Weekend of fun in the garden!

So this weekend has been filled with amazing weather and we have loved being out in the fresh air!

We’ve been working hard on the garden and it’s now a lovely space for us all to enjoy the summer.
 Both the children have loved chalking on the patio! The beauty of course is that the canvas can be washed clean each night, ready to create again the next day!

We picked this picnic bench up from IKEA on our last visit. It’s been a huge hit and we have loved eating our meals outside over the last week. And the bonus for Mummy is that there is no clearing up!!

Me&I Clothing Review

Last year I was lucky enough to spend a fabulous day at The Baby Show seeing lots of lovely products and meeting new companies. One of my favourite that I met that day was Me & I, who were showcasing their gorgeous Swedish design clothing. After the show, they were kind enough to send me a dress for Pumpkin and now (very overdue) I want to tell you what we thought of it.

The dress we were sent was a Red Singoalla with Rabbit in Pocket. This particular design isn’t available now, but there is a very cute blue panda version instead!

The dress is a terry tunic, with elasticated neck and sleeves. The dress is an A-line design that is very flattering and practical for a little’un!

We absolutely loved this over the summer. It was a great dress to wear when we went swimming, as it was very easy to get dressed back into after (getting a toddler dressed after swimming without getting everything soaking wet is a pretty tricky task!). It also came into its own on holiday, when it was a great option to chuck on over a swimming costume when we went to the beach. The style and terry fabric made it very practical for playing on the beach, and it was a dream to wash and dry ready to wear again.

The beauty of many of the products sold by Me&I is that they last a long time. Pumpkin was wearing this dress last summer, but the A-line shape means that now she has grown she can wear it with leggings or trousers, as a long-line top. With a long sleeved babygro or t-shirt underneath to cover the arms, she can really wear this all year round! Our dress has been washed many many times, but still looks as good as new which shows the quality!

There were some other great design features in the Me&I range which are worth pointing out. Trousers with double fabric at the knees (hard wearing), adjustable elasticated waists and sleeves designed to be rolled up if they are too long. All these are great for getting value for money. The dress we reviewed is sold for £23 which is a fair price when you consider we are getting a whole year of wear from it.

Me&I products are sold primarily through parties, where a representative will show the products and how to put them together. There are discounts available for party hosts if thats something you fancy! Alternatively you can shop directly with a representative by visiting the website and filling in a form to find your local rep.

We are big fans of the clothing ranges from Me&I and I’ll be looking at the new season range to pick up some more wardrobe staples.

Disclosure: We were sent a dress from Me&I for the purposes of this review. No payment was received and all opinions are our own. 

Telesales, Cold Calling and Sleeping Babies!

When Pumpkin was born, we would spend hours every day working through a list of tricks to get her to go to sleep. She wasn’t a fan of sleeping, and would fight the urge to close her eyes for as long as possible. We had a routine of rocking, dim lights, a musical mobile, and early on, a white noise app on our phones. A sleeping baby was our aim and once she had finally closed her eyes we would back away silently, congratulating ourselves on a battle won!

But why is it that is always the exact moment that the doorbell rings, or the phone, or some other loud noise? Perfectly timed to wake the sleeping baby.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but more often than not the phone call was a cold call, of no interest to me at all. So one baby awake and crying, one frazzled Mummy and one telesales person who gets told where to go!!

My problem with unsolicited phone calls is that they are never ever going to work with me. I have never changes energy supplier, or upgraded my TV subscription, or ordered a new conservatory based on being cold called. In fact, the companies who do this go way down in my estimations just by calling. I guess it must work on some people though or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

Another pet hate is charity cold calling. Now I support a number of charities in various ways. I’m not going to list them here as I don’t feel the need to justify them. But phoning people up and trying to pressure them into setting up a Direct Debit is a really lazy way to fundraise in my opinion, and it really harms a charity’s image in my mind. I know there are lots of fantastic causes out there. I wish I could support more, I really do. But ultimately I have to choose who I want to support and how I want to do it. And I have never done it off the back of an unsolicited phone call or visit on my doorstep!

So how do they get our phone numbers? Well one way is that other companies will sell on their mailing lists and contacts to these companies for telesales. This makes me really annoyed and I always make sure I remember to tick the little box to say I don’t want my details passed on, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to stop it.

We have just moved house, and have a new phone number now. I’ve hardly given it out to anyone (mainly as I can’t remember it yet!) and still the phone calls have started. I know the people that make the calls are just doing a (pretty thankless) job but its hard not to get annoyed. Especially as they are often trained to get chatting with you and avoid telling you the purpose of the phone call until they have warmed you up! I used to make an excuse that I couldn’t talk now (changing a nappy or in the middle of breastfeeding were favourites!) but then they would ring back again so now I’m a grumpy woman who tells them they are wasting their time.

I guess I must be missing out of lots of ‘special deals’ and exclusive offers by this approach, but I’ll live with that if I could get to a point where my first reaction when the phone rings is a sigh!!

Disclosure: I was asked to talk about telesales on the blog by Bounty. As a thank you they sent me a funky Trimphone. Thanks Bounty 🙂

Munchkin Click Lock Cup Review

I seem to go through cups for Pumpkin at an alarming speed! We have probably tried most of those on the market on our quest for the perfect cup. It needs to combine good styling (she doesn’t want anything that looks like its for a baby!) with a good size and most importantly IT MUST NOT SPILL!

The number of supposedly non-spill cups on the market which have been relegated to the abandoned cup shelf after I fish soggy clothes, nappies and snacks from the change bag is amazing! All that money wasted 🙁

So when we were contacted by Munchkin to try their new Click Lock range of cups we were delighted to try them.

Sometimes things in life just click and this is never more true than with the brand new Click Lock™ Cup range from Munchkin! With over 20 years experience, Munchkin, the award-winning international baby brand, is thrilled to launch the brand new Click Lock™ cup range, one of the most innovative and exciting range of cups parents will find on the market today. The Click Lock™ range features ‘click’ to lock technology providing a 100% leak proof guarantee, so drop, throw or tip upside down, no liquid will come out and this is 100% guaranteed.

The cups could not be simpler to use, simply turn the lid until it ‘clicks’ in to place providing parents with an auditory reassurance that the cup is completely sealed. What’s more, the range, just like all Munchkin products, is fun, vibrant and practical, making parents lives that little bit easier .The Click Lock™ cup range starts at £3.99 and for more information log on to www.munchkin.eu.com.

Parents worldwide are choosing Munchkin products because they really do excite and delight, making life easier for today’s busy parents, and having sold over 55 million cups worldwide to date Munchkin know what makes a good cup!

Munchkin asked Mum what she looks for in a cup before designing the new Click Lock™ range and found that…

« 61% of mums surveyed admitted they could find improvements to their current cups, with non-spill and leak-proof being the most important features when looking for a cup. A staggering 92% of parents said they want a brand that offers innovative features. With Click Lock™ you simply twist and click the lid locked and it fully secures the cup to ensure a complete seal so no leakages can happen.

« Munchkin knows how important the spout design is when designing a cup, and 68% of mums said they need to buy more than one cup before they find one their child likes. The Click Lock™ spouts and straws are made from soft BPA free silicone, providing an easy flow of liquid

« Mums told us that the cup must be easy to hold, helping their child gain independence. The Click Lock™ range is lightweight and incorporates a very narrow waist, making them perfect for tiny hands.

« In the Munchkin survey 37% of mums admitted how much a cup costs was a key point for them. The Munchkin Click Lock range compares favorably to many of the leading brands on the market and starts from £3.99.

We were sent an Insulated Flip Straw cup to try. Firstly I liked the size. Perfect for a day out but not as big as some other insulated cups we have tried which are so bulky they don’t fit in the slots in my change bag! We filled it with water and let her have a go!

She got on really well with this cup. She likes to drink from a straw anyway so this was nothing new to her and she seemed to get to grips with it easily. We took the cup with us on a day trip to Lyme Regis today and it bounced around in the change bag and the bottom of the pushchair quite happily with no spillage thanks to the Click Lock lid. Simply turn the lid until you hear the click and you know that the cup will be completely leak proof. It was actually quite warm in the sun today (I know thats hard to believe!) but the water in the cup stayed nice and cool, while my bottle of mineral water had started to warm up.

All in all we love this cup and its fast becoming one of our favourites! For more information on Munchkin Click Lock visit www.munchkin.eu.com

Getting the Hang of Motherhood, Research by Munchkin

It’s hard to believe that Pumpkin will be 2 in just 5 weeks time. Yes I know it’s a cliche but the time has flown! That means I’ve been a Mummy for almost 2 years. So shouldn’t I be pretty good at it by now?

When I was pregnant, I went to NCT antenatal classes, read countless books and magazines on pregnancy and parenting. I tried to prepare myself for the arrival of my little bundle and thought that I knew what being a Mummy would be about.

But then she arrived. And she didn’t play by the rules! I rapidly learnt that I couldn’t rely on books and magazines to tell me how to raise her. I felt alone and overwhelmed by the responsibility I had for this little person. It was a steep learning curve, and one I’m still climbing!

I question my decisions as a mum every day. So I wasn’t surprised to hear the results of a new survey from Munchkin which found that it takes up to two years
to get the hang of motherhood. Here is what they say;

Feeling overwhelmed, nervous and scared are the overriding emotions today’s parents feel when they’ve had a baby. In a new survey of 2,000 UK parents by Munchkin to celebrate the launch of the new Click Lock™ range of cups, the international baby brand polled parents and confirmed it can take them up to two years s to get to grips with parenthood, with 58% of mothers fearing they would never get to grips with it. It’s not just mum worrying about herself either, with two thirds stating it takes dad a long time to adjust to their new role.

Even before the birth over half of respondents said they felt scared and just under half felt nervous about the impending arrival showing that this worry for parents starts long before baby is born.

The report showed that nearly two thirds of mums said that they didn’t feel they could confide in anyone if they didn’t feel it had all clicked into place with the most popular response stating that they thought it was something that everyone felt and they didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. If mums did turn to someone it was more than likely their own mum, with 5% asking their mother-in-law.

Top Ten things that mums felt had to be mastered before things clicked in to place
Being in a good routine
Knowing what to do when baby is crying
Not worried about dealing with baby in public
Not panicking when baby is poorly
Leaving the house with a spare change of clothes
Being able to change a nappy quickly
Having baby sleeping through the night
Leaving the house with milk/food and snacks
Always having a toy to entertain baby with
Being able to leave the house on time

But many parents admitted that their worry was a regret and that they should have enjoyed the experience more. Two thirds admitted they wished they has been more calm and relaxed and less worried.

Claire Rayner, Munchkin spokeswoman says “It’s expected that all new parents will feel emotional and overwhelmed after the birth of their child but it’s surprising that it takes up to 2 years for mums to feel that everything had clicked into place.

“It seems that mums feel that they need to have a number of tools in place before they feel fully confident in their role as a parent.”

“At Munchkin we develop products to make life easier for parents and our new range of Click Lock™ cups have a clear audible click when the cup is sealed so that on top of everything else mums have to worry about, spillages and leakage from our cups isn’t one of them.”

Sometimes things in life just click and this is never more true than with the brand new Click Lock™ Cup range from Munchkin! With over 20 years experience, Munchkin, the award-winning international baby brand , is thrilled to launch the brand new Click Lock™ cup range, one of the most innovative and exciting range of cups parents will find on the market today.

The Click Lock™ range features ‘ click’ to lock technology providing a leak proof guarantee, , so drop, throw or tip upside down, no liquid will come out. The cups could not be simpler to use, simply turn the lid until it ‘clicks’ in to place providing parents with an auditory reassurance that the cup is completely sealed. What’s more, the range, just like all Munchkin products, is fun, vibrant and practical, making parents lives that little bit easier .The Click Lock™ cup range starts at £3.99 and for more information log on to www.munchkin.eu.com.

Parents worldwide are choosing Munchkin products because they really do excite and delight, making life easier for today’s busy parents, and having sold over 55 million cups worldwide to date Munchkin know what makes a good cup!

Each item from Munchkin has been designed to excite and delight children whilst making parents lives easier and more enjoyable. The full collection includes a range of colourful and clever bathing, feeding and hygiene products. To see more of the fantastic range and for full stockist details log on to: www.munchkin.eu.com

To Keep or Not to Keep?

What do you do with your children’s clothes when they don’t fit any more?

I’ve been puzzling for some time with what to do with Pumpkin’s clothes as she grows out of them. I’m a recovering hoarder (well sort of recovering!) and have been trying to be strict with how much stuff we keep, only holding onto things that will definitely be used. But I can’t get my head around what to do with the baby clothes.

On one hand, it makes sense to keep them for another (fingers crossed) baby one day. Then I would have tonnes of clothes for them and could almost get by without buying anything else. If I sold them now, would I end up re-buying them later on, and losing out financially?

On the other hand, if we do have another child, it might not be another girl. It might be born in a different season, it might have a different shape and colouring. All those bright pink snow suits in newborn sizes might not prove very useful for a baby boy born in July!

This was the logic that lead me to spend 2 hours photographing newborn baby clothes last week, with the intention of listing them on a local Facebook Selling page. But as I sat thinking about pricing them, I found that I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it! So for now, I’m lugging huge laundry bags full of tiny girlie clothing up to the loft to hold onto for a couple of years.

The thing is, will I be able to bring myself to get rid when the excuse ‘I might need them again’ is gone?

Visit The Baby Show Earls Court this October

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be invited to The Baby Show and had such a great time that I knew I wanted to make the journey up to London again this October for the Earls Court Show. This one promises to be a great show as The Baby Show celebrates its 10th Birthday!

Running from Frirday 26th – Sunday 28th October 2012, the show is a must visit for mums to be and new mums, but don’t be put off if your children are a little older. There is lots to see and do for parents of toddlers (like me!). Pumpkin is almost 2 (eek!) but I know there  will be lots of toddler friendly products on display!

So what will you find at The Baby Show? Well first off is the shopping! I love getting the chance to see and try so many different brands, from the big names to some much smaller companies. There will be over 300 brands present at the show – thats a lot of shopping!

Also available are free changing facilities courtesy of nappy recycling experts Nappies2Go, a free Fisher-Price crèche (bookable in advance), Vtech Smart Play Zone packed with innovative toys to help development through play, a shopping drop off and collect by car service, so that you don’t have to lug your shopping around with you and for the first time you can take the stress out of shopping completely by booking a personal shopping experience with Baby Concierge! Now that sounds fun!

With leading brands such as Britax, Fisher Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, M&S, Stokke, Superdrug, The Gro Company & Trunki in attendance, you really could tick off your whole shopping list in one day!

A who’s who of parenting experts including Professor Robert Winston (Child of our time), Annabel Karmel MBE (The Baby & Toddler Mealplanner), Claire Byam-Cook (celebrity breastfeeding expert) and Dr Julie Coultas (baby development expert). will be on hand to offer their knowledge with events taking place on the stage all weekend.

You can also expect daily fashion shows, The Face of the Baby Show competition, giveaways and of course, lots and lots of opportunity to shop.

The Baby Show, Earls Court 26th – 28th October 2012. Advance tickets cost £13.50 each (Friday) and £14.50 each (Saturday & Sunday) or £20 on the door. http://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/earlscourt

Hope to see you there!

Poundland Back to School Blogger Challenge

Luckily for me I have a couple of years to go until Pumpkin is old enough for school so I’m avoiding the whole Back to School panic for now. So when I was contacted by Poundland to see if I wanted to take part in their Back to School Blogger Challenge I passed the opportunity onto someone who I knew would benefit, my sister and niece E, aged 7.

They were given a £10 voucher to spend in Poundland and the instruction to see how much they could buy for E’s first day back at school. I’ll hand over to my sister to report back on their shopping trip.

E was excited about the challenge of getting everything we needed in one shop and so was I – no traipsing around all the shops working out where to get the best value. Poundland won that without a doubt.

I was shocked to find a whole Back to School range with a lot more choice than I had expected – and the range of stationery on 2 items for £1? Brilliant.  

The value was amazing although I did have to swap a few bits when I realised the Home and Office range had even more to offer for the money.

E has already filled the 2 cute pencil cases (one with normal everyday bits and one one with colouring pens and pencils) and has been putting things to the test. 

We have found no faults at all with any of the bits and the zips on the pencil cases are strong. E is looking forward to learning how to use the bits in the mathematics set and of course showing off her new lunchbox and bottle as lunchtime is her favourite time of the school day!


And here is a look at the fabulous haul they picked up for just £10.

Its an impressive list!

    • 2 x pencil cases (2 for £1)
    • 2 rulers (2 for £1)
    • 10 hb pencils (2 for £1)
    • 10 colouring pencils (2 for £1)
    • 15 felt tip pens (2 for £1)
    • 6 piece stationery set (2 for £1)
    • 7 piece maths set (2 for £1)
    • 6 piece study box in a handy case (2 for £1)
    • 4 reporters notebooks
    • A4 writing pad (2 for £1)
    • Maths revision book
    • 2 drinks bottles
    • Lunchbox
    • 9 boxes of organic raisins as a healthy snack for the school day
Well done both of you! The Back to School range is in Poundland stores now.

Disclosure: We were sent a £10 voucher to spend in Poundland. All opinions are honest and no payment was received for this post.

WIN tickets to The Baby Show Manchester

This competition is now closed and the winners have been notified.

The UK’s leading baby and parenting show is coming to Manchester this August and to celebrate, The Baby Show is teaming up with Devon Mummy to offer you the chance to win tickets to this essential event on 31st August – 2nd September at EventCity, Manchester.


The Baby Show in association with Made for Mums and sponsored by Fisher-Price is the perfect place to visit for all parents and parents-to-be who want to find the latest maternity and nursery products on the market – all from the very best UK and international brands! The show will feature 200 must-have brands including Fisher-Price, Babies R Us, Mamas & Papas, and Mothercare, as well as niche and designer products. Visitors will be able to enjoy special offers, great entertainment and hear from baby care experts all in one place. What’s more, EventCity, Manchester offers first class first facilities and has over 3000 FREE car parking spaces.

The Baby Show also boasts expert speakers on hand to give support, guidance and advice to all visitors, including midwives from Channel 4’s award-winning show ‘One Born Every Minute’ and baby food and nutrition expert Annabel Karmel. The Baby Show has become an essential event in all parents’ calendars and has also attracted a celebrity following with stars including Una Healy, Stacey Solomon and Chantelle Houghton spotted searching for the best products at earlier shows this year!

With everything in one place and with the added bonus of exclusive offers and expert advice, you’ll find everything you need without the stress of the high street! For more information, visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk

For the chance to get your hands on FREE tickets for The Baby Show in Manchester, simply enter by following these simple instructions.

To Enter:

There are three pairs of tickets to give away. The competition closes at 6pm on Thursday 9th August. You may enter in one or all of the following ways. PLEASE leave a separate comment for each entry.

1) Answer the following question in the comments. How many must-have brands will be on show at The Baby Show Manchester?

2) Tweet the following ‘I’ve entered to win tickets to @TheBabyShow with @devon_mummy http://wp.me/p2i9i5-6X’

3) Like Devon Mummy on Facebook here and share my post about this competition on your wall

The Pickling Hour

Pickle [in singular] British informaldated used as an affectionate form of address to a mischievous child (source: Oxford Dictionaries).

Each evening, just after tea but before bath time, our house falls under the spell of the Pickling Hour. No matter what mood Pumpkin has been in all day, or how tired or not she may be, around 6.30 each evening she becomes a Pickle.

That’s our description of the mood she finds herself in. She is mischievous, cheeky, sometimes naughty. But all with a massive smile on her face and a glint in her eye!

Can I let you into a little secret? Its my favourite time of day! I love watching her look around the room for the next thing to entertain her. Its the point in the day when she doesn’t want to play with blocks any more, but emptying them all on the floor sounds fun. Books are no longer for reading, but for spreading across the lounge. Drawers and cupboards that she shows no interest in all day get opened and she looks at us from the corner of her eye to see what our reaction is!

In fact, in this mood, its quite difficult to upset her. A stern “No” just gets a grin and she moves onto the next thing. Pickling away until bath time.

In fact, the pickling hour lasts until the second she gets in the bath. Maybe the water is an antidote to it somehow! Running the bath is a messy affair as it is apparently the most fun to stick your hand under the running (cold) bath tap so that water sprays across the room!

I think that the reason I love this time of day the best is that its our last chance to have some fun before bed. Its a great chance to forget how busy our day has been, and any stresses that might have happened, and to make sure our day ends on a happy note.

This post was inspired by the Britmums Blogging Prompt ‘Your Favourite Time of Day

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