Monday, 27 April 2015

Babymoov Ambassador: Changing Bag City review

Regardless of whether you walk, drive, use a pushchair or babywear there's one thing that all mums need; a changing bag.  Travelling light when you have a baby is mission impossible as you find the need to pack for every possible situation.

There's cutesy changing bags, sporty changing bags, plain ones, patterned ones, designer ones etc.  Sometime's however, you want a grown up bag.  Something that looks good as well as being functional.

As a Babymoov Ambassador, I've been lucky enough to receive a Changing Bag City to review; the changing bag that looks like a handbag.

Upon first glance it appears to be a fashionable, large, well made handbag.  The finish is what I'd class as 'high end' with no corners cut from the stitching to the zips it oozes quality.  It comes with a complimenting set of useful accessories that are all made from the same leather look material.  Personally I haven't used the insulated bottle holder as Moomin is breastfed yet the changing mat is always a welcome accessory and folds neatly into one of the front pockets so it's always easily accessible, a must when you're on your own and need to lay baby down before you get your nappies and wipes out.  The laundry pocket I actually use as 'my handbag' as due to using cloth nappies I already pack a wetbag.  Quite often I've found myself stuck in the conundrum of wanting somewhere for my stuff yet not a fan of having two take two bags everywhere with no happy medium.  If I end up putting my stuff in a changing bag I inevitably fail to locate anything when needed as my phone and purse lose themselves among nappies and muslins.  This pouch is the perfect size to put my purse, keys, glasses, lipstick, allergy tablets, inhaler etc in, I then place this at the very top of the bag so it's instantly accessible, an impressive compromise in my eyes.  The final accessory can either be used as a loose change purse or you can store a soother in there if your baby uses one.

The bag features two sets of straps so you can grasp/grab it in your hand or over your arm and also has a large shoulder strap so you can wear it messenger style.  They include a handy strap to attach it to your buggy/pram yet we haven't tested this out yet as we exclusively babywear.

Upon opening the changing bag you can't help but notice how wide it opens, perfect for packing it before you leave the house and whilst out and about it means, along with the double zip, easy access and less frantic stuffing/pulling and rummaging.  With previous bags I've had to half empty it every time I wished to retrieve something from them!

The next thing you'll notice is the just how many pockets it has both inside and out, handy to keep things separate from the bulk of what you pack such as medications.

The most impressive feature of this bag for me though has to be the size, to be frank it's epic.  I have very little ability to translate measurements from paper into my own head, they remain somewhat meaningless to me unless I physically get a tape measure out so I genuinely wasn't expecting a bag large enough for our needs as we cloth nappy, add to this the fact we don't drive so when we go out, we have one bag to pack for every eventuality until we get home again.  The Changing Bag City pleasantly overwhelmed me, with space, just take a look at the picture below that lists everything I packed into it on our first outing with space still left over to find things without the need to unpack everything all flustered and sweary!

For the stat hungry it's 34x42x16 cm and weighs in at 1.4kg.

(Also managed to pack an extra pocket nappy and a Hudl 2!)

What more could you ask for from a bag, it ticks the boxes of being large enough, well made and it looks good; it feels luxury and feminine yet remains functional.  It could even be used sans childrens as an overnight bag or for work.  Total win.

***I received this item to review as part of an Ambassador programme however, all views and opinion expressed are my own and genuine.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Letterbox Cake Review - Baker Days

Life is better with cake, in fact everything is better with cake.  It's one of those facts of the universe.  So, imagine my delight when presented with the chance to review a Letterbox Cake from Baker Days!

Cake speaks louder than words so why not say it with cake?  At Baker Days from as little as £14.99 you can send someone a fresh and delicious cake through the post, better still is the fact that you get to personalise it too.  They can literally make a cake for any occasion or sentiment be it Birthday cake, a cake to say sorry or congratulations (they even do cupcakes too!).  If you're the romantic type you could even design a proposal on a cake or if you're so inclined a 'you're dumped' cake.  You don't even need an occasion, sending a cake 'Just because' or to say hi would immensely make someone's day.

What could beat getting a personalised cake delivered to your door?  Can you tell I like cake?

Now, The Husband is always bemoaning the fact that nobody ever does anything for him, just for him, ever. I decided to give my worlds smallest invisible violin a rest and took this opportunity to design him a cake, just for him.

The order process is incredibly user friendly yet you can even just e-mail them with a picture and let them do the rest.  Shortly after sending my design it arrived.  I like the fact the neat little box was inconspicuous.  There was no branding nor advertising to hint at what was inside, perfect!

Inside the box is a cute little tin to ensure your cake arrives in perfect condition.  Call me odd but the tin alone was enough to make me 'Squeeee!' I love tins.  Before he could even open it i'd already claimed it for my button obsession stash problem collection.  Once again, there was an impressive lack of branding on the tin, I really like this.  It becomes more of a gift and less of an advertisement.

He'd have been happy enough just getting cake, but I absolutely levelled up in the game of marriage when he saw it was  personalised for him.

As you can see, we have a special brand of affection towards each other which tends to express itself in insults, the wording was my personal request to accompany the picture I sent them.

I would have written this review a lot sooner yet The Husband liked the cake so much I had to persuade him to cut it up so we could try it!

Granted, we waited until all of The Spawn were out of the house before we tried it.  It's not that we're mean, honest.  Okay, maybe we are a little mean.

Up until this point I had no idea what flavour cake we'd be sent, so imagine the glee when we discovered it was chocolate!  That's two of my 5 a day in one (cake and chocolate)  I'll admit, I didn't expect much from the cake assuming it was just secondary to the obvious unique selling point of the bespoke design element.  I was wrong.  The cake was fresh, moist and delicious, I'm salivating just thinking about it.

We had chocolate but they offer several choices when you order:

They even offer a Gluten free or Dairy free option (for small additional cost).  I recently spent 3 weeks dairy free to see if it would help The Moomin's eczema (it didn't).  I think I would have cried and then snogged someone if they'd sent me my own dairy free cake.

Letterbox cakes are 5", they're large enough to cut into four slices and share yet small enough to hide and scoff all to yourself without any guilt.  The Husband kindly let me have one slice for the purpose of this review (he wasn't threatened under pain of death, honest.)

It was an absolute pleasure reviewing this cake and I can genuinely highly recommend it.  I think the entire concept is awesome.  The gift of personalised cake through the post is most definitely the future.

Life is better with cake.

***I received one letterbox cake for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

World Book Day

World book day.  Three small words that strike fear into every parent of a school age child, or at the very least a muttered 'Arse'.

Don't get me wrong, I love books.  The spawn love books.  I'm incredibly pleased that they're having jaunts to the library etc to celebrate it.  But for the love of Valium, which cretinous sadistic person thought dressing up for it would be a good idea?  For the record, if it was you, I hate you.

Generally children love dressing up.  Dressing up as Ninja Turtles, Spiderman, Elsa or Buzz 'effin Lightyear that is.  As literary characters?  Not so much. In over ten years of parenting I've never once had any of The Spawn ask to dress up as Fantastic Mr Fox or Hairy Mclary.  Never.  Never ever ever.

So it falls upon us mere parents to run about like headless chickens trying to cobble together three, yes three, costumes that will be worn for one day.  The Pinterest mums all have hard-ons over it as they give their glue-guns a quick wank yet us mere mortals however are sat gulping Gin mumbling 'Fuck it.  Bastard schools ' repeatedly until it all slurs together and sounds more like 'more Prozac please'.

Those of us that are craft-inept or shall we say creatively constipated, are weighing up the possibility of beans on toast every night for a month to free enough money to just buy some costumes.

I'll admit to lingering over the possibility of just putting paper bags over their heads as surely most characters will go shopping at some point, right? Or spraying The Spawn blue or green seeing as most books will at some point mention the sky, or grass.  Then my sensibilities travel to the gutter and I seriously contemplate sending them as Mr Grey or Ana, just to make the teachers feel grotesquely uncomfortable as punishment for inflicting this ridiculously pointless activity on us.

Here's a thought, how about in future, each class pick a book and then at school, as a class activity (in school, that bit is vitally important) they create a mask or something each for a character out of it.  Yes, I'm a genius.  You can thank me later.

For some unfathomable reason, The Spawn's school are doing World Book Day dress up on the 15th.  At this moment it's a toss up as to whether they'll all mysteriously have a 24 hour bug that day or else sending them in costumes they already have, after all, iron man is from a comic book, right?