Oh So Amelia

27.5.15

NEW BEGINNINGS


Today starts a new chapter of my life. One which I had never seen coming but that's life it's full of unexpected surprises. The ex (I shall call him that from now on as that's what he is now) finally packed up all of his belongings and after sleeping on the sofa for 12 weeks and is moving back to his parents for the time being until he gets his own place. I knew this day was coming, I've known for at least six months but never let myself believe it as I didn't want to feel like a failure as a mum. Now I can see it's the best decision and only wish it had been done sooner. But at least now I have closure, I can finally move on as a family of three and I no longer have a third child to mother and the kids will have a much happier, less stressed mummy.
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26.5.15

DOONA CAR SEAT: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Doona Car Seat Review

It can be rather daunting when the time comes to purchase a car seat or pushchair with so many products on the market. I remember so vividly looking at these items whilst I was pregnant with Amelia not knowing what exactly I would need. When she was younger I would always joke with friends and family that someone should invent a car seat that converted into a pushchair for convenience when out and about as I was sick of having to attach the car seat to the travel system. Fast forward a couple of years and the Doona was born!

We've now been using the Doona car seat for the past few months so I thought it was about time I shared my first impressions of this clever little device with you all. When we were first introduced to the product I came across this video which made be instantly fall in love with it! 

The Doona is the world's first infant car seat with integrated wheels meaning that in less than ten seconds you can be out of your car with your little one and on your way in safety and style! It's the next generation car seat combining the highest standard in safety with an integrated mobility system. The Doona converts from a group 0+ car seat into a compact stroller and can be used from birth until approx 13kg.


Features
  • The only car seat with integrated wheels
  • Easy instant fold
  • Compact storage
  • One touch brake
  • Chassis suspension for a smoother ride
  • Swivel wheels
  • Orthopaedic designed inner cushion which can be removed
  • Inner cushion anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic with humidity and thermal regulation
  • Rocking function
  • Includes seat protector


Is it easy to use?

The Doona car seat can be installed in the car with an ISOFIX base which you can purchase for £99.99 or you can install it the manual way with a three point seatbelt. As we don't have an ISOFIX we have been using the seatbelt which is easy to use although it would be much quicker with the ISOFIX as it can sometimes be a hassle getting it around the wheels. I would recommend purchasing one if you can afford to. I don't see much point in us getting one now as we wouldn't get much use out of it but if I had known when he was born and was going to be using the Doona a lot then I would have definitely bought one. 

I would also note that if you have a three door car it may be a little tricky getting the car seat in and out because on the size of the base, it's much bigger than your standard infant car seat. We recently purchased a second family car for me to use which is a 3 door. It's not the easiest if I have the car seat in the back of the car so I tend to put it in the front next to me with the passenger air bag off plus it saves time trying to squeeze it in the back and strap it in. 

The Doona is easy to erect from car seat to pushchair simply by releasing a button at the back of the car seat and lifting it from the ground. You can do this with baby still fast asleep in the car seat which is a bonus as there's no need to disturb baby when getting them out of the car to do your errands or what ever you are out for. 


What about it's features?

The car seat has deep double walled side impact protection, orthopaedic inner cushion and anti-rebound technology making it comfortable and more importantly safe for your infant. The newborn insert provides extra protection for newborns up to around 3-4 months, we removed ours shortly before Harry turned four months old as we found the straps wouldn't fit over his shoulders anymore whilst in the insert so thought it would be best to change them to the next level. The harness is easy to use and simple to adjust if needed.


The Doona comes with a one touch brake which is really simple to use, press the red to set the brake on and the green to release when you wish to move the pushchair. I haven't had any issues with the brakes which is great as the majority of pushchairs I've used in the past the brakes tend to play up after a while. 


The car seat comes with integrated wheels which are tucked under the base when used as a car seat. I love this feature and they quickly hide away as soon as you turn the pushchair into a car seat. The wheels are in swivel motion which is great when on the go. I did wonder at first how they would hold out especially with them being so thin but we've been on a variety of different terranes and they are still in excellent condition.


The hood of the car seat is pretty big which is good to shelter baby, you can also buy a sunshade extender which would come in handy for nicer days instead of using an umbrella.


The handle bar extends which is great as when on the lowest setting it is pretty low. As I am 5ft 6 the higher setting is perfect for me. The lower setting is perfect for Amelia or when you're wanting to manoeuvre the car seat around the car without raising the bar. 

Is it good value for money?

The Doona retails at £299.99 with the base costing an extra £99.99 if you wish to purchase. I think the price of the Doona itself is pretty reasonable with many travel systems coming in at around £300-600. Although the Doona won't last until toddlerhood it is a decent price for a clever product which will get plenty of use out of especially if you're a busy mum. 


Would I recommend it?

If you're looking for a pushchair which takes up little space in the car and is easy to use then yes! I've been a parent for three years now and have had my fair share of pushchairs to trial over the years. The Doona is by far the most innovative baby product I have come across. It's very easy to use and I love that it gives me my boot space back allowing more room for shopping = win win! Amelia also loves being able to push too which helps her feel included. 

I would recommend purchasing one of their strap on bags as you won't be able to hang your heavy changing bag on it due to the weight. I tend to take a over the shoulder organiser bag with me now just to carry the essentials like nappies, wipes and change of clothes then I can leave my changing bag in the car. 

I love the fact that I can be out of the car in seconds whether I'm doing the nursery run with Amelia, popping to the supermarket for a few extra bits, on the train or travelling through the airport, the Doona truly is amazing and I only wish they were around when Amelia was Harry's age. 


What I love the most about the Doona:
  • It saves time on the nursery run without having to attach car seat to chasis
  • It can be secured with either ISOFIX points or seatbelt
  • Saves room in the boot of the car
  • It is easy and convenient to use
  • It's the perfect height for Amelia to push too 


We were also gifted a car seat protector to keep the car seats clean which is water-repellant and suitable to use in all vehicles. There are also many other fantastic matching accessories available to purchase from wheel covers to clip on bags which you can check out here. I have also recently bought the rain cover as the Doona doesn't come with one so you will need to purchase one separately. 

You can find out more about the Doona car seat here and we will be sharing a few more posts about the Doona over the next few months!

* We were gifted with the Doona for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% honest and we really do love the Doona! 

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25.5.15

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN #9


I feel like I have been falling off the bandwagon recently, I've been eating far too many Macdonald's and Pizza so I've decided starting from today to cut it out completely and only treat myself to a takeaway every Saturday night instead and I've restricted myself to one Macdonald's a week. Now that Andy won't be living here I won't be tempted to order takeaways on his days off as this is where it all started going wrong. I could never be bothered to cook for him anymore so we'd order takeaways both nights and then he'd also finish work early on a Friday sometimes too so that was another takeaway. At least now I won't have that problem and can stick to an actual plan each week.

Again I've done my weekly shop at Tesco which will be arriving later today. You may notice I eat a lot of chicken ha ha! I'm determined to stick to the plan this week, obviously allowing to myself to decide on which meal to cook on that day. But I won't be substituting any of them for a takeaway. I desperately need to shift a few pounds after all the junk food I've been consuming recently and then I'll work on getting back in shape. 

Meals for the week

Chicken in a maggi so juicy packet with actifry chips 
Slow cooked diet coke chicken recipe here
Chicken drumsticks, jacket potato, salad and coleslaw
Slow cooked Dr Pepper Pulled pork, wedges, coleslaw, corn on cob 
Chicken, Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Bake with garlic bread
Takeaway of choice - Saturday
Roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings

What will you be eating this week?

I don't usually eat breakfast, in fact I probably only eat it once a month but I'm trying to get Amelia to try other things other than cereal or toast. For lunches I will be having salads, warburton thins or jacket potatoes filled with either chicken, left over pulled pork, or tuna as they are all quick and easy to make. 

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who very kindly nominated and voted for us in the BiBs Awards. We are finalists in the Photo category which I did not expect at all so a huge huge thank you! 

Also a quick reminder that nominations for the MAD Blog Awards end on the 27th May. So if you haven't already made your nominations go and vote for your favourite blogs and if you think we deserve a place we'd love to be considered for the Baby, Pregnancy or Photography categories. Thanks so much, enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday!

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards


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20.5.15

TRAVEL BUCKET LIST WITH THE KIDS


I've always loved travelling and have been lucky enough to do so from an early age. Prior to having the kids I would holiday quite often, Caribbean, all-inclusive...the lot. Amelia has been on five family holidays since she was born but we haven't been anywhere for the past year since we went to Bluestone last June. I miss that exciting feeling you get when you have a holiday to look forward to and also regret not going anywhere this past year but sometimes other things have to come first. I want the kids to grow up and be well travelled, to have ticked off many places across the globe and enjoy family holidays, and if that means me taking them abroad on my own then so be it. It's either that or miss out on holidays which I really don't want to do. 

I want to make some memories with the kids and also be able to cherish the memories. Taking road trips across the UK, beach holidays abroad and all inclusive resorts. I don't see why they should miss out because someone couldn't be bothered to go away or plan a holiday!
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18.5.15

HARRISON 4 MONTHS


Where do I start? It only feels like yesterday I wrote his three month update. Harrison turned four months on Saturday. This month has literally flown by and it makes me realise just how quickly he is growing. He is looking less and less like a newborn and is filling out more. His personality is changing every day and he is becoming such a cheeky little boy. I finally took him to be weighed today as he hadn't been weighed since he was around 10 weeks old and he's now weighing 15lb 1oz which is around where I thought he would be. He is such a chunky little monkey. He still hates being on his back and will roll over as soon as I put him down. He is sitting up pretty well now and will sit unaided for a few seconds before he tumbles over and I stop him from falling. If I remember rightly Amelia was sitting up on her own at this age so he's slightly slower than her but he's definitely more chunkier than she was.
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