Sunday, May 31

My Sunday Photo #9

Siblings!

7 th Heaven Face Masks - Review

Food for your skin...

I have a pretty simple daily beauty regime, but I do love the odd extra treat to liven up my skin. I'm busy all day with the children, work in the evenings and when I get a chance I like to give my tired thirty something skin a little extra care.

I find the quickest way to see results with your skin is to apply a Simple face mask. I've used a few now and my favourite are usually the peel off kind. I'm not keen on getting my face wet and like face masks to be quick, easy and relatively mess free to apply and remove. It's nice to have a treat without spending a fortune too. When you have kids its hard to think about yourself and justify spending too much on beauty products when someone always needs shoes, food or clothes!

I was asked recently to trial and review some new face masks from 7th Heaven. You may be more familiar with 7th Heaven by their old name, 'Montagne Jeunesse', (as catchy as Cheryl Coles new surname) the new name is much more memorable! You can buy these face masks in stores like Boots as well as Primark too I noticed this week. They are really worth sticking a few in your  shopping basket!

Saturday, May 30

My Gratitude List - Week 7

A Proud Week

Another week, another time to reflect on those little things that made me happy.

Friday, May 29

Keeping Motivated: June - Weightloss & Fitness

Update!


June has come around quicker than ever and it's time for another weight loss update. It's been generally a pretty good month and I have felt fairly on plan most the time. If you follow me on Instagram you will have probably noticed that we are a little burger obsessed in our household and also have a bit of a thing for blueberries and sweetcorn, literally can not get enough. I am not quite in my gold hot pants yet but I can get them over my ankles, hoorah!

Tuesday, May 26

I Love My Home


I love my home, or should I say #ilovemyhome is one of my new features on wafflemama.uk!

The Cuddle Company - Review

When it comes to babies, there is nothing better than those sleepy snuggles and cuddles. Babies love comforters and feeling different textures especially when they are soft and cosy to get snoozy with. There are a few comforters out there on the market and they make a lovely new baby gift, but it's always good to find something a little more unique.

Both my children have special toys for bed time but nothing comforting that I can take out and about with us, or that I can secure in any way. As they get older they still enjoy the comfort, but also need a little more entertaining. I usually have a few little toys in my handbag to pull out to avoid tears when they get a little grumpy, but they are usually dropped and only hold their attention for a few seconds. The perfect solution, something comforting that is also fun!


The Cuddle Company

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to try a product from The Cuddle Company. I chose a product called 'Taggiez'. If you aren't familiar with these products, they are a super soft sensory fiddle toy/comforter with various textures of ribbon all round the edge, topped and backed with soft fluffy fabrics and personalised with a nice chunky machine embroidered name. The idea of something comforting that would actually relax baby and give her something to keep her occupied seemed like such a great idea. I have seen similar products to these before and seen The Cuddle Company Facebook page, so I have always been intrigued as to what they would be like in the flesh. I am happy to say this surpassed my expectations!

This Girl

I posted recently about my son, 'This Boy'. It's only right that his beautiful little sister gets the same treatment, my little peas in a pod.


This girl came into our lives exactly as we had planned, she gave me no trouble in my tummy, she behaved herself pretty well on exit and has been nothing but a total joy to be around since the very first second we saw her. Who knew quite how much love would hit you when you have a baby the first time round and feeling that exact feeling all over again is something so amazing to me I can't even put it into words.

This girl has never woken up crying, but always with a smile. 

This girl has slotted into our lives with nothing but a cheerful squeak. She seems just so happy to be here and already has such a strong personality, a soft cheerful kind funny person, at only 9 months old. She loves her big brother so much she gets sad when he leaves for nursery, she giggles with excitement when we pick him up and she laughs for him like no one else.

Monday, May 25

LUSH! - Review

To me there is no better gift than some decent 'smellies' especially bath products. My absolute favourite are bath bombs. I love all pamper products and if I had more hours in the day, I would be found wallowing in a hot bubble bath, lathered up to my eyeballs in fancy soap with a face mask on, glass of wine in hand and candles lit, heaven. 


I was contacted recently by the lovely people from LUSH and given the opportunity to try some of their beautiful products, how lucky am I?! If you aren't familiar with LUSH, they are a handmade bath products company and they have high street stores (the Oxford Street store looks amazing!) as well as an on line shop! LUSH are against animal testing, 100% vegetarian and use recycled packaging. They also use stunning Indian papers, to find out more about these - as it is very cool, you can read this.

I was sent to try;
  • 'Dream Cream' - Hand & body lotion
  • 'Handy Gurugu' - Hand cream
  • 'No Drought' - Dry shampoo
  • 'Twilight' - Bath ballistic
  • 'Ickle Baby Bot' - Bath ballistic (for kids, with sleep inducing qualities!)
  • 'Wiccy Magic Muscles' - Massage bar

I have purchased LUSH products for friends and family as gifts but never actually had the chance of trying them much myself. When I pass the shops the smell is just amazing, looking in the shop is a sensory mash up of beautiful colours, smells and a variety of products, all set to make bath time and skincare smell sublime and be totally relaxing.

The
'Handy Gurugu' hand cream is really thick and lush (excuse the pun) and feels wet and not too greasy. It absorbs really nicely into the skin and leaves it feeling really cool, plumped and hydrated. It comes in a little ice cream style pot like nothing else I have seen which is really cute and means you get to use every last speck of the pot with no waste like you get from the traditional hand cream tubes.

Sunday, May 24

How To Love Your Salad!


The art of salad...


I used to hate salad with a passion, I was a total salad dodger. Since embarking on my healthier eating ways, (note - healthier and not healthy, I still love my treats) I have really enjoyed my salads. I used to think of salads as being lettuce, tomato and cucumber. I never much liked cucumber and tomatoes are pretty much the handy work of the devil, so it was no wonder the idea of a salad had me reaching for the carbs.

I have found some magic ways to make salads nice, maybe even make you love salads as much as I do. Here are five simple ways in which you can make your salads great!

My Gratitude List Week 6



These weeks are really flying by, I cant believe it is nearly June and my baby is ten months next week, pure craziness! Plenty to be thankful for as always, but here's ten thoughts for this weeks gratitude list.

My Sunday Photo #8 & Silent Sunday #3


Hedrin Treatments - Review & Giveaway

My test subject - The beautiful 'A'.
My son will be 4 in October and although he has narrowly missed starting school by a few weeks (thankfully), he will start at the nursery within the school, in a fairly large and busy classroom/playground environment.

One thing that I know I will be faced with (probably several times) in the future school years, are the dreaded head lice. I remember my school days, we were all lined up to be 'combed' by a random old lady and sent home to my disgruntled (though I'm sure actually quite relieved to get out of work early) mother, for a stinky eye stinging head wash, to kill the horrid lice. I must admit before writing this I didn't really know much about head lice or what causes them.

Friday, May 22

Karma



This is just a little post about karma, something I really, really believe in. I'm not religious, so really you have to believe in karma or you would go crazy trying to justify things at times.
If you treat people kindly and respectfully then there will be nothing to come bite you in the arse at a later date, I really believe that.

Holding babies

It never occurred to me until recently just how weird it can be holding someone else's baby.
Before I had kids, the mere thought of holding someone's precious new bundle had me running for the hills. Wobbly heads, tiny little delicate arms and legs and just knowing all eyes are on you can be scary business.

When you have your own babies, they just feel right, they fit like a little fleshy puzzle piece in your arms, on your hip, anywhere.


Holding another persons baby, however close you are it feels like you are wandering around with shoes on that are three sizes too big. Its not, not nice. But it is weird, they don't fit, they feel heavy and awkward. 
Even now after two children, my arms turn into planks when I get handed a tiny baby that isn't mine. 

I guess our babies are just kind of made to measure, our perfect puzzle pieces.



Thanks for reading,
Wafflemama

Thursday, May 21

ALDI Baby Event - 28th May

I was recently sent some information on the Aldi baby and toddler event and I was really surprised at the products available as well as the low prices on offer. I was kindly sent some products that will be featuring in the event to explore and review and I will definitely be heading up to my local store for more.

Maternity tops £5.99 and Leggings £6.99
From the 28th May, all Aldi stores across the UK will be filling up with some amazing baby and toddler items as well as maternity clothes for us ladies too. At the baby & toddler event there will be some great offers. There will be perfect gifts as well as every day essentials at amazing prices. If you've not been before, I'd really recommend it, even if just for their muslin cloths, they are the best!

Among the items up for grabs, there will be nursing pillows, storage drawers, sleep suits, nursing bras, bibs, blankets, clothing and lots more. If you are pregnant or have a new baby you will find pretty much everything you need to get started.

We were sent a cot duvet set which is lovely and soft and well priced at £9.99. Baby S has really enjoyed using this lovely soft set. We pre-washed it all and it washed very well. We were also sent a super soft dimple blanket which baby loves to snuggle, these would make great gifts and will be on sale at £3.99 as well as cellular and knitted blankets too.

Super soft duvet set.
One of my favourite items are these learning.books that you can write on using white board type markers and then wipe clean. My son is four this year and I found the number trace book really good at getting him to concentrate and trace the numbers and practise his counting, these books would make such a great present for kids his age and this one even comes with the pen.

Amazing little learning book in action! 
We were also given a little raincoat for A to wear, in a gorgeous shade of green. This is great quality and having had some Aldi specials myself, I know it will last well. It zips easily and looks super cute. It's been really hard trying to find a simple lower price raincoat like this  on the high street too. The sizing is spot on for age and as these come in a packet I thought this would be good to know.  A is 4 in October and this jacket is 3-4, perfect.
He's 3 and posing, that's a review in itself!
I think my favourite item of all and major bargain alert has to be these smart trikes with a parent handle. They come in a few different colours and are a total steal at £19.99!


I really recommend going along to your local store on the 28th because when its gone, its gone! 
Don't miss out!

Thanks for reading,

Wafflemama




Please note - I was sent items in exchange for my honest feedback, all thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, May 20

BubaBloon - Review

Kids and babies love playing with balloons and as much as I love to see them have fun, the second I hear a bang I panic about the debris from the balloon and bits being put in little mouths. They don't last long and the awful squeaking noises they make, well it makes me shudder just thinking about it!

Meet the Bubabloon! Pocket size fun.
I was offered to try the 'Bubabloon' and jumped at the chance to try this product, which to me is pure genius! If you haven't heard of Bubabloon, it's basically a fabric panelled sphere that turns a basic party balloon into an instant ball to make balloon play totally safe for baby. They come in a little pouch so are great to keep in your bag for those spare of the moment picnics or park days and come in lots of funky fabrics. Ours had a pirate style skull and crossbones pattern in lovely shades of purple.

Baby S with her gifted Bubabloon!
When I received the BubaBloon, my first thought was what good quality the fabrics are, and I also liked the varied coloured panels. It's like a super classy beach ball but a million times more fun.

Lightweight & fun.
It was very easy to put the Bubabloon together, simply blowing and knotting the balloon as normal inside the fabric 'bloon', tying it and tucking the knot back inside. Once inflated and closed, you are left with a light soft, super fun balloon ball which is safe as well as super appealing for the kids and babies. My first thought was that you would literally never guess it was a balloon inside, it felt much more like a plastic football but super super light.


My son A is full of beans, constantly. He is three and a half and he loved this product. Normally a balloon would be squeaked, popped, get all mucky and eventually pop while I spend 99% of the time cringing at the squeaks and waiting for the inevitable bang! This time, A came at me with his usual graceless enthusiasm and began playing with the Bubabloon. It seemed that the novelty of the item, knowing it was a balloon, knowing he could legitimately kick it around near his sister in the house without getting told off was a real plus point. He also spent lots of time trying to pop it, mainly as he knew we had a good supply of replacement balloons! He didn't pop it at all but did kick it around and experiment with it by banging on his sisters head, she seemed quite happy with this arrangement.

The toddler test!
Baby S has just started crawling and she loved chasing this around and laying on it. It is so light that she was able to throw it around too (when she got a look in). She was able to pick it up really easily because of the fabrics and it was the first time she has 'played' really with a ball and not just felt it or held it.


The Bubabloon would make a great gift, it's really unusual and such a brilliant idea. I love the idea of having an instant toy within a few seconds that fits in my pocket! We are throwing baby S a birthday party in July which will no doubt have a few babies and toddlers there, having a few of these would make such a fun feature at the party. I have a friend with a terrible balloon phobia and I'm sure this would suit her too.

Overall I would thoroughly recommend this product to parents, people wanting gift ideas and party planners everywhere!

If you would like to learn more or buy the Bubabloon, you can visit their website here.


Thanks for reading,

Wafflemama




Please note -I was sent the Bubabloon in return for my honest feedback, all thoughts, words and images are my own.

Tuesday, May 19

This Boy



This boy is special, he makes me so proud and happy every day. If it is even possible to do so, I love this boy too much. Too much it hurts my heart thinking of anything other than right now and having him in my arms whenever I want. Calling him for kisses, cuddles, doing puzzles, reading stories and being us, the way we have been for nearly four years.

My life changed when I saw his little face and nothing had any meaning or relevance before that second.


Time is spiralling past us so fast.  It scares me and I know I should be looking to the future with open arms, but instead I'm grasping onto the right now and the past, terrified that one day it won't be like this or that I will forget it all.


Since I gave birth to his little sister our relationship has changed lots, we have less time as me and him and part of me is sad about that but part of me knows its even better now he has his little buddy, our 'Tiny Skipper'.

I'll never forget the time we had together just us and the mini adventures we have had so far, too many to name, and so many more to come with his sister. At the moment I feel so tired and low in energy I can't do all the things I want to but he is so good, he looks after me as much as I do him some days, just because he likes to. He brings me water to make sure I've had a drink, even though he knows he shouldn't play with the taps.
He brings me teddies to cuddle and he cuddles me when I'm sad. I love how he tells me he doesn't want a wife because he has me, for now this makes me smile so hard. He will innocently ask me why my tummy is so big and immediately tell me I'm pretty so as to not make me sad. He brings me flowers. He is fascinated by everything I do. He sat patiently for hours, maybe even days when I was pregnant and too tired to have fun, he never complained. He thanks me for everything, making tea, tidying his room, buying him clothes. He has the kindest heart and even feels bad for cats we see in the park in case they miss their Mummies.


When he misbehaves I mainly feel sadness for the fact that for that few minutes we aren't happy together like we should be. He is an amazing little boy, an amazing big brother and we are so lucky to be blessed with him. This boy is my best friend and always will be. 

I never thought I'd be capable of feeling this love again but out came his sister and there it was, just as strong, just the same, just as amazing. 

Thanks for reading.


Wafflemama

Monday, May 18

Cuckoo Bircher Muesli - Review

I am always looking for new and healthy foods. I was contacted recently by Cuckoo Bircher Muesli to trial their tasty muesli pots, which we really enjoyed.
Me and my husband are determined to be fit and healthy and to also promote this to our children while they are young. We have two children aged three and nine months, both on solid food. We try to have a relatively low fat, high protein and fibre diet. We are always looking for new things to try to mix things up and keep us motivated, him as a body builder and me on my weight loss journey.

If you're a fan of weight watchers or slimming world, then you are bound to be familiar with the 'overnight oats' recipe that's been doing the rounds the last year or so. Basically yoghurt, healthy cereal or oats layered in a jar with frozen fruit and left over night to plump and moisten the oats and make a pretty tasty healthy breakfast or snack. Its a great recipe but yet one more thing to make before bedtime especially once the kids are in bed, you get fed, cleaned up and just want to relax.

The Cuckoo Bircher Muesli pots are a very similar idea but with the hard work already having been done and a whole lot tastier, a thumbs up from me!

Great flavours
As someone who is a bit picky with funny textures, my main worry was that these muesli pots would have a mushy unappealing sludgy texture. I found however that because it's muesli rather than oats, that it wasn't the expected mush-fest and actually had a rather nice chewy texture. These are really creamy, substantial and delicious! The pots are a pretty decent size and I found them to be super filling. They are certainly a lot more filling than a standard yoghurt or similar sized portion of over night oats. I loosely follow a weight watchers diet, but if you are pointing these would be around 7 'Pro points' each, a good number to 'spend' on breakfast but it really does feel like you've had a meal so its well worth it.


The flavours really stand out and taste different to anything else I could think of on the market. My favourite was definitely the 'Choco Sour Cherry', so good! There are five flavours in total, the others are; Apple & Cinnamon Spice, Mango & Coconut, Elderflower & Cranberry and Apricot & Madigascan Vanilla.

Chunky,textured and filling.
I tried the Apricot/Vanilla flavour pot with my children and they both seemed keen, especially on the tangy fruit layer. Baby S isn't mad keen on yoghurt and is suspicious of most things that arrive on a spoon but she did have a good try. Big brother A can be fussy with 'bits' but once he had a taste he said "Mmm that's yummy" and he finished off what was left.


I'd say these would be a pretty good fridge staple for all the family. Being a combination product they have all sorts of goodness, packed with fibre, complex carbohydrates and protein to start the day. They would also make a great snack, pudding or post work out snack. There are not many things that you can just 'grab' to eat with no preparation that are also good for you so these are good all round.

Definitely worth a try!

If you would like to know more about please visit their website here.

Thanks for reading,

Wafflemama



Please note -I was sent the CB pots in return for my honest feedback, all thoughts, words and images are my own.

Gratitude List - Week 5

My happy week


Here is my gratitude list for the past week. I've had several lows, so writing this list really helps me bring the positives out from the shadows and think of those, instead of dwelling on the negative.

1. Buying a new jacket that's a million miles from what I normally choose and loving it!

2. Spending my birthday shop vouchers on a week where money is tight, free shopping is definitely a winner!

3. Losing another pound on the scales, another pound nearer to better health and fitting in some decent jeans!

4. My baby trying to make me laugh playing peekaboo, so cute.

5. My washing machine breaking. Seriously trying to see the positive in this one, no washing for me this week, wahoo!

6. Making my son laugh until he cried.

7. Fitting back into my engagement ring after 4 years.

8. Getting conformation of my sons nursery hours for September, the ones I wanted and also very grateful that he wasn't born a few weeks earlier and starting school this year!

9. Thankful that my son is such a funny happy little soul, balancing out the fact he struggles to listen to anything I say right now.

10. My baby daughter managing to settle for her Daddy OK while I go to work in the evening, one less worry while I'm there.

That's this weeks list. I could write lists and lists about my children at the moment, they make me so grateful for everything.

Thanks for reading,

Wafflemama 

Sunday, May 17

U-Cubes Multivitamins - Review

"Parents’ secret weapon for fussy eaters, fruit avoiders and sugar lovers... For parents who believe what's left out is as important as what's put in."
It can be worrying not knowing if your child is getting everything they need from their food. Both of mine are currently pretty good and will eat a good variety of fruit and vegetables, but I could not guarantee that they get everything they need from just eating alone. We have had moments with my son where for a good few months he was a very fussy eater (when it came to healthy foods), so following the advice of our health visitor, we began giving him multivitamins for a bit of extra peace of mind.

I was contacted recently by a company called Solgar regarding their innovative new product, U-Cubes. These are 'sweet' style 'Multivitamin and Mineral Gummies' for children. I was kindly sent the product to try out and review. My son A is three and a half and he joined me as my little test helper.

A loves sweets and like me does have a particularly sweet tooth, so he took no persuading in trying these out. We have used a few brands previously so we were able to compare in terms of taste, what they are like to eat and their all round goodness. The packaging advises two a day for his age, given at mealtimes. A had one with his mid morning snack and one after his evening meal. Children over the age of six can take four per day, amazing!

I loved how these arrived - how exciting!
The vitamins come in a BIG tub so will last a long time. The 'sweets' are cube shaped and have a fruit pastel/cola cube look to them. They taste really nice, they don't taste like they are packed full of goodness (sometimes you can taste the chemical taste I think) and my son thought he was such a lucky boy to be given two special sweets every day!  I'm sure he would have eaten the lot if you let him. Little did he know, he was in fact eating a little cube packed with all the essential vitamins, in particular vitamin D3 which is essential for bone development. We are all advised to give our children extra vitamin D now, and this is the perfect way, especially if you have super pale skin like us and don't get a lot of sunshine.
"In a world of children’s nutrition, health messages can be confusing. From 5-a-day, to sugar taxes and even vitamin deficiencies, it can be hard to ensure children are receiving all the key nutrients they need, and none of the artificial additives that they don’t need."

The U-Cubes come in three delicious flavours - grape, cherry and orange. The grape one is so good, if you could buy these as regular sweets they would be my new favourite! 

My son loved the packaging and the illustrations.
The 'sweets' are small and easy to chew, the first one my son said was 'sticky' but this didn't stop him and he never mentioned it again. I know what he means, but as they are aimed at aged three plus there would be no problem for any kids to enjoy these while they absorb the goodness.
"To help combat confusion, and provide parents with daily peace of mind on their children’s nutrient levels, Solgar® has created U-Cubes™ Children’s Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Gummies."

Perfect little 'sweets', the kids will never know!
U-cubes have been through vigorous testing to ensure they are the best they can be but are never tested on animals, another plus point. U-Cubes are available in a 60 or 120 sweet pots and are available from some independent pharmacies and health food shops, as well as several online and retail stores.

This tub is around the size of a pint glass!
If you'd like to know more about U-Cubes, you can click HERE.  Solgar produce a huge range of products for both adults and children. Almost all their products are free from sugar, salt, starch, soya, yeast, wheat, gluten and dairy products. They contain no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours.

U-Cubes get a big Waffly thumbs up from me and my boy.

Thanks for reading,

Wafflemama




Please note-I was sent the U-Cubes in return for my honest feedback, all thoughts, words and images are my own.

My Sunday Photo # 7

Sunflowers!

My Sunday photo this week is another cutie of my son. He is growing so quickly, too quickly and although he can be a handful at times he is so much fun too and a total sweetie.


He painted this pot, filled the inner pot with soil, added the seeds (approximately 30 just in case some don't work or the crows eat them) and has watered his plant every day. He is so proud of his sunflowers and he can't wait for it to grow a 'bean storm' (beanstalk) too. We now need to make a scarecrow to warn off cats, I love how his little mind works.




Thanks for reading,

Wafflemama.


Friday, May 15

The Tough Spot Has Arrived!

Last week Mr. Postman arrived with a huge parcel, it was our tough spot!

For anyone that isn't familiar with these, they are large plastic trays that builders use to mix their cement in.

If you're familiar with Pinterest, do a quick search for 'tough spot ideas' and you will soon understand why I am excited. If you're not familiar with Pinterest, sign up now and say goodbye to many hours of your life!

Pretty handy to contain the Lego!
Most of the activities I want to use the tray for, are 'outside activities' AKA messy. We were lucky enough to get a scorcher of a day yesterday for some water play! Lots more to come I hope.
Sunny water fun
We've not had too much time to play yet, but have set baby S up with a mixture of her favourite balls to play with and she loved it. The tray contained the balls so Baby was able to play without getting frustrated. They are used to using the trays at the local Children's Centre groups, so A was excited to see this arrive.

Baby S exploring different textured balls.

I'll Keep you updated on the blog with our different activities but here is what we have planned so far. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Jurrasic Park
Driving Tracks
Shaving Foam Paint
Building Site 
Spaghetti play
Rock Pools

Thanks for reading.
Wafflemama