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Ambi Toys Oscar The Octopus & First Keys Baby Toys Review

As Archie started teething quite early on and got his first tooth at 19 weeks old he is always chewing on things and now that he is seven months old finds it easy to grab and hold things to bring toys to his mouth for a good munch! Ambi Toys kindly sent Archie the First Keys, rattle keys which have four big brightly coloured keys on a big white ring which are easy for Archie to pick up and hold and play with and also chew on too. The keys are flat so take up no space at all in my changing bag and we can take them out and about with us. At the moment we are in Toronto and we brought them with us to keep Archie entertained on the flight and he plays with him when we are out and about and he is in his pushchair. The First Keys have an RRP of £4.99.




We were also sent Oscar the Octopus which obviously my Oscar loved immediately and thought it was for him. He has managed to sneakily play with it in the bath as he seems to think everyone of Archie’s toys is really for him, although he is not so keen to share his toys with Archie as he doesn’t like him chewing them! Oscar the Octopus is a cute and small Octopus that is brightly coloured and his legs move around when you turn him around and he is about adult palm size so is perfect for Archie’s little hands and fingers. Again he likes chomping on his legs and loves it when Oscar shakes him really fast as he makes a rattling noise when his legs move around. Both of the toys mentioned are perfect for taking out and about with you as they are small and easy to fit into your changing bag. Oscar the Octopus has an RRP of £4.99.


  

Ambi Toys have a wide range of gorgeous what I call back top basics old fashioned toys that help stimulate your baby with their bright colours and have toys suited for each developmental and age stage for your baby. We have a few of their toys now and really love them and Archie is defiantly drawn to their bright colours and would pick them up and choose them if he had several toys out in front of him as they are easy for you to play with. They are so reasonably priced too and would make great presents for a new baby or for their first birthday or Christmas. Great toys at great prices!

Disclaimer: We were sent the above toys for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

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Back To School & Back To Sleep With Silentnight

The new school year is just around the corner (I can’t believe it!) and the Summer holidays often put stress on the whole family’s sleeping patterns. It’s important to help children get back into a sleeping routine to make sure they are well rested for their first school day. For us personally getting Oscar back into a school routine is quite hard as he has had a nine week Summer break. Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, says: “The school holidays are an exciting time for children, it means enjoying lovely holiday lie-ins, afternoon naps, and sometimes late nights, all hugely affecting both parents and children’s body clocks.” We have been away twice within the holidays and are currently in Toronto which has a 5 hour time difference so late nights and jet lag has defiantly messed up Oscar’s usual 7.30pm bedtime routine and we will have to help Oscar get back his normal sleep routine ready for school when we return to the UK. Dr Nerina Ramlakhan also says, “Routine is key to children waking up refreshed and feeling ready for bed at a suitable time. The sooner you begin to reintroduce a sleeping rhythm, after several weeks of irregularity, the sooner all the family can fall back into a healthy sleeping pattern.”
So to help you to get you or your children in a great sleep routine ready for them to go back to school Dr Nerina, a physiologist, sleep therapist, author and consultant for more than 20 years, has listed her top sleep tips to help your child ease back into their school-time sleep schedules:
1. Start to introduce technology-free time in the evenings
Research has shown that by having a constant stream of light enter our eyes before we go to sleep, we are actually telling our brains that we want to be awake. An hour or so before children go to bed, rule out any blue light. This means no TV, tablets or mobile phones. The bedroom should be a technology free environment.
2. Gradually reintroduce earlier bedtimes
An ideal bedtime for pre-teens would be no later than 8.30pm, gradually shift bedtime earlier over the course of a few days to allow children to adjust.
3. A calming pre-sleep routine
The few hours before bed can be just as important as actual bedtime. Relaxing baths with lavender, a milky drink or reading are great ways to help children wind down and feel ready for bed.
4. Have a chat
Heading back to school or starting a new one, can be worrying for some children, and leave them feeling anxious. Talk to your child about any concerns they may have before bedtime, and encourage simple yoga or meditation by repeating a calming word or by helping them with their breathing techniques, including breathing deeply from the stomach.
5. Create a sleep friendly bedroom
Bedrooms need to be sleep friendly and this means a cool environment. Freshly laundered bedding, possibly lavender fragranced, can make the room feel very calming and relaxing. Again, technology free bedrooms are a must!
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6. Exercise is key
It is scientifically proven that exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels (mainly adrenaline) thus enabling you to sleep more deeply. A short walk with children after the evening meal would be the perfect exercise to help them wind down.
7. Good nutritional habits 
To help us sleep we need a good balance of the hormones serotonin and melatonin in our system. Sending children off to school with a balanced lunchbox will help to promote a healthy hormone balance. Things such as chicken, cheese, tuna, eggs, nuts and milk are all high in serotonin and are lunchbox friendly.
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For more information and sleep tips visit www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters

 

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Minions Top Trumps Card Game

Oscar is five now and we started playing Top Trumps at the start of the year as they have them in different themes and characters that he liked and he liked looking at all the pictures on the cards. Recently we were kindly sent the Minions Top Trumps to review and we took them on holiday with us so over the fortnight I could teach Oscar how to play properly, plus they fitted in my bag so easily.

Top Trumps is a great card game where each card contains a list of numerical data and the aim of the game is to compare these values to try to trump and win an opponent’s card. Within the pack there are 30 themed cards which in the Minions Top Trump pack each highlight a different Minions Movie themed mission or characters. You join Kevin, Bob and Stuart on their greatest adventure so far! During the game with the different cards you will travel through the greatest eras in history, just like in the film. The Minions serve the ferocious T-Rex, the great Egyptian Pharoh and the forces of Napoleon in hopes one of them might become their evil master. FYI the film is hilarious! I was surprised how much Oscar knew about the different eras!


So as I said we took our pack on holiday with us and we had great fun playing Top Trumps over and over again. We played it on the plane and we played it everyday when I had applied Oscar’s sun cream and was waiting for it to dry in, to keep Oscar in the shade we would sit and play a game of Minions Top Trumps while we waited. It only took a few games and Oscar had completely got the idea and how to play. I also noticed that it is a great way of getting Oscar to recognise higher numbers and be able to read the words on the cards too which was great as there is an element of learning as well as fun when playing the game.

  

The Minions Top Trumps retail for £4.99 and is available online or in all good toy stores.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Minions Top Trumps for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine

I have been using the  Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine now for about 8 weeks since I stopped expressing for every feed. It is single handedly the best baby invention ever! The perfect prep machine makes a bottle to the perfect feeding temperature in under 2 minutes. No more boiling the kettle and leaving it to cool down for half an hour, I can make a fresh bottle instantly whenever we need one.

The perfect prep comes in black or white, we have the limited edition black one that fits in with the style of our kitchen. When you want to make a bottle I simply grab one out of the steriliser, twist the dial on the top of the machine to how many ounces you need and then press the start button. The machine then does an initial hot shot of about 20ml that will kill any bacteria that might be in the formula powder and also helps the powder to dissolve easier. You then add the formula powder and give the bottle a shake and then put it back under the water spout (it gives you 2 minutes to do this before resetting itself) and it will fill the bottle up to how many ounces you chose to start with. Once done simply shake the bottle up, add on a teat and your ready to feed with a bottle at the perfect feeding temperature, body temperature. The same temperature breast milk would be. It is absolutely brilliant!

  

Within the machine there is a water filter that will remove any impurities in the water and each filter lasts for 150 litres. One is included with you machine and lasts approximately three months. It then costs £8.99 for a pack of 3 replacement filters that will last you for ages.

I can easily make a bottle safely using only one hand. I have recommended the perfect prep to all my friends that have had a baby recently and most have got one and said to me how great it is! If you are formula feeding it is 100% a must have product that will make making bottles so much quicker, safer and easier for you!

The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine has an RRP of £119.99 but on amazon you can get the limited edition black for £70 and the white machine for £60. You can see other stockists HERE.
Disclaimer: We were sent the perfect prep machine as I am a Mumb@ssador for Tommee Tippee and I was sent it for the purpose of this review.

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Review and Competition: Minions Crayola Colour Alive

Oscar is a big fan of the minions and we have lots of different minion toys from the delightful fart (we call it splat) gun to a giant inflatable robot minion that flies around my kitchen floor. I had seen the Crayola Alive books and app before and when we were asked to try out the new Minions Crayola Colour Alive I knew Oscar would love it!

So Oscar set to work using the seven pens that came with the colouring book colouring in the first page why I downloaded the app on to our Ipad. The Crayola Colour Alive app is free to download from the app store or google play and you can use the same app with the different Crayola colouring books that are available to bring your drawings alive.

Once the app was downloaded and Oscar had coloured in his minion we scanned the colouring with the app and his minion creation came alive in 4D exactly how Oscar had coloured him in. I must say I was pretty amazed, as was Oscar and it is so clever how it copies every detail and colour to perfection. The background scenes even are on your screen too.

Once you have scanned your colouring you can move your phone or tablet screen around to see the 4D image of your minion move around and from all different angles, it’s so bloomin clever!

The Colour Alive books have an RRP of £6.99 and there are a variety of different themed books to choose from. It takes colouring in to a how new level and for a little boy like Oscar who wasn’t overly keen on sitting down and colouring, he absolutely loves the colour alive idea and as he has been doing it quite a lot his colouring within the lines has really improved! At £6.99 they make a great birthday present or the perfect stocking filler for Christmas which seems to be only just around the corner.


For the chance to win your own copy of the Minions Crayola Colour Alive book enter below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We were sent the above product for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

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My ClaireaBella Bag From Toxicfox

Last month I was sent a gorgeous ClaireaBella bag from Toxicfox to take on holiday with us. It made the perfect pool bag and fitted everything we needed in it for a day around the pool. The ClaireaBella bags are personalised jute bags that come in various sizes; small polo jute, medium, large and in a satchel design. When making my bag I simply chose from different outfits, eye colour, hair colour and style, skin tone and you can add accessories. The Toxicfox website is really easy to use and it only took me five minutes to complete the design of my bag. Each bag is then hand painted with your chosen design and your name on the front of it too and then it will take roughly 1-2 weeks to be made and dispatched.

The large bag I have is £39.99 and I love it. I had several comments on how nice my bag was from other women around the pool. It fits so much inside and is made of a high quality jute and even when it was really quite heavy the handles are so thick and well stitched that it didn’t matter how heavy it was. For a limited time only there is £5 off the large jute bags using the code VPJUTES. I will be using my bag for my holiday bag for years to come. I have also been using it on picnics as the flat bottom of the bag means everything doesn’t fall out when you but the bag down as it stands up on it’s own.

ClaireaBella also have a range of stationary, make up bags, lunch boxes and much more. There are also great gift ideas for men too. I think the collection make great personalised gifts for someone special and I have seen before the ClaireaBella bags and wine glasses used as bridesmaid gifts which would be a great gift to receive!
The collection is fab and also Toxicfox have loads more great products and gift ideas so head on over their website to take a look for yourself!

Disclaimer: I was sent the ClaireaBella bag for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

The New Comfort Wheel Board From Bugaboo

This September,  Bugaboo will be introducing their new Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board featuring a detachable seat. By attaching the Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board to your Bugaboo pushchair, you as parents can create a fun and comfortable ride for their extra child in just two simple clicks. What may seem as a relaxing walk to you, can be quite a marathon for a toddler with their little legs. The Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board ensures a smooth ride for your child and allows parents to continue to move freely through their world. By clicking the wheeled board straight onto any Bugaboo pushchair, it becomes the perfect extension. I have a Bugaboo Buffalo myself and also The Runner and will defiantly be getting the comfort wheeled board for Oscar to hop on to! You can see what I love about the Buffalo HERE.

Bugaboo Adapter Comfort Wheeled Board

 

Smart design can be found in the board’s flexible positioning, either to the left or right of the pushchair, creating extra walking space for parents. A detachable seat offers the extra flexibility, as your toddler has the option to stand or have a sit down. Bugaboo’s signature suspension makes sure that the stroll will be bump-free, and when not in use, the wheeled board can easily be clicked up or even detached for easy access to the under-seat basket which I love! The Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board is compatible with all Bugaboo pushchairs apart from the Bugaboo Runner and is available in selected stores worldwide and online from September 2015.

For a retailer near you, please visit bugaboo.com/retail-locator. Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board & Adapter:  €119.95/ £99.95, Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board: € 105.00/ £90.00, Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board Adapter  €14.95/ £9.95

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My Friend Freddy Bear

At Britmums back in June I saw ‘My Friend Freddy Bear‘ for the first time and knew the boys would love him. I also fell in love with the huge version they had at Britmums and wouldn’t mind having him at home too! :) So when we were asked if we would like to review one I couldn’t wait to see what Oscar thought of him. When he arrived put his batteries in and then downloaded the Freddy Bear app on Itunes which is free and answered lot’s of questions about Oscar so Freddy Bear knew everything about him. I then placed him back in the box for Oscar to open himself. I loved that you can set him up secretly so it was extra magical that Freddy Bear knew everything I had filled in on the app.


  Oscar got him out the box and I opened the app on my Ipad and connected them to each other using bluetooth and we were away. Freddy Bear asked Oscar lots of questions and Oscar sat there chatting to him. When using the app he can read you stories, you can play games and can create albums for different friends and family members to talk about them too. The stories are really sweet and his mouth moves with every word, for young children this must be magical! My Freddy Bear has a recommended age of 2+ but you can select the stage that suits your child’s learning ability for the games. There are three different games; the fish bowl game where Freddy asks you to move different coloured fish to different bowls, a sea puzzle game and on the level Oscar is on he has to complete a maths sum to work out what puzzle piece to put in next and once the puzzle is completed Freddy tells you facts about the sea creature which Oscar loves as he loves learning about animals. The final game is Animal Zoo and you have to choose the animal that Freddy Bear is describing to you and when you get it right he tells you facts about that animal.

Freddy Bear is so interactive and Oscar can actually have a conversation with him and answer his questions. He couldn’t believe it when Freddy asked him how his brother Archie was, he just kept looking at me in amazement. Archie likes him too and Oscar shows Freddy to him and he is lovely and soft for Archie to have a cuddle with although Freddy knows when he is on his side or upside down and asks to be put the right way up again. Clever Freddy!

I love that with Freddy Bear that as well as having a fun bear to talk to there is a learning element in there to with the maths games and animal facts and also Oscar quite likes to sit and listen to him tell him a story and show Archie too. It is no surprise that Freddy Bear is one of the must have toys for Christmas this year and I would buy one now to avoid disappointment when they have flown off the shelves. I have already started buying bits and putting them away so the toys for the boys are not out of stock or hard to get hold of.

My Friend Freddy Bear has an RRP of £39.99 and in my opinion that is a great price for such a fab toy that will grow with your child and eventually Oscar can pass down to Archie.

Disclaimer: We were sent My Friend Freddy Bear for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are completely honest and my own. We love him!

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Parent On With Tommee Tippee #Parenton

Take a Deep Breath. Trust Yourself. And….  49,100,000that’s how many content articles there are on Google for ‘parenting advice.’

As soon as your baby’s due the flood of parenting advice begins, both solicited and unsolicited, and often conflicting. There’s unnecessary fear-mongering, opposing opinions and critical judgements. Raising a baby is a bit of a rollercoaster ride but that doesn’t mean it needs to be confusing and complicated. I have always listened and nodded to any ‘advice’ and then learnt my own way or just followed my instincts.

For a whooping 50 years, Tommee Tippee have made products that are smart and simple. Innovative and intuitive. Through this time they have helped parents parent the way they were made to and the way they want to, because through all the glorious highs and smelly lows of parenting, you can only do what parents have done since time began. This is why Tommee Tippee have now created a new global platform that unites, encourages and empowers parents to trust their instincts and Parent On.

Tommee Tippee have a brand new engaging global microsite www.parent-on.com which launches today and the aim is to encourage parents all over the world to share their ‘Parent On Moments’ using the hashtag #ParentOn. You can then have a read through and learn from other parent’s moments or add your top piece of advise too.

Tommee Tippee® Head of Marketing UK, Jonathan Brougham comments, “When Tommee Tippee® started 50 years ago, there were no search engines for parents to turn to – only common sense and gut instinct. We’re using our new platform and campaign creative as a rallying cry to empower and unite parents all over the world in a positive, fun and inspiring way”.

So head over to www.parent-on.com to see what all the fuss is about  and #Parenton!