Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review: JammyJams Lullaby Rock Album

Whilst growing up, I was surrounded by many different musical influances, and then on becoming older, found my own taste was varied. Mum like the classic 90s R&B and general music played in clubs of the time, Dad was very much Soul, 60s, Rat Pack, The Who, Billy Idol, The Jam, Phil Colin's etc. My house was constantly filled with music, the radio always on, CDs always playing, Sunday Chart whilst mum cooked dinner in the kitchen, video channels on SKY running in the background whilst doing homework or revising. Music pretty much was everywhere.

I fell pregnant with my son and vowed that he too would learn of a wide range of music - influenced not only by myself, but my partner, mum, dad and Sister. My Sister - Lily - is a really old school rock listener, sometimes her taste shocks me. Bon Jovi, ACDC, Steel Panther, Greenday, Metallica, The Darkness, The Ramones etc.

I were browsing online one evening for music to play whilst I bathed and put my son to sleep. I were fed up of the itsy cutesy baby lullabyes that lituraly drove me crazy. I came across a video online, promoting a CD from a company known as JammyJams. The CD was of Lullabbyes, but with a vast difference - it was based around rock music. The ultimate clever twist.

I then noticed that JammyJams were offering a downloadable CD in exchange for some social media promotions, and I thought why not go for it and give it a try - which is where this review comes in. I were sent a copy of JammyJams Rock The Cradle: A Tribute To Billy Idol. Ill admit, curiosity got the better of me, and having grown up listening to him, thought this would be amazing to try out, and have a listen to with my son.

We downloaded it last night, and had a listen together whilst bathing, massaging, bottling and putting to bed, and I've got to say, I personally really enjoyed listening to practically Billy Idols Greatest Hits album in a lullaby edition.

I was a bit sceptical as to how they could transform such songs as "Flesh For Fantasy", "White Wedding" and "Dancing With Myself" into child friendly lullaby renditions, but they can, and they have - very well too ill add.

This album (and any of their alternative) lullaby albums are a refreshing change to the norm. Im a big music fan, and these made a superb change to listening to nursery rhymes on loop and repeat over and over again. I found myself guessing the song from the chimes and rhythm, more often or not, I was right, meaning the songs are dead ringers for the originals, but with a difference. Its crazy how you can take classic 90s The JammyJams Rock The Cradle: A Tribute To Billy Idol shall remain on my phone, and continue to be played when we fancy a bit of a change to the typical baby songs.

For more information, track listings, and where to purchase visit:

Friday, 24 April 2015

Casting Session with "First Treasures"


So, as I posted a few days ago, that Aiden and I were invited by ever-so-lovely Laura to visit "First Treasures", a company that specialise in 3D Hand and Foot castings, which act as beautiful keepsakes. Laura had offered a free 3D Footcast, in exchange for a review and/or blog post.

Laura runs her business from home, which makes the whole process feel really special, purely at the fact she warmly welcomed us into her home for the work to take place. We entered into her kitchen, before being shown examples of her work - and can I just say - WOW!

There was one piece of her work that I instantly noticed, and needed a closer inspection of, to which I was told it was a casting of Herself, her husband and her childs hand - all 3 clasped together holding each other. It was beautiful! The amount of detail visable is remarkable - from the creases in everyones knuckles, fingernails (you could tell Laura had lovely nails!) and the diamonds featured on her wedding rings - its quite amazing.

My eyes then glanced along the shelf, viewing several different sized 3D hand and foot casts of babies and young children in different colours, which are used as examples when choosing the casting colour of your choice.

Laura also does another type of casting known as an "outprint". These are a detailed handprint taken from soft terracotta clay which is then finished as an 2D flat keepsake. The final finished peice included so many details from the impressions of the palm, fingertips, soles of foot and toes finished in a variety of colours - either the full final piece or only just the impression for a more predominate look.

There were collages of images of previous work all compiled together and proudly shown on display, to show different examples of what was possible, and what to expect of the outcome, as every hand and foot is unique. I was in love with the examples shown, and was slightly sad to see a set of newborn baby hand and foot prints - I wished I had done this when Aiden was tiny, I had never heard or seen anything like this before! I spur of the moment decided to also pay and have Aidens hand casted too, to go alongside his foot, which I would then frame and proudly display at home.

"First Treasures" is brilliant in not only the fact your having a extremely bespoke piece of art, suited to your family life - after all it is of your child - its also Laura's prices. For something so detailed which also requires quite a lot of time and effort put into creating, the prices are ideal. Laura herself is a mummy to two young children, and she explained she wanted to be able to provide a unique service that was affordable, and well with the "mummy budget".

Ive often found several keepsake items available to buy online, but haven't physically brought anything, or paid for anything as moneys not the best situation, mainly due to the fact im on maternity leave and my wages are half of my normal income - so keepsakes and knick-knacks for the home have to wait. A single freestanding hand or foot casts is £25, or a double (2 hands or 2 feet) is at £40. There are optional extras that you can pay for, such as having it mounted, framed or a plaque included etc, which are a little bit more expensive, but still within a budget. Overall, for a bespoke treasured keepsake, its well worth the money!

After gawping at her work for a good while, Laura explained the process and how it would work. I was completely surprised to find that the actual casting takes less then a minute to set! So for those of you who would be or are slightly concerned that it may take a long time - trust me, it doesn't!

I took along my son Aiden who's 16 weeks old. He can sometimes be a fidget-bum, and had convinced myself that he was going to play up during the process, and cry or wiggle, but he was an absolute little gem. I think he actually enjoyed the whole "messy play" experience - his first ever!

Laura collected all the things needed to start - a measuring jug, several large mixing bowls, a few jayscloths and water. She measured out the moulding powder, and mixed it with warm water, to which she added that when using warm water, it sets much faster and so is perfect for wigglebums. She mixed it in the bowl like some sort of machine (an obvious pro at mixing ill add!) to which the white powder changed to a pink jelly, before placing in the center of a cloth and moving swiftly over to Aiden, where he sat upon his Aunties lap, socks off, trousers rolled up, ready and waiting.

Laura placed his foot dead in the center of the "moulding jelly" and wrapped the cloth around his foot. She began lightly kneading the cloth and jelly over his foot and part of his ankle, to obviously ensure the foot was fully covered. It looked as though she were giving Aiden a little foot massage as his face did let out a little smile. I think he enjoyed having warm squidyness between his toes!

As I said before, it was extremely quick, and in less than a minute the pink jelly had set inside the cloth, and changed colour. It was if Aiden was wearing a little bootie, it simply slipped off like a little sock. The foot casting was complete.

Next we moved onto the hands - which I partially was dreading as just recently Aiden has found that he does infact have hands, and that they move aound with individual fingers, and make great fist sucking devices - he constantly has his hands in his mouth!

The same process was applied here, the powder measured out, mixed with warm water to create a pink jelly, placed onto a jayscloth and then wrapped over his left hand. The alternative side hand to the foot is always taken e.g if you cast the left foot, the right hand is casted - and visa versa. It took less than a minute to once again set, and Aiden didn't kick up a fuss at all, if anything I think he also enjoyed having his hands done, as he began babbling away to Laura and his Auntie, and his face smiled again.

The casting process was complete. Laura explained that she next took the castings and used them as moulds, to which she poured plaster in and left to set. Once they were set, the cast mould would be removed and quality checks would take place - ensuring all details were perfect before being finalised and painted or if people had chosen to have done - framed and mounted also.

I was told the final finished pieces would be ready in a few weeks time, and so we shall be returning to collect them. Im like a big child, so excited to see my beautiful baby boys hands and feet in a forever tiny keepsake!

I woud like to thank Laura for her hospitality, for inviting us along to the session today, and also for genuinely being a lovely lady.

More about Laura and her fantastic business "First Treasures" can be found here at:

or on Facebook at:

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Bearhunt Sensory Walk

I'm extremely lucky to have and work in a job that I love, not many people can say that. I work for a disabled and special educational needs centre, very closely within the Pre-School sessions and team. Although I'm currently on Maternity leave, I'm actually looking forward to going back to work for a few hours a day, as much as ill miss my son like mad, I think it will do us both good - and give me more pennies to spend on him!!
I've decided to post about last year's Sensory "BearHunt" Book Day - it took a lot of planning and was an overall total success! The children thoroughly enjoyed the day!
(The full board of images can be found via Pinterest here:
Practically everyone knows the story - a group of children go on a bear hunt, over
various obstacles which included grass, a cold river, mud, a forest and finally a snowstorm.
We started off with "The Long Wavy Grass". I simply shredded various colours of green paper and threw them all into a big pile inbetween our two green sponge chairs. The aim was to get the children to crawl underneath the "long grass". The children had so much more fun chucking it around the room tho! If they were enjoying a pile of shredded paper, wait  they saw what else lied in store!!

Long Wavy Grass!
Next we progressed onto the "deep cold river" which was a tuft spot layered with blue tissue paper, water and blue glitter.  I also added some laminated coloured in fish with little magnets on the back, and provided "fishing rods" which were bamboo sticks also with magnets attached to "hook" onto the fish. Most of the children were wearing wellies so they jumped straight in and had a splash about in the water! There was also a bubble machine running In the background around this area, and the children also really enjoyed going mega hyper and chasing the bubbles about! Next up, was the "thick, oozy mud!"
The Deep Cold River!
Bubble Fun!
The mud was simply cornflour and water mixed together with orangey brown paint. It was loaded onto a dinner lap tray and spoons and utensils provided for the children to experiment with. Total also highly recommended here as it gets quite messy!!
Thick Oozy Mud!
Now it was onto the "big dark forest". For this, we placed a semi awing tent up and over to create a darker spot underneath. I also placed a few christmas trees either side to give it a forest feel! 
Big Dark Forest!
Inside the "big dark forest" was a sensory table, which included a few simple sensory items - laminated coloured autumn leaves, pine cones of various sizes which all smelt gorgeous, felt leaves which were cut out, dried autumn leaves, sticks and a few soggy wet leaves too! It was fun comparing al the different textures!
Forest Sensory Table
Lastly, before the "Bear Cave" we were met with the "Swirly Whirly Snowstorm!" Which was a snow machine ladled with bubble mixture which gave us an awesome thick bubbly snow effect. This was the best bit as the children ran from one area to the other and couldn't understand why it was "snowing" in one particular area!
 Children having fun in the "swirly whirly snowstorm!
The "Snow!"
The children were then lead to the Bear Cave, where they tiptoes quiet as mice to finaly meet... THE BEAR!! Unfortunately, I cannot place photos of the Bear in his cave, for confidentiality reasons as too many childrens faces are visable. We persuaded one of the lovely (and very tall!) play workers to dress in a Teddy Bear Mascot costume, which he willingly said yes to (as much of a big kid as I am and the children!) He sat and waited in our "Bear Cave" waiting for the children. Our bear wasn't a scary bear tho! He was armed with cuddles and cookies for the children, to which they became very excited for - unsure if it was due to the cuddle from the bear, or the cookies.... Most likely the cookies....
Overall the whole experience and scenario was a lovely day, the children thoroughly enjoyed it, and was fantastic to bring a story to live and have the children physically "be-a-part-of-it". Fantastic day had by all. Big thanks to all my lovely helpers who made it possible, and of course, the children.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Invite from "First Treasures"

Eeep! Today, Aiden and I will be heading out to see a lovely lady called Laura, who runs a company called "First Treasures", who are based in Bicknacre, Essex.
First Treasures specialise in hand and foot castings, which capture every small detail if your child's hand or foot in 3D. They use non toxic materials to cast and sculpt a impression of the hand or foot, which is followed by several hours of craftsmanship and high quality attention to detail which result in these perfect, keepsakes that look absolutly beautiful! 

We've ben extremely lucky to be invited down to participate in a foot casting this afternoon, which I shall be snappy happy with my camera, and blog about the process in general on here too.

SO excited! Can't wait!!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Time for a brew or two...

I am, as some may say, a tea-a-holic. I love a cup of the ol' gypsy rose lee, which is surprisingly strange as pre-pregnancy i couldn't stand the stuff, it was one thing that made me contemplate my pregnancy as one morning (before i found out i was pregnant) i just fancied a cup of tea and a biccie. I remember my partner raising eyebrows at me and questioning my asking for a cuppa, thinking he misheard me he made me a cup of coffee and the smell totally put me off!! Even now that my son is 14 weeks old the smell of coffee is partially nauseating and i have a strong preference to tea.

Anyway! I recently applied to an advert for people who wanted a healthy kick start to their mornings, and willing to try a new brand of tea that had been launched by an well known company. In between emails "Miranda" mentioned that the tea in uestion was a form of green tea. I actually replied to her then and there that i wasnt interested as i HATED green tea, but she was pretty persistant and suggested i give it a go, it may change my outlook on Green Tea.

3 days after my inital contact with "Miranda" i were sent these 2 boxes in the post. I was quite glad to notice these wernt just green teas, they were fruit flavored green teas - perhaps these would change my mind and thoughts after all. By then i hadn't actually had my morning cup of tea by then, and i was "oooh arrrring" over weather or not i should have a mug of this green tea or stick to my usual one.... So i went for a cup of the "Tetley SUPER Boost Green Tea" in Berry Burst.

My palate hasnt really tried Fruit Teas, I love Iced Tea in the summer but its not really the same thing. The box contains 20 tea bags, so for me if i was to totally replace my tea drinking habits, would last 3 days. Currently on sale at Asda for £1 a box - bargain! The box states that the Boost Tea contains Vitamin B6 which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue.  

The packet had clear instructions as to how to make it, exactly like a usual cuppa, just minus the milk (I was SO close to adding milk tho! usual instinct kicked in!). I did add 1 tea spoon of sugar to it tho as i have a slight sweet tooth and dislike sweetner (whats the point of it?!). i let it brew for 2 minutes, and i still made it in my favourite Bodum Glass Mug so i watched the teabag infuse the water and change colour (sad i know!). It was finally ready to drink.... so i took a sip....


It was surprisingly delicious. Now i dont know if its psychological or not, but after drinking the Berry Burst Boost Tea i felt surprisingly a little bit more perkier. The flavor in general wasn't too strong, I assume if i wanted it to taste stronger id leave the bag in for longer type thing, but it had a slight zing and twang compared to normal tea. I were instantly met with the taste of strawberries, closly followed by blackberries and whatever other berries were included in there - but those two were a definite pick up. Id decided to give the other flavor a go as well at mid morning as i felt if i tried the two teas in a similar time period the flavors would get muddled.

I then tried the Mango & Passion-fruit tea at lunchtime, id been on my feet all morning sorting out Aiden and tidying the house, i had actually skipped breakfast and not noticed (coincidence to the boost qualitys of the tea? who knows!) So after Aiden went down for his afternoon nap i made myself another brew.I love exotic flavors and fruits so mango and passion-fruit sounded perfect to me. As the tea was brewing, all i could smell was Mangos. I found this one tasted slightly better (my own preference). Your instantly hit with the taste of the fruity mango's, but then shortly followed by the crisp sharp tang of passion-fruit. I did find that this one left a strange aftertaste in my mouth - not really unpleasant as such but i did drink a glass of water after to help.

Im actually now on my 3rd box of each flavor, ive replaced my first morning cuppa with a cup of the Berry Blast flavored Boost Tea, closely followed by at lunch a mug of the Mango and Passion-fruit and lastly at night before bed a cup of one i havent review on here yer, Peach & Apricot. I now actually prefer fruity green teas, or fruit tea to usual tea! Especially with a small dab of honey replacing sugar. Yummmmm!

Tetley Green-Teas can be purchased through all major superstores, and some express stores.
To find out more visit
Image result for tetley tea logo