Thursday, 23 October 2014

CHICCO URBAN TRAVEL SYSTEM REVIEW


When the lovely people over at Chicco got in touch with me to see if we'd like to test their Urban stroller we jumped at the chance. Two years ago I knew zero about strollers and was completely baffled as to why so many were on the market. As a soon to be new parent I expected to walk into a pram shop and be greeted by, 'the one', you know, the pram that does pretty much everything short of bringing up your child ;)

Instead we walked into the shop and we were completely overwhelmed by the choice. So I turned to the internet and looked up reviews for several strollers. Reviews that were specifically written by mum's themselves, because for me there is no better tester of a pram than a mother. Now here I am two and half years on with two children (I'm still getting used to saying that!) and a chance to share my tuppence ;)

So first off, the Urban is a beauty. Chicco have well and truly upped their game when it comes to the aesthetic of this pram. It's sleek, stylish and has a stand out design. For some, the look of a stroller may not be important, but for me, it is. Call me superficial, but I've ditched a lot of my past life indulgences when it comes to having little ones. So please, oh please, at least let me have a nice looking stroller to push down the street. I have however learnt not to choose style over substance. Now I want both ;) 

With that in mind we put the Urban to the test over the last couple of months.


Upon taking the stroller out the box I was pleasantly surprised to not have a thousand pieces come crashing out. The main body of the stroller was already together. It was just a simple case of popping on the wheels (literally) and attaching the seat.

The seat itself is particularly clever as not only can it face forward or towards you, it also teams up as a carrycot for those early baby months. With just a few minor adjustments (which are clips underneath the seat) and a padded insert, voila, it's a carrycot.

We personally didn't get much use out of it styled as a carrycot, with most babies you'll find out rather quickly whether they're a fan of a pram like that or not. In Archie's case, he is not. Neither was Caleb. It appears we make rather nosey babies who would much prefer to see what is going on in the world. For this very fact alone is what I loved most about this stroller as the seat is suitable from birth. So, if like myself you have babies who enjoy a little people or mama watching this stroller caters for that, plus you don't have the worry of storing a separate (rather unused) carrycot as you just convert it back into the seat. As the seat, the straps can be adjusted to their size and the foot rest can be positioned up the way to keep your little one safe and cosy. You can see this in the below pictured.


Another feature I like on this stroller is the extendable handle bar. This is a must if you're tall like myself, or small like Caleb ;). I've used many a stroller without this feature and I've really felt it in my back at the end of the day. It's also nice to not resemble a hunchback whilst pushing your pram ;)

Also, I love how because of the lightweight nature of the pram and it's swivel front wheels (can also be locked into position when needed) I could easily manoeuvre with one hand leaving my other hand free to keep a hold of that independent toddler of mine ;)


The hood on a stroller is key for me too, this one is great. It comes nice and far forward for when the sun is glaring in your poor babies face. The shopping bag underneath is a really good size too, which makes daily life soooo much easier. I fitted my change bag and a day's shopping underneath there no problem.


When I first unpacked the stroller I was struck by how firm the wheels were and instantly was not a fan. However, what I didn't realise until using the stroller was the great suspension it had therefore the firmness of the wheels wasn't a problem at all, more of an added bonus as punctures will never be an issue. Let me tell you, a pram with a puncture is NOT fun. Thanks to Edinburgh's cobbled streets the suspension was certainly given a thorough testing! 


When you start to shop for a stroller, very quickly you'll hear the phrase, 'travel system', bandied about. Fancy huh?!

You ain't shopping for a mere pram anymore, you're shopping for a 'travel system', dont cha know ;). 

Also what I like to refer to as our generation's lifesaver. With an adaptor added to the stroller you can clip a carseat onto it and away you go. I cannot recommend this feature enough if you are a driver or your partner is as it really does make life a thousand times easier, not to mention keeps a sleeping baby sleeping when you transfer them from the car to the stroller and vica versa. That alone is worth it's weight in gold!! We were sent the Chicco Autofix Fast babyseat with our stroller, which was lovely and padded and has a removeable insert to give extra cushioning to a tiny newborn, which I feel is essential for their comfort not to mention essential for our peace of mind and confidence when it comes to driving a newborn baby around ;).

While we're on the subject of cars, we found when collapsed the stroller fitting nicely into our boot, which I would say is medium sized. Always, always make sure before you purchase any stroller that you can get it into your boot. A no brainer you would think, but unfortunately I've been there, done that, AND got the t-shirt :/

Collapsing the stroller is straight forward to, just a push and a slide of clips and it's down. Same putting it back up. It's not rocket science, thank god, because some strollers out there you need a degree in Mechanics just to get the damn thing down.


Other features, are the rain cover. Can't go forgetting the rain cover, this being Scotland and all. It's easy to pop on and a great fit. I was caught in many a downpour and had no issues.

The brake, centre of the bar at your feet, and does the job nicely. You'd be surprised how many prams have shocking brakes and a toddler can easily move them when they're locked. Caleb tried with this stroller and failed. Much to my delight, and not his :)

Another lovely feature of this pram is the colour inserts, we chose emerald. There is various other colours to choose from and you can also buy them separately too if you fancy a change.


All in all the Chicco Urban gets a big thumbs up from us. Not only does it look the part but it also puts some of the £1000 travel systems on the market to shame, you're looking at under half that price here. Chicco are certainly making travel systems more affordable but not at the cost of style.

So the answer here is yes, it has style AND substance.

Oh, I should also tell you this pram was tested by both Grandmas and they too gave it the big thumbs up. Now that really is a seal of approval!

Below you'll find the Urban in action.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A POX WAS UPON US :/


Oh yes, chickenpox came to town and decided to grace us with it's presence. Arguably, a really good thing, as now that's both boys had it, and had it young. I got it at thirteen years old, and let me tell you, it was not pretty and I still have vivid memories of just how uncomfortable it was.

The lifesaver in this story though is my mum. She was up for a visit and arrived expecting a fun filled week with her grandsons and instead was greeted by a gazillion spots. Mostly on Caleb, Archie sailed through with just four spots. It would appear Caleb took one (million spots) for the team ;). Turns out her visit couldn't have been better timed. Taking care of two poorly boys was made soooo much easier by having her there. She cheered them up no end and kept me sane throughout. Thank you, Grandma!!

So it's back to business as usual this week. Which means interacting with the general public, yay!!! Can you tell that cabin fever was a problem last week?! ;) Here is to a germ free household. Well as germ free as a household can be when you've got a toddler around!

I need to tell you about the sweetness behind this above photograph.

Caleb is all for giving cuddles to Archie, but he's a bit of a run and go hugger. This is just before they both got ill and Caleb requested his usual cuddle from Archie, that went on to last twenty minutes!! I just sat there in awe, it's truly a privlege to watch their love grow for one another.

It's one of those moments that you bank, you know, when motherhood is kicking your ass and you're having a bad day. Moments like this remind you that you're doing a good job.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

BYE BYE NEWBORN, HELLO CUTIE! PIUPIA CLOTHING REVIEW & DISCOUNT CODE


Gahhh can we just talk about this little pudding of mine for a minute?! How on earth is he nearly five months old?! I really need to stop calling him a newborn now, right?! Okay, I will. A little begrudgingly, I admit. That stage is officially gone. Cue the little personality stage though, which sure as hell takes the sting out of leaving newborness (totally a word!) behind ;)

Along with saying goodbye to the newborn stage, alas we do to all his newborn clothes too. If you're picturing me folding small onesies whilst crying into them, you'd be about right ;). Archie is such a lucky wee fella and was spoilt rotten by all our lovely family and friends, and let's not forget the big brother hand me downs, so dressing him was all taken care for us. Now though, as we enter this new stage we do so with a limited wardrobe, especially as my boy is one seriously lonnnnnng baby, it's time for mama to do the shopping. Clothes shopping, you say? Yet another reason why leaving the newborn stage ain't so bad ;) 

As with my own wardrobe, I'm scaling back big time. I want all our wardrobes to fit in with our lifestyle, which for me needs to be quick, easy and fun. Quality over quantity, for sure. It's only taken me the grand old age of 33 to learn that very valuable fashion lesson. So I was really excited when I stumbled across this darling brand, Piupia. Claudia, a mama herself, is the designer and owner of this gorgeous brand. I'm really drawn to brands that have been started by mothers. I champion them for finding a career that not only fits around their family but is made better because of it. Her focus was to make beautiful and playful clothes, that are kinder to our environment and our babies sensitive skin. You can read more about Piupia's story here.

I just adore the mint green onesie, it feels super soft and boy, is a onesie a life saver when you're dressing two little ones. An easy wardrobe grab, and bam, the most delicious looking baby. Don't even get me started on the booties, they are sooooo making up for my saying goodbye to Archie's newborn baby vests. I don't know why but newborn vests just turn me into a quivering hormonal mess they are that darn cute, it would appear booties do too ;)






Piupia are giving all you lovely readers from now until 18th October 2014, 20% OFF their entire range!! I'm already swooning at the above bodysuits and leggings. They could not be more perfect for the winter mouths ahead. It's easy peasy, just click over to Piupia here, fill your cart and then enter THISLITTLEHOUSE20 at the check out. 

Now I'm off to deal with my current dispute with the husband. He wants to know why I'm vacuum packing all the newborn clothes.

'We're not having anymore babies, you do realise that?!', he says.

We'll see, Michael. We'll see ;)

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

MILESTONES & A STUCK ON YOU GIVEAWAY


Major milestones going on over here. Caleb had his first ever morning at playgroup.

Want to hear the surprising thing?

No tears. From anyone. That's right, not even me ;)

You see, I know he's been ready for this. He let go of my hand and didn't look back. I cannot tell you how proud that makes me of him. In all his two and half years, he's only ever been with me, or his family and friends. Watching him confidently interact with the staff and the other children made my heart soar. It made me realise we've been on a journey together, him and I, and it's led us to this point. I know it is early days, and there may be some set backs and tears, but I also know that together we can figure it out.

To mark the occassion I gave Caleb this personalised lunch bag and drinks bottle, kindly sent by the lovely people over at Stuck On You. I picked the colour, the font, and the design, knowing he would love it. His eyes lit up when he saw the rocket and his name, and me? Well, I will never forget the moment I watched my little boy confidently stride up the road to playgroup like a total boss with his briefcase ;).

Oh, Caleb.


Somebody pass this boy a china cup, because I am loving me that pinkie ♥


Forget the china, the boys a rocker. 


As you can see Caleb was also a big fan of his drinks bottle, which for the record people, does NOT leak. Yes ladies, you can throw it in your bag without fear of drowning the contents inside. So been there, so done that, like a gazillion times :/

To celebrate Caleb's little milestone, Stuck On You are giving two lovely readers the chance to win a £25 voucher to spend on their site. They're the one stop shop for all things personalised. From labels, to gifts, stationary and clothing. They also do great value packs, that are perfect for your preschooler and older.

Entering is easy, you just need to enter via rafflecopter below. When the giveaway closes two winners will be randomly selected and contacted by email once their entry has been verified.

This is an international giveaway.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

REMEDY FOR A TIRED FAMILY


Life is crazy. Good crazy, but crazy none the less. From the moment we wake up we do not stop. But then to talk about 'waking up', suggests we sleep. Hmmm, far from it right now.

Archie has hit the four month sleep regression stage with gusto. His growth spurt is having a growth spurt! Yep, last week he treated us to two hourly wake ups in the night, then decided 5.30 am was an acceptable time for a little chit chat. I swear every time I heard him wake I would look at my clock and want to cry, then I'd go to pick him up and there he'd be with his beaming smile. Babies are cute for a reason, people!! It's so you let them away with this sort of shizzle.

Throw in Archie having a bad reaction to his immunisations, and a lack of dirty nappies. Honestly, I've never been so happy when he finally filled his nappy good and proper, I practically gave him a round of applause. Then, there was poor Caleb who was clearly feeding off our tired energy and cried at the drop of a hat. Like, really, he dropped his hat and cried. Oh the irony was not lost, but our sense of humour was waning fast. It was not a good week. All Michael and I both wanted was a full night's sleep. Like, I would pay someone some serious money right now for a full night's kip. Anyone?? You take IOU's, right?! ;)

The weekend, although may not have brought sleep did give us that much needed family time. Oh how life as a four is so much better than a three! That weekend gave me that push to try and shake the negativity that comes with lack of sleep. The toughest point of our day is definitely the witching hour. You know, around dinnertime when everyone is soooo over their day already. Today, instead of tidying up and putting that much needed wash on (who needs clean clothes anyway :/) we decided a trip to the park as a family was in order. I still can't believe how unusually mild it is this time of year, it makes me want to soak up every last bit of that warmth with my boys. This evening we swapped tears and short tempers for laughter and fun (oh and some snoozing for Archie;)).

Just what the doctor ordered this very tired family.

Warning, some of these pictures are completely blurry. Hey, kinda like our life right now!!


Oh you know, that point when you're playing with your kid and then they just ditch you.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

THIS GUY


This guy. My boy. The big brother of the house. My partner in crime.

I am crazy proud of Caleb. Archie has fitted seamlessly into our lives, and most of this is credit to Caleb. He has nothing but love for his little brother, proudly showing him off at every opportunity he gets. It really is the cutest thing.

His first two words he even used together were, 'Hi, Archie'. Quickly succeeded by, 'More, please'. Food, that is, not babies ;)

Thank you, Caleb. Thank you for making me a mama. Thank you for making becoming a mama of two nowhere near as daunting as I thought it would be. Thank you for having me along on the Caleb & Archie ride, I literally can't wait to see what's in store for us.

Not a lot of sleep, that's for sure!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

ALL ABOUT ARCHIE


Archie.

Archie boy.

Archie pants (yep, sorry about that one ;))

Dreamboat.

Wow, you're thirteen weeks old now. Thirteen weeks!! On June 3rd, life started for you, and for us as a family of four. The last thirteen weeks have been a blur of beauty, joy and copious, copious amounts of nappies. Note to self, children to be potty trained before anymore babies ;)

But let's not talk about nappies, because next we'll be talking about poop, and then we'll be talking about the colour of poop. Ah, the life of a parent.

Back to Archie. Oh, Archie. Well first off you have spoiled us. Spoiled us with your chilled, easy going ways. You hardly ever cry, and when you do it's always for the obvious reasons. You feed like a dream, making it such an enjoyable experience for myself. Sleeping comes naturally to you. You go down each night drowsy and happy from your last feed, and then you drift off to sleep by yourself in your moses basket (true story!). My boy, you are a fluke. You are what baby legends are made of, and you are all ours.

Please note, the tone of this post is not meant to be smug, it's shock. Caleb was an amazing baby, but chilled is not a word I would have used, ha! So this is all kind of new to us.

I will now leave you with some baby fingers and toes...

You're welcome ;)


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