Bambeado teething necklace review

When Arthur was a baby I never understood why people complained about teething. His teeth kinda just popped up with very little fuss!

So imagine our shock when Freddie started teething and he REALLY struggled!!  I won’t lie it’s been tough!

You can imagine how delighted I was when I was contacted by the fab people at Bambeado asking if I wanted to review one of their products.

Bambeado Teething Necklace Review

I checked out their website and they have a huge range of teething products.  It was their Silcone teething necklaces that I was immediately drawn to.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m really not a jewellery person.  I have always wanted to be, but never really thought anything looked all that nice on me. Added to that, I think since having the kids I never wanted to spend money on jewellery that the boys would just break or hurt themselves on.

Bambeado has SO many different styles and colours to choose from.  I live mostly in shorts and a vest top, so I wanted something that was going to look great dressed down but that I could dress up if I needed to.

I decided to choose the Black Seed Necklace.

bambeado teaching necklace review

 

Isn’t it pretty!?

We have been testing it out lots. The thing that I think I like about it most is that it’s not just for when your baby is teething. My boys at least, have always liked to play with other people’s necklaces when they are holding them.  So they have BOTH been loving having this one to twiddle with while we are cuddling!

Bambeado teething necklace review
I have found this a great distraction on the school run.  Freddie is always so keen to run after Arthur in to the classroom, but I’ve held him off with this.

So, Why Not Use A Normal Necklace?

Using a Bambeado silicone necklace means that you can know 100% that your necklace will be safe for your baby to bite and play with.  It’s super easy to keep clean and is 100% PVC and BPA free (that means no nasties!)  There is a safety clasp so if your little one pulls too hard, the necklace will open, not break!  If they really go to town, each bead is knotted individually so only one bead will come off.  Both Freddie (15 months) and Arthur (3 years) have had access to this and they’ve not managed to break it! A pretty good rest if you ask me!

 

As I am writing this post, my necklace is on the Bambeado website at $29.95 (around £24).  I would certainly not begrudge paying that for myself or a friend as a gift for a friend.  Speaking of gift, I think this is a great gift for a new Mama to be.  Something for Mama and baby is a definite bonus, don’t you think?!

 

We totally love our Bambeado teething necklace.  Thank you so much Bambeado for sending us this to review for you!

 

What do you think, would wear  a teething necklace?

bambeado teething necklace review

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Momaboard family trip planning service

I am writing today to tell you all about Momaboard and to share some exciting news too (well I think its exciting anyway!).

Momaboard family trip planning service

What is Momaboard?

Momaboard is a family trip planning service.   What makes them special is that they have utilised the power of local Mamas and crowned them ‘Mombassadors’!!  You choose where you want to go and the Mombassador for that city will plan an itinerary for you!  Using all her local knowledge of all the best places to go with the kids and where to avoid

 

Why do YOU need Momaboard?

Okay, we all know that it’s not cheap to go on holiday, so you want to know that when you are dishing out the money that you are going to get the best!!  That’s where Momaboard comes in.  You choose where you want to go, and the Mombassador for that area will plan your trip for you!

 

What’s included in a trip itinerary?

EACH MOMABOARD ITINERARY CONTAINS:

Things You Know You Need

  •  Accommodations
  • Restaurants
  • Transportation
  • Age-Appropriate Activities
  • Doctors & Hospitals

Things We Know You Need

  •  Money Saving Tips & Discounts
  • Insider Tips & Cultural Nuances
  • New & Seasonal Events
  • Babysitting Recommendations
  • Mobile & PDF
Here is a link to a sample itinerary if you want to check it out

Lists

Don’t want a full trip itinerary?  Well how about a custom list for your trip instead?  You can get a custom list for:
  • Restaurants: The best eateries suited to your family’s tastes, budget and ages of your kids
  • Activities: The most family – friendly activities based on your interests, locations and ages of your kids

What does it cost?

Okay so, this sounds great doesn’t it!?  Think how much time and stress you have saved by having someone else plan your family trip for you!  But, I know what you’re thinking; how much is this going to cost me?

Well, I think you will be pleasantly surprised that a custom travel itinerary starts at the great price of $50/£35 and comes with a 100% money back guarantee if you are not totally satisfied with your itinerary!!!

The travel lists start at ¢15/£10

You can take 10% off any of these prices to any destination when you enter discount code ‘Chantelle’

 

 

So moving on to the exciting news.  I am really happy to say that I am now the Mombassador for the Seychelles.  So if you are planning a family vacation here anytime soon you can use me to create an amazing itinerary for you to ensure you get the absolute most out of your time here!!   If you use the discount code ‘Chantelle’ I’ll take 10% off the cost of your itinerary for you too!!  Click the link below to get started!

 

Momaboard Mombassador

 

So why don’t you let Momaboard help you plan your next family vacation today?   There are Mombassadors in over 55 destinations!

Not sure where to go?  Check out the best travel destinations for families in September 2016 

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Review: Bargain Buys For Busy Mums

Its only ten days now until we will be in the UK for the Summer.  It’s our first trip as a family of 4 and we are really excited!

Traveling with children does of course increase the stress levels a little in that there is a WHOLE lot more stuff to organise/worry about!  Being away for 6 weeks means that there is lots of things we will need for the boys!

I am notoriously an over thinker and  panic-er when it comes to planning trips away and so when Bargain Buys for Busy Mums (BB4BM) contacted me I was REALLY happy to check out their site.

Review: Bargain Buys for Busy Mums

 

Who are Bargain Buys for Busy Mums?

As the name suggests they are all about finding us busy Mums (and Dads of course)  lots of bargains!! As I’m not living in the UK I hadn’t actually heard of BB4BM before and so I assumed before looking on their site that there would be deals for different baby items such as nappies, formula, baby food etc.  So, I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t just those things, but all kinds of different things; including adult fashion and health and beauty products!

Bargain Buys for Busy Mums started as a Facebook group in 2013 and has exploded in popularity since then.  There are now over 300,000 members making it the biggest UK Facebook group of its kind!   The website was launched within 12 months so that everyone was able to get access to great deals, even if (shock horror!) they are not on Facebook, like me!!

What’s the catch?

I’ve been looking over the site and wondered where the hidden catch was.  There really isn’t one:

  • There is no fee to join, in fact you don’t even have to join to get access to the deals on the website!
  • You can sign up to the newsletter or join the Facebook group (still for free) and get the best 6 deals emailed to you every day.  You are then also eligible to win prizes weekly, monthly and in their free-prize give away events!
  • You don’t pay any more for the deal by going through through their site – I checked!  They really are just sharing the great deals with you!

 

We usually use cloth nappies but we have decided that we won’t be taking them with us to the UK, purely because they take up too much luggage space.  Therefore we will be using disposables.  There is a whole section on the BB4BM site dedicated to sharing the cheapest priced nappies in all the different sizes.  This is updated every day which is great!  I’ll definitely be using this to pre-order and keep stocked up on nappies while we are there.

I love the Sale Events section.  There is nothing more annoying then missing out on an exciting sale event and so this keeps you up to date with all sorts of different sales going on!

 

I found the website is really simple and easy to use with fantastic deals ranging from Nappies right through to designer clothes for Mums and Dads!

Review: Bargain Buys for Busy Mums

It’s a great resource of amazing bargains for any parent!  I will definitely be using the site regularly.

 

This post was written in association with Bargain Buys for Busy Mum’s however all views are my own and I really do think its a great website!

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Knocked up abroad

Back in June of last year I received an email in my inbox from Lisa Ferland.  It was an invitation to contribute towards a book.  The book was to be called Knocked Up Abroad and it was stories of pregnancy, birthing and raising a family in a foreign country!!

Knocked up abroad book

I was so excited, I was pregnant with Freddie at the time and of course had already had Arthur here so this was a perfect project for me to get involved with!

So, I wrote my story all about my pregnancies, my experiences with the hospitals and birthing here in the Seychelles!  With various drafts and edits I’d had Freddie by the time all was finished so I could also include how I felt about it all second time around!

It was actually quite emotional spending so much time thinking about my experiences, realising that some parts were less than perfect, a little scary, and some quite ridiculous!  It was also beautiful to sit back and think about it all, despite the imperfections it was still perfect!  Our boys are healthy and are now living and growing up in an environment that we love!

Whilst I was writing my story, 23 other stories were being penned, well typed actually, but you know what I mean!  Our stories are based in 20 different countries, from all over the world such as America, China, Malaysia , Sweden and Togo.  There really is a story that I think any expat mama (and daddy) can relate to.

Flash forward to now and our book is out there in the world!  How amazing and exciting!
If you want to buy it you can get it in paperback here:
Knocked Up Abroad: Stories of pregnancy, birth, and raising a family in a foreign country

Or e-book here:
Knocked Up Abroad: Stories of pregnancy, birth, and raising a family in a foreign country

I think it’s a great read for anyone considering having or taking children abroad; or has had or lived with their children abroad.
Actually though it’s just a good read full stop (and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it!!) there are 24 truly heartfelt stories of mamas (and two daddies) that I think you can really connect to aside from the living abroad side of it all.

If you’ve read it I’d love to know what you thought!

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Dr Joanna Helcké online pregnancy fitness programme follow up review

Now I’ve had Freddie I wanted to do a follow up review for the Dr Joanna Helcké online pregnancy fitness programme I have been using.

Dr. Joanna Helcke online pregnancy fitness programme review

In short, I loved it!

It looks like I’m not the only one whose loving it either, as well as being a proud owner of multiple awards, Jo has just won a Mums Love award for her online pregnancy fitness programme!  Well done Jo!

Dr Joanna Helcké review mums love award

If you missed my first review of the programme, be sure to check it out, I gave a run down of how the site works and how I got on with the videos, I will say up front that I had some internet issues and so I hadn’t been able to do the programme for a few weeks.  This is all down to technical issues my end and nothing to do with the programme!
I’m VERY happy to report that my internet connection seems to have returned to it’s truly average normality so i can now use the programme again!

Perhaps, that’s where I should start with my review.
Here in Seychelles, our internet connection is by no means the fastest or the most reliable.  We get an allowance of, I think, 14gb per month.  I have been able to complete a video each day without it using all of our internet allowance!
This was my biggest worry when starting the programme!   There aren’t any ante natal classes of any sort here so to be able to use to use this daily (when I wanted to!) was a huge advantage!

That moves me on to my next point.  I’m not going to try and convince you that I have been using the programme every day, because I haven’t!!
I’m a stay at home mum to a busy busy two year old and now a newborn as well.  There are definitely days when I’ve just been too tired, or Arthur decided not to nap and I’ve just not had the time!    Different videos are suggested to be carried out different amounts of time a week depending on their intensity and of course how you are feeling! On average, I’ve done the videos 2-4 times a week.  For me it would be totally unrealistic to try and convince myself that I would do it every day.  That being said, the videos are around 20-30 mins long.  This makes it really easy to fit into your day.  If you compare this to going to a class, it’s obviously a lot less of a time commitment!  For those of you feeling up for doing the videos every day they are a great length to be able to do that!  If I’d started at the beginning of my pregnancy I’m sure I’d have been doing it daily then!

Jo has done an amazing job of matching the intensity of the work outs to the stage of pregnancy you are at.  I think if I’d have watched the later stage pregnancy videos early on I’d probably have laughed but believe me they are definitely intense enough late on!!

By the time I reached 37 weeks pregnant I was finding walking up the stairs hard work so I really didn’t need to be attempting anything too crazy fitness wise, and Jo clearly understands that!

I found the videos became more about stress and tension relieving (and it’s amazing how much tension your body holds on to during pregnancy!) as well as maintaining mobility the further into pregnancy I’ve got.

The one thing I have mentioned to Jo that I’d like to see change on the site is to have a list of the items needed for the video before clicking play.  At the moment Jo gives a list once the video starts, I’m found that I then needed to hit pause to get what I needed so I don’t miss anything!  This is obviously a very minor thing but would just make it a little more user friendly!

I have found the community section of Jo’s site nice and friendly and I LOVE when an expert comes in for a week and answers questions, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get advice, tips and ideas from experts in all different fields, such as Doula’s and breastfeeding experts   It’s nice to see questions from other mums to be too, it reassures you that you’re not the only one feeling that way or it gives you something new to think about, either way it’s all good!!

At £12 per month for a subscription to the programme I think the price is really very reasonable for what you get; a weekly personalised Pilates video, access to online community as well as loads of bonus mini-workouts and nutrition tips!

Its now been three weeks since I had my elective Caesarian to have Freddie and I’m bouncing back well! Freddie has seemed to have just slotted right in to our little family, it’s like he’s always been here!!

 image

I’m very excited that I am now continuing on with Jo for the postnatal series, I’ll be sure to do a review or two on this to let you know how I get on!

Disclaimer: I have been given access to the Dr Joanna Helcke online pregnancy fitness programme for the purpose of a review but all thoughts and comments are entirely my own!

Mummy and Monkeys
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Pregnancy fitness questions answered by Dr Joanna Helcké

As part of my review for the Dr Joanna Helcké pregnancy fitness programme I was given the chance to ask Jo some pregnancy fitness questions.

It was great to be able to ask Jo questions and get answers from a real expert!  I thought I’d share the answers as I’m sure there are some who have wondered the same thing!  Hope you find them as useful as I did!

Does having had a C-section in the past affect how I should exercise when pregnant second time round? And is there anything I can do to prepare myself for a second caesarean section?

Having previously had a caesarean section won’t require you to modify your antenatal exercise regime per se. However, what it does mean is that you have insight into what it feels like having to both heal after what is effectively major abdominal surgery all whilst looking after a tiny baby. Add a toddler into the mix and things will be even harder.
With this in mind I would be thinking back to those early postnatal days and weeks last time round to remember what felt really tough and then seeing whether you could incorporate certain exercises into your current fitness regime which will “proof”your body and help you through a second round of healing.
Keeping the body generally strong throughout pregnancy is bound to help with recovery. Pregnancy affects posture, of course, but after a C-section the pain caused by the incision is liable to also affect the way you stand – it is only natural to hunch the shoulders forwards when experiencing pain. So working on keeping the back muscles strong in pregnancy will also help when recovering from a C-section.
In the early weeks you will need to take things very gently and your stamina will, no doubt, be adversely affected – that’s when a flight of stairs feels like a mountain! So maintaining a reasonable level of cardiovascular fitness right up to the end of pregnancy – think swimming and power walking – will help tide you over the healing period and hopefully you’ll be able to bounce back more quickly when the time is right.
Last but not least, although having a caesarean means that the pelvic floor muscles (PFM) don’t undergo the trauma of a natural delivery I’d definitely encourage you to get used to doing pelvic floor exercises correctly and through a full range of movement. What I mean by this is that you need to not only be able to draw up on your PFMs but also relax them fully. Once you’ve had your C section you can start up with the PFEs immediately and this encourage the flow of blood to the area, thus helping with healing.
I live in a tropical climate: should this have an effect on exercise in pregnancy?  

General advice is that it isn’t a good idea to get overly hot when pregnant as this can, according to some research, have an adverse impact on your growing baby. If you’ve been living in the Seychelles for many years then perhaps you have acclimatised and don’t find yourself getting quite so hot in the tropical weather there..? Or perhaps it still feels pretty hot and sticky to you (I spent all my childhood in Italy but I never got used to the boiling temperatures and high humidity in August!). Either way, I’d bear this in mind when exercising: don’t overheat, make sure you drive lots of fluids and don’t do your workouts in the full sun. Think cool shade or when outdoors stick to swimming – the water will help take away excess heat from your body.
What is your most recommended exercise for pregnancy?

OK, well I am a great one for believing that there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach. So instead of telling you about the wonders of swimming, aquanatal, pregnancy Pilates (which is what I specialise in), walking or pregnancy yoga, I’d rather say to you that you should do what you genuinely enjoy and what makes you feel HAPPY. All those types of exercise are, indeed, really great options in pregnancy but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything else is out of bounds.

Pregnancy fitness questioned answered by Dr Joanna Helcké

Aquanatal fitness. Photo credit: www.joannahelcke.com

Now I’m going to add a few caveats to that, the first one being that you should always listen to your body. So if, for example, running has always been your passion and if jogging during pregnancy leaves you feeling energised, positive and niggle-free, then by all means, make that your exercise of choice. But if, on the other hand, you find that you are forcing yourself to carry on (perhaps for fear of losing your fitness levels) then you are doing the wrong thing. You need to stop and do something else that suits.
So, in short, although my gut instinct is to tell you that pregnancy Pilates is particularly beneficial for a whole host of reasons (back pain, posture, keeping the abdominals toned…) I also feel that on condition that you listen to your body with honesty, then there are many other options that will keep you feeling happy, healthy and fit.
Pregnancy fitness questions answered by Dr Joanna Helcké

 

Are there any pregnancy exercise myths you’d like to dispel?

Oh my goodness, where shall I start?
-That “moderate exercise” means the same thing for all woman – of course it doesn’t! We all have our individual baseline fitness from which we should measure “moderate”.
-That weight training is somehow dangerous to perform in pregnancy. If you have excellent technique and were already lifting prior to pregnancy then by all means, carry on!
-That the pelvic floor muscles are best worked in isolation. Nope! Recent research by Dr Bruce Crawford (of the Pfilates technique) highlights that the pelvic floor actually works much more effectively if contracted alongside certain movements such as squats, cat stretches and lunges.
-That yoga is THE ultimate exercise to do in pregnancy. No it isn’t. There are lots of forms of exercise which are equally excellent for pregnancy and which all provide their own unique benefits. Yoga is great for posture, breathing for labour and relaxation; walking is fantastic for stamina; Pilates is amazing for back pain and rehabilitating the post-pregnancy tummy muscles; and swimming is a total godsend in the last trimester.
Do you want me to carry on….?!

Dr Joanna Helcke is an expert in pregnancy and postnatal fitness, winner of the UK’s most prestigious fitness award – the 2014 FitPro Award for Excellence in Fitness – and creator of the UK’s first week by week online pregnancy and new mum Pilates programme. www.joannahelcke.com

Pregnancy fitness questions answered by Dr Joanna Helcké

Photo credit: www.joannahelcke.com

Thanks Jo for answering my questions!

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Dr Joanna Helcké online fitness programme review

There are lots of positives about being pregnant in the Seychelles, hello floaty beach dresses ALL the time!!!  But, something that I felt I missed out on when I was pregnant with Arthur, and have been missing out on this time round too, is prenatal fitness classes!

There aren’t any prenatal classes of any kind available here which I think is a shame!!

So, when I was offered the opportunity to review the Dr Joanna Helcké online fitness programme I was really excited!!

Dr. Joanna Helcké is a multi award winning pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert as well as being a Mum of 3.  I definitely feel that it’s nice when any expert in pregnancy, parenting etc has kids of their own!!

When you register for the programme there is a short medical questionnaire to fill out.  This helps the programme be tailored to your own requirements!

Once you are registered and logged in your home page will look a little something like this
Dr Joanna Helcké online fitness programme review
So you have access to:

  • All the videos you have done in the past.
  • This weeks video
  • This weeks “to do” list
  • Meal planner
  • The forum
  • The newsletter

Its nice and easy to use and to navigate around.

I started the programme at week 22 of my pregnancy.
The video for that week was a lovely relaxing 20 minute Pilates work out.  I’ll spare you all from pictures of myself doing this and share pictures of Jo doing the video instead….much better for everyone I think!!
Dr Joanna Helcké online fitness programme review

I really enjoyed the video and found that everything was explained really thoroughly and this meant that I was really confident that I was doing everything correctly and safely!

Jo comes across as really lovely and personable on the videos, she clearly is really intelligent and knows exactly what she’s talking about but without being patronising!!

I have now had three weeks worth of videos and I’m loving it!

The videos are different each week and so far have between 20-30 minutes long which is a perfect length for fitting in with Arthur’s nap time….essential for any stay at home mum!

The videos being different means that not only is it tailored specifically to the stage of pregnancy you’re in but it also keeps things fresh for you too!  You won’t get bored doing the same thing all the time!

I like that there is minimal equipment needed, just a mat (I use my yoga mat) and some pillows.  There are a couple of additional things that can be used, blocks for sitting on (I just used a chair) and a small ball to help but I have found it no problem without.

I’ve found that the intensity for the videos have been just enough each week to know that I’ve done something but without it absolutely wiping me out for the rest of the day, which of course is very important with having Arthur to look after and keep entertained all day!!
Dr Joanna Helcké online fitness programme review

Also each week alongside the video, there’s an additional “to do list” with different hints and tips for extra things you can do to maintain your healthy lifestyle!

I’ve not yet really got involved with the forum that is available on the website so I will be sure to take a look around on there over the next couple of weeks so I can talk about that next time!  I do think it’s nice that this is available alongside the videos!

The cost of the programme is £12 a month.  I think this price is really reasonable.  It can cost this much for an hours class in some places.  With this you can do the videos as often as you like as well as having access to the forum so I really do think it’s good value for money!
You can also take a two week free trial to see if you like it!

I’ll be continuing with the programme so I’ll be sure to do another update soon letting you know how I’m getting on!

 

*Please note I have been given free access to the Dr Joanna Helcké online fitness programme for the purpose of review but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

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