Friday, 29 April 2016

Review: Solusnore lozenges

I remember when I was a teenager I found snoring adults entertaining, few years later I was told that I snore myself. Like any humiliated person I denied it, "what I can't hear can't be truth" I said to myself. Now I'm not ashamed to say that I do snore, because there is nothing wrong with it, there is always a reason why it happens, for me it's me being overweight, when I have a cold and my childhood nose trauma. Even though it's not a serious issue in our household but my husband opted to sleep in a separate room on many occasions.

One day my husband had enough and offered me to see a GP, who prescribed a nose spray. I can't say that it helped, and as I got pregnant I stopped using it. But then I found out that I'm not the only snorer in our family... I didn't really insist on my husband taking any anti-snoring medications but when Soluznore (£9.95 for 15 lozenges) got in touch I thought it's the right moment to try something out.  

"As many as one in four of us in the UK is prone to snoring, which can be very disruptive for both snorer and their partner, and often lead to excessive tiredness, poor concentration and even relationship problems.

As part of the ‘Great British Snoring Survey’ it was said that 48% of partners are obliged to sleep in separate rooms to get a good night’s sleep".

We have received 1 pack of Solusnore lozenges just in time for  National Stop Snoring Week.

Solusnore lozenges' ingredients include vitamins E and B5, mint oil, aloe vera and pectin. 

"Solusnore lozenges are specially formulated to gradually impregnate the flexible tissue in the throat to help prevent snoring. A number of factors can contribute to the slackening of these tissues including age and alcohol and tobacco consumption".

I was a little bit confused by French packaging but eventually we worked out that you need to take 1 tablet an hour before bedtime. It was also recommended to suck the lozenge in a lying position as this will allow to lubricate the soft tissue of the throat easily, but as we have never gone to bed an hour before it was a little bit hard to follow.

According to my husband Solusnore lozenge has a very strong mint flavour similar to anti-acid tablets and takes 10-15 minutes to dissolve.  
My husband has tried these tablets for couple of days and I have noticed a slight improvement. I can't say if it worked the whole night (it guarantees to work up to 8 hours) as I fell asleep but the difference is there- his snoring from quieter changes to no snoring at all (from what I can tell). 

Hopefully one day when I will decide to stop breastfeeding I can try Solusnore as well.

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

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Story, Song and Rhyme at local Library

Every Wednesday our local library holds a free half an hour class for toddlers up to 3 years old. We have missed every infant session but as L gets older and the days are nicer (ish) I decided that it's time to have a look what's the fuss is all about.

Prior to the session we went for an investigation first so that on the day of the class I don't have to rush around trying to find where to go and generally knowing where to go, what to do makes me more comfortable and calmer.

The very first session we visited last week, I was surprised how many kids there were. L was very excited and was chatting to every single kids she saw. During the session I have noticed that L got closer to the older girl who had Barbie and Ken, but she didn't fight for toys, quite opposite it was a very friendly sharing, she would take the toys and then give them back, if she saw a random toy lying on the floor she would pick it up and give to a child.

This week everything was slightly different, there were less kids, library staff were a little bit passive and didn't entertain kids like the other 2 staff members did last week and L was different-tired or not interested. 
Entertainment wise library staff read a story or two in a pop up book, sing nursery rhymes with kids throughout the session, offer a selection of musical instruments for kids to play with whilst singing "Duke of York" and of course the best part bubbles at the end of each class. It seems like not a lot, but it keeps little one busy for 30 minutes and it free! 

Hoping next session would be more exciting!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Review: Chad Valley Pink Tea Party Set

This lovely Chad Valley tea set (£8.99) I have purchased on 3 for 2 offer few months before Christmas. Back then at 18 months old L wasn't really ready for imaginative play but few months later we have started to notice an interest in the set.

In the exciting world of Chad Valley there are 6 categories of
toys to choose from. With everything from infant & pre-school toys, to outdoor activities & games for boys and girls up to the
age of 7. 

This plastic tea set comprises:
- a teapot 
- 2 cups with small plates
- 2 deserts with plates
- sugar bowl
- milk jug

I don't normally read descriptions on the box therefore it took me couple of days to realise that it's not just any plastic wiggly- eyed tea party set it's also musical! The teapot requires 2 AA batteries (which are not included in the set), will make pouring sounds if tilted and if you press a heart-shaped button at the bottom it will play music!

The only negative I could find- once the teapot is on a side it won't stop making pouring noise so you would have to put it upright for it to stop. I would also add some spoons to it, to make it more realistic, but it's not essential, I have found 2 small purple spoons from chocolate eggs, which makes the set complete. 

I like how L discovered all by herself that the set can be used for pretend play and will feed herself, me or her dolls and teddies with a slice of cake or pour a drink or two. I can envisage lots hours, days, months of play with this cute tea set, maybe one day we will take it with us for a real picnic! 

Chad Valley tea set is very durable and just perfect for little hands. It has been in many places around the house, cleaned, left in the water and still looks like new! 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Hardcover book "My Underpants RULE!" giveaway

This Friday I have an exciting giveaway for a book called "My Underpants RULE!" (hardback £12.99, softback book £9.99 and suitable for ages 3 to 8+) which will be launched in the UK shortly. This is something very close to my heart, I have read so many articles and stories about innocent babies and kids suffering from adults who don't know what boundaries are. 

"Once upon a time there was a fearless policewoman called Kate, who saw some horrible things when she was on duty. They involved children being hurt and abused in terrible ways, and Kate would help catch the people who did this.

Kate met a handsome prince and soon had children of her own. She was very happy and did a great job of looking after them because she knew who the bad people were, and how to keep her children safe. In fact, she was so good that many people would come to her for advice. But then some things happened that made her realise she still didn’t know it all.

The first involved the dad of a player in a sports team Kate’s young son was in. Kate would say, “He’s a really great guy and fantastic with the kids”. Unfortunately, she found out that despite her experience, she could not really tell who the bad people are and they are everywhere (fortunately her son was safe).

Then shortly afterwards, an incident occurred in Kate’s neighbourhood involving a 6 year-old girl and a friend she had brought home from school. The friend had played in ways she shouldn’t. It turned out bad things had been happening in the friend’s home, so she thought her behaviour was normal. Kate realised there are lots of different degrees of things to protect her children against, and that danger lurks where you least expect it.

Kate decided the best way to help her children was for them to be able to help themselves. So she went on a quest to find materials she could use to teach them. The problem was, she didn’t want to scare her children and wanted to make their learning fun. She also didn’t want the teaching aids to be too explicit. She searched and searched, but nothing quite hit the mark.

Now, Kate knew that Prince Rod was good at structuring learning and writing ridiculous rhyme, while she was good at whimsical drawing. So they started working together to create something that would help all the children of the land. They combined their experience, added a touch of irreverence, an abiding sense of purpose, and mixed it all with love. 

And that’s how our Underpants came to RULE!"

I have one hardback book to give away to one lucky family. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 10 May 12am):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Battle with the weight: update 1

Few weeks ago I have started my new battle with the weight, I wanted to feel me again, to be ready for spring/summer season without the need to cover my bits with over-stretched/over-sized clothes, to feel wanted and attractive.

If previously I new what I want but couldn't manage on my own, this time my will to be fitter is stronger, I know what I want, I know what I need to do to stop being fat! Yes I said it,  I don't want to be fat! I want to look into my reflection in the mirror with clothes or without and to like what I see. 

I have completely stopped eating sweets, bread, instead of having a massive plate of food for dinner I have a half of what I would normally have. I will eat as usual but try to divide the meals and eat them the next day (chilli con carne, pulled pork, fish and potatoes, cous cous with bolognese, chicken curry). Every day apart from weekends and when I need to wash L I run on my treadmill for 25 minutes on average (2.3km) and try to do some exercises aimed at reducing fat on my arms, legs and mainly sides/love handles.

It may sound so easy but if you haven't done exercises for a while in my case I didn't run/walk on a treadmill for a year or so it was a bit of a shock to the system. But as I'm determined to lose weight I try to make it more fun/enjoyable by listening to upbeat/modern tunes on the radio, it does help a lot. As someone has advised me I try to combine walking and running throughout the allocated time I have and if one day I pushed myself harder I do tend to feel better about myself. 
Having said that I felt a little bit down at the beginning of the week, I feel guilty for not running over the weekend (even though we walk a lot with L), I feel slightly demotivated as I've weighed myself and didn't see any progress. 

I do feel and look different, which I enjoy a lot! I feel lighter, I can see my legs getting slimmer! 

I may introduce more exercises into my routine and do- one day running, one day exercising, hopefully that way I will see more changes! 

How are you getting on with your losing weight battle?

Monday, 18 April 2016

Days Out: Yu Kids Adventure Soft Play Attraction at Quest, intu Merry Hill

For those of you that have no idea what Quest is (initially I was the same), it is a fun packed adventure play area right at the far end of Merry Hill (nicely tucked away from the main shopping area).

"With six unique attractions to choose from there is something for all ages at Quest. Yu Kids is where it's at for under 6's, plus an extra special play space for under 2's. Junior adventurers can try Sky Tykes, a low ropes course made especially for little dare devils. For those 6 and over we have a whole heap of action and adventure. Dare you conquer Altitude, Europe's highest indoor ropes course? Or experience the thrill of one of our Nerf Blaster attractions".

Quests play area consists of several zones: main adventure area, under 2's soft play area, a rope climbing area (which is above ground) and a fun blaster/game area.

As we were visiting with L, we could only really experience the soft play areas (as there was also a height restriction for the other areas). Entry for the zone we have visited costs £4.50 during weekend and school holiday and £3.50 weekday term time).

The main play area had a reception desk (and food/drink stand), where you will be greeted by some great attentive staff members, who explained the basics to us (no shoes, supervise your child etc.).
There was also seating for the tired adults (which I guarantee you will be) and shelving to store your shoes.

Once we were in the Yu Kids zone L decided to go for a bouncy balloon experience first. Imagine soft steps leading you up to a bouncy castle, with loads of balloons and four fans blowing the balloons into a fun blinding frenzy.. well that is exactly what L experienced, and she absolutely loved it (you could tell from the excitable noises she was making, that she was enjoying running 
wild in there).                           
As you can imagine, we revisited the balloon area several times with L and it was evident that this was her favourite area.             
The second area was on the ground level with a colourful display of spinning and twirling obstacles (I think that is the best way to describe the climbing bits). There was a very colourful 360 spinning tube/hamster wheel which you put your child in and imagine they are in a washing machine (not literally), but it is the best way to describe it! L seemed to think it was funny and was a a bit like a trapped mouse stopping itself from falling over. Quite amusing from my perspective as well.. a good way to test your child's stability/co-ordination.

Onwards we go to what was my favourite area (and I couldn't even have a go!) a massive bouncy slide.

Initially L remained at the top and did not venture towards to edge (to slide down). I am actually rather happy she was cautious as it shows L likes to think about things before chucking herself down the edge of the slide. However, she did it on the second attempt after requesting to be taken out.. very proud parent! And as with every child, she went crazy after that, wanting to go again and again.

There was also a small slide, which was see through with water flowing inside. Very cool looking slide, my only issue with this slide was that the slide surface seemed hard and the slightest slip/fall (which can happen), may have caused a hefty bump. 

A bouncy water floor area which similar to the slide, had a see through base with water. 

The sides of the floor had different lights, which illuminated the water/floor and made it look quite majestic and fun for L. A very nice sensory touch to the bouncy water floor (that's what I am calling this area).

The under 2's soft play area was another zone of the Yu Kids attraction we have visited. One could say more suited to L (due to her current age), but strangely she did seem more keen to run back to the main play area.

We were able to maintain L's attention for long enough to allow her to enjoy elements of the under 2's area.
The only area which L ventured into was the traditional ball pool area, which needs no introduction. A natural addition to any soft play area, and L knows exactly what to expect from the ball pool. From my perspective it is usually a case of rescuing L from sinking within the ball pool and stopping her running off with all the balls.

I did see some people walking above on the ropes (you need the be a certain height and have the equipment), it did seem quite fun and each person participating looked to be having fun, but it wasn't to be this time around.

On a side note, we saw the Quest staff interact with children (on numerous occasions), which made the experience much more enjoyable (it is the attention to detail which makes a place great).

What a fun, enjoyable, tiresome but truly memorable play experience for L!

Disclaimer: I were provided with a free entry for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Style ‘N’ Swap with Mini Lalaloopsy™ doll giveaway

This spring, you can switch up the style of your favourite Mini Lalaloopsys™ with the brand new Style ‘N’ Swap range. Collect the whole range to Style ‘N’ Swap across your favourite characters and create new and exciting looks for the Mini Lalaloopsys™ over and over again.

Today I am happy to offer one of you the chance to win Style ‘N’ Swap with Mini Lalaloopsy™ doll, scroll down to complete Rafflecopter widget.
All of your favourite characters- including Crumbs Sugar CookieTM, Mittens Fluff ‘N’ StuffTM, Peanut Big TopTM and Spot Splatter Splash- come in their own new Style ‘N’ Swap Assortment packs (£9.99). 

Each set comes with one doll and over 10 removable pieces so you can change wigs, clothes and shoes for creative customisation and endless mix and match fun.

Each Style ‘N’ Swap Mini Lalaloopsy™ doll also comes with an adorable pet and fun accessory that fits their personality.
  • Crumbs Sugar Cookie™ has been baking all day!  Now, it’s time to switch up her outfit in time for the tea party.  Which dress will be the perfect ingredient for fun?
  • Mittens Fluff 'N' Stuff™ is going ice skating- the perfect reason to get dressed up in warm clothes!  Sledging, skating or snowball fighting- it’s all great sweater weather fun! 
  • Peanut Big Top™ is preparing for her next big show.  When picking the perfect costume there is one must have- sleeves to hide tricks in!  Ta-da!
  • Spot Splatter Splash™ was getting ready for bed when inspiration hit!  Now her pyjamas are a work of art, too - no time to change when creativity takes charge.
Mini LalaloopsyTM Style ‘N’ Swap is suitable for ages 4 to 104! 
Available from all good toy retailers.

To win Style ‘N’ Swap with Mini Lalaloopsy™ doll all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 1 May 12am):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Work vs staying at home

At the beginning of the week I was headhunted by a big company for a full time position and since then I couldn't sleep properly. I have considered going back to work but when I feel ready, when L is ready and starts going to the nursery for part-time. 

I'm absolutely dreading the idea of working full time and seeing L only for dinner and sleeping time. I know some parents have to do it, but because it's too soon for us it might be a bit of a stressful time for L and I. 

It is an incredible opportunity to work for a big company but I'm not sure it's the one for me. Not that I have no ambitions, I do and I would love to become someone in this life even though it might be too late at 30, but I have realised that L comes first. 

What would you do?

Monday, 11 April 2016

Geronimo Festival tickets giveaway

"It doesn’t matter if you’re two or 12, there is something for everyone at Geronimo Festival. Whether your kids are adrenaline junkies or craft-mad, animal enthusiasts or music lovers, the North’s biggest family festival boasts a jam-packed line up of live 
shows and amazing experiences for the whole family to enjoy.

Back on the festival scene for a second year in 2016, Geronimo is returning to Tatton Park over the weekend of 29th- 30th May and debuting at Harewood House from 1st- 2nd May.

 For the pre- schoolers:
For anyone 3ft and under, there is a great line-up of experiences tailored for the little ones including: The Tumble Tots Play area, Baby Ballet, Baby Massage, Soft Play, Baby Yoga, Little Tiddlers Soft Play and Moo Music.

Combined with live stage shows from TV favourites including: Justin Fletcher*, Mr Bloom, Cook & Line from Swashbuckle, Andy Day and Alex Winters, Geronimites will be enthralled and entertained all day.

For 5-12 year olds:
A firm favourite at last year’s Geronimo festival, the Adrenaline Zone is a sure-fire hit for boys and girls who like a thrill. Featuring fencing, archery, zip lines, Mad Drop, Monkey Do, Parkour and Slack Lining.

The Live Circus Shows in the Geronimo Festival Circus Tent include live shows from Circus Fudge, with Circus Skills Workshops for budding performers. Visit the Aerial Trapeze show if you have a head for heights!

Geronimo’s theatre shows will engage and entertain with shows from Les Enfants Terrible, The Town Band of Bremen, Jedi Training, Pocket Story Theatre Company and John Campbell.

The Geronimo Arena is a must-see for all ages including: Falconry, jousting, motorcycle display teams, mountain bike show, sheep dog show, geese display and Cheshire dogs display team- all hosted by Dam Simpson from Fun Kids!

Geronimo is aimed at families with children aged between 2 and 12 years old.  Tickets are priced at £25.00 p.p. for a one- day ticket with under 2’s going free. Visit for more information".

I have one family pass (up to four people) to give away to one lucky family. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 25 April 12am):

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Good luck!

T&C’s: The competition closes on 25 April 2016. We have one family pass giveaway. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket). The winning family can attend either on May 2nd (Harewood House) or April 30th (Tatton Park). The date must be specified at time of confirming the prize. Travel and accommodation are not included. The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival. The prize includes all events and activities at Geronimo but not food and drink from any stalls or bar. Winner chosen at random.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Dork Diaries: Drama Queen books giveaway

We have previously reviewed Dork Diaries series which was a great fun to read with L before bed time. I know it's not an age appropriate book but as I don't have time to read books I like it was a great alternative.

On 24th March Simon & Schuster Children's UK published new Dork Diaries series book called "Drama Queen" (£6 at Amazon). 

"TOTAL DISASTER!!! Mean girl MacKenzie has stolen Nikki’s diary! What if she tells everyone Nikki’s totally secret thoughts?!

But reading Nikki’s diary isn’t the only thing MacKenzie’s interested in. Get ready for Dork Diaries with a twist as MacKenzie takes over and tells all about her GLAMFABULOUS life! What does the queen bee really think about Nikki and her dorky friends?"

Does this sound interesting? If so, I am delighted to offer the opportunity to win a copy of Dork Diaries: Drama Queen book to 5 lucky readers, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 22 April 12am):
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Is it time to start potty training?!

I was contemplating nappy training since L was about 10 months old, but not because she was ready. My mum potty trained me at that age and this seems to be a norm for Russian mums. We have tried holding L over the basin with the water on, but I don't think that both of us were ready for it.

Close to L's 1st birthday I took a potty out so that L could get used it and feel comfortable sitting on it. She would sit on a potty and play with toys whilst we are in the bathroom, take it do a different room as if it's a toy. Apart from introducing potty, we have also started to use usual disposable nappies with pull ups so that it's easier for L to put them down. What I didn't take into consideration is baby grows which L still uses on a daily basis, I think I would have to leave them for night time.

It seems like a good start but I didn't really know what to do next. When I turned to social media I have noticed that some mums with little ones of the similar age are practicing potty training as well. As I wasn't alone I knew it's should be the right time for us to continue potty training.
I don't ask L do sit on a potty every day, but once we have time and L just had a soiled nappy I would leave her on a potty, offer her a colourful leaflet or a book and imitate a weeing noise. 
Couple of weeks ago I was totally surprised when L said "wee wee" what meant that she actually did a wee in a potty! 

What a great start! In couple of months we are going to visit my mum who I hope will help me in our potty training journey and maybe we can push L to do number 2.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Dribble Stop Top giveaway

L wasn't a massive dribbler but once she was introduced to water she loved sipping and spilling it over her top, in fact she still does that occasionally. I always had dribble bibs and a new set of clothes handy but it would be so much easier if instead changing all layers of clothing I would change just the t-shirt/dress. 

If this sounds familiar to you, you have stopped in the right place, may I introduce you to The Dribble Stop Top (£13.99).

"We have made it our mission to find a solution to the many problems dribbling can bring. Something to help keep baby's chest dry and healthy, without the safety issues that wearing a bib can bring. Something discreet, tugproof and most importantly, safe - even at sleep times! A solution that would make the lives of today's busy mum just that little bit easier!

Sadly, you can’t STOP your little one from dribbling or their clothes looking wet, but you can feel good knowing that their chest stays DRY and HEALTHY throughout the day! Simply replace your baby’s regular top or vest with a Dribble Stop Top – one less thing to worry about – Priceless!

The Dribble Stop Top looks and feels like a normal baby vest, but …
- A Pocket made of Specialised Waterproof Material with Skin-Like Breathability – is hidden inside the top which completely covers and protects the Dribble Zone (chest area).                           
- Waterproof pocket hidden inside the top
- The Unique Extra High Neckline – Ensures maximum coverage.
- Our Discreet Dribble Stop Protection – Acts as a barrier & helps stop dribble soaking through to baby’s delicate skin.
- Soft Cotton Jersey – Is the only material in contact with baby’s skin ensuring they remain comfortable as well as, safe & dry

Parent friendly too

- No More Constant Clothing Changes = A lighter changing bag
-  Fewer Changes = Less washing & less ironing
- Tumble Dryable = Convenience Safe Protection = Peace of mind for those nap times & nursery days
- No more disturbed sleeps (due to cold wet chests) = more sleep for you
- Sizes 0-3ms, 3-6m, 6-12m, 12-18m, 18-24m.
- Available in packs of 2 white or 1 white & 1 stripe (pink or blue)".

I am very delighted to offer one of my readers the opportunity to win your own Dribble Stop Top in blue and pink (2 winners for each colour), all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 15 April 12am):
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!