Enjoying Easter and a little giveaway

hoppy easter giveaway april 2014Yippee.. I’ve officially broken up for the Easter holidays and this weekend we’ll be driving down to sunny Cardiff in Wales for our friends wedding. Little Mr and hubby will be all dressed up and I’ve finally decided on which dress and ensemble I’m wearing. I’ve had major confidence issues this week, mostly due to the fact that my shape and size are more than ample and I feel like one of those t-shirts that need to be reshaped when they come out of the washing machine. On Monday Team Shilts are heading down south for the week and will be enjoying a luxury bungalow in the middle of nowhere, hopefully with a bit of sunshine and a hot tub!

It’s been a funny old month so we’re desperate to get away and spend some quality time just the three of us. Time to enjoy each others company, focus on what’s important and have a giggle. I’ve warned hubby that I will be drinking a couple of bottles of prosecco next week (for anyone who knows me well, they will tell you that I don’t really drink) so I’ll be toasting my Dads health and forthcoming surgery and will raise a glass to my lovely family that have rallied around over the last couple of weeks to support us and my Dad.

So my Easter holidays are here and I’m leaving you with a few things that have made me smile this week along with a lovely giveaway for you to enter to win your very own Easter happiness gift card to the tune of £50.

I’m smiling because…

  • The sun has been shining so it’s time to get out the sunglasses
  • Sunjellies are back in fashion and I’ve bought myself and Little Mr a pair to wear in the sunshine (and on the beach in a few months time!)
  • I’m off on my jollies for the last week of the Easter holidays
  • I’ve discovered Project Life and I can’t wait to fill my albums with smiles, giggles and memories.

Tell me what you’ve been smiling about this week via the rafflecopter below making sure you tell me which gift card you’d like if you won! Please see the terms and conditions attached to the rafflecopter. Good luck… x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 18th, 2014

Tick box culture and our children… a rant!

Little Mr standing

I’ve been trying to rearrange Little Mr’s 12 month health check with our health visitor team for a few months now. He was originally invited for an appointment on a Wednesday when I work all day so rang them to rearrange and they cancelled the appointment and said they would rearrange for a Friday. Another letter comes through the post for another Wednesday appointment. Repeat the phone call and again, another letter comes through the post for a Wednesday. Head. Wall.

Giving up on ever getting a Friday appointment, earlier this week with hubby being off enjoying the school holidays, I asked him to take Little Mr to our local baby clinic to get him weighed and to take along the appointment letter and questionnaire they asked us to complete on Little Mr’s development.

The questionnaire was aimed at the development of a 14 month old baby and asked questions in relation to his motor skills, his speech and other general development. I had to answer the questions with either Yes, No or Sometimes. At the end of the questionnaire, there’s a tally box where the health visitor would add up the number of yes, no or sometimes answers and Little Mr would have his 14 month old score and then she would discuss his development with us. Completely wrong in my opinion.

Little Mr isn’t walking yet. He’s standing up, cruising and crawling everywhere but will not walk independently. I don’t have a problem with it at all as I’m a big believer that he’ll do it when he’s ready but the health visitor was concerned. She told hubby that he had a slight delay in his gross motor skills and wrote in his red book that she would make a referral to the health visiting team to check on him in 6 weeks time. This is the same health visiting team that said they would check on him back in November to check his progress with crawling. They never rang. So I don’t have a huge amount of confidence in their opinion on my son’s development, that they took from a questionnaire. This is the same health visiting team who told me to make an effort in taking Little Mr to baby clinic 10 days after my c-section, despite being unable to walk the 2 mile to baby clinic in the snow with an infected section scar.

Wouldn’t it have been better to sit with him for twenty minutes and let him play. Watch how he moves around and stands up and plays with the toys rather than me ticking the boxes of a questionnaire. What if I was one of those parents that ticked yes to everything when in fact he didn’t do any of it. They wouldn’t know any different. I know different health authorities check little ones progress in different ways as friends with children of the same age have had different experiences. My experience doesn’t fill me with any confidence that I would want their opinion on any concerns I may have in the future.

As I said before I’m not concerned with Little Mr’s inability to walk independently. He’s showing signs that he wants to and cruises around the house, often standing independently for brief moments before collapsing onto his bottom. Isn’t a questionnaire a cop out for watching and spending time with children? I dread to think what would happen to the children that really have issues but go unnoticed due to parents that don’t want to make a fuss or in the worse case, don’t give a hoot anyway!

What’s your experience of your health visitors? Do you find them useful or just irritating?

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 18th, 2014

Review: Skip Hop Versa – The back to work changing bag

Skip Hop Versa

The trouble with some changing bags is that they very much look like changing bags which isn’t always ideal when you’re at work trying to be the professional HR bod that I am, for example. There’s a need for having one. I like to make sure I have everything for Little Mr with me and not at home or in the car so it’s essential that I’ve got a changing bag of some sort capable of carrying all Little Mr’s essentials and mine.

The Skip Hop Versa changing bag is brilliant. It’s a very stylish bag that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it and have been using it for a while now for both home and work life.

The Versa has lots of pockets for storage. On the front of the bag there’s 2 curved insulated zipped pockets perfect for keeping bottles cool or warm (and other things easily accessible but away from little hands) I keep Little Mr’s sachets of liquid paracetamol and teething granules in there. On the front of the zipped pockets are two smaller pockets ideal for loose change or dummies! There’s also a small zipped pocket on the front where I often keep my business cards and car keys so I know where to find them when out and about.

shv4

Inside the main pocket of the bag, which I find is a brilliant size for all my essentials, is a number of compartments perfect for spoons, fruit pouches and milky buttons. The bright blue contrasting lining is a great colour which allows me to find items easily inside the bag and with it being water-resistant too if anything spills inside the bag, it’s not going to do to much damage to the rest of my belongings elsewhere in the bag.

At the back of the bag is a another zipped pocket which is brilliant for keeping the portable changing mat (which comes with the bag as an accessory) nappies, wipes and nappy bags. I often keep Little Mr’s red book in there too so it’s all kept separate to my other stuff in the main area of the bag.

SHV2

I love that there’s a zipped expansion panel in the bag too so if you need a little bit more room in the bag you can just unzip and you instantly get a bit more space. The bag looks stylish with the zip open or closed so this feature doesn’t detract from the appearance of the bag.

The bag has a good sized adjustable shoulder strap but one of the best features of the Versa bag are the non-skid stroller straps that allow you to easily attach the bag to the pushchair. The straps really are non skid too and haven’t slipped down the pushchair when in use. When not in use the straps clip onto D rings at the base of the side of the bag which is a brilliant touch.

SHV5

I really love this bag and I don’t think I’ll be changing bags any time soon. I’ve had some brilliant compliments from work colleagues on my ‘new’ bag who couldn’t really believe it was a changing bag.

Price

The Skip Hop Versa changing bag retails at £64.99 which I believe is a fantastic price for a bag which serves a double purpose; a changing bag and a practical bag for work. The bag can be purchased online from Simple Safety Solutions,

Disclaimer: The Skip Hop Versa changing bag was sent free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and images are my own. This forms and honest and unbiased review. 

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 18th, 2014

Crackin’ Easter deals from Jet2*

If you’ve enjoyed the Easter holidays a little bit too much and need another break away to look forward too, there’s some eggscellent deals coming up over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend with Jet2.

jet2eggs

Jet2 have some crackin’ deals this weekend but you need to keep an eye on their very own Easter eggs to hatch before the deals begin. There are 6 eggs under surveillance all due to hatch at some point over this weekend and when they do, their eggsciting deal will go live and you’ll have a matter of hours to snap up the deal before someone else.

Whats on offer?

The crackin’ deals include £50 off all holidays and city breaks, £100 off all holidays and city breaks, 20 free holidays, buy one get one free on all hold bags and 50 free flights. At the time of writing, egg number 6 had already hatched and out came a very cute little chick which released 15% off all return flights in May, June and July (all deals for Egg 6 have now been snapped up!) 

Capture hatch 2

You can watch the live egg cam by visiting the Jet2 website here and keep an eye on any movement from the Jet2 chicks. You can also keep a-(chicken)-breast of all the action over on Twitter by using the hashtag #Jet2chicks. I’m keeping an eye on egg number 2 with a Whitsun city break in mind as with £100 off the price of our next holiday, that’s not to chirp at….(sorry!)

If you want to save on your next flight or package deal, head on over to the live egg cam and keep an eye out for any movement. How eggsciting!

Disclaimer: *This is a sponsored post 

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Review: Millionaire Genie at 888 Ladies

888 ladies

Did you know I used to work in a Bingo Hall during my last year at university over 9 years ago? I did, it was an interesting job and as part time jobs go, it was a good laugh. So when I was recently asked if I would like to try the new game, Millionaire Genie from the folk at 888 Ladies, an online gaming site, I thought back to the ‘good ol’ days’ and decided to give it a go.

This is where my research would have paid off as Millionaire Genie isn’t a game of Bingo, it’s actually a ‘spin’ on a slot machine game. I was given £5 credit to play the game and to see if I could make my fortune.

888sshot2

The game works by placing your bets on the lines (I played with 1 pence per tile so spent 15 pence per spin) and then hoping the correct combination of tiles come up in order for you to win a prize. The jackpot of the game was displayed as being £495,278.66 but this was changing throughout the game. I am under no illusion that I would have had to spend more than £5 in order to attract the jackpot but I did well with the £5 credit I was given and managed to win myself an extra 15 spins and won an additional sum of money back.

888 pay table

I’m not a huge fan of slot machines. My lack of experience of playing them was clear to see as I was sitting on the bed asking hubby for advice on how to play the game. The pay table was available for me to see what I could win and how it would be achieved but I didn’t really understand what I was doing or how I could win.

I personally didn’t enjoy the game with the distracting Arabian styled music playing in the background. I like clear and concise games and felt this was confusing and rather annoying. I did however use my winnings (I can’t tell you how I won £7 as I have no idea!) from the Millionaire Genie game on the Deal or No Deal game which I found rather entertaining and passed over half an hour playing. I wasn’t particularly happy to find out that I needed to have deposited £20 into my virtual bank balance before being able to withdraw any of my ‘winnings’ so won’t be adding anymore cash to the site to retrieve my winnings. This I feel should be made more transparent at the start so you know how much you have to commit to playing with before thinking about cashing in your winnings.

I know a lot of people are fans of quick and fast paying online slot machines but they’re not for me. I like to build the excitement playing good old fashioned Bingo with my dabber. Perhaps its my age!

Bingo fans are being asked what their favourite UK bingo games are and you can vote for your favourite here.

Disclaimer: I was given £5 to play with on the Millionaire Genie game on 888 ladies and have been compensated for my time in writing this review. All words and opinions are my own. 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014