baby books

Review: Red Fish, Yellow Fish Parragon Books

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

As Parragon Book Buddies we always look forward to receiving our latest book in the post. I especially like to see what we are getting as I don't know which child it will suit more. We recently received a fab little board book called 'Red Fish, Yellow Fish', a simple first colours play book but amazingly interesting to all three children at the moment. 

'Red Fish, Yellow Fish' is a fantastic book made from chunky board pages. It has a little hand sized hole in the bottom right corner to help little hands grip on to it. The words are really simple, it is no complicated story it is simply a few statements on each page. The illustrations are very important in this book as the words used are describing the pictures as you can see from this picture of inside the book.

Elsie has really enjoyed playing with the book and looking at the bright illustrations inside. Gracie is 4 and has been using the book to attempt to read. It is great for helping them sound out words especially when they realise the words are the same as the pictures. Gracie has been reading this book almost daily to Elsie and it is lovely to see them bonding over it.

We were sent the item featured as part of the Parragon Book Buddies review club. All opinions are my own.


Time To Make A Change

Monday, March 30, 2015

I begun the year wanting to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. It went well for a few weeks but I had a short period of being really stressed and my anxiety took over and told me I couldn't do it, so I stopped. Of course the moment you give in then you suddenly spiral downwards. 

This week I have been feeling much better and I have seen the difference in my friends who have kept up with their goals and really made a change in their lives and thought I can do it. There is no one stopping me but me and only I can change it. This positive attitude seems to have made me appreciate what I have and what I can do and I can see my life heading exactly where I want it to go. 


Elsie At 7 Months!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Another month has flown by and Elsie is now 7 months old. There has been so much change this month. She has finally started sleeping through the night! Funnily enough Me and Andy decided to swap sides of the bed so he would be next to her and give me a rest for a few days and of course being a Daddy's girl she snoozes away fine for at least eight hours next to him. Obviously I have now told him that we will be permanently swapping until she moves into her own room. 


Competition: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

Friday, March 27, 2015

Being a huge My Little Pony myself as a child, I love that it is still just as popular now and I can share it with Gracie! On the 23rd March the latest feature length movie 'My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks' was released and I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader! I also have a fantastic free activity sheet for you to print at home if you wish.
Canterlot High is hosting a musical showcase and Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Fluttershy are going to be performing with their new band, The Rainbooms. But when a new girl group, The Dazzlings, arrives at CHS, they convince everyone to turn the friendly showcase into a Battle of the Bands. As tensions mount between the competing musical acts, a reformed Sunset Shimmer realises that the Dazzlings may not be ordinary girls and are after something far more sinister than just being named Best Band at Canterlot High. The Rainbooms call on Princess Twilight to return to their world to help them perform a musical counter-spell so that they can win a battle that now determines the fate of the entire school.
Me and Gracie have actually watched the movie this week and it is great! It is the first time we have seen anything from Equestria girls but Gracie recognises which character is which by looking at their hair and colour. When I asked Gracie which parts of the film she liked she said she really likes the 'naughty girls' (The Dazzlings) and she loves all the music in the film. We really enjoyed watching it together and I feel we will now have to add some Equestria Girls to her fast growing collection of My Little Pony toys!

You can download this image by right clicking and saving to your pc to print at home for your little ones to colour in.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK only. The competition will end 17/04/2015 at 12am. All entrants must complete the mandatory entry on the rafflecopter form. Those who don't will have all entries removed. The blog owner will choose the winner through the rafflecopter form (which uses The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widget. One winner will receive a My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks DVD. No alternative prize will be offered.  Allow up to 28 days for delivery.


Review: Galaxy Quick Reads: Short Stories for Adults

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I have always had a love of reading. I still remember turning my light back on after bedtime as a child and digging into my treasury books full of magical stories until my eyes were too tired to read another page. My love of reading has carried on throughout my teens and adulthood although being a parent does get in the way of me picking up a book sometimes. Once I do start I can never put the book down and tend to finish them in mere days. My problem is finding the time to sit down and think 'right I will start reading that book now'. I am sure I am not the only person who feels like this.

Quick Reads are a range of short stories that allow you to indulge in a good book no matter how busy you are. Founded in 2006 they were launched to help adults who have difficulty reading as well as adults who wouldn't ordinarily read for pleasure, therefore making books accessible to everyone. Quick Reads are perfect for people with busy lifestyles and can easily reignite the love of reading to adults who haven't picked up a book in years.

Each year, new books written by renowned authors, are released. This February saw the release of six new titles. This years participating authors are Roddy Doyle, Jojo Moyes, Sophie Hannah, Fanny Blake, Adele Geras and James Bowen. Between them their Quick Reads titles cover a range of different themes from a holiday romance to a true story based on a homeless man and his cat.

I was sent a few of these Quick Read books by their main sponsor Galaxy to give my opinions on them.

Sophie Hannah 'Pictures Or It Didn't Happen'

After Chloe and her daughter Freya are rescued from disaster by a man who seems too good to be true, Chloe decides she must find him again to thank him. But instead of meeting her knight in shining armour, she comes across a woman called Nadine Caspian who warns her to stay well away from him. The man is dangerous, Nadine claims, and a compulsive liar. Alarmed, Chloe asks her what she means, but Nadine will say no more. Chloe knows that the sensible choice would be to walk away – after all, she doesn’t know anything about this man. But she is curious. What could Nadine have meant? And can Chloe find out the truth without putting herself and her daughter in danger?

'Pictures or it didn't happen' by Sophie Hannah was the first book I sat down to read. I loved the beginning and I really enjoyed the writing style. I didn't really 'get' the rest of the story though. I did feel like I couldn't put it down and needed to see how it ended put was slightly disappointed by the end of the story that there wasn't a more exciting ending. It hasn't put me off buying any of Sophie Hannah's other books though as I would like to see how one of her longer stories would be and I really did enjoy a bit of me time to sit and indulge in a book.

Fanny Blake 'Red For Revenge'

Maggie is married with two grown-up children. Her twenty-five year old marriage to Phil has lost is sparkle. Carla is widowed. She understands life is short so she lives it to the full. But is her new romance all that it seems? When the two women meet in the beauty salon, they soon find they have more in common than the colour of their nails… The discovery that they are sharing the same man is shocking. How will he be taught a lesson or two he won’t forget?

I really enjoyed reading 'Red For Revenge' by Fanny Blake. It is your typical girly read but really is lots of fun. I loved the way you instantly feel sorry for Maggie and want better for her. I also like how you quickly warm to Carla and find yourself hooked reading their revenge plots! I won't ruin it but there are some hilarious plots against Phil, who had repeatedly lied and cheated so totally deserves what he gets. Very well written with lovable characters. This book is definitely a must-read.

It was really nice to sit down and relax with a book and it made me realise I really do need to do it much more often. It was even nicer to get to do it with a nice bar of Galaxy ;) I will definitely be downloading a few of the Quick Read books to my iPad especially for our upcoming holiday.

You can find out where to buy or download the Quick Read books here

I was sent the items featured free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Childrens craft activities

Easter Gift Guide: The Sweetest Treats This Easter

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I have always loved Easter. I like to blame the fact I was born close to Easter for my love of all things sweet! I always look forward to seeing the Easter goodies lined up on the shelves in the supermarket and finding the best gifts for my loved ones. Here is a selection of some of the best Easter treats this year!

Elizabeth Shaw

Not a brand I would usually associate with Easter, but I love Elizabeth Shaw chocolates and was thrilled to find they actually make Easter Eggs. They cater for both lovers of dark and milk chocolate. The Zesty Crisp Selection consists of a milk chocolate Easter egg with a mixture of lemon flavour dark chocolates and orange flavour milk chocolates. The Mint Crisp selection consists of a dark chocolate Easter egg with a selection of 24 mint flavour rich dark and smooth milk chocolates. The actual egg is made of fantastic quality chocolate (which is always important!) and is incredibly moreish! I love the Zesty Crisp Selection and will be looking out for it in my local supermarket. They also sell a Whisky Collection egg which I haven't tried but definitely sounds interesting! The RRP for the Elizabeth Shaw Large eggs is £10 and they can be found in Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and Ocado. 


Review: Oilatum Daily Junior Cleansers Range

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A few weeks back I was sent a lovely hamper full of Oilatum products to try out on the kids. I am very careful when it comes to trying out new skincare products with the kids, especially when it comes to Zach, Oilatum is a brand that I know I can trust though as the original Oilatum bath soak was what Zach was actually prescribed back when we started seeing dermatologists for him. I hadn't realised how large a range of products they actually produced though and so was very happy to be given the chance to try their new Daily Junior Cleansers Range.

I tried out the bath foam first with Elsie. She loves her baths and especially loves the bubbles. Considering she bathes in a small baby bath, the bath foam really does foam up! I would say probably the best we have used with her so far. As you can see she was more than happy splashing around and playing and best of all it didn't matter how much she rubbed all over her face using her toys, there was no irritation whatsoever. We also tried out the Oilatum Daily Junior Shampoo, although she has only a small amount of hair, I like to pop a small amount of shampoo in her hair once or twice a week. The Daily Junior Shampoo is soap free so kind to eyes making it perfect for babies and toddlers. It also contains conditioning ingredients to make hair extra soft!

I also tried out the Oilatum Daily Junior Moisturising Lotion on Elsie. Once she was out of the bath and patted down with her towel, I gently massaged the moisturising lotion into her skin and her skin was lovely, soft and had a lovely smell to it. Her skin seems to be quite sensitive just like Zach's so it was nice to find a moisturiser that didn't seem to dry out her skin more than usual.

Zach was really the main reason behind me wanting to try out this range. He has a rare skin condition which is like a form of acne which is not found in children very often. He has tried all kinds of medications and lotions to try and ease it with no luck. We have now stopped seeing dermatologists and instead are trying to handle it ourselves without medication and have found it is at it's best when looked after with a good diet and skincare regime. Zach loves his baths and loves to play with the bubbles with his big sister Gracie. Of course we have to be careful what products we use in their bath to avoid irritating his skin which can get quite sore at times. It is mainly his face that is affected, he doesn't get the spots anywhere else but does have quite dry skin. 

The Oilatum products have been wonderful. The Bath Foam is our firm favourite, it makes it possible to let Zach splash around as much as he likes with no worries about whether it will make his skin sore. The Shampoo is also excellent. I love the fact that it contains no soap so there are no tears if we get any stray water drip on to Zach's face. It is so nice to find a brand that suits all three of the kids rather than having lots of different bottles of products around. I am really impressed with how far the range has come since I first started using Oilatum a few years ago. I would definitely recommend the range to any parents looking for an everyday bath range.

The Oilatum Daily Junior range is available in Boots, Tesco, Asda, Lloyds and independent pharmacies.

We received a hamper of Oilatum products and extra goodies free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.


Review: Fisher Price Newborn To Toddler Play Gym

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

We are huge Fisher Price fans and were thrilled when we were recently offered the Newborn-to-Toddler Play Gym to review. With three stages that mean the play gym can grow with your baby, it ensures that your child can still be entertained for years to come. I say this as both my 4 year old and 2 year old have been happily playing along with Elsie and her new baby gym on a daily basis! 


Review Part One: iCandy Strawberry 2

Monday, March 09, 2015

iCandy are a manufacturer of British designed luxury pushchairs and accessories. All of the pushchairs in the iCandy range are made to the highest quality. They have a diverse range to suit the needs for many different parents including some of the best single and tandem pushchairs on the market.

Over the last three months, we have been testing one of their latest releases, the iCandy Strawberry 2. I have so much to say on this pushchair after three months of use that I have decided to write my review in two parts. This first part will cover the use of the iCandy Strawberry 2 in the first six months in carrycot mode. I will then later cover the use of the iCandy Strawberry 2 with a baby six months plus, in regular seat mode.


Honey Monster Puffs #funmonsterfied

Friday, March 06, 2015

On Sunday we travelled to Star City in Birmingham to meet the famous Honey Monster! I remember eating Sugar Puffs as a child but haven't eaten them in years. They have recently been re branded as Honey Monster Puffs and now contain 20% more honey than before. The Honey Monster has been touring The Midlands to let everyone know about the brand new delicious Honey Monster Puffs and giving out samples to try.


Elsie At Six Months!

Monday, March 02, 2015

On Friday, Elsie turned 6 months old! Now how did that even happen? The last six months have been amazing. I know I have been blogging much less but I have been trying to enjoy the precious first months and it has been so nice to take a step back, enjoy spending the time with the kids and just blog when I want or have the time too.