Review: ToddleBike2

Ever since I walked into T’s nursery and found him tearing round the room on a small balance bike I wanted to get him one. Just like reading, riding a bike is one of those things I want to introduce T to at an early age so he gets used to it, so getting a balance bike was definitely the way forward.

The ToddleBike2

ToddleBike2

The ToddleBike2 is a “pre-balance” bike for toddlers ranging from 18 months, although if your little one is already confident on their feet then this can be for them too! Weighting at just under 1kg, it’s lightweight design means that even the smallest of toddlers can ride it.

If they prefer, they can also pull or carry it…

or push it…

Either way, as soon as they get the hang of it there’ll be no stopping them!

What I like about the ToddleBike2 is that little ones can choose where they want to sit. They can either sit on the central bar or the seat – depending on how long their legs are. This feature also means that the bike will continue with them as they grow.

As well as being extremely indoor friendly, it also stood its ground against outside trips thanks to the tough plastic it’s made from and the generous sized wheels.

It had no issue going over gravel and concrete – although it didn’t come home as clean! If you are thinking of taking the ToddleBike2 out it’s surprisingly petit which makes it easy to fit in the car, as well as across the top of a buggy.

The ToddleBike2 comes in three colours; red, pink, blue. We decided to go with racing car red, but the other colours are just as lovely.

Priced at £23.95 (including shipping) I think this is a wonderful start to biking.

ToddleBike2

We were sent the ToddleBike2 for the purpose of a review, however all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

#Photo365 Photography Challenge: November in Pictures. 

November seems to have flown by what with the build up to Christmas well and truly happening. We’re literally counting down the days until we’re all off for Christmas where we can spend some well deserved time off together.

T is very much a toddler now and I know about it every day what with the constant flutters in mood. It’s also fun at the same time (sometimes) as days out are filled with observation and wonder.

Even when it’s cold we still try and get ourselves out of the house – and this month certainly saw a lot of autumnal walks.

Here’s what November looked like for us: 


If you’d like to follow our daily photography challenge, pop over to our Instagram.

K

 

 

Review: Gummee Molar Mallet

Everything gets blamed on teething in this house. Poor sleep, lack of appetite, bad attitude. It seems that T has never stopped teething as he always has his fingers in his mouth.

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Last year we became Gummee ambassadors, which was perfect timing as T was in the midst of tooth… I’ve lost count… and we needed some help.

Starting with the Gummee Glove, we were able to fix the glove to T for his teething relief. The glove then grew with T as we were also able to remove the heart shaped tool for molars!

The Molar Mallett

This month sees a release of a new Gummee teething product. The Molar Mallet. Sounding like a weapon of torture, its aim is to get into the nooks and crannies of your child’s mouth that other teethers may not.

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Aged for 12 months plus, its clever design means that your child can comfortably hold one end whilst the smaller end can explore their mouth.

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Within the smaller (hammer) end is choice of textures depending on your child’s needs. T seemed to like chewing the bobbled end as apposed to the ridged end.

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As well as the fact that it helps with teething, I also really like the fact that every effort has gone into preserving its life. T has a habit of throwing or dropping things, so when T did the same to the Molar Mallet I was amazed to find it that it’s heavy base meant that when it hit the ground it instantly rolled to an upright position.

The same happened when T knocked it over. It’s sturdy wobble base simply resisted and stood itself right back up again,  and thanks to it’s clever collar the wet end didn’t even touch the floor!

A video posted by LesBeMums (@lesbemums) on

I absolutely adore this product and would highly recommend giving it a go. It’s main target age is from 12 months plus, however I don’t see why you can’t use it from an earlier stage – especially if you have a little one that teethed as early as T!

K

We are currently brand ambassadors for Gummee so were sent the Molar Mallet to test and review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

First Rule of Parent Club…

From the moment you’re handed your newborn baby your life is full of talk about said newborn baby.

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“How are they sleeping?”, “Hows the feeding?”, “Are they a good baby?” are but a few of the questions you’ll hear. Likewise (certainly as a new parent) you’re full of questions. You’re a sponge wanting to soak up tips and advice in the hope that things will be “easy” for you.

Surely if it works for one parent it’ll work for another? Surely all babies are the same? No.

You know what works? What the one piece of advice I’d give most parents?

It’s something I’ve recently started doing. Something I’ve finally learnt to do after making the same mistake over and over again…

NOT TALK ABOUT PARENTING.

It sounds harsh, but hear me out. Have you ever gushed at how much your baby has eaten at dinner and the had the opposite play out the very next day? How about when they’ve said something? How about when they’ve slept through? I dare say what happened the next night.

Here are my tips…

  1. Don’t talk about the foods they like.

The next day they’ll stop eating the foods you say they like. In fact, they’ll hate it so much they’ll throw it over the floor.

2.  Don’t talk about their favourite toy/book.

As soon as you take said item out with you they’ll not play with it or even acknowledge it even exists.

3.  Don’t talk about thing they like to do.

As soon as you have company they’ll stop making that noise you said they did when you made a particular face. They’ll stop doing everything you ever said they did – making you look like a fool.

4.  And for the love of hot coffee and cake… DON’T. TALK. ABOUT. SLEEP.

As soon as the words “They slept through” leave your mouth you will regret it for an eternity, or at least until the current leap has passed. It’s guaranteed that their pattern will immediately change/they’ll refuse to nap/they’ll wake in the night/all of the above. You name it, it’ll happen as soon as you talk about how your baby sleeps.

A photo posted by LesBeMums (@lesbemums) on

By all means; continue talking about the rubbish nights sleep you had, how your baby refuses to swallow anything you give them, and how they like to chew everything but the teething toy you bought them – that’s fine. Babies love that kind of conversation. But trust me when I say…

Don’t talk about the good stuff. Ever. 

K

Review: Bath time with Mustela. 

T is a complete water baby, with bath time being one of his favourite activities. As soon as you mention it’s time for a bath he stops whatever he’s doing and makes a dash for the stairs.


Because T loves being in the bath so much, every now and again we like to splash out (yeah I went there) and treat him to something special.

Mustela create natural bath and skin care products for babies and mothers-to-be. Made from 92% natural products such as avocado, Lupin, and Shea there’s a reason it smells amazing and not at all “chemically”.

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As well as how it smells, I really like how gentle Mustela is, with a lot of their products working specifically for those with sensitive skin. Although we’ve never had to deal with skin problems, I’ve found that a lot of T’s bath products have made my skin quite dry after I’ve washed him – this wasn’t the case with Mustela.

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Other Products 

As well as bath products, Mustela also make sun products for the sun, nappy changing, and mothers to be with their stretch mark creams.

Because of how lovely they are, these products will most definitely last a while in this house as we’ll only be bringing them out on special occasions!

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We were given the pictured Mustela products for the purpose of a review, however all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

The Logic of Toddlers – Part 1. 

We’ve probably been in the midst of toddlerhood since T started walking confidently. So since he was roughly 14/15 months old.

At first, it was pretty plain sailing. But as soon as we hit 18 months the complexity of toddlerhood officially started.

The majority of the time it’s a lot of fun. It really is. T plays with us, he makes us laugh, he communicates in his own way what he wants (and doesn’t want). We can go out for walks (which ironically ends up with T being carried) or a sightseeing trip and we can point at things for T to look at.

I love it.

But other times, it’s hard work. Really hard work. So much so that I often find I’m questioning whether I’m up for this sh*t.

Toddlers. Who’d ‘ave ’em?

A photo posted by LesBeMums (@lesbemums) on


Over the past few weeks T has been challenging us in more ways than one. Within a space of twenty minutes we could have experienced a wheel of emotions ranging from tears, to laughter, to anger, to frustration – and most of the time I’ve done nothing to contribute to it!

I’ll give you the other morning as an example…

7am – T wakes, chats to himself for a bit whilst I doze, and then starts calling out “mama” until he quickly changes it to “mummy”. I then enter.

7:02am – I go to get him out of his cot, T shakes his head and throws himself down.

7:05-7:10am – A game of tennis ensues where we go between me asking him whether he would like to go downstairs and T poking his cot; inviting me to get into bed with him. After explaining why a <cough> stone woman can’t get into a cot he gets upset.

7:15am – I eventually “win” by mentioning breakfast, however as soon as there’s a hint of a nappy change all hell breaks loose.

I’ve learnt not to mention nappy changes otherwise there’s genuine sobbing. I don’t know why, he just doesn’t like nappy changes in the morning. Every other time, fine. 

7:17am – After a wriggly nappy change we’re off downstairs.

7:18am – Our journey downstairs see’s T asking for one hand so he can walk down the stairs. At the same time, he also wants to be carried. Heaven forbid I go straight to picking him up, this results in a rigid baby and tears. If I don’t pick him up at the right time of the stair descent we’re stationary.

7:20am – We reach the bottom of the stairs and T runs straight to the baby gate at the kitchen. We enter and T goes to the sink and asks for his water bottle.

For the next few minutes I’m in turmoil trying to work out which bottle he wants today. He has quite a few, but depending on the weather/Lunar cycle/season will depend on what bottle he wants. If I give him the wrong one it’s immediately on the floor until I get the right one.

I actually lost his apparent favourite one for a few hours the other week – I’ll never make that mistake again. There were tears and no amount of offering of other vessels to drink from were going to suffice. 

7:30am – Breakfast. This period is usually easy going as he pretty much eats anything put in front of him. What quickly turns into a hurdle is when I give him the wrong cutlery. Even if he’s having weetabix for breakfast he’ll either want a fork or a particular spoon (even though they both look identical).

8am – After breakfast we have a bit of playtime. This is when toddlerhood really kicks in and I’m left sweating.

He’ll ask for his train set to be put together, and whilst we/I put the track together a lightbulb will come on an suddenly he no longer wants to train set but instead his airport. But I can’t start putting the train set away. No no. That has to stay out. Airport gets set up, as does everything else that requires assembly. Does he play with it? No. During this time he’ll also ask for his water bottle, “nak nak” (snack), or “nar nar” (banana) but upon offering said items he’ll shake his head and toddle off back to the train set, notice it’s incomplete, and then proceed to clench his fists at it/me.

I know this is completely normal and that T is starting to gain confidence. Him challenging us is his way of telling us that he has an opinion. Great. I get that. In fact, I respect that. It’s just so hard to deal with when opinions change within seconds!


I do doubt myself. I do wonder whether I actually know my kid. And I wonder whether I’m going to last another year (or two) of this.

K

Days Out: Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour.

Last week we were invited to Leavesden Studios near Watford. The home of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour for Harry Potter.

I really didn’t matter that we’d been before, as every time we visit something new has been installed or they’re celebrating an anniversary or season. This time, the sets were themed for Halloween as well as the 15th Anniversary of The Philosophers Stone. 

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Leaving at 8:30am and arriving at 10:30am for our 11am slot (you have to book ahead) we went through a quick security check and then waited to begin our tour. You’re only in the queue for around 15 minutes before you’re let into a theatre. After which point you’re through to the Great Hall to begin your tour.

The recommended tour time is roughly three to four hours, however if you’re not interested in reading all the snippets then it can take around 90 mins to two hours. If you’re like me, or if you want to take part in the added extras, then it takes four to five hours (with lunch in the middle).

The tour is laid out perfectly. The first “half” is about the film(s) and the different sets. Everything from makeup and costume, to props and how they designed sets like Hagrid’s Hut, the Gryfindor Common Room or The Potions Room. 

There’s so much to see and interact with that I’d say this is where the majority of your time is taken. Photos are encouraged, and staff are on hand to answer any questions you have.

Finishing the first half, you’re then lead through to the Backlot Cafe. This area splits the first half from the second half and details all the outside sets. Here you’ll see The Knight Bus and Privet Drive, amongst other things.

The cafe was well placed and when we smelt all the food, we actually became hungry ourselves.

There’s a wonderful choice of food available here, from luxury sandwiches and salads as a cold options, to gorgeous burgers and hot dogs as hot options.

Pricewise, I think it’s pretty reasonable for a place like this. Sharon had a luxury sausage sandwich, I had a salmon and cream cheese sandwich, and we both had a bottle of water each. We also saved room for their new menu item – Butterbeer Ice Cream!

In total with lunch and Butterbeer goodies (which includes the dish and challis they come in) it cost us £17, which is less than a service station and much tastier!

The second half of the tour, once you leave the backlot, is more about the special effects and how things work. This is the fascinating bit and I’m always left in awe after visiting this part. From animatronics to prosthetics, you get to find out how everything happened and how it worked. Lots of secrets are revealed!

Finishing with a gallery of concept art and models – detailing how they got to production, you end with a spectacular view. It gives me chills everytime.

Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, I’d highly recommend going. It’s not often you get to see how a film is created – let alone one that spanned over ten years with such incredible detail and work. It really is magnificent. This post hasn’t told you about half of what you see!

My favourite parts will always be The Potion Room and looking at all the props, but the newly introduced Platform 9 3/4 has definitely made the top of my list.

Planning ahead, it takes roughly two hours from Sussex to get here by car. It’s buggy friendly (although there is a cloakroom if you don’t need the buggy during the tour) and there are plenty of toilet stops and places to sit down and rest/feed. You’re not allowed to eat food whilst on the tour so it’s recommend you fuel up before you start.

There are also options to buy guide books and/or handheld devices to help you around the tour. We got one of these the first time we went and found they were a fantastic addition to the already informative boards – often detailing extra snippets about the film and sets that you can’t anywhere else. There are also options to take photos behind green screens or take part in your own movie!

I adore this place (if you didn’t already know) and always feel sad when I have to leave. It really does keep the Harry Potter magic alive, and with Fantastic Beasts coming out soon, there’s bound to be plenty of exciting features coming out soon!

K

We were given three tickets to visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour, however all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Our Top Books for LGBT Families (Childrens Book Week). 

This week is Childrens Book Week. Celebrated every year, it acts as a way to encourage and inspire children to read.

As a same sex family we often keep an eye out for story books that have a same sex family in it, or a special message. Ones that just happen to have two mums or two dads in it as part of the story, instead of ones that specifically educate or explain same sex families.

Here are a few of our favourites:

Mummy, Mama, and Me / Daddy, Papa, and Me. 

One of our first LGBT books, this simple board style book details in a few pages what Mama Does, and what Mummy does.

It doesn’t explain LGBT families, but instead makes them like any other family. Really simple and a good starting point for your collection.

The Different Dragon 

Another wonderful book that doesn’t “defend” or “explain” same sex families. It’s just a story about a boy at bedtime who just happens to have two mummies.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. 


Not a specific LGBT book, but it does teach about equality and how everyone is different but equal at the same time.

The artwork is gorgeous, and I like how the book flows.

Spacegirl Pukes

Spacegirl is just about to leave on another mission when she falls sick.

Her mummies (she has two) also fall sick as well as the cat and rocket she’s meant to fly into space with.

Tango Makes Three


This story is about two male penguins that live together in a zoo in New York. The story details their journey into fatherhood.

Probably one of my favourite LGBT books as it’s based on a true story!

If I Had a Hundred Mummies

This story is about a little girl who talks about what it would be like to have a hundred mummies. Would they all be bossy? Would it be like having a hundred hugs?

In the end, she decided she’s happy just having the two.

Elmer


Elmer is like no other elephant, and that’s ok! When Elmer tries to be someone he’s not, people are sad.

I love love love Elmer and whenever I read it it reminds me of Pride.

The Family Book. 

One of the few books we have that actually teach about alternative families directly.

It’s boldly illustrated and a really simple book to explain alternative families.


What are your LGBT book recommendations? How are you celebrating #ChildrensBookWeek?

Review: Cornish Whispers. 

Our home is definitely where the heart is. It’s where we show people who we really are. What we like. It’s a place where we show our best family photos and where we are most happy.


Nowadays our home probably looks more like a shrine to our son, what with the mountain of toys and clothes we’re “collecting” – not to mention photos – however he made us the proudest people alive when he arrived. A family.

Over time we’ve collected memories and artefacts; from holidays to certain events in our life and his. Metaphorical trophies and awards. Every day we add to the pile that needs to framed and put up on a wall somewhere, or into his keepsake box.

As cheesy and disgustingly corny as it sounds, we really enjoy making and then storing memories.

Cornish Whispers are a family business run by Husband and Wife, Adam and Emily. They too enjoy capturing the essence of family, and create handmade and personal gifts for the family.

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From bespoke party favours and invitations, to wooden artwork ranging from plaques to fairy doors, they create beautiful pieces of art; handcrafted with their own personal touch.

When we were invited to shop with them, we instantly chose one of their gorgeous family tree wall pieces.

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Priced from £25.00 you can have up to six names (further names are £5 each) placed within a handcrafted tree, finished within a connecting frame.

Choosing what style of wood you would like means you can design it around your home. We chose aged birch, however there is a choice of Mahogany, Oak, and Walnut.

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Other options include further engraving, or different artwork sizes. Delivery is surprisingly quick, and the item is securely packaged.

We really like this piece (especially as it smells amazing) and have placed it our lounge, however I’ve seen others place it in their garden which is a wonderful idea.

Photos will always rank highly in our home, but something a little bit different, a little bit quirky, is always a win on our home as well.

K

We were offered a hand crafted family tree to the cost of £25 for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.