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Two Birds with One Stone

Two Birds with one stone…. clear out the unwanted stuff and make some money doing so!

For AGES…. OK, years…. I have been meaning to have a good old clear out. I have so much clutter/junk/unwanted items laying around the house that is taking up valuable space.

I’ve been so far just sorting through the clothes that Fraser has grown out of! I cannot believe the amount of clothing this boy has!! It really is crazy! So many beautiful clothes! So many in fact that he probably only wore everything once! The mountains of newborn and 0-3 month clothes actually hid my dining table for a good week! Not started on the 3-6 months clothes yet! He is just about still in 6-9 months but some 9-12 month items fit him already! He will be  5 months old in a matter of days! He really is a chunky monkey!

I tried listing a few things on local Facebook selling pages but that didn’t go well at all! So I decided to give eBay a go.

 

So I signed up for an account and downloaded the app onto my phone. It actually was really straight forward. I got a handful of items together, took some pictures and got ready for listing.  When you first join eBay you are allowed to list 10 items per month, that is then reviewed once you have 10 positive feedback as a seller. It is a little annoying when you have enough clothes to fill a supermarket twice over but I do understand why they do it!

 

I listed my 10 items for 7 days and found it really really easy and quick to do. They give you an guide starting price on each listing which is really helpful so I went with their suggestion on all my listings. Once all ten listings were done and live I found myself slightly obsessively checking for watchers and bids!

Over the course of the 7 days of selling my first ten items, sales went really well. I used the Auction option rather than the Buy It Now option. I managed to sell 8 of those items listed. Fantastic!

ebay, selling, money,

 

I posted all my items off promptly once I had received payment for them. The app is great for this part too. It sends you a notification once someone had made payment.

So that is my total for successfully selling 8 items. I am so happy with that! There are so many things going on that we could do with extra money for at the moment. Oldest will be off to New York with school in Feb ’19, its also her 15th birthday 6 weeks before christmas! Then we have Christmas itself which is never cheap! Then a month after that is our middle childs 12th birthday. We really didn’t plan that well!! Haha! We are also saving for some home improvements so the perfect way to help is by clearing out unwanted goods and making space but more importantly is making money whilst doing so. Can’t wait to list my next lot. My house is going to be empty at this rate! What a wonderful thought?? A clutter free house!

 

 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post].

 

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Hauck Roma Pushchair Review – Kiddies Kingdom

Excitingly, we were contacted by Kiddies Kingdom to ask if we would like to review a pushchair! How could we possibly say no?!

 

Obviously we already have a pram/pushchair that we bought just before Fraser was born, which we love but it is very bulky and heavy. The Hauck Roma that we have been asked to review is more of a stroller pushchair.

baby, travel

The pushchair comes boxed complete apart from the 2 front wheels and hood that need attaching. Both are incredibly simple to do. The front wheel spools have protectors on which easily pop off and the wheels just push on and then click when secure.

My first impressions when the Roma was taken out of the box was an immediate love for the kiwi and midnight colours. A really lovely combination.

The frame is lightweight compared to the pram/pushchair that I already have. Even with the weight difference it is very sturdy. It is also really easy to push. The front wheels have the option of being set to just forward or swivel.

This buggy folds down to a nice compact size and even has a handle to make it easy to carry! It’s so handy and I’m sure would fit in the boot of most cars! When folded there is a clip that holds it together in this position.

pushchair, lightweight

roma, hauck

Fraser was very intrigued when I sat him in his new wheels for the first time! He was looking around!

stroller, lightweight

The 5 point harness is fab and the clip to undo it is really easy to open (also comparing to my pushchair) but not too easy. Plus padding on the straps so they don’t rub against little ones neck. All straps are very easy to adjust as well.

baby, travel

Another handy feature of this pushchair is a nice sized, handy pocket on the back of the hood, great for chucking a spare dummy in or your purse for a walk to the shops.

brakes

The brakes on this buggy are so simple to use. You simply press down on the tab until it clicks against the wheels and this can be done from either side. Then reverse the process to release the brake.

folding down, compact

This tab that is central between the wheels at the back is a part of the folding down and opening process. So when you want to fold down the buggy you will lift this tab upwards, then there is a tab sticking out on the right hand side of the frame that you have to push down on and the whole thing will fold down. Then as before reverse the process when opening up the buggy and it will click into place when fully opened.

roma

handles

One of the things that did concern me was the handle height. Hubby is 6ft 4 and I am 5ft 11. I had visions of us being hunched over pushing this buggy but that is not the case at all. The handles are a perfect height. They are not adjustable but just perfect for us. They are foam covered so super comfortable to grip too.

recline

The toggle underneath the seat is how you adjust the seating position. Hold in the button in the toggle and pull down on the strap and push the toggle upwards for an upright seating position. Then you would need to press the button in and pull the toggle downwards to lay the seat flat. This is suitable from birth as it does lay completely flat. As you can also see from the picture that the shopping basket underneath is a fabulous size.

review, kiddies kingdom

Overall we really love this stroller. It is so handy, convenient, lightweight and looks great! The ONLY downside to it is that it doesn’t come with a rain cover which is a little annoying but they are cheap enough to buy.

 

Looking for some new wheels for your little one? There are great pushchairs for sale at Kiddies Kingdom!

 

We were sent this pushchair to review. All thoughts and opinion are honest and my own.

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Christmas Gift Guide for Babies Under 1

My christmas gift guide is here for Babies under one year. Christmas is fast approaching so I thought I’d get super organised and compile a small list of gift ideas. It can be really tricky buying for babies but I have based this list on us buying for Fraser for his first Christmas.

 

Toys:

Toys I suppose are the obvious choice really but they have to be age appropriate so it does take some investigating. Now Fraser can sit up with support and now likes his Tummy Time so this Hungry Caterpillar Activity Toy is perfect to entertain him when he’s on his front or sitting/laying.

Suitable from birth, this toy from Born Gifted is fabulous. I am a HUGE fan of the Very Hungry Caterpillar anyway but it has so many ways to keep baby amused. I has velcro straps too so can be attached to pram/pushchair or cot. The Caterpillars feet and tentacles are made from material that makes a crinkle/crispy sound when touched or scrunched. Fraser particularly likes this bit. There are small hoops to grab underneath, a large hoop with beads that move about too. The material is bright in each section and has different textures.

 

It is so well made and beautifully embroidered. If you press the embroidered leaf it plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

The clear globe in the middle spins around making a rattle sound with the tiny beads inside. Fraser loves his activity  caterpillar so it get a huge thumbs up from us!

Price £19.99

 

Books:

It is never too early to get your children into books! My older two kids adore books and I am hoping Fraser will too!

This book is awesome. It is hardback, although you can get paperback too. You can also have your childs face put on the front of the book as well as their name. I really love this idea! We opted for just the personalised text. It is so adorable. There are a number of titles you can have personalised on the website and lots of other items other than books too.

I love this message we could have printed inside the front cover. It is a lovely touch that can make this gift just that little bit more special.

book, personalised, christmas

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. Really cute characters and animals. I love everything about them from the backgrounds to the artwork. This beautifully made book from It’s Your Story is a perfect gift for baby. We definitely recommend this.

Price: From £15

 

Personalised Soft Toy/Teddy:

Who doesn’t love a teddy!?? This isn’t one I’d give Fraser to play with though, it’d be more of a keepsake I think but it is so cute! TIGGER!!!

tigger, disney, baby

 

tigger, christmas, baby

This isn’t just any old teddy though… Tigger has a special personalised scalloped tag hanging on his satin ribbon bow! Tigger comes carefully wrapped in tissue paper and presented in a lovely tulle drawstring bag. The teddy from Find Me A Gift, is approx 21cm in height and incredibly soft to touch. The personalisation on the disc is limited to 50 characters but you can have whatever message you like.

Price: £23.99

 

Money Boxes:

Baby may already have one but if not, I think a money box is lovely idea for a gift. This one from Find Me A Gift is really nice. It is glass on one side so you can actually see into your money box and see how many pennies you’ve got.

 

The My First Money Box has an animal picture on the back that you can also see through the glass front. Printed on the front glass panel is the words My First Money Box. It is wooden and painted in white. You can get to your money through the back, it has got four clips like a photo frame that you slide round and take the back panel off. Its really well made too and do other versions for grown ups!

Price: £19.99 but currently on sale at £12.99!

 

I really hope this has helped in giving you some ideas for gifts for Baby’s first Christmas. I cannot wait to spend our first Christmas as a family of FIVE! 

 

 

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Heading into GCSE Territory

So our beautiful eldest and only daughter, almost 15 years old,  is heading into GCSE territory… about to start back in Year 10! Where the real hard work begins. Options are chosen and the next 2 years will probably be quite stressful at times. She’s panicking already!

“Mum!! We have to learn and remember 15 different poems!”

Wow! I don’t envy her at all. I was rubbish at learning! I was rubbish at school. My GCSE results reflected that, I wasn’t interested in school and I fully regret not paying more attention and knuckling down. I have since studied a few courses and really enjoyed them but I suppose the difference being as an adult student I have chosen what subjects I want to learn about. She has chosen her three options for GCSE and they are Art, P.E and French. She is feeling the pressure already and they aren’t even back to school yet! I think there is a lot of pressure on the kids these days but as I have said to Izzy, as long as she does her best then I will be proud of her as you can’t do any better than that.

 

I’ve recently found out about Education Quizzes! This is a site with quizzes for ALL children of all ages. The quizzes are aimed at all key stages including GCSE and can aid revision too which I think is a fantastic idea! The quizzes are actually written by teachers and the main objective is to help children to be successful at school. I will be sharing this with Izabel as she is petrified of revision and being able to remember everything she needs to. I will help her as much as I can as will her Dad, but anything that can make the process fun in anyway has to be a bonus. I wish they had these kinds of things around when I took my exams 20+ years ago! Gosh that makes me feel so old!!

 

She has just under 2 years until the main GCSEs take place but will have mock exams before that. I just want her to have confidence in herself and her abilities as she is incredibly bright and talented and I know that she will do well and will go very far in whatever direction she chooses to take!

 

Art work credit to Izzy Aiston.

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Little Adventurous Type – Review and Giveaway!!!!

I have been so excited to share this with you all! We have been sent a personalised print for Fraser from Little Adventurous Type! It is such a stunning picture and can’t wait to get it up on the wall when he eventually moves into a room with his brother.

The beautiful prints comes framed in a choice of white or oak. They are mounted too which gives it a real professional finish. There are choices of prints too. There are animals which is what we chose, there are toys, balloons, princesses, and really really cool Star Wars Prints! You really need to check them out!! You can find them on Instagram.

The detail of the animal fur/skin on the letters is incredible, the fact that the letters are 3D makes it look so so eye catching.

Here is a bit of a closer look so you can see what I mean!!!

 

We are so very pleased with the quality, design and finish and will definitely go back for more prints in the future! Mike, the owner,  is incredibly friendly and the customer service is second to none.

 

Now the AWESOME thing about this is that Little Adventurous Type have offered to give away a free framed personalised print of choice to ONE lucky winner!! How cool is that! So if you would like to be involved and in with a chance please follow ALL steps in the widget below!! Entries will be checked and verified before a winner is announced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Win a Personalised Framed Print

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MyHummy – The Humming Bear Review

MyHummy is a God Send!! I’m sure that anyone who has one would agree!! A cute and cuddly teddy that actually sends your baby to sleep? Genius!

Now… as a rule Fraser is a pretty good sleeper but we are only human and have the odd wobbly bedtime, especially after injections and things like that. He has just started teething too so I’m sure there will be a few more wobbles coming up!

The MyHummy Snoozy is incredibly soft to the touch and super cuddly! Very very cute indeed! They come in 5 different colours. Our one is Slate Grey. The other choices are white, mint green, blue and pink.

Apparently babies love playing with ball-shaped objects and it would be perfectly safe for little ones to have a chomp on the paws. This can be washed at 40 degrees (obviously taking out the battery compartment first). The battery compartment is cleverly hidden behind an almost invisible zip at the top of Snoozys head. It takes 3 x AAA batteries.

This cute little bear can be attached to cot, car seat, pram etc and the sole purpose is to help baby to sleep by playing white noise. There are 5 different noises to choose from, which are: A hairdryer, vacuum cleaner, ocean waves, rainfall and amniotic fluid with heartbeat.

Ours lives in Frasers cot. We haven’t taken it out and about in pram or carseat as yet. Fraser loves him for bedtime.

There is a variable volume setting, plus its easy to switch off, you just press and hold for like 2 seconds and its off. It comes with an easy to follow instruction page. Such a great idea, such cute looking teddies, Fraser has no issues settling, even on a wobbly bedtime with his MyHummy Snoozy by his side! Wish they had these around when my older two were babies!

 

We love the MyHummy Snoozy! Thumbs up here!!

 

 

 

We were sent this item to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and our own.

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Bumbo Changing Pad Review

Bumbo got in touch with us to see if we wanted to do a review of their Changing Pad, obviously we were happy to oblige! These looked GREAT!

The Pad is comfortable and soft and it is contoured. The sides are raised too which helps when baby gets to that “I’m gonna roll over” stage! Another plus to help this stage is the strap to hold them in place which I think is a great idea! The strap is fully adjustable too!

The Changing Pad is also easy to clean which is always a bonus when it comes to Nappy changing time! Ha! The Joys of Boys…. I’ve been peed on many a time now! Compared to our normal plastic changing mat, when I laid Fraser down onto it, it wasn’t freezing cold. So he didn’t get grumpy!

He does love to wriggle about, does Fraser but I feel a lot more settled knowing he cannot go anywhere when on this pad! The higher sides and safety harness completely put my mind at ease. He isn’t quite at the rolling over stage just yet but we aren’t far off I’m sure!

 

This little boy hasn’t been a huge fan of Bum Change Time … (I’m not either particularly), but since we have been using the Bumbo Changing Pad it has been a tear free affair which is always a good thing!

 

 

I would say our thoughts on this product are a HUGE thumbs up!! Definitely recommended by us!

 

Pop over to Facebook and visit Bumbo UK

We were sent this item to review. All opinions are honest and our own!

 

 

 

 

 

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France 2016

Car all packed up ready, excited kids, hubby and I checking and double checking that we have got everything…. Right!! Off we go!

We got about 2 miles from home, just come off a roundabout which takes you onto a dual carriageway towards the M23. Car starts revving as if I have my foot to the floor, all power has died and to my horror I look out of my rear view mirror to discover my view is completely obstructed by THICK white smoke!! On to the hard shoulder we go!

GREAT!!!

I had not long changed over car insurance which included my breakdown cover… So I ring them and they tell me they will come out to us within an hour…. not so bad. BUT because we were still within a 2 week period of taking out the policy I had to pay £75 for the recovery truck to rescue us!! Could really have done without that when you’re off on your holidays!! Breaking down was enough of a kick in the teeth!

Izzys was crying as she was gutted we weren’t going to be able to get to France! Xavier was having a complete meltdown up on the bank at the side of the road because he thought the car was going to blow up. He was shaking. I was quite shaky myself to be honest.

We waited about half an hour and I had a call on my mobile from the recovery truck driver saying he wasn’t too far away. Great news. So we got towed home. Back to square one. We had no front door key as both Mums had them to come in and feed the cats. Luckily Eds mum only lives around the corner so she was round in a few mins once we had called her to tell her we were home.

Called my parents to let them know we were back too. Basically will cut a long story short but Thanks to the Bank of Mum and Dad we were able to hire a car for 8 days and get on our way to France and still have our holiday!! For that I will be eternally grateful!!

We were travelling by Eurotunnel and Ed had called them when we had broken down earlier and we were told our ticket was valid until lunchtime the following day, so once we had hired the car and knew the registration of the car we called them back. This was approx 4pm. They were very accommodation and helpful which was great as we had already had such a stressful day! The next available train they could fit us on to was 7.30pm so we agreed and set off for Folkestone.

We arrived for our train in plenty of time so we went for a bite to eat in the terminal. There are various shops there and a few different places to eat. Once fed we headed back to the car and got in the queue for our train. Boarding was all very well organised and straight forward. There are safety and security announcements into the carriages once on the train. You are allowed out of your car during the journey too. So we got out and stretched our legs. The journey time is 35 minutes and a trillion times better than the ferry! I really am not a fan of boats! This was perfect!! Smooth ride and the journey seemed to go really quickly!

Before we knew it we were in France!! YAY! Bonjour!!!

Only thing is …. it was just getting dark and we knew we had a 2 and a half hour journey ahead of us to the campsite!! Now Hubby doesn’t drive so it was all on my shoulders. I was in an unfamiliar car, in a foreign country, on the opposite side of the road, in the dark….and it had been a very stressful day and i was VERY tired!

These two beauties were absolutely amazing considering the stress that was radiating off me and Ed! Xavier coped incredibly well!

I was struggling as the car was really uncomfortable, I was having to overtake lorries in the fast lane and it was scary, I was tired, so very tired… Ed kept putting the air con on in the car which was freezing, but in the hope it would keep me more alert. I was concentrating so hard my brain actually hurt! I had to stop for a break at one point, as much as I just wanted to get there, my back was killing me and I was exhausted! We pulled off the motorway into services but i missed the turn for the carpark and we ended up sitting in-between loads of parked up lorries!! I had to get out and have a cigarette. I was stressed to the max by this point… well what I thought was the max!

We got back on the road, bearing in mind we had already done this journey 2 years ago, came off at the junction that was on our directions print out. Or so we thought…. again… long story short WE WERE LOST!!! We were driving around all these little towns and over all these little roundabouts, they all looked the bloody same, in fact some of them probably were as were driving round in circles!! I can laugh about it now but at the time I was close to a nervous breakdown. By this point too at was about midnight. It was like a bloody ghost town so no-one was even around to ask. NOW I was stressed to the max!!

Ed got on the phone to the campsite to let them know we were lost and they worked out that we had come off the motorway far too early and pointed us in the right direction and told us what signs to look for and follow. TWO HOURS later and we started recognising things from before and FINALLY we reached our destination! I felt like an absolute zombie!!

We were given the keys to our home for the week and we emptied the car and went straight to bed!! It was 2am!!!!

The next morning, after a very beautiful lay in and probably the best sleep I’ve had in a long time, it was coffee and pain au chocolate time on the decking and time to start our little holiday!

We wandered into the town, got a bit of food shopping at the Intermarche down the road, wandered around the familiar campsite that we fell in love with 2 years ago. The kids couldn’t wait to go to the man made beach there. Its fabulous.

The water is freezing though. But it was so quiet as we went in term time and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was wonderful.

Xavier new found water confidence blew me away on holiday. He has come so so far! He was letting me pull him around the swimming pool by his hands as he kicked his legs behind him. I videoed him going out quite deep at the man made beach with a rubber ring around him then him kicking his legs till he got back to shore. This is the boy who used to scream blue murder just getting in his bath! I have so much to thank his amazing school for. So very proud!

We had a meal out in the on site restaurant which we didn’t do last time. It was a tiny bit expensive but sod it! We deserved it and it was absolutely delicious!! I had steak and chips with a red wine sauce. The others had speciality burgers. Everyone was very impressed with the food and service and for me it was nice not to cook for an evening!! Beautiful meal!

We spent so much time on holiday laughing. I mean real belly laughs! I was laughing so much I was crying at times and that was so lovely and so needed. We all needed it. It was such a lovely holiday despite the nightmare start. We spent a week of quality time together. No strops from the teen, no meltdowns from the boy, just good quality fun and happy times…. just the 4 of us!

Xavier will probably kill me for that photo but its a memory, a reminder of the silliness and messing around that was plentiful whilst we were away! Its such a beautiful, serene and lovely place that we do enjoy visiting. We have been twice now and even though we had the issues at the beginning, we would do it all over again.

We left earlier than we needed to for our train home and were able to get on an earlier one which was another fab thing about Eurotunnel! We got back to the UK in no time and had a (THANKFULLY) smooth, breakdown and hiccup free journey home!

We LOVE France!

 

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Miles Kelly Book Review – Project Body


When we were asked to review a couple of books from Miles Kelly I absolutely jumped at the chance! We LOVE books in this house! Especially the kids! Xavier gets engrossed in books, particularly factual ones.

We received Project Body and straight away Xaviers face was buried in it! Just in the first 10 minutes of him having a look through I was asked “Mum, did you know………?” numerous times about various things. Actually some of the things he asked I had no idea about so I learnt things too!

Every single page is rammed with lots of information and facts about the body, bones, skin, wees and poos, hair, organs, blood….. the list really is endless. The are flaps to lift on every page too with even more pics or facts hidden underneath.

The book is full of amazing pictures and diagrams, cartoon characters, fun fonts which is guaranteed to keep kids engaged. There is so much to look at. It is so interesting for me too, as an adult to read. Xavier loves this book. He has read it cover to cover now a fair few times and randomly spouts out facts that he has learnt.

We as a family Would definitely recommend this book from Miles Kelly

We were sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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Trolley Bags Review

How many of you are guilty of forgetting your bags when you go shopping? I am a nightmare for it. Did you know that from the 1st of October you will be charged for carrier bags in shops? I know some do it already but it will be all stores from this date!

I was approached and asked if I would like to review some Trolley Bags. After checking them out I would have been mad not to. Such a fantastic idea!

Whoever thought of this is a genius!! They hang on the back of the trolley whilst you fill it with your groceries. If you use the service they have in Tesco where you scan as you go round you can have the bags open in the trolley as you go. They come in 2 sizes. One is for the shallower trollies and then the regular deeper trollies.

I tested mine out when I went shopping the other day. I opted for the shallower trolly bags but when i got to Lidl they only had deep trollies available.

They are SO handy when packing your groceries up. Who needs carrier bags? 😉

They redeemer than you realise too. See with that little lot above I probably would have used at least 5 or 6 carrier bags. The different sections are connected together with velcro. Then when you want to put them in the boot of the car they come apart and have 2 handles to simply lift and place in the boot. The Trolley bags are incredibly well made and very sturdy.

Once you’re back home and all the shopping is unpacked they easily stick back together with the velcro and can be rolled back up and are an easily storable size. Ready to go for next time!! Just don’t forget to put them in the car!

 

We were sent these for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.