with the reality. Some days it can be seriously hard, but that is more than made up for by the good and great days. I think I'm less strict than I thought I would be and some of those things that I swore I 'would never do' are regular features in our family life. 

I think I'm quite a relaxed parent really. I've learned to choose my battles so Bud, especially, now realises that 'no means no'. I'm not easily persuaded otherwise when I put my foot down, but this means that on a day to day basis life is more peaceful and my children know not to push a subject if a firm 'no' is the answer. We prioritise time as a family and weekends are crucial to this. We don't have a strict bedtime in the week and, although we aim for before 8pm on weeknights we don't get too upset if they miss this time, for a good reason now and again. Ian is definitely a hands on Dad and both LM and Bud love it when Daddy arrives home in the evening, this usually isn't until about 6:30 and it's important that the children do get time with him every day.

Water Babies, the leading UK Children's Swimming School, have been surveying parents to find out just how modern parents describe their parenting style. There are some really interesting results!


You can find out what kind of parent you are by running through the accompanying quiz below. According to this I'm a laid back parent as I'd let them wear their fancy dress out and I believe swimming lessons are important for my children's safety. I'm not surprised by this result at all as that's how I'd describe myself.


What kind of parent does the quiz say you are?

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Quick and Easy Mother's Day Bookmarks and Plant Markers

11:56 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I've been crafting with our toddler group again this week and the brief was for a quick and easy 'take home make' for the little ones to give to their mummies on Mother's Day. These little things are super easy and quick to make and can be used as either bookmarks or plant markers and are guaranteed to put a smile on any Mum's face.

Quick and Easy Mother's Day Bookmarks and Plant Markers Toddler Craft


You will need:
Coloured lollipop sticks
Stickers, we used foam stickers but non-foam is fine too. You will need to make sure that the stickers have at least two the same size available. Any style is fine, but we loved the Spring flowers and butterflies from Baker Ross.

This craft couldn't be more simple. Simply stick your sticker at the end of the lollipop stick, then put another one the same size back to back with it.

The stickers don't actually have to be at the end. If you had animal or bird stickers you could put them side on so they look like they are perching or walking along the stick.

If you're giving a plant gift you could write the name of the plant on to the marker in black marker pen to really personalise this gift, your little one could even use the same stickers to decorate the pot.


Kate and Mim-Mim: Funny Bunny Friend on DVD - Review and Giveaway

20:16 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Kate and Mim-Mim are new to DVD with their release of Funny Bunny Friend, the very first DVD from the cBeebies favourites. which is released on Monday 23rd March.

Kate and Mim-Mim: Funny Bunny Friend on DVD - Review and Giveaway

LM loves Kate and Mim-Mim and the enchanting stories of five year old Kate and her toy rabbit Mim-Mim are real favourites in our house.

If Kate has a problem then Mim-Mim magically transports her to the world of Mimiloo where he becomes life sized and helps Kate to achieve whatever she needs to do - whether fixing an attack of the giggles, building a race car or making a balloon buddy.

The DVD features eight fantastic episodes:
  • Rip Roaring Race
  • The Need for Seed
  • Colour Me Happy
  • Mega Mim
  • Tail Tale
  • Mim-Mim’s Moon Mishap
  • Balloon Buddies
  • A Case of the Giggles
We've had the DVD for a few days now and LM is loving the chance to watch Kate and Mim-Mim whenever she wants to. The stories really are lovely and the animation is charming. Kate and Mim-Mim have a lovely relationship and it's great to see the strong bond between the little girl and her toy. 

Kate and Mim-Mim: Funny Bunny Friend is released on Monday 23rd March and will be available from all usual stockists including Amazon. To keep up with all of the Kate and Mim-Mim news, why not like their Facebook page?

I've teamed up with Kate and Mim-Mim to offer one of my readers the chance to win a copy of the DVD. 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.

Kate & Mim-Mim: Funny Bunny Friends DVD

Disclosure: We were supplied with the DVD for review purposes. Contains affiliate link. 

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

An Introduction to Bibee Maternity Wear

19:21 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Maternity wear is one of those struggles when you're pregnant. I've always found it hard to find comfortable, smart and stylish clothes to dress my bump in and, even though I'm not working outside the home these days, looking presentable for the period of time when your usual wardrobe just won't do is crucial to your self esteem and happiness when you're growing a tiny person!

Bibee Maternity

When Bibee Dresses got in touch with me I was really pleased. I've seen their dresses and website and I knew that they would be exactly what I needed to take me through the rest of my pregnancy with Red Rose Baby and would also be great for breastfeeding in when bump is a baby and I'm looking for clothes that are easy to nurse in. A bug bear of mine is maternity wear that doesn't convert well to those post-birth days. You wear the clothes for a relatively short period of time so I always want it to be easy to feed in afterwards.


Bibee Dresses have a unique mix and match design which allows you to buy core pieces - like a dress or tunic, then add co-ordinating 'fronts' to change the style. The necklines on the dresses and tunics are cut really low so you can also wear something underneath for a pinafore effect, or the front goes on the top to complete the style. The fronts button on to the back of the shoulders, and underneath the arms and, if you wish to nurse wearing the dress it's simple to unfasten the buttons to lift up the front.


I've been trying out a Bibee Tunic and Front, and a Bibee Dress and Front. Check back to see what I thought of them in a few days time. 

If you're looking to add to your maternity or nursing wear then check out their website - www.bibeematernity.com - and use the discount code redrose to get a 15% discount on any purchases! The website has recently been updated to show off their Spring/Summer collection which also includes their brand new range of jeans, chinos and joggers in addition to their gorgeous new tulip dress!

Preparing for a Dinosaur Themed Fifth Birthday

15:03 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Bud is five in less than a month and is already incredibly excited. Having attended a few of his classmates' birthday parties this year he is super excited to be planning his own birthday party and having his friends attend. As far as Bud is concerned there is only one theme for his birthday party - Dinosaurs of course!

First up the gifts. Bud has been asking for Dinosaur Train Action Figures since before Christmas, I was thinking that his interests might have moved on by now but he's still mad about the antics of Bud, Tiny, Shiny and Don so we've bought him a few of the toys from the range. They all talk and interact with each other which means that you need to buy more than one to get the full enjoyment from the toys. They look like great fun and I'm sure Bud, and LM will enjoy them very much.

Dinosaur Train Interactive Toys
As far as the party is concerned we have lots of exciting fun and games planned. Bud really wants to pin the tail on the T-Rex so I'm going to be looking for a poster and making a tail to pin on. I've been browsing for more ideas and came across this fab post from In the Playroom which is packed with Dinosaur Party Ideas.

We're thinking about setting up a sand pit with some toy dinosaurs mixed into the sand and supplying the children with sand tools so they can dig for the dinosaurs themselves. Bud has also requested a bouncy castle and we've told him probably not so he has a super surprise coming!

Preparing for a Dinosaur Themed Fifth Birthday DIY Dinosaur Fossils

I love the idea of these DIY Dinosaur Fossils from Teaching Mama, I think they would be a great party activity and one that the children could take home with them afterwards. As we won't be able to bake biscuits at the party I'm thinking playdough would be a good material for them to use.

Bud would like a Dinosaur Train cake for his party. I generally make my children's birthday cakes myself so this is going to present something of a challenge. I'm thinking of a four carriage train and making them look like the carriages on the cartoon train. I'll buy some of the small Dinosaur Train figures to pop in to the carriages and Bud will be able to play with them later. If this doesn't work out then Spaceships and Laser Beams has a fab round up of Dinosaur birthday cakes, some of which look a little easier than the train idea.

Preparing for a Dinosaur Themed Fifth Birthday - Dinosaur Veggies

Obviously party food will have to be Dinosaur themed too and I've been scouring the internet for ideas. These Dinosaur Veggies from Don't Panic, Mom look great and will encourage kids to eat some veggies in amongst the party treats.

We're so excited about Bud's party and I'm hoping he has a wonderful time.

Do you have any ideas to make a Dinosaur birthday go with a ROOOAAAARRRR?

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Bud's Dinosaur Room

23:04 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Bud's room has been a work in progress for a while but this weekend has been, finally, time to get it done and turn it into a bedroom suitable for a big boy of nearly five years old. We have had help from Wallsauce who invited us to choose a mural for one of his walls and choosing this really helped us to decide on a theme that he would love.

His room has been nominally dinosaur themed for a while. He's had dinosaur bedding and his toy dinosaurs are ever present so I knew that, if possible a dinosaur mural would be the perfect fit. I browsed through the huge range of children's murals on Wallsauce's site and found the ideal design on the second to last page. I wanted the finalised room to be a surprise for Bud so decided not to involve him in the choosing and we decided on Wee Rex, a design by Jerry LoFaro. This striking design shows a baby T Rex standing between his mother's legs and I was confident Bud would love it.

Bud's Dinosaur Room Applying Wallsauce Wee Rex Mural

Wallsauce murals are printed to your own measurements and sent rolled in a very sturdy cardboard tube. My previous experience of murals has been that they arrive in six pieces which means that you have to paste them in two rows which can make lining them up really hard work. Wallsauce are different and are printed on to long wallpaper sheets, meaning that you only have one length to line it up against which makes the process much easier.

Our mural was gum backed meaning that all that was needed to adhere it to the wall was to paste the back of the design with water. Ian got his Dad to help out with it as he's more experienced with wallpapering. Our mural measured 240cm x 200cm and, because initially we decided our mural would go a different wall to the one we eventually placed it upon this meant our mural was slightly too wide for the space it now occupies. It extends around the corner on to the chimney breast as a result but this wasn't a problem. The mural came in four lengths of wallpaper and it took Ian and his Dad just over an hour to apply it to the wall. It's a straightforward process and both of them were really pleased at how easy it was to complete.

Bud's Dinosaur Room Applying Wallsauce Wee Rex Mural

Having rearranged Bud's furniture, set up an all important reading corner and finally placing his bunk bed against a wall he now has a room to be proud of and one with space to play on his own or with his sister. Here you can see a little of how the mural went up and Bud's reaction at the big unveiling!


We'd definitely recommend Wallsauce murals as the perfect way to personalise any room. Bud loves his new bedroom and is so proud of it. The mural is exceptionally good quality, easy to apply and they are made to measure so you are sure of receiving the right size for your room. 

Disclosure: We received the mural for review purposes
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