March 2013 | Modern Mummy

Friday, 29 March 2013

Modern Mummy Loves....

Hurray! We had 9 entries to the first Modern Mummy Loves linky last week and I loved reading what everyone had been up to and about the products they had reviewed.

Welcome to week two! 

I realise it's Easter and people are busy so I'm expecting it to be a little bit quieter on the blog front. We've had a crazy last few days of term and now the holidays are here I'm going to take a few days off myself. But before I head back to my parents house and park myself on their sofa for a weekend of eating lots of chocolate, here's my weekly round up!



Easter Cake Making.
We had a great afternoon making Easter cakes for the nursery cake sale on Wednesday. We used the vanilla cupcake recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, iced them with yellow cream cheese frosting and then decorated them with Smarties mini eggs and little fluffy chicks! 




Lin & Leo.
This week the wonderful people at Lin & Leo sent me a brand spanking new BabyBag in soft, classic black leather. This gorgeous black version is not yet available to buy but you will be the first people to know when it has been officially released! Next week will see an entire blog post devoted to it but I couldn't not give you a sneak preview today - it's absolutely divine.




LittleLife.
I wasn't the only person to be sent a gorgeous new bag this week; lucky Daisy was also sent a LittleLife dolphin DriStore DaySack for her swimming sessions!

These bags are a total must for trips to the pool or the beach! Available in dolphin, orca or crocodile, they are water resistant and have a spacious 5 litre main compartment which is the perfect size for a swimming costume and towel. Daisy's favourite feature is the secret coin pocket which means you can hide a few pounds in there for an ice cream or an after-swim snack.

These bags also have a top grab handle and are compatible with the daysack rein too - which makes them great for younger children as well as older ones.

Cool and practical! What more could you want in a children's bag?


Funky Giraffe.
My favourite bandana bib makers have now started selling the most adorable moccasins for little feet! They have flexible leather soles and soft cotton upper socks which means they are super cosy, and they can either be worn on their own indoors, or underneath shoes to help keep them on! As with all Funky Giraffe products; the more you buy the more you save - the most you would pay for a pair of these is £7 which is still a huge bargain if you ask me!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my finds of the week! What products have you discovered or reviewed recently? Why not link up below so that others can read all about them!

Linkys are a great way of discovering new blogs and making new friends and hopefully this one will introduce people to new products available on the market too. You can link up any post - whether its a personal weekly round up or your favourite product review. Help yourself to the Modern Mummy Loves badge and join in! xoxox

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

FillnSqueeze - Baby Food Made Squeezee!



You might have seen my many tweets about a company called FillnSqueeze recently - I was so excited to discover them at The Baby Show last month; they were definitely my favourite stand there! 

As a result of my tweeting, a lot of people wanted to know more so I was thrilled to be given a chance to review them - and the opportunity came at the most perfect time as I am about to start weaning Evie.

When I came across FillnSqueeze, it made me think back to how I'd weaned Daisy. We did a mixture of purees and baby led weaning. We started early (18 weeks) at our health visitor's suggestion because D wasn't much of a milk drinker and hadn't been gaining much weight. I'd planned to do BLW at six months but because she was that little bit younger, it meant she wasn't quite ready for finger foods. I decided to put my own spin on BLW and whenever I made her a puree I would give her some of the whole, cooked food too (eg a broccoli floret with pureed broccoli) so that she could play with it and taste it if she wanted - and I hoped that by doing this she would begin to associate the food with the flavour and enjoy herself much more!

I preferred to give her homemade purees over ready made, shop bought stuff, mainly so that I knew exactly what she was eating but also because I didn't like the long shelf life of the jars and pouches and found them ridiculously expensive. £1 for a pouch of pureed carrots and parsnips is ridiculous when you know that would cost you less than 10p to make yourself! That's not to say she never had them though - I found carrying a pouch of food in my changing bag so much easier than taking tupperware pots of my homemade stuff out with me, plus the pouches were a lot less messy!

So let me introduce you to FillnSqueeze; the most brilliant product ever! It enables parents to make their own purees and store them in convenient pouches for use both at home and when out and about. I can't tell you how delighted I am to finally be able to combine the two! 

The FillnSqueeze Starter Pack is perfect for parents that want to feed their babies homemade meals on the go. It consists of a pouch filler jug, plunger (which doubles up as a masher), jug closure cap and five sterile and ready to use pouches. Take a look at their video to see exactly how it works:



Here are the reasons I love them so much:

- They are eco friendly.
I really, really like the fact these pouches are reuseable. As you all know, I'm a big believer in the 3 Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle - and I'm trying my hardest not to put anything into the bin any more! The fact these can be cleaned and sterilised is a massive selling point to me - as I'm sure it will be to lots of other mums. You can also clean and refill other pouches that previously contained shop bought purees instead of throwing them away.

-They are made in Britain.
I'm a big fan of supporting independent, British businesses - and this one is an award winner too!

- They enable you to feed your children healthy home cooked meals on the go.

Without any shadow of a doubt, home cooked meals are best! You know exactly what your child is eating when making your own purees - many shop bought baby foods contain preservatives and additives as well as added salt and sugar. Making your own purees gives you the freedom to create your own combinations of flavours and textures depending on your child's tastes - and what you have in your fridge!

- It's simple to use.

The fill n pouch filler is SO easy to use, as you will have seen in the YouTube clip. [I'm actually in the process of recording my own vlog so watch this space!] It's quick, easy and there is no mess. Cleaning the filler and the pouches is simple too. They just require hot water, washing up liquid and a bottle brush. The pouches can also be sterilized with a Milton tablet dissolved in water which is great when weaning.

- It's versatility.

Not only are the pouches great when you're weaning, they are also a fabulous way of encouraging toddlers and pre-schoolers to have their fruit and veg. They can drink home made smoothies straight from the pouch - and if you include them in the making and filling process, they will be super excited to be able to drink the fruits of their labour! The pouches are also microwaveable, dishwasher safe and freezable - so you can bulk make (they take up very little space in the freezer) - then defrost or warm up in the microwave. The plunger also doubles up as a masher which is great when you're making more textured meals for older babies and it's perfectly safe to use a hand held blender in the jug before filling the pouches which means even less mess in the kitchen!

- They are economical.

Making your own purees is much cheaper than buying from the shops and given the current economic climate I think there are lots of us that are keen on saving money wherever we can. The starter kit only costs £19.99 - less than the cost of twenty premium organic pouches of ready made food - so you could easily make your money back within a fortnight!

Making our own smoothies and using the FillnSqueeze system to store them in pouches gets a huge thumbs up from Daisy and I, and I can't wait to get started on using them with Evie too.

The starter kit is available direct from the FillnSqueeze website here.
FillnSqueeze are also on Twitter here and Facebook here.

Make sure you check them out!
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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Modern Mamas- Saving the World One Step at a Time

In my quest to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, I've been looking at ways to reduce the amount of rubbish I throw away. My council's recycling scheme is so brilliant that the only things in my wheelie bin each week are cellophane wrappers, nappies and wipes.

I buy the majority of my food 'naked' or in paper bags so I decided to do something about the amount of nappies and wipes that I send to landfill to see if I could get away with recycling every single thing that I use.

This post is all about my quest to stop using disposable wipes.

So what is wrong with them, I hear you ask? 

WELL. Where do I begin? 

From an environmental perspective, the wipes are non-recyclable and non-biodegradable and the amount of them us parents throw away is just shocking. Think about how many wipes you get through in a day. It's easy to get through a couple of packets a week if you have more than one child. Messy nappies can use up to seven or so wipes - plus there is all the cleaning of mucky hands and faces. Which brings me nicely onto what these wipes are moistened with. A bit of water, yes, but also synthetic cleaning agents. Those three words sound hideous enough before you find out exactly what that means. They contain ingredients such as parabens and phthalates (fragrance) - not the sort of things you want to rub all over your children.

I'd been thinking about this for a while and trying to come up with an alternative when, at The Baby Show, I came across the Cheeky Wipes stand. The rest, as they say, is history!

Cheeky Wipes are the greener way to clean your baby's bum. They are natural, washable and eventually biodegradable cloth wipes that use just water and essential oils - and which are better for your baby's skin and better for your bank account! Even if you only use one pack of disposable wipes each week, you will be spending approximately £250 in the first two years of your baby's life (and we all know the use of wipes goes way beyond potty training). Taking this into account, and the fact you might have more than one bambino, you could save over £500 in two years by switching to Cheeky Wipes!

I've been using them for just over a month and am totally in love with them. Want to know how they work? (I thought so).

Take a look at the video here:

 

The full kit starts at £39.99 and contains:

- 25 wipes
- A Fresh Wipes container
- A Fresh Wipes travel bag
- A Mucky Wipes container with mesh bag insert (for easy washing of poo-ey wipes!)
- A Mucky Wipes travel bag with mesh bag insert
- A bottle of Lavender & Chamomile 'Fresh Wipes' essential oils
- A bottle of Tee Tree & Lemon 'Mucky Wipes' essential oils.

All you have to do to get started is fill your fresh wipes container with 2cm of water and a few drops of essential oils - then add your wipes. The mucky wipes container needs a little bit more water and a few drops of oil too and the mesh bag should be fitted to the clips around the top of the box. 

Once you've used a wipe you simply pop it into the mucky wipes bag within the box and when you're ready to wash them you simply take the mesh bag out and pop the whole thing into the washing machine (so you avoid touching anything mucky again!)

The wipes can go in with your normal washing but should go in on a hotter wash once a week to keep them free of germs. You don't even need to dry them - you can simply pop them back into the fresh wipes container and re-use them immediately.

And YES! They do work on poo! I personally find them even better to use than disposable wipes - there's more to them; they're thicker and much easier to use. Why not have a look at this here video to see just how good they are!



If you're out and about you don't need to revert back to disposable wipes. Just pop a few Cheeky Wipes into the waterproof travel bag and take the mucky travel bag with you for when you've used them. It also has a mesh bag which can be unzipped and popped into the washing machine when you get home. I also carry a bundle of muslins around in my changing bag to clean hands and faces.

Cheeky Wipes really are so simple to use - and much nicer too. The cloths are super soft (and available in either terry towelling, bamboo or micro fibre) and it's an easy first change to make to do something to help look after our environment.

I'm making it my mission to spread the word about reuseable wipes to as many mums as possible that are looking for something that is better for their children as well as the planet. Would you consider switching? xoxox

Check out the Cheeky Wipes website here
Cheeky Wipes are also on Twitter here and Facebook here


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Monday, 25 March 2013

Stuck on You Giveaway: The Winner!

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Thanks to everyone that entered my Stuck on You giveaway last week! I had 4x £20 gift vouchers up for grabs and am now very excited to be able to annouce the winners!

Sue H, Debs G, Rebecca N and Laura S - time for you all to go shopping! I've sent each of you an email, please respond asap so I can arrange for your vouchers to be emailed to you! xoxox
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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Funky Giraffe Bibs Spring Offer!

Eeeeeeep! My favourite bandana bib shop, Funky Giraffe Bibs, have launched some awesome new Spring/Easter designs PLUS they are offering 15% off all orders over £20 until 31st March. I am sooooo excited! How cute are the four I've picked out so far? Don't forget, the more bibs you order, the cheaper they are - and with the discount on top, that sounds like a good excuse to get shopping if you ask me


 
Happy Saturday everyone! xoxox

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Friday, 22 March 2013

Modern Mummy Loves....

Well what a week it has been! As well as the usual nursery runs, classes and play dates, this week we also managed to fit in a trip back to Twickenham to see family and friends, a day out for Daisy and I on our new scooters, delivery of Evie's brand new stroller, a whole lot of experimental cooking and we also booked the Church and reception venue for our wedding later this year! Phew! Luckily for you lot, I run on very little sleep and lots of greenjuice so I still managed to spot a load of awesome new things and write about them! Here's my very first Modern Mummy Loves weekly round up, just for you.

MICRO SCOOTERS
Yep, you heard right earlier..... Daisy and I had a day out on OUR scooters. Not only did the lovely people from Micro Scooter send D her very own pink mini micro scooter, they also sent ME a blue micro flex and I'm not ashamed to say I LOVE IT! I did worry about people looking at me as if I was a bit crackers, but all the Mums at nursery were gagging to have a go - and who can blame them? It's so much fun - and a good work out too!


Needless to say, Daisy was over the moon with hers - a lot of her friends got them for Christmas and she had been asking for one ever since. They really are brilliant. They're safe, sturdy (the micro has two wheels at the front for stability), easy peasy to put together and they make long walks a hell of a lot easier for parents - and more fun for kids!



LIFEPROOF IPHONE CASE
This is a MUST HAVE FOR ALL MAMAS! I cannot stress how brilliant this phone case is. It is entirely shock proof (designed to military specifications and tested up to a 6.6ft drop) so you have no reason WHATSOEVER to worry about your small person getting their mitts on your phone and dropping it. It's also waterproof so if it takes a dive into the bath/sink/toilet bowl it won't be a problem (you can also deliberately submerge it in water up to 6.6ft deep which means you can use your phone as an underwater camera - I can't WAIT to try this out!). Its dirt proof and won't scratch or ruin if it gets mucky and it's snow proof which is totally essential given this 'Spring' weather we're currently experiencing - and, of course, it is also brilliant if you want to take your phone skiing or snowboarding. It retails at around £50 but taking insurance excesses and the cost of cracked screen repairs into account, I think thats a small price to pay. You can get them in every colour going too!


THE HAIRY DIETER'S COOKBOOK

 
Now that I'm on the Bridezilla diet, I decided to treat myself to this recipe book. We've already tried out three of the recipes, all of which were a huge success! This past week we've had easy crispy chicken, chicken and ham tangle pie and lamb, spinach and potato curry. 

The thing I love about this book is that it doesn't encourage you to buy low fat alternatives, like 1 calorie cooking spray, which I CANNOT STAND! Dieting is, for me, all about using fresh, quality, naturally low fat ingredients and reducing portion sizes - NOT swapping proper food for stuff packed full of aspartame and god knows what else. I really would recommend this recipe book, whether you're slimming or not.

IZZY MELODY 
I blogged about mine/Evie's new teething bangle yesterday (click here if you missed it!) This is one of the best inventions I have ever seen and I would recommend it to any mama with a teething baby.



FILOFAX


Now I'm a massive Filofax fan. Although a self confessed iPhone addict, I just can't get my head around using their calendar function and have carried my beloved battered old brown leather Filofax around with me for the last 14 years! I'm totally lost without it. 

I'm also a horder of beautiful stationery. Notelets, cards, writing paper, noteboks - you name it, I've got it. This week saw the launch of the new Filofax ‘Back to School’ file which, from the outside looks like a classic school notebook, but when you open it up it contains a whole load of useful stationery including a pack of 1-6 indices, a contacts section, plain, ruled and quadrille paper, to-do lists and even a frosted ruler. Like all Filofax products, you can make it your own by adding a diary and any other stationery you need before writing your name on the cover! It's just the most brilliant combination of old school and modern and I am GAGGING to get my mitts on one! 

So there you have it. My finds of the week! What products have you discovered or reviewed recently? Why not link up below so that others can read all about them? Linkys are a great way of discovering new blogs and making new friends and hopefully this one will introduce people to new products available on the market too. You can link up any post - whether its a personal weekly round up or your favourite product review. Help yourself to the Modern Mummy Loves badge and join in! xoxox


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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Wedding Planning: 6 months to go!


In case you missed it, I'M GETTING MARRIED!

Yep, five long years and two gorgeous daughters later, Himself finally decided to make an honest woman of me.

This week has been a pretty big one as far as wedding planning goes as we have set the date and booked the church and reception venue. Eeeeeekk! We've opted for a traditional church wedding with our reception at our local indie cinema and we're both very excited! 

So what's next? We've only got six months before the big day so I'm guessing we'd better get a wriggle on. We've made a start on our guest list and I've started designing our invitations but what else needs doing now? This is definitely going to be a budget / DIY wedding so I've been pinning like crazy (check out my wedding board here!) I have so many ideas I'd like to incorporate but what order should I do things in? All the lists I've found online give you a 12 or 18 month plan ---- I need to condense it all into 6! Can anyone help?! All advice and suggestions welcome xoxox
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My Best Baby Buy - The Stokke Tripp Trapp Newborn Set

Someone asked me what my best baby buy was the other day and I didn't have to think about it at all.

It is, without any shadow of a doubt, the Stokke Tripp Trapp and, in particular, the newborn set.

Evie is a very cuddly baby - she loves to be held and talked to, pretty much all the time if I'm honest. I am very much into baby wearing and attachment parenting but sometimes you really do need to do things around the house. When she was first born I would do the majority of my household chores with her in a sling, but there are some - like washing up for example - that are physically impossible with a newborn strapped to your front. 

I was looking for alternatives when Stokke asked me to review the newborn set - and it turned out to be the perfect solution!


For those of you not familiar with the Tripp Trapp (where have you been for the last forty years!) they were created back in 1972 by a very clever man called Peter Opsvik. It is {still} the only chair that can be used from newborn to adult and Peter came up with the idea after watching his son struggle to find a comfortable position to sit in at the family table. Having grown out of his high chair, and still being too small to sit on a grown up's chair, he was left dangling his legs and struggling to reach the table.

And so the Tripp Trapp was born! It adjusts to the size of your child so that he or she is always at the perfect height to eat, play and interact, with his or her feet properly supported, at whatever age.

 3 weeks
 5 weeks ♥
 9 weeks
 14 weeks ♥
 19 weeks

Evie loved the newborn set straight away because she was up high in it and I could still chat to her and pay her lots of attention while pottering around the kitchen.

I loved it straight away because it enabled E to be part of our dinner time routine from birth. Family meal times are very important to me and I loved having her round the table with us all, when before she would have been in one of our arms or in her moses basket.

Now, at almost five months, we are about to start weaning and Evie will be moving up to the baby set - we've chosen one in pale pink to match our Tripp Trapp and are going for just a base cushion (in tartan pink). Thats one of the things I love most about Stokke - everything is sold separately so you can customise your Tripp Trapp to suit your taste - plus you only have to buy the things you need!

I'll be sure to update you on the baby set and the weaning process once we get started! xoxox

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Polarn O. Pyret Giveaway: The Winner!


Thank you to everyone that took part in my Polarn O. Pyret giveaway!

Rafflecopter has now worked its magic and the winner of the £50 eVoucher is.......

{drumroll please}

ANNE W! 

For those of you that weren't lucky this time, all is not lost. Modern Mummy readers are all entitled to a 10% discount on their first online purchase, using the code BBV1214 at the checkout. This is valid until 1st September 2014. Happy shopping! xoxox
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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Izzy Melody Teething Jewellery

I have a poorly teething baby *sob*

Evie is only four months old which is pretty early to be teething, but the dribbling, runny nappies and rosy cheeks are all there and everything she can get her hands on goes straight into her mouth! 

Because she's so little, I've struggled to find her a teething toy that she can actually hold. Daisy didn't teethe until she was much older so I've found that her old toys are too heavy and awkward for Miss E. We tried them all and even treated her to some brand spanking new ones but to no avail - and we were just about to give up when, through the magic of Twitter, I discovered the Izzy Melody teething bangle.  


Yes, you heard right - a teething bangle. That is, a bangle for mama to wear and for baby to chew on whenever he or she is grizzly. I'd never heard of teething jewellery before and think it's just the most brilliant idea ever.



Reasons to love Izzy Melody?
- These bangles are the only teething bangles made in the UK (SUPPORT BRITISH WORKERS!!) 
- The materials used to make them have been certified for safety. They are made of medical grade silicone which is non toxic and durable (some other bangles on the market are made in China from food grade silicone which is nowhere near as good quality) and they are BPA, PVC, Lead, Latex and Phthalate free.
- The bangles can be washed in warm, soapy water, put in the dishwasher (on the top shelf) or sterilised in a steam steriliser. They can also be popped into the fridge or freezer for extra relief.
- They are extremely lightweight, which means even the littlest of teethers can hold them and, being a bangle, are the perfect shape for them to grip onto. They are suitable from birth.
- They are super stylish! I love this idea so much because I get something from it too!
- You, the mama, have control over the teether and it's less likely to get lost! In the last couple of weeks we've lost heaps of toys after Evie has dropped them into her stroller/car seat and then they've fallen out. If your other half is taking baby out and doesn't want to wear your bracelet then he can always attach it to the pram with a regular dummy/toy strap.

One of these would make a perfect new mum present. Something a bit different from your usual babygros and a treat for both mum and baby! They are available in three colours; jet black, cherry blossom pink and deep turquoise, are priced at £14.95 and come presented a beautiful box too.

xoxox

Visit the shop here | Follow Izzy Melody on Twitter here


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Monday, 18 March 2013

Archie's Boutique: Best of British



I love Archie's Boutique! I LOVE ARCHIE'S BOUTIQUE!

It's one of my favourite places to buy clothes for the girls and my nephews. They stock a gorgeous collection of vintage and ethically produced clothes, toys and homewares - lots of which are organic, and ALL of which are bright and bold and eyecatching. Perfect for fashionable littlies!
 
Sarah Archard launched Archie's Boutique after the birth of her son Jonah. She struggled to find stylish, design-led clothes and, like lots of us mums, wanted more choice and originality in baby clothes and accessories. Only, unlike lots of us mums, she actually did something about it and set up her own online store, stocking pieces by all of her favourite designers. Her collection includes some of my favourites too, like Beau Loves, Inch Blue and Old Rectory.

She has recently started a new section on the website dedicated to the Best of British designers and I'm just mad about it! Being a massive supporter of British brands, I'm so excited that my favourite baby boutique is also supporting homegrown talent. Here are a few pieces from the new Archie's SS13 Best of British range that are already sitting in my online shopping basket, waiting to be bought on pay day! ----

I've also had a sneaky peak at the new Beau Loves collection (available soon!). Check out these gorgeous pieces!! L-O-V-E!


If you're looking for some beautiful, BRITISH kids clothes, then make sure you check Archie's out. You can also follow them on Twitter here and Facebook here. Happy shopping! xoxox
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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Things to Make and Do this Easter!

Easter is early this year. Really early. In two weeks time in fact. That means we've all got a fortnight to prepare for having the kids at home for almost three weeks!

Here are a few suggestions of things to do to keep them entertained during the Easter holidays.

Create an Easter Tree



As much as I'd love to, I can't take credit for this amazing tree! It's the masterpiece of my lovely friend Sarah and she does one every year!

Daisy loved decorating the tree at Christmas so we've decided to make an Easter version a tradition too.

All you need is some twigs (preferably covered in beautiful blossom!) and a sturdy vase/jar/bucket to stand them in. We will be making our vase extra sturdy by filling it with coloured sand and stones. Then you need to amass a pretty ornament collection. We have been buying some over the course of the last few months but plan to make some of our own too!



Easter Decorations:
Glass beads on wire (bought from a florist) to wrap around our twigs for a dewy effect
Small wooden hanging eggs and wooden flowers from East of India
Hand stitched felt bunnies from Emma Bear Forever 
Two small chick plates to serve Lindt mini eggs on found in a charity shop!

Plan an Easter Egg Hunt


No Easter is complete without an Easter egg hunt! This is already a tradition in our family and we join forces with my sister and my nephews and organise a huge one with lots of chocolate and Easter themed goodies to be found! Because the children are all under 4, which is a bit young for a hunt with proper clues, we use painted lollipop sticks as markers and make nests out of bright tissue paper so the eggs are easy to spot!

Easter egg hunts needn't be just for the kiddiewinks either.... why not do a grown up version with some grown up easter chocolates? The lovely people at Lindt sent us some easter eggs this week (which we've eaten already - oink!) and I'll definitely be asking the Easter bunny to bring me another Lindor egg when he comes! Lindor balls are my absolute favourite chocolate and they come in little egg shapes at this time of year - a must for chocolate lovers everywhere!




Have an Easter Crafting Session
Easter is a perfect time to get crafty - why not make an Easter bonnet or crown or decorate a basket ready for your Easter egg hunt? You could adorn them with paper flowers and pompom chicks, or make decorations for your tree! There are heaps of ideas on Pinterest - we're planning on raiding our craft cupboard and making bunting and toilet roll bunnies, decorating an Easter wreath for our front foor and painting hard boiled eggs!




If you're off visiting family and can't take all your crafting supplies with you, why not check out Wonderplay (on Twitter here and Facebook here). I discovered them only yesterday and think they sound brilliant. For £19.95 a month when you subscribe (or an extra £3.99 for a one off box) they will deliver a pack of themed creative activities to your door. Every month is a new theme with a variety of age appropriate craft projects and all the things needed to start are included, with clear and easy instructions. The March boxes, which are available now, are Easter themed and contain five activities including stamping, collage, painting, stickers, feathers and card making!

Visit a farm!
It's the lambing season and if you spend just one day of the holidays outside you must visit a farm and see some brand new baby lambs! Bocketts Farm in Leatherhead is one of our favourite farms to visit and they have loads of brilliant activities lined up for the Easter holidays.

Whatever you get up to, I hope you all have a brilliant Easter break xoxox
 
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Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Loved by Parents Blogger of the Year Nominations are NOW OPEN!

 

Roll up, roll up!

Nominations are now open for the 3rd Blogger Of The Year Award in partnership with Virgin Experience Days! 

Do you enjoy writing a blog? Do you have a blog that you think stands out from the crowd? What does your blog say about you? What purpose does it serve? Whether it is for entertainment, to raise awareness or to share your opinions with others, Loved by Parents would love to hear from you!

There's a little less than four weeks left for you to nominate yourself and your blog - and you can do so by completing the nomination form here. If you have a blog that you think deserves the Loved by Parents seal of approval then enter it today!

All entries must be submitted online and received no later than midnight on the 12th April 2013. The competition will be shortlisted by the Lovedbyparents team and then open to the public to vote for their favourite winning blog on 20th May 2013. The winner will be announced on 24th June.

Good luck! xoxox

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Friday, 15 March 2013

A Beginner's Guide to Cloth: A Guest Post

Today I have a guest post from Eve Bell, of Baba+Boo fame!

Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know that I've wanted to switch from disposable nappies to cloth for a long time. I just found it all so confusing and was given totally conflicting advice from different people. I had no idea what I'd need to start and was frightened of  buying a starter kit and spending so much money all in one hit - and I'm sure there are lots of other mums in my position that want to switch to cloth but are not sure how to start!

Let me introduce Eve!

Eve is officially my cloth nappy guru. She has told me everything I need to know about making the change and now I have finally done it! She owns the cloth nappy brand Baba+Boo so is particulary knowledgeable - and is lovely to boot - and I thought it woud be great to have a beginner's guide available on Modern Mummy. So here you go!
 
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Cloth nappies and your choice to use them can seem like a very expensive decision. When doing your adding up of baby costs though you will soon see that what it costs you for under 2 months worth of disposables can get you started with a cloth bum obsession. It  doesnt have to be all or nothing. Introduce one cloth nappy at a time and grow your stash as and when you have the pennies as well as when your confidence with cloth grows.

Reasons to use cloth

  • It’s environmentally friendly. In six to eight months we estimate that you can stop sending around 1000 nappies from going to landfill
  • They’re good for baby – there tends to be less nappy rash
  • You can use them again for the next child or pass them on
  • It does save money in the long run
  • Disposables cost around £30 a month: times that by at least 24 months = £720.
  • Cloth nappies can be anything from totally free eg hand me downs to £13 – £15 each for new ones. You will need about 15 for 3 days costing you  approx £225


Here’s what I’d suggest to get started:

  • Around 15 nappies, with their inserts and liners costing you approx £225
  • A bin or a wet bag (around £3.95 for a bag, but buy at least 3 to keep a rotation)
  • Liners (to throw away the poop easily £5.99 for 200 sheets)
  • Flannels or reusable wipes (to be extra environmentally friendly and wipe baby’s bottom)
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Nappy soak for your nappy bin (I don’t use this as tea tree seems enough)

Using cloth is not as difficult as you think. There is a small amount of preparation but it soon becomes habit. Our YouTube channel shows you how to put your cloth nappies together, how to wash them and even baby signing with animal prints!

It doesn’t have to feel like another chore - make it fun!

Cloth nappy libraries are popping up everywhere at the moment and these are a really good place to start. You can lend different types of nappies to see what suits you and your baby before you go out and spend a lot on one particular type. Most popular are pocket nappies as they are really quick to dry but there are other types. The mums that run nappy libraries are really knowledgeable too. Check the map here to find one closest to you.

If, when your child was born, you had to buy your nappies outright and you were given the choice of handing over £800 for disposables there and then, or handing over £200 for lovely fluffy nappies that came with a guarantee, I know which one I would take!
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Baba+Boo offer a cloth nappy trial - for more details click here

This post is not sponsored.
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Stuck on You: A Review & Giveaway!

Stuck on You is a company that specialises in labels and personalised gifts. They launched over seventeen years ago selling labels alone but recently have branched out into personalised clothes and gifts too.

We were sent some lovely goodies to review - Daisy received a personalised activity book and pencils, Evie was sent an Evie Bear and I was given a laundry hamper (which I'm using for something else - but more on that later!)

There's no denying the activity book is brilliant - and the fact it was personalised made Daisy's day! It's perfect for a three year old that's learning his or her letters and teaches them how letters are formed before getting them to trace the alphabet for the very first time. It wasn't just personalised on the front cover, D's name was mentioned throughout and we both liked that very much!

My littlest pickle's very own Evie Bear is just gorgeous! The personalised teddies are ultra soft and come with a 100% cotton t-shirt and linen shorts or a skirt. 

Then there's my beloved 'laundry basket'. I was actually after a toy bucket or basket for downstairs which could be taken back up to the bedrooms at the end of each day so I requested the personalisation on this myself! It's perfect - fits a very decent amount of toys in it but is still compact and very sturdy.

Other brilliant ideas they have come up with include reward charts (never underestimate the power of a reward chart! - see my post here) and activity planners, beach towels and personalised lunch bags and rucksacks. There is something for everyone so make sure you have a browse of their full range of products!

I have four prizes for this giveaway - four winners will each receive a £20 evoucher to spend as they wish in the Stuck on You store! Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below* and there are six ways to take part. You can like Modern Mummy and Stuck on You on Facebook, follow Modern Mummy on Twitter and tweet about the competition too. Following the blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs and leaving a comment telling me your favourite Stuck on You product will each give two bonus entries! The competition closes at midnight on 22nd March 2013 and the winner will be announced on here, on Facebook and on Twitter on 25th March. This competition is open to UK residents only.

Good luck! xoxox 

*The giveaway starts at 12.01am on 16th March 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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