Planning for 2019

If you are anything like me you will have started planning ahead for 2019 weeks ago. I love to be organised! Writing lists, daily to-do-tasks etc. gives me a feeling of accomplishment and helps me to not feel overwhelmed. When Danilo asked whether we would like to review some of their products from the 2019 calendar range, I jumped at the opportunity.

left to right: The Incredibles Family Planner, Mary Poppins Fashion Diary, Princesses change-it-up calendar

I usually have at least one diary per year on the go (don’t ask – I am a stationary hoarder and when I find one during the year I like better than the one I currently use, I have to buy it…). Most years, we will have a calendar in the kitchen for doctor’s appointments, school activities, meetings etc. and one in the girls’ room.

The Incredibles Family Planner

I really like this calendar! It comes with different columns for each family member and lots of stickers to add a great deal of personalisation. There is also a flap on the bottom which can hold appointment cards and other small items. I love this feature. Normally these cards would be plastered all over our fridge and constantly fall off as the girls love playing with the fridge magnets (surely, that’s just not us! :-))

Mary Poppins Fashion Diary

You can never go wrong with Mary Poppins! This diary will be a great companion for me for 2019.

Princesses Change-It-Up Calendar

Our girls love Disney and everything princess related. Our trip to Disneyland Paris was such a huge success, especially meeting their favourite princesses :-). This change-it-up calendar is just perfect. The months column is separate from the actual picture column which means she can choose a different princess pretty much every day and change the pictures around as often as possible. Such a brilliant idea.

All three calendars have a RRP of £9.99 and are available from the Danilo website, calendar club and select high street stockists.

Which are your favourite diaries/calendars to use?

Thank you very much to Danilo for gifting us these products for the purposes of creating this blog post.

British Baby Box delivers!

Have you heard of the Finnish concept of using a Baby Box as your newborn’s first bed? I had recently read an article about this and found the whole thing incredibly interesting. Studies have shown that putting a baby to sleep in a Baby Box can help reduce the causes associated with SIDS. When we were asked to try out the British Baby Box, I jumped at the chance of putting this concept to the test.

We’ve been using the Baby Box for the last few weeks and are absolutely in love. The standard box comes with a mattress and a fitted sheet. There is however also the option of upgrading the box to include blankets, bibs, sleep suits and much more. The Baby Box is extremely versatile and effectively so much more than just a box for baby to sleep in. Here is what we like about it the most:

  • the box is extremely sturdy and well put together (we’ve been carrying it about a bit – from room to room and also in the garden – it still looks as good as when we received the box)
  • the mattress and sheet are of very good quality
  • when baby gets too big for the box it can be used as a storage box 
  • the simple design (grey stars on a white background) is very appealing 

During the amazing sunny days we had recently, we took the box out in the garden a lot. Not only is our daughter very comfortable and content just lying in the box playing, but it also protects her. We have quite a few ants in the grass and I was never happy to just put her on a blanket – the box solves this problem perfectly. 

With the Baby Box we were also kindly sent a Baby Annabell. Zapf is a brand we’ve been using for ages. Our older daughter has quite a few dolls created by Zapf and loves every single one of them dearly.

Baby Annabell Newborn is the smallest and most lightweight doll in the Baby Annabell range and especially designed for babies and young children. This is such a perfect first doll for our baby girl. The body is soft and can be washed and the PVC face is easily wiped clean. Our baby girl particularly loves the rattle that is included in the doll’s body. 


Fun in the bath with Vital Baby

Ever since our oldest daughter was a baby, she has loved her time in the bath. Over the years, we have collected numerous bath toys or sometimes various shampoo bottles that we cannot get rid of as they’ve all been given names and are dear to her heart (Yes, she does have a lively imagination :-)).

We have recently been sent a few bath toys from Vital Baby in order to put them to the test. These made an immediate positive impact with our daughter, The first evening she tried them out, we couldn’t get her out of the bathtub for a good hour as she was happily playing with these new toys. 

There really is a lot to love about these bath toys. First of all, they are extremely versatile. The Swim Rings can be used as single floats, be attached to form a ring or a long train. Our littlest daughter is completely fascinated by the vibrant colours of the bath toys. I know that when she is old enough for the big bath, she will also get hours of endless fun out ot these lovely toys. We also thought that the quality of these bathtub friends is excellent. We have had many squirty toys that were quite hard and therefore made it near enough impossible to get all the water out when taking them out of the tub and drying them. We had to throw many of these out as they started to mold on the inside. These Vital Baby Bath Toys, however, are a lot softer and so far we have not had any problems emptying them.

Our verdict: These toys have been a huge hit with our daughter and we would highly recommend them.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Swim Rings and the Stick and Slide Toy for review, but all thoughts and opinions are entirely our own. 


#VicksTricks Challenge

*Cough*, *Splutter*, *Sneeze* – yes, cold and flu season is in full swing. Don’t you just hate it when your child is poorly and you feel completely helpless? I always wish it was me instead of them. Our oldest one has been sniffing on and off for the last few weeks. No surprise really as there are so many colds making their rounds in school. We always try and distract her as much as possible when she is poorly. Here are a few things we normally do:

As a special treat, we let her sleep in our bed during the night. We find that being able to cuddle up to us, is definitely helping in making her feel better. I also love the fact that by her being close to us, I can keep an eye on her through the night (especially as she fevers quite quickly and quite high).

We let her choose the foods she’d like to eat for dinner. Yes, we do usually end up eating rather unhealthy choices and might eat pizza three times in a row, but I am certainly not complaining :-).

Or there is always the option of cuddling up on the sofa watching a film. Whatever we do, I make sure she gets plenty of attention and cuddles.

Vicks consumer reserarch showed that over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better. This was followed by medicine, which 40% of parents rely on and more than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC. According to Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further, is parental care and concern.” 

We are huge fans of Vicks products. We are always well stocked up on Vicks VapoRub. This already goes back to my childhood. I still so vividly remember my mum going to her medicine cabinet to get a tub of Vicks VapoRub to relieve my cold symptoms such as congestion, sore throats and coughs. Just typing this, I can smell its distinctive scent. I loved it then and still do now. 

Vicks have created a range of magic trick videos to give parents some ideas of how to entertain their children when they are poorly. I love the sliced banana trick – so far, we have never used magic tricks to get our daughter to laugh when she was ill, but I’ll definitely be trying some of Vicks magic trick suggestions in the future.

How do you make your children feel better when they are ill?

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.

What we are doing to create a #brightFuture for our daughter


Truth be told, I have never particularity given too much thought to “green issues”, especially not before we had our daughter. My husband and I lived busy lives (poor excuse, I know) and were generally out and about a lot. Yes, we did our bit by recycling, but that was pretty much it. However, when our daughter was born, I started to consider the future a lot more. All of a sudden there was just not my generation to think about, but also our daughter’s one.

Unilever recently created the #brightFuture initiative which focuses on small changes that can make  big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including thorough hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene. As part of the initiative, BritMums and Unilever wanted to know what steps parents take to help in creating a #brightFuture for their children. We accepted the challenge. Here are our thoughts on this matter.

  • Recycling: I believe that this is one of the simplest steps to take – our district council offers a brilliant recycling programme and we are provided with all sorts of bins that are emptied regularly – all there is for us to do is separate our rubbish and sort it into these different bins
  • Walking: We are trying to walk wherever possible and try to avoid using the car too much (this is definitely a new development after we had our daughter – a few years ago, I would take the car even for a short, walkable distance), Not only do we see a drop in our petrol costs, but we are getting a lot more fresh air and doing our bit for the environment at the same time. Our daughter just started primary school a few weeks back. We try and walk to and from school frequently and only sometimes resort to taking the car (usually if we are running late or it is absolutely pouring it down with rain).
  • Saving paper: Our daughter loves to draw and is very much into her arts and crafts. From an early age though, we made sure that she knows not to waste paper. We do let her draw as much as she wants to, but she knows to not just draw one line on a piece of paper and then take a new one. I also keep certain scraps of paper such as bits of wrapping paper (that would have normally gone straight into the bin) for her craft box. Quite often, I will also keep hold of junk mail letters. I find that a lot of the time these include an empty page (usually on the back) and make for brilliant paper for a quick drawing.
  • Saving electricity: We try and make sure that all lights are switched off in rooms that we are not using at the time
  • Hybrid car: my husband recently returned to driving to work, so we needed to get another car. He chose a Honda Insight, as it gives excellent fuel economy and low emissions and encourages you to drive in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • Support brands that focus on improving environmental issues such as Unilever. Not only do I like using Unilever products as they do a brilliant job (Persil has always been my preferred detergent), but they are constantly coming up with fantastic supporting campaigns  For example: Domestos is committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Persil has backed a global initiative “Learning for Tomorrow” partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the word’s toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education and Dove has developed The Dove Self-Esteem Project which worked closely with leading psychologists, academics and experts to create materials, making a postive impact on 19 million young lives.

Which steps are you taking to create a #brightFuture for your children?

This post is our entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever.