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Category: Children

HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – GPS Origins Ancestry

HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – GPS Origins Ancestry

*This post was written in collaboration with HomeDNA.

 

Recently I reviewed the healthy weight at home genetic testing from HomeDNA. I was so  impressed with the in-depth results I got, that when I was asked to review their ancestry test it was a total no-brainer for me. History has always been my thing and so the chance to find out more about my own ancestors and ancient family history, was something I just couldn’t pass up.

As with the first test I did with HomeDNA, they sent out a test kit to complete at home and send back to them. The test kit came with four swabs that I used to collect cells from the inside of both cheeks. It’s so easy to complete the swabs and all I had to do was seal them in the envelope provided, fill in all of my details and send them over to the lab for testing. The process is super simple, then all I had to do was sit back and wait for my results to arrive in my inbox! Once my test had been analysed, I received a report with detailed explanations into each area of my genetic origins.

GPS Origins genetic test –

This test is designed to uncover your ancestral lines, including the journey of your DNA. Once you get your results, you’ll learn about so much including; genetic communities that share your origins and you’ll discover why your ancestors settled in particular places. All of this information is gathered from a unique algorithm that has been developed by a team at Sheffield university, headed by Dr Dr Eran Elhaik.

Gene pool percentages –

The results that I found particularly interesting were my gene pool percentages. These are the percentages of different gene types that make me who I am!

My top three were;

  1. Basque Country – from my ancestors based in Europe.
  2. Fennoscandia – from my ancestors based in Norway, Sweden, Finland, a part of Russia known as Kola Peninsula and Denmark during the Viking Age.
  3. Orkney Islands – from a small group of Islands located off the North Coast of Scotland.

Before I took this test, I had no idea that my ancestors were located so far and wide! It’s so interesting to know how vast our gene pools really are.

 

 

DNA migration routes –

Once you’ve learnt all about what makes up your gene pool, you can then use the interactive map provided to find out more about the migrations routes of your ancestors. You can explore what was happening to them at specific times and places in history. Through this tool, I found out that my ancestors lived alongside the Swedish Vikings and that they lived through the 1349 Black Death in Sweden. There’s still so much more I have to read through, but I’m already so amazed at everything I’ve learned so far!

Theses reports from HomeDNA contain so much information, that initially it can all seem a little overwhelming. What’s great though, is that every report includes a guide to understanding your results. This really helps you to enjoy reading through your report, enabling you to gain a full understanding of who you are and where you came from! 

 

 

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Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

When you have two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s hard work. Trust me, I know. When you’re the primary carer of two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s really hard work. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent the best part of three years willing time to pass. Looking forward to the next milestone because that’s when things will get ‘easier’. One particular milestone that’s been in my sights, is nursery. Life would surely be simple when the kids start their nursery placements.

Now nursery is literally just around the corner, the biggest has her third birthday and then BAM, she goes to school. I honestly didn’t think it would bother me, I would get the quiet time I’ve been craving. I’d get time to work as when one is at school, the other will nap. The perfect scenario. I’m absolutely dreading it though, how can she be three already? How is it possible that she’s old enough to attend a state nursery? Seriously, where did that time go?

Less than 24 hours old.

Ready for the next step –

Her, not me. She’s so ready, you can almost hear the cogs going around in her brain it’s working that hard. She loves reading, drawing, riding her bike and being outdoors. Everything that nursery will nurture and make even more fun for her. She’s been asking to go to school ever since we went to visit back in November. She loved every second and I know it’s time for her to spread her wings.

It’s me that’s not ready for the next step. I know she’s ready and I know how much she will blossom, but I just can’t help but think it’s too soon. She’s my first-born and time has just gone too quickly, time that I sincerely wish I enjoyed more. Just like everyone told me I should. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I know, but I can’t help but look back on the times I’d wished things were easier with regret.

 

Becoming a big sister at 10.5 months old.

Three is a magic number –

On the day that this post was published, the biggest turned three years old. Three whole years passed in a flash and she’s gone from a tiny 6lb 3oz baby to a walking, talking, tornado of incredibleness. She’s funny, she’s clever and she definitely knows what she wants. All I have to do is believe in her, believe that she’s ready to take on the world and know that this is where she needs to start. So Happy Birthday my beautiful girl, here’s where your next chapter begins!

 

Happy 3rd Birthday!
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The Medicine Cupboard – Home Essentials for Kids

The Medicine Cupboard – Home Essentials for Kids

*This post was written in collaboration with the Independent Pharmacy. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post does not contain professional medical advice. If you have any medical problems you should always consult a professional. 

 

Before we had children, I must admit that our medicine cupboard was very bare. If Hubs and I ever became unwell, it would result in one of us doing a mad dash to the local pharmacy to pick up what we need. Now that we have two girls though, I couldn’t imagine not having a selection of medical essentials to hand. When I was pregnant with our first daughter, I made a list of everything we would need. I put it all together in our medicine cupboard so that if we needed anything, at anytime, it was there!

I’m so glad I did this too, as even though we are very lucky to have two healthy girls, there have still been times when they’ve needed medicine quickly. The worst time this happened was just before the biggest’s second birthday, we were on holiday and she took a tumble on the tots play area. Luckily I was prepared with ibuprofen and paracetamol, to keep her comfortable until we arrived at hospital. As it turned out, she had fractured a bone in her leg, so being able to give her pain relief quickly made a huge difference to her.

 

Photo Credit

 

Ever since that very traumatic time, I’m even more prepared when it comes to medical essentials. If we start getting low on anything I’ve found that ordering online is a really easy and convenient way to stay stocked up.

Here are a list of our must have’s for kids;

Ibuprofen –

I always keep a bottle in the house and in my hand bag. As it’s an anti-inflammatory it’s great for bumps, bangs and swellings. As it can be taken alongside paracetamol too, I think it’s a great way of helping to keep their temperature down when it’s a little too high. I give it them intermittently, to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Paracetamol –

Carrying paracetamol is so handy. From small accidents to minor illness and high temperatures to snotty noses, a dose of this can be a real help!

Thermometer –

I really worry when our girls get a high temperature and I admit that I check it far too often, until it starts to come back down again. So having a thermometer in the house is a must. It’s good to know where they’re at and if they are comfortable!

Sterile fluid and plasters –

These are essentials that I keep at home and in the car! With two toddlers, bumps and scrapes are a regular occurrence. I think plasters are a really good thing to help kids feel better and to keep cuts clean. We definitely couldn’t be without a good stock of these!

 

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GUND Mythical Creatures – The Magic of Unicorns! GIVEAWAY!

GUND Mythical Creatures – The Magic of Unicorns! GIVEAWAY!

*We were gifted two unicorns for the purpose of this review,. As always,  all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

A little while ago I was lucky enough to work with the soft toy company GUND, on their Pusheen campaign. So I was really excited to be able to join them on their mythical creatures campaign too! With two young girls in the house, you can imagine how well magical unicorns would go down, so this was an opportunity for my girls that I just couldn’t miss. We’ve been a big fan of GUND since before our first daughter was born. In fact, they each have their own pink GUND My First Teddy’s, which have so much sentimental value now.

Looking through the GUND website, I really didn’t know where to start. They have so many gorgeous plush products that are based on mythical creatures. My favourite though and the one that I knew our girls would love best, was the light up musical unicorn. I loved it as soon as I saw it, so they were sure too! Both of our girls have their birthday in early Spring, so this was the perfect time to put in my order – magical birthdays are always the best!

 

The magical light and sounds unicorn –

The guys over at GUND sent over two unicorns for our girls. We all know what kids are like with toys and they’ve kindly saved me numerous toddler tantrums, as they don’t have to share the one. This was great as the girls didn’t put them down for some time! All you have to do is touch the back of the unicorn and its wings flash a pretty colour, as a little magical music is played. The littlest especially is delighted with the lights and music, she loves to watch her unicorn friend sparkle.

As always the quality of these products from GUND is exceptional. They are so well made, robust and super soft to touch. the eldest of our girls is still only three, so you can image the amount of use they get. They both still look like new, after a lot of imaginative play and even more cuddling!

 

 

Adding to our GUND collection –

Overall, both myself and our girls are over the moon with these amazing mythical unicorns from GUND. They are the perfect addition to their ever-growing GUND collection!

 

 

The guys over at GUND would like to offer my readers the chance to win a unicorn of their own, as well as a unicorn head wall display and a plush rainbow! For your chance to win, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions… good luck!

 

Win a Selection of GUND Plush Toys Worth £109.85

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Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles Review

Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles Review

*This post was written in collaboration with Nutrigen. 

 

As a parent, I find it so hard to get my girls to take vitamins. The ones we’ve tried in the past have always been syrup based, or have been in sweet form. I struggle with this as they are often laden with sugars, colourants and artificial sweeteners. My girls struggle with them as the sweets option are usually really hard to chew and they just can’t stomach the syrups. They make them instantly sick, which is no fun for anyone.

I’m pretty sure other parents will have experienced the same thing and for that reason, I’m so excited to share my experience with Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles with you! As with all products that I am approached to review, I spent some time doing my research on these children’s vitamins. The quality that stood out most to me, was that they don’t alter the taste, smell or colour of the food you serve them with. I really wanted this to be true, after all a product like that could be the saviour of all parents!

 

 

The daily dose of vitamins and minerals –

According to the NHS, there are certain amounts of vitamins that should be given to children on a daily basis. This especially applies if your children don’t eat a wide range of foods and let’s face it, toddlers and food don’t always go hand in hand!

 

What do I love about Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles?

The short answer is everything! First of all, one sachet contains the daily dosage as recommended by the World Health Organisation for children aged 6 – 48 months. So one sprinkle per day over one of your child’s meals, will mean you’re helping to give them the best start in life that you possibly can. One sachet also contains a lot of the daily recommended intake for children up to 12 years old.

The thing I love most about this product is that it doesn’t promise you results, without being able to deliver. As I touched on earlier, my girls can’t stomach the syrup based vitamins and the sweets are just too difficult for them to chew. I sprinkle one sachet over my girls’ yogurt at breakfast time and they genuinely don’t know that it’s there. We don’t have any tantrums when it’s time to take their vitamins, that’s something that makes our mornings run much smoother than before.

Nurtigen Vitamixin Sprinkles don’t contain sugars, artificial sweeteners or colourants. They don’t alter the way our kids food looks or tastes and they are so convenient for a busy household. I’m so impressed with this product from Nutrigen and it’s genuinely something that we will continue to use.

 

 

The Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles Taste Test –

We decided to put the Nurtigen Vitamixin Sprinkles to the test. I gave my two harshest critics their breakfast with Vitamixin sprinkled on top, the results are just what we’d hoped for!

 

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Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Academy – A Brand we Trust

Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Academy – A Brand we Trust

 

You may have noticed from my Instagram feed, that this year I’m part of the Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Academy team. It’s been an incredible journey so far. Not only have I met so many fantastic bloggers who are on board, I’ve also had the opportunity to indulge my inner geek and get to grips with the science behind the brand!

Johnson’s products have been our go-to baby essentials ever since our first daughter was born.  They were recommended to us by so many people, including my own mother and grandmother, who have used their products on the rest of my family for years. The classics collection, including the baby shampoo from Johnson’s, is my favourite range; it’s so easily recognisable, they’re comforting to use and they smell amazing!

I believe it’s so important to be able to trust the brands, whose products we bring into our homes. As parents, we want to know that our children are being cared for to the best of our ability and that includes what we’re using on their skin. That’s why I’m so excited to be working with Johnson’s Baby this year. They have been there for our family from day one and it’s an honour to get to share the ins and outs of the brand with you all!

 

 

Meeting the Johnson’s Baby Team

 

Our first Ambassador Academy meeting was held in London earlier this year. It was such an exciting day, not only because I got to meet all of the other bloggers in the team, but also because it was the start of an incredible learning journey for me. Johnson’s had bought in the creme de la creme of the science world, the level of knowledge they have in their field is astonishing and I was so ready to listen to everything they had to say.

Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions where Johnson’s Baby products are concerned. Somewhere along the way, a lot of misconstrued information surfaced and in consequence many facts were blurred and passed from person to person incorrectly. We hear so much scaremongering on the news, in the papers and across social media. It’s often a case of Chinese whispers and all of a sudden, the original story has been blown epically out of proportion.

At our first meeting though, we were given the cold hard facts. Scientific knowledge that can’t be argued with and insight that served to cement my trust in the Johnson’s brand further. Take the issue of parabens for example; they’re an ingredient that so many people are terrified of and one that they actively try to avoid. David Mays of J & J was the main speaker at our meeting and a scientist, he swiftly put to bed these ill-founded ideas about parabens by pointing out that ‘you eat more parabens everyday, than you could ever absorb through your skin’.

Isn’t it ironic that consumers have been avoiding using parabens by discontinuing their use of Johnson’s products, but they have actually been taking in more on a daily basis by just living life. These days Johnson’s Baby products don’t contain parabens. This isn’t because they are harmful, in fact they’re quite the opposite. It’s because consumers have been led to believe they are so dangerous. The lack of parabens in Johnson’s products is purely to address the concerns of the consumer. It seems they’re looking after us in more ways than one.

The most important thing that I took away from my time with the Johnson’s Baby team, is that they spend a great deal of time, money and effort making sure that our children are looked after. They care about the consumer and they want to make sure they’re doing the best they possibly can for our families.

 

 

There’s More to Come!

 

Even though I’ve learnt so much in my short time working with Johnson’s Baby, I also feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface. With more meetings to come, you can be sure that I’ll be back to pass on a few more pearls of wisdom – straight from the horse’s mouth as it were!

 

Are you a Johnson’s Baby family?

 

#ad

 

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Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots – Review & Giveaway

Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots – Review & Giveaway

This week our girls have been lucky enough to receive a cute set of Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots for review! As a blogger, I receive many different products for them to try out and we’re always very grateful for the items we receive. I knew from the outset that this product would be one of our girls’ favourites, anything to do with dolls is right up their street! They love to take care of them, and the level of imaginative play that dolls induce in them is amazing to see.

 

So, what’s in the box?

We were sent the Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots collectors case, along with three extra dolls. The collectors case is a super cute mini suitcase, with a little pink handle. It opens out into the ideal plat mat for the dolls and has a range of compartments to keep all of your Weeny Tots accessories in order. My eldest daughter loves to organise her case, she has a place for everything and loves to keep it neat and tidy!

The dolls each come with their own little outfits, that can be swapped and changed until their little hearts are content! They also have their own little toys, such as teethers and rattles. These are a great little feature and my biggest loves the little toys too. They are a bit too small for my littlest at two years old though, so we do have to watch her closely when she’s playing with the dolls.

We also received a little bathtub and miniature rubber duck with the collectors case. There’s a tiny duck hooded towel too which the biggest thinks is great, as it has a hood just like her towel! The little duck is a lovely extra, but again it’s very small so it’s worth keeping an eye on smaller children if they want to play along with their siblings.

 

 

The verdict –

The Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots collection has gone down a storm in our house this week. Both girls, especially our eldest have had hours of fun with their new dolls. The product is sturdy and as parent, I love that you can put it all away inside its own case at the end of the day. We all know what it’s like when we have to clear they toys up every evening and anything that makes this easy is a an absolute bonus.

 

 

I think the collectors case would make a great gift for children too. It’s one that they will adore and that can be added to on the birthdays and Christmases that follow. I know my eldest daughter will want to keep adding to her set from now on. I think once her sister gets a little older, she’ll want to have her own collectors case of Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots too!

 

To celebrate the launch of the new range of Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots, I have one collectors case and three dolls to giveaway to one lucky winner. All you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck! 

 

Win a Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots Collectors Case and Three Dolls

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Half Term Activities with Sheffield Mutual – Easy At Home Projects!

Half Term Activities with Sheffield Mutual – Easy At Home Projects!

As half term was approaching, I was contacted by Sheffield Mutual to find out if we wanted to take part in their school holiday activities campaign. With two very inquisitive girls in the house, I’m always looking for new ways to entertain them, so I think I was as excited to take part as they were!

In our activity box there were so many different things for the girls to be getting on with. There were funky coloured pipe cleaners, pompoms, grow your own grass head, cookie baking and card making. We were spoilt for choice and the kids have enjoyed taking part in all of these projects. Their favourites though were card making and creating a calming glitter jar. I must admit, I’m a little bit in love with the glitter jar too!

Calming Glitter Jar

This one has to come out on top for us and it was super simple to make. All you need is a nice, ornamental jar that seals, clear glue, glitter, food colouring at water.

First of all, fill the jar three-quarters of the way full with water and top the rest up with clear glue. Add the glitter and food colouring, stirring whilst you do so. One you have the preferred colour, seal the jar and shake! Both of our girl love to watch the glitter sparkle in the water, it leaves them completely mesmerised!

Top up the water with clear glue.
Add the glitter and food colouring, stirring as you do.

Card Making

The other activity that our girls really enjoyed was card making. I think they were so into this one, because they decided beforehand who they were making the cards for. They were each sent a pack of blank cards, along with nice felt tips and fancy stickers. The level of concentration throughout this little project was incredible, I’ve never seen them so engrossed in crafts before. Card making will be at the top of our list of things to do on a rainy day from now on. I’m sure the recipients will treasure them too!

*We were sent a half term craft package from Sheffield Mutual for our girls to enjoy over the holiday. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Curious Kids Children’s Sweatshirt – Review

Curious Kids Children’s Sweatshirt – Review

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Curious Kids, asking if we’d like to review their funky sweatshirt. I would usually be the one to decide what we review on The Tale of Mummyhood. However, seeing as our eldest takes more and more interest in what I do, I thought I’d ask her if she’d like to take the review. As you can imagine, she jumped at the chance!

When the package arrived for my little apprentice, she was super excited to get to work. We took a photographs of the beautifully wrapped sweatshirt together, truthfully all she wanted to do was model it! From a parents point of view though, I was  really impressed with how much love was given to making our delivery look good. These sweatshirts are perfect to buy as gifts as they arrive wrapped and ready to go.

 

 

 

Our Little Fashionista

At just over two years old our daughter is still quite slight in frame, so when I buy girls coats and jackets I usually go size 18-24 months,  just to be on the safe side. I’m glad we did as it fits perfectly! The material feels soft and warm too, so it’s perfect for keeping the biggest warm and toasty on those blustery days. If you follow the washing advice that comes with the shirt, it keeps it shape and print really well. I make sure that I wash the sweatshirt on a low heat and I avoid throwing it in the tumble dryer with the rest of the washing!

Curious Kids clothing is a total hit with me. It looks cool, keeps well and is different from the standard jumpers on the market. The real question though is what did my little apprentice think? Well, it’s safe to say she loves her new sweatshirt. It’s a firm favourite of hers that goes with us every where we go!

 

 

 

*This is a collaborative post. 

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Our Adventures with the Toddlebike2!

Our Adventures with the Toddlebike2!

As as family, we love to spend time outdoors. We enjoy nothing more than heading out into the fresh air, to get a little exercise. Now that our youngest is on her feet though, we’ve found that we do less walking as she gets tired so quickly. She doesn’t like being confined to the pushchair either, so we needed to find something that suits all of us. Luckily our saviour and founder of the Toddlebike2 Jo Hockley, got in touch to see if we’d like to try out her fabulous creation!

The Toddlebike2 is a kind of ‘pre-balance’ bike, best suited for children around eighteen months or who are stable on their feet. Founder Jo discovered the first generation Toddlebike when she was holidaying with her family in Belgium. Her young son had a great time on this version of the Toddlebike!  On returning home Jo negotiated the rights with the manufacturer and so the Toddlebike2 we know today was produced.

 

 

Cycling Fun with the Toddlebike2

 

Prior to our Toddlebikes arriving, I wondered how well our littlest would get on. She’d never used this type of bike before, so I thought it would take a little getting used to. I was reassured by Jo that even if she didn’t take to it immediately, she would find her own way with it and eventually love it. This was absolutely true! For the first couple of weeks, the littlest walked around with her bike, she then progressed to sitting on the crossbar. Now she rides her Toddlebike like she’s been doing it forever!

 

 

The Toddlebike is really lightweight so it’easy for both girls to push and pull around, when they aren’t racing each other up and down the room! This makes it great for taking out too, if the girls decide they want to walk for a while, it’s no trouble to carry the bike for them as there’s no weight to it at all. Even though it’s so light, it’s still a solid piece of kit that will stand the test of time. Ours have had so much use over the last few weeks and they still look like new, even after being outside!

 

 

One of the things I love most about the Toddlebike2 is the confidence it’s given our littlest whilst learning to walk. She hasn’t been on her feet long, but after using her bike she has improved so much as she’s constantly on her feet pushing or riding her bike around!   Our eldest daughter who is a little over two, took to her Toddlebike immediately. She loves taking her bike outdoors and racing against her sister!

 

 

Overall, the Toddlebike2 has been a huge success in our house. They may seem simple, but these bikes really are a game changer when it comes to heading out with kids. At £23.95 they aren’t expensive and you certainly get your money’s worth! They come with us everywhere we go, we’ve come to realise that you never know when a Toddlebike2 will come in handy!

 

Do you love the Toddlebike2? Then don’t miss out on 10% discount using the code BLOG17 at the Toddlebike shop!

 

 

*We were sent two Toddlebikes for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are own.

 

 

 

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