Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Davina for Next Collection!

What's the first New Year's resolution that you can think of?

Yes, it's that old chestnut about getting fit! Except this year I really mean it. Noah is 5 months old now and I've done well at shedding the pounds of baby weight but my aim really is to shed a bit more, get fit and tone up. I'm resolute that I'm done with child bearing and so I really want to get fit so I have the stamina to keep up with my lively children. Just in time for my declaration to work my booty, super fit (and super mum) Davina McCall has collaborated with Next on a shoe and fitness collection!

Davina for Next provides the ultimate workout and post-workout clothing along with a range of innovative everyday shoes featuring F.I.T technology to reduce load-bearing stress on joints and provide additional support.

Whenever I've undertaken a new fitness regime (and there have been many!) I've always been of the opinion that I NEED new kit to work out in. I'm only as good as the trainers/ leggings etc that I'm wearing. And looking at this range from Davina and Next there is so much choice and it would draw many a compliment. Here are my picks from the range, put together they would make a fab workout kit!

Firstly the trainers:

I love the look of these, I like the 'go faster' stripes, you wouldn't see me for dust running in these....

Next up the legs, I'd choose these cuffed joggers, they look comfy and knowing Next clothes as well as I do they'd fit my big womanly bottom!

I love the colour of this cropped bra top and I'd wear it underneath this:

And that completes my dream Davina for Next fitness outfit! As a complete outfit it would look quite retro and 80's I reckon and I've always admired that Olivia Newton John 'Let's get Physical' look, now if only they did headbands and legwarmers too....

My most successful attempts at getting fit have always been when I've had a goal in mind, including running Race For Life and the Marie Curie Swimathon, so I intend to sign up for a challenge (10k or a swim) to take place around March/ April time (nothing too serious, I don't want to punch above my weight) so that I have an event to train for. This is how I motivate myself best. Next are giving some lucky bloggers the chance to review the Davina for Next range and I'd love to be one of them. I'd put the kit through it's paces and share the blood, sweat and tears (and there are always tears!) with my readers!

Davina for Next will be available from selected stores, from the Next directory and online at next.co.uk from next Spring. Check it out and it could help you to keep your New Year's resolutions!

Peekaboo Barn & Counting With the Very Hungry Caterpillar Phone App Reviews

I LOVE Phone Apps and lately I've really fallen hook line and sinker for kids phone apps. They are brilliant for situations where I'm doing something with the baby and Isla needs entertaining. Because my phone is with me 24/ 7 it means these games are always with me and she LOVES them too. She asks to play them regularly (usually when I'm in the middle of texting someone or fiddling about with it myself!) and it really impresses me that kids know how to work all this new technology. 

We were asked if we wanted to review 2 phone apps by Night & Day Studios: Peekaboo Barn and Counting with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

When we first had a go of Peekaboo Barn I wasn't really sure about it, it's so simplistic. All the animals are in the barn, you tap the door and every time you do a new animal appears, it makes the relevant animal noise before the animal appears so you can get your child to name the animal before they see it and a child's voice says, "cow", "sheep" or "goats" (Isla's favourite!) when the animal is revealed. However what do I know? Isla really likes it. She will do it over and over. Also just for Christmas the app has updated and it's all snowy and all the animals are very festive with either santa hats or Rudolph noses on etc. It's a very sweet game and I would recommend it. Another thing that we haven't done as yet is record Isla's voice to go on it which I think will make her love it even more!

The next game is Counting with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I loved this immediately because I just adore the illustrations for The Very Hungry Caterpillar and we have always loved the book. Isla can count to 10 already and likes any counting opportunity so this game was a goodun. It has 5 different difficulty levels and has all the snacks that feature in the book. For some reason Isla has formed an attachment to the 'pickles' and loves it when she has to count them! It's not all about counting either - it's also about being able to recognise different foods and also knowing which ones to select. The final level is against the clock, we've not done this yet as we spend too much time talking about the different foods "I like lollipops" etc etc you get the picture.

All in all these are both good games, the Hungry Caterpillar one being slightly more educational than Peekaboo Barn. My only negative observation is that I feel that Peekaboo Barn is slightly over priced for what it is.

Peekaboo Barn costs £1.49
Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar costs £1.99

Both available from the iTunes App Store

Monday, 19 December 2011

Isla & Noah this week

These are a few of my favourite photos of Isla and Noah from this week. As you can see I'm absolutely loving the Instagram and Hipstamatic apps on my iPhone!

Isla is getting really excited about Christmas, we were lucky enough to have a few hours just us girls to make a couple of Christmas cards for Nanny and Grandpa and Nanny H. She loved being let loose with the glue and glitter and I got all sorts of bits and bobs out for her to use on her cards - scraps of material, cut out pictures from my recent birthday cards and even some polystyrene packing that was in a parcel I got that day. We also decorated the tree together and she was fabulous at it - her approach is definitely the more you can put on the tree the better!

She is loving the advent calendar. It rarely gets forgotten in the morning as it's a CHOCOLATE one. Which is obviously very exciting in her book. Think she's really going to miss it when she gets to the last door.

Very much like fireworks night (absolutely terrified), she didn't like visiting Father Christmas in his grotto at Priory Farm. We got shown in to see him and she clung to me and cried. Not the kind of response I expected. It's funny as she's usually such a confident little thing.

Noah has started teething, he sleeps quite soundly until about 3.30am and then he just wakes up and ROARS. It's so sudden, 0 - 60 in 3 seconds! He's not bad in the daytime though and a friend of mine has just lent us her daughters Fisher Price Jumperoo and he absolutely loves it, although I checked the weight limit on it (25lb) and so it won't be long before he can't go in that! It's actually quite a disadvantage from a baby toy point of view to have a BIG baby as he outgrows things that other babies his age would still be playing with.

We're introducing him to more first tastes, he's really enjoying some HiPP Organic Baby food that we've been sent. More about that in another post.

All in all we're surviving, there are fun times and not so fun times (when the tiredness hits!) but this is a great time of year and I'm really looking forward to Noah's first Christmas with all the family.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My toddler this week #2

Potty in the background, nice! Proudly showing her clever puzzle skills!

So this week I'm noticing all the things that Isla has been saying. I notice that sometimes when I've said something to her she stops and looks at me really seriously. This is when she is thinking about something I've said, mulling it over and trying to make sense of it. One of my favourites recently has been this:

Me: You're such a clever old stick!
About a minutes silence
Isla: I'm not a clever old stick, I'm Isla!

See, very clever!

My other favourite is this one:

Me: What's the magic word
Isla: Abra....
Me: No, not that magic word
Isla: Oh, thank you!

I loved that one, she has a magic wand and is so into changing us into frogs or rabbits at the moment.

Another one that I have no idea where it came from is her saying "Bravo!" when we've achieved something! Not something I've ever really said, so I'm assuming this is a nursery thing.

We've also had a lot of references to 'best friends' this week. Just to show how fickle toddlers are, here are two examples, the first one happened when I was laid up in bed with a bad back this week. I can hear Isla downstairs harassing the Other Half to come upstairs and see me..

Isla: I want to see mummy, mummy is my best fwwwweind

On the flip side of this, the following morning when I was trying to get her dressed, (me still having the bad back) I got cross as she was escaping my clutches! So this time:

Isla: You're not my best fwwwweind anymore

The final two Isla quotes can be solely attributed to Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly:

"Sit down your majesty" and "Ahoy there me hearties"

The first one I'm trying to get her to say to my Dad, just because I think this would be funny. I'm loving Isla's chit chat most of the time and I'm going to keep trying to record her 'Islaisms' so we can look back on them and have a good giggle!

The Gallery - My Awesome Photo

I know this isn't a photo of a bungee jump or some amazing waterfall/ beach scene or me wing walking (never going to happen!) but this is MY AWESOME PHOTO. It captures my OH and I in a way that we'll never probably ever be seen again. I absolutely love this photo, when I look at it is makes me feel all mushy (it's also slightly cheesy I know!). I haven't done anything with any of my wedding photo's and we got married over 3 years ago, they remain on a disc and on my laptop waiting for me to put them in a book but if anything happened to them, I would really be upset about not seeing this one ever again. Photo's are weird like that aren't they? I love reliving memories just by looking at a stack of photo's and I really do love reliving the memory of my wedding day!

Check out the other Gallery Entries here

Friday, 2 December 2011

Jelly Kitten Skidaddle Zebra - Christmas Stocking Filler

I've previously posted about Jelly Cat soft toys on the blog - we love them! Isla has her bunny and Noah has his dog and Cousin M has donkey AND bunny! I didn't realise that related to Jelly Cat is Jelly Kitten and when Hello Baby offered to send me a Jelly Kitten Skidaddle Zebra for Noah to try out I was really pleased as I knew it would be a cool toy for him and also one that isn't a hand me down!

Here's my little zebra enjoying his Skidaddle Zebra!
It's such a lovely toy and would make a cool Christmas stocking filler. The black and white is great for babies to look at and the rings round each of the zebra's feet have been good for Noah to hold on to and chew on (everything is going in his mouth at the moment!). There are also blue ribbon tags for the mane, which gives another texture for baby to feel.  There is also a useful strap on its head so it can be attached to the cot and car seat. Naturally every toy that enters our house also has to be given the Isla once over and she loves it too, I also love when she says Zebra as she doesn't pronounce the 'Z' - it's an 'Ebra' as far as she's concerned!

The Skidaddle Zebra is available from Hello Baby and retails at £10.99.
Hello Baby also sells a wide range of other baby and nursery stuff including Baby Toys, nursery furniture, travel and safety products.

I was sent this Jelly Kitten toy by Hello Baby for free in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.