The solution to humidity risks for newborns

When caring for a child or newborn, there’s nothing we won’t do to protect them and make sure they grow up happy and healthy. There are the more obvious dangers such as trips and falls, which we combat with tools like stair gates and child seats, and then there are developmental risks that could harm our children down the line. Some of these are obvious, but others don’t get the attention they deserve.

The solution to humidity risks for new-borns

Correct room temperature and humidity can slip our minds, but they’re essential for children and especially newborns. In the growing years, our bodies are still adjusting to and defining the normalities of everyday life. When newborns first arrive, their digestive systems are very basic, and they have to be slowly weaned on to the type of diet they’ll have for the rest of their lives. There’s a lot of full nappies and spitting up on the way, and we wouldn’t dream of introducing solid foods as their first meal. The respiratory system works in much the same way, but unfortunately, we’re far less used to helping newborns acclimatise to their surroundings in the same way as we do for their diet.

The solution to humidity risks for new-borns

Failing to provide an acceptable climate for a new-born or child could lead to real problems later in life, including breathing complaints, asthma, hay fever and even allergies from which they wouldn’t otherwise suffer. An overly humid environment taxes the lungs in a way that newborns and young children just aren’t ready for, but thankfully, that doesn’t need to be the case.

Even the most basic dehumidifiers can make all the difference to a child’s future wellbeing.

Dehumidifiers for homes can be used to level the temperature and humidity of a household, while specifically tasked baby’s room dehumidifiers create the ideal environment for later good health and respiratory development. The benefits of a dehumidifier don’t stop with direct benefit to children, however. They also combat damp and condensation, drastically reducing the chances of mould gaining a foothold in your home. Luckily, a basic humidifier can be purchased for just over £20, with more advanced models also available.

Obtaining the right room temperature might be an often-overlooked aspect of raising a healthy child, but thankfully, it isn’t hard to find the tools to do it right.

disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

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International School Set imaginative play

We’re really into imaginative play here, but as you know this often revolves around building sites, construction in all forms and diggers and tractors normally feature quite heavily!  But with Monkey now being at school we’ve often seen him teach me phonics and go through literacy classes.  It’s lovely to watch him bring his daily school routine into his pretend play.  Something from Learning Resources caught my eye recently and we been having International School Set imaginative play.

International School Set imaginative play

With teachers in the family, and us spending time talking about the world at large I could see lots of potential for International School Set imaginative play sessions.  This set is wonderful, aimed at children aged 3 years and over, it comes with lots of accessories to assist with pretend play.

A great bonus for parents is that the tri-fold board that makes up the ‘school’ also doubles up as a storage case.

International School Set imaginative play

We’ve been talking a lot about the world since Monkey got a Globe and Atlas last December.  With his grandparents living in Spain, and my obsession with maps, Monkey is beginning to grasp that the world really is a large and varied place.

What would he make of this set?  Well it comes with a school bell and that was an instant hit!  Mummy, sit down!

International School Set imaginative play

The set comes with a whole host of accessories – along with the school bell, there are numbers, letters and flags worksheets, a clock (with velcro attachments), a double-sided map and calendar, a hand pointer (another big hit with Monkey!), a white board, marker and board rubber, pencils and notepad, a register and homework record and reward stickers.  Really, everything you could possibly need for pretend play with a school theme to it.

International School Set imaginative play

We’ve had fun looking at the map of Europe and introducing flags for the first time. Monkey knows what the Union Jack looks like and we’ve pointed out the Spanish flag to him when we’ve visited his grandparents.  But now he can learn about the rest of the European flags.  Another obsession from my childhood to share.

International School Set imaginative play

He has a world map up in his bedroom along with his globe and, with the International School Set we can test his memory of the different countries in the years ahead.

International School Set imaginative play

The wipe clean board is great to help him with him improve his letter formations, which is one of his targets following his recent teacher consultation.  The letter worksheets are also going to help with this in a fun way.

International School Set imaginative play

We have found that the hands on the clock are really quite hard to turn and I can see them getting damaged fairly quickly as they are made from stiff card.

International School Set imaginative play

This set is going to provide Monkey with hours of fun and as his writing improves I can see him really enjoying the worksheets, registers as well as the flag worksheets.  The reward stickers are already going down well!


Priced at £29.95 I think this in an excellent idea for young school children to play out their daily routine and actually pretend to be the teacher.  In our household I think I’ll be the one given homework!

We give this set a big thumbs up, it has longevity, can be used by one child or within a group setting.  When the school bell rings for the end of the lessons, the set can be neatly packed away.  What more can you ask for!

Learning Resources offer a whole host of educational games with a heavy emphasis on fun.

disclaimer:  we were sent this set in exchange for an honest review

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T-Rex Terror

As you are well aware we have a big dinosaur fan in this house so when we were asked to review T-Rex Terror as part of the Parragon Books Book Buddies scheme, I obviously jumped at the chance!

T-Rex Terror

T-Rex Terror is written by Timothy Knapman and illustrated in comic book style by Tim Wesson.  It’s quite a departure from our normal picture book reading so I was interested to see how a 5 year old Monkey would react to it.

T-Rex Terror is the latest release in the Dino Supersaurus range of picture books and judging by Monkey’s reaction I’m going to have to look out for the others!  He loves this book.

The book introduced Monkey to the Supersaurs (the goodies) and the Sinistaurs (the baddies).  Monkey is getting used to the concept that sadly, not everyone in the world is nice, and naughty people go to prison.  So he quickly grasped that T-Rex and his followers were baddies and that Trix and his friends were the good guys.

T-Rex Terror

As with all comic books, the action in T-Rex Terror is fast-moving and Monkey loved the whole concept.  We discover how the Supersaurs got their magic powers and how they use them to thwart the Raptor robbers and make headlines news.  They have cleaned up the streets of New Dino City but the Supersaurs can’t sit still for long.

T-Rex and his gang have tricked Doc into thinking he can claim a free gadget, but when he goes to claim his prize, the gang kidnap him. Can Trix and his friends rescue Doc from the evil T-Rex on Volcano Island? Can they use their super powers to beat the Sinistaurs?

Priced at £5.99 Monkey has really taken to this book, it’s a bit different and any dinosaur fan is going to love it.  Personally I’m not sure he would have enjoyed it so much at 3, but at 5 it’s a winner.

disclaimer:  I received this product from the publisher for free. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.


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Something different for Mothers Day

I have been fascinated with maps and atlas’ for as long as I can remember.  I think it all stems back to an old atlas that my Dad had.  When I was a little girl we’d look at far off places on the maps within the atlas.  Lots of exotic sounding countries in far-flung parts of the world.  I loved that atlas, and when my parents moved to Spain, Dad asked me if I’d like to keep it.  You bet!  It’s obviously very outdated now, with so many countries changing names over the years.  But that’s another reason I love it.  Anyway, I’m digressing!  I spotted something recently and it had my name written all over it – something different for Mothers Day.

Something different for Mothers Day

Maps International is my kind of heaven – a website devoted to maps in all shapes and sizes.  For Mothers Day they have a lovely ‘Home is where Mum is’ personalised map idea and for this particular Mummy, it is a perfect present.

This personalised map is 30x30cms in size, and the artwork is based around a UK postcode of your choosing (using 1:25 000 Explorer mapping from Ordnance Survey).  The town where we live is growing rapidly, so my Mothers Day present will become a piece of local history too in the years ahead.  Which is another aspect I love.  Daddy P’s family is from this area and we have a few old aerial photographs which are unrecognisable compared to the town of today.  I like the idea that Monkey will look at my new artwork in years to come, and see just how much his home town has grown in his lifetime.

The ‘Home is where Mum is’ personalised map comes in two options; either Laminated and Board Mounted or on Canvas. I liked the idea of the canvas finish, so went for that. Then you pick your background colour option – there are four choices – I went for Teal – you just knew I would!

Delivery takes 5-7 working days for this particular product.  I was so excited when it arrived.  The packaging was more than sufficient to protect the canvas in transit and it was already fitted with a hanging mount.

This canvas is now hanging in my living room, in the heart of my home.  Monkey and I have already been working out where our house, where is school is and where Daddy’s office is.  It’s become a talking point, anything that passes on my love of maps to my son, fills me with happiness.

I am really pleased with my Mothers Day present from Maps International, the quality of the print is great and the finish of the canvas framing is very good.  If you’re looking for something different for Mothers Day this year I can thoroughly recommend this idea AND they are on special offer at the moment – £45.00 instead of £50.00.

I wish there was a version available with Spanish postcodes for Mum!

Of course, I couldn’t help but look at the rest of the site and the large range of maps available.  If I had my way I’d love to wallpaper Monkey’s bedroom with a world map but I can’t get that one past Daddy P ….. at the moment!  But I can see a compromise coming in the future as Maps International have a great Dinos children’s Map of Europe.  It’s crammed full of images to help educate children about the countries of Europe, it looks fab!

Do you and your family love maps?

disclaimer: we were sent this item in exchange for an honest review.

We're going on an adventure
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The Best Birthday Present Ever!

Recently we received an interesting package, all wrapped up, what could it be?  Inside the wrapping paper we discovered The Best Birthday Present Ever! and I chuckled.  This lovely new picture book is written and illustrated by Ben Mantle was published in January this year.

The Best Birthday Present Ever!

The Best Birthday Present Ever! is aimed at children aged 3 years and over, and it’s charming.

We meet Squirrel and his best friend Bear, at a time when Squirrel has a big dilemma – what to buy his friend for his birthday?  Bear has so many wonderful things already. Squirrel wanted to get something different, whilst everyone else went to the toy shop, Squirrel thought of something totally different.

So began the search for the perfect present – nothing too big, or small – the perfect stick! The present was wrapped and the party began.  Would Bear like the unusual present?  It certainly was much smaller than Bear’s other presents.

The Best Birthday Present Ever!

Bear’s birthday party was in full swing and he opened his wonderful selection of presents and finally reached the present from Squirrel.  Would this be the Best Birthday Present Ever!  It would seem so.

I love the message in this book, that you can make anything into something else.  Monkey has such a vivid imagination that he has no problem looking at an object and using it for all sorts of things in his imaginative play.  Bear is exactly the same.  The other animals struggle to see what he could do with the stick birthday present.  But not Bear, he comes up with all sorts of ideas.

There’s a lovely twist at the end of The Best Birthday Present Ever! which I won’t spoil for you.  Monkey has really enjoyed this book and the underlying message is wonderful.  We received the hardback copy which retails at £10.99, but you can also purchase in paperback for £5.99 (my Amazon affiliate link is shown below).

disclaimer:  we were sent this book in exchange for an honest review

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Introducing Monkey to My Own Fairy magic

I had a vivid imagination as a child and spent a lot of time in my own little fantasy world.  I always believed that the bottom of our garden was a magical place.  It was my space, where my beloved swing lived, as well as the compost heap! (but will gloss over that little detail). Monkey also has a wonderful imagination and as an only child he is used to creating his own little world.  I’ve been interested in bringing in a new element to his play for a while and have now been introducing Monkey to My Own Fairy magic.

Introducing Monkey to My Own Fairy magic

I met up with the My Own Fairy team when I visited Spring Fair last month and knew the concept was something that could work for us.  You may remember that we had a visit from Berry the Elf in the run up to Christmas and he’d gone down brilliantly with Monkey.

The My Own Fairy doors are available in a number of different colour/theme options – we went for the red door with a football.  The door comes complete with a key and fairy dust, along with a code to join the free Fairy Club.  This club gives you access to a ‘Certificate of Fairy Residence’ template to download, a story to read, along with drawing templates.

Introducing Monkey to My Own Fairy magic

Introducing Monkey to My Own Fairy magic 2


There are other accessories available to aid the magic, including Wooden Magical Stepping Stones and wall stickers.


Introducing Monkey to My Own Fairy magic

The main idea for My Own Fairy door is that a Fairy moves into your home and you know when this has happened as the key mysteriously disappears.  Your fairy could then leave your child a note every time they visit, or it could come into play as a home for the ‘tooth fairy’ perhaps.

But in this house the My Own Fairy door is going to lead to magical land full of Lego characters, Duplo Men and elves!

Introducing Monkey to My Own Fairy magic

I love the idea that fairy doors can become different things to different children.  Monkey isn’t that interested in fairies themselves, but he loves elves and lands where knights chase after dragons.  Where his pilot Lego man can zoom into space and fly to the moon.

We’ll be making our door part of our nightly story time.  Which character might live behind the door tonight, what will they be doing, where will they go?  Sometimes Monkey may well wake up to a special delivery from a far off land.

There are so many possibilities, only limited by your child’s imagination.  I can thoroughly recommend them.  If you visit the Facebook page you can get some great ideas – from a Lego fairy house to fairy garden!

The My Own Fairy doors and accessories are available directly from their website – the various doors are priced at £19.99 and the stepping-stones you can see able are priced at £3.50.  The quality of the door is excellent and I know it’s going to provide a lot of magical fun in this house.

disclaimer: we were given the items mentioned in exchange for an honest review.


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The B&W Photography Project Week 34 #bwphotoproject

The B&W Photography Project Week 34 with PODCast  and I’m going back in time, to a trip in Dubai that I took a number of years ago and to a building that fascinated me for a number of reasons.

The B&W Photography Project Week 34

This is the Emirates Training College in Dubai.  As some of you know I worked in Export for most of my working life and in the late 80’s and 90’s I worked for a company that made and installed Emergency Lighting and Fire Alarm systems.  I started off as the secretary, which always amused people as I couldn’t really touch type.  I got the job because of my enthusiasm for world geography and I was known for being very organised.  Over the years I grew with the department and learnt everything to do with the administration, orders, quotes and shipping.  It was a really interesting place to work and I got to know about all sorts of projects all over the world including Eurodisney.  We supplied the lighting for a number of the rides as they were built, the only one I can remember now is Space Mountain – I’ll go on that one day with Monkey hopefully!

One project that totally fascinated me and the rest of the team was the Emirates Training Centre.  Our local distributor won the project with our help and our engineer helped commission the fire alarm system when it was installed.  Right from the beginning we knew this building was going to look like an aeroplane.  Only in Dubai, even in 1991.

Our engineer took photos to show me when he came back and I hoped that I’d one day get to see it for myself. A year or two later my dream came true.  We had an office in Dubai by then, and our engineer very generously donated his air miles so I could visit for a week with my ex.

There were a number of places I wanted to see but top of my list was the Emirates Training Centre.  It certainly lived up to my expectations.  I heard that a few years later a big highway was built right in front of the building, which seemed such a shame to me.

I must get my old photos down from the loft one day, as Dubai has changed so much since my visit. We visited in an October when it was warm, but not too hot for us to walk everywhere.  The guys in our office thought we were ‘nuts’, but it’s the only way for me to see a city.  I have no sense of direction and getting lost is all part of the fun!

Anyway, I love this photo in colour, but I think it works really well in black and white too. Have you ever seen a building like this?

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 photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg

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Silent Sunday My Sunday Photo 010315

Silent Sunday My Sunday Photo 010315


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Project 365 2015 Week 9

Joining in with TheBoyAndMe and her linky Project 365. A Photo A Day, Every Day, For A Year!  Project 365 2015 Week 9 Days 53-59.

Sunday 22nd February – Day 53

Project 365 2015 Week 9

I drove up to Birmingham and spent the day with my friend Iona and Monkey and Daddy P had a ‘boys day’ – they went swimming and just spent precious time together.  Iona and I had a lovely lunch out and then spent the afternoon chatting in a coffee shop.  We could and did talk for hours which meant driving back down the motorway in heavy rain in very busy traffic, but a nice, chilled out day otherwise.

Monday 23rd February – Day 54
Project 365 2015 Week 9

Back to school and you forget how long a week is for youngsters until your son asks if his friends will still recognise him?  Bless him.  I had lots to catch up with after half term so missed my sewing class.  Monkey had a good day but was shattered in the afternoon. You can’t beat a bit of map reading in our house, today’s map of choice, a rail network map!

I joined the tablet age finally today when my iPad mini arrived.  Less than impressed with the Apple cover I bought to go with it though, so more investment needed there.

Tuesday 24th February – Day 55

Project 365 2015 Week 9

A day of retail therapy!  I’d been invited to the new Hotter store in Banbury to have a look at their lovely shoes.  It was love at first sight when I saw these, they fit like a glove and are so comfy.  Also bagged a real bargain in Debenhams – a lovely Jacques Vert dress reduced from £149 to £29!  That also came home with me.

Monkey did ok in his swimming lesson – backstroke practice this week, with some hesitancy so really not sure they will let him go up to stage 2.  Think the grading appraisal is next week.

Wednesday 25th February – Day 56

Project 365 2015 Week 9

Back to Jado Chi for me after a week off, all went quite well.  We had Monkey’s parent-teacher consultation straight after school.  His teacher is pleased with his progress, he’s coming out of his shell and joining in more and increasing his circle of friends.  He’s just a very shy little boy.  One little Monkey deserved to go out with friends for Pizza Express, the boys all seemed to be tired after school, but food soon perked them up.  Then it was home to play ‘pretend school kitchens’ as you do!  It’s Roast Chicken today Mummy.

Thursday 26th February – Day 57

Project 365 2015 Week 9

Hello can you hear me?  Obviously all vacuum cleaners should work as telephones too! I’d been asked to review the week day carvery at our local Brewer’s Fayre so that filled me up for the day.  Monkey had a height and weight check at school, I’m sure the results will come back fine on that.  After an initial after school meltdown Monkey was full of chat with Granny and Gramps on Skype.

Friday 27th February – Day 58

Project 365 2015 Week 9

More before school reading over breakfast.  Monkey was full of excitement today as it was school disco day and his best friend was going for the first time.  Monkey sorted out his clothes that he’d change into at school in the afternoon.  We talked about going to the toilet before he got changed.  Unfortunately that all got forgotten in the excitement and he’d had an accident during the disco.  Sadly, none of the staff had noticed that he was soaking wet and that he’d been wearing his shoes on the wrong feet for over an hour. Sighs.  He’d enjoyed himself thankfully!  It’s the weekend.

Saturday 28th February – Day 59

Project 365 2015 Week 9

A home day has been much-needed so Monkey can take things easy after his first week back at school.  We got his homework done first – apparently we have a family of pet tortoises – uum, news to me!  Then it was time to have a look at a few review items.  We’re working with a local independent toy shop at the moment and Monkey loved this magic set, which is designed for younger children.  Great idea.
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I have loved reading Aesop’s Fables since I was a child as they all have great messages for any youngster to learn.  When I heard about the latest illustration version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I was really keen to share it with Monkey.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

This beautiful hardback version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf is illustrated by the Iranian artist Mahni Tazhibi. Monkey’s heard different versions of this story before we discussed the point that telling lies is never a good thing.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The illustrations are unusual and Monkey really enjoyed looking at them as we read the story. He particularly enjoyed counting the sheep!

In case you are unfamiliar with The Boy Who Cried Wolf , we meet a young boy who is bored with looking after his flock of sheep.  He decides that it would be fun to shout out that a wolf was trying to attack the animals.  He giggles with laughter as the villagers come to help him.  Of course, he was lying.  He plays this trick on them once to often, and on the day when he really needs their help, what do you think happens?

The book itself is lovely and the story is a classic, well worth £11.99 in my opinion.

disclaimer:  we were sent this book in exchange for an honest review

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