Saturday, 25 August 2012

Review: 23Snaps

Living roughly 11,210 miles away from close family and friends in Cape Town (give or take a few inches), I use social media to share photos and videos of my daughter.  The only hitch is that a large number of these sites are not incredibly private and so I am slightly apprehensive to share more intimate family moments which is a real shame.  

23snaps is a fairly new App on the market and a wonderful discovery too at that.  Basically, clever mommy's and daddy's use this extremely user friendly App to share photos of their wonderful offspring with loving family members and friends both locally and around the globe.  Comments can be left on the media you have chosen to share and if they really want to express themselves they can 'heart' the photo or add a smiley or sad face to show deeper virtual emotions.

To get started, download the App, register with 23Snaps (none of your information is shared with 3rd parties) and then create a profile for you each of your children.  Images and videos are uploaded through the App on your iPad or iPhone to your child's profile and will automatically fall in chronological order on their timeline.  This is wonderful especially when you take a number of snaps of your child and don't always remember the precise date of the magical event.  

If you have a single photo with all of your children in, simply tag each of them individually in the photo and the image will be shared to each of their timelines.  Weight and height milestones can also be recorded.  Get creative by cropping your image, adding filters and choosing from a selection of frames.

Invite family and friends by clicking on Family & Friends in the main menu and either selecting them from your contacts, by email or through Facebook.  Once they receive and accept your invite they will be taken to the 23Snaps website where they can register and will be given the option to download the App if they have an iPhone or iPad. 

Notifications of new photos or videos that you have uploaded are shown in the notification bar in the App or are sent to friends and family by email as you add them or on a daily or weekly basis.  These settings are chosen by your friends or family members on their login page on the 23Snaps website.  

Photos and videos can be added to your camera roll on your iPhone or iPad and there is the option to send the media to other people by email or share it with others on Facebook.


The App is completely free, very user friendly and takes seconds for photos and videos to upload.  It makes sharing your precious family moments extremely quick and simple, so why not give it a try now?

Ax

Website: 23snaps.com

Note:  This is a sponsored post.  All views, however, are the Blogger's own, completely honest and unbiased.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Making your Car Child-friendly

This is a fabulous Guest Post from Joel Dowling who writes for the Sainsbury’s Bank Money Matters blog on a wide range of subjects including family life and motoring. He has two young children but no longer dreads long journeys.

I hope you find this as informative and helpful as I did!




Making your Car Child-friendly

One of the many daunting aspects of parenting is working out what you need and what you don’t. The marketplace seems to teem with products that you simply must have.

But for travelling with your kids, there are only really a few essentials that you need to help you get by. Here are a few handy tips to consider:

Safety is the first consideration:

  • Make sure you have a car seat that’s the right size and shape for your child and that it definitely works with your make and model of vehicle. Any serious vendor will have staff trained to know exactly what you need.
  • Make sure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. Get your tyres, brakes, air bags and fluid levels checked regularly, and carry out all the regular maintenance recommended in your owner’s manual.
  • Make sure you have adequate and appropriate central locking and child locking systems, and that they work properly.

Occupation – is next on the list of priorities. Children of any age can be incredibly distracting to a driver, especially if you don’t have another adult with you. So, here’s what to do:


  • Get your in-car entertainment sorted out before you go: integral rattles, books, music, films and toys should be exactly where you need them to be, and cued up, before you set out.
  • Make sure that you have fed the children before you leave or have planned a stop en route so that you are not distracted by endless demands for food, the consumption of which will leave the interior of your vehicle looking like a fast food outlet on Saturday night.

Cleanliness on the subject of hygiene and the preservation of your vehicle:



  • Make sure you are well-stocked with wipes, nappy bags, sick bags and a changing mat as well as a change of clothes for everyone, including the adults!
  • To avoid mishaps, make sure that everyone has visited the bathroom before you leave and plan regular stops.
  • Whatever other precautions you take, make sure you are adequately covered with car insurance.
You may well find that with a little preparation, nightmare journeys are a thing of the past and car travel is something you look forward to doing – together.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Eww...elbow!

My daughter jumped into bed with me after both of us had woken from gorgeous afternoon naps.   Normal hugs, kisses, tickles and cuddles were followed by my little one wanting to play the 'name that body part' game.  This is what went down...

LO: "Look. Freckle!" (on her arm).

Me: "Yes, and mommy has freckles on her arm too!"

I have way too many in fact, all from growing up in the South African sun.  Don't think I've added that many in the past 8 years while living and spending most of my time in the UK.

LO: (After brief inspection of mommy's freckles).  "What's that?" (pointing to my rather wrinkly elbow flesh)

My elbow has a tiny scar on it from where one of the family dog's we had whilst growing up accidentally bit me when I was about 10.

Me: "It's my elbow, sweetie."

At this point I straightened my arm to look at it, so the skin was no longer tight.

LO: "Ewww!!" (Looks of utter horror and disgust!  Examines her flexed arm which looks nothing like the funny skin that mommy has on her elbow).

Me:  "It's just my elbow..."

I don't think that all the Bio Oil in the world can help my chicken skin now.   It honestly isn't that bad, but way to go to give me a small complex!

Glad to know that I can make my daughter cringe at just the slightest flick of my arm.  Who needs the naught step when I have a wrinkly old elbow to disgust her into listening to me...

Ax


Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Getting My Slice of the Action...Triathlon Style!

My husband began to train and compete in triathlons about 6 years ago.  Since then our home now houses his bikes, training gear and other 'essential items' that come along with this 3 discipline sport.  I still think that he owns more running and cycling shoes than all the shoes in my closest put together?!

I have a very deep respect for what he does; swimming great lengths, cycling across long stretches of road, up steep inclines for extended periods of time and then topping it off with running a few laps of whatever venue or area that particular race covers...all in the matter of a few hours!  Well, more like half a day if it's an Ironman distance.  Yes, he has competed in and finished 2.  Incredibly proud triathlete wife!

Yet, that is only what he does on race day.  People don't see what goes on behind the scenes; the hours spent on the bike, in the lake, in pools, running in all the glory that is our British weather system.  The blisters, the injuries, the recovery, the treatments needed.   Their bodies go through a great deal of (self-inflicted) torment.

I know what kit he needs, I know what time he should do for each part of the race and get worried if he is off by a second.  

What do I do when he races?  I'm the screaming, shouting, cheering wife standing on the sideline, chasing him around the course and making sure I'm at the perfect spot at the correct time to try and take a picture of him (if I can...don't ask...) and to show my encouragement and support while he strives to get the best time possible.  Our daughter takes part in all of this too and seeing the pure and genuine excitement in her face and to hear her shouting for her daddy is extremely rewarding.  IronKids starts at the age of 6 and I'm pretty sure she will take part in at least one race!

So, today being the Men's Triathlon in Hyde Park, I jumped at the chance to go along with hubby to watch it.  We arrived with friends at about 9.30 a.m. and found an excellent viewing point where we could see these incredible athletes on the bike and then as they ran past us to their glory.  What an incredible, electric atmosphere!    Unfortunately we missed the boat to book tickets to one of the local cafes in the park (one of my friends didn't though!  Booooo!) and so we didn't see the swim section as it simply wasn't in good viewing range.  

Being of dual British and South African nationality I cheered on the 3 British and 1 South African contenders with equal amounts of pride.  I think I even welled up at one stage.  Seeing them in the flesh was an experience second to none.


I find the sheer speed, determination, drive, concentration, perseverance, dedication and focus of all of these incredible athletes unbelievably inspiring.  I might not show it on the outside and may not actually want to take part in a triathlon but I find that if I ever struggle with something, I think about my husband, friends and these athletes and how they manage to simply push through the pain to reach their goal.

Hard work, dedication, hours of training and practise really do pay off.  You don't get good at something by sheer luck!  Well done to all the athletes that we saw today.  Simply amazing, every single one of you.  I'm Proudly South African today, and Proudly British too!

Ax

p.s. no snaps of the athletes as my iPhone battery went from 48% to 9% to 0% in record time....

Review: Green People Organic Children Shampoo and Conditioner


green-people-shampoo-and-conditioner

I recently had the pleasure of sampling the Organic Children lavender shampoo and conditioner.  Made from 83% organic products both are mild, gentle and non-irritating which is fabulous for using on sensitive scalps like that of my toddler.  Organic Lavender, Aloe Vera and Tree Tree naturally cleanse the hair leaving it clean, smelling beautiful and feeling tangle free (every mom's dream!).  

For parents with school going children it can be used to treat the removal of head lice.  Evidence suggests that Tee Tree oil naturally and effectively treats head lice.

As with all the products that I test, I use them on myself first.  I have long, thick hair that is naturally brown and not coloured treated.  I blow dry and straighten my hair at least once a week.  After using the Organic Children shampoo and conditioner and gently blow drying, my hair was left feeling soft and silky which was not far off from my regular products, and possibly, even better.  

The shampoo foams well so my daughter and I had heaps of fun giving her crazy hair styles while using daddy's shaving mirror to see what she looked like.  Once we had finished off with the conditioner and rinsed it out, I towel dried her hair and then quickly finished off with the hair dryer.  This is her favourite bit, especially if I brush her hair while gently blow drying on a very low height.  Her hair was left shiny, soft, tangle free and smelt wonderful.  Fabulous!

The shampoo and conditioner contain no nasties such as SLS/SLES, Parabens, phthalates and artificial fragrances.

Both products are available in 200ml tubes at the RRP of £7.75.  They can be purchased through the Green People website or from selected health food stores. 

Ax


Note: The blog author was sent this product completely free of charge by Mummy News to test and review on behalf of Green People.  All views are her own, completely honest and unbiased.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Review: The Essential Twitter Guide for Mumpreneurs

Suzannah Butcher is an extremely enterprising woman.  She has been a mumpreneur (mommy entrepreneur) since 2008.  Her latest venture, Work for Mums, is a website aimed at woman who are looking for work or who are currently running their own businesses.  It offers a variety of job opportunities, invaluable resources, extremely useful tips and much more.

Suzannah is no stranger to using social media to promote business and has written a number of articles on how women can use these tools to further their reach, grow their following and ultimately, their business.

In her eBook, The Essential Twitter Guide for Mumpreneurs, Suzannah has broken down the 'thing' that is Twitter into it's most simple format; how to open a Twitter account, what Twitter actually is, how it works and how you can make it work for you and ultimately benefit your business.

If you are anything like me and react well to guides that have pictures and are written without all the unnecessary jargon and fluffy bits, this is the guide for you.  Before you know it you will be Tweeting, Retweeting (RT), tagging, favouriting, following, growing followers and conversing with a large group of people that you would never had the opportunity to otherwise reach.

There are many different Twitter applications and the variety is daunting if you aren't in the know but Suzannah breaks down a few of the most commonly used apps, stating what they actually do so you can make informed decisions as to whether you really need to gown down those routes.  

You are given the confidence to carry on with your newly found Twitter status, encouraging you to push forever onwards and upwards.  By using the techniques mentioned in the eBook you can narrow down your target group of followers far quicker than if you were using Twitter blindly, growing your following at the same time.  

I would have loved to discover this eBook months ago as it would have saved a great deal of time spent fumbling around trying to find my Twitter feet.  I'd recommend this to any mumpreneur Twitter newbies as it is truly an invaluable start to your Twitter presence and the reach and growth of your business.

This guide is available as a PDF eBook at a cost of £5 or in a Kindle version retailing at £4.07.

That's not all!  Readers of my blog can get a 50% discount on the eBook by entering the promotional code ALLINONEMUM. 

Happy Tweeting!

Ax


Work for Mums on Twitter: https://twitter.com/workformums
Work for Mums on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/workformums

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Old School Fisher-Price Rocking Out With ELC

My parents moved from our family home in Cape Town, South Africa to the UK in December 2007.  Sadly they moved back to South Africa in May 2009 but the 16 memorable months that I shared with them were wonderful.  They were here when my husband and I bought our first home and got to see what life was like living in the UK and experience a taste of the culture and country I had been calling home for the 4 years previously.

We grew closer than we had ever been.  Maybe it comes down to maturity on my part but I'm glad that I was given this magical opportunity to really know and appreciate my parents completely.  Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful (and always have and will be) for all that my parents have done for me.

When my parents moved over (with their 50 million, trillion boxes....okay, 30, I think it was, but it looked like a heck of a lot taking up space in my garage...) they bought across a few of my cookery books, other random things that I had collected over the years and not binned on my various trips back home to S.A. (yes, I'm a hoarder) as well as a collection of books and toys from my childhood and even from my mom's childhood.  Fisher-Price toys, Nancy Drew Books, Sylvanian Families, Diaper Babies, you name it.

My husband was cleaning his bicycle today in one of the dry moments so I sprinted off to the  garage in near record time.  Maybe a PB?!  Anyway, after the first hurdle of getting past the garage door (tricky keys) the end was in sight and new I was moments away from victory.   I clambered over a few boxes (these now belong to my in-laws, not my folks) and finally, I was at the finish line.  My box of childhood toys!  Result!

The box contained my Fisher-Price Fire Station, Play Farm and School House; all toys that I had loved as a child.  I am eternally grateful that my parents saved these wonderful toys, so full of memories, that have withstood myself and my sister as children, a trans-Atlantic trip and 30 years of storage in total.

So, when my daughter went for her nap this afternoon I simply couldn't resist having a quick reunion with my old toys.  I decided to introduce them to the Queen and rest of the Royal ELC family and re-create a recent road race that I'd seen on the telly recently.


My husband still worries for my sanity but you know what, I think he would have been more surprised if I hadn't done something like this!  Fun times I tell you, fun times...

Ax


Silent Sunday

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Babyhuddle £10 a Day Baby Product Review Competition

Babyhuddle are launching a new exciting competition!  

You have the chance to win £10 a day for 20 days by writing a product review on their website of at least 80 words.  The competition starts on Tuesday the 7th of August 2012 from 9am and will end on the 26th of August 2012.

To take part you need to:
1.  Go the the Babyhuddle Shop (http://babyhuddle.com/shop/).


2.  Either search for a product or select a product category (e.g. Playtime and Stimulation Products) and then a sub category.  


3.  Select a product to review from the range on offer (I picked the Tomy Hide 'n' Squeak Eggs for my example).  Click through the pages to find the product you want.

4.  Write a quality, unique product review of at least 80 words.  


5.  Click on submit the review when you are finished.  


6.  In the pop up screen tag the product review with my blog name (All-in-One Mum) and click Add.


7.  Share the review! Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ it.



The more reviews that you write the higher the chances you have of winning on the day!

If your product review wins you will be notified by email that you have won by the Babyhuddle Team.

Good luck!



Terms & Conditions

  • Competition is open to new and existing Babyhuddle members
  • All entries will be considered as valid if the review is judged to be of quality, has at least 80 words, and has been shared on Facebook, Twitter and or Google +
  • £10 Amazon vouchers will be awarded on a daily basis between the 8th of August and the 27th of August.
  • Candidates must be residents in the UK
  • Daily winners will be selected at random from all valid daily entries and the winners will be contacted by email

Saturday is Caption Day! - 04.08.2012


Hmmm...what's going on here?  
Interesting caption you have, yes?  No?!
Please leave us comment.

Ax

Saturday Is Caption Day


Friday, 3 August 2012

Product Review: Green People Eye Gel

One of my latest discoveries is the organic eye gel from Green People.  Testing it out could not have been timed any better.  Living in an area which seems to be the worst possible place in Hertfordshire (the world?!) for hay fever sufferers, I have struggled with itchy and uncomfortable eyes for a good couple of months.  Rubbing my eyes has left the skin under them feeling dry, stretched, hot, puffy and generally uncomfortable.  

Made from 85% certified organic products (organic marshmallow, seaweed, chamomile and plant proteins to name a few) the eye gel aids in firming, cooling and soothing the gentle skin around the eyes.   It also helps prevent wrinkles, tired looking and puffy eyes.  


I've used the eye gel for the past month and right from the first application the skin around my eyes felt soothed, cooled and tightened.  My skin feels 'lighter' leaving my eyes feeling more awake.  A little goes a very long way and is applied by lightly tapping the gel onto the skin around the eye.  

Other fantastic facts
  • It is Parabens, Lanolin, artificial perfume, petrochemical, phtalates and colourant free!
  • Suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
  • Alcohol free.
  • Suitable for sensitive and delicate skin types.
  • Works well under eye make up.

Winner of the Ethical Consumer - Best Buy and Green Beauty Bible Awards, it retails at £8.50 and is available to purchase online at the Green People website or at selected local health food stores.  
Note: The blog author was sent this product completely free of charge by The Green People to test and review.  All views are her own, completely honest and unbiased.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Our South Africa Holiday: Only 19 Weeks To Go!

Oh my goodness, I have absolutely no idea where the last few weeks and months have gone to.  I'm still slightly confused as to what I've done over the past 7 days because it seems like Thursday only happened yesterday, and now it's Thursday...again?!

So, in exactly 19 weeks today I turn 31, hop on a plane with my hubby and little girly and zip on over  (well, 2 stop overs involved...bleh!) to our home town of Cape Town, South Africa!  Well, my daughter is British Born and Bred but this is where my husband and I are both from originally.   And yes, before you ask, we are very proud of our six fabulous and incredibly talented athletes who achieved Gold medals recently.


This will be the first time in 9 years that I get to celebrate my birthday at home with my friends as well as share Christmas with my nearest and dearest AND see the New Year in with a select few too.

To say that I am excited is a complete understatement.  I also get to meet my sister's son for the first time.  He will be 18 months old.  I missed his birth, I missed most of his firsts, I missed his 1st birthday but I'll be damned if I am going to miss out on not sharing another Christmas with him and all of the family!

When you live 9,623 km (5,979 miles) away from home you find ways to make sure you keep in touch with family and friends as much as possible.  Although my daughter has met my parents and sister she was only 8 months old at the time.  I speak to my parents regularly and we use Skype to video call but I'm not 100% sure that madam realises that my parents are not an interesting TV show and that they don't live in the computer...

Anyway, we will be spending a glorious couple of weeks in Cape Town with family and close friends.  Hopefully, as my daughter will be older, she will hopefully remember slightly more of this holiday and the special time spent with some of the amazing people that we are lucky to have in our lives, albeit it in a far off beautiful, multi-cultural, vibrant, magical land.

Watch this space for all of the fabulous and exciting things that we plan to do.

Ax

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Product Review: Galt Cotton Reel and Fun Buttons Play and Learn Value Bundle

Teaching my daughter new things and having her learn and have fun at the same time is very important to me as a parent.  Galt create and sell a wonderful selection of educational toys for children that are suitable from birth right through to the age of 10 and are designed to encourage learning through play.


The Galt Play and Learn Value Bundle is just one of the many products in the toddler age group.  It consists of two fabulous boxes; one containing Cotton Reels and the other, Fun Buttons.

Brightly coloured and perfect for little fingers, my daughter has had hours of fun with both of these sets.  They are excellent for developing hand/eye co-ordination and manual dexterity skills.  With a bit of imagination the number of games you can dream up with your little one is nearly endless.

Here are a few games that we made up:-
  1. Create your own button or cotton reel necklaces.
  2. Sort your buttons and reels into the four colour groups.
  3. Sort the buttons/thread them by hole pattern.
  4. Stack the buttons into piles of 10, counting from 1 to 10 as you do so.  Serrated rims mean that they stack neatly and easily.
  5. Use the buttons as 'play money'.  You could buy cotton reels with them!

The Cotton Reel and Fun Button Play and Learn Value Bundle retails on the Galt website at their fantastic web exclusive price of £7.95.  Why not start your Christmas shopping early this year?

Ax

Galt Toys: http://www.galttoys.com/
Twitter: @GaltToys
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GaltToys

Note: The Blogger was sent these items to play with, test and review.  All views are her own, completely honest and unbiased.
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