Category: Little Reviews

Canesten Campaign Winner

We’ve picked our winner for the Intimate Conversations with Canesten.  I love what Jenny wrote:

My parents gave me a book about boys and girls/men and women and puberty when I was smaller.  I think I read more about the book instead of sitting and talking with my mum.  I wish when I was younger I had asked more about  the changes my body was going through, although my mum tried her best I think sometimes after the “talk” has been and gone, parents can forget to “check-in” with their kids… I think the “talk needs to be “talks” spread out over months, even years… not everything can be covered in one talk, and the importance of communication is key

She is so right.  It shouldn’t just be one talk, one sitting-down-moment with T.  It should be a series of talks over the years.  I hope I remember this.  Thank you Jenny!

Back-to-School School Supplies with Smiggle

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Smiggle

I know what you’re thinking, school hasn’t even ended yet.  But hey, what can I say?  My daughter is exactly like me who loves anything to do with stationary, coloured pens, and beautiful sparkly journals.  Personally, I prefer my journals not to be sparkly, but when you’re a six-year-old, I guess they prefer, one that glimmers.

I’m familiar with the brand Smiggle.  Who isn’t?  Go to any city centre and you’ll find a Smiggle shop filled with the brightest pens and everything your little one will need for school, or even just for their collection.  When the lovely people behind the brand got in touch and asked if T would like to sample some, I said yes of course.  And boy was she pleased when she opened the package which was addressed to her, she especially loves this very sparkly journal:

She spent hours just playing with the sequins alone.  By brushing across it with your fingers, you can actually change the design.  She quickly wrote her first entry down and I’m not kidding when I say that she actually slept with it.  That was how much she was pleased with this very sparkly journal from Smiggle.

She also had fun with this DIY pencil-case that has everything a child would need for school.  It has coloured felt-tip pens, a rubber, a ruler, a sharpener and scissors.

There was also a small little badge journal which smelt like candy.  T loves it! And of course, not to mention a letter T keychain which she quickly put on her backpack.  I was kinda hoping she’d save it for September, but did she listen to me?  Of course she didn’t.  When a child is that excited, you wouldn’t want to burst their bubble now would you?

Thank you Smiggle for making little T a happy bunny.

What about you?

Are you and your child crazy about stationary/school supplies too?

Intimate Conversations with Canesten: Plus a Chance to Win a £50 Voucher from Amazon

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Canesten

I’ve always wanted a daughter.  I guess it’s also because I’m close to my own mother and want to replicate the kind of relationship I have with her, and what I have with little T is even better.  She’s my little shadow. When she’s not in school, she’s always with me.  She likes to cuddle and gives kisses freely.  And we talk, we talk a lot.  We talk about everything.  I dread the day when she won’t do as much anymore or even want to be with her old mum as much as she used to, hopefully that day will never come.

Little T is a perfect combination of a little girl who loves ballet, playing her cello, gymnastics, but at the same time won’t hesitate to play rough with her best friend who happens to be a boy, or win a race on sports day.  She’s both “girly” and “boyish” though I don’t really like using labels, but she’s definitely both.

My darling daughter is turning seven in August.  How did that happen?  Where did my chubby little baby go?  I can see traces of her on her little six-year-old face, but soon, even that will be gone.  I’m not ready for T to grow another year older.  I know that sounds selfish, but time is just happening way too fast.

I’m not really looking forward to those intimate albeit awkward conversations with T, especially The Talk.    I’m imagining there will be lots of giggles, or maybe she’ll be too grossed to even want to listen to me.

What I want to say to her is this, it’s all part of being a girl, part of being female, part of being a woman.

Already she has questions about when will she have breasts, although at this age, she still refers to them as “boobies” and always said with a little giggle.  I really don’t mind talking about the changes in a girl’s body as they turn into puberty, especially once she starts having her period.  She knows what it is, when she was younger she used to call it “pyramid” and much to my embarrassment used to announce “Mummy has her pyramid today”.

And of course along with that comes the changes in a girl’s body together with the discussion of  proper care of our intimate health and common intimate conditions such as thrush, cystitis, and BV.  Some may think, isn’t it a bit too early to discuss this with your daughter?  I’m not saying I’m going to discuss all of this with her in one go.

I think it’s important to prepare them early.  And to discuss it in a manner where it comes out naturally.  If she gets used to talking about it at an early age, she won’t hesitate to come to me for more questions, at least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

I didn’t have this you see, when I was growing-up.  I never even knew what Thrush was or what the symptoms were.  I had to find them all out on my own.  As parents, we try to give our children as much life skills as we can.  I believe that this includes having these intimate conversations with them, especially for daughters, no matter how trying these conversations may be.  And to reiterate that no matter how embarrassing or difficult the question are, they can always discuss it with us.  What about you?  If you have daughters, have you had this discussion with them?

And for those who want to win a £50 Amazon voucher, all you need to do is answer the question in the comments below. The best answer will win the voucher.

What I wish I knew about intimate health when I was younger.

Terms and Conditions:
1. There is 1 prize of one £50 Amazon vouchers. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered
2. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over.
3. Closing date for entries is 17 of July 2017.
4. Entrants must leave a comment below.
5. The winner with the best answer will be chosen.
6. The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 
days or a new winner will be chosen.
7. The winner’s name will be available on request.
8. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
9. This is a joint promotion between Little Steps and Canesten®
10. Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions 


Good Luck!

Someone’s Going on a “Pupnic”! … and the winner is …

If you remember last month, we did a little give-away here at Little Steps.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you can have a read here.

The winner of that give-away, with the best comment is … drum roll please ….

Congratulations Donna! I do hope you’ll enjoy your “pupnic” in the woods with Dudley.  You and your furry family member will receive the following:

– Wicker pupnic hamper
– A pack of snacks for your pooch
– Remember to stay hydrated with a water bowl for them and water bottle for you.
– Have fun with a toy
– Be responsible, wherever your adventure takes you, with biodegradable poop scoop bags
– Prepare for irritations and itches with a microfiber cloth for a furry wipe down and give YuMEGA Itchy Dog all summer long.

Thank you all for joining!

Pet Parasite Action: Join Us!

*This is a Sponsored Post.

One of the reasons why we love our house is the location.  We are surrounded by 500 acres of farmland and Doc, little T’s dog, absolutely loves it.  He loves exploring, especially with the other farm dogs.  He likes to go up to the cows and see how long they’ll tolerate him before they moo him away.  He also likes finding the smelliest thing he can find and then roll onto it till his fur is absolutely caked in it.  Then with a smile on his face, comes home to us.

As you can see, one of Doc’s favourite thing to do is chew on sticks.

I do worry about him and all the germs he picks up when out on his adventures, especially since he likes eating the poo of the calves.  Our farmer neighbour said, they (the dogs) like eating that because it’s full of milk. So far, he hasn’t shown any bad effects from eating all that poo.  Fingers crossed, he’ll be fine.

As pet owners, we all worry about our dogs and of course, when you have children, you worry about them too.  Some of us may know that roundworms and ticks are worrying not just for our dogs, but as well as for us humans too.

Scary isn’t it?

Jenni Falconer with her dog Alfie.

In line with this, TV presenter Jenni Falconer is backing the Pet Parasite Action campaign which aims to raise awareness of the need to treat our pets.

As a dog owner and a mum I want to be sure that I do the best thing for my pet and family.  During the pet parasite action campaign I’m encouraging all pet owners to visit their vet for a simple way to help protect their pets against parasites inside and out, including those that may be harmful to the rest of the family.  Let’s act now to help protect all the members of our family, furry or otherwise.

 

According to a survey carried out by Pet Parasite Action of over 1000 dogs nationwide, lungworm worries dog owners most with 74% saying they are concerned about this parasite. While 82% of dog owners are able to correctly identify that lungworm could be fatal to their pets, while 43% said that they think dog lungworm is the parasite that poses the greatest risk to human health, when actually it’s harmless to people.

Over a third of survey respondents (36%) say that they are worried about ticks but just 48% realise that ticks can cause fatalities in dogs because of the diseases they transmit.  Also only 28% recognise that ticks (as a transmitter of Lyme disease in people) are a risk to human health.

The least worried about parasite according to the survey is probably one of the most concerning. Just 15% say they were worried about roundworms and only 7% correctly say they think roundworms could threaten human health. Yet if accidentally eaten, eggs from the roundworm Toxocara pose a significant threat to human health, potentially causing blindness or neurological disease – especially in children.

One in four people don’t realise their pet could have parasites but they might not be visible, as is often the case with lungworms, hard to find ticks and roundworms and the microscopic eggs they produce.

Around 1 in 6 say that it’s been about a year since they last treated their pet for ticks, lungworm or roundworm and despite concern about its effects, 23% say that they don’t know when their pet was last treated for lungworm.

At the end of the day, especially like Jenni, if you are a parent of young children, it’s best to make sure that your dogs are healthy by taking them to the vet regularly.  That old adage is definitely true – better be safe than sorry.

What about you?

Ready to take Pet Parasite Action too?

Join us and help spread the word.

 

Is Your Dog an Itchy Dog? Plus a Giveaway for you and your Pet – Come and Join!

*This is a sponsored post.

Doc like all dogs like to scratch, sniff and lick.  That’s the way they were made.  When they’re not sleeping, eating, running around like loonies or following you around the house like a love-sick-puppy, they’re doing just that – scratch, sniff and lick.

But unfortunately some dogs are more prone to itch.  Us humans are not just the only ones who have allergies, dogs have them too, especially if your dog is like ours who likes to explore on his own and root around for goodness knows what.

For those who are wondering if they have an itchy dog.  Here are some common signs that might just help you tell whether your dog has allergies too:

  • Itching and scratching.  And this isn’t just the usual scratch here and there, but non-stop scratching, especially behind the ears.

  • Licking their paws.

  • Rubbing their face on furniture as if trying to get rid of something.
  • They may also have hot spots on their bodies.
  • Excessive grooming.
  • Red eyes.
  • Dry, flaky skin.
  • Excessive moulting.

Does all this sound familiar?  Then perhaps, your dog is indeed an itchy dog.  No need to panic, you can of course take your dog to the vet and they’ll tell you what to do.  Or perhaps you can also try YuMEGA Itchy Dog for dogs with sensitive or itchy skin.  “YuMEGA is a premium quality supplement for dogs prone to feeling itchy”

How does it work?

YuMEGA Itchy Dog works in three ways:

  1. It Calms the Itch with extra GL from Borage (Starflower), provides Omega 6 (GLA), which helps to soothe the urge to itch.  YuMEGA Itchy Dog contains higher levels of Omega 3 – 70% more powerful than ever before.
  2. Improves Coat Condition:  High levels of essential Omega 3 oils from Golden Flax seed helps to improve coat condition.  A healthy coat is your dog’s first line of defence against itchy triggers like pollen and grass.
  3. Supports Natural Defences: Added natural vitamin E and Omega 6 (LA), supports the skin’s natural defences, helping your dog maintain a barrier against the allergens that cause itching.

It’s easy to use too.  All you need to do is mix it with your dog’s food daily.  The amount of course, depends on the size of your dog.

It’s the perfect time to use YuMEGA Itchy dog, especially since summer months are known to flare up allergies, and as pet-owners, we must ensure that our dogs are armed against all sorts of allergies.

And as mentioned, the summer months are here, (fingers crossed the forecast will deliver good weather), which means if you’re like us, who love to go on lots of different adventures and picnic with our over-excitable always  sometimes annoying bundle of fur, called Doc, you will need this lovely picnic basket for you and yours.

This very-handy little picnic basket is all yours for free.  All you need to do is comment below and tell us where you plan to take your dog for a picnic.  The best answer will win!  You will also need to like Lintbells on Facebook, Instagram or follow them on twitter and the hamper is yours.  This give-away is open till the 26th of June, midnight.  UK Residents only.

The Pupnic Basket has the following goodies:

– Wicker pupnic hamper
– A pack of snacks for your pooch
– Remember to stay hydrated with a water bowl for them and water bottle for you.
– Have fun with a toy
– Be responsible, wherever your adventure takes you, with biodegradable poop scoop bags
– Prepare for irritations and itches with a microfiber cloth for a furry wipe down and give YuMEGA Itchy Dog all summer long.

What are you waiting for?

Join and comment below!

Have you planned your Summer Holiday?

I’m sure by now a lot of families out there have planned if not booked their summer holiday already.   If you’re one of those lucky/organised ones, well done, you guys.  When going abroad, we like to book ours well ahead of time too.  As you know, it’s cheaper that way.  Sadly, we haven’t done any bookings as I type this all because little T and I have to renew our passports, which we hope to get sorted out next week.

As for plans, oh we have loads of those!  After all, planning is free right?  At the moment, we have a few choices up our sleeves.  It’s nice to have alternatives, in case, the first one doesn’t pan out right? Here’s ours.

PLAN A: Spain-Portugal

Go on a road trip again.  The first time we ever went on a road-trip as a family, was when we drove all the way to a remote cabin in Scotland and absolutely loved it.  The second one was a road trip to France (with a day-trip to Belgium).  We stayed in a Eurocamp and did day-trips to Disneyland and Paris, as well as  trips around the beautiful French countryside.  Ah, that was bliss.

This time though, the plan is to drive to Plymouth to catch a ferry to Santander and drive all the way down the Spanish coast to Portugal – doesn’t that sound dreamy?

We love doing road-trips.  I guess one of the reasons is that you can stop anytime, especially if you see something that catches your attention.  It’s easy to just stop and roam around and experience the local culture without having to worry about your schedule too much.  And if that doesn’t work, there’s ….

PLAN B: Train-trip to Eastern Europe

Ever since reading “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kustova, I’ve longed to travel by train to Hungary and Romania and yes, visit Count Dracula’s castle in Bran.  I would love to watch the beautiful countryside/mountains of Eastern Europe.  When I mentioned this to my husband, I was pleased  to know that he’s always wanted to do it too.  But I’m wondering though whether T is too young to appreciate a trip like this one, though I’m sure she’ll enjoy travelling by train.  And then there’s …

PLAN C: Homegrown

This is the easiest and if I’m honest, the most feasible plan.  I have family from the States who might come over this summer and of course, it’s only right that we show them around the UK.

I’ve always wanted to explore Wales, since we’ve never really had the chance apart from staying in Hay-on-Wye and doing day-trips from Bristol.  A close friend who regularly camps in Wales has been inviting us to go with her, so this might just be our chance.

And of course, there’s still so much of the UK that I haven’t explored.  What better way to do it when you have guests right?

As you can see, our plans are still up in the air and I know that time is indeed running out, hopefully we’ll be able to finalize our plans soon.

What about you?

Have you booked your summer holiday?

*This is a sponsored post.

Dentastix: Dental Care for Dogs

Admittedly, we haven’t done much about Doc’s dental care.  Not because we don’t care about it, I guess it’s because we assume that his teeth are alright.  As far as we are aware, he doesn’t have any problems.  How do we know? Here’s our checklist.

  • His breath doesn’t smell.  Granted it doesn’t smell like toothpaste or that you wouldn’t want to lock lips with him, but if you did, but I’m happy to share that he doesn’t have dragon’s breath.  Knock on wood.
  • His teeth appear to look healthy with no broken teeth.
  • Gums also appear good.  They don’t look swollen or inflamed.
  • And most importantly, he doesn’t have trouble chewing at all.  His most favourite thing to chew is sticks.  As soon as he’s off that, then I’ll start to worry.

And thanks to Dentastix, Doc has been getting excellent dog dental care.  What makes Dentastix perfect for dogs?

Pedigree Dentastix has a unique X-shape and when fed daily has been scientifically proven to help reduce the build-up of tartar by up to 80%.

It also contains two active ingredients (sodium tripolyphosphate and zinc zulphate), which bond with the calcium in saliva and slow down the build-up of tartar. This helps plaque stays softer and makes it easier to remove with Pedigree Dentastix.

As for us, we like it because it’s a treat and at the same it, it’s caring for Doc’s teeth.  And Doc? He likes it because it tastes yummy!  He’s been happily chewing on Dentastix for more than five days now and absolutely loves it.

What about you? Have you tried Dentastix?

Do you have tips on how to care for your dog’s teeth?  Do share.

“This post is a collaboration with Pedigree, but all thoughts are my own. For additional dental care information you can read the following Pedigree Reviews article for tips and advice.”

ANIMALTALES

Need More Book Suggestions for Christmas? Here’s Three!

When choosing Christmas presents for children, it doesn’t matter what age they are, you’ll never go wrong with books, whether they are picture books, stories, or any kind that they are interested in like sports or trains.

We’ve managed to tick off some of little T’s Christmas presents, but hey, a little girl can never have enough books right?  As part of the Brit Mums and Penguin Random House Children’s Book Christmas Challenge, we were sent the following books to share with you guys:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down – Jeff Kinney

T enjoyed the first book and found it really funny, so this one is definitely going on her collection.

diary_of_a_wimpykid

The pressure’s really pilling up on Greg Heffley.  His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his ‘creative side’.  As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle.

When Greg discovers a bag of gumy worms, it sparks an idea.  Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie … and will he become rich and famous in the process?  Or will doubling down on his plan just double Greg’s troubles?

T loves animals and wants to learn how to ride a horse, although I have no idea how she’ll manage to squeeze that in.  She’s doing too much already, what with ballet, gymnastics and swimming.  For now, she’ll have to content herself with reading about horses.

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop – Clare Balding
the_racehorse

Charlie Bass is a horse-mad ten-year-old who dreams of owning her own pony.  So when she accidentally manages to buy a racehorse, Charlie is thrilled.  The horse she buys, Noble Warrior, looks the part: strong, fit and healthy.  There’s just one problem – he won’t gallop.  In fact, he won’t even leave his stable without his best friend, a naughty palomino pony called Percy.

Charlie is convinved that Noble Warrior has what it takes to be a champion.  But can she prove it?  Derby Day is fast approaching and only a win can save the family farm from being possessed.  The stakes couldn’t be higher for the Basses.  Can Charlie turn her chaotic family into a top training team?  Can Noble Warrior overcome his nerves?  Will Percy the pony ever stop farting?

The last book is a bit too old for T, so she wants to give it to an older girl who used to be in her Primary school.  She misses her a lot.  This girl was so sweet and kind to her especially when she was in reception.  Last year, T played little Alice and the other girl played big Alice.  I think S will definitely enjoy the next book.

girl_online

Girl Online: Going Solo – Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella

Penny’s life is back to normal.  As Penny starts the school year she’s ready to face the world – alone.  Noah has gone off the radar after ending his world tour early and no one including Penny, knows where he is.  So when she accepts Megan’s invitation to visit her performing arts school, it seems like an opportunity to make some new friends.  Helping someone else seems to be the right remedy.  Elliot needs her friendship more than ever, and she meets Posey – struggling with stage fright and in need of support.  But is charming Scottish Boy Callum the right kind of distraction?  And can Penny truly move on when Noah’s shadow seems to haunt her round every corner?

What about you?

Have you ticked off your Christmas shopping list already?

*PR Samples

Come Take A Walk in the Rain with me

Sponsored Post

We’ve had awful wet weather last week.  It certainly felt like Winter has crept in bringing rains and cold days with it.  In days like these, going out and having fun in the rain doesn’t seem possible.  Why would you want to leave the cosiness of your house, especially if you have the fire going?  Not even our pets like to go out in bad weather.

We try to kick Doc out in the rain and he would always look at us as if we we’re out of our minds.  I don’t blame him really and so with a sigh, my husband would put his wellies on and rain coat and actually walk outside with him in the cold, wet dreary weather.

It can actually be a lovely experience walking in the rain, provided that you are dressed for it and perhaps, go to a special place where in spite the weather it would actually seem worth going.  That’s exactly what we did last Saturday.

After little T’s ballet, armed with new rain-coats from the lovely folks at Lighthouse we drove over to the beach at Rock here in Cornwall.  The weather was bad.  We sat in our cars watching the pouring rain, wondering if it would ever stop, and just when we almost called it a day.  It actually did.

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I quickly grabbed my new Reva Waterproof Parka coat and T’s Ella Waterproof Rain Coat and with wellies on, marched off into the light drizzle.

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I wanted to walk on the beach, but T wanted to play with her dolls on the sand.  After some coaxing though, she relented.

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It was actually beautiful, in spite the greyness and wetness of the day.  It was lovely in a dramatic sense.  There were people out walking their dogs, fishing or just having a day out on the beach, blowing cobwebs I guess.

We only ended up walking towards the water, because T wanted her dolls to have a little dip in the freezing sea.  Poor dollies.

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I’m glad that we wore our new Lighthouse rain coats out that day, because it definitely kept us warm and dry.

What we liked about T’s Ella Waterproof Rain Coat:

  • This was actually T’s own choice, I wanted the one with the cloud print in blue, but she chose the bird print.  Obviously liking the colour and design.  T gives the design and colour a  big thumbs up.
  • I like that it has a nice fleecy lining, some coats I noticed have thin linings of a different material, that’s a thumbs up from me.
  • I like that the coat pockets has buttons.  If your child is like mine who likes to take small toys when out and about and dropping them, the buttons are a good idea, another thumbs up from me on this one.
  • I like that the hood is garterized, which means it stays snug on her head when it’s on and most importantly, stays on her head even when she’s running around like loony.  I don’t have to worry about her hair getting wet in the rain, another thumbs-up from me on this one.
  • At £29.95 I thought it was just right for the price, especially if it meant my daughter was snug, warm and dry.

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What we didn’t like about the coat:

  • I only have one gripe:  The sizing is too small.  I decided to order a bigger size for her (ages 7-8).  I was really nervous about this since my daughter is the smallest one in her class, but in spite this, decided to order a size bigger.  Imagine my surprise when the coats came and hers was just the right size!  I was hoping that it would be a little bit bigger so it would last her longer, but at least, it fits her well now.

What I liked about the Reva Waterproof Parka Coat:

  • I liked the colour and design of the coat.  Just because it’s a rain-coat doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish.
  • I liked that it has drawstrings which you can pull just to give the coat a bit of shape (though I didn’t do this for the shoot).
  • I also liked the drawstrings for the hood, although I didn’t use it, I imagine it would really keep my hair dry, handy for longer walks in the rain.
  • I like that it has a lovely-cosy-fleecy lining in the hood and inside of the coat.
  • It kept me really dry.  At one point, it started really pouring again and the coat made me feel really warm, snug and dry.
  • I like the details, like the buttons in front, it just makes it look a bit different from other rain-coats.
  • I was hesitant to choose this coat at first because of the length (even though I really liked it when I first saw it online).  As you can see, I am obviously short.  I was worried it was going to make me look even smaller and bigger than I actually am.  But I actually found the length alright when I tried it on, especially if it will mean keeping my trousers dry, so all good there in that aspect.

What I didn’t like about the coat:

  • At £109 I found it a bit pricey.  That’s just me.  Then again, if a rain coat keeps you nice and warm, I guess it’s worth it in the end.

What about you?

What’s important to you when buying/choosing a raincoat?

Here’s what really happened that day, another shortie by Little Steps.  Do tell me what you think.

*We were sent the coats by Lighthouse for the purpose of this review, however all photos and views are by yours truly.