Thursday, 31 October 2013

Every Little Helps - Thank You Tesco!

On Sunday morning the hoover blew up,

To be specific the one year-old's dad thought it would be a good idea to hoover up dried sick....the result of too much milk and jumping around!

As fate would have it Tesco had emailed me a online coupon for £10 off a £50 spend,it couldn't have happened at a better time.

After a quick snoop around the hoovers at the big store on the island we found one we liked,so after tea that night we decided to go ahead and order it online.

We found one that looked like a complete bargain,it was down from £100 to £50,on special offer - definitely a bit of fate at work!

(The way I'm describing the hoover,you would think it was a love story rather than just getting a new piece of cleaning equipment- I think it must be a mummy thing!)

Now me and technology aren't the best,which is ironic considering I'm employed by Telecoms.

No matter how many times I tried to get the checkout page to accept the code it wouldn't.

Thirty minutes later and no better off,I threw in the towel and admitted defeat.

Its not until your in a situation where you have virtual money sat there and you can't get to it,that you realise why people get so frustrated with online shopping and reward points.

I don't believe in complaining for the sake of trying to get something for free,but when you have had a genuine problem I think the company needs to be told.

I probably wouldn't have got a hoover from Tesco if I wasn't sent a voucher,so when you have your heart set on buying something for less then you realise you have to pay more,you end up feeling like you've been ripped off rather than having got a bargain.

The next day I sent a email to Tesco stating what had happened at the checkout,within 24 hours I had a email response and voicemail stating they were crediting my account with £10 due to the error. Yipeeeeeeeee!

Thank you Tesco for providing excellent customer service through your thorough complaints procedure - not something you hear people say very often!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Waste not,want not.

Whether it's a top,bottle of shampoo or a vase in this case,

My family share everything! 

And why let something go to waste?

When my mum didn't like a moisturiser she had bought to try,I happily had it,and when I had a top in the cupboard that I barely used I gave it to her.

Well today Nana was having a clear out and came across this lovely vase,so my kitchen got some new ornaments and the bank card got a rest.

My mums side of the family were on the poorer side of the working class families,so everyone made the most of what they had,luckily it's was a mostly female population.

I have 9 great-aunts,
They all had girls,
Who all had girls (apart form Uncle J)!

So this sense of waste not,want not had been passed down through the generations.

If you don't like it the chances are your little sister will 😃

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Are you turning Left or Wight?

That handle located by the steering wheel,

Yes the one that goes up and down.

You didn't realise it was there?

What a surprise, is that because you barely use it?

Why,oh why do people seem to "forget" to indicate when turning left or right,
Or even worse when they are not turning at all but leave them on! 

On the way to dropping the one year-old off to nursery this morning,I was waiting at a junction to turn left onto a main road. A car was coming down the hill with their left indicator on to turn left.
The woman had even positioned her car into the center of the road and had seen me waiting.

As I looked left and right to pull out she then decided to change route and carry on straight ahead nearly plummeting into my car...

...Then had the cheek to give me a filthy look!

If she had looked directly at me I would have shown her how a "proper"  filthy look is actually done!!

It is so frustrating,why can't people just use their indicators correctly.

One thing my driving instructor taught me,and will stay with me for the rest of my life,is to never trust people until your really sure.

It's probably the same everywhere but the Isle of Woght seems to have a multitude of sinful drivers. 

Forget boy racers it's Grannies-Gone-Wild,who seem to forget there is other people on the roads.

"An old lady says to her friend,I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my father,I don't want to be screaming in terror like his passengers" 

A giggle a day keeps the doctors away,and sanity at bay.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Rain rain go away,come back another day!

Its raining,its pouring and the one year-old thinks it's very boring.

A rainy day is a mummy's chance to shine, military precise schedules and super human cleaning skills means the house can be kept in order...

Only joking!

The day started off by going to see Grandma,the Double Trouble Aunties and Nana. Spike-a-doodle-do the jack russel and Poppy the sausage dog are two little children in their own right. The dogs were riddiculously hyped up because of the amount of people at Nana's house,and insisted on trying to shuffle their way into the action.

Spike absolutely loves the one year old, DTA number 1 (Double Trouble Aunty) says that they are "brothers from another mother".

                    (DTA number 1)

For a dog that's never really been around Toddlera he's very gentle,very loving and at nearly 8 years old,that's nearly 56 dog years,he's still going strong even if he does hobble about. 

Trying to drink tea while chasing a one year-old,controlling the dogs,answering your nans questions about why your still not married and stopping the cat from licking the milky buttons off of the one year-old hands, it's a work out! 

After a couple of hours of siblings,animals and a ratbag running around its time for a nap at home...oh and the one year-old needs one too.

After all the exercise I got 40 minutes of peace and quiet,even if it does mean creeping around.

Next we attempted to make chocolate cupcakes, I say attempted because cooking was never my forte. I like to add a little bit of everything which means the cakes end up coming out like bricks or scrambled eggs.

But I am proud to announce we successfully made milk and white chocolate cupcakes!

The house is covered in toys and dirty hand marks,tomatoe meatballs and suede sofas don't mix! 

If you don't hear from me anytime soon,I'm trapped under the piles of washing up and toys....

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Calm before the Storm.

In 1987 hurricane winds hit the little Isle Of Wight causing the kind of destruction that people hadn't seen before,and 26 years later we are due another one tomorrow morning.

13 people were killed and many more injured by falling trees and buildings. My partner can remember this and it was his house on a street of many that managed to survive the battering,and ended up being a makeshift hostel for other families.

The last storm wasn't predicted and the BBC in particular faced a lot of backlash,this time round we have had plenty of warning but is it enough?

Winds reached 98 mphs last time,and this time they are predicting winds  between 70-80 mph. There is a 24 hour website that will keep you up to date with the disruptions on public transport and most importantly ferry times for my partner who commutes for work.

Islanders regularly joke that if people on the island see a snowflake the whole place grinds to a halt and everybody rushes out to get the last loaf of bread. 

And with a name like St Jude how scared should we be?

17:14 - Its raining,it's pouring,daddy is boring - the Islands going to flood,we'll have to go out in the mud -all on a Monday morning! 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Little Rebel shoes for a little rascal.

The one year olds feet have finally grown enough to fit into a size 3 shoe! 

Today was the day I could get the cute little red converse style shoes out of the cupboard and put them on the little rascal's feet.

Through the summer shoes weren't needed as we have a beach on our doorstep,and majority of the time his highness was carried around or in the pram.

When the weather started to get colder and wetter we had to get him something to wear on his feet,the only shoes he would fit into we're the soft-cloth bottom shoes,so when he started to walk they fell to bits.

(One year-olds first shoes,these will be going in the memory box) 

The red converse style shoes are from Primark,they cost around £5-£7 pounds (I can't preciously remember) but for a pair of shoes I couldn't moan at that price. 

I was shocked to see the price of shoes in Clark's, £25 for a pair of shoes that will last only a few months. Granted the quality is better but with a price difference of around £19 Primark won.

The shoes got their first test today:

• Fit: Snug fit around the top of the foot with a little bit of space at the toes. They don't have any laces/Velcro but have elasticated straps across the shoe tongue to keep the tootsies in. 

• Rain: Socks stayed dry and no red dye came out!

• Rubber Soles: Good grip on slippery surfaces,thick enough to withstand the elements but still flexible enough to allow movement.

Primark we love these converse style boots,let's hope they last because we will be back for more!

Friday, 25 October 2013

You can cook,but can you cook the value way?

You never see a chef who cooks with supermarket own brand ingredients,
Because realistically that's what most family's can afford to buy and I count my family in that as well! 

What I would like to watch on a weekday evening is a friendly down to earth chef talking about simple,healthy meals made from some of the cheapest ingredients in a supermarket..... Not pasta you buy from little deli's that cost the earth, yes the statement is aimed at Nigellissima.

I think some chefs ideas of easy to cook compared to mothers idea of easy to cook is completely different.

I'm sat here reading a Tesco "Food Family Living" and so far I haven't come across one recipe that doesn't need a list as long as my arm of expensive ingredients.

Having come from a very,very low income single family my mum couldn't afford expensive ingredients when she was trying to feed four children.I've learnt to be careful with money and make use of all ingredients to hand. 

Supermarket own brand products are in my shopping trolley every week, a tin of spaghetti is a tin of spaghetti whether it's in a Tesco Value label or a Heinz label,the only difference is the price tag.

So TV Bosses I want to see more TV cookery programmes featuring chefs cooking with supermarket own brand ingredients- pretty please 😇

How many times do you think a family has watched a cooking programme like Nigellissima and gone and made that dish,not many.

Smart Trike a Smart Way To Travel.

My son was lucky enough to have a Smart Trike brought for him for his first birthday,and I think it's near the top my favourite presents list. 

The main selling feature of the trike is that it can be adapted to suit your child's needs as they grow,thus it's name "Smart". As you've seen from previous blogs I like a bargain,so a toy that's going to last longer than 3 months instantly ticks the durability box. 

The smart trike can be made into three main structures, the first structure ,from 10 months old ,you can have a bar around the child,a drop-down foot rest and the long handle at the back of the trike to control the steering.

The second structure is from 15 months you can remove the bar around the child seat,and just clip your child into the seat,allowing their feet to push the pedals.

The third and final structure is from 23 months, when you can remove the handle at the back of the trike and allow your child just to use it as a normal bike.

The trike also features a little cup holder and plastic basket on the back for a few toys.

I think the Smart Trike is a hit with the one year old,and a hit with me I'm giving it a 9/10. 

The Smart Trike product has many different types,colours,features and brands to suit every taste. They can be a bit pricey so my advice is to wait until they're on offer and save up those club card vouchers! 

(All opinions are my own 😃)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pre-eclampsia - something you least expect!

When I got pregnant pre-eclampsia was the last thing on my mind, my family didn't have a history of it and I had never known anyone else to have it. So not in sight, not in mind.

In hindsight if I had known I had it I would have handle my pregnancy completely differently,I worked up until 10 days before I had to be induced,my original plan had been to have three weeks of maternity leave to prepare before the baby came... but the baby came early.

Here's a fact:  Somewhere in the world a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth every minute because of pre-eclampsia.

A fact like that really makes it hit home how serious this condition is,through my pregnancy I knew something wasn't right but I didn't know what.

I had terrible sickness,so would throw up at least 3 times a day for nearly 6 months of the pregnancy and then towards the end.I also kept fainting because I was anaemic,I took the iron pills the doctor prescribed but looking back it wasn't enough.

When I started to swell up and see white lights in front of my eyes my mum urged me to go to the hospital,I went to the Maternity Ward of the hospital on three different occasions for problems related to this and not once did they take me seriously or look into whether I could have had something like pre-eclampsia.

To be specific I was told by a doctor that "I should go home and put my feet up and stop worrying,us English women worry too much". Comments like that are never right,but when your being told by multiple nurses and doctors that your a hypochondriac you just accept what they tell you.

The doctor in question was one of the doctors that was called to my room when I started to hemorrhage,the last thing I remember is a red light flashing,my partner telling me it would be ok,nurses saying they needed the defibrillator on standby and the light fading white in front of my eyes.I don't remember much of the event and woke up 24 hours later to the bleeping of the heart rate monitor. I can honestly say it was the scariest time of my life.

Even the day that I went into hospital,that ended up being the day I was induced,they still didn't want to induce me AND still thought I was fine.The hospitals machine that tests the urine and blood for materials related to pre-eclampsia,so they had to monitor my urine manually. During this time my health started to deteriorate and I was feeling very poorly,they decided to induce me at 1 a.m.,it was after the birth I found out about the epre-eclampsia.

If my symptoms had been taken serious early the labour could have been a completely different story,I might not have had to have a blood transfusion or have bells palsy,luckily I recovered and had a healthy-beautiful baby... but that's not always the way for some women..

The aim of this post is that if you are a pregnant woman reading this or are reading this and know someone with any of the following symptoms,please go to your nearest GP or maternity ward and get them to check you out - its really important!

Some symptoms of pre-eclampsia could be:

  • Swelling of the feet,ankles,face,hands,legs or neck also known as fluid retention or oedema.
  • Headaches
  • Visions problems or seeing "white lights"
  • Fainting
I had all of those symptoms as well as being extremely over heated constantly,I would sweat buckets but i just thought that was "normal" in pregnancy.

If you know something is wrong,even if no one else believes you keep pressuring them to test you - Mother knows best!

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Pampers Vs Supermarket Own Brand Nappies

When you have a baby the costs soon start to mount up. Bottles,formula,wipes....and the most expensive one,nappies.

As I've mentioned in previous posts,I like a bargain, so when I went into my local supermarket and saw they had a box of 164 "Cheeky Bots" Nappies on offer for £15 it instantly caught my attention.

As much as I like a bargain i know that some things in life are just better bought from a more expensive brand,so going against my better judgement I did some research and bought a box of "Cheeky Bots"  instead of our "Simply Dry" Pampers we usually buy.

All the research I had did had come back very positive,with many parents claiming they had completely switched from the likes of Pampers or Huggies to this brand.They claimed the nappies weren't as attractive as the more expensive brands,they are plain white with a small picture across the front ,but what they lacked in appearance they made up for in substance.

("Cheeky Bots" have a frog on them and Pampers have a lion/mouse on them)

In my opinion the "Cheeky Bots" nappies are fine if your child is only going to be wearing them for about two hours and they're not going to be drinking anything!

So I'm going to point out some pro's and con's of "Cheeky Bots" nappies:

Pro's of Cheeky Bots:

  1. They are considerably cheaper than a brand such as Pampers (When on offer at half price for £15)
  2. They are less bulky under clothing.

Con's of Cheeky Bots:

  1. They don't fit as well as other brands,the back of the nappies don't stretch as far up meaning if your child does a big poopie then your going to have an explosive mess on your hands,the sticky straps at the side of the nappy to hold it in place aren't stretchy so don't have much room to adjust,and the size of the nappy around the bottom area isn't as wide.
    (This is a picture of "Cheeky Bots" side strap (left) and Pampers side strap (right)
  2. They don't hold as much waste products as other brands,so every night they were used my child leaked into the pj's.
  3. The scratchy material tended to rub on the sides of the one-year olds legs.
  4. The one-year old needed to be changed more regularly,thus meaning more nappies were used during the day compared to other brands.

Another thing me and my partner noticed was brands like Pampers are on offer nearly every month in either Tesco or Boots,so in most cases Pampers cost the same amount as "Cheeky bots" or even less for the same amount of nappies!

So unfortunately "Cheeky Bots" only scored a 2/10 from me,1 point for the price and 1 point for the fact they are wearable.. even if they irritate.

Sometimes quality is better than quantity.

All opinions are my own!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Space Island on a Little Island!

Space Island claims to be the biggest indoor soft play area on the Isle of Wight... And that is completely right!

It's held in what looks like a massive warehouse and has; it's own cafe,toilet/baby changing facilities,a glow in the dark disco room,two party rooms,generous sized seating areas AND most importantly a HUGE indoor soft play area.

The thing that really caught my attention and made this place different from the rest was that parents were allowed to go in and supervisor their kids.

The soft play area had two sections,a baby-toddler enclosed area and a big kids area.It was open enough that you could keep an eye on the older children,but was definitely at least a two man job. Luckily both of my sisters happily came with me and the little one,this helped as one person could always be supervising the coats and bags.

The baby-toddler area had a ball bit,small climbing stairs,ball blower and loads of toys. 

While the big kids area went all out with a mini football pitch,Tarzan style swings,giant yoga sized balls,ball blasters,general climbing bits & bobs and a GIANT slide that about 5 people can go down at once.

Don't get me wrong this place wasn't perfect,it had multiple leaks around the warehouse and everything so often I felt a splatter of cold water,but the soft play area inside made up all of this.

When we was there Space Island offered free face painting and stick on tattoos for all the children.I thought that was a really great offer,and made the kids feel really special. I think it's awful when you go to somewhere that offers extras like these but you have to pay.

The members of staff were so friendly and helpful,they were really welcoming.I'm really impressed with the standard of customer service.

I think what this place boils down to is value for money,up until 18 months of age your child has completely free entry but over 18 months its £6.45 a child,that allows you unlimited re-entry throughout the day.During term time they do a special offer of £3.55 a child.

Personally I think this is quite a lot of money ,if you go in the school holidays it's £6.45,which is the price of a loaf of bread,two pints of milk and some butter! 

So parents with children under 18 months get down there while it's still free 😊

TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

Why we love you Mr tumble!

We are huge fans of Mr tumble,tiny tumble,Gigglebiz and Justin's house in this home.

Justin Fletcher is a genius when it comes to childrens programs,he manages to strike the right balance of comedy and entertainment.

When he presents a show he manages to interact with the children on their level,and he values their opinions. 

His programmes are bright and colourful,they are easy to watch and educational. In Mr Tumble and Tiny Tumble he teaches the audience sign language,but in general Justin seems to be quite animated and talk with his hands....his eyebrow wiggle gets a lot of airtime too.

Something you might start noticing throughout my posts is that I like to include a fact, today's fact is:

Did you know that Justin was the voice of Doodles and Jake in the Tweenies!

Justin's TV programmes are just about the right amount of time that children don't get bored or distracted.

So this morning I had 20 minutes of peace and quiet due to Mr Tumble, thank you very much Justin the washing up is done & dusted 😄

A little bit about me.

Readers bear with me,I'm new to the world of blogging but am eager to start tapping away. My posts may be sporadic and posted at odd times,this will be down to juggling work with mummy-hood.

So what makes my blog worth reading?

That's an answer you will have to decide,but I guess I'm hoping that my journey as a parent can be told with no judgements made,and maybe some people can relate.

When I was younger my nan used to call me "Impatient Paris" and I think that describes me down to a T.

I constantly have to have a goal,something that I am working towards. This year it was to pass my driving test and gain some more independence and freedom. I'm chuffed to bits to say I succeeded,with no minors!

My life sometimes feels like it's in fast forward,
I completed my Level 2 qualification while pregnant,
Had my son at 18 years of age,
Then went back 3 weeks after labour to complete my Level 3.

I'm not saying that was the right or the wrong thing to do,but at the time that's what i had to do.

I had a traumatic birth,I hemorrhaged and blacked out for a day,it has to be one of the scariest moments of my life looking at the ceiling and slowly feeling my eyes cloud over.

Having a baby depend on you can either make you or break you,especially when your only a teenager yourself.I can say it made me.

I wish at that time in my life I could have had someone say "it's ok,it's normal and you just need to relax and go with the flow". I was so caught up with reading online about what I should and shouldn't be doing,that I didn't let my natural instincts lead me.

Having a baby is a massive learning curve!

After the birth I found out I had preeclampsia and was severely anemic,I had to have a blood transfusion.

Luckily I fully recovered,I know there's women out there who aren't so lucky and it really makes it hit home how precious life is,and how I want to cherish every minute with my baby.

It took me a year to learn about my child,to learn about myself and my partner.I feel now I have a lot more to share about what I have learnt so far,and what I learn along the way.

Its taken me a year to step back and slow down a bit,im spending more time with my family and less time worrying if Im following every bit of advise given to me about what and how i should be raising my child.

So to the mothers of all ages that are out there,just follow your instincts - mother knows best.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Our little trip to the Zoo.

The day starts off fairly calm and stress free,
Until the one year old realises he's now awake and has plenty of energy. So what am I going to do to entertain him?

I like a bargain,but my favorite thing is when something is free. Luckily for me I work for the big T* who have struck up some sort of bargain with the zoo so that all their employees can visit for free!
The island zoo also very kindly let under 3's in for nothing,so apart from the petrol money no money was spent.

A 5 minute drive from our home and we reach the zoo,its a cold and windy day but with scarves and gloves we can solider through.

All the big cats were out and coming up very close to the fence, Casper the white lion even showed us his pearly whites.

All the animals are really friendly,but I think by a mile the one year old's favourite were the billy goats who kept trying to lick his hand,this ended up with me trying to wrestle him from the wire fence before he got his hand bitten off...I don't think that would have gone down well with daddy.

When we were there we got to listen to a talk about Ike the spider monkey,we found out loads of interesting facts,such as: If a spider monkey has a long nose it doesn't have much going on in the upstairs department,but if they have quite a flat nose they are extremely clever.One of the keepers was telling us how he found out the hard way by being out-smarted by naughty Ike and the locks on the indoor enclosure.

The Zoo has lot's on every day,you can go and learn interesting facts about the animals at feeding time,get up close and personal with the animals and feed the wallabies (or walla-babies as we like to call them - very cute creatures!)

This Zoo is all about the welfare and conservation of the animals,they have excellent breeding programmes and they educate the public. One if the things that I find extremely lovely is that both times I have visited the Zoo I have seen the owner Charlotte Corney interacting with the animals.

Let me finish this by saying Sandown Zoo you are the BIG Bananas!

*(for legal reasons I am not allowed to mention them on social media sites,but I think the majority of you can guess who this gigantic corporation is)

Butlins,Bognor Regis

Adventures to Butlins,Bognor Regis. 

I'll start this first post by saying as a new,nervous family we had no idea what to expect on our first family holiday with our one year old baby/toddler books can prepare you for this.

One of the reasons I wanted to create a blog was because prior to our Butlins adventure I wanted to do a little bit of research into what to expect and other people's experiences. I was sad to see there wasn't much to be found,it went from one extreme of opions to the next,and seemed to be a very confusing slippery slope of experiences.

I wanted to create a blog that shows the positives and negatives of Butlins,Bognor Regis from the view of a parent with a one year old.Not only that but one that contained all the little details you might have missed out but want to know about before you go away.

We managed to get a fantastic,off-peak deal to stay in The Wave Hotel in a Octupus room (Room 112 to be precise).The room itself,apart from a few dirty marks and a lost sock,was clean and modern. It had enough space for a few toys and bags on the floor next to the little seating area,and the rest fitted into the built in wardrobes.

Behind the first wardrobe door laid a little tea and coffee making area with a small light to help you see,they provided tea and instant coffee,and those little sachets of milk that last for about three years. First thing I'd like to point out was don't keep your head anywhere near the entrance of the wardrobe as when the kettle is going it might  blow your head off with the steam.

Underneath this shelf was a little black fridge,you couldn't call it a mini-fridge as  it was big enough to store a pint of milk,some chocolate bars and sandwiches with room to spare,but at the same time it wasn't a fully fledged fridge that could hold a weeks worth of  self catering food. Bear in mind we are a family of three with full catering so we didn't need to use the fridge that much throughout the stay.

If wandering little fingers are coming along on the trip I would suggest bringing some plug covers from home as there seemed to be badly placed,low down plug sockets that were the perfect height for inquisitive kiddi-winks. (Every time we returned back to the hotel room we had to play "chase the toddler away from the socket" game......keeps you on your toes- let's look at the positives)

Ok, now let's look at some positives, three nights in and the novelty of eating out was starting to wear thin with the one year old,cue food being chucked left,right and centre. Until the magical realms of the games room located on the bottom flood advertised leap frog pads that you can rent for up to a week. These interactive pads which talks to the child through the pen when different objects are touched is brilliant! Not only do they read the story's,play games and keep your children amused, they can also be wiped over with a baby wipe to get rid of hubby finger marks.

Hooray! A successful,stress and screaming free meal out to the lovely Papa Johns located on site.

I think another important thing to remember is there is a lot of free things to do that are included in the price, such as the free fairground rides outside ,daily shows and activities.We greatly enjoyed the under fives area which had arts and crafts,a messy paint area and arts and ca soft play area filled with toys.

We was lucky enough to watch "The Jacksons" tribute act during our stay,and I can highly recommend it. It lasted the right amount of time that the kids don't get bored,and had some amazing singing and dancing in it. We didn't see many shows like this during our stay but this was one I could definitely recommend to others.

Another thing we were really impressed with was the variety of food available in the restaurants.We had breakfast every morning at the Deck restaurant and had dinner at the Deck  restaurant twice during our stay,both times there was a different selection of food available to suit everyone's taste.

The Butlins site is situated in the heart of Bognor Regis and had easy access to the local town and the pebble beaches,so there's lots to do with the family outside of the Butlins resort.One day we ventured out to go and have ice cream on the pebble Beach which was lovely.

Mid week through our stay we had a little bit of an emergency ,we run out of Aptamil baby formula lucikly Tesco's is only a quick drive from Butlins or a 20 minute walk.

There would have been pictures to accompany this post however I had a bit of an accident with my Samsung Galaxy S4.....iPhone to the rescue.