Blogger, Cake-Lover, History Buff and Amazon Woman.
Blogger, Cake-Lover, History Buff and Amazon Woman.
Packing to Travel with a Baby
I’m currently packing for a holiday to Canada. Only this year is very different. I now have to pack for a 7 month old baby. Whilst things such as clothes are a given, it’s the little things I’m terrible at packing. I’m also extremely conscious of space saving as he shares his luggage allowance with me. When a few companies popped up suggesting items that would be useful to distract a baby on a plane, or help battle the conundrum I was facing I was all ears. I have zero experience of this and need all the help I can get.
First things first, baby is gonna sleep. I’m obviously looking for an alternative to lugging around all his blankets and pjs. Is there any way to keep him feeling save and comfortable whilst on the move? AH THERE IS. The Ergo Pouch is the solution for me. We’ve been testing it out the last week and love it. I opted for the 1 tog as all of our accommodation has aircon. As Ergo is an Australian company this is ideal for their spring/autumn. Spot on for our Summer (other than this heat wave). They even send a handy thermometer guide to help you pick the right equipment for sleep. If it’s hotter I just leave Jasper in his nappy and zip him up. It has handy grips on the footing if your little one is on the move. Making it a transportable sleeping bag. I’ll be keeping this with me at all time, perfect for cocooning him on the flight.
Have you ever been on a plane with that really snuffly person behind you? Spent the rest of the holiday awaiting that dreaded cold? No? Just me then. Well I want to be prepared for any eventuality of Jasperism’s whilst we’re away. He can occasionally get pretty bad colds. I mean, he’s still building up his immune system. Therefore the products from snufflebabe are gonna get us through. I’ve used their drops since day 1, but the nasal spray and aspirator will be a life saver should Jasper have any snuffles.
Throughout all of the googling, obsessive reading and worrying I’ve done over a long flight with Jasper one thing has remained constant. Parents praise a good toy. Now I’ve read information on getting a new toy out every hour of the flight or having one really amazing toy for transport. This Baby Sensory one is already a win with Jasper. The Spiral system allows it to be attached to any buggy, seat or arm. it has a rubber teething cloud, droplets from a cloud for them to pull and tonnes of colours. LET’S ENGAGE THOSE SENSES JAZZ.
I’ve been figuring out what to do with Jasper when there isn’t a child seat available. It’s not always the easiest task, usually it involves me balancing him on my knee or feeding him in his pram. This gets super messy and just isn’t practical. When the folks at Apramo showed me there super handy multii booster seat I was pretty impressed. It’s a portable seat that can pretty much fit any chair, it has extra space for nappies/bottles and even a chilling unit. IMPRESSIVE? What’s best? It’s only £29.99… wow.
For anyone preparing to travel with an infant, the thought of food can be a little daunting. If you’re just weaning, then you need some readily pouches for the flight. Piccolo have got you covered in pouches from 70-100g(perfect travel size) and some wafers to pass the time on a flight/delay. Best of all they’re organic blends with flavours to delight AND nurture your baby. With flavours such as Cherry & Yoghurt, Stanley Plum and Kale, kiwi, Peas and Pear you can cover all taste preferences. I like to know what my babies eating, and let me tell you, these are TASTY. I have to stop myself from crunching on these. I’ve got a few of these in my hand luggage and a bunch in my bag for those ‘grab and go’ days. Side Note: this is perhaps the most adorable packaging I’ve seen too! A little suitcase!!
What do you do when you travel with a baby?
I’d never heard of Quinny before, but what I can say is that searching for the right stroller is a mind field. There are tonnes of things to take into account, whether it be if you live in the countryside, whether you live in a flat or a house, how much space you have and what car you drive. If you’re looking for something more space conscious whilst being sturdy and modern then a Quinny could be for you.
I was gifted a Quinny Zapp X to put through my tests and I have to say I’m impressed. Full disclosure, I live in a very flat area so it’s wheels easily glide across the paths here. It feels super light but strong enough to deal with most roads. I’m not sure its ideal for mountain hiking, but it wasn’t made for that. It took a little while for me to get used to going up and down curb edges as my current pram is a bit of a heavy beast. This much lighter alternative just takes a little getting used to.
Assembly was super easy with direct instructions to follow. It has that lovely ‘click’ sound every time you put together a piece correctly which gives me the ultimate satisfaction that I’m doing something right.
What I really loved about this pram was the aesthetics. You can choose your colour way, your accessories and essentially build a pram just for you. It comes with the ‘from birth cocoon’ but you can pick up a carrycot if you wish. It also comes with adjusters to attach to your car seat (although it has to be Maxi Cosi to be compatible). It comes in tonnes of colour options, meaning you can combo it your way. I went for lightish colours as it’s currently blisteringly hot and I thought it might be a little cooler for Jaz.
As a little of a different touch it has these easy to grip handle bars. Different than my usual one bar I found these a lot easier to hold. It made me feel I could really drive through the effort that it is to push a buggie and it made it all the easier. I also found the braking slightly different to my usual pram. It has a stop and go, so to speak. One on either side of the foot well meaning you can stop and secure your pram with ease.
The fabric has a mild grit to it that I like. Meaning when the inevitable happens, and your baby dribbles/wees/spits out food or snacks you can wipe down the material with ease.
I asked for an umbrella accessory, as I’ve never tried one. What a clever little contraption that is. You can move it around to protect your little one from the sun yet giving them all the fresh air they need. Perfect if you’re thinking about taking the Quinny travelling.
It folds up into one piece or you can separate it should you wish. You can pick up a travel bag too! Meaning you can keep your Quinny clean and tucked away or ready for travel.
All in all Jasper seemed pretty pleased with his new ‘digs’! (Evidence attached below) I would happily have the Quinny in a smaller environment. It seems suited to city life and those being more space conscious in their apartments. Alternatively it makes a great second buggie to keep in the car for nipping out to the shops with.
Sleep is important in any sense of the word. It gives our body time to recover, relax and heal. Our mind? It gets to switch off and go in sleep mode before the new day ahead of us. That’s why when I had my baby boy Jasper I was a little apprehensive over what would happen to sleep time. I’d heard about feeds in the middle of the night, changes etc and these never bothered me. However now Jasper is getting older we have had a few incidents where he’s leaked through his nappy during the night and not woken to tell us. This is where B-Sensible comes in handy.
Whilst on the most part this is absolutely no biggie, I hate the idea of him sleeping in a wet cot and what’s worse is the process that is then undertaken to clean the mattress in the hope it’s not stained. When I read about mattress protectors I immediately picked one up, however it didn’t prove that useful to be honest. When I was offered to try B-Sensible I jumped at the chance. It promised to keep sweat, unwanted odours and dust off the mattress. Any way of keeping out mattresses in good nick is ay okay with me.
When the packaging arrived I was pleasantly surprised. They arrived beautifully wrapped and in their own B-Sensible Bag. There was a king sheet for us and a cot sheet for Jasper. It has a plasticky coat on the underbelly of the sheet but you can’t feel it thanks to the super smooth cotton like feel of the sheet. The material is actually 100% natural fibre called TENSEL which is quick drying. Win win for us parents!
You can buy B-Sensible here.
I opted for the classic white but was pleased to see plenty of colours fromB-Sensible. In my use of it I’ve had no issues with staining, and it’s been washed a few times already!
Are you looking to spice up your wardrobe for the Summer season? Then Simply Be has you covered! Whether you’re looking for a flowy dress, a retro t-shirt or the new on trend item. Your gal, Violet, has got you! Here are my top picks for this season from Simply Be.
Forget Tassel earrings, everyone has those. Let’s pick up some fabulous Orb Earrings in all the right colours.
Polka Dots are IN. As if you even needed the notice. You’ll find your instagram and all your stores hold at least one item with this trend. This Wrap dress, is perfect to fit you. It’s just the right length for you to don those fabulous pins and dance the night away.
If you’re more a ‘Jeans and a Nice Top’ gal then look no further. This beautiful yellow stripe top from AX Paris ticks all the boxes with it’s length and fabulous sleeves.
Would a Summer Wish list be complete without a swimsuit of dreams? This sexy red, ruffle swimsuit is sure to make the heads turn at the pool. Pair it with some denim shorts and strut your stuff hottie!
Have I mentioned before that I love a pom-pom? Well I do! This multi-coloured piece of fabulous is a steal at £28- go go go!
Are you wanting THE DRESS OF DREAMS? Then I have searched and explored the ends of Simply Be’s website and found dun dun dunnnnn the Sparkly dress of goddesses.
I am the worst at neglecting my feet, but this fabulous sliders come in Dark Green and Gold. They’re easy to pair with any outfit and super easy to slip on. No one wants to be faffing with buckles when it’s hot and sweaty.
Have you spotted any must have items on the Simply Be Website? Share below for others.
To put another tan to the test, St Moritz kindly sent me some samples to try out to achieve the perfect ‘golden glow’. Full disclaimer, I’ve used St Moritz since the age of 16 and absolutely love the product. I’ll be as fair as possible in my review but as I’ve used it for years and years I know the ins and outs of it! Here I tried out the St. Moriz Professional Self Tan Mousse in Dark. Let’s get to it then.
Orange Factor 9/10
I’ve never really had issues with looking orange from St. Mortiz. It seems to have a green tinge in it (which you’ll find if you get to the end of the bottle) which stops the orangeness. I will say however it is slightly more warmer than the previous cream I tested out. I kinda like this though, as I instantly feel I’ve been sunkissed.
I wouldn’t say you initially smell like full blown digestive. You actually smell really nice the first hour or so. I think they’ve been developing the scent issues out a bit. However, after the development time of 6 hours you definitely do. For me though, I usually apply before night, wake smelling like a biscuit factory and shower it off to cover myself in scented body butter. Tiny problem sorted.
As per my previous review, I applied with a mitt. Using the Mousse is super easy application, even around those tricky knees and elbows. I do find you need to put a bit of elbow grease into it to get it lathered on properly. It does however, seem to go on pretty smoothly and without dodgy patches. If you do get those marks, don’t worry. Hop in the shower after application time and it seems to sort itself out.
Duration of Wear 9/10
I’ve found you need one application to last roughly a week or so depending on how often you shower/bathe and how hard you scrub. I use the St Mortiz gradual tan & protect to top it up when necessary if I see rough patches here and there.
It’s a bargain. Aldi have it for £2.99, Boots, Superdrug and others usually sell it for under £6. The bottle lasts ages and your bank account stays happy. Win win.
Other Points worth Noting 8/10
Whilst the mousse doesn’t hold any SPF properties, the gradual tan cream has SPF30. So you can take your pick on that.
You can buy the tan in Medium or Dark. So if you just want a really gentle glow I’d hit up the Medium. Or if like me, you wanna look like you’ve been on hol for 2 weeks DARK.
Final Score: 51/60
If you haven’t heard of Lovedrobe Loves, where have you been? It’s a fantastic campaign that the team at Lovedrobe are doing by actively using a variety of people to style their clothes in their own way. Whether you’re a blogger, an office clerk, a solicitor or a barista, they make no qualms. Everyone is invited! If you ask to participate in Lovedrobe Loves then you’re met with the two gorgeous girls Kate and Liv to have a photoshoot and video session. I met with them a few months ago for my own blog and this was my experience.
I arrived into Manchester, bright and early and met fellow blogger Charl before getting an Uber over to our meet up spot where two bubbly faces were walking in to greet us. Immediately Charl and I were put at ease as Liv and Kate explained the plan to photograph us individually, create small snippet videos of us and to have a jolly ole time. We head out into Manchester to hit up the street scenes and get some awesome shots. The outcome was marvellous, if I say so myself.
The video was rather daunting. I’m not a huge fan of putting my voice out there like this, but Kate made me chuckle the whole way through. Please brace yourself for my marvellous Hull accent, the ‘no’s, and ‘oh’s were out in full force.
All in all, the whole experience was empowering. I’d recommend anyone who’s a fan of Lovedrobe to give it a whirl. It’s time brands used their clients to showcase their clothes in their own style. Not just bloggers, but anybody. I tip my hat to Lovedrobe for this campaign and cannot wait to see what they produce in the future.
If you’re interested in taking part (why wouldn’t you be?) just drop an email to email@example.com
I’ve worn contacts for 7 years. I’ve prodded, poked and scratched my poor eyes in many attempts to sort out an easy eye care regime. I’ve had contact lenses split in my eye and little pieces of hair get stuck underneath them. With my fair share of qualms, I’m all in if anyone is offering a way to be kinder to my eyes. Vision Direct are the largest online retailer for contact lenses in the UK. They have all the same high street brands as your regular opticians, but usually at a better cost than your average direct debit deal (I’ve fallen down this well before). Rather than solely daily wear lenses, they cater eye care for the many with a simple ordering system.
My eyes aren’t straight forward (so to speak). With having an astigmatism on my left eye, it’s always a bit of an odd one to buy lenses. Fortunately, it’s easy to select left or right on the Vision Direct website and input your prescription. Shopping by brand, type, or best sellers is an easy way to navigate your way through the many types of lenses. If you’re really struggling I did notice an online chat pop up bottom right should you need assistance. I didn’t need it on this occasion but it’s helpful for those that do. I settled on Biofinity Lenses after reading the reviews of them.
The landing page had images of the lenses, a video, reviews and a description. Being the top reader I am, I headed straight for the video. The little snippet on the website showed me what to expect with the packaging and it was spot on. My lenses arrived just as pictured and in a pack of 3. It is possible to order a few packs at a time, but it’s great to order as and when needed. The video had also informed me that I could wear for 30 days consecutively if washed in solution overnight. I’ve read that it may even be possible to sleep in these! Not only did this seem practical, but I figured with daily wears being binned every day this could be a way to better the environment. Hey, less packaging must help… am I right?
My Toric lenses were clearly labelled, but it’s hard to mix up for me as it’s a much thicker heavier lens than the other. Upon first touch it felt smooth, but strong enough to sustain a long wear. They’re fairly easy to pop into the eye if you’re used to it. Don’t forget to wash your hands before handling the lenses. If you struggle with lenses, then I personally recommend focussing on a spot in the mirror and holding your eye open with you other hand. Once you have that focus spot it appears to be much easier to faff about a bit till it feels comfortable. Once settled I couldn’t feel the lenses in my eyes and forgot they were there.I found after a couple days’ wear that my eyes were still nicely moist and I wasn’t having that horrible dry eye I’ve had with other lenses. I did try sleeping in these overnight and had absolutely no issues. Was nice to wake up without thinking ‘where are my darn glasses?!’
Let’s talk cost, my lenses are priced at £11.49 normal and £15.99 Toric. That includes 3 lenses, so three months wear. That’s less than a tenner a month for vision. In the past I’ve paid £12.50 a month for one pack of lenses from a direct debit at a local optician. Vision Direct have a price I can deal with. No longer will I worry about splitting a lens and fumbling for my glasses for a week, I’ll be getting my next contact lenses at Vision Direct next day delivery!
As Summer is on the horizon, this girl wants a tan. As I wear relatively high factors, and have skin that seems to reflect the sun, I opt to get mine in a bottle. I thought I’d hit the tan market and test out all the tan creams/spray tans on offer to the consumer market this Summer. I’ll test their appeal through scent, orange-ness, application, duration of wear and other factors. In short, I hope to save you a lot of time by lathering myself in different tan substances and reporting back. First up is TanCream.
Orange Factor 10/10
A big no-no for me is looking orange. This girl wants a lovely sun-kissed glow thank you very much. Tan Cream is pretty special in that on application you look bronzed. I’ve used other tans that have a green tint to stop the orange-ness, and come off after wash but this doesn’t require washing.
I’d say TanCream rates 10/10 in not looking orange at all.
Have you ever applied tan and felt like you’re a walking digestive? That or you have that rancid stale water vibe about you? Well luckily, this formula is scent free. I’ve literally been sniffing my arms all day. Nothing!
I chose to apply this with a mitt. Purely because I am terrible at applying evenly. I find a mitt just helps me smooth out the cream. I wouldn’t say it required for this, but I did have a few little patchy parts across my body. Mainly my knee and wrist (pictured). Maybe I didn’t apply liberally enough. All in all the rest of my skin is spot on, I’ll easily pick these other bits up on my next application.
Duration of Wear 8/10
I’ve found this durable and lasting. I have done a little touch up here and there but all in all good.
At £39.95 it is definitely one of the more pricier fake tans. I suspect this is because of it’s brilliant benefits. I have found I’ve hardly used any, so it would probably last a while but I don’t really like forking out more than £15 for tan.
Other Points worth Noting 10/10
TanCream is SPF 50 and Ultra UVA 5 star High Sun Protection? Who doesn’t love to protect their skin and achieve the perfect glow? Let’s consider our own health and opt for an sun friendly formula.
I loved the anti-aging, anti-blemish, CC cream formula. I felt it looked a little like I was wearing foundation all over my skin, although it didn’t feel like that or look painted on. It literally melted onto the skin, smoothing out my little scars and blemishes.
Final Score: 53/60 (I’m going to apply another layer right now)