BABY born Wonderland up for review

My daughter is baby mad and always has been since she was a baby herself! She plays with her dolls for hours on end I love watching her with them. So when the lovely people at Zapf Creations got in touch asking if we would like to choose a new BABY born doll to review, we were more than happy to help.

BABY born Wonderland doll up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

We were sent this amazing Wonderland BABY born which as you can see, is no ordinary baby. You see, once upon a time not that long ago BABY born walked through a mysterious magic forest. Morning dew was dripping from the trees, when suddenly a unicorn nudged her with its soft snout. All of a sudden BABY born turned into a wonderful fairy and here she is!

BABY born Wonderland doll up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Of course every fairy needs wings and that includes BABY born. Dressed in this pretty little sparkly tutu style dress, she is also wearing a little detachable crown, a unicorn necklace and a little bracelet. There is also a matching bracelet for your child to wear too which is such a lovely touch I thought. Such a gorgeous doll!

BABY born Wonderland doll up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Now, what I liked most of all was that not only is she a Wonderland fairy, but she is also a fully functioning baby doll too. She is an interactive BABY born which means that she can drink, wet her nappy, cry, eat, use the potty, sleep, be moveable and is fully bathable. This set comes complete with a bowl, spoon, special food, feeding bottle, dummy, nappy and a potty. Everything you could possibly need!

BABY born Wonderland doll up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

With my daughter, I always find that the toys where she gets to use her own imagination are the ones that she goes back to play with time and again. She loves dolls anyway like I said but there was something about this Wonderland BABY born that really sparked her little imagination she absolutely loves her! I love that she gets to play magical fairy games with her but that she can also play babies with her thanks to all the interactive features. It feels like two dolls in one really I honestly can’t recommend it enough.

BABY born Wonderland is available in all good toy shops now RRP £35 which I think is exceptionally good value given that she is so much more than an ordinary baby doll and also comes with lots of lovely accessories. We absolutely love her!

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review we were kindly provided with this BABY born Wonderland doll from Zapf Creations but all words and opinions are our own

The one with the sugar war

I read something the other day in The Telegraph about a parent who has never let her children eat sweets and at first glance, my immediate thought was HOW?! How has she managed to get away with avoiding them altogether I mean they are EVERYWHERE? But then on further reading, I saw that her children were in fact something like three years old and six months. So more babies than children then? So not that hard to win the ‘sugar war’ (as she put it) when they are still very much at an age where as a parent, you pretty much have complete control over what goes into their little mouths?

When I think back to my children at that age, I could probably have said the same. I was always quite strict about how much sugar mine ate. Or actually more junk than sugar because they all ate fruit until it came out of their ears at those ages. They never ever drank anything but milk or water though that was one thing that I would never compromise on. People used to think that I was mean not letting my son drink juice when he was a baby (and would openly tell me so) but I’m glad I stuck to my guns on that one when he was so little. To this day, all four of them mainly drink water and still like a glass of milk before bed!

The war on sugar (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

With my eldest two though, I remember them getting to the age of probably about 2 and 3 and realising that I wouldn’t always have a say in what they ate. They got to that age where birthday parties and the like started creeping in and I started to see how outside influences could start to take over. How I wouldn’t always be there to say no to things. And how an outright ban on all things sugary would make them all the more tempting when I wasn’t there to stop them from eating them. I had visions of them overdosing on jam sandwiches and guzzling on Fruit Shoots the minute my back was turned! Forbidden fruit and all that! And besides, stopping them from eating junk was never meant to be a punishment it was just about setting them off on the right path in life.

I was just trying to do what I thought was best. Isn’t that what we all do as parents? I’m the first to admit that I am making it up as I go along. And of course they were allowed the odd little treat already but I realised that not only would an outright sweetie ban be down right impossible the older they got, it wouldn’t actually be doing them any favours in the long run. I had to teach them that treats are fine but in moderation. And I think by and large we have managed to find a healthy balance with the four of them.

The hardest bit I have found with the whole sugar thing is actually much much further down the line when they start high school. They have a pocket full of lunch money for the first time ever that they can spend on whatever they want. With my son, for a wee while there the temptation to spend it all in the shop on the way to school on sweets and energy drinks was too hard to resist. Can you imagine the horror of your perfect little boy who used to eat nothing but breast milk and organic pureed vegetables now being off his rocker on Red Bull? At the time I absolutely despaired but he soon got it out of his system. He did it because he could, that was all. And he soon realised that a jacket potato makes for a much better lunch.

The war on sugar (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

I know the sugar thing is a bit of a hot topic at the moment but actually, it’s nothing new. In the (almost) eighteen years I have been parenting, I have seen attitudes change. I used to be the ‘mean’ parent who wouldn’t let her baby have Ribena all those years ago, now I should think you’d probably get arrested for such a ‘crime’ against childhood obesity or at the very least die of shame. As with all things in life though, I can’t help but think that moderation is the key when it comes to kids and sugar? An outright ban of anything only ever makes it more appealing but turning a blind eye by letting them ‘be kids’ and eat whatever they want is not the answer either.

I do think there is a middle ground to be found and it is important that we teach our kids this. Well, that is what has mostly worked for us anyway. Truth be told, I don’t think that sugar is the great evil that it is always made out to be these days. And given how much I love chocolate myself, I’d be a hypocrite to say otherwise. The odd treat is fine – of course it is! As is getting them running around every day and learning how to brush their teeth properly. That goes for little people and big people too to be fair, don’t you think?

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Dyson Small Ball up for review

I am not ashamed to admit that I am one of those weirdos that actually enjoys cleaning. There is nothing more satisfying than a sparkling clean house. Even if I do share it with five of the messiest people on earth and cats who are yet to learn to wipe their paws. At times it does feel like ploughing snow while snowflakes are still falling from the sky but that doesn’t stop me from at least trying to have a tidy house. One of my absolute favourite chores has to be the vacuuming though. That instant satisfaction of seeing dust and crumbs being sucked away leaving you with perfect carpets and floors. Ahhh who doesn’t love that? So when the lovely people at John Lewis got in touch asking if I would like to give the super duper new Dyson Small Ball a test drive, I couldn’t wait to give it a go.

Dyson Small Ball from John Lewis up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy

Now first of all, the thing that struck me with this new Dyson is just how much smaller it is than my old one. In fact, when I opened up the box my daughter actually thought that it was a toy one for her! For a minute there the thought did cross my mind that I could offload a chore under the guise of it being a toy vacuum cleaner but to be quite honest, I didn’t want to share. This new toy was all mummy’s!

Dyson Small Ball from John Lewis up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy

Although the Dyson Small Ball saves up to 30% more storage with the retractable wand than the full size Dyson, it still has every bit of power that you would expect. It even has 45% more reach than their previous small upright machine and I have to say that with the extendable handle, it certainly doesn’t feel like a lesser machine as it were. The cable, wand and hose extend to 12.96m making things like cleaning blinds an absolute breeze with the attachments. I love that it’s size makes it so much easier to store and it is ultra-lightweight too at just 5.5kg making it so much easier on my back to lift up and down the stairs as well as around the home.

Dyson Small Ball from John Lewis up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy

It is so lovely to use too because it rides on a ball there are no more awkward moves. I tend to vacuum the whole house in one go from top to bottom which can be quite a mammoth task but it feels effortless with the Dyson Small Ball. It has a self-adjusting cleaner head so there is no bending down or fiddly dials and it automatically adjusts between carpets and hard floors sealing in suction. The clever technology means that the direct drive motor pushes the bristles deeper into the carpet while the carbon fibre filaments remove fine dust from hard floors. This is particularly handy from me as we have a mix of carpet and hard floors throughout the house. It makes life so much easier not having to fiddle about with different settings, I can just whizz through the whole house letting the Dyson do all of the work. Oh and as you might expect from a Dyson, it is of course a bagless cleaner and the dust is collected in a clear chamber so you can see clearly when it needs emptying. And emptying couldn’t be any easier or more hygienic, you just simply push a button to release the dirt without having to come into any contact with it.

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The Dyson Small Ball costs £369.99 which includes a 5 year guarantee from Dyson on parts and labour. I couldn’t be happier with it I love that it comes with all the attachments you need and that it is so lightweight and compact to store away. I especially love that it feels so effortless to use with the multi floor technology. Cleaning just got a whole lot easier so thank you Dyson!

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was provided with the Dyson Small Ball from John Lewis but all words and opinions are my own

The one with the happiest of happy birthdays

My baby turned 8 last Friday. Normally as a parent, I find birthdays really quite bittersweet especially with my youngest child Don’t get me wrong, definitely more sweet than bitter but birthdays – all birthdays – feel like such a huge milestone. A time for celebration of course but part of me usually can’t help but think back to birthdays gone by and I always get a bit misty eyed about the passing of the years. All those clichés about where have the years gone yada yada. And of course, all of those clichés might still be true but I feel so content with where we are as a family now that I no longer yearn for the baby years that we will never have again. I don’t know if it’s because 8 is a particularly lovely age? And it really is. Or if it is because in the last year we made the decision that our family is complete? For a long while there, we were very much in the never say never camp. But for whatever reason, this birthday hasn’t felt bittersweet at all. Just happy. Happy, happy, happy.

The one with the happiest of happy birthdays (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

There have been times over the years with every one of them where I have wanted to stop time and keep them just as they are. But I just don’t get that feeling anymore. Maybe seeing my teens grow up has taught me that actually, them getting older isn’t such a bad thing after all? There is good and bad in all the various stages of childhood of course but this middly bit in the primary school years is definitely one of the best bits. They still hold your hand and laugh at your jokes and you still have a good while before the dreaded hormones hit around the time they start high school. Time does fly by but I think I have learnt that the best way to make the most of it is to just enjoy the moment. Not to hold on to that impossible wish to keep them at that particular age forever because actually, the next stage might be just as much fun. Or at least not as bad as you thought it might be.

Seeing my eldest two on the cusp of becoming such awesome grown ups (even though I do say so myself) is amazing. Like, mind-blowingly-how-did-we-ever-make-such-awesome-kids amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing the years away here but actually I’ve realised that the whole raising children thing is about seeing them through each stage of childhood (good and bad) to get to this very point. I’m seeing my teenagers make steps into their own big wide world. And it’s exciting. Sometimes a tiny bit scary (and sometimes a whole lot scary) but mostly exciting. It’s such a privilege to see my eldest two reach this point and it makes me look forward to what lies ahead for my youngest two rather than be sad for the years that we can never get back if that makes sense?

Of course, if experience has taught me anything then it is that parenting tends to swing from ‘we got this’ to ‘oh my godfathers what do we do now’ so I am fully aware that this post is likely to bite me on the bum at some point. But for now, I will enjoy the contentment that has come from the happiest of happy birthdays.

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Shine bright like a diamond with Birchbox

Following on from last month’s theme Best. Year. Ever. Birchbox will be encouraging you to shine bright like a diamond this February with this sparkler of a box. They have teamed up with luxury diamond specialists Vashi for a very special competition involving two exciting prizes. Inside one lucky subscriber’s February Birchbox there is a beautiful diamond necklace worth £200. Not received something sparkly in your box? No me neither but don’t worry, there is a second opportunity for to win. You can read more about it here on the Birchbox blog. Good luck!

Birchbox February 2016 (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Birchbox February 2016 (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Now for a peek inside this month’s Birchbox! I was so excited to hear about the launch of the new in house beauty line Love Of Color this month and we have been treated to a full size Shadow Stick. Mine came in the Perfect Cents colour and it comes in this handy stick that can be used as a bold liner or blended with your fingertips on your lids to create a softer look. It’s basically like colouring in for make up I love it! So easy to use and it has a lovely crease free finish. Next we have the Ayres Body Butter which is really rich but soaks in fast to leave your skin feeling instantly moisturised. It smells amazing too with hints of jasmine, lavender and ylang-ylang.

Then we have the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster which is my star product this month. I adore serums I swear they have transformed my skincare routine but this really is lovely. This miracle worker uses a high powered vitamin C complex to smooth fine lines, plump and protect skin. You only need a tiny dot it is such a rich but lightweight formula. Next we have the full size Spectrum Collections Tapered Powder Brush which makes light work of powder application thanks to the precisely shaped tip and super soft tapered bristles. It looks pretty too!

Next we have the extra beauty bonus of the L Erickson Grab & Go Ponytail Holder. I love these elastics they are so sturdy plus there are no metal bits to snag on your hair. And last but by no means least, we have The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy which can be used as a blush or shadow. Just swish your brush over the blush and apply to the apples of yoyr cheeks to give a rosy glow.

You can subscribe to Birchbox the UK’s number one beauty box and receive five luxe beauty treats each month for just £10 (plus £2.95 p&p) As you might have guessed, I absolutely love Birchbox it is such a lovely treat every month. It’s such a great way of trying out new beauty products and of course, you can also go on to buy full size products in the fab Birchbox shop too.

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was kindly sent a press sample of this month’s Birchbox but I would never endorse a product that I didn’t truly love. And I truly love Birchbox. 

Happy Valentine’s Day from Blossoming Gifts

Ahh nothings says happy Valentine’s Day quite like a bouquet of flowers, does it? I was so lucky to be sent this gorgeous Sky bouquet from the range of alternative Valentine’s Bouquets at Blossoming Gifts and they were just beautiful!

Blossoming Gifts affordable Valentine's Day flowers (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Blossoming Gifts affordable Valentine's Day flowers (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Blossoming Gifts have a great range of affordable Valentine’s Day flowers this year. There are of course the more traditional single red roses and bouquets of a dozen roses to choose from but also a great range of alternative bouquets if you are looking for something a little bit different. There are also personalised gifts and jewellery to choose from, you can add in little extras like a balloon or chocolates or even splash out on one of the special Valentine’s hampers. It felt a little wrong choosing red roses for myself so I went for this Sky Bouquet instead and it is absolutely dreamy. It has a lovely mix of avalanche roses with fragrant lilies and agapanthus.

Blossoming Gifts affordable Valentine's Day flowers (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Blossoming Gifts affordable Valentine's Day flowers (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

You can order your bouquet right up until 9pm for next day delivery. I have had flowers by post from Blossoming Gifts quite a few times now and I have to say that I am always impressed with how well they are packaged. They always arrive in perfect condition. The bouquet itself was also a great mix of flowers that were already open but some that were yet to bloom. They had that all important wow factor when I opened the box but I know that I will still get to enjoy them for days and days to come. In fact, Blossoming Gifts guarantee that their bouquets of fresh flowers will last for 7 days or your money back.

Now I have a very special treat for my blog readers. I have a very special discount code just for you! How would you like 33% off Blossoming Gifts range of bouquets? Thought so! Simply use code BGIFTS33 at the checkout to receive your reader discount today. You’re welcome! (Please note, this very special offer does not include the ‘Flowers By Post’ collection but this is only a very small range.)

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