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Diono Hip high back booster car seat review

Nerys has always been big for her age.

She is most definitely going to be tall like her Daddy, and she’ll be taller than me by the time she’s 12 I think.  Since she was born she has been tracking somewhere along the 95th centile for both height and weight on the charts in her little red book.

All of which means, about a month ago, not long after she turned 3, she reached the upper weight limit for her group 1 car seat.

So we were really happy when Diono offered us a Hip high back booster seat to try out and review.

Diono Hip high back booster review

The Diono Hip seat is a group 2/3 high back booster, meaning it’s suitable for children who weigh between 15 and 36kg.  This will typically be children aged 4 to 12 years old, but as I said, Nerys is taller and heavier than your average 3 year old.
Diono Hip high back booster seat

There are no colour options with the Hip seat, which is a bit of a shame as I love the blue of the seat Rhys has and really loved the pink of the seat Nerys has just outgrown.

The grey that Diono have picked for the Hip seat is classic though.

It looks really smart and, if this sort of thing matters to you, it would ‘go’ in pretty much any car.  I do like the little flashes of red which break things up, and the little patches of speckled fabric too which add a bit of interest.

From a practical point of view the seat cover is great because it’s removable, so you can pop it in the washing machine if it gets dirty.

Nerys was so excited when her new seat arrived, and has really been enjoying using it on the school run every day.
Hip high back booster diono review

She seems to be nice and comfortable in it, and fits in it really well.

There are guides in the headrest that keep the seatbelt in the right place so it sits really nicely on her shoulder.  I’ve found this reassuring as, not only is it comfortable for Nerys, it feels safe and secure to me.

Another thing we both really like about the Hip seat is that it comes with 2 built in cup holders.  

Pretty much every day on the way home from school Rhys and Nerys will have a snack and a drink, and it’s really handy to have places in Nerys’ seat to keep them!  I think Nerys feels quite grown up too, being able to be in charge of her own things in her seat.

diono car seat review hip booster

The Diono Hip doesn’t use isofix, but that’s not an issue for us as our current car doesn’t have it either.  Instead it secures to the car with the seatbelt.  This is really handy if you need to move the seat between cars on a regular basis as it’s really easy to put in and take out.  On this note, it’s also really light, so it’s no bother to carry it from one car to another.

What is really reassuring is that, despite being so lightweight, it is still really safe.

It has full body side impact protection, and a reinforced head support that has 6 different height settings so the seat can grow with your child.

The Hip has been designed and tested to not just meet, but actually exceed regulatory standards which is really good to know.

review diono hip high back booster

We’ve been using the Diono Hip seat for about a month now and are really happy with it.

Nerys tells me it’s really comfortable, and I’m happy that she is safe and secure in it.  Now I just have to make my peace with the fact that she looks so grown up sitting there in her big girl seat!

 

Disclosure – I was sent the Diono Hip for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

yuubag-review

YUU bag review

One of the things I love about having nieces that are a few years older that Rhys is that I get to hear about the latest trends that he’s not quite old enough to be aware of yet.  The most recent thing that my oldest niece has introduced me to is YUU.

In case you’ve not heard of them, they’re a UK company that makes amazing backpacks for children.  

yuubag yuuworld review bag

The YUUbag was created by Gill and Kellie after they got frustrated seeing their children struggling with backpacks that sat really low and weren’t at all good for their spines.  They put a huge amount of time and work into their design, and the end result is fantastic.  Even the dragons on dragon’s den thought so, and they were backed by Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden after pitching YUU to them back in 2012.

The range now includes their classic activity backpacks, wheeled backpacks, lunch bags and accessories.

My niece had her eye on the YUUbag with the ‘muusic’ design, and thrilled doesn’t even begin to describe her reaction when I told her that YUU wanted to send us one for her to review.

The bag was sent directly to me, so I got to have a good look at it before I had to hand it over, and honestly, I was a little bit jealous of her getting to keep it!  I would have absolutely loved one of these bags when I was younger.

The design is really bold and bright, and funky too.  If you’re a shrinking violet they might not be for you though, I think you would definitely attract some attention with this bag on your back!

yuubag yuuworld review

The first thing that struck me when I took the bag out of the box was how big it is.

It’s 34cm high, 35.5cm wide and 22cm deep, so it is bigger than the standard backpack your child might use for school.  But see, this bag is so much more than a standard backpack in every way!

Once you unzip the bag you realise what is quite so special about it.  

yuuworld yuubag review inside bag

There are 20 different pockets and compartments in the bag.  That’s right, 20!  

Basically, whatever you want to take with you, there will be a slot or pocket in the YUUbag to keep it safe.  There’s even a designated water bottle holder on the outside, which is a great because there’s no risk of your drink leaking all over the inside of the bag!  Although, my niece did have to find a slightly smaller drinks bottle to fit in it, as the one she already had was a bit too big.  If you want to avoid that potential problem then you can just buy the YUUthirst bottle which is specifically designed to fit the bag.

There is also a matching pencil case in the bag, that you can clip into place so it never gets lost under the rest of your things.  We all thought this was a really nice touch, although my niece did find that it was just a little bit on the small side and she has to wiggle her pencils to get them in and out.

 

The YUUbag is so well thought out though, and perfect for going on long car journeys, as well as for using as a school bag.

It comes with a special activity pack that includes a magnetic snakes and ladders game, an A4 sketch pad, 8 coloured pencils, a desk card and a keyring.

yuubag snakes and ladders

The ‘desk card’, in case you’re wondering, is a sturdy piece of card that fits into the drop down part of the bag to create a nice, stable desk-like surface.

So, if you’re in the car, you can secure the bag to the seat in front of you with the bag’s chest straps and then use the drop down part of the bag to play snakes and ladders on, or do some writing or drawing.

Speaking of the chest straps, they’re a really great addition to the bag as they help with keeping the weight of the bag evenly distributed.  They also have a little whistle built in to them, which is great fun for children, and actually a good way to make sure the bag is being worn at the right height.

yuubag yuuworld bag review

This really is where the bag stands out for me.

So much thought has gone into the bag’s protective, ergonomic design.  The bag has an EVA foam shell and a foam back panel which, together, allow for even weight distribution and make sure the bag sits securely and evenly.  The straps are also wide and padded to make them as comfortable as possible.

From a parent’s perspective, my sister and I were both really impressed with this.

We also really loved the information sheet that came with the bag, full of helpful tips on how to get the most out of it and where to stash your various bits and bobs.

yuubag information sheet

My niece has been using the bag for a couple of weeks now and absolutely loves it.

From her point of view, it’s a really cool bag, with its funky design and all the accessories.  She especially likes the keyring that came with it and the snakes and ladders game to play with her sisters in the car.

As far as us grown ups are concerned, we were really impressed with the quality of the bag.  It feels so well made, and really sturdy.  We are also so impressed with the ergonomic design and all the thought that has gone in to the various pockets and compartments.

If only they had been around when I was younger, I would have loved to have one of these on our long car journeys to the south of France for our summer holidays!

 

You can check out the full range of YUU products on their website yuuworld.com.

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you can keep up to date with their news and be the first to know about any special offers and competitions.

 

Disclosure – We were sent the YUUbag for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

 

springtime bird craft twitter

Simple springtime bird craft – #BostikBloggers

Spring is definitely in the air at the moment.

Blossom is on the trees, flowers are blooming all over the place and the days are getting longer and warmer.

So, this month’s craft activity is a special springtime one.  

Simple springtime bird craft

This is a lovely simple craft, perfect to do with little ones.  It’s a bird’s nest made out of paper plates, filled with 2 little birds on sticks that can be used as puppets.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 paper plates
  • Blue paint
  • Brown paint
  • Glue
  • Bird shapes (either ready-made or cut out of cardboard)
  • Colourful feathers
  • 2 lolly sticks
  • Googly eyes or a black pen to draw on eyes

springtime bird craft bostikbloggers

The first thing you need to do is paint one of the paper plates blue.  Then cut the second plate in half and paint one of the pieces brown.

Once the paint is dry, glue the brown half-plate onto the blue plate.

bird craft springtime bostikbloggers

This gives you your bird’s nest, with a nice blue sky behind it.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can dip a sponge in some white paint and dab it on the blue plate to make some clouds.  You could also get some straw, or some little sticks, and glue them onto the nest to make it more realistic.

Now, on to the birds.

These are so easy to do.

Just spread some glue over one side of the bird, and then stick down your colourful feathers.  I tried to get mine to all go the same way for a more uniform look.  Nerys being the rebel that she is, stuck hers on any which way she fancied.

So feel free to do it however you like, it’s just a matter of taste really!

bostik bloggers simple springtime bird craft

Once the glue on the feathers has dried, flip the birds over and glue the lolly sticks to the back.

Then stick on your googly eyes (or draw some on with a black pen), and that’s your little bird puppets complete.  Aren’t they sweet!

bostik bloggers bird springtime craft

Fly them around, play 2 little dickie birds with them, and then pop them safely in their nest when they get tired.

springtime craft bird bostik bloggers

This was such a fun little craft activity, and I really love that we can actually play with it now it’s finished!

I might even punch a little hole in the top of it, and thread some string through so that we can hang it up somewhere in the children’s room.

For more springtime craft ideas from some fab bloggers, search #BostikBloggers on twitter.

I was sent a box of craft materials to create this post, but all words, opinions and creations are my own.

contact-this-glorious-life

Make finding voucher codes easy with Pouch

I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to go shopping in town very often any more.  

When I used to work in the city centre I would spend most of my lunchtimes wandering round the shops, and buying various things I didn’t really need!

Now though, it just doesn’t happen very often.  Instead, I do most of my shopping online.  I love being able to take my time, and browse the shops from the comfort of home, with a coffee in my hand.

I also really love the fact that you can so often find a good deal by shopping online.  Either by shopping around and finding the cheapest price, or by using a voucher code.  The trouble with voucher codes is that, quite often, I’ll find one only to realise that it’s not valid any more.  Or, I do my shopping and then realise afterwards that I completely forgot to even look for a code!

Well, I think I’ve found the solution!

Pouch is a new browser extension that does all the work for you.  This fab little video explains what it’s all about:

So, all you have to do is download the extension to your desktop, as long as you’re using Chrome.  It’s completely free, and only takes 2 clicks to download and add to your browser.

Then, the next time you’re shopping online, and have filled up your basket, just click on Pouch and it pops up with the current voucher code options.  Click the one you want to use and copy and paste it onto the site you’re shopping on.  And that’s it!

I love how easy Pouch is to use, and the fact that it’s completely free.  So you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying it out.  Head over to Pouch and see for yourself how easy it all is.

 

Disclaimer – this is a collaborative post with Pouch and contains affiliate links.

fireman sam

Fireman Sam – Sam’s birthday – DVD review

Here’s something that will make you feel old, Fireman Sam has been on our TV screens for 30 years!

I remember it from when I was little, and there’s something really lovely about my own children enjoying it now.  Even if it looks slightly different now than it did back then!  It took me a while to get used to the new cartoon style to be honest, and I still prefer the classic stop-motion style that I grew up with .  But, my children both like the newer version of it, so who am I to argue!

fireman sam happy birthday sam

To celebrate Fireman Sam turning 30, Abbey Home Media have just released a brand new DVD called ‘Sam’s birthday’, featuring a fab collection of episodes.  In the title episode ‘Sam’s birthday’, Sam is given the day off to go and relax, while Charlie is busy trying to make him a remote control model of Jupiter as a surprise present.  As is often the way in Pontypandy though, things don’t quite go to plan!

The other episodes in this lovely collection are:

  • Pontypandy in the park
  • Paddle on
  • The great party panic
  • Pizza pandemonium

Each episode is fun and exciting for little ones, and while it seems like there is always something going wrong in town, Fireman Sam always manages to step in and save the day.

Both Rhys and Nerys have loved watching this DVD, which is great because at times it can be hard to find things that they both want to watch!  Fireman Sam really is a classic though, isn’t it.  I wonder if my grandchildren will be watching it in another 30 years!

Disclosure – I was sent a copy of the DVD for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

 

try little trick happiness boost

Try this one little trick for a happiness boost

Happiness.

We’re all looking for it aren’t we?  Most of us, if we were honest, would say that all we really want out of this life is to be happy.

And there are all sorts of things we can do to get a happiness hit.

We can hug our loved ones, to get a good dose of oxytocin.

We can indulge in delicious food and drink, and then burn off the calories with some exercise to release some lovely endorphins!

But there are also some slightly more random ways we can get a happiness boost, like this:

Try this one little trick for a happiness boost

 

Mow the lawn!

It might not seem like an obvious thing to do to feel happier, but stick with me here.

The smell of freshly cut grass is right up there as one of my favourite smells.  It’s just so fresh and smells of spring and sunshine and all things good!  The smell of it has always made me feel happy, and most people seem to feel the same.

A survey conducted by Harris brushes in 2015 found that the British public voted freshly cut grass as their 3rd favourite smell.  Beaten only by freshly baked bread and bacon.

And apparently there could be some science behind why we love the smell so much.

When grass is cut, various chemicals are released into the air that have been found to have stress-relieving properties.

The chemicals work on both the amygdala and the hippocampus, the parts of the brain that deal with emotion and memory.  They are also responsible for the endocrine system, which is in charge of releasing stress hormones into our blood stream.  It seems that smelling that gorgeous scent of cut grass can regulate those areas of the brain and make us feel calmer and happier.

And the best part is, you don’t have to be the one to cut the grass to get the benefits!

So, sit back and relax while someone else cuts the grass for you, or head to your local park when the mowers are out, and get a nice big happiness boost.

 

This post has been linked up with Blogger Club UK and KCACOLS.

bakerdays review featured image

bakerdays cake review

I live quite far away from my family, which can make it pretty tricky when it comes to buying presents that I can send in the post for birthdays and special occasions.  So I am always on the lookout for websites that sell fun and interesting presents that I can order to be delivered straight to them.

I was intrigued then, when I came across bakerdays.  

bakerdays review featured image

They sell cakes that you can personalise and order online, to then be delivered straight to your loved one’s door.  Who wouldn’t be happy with a cake arriving at their front door!

There is a huge choice of cakes available on their website, for all occasions from birthdays and christenings to graduations and mother’s day.  The hardest part of ordering is chosing which design you would like.

Most of the cakes are sent by courier, but if you order one of the letter box cakes then it will be sent via Royal Mail because, surprise surprise, it fits through letter boxes.

I was recently asked if I would like to try one of these letter box cakes and I said yes please straight away.  Well, I do love a good piece of cake.

And I have to say, I’ve not been disappointed.

The cake arrived in a really sturdy cardboard box, that did indeed fit nicely through our letterbox.  I was really impressed with how well it was packaged, it felt very secure and the cake was kept in perfect condition.

bakerdays box

When I opened the box I found a lovely little tin that was the perfect size to keep the cake from shifting around in transit.

And it’s really quite funky too, I know I’ll be using it to store bits and bobs in the house.

bakerdays review cake tin

There are handy instructions for getting the cake out of the tin, so you don’t end up smooshing it in your eagerness to tuck in.

Once I’d got mine out of the tin and out of its wrapper I was able to really get a good look at it.  I’d chosen a cake just for me, a little early Mother’s day treat!  And I had it personalised with a photo of Rhys and Nerys.

I really like the way the cake looks.  The colours are lovely and bright and I think the photo I chose works really well with the design.  The photo itself is a bit blurry, but I’m not sure if that’s just the way it is with photo cakes.

bakerdays review size of hand

As you can see from the photo above, the cake is pretty small.  I can just about hold it in one hand.  So bear that in mind when you’re ordering, if you want to send a cake that can be shared between several people then you might want to go a size up.  But this letter box cake is perfect as a little treat, and will be enough for me to share with my husband and children.

bakerdays cake review

My cake came with a few extra bits that I wasn’t expecting – a party blower, 2 candles and 3 balloons.  I thought that was a nice little touch that adds a sense of celebration to the whole thing.

When you order a cake from bakerdays, first you chose the design you want and then you have to make the even trickier decision about what type of cake to send.

The options are: traditional sponge, rich chocolate chip, red velvet, gluten wheat free sponge, dairy free sponge and fruit cake.  There really is something for everyone.

I chose red velvet for my cake, because I can’t think that I’ve actually tried it before.

bakerdays cake red velvet review

I was really impressed with the quality of the cake when I tried it.

I think I was maybe expecting it to be a bit dry, but it really wasn’t.  It was beautifully moist, with a good  balance of cake and icing.  I had a small piece while I was home alone, purely for the purpose of writing this of course!  And now I’m really looking forward to having another bit tomorrow with my family.

I would be so happy if someone sent me another of these cakes in the post, and it’s definitely something I’m keeping in mind next time I want to send a little treat in the post to someone.

 

Bakerdays have a huge range of cakes available, head over to their website and take a look – www.bakerdays.com

You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with their news.

 

Disclosure – I was sent my cake for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.