Tag Archives: lifestyle

Elephant Parade London 2018

When I first saw on Facebook that the Elephant Parade London 2018 was coming to London this Summer I couldn’t wait for the holidays to take the boys into London to look for them.

I have loved the Elephant Parade statues for a while now and a few years ago brought our very own herd. One for me, one for Daddy and one for each of the boys. They have so many hand painted gorgeous designs to choose from but I chose ‘A love story’ and the biggest one is one of only 88 made. We have the the 10cm (£39.95) the 15cm (69.95) the 20cm (£99.95) and the large 30cm one (£259.00). We absolutely love them and love that 20% of Elephant Parade net profits are donated to elephant welfare and conservation projects.

‘Elephant Parade® is a social enterprise and runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation.’

Now for this Summer you can take a walk around London and spot the hand painted gorgeous Elephant’s for yourself. There is also a pop up store selling replica elephants at 20 South Molton Street City of Westminster London W1K 5QE.

The Elephant Parade London 2018 runs from the 21st June until the 18th July 2018!

‘The Elephants around London will then be auctioned off at a high-profile dinner and auction conducted by Sotheby’s Harry Dalmeny, on 28th of June at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, attended by members of the Royal Family, key conservationists and society figures. Money raised will help protect Asia’s endangered elephants and support projects that protect not only wild elephants and their habitats but the people who share their landscapes.’ I would so love to own a giant version of one to have in the garden!

Enjoy the parade and I can’t wait to see your photos!

#Blogmas Day 2: Our Family Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas traditions start for us on the 1st of December when Oscar gets home from school and the fairies have brought our Christmas decorations. Our Christmas tree and decorations have always gone up on the 1st of December. When I was little my brother and I always woke up on the 1st to our tree and decorations and I can still remember just how amazing and magical that was and wanted to do the same for our boys. In their bedrooms they have snow globes and Christmas duvets and their stocking ready for the end of their beds on Christmas Eve.

When they wake up on the 1st the boys wake up and our two naughty Elves, Eddie and Ernie are back to stay with us until Christmas Eve and get up to lots of mischief. They bring Oscar and Archie a letter and come through the Elf door which must never be touched as the secret door leads back to Father Christmas so they can let him know how they are behaving. They always bring the boys their advent calender’s too. They each get a chocolate one and a toy one too.

On Monday we are going to see the big man himself at the Harrods Grotto. I always rush to book this in September/October as soon as I get my ‘You can book now’ email. We have been every Christmas since Oscar was born and I love getting the family photo taken every year. After we have been in the grotto Oscar and Archie always get to pick a Christmas tree decoration each and I always buy the Harrods Christmas Bear decoration too. We then walk around to Pizza Express for dinner. The boys love it and we get to see all of the Christmas lights around London on the drive home. Again this is something we did as children, going into London at Christmas to a big department store grotto.

We always put together and decorate a gingerbread house (I buy a kit) nearer to Christmas for everyone to enjoy on Christmas day. I buy loads of sweets and icing and we have great fun in the kitchen making our masterpiece. Its a really cheap and fun activity to do with the kids!

This year I have started a new tradition, a backwards advent. As Oscar is old enough to understand about charity and realises how lucky he is each day of advent we put something in our box each day, whether it be a toy, toiletries or food and on Christmas Eve we will take it to a food bank or charity collection for another family to enjoy at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve we always go to Oscar and Archie’s godparents house and they make pork baps and we sing carols around the piano and the children all play and have a great time. They always have a fantastic 10 ft tree and its just such a lovely house full of Christmas cheer. This is why Oscar wanted to start playing the piano as our friends children had lessons and would play a song each. As Oscar has been having lessons this year he has been practising ‘Jingle Bells’ ready to play for everyone this year. He is really excited! We then go home, the boys bath and get into their pyjamas and then we leave a mince pie and a glass of milk for Father Christmas on their plates they made at a pottery cafe and a carrot outside for Rudolph and then off to bed.

Please comment and share with me your family Christmas traditions!

Merry Christmas!

 

The Vileda Clean

Anyone who knows me knows I like to keep our house nice and clean and I love a gadget that can make it quicker and easier. Having two little boys its not easy to keep everything clean and tidy and nothing drives me more crazy than when the sun shines on the patio doors and you can see little hand prints all over them. Then I wipe the windows clean and the next morning when the sun comes out they are covered in streaks, it literally drives me potty. So when Vileda asked me if I would like to review their Windomatic it made my day! Before I tell your my full review obviously as a blogger I get sent various products to review but the Windomatic is one of those products that I love so much and use everyday and actually makes cleaning the windows a quicker and so much easier task for me.

When the Windomatic arrived I plugged it in and charged it up. One charge can wipe up to 60m² . As soon as it was ready to use the first thing I did was clean those dreaded patio doors. You simply spray your windows with water, then wipe them then use the Windomatic and the suction vacuums up any condensation and leaves a streak free window. You can also use it on glass, mirrors and surfaces to clean up any spillages. I also used it on my granite work surfaces after cleaning and they were sparkling and streak free! After cleaning all of the windows I was genuinely thrilled with my new Windomatic. You might think what a saddo, but seriously the Windomatic is blooming amazing. All my windows are sparkling and as it is so quick and easy to use that when I spot a little hand print on the window I can clean it up in seconds, which for someone like me it pleases me greatly!

Using the Windomatic is so easy as it is super lightweight and not to big to carry around the house. The head of it is really flexible making it easy to move around the window and clean right in the corners. I have quite a lot of windows in our house and even in the smaller openings at the top of some of them you can clean every bit of them as the head fits and moves perfectly.

As you can tell I absolutely love the Windomatic and give it 5* rating. I couldn’t recommend it anymore, it really is a fantastic product that will make cleaning the windows in your home quicker and easier.

Another product I will quickly mention is the Vileda 1-2 spray mop. I saw it in Waitrose a couple of weeks ago and brought it. It is fantastic! You simply fill it with the cleaning solution and then use the spray on the handle and then mop as you go. It is convenient and quick to use and every morning and evening I clean the kitchen floor with it and its great for after meal times with Archie and then at the end of the day I wash the microfibre mop pad in the washing machine. It leaves the floor smelling fresh and so clean!

You can purchase the Windomatic for only £49.99 with free delivery HERE.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Vileda Windomatic for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are honest and my own and I absolutely love it!

Oxfam’s Donation Drive

As we are currently in the process of building our new house I have really started to declutter and sort through everything so when we do move it is as stress free as possible without moving things we don’t need anymore. So when I was asked by Oxfam to take part in their Donation Drive campaign it was perfect timing! Oxfam’s Donation Drive launched on the 26th August and is running for a month. Their campaign is to encourage the great British public to donate what they no longer need or want to one of their 700 Oxfam shops, because they turn those donations into cash to fund their truly amazing work fighting extreme poverty and suffering across the world.

Oxfam

They are asking the public for donations of: clothes, music, books, homewares – tableware, linen, rugs, curtain etc (not electrical equipment) and accessories (jewellery, shoes, scarves, shoes, belts, bags, braces etc).

So I started downstairs and went through the house room by room. I was pretty ruthless and before I knew it had piles of black bags ready to go to our local Oxfam shop in Rickmansworth. This time of year is always when I have a big clear out as with Christmas only a few months away, I know the boys will be inundated with more toys and clothes! With the big move hopefully in February I am more conscious of the amount of stuff we have and take the rule if I haven’t used it in the last two months then its going!

I really find decluttering and organising really therapeutic and am so happy when I know all our unwanted things are going to help other people. It was also great to get Oscar involved through sorting his old toys and teaching him about charity and helping others. We ended up with so many bags that Greg had to help me take to the Oxfam shop as I couldn’t carry it all on my own!

When you drop off your unwanted things to the Oxfam shop by then gift aiding the donated items – this is called ‘Tag Your Bag’ your unwanted items will be worth 25 per cent more.What I really love is that when you ‘Tag your Bag’, Oxfam will let you know how much money your stuff has raised and you can get yourself some Nectar points too.

So get organising and donate your unwanted bits and pieces to your local Oxfam store over the next month and take part in the Donation Drive.

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers 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.”

 

Aloka SleepyLights Review

A few weeks ago we were asked to pick one of the fun designs in the Aloka Sleepylights multi-coloured LED light range from Potwells. I knew Oscar would love the Robot design and when Oscar came home from school to find his new light set up in his bedroom he absolutely loved it. There are 26 lovely designs to choose from and six of these designs are now stocked at John Lewis and Mothercare.

John Lewis stock these designs:

Mothercare stock these designs:

So what is so great about these new amazingly fun children’s lights…… Firstly Oscar loves having a remote control and lays in bed constantly changing the colours and leaves it on a different colour each night. You can also leave it to rotate through the 12 different colours and the light gives off a soft and calming glow which is perfect for bedtime. Having the control is great for younger children too who can use the control which is great for practising their fine motor skills and learning all the different colours as well. The lights also have a side-lamp feature which leaves your light on a bright white glow which is also great for when you are reading a bedtime story and need a bit more light.

The light also has a dimmer function which is great and you can choose from four varying levels of brightness, it also has a sleep button which will automatically lower the light to create the ideal calm and dreamy environment to fall to sleep in. I also set the timer to turn the night light off after an hour saving the need to enter the room to switch it off as the evenings are lighter at the moment although Oscar sleeps with the remote under his pillow and turns it back on if he wakes in the night.


Oscar’s favourite light setting is the bright blue but my favourite without a doubt is the beautiful rainbow light show! Archie likes watching the light show too I am going to order the Giraffe light for him as it is perfect to have in a nursery.


The Robot Aloka SleepyLight has an RRP of £39.99 and I think is great value. Not only does it look great in Oscar’s bedroom but buying a SleepyLight will last you for years when using it from newborn.

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

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!

Review: The Smart ForFour Prime

A couple of weeks ago we had the Smart ForFour prime delivered for us to review for eight days. Before it arrived I had googled all about it and as I drive a big car was excited to nip around in the much smaller Forfour. I had also never driven a Smart car before so I was intrigued to see how it would drive. 


When it arrived I liked the gold and black colours and when looking around the car I was surprised how big it was inside. The boot wasn’t huge and couldn’t fit my usual massive pram in but we smaller Quinny Yezz stroller fitted in the boot easily with room to spare.




The ForFour has two iso-Fix points in the back and it was easy to fit Oscar’s car seat but not as easy to fit Archie’s as his 0+ car seat has the bigger iso-Fix family base and the only way I could fit it into the car was to put the passenger seat as forward as possible and position the seat so it wasn’t really comfortable for a front passenger to sit in so instead I used Archie’s car seat with the seat belt fitting which fitted in perfectly.





Driving the ForFour is so much fun, it is nippy and has the turning circle of a black cab so is so easy to steer. You can literally park it anywhere which is never the case with my normal bigger car, it bearly fits in a normal car parking space. Oscar loved being in it too with the double sun roof and the low enough windows in the back that he could see all around him.




The car itself is top quality as it is engineered by Mercedes Benz. The engine we had in our ForFour was a 999cc and had a 5 speed manual gear box, it is also available as 6 speed dual clutch automatic. Inside the car was the premium plus package with a 7″ touch screen with radio, sat nav with real time traffic updates which is fantastic, a AUX/USB interface (centre console), voice control, Bluetooth with hands-free system and audio streaming for music transfer. The touch screen is really easy to use and work out all the different features. As the weather was gorgeous when we had the car we had full use of the aircon which comes through really quickly after starting the car and the back windows open on a latch to keep the back of the car with the children in nice and cool. The interior is really modern and cool and the seats are really comfortable with multiple adjustable settings.


The ForFour is hugely economical delivering over 55 miles per gallon. The exact stats are: Fuel consumption (combined) from 67.3 mpg

CO2 emissions (combined) from 96 g/km.



The car has a retail price of £13,555.00 and is worth every penny. We had great fun driving the ForFour for the week. 



Disclaimer: We were sent the Smart Forfour for eight days to review, however all opinions are completely honest and my own.

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Review: Lumie Bodyclock STARTER 30

With a six month old baby anything I can use to improve my sleep is more than welcome! When we were given the chance to review the Lumie body clock STARTER 30 I was intrigued to see how it would improve our sleep and how quickly it would adjust our body clock’s. The STARTER 30 is the most affordable Lumie light at only £59.95 and will introduce you to waking with light.



When our Lumie light arrived it was really easy to set up and looks really stylish on our bedside table. I simply entered the time, what time we wake up and whether we wanted a sound alarm or not and that was it. When we went to bed that night we pressed the button to alert the body clock that we were off to the land of nod and we went to sleep with the light’s fading sunset that lasts for thirty minutes and by then we were fast asleep.




I set our wake up time for 7am and the Lumie body clock then has a 30 minute sun rise light which helps to wake you up gradually which is much more natural and better for you then a shock wake up from your usual alarm clock! It wakes you gradually with increasing natural light. This is a signal for your body to ease production of sleep hormones (e.g. melatonin) and increase those that help you get up and go (e.g. cortisol). Wake-up lights help to keep your sleep cycle on track, boosting mood, energy and productivity levels all day.  What’s not to love! You can also set the light to dim throughout the night which I find really useful as I get up once in the night to feed Archie and I can also see him asleep in his cot next to my bed throughout the night. Below you can see how it actually works.




I was surprised how I felt just after using it for a few nights and I don’t know if it is a coincidence but Archie has slept through the night a few times since we have been using the body clock. I feel much more refreshed in the morning and to thoroughly test the sun rise feature I didn’t set an alarm at all and still woke up on time with just the light getting brighter. I am going to get another one to put in Oscar’s bedroom to see how he gets on with it too.




Disclaimer: We were sent the Lumie body clock STARTER 30 for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are completely honest and my own.

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Digital Cordless Home Phones From Panasonic


Panasonic


Home phones have defiantly moved on leaps and bounds over the past few years. I remember when I lived with my parents I used to accidentally pull the phone cord out of the wall as I would walk around chatting on the phone and you couldn’t use the home phone and the internet at the same time, now you have digital cordless phones with so many different functions to suit your everyday life. How times have changed! Panasonic digital phones are high quality phones with so many different styles and functions to suit all tastes and needs.

Panasonic have a large range of digital cordless phones from basic cordless handsets to handsets with answering machines, email, smart phone technology, one even has a baby monitor function which I think is great! Before we had children I didn’t have a home phone plugged in in our house but after having Oscar I felt it was really important to have a home phone, sometimes my mobile looses signal in our house so we brought a digital cordless handset so in emergencies there is always a phone to hand. Having a home phone is always important to teach your children about ringing 999 in emergencies. We taught Oscar this when he was about three years old and if he ever needed to call 999 if their was something wrong with me for instance and I couldn’t get to the phone he doesn’t have to hunt for my mobile phone as he knows exactly where our cordless home phone is and can either use it or as it is cordless, bring it to me.


Having the video calling option on some of their handsets is great as if your friends and especially family have the same handsets it makes the phone call much more personal. Oscar loves video calling his Nanny and Grandad’s during the week and also spends much more time chatting to them as he gets bored or easily distracted when on a normal basic phone call.


I absolutely love the Panasonic premium design series KX-PRX120EW as it is a multifunctional handset that has video calling, email, the internet, social media, music and your home phone with answering system. It looks really smart and is perfect for the modern family. 
Premium Design series KX-PRX120
Take a look at Panasonic’s full range HERE.




Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with Panasonic.

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