Friday, 30 August 2013

Funky Giraffe Moccasins

Baby or toddler slippersWhen Funky Giraffe asked if I would like to review some moccasins I was quite surprised because I thought that they just sold bibs, how wrong was I! They stock lots of gorgeous baby items including these cute Moccasins. My little lady is not a fan of slippers, I often find them in a pile with her toys & her bare foot running around but she tends to keep the Funky Giraffe Moccasins on. With the soft leather sole she must feel comfortable in them. The cotton sock part of the moccasin really does help to keep them on your babies feet & they feel soft to touch which is important especially as they will be against delicate skin.
They are well made with a good choice of designs, we chose strawberry delight & pink and penguins, I love them both, they are both adorable designs. R loves the designs just as much as I do & often pretends she is eating the strawberries off the strawberry delight design.  The price for one pair is £7, if you buy more than one pair Funky Giraffe offer discount which is great. I would recommend them to family and friends, R loves to wear them and wears them often so we have gotten good use out of them for the price, they wash really well too. What I do love is that you can buy other items to match from Funky Giraffe so you could put together a lovely gift for a new baby or for a Christening.
soft leather soles for babies and toddlersbaby toddler slippers

I was sent 2 pairs for the purpose of the review only, all opinions are my own.
I have 2 pairs to give away to 1 of my lucky readers, if you would like to enter please fill out the rafflecoptor form below. Give Away ends 20th September 2013 12am
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Friday, 16 August 2013

i-size Britax explains it all.

Confused by car seats?  Mark Bennett, car seat safety expert from BRITAX explains the new regulation called ‘i-Size’ that all parents should know about
To put simply, i-Size is a new regulation for child car seats that will make it easier for parents to choose and install the right seat, making travelling safer for children.  
One of the most significant changes parents need to be aware of, is how long a child should remain in a rearward facing car seat.  Under existing laws, parents could switch their baby from their rearward facing Group 0/0+ seat into a forward facing Group 1 seat when they reached 9kg or approximately nine months.
The new i-Size regulation means parents will have to keep their baby rearward facing until they are at least 15 months old and the move will be based on the size and age of the child rather than weight.  The new length and age classification will help make it easier for parents to check that their child is ready to be moved to the next stage car seat.
The new regulation is also about the reinforcement of ISOFIX seats use, which are easier to fit correctly and safely than those secured with the car seat belt.  Only a third of belted seats are fitted correctly which can have serious implications in the event of a crash*.   Side impact collisions are one of the most severe types of collisions on the roads** and for car seats to adhere to the new regulations they must pass the newly introduced side impact safety standards.

Why is this regulation coming into force?  Well there are a number of reasons, but in a nutshell, parents are too keen to move their babies forward facing on the premise they believe their child will be happier facing forwards rather than waiting until they have actually outgrown the seat.  Parents are also unaware babies are much safer rearward facing in the event of a collision.
Below 13kg a baby’s neck is not yet that strong and keeping your baby rearward facing for as long as possible (up to at least 15 months) will help protect their vulnerable neck in a frontal crash situation.
So much research evidence has built up on this from crash testing that the EU has introduced this new regulation to keep babies rearward facing until 15 months. BRITAX has accompanied and strongly supported the development of i-Size right from the very beginning.

So how does it affect you?  As soon as i-Size approved car seats are on the market parents will be able to choose between a seat that abides by the older ECE R44/04 regulation or i-Size. The current ECE R44/04 regulation is not replaced by i-Size, and instead will continue in tandem until 2018. The introduction of i-Size simply means that consumers now have an extra option when buying a car seat for their baby/toddler.

When should you change to forward facing?
Here are some guidelines on switching:
Don't do it just because your baby's feet are pushed against the car's back seat.
Wait until your baby is closer to, or ideally at, the maximum age (15 months) for her rearward facing seat than the minimum weight (9kg) for the front facing seat.
BUT do move them if their head is protruding over the top of the Group 0/0+ seat. If they outgrow the seat in height but have not reached the minimum weight for a Group 1 seat, you should then invest in a combination Group 0+ & 1 seat. That is simply the safest option.
You can already consider purchasing a combination Group 0+ & 1 seat as your baby’s first car seat from birth. DUALFIX and MAX-FIX from BRITAX will allow your child to travel rearward facing until they reach 18kg

What is the current law when it comes to car seat safety?
The law requires all children to travel in an appropriate child restraint until they reach 135 cm tall or their 12th birthday (UK, NL, DEN) or 150 cm tall or their 12th birthday (GER, AU, CH, IT, CZ) – whichever comes first. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure this is the case.
Under the existing laws, parents could switch their baby from their rearward facing Group 0&0+ seat into a forward facing one when they reach 9kg (around nine months old).
Now the new regulations, called ‘i-Size’, have come into force mid-July 2013, parents that purchase a child car seat approved under i-Size will have to keep their baby in a rearward facing seat until they are 15 months.
There will be no change to the overall law about child seats being compulsory to the age of 12 or 135 cm/150 cm tall.

Easy to understand when it is explained well isn't it. I love my isofix car seat and can not imagine not using it. It takes the worry away from me as I would always panic that I had not fitted it correctly.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Knowsley Safari park with Jungle Dogs

Last week we were invited along to Knowsley Safari park to see the animals and taste test the yummy Jungle Dogs. Our day started out in the events room trying Jungle Dogs with a variety of other foods.

I enjoyed every single way that they made them up as did the children, although little lady completely refused to eat the peppers especially after her Nanna kept telling her they were sweets.

Each of the children were give a bag full of goodies, Grafix colouring books, crayons, puzzles and make your own keyrings. In the bag was a Jungle Dogs refillable bottle and keyring too which the kids love. 
We had the opportunity to plant some chilli seeds, now I know this is a strange one to plant but there is an interesting tale that goes with it. Farmers will plant chilli around their crops so when the elephants come in and taste the chilli they don't like the taste so move on to graze elsewhere thus saving the farmers lively hood. This is a much nicer way to deter elephant from destroying crops that scaring them, especially when they have calves with them. All the elephants want to do is eat and all the farmers want to do is make a living, they are both fighting for survival.

Towards the end we got chatting to the lovely Tina O'brien and her gorgeous little girl Scarlett. We watched as our children were given animal onsies & then watched whilst they bounced around the events room as cute cats, bouncing kangaroos and a croc. They did all look cute, even the big one. Time came to leave and we were handed a chill bag full of yummy Jungle Dogs & they all insisted on wearing their animal onsies whilst we drove around the safari.

We went round the safari twice, the 1st time we braved the monkeys, they killed our car. The 2nd time we sat safely on the other side of the fence laughing whilst the monkeys killed everyone else's cars, the 2nd was much more fun.
The lions were amazing, very active and they came up close which the children loved as did we. 

Both have kat/cat in their name, both have sharp teeth, both have claws, both observant.
which would win in a race?
I think the meerkat would win short distance because boy can they move when they think danger is about.

 The baboons, the naughty baboons! Enter at your own risk! Don't bother thinking they will not do anything to your car because they will, they love it. They almost laugh at you. I wish our car was not so new because they are hilarious, it was quite funny watching them pull off wing mirrors, rubber seals and windscreen wipers off other cars though.

The elephants are little T's favourite, he adores them. I could easily sit and watch them all day especially when you get to hear the low grumbles when they greet each other, it is a noise that will make you fall silent in an instant.

Lions are one of my favourites, their power alone is fascinating. I love how they greet each other and a mother lions protection of her young is immense. When a lion roars I get goose pimples, when they fight with each other I watch with my hands over my eyes and when they get fruity my mother in law yells "omg drive on, drive on, close your eyes kids, drive on" which of course makes you look & reduces me to tears of laughter. 

I adore animals and great food ideas so all in all we had a pretty amazing day.


New babies & all the things they need

Waiting for a new arrival is an exciting time, you will have the whole future almost mapped out. You will wonder what he or she will look like, Daddies nose, Mummies lips, who knows but one thing I do know is you would have been writing lists. Lists that contain every possible product that you will need throughout the 1st year of your new babies life & lets face it, it is lots. Despite having five children I have never gotten over how many items are needed for one tiny, precious person. 

Bottle, nappies, cots, pushchairs, clothes, walkers, I know, the list is endless, then there is the wondering where to buy them from. K&  have a great range of baby products, they have a vast range of pushchairs to suit most families needs & budgets, not only that if you wish you can also spread the cost, options are available that make them interest free too. I was looking through their products in the catalogue and they have some cute baby walker designs. I love that most now come with toys to play with on the tray, going back 13 years ago to my eldest they were very plain and boring indeed, we had a car design on our son, he had a personalised number plate and would honk his horn at us all day. 

Car Seats, now car seats can be very confusing, especially with the new i-size regulations. I am please to see that K&Co stock traditional car seats & car seats that are isofix, I do love isofix, I love knowing that my car seat is fitted correctly each time. Again there is a wide range to choose from.
I used K&Co to order our bicycle and child seat from and found them to be very helpful and their customer service has always been excellent. 

Featured post with K&Co

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Blackpool Tower Ballrooms Big day out

We were invited to go along to one of the Blackpool Tower Ballrooms big day out. We decided to attend the 1st August event as it was Peppa Pig & my little lady adores Peppa Pig

We arrived a little late but was just in time for the party getting started, we found a seat and bought some drinks and then we were handed our picnic(only children ages 14 and under are provided with a packed lunch). Inside the picnic bag there was a packet of crisp, a carton of fruit juice, a pack of biscuits and some cheese dippers. 

We played some party dances which prizes were being given out then Peppa Pig arrived, all of the children swarmed around her so she retreated to the stage for photographs, whilst photographs were being taken music still played so they other waiting did not grow bored.

Other than dancing we played games, hula hooping was one of them & Peppa Pig was the judge, 3 of my children took part and M managed to win, she only dropped the hoop once, I never knew she could keep it spinning around for so long. Little T made me giggle so much, I think it was his first time hula hooping and he was a funny sight. C didn't win either but she had a chance to take part. I loved that the staff made sure that each child had an opportunity to go up on the stage if they wanted to do so.

Madison chosen a fish as her prize, little T later went on to win a fish too for dancing the cha cha slide on the stage

They took a break at 12:30 till 1:30pm, some of my family took this hour to go up to the top of the tower(extra charge) and brave the walk over the glass flooring. I am not a huge fan of lifts so stayed with the eldest and the youngest in the ballroom(wimps), around 45 minutes later they returned. They have a 4d cinema at the top of the tower that the boys raved about, hearing them talk about it made me want to go up and experience it myself but I couldn't bring myself to go up in the lift. They said it rained & snowed on them and things came at them out of the screen, I would have loved to see what their faces were like.

They braved standing on the glass floor, just looking at this picture makes my stomach do a flip. They even braved going over to the middle section and stepping away from the edge, so brave. The views were pretty good and you could see far out as it was a clear day. They all came down excited and couldn't wait to tell me, so if you are brave enough to go up, they would recommend it. Tickets start from £9.95 & a circus show and family party night is included in the price. We are returning towards the end of August to visit the circus. All of my children enjoyed the day and had great fun, the older ones obviously was not bothered about Peppa Pig but still enjoyed the dances and party games. Their is a bar in the ballroom for you to purchase drinks and a burger bar for the adults to buy food if they are hungry. All in all it was a good day out which the children enjoyed.

I have a few competitions to win tickets to the Blackpool Tower Ballrooms Big day out, to enter just click on the event and follow the instructions. 

Blackpool Sandcastle Waterpark

Earlier on in the week we enjoyed a fabulous day out at Blackpool Sandcastle Waterpark. We had not been before so we were all excited about trying the exciting slides. We arrived and had our hyperzone bands strapped to our wrist then topped up the new splashcash wristband before heading down to the changing room to get changed.
The changing rooms can be accessed by lift or stairs, there is a pushchair park at the changing room level but your pushchairs are left at your own risk. What I did like about the changing rooms is that they have a family changing in addition to the regular male & female changing rooms. This made getting us all changed much easier. The cubicles were large enough to fit us in comfortably to get changed. If your not a fan of towel drying or you have done that much swimming that your arms would fall off they had to dry one inch of you, fear not, you can pop some money into the human(body) dryer and step in to be air dried. There is also a machine to wring out your bathing suit which I though was brilliant because 7 lots of wet bathing suits can be heavy along with the soaked towels.
All kids present and changed we head up to the pool area, walking up the slope we were shot with small jets of water on our legs which gave us a surprise especially the 2 year old, I presume this is to clean off your feet to stop and nasties coming into the pool.
The pool was warm, now I honestly think it is the warmest pool I have ever been in which was lovely as I normally end up dithering and wanting to go home. We spent a bit of time in Typhoon lagoon splashing in the waves before heading to Ushi-gushi the free flowing lazy river, the kids all really loved going round & round in the lazy river, I think they actually enjoyed it more that typhoon lagoon with the waves.

After a while of free flowing around the lazy river M & I decided to try out the slide, M is a right daredevil and not much scares her so I knew she would want to try out everyone. First up we tried the sidewinder(top right in the image above) we waited to collect our double dinghy and up the stairs we went, M insisted on going in the front so she would fall over the edge first as that is more fun according to her. The Sandcastle say the initial drop is free fall and negative G, the same as being dropped from a 3 storey building. I say don't let your bottom touch the slide because you swimwear will get friction marks. I really enjoyed this ride because it is different from the usual slides, going over the edge does flip your stomach and you are thankful when you land safely at the bottom of the slope but it is a must do ride. Little T took the safer option and opted to ride the thunderfalls water slides a few time, children ages 2 years and upwards can ride this slide when accompanied by an adult so it isn't a really fast paced slide but all the same it is enjoyable, little T went on the slide 3 times and each time he would have happily queued again.  Little T & Big T enjoyed HMS Thundersplash, they were a little disappointed they could not fire canons at people but the small slides made up for that.
Caribbean storm is fun though, you can pour water over unsuspecting people or fire water canons at loved ones, or if you feel like you want gallons of water poured over you then wait in the area to have gallons & gallons of water come shooting out of the giant coconut every 10 minutes, I did witness a few peoples shorts being slightly pulled down by the force of the water so hold onto those trunks.
Masterblaster is another slide that you could lose your swimwear on if your not careful, masterblaster is the worlds longest indoor rollercoaster waterslide at 236 meters in length & 5 sections where you are propelled uphill, yes I said uphill. Going uphill is where the potential to lose your swim bottoms lies. Jets of water help to shoot you uphill on your dinghy, & the water that is used to push you around is enough to fill 5 swimming pools in 1 hour, that is some great water pressure pushing you about! 

The last slide I tried out was Aztec falls, again M & I went in a double dinghy and again she insisted on going first. The 150 meter decent was dark, I screamed a few times, when we landed in the bowl and spun around I yelled "no" at the thought I was about to go backwards, thankfully a jet of water spun us around and into the darkness we plunged again going the correct way forward. This is the only slide that I have ever been in that was complete darkness for the majority of the way, you can not prepare yourself for the turns so that adds to the fun or fear however you look at it. This slide and sidewinder were my favourite. M tried out Montazooma when you go head first on a mat, she said it was not as fun as Aztec because it didn't have a bowl like that one did, you can't please them all! My children were not that pleased when I told them it was time to go home, they didn't want their watery fun to end and I can't blame them, we had a blast.

Prices start from £13.50 for a person aged 12 years and over, if you like adrenaline pumping slides then I would recommend that you purchase the hyperzone band for £6 as this then allows you on the Aztec falls, Montazooma, Sidewinder & Masterblaster. I would recommend Blackpool Sandcastle WaterPark to family and friends as we thoroughly enjoyed it. You can not take in your own food but their food is priced cheaper than I expected, we a large family of 3 adults and 5 children and spent less than £60 on food and drink for the whole time we are there. 

We were given free access to the Sandcastle for the purpose of the review. All opinions are my own.