Saturday, 18 November 2017

Christmas Gifts with Sports Direct #sdfiverchallenge

This post is an entry for Britmums #sdfiver challenge Christmas Challenge sponsored by We were challenged to find Christmas gifts for different people with at least two gifts costing five pound or less.
Whenever I've thought of Sports Direct, trainers or sports clothes immediately come to mind, I'll be honest and say it's not somewhere where I'd think to buy Christmas presents (unless they were 'sport' related), so I was pleasantly surprised by the range of products that were available. From toys to gift sets to Christmas jumpers, there really is a lot to choose from with many items priced at five pounds or less. I must say I was impressed with what was available and the prices.
To begin with a spent a good hour or so browsing the website taking mental note of things I thought would be good presents for certain people before choosing some and adding them to my basket, this is what I selected.
For the teacher

As a teacher myself I don't look forward to the overload of thoughtful chocolate gifts at the end of term. I don't mean to sound ungrateful but I'd honestly rather just have a card or verbal words from parents/carers if they wish to give something because...
A) 15+ chocolate gifts is too much chocolate!
B) 15+ chocolate gifts are not going to be helpful to my postpartum tum that I want to reduce in size!
So when I stumbled across Yankee Candles on the Sports Direct Website I was pleasantly surprised, especially as a small jar was priced at £3.99! So that's what I ordered, a small 'Sparkling Snow' candle as an alternate gift for Eliot's teacher. However as you can see on the box above there are three candles priced at £7.99, so I'm not sure if I didn't read the description properly and it was always a pack of three or they had sold out of single candles. Whichever way it was, they went through at £3.99 on my order which is blimmin' good value for a great quality product! Unfortunately these particular candles no longer seem to be available on the website which doesn't surprise me because they were such good value! There are other Yankee products available and who knows, they could get more in stock.
For The Teaching Assistant

Eliot has four adults working in his Reception class, so that's four gifts that I needed to get! As I said above I'm not overly keen on chocolate gifts so thought this Moisty mug cake was another great alternative gift, with one particular TA in mind. Yes it's food related but who doesn't love a cake and one that can be ready a minute?! For £3.49 I thought this was super value and would be a great small gift or stocking filler for all cake lovers, ones that don't have a nut allergy though as this is Hazelnut flavour!

For The Child With TOO Many Toys

Sometimes I find buying presents for kids really difficult because you wonder if it's something they already have or if it could be adding to a toy collection that's already too large and driving the parents too distraction! So I try to avoid toys and opt for things like games. They (hopefully) won't add to the toy mess and they're something that all the family can get involved in. I chose this 3D Snakes and Ladders game for Eliot as he has a rather tired  2D version of it and I'm sure we'll have some festive family fun playing it together. It's priced at £5 but unfortunately I couldn't find it on the website so I'm guessing it's gone out of stock.
For The Sweet Lovers

I chose this Mini jelly bean machine for Eliot because he does like a sweet treat but mainly because he's been pointing out all the bubble gum machine gifts and bubble gum is something I won't give to him just yet. So when I came across this  Jelly Bean version I knew I had to get it for him as he'll love dispensing his own sweets! It's priced at £7.99.


I picked this Chewits selection box as a little present for my other half, he isn't fussed about chocolate but does love chewy sweets. He often buys Chewits but there only seem to be a limited selection of flavours available so I thought this would be ideal as there are a few different ones in this box. Priced at £2.99 I  thought it was good value for a selection box.

For The Presents

I don't know about you but I find wrapping Christmas presents after the first few a little laborious so I cheat with some and put them into Gift bags. This pack of five variety sized bags cost £2.99 which again I thought was a good price. There is also a more traditional Santa and Snowman pack of bags at the same price.

All of the items I picked came to under £25 which was I think was excellent value for what I selected and the quality. Delivery costs £4.99.
I certainly recommend browsing the website for presents whether their stocking fillers or main gifts there is plenty to choose from!

* I received the products above in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions

Thursday, 16 November 2017

REVIEW - Vionic Shoes

Back in the summer when I was expecting baby numero two (Nola Belle), I was invited to review a pair of shoes from Vionic. This was a brand I had never heard of before, whose 'biomechanical footbeds support you from the ground up'. I was intrigued to try them, especially when I found out their FMT technology with built in arch support aims to alleviate foot problems such as plantar faciitis. Having suffered with plantar faciitis a few months after having Eliot I was keen to avoid the problem developing again as it was very painful indeed! I was also desperate to try Vionic shoes to offer optimum support and comfort to my pregnant and very swollen feet!
I opted for a casual pair of trainer style shoes named 'Syra' which come in a choice of colours.  I am undoubtedly a 'flats' over 'heels' kinda gal and am most comfortable wearing a pair of trainers, so couldn't wait to try them out! At the time the white pair were my first choice but they didn't have my size in stock. However I'm really pleased I chose the black, especially now it's Winter.
When they arrived and I unboxed them I was really pleased with the style, they would be something I would buy myself as they go with perfectly with the casual, comfortable style I like to rock as a mum.

With my second pregnancy I suffered with severely swollen feet and legs so was really looking forward to getting the Vionic shoes on so I could give my ever expanding tootsies some better support.
I have wide feet anyway, but unfortunately my feet were so badly swollen I really had to battle get the shoes on and the fit was extremely tight. Therefore I didn't feel it would be fair to review them with my feet more swollen than the norm in pregnancy, here's how bad they actually were (sorry for the naff phone/gross feet photo).

Fast forward a few weeks after Nola's arrival, the swelling had gone and my feet/legs were pretty much back to their usual size. This meant I could finally give the shoes an honest review.
Vionic say,
'Feet were designed to walk on soft, natural elements like soil and sand,
not the hard, flat man-made surfaces that make up so much of our modern world.
Our shoes and sandals hug your arches like a natural footprint, giving you all day support.'
The leaflet that came in the box advised that to begin with only wear the shoes for a few hours at a time to let your body get used to Vionic's 'biomechanical orthotic technology'. So that is exactly what I did, wore them on short trips such as the school run with Eliot or when nipping to the shops. I usually find with a new pair of shoes that they often rub the back of my heel which can obviously be very sore and uncomfortable. With my Vionic shoes I haven't had this problem once as the back of the shoe is soft and supportive.
They have even kept my feet in ultra comfort during long days out walking all over London and hopping on and off public transport (you know how that is when you have a pram and fournager in tow').
If you're looking to be kinder to your feet whether your pregnant or not, I definitely recommend checking out Vionic!
* I received the product in exchange for a review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Monday, 13 November 2017

GIVEAWAY- "Milkshake! Brand New Besties" DVD

I don't know about you but I'm definitely not looking forward to another 'toy influx' this Christmas, so I'm looking at alternate gifts for the 'fournager'! A tablet, games, books and DVD's are on my current list.
I personally think DVD's are great stocking fillers or presents even if parents aren't dreading the toy overload! They're always handy for those dreary wet days or cold winter evenings and I love the look of the new Milkshake DVD featuring those toddler and pre-school favourites...

PAW Patrol
Digby Dragon
Bob The Builder
Peppa Pig
Shimmer and Shine.
 Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom
Fireman Sam
Poppy Cat
Olly the Little White Van
Puffin Rock
Noddy, Toyland Detective
Thomas & FriendsTM


Fancy winning a copy of Milkshake's Brand New Besties DVD?! I have two to giveaway, enter via rafflecopter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Her name is,,,

The fact that the 'n' in this font does not give a capital letter irritates me a lot but I was too tired to faff anymore!

Choosing a name for our pink surprise was a lot harder than expected, especially as we had five names we both agreed on for a girl but not really any for a boy.
Those five names were...
  1. Florence
  2. Matilda
  3. Alice
  4. Lottie
  5. I can't remember at the moment!!! (baby brain)
But when it came to deciding on one, they didn't seem right for her. Also we'd shared them with our mothers who commented that they didn't like any of them. Not that it mattered what anyone else thought but subconsciously I probably had these comments stuck at the back of my mind.
Days went by with people asking if we had given her a name but the truth was we hadn't really spoke names in the blur of the newborn days. We made suggestions and briefly discussed names but still none seemed to fit.
I know lots of people have names for their bumps when they know what they're having or even if it's a surprise but for me I had to see my babies before I could give them a name set in stone. With Eliot his name was on the list we had come up with but it still took a couple of days to name him.
So how did we come to the name Nola?
Nola actually featured in my list of names that we probably wouldn't choose for baby 2!
But after a trip out whilst paying for petrol it suddenly popped in to my head having forgotten all about it. I suggested it to the other half who said he'd think about it and thought we should watch the film, which we did  (Matchpoint) where we'd first heard the name when Eliot was a baby. A couple of days later we agreed on Nola...finally our little lady had a name!
We were going to give her both our mums' names for a middle name but it ended up causing a mini drama which I won't go in to but you may know what I'm talking about if you are in the blogging group on facebook where I posted about it.
Belle for a middle name was my idea after making a list of possibilities, Nola Mae, Nola Seren, Nola Alice, Nola Isla, Nola Lyra.
Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney film and is sentimental to myself and the OH, so it seemed fitting for her and it meant something, in addition to it going well with Nola. She will have our mums' names after 'Belle' too even though I'd prefer not to use them.
She has also gained a fair few nicknames already too... they just fall out of my mouth!
  1. Poochie
  2. Poochie Woocha
  3. Nola Beans
  4. Little Lady
  5. M'Lady
  6. Rascal
  7. Poopy
  8. Poopy Girl
  9. Poopy Woopa
  10. Baldy
  11. Little Miss Baldy
  12. Tufty
  13. Baybo (Eliot's)
  14. Pookie
  15. Pookie Wookie
  16. Pookie Wooka
And I'm sure there'll be plenty more to add in the future!
How and when did you decide on your baby name/s?
Do you have lots of nicknames for your little one/s?

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Meet Baby 2!

I've had good intentions to get this post written waaaay before now but I've been caught up in 4 weeks of newborn blur along with trying to get a four year old in reception into school on time! It's starting to get (slightly) easier but I'm really struggling with trying to keep on top of everything in the house etc.
Anyway I went in to St Thomas' hospital for an induction on 5th September, I will be writing a birth story so will leave all the details for that but after a long'ish' induction baby 2 made their appearance at 8:38am on 7th September.
We finally found out our 'team yellow' baby was a team pink, I couldn't believe I had a girl after believing it was a boy! She weighed in at between 7lb11oz & 7lb12oz... a lot smaller than I'd anticipated after having Eliot who weighed 9lb5oz when he was born, I really thought I would have a 10lb'er!
Wearing one of her big brother's sleepsuits
 I just love her to bits, it feels like she has been here forever and I can't believe she is already 4 weeks old!
Keep an eye out for her first update and birth story to follow soon!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!