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Review | Ewan The Dream Sheep

Ewan The Dream Sheep and I are old mates. We go way back. About two and a half years in fact, to just before Elsa was born and I came across this miraculous little sheep whilst searching out the must have baby products. He was bought for Elsa as a gift and was ready and waiting for her from the moment she was born.

 

Fast forward to now and shiny new baby Ted is here. I knew that we would want to try out Ewan’s sleep inducing properties with him and was thrilled when we were sent a Ewan to review.

 

For anyone not familiar with Ewan; let me introduce him.

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This little purple and cream fella has magical music and light features to soothe the smallest and biggest of babies. Press any of his four legs to hear a different soothing sound from heartbeat and womb noises to heartbeat and rain, via the harp and the vacuum cleaner! He also emits an ambient pinky/red glow from his chest.

 

Our new Ewan was put to work the day that Ted was born. Ted’s first night was spent listening to womb noises – not from me but from Ewan!

 

 

 

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Let’s remember that Ted is a newborn baby so I am under no illusion that hanging Ewan the Dream Sheep from his moses basket is going to have him sleeping through the night from birth! But there is no denying that Ewan does work to soothe and calm babies and make for less screaming. Ewan also sends this Mama to sleep, although not much help is required with that these days

 

I do know from my previous experience with Elsa & Ewan that babies love him. At two and half years old and firmly into toddler-hood Elsa is on her second Ewan and still takes him to bed every night. And if Ted is a good a sleeper as Elsa was for her first two years I will be shaking Ewan by the paw and thanking him.

 

For us, Ewan the Sheep is pretty damn perfect but there are two things I would change about him. The first is that he gobbles batteries like they are going out of fashion. I have tried every kind of battery going, from the cheapest of the cheap to the eye wateringly expensive and all seem to be consumed at the same rate.

The second thing is that I would love it if the electronics were removable so that Ewan could be given a good and proper wash, preferably in the washing machine. Elsa sucked on Ewan’s legs. This made him stink like nothing I have ever smelt before. It would have been lovely if we could have popped him in the washing machine to stop him from honking.

 

But overall we love Ewan, the fact that both children have a Ewan and Elsa also has his good friend Russell The Sheepdog speaks volumes for the quality and effectiveness of these products. Ewan the Sheep is one of my ‘go to’ baby gifts these days and I would recommend him to anyone. If he doesn’t help your baby sleep he’ll certainly send the Mama’s & Daddy’s on their way to the land of nod!

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Ewan the Dream Sheep retails for £29.99 and is available here. You can also keep up to date with Ewan and friends news and adventures on Twitter.

 

*We were kindly sent a Ewan The Dream Sheep for the purpose of this review. Other Ewan and Russell products have been purchased by ourselves. All words and opinions are my own.*

A Tumble Tour: Mr Tumble’s Circus Live On Stage – Coming very soon!

“Want Tumble”

“Can I have Tumble on?”

“Mr Tumble time”

 

This starts in our house pretty much from the moment we get up until bath time. Elsa is OBSESSED with Mr Tumble and all his pals.

 

So we are very excited that Mr Tumble is touring this Easter and coming to an arena near us and near you! We are very much looking forward to seeing Aunt Polly (Elsa’s favourite) and Grandad Tumble (Daddy’s favuorite) in the flesh in Sheffield on 6th April.

 

The tour begins on Wednesday 1st April in Cardiff and stretches right through the Easter holidays, finishing up in Manchester on Tuesday 14th April. Full tour dates can be seen on the Cbeebies Live website here.

 

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Mr Tumble will be joined on his circus tour by lots of our favourite Cbeebies characters and presenters, including Andy Day. I am very interested to see if the Justin / Tumble magic that comes through the TV translates as well on screen. Elsa goes into a Tumble zone whilst watching Something Special so I can’t wait to see her face when she sees everyone in real life!

 

Tickets for all the shows are available through the Cbeebies website with tickets starting from a very reasonable £13.50. A perfect day out for a Tumble obsessed toddler this Easter!

 

 

 

*We have been offered complimentary tickets for the tour in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own*

The Nine – A Pregnancy Countdown Journal from Burp! Boutique – Review

During my first pregnancy I kept absolutely no record or detail of the experience so with a second baby on the way I had every intention of keeping a journal of sorts. Haha, me and my good intentions! Obviously life got in the way and it didn’t happen. But then the lovely Kate at Burp! Boutique offered ‘The Nine – A Pregnancy Countdown Journal’ for review and I thought it looked ideal.

 

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Being short on time, patience and with a memory like a sieve I wanted something simple and inviting to use that wasn’t going to be a complete chore to fill in.

 

‘The Nine’ by Kelly Sopp is split into the nine months of pregnancy with colourful dividers and further split down into weeks. Each week there is space to write a little bit about what’s going on in your head, which body bits are expanding at an exponential rate and one other section which changes every week, such as family, relationship, work etc.

 

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There is a space each month to stick in a belly photo and also sections for scan pics, details of names that you like and a final section at the end to fill in details of the birth and a couple of weeks after.

 

This journal is American so there are certain dates that fit with the US pregnancy care system rather than the UK. But overall this is a lovely, simple to use journal that guides you through making notes during your pregnancy and will make a lovely keepsake to look back on.

 

This journal will shortly be available at Burp! Boutique, along with lots of other gorgeous clothes. books and toys for your little one. Pop over and have a browse!

 

*The Nine – A pregnancy countdown journal’ was provide by Burp! Boutique for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Do You Believe In Magic? – My Own Fairy Review

A little bit of magic has been taking place at the bottom of our garden. The clues began when a very special parcel arrived in the post and then we had a sprinkling of glitter by the big tree, followed by the appearance of magic stepping stones…..

 

What could be next? Ahhh, a beautiful magic door leading straight to fairy land!

 

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We picked this gorgeous woodland-y door from My Own Fairy as it seems perfect for nestling at the base of our tree. the bright, bold yellow and little mushroom suited at outside fairy door but there are plenty of other colours and designs available that suit both indoors and outdoors.

 

To make things welcoming for our fairy we left out the magic door key and a few chocolate buttons in case she was a bit peckish after her long journey.

 

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So now all we could do was wait. Would a magic fairy choose to come and live with us? Would she like the door at the bottom of the garden? Whilst we waited we set about choosing a name. Trickier than you think! We wanted to do the fairy justice with a spectacular name, after much deliberation we decided upon the amazing Nettle Glitterdancer.

 

The next morning we ventured down to the tree with excitement and trepidation. Would our fairy have visited? The chocolate buttons had gone, the key had gone and Nettle Glitterdancer left us a sprinkling of her magic glitter dust to let us know that she approved.

 

Fairy Doors are a magical idea and I had searched high and low for one that was suitable for outdoor use before coming across My Own Fairy. These gorgeous doors are £19.99 and are beautifully hand crafted from solid oak and then hand painted (it is recommended that doors that are fitted outside are suitably treated first). The doors come complete with a magic key and a bottle of magic glitter dust plus a ‘Certificate of Fairy Residence’ to be signed by your child and the fairy.

 

Fairy Doors open up a whole world of magic and imaginative play for your child. The magic spreads through the whole family and young and not so young will love the joy and fairytale feel a door brings. You can fail to smile at the excitement of a young child, desperate to see if their fairy has been to visit.

 

At the age of 2 Elsa is a bit young to fully understand the whole concept of fairies and their visits but I hope that by introducing it at this age we can incorporate Christmas magic, Tooth Fairy magic and even treats and rewards as she begins to understand.

 

The My Own Fairy website has lots and lots of ideas for magical activities with your fairy and even a ‘Parents Zone’ with handy hints and tips on making the most of your Fairy Door. They are also offering a free set of stepping stones with every door using code FREESTEP.

 

We absolutely love our fairy door and hope to get any years of magic from it. I’ll be buying a few of these as birthday and Christmas presents!

 

P.S. Apparently it is virtually impossible to get a glimpse of your fairy but this clever Mama used her amazing photography skills to get this snap of our fairy, Nettle Glitterdancer!

 

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*We were kindly provided with My Own Fairy door for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are entirely my own.*

Starting Potty Training with LumiPotti – Review

Elsa is a stripper. Those of you who follow us on Twitter may have seen my desperate pleas for help over what to do with child who is obsessed with taking her clothes off! The stripping off of clothes isn’t really the problem, it’s the taking off the nappy that’s the real issue.

So I decided that there was no harm in introducing a potty. Whilst I think she is probably a bit too young for potty training at 21 months, stranger things have happened. You never know if you don’t try!

And this where the LumiPotti comes in!

LumiPotti was invented by two Mamas wanting to make potty training a little bit easier. Drawing on their own experience of toddler toilet training they came up with the LumiPotti. The main feature of the LumiPotti is the motion activated light at the rear of the potty. Once it is dark enough this light is triggered by movement, enabling a child to easily find the potty in their dark bed room. This light is removable and can be used a nightlight for older children who can make their own way to the bathroom.

The potty itself feels sturdy, solid and well made. The night light element is battery operated and it needs to be removed before cleaning the potty. The concept of the removable nightlight is a good one but I’m not sure how well it would work. I struggled to remove the nightlight to put the batteries in so I can’t imagine how a small child, in need of a wee in the middle of the night, is going to remove it and get to the bathroom in time. Perhaps it would become less stiff and easier to remove over time.

So, back to our potty training attempts. The emphasis being on ‘attempts’. Still a fan of stripping Elsa is very keen on sitting on the potty, sitting all her toys on the potty, standing in the potty but unfortunately not so keen on doing her business on the potty. She prefers to stand next to the potty for that.

We will get there with the potty training in time. And I am sure that the light sensor on the LumiPotti will come into it’s own when we work on staying dry at night. In the meantime we persevere and keep waiting for that illusive ‘wee on the potty’!

The LumiPotti is priced at £19.99 and available to buy here. You can follow LumiPotti on Twitter and give them a little like over on Facebook.

*We were kindly provided with the LumiPotti for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own*

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Shoe Zone Spring / Summer 2014 – Review

Elsa & I were recently lucky enough to be sent a pair of shoes each by Shoe Zone to try out.

Being a bit of a jelly shoe fan this summer I opted for the Lilley Clear Jelly Ballerina Shoe and Elsa went for the Walkright Pink Flower Sandal (the smallest sandal they do at the moment in size EU22).

The parcel containing our order arrived promptly and we opened it up to see these lovely shoes. Now, I will confess that I had had my reservations about Shoe Zone and I was under the impression that the shoes *might* be a bit on the cheap and nasty side. I can honestly put my hands up and say that I was wrong (not this moment down someone, this does not happen often!).

My shoes are a plastic jelly type ballerina flat with diamante detailing. I have worn these several times a week for the last month or so and I was worried that the diamantes may come loose or even fall off. They haven’t, they are all still firmly in place with no signs of budging!

They are also a good fit on my enormous size 8 feet, which is always a concern when ordering shoes online!

The only relatively minor complaint (and this is down to a combination of the shoes I chose and my feet) is that when it is really hot the shoes steam up on the inside. This is a bit gross as my feet are obviously hot and sweaty! Stick to cooler days in these jellies.

Elsa has not worn her sandals too much as they are still slightly too big. I am however impressed with the quality. They have good thick soles, plenty of arch support and easy to alter velcro fastenings.

The sandals are pretty and keep Elsa’s foot nice and secure. Overall, I think they are brilliant value for a pair of everyday sandals.

Both of these pairs of shoes are available from the Shoe Zone Spring/Summer 2014 collection and are both fantastic value at £12.99 each. There really is an enormous collection of shoes to choose from. 

*We were kindly provided with the two pairs of shoes for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own*

Green People Sun Lotion & Organic Children Sun Lotion – Review

Since Elsa was a few of weeks old we have been trying to manage her eczema. We’ve managed to keep it under control with a combination of organic cotton next to her skin and Aveeno cream.

But back in April we went on holiday to Florida and Elsa’s dry skin and eczema issues flared up with the use of a well know high street brand of sun lotion. I was worried that this was going to have to be a compromise that we would always have to make – a trade off between the annoyance of dry skin and the necessity of protected skin!

I then stumbled across Green People on twitter and they offered Elsa the chance to try out their Organic Children Sun Lotion in Factor 25 and the husband and I were sent Sun Lotion SPF15 with Tan Accelerator.

So our glamping holiday last week was the perfect opportunity to try out our new sun lotions.

The Organic Children Sun Lotion is SPF25. I was slightly concerned about this at first as we have always used SPF50 for Elsa before. But I did a bit of reading and discovered that SPF25 filters out 96% of harmful rays and SPF50 98%. So the actual protection comes down to making sure that you reapply the creams regularly.

The Organic Children Lotion is scent free (although there is also a lavender scent version available). I found it to be light and easily absorbed. Elsa is not patient but this did not take long to rub into the skin at all and Elsa even enjoyed rubbing it in herself. I’m not sure if it was the lack of scent or the lack of stickness or a combination of the two, but Elsa didn’t seem nearly as ‘yucky’ at the end of the day compared to other sun lotions we have used on her.

And to the most important bit – her skin reaction to it. There was none. No flare up of dry skin or eczema, her skin actually seemed softer and more moisturised. Granted, we used this for 5 days continuously, rather than the 2 weeks we were in Florida but I could absolutely see and feel the difference in her skin and how it reacted.

I was also equally impressed with the Green People Sun Lotion with Tan Accelerator that the husband and I tried out. This has a gorgeous lavender scent, very unusual for a sun lotion & I thought it was lovely. I was sceptical about the tan accelerator element but both the husband and I commented on what good colour we had got with a few days glamping ‘down South’. A week later we are both still a good colour (and I still have annoyingly visible strap marks!).

Again I found the lotion to be light, not at all sticky and easily absorbed.

Overall I was very impressed. I am converted! For me, Elsa’s skin is the most important thing and, whilst this product may be a little bit more expensive than high street brands, it is worth every penny to prevent angry dry skin and eczema flare ups.

And given that we don’t get that much sun the husband and I loved the tan accelerator to give us that extra colour boost!

The Organic Children Sun Lotion SPF25 retails at £16.95 and the Sun Lotion SPF15 with Tan Accelerator retails at £18.95. These and many more products are available to purchase at http://www.greenpeople.co.uk/

*We were kindly provided with the two sun lotions for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own*

Tatty Tot Children’s Clothing – Ruffle Dungarees – Review

Last week Elsa received an exciting parcel in the post. Inside the beautiful packaging was a pair of Tatty Tot Ruffle Dungarees in a gorgeous horizon blue colour.

Tatty Tot is the brand new children’s clothing company brought to you by the previous owners of Tick Tock 1,2,3, Polyotter and Splash About. Beautiful, soft, top-quality clothes made in Britain, for kids who love to play, in-doors, out-doors and in my lady’s chamber.
Tatty Tot clothing has a traditional feel to it, the designs are ‘old school’ and the attention to detail and quality of the materials used is superb. Add to this that the clothing is entirely British made and the whole range has been made parent friendly with features such as ‘reversible’, ‘easy to iron’ or even better, ‘no ironing required’, it is getting a big thumbs up from us!
These dungarees are made from thick, soft corduroy with adjustable straps and lots of pockets! The sizing is quite generous, I chose 2-3 years for 20 month old Elsa as I have started buying her this size from the high street. However, the dungarees were quite big on her so they are true to size. 
Elsa has worn these a few times, and as any toddler does playing in the garden, she tends to get very grubby in them. They have been washed several times now and look like new after washing (and a light iron). 
These dungarees are priced at £34.50. If you are looking for good quality, long last pieces Tatty Tot is definitely the place to go.   
*We were kindly provided with the dungarees for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own*

Nioxin 30 Day Challenge with Russell Eaton – Review

A couple of months ago I was invited along for a bit of a pamper evening at the Russell Eaton salon in Leeds. At the time I had the Nioxin Dermabrasion treatment which you can read about here and  I was also given the Nioxin System Kit to try out for their 30 day challenge.

To briefly summarise, the Nioxin System is designed to improve hair thinning / loss and the condition of your scalp. Now I have absolutely tonnes of hair, thinning has never been a problem but it does fall out all over the house which drives the husband made. I have also suffered with dry scalp and dandruff problems ever since I was pregnant.

The Nioxin 3 Step System compromises a shampoo, a conditioner and a leave in scalp treatment spray. After a couple of days of using the system I did notice a considerable reduction in the amount of malting I was doing. It was noticeable whilst washing my hair and in my hair brush (sorry to gross you all out!).

However, about 2 weeks into the Nioxin 30 day challenge I had to stop and revert to my trusty Head & Shoulders. The dry scalp was back with a vengeance and I cannot live with flake covered shoulders. As we were going on holiday I decided to leave the Nioxin at home and resume the system once I returned.

So after a 2 week break I went back to the Nioxin. Again, I noticed that the hair loss decreased and this time the dry scalp didn’t flare up as badly. The box above lasted me another 3 weeks.

I am definitely impressed with the Nioxin System in terms of hair loss prevention. It doesn’t seem to agree with my scalp but I can manage that by alternating with Head & Shoulders so I will definitely be treating myself to the products again.

And the decrease in hair loss makes my husband a very happy man!

The Nioxin 3 Step System can be purchased at the Russell Eaton Salon in Leeds. They also provide the amazing Nioxin Dermabrasion which is a treat worth having!

*I was kindly provided with the Nioxin 3 Step System for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own*

A bit of Mama pampering with Nioxin at Russell Eaton

Yesterday evening, after a stressful day at work and rushing into Leeds like a mad woman, I had a lovely bit of pampering courtesy of Russell Eaton Salon & Spa in Leeds and Nioxin brand.

I had been invited along as a new(ish) Mama as pregnancy is known to take its toll or our hair and nails. Nioxin has been developed for people with thinning hair or scalp issues. Both of these issues are quite common after having a baby due to changes in hormones and whilst I have no real problems with thinning I have suffered terribly with a dry, flaky scalp since having Elsa. (Yuck, I hear you cry!)

A welcome glass of champagne went down a treat for Michelle and I whilst we listen to the science and benefits behind the Nioxin products.

Up next was a hair consultation with Daniel, the Russell Eaton Leeds Technical Director (Colour). This was to determine my hair type and the Nioxin system best suited to my hair and scalp issues. It was determined that I am ‘Type 5’ – Medium to Course hair which is chemically processed (haha, and you all thought I was a natural blonde!).

The consultation was followed by the ‘NIOscope’ experience. Basically was used to look at my scalp and follicles to determine how healthy/unhealthy it is.

A healthy scalp should be translucent with very little visible build up around the hair follicles. Mine was the opposite; grey, dull and lots of product build up. It was pretty gross to look at up close!

Next up came the dermabrasion treatment. This is exactly as it sounds, an exfoliation of the scalp. The product smelt gorgeous and felt fabulously tingly as it was applied. It is applied all over the scalp and gently massaged in before being left for 10 mins.

A fabulous rinse with head and neck massage follow and this tired Mama was so relaxed I almost fell asleep!
A lovely blow dry from Daniel and another look at my scalp on the NIOscope showed that much of the product build up was gone.

Now I have to confess to being a bit of sceptic when it comes to products like this and I really wasn’t expecting to see much difference but it really was there. After just the one treatment my scalp did look much clearer and healthier. This dermabrasion treatment is available in Russell Eaton salons in both Leeds and Barnsley and costs £15, which I think I very reasonable given the immediate improvement I could see (and feel!).

At the event I was also given a goody bag containing the Nioxin Hair System Kit specifically for my hair type. This compromises a shampoo, conditioner and scalp treatment and has a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you are not completely thrilled with it you can get all your money back. I will be reporting back in 30 days with the results of the treatment and hopefully I will have a lovely flake free scalp and no more whispy hairs around my hairline!

You can follow Russell Eaton on Twitter and visit their website here.