Monthly Archives: May 2019

24th May 2019

We review: Happy Kids Dental, London

I’ve been looking for a good dentist for Stanley for a while – and due to negative past experiences with dentists in our area, I was looking for someone that both understood fully what he needed treatment wise and who would look after him in a very gentle, sensitive way. If he could actually look forward to going to the dentist, all my problems would be solved!

Step forward Happy Kids Dental Clinic in London. The company have two locations in the city – the original clinic in Marylebone and a newer location in Chelsea, just around the corner from Sloane Square station. The latter is more convenient for us, so I made an appointment for a Saturday morning.

When the day came, Stanley was quite anxious about visiting a dentist – and we got closer to the clinic, I could feel his hesitation. But as we approached and noticed the fun, brightly painted entrance, his eyes open wide and his pace quickened. And after we’d checked in and he’d reached the waiting room, he had a giant smile on his face!

 

And I didn’t blame him, as the waiting room really was impressive! A giant pirate ship to explore, complete with slide; video games to play on the wall, interactive toys to keep them busy while they wait; colourful murals covering the walls; a fridge with healthy drinks to help themselves to; and comfy sofas and a coffee machine for waiting parents. He was having so much fun that he was actually quite sad when it was his turn for the appointment!

However, that disappointment didn’t last long. After his dentist (Marjan Ghahreman) came to collect him, we were taken upstairs in the lift to the third floor of the building. Walking out of the lift, we found a second waiting room, where Stanley was allowed to browse Netflix and choose a TV programme to play above his head when he moved to the dental chair! He spent a while browsing, before settling on ‘Planet Earth’.

We were then taken along the corridor where we found three fun, animal-themed sinks on the wall, complete with giant tootHbrushes. After Stanley chose the hippo, our dentist turned over a large egg-timer (which would time out two minutes exactly) and asked him to start brushing the hippo’s teeth. This not only helped Stanley learn brushing techniques, but also makes children very aware of how long two minutes lasts when they are brushing their teeth. Stanley coincidentally has a flashing toothbrush at home that times his two minutes, so it wasn’t an unfamiliar concept – but I thought this was a very clever way to communicate it to kids.

Once the two minutes was up, we were taken into the dental room itself. It looked like most other dental rooms, apart from the fact there was a cuddly toy waiting on the chair (with his own brush if Stanley fancied doing a bit more brushing) and of course, that promised TV screen on the ceiling for Stanley to watch while the dentist checked his teeth (Planet Earth already playing!)

Stanley was so happy and relaxed at this point that he didn’t hesitate to get into the seat, nor to open his mouth when the dentist asked him to. Such a difference to previous dental appointments!

But the fun wasn’t over yet… When we were finished with the dentist, Stanley was handed a token – and when we got back down to the reception area downstairs, he was directed to a ‘Prize Tower’ where he could slot in his coin and get rewards with a plastic egg with small toy inside (his brother and sister were kindly given one each too). It was such a small little extra (and really just a Kinder-egg style plastic toy inside) but one that ensured he left the dentist nearly bursting with happiness, asking me if we could come back soon.

I was so seriously impressed with Happy Kids Dental. Of course, it’s a private clinic and it comes with a price tag, but if you have a child that is scared of the dentist or who has more complex dental needs that means they need to come back a lot, I really don’t think you can put a price on finding the right dentist to offer both exceptional treatment and a positive, relaxed experience for your child.

Stanley is asking me nearly every day when it’s time to go back – and I can hardly believe he’s talking about the dentist, given how scared he was before. Thank you Happy Kids Dental for reassuring both of us!

To find out more about Happy Kids Dental or to book an appointment, head here > https://happykidsdental.co.uk/



20th May 2019

A review of Little Scribblers Busy Bags (plus 15% off everything)!

If you follow me over on social media, you will have heard me talk about Little Scribblers last week; the genius zip-up bags that each contain an activity to keep little people busy at home, while travelling, dining out, or simply when you have a spare moment to fill. And today, I wanted to tell you a little more…

Little Scribblers busy bags are designed to tie in with the National Curriculum Early Years (with support from both teachers and occupational therapists) – and each zip-up pouch contains an activity to educate, develop, and entertain little ones.

A fair few of packs focus on writing – and for those aimed at the youngest children, it’s about developing a pincer grip by working the small muscles in their hands so they can hold a pencil. This is achieved with fun, achievable tasks, such as threading a length of cord through the card, using tweezers, or by sorting pom poms into different containers.

When they are ready to hold a pen, they can move onto the pre-writing packs such as this fun ‘Ready, Set, GO’ road set. Mabel loved this set particularly – and seriously impressed me when she picked up the pen and managed to draw lines down the roads at the age of 2.5 years!

And when they have a strong enough foundation with these sets, they can move onto actual letter writing – but still with lots of fun! The glossy surface of the cards and wipe-off pen included in the pack means that the cards can be used over and over again and shared between siblings – just use the eraser on the lid to rub the pen away when you’ve finished.

But it isn’t just about writing… There are packs that focus on space recognition, sequencing, early numeracy skills and mathematics too. Whether it’s through creating patterns by linking together a chain, or by counting the number of holes in a giant button, or by filling in shapes with colourful tangrams, every pack is both educational, but very fun.

We took a selection of the packs to London on the train with us last week – and there was something to entertain all my children from aged 2 to aged 7. If you are heading away this summer, they’d be fantastic for keeping them busy on flights, trains, and long car journeys.

The instructions are brilliant too, taking both the parent and child through the cards, its different ways to play, and its benefits. This isn’t something I’ve seen frequently before in activities for children and I really appreciated the option of reading through before or during the children playing.

They are wonderful quality and affordable too – as an example, the pre-writing set with roads that Mabel draws on in the pictures above is just £8.50, which will be just £7.22 with your 15% discount!

 

Little Scribblers really does come very highly recommended by me. We’ve taken them everywhere since we received them a few weeks ago and I can already see the benefits, especially in the way Mabel is using and controlling a pen. I love the company, the ethos, and the price – and I’m very happy to pass on an exclusive 15% discount below.

To shop, head over to https://www.littlescribblers.world/shop/ and use the code Mabel15 for 15% off!

 

 

 



3rd May 2019

I review: BookBildr

Have you ever wished you could make your own book, adding your own text and illustrations? Whether it’s a story book for your children, a picture book for your parents, or a book for use in your business, there is a new website that allows us to do just that.

BookBildr is a new web service that makes it very easy for anyone to create picture books using drag and drop technology online. You can either order printed copies or download the book in PDF – and if you order the printed books, they will be bookshop quality.

With BookBildr you can choose whether to make hardback or softcover illustrated books, with hundreds of ready-made illustrations for your book (or simply upload your own). You can choose from the full set of Google fonts for your text, customise the background with colour or stretch out an illustration to use it as a background, and you can save the book design for later use if you are pushed for time.

After hearing about BookBildr, I went online to have a little play – and it is so easy to drag pictures, place text and choose colours. It’s really self-explanatory too, with clearly labelled options on the sidebar, so you can teach yourself how to use it in a matter of seconds.

I love the idea of writing down stories that grandparents always tell, as a gift for them. Or collating recipes that your mother cooks and you want to preserve. Or writing the story of a special holiday, the first few months of a baby’s life, or the love story of a couple celebrating a milestone anniversary. There are so many options – and knowing that will receive a book that is bookstore quality at the end is a real incentive to start building.

You can print any number of books from 1 upwards – and you only pay when you decide to print or download your copy. So why not have a go and see where it takes you?

Head over to http://www.bookbildr.com/ to give it a go!

 

 

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2nd May 2019

5 Reasons Why I love Vertbaudet’s New Summer Collection

Have you discovered the brand Vertbaudet yet? The brand has been a favourite in France for over 40 years, but launched over here in the UK in 1997 – and now it’s available online, it’s easy to browse the online catalogue and pick out a few favourites for your little ones.

I logged on a few weeks ago and chose Mabel a few items for her wardrobe and bedroom – and when it arrived, I was so impressed I thought I’d share with you all. So without further ado, here’s why I love Vertbaudet’s New Summer Collection…

  1. The clothes are very stylish

I’m quite fussy when it comes to Mabel’s wardrobe – but there were so many pieces in the Vertbaudet summer collection that I wanted. From nautical stripes, to rainbow print, to zingy brights for summer days, to stylish denim (and lots more!)

 

 

 

 

This probably isn’t hugely surprising when it comes to French fashion, as it’s definitely the kind of thing I like to dress her in – and if you have the same taste in quite neutral pieces with splashes of bright colours, you’ll love the collection too.

 

  1. Affordability

Children grow so quickly and I don’t want to spend a lot on their clothes, only for them to be too short or too small when they next wear them. This is why I appreciate the price tags on Vertbaudet’s clothing, such as £7.50 for this dress and £6.50 for these T-Shirts.

 

  1. Beautiful furniture

But it isn’t just clothes for sale at Vertbaudet. The furniture for sale on the website is just as stylish and affordbale. Mabel has a sweet little table, complete with matching chairs – and I love the fact it’s very practical, but also neutral and stylish too.

I’d buy this furniture for their bedrooms and playrooms, but also for areas I’d usually want to keep a bit more adult in design, such as the living room.

  1. High Quality

I’ve been really impressed with the quality of both clothes and furniture. Everything wears well, is soft against skin, and washes well too. Sometimes more affordable options for children come with a drop in quality, but this definitely isn’t the case with Vertbaudet. The summer pyjamas in the picture below are so soft; perfect for warm summer evenings!

 

  1. Clever designs

The baby, children and maternity ranges offer clever details and practical solutions such as, clothing to help your little one’s dress themselves, 3-in-1 parka’s, reversible dresses, perfect fit trousers (with different hip sizes), and nursing tops (for discreet feeding).

I was so impressed when Mabel’s mac arrived and it had a zip-in padded lining, which will take it from being a warm coat in winter, to a thin waterproof for use in summer when the heavens open.

All in all, I’m very impressed with everything at Vertbaudet – and I’d definitely recommend a quick browse.

Link > www.vertbaudet.co.uk/  

 

Items were gifted for the purpose of this review



5 Ways to Get Back into Exercise as a Mum

Prior to having kids, you may have been a total gym-bunny, or perhaps a swimming fanatic. Whatever your chosen form of exercise was, it’s likely that you stayed active in some way.

However, there’s something about having children that makes exercise an unappealing prospect. The big question is, how can you get back into exercising again?

Why it matters

Most people know the physical benefits that exercise offers. But often, the mental advantages are overlooked. Keeping fit can boost your mood, and can also help to tackle anxiety and depression (something us mums are prone to). It can also be a social activity, and a chance to connect with others. In short, it might be just the pick-me up you need right now.

Getting back into it

  1. Get your partner’s support. Sometimes, relationships get tricky when you’ve had kids. Hopefully your partner will be in full support of you taking greater care of your physical and mental wellbeing. Work out a time you can head to the fitness class, swimming pool or gym, that works with his diary too. Better still, encourage him to get active again – then you can engage in a bit of friendly competition!

 

  1. Look what’s on in your area. There are plenty of exercise groups across the country; from local basketball teams (desperately seeking a new member) to aerobics classes run by fellow mums. Browse online and see if any events take your fancy. For example, the Vitality Parkruns take place across the country, and they’re a good way to get back into running.

 

  1. Motivate yourself with a treat. Set yourself an achievable milestone. This might be walking for 10 kilometres with the dog, or swimming forty laps in the pool. Once you’ve achieved it, award yourself a point. Three points, and you’re officially allowed to treat yourself to something, like a new top from H&M or a perfume like Neroli Portofino. It’s a powerful motivational tool!

 

  1. Get the kids involved. Sometimes, you’ll want to exercise alone. In fact, this is an important thing – it provides you with a bit of a break from being a mummy, and the chance to ‘reconnect’ with yourself. However, on other occasions, you might like to get the kids on board. For example, kicking a football around in your local park is a great way to get moving, and your children will love that you’re spending time playing with them.

 

  1. Stay committed (and be reliable!). When it comes to fitness, reliability and commitment are vital. Adopt as many tactics as possible to ensure that you don’t give up your new exercise regime. The following may help:

 

  1. Remember why you’re doing it in the first place. What’s your motivation? It helps to keep this in mind at all times.
  2. Write it down. Set yourself a rough ‘schedule’ for exercising. It doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to it rigorously; it’s just there as a useful guideline.
  3. Don’t be too brutal on yourself. If it’s too hard / not very fun, you won’t stick to it. Identify activities that you enjoy doing, then go for it.

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