Top Outdoor Toys For Summer 2016

Is it just me or is summer starting later and finishing earlier every year?! I’m trying not to get depressed by the late start and am focusing on the dates of the summer holidays set by the school, this means we still have almost 2 weeks for the climate to get its act together… So, in preparation for a glorious season and time spent in the garden, here are my top outdoor toys – all tried and tested by my 3 very active children!

Swingball First Basketball Set, Amazon, £22

Amazon have a huge range of competitively priced outdoor toys for all ages. Swingball was always a favourite of mine growing up – and now they have a basket ball set which is keeping all 3 of my kids entertained. There are 3 height options making it suitable for all ages and is even harmless enough to keep in the kitchen when outdoor play isn’t an option!

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Plum 7FT Junior Trampoline, £199.99

This is the perfect first trampoline for little ones up to the age of 10. The Junior Jumper uses Springsafe technology and has a lower height frame for safety whilst their confidence for jumping grows. This is available in pink and blue.

 

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Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox, £39.99

This is the perfect little sand pit for your little ones, it has a roof! So no more soggy sand on the inevitable rainy days. This is just big enough for all 3 of them to get involved, the littlest one can enjoy the full sand experience whilst the older ones sit on the flippers to play. It’s light enough to move around the garden to stay in the shade for endless hours of safe play and can be easily stored away during the colder months. Suitable from 12 months. 631566e3_sea_turtle_sandbox_5_.jpg

Maxi Micro Scooter, £109.95

The Maxi scooter is suitable from age 6 up to 12 and is by far the best scooter in terms of manoeuvrability thanks to its lean and steer technology.  Made from lightweight aluminium (so not the end of the world when they decide 5 mins into the journey that they no longer want to scoot and would rather you carry it!) and has an adjustable handle bar to suit the child.

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Kids Range Rover Electric Battery Ride On, Outdoor toys, £199.99 SALE PRICE

Wow. The ultimate outdoor toy has to be this mini Range Rover… Scarlett (aged 5) takes her friends around the garden in this fabulous electric car. She has quickly mastered the controls using the gear stick and pedal to stop, start and reverse, but for our younger children there is the option of a parental control to operate the cars movement. It even has a push button start that sounds like a realistic engine starting up and an MP3 player to listen to her favourite Taylor Swift songs as she cruises! With chrome effect alloys and working lights – this really is every child’s dream toy!

By the way, Outdoor Toys have a huge range of electrical Ride Ons if an Audi or BMW is more your thing 😉

 

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TP Forest Double Multiplay, £299.99

Made from FSC® certified timber, this fun compact activity frame has two adjustable single swing seats and a wavy slide. The overall footprint is smaller than others I have tried so takes up far less space in our garden. Suitable for children aged between 3 and 10 but by switching one of the swings with the new QuadPod 4 in 1 swing designed for much younger toddlers, this is perfect for our whole family.

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GLTC Red Star Wigwam, £85

This gorgeous play tent has the added benefit of being easily put up, moved around or stored away but what I love most is that it has a fitted mat which stops it from closing in or  falling down. It’s currently set up in the bedroom (both girls slept in it for the first 3 nights!) but is also the perfect den for their picnics and play time in the garden.

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Well that’s the kids sorted, now to research a luxury sun lounger 🙂

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Elf Magic Twitter Party

I am so excited to be hosting my first ever Twitter Party! Today at 4pm, I, alongside a number of other Mummy Bloggers will be sharing the festive cheer and spreading the word about the long standing Christmas Tradition that is Elf Magic.

Elf Magic Twitter Party Invite

These little Elves make the build up to Christmas even more exciting for the whole family. We chose a little girl Elf with blonde hair who is named Meridy. Little Meridy will be introduced to Scarlett and Savannah on the 1st December when I will tell them all about the magic this little Elf holds…

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Not only can the girls play with this christmas doll in their own imaginative way, (it comes with it’s own bed, blanket, a passport and even some snow flakes fresh from the North Pole), they are going to love waking up each morning to discover the antics little Meridy has been up to whilst they were sleeping.

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Last year my Facebook news feed was filled with brilliant ideas from parents taking part in the Elf Magic. For example, one mummy had a particularly naughty little Elf who had cracked open the Quality Streets and could be found under the tree covered in wrappers next to an empty tin! Another Elf left little notes to the children that they could take to school that day and another was found in the morning enjoying a tea party with other soft toys belonging to the children. These adventurous little Elves can be hidden around the house waiting to be found by some very excited children the next morning. There is no end of fun to be had with these Elves and I can not wait to get started with ours!

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This is our first year with Elf Magic, so if you have any ideas for our little Meridy that will make the festive time even more magical for the girls then please share in the comments below and join in the #ElfMagic Twitter party at 4pm to get some ideas of your own!

You can pick up your Magic Elf from www.happymummy.com where this is a huge selection to choose from starting at just £15.99.

 

My Guide To Weaning And The Essentials You Need

I’ve recently started to wean Anastasia onto solid foods. At 6 months, she was becoming less satisfied on breast milk alone and when she cut her first tooth – I decided it was time to hang up the nursing bras. Despite going through this process twice before with Scarlett and Savannah it has been an entirely new experience. Every baby is different and you never quite know how easy weaning is going to be, so my tip before you embark on this journey is to be prepared with all the modern day essentials to make it as stress free as possible! Here are the items I have used and recommend (click on the links for further information).

Highchair

Making sure your baby is comfortable during meal times is essential. She will need to be fairly upright so that she can easily swallow pureed foods. I am using the stylish Stokke Tripp Trapp chair. It offers great support for this stage with a detachable baby set, but has also been designed to transform into a chair for older children that is the perfect height for a regular dining table. I have this in the hazy grey with the candy stripe cushion but it is available in 12 different colours to work with your kitchen.

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Bibs

This is a great design by BabyBjörn that has an adjustable neck band to last her until early toddler stage and is nice and soft to avoid any discomfort or get in the way. It will catch all food waste and can be easily rinsed ready for the next meal time.

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Spoons and Bowls

You can’t have enough spoons and bowls! The collection by Babymoov are dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe and all come with lids so you can take them out and about. These are also a great size for snacks when they get a little bit older. Go for small, shallow spoons for the early stage – the best I have come across are by Avent.

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Blender

The NutriBaby by Babymoov is absolutely genius and it’s no surprise that it has won so many awards. It is so compact and takes up very little space on your kitchen counter and allows you to make huge batches of pureed food to freeze for your baby. Using a simple electronic programme on the front of the machine, you can steam the food using the double trays and then transfer the soft food to the blender to puree. Add water from the catching tray (ready made vegetable stock!) to make it the correct consistency and hey presto! Baby food done! This product can also warm bottles, heat through food and even defrost your frozen food. It is absolutely brilliant and so much easier than the hand blender process I’ve used in the past, it means making batches of food uses far less cooking utensils and creates far less mess.

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Emergency Reserves 

Whilst I am all for home made food, there is nothing wrong with having some ready made meals stored in the fridge and when this brand came to my attention I immediately stocked up! Kiddie Cubes would have made my life so much easier in the past and Anastasia seems to really enjoy the flavours. This frozen food is as fresh as if you had made it yourself using only organic ingredients and stored in ice cube portions so you can take out just what you need on the day. I would also recommend starting off on these to get an idea of what your baby likes, there is nothing more frustrating than making an enormous home made batch to discover your baby gags at the taste!KC-packshots-015-eat-your-greens

 

Travelling With Kids

With our holiday to Turkey just a week away, I thought that for the first time ever – I would get prepared in advance. Usually our holiday prep consists of making an emergency Amazon order with next day delivery and leaving the washing and packing until the night before; fine when it was just the 2 of us, slightly more stressful with a family of 5… But as I am feeling nicely organised this year, I thought I would share with you some of the products I have picked up to make travelling with kids that little bit easier! No longer is my greatest dilemma matching heels with bags, it is being prepared for almost every eventuality holidaying with children brings. So from airport boredom to pool safety – here are my must-have items…

BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One, £119.95

For the majority of the holiday, you’ll likely have your buggy to hand, but I have found the carrier to be hugely useful at the airport. Especially when you get off the plane with the endless carrier bags you’ve accumulated along the journey (who knows what is in them), all of your hand luggage, and no buggy…

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Trunki Paddlepak, Amazon, £14.99

Scarlett has loved filling this little bag with all of her essentials. It’s very light weight and splash proof so perfect as a travel bag and whilst on holiday by the pool.
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EVY Sun Mousse SPF50, £18.95

I really recommend this sun mousse for kids, perfect if your little one has sensitive skin and it is so easy to apply which is essential for impatient 2 year olds desperate to jump in the pool!
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Babymoov Anti UV Tent, Amazon, £29.95

This pop up tent is so handy for a trip to the beach. Light weight, easy to assemble and put down, it has a convenient carry handle to store on the back of the buggy plus it offers instant UV protection for total peace of mind.

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My Carry Potty, Natural Baby Shower £24.95

We are about to enter the Potty Training sagas with Savannah. She has already told us point blank that she is not interested in using a potty, or a toilet and couldn’t care less about wearing knickers no matter which Princess is on them. However, she hasn’t met this carry potty that looks like a lady bird yet so I am hopeful for success on our holiday! 233742615alt2

BabyZen YOYO, £445

This buggy folds down small enough to pass as hand luggage when travelling. I know. Genius right?? Light weight and can even be carried with a strap over your shoulder like a hand bag. The perfect travelling buggy. poussette-yoyo-babyzenTrunki Ride-on Suitcase, Amazon £32

I swore I would never be a mum with a Trunki. Now I have 2. The girls absolutely love them and packing them up with their little goodies really gets them in the holiday spirit. It also means whilst Paul is dragging them around the airport I can peruse duty free at my leisure!
81ud8iFpqqL._SL1500_Zoggs Inflatable Noodle, £7

Hours of pool time fun to be had with these noodles and a great learning tool for early swimmers. Plus, being inflatable as opposed to foam makes them really easy to travel with.300840_miss_zoggy_inflatable_noodle_24

 

LifeProof iPad Case, From £63

An iPad is quite literally worth its weight in gold when travelling with children. Paul fills ours with new movies and games that both can play when chilling out by the pool (keeping them out of trouble) and on the plane before total boredom sets in. But if you are going to trust an iPad in the hands of a child, make sure it is protected with a Lifeproof case. It is waterproof, shock proof, dirt proof, even snow proof – it is about the only thing that will protect a valuable iPad from a toddler…

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The Crème De La Crème In Baby Skincare And Your Chance To Win It!

“Little Butterfly London is Britain’s first luxury organic-certified baby skincare range, promising the purest and gentlest care for exquisite baby skin.”

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Already a huge fan of the organic Nappy Cream, I was delighted when Little Butterfly London got in touch to see if I’d like to sample more from their luxury collection. Every product is made with only the finest, natural ingredients to protect and nurture a new borns skin. Little Butterfly London has been created by a mother who shares our passion for wanting only the very best for our babies.

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I don’t like to put too many products on to my babies delicate skin, but for bath time, soothing baby massages and a little moisturiser to keep my baby as comfortable as possible, I have now been totally converted to the organic collection by Little Butterfly London. Here is what I think of the products I have tried…

Floating On Clouds Bedtime Bathmilk, £25.50

If it was good enough for Cleopatra!? This lotion is made using buttermilk with various other extracts of goodness including cucumber seed oil and avocado oil. All I know is, it smells divine and she seems happy enough bathing in it!

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IMG_1321Anastasia in her new Babymoov Aquasoft Bath Support, it makes baby bathing very easy!

Fall Into Dreams Mother & Baby Massage Oil, £29

After a bath, I love to give Anastasia a soothing massage, she seems so content and relaxed whilst enjoying her full body rub! This oil nourishes, protects, heals and hydrates the skin with it’s magical concoction of natural ingredients. It also offers soothing support to those with eczema. It is lightly fragranced and absorbs quickly into her skin.

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Soft As Moonlight Nappy Change Cream, £25.50

This is such a rich moisturiser, it looks almost like a mousse but absorbs leaving a light oil on the skin. As the hero product of the collection, it promises to deeply nourish delicate skin and protect and heal any areas prone to irritation. I only apply this in the morning for her first nappy change and so far, she hasn’t shown any signs of redness or discomfort.

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It is worth mentioning that whilst all of these products have been created using only natural ingredients, they have all been approved and are highly recommended by healthcare professionals.

I have been so impressed with this range that I have worked with Little Butterfly London to put together this prize draw to WIN 1 of 3 Nappy Change Creams! Anything from this beautiful brand makes a wonderful gift so if you don’t have a newborn of your own, enter for someone who does!

Remember as usual, each way will count as a new entry!

  • Share this post on your Facebook page via the icon below
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The 3 lucky winners will be notified on Wednesday 22nd July! 

In the mean time, check out the rest of their luxury collection here!

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xx

Anastasia’s Nursery

Finally the nursery is complete! In a total contrast to the girls bold prints and bright colours, Anastasia’s nursery is calm and tranquil with new white furniture and pastel coloured textiles. Her room is quite small so using these shades opened up the space and makes it feel much bigger than it is. Let me talk you through the details…

I have written more about this fabulous Stokke furniture here but to summarise; it is simply amazing. Not only does everything in it have a dual purpose (the crib will one day be Anastasia’s first writing desk!) it is unbelievably stylish. It is also brilliant quality, Paul put it all together which normally results in a few days hard graft, a lot of swearing and a few wobbly bits on the finished article – but this took no time at all and is remarkably sturdy. It is also designed to be space saving so perfect for such a small room.

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Stokke Home

This gorgeous lamp shade is part of the Millie & Boris collection at Mamas and Papas, it fits in perfectly with the calming shades of the rest of the room and gives a warm light through the fabric.

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Lamp shade, Mamas & Papas

The wooden pictures are also from Mamas and Papas and have been saved from Scarlett’s nursery 4 years ago.

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Wooden pictures, Mamas & Papas

This summer sleeping bag is by Stokke. It is linen with a soft jersey lining to keep Anastasia warm and cosy at night. You can see the bottom is currently folded up but should last until she is at least 6 months when unfolded.

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Linen sleeping bag, Stokke

The cot bed is the real star of the show with its beautiful drapes and tent roof. It’s the textiles that impressed me the most with this set; the way they are made and fit to the furniture, it makes it so easy to remove or replace them later on down the line when this is a play tent and no longer used for sleeping!

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Cot bed, Stokke

This beautiful quilt is by Susie Watson and doubles as a play mat. It is part of the Bird and Flower collection. I imagine there will be more of this print making its way into the nursery eventually…

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Quilt, Susie Watson

This fabric covered letter was a gift for Anastasia from Mamas & Papas and the colours work perfectly in the room!

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Wall hanging fabric letter, Mamas & Papas

Our new baby monitor is by Withings, it isn’t wired up yet as Anastasia is still in our room, but it’s such a stylish little gizmo I thought I’d put it up anyway! With it’s wide angle view, 12 x zoom, HD crystal clear video stream, time-lapsed recap function and sound alerts straight to your phone for noise and air quality (it’s also compatible with the new Apple watch in case you’re interested!); this is a seriously smart little monitor that will be useful long after the baby days.

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Baby monitor, Withings

The other talking point of the room is this fabulous canvas. It is the name celebration print by Illuminated Canvas, fitted with fairy lights that give a gorgeous glow to the room at night. It works on standard batteries and has a discreet switch on the side – a great alternative to a standard night light!

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Wall art, Illuminated Canvas

This stylish toy storage is also a little ‘push along’ for when Anastasia is ready to try walking! This is from Vertbaudet and currently in the sale!

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Toy storage, Vertbaudet

Her cradle is currently in our bedroom, she sleeps all night in it the little treasure! The luxury blanket is silk and bamboo and is from Babes with Babies.

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Cradle, Stokke. Blanket, Babes With Babies

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Anastasia Grace, 11 weeks old in her Superlove Merino gown

The two products I really swear by for a new born are by Burts Bees and Little Butterfly London. Both of which I use on my own skin! The Little Butterfly London nappy cream works wonders on your hands after soothing babies bottom! And the Baby Bee oil is used when I give Anastasia a full body massage after her bath.

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Burts Bees Baby Bee and Little Butterfly London Nappy Cream

And finally this beautiful Daisy Chain bunting that transforms our stark white walls in to a cosy and playful room is again, by Susie Watson.

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Bunting, Susie Watson

I wonder when she’ll actually sleep in it?!

Scarlett and Savannah’s New Bedroom!

With the arrival of Anastasia, some changes around the home have had to be made… The spare room is just too essential with a new baby in the house so we have decided to put Scarlett and Savannah into one room. As it was originally Scarlett’s room, we wanted to totally transform it so that they were excited about the new room share. Well, today the bunk beds arrived and whilst the girls were at pre-school I had them assembled and spent the afternoon adding all new accessories to give the girls a brilliant surprise when they got home! I am so pleased with the end result, I thought I would share some pics with you on here…

Trying to find suitable bunk beds for a 2 and 4 year old is harder than you may think! We finally settled on this Parisot set because it has a stair case instead of a ladder making those midnight trips to the loo far safer! It also has additional storage and shelves that the girls are going to love filling up. I managed to get this in the sale from The Kids Window and made the decision to let professionals put it together rather than Paul. It was a matter of safety… We got a middle of the range mattress from Mamas and Papas and can totally recommend it for quality and comfort.

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Bunk Beds from The Kids Window

The Ikea shelving unit was already in the room but I replaced the storage boxes with plain pink to give it a new look.

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Ikea Expedit Shelves

These beautiful children’s illustrations are The Royal Collection from Daisy and Bump. You may have spotted these already on my Instagram, these classic and elegant prints will certainly be treasured for years to come.

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Daisy and Bump set of 3 Princess Prints

These wicker lined baskets come as a set of 3 from JoJo Maman Bebé and are a great solution for storing the girls ridiculous amount of cuddly toys!

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JoJo Maman Bebé toy storage

The fabric letters are also from JoJo’s and make a great feature now that wall space is limited!

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JoJo Maman Bebé fabric covered letters

The bedding is called Horsing Around Peony and is part of the Kids collection at Designers Guild. It’s luxury to the touch (which isn’t easy to find for kids bedding – most of it gives you an electric shock!) and is colourful enough to get the girls seal of approval! I really love this cushion…

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Designers Guild Kids Bed Linen

Scarlett’s bunnies are by Jelly Kitten and the one in the middle has been personalised with her name at My 1st Years.

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Jelly Kitten cuddly toys. These ones are the favourites 🙂

The bold wool rug in lime greens and fuchsia pinks really brings the room together and is great quality at a very reasonable price! I picked this up from Room to Grow.

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Rug from Room to Grow

This lamp shade was made by a close friend and designer Edwina Sercombe.

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Lamp shade by Edwina Sercombe, Gro Clock & Cath Kidston Bear

Some bits taken from Savannah’s room – her personalised bag and my favourite photo from her first shoot with Mrs Shutterspeed.

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Savannah in her Angels Face tutu!

And here are the girls after pre-school LOVING their new bunk beds! Let’s see how the first night goes… My money is on them staying up all night swapping beds.

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First time on the top bunk!