Monday, 8 September 2014

Ramada Hotel Birmingham Solihull

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If you have read any of my recent posts you will know we had a lovely trip recently to Lollibop and we stayed at the Ramada London North. We had such a great time and when planning a trip to Warwick Castle I decided to look for a Ramada Hotel close enough for our visit.
 
Ramada Birmingham - Solihull is perfectly located for lots of attractions including Warwick Castle, Sealife Centre, Cadburys World, The National Motorcycle Museum and Birmingham Airport.
 
The Ramada Birmingham - Solihull offers free Wifi throughout the hotel which is a must for me because I can't live without my internet.
 
Accommodation is a choice between double, twin or family.
 
If you are looking for something special you can stay in a townhouse suite. The two storey rooms have a separate bedroom area accessed via a spiral staircase. The rooms sleep 2 and look lovely.
 
If you are flying from Birmingham Airport you can take advantage of a Stay, Park and Fly offer from Ramada Hotel - Solihull.
 
The package includes 1 nights accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children including a complimentary breakfast. Up to 8 days car parking at the hotel and transfers to and from the airport.
 
You can visit the offer here
 
If you are in the area and fancy popping in to the hotel for afternoon tea you will be welcomed in George's restaurant or bar. Serving a traditional afternoon tea including bloomer bread sandwiches, scones, macaroons and amaretto truffles and fresh strawberries with marshmallows and dipping chocolate. All the above served with traditional or speciality teas.
 
Times and prices can be found here
 
This is just a snippet of what the hotel has to offer so if you want to know any more information you can visit the website here. Make sure you keep an eye on my blog to read about our stay.. coming soon.
 
Have you stayed at a Ramada Hotel before?
 
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Friday, 5 September 2014

Baby Reflux

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When little J moved on to bottles, he was diagnosed with reflux. Little J would bring his bottle back up instantly after drinking it. It was horrible but after a visit to the doctor he told us he needed infant gaviscon. It was provided by the doctors on prescription and it was little sachets of powder that you added to the bottle. This really helped little J and if we ever forgot to add them he would throw up so we knew these little green sachets were doing there job.
 
I am a lover of googling and reading forums and one night I came across a mummy who had the same problem with her daughter. She had been diagnosed with reflux and was on gaviscon. Someone had replied to her post saying she should try Dr Browns bottles too.
 
I had never heard of Dr Browns before, we had bought Tommee Tippee bottles mainly because this is what we used with big J.
 
So after more googling, reading online forums and visiting Dr Browns website we decided to try them
 
The Dr Browns website had this banner statement on the bottles home page.
 
A complete feeding system for happier babies. Created by a physician, Dr Brown's Natural Flow® is the only baby bottle with a patented internal vent system that actually helps promote good health in babies. By eliminating the vacuum and air bubbles, it helps to reduce feeding problems like colic, burping and gas. And the positive pressure created by our system is as close to breastfeeding as your baby can get. Quite simply, it looks and works unlike any other bottle.
 
Sounded great but it was where to buy them as I had never seen them before but I was pleased our local Tesco had them including different flow teats.
 
The bottle isn't your usually bottle and it did take a little while to get used to putting the bits inside.
 
Basically you have the bottle then you have a long blue tube which connects to a round plastic top. They are called the reservoir and vent. I read lots of comments saying these internal parts are tricky to clean but I found the cleaning okay. When using powdered milk you have to make sure you give them proper clean because clumps can stick to the top.
 
Then once you have inserted that you just have the teat and lid like normal.
 
 We noticed the difference in the little J instantly when using the Dr Browns. In between feeding he was burping easily and not spitting up as much. He seemed more content and happy.
 
Since then I have seen lots of babies while out and about using Dr Browns so I know how popular they are.
 
We continued to used Dr Browns and I wouldn't have gone to any other brand.
 
To view more from the Dr Browns range visit the website HERE
 
 
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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Little Dish Meal for Little J

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Little J has a big appetite and up to now he has eaten everything we have put in front of him. I haven't found anything that he doesn't like yet.
 
 Little J has been trying Little Dish meals and today he tried the Cottage Pie with Seven Veg.
Minced British beef in a tasty tomato and seven veg sauce, topped with potato and veg mash.
 
Heating instructions say it is best to be heated from chilled in the oven but I did it in the microwave.
 
It was ready in 5 and a half minutes. Actual cooking time is just 2 and half minutes,1 minute stand in between cooking and 2 minutes stand after cooking.
 
After it had cooked and I opened it I thought it didn't look much and there seemed to be very little mash on top. It was really hot so I let it stand for a further minute or two before I popped it on the plate.

When I put it on the plate it looked more appetising than before and it did smell nice.

Little J enjoys feeding himself and he was able to with this because the mash is quite thick and stayed on the spoon as he lifted it to his mouth

The cottage pie with seven veg is suitable from 1 year old. The 200g portion is 2 of 5 a day, low salt (0.4g) and contains 183kcal. I was happy to see the salt content as I know microwave meals can be pumped with salt and sugar to add flavour.

It is suitable for home freezing and can be cooked from frozen too.

I will definitely try a few more of the dishes available. They are handy to have in when you need to make a quick meal, even cooking in the oven is just 25 mins.

When we purchased from the supermarket there were a few more dishes to choose from but there are 13 in total and can be viewed online at Little Dish
 
 
 
*we were provided with a voucher to purchase the above meal - all thoughts above are our own*
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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

iPhone 5 Case from Case App

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Daddy has previously reviewed 2 iPhone 5s cases, and was offered the chance to review a further case from caseapp. You may think that 2 cases would already be enough, but cases that are personalised are a great gift and means you can swap your case from time to time.  
 
The process for ordering was very simple with a simple click and drag process used to add the picture to the virtual case, and the chance to make the picture bigger, smaller, or select certain parts of a picture of you wanted to.  You can then preview your case to get an idea what it will look like. Then it's onto options followed by a simple checkout process and all done.
 
The phone was swiftly delivered securely packaged, and fitted through the letter box which is good as no need to pick up from neighbours if you are out.
 
The first thing I noticed about the case, which differs from others is that the picture I selected 'wraps around' the phone, ensuring that all sides are also part of the picture.  
 
The case feels secure and sturdy, and fits really snugly onto the phone. As expected there are spaces for the volume controls which takes the form of one large spaces rather than 3 smaller ones - this means a potentially better fit and very little chance of damage to the buttons, which can be a concern when fitting a new case to your phone, especially if like me you like to change it from time to time.
 
I chose a glossy finish for the picture, having had standard finish in the past, and for the picture I chose this was perfect. With a number of different colours in the picture it really makes certain parts stand out, for example you can clearly see the different colours on big j's World Cup loom bands!!
 
Overall I would recommend the service provided by caseapp and the quality of the iphone case is really good. You can order yours here. Enjoy!!

 
*we were provided with the iphone case for the purpose of the review - thoughts are our own*
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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Back To Work

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Well the time had to come around eventually where I had to go back to work. I started my maternity leave back in FEB 2013 so I been off a long time.
 
I was given an extension on my leave due to the amount of appointments little J had on a weekly basis. I'm hoping when I return it will be just like I've never been away but I know on my first day I will be nervous. It's like when you were off school sick when you were younger and you go back everything seemed different. 
 
Deciding to go back to work is a hard choice for any mummy or daddy and I've found it really hard. I obviously worry that something bad might happen when I'm not there. I know little J will be walking soon and it's hard to tell how his leg will react to having his weight on it. What if it breaks? Will I feel guilty for not being there with him?
 
I have obviously thought all this through and I have to admit it's hard knowing I won't be with him all the time but I know he is in safe hands. 
 
I only work a few hours a day so he probably won't even notice I've gone :) he will be having too much fun.
 
If little J didn't have loads going on I would have returned to work sooner because I love my job. I know not many people can say they enjoy their job but I do. I would probably go to work for free because for me it's not about the money it's the whole package. It's fun and working with children is so rewarding. My job is close to home so I don't have any travel expenses. Everyone I work with are friends and not just colleagues and the biggest perk is that little J will be able to come to work with me once he's two. 
 
Have you had to go back to work after having a little one?
 
Did it get easier leaving them as time goes by?
 
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Monday, 1 September 2014

CBeebies Land at Alton Towers and kids go free

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We love Alton Towers and have been visiting for as long as I can remember. Its a very special place for us, we visit several times throughout the year but there are certain dates we never miss.
 
Screamfest is amazing and if you have never been you should definitely plan a trip. It usually runs for a couple of weeks leading up to Halloween. Then the fireworks is the week after. I have never seen a fireworks display as big as the ones in Alton Towers. This is special for us because Daddy proposed to me while we watched the Fireworks a long time ago :)
 
Then their is Santas Sleepover in the Hotel. We have been going for years and its so special for the children. We usually visit for Big J's birthday too and you can read about that here.
 
So when CBeebies land was announced we did get excited because now we have little J and he will be able to enjoy Alton towers as much as we do.
 
When we arrived it was really colourful, fresh and new and very appealing to the youngsters.
 
It has its own section in Alton Towers which you have to enter by walking through two trees.
 
There is a map when you enter showing you all the rides and attractions. It was very busy so we decided to have a look around first.
 
The first thing we saw was Something Special Sensory Garden. Its a walk through garden area with two TV's showing Justin singing and welcoming you to the garden.
 
The Sensory garden has lots to touch, feel and smell. Their are musical instruments such as drums and also mirrors too. Both big and little J enjoyed the garden and I'm looking forward to taking little J back when he is walking.
 
 Next we went on the In the Night Garden Boat ride.
 
The ride takes you on a journey so you can see all your favourite In the Night Garden Characters.
Little J really enjoyed the ride and we were planning to go on again but the queue was almost a hour long so maybe next time.
 
After the boat ride we managed to meet Iggle Piggle. There is a large arena section and there are little tents and Iggle Piggle was there.
 
 Little J was really excited and got lots of cuddles. Big J did too.
 
Nina's Science LAB is an indoor attraction is aimed at children older than little J but big J enjoyed it.

There are lots of hands on things to do inside.

 There was no queue for the number go round so we went on this next.
Little J enjoyed sitting on the car as it went round. He cried when we got off so we had to go on a few times.
Last but not least we went on Postman Pat ride
 
Little J and big J drove Postman Pats van around Greendale.

 There are lots more activities and attractions to visit once inside CBeebies Land but little J fell asleep so we went off around Alton Towers to go on some bigger rides.

I am looking forward to returning once its been open a little longer and hopefully queues will have calmed by then.

If you didn't know already Cbeebies Magazine has teamed up with Merlin Entertainments to offer readers Kids Go Free tickets. This current issue of CBeebies magazine has two kids go free tickets in so can save you a little bit of money.

Have you been to Cbeebies Land? Did you enjoy it?

 
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#Win CBeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge #Competition

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I have the most amazing competition today on my blog. If you have a little fan of CBeebies then you will know already just how cute Squidge is.

Golden Bear Toys have released a range of CBeebies toys which can be viewed here.
 

There is lots to choose from Squidge, Something Special, In The Night Garden, Woolly and Tig and more.


 
Little J has been playing with Sweet Dreams Squidge this week so look out for our review in the next few days.
 
 I am so excited to be giving TWO of my readers the chance to win Sweet Dreams with Squidge.
 

Enter the world of CBeebies fun with Sweet Dreams with Squidge.  He’s getting tired and needs his sleep!  Squeeze him and listen as he plays the CBeebies bedtime song and watch as he glows softly in different colours, to gently soothe your little one to sleep.  Squeeze him for a second time and the music will stop and go back to the start when pressed again.  Soft and cuddly Squidge is sure to be a favourite with your little ones at bedtime!
 
For your chance to win 1 of 2 simply watch the video and answer the question
 
Q: How do you switch on the music?
(answer is in the video so watch carefully)

CBeebies Sweet Dreams With Squidge
 
Good Luck
 
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