aab61179_rgbI LOVE a hot shower. There’s just something so relaxing about standing under hot, steaming water, isn’t there? Stress just seems to melt away and now I’m a mummy it’s one of the only places in the house I can get peace and quiet! So I was delighted when Mira showers got in touch asking if I’d like to review one of their showering perfection kits, that included the revolutionary Mira 360 shower head and a lovely selection of pamper goodies, as well as some lovely items for the little ones too.

We recently renovated our en-suite bathroom and decided to splash out and install the Mira Adept BRD+ which I adore, so we chose to put the Mira 360 in the kid’s bathroom as I had a feeling the little ones would love the versatility of it and sure enough Jack is a huge fan!

The Mira 360 shower head comes with ‘flipstream technology’ – a completely unique flipping mechanism which allows the shower head to rotate, offering four different spray effects – rain, burst, storm and cloud.

mira360operation

Rain -  The rain position offers the most traditional of shower settings and is definitely my preferred setting. It’s powerful yet gentle and totally drenches your entire body.

Burst – This is a super powerful, directional blast of water that is brilliant for getting shampoo out of your hair quickly or soothing sore muscles (It feels a bit like a strong massage!) but not a setting I would use regularly.

Storm – This provides you with a saturating downpour of water pockets that is actually really refreshing first thing in the morning.

Cloud – This is another strip of water jetting out in a line but is much gentler than the burst.

We’ve really enjoyed testing this shower head out (especially Jack!). I’ve been really impressed with the novel, flipstream technology that not only offers an adult a brilliant, versatile shower, it’s also an amazing play opportunity for the little ones!

Aesthetically pleasing and very easy to install, I’d highly recommend the Mira 360 to anyone looking to update their bathroom. The Mira 360 shower head retails for £64.04 and is available from Mira Showers’ website.

Disclosure: I was very kindly sent the ‘showering perfection kit’  free of charge as a Mother’s Day gift, however all words and opinions are my own.

car_dashboard_indicators_warning_lights

A few months ago, I wrote a post about child road safety and how to keep our littles ones safe. Around 1,400 children aged 0–11 are killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads every year, so naturally as a parent, road safety is of paramount importance to me. I do all I can to educate Jack on the importance of ‘stop, look and listen’ and the green cross code when we are out and about and try to lead by example as I know that if he sees me taking risks, he’ll be more likely to take risks too.

On the other side of the coin, when I drive, I like to think that i’m a good driver and wouldn’t put pedestrians or other road users at risk. I observe speed limits, would never even contemplate texting whilst driving (why would you??) or using my mobile without my bluetooth/handsfree. Drink driving would never ever cross my mind and if I was feeling tired on a long journey, i’d pull over for a break. However, when a warning light popped up on my dashboard last week and I had no idea what it was (it was my clever new car telling me about a change in my tyre pressure), it suddenly dawned on me that I do get rather complacent when it comes to my car and its mind-boggling warning lights and I’m sure i’m not alone.

If you ask any driver how to tune their car radio or work their air conditioning, it’s a safe bet you’ll get an immediate answer. If you were to ask that driver to identify life-saving dashboard warning signals, chances are there will be a handful that they wouldn’t know. In fact according to a recent survey, four out of every ten drivers were unable to identify key dashboard warning icons, and it’s this lack of education that could cost lives.

Now that summer is just around the corner and our ‘road-trip holidays’ are only a few months away, it’s more important than ever for us to be familiar with our cars and the systems put in place to warn us of potential danger. With that in mind The Co-operative Insurance have created a little quiz to raise awareness of what the lights on your dashboard mean, and to see how much UK drivers actually know about these warning lights.

I got 7 out of 8, which isn’t too bad, but in all honesty there are a lot of other warning icons not included in the quiz that I wouldn’t be able to identify. I really should familiarise myself with all the warning signs, (especially the red ones!), to not only potentially avoid damaging my car but most importantly to avoid putting my family and others at risk if anything were to happen that could cause an accident.

Give the quiz a whirl yourself and see how much you know about your dashboard warning lights. Let me know how you get on in the comments below.

*Disclosure: This has been written in conjunction with The Co-operative Insurance, but all words are my own.

 

I’ve decided to start a new feature on Hello Baby called ‘blog of the month’. Every month i’ll be showcasing one of my favourite finds on the world wide web that I hope you’ll love.

First up is the fabulous ‘Cute food for kids‘. This blog has hundreds of brilliant ideas on how to make food more appealing for your little ones and you could literally spend hours browsing the archives. If you have a fussy eater or just want to make mealtimes more fun, this blog is definitely for you.

Here are a few of my favourite ideas from the blog:

IMG_6373DSC09338IMG_2238

983955_537283609651782_273699179_n76781_147414135305400_7305676_n

I told you they were cute! If you have a go at making any do let me know…

  • DonnaApril 12, 2015 - 9:50 pm

    I know a few blogs like this that I love but haven’t come across this one. Off for a browse xReplyCancel

My instagram feed has been awash with images of ‘overnight oats’ for months, so last night I decided to join the masses and give them a try. This no-cook, make-ahead breakfast is packed with nutrition and is absolutely delicious!

tumblr_nm1y5aGojG1qd45ayo1_1280

image credit

INGREDIENTS

* ¼ cup dry oats
* 1/3 cup almond milk
* ½ cup low fat greek yogurt
* 1 and ½ tsp chia seeds
*½ banana, chopped
* 1 cup blueberries and blackberries

METHOD

1. Mix all the ingredient in a bowl / mason jar.

2. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge

3. Take it out and consume!

Filling and fuss-free, you will love this grab-and-go breakfast so give it a try tonight.

  • DonnaApril 8, 2015 - 3:12 pm

    I love overnight oats. This flavour combo sounds lovely! xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyApril 8, 2015 - 8:27 pm

      Try it Donna, it was delicious! They are such a clever idea aren’t they! xReplyCancel

medela-logo-webWhen I was pregnant with Jack, the amount of baby paraphernalia that I supposedly ‘needed’ to buy before he arrived was baffling (and endless), but one of the items that was recommended time and time again was a breast pump. Having decided that I was going to breastfeed, if possible, it really was a ‘must have’, so I bought a Medela Harmony. To be perfectly honest, I was really impressed with it and it served me well during my short breastfeeding period (Jack refused to feed from me at 4 months!).

But when I fell pregnant with Phoebe and the lovely team at Medela offered me the opportunity to review a Medela Swing, I jumped at the chance. The infamous Medela Swing breast pump is hailed the ‘creme de la creme’ of the breastpump world and 9 months in, it has most definitely lived up to its reputation. It’s easy-to-use, comfortable and incredibly effective in expressing milk effortlessly (compared to the manual Harmony).

design

1350141457

Designed with simplicity, efficiency and comfort in mind, it’s no wonder the Medela Swing has won so many awards. It isn’t overcomplicated, in fact its really straightforward with only a few component parts to assemble before use and just four buttons on the main control unit. It’s also portable thanks to the option of using battery power (four AA batteries) when you have no access to mains power and it’s compact enough to fit in your handbag / changing bag.

Assembling the pump, as well as cleaning each of the component parts, is very straightforward and putting it together takes a matter of seconds; ideal when you are trying to juggle expressing with looking after a baby!

The pump comprises of the following parts:

medela parts

1 // Swing breast pump motor unit

2 // Valve head

3 // 150ml Bottle (You can purchase larger 250ml bottles separately if needed)

4 // Standard 24mm Breastshield (Medela offers a wide range of breastshield sizes to ensure comfort and efficient pumping read this to find the perfect fit)

5 // Valve membrane

6 // Tubing

howitworks

Similar to a nursing baby, the Medela Swing has a ‘2-phase’ expression technology that mimics a baby’s natural sucking behaviour. The ‘stimulation’ phase has a fast pumping rhythm to stimulate the milk ejection reflex and start the milk flowing and 2 minutes later the ‘expression’ phase kicks in which is slower, expressing milk gently and efficiently. The pump switches automatically between the two phases, but it also allows you to switch between phases yourself should your let-down kick in before the 2 minutes.

The + and – buttons on the motor unit also give you the ability to increase or decrease the suction of the vacuum for comfort. I tend to have it on the most powerful suction setting as it allows me to express a lot quicker – perfect when i’m trying to entertain Phoebe at the same time!

calma

calma-300x0

As a bonus, the Medela Swing now comes with the Calma feeding device, which allows your little one to feed from a breastmilk bottle in a similar way to breastfeeding. Using the Calma, the breastmilk won’t leak from the bottle, and will only flow when sucked. As soon as the baby pauses, the flow is stopped, in the same way as breastfeeding. Genius!

valueformoneyblack

The Medela Swing isn’t the cheapest breast pump on the market; it usually retails at around £130 which is likely to be a large chunk of your baby budget, but in my opinion it’s worth every penny! It was a lifesaver for me in the early days when I was really uncomfortable as my milk came in and I have used it regularly ever since to stockpile milk for the freezer. It’s quiet, intuitive and importantly has brilliantly clear and concise instructions.

At the moment, John Lewis have it for sale for £103.99 (click here) which is brilliant value.
insummaryblack

I’ve been really impressed with the Medela Swing. It allows me to express milk quickly ( I can easily pump 150ml within 10 minutes), comfortably and stress-free – what more can you ask for in a breast pump! You also only need one hand to operate it, so you can still multi-task and read a book / surf the web while you use it.

I would thoroughly recommend the Medela Swing to all mums who intend to breastfeed, and regularly do when the topic of breastfeeding and expressing come up.

*Disclosure: I was very kindly sent this breast pump free of charge for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own and I’d still rave about it even if i’d paid for it!

 

  • DonnaApril 6, 2015 - 10:25 pm

    I would have LOVED a Medela breastpump and they’re the first pumps I recommend to pregnant friends xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyApril 7, 2015 - 8:05 pm

      They are brilliant! xReplyCancel

  • Katie @mummydaddymeApril 7, 2015 - 8:55 pm

    I absolutely loved my Medela breast pump- I could only express Mads from one side and it really saved my breastfeeding experience- in the end I exclusively fed her breast milk from a bottle and breast-feeding for a year and that was in part because of the Medela pump- it’s amazing! I didn’t use it as much with LL as we had no problems and so I didn’t need to express as much. xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyApril 8, 2015 - 12:57 pm

      Wow, that must have been hard work Katie but well done you! The Medela rocks, i’ve heard a lot of similar stories from mummies who say they only continued due to the Medela being so bloomin good xReplyCancel