Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Egg Hunt Fun

Every Easter, after church, we head to my parent's for an Easter Egg hunt in their garden followed by Sunday dinner with all the family. Then afterwards we head home and have another hunt, this time in their own bedrooms!!!

This year was no exception!

Here are some photos of the kids (and adults) enjoying their Easter Egg hunt!!!

Hope you're all having a lovely Easter as well!!!

Happy Easter!!!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

BeSafe Pregnancy Belt Review

Recently I was sent the Pregnancy Belt from BeSafe. 

BeSafe is a Norwegian company which puts children's safety first. In fact their vision is to have no children seriously injured in road accidents. They develop and market their own car seats, bike seats and sports helmets for children and their driving force is their will to protect what is most precious to us: our children. They are dedicated to developing the safest possible car seats and other road safety products for children of all ages. Their product development is highly focused on safety, which is continuously resulting in new BeSafe products being launched featuring innovative patents and functions for enhanced safety and they always strive to take the lead with products of high quality meeting stringent safety requirements.
***Taken from the BeSafe Website***

One of my biggest worries whilst pregnant has been travelling in the car. I don't like how the seat belt presses over my stomach and I worry that if we were to crash, or even stop suddenly, the seat belt could seriously hurt or kill my unborn baby. No matter how many times I tried to adjust the seat belt, I couldn't seem to get it off my baby bump. But what was the alternative? Not only is it illegal not to wear a seat belt, not wearing one could also result in not just the death of my unborn child, but myself as well! In fact I remember one occasion, just three days before I went into labour with my 3rd, I was driving down a street in my home town when someone walked straight in front of me and I had to slam on the brakes! At the time I remember feeling relieved that I hadn't been wearing a seat belt because I didn't hurt the baby, but things could have been a lot different and a lot more serious.

The Ordinary Pregnancy Belt from BeSafe

That's why I was so pleased to see the innovative BeSafe pregnancy belt. The BeSafe car seat belt ensures the correct position of the lap belt in the car. Easy to install it doesn't interfere with the safety performance of the normal 3-point seat belt, but it helps to position the lap belt so it always stays in the right position and below your baby bump.

There are two types of the pregnancy belt. The iZi Fix which can be installed with the ISOfix points in the passenger or back seats and can also be fitted using the strap provided in the drivers seat, or there is the normal pregnancy belt which has just the straps. 

The iZiFix Pregnancy Belt from BeSafe

In a collision an adult can weigh between three and five tons. In pregnancy the baby is positioned far forward and therefore is subject to a massive strain at the moment of impact. The BeSafe pregnancy belt guides away the hip/lap belt away from the stomach and baby. It also lessons the discomfort caused by the belt being placed over the stomach during ordinary day-to-day travelling in a car and can be used from as early as the second month of pregnancy 

I was sent the ordinary pregnancy belt and when I had to travel 60 miles to hospital for a check-up I had the opportunity to use the pregnancy belt. It does take a little bit longer to fasten your seat belt and I had to strap it to the seat of my parents car before I could get in (I'm currently carless as we had to scrap mine!) Strapping the pregnancy belt to the seat was very easy and quick and once I was sat in the seat, it just took about a minute extra to attach the strap between my legs to the usual seat belt and after a few minutes I forgot it was there. The pregnancy belt gave me piece of mind that, should I be involved in an accident or have to brake suddenly, the seat belt wouldn't tighten over my bump causing injury to the baby.

Check out this video which shows how to install the pregnancy belt

Check out this video which shows how the pregnancy belt works during a crash! It really makes you realise how much safer this belt makes travelling in a car whilst pregnant!

I know I'll be a lot happier travelling in a car now I have the pregnancy belt. It really does give you peace of mind and I recommend all pregnant women who travel regularly in a car to get one!!!

I was sent the BeSafe Pregnancy Belt for free on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I though. I received no payment and the review is my own honest and unbiased opinion and I retain full editorial control and integrity.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Family Day Out to Flash Swimming Pool Welshpool

Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the start of the Easter holidays and that daddy isn't working this week to go out for the day. After lots of consideration and promises of taking the kids swimming, we decided to catch the train to Welshpool for a change, especially as my parents were already there at the dentist and they could meet up with us and my dad could join us swimming.

We caught the train and armed with DSi's and tablets we managed to keep the kids entertained for the 2hr train journey, the boy was happy to see one of his friend's from school and they spent the journey together chatting and playing on the DS'!

It made a lovely change to see some snow as we looked out of the window. Especially as we have escaped all the snow that has battered the UK the past few days, one of the disadvantages of living near the sea!

We arrived in Welshpool and after a 30min hike from the train station to the pool, enjoying the snow that lay in drifts on the pavement (which made me and the boy act like big kids throwing snowballs at each other!) we arrived at the pool. 

Now I had checked the pools website to check that it was open, but sadly I had missed one important detail!!! School's in Powys hadn't broken up for Easter yet and that meant that the pool wasn't open for another 45mins as the school was inside having swimming lessons! 

I must admit, I had to laugh at the receptionist who told me quite frostily that...
"You're in Wales now and we haven't broken up for Easter yet!" 
Especially as we live in Wales (albeit Gwynedd and not Powys which was why our school had broken up but their's hadn't!)

Eventually we made it in the pool and enjoyed about 45mins swimming (it was supposed to be an hour, but the school kids took a long time coming out and then it took us awhile to get everyone changed and everything packed in lockers). One thing we had forgotten was armbands for my 3 and 6yr old's, but they managed fine without them. My 3yr old just clung to us unless it was shallow enough for her to walk and my 6yr old just bobbed around trying to swim. I did have to go and rescue her at one point as she got a bit out of her depth and despite telling the older two, who can swim a little, not to go out of their depth I had to go rescue the boy twice and my dad had to rescue my 8yr old once. At least the slide was open so my dad, hubby and eldest two had lots of fun on it.

After we'd finished our swim we walked back into town to Morrison's where we had an early tea. Then my dad took the boy to the canal museum for a quick look around (none of the girls wanted to go) and we walked back to the train station. 

All in all it was a really good day and everyone slept well last night after all the walking and swimming we did! Then everyone woke me up this morning with renditions of Happy Birthday, as I turn another year closer to 40!!!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Amazon Gift Voucher Competition

To celebrate reaching 1000 likes on my Facebook page, I decided to host a little competition to celebrate. I mean everyone likes competitions right?

So here we go. 

To win a £10 Amazon voucher all you have to do is comment below with what your plans are for Easter? Will you have your own little Easter Egg hunt or will you go to an organised one?

Entry is easy via Rafflecopter below and the competition will close on Easter Monday. 

Good luck!!!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Pregnant with Diabetes - 1st Diabetic Clinic Appointment

When I was 29wks pregnant with my 4th I developed Gestational Diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes which occurs during pregnancy when the body cannot produce enough insulin to meet the extra demands of the pregnancy. A simple blood test, known as the Glucose Tolerance Test, can test for gestational diabetes. To do this test a blood test is taken on an empty (fasting) stomach and another blood test is taken two hours after a sugary glucose drink (such as Lucozade). By comparing the sugar levels with blood tests, they can see how well your body has coped with a large influx of sugar. What surprised me the most, was that I developed gestational diabetes with my 4th pregnancy, yet passed the glucose tolerance test with my previous 3 pregnancies. However, as I developed type 2 diabetes just 18mths later after the birth of my daughter, it seems that I was already on the path to developing diabetes and that my pregnancy just speeded things up a little. 

You can read my story of gestational diabetes here

Now I find myself pregnant again and this time I already have diabetes. One of the biggest risks to your developing baby is having high sugar levels and your blood sugar levels not under control when you concieve and during those first few important weeks when the baby is developing. This is why a diabetic is recommended to have her blood sugar levels under control and below 6 when they concieve and not to get pregnant until they have their sugar levels under control. Sadly, that wasn't the case for me as my pregnancy was a shock! I wasn't planning anymore children, but God obviously had other plans for me as I fell pregnant whilst on the pill! As I wasn't testing my blood sugar levels regularly, just a blood test every 3mths, I have no idea if my sugar levels were good or bad, but judging that I concieved around Christmas, I doubt they were that good. However as soon as I suspected I might be pregnant, I immediatly started being very careful with what I ate and watching my diet to try and reduce the amount of sugar I was injesting (remember it's not just sugar as glucose is also present in carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, pasta etc). I was reluctant to take a pregnancy test for a while, convinced I was just about to come on and I wasn't actually pregnant, until hubby brought one home and ordered me to find out! Deep down I knew I was pregnant, even though I don't suffer from morning sickness, but even then I was still surprised to see two pink lines. 

I made a doctors appointment as soon as found out for sure and at my appointment I asked if I could start testing my blood sugars so I could try and monitor my diabetes and they agreed and from that moment on I was pricking my finger twice a day to see what my readings were. 

The biggest problem with a surprise pregnancy, was that I didn't know what my due date was or how many weeks pregnant I was as I couldn't remember exactly when my last period was. We made a guess and when I finally had my scan I discovered my guess was only a week out as I was 13wks which gave me a due date of the 22nd August. Reaching 14wks was such a relief as I had had a previous miscarriage at 13wks and now that I had come to terms with the fact I was pregnant, I didn't want to lose the baby and was happy to have a new additional to our family!

Wednesday was my first appointment with the diabetic clinic. This is because it's very important that I keep my blood sugars under control to help the baby and also to prevent any complications for both of us. I took my son with me as it was his 10th birthday a few days later and as a pre-birthday treat we were spending the day together, just the two of us, and buying him some new clothes as he's grown out of all of his (what a cruel mum I am making a boy have clothes for his birthday present LOL).

We were at the hospital for 2hrs. First I had to be weighed and have my blood pressure checked, then I had to have a blood test so they can see how my blood sugar levels have been over the past 3mths. 

Finally it was time to see the diabetic doctor. He asked me about my diabetic history and looked at my blood sugar readings over the past 8 or 9wks. He explained that whilst they were good (I was averaging around 7) they were still slightly too high for pregnancy. He asked what medication I was on and I told him I took 1 500mg tablet of Metformin twice a day and he decided to increase my dose to 2 500mg tablets twice a day to try and get my readings below 6, especially in the morning. He also told me he wanted me to test my blood sugars more often, so now, as well as pricking my finger when I get up and before I go to bed, I have to test an hour after every meal. I also have to arrange to go for a retinopathy scan to check my eyes as pregnancy can increase the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes which occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the cells at the back of the eye, known as the retina and if it isn't treated it can lead to blindness. Which is another reason why it's important to keep not just my blood sugars but also my blood pressure low. 

Finally we went to see the diabetic obstetrician. He had a group of students with him and I was asked if I was ok for them to be there, which I was cos everyone has to start somewhere! Thankfully he had a strong accept so my son couldn't understand what he was saying, although I could. He told me all about the risks and concerns there was with regards to my pregnancy and why it was so very important I keep my blood sugar levels as low as possible. Some of them I already knew, but finding out that not only is there a risk of miscarriage, but there is also a risk of unexplained fetal death was a bit of a shock and a worry. There is also a risk that the baby doesn't develop properly which is why my 20wk scan will be more thorough and detailed than a non-diabetic 20wk scan. I also have to have several growth scans to check the baby's size as it will get some of my excess sugar which means that it could be a very big baby (which when you realise my eldest 3, with whom I didn't have diabetes, were 8lb 13oz at 40wk, 10lb 14oz at 41wks and 9lb at 39wks means it could be a very big baby indeed! My 4th was 8lb 15oz at 38wks but I had gestational diabetes with her). Another worry is he told me it is very important I keep my stress levels down and my blood pressure doesn't rise. High blood pressure is a serious risk in a diabetic pregnancy and could cause me to develop pre-eclampsia, a serious condition which left untreated can kill both me and the baby, add to that the fact my mum suffered with pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure in her pregnancies, means I have a higher risk so I need to try and keep it as low as I can (are you listening children since you're the biggest cause of my stress!!!). Because of that risk he prescribed me aspirin to thin my blood as this should help keep my blood pressure down and reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia. He also asked me to do a 24hr urine collection so that they can get a baseline of any protein in my urine as this would be one of the first indicators of problems with my diabetes and pregnancy. Thankfully, since I have to return the sample to hospital myself, they are willing to wait 2wks until my next diabetic clinic appointment as it's a 120 mile round journey to hospital. 

All in all it was a lot to take it, and made me even more certain that I will be sterilised after this pregnancy!

I have to go back to the diabetic clinic in 2kws to see the diabetic doctor, but I don't need to see the diabetic obstetrician for 8wks. I've also been given a date for my 20wk abnormality scan which is the day after my diabetic clinic appointment so I'm trying to change it to the same day. 

Some good news is that we were finally able to pick up the baby's heartbeat on my home fetal monitor yesterday, which pleased the kids and gave me some reassurance that everything is ok!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Drumond Park Box of Shocks Competition

Recently we reviewed Drumond Park's Box of Shocks and it was a BIG hit in my house, especially with my 10yr old son! I even caught him taking the sauce bottle trick to school the other day and he came home full of stories of how he'd pranked all his teachers!!!

Drumond Park have very kindly offered to let one of you, my lovely followers, win your very own Box of Shocks (rrp £19.99) which means your very own Ant or Dec (or if you're old like me and remember him... the late Jeremy Beadle and his Beadle's About) can start mastering the art of pranks

Entering is easy through Rafflecopter. All you need to do is comment on this blog post what was your best April Fool prank (if you don't do April Fools then feel free to say so). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition closes on the 22nd April and is open to UK residents only

Good luck everyone!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Drumond Park Box Of Shocks Review

In a little over 2 weeks it will be April Fools Day. A day where everyone tries to trick everyone.

So what better way to shock people that with Drumond Park's Box Of Shocks!

Where Drumond Park's best-selling Gross Magic continues to make audiences go "yeuchhhhhh!" the new Box of Shocks (age 8 to adult rrp £19.99) is guarenteed to make them scream and gasp in horror, especially on April Fool's Day! A must have for tricksters of all ages, this sparkling and witty compendium of thirteen truly shocking pranks and gags is sure to put its owner firmly at the top of the prankster league!

Every one of these gags is designed to take your victim entirely by surprise and extract a satisfying shriek that screams out "Gotcha!" loud and clear. But remember, practice makes perfect so don't forget to put the time in before you embark on your campaign of truly shocking, clever trickery. 

You have the grusome Finger Break- back trick, where you appear to savagely twist your finger backwards whilst flicking a hidden sound ratchet to make a horrendous "click". Then you try out your acting skills but curling up in pain, crying and cradling your injury!

Or what about the disgusting Pen Through the Hand Trick. A sure winner in the shocker stakes. Playing the ultimate magician you warn your victim with a "Don't try this at home!" before appearing to thrust the pen straight through your hand. 

And of course, the favourite in my house... The Spider Box Trick! Practice until you've got the trick sussed and then announce to your victim... I mean audience .. that you're going to turn a small coin into gold. Place the coin into the magic box, say your magic words and then tell your victim that you think they have just the right touch to finish turning the coin to gold and ask them to open the box quickly to check it's worked and then stand back and snigger as a spider appears to jump out of them!

Also included in the box are;

  • The Snake Tin
  • The Shock Glass
  • The Ketchup Bottle
  • Squirt Chewing Gum
  • Fabric Pen
  • Whispering Magician
  • Fake Egg
  • Small Hand
  • and World's Deadliest Creatures
The instructions were easy to understand and there's no mess or staining to upset anyone. In fact my son is busy learning all the tricks and can't wait for his birthday sleepover to shock and amaze. An ideal box set for any prankster!

We were sent Box of Shocks from Drumond Park for free on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought about it. I received no payment and the review is my own honest and unbiased opinion of it and I retain full editorial control and integrity. 

Schleich Horse Figurines Review

My daughter loves collecting Schleich figurines. She loves them because they are so lifelike and highly detailed. 

So you can imagine her delight when she was sent not one but SIX Schleich horses and these are no proudly displayed in her bedroom. She also loves visiting the Schleich website and finding out what breed her horses are and learning some fun facts about them. 

Each horse has a braided mane and tail and there are 6 new arrivals to Schleich's range of horses.

My daughter was delighted to receive

Lipizzaner Foal and Mare

Fun Facts - During the reign of the Habsburgs, both nobility and soldiery were interested in a strong but flexible horse breed they could use for their purposes. By the end of the 16th century, archduke Charles II founded a stud in Lipica where horses were bred to develop the breeds that are famous and popular today. Lipizzans demonstrate traditional dressage movements at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

Fell Pony Stallion

Fun Facts - The Fell Pony is a robust small horse breed from the Lake District area in the north of England also known as the fells. It has the typical characteristics of English ponies, such as torsoish bodies on relatively short legs. They are characterised by their long and abundant mane. Fell Ponies are mainly used as leisure ponies and are especially suitable for children to ride. They are pleasant and very well-tempered.

Haflinger Mare

Fun Facts - Haflingers were bred in Italy and Austria, yet their exact origin is unknown. This breed, living in the mountainous areas, was used for forestry and farming purposes as well as for transportation. Today, in dressage shows and other competitions they are popular riding horses for adults. They stand between 1.30 and 1.50 metres high and demonstrate a well-balanced, cool-headed power. Being the most attractive and adaptable European breed, Haflinger horses represent a successful combination of other breeds. 

Shire Mare

Fun Facts - With a maximum weight of more than 1,200 kilograms and 1.78 metres at the withers, the calm Shire horse is the largest breed in the world. The biggest Shire horse every measured was a gelding standing 2.19 metres high. These horses are considered gentle giants because despite their height, they have a very calm temper.

Hanoverian Mare

Fun Facts - In Germany, Hanoverians have been successfully bred and advanced according to the highest standard since 1735. The Hanoverian is a typical, modern-day sport horse in rectangular format (longer than high). The Hanoverian is characterised by an excellent motion, predestined for the great sport. It can be trained for both dressage and show jumping at the highest level and is considered teachable, attentive, balanced and spirited. 

I never realised there was so many horses in the world! 

These figurines are gorgeous and ideal for any little horse mad little girl (or even boy)

My 6yr old especially had lots of fun playing with them! (filmed by her 8yr old sister)

I was sent six Schleich horses for free on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought about them. I received no payment and the review is my own honest and unbiased opinion of them and I retain full editorial control and integrity. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

BassBuds Competition - Win tickets and BassBuds earphones

BassBuds are reputed to be some of the best earphones around and Saturday March the 23rd sees the official launch of 2013: BassBuds which are already taking the celebrity world by storm 

To celebrate this launch they are hosting a once in a lifetime concert at Wembley Arena. A showcase that will take you back.. back to the 90s for one night only! Relive the golden era of music, presenting you with 5 of the biggest, most influential R&B groups from that decade. This once in a lifetime event will take you back to the days when your iPod was a Walkman (oh how I remember those days and the horrible sound when your batteries were dying!) This unique event also features performances by influential 90s figures in comedy, broadcasting and radio from UK and US. But that's not all, they are also hosting an exclusive celebrity pre-party including a live fashion show!

Tickets are available from £35 but BassBuds are hosting a fantastic competition with some fantastic prizes including;

So to enter this amazing competition, head over to BassBuds and fill in your details. After all if you don't enter, you won't win! But be quick as the competition ends in just THREE days!!!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Win a Personalised i-pic Photo Frame

Recently I reviewed the i-pic photo frame and I was really impressed with how easy it was and how lovely the finished frame was. You can read my review here

But now I have some exciting news!!!!

How would you like to win your very own i-pic personalised photo frame. With a library full of backgrounds to use or the chance to upload and design your own background then there is no end to the combinations and designs you can make. 

I chose to use mine as an anniversary gift for my parents, but you can choose to use yours for whatever reason you want, will you keep if for yourself to remember a special event, or will you give it away as a special gift for someone special. The choice is yours!

To enter all you have to do is use rafflecopter below and follow as many or as few of the options as you want. Don't forget to comment as well below as to what kind of frame you would create

The competition ends on my son's birthday which is the 22nd March and is open to UK residents only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I-Pic Personalised Photo Frames

Recently I was lucky enough to be asked to review a personalised i-pic photo frame and I must say I am thrilled with the outcome. 

i-pic is a themed magnetic photo frame you personalise with your special "keeper" image, your personal message and your choice of graphics on both front and back. i-pic makes your photo extra special and makes a unique memento or gift for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and celebrations. 

Unlike traditional frames where you buy the frame and insert your photo behind glass, with i-pic you choose your graphics from their frame library, add your personalised message and they embed your chosen photograph safely inside the frame. The result is a robust and attractive photo and frame in one so there's no need for you to worry about your treasured photos being damaged. 

By adding your own message to the front and back you create a truly unique and personalised memento. You can even create your own frame design if there is something specific you want or can't find something amongst their library. 

As my parents are celebrating their 44th Wedding Anniversary this month, I decided I would create a unique anniversary gift for them. 

Designing your i-pic is so easy. After clicking on Pic and Personalise to browse their library of images, I selected the category "Anniversaries" and had a look for the design I liked best. I choose the Elegant Frame and uploaded a picture of my parents on their wedding day. 

Next step once I was happy with the picture's placing in the frame was to personalise it. This was easy to do with the text box which allowed me freedom to choose the words, font, size and colour for both the top and the bottom of the frame. 

Once I was happy with the wording and the font I was able to see what it would look like on the frame. 

Once I was happy with the front then it was time to turn my attention to the back, which again was just as easy as doing the front. 

Once you're happy just quick proceed and a little warning message appears

That's it! Your frame is finished! It really is that simple! All that's left is to place your order and if you want to you can make your frame metallic for an extra £5 per frame (mine is metallic). 

The finished frame is gorgeous. My pictures alone cannot show how gorgeous it is (and I apologise for the reflections). Everyone who has seen it has commented on how lovely it is and what a lovely keepsake it is and I can't wait to see my parents' faces when they see it. 

I love that because it is magnetic you can hang it on your fridge but it also comes with a little stand which means you can stand it on display as well. 

I had to contact customer services, and I must say they were very quick to respond, even on a Saturday and were very helpful and knowledgeable.

I will definitely use i-pic again for an extra special gift!

You can also follow i-pic on Facebook and Twitter

I was given a voucher to create my very own i-pic personalised frame for free on the understanding I would write on honest review of what I thought about the frame. I received no payment and the review is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the product and I retain full editorial control and integrity.