If I had to pick a style for Alice then it would most certainly be traditional and a little vintage. Unlike Megs and her street/sporty style (mini me), Alice has always been a bit more girly and gentle in her look, and as a little baby often suited vintage and girly styles far better than anything else. For convenience I dress her day to day in practical leggings and tops but know she much better suits girly dresses and things with florals and lace!

It was no surprise then that she looked quite the part and right at home in her new La Coqueta dress that was recently sent to us for review. Its beautiful and we all love her in it!

La Coqueta is a spanish brand founded by Celia Munoz, and inspired by the wardrobe gifted to her for her first daughter back in 2008. Many of her clothes were from Spanish designers and possessed a vintage yet timeless feel and this is reflected in everything from La Coqueta. You only have to hop on to the site to fall in love with frills, lace, florals, knits and beautiful little accessories. From dresses, sets and rompers, each is unique and simply stunning, and comes packaged with great care.

Alice was sent the Cantillana baby set which is currently on sale! It was originally £64 but now on offer at £32. I love it for so many reasons!  One of my favourites is the matching little pants underneath that look so adorable when she bends down or climbs the stairs. Next is that I love its not pink, and that they have so many colour options for baby’s and little girls that look super feminine with out been pink! And then the floral print, which helps to carry it through any season, making it a great purchase.

She wore it now in Winter with her tights and little boots, but the florals with little sandals or shoes in Spring/Summer would also look totally fine I think.

I love the double breasted detail on the front, the peter pan collar and the french style lace. But my most favourite are those sleeves…. oooo I just want to squish her with love when I see those teeny hands poking out of such lush little sleeves!

To me this, and many of their other things are a little more high end but certainly worth it, and I am certain that if I had a few extra pounds I would love to kit Alice out completely in their things as they are all so beautiful. But for now I aim to have this (and hopefully a few others) for those special occasions and days where she can really overflow with cuteness and let her vintage girly self shine.

La Coqueta is traditional, beautiful and timeless, and everything has a story behind it. It is personal and well thought out, and uses quality materials.Their things are simply stunning and I would love more in Alice’s wardrobe for her to toddle around in – looking chic and stylish, because I loved how absolutely adorable she looked in her little dress and matching pants…please excuse me whilst I sale shop their upto 60% offers in search of some beautiful bargs!

*We were sent this outfit for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and pictures are my own.

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Since moving to the village I have been fortunate enough to meet some lovely new mum friends. Most of them are my neighbours too (which tends to happen when you all live in such a small community), and it was brilliant to be able to have a bunch of them over with their kids on Saturday for a “Baking Mad” Peter Rabbit party and natter!

We had 17 kids in our home (with parents), which Ethan and Mega loved, and as you can imagine was also a little nuts! But what a great afternoon we all had, and how much fun it was to host a very happy “un-birthday” party for our new friends!

 

Baking Mad

Baking Mad is an online company rich in recipes and kits sent straight to your door, to help you make the perfect bake! Whether breads, Pizza’s, Pastries or celebration cakes like the one we had, they have them all (and more) at your finger tips!

We were sent a box filled with the instructions and ingredients to make a Peter Rabbit Celebration cake. The box was packaged lovely, the ingredients neatly packed, and the instructions clear to follow.

 

As baking is not my strong point, I was more than a little nervous to get cracking with it. The usual scene whenever I bake is me ranting and getting stressed, followed by a creation that only a 2 year old could have thrown together. But when I tried my hand at the Baking Mad kit last Friday, I was over the moon (and a little very shocked) to discover that it all came together so well. Not only that but it looked really cute and impressive as well, and tasting absolutely delicious too.

Also in the kit was enough ingredients and accessories for 12 Cupcakes too – I again made these with little stress and found that they too worked out really well.

Never in all my years of attempting to bake/decorate cakes for the kids parties has it ever worked out as well as my Peter Rabbit cake that I made for Saturday’s Baking Mad party. I really enjoyed doing it, and I loved the results too, and so for that I give them a big thumbs up!

The Peter Rabbit party

Once the cake was made it was time to crack on with party prep! Baking Mad also sent us some of the peter Rabbit accessories that compliment the party well and are available in their shop.

I set the table in the conservatory with a garden green table cloth and food and drinks. At one end I had the regular little buffet and drinks, at the other the cake, cupcakes and favours. For the favours I put marshmallows in piping bags (99p for 20) and called them “Bunnies Tails” – they went down a treat! For the little tots I put them a rabbit chocolate and little toy in the party bags and again they mostly loved them too (I think some felt jipped when they saw the marshmallow cones)!!!!

 

I did some dancing/Action songs with the kids to start off with that all had a rabbit theme to them, and then we played pass the parcel (with a Peter Rabbit Magazine as the prize) and pin the tail on the bunny! After all of the shannonigans we fed them pizza, crisps and veggie sticks whilst watching Peter rabbit, and then ended with the cutting of the cake and scoffing it!

From parents to kids alike it was a unanimous vote of thumbs up!

 

Verdict

I don’t know what it was about this kit or it’s instructions, but I feel like I opened a miracle! Like I say this is the first EVER time I have ever done a party cake and it has not only tasted nice, but looked absolutely amazing too. I was in shock!!! It is the first time I have baked something and being able to really proud of it, and with that had loads of people impressed by it too (in person and on line!). Because my bakes are normally so naff, this definitely gets a thumbs up from me as being a successful idea and product.

Price wise however I’ll be honest and say I’m not so sure. The kits are £40 But then you need like 700g of butter and 9 eggs on top of that cost, as well as a couple of pounds on the carrot toppers for the buns! So for both the cake and cupcakes the thrifty part in me can’t help feeling like the ingredients on their own are a fraction of that and so am questioning whether or not the pride and satisfaction and lovely taste out weighs the costings of it? What do you think?

 If you do like the idea and want to make a Pirate, Unicorn, Princess, Superheroes or this Peter Rabbit cake, then hop over to their website and click on “shop” and get 25% off all party cake kits til the end of the month.

Saturday was so much fun with friends and family, and yes – There ain’t no party quite like that of a Baking Mad Un-birthday party!

I work as a TalkToMums rep and was sent this kit (and extras) for the purpose of sharing it with friends in person and reviewing it online. I have been compensated for this.

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I don’t know about dry January, but being Teetotallers (and LDS) our lives are dry yearly! We drink mainly water with our meals, fresh juices, most soft drinks and juices, and very much enjoy the odd “Posh Pop” for special occasions and date nights. We of course know what we like and have our favourites, but we are always on the lookout, and excited to discover new & tasty soft drinks to add a little fizz to our lives!

Last week Fentimans kindly sent us a gorgeous hamper filled with tasty goodness, and of course at the sniff of anything more than water the kids and Nath were sniffing round them immediately like bees to honey!

We tried them over Sunday dinner and then of course sneakily reserved some for date night too. There’s something so good about supping on a tasty chilled bevvy once the kids are in bed, and I must admit these really hit the spot! They are light, fragrant and fresh!

Fentimans drinks have been around since 1905, so they know what they’re doing here! They’re that little bit different to others as they are blended and infused with natural ingredients and botanical’s from around the world, and it is those ingredients, and how they blend them in such a creative way, that gives some unique and generally delicious flavours.

Their packaging is so much more beautiful now it comes in clear bottles as opposed to the old greener styles! I feel it makes it more obvious it is a soft drink, and looks way more appealing for a classy family drink. The beautiful colours of both the packaging and drinks themselves, along with crisp clear bottles make them look so fresh and appealing, and as we read each one we couldn’t wait to crack it open!

Thoughts on the taste 

Yes they look pretty, but how do they taste? Well since we’re experts in the soft drinks department as it’s all we drink, we can say that they taste pretty delicious indeed! You can certainly tell they have quality ingredients and flavours.

My most favourite was the Rose Lemonade! My oh my, this could be my new favourite drink across the board. It tastes like traditional lemonade but with an aftertaste of Turkish delight! Its so blumming tasty and I was intrigued to read recently on their twitter page that it contains real rose petals! So yeah… it’s pretty cool (and very delicious) stuff!

Second to this I enjoyed the Wild English Elderflower – we are quite partial to Elderflower drinks so this was great, and Nathan loved this one too. Next fave was the Ginger beer. To me personally the Ginger beer smelt stronger than it tasted unfortunately, but it was still really nice and light! Ethan did think it was more than strong enough though and promised he “really” liked it?!

Nath loved the Elderflower and Ginger beer as I say, and also really liked the “Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger” which apparently is super fresh and tasty and nothing like you’re average “orange fizzy drinks!”.

They were possibly wasted with the kids, but what I love about any new drinks we try is that we can all sample and enjoy them because they are always soft drinks! They too enjoyed the Rose Lemonade, and informed us that “Tonic water is a tricky drink – it starts off nice then is really disgusting!”. I think they missed the part where I said wait until I’ve mixed it!!

As well as the Soft drinks, they also have mixers to make mocktails (or cocktails – whichever side of the fence you stand), and it was great to try their elder-flower syrup with both the tonic water and mixed in with the Rose lemonade for an incredibly delicious drink! (Add a sprig of mint and you have a pretty splendid mocktail for your weekend get together’s or meals in)! It tasted so fresh and fragrant and we very much enjoyed the combo.

After sampling these and looking at the rest of their product range, I have on my list is to try next the Grapefruit tonic water and the sparkling lime and Jasmine! (Don’t they just sound so gorgeous?). But for now I am so glad to have discovered a new option of posh soft drinks with a great range to enhance our get togethers and family meals. They are such a treat for date night and I would certainly recommend these as a tasty, crisp beverage for all the family!

Whether you are designated driver, attempting dry January, or like us are a no go with Alcohol, then you too might just love the fresh and creative flavours of Fentimans soft drinks!

* Thank you to Fetimans for sending us this lovely hamper of products for the purpose of this review! All thoughts and pictures are my own. 

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As we approach Christmas I am excited for Alice to have her first Christmas where she is actually aware that something is happening. Because of this increased awareness of gifts, (and things that are hers) that comes with being almost 18 months old, I have been way more thoughtful about her gifts and what she will love! With this, I have had a lot of joy in choosing for her things she can play with and enjoy, all whilst building her confidence and skills.

At the top of the list has always been a Playmobil Noah’s ark, followed closely by a little toddler bike, and then a doll or something similar since she has taken a shine to Megan’s! I think all of these things will be so lovely for her and are things that grow with her and will be used for a good couple of years! The Doll and playmobil are very straightforward, however when it comes to a bike suitable for her age I have wondered, which would be most suitable?!

We have been excited to review with her (and then hide away before the kids get home) the Toddlebike2, and have found it to be a lovely little toy for toddlers with great benefits.

Toddlebike 2

The Toddlebike2 is a unique pre-balance bike for ages 18 – 36 months and will certainly make a great Christmas or birthday gift for the little tots in your life. Available in 3 lovely colours (red, pink, blue) it is fun looking and there is something for everyone. They are really reasonably priced too at £23.95 which I think is brilliant.

Whilst Alice already has a scuttlebug she has inherited (and I only bring this up as I am sure many will think they have no need for this as well), the Toddlebike2 is a lot different, as it is specifically designed to be more like a real bike and give the child their first cycling experience. I absolutely love it for its simplicity, and that it promotes balance, is light weight and easy to clean. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and over all terrains so gives them lots of practice! It fills the gap from the baby ride on toys they have outgrown to the age when they can handle a balance bike or scooter.

As I said one of its great features (aside from being a pre-balance bike) is that it is super light (like under 1kg light) and so can hang on the buggy when out and about, be easily carried to the park, or the best part for Alice – she can easily manouver it and move it around the house when she isn’t on it too (goodbye frustrated tot). It really has been thought about from the perspective of little one and you can see how well it fits into their life. She loved riding it, carrying and pushing it.

When Alice first saw it she shouted some delightful gabble at it and then was itching to have a go! She sat on it and grinned, and then began shuffling around the room! She struggled a little to get her leg over the cross bar, but it doesn’t phase me because with practice I know she will tackle it – I just see it as promoting her problem solving skills!

I loved after we had been out on it, I could so easily wipe it clean and when she wanted to walk, we could easily carry it!

She has had lots of fun both inside and out trialling this, and has found great delight in her new toy bike! I loved watching her toddle along with it across the village green, and chatter away as she went. As it hung on the buggy she would periodically turn to check it was still there, and give it a reassuring pat, and then as we walked she kept pointing at it and smiling! Yes it’s safe to say it gets the thumbs up from Alice, and me… she loved being on it…so much so that she wailed a little when it went away for Christmas!

I am really pleased to have discovered the Toddlebike2 as it is perfect for kids around Alice’s age and a little older too. It has great benefits; promoting balance, steering and confidence and is something that will teach her all of the skills she needs as she grows into a preschooler and towards a balance bike. For now though I look forward to getting it out again on Christmas morning, seeing everyone’s excitement (especially hers), and for it to become a daily part of her life to have fun on and master!

If you are looking for a fun and yet practical gift that will last a good year or 2 for your tot, then give them a Toddlebike2 this Christmas! Hours of fun and adventure await for them in their little world whatever the weather!!

 

Family Fever
 *We were sent the Toddlebike2 for the purpose of this review! All thoughts and pictures are my own.
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