Saturday, 24 December 2016
Just in case the title of this post just isn't enough of an indication. Simon, D and I are so very excited to share our joyful news with the world this Christmas Eve. We have had a little help from Rennie the Elf (Santa let him stay an extra day to help) who you may have seen over the last month if you follow us on social media.
We are due to have baby number 2 in July 2017!!
We are all very much delighted with the news and it has been a long time waiting. I will have another post later on about our journey thorough trying for baby number 2 and the obstacles along the way. However 2 and half years after we started trying we are happy the time has come and we are more than ready to share our world with another little child.
D is so excited! He really wants his baby to come now and has even been to the hospital with us yesterday where he got a bit upset that baby couldn't come home with us yet. I know that he is going to make a wonderful big brother and I am looking forward to sharing everything we can with him throughout pregnancy.
We will be sharing our pregnancy journey on the blog through weekly posts about our bump and how our world will be changing over the coming months.
Finally I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with as much joy as ours will be.
Sunday, 6 November 2016
I have ran behind on posting my What I've won post last month. D started nursery/ pre-school and at the start he was there for around an hour in the middle of the day before it slowly started increasing. In reality we spent around 2 and a half hours getting up, breakfast, dressed and out the door. Those 2 and half hours in the morning usually would have been spent tiding up, starting the daily cleaning and having breakfast while I did some quick competitions. With all of this being pushed back I found that I ended up with much more needing done by the time D got home again. I wasn't sitting down to do competitions until bed most nights and even then I was preparing his uniform for the next day etc. I knew September wasn't going to be a great month not long after it started. Although it actually didn't turn out to be a bad month either. I had 4 wins throughout September.
The first win was already a week into September. I won this Teamsterz Rapid Fire track set. This was a Facebook competition for the Teamsterz Facebook page starting up. It was very low entry with under 50 entrants and to enter I had to like the page and comment under the post. I was delighted when I got the notification to say I had won as I knew D would love this! He really enjoys playing with cars and tracks of any sort but he loves making cars go really fast. The aim of this whole set is to race your opponents car to the end and be the first to pass the finish line where you will get your finishing time. I have put this away for Christmas and I'm looking forward to seeing D's face!
My second win of September was on Twitter. I won with @ValsperPaintUK and I won a voucher to buy some wood and metal paint in any colour from their range. To enter all I had to do was retweet and follow them on twitter. I did also reply saying that it would be perfect for painting my son's dressing up stand which is being made for Christmas by his uncle. Honestly this could not have came at a better time. I was getting ready to start looking at wood paints for just that! I haven't yet decided on a colour to get but I will be going to get this soon to allow the dressing up stand with plenty of time to properly dry before we try to transport it.
My third win in September was also on twitter. I won an Upbeat Drinks cool bag. They gave away to the first 500 people to follow and retweet the competition post. I entered right at the end with only a few retweets left to go. This will come in very handy for when we are out and about next year.
My final win of September was actually around the start of the month. I a game called Mercenarys. The game is on steam and Simon is enjoying it. Simon had asked me to go watch a channel on Twitch and enter the giveaways the page owner was holding to win games. The page is quietrevolution. There where a lot of games being given away. I entered each by typing a command in the chat and twitch's automated system would pick a random winner. I was announced as the winner to one of the last 3 competition.
All in all September turned out to be an okay month with a good few wins that will be used often or will come in very handy for us.
In October I really found that I did find more time to enter competitions and I seemed to find that I was enjoying the time spent entering more than the last few months. Throughout October I was very determined to get a good few wins as I know the Advents are now well on their way and there are some currently open. I'm trying to get some practice in.
My first win of October was a lovely little box of sweets through the post. I won this on Facebook by liking and commenting on the competition post. The page I won this lovely little box from is Sweets In The Post. I was really excited to get these as it's very rare that we get any special little treats like this and we got to pick which sweets we wanted to have in our box. The box also came with a little gift card and a bag to keep the opened bags of sweets in to keep them fresh which I loved!
My second win of the month was a biggie! I won on Facebook again with The Parenting Feed. The competition was to like and comment "TK Maxx" on the post. It was for Halloween and I was so shocked when I got the notification to say that I had won. I didn't get the voucher until after Halloween but I didn't mind as I knew I was going to spend the money on gift for D's Christmas/ Birthday. With the voucher I bought a lovely pair of Christmas pj's for his Christmas Eve box, an electronic The Secret Life of Pets puzzle, a Melissa & Doug passenger train, a Chuggington wooden track extension pack, a Wow Toys Danny's Diving Adventure to and A Huma Beads Busy Animals pack. I got these toys instead of something big or a set as we have lots of other toys from the ranges and I think D would enjoy a range rather than one or two sets of toys.
My third win of October was on the same day as the TK Maxx voucher and I was delighted when I got an email from Toppsta to say D had won the new Julia Donaldson book Spiderella. We are all huge fan of Julia Donaldson and we are growing quite a good collection of her books. D adores reading the Gruffalo along with her other books. He knows every word to the Gruffalo by heart and I knew that he would really enjoy reading about Spiderella the spider who really wants to count and understands the importance of numbers in every day life. D loves the book and we have read it regularly.
I also won on the Disney Junior Tea Party which is a Facebook Chat every Tuesday morning on their Facebook page. I have won with them before, a few months ago I won a mini Henry Hugglemonster plush which D loves. So when I got a message to say I had won a runner up prize i was both delighted and slightly confused as they hadn't mentioned any runner up prizes. I had to wait for the prize to show up and when it did I was rather shocked! I was expecting a little plush and maybe some sweets or a little booklet of activities. Inside was a Mickey Mouse poster to help with counting, a Mickey and a Minnie Cuties plush, a Doc McStuffins sandwich box, a stencil kit Handy Manny themed and a Mickey mouse Club House colouring set. I am really pleased with this runner up prize.
My final win of October was on Twitter. It was from Mickey Finn and I won a bottle of their salted caramel liquor to participate in their #BakeTheMickey competition however just after the bottle arrived I sent them a message to find out what I had to do to enter the big competition and after 2 attempts I have had no reply so I don't think I will actually be able to participate which is a shame but we will love the bottle anyway!
October didn't turn out to be a bad month at all with a big win and 4 smaller wins too. Now that we are in November I am looking forward to preparing for the Advents along with getting lots of blog posts written in between the competitions I can manage to get done. I am determined to win more throughout the last two months of this year and will do my best to find a way of fitting everything into the day as I have a fair bit of crafting and sewing to do in preparation for Christmas along with putting up our decorations!
Thursday, 27 October 2016
The last few months have been busy and I managed to loose sight of posting. Since we got back from our holiday at my mums. I had planned on writing a post about all the great things we did and I think I still will do one. Soon! We really enjoyed our time away and got to spend so much time just having fun! I will get a post up about our time away in the next week or two.
After we got back any extra time was sent preparing for the start of Nursery. Starting Nursery has been a big step, not only for D but for myself and Simon too. It had been over a year since we had been away from D for any real length of time and never at the same time. He had never in his short life been away for hours 5 days a week. It has been strange not having him around all the time. He has been getting on really well in Nursery and he has made a good few friends. We have had a few little things that happened since he has started however I will also get a proper post up about his first half of term next week. ( I've actually got some of this one wrote! Whoop!)
I have also spent a lot of time beginning my long list of makes that will be Christmas presents this year. (Yes I have started Christmas preparations!) I will be sharing a good few posts between now and Christmas all about the makes everyone will be receiving and how you can make them too. I have gifts for babies, children (both girls and boys) and for Adults. I do also have 2 little gifts that I am really looking forward to sharing which will be different for children and I think they are lovely little gifts. I also have some dress up costumes that I will be sharing with you.
During August and September I didn't really spend much time doing anything I usually would and I certainly spent less time entering competitions which I didn't mind all that much. I have now got myself back into the groove of things and I will be sharing my September wins before Halloween. Which will actually be the next post which goes up.
We will have a lot coming very soon and I look forward to getting my all my thoughts back into writing. We will soon be celebrating the blog being two years old! I am really looking forward to the run up to Christmas and the exciting content I have planned so please do stay tuned!
Now on to the giveaway!
Like I said above Us Two Plus You is 2 years old and to celebrate my getting back to blogging along with this big milestone I wanted to hold a small giveaway. This giveaway will be for a £10 Amazon voucher which I am hoping will allow the winner to pick anything they like. With Christmas not so far away I am sure everyone will be thinking about those gifts for everyone or maybe just use the voucher to buy a little treat for yourself!
You can enter the giveaway below using the Rafflecopter form.
Terms and Conditions
- You must enter using the Rafflecopter options
- This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
- The giveaway will open for entries on the 27/10/2015 at 12am and will close on the 12/11/2016 at 12am.
- You must complete the mandatory entry for all other entries to be valid.
- The winner will be drawn at random from all correct entries.
- Invalid or Incorrect entries will be removed.
- Us Two Plus You's Decision is final.
- The winner will be drawn and notified no later than 7 days after the giveaway has ended.
Good Luck! Enter by clicking the link below.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
This post is certainly over due and although it has taken a long time to get it up. I have enjoyed the time where there wasn't any posts to write. We've been on holiday, enjoyed some family time, D started nursery (pre-school) and I've done so much over the last month and a half! I've read about 15-18 books and managed to give every corner in the house a deep clean. So now back to the actual post.
When it came to entering competitions in July I found I was stuck in a bit of a vicious circle. I wanted to take a step back and spend time with Simon and D, read some books and blog. I've been doing a good bit of extra behind the scenes work for the blog and extra time was more for family and I even had some me time! However I found that in the back of my head I was thinking about how many comps I was missing out on! In the end I stopped all together for a few days and then only entered here and there when I had some time without anything else needing done and I realised that I have very little free time. Which I spent the middle of the month working on. By the end of the month I realised I really needed to get a move on with our holiday packing. The month just flew in and I had a bad month for wins.
I won two items:
Monday, 29 August 2016
Tomorrow is the big day! I can't believe that this time tomorrow D will have got through his first day of nursery! Those all important first days of both nursery and school are probably more daunting to us parents than they are for our children. Preparing for the start of education is a must in my eyes. Starting your children on the path to education and what they can expect from nursery and school can be achieved in many ways. Sitting down and talking about what they will be doing is a great way to start and D got really excited about learning what he will be doing each day. He will mostly be learning through play and making new friendships with his class mates.
Starting off the learning phase at home means your child can progress at their own speed and can get one on one help from you before they're in a class of 20+ children. D, Simon and I have been completing little phonics based exercises for a few months now but without knowing what way the nursery and school will teach him can be hard! So when I was contacted about trying Phonics School I knew this would be something of interest for now only us but all you Mums and Dads also embarking on the early years education journey.
Phonics school is a children's television programme with the purpose of teaching children aged 3 - 5 about phonics and how to both read and write phonics in a fun way. The whole programme series complies with the current curriculum in place for children aged 3 - 5 in schools and nurseries across the county. Each episode in the series focuses on one, two or three letters in the alphabet. The letters in the series are all called Phonikers and each Phoniker is named its phonic sound. The Phonikers all go to school where they learn all about themselves. They learn their phonic sounds, shapes and how to control their magic powers, each Phoniker can change into any object that starts with their own sound. In order to change back into their letter form they need to trace their shape. The programme has been developed by experts for the early years foundation stage and certified by the BBC for worldwide distribution.
We received the phonics school learning pack which is the DVD of series one (90 minutes of Phonics School episodes - 16 episodes) and a large work booklet with a page for each Phoniker. The only episodes without a page in the booklet is the episodes which are about blending together and writing their name.
D loves learning, he is fascinated by phonics and how he can learn to write them if he tries his best every time. We did have trouble before when he would just give up and refuse to do any little work sheets got for him and would come back to them a few days later or he would find a different sheet and want to do that instead. With Phonics School we didn't have that problem in fact D wanted to keep watching and doing the activities as much as possible! He still asks every day if he can watch the Phonikers, we've made good progress in the book although we've been trying to spread the activities out and have only completed about 9 pages in the book. D has however watched every episode at least twice and doesn't show any signs of wanting to stop! We try to complete one page at some point every day or two. We completed two pages on the first day but D was a bit restless by the end of the second and we decided one page was enough for each session.
Each page in the booklet has 3 lines for practising writing the letter which is being focused on. We started using the booklet by completing all three lines with D practicing his letters. and following Master Anok's (the teacher at Phonics School) directions on how to remember how to write the letter down. D knows how to write some letters down mostly letters in his name or letters that are easy to write like l, i, o and c. He has struggled a bit with a and u as he couldn't remember to go back down for the flick. During the first episode of Phonics School a is the Phoniker you learn about and Master Anok did a much better job than I did when explaining how to write a. Something just seemed to click in D's mind and he found it much easier to write a.
The start of the work booklet has instructions for parents on how to use the book. It has suggestions on what should be done and in what order. The first step is to watch the episode then talk about moments in the episode that your child liked and what each Phoniker turned into during the episode. It suggests to ask them to find you an object at home that starts with the sound. As you can see in the photos above D found an apple for a, Sqirmtum (from Tree Fu Tom) for s and Twiggs (also from Tree Fu Tom) for t. D did need some encouragement to pick items up and say their name then compare it to the phonic sound he wanted to find. Then your ready to start tracing the letters and completing the page in the work book.
The last page of the book is certificate for your child once they have completed the book. I love that this has been added to give your child a little something for all their hard work. The certificate has a space for filling in your childs name. I think I will let D write his own name in the space when we reach the end of the book so he can practice after the last episode in the series.
Phonics school has made learning phonics much clearer for D and he has developed a love for Phonics School over the last 2 - 3 weeks. Learning through watching a programme which is both fun and entertaining is enticing for children around D's age. I was impressed with the clear and easy to understand instructions Master Anok gave both the Phonikers and D throughout each episode. I understood how I should be describing the way to write each letter out to D and how to make the letter sounds properly as they didn't have phonics when I was at school! I do think that we will still use the DVD long after we have finished the booklet. Once the booklet is complete I will look into more of the series and perhaps see if I can get more work sheets for the DVD we have too.
I would recommend the Phonics School series to all parents of children who are getting ready to start school or nursery. I do also think that it would be a valuable resource for children who are in school already but would benefit from an extra phonics boost at home too. The series is also perfect for keeping children in the learn frame of mind throughout school holidays and for keeping up with what your child is learning in school. Children and adults can learn about phonics and the way they are taught in school.
You can purchase the DVD and work booklet in the Learning pack by clicking the link. The learning pack costs £16.99 You can also digitally download the series on Itunes and Amazon Prime. You can purchase the book to acompany the digital series for £5.99.
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Now that we are well into the summer one of my main concerns about this time of year is skin damage from the sun. Children are at risk from sun exposure with softer and in D's case more sensitive skin. Giving children the right protection is important for their health. I always want D to have sun cream on to protect him. I on the other hand need SPF more than anything else and actually went search for sun protection with a factor above 50. It turns out there aren't many products out there but I did come across the Childs Farm Sun Cream and decided to get in touch with them about it. I was surprised when they got back to me and said we could review their Sun Care Range!
Childs Farm is a British brand which aimed to create safe, kind to skin bath products for children all over the UK. They want every child to be able to enjoy their products. Creating products using essential oils and all natural products mean even children with eczema are able to jump in the bath with their siblings and enjoy the same toiletries! No need for parents to spend time and money on all those extra products for different children. Childs Farm products are all dermatologist approved as well as being approved by pediatricians too so you know the quality you'll get before you even open a bottle. All the Childs Farm products also have the Happy Skin Promise which is that they are suitable for children aged 6 months and above, while being made to suit the unique needs of children and babies hair and skin.All their products are free from parabens, SLS, artificial colours and mineral oils. They also contain 98% naturally derived products. With Childs Farm you know you are getting products that won't damage you child's beautiful skin.
I was surprised when we received the package in the post and opened it to find this cute little bag and also a bottle of their hair and body wash to try along with their Sun Cream and After Sun. The perfect holiday kit!
Childs Farm have just launched their new Blackberry and Organic Apple Hair and Body wash which we received with the Sun Care range. We stated using the Childs Farm hair and body wash straight away in the bath. It smells incredible and I loved that it lathered up so well when rubbed on the skin. I could tell straight away when using it on D just how little I needed to use to get D completely clean and knowing that there was no added ingredients that would have adverse effects on his skin made bath time much more enjoyable. We have used other hair and body products before that claim to be friendly to sensitive skin and have made D's skin dry and also caused little rashes! There was no worries with Childs Farm and having the funky cartoon on the bottle got D interested in wanting to look at the bottle before he put it on his hands to get washed. They also have the cartoon on TV. You can watch it on Cartoonito every weekend. We have been trying to get D involved in the washing process in the bath and I do think that the Childs Farm Hair and Body wash gave him a little push to really pay attention when he is getting washed. The bubbles it created also helped!
I popped the Childs Farm Sun Cream and Childs Farm After Sun in a plastic bag ready for the airport before we left. Both products contain 100ml which means they are just perfect when your going on a quick holiday without check in luggage! I was able to carry both straight on to the plane with no issues at all. I knew that we would use the sun cream daily during our week away as even though we stayed in the UK it was hotter and the sun was stronger at the southern coast of England compared to Northern Ireland. Plus I get sun burn at home anyway!
I am sure many of you have read about the products you should be avoiding when it comes to sun care. I know I've seen posts and information about all the horrible man-made ingredients that some sun care ranges can include and why we shouldn't use them. Some of those ingredients can actually tell our skin to open up our pores and let in all the nasty bacteria and rays in that we are trying so hard to keep out. There's even one which shouldn't be mixed with the rays from the sun! Childs Farm Sun Cream contain none of those ingredients, not one.
The Childs Farm Sun cream not only protects against the UVA rays from the sun but also provides protection from the UVB rays too and it's water-resistant making it perfect for those days in the pool or at the beach when children are always in and out of the water. The sun cream has an SPF rating of 66.8! Isn't that incredible? The protection it provides has also been marked with an EU rating of 'Superior'. The Sun Cream has a nice smell and I am not entirely sure what it smells of but it isn't the usual smell I associate with sun creams which is always quite strong. To me it smells slightly like baby lotion ( I love the smell of baby lotion!)mixed with sun cream. What ever the smells it it's lovely.
When it came to applying the Sun Cream for the first time I liked the texture when I was rubbing it on. t was smooth and felt soft once it had been applied to D's skin. I liked that you could tell where the sun cream had been applied in two ways. The first was that the sun cream changes the colour of the skin slightly when applied and creates a layer of sheen that lightens the areas where it is applied. The other way is the feel of the skin where the sun cream is applied will stay softer than your actual skin so running your hand along the area will tell you if you have missed a spot! I found this invaluable while we where at the beach as the sun was quite strong. I was able to feel D's skin after applying the sun cream and see if I had missed a spot that I couldn't see in the sun.
The After Sun from Childs Farm contains Aloe Vera to help aid the healing process. Among other natural ingredients to help skin heal from any kind of outdoor wear. You don't need to have been exposed to just sun but the wind too can irritate the skin. Childs Farm After Sun can be used to soothe the skin after both sun and wind exposure. I did use it and I must say the coconut smell is amazing! You can feel the after sun soothing the skin straight away. There's no waiting until your skin absorbs the after sun and even though I did only burn a little at the shoulders when I forgot to reapply the sun cream to myself. I found that I had only needed the one application of Childs Farm After Sun that night before bed. I don't think I have ever had an after sun that worked that well. Maybe the one time my Granny applied Aloe Vera from her plant directly to my skin!
We will also be using our lovely bag the next time we go to the leisure centre for a swim. I forgot to add it to our suitcase before we left. D has beenusing it to carry his trains up and down the stairs daily though!
I think that the Childs Farm Sun Care Range is by far the best range we have ever used when it comes to Sun care. I have never found a sun cream that actually protects D as much as this one as well as being so easy to apply. Although the Childs Farm Sun Care range is made for children I did use it alongside D while we were gone.
All of the products are well made and are perfect for all children. They're even perfect for adults who struggle with products for sensitive skin during the summer or all year round or those that need the extra protection from the sun and it's rays. I know that Childs Farm is now going to be our go to for sun care in the future. It is slightly more expensive than our previous sun cream but the added benefits and knowing how well it works makes it worth it. Plus for using the sun cream every day for over a week now we have only used about 1/4 of the tube for both of us which is pretty good going when I was applying it a few times a day.
You can purchase the Sun Cream (RRP £10.99), After Sun (RRP £4.99) and Hair and Body wash (RRP £3.99) from Childs Farm on their website using the links above. The Sun Care range is currently on saleat the time of posting.
Friday, 5 August 2016
Summer is now in full swing and we seem to be going through ice lollies by the pack. Most ice lollies aren't great for you and can contain many additives we don't really want our children having. When I was contacted about trying the Claudi & Fin Greek Style Frozen Yoghurt Lollies I knew that D would be excited to try them. Ice lollies without all those bits in is what he needed summer. We've recently been having Greek yoghurt over fruit and D loves it, it has become a favourite for dessert in our house over the last few weeks. I had heard of Claudi & Fin before but we had never bought them, mostly because I forgot to look for them!
Claudi & Fin was started by Lucy and Merial who wanted to create a healthy ice lolly for their children Claudia and Fin after search for one that both tasted nice and was healthy for them. After months of trial and taste testing the recipe for Claudi and Fin was perfected and it was both delicious and healthy! The perfect combination for a children's treat. Their children lived and Sainsbury 's loved them just as much. So much in fact that they put them straight into their stores.
We got some vouchers in the post to pop by Sainsbury 's and get our own lollies (sending them in the post would be a disaster! ). We set off the other Saturday for our trip to Sainsbury 's, D was super excited about getting some new ice lollies to try. When we found them in the freezer he refused to put them in the basket! Instead he carried the packs around the shop before he put them in the bag. He loved the box's and their funky designs of lollies with faces. He kept telling me about their eyes and was making them talk while holding the box in front of his face.
He wanted to get stuck in the moment we got home! He wanted to try the strawberry flavour first.
So we opened the box and I was a little surprised by the cute packets each lolly comes in. They're fun and enticing, plus they're very easy to find if you pop them in the freezer out of the box! The strawberry flavour has the little pink lolly character and the mango flavour has the yellow lolly character as you can see above.
D loved the strawberry flavour mixed with the taste of the greek yoghurt. Having them mixed so well together in the convenient form of an ice lolly was a huge bonus for me. There was no need for a bowl or spoon and D could still enjoy all the goodness that is packed inside.
I don't think he was quite so keen on the mango flavour as he didn't want to finish his mango lolly and he kept pull pulling this face. He did try it a few times though. D can be a little iffy when it comes to mango flavour products and he can hate the flavour mixed with anything else. Although he does enjoy mango I think the combination of mango and the greek style yoghurt was the taste that he didn't really like.
I have been enjoying the rest of the box instead and I must say I really didn't think I'd like them as I'm not a great lover of greek style yoghurt. They taste lovely and surprisingly refreshing on a hot day!
The ingredients that are inside Claudi & Fin Greek Style Frozen Yoghurt Ice Lollies can be seen in the picture above. As you can see there's no nasties in there and the ingredients are easy to read as well as knowing what they are! All to often I find children's products contain ingredients I can't even say never mind know what they are! I love that they are both child and parent friendly.
All in all we have loved the Claudi & Fin Greek Style Frozen Yoghurt Lollies. D really loved the strawberry flavour, so much that we've bought another box since! I do enjoy the mango flavour and Knowing they are good for me means I can enjoy a lolly packed with goodness along with D because let's face it kids ice lollies always taste better!
I would recommend Claudi and Fin Greek Style Frozen Yoghurt Ice Lollies to all parents. It doesn't even have to be hot to enjoy these lollies!
You can purchase Claudi and Fin Greek Style Frozen Yoghurt Ice Lollies in both Mango and Strawberry at Sainsbury's. Each box contains 4 lollies and have an RRP of £2.50.
Saturday, 30 July 2016
Planning, shopping and making family meals can be hard, especially when children know what they want and like. Trying new things as a family can sometimes feel stressful before you even start cooking! So when I was contacted about HelloFresh I knew it would be perfect for us and for our readers who get stuck in a rut when it comes to trying new meals as a family. HelloFresh even deliver to Northern Ireland! They are the first box of it's kind that I have found can deliver here.
HelloFresh is a weekly subscription box service that takes all the stress out of meal planning, shopping and even the cooking of meals. Their head chef Patrick and his team create nutritious meals that are easy to recreate at home. They also make recipe cards with easy to follow, detailed instructions accompanied by pictures of each step to guide you. Then HelloFresh fills your box with fresh ingredients.
HelloFresh has three different boxes each with their own recipe selection each week. The three different types of boxes are;
- The classic Box which is for 2 -4 Adults and contains recipes from all around the world. You can choose to have 3 or 5 meals a week for 2, 3 or 4 people.
- The Veggie Box which is for 2 or 4 adults. This box is perfect for vegetarians and contains recipes based on wonderful, fresh vegetables. The box aims to "broaden your veggie repertoire." There are 3 meals per week.
- The Family Box which is for 2 adults and 2 children and contains recipes that are well rounded and nutritious while ensuring there is no extra spice for those little taste buds. You can choose 2 or 4 meals per week.
We went with the family box even though there are only 3 of us. I do think however that the family box was best suited to us with child friendly recipes based around the nutritional needs of a family and the meals seem more suited to our over all tastes.
Our box arrived on the Tuesday (the first delivery day of the week available to Northern Ireland by HelloFresh). You can see the box above. Upon opening our box We found all the ingredients neatly packaged.The box contained fresh vegetables which where packed in one half of the box with a small cardboard tray containing the smaller and more delicate vegetables. The other half of the box held a white bag which contained all the chilled ingredients. The bag contained a layer of sheep wool in a clear breathable bag (This is recyclable) which was wrapped around the chilled ingredients and the ice packs to keep the food chilled through delivery. Even though our box arrived on one of the hottest days this year in Northern Ireland the ice packs where still cold. The box also contained a few offers in the envelope on top of the box.
Inside the box we found every ingredient needed to create the recipes in the correct quantities and the recipe card. The ingredients are listed below.
- 2 chicken stock pots, 1 carton of tomato passata, 2 garlic cloves, fennel seeds, cider & horseradish wholegrain mustard, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard seeds, 4 x white whine vinegar and redcurrent jelly. These came in mostly sachets.
- 4 onions, 2 echalion shallots, 1 courgette, spring onions, 1 stick of celery, 3 packs of green beand, 1 red cabbage, 1 pack of sampire and 1 lemon
- Packs of fresh flat leaf parsley x 2, rosemary and chives
- 500g Tuscan Pork Sausage, 4 Chicken Breasts, 4 Flank Steaks and 250g Tiger Prawns
- Arborio Rice, 2 packs of new potatoes, 4 Potatoes and 400g Rigatoni
- 1 pot of Crème Fraîche, 1 mini pack of netherend butter, 2 mini packs of Parmesan cheese and 1 pot of sour cream
- 4 recipe cards and one information card on Samphire
The recipe cards for all four meals are above.
The first meal we had was Tasteology Prawn and Crème Fraîche Rigatoni with Samphire. The above picture shows 1 adult and 1 child portion. This was the only meal in the box which had to be eaten in the first 2 days and as the box has travelled further to get to us we thought we would have it on the first night. I made this one alone and spent about 1 hour in total in the kitchen both prepping and cooking. The meal was easy to make and I really enjoyed the easy flow of the recipe. All the prep for this meal is done while waiting for a pot of water to boil. There is no time at all wasted during the cooking of the recipe but you still seem to go at a good pace where everything is timed to perfection. Everything made it to plate cooked and ready to eat at the same time, something I have never achieved before. Simon did have a substitute of chicken instead of prawns as he doesn't link prawns of any kind but this was easy to add in with the extra chicken I had bought and actually worked well with the same ingredients. This meal was a hit all round and even D loved it after a little bit of persuading to try it! He likes many of the ingredients separately but we weren't sure how he would be when we added them all to the same bowl. My sauce did come out a slightly orange colour although I still haven't figured out why!
The second meal we enjoyed was made by Simon on the Wednesday, it was the Balsamic Steak with Red Cabbage and Potato Wedges. Simon cooks steak much better than I do and he prefers to cook meals that include steak after I seriously over cooked it a few years ago. I haven't been allowed near any since! I knew that we all love homemade wedges as they have a regular appearance on our weekly menus and steak is always a big hit however the red cabbage was new and different for us. Simon really seemed to enjoy making this meal even though he struggled with following the recipe card. He isn't used to following a recipe and will usually just add what he feels like and taste to adjust throughout the cooking. He did leave out most of the white wine vinegar as he felt it was too much to add when D was going to be eating it. I must say that I think this recipe is our favourite of the week. Everyone loved it and ate every piece. This is one that we are certainly going to have again. It was also easy to alter for 3 people instead of four and the extra ingredients ( one flank steak and one potato) where used for a quick lunch the next day when added to a salad.
We left the third meal for the Friday as we are out most of Thursday and tend to eat while we are out. On Friday I made Italian Pork and Tomato Risotto. I was prepared to get really confused even though I had read the instructions over and over before starting. It seems that I had freaked out about nothing! The recipe card is very detailed and I had no idea just how easy risotto really is to make. This whole meal was new to us as I wasn't sure I would be able to actually make risotto (It looks so hard when they do it on TV!). The only mistake I made was with the water which is the only ingredient not included in the box and therefore shows up on the recipe cards in a lighter font. I was busy fussing about getting the ingredients all sorted and Simon was tidying up around me while I was getting the water and I accidentally added 160ml instead of 1600ml. I did realise I had done something wrong after 5 minutes when the rice wasn't changing at all and I looked at the recipe card to check what I had left out. It didn't put the meal back by too long but I do think that the lighter font and that the water is measured in ml not litres after 1000ml was a little confusing. The one part about making this recipe that I hated was pushing the sausage meat out of the sausage skin, it was gross! The feeling of the meat and the skin sliding of made me feel a bit sick. Other than that I enjoyed making this meal and both Simon and I really loved the taste. D wasn't all that impressed or interested in eating more than a few mouth fulls of the rice, he enjoyed that sausage and courgette while leaving a fair bit of the rice and sauce in the bowl
We had the last meal in our box on Sunday. It was Grain Mustard (We didn't have the mustard) Potato Salad with Chicken. Simon is allergic to mustard so we knew before we got the box that this meal was going to be very different for us. The mustard came in a little sachet that got threw out when it arrived so there was no chance that it could get used. Simon made this meal again and he really did a great job, I do think this one took the longest to make although that could have been Simon taking his time to figure out if taking the mustard away would impact the use of any other ingredients. Simon thinks that the prep of the ingredients in this recipe needs to be completed before you start cooking due to needing to individually chop the green beans and to butterfly the chicken. He feels that the potatoes ended up cooking for too long and he had to remove them before he got to the step where removing the potatoes is mentioned which is after the chicken is prepped and cooked. Other than the potatoes Simon did enjoy making this recipe but found that he felt stressed about getting the whole meal cooked and ready to plate at around the same time. He did get everything on the plate hot and ready to eat around the same time after he added the potatoes to the hob again to heat them up again. We all enjoyed this meal, it was delicious. D wasn't too keen on the sour cream dressing which was probably due to there being no mustard included which altered the taste. I ended up washing most of it off in a strainer for him to eat half way through dinner. I on the other hand did really like the sour cream taste with the potatoes and veg, it was new and different. I think it worked well with the ingredients we had used.
Our HelloFresh box contained an information card on Samphire which is the British veggie of the month. Not only does the card contain a wealth of information about Samphire but it also has fun, quirky pictures which appeal to children. I wasn't aware that Samphire contained so many vitamins and minerals and it was a new taste for us as I would never have known what to do with it before.
There are opportunities to get children that are a bit older than D into the kitchen and cooking with you. Learning about how to cook and what makes a good meal is always a big plus when it comes to family meals as let's face it we all want our kids to eat healthy and develop a good habit when it comes to eating and I think that HelloFresh creates a good way to involve children in the cooking process with supervision and help. The perfect meal for doing this in our box would have been the Tasteology Prawn and Crème Fraîche Rigatoni with Samphire as it was easy to follow as well as being different and having the information card on Samphire.
I think that HelloFresh is a great subscription box for everyone and their family box is perfect for working into family life while saving you time both before a shopping trip and at home. The family box meals are mostly adjustable to accommodate 3 family members and contain well balanced meals that are both fun and easy to make.
We really enjoyed HelloFresh, The whole service was amazing. The quality of the ingredients provided was fantastic and everything tasted fresh. I feel that HelloFresh is a great subscription box where you really get the great quality ingredients you look for as a parent without doing any of the legwork.I know that HelloFresh will be a subscription we will have again. I do feel that I enjoy the meal planning, shopping and cooking of family meals and that although HelloFresh did change some of the meals we will make I don't think that we would enjoy trying new meals every single week of the year. We will however get a box every few weeks throughout the year to try new recipes and idea
I would recommend HelloFresh for everyone looking for a new way to change up their diet with new, delicious recipes. The family box is perfect for both families of 3 and of 4. Taking the stress out of meal time and planning, HelloFresh provides everything you need to create the perfect family meals.
You can sign up for the weekly HelloFresh Family box by clicking on the link. The box we received is £64 working out at £4 per person, per meal.
Disclaimer: We received this box from HelloFresh, the recipe-box delivery service in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are our own.
Friday, 22 July 2016
D has been potty trained for a good few months now and I have noticed just how many wipes we use for quick clean ups after food and when we are out. I had always assumed we used most of the wipes through nappy changes, so I had expected our wipes usage to drop when D was potty trained. As I have mentioned before D has sensitive skin and we have really stuck with the same wipes for most of his life after we tried a few kinds which created some small rashes where the wipes had been used.
I had heard about WaterWipes before but we hadn't tried them, mostly from the habit of buying the same wipes for so long. When I was contacted about reviewing WaterWipes I knew the timing was perfect. During the summer we use more wipes than at any other time of the year, we tend to be outdoors more, eat sticky lollies that melt, drink more juice and D tends to touch more during the warm days outdoors which always ends in dirty hands and clothes. All in all we do still use roughly a pack of wipes every week!
WaterWipes where created by Edward McCloskey, a dad who's new born baby had sensitive skin and was suffering from a bad nappy rash. This caused him to check the ingredients in their wipes where he was shocked to discover chemicals listed. He began to question whether they where needed in the wipes and if using these chemicals on his child's skin was really necessary. He set out to find a better alternative which was safe and natural. A few years later WaterWipes were born and they had all the safety of water and cotton wool being used to clean the skin with the convenience of using wipes.
WaterWipes have 2 different types of wipes their baby wipes which come in both a large (60 wipes) and travel size (10 wipes) and they also have cleansing wipes which come on packs of 60 wipes. WaterWipes baby wipes contain only two ingredients water (99.9%) and citrus grandis seed extract (0.1%) and compared to the other wipes on the market this is remarkable! Many of the other wipes in the UK can contain 13 ingredients, some of which can cause reactions on sensitive skin. It was those reaction which D had when he was younger. Their cleansing wipes contain both water and citrus grandis seed extract along with dead sea mineral Maris Sal added.
WaterWipes have won awards for being the best baby wipes from Loved By Parents, Maternity Infant Awards and Parent Approved. They are also the only baby wipes that have ever been approved by Allergy UK which means that they are approved as an allergy friendly product! WaterWipes may help prevent nappy rash. They are also suitable for babies from birth due to being chemical free and therefore soft on babies skin.
The travel packs of WaterWipes are perfect for children of D's age, who are potty trained but do still need wipes for face and hand cleaning while outdoors. They are the perfect size to pop in small handbags like the one I take out when we are just popping to local shops or off to the park. My bag is very small and usually will only contain my purse, keys and phone but adding the travel pack of Waterwipes was no trouble. It also allowed me to take the smaller bag out with us over the last few hot days without anything being left behind. The larger packs which contain 60 wipes are perfect for either keeping at home or taking out in medium or large bags/ baby changing bags and I would say these are perfect for those who have baby's or toddler's still wearing nappies.
When we first started using WaterWipes last week I forgot to take them with us while we did our shopping and ended up having to buy a small pack of wipes in a local shop as the shops nearby didn't have WaterWipes in stock or didn't sell them. Even though we had used the other brand before with no issues, an hour or two after we used them D's face started to break out and I honestly think this was due to the other ingredients which aren't found in WaterWipes. After a week or so of using the wipes on a daily basis I have noticed that the little bumps D would usually have on his cheeks are gone and the few spots on his face are from the wipes while shopping and where he had a small cut below his eye that has not quite completely healed yet.
WaterWipes have a pretty good amount of water inside each wipe and feel very wet to the touch. They do get everything off D's face with a gentle wipe, much to his pleasure! Usually it can take a few wipes to get off anything that I may not have noticed straight away and even then I would have had to apply pressure. We all agree that WaterWipes are very soft on the skin and D even told us "They are really really lovely" when we asked how they felt on his face and hands. The water content in the wipes also leaves the skin with a layer of water on it which the skin will absorb over a few minutes and I feel that during the hot weather this added hydration on the skin helps children feel a little cooler as D kept asking for his face washed while out in the sun.
As for the performance of the wipes, when removing dirt and sticky liquid from melted ice lollies I found that simply wiping once over D's hands and face was enough. He drew on himself with a felt tip while drawing the other day and after trying to wash it off with soap and water I tried to get the remaining pen off his hand with one of the wipes and was quite surprised when I was able to remove all the pen with the wipe!
I have also been using the cleansing wipes daily both in the morning before I put make up on if we are going out and at night before I go to bed. Usually I would use a cleanser while washing my face and I wasn't really sure how the WaterWipes cleansing wipes would feel as they are very different to my usual products when it comes to ingredients. However I did find that using the wipes made my routine a lot shorter and much easier! One wipe was enough to completely cleanse my face and neck. Plus the whole process consisted of lift the wipe out, washing my face and putting the wipe in the bin where as before I was using a product which needed washed off after a minute or two and therefore took a bit of time to apply, wait, rinse and dry. The WaterWipes cleansing wipes also feel very different to baby wipes as they have a dimpled texture to one side. I think the dimpled texture is of greatest benefit when removing make-up, I am able to remove all of my eye make-up in one go with the exception of my mascara which takes another wipe or two to completely remove depending on how much I apply. You can see in the picture's above the during and after photos. ( I am not great at taking photo's of myself ).
I think that WaterWipes have changed the way I look at wipes on the market now. Now that we have seen the benefit to D's skin and I have looked into some of the chemicals in our old wipes I can say that we will be using WaterWipes in the future. I hadn't realised that the wipes we had been using where the cause of D's rashes and the bumps on his cheeks as he has had them from a young age. When we had asked the health visitor during one of the visits before D was one they told us that they would go away and where nothing to worry about. I now believe that the cause was actually our wipes and the chemicals they contained.
I would recommend WaterWipes to all parents out there and even to women who wear make up or are looking for a cleansing product. The benefits of WaterWipes both the baby wipes and the cleansing wipes are noticeable when you change. They are perfect for on the go and would be great for travelling anywhere with.
You can purchase WaterWipes on Amazon.co.uk, Ocado.co.uk and from Boots. The RRP of WaterWipes is £2.99
WaterWipes are currently running a campaign, #PureLove. The campaign is about showing mums that they are amazing and their bodies are too. research has shown that new mum's who feel confident about looking after their babies seems to drop in the first few days of motherhood by almost 10%. Those first few days are hard for all parents, I still remember the first few days after D was born while we where at the hospital and I did feel like I might not be able to provide everything D needed. Luckily I had midwives who where there to help and show me what I needed to know. Not all new mums have that, the Pure Love campaign by WaterWipes commissioned the film below to try and support the emotional well being of new mums. Their aim is to show new mums that they are 'already all their baby needs'.
In the film you can see an experiment which shows the synchronisation of both the mum and baby's vital signs during some skin to skin time. The film shows the remarkable effect the mother and baby's skin to skin contact has in stabilising the baby's body and biology.
Disclaimer: We received the products from WaterWipes in return for and open and honest review. All the thoughts and opinions expressed above are our own.
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
It's now been summer in Northern Ireland for almost 3 weeks! children are off school and the sun has even shown up a few times. I have no idea how 3 weeks have just disappeared but it has given us time to find out what products have prominently become our essentials/ must have products. Now that the rest of the UK is about to join us in the summer some of you might like to know our favourite items.
The first item is sunglasses, I am sure many of you will agree that sunglasses are most certainly an essential for children and adults alike. Sun protection in all forms is a necessity during the summer months. D picked out his own sunglasses after he had tried so many on while we where out shopping. He picked this pair of green and black sunglasses with dark purple lenses. D tells me they make everything dark, which for me means that they are doing their job and providing D's eyes with protection from the sun. They are from Peacocks and cost £3.
Next up would have to be WaterWipes. Although D is no longer in nappies we still find that wipes are an essential part of life especially when we are out during the summer months. WaterWipes are 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract making them kind on skin, extra soft and they clean up sticky messes in seconds! WaterWipes have large packs (£2.99) and smaller travel packs (£0.99) which are perfect for popping into a small bag on a day out or you could even pack them up with a picnic. They also have cleansing wipes which contain dead sea minerals, perfect for taking your make-up off after a long hot day. They leave your face feeling soft and refreshed. WaterWipes are available in Boots, Amazon.co.uk, Ocado.co.uk and in most major supermarkets. (We will have a full review of the WaterWipes coming on Friday.)
Another essential for D this summer is snap back hats. He will spot a new one every time we go into town. His favourite out of the 4 he currently has is the crocodile snap back which is again from Peacocks. D loves telling people "snap, snap" while he makes the crocodile's mouth snap up and down. This snap back provides sun protection for D's whole face and has an adjustable back to fit young children. I know this is going to be a favourite for a few years to come. Peacocks do not currently have this on their website however the hat is still available in stores at £4.
Next up on our list would have to be Vosene Kids Afterswim Hair and Body Wash. Getting out to the swimmers and visiting the beach becomes very popular with lots of families in the summer and we are no exception. Having all that extra time in salt water or in water with chlorine can have an effect on the skin especially children's skin. Vosene Kids Afterswim Hair and Body Wash removes all the impurities left behind on the skin during their time spent in the pool or sea. We have been using the Afterswim every time we have visited the swimming pool over the last few weeks and it has made a huge difference to D's skin which is usually dry and can have areas of irritation where his skin is most sensitive. You can read our full review and thoughts on Vosene Kids Afterswim Hair and Body Wash by clicking the link. Vosene Kids AfterSwim Hair and Body wash has an RRP £2.49 and is available on Amazon.
Another essential for us this summer is Nurture Fruity Water+. Keeping children hydrated while it is hot and you are on the go is hard. Nurture Fruity Water+ is the perfect drink for young children while you are out during the summer and not only will they stay hydrated but they will also be receiving many of the nutrients their bodies need. Nurture Fruity Water+ comes in a handy mess free pouch and is available in 2 flavours, cherry and strawberry and also in orange and pineapple. You can read our thoughts on Nurture Fruity Water+ in our review by clicking on the link. Nurture Fruity water has an RRP of £0.99 - £1.45 and is available at wholefoods market, Holland & Barrett and Ocado.co.uk.
Finally an essentials list for families would not be complete without a scooter! Summer for children is the perfect time to get outside and get active while sun shines. D has got to grips with all the aspects of the Zycom Zipster Scooter over the spring and he has been enjoying going out for the day on it. The scooter is perfect for young children with pivot steering which teaches them balance, light up wheels and has an easy to use brake. Getting around on hot days is fun with this scooter. You can read our full review of the Zycom Zipster Scooter by clicking the link. The Zycom Zipster scooter currently costs £44.95 and is available on Amazon.
There you have it our must have summer essentials for summer 20016!
Have you got any summer essentials?
You can view our other summer related posts by clicking on the badge below.
Disclaimer: We received some of the items in this list in exchange for an honest review. However we feel all items in the list are our summer essentials.
Saturday, 16 July 2016
Keeping D healthy has and always will be a priority. We've never really had any issues with D's health, I mean he catches colds and bugs that are around and he seems to be prone to getting tonsillitis but generally he's healthy.
Now that D is going to start nursery in September I have been thinking about how we may need to give his body a boost of nutrients. We have tried vitamin supplements before to no avail, he will always find something he doesn't like about them. I usually find the when we give D supplements I will be very careful about what he can then eat or drink as they tend to contain high percentages of the daily recommend amount for the nutrients included. In the end we always stop, D either hates them or I hate them and we end up back at square one. When I was reading the email about Nurture Fruity Water+ I thought it would be the perfect drink for D and other children who could benefit from that immunity boost!
Nurture Fruity Water+ came to be when parents of three children, Lucie and Derek Sanders made it their mission to create a children's drink that not only tasted good but was healthy. They have the firm belief that if children consume less sugar from an early age then they will be less inclined to make unhealthy decisions later on in life. This would also make them less inclined to develop a 'sweet tooth'.
Nurture Fruity Water + is an alternative to juice and water for children over the age of one. It is the first functional drink of it's kind in the UK which contains added nutrients as well as containing lower naturally occurring sugar. Nurture Fruity Water+ does still contain some sugar however the naturally occurring sugar only amounts to less than one teaspoon per 100ml. This makes it exempt from the upcoming sugar tax which will issued in the UK! Nurture Fruity Water+ also meets the governments guidelines for school's standards in England meaning that it is acceptable in schools as a healthy drink and alternative to water.
Unlike many vitamin supplements you will find only 20% of the daily recommended amount in each pouch of Nurture Fruity Water+ which for me allows me to relax and know that D is getting an added nutrient boost without me having to worry if he's getting too much. Inside each pouch are the nutrients which support the normal function of the immune system along with supporting the growth of bones and teeth. I have never found an ingredient list I love more than the one for Nurture Fruity Water+, reading ingredient lists usually end in me googling at least one ingredient to find out what it is. With Nurture Fruity Water+ I know every ingredient and more importantly I know why it is there! As you can see above the ingredient list is as follows: Still microfiltered water 55%, juice from concentrate (Apple, Carrot, Sour Cherry, Strawberry), 45%, Fruit extract, calcium lactate, zinc gluconate, vitamins: Nicin, pantothenic acid, B6, folic acid, B12, C, and D, wellmune beta1,3/1,6 glucans. That is all there is inside the drink, no additives or no preservatives and it is free from Gluten and lactose. Nuture Fruity water+ is also suitable for Vegans.
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Nurture Fruity Water+ is perfect for taking with you while you are on the go. The pouch is perfectly sized to fit in small areas including being the exact size to fit in D's backpack/ harness which he uses to hold toys or special treats when we are out for the day. The pouch would also fit inside handbags, changing bags and pretty much any bag you can think of without taking up much space! The pouch also has an anti spill feature inside the opening of the pouch. With this feature there is no mess to clean up if the pouch is dropped or falls off the table. It also means that you can rest assured that the pouch will not leak inside your bag or spill all over your child while in a moving vehicle. As you can see in the image above there is no leakage when the pouch is held upside down, in fact the only way to get the Nurture Fruity Water+ out of the pouch is to either drink it or to squeeze the pouch(pretty hard I might add).
I did find that D wouldn't get all the liquid out of the spout when he was finished drinking, there would be a small amount left which just stays there. While we are out I tend to just tip the pouch up and let the remaining liquid fall out onto a napkin or wipe (it is just a dribble).
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Nurture Fruity Water+ comes in two flavours. D has really taken a liking to it, he loves the cherry and strawberry flavour which he immediately loved.
He does also like the orange and pineapple flavour, this one wasn't a hit right away and he didn't like the flavour the first time he took a sip. However after a few tastes he seemed to have changed his mind.
I feel confident in saying that Nurture Fruity Water+ will become a regular drink in D's diet and that we will continue buying the pouches regularly. I was happy with the knowledge that D is getting a top up of his nutrients and is enjoying Nurture Fruity Water+ making it an all round winner for us.
Nurture Fruity Water+ is available at wholefoods market, Ocado and Holland & Barrett with an RRP of between 99p and £1.49
You can also try Nurture Fruity Water+ for yourself as we have some to giveaway! You can enter our giveaway below where five readers will win 2 pouches of Nurture Fruity Water+ (one of each flavour). To enter follow the steps in the Gleam widget below.
Terms and Conditions:
- This giveaway is open to residents of the UK
- The closing date is 30th July 2016 at 23.59 (GMT)
- Enter using the Gleam.io widget by logging in and choosing any entry routes you would like to complete. Each entry route will gain one entry into the giveaway. There are daily entry options.
- The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries.
- The winners will be informed by email within 14 days of the closing date, and must respond within 28 days to claim their prize.
- Five winners will receive 2 pouches of Nurture Fruity Water+ in both flavours (1x Cherry & Strawberry, 1x Orange and Pineapple).
- Nurture Immunity is the sponsor of this giveaway and is responsible for prize fulfilment.
Nurture Fruity Water+ Giveaway
Disclaimer: We received the pouches of Nurture Fruity Water+ in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
Friday, 15 July 2016
Properly brushing your teeth from a young age is incredibly important. Children's teeth will fall out and adult teeth will come through eventually but that shouldn't stop us from ensuring our children know how to look after all their teeth. D has been learning about how to properly look after his teeth and why that is so important over the last few weeks. When I was contacted about reviewing the brush-baby KidzSonic Toothbrush and Tutti Frutti Toothpaste, I knew the timing was perfect for D to move onto an electronic toothbrush and to learn more about the brushing process including how to properly brush his teeth.
D has always had a great interest in brushing his teeth. From about 1-year-old he enjoyed holding his toothbrush and biting down on the bristles while giving it a bit of a wiggle (I was brushing them properly after). At around 2 - 2 1/2 years old D had almost all his teeth and we would spend a good amount of time in the bathroom morning and night learning how to move the brush properly inside his mouth to actually clean his teeth himself. He got the hand movements down and was happy to just continue on and brush at the same time I was in the morning and then at night before bed.
However recently I had noticed that D wasn't pushing down on his toothbrush enough to clean the bottom of his teeth. While we where telling D that he wasn't brushing properly and that his teeth would still decay if he didn't make sure he was cleaning all of his teeth properly he had a lot of questions. He most importantly wanted to know why it was important. His questions made sense, he wanted to know how and why he had to do this every day. We started to spend the time before and after brushing talking about a question or two that he asks about brushing. At the start the questions were very simple, "Why use toothpaste?" or "Why do I brush my teeth?" are two I really remember. Each answer brings more questions to D's mind and I realised that we have been focusing too much on the how and not enough on the why.
As the questions became more specific D's brush-baby KidzSonic Toothbrush and Tutti Frutti toothpaste arrived. D was very excited by the idea of a new toothbrush. So excited in fact that he attempted to brush his teeth with the brush still inside the packaging! I have no idea how he even managed to get the bristle of the brush to line up with his teeth.
D immediately wanted to brush his teeth again so he could try his new brush out! While I was opening the package and getting the brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush set up we talked about all the elements and how D could turn the brush on and off. Inside the pack we found that brush-baby had thought of everything and we where ready to get brushing almost immediately. The pack contained the KidzSonic toothbrush with one head attached, two replacement heads, one AAA battery and an instruction leaflet with the set up instructions and information in 4 different languages. The leaflet contained an image diagram of the KidzSonic toothbrush and information surrounding the image which detailed how to add/ replace the battery, change the head and how to turn it on.
D had questions, he had a lot of questions. One he wanted to know right away was "Why is it broken?" I must say this one took me by surprise as to him it must have looked broken and it never occurred to me to explain that all toothbrushes are different and some you can change the top while keeping the bottom which makes it light up, vibrate and pulse among other features.
The brush-baby Kidzsonic toothbrush has many features which include replaceable brush heads with easy remove mechanism that is a simple twist anti-clockwise and then pull up. This makes removing the brush head a fast and easy procedure. The brush heads can also be used for up to three months or until there is damage or it's worn which ever occurs first. This means that with the brush-baby Kidzsonic toothbrush you will be able to continue use without purchasing new brush heads for up to 9 months and new brush head pack which contain 2 heads will last up to 6 months.Another feature is the one twist battery cover for easy, fast battery changes.The cover is again an anti-clockwise twist.
The brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush has an easy push on/off button which children can push themselves. D loves that he can do everything apart from adding the toothpaste himself. This feature creates independence in children and a sense of excitement in D who loves the fact that he can make the toothbrush light up by pressing the button once.
By pressing the button twice he can turn the toothbrush on cause the light to change through the colours in the rainbow as well as the all important vibrating and pulsing feature. The vibration of the brush pulses at 30 second intervals during the 2 minute brush time to signal that D should now move onto the next section of his mouth. The brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush instructions tell you to divide the mouth into 4 sections which are the upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right to ensure optimal brushing. After the 2 minute the brush will turn itself off.
I must say that although this is a fantastic feature and covers all the teeth I have always shown D that brushing his teeth involves full mouth hygiene and he will turn the brush back on in order to clean the roof of his mouth and his tongue with the toothbrush. I would say that perhaps brush-baby may be able to extend the time given for brushing slightly to include the tongue and the roof of the mouth in their next model.
The brush head itself is made of flossing bristles which include small bristles (with a purpose of cleaning the surface of the teeth) and long bristles (with a purpose of reaching into the gaps around teeth and cleaning the harder to reach areas). I have noticed the difference the flossing bristles have made to D's teeth, he is still brushing lightly on his teeth however the longer bristles ensure that they are actually being completely clean and noticeably look cleaner which I really hadn't expected as he was brushing twice every day. It has shown me that moving to the KidzSonic toothbrush has made a lot of difference to D's oral health.
The brush also has a grip on the back which helps to prevent the brush from slipping during brushing. This feature helped D maintain control of the brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush at all times.
The brush-baby Tutti Fruity toothpaste was very new to us, D has used a few different types of toothpaste with strawberry and mint flavouring however I noticed a much stronger smell of Tutti Frutti the moment I opened the toothpaste. It has a strong smell and a clear taste of Tutti Frutti which our previous toothpaste had been lacking. The mint we had been using before was strong but D hated it and only used it a few times as he said it hurt him.
The brush-baby Tutti Frutti toothpaste contains Xylitol which fights acid-producing bacteria that causes tooth decay, it also contains fluoride which helps to strengthen the enamel on teeth. Together these ingredients create stronger teeth which are kept strong and in great condition by the protection of Xyitol with continued use. It is also SLS free, SLS is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is added to create the foaming action of toothpaste but can also irritate or create allergies, sores and bad breath! The toothpaste is a fun blue colour which D loves. All our previous toothpaste where white and D actually jumped up and down shouting "Wow" the first time I put the brush-baby Tutti Frutti toothpaste on his brush! Using the brush-baby Tutti Frutti toothpaste paired with the brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush has given me the confidence to know that D's teeth are clean and protected every time he brushes. I had previously had worries that we may not have been doing enough to protect his teeth, I had been looking into flossing and also into mouth wash although D is too young for those options.
Overall we have loved the brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush and Tutti Frutti toothpaste and it has made a significant difference to our brushing routine and to D's oral health. The features of both products have benefited our journey through brushing and prompted questions that D had not previously thought of which has increased his knowledge about brushing, teeth and oral hygiene.
I would recommend both the brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush and Tutti Frutti toothpaste to any parent with children who are between 3 and 6-years-old. Those children who have gaps, missing or crooked teeth would gain significantly more benefits from the KidzSonic toothbrush. Although the benefits that would be gained by all children in this age range is still great. I feel that both products are fantastic tools for both oral hygiene and for learning both how and about why we brush our teeth. The KidzSonic toothbrush and Tutti Frutti toothpaste make brushing exciting and encourage children to want to brush their teeth.
You can purchase the brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush (RRP £12.95) and brush-baby Tutti Frutti toothpaste (RRP £2.35) on the brush-baby website by clicking on the links.
Disclaimer: We received both the brush-baby KidzSonic toothbrush and Tutti Frutti toothpaste from brush-baby in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
I've had an amazing June when it comes to comping. I have spent more time doing other things and having family time. I really thought that spending less time comping would have a negative effect on my wins, I was very wrong on that!
My first win came towards the end of the first week and was an Instagram win. I honestly almost died while looking through my notifications when I came to the Instagram message from Capital FM about winning their Summer Time Ball competition!I remembered entering their competition where you had to screenshot the prize you wanted most from their video. I wanted to enter for the laptop and got a screen shot which I reposted with the #grabtowin. I honestly can't tell you how amazed I was to read the email. So much so that I squealed! A laptop has been at the top of my wish list since I started comping and I honestly thought it would be there forever! What surprised me even more was that I had not only won a Laptop but I had won 2 Summer Time Ball tickets too! I did pass those on to some else as I wouldn't have been able to attend the event in London.
After that big win I was prepared for very little wins this month so when I did win a choice of prints from Ellie Bean Prints I was delighted. I won on twitter where I had retweeted and followed them to enter. I spent a good bit of time on the site trying to decide and in the end I decided on two small prints. The Alice In Wonderland quote is for the living room and I am putting the Dr Seuss quote in D's room. I love both and I know they will look great up on the walls once I get them up. I did find these two frames which I think are perfect for the prints.
I also won a Pokemon t-shirt for D from Character.com on twitter. The competition was a simple Retweet and like to enter. D has become obsessed with Pokémon over the last few months, much to Simon's delight! The t-shirt was only available from size 5-6 years so I will be putting this one away for a while until it fits him.
Next up was another twitter win. I won a football set from Smyths Toys during their Euro 2016 promotion. To enter I had to retweet and predict the result of the Ireland v Italy game using the hashtags. I am very happy with this win as D loves football and the kit contains everything you need to play including a water bottle, gloves, pump, shin guards, gloves, cones, a bag for storage and of course a ball.
My final win of June was a mini Henry Hugglemonster Plush which I won from Disney Junior on Facebook. I was incredibly happy to win this one as I have been participating in their Tuesday Tea Party's for as long as I can remember. I didn't participate every single week but I did do most weeks. I had answered a question during the tea party to enter this. I know D will love it! He is a fan of Henry Hugglemonster and loves reenacting the scenes from the show. I haven't received this one yet.
All in all it has been an amazing month and I am determined to get back into comping properly this month, before we go visit my mum at the start of August.
Have you won anything this month?
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At the start of the year I shared that one of my hopes was to read more books . I set myself the challenge of reading 30 books in 2021. Now ...