Its official, Summer is almost over. With the weather getting chillier by the day, you’ll want to keep your little one nice and toasty. Thanks to the UK’s temperamental weather, winter coats are one of those items parents don’t mind spending a little more on since we get a lot of use out of durable layers and waterproof lining! If between sizes, it’s a good option to size up, as that way the coat will easily last two winters making it more budget friendly. That’s why, we’ve teamed up with Chocolate Clothing and rounded up some of our favourite winter investments for babies and toddlers.


Make your little boy the coolest kid on the block with this coat from CP Company kids It comes in a grey padded polyamide and features a slick detachable hood and neoprene sleeves.The jacket is completed with a fun goggle detail on the hood, giving it some extra character!


Revamp your girl’s coat collection with this stylish reversible raincoat from Baby Kenzo Clothing. This fun piece comes in a pink and black polyester, providing a versatile yet girly base to the designer coat. The pink side of the designer raincoat features a large flower print on the back – adding a fun focal point to the design. While the all-over flower and peace sign print on the black side of the reversible jacket injects a bold feeling to the designer coat.


Why let the girls have all the fun? Refresh our boy’s coat collection with this reversible jacket from Paul Smith. This versatile coat comes in a black padded polyester, providing a quality and versatile base to the design. While the multicoloured dot print that covers the one side adds a bold pop of colour to the designer coat.



We love this raincoat from BillieBlush. This on trend jacket comes in a pink polyurethane paired with trimming that runs through the item injecting a bold pop of colour to your little girls’ wardrobe. The coat is completed with fringed sequin trimming on the sleeve hems – perfect for your little princess!


Top 5 winter coats


This Monnnalisa Girls padded jacket is guaranteed to keep your little one toasty. It comes in a pink padded polyester providing a girly and quality base to the design. While the detachable hood with fur pom-pom detailing is perfect for winter, with the gold buckle belt adding a practical and sophisticated element to the design.



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I book the hairdresser every six weeks, I take them to the dentist every six months. I check my children’s school shoes regularly for wear and tear and to make sure they still fit. I regularly check hair for nits and de-louse as required (ick!) I buy lovely bath stuff for their skin and a sensitive conditioner for their hair. I ensure they do regular exercise and have a good night’s sleep every night. I make sure they most definitely get their five a day and do not eat too much junk.

In every way I can think of I look after my children’s physical health.

But what about eye tests?

Does your child have a regular eye test

Has your child has an eye test recently? I have to admit my kids haven’t had one for absolutely ages.

Why not?

Well they don’t seem to have any problems with their eyesight so I just haven’t thought about it.

But then who made me an expert?

I have just been reading a report by eye experts Optegra Eye Health Care.  Optegra offers treatment for all medical eye conditions. They also offers vision correction – laser eye surgery and lens replacement. They operate 23 eye hospitals and clinics in the UK, China, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.

Basically when it comes to eye care they know what they are talking about.

In their report Optegra have discovered that  one in five adults do not realize children even need regular eye tests. At the same time  96 per cent of UK optometrists ?say correcting vision in children can have a positive impact on learning and development.

So fundamentally eye tests DO matter.

I absolutely didn’t realise this was a necessity despite having had sight issues all my life.

Eye health just does not seem to be on most parents radar, yet clearly it should be.

Dr. Clare O’Donnell from Optegra Eye Health Care, says:

“It is so easy to focus on perfect school uniform, smart haircuts, PE kits and pencil cases. And it is easy to forget a really important test – your child’s eyesight. A simple, quick and free eye test can reassure you that your child’s vision is as good as it can be, or recommend glasses if necessary. If children cannot see clearly, working with a whiteboard or close-up paperwork can prove a huge and avoidable challenge.”

It is not money that is a factor here. It is more about awareness. In the UK all school children up to age 16 are eligible for a free annual eye test, as well as 16-18 year olds in full time education.

Being able to see well is so important and really can impact on a child’s education, their ability to perform their best at sport and function well generally.  We don’t need to wait till tell tale signs arise, a speedy once a year check can keep us well informed about our children’s eye health.

Back to school time is a great time to add this to our list of things to do to prepare a great year ahead for our kids.

Why don’t you (and I) get one booked in for our kids today?



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Ah summer has ended and there is a distinct chill in the air. I am not ready to say goodbye to the sunshine just yet though, are you?

I have just been considering booking a holiday for October half term and I have been thinking about where might still have good weather and offer  up some fabulous beaches. Lanzarote sprang straight to my mind.

Lanzarote is a breathtaking and beautiful destination just off the West Coast of Africa. Spanish is widely spoken but English holiday makers are common so you would get by!  It is popular with holiday makers for so many reasons.

It has been quite sometime since I have been to the Canary Islands but my memories are warm and happy ones and I would have no hesitation in suggesting them as a great family friendly destination.

So what is so good about Lanzarote and why is it that people return there year after year?

reasons to visit Lanzarote

Lanzarote rose from the sea during a massive volcanic eruption some 15 million years ago

I have 10 fabulous reasons to visit Lanzarote  (but I know there really are many more.)

  1. The beaches are beautiful; long and sandy and just a complete delight. How lovely when it’s cold and grey here to soak upt he sun on a beautiful beach half a world away.
  2. There are gorgeous Yacht harbours which are wonderful to visit and see how the other half live.
  3. The weather is wonderful – in fact there is year round sunshine which is just a dream of mine!
  4. The food is diverse,fabulous and fresh with seafood and Moroccan food both being specialities.
  5.  You can get the most stunning villas in Lanzarote and these are a lovely way for families to really be able to relax, to self cater and to have private and peaceful times together.
  6.  There are spectacular volcanic remains and an awe inspiring landscape as a result. The scenery really is breathtaking. Did you know Lanzarote was actually created as a result of early volcanic activity?
  7. You can find exhilarating and exciting water sports in Lanzarote from windsurfing to jet ski’s , paragliding to  a banana boat. Not for the feint-hearted! For those of you more like me who prefer their sea faring to be a bit more sedate a glass bottomed Catamarang is a lovely way to explore. The Lanzarote seabed is said to be spectacular and diving is a really popular activity as a way to see the wonderful sea-life.
  8. The island has a rich cultural history including art, literature and music. The famous Visual Music Festival takes place in the awesome volcanic caves of Lanzarote’s amazing nature attractions Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes . How special would that be!
  9. There are gorgeous mountain ranges and hidden villages to explore all over Lanzarote giving you a reason to return again and again,
  10. There are water parks to play in, national parks to discover, vineyards to visit and  a host of  other fabulous attractions too which will keep the entire family happy,

Pretty impressive and a compelling list of reasons to visit Lanzarote



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Have you heard of Take Time to Pay at Toys ‘R’ Us?

It’s a new idea for Christmas to make life a little easier for parents.



The scheme encourages you to get your Christmas shopping done and out the way early. There’s no interest added to your purchases or anything like that. It’s just a really simple concept where you can shop as soon as you want and they will store it for you till nearer Christmas. You simply pay £5 for the service and 20% off your full payment. You can choose reservation terms and choose to pay in instalments.

You can find the full details here.



There are many benefits to this scheme for someone like me (and you !)

  1. I like to really enjoy the Christmas season: school concerts, seeing family, decorating and baking and the pressure of shopping last minute can really get in the way of that . Getting the shopping done and out the way means I really will be able to make the very most of the season rather than trawling around the shops.
  2. My house is pretty small and having a stash of presents to store for months in advance is just…annoying. The fact I can collect them in December is just brilliant as it means will only have them in the house for a short time.
  3. Shopping this way means you can cherry pick the gifts you want to buy before they run out. Do you remember all the fuss with Hatchimals last year? My daughter had one firmly at the top of her Christmas list and I just could not get one. I was literally stalking websites daily to see which shops had taken delivery. It was so time consuming ( and a bit stressful too.)
  4. Christmas is expensive and being able to spread the cost is really helpful. Being mindful about money has always been the very best way of managing it and this scheme stops last minute rush buying and overspending and allows you to spread the cost and take time to pay.

So what did I buy?

Well I actually shopped for my many nephews and nieces. The store was pretty empty, the shelves were fully stocked an it was a pleasure. The staff at Toys ‘R’ Us are always so helpful and the process of sorting out  Take Time to Pay scheme took just 5 minutes at the checkout.

I will be back to collect early December and I have a huge feeling of relief that my shopping has started.


My shopping list

Take Time to Pay at Toys ‘R’ Us


I bought a few sets of Ninjago Lego ( the movie is out soon and I know this Lego is going to be uber popular this Christmas) There is currently up to 1/3 off Ninjago sets at Toys’R’ Us so this is a great time to buy!

A talking money box Tardis

Isn’t this fun? I love to encourage kids to save money and this is a great way to do that!

Upwords (a  kind of 3d Scrabble) – I love giving board games

A tin can cable car kit

Oh how I love these kits. Just £12.99 too!  I bought a couple including a salt water activated robot tin can set!

An Aerobie Orbiter Boomerang

I am  a big fan of outdoor play and this boomerang is apparently one that does REALLY come back. What a great pressie for my nephews.

I also bought a dream catcher crafting set, a Star Wars boom boom balloon game and a Hexbug Nano Bridge Set (currently half price at £14.98.)


So just to recap all you have to do to join in with the Take Time to Pay Scheme is …

1. Find your nearest store

2. Select your items

3. Pay a 20% deposit

4. Collect your shopping 4 – 12 weeks later and pay the final amount.

I like everything about this straightforward and useful scheme.

It was rather lovely leaving the store knowing my shopping was done and I didn’t have to find a place to store it all!


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