Thursday 31 August 2017

Zhu Zhu Pets Review

I must admit until recently I had not heard of Zhu Zhu Pets. They are part of the latest animal loving craze and are a hamster pet toy made by Spin Master. 

If your child is an animal lover then they are sure to like this toy. They are totally cute just like real hamsters but they also have the added bonus of being colourful and quirky with little characters. 

Zhu Zhu pets also have their own little play areas and adventures with hamster balls, and hamster wheels. 

We were sent a Zhu Zhu Pet called Mr Squiggles. Along with him we were sent a Hamster Ball and a Hamster House play Set. 

Lets start by introducing you to our first Zhu Zhu pet Mr Squiggles! I love everything about this cute little hamster. He is bright orange with a friendly face and a furry tuff of hair on the top of his head. He also comes with a gold belt that you place on his waist. (Or at least I think it is meant to be a belt)
Lily is super pleased with him and thinks he is "SO CUTE". 

So we have established that the Zhu Zhu pets are cute and cuddly. But what else do they do? Quite a lot actually. 
Each Zhu Zhu Pet has buttons you press. One on its head and one on its back. It also has a sensor on its nose. 
The pet has 4 modes of operation. Explore Mode, Nurture Mode, Dance Mode and Sleep Mode. For explore mode you press its back once. This then starts your hamster adventuring. On a flat surface it will move around the floor making sounds as it does. It's sensor means that when it bumps into something it will automatically move backwards and change direction. 
For Nurture mode you need to press the back of the head. This way you can give your pet attention without it running away from you. In this mode it makes all sorts of cute noises. While in this mode you can tap its nose which holds the sensor and then you can feed it. It will make eating noises when you do this. 
You may then want to make your pet do a special secret trick which is dance. To enter this mode you press its back for 3 seconds. The hamster starts to dance and sing for a few short moments and then will go back into explore mode. 
If you want to turn the hamster off, which seems to be something I struggle to do when Lily is in bed and I want to keep the thing quiet. Then you leave it be for four minutes and hope it doesn't make a sound. It did also seem to turn off by pressing the back button a few times and you would hear it make a sleeping sound but I could not find that in the instructions so not sure it is actually turned off at this point. 

When you have figured all the ways you can play with your Zhu Zhu pet. You can then introduce things like the hamster ball and play area to it. 

The hamster ball comes in 2 pieces and also has a base that you put the hamster on which keeps it more steady. The ball is a little tricky to get together and at times didn't feel like it was going to line up, but it did eventually go together. The hamster attaches to the base really easy, you pop your hamster in and its ready to go. You then need to press its back and pop down the lid for it to start moving around the house in its ball like a real hamster would. I did find at times it would walk around for ages and be exploring everywhere. But also at times it just seemed to stop before it even got going and I had to press its back again. 

For some reason Lily wasn't to keen on it in the ball. I think because she wanted to be able to hold and pick up the hamster. but her friend came round and played with it and she thought that the ball was brilliant. 

After playing with the ball we decided to get out the Hamster House Play set. This also came with a Zhu Zhu pet which was purple this time. When I took it all out of the box there was some assembling to do. Okay, ALOT of assembling to do. I started to do it while Lily played with her other Zhu Zhu pet. But I just about managed the round hamster house part when I gave up as I just couldn't work out what went where. I didn't find the instructions too clear for this. So I left it until later so my partner who is better at building could give it a go. He didn't find it easy, but he managed and we finally had our hamster house with ramps and slide.

The set comes with stickers so your child can decorate the house themselves. Lily loved doing this part. It was now time to play with it and Lily couldn't wait.

We placed one hamster in the house, and pressed its back. It started to run in circles and then headed up the ramp. A few times the hamster seemed to get stuck in the ramp and would only go up so far and then go back down. But also a few times it did make it up and scurried down the blue slide and started to run around the carpet. Lily helped the hamster move when it was stuck and so it didn't seem to bother her. When trying to make the hamster go up the slide, sometimes it managed it with ease and sometimes its sensor would hit the side and it would back up instead of carrying on up it.

The round part of the house has little doors, you could either have them open or block them so your hamsters stays inside the house.

Overall Lily has really enjoyed this toy and it has been great to play with. It does have a few things that kept going wrong,like the hamspers getting stuck and Lily kept breaking the ramp as she pushed the pink roofs closed but luckily that wasn't too tricky to fix for her. 

This is the perfect toy to buy if your child is really wanting a pet but your unable to get one. It does lots that a real hamster does and more, and you don't have to clean up after this one. 

The Zhu Zhu Pets are £12.99 each and can be bought at shops such as Toys R Us, and Smyths Toy Store. You can also buy the Adventure Ball which is also £12.99 and the House at £29.99. 

Does your child love animals? Would they love this toy? 

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Casdon Hetty Deluxe Cleaning Trolley Review

Lily has always been a big fan of cleaning. Yes apparently cleaning is fun. I do find it quite funny that children love to clean, little do they know it becomes one of the most hated and never ending tasks as an adult. 

I generally let her use a wet wipe and help me when I am cleaning something down. Though this isn't always helpful as wet wipes don't do a great job on windows or mirrors and this seems to be her favourite thing to clean. 

So when we got the opportunity to review a Casdon Cleaning Trolley I thought perfect. It was going to be brilliant to give Lily that chance to get to pretend play cleaning. 

The set arrived and it was actually a little bit smaller than I thought it would be. But this was actually a really good thing. We really are running out of the room for big toys. Be assured this fits nicely into any corner of a room and doesn't take up much space. 

We were really excited to take it out of the box. We got sent the Hetty version and you can also buy Henry. Lily is very familiar with Henry as we have a henry vacuum. She said "its a pink Henry" and so I said "yes, but her name is Hetty". 

When we opened the box, I noticed that the set had to be assembled. Oh no I thought. Please don't tell me that it is going to be really tricky to put together. Lily really doesn't have too much patience for me putting together toys. Luckily, as much as it looks like there is lots to put together, there isn't and everything just slots in nicely and quickly and you have it built in no time. You then need to attach the stickers to give it that friendly Hetty look.

The set looks great when it is all put together. Everything has its own little place. In total the set comes with - 
  • Stand
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Long Brush
  • Brush and Shovel
  • Hand held Vacuum
  • Spray and Cloth
  • Tub for pretend Cleaning liquid
  • Paper Bag
In total it measures at 54cm high and is the perfect height for any little one. The stand also comes on wheels so that it can be pushed from room to room. Something that Lily manages with ease. 

Lily loves playing with it all but she is mostly impressed with the hand held vacuum. It actually really works and has real sucking action just like any other hand held vacuum. Only this one is the perfect size for your child. I am just as happy about this part of the set as Lily is. Its perfect for when she drops her rice krispies all over the floor and can now clean them up herself. One less job for mummy to do! 
The vacuum is operated by a simple button that presses really easily and is very light to handle. It also isn't very loud so if you have a child like Lily who is frightened of loud noises, this won't scare them. 

Lily seemed to know exactly what to do with all the cleaning items. Shows that although my house never looks tidy, I must do a lot of cleaning. She would use the liquid bottle to put in some pretend liquid. Then she would dip in the mop and then wipe things with it. I say things because Lily did decide that the door needed a good clean with the mop and I can't say I have ever used a mop on a door before. 

Everything in this set was perfect to keep lily's role play imagination active. She has really loved using all parts to the set and everything really is like a mini version to what we would use cleaning our own homes. She has played with this toy every day since we have had it and its great to see her drop crumbs onto the floor and want to go to clean them up. It is never to early to start to teach your children how to clean. 

I would really recommend this toy for your child. It really does provide hours of cleaning fun for them and they really enjoy getting to feel adult and love joining in with the every day house work that needs to be done. 

This toy is perfect for a wide age range and is recommended for child from 3 year old all the way to 8 years old. 

At a price of £27.99 it is a perfect toy for all role play needs. £27.99 may seen quite expensive but when you actually look at the amount of items you get for it and the fact the vacuum works, it is well worth the money. 

Head over to the Casdon Website to see more about this toy or buy it from amazon

Do your children enjoy cleaning? Would they enjoy this toy? 

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Mummy and Me - August

I have no idea where August has gone. Its meant to be the summer weeks of fun and I had planned to take Lily out lots of places but its seems that august just came and went and we really didn't get many non rainy days to do anything. 

I actually think back to most of August and apart from swimming, and trips to the park, and soft play houses, there hasn't really been to much excitement.

I am kind of glad it is the end of the month so I can start a fresh and hopefully have a much more exciting time in September.

So as for mummy and me pictures. I haven't really got one this month. Which is really sad. I have taken many pictures of Lily having her fun, but there was no real opportunity to take pictures of us toggether. Not that Lily has really wanted to pose with me lately. Every time I point a camera in her direction I have to catch her in the right mood to get the photograph. 

We do have plenty of mother and daughter moments though, I do love story time at night when she is loving giving me big kisses and cuddles and its all calm. 

So this months photograph kind of sums up this month... nothing special. I wanted to get a nice picture of us enjoying story time but she wasn't having any of it.
Technically Lily is in this mummy and me photograph, just she is hidden under the blanket. 

Fingers crossed to a better September. 

Monday 28 August 2017

MUA Lipstick Review and Competition

I must admit I am a big fan of Lipsticks and do own a nice collection of them. Although, its not something that I wear very often. A brand of lipstick I do own is MUA, I find their lipsticks really reasonable and that there is a great variety of colours. 

I was sent this MUA Lipstick to try in shade 14, Bare. 

Upon appearance it wasn't a lipstick I would head straight to and buy. I usually go for dark lipsticks and this one is very light and pinky. But with trying it, the subtle colour would work really well for work, weddings, or any occasions where you want to dress up nice but not over the top. 

I think the lipstick itself looks great and love the fact that it has the clear end so you can see what shade you are using. It also goes on really smoothly and doesn't go blotted in any areas. 

Lasting throughout the day with minimal top ups its a great lipstick to use and Im happy to be adding this one to my collection. 

Wow Free Stuff are giving you a chance to win 1 in 10 lipsticks. To win all you have to do is head to this link HERE and fill in the form. 

Good Luck

Saturday 26 August 2017

Shuffle and Giggle Tiddlytubbies Review

If you are my age range then you probably grew up with the Teletubbies. Would you believe me if I told you that 2017 marks the anniversary of 20 years of Teletubbies?? That means I was 10 years old when they came out. It really is great to see that they are still around and children love them. Also great to see they haven't changed to much. 

But one addition that has been made is that there are now baby Teletubbies called the Tiddlytubbies. 

In light of this a new range of Tiddlytubbies toys have now been brought out and we were lucky enough to get to try one. I was really curious to find out all about what a Tiddlytubbie toy was like and excited at the concept that Lily was going to get something to play with that relates back to my childhood. 

We were sent a Shuffle and Giggle Tiddlytubbie called Ping.

I think that Ping is adorable. It is quite soft for a mechanical toy and not very heavy either and the soft fabric it is covered in is perfect for your young children to be able to hold and cuddle up. The face is hard, but not to hard that it could hurt a child if they bashed themselves with it. Lily thought she was adorable too and gave her a big hug as soon as I got it out of the box. She knew it was a baby and said "aww baby". I do think that the big eyes really do help the baby appearance and make it look so cute! 

When you switch the Tiddlytubbie over to play mode from demo mode you can make it crawl. You simply press its back and the Tiddlytubbie starts to crawl towards you or away from you giggling happily and making all sorts of baby noises as it does. It is really easy to press the button on its back and Lily managed to do this fine. Not much pressure needs to be placed down to start it moving. She really enjoyed putting the Tiddlytubbie away from her and encouraging it to crawl towards her saying "come on baby" as it did. 
One thing I love about it is that the mechanical noise from the legs moving isn't apparent at all. I have had some toys in the past that have scared Lily because you can hear the robotics move in them. This isn't the case at all with this toy. 

It is also perfect to keep children on the move. Great for children who are crawling or just starting to walk and so they can chase the Tiddlytubbie as it goes. 

Lily has loved playing with this toy and has been keeping it with her quite a bit and taking it to bed with her at night time. She really loves taking care of it and it is definitely a new firm favourite toy of hers. 

You can buy a Tiddlytubbie of your own from Character Online for the price of £24.99

Have you always been a fan of the Teletubbies? What do you think to the new Tiddlytubbies and the Shuffle and Giggle Ping? 

Friday 25 August 2017

Children's Books That Break the Gender Stereotype.

In this house books and story time is very important to us. I always make sure Lily has accsess to a wide range of books and can get to them herself at any time. It was only recently that it was brought to my attention that books may be a little bias when it comes to what sex they use for the stories. I did a gender test on my books and realised that although Lily is a girl, most of the books have male lead characters. You can read all about my discovery of what books we have here in the book gender test post

After noticing that most the books had boys doing stereotypical boys things and girls doing stereotypical girls things, I teamed up with some fellow book loving bloggers. We have created this post all about books that are brilliant in showing that its not always boys that do boys things and girls that do girls things. 

Each blogger selected 3 books. One book perfect for girls, one book perfect for boys and one book perfect for boys or girls. 

To start, here is my choice. 

For Boys - Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle 
Generally its the females that are the ones having the babies, and are often the ones seen taking care of the babies. In this book Its Mister Sea Horses job as it is the male seahorse that carries the eggs after they have been layed. Through out the book he also meets lots of other male fish who are looking after the eggs and babies and shows them doing a brilliant job. Of corse it can't possibly inspire boys to want to be the ones to have babies. (although in my time in nurseries I have seen plenty of boys with baby dolls stuffed up their tops) But its really refreshing to read a story where the male is involved in looking after babies and taking a big responsibility of protecting the babies. I also think that boys will find is very interesting that its the male sea horses that are the ones to carry the eggs. 

For Girls - The First Hippo on the Moon by David Walliams
This funny story about a hippo wanting to be the first hippo on the moon may not strike you as a girls book at first. But actually the hippo that wants to go to the moon and be an astronaught is female. It is really great to see a lead female character in such a stereotypical male role and I think it is great for girls to read a story and see that its a female that wants to head to the moon. After all there are actually so many astronaughts that are female and girls can enjoy space too. 

For Boys and Girls - Topsy and Tim go on a Train
You just have to love Topsy and Tim for all there adventures. There is such an equal part of boys and girls activities and adventures in the Topsy and Tim stories and they always do things that both sexes enjoy doing so its just right to have both a boy and a girl doing them. This story Lily loves as its all about going on a train which i'm sure we all know is something both boys and girls are both fascinated in. 

Next up is April from Prenderland Books and her choice. 

For Boys - The Best Birthday Present Ever - Ben Mantle
This is a lovely story about a squirrel who wants to get his best friend bear the perfect birthday present.
It is good for boys because it quite rightly portrays them as incredibly caring, thoughtful and valuing their friendships.  It also reminds them that it isn't the biggest and most expensive things in life that are the best, it is the little things that are special to people and that make them happy.

For Girls - Rosie Revere Engineer - Andrea Beaty & David Roberts
This is a wonderful book about a girl called Rosie who dreams of being an Engineer. She loves to invent things but they often don't quite go to plan!
It is good for girls because it shows girls in a non- stereotypical role.  It also reminds them never to give up - no matter how many mistakes you make along the way.  Just learn from them, have fun and follow your dreams.

For Boys and Girls - Beauty & The Beast - Ursula Jones & Sarah Gibb
This is a beautiful story about a young girl who is kind enough to take her Father's place and be imprisoned by The Beast.  In many ways it is a sad story but it reminds us not to judge people by their looks and that material things are not important. 
It is good for girls because it shows them that in certain parts of the world and in certain cultures women had and still have little choice over who they marry. It also reminds girls that it isn't about having the prettiest dresses and the most gold.  It is about having someone to love, that loves you for who you are.
It is good for boys because it shows them that no matter what they look like it is the person on the inside that counts.  There is a wonderful prince inside each and everyone of them.  Their friends and family see that special person and that is all that matters.  

Next up we have a selection chosen by Jenni from The Bear and the Fox 

For Boys - William’s Doll, by Charlotte Zolotow 
More than anything, William really wants a doll, to hug, and care for, and kiss goodnight. But his brother calls him a creep, and the boy next door a sissy. And his father gives him a basketball and a train set instead. He plays with both a lot, but it doesn’t stop him wanting a doll. Until one day, his grandmother comes to visit, and grants him his wish. His father is upset, until the grandmother makes him understands that William “needs it…so that when he’s a father like you, he’ll know how to take care of his baby”. Of course, not all boys want to grow up to be fathers, but this book sends home the message that it’s okay for boys to play with dolls. 

For Girls - Zog and the Flying Doctors, by Julia Donaldson 
In the first Zog book, we were introduced to Princess Pearl, who wants to be a doctor instead of “prancing round the palace in a silly frilly dress”. In this follow-up, Pearl and her Flying Doctors crew go to visit her uncle, the king, who totally disagrees with her choice and locks her up in a tower so she can go back to doing more Princess-like things, such as sewing cushions and arranging flowers. But after Pearl saves his life, he comes to his senses and realises that, of course, Princesses can be doctors. A wonderful book that empowers girls — and anyone else — to be whatever they choose to be. 

For Boys and Girls - Gaston, by Kelly DiPucchio 
Bulldog Gaston and Antoinette the poodle were swapped at birth, with Gaston growing up to be prim and proper, with a love of pink, like his poodle sisters, whilst Antoinette is more brutish and brawny like her bulldog brothers. After a chance meeting in the park, they swap back, but come to realise that they were much happier where they were before. A charming and funny story, that shows it’s okay for boys to be tender and girls to be tough, and ultimately that it’s best for everyone to be whatever they want to be. 

Last but not least its a selection chosen by Amanda from Books and Pieces 

For Boys - Pip and Posy – The Little Puddle by Axel Scheffler
To my dismay, I really struggled with this one. I scoured our shelves searching for a book with a male lead in a non-typical role and I really couldn’t find one. The best I could find was The Little Puddle. This is a positive book for boys because not only does it show boy and girl characters as best friends who play really nicely together (I honestly couldn’t believe how early the boy/girl divide becomes apparent in real life), but when Pip has a little accident, he happily pops on a clean dress of Posy’s with no fuss. I’ve always been impressed that my boys have never mentioned or laughed at Pip in the dress.   

For Girls - Rosie’s Hat by Julia Donaldson 
One of Julia Donaldson’s lesser-known titles, Rosie’s Hat is a story about a little girl whose hat blows off one windy day. The hat is lost, but over the years it’s put to many uses by the people and creatures that find it, until one day Rosie is reunited with the hat – when she rescues a cat from a tree in her job as a firefighter.

I love this story because Rosie’s reappearance as a firefighter is totally unexpected, and shows a woman in a typically male role.

For Boys and Girls - I’m a Builder - Ladybird When I Grow Up Series
I’ve recently started to stock this series and I think the books are fantastic. I’m a Builder is a non-fiction book that (unsurprisingly!) looks at all the different jobs builders do. This is a brilliant book for both boys and girls because women are shown as builders alongside men on each of the pages, showing that anyone can be a builder when they grow up. 

Which of these books do you like the sound of? 

What book would you recommend that breaks the Gender Stereotype?

Thursday 24 August 2017

Review - Rock Out with Lalaloopsy's Storm E Sky Doll

As you may know Lalaloopsy's were once rag dolls who magically came to life when their last stitch was sewn. As well as being cute and wholesome, Lalaloopsy offers girls a whimsical world of characters that also have unique personalities. 

That is exactly the case with the Lalaloopsy doll we were sent to review. 

Introducing Storm E Sky!!! She loves music and loves to rock out. Her individual look with purple hair and funky clothing makes her stand out at festivals and she encourages girls to be unique and different and have their own sense of style. 

This character joined the other characters in Lalaloopsy land recently on the Netflix Episodes that you can now watch. 

So here she is. 

One of the new things about this new range of Lalaloopsy dolls is that they have real hair! As you can see, Storm E Sky's hair is nothing other than impressive. Her bright purple pigtails with pink wave in her fringe looks great and her sparkly bow just finishes the look off. I really do love Lalaloopsy's appearance with her cute button eyes and sewn on smile. She is one doll I have always looked at and really admired the design of. Being a doll collector myself, Lalaloopsy is one kind of doll I am happy to collect for Lily. 

Storm E Sky's outfit is brilliant and you can definitely see the music influence in it. Its super colourful and the pink tutu and leggings go really well with her hair. You really can't beat a cute tutu for fashion! Then her boots totally rock and are definetly festival ready!

She also comes with a pink heart shaped brush, a pet cat and cardboard guitar. I actually wish that the guitar was made of plastic too. It would have made the perfect accessory for her. But the cat she has is very cool. It is no ordinary cat. It is purple and also has button eyes and funky shaped tail. I wish I had a cat as cool as that!

Lalaloopsy stands quite well, but it seemed only for a short amount of time before she tumbles face first to the floor. If I was Lalaloopsy I would be inclined to provide stands with the dolls so then they could be displayed stood up rather than stored away in a toy box. They really are just to cool looking to be hidden away and they look brilliant stood up. Her legs do move though and you can also make her sit as well as stand. She sits really strongly and doesn't fall backwards. 

There was one more thing that made receiving this Lalaloopsy more fun!! and that was that we got sent some festival gear so Lily could also be festival ready and join in with Storm E Sky in looking cool!

We were sent a Tutu, a Daisy Headband, some Glitter and a blow up Saxophone. 

I didn't put the glitter on Lily as she is a little to young for it. But she looked brilliant in her clothes and really enjoyed looking just like Storm E Sky. She thought the Saxophone was great and pretended to play a tune on it. 

Overall we are in love with Storm E Sky and we think she ROCKS! She is definitely one you should add to your collection.  

Head to the Lalaloopsy website now to find out more. 

What do you love about Storm E Sky?

Wednesday 23 August 2017

A New Look at My Birth Story - How the Positive Birth Book helps

Recently I have been reading The Positive birth Book by Milli Hill founder of the Positive Birth Movement. As you may know, Im currently not pregnant, and also not planning to be pregnant again yet, but I have been through birth and so when reading this Positive Birth Book, so many thoughts about my birth came into my head. 

This is where I want to discuss my birth story in a little more detail and want to reflect upon how I feel about it after reading the Positive Birth Book. If you haven't read my birth story then you can read it here. Its also something for me to look back on and remember myself for when it comes to wanting to have the next baby.

So Lily was born on the 18th of November 2014. She was 12 days late and I nearly ended up being induced even though I was hoping for a natural water birth in a birthing suite. I have never felt like Lily's birth was terrible. It was far from it, but there were definetly lots that I wasn't happy about. Since reading the Positive Birth Book there is so much now that I look back on and really wish that I would of known. 

So lets look at the book itself. 

Chapter 1 is all about what you are already thinking of birth. For me I wasn't scared of birth at all. All the way through my pregnancy I couldn't wait to give birth, and I was really focused on having a really positive birth. Although most of the births you see on TV are edited to show what they want you to see, there was one birth on One Born Every Minute that didn't actually look too bad and I had it in my head that I would want a birth like that. Though I must admit the show and that birth imparticular gave me a lot of false impressions. For example it makes giving birth look really quick, where as most of the time it isn't. Funnily since having Lily I haven't watched any episodes of One Born. I guess when you have been there and done that, it isn't as interesting anymore. I do really want to say to pregnant women out there though that you really don't want to be looking at the Tv to be showing you what birth is like. It is not the best example at all. 

Chapter 2 is one chapter I really wish I could of read before giving birth. Its all about what giving birth is actually like. You can attend a lot of classes which will tell you this and that, but Milli really hasn't left a single detail out of this book about it. For me there were quite a few things that happened that I never even knew would, lots of feelings that I couldn't understand and lots that made me feel scared. For example while pushing I felt like she was stuck. Lily also kept shooting back up inside me which I didn't understand as I thought babies only came down and out. I think that I could of stayed so much calmer during the pushing stage if I would of understood that these feelings were normal. The book is brilliant for letting you know exactly how each part will feel as it also has quotes from women who have been through it. It is definetly something that would of helped me with my labour. 

Chapter 3 is all about pain relief. For me I didn't want any chemical pain reliefs. I even opted out of having paracetamol. My plan was to have a water birth and that would be my pain relief. I did manage to not have any chemical pain relief in the end, and actually the brief time I was in the water ended up being the only form of relief I got for the entire 14 hours. I tried the gas and air and after 2 sucks on it I was sick. So that wasn't for me at all. I think next time I would do exactly the same for my next birth and not want chemical relief and most definitely no gas and air for me. BUT as much as I managed with the pain, I do feel like I could of had something to keep the pain down even lower so then I was more in control at the pushing stage. Reading this book there are some things in here I never thought of. One being as simple as a hot water bottle. I really think my environment had a lot to play in how much I felt pain towards the pushing stage. For me it wasn't relaxed enough and Milli mentions how much a better environment can help get through the pain. 

Chapter 4 goes a little more into detail of the reality of birth. It is definetly a great section as answers some of women's most asked questions. For me reading it as a mother already. I knew the answers but it definitely helps you with some of the worrying thoughts of things like blood, poo and pain. 

Chapter 5 is a really important one to me. Its all about choice. Do you realise you can be in complete control to how you want your birth? In most aspects I thought I was in control. But looking back there were times where I was told to do things rather than given a choice. For example. Getting TOLD they were booking me in to be induced. I was perfectly healthy, the baby was. Why wasn't I asked If I wanted to be induced or wait a few more days. Next time if the baby is late, after reading this book and knowing I have a choice, I will be asking to wait. Lily ended up coming the morning I was booked to be induced so my hopes would be the next baby would follow suit. 
Another thing was that I was told that I had to get out of the water during the pushing stage as apparently Lily's heart rate was changing and she wasn't liking the water so she wanted to strap me up on the bed. Urghh.. When I look back at this I remember saying Do I have to?? I didn't get a yes but I got told that the only thing that matters is the baby's safety. To which I agree'd and got out and up onto the bed, which is the thing that lead to the rest of my birth not being how I wanted it to be and me not being in my zone anymore. This part i'm always thinking back on. I was moving about a lot and she was struggling to check her heart beat, which she kept doing every 2 moments and asking me to move so she could get to my stomach. All I kept thinking was get off me and let me do this. Who knows, was the annoyance of keeping being prodded every 2 moments and being told to move the thing upping Lily's heart beat? Not the water? Chapter 5 is a really good one to read, I feel a lot more fully informed about how much say I have in things and know how to approach it all in the future now. 

My eyes were really opened at Chapter 6. Planning your Birth. This is something that one day I definitely will be doing again. I felt like I had a really decent birth plan last time. But actually a lot of it got ignored and also there are things in there that I would change, and also things that didn't get put in there that I would put in this time. After reading this part of the book I know I want to use Milli's visual birth plan. Rather than a midwife having to keep looking back at it, she can glance, see a small diagram of what I want and then carry that out. There was 2 things that I wanted to happen during my birth that were in my birth plan. One was I wanted to feel the head when she was coming out but I never got asked to feel the head which saddens me. I forgot like I knew I would and I even put into my birth plan to remind me. I guess they were concentrating more on delivering the but at the time I remember it feeling like forever bent there with a babies head between my legs thinking "come on"... it definitely would have been a way to break up those moments. The worst one was that I put not to take my baby away from me at any time. Not for nappy changes Etc, but after she was born and we were in the ward a midwife did exactly that and walked out of the room with her which lead to me being in floods of tears and not helping a full blown panic attack I was having. One way I think I could over come this in the future it to make sure that I have someone to speak up for me when I can't. This is spoken about in chapter 7. 

Chapter 7 is all about ways to help a positive birth. One of the things that stood out to me in this chapter that I would never have thought about is getting a doula. Milli expresses how we all put money into special days such as weddings, but what about the birth of our children. We should put money into that too. What a great point. The things I felt went wrong in my birth could have been helped by little reminders from that doula, someone there who can speak up for me and make sure my wishes were heard. This book has made me want to think about getting a doula for my next birth. That way I can make sure that all I have planned out happens and I get the positive birth I want. This chapter has so many different ways to help you achieve that positive birth. 

Chapter 8, 9 and 10 and 11 is about different births. It starts with home birth. It really does have some really good points at why a home birth could be for you. But for me, Im not sure it is what I want. I don't think I have ever felt relaxed at home. Not often, and so too much may be on my mind stressing me out in the home. Especially as I work from there. Though one plus point is that there isn't as much chance of ending up on a hospital bed if i'm at home I guess. It then talks about a hospital birth and a Caesarean birth. I didn't end up having a Caesarean birth, but it was always my fear to have to have one. I loved reading this section knowing that If I do ever have to have one, that there are many ways to make it positive.  

Chapter 12 is about What if. I think its the question that Always gets asked and I asked myself so many What if's before the birth. It would have been great to know little facts that are in this section that really put your mind at ease. One of my biggest fears for my next birth is tearing again. I had to have 14 stitches and it was horrible. There is going to be so much more I do this time round from reading this book that hopefully should help with that. Things simply like the way I breathe and relax. Hopefully the book will help create me one big round positive birth that keeps me so calm I don't tare as much as last time if at all. 

The last chapter is about after the birth. For me the only thing I wasn't prepared for was the after pain. It almost gets forgotten to talk about and I really wasn't ready for it. I think that to beat pain you need to be prepared for it and so thats one thing that is important to discuss with midwifes and people such as your doula. I do also remember being in shock after it happened and crying so much and having a big panic attack. Its great to read all about how your emotions effect you in this book so then you can understand it is normal. Next time I am prepared for it and hopefully will have support of a doula and be able to keep my partner near by for this part instead of being left alone with my thoughts. Your body really does feel strange after giving birth, your stomach moves in so many strange ways with body parts inside moving around. Not knowing that it was normal was something that really worried me after the birth and so its so important you look into what you may feel after the birth as well as during. 

I think I could talk about birth all day long. This book has really inspired me to want to make my future birth and anyone else's future births positive. It has been tricky to sum up the 300 pages of the book and how it has helped me but I hope reading how it has will help you want to look into making your birth more positive. 

You can buy the Positive Birth Book Here

In around a months time I will be hosting a Questions and Answers with Milli here on the Blog. Please do reply below if you have any questions regarding having a positive birth. 

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Num Noms Series 4 Review and Giveaway

Want to know some exciting news???

Num Noms are BACK! With a new exciting series. 

Series 4 is now out and we have been sent some to review. We love them and have a huge collection so we were really happy to be adding new ones to our high pile of wonderfully smelling squishy Num Noms. 

We were sent a deluxe dessert tray collection and some series 2 light up Num Num noms. 

I have such a sweet tooth so a dessert tray of Num Nums was sure to be high on my list of things I love to smell. As usual the Num Noms are all super colourful and smell amazing. The designs are going above and beyond with all the fancy decorations on them and wonderful cream for hair and pretty little bows. Lily and I just loved smelling each one and there was a great variety of nice flavours. Lily recognised the ice cream scents straight away as its one of her favourite desserts. It was definetly her favourite smell of all the Num Noms. 

You get 9 Num Noms in the pack and you also get a mystery one that comes in a little box with a question mark on it. We love the element of surprise this brings and I helped Lily open up hers. The Num Nom we got was a yellow brown colour with a purple bow and purple spots on it. We took a look on the Num Nom website to find out that it was and we think that it is Blueberry Oats. 

Also in the pack is 2 Lip Glosses. Lily has started taking a little interest in makeup recently. I found her drawing on her lips with a pencil crayon. Im very glad to give her the lip glosses now so she can put that on her lips instead. She was really impressed with them and put some on her lips straight away. The new lip glosses also have a touch of glitter in them too which is a nice addition. 

Lily really enjoys playing with the Num Noms. Her favourite thing to do is stack them up on top of each other. She is getting really good at keeping them balanced now and tries to see how many she can stack. This way you can make different flavour combinations and smell 3 difference scents at once. 

As well as there being a new series of the Num Noms, there is also now series 2 of the Num Nom Lights. I love the light up ones and so was excited that they had brought out more. But what we got inside the little boxes was such a great surprise. Not only do you get some brilliant light up Num Noms, but now they have a ring attachment so you can turn them into rings for your fingers. What a brilliant idea. Lily loved the idea of this and was really happy to wear one. 
The ring is quite a nice fit too, it fit on Lily's finger and stayed on, but also stretched and fit on my finger too. The lights turn on and off from a button on the top and they flash different colours. We would love to get a bigger collection of these and I think the rings really add value to these little toys. 

Num Noms series 4 are now out to buy and you can get a deluxe set for £15. 
The Light ups are retailing at £3.99.

Head to the Num Nom Website to see more of the series. 

Who would like to have the chance to win some Num Nums? I have one Deluxe Pack to giveaway to one winner. Enter on the Gleam app below for your chance to win. 

Win a Num Nom Series 4 Deluxe Set