Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

When to Give Independence a Go!

H is 3 and a half now and I still see her as my baby, probably because there is 5 and half years between her and B, but even with Mr D’s kids round, she is much younger. B has got the freedom to go to her room which was decorated in the summer and she has started going out to play where I can see her. Thing is though, H likes to do what her sister does and as her room was also decorated in the summer I’m constantly being asked “can I play in my bedroom”.

This is all new to me, when B was that age she was the only child in a house bigger than this one and so generally played downstairs where I could see her. She never wanted to play in her room, in fact it’s only really in the last 6 months she has started doing that. So I had a dilemma, let H play in her room or not. If only I had a way of keeping an eye on her without her thinking I am watching her….

Then I got an email from Storage Options about their new range of Products, one of which being the KidCam. At first I was a little sceptical this would be what I was looking for but I was sent it to try out and I cannot sing it’s praises enough. Take a look on the website for the specifications, but here’s my view on the product. The two cameras are small and light weight and come with two different stands, one which uses suction to attach to a window or mirror, and another which can be used as a stand, or attached to the wall with screws (not supplied). Then there is the monitor unit which also has a stand or can be carried around the house as the units are completely wireless. Three chargers are included so all 3 units can be charged at the same time.

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I was expecting the pairing process to be a pain. It’s always the case, when you get a new bluetooth headset or want to sort out your wireless network, it is never as easy as the instructions would have you believe. Imagine my shock when I switched on the units and they were already paired. It is all done in the factory so it is literally power on and go. The great thing is that you can have the monitor streaming live video with sound from either camera. You can also have a split screen to see the feeds from both cameras at the same time. The also work in the dark through infra red, and it really is a clear picture day or night.

I have to say the KidCam really has changed the amount of independence I can let H have, and I am sure as she grows the use of the KidCam will adapt, for instance to cover her playing in the garden while I sort the washing. I guess the benefits are endless especially as a single parent, two kids with only one set of eyes can be hard!

Adapters are available for you to use the device in the car, and also available are the BabyCam Car and BabyCam Nursery, so whatever your child monitoring needs they have something for you.

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December 30, 2011 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , | 1 Comment

Olive the Ostrich

Kids TV is great isn’t it? Ok, maybe some of it is and some of it can drive parents mad. Every once in a while a new show pops up and as a parent I think, yes, that’s a good one.

Nick Jr have just launched one of those kids programmes  and if you haven’t yet seen it look out for Olive the Ostrich.

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Olive is an ostrich with a huge heart and a big imagination. When she buries her head in the sand she goes on fantastical adventures, popping up somewhere new in every episode. She is friendly, enthusiastic and loves to solve problems wherever she goes.

Narrated by Rolf Harris, each episode of Olive the Ostrich features characters, props and backgrounds created by children aged 6 to 9 years. Selected schools from across the UK hosted workshops to inspire creativity and develop storytelling skills. Pupils learnt about the film making process and created artwork which was used in the finished episodes, after being brought to life by the show’s animators.

Olive the Ostrich is created in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.

I was asked to review the program with H so this evening we sat after dinner and watched 2 episodes. H thought it was great, she commented on how colourful and happy it was. She then spent 10 minutes singing the theme tune!  Now in my eyes, that means she enjoyed it!! Even B watched it with us and she was engrossed, considering she is 8 that just shows how versatile this program is.

As for me, well I found myself chuckling along. Rolf Harris narrates wonderfully clearly, and hearing him reminded me of my own childhood. The episodes we watched saw Olive travel to a theatre to see William Shakesbear and to a cowboy ranch where she met a goat called Billy the Kid, oh and not to mention at one point we saw Olive crowd surfing!

Olive the Ostrich can also be found on the Nick Jr website where you can find colouring activities and clips to watch so why not check it out here.

Each episode is just 5 minutes long, which is ideal for little minds as it’s not to long that they lose interest half way through. At 8:15am and 6:30pm you can find Olive the Ostrich on Nick Jr, so let your little ones check it out. I’ve not got Nick Jr until my Sky gets installed in a fortnight, but I have already promised H that she can watch it once we have the channel!!

September 9, 2011 Posted by | Parenting, TV | , | Leave a comment

Back to school range at Clintons!!

It’s that time of year again and everone is shouting about their amazing Back to School range, it can sometimes be a bit daunting as to where to start and what your kids actually need, so when I was approached to review Clintons back to school range I thought that would be an ideal way to see what’s out there.

Clintons is here to help get the new school year off to a great start – from themed pencil cases, lunch boxes and notepads to thoughtful back to school cards, yes you really can get cards for everything these days! Clintons is also making it easier for parents by offering 3-for-2 on its back to school range from 16th August (whilst stocks last), helping you treat your little ones within budget.

I have to say I was really impressed when I looked at the products. Here’s some of the items in the range and what I thought:

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Stay organised with this colourful Boofle Notepad – £3.99

It’s so cute, perfect for any girl at school, whatever the age! B loves this and she is 8, but I would imagine many teenagers will like this too. It has a cute dangly tag on the spine and an elastic band meaning if your kids want to keep loose bits of paper in with their notebook, it will all be held together!

 

 

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This set of two Boofle Pens will help to inspire wonderful words – £3.99

Not only are these great for back to school, but they are of good quality, you could put these away for friends birthdays. Pens always go missing so the fact this is a pack of two is great – one for now and one for when the first gets lost!!

 

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Keep all of your school stationary in order with this funky Tokyo Toys Pencil Case£3.99

This pencil case is fantastic. The small pocket on the front is fab for pencil sharpeners meaning no annoying shavings getting all over those brand new pencils and pens! And they really have it right with the danglies, kids love them! This is great quality and just the right size for kids of the younger age range, who only need a few bits!

 

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And then we have the important stuff, lunch time is not just about food and Clinton have seen that and bring these fantastic products out. The lunch bag is priced at £7.99 and the bottle at £3.99. What I really love though is that the bag has an elastic strap in it, meaning you can put the bottle in, or anything else, and be assured it will stay upright by making sure it’s sat in the strap. It’s a decent size, I think I could even fit my own lunch in there!!

 

Clinton Cards is the largest specialist retailer of quality greetings cards, gifts and related products in the UK. Founded in 1968, Clinton Cards now has over 650 stores nationwide and two million shoppers through its doors each week.

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I have to admit, I wouldn’t have thought about going to a card shop for my back to school supplies, but after trying out some of the range, I will definitely be heading over there to see what else is about, and would recommend these products without a doubt!!

September 7, 2011 Posted by | Parenting, Product Reviews, School and Childcare | , , , , | Leave a comment

Upsy Daisy Tea Party – Toy Review

In the Night Garden Dressy Upsy Daisy Tea Party.

I was recently contacted about reviewing some toys that have recently hit the market and one of them was the Upsy Daisy Tea Party. Now anyone with preschoolers will know that In The Night Garden is one of those kids programs that is addictive for the little ones! H has loads of Night Garden toys and absolutely loved this one.

When it arrived H wanted it out straight away, no surprise there!!! In the set was Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, a head band for Upsy Daisy, 2 cups, saucers and spoons, and a tea pot. Igglepiggle’s blanket is removable and can be used as their picnic blanket too.

Now one thing that bugs me with kids toys is the amount of packaging, but this really impressed me! Both figures were secured into place using ribbon which could be cut without damaging the toys, and the other bits popped out with ease. Although lots of ties are used to keep the bits in place in the box, it took a minute to get this little lot out and for me that’s a major plus with a two year old yelling for the bits!

H was really impressed and has had this toy out loads ever since we got it. She loves to feed Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, oh and me too! She is the typical kind of two year old who loves role play, be it in her kitchen or with her pushchair and doll, so this was right up her street and compliments the other food toys she has. The other good bit is that both figures are soft and cuddly so when H said she wanted this Igglepiggle to go to bed with rather than her other one, I had no hesitation in letting her.

Aimed at age 2 and over, at an RRP of £29.99 this is an ideal Christmas present idea, and I would have no hesitation in buying this for my own or for friends children. For kids who love the whole role play side of things, this is great and the fact it includes characters that our kids know and love just makes it even better!

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , , | 2 Comments

Plum Baby Review

The lovely people at Plum Baby recently asked me to review some of their scrummy toddler biscuits and I of course jumped at the chance. I hadn’t tried these with H before and she has recently gone off biscuits so it was interesting to see what she would think.

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I received the Milky Moons and the Oat Rounds and was very impressed. These biscuits are shaped for little hands and are great for teething toddlers as they are quite substantial. Unlike “normal” biscuits, they don’t just crumble in a toddlers mouth. H did however find them a little hard and I had to break them up in a dish for her, but once I did that she loved them. And of course knowing they are targeted at her age range, I know her needs are taken into account.

 

And I also have to admit I really like the oat rounds too, which means we can both eat the same snack, as H, like many toddlers of her age, wants what other people have got!

 

I also love the fact the Oat Rounds come in handy twin packs which is great for picnics, pack ups, or just to have in your handbag for when your out and about. These biscuits get a thumbs up from me and from H, so go on and give them a go!

 

The folks over at Plum Baby have given me 15 samples of yummy 4 grain porridge to give away to my lovely readers.

porridgePlum Baby is all about real food for babies and not just baby food and all the products are made with the highest quality organic ingredients. They offer babies a taste of what’s to come and are full of nutrients and nothing artificial.

 

To enter, simply go to the Plum Baby newsletter  (http://www.plum-baby.co.uk/plum-mums/plum-mums-sign-up) and sign up using the code “Super Single Mum” – and the winners will be chosen at random in 7 days time.

 

Check out www.Plum-Baby.co.uk and discover more yummy products from the Plum Kitchen.

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , , , , | 2 Comments

I didn’t know Wilkinson’s did Baby Products!!

I received an email last week asking me to try out a new range of baby products, from Wilkinson’s! I must admit I was a little dubious. Thing is, Wilko’s to me is for cleaning products, and garden items. That’s because when I was younger that was what my parents and Grandparents bought there!

Oh how my view has changed. I was asked to review 3 items, Baby Wipes, Baby Wash and Anti-Bacterial Wipes. I was very pleasantly surprised. All three products smelt fresh and were pleasant to use. The Baby Wipes come in a pack of 80, which I believe from looking at other packs is standard. At just 97p per pack I was unsure what to expect. I have used low price wipes before and found the quality to be low too, but these smell great, are very strong and feel soft. I have even taken to using them to remove my make up!

The anti-bacterial wipes were a surprise. I usually just use normal anti-bac cleaners around the home so having such a wipe was actually really handy. The best thing they are for is wiping down the table and H’s seat after meals. I no longer need to get out the spray cleaner and find a cleaning cloth etc. Just grab these wipes and I know that it’s job done. They have a pleasant lemon fragrance and the packet says they give 4 hours protection against the nasties. There are 30 wipes per pack and at 77p I will definitely be buying these again. I also think they are ideal to keep in a changing bag for when your out and about. I know I have been caught in situations where I haven’t 100% trusted that a high chair in a cafe has been cleaned down properly, so this is a handy way to know your kids are eating from clean surfaces because lets face it, a 2 year old has a habit of dropping food off their plate and then eating it from the high chair tray!!

Wilkinson's Baby Wash

Finally the Baby Wash, at just 97p per bottle I was again a little wary. I don’t tend to use products on H, she still has fantastic baby soft skin and just bubble bath in the water is enough for her. So this I tested out on me and B. My skin is pretty sensitive and own brand body washes tend to irritate me. I have used this without any issue and B has used it and got on with it great. I have no hesitation that in the next few months, when the time comes that bubbly water isn’t enough for H, then I will use this with her too.

So well done Wilkinson’s, you’ve surprised me in a good way and I will definitely be buying these again and would recommend all 3 of these products to anyone with kids!

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Avatar 3D

Any one who knows me, knows I don’t do films. There are classics that I haven’t seen to the shock of others, so the mere fact that I have seen Avatar in 3D at the cinema is in itself amazing!

The phenomenal James Cameron film (Titanic & Terminator) was released in the UK on December 18th 2009. The sheer fact the film is still showing in cinemas after almost 2 months gives the “wow” factor, but last night I went to the 8pm screening of Avatar 3D and the queue to get in was as big as that of New Moon on opening night.

Within seconds of putting on those sexy 3D specs I knew I was in for a treat. I even had to remind myself at first to pay attention to the story and not just the things popping out of the screen. For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, I’ll give a quick synopsis – set in the future, the human race has travelled to Pandora and our hero Jake Sully takes on the role of Avatar pilot, his mission to be one of the Na’vi in the aim of getting them to move from Home Tree so the humans can knock it down and get to the valuable rock buried underneath. As a paraplegic ex marine, he not only has to get used to a new, blue body, but also having the use of his legs again. It’s a story of war, fantasy lands, magic, love, trust and morality and it’s safe to say there is something in there for everyone. To view the trailer and find out more about the story visit www.avatarmovie.com

Now we come to the big WOW factor for me. Like I said, the vast amount of people eager to see the film told me I must be in for a treat but nothing could prepare me for what was to come. When I was a kid, thoughts of movies that came out of the screen were that of the distant future. I’ve done the whole red and green glasses for comic relief and various other kids DVD’s, only to get annoyed that it didn’t even look 3D! I’ll be honest, I was expecting to be disappointed. I really was getting annoyed with a fly that kept buzzing right in front of my face (nope, it was 20 meters away on the screen!), I really was flinching when leaves were being kicked up into my face. Having only seen this film in 3D I just know watching it when it comes out on DVD will be such a disappointment! But I have to say the proof of what a breath taking film this is, is the fact no one was giggling about jumping when it looked like you were getting an arrow in the head, because the story and the effects took you to Pandora, for two and a half hours I was there!

If I haven’t convinced you, well go see for yourself! Even my Mum and Dad are planning to go and I last remember my mum going to the cinema about 10 years ago! This is the future of cinema, it’s an amazing piece of history, but more than that it is a phenomenal film. More 3D projects are coming this year, all the trailers at last nights showing were for future 3D releases. This is the new normality, our kids and our grandkids will think it strange when we are sat in our 70’s saying “back in my day films were flat!”

I would love to hear what you thought if you’ve been, or if reading this has encouraged you to go?

For downloadable wallpapers see www.avatarmovie.com The example above is just 1 they have available.

February 14, 2010 Posted by | Film Reviews | , , | Leave a comment