Clothing Fun As Mum

Since having children I have learnt to be a little more adventurous when it comes to my wardrobe. 

I'm usually happiest in my safe place of black and baggy on the tummy and chest but the rare time of when something different catches my eye that makes me smile will be purchased. It must be special if it's different and makes me excited to wear it. I hate my body!

Recently I have discovered Vinted. I bought this...

Isn't it fun?! 


Lemur Landings Soft Play

I remember meeting friends when I was pregnant with my first daughter at Lemur Landings at Tower Park, Poole. My friends had kids who needed to burn off some energy. I can honestly say that it was my idea of hell. I was so stressed when I left . Not having experienced being around children that much and living a child free life, venturing to meet friends at a large soft play was an experience that I will always remember.

I wish at the time there were meet ups for expectant mums so we could have been educated about soft plays and what they provide educationally and mentally to certain age groups and it would have been a good chance for local businesses to be invited in to provide talks on products - like the idiots guide to parenting first time around!

Here is Matilda really enjoying herself and being more aware of what is around her (15 months old).

So now? I have three daughters aged 5 years and under and heading to soft play is a much more pleasant and much needed activity. A place to burn off their energy, a place to escape on a rainy day or those days that you just need to keep the kids in one place. I would say that it is nice to go and meet friends for a coffee whilst the kids play with their friends now they are older but I have to follow Matilda everywhere. It's pretty full on going to a busy soft play with a toddler but it is fun.

Lemur Landings is close to home and is big enough to cater for all ages of my children with the added bonus of wall climbing!

Rock Reef #Review

The first day of summer fun feels like ages ago! We have crammed so much into this summer holiday, even with me and my husband working. We started with a trip to Rock Reef in Bournemouth. This was on the last day of school!

Kapow! Lets start this summer break with a kick! (this little lady really does mean business when it comes to adventure)

RockReef is an all year, all weather Adventure Activity Attraction on Bournemouth Pier featuring the amazing Pier Zip. At the heart of the Pier you will find the brand new RockReef Attraction featuring 4 great attractions in one, bringing the great outdoors indoors. There are 25 Clip N’ Climb challenges, the fun climbing concept that is taking the world by storm. The Pier Cave adventure, HighLine aerial obstacle course as well as a vertical drop slide, and the awesome “leap of faith” jumping challenge. At the end of the Pier is the Zip Tower with a dual zip wire straight to the shore giving you the thrill ride of a lifetime, straight out over the waves and landing on Bournemouth beach. Join the zip surfers! The RockReef attraction is an exciting combination of fun, adventure, excercise and challenging activities. The great new venue for Bournemouth where you will test your limits and have amazing fun with friends or family. Introducing 2 new packages: High Adventure & High Adventure Plus, get the most out of RockReefAttractions and save money.

We went with the lovely PooleMamma aka Jeni Wood and her family and we all loved every second of our experience.

The adrenaline that rushed through my body was unbelievable as I battled with my fear of heights. Doing the Highline with my eldest daughter was such a massive experience. She was scared, and so was I but I didn't want to show her. I wanted her to stay calm and relaxed and be brave so mummy had to put her brave face on too. If it wasn't for her, I would have said no from the start and climbed back down. I'm a wimp! I was so proud of myself (and my daughter) for completing the Highline. An experience we will share and remember for a long time.

The kids and the grown ups got something out of this experience. The kids thought it was amazing to be climbing different walls. The grown ups fought their fear of heights and got to be big kids again. I'm pretty sure the group didn't stop smiling. It was brilliant.

I honestly can't wait to go back again. I didn't get to experience the cave part of the attraction and I am really keen to.

and I have to show you this one... I loved that we got to experience this together. Jeni was also scared of heights!


Lactofree - Will It Work?

I have never had a problem moving my kids over to cows milk from formula...until now! Matilda is sick on it so I went back to Aptimal for 1-2 years. She seems happier. She isn't poorly on other dairy products but her bottom this past week or so has been awful. Terribly bad nappies and now a very, very sore bottom which makes me want to cry!

My friends Caroline from Turtle Tots Dorset and Samira from Captured By Samira told me of a possible intolerance to milk and recommended that I try LactoFree milk. I honestly don't mind Matilda being on formula BUT I worry about her bottom so I guess the next stage is to get her tested.

I grabbed some Lactofree milk today after work and gave her her first bottle at bed time slightly warmed up! Well she consumed it about an hour ago so watch this space. I'm going to get fresh bed sheets and the bleach ready just incase!

The milk tastes so yummy! I only got one carton today and I really want to drink it all.


DryNites #Review - Sticky Bed Mats

The transition of nappy to knickers started off very well with daughter number one and it started off well with daughter number two when she was exactly the same age as her big sister when we began the transition with her but that was day time training! Bed time training has been a different story...

Bedwetting is a common occurrence, with almost 10% of children aged 4 – 15 wetting the bed at some stage.  Although most become dry on their own, it can be an anxious and unpredictable time. DryNites® is your guiding light through the night, providing unbeatable overnight protection. 

I decided to purchase the mats that cover the entire mattress for both of my girls. A little noisy and crinkly but it protected the mattress. The only problem was when they snuck into my bed! I became exhausted with all the sheet changing and then I discovered a super quick way to make everything dry in the night. 

DryNites bed mats have sticky corners so they stick to the flat sheet and stay put. I popped a soft blanket on top of the mat and then when either daughter wet the bed I simply whisked away the soft blanket and the DryNites bed mat and they carried on sleeping. The key is to layer up and then when you're not worrying, your kids don't get upset and panic! I have also found these a little gem for popping on top of my mattress for extra protection from the kids and you don't notice that they are there!

I was really impressed with the DryNites pants too! They don't really feel like nappies because they are thinner and are just for accidents and not a night of bed time wee's BUT it was hard trying to potty train my middle daughter at night when I would be putting one of these on her instead of her knickers. I eventually gave up on this idea as she was getting very confused. The very first stage, these were perfect but she refused to put a 'nappy' on (I know these are bed wetting protective pants but my daughter was very confused by the difference!)

The DryNites are for all ages, up to the age of 15 in fact! They do have some cool designs on too and are well priced with what else is out on the market.

The DryNites bed mats are a clear winner in this house because of the sticky backs. Actually I could do with stocking up on more...

Discalimer - this was an honest reviews as I was sent the DryNites range to review honestly.


It's A Beach Life

My family and I feel very lucky to be living so close to the beach. We have always lived in Dorset but we have family who live around the UK and in America. It's funny because each time family visit, especially my grandparents, they always love spending time at the beach. I guess us Southerners take the beach for granted. It's on our doorstep. It's a very short car journey and my kids think that everyone has a beach close to them.

The kids have enjoyed feeling the sand between their toes since they were very tiny. They have enjoyed splashing in the sea and listening and watching the crests of the waves fold and glide gently chasing their toes as they pitter patter with laughter away as if it was mummy or daddy coming to tickle them.

Most of the photos of the kids are growing up are of amazing days, rain or shine at the beach. We really are incredibly blessed that our children have this lifestyle. This freedom. This beauty.

Picnics, renting a beach hut instead of a holiday, meeting friends and family, evenings running around in the sand, digging holes and building sandcastles... that is the beach life!

I finally invested in some Hot Tuna splash shoes for the kids from Sports Direct this weekend! I always worry about the stingers that lay under the sand whilst the kids play in the sea. I can relax again now! These were great at the weekend for all the body boarding the girls were doing. I could do with investing in some really ace, fluffy and warm towels though because we love to hit the beach in the colder weather too. (It was a little nippy when the sun went behind the rain clouds!) We always have suncream in our bag, and hats though! I realised today that I really need a more compact but Mary Poppins style bag for lugging everything around to the beach and back - three little girls can be testing at times ;-)

What are your must have essentials for days at the beach?


Kick Start The New Term With Local Networking!

When I'm not doing the school runs and busy working in the docrafts office, I'm happily hosting the popular small business and blogger local network called Lemur Linkup with a few other fab mums in business.

A time for busy mums and dads in Dorset to down tools and take a couple of hours out to network with like-minded people at Lemur Landings in Poole. This is a child friendly environment to help assist working parents in growing their network and getting the marketing support that they require.

Myself and the rest of the team (Kara Guppy over at ChelseaMammaJoanne Dewberry over at JoanneDewberry.co.uk and Lemur Landings very own Jacqueline Richmond) at Lemur Linkup understand just how important it is for businesses to network as part of their business strategy so we have created a special event that will help local businesses thrive without blowing the budget.

Lemur Linkup is hosting a special networking evening on Monday 6th October between 7pm – 9.30pm at Lemur Landings. A child free evening out where the grown ups get a chance to chat without the little people running around. 

This event should see businesses and bloggers form lovely working relationships. Bloggers can add a tonne of value to your business; you get honest feedback, drive product development, fantastic ambassadors for your products and services and word of mouth recommendation (we all know how valuable and effective that is). PR that money just can't buy.

Are you interested in attending?

Businesses: On the night you will be provided with a space to display your business, so you will need to bring your own table, banners and literature.

Bloggers: How great would it be to have some fantastic new businesses to work with, awesome right? So why not come along to showcase how great your blog is and why businesses should fall in love with working with you.  Small charge but substantial opportunities to gain new contacts, network with other bloggers and a Goodie Bag too. 

It's going to be a really great evening!

You can book via Eventbrite, simply search for;

Lemur Link Up Event: Blogger - Business Match Up Night

and pay just £10 as a business or £5 as a blogger for two hours of marketing and networking. (Quick you need to book by 23rd September 2014 for the early bird ticket price!)

If you have any questions then please get in touch at emma@emmacollinspr.co.uk and myself and the team will be happy to answer your questions.


Heinz Breakfast #Review

The lovely PR folk at Heinz gave us a wonderful opportunity to review their selection of breakfasts. The hamper arrived at the perfect time because Matilda has become fussy with her foods and I was starting to fret over the first meal of the day.

I honestly thought that Matilda would spit this selection out as she would be too old for it all. She is 15 months old now and the age on these foods are 10 months old. Note - don't let the age on the packaging put you off for slightly older kids.

"Our breakfast cereals, ready-to-eat pots and Breakfast Biscotti are packed with nutrients for a great start to the day.  And our scrummy Breakfast Pots have calcium to support healthy bone development, iron to support healthy cognitive development and the fruit ones have one of your baby’s five a day".

This is what Matilda thought...

I'm not kidding! She has been lapping it all up! There's heaps of flavour in each meal and as she can't have cows milk due to being sick on it, the cereals were perfect made with formula and they have calcium in then, and Matildas favourite were the porridges in the little pots. The Very Berry is now in demand by Matilda! These are so handy because I was able to throw them in the bag and give them to her for lunch on the go and re-use the pots for her raisins! (and finding tadpoles at the local river!)

All my reviews are HONEST so please don't, for a second think that I am just writing this because I got free stuff. I would tell you Matilda's honest opinion.

I ran out of the little pots and whilst in Sainsbury's the other day I went to buy some and there weren't any. I did buy another brand (I won't mention names) but she hasn't liked them as much and they were runnier so I know Heinz definitely gets a thumbs up.


A New Page Has Been Added

I have added a new page to my blog!

If you don't know already, I am the Media & PR Coordinator for docrafts. I have been working with docrafts for 10 years now (well, with a stint as docrafts Brand Manager experiencing work trips to China, Germany and America before kids!) and as I am always trying to tell everyone about all the new content that docrafts has to offer (not to increase sales may I add, but I really am in love with all the lovely craft products that I work with), I thought I would set up a new page on my blog and then you can see for yourself what I am always talking about!

Ten years is a long time to work for a company. This has been my home since I graduated from University as a journalist and I feel very passionate about the craft industry and those within it.

docrafts was founded in 1997 by industry leading entrepreneurs and has now become one of the UK’s leading craft suppliers across independent specialists, national retailers, TV shopping channels and multiple overseas territories. With exclusive house brands and licensed products featuring in the self-published Creativity Magazine, docrafts leads the way in technique-led project ideas and inspiration. Whilst specialising in papercraft, docrafts also supplies kid’s craft, digital, jewellery, soft craft and cake decorating.

I am also currently working on setting up press contacts, and that includes freelance craft designers and bloggers onto the system to access a trade account which will give them/you a discount on craft purchases and access to a whole heap of images, product information and editorial content from docrafts.

If you choose to feature any of the docrafts news on your blog/website/publication/social media then I would be very grateful if you could let me know over at emmac@docrafts.com and I can add the great news to my PR report :-)

Well... I better get back to it!


Scarves Are Cool In Summer

Apologies for my daughters laughing in the background. They thought mummy was funny on TV!

I also made my daughters a top each to go over their swimwear today using my smaller scarves for when they weren't in the paddling pool. They loved them! x