Stamptastic!

Last summer I was approached by Stamptastic and asked if I wanted to review their stamps.

Uh…. YES PLEASE!

It’s taken me a while to find something I wanted to stamp, mainly because I got a stamp with Emma’s name on it, and well, everything I considered stamping was something that eventually wouldn’t be hers anymore!

But then I had a genius idea. I would use MY stamp to hallmark (is that the right word?) my homemade cards! Which I have to make now.

So I got out the 2 stamps that Stamptastic sent me, and the ink pad, and got experimenting. Its made me want to stamp EVERYTHING.

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The stamps themselves are rectangular perspex blocks, with the rubber stamp at one end. Quite handy that they’re perspex cause it means that when you are stamping something, it’s very easy to see where on the surface you are stamping. No worries about it coming up wonky! They start from £8, and you can have a childs name, an address, a telephone number, and you can even contact Stamptastic direct for bespoke designs, which will cost you more money.

The primary purpose of these stamps (they’re not your average crafting stamps) is to label belongings. School equipment, notepads, electronics, and the like. So, you will only get a specialised ink pad in black ink (costing £10), which is designed not to wash out of items like school uniforms. However on non-fabric materials, the ink can be removed with a cleaning product and cloth.

The stamps and inks are suitable for most surfaces, ideally paper and fabric, but will also work on leather, plastics, wood and metal.

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So I started off just stamping a bit of paper, to see what it came out like and to get the feel of the stamp. I now want to stamp loads of stuff (but will refrain).

As I said previously, there really isn’t anything of Emma’s suitable for stamping just yet. Her clothing, will eventually go to charity and belong to someone elses baby. Same with some of her toys. Other stuff, will be passed down to a sibling (if that ever happens), so it was quite tricky to find something to stamp. BUT, I did find something.

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Yep. I stamped her baby wipes and diaper rash cream!

After allowing the ink to dry, I swiped my finger over it and no smudging. The name was clear as day.  It didn’t print too well on the cream, but then it’s not a new tube, so it’s got lots of indentations which I think make it tricky to stamp properly.

I printed on the wipes, and the plastic bag my stamps came in, and then I couldn’t find anything else legitimate to stamp. I spent ages looking for stuff to stamp too. I was a little disappointed!

In a nutshell? I love these stamps. I’d love to buy a load more, but I would need to sit and think carefully as to what I wanted on them. I am known to be a bit frivolous when it comes to such things, and therefore it could be deemed (by The Husband) to be a waste of money. (seriously, i’d buy a stamp that said “YUM” and stamp random food stuff in the supermarket for fun).

Having recently got back into card making, these stamps would be a fantastic addition to my craft range. It is so much easier to use a stamp attached to a perspex block, than say a wooden one.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I have had to scrap a card, because I’ve misaligned a stamp.  The one thing I would say, is that I would like to see the ink pads come in a range of colours. Whilst I understand that these stamps are in the market for labeling items, I think crafters would love and buy this product, but the lack of coloured inks is a bit of a set back. It also seems to make more sense just to buy everything you need in the same place, rather than having to buy from several different stores and having to pay several lots of postage and packing! Besides, Stamptastic P&P is free to the UK Mainland!

Would I spend my cold hard cash on this product?
YEP

Would I recommend it to other parents and crafters?
YEP

Do I think you should head over to Stamptastic and place an order?
YEP

I now need to go and have a long hard think about what I want, and wish for some pennies for my upcoming birthday, so I can go and buy some stamping goodies!

*This review is based on my own opinion, thoughts and experience. In return for this review, I was gifted, an inkpad and 2 stamps bearing names of my choice. Thank you Stamptastic!*

The Baby Show

Thanks to Inspire Me Media, I got chance to visit The Baby Show at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.

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When I was pregnant with Emma, I kept telling The Husband that we had to go, but we never did. So when I got a press pass for a PR event that included a ticket to The Baby Show, I jumped at the chance. The Husband on the other hand was like “do not spend loads of money, maybe I should hold on to your credit card”. He was probably right!

There was a LOT of baby stuff and loads of big brands, Mothercare, Cosatto, Tommee Tippee, Joie, Asda, Milton, Britax, Chicco, iCandy, plus loads of cute independent retailers. It was a parent and baby dream. I could have spent thousands if not more.

The layout was a little confusing and I found myself walking around in circles and often walking past the same area several times whilst consulting my map and trying to find where I was. Give me google maps and I’m good. Anything else, forget it.

I saw a lot of things that I really wanted to buy, but lack of need and space, and most importantly money to spend frivolously meant that I couldn’t.

Like this Claw Foot Baby Bath Tub

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Super cool, but at £200, it’s definitely a frivolous spend.
Wouldn’t it be totally awesome to have not only a cool Montessori baby nursery with a walk in closet and separate bathroom for your wee babe? Sadly I’m not made of money! Wishful thinking eh?

Then there was these.

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SUPER-AWESOME! Not a new thing to me, as apparently they’re quite common in nurseries and day cares, but still. COT BUNK BEDS! Again a frivolous spend, seeing as I only have the one child and by the time I have a second, the first should be in a toddler bed!

There were a lot of prams/pushchairs/buggies/contraptions you push kids around in.

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There were even a few sling and carrier companies there. As well as retailers that specialise in Babywearing, like Slumber-Roo.
I was a little disappointed in the selection of companies in general. I wanted to buy a ring sling, but I only saw one by ByKay at the Cheeky Rascals stand.
That’s where I met Emily who runs the South London Sling Library.
I finally settled on a Beco Soleil from Slumber-Roo to add to my collection.
That said I still want a ring sling!

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I could buy all the wraps and carriers. The Husband has said no however!

The Baby Show also piqued my interest in Cloth Nappies. Definitely a consideration for my next baby.

There were lots of nursery ideas.

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There were also lots and lots of stalls with hand made baby gifts and trinkets.

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I also got to meet David from Snugglebundl (if you’ve seen Dragons Den then you’ll know who I mean)!
He was absolutely lovely, and the product itself is genius! Definitely a fore-runner in the ideas for a gift for my sisters baby that’s due this September.

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Overall I had a great time.

The Baby Show is next at the NEC Birmingham on May 16th-18th and then at Kensington Olympia on October 24th-26th.

You can buy advance tickets online from £10.50

If you’re a soon to be parent, a parent of babies/toddlers, an aunt/uncle/grandparent, then I recommend a visit!

Thank you Inspire Me Media for the press pass.

*I was gifted a press pass as part of a PR launch.

A Monster Ate My Mum

A few weeks ago, someone RTd a tweet. It was an author looking for bloggers to review her new children’s book.
My brain went “ooooh book!”

You see one of my hopes for Emma is that she has the same fondness and love for books as I do.

I want her to be able to delve into the world of imagination and lose herself amongst stories of fairies, and princesses, and girls who live in mountains, and find secret gardens and boys who solve mysteries and whatever wonderful stories that come from the muses.

I want her to be excited to get books for birthdays and Christmases. I want her to ask to visit the library and book stores.

So I contacted the author, Jen Faulkner aka Instinctive Mum, aka @MonsterAteMyMum and a few days ago it landed in my postbox.

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Although the book is aimed for children between the ages of 2 and 12, I still wanted to do the review. You see Emma is only 7 months old. But to me that didn’t matter because you’re never too old or young for books.

A Monster Ate My Mum is a book about Post Natal Depression through a child’s eyes. A little boy wanders from Monster to Monster looking for his mothers laugh, her smile and her spark. It’s aim is to help children understand that sometimes their mum is sad or tearful, that she is snappy and that most of all it’s not forever and it’s not their fault.

I’ll admit, it’s the first product I’ve had for review which has reduced me to tears.

You see, although I am not one of the 10 – 15% of new mothers who has been diagnosed with Post Natal Depression, but I do have a history of depression as well as anxiety and PTSD. It’s something that I manage on a daily basis and some days I do better than others and on other days I really struggle.

I like that there’s a book that we can sit down and read together so that Emma understands that when my bad days are bad, that a monster has been to visit.
Because let’s face it, that’s what depression is, a lying monster.

It’s a really clear and simple to understand book, which flows very easily thanks to the rhyming words Jen uses. The pictures are very imaginative too. Emma seems to like it, and apparently, just like her mama who dislikes the monsters (in real life), she decided this morning to rip a page out of the book! Don’t think she liked the monster who ate mums spark… I caught her trying to eat him!

I would really recommend this book, especially if you have or have had depression, whether it be Post Natal Depression or not. It’s an enjoying read, and also, Christmas is coming up soon, so perhaps a stocking filler idea?

You can buy it from Lulu.com and it retails at £7.49 for a paperback (although it is currently now on sale for £5.99) or 99p in ebook format for instant download.

If you think that you may have depression, or you’re not sure if you have post natal depression or a touch of the baby blues, please do see your GP. You can also, refer yourself to your local Mental Health Community Service. If you are a post natal mum then you’re referral will usually be pushed to the top of the waiting list too.

Remember, “depression lies”, and it is something you can overcome. Always ask for help, because it will always be there, sometimes you just need to find the light to chase away the dark.

I would like to thank Jen for sending me a copy of her book to review. I’ve never had a review product that has 1) made me cry and 2) been so completely in tune with me.

I love it, and I hope that my love for books rubs off on Emma, and that in future she doesn’t rip the pages out and try to eat them. That’s not the definition of book worm that I had in mind!

I now need to find my Sellotape to fix the page that Emma tried to eat.

Hair

A few months ago, a twitter follower tweeted that she’d gone to a well known salon to get her hair dyed and ended up hating it.
So I recommended that next time she uses one of my favourite Salons. And I tweeted her and included them in my response. It made sense because every so often they have a 50% off colour sale.
Their (my salons) response? Was to send me (and her) a 50% off voucher for a cut and style. So off I went to Headmasters in Twickenham for a cut and style with Rachael.

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I’ve been going to Headmasters Salons since I was 18 years old. That’s 11 years. At least I think I was 18. I may have been 19. Either way, it’s been a very long time and I have never ever been disappointed in any of the salons I’ve visited. Except when they stopped serving wine as a refreshment due to licensing laws. That was a little sad.

Sadly for me (and my hair) I don’t go as often as I should. You should go every 6-8 weeks, but as if I have time (or the money)!

Before Emma it was just laziness, and money, but mainly laziness. I’d go 12-13 months between hair cuts.
Now, with Emma, this is my first hair cut since she’s been born.
I had it cut just before she was born, so I guess right now it’s not too bad. Considering how long I normally leave it.

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The staff are so friendly and despite the noise of driers and chatting stylists, the atmosphere is peaceful. Especially when you get magazines and coffee!

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After having a chat about what I wanted done, it was off to be shampooed! Which is the best part of the hairdressers in my opinion. There is nothing more relaxing then having someone else wash your hair and give you a head massage.

Sadly I didn’t catch the name of the young guy shampooing my hair, but he was fabulous, very chatty and incredibly lovely. If I was rich I’d steal him away from Headmasters to be my personal hair washer!

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I didn’t even notice the time as my stylist snipped away at my locks. Like all the other staff at Headmasters, she was very friendly and down to earth. I seriously don’t know how hairdressers manage to hold a full conversation and cut someone’s hair, because I couldn’t do it. I’m pretty sure if I tried to I’d have an unhappy client with wonky hair.

In the end, my locks were shorter, lighter and definitely a lot healthier.

I have never had a cut that I didn’t love from Headmasters.

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If you’ve never been to Headmasters, then I highly recommend going. In fact, I have 3 recommend a friend cards sitting in my purse. If you’d like to experience Headmasters and get 50% off your first appointment for a cut and blow dry, then drop me a comment and I will send you a card. (Yes I’m being cheeky, because I also get 50% off my next appointment for recommending a friend!)

You can visit their website to find a salon near you.

Thank you to the PR team for the 50% off voucher. I thoroughly enjoyed using it!

* this review post was not paid or sponsored, rather just me blogging about I brand I love. Headmasters did however give me a 50% off voucher for recommending them to one of my twitter followers, which I used today and saved £28.50, my bank and I are thankful.

Joy and Joe Baby Wraps – A Review

*this is a paid review. payment was in the form of the Wrap reviewed being made especially for me to review and keep for personal use*

Thank you for watching the review of my Owl Paneled Wrap by Joy and Joe Baby Wear.

As promised, here is some more information.

You can buy direct from the Joy and Joe online store.

Plain Wraps start from £19.99

Pattered Wraps start from £21.99

Paneled Wraps start from £23.99

Woven Wraps start from £44.00

The Wraps are suitable from birth up to a weight of 16kg.

All Wraps are made from 100% cotton with a one way stretch and conform to the BS EN 13209-2:2005, which is the UK & EU safety requirement for soft baby carriers. All Wraps are safety tested with an accredited UK Government laboratory.

 

The Benefits of Baby Wearing

  • skin to skin facilitates kangaroo care and bonding with your baby
  • research has shown that babies who are worn in a Wrap are less likely to cry than babies who are not
  • wearing your baby calms them; they can feel mums heartbeat and smell mums unique scent
  • being close to mum means that her breathing helps to regulate babies breathing (in very young babies)
  • a secure way of holding your baby whilst keeping your hands free to do some chores or entertain toddlers and older children
  • ability to take baby anywhere, especially if destinations are not pushchair/buggy friendly
  • you can find more information here.

When wearing your baby in a Wrap/Carrier/Sling, remember TICKS.

  • Tight
  • In view at all times
  • Close enough to kiss
  • Keep chin off chest
  • Supported back

For more information on how to Wrap your baby visit the Joy and Joe website.

 

Competition Time!

MrsFlams is giving away a Wrap of your choice (excluding Woven Wraps) to one lucky reader thanks to Joy and Joe Baby Wear. All you have to do to enter this competition is to subscribe to MrsFlams and comment on this post. Terms and Conditions apply and are listed below (please make sure you read them, as they contain the rules for this competition).

 

Terms and Conditions
  1. All entrants must subscribe and comment on the blog post to be eligible to win; you must do both.
  2. If you have commented and not subscribed to MrsFlams once the competition has closed, then your comment will not be included. All comments will be checked against the subscribing mail list.
  3. Comments made on Facebook/Twitter links will not be eligible; they must be on the actual blog post to be counted.
  4. The winner will be selected by a random number generator to ensure fairness. In the event of the winner not meeting the full criteria, then the draw will be done again until a fully compliant winner is selected.
  5. The competition is open UK entrants only
  6. Only 1 entry per reader, duplicate entries will not be accepted.
  7. Competition is open until midnight on Friday June 28th 2013, any comments after this will not be counted.
  8. You must provide a valid email address in your comment so that you can be contacted. If we can’t contact you then you can’t get your prize.
  9. The prize is one Joy and Joe Baby Wrap of your choice (excluding Woven Wraps)
  10. Winner will be notified via email within 1 week of the closing date and will need to provide their postal address in order for prize to be shipped.
  11. Prize will be shipped directly from Joy and Joe Super Comfy Baby Carrier via 2nd class mail, your email address and postal address will be provided to Joy and Joe Super Comfy Baby Carrier.
  12. Competition is a collaboration between Mrs Flams and Joy and Joe Super Comfy Baby Carriers
  13. Please consider sharing the post and encourage your friends to enter the competition too (this isn’t a requirement, it’s just a nicety)