Wednesday, 22 October 2014 - Review

So I was sent some running gear from this summer with the express purpose of supporting me in my efforts to get fit, to try and encourage me to get out there and give running a go.

Have I used it?  Erm no. *hangs head in shame* 

That is the main reason why this post has taken so long.  The intention is there, it really is.  I keep thinking "I'll do it tonight when Dave gets home" and then I get caught up in a flurry of feeding time at the zoo, spelling practice, sorting out school uniforms, baths, bed, blogging . . . and then then next thing I know I'm lying in bed thinking "I didn't do it again today.  Tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow".

When I first started to look at the SportsShoes website I was pretty overwhelmed by the choice.  What I know about running could be written on the back of a postage stamp . . . "I can't do it" basically.  I suppose in theory you just get out there and run don't you - but the right equipment will surely set you on the path to success (or at least help you to avoid knackered knees, bouncing boobs or being run over because you weren't seen . . . )?

I already have some running trainers (which I erm, walk in) and a sports bra (which I learn to do crazy flash mob things in) so I thought maybe some running tights and a top would be the way forward.  

The SportsShoes website is packed with brands at great prices - I couldn't believe how much I could get for my money. 
In the end I chose: 

* Some fancy Nike running tights - I figured the high waistband would be good for my "mum tum" and the "compression fit" had to be supportive for my wobbly bum right?

* A long sleeve Nike running top (which I can't find on the website anymore) 

A Nike hoodie - Yeah so I bought this more with the thought that if I don't actually run it might be pretty comfy on the sofa . . . I'm not sure this is the attitude of a runner?

A hat - just in case I ever build up the courage to go out running in the cold (though with my stupid asthmatic lungs this seems unlikely)

When all the kit arrived I got the tights out and couldn't see how I'd ever get them on - they're like half the size of me.  But then they are "compression tights" - so they work a bit like Spanx.  Getting them on was quite an effort but they fit and were pretty comfortable . . . did I take them out for a test run?  Nope, took them off and had a curry on the sofa.  Oh yes. 

So . . . the SportsShoes website is ace - lots of running stuff for not a lot of cash.  Me?  I'm not so ace. I now have some super running gear folded neatly in my drawer whispering to me to get my fat arse out there and start running.  I might. Maybe.  We'll see.

*Disclaimer - I was sent these items free of charge for the purpose of review however all thoughts and opinions are my own*

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Bioskin Junior Range - Review

I've mentioned before that Ben and I both suffer from eczema.  My eczema started towards the end of primary school and is a specific type of eczema confined to my hands and feet - it was at its worst in my early twenties but has been very well controlled since then.  Ben's eczema started before his first birthday and he was quickly under the care of a dermatologist.  After a few visits we had found a combination of treatments which work and his eczema is mostly well managed now too. 

Anyone who suffers eczema is likely to have been through a whole array of lotions and potions - many of which are thick and greasy.  One of the things I love most about the current moisturiser I use for Ben is that it is easy to apply and sinks in quickly so it's comfortable for him. 

It's not often that I will try new things on his skin, as I say we have it relatively well controlled it seems foolish to rock the boat and risk a flare up however when I was contacted to see if we would try some of the Bioskin Junior range I had a read on the website and thought we'd give it a go. 

I decided to try out the Daily Nourishing Spray and the Shampoo . . .

Bioskin Junior Daily Nourishing Spray 
I love the idea of a spray - in fairness to Ben he's pretty good at having his cream on and has been from a very young age.  There was a short time where it was a two person job however he quickly seemed to realise that it felt better once we'd done it and he might as well just stand still so it was over and done with.  He is in fact so good now that he is quite happy to put it on himself much of the time.  Anyway - the spray seemed ideal for getting the job done quickly, particularly if your little one isn't so keen on having their cream applied.  I have always found cold creams to be soothing on sore and itchy skin but I know Ben used to scream about it being cold when he was little so the spray scores points on that front.  Having had a quick spray on my own skin I was surprised at how well it spread and how moisturised my skin felt.  Reading the description on the website I was really impressed to read that Bioskin Junior Daily Nourishing Spray doesn't just protect skin by creating an artificial barrier like most traditional creams, in fact it nourishes the skin in such a way as to help it repair itself.  Ben was quite happy with the spray - he said it felt nice and we talked about how it had spread on his skin.  I think it smells quite medicinal and wasn't all that keen but Ben said he quite liked the smell and as we're applying it to his skin I think his opinion counts more than mine!  He sprayed it right onto some very sore patches and didn't complain of any stinging which can often be caused by moisturising broken skin!  All round I would say it was a major win and he was really happy with it. 

Bioskin Daily Spray

Bioskin Junior Shampoo 
When Ben's skin was really bad we didn't really wash his hair much as we didn't want the shampoo to be a further irritant to his already delicate and upset skin.  With my own eczema being specific to my hands and feet I know all too well the difficulties of washing my hair during a flare up - so much so that I often used to ask Dave to wash my hair for me to avoid having to put shampoo on my own fragile, damaged skin.  I've even been known to wash my hands wearing gloves.  The idea of a shampoo specially formulated for eczema sufferers is a great idea.  Ben was happy to try his new shampoo - I was really impressed with how much it lathered up and I liked the smell (Ben said he thought it smelt of food?! Strange boy)  It rinsed off easily and he said it didn't sting his eyes at all.  I will be using this on all three children now as I think it will be really helpful for Chloe who still suffers from a bit of cradle cap.

Bioskin shampoo

We're really impressed with the Bioskin Junior range and would happily recommend it to other little ones suffering with eczema.  

*Disclaimer - We were provided with these products free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions are my own - and Ben's!*

Tried & Tested Tuesday

Welcome to Tried & Tested Tuesday! It’s so lovely to see so many familiar faces and new ones linking up each week – we really enjoy seeing the range of products you have been trying out. We do our best to visit you all each week, but do bear with us – we are both busy mums!

Last week was another record week with 97 link ups – thank you to every single one of you! If you’re new to this linky then welcome along! You can find out more about it and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – lets face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

 Each week, as you know, we like to feature two of our favourite reviews from the previous week. 

This week we loved:

 #TriedTested featured bloggerPink Lining Wanderlust Rucksack review from Chelsea Mamma - it is so pretty and so practical, and it made us want to go and buy one!

 #TriedTested featured bloggerScience 4 You skeleton puzzle from Northumberland Mam - great item that I actually went and ordered after reading the review. It will be a great Christmas present for Gemma.

If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment as well as a couple of others if you can – I know that people really, really appreciate the feedback! We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.  (Additional posts will be deleted out of fairness). We do our best to visit each post and leave a comment, as well as tweeting from @FamilyFever and @Lollinski. We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!
We're going on an adventure

Monday, 20 October 2014

Citadines Apart'hotel, South Kensington - Review

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the MADs in that there London town . . . 

I was also very lucky to be able to stay with a pair of top Northern bloggers in the very plush Citadines Apart'hotel in South Kensington

The Citadines Apart'hotel is situated within easy walking distance of the Gloucester Road Underground station  . . .  and is very easy to find. 

As we had arrived a little before check in our room wasn't ready however we were able to leave our bags at reception whilst we went for our dance rehearsal!

Now the Citadines Apart'hotel is not your average hotel - as you move around the building it feels like you are in a normal, but very lovely, hotel.  However once you walk through the door into your "room" you realise you are indeed staying in your very own little apartment - not just a hotel room but a proper sitting room, a kitchen and then upstairs to a vast galleried bedroom and bathroom.  We all squealed with delight at the cute little stairs!  

What we loved: 
*Proper heavy blackout curtains - we had no idea what time it was when we woke up, there was not a single chink of light getting in that room before we wanted it to 
* The windows - whilst enormous and beautiful, were fitted with additional glazing which meant we didn't hear any sound from outside at all. 
* There was more than enough space for all three of us to get ready without feeling on top of each other (in fact the room we were staying in could have slept 4)
* The galleried bedroom was just beautiful - it felt so luxurious. 
* The beds were super comfortable, no complaints here (expect that I had to get up early to make my way home rather than indulging in a lie in!)
* We didn't have to pay extra for Wifi! 
* The surrounding area was beautiful - South Kensington is all magnificent buildings and beautiful tree lined streets decorated with some very expensive cars - not what these three lasses from Manchester are used to at all!  
* The air conditioning was effective and much needed while we were trying to get ready.

What we weren't so keen on: 
* It was a real shame that the fridge wasn't turned on when we arrived - whilst I appreciate that is an exercise in being economical - both financially and in terms of carbon footprint   . . . it was a little frustrating for us that we had to turn it on and wait for it to cool down.  Kerrie had treated us to some frozen cocktails but unfortunately we didn't get them anywhere near frozen enough to actually drink them!

I wouldn't hesitate to book another stay at this Citadines Apart'hotel or infact any other.  One of the first things I said to my husband when I got home was that I would love to take him there for the weekend!

*Disclaimer - We were invited to stay at the Citadines Apart'hotel free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions are my own*

tommy & lottie t shirt - review

tommy & lottie is a brand in its infancy - only launching earlier this year.  Katie, who is the founder of the brand, is determined to ensure her beautifully designed products are both high quality and ethically made.  

As a Mum determined to avoid dressing my girls in pink the unisex nature of these gorgeous baby t shirts really appealed to me!

Looking through the website to choose a t shirt for Amy I decided that it made most sense to go with long sleeve being as how we're well and truly into the Autumn now (even though the weather is trying its hardest to confuse us)  Although I love each of the three designs currently available I just couldn't resist the fox

tommy & lottie fox

I was thrilled when the t shirt arrived, beautifully packaged in tissue paper with a little fox sticker to fasten it and hedgehog postcard.  It's the little things that really make a difference isn't it?

As soon as I had unwrapped the t shirt I was instantly struck by how soft it was - I knew Amy was going to be very happy to wear it (heck I even wanted to wear it myself!)

What we love: 
* It's super soft to touch 
* The fabric (100% pure cotton in fact) is thick enough to be warm and also keep it's shape, you know it will wash well
* The poppers at the neck make it much easier to dress your little one!
* The designs are cute - bright but not garish
* The attention to detail - the little acorn picture on the back is very sweet
* The print quality is great - this isn't going to crack and peel after a few washes
* The sizing is perfect - we ordered 12-18 months for Amy and it's just nicely too big for her as I would expect

What we're not so keen on: 
* I wouldn't normally choose to buy white for a baby Amy's age (or in fact for any of my children - they're too grubby!) so a range of colours would be fab
* Although £20 is more than I would usually pay for a t shirt - you are of course paying for the quality, independent design and the fact that the brand is so determined to provide a fair, living wage for their employees - this is no sweat shop "bargain" . . . 

tommy & lottie t shirt

You can find tommy & lottie here: 


*Disclaimer - We were sent this t shirt free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions are my own*

First Birthday gift ideas

Next month we will celebrate our baby girl's first birthday!  

I've been looking around for inspiration for her birthday present and have come up with a few ideas:

1. Wheelybug - approx £60
I love these bright, sturdy ride ons. With laminate floor throughout the downstairs of our house I can just see her having a right old time whizzing about on her very own little bumble bee!  I know they're not cheap but I think its a worthy investment as it will last her for a good few years.

2. Tobar Bump N Go Bubble Train - £15 
The Bump N Go Bubble Train moves along the floor, making chugging sounds and blowing bubbles from its chimney.  What child doesn't like bubbles?  Ben and Chloe are fascinated by them so I know they'll have great fun playing with Amy and her new bubble train.

3. Silver Cross Traditional Rag Doll - £30
The Silver Cross rag dolls are absolutely beautiful, Chloe already has one and I bought one for my god daughter for her Christening.  It only seems right that Amy should have one too! 

4. "Our Story for my daughter"  - £19.99
This beautiful, hardback book provides a space for you to record memories and special moments in your little girl's life right through to her 18th birthday.  I'm more than a bit sentimental so this really appeals to me.  Such a special first birthday present - I love the idea of being able to keep it and give it to her again on her 18th birthday.

5. BazZoo® Safari Lion Bean Bag - £71.94
This fab Lion bean bag seat is going to be fantastic in our new playroom - being wipe clean and waterproof its ideal for little ones.  I think Ben and Chloe might be somewhat envious of Amy's new chair! 

What would you choose?


*Disclaimer - We have been sent some of these items free of charge for the purpose of inclusion in this post*

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