Miniland Activity Pegs (Review)

Miniland Activity Pegs ReviewA couple of weeks ago, I told you about our Miniland Activity ABC game. Well, the lovely folks at DKL Toys sent us another really brilliant educational game for toddlers. This time, we road tested the Miniland Activity Pegs game. This is a really cool activity unlike any I’ve seen before. In the box you get large plastic pegs of different shapes and colours, 12 plastic activity sheets, a green foam board for attaching the activity sheets to and some laces. The activities include matching colour, filling in a matrix and following patterns. The pegs fit in the holes of the foam board, can be stacked up or can be strung together using the laces. Nate jumped in to the activity right away and although he struggled with some of the activities at first (like following a pattern), I could tell he really enjoyed the challenge and was super proud of himself when he figured it out.Miniland Activity Peg Review

Like the other Miniland toys, it is very robust and can withstand lots of toddler abuse. I love that it’s plastic activity sheets rather than paper so that I don’t have to worry about Alex destroying a fun new toy. Nate has really enjoyed the game and asks if he can do his homework during Alex’s nap time. With 12 activities and a bunch of different options for self directed play, this can easily occupy him for awhile (at least long enough for a cup of tea!) I’d definitely buy this for friends and think it is a really great way to get your kids thinking about shapes, patterns and transferring 2D to 3D designs. It’s only £15 on Amazon, a pretty good value for toy that looks like it will get a lot of use (in our house anyway!)

Thanks to DKL Toys for providing us with the Miniland Activity Pegs for the purpose of review. We loved it, that’s our opinion and we’re sticking to it!

 

Happy 2nd Birthday Alex!

I cannot believe my little Alex has just turned 2! I’ll admit, I had high expectations for today (photos, lunch at our favourite local cafe, cake and snuggles) but an early wake up and big brother tantrums put a damper on my plans. Nevertheless, Alex (and Nate) had us giggling just before bedtime with his adorable antics. I really love this kid, I’m so lucky to have him in my life. He has such a big personality and he’s so clever. This year has been an amazing year for his development. It’s easy to take it for granted as they grow out of the newborn stage (check out his 1st year here), but he has become a boy without me realising. This year he learned to walk and talk. Now he’s running all over the garden, singing all the time, speaking so clearly and can even count to 12! He’s argumentative and short tempered and bites a lot. But at the same time he loves to snuggle in your lap and loves stories and gently strokes your cheek and says ‘I love you so much’. Our little Ali has come such a long way since our early scare with his weight and he has become a spirited, beautiful little man. Happy Birthday Alex, we love you SO MUCH!

Alex 2nd BirthdayAnd what’s a birthday without cake and candles? Like I said, things didn’t really go to plan today so I wasn’t able to make him a cake. Don’t worry, his party is on Saturday and he’ll have some real cake, but we have an unwritten rule in the house that you must have something tasty on your birthday (last year was a delicious strawberry torte and a Go, Dogs. Go! themed party) So with only about 30 minutes to spare until dinner, I ran to the store and got meringues, chocolate pudding, strawberries and whipped cream from a can. I topped it all with sprinkles because it’s a birthday after all and Ali thought he was in heaven (so did the other guys!)

Alex 2nd Birthday Meringues

2014 Project (week 13)

13_52_14I love that there have been a few (slightly) warmer and (slightly) dryer days so that we can send time outside. We moved in during the July heatwave and really lived out in the garden. I’ve been missing it and the boys have too! Here they are having a snack and being brilliant at sharing. I’m glad I captured this moment because it doesn’t happen often!

 

In the bedroom

dare project house tour - bedroom

I absolutely love the house we live in. The only problem is, we don’t own it. I’ve decided to start a little house tour series before we get turfed out by rent increases. This is the master bedroom (I’m laughing to myself at master because there’s no way we are the master of our domain with two grumpy toddlers under our room!) Most of our house is full of colour, so Chris and I decided to keep our room light and airy, a semi-peaceful oasis away from manic children.dare project house tour - bedroom

Everything really started with our black and navy quilt. My grandmother made it, along with the cream crocheted blanket at the foot of our bed. I really love having something that she made in the house. Our pillow cases are from Oxfam Rathmines (€3 for the pair!) and I perpetually have plains to embroider some throw pillows. Most of our furniture is from Ikea, with a few antiques in the mix. My red Formica side table is from 3rd Policeman in Rathmines and our mirror came from the Dublin Flea market. I’d like to keep filling that wall with photos and prints to go along with our Clover Rua A-Z of Dublin (if we’re in the house that long!) But my most favourite thing of all in the room is definitely the two paintings from the boys that hang above the bed. They add a brilliant touch of colour to the room and I love having their art surround us.

Ruby & Ginger Mini Changing Bag (Review)

 

Ruby & Ginger Mini Changing Bag ReviewA few weeks ago, during a Blogtacular chat, I became antiquated with Ruby & Ginger – a really lovely brand that has some great products for babies. They sent me the Mini Changing Bag to road test with my two boys (one still in nappies, the other just barely potty trained) I really love it and wish I had this a lot earlier! I think it is going to make our transition from big hulking nappy bag to quasi-reasonable mommy handbag a lot easier!

The soft fabric pouch is very compact and washable. It has a Velcro loop to either attach to your buggy, bag or carry on your wrist. There’s a little pocket inside that I use to keep nappy bags. It comes with a plastic wipes container (holds about 1/3 a pack of wipes) and terry cloth lined changing mat. I tried to get a picture of Alex on it to show the size, but he wasn’t cooperating (shocking!). It’s big enough to fit my big 2 year old from head to bum. I was able to fit 3 large disposable nappies in the pouch, which is more than I usually need when out and about. It looks really well made, durable, soft and machine washable.

I don’t really need to carry our old changing bag any more. Nate likes to carry his own backpack and I’m pretty bored of the same old bag we’ve had for nearly 4 years.I hate having lots of bulky bags with me (two toddlers in small Dublin cafes is bulk enough!) So for the past few months, I’ve lived dangerously, going out without any nappies for Alex and have occasionally paid the price! This is going to make it very easy to pop out and throw the pre-packed Mini Changing Bag into my handbag or the bottom of the buggy. I think Nate would probably be up for carrying it in his backpack too!

Ruby & Ginger Mini Changing Bag ReviewAll in all, I’m really happy with this product! I keep it hanging near my keys so that we can run out the door at a moment’s notice. Once Alex is potty trained (which won’t be for a while!) I can see it as being useful for carrying wipes & clothing changes. It would be worth getting a second set to leave in the car for those rare occasions we decide to be spontaneous but don’t have a change bag with us.

This would make an excellent gift for new parents or parents entering toddler-hood. It comes in a bunch of different fabrics (this is funky flowers). If you’re looking for new parent gifts, they have some lovely ideas for little ones, especially the car seat cover.

Thank you so much to Ruby & Ginger for providing us this product for review — and for potentially saving me from future mommy fails by leaving the house without nappies!