Category Archives: Baby

BABY ANIMAL HOODED TOWEL REVIEW

I don’t know about you but bath-time is a big deal in our house. There’s nothing more that Max loves than stripping down and having a good old splash about, giving us a good soaking in the process.

A good quality bath towel is therefore essential when it comes to getting dry. So when we were given the chance to try an animal hooded towel from Minene I just had to say yes.

We opted for the blue animal towel, keen to add in a bit of colour and replace the white one that Max has had since he was born. The towel also comes in lemon, pink, green and white so there is something to suit every little baba in your lives.

The towel measures 70cm x 70cm. Max is a fair size for his age and it wrapped round him nicely but if he carries on growing at the rate he is it won’t be long before he outgrows it unfortunately. The hooded towel however is an ideal size for those precious newborns that have just entered your lives.

The towel is made from 100% cotton and had a lovely feel to it. Nice and soft so it was gentle on Max’s skin but not too fluffy that bits of fluff came off when drying. It even has a clever apron design, which secures via velcro round your neck, which allows you to keep dry and leaves both hands free for safe lifting. I think you can tell from Max’s face that it’s got his seal of approval.

I’ve already got my eye on the hooded cuddly towel range from Minene, which is a larger version of the newborn one and is suitable for toddlers, for when Max outgrows this one. After all, my little miracle baby deserves nothing but the finer things in life.

Winter Warmers

So now that the cold is upon us, (well it was for a few weeks, suddenly it is pretty mild again) we need to keep our babies snug as a bub.  I was lucky enough to try some fleece products by the Children and Baby brand Minene.  They design and produce innovative quality pieces at very affordable prices, you may have guessed they were founded by 3 Mothers!

When browsing their website you’re greeted by cute and colourful designs and inspirational nursery pictures.  Always a winner for me as a marketer’s dream, I usually want every product I see when put together nicely.  Back to the Winter Warmers…

Jasper’s now 7 months old and I was yet to opt for anything fleece for him.  But given it’s now winter, thought let’s try two essential items, a blanket (can never have too many blankets for a baby) and a foot-muff to keep him cosy whilst in his pram.

I was so impressed with the blanket.  Jasper is a fan as has a new found interest in bi-planes. He has a cute little mobile in his room with hanging bi-planes, which he is fascinated by, and now his favourite blanket has a bi-plane picture on it too.  The blanket is light blue, fluffy fleece one side, and plain (with a plane!) the other.  Blue is a good colour for us as Jasper is ‘occasionally’ (very often) mistaken for a girl. I blame those big dark eyes.  So blue, as gender stereotypical as it is, helps us out of any embarrassing situations where we have to explain he is actually a boy.  I wasn’t sure how Jasper would take to the blanket as when sleeping he likes to fling away any covers, however with the fleece being so lightweight and also very soft he allows it to stay on.  Perfect for those freezing nights we had a few weeks back.  He also enjoys the blanket on him when out and about in his pram or car seat, and it saved the day when he was poorly a few weeks back as we both spent an afternoon wrapped-up on the sofa with it (see ‘feeling-sorry-for-myself’ pic on my Instagram account).

I have to admit his love for the blanket may also stem from the Minene label along one side.  As most Moms will know, babies obsess over labels.  I used to obsess over cutting out any labels, but have had to let go of this and allow him to have them.  So, the blanket is a winner; soft, boyish enough, warm, cute and affordable!  It also washes well as I had to wrap him in it when collecting firewood (yep as cavewoman as it sounds) and they were both covered in wood chip.  It’s now fresh and good as new again.

Onto the next Winter Warmer I tried.  A grey and white star fleecy foot-muff.  Anyone who knows Jasper and his nursery will know we love a grey and white star.  The foot-muff is a universal fit for all prams and has slits on the back and bottom to hook your safety straps through.  It is fairly thick but I didn’t know if it would withstand the cold of the Cotswolds when visiting my Sister and Niece last week and it dropped to -4, but it did.  We used it on a trip to meet Father Christmas and his Reindeers.  Jasper was really cosy tucked-up in his pram with the fleece.  It’s not too bulky so can stay attached to the pram seat when in the car (unlike most puffy foot-muffs) and isn’t too long so doesn’t hand over the bottom of the seat.

We are now big advocates of the brand and you might see Jasper’s little face on their website with these items.  Next on my list of Minene purchases are PJs, the cute storage boxes, and my current favourite slipper socks!

A tidy home with Minene

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I won’t lie. I’m a little bit of a clean freak. I hate when my apartment is messy. It ‘leaves me feeling on edge, anxious and unable to relax. It’s not always possible to have a tidy space when you have a toddler running around creating mess as you clean. I’ve worked hard to shape my home into a place I love to relax in. If you are anything like me then you will hate the sight of toys laying around. I try to store away all of Daisy’s toys in an easily accessibly place, yet hidden away discreetly. As I do a lot of work from home, I feel like I need a clean and tidy space to be able to work efficiently. Don’t get me wrong – a lot of the time I have toys dotted around everywhere.. I let Daisy get out anything she wants during the day then we have a quick tidy up before lunchtime, then again before bedtime. Then once Daisy is asleep I get to sit back and relax/work in a clean and tidy space.

The beautiful Minene toy storage

We have recently been sent a set of two storage baskets from Minene and absolutely love them. We’d had our eye on this style for a while and so couldn’t wait to pop them up into Daisy’s room. We have a large one and a small one and they fit SO much in, it’s unreal. The good thing about these is not only do they fit so much in, but it’s easy to move them around. We’ll quite often grab the larger basket and bring it into the living room for Daisy to play with whilst we do housework. The larger basket is also perfect for larger items such as bedding, blankets, clothing and large toys. We keep the smaller one on top of her chest of drawers with all her little plastic toy animals in.These two came in a set and the RRP is just £38. We love them!

Scheduling tidy up times

We tend to have designated tidy up times – as silly as that may sound! We find that I’ll do a quick tidy up in the morning after having a nice cup of tea and whilst Daisy eats breakfast. She’ll then make all the mess she possibly can. We’ll do a little bit of tidying before lunch, then again after nap time. Once nap time has been and gone (it’s always pretty quick nowadays!) the place will get really messy. I don’t see the point in tidying up again until bed time. For every one toy  I put away, Daisy will get out five.

Turn it into a game

We find that with the Minene storage baskets it’s really easy to turn tidying up into a game. We place the large basket in the middle of the room and encourage daisy to drop everything in there as quick as she can. We help her and then within no time the flat is clean again! Although it never lasts long,  I really find that just keeping on top of things if you have a spare five minutes really helps.

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Celebrate National Grandparents Day

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Fun Activities Children Love to do with Grandparents

Treasure Hunt

All kids love a good treasure hunt, and scavenger hunts turn ordinary walks into adventures. Make a list for your grandchild—a red leaf, a Y-shaped twig, a feather—and start walking and collecting. Tip: Take a camera with you and have kids take a photo of something that begins with each letter of the alphabet.

Baby Photos

Grab the baby books—not your grandchild’s, but their parents. There is nothing children like better than seeing their parent as peer (rather than the person who tells them to clean up their room and it’s time for bed). Talk about their mom or dad’s first step, first word, anything he or she did that was naughty or funny.

Game Time

Whether it’s bridge, gin rummy or mah jongg, playing games you love with your grandkids opens them up to new experiences and shows them a piece of you and what hobbies you enjoy. What child doesn’t love competing against Grandma, or seeing Grandpa make mistakes?

Baking

Okay, the yum factor makes this an obvious winner, but the hidden benefits are important, too. Kids like to be included in grown-up activities, and cooking or baking is just that. But it is also about family traditions and history. So while your grandchild is measuring and stirring, you‘re teaching how to plan, follow instructions, and develop patience.

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Keep Up with the Jones Family Review

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

Royal caribbean independence of the seas

Each time we drive to Southampton, we see them. Huge, majestic and so far out of reach in every way.  The luxury cruise ships that have graced the Quays over the past sixteen years have been magnificent.  I’ve taken three trips over the sea in my life so far – one on the Red Funnel to the Isle of Wight, the second on The Pride of Bilboa to France for an overnight trip with work; both leaving from Southampton, and thirdly on the Disney Wonder for a Bahamas honeymoon cruise. This weekend we were welcomed onboard my fourth ship – The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas visitorRoyal Caribbean decided to invite a few bloggers onboard for the day to experience what The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas [Jensen loved that his middle name, Indiana was the same as the Ship’s nickname, “Indy”] had to offer.  Did we love it?

Take a look…

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Royal Arcade

I kind of felt as though this was my spiritual home when I saw that there was a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlour on the ship.  Jensen and I could see ourselves being here for breakfast, lunch…and dessert after dinner. I mean, that’s what cruises are for, surely?

Royal Caribbean Independence of the SeasThen we were told that there was a Ben & Jerry’s stateroom!  We headed down there but we won’t spoil the surprise.  It’s moo-arvellous.  After touring quite a few enormous suites where my boys found it fascinating that there were toilets with telephones in them – and a bath in one of them [Lyoto didn’t see the point when there was a whole sea to wash in] and wanted to sit on the verandahs all morning, until they discovered that there was actual ice cream for them on the pool deck.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

We took a tour by the enormous dining room with its glittering chandeliers and stemware.  It was quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever dreamed of dining – and all I could think of was the scene in Titanic where Rose comes down the staircase to see Jack in his tuxedo at the bottom.  Probably not the best thought to pop into my head on a huge ship in Southampton docks [we were at Berth 101, so a little way down the quay], but still.  Jensen found himself a seat and said he would take me to dinner there and we could drink with real grown up glasses.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas dining room

We saw an ice rink, huge portholes, arcades and kids clubs – but nothing compared to the pool deck for our boys.  The self serve ice cream machine was the best thing ever.

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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

After our tummies were full with swirly ice cream, we took a wander down the ship to see the Flow Rider and the spa area.  There were guests with cocktails everywhere and it made me nostalgic for our honeymoon where each day we enjoyed a Disney cocktail of the day.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Soon it was time for lunch and we headed to my husband’s idea of dining heaven, Johnny Rocket’s.  We were originally seated inside a 1950s diner, but we switched to outside the restaurant because the view from a ship is just the most breathtaking, no matter where you are.  The air, the breeze – it’s paradise even in dock.

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So, truly, my husband would take a cruise just for the burgers each day I’m sure – and the milkshakes are delicious.  But then the dancing began.  Oh, the dancing.  Cast members from the restaurant came out to dance to the Bee Gees and my boys just couldn’t resist.  They were up and joining in – and making memories.  Just how a holiday should be.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Hero was so full and out of puff that he fell asleep after dinner, as our bigger boys made their way to the pool at last!

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Let’s just say that it wasn’t the warmest day on deck – but after the initial shock of the cool water, they were away.  That is, until they discovered the hot tubs – then they were alternating between the two and shrieking with laughter.

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I sat poolside with Hero nestled in a wrap on his lounger – and thanked my stars I’d bought my mom-bag with me. If you’re after a bag that can do it all, this is it – my Amilie bag from Minene.  You have no idea how much I had in this bag. Seriously. I was like Mary Poppins. Even Spongebob found a place easily.

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Baby Sample Sale!

flyer august copy

Minene BABY SAMPLE SALE starts this week!

Gorgeous clothes from newborn till 2 years plus muslins, bandana bibs and lots more starting from only £1

*CASH ONLY

Tuesday 16th August 2016 10am till 3pm
Wednesday 17th August 2016 10am till 3pm

@ 20 Wycombe Gardens, London NW11 8AL

Family Fever Review Minene!

We have so much stuff in this house. Living with 4 small children means lots of toys, games, puzzles, teddies and household bits such as bedding and swim kits. Finding good, spacious storage can be really tough, and now we are in our lovely new home, I want it to look good too!

Minene recently sent us their fabric storage box with lid, which is available in 20 different colours – something to suit any room in any home. We went for the yellow clouds design – bright and cheerful but in keeping with our decor.

Minene storage box

Minene storage box

The box is incredibly easy to assemble. It comes flat packed, and once opened will pop outwards. The base is secured with a zip to keep the shape, and this can simply be unzipped and flattened for storage. Designed as a bedding box, it will slide easily under a standard single or double bed.

We decided to use the Minene storage box for toys, purely because it is so spacious. Measuring 60x40x25cm, there is plenty of space for loads of toys, even larger ones such as the Fisher Price puppy.

Minene storage box

Minene storage box

Perfect for keeping in the living room, this is where all the toys get popped at night time, giving us our living room back as a grown up space again. The fact that it has a lid means that everything can be packed away tidily, and I don’t have to spend all evening looking at toys. My one criticism is that the lid is purely material, so it is quite flimsy. It would be great if it had a zip like the box base, or a plastic backing to keep the lid more rigid.

Minene storage box

Minene storage box

A great height for small people, both Max and Eliza can access the box, even reaching the toys right at the bottom. The children love it, and find it easy to tidy their toys away at the end of the day, as there is so much space for everything. I love it because it holds so much, looks so pretty and has a lid which keeps toys out of sight when not in use.

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