£30 Shoe Zone challenge.

I’ll stick my hand up and admit I haven’t shopped in Shoe Zone for a long time. I vaguely remember buying a pair of black shoes for my first job (15 years old) and them lasting all of a week before falling apart. I decided then to spend more money on a pair elsewhere, which lasted a lot longer and never went back.

But recently I was contacted asking if I would be willing to take part in a £30 challenge, to see how much (or little) I could get with £30 and to write about my experience. We decided I would shop for Tia who wears a toddler size 6 shoe, and I choose to shop in store rather than online so I could try them on first.
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I got off to a bad start by choosing to visit the Lakeside Thurrock branch first, instead of my own local Basildon branch. I walked around and after ten minutes found one pair of shoes in Tia’s size. Most of the styles started from an 8 and on asking the floor staff, I was advised to shop online as there “might” be a better range. Needless to say we left very annoyed, Tia as she had expected to leave with several pairs of new shoes, and me because Tia was kicking off.

A week later I tried again at our local branch and had a much better experience. I was greeted straight away by the floor staff (even though there were several other customers already in the store) also the store had a much better layout for me to navigate with my pushchair. We walked to the back where the children’s shoes are and started looking. Tia instantly spotted a pair of pink boots that she wanted, these were in the sale for £12.99 and the smallest pair they had was a seven. So we choose them anyway to be put away, we both liked them and they were a total bargain.
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Next up I came across a sweet pair of sandals which will be nice for the summer. These were £7.99 and Tia agreed they were pretty so after finding a six they were added to our pile.
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Tia spotted a pink canvas pair of shoes, these Im not massively keen on but after looking around, and finding nothing else in her size I relented and picked them up. They’ll be great for the garden and on the beach and a snip at £4.99.
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As I said above they had nothing else in her size, the smallest welly boots I could find was a nine. But on the way to the checkouts we spotted the slippers, we managed to grab a pair in the right size for £4.99 and it was this department where we had the biggest choice of styles. She had four styles she could choose from that had her size, she went with the pink owls which brought our total spend up to £30.96.
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So I paid the extra 96p and left with a pair of boots, a pair of slippers and two pairs of shoes. This amazes me as I normally spend more than that on one pair of shoes for Tia. I’m really funny about the type of shoes I buy for her tiny delicate toddler feet. They’re still growing after all, so I tend to go for barefoot styles.

So how did I find the experience? Well if I didn’t have a challenge to do, I would have gone to a different shop after my experience in the lakeside branch. But the Basildon branch staff were so lovely and helpful they more than made up for it. I also hate the fact that all four pairs of shoes that we left with are pink. Now I’m not anti-pink in anyway shape or form. Tia has a lot of pink, however I like there to be a choice. Had she has had bigger feet she could have left with white, or black shoes. But we were really restricted, there wasn’t much in her size anyway and then we had the colour choice taken out of our hands.

Tia has been walking since she was nine months old and has a small size 5.5 for so we’ve been buying a 6. This isn’t just shoe-zone though, clarks are just as bad with the assumption that we only want pink shoes.

The slippers have been worn daily since we bought them a few weeks ago and still look as good as new. The boots are too big so I can’t comment but the two pairs of shoes are so far, so good. We need to wait for much nicer weather to get more wear before I will comment on how well they wear.
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I was provided with a £30 voucher in exchange for this post, all words and photos are my own and I’ve not been in anyway influenced.

Cloth nappy love week six.

Hello guys, welcome to week six of mine and my lovely friend Chelle’s weekly linky celebrating our love for cloth nappies.

I’ve really been enjoying reading all your posts that you’ve linked up, it’s nice to see so much love for fluffy bums.
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So this week I’m showing off one of my favourites. It’s called Irwin and is a Bum Genius pocket nappy. This is currently Tia’s nappy but it will be passed down to baby boy when he arrives. I adore teaming this nappy with really girlie clothes, I think it makes the print stand out more. This nappy when released cost around £17.99 but to get your hands on one now you’re looking at anything from £30 to £40 and that’s used. It’s a highly sort after print as a lot of the bum genius prints are, they make them limited addition and a few of us (not me) like to have all the prints.

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Link up below and i’ll see you next week!

Rules of the linky

Linky will be live for seven days every Wednesday from 8am, if you would like a tag to remind you let one of us know!

5 links per blogger (you can catch up by adding in reviews and old posts this week)

Posts must be a fashion based cloth nappy post (photo is fine) or review.

Your link up can feature a change bag of your choice or change bag review if they show or feature cloth nappies.

All posts will be RT by Chelle and Kelly if using the #clothnappylove hashtag.

Commenting on other posts isn’t essential but it is a nice thing to do :-)

And that’s it, get linking below.

28 week pregnancy update.

This week baby is 14.8″ big, the size of a Chinese cabbage (whatever one of those is haha) and baby weighs around 2.25lb.

Wooo Im now officially in my third trimester, this is the last leg and I’ve started panic nesting (as you do)

Symptoms
I’ve had a very enjoyable week symptom wise, it’s my first full week of not being poorly and I’ve made the most of it. We’ve had an action packed week which has left me feeling rather tired, I keep forgetting I’m nearly 30 weeks pregnant! I have found Im needing to visit the little girls room more often now and I’m starting to find it really hard to get comfortable in bed.

Body
This week my tummy is measuring at 46″ which is an ” smaller than last week lol. That I wasn’t expecting, I wonder if it’s because baby is in a different position? Either way it shows I’ve not grown much this week if at all. I have been starting to feel quite uncomfortable though when I sit and sleeping is getting hard.

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Tia
Nothing to really report this week, I’ve started to worry about how “helpful” she’s going to be once Michael arrives though, leaving baby in the same room as her alone is not something I’ll be able to do that’s for sure! Going to the toilet could be interesting lol. I’m thinking about getting a poddlepod and putting it in the bath.
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Movements
Lots this week, getting stronger all the time. I can really feel now when he turns around too, such a lovely if slightly strange feeling.
Michael loves watching him in bed now, he loves a party when I relax down for the night haha, little monkey.

Preparations
I moved Tia’s room around this week to make room for Michael’s cot, I also sorted out the drawers in my room for Michaels clothes. So all his newborn and 0-3 month baby grows, vests, bibs, muslins and clothes have all been put away now, ready to be washed nearer the time.
I’ve also ordered his baby bath and a nodpod from Beebies baby store, which is an amazing soft fleece blanket which you use in the car seat, pram or baby carrier.

A royal Celebration competition with Britax.

Hello ladies and gents,
What an absolute treat I have for you today on the blog. I’ve got an extra special competition for you to win the very same car seat that young Prince George left the hospital in, in celebration of the fact the second royal baby is nearly upon us!

With the birth of the next Royal Prince or Princess just weeks away, I’ve teamed up with leading child mobility brand, Britax, to offer one lucky reader the chance to win the award-winning BABY-SAFE PLUS SHR II from their BABY-SAFE infant carrier range.

The iconic Britax infant carrier was one of the first things people saw as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left the hospital with little Prince George almost two years ago and to celebrate the impending arrival of his little brother or sister, we’re offering you the chance to get the same Royal treatment for your little one.
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The BABY SAFE PLUS SHR II carrier has a host of features, offering complete protection for your little one from day one and has been voted as a Best Buy product by consumer testing champions, Which?. Designed for babies aged from birth to 13kgs (approximately 12-15 months), the carrier can be installed using either the Britax BABY-SAFE ISOFIX or BELTED BASE or alternatively by using the car seat belt. The infant carrier also features Click & Go® adapters, meaning it can easily be transferred from the car onto a pushchair chassis, turning it into a handy travel system for busy parents on the move.
Click here to see the baby safe plus shr II

So if you’re looking for a product that has the Royal seal of approval, enter our competition now! Good luck!
Entering is simple, just fill in the rafflecopter form below as many or as few times as you wish. Don’t forget to share with all your expectant friends and family for a prize fit for a prince or a princess.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winning the lottery.

What would you buy if you won the lottery? The very first thing?
This is a conversation we’ve had many times, for me it would be a holiday somewhere hot, then a house. Being on the property ladder is something I want so much but we know we’ll never afford it. Neither of us saved when we were younger (something I vow to teach my children) as trying to save whilst paying out extortionate private rental fees and all the other bills that come along with it, is pretty much impossible on one wage.

After my amazing holiday and house I would help my family, pay off Michaels parents mortgage and buy my parents a house. Then I think I would get myself some new wheels, the newest car I’ve ever owned is my newest car which is 11 years old. We’ve never got a car on finance, choosing instead to get cars we can afford outright to keep our outgoings down.

Of course I would give some money to a charity, bliss and the lullaby trust are two of the many charities I would pick.

But all of this dreaming is mad now, we used to play the national lottery twice a week. One set of numbers on both Saturday and Wednesday. But then they doubled the price of the tickets and we’ve never played since!
What’s the saying? You’ve got to be in it to win it.

I’ve had a look at other options, there’s a few online sites now that offer lottery tickets, all cheaper and all with different prize amounts to win. One such site called lotto send* looks good. With eight different games to choose from, there is a lotto for everyone.
My nana has played the lottery every single week since it first started. I dread to think how much money she has payed into it, I’m pretty sure if she got a big win, it would just be the equivalent of a refund haha!

Do you play the lottery? Which one and what’s the first thing you would buy if you won?

Cloth nappy love week five.

*waves* hey guys,
We had a few new link ups last week, thank you so much! I’ve loved reading all your posts and helping to spread the fluffy love.

This week Im showing off one of baby boys new nappies, it’s a Totsbots v4 and its teeny tiny! Its the “hey diddle diddle” print so I’ve photographed it next to Tia’s Humpty dumpy print. I am so excited about cloth bumming much earlier this time around, it won’t be full time straight away as I’ll be concentrating on establishing feeding and trying to sleep first haha!
But I do plan on using them from day one, even if it’s just one nappy a day I’ll be saving money and just think how cute he’ll look! I’m too excited, I’ve got a post in the pipeline showing you all the different types of nappies you can get for newborns.

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Link up below and i’ll see you next week!

Rules of the linky

Linky will be live for seven days every Wednesday from 8am, if you would like a tag to remind you let one of us know!

5 links per blogger (you can catch up by adding in reviews and old posts this week)

Posts must be a fashion based cloth nappy post (photo is fine) or review.

Your link up can feature a change bag of your choice or change bag review if they show or feature cloth nappies.

All posts will be RT by Chelle and Kelly if using the #clothnappylove hashtag.

Commenting on other posts isn’t essential but it is a nice thing to do :-)

And that’s it, get linking below.

27 week pregnancy update.

This week baby is 14.5″ and the size of a cauliflower, he also weighs around 2lb now and starting to gain quickly.
I’ve finally gotten over this horrendous chest infection that I’ve been battling the last three weeks, and am feeling really well again which is a breath of fresh air for me and my poor husband!!

Symptoms
Nothing to report this week, no migraines, no back pain and no heartburn! I’m sure I’ll suffer with all of those next week now haha! However I now cannot last the night without having to use the toilet, my bladder feels so full it wakes me up!

Body
I measured myself this week and my tummy is 47″ now, I do actually feel bigger this week in comparison to last week. It will be interesting to compare this measurement each week in my updates.
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Tia
Tia has been wonderful this week, she’s hugged and kissed my tummy and told her brother “you’re my favourite best friend” which just melted me! She’s also informed me that she will be teaching him how to swim and hula hoop.
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Movements
Eeeeeeek! I, so excited to be able to say that this week, finally Michael kicked for his daddy. It was a wonderful moment in bed on Saturday evening, he was having a party! Michael could see my belly moving then attempted to feel, and instead of going all shy like he normally does, he happily kicked his daddy. Make me smile so much (and my husband)
He also managed to kick Tia in the head the following morning when she said her daily good morning to him which was really funny.
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Preparations
This week we nipped into Mothercare with my mother in law as I needed to get a maternity tankini, and we left with a gorgeous little flat cap for little man. It’s so adorable honestly, and I’ve also started making lists and have bought a bottle of infacol (we used tons of this with Tia) and a packet of cotton wool. I also picked up a few more cloth nappies, he’s getting quite a collection now.

Natural skincare for baby and me.

Skincare and beauty are things I’ve always been into, I love trying out new products (especially wonder ones) and Im a sucker for pretty packaging.
Products are not something I’ve ever really used on Tia though, it wasn’t until she was here that I realised quite how much rubbish were in so called “gentle brands” I’ll name no names in this post, but one of the big ones has a shocking amount.

I’ve always tried to be as natural as possible with Tia, little ones have such delicate skin and they never really get dirty when so small, she definitely doesn’t need a harsh cleaner. Since becoming a mummy I’ve noticed more what I’ve been using on my own skin too. I’ve always loved the natural shop Lush, but I find I use more products from there now including their shampoo and conditioner bars.
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I was recently asked if I wanted to try out a new brand of moisturisers from a company called The pink cow brand. I hadn’t ever heard of this brand and I watched their brand video on YouTube with great interest. watch here.

Their products claim to be 100% natural, a superfood for your skin. I was intrigued and agreed right away. I received Face a nourishing face cream, and repair a concentrated repair cream.
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Both creams came in very simple white boxes with silver and hot pink detailing, both state on the back what they are and how to use them. When they arrived I was really suffering with a chest infection and had a raging cold. This had left my nose really sore so I thought I would give the repair cream a try first. The tube has a pump on it and the cream had a real milky colour to it, and wasn’t thick at all. Almost like a creamy serum, it didn’t sting my nose on application (unlike the sudocreme I had tried the night previously)
In the morning my nose was still really dry, but it was a little less red. Was it the cream or coincidence? Who knows!
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The Face cream is amazing, it’s the only word good enough for this product. It also has a pump application and it a thick pure white cream. I’ve been applying it every morning and my face is really glowing. I find my skin stays moisturised all day, I’ve had no flare ups and a few friends have asked me if I’m doing anything differently or is it the pregnancy. Again it “might” not be the cream, but as I’ve been so poorly recently I don’t think it’s a pregnancy glow either!
I 100% would recommend the Face cream, I’m still not sold on the repair cream but I’ll keep using it if I get any flare ups as its meant to be really good for those.
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Tia has also been reviewing some natural goodies from Kokoso a 100% natural coconut oil. Advertised as a moisturising miracle for your little ones skin.
It comes in a large 181g tub, sealed under a foil the coconut oil is a solid oil. It melts with the warmth of your hands. We’ve been using it at every bum change (coconut oil is one of the few creams safe to use with cloth nappies) as a body moisturiser after her bath and I’ve also been dabbing it under her nose as she’s also been fighting a cold.
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We both love this product, Tia tells me it smells nice and I love that it’s 100% natural. A little bit also goes such a long way, this tub will last us ages, I’m hoping we manage to use it all before it expires! Kokoso coconut oil is a high quality oil that hasn’t been refined, bleached or deodorised, and the ingredient list has one thing listed. That’s it, perfect for me and my family.

The oil will be perfect for when baby Michael comes along in June, it’s lovely for dry newborn skin and for the little red creases they get. I’ll also use it in his bath instead of bubble bath and of course on his bum.
This again I would 100% recommend to all parents and even non parents. Coconut oil has so many uses including cooking, priced at £7.99 it’s a very good price, remember a little bit hoes a long way and it’s a natural product that can be enjoyed by all the family.

Family camping fun.

So in a few weeks we’ll be all packed up in our car, heading for the countryside ready to camp in a field for a few nights.
We as a family love camping, which makes me laugh even saying that! Before I met my now husband, I had never set foot in a tent nor a caravan and honesty just couldn’t understand the appeal. I mean, I generally hate outdoors, I detest any kind of bug and I hate the cold haha!

So when my husband first suggested we go to Newquay for a week camping I thought he was mad! But along I went, and I actually hated it. The tent was a small dome tent which fitted our bed and nothing else. We had to keep everything in the car, but the holiday itself was so much fun. On our return home I explained that I would have had a much better experience had the tent been a bit bigger.

Behind my back, he booked us in to a local site and bought a new tent and equipment and off we went a few weeks later and I loved it! Amazing what a difference just being able to stand up inside the tent made. We first took Tia camping when she was little, nine months old to be exact. She had just learnt to walk and it was adorable watching her pottering about on the uneven ground.

We spend our evening in the club playing bingo and watching acts dance or sing. I love a bit of bingo over the club, I’m not sure it’s the thrill of the big dabber pens. More the thrill of winning a few quid, I’ve played online a few times using sites such as Best offers bingo* of course in the club Tia can play dabbing too, which is always interesting! We’ll be taking her her own pens and paper away this time, she hates feeling like she’s missing out.

The next time we took Tia camping was last summer for a few days, it wasn’t as enjoyable as its when we had all the wasps, they were everywhere! Tia doesn’t understand that she can’t spill juice or run about with sweet foods. I spent the whole time really on edge and was so happy to go home. Holidays are meant to be relaxing after all.

I didn’t dream I would be booking a camping trip for a few weeks time, I’ll be 30 weeks pregnant. But Tia and my husband will both love it, it will be our last little trip as just the three of us and Im actually really looking forward to it. It’s a nice little camp with a swimming pool, park and fishing lake. Here’s hoping we all find it relaxing this time.

Do you and your family enjoy camping?

Forever flowers from Trollbeads.

I’m a sucker for pretty flowers, I always have been.  I’m also a sucker for beautiful jewellery. So combine the two together and you get a very happy Kelly, my latest bead from Trollbeads is an exquisite bouquet of flowers. Crafted in silver and detailed from every angle, I actually squealed when I took it out of its little black velvet bag.

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Trollbeads have been around since 1976 (yup, longer than Pandora) and the quality in the materials used and the craftsmanship is not like any I’ve seen before. Even the clasp on my bracelet is detailed and a work of art. The bracelet is also made in a way which means it’s won’t stretch after a few months of wear, something I found stupidly annoying from another branded charm company that I used to wear.

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Everything about this bead makes me smile, I love having flowers on my wrist, I wonder if Trollbeads would come up with a scented silver!? That’s the only thing that could make it better, for now I’ll just pop some purfume on my wrists.

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So if you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone special, or as a treat to yourself. Pop over to Trollbeads and take a look at their amazing range. Their rings are to die for, I have several on my impossibly long wish list haha!
My Mums bouquet bead* is avaliable here priced at a bargain £35, (I’ve spent more than that on real flowers that had a week lifespan)

Do you have any Trollbeads? What’s your favourite one?