Wednesday 30 April 2014

Fruit Bowl Fruit Shapes Snacks - Review

A few weeks ago, C had the opportunity to try out some new fruit snacks. I do worry about the snacks that he has throughout the day not being the healthiest so this is where Fruit Bowl step in.

Fruit Bowl carried out a survey recently and out of 1,000 parents, almost three quarters (73%) of them allow their children to snack between meals with 50% of them choosing biscuits and 43% choosing crisps. Fruit Bowl have decided to make fruit into fun snacks which give children 1 of their 5 a day.

They are available in both Sea and Jungle shapes making it fun for little ones and are made with apple, pear, strawberry and blackcurrent juices. They contain no added sugar, artificial flavours and colours, but do contain five times their own weight in fruit! I was definitely not averse to letting C try these out.

The snack pieces are relatively small but C was able to chew them with no hassle and didn't choke - phew! He had them gobbled up in no time at all so the healthy aspect clearly didn't put him off. Since trying these, I have since added them into our weekly shop as they are so handy to keep in the changing bag when we're out and about. 

Fruit Bowl Fruit Shapes are available from all major supermarkets with an RRP of £1.89 for a pack of 5 18g packs.

You can find out more about Fruit Bowl and their range of snacks at their website.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

QuickMax Eyelash Growth Enhancer - Review

A few weeks ago, I received QuickMax Eyelash & Eyebrow Growth Serum to try out. Who doesn't want longer and fuller eyelashes?!

QuickMax claims to give you fabulously longer, fuller and expressive eyelashes and eyebrows in just one week! I was a bit sceptical but I did a bit of research and apparently the formula for this serum has been developed by scientists who are at the forefront of cosmetic research. I do worry about putting things in and around my eyes but it is made with natural ingredients that are good for your skin. It nourishes your skin and hair follicles as it works.

You are advised to apply the serum as you would apply eyeliner before you go to sleep and in the morning wash it off. So, after reading about its claims, did it live up to my expectations?

In short; yes! I didn't see an amazing difference in a weeks time but after a few weeks' usage, my eyelashes do feel a lot fuller. 

It's really easy to apply, no harder than eyeliner and it doesn't have a thick consistency either. My favourite aspect is that it doesn't have a strong chemical smell - not something that you'd want to put near your eyes.

I'd definitely recommend this and at a price for £24.95 per 5ml, it is so much cheaper and less hassle than going for eyelash extensions. It really is worth the money.

You can purchase your own serum at the StyleLux website
(Disclaimer: I received this item free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 28 April 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 21 Week Bump Update

This week I've been more tired than I have previously. I've been in bed earlier than usual a few times and I've even napped while C is napping! I forgot that I have a prescription for iron tablets so I think I'll be getting those soon!

My skin is still awful. My forehead is dry and my entire face seems to be breaking out. I haven't got any new stretchmarks, just the ones from my previous pregnancy. 

My lower back and bottom of my tummy seems to be quite sore. I'm going to invest in some bump bands to see if they give me any relief. I've started to get heartburn too. I didn't get this until 32 weeks last time and it is a right pain! 

I'm pretty sure that I've been seeing 'floaters' and unable to concentrate on anything, especially at night. I'm not wanting to jump to the "oh my goodness, it must be the pre-eclampsia developing again" assumption as it usually doesn't develop until around 29-30 weeks. I haven't had any headaches and I'm hoping its just happening for another reason! Maybe I should get my blood pressure checked just to be on the safe side! 

At 21 weeks my baby's eyebrows and eyelids are fully formed and she can now blink. Her kicks are getting stronger and Chris and I have now witnessed my belly move. She seems to be most active between 10pm and 1am. 

We had our 20 week scan on Thursday and you can read more about that here if you missed it. Now that the scan is out of the way, we will be focusing on buying the bigger baby items and getting my hospital bag sorted sooner rather than later!

Thursday 24 April 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 20 Week Anomaly Scan

Today we had our 20 week anomaly scan. I was more nervous than excited as I was petrified that something would be wrong. I remember feeling the same way with C's scan. We dropped C off at Chris's mums. Today has been a beautiful sunny day so he enjoyed running around in the garden. 

The sonographer was a lot nicer than the one at C's 20 week scan - she didn't give us any pictures last time! I felt really relieved as she explained what she was seeing and how it looked. Everything was fine. No sign of cleft lip or club foot, placenta working properly, all vessels in the heart looking great and the rest of her organs were fine. A perfectly healthy baby and yes, she's definitely a girl! 

The one thing that she did mention though, was that the umbilical cord only has two vessels. Usually there would be three but they would only worry if there was one. Two vessels mean that there is one to take stuff in and one to take stuff out. It doesn't seem to be affecting her growth and development. They will check it again at my 29 week scan just in case it was the angle the sonographer was at. 

Her measurements are spot on for my due date of September 8th and her heart rate was 160bpm. 

Here's our little girl :D - 

And her tiny little foot which is measuring at 3cm! 

Monday 21 April 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 20 Week Bump Update

I'm 20 weeks pregnant. Halfway there! This is going way too fast for my liking. I have my 20 week anomaly scan on Thursday and I'm so nervous that something will be wrong. I remember feeling the same way with C's scan. Fingers crossed for a healthy baby. Her kicks are getting so much stronger and it's lovely to feel her in there. 

This week has been great. I haven't been as tired but it's been really good weather and hot sun and pregnancy does not mix well for me. I felt like I was going to melt! 

I feel huge. My belly may not look very big at the moment but it feels heavy, especially at the bottom. On Saturday, I didn't eat a lot, just a regular amount, but it felt like the food was just sitting under my ribs. Eugh. My bum is getting massive too. It's bigger than my belly now!

My lower back has been aching. I've seen that Mothercare sell a 2 pack of bump bands for £10 so I think I'm gonna give them a shot. I really need more support. 

We just had two little baby purchases this week. My mum bought us 3 little pairs of socks from TK Maxx and we picked up a 2 pack of baby headbands. I know a lot of people may not be fans of headbands but after a lot of people referring to C as 'she' when he was small, I don't want it happening again. I think it's really awkward correcting people! 

At 20 weeks she now measures around 26cm long and is gaining weight beautifully. She is swallowing more and producing meconium for her lovely first smelly nappy :) 

I'll be sure to pop in with an update after our scan on Thursday! 

C at 19 Months

Ahhh my baby boy is getting bigger and I don't like it :( can't he stay a baby forever? He seems to have changed quite a lot this month. 

He loves fruit. He's always liked fruit but he absolutely adores it now. He had some grapes after his dinner a few weeks ago and had a complete meltdown when he finished them all. Tears were streaming down his face. I felt like such a bad mummy for not having a massive stockpile of then for him! 

I bought him a cheapie colouring book and pack of crayons. I really didn't expect him to be able to push down hard enough with the crayons but he did. He loves to draw and I was shocked as he doesn't even try to eat them! 

Another purchase this month was a harness and baby reins. I want to get him waking more outdoors and it will especially help when baby is here as we don't really want a double buggy. The first day we got the reins, we took a walk to meet daddy after work. It usually takes 20 minutes to walk there but I made sure we left 45 minutes before Chris got out and it was just enough time. He does tend to try and turn around to walk the opposite direction. 

He loves to dance. It doesn't matter what the song is, he's just gotta dance to it. He's got a few new moves now too! Rather than just swaying side to side, he goes round in circles, swings his arms and shakes his bum. Adorable! 

His tantrums are getting worse so we've introduced a naughty step (the bottom stair). He does not take kindly to being placed on it and always gets up right away. We've just been putting him back on it until a minute is up. He now hates when I tell him no and goes into meltdown mode. 

He's being more cute and affectionate. When we stayed at my parents house a few weeks ago, he came across one of my sisters old Baby Born dolls. I saw him kiss its forehead and try to tickle its belly. It was really cute and I hope it's an insight to how he'll be as a big brother. 

His new favourite thing to do is throw things behind his back. It doesn't matter what it is, he'll pick it up and throw it over his shoulder. Do any other kids do this? I think it's really strange! He'll do it for about an hour straight! 

He's more aware of his poos.  He used to poo and I'd end up having to do the sniff test to check if he'd gone but now he hides in the corner to do a poo. I think he's getting a bit embarrassed by it! 

I think we've got a little cleaner on our hands. He took a baby wipe out of the packet and proceeded to clean the floor and window with it. He also tried to brush the floor with my hairbrush. I hope it stays this way and he loves to clean and tidy, haha! 

The finger up the nose has started too. I have no idea where he's learned it from. It's not only his nose that his finger has to go up, it's his daddy's nose too! Proper little boy! 

We've finally got tooth number 8! I can't believe how tough this one has been. I'm really not looking forward to the rest. 

Friday 18 April 2014

Nonabox: March

I am a huge fan of Nonabox and March's box didn't let me down (you can also see my December, January and February Nonabox posts). They just seem to get better and better.

Inside this months box was:

1. Verbaudet bodysuit - I can't find an RRP for this unfortunately but with it being from Verbaudet and from the Organic Collection range, I can imagine that it's not cheap! It is a gorgeous neutral colour so would suit a boy or girl. It's sized 0-6 months so it's too small for C but I can't wait to put Baby Girl in it when she's born!

2. Pasito a pasito Blue Gingham weaning spoon - Again, I can't find an RRP but Pasito a pasito are a Spanish designer baby brand so again, they don't come cheap! This blue gingham spoon is the perfect colour for C and he's been so used to weaning with plastic spoons that he feels like such a big boy when he uses it!

3. Viking Toys blue car toy - C loves pushing cars along the ground so I knew that this would be a huge hit for him. The wheels have a little bit of rubber around them which I thought was a lovely change from his usual plastic cars. It even has a little hook at the back so if you buy additional cars, they can be joined together!

4. Jack n Jill natural toothpaste (RRP £4.99) - I'd seen this advertised online before but never tried it so I was really pleased to see this in my box. C throws a massive strop every time he gets his teeth brushed so I don't think that he was as happy as I was! Even the blackcurrent flavour didn't sway him. This toothpaste is suitable from 6mths+ and is safe to swallow.

5. Little Grippers baby socks (RRP £3.50) - Back when C was tiny I actually won a blog competition where the prize was 3 pairs of white Little Grippers and I loved them so imagine my delight when I saw this gorgeous little pair of yellow ones. As all parents will know, baby socks always fall off but Little Grippers have a special 'stay on technology' to ensure that your babys socks stay on and up all day! These are too little for C but as they're yellow, they will be lovely on Baby Girl come September.

6. 'You' by Emma Dodd (RRP £7.99) - C absolutely loves his bedtime stories and this book has become a quick favourite. Emma Dodd writes gorgeous stories and C beams when I read it to him and do little actions.

7. Super Mummy postcards - These were a lovely addition to the box. They are by Nonabox and the idea is that they are filled in and given to mummy. C is a bit too young at the minute so understand but they are adorable.

8. Organix Goodies Red Berry Burst Rice Cakes 4pk (RRP £2.49) - C loves his food and is a huge fan of everything in the Organix Goodies range. These were no exception. He had them all demolished in around a week. We've now added these into our weekly shop and they're so handy to carry around in the changing bag and give as snacks.

All in all, this has been my favourite Nonabox to date. I am over the moon with every item included and have been introduced to some great brands. I would definitely recommend Nonabox.

You can find out more about them at their website, Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I received this box free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Wednesday 16 April 2014

TOMY Lamaze - Review

We love TOMY and we love Lamaze products. C had the wrist and foot rattles when he was tiny so when TOMY very kindly sent C some toys from the Lamaze range. 

We received Bella the Bunny (£11.50) and Bella the Bunny Hide & Seek Book (£9.99). As these are bunny related, I think that they'd make a great addition to any little ones Easter goodies!

Both of these toys are very colourful and can stimulate your child. They can attach to a pram or baby car seat using the hooks. Bella the Bunny comes with a little mirror attached to her which is great for my little man who loves to check himself out and it has a bell inside so C loves to shake her and hear the chime. 

The Hide & Seek book is great as again, the Bella bunny has a bell inside but the pages of the book have different textures and some even make a crinkly noise. C is able to hide Bella in the front pocket and put her through the holes that are added into some pages. 

C has really enjoyed playing with these toys and although pink does seem to be the predominant colour, I think they're very suitable for a boy too. I will also keep them for when our new baby is born so she can play with them too.

You can view the full Lamaze range at TOMY

(Disclaimer: I received these items free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Project b Pregnancy Subscription Box (16-19 Weeks) - Review

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I reviewed my first Project-b box tailored to weeks 12-15 of pregnancy. Last week, I was thrilled to receive my second box which is tailored to weeks 16-19. This months theme is 'Blossom' as by now morning sickness should be gone and now you should be enjoying pregnancy which is very true in my case!

My items came beautifully packaged as before, in a branded Project-b box with the items wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a Project-b sticker. 

Inside was: 
Similarly to the last box, we have 4 flash cards with information on this. The topics this time around are What Else to Buy for your Pregnancy, a Mediterranean Lamb with Quinoa recipe, Exercises for a Fitter Pregnancy and information about pregnancy during weeks 16-19. All very useful and I can't wait to make the lamb dish! 

1. Ginvera Green Tea BB Cream sample - I've never used a BB cream before but it's said to provide the benefits of blemish-free concealing, sun block (SPF 30), moisturiser and fine line reducer. My skin has been really dry lately so I'm hoping that the moisturising aspect does wonders for it!

2. Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo & Conditioner samples - I've heard of Weleda before but never actually tried the brand so I was happy to see these included although I generally don't like samples in subscription boxes. The precious oils in these products revitalise your hair and scalp and restore your hairs natural shine and strength. My hair seems to be really greasy all the time and I did see a change in it but I would have liked to have seen full sizes as I only got one use out of them.

3. Super Drinks for Pregnancy book - Although the name might suggest that there are only drink recipes in here, but there are some soup recipes included too. I do worry that I'm not getting enough nutrients for both myself and the baby so I'm really excited about making my way through this book. I don't drink enough so I think that it may help me ensure that I drink enough and with summer coming in, the drinks will be a good replacement for cocktails!

4. bloom bump and baby Stretch Mark Defence Body Oil sample - I received a few stretch mark samples in the last box and I was really happy to see more this time. Stretch mark oil can be really expensive (especially with the amount that I'm slathering my tummy in!). This oil is handmade with natural ingredients and smells beautiful as it contains mandarin, lavender and neroli.

5. Joe & Seph's Gourmet Popcorn - What pregnant lady doesn't want to see food in a subscription box!? This is the item that I was most excited about and it was demolished almost straight away. I didn't feel guilty though because the popcorn is made from natural ingredients and is popped by hand so it has 10% fewer calories and has 35% less fat than leading crisp brands.

All in all, I was pleased with this box as the book alone retails at £14.99 so paying £14 for the box is well worth it. I did however get a bit disappointed at seeing more samples.

You can purchase your own subscription or just a one-off box at the Project b website.

(Disclaimer: I received this subscription free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 14 April 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 19 Week Bump Update

I'm 19 weeks pregnant. 

I can't believe I'm almost at the halfway point. It's really flying by. 

I haven't felt very different this week apart from I've been eating like a pig! I constantly feel hungry (for snacks) and I think I'm making up for not wanting to eat anything during the first trimester. 

My weight is the same as when I first fell pregnant so the baby must be equaling out the weight that I lost at the beginning. 

At 19 weeks my uterus now reaches my bellybutton. The baby weighs roughly 240g and is around 14.2cm. Her hair is starting to sprout and her senses are developing. This week, Chris even felt her kick for the first time! It was amazing.

We picked up a cute little pair of Ugg-style boots in Matalan this week. They're 0-3 months so as she'll be born in September (hopefully! Fingers crossed for a full-term baby this time!) I hope she'll get the wear out of them.

Sunday 13 April 2014

A Family Day in the Sunshine

Chris had the weekend off which is a first so with the weather being relatively good for being in Belfast, we decided that we'd take C out to blow off some steam. 

Since he's learned to walk he loves being outside. He loves running around in the grass and collecting sticks. He holds them like they're magic wands and always drops the one he has if he finds a bigger and better one. He's a proper little boy and I love that he's into exploring. As a child, my mum hated when I got mucky and even now, I don't like getting my hands dirty. I don't want C to be the same way. I want him to have the freedom to explore. His clothes can always be washed and he can be bathed. 

I finally bought him baby reins last week and I thought he'd be a little funny with them but he's been great! We have had a few meltdowns where he's decided that he wants to walk in the opposite direction to where we're going and he throws the biggest wobbly and we have lots of people staring at us. I imagined that I'd be really embarrassed by this but I'm not. He's a child. Sometimes if kids don't get their own way, they strop. Big deal. I ignore his tantrums. The way I see it is, his tantrums won't let him get his own way. In fact, he won't get any attention at all. I hope he realises this and they stop altogether! 

Wednesday 9 April 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 16 Week Midwife Appointment

Today I had my 16 week midwife appointment (even though I'm 18+2). I was really nervous about this one as I knew my urine and blood pressure would be checked and with preeclampsia in my last pregnancy, I didn't want any signs to show up! 

In I went and she took my blood pressure. "Perfect", she said. A wave of relief washed over me. She then asked for my urine sample, tested it and all was fine. I told her that I'd been a bit worried about it and she informed me that the symptoms usually start to show around 25-29 weeks so they'll have a close eye on me then. 

We had a little listen to baby's heartbeat and it was as strong as ever. She mentioned that my haemoglobin levels came back fine at my test but because I'd be running after a toddler, as I get bigger I might get more tired and that I could take iron tablets if I felt I needed to. With my last pregnancy, I don't remember hearing anything about haemoglobin levels, I was just prescribed iron tablets to take! I took a prescription for them this time but I don't think I'll take them until I feel that I need to. 

My scan is on 24th April, I see the midwife again at the end of May then my consultant in June. This feels like way more appointments than last time but I'm not complaining! I was told to come back if I felt a bit funny (ie. getting headaches) and I could get my blood pressure checked. I did tell her that I have had a few headaches recently but I'm not drinking very much and she said that it will more than likely be down to not drinking and tiredness! Now to relax until the next appointment! 
Tuesday 8 April 2014

Nonabox: February - Review

I was so excited about receiving my Nonabox this month as I've really enjoyed the previous ones that I've been sent. February's box wasn't any different. It arrived in its usual sturdy purple box and inside my box, I received:

1. Newborn hat & dribble bib - this box is aimed at a toddler so C wouldn't necessarily get the use out of the hat but as I'm expecting another baby, I think I'll be saving them for her! I was unable to find a price for this item online.

2. Puckabook by Puckababy and 10% off discount code - this cute little hardbacked book is a sleeping guide for you and your baby. Like the hat and bib, it's probably not something that I'll need with C but will come in very handy with the new baby. C does like looking at the little illustrations though.

3. That's Not My Hamster... board book (RRP. £4.50) - C loves touchy feely books. He always brings this book over to me to read and likes to rub his fingers on the fuzzy bits. I think this is his favourite item in this months Nonabox.

4. 9-bar (RRP. £0.64) - this is an energy bar that is gluten and wheat-free. I've actually tried these before and the taste just isn't for me. I generally don't like anything that is supposed to be good for me!

5. Thorntons Milk, White & Dark Continental chocolates (RRP. £10.00) - I think my eyes lit up as soon as I spotted these. I am a huge lover of chocolate, especially Thorntons, so they didn't last very long. They were absolutely delicious.

6. Cloud B Sleep Sheep (RRP £33.22) - This little sheep has been an absolute lifesaver. Sometimes C is a bit fussy at bedtimes but since he's been cuddling this gorgeous little sheep to sleep, it has really helped. It has a little soundbox inside and you can listen to nature sounds. Perfect for soothing a baby to sleep. I will definitely be using this from day 1 with the new baby too!

7. Waterwipes (RRP. £2.49) - I received a little sample pack in my Bliss bag when I brought C home from hospital but once I used them all up, I hadn't spotted them again. They are really moist which pleases me as I hate wipes that are very dry. They are 99.9% water with a hint of natural ingredients.

The total value of this box equals around £50 which is fantastic considering that the subscription cost is £25 per month. We've really enjoyed this months box so if I were a paying customer, I would have been very happy with what I received for my money.

(Disclaimer: I received this box free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Ella's Kitchen Interactive Weaning Guide

One of our favourite baby food brands - Ella's Kitchen, has recently brought out an interactive weaning guide. Weaning your first child is exciting but it can be a daunting experience but Ella's Kitchen are aiming to help first-time mums and dads with the weaning process. 

To use the interactive weaning guide, all you need to do it visit, become a friend of theirs and you will also get a coupon for a free First Stage pouch! 

The Ella's Kitchen weaning guide is accessible from a mobile or tablet which is great as parents aren't likely to have their PC or laptop handing whilst feeding and you can browse their information and tips on the go. It also has How-To's and Foody Fun ideas! You are able to select which stage you are at (Stage 1 - from 4 months, Stage 2 - from 7 months and Stage 3 - from 10 months). I think that the interactive guide is great and it is jam-packed with tips and ideas especially for being free! I'd definitely recommend it to all mums - you'll feel like a pro in no time! I love how colourful and exciting it looks. It isn't boring to read.

Ella's Kitchen very kindly sent C some lovely First Tastes pouches in Prunes, Peaches, Parsnips and Carrots as well as a gorgeous little weaning spoon (it's too cute to use!!) to coincide with the release of the Interactive Weaning Guide. C loved all the flavours (even prunes which I was surprised about!) but he gobbled them up like there was no tomorrow. 

(Disclaimer: We received these pouches and spoon free of charge in exchange for trying out & posting about the weaning guide. All thoughts and opinions are my own).