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Liv is starting school next month!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

I can't quite believe it but the time has arrived - Liv is starting nursery in September. She is very excited and can't wait to go! While I am nervous and a little emotional at the thought of setting her into the big wide world, I am talking to her about what will happen and being very positive about this huge change in both our lives. She is definitely ready to go and will have a fantastic time. We have been very lucky to be offered some items to help the transition and get her prepared for school. Here are some of the items we are prod to be reviewing.

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We absolutely love this Stabilo EASYoriginal pen. The grip zone in the center is non slip and  a vague triangular shaped instead of more round like normal pens, the end of the pen is quite long ensuring it sits correctly on the hand, so they learn to hold the pen properly.

Stabilo 1 Easygraph pencil is very clever. With a simple triangular design and cut out easy grip areas, this pencil ensures the Child is holding and using it correctly

Stabilo Trio Scribbi are triangular shaped felt pens with a retractable nib meaning no more broken tips! They are also super washable so no more stained finger or worse - clothes!

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School shoes and bag from Brantano 

When Brantano kindly asked us to choose a pair of shoes and a bag, Liv immediately chose a Frozen backpack for £6.99 and these super cute, Walkright black shoes with purple lights £14.99.

The backpack is very spacious and sturdy, with strong adjustable straps allowing it to grow with her.

The shoes are very well made with a high quality look and feel to them. The flower and butterfly design is stitched into the shoe rather than applied to it, this gives a far higher quality look and of course is much more durable than a stuck on decoration. Ideal for Younger Girls, these shoes have a cute light in the heel which flashes purple with each step, also an easy close velcro strap giving the Younger Girls that little bit more independence that they so crave at this age!

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One of the things Friends and Family have stressed to me is how important it is to label EVERYTHING Liv takes or wears, apparently 3/4 years old aren't very good at keeping their belongings safe - who knew! With that it mind I was very excited to be offered this Brother PT-H105 label printer for review. 

I was sent the machine and 2 cartridges, one cartridge is a plastic type for labeling books etc while the other is material and perfect for labeling shoes/clothes. The plastic ones have a removable backing to allow them to be stuck straight down and the material ones need to be ironed on. This has been great fun to use, Liv has enjoyed typing in her own name and choosing flowers/hearts and many other pictures to make the label special. Once the label has printed simply press the cutting button and your label is free to be used - couldn't be easier!

Priced at £40. Requires 6 AAA batteries - not included.

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Hedrin got in touch to offer a preventative head lice treatment which I think is a fantastic idea! Liv has lovely long hair which she tries to wear loose all the time so a big fear of mine has been an infestation of little critters once she starts school. The treatment is simply a spray and leave in conditioner for use a minimum of twice a week that deters the bugs from setting up camp! Very east to incorporate into the routine and very reasonably priced around £5. 

They also kindly sent me a fast acting treatment should she end up being infected it will save us a mad dash out trying to find a treatment. Hedrin once is a spray gel solution that is clinically proven to kill head lice and eggs in just one application. You simply leave to work for 15 minutes - a lot kinder than the horrendous treatments I remember as a Child!

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Phonics school DVD and workbook, introduces children to phonics in a fun way, engaging them right from the opening credits.

Phonics School tells the story of the young 'phonikers' who are pupils at Phonics School. Their wise bear teacher Master Anok teaches them that they can transform into anything that begins with their sound - we particularly enjoyed the episode where C and K learn the difference between their sounds, something that is very hard to explain came across very well because it was visible. Liv has genuinely loved watching this DVD and has been walking around announcing what sound or letter everything begins with. Both the DVD and the book are a fantastic way for Parents to give their Children a head start from home.

Targeting the 3-5 age group and licensed by BBC Worldwide Learning.

The series will soon be available on iTunes & Google Play. 

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Of course the most important thing for back to school is having the school uniform!
Nutmeg clothing sent us some uniform items for Liv to try out.

We received:
A pack of 2 polo shirts priced from £2
A Skirt with adjustable waist priced at £3
Pinafor priced at £4
A pair of black gym pumps priced at £2.50 

All of the items are high quality, with perfect stitching and some well thought out touches.

For example the skirt has and adjustable waist to allow you to get the most out of the skirt for as long as possible, it also has a cute little heart buttons. Both the skirt and the pinafor have a shield and clean Teflon coating to help make sure they don't get stained. They are also both machine washable at 40 and can be tumble dried too.

The pumps even have space inside to write the Childs name - very helpful!

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This beautiful floral print rucksack is the perfect size for those independent little school starters . Smaller than other backpacks Liv has tried, this bag does not swamp her or look over sized at all.

This bag also comes with fully adjustable straps to ensure the perfect fit, a handle on the top for carrying and there is also the option to personalise the bag in a range of coloured cottons.

I would definitely recommend this bag. The quality is outstanding. All of the stitching and zips are perfect and the overall design is just perfect for the little ones starting school this year.

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So that's it, my Baby Girl is officially going out into the big wide world next month. She is so excited and I know she will love it but I know I will shed a tear or two once she is safely inside.

How did you find the first day of school?

Barbie Spin N ride pets - Livs review.

Monday, 24 August 2015

When our latest Barbie review item arrived, Liv could hardly contain her excitement when she saw it was Barbie on a bicycle wearing a pink helmet just like hers!

What's in the box:
2 Dogs.

Simply clip the pieces together as per the instructions, which is very quick and easy to do. 

Not only can Barbie ride her bike, she also takes her very clever pets along for the ride!

Once all of the pieces are assembled, all that is left to do is pop Barbies feet into the pedals and her hands onto the handle bars. Once she is saddled up and of course wearing her safety helmet, simply push the bike forward. 

You will then see Barbies legs actually peddling the bike while the big Dog rides happily alongside her on her super cute pink skateboard. The more energetic puppy literally runs circles around the bigger dog on her tiny purple skate board.

Liv thought this was absolutely hysterical and fell about laughing the first time she saw it. I must admit it is very fun to watch and even caught the attention of our dog.

Wearing a pretty floral tunic, blue non-removable trousers and sensible black ankle boots, Barbie is ready for an adventure!

This set has been a huge hit in our house with Liv and her Cousins. It is a great way to reinforce the importance of wearing a safety helmet as well as being great fun to play with. It has even made it's way on to one or two Christmas lists!

I would definitely recommend this to Family and Friends, hours of fun and I have seen it priced at just under £19 at Argos too.

Suitable for ages 3 and over.

RRP £24.99

A new hairstyle for 30!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Back in June, just before heading off on a Family holiday to the Dominican Republic for my 30th Birthday, I decided I would like a change from my usual very long waist length brown hair.

I bought hair magazines and searched the internet for days on end. While I was searching I found out about a charity called The Little Princess Trust

If you haven't heard of them either, they are a charity that provides real hair wigs for Children that have sadly lost their own hair due to going through cancer treatment. 

They are only able to do this if they continue to receive donations of real, well cared for hair. 

Right then I decided I was cutting my hair as short as I could dare so that I could send off as much as possible.

After a little reading I discovered that the minimum  amount they could accept was 7 inches - no problem at all I thought!

So I found a style I liked and booked an appointment! 

On the day I showed my lovely hairdresser the style I liked and explained that she would need to put my hair into a bobble, plait it, secure it at the end with another bobble then cut it off! She couldn't quite believe what I was asking her to do and checked several times if I was certain before she started snipping!

An hour or so later I was left with lovely healthy hair cut into a completely new style, and The Little Princess trust were 17 inches of hair better off! 17 whole inches!

My new hairstyle after donating 17 inches of hair to charity.

I love my new style (especially now it is slightly longer and can fit into a ponytail when I need it too!)

So if you are looking for a new style or feel like a change, please do think of donating your hair, it really could make all the difference.

Preparing to go back to school with Home Bargains.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The A few weeks ago I received a surprise email from the lovely people at Home Bargains asking if they could send us some back to school goodies for Liv - Yes please I replied!

I can't put into words how shocked I was when a few days later a huge box was delivered filled with tonnes of crafting supplies, stationary AND a school backpack, lunch bag and sports bottle - a truly lovely parcel to receive!

Inside the mammoth box we received:

Stationary set - 69p
Sports bottle - 59p
Craft box - £2.99
Frozen lunch bag - £2.99
Frozen sports bottle - 79p
18 tubes of Glitter glue - 89p
A4 metallic card - 79p
Frozen backpack - £2.99
Sticker assortment - 29p
30 felt tip pens - 99p
Chalkboard with chalks and sponge - 99p
Furry pencil case - 69p
Eraser set - 69p
Mini wooden stamps - 59p
Disney Princess paint tubes - 59p
Wiro notebook - 59p

Totaling just £17.55!

We have had great fun getting crafty with some of the items. Liv set to work last week making many lovely pieces of artwork. 

In the craft box alone she found, PVA glue, plastic scissors, glitter glue, glitter, sequins, wobbly 3D eyes, feathers, lolly pop sticks, pipe cleaners, pompoms, gems and more!

LEFT - here she is proudly showing off her new backpack, lunch bag and drink bottle.
RIGHT- here you can see her in action on various colours of the metallic card.

We have had a great time with the products sent and will definitely be recommending other Parents get their Kids ready for back to school with Home Bargains!

Disclaimer - we were sent these items as part of a review, however all opinion and images are our own

Heading off for a September break.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Next month my Dad is turning the big 6-0! He is so difficult to buy gifts for at the best of times but a big Birthday gift is supposed to be sentimental too isn't it? I have looked on a few websites but nothing has really been appropriate. I'm not too worried though because as part of his celebrations we, along with some Friends of my Parents are heading off for a lovely 4 night break in Bluestone Wales

We have booked a beautiful 4 bedroom lodge to accommodate all of us - complete with on site spa and water park too! 

Livs Daddy and I can't wait to make the most of the swimming pool to help Liv get more confidence on the road to swimming. She loves the water and is in fact a little daredevil wanting to go far deeper than she should, trying to put her head under the water and wanting to spend all day in the water but she is absolutely not ready for swimming without armbands - no matter how much she protests!

The only downside is that it is a four hour drive from home, that is a long time to keep a 3 year old happy and entertained in her car seat.  I have already amused my Husband by starting my checklist, number one on the list is checking that the European breakdown cover is up to date, the last thing we need during the trip is to be left stranded on some unknown road where (knowing Wales as I good as I do - being Welsh!) there will probably be no mobile signal!

Do you have any tips for keeping little ones happy on long car journeys?

Brought to you in association with Startrescue.co.uk