MAM Oral Care Week! **Giveaway** (UK Only)

Monday, 16 October 2017

This week is MAM Oral Care Week! YAY! MAM have some fantastic products to help look after your little one's mouth.

Go to the store here and enter "ORALCARE25" for 25% off oral care and teethers! (excluding MAM Friends)

For your chance to win a teether of choice, keep reading!

Oral care is so important for your little one. I always thought that it was simple when you had a baby. They don't have any teeth, so why do I need to worry about their oral care?? Ohh Rowan, how wrong can you be?

When Luke's first tooth came through, I was so excited. I had the toothbrush at the ready! Luke had other plans. He would not let me brush his tooth. In fact, if the toothbrush went near him, he would gag and clamp his jaw shut. Even when he started to accept the toothbrush (just holding it though..) he would scream if it went near his mouth. Oh man.


His first tooth came through on the 1st August, followed by the second on the 12th August. Two adorable bottom teeth to take care of - but no way of him allowing me! So I tried to make it fun. I let him basically just have one toothbrush at all times, and showed him throughout the day, every day, how to brush his teeth. Eventually, it worked! Now, if I hand him his brush, he brushes his teeth (and then I step in and make sure they are sparkling!).

Growing up, my baby teeth were a real problem. I had an addiction to fruit juice in a bottle and would not let my parents brush my teeth. The result? Painful tooth extractions and adult teeth growing where they shouldn't. This really motivated me to make sure that Luke would never have this problem. But where to start..

MAM have some incredible products to ensure your baby has the best oral care from day one. I honestly could not recommend them more.

The MAM Oral Care Rabbit

This product can be used from BIRTH! Yes, birth! It is so important to keep gums clean.

This is a product I am so glad I had before Luke's teeth came through. I was a bit late to the party though, and got it when he was about 4-5 months old. It helped him get used to having his gums brushed. And when he refused the toothbrush at first, this helped keep his brand new little tooth clean!

You simply put the ears over your fingers and gently rub over the baby gums!


I do let Luke just hold and chew this too. He loves it.

MAM Bite and Relax (Phase 2)
Hands up if your baby started teething ridiculously early, but no teeth appeared for a while?!


Luke started teething at about 7-8 weeks. It was hell! He would chew everything, mainly blankets, and cry all the time. He was too young for pain relief and only just old enough for a tiny dose of teething powder which didn't work for long.

I bought a couple of teethers to relieve him, but the issue I had was sterilising them. I threw them in the steriliser and then... Well and then what?! How was I supposed to take them with me and keep them clean? I actually resorted to putting them in a sterilised bottle, which meant more to carry.

These teethers come with a sterilisble case - YES! YOU READ THAT RIGHT!! Just like the MAM Soothers, you can sterilise this teether in the microwave in the case, and take it with you. The case keeps them sterile for 48 hours.

Luke chews on every part of this teether. I attach it to one of our soother clips and he favours it over his soother!

MAM also sell the Bite and Relax Phase 1 from 2+ months - it also comes in a sterilisable case and you can find it here.

MAM Friends
Meet Bob and Lucy. They are Luke's MAM Friends.

They are made of 100% natural rubber, making them 100% baby safe.


These guys are brilliant. Luke actually talks to them - not too sure what he is saying, but he looks right at their little eyes and talks! After he has had a nice long chat with them, he tries to eat them. Just as well they are perfect for this!

Both can be secured onto a dummy clip so Luke can take them everywhere with him (and I don't have to worry about them getting lost!). Luke points and pokes the little bumps and patterns and found them incredibly easy to pick up from very early on. They are extremely squidgy with no squeek - that means I don't have to worry about stepping on one when Luke is in bed - result!


These can't be sterilised, but I personally just give them a quick once over with the bottle brush and some antibacterial washing up liquid and dry them thoroughly.

Lucy is suitable from 2+ months and can be found here.
Max is suitable from 4+ months and can be found here.
Ellie is suitable from 4+ months and can be found here.
Bob is suitable from 5+ months and can be found here.

MAM Massaging Brush
The MAM Massaging Brush is a life saver. When Luke's gums are causing him pain, the last thing he wants me to do is brush his teeth. The MAM Massaging Brush not only cleans his existing teeth and gums, it brings a great deal of comfort to those sore gums!


One thing I adore about the MAM Massaging Brush is that it is long - long enough for Luke to hold, and still room for me to help!

MAM Learn to Brush Set
This brush set does exactly what it says on the tin. It helped Luke learn to brush his own teeth, and hugely helped my piece of mind at the same time!


Like the other one, the MAM Learn to Brush Set comes with a long brush. Luke can hold this and I can help him! The smaller brush is perfect for little hands.


The reason this brush saved my piece of mind is that little round plastic piece that comes with the brushes. This clips around the neck of the brush to stop Luke from shoving the whole brush down his throat! It is such a fab idea and it really works. Luke cannot take it off which is even better! He uses it as a handle, too.


The Giveaway!!

MAM have kindly offered a fantastic prize of a choice of teether from their website! The range can be found here.

Giveaway closes on 20th October 2017 (winner selected and announced on the 21st).

All you have to do is enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good Luck!!

If you cannot wait for my giveaway to be drawn, go to the store here and enter "ORALCARE25" for 25% off oral care and teethers! (excluding MAM Friends)
The fine print: MAM have sent me this product for the purpose of review. All views are my own.
The giveaway is for UK residents only and will be drawn at random on the 21st October2017




Homemade Granola!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Breakfast in my house is a bit hit and miss. With a baby to feed, I often end up eating what he doesn't and soggy toast is not my favourite thing..

I had been searching Pinterest for quick and easy breakfasts that I could make ahead of time and I pinned a lot! But one thing that stood out for me was granola. A few weeks back, a friend of mine said that she had been making her own granola for the week and it was really easy, so I thought I would give it a try! After reading a few recipes, it was easy enough to create my own.

You will need:

And if you like it sweet, add a grated apple into the mix!


Method:
First steps, pre heat the oven at 175°c/350°f/Gas Mark 4. While the oven is heating up, mix all dry ingredients together and put in an oven proof dish. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. You don't need to be religious with the 3 minute stir, I just like filling my house with the smell!


Mix the wet ingredients together (including the apple if you have decided on a sweeter granola!). When the 15 minutes is up, take the dry ingredients out of the oven. They should smell incredible right about now! Add the wet ingredients and stir thoroughly. Everything should be covered equally.


Once everything is combined, you will want to thinly layer a baking tray with your mix. It is fairly important that it is a thin layer as you want it to bake evenly.

Put back in the oven for a further 15 minutes. It should start to go golden and smell even better!! Once the time is up, turn the oven off, but leave the granola inside for a further 5 minutes. 


Remove the granola from the oven and allow to completely cool. Once cooled, you can store in an air tight jar for around 3 days.


Personally, I have this with yogurt or even by itself as a snack. You can add raisins, chocolate chips, etc to make it perfect for your own taste. This recipe is a great base!

ENJOY!

Let me know how it turns out for you!






Coffee Shops Aren’t The Only Place For Great Coffee*

Friday, 29 September 2017

For many people, coffee is the fuel that keeps them going – it wakes you up on a morning, gives you a boost during that pre-lunch lull in energy and ensures you remain alert late into the afternoon. But the concept of great quality coffee has also become tied up with the idea of the coffee shop – after all, you can’t get really good coffee at home or at the office, right?

Coffee Shop Culture

We have almost become spoiled in terms of coffee due to the quality of products easily available at our many local coffee shops. Not only that but the whole coffee shop culture has gained a place in our work lives. Many freelancers and flexible location workers often turn to the coffee shop as a great place to work and also to enjoy their favourite coffee. With free Wi-Fi, charging spots for the smartphone and even the odd free refill, the coffee shop is an ideal place for solo workers to have a change of scene.
This has also led to the desire for better quality coffee both at home and at work. For most people, gone are the days of coffee that looked and tasted like used petrol. In fact, some 40% of employees say they are willing to leave the office to buy quality coffee on the high street. So, what can be done to make quality coffee available everywhere?

Importance of Quality Coffee

There are lots of ways to get the very highest quality coffee in your home or at the office and that’s why many businesses are now investing money in ensuring that their staff get only the best. In fact, as the awareness of the benefits of coffee for staff has grown, so has the investment that businesses are willing to make in their coffee facilities, and there are a growing number of specialist commercial coffee companies like Honest Coffees (www.HonestCoffees.com) providing the latest machines and the highest quality coffee to offices and workplaces.
In fact, studies have shown that coffee has lots of positive connections for the workplace that will also apply to anyone working from home. Good coffee:
·       Helps keep you alert – caffeine is a stimulant and boosts the central nervous system, helping with all-day productivity
·       Good reasons for a break – short breaks have shown to be beneficial for long-term productivity and also help employees spend a little time with colleagues, chatting and sharing experiences, which has a positive effect on overall performance
·       Makes people get up from their desk – spending too long in one position isn’t good for the body so the need to get up and make some coffee is a good incentive to take a break and move around
·       Relieves stress from lack of sleep – we’ve all had those spells where you don’t sleep well and feel like a zombie but a good cup of quality coffee can help boost the body and overcome the stress of sleeplessness

Selecting a Coffee Machine

Whether you are considering a coffee machine for home, the home office or the work office, there is now a host of machines to choose from, all offering different benefits. So how do you select the right one?
There are four main types of coffee machine to consider:
A manual espresso machine is the type similar to those found in coffee shops and allows you to create the largest range of drinks. This is ideal if you’re a fan of cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolates or want to offer a wide range of options to your staff.
If you want something a little simpler but also want to use great quality beans, then a bean-to-cup machine is the way to go. This involves grinding and pouring the coffee automatically, so this option offers really high-quality products with less time involved in the making.
Capsule machines can be an ideal option for homes, home offices or small offices as each coffee is made from a pod. They tend to be a little more expensive than other systems but offer a very reliable result and take very little cleaning.
If you just want lots of good, strong coffee constantly available then a filter coffee machine will be the answer. This is the simplest type of coffee machine and offers plain, hot coffee that you can then add milk, cream, sugar or anything else to. All you need to do is insert a single filter paper to the brew basket and pour the contents of the filter grind coffee sachet into the basket. The basket is slid into the machine and then left for 4-5 minutes before being ready to pour and drink.

Enjoy the Benefits


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Even a simple filter coffee machine in the workplace stocked with a good quality coffee can quickly bring the benefits for employees and therefore for the business. You can work with a coffee machine expert to see what is the best type of machine for both office tastes and office sizes to ensure everyone gets the coffee they need, when they need it.

Disclamer: I was paid for this post, however all opinions are my own


Nine months old!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

WAIT, WHAT?!
My tiny baby boy is NINE MONTHS OLD! When did this happen?!


He is so close to walking, he climbs the stairs, climbs everything he possibly can and despite the constant movement, he doesn't like napping! Changing his nappy is a HUGE challenge as he wants to roll, backflip and do anything but stay still..


Never for a second, did I think that I would have such a strong willed baby, but I love it! I cannot turn my back for a millisecond.. (goodbye peeing in peace!)!


He absolutely loves toys and teddies - his sensitive side has definitely come out. He is obsessed with all animals - he waves at Rex (our pet tortoise) every time we walk passed him! He squeals with excitement. It is the cutest thing ever!


His legs just kill me. He stands on the wrong side of his toes and as cute as it is, it does make me worry!! Or maybe, he will just be the most fantastic ballet dancer, ever?!


He loves trolleys - he sees them as an adventure! I just haven't quite learned how to stop him sucking the straps or bars.. Cringe..


Just look at his cheeky face.
I never understood how much you can love someone until I became a mother! I know, every mum says that, but seriously, it's true! I love my husband more, I love my parents more, it is crazy!


Every time I put him to bed, I realise that in the morning, he will have grown that little bit more. One more step towards not needing his mum anymore! So as much as I love the grown up time I get when bed time comes, I also feel a tiny twinge of sadness, but also excitement - I cannot wait to see the amazing man he will grow into! But for now, slow down baby boy.


MAM Soothers! *

Wednesday, 20 September 2017



A few posts ago, you would have seen that one of my essentials for every baby are MAM bottles - we love them! Since that post, MAM have got in touch and sent me some soothers for Luke to review, and asked us to hold a giveaway! Here is the verdict, and giveaway details below..


MAM Crystal Soothers


The characters on these are totally adorable - a Rhino and a Lion! Luke loves animals and I have always bought vibrant soothers with animals or characters on them.


The MAM Crystal Soothers are my favourites because they are so bright and cheerful. Every single pattern I have seen has been fun and I love the shiny finish!

Luke has a habit of scraping his two (and only) bottom teeth along the patterns of these soothers - and the patterns have not shifted! I am more than impressed. I expected the finish to at least wear, but it hasn't!

You can check out more in the range here.



MAM Nature Soothers

As Luke was born on Christmas Day, I adore the winter patterns on these. I LOVE them! Luke is currently obsessed with dogs - not overly sure why as we don't have one! But he has pointed to the fox on the blue soother and waved a few times, just like he does with dogs. It is incredibly sweet!


I have grown a strange attachment to these soothers. Part of me only wants to take these ones with us when we leave the house, but the other part of me doesn't want to risk loosing them!

Again - the finish on these is fab and hasn't worn at all, despite Luke trying to eat them.

You can check out more in the range here.


Why we love these soothers..!

The shape of these soothers are the best. Other brands have a different shape to them and from very early on, Luke just didn't get them. The MAM Soothers, he just took to immediately.

This is probably because the teats are incredibly soft and the soothers fit so perfectly in his mouth. With other soothers, he seems to really struggle to keep a hold of it in his mouth - he even pulls them out and looks at them with a really puzzled look on his face.

Luke has never been that good at putting his soother back in his own mouth until these - I think it is because the back is perfect size for Luke to hold. He always holds one in his hand.

We always keep a stash around the house, the car, the changing bag.. The fact that they come in a box that you can throw in the microwave and sterilise them in, seals the deal for me!


The Giveaway is now closed!

MAM have kindly offered a fantastic prize of a choice of soother from their website! The range can be found here.

Giveaway closes on 28th September 2017 (winner selected and announced on the 29th).

All you have to do is enter below!




Good luck!


The fine print: MAM have sent me this product for the purpose of review. All views are my own.
The giveaway is for UK residents only and will be drawn at random on the 29th September 2017



Baby Essentials

Sunday, 27 August 2017

When you're expecting your first baby, everything looks appealing. I must admit, myself and my husband bought an awful lot of things with no idea if they would be useful or not and we ended up with a lot of samples to try out!

Here is what I couldn't live without!

The current NHS guidelines are that your baby should sleep in your room for the first six months of their lives. I wanted to do this safely, so I did my research. I wanted my baby close to me, so I looked into co-sleepers that attached to the side of your bed. Nice and close, but they would still be in their own space. My husband and I sleep so deeply, I would never trust the baby to be in the bed with us!

A friend of mine on Facebook liked the Bednest page - so I had a look. I had checked out all the co-sleepers you could buy in the shops and although they looked great, I was not too keen on the idea of spending £200 on something my baby would be in for 4-6 months, and then I would have to store it. I know, I could re-use it for baby number two, but I would also have to store it after that and we really don't have anywhere but the loft - and no, I didn't want to put it up there!

The day before we went to be induced!
The Bednest is hired for as long as you need it, but it is recommended until your baby is six months (and not rolling/crawling/etc). All the fabric is new, so the only re-used part is the wood. It is amazing! It attaches to the side of the bed by the base, and the crib itself can come off.  The sides collapse so you can have the baby almost in the bed with you, but in their own space.

This was when we realised he needed to go into his big cot!
We brought it downstairs in the day for Luke to sleep in, instead of buying an additional moses basket. We loved it! I ordered it at the end of October and returned it at the end of June. I honestly couldn't recommend this cot enough.



Koo-Di Pop Up Basinet

4 weeks old



I bought the Koo-Di when I was pregnant with the intention of using it when we were at friends/families houses. We actually ended up using it a lot! We used it when we went away on three family get-aways by the time he was 4 months old. It was such a brilliant purchase!

It was perfect because it folds up so small and has a built in mosquito net. When we were in Cyprus, we could have him sleep outside whilst we were pool side and we didn't have to worry about the bugs!
17 weeks old




This lasted Luke until he was 4 months old as he started to roll and crawl!

There are so many cute colours and patterns in the range, I would definitely buy another if/when I had another baby!









Cosatto Travel System
A travel system is an essential when it comes to a baby, and without a doubt, my favourite is the Cosatto Giggle 2! We got ours from Mothercare for a total steal! I love all the patterns they do, and Luke adored the pattern from an early age. He would look at the pattern and smile. It melted my heart!


When I was recovering from my caesarean, I could really lean on the pushchair whilst pushing Luke to help me walk. It really helped me get out of the house!


Everywhere I go, someone stops me to ask me about the pushchair/car seat. That definitely does wonders for the ego!

As Luke got bigger, the pushchair grew with him!


We will be able to use this for a fair while yet and I love it!


BabyMoov Swing Chair
This chair was absolutely fantastic from newborn until about 5 months (when Luke became a little too mobile for it!). It rocks, it plays music and it has a mobile. It can either be powered by batteries or you can plug it in.

From a couple of days old, he sat in this with the music going, being rocked. It would soothe him so fast, it really helped us out!


As you can see from the picture, he has changed so much! He went from not even noticing the mobile, to eating it! Even now, if I play the music from the chair, he smiles excitedly! It is the sweetest thing.

Now Luke has outgrown it, I have folded it up and put it away in his room. As it folds almost flat, it doesn't get in the way at all and will be kept for baby number 2!


This also comes with a lifetime warranty which is just brilliant!




Swaddle Blankets
One of the best gifts I was given for Luke were these swaddle blankets. I received a pack of four and I loved them so much, I bought an additional 4! Did I ever swaddle Luke? Not really - I was terrible at it. Why were they the best gift? Because they are amazing!


 I have used them to line cots in hotels, in his car seat and pushchair, in his cot, they made great burp cloths when he was small, and loads more!

They make the best blankets as they are so incredibly soft and they wash and dry incredibly well. I am yet to find another type of blanket that washes so well! They also fold up incredibly small and can be kept in your changing bag.

Out of the brands that I have, my favourite by far is Swaddle Designs!




Car Seat Blanket
When we brought Luke home from the hospital, it was -2°c outside. I had read never to put a baby in a coat/jacket whilst in their car seat, so I bought a car seat blanket. It threads into the car seat and wraps around the baby to keep them warm.


We only really used this to and from the car as we heated the car once we were in it and didn't want him to over heat! Once he is in the car, we unwrap him - he wasn't too amused by this!



This was an absolute God send for the first two months. After that, Luke managed to wiggle his way out of it so we stopped using it for the car seat. It is so soft and cute though, that we still use it from time to time. Realistically, we could use it on his pushchair, too!





MAM Bottles
Every mum that plans to give their baby formula has to pick a bottle for their baby. I originally started out with Tommee Tippee and as brilliant as they were, Luke had colic and was sick a fair amount, so we decided to try MAM. I had received a free one in the post so I tried it and within a few days, Luke's colic was noticeably better.


I had heard about MAM bottles as they were supposed to make your life so much easier because you DON'T NEED A STERILISER!!

Yes, you read that correctly. They self sterilise in the microwave with a drop of water!!!

These were a dream when it came to going abroad with Luke when he was 4 months old, as we didn't have to worry about how we would sterilise his bottles. We just needed the microwave!

Their soothers are also fab and come in a microwaveable sterilising case. These have saved my life!




IKEA Highchair
Calling all bargain hunters! This highchair cost me £15, BRAND NEW, from IKEA!


This highchair is simply the best thing ever. I have tried Luke in other highchairs and none of them can contain him like this one can. It is easy to clean (you can even put the tray in the dishwasher!) and you can buy an additional inflatable insert with a washable cover.

Pop Up Play Pen
This has literally saved my life and my sanity. Luke started crawling fairly early and I lost the ability to do anything without him destroying my house! Well, I was more worried about him hurting himself on my incredibly un-child-proofed house!


I searched for play pens and was worried that I was going to have to sacrifice all the space that I had left in my living room - but then I found this! It is stable enough for him to pull himself up on and he can peek through it.


It can go outside, and folds to the size of a travel cot. Luke adores it. He sleeps in it, plays in it and watches TV through it!




What could you not live without? What was totally not needed?!

Disclosure: all opinions stated in this post are my own. I only post reviews about products that I am passionate about and think you should all know about! There are some affiliate links in the post. Thank you for reading :)