Thursday, 28 May 2015

Review - Eating is a doddle with Doddl!

I remember back when J was starting to feed himself, we gave him cutlery from quite early on, as we have with N; I think from around 9 months old J had a spoon but didn't really do much with it other than make a mess! Though I do believe it's all about the fun with food for them at that age anyway. From one year onward though is when I wanted the boys to really try and use their own cutlery. N is much the same as J was, and J didn't start using cutlery properly until gone 2 years old (and at age 3 has only just started using his knife); he would mainly use his hands because he couldn't get the hang of the cutlery. Obviously because children's cutlery is usually designed to just be a miniature version of adult cutlery, right?

That is where Catherine Dodd saw a gap in the market and Doddl cutlery was born in conjunction with Catherine's sister, Rosie. Doddl comprises of a spoon, fork & knife set and is designed so that the child instinctively uses their pincer grip and therefore the cutlery is much easier to control for children aged as young as 12 months old. The unique shorter design of Doddl also promotes hand-eye coordination and helps achieve key milestones and encourages other hand skills and finger movements needed for activities such as writing & drawing. We have recently been testing out a prototype of a Doddl fork & spoon.

When I opened the package, I immediately thought how much easier these would be for N to use! They are a great size, not too heavy, yet really sturdy. As you can see, they also have indents on the side which makes it even easier for N to hold them. He has a really good pincer grip anyway but using these he has been developing it even more.

It has been so much easier for him to learn picking up his food and he is using cutlery much more than his hands, more than he was before with the standard cutlery the same as J uses. In fact, J even wanted to try it out and took to feeding N his breakfast!

I really love the unique design of the Doddl cutlery, and the little 'd' completes that young funky feel to the set. I can't fault Doddl at all, it is a completely unique product that could really help children learn to use cutlery from a younger age.

There is currently a Kickstarter campaign where you can find out a lot more about Doddl, and Catherine & Rosie are almost at their goal of £10,000 with 4 days to go!

We were sent a prototype of this cutlery free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & our own.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Ben & Holly Live! - a family adventure

A few months ago I won tickets from a fellow blogger to see Ben & Holly Live! I have been so excited for months as we had never been to a show yet - I think I may have been slightly more excited than J actually... I booked the show for last week and the nearest theatre with a date we could attend was Nottingham at 4pm. With a 1.5 hour journey ahead of us and J finishing nursery and hubby finishing work at 1pm, I had my schedule that we absolutely needed to stick to to keep my anxiety in check! I decided we would get the park & ride into Nottingham so we didn't have the trouble of finding parking then running late.

Before I collected J from nursery N & I had our lunches, but N decided to have a nap in his highchair so I had to wake him to get him changed and he wasn't very happy! As soon as we got home with J I got him changed too and hubby arrived home at the same time. I wanted to be leaving by 1.30pm, but by something short of a miracle, we were ahead of time and left the house at 1.25pm! The journey there was smooth with no delays so it put me at ease as I was nervous about taking the boys to the theatre for the first time, especially N who I knew wouldn't want to sit still (hence the bag full of snacks I had packed too)! The boys loved travelling into Nottingham on the tram with N stood up at the window for pretty much the whole journey. The tram dropped us straight outside the theatre which was handy, and my scheduling was spot on as we arrived in plenty of time to get our tickets and get seated - phew!

J had his obligatory photo outside the theatre with the show poster (N & I got in on the act too of course) and then we collected our tickets and spent an extortionate amount on two flashing wands - as I knew N would want J's - and a Ben mask for J. The flashing wands were great but I was a bit disappointed as with N's heavy handedness he dropped his on the floor and it broke (the figure fell off the top). This was after the show though on the tram on the way back to the car.

The show itself was absolutely brilliant - made better by our wonderful seats with great view!

It wasn't too long and with a break in between where I got hubby to take N for a wander as he was getting really restless because he was tired. When I'd seen photos of the show with the heads that the actors wore, I thought they looked a little freaky (!) and J might have been scared but in real life they were fine; they looked fab actually. I loved how the show started with the voice over - "Somewhere, hidden amongst thorny brambles"... - and then the hide & seek episode. I recognised all of the episodes that they performed and found myself saying what was going to happen next! The actors were really interactive with the audience, there was lots of singing (some of the songs I am still singing nearly a week later!) and there was plenty of humour in there too just like on TV. My favourite part was the jelly flood! J's favourite part was King Thistle. I would have maybe have liked to have seen Queen Thistle too though. In the middle of the show they used puppets for the tooth fairy episode to fly through the air, I loved this and would have liked to have seen more of it. At the end the audience were encouraged to get on our feet and do some singing and dancing and it was such a wonderful atmosphere. By the sound of it, all of the children loved it (and the adults too!).

All in all we had a brilliant time, I just dislike paying the souvenir prices (as with any performance I guess). Though I suppose I can't really complain this time as I did win the tickets after all...

You can still catch Ben & Holly Live! at various locations until the beginning of September. 

Our rating - 4.5/5

I won tickets for this show and wasn't asked to write this review, I just wanted to share our experience! All thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Project 365, 2015 (days 137-143)

Day 137 / May 17th
I had been driven mad by the boys all morning so as soon as hubby got home from work, I shut myself in the bedroom with a cuppa and my kindle - peace at last!

Day 138 / May 18th
I ended my night on the day before weigh in with a 5 syn treat, yummy.

Day 139 / May 19th
At Fit Tots today the children had sand to play with - I had to quickly get this photo of the boys playing nicely next to each other!

Day 140 / May 20th
A few months ago I won tickets to Ben & Holly Live! in another blog giveaway, and today was the day! I'm not sure who was more excited though, me or him... The show was brilliant though!

Day 141 / May 21st
How to keep a boddler amused in the pound shop...

Day 142 / May 22nd
I might have mentioned before that N has an obsession with climbing at the minute?...

Day 143 / May 23rd
Another photo of the boys playing nicely together, in the same week! I really do treasure these photos!

*Shameless plug to consider voting for us in the Mad Blog Awards!*

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Slimming World weigh in #18 - the one with a surprise loss...

If you read my update from last week you'll remember I managed to get my 1.5st award, which 18 weeks ago felt like it was totally out of my reach so I was over the moon. I celebrated with going to cake club straight after weigh in (oops). I said at the end of that post that I had plans for the weekend so I was just hoping for the best. On Friday we were at my Mum's and I was fairly good there, but on Saturday we just had a 'can't be bothered' tea of shop bought pizzas and cheesy garlic bread, then on Sunday I was feeling rubbish so ate half a pack of chocolate chip cookies and numerous other rubbish. I decided to draw a line under it on Monday though and tried to pull it back for weigh in on Tuesday.

I have no idea how many syns I ended my week on, as on three diary days all I had was 'write off' in shouty capitals! After that I really wasn't expecting a loss; I went in to weigh in feeling like I had gained as I felt really bloated too, but somehow I had lost 0.5lb! I was honestly so shocked, but it spurred me on to get back on track.

We had a busy day on Wednesday and I may have faltered a little but I'll tell you all about that one next week!

My stats for this week (week 18):
  • starting weight - 13st 4.5lb
  • previous weight - 11st 11lb
  • current weight - 11st 10.5lb
  • loss this week - 0.5lb
  • loss so far - 1st 8lb
  • Club 10 target weight - 11st 13.5lb - achieved 05/05/15!
  • final target weight - 9st 6lb

Hope everyone else has been doing okay?


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