Monday, 25 July 2011

Win £50 worth of Matalan Vouchers

The lovely people at Matalan contacted me last week and asked if I would like £50 to spend in Matalan myself or if I would like to offer it to my readers...

...Well I decided I would let one of you lovely readers have it, I know I am too kind I hear you all saying.

It was funny timing as I went into Matalan just before going on holiday a few weeks ago.  I went in to look for a few bits and bobs to wear around the pool and I bought quite a few bargains for myself, hubby and Belle! They even do homeware and some great children's books, I bought a bunch of the Mr Men books for Belle there as she loves them!

They have some lovely things coming out in their Autumn collection too.  I will share a couple pictures with you from their Autumn/Winter Lookbook

Women's Wear

Homeware

Children's Wear

WIN - NOW CLOSED
If you would like to win a £50 voucher to spend in Matalan then simply leave a comment below. The winner can pick an on-line voucher or a physical voucher they can use in-store.

To Enter
1) Follow Mummy's Shoes 
2) Leave a comment below in the comments section with a way of contacting you should you win (eg twitter ID, email ad)
3) For an extra entry tweet about this comp (making sure you mention @MummysShoes so I can record your extra entry)

Terms and Conditions:
• This competition will run from 25th of July to the 19th of August
• The winners will be chosen at random
• Competition is open to residents of the UK and Ireland only
• Prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative is available


The winner of the £50 voucher is @emymc
Congratulations!


Monday, 18 July 2011

Potty Training Tips: Our Story

I have been meaning to write this post for a while but life has been rather hectic as of late.

A month ago (after returning from holiday) I decided to bite the bullet and potty train Belle. She is 2 and she had all the signs. Can you believe she was dry on DAY 3 and has been ever since! We really were all amazed and I was so proud of our little munchkin. So I will share with you exactly what we did in hope of helping some others too. However all children are different so it is important to be patient and know they WILL get there eventually.

Signs your little one is ready for potty training may include:
1) Has regular bowel movements.
2) Has dry periods for at least 2 or 3 hours in the day (this shows the bladder muscles have developed enough).
3) Has words for her No.1's and No.2's.
4) May tell you when she has done something in her nappy.
5) Can walk and sit down,
6) Dislikes being in a dirty nappy.
7) Can pull her pants/trousers up and down,

Belle ticked all of these before training began except 6 and 7 but she mastered pulling her pants up and down instantly upon being shown.

How we did it:

1) I made sure Belle was familiar with her potty so we had it for quite a few months before undergoing potty training. This way she could play around on it now and then and she did a few successful wee wee's beforehand.
2) I made sure we had a few days that weren't busy so potty training would be less stressful and we had more time.
3) I took Belle out to pick her own pants. She chose some Minnie Mouse and Peppa Pig pants which she loved and she called them her 'big girl pants'.
4) No more nappies, no pull ups just pants from that Friday morning onwards.
5) Lots of praise and clapping when she was successful.

On day 1 we had 2 accidents. One of these was at the park and the other was only tiny when on her way running to the potty. I think they need accidents to realise their pants will get wet and that it's not nice.  Belle kept saying 'oh dear mama, oh dear' so she knew she was meant to go on the potty. We put a nappy on her for night time and it was nearly dry in the morning.

On Day 2 when she woke up she told us she needed the potty and we couldn't believe it! Our little girl understood already?  All day she only had a tiny drip/accident whilst she made her way to the potty and we also got her first successful No.2. She was VERY proud of herself for this and even wanted to call Grams and Papa to tell them! Also I have to mention how fantastic and brave my hubby was because it was Daddy Group on this day (Saturday) and he took her along (armed with a Carry Potty). She was fantastic and even used the 'big girls toilet' there.

On Day 3 she woke up completely dry! So she had held on all night again. We had playgroup and she was amazing, she went to the potty once whilst there and that really is the end of that. It has been 3/4 weeks now and she has been dry! She has had one accident since in the car, which she was quite distraught about but that really is it.

Final Tips: Some children will pick up on potty training quickly and others will want more time. Their own character plays a big role too I think. Praise is important as is patience. Don't force your child to sit on the potty and don't get cross for accidents, just be encouraging and say 'don't worry you can try again next time'. Make sure you buy a couple packs of pants so you aren't constantly washing in those first few days too :-)

Some Fantastic Potty Training Aids:

1) We bought Belle a few different potty training books in the weeks leading up to potty training and she definitely had a favourite which was called Princess Polly's Potty. She mentioned a few times in those 3 days how she was 'just like Polly now' and so this one I would definitely recommend for the girls.

2) My Carry Potty - This really has proved invaluable! We took this everywhere with us for the first 3 weeks, to friends houses, to the park, shopping...You name it we had it with us!  It's leak-proof too so if you haven't anywhere to dispose then it is fantastic! I can't rave about it enough and Belle knew it was her little portable potty. These pictures were taken on Day 3 before leaving for Playgroup. Just look how proud she is!

  


I found it quite an emotional few days as I realised just how grown up and independent my little baby girl is becoming...how will I cope with school in a few years!?!

Good Luck to those embarking on this journey and if you have been through it how was your little one? Did you go cold turkey like us or did you use pull-ups or a different technique?



Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Zumba Fitness Game for the Wii: A review

I started going to Zumba classes 2 months ago after hearing so much about it from friends and also after being asked if I wanted to review the game for the Wii. I love dance and have tried almost every type of dance throughout the years but I mainly wanted to do Zumba to get my fitness up.

I love the class I go to. Zumba is a mix of Latin, Reggaeton, Hip-hop and more! That is what I love about it, you can be doing salsa in one routine and bollywood moves in another. It is great fun!

Zumba Fitness for the Wii:

The game itself is very easy to use. You set up a profile, which basically consists of putting your name in. This seems a shame to me, as I thought I was going to be able to customise the character on the screen but it is simple and fuss free never the less. So perhaps that is what they were going for.

After you have your profile you can do a dance class or you can go straight into a routine. You have a waist belt/strap which you slot the Wii control into so it can monitor your movements. There are lots of different routines to choose from and are labelled basic, intermediate or expert.  

When you are doing the movements/dance routine correctly the figure on the screen glows green otherwise it goes from yellow to red to show you are way off! You gain points and can unlock different dance settings etc as you build them up.


My Thoughts:

I enjoyed trying out this game and doing the routines, it is particularly good for people who do not go to a Zumba class. However I did find it a bit frustrating.

I like to think I am a reasonable dancer and I certainly know how to do the basics like salsa, yet this game did not pick up my moves very well and there is little direction for people who don't know the moves already. There are no verbal cues on the routines and so you just have to watch and learn and try and keep up.

When I really shook my hips it picked up this as a move, the figure on the screen glowed green (to show I was doing it correctly) and I got points, when it really could have been any move.  My point is I could stand still shaking my hips for a 5 minute routine and even do the funky chicken and get more points then had I done it perfectly. I think there is only so much movement a Wii controller in a waist belt can pick up perhaps?

That said, I am competitive and do like to perfect moves, but for those who don't take dance seriously and just want a bit of a laugh with friends (there is a multiplayer option) then this is the game for you.

One final criticism of this game is that it feels half finished. With your points you can unlock levels and dance in different scenery, with the 'best' one being a rooftop scene. Now I am sure this would be amazing had the view and graphics been good but it felt like a bit of an anticlimax. Also the dancers behind the main character are simply clones and again rather boring.

All that said, this game is classed as a 'fitness game' so in that respect it fulfills its title but as a 'Zumba' game it really leaves a lot to be desired, for me. My Zumba instructor is going to be trying the game out soon and so I will be interested to hear her take on it. I would certainly be interested in trying out the Kinect version to see if it picks up moves better than the Wii.

You can follow Zumba Fitness on Facebook here
You can follow Zumba Fitness on Twitter here


The Zumba Fitness game for the Wii retails from £27.99. 


Zumba Fitness is also available for Playstation 3 and Kinect for Xbox 360 platforms, RRP £39.99. 


Disclosure: I received a copy of this fitness game in return for a review

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

My 28th Birthday: Loved Ones & The Ritz

I turned 28 the other day! Late 20s...how did that happen?!?
I feel so lucky though...I have everything I could wish for and more. My family and friends made the day so special for me and I got so many gorgeous presents. An even bigger thank you to Hubby and Mum for making it extra extra special. Love You All xxx

Cake and Flowers


Belle with her (I mean 'my') Birthday Balloons :-)

A few of my lovely cards

Love this one...very 'me'


Typical Big Bro (click picture to enlarge and read)
Birthday Meal with the family

Notice the TrollBeads Bag...3 new charms :-)

It was way past Belle's bedtime and she was very funny...Running on loopy juice!

A little help to blow the candles out!

The hubby took me to The Ritz the next day!



The Powder Room


This was not empty for long, the waiter kept refilling it every time we ate one!

Great service!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Win a Lumilove Barbapapa Night-light in Pink or Blue

We recently received one of these adorable lights for Belle.  I wasn't sure if she would like it as she is 2 years old and it seemed a little young for her. She doesn't need nightlights or anything to sleep but when she got it out the box she just fell in love with it and did a big "awwwwww" sound to it.

I don't know what it is about these little creatures, perhaps it is the big smile and eyes but Belle loves hers.  She doesn't actually take it to bed but loves carrying it around with her and switching it off and on.

The best thing about this is that it remains charged for ages and is so easy to recharge by simply placing it on the base provided.  

They have other lights in their range too, for example the carousel here and also penguins and my favourite a little panda



Nomade
A portable and intuitive night light, the Lumilove turns on as soon as it's removed from its base or can be pressed on or off underneath
Autonomie 11hup to 11 hours of autonomy (rechargeable battery)
NomadeIt simply recharges when placed on its base.  With its base there is no direct electical contact for charging.  Perfectly safe and EC-certified for use from birth
LEDelectrolumiscent diode (LED) eco-friendly consumption extra-long lifespan, up to 100,000 hours.  Thanks to its small, cold LEDs, it doesn't heat. 




WIN - NOW CLOSED
If you would like to win one of these cute lights for your child then simply comment below. You can pick pink or blue!

To Enter
1) Leave a comment below in the comments section with the colour you would like to win and also a way of contacting you, should you win (eg twitter ID, email ad)

2) For an extra entry tweet about this comp (making sure you mention @MummysShoes so I can record your extra entry)

Terms and Conditions:
• This competition will run from 5th of July to the 29th of July
• The winners will be chosen at random
• Competition is open to residents of the UK and Ireland only
• Prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative is available



Winner is...Steph xox