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The Power Of Plants – With Flora #PoweredByPlants

Yesterday morning Oscar, Archie and I drove into London to attend a special breakfast with Flora. When I was invited to the breakfast I knew straight away that it was something I wanted to take Oscar along to as Flora has pledged to connect children and families with the power of plant based foods and where their food comes from and I think it is so important for children to learn this from an early age. Luckily Oscar is really interested in where things come from and what’s healthy and what isn’t so I knew he would enjoy it. FloraWe had a lovely breakfast and then listened to a short talk from the Flora team themselves, a dietician and the farmer who grows the crops for the oils that are used in the spreads. I couldn’t believe when Lucy, the dietician told us all that there are over 20,000 edible plant species and the average person only eats 20! This has made me Google and research to find out over edible plants that we can add to our diet. Getting Oscar to eat vegetables hasn’t always been the easy task that it is today and he would turn his noise up at certain fruit and veg. Teaching Oscar where vegetables come from and growing some at home in the garden ourselves has certainly made the child/veggy war so much easier. If you are going through the same vegetable battle as most parents then Flora are here to help! Flora wants to help us parents address this problem by running a fun and exciting programme of activities that will be rolled out over the course of the year for your children to get involved in.

Photo Credit: Flora

The programme will begin with a dinosaur made entirely from plants. The Florasaurus, (Oscar loves the name) will show how many of the worlds most magnificent creatures were powered by plants. The giant beast will be touring around the UK to highlight the amazing power of plants and the simple plant based ingredients that go into Flora. If this won’t engage children I don’t know what will! Oscar cannot wait to go and see the Florasaurus!

Afterwards Oscar got the chance to make his own spread, which couldn’t have been easier. It really reinforced how Flora contains the simplest of ingredients which can be found in your kitchen cupboards. Each tub contains plant oils, such as sunflower, rapeseed and linseed oils. Oscar mixed the four simple ingredients and was very pleased with himself when he saw his spread at the end. He spread it on to some bread and loved the taste of it. We will definitely be making it again at home as he really enjoyed making it.

Flora is lower in saturated fats than butter and provides a source of healthy Omega 3 and 6. These essential fats contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels and are also needed for normal growth and to support the development of our children. Oscar loves me adding a bit of spread on to his corn on the cob and it makes vegetables so much more tastier which again will make vegetables more appealing and tasty to kids.

As part of Flora’s commitment to promote plant based diets, they have launched Flora Freedom. This is a 100% dairy free product, which is free of preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, and like the rest of the Flora range is approved by The Vegetarian Society. I can honestly say It tastes amazing and if I didn’t know I would never have guessed that it is dairy free.

We had a great morning with Flora and they have certainly opened my eyes up to foods that are powered by plants and given me lot’s of fun ideas of how to improve our diet at home and top tips to teach Oscar where is food comes from. They also kindly gave us a goodie bag which had a sunflower seed kit inside which Oscar can’t wait to plant in the garden.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post].

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My Perfect Holiday With My Family #MarkWarnerMum

My perfect holiday has changed only slightly over the last ten years. Before we had children when Greg and I booked a holiday I would always pick somewhere that was hot where I could return with a glowing sun tan. It also had to be somewhere where we could relax and grab a few spa treatments but also somewhere we could explore too as Greg gets bored laying around a pool for two weeks where as I love it, laying on a sun lounger reading a book.

Paris 2008

Before we had children we would take short breaks to explore amazing cities like Paris, have beach holidays but one of my most memorable was when Greg took me to San Francisco. It was my first trip to America and exploring such an amazing city was unforgettable.

  

San Francisco 2007 , Excuse the awful yellow cargos

When we had children I thought that my idea of the perfect holiday would be somewhat different but it hasn’t changed at all. The boys have travelled abroad since they were babies and are used to it now and we have been blessed with dream little travellers. Last year when we flew to Toronto other people around us commented on how well behaved Oscar and Archie were, which made me feel every proud.

  

My perfect holiday now is still somewhere warm that Oscar and Archie can have fun in the pool, somewhere that has attractions to visit and sights to see as I love Oscar to see and learn about different cultures. My favourite thing about being on holiday is being together and watching the boys in their element as they have Daddy with them 24/7 and making memories as a family is just amazing. It is somewhere that has amazing local food and a gorgeous veranda that looks over the sea and we can sit and eat dinner together and watch the sun go down. It is somewhere where we feel at home and that the staff are friendly and welcoming.

I love watching Oscar make friends around the pool and us then making friends with their parents and having lunches together. Seeing his excitement when we leave the pool after a long day of splashing to shower and get ready for the children’s entertainment before dinner is always so special, then watching him growing in confidence and playing with his friends is unforgettable as this is something we don’t get to see when he makes his friends in school.

  

Taking walks down the beach, walking along the shore, searching for pretty stones and shells. Feeling the sand between your toes and writing the year and where we are in the sand for our yearly photo.

  

Looking back through our holiday photos, we as a family have made so many amazing memories so far and I cannot wait to keep making even more. Roll on Summer!

Disclosure: This is my entry into the Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador search for 2016 in the Fab Photographer category. Find out more here. #MarkWarnerMum

 

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The Stokke Sleepi Cot Review

When I started looking into cots when I was pregnant with Archie I had been to the baby show and looked at lots of different makes and styles. With Oscar we had a basic mamas and papas one and I wanted something different this time around. Finally I decided to go with the Stokke Sleepi as I loved the design and it stood out to me and just looked so much better than any other cot that was on the market. I also loved that you could give it your own style but adding different coloured sheets and accessories. I chose to add the white Stokke sheets, the white bumper and the gorgeous canopy which I absolutely loved. I also loved that the cot grows with your baby. At the start you have it as the Sleepi mini which meant  there was no need for me to get a Moses basket. When Oscar was a baby I brought the most gorgeous moses basket but it only lasted for about 12 weeks as he grew out of it. So when Archie was born I put him straight into Sleepi mini. This also saves money from buying moses baskets, then a cot.

I built the Sleepi Mini with Oscar’s help when I was about 32 weeks pregnant. It is easy to put together, as is all of the Stokke furniture range. All you need is the Allen key provided. It took us about 25 minutes and the instructions are so easy to follow. I then washed all the bedding and dressed the cot and then it was all ready for Archie’s arrival.

You can get the Sleepi in a few different colours and also can get matching nursery furniture to go with it. I absolutely love Stokke as a brand and I really think you cannot beat their products when it comes to quality and design. I have then gone on to buy the Stokke Steps high chair for Archie.

Everybody who has seen Archie in his Sleepi have commented how lovely and traditional it is which is one of the reasons why I chose it in the first place. The Stokke Sleepi is obviously suitable from newborn which is when we used the mini and then at around six months I added the two extension panels and the bigger mattress which made it into the sleepi cot.

Later on it can be turned into a cot bed taken then a  proper bed and also after your little one has out grown that can be the end two curved chairs. One of the unique and best things about Stokke is that you are buying something that will truly last forever. Oscar’s Tripp Trapp high chair has benn used since he was six months old, when we started weaning him. He now uses it as a chair and always gets used at Christmas as an extra chair as an adult can sit on it too. You’re buying furniture that will grow with your child and not have to be replaced only six months later when you have spent a small fortune on buying cots or high chairs for your baby.

In my opinion you honestly cannot go wrong with Stokke! It is just the best quality. Sometimes people think that it is expensive but when you buy something from them it is fantastic quality, easy to put together will last from newborn through to adult. With those points in mind I think it is fantastically priced. To any of my friends that are having babies and ask what cot or high chair I have I will always recommend Stokke.

Sweet Dreams!

Stokke

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TUMTUM Lunch Bag, Snack Pots & Water Bottle – Review & Competition

If you don’t already know TUMTUM are a multi award winning brand that aim to revolutionise dining for tots. When I was asked if I wanted to review on other their items I jumped at the chance as I had seen it in John Lewis and thought it was really eye catching and looked great. Out of the range there are three characters to choose from Scruff, Bluebell or bugs and I went for Scruff as I loved the blue bag for the boys and the dog character looks really sweet. We were then kindly sent a Scruff Insulated Lunchbag/Backpack, a set of four Scruff nesting snack pots and a Scruff water bottle.

Archie is 13 months now and has been eating ‘proper’ food for a while now as he is able to munch through most things with his 13 teeth and taking snacks out and about with me has been much easier thanks to the nesting snack pots. In the set that is £9.00 you get four brightly coloured pots in four different sizes and are perfect for taking out and about with you. I cut up bits of fruit and veg and put them in them, carrot stick crisps, a cut up sandwich for Archie and off we go. The snack pots are all dishwasher safe and the lids seal properly and tightly unlike some other pots we have used in the past. When not in use I can store the pots neatly inside one another and put in the cupboard. The snack pots are PVC, BPA & phthalate free.

 

When I take Archie’s lunch and snacks out with us in the pots they neatly fit into his Scruff Insulated lunch bag. I love that it can be used as a backpack too and will be able to grow with Archie and last for ages as when he gets bigger he can carry it around himself. Oscar can also use it too. It also has a carry handle on the top which I have been using and could also fit over a stroller handle. The Scruff design is so sweet and we have had comments from other people on what a nice looking lunch bag it is. The bag itself is insulated to protect lunch and snacks from the warmer weather. The bag is so spacious inside and you can easily fit everything you need for the day inside. I thought it was a cute extra touch that you can slot a photo of your child into the outside of the bag which if they used the lunch bag at school or nursery but couldn’t quite read their name yet they could identify their bag through there own photo. Again the bag is BPA & Phthalate free. The insulated lunch bag is £15. We went away last weekend and fitted all the snacks we needed inside!


Last but not least we were sent the Scruff water bottle which so far Oscar has seem to have hijacked. The water bottle has a flip top lid with a straw and is so easy to drink out of. The lid screws tightly on with no leakages at all and is dishwasher safe. I love the flip top bottles as when Oscar isn’t drinking out of it the straw is goes back inside and is protected by the lid which is much more hygienic then most drink bottles. The water bottle is £7. The whole range is lovely and TUMTUM also have Scruff cutlery, a dining set, super stable cup, a mega mat and a thermal food flask.


All in all the TUMTUM products are fantastic and have made eating out and about much easier and tidier. The quality of the bottle, pots and lunch bag are great and are a bargain too. You can see their full ranges HERE.

TUMTUM have kindly given the chance for one of my readers to win a Scruff Insulated lunchbag/backpack, snack pots and drinking bottle worth £31 which is the ultimate out and about set. Enter below and good luck!

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The TUMTUM range’s are available online, In John Lewis, Jo Jo Maman Bebe stores and other great independent stores. You can find your nearest stockist here.

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The Stokke Tripp Trapp In Three Gorgeous New Colours!

We love our Stokke Tripp Trapp and have had it since Oscar was a baby. I then brought the newborn seat when we had Archie and it was a godsend when in the kitchen making dinner that Archie was strapped in safely and was high enough to see what was going on. Oscar now uses the Tripp Trapp as a chair and we brought the Stokke Steps high chair for Archie to use as Oscar didn’t want to give up his Tripp Trapp.

Archie in his newborn seat. Where has the time gone?

The Tripp Trapp is now available in three gorgeous new colours; Soft Pink, Wheat Yellow and Hazy Grey.

All three of the colours as you can see look great and are bang on trend. My personal favourite is the Wheat Yellow. To compliment the three new colours Stokke have also launched for the Tripp Trapp® ten new cushion designs. They are all in versatile patterns that offer lots of different options to create a truly custom look and complement the Tripp Trapp® chair in its wide variety of colours. It is a great way of sprucing up your Tripp Trapp by adding a fashionable cushion.

Adding the cushion also provides additional comfort for your baby, and can be used in conjunction with the Baby Set or on the chair alone. As a final touch Stoke have also added two new reversible textile set covers for the Tripp Trapp® Newborn Set in playful patterns featuring cars, stars and butterflies. The textile set includes a coordinating reversible bib to complete the look. I love the car design!

You can’t go wrong with a Stokke high chair as with both the Tripp Trapp and the Steps they grow with your child, right from newborn until adult.

The Tripp Trapp high chair has an RRP of £169.00, the newborn seat has an RRP of £75.00 and the new reversible textiles are £23.00, the Tripp Trapp cushions are £33.00.

 

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Our 13 Month Vital Baby Weaning Update #WeaningWarriors

Quite a bit has changed in the World of weaning since I wrote about Archie’s weaning journey a couple of months ago. Archie now has 14 teeth which has made eating food much easier for him and he pretty much eats anything and everything. As we he had outgrown his first weaning bits Vital Baby kindly sent an extra few bits for Archie. They sent Archie a stainless steel cutlery set, 3 basic simply plates and a soft spout toddler trainer cup.

Archie is now able to eat pretty much the same dinners as Oscar and I have noticed over the past few weeks that Archie has tried more to feed himself and hold his cup. The stainless steel cutlery set has grippy handles that make them easy for Archie to hold, they also have soft finger locators that will teach your baby to hold their cutlery correctly. At the moment he uses the spoon to try to feed himself a yoghurt. The cutlery is also a good size for Oscar to use as well which shows they will last for a long time. The cutlery set is £4.49 and comes in blue, orange and yellow or pink. The set is made from made from safe BPA-free materials.

The pack of 3 basic simply plates are great. Within the pack each plate is a different colour and have high non tip wings to help prevent spills and mess. The plates are thin as well which make them perfect to slide inside your changing bag to use when out and about or take away with you. The plates are a good size and I have found that I can leave the plate in front of Archie without it tipping and causing a massive mess. Having the food in front of him helps Archie to eat independently and eat what he wants to. I have also used these plates at dinner time with Oscar. At £2.99 for the 3 plates they are an absolute bargain and Vital Baby also sell 3 basic simple bowls too. I will be getting the basic simply bowls to go with our plates and will be clearing my cupboard out of the useless plastic bowls and plates that we have accumulated over the years as we only need the Vital Baby ones.

The Soft Spout Toddler Trainer Cup has a very cute animal design on it and comes in three different colours; orange, blue or pink. The cup is both non-spill and free flow drinking making it perfect and easy for your little ones to learn to drink from it. Archie especially likes the soft flip-spout free-flow cup as he is teething he likes to chew on it too. The cup also comes with a spout cover that is great for keeping the spout clean and hygienic on the go. This cup is honestly fell great and ticks all of the boxes for what you would want in a trainer cup and at only £3.49 it is great value!


You really can’t go wrong with Vital Baby products in terms of cost and quality! Check out their full range online at www.vitalbaby.co.uk The Vital Baby products can also be purchased in a range of market-leading retailers, online and in-store, including: Amazon.co.uk, Babies R Us, Boots, John Lewis, JoJo Maman Bebe, Kiddicare, M&S, Ocado.com, Tesco, and Waitrose.

I would love for you to share your weaning photos under the hashtag #weaningwarriors.

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

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The Great Little Trading Company Play Table Review

Our Play Table from The Great Little Trading Company has been without a doubt the best thing we have ever brought for Oscar to play on and store his toys in. On his third birthday we brought him a wooden train set and the man in the toy shop told us that Oscar would play with it a lot more if it was up higher on a permanent table rather than on the floor on a mat. I searched the internet and saw the one on The Great Little Trading company website and was sold. Not only was it large enough to set up his train set, it had a reversible play surface, a printed unisex design on one side and a blackboard on the other. It also has two huge storage draws that can fit so much in and store Oscar’s toys away easily and neatly.


I ordered the table online and it was delivered within 3 working days. I put it together on my own and the instructions were really easy to follow. I then covered it in Oscar’s duvet so that we could surprise him when Daddy got home from work. Over the years it has changed from a train table to a Playmobil table. Having the play table means Oscar can have his toys out all of the time rather than having to put it all away and get it all out again. Having a baby now that is 13 months and is crawling it has been a god send that Oscar’s toys can be up on the table and out of the way instead of on the floor where Archie could get them.


The table itself is really well made and honestly I don’t know what we would have done without it, there would be toys everywhere. Obviously we brought ours a few years ago and there is now an updated version which is the Eden Play Table that has an updated play surface design and the table comes in either natural wood or white.

The Eden Play Table

If you are looking for something a play table that is sturdy and will last the test if time, then this one from The Great Little Trading company is the one for you!

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The New Energi Trampoline Park Coming To Wilmslow & Competition

I posted about my friends at Energi Leisure Parks in October, ahead of the opening of their trampoline park in Preston in October. I’ve been to visit a couple of times  and it’s a brilliant venue for the whole family and has been a great success. I mentioned on the last blog post that the next Energi would not be far behind and we have been kept up to speed with the plans. Energi Wilmslow in Cheshire is all but complete and the doors will open at the end of this month!! It will be located at:

Energi Trampoline Arena, 4 Brooke Park, Epsom Avenue, Handforth, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 3RL.

You can check out their Facebook page for regular updates, offers and competitions and also the Energi website.

www.facebook.com/energiwilmslow

www.energileisureparks.com

I’ll post some pictures this week of the park which Greg and I have been shown and we’re looking forward to taking Oscar and Archie to the opening next week. Like Preston it’s in a super convenient location with plenty of on-site parking and the arena contains even more attractions and facilities this time. Over a hundred trampolines of different shapes and styles, airbags to jump onto, foam pits to play in, a climbing wall, interactive games, a separate kids one and much, much more.

As well as trampolining fun Energi have decided to offer organised parties, tots parties, street dance classes, Freerun lessons, and fitness classes for all ages. Call Energi Wilmslow on 0161 672 6799 for full details ahead of the online booking system going live later in the month. They’re already taking party bookings.

Not a penny has been spared on the development and it looks incredible.  As at Preston there is a really nicely designed cafe serving a variety of hot and cold food, top quality gourmet coffee and other hot drinks and ice slushes as a treat for the kids.

I have been invited to help with the opening party which is really exciting and have a limited no. of tickets for the event so if any local bloggers would like to attend please get in touch with me quickly!! You can email me on mummyszone@gmail.com

I am not allowed to say just yet but Mummy’s Zone is aware of the next two locations set to open in the next couple of months. Watch this space! I also have a family ticket for 4 people for one of my readers to win and go and check out Energi Wilmslow for yourself! Enter below and Good Luck!

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Review and Competition – Cbeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge Soft Toy

Recently we were sent a Cbeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge from Golden Bear Toys. If you watch Cbeebies with your little ones like I do you will know who Squidge is as it is a permanent fixture on the channel. Golden Bear have a lovely Cbeebies Bugs range that includes the Cbeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge,  a bedtime matching bugs game and a Cbeebies Toppling Bugbies tower game.

We are CBeebies fans in our house and for Archie’s birthday I made and sent in a birthday card which they showed on the birthday show. I also did this for Oscar on his first birthday.

The Cbeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge is a sweet squidgy yellow bug that has a bedtime attached to him and plays the sweet dreams song and glows different colours to give off a light show. You simply press the star on Squidge and the Cbeebies sweet dreams song will play. Archie and Oscar like to watch In The Night Garden and then listen to the sweet dreams bedtime song and Oscar recognised the tune when he pressed the star on Squidge straight away.


The Squidge is the perfect size for your little ones to rest their head on and then listen to the peaceful tune, which is perfect for calm down time before bed. It is suitable for children aged 10 months plus so would make a great first birthday gift. Archie has watched how Oscar presses the star to activate the music and lights and tries so hard to copy him and do it himself. He really likes him and during the day crawls over to him and rests his head on him, it is very sweet.

The Cbeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge has an RRP of £19.99 but is available at Amazon at the moment for only £9.99.

I also have a Cbeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge for one of my readers to win. Enter below and good luck!

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