Tuesday 21 November 2017

Christmas Gifts For £5 and Under #sdfiverchallenge

When I think of Sports Direct, my mind is instantly overwhelmed with football boots, gym clothes and an odd memory of the horrible taste you get when setting your gum shield for school.

That's why I was initially sceptical when Brit Mums asked if I wanted to take on their fiver challenge with Sports Direct. The aim was to find the perfect Christmas gifts and stocking fillers for friends or family, for five pounds or under.

We have a massive direct family so Christmas is getting super expensive, so if I could do gifts on a budget- especially for the children who have a rather expensive taste sometimes- I was willing to give it a go.

When browsing the site, which has a handy section for Christmas organised by the type of gift, brand/character or the age and sex of the person you're shopping for, I was super impressed almost instantly. Never in my mind would I have thought you could buy such a huge range of non sport items from Sports Direct!

I decided I was going to try and get Isla and Archer some presents for five pounds or under. Isla loves everything Disney, and I wouldn't be exaggerating by saying our last trip to the Disney store blew the bank!

I found the following gifts:

Crayola Giant Princess Colouring Book £3
Disney Princess Pop Game £4.99
Disney Princess Three Pack Wood Puzzles £5.00
Disney Princess Jewellery Making Kit £4.00
My Little Pony Mug & Chocolate Gift Set £3.00
Monster Moving Car Gift Set £3.50

That came to an amazing SIX gifts for less than £25. For some young children, that would be plenty of gifts! I literally am gobsmacked at the prices.

The fantastic thing is, the quality wasn't compromised at all. Every gift came and was as perfect as you would find it in any name brand toy shop. I am so so impressed and I think for young adults on a budget, people with multiple children or even just someone with a huge family like me, it's a fantastic way of giving something nice without spending all your hard earned cash.

This post is an entry for BritMums #sdfiverchallenge, sponsored by sportsdirect.com

Sunday 12 November 2017

Why We're Swapping to Reusable Cloth Nappies

I've always been intrigued by the concept of cloth nappies. They were what everyone used way back when- they had no other choice! Then the disposable nappies came in and they were all the rage and cloth definitely isn't the mainstream anymore. 

I did use disposable nappies with Isla and I can't overly fault them and other than the terrible impact they have the environment I won't badmouth any parent who chooses to use them. They're easy, absorbent and effective in what they do. It's just such a shame that they are piling up in landfills not degrading.

I've been thinking a lot about our world and the impact we are having on it. It may not seem like it will make much difference to our current generations, but it will one day. Archer will produce around a tonne of nappies before he is potty trained. By switching to cloth, I'll at least make some change to my descendants futures right?

Add in the cost as I've managed to get some good deals and some friends have sent me pre-loved nappies and I'm going to save hundreds of pounds in nappies, as most reusable ones can be used from birth to potty.

I know I sound like I'm rambling a lot- it's how I managed to convince myself it was what I wanted to do! It's a big thing to add in to an already chaotic schedule- washing nappies on top of all the other chores I have to do seems a little self destructive but it's actually saving me laundry loads in the long run. The cloth nappies when I've done them up properly just do not leak poo- so without any more poop explosions I'm actually changing and washing Archer's clothes so much less!

The world of cloth nappies is definitely a complicated one. When you think of reusable nappies your mind might jump right to triangle nappies with a big safety pin. It's quite modern now though! With poppers and velcro, there are SO MANY different types of styles of nappies- in gorgeous prints too!

I'll be sharing our journey into using cloth nappies- wish me luck! It's going well in these early weeks but it's definitely a learning curve for the whole family. Even if it doesn't last, at least the time we've spent out of disposables will have reduced our impact on the planet by a small amount.

Do you use cloth nappies? Do you have any advice for me? Let me know!

Steph xo

Appy Kids Co Drinks- Review & Giveaway

It can be a massive headache insuring Isla stays hydrated. She sips water here and there and will chug a cup of milk before bed, but she's never been a big drinker and I think part of it is because being two years old, a bottle of water just isn't that appealing OR tasty. Kids are fickle right?

I honestly wish I could put into words how excited she was, that being said, when she realised the massive box of juicse covered in some of her favourite cartoon characters the postman dropped off were for her. The Appy Kids drinks come with a variety of character designs that would appeal to most ages- Dora, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Spongebob and even the Ninja Turtles!

There's even mobile friendly activities on the box for the bigger more techy kids.

Taste wise, Isla was definitely sold. We tried the Mixed Berries, Apple and Orange variations and she most often asked for the mixed berry. I personally favoured the slight tartness of the apple. Jack did like the orange but he couldn't get the straw in most times...!

The only downside I would say to the drinks is the fact that being made from proper fruit, they do have a good amount of sugar in. Not the best for the tiny teeth so we ensured that Isla only had one or two a day (as you would whenever sugar is involved). There isn't any added sugar though so you know they aren't drinking anything unnecessary which is a huge bonus as some drinks on the market are packed full of rubbish.

We did sometimes struggle to get the straw in and drip a little in the process but that was just due to poor technique I think (mostly on Daddy's part I might add)

They're such a handy thing to throw into your changing bag or take to the park and I've even found myself grabbing one to take out with me just in case.

Do you think you'd want to give them a try? If you would I've got a fantastic competition for you to win EIGHT boxes of Appy Kids Co Honestly Good Juices!

Check out the widget below.

Appy Kids Co Honestly Good Juices

I received a selection of Appy Drinks Co drinks in exchange for this honest review. All photos and opinions are my own. Prize to be supplied direct from Appy Kids Co. Over 18 UK residents only.

Friday 3 November 2017

Weaning With Archer- Avocado Baby Puree

Archer has been trying "human food" as we like to call it, for around a month now. He's been having tastes here and there of loads of different foods and has got on with them all so well.

On days when breastfeeding doesn't seem to be satisfying him, he'll get 1 or 2 oz of a baby puree that I've home made (or some of a pouch if I'm out of stock!) and it's been doing wonders for his mood. Once he's six months, I'll start giving him small tastes and meals on a more regular basis, bringing him into a routine of meal times like I did with his sister.

So far he has tried:

Sweet Potato
Oat Porridge

This week we've been all about Avocado as I had a decent sized one in the fridge that needed using. Keep reading to see how I prepared it to be suitable for a 4-5 month old baby in the early weaning stages.

Avocado Baby Food Recipe


1 medium sized avocado
Breastmilk/formula (optional)

(Yes, that's really it!)

Avocado is a brilliant first food as you don't even have to cook it before hand. Just select a nice ripe avocado and make sure it isn't too firm as I've found the firmer ones don't puree as well and are prone to tiny lumpy bits need picking out.

Peel and dice the avocado (mind the seed) and throw it all in the blender.

As with all baby food I make, I added in 2oz of breast milk. It adds a familiar taste, nutrients and calories, and also makes the puree so much creamier. If you formula feed, I'd mix it in before serving rather than in the blending process as it will make your puree last longer- it still has the same affect!

Blitz it till creamy and smooth and then scoop into small pots. I use freezable pots from Vital Baby as once Archer is eating more, I plan on batch cooking!

That's it! You can heat a little on serving if it's got cold in the fridge. Or serve cold- Archer really likes cold puree at the moment as he is teething up a storm.

Let me know if your little one enjoys it!

Archer's 5 Month Update

FIVE months old! Someone needs to pinch me, because Iv'e blinked and nearly half an entire year has gone by without me realising. My tiny 6lb speck of love has turned into a whopper of giggles and mischief. I'm pretty sure time is going so much faster than it ever did with Isla, and before I know it Archer is going to be moving out and I'll be an empty nester...

Archer really is the most wonderful baby. He's so affectionate and happy to see me, daddy and Isla, and he will smile at anyone who gives him a moment of attention. He loves to watch Isla play, and now he is getting older he is so desperate to join in. Weaning is going well, and he's started to have tastes and meals more often which is making him seem even more grown up!

I love him more than I could ever of imagined.

Weight: 17.5lbs at 21 weeks

Clothing size: 3-6 months (AT LAST!)

New this week: Rolling from back to belly in both directions (rolling all ways now!), sleeping in his own bedroom for some naps, sitting in his bigger boy chair in the bath, first Halloween!

Likes: Watching his sister play, Avocado and banana, smiling at old ladies (he loves the ladies, honestly its so sweet), crinkly books, when Isla splashes in their bath

Dislikes: Transitioning out of mummy and daddy's bed/bedroom, bed time, when food runs out

Mummy & baby product shout out this week: Our Tommee Tippee blender. I've been using it to make our own purees which is a different world compared to when I weaned Isla. I had a contract with the HiPP Wean Team when Isla was little which was fab, but really wanted to make my own in these early days as he wont finish jars/pouches and it works out cheaper. The blender is perfect for making around 8oz of fruits and veg I have sitting around and I've been storing them for a week of meals and tastes.

I'm so grateful for my little boy, honestly. He really has completed our family and despite all the lack of sleep and the fact he's sometimes SO clingy, one gummy smile and he's forgiven.

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