Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The benefits of exercise in pregnancy by Fittamamma

Many women view pregnancy as a time to relax and take it easy – but whilst you might be tempted to simply sit down and put your feet up, experts (including the Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists!) agree that your should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on at least five days of the week.

‘Pregnancy is a great time for making healthy lifestyle changes that will benefit both you and your baby,’ say leading maternity activewear specialists FittaMamma. ‘If you’re suffering from pregnancy niggles such as backache, tiredness, varicose veins, swollen ankles or heartburn you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes to put on your trainers and start exercising!

Giving birth at the end of your nine-month journey is a very physical process and increasing your fitness levels can make all the difference when it comes to labour, as well as helping you to recover more quickly. Exercise will help you to avoid piling on too many pregnancy pounds and most mums who carry on exercising during their pregnancy regain their pre-baby figure much more quickly.

Around one in three women suffer from pre-natal anxiety and depression – the feel good endorphins released when you exercise will help to boost your mood. And if you’re feeling positive about yourself, you’ll have more energy for your baby too – it’s win win all round!’
Even a modest amount of exercise during pregnancy will release those feel good endorphins, lift your mood and make it easier to sleep, reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Even walking for
half an hour a day will help raise your heart beat.But if you’re anxious about what’s safe to do and what you should be aware of, FittaMamma have prepared these simple guidelines for safe exercise in pregnancy:

Before you start

  • Listen to your body – if your workout feels too intense slow down or stop. Don’t overdo it, if you haven’t trained before build up slowly, maybe 15-20 minutes a day to begin with.
  • Pregnancy isn’t a good time to start playing tennis or join a netball team – but that doesn’t mean you can’t take up swimming, walking or join a yoga class
  • Remember to stay hydrated – keep a water bottle handy
  • Stay cool! Pregnant women can overheat quite easily so exercise outdoors if possible and wear moisture-wicking clothes
  • Carry on talking! It’s not a good idea to exercise beyond the level where you’re too tired to speak.
  • Dress comfortably. Stretchy well-fitting exercise clothes that support your bump and boobs- such as the FittaMamma range - are ideal 
  • Avoid exercises that involve you lying on your front after the first trimester and avoid lying on your back after 12 weeks
  • Stay fuelled – don’t exercise on an empty stomach and keep a few energy snacks handy - a banana, dried fruit or nuts are ideal
  • Ask your doctor or midwife before you start any regular exercise routines or if you have any concerns
  • Make sure you warm up and cool down
For more information about the FittaMamma range of supportive maternity wear, safe exercise during pregnancy, exercises for each trimester, recipes and nutrition in pregnancy visit the website.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Review: Giddy bowl- the non- spill bowl

Let me start off with a question- if someone offered you a bowl which a child could hold and no mess occur, would you think I am going mad? Thanks to Alex from Lamb and bear I found the one!

May I present to you- Giddy bowl by Gr8 Solution (£9.99).

At Gr8 Solution we’re passionate about bringing you those little innovations that make life great – the ideas we all wish we’d thought of that add a dash of style, creativity and above all convenience to your day-to-day life, your holidays and your leisure.

Giddy bowl- is a non- spill bowl and comes in two different colours- blue& green and pink& yellow. Regardless of the bowl position, the inner bowl spins 360°C in unison to the outer bowl, ensuring a closed bowl.
As L is a bit of a messy child I wasn't sure if I should allow her to hold the bowl with food or snacks as then I would have to clean the mess (lazy me), but as now I have the giddy bowl I thought that I should give it a go.

I must say prior to giving the bowl to L I have tested it myself, as you can imagine it didn't pass my test. Later on I have read the note included in the box which explain that it is not meant to be tested by adults and is a non- spill bowl indeed if used by a child.

As little L is crawling everywhere she tends to drag her toys with her and now as she has giddy bowl I allow her not just to play with it but test it as much as she wants to, so far she threw it on the floor whilst sitting in a highchair and as you can imagine snack that was inside the giddy bowl at that time was still inside the bowl regardless of it being upside down numerous of times.

The Giddy Bowl has some good features:
  • it can be used as a colander (great for getting rid of excess water/liquid) 
  • the bowl is portable as comes with a lid so can be taken with you on a aeroplane/in the car
  • the bowl also has a handle around it which makes it easier to hold with little hands
  • dishwasher safe
  • made with food- safe plastic
I personally think that it is a great, handy product and a great addition to your baby's/child's crockery set.

If you are intrigued, you can purchase Giddy bowl here.

Disclaimer: I was sent the above item for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Friday, 24 April 2015

What Little L wore- George Clothing at Asda

A trip down a memory lane here..L was couple of months old when I took this picture. Another outfit gifted on my baby shower and it looked super cute and girly, but unfortunately I'm not a big fan of fleece baby clothes, as I'm constantly worried that L might be over-heated in them. 

Would you buy fleece onesie for your little one?

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Stretchmarks in pregnancy

Stretch marks are common during the later stages of pregnancy, affecting up to 80% of pregnant women. Whether or not you will get stretch marks depends on your skin type and how elastic it is.
During pregnancy, your body produces hormones that soften the ligaments in your pelvis so that they are more flexible when you give birth. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect joints. However, the hormones also soften the fibres in your skin, making you prone to stretch marks.
As your baby grows, you may develop stretch marks on your abdomen (tummy) as your skin stretches. You may also develop stretch marks on your thighs and breasts as they get bigger.

After childbirth, most stretch marks will fade and become less noticeable, but they do not always disappear completely.

I don't really have many stretchmarks which were cause by pregnancy most of them are coming from my early teens.

I know most of you may think that it's not really important if you have them or not the most important thing is that you are/were carrying the most precious things-your child, but for me it is important. I'm always "worried" if I look good (not like I'm a beauty obsessed person) I just want to like myself and know that regardless of "I love you the way you are" or "you should love yourself" deep down I always want to be better, to look better. So since I got pregnant I have started applying Bio-oil and further on Cocoa butter few times a week, hoping that it will work it's magic.

I'm sure I was just lucky to have a small- ish bump and not many stretchmarks, the ones I had were mainly underneath my bump and once I gave birth they started to fade away.

Are you proud or ashamed of your stretchmarks? And what did you do to prevent them?

Monday, 20 April 2015

Review: Dolled Up synthetic full head clip in hair extensions & giveaway #8

Prior to having L I liked experimenting with my hair, I tried everything from red to black and only when got pregnant decided to dye my hair with henna as I didn't want to ruin them any further and wanted to nourish and protect them from sun and dust. 

But recently I decided that want something different- new colour, new style. As you may know you can't dye your hair over henna as it leaves a residue on the hair and when mixed with normal hair dyes causes a chemical reaction and heats up so much that one can get a serious burns. So I had to grow my hair first and trim henna end from time to time. It is a long process and I wanted an instant change, thankfully I came across Dolled Up.

Dolled Up first started when a couple of Glasgow girls decided to get hair extensions for themselves at the best cost and for the best quality. We are now based in Romford (Kent) but we have customers all over the UK. Our aim is to help you look your best, whether it's for a special occasion or for an "every day look", without breaking the bank. We are really proud of the quality of our products too - once you've tried them we don't think you'll want to go anywhere else to shop for hair extensions.

I have picked synthetic full head clip in hair extensions in dark brown & caramel worth £23.99. The clip in extensions are heat resistant up to 160 which means they can be straightened fairly easily, although they don't hold a curl at that temperature. They are available in range of colours including blonde, red, brown, black and even some two-tone colours. See the full range of colours. The hair extensions "sit" nicely in a net which holds their shape and each clip attached to the weft has a little comb.
I have previously tried synthetic clip ins prior to reviewing Dolled Up ones but didn't get on with them very well as I needed to curl my hair for the wedding, but I am really happy with the colour and the amount of wefts I've got in the pack.
These pack of hair extensions contain:
2x 1" Weft, 1 Clip
1x 3" Weft, 2 Clips
2x 4" Weft, 2 Clips
2x 6" Weft 3 Clips
1x 7" Weft 4 Clips

What I like about clip in hair extensions- they are affordable and very easy to use- simply section your hair and clip in each weft piece at a time to blend it with your own hair and if you have changed your mind about the length you can always cut few wefts to match your hair style. 

The only minor downside- even thought they are more affordable than human hair extensions, but the shelf life will be shorter. It doesn't bother me very much because I store them in the original packaging and only use for special occasions. 

I am very delighted to offer one of my readers the opportunity to win half head wig in caramel/chestnut brown worth £22.99, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below  (the competition will start tomorrow 21 April 12am and ends on 5 May 12am): 

a Rafflecopter giveaway   

Disclaimer: I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The dangers of carbon monoxide in the family home & giveaway #7

Until it happens to us we don't tend to take things seriously, that was the case for me when my husband left the gas on for 30 minutes. I was in my 3rd trimester and as it was a nice summer evening we decided to go for a quick stroll after dinner. When we came home neither of us noticed the smell until I couldn't get comfortable because of a weird smell in the house. I sniffed myself and my blanket, but the smell wasn't coming from any of the things. And few minutes before my husband wanted to put something on a hob I decided to check the kitchen to see if it's gas I can smell and that was it!

Instinctively I switched the hob off, opened all windows to ventilate the house and had to go out until it was safe to come in. Who knows what could have happened if I didn't act quickly..

Another example of carbon monoxide dangers- my father-in-law has smell and taste disorder and on one occasion I have noticed that their cooker was left on, which is a potential danger and gas engineer also pointed out that he can smell carbon monoxide from their chimney and advised not to use it. 

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas and, as such, it is very difficult to detect and can easily be inhaled without you realising. Being exposed to high concentration levels can be fatal or cause several other long-term health problems such as brain damage. According to NHS statistics, every year in the UK, over 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, and around 40 people die.

There are several warning signs in your home that could mean you have a carbon monoxide issue. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • The flame on your cooker should be crisp and blue. Yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked
  • Dark staining around or on appliances
  • Sooty marks on the walls around boilers, stoves or the cover of gas fires
  • Pilot lights that frequently go out
  • Increased condensation inside windows
When to call the experts

Have a functioning carbon monoxide alarm in your home as an early warning detector. If you smell gas you need to act quickly. Immediately stop using all your cooking and heating appliances, gas and electric. Make sure the room is well ventilated by opening all doors and windows. If you have access to your gas isolation valve turn it a quarter turn so the lever is at 90 degrees to the upright gas pipe. You should then ring the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 11 999.

Being aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning could save your life. Here are the main six symptoms to look out for:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
If you suspect you or anyone in your house has inhaled carbon monoxide. It is important that you get fresh air immediately; turn off the appliance and leave the house. If you think you are in danger ring the National Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 11 999. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible – visit your GP or go to the hospital as soon as possible – let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

What CORGI HomePlan can do: 
If you know you have a leak, don’t attempt to fix this yourself – Get a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances or flues to see if there is a dangerous problem. All the engineers used at CORGI HomePlan are there to ensure you get the highest possible quality service and your home is kept completely safe. They will perform a thorough service on your boiler and gas supply, including several tests and checks to ensure that the appliance is operating safely.

I am very delighted to offer one of my readers the opportunity to win the carbon monoxide detector worth £30, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below  (the competition starts on 17 April 12am and ends on 1 May 12am): 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Creative Fun With Finger Foods

I don't think that little ones care much about food presentation at the beginning of their weaning journey but it is a great idea for when they grow older.

Being creative and playful with food is great for little ones growing up as they try new foods for the first time and start learning to feed themselves. The challenge for parents can be how to introduce variety and come up with new ideas to present food that will help make it fun for their little ones.

Creative fun with finger foods - helps little ones try something new and learn to feed themselves
In a new survey from Organix, mums rated the top two things to encourage a positive attitude towards food as making mealtimes fun for your child (76%) and allowing your child to play with and experiment with their food (75%).

Finger foods are a great way of offering variety to your child, as they provide a whole new world of exciting tastes, textures, shapes and colours to your baby, in foods that are easy for them to grab and get hold of so they feel more in control of their choices.

Playing with finger foods helps little ones learn

Mixing up textures, shapes and colours and encouraging little ones to play and experiment with food helps them gather sensory information and learn how to accept new foods.

From chewy pasta, to crispy rice cakes, melt in the mouth corn puffs, crumbly baby biscuits and squishy strawberries, you can offer lots of texture choices to help develop your baby's curiosity about food and build their confidence and enjoyment.

Unlike in the old days when parents told their little ones off for playing with their food, modern mums see the positive benefits of encouraging little ones to play with their food and have fun:
86% feel it's important for babies to handle and play with new foods before they taste it.
93% feel it's important to let a baby play with and experiment with food.
93% recognise that the first year of a baby's life is about fun - playing with food and developing skills.

Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix , says, “The introduction of finger foods can help to develop a little one's sense of independence, and parents can encourage a positive attitude to food by making mealtimes fun for their child and allowing them to play with and experiment with their food.”

Frankie explains that as well as encouraging self-feeding, independence and autonomy,finger foods come with lots of other benefits for little ones, like developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, and improving dexterity.

The variety of colours, shapes and sizes of finger foods also gives little ones a range of sensory experiences. Psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin says, “This is important asbabies learn through their senses in the first two years of life. So when you introduce a new food to your child, by giving them an opportunity to touch it, squish it and rub it between their hands, you are allowing them to use all of the resources they have to learn about that food.”

Fun finger food plates –getting creative to help little ones explore food

Why not add some fun with a creative finger food plate, you can mix up purees with finger food so your baby has a choice of tastes, textures and shapes to explore. Don't worry you don't have to have an art degree just a little imagination and a little help from Organix!

Try these fun ideas: trees made with Organix carrot sticks as the trunk, vegetable florets for the branches, an Organix sweetcorn ring for the sun and mashed avocado for the grass; a caterpillar made with Organix carrot & tomato rice cakes and pieces of salad and vegetables; or an Organix baby biscuit bird, with banana wings, flying over a blueberry sea. And you could always make up a rhyme or song to sing along with each creation to make it more fun.

For lots more advice on finger foods and recipes please visit Organix. As your little one grows you'll find inspiration for different finger foods in the Organix Little Book of Weaning – you can sign up to download your free copy at here.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Review: Minbie bottle and teats

For some (my husband is one of them) bottle feeding associated with formula and valuable bonding between father and a child. I beg a differ,  I'm not saying it is incorrect or I don't believe in this, I think that regardless of the feeding method a father can always bond with a child if he has a desire to do so. I am a breastfeeding mother and I am convinced it is the best feeding method for my little one, but it seems that my husband is left behind. I here you ask "Why?". Well, our lovely bundle of joy refuses to take a bottle. 

To be truly honest with you I hate expressing, I will never forget how my new Dutch electric pump refused to work when we brought L home meaning I was forced to hand express. It was convenient at that time for us as I wasn't really comfortable with breastfeeding on public and we decided that it would be best if I have a bottle of expressed milk with us. First few weeks L didn't mind a bottle, I had tried few brands, in one of them my milk suddenly became curdled, second one had a fast flow even though it said it wouldn't and my baby was choking whilst drinking and the third one was just fine, until L decided that she doesn't like it. In total I think we tried 5 different brand none of them worked L refused any bottle given to her and only accepted my breasts. 
Whilst I hate expressing I would love if my husband can get involved with feeding as well. He can help me out a little bit when I give her solids but it seems that he needed that early days/weeks bonding. When I came across Minbie I thought that it could be a new start, they can finally have their moment together and even if I hate expressing I can do it for them both. It took me a while to convince my hubby to try bottle feeding again but we are slowly getting there.

Minbie’s bottle teats promote the all-important instinctive breastfeeding technique, so if you switch between breast and bottle, your baby’s natural breastfeeding technique can remain undamaged. Minbie teat designed to support your newborn’s instinctive breastfeeding technique. This means that when newborns feed from Minbie they practice the instinctive latch and feeding-action for nurturing breastfeeding. This is a significant breakthrough in matching breast and bottle-feeding techniques and preventing feeding-confusion.

Minbie features:
  • Supports your baby's instinctive feeding technique
  • Nurtures instinctive latch and breastfeeding action
  • Helps release natural digestive enzymes
  • Supports mother-baby bonding
  • Air-vent adjusts to your baby's feed rate
  • BPA-free biocompatible soft-silicone teats

As L was born not knowing how to latch properly and I have seen lots of other mums struggling with exactly the same problem I'm not sure how Minbie can work it's magic for newborns but the website states "allows to bottle feed with the instinctive breastfeeding technique that they are born with because why shouldn't they be able to feed intuitively with the technique that is developmentally right for them".

I have received a Minbie plastic bottle and a set of teats for 3+ months. 

You will be very surprised to know that Minbie bottles (120 ml, glass bottle or plastic bottle 180 ml, £4.65) which are 120ml are made of glass, which is not very common in the UK.  
The bottle comes with the silicone seal for storing in a fridge and looks like a normal bottle but with only blue rim.

The Minbie teat (prem, 0+, 3+ £9.83) is made of a silicone and is compatible with standard wide-neck baby bottles, but to avoid disappointment it is recommended to use both products together. The pack comes with the storage pot which can be used as a bottle lid.

I am not a bottle pro and I am happy to receive and use what we have but thinking about other mums it would be great if Minbie had a bigger variety of sizes.

L is still a little bit fussy with the Minbie bottles but she takes them every other time which is already a small progress. I have also noticed that she has to work at the feed which she used to do with the bottle she preferred when was smaller.

Needs improvement:
- the lid is not closing properly (doesn't click), which means it can be easily removed, lost in a bag or when in a cup holder
- it would be nice to see additional products- anti-slip holder for a glass bottle and anti-colic bottles
- variety of bottle colours suitable for both genders

Disclaimer: I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Little L's favourite outfit- Next

Another cute little outfit from Next. I've seen lots of other mums buying cute, funky leggings for they boys and girl but never thought about purchasing one myself. But when I saw the picture with the set above I fell in love. It looks incredibly cute and the leggings make the look trendy and funky!

The top costs only £6 and leggings come in a set of 2 (pink ones from my previous outfit post) £6.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Steps to giving your childs' feet the best start

My darling L is a little crawler and investigator now most of all she likes the broom and brush corner, TV unit and pulling herself whilst holding on my laptop or medium size boxes. I'm not sure she is ready to walk yet but when she does I would love to buy her very own well fitted first walking shoes. I am convinced it is a very important factor as a flat foot owner (confirmed by a podiatrist) I was told that due to wearing incorrectly fitted shoes and generally not carrying much about my feet in the future I most likely will have severe problems with my knees. Knowing that I want to make sure that L doesn't follow my route.

I have started looking at different brands and websites but as I don't know what I'm looking for I decided to wait until L needs her feet measured. But luckily I came across Start- rite shoes Healthy Little Feet.

Healthy little feet website is an information hub’ that’s dedicated to providing parents with information and advice on well fitting footwear to help keep children’s feet happy and healthy for life.

It’s essential that children wear the right shoes as their feet develop and they become more mobile to avoid future foot problems caused by wearing poorly fitting footwear.

Leading Biomechanics Coach and Chartered Physiotherapist, Martin Haines has teamed up with Start-rite Shoes and Healthy Little Feet to raise awareness of how poorly fitted footwear can affect children’s overall development and impact on their adult health. In the video below Martin gives his expert advice on the importance of movement to child development, precious first steps and the milestones to look out for to ensure your children have a healthy happy future.


Foot problems can occur for two key reasons: 

1. Inactive children are more likely to have weak muscles in their feet, less coordination and poorer balance. This can lead to alteration of the foot shape, flatter feet and consequently the risk is higher for injuries when they get older.

2. Ill-fitting shoes or shoes that do not suit a child’s feet. Ill-fitting shoes can cause a child’s foot to become misshapen, altering how it can function mechanically.

A common foot problem that can be caused by incorrect shoes is over pronation (flat footed). If the heels on the shoes are too high for the foot type, it can cause (among other things) the calf muscles to become stiff. This can then cause the foot to flatten too much (or pronate). This means that the whole foot and the shinbone actually turn inwards too far, which puts more pressure on the leg. Specifically this can cause shin splints, knee ligament injuries, Iliotibial band syndrome and hip muscle injuries.

A stiff big toe joint is a common cause of sports injury and using rigid shoes when younger, which prevent the big toe joint from moving freely can cause it to become stiff over time. This means unaccustomed pressure going through the knee and hips, which over time and continued use, can cause injury. Typically this can cause Achilles tendinitis, Patella tendinitis, hamstring injury, hip and low back pain.

Three easy steps to giving your child’s feet the best start:
1. Encourage your child to take mini adventures and spend time active playing to develop their natural movement instincts.

The body’s physical development is based around movement. Movement strengthens muscles, it both loosens and stabilizes joints, and it enables coordination of sometimes quite complex physical tasks. Movement also helps with balance. Balance is helped by a number of systems, one of which is a system of strain gauges within every joint, ligament and muscle. These strain gauges are known as Proprioceptors, which are little cells that when stimulated by movement, tell the brain about the position of the joint and pressure going through it. This system is critical for correct physical development, including strength and flexibility and the ability to run and move in a balanced and coordinated manner.

2. Always purchase the correct width size. 
There is a wide variety of foot widths between boys and girls and of different age groups. Any shoe wishing to provide the correct fit for each of these many variables, must provide different width fittings.

3. Look for flexible soles for young feet. 
A young child’s foot is flexible. This is because the muscles have not yet developed and their ligaments have not yet stabilized, and so their walking pattern is such that their weak and unstable foot is not overloaded. A shoe’s flexibility will allow the child’s foot to develop strength and balance without interference. A shoe is therefore needed to adapt to the child’s foot and so needs to be flexible. Even when the child gets older and starts to walk, while the rear part of the shoe may need to be slightly harder, the front of the shoe where the toes bend still needs to be flexible to encourage a normal walking pattern.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Day Out: Ex-sea-lent day out at the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham

Last weekend we were kindly offered the chance to visit the wonderful Sea Life Centre in Birmingham. The main reason for this was due to myself and my husband being interested in how L would react to all of the sea creatures on show.
A visit to The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham provides a fun and informative day out for all the family to enjoy. It is home to 16 displays featuring over 2,000 creatures, including sharks, a rescued Giant Green Sea Turtle, otters, jellyfish, piranha, octopus, rays and an adorable colony of waddling Gentoo penguins.

My first impressions were that the staff were very friendly and equipped us with a map (loved the way the venue was separated into different sections) and advise of the changing room location, and off we went...

First up was the Penguin Ice Adventure, I
 must admit, that as the responsible parent, I did become extremely exited about the prospect of seeing the penguins.. they were definitely not a let down!
The Antarctic landscape scenery was simply amazing and you can't help but to feel as if you have stepped right out into the South Pole. The fantastically themed Penguin Ice Adventure offers a real insight into the lives and quirky habits of these cheeky birds, whether it’s hearing the unmistakable trumpeting call as the colony communicates to one another or watching them dive in the icy water.

Once we had visited the stars of the show, we also got to have a wander around the rest of the centre.
Another new addition to the Birmingham's Sea Life Centre is the exciting Sea Stars exhibition which gives you the chance to get up close and personal with a range of starfish of different sizes and colours. 
Amy Langham, General Manager at The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, comments: “Sea stars play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our seas and with around 1,500 species of starfish spread across all oceans, from tropical to polar waters, and from shallow tidal pools to depths of 620,000ft, they are amazingly complex.
It is a really amazing display and thanks to the pop up bubbles and peek a boo holes, you really can get so close you can almost touch these amazing creatures. You can even touch a starfish at the rockpool or just look at them through the Starfish looking glass.                            
There are many talks which the staff members narrate during the tour, unfortunately the talks are only at set times and we did not encounter any of these. I am fairly sure they would be informative and allow your little ones to gain knowledge about the animals at the Sea Life Centre. 
If (like us) you did not get a chance to hear any of the talks about the animals, fear not! 
Throughout the whole tour, you encounter display boards which offer exciting facts, such as 'the starfish grows an extra leg if it loses one'!

We had few pushchair "crashes" in walkways as they are quite narrow and there is only room for one person/ pushchair or wheelchair at a time. But my mother-in-law who works in nursery said that when they went to Sea Life centre with kids they were offered to leave pushchairs on a ground floor, it would be so much easier for some of us!

We bypassed the activity room as L is too young for painting/drawing, however if you have toddlers, this is a perfect opportunity for them to get creative and bring a drawing/personalised souvenir home!

The second main attraction- the Ocean Tunnel.The easiest way to describe the tunnel is a magical and breath taking. We loved walking under the swimming fish and the huge shark and turtle floating around us. By far joint top of the best bits about the Sea Life Centre.
There are other super sections to the Sea Life Centre, such as the different fish on show (clown fish, stingrays etc.) and also a very appealing room solely on jellyfish which was very unexpected
(dark room – brightly lit tanks).

A couple of things to note:
  • Take your time going round as the centre is quite small.
  •  No cafe or designated rest area, but there are a few places to sit on the way round. A cafe would be lovely with aquariums if space allowed. Although there were vending machines spread around for you to buy a bottle of pop.
  • 4D cinema not very obvious (to find) – follow your map carefully
  • If booking tickets online (£12.50) it will cost you less than buying at the ticket office (£20.95)

Must see event: to celebrate the launch of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, visit Sea Life Birmingham between the 27th March and 19th April 2015 and take part in SPONGEBOB’S SPONGEHUNT! Help SpongeBob find his friends hidden throughout Sea Life Birmingham so that they can go on their most super-heroic adventure yet to find the missing Krabby Patty formula.

Disclamer: We were kindly offered a free press visit to the Sea Life centre for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Kids Don't Come With a Manual book giveaway #6

Whilst being pregnant I had few parenting books which I scanned through when I had time. I noted few things which I thought are important to know but didn't pay much attention to the rest as I believe that my natural instinct will tell me what I should do and what is best for my baby. 

9 months later my main concern is L's sleeping and I'm constantly on a search for a better method, someone's advice, helpful book to read. Recently I came across Kids Don't Come With a Manual book by Carole and Nadim Saad, which I thought could be the one.

Unfortunately the book is addressed to parents with older kids who have tantrums, sibling rivalry etc. but nonetheless it is very interesting to know how to tackle these challenges at some point as I'm sure due to our different parenting styles L will try to "trick" one or the other.

Just like Carole did, I'm sure I will give in to my daughter's "wants", and my husband just like Nadim was, believes that you should be strict with a child, that a child should recognise authority in a parent. I know that only cooperation and team work can lead to a happier life and happier, well-behaved child.

Parenting is an important job, yet parents receive little to no training. Since most of our experience is based on our own upbringing, we can feel uncertain as to whether we are doing the right” thing. To complicate things further, our partner is likely to have a different parenting style to ours. Drawing on their experience in early childhood education, as parent coaches, and as parents, Carole and Nadim have helped thousands of parents with their programme of practical ‘tools’ designed to empower parents

- Deal with everyday parenting challenges without confrontation or anger.
- Help children to become happy, fulfilled and self-reliant adults.
- Maintain a strong and loving connection with children throughout their lives.
- Agree on a balanced and more enjoyable approach to parenting.

It is a little bit to early for us to use the book but I will be certainly reading the book when I think the time is right.

If you are interested in purchasing the book (£11.42, RRP £12.99) please visit Amazon.

Alternatively, I am very delighted to offer one of my readers the opportunity to win the book, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below which will be active as of tomorrow (4 April and ends on 17 April 12am): 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Little L is 9 months

My little girl is the whole 9 months old! Last month was full of new milestones and I couldn't be happier for L being such a good girl and so mature in a way.

L is still under 7 kg, but has breast milk throughout the day as well as 3 meals. 
I have previously mentioned that she tried to "sing" with daddy, she keeps doing it from time to time as well as wiggles which I think is a way of dancing if she recognises the song.

Most of the month L struggled with teething and our routine is all messed up, but I try to be led by L and just follow the signs. Little L now has 4 teeth (2 top and 2 bottom) and since yesterday another set of top 2 teeth are coming through. I feel so sorry for her couple of days ago she was in so much pain that couldn't sleep during the day or night, thankfully paracetamol kicked in and after a very long day she fell asleep.

My little munchkin has finally started to crawl! I thought that she will be like mummy and will walk and not crawl, even though it looks a little bit clumsy sometimes as if she is dragging her own legs but she is very into crawling now! And not only that, she is standing and according to in-laws tried to do few steps! 

I am so happy to have her in my life and seeing her grow and develop!