Friday, 25 January 2013

Proud Mummy Moments - Isla

In the last couple of months Isla has taken a lot of interest in letters of the alphabet and in particular spelling her name. She has known that 'I' is for Isla for quite a while but she also knows lots of other letters that she can associate with things, like 'D' for Daddy, 'M' for Mummy etc. And in the last couple of weeks I've become really impressed that she is making great strides with writing her name and although not completely right I feel it's a moment worth commemorating for my 3 and a half year old. It's recognisable as Isla! The nursery are doing so well at encouraging her with this and in a very covert way as well that isn't pressurising at all, just telling her to put her name on her artwork and other things she does.
I love seeing her blossom and accomplish new things. It makes me full of pride.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Shape Song Swingalong - Barefoot Books - Review

Following on from my review last week of The Kite Princess, I have another book review here for a book that I would really, really recommend! It's called The Shape Song Swingalong and until I listened and watched the book 'sung' on the accompanying CD, I didn't really 'get it'. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautifully illustrated book, wonderfully bright and engaging. For Noah's age there are so many shapes to spot (he's well into shapes - his favourite being triangle - always points them out!) and it's all about drawing and the shapes that we come across everyday. I didn't think it would be a winner for Isla until that is we played the CD and then I got it! The book works best with the CD - the melody of the song is lovely and really catchy - you can't help but sing along, I defy you not to randomly sing 'line, line, circle, circle, square, square, square, square, triangle, triangle'! The illustrations from the book become a moving animation and it's so fun. I have to say all that as I feel like you could easily miss the point of this book unless you get that disk out and play it alongside looking at the book, it really does bring it alive.

If you're looking for a great gift for a pre-schooler I would recommend this book as it's really fun and educational to boot! Here's the video on YouTube of The Shape song Swingalong - enjoy!

The Shape Song Swingalong is available from Barefoot Books from £6.99

We were sent this book for free, all opinions are our own. Thank you for the opportunity Barefoot Books, we've enjoyed discovering these new titles! 

Dermalogica Precleanse - Review

I am pretty brand loyal when it comes to my skincare as I've always had 'problem' skin. It's totally inherited from my parents (thanks for that!) and during my teens and early twenties I got quite fed up with my acne and I would make repeated visits to the Doctors for creams, lotions, tablets. My skin cleared up quite well with the aid of prescription medication but it's still not perfect. I hate the fact that I'm in my late 30's and I still get spots. So which brand is it that I put all my confidence in? It's Dermalogica. A lot of people will say that it's one of the more expensive skincare ranges but for me I can't put a price on my skin looking and feeling good. I can't use cheaper brands found in most pharmacies as they end up being a waste of money, my skin reacts and what follows is a dip in confidence. 

I've used Active Moist and Daily Microfoliant by Dermalogica for years and have always been happy with them. On my most recent purchase of these two products I was also sent a sample of Precleanse and on tweeting that I really loved it Dermalogica were kind enough to send me a full size bottle. 

How do you use it? You dispense a small amount into dry hands and then massage it all over your face including the eye area - it's gentle enough and it can dissolve stubborn eye make-up. Once you've covered your entire face you then wet your hands and it will turn into a milky emulsion. Then rinse. You're then recommended to use your prescribed Dermalogica Cleanser following Precleanse. 

What do I like about it? I like how clean, soft and smooth my skin feels after using it. I love the smell, there are no artificial fragrances contained in it - it's a kind of Lavender/ Citrussy scent. It's a plant based cleansing oil but don't let the word 'oil' put you off either. It's not going to make your skin oilier, it helps to deal with the excess oil. I'm sure that the oils within the product, olive, apricot and nut oil all combine to give my skin that soft/ smoothness. I feel like my skin is brighter after using Dermalogica products. In general I like how Dermalogica don't take part in any animal testing and I feel like they understand my type of skin and that bad skin isn't only isolated to teenagers!

Check out Dermalogica - there is a tool on their site where you can enter your skin concerns and it will process and give you a recommended product prescription.

Thanks Dermalogica for sending me the product. I wasn't asked to review but I felt I would as it's truly a skincare system that I would recommend and that works.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Fun in the Snow!

Snowy Thomas fun!

Isla with Susan the Snowman (woman?)

"I've cleared as much snow as I can Mummy"

Monday, 14 January 2013

The Kite Princess - Barefoot Books - Review

Before Christmas we were sent a couple of books from Barefoot Books and I purposely kept them back from Isla and Noah so that they would have something in the New Year. I love getting them new books (or as is the case with Noah, him discovering her old books, as he is at the moment, with her Julia Donaldson books) and this one is beautiful. It fits Isla to a tee. She loves princesses but I think she is an adventurer like Cinnamon Stitch. 

Cinnamon Stitch is the Princess in this book but she doesn't want to live by the stuffy Royal rules, she wants to have fun and be free. The trappings of royalty, fancy dresses and deportment aren't for Cinnamon Stitch so she sets to work to find freedom by making a kite to fly away. I'll let you find out what the King and Queen think of that, but what is great is that at the end of the book there are instructions for your little one to make their own kite! How cool! Something that I think Isla and I will definitely do one rainy Sunday. 

The Illustrations in this book are beautiful, what struck me is that it's so full of patterns and different shades of pinks and purples, all colours actually. It feels really magical and uplifting. The character of Cinnamon Stitch reminded me a lot of Pippi Longstocking (a favourite of mine!), fun loving and a bit of a rule breaker. The book is written by Juliet-Clare Bell, herself a mother and she wrote it during kids nap times - I wish I could be so productive!! 

Accompanying the book is a CD of the story read by Imelda Staunton - we haven't actually listened to this yet as most of our CD listening occurs in the car and we can't get Noah off the Cbeebies album at the moment, but I think I'll burn it to the iPod and we can listen to it in the house. This book is becoming a favourite in our house, perhaps your little Princess might like it too?

The Kite Princess is available from Barefoot Books from £6.99.

Another Barefoot Book review coming soon.

We were sent this book for free in exchange for a review - all opinions are my own.

Isla's First Dentist Trip

It's been a week of firsts, Noah's haircut now Isla's first trip to the dentist. I'd been thinking that we needed to do this for a while and the dentist confirmed that we were bang on with timing. 3 is a good age to start regular check ups.

Isla was looking forward to it, we'd talked about it lots and I'd prepared her for what would happen and that there would likely be a sticker for her if she was good.

We arrived and filled in all the necessary new patient forms and NHS forms and then saw a really lovely lady dentist who made Isla feel at ease. I prepped Isla so much that almost the minute we got in the room she had her mouth open saying "ahhhh"! The dentist counted her teeth and advised that at this age I should definitely be assisting her with the brushing (which I do) and that if its hard to get the toothpaste on the back teeth to smooth some round them with my finger and to also ensure Isla spits and doesn't swallow the toothpaste. All sensible advice. Here she is in the chair. At the end she got her sticker (a Disney Rapunzel one) but as we left the dentist I think she missed the point slightly and asked if as she had been a good girl could she have some chocolate.....

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Noah's First Haircut

This weekend Noah had his first haircut. It was long overdue, he's nearly 18 months. His hair was forever hanging in his eyes, so off we all went. Isla had a trim too, to correct the wonky job I made a few months back! A lollipop was all it took to persuade him to sit in the chair and the end result was this! I love it. It's not too grown up, looks cute and he can now see. Win win!

New member of One Direction?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Christmas 2012 - My Favourite Photo

I haven't had a lot of time lately to blog but I just wanted to post my favourite Christmas photo here of Isla and Noah. Christmas morning with their favourite presents - Simba and Nala from The Lion King - a film that we watched non stop before Christmas as it was Noah's first film obsession! He's moved on to The Grinch now.......gah!