Disneyland at Christmas

If you are thinking of going at all, you simply have to, but Christmas time is just incredible. We’ve been saying for ages that we wanted to go away for Christmas so that we didn’t have to do anything at home on Christmas Day. No mess, no plates to wash up, no hundreds of presents! It was great.

Oh my lord. We’ve been away for Christmas this year, and not just to anywhere, but to the place where magic really happens – DISNEYLAND PARIS.
If you are thinking of going at all, you simply have to, but Christmas time is just incredible. We’ve been saying for ages that we wanted to go away for Christmas so that we didn’t have to do anything at home on Christmas Day. No mess, no plates to wash up, no hundreds of presents! It was great.

The Highlights:

  • Christmas dinner with the princesses
  • Olivia’s face on the parachute ride
  • Meeting Mickey Mouse and Père Noël
  • All you can eat breakfast
  • Our Disney Christmas tree

The Not-So-Highlights:

  • It was bitterly, bitterly cold
  • We all came down with colds
  • The meal plans are a bit more confusing now
  • Being tricked into getting on Space Mountain
As a family, we DO Disney. This is our third time going together (Jamie has gone an additional 3 times with Kiera, and Kiera went another time with her mum… that makes 7 times for her now!!!!) so we weren’t newbies to the whole thing, but since the last time we went in January 2016, things have changed quite a bit!

What to Book…

We always book our Disney holidays directly through Disneyland Paris, but there are 2 things especially that we make sure are on our bookings!
1. Meal Plan
 
Since we went in 2016, Disney have completely changed their meal plans. Instead of half board or full board, they now have multiple options for half board and full board meal plans. Normally, we book a full board meal plan because it saves so much time and money. You just book your meal at your hotel in the evening, or in one of the parks for lunch, and it’s all already paid for. The cost of the restaurants in the park for a 3 person buffet is about 95 euros so you don’t want to be shelling out for that every day!
They’ve also now got rid of the Pause Gourmande/Teatime Treat vouchers from the half board meal plan. We managed fairly well on the half board standard meal plan this time, but in future I will always still go for full board – the trouble is that when we booked, this was unavailable.
We did have a bit of a problem over Christmas Eve being told that we couldn’t use our vouchers at the hotel for dinner because they were doing a special Christmas Eve dinner that we had to pay for. Needless to say, I obviously wasn’t too happy with that but we managed to get a late lunch/early dinner in the park and so had a cheap meal deal in our hotel room for supper.
2. Character Dining
Jamie had done the lunch with the princesses once with Kiera, and our Christmas dinner this year was lunch with the princesses. From what Jamie told me about the last time he did that character dining, I wasn’t expecting it to be that great, but actually, it was incredible and I’m so glad we did it!
We had already done breakfast with the characters the last time we took Kiera and that was really great, but seeing as you already get an all you can eat buffet for breakfast and you can meet those characters every morning at the hotel, it didn’t feel like it was worth as much as the lunch with the princesses. It was still brilliant – Pluto came and “ate” Kiera’s sausages and we got some amazing photos, and there were loads of characters coming between the tables.
At lunch with the princesses, Olivia met 4 princesses (Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Sleeping Beauty) after having already met Snow White in the Princess Pavilion, and also met the two mice from Cinderella, Suzy and Perla. The characters were brilliant, Ariel was especially good and the mice made a huge fuss of Olivia, pretending to sew her dress for her like they do for Cinderella! It was truly magical for Olivia, and her face lit up as soon as she walked in and saw “Cinder-e

lly”.

Aside from the characters, you also get a 3 course meal which was really good, and even though we didn’t technically have a meal plan for Olivia as she is under 3, she had the same meal as Kiera and was very happy with it!

What to See and Who to Meet…

1. Princess Pavilion
 
The waiting times for meeting the characters is always long, but at least on one day, make sure you go to the Princess Pavilion. It opens at 10am and the notice board outside tells you which Princess is inside to meet. Olivia waited about an hour to see Snow White, but with Kiera I remember we waited about 90 minutes to see Cinderella and we were quite unimpressed with the whole thing (Kiera was made up about it). This time we were better prepared – Jamie took Kiera on the bigger rides while I waited to meet Snow White, Olivia had her own autograph book to draw in so that we kept the Princess one intact, and she also made friends with another little girl and was playing with her in the queue.
Snow White was absolutely fantastic with Olivia (even if Olivia did tell her that her favourite princess was Anna), and Olivia was starstruck and went all shy, but we got some amazing photos! Waiting times are always a bummer, but inside the Princess Pavilion there are loads of things to look at – castles and items from the fairytales line the walls and so does the magic mirror from Snow White! It’s a really great experience.
 
2. Meet the Characters at the Hotel
 
Every morning, your Disney hotel will have a character waiting for you to take pictures with. On Christmas Day, we had Père Noël at Breakfast with us and Olivia went straight over to see him! It was an amazing moment for her to meet Father Christmas and get that extra signature in her autograph book.
Even without needing to go at Christmas time, the characters will be there waiting and if your little ones want to meet characters like Mickey Mouse, you are far better off meeting them at the hotel rather than waiting the 90 minutes to Meet Mickey Mouse in the Disneyland Park.
The official photographers are there too and they asked Olivia to go back to give Mickey Mouse a kiss!
 
 
 
3. Meet the Characters in the Parks 
 
All of the characters in the Walt Disney Studios Park now have to be reserved in advance on the Lineberty App – Minnie Mouse is over there, as are the Toy Story Characters, and, Spiderman.
Olivia really wanted to meet Spiderman and we weren’t familiar with this app until we tried to meet Pluto and were told we needed a reservation! Upon closer inspection it seems like a good idea – you can get into a virtual queue to meet the character of your choice, then spend minimal time actually queuing up and get your photos and autographs done ready for you to go straight back to the rides.
Spiderman was great, and I wish we could have done Minnie Mouse too except her queue was full up when we tried to get a space, and also I didn’t see any way of knowing if it was Minnie or one of the other characters! Either way, these are definitely easier to meet and greet than in the Disneyland Park where you physically queue up for as long as it takes.
4. The Parade
 
We only managed to gatecrash the parade on this trip, which was a shame as Olivia wanted to see Anna, Elsa and Rapunzel, who all feature in the parade. The trouble was the timing as she was pretty much asleep at that time every day we were there! I don’t think there is a way you can actually meet those other characters, so if you have Frozen or Tangled fans, try to get a good spot near the ground so you can see Rapunzel (Anna and Elsa are on a big float so you can’t miss them!)
 
5. The Illuminations
 
We didn’t get to see these at all this time due to Olivia needing sleep and feeling a bit rotten, and also, the cold would have been even worse at 10pm when the Fireworks started. However we have seen them before and absolutely loved them! The whole castle is lit up and projected onto, it’s truly magnificent and I’m more than a little gutted that we couldn’t stay to see them on this trip.
6. Christmas Shows
 
One of the other advantages to going to Disneyland at Christmas time is that you get a bunch of extra Christmas shows put on! Most of them are on stages outside, however one was indoors in the nice warm Videopolis near Space Mountain and the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast ride. Olivia loved watching Mickey and Minnie Mouse and it’s great because you get a seat and a chance to warm up a bit before going and braving the cold again! Plus, French hot chocolate is yummy and there’s a food spot right inside where you can use your magic passes/food vouchers!!!
Would we do it all again?
ABSOLUTELY YES.
I never want another Christmas at home – think of how much of the rubbish we have skipped out on by being away! The girls knew that they were only getting little presents as Disneyland was their Christmas present, and we had no dinner to cook (we don’t eat Turkey anyway!)
Okay, so maybe we won’t do it every year, but it was really nice to get away over Christmas and Disneyland was simply incredible over Christmas time. 100% recommend!
Have you taken your family away over Christmas? Will you be doing it again?

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Where can I get "good quality slime?

To any mum or dad, you probably don’t think there’s a difference in qualities of slime – they all make the same mess and require the same effort to clean up! But actually, Slime Baff and Gelli Baff are not only great quality slime, but they’re so easy to clean up (given that all the mess is made in the bathtub!)

A friend of mine at work recently made me laugh with the words of her 9 year old niece…

“Georgia,” she said. “For Christmas, I want good quality slime.”
To any mum or dad, you probably don’t think there’s a difference in qualities of slime – they all make the same mess and require the same effort to clean up! But actually, Slime Baff and Gelli Baff are not only great quality slime, but they’re so easy to clean up (given that all the mess is made in the bathtub!)

We’ve been asked to review the Slime and Gelli Baff products from Zimpli Kids and these are the products we have been sent…


2 lots of Slime Baff and 2 lots of Gelli Baff in some amazingly bright colours!

Olivia was so excited to see these and get stuck in – her favourite activities at playgroup are always messy play so that was no surprise!

I’ve heard of Gelli Baff before and have seen it
advertised a lot, however the Slime Baff is completely new to me, so I was excited to give them both a try out!

SLIME BAFF…

We tried this one out first, in the gooey red colour! These are so easy to use – you run a shallow-ish bath (no more than 3 inches deep) and simply spread the packet in the water.

Due to me being an utter idiot, I managed to split the packet and lose some of the salts on the bathroom floor, but considering I did that, we still had a fairly slimy bath for Olivia to climb into!

She helped to mix the salts in the water and loved the slimy texture! She couldn’t wait to jump in.

Despite me telling her not to rub her eyes with the slime, of course, being a 2 year old, she did exactly that, but actually didn’t whinge at all about it stinging, which I was happily surprised about. I wouldn’t recommend dunking your child’s face in the slime, but at least you know that if they do get some in their eyes it’s not going to hurt!

The next big task was cleaning the slime away, and this was incredibly easy! The bath was left totally clean without me needing to wipe it down or even turn on the shower to rinse the bath out. For the Slime Baff, you don’t even need to put in anything to dissolve the slime, it simply dilutes when you add water.

So what’s the verdict?

We are rating a 9/10 for this product. Olivia loved it, the only issue was me not being able to get the packet open and losing some of the salts, but overall this was a fantastic thing to try and a great way to make bath time loads more fun!

 

GELLI BAFF…

For this one we ran slightly less water as I planned to only use half of the salts and save the rest for a messy play tray, but in the end we had to use the whole packet as the Gelli Baff took much longer to form than the slime did.

At first, when we mixed the salts into the bath water, Olivia wasn’t too sure of the texture and seemed not to like it, but she did prefer the bright pink colour as opposed to the red slime!

After a couple of minutes she was really enjoying it! I had to take a picture with flash on to get a good photo of the colour – it was so bright pink so no wonder Olivia loved it! She enjoyed

scooping it up with her cup and throwing it over her toy duck, and then in turn liked me and Daddy putting it on her back and shoulders and throwing it at her. Safe to say, it got a bit messy!

As I said, the Gelli Baff took a while to form (I would say about 20 minutes in total) but once it formed Olivia really loved it.

With cleaning away the Gelli Baff, we had to use the white dissolving salts. Once we put the salts in and mixed them with the Gelli Baff, it turned back to liquid pretty much instantly.

The only downside was that once it had gone down the plughole, the bath was left a bright pink colour!

I tried to rinse the pink away with the shower head but had to use our normal Flash spray bleach and wash it away before we could pop Olivia back in to wash the gelli off of her!

All in all, I think we would rate this one as a 7/10. Even though Olivia loved this one and said the pink bath was her favourite, for mums and dads this one is just slightly less easy to clean away than the other one. We had to take Olivia out of the bath to clean it out, meaning we ended up getting bits of gelli on the bath mat and towel! It’s no big drama, and I would use this again, but on the smaller messy play tray scale rather than in the bath!

Both of these products from Zimpli Kids were great fun! Overall, the Slime Baff won for us, but I’d definitely buy both of these in the future.

Thank you for reading and let us know if you’ve got these for your little ones!

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ENDED: Perfect Puppets Giveaway – just in time for Christmas!

Here is your chance to win one of our favourite products from the fabulous Fiesta Crafts!
“Children who love story time will adore these hand and finger puppets which have been beautifully designed to spur on even the wildest of imaginations. Reflective of the key characters in two of our most treasured children’s stories, one large hand puppet plays a key character supported by a series of embroidered fabric finger puppets to make the retelling of these classic fun and fully interactive! Not only is it a great toy for individual play, it is also designed to encourage role playing with others – improving confidence and social / communication skills. The finger puppets can be stored in pockets on the hand puppet after play making it easy to keep the whole set together in one place.
Beautifully made and thoughtfully created, the hand puppet and finger puppet sets which will stimulate and entertain, encouraging children to retell classic stories in their own, unique way. Suitable from 3 years plus. RRP £25.”

 

Closes at Midnight on 30th November 2018

Our Favourite Fiesta Crafts toys!

Fiesta Crafts create traditional toys with fun contemporary twists! They design and manufacturer toys that help children to develop their creative, imaginative, communication and language skills. Here are some of Mummykind’s tried and tested favourites!

 

Push N Roll Toys…

 


For walking, for crawling – a perfect developmental toy. The dinosaur push n roll along is beautifully colourful, sturdy and fantastically crafted. The Push N Roll Along toys are designed to be the perfect play toy for small children- supporting and encouraging them as they develop from sitting to crawling to walking. It comes with a detachable wooden rod that inserts easily into the back of the toy. The Push N Roll toy can be rolled (sitting or crawling) or pushed (walking) via the wooden rod with an easy-to-grip  handle. This 2-in-1 toy with its moving parts will keep little ones greatly entertained. The bright colours and attention to detail are sure to make this toy a much-loved addition to any toy collection while helping younger children to improve fine and gross motor skills as well as becoming familiar with new sounds, shapes and animals. Also available as a giraffe, pink elephant, police car and fire engine. Suggested for 18 months plus. 


Wobbly Garden Toys

Wobbly Garden from Fiesta Crafts is a bright and enchanting set of 18 hand-painted colourful garden creature pieces and wooden garden wobbly board. Children carefully place pieces onto the board without tipping over. But watch out! Don’t be the one who makes the board tip and make all the pieces fall. Wobbly Garden can be used as a fun children’s game for 1-4 players or individually for a fun way to enhance fine motor skills. Box contains 18 colourful chunky wooden pieces and a big garden balancing board piece. The aim of the game is to balance pieces on board before they all fall off!The wooden pieces include butterflies, ladybirds, flowers and hilarious goggle-eyed frogs. The game has been designed to help improve children’s fine motor skills and increase general physical awareness of balance. Suitable from 2 Years.          

 

Giraffe Play Blankie                    


The Giraffe Play Blankie is an adorable, exciting and interactive combination of a teething toy, a comfort blanket and activity toy all in one – perfect for keeping little ones entertained.These gorgeous Play Blankies have soft, friendly faces and bodies, and four entertaining and engaging activity paws. They are visually appealing with their brightly decorated fabrics and  entertaining with different textures to feel and squeeze. Each paw has something for the baby to interact with – one of the paws has a teether/chew piece, perfect for teething babies and sore gums. Another of the paws has a jingly rattle, a third with colourful fabric tags, and the fourth has a push to squeak stripy star. The Giraffe Play Blankie appeals to multiple senses, it is the perfect cuddling comforter, and even has two cords so that it can be tied on to a cot or buggy and provide comfort and entertainment wherever you go! Also available as an elephant. Suitable from birth onwards.

Musical Boxes

 

 
This beautifully crafted musical box is the perfect addition to any nursery. Nothing soothes our babies more than music. This hand made rotating music box plays Brahms lullaby, lasting approximately four minutes each cycle. The bright coloured wooden animals make it a cute but stylish accessory for a child’s room too. Recommended for handling from ages 3 and up.                   
 

Cush N Case                                                  

 


These amazing Cush N Case toys is soft, loveable and extremely practical! It’s a cosy kitty cushion that doubles up as a travel case. Perfect for using as a height boost at the cinema or at the dinner table, sleeping on or taking on adventures inside and outside the home. Fabulous for travel, with zipped storage for those little bits and bobs like lolly sticks and pencils that our cheeky children simply ‘must’ take with them. Our babies can also cuddle up to the very comfy Cush N Case and sleep on it during those long car and plane journeys. Featuring adorable little ears and beautifully sewn whiskers, noses and eyes. They come complete with a matching character soft toy so that children have a new friend to match their cushion and play with on their travels. The Cush N Case is genius, handy, practical and also transforms into a fun toy that can be accessed on the go, wherever your little ones are! Also available as a tiger. Suitable from 12 months plus.            

 

Hand & Finger Puppet Sets                

 
 


This is our favourite! The fabulous hand and finger puppet sets come with a soft and cuddly main character hand puppet and multiple other story characters as finger puppets! All of the little finger puppets attach to the hand puppet for tidy storage. Ideal for re-enacting their favourite stories and creating their own! I honestly feel that these are the perfect toys for encouraging imaginative play and enhancing social skills! Playing with these fun puppets is a fabulous way to entertain children and their families as well as furthering the development of children’s creativity and imagination. 
 
Also available as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJames and the Giant Peach, The BFG®, Puss in Boots, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Big Bad Wolf, Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Jack and the Beanstalk, Nursery Rhymes, The Gingerbread Man, Cinderella and The Frog Prince. Suitable from 3 years plus.

If you loved these as much as we do stay tuned for a Fiesta Crafts give away, with the chance for two of you to win one of these fantastic items – Just in time for Christmas!

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Clothing for Curvy Mummas – Where is hot and where is not!

In the first few months after I had Flo, I had sort of accepted that my life as Harriet was over. I think “accepting” this was my way of rationalising that it was okay to not give a shit about myself anymore. I had signed myself up for a life of over sized tops and leggings and I was more than okay with that.

A few months and a few mental health medications down the line, I was clearly in a better mind set. I accepted myself and made sure that I accepted body. After all, it had grown a perfect little mini me, so I couldn’t have been that bad, right?

I slowly got back into who I was. I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself, I’d always loved being different and realising that there were markets that cater for my new shape, identity, style and body really allowed me to get back to finding who I am.

Trawling through ASOS and favouriting items until I’m brave enough to buy them (or they go down in price!) has played a massive part in rediscovering ‘Harriet’-

I couldn’t tell you how many things I’ve tried on, with my mum whilst shouting “THIS WOULD HAVE LOOKED SO NICE ON ME BEFORE THIS” *points at stomach*….
or how many kooky items I’ve got for “jokes” that have looked gorgeous on me!
All I can say is thank goodness for free delivery and refunds!

Here are my favourite plus sized retailers and why,,,

1. ASOS – In my opinion ASOS is the biggest contender in the plus size game. Not only does ASOS have it’s own plus size range (ASOS CURVE) but it has plenty of other well known plus size ranges available on its app and website including but not limited to New Look Curves, Maya Plus, Daisy Street, misguided, boohoo, Chi Chi, John Zack Plus, Levis Plus, River Island, Little Mistress, Unique21, ect. With a fantastic range, massive variety, frequent sales and a great customer rewards system – ASOS is by far my most frequented fashion retailer and app!


2. New Look Curves – I love that New Look uses the same fabrics and prints for all their women’s ranges. This means that regardless of a ladies size, they can wear what is on trend and feel comfortable rocking it. New Look’s clothing never fails to pull me in and I’m almost guaranteed to spend money every time I visit their website or store.


Tea Dress / New Look / size 22 / £20


3. Forever 21+ – Despite what the name says, I’m certainly over the age of 21 but always manage to find lovely pieces on F21. Generally their ranges seem to be targeted for slightly younger audiences, but I never seem to be sort of options in their sales! Their prices are generally fairly reasonable and despite their sizes not being conventional – 2x or 3x usually tend to fit me very well!

Cami Dress / Forever 21 / size 2X / £10


4. George – Unlike most supermarket brands ASDA’s george caters up to a size 24. Their size 24 is usually pretty generous and always fitted me very well, even at my biggest (four stone heavier than I am now!) … They don’t differentiate styles between sizes which means a size 24 lady can rock the same dress as a size 10 lady. Their clothes wash well, last well and look good.


Dungaree Dress & Top / ASDA’s George / size 20 / £20


5. Simply Be – although generally quite expensive, you can quite often find some pretty lovely pieces at Simply Be, most ranging in sizes up to 32. Simply Be does well at catering for all sorts of ladies in all sorts of walks of life.


And here is my guidance on other well known plus sized retailers that aren’t doing it for me like my top 5 do!

1. Pink Clove – Pink Clove have the right idea. With on trend designs and patterns, they could have so much to offer. The quality of Pink Clove’s clothing is pretty poor- I got a tropical print dress that only took one wash to bobble and a dress that unraveled at one of the seams just from being tried on once. I’d generally recommend to avoid unless you have time to throw away fixing clothes that should really last longer.

Baseball Dress / Pink Clove / size 22 / £12


2. River Island – With amazing quality and fantastic pieces to get anybody asking “where did you get that?” I couldn’t recommend River Island enough. However, their plus size range is incredibly pricey and really quite limited.


Cardigan / River Island / size 26 / £40


3. Supermarkets like Tesco’s F&F and Sainsbury’s TU – Are usually the perfect place to pick up a fashion bargain. With the same ranges available for both mainstream and plus sizes, they’re certainly a winner for me. Although the fact that most stores only cater up to size 18/20/22 many, many women are left out. Generally their women’s range sizes are also fairly stingy – I’ve known plenty of ladies who have had to get a size or two bigger than they actually are. That being said, I’ve heard Tesco’s F&F are planning on catering for up to size 30- of this is true, I hope all other supermarket fashion brands follow suite!


Top / Tesco’s F&F / size 22 / £7


4. Boohoo – Am I a size 18, or am I a size 28? With Boohoo I have literally no idea. With items almost identical to the smaller sized range, they have their heart in the right place, but the quality between that range and their plus sized range shows that plus size ladies certainly aren’t their priority.

Velvet Wrap Dress / Boohoo / size 28 (still doesn’t cover my bum through!) / £20

5. Yours – Primark quality at Topshop prices all because you’re considered plus size? Yeah, jog on. I avoid unless they’ve got a sale on and even then, I only stick to the lingerie section. I have heard that their men’s plus size range – Bad Rhino is actually pretty promising. I hope this serves as a reminder that you’re allowed to be you and have your own identity, even on this side of parenthood! Being dressed in what you want to wear can make such a massive difference to how you feel and how you see yourself. Treat yourself and see that even the little things can go a long way in making you feel more human. x

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Bath boohoos to Bath wahoos!

We lived in a flat where we didn’t have access to a bath, only a shower. So my daughter was stuck in her baby bath, probably longer than we would have liked. When we moved, the big bath tub came as a huge shock for her, and she didn’t like it. Not one bit! No sooner would we put her in the bath tub, then she would stand up and try to climb back out again. When we would wash her hair she would get hysterical and was grabbing at me to get her out. It got to the point where I was dreading bath time and was feeling anxious about it because it seemed more like water torture than fun!
We made some changes and Imogen looks forward to bath time. We struggle to get her out of the bath now!I really didn’t feel like we were going to get to this point. What a relief.

The number one thing I had to bear in mind when making these changes was that the more stressed I was getting, the worse the situation became.

I looked online at some helpful blogs and Mummy chat pages and felt more reassured. So this is why I wanted to share what worked for us with you lovely mummies.

We had a non-slip mat in the bath but I don’t think my daughter felt very comfortable and confident standing on it. The mat wasn’t very big and I don’t think the grip on it was very good. We got the Munchkin Dandy dots bath mat because it is long, almost covering the whole bath base and has bug rubber spots which have good grip for little feet.

We previously tried washing my daughter’s hair out with a sponge, with a jug, splashing it on with our hands… Nothing seemed to make the process quick and less upsetting. We got this though and this next item was a game changer for us.
The Moby waterfall bath rinser is a jug that gives a gentle flow and has rubber which allows you to press it to your child’s head. A couple rinses and a bit of distraction and the hair is washed very quickly!

We had toys for the bath previously, but Imogen wasn’t too bothered about them any more. When we got her a water book and letters however, she found these lots of fun to look at and they’re a good distraction!
The ‘Who’s Playing?’ outdoors magic book has animals in it that change from white to a colour when they go in the water.

The Welecom 36 pieces alphabet comes with an organiser which sticks to the side of the bath or the bath tiles, which is always handy. It means we can spell out words and stick them to the bath tub now that Imogen is taking an interest in letters.

Have you had any similar bath problems and do you have any tips on what you used/did that helped? We’d love to hear about them!

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ENDED: Mummykind’s BIG Birthday GIVEAWAY!

Just in case we haven’t been raving about it often enough, today’s the day that Mummykind turns 1!

It’s been a pretty amazing year, and so we had to have a pretty amazing celebration to mark it! I am pleased to announce that this marks our BIG birthday giveaway going live – and you only have 2 weeks to enter, but 2 chances to win! Enter using the giveaway gadget at the bottom of this blogpost to be considered for both!

Giveaway No. 1…

Our first giveaway is local to mums in Kent, UK only! (It wouldn’t be much use if you lived somewhere else after all!)

A Mummykind Mug!

Introducing Mummykind merchandise! That’s right, you can win your very own Mummykind mug featuring our logo and one of four phrases from our blogposts – it will be a lucky draw as to which one you get!

1. “My brain is mush from all the parenting” – from Maria’s post
2. “Yes, I grew a tiny human, but I still have legitimate complaints about the process” – from Sarah’s post
3. “Give mum a high five. We’re awesome!” – from Charlie’s post
4. “The truth is, we’re all simply winging it” – from Aimee’s post

A free Mums in Ashford annual membership card!

This membership card entitles you to exclusive discounts worth £100s on businesses and services, including fun children’s and family activities, restaurants and more, in the Ashford area! The normal value of the card is £10, so even if you decide you’ll go ahead and buy one, you’re still winning!

Giveaway No. 2…

The second giveaway will choose a winner from the USA!

$25.00 Gift Voucher to spend at BeLove Kids! 

Mummykind has recently become an affiliate of this lovely US clothing company, founded by Racquel Tolson after she lost her first daughter to Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS). With a mission to give back to kids with CCHS, BE LOVE kids was created.
Plus, if you shop again, you can use the discount code “mummykind” at the checkout to save 20% off your order.*

Giveaway No. 3…

Here it is! The BIGGEST GIVEAWAY YET! Open to all UK entrants. And here’s what you could win……….

A personalised lunchbox and water bottle from Petit Fernand!

You can easily personalise these items on the website to include different colours, characters and lettering! Petit Fernand also have a range of iron on personalised name labels and sticky labels for school supplies and clothing – Mummykind were lucky enough to review some of these amazing products for free and you can read our review here!

A voucher for a free personalised framed floral digital print from Florificent!

Tatjana’s beautiful designs at Florificent make for perfect gifts or additions to the home decor! With our giveaway, you’re in with a chance to win a personalised floral digital print – this can be initials or names, just have a browse of Florificent’s Facebook page or Etsy store to see what’s available!

A free PlayBag from The PlayBag Company!

Another local business in the South East of England! The PlayBag Company has the perfect solution to your kids’ boredom on days out with the family. If you’ve got a long train or car journey coming up, a PlayBag to keep your children entertained is a must!

The PlayBags roll out into a play mat and quickly tidy up into a bag carrying any of your children’s toys and the play mat inside. You can tidy up the play area just by securing 3 poppers on each side! As if that isn’t any mum’s dream?! This is the design that you are in for a chance to win!

A pack of 10 cloth nappy wipes from Clayton’s Cloth!

If you haven’t already seen the benefits of using cloth nappies and wipes from Maria’s post, you can try them for yourself with this complementary pack from WAHM Lacie over at Clayton’s Cloth!

A Mummykind Mug!

Introducing Mummykind merchandise! That’s right, you can win your very own Mummykind mug featuring our logo and one of four phrases from our blogposts – it will be a lucky draw as to which one you get!

1. “My brain is mush from all the parenting” – from Maria’s post
2. “Yes, I grew a tiny human, but I still have legitimate complaints about the process” – from Sarah’s post
3. “Give mum a high five. We’re awesome!” – from Charlie’s post
4. “The truth is, we’re all simply winging it” – from Aimee’s post
And if you want to buy your own, simply send us a Facebook message here! If you’re not on Facebook you can also tweet us (@mummykindoff) or email us (mummykind@gmail.com).

Here’s how you can enter:

T&Cs:
UK and USA entrants only. 
18+. 
3 winners will be chosen. 
1 from Kent, UK for Giveaway no.1, 1 from anywhere in the USA for Giveaway no.2, and 1 from anywhere in the UK for Giveaway no.3

Giveaway no. 1 and 3 ONLY:
The winners must notify Mummykind of their home addresses within 7 days of the draw being announced in order for us to arrange delivery of the prizes. Prizes will be sent via Royal Mail’s Second Class Signed For service. If the winners do not notify Mummykind of their address within 7 days, Mummykind reserves the right to draw a new winner, or 2 new winners if necessary. 

Giveaway no.2 ONLY:
The winner must notify Mummykind of their email address within 7 days of the draw being announced in order for us to arrange for you digital voucher to reach you. If the winner does not notify Mummykind of their email address within 7 days, Mummykind reserves the right to draw a new winner if necessary.
*offer excludes co-sleepers and blankets.

Review: Enchanted Garden PlayBag by the PlayBag Company!

This is a product that I really happily stumbled across one day, and I have not been asked to write this review – it’s completely independent!

The PlayBag is an INGENIOUS invention – I mean, seriously life-changing for every parent!

Picture this…

You’re on a train/long car journey, and your toddler starts to become restless, wants something to play with, is no longer interested in the million snacks you’ve packed, and you can sense a full on toddler meltdown coming on.

The PlayBag will save you from that very crisis. We’ve all been there right? Kids kicking off in the supermarket and old Doris giving you a disapproving look and a verbal tut, shaking her head as she wanders off to find her Canestan away from the screeches and whining of your baby/tot/teen.

Basically, the PlayBag is a bag and a playmat rolled into one. It opens out into a brightly coloured, textured playmat which is a brilliant sensory experience for little ones. Not only that, but you can carry toys in the playmat so that when it is opened out and ready to be deployed in your hour of need, your children will have toys to keep them entertained when you need it most! AND it does up again with 3 easy poppers on each side, so you can scoop up the play area and toys in one quick, easy swoop. I wish my carpets had that feature sometimes…

The Enchanted Garden PlayBag!

Not only that, but PlayBags are MACHINE WASHABLE!!!!!!!!!! So they’re totally hygienic and you can easily keep them clean for your little ones to play with.

The various designs of the PlayBags are really lovely – there are farms, camo prints (which, being an army family, we obviously adore), enchanted gardens, beach designs and loads more. The outside of the bag can also come in a range of colours, so if you have two kids of similar ages (or twins – if that’s the case then my heart goes out to you… stay strong mama!) you can neutralise the colours or choose something that BOTH children will like rather than having your standard gendered pink/blue only options.

Olivia absolutely loves the PlayBag… She loves to carry it around with her and it’s perfect for transporting her Duplo Lego so that she can do her “building” on the move.

After I discovered this amazing creation online, I contacted the PlayBag Company and asked if they’d be willing to pitch in to our giveaway so that you could win your own PlayBag….

And I am pleased to announce that now you have a chance to win an amazing PlayBag on Saturday in our ultimate Mummykind’s BIG birthday giveaway!

Where would you take your PlayBag? 🙂

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Review of Petit Fernand labels for school supplies and more!

Hi everyone!

Today we are reviewing some absolutely gorgeous name labels from Petit Fernand! We received these labels in return for a review on our blog, but all of the opinions are our own…

Here’s what we were given to try out – PERSONALISED iron-on name labels with all of our little ones’ names on, and more PERSONALISED stick-on name labels for stationary, lunchboxes, etc.

What did we think of them?

Sarah

When our personalised labels arrived, I was really surprised at the little booklet that they came in! Inside these little booklets, we had our strips of iron-on clothing labels with instructions, and greaseproof paper to use to transfer them. We also had our strips of sticky labels for school and nursery supplies, and added sticky labels of adorable dinosaur and other characters on them!

Having the extra stickers actually made it a lot easier for me to get some time to get to work labelling Olivia’s clothes, as Olivia had some stickers to occupy herself with, too!

My daughter goes to a childminder during the week, and while it’s nowhere near as busy as her going to a nursery, these personalised labels give me added peace of mind that when she’s at playgroup, her bits won’t go missing!

Thankfully, we’ve not had that problem yet, but my childminder did mention to me before we got these labels that she could never remember which denim jacket was Olivia’s! So what was the first thing I labelled? Her denim jacket!

The iron-on labels were my absolute favourite – you can choose your own backgrounds and icons for the labels, and type in the name and if you want to use surnames you have the option to do that too! You’re not ridiculously restricted in character length, so labelling clothes with gorgeous personalisations has never been easier! They took all of 20 seconds to stick on, and I even ironed some onto Olivia’s big winter coat that needed a good wash before she can wear it again. I’m pleased to say that even in my VERY temperamental washing machine, which is quite tough on clothes no matter what cycle it’s on, all of the labels from Petit Fernand that I’ve ironed on have stayed in exactly the same condition post-wash, whether it’s a 30 degree super spin wash or a 40 or 60 degree hot wash!

Olivia’s winter coat and name label after a 30 degree wash
(and after me accidentally leaving the washing out in the
scorching sun for a whole weekend – oops!)
Olivia’s newly labelled cardigan
has survived multiple washes
already, both hot and cold!

I also can’t wait to order more of these for my stepdaughter when she goes on school trips and even if the girls go to summer camps/residentials with school – these labels will be a godsend!

Aimee

When these labels arrived, I was so excited to try them out. I used the iron on labels for Evie’s nursery bag and coat and the sticky ones for her water bottle.

The iron on labels were very easy to use and really quick to put on, but one thing I would say is that after a few days, they started to crinkle on the bag but that may be down my daughter chucking it down after nursery.

The sticky labels were perfect and still as good as new. The picture shown is after over a week and it’s still going strong.

All in all, these are perfect for nursery, school or even for adults for work! I’d definitely use them again and can’t wait to try the others on her new nursery stuff.

Charlie

Our personalised labels
on Imogen’s beakers!

The stickers are thicker than I thought they would be, so they’re strong. They’re perfect for adding my daughter’s name to items like her lunch box and beakers, giving them a personal touch, which is great because I’ve noticed a lot of other children with the same beakers.

I had a few problems with the iron on labels at first because I’m silly and didn’t realise they peeled off the plastic background. I had cut one out to use and burnt my daughter’s school bag. Once I realised they peeled off then I was able to fix them onto my daughter’s nursery jumper and blankie and they came out really well. I was impressed! Before using these, I was writing my daughter’s initials on the clothes tags of her clothes, but these look far nicer. I look forward to putting them on her other clothes.

Amazingly, Petit Fernand also have a range of super cute personalised wedding labels! You can use these for party favours, invitations or to personalise a gift – if you’re particularly crafty the possibilities will be endless!

So how much do they cost?

On to the oh so important question of pricing… You can get a strip of 10 labels for £3 each up to 30 labels, and after that they’re only £1.50 for more of the same! That’s the same for the one line wedding labels too – amazing, right?!

The pricing is really reasonable and for such lovely and good quality labels that will last your children as long as they’re in the same clothes!

But I know what you’re thinking… I’ve got 3 kids and there’s no way I can get 3 sets of labels for each of them! Well… you don’t have to! The normal label strips or the value discovery packs allow you to customise EACH INDIVIDUAL LABEL so you can get the exact amount that you need without having to buy loads extra!

What’s the verdict?

All in all we definitely all recommend these labels! They arrived quickly, were affordable, easy to use and great quality! If you want some of your own, there’s a chance to win 2 weeks from today (28th July) in our
 
BIG BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY
 
Hope to see you there!

What ingredients to avoid in Baby Formulas

Every parent wants to give the very best available to their child, and this usually starts with the big decision of which formula you should feed your baby. We all know that breast milk is the absolute best for newborns until 6 months old, but sometimes, due to many different reasons we cannot feed our baby fully on breast milk and need to add or substitute with Baby Formula.

In fact, most of the Mummykind mummies have experienced problems with breastfeeding, and we had to use formula despite our intentions to breastfeed!

Today Mummykind has a special contribution from Ylva Williams, co-owner of the Organic Baby Food Shop and mother of two, will share her experience.

Over to you, Ylva!

“When the first of our two daughters were born, due to low breast milk supply, we started to look infant formula to add to her diet! We had already read a lot on this topic and were honestly worried, to say the least, about the ingredients and production of formulas in the USA. During our investigations, we kept finding articles based on research that infant formula produced in Europe was of much better quality than the US-based infant formula, which includes ingredients that seemed almost poisonous to children. We strongly believe in only feeding our babies organic foods, so we were very surprised to see that even the so-called “organic” baby formulas produced and sold in the US contained very harmful ingredients such as: Sucrose (pure sugar), Genetically modified Soy, Synthetic Nutrients (which can contain very harmful chemicals) Dioxin (can cause cancer), GMO (can cause cancer and organ failure), and Melamine (can cause kidney failure in babies).”

 

“It seemed almost impossible to get an even organic formula that would not include at least one of the above-mentioned ingredients, which are practically poison for babies, within the USA. At this point we were desperate. Thankfully, we had a close family friend who lives in Germany come to the rescue. He was feeding his children Lebenswert and urged us to try it. When we researched Lebenswert, by a company called Holle, not only did their formula not include any of the ingredients we were not willing to feed our babies but also stood for Demeter Standards and environmental sustainability. Demeter standards exceed anything we know about organic farming. We were thrilled! We wanted to feed Lebenswert to our babies, but ran into another problem: It was not sold in the US. After a long online search, we ran into a few suppliers online, but who only sold formulas close to the expiration date, highly overpriced and provided poor service. However, this formula was so great and healthy that we had no other option. This was when we decided to go to Germany ourselves and meet with the Lebenswert manufacturer (Holle) in person to build up a great solution to share with families across the USA!”

 

Today, the Organic Baby Food Shop imports directly from Germany to our offices in Austin, Texas , Los Angeles, California, New Jersey / New York and personally check each shipment before it departs Germany, as well as when it arrives in Texas, California, and New Jersey, to ensure the best quality and freshness for your baby.

While nowadays it seems to be nearly impossible to completely avoid exposure to chemicals and toxins, we are what we eat! Limiting dangerous ingredients especially in the most important stage of your baby’s life is essential to ensure healthy growth and a happy healthy future life, as well as giving you peace of mind as a parent!

Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the Organic Baby Food Shop products!

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