Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Xander's First Halloween!

I'm a big fan of all holidays and Halloween is no exception!! I couldn't let the day whizz by without getting Xander involved!

I couldn't resist buying him a Halloween costume and managed to purchase this super cute skeleton costume from the Next outlet in Portsmouth for the bargain price of £4!

On Tuesday we went to visit Joanne from Frazer Alexander Photography and whilst in the studio I could resist getting a spooky shot taken of little man:

(Doesn't the black background look cool!!)

On halloween itself Xander went to his baby group all dressed up:

So did several of the other babies. I love it when everyone gets involved!

We then went off into Basingstoke with my two sisters where we had a Pizza Hut lunch listening to lots of Halloween related songs! After lunch we visit the local library which had some Halloween related activities on including Halloween cookie making. Obviously Xander was too little to do this but we enjoyed watching my ten year old sister (dressed as a zombie Snow White!) make these!!

We finished off our spooky day by opening the door to all our Trick and Treaters and handing out popping candy! I loved seeing and hearing everyones reaction to my super cute skeleton!!

Hope you had a fun Halloween! Did your children dress up? Please feel free to leave a comment below!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Xander's First Cold: My Tips and Advice.

I guess it was inevitable, with the weather the way it is and a chill in the air that Xander at some point would get a cold. What I didn't expect was for it to come on so suddenly. Literally within an hour or two Xander went from being his usual chatty, happy self to a little bunged up snot bag with a nasty cough.

The last couple of days with the little man have been tough, but he seems over the worst of it now and this is what we did to help him:

1) Calpol: it's a wonderful thing! 2.5ml every six hours seemed to take the edge of the cough.
2) Baby Vicks: we rubbed some of this on a muslin and tied it to the handle of his Moses basket to help him breathe at night.
3) We folded a small blanket and placed it under his Moses basket mattress to slightly elevate his head . This seemed to help him with his bunged up nose at night.
4) I fed him little and often. We didn't want him getting dehydrated but appreciated he didn't have his usual good appetite. I also breastfeed him more than I usually would (we combination feed 50% formula, 50% breast) I read that breastfeeding would pass on my healthy antibodies.
5) As difficult as it was I stayed in with Xander all weekend. (The one time I needed to go out I called on my sister to babysit.) We stayed in the warm, had lots of cuddles and ensured he didn't pass it on to anyone else and that he didn't catch anything additional to what he had already. Plus a couple of lazy days meant we could both have a little snooze every now and then and catch up on the sleep we'd both missed out on over night!

We must have done something right as a couple of days later he seems to be back to his usual smiley self!:

Monday, 29 October 2012

REVIEW:Your Baby Shower Store Teddy RoseBud Box

Your Baby Shower Store is a one stop shop for all your baby shower supplies, ranging from baby shower decorations to gifts.

When Margaret from Your Baby Shower Store offered an item from their gift range for me to review it couldn't come at a more perfect time as I had been invited to my goof friend Iwona's baby shower!

The item they sent me was the beautiful Teddy Rosebud Bouquet Box. (RRP £45.95) Which Contains a gorgeous soft Baby Gund Teddy Bear holding a stunning bouquet of baby clothes, beautifully presented as a stylish boxed arrangement.

The Baby Gund teddy stands 10.0 inches tall and is suitable from birth.

Additional to the super soft teddybear the bouquet contains:

• 2 pairs of baby socks
• 2 bodysuits
• 2 bibs

This box of gifts is stunningly presented and is beautifully finished with floral wrap, paper flowers and silk folidage, wrapped in cellophane with organza ribbon, gift tag/contents and care swing tag.

I was so excited to take along the i gift to Iwona's baby shower and amongst the other gifts it most definitely had the wow factor!!

The mum-to-be was delighted with the gift:

All the guests oohed and aahed at the sight of the gift and even her hubby sneaked in to watch the opening of the gifts commented on how beautiful the gift looked, he said how it would be a shame to open the arrangement up it looked so lovely!

Your Baby Shower Store has a whole range of baby shower gift ideas to suit all price budgets, ranging from fab bouquet displays like this one to wonderful nappy cakes!

They also stock a whole range of other baby gifts that would be suitable for birthdays, Christmas and Christenings. The website is most definitely a one stop shop for buying all your baby related gifts so check them out today!

I received this item for free for the purpose of this review. All views expressed are my own and that of the mummy and daddy to be.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

COMPETITION WINNER: Smash Book Starter Stash

Good morning all!! It's that time to announce the lucky winner of the smash book starter stash (prize provided by the lovely Steph from CraftyBoots - the online craft supply store)

The lucky winner is:

Jane Willis (@janesgrapevine)

To claim your prize please email Steph at

To select the winner I numbered all the blog comments received and used to select a number.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

REVIEW: Sleepy Bumps

Do you rely on going for a walk/ rocking your pushchair to soothe or send your baby to sleep? If so then Sleepy Bumps may be exactly what you're looking for to make the job easier!

Sleep Bumps was invented by a mummy who did exactly that and realised that it wasn't always practical to take her little one out for a walk especially in miserable weather (which lets be honest is most of the time in the UK!)

How does it work?
Sleepy Bumps is a textured rubber mat that you place on the floor. The idea is that you simply roll your pushchair forwards and backwards over the bumps to create a soothing effect and help your baby sleep.

I have to be honest, Sleep Bumps wasn't for us. Xander has self soothed himself to sleep from the get go and I didn't want him to break that habit by reviewing this product. Plus I don't bring our pushchair inside the house in fear that I'll dirty up our (impractical) cream carpets.

HOWEVER every baby and situation is different. I offered Sleepy Bumps out to a friend of mine, Olivia whose daughter will not go to sleep unless she is being rocked and she found it a godsend!!

Sleepy Bumps is available to purchase on their website for £24.99.

I received this item free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Our day out at The Baby Show!

Friday we headed to The Baby Show at Earls Court. I didn't go on my own, I took Xander and my pregnant friend Iwona. I went to the show in the capacity of a registered show blogger and was lucky enough to win a ticket with NCTBaby for my friend!

In an ideal world I would have braved driving, but the thought of driving in inner city London feels me with dread so instead we went by train. We opted to do the route overground and avoid the tube and the journey there was quite straightforward. Going from Farnborough Main station we changed at Clapham Junction and got off at Brompton West and walked just a few minutes to Earls Court. This was our first trip out on the train and I was surprised how accommodating the train staff and fellow commuters were to help us, with people offering to help us on and off trains with the buggy.
As it was Xander's first trip in a train I had to document it with a pic:

On arrival we presented Iwona's ticket and then I registered at the Press Office for my bloggers pack and wristband (which allowed is entry into the exhibitors lounge) and then began browsing the show.
We found lots of bargains and quickly started loading up the basket under the pushchair and bags!! (See my previous blogpost for suggested retailers) and also booked for the baby first aid session ran by The Red Cross. We also had the opportunity to hear Professor Robert Winston lecture on child development which was really interesting (he's a particular favourite of mine, I love The Child Of Our Time documentaries and show them to my students in my Sociology lessons!) so it was a real experience to see him in the flesh!:

About 1pm we was ready for some lunch and so took advantage of my Press wristband and entered the exhibitors lounge which was less busy for a cold drink and some food.

Something quite exciting was going on there: a series of pitches from up and coming baby companies to a panel of judges including Tom Pellereau (winner of The Apprentice 2011) We was lucky enough to get to meet him and even have a cheeky pic taken with him!:

After this we headed back to the show and attended the pre booked free first aid session. I thoroughly recommend this. The session was really well done and interactive, allowing you the opportunity to practice on dolls techniques to assist when a child is choking, CPR techniques and how to deal with burns. I feel we learnt a lot in such a short space of time and feel I could confidently use the procedures in case of an emergency with Xander. (Xander was so well behaved throughout the half hour presentation) In fact he was brilliantly smiley and happy throughout the whole day!)

After the session we headed back to do more shopping! I also had the opportunity to meet with several retailers that I have tweeted with regularly! It was lovely to put a face to (often sometimes crazy) Twitter aliases aswell as make some new contacts!

Our final highlight was the opportunity to meet and speak with Annabel Karmel who gave me some wonderful advice regarding weaning Xander given the possibility that he may also be a celiac and require a gluten free diet.

We left right at the end of the show, but could have easily stayed longer we had such an enjoyable day. However by leaving at that time we hit the awful commuter traffic. The journey home was completely chaotic. For some reason the direct train from Clapham Junction to Farnborough Main was cancelled meaning we had to take several trains to get home and getting on and off a busy train again and again with a loaded buggy was exhausting. But it was completely worth it for such an enjoyable day!!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Baby Show. Ready to go??

Today I visited The Baby Show with Xander and my pregnant friend Iwona in tow! We had a fantastic day!!

So here's my advice of how to prepare for your visit to the show and things to do whilst you're there:

1) I packed our changing bag full to the brim and it was completely unnecessary as I didn't use ANY of it! The changing area was fully equipped with nappies and wipes! A smaller nappy bag means more space for your shopping!
2) Make sure you pick up your freebies as soon as you enter the show! (free mum & me wipes and pack of decaffeinated Yorkshire Tea!
3) Before you go to The Baby Show go onto their website and print of the vouchers to claim your free MAM UK bottle and Nurture BreastLike Bottle!
4) Sign up as VIP at the MaByLand stall to receive your free wrist rattle!
5) Sign up to the Avent mailing list and get a pack of two dummy's!
6) Enter all the competitions!!
7) If you're going as a group don't be afraid to ask retailers if will do a group deal!
8) When you arrive check out the schedule of speakers so you don't miss them! They were brilliant today - you're in for a treat!
9) Try and book onto The Red Cross baby first aid course! Very worth while!
10) Pay £2 and pick up your pinkMade For Mums goodie bag! Excellent value for money!

Retailers you MUST visit whilst you're there:

Bibee Dresses: Launching at The Baby Show they offer a fantastic clothing solution for pregnant and breastfeeding mums and have a brilliant show offer for you!

Tutti Bambini: Had fantastic deals!! Bargain nursery furniture, toys and bedding!

Baby Rug: Get ready for the cold weather with their extreme baby rug! The perfect solution for keeping your baby warm whilst in a carseat or whilst baby wearing!

Buggle Snuggle: Check out their super snuggle fleeces for use in carseats and pushchairs!

Funky Box: Lovely, stylish and practical storage solution for your wetwipes!

Ruby and Ginger: Buy your Cosy Car Seat cover and matching accessories! They have some fab deals especially for The Baby Show.

Gumigem: Buy jewellery for mum that is designed to look amazing and help your baby through the teething process.

The Cozy Shop: Seriously the cutest, most snuggly blankets, cushions, bibs and toys for your little one!

They're are hundreds more fab retailers but these are ones that caught my eye!!

Whatever you do try to get yourself to The Baby Show this weekend for some brilliant deals and a fab day out!!

(I will post a more personal blogpost in the next day or so about the baby show, our journey there and back, what we did, who we met etc!)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

REVIEW: Fluffy Puff Puffs Artisanal Gourmet Marshmallows

You may not know that i have celiac disease. This means i'm unable to eat any gluten. It also means that i often cannot eat yummy scrummy things. Hubby often tucks into cakes and cookies and i crave something special to snack on. So i was utterly delighted to hear that Fluffy Puff Puffs make three gluten free flavours of gourmet marshmallows:
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Strawberry Burst
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle
I was so excited when the package arrived! Louisa sent me a full pack of Vanilla Bean (6 pieces) and then a single piece of Strawberry Burst and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle. I wanted to delve right in and eat them there and then but i promised hubby that i would wait and taste them with him so i mustered as much willpower as i could and stared at them impatiently until he got back from work:

I have to be honest previous to this review the only marshmallows i have eaten are the cheap pink and white ones you buy from the supermarket - well i can tell you these do not compare to the ones sent from Fluffy Puff Puffs.

Firstly, i was amazed by the size of the marshmallows - they are HUGE! At least four mouthfuls (and i have a big mouth!)

Secondly, they smelt amazing!! Especially the Strawberry Burst piece. I never could believe that a marshmallow could smell so delicious!

And finally the taste was simply divine! Each flavour had its own qualities:
  • We found the Vanilla Bean pieces lovely and smooth. The flavour was subtle but very clearly there. These would be perfect in a mug of hot chocolate for the ultimate treat!!!
  • The Strawberry Burst was completely yummy! These contain fresh strawberries that have been dried in an oven for three hours. The result is a really beautiful smooth marshmallow with an intense strawberry taste. These marshmallows also look beautuful. I could imagine them making the most perfect wedding favours!!
  • The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle is the most decedant of them all! They were create by mixing 53% Belgian Dark Chocolate with 100% roasted peanut butter to create a thick ganache, this mixture is then drizzled onto a Vanilla Bean marshmallow. The final outcome is divine (but very rich - i don't think i could manage more than two in any one sitting - although i'd give it a good try to devour more!!)
After a lot of deliberation we attempted to pick our favourite flavour. Hubby opted for the Strawberry Burst and being a chocoholic i had to go for the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle. Although we both loved all three flavours.

These are the ultimate mummy and daddy treat and we thoroughly recommend that you order yourself a pack (or two ... or three) today and try them for yourself. Visit the Fluffy Puff Puffs website today and make an order. If you love them as much as us why not consider ordering some up as Christmas gifts (remember you'll have to this nearer to Christmas though because they are fresh they have a shorter shelf life than other sweets)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

COMPETITION WINNER: Zippysuit Dribble Bib.

A quick announcement! The winner of the Zippysuit Dribble Bib competition is ... drum roll please...


Congratulations!! Please email your dribble bib choice and postal details to

To select the winner I numbered all the blog comments received and used to select a number.

REVIEW: Butterlies & Ballerinas Handmade Taggy

I have started searching for Christmas gifts for Xander. He is such a tactile baby and a taggy blanket was definately on my list. So when Charlotte from Butterlies & Ballerinas offered to send us one of her handmade taggies to review i was delighted!

The taggy she sent has been made from beautiful bright, seasonal printed Anne Kelly Kaufman fabric. arrive. I'm sure you'll agree that this penguin print is just perfect for childrens Christmas gifts:

The taggy blanket is backed in a super soft fleece, which is perfect for baby snuggles!
Charlotte used a range of coordinated ribbons of all different textures including satin & grosgrain, bright colours and always incorporate patterned/spotty/gingham ribbons too:

Charlotte has thought of everything. The ribbons are extremely secure. To ensure this she sews around the edges five times to make sure they don't come undone.
Xander has recently started attending baby sensory classes and this Taggy is perfect as not only will he be attracted to the lovely bright colours but he will love all the different textures of the ribbons and supersoft fleece!
Charlotte repeats ribbon colours on opposite sides to encourage pairing skills when baby is slightly older. There's opportunities to play learning games with baby for example Mummy saying a colour and encouraging baby to out a colour to find the matching ribbon.
I'm sure this Taggy will become a favourite of Xanders and will become grubby in time. Well that's not an issue because the Taggy can be washed at 30 degrees!! Perfect!
Charlotte makes Taggies in small around 5-6inches, medium 8-9 inches and large approx 12 inches. You can contact her via Twitter (@butterinas) or visit her online shop to see her beautiful range of handmade items including Taggies, teddies and bandana bibs - a perfect place to start your Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

REVIEW: 'Personalised Baby' First Christmas Stocking

It's time to start thinking about Christmas! I'm so excited to celebrate Christmas with Xander this year although I'm struggling to come up with gift ideas for him. He'll be 5 months by then, so if you have any ideas let me know!

One thing I know is that I want to do everything right! Start our own Christmas traditions and my favourite one as a child was putting out our Christmas stockings and then waiting in anticipation for Santa to come and fill them up with gifts!

So when a company called Personalised Baby offered to send me a personalised embroidered Christmas stocking for Xander to review I was so excited!!!

The stocking that arrived is a traditional style stocking. Red with a white trim. Very beautifully made from quality fabric and an excellent size! Plenty big enough for Santa to fill with lots of gifts!!

The embroidery has been beautifully done:

and I especially love that it has 'First Christmas 2012' sewn into it, making it a beautiful memento to commemorate Xander's first Christmas!

I'm a huge fan of personalised products! Xander is not a common name so it's difficult to buy anything from the shops with his name on, that's what's so great about Personalised Baby. It really doesn't matter how unusual your baby's name is you can still get the perfect product for them! Please check out their website for lots of beautiful personalised gift ideas!

I can't wait to hang up Xander's stocking this Christmas!!

I received this item for free for the purpose of review. All views stated are my own.

Activities to do with a 0-3 month baby

The first few weeks of parenthood are a complete blur, they go by so fast and you find you barely leave the house apart from the occasional trip to the supermarket to stock up on supplies, the odd visit to the midwife or possible to see a relative or two. You have the company of your partner aswell whilst they're on paternity leave so you have adult company. But what do you do all day long after the dust has settled and your other half has gone back to work?

Well if i'm honest at first I drifted from day to day, watched a lot of daytime tv and ate alot of chocolate! But after a week or so I suffered cabin fever and craved adult company (there's only limited conversations you can have with a baby!)

So I researched baby groups in my area and made an effort to get out and about! It's been great for Xander to interact with other babies and I've met a few mummy's in the same situation as me!! I no longer feel alone!

So far we've attended:
• a baby massage course (run by our local sure start children's centre) See my blogposts on these sessions for more details!
• baby bounce and rhyme time (run by our local library)
• bumps and babies group (run by our local NCT division)
• baby stay and play/ baby scrapbooking session (run by our local sure start children's centre)
• baby sensory (run by our local sure start children's centre)

I plan to write some individual blogposts about these sessions, so make sure visit back to my blog real soon!!

Monday, 22 October 2012

REVIEW: Memories Made Baby Nursery Print

Before Xanders due date I was insistent that his nursery was all ready. That the cot was built, that the bedding was just right and the wardrobe and chest of drawers was filled with all his tiny little clothes. However despite me doing all of that it still felt as if it wasn't quite finished.

It wasn't until after Xander was born I realised what it was missing - personal touches. A few unique items that would transfer his room from being a generic nursery into being Xander's nursery. The personalised frame created by Memories Made was one of those very items.

I instantly fell in love with an existing layout and sent over Xanders personal details to be incorporated into the design.

When the frame arrived it was beautifully packaged, wrapped in brown paper, with a handcrafted tag:

And once unwrapped I instantly fell in love with design that Memories Made had created for Xander:

I love the stylish font and the colours used. The image is crisp and the frame matches well with the existing furniture in Xander's room.

The lovely folks at Memories Made have a range of designs to inspire you on their Facebook page, however of you have an idea of your own they're happy to work with you to create the perfect artwork for your baby's room. Doesn't it look lovely in Xanders room?!

They also create graphical framed artwork for all other occasions and also invitations. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to view the range of items they have on offer!

I received this item free of charge for the purpose of this view. All opinions stated are my own.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Countdown to the Baby Show!!

I'm so excited!! The Baby Show  is coming to Earls Court THIS coming weekend (26th - 28th October)

So this Friday me and Xander are going to pack up our gear and go on an adventure to London! This will be the first Baby Show event that i have attended as i had tickets ready for the last one (whilst i was pregnant) but sadly ended up in hospital that weekend and was unable to go.

The Baby Show is the UK's biggest and best pregnancy and parenting event with over 300 brands (including Britax, Fisher Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, M&S, Stokke, Superdrug, The Gro Company & Trunki) attending and showing off all their products! There will literally be 1000's of products that you can touch, feel and test drive before you buy. Many of the shows exhibitors have brilliant offers and freebies lined up so i'm hoping to pick up some Christmas gifts for Xander at bargain prices!

Additional to all the shopping opportunities there will also be a number of parenting experts on hand presenting including: Professor Robert Winston (from Child Of Our Time), Annabel Karmel MBE (The Baby and Toddler Mealplanner), Claire Byan-Cook (Celebrity Breastfeeding Expert) and Dr Julie Coultas (Baby Development Expert)

The show is well equiped to bring along your baby/ babies with free changing facilties (courtesy of Nappies2Go) aswell as a free creche (you must book this in advance) There will also a Vtech Smart Play Zone and a Face Of The Baby Show competition which i hope to enter Xander into!

With the opportunity to buy lots and lots you'll be pleased to hear that The Baby Show has thought of everything to take to stress out of shopping by providing a drop off and collect by car service so you don't have to lug your huge haul around and if you're after a completely stress free experience you can book a personal shopping experience with Baby Concierge!!

So have i done enough to persuade you to come along and join me at the The Baby Show? I hope so! If you haven't got your tickets yet advance tickets are still available. They cost £13.50 each (Friday) and £14.50 each (Saturday and Sunday) or £20 on the door. You can buy your tickets on The Baby Show website:

REVIEW: Baby Treasures Memento Fabric Book

When Mitali from Baby Treasures approached me about reviewing one of her Memento fabric books for Xander I instantly loved the idea!

On the Baby Treasures website you can make a 8 page fabric memory book for your baby personalising each page with a photograph and text (in a choice of colours) The book is then beautifully sewn together adorning a ribbon tag to allow it to be tied to a baby's pushchair for safe keeping. The book is washable by hand meaning that you don't have to be wary of allowing baby to hold it with grubby hands which I think is brilliant!

To create the book you use a simple online form on the website, uploading your photos of choice and your text. The instructions are very clearly presented on the site. You then sit back and wait for your book to arrive in the post!!

We opted to have a family book made for Xander. Each page having a different member of Xander's family and some text to explain who it is.

The Memento Book arrived stylishly presented in a black box:

And we were delighted by the finished result:

Here's an example of one of the pages in the book:

So much so we are planning on taking more photographs of Xander with other family members, especially his great-grandparents and creating a Volume 2 for him as a Christmas gift!

We try to ensure Xander sees his grandparents at least once a week but this photo book will be the perfect way for him learn and remember who everyone is. This is especially important as his paternal nana sadly passed away before he was born and we're keen for him to love and remember her just as much as his other grandparents.

I wholeheartedly recommend BabyTreasures. Mitali offers a wonderful service and the end products are of superb quality. A memento book would be the perfect christening, birthday or Christmas gift for a little one. You can also purchase vouchers which I think would make a wonderful baby shower or new baby gift.

I received this item free if charge for the purpose of this review. All views expressed are my own.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Our Final Baby Massage Session and Xanders First Certificate!

Friday was our final baby massage session. We've been going for the last three weeks to free sessions run by my local children's centre.

The sessions have been completely enjoyable for both me and Xander. Not only have we learnt a range of massage strokes that totally chill our little dude out, we've also made a few new friends and started attending a few new mum and baby groups (i intend to blog about these separately)

The final session focused on arms and back:

Xander loved these strokes! We also learnt a few baby yoga movements too!

I was quite sad to finish our final session. To commemorate the completion of the baby massage course we was presented with a certificate:

I'll be sure to scrapbook this!! Xanders first (of many I hope) certificates!

REVIEW: Fairies Workshop Baby Plaque

I love handcrafted items and regularly trawl twitter looking for quirky and imaginative handmade items. As soon as I came across The Fairies Workshop on twitter I knew I had connected with someone who felt the same.

The Fairies Workshop is a fairly new family run craft business who handcraft beautiful items. In particular they specialise in personalising unique items from baby name plaques to wedding countdowns they have it covered!

When the lovely folk at The Fairies Workshop offered to send me a handcrafted plaque for Xander's nursery to review I was delighted as finding anything in the shops with his name on is near on impossible (unless I settle for Alexander)

I provided them with details of Xander's birth (name, date of birth, time of birth, weight) Suffering from baby brain I gave some of the details wrong, fortunately The Fairies Workshop picked up on this and rectified my mistake! What amazing customer service!!

This is what they sent:

And here it is in Xanders nursery!

I love the bright colours on the plaque and all the personalised details! Handmade may not be for everyone, I know some people love everything to be uniform and regimented. But in my opinion you can't go wrong with something handmade and crafty!! This item is one of a kind and even when Xander's nursery morphs into a big boys bedroom I will keep it forever in Xander's keepsake box.

Have you just had a baby or know someone who has? Why not contact The Fairies Workshop today to discuss creating your own personalised plaque or item for the nursery? And whilst you're there if you are preparing for Christmas checkout their Christmas countdown plaques!! Go visit their facebook page today!!!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

REVIEW and COMPETITION: @fibregeek Handmade Clothes

I'm a huge fan of handmade clothes. I'm slowly teaching myself to knit and wish that I was talented enough to make clothes for myself and Xander. I was utterly delighted when Mandy from Fibregeek offered to create some handmade items for my son, Xander and his cousin Ellie (who is 4 weeks older than Xander)

Mandy offered to make Xander a pair of dungerees. I gave her free reign when it came to fabric she used and she selected a fun red dinosaur corduroy (which I loved!) 

They are beautifully lined, with a light blue cotton which is soft on baby's skin and is well coordinated with the red fabric. Mandy selected these fun green buttons to fasten up the dungerees!

Xander wore these dungerees to a family party and everyone commented on how fabulous they were. Many people asked where I got them from and when I announced they were handmade they were all very impressed!! I think you'll agree he looks super cute in them!

Mandy sent a pinafore dress for Ellie. I think you'll agree the fabric used is absolutely gorgeous! Ellie's mum Kirsty loved the traditional design of this dress. Again Mandy lined the dress beautifully and as a result this dress could be worn without a vest in warm weather but would look equally beautiful with a vest and tights. Look how gorgeous Ellie is in her beautiful dress!

Please follow Mandy on twitter (@fibregeek) and check out her price list. I was surprised to discover her handmade items are comparable to high street clothing prices. Here's some prices for items up to the age of 2:

Dungerees £15
Fleece hoodie £12
Fleece onsie £16
Cape £18
Pinafore £12
Tea dress £15
Party frock £18
Trousers £10
Box slipper (fleece) £5
Knitted/crochet slipper £7
Fleece hat +mittens £6
Knit/crochet hat +mittens £8
Crochet frock coat £25
Knit/crochet cardi £12

(Other items can be made on request)

Mandy is incredibly talented and if you have an idea of what you would like she will most likely be able to create something special! Her creations could make a perfect Christmas gift!!

Mandy has kindly made three pairs of fleecy mittens to giveaway to followers of the mycraftymummy blog!! See the T&C's below!!

Fleecy mittens for 0-2 years
Fleecy Mittens for a girl. Age 2-4
Fleecy Mittens. Age 2-4

All you have to do to enter is:
1) Follow this blog (The follow button is on the right hand side of this blog - of you're using a mobile you'll have to have the blog on full website to see the follow button)
2) Leave a comment below stating what size mittens you would like to win.
3) For an extra entry follow @fibregeek on twitter (leave a 2nd comment on here with your twitter account name so we can verify it.)

The competition will be live for one week and will close at midnight on 25th October. No entries will be valid after midnight on October 15th 2012. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. Good luck!

I recieved these items free for the purpose of this blog review. The opinions displayed are mine and my cousins.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Third Trimester

The final 12 weeks seemed to drag! I tried to stay busy and worked right up to the end of summer term but I was literally on countdown and it always seems longer when you're counting down doesn't it? I felt like I was a small child counting down til Christmas!

My husband and family were brilliant in helping me cope with my impatience by organising little events throughout the final trimester for me to look forward to! All my family contributed towards a 3D scan of baby Tiddlywink - we went initially at 28 weeks but unfortunately the baby was lying awkwardly which meant we was unable to see the face so we rebooked and went back at 30 weeks (blogpost to follow) At 32 weeks hubby took me on a babymoon to Bath, at 36 weeks my sister and two best friends organised a baby shower for me and at 38 weeks I finished work.

Then I was at home ... Twiddling my thumbs. Waiting for Baby Tiddlywink. Those last two weeks until due date killed me because I knew there was a possibility that I may have to add two more additional weeks on. Also I was petrified of going into labour alone so didn't leave the house unless I was with someone.

On my due date there was still no sign of our little one. My sisters and brother popped around to visit and seeing how fed up I was suggested we all went for a curry to pass the evening. We went out and had a lovely meal. My sister dropped me off at my house about 9pm, hubby was still at work and my dad called asking how I was. I chatted to him for awhile, complaining that there was no sign of baby. I spent the rest of the evening knitting the final patch of the blanket I was making and watching the BBC documentary Midwifes (don't ask me why - I'm mad!) and waited for hubby to come home from his late shift. I was almost through the whole hour long programme when I realised I'd had a couple of twinges. Could this be it?! I called hubby up told him that it could be starting. I wasn't completely sure. He walked through the door at 11.20 and my waters broke at 11.30pm. This was it! Our baby was on its way!!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

REVIEW: Joy and Joe Baby Wrap

Today marks the end of baby wearing week and so I feel it completely fitting to post this review of the Joy and Joe Baby Wrap today.

I'll be honest, I loved the idea of baby wearing but was absolutely petrified of giving it a go for the fear of doing it wrong and dropping the most precious thing in my life.

Joy and Joe Baby was convinced they could reassure me that baby wearing was safe and enjoyable and offered to send me a royal blue baby wrap to review.

The wrap arrived all neatly packaged and looked like this:

When I unravelled it I just could not believe how long it was! 5 metres!!! The wrap came with lots of information including safety information - The T.I.C.K.S rules for safe baby wearing:

As well as a thorough information booklet with instructions on how to use the wrap. But I'll be honest after reading it for over half an hour I was still at a loss as to what to do with the reams of material! I'm a visual learner and fortunately Joy and Joe Baby have thought ahead to provide some very clear YouTube videos demonstrating how to tie the wrap! Perfect!

I was too scared to try with Xander straight away so to start with Mickey Mouse was my guinea pig!:

I carefully followed the YouTube video and got it mastered, convinced I was never going to remember all the stages but after a few tries it came quite natural to me.

So next stage trying it with Xander:

Initially Xander was a bit wriggly and I was a bit apprehensive, concerned whether I had tied it tightly enough. But slowly my confidence increased and with this Xander began to settle down and snuggle in! Baby wearing started to feel a little more natural!

I found that using the wrap was as practical around the house as using it out and about! I've actually been able to get a lot done as I'm not having to carry Xander around it my arms! Brilliant!

At the moment I've only mastered the newborn position but I understand there are others and we'll be trying them out in due course!

Even if you're nervous, please consider giving baby wearing a go. Not only is it a practical way of transporting your baby hands free it is also a lovely opportunity to stay close and bond with your baby!!

Joy and Joe baby wraps come in a huge variety of colours and designs you could literally have one to match every outfit!!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Our second baby massage class!

Yesterday we went to our second (of three) baby massage sessions at our local sure start centre. (if you haven't checked yours out yet make sure you do they're brilliant places!)

This session was focused on the head and body massage. (Last week we covered massage techniques on the legs)

Xander really, really didn't enjoy having his face done. I will try again but won't push the issue, if he doesn't like it that's fair enough! But he LOVED having his body and in particular his tummy massaged!!

We learnt in particular massage strokes that ease trapped wind, constipation and colic. All of which I'm sure will come in useful in the near future.

Next week is our last session. I'll be a little sad for them to end as we have both enjoyed going along. We've made a couple of new mummy and baby friends and in fact next week a group of us are planning on attending a Stay And Play session at the children's centre (on a Friday morning) The session sounds completely my thing! Theres an opportunity to make a baby scrapbook! They have a digital camera and printer so you can take photos of your little one playing and with their friends and theres a messy play corner every week with hand and foot print projects!! Sounds like fun!!

Friday, 12 October 2012

REVIEW: Tom Jet Growbag from Dribble Buster

Xander was born in August, when we brought him home from the hospital it was pretty warm and what with living in a town house (and our bedroom being right at the top in the roof) nights were hot and there was no need to put any blankets over him. He was toasty enough in a vest and babygrow.

However with the cold nights stepping in we had to start thinking about wrapping him up in the evenings. We began using a blanket but Xander is such a fidget at night within an hour or two he'd kick it off himself or even worse it would end up ravelled up towards his head. For a couple of nights the same happened. I carefully tucked him in, his feet touching the base of the Moses basket, but he'd wake himself up and he was clearly chilly.

So when Alison at Dribble Buster offered us a 'Tom Jet' (liberty print) sleeping bag to review we thought it would be worth a try. It turns out Alison lives and works just a few miles down the road from me so she actually hand delivered it, which was a real treat!

So that night we popped Xander in it:

Doesn't he look sooooooo cute! Here's what we thought of the Tom Jet Sleeping Bag:

• Well, firstly, as you will already know if you read my dribblebuster review I LOVE the tom jet liberty print!
• It is beautifully made.
• The 0-3 size is suitable for babies 7lb 6oz upwards. It has additional poppers along the side to use on smaller babies making the arm hole areas smaller ensuring that the sleeping bag fits.
• It's a generous size and I actually think it will last the average baby longer than three months.
• It's 3 tog and keeps baby warm even on the chilliest of nights.
• You can rest assured that covers will not smother your baby whilst your sleeping.
• They can be washed in the washing machine like blankets.
• Xander slept really well!!
• Finally babies look super, super cute whilst using them!

• The only disadvantage that I can possibly see is the size. The sleeping bag is very big and if your baby is still sleeping in a Moses basket it may be considered too big. Personally I think this simply represents value for money. I'm certain Xander will still be using this when he transfers into his cot!!

I cannot stress enough what a beautiful item this is. Please check out the Dribble Buster website and all the beautiful items Alison and her team
create. They would most definitely make beautiful Christmas gifts for new babies!

We received this item free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.