Friday, 29 January 2016

Mothercare Madrid Group 1 Combination Car Seat Unboxing





We recently upgraded our car seat to the Mothercare Madrid Combination Car Seat and thought we'd share with you our unboxing and first impressions of it, just like we did with our pram

Having used our Maxi Cosi Group 0 rear facing car seat for 7 months, we thought it was time to upgrade to a forward facing Group 1 model because Harry had grown too long and wide for the Maxi Cosi. 


My Requirements


Before buying the Mothercare Madrid car seat, I didn't really have a particular brand/model in mind that I wanted. All I knew was that I wanted a car seat that was comfortable, affordable and one that would fit in my 3 door Vauxhall Corsa. This ticks all those boxes. 


Official Blurb



The Mothercare Madrid Combination Car Seat is an easy-to-fit rear and forward-facing car seat that your child can use from birth to 18kgs (approximately 4 years), offering great value, comfort and safety protection.
  • Use rear facing from birth to 9kg/20lbs then move to forward facing
  • Use forward facing from 9 months to 4 years approx. (9kg/20lbs to 18kg/40lbs)
  • Includes 3 seat recline positions and a 5-point harness with individual harness tensioners for added safety
  • Deep wide wings with side impact protection and a body support cushion for younger children, with a head cushion and chest and buckle pads for comfort
  • Free 2 year guarantee

Price


We bought the Mothercare Madrid car seat in the January sales and managed to get it with 50% off making it £44.99 rather than £90.00. What an absolute steal. This car seat is amazing quality. Even if I'd paid full price I have to say I wouldn't have been disappointed. We bought it in red (the discount only applied to red) but the colour is more raspberry pink than red. I love it. 


Comfort 


When I made this video unboxing our Mothercare Madrid car seat I hadn't tried Harry in it yet. Since then I have and it's great. He looks so much more comfortable and secure in it than he did in the rear facing Maxi Cosi. 

The straps lock together very securely and quickly on this seat. When it comes to tightening the harness it is very easy (you just pull down on them) loosening them back off however seems a bit of a task. It could just be that they're new and a bit stiff though so will have to give it some time to really see. 

The seat also has something like three different recline settings so in terms of comfort I really could;t fault this car seat so far. It also comes with a cream removable inlay which is washable. This can be no bad thing. 


Installation 


When I first opened the instruction booklet for this seat I thought 'oh my god, there's 43 steps'. However, not all 43 steps applied to me. This seat can be used firstly as a rear facing car seat from birth, and then flipped round to be forward facing when the child reaches 20lb. As we are using the seat forward facing straight away, it could be fitted in about 5 steps and it is really very simple. 

My only issue with the instructions as I mentioned in my You Tube video, is that it is just pictures with no added text for explanation, call it a preference thing but a bit of extra written guidance wouldn't have gone a miss for me.


Use with Small Car


Okay, small cars cause problems when it comes to baby equipment. I know, as you'll have seen if you saw this updated post on trying to fit my pram in it. 

So far I can say that it is about 1000 times easier to get Harry out of this forward facing car seat than it was when he was rear facing. That goes with the territory though. The design of the Mothercare car seat is however relatively compact. 

I mean I pretty much think I could still get two passengers in the back with only a bit of a squeeze. The front passenger seat can also go almost all of the way back too without being near the front of the car seat so not too bad considering it's only a 3 door. 


Overall Impressions


I rate this car seat so far. As car seats go I think this one looks pretty cool but more importantly it's comfortable for Harry, I can fit it safely into my car and it was very, very affordable as we were fortunate enough to nab it while it was still in the sale. Thumbs up. 

Any questions please fell free to ask in the comments :)


Thanks for reading

Kathy
xx

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

DIY String Light Wall Art Decoration


I'm obsessed with string lights at the moment. And with trying to make my bedroom look nice. I was busy googling 'Fairy Light Bedroom Wall Decoration Ideas' when I came across this post. I had to have a go and it was so easy to do. See what you think.




For this DIY you will need:

Fairy Lights with a clear string (I used these warm white fairy lights from Lights4fun.co.uk )

8 Picture Tacks

A Hammer

Mini pegs (I used these floral heart ones from Amazon)

Selection of Pictures and Postcards (mine are from Paperchase


How to Make Your Wall Art:


I made a YouTube Video on how I made my string light wall art in my bedroom. It's only the second video I've ever made in my life, but hopefully you'll get the jist!.

Don't forget to subscribe to my channel for more hilarious attempts at making YouTube videos. I've got a Tommee Tippee Factory vlog and haul coming soon.

Any questions about this DIY please ask in the comments below :)

Kathy
xx

Monday, 25 January 2016

Joie Chrome Plus Stroller Updated Review




If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that the Joie Chrome Plus Stroller was the pram Ed and I decided to buy when I was pregnant with Harry. If you didn't catch it the first time you can read about why we picked this pram and our initial impressions in our unboxing post

Recently I received a request from a reader to do an updated review since we've been using it for a little over 6 months. I thought this was a great post idea and one that I would have found very useful to read myself before buying. 


That said here's an update on how we've been getting on with the Joie Chrome Plus Stroller. Please leave any other questions you may have about this pram in the comments and I'll be happy to answer anything I might have missed here.


Transportation?


Having now transported this pram in numerous vehicles, I can safely say that this is the biggest thing to consider before you drop your cash on the Joie Chrome. How big is your car? 

When we picked this pram, Ed's Ford Focus was our only car. As you can see from the pictures, the stroller comfortably folds down and fits in to the boot, leaving some room for shopping bags on top or around the sides.  



Since having Harry however we've moved from the city to the countryside and as a result I had to buy a car too. It's a Vauxhall Corsa and it's small. Whilst the pram fits in the boot, it has to be placed in on it's side leaving no room for anything else. That means that if you go shopping pretty much everything you buy has to go on the passenger seat or on the floor. 


It's not ideal, but I have to say not a deal breaker for me. 

On another note, and this depends on how you are with lifting things in general I guess, but this pram is heavy to lift in and out of a car. I don't mind this personally though. Saves me doing any extra dumbbell exercises you know...


Overall Performance?



Okay, 3 points. 

1. With the carrycot attachment, this pram is a bit of a shaky ride. Maybe it was just because I was a bit of a nervous new mum, but I did feel like more could have been done with the design to stabilise the pram when using the carrycot attachment. Harry slept through any shakiness though, it never woke him up even when going up and down curbs so make of that what you will.

2. As a travel system with adaptors for the Maxi Cosi Group 0 car seat which we had, the Joie Chrome Plus Stroller is amazing. There is no shakiness at all when the car seat is in place and it's so easy to take it on and off the chassis. I couldn't fault it. In fact we used this pram like this for the first 5 months (see Any Regrets? below).

3. Apart from not being a deep enough seat in my opinion the stroller attachment for this pram is great. We've literally been off roading with it, wheeled though snow, ice, pissing rain (rain covers are included) through puddles everywhere. 



As a pushchair for the countryside this is a good affordable option to consider because the large back wheels can go through anything. I mean I've even been over a cattle grid in this thing. 

Because we used to live in the centre of Newcastle I can also vouch for the fact that this pram fits in well with urban life well too. It looks the part and has a large shopping basket underneath to stash bags. I currently use that part to collect sticks for kindling though...how life changes.


Comfort for Baby?



As you'll have seen from the unboxing post, I decided to buy Joie Chrome Plus Stroller with the Carrycot from Boots for an extra £100. For a tiny newborn baby I would highly rate this carrycot in terms of comfort when static or on smooth terrain. In fact, Harry used to prefer sleeping in the Joie with the carrycot attachment more than he did in his moses basket, which he hated

The stroller looks less comfortable to me for Harry than the carrycot was when he was small. He doesn't sit too well in it yet and tends to slump to one side though that is more likely to be related to his general ability to sit unsupported at the moment. To my mind however, I will say that I feel this pram would be better if it had a deeper seat with sides that came out a little more so that babies had more support.


Breakages at 6 Months?



Minor. The hand rail on this pram extends via two buttons on either side of it. On my pram, when I slide the handle to extend it sometimes it won't stay up, sometimes it will. It's a little niggle bit then I'm ramming it into a Corsa on it's side all the time so perhaps that's to blame.


No breakages or repairs to the wheels so far and I have used this pram on all sorts of terrain and conditions (gravel, grass, tarmac, pot holes puddles, snow, ice).


Any Regrets?



Okay, my biggest regret is buying the carrycot attachment for this pram. I have to be honest it was a waste of money. We used it for 4 weeks until Harry was a little bigger and then immediately favoured using his car seat.


If you are looking to buy this pram for a newborn I would say do it, but don't waste your money on the carrycot, it's £100 extra and a car seat is a far better investment in my opinion.

As you'll have seen from my unboxing post, I'd also need to buy the sun hood and foot muff separately .

Hopefully that's been helpful for any one out there looking for an honest review of the Joie Chrome Pluss Stroller.

Kathy xx

Saturday, 23 January 2016

January Haul ~ Baby Toddler Boy Clothing


It's January, Harry's growing fast and we had some Christmas money burning a hole in our pockets. That called for one thing; a baby clothing haul.

I say baby but then I sized up and bought mainly 12-18 months and 18-24 months items. That's toddler realm and that's quite scary. 

Anyway, enough blabbering, here's what I bought for Harry from Next, Zara and Tu. Some things were in the sale but I mostly bought full price items. I've linked everything to where I bought it from so if you like anything you see you can just click through. 

I actually filmed this haul video for my YouTube channel. It's my first attempt at filming and editing a video and so I'm not gonna lie it's a bit ropey to say the least. However, if you fancy watching me chat about the items I bought here I've added a link to that here. If you'd like to watch me as I attempt to create more (better quality) YouTube videos, please subscribe to my channel


Thank you!! 













Tu at Sainsburys £2.50 (sorry guys can't find this online but others here).

Thank you for reading :) Please let me know in the comments if there's anything in particular you'd like to see me blog about next. 

Remember to look for me on social media by searching @kaffysoo if you'd like to keep up to date with my latest posts or subscribe by entering your email in the sidebar!!

Kathy
xx



Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Kaffysoo on Facebook!


Just a quick one to say that I've finally got round to creating a Facebook Page for my blog. I personally really like Facebook for following other bloggers and keeping up to date with what's going on. I tend to use it more than Twitter at the moment although you can find me there, as well as on Instagram and on Pinterest

If you'd like to see what's going on, come chat and share things you find interesting with me, head over to my Facebook page and give it a like, if you like. 

You can also click the social media icons in the side bar to find me on other platforms or just search @kaffysoo on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin and Instagram.  

:)

Thank you.

Kathy
xx

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Lullaby Lyrics ~ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When there's nothing he shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, through the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

In the dark blue sky so deep
Through my curtains often peep
For you never close your eyes
Til the morning sun does rise
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are

Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are 



Listen to the melody if you're not familiar with it here

Kathy
xx

Hope you found these lullaby lyrics useful! See my other favourites here and here

Friday, 15 January 2016

Stage 1 Weaning Equipment for Babies 4-6 Months

Here's a list of all the equipment we've been using to wean our baby between the ages of 4-6 months (stage 1).

1. High Chair


We started to wean Harry onto solid food from about 20 weeks. At the time he couldn't really sit up properly and had to eat either in his Bumbo, which he hates, or whilst sitting on someone's knee, which is really messy. 

A lot of high chairs on the market tend to have very large seating spaces that require the baby to wear shoulder straps to keep them in an upright position. Because of the wide design of high chairs like this iSafe one I nearly bought, you can find that the baby slumps to one side if they're not that strong at sitting yet. That's why I love the ANTILOP High Chair we bought from Ikea




Purchased with the washable PYTTIG insert for a total cost of £19 I wholeheartedly recommend this high chair for weaning babies between the ages of 4-6 months. It's just the perfect size and allows Harry to sit really well from the very start.


2. Bowls

Bright, durable, dishwasher and microwave safe, I bought this pack of 6 KALAS bowls for 90p from Ikea. I mean for 90p I figured I couldn't go wrong. 


3. Spoons


I got two of these 4 packs of Stage 1 Weaning Spoons from Boots for £1.99. They're quite narrow and not too deep which is good for when babies first start trying new foods.


4. Blender




I didn't have a stand alone blender before weaning. I only had a hand blender which is very old and forever getting clogged up. As I had some Sainsburys vouchers to spend I decided to buy this Kenwood Mini Chopper. It's a dream for making perfectly portioned purées. Shit for bulk preparing though because it's too small so bare that in mind if you like to make a lot and freeze down. 


5. Food Storage 




Now and again I like to buy Harry these Hipp Organic Baby Food Jars. In the beginning he absolutely loved the Banana and Peach and Blueberry and Apple desert pots so we stocked up on them. I kept the jars, washed them out, removed the labels and now reuse them for my own home made baby meals. They come in all different sizes and if you're buying the odd pot of pre-made food anyway it makes financial sense to keep them and save buying any other food storage container. Winner.


6. Bibs

Because Harry hadn't started finger food before 6 months, we got away with using these Tommee Tippee Milk Feeding Soft Bibs for feeding times. We got given so many bibs when I was pregnant I just started to blast through them to be honest but they get pretty stained. I think I'm going to upgrade to a wipe clean version very soon. 

7. Weaning Cup

We offered Harry water with his food from the outset and began with this easy grip, free flow First Weaning Cup from Tommee Tippee which he is still using at the moment. As a baby who regularly refuses to take a bottle I was worried he wouldn't transition to a cup at meal times well but he has. I think it's the free flow element to these that differentiates it from a bottle which he has to suck so these are great for that in our experience.


8. Weaning Book



My mum found an Annabel Karmel Weaning book in a charity shop and bought me it for Christmas. It's full of useful advice for every stage of weaning, along with easy recipes to follow. Any weaning book would do though and there are loads to choose from

Kathy
xx

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

My Tips for Breastfeeding in Public


In the very beginning, lets face it, if you haven't done it before it's pretty common to feel like you have no idea what you're doing. Everything is so intense. Activities you didn't really think twice about before, like heading out for a casual shopping trip, can feel seriously daunting and overwhelming with a newborn baby in tow.

What if the baby starts crying? Where will I feed them? What if I can't feed 'discretely' enough? What if I make people feel awkward? What if I leak everywhere? What will people think of me? 


Despite living in what people like to think of as more progressive times, breastfeeding in public is still a talking point. It's still something that you have to think about. And it bloody shouldn't be. 


After reading Gillian's of ababyonboard.com post about public breastfeeding, I saw that the results of a recent poll had found that 1 in 5 breastfeeding mothers feel other people do not want them to feed in public. What's more, a third (34%) of those mothers also reported feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable about feeding their babies outside of the home. 


Breastfeeding in public is something that I feel strongly about. In my opinion it should be taken for granted and certainly shouldn't be a 'thing' that causes women to feel anxious. Sadly however it still does, and when Harry and I first started our breastfeeding journey I would certainly have included myself in that 34% who felt uncomfortable, nervous and super self-aware.


5 months in I feel much less phased about feeding in public. It's simply a necessity in our lives and something we are extremely proud of doing.


I'm no expert, but below is a list of the best breastfeeding hacks, tips and advice I've collected since I started feeding Harry in June. I hope those out there who might be in need of some support and encouragement to feed in public find it helpful. Please also feel free to add any further tips and advice you may have in the comments :)   



1. Give no shits


It's easier said than done but giving no shits about what people may or may not think of you or what you are doing is the absolute best way to approach breast feeding in public. And there are some amazing women out there doing just that. I saw a lady in the summer walking along the street feeding her little one whilst chatting to a friend. She was so confident and laid back with what she was doing she needed no extra layer or muslin blanket to cover her body. I silently saluted her because that is exactly as it should be.

Remember your rights as a breast feeding mother. It is against the law to ask a someone to leave a premises, to refuse service or give a poorer quality of service to mothers who feed in public. The law is well and truly on our side with this one. 

2. Layering


As much as I wish I could be like the lady I saw in summer, I'm just not that confident. My friend Jo gave me this piece of advice and it has literally been the key to making me feel comfortable when breastfeeding in public. It basically involves wearing a vest underneath a t-shirt or jumper, pulling the vest down and your top layer up in order to feed. This method reveals a smaller amount of your body and for me was and is the best way I have found to feed. 


The only downside to this is that it radically limits your outfit choices. 



2. Spare Tops


Sometimes you will leak. It's just a fact. It's happened to me in a couple of awkward situations but you know what, in my experience people tend to have an encouraging amount of grace about these things if they know your a breast feeding mother, and if not you just look like a sloppy fucker but who honestly cares about that? 

Pack a spare top so you have something to change into when it happens.


3. Actual Nursing Bras



Ever tried to breast feed whilst wearing a normal bra? Because I'm a tight bastard and only bought 2 nursing bras I do it all the time. It's not fun, or comfortable, in fact it's an absolute ball ache all round so my best advice would just be to buy some damn nursing bras already. They are really a necessity and not something you should feel you have to save money on. 


4. Breast Pads with Adhesive Strips



Best. Things. Ever. I use these ones from Boots. They stay in place 90% of the time and work for me at night time too. In my experience, any other breast pad has the annoying habit of rolling up, moving about or straight up falling out of your bra. 


5. Only do what YOU feel comfortable doing



Don't make yourself feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, just because you think you should be breastfeeding in public. If you want some privacy and feel like you'd like to leave a room or a particular situation to feed your baby, do it. And don't let anyone make you feel guilty either. Do exactly what you want to do because at the end of the day this is about you and your baby. No one else. 


6. Remember to give no shits


It's my new year's resolution. Life is too short to care about any form of negativity. Other people's problems are exactly that; other people's. Let them keep them. Don't take them on board.

Kathy
xx

Lullaby Lyrics ~ Hush Little Baby

































If you saw yesterday's post you'll know that this week I'm sharing the lyrics to some of my favourite lullabies. 'Hush Little Baby' is my all time favourite lullaby. I remember both my mum and my dad singing this to me when I was little. It's just beautiful. Of course it makes no sense but there is something about this lullaby that I really, really love. 

Hush Little Baby


Hush, little baby, don't you cry.
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won't sing,
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass

And if that looking glass gets broke,
Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat

And if that billy goat don't pull,
Mama's gonna buy you a cart and bull

And if that cart and bull turn over,
Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover

And if that dog named Rover won't bark
Mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

To listen to the melody click here.

Kathy 
xx