Pleasurewood Hills review

If you have grown up in East Anglia chances are you would have been to Pleasurewood Hills. I was told about the new sensory room and play area for babies so I was keen to take Jasmine to see if she would enjoy it, at 7 months old it may have all gone over her head.

First stop was a parrot show. I felt ‘mum fear’ wash over me, will it be too long? Will Jasmine kick off? She absolutely loved it, she sat on my lap and was engaged in the show throughout, no wiggling or getting bored. She LOVED it.

We were surprised how much she enjoyed it, such a highlight. As well as the parrots she also enjoyed the Mayan themed high dive stunt show, which is very impressive and full of energy.

She enjoyed the Safari ride in little cars around the track, the train around the park, the carousel and the rootin’ tootin’ target trail, in which you go around in the dark in a mine cart shooting targets, she was mesmerised by all the colours.

We then went to Woody’s cub house which is for little children. There’s soft plays and a sensory room, which is a dark padded room with bright lights, shapes and pattern which Jasmine really loved. I’d really recommend taking a baby to Pleasurewood Hills as there is a lot for them to do and enjoy.

For older children there’s a handful of thrill rides too. Wipeout, The Jolly Roger, Fireball and Timber Falls. So there really is plenty of fun to be had for everyone!

*Disclaimer – we received entry to Pleasurewood Hills in exchange for an honest review.

Jasmines first week with MyHummy. Do they really work?

It’s been no secret that Jasmine isn’t a great sleeper. At 7 months old she has never slept for any sort of duration, currently up every 20/30 minutes each night, struggling to go back to sleep once awake. My record of rocking her is 5 hours. Each time I’d put her down her eyes would ping open and she’d be awake. I’ve been dreading putting her in her own room but with her outgrowing her snuz pod I knew I had to.

MyHummy kindly sent me a ‘snoozy’ for Jasmine to try and one of their new gorgeous matching blankets to make this transition easier. There’s a lots of ‘white noise products on the market, I’ve tried most of them and seen little improvement so I was keen to try MyHummy.

MyHummy makes unique toys which emit white noise, this has been shown to improve babies’ sleep. In case of newborns the likelihood of a baby falling asleep is increased three fold in response to white noise, it’s also soothing for toddler and children of all ages. Not only are they cute, you can attach them to a cot, car seat (to avoid car meltdowns) or a buggy .

Jasmine loves sucking on his arms and rub his soft fabric on her face!  Snoozy comes in five lovely colours: pink, blue, green, grey and ecru. MyHummy Snoozy emits 5 types of white noise resembling: a hairdryer, vacuum cleaner, ocean waves, rainfall and amniotic fluid with heartbeat. with snoozy you can also connect to Blue tooth via the app so you can:.

  • Use your phone as a remote control for myHummy
  • Adjust the volume
  • Control the duration of sound
  • Switch the Sleep Sensor on and off
  • Use Alarm Mode to send notifications to a phone when baby starts to whimper or cry (within Bluetooth range

So I was excited to try it. On the first night I bathed Jasmine as normal and played our ‘bedtime songs’, I gave her a feed and she fell asleep, I then continued to rock her whist I used my phone to turn on the snoozy in her bedroom, I changed the sound and the volume ready to put her down – I love the Bluetooth part so nice to control what she’s hearing without disturbing her. When I put her in her cot, her eyes opened. Then, something strange happened she slowly shut them again – and went to sleep!

This has not happened before, once the eyes are open, I would normally feed her back to sleep and rock her again for another 30 minutes. Instead I went downstairs and something alien happened, for the first time in 7 months, she slept in her cot for over 2 hours I had an evening back. I could do whatever I wished, so what did I do? Watched her on the monitor of course!

When she woke I fed her and soothed her, instead of fighting it she went back in to her cot nicely and went back in to her bed. Although she woke through out the night I was getting far more substantial chunks of sleep. She felt relaxed, she even moved in her sleep getting in to much comfier positions.

Each night I got a little longer downstairs, and the chunks of sleep got longer. I was so impressed especially in this warm weather we have been having. She stopped the panic crying when she woke after a couple of nights, she was soothed by her snoozy and I was so grateful for that. I don’t ever want her to feel scared. Her afternoon naps have actually become too long if that’s possible! I have to turn off the myhummy when I want her to naturally wake, which she does.

Her blanket is equally gorgeous, matching her snoozy it’s soft and very thick. Almost like a baby duvet. I put her on top to lay on which she enjoys and look forward to snuggling under it when the weather gets colder.

Like I say, I’ve tried a lot of white noise products on the market and MyHummy is the best by far. Its a must have for parents and parents to be especially those who want their evenings back like I did and help transition them in to their new rooms.

I definitely recommend the MyHummy toys, If you’d like to have a look at the awesome products then click here. Whether you’re a new parent, a parent to be or looking for a gift for someone.

  • Disclaimer – I was sent MyHummy products in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

8 Annoying things people say to you when you have just had a baby (including total strangers)

Will you have anymore?

My stitches hadn’t even dissolved yet after my episiotomy! I’d rather cut my head off and feed it to a dragon than go through that again?! Why do people feel the need to ask this question? They just can’t help themselves. My baby is four days old, calm down. Let me enjoy her, without discussing more hypothetical off spring.

Sleep when she sleeps.

And should I cook when she cooks? shower when she showers and clean when she cleans? The thing is a baby may nap for 30 minutes or may nap for 3 minutes, nothing feels worse than just drifting off for a few seconds and being woken up by a baby crying.

Is she good?

Not really, she is failing all her exams and keeps being caught smoking behind the bike sheds!! SHES A BABY. They are all innocent and have their own individual personalities, that isn’t ‘naughtiness’ they are just learning. They aren’t trying to manipulate you or test you, they just love you and are exploring this scary new world.

Are you going back to work?

No. Are you going to fund my lifestyle? Oh you’re not? Then probably yeah.

When do you go back to work?

In a YEARS time let’s not talk about that, I have a new job – meet Jasmine, she’s my boss!

Are you feeding her?

I have to FEED her?????? No one told me this at the hospital! Oh you mean breastfeeding? Well say that then. And yes I am breastfeeding. I’d love to hear your views on feeding my baby – said no mum ever.

How often do you feed her?

When ever she wants, next question.

Is she in a routine?

Yes it’s called the Routine-la-Jasmine ….. Jasmine does what she wants when she wants I can’t change that, nor do I want to. My life is baby led now, at least for the moment and if she wants to be held a little longer then I always will, I’m raising a child not applying for the army.

‘I’m bored!’ 35 low budget/free activities to do with your little ones during the summer holidays.

It’s only just a few days into the school holidays and the ‘I’m bored’ moans have probably started! There are many expensive days out for children, but what about the inexpensive days of fun. Below is a list of things I have done below as a child or with the children I’ve taught over the last 14 years.

1. Crabbing – crab lines are so cheap now, pop a bit of bacon on the end and off you go! Lots of fun, could spend hours doing it. (Obviously put the crabs back after)

2. Beach – build sandcastles, peruse arcades, walk along the pier, play games.

3. Teddy bears picnic – pick a favourite teddy, a blanket and packed lunch and go to a park for a teddy bears picnic. (Or in the garden)

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4. Collecting shells or stones wash and paint them.

5. Save some old boxes, get cushions, throws, spare sheets, build a fort! Eat, drink, watch tv, nap in fort.

6. Turn living room in to cinema, have popcorn – they can even be crafty and make tickets.

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7. Go on a bear hunt! Read the story first to get excited. Then go to the woods, find things beginning with a letter.

8. Create a super hero, using crafts and binliners for capes!

9. Blackberry picking, bake them in muffins or a pie! In fact bake anything.

10. Talent show, make sure they practise their acts!

11. Pick and Clean up old toys and sell them at a carboot or garage sale outside.

12. Make a garden in an old shoe box, use soil, little tubs for ponds and little flowers all from the garden.

13. Go pond dipping

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14. Make a vegetable patch

15. Walk dogs offer to walk neighbours dogs.

16. Make a scrapbook stick in things.

17. Do a treasure hunt/scavenger hunt.

18. Water fight, water balloons, water pistols.

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19. Tidy rooms, cleanest room wins a prize!

20. Go to a museum before they shut last hour is normally a pound or two.

21. Tie dye some plain t shirts that are no longer worn.

22. Pitch a tent or make a tent in the garden and read, play, draw in it.

23. Have a bonfire, toast marshmallows and make toasties

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24. Make your own pizzas

25. Go on a pretend plane journey, they pick destination, use airplane sounds on you tube and serve snacks drinks for the flight ask them what they can see out the window, they can watch inflight entertainment and USE THEIR IMAGINATIONS.

26. Go golf ball hunting in the evening, golf courses that are near woods open to the public and parks when balls go astray, go and find them!

27. Keep a diary about their summer.

28. Go for a bike ride

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29. Make a radio show

30. Make puppets, can put on a show if they like!

31. Geo cashing – this you need the geo cashing app. There’s secret things hidden in trees, buses everywhere, only using the app will you find them. Then there’s an object in there, swap with an object you take with you, sign the list and off you go!

32. Hold a sports day

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33. Christmas in summer! Play Christmas songs, have a roast dinner, make Christmas cards and make each other presents!

34. Do a keep fit class in the mornings take turns at running it!

35. Make a magazine (can use cut outs from newspapers and magazines)

****In any messy situation play a game of who tidies up quickest wins a prize could be just a chocolate bar or an extra half hour to stay up before bed! ****

What do you do in the school holidays?

Things I’ve learnt since becoming a parent.

Becoming a parent is life changing, overwhelming and a madness nothing can prepare you for. I naively thought Jasmine would adapt to my schedule and my plans. She had very different ideas. So I decided to make a list of the 15 things I’ve learnt since becoming a parent.

1) Things in my house don’t co ordinate anymore. My beautiful Scandinavian sleek themed lounge now looks like a soft play centre at closing time. In garish colours, bulky plastics sometimes with a bit of biscuit smeared in, it looks any thing but sleek these days.

2) Some days Peppa Pig is my saviour, other days I want to put her, George and the iPad that plays Peppa Pig in the bin, and bury the bin.

3) You don’t die if you don’t sleep for 7 months. It’s true, I’m proof. You do however start drinking coffee, stop wearing make up and fantasise about various types of beds.

4) I’ve exchanged getting designer bags for getting bags under my eyes.

5) There’s a very smug feeling about being able to use parent and child bays, I’m always willing someone to challenge me! I walk away with a little swag like I’ve queue jumped.

6) Your partner and you know that the words ‘poo-nami’ means it’s likely a ‘two man job’

7) Sometimes babies cry. They aren’t hungry, wet, ill, hot, cold, they just need to release a bit of energy! WHITE NOISE IS LIFE!

8) You will spend hundreds of pounds on baby rubbish you won’t use and will have a hundred baby toys which are a great mixture of fun and educational but the baby would rather play with a clothes peg.

9) If you’re ill – it doesn’t matter. If you need sleep – it doesn’t matter. If you want to finish your dinner while it’s hot – it doesn’t matter. You are no longer a priority.

10) You will venture in to the city and pack like you’re spending a fortnight in Benidorm.

11) When a baby cries hysterically in the back car seat you would rip out your lift kidney if it would entertain her to stop the tears.

12) Mums and Dads are not the same. Sometimes a baby just wants their mum and sometimes Dad will just be funnier, and probably look more like the zchild.

13) I will never wee alone again.

14) I will never drink a full cup of tea again.

15) I can become the BEST distractor with ANYTHING when baby slightly bumps her head!! I can normally save it before the face fully crumbles!!

Let me know your thoughts, what have you learnt from being a parent? Or seeing other new parents?

‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ – William Shakespeare A midsummer nights dream

The day I decided to stop wishing life away…

When she was a tiny baby, I remember looking at Jasmine with love, my maternal instinct had kicked in and I could look at her all day.

I couldn’t help wishing we could go home from the hospital. ‘It will be better then’ I thought. I just needed to be in my own bed and around my own things. As I sat on my sofa with my beautiful baby I was terrified of dropping her, she was so delicate precious, I just wanted her to grow, be less delicate and fragile ‘it will be better then’ I remember saying.

Wishing the days away until her daddy came home to help. Then I wanted her to crawl to tire more and help her sleep, turn 6 months, start weaning which I also thought would help her sleep, here’s a bit of information – it doesn’t!

I heard myself the other day, ‘I can’t wait for her to talk, to walk, to start school’, and that’s when it hit me. With the best intentions, I was wishing her life away. How many parents have wished for bedtime? For the weekend? For a holiday? I’m guilty. When actually, she’s pretty perfect just as she is. Is she challenging sometimes? Yes. It’s time for me to embrace every moment and lose this ‘it will be better when…’ mentality because if I’m honest, she is wonderful just as she is, my gratitude is enormous.

Next thing I know she’s 15 and giving me attitude, instead of wishing the time away I made a conscious choice to enjoy all the moments. Yes, I look forward to things in our lives, the trips we will take together, having conversations with her and her school plays (in which she will be playing the lead role!) But now I actively put down my phone and enjoy the moments with her. Yes, some days she’s Ferrell and I just want to sell her on Gumtree, but it’s so important to enjoy these moments. It’s a cliche but they grow up fast. I’ve decided to spend less time wishing the days away and more time being grateful for the small moments, for the cuddles she will one day be too cool to want.

Yes, I look forward her paying rent, but for the time being I’m just going to hold my baby, after all it’s great for their brain development you know!

“The course of true love never did run smooth” – William Shakespeare A Midsummer nights dream.

Nuby product review! Jasmines weaning journey.

A few days after Jasmine turned six months, she was meeting all signs of readiness and trying to swipe any food that we had, so I decided it was time to introduce solids. Although up until a year, milk will still be her main source of nutrition she was keen to try solids. I decided to try baby led weaning as Jasmine wanted to feed herself, she would snatch the spoon off me if I dare tried to feed her! Nuby kindly sent some products to try with Jasmine whilst she enjoyed exploring new foods.

A 3D silicone bib

I really like this product, mainly because it’s so practical for me, it catches any food that doesn’t make it in to Jasmines mouth (and that’s more often than not). I can just tip the food out and give it a wipe and it’s done. The fastener at the back is simple to do, which is handy as since Jasmine was born I seem to do everything with one hand! It’s silicone so it sturdy but soft and I especially like the fancy jewellery pattern. They also sell adorable cowboy ones if pink and pearls isn’t your little ones style!

Grip ‘n’ sip cup

It’s been no secret that I’ve struggled getting jasmine to take a bottle as she’s been exclusively breastfed, so I thought I would try moving straight so a sippy cup. She instantly grabbed the handles and tipped it to her mouth, although it will take some practice, I was shocked she knew what to do. The spout is made of silicone which she likes. She enjoyed teaching herself how to use it and being in control. It has a no spill spout and despite it being thrown around in a changing bag it didn’t leak at all, it’s also dentist approved which is great to hear! I’d recommend this to anyone else who has been struggling to get their baby to take a bottle. Plus the designs are lovely.

Weaning spoons

These are brightly coloured with long ‘easy grip’ handles, which worked well as Jasmine was keen to take one off me and feed herself! They are also microwave and dishwasher safe. A great standard item to have in.

Catch All Bibs

I really like these, again they are easy to wipe and cover a bigger area than traditional little bibs do! They do what they say and catch all those bits which normally drop everywhere (much to the disappointment of the dogs). I’ve also taken to hosing down Jasmines chair after mealtimes (Yes, it really does get that messy). So I can give these a blast at the same time as they are waterproof. I LOVE the unicorn and hearts design, they also do a blue boats and fishes design.

Chewy Charms

This was my personal favourite item. We all know the struggle of babies teething, they can never seem to take the edge of the pain despite the different aids out there. This was different to any other teething ring I have tried with her, as it’s silicone and soft but hard enough to rub those gums it seemed to give her instant relief. It also didn’t hurt if she hit herself with it. I also like to pop it in the fridge to cool it down and give it to her to sooth those gums. I’d really recommend this for all those mums who are victims of those pesky teeth coming through!

Fancy winning your own NUBY bundle for your prince or princess? Head over to my Instagram page or Click here to enter

Disclaimer * I received these items in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The fear factor.

As a new mum my anxiety is insane, nothing could prepare me for the worry and guilt I would feel. Jasmine was happily sleeping in her co sleeper cot last night and I read on a local page on Facebook that there was an outbreak of false widow spiders near me. In the heat the windows have been open all day, Jasmine is in just a little vest sleeping so I found myself rubbing tea tree oil around her cot at midnight as apparently it keeps them away. I was Ferrell.

The internet is a great tool for useful information, it’s also a great tool for a load of rubbish. Sadly often scaremongering new mums sending them in to panic. I’ve seen lots of stories lately and trust me, everything makes me nervous.

Here’s my predicament for example. Jasmine loves to roll now, in her sleep. She wants to sleep on her side or front I’m slowly introducing her in to her big cot but she rolls frantically and hits her head hard on the side of the cot (every time). We are warned against cot bumpers as they could suffocate the baby if they roll in to them, so do I just accept the fact I’m going to have a bruised baby forever more? If she manages to roll on her front I panic so much. I’ve read several stories about babies suffocating when sleeping on their fronts lately, so short of watching her all night long, I’m at a bit of a loss with what to do. The guidelines are great but what if your baby doesn’t want to play along?

Jasmine is currently in a ‘sleepyhead’ in a cot next to me in bed. It’s a breathable pod which makes her feel snug, stops her rolling and helps her sleep for more than 10 minutes. She doesn’t want to share my bed, I’ve safely tried that. She’s going to be too big for her bedside cot in the next couple of months. Do I just reside myself to the fact I will just have to watch her all night?! There’s millions of babies in the world someone must have all the answers…?

If you do please send them my way as the fear has truly taken over my rational!

The course of true love never did run smooth – William Shakespeare- A midsummer nights dream. Act 1 Scene 1

You win some, you lose some…

I went to message a friend the other day with the hope of meeting for a catch up, only to find they had deleted me from all social media platforms. Maybe I had over done it on the Jasmine spam? I felt really sad, embarrassed and questioned myself. In society we champion people who get married, get a promotion, buy a house or any other large life event…and I’m proud I’ve managed to raise this tiny human, but I feel society let’s you celebrate to an extent and then ‘that’s enough’ you’re boring people.

I’ve spent years respecting people’s passions for travelling, drinking or even football (something I know little about) yet I constantly worry about ‘baby spam’. When I chat to my friends I ask them about all areas of their lives… not because I want to patronise them or feel like I should, but because I care. It matters to them, so it matters to me! Sadly I think losing friends is an inevitable part of having a baby, not all friends. I have grown to appreciate my friends so much, the friends who are struggling to conceive, who arrive at my baby shower with a smile and gifts in hand, that’s friendship. The friends who through their own life changing struggles are always there for me. But there are those who vanish, nine months of no drinking makes you seem ‘dull’ to certain people and then being so consumed with keeping a tiny person alive after the birth my mind is completely focused on her, I worry she’ll fall down a well or something if it’s not!

I’ll never be one of those mums who declare themselves a ‘yummy mummy’ or change their job title to ‘full time stay at home mummy’ that’s not me. It’s a huge life shift though, and despite my protests of ‘the baby won’t define me’ I’d be lying if I was to say I don’t have a baby led life, and she’s so small can you blame me? I’d challenge anyone to get 2 hours of broken sleep every night and not start obsessing about sleep, beds….and big pillows, I was in ‘Next’ yesterday and found myself staring at their bed displays, practically drooling, like I was gazing at gorgeous piece of chocolate cake!

I’m still very much here for my friends, but now it’s me and my mini me (well mini Dave really). Being a mum can be the best job in the world, you’re literally moulding a life. It can also be the loneliness job in the world, some days, not leaving the house, not having adult company and wondering what I’m missing out on. Friends are important, that’s for sure.

The balance is hard though, really hard. Some weeks I’m a hermit and it’s an effort just to get dressed, others I’m a social butterfly.

But for those friends who are my rocks, who have listened to me forget what I’m talking about mid sentence and smiled whilst I explain to them the benefits of baby led weaning or send them videos of Jasmine that make me smile, thank you. It’s also put me in touch with friends I’ve fallen out of touch with and make new friends. So I guess the moral of the blog post is – you win some, you loose some!

“The course of true love never did run smooth” – William Shakespeare – A midsummer nights dream : Act 1, Scene 1

National Picnic Week…..Jasmines first picnic and new favourite Organix snack.

Between the 15th – 24th June it was national picnic week. The weather was lovely so we decided to up go out and have a picnic at our local park. Jasmine had just started her baby led weaning journey so were sure to pack our new Organix snacks for her.

Organix live by the simple ethos ‘Great taste. No junk.’ I’m always a little cynical and scoured the ingredients to find they are true to their promise and there’s no hidden junk added at all. This is such a relief for me as a mum as it means that I can pop a pack in her changing bag and know she will enjoy them.

They are just the right size for her to hold and she enjoys them. It also helps her to enjoy the taste of vegetables in a way I know she loves and develop her hand to mouth coordination. This pack is Pea puffs, suitable from 6 months onwards.

Organix wants a world where healthy and nutritious food is a real choice for everyone. They are committed to setting standards in their food and never adding anything unnecessary. They have a wide range of products and snacks for your family as they grow including fruit pots, rice cakes, baby biscuits and lots of finger food, all in fun, child friendly packaging!

I can’t wait for Jasmine to explore more of the range once she hits 7 months. As parents we are consumed with constant guilt, I know I am always questioning my choices. It’s really nice that I can feel confident in my choice of giving her organix. Their website is a really useful hub of information about nutrition for your child, plus it has really healthy recipes, I can’t wait to follow and advice for your baby’s diet, which is very helpful especially as a first time mum.

Organix is the perfect brand for any picnic and I’m looking forward to many more! Enjoy the beautiful weather everyone. Anyone else had a picnic this year?