Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: "Sent With A Loving Kiss" Personalised Artisan Chocolates


Now this is my mind of review!

Sent With A Loving Kiss make delicious and beautiful chocolates, and not only that, they package them in adorable gift tins. They have sent me the Christmas Baubles And More gift tin from their Christmas Range, it sells for £23.99 and is currently on a 3 for 2 offer (still available for delivery by Christmas if ordered by 2pm 23rd Dec 2014 within the UK).

If you are anything like me - or my husband, my mum, most of my in-laws, and most people I know actually - then you will appreciate a nice Tin. Remember when you used to get chocolates in tins instead of plastic tubs? Tins were the ultimate in recycling. I don't know ANYONE who binned a tin! They get reused as cake tins, craft tins, keepsake tins... All sorts of things!

Well how's this: Not only do Sent With A Loving Kiss send you your artisan chocolates in a tin... it's a PERSONALISED TIN! 

You can wish a couple a very merry first Christmas together, or a first christmas with baby, or declare your love and affection for someone, or simply name the tins so your kids/brother/sisters/aunts/uncles/granny don't fall out over them! And after they have eaten all the yummy chocolates inside (and they are yummy) they can use their tin any way they see fit.

They are a delightful present. Nothing says "I've thought about you" better than a personalised gift, especially one which a) comes with something you can eat, and b) carries on being useful long after the chocolates have gone.

IMPORTANT! 


Sent With A Loving Kiss 
CAN STILL GET YOUR CHRISTMAS ORDERS 
SHIPPED FOR CHRISTMAS
if you get your order in by 2PM 23rd DEC 2014 (UK only)

They also have a 3 for 2 special offer on many of their lines and there is also a discount code inside my tin (watch the video to grab it when I open my tin)




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Review: Gro-hush Baby Calmer

We are big fans of The Gro Company already, and we know they made good quality products for babies; we still have and use the Gro Egg and Gro Bags that we bought for Jack 6+ years ago and have used them for all four of our babies. So when I was offered the chance to review the Gro-hush Baby Calmer I was keen to give it a go with Freddie.

The Gro-hush uses white noise to help sooth Baby. Did you ever see that episode of Peppa Pig where it takes noise to help Baby Alexander sleep? ("The Noisy Night") Well it works a bit like that - only better! And there's no need to worry about your baby sleeping "too much" and missing out on feeds or other essential needs (like a nappy change) because it only soothes a baby without an actual pressing need.

Research into White Noise:

They acknowledge that white noises such as the noise of hair dryers and vacuum cleaners is known to settle infants and promote sleep. They state that white noise acts by masking other external removing such arousal stimuli and calming the baby. It was also found that white noise promoted sleep only in babies who were not hungry. Two of the babies who did not respond initially settled after a feed. Therefore it is unlikely that use of white noise will deprive infants of feeds, should they be required. 

Product Info:


  • Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included) 
  • Includes a high quality protective travel case 
  • Automatically switches off after 10 minutes 
  • Volume is preset to safe sound levels and cannot be changed 
  • Cushion is covered in soft 100% cotton 
  • Cushion cover is washable 
  • Weighs 107 grams (with batteries) 
  • Use from birth

Trying the Gro-hush with Freddie:


Our Gro-hush arrived in a very timely fashion. I have been suffering from a stinking, horrible cold and splitting head. I was on the lem-sips and self pity in a big way... and didn't feel happy about co-sleeping with Freddie (you know, just in case...) So I sat up to feed him and then settled him into his own little bed with the Gro-hush. There are three sound settings; rain, waves, and heart beat. I chose the heart beat, but wondered if it would be any good for him as it wasn't mine or his Daddy's heart beat which he was (in theory) used to. But he seemed to settle quite quickly! The Gro-hush turns it self off after around 10 mins too so I could get to sleep too without worrying about having to turn it off (and risk disturbing him again).


Freddie is used to having his daytime naps in his moses basket in the livingroom. He has just about grown out of it now though, so we are starting to put him in his bed upstairs instead. Freddie's going-for-a-nap routine is now: nappy change, feed, cuddle and rock with the Gro-hush, and then laid in his bed with the Gro-hush. He sometimes makes a little noise (the odd "meehhh...") but no crying while he settles in and finds his fingers to suck. It's a million times easier and quicker than trying to rock him to sleep while his 3 brothers decimate the house in my apparent absence, or running up and down the stairs because he's started crying again the second my foot lands on the bottom of the stairs. Babies don't settle for stressed out mums!


What we thought:


So... While I believe that nothing is better for settling a baby than a lovely long snuggle and feed in a warm and cosy, peaceful room, I also know that you can't always have that. I know I can't unless the other 3 are at school & nursery! The Gro-hush is a massive help when Freddie is finding it difficult to settle. And don't we need all the help we can get when it comes to little ones?

Gro-hush - £34.99 from The Gro Company

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Giggles Christmas Party

Santa at Giggles in Lancaster
We very nearly didn't go to Giggles Christmas Party.... the kids have NOT been on Santa's good list since school kicked out. In fact, if it had been me that paid for the tickets instead of their Nana they would not have gone.... But I hate to see other people's money wasted.

For £10 per kiddy you get 2 hours of play, a cooked meal (pizza & chips or hotdog & chips, although you could arrange something else if you needed to), party games, entry to the raffle, and a visit to Santa with TWO presents. I think that's a pretty good deal to be honest! Although with 3 kids to pay for (Freddie didn't take part, just cuddled with me) to mounts up.

The boys couldn't wait to hit the soft play - Giggles is one if their favorite places locally anyway. As we went in we were told that there were baubles hidden throughout the play area; find one and you got a prize! Well Jack went and found at least 3! The prizes were mini bags of Haribo! He shared them with his brothers, and even let Tom hand in one of the baubles. The staff also held party games in the Birthday Room and Jack & Tom both won prizes for 'pin the tail on the donkey' and other such games. They came out with more sweeties and Jack got a Painting By Numbers set too.

People were being called into see Santa in batches of 5 by their ticket number. We were well down the list in the 40's so I sent the lads to play and promised them I would find them when our numbers were called. The went all the way up to 35-39.... and STOPPED! But only because they were bringing out the kids meals. My lads were hoping up and down... had Santa chosen NOT to see them because they were on the Naughty List??? Nah, he was just taking a break while the kids had their food!

We were called just before the boys had finished eating. I asked the staff to not take away our plates (they kindly left a "do not move!" note on our table!) and we went to see Santa.

Santa was lovely. He had two presents each for Jack, Tom & George, and I got to take as many photos as I liked of them all together. We hadn't bothered getting Freddie a ticket this year (too small to play and eat the food) but he got to have a cuddle with Santa too, and a photo (not that he would stay still for it). Such a shame he got so attached to Santa's beard though.... nearly pulled it off out at the roots!  kids loved their presents - Tom & George got colouring sets and giant bubble wands, Jack got some cars and a build-you-own action figure!

The lads finished their food and then went back off to play. The 2 hours were almost up. Freddie chose this point to over-flow his nappy so I took him off to get changed. Half way through I heard the raffle prizes be announced. Guess who were among the winners?! Jack & Georgie! They came running to find me, screaming and whooping with excitement! Tom was gutted that he didn't win, but seriously, what were the odds that we'd have two winners? Jack's prize was another paint-by-numbers set so he kindly gave it to Tom (I said I'd give him a nice treat at home for being so kind) and Georgie won a Peppa Pig drawing set. No way he was parting with that!

Santa came out of his Grotto for a wander round, photo op, and general friendly time with the kids (such a lovely man) \and then it was time to go. The boys has an awesome time, I think they got real value for money. Giggles do this every year, tickets need to be bought in advance. I know I'll be back for 4 tickets next year!

£10 per kid got us:

  • 2 hours in the soft play
  • Hot meal
  • Party games
  • Meet Santa & 2 presents each
  • Raffle entry
Extras: 

I bought myself a coffee, didn't bother to order myself food but guess I could have done. I bought juice for the kids. I spent less than £5 (most of that was my very big, posh coffee, could easily have spent less)


Verdict:

AWESOME!



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Monday, December 15, 2014

School Christmas Show


My Mum came with me to see the boys in the show, and we took Georgie and Fred with us. Hubby is going tomorrow so that they have someone in the audience both days. I have been worried about this show for the last few weeks. With Jack being in trouble there was a very strong chance that he wasn't going to get to be part of it! But fortunately he managed to pull himself together enough to get to be a narrator "No. 3 of 6".

Tom had landed the roll of one of the Wise Men (or King, if you prefer), just like Jack did in his first year. He was very proud of this! He has been practicing his "camel walk" for ages, and singing the shows songs day and night. He's such a little showman (read Diva) and I imagine he will get nice parts in school shows as he gets older - if he doesn't get attacks of shyness which he does from time to time. He would certainly do well in the choir if he felt to shy to take on a big part.

The show was a good one, much the same as in previous years. Two children go on an adventure to Santa's grotto and meet the toys (last year Jack was a toy robot), then meet the Christmas Star who tells them the Nativity Story (cue Tom as a Wise Man).

Jack did a great job as a narrator - I got some of it on camera, but my camera is a bit rubbish and hardly picked him up. He spoke very clearly, and without shouting. But because he didn't shout the mic didn't pick him up well from the back of the Hall. I managed to get a bit of Tom singing one of the songs he had been practicing the hardest, and of cause I got him and his fellow Wise Men walking to meet Baby Jesus. You could tell he had put some real thought into it, lol... In fact a few people came to see me afterwards and commented on Tom's Camel Walk! Hee hee...


I was very proud of them both. They did a great job. Next year they wont be in the same show because Jack will be in Juniors (KS2) who do a Christmas Concert instead, and Tom will still be in Infants (KS1). We'll also probably have Georgie's Nursery Christmas Show to go to too!



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