Kids: The Morals of Monopoly...

Carson and Finley got some money from their Great-Aunties for Christmas and yesterday Carson decided we were to go and spend. Fine by me. I even said we'd go for Burger King if he was really really good too (I wanted Burger King!)  Anyway, amongst other goodies, he chose the festively classic feud-fuel that is Monopoly. I did warn him that it's a mean game and someone ends up poor and losing all their houses but he didn't seem to mind so I let him go ahead and buy it.

This morning, we sat in our pjs, he lay the throw on the floor as it's 'cuddly' and we cracked it open. Explaining all the rules, he was well and truly on the ball with it, he really picked it up in a flash. 

I don't mind the odd cheat from a child in a game. Why not? It's completely natural for littl'uns to try and push the boundaries and I'd much rather they do it during a game than in real life. So when he short-changed me by M1 when paying rent, I'd let it slide... until the third time. Then he was mortified that he'd been caught and didn't do it a single time again. I also went to make us a brew at one point and when I came back I asked if he's been stealing from the bank. "No" he said, as his contorted face screamed I'M LYING! I didn't even have to threaten a re-count, he lifted a solitary M20 note from under his bum and slipped it back in the bank looking sheepish, all of his own accord.

The first hour or so, he was incredibly lucky doing well. Me? I was going down the pan! Half my properties mortgaged, no income and going past Go always seemed to involve me landing on the damn Income Tax square - paying all all M200 back, I was fighting a losing battle. Reminded me far too much of real-life for my liking!
"Hah haaaah, In your face!" Carson, age 6.
Now this is what I cannot and will not tolerate in a child. Laughing at someone else misfortunes? I don't think so Sonny Jim. Not on my watch. At the age of 6 it's easier to put a stop to that, by the time they're 10 though, it becomes much harder. Nip this in the bud now, I thought. 

So, when I popped this picture on facebook of Carson recovering from a major sob-fest after having landed on my Mayfair Hotel (M2000 I thank you please!) I was called a meanie for not letting him off, only in jest of course. These people commenting are my friends and are not at all having a go. But it did make me think about how many mums would do, and whether I am in the minority? 


Was it cruel to make him see how quickly tables can turn and that you shouldn't laugh at others misfortunes? Should I have let him off? Afterall, it's only a game. 

He cried a couple more times after this one. I asked him if we should just end the game and call it a draw (I mean, I knew I won - that's all that counts right?!) but he was adamant that he was going to go all the way. He ended up with every single property mortgaged and owing me M9 in the end. 

Guess what... it ended with smiles because he accepted the fact that his venture hadn't been successful. 

"Just because you were losing at first doesn't mean you have to lose at the end"
Carson, age 6.

So from that comment alone, as he helped me tidily collect the money (from my side!) to put away in the box, I was pleased. Lessons seem to have been learnt. Successfully. Regardless of how cruel it was in the process! 

Morals of Monopoly, as explained to Carson:

> Don't laugh at others misfortunes, it can happen just as easily to you at any given time.
> Never give up.
> Don't let someone else buy Mayfair.

What do you think? x

Even More Winner Announcements!

Yet more winners to be announced thanks to all of the festive giveaways that we have had this year! A massive congratulations to all of these following winners...

Budweiser Brings Boost to British Farming

A new program in the United Kingdom is bringing farmers together to reduce their environmental footprint. 23 farms across the UK have committed to growing the barley used by AB InBev during production of Budweiser. 

This initiative will allow barley growers to compare their production levels to that of other barley growers. Not only will they be able to do this in their region, but also on a global scale. 

Crisp Malting Group, Glencore Grain and Agrii are also associated with this new program which will reduce the environmental impact of these farms and produce the quantity of malting barley required to meet the vast needs of AB InBev. 

John Rogers of AB InBev went on the record to say that the company is very excited to have UK farmers joining the SmartBarley℠ initiative. He also spoke of his excitement to be working with these farmers to achieve AB InBev’s shared goals of natural resource efficiency and improved productivity. 

James Florey, a farmer from Northmoor, Oxfordshire, said:

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Budweiser and look forward to seeing the results. This is great opportunity which fits in well with our farming practices as we look to combat flooding problems”

This press release is a sponsored post.  

Meet Annie the Angel...

Carson hasn't really expressed too much grief since my Dad suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in August of this year, aged just 51. Him being on the autistic spectrum means he behaves slightly unusually when it comes to things like this. Very logically and methodically. Not often very emotionally. Not that I'm bothered! I just want to make sure I don't under-estimate how he may be feeling just because he doesn't show it. 

But then he goes through periods like this...

grieving child


Clinging onto his own personal photo of my Dad, taking it everywhere with him. He also has rang a bell on the tree a couple of times quietly exclaiming "here you are Grandad, a fresh wing for you" (It's a Wonderful Life!) then kisses his photo. He does this when he thinks I'm not watching.

My lovely friend Cheryl came around to see us yesterday and had something wonderful to share with Carson. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I cried into my scarf on the couch and couldn't talk for at least 5 minutes afterwards. I asked if I could share her gesture with you guys as I truly think it's amazing - not just for a child with a condition that may make grieving a little tougher, but for any child at all. She said it was fine.

So, meet Annie the Angel. A teeny tiny porcelain angel that sleeps in a silk 'blue cloud blanket'. 



Anything Carson wants to tell his Grandad, anything at all, can be told to Annie. Then, at night when Carson is sleeping, Annie climbs out from under his pillow and out of her blue cloud blanket, she flies to heaven to check Grandad got the messages that were sent that day before returning back to Carson ready for some more messages. 

He so bought into this. He was touched. You could see it in his face. I thought he was going to cry but instead came over to me and hugged me. He told me to calm down and not to worry because I could use Annie whenever I wanted to as well. He is so caring. His eyes were glazed over and his mouth held differently. I swear he was going to cry.

Since Cheryl told this story and gifted Carson with Annie, the photo of my Dad sits peacefully next to the fish tank in the day then on his bedside table at night. 

Annie the Angel can be looked upon as a kind of emotional therapy for those who are maybe too young to express their grief, or have difficulty in doing so. I think it's a wonderful, wonderful gesture and to see how it affected Carson just got me. Amazing.

What do you think?

Win a HiPP Organic Hamper for your baby!

As you all know, Finley is at that weaning stage. I'm not yet confident enough to make my own baby food as it terrifies me, so poor little Fin was scheduled to miss out on a festive din-dins this Christmas. So when I was contacted by HiPP Organic a couple of weeks ago regarding their festive range, I was really excited.

Well, Finley is one lucky little boy!  HiPP Organic sent him lots to try from within their range, from stage 1 to stage 3, in his very own personalised stocking and, true to the claims, festive they are...

Stage 1: Apple & Cranberry Breakfast
Stage 1: Sweet Squash, Sweetcorn and Peas pouch
Stage 1: Parsnip, Sweet Squash and Chicken Dinner pouch
Stage 1: My First Sunday Dinner jar
Stage 2: Parsnip, Potato and Turkey Casserole jar
Stage 3: Chunky Beef and Vegetable Casserole jar

What's important for me at this weaning stage, is that food is tasty and wholesome. I could stick with creamy mashed potato or yoghurts for an easy life but it's no good for Fin's health or palette.
Being nervous in creating my own dishes for him, it's wonderful to be able to trust and rely on brands such as HiPP Organic to bring a variety of tastes and textures to the table that are appropriate for his stage. 

Whilst Fin can't tell me what he thought, I can tell you that he wolfed the stage 1's down without a single grimace or smacking away of the spoon. In fact, he'd shout at me when it was finished! I'd never feed anything to my kids that I wouldn't eat myself so I also gave them the taste test myself. 

Apple & Cranberry Breakfast 

This was nice! A thicker Stage 1 than other brands, it has a creamy smooth porridge kind of texture that doesn't just slop off of the spoon. The flavours are subtle yet tasty enough to make it different from normal breakfasts. The sweet and torte combination of the apple and cranberry really compliment each other very well!

Sweet Squash, Sweetcorn and Peas Pouch 


I could taste no peas at all, and the puree was more yellow which suggested that there aren't many in there anyway. The squash really did come through though making a lovely combination with the sweetcorn. Given that sweetcorn also has a strong flavour I was quite surprised at how well I could taste the squash.

Parsnip, Sweet Squash and Chicken Dinner


I could open and heat 5 of these pouches, pop them in a bowl, and eat with warm buttered bread on a rainy miserable day. Incredibly tasty, reminded me of a thick chicken and veg blended soup, again with that lovely strong sweet squash flavour cutting through. 
Finley had a whole pouch of this for lunch yesterday, he was going nuts when the bowl ran empty so kept having to get more until it was all gone!

My First Sunday Dinner 


Like the breakfast jar, this puree is thicker and a little more rustic to other brands. It reminded me of carrot and swede mash, in texture.Very different tasting to the pouched chicken dinner, it was much more chicken'y thanks to lesser flavoured veggies compared to the sweet squash.

I'm looking forward to cracking open the Stage 2 Turkey Casserole, hopefully he will be ready for these lumpy bits by Christmas Day but if not at least I know that the rest of the festive range goes down a storm and Finley won't have to miss out on a Christmas Dinner this year. HiPP Organic is clearly a brand that Finley likes!

Example of product types. (Not prize)

WIN! WIN! WIN!

From pouches, jars and tray meals to fruit pots, juices and cereal, HiPP Organic are passionate about using only the very best organic ingredients to create wholesome & nourishing baby foods. Their own organic fruits & vegetables are grown naturally on dedicated organic farms, where they are left to ripen naturally and are then harvested at their plumpest & sweetest. These extra special ingredients are then gently steam cooked to protect the nutrients and keep every ounce of flavour. 
The result is a delicious range of baby foods bursting with flavour & natural goodness, suitable for every stage of your baby’s development and all meal times.


I've teamed up with HiPP Organic to offer one of you lovely lot the chance to win a hamper containing a selection of the entire HiPP Organic range. The more ways you enter, the more chance you have of winning this amazing prize. Great way to start the New Year!

GOOD LUCK!

Comp closes 11:59pm 14/01/2015. Ship to UK Mainland only. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.

  Hipp Organic Hamper giveaway

More Winner Announcements!

A couple more of the Christmas Giveaway winners need to be announced so here goes...


Christmas Fun Guide: Cheap & Cheerful Festive Crafts from The Works

Being on maternity leave this festive season, it means I've got lots of time to have some crafty fun with Carson - something I am LOVING!

I've stumbled across The Works when I was looking for inspiration and have found some little gems that I wanted to share with you...

carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk



carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.ukComplete with ribbons, shiny pins and colourful buttons in an array of shapes and sizes, Carson and I had so much fun adding our own touch to the tree this year. 


He's super proud of his bauble (as I am of mine!) and it takes pride of place on the front of the tree.

Time needed: 30mins.
Cost: £4 to make 2 baubles
Ease of use: 9/10, Carson got a little frustrated at times because I was telling him to be careful with the pins.
Final Result: GORGEOUS!


carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk


carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk
I used to make my own mobiles as a child. I fondly remember my dad drawing then cutting out several mini Santas then a large one. We'd colour them in before he attached them all together with string. 


I can't draw for toffee so when I saw this set for a solitary quid - I absolutely had to try it out. It comes with coloured felt pens and glitter glue and all the drawing and cutting out is already done for you.

Any child who loves colouring in will be happy for up to an hour decorating and glitzing up this decoration. Carson gives this a huge thumbs up.

Time needed: 60 mins.
Cost: £1
Ease of use: 9/10, slightly fiddly to attach the dangly images using the thin string as the holes are a little wider than the knots you can make. Tape fixes this easily.
Final Result: For a quid, it's a must-have for the kids.


carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk


carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk
Ahhh a snowy scene on Christmas Day. OK maybe that's a rarity these days, but you can create your own little one in a globe, that's also a fridge magnet!

Colour in the background image of your choice (there are 4 to choose from), then use the foam cut out pieces to create an overlay to add that third dimension. There's even googly eyes! 

Time needed: 30 mins.
Cost: £3 to make 2 globes
Ease of use: 10/10 absolutely nothing stopped us!
Final Result: Magic.

carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk


carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.ukWe made our own crackers last year, we bought the kit from Marks & Spencer for £10-£12 ish and we were really pleased with the outcome. No more chucking away the rubbish plastic tat that come inside the usual crackers, oh no! We can pop in a treat that we know we like! So we said we'd make our own every year.

This year though, I found a kit that were much much more cost effective - half the price in fact. Complete with hats, jokes, ribbons and snaps it really is fun constructing your very own 'personalised to taste' crackers.
Carson opted for a chocolate coin in his, whereas I opted for some scrummy Celebrations instead.

Time needed: 30 mins.
Cost: £5.99 to make 6 crackers
Ease of use: 8/10 - Slipping the tabs together and tying the ribbons is fiddly. Keep the kids involved and let them pass you the stuff as you need it, they'll only get really annoyed when they can't do it themselves!
Final Result: A personalised cracker with a joke and a hat - a lovely touch at dinner!


carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk


carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.ukWe've got these ready for Christmas Day, it saves the kids (and adults!) from any frustration at the table.  At a cost of just £1 for a pack of 4, these place mats are a steal. An absolute steal!

Time needed: If yes, then buy these!
Cost: £1
Ease of use: 10/10
Final Result: A hot Christmas dinner without falling over the kids!


WIN WITH THE WORKS!!

This selection of wonderful crafts are surprisingly affordable. I mean, I doubt you could make them at a cheaper price be it from scratch or in another kit. All of the above would only cost you £15.99 in total, giving you some quality finished products whilst providing a whole lotta fun in the process.

Take a minute and imagine what you could buy for £25. Now that you've imagined it, get entering below. That's right, I've teamed up with The Works to offer one of you lovely lot the chance to win £25 to spend with them.

There are no mandatory entries but if you do them all not only will you have a greater chance of winning, you will also unlock a free daily entry which could add a significant boost to your chances!

GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Please note that I received the above items free of charge for the purposes of review.

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

#BabyBabble this week...

Mix teething with random chilblains with a blocked nose and cough. I refuse to dedicate another post of Baby Babble to my utter misery as a parent this week.

So I'm linking up a humourous TMI post, from pregnancy this week instead before I drown you all in virtual tears from my blogosphere!

Thanks for joining us again... can't wait to read your posts xx


#BabyBabble
 

Please remember to comment on the HOST post 
and at least 2 other posts too. 
Sharing is caring. 
Spread the word to get your posts seen on this week's linky!

Trying to get Pregnant?

I never 'tried' to fall pregnant with Carson, he was conceived when I was on the pill! But with Finley, my husband and I tried for 12 months after we got married, it just never happened. Then, unfortunately we split-up for a good while. When our love was rekindled and we got back together, BOOM, I fell pregnant, and without trying too.

Have you decided that you are finally ready to start your own family? That's great news! However, as you begin with the steps on trying to get pregnant, waiting is the last thing you want to do. Having a baby is a big, exciting life choice, and while it is not a decision to take lightly, it’s completely expected that once a couple makes that decision that they will try to make it happen as quickly as possible.

So, how to do you increase your chances of getting pregnant fast? Although Mother Nature has a hand in the timing, there are some things you can actually do or not do to help increase your chances of getting pregnant as soon as possible, according to the experts at PregnancyTips.org. There are a number of ways you can maximize your chances of getting pregnant, from pinpointing when you ovulate by using OPKs or a BBT thermometer, or by taking natural fertility supplements to help boost your fertility. Some women even claim the wonders of plain old Robitussin cough syrup to help thin cervical mucus to help make a more hospitable environment for sperm. There's no end to things you can try. Just never give up hope.

You never know, there might be a time I'm desperate for number three... Have you tried anything a little different in the hope of conceiving?

Do tell, I'd love to hear!

Winner Announcements

I owe a couple of winners from the rafflecopters that have recently closed so here goes...



Winner of the Calendars worth over £60...
Jo Glasspool

Your winning entry, randomly selected via rafflecopter, was
following on twitter - Well done!



Winner of Wingz to the value of £25...
Kim Plant
Your winning entry, randomly selected via rafflecopter, was 
tweeting on twitter - Well done!

I'll be in touch via twitter shortly :-) Congratulations once again - great prizes won there.


Commiserations to all those who haven't won yet, however there are LOADS of giveaways still live, just visit our COMPETITIONS tab.  

You gotta be in it to win it afterall!

GOOD LUCK!!

Shopping at Toxic Fox for Christmas

Having worked with Toxic Fox around 18 months ago in reviewing a ClaireaBella bag, when I was asked if I would like to check out some of their hot gifts for this festive season I was more than happy to help them out.
I was sent 4 products, 2 of which were personalised, and let me tell you I was squealing like a baby goat when I received them! If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that personalisation is my fave word this year and my expectations were more than met. 

Here are my thoughts on 4 super-hot gifts to buy this Christmas from Toxicfox.co.uk 


I have to tell you I got lost in the website, in a good way, playing around with the options available to me in terms of personalisation. Just look at how much you can choose from...


So I spent AGES having a play around because the best part is, you get to see the design on screen as you make changes. I love this about personalisation. You don't have to imagine what it will look like when it comes and you know it'll be perfect once you've settled on your design. Here's the proof...


Isn't my aBella character FAB?! 

The bag itself came finished with cute touches such as diamante's around the neckline of the t-shirt and on the glass, a ribbon on the bag, blue fizz bubbles painted around the character, a glitter shimmer in her hair and a beautiful black corsage near the handle at the top. My name "JO" was also encased with ombre hearts. I love it! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! 


If you're worried about the rain and the paintwork, don't. It doesn't run or flake - not even the glitter transferred when I wiped my hand over it. This is a strong, heavy duty jute with a design that cannot go wrong as long as you know what the recipient looks like. A wonderful buy in my opinion, for any time of year - not just for Christmas!



The style's you can choose from are: Heart, Special Moments, Cocktail Glass, Stiletto or Baby Girl/Boy and there is a choice of 8 colours for your text to choose from too. A product for any room or any occasion then! 


Toxic Fox's preview option was excellent in helping me choose my design. I finally settled on a heart shape and went for a family theme in my choice of 10 words. I could move the order of words to what I felt suited the font type. For example Noodles and Doodles (Carson and Finley's nicknames!) were both in the same text type - exactly what I wanted, I just needed to realise it was number 2 and 9 that made it so. Opting for a white frame and green text, it appeared perfect on-screen for my hallway at home by where the pram sits.

This is what came...


As the frame is of a gloss finish and the glass almost sparkles, I'll be the first to admit that my pictures do not so this frame justice - even without the flash, the general light was bouncing off of it making it difficult to capture. But this something that really makes the product stand out. It brings a fresh, bright, modern and personal touch to what was a boring alcove housing the pram.

The frame is deep which adds to it's striking appearance as it almost jumps out at you from the wall and the addition of green and silver stones give it some luxurious bling to boot. A beautifully thoughtful and modern piece of interior design, this is an item you can purchase for anyone, of any generation, for any occasion. 



When you're all out of ideas for your little one and you want something a little different, check out this...

How adorably cute is this baby bottle in the shape of a champagne flute, light-heartedly described as suitable for "the gentleman baby". 

Whilst Finley hasn't quite gotten the hang of holding his own bottle yet, I'm hoping by Christmas or New Year he can celebrate with us, in style! 

Personally, I'd not put milk in as it only holds 140ml and Fin would go bananas wondering where the rest is! Having said that, it's a novelty stocking filler but still perfectly safe to be practical at the dinner table with some sugar-free baby juice or similar. Now, to find his flat cap....



I don't have the time to use a bath bomb with Finley demanding attention, like, ALL the time these days but I will one day get to use this and I can't wait. Is there anything quite as blissful as a fragrant-bombed bath?

The presentation alone ticks all the boxes with regards to stocking fillers. It's big, bright and bold. Oh, and it smells absolutely lush before you've even opened it! To give you an idea of just how large it is, here is is on the seat of my couch, it's almost the depth of the seat.


Considering there are 3 bomb inside this cracker and they normally retail individually at £2.29 each, it is very good value for money in my opinion. Come on, for less than 8 quid are you likely to pick up quite anything as large and as exciting as a cracker filled with berry smelling bath bombs?! 


If any of these take your fancy, you know where to go. Toxic Fox are The Gift Hero's when it comes to finding something specific for your loved one, especially with their handy gift finder and the ability to play about with personalised products online thanks to the preview function.  

Why not take advantage of 10% off your order if you go & take a look now, by using the voucher code: TFBLOG 
Check 'em out on facebook and twitter for fun finds and obscene offers!

Happy shopping!

I know why Finley's been crying so much... #babybabble

Last week I reported how awesome Finley had been for 2 whole days in the last 3 weeks. Then it went downhill again. I took him the GP and you'll never guess what he was diagnosed with... random chilblains. 

What?

There's me thinking he was chomping on his hand due to teething, and the redness and heat was from doing that. But no. The red swollen hands are chilblains and that is why he's been screaming the house down for weeks on end.

Talk about feeling like a bad parent. 

His right hand, red hot, shiny and swollen

His hands have always gone very red, randomly. I just assumed that was normal - the health visitor tells you that it's not uncommon for baby's hands to be hot/cold, as long as their chest and/or head feel normal then that's OK. I'd taken his temperature many a time the past couple of weeks (in case he had an infection brewing) and that had read absolutely fine each and every time. It did so in the doctors too. 


I tried to argue with the doctor, I must admit. How can it be chilblains when it happens at random times, sat in the house with the heating on. I always thought it was from exposure to dramatic temperature changes. Nonetheless he was adamant it was chilblains and prescribed a steroid cream and a moisturiser (so his skin doesn't split when swollen), ibuprofen and antihistamines. 

Antihistamines are not licensed for prescription to children under 12 months old though, but if I want to purchase and dispense myself it should be OK as they have been tested in 1 month old's and over (this is what I was told!!!) I think I'll pass on that though. Sounds a bit... wrong.

He could hardly move his fingers :(

He's to wear gloves at least one hour before going out, whilst out, and then at least an hour once home too. This is to slow down the temperature change from hot to cold and vice versa. 

I've used the steroid cream just twice so far - I don't like the idea of steroid treatment in such a young baby. Having said that, a tiny smidgen rubbed in and covered by a glove seems to be giving a good day's worth of normality. I've also taken to him wearing gloves 24 hours a day, as you never know when you need to go out, so perhaps it's that which is giving the good results?

Have you ever heard or known of anyone's baby suffering from this? Randomly? Sat indoors with no window open or anything? Because I am honestly baffled. 


#BabyBabble
 

Please remember to comment on the HOST post 
and at least 2 other posts too. 
Sharing is caring. 
Spread the word to get your posts seen on this week's linky!

My advice? NEVER buy from Mothercare online - EVER!!!

I am sat, in tears, writing this post. Mothercare have no clue what customer service is, in my opinion. Let's see if you agree...

This was my blog's facebook page status on 1st December:

After 4 months my travel system's mechanism has broken, meaning it can't fold.

As it's under their 2 year guarantee, I get in touch for help. But I'm instructed the guarantee stipulates that regardless of it being an online purchase, I must go to store. Um, I'd have bought in store if you were local, wouldn't have bought online.

I can't get to my "local" store as it closed down and the next closest is miles away and, of course, the buggy won't fold so I can't get a lift from anyone. I could attempt a three hour (plus) round trip on several buses, but will likely be asked to fold the pram or wait for the next bus. (Becoming increasingly more common due to xmas shoppers). I can arrange a Hackney Cab to get to nearest store but at a fare of £20+ each way, thats a third of my weekly maternity wage, I just can't do that.

So where does that leave me? Ok so they have said they'll collect instead but:
A. I then forfeit my loan replacement
B. It will take up to 8 WEEKS to be repaired or replaced.

How do I take my eldest child to school? Either he can't go (I will not allow a 6 year old to walk on his own) or my 6m old baby gets left home alone. I could ask friends and family to help out and i'll simply stay at home if it was a few days, a week tops. But 2 months??

They literally, do not care.

I'm paying the ultimate price for a faulty product that is through no fault of my own. (I've googled and it's happened to a fair few others who have this model, not just me. They end up being replaced from what I've seen)

You pay hundreds upon hundreds of pounds expecting quality products. When they go wrong, I'd expect not to be out of pocket or housebound for such a long period of time.

So, share this - tell your expectant friends and family. DO NOT BUY ONLINE WITH MOTHERCARE... Unless, they're within a very comfortable walking distance from you, or you happen to have emergency prams lying about the house.

You've been warned.


I received an email shortly afterwards stating that 3rd December, between 8.30am - 5.30pm my system will be collected. I have waited in all day. The driver arrives at 5.36pm and guess what...



I SPECIFICALLY asked if this would pose a problem in an email sent to them on 28th November and the response was that it could still be collected.

I CLEARLY STATED THAT IT CANNOT BE BOXED AND HAD A REPLY!


SO not only does Mothercare...

> expect online customers to go to store if they have any issues with prams. Why offer an online service then? Stores are not on everyone's doorsteps.

> have their customers forfeit a loan replacement if they cannot, physically or financially, get to store.

> can take up to 8 weeks to assess a faulty pram

> don't seem fussed that customers are, effectively, housebound if they do not drive or have an emergency pram to hand.

They also provide incorrect information/do not listen to their customers, thus adding 1 full day on to the already hefty "up to 8 weeks" of being stuck indoors, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

I kept my annoyance with Mothercare as a facebook status initially but I am beyond angry right now hence taking to the blog. You've completely wasted my day for no reason at all. You had the information that it couldn't be boxed, why did you say that it could still be collected?

BE WARY WHEN PURCHASING SOMETHING AS VITAL AS A PRAM ONLINE WITH MOTHERCARE... You are likely to be incredibly sorry if your experience is anything like mine.

Radnor Preserves Dishes Up a Juicy Christmas Gift Idea

I've been tasting something different with my toast this week. Blackberry and Cracked Black Pepper jam by Radnor Preserves. Actually I've been having it on bread, crackers and toast!


Joanna Morgan started Radnor Preserves by candlelight with no electricity or even a fridge and has a real passion for creating unique and special flavour Jams, which include ‘Strawberry & Champagne’, that features succulent whole strawberries, ‘Rhubarb & Caramelized Fig’, ‘Blackcurrant & Vanilla’, the award winning ‘Raspberry & Crushed Cardamom’ and many more.


The fruity combinations of Radnor Preserves have won multiple awards, including gold at this year's prestigious Great Taste Awards. Going by the Blackberry & Cracked Black Pepper that I have been testing, I'm not surprised. Full blackberries in a juicy, rich, sweet compote with the pepper cutting through to peg the torte zing back a little. It's absolutely lovely. So delicious they have even graced HM the Queen’s table!

All preserves are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and free from artificial preservatives and additives. A gift box of three costs £15 plus p&p and can contain a personalised message to the recipient if you like from www.radnorpreserves.com.

A delightfully different Christmas gift for anyone and everyone.



*Alongside this press release I was sent a jar of jam to sample... Please send more jam! 

The 6 Month struggle

I missed baby babble last week. Do you know why? Because I was sick to the back teeth (ironic!) of whinging about the teething stage. It has dominated our whole family's lives. It felt like there was nothing else to report on other than how bad it has been. It was getting to the point where I was literally sobbing at the edge of my bed at 5am after 4 solid hours of screaming from Finley. 

How can a baby get by with this little sleep. There were hardly any naps in the day and very little sleep in the night. I think his teething pain, mixed with over-tiredness was making this all the more difficult. 

Look at them eyebags and swollen cheeks!

Everyone I knew, after 2-3 solid weeks of these shenanigans, were all saying there must be something else bothering him. So on Monday night I took the decision to call the GP first thing in the morning on Tuesday. 

Then, to my complete amazement, Monday night he didn't cry or wail - just screeched and jabbered away to himself. Tuesday he actually had naps - good lengthy naps at that. He went to bed at 7.30pm and slept right through without a peep until 6.30am. I gave him his dummy hoping I could get dressed quickly before feeding time and, get this... he fell back asleep until 8am! By 10am he still hadn't even whimpered once and was all smiles and coo's. Baby's are truly extraordinary creatures!

Here's hoping it continues.


In other news I gave him a small dot of cheese the other day - he hated it!! Too salty perhaps? He was really very annoyed with me, just look at that death stare! I also gave him a stick of cucumber to gnaw on - he wasn't too sure about that but did keep bringing it to his mouth. I think the cold was helping his teeth.


I've figured out how to successfully place him in his high chair - shove a cushion down his back. If the harness was attached to the back of the seat rather than the bottom of it, or if the connecting buckle was attached to the seat rather than the edge of the it, it wouldn't be a problem. Serious design flaw if you ask me. Anyway,  I'm hoping he'll settle down this week so I can begin to introduce finger foods. That should hopefully encourage those teeth to cut through and give him some relief at the same time.

What kind of finger food would you recommend? He's 7 months old on 4th December and other than pureed foods, he's only ever has cucumber, that dot of cheese, a crumb of sponge cake and a smidgen of milky bar button. Solids terrify me, but that's a story for another week...

#BabyBabble

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