Chicco Bubble Gym Play Mat

Chicco Bubble Gym Play Mat

A few weeks ago I agreed to test the Chicco Bubble Gym Play mat through Mumsnet.

Chicco description:
A great new gym and play mat with colourful fun design and decoration. The large diameter mat is soft and well padded, and has a soft shaped pillow with cute hedgehog design! The perfect surface for baby to explore whilst developing coordination and muscles!

The gym toy bar arches have 7 multi-activity hanging toys providing babies with lots of fun and stimulation. Featuring a mirror, crinkles, squeaks and teethers!

The arches support an electronic activity panel with multi-coloured soft light effects, 25 minutes of musical melodies and fun sounds. Its also possible to safely and securely connect your Mp3 player and personalise the playlist for baby, to increase the fun or help them relax on the soft mat!!

When the box arrived I thought 'What the heck?!' It was huge! I mean 70cm squared is a large playmat, would I even have the room to lay it out? Thankfully the excessive packaging was just to ship to me, the actual toy box was pretty normal sized. Kiki immediately enjoyed the polystrene chips it was packed in with. 

My first impression of the Chicco Bubble Gym Play Mat and it's packaging:
It looked bright and fun, also I liked that the 'pillow' is separate and not inbuilt, meaning Kiki could use it when laid on her back or front, wherever she wanted. The packaging quite difficult to undo, silly cable ties. Some toys for the arches are attached with Velco, however the toys not on Velcro strips, i.e. red / green plastic rings, were very fiddly and difficult to hang. I imagine anyone with any dexterity problems would be very frustrated quickly.

What did Kiki think about Chicco Bubble Gym Play Mat?
She loved looking at the colours and grabbed quite happily for the toy hanging from the centre. She really didn't like the lights, I think they may have been too low, but enjoyed the music aspect of it.

We have been able to lie on the mat whilst listening to music / audiobooks. She was able to reach toys above her hands, whilst kicking others. 

She is trying to move towards her favourite toys, shuffling along. It encouraged her to reach for things out of her immediate environment.

Thoughts on the "Happy Moments" (A booklet of offers Chicco provide to customers)?
I have looked at the booklet but nothing really appealled to me, so I don't think I will use any of them.

Would I recommend Chicco Bubble Gym Play Mat to other parents?
I would recommend Chicco Bubble Gym Play Mat, after you get passed the faff of getting the gym out of the box and toys attached! I like that the toys can be swapped around and that the pillow is separate. It is great that the mat itself is easy to wipe if there any accidents. I really enjoyed the music element and was able to lie with my baby listening to music or audiobooks.

Is the Chicco Bubble Gym Play Mat is value for money?
I think it's reasonable for the money, but not sure whether people would prefer an inbuilt MP3 player, not always practical to attach phone, so may have to purchase separate player.

I was picked by MNHQ to review this product/ service, which I received for free. This review is in my own words and reflects my true opinion.

Geekalicious: How To Back Up Your Blogger Blog

I recently found this post by Nickie O'Hara at Geekalicious, and have to say:

a) I have never even thought about it before,
b) I cannot believe how easier it is,
c) why had I not found her before?

I have just followed Nickie's step-by-step guide and have now backed up my blog in a matter of minutes, and it was so easy.

It you have not backed up your blog yet, go do it now! 

Celebrating the small things

As I mentioned in my last Reasons to be cheerful post, I've been feeling a bit flat.
After a rubbishy weekend for a couple of reasons, including the one that's making my head want to EXPLODE right now, I am trying to accept and celebrate the small wins.

On Friday morning, me & Kiki had a CAF meeting with various people including my Health Visitor, my CPN and as couple of Outreach workers who are involved with us.

A CAF (Common Assessment Framework) is about supporting children / families with additional needs. For more detailed information, please view the web link here.

My Health Visitor initially discussed with and the staff when I was an inpatient at The Mount. It was to provide us with additional help, should the need arrive.

Unfortunately there wasn't much help around at the beginning, not because of a lack of support, purely because everything seems to shut down for the summer holidays!

Anyway, at the meeting it was agreed both myself & Kiki were doing OK, so the CAF has now been closed.

Only a little win, but a victory for us none the less.

Reasons to Be Cheerful

So last week I started up my Reasons to Be Cheerful posts again. How has my week been?


That's basically it. I have felt flat for no 'real' reason, nothing majorly wrong, just not content. For every positive, I'm finding at least one negative! But onwards and upwards, and all that jazz.... 

For more information on Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC), check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

  1. I finally made my baby some drool bibs, I have been meaning to use the FQ's I bought for some time, so that's a plus. Kiki has been drooling excessively, so another good point. I wont tell you how much time and stress it took!
  2. Following on from last week's post, the 30 Days of Friends Competition has had comments! As a blogger , I love comments. They make me feel that it's not just me talking to myself, all though I'm, cool with that! lol Thank you to everyone that comments. I read lots of blogs, especially on my mobile, so I can't alwys reply, but appreciate every single person that takes times to reply.
  3. Again, horrible news of children being killed. The debate around dangerous dogs being made extinct surfaces. Along with, there is no such thing as a dangerous dog, just dangerous owners (which is the side I'm on, if you are interested). I am lucky I have a great dog, a true family pet. I got him from a rescue centre six years ago. He is great with my daughter, very protective, but not possessive. And the Little lady is doing well.

What are your reasons to be cheerful this week? 

Baby Bibs

My little one has been teething for what feels like months now. She is constantly trying to put thing in her mouth to bite on, see previous post about MAM teethers for smaller babies. As well as this, she is a seriously drooly baby! I not overly concerned, I wipe her face often & have cream to add if any redness appears but as any parent knows, drooly baby = soaking wet tops, several changes a day. As if babies don't need changing often enough!

I have been looking at bibs I could leave on, but the either look like she's about to eat or are expensive. I mean seriously £5 for a bib? So I turned to the Internet. I looked for patterns for the bandanna style bibs. The first one I tried was shaped, supposedly to look like it was draped, but I didn't like it.

My next attempt was to use some of the FQ's (fat quarters) of material I bought for making bunting for the nursery, which to be honest I had no chance of making whilst ill and suffering from serious case of CBA syndrome.

I cut the material (2 different fabrics, 1 of the tattoo inspired one and 1 of the Jolly Roger one) in to 14" inch squares and the in half diagonally.

I picked up a plain white bath towel in a charity shop to use a backing, hoping it will hold a large puddle. I cut two 14" squares and again cut diagonally.

With the right side of the material facing each other, wrong side up, I machine sewed a seam approximately 1/4 inch in all around, barring a small gap in one of the straights. Not the corner, made that mistake with first prototype, very difficult to turn right way.

Turn material right way out, poking corners out with scissors, knitting needle, etc. 

Sew again on right side (if wanted).

Sew Velcro tabs to either side of points.
I should point out that I made a small error here, I actually picked up the wrong velco, I bought self adhesive stuff. As it wasn't strong enough to remain in place, I atempted to stitch edges. It ruins needles quickly and clogs machine. 
Don't do it! 

And viola. One cute dribble bib.

Add to child!

Who are Petite Maman, and why should you care?

A guest post

Previously, I wrote about my difficulty in finding nursing bras in my size, Breasts & Bras, and Ash contacted me with details of her business, a true Mumpreneur.

I have always struggled to find bras to fit my 34AA boobs, and when I became pregnant last year I knew that it would be a mission trying to find nursing bras. With people constantly telling me that your boobs go up at last 2 cup sizes when you have a baby I was hopeful but not entirely surprised when I barely grew into an A cup by the end of my pregnancy!

By that point I had spent a lot of time online, trying to research suppliers that make smaller sized nursing bras and found a fantastic manufacturer that would offer me samples on a wholesale basis. That’s when the idea for Petite Maman started to take shape. I became even more determined that I had a right to feel comfortable and beautiful in a bra that fitted well while embarking on the journey of breastfeeding for the first time. The only A cup bras on offer from other retailers left a lot to be desired with shapeless cups and stretchy white fabric. I received my first sample bra by airmail from a specialist international manufacturer just days before my due date! Finally, I had found nursing lingerie that was great quality, beautiful and most importantly suited my figure. Road testing began when my baby boy arrived and I was so impressed with the bras that I wanted to make them available to other petite mums!

In my experience, when it comes to breastfeeding there can be enough obstacles to overcome without having an ill-fitting, ghastly nursing bra to contend with as well. I think all mums deserve the chance to feel great about themselves and what they’re wearing, especially when they have a new baby to look after.

So without further ado, I am pleased to offer these A and B cup bras to help you become the 'Yummy Mummy' you were born to be! 

Please add a comment to let me know of any problems you had finding pregnancy and / or nursing wear?

Reasons to Be Cheerful

I've been very lax of the blogging front recently, with the Little Lady and general CBA syndrome, but I'm trying to get better.

I enjoy the theory behind Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC), check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

There must be small things I am grateful for each week. I will try to keep this in mind...

  1. My baby is a healthy and happy girl. Now obviously, this isn't specifically related to just this week, but in the news this week an 11 month old boy was killed and there is an investigation into a one year old girl's death. My heart goes out to both families involved, and also to anyone else who has lost a child.
  2.  I have partnered with Warner Bros. to start a new competition on my blog to win some Friends goodies. See 30 Days of Friends Competition
  3. I have finally made a start on decluttering by selling on eBay, although at the moment, my house looks more cluttered whilst I sort it! 

So that's my reasons to be cheerful this week, how about yours?

Congratulations, you've won. No, not really!

At 13:17 today I received this email from on behalf of Boots:

You won!
You are the lucky winner of:
A trip for two to Barcelona courtesy of VO5 Extreme Style
We will be in contact with you shortly to arrange your prize.

Oh fantastic, great news. Especially after the recent sh*t!

But wait....

One and half hours later, I get the following:

We sincerely apologise, it appears that due to a technical error you have received an email stating that you have won a trip for two to Barcelona. We are sorry to say that this is not the case.
We apologise again for any inconvenience caused.

Apologise? Judging by Boots Facebook page, everyone who entered this competition received the same email. have copy and pasted on to several posts the below response:
Hi Everyone, Due to a technical error an email was sent to some of our customers saying that they had won a competition to win a trip to Barcelona. Unfortunately, this isn't the case and we would like to say how sorry we are for the disappointment this has caused. 
Many Thanks, Julieann 

Update: have now issued an email: 

Firstly, we want to say we’re really sorry for the emails you’ve received this afternoon in relation to the VO5 competition you entered.  Sadly, due to human error and a technical glitch we’ve sent the wrong email to you.  We work really hard to bring you exciting offers and competitions and are truly sorry for any upset caused by this as we know how very disappointed you must be. 
Unfortunately, it’s really not possible to send everyone to Barcelona (as much as we would’ve loved to!), however we have entered you into a draw for a second opportunity to win a trip to Barcelona.  We’ll be selecting the second winner on November 19th.  Additionally, and because we understand how let down you’ll be feeling, we’ll be adding an extra £10 worth of points (1000 points) onto your Boots Advantage Card for you to treat yourself next time you’re in store.

You’ll see the points appear on your account in the next few days and we’ve got our fingers crossed for you in your re-entry into the competition.
The Boots Advantage Card Team

I have heard approximately 9000 people got the original email. That's a major fail for any company, especially one as large as Boots.