On Friday afternoon I walked into the lounge to see my kids laid on the floor watching Moana (nothing new there). This time however they were completely silent and snuggled down in their new Snuggle Sacs from Ollie & Leila! It was such a pleasant and lovely sight. 

My kids, like lots of others, love to snuggle! They love nothing more than putting on a movie and snuggling down to relax and enjoy it. They snuggle under Ethan’s high sleeper whilst listening to CD stories, and they build dens and snuggle in those too. They are real little snugglers, so when Ollie & Leila asked us review their Snuggle sac’s I felt like it was an opportunity made for them…and judging by the wonderful sights of Friday they are a great success!

Made from super soft and fluffy fleece on the outside, with 100% cotton lining, and available in various fun and colourful designs, these are the perfect addition to any movie night, sleep over or chill out sess! Megan has the Dalmatian and Ethan the pirate, and they come rolled up in handy little tote bags that are useful for carrying them in, or storing and transporting them. They then have a convenient section at the head where a pillow can be put in for ultimate comfort, and I would say that they are basically a pimped up and awesome, snugglier version of a sleeping bag! 


What we Loved

– Their snuggle factor (easily a 10)

–  The fun design – so gorgeous

–  The handy bags…can be carried by kids very easily

– The pillow pouch – what a bonus

– The side zip to make it easy to get in and out of, and to let in air if you get too cosy!

– That the kids can lay out in pure comfort and enjoy their films, have sleepovers and love life!

– That they are machine washable and suitable for a dryer too

– They come with a 12m Guarantee

Snuggle Sacs would make a useful to addition to your home with kids, and also be a great gift for any kid for Christmas or Birthdays because they are just are so useful. The whole concept of this from a parents perspective, I think is brilliant. It gives them something to take to Grandma’s, Cousins,or camping even and it’s something they can use at home or away to chill in, or keep a little warmer in the Winter! The fact it can so easily be stored in a handy bag makes it more desirable too and they are so lovely. The designs are fab, and they definitely get a thumbs up from us!!

* Thank you to Ollie & Leila for sending us these in return for our thoughts. All words and images are my own. 

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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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What do you do when you grow up on a farm with nature all around you? When you live in a place where you can climb trees, paddle, build dens and explore with your friends til your hearts content? Well if you are Tor and Christian Carver, then you grow up and recreate it for the masses in the form of Williams Den of course – a place of adventure, exploring, and a place where you will struggle to get your kids home!

Located in East Yorkshire and just off the M62 in North Cave (very convenient), you will discover a play centre far different from the norm! Wood, sand, water, tree houses, a zip wire, mud and more combine with children’s imaginations to create the “best play place ever” and we had “the best day out” last Thursday there!

My 3 were certainly in their elements with Alice clambering over rocks to splash in the little rivers, and Megan playing spider over the nets. Ethan spent literally hours pumping water and damming it up before conquering all levels of the den. They climbed, splashed, played all day and each loved it for different reasons. But mostly they loved it for the reason it was intended – the freedom of being able to explore and do pretty much anything as they would outdoors all day long!

The Den itself is built of responsibly sourced wood, and housed inside a huge barn. It has various levels and platforms that are connected by nets, beams and bridges. At one end you will find a large sand pit and slide, to the other a little river running through the bottom and ending under a waterfall. Kids can play on, in and around any of it, provided they are being kind and careful.

Outside you are greeted with panoramic views of the Yorkshire Wolds and hand crafted picnic benches all around to enjoy lunch or sit with an ice cream. Here the adventure continues as kids can enjoy climbing on slabs of stone, nets and beams or crawling through tunnels in the mole hills. There are mud kitchens, grass hills, more sand and water play, and a couple of zip wires too.

Taking kids tree climbing, river paddling and scrambling over logs and rocks isn’t everyone’s scene or even available in close proximity, but it’s something we love to do. Irrelevant of where you live though or how comfortable you are with those things, Williams Den gives all kids and parents the opportunity to be more free range in a safer and more controlled environment. You can give your kids those experiences without venturing too far.

What we Loved the most –

 * Water play and hand pump

 * That you can take your own food in – such a bonus (though the wood pizza’s are very delish and reasonable too)

 * That the toilets are family friendly (most have an adult and child toilet in each cubical and are not gender specific!)

 * The gorgeous views and scenery

 * The nets and “spider webs to climb in”

 * That waterfall (more water!)

 * “Everything – its just the best place ever mummy!” (Ethan).

Williams Den is open every day but til 7pm Thursdays through Saturdays, and would certainly be an investment with a “Friends of the Den Pass”. We will most definitely be returning again and again as I know its a place they will get a lot out of for many more years. And it has the bonus of being only 20 minutes away!

 So whether you have a tot or young teen, and whether they daring and risky like my kids or more cautious and curious, Williams Den seriously has something for everyone at each level and age – it really is designed for the growing child. The steps are high enough that toddlers can’t get up unaided but small enough to be the start of a great adventure for older kids. Mine are very quick and co-ordinated and so shot up all over and loved every second they were there (especially the 10 mins when they scoffed the yummy ice cream!). So take a few pairs of dry clothes and towels, perhaps a picnic or money for a yummy lunch, and get exploring and clambering down at Williams Den this Summer!

* Thank you to William’s Den for inviting us to review the Den Free of charge in return for an honest review. All thoughts and pictures are my own. Interesting to note that whilst there the rain poured and despite easily 200 people being inside it didn’t feel too claustrophobic or overly crazy. All Kids seemed chilled and laid back… 

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For the past few weeks we have been trying out the “Guardianfix 3” car seat from Kiddy. It is their latest in the Guardianfix series and corresponds with the very latest safety standards. Suitable from 9 months and available in an array of beautiful rich colours, this car seat is not only a gentle beast to keep your child safe, but once invested in, will be the only car seat you will need from them being 9 months up to 12 years. Here are our thoughts on it…

Safety

As mentioned the Guardianfix 3 ticks all of the boxes for the latest safety standards for infant and children’s car seats. Currently you can turn infants forward facing before 15 months as long as they are in a weight based car seat and weigh at least 20lb/9kg (approx. 9 months), and are then also restrained in the correct way. They also must remain in a high backed booster until around 12 years old.

This car seat is suitable for both of these requirements. It is a weight based seat and therefore is suitable from 9kg… it has been fitted with a safety shield that sits across the baby or child (until they are 18kg) which works to absorb the energy of a collision so that the upper body of the child will naturally roll over; this gives a low load on the neck region compared to 5 point harness systems. This design corresponds with the law that from 9kg to 18kg a child must be restrained using a harness, or safety shield, and from 15kg a harness, seat belt or safety shield.  It allows for an overlap of belt or shield for the growing child.

It is fitted using both the ISOFIX in the car and then a 3 point seat belt, and this design means that the Kiddy Shock Absorber absorbs the energy acting on the 3-point seat belt, which protects the child in the case of an accident or sudden braking. The K-Fix+ connectors from the seat to the ISOFIX means that it will naturally slide sideways in a side collision!


It is made from high tech materials known as “Honeycomb 2” which can be found in the seat around the delicate head and shoulder area of the child, and is designed to absorb energy, offering more protection.

The Guardianfix 3 also has side impact protection and is cleverly designed so as to not obstruct the child’s view, but still offers maximum protection in the event of a side collision. It is designed to be able to be the perfect car seat for your child at any age.

I love how it all moves in order to accommodate the growing child – For younger children the seat is used with the seat cushion and the impact shield. For older children, the backrest can be adjusted to accommodate growth in height and width. The adjustable leg rest can also be extended and the eye level indicator on the head-rest ensures that the back rest is always correctly aligned with the child’s height.

Fitting

This car seat was super easy to fit into our car. We just have an old tacky Citreon Picasso, but it has ISOFIX and it literally took only a minute or 2! It simply clicks into the ISOFIX points at the back of the outer seats and boom – baby (or child) can be popped in, shield on and belted up.

Aesthetics

I call this seat the gentle beast because you can’t hide away from the fact it looks like a bit of a beast! Obviously this is to accommodate all of the wonderful and necessary safety features in order to make for a smooth and gentle ride for our baby/child. I am fine with that, its just a lot bigger than other seats I have been used to, but after the first week or so I was used to it and now I really do like having it.

I love most that it is available in so many colour options (8 to be precise) that are both “normal” right up to bright and beautiful. We chose the Ocean Petrol and I really like it. It’s a happy shade to see in your rear-view mirror!

Ease of use

Once fitted in to the car (which is easy to do), getting the child in and out is pretty simple and straightforward. Only its not with miss Alice! She seems to struggle with the fact she has to have the impact shield on and we always have a mini battle when she first gets in! It begins with a protesting shout followed by feet up and hands together pushing it away before we can get the belt on and around her. So yes, I’d say if you don’t have a rebel baby like ours that seems to want to live on the edge of safety regulations, then this car seat is super quick to both fit/take out and then to get your child/baby in and out of.

Babies response

Need we say any more?!!! No I’m kidding – once she is in and settled she really enjoys looking out of the window, being able to keep a sly eye on mummy and daddy, and joining in the jokes with Ethan and Megs. She can eat fine on a long journey, sleep and seems very content. The adjustable sleep position is useful though she seems to prefer to snuggle into the impact shield (not so bad now is it madam?).

Value for Money

I have thought a lot about this one as I am a thrifty person and don’t particularly enjoy spending a lot of money unless I feel it is necessary or good value. The Guardianfix 3 costs £279 which compared to competitors is on the higher end, but then I haven’t looked into each of their features to see how they compare, and to look at what you are getting for your money.

Taking this on an individual basis though and seeing how it can grow with your child from being only 9 months until 12/out of a car seat, I would say it is an excellent investment. The fabrics are machine washable and the seat can be moved in wondrous ways to accommodate the growing child, which is something I absolutely love. Most importantly though it is line with new safety standards.

Over all I love our new Guardianfix 3. It’s colour is gorgeous and it is super easy to use. It offers peace of mind with numerous and brilliant safety features, and the smallest member of our family is certainly loving life (once she’s in) back there in her beast of a throne as we cruise down the road!

 

 

We're going on an adventure
*We were sent the Kiddy Guardianfix 3 for the purpose of this and future reviews. All thoughts and pictures are my own.

 

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