SM reviews… Gifts from Personally Presented

Editor writes: “I struggle with gifts for my mother. Not only because she travels such a lot that her house is stuffed full of ‘curios‘ (ie tat!) from far-flung countries but also because she is prone to the dreaded ‘gift rehoming’ if something you’ve bought isn’t to her taste. In short: a nightmare! 

So when I was invited to check out Personally Presented – a website which is filled with lovely items which can all be personalised – I thought ‘heck, let’s start with the toughest cookie. 

The website allows you to search by person (ie Dad, Grandad etc) or by interest, occasion, gender – even by price if you’re doing Secret Santa. 

I started in the ‘foodie’ category of interests (cos even fuss-pots need to eat, right?) On the first search page, I spotted a lovely kids’ baking set with those hipster metal pails for ingredients and uber-cute engraved rolling pins. In short, an amazing gift for my kids, or any of their cousins, my godchildren or my kids’ friends. But not for their grandmother.

Next I spotted a really cute tray for dips, which my other half has been asking for since we were at a (child-free) friend’s house and they produced olives and nibbles on something similar. Snack envy, as it were. My mother would most likely just banish it to the back of the kitchen cupboard.

Then I saw a slate two-tiered cake stand, which I really coveted for myself. So many times I’ve presented cakes at mums meetups on the pop-up cardboard thing the bakery supplied and essentially have just ended up with soggy cardboard. This might have worked for my mother, except that she’s on some crazy no-sugar diet. #Whatever.

But then – the holy grail of gifts – I have literally never seen one of these anywhere before (and I’m sure my mother wouldn’t be able to say she could have got one cheaper in a streetmarket in Marrakech). What was this amazing thing? Well – a rolling pin. How is that so special? It could be personalised (in my case with the kids’ names) with inverted writing so that when you roll out pastry the message appears! Genius! And only 15quid with no extra charge for the engraving. 

I’d definitely go back to Personally Presented’s site (even for easier to shop for people!) – I do dabble with personalised gifts from Not On the High St but the product quality varies so much and I do find wading through all the options quite draining… “

Slick Mummy readers can get a 10% discount on all Personally Presented personalised gifts by using the code: slickmummy10

The code expires on 10/12/17

 

 

Shop aden+anais new range of buggy blankets…

classic stroller blanket in Rockstar design

Whilst aden+anais are known for their huge, multi-function muslins and equally huge cozy dream blankets, as anyone with a city-sized buggy knows, it’s all about having a blankie that tucks in little legs and keeps out the chill, but isn’t constantly snagging in the wheels or dragging in the dirt.

Enter the new range of aden+anais buggy blankets which are (ta-dah!) 70x70cm, made from wonderful soft four-layer muslin, come in some gorgeous, striking signature designs (including Rockstar, Leader of the Pack and Lovebirds) and – best of all – can just be chucked in the same warm wash as the rest of your child’s clothes if they do happen to fall on the pavement.

RRP £25 – shop online here.

(Psst: whilst you’re on aden+anais website, check out their amazing Black Friday deals!)

MORI introduce The Reindeer Collection

Inspired by the caring and gentle reindeer, MORI’s Winter holiday range has us dancing and prancing with festive spirit.

Created from organic cotton and bamboo, the collection includes supersoft pj’s and sleepsuits, adorable blankets and lovely keepsake stockings that can be personalised with up to ten characters.

At the moment MORI is marking #ThoughtfulFriday with discounts of up to 60% and new offers daily. So take advantage – it would be (ahem!) Rude-olph not to!

Shop the Reindeer collection online here.

Dad Diaries: Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

SM Dad writer: “The last time I went to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland was four years ago. It was a bit much TBH; I was a new Dad with a baby in the buggy, there was genuine London grey snow melting on the ground and seemingly everything that could have been festive was adorned with Minions. It was so packed that I could hardly move, let alone get to the front of the queue to get a beer. 

I was amazed – on returning last weekend – this time with three kids (one in the Ergobaby, one walking, one blagging a lift on my shoulders) by how much it had changed since my last visit. Maybe it was the pleasant hazy Winter sun or the fact that (at 10.30am) the crowds weren’t at capacity. Maybe it was that (apart from signage everywhere warning of pickpockets) the spirit of Xmas was represented by gingerbread houses, polar bears and elves (rather than those yellow chaps). 

My kids and I watched the Zippos Circus show in the Mega Dome on site. Eldest child’s eyes light up with delight when he spotted the Slush Puppies, middle child spent the first ten minutes of the show shovelling the popcorn into his mouth double-fisted. But both of them were giving the performers standing ovations once it got going; the quality really was faultless (unlike the local circus they had seen a few months back) and (spoiler alert) the dancing bears were AWESOME. 

The problem we often have at funfairs is that the kids are too small to go on most of the rides and we struggle to find anything to actually spend the tokens on. At Hyde Park Winter Wonderland I was impressed that there actually were a couple of rides for tots that are free; plus plenty that 5-year-olds can go on alone (whilst Daddy has a gluhwein!)

My tips would be: take a rucksack style changing bag (damn those pickpockets!), pre-empt the tantrums by suggesting you walk ’round the funfair first and choose which rides to go on (then stick to your guns), get involved with the hot dogs (one whole one fed three kids) and finally wrap up really warm (it does get really cold).”

Entry is free but click here to book tickets for the shows or ice skating.

SmarTrike unveils the SmarTfold700 smart trike

You might see how the title includes the word ‘smart’ a few times. We think the SmarTfold 700 is nothing short of genius.

The new travel-friendly trikes cleverly fold down to less than 85% of their original size. The new smarTfold 700 has all the features of the already popular and award-winning smarTfolds, but also includes: a padded, bi-directional reclining seat, ideal for little ones snoozing on the go, even more storage with two accessory bags included and perhaps the best new feature of all…the smarTfold 700 is now suitable for little ones as young as 6 months (and will last them up til three years!)

Get this one on Santa’s list pronto: they are available now in Mothercare, ELC and Smyths Toys Superstores, RRP £149.99 (but look out for Black Friday deals)

School Run Superheroes

Little things that save you precious minutes in the mornings, when you’re trying to navigate unwilling scholars towards the front door.

Revlon’s Pro Collection Salon One Step Hairdryer and Volumiser is basically a bouncy blow out in 2 mins flat. Or – not flat – as it were! Dries and detangles, plus gives hair some oomph whilst protecting against heat damage. It’s relatively quiet, so the sounds of your kids’ demands for Weetabix are still audible whilst you are drying your hair, but it is also convincing as a fuzzy pink magic wand to wave and point in their direction whilst reminding them that they know where the kitchen is.

And on the subject of good hair days, Lee Stafford’s Air Dry cream is a wonder product that sets damp hair into waves, for a ‘groomed but undone’ sort of do. Use either in conjunction with your hairdryer or let your hair dry naturally.

Bryt Skincare’s Day Moisturiser packs a double whammy in that it moisturises and mattifies at the same time, meaning that you’re covered if that mad dash through the school gates as the bell is ringing would normally render you ‘shiny pored’.

And finally, Swish to Go might be one of the weirdest beauty ritual experiences, but it’s well worth a try. You pour the little sachet of minty granules onto your tongue, it dissolves into a liquid which you swallow and – hey presto – zingy fresh clean mouth. It is a bit like drinking toothpaste but if you slugged the last dregs of your lukewarm coffee as you left the house this is an instant breath reviver when the head of the PTA corners you in the playground for ‘a chat’ …

Got kids or pets? You need a Karcher WV2 window vac in your life!

Editor writes: “Maybe, like me, the mention of Karcher makes you think of those infomercials where leisurewear clad models steam clean the parts of their home that you honestly wouldn’t give a second thought to unless, say, the Queen was popping over or the admissions secretary of your top choice school was planning a home visit. You know; the underside of oven knobs, the catflap or the spokes of bike wheels…That kind of thing. 

Well, a fortnight of having the Karcher WV2 Plus Window Vac system in my home and I’m wondering how I ever did without it. And – here’s the shocker – I haven’t even used it on the windows! 

So what makes it so indispensable? Well – if you have kids or pets and either wooden, tile or laminate floors, stop me when one of these situations sounds familiar…

  1. Your potty training child has an accident on the floor.
  2. Your toddler wanders ’round with an opened juicebox for around ten minutes before you realise that they are holding it upside-down.
  3. Your pet has an accident on the floor.
  4. Your child tips the dog’s water bowl over their head.
  5. You cave into your better judgement and let your child do messy play with water and glitter.
  6. You drop a glass of wine on the floor. 
  7. You get home from the Farmers’ Market, put the organic cotton tote bag down *enthusiastically* and ergo smash a litre of expensive organic apple juice.
  8. Your child ignores all cries of ‘take your muddy wellies off at the door!’
  9. Your child ignores all cries of ‘don’t let the wet dog into the kitchen!’
  10. You sit on the floor sobbing, then realise you’ve sat in a puddle of jam… 

Any of this sound like life in your home? Well, how about these then:

  1. You mop the floor, using anything from eco-friendly soap made from flower petals to hardcore bleach, then realise all you have done is made another puddle of your own. Possibly more toxic, possibly just grey water mixed with jam.
  2. Your child sees the wet floor and pretends it’s an ice rink. 
  3. Dog runs through the aforementioned puddle, then all over the house with wet, jammy paws. 

Right. So… Rather than finding yourself down on your hands and knees using the baby’s muslin or your gym t-shirt to dry, the god-like genius that is the Karcher window vac will just suck up all the liquid and leave you with a dry, hygienic floor. In seconds.

If one was to use the innovative system on windows, the idea is that you spray the glass with detergent via the dispensing bottle provided which has a nifty microfibre cloth at its head that you then use to clean the streaks. Grab the vacuum gadget and suck off all the water. Also works on shower panels and mirrors. Really simple, effective – and a job I’ll save til Her Majesty fancies a cuppa ’round mine.”

RRP £59.99 – order online 

Preserve the memory of your child’s first steps with Bobux

Remember when your child took their first steps…? Erm – maybe you do, maybe you don’t – because let’s face it, once they are up on their feet and climbing on the coffee table it is essentially the beginning of the end. Or – the end of the beginning. And you’re so busy chasing them ’round and fitting locks onto cupboards and moving everything on shelves up one shelf higher that you completely forget to look at the date.

But Bobux have come to the rescue with a lovely keepsake dustbag, into which you can pop your child’s first walking/climbing/scrambling shoes once they have outgrown them and keep them for posterity, scribbling the date on the handy leather tag.

The bag comes with all shoes in the Bobux ‘Step Up’ range, including the award-winning Xplorer, which is lightweight and flexible; designed to help little ones progress up from a crawl.

For more info or to order visit the Bobux website.

Looking for an amazing female-only co working space in East London? Check out We Heart Mondays

Super girlie white walls and candles on every desk? Free cupcakes and drinks on a Monday? Use of a meeting room with a comfy sofa – and the option to bring your little one too on certain days? Plus the chance to hang out with like-minded female entrepreneurs? Yes please!

If you’re currently working from home in East London because having an office doesn’t justify the rent costs (and the amount you’re currently shelling out on childcare) We Heart Mondays urban workspace is worth checking out. There is no minimum contract and flexible membership costs just £24.99 per month.

For more info or to view the space click here.

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