Baby S will turn 6 months old just before Christmas. You might think I’m mean, but I’m not going to spend much money on him… I’d rather keep it back for when he’s older!
He has all the clothes, toys and books he needs from his hand-me-downs from big brother W! For W’s first Christmas 2 years ago we bought him small toys like stacking cups, sensory balls and sensory books. So it means we’ve struggled to think of anything S really needs…
Portmeirion has always held a special place in my heart. It’s an Italian village in North Wales where I visited as a child and again 5 years ago with my other half when we decided to climb nearby Snowdon a few months after meeting!
Portmeirion is also famous for the crockery it produces, which I love. It reminds me of my childhood home, where the Portmeirion dinner set comes out at special occasions like Christmas. If me and the other half ever get married, a Portmeirion dinner set would be on the wedding list, until then I have one of their vases to keep me happy!
We’d fancied a Silver Cross pram before W was born, they’re a well-established, high quality British brand… But I never knew they made other products like bedding….
I was kindly sent a Silver Cross sleepsuit/sleeping bag for baby S from their new ‘to the moon and back’ range.
It will still be a good few weeks til baby S can use it as the minimum weight is 8lb 8oz and he’s probably about a pound away from that at the moment! I’ll do a proper review once he’s using it but I wanted to let you know about it sooner rather than later so you can check it out on the Silver Cross website.
It’s such a beautiful, luxurious sleeping bag, I can’t wait to try it out…
As per the name of the range, the design features a moon and lots of stars… Lovely neutral colours which would suit any nursery and any girl or boy!
The fabric feels fantastic and tactile… It’s quilted cotton with jersey lining on the inside, making our babies even more cuddly than usual 🙂
It’s worth checking out, especially if you’re getting a nursery ready for a baby or looking for nice gifts… Like I said, very neutral and gender-neutral and perfect for little dreamers!
If the quality of the sleepsuit is anything to go by, I’m sure the rest of the range is just as high quality! I’ll be back to do a full review (will be interesting to see how it comes out after a wash!) in a few weeks so enjoy browsing until then!
Disclosure: I was sent this sleeping bag in exchange for a review but as always opinions are my own!
You might have noticed our lovely new changing bag in my hospital bag post… We used it for baby S’s first clothes, nappies etc in hospital….
Now we’ve finally had our first outing as a family of four (only to our local shopping outlet!) we got to try it out properly
Is this the best changing bag ever?!
I absolutely love this changing bag for so many reasons:
It’s like a tardis – doesn’t look overly big from the outside but it’s really roomy on the inside!
It has separate sections and bags on the inside which is great for finding specific stuff, avoiding leakage/contamination etc! That includes a nappy bag, bottle insulator, strap for keys…
It has 4 strap options – the small handle on top, pram straps, shoulder strap for carrying/hanging on pram and the very handy rucksack option!
I love the design and choice of plain/neutral colours… I don’t think it’s overly feminine which is handy for when daddy is using it!
Great price… RRP is £64.99 but they’re currently on sale at Smyths Toys for £48.99 – I think this is fantastically competitive compared to other changing bags on the market
Despite the low price, it feels like a really high quality product – feels well-made and long-lasting all over including little bits of detail like the zippers
Is this the most spacious changing bag ever?!
For our first outing we managed to fit into the bag our usual kit:
Spare outfit for Toddler W
Spare outfit for baby S
3 nappies for W
5 nappies for S
2 x Muslin sheets
Bottle for baby S
Bottle of water and snack pack for W
Pack of baby wipes
Some of W’s toy cars
My wallet and keys!
It all fitted in with plenty of space which is brilliant! If I’ve only got one of the boys with me, there should be plenty of space to use for some bits of shopping etc 😀
I’ve only got a very small Next bag to compare it to, but this Tots by SmarTrike bag smashes that one out of the park! I can’t think of anything negative to say about this toTs by SmarTrike bag although I don’t have any other premium ones to compare it to. It smashes my cheap, little Next one out of the park! What do you guys think of it?
Disclaimer: I was given this bag in exchange for a review, but as always all opinions are my own!
In terms of location, it couldn’t be much handier, bang smack in the centre of Cardiff and attached to the St David’s 2 shopping/food complex.
As it was dark, I didn’t manage to get any decent photos of the interior to share with you, but it’s big, airy, modern yet full of Italian-style details eg rustic crockery. It was busy and bustling, but felt relaxing and intimate at the same time…
So what did we eat? The three of us of all chose the same starter… Crab and avocado bruschetta (£6.70) which looked amazing and tasted even better! We agreed it was like a flavour explosion with yoghurt, chilli and fennel all complimenting the crab and avocado…. Really delicious and a perfect starter!
Then it was time for the main course, I chose the ‘famous prawn linguine’ (£13.50) and again this was delicious, great egg pasta (made daily on the premises) and lovely flavours of prawn, garlic, chilli, tomato, saffron, fennel and lemony rocket… None of which overpowered each other, it was actually very soothing (comfort food!) Yum!
My friends had the classic tagliatelle bolognese (£10.95) and something I’d not heard of before but an Italian favourite ‘Turkey milanese’ (£13.50) which is basically breadcrumbed Turkey with an egg on top! All the mains were enjoyed and devoured… I should have got a photo of the empty plates!
Only negative we could really think of is that the Turkey would have been even better with some potatoes on the side, same reason I plumped for the pasta instead of a Seabass special they had on the board… Can’t eat meat/fish without carbs ;)! They do have fries and garlic bread on the sides menu but I’m surprised they don’t do some kind of crushed potatoes or something?
Now for the dessert course. At this stage one friend ducked out and had a hot chocolate – she told me tell it you was lovely! But the two pregnant ladies carried on 😉 I had the Amalfi lemon meringue cheesecake (£5.45) and it was so good! It was a decent portion but felt nice and light (guessing that’s due to the mascarpone) and it was so good I even ate most of the blackcurrants which I don’t normally like!
I also had a lovely mint tea to wash it down with. My friend ordered the apple and blackberry pavlova (£5.45) and loved it, I wish I’d tried it as I’d been close to ordering it myself… I’ll have to have it next time… Looks amazing too!
So great location and interior, great food and now I have to mention our waiter Nedim. He’s been working there for 5 years which I thought was a good sign and reflects his passion for the food and brand. He told me how he’d lived in Italy for 6 years before moving to Wales and so that explains why he had a good knowledge on Italian food (I never knew fennel was good for digestion!). He was friendly, efficient and knowledgable, thanks for a lovely evening Nedim!
Thank you Jamie’s for a lovely night… Smiles all round and hopefully see you again soon!
Small print: I was invited to review Jamie’s Italian in Cardiff, and was given vouchers towards the cost of the meal but we paid for the rest ourselves, and opinions are my own!
Baby W was very excited when this big box arrived….
The Chicco 123 is basically a 3-in-1:
A baby walker for babies aged 6 months old up
A push-along ‘first steps’ for roughly 9 months up
A ride-on for toddlers aged 18 months and older
As W was 14 months old when it arrived, we skipped the first step as he would be too big for it – and tried out the ‘first steps’ bit….
He went straight for the phone on the activity centre as you can see above and below… he wouldn’t let it go 😉
He quite enjoyed toddling around with the ‘baby steps’ version but because he was already walking confidently by the time we got it, he didn’t really ‘need’ it as a push-along. It would have come in really handy when he really was taking his first steps as I can imagine it’s great for their confidence… feels very sturdy and good to control, not too fast or anything!
I know he’s a little bit young for it but I wanted to try out the ‘ride on’ part so we put that together….
…and he LOVED it! It’s a little bit big for him so I had to push him along but he really enjoyed it and was bouncing up and down for more!
I think it’s great that all 3 parts have the activity centre as the main element – he loved this…
….as well as his favourite element – the phone, it also has a mirror, a panda button and ladybird switch – I think it looks really cute
Now this activity centre also has sounds, but we haven’t experienced them yet as you need a screwdriver to put the batteries in and I have no idea where our screwdriver is! I’m always puzzled why brands insist on this screwdriver thing, they should make products as easy as possible for new parents!
Overall toddler W loved this… I think as he gets older we will get lots of use out of the ride-on, and I think we can officially call the phone ‘his first mobile phone’! Here’s some pros and cons I thought of if you’re thinking of buying it….
Great value for money – you should be able to buy it for £69.99 which I think is great considering you get 3 different uses out of it from a little baby to a big toddler!
In our case, if I’d got this sooner – I might have been able to do without the jumperoo we bought, and the vtech baby walker – saves you having to buy lots of different things!
Looks good, bright colours etc
Relatively easy to put together – things just slot together easily (it took me a while but I’m just rubbish at instructions!)
Feels safe and sturdy – not flimsy at all
Easy to clean as it’s all plastic
A really cute function which we haven’t done yet, but we will – you can get a customisable sticker with your child’s name on it to stick on to the front – I think this is a really cute touch!
The biggest negative for me is the size – the baby walker might have been ok in our living room but there’s no way we could put the push-along/ride-on in the house – W would be going round in circles and banging into stuff lots! It’s perfect for us as a garden toy, but our house is just too small for using it indoors – so worth checking the measurements (if you have a big house you don’t need to worry!)
Because of it’s size and sturdy nature, it’s quite bulky to put away too – you could take it apart easily but the main frame needs a bit of space even if it’s flat against a wall- ours lives in the shed!
Only other slight negative is needing a screwdriver to get the sounds working!
For me, the pros outweigh the cons – it’s really good value for money when you compare it against buying things like jumperoos and walkers separately…. for more information, Chicco have a lovely webpage that describes it better than I did – like the height, security and customisation features!
If you enjoyed reading this, check out more of my reviews here – everything from breastfeeding equipment that I bought to spa treatments…
*Disclaimer: Chicco kindly sent me this 123 to review, but opinions are my own
We stayed here a couple of weeks ago before going away with 13 month old baby W for the first time- so the logistics were very different to our usual holiday arrangements.
I’d usually look for the cheapest hotel/parking airport deal, and end up in a random car park miles from the airport but now for us it’s all about convenience and ease…. and this is why this Novotel must be the closest hotel to an airport ever – you literally cross a road to get to the terminal – awesome!
Here’s a quick summary:
Check-in process – I’d had an email before arrival asking if I wanted to check-in before arriving, I did this so when we got there we were just handed the key without any forms to fill in – lovely!
Parking logistics etc – as we’d bought the parking package, we were able to pull up right outside the hotel for 15 minutes, unload all of our luggage before moving the car to car park 5 in the airport and then we were able to walk back to the hotel – just a 5-1o minute walk but shuttle buses are also available. When we arrived back from our holiday when we left the car park, we just had to give the Novotel booking reference and they opened the barrier for us and off we went – very straightforward!
Rooms – the photos on their website are very accurate – clean, simple, modern rooms – comfy bed, fridge, TV, kettle etc. We requested a cot and had one, lovely bathroom – all in all, very good! Bearing in mind it’s so close to the airport, we couldn’t hear any aeroplanes – the soundproofing is excellent, as are the blinds – nice and dark!
Bar/restaurant – they have both a bar serving food, and a restaurant. The bar area is lovely – again, modern, spacious, comfortable with TV’s and newspapers there too. As we were having an early dinner, we chose to eat in the bar and the food was ok – nothing special – I had a curry which was tasty but a bit watery. I’m sure the restaurant quality would be a bit better but also as you’re just a minute away from the airport you could stroll over to eat in All bar one or Frankie & Benny’s there.
Other facilities – the other thing I wanted to mention as we were travelling with a little one, is that tucked away around the corner from reception, they have a little play area! There’s a table with interactive games built in, a toy chest and book corner – I thought this was a really nice idea, and lovely touch – not sure if I’ve ever noticed anything like this in a hotel before (not that we’ve stayed in many with Baby W)
Location – as already said, it’s a 1 minute walk from the airport hotel – I don’t think you could get any closer to an airport!
Value for money – I think our package cost about £150 – I think a room only is about £60-£70. Having paid for numerous airport hotels, and parking deals – often separately, I think this deal represents good value for money – overall it’s a really lovely hotel and the location of both the hotel and the car park being on the airport makes life so much easier.
So thank you Novotel for a very family-friendly, good quality and value stay – we will be back!! (PS Readers – sorry for the lack of photos, writing this review was a bit of an after-thought!)
Small print – please note I wasn’t asked to write this review, and certainly didn’t get a free stay – just wanted to share our experience with you!