Sunday, 28 June 2015

Our June SassyBloom Box

SassyBloom is a monthly baby gift subscription box delivered to your door, with a minimum RRP value of £40. Inside the box is a mixture of baby products, tailored to your baby's age and stage of development, all hand picked especially for you and your little one.

We've been receiving SassyBloom boxes for a while now. 

Back in October, we were sent a box to review. We were hooked and I soon signed up to receive them every month. Long gone was my beauty box subscription, this kid rules the roost now! :)

Other than the one we received for review, I haven't yet had the chance to blog what was in the boxes as I'm far too impatient and couldn't wait to open the boxes and see what was inside!! But I decided to show you what we were lucky enough to receive this month...

Inside the box:

Nuby Cover All & Bandana Bib (RRP £5.99)
This cover all bib, with sleeves and an easy wipe surface is perfect for those messy meals or even a messy craft activity. And it comes with a free cloth bandana bib too. Very cute!!

Doidy Training Cup (RRP £3.49)
A slanted training cup to make using a cup easier. We haven't tried this yet but I'm looking forward to trying it out with Taylor.

Baby Dan Multi Lock (RRP £3.30)
A lock to keep little ones out of cupboards, fridges and freezers etc. I'm not sure we'll use this as we have safety latches on our cupboards already. But it's nice to have just in case.

Fun Time Busy Phone (RRP £4.99)
Honestly, I probably would never buy something like this as it looks and feels quite cheap. But Taylor has quite possibly played with this more than most toys recently! :)
He holds it to his ear [or the back of his head] which I think is so clever of him! :)

First Steps Stack Up Cups (RRP £6.49)
I love toys like these, helping Taylor to learn to stack, or fit inside. We have some similar, but these have found their way into the toy box in his bedroom. 

Melissa & Doug Colour Star Tumbler (RRP £9.99)
There is just something about a wooden toy. Aren't they beautiful?
When rolled along the floor, this makes a click clacking noise and shows colourful stars. I think it's just lovely!! :)

Kaloo Colours Activity Garden Book (RRP £11.15)
I adore Kaloo toys, they're just so soft and cute!! To be honest, Taylor hasn't shown much interest in this, I think it's probably a bit young for him. I wish I had kept it on the packaging and saved it for my new Niece :)

Overall we're pretty happy with this months box and already looking forward to the next one! :)

Fancy trying out a SassyBloom box? 
Get £10 off with the code THEBRUNE at 

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Choosing the right Sunglasses

Sun's out! Yay!
One thing I do struggle with in the Summer, is finding the right pair of sunglasses to suit my face shape.
Surely it isn't just me that spends so long at the sunglasses stand, trying on every single pair???
Too big. Too small. Too round. Too ugly. 

Are you wearing the right style for your face shape?

I did a bit of research and this is what they say we should be wearing:

Heart Shaped Face [wide cheek bones, narrow chin]
 - try rounded aviators, oval frames, square frames

Oval Shaped Face [long face, wide cheeks, narrow chin]
- anything goes, you lucky things! Thin or rimless frames are especially flattering

Square/Rectangle Shaped Face [sharp angles, small forehead, prominent jaw line, long, narrow, thin]
- circular frames, cat eyes, wide frames, oval frames, cat eyes, bright or dark frames are best

Round Shaped Face [fuller features, round forehead, wide jaw]
- go for square frames, long and thin frames, dark coloured frames

I think my face is quite oval shaped. So really I should have the choice of every kind of shade going. But I never find a pair to suit me!

The very lovely people at sent me a pair of their sunglasses to try.
They specialise in various quality and affordable eyeglasses and are devoted to deliver the most popular eyeglasses frames all over the world.

Billancourt Rectangle* - $39.95

These rectangular framed sunglasses are unisex and suitable for most face shapes. 
They are polarised sunglasses, which means glare is reduced, which means less squinting, which means less lines and wrinkles! Winning!!

What do you think? Do they suit my face shape?
They feel really good quality, they're definitely not flimsy or likely to break in my hand bag. And they came in a fab little case with a special cloth for keeping the lens clean. I think just over £25 for a great quality, scratch resistant, anti-glare, smudge proof, easy to clean pair of sunglasses is a pretty good price!

To check out the other sunglasses they have on offer, visit They currently have a fab First Pair of Glasses Free campaign on where all new customers can have a pair of free optical glasses or sunglasses except shipping and handling fee. 

If any of their fab sunglasses take your fancy, treat yourself with 20% off using the code LIANNEX20. You're welcome! ;)

Happy Summer Time guys!!
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*Sunglasses sent to me by


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Treasure Baskets for Babies

It can often be difficult to keep Taylor amused. He's quite full on, never sits still and needs constant stimulation. He often gets fed up with his toys and I have to make sure I rotate which toys I get out so he doesn't get bored of them. 

Being an Early Years practitioner, I know the benefits of heuristic play [which means, giving a child a group of different, everyday objects to explore freely, without intervention] and couldn't wait to start putting Treasure Baskets together for Taylor.

Treasure Baskets, [or discovery baskets, sensory baskets... Call it what you will] are a fantastic way for a child to have opportunity to explore every day, 'real' objects such as wood, metal and different textures [rather than the usual plastic toys] and build on so many important skills; fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and cognitive development to name a few. It provides babies with the opportunity to choose what they want to 'play with' and 'explore' and how they want to, through licking, sucking, biting, rubbing, dropping, even throwing. And all these experiences are helping the brain to make connections.

The idea behind a Treasure Basket, is to collect a number of items into a basket that your baby can see into and reach into comfortably. It's probably best not to have the basket accessible all the time, but to introduce it just now and again. 
We get it out every evening after dinner time, and I remove all other toys from the space.

They can be used from when a baby learns to sit up, and starts to reach out and pick up objects.

I sit close by and observe what Taylor is doing, and sometimes I'll sit and explore them with him. Although heuristic play does mean baby leads his own play, he enjoys when I explore the objects with him, he'll often copy or explore with me. I like to play with him one day, then watch what he does another day when exploring on his own. The best way is to sit back and just 'be there' in case baby decides to involve you in his play.

I like to strip him down to his vest, so he can explore all the objects and materials with his bare skin.

The environment should be calm, and quiet.

Let me show you what is currently inside our Sensory Basket:

Our basket is one that we used on his changing table and kept his muslin cloths in. It's a cute basket with a hessian lining.

Everything inside is from around the house, or I picked up from a pound shop. So they're super super easy and inexpensive to make!

It's important to check the objects regularly for any sharp edges or any other safety implications, and to sit close by, or with a watchful eye to check baby is using them safely. Never leave baby un attended with the basket. Never choose objects with loose, choking hazards, loose threads, sharp edges or dye. 

The basket can be updated and changed regularly, based on what baby uses most or doesn't use very often, and more age appropriate things can be added as baby gets older.

Inside we have:

Plastic Whisk - Taylor mainly uses this to 'bash' things, and generally explores it with his mouth or fingers. I bought this from the Pound Shop.

Plastic Pegs - He usually pops these straight into his mouth. I like to attach them to things and he enjoys pulling them off. These were also from the Pound Shop.

Wooden Spoons - Taylor will 'bash' with these and he tries to copy me when I tap them together. Another Pound Shop purchase.

Empty Cardboard Sellotape Roll - He likes to watch me roll this, but independently he just likes to chew it :) This was leftover from my work materials.

Bath Buffer - He rarely goes for this one to be honest. It usually goes in his mouth then is thrown aside. This was from a bath set I had, but don't use.

Small Hessian Bag - As Taylor gets older, this bag could contain things like shells, marbles etc. 

Hair Doughnut - Like the bath buffer, this has a unique feel to it, I popped these in so he has different textures to explore. I had this lying around at home.

Velcro Hair Rollers - We use these to thread onto things, attach pegs onto, stick onto things or each other, and lots of other things, they're very popular. I picked a pack up of these from the Pound Shop.

Bag of Coloured Plastic Cubes - These are perfect for heightening all senses; lots of bright colours, the cubes are squeezable and the bag is stretchy and flexible. These were from the Pound Shop.

Sensory Ball - This was a Christmas present to Taylor from my brother and sister in law. I like to roll it on his bare legs so he gets to feel the gentle little prickles on his skin, it makes him giggle. He likes to chew on this and throw it.

Teething Necklace - Strangely, he doesn't chew the rubbery heart, but the plastic clasp at the other end of the necklace. This came in a previous Sassybloom box. 

Sensory Bottles - one contains dry pasta which is one of Taylor's favourite things in the basket, he loves shaking it as it makes a really loud noise. The other contains blue water, with bits of coloured plastic binds which were leftover cut offs from my work materials, these float around in the water when shook.

Ribbon - This is from one of our Sassybloom boxes and we use this to wrap around objects and feel the material on his skin.

Bubble Wrap Bow - The bubble wrap is from cut offs from my work materials, I tied it into a bow and Taylor likes to suck on it. I'll admit I've nearly popped all the poppers now I think! :)

Crunchy, Holographic Paper - this was part of a birthday banner which is super shiny; the holographic effect means lots of colours when in the light, and makes a really crunchy, crinkly sound when scrunched up, perfect for all senses.

We've since added some big plastic lids which he likes as it still has the colourful image on the lid.

He loves when we get his basket out, although I think I'm going to have to stop bringing it out every night, and maybe only bring it out a couple of times a week, as some days he can take it or leave it. It's also been a few weeks now so I should probably think about changing up the objects a little. 

I'm always on the lookout in pound shops for new items to add.

Objects I'd like to add as he gets older, are:

  • Metal objects such as measuring spoons, egg cups, mini strainer, mirrors etc.
  • Pine cones
  • Brushes [like pastry brushes or shaving brushes, he does seem to have an obsession with my make up brushes!!]
  • Big shells
  • Loofah
  • Lids [metal and plastic]
  • CDs
  • Zips
  • Feathers
  • Gift bows

Another great idea is to make 'Colour' baskets using lots of objects of a specific colour, and maybe change the colour every few weeks. Or 'Seasonal' baskets including seasonal and weather related objects.

Take a look at Taylor enjoying his Treasure Basket...

Have you made Treasure Baskets for your little ones?
What kind of things do you, or would you have inside?

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Friday, 12 June 2015

Me & Mine Family Portrait Project : May

Me & Mine
The Family Portrait Project

We find it hard to get the whole family together for a photo, life is busy!!
But we've joined the Family Portrait Project for 2015 and we vow to take a photo every month of the whole family.

At the end of the year, I'm thinking of creating a photo book or similar showing the 12 family portraits.

May 2015

We are wearing:
Me: H&M Young & Wild vest  |  James: TU Loungewear  |  Bradley: Nike t-shirt  |  Taylor: H&M Mickey Mouse short set

This month:

I am loving:
Buying lots of lovely bits for the new house

James is loving:
Finally starting to move our stuff into the new house

Bradley is loving:
Celebrating his birthday

Taylor is loving:
Eggbird on Baby TV

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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

In Car Entertainment for Babies

Taylor isn't a very laid back baby :) he's not one to sit quietly playing with his toys and doesn't like sitting in his pushchair or car seat for very long. He needs constant stimulation. So car journeys can often be a pain. I have to sit in the back with him a lot, to keep him occupied, as he gets upset on his own.

Babymoov sent me some of their products to try and combat the in-car boredom!!

First up, we have the Car Organiser (£24.99)*. 

It includes big, colourful pockets to store belongings and toys, which is fab for quick, easy access. Some of the pockets are see-through, or mesh, so baby can see what's inside. 
This is also great for keeping things like wipes in the car.

Next, we have the Car Circus (£20.99*)...

The Car Circus is an adjustable, detachable arm that can be stuck to the window with a simple sucker attachment, to entertain baby with it's bright colours and fun discovery activities such as bells, squeaker, ribbons, rings, crunchy paper, and the detachable toys. 

On a recent trip to Ikea, I popped them into the back of the car with Taylor so I could ride in the front with James. We were in a bit of a rush so didn't have time to put many things inside the pockets, except a few of his favourite toys. They were both super quick to attach and I laid the organiser over his legs so he could explore the fabric and reach the toys a little better.

They kept him amused throughout the majority of the journey, until near the end when he got a little grumpy but I think that was tiredness. 

I think they're both fantastic products to have in the car to entertain little ones. It's perfect for keeping them amused and storing toys and wipes etc, in the car. The organiser will definitely last a few years in our car and move around with him once he's forward-facing too. 

Another little dilemma solved by Babymoov!! ;)

What are your in-car entertainment saviours??


*These products were sent to us by Babymoov as part of our Brand Ambassadorship

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