Sunday, 27 April 2014

Real Nappy Week - Day 0, its been a wet day in many ways!!

Sooooo, I thought I`d start to try the cloth nappies on a day where I was at home so I wouldn't be caught out and about in public unaware and look like right numpty.

Good job I did!!

This morning, as we do every Sunday, we went to Alfie`s football match so decided to put a disposable on Benjamin. When we got home I whipped the disposable off and put on the Bambino Mio Solo in their uber cute traffic jam design.

I was apprehensive that I had fitted it properly but once Benjamin got up and started to crawl around it actually stayed on....YES, first hurdle down!!!

I have to admit that Benjamin looked rather cute prancing around with his cars nappy on!!

Within 10 minutes of having the nappy on and in true Benjamin style he decided to well and truly christen his new nappy. So it was a true baptism of fire for me, first change and it was a nasty one.

I found the whole concept of not using the nappy to help remove the worst of the poo really weird but I`m sure I will get used to it over time.

Over the course of the day Ben has used 2 other nappies; the Smarti Pants and the Charlie Banana ones, unfortunately both of them have leaked, resulting in a full clothing change needed.

I`m going to take today's experience as a positive learning step forward and hope that tomorrow will be better with no leaks as I am off to Lemur Link Up with my bestie for some networking and don't fancy a public mishap!!

Silent Sunday 27/04/2014

Saturday, 26 April 2014

To Cloth Or Not To Cloth?? Real Nappy Week - Part 1

I have always liked the idea of trying cloth nappies but have been put off by the stigma of how awkward and messy it can be. To be honest I have never actually looked into how they work and admit that I did buy a few when Jacob was born, but never got round to trying them and they have sat in the wardrobe since I bought them...naughty Jeni.

All of that is about to change!!

With The Real Nappy Week happening next week; 28th April - 2nd May. Benjamin and I have been given the amazing opportunity to try a range of cloth nappies, blogging our journey as we go along.

Myself and a small handful of other lucky bloggers have been sent an amazing assortment of nappies from various brands.

I had a lovely video chat with a Nappy Guru called Rachel AKA Greenwich Nappy Guru and we went though in great detail the contents of my Fill Your Pants package.

I was so overwhelmed with what I found in the box, but Rachel quickly put me at ease and showed me how to use each brand with the least stress and very quickly I found that I couldn't wait to get started!!!!

Here`s what I received...what an amazing selection!!

Do you think Benjamin liked of the contents of the box??

In my box there are nappies and accessories from Charlie BananaSmartipantsBabino MioTots BotsLittle Lambs, and Gro Via. They all look amazing quality and I am in love with all the different prints, after more research I have come to realise there are thousands of different patterns so you can tailor your babies nappies to their personalities!

Today I have washed all the nappies in anticipation of starting them asap; I will probably start them tomorrow - 27th - as I am going to be in all day and don't fancy being in the situation of going out on Monday and getting in a sticky nappy situation with no practise.

Here are the details of my fellow bloggers who will also be documenting their cloth nappy journey; please feel free to pop on over to their blogs and see how they are coping compared to me!!

Check back each day this week to see how Ben and I deal with the nappy challenge!! Plus I will have a discount code and link for you to get 20% off any orders placed via the link during Real Nappy Week.

If you would like to follow our antics on twitter, follow me @poolemamma and check out #realnappyweek #clothnappies and @TheNappyGurus to keep up to date with our journeys.

To celebrate Nappy Week, The Nappy Gurus are running an competition via rafflecopter to win a £50 voucher to spend on cloth nappies so you can give them a try for yourself.

Enter below for your chance to nab the £50 voucher xxxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 24 April 2014

I`m A Godmother!!

A few weeks ago my good friend Jeni asked me to become her gorgeous new daughter, Olivia May`s godmother.

I felt so honoured to be asked to become Olivia`s godmother it made me well up!!!

My only reservation was that I haven`t attended church for a very long time and not a religious person. Would I be allowed to become her godmother and attend church??? Of course I was, there was no problem at all.

The christening was on the 6th April and as the actual baptism service would be during the first main morning service I had to be up for 6 am so I could get us all ready in time.

When I woke up I drew back the curtains in the hope that it was a gloriously sunny day, but alas it was grey and miserable. My outfit choice did`nt seem too clever now....a cream skater dress with blue flowers and my lush navy blue wedge sandals. I had nothing to match the outfit to wear over my arms so one manic texting session later and I had managed to borrow a cream cardigan from my bestie.

On arrival at the church I realised that my sandals were definitely the wrong choice in the dismal weather, within a few steps my feet were soaking.

When I was younger I was part of my local church choir so thought I knew the words to the wrong was I??? Amazing Grace was first on the list which I know very well, or so I thought!! The music starts and I`m in shock......gone is the classic organ intro into to the hymn and in its place an electric guitar solo!!! For a second I thought I was at a Coldplay concert!! Then come in the flute, acoustic guitar and bongo drums!!

I am in shock as to how modern church music has become, I think its great and might be persuaded to start going again. I didn't get married in a church and now slightly wish we had.

The whole service was great, even with us godparents nervously standing at the front of the church saying our bit!!

So now I am officially a godmother to Olivia and ready to do all that is required of me.
I wish Olivia a happy, healthy and long life and will be there for her whenever she needs me.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Frizz be gone!!

I`ve always had frizzy hair; I inherited my mums semi wavy hair and since having my boys the frizz level has rocketed.

For some reason my new hair wants to grow on my fringe line and parting which I have nicknamed "Frizzting"; so have always had frizzy locks not matter what I tried.

That is until I was asked by BzzAgent, the leading word-of-mouth marketing company, to try the Smooth Start John Frieda range. I was sent Smooth Start Shampoo and Conditioner, Secret Agent Touchup Creme and the Original Frizz Ease serum.

I was a tad sceptical about how this would make a difference to my "Frizzting" but I am truly amazed at the difference I have seen over the last month.

My hair is so much smoother and softer. 

Smooth Start Shampoo and Conditioner

The shampoo and conditioner smelt so good that I could of eaten them!! The shampoo lathered up really well and I did`nt have to use much of either products to get the desired amount of lather.

I used the shampoo and conditioner every day with the serum every other day as I found my hair was getting greasy faster than normal. 

Original Serum

I had been told by a few friends who already use this to use it sparingly...they were so right!! Only one pump of the serum is needed for my shoulder length hair, anymore and my hair would of been overloaded with product.

Touch Up Creme

This is can be used either straight after blow drying or at any other time that you think the frizz is getting out if control. Once again only a small amount of the creme is needed. And a again the creme smelt amazing and left my hair smelling lovely for hours.


I am now a 100% convert to John Frieda Frizz Ease products as am loving my new sleek and almost frizz free hair!!

What do you think of the results?

I was supplied the above products free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Benjamin`s 1st hair cut

Today saw Benjamin reach another milestone....his first official hair cut!!

At 11 months tomorrow he is the youngest of my 3 boys to need a hair cut at this age, Alfie and Jacob were well into their toddler months before needing the chop.

We have been lucky enough to find a lovely lady hairdresser in our local shopping centre of all places.

Jacob is constantly asking when he is having his haircut next as he absolutely loves sitting there and having his hair played with; the lady is always commenting that he is the best behaved boy she has ever had.
He has always enjoyed going and was hoping that Jacobs chilled attitude to going had rubbed off on Ben.

Luckily for me it begin with I wasn`t sure if I was doing the right thing as he didn`t like the sound of the clippers when they were turned on, but he settled down almost straight away. So whilst sat in my arms his beautiful almost white hair started to be cut.

Everything was fine until it was time to tidy the hairline on his neck....he flinched as soon as the clippers touched him and ducked his head down resulting in a scream from the hairdresser and a large chunk of hair being cut a tad too short for my liking!!!

I know it will grow and doesn`t look that bad but I was a little upset that his first haircut didn`t go to plan.
Lets hope next time is better!!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A Family Favourite Meal - Pasta Bolognese Bake

Does your family have an all-round favourite meal??

We have a few but the whole family absolutely love the good old pasta bolognese bake.

It`s so simple and quick to make and VERY satisfying.


  • preheat oven to 160c
  • cook desired amount of pasta
  • whilst pasta is cooking, brown mince in frying pan
  • add diced onions, mushrooms and garlic salt (optional)
  • add either tinned tomatoes or pre made bolognese sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • make up either cheese or white sauce, its your personal preference
  • grab a large oven/pyrex dish
  • place all the mince mixture on bottom of dish
  • then layer the now cooked pasta over the mince...DO NOT MIX!!
  • layer chosen sauce over pasta.....DO NOT MIX!!
  • add cheese if required
  • cook in oven until sauce is bubbling or cheese has browned.

I have personally found that not mixing the layers whilst cooking makes the whole bake taste better but its up to you. We also have garlic bread with it.

There is never any left overs with this recipe.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Spoilt Rotten

Last week was my birthday and I was a very lucky girl.

I was treated to a new HP Chromebook which is amazing, chocolates, wine, a lovely little plant pot, a quotation plaque saying  "of all the gifts great and small friendship is the best of all ", perfume and for my new passion, a new pair of running shoes which are bright pink!!

I have never been a runner nor exercise junkie but I seem to be slowly changing as I get older.

For the last 7 weeks my very good friend Emma Collins AKA The PR Mummy and I have been taking increasingly faster power walks which have started to turn into jogs...and do you know what?? I`m looking forward to our walk/runs 2-3 times a week.

Its not just the exercise I look forward to but the chinwagging that occurs for the duration of the walks!!
Its a kind of therapy for me and I have to say I am feeling so much better about life as a whole and am feeling the benefits of the exercise.

We are tracking our progress with the runtastic app and I have just been sent the Fitbug Orb to review and after only using it for a week I have to say I am in love with it and can`t wait to use it to its full potential with an indepth review is to follow.

Who knows, I may eventually manage to run the whole of our 5k route pretty soon????

Friday, 18 April 2014

Birthday cakes #1 & #2

Sorry I have been a bit quiet on the posts front over the last few weeks.

April is always a busy month in the Wood household as its mine and Alfie`s birthdays which are only two days apart.

I have been up to my eyes in planning not one but TWO parties for Alfie`s 7th birthday!!

In previous years we have planned one large event to include all of his friends and family. This culminated in a ridiculously large party last year with two joining church halls, a giant bouncy castle and over 40 kids being invited........NEVER EVER again!!

I vowed never to do a kids party on that scale again, so this year we planned two small parties; one for family and one for a few select school friends.

Of course when agreeing to two parties I completely forgot about having to make two cakes!!

Alfie is Minecraft mad and had previously asked for Minecraft themed cake, I decided to make a Minecraft cake for the party with his school friends and a chocolate overload cake for the family party.

And thanks to the help of Cake Angels and their amazing products below is my first creation.

My gorgeous birthday boy

Alfie`s second cake was going to be more of a challenge; if you don`t know what Minecraft is, its a computer game where the whole image is based around cubes with the characters and scenery all made out of squares. I had been researching cake ideas for a few months and finally found a template to go by. It seemed an easy idea to begin with but when it came to constructing the cake I realised that I may of bitten off more than I could chew!!!

The main body of the cake was going to be home made chocolate brownies and white chocolate rice crispy squares piled into a 3D scene.

The grass was the hardest aspect to create, but once I found the great piping nozzle set from docrafts it was a doddle.

The paper craft characters were a nightmare to glue together as they were so small but think that they turned out OK, don`t you???

To keep with the Minecraft theme I created personalised party bag name tags.

I wont admit this to hubby but I really enjoyed making both the cakes even though they took almost a whole week of creating start to finish and were devoured in only a few hours!!

Now to start planning my next baking mission...Benjamin`s first birthday cake next month!!

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Waiting Game

My fingernails are no more, they have been nibbled into obscurity waiting to hear which school son #2 will be gong to!!

At 10am Wednesday 16th April, myself and thousands of other mums will have either their heads buried in their laptops or phones glued to their hands as we wait to find out our primary and middle school places.

When I went through this with son #1 I wasn`t too worried about which school he got so never got why the other mums were so stressed about the whole thing.

It`s a completely different story this time around.

I can`t put my finger on exactly why I am more nervous this time....
Maybe because now that Alfie was so lucky to get into such a good school that I want the same quality of education for Jacob??
Or it could be my selfish side worried about the fact that if Jacob gets placed in another school how I am going to logistically get two kids to two schools that start and finish at the same time???

Either way we will all find out very soon...eeekkk xxx

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Are your insides happy??

Do you take your digestive health for granted??

I know I did until a few months ago.

I would eat anything without a second thought as to the consequences on my belly.

Since having my 3rd son I have had a very sensitive stomach with this weird intense rib and right arm pain.

To cut a long story short I am in the middle of medical investigations at my local hospital to see whats going on; the docs think it could be gall stones or IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I`ve been advised to try and change my diet to reduce the amount of fat and carbohydrate loaded foods.

That is not going to be easy with me and my family's love for pasta dishes, rice dishes and breads!!

I have made a few significant changes, we no longer have white bread, pasta or rice its all now wholemeal or brown varieties.

My symptoms are easing slightly but very often I`m left feeling bloated and full after every meal.

I have started to research into the world of nutraceutricals and complementary therapies to try and help my symptoms without the aid of drugs.

Across the net I`ve been seeing and hearing alot about a prebiotic product called IBAID by a company called Bimuno.

I found this interesting article about IBAID, and product review.

The pre-biotic preparation helps to increase your good bacteria levels which help to maintain a healthy intestinal balance. It also helps to reduce the bacteria that causes the uncomfortable bloating, a classic symptom of IBS.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be trying IBAD for myself so check back to see what I think!!

If you or anyone you know suffers from bloating or IBS it might be worth giving Bimuno a try .

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Bimuno. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience

Penwizard Review - Personalised Peppa Pig Book

Jacob absolutely loves anything to do with Peppa Pig and reading so when I was asked to review a Peppa Pig themed, personalised book from Penwizard, how could I refuse??


The online ordering system is so simple -

  1. Choose your book from the huge library available
  2. Customise the character/s to be included in the book. 
  3. Change the skin colour, hair style and colour, add glasses etc
  4. Add character/s name/s
  5. Pay the great price
  6. Recieve your amazing personalised book in 3-5 days.

What we thought

Well to say Jacob was excited is an understatement...can you tell??

I decided to go for the `My Mummy` book to include Jacob and a character looking a bit like me, I am finding Jacob alot harder to read with then Alfie was, so was hoping that having me included in it would be more appealing.

Jacob doesn`t seem to have the concentration level nor patience of his older brother.

When I opened the envelope containing the book I was amazed by the quality and feel of it. 

It felt like a `proper` book; I know it is a real book but have had personalised products before which have felt like a cheaper copy of the intended product.

We absolutely LOVED the entire book!!

Everything about it is great: the story was lovely and to see `me` and Jacob with Peppa and Mummy Pig made Jacob smile. He has hardly put it down since it arrived and even though he cant read it by himself yet he is making up different stories each time.

Alfie didn`t want to be left out of the reading action.

I liked the fact that the characters of myself and Jacob were on every page from the front to the back cover.

Jacob and I give it 5 out of 5. I can`t fault it in anyway and I`m certain that this book is going to be a favorite for a long time, we will be adding to our new Penwizard collection very soon.

This book was sent to me free of charge by Penwizard in exchange for my honest opinion.