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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Little Miss My Nametags Review

With Lily beginning infant school in September, my mind has been prompted to get on with finding and buying school uniform and PE kits. How is my little girl already off to school? Time certainly flies! 

One thing that was drummed into us at our first parent's evening was to ensure every item of schoolwear, shoes and all, are labelled. So when the opportunity to review some nametags arose, I jumped at the chance, for this main reason - no sewing!

My Nametags Washable Label Review title and brand logo bear


The people at My Nametags are onto a good thing; their nametag range not only includes iron on nametags, which I would find a lot easier than getting my rudimentary sewing kit out, but also offers stick on nametags. Having had no experience of the longevity of children's clothes labels aside from the odd biro name scribble on a coat label, I am naturally intrigued by these, plus they offer a Mr.Men and Little Miss range to choose from, which are super bright and colourful, far from the norm of a simple printed name.

Washable sticker labels for Lily's uniform, bright blue, Little Miss
I chose the Little Miss Sunshine design; bright blue with little daisies and Lily's name plus class details.
The stick on labels claim to last wash after wash when applied to the clothes laundry label, so it does seem to be as easy as peel, stick and that is that. They are also dishwasher microwave and steriliser proof, so ideal for a lunch box or water bottle, and of course perfect for labelling books, bags and shoes.

Instructuons for the Little Men and Little Miss Washable name labels


So far I am impressed...The few 'tester' items of clothing which now sport the bright labels have passed the washing machine and tumble dryer exam. The labels are recommended to be applied to the manufacturers label (collar) or the laundry care label (usually down a seam). Personally I aim to apply the labels to the collar or waistband labels purely because that is where most people check for a name, rather than down a trouser leg. Children's clothes come with a variety of different sized manufacturers labels in the collar, and I have found that some of the My Nametags needed to be applied in the best way to fit the label and this may not always be horizontally and may require a fold. If this bothers you, whilst you cannot apply the label to fabric directly, the laundry care label is often substantially bigger to fit the name tag effectively.

Positioning of the My Nametags label may depend on the size of the clothing label
As you can see, the waistband label for these trousers is quite slim as expected, so I have applied it vertically. The name tag is bright enough to not get ignored, whatever it's orientation on a label.
Folded label for Lily's sweater
This Mamas and Papas collar label is pretty narrow, so I simply folded over Little Miss Sunshine (sorry!) so the important details are displayed clearly.
The Mr Men and Little Miss sticker range are available from £13.95 for 56 stickers plus £1.00 postage and packaging. I will post an updated review in September once her new school uniform and PE kit have been purchased, labelled and washed too.

Thanks for reading.
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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

5 weeks Pregnant - Pregnancy Update

How I am feeling:

Symptoms:

The is it or isn't it UTI feeling has disappeared, hooray! But I have been waking up bursting for a wee first thing in the morning. Absolutely no hanging around in bed! I've been feeling pretty bloated and I'm not sure why, I am drinking lots of water though.

5 weeks bump shot baby number three


 I've started feeling hungry in the mornings but sometimes I rapidly go off eating anything; the longer I leave eating the weaker I feel so I have been having regular snacks. I woke up one morning feeling a tiny bit queasy, but I had a lot of stressful things on my mind which probably contributed to that sensation.

Food:

Still been rather enjoying bananas which is very strange!

Skin:

Still pretty good, hooray!

Sleep:

Sleeping pretty well for the moment, but occasionally feel a bit sleepy in the day around 3pm.

Embryo development:

The ever-growing ball of cells is roughly the size of a sesame seed and the basic placenta and umbilical cord is already working.

Vitamins and supplements:

1 x Sanatogen Mum-to-be pregnancy supplement per day
1 x low-dose 75mg aspirin per day

What I'm wearing:

Normal clothes

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Monday, 27 June 2016

Disney Frozen Top Trumps | Toyologist Review

Lily adores Frozen, despite us not owning a functioning DVD of the film anymore. Perhaps it was overuse or sticky fingers? The adults breathed a sigh of relief but whilst we have been umming and aahing as to whether and when to replace it, Toyologist Lily has enjoyed playing with her set of Disney Frozen Top Trump cards.


The sparkly box contains 30 cards each lightly laminated to withstand use by children aged 4 years and up; Alexander still doesn't know his own strength so he managed to bend one quite quickly but we restored it easily enough.

Disney Frozen Top trumps



Each card features a different magical character from the film and whilst you may wonder how did they manage that since there are fewer than 30 main characters, the cards feature other characters or recognisable faces. So aside from Anna, Elsa and Christoff, you will also find Young Anna, Young Elsa as well as 'extras's such as The Wandering Oaken, Wolves and the Arendelle Baby.

A "How to Play" card is included too.
Lily sorting the cards

For children who are as infatuated by Frozen as Lily is, there won't be an unrecognisable face within the set, so there will be limited confusion whilst playing the game.

"Yoo-hoo! Big summer blow-out!"
Lily organising the cards

The Disney Top Trumps cards requires between 2 and 6 players, but more often than not, Lily simply enjoys laying all the cards out and admiring them as well as identifying who each character is as she is yet to understand the Top Trumps rules.

Anna is a top trump card

Perfect for small hands
Lily finds the case a little bit difficult to open herself, but I am glad that I can tuck away the cards neatly for another time.

For the RRP of £4.99, the Disney Frozen Top Trumps cards would make an excellent travelling game, small gift or even Christmas stocking filler. I would be happy for Lily to continue to play with these and not before long we will be able to have a decent game all together.
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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Enjoying #BML for the First Time

To be frank, I am writing this perched on the side of my bed which hasn't got the contents of my case strewn across it. It is around 9 am on Sunday morning and I have been up since 7 am sorting the kid's breakfasts and watching them go through the #BML goodie bags with glee.
So far today I have managed to make myself a cup of tea, but have reached the point of feeling the wrong end of queasy; hungry but not feeling too chipper enough to actually make something. The joys of pregnancy! I decided the sample Coca Cola Zero may be a good idea, then half a slice of peanut butter toast. Then I began unpacking my case and now have eaten 2 triangles of Toblerone and to be honest feel a little bit shaky haha! It has been such a busy couple of days I actually feel like I have a hangover.

Friday night; hotel, eating out and meeting new friends


scruffy trainers thanks to walking around London underground
I did manage to clean these trainers but as expected London made them mucky and dusty again!
Slight detour at London Bridge Underground
We got off the tube at London Bridge, a bit prematurely - we had to continue to Old Street!

Settling in at the hotel with a Toblerone
Getting settled in at the hotel :)
The Californian Burger at The Diner in Camden
We stopped for dinner at The Diner, Camden, en route to the Fringe Party. I chose the Californian burger; beef burger, monteray jack cheese and smashed avocado.

Sweet potato fries at the Diner, Camden
We shared a dish of sweet potato and regular French fries but we were absolutely too stuffed to consider pudding! I unzipped my skirt!

The Diner, Camden
I would definitely go back to The Diner and I appreciated that our waiter asked us if any of us had allergies or intolerances.

Rose Lemonade back at the Thistle hotel
Rose lemonade was my drink of choice once we got back to the hotel. Can you believe we all got asked for ID?!

Saturday: #BML16


My first #BML was a fantastic experience. I had no idea what to expect really and I wondered if I would actually be able to recognise anyone. But once Claire, Serena and Hannah and I made it from The Thistle City Barbican hotel to The Brewery, I spotted a familiar face from the vlogging community, Emily from Emily and Indiana! We pretty much stuck together for the rest of the day, until the very end when we made a move to get our trains and we were unable to find each other to say goodbye. I also recognised Donna from What the Redhead Said but I think I came over a bit starstruck. We also met Alex from Bump to Baby and glided past Cherry Healey.

The Montcalm London City and Brewery hotel flag
Blue skies, lovely!

The courtyard tropical canopy we waited in before being let in at 9 am
Emily and I spotted each other beneath the hanging flowers and bananas of the tropical canopy in The Brewery courtyard

I have to admit that I grazed pretty much through the day, which was a good thing, having had a surprise bout of morning sickness that morning (brushing my teeth set it off). I started with a raspberry muffin and mini pastries and a cup of tea and after some talks in the main room, crepes and coffee were available in The Hub. The Hub was packed with different brands, their stores and their wares; made to order Whipsmith's ice cream prepared using liquid nitrogen, Munchkin, various travel companies with tapas, Blue Iron liquid iron supplements, and although I didn't spot him, there was a very oily, mostly naked male model for the Bollox to Cancer stall.

Whipsmith ice cream tried and tested flavour combinations. I chose Kinda Surprise
I could have chosen any number of flavours to create a yummy ice cream but I opted for Kinda Surprise from the 'tried and tested' combination board. It was delicious, but very sweet.
Tapas with anchovies
I enjoyed some tapas; the focaccia bread with tomato sauce and some kind of salami. These ones looked good and whilst I do like anchovies I don't think they are the best things to eat in such a social situation.
I attended a variety of little seminars and I think the one which I found most useful was the SEO talk by Judith Lewis of DeCabbit Consultancy; it was a shame that we didn't have longer really, but those who asked good questions did gain a bag of chocolate or wine gums which is a plus!

astroturf inside the Big little test festival room
The Big Little Tent Festival Lounge had astroturf down, tropical flower necklaces and tents

the MAM blogging video lounge ran a competition; guess the number of soothers
The MAM blogger video lounge ran a competition; guess the correct number of MAM soothers in the jar to win some fab filming and lighting gear

Emily guessed correctly and won the prizes!
Emily's lucky guess was CORRECT! Well done Emily, enjoy your new lights and stands!

In order to get our trains, we left after Cherry Healey's chat and Slouching towards Thatcham's 'Pretty in Pink' with a difference rendition, so much fun! Unfortunately whilst we had double checked train times we had not checked the weather and within 5 minutes of walking we were sheltering from some very fat raindrops, hail and thunder and watched as a little flash flood swirled down the pavements and roads. In the end we made it to the tube station and said goodbye to Hannah and Serena before embarking on the busy rabbit warren of confusion that is Bank underground station. So much walking and so much lifting of cases; my hands feel like they are developing callouses and need a hefty application of hand cream. Once at Waterloo, Claire and I quickly said our goodbyes before I slalomed around dawdling travellers to get to my awaiting train at platform 9. Apologies to anyone who may have been clipped by my case!

Cherry Healey was on good form
Cherry Healey was on good form and was very...enthusiastic!

I would love to go to #BML again, but in all likelihood it will probably be in 2018 when I will have a slightly older baby. Hopefully I will have another, more local blogger conference opportunity between now and then though as it would be lovely to see the now more familiar faces. I hope those of you who attended had a fantastic time too!

The contents of one Britmums goodie bag
The generous contents of the Britmums goodie bag. The kids enjoyed going through everything in detail.
I did vlog some footage of our stay and event so stay tuned for that on my channel Sophie and Lily soon!
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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

#BML16 Update - Absolutely, definitely see you there!

As it turns out, my sister has suspected glandular fever, so there is no way I can have my parents look after the kids Friday to Saturday night. I definitely don't want to come into contact with any kind of nasty virus, especially if it seems like GF, even if it isn't. I'm not taking any risks considering I am pregnant!


Yes, we are expecting baby number three in December and I thought I'd better do an announcement vlog for my YouTube channel before I get chatting to people on Friday evening and on Saturday.
If you haven't seen it:


Oh yes, it does contain ducks and I will have to find some pretty paper or fabric to create 'little egg' to add to the end of the canvas.

Anyway, thank goodness for our back up childcare arrangement!

Now I just have a huge list on my iPad of things to do, I've just tried to clean my white non-Converse Converses. The rubber bits look white but forgive me if the rest looks a bit grey, London will make them grubbier I am sure. I have just sent my friend Claire a few pics of my Friday evening outfit and now about to wash the skirt and plan to iron it tomorrow. I have no idea what 'warms' to add it to though and I can't for the life of me find my Joules blazer jacket which also needs a wash!

Friday evening outfit
Baby wipes optional
I'd better continue looking for it, but I have been waiting for the kids to finally drop off before I start rummaging in the spare bedroom. The days should be getting shorter now though so hopefully Alexander won't be up too late or up too early very soon!

So yes, I plan on being as productive as I possibly can tomorrow, even fitting in a playdate as our usual playgroup will be a polling station tomorrow. Got to keep Alexander happy :)

So absolutely, definitely see you there, can't wait to meet you all!


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4 weeks pregnant - Pregancy Update

So although I actually am uncertain about just how far along I am due to funny post-breasfeeding cycles, I am roughly guestimating ~ 4 weeks.
I just took another pregnancy test strip actually, and got the Big Fat Positive I was waiting for, which is a lovely sight and I am really, really happy.

Sophie and Lily 4 weeks pregnant
May have to retake photos so I don't look this short! ;)

How I am feeling:

Symptoms:

Yesterday I experienced what felt like an intermittent stitch between my pelvis and abdomen. I quickly stopped Googling what it could be but it could be ligaments and muscles moving and being sensitive to these big changes going on inside my body.
The very strange UTI in the making feeling keeps appearing for a short while and this prompts me to drink a large glass of water.
I have been feeling really susceptible to changes in temperatures and whilst I am far from having a hot flush I am actually having rapid chills! I will suddenly be overcome by a cold sensation which will make me shiver despite being nice and warm mere seconds before. Very strange!

Food:

 I really, really fancied a banana. And I am not a banana eater at all. So this idea really surprised me as I started daydreaming about eating a nana whilst out on a walk. I ate at least half of one sliced on top of peanut butter on toast and it was amazing. Followed by salt and vinegar crisps! I may as well eat some crazy strong tasting food now before I potentially feel as sick as a dog and can't bear the thought of food.

Skin:

Overall, not bad at all. No particular out of the ordinary breakouts or dryness or oiliness. It seems to be pretty happy. As for the rest of me, I have purchased a Vaseline spray moisturiser. I have always basted myself in moisturiser during my pregnancies and this one will be no exception, even if sometimes I may not have enough time to, I always try. So this spray may be the quick and easy option since I can mist it out and rub it in quickly. If only it really was just spray and go though, that would be fab!

Sleep:

We have been sleeping downstairs on the sofa bed which is more like a generous single bed and despite this I have been sleeping quite well. I have had the occasional short-lived wave of tiredness during the day and it hits my eyelids more than anything; I can feel them getting heavier and heavier but then I snap out of it.

Embryo development:

The ever-growing ball of cells is roughly the size of a poppy seed and the basic placenta and umbilical cord is already working.

Vitamins and supplements:

1 x Sanatogen Mum-to-be pregnancy supplement per day
1 x low-dose 75mg aspirin per day

What I'm wearing:

Normal clothes

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Going to #BML16 ?!

This weekend I should be going to my very first Brit Mum's Live blogger conference. I bought my ticket perhaps late last year I think and Claire and I secured a decent hotel room to share for an affordable price so all in all pretty chuffed at our forward thinking. Just travel to sort now and as if the universe knew, South West trains have a promotion on; single travel to London for £16.00. Yes please!
Yesterday I went to Primark in Banbury with one of my best friends, without kids! Cue some impromptu purchases because a) I feel like I deserve it and b) out of what I do have to wear I'm not sure what to choose. I still don't know what to wear at the party on Friday night and I suppose it could be weather dependent. Welcome to the first day of Summer everyone, it is absolutely tipping it down!

Then yesterday evening some potential spanners got thrown into the works.

My sister has been down with a virus whilst on a cruise with my mum. Viruses and cruise ships are never a good combination. They are docking early Wednesday morning and I think my sister will go straight home. I don't require my mum to stay over and look after the kids until late Friday night at the very least and given she has spent a good amount of time confined to a cabin with a poorly daughter I am less inclined to have her to stay earlier. Then I learn that my mum's mum is in hospital so in the grand scheme of things, there are priorities that exceed my own plans.

So as it stands, it looks unpredictable and I hope to know what could be happening by Wednesday, but we have started making back up plans. Rob and I will be ships in the night; I will be in London and he will be in Portugal, so childcare is a big deal breaker.

Fingers crossed everything works out, I hope to see you there on Saturday!



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