Reviews

HALLMARK RECORDABLE ARTWORK

As anyone who reads my twinkl blog will know, I'm making it my task this summer to really get my boys doing lots of creative outdoorsy arty sort of things, especially as my oldest son is about to start school and he could do with strengthening his wrists and hands a little to improve his fine motor skills.

With this in mind, it was a happy coincidence that Hallmark sent me their Recordable Artwork kit to review at home, since it is very arty indeed!

Hallmark Recordable Artwork
The idea is that your child uses the paint to create a masterpiece on the canvas, then together you record a story describing the painting and their reasoning and thinking behind it. When son 2 went for a nap (otherwise we would have two children fighting over it!) today, we set to work, only it wasn't work, it was lovely.

First of all, we did a little practice on another piece of paper, as I explained to my son that once the painting was done, it couldn't be undone, as this was canvas and very special. After a few practices, we decided on a Goldilocks and The Three Bears picture as he liked the idea of telling a proper story into the microphone. I sketched out a bear and then my son did the rest. To be honest he was more keen on just covering the canvas in paint rather than creating anything recognisable, still I didn't like to stifle his creativity and instruct him too much, so I just let him get on with it.
First attempt by my own little Picasso!
After several spilled water pots and a few arguments about what colours should be in a rainbow, we were ready to record the story to go along with the picture. It's really easy to do, you just hold down the record button and talk away. The only slight difficulty is getting the back off the battery area to set the button to "unlock" so you can record. But I bet most people wouldn't actually have to spend over an hour finding the right size screwdriver, they would have a good idea where they are kept!

Here is a short video so you can get an idea of the sound quality when it's played back. I think it's pretty good actually. During the recording my son chose that exact moment to spill the pot of paint...

video

The Recordable Artwork now has pride of place on our wall, I really like the idea of it keeping a record of my son's painting, his voice and his thoughts, something we can keep forever.

Priced at £12.99 Recordable Artwork is available from June 2012 in Hallmark stores and at www.Hallmark.co.uk.

COOL FANS

Son 1 is a very picky eater. It wasn't always that way, he used to be a great eater when he was younger, these pictures are testament to that fact...

Sumo Baby
However now he is 4 it's like someone has taken his 1 year old self and simply stretched him out, I now struggle to get trousers to fit his tiny waist, I sometimes wonder if he's suffering from some sort of toddler eating disorder. I'm trying desperately to encourage him to eat, and always looking out for things that might appeal to his inquisitive nature.

I cannot remember what this meal was but it was not mush as appears in this pic!
I think I have found something that might help, at least for the short term, Cool Fans! This is basically a very safe fan (no fingers etc can be maimed) that can be placed over food to cool it down. In my book it therefore has two uses, the actual use of it (which is to cool food) and the novelty and fun factor: what is this fan doing on my food? It has definitely encouraged my boy to sit at the table, and also actually cools his food down nice and quickly. I can see it being useful in restaurants where you don't have the luxury of being able to call your child to the table after their meal has been cooling a while. You might get some strange looks but then if you have small children with you, you are likely to be getting  "looks" anyway! Or is that just us? There is also the point made on the website that it's actually more hygienic to use a fan to cool your food than blow on it (though I'm constantly kissing and cuddling my children so they get my germs anyway!). There are four cool characters to choose from but my son chose Dixie as his favourite colour is pink.

I would definitely recommend this, and at £9.99 is a really good buy, especially if you have children that need a bit of encouragement when it comes to food. I was also surprised at how safe the fan is, my son was very keen to put his fingers (and nose!) in it's way to see what happened and suffered no adverse effects at all (I tested it myself first).

You can visit Cool Fans here or also visit them on facebook for more information.

I received no financial incentive to write this review however I did receive a Cool Fan for free.


PK BABY SHAMPOO AND BODY WASH

I feel as if I am always in my local Home Bargains looking for toiletries these days. It is so much cheaper than anywhere else! However, the one thing it is not so great at stocking is truly natural baby and kids bath products. In fact in my opinion, none of the high street stores do well on this score. The best I have found is in Waitrose but they always seem to be very pricey.  I was very lucky therefore to be sent a PK Baby Shampoo and Body Wash a few weeks ago to review on my blog courtesy of www.mummynews.co.uk.

Brand NEW PK Baby is an ultra mild shampoo and body wash for daily use. Created specifically for infants and children, its easy rinse formula contains Chamomile extract to soothe the scalp and Amaranth protein to gently moisturize both the skin and hair. PK baby is colourless, has a non-allergenic fragrance and is paraben, SLS & SLES free.
I was really thrilled when it arrived and surprised at how large the bottle was. The packaging is lovely and very "high end". Now to put it to the test! Both my sons have quite sensitive skin and always come out in a rash with products that contain nasties. I was pleased to see that this product doesn't contain any of those and the ingredients all look very kind and friendly.

Firstly the packaging seems to appeal to Son 2 as he keeps wanting to eat it! He must think it is food from the lovely smell....


The bodywash itself lathers really well, more than I would expect from something that doesn't contain any of those nasty ingredients that cause soaps to do that. I would say a little goes a long way.

The smell is really nice and it definitely has a luxurious feel to it. After using it there was absolutely no rash or redness on my son's skin which is a good sign! I also used it to wash his hair and he didn't seem to mind whereas he usually kicks up a bit of a fuss.  It has a nice glistening effect on the skin which must be the good quality ingredients of the product. I also used it as a sort of bubble bath which seemed to work well although it didn't bubble as much as other products which is probably a good sign.


All in all I love the product! The only negative I would say is the cost at £18 a bottle, however it is quite a large bottle so does last a long time. It might work best as a gift to a new mum/baby.

FANCY DRESS OUTFITTERS REVIEW


Most kids love dressing up. In fact whenever we go to playgroup there is "home" corner where most children are fighting over the dressing up clothes. Children seem to enjoy the role play involved and pretending to be a grown up or some sort of super hero.  I can relate to that, however Son 1 cannot!
A few months ago it was Halloween and I was surprised how keen Son 1 was to wear his pumpkin outfit (see pic)

He really seemed to enjoy wearing it so I was hoping we had turned a corner and his phobia of dressing up would be over.















Therefore I was thrilled when I was contacted by Fancy Dress Outfitters about a review of their kids fancy dress range. Here's some info about them:


"Welcome to Fancy Dress Outfitters, your new best friend for fancy dress costumes and all things party.  We want to help you find the perfect outfit to make sure you have the best time, whether you're stopping in or going out.

Why hire when you can buy?  Our costumes are great value, and much more cost-effective than hiring an outfit.

Our fantastic products give you a huge range of choice and quality.  Our reliable UK and international delivery services mean you'll have no worries about getting to the party on time and looking great!  We hope you enjoy visiting us and have an even better time once you've received your items.

Now there's just one question you need to ask yourself – who do I want to be?"

I was sent two outfits (there was nothing in Son 2's size) for Son 1 - a spiderman outfit £19.13 (which he chose himself) and a christmas elf outfit £9.99 (again, he chose himself). However for quite a while I could not persuade him to put either outfit on, he seemed to have an unnatural fear of the spiderman mask. Thankfully my cousin kindly agreed to review the spiderman outfit for me....read below....






My son loved it because it's spiderman and his hearts desire.
 
The colours of the bodysuit were strong and it seemed well made (the  
mask not to the same standard though).
 
The real challenge was the design, in terms of getting on/off as  
rather than having a vertical seam down the back it had a horizontal  
opening at the neck. This proved a real challenge and the Velcro even  
did some superficial damage. The opening was simply not wide enough to  
make this easy to get into/out of.
The outfit itself was age 3-5 and my cousin's son is 4 so I would say the 
sizing is on the small side.
This evening however, after agreeing to "play at Santa". I managed to get my 
son to put the elf outfit on!  
 There was a hat with the outfit but Son 1 was unable to get this on his head! He liked the bell on the end of the hat and kept asking what the bell was for. Naturally I answered it was to call Santa.  

I thought the material of the outfit nice and light, as so many fancy dress outfits can be very hot for children.  He has worn the outfit all afternoon and hasn't been bothered by it at all. He loves the big buttons on the front which cover the velcro fastenings so it is easy to get on and off, in fact he is able to fasten it himself which is a plus from my point of view. 


I have to say he looks really cute in the outfit and I'm looking forward to him wearing it for his Christmas parties. I am going to send him into school wearing it for the party there and also take him to the Christmas party at the children's centre wearing it (with welly boots).  Naturally he will be wearing it on Christmas day too! I think the sizing on this one is pretty good, it is elasticated so quiet forgiving. My son is 3 but quite a big boy for 3 so I think it would easily fit an average size 5 year old (is age 3-5). All in all I am pleased with the outfit and would definitely use this website again.









PREZZYBOX REVIEW


I have been thinking recently about Christmas presents and whether I have bought "enough". I was interested to see the top toys released at the moment and noticed how expensive and plastic they all were! Anyway, with that in mind I got an email from Ed at Savoo (where I am a DealPro don't you know!) asking me if I would review a couple of toys they had been given from Prezzybox. Of course I do love doing reviews so I said yes!


I was excited to receive the parcel a few days later, inside which there were three items:
A Tude Beam £9.95

"Forget peace and love! Think of Tude Beams as the anarchic 'Sex Pistols' of world of mood lighting! Being named 'Feisty’, ‘Cross’, 'Flex' and 'Loaf' you can see that they've got more attitude and street cred than the rest of the mood lighting on the market can shake a stick at!
The Tude Beams emit funky colours which dance to the beat when you play music and should the mood take you emit soft glowing colours that help you relax."




So you have to press a button underneath to make the lights go on. My 9 month old loves it.  I put it on his highchair whilst I am getting his lunch ready and it is the only thing that keeps him quiet. It says it dances to music but I can't seem to get that bit to work (need to have another go at that!). It changes to lots of different colours and is quite mesmerising for him, anything to keep him from screaming of indeed, trying to escape from, his highchair.

The second item I was sent was the famous Addictaball £7.95. I had already seen these on Amazon as the best selling toy for Christmas this year.  To be honest this toy is aimed at children older than mine so I can't say that my son really enjoyed playing with it. However the reviews I have seen of it on other websites are pretty positive so maybe my children are just too young to enjoy it. The idea is that there is a tiny silver ball that you have to navigate round the maze round various numbers, it is supposed to be very annoying and addictive.


Anyway, thanks to Savoo and Prezzybox for the toys!



GIFTS IN MIND FINGER/FOOT/HAND PRINT REVIEW


I am a real fan of new and innovative things in every area of my life, I love gadgets and good ideas and also small companies who are really passionate about what they do. That is why when I stumbled across this website (well actually through their ebay shop) Gifts In Mind I became instantly excited. Here is some more information about them: "Gifts in Mind's range of hand, foot and fingerprint Jewellery is hand crafted at our studio in Nottingham. We take pride in producing the finest quality jewellery at an affordable price whilst paying close attention to detail and customer satisfaction. Our fingerprint necklaces and fingerprint cufflinks are second to none and will become a special treasure that will last a lifetime. We believe that their is no finer quality fingerprint jewellery on the internet"

I love the idea of a keepsake of something that you can never get back, the beautiful hand/foot or finger print of a small baby to keep forever. My eye was instantly drawn to the lovely charms and pendants on the website, these were the ones that stood out for me.

Sweetie Bracelet from £38


from £28

from £35

from £28





The way it works is that Gifts in Mind send you a kit with everything you need and then within 14 days of returning the prints the jewellery is sent to you.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to be sent some kits and jewellery to test and review!

First of all I was sent the fingerprint charm kit as this is the most popular item on the website.

Everything I needed was inside an envelope - the two moulds to capture the fingerprint, a little bag to place the mould in, and a padded prepaid envelope to send everything back in - perfect!

It might look daunting but the whole thing was so easy, made easier by the very straightforward instructions. Basically you join the two different coloured putty together, make a ball, then place your child's finger firmly on the mould. 

These are the two different bits of moulding clay that you simply roll together in a ball.

Completed! I rolled the two moulds together.

Son 2's finger placed on the mould. You have to let the mould set for about 10 minutes before placing it in the envelope.

One padded envelope for the mould, the other for the hand and foot prints.
I was also lucky enough to be sent a kit for making a hand and foot print, the hand from Son 1 and the foot from Son 2. This was even easier than making the finger print! How it works is that included in the pack is an inkless substance that is actually invisible on the skin but makes an impression on the special paper in the pack. you simply wipe it onto your child's hand or foot, it is a bit like a wet wipe then place their print on the pape. I had a few practice goes before and had to be quite "firm" with putting my children's prints on the paper but actually had no mishaps! You do need to be careful as the substance gets on your hand and it is easy to get this on the paper without realising it. I assume that Gifts in Mind would work around that though if there was a problem.

Foot at the ready with inkless substance on! Invisible to you or I.

Easily made foot print on paper included as part of the kit.

Son 1's hand, excuse changing mat in background! Inkless substance on hand ready to print!

One hand print! Note slight smudges of ink around the hand, did not affect the charm that arrived.


All I had to do then was simply place everything in the prepaid envelope and send it off! Less than 14 days later here are the results!

Finger print charm, beautifully presented.



I couldn't get a good picture for some reason in the box but this clearly shows the hand print on a necklace.

Hand and foor print on a necklace, the names of my children are to the left of the prints.

Slightly better picture showing the relative size and prints.

I placed the finger print charm on an existing charm bracelet of mine.

I am over the moon with my necklace and charm. As you can see above I placed the charm on a bracelet of mine and have had so many questions and compliments about it! People keep asking me where I got it from and seem genuinely intrigued about it.  The necklace I also love and have worn every day since it arrived. I keep seeing people glancing at it and have had lots of comments from strangers etc asking how I did it, where it is from etc.  I have to say that the quality of the jewellery is excellent and in my opinion is excellent value for money. I have done some quick research on other similar companies on the internet and some of them are charging twice as much for the same product.

I would thoroughly recommend this jewellery either for yourself or as a present (for Christmas?) for Grandma/Auntie etc. I think the charms would work well with a Links of London bracelet or similar. Although Gifts in Mind do their own bracelet for £38 which I think is really good value for money.

Love love love!


RUBY AND ED SLIPPERS REVIEW





Most of the time when I see a catalogue coming through my door I inwardly sigh and traipse over to the recycling box which is already brimming with other, similar, catalogues. However I got one a few weeks ago which made me stop and look; it was from a company called Ruby and Ed. If you haven't heard of them then here is some information about them and their vision:

Ruby+Ed’s co-founder Isabel Preston comes from generations of British shoemakers in Leicestershire. Being surrounded by shoes at an early age led Isabel to pursue a career in the footwear industry. In 1992 she married her partner Neil Banks, a chemistry graduate and fellow shoe lover. For the next few years they lived and worked together, happily sharing their passion for footwear.
In 1998, struggling to balance demanding careers and caring for their firstborn son, sitting around the garden table one afternoon they decided to write their own story. Isabel would develop the footwear and Neil would sell it. The plan was simple and capitalised on their natural strengths. Throwing caution to the wind, they setup their own footwear importing business ‘ED’, supplying footwear and slippers to the British High Street.
The business did well, and their passion for beautiful product created some showpiece slippers, sadly unaffordable for ED’s customer’s. Neil was certain that there was a place in the world for the beautiful slippers, and so, after spending some more time with the garden table, in 2002 he decided to try and sell them directly to upmarket boutiques and retailers.  He believed there were likeminded people who would appreciate the product as he did, and he was right. Retail legends Liberty and Anthropologie were some of their first customers and today the brand is sold in premium retailers across the world.
The name ‘Ruby’ represents Isabel’s stylish late aunt, and ‘Ed’ reflects the brand’s parent company The amalgamation of the two successfully combines effortless British style and the couple’s extensive knowledge in designing and manufacturing footwear.

I loved the layout of the catalogue, everything looked really luxurious and funky at the same time, it made me long for cold winters evenings, gathered around a (fictional!) fire, with yummy slippers on! Not everything in the catalogue was slippers, there were lots of other similarly warm looking cosy items too. Some of the things I liked were the Snuggle Ballerina slippers £25.














I also love the Cloud Baby Booties £21.50.









Anyway, the lovely people at Ruby and Ed were kind enough to send both myself and my baby a pair of slippers each to review! I was pretty happy when the nice box arrived containing the goodies.



The packaging is superb without being too over the top. I loved the fact the items were hand wrapped in pink paper (I would have taken a photo at that stage but was too concerned with ripping the wrapping off!). Of course I immediately put mine on, they were so soft and snuggly, and great on the cold wooden floor in the kitchen. My feet felt lovely and cared for without being too hot and clammy. The boots themselves can be washed at 40 degrees so if they do end up being a bit grubby they can easily be cleaned (haven't put this to the test yet!)  The boots that were actually sent to be me are called the Cloud Snuggle Boots in All Over Cloud which are £35.  They look very stylish as well as being warm and look great with my jeans turned up just above them.  

Here are some pictures of me wearing the actual slippers!


They are very true to the picture on the website and look very luxurious and elegant.  I am definitely a fan! As I am always running up and down stairs in our three storey house I was worried they might be cumbersome, but they actually stay on very well and were in no danger of falling off. They are also not at all slippy on the wooden floor as the soles are quite "grippy" if that makes sense.
 
Now for the baby ones, well the first positive was that Son 2 didn't struggle too much as I put them on, and the second was that he didn't try and pull them off! Anyway here are some pictures of him wearing the slippers:
I love the fact that my baby and I have matching slippers! The ones he was sent are called Cloud Baby Bootie (£22.50).
They look really cute on his feet and I have to admit I haven't reserved them for indoor use only. I have had loads of compliments and comments about them from other mums as they are quite unusual for babies. There is a velcro fastening on the back of the baby ones to help keep them on, but I actually recommend wearing them over socks to stop them falling off as I would hate to lose one while Son 2 was in the pushchair or something.
 
The slippers are definitely "high end" but I actually think are quite affordable, especially as you can wash them so they look "good as new" and I think would last a long time as they are made from a good quality material.  I think I would buy them as a gift, possible for Christmas, or alternatively just treat myself to them.  Love love love!





BICKIEPEGS REVIEW

I was very surprised to see a small parcel arrive the other day as I had literally no idea what it could be. Inside the parcel were two packets of Bickiepegs ready for review as I have a very teethy baby at the moment.  He is constantly dribbling and wanting to put things in his mouth so I thought I would give the Bickiepegs a go.  Here is the info: -

"Developed in 1925 by a leading paediatrician - Dr. Harry Campbell - to provide the correct exercise considered vital to the development of a baby's teeth and jaws and chewing skills - with the added bonus of easing the pain of teething!!
There is still nothing to beat the original BICKIEPEG, made today as it was then from only the finest ingredients.NO added sugar, sweetener, artificial colourings or flavourings."

Bickiepegs are made by the same people as the Doidy cup, which is one of my favourites seeing as how Son 2 refuses point blank to even LOOK at a bottle.  Upon close inspection the Bickiepegs appear to be a sort of long biscuit although unlike a biscuit it doesn't actually crumble, quite good seeing as how my baby would probably choke on the crumbs.

 Bickiepegs are actually made from wheat so there is nothing in them that is going to be decaying those lovely baby teeth should your baby wish to have a good long chew. That said, it does state on the label that they shouldn't really be chewing them for over 20 minutes at a time, and always supervised. The piece of string is to attach to an item of babies clothing as a safety feature, I assume to stop the Bickiepeg sliding down baby's throat.  

I thought the best way to test them was to actually let Son 2 have a good old play so that is what I did:

 He seemed to really enjoy having a good old munch on his Bickiepeg and didn't get bored of it too quickly. There also didn't seem to be any immediate risk of him sticking it down his throat so top scores on that front too. The thing I was worried about was would it start to crumble thus leaving large chunks that might be a choking hazard? Again I needn't have worried as it doesn't crumble at all, in fact it just seems to melt away. It was also useful when we went out for a coffee as he had something to do that didn't involve a sugary sweet and meant he could occupy himself for a few minutes chewing on it whilst sitting in a high chair. All in all a good product that I will certainly use again!


Bella Mama Nursing Dress

I was very excited the other day to be sent a dress from the lovely Bella Mama! When I enquired about doing a possible review I never dreamed Kirsten (founder) would send me an actual dress, but it was obviously my lucky day.

"Bella Mama is a small, busy boutique specialising in chic, contemporary breastfeeding clothing and transitional maternitywear for new mamas, blending fabulous style with amazing comfort. To complement this, we also offer a lovely range of beautiful baby bags, swaddling blankets, nursing necklaces, nursing covers, changing mats and indulgent skincare."

I have been struggling for some time to find beautiful, but affordable nursing clothes. I was starting to give up and just revert back to "normal" clothes and keep pulling my top up, but thanks to Bella Mama I think I have changed my mind!  The clothes on the website look very stylish with an indulgent edge, just what a new mum needs, no frumpiness in sight!



When I opened the parcel I was utterly amazed at what a beautiful item it was. The dress itself is called "Cara" and is a deep purple colour made out of jersey material - but good quality jersey. It hangs beautifully on the hanger (see picture)

and I would say it of better than usual quality for a jersey style dres (£45).  The real test though, is what is it like when feeding! Well I put it to the test yesterday when we went out for my birthday meal to Leeds new hot spot "Red Hot"(pardon the pun). Normally it is the sort of place I avoid but with four small children in tow it was ideal. I felt really comfortable all day in the dress even during my hot flush episodes (is this normal?) when in other nursing clothes I often get very warm and flustered probably due to the type of material.  However in my Bella Mama dress I felt lovely. I felt absolutely comfortable feeding in it as it is very discreet with a sort of gap in the neckline (see video) to allow easy access while still allowing a certain amount of coverage.  Due to the good design I was also able to move around easily in the dress and didn't feel constricted at all which is very important when you have young children. The dress also has a fashionable feel and hangs/moves well in a fluid line. It feels very comfortable against the skin and I didn't need to wear any vests etc underneath it. There is a tie at the back which isn't visible in the picture but is great as it means you can adjust the dress to suit your individual shape.




After our meal we then went to Leeds City Museum as I had heard they have some great exhibitions for kids. I wasn't disappointed and found there was a great sort of archeological display and a play area. At 2.30 there was a story time which gave me opportunity to feed again while sitting in front of a young man who was reading the story. I didn't want to embarrass him but as the dress is so brilliantly designed he clearly didn't even notice I was feeding! Result!



Here is a short video showing the dress in all its glory and demonstrating the easy feeding access.
video


All in all I really love this dress and will definitely be getting some more clothes from Bella Mama as their designs are right up my street (as Cheryl Cole would say).


Bubble and Balm Soaps


I was lucky enough to be sent some lovely Bubble and Balm products the other day to test and review. I love receiving things to review and it really cheers me up when I see my friendly postman delivering a parcel my way.  I really love the idea of Bubble and Balm as from reading their website it comes across that they are a very passionate company who clearly believe very strongly in their product.
One of the items sent to me was the antibacterial luxury handwash

which retails for £4.99.  The description is as follows: - Glycerine-enriched l
uxury handwash with an essential oil anti-bacterial formulation effective against MRSA, E coli and other nasties. No artificial colours / fragrances and triclosan free, suitable for vegans / vegetarians. Stylish aluminium packaging.

It DOES look pretty cool in our bathroom. Anyway, having used it I do really love it! It smells lovely and the smell lasts for a while on my hands. The smell itself is really fresh and clean without being clinical.  When it comes out of the pump it does initially feel a little "thin" compared with other hand soaps but I think this is just because it doesn't contain all the parabens and nasties contained by other soaps. It actually lathers really nicely and I think a little goes a long way.  I have used it on my older son's hands after using the toilet and am pleased to report there has been no adverse reaction which is unusual for him as he has very sensitive skin.  

I was also sent the citrus soap in a tin



Retails for £4.99, here is a short description: Pure clear glycerine soap with an uplifting blend of essential oils including lemon, mandarin and grapefruit. No artificial colours / fragrances, suitable for vegans / vegetarians. Packaged in a stylish recycled aluminium tin that doubles up as a watertight soap dish. 85g.

This soap also lathers really well and again, a little seems to go a long way.  I like the fact it is kept in a tin as this is far more hygienic and means there is less residue on the sink for me to clean off.  My son also likes the fact that the soap has its own "house" to live in and likes taking the top on and off. At the moment I am using it as a bath soap for my sons but I think it would work just as well as a hand soap. The smell is beautiful and leaves a lovely lingering clean smell in the room as well as on the skin. It isn't as drying as normal soaps and makes skin feel really soft. So far there have been no allergic reactions which I sometimes find with other soaps on my children.  For the money I think it is well worth it and would certainly consider buying this as it would last so long. Love love love!

Dippy Designs Plaques

I first became aware of the wonderful products of Dippy Designs by Diane a year or so ago when I was looking for a unique Christening pressie. I had a look on ebay as I knew I wanted a door plaque and this ebay shop really stood out! Anyway I ended up buying a gorgeous door plaque for the daughter of one of my friends whose house is very "shabby chic".  This plaque fit in exactly with the decor of her house and looked great hung on the bedroom door. I then bought a "new home" plaque in a very similar style for my brother in law. He said he loves it and it sits in pride of place on his mantelpiece.

Anyway I was lucky enough to be sent a personalised plaque for my two boys.  Here is the finished product!

The picture really doesn't do it justice! I must add that I didn't send a picture of either of the boys but Diane somehow managed to capture them perfectly.  Diane has also added some glitter to the teddy bear which hasn't come out on the picture but it looks really cute.  At the moment the plaque has pride of place in our lounge hung from the mantelpiece where we normally hang Christmas stockings, but I think it would probably look better on a door.  On the back of the plaque is a space where, if you require, you can get a message written in "artistic" handwriting, e.g. on the occasion of your Christening/Wedding etc. There are lots of different styles and designs to choose from and Diane is very accommodating. Each plaque is unique as it is handmade, here is the information from Diane's ebay shop:

Unique Dippy Designs Plaques Features

  • Interesting plaque shapes
  • Good sized detailed figures  - average 5-6cm for adults
  • Pretty ribbon hangers
  • Plenty of detail eg hairstyles, wedding outfits etc 
  • Tasteful understated floral/heart/star decoration all hand made from fimo 
  • Stitching effect around edges of plaque

There are lots of other options too, these plaques are not just for babies and children. Here are some other items I like:-


A wedding plaque to have as a keepsake.
A trinket box, good idea for a first birthday present or Christening present.



And a slightly different style of door plaque for a child's bedroom door. 

When purchasing an item the following information is needed:


1.     Total number of characters required   - two come with the wedding plaque - please order extras  as required
2.   shape required –  heart (max 2 adults only),  house , shield , tree  or rectangle
3.      required wording at top/bottom
4.      names and brief descriptions of all people (remember hair length,  colour,  style, fringes, glasses, moustaches, beards etc and ages for children).  All facial features are in black/red due to special pen used
5.      any specific requirements regarding layout/decoration/colours etc. (Be aware that due to shape and size of plaques there may be some restrictions on layout  of characters).  
Thoroughly recommended! Prices start at around £11 including postage and packaging.
Here are a couple more of the designs I like:




Funky Giraffe Bibs
I love cool and funky products, especially when they involve babies. In my opinion there is nothing cuter than a baby in a rock and roll t shirt or something equally funky, though I draw the line at babies in trainers.

When it comes to teething all babies love a good dribble, that is where you need some dribble bibs, and if possible, something that co-ordinates with baby's outfit and looks good too. That is where Funky Giraffe Bibs comes in! Funky Giraffes is  a small, green (not literally), ethical company who designs fabulously, sources ethically, and sells considerately their own bibs and baby products.
"As a mum, I know the importance of quality products for your child and the fact you want your child to look their best. That is why I wanted to produce the nicest, comfiest bibs I could, to give my and your child their own individual look. I also know the importance of good value. So I started on this idea in 2009 using my experience in the fashion industry after my own little fashionista came along."

The lovely people at Funky Giraffe Bibs  were kind enough to send me a great selection of bibs to try out on my dribbly baby!  The products came in a beautiful gift box, it was one of those parcels I felt excited to open....

First of all I tried a bib which I haven't seen on their website but is one where baby puts their arms into the bib and it protects all their clothes when feeding.  Here is a picture of Son 2 in all his glory...

It's a bit hard to see the detail on the bib in the picture but it appears to be a sort of knight's shield design. It is really easy to get baby in and out of and definitely protects his clothes. I would say it is of higher quality than most other similar bibs on the market in this style, I think the difference is the type of material. It also washes well or you can just rinse it out or give it a wipe down after each meal. Also surprisingly he didn't struggle to get out of it like he does with other bibs so he must have liked it.  Crucially it was easy to put on, so many bibs aren't, especially after they have been washed and every meal time feels like a battle. These are made from nice soft material so went on very easily.

Now onto the bandana style dribble bibs, here are some pics!

Purple monsters

Grey and black check

Racing Car

 The material is a lovely quality and is 100% cotton.  On the reverse of the bib is a lovely fleecy material that I wasn't expecting, it makes the bib sit really cosily against baby's skin. There are also two poppers at the back of bib, I think these are to adjust the sizes although you can fasten both poppers to make the bib extra secure.  
The bibs were really easy to put on a dribbly baby and very absorbent.  I could easily let my baby dribble into the same bib all day and would not need to change the bib.   I don't think these are meant to be used at mealtimes, though I have to admit I sometimes do use them at those times as I love them so much!
Here are some pictures of my baby in the bibs!


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