Review: Little Tikes Riga Swing from Asda

Last month we were so lucky to be sent the Little Tikes Riga Swing Set from Asda to complete our garden. Since then the children have been putting it through its paces so here's what we thought.

Round and Round The Merry-Go-Round

Today has been one of those days. In fact it has probably been one of the hardest days in a while due to things out of control, rather than my mood.

I have now had three seasons of CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The idea behind this method of counselling is to challenge and change your thought processes. So far my counsellor has helped me pinpoint how my negative thoughts can spiral and cause emotional and physical symptoms which can end up becoming a vicious circle. 

Review: Cosatto Giggle 3-in-1 Travel System

As part of my role as a Cosatto Brand Buddy I am very lucky to have the opportunity to review some of their amazing products. My first review was the Troop car seat and this month we have been trying out the Giggle Travel System.

The Giggle is a 3-in-1 system that can go from newborn until you no longer need a pushchair. Included in your purchase is the pram unit, rain cover, foot muff and a matching changing bag, which I have to say has happily replaced my previously battered bag. The seat can be forward and parent facing and has three different angles from flat to upright. The Giggle is available with a Car Seat and choice of Isofix Base or Hold Base (Car Seat and Base sold separately).

As soon as I opened the Giggle I was in love. I chose the Red Bubble design as I just loved its bold spot design and thought Little J would pull it off with style. Even Mr H, who is not really bothered about what he pushes as long as it does the job, was impressed with the anodised red chassis in a smooth satin finish. It really does look impressive. If this one isn't for you, there are five other equally stunning designs which you can see here.

This is the second three wheeler pram we have owned and the previous one was an all-terrain pram so was more suited for off road. The Giggle is really easy to push and manoeuvres smoothly, even Miss H has had a turn. It goes up and down kerbs well and is relatively lightweight.

The only problem I have had is fitting it in my boot - I have a Nisan Juke and the boot space is pretty tight, so I have to remove the back wheels to get it to fit. This is done by pressing a button just above the wheels and they then pop off easily. Not a complete disaster, but a bit of a faff when you have two little ones to sort out too.

Little J is now two and a half, but fit in the seat nicely, with plenty of room around him. The protectors on the straps are nice and padded and he can rest his feet on the frame at the bottom if he needs to. We used it with and without the bumper bar, and both worked out fine for us. 

We also tried out the rain cover when a day out nearly turned into a washout, and Little J was quite happy to have it over him, although the hood itself actually provided a lot of protection, so the cover was only really needed for his legs when it came down really heavy. 

In this pushchair J sits quite high up, and so it means he gets a much better view when we are out and about. He can see most of what we can see and isn't leaning out or stretching up to try and get a better view of the world. As the handle is adjustable it is also great for myself and Mr H, as I can have it lower for my shorter stature and he can raise it so he's not having to stretch down to push it.

Unfortunately Little J is now definitely too old for the bassinet feature so we were unable to give this a try, however I can say it is as sturdy as the rest of the parts and just as bold and beautiful. The hood has loops for toys, which is a lovely addition, and it has a carry handle and removable washable liner inside, which is always handy for newborns.

Overall we really love the Giggle, not least because of its bold, funky pattern. It is comfortable, moves smoothly and has all the features you need from a travel system and with a price tag of £420 you get a lot of product for your money. To find out more you can visit the Cosatto website, or follow them on Twitter.

*We were sent this product for free, however all opinions are my own.

Five of My Favourite Instagram Accounts

I am a hug fan of Instagram and have been since not long after it was introduced in 2010, when a friend of mine introduced me to it and the editing app, Snapseed, and I was hooked. Since then I have posted nearly 1500 photos and it has become one of my favourite social media sites. Last month it was introduced by Tots 100 as one of their metrics for their charts and waves of people jumped on board to give it a try.

I thought today I'd share some of my favourite accounts, whether they be pretty pictures, fun families or interesting stores, so here we go.

Creating an Amazing Home Cinema

Mr H is a dreamer at heart. He plays the lottery every week and fills his head with what he would do if he won. Whilst for some people it is an occasional chat over a glass of wine, for him it's a regular conversation. He is always on Rightmove searching out his dream house, and the favourites section is filled with mansions featuring games rooms, swimming pools, gyms, and the like. As a big film fan, one of his ambitions would be to have a home cinema.

Whilst the enormous screen and tiered seating might be a little out of the question for most of us, it’s actually fairly simple to create a scaled down home cinema. Here’s how…

Five Summer Baby Photography Ideas

Many of us now are having professional photos done of our children and outdoor shoots are becoming more and more popular. With the summer season here, it is a great opportunity to use the elements of the season to get some really beautiful pictures that will help you remember those happy, sunny days. A summer photography session for babies is a great idea as there are loads of fun and sweet things you can do to make those snaps even better. Here's some ideas together for doing just that to get you inspired for your shoot.

Using summery food and drinks for yummy snaps 

Capturing baby’s first taste of ice cream is always a funny experience as you will see them fall in love immediately...whilst making a complete mess, of course! Other foods like watermelons slices can make for some really sweet photos as they’ll look so little compared to the big fruit. You could even make baby-friendly mocktails and serve them in plastic cocktail glasses for the shoot! There are some fab child-friendly mocktail recipes here.

Outdoor fun and play for natural photos 

Summer is a time where your little ones will be making the most out of the great outdoors and will be having the time of their lives. Capture them when they’re having lots of fun and being natural; playing with summery toys like paddling pools and swings and slides. Natural photos are perfect for capturing true personalities and will serve as a life-long reminder of the things your little one adored when they were very teeny.

Lovely summer clothing and accessories 

Your little one will no doubt be spending the majority of the summer season strutting their stuff in...well...not very much really! Taking snaps of your little one as they lounge around in what they feel comfortable in, in the heat can be really sweet, as it’s the only time of life where you can feel completely comfortable in the bare minimum! Dressing them up in bathing suits and using other summery accessories like over-sized sunglasses, flip-flops and big, floppy hats can all make for some really cute snaps, too.

Using vintage props and scene setters for a different affect 

Your baby photographer will have lots of tricks up their sleeve, especially if you opt for a really good one like those employed by Venture. Great photographers will have access to lots of fun, vintage props such as lemonade stands which look really sweet and things like fishing props and scenes for your little one to be a part of.

Opting for the humour aspect with a summer twist 

Summer is all about fun, so why not go for funny pictures for your baby’s summer photo shoot? As briefly mentioned above, opting for things like over-sized sunnies can be really funny and sweet. Cute but funny fancy dress outfits are always great in the summer shoots, too. Two personal favourites of ours have to be this little mermaid baby outfit, and this baby shark outfit which would both make for some adorably funny photos!

*This is a featured post

Activities for Long Car Journeys With Children

activities for long car journeys with children
Last month we visited Cornwall with friends for our summer holiday and so braved the seven hour drive down to St Ives with Miss H (3 1/2), Little J (2) and their four friends (aged from two to four). It was interesting to say the least, but I had been researching a few weeks beforehand for lots of ideas of how to keep them quiet on the journey down there. Here are what we did:

Happy Birthday To Prince George

As I'm sure you are aware, unless you've been living under a rock, Prince George turns one today. It does make me reflect on the past year and its ups and downs. This time a year ago we spent the day with friends visiting a nearby funfair and I had just attended a local blog conference and was buzzing with ideas. In the next twelve months I was diagnosed with ME, my dad had chemotherapy, we holidayed in Fuerteventura, my little miss turned three, my baby boy turned two and we holidayed in Cornwall. It is always funny to look back and see how much you've done in just a year.

One thing I became aware of is home insurance - recently some friends of ours experience a house fire in a house they rent out. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but the place was completely destroyed right through to the brick work and needs gutting. It makes you think what would you do in these situations and to double check you have the right cover in place, just in case.

So as we watch images of a beautiful, calm and well behaved little prince, we all know that behind closed doors every toddler can wreak havoc. In fact, damage by animals and children are a common cause of home insurance claims. As the nation prepares to celebrate the birthday boy’s big day, home insurance specialist, Together Mutual Insurance, has compiled some top tips on safeguarding the home from little fingers and big problems.

Happy Birthday to Prince George, we hope he has a lovely day!

*This is a featured post

Mums' Time Out

It is easy when we are mums to get bogged down in the day to day life of being a busy parent, and forget about ourselves. Often this can lead us to feel we have lost our sense of self and feel left behind with nothing to feel is our own. It is therefore important for us to reclaim our own time back and do the things we enjoy, in order to be the best mum we can. But in this busy world and with tiny people hanging onto our skirts, this can seem an impossible task. Here are some suggestions to get the best out of your situation.

The Best Day Ever

Ever since she was three months, Miss H was interested in the TV. When Mickey Mouse came on she would sit in her bouncer chair and kick her feet, giggling away. However Little J really wasn't bothered at all. That is, however, until he discovered a certain fireman. When he was about eighteen months old I was flicking through the channels when Fireman Sam came on and for whatever reason I left it. And from then on he was hooked. To the point that he often throws a fit if there is anything else on the TV and 'Sam,' or some version of it, was his most commonly used word. Now whenever he sees a Fire Engine or a fire of any sort he calls for Sam to come and save the day!

So when we saw the local fire station were holding a fun day, we knew we had to go. In fact it's been in the diary for weeks and I was so looking forward to seeing his little face.

Beautiful Boxes With Freckled Frog

Over the last few months I have been gradually working on Miss H's bedroom. In May we bought her a full size bed and new bedding and since then I have been upcycling bookcases and photo frames and collecting various treasures for the finishing touch.

Low Energy Play: Foam Rainbow

This month's low energy play comes from a pin from Fun At Home With Kids. This one seemed like it be more work than I was looking for, but actually turned out to be pretty simple. All you need is washing up liquid, a whisk (preferably electric) and food colouring.

Giveaway With Cuddledry

Last month we were very grateful to receive some lovely snuggly towels from Cuddledry and they improved bathtime no end, making the getting out part fun, as well as the splashing around. We also tried out the Cuddletwist and H loved wrapping her hair inside it to dry, just like mummy does with her big towel. It also meant she didn't have wet hair dripping down her back as she dried off.

Today Cuddledry are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a Cuddletwist for their little Cuddler. These super soft towels are made of natural bamboo and are 60% more absorbent than normal cotton towels, so perfect for your little diva!

To be in with a chance of winning one of these towels, simply follow the Rafflecopter below.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer In Cornwall

Soon after last year's holiday to Fuerteventura, my friends and Mr H and I decided to spend our summer holidays all together. With all of us having children under four we understand the ups and down of these young years and are there to give each other a hand, or a time out, as it is needed. When my friend came across St Ives Bay Holiday Park in Cornwall, it was quickly booked and anticipated in our calendar for 2014. I have to admit I was anxious about the 6-7 hour car journey down there, but looking forward to spending some time with friends, and some much-needed time as a family.

Out Of Office

Thank you for stopping by, we are currently away enjoying beautiful Cornwall for a week, so it may seem a bit quiet. Fear not, normal service will resume on our return!

Happy Hollybobbs!


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