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HAVE WE FOUND THE SOLUTION TO A STRESSFUL BEDTIME? | ZAZU MUSIC BOX REVIEW

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

I'm not going to lie, bed time hasn't been the easiest recently. I don't know whether it's the on set on terrible twos or if Ella just feels a little left out since Charlie is still sitting downstairs with us when she goes to bed. We are trying to settle things down and get back on track as bed time has never been an issue for us with Ella, I accredit this to the fact we did controlled crying from around 6 months with her and it worked a treat.

In a bid to try and make her own bed a more appealing place we have tried using new blankets (Ella's special 'blank' as she calls it), regressing slightly by giving her a bedtime bottle and reading a multitude of stories before she falls asleep. Admittedly all of these attempts have failed and call me a bad parent but I've had to leave her crying herself to sleep because otherwise she'd be up all night. It's really awful. It makes me feel like a failure, Fraser & I sometimes come to disagree because we are frustrated and all the while we have got a little baby to watch too. It's just a terrible combination. I often but it down to being lucky in all other aspects of the day & this is just my deserved dose of bad behaviour because it's only fair.

Although this is only a recent issue, maybe the past 4 weeks, it hasn't really translated to overnight stays at my mums house. My mum has her own bed time routine with Ella where she puts her to bed and uses her Sonos Music System (basically speakers integrated into her ceiling and operated by a base unit) to play lullabies and this really works to send her off to sleep. 

We looked into doing the same in our house and it was going to cost a fortune. We often thought about leaving our phones/tablets in the room too but then notifications from social media or if I have to do a little bit of work meant that wasn't the best option. Plus it would also involve having to go back later to take it out and risk waking her up - not one I was willing to take! 

Then I seen the Zazu Music Box and thought we'd found a cheap solution! We opted to get Zoe the Penguin, a cute little speaker that connects via bluetooth to your smartphone and plays your music. It's even compatible with your spotify playlists so you can create your own or use the handy pre-made Zazu Night Time playlist. 

If you're out and about you can take Zoe the penguin on the go and it even has an attachment to clip on to your pushchair meaning you won't lose it. The speaker has some pre-programmed music too including white noise, heartbeat, birds tweeting and many more. Ella's favourite is the lullaby which we have been playing for her the past few nap times/bed times and although there may be a few tears and tantrums, they're short lived!

The speaker also has volume control which I love! Most of these products only have one setting whereas at least you can turn this up and down dependant on the setting you're looking to accommodate. It works wirelessly and the battery life lasts forever. We haven't had to charge it in the week that we have used it and Ella has also been playing with it outwith napping.

I'm glad to see a product that  has actually adapted with the changes in technology and can fit in with a modern lifestyle but more than that I love that it may have brought us a solution to a stressful bedtime!



*ZAZU MUSIC BOX GIFTED IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW



FREE FAMILY DAYS OUT WITH PARKLIVES BY COCA COLA*

Monday, 15 May 2017
Park lives glasgow
We all know how expensive it can be trying to entertain the family. I often find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to organising a day out for us and the kids. I want to save cash because lets face it, maternity leave can run away with you and at the same time I argue the point to myself that these days are limited and we have to make the most of them. Although I usually find a free day at the park with a picnic as fun as an expensive trip to the zoo & lunch, sometimes you need a bit of variety to break the routine a little which is exactly what Park Lives from Coca Cola has been designed to do.

Park Lives have teamed up with councils from across the country to offer fun, free activities for you & your family to enjoy outside in your local area. There's a such a wide variety to choose from to suit all ages including Baby Yoga, Karate, Running and even Tennis. But what really caught my eye was the 'Buggy up' fitness class which I decided to go to at the weekend.


Glasgow mum and toddlers


I've always longed for such a class in Glasgow, it's something that's popular in the states and more notably with celebrities who have just had their babies. It also eliminates the excuse of 'I can't go to the gym, who's looking after the baby?' because with them in tow you can go and meet other like minded mums who are no doubt at the same level of fitness given that they are also in the post partum days.

I used the handy Activity Finder on the Park Lives website to find the nearest class. Luckily for me there was space at the Saturday Morning class at Bellahouston Park. So with both kiddies and the pram at the ready, I headed off for the 10AM start.
glasgow mum blogger

I was greeted by one of the lovely 'Park Lives' team leaders who was easy to spot in the branded T-shirt. She was so lovely and told me that she was actually a midwife come fitness instructor meaning I was in safe hands with a professional. The heavens were open but that didn't stop me or the other 2 girls who were both pregnant with 9 weeks to go! How amazing?! 


buggy fitness class


We did a nice stretch to warm up and then went for a jog. Making the most of the park surroundings we also did some drills up and down stairs and press-ups against the walls. 


mum and baby fitness class


The benches made for the perfect spot to do tricep dips and in-between each station of exercise we made our way around the park. power walking and jogging.


Coca Cola park lives

uppababy vista

running class


In the park there is also a gym area where we rotated stations for 3 sets. It was tough going considering it was just using your own body weight!


how to lose baby weight glasgow

postpartum body


I didn't think I'd be able to pack in SO much to an hour! The weather, like it is most of the time in Scotland, was miserable but there was something really refreshing about getting soaked to the skin when we were working out. In saying that, it would have been amazing to have enjoyed the class in the sunshine we had last week too! 
mother and baby class glasgow


I'm planning to go to lots more of these free classes, the next on my list is Baby Yoga. If you're a mum, mum-to-be or know someone who is then be sure to let them know about Park Lives. It's open to everyone of all ages so have a look on the website to see if there's something you'd like to take part in. It's the perfect day filler for those dreaded long days during summer holiday and also a great chance for you to try something new. Remember, it's completely FREE so get yourself involved at www.parklives.com
      
buggy up bellahouston park


*this post is sponsored by CocaCola



WEEKEND VLOG | PICNICS IN THE SUNSHINE, BBQ & SHOPPING VLOG

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

BABY BOY HAUL | MAMAS&PAPAS, H&M, & NEXT

Sunday, 7 May 2017

SPRING/SUMMER PRIMARK HAUL & TRY ON

Monday, 1 May 2017

MAMAS & PAPAS STORE LAUNCH PARTY

Sunday, 30 April 2017
mamas and papas new store the fort glasgow

Becoming a parent is such an exciting, momentous time. There's so much to plan and look forward to. In as much as it is a joyous time it can also be so stressful too. Hormones are flooding in and it seems there are a million things on your never ending to-do list. Couple this with the saturated market  of baby products and you've got a mind field for new parents to rally through before the arrival of their little one. It's almost like an expectation that because you made a child you're supposed to know exactly what you need to buy and how you are supposed to use it. That couldn't be further from the truth. It was a revelation to see that the market leaders Mamas & Papas just 'get it' from the launch of their new store in the Glasgow Fort shopping centre.

I was invited along to the launch of what can only be described as an innovation in the consumer buying experience. The new store has mapped out each area of a new parent's 'to-do' list into easily digestible store segments removing that overwhelming feeling of being faced by a mass array of baby gadgets and not having a clue what you're looking for, something that is often experienced in that of their competitors.

At the impressive, modern entrance I was greeting by a friendly member of staff, a pertinent moment of the day I feel as I was welcomed inside and given the offer of help, should I need it at any point. In true Mamas and Papas style there was no expense spared and I was given a goodie bag, just like those who entered the store at the same time. It contained a couple of Bloom & Blossom samples (my fav!) as well as a vest, bib, information leaflets and a cute bunny rattle which Charlie just adores!
channel mum blogger glasgow

At the forefront of the store there's an extensive selection of the most beautiful and tasteful baby clothes split into gender sections as well as a central pod of neutrals. Mamas & Papas always get it right when it comes to their clothing. As most of you will well know if you follow my instagram (here) I dress both Ella and Charlie in a lot of their range. The colour hues are always perfect and the styles are so well crafted, I feel like I'm always getting quality value for money. One of my favourite things about shopping with Mamas & Papas is their transparency, I never feel like I'm being tricked into spending too much on something because even if you buy something, wear it and it goes into sale a week later you can just ask for the difference back in cash or on your card & they refund it without a quibble! What other stores do you know that would do that?! AMAZING. And as a result they get my custom time & time again.


Beyond the clothing section the store splits by a walkway into two parts. One side is Nursery/Home decor filled with bedding, nursery furniture, pillows, decorative pieces, wallpaper and everything else you would need to decorate a baby room. I loved their little cloud floating shelves for Charlie's nursery as I have a bit of a cloud theme so far so I'll be making a trip back to get those before I film the much requested Nursery Tour on my YouTube Channel. There's also really handy themes to stick to if you're unsure on how to style pieces together. You'll be able to find furniture, bedding & accessories such as lamp shades and curtains all in your chosen theme making it easy for even the most novice of interior designers! The natural colour schemes are cleverly selected to ensure you're going to obtain a timeless design in your baby's room, each of the themes also come with a co-ordinating sleep bag that you can buy too.


An 'easy to compare' electronics and gadgets section is in this area too, showcasing the newest products to the market making sure you're up to date with changes in technology. This is next to the bath time area where there are a few bath aids to chose from as well as some gentle products and essentials such as towels etc.


Moving on theres a feeding station showcasing the most beautiful highchair range available in store. This is a spacious are where parents to be can manoeuvre the products around and play around with how to assemble parts together. This ultimately helps new parents make an informed decision because I know myself that time & time again I have found I've bought items without a run through and it's not until I've got home and tried them out that I realise they're not fit for my needs.



One of the features of the store that I love are how many rest areas they have. This was ideal for me as I needed to feed Charlie often and need a seat initially to do so but I'm sure these were designed for the tired out husbands in mind when their pregnant better half can't make a decision on which colour scheme to go for!!


Located at the rear of the shop was what can only be described as a car show room of travel systems. Cleverly coordinated in muted tones sat an assembly of unified branded strollers all shapes, sizes and levels of affordability. I really love that Mamas and Papas have recognised the importance of presenting their strollers as a blank canvas and rather than having crazy tester colours in their pushchairs, most were grey, black, navy or sage, allowing the customer to see past the colour and look at the functionality of their potential pram. There was a spacious area of floor room where customers can take their prams for a test drive if you will so they can get the feeling for the product which I know is the case in most stores but where Mamas and Papas stands out is that they have a Mini Cooper car in the back of the store so you can have a demonstration of how to assemble your pushchair and how to put it back down again and into your car boot. This is such an important part of the shopping experience for new parents as I feel it eliminates the stress of just buying it and having to work it all out at home yourselves. Not only that but the car is also used as a demonstration for how to fit an isofix base and how to correctly strap in a carseat if you've opted out of an isofix. This is such a sensible move from the store as it helps minimise the chance of an accident.



And like all stores of this nature should do, there's also something to entertain the kids. Standing on a platform starts the screen moving and a whole load of woodland creatures appear. If they stand for long enough it reveals your childs height and weight making it functional for selecting a car seat or pushchair for the height and weight restrictions but also a fun distraction for the kids to enjoy while you're on your shopping journey.



If all of these combined factors don't make for a calm in-store experience then you can always opt for a personal shopper. There's a separate area for this too where you can have a consultation and discuss price budgets and preferences.

Next to a spacious cash desk is a host of fun 'playtime' mats and toys for babies of all stages, along with cards and other special gift choices. The gift wrapping service is also available giving that unique touch to a carefully chosen present.

Overall I came away feeling like I'd just been in a Flagship store for the brand. They really didn't leave any stone unturned. I was so utterly impressed that I returned for another visit the very next day with my mum to help her buy a baby gift and to buy all of the things for Ella & Charlie that I couldn't stop thinking about when I got home from the launch day. Expect a haul on my YouTube channel soon with all of the lovely bits I picked up, they had 25% off so how could I resist?!








WHAT ELLA EATS IN A DAY

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

FAMILY VLOG



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