Sunday, 29 July 2012

The land of the abandoned blog...

When I have a spare second away from that whole mothering thing I sometimes find myself wandering through the lovely land of blogs.  I like it there, it is a bright and interesting place to visit.  You can wander to a friendly corner and find chatter and natter, gossip and fun.  Or if you go off in the another direction you might find yourself involved in an interesting and lively debate.  Sometimes if you are really lucky you can happen upon a fab competition or a super easy, 5 minute, mummy brain proof fool proof recipe for that thing you've been dying to make but could never be bothered to do before!  I could happily while away the hours exploring this fantastic and varied world.  However, sometimes I take a wrong turn and stumble into a very curious and very saddening part of blog land. The land of abandoned blogs...

All too frequently I'll stumble across a blog that has been abandoned.  Some for months, many for years.  I read these blogs with great interest.  The blogs are usually great, the bloggers personality leaping from the page.  Their passion, intellect and personality shining through each and every word, and then...NOTHING.  More often than not there is no mention, or even hint that they plan to leave blog land behind.  Nothing in their blog to say so.  I tend to overthink a lot of stuff in life, and I have to say that when I find an abandoned blog it sets me to thinking...What has become of the blogger?  Are they ok? What could cause them to abandon a blog they had clearly crafted with so much love and spent so much time on?  It makes me sad to think about it.

In truth, I have thought many times of scrapping my blog, walking away, but I actually don't know if I could.  Or if I did, could I stay away for good?  It's true that lately I've had a bit of a mental block, and it constantly crosses my mind that I have nothing really of interest to blog about (although I still think that).   I'm glad I didn't bin my blog though, it's nice to know it's there.  A place for me to say exactly what I want.  Who cares if it isn't everybody's cup of tea!

Since I started blogging I've only known one other blogger who went MIA, they started around the same time as me with a cracking good blog.  With posts and ideas I could only dream of.  A wonderfully friendly presence in blog land and twitter, then one day I noticed they had gone.  No indication, no warning, just gone.  I often wonder about where they went and why...not that it's my business and I didn't know them well either (not even their real name). Perhaps I should have tried to stay in contact? 

So there you have it.  What do you think about abandoned blogs?  Do you know of any?  Would you try to contact the blogger (even if you didn't know them) to find out what happened or check they were ok?
Monday, 16 July 2012

Review & Giveaway - Yoomi feeding system

I had heard about the Yoomi self warming bottle a few times in the past and have always wondered if it was as good as everyone said.  It did sound wonderful, a baby bottle which heats in 60 seconds to the perfect temperature, what's not to love?  So when I was offered the opportunity to try out the Yoomi feeding system I jumped at the chance!

The Yoomi feeding system includes :

The Yoomi bottle

The bottle on it's own is great.  The bottle is BPA free (which is reassuring to know), it is an anti colic design with 6 anti colic vents when standard anti colic bottles only have 4. The teats are super soft and breast shaped making them ideal for transitioning from breast to bottle, top up feeding or combined breast and bottle feeding.   Previously when we transitioned my daughter (7 months) from breast to bottle feeds she was very fussy about the teats and bottles she would feed from, but she took to the Yoomi bottle straight away when we tried it.

The Warmer


This nifty bit of kit is the bit that heats your bottle in just 60 secs at the touch of a button (its all very sci-fi)!  Great if you are out and about, meaning you don't have to miraculously find boiling water from somewhere! Nor do you need to constantly check the temp of the milk during warming as the warmer only heats the milk to a safe temperature (booby milk temp actually)!  Previously, in order to get the Yoomi warmer ready you had to heat it in a pan of boiling water or steam steriliser for 25 minutes.  I would imagine that this was a little bit of a drawback to the Yoomi system as doing this before every trip out seems somewhat time consuming.  However, the boffins over at Yoomi have come up with a beautifully simple time saving alternative to heating your warmer up - The Yoomi pod!

The Pod

The pod really is a super quick way to charge up your bottle warmer.  You just pop it in your microwave for 2 mins and you are ready to go.  Also, the pod can be used as a handy carry case.  I think you'll agree this is definitely a time saver!  We certainly found it quick and easy to use when getting ready to go out for the day.  Much easier than remembering to get ready 25 mins before you need to go out.  As a scatty mum I'd never have remembered to do it!  So the pod is ideal for me!

So what is my overall opinion of the Yoomi range?

I think Yoomi is a great invention.  It is easy and quick to use.  It is safe, with no need to faff about with boiling water thanks to the new Yoomi pod.  The bottle design is great for all babies.   It is not only great for out and about, but a quick way to heat up night feeds too.  Our whole family really like using our Yoomi.

Any drawbacks or negatives?

I only wish I'd had one earlier!

So if you'd tried the Yoomi range what do you think of it?  Or perhaps you'd like to try it out for yourself?

Well thanks to the lovely people at Yoomi you can!  All you need to do is enter the giveaway below and you could get your hands on a fab Yoomi feeding system for your family!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a Yoomi feeding system to review; all opinions are honest and my own
Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Domestic Abuse - #don't cover it up

This isn't something I talk about normally, perhaps I should though.  It's just...difficult. I have experienced domestic violence at the hands of a partner.   Not many people know this about me, only my current partner and a few close friends.  I've never even told my parents.

Many years ago, I had an abusive boyfriend.  He wasn't always abusive, it happened gradually.  He went from being caring and attentive, to a possessive, mean, violent drunk.  I was slapped, hit and verbally abused on many occassions. Sometimes he would break my possessions too. There were worse incidents, like the time he tried to smash a glass in my face.  I wasn't allowed to see friends without his permission, and if I was allowed out he would often follow me and turn up drunk to cause trouble.

I was lucky I suppose,  the violence I suffered was fairly minimal.  I was good at recognising the signs that he was about to lose it, at which point I would often go home (if he let me), as I still lived with my parents. I was lucky to have somewhere to get away from him. There were lots of incidents.  He was always drunk when it happened, and always begged forgiveness.  I was young and niave and went along with it, too scared to leave him. Eventually I worked up the courage to split up with him with the support of my friends.  If it hadn't been for them, I don't know what might have happened.  I honestly believe without help and support it would have continued...I hate to think how it would have ended.

Not everyone is a s lucky as me though.  Many people have nowhere to go, no one to tell, no one to help them.  More often than not, they are too scared to tell someone.  I know I was for a while.

No one should suffer in silence.  No one should have to be hurt, alone and scared.

Refuge can help. Refuge offer a wide range of services to women and children facing domestic violence.  These include:

  • A National Domestic Violence Helpline
  • A network of refuges across the country
  • Outreach services 
  • Independent Legal Advocacy
  • Culturally specific services  

What can we do to help?

Refuge have launched a thought provoking campaign to raise awareness and encourage women to reach out to get help and support. This is the campaign video, please watch it.

There are many things you can do to help this campaign;
  • Share the video on social networks to raise awareness
  • Sign the PETITION for more life saving domestic violence services
  • Visit 1 in 4 women
  • Visit the Refuge website
  • Donate to Refuge by texting LUKE05 £2 to 70070

1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.   It is time to stop it.     Please.     Don't cover it up.  Thank you for reading.     
Monday, 2 July 2012

FlexiBath Review

Our daughter Holly is 6 months old and we've just booked our first family holiday!  Before now, we've only stayed away with Holly once and I was absolutely shocked by how much baby gear we had to take with us. We really struggled to find room for everything and we were only away for 3 nights!  Her baby bath especially, which took up so much room!  Even though Holly can now sit up I find it difficult bathing her in a regular bath as I have back problems and also, she slides all over the place which is terrifying!  So for holidays that really isn't an option at all.  With that in mind I have been seriously pondering what we where going to do about bathing her on holiday!

So, imagine my excitement when I received the Flexibath  from the lovely people at Whitestep for review!

What is a Flexibath?

What the advertising says;

"A baby bath  that you can fold away in seconds for easy storage.  Flexibath - innovative baby bath tub in 6 great colours.

Baby bath tub - great when you need it, but what to do with it when you don't? In many bathrooms, where space is at a premium - your baby bath tub just adds to the clutter.

Wouldn't it be great if you could just fold up your baby bath tub and stow it away when not in use?

Now you can. Flexi Bath is the brainchild of Danish designers who created the first and only hard plastic children's bath tub which you can fold up flat and put away within seconds."

First impressions of the Flexibath

I was incredibly surprised by how light it was despite being made of very sturdy plastic.  It was much more compact than I expected when folded, but when it is opened you discover it is a very generously sized bath, perfect for continually growing babies! Also, it is incredibly easy to use.  There is no effort required to fold or open up the bath, it can literally be brought out or put away in seconds.  There is no complicated way of folding it at all, just fold and hold in place with the clip at the side and that's it!  Such a simple but effective design.

I was also surprised to discover that the flexibath is that it isn't just for babies!  It is suitable for children from 0-4 years, so it won't end up being one of those items you buy for your baby which they will outgrow in a couple of months. Not only that, but when your child eventually outgrows it you can then use it as a storage box, a toy box or even a laundry basket which you can conveniently fold away when not in use!  What a useful item to have around!  Knowing how many different ways there are to use the flexibath it definitely seems like value for money to me!

Using the Flexibath

Holly loves this bath! Unlike her previous baby bath it is big enough that she can properly splash and play in the water as it is not only a good length, but nice and deep as well.  At 6 months I can easily see that this bath will be big enough to last her for years to come.

Splishing and splashing!

When bath-time is over, to empty the bath we simply place the full bath in our own bath or shower tray and remove the rubber plug.  The water drains away slowly and steadily which is good if you are using a shower tray as it means you won't risk flooding the bathroom. Once drained just fold, clip and pop away wherever you like!
The rubber plug

Ideal for holiday use?

I would say definitely, we actually took the bath away with us for a long weekend (test run for our big holiday) and it was ideal!  We packed our boot full of our bags and pushchair and we simply lay the folded bath on top of all our luggage.  No problem at all.  I dare say if you actually did run out of room in the boot this bath is compact enough to be stored in one of the seat foot wells of your car as well.

I also tried popping it into a full suitcase and it fit perfectly in that too.  It is light enough that it shouldn't effect your baggage allowance either! 

When we were away we didn't have lots of room to store it either so to have a bath that could be filled and drained using a shower was ideal too.  So as a holiday item I'd definitely recommend it!  You could even use it as a baby paddling pool outdoors if you are on holiday and need a quick way to keep your little ones cool!

Any negative points?

I wouldn't say this was a negative really, just something which I feel could be improved upon.  We use the bath on the floor (easier on my back), me sitting on one side and daddy on the other. The clip used to fold the bath (located on one side) sticks out when the bath is unfolded.  The clip isn't sharp or anything like that, but I have found it caught on our clothes when sitting beside the bath.  Perhaps there should be some way to hold the clip when it isn't in use?

Overall view

A great value, good quality baby bath.  Not just good for holidays and trips away but every day use. It is great for space saving as it will fit into just about any space no matter how small. A great all round product with many uses.  Reasonably priced at £29.95 it is available in a great variety of colours too.  You can even get matching bath toys!  Both Holly and I give this bath a big thumbs up!

Disclosure: I was sent a Flexi Bath to review; all opinions are honest and my own

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