21 August 2019

Sun Smart Sustainable Swimwear with M&S

Our little water babies have become so water confident lately and just love to swim - whether that's in the paddling pool, swimming pool or even the sea! Marks and Spencer kindly sent us some items from their fantastic sustainable children's summer swimwear collection and the girls have been thoroughly enjoying putting them to the test. We opted for a UK Staycation in the Newforest this year and Phoebe and Lottie wore theirs for a morning dip in the the English Channel! 

Swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles, sun smart technology and chlorine resistant

There are lots of different styles available from swimsuits to bikini's, but our favourites have to be the rash vests which come in several designs for boys and girls and offer great protection from the sun. As well as providing coverage the fabric offers Sun Smart UPF 50+ which is endorsed by the British Skin Foundation. 

The Sustainable swimwear collection is partially made from recycled plastic bottles which is a huge plus for us as a family who are doing our best to recycle whatever we can and reduce our single use plastic waste. The Lycra Xtra LifeTM fabric feels like any other swimsuit and is soft and comfortable to wear, as well as being chlorine resistant. After lots of wear and being put though their paces by the girls they haven't bobbled or faded at all and have maintained their integrity in the washing machine and even an accidental tumble dry or two. 

Swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles, sun smart technology and chlorine resistant

As well as the Coral Print Rash Vests, we have the Coral Print swimsuits too that have all the same features, in the same super cute print with adorable ruffle detail. Ellie has been feeling very grown up in the Ombre Ocean Vibes swimsuit and Flamingo Bikini set and the the girls have loved wearing these to their swimming lessons and the pool.

I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again -  M&S clothing is such good quality that I'm able to hand it down the girls and then even pass it on to friends which when thinking about sustainability is really important. The children really like the designs too which with three little ladies who already have quite a view on what they want to wear is brilliant too. You can take a look at the whole range on the Marks and Spencer website.

Me x

*This is a collaborative post. 
We were kindly gifted some items from the M&S sustainable children's swimwear collection. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

5 August 2019

Summer Play with the GLTC Seaside Fish and Chip Shop

Lottie is off to School in September and the long summer holidays are the perfect time to practice some of the skills she'll need. I'm really pleased that her reception year will see her continuing to learn through play, a concept our friends at Great Little Trading Co design all their toys around. GLTC kindly sent us their Seaside Fish & Chip Shop to get Lottie ready for the 'Big Wide World' this summer and develop her social, creative, imaginative and motor skills -  all through play!

The Seaside Fish & Chip Shop has so much play value and was a hit as soon as it came out of the box. It's beautifully made from high quality painted wood with a small footprint making it nice and portable and sits perfectly on any flat surface enabling children to set up their shop with ease. We love wooden toys, not only do they look lovely in your home they are environmentally friendly and are built to last - particularly when the come from GLTC! 

The shop comes with lots of accessories including plenty of chips, two pieces of fish, mushy peas, lemon slices, vinegar, tomato sauce, a salt pot (which makes a shaking sound!), tongs and four cones. The children's imaginations have been well and truly ignited and they have been getting really creative with how they play with it. 

The Seaside Fish & Chip Shop works really well alongside our existing toys and the girls have added in extra food to it from our play kitchen, popped it on top of the play shop, and set it up with a chair behind it and their till beside it. It seems to have found a home for now on top of their GLTC Tea Trolley allowing them to wheel it from room to room and out into the garden.

It's been so interesting watching the girls play together and independently with the shop, as well as playing with them. The Seaside Fish & Chip Shop provides so many opportunities through imaginative play and role play to develop language and social skills. It has encouraged Lottie to ask questions and chat confidently; something that will be really important when she goes to school as well as out in the 'Big Wide World'. We've also practiced our manners with pleases and thank you's and encouraged numeracy skills by asking her to count out chips. 

One of the aspects all three girls have enjoyed is the challenge of picking the food up with the tongs. This is great for developing and tuning their fine motor skills as well as making their play feel really real. Adding in our till has been great for teaching the children about money and practicing maths skills. 

Writing out a little blackboard menu with prices and then asking for different combinations for Ellie and Phoebe to add up has been great for including a little bit of numeracy into their play. Giving the older girls a pencil and a little notepad to jot down an order extends their play and learning even further and they really enjoy mimicking what they see when we go out to a restaurant.

The Seaside Fish & Chip Shop has been a great addition to our playroom and something that the girls play with so well with together, whether they are setting it all up, taking it in turns to be the customer and shop keeper and even resetting it. Having tested it with children aged three through to seven it's definitely a toy that continues to grow with your child and is perfect for little imaginations -  we think it's fab!

Me x

*This is a collaborative post. 
We were kindly gifted the GLTC Seaside Fish and Chip Shop as part of our GLTC Testing Team role.
 All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

5 July 2019

Looking back with Minbie

With my youngest baby starting school this year I've been taking some time to reflect and look back as we close the door on what feels like such a significant chapter in our lives. As of September, all three of the girls will be at School which just feels unbelievable. People tell you that the baby days fly by and gosh they absolutely do, I miss them a bit but am ready to move on to the next stage too. Thinking back to when I had 3 children under 4 feels like a lifetime ago and I often wonder how we did it. I was at home full time with them, which definitely helped, but it was a very intense period of my life when three little people were extremely reliant on me for their every need. 

Now that the girls are older and more independent, I'm really enjoying my friends and family having babies and being able to support them and snuggle their babes. Even in a few short years there seem to be so many new baby products on the market that I wish I'd known about or been able to try to have made life easier, one of those being the Minbie Bottle.

I exclusively breastfed all three of the girls until around their first birthday which I'm so proud of and really wanted to do. However, I really struggled to get them to take a bottle meaning I was very rarely able to leave them and had to be there at every bedtime for that last feed of the day. There were days when it would have been so nice to know that I could confidently hand the baby over with a bottle and pop out for a few hours to have a break, attend an appointment or spend some one on one time with older siblings without feeling really anxious about leaving the babies who were so reliant on me.

None of our children slept through the night reliably before they were two, in fact only now 7.5 years into our parenting journey are we regularly getting a full nights sleep! The night feeds during that first year of each baby's life were tough, particularly third time around when I had a very lively 2 and 4 year old to entertain the next day and the sleep deprivation was extreme. I would have given anything at one time to hand the baby over to my husband for an unbroken nights sleep which is why we persevered with offering various bottles. We must have tried 4 or 5 different bottles before eventually giving up trying in the end, pumping my milk and having to throw it away as the girls wouldn't take a bottle was so deflating. 

Minbie bottles are designed to support mums with breastfeeding and enable them to successfully bottle and breastfeed as and when they need and for as long as they want to. The brilliant thing about the Minbie bottle is the revolutionary teat design which allows the baby to latch and feed in the same way that they would breastfeed meaning there is less chance of nipple confusion than with other teats as well as ease of transition between breast and bottle. Babies need to use the same motion to feed and flow is controlled in the same way too meaning that they are in control of the pace of the feed. The teats which are made from premium-quality soft, flexible BPA free silicone have a superior anti-colic and anti reflux system too. 

You only have to read the reviews on the website to see that many mums have had great success with Minbie products and to understand why they are an award winning brand. From chatting to family and friends who have had success with Minbie bottles in getting their breastfed babies to take a bottle I would have loved the opportunity to give these a go. I'm all for anything that helps take the pressure off when it comes to parenting and am delighted that Minbie have given me a discount code to share with you. Simply visit https://minbie.co.uk and enter 3little10% at checkout.

Me x

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Minbie. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own *

7 June 2019

Bathroom Styling with Garden Trading

Transforming our family bathroom has been one of most satisfying home renovations to date. Beforehand, the room was purely functional and was very dated as well as a bit botched by previous owners. Aesthetically it wasn't a very relaxing place to be, so creating a tranquil space in our busy home was 'the brief' when it came to designing the room. I wanted somewhere to retreat to at the end of a long day where I could find a moment of calm, light a candle or two and sink into a hot, bubbly bath and 'just be'.

Our finished bathroom renovation. Metal Farringdon Box shelves from Garden Trading with white metro tiles, a freestanding bath, freestanding taps and light grey paint

We went with a simple grey and white colour scheme with clean lines in the form of metro tiles and then added some fluidity with the bath and arabesque pattern of the floor tiles. We teamed modern with traditional and then added in some rustic accessories from Garden Trading Company to tie it all together and finish the room. We have lots of Garden Trading items in our home, they are classic yet contemporary, timeless and effortlessly stylish. They were my first port of call when it came to light fixings for both our bathrooms with their Ladbroke Ceiling Lights in Satin Nickel. The lights inspired a slightly more industrial look when it came to accessorising which has worked really well.

The Rive Droite Bistro table from Garden Trading is perfect for next to the bath to put a plant, drink, book, candle or phone so you don't drop it in the bath!

First things first.. I needed somewhere to pop a book and a drink while in the tub. I had spotted the Rive Droite Bistro Table (in Charcoal) on the Garden Trading website which is perfectly sized, folds up and is super versatile. When not in use in the bathroom it can be easily moved to other rooms as well as outdoors and I just love it.

Trailing plants in crackle glazed ceramic pots adding a tranquil touch to the bathroom

I knew I wanted to add a botanical element to the bathroom and bring a bit of the outside in as there is something so peaceful and fresh about plants. We chose two Farringdon Box Shelves along with some ceramic Ravello Pots for above the bath, which are great for displaying my plants, some flannels, candles and toiletries.

Bathroom shelving to store and display toiletries, face clothes, candles and trinkets

We've hung them offset to one another but they'd work equally well in other configurations and in so many other places in the house including the kitchen, utility room, garden room, hallway or boot room to name but a few!

A simple metal star adding interest and personality to the bathroom walls

Finally, I couldn't resist a Farringdon Star to add some simple interest and personality to the room and I think it looks great with the other Garden Trading items we have incorporated in the room. It would be lovely with some fairy lights or greenery wrapped around it to add further serenity.

Metal star with some greenery wrapped around it to add a bit of serenity

Garden Trading have kindly given me a 10% discount code to share with you. Simply enter 3LITTLELADIES at checkout. (Valid until Friday 14 June 2019, excludes last chance and delivery and can only be used once per customer.)

Me x

*This is a collaborative post. 
We were kindly gifted 2 x Farringdon Box Shelves, the Rive Droite Bistro Table,  
2 x Ravello Pots and Farringdon Star by Garden Trading* 

23 April 2019

Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck

We were very kindly invited to Sony Pictures last week to celebrate Tiny Pop's new show Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck, featuring none other than Sesame Street favourite Cookie Monster and Gonger from The Furchester hotel. I grew up watching Sesame Street and love that it's characters are still going strong and being enjoyed by children today with this year marking it's 50th birthday.

The girls having their photo taken at Tiny Pop HQ

Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck is a fun and educational show where Cookie Monster and Gonger cook a simple recipe and find out more about the foods they are cooking with and where they come from. The short episodes are just 5 minutes each and really funny and engaging with a catchy theme tune which had the girls dancing in their seats and giggling during the screening.

Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck Poster

There were lots of Cookie Monster themed activities to keep the girls busy either side of the screening. They made Cookie Monster masks which were really simple for them to do and looked great when they had finished and had their faces painted too.

Phoebe with her Gonger face paint!

An afternoon with Cookie Monster would not have been complete without lots of cookies! Lottie did her very best impersonation of CookieMonster and sampled them all!

Lottie enjoying Cookie Monster's Cookies!

We ended the day meeting Cookie Monster and Gonger and their puppeteers which the girls found amazing, they are such a great double act! The girls were very kindly given a special Tiny Pop goodie bag with their own little Cookie Monster Soft toy and t-shirt to take home thanks to Sambro, Character UK and Hype.

You can catch Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck on Tiny Pop now!

Me x

* This is a collaborative post. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own*