Squidge & Pip Sensory Teething Toys were created by a fellow Yorkshire mum “Mary Lord”, and Alice was kindly sent one recently for us to try! Squidge is a dog shape and Pip a cat, and they are a fun contemporary teether made from medical grade silicone (which is the perfect density for babies to bite and chew)!  They look different from your regular teether and that’s because just as they are intended to be soft and comforting on babies gums, they are also designed with several interesting parts and textures for baby to explore orally, thus stimulating senses and helping babies learn about different shapes while developing the muscles needed for speech and weaning development.

It all sounds rather interesting for something as simple as teething toy doesn’t it? Well here’s what we thought!

First Impressions

Squidge & Pip obviously take pride in their product and immediately I was impressed by their gorgeous packaging. It makes it so lovely to receive, and therefore would make for a great option for birthdays or mum’s to be! Not only does it come in lovely packaging, but each toy also comes with a handy little travel pouch too. I always find little touches like this so nice and make it feel that little bit more premium!

They retail at £20, which to me is a little more than I would normally spend on a teether, but given the fact that it’s also a great sensory toy too I suppose its reasonably priced.

I also love that they can easily be washed, sterilized and even frozen to add extra comfort and soothing to babies mouths!

At first I wasn’t 100% sure of the look of it as initially I thought it was a little odd, but the more we’ve had it, and the more I have read up on it and seen how lovely it is for little hands to grip and little mouths to chew, it really has grown on me. I think it’s a great funky little toy for Alice and useful to have on the go!

Alice too at first wasn’t so sure of it either, and after one small nibble lobbed across the room and moved on…I was pretty gutted and hoped for more from my teething little dumpling…

Thoughts Now

Nowadays it has become a little fave of hers. She still likes to lob it around but now follows it, holds it, carries it and thankfully chews on it way more too! It has become a great distraction on long journeys and in church and her little face lights up when we wave it in front of her. I actually love how attached she is becoming to it (its rather cute really) but mostly how it chills her out too. Its nice to think its not only helping her with teething, but also with motor skills, chewing and speech development (to name a few)!

I think that Squidge & Pip are a lovely idea and it’s something that can grow with the child; both to aid them in the heights of teething and then just to play with as they crawl, toddle and explore!

Teething is such a difficult stage and one that can leave you feeling rather exhausted and even stressed out. I often feel helpless despite knowing various things that can ease their suffering and so I guess when I think of all of that, to have a little teether to bring comfort in the form of a cat or dog pal is really rather wonderful for them!

WIN one!

Squidge & Pip would like to give one of our readers the opportunity to WIN their very own sensory teething toy. So if you would like that to be you…whether for a little one of your own or as a gift for a friend, then enter via the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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One of my favourite Ordinary moments of this week was on Friday when I got to hang out with 3 little pirates! Of course it helped that it was almost the weekend, but with glorious sunshine and sea views, it was bound to be a great day.

Every time we visit Bridlington on a sunny day we love to go on the pirate ship. It’s a cute little ride on a relatively old boat, kitted out pirate style! It takes you out of the harbour and around the north side for about 10 minutes or so for a little adventure, and is just enough to get a taste of the sea (and only a couple of £s each). We have been doing it for years and its a lot of fun!

We also get nagged by the kids to play pirate golf whilst there, and we pretty much never do! I usually fob them off to say it’s something to keep for school holidays as we’re often busy with other things too. But earlier this year I did gain mummy points when I added it to our Summer bucket list .

Now summer is here and the days are our own, I thought a pirate day would be a really fun idea! I thought of combining all of our loves at the seaside into one day and having the ultimate pirate-y adventure. I knew the kids would love it, but at the same time I underestimated just how much.

We met their cousin and played pirate golf, bought pirate flags, rode on the pirate ship and climbed on the harbour wall! We looked out to sea and they ventured through the fun house! All 3 of them were great little pirates & had gorgeous smiles and squeals of laughter all afternoon.

It was so great to see them having a day filled with moments of fun, imagination and little adventures! I love it so much when moments unfurl to be equally good (or greater) than you have imagined and create lovely ordinary moments that remind you what an adventure life is.

The Ordinary Moments
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Oxford, I discovered last week, is such an incredibly beautiful place to visit. It’s streets are filled with stunning buildings, and it is a place that oozes with tales of the past (and of course a rich history of educating legends)! Just to wander around it leaves you feeling in awe and a sense of joyfulness! It was so lovely to visit there last weekend for a little family weekend adventure.

About 16 years ago now, Nathan lived there briefly and since we have been together it’s been on “the list” to take the kids to…we love to take the kids to places where they can get a hands on experience with history and hopefully appreciate our countries culture and sites. An invitation to tour the castle was that perfect excuse to finally go, do all of the aforementioned, and we all loved it.

Oxford Castle Unlocked!

 Oxford castle was the main focus of our day on Saturday, and it has certainly had an impact on the kids since. It is a great attraction of the city and something that really brings its history to life! Just yesterday Megan retold me stories of prisoners “in the tower” with no toilets, and sleeping in a room of wee and poo!(?!). She found it both hilarious and completely disgusting, but mostly very fascinating, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I love to see my kids excited about history as it’s something we both love so much!

Oxford castle is really interesting because it’s less about the Jewels and Royalty (like we saw when we visited Edinburgh), and more about scandal, theft, hard labour and murder! It was great because you see the meeting of medieval and modern crime, and prisoners held for anything from murder and war to a 7 year old stealing a pram! Each story, even those of modern prisoners, is fascinating and adds to the experience.

Built in 1017 it was used as jail as early as the 12th century, in 1531 it was formally constituted as a county Jail and changed briefly over the next couple of hundred years. By the 19th century it was expanded to cope with demand and was used as a prison until as recent as September 1996!! It only opened it’s doors to visitors back in 2006 after a complete refurbishment and restoration in 2004.

As part of it is now also a hotel and restaurants, the part preserved for visitors is small, but ample for a jump into its History and just long enough to hold the attention of kids. The tour took about an hour, and is led in a small group by a character taken from the castles History.  We had “Anne Green” a prisoner from 1650 that survived her own hanging…lets just say it really added to the feel and fun of it all, and certainly grabbed the kids attention!

The tour starts through a creepy metal gate at the bottom of the tower where you meet your guide and hear a brief history of the castle; with tales of hard labour by those sentenced to term there during the Victorian era. Next you can climb the 1o1 steps of the Saxon St George’s tower to a decent sized cell and hear tales of prisoners held there, as well as an Empress’s escape! Continuing up the tower you are greeted with 360 degree panoramic views of Oxford city from the top of it. The kids thought this was marvellous and thoroughly enjoyed looking down on the crowds and feeling on top of the world.

Next we plunged (or rather walked) down into the castle crypts to see where the bodies were stored (spooky!).

The rest of the tour takes you through cells, telling you of key characters from its 1000 years and how they lived, were treated and their doom! It was all super interesting and presented in a way gruesome enough to capture the kids and yet not enough that you couldn’t stomach it!  We had a lovely (and informative) visit and learnt tonnes.

Knight school at The Castle

Knight school is a free added bonus to a visit to the castle, and both Ethan and Megs loved the 20 min sess! It runs as part of their “King of the Castle” event for the school holidays, and takes place twice a day on a weekend only (11.30am & 2.30pm) out in the courtyard by staff trained in Sword fighting! In addition you can try to solve a a “King of the Castle” themed trail or take part in Arts & Crafts at the end of the tour.

knight school was certainly one of the highlights, and something a little different to anything we have done before at museums and castles! It was great to see the kids having an opportunity to not only hold a sword, but practice holds, stances, walks and counter strikes with little wooden swords of their own alongside “a real knight”! The session was informative, interesting and lots of fun, and again just long enough for kids ages 5 & 6.

Oxford Sites…

Following church on Sunday, we spent the afternoon walking around the colleges and checking out the famous buildings one thinks of when you think of Oxford. The sun was shining, and whilst tourists were out in the masses, it was absolutely beautiful. For brief moments I felt like we were in some foreign and far off land, but it was exciting to remember that all of this beauty is just a mornings car ride away!

We loved seeing all of the sites of Oxford and barely spent a penny doing so! There is so much to see and appreciate just wandering it’s streets and we had a lovely weekend there.

Being away from the everyday is always more fun and life is great when filled with some adventures. It was so exciting to have a change of scenery, especially in such a stunning city that’s right here in our country! If you have a chance to visit Oxford this Summer then get yourself there and check out the Castle too…you won’t be disappointed!

*Oxford Castle Unlocked is open daily 10am – 5.30pm. A Family Ticket is just £35 (or Adults £10.95 each / Kids £7.75)!! We are grateful for them for giving us a complimentary visit in return for a review. 

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2 weeks ago Alice turned 1 and it’s taken me a little while (what with the move and everything), to sit down and write up about that day! I keep seeing the cute little pictures we snapped of her with her cake, and she looks so scrummy I couldn’t just miss it out. Each one gives me a feeling of gratitude for her in our lives and I had to share when Alice turned 1!

The day was simple and filled with her favourite things, which turned out to be just right. Whilst I toyed with the idea of a little tea party (or even soft play) and mixing things up from our usual traditions on first birthdays, the combination of being in a new place, just moved house, and the fact it is only 1, it seemed best to keep it simple and low key. After taking the kids to school, we caught a train to the coast and met my Mum where we had a little boat ride, shared some fish and chips and ate seafood together. Alice loves fish and loved being spoilt with fresh ocean delicacies, a little sausage and a few sneaky licks of an ice cream at the seaside!

We rounded the day off playing together with bubbles in the garden, and a tacky caterpillar cake (which she devoured in seconds!). She received a new wooden walker and some building blocks, a couple of outfits and lots of love!

With each new major milestone that Alice reaches, our lives are filled with mixed emotions beyond that of the usual “time please slow down” emotions. But mostly she is reminding us how fun life with little kids in it really is. So at 1 year old I want to remember how she claps whenever we say “yay”. How she cries and laughs at the same time when she sees milk! How she laughs her head off when we pretend to do spiders on her arm, and how she smiles so sweetly at us! I want to keep in my heart how she touches our faces and is never short of a cuddle…how she loves megs and Ethan and gets so silly with them. I want to remember how she practices standing in her cot at night tome instead of sleeping (yes I see you Alice).

Alice turning 1 wasn’t easy to lead up to, but having a 1 year old is so much fun and the last couple of weeks have been a blast – Happy (belated) Birthday Little one, we have loved the last 12 months with you in them!

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