A few months back, I was lucky enough to earn a place on the Mamas & Papas UK Parent Approved Panel. As soon as I saw the application advert, I knew I had to give it a go. Their products are so gorgeous and well made, but I didn’t really think I had a chance. Cue my happy dance when I had the congratulations email! You can see my entry video (and the other panelists) here.
I’m on the panel with ten other lovely parents and until spring/summer next year, we’ll be reviewing products to see if they’re ‘parent approved’. Our first review was for the stunning Jewel Collection Ocarro pram, which you can view here on their website. It’s such a fantastic pram with so many brilliant features; I absolutely love it! With the weather getting colder now too, we’ve just had the Cold Weather Footmuff and it’s so cosy! We had an Urbo2 pram from Mamas & Papas for Daisy as a baby and the footmuff was one of my favourite things.Even on the coldest of days, she’d be like toast inside! The new one is black velvet and way more luxurious than anything I’ve ever slept in; nope, not jealous of Zac one little bit… not at all… okay, maybe a little… a lot… okay, I need an adult sized version and pronto!We’ve recently been lucky enough to have some nursery furniture and interior accessories for Zac’s room too. You can read our review and watch a little video of Zac’s room here. Everything is of such good quality and I’m so privileged to work with them and the other lovely parents too. I’ll list their Instagram tags below, as they’re all worth a follow.
You can read a bit more about the panel here.
Parent Approved Panel:
When Daisy was a baby, I had a baby wrap for her and a standard baby carrier, but didn’t use them an awful lot. I always found the wrap a little stressful, especially with a crying babe and the standard one we had was all buckles and rough material… not the ideal place to cuddle your little one.
We’ve been using the Caboo +Organic Striped Multi Position Baby Carrier for the last few weeks now and I can honestly say, it’s amazing! It’s saved my sanity on more than one occasion; I don’t know what I’d do without it!Firstly, the fabric is soooo soft! It comes in a few colours; we opted for Midnight, which is a gorgeous dark blue with fine stripes running through it. It’s got plenty of stretch and one size fits most; I’m around average size (with a few extra post baby rolls!) and there’s loads of surplus fabric when pulled taut.
My favourite thing about it is how easy it is to use. You simply pop over your head so the Caboo logo is centred on your back, slide your little bundle in with legs either side, position the fabric over their back and pull the sides tight. Lastly, you tie the additional piece around your back and that’s it! To take your baby out, pull the side rings to loosen and lift out. Zac doesn’t even wake up when we take him out, as it’s so seamless!The design is fantastic as it puts Zac into the most comforting position, right on my chest and ‘close enough to kiss’ as they advertise. I think his record for staying awake so far is around five or six minutes, so it’s perfect for those days where he’s a little grouchy or just wants to snuggle.
I’ve been able to carry on with housework, do the school run, go shopping and even get some decorating done all while he’s snoozed away in there. When Jon is working late, having my hands free is brilliant for Daisy’s bedtime. I can give her my full attention, helping her to brush her teeth, tuck her in and read a bedtime story without asking her to “wait a minute”, something I’m conscious of since Zac has joined the family.As Zac grows, he’ll be able to go into the side position as well and comfortably look around at the world. I genuinely couldn’t be without the Caboo now and it goes everywhere with us. Forgetting the carrier is just as bad as forgetting nappies in this house, it’s an essential.
The Caboo +Organic Striped Multi Position Baby Carrier was kindly gifted to us by Close, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Get your own Caboo +Organic Striped Multi Position Baby Carrier here.
So, we’ve been a family of four for a month now and honestly, it’s weird to think of Zac not being here. He’s slipped into our life so seamlessly, it’s like he’s always been here. I thought a lot about the impact another little one would make and wondered how Daisy would be, but she’s taken to her big sister duties like a champ.
Nappy change? Daisy’s got the wipes. Zac’s crying? She declares he “needs a feed”. When we tell her to talk to him she always leads with “Hello Zac, I’m your big sister.” She introduces him to anyone who crosses our path, literally bursting with pride. I swear she’s been high on life since he arrived.As for the main man himself, Zac is such a chilled little guy. He can sleep through the loudest episodes of Peppa Pig, will happily lay there watching Daisy busying around and has been smiling from the start. He’s just starting to find his voice, making those adorable baby noises and doesn’t stop wriggling when he’s awake. Jon has had a good break from work which has been lovely, not just for an extra pair of hands but to enjoy some family time. Daisy is off school for the summer now and it’s been great having Jon home to still take her out and about, while I catch up on sleep after the night feeds. I can’t remember ever having this much time together as a family, and it’s been the perfect start to our new adventure as a four.
I’m a sucker for a celebration. If I can hang bunting and blow up balloons, I’m there. I also think it’s great to get your little ones involved with some themed activities, however big or small. We did a few things over the last few days that we would do anytime of year, but with a little valentine’s spin.
I bought a few new craft bits so we could make some valentine’s cards, which Daisy really enjoyed. Based on experience, a word of warning; do not go for a quick pee whilst your 3 year old has a pot of multi-coloured sequins to hand! I returned to the kitchen to find her not placing them on the card so gently as she had been, but showering herself in them instead, holding her very own mini confetti party. I’ll leave you to laugh at how long it took me to get those out of her hair!When Daisy was finally sequin free and looking less like she’d a night on the tiles, we decided to make some brownies. After several baking attempts in the past, I have no shame in saying that until Daisy appreciates ingredients need to be weighed and measured correctly, we will be using a ready bought cake mix. Just add an egg, water and butter you say? All hail Betty Crocker! Finally, we had a little valentines themed breakfast on the weekend. If you’ve followed me for a few months, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of weekend family breakfasts; you can read a little more about what we do here. As always, it was nothing complicated and just thrown together in the morning. We all sat around the table, ate warm pain au chocolat and berries and laughed at Daisy dancing to Leon Bridges. It just goes to show, you don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate and the impression it leaves lasts a long time. I’m sure Daisy will be asking to make brownies regularly and I’ll be finding sequins all over the house for weeks to come!
So this past weekend, our living room was featured in a Welsh newspaper for the ‘Favourite Room’ article. A few weeks back, my sister in law tagged me in a Facebook status from a journalist, who was looking for ‘nice houses’. I didn’t want to leave her hanging, so messaged her and the first thing I said was ‘I don’t know if my house is good enough…’.
Granted, there are lots of things I would change about our house, but why I felt the need to immediately put it down is beyond me. As it happened, Katie liked the room and as long as I was happy to feature it, we were good to go. In the lead up to a photographer coming round, I had daily episodes of just staring around the room, trying to think of quick fixes for it. With no time to decorate (something I was adamant it needed), I left the room as it was and hoped for the best.If was featured in Saturday’s paper and I was so pleased with it. The room looked lovely and the ‘interview’ came across not as bad I was thinking it did – I can waffle on another level! More importantly, it made me appreciate what a nice home we have. Yes there are scuffs and marks on the walls, the door frames have been battered with toys and there is a questionable stain on the rug that just won’t come out, but when we sit down in there as a family, it’s exactly what it says on the tin; a living room.We play games, watch tv, read bedtime stories, have pizza parties, dance parties, sing-as-loud-as-you-can parties. It’s where we watched Daisy take her first steps, where she and I have slept when she’s unwell and where we’ve belly laughed at all her funny little ways. It doesn’t matter how big your house is, how expensive it was or what you have in it; as long as it’s filled with love, it will always be good enough.