Wednesday, 23 January 2013

REVIEW: Gumigem necklace

When I visited The Baby Show back in October I met the lovely folks at Gumigem:

Gumigem jewellery has been especially designed for mum to wear and baby too teethe on! All the range is made from a soft flexible silicone which is safe for babies to pop in their mouth and munch on! That's right, a fun stylish piece of jewellery that doubles up as a baby teething aid!!

They kindly gave me the pick of their stall and allowed me to select a piece of jewellery to review when the time came for Xander to start teething.

I selected this beautiful necklace:

Well, the time has come! Xander has begun teething and he's a grumpy little so and so!! His cheeks are red, he's very dribbly and his fingers are constantly in his mouth. At just over five months the tip of his very first tooth poked through the gum.

For Christmas Xander received pretty much every teething toy under the sun but Xander has dismissed them all. Nothing has been able to beat his fingers as a means if soothing his irritated gums.
At this point I decided to try out the Gumigem necklace I received back in October. Here's our views on the necklace:

What we loved about the Gumigem necklace:
- Lovely bold design which is very fashionable!!
- Fun bright colour!!
- I've worn the necklace out and about and received lots of compliments! Many people were surprised to discover it actually served dual purpose as a teether!
- The necklace can be washed in warm soapy water or popped in the dishwasher for hygiene purposes!
- The necklace has a breakaway clasp which means if baby tugs hard on it they won't strangle you!!
- An ideal teether in babywearing scenarios.
- This has been the one item Xander has actually chomped on for more than two minutes and does appear to be easing his discomfort.

- A whole range of colours and designs available at very reasonable prices.

Potential issues with the necklace:
- It was difficult to encourage Xander to take to the necklace at first. After telling him for the last couple of months not to pull mummy's necklace I was actively encouraging him to play with this one! It may be worth wearing the necklace well before the teething process to encourage familiarity with the item.
- It's not a teether the baby can have and play with in their own. It is important to remember safety. You couldn't really take off be necklace and give it to baby to munch in unless you was very carefully supervising baby as there could be a potential chocking hazard.
- Could encourage clinginess if baby wants to use your necklace as a soother/teether. On reflection I would be more inclined to by the silicone bangle for this reason.

Overall I think Gumigem jewellery is a wonderful idea and there is such a brilliant collection of designs I'm sure you will find a colour or design that really suits your style!! Gumigem jewellery would make a fantastic baby shower gift as the mum-to-be could wear the jewellery straight away as a fashion statement! And it would certainly make a change from bibs and babygros! It's a gift for both mummy and baby!

We received this item free of charge for the purpose of this review. All views expressed are my own.

REVIEW: Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream from Chemist Direct

Chemist Direct is an online chemist offering medicines, health and beauty essentials, fragrances, pet products and household cleaning products at lower prices than on the high street. It also has a large dedicated mother and baby section offering products for baby bath time, feeding and nursing, and maternity products for mums, featuring brands such as Bio-Oil, Chicco, Burts Bees, Halo N Horns, Avent and Mam. The section also runs monthly bulk buy offers on items such as nappies, baby wipes, baby formula, nappy cream – offering further savings to families!! It's the ideal business to have saved in your favourites for those times when it's just too much effort to leave the house and go shopping!!

Chemist Direct sent us some Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream (available from their mother and baby section) to review.

To be honest up until recently we haven't had much need for nappy rash cream as it hasn't been something Xander has really suffered with, however with onset of teething came the nasty side effect of nappy rash (and dribble rash on his chin and neck) and the Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream has proved itself to be extremely useful!!

What we like about Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream:
- Made from natural ingredients (calendula, chamomile, almond oils and sesame oils)
- Lovely smell (a result of the essential oils used within the product. You can especially smell the lavender!)
- A massive tube (75ml) which will last for ages as a little bit goes a long way!
- Not too sticky
- Not as thick as other rash creams so quite easy to rub in.
- Can be used not just for the nappy area, also ideal to use for dribble rash around the neck and chin area.
- I like that the product is in a tube rather than a tub, it takes up less space in my changing bag.
- Products haven't been tested on animals.

What we don't like about Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream:
- Being stored in a tube, initially when we began using the product we wasted some cream as we squeezed too much out. Once out of the tube you can't put it back in!

Generally speaking we really have liked using Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream and will continue using it in the future!! An recommend this cream to other parents and babies.

You can purchase this cream (and other products from the Weleda range) from Chemist Direct for the bargain price of £5.60. That's 19% discount off the RRP £6.95.

We received this item free of charge from Chemist Direct for the purpose of this review. All opinions posted are my own.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Xander's first snow!!

Hi all, just a quick post today to share some photos of Xander's first snow! To be honest we literally stepped foot in it for five minutes in total!! We took a few pics, he wasn't too impressed when I laid him in the snow for a snow angel pic! But Xander absolutely loved watching it out of the window, he couldn't stop chuckling!

I think it's fair to say we are all snowed out now and looking forward to it thawing out and normality resuming!! Did you have any good snow days? Did you make anything impressive whilst out in the snow?!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Xander's first tooth!!

Saturday was a landmark moment in my little mans life! After a couple of weeks of rosy red cheeks, trying every type of pain relief available (Nelson's teething granules are by far the best!) and sleepless nights Xander's first toothy peg cut through!!

Here's a little pic of my gorgeous boy on this momentous day. Just love him!!

Saturday, 12 January 2013 Britain’s Best Days Out: Review of Marwell Zoo!

As part of Money Supermarkets Britain's Best Days Out
we were given tickets to  Marwell Zoo,
So on a chilly November day we went for a family day out
and this is our review!

We entered the park, purchased a map
and decided what route to go,
They offer a route where you can see all the animals 
or a wet weather one for rain or snow.

The first encounter we had was with a waddle of penguins,
then we headed up the Savannah track,
Daddy and Xander stood on the veranda
and watched the cheetahs having a snack!

Then off into Africa we ventured,
to view the monkeys, zebras and giraffes,
The tallest giraffe leaned over the rails making Xander cry
but the Bongos made Xander laugh!

We went to Cafe Graze for our lunch and really enjoyed our meal,
The facilities were really good too, 
The toilets were clean, plenty of highchairs,
and a microwave to heat bottles through.

After lunch we braved the cold to see  more animals
including meerkats, tigers and horses,
We couldn't help noticing all the fun things for the children to do
 including play parks and obstacle courses!

We was quite energetic and walked our way all the way around the zoo, but just to note that if you didn't want to walk  
there was a road train to take you around too.

We finished our visit by seeing the capybara 
which are Daddy's favourite animal by far,
Finally we went to gift shop and brought a cuddly capybara
which Xander cuddled all the way home in the car! 

We had a completely splendid fun packed day,
there was so much to see and to do,
As Xander gets older we will most certainly be regular visitors to Marwell Zoo! 

We received a family ticket to review Marwell Zoo for free through Tots 100 and Money Supermarkets Britain's Best Days Out Campaign! Visit the MoneySupermarket website  to view a fantastic range of printable money off  vouchers and deals to keep you and your entertained for less.

Find money saving offers on everything from family days out for the kids to exhilarating experience days. There's a whole range of bargains available on a great family day out with the kids including theme parks, popular UK attractions and many more fun places and activities!! Click here to find fantastic value vouchers!

We will definitely be consulting this site before planning any family days out in future!  

Christmas Round-Up

Hi all, let me begin by wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2013!! It's hard to believe that Christmas is already over! I hope you had a good one!

We had the joy of celebrating Xander's first Christmas and we celebrated it in style, literally starting on the 1st December and doing something Christmassy everyday leading up to the BIG day! A lot of our family brought Xander Christmassy themed clothes and I just couldn't resist buying more so I actually managed to dress Xander in a Christmas related item of clothing leading up to and including Boxing Day!!

I felt intense pressure to get everything just perfect and that included the Christmas tree. After convincing myself that our old tree wasn't good enough I dragged hubby to the shops to buy a brand new tree and decs. Now, I'm a complete perfectionist when it comes to Christmas tree dressing and went for a blue, white, silver and purple theme. What surprised me this year was how much I was willing to go out of my comfort zone and add non-coordinating baubles and decorations to the tree that people brought us to celebrate Xander's first Christmas!!

The baby group we regularly attend had Christmas themed crafts running at each session and we had a lot of fun creating tree decorations, Christmas cards and calendars:

A major enjoyable part of the build up to Christmas was taking Xander to visit Santa for the first time. Santa played a massive part in my Christmases as a child. Every year Santa visits my Ann's home to hand deliver the gifts. This is a tradition that still continues to his day, so I was keen to introduce Xander to Santa early on and avoid the typical crying at Santa routine!! I was utterly delighted that Xander wasn't at all phased by Santa and we actually visited Sandra's grotto twice (as well as a Santa visit and Xander's baby group!) So by Christmas Xander and Santa were firm friends!!

We brought Xander an advent calendar and arranged for a letter to be sent from Memories Made!! I also had a keepsake box made especially for Xander's first Christmas! I've kept everything from gift tags and cards to the joke, hat and toy from his first cracker!!

Christmas itself went by with such a blur! Hubby worked right up until Christmas and only had Christmas Day and Boxing Day off. Christmas Eve me and Xander had a PJ day. We watched lots of Christmas movies and I finished wrapping the last few gifts. This is a tradition I'd like to maintain for years to come!

Xander slept all through the night on Christmas Eve!! So we woke up lovely and refreshed! We actually had to wake Xander up to get Christmas proceedings underway! First task of the day was to Skype the in laws! They've only recently got online so Skype was a new experience but it was lovely to open presents together and for Xander to see his great nana and grandad on Christmas Day! He seemed to enjoy the experience, moving up really close to the webcam to say hello!

Obviously being Xander's first Christmas all our family wanted to share his special day. So there was a lot of rushing about on our part to ensure this happened. First up over to my mums, where we shared a lovely morning together and had lunch with them. Then in the afternoon over to hubby's family for more gifts and food! To be honest as lovely as it was in hindsight I think it was all a bit too much for Xander, a bit too overwhelming.

So the next day we spent the majority of the day at home. Just me, hubby and Xander. We opened the rest of his presents with him. We played with his toys and we all sat on the sofa and watched Happy Feet. It was just what we needed!!! Boxing Day evening we popped over to my Nan's for tea and of course to see Santa! His new friend! Here's a pic of my perfect little family all dressed up this Christmas!!