OXO recently launched a toilet trainer seat that boasts universal use, side handles and non-slip edges and also looks great. I was curious to try it, well, I can’t use it myself, but George did and he really liked it. 
First, let’s start with the design. The seat is white, with green non-slip edges. It is very minimalist, a great product for all home design conscious parents who don’t want to see their child’s toilet seat first thing they enter the bathroom. The seat fits on any size toilet seat and is very stable and secure. The Sit Right Toilet Trainer seat has also a flat base, allowing it to stand up for convenient storage.

George sits very comfortable and secure on the seat, he also likes holding on to the handles. He can place the toilet trainer seat onto the toilet seat by himself, which is great as he usually goes to the toilet by himself. The shield prevents splatter and it is very easy to clean, a plus point to keep everything hygienic.

The OXO Tot Sit Right Seat costs £15, great value for money and I am sure owning one makes toilet training a lot more pleasant. To find out more about the seat, click here.

A while ago I was sent two gorgeous Pyjamas for George and Maxi from the lovely people behind Half Pint Chic. Half Pint Chic was started in 2011, offering high quality and stylish clothing for children at fantastic prices. The online store works directly with the designers and chooses those carefully. Only designers that are known for their quality will be sold and although the store doesn’t offer current season collections, they are offering up to 70% off the RRP. Some of their favourite brands include Caramel Baby and Child, Simonetta, Bonnie Baby, Marie Chantal, Baby Graziella and Darcy Brown. Half Pint Chic prides themselves on offering exceptional customer service and I can only second that.

Every order is delivered in a beautiful packaging, each item of clothing is thoughtfully wrapped in tissue paper and then put into a box, sophisticated and a great change from the usual plastic bags you usually get delivered. It really puts a nice touch on the experience and shows that great customer service can come at great prices too. There is still enough time to order those last Christmas Presents.

Check out their website now. http://www.halfpintchic.com/

About two months ago I received the Skoot. George couldn’t wait to open the box and try it out. The Skoot was easy to assemble and George could skoot around the house easily with it. The rubber wheels are sturdy to ensure smooth riding. So far we only tried it out inside and not on the road, so I am not sure if it’s suitable for it.

The Skoot is a 2 in 1 Retro styled ride-on which also functions as a suitcase. It has a full steering column which makes it very easy for children to steer, grown-up can pull it and the carry strap makes it easy to carry. It makes the Skoot perfect for short weekend trips or as hand luggage for longer holidays. You can fit a change of clothes inside it and lots of toys to occupy your children on-board, it fits easily into the overhead lockers in aircrafts.

I really wish the Skoot wouldn’t just for children. Wouldn’t it be perfect for a Skoot in adult size? Do you have a Skoot? What do you think? If not, would you consider buying it for your children? No? You really should. The boys love the Skoot so much, that I can only get it out if one if them is not here or asleep, otherwise they are fighting over it, but Max is too small so of course George gets more out of it.

You can order the blue Skoot online here or the red Skoot here for £39.99.

On the 29th of September Imogen Thomas launched her new business venture: the Aribella Boutique. The launch was held at Jaks on Walton Street in Chelsea and it was a great location for the launch. The Boutique was named after her daughter Ariana and her niece Isabella.

Each piece of the collecting is handmade and every season a new line will be added. I am looking forward what is yet to come and wonder if it’s appropriate to dress the boys in it. 🙂 Aribella Boutique specialises in designing traditional baby clothes and accessories and Imogen clearly put her heart into designing the collection. Speaking to her, you can clearly tell how proud she is of her collecting and there is no reason not to be. Aribella Boutique currently stocks sizes from newborn to three years.

‘I’m just focusing on girls clothes right now with a lot of A-line dresses and bows because I want to concentrate on something that I really know, but I’m hoping to launch a boys collection next year,’ she said.

Aribella Boutique also stocks other brands such as ‘Kissy Kissy, Pretty Orginals and a few selected others’.

Please have a look at http://www.aribellaboutique.co.uk/ and see for yourself. Christmas is coming up sooner than you think and each of the collection’s pieces makes a great present.

Below are my favourite pieces of the collection:

Little Ariana is such a darling and she gave Max some sweets as he couldn’t reach them himself. How cute is that?

George is older and I don’t really need to take many things with me for him when we go out. A bottle of water, maybe a bib when he is wearing something that I don’t want to get dirty and a coat if it is cold. With Max it is a total different story: Nappies, wipes, changes of clothes, bottles, formula powder, bibs, nappy cream… The list goes on. There are not many great changing naps out there and most of the time I only take a few things with me and put them in my Michael Kors bag. It’s not that I don’t like his nappy bag, we have the Northcote changing bag from Jojo Maman Bebe but I usually only use it for longer outings, for example when I take the boys to Brighton for the day. 
Finding the right changing bag is harder than you might think, especially if you want to combine fashion with functionality. BabyBeau was created when Mumpreneur Rebecca Gono discovered a gap in the marketplace for changing bags that didn’t merely serve their purpose, but looked great and enabled a life beyond the baby years. Rebecca struggled to find a changing bag that was both stylish, functional and fitted with the challenges of modern-day parenting after the birth of her son. 

“Becoming a parent throws you into a completely new arena. Many parents find themselves juggling different lifestyles: as a parent, in business, and a wife/husband or partner. Through BabyBeau, I’ve designed a collection of bags that adapt to these various lifestyles without surrendering fashion for practicality, enabling parents to have it all.”

Each baby bag has been meticulously designed to comfortably accommodate parenthood, whilst enabling parents to maintain their sense of style. You can remove the pop-out baby organiser to transform every bag instantly to a regular handbag to use for any occasion. May it be for a business meeting or lunch with your friends, the bag makes room for a lifestyle beyond nappies, baby-wipes, bottles and bibs.

You can order the changing bags online at John Lewis >>here<<.

Last Thursday Max and I attended the launch of the new Braun children’s thermometers at the St Martins Lane Hotel in London. Braun is the number one of the trusted brands by doctors and launched its next generation of high precision thermometers here in the UK. Dr. Ranj, the leading paediatrician and TV personality, introduced the new range of thermometers and informed us about treating fever in children. It was great to have unasked questions answered, that I wouldn’t ask my GP. Everybody knows everything about fever, right? How wrong I was. I left the venue with lots of new knowledge about fever, most of my old knowledge was ‘outdated’ and is not recommended anymore today. For example, when I was young and had a fever, my parents would cover me in cold flannels. I actually remember how horrible it was and how much I dreaded it. Luckily I wasn’t the only one who thought it would help.

Before and during the presentation we could all try out the new thermometers, my favourite is definitely the touch less one. Measuring your children’s fever at night doesn’t have to wake up your sleeping child anymore, you just hold the device around 2 inches away from the forehead between the eyebrows and you get an exact temperature within seconds. Dr.Ranj answered questions after the presentation.

The event was held by >>The Lenny Agency<< and the whole team did such a fantastic job. I met other bloggers and we all had a good chat, swapped social networking details and enjoyed the food.

I had an autograph signed for George but my head was somewhere else that day: I left it on the table and didn’t realise it until I got on the train at Charing Cross. I hope George will forgive me. Everybody received lovely goody bags and a sample of one of the new thermometers. I chose the touch less one and will review it on here soon.

[Photo credit: The Lenny Agency]

As you might know, children will go through a lot of clothes in their lifetime, especially in their first few years. It is in every parent’s interest to have the best quality clothing for their precious little ones without breaking the bank. I recently found out about Cheeky Chap’s Children’s Clothing and was offered to review some items of their clothing range. Cheeky Chap’s Children’s Clothing is for all the little ones who like to make a fashion statement. With a great variety of different items and prints you can design your own children’s clothes at great prices. I was overwhelmed at the choice I had and it took me a while until I made my decision. I ordered the >>Pinstriper Star Romper<<, the >>Pinstripe Star Vest<<and the >>I’m the little Brother bib<<. You can not beat their prices: The bib costs £3, the vest £5 and the romper is yours for £9.

Every product is made to order and inspected by hand. The company makes sure that every item is perfect and an item will only be shipped once it has passed the company’s strict quality process. I can only agree with the statement. The items are of great quality and wash easily.

Christmas is sooner than you think, so go and have a look at >>Cheeky Chap’s Clothing<< and have a look for yourself.

*PR collaboration – I was given the above items in exchange for an honest review. 

George will start preschool in September and our weekly schedule will change dramatically. At the moment we can stay in our pyjamas until lunch time when we want to and during the summer we had no activities at certain times. From next week we have to leave the house no later than 8:15 in the morning, meaning I can’t stay in bed until the children wake-up between 7:00 and 7:30. Not only do I have to be dressed and make myself look presentable (which takes ages), we all have to have breakfast, brush our teeth and be ready to leave the house on time. I need to write down a morning routine, which I have to go through until things become natural. Otherwise, I already see myself packing his lunch box two minutes after we were meant to leave the house or accidentally leaving one child at home.

Unfortunately, I still don’t have my driving license yet. It is hard to find a driving instructor who offers lesson after 7:30pm during the week or isn’t booked at the weekends yet. George’s preschool is two miles away and as long as I can’t drive, we will have to walk. Getting there won’t be a problem as it’s downhill, but having to push a double buggy with two well-fed children uphill for two miles will be one. I am very glad that both my direct neighbours have each one child that attends the same sessions as George, so they have offered to help with drop-offs and pickups until I have my driving license. I am incredibly lucky to have such amazing neighbours. I knew all my biscuit and cake baking for them will pay off one day.

While I will miss George when he is at preschool Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 3pm as well as Thursday from 9am to noon, I am looking forward to be able to spend more time with Max. At the moment he is always the one who doesn’t get as much attention as he needs and I feel bad about it. I can attend playgroups and other baby friendly activities with him after dropping George off, take him swimming and workout at the gym while he is asleep at the creche for two hours. On Wednesday we won’t be able to rest either. In the morning we go to German Playgroup followed by German Preschool in Knightsbridge for George in the afternoon. We are worried that he stops speaking German as soon as he attends preschool and therefore we have to do everything we can that he continues speaking in German at home. His grandmother will probably pick him up at preschool on Thursdays and he will stay there until Friday evenings. That doesn’t mean that I can be lazy on Fridays though. There are always household chores to do and laundry to wash.

September will bring a lot of changes for all of us. Let’s see how it goes!

Getting lots of vegetables into your child’s diet is so important, but many will know how difficult it can be to get your children eating them.

When I was asked by ZOOB to try out their new vegetable based snack, I could not wait to receive the snacks. The orange packaging looks great and surely stands out on the supermarket shelves. The snacks came in two flavours – Tangy Cheese and Pizza Margerita and consist of 52% vegetables (beans, carrots, tomatoes, peas, onions and chickpeas). With only 77 calories per 20g bag, 4.5g of fat and only 0.3g salt there is no excuse not to replace your children’s lunch box crisps with ZOOBs. They won’t notice the difference and ZOOBs snacks taste so much better. I received the samples on a Saturday night and found myself munching through bag after bag while watching movies on Netflix.

While I am not particularly keen on cheese, I left the Tangy cheese for the children to try and both of them loved the snacks. George (3 years) kept asking for ‘more please’ and Max (10 months) couldn’t fit enough of them at once into his mouth. I tried the Pizza Margerita flavour and they are so good.

Zoobs snacks are currently on offer at £1 for a pack of six at Tesco. Not just your children will love them – you will too.

*PR collaboration – I received 2×6-packs for the purpose of this review. 

Today Max, George and I went to Manic Monsters in Edenbridge. Manic Monsters is an indoor soft play area for children under the age of twelve. Manic Monsters is on Little Browns Lane, inside the Gardiner Business Park. There is enough parking space outside the building.
Entry prices are based on sessions with peak and off-peak rates. Off-peak rates are valid for Monday to Friday during term time and peak rates are charged for weekends, bank holidays and school holidays. You can decide between two, three or four hours long sessions and sessions can be extended if the soft play area is not at full capacity. The entry prices do not include use of the laser zone. Adults are charged £1.50 for a two hour session, £2 for a three hour and £2.50 for a four hour session, regardless of off-peak and peak times. I paid £1.50 for me, £4.95 for George and £4.95 for Max. Max is a baby, yes he does crawl BUT he doesn’t use any of the equipment. Charging the same price for a ten month old baby and a three year old is odd. Very odd. Max was sitting with us at the table and just occasionally crawling around the table.
We went together with my neighbour and her two children. George had a lot of fun with his friends running around the place, going down the slides and playing inside the helicopter. The entire soft play area is clean and well-looked after. The equipment is in remarkable condition and the table area is regularly cleaned.

The Monster Munch Cafe is situated at the back of the building. They offer a wide variety of meals, snacks and drinks. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything suitable for me on the menu as I am back to Paleo. I ordered diet Pepsi and water. While the water was bottled, the Pepsi was not and tasted horrible. I wish they had bottled Pepsi. As I did not order food I can not comment on it. I realise that I can not expect five star customer service at a children’s soft play area but waiting ten minutes for two drinks, when only two customers are in front of me at the cafe is unacceptable in my opinion. While I am not rushing to return to Manic Monsters, mainly because of the distance and the fact that I have a membership for Kidspace close to me, I will probably return if the occasion arises. 

Enduring long flight delays and dull flights can be a nightmare as an adult, let alone as a kid.  Initially, the shiny floors of the airport, the promise of a holiday and the idea of flying above the clouds tint the whole experience in a mystical glow.  But lets be honest, you all had to wake up before 6, the trip to the airport alone felt like enough of an adventure and your kids are bored of the echoey expense of airport after ten minutes.  Food and drinks are insanely expensive and you already spent more than you can afford on the holiday and the exorbitant airport parking.  Your children are restless, or worse still playing up big time because they are tired, hungry and overwhelmed by the vastness of it all.  That made sound like a daunting combination, but with some careful planning and preparation, you can actually make the journey fun too.  I know its taken every last modicum of strength to book the holiday, get time off work, pack everything and make every last arrangement and thats why most parents forget to plan this bit.  Believe me, it really is worth doing.  

Arrive Early
Turning up in the nick of time and just checking in  before the flight desk closes is a luxury that only the childless possess. Yes, arriving early means a lot of waiting around, but there will be so much to distract your children at the airport and youll need to allow for the inopportune moments when they just have to use the toilet.  Itll be well worth your while to get in there early and allow for your kids lack of sense of urgency.  

If there is more than one adult in the party, or any older children then make sure you split tasks and responsibilities before you go.  This will make everything seem less daunting and will help things run smoothly.  

Buggy or no buggy?
Taking a buggy on a flight means more baggage which means more to carry when you get there and could mean extra baggage costs.  However, a buggy is a useful way to zip your child through the airport and can be useful once youre abroad as a place for the child to take a nap or allow you to walk further than they are capable of.  Several luggage companies nowadays make kids travel cases on wheels in fun designs that the child can sit on while being pulled along.  These are great as they double up as storage.  They are also a great size for hand luggage and so can be used right up til boarding and be used to keep all the kids bits together.

Variety is the spice of life
Pack as many small interesting activities as you can to keep your child amused on the flight and in the airport. A number of small gifts that they can unwrap and discover can be great.  Keeping things back until necessary is a good way to break the boredom factor.  Pack new things that will peak their interest and old things that will bring comfort.  Think colouring books, puzzles and things that will take up some time, but nothing with too tiny pieces as the last thing you want to do is be searching under the seats for a lost sequin.  

Meet and Greet
This is a service offered by most airlines.  Especially useful for single parents with multiple offspring. Someone will meet you when you arrive at the airport and help you with your baggage.

Hand luggage restrictions
Remember that youre not permitted to take over 100ml of a particular item, this includes nappy cream, drinks and food.  Before you go decant creams into smaller containers.  Small quantities of baby food are usually allowed on as long as you dont go overboard and its best to make up powdered milk on flight rather than attempt to take a full bottle.  Thinking this through will prevent a lot of unnecessary stress at security.

Make sure that your child has something to suck on as the plane takes off to avoid discomfort in the ear passages.  Babies can be fed or at least suckle during take off, toddlers can be given a drink or lollipop.

Most of all enjoy it. Make the holiday start at the airport. Create a list of things the children have to look out for at the airport and on the plane and give a price to them when they see everything.  Encourage them to work together.  Play games such as eye spy and consider taking some travel versions of family classics with you such as snakes and ladders or frustration for older kids.

If it all feels like its starting to unravel, just keep the end destination in mind and any airport tantrums will certainly be worth it.  

Huggies stopped selling nappies in the UK. So what do all nappy-changing people do that previously relied on Huggies and hate Pampers? Are Naty Nature nappies the only alternative? I just ordered four packs of 63 Huggies nappies on Amazon, but I guess even the last shops will soon run out of them. What do we do then? I am not too worried about George because our mission for the summer is to potty-train him but what to do with George’s brother when he is born?

Can anybody recommend an ‘just as good or maybe even better’ alternative to Huggies?