Review: Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser

milton mini portable soother steriliser review

Soothers, or dummies, or pacifiers, call them what you will, they can be a godsend. One thing about them that is a total pain in the backside, however, is keeping them clean and sterilised.
 
With my first baby, I had about 5 dummies on the go at any one time. Why so many? Because babies tend to drop them. Often. And when they drop them you have to clean and sterilise them again. So what I did was have 5 dummies all sterilised ready to go so that when N dropped one, I already had another ready. It was still a pain having to fill the steriliser each day though.
 
Fast forward to my second baby, and my discovery of the Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser. As the name suggests, it’s a dinky little steriliser from trusted baby care brand Milton, which is just the right size to fit one soother.
 
milton mini steriliser review
 
The Milton Mini enables me to clean and sterilise a soother on the go. It comes with 10 mini sterilising tablets, which can also be purchased separately. I simply fill the steriliser with cold water and add a tablet.
 
Then inside the steriliser are two sponges, one of which has a hole. These sponges absorbs the sterilising solution, meaning you just pop the soother in, twist it to clean then wait for 15 minutes for it to be sterilised.
 
The solution sterilises in only 15 minutes and kills 99.9% of germs. The solution works for 24 hours, so it only needs changing once per day and can be used as many times as needed in that period. The soother can be kept in the steriliser for up to 24 hours and will remain sterile.
 
Milton’s sterilising solution is safe for babies (it’s the same active ingredient that's used to make water drinkable) and doesn’t leave any taste so there’s no need to rinse the soother before using, just shake off any excess fluid.
 
The handy velcro strap makes it easy to attach to my pram or changing bag so I don’t have to rummage around looking for a clean soother, It’s a really clever, convenient product and saves a lot of space as well as time, and gives me the reassurance of knowing that J’s soothers are germ-free.
 
milton mini soother steriliser review

The Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser is available in three colours: blue, green and purple. It costs £6.99 and can be bought from John Lewis, Boots, Toys’r’Us and Mothercare, plus supermarkets and other online retailers.





Disclosure: I was sent the steriliser to review, however all thoughts and opinion are my own.

Birchbox – April Beauty Box

My April beauty box from Birchbox has arrived and it is so, so, SO good this month! Birchbox have collaborated with Tatler to create a limited edition box which is gorgeous and packed with five luxe beauty samples, plus an extra bonus product.

birchbox april beauty box uk contents

♥ Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara (5.7g) ♥  Once again this month we had the option to choose which of the Laura Mercier products we’d like (out of mascara, foundation and eye pencil). I chose the mascara as it’s my must-have make-up item and I love to try new ones. Plus, I am always running out!
 
♥ Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (30ml) and muslin cloth ♥  I do love this cleanser. I’m a bit of a product tart and always change up my routine. But this cleanser is one that I often come back to, especially as I like to double it up as a face masque.
 
♥ Percy & Reed Smoothed, Sealed & Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil (30ml) ♥ 
I am all about volumising products at the moment since getting my hair cut shorter. You only need 1 or 2 drops of this oil – which smells fricking amazing by the way – so this bottle will last ages!
 
♥ Lola Barcelona Nail Polish in Garcia (8ml) ♥  This hot fuschia shade has been created exclusively for Birchbox. I’ve never tried a Lola Barcelona polish before, but the shade is perfect for sunny spring days.
 
♥ Pommade Divine Nature’s Remedy Balm (7ml) ♥  Another brand that is totally new to me. I love multi-purpose balms; you always find one in my bag. They are so handy for chapped lips, dry cuticles, I even use them as nappy creams! This one is 97% natural, smells great and feels lovely.
 
♥ Inner Me Energise Me Vitamins (28 day supply) ♥  This is the bonus product and a perfect one for me! Running around after my two boys every day means I often forget to eat, or dont have time to eat well, so I do rely on supplements to make sure I’m getting all the vitamins my body needs. Especially vitamin D which is important for breastfeeding mothers. 
 
I’m super happy with my Birchbox this month, I love everything, REALLY love it! Did you get a box this month? Did you get anything different? What do you think of it?
 
If you like the look of it and want to sign up, feel free to use my referral link: birchbox.co.uk/invite/SianG. You’ll get 50 Birchbox points, equivalent to £5! The box costs £10 per month plus p+p.    
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Easy 3-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies: Banana, Oat & Cinnamon

With Baby J now weaning breakfast-time is taking about an hour longer. Which is fine when we don’t have any plans, but most mornings I’ve either got my course to get to or we have toddler group or some other activity planned, and so I needed to come up with something that I could take with me to feed J when we get to wherever we’re going.

 

I’d heard of people using bananas and oats to make cookies, especially those on dairy-free and/or gluten-free diets, so this morning I thought I’d give them a go. I didn’t have a recipe to follow, just made it up as we went along, but I noted down my measurements in case it worked. It totally worked, so I thought I would share my recipe with you.

 

These are perfect for baby-led weaning, and also great for toddlers and older children. Little N loved them and ate 4 of these before I could even take any photos, so I will definitely have to make more in future as snacks for him. They’re so quick and easy to make, they’re suitable for vegetarians, vegans and they can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats.

 

three ingredient breakfast cookies recipe banana oat cinnamon

 

♥ EASY THREE-INGREDIENT BREAKFAST COOKIES – BANANA, OAT & CINNAMON ♥

 

(makes approx. 15 cookies):

 

Ingredients:

 

- 150g peeled banana

- 200g oats

- 1 tsp cinnamon

 

Method:

 

1. Preheat your oven to 180 C.

2. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

3. In a bowl, mash the banana with a fork.

4. Add the oats and cinnamon and stir to combine.

5. Squish the mixture into little cookie shapes and place on the lined baking sheet.

6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, or 20 minutes for harder cookies.

7. Allow to cool on a wire rack before tucking in. Enjoy!

 

 

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Preparing for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean)

For those of you who are new to this blog, my first son's birth was a long, difficult labour ending in a rather traumatic emergency Caesarean section. My second son's birth was a quick, textbook vaginal delivery. 

Since Baby J’s birth, a lot of people have asked me for advice on how best to prepare for a VBAC.   Aside from gaining the support of my midwife and consultant, there were a few things I did to help me prepare, and I would really recommend these to anyone else planning a VBAC.

preparing for a vbac


Go through your previous birth notes

The last time I’d seen my notes was the day after Little N was born. I had them at home until I was discharged from the midwives, but I hadn’t been emotionally capable of reading them. When I met with the consultant, we went through my birth notes and there was so much that I have absolutely no memory of. Finding out that Little N had turned back-to-back during labour was a huge shock. For over a year I’d been blaming myself for not being able to push him out in time, but of course if he was back-to-back it would have been impossible for me to have delivered him quickly enough. Learning this was empowering: it wasn’t my fault, and it would be different this time.


Read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is a fascinating book to read. Ina May Gaskin is an American midwife, and the founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center. Women who give birth at the Farm have incredibly low rates of intervention compared to hospital births. The book has a big section full of amazing and inspiring birth stories. It then goes on to explain why the human body is so effective at giving birth and it teaches you: how to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting; tips for maximising your chances of an unmedicated labour and birth; and, the risks of anaesthesia and caesareans. Reading this book filled me with confidence and knowledge, knowledge that became very useful when I had to argue for some of my birth choices.  I still have the book now; I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to part with it.


Listen to the Natal Hypnotherapy VBAC Preparation CDs

The Natal Hypnotherapy VBAC Preparation is a 2 CD set. The first CD helps you to overcome and let go of any negative emotions relating to your past birth experiences. This was a something I really needed. The second CD takes you on a guided visualisation through giving birth vaginally and increases your confidence, courage and ability to communicate effectively. I kept falling asleep whilst listening to the CDs and would wake up at the end when the narrator would say “you’re wide awake” (or something to that effect). It was very strange, but it was all sinking in. My confidence increased each time I listened to the CD and I felt completely calm and in control during labour, even though I was alone for most of it! http://www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk/


Attend Daisy Birthing Active Antenatal Classes

I attended Daisy Birthing classes throughout the final trimester of my first pregnancy. I loved the classes and was so excited about doing them again during my second pregnancy. Second time around I started going to the classes at 20 weeks, although you can attend from 14 weeks, and continued right up until birth. The classes include pregnancy yoga  but also teach you active birthing techniques as well as traditional antenatal information. Their birthing techniques were what helped me to get through each of my contractions without pain relief. I used the breathing techniques to cope with the pain, whilst using the “rotate to dilate” technique in between contractions. I’ve also made a few friends there, which is lovely! http://thedaisyfoundation.com/


Write a birth plan

With Little N, I didn’t write a birth plan. I thought birth was just so unpredictable that whatever I put probably wouldn’t happen anyway. For Baby J though, a birth plan was very important. Yes, birth is unpredictable, but I needed to make clear what I was and wasn’t willing to do. For example, I didn’t want continuous foetal monitoring, but the consultant did, and I wanted to use the birth pool if I could. So I compromised with the supervisor of midwives about using wireless monitors, which are also waterproof, and this went onto my birth plan. Having a plan and knowing that my wishes were going to be adhered to meant I felt that I was in control this time.


Believe in yourself

“My body is amazing.” “It was designed to do this job.” “I can do this.” These are things I kept telling myself throughout my pregnancy and even during labour. At the peak of each contraction I could hear my voice inside my own head saying, “you can do this.” I did do it, and so can you. Good luck, and don’t forget to come back and tell me all about it.


Little N’s birth story here
Baby J’s birth story: here


Review: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy

Review Fisher-Price Laugh Learn Smart Stages Puppy
 
The latest addition to the boys’ collection of toys is the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy (£19.99). The puppy is a gorgeous, cuddly, soft baby learning toy that features Fisher-Price’s clever Smart Stages technology, which changes the learning content as your baby grows. Or in my case, can be changed depending on which of my two children is currently playing with it!
 
From 6 months the Smart Stages Puppy helps baby explore first words and sounds, from 12 months it prompts baby with simply questions and directions and from 18 months it encourages imaginative fun and role play.
 
The Puppy features over 50 different phrases, songs and tunes throughout the three levels which are activated by pressing the Puppy’s ears, paws, tummy or heart. The heart also lights up and twinkles along with the music which Baby J finds totally mesmerising to watch. It also does a heart beat sound and the heart flashes in time to it.
 
Fisher-Price Smart Stages Puppy
 
It’s really easy to switch between the three learning stages by gently pressing one of the Puppy’s paw. Little N has quickly worked out how to press the various body parts to make it speak, sing or play music and through each of the learning stages he is learning about letters, numbers, colours, body parts, animals and more.
 
The Puppy has lots of different songs, a mixture of familiar nursery rhymes and songs that are unique to the toy. They’re easy to learn and very, very catchy so I often embarrass myself by randomly singing one as I’m going about my day. The Puppy has two volumes levels - I have to admit, I have set it to the lowest one!
 
Little N’s current favourite is a little song about the movements that animals do. It encourages him to stomp like an elephant, hop like a kangaroo and swing like a monkey. He absolutely loves animals so he thinks it’s brilliant and jumps around joining in with the song. Very cute!
 
Fisher-Price Laugh Learn Smart Stages Puppy
 
I love that the boys will learn so much through simply playing with this toy. N has been trying to use the Puppy to teach J body parts. For example, he presses the Puppy’s hand, then when the Puppy says “hand” he points to J’s hand. He is the sweetest big brother ever!
 
With all the colours, sounds, lights and textures the Puppy is a great baby learning toy and also helps to develop baby’s fine motor skills.  The Smart Stages technology means that it never gets tiresome as there are so many things that the boys can do with it and, for Baby J especially, it’s a toy that will grow with them and last for many years to come.
 
Fisher-Price Laugh Learn Smart Stages Puppy Review
 
You can find out more about the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy here or buy here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclosure: I was sent the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy for review, however all thoughts and opinion remain my own.

Review: Logitech Keys-to-Go for iPad

Logitech keys-to-go

These days when I’m baking or cooking, more often than not I’m using a recipe I’ve found online – hurrah for Pinterest! – which means I have to bring my phone, iPad or laptop into the kitchen. It’s great to have a wealth of recipes at my fingertips but I then have the issue of trying not to get the device mucky or sticky. This can be really tricky especially if I’m partway through a recipe and need to double-check something or am trying to convert the measurements from American to British. (A stick of butter? What does that even mean?!) Fortunately, I no longer need to try to use my elbows to type when my hands are covered in flour, thanks to the Logitech Keys-to-Go (£54.99).
 
logitech keys-to-go keyboard ipad
 
Logitech Keys-to-Go is a standalone keyboard which is compatible with all iOS devices including all generations of iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. It’s available in three different colours (black, red and teal – I LOVE the look of the teal one) and it connects quickly and easily via Bluetooth wireless technology. The keyboard comes with a USB cable and once charged it has a three-month battery life which is pretty amazing. It has a battery check indicator light so I won’t be caught unawares by a dead battery. The keyboard has handy iOS shortcuts as well and it’s very comfortable to type on.
 
It’s so lightweight and really slim – 6mm! - making it super easy to take with me wherever I go. Ian often has to travel for work and he only takes his satchel so that he doesn’t have to check any luggage into the hold. He literally takes his iPad, his phone, his wallet and a change of clothes. This keyboard would be really convenient on those occasions when he needs to save space in his bag. It looks really stylish too!

logitech keys-to-go portable ipad keyboard

The feature that I love the most though is the FabricSkin. The keys are covered in soft, durable, water-repellent FabricSkin which protects them from dirt, crumbs and spills. It can also be wiped clean. So it doesn’t matter if I’ve been chopping garlic or kneading dough, I can still use the Logitech Keys-to-Go to type when I need to and just wipe it down when I’m done. I don’t have to worry about getting it covered in flour as it can’t get trapped under the keys, and if I spill something, it’s fine!
 
Logitech Keys-to-Go is a must-have accessory if, like me, Pinterest is fast replacing the recipe books in your kitchen, or you like to type on the go! You can find out more or buy it here.
 
 
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Disclosure: I was sent the keyboard to review, however all thoughts and opinion are my own.






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