Thursday, 28 April 2011

Review: Willvin of Sweden Changing Bag

A good few months ago I was contacted by Willvin of Sweden about the opportunity to review one of their changing bags. As you know I have a changing bag obsession and will grab any chance to get my hands on a new bag. I scoured their site but couldn’t decide which bag I wanted. I’d been on the site before and was spoilt for choice then so I did something I don’t usually do when buying a bag - I consulted Chris. I knew that he’d love the fact that Willvin make bags that men can carry too - no zebra print or hearts here – just great looking, quality changing bags.

Eventually, we settled on the Willvin Leatherette in beige and I couldn't wait for it to arrive. As soon as I opened the packaging I fell in love with it and couldn't wait to test drive it.

The Leatherette is described as "an extremely well thought-out bag with lots of compartments and handy features making it easier to pack for a day away." So let's put it to the test...

The Space Test

The Leatherette has plenty of space. The main 'bag' has 2 zipped compartments (which I can confirm can be opened with one hand). It has two front velco fastening pockets and a further compartment underneath as well as 2 side netted paockets and a back easy access pocket.

The most important thing for me is that everthing in the bag is easily accessible, nappies and wipes need to be easy to grab when there's an 'uh-oh poo' moment, and there can't be too many pockets that you get confused in a rush. I only want to take one bag out with me - I don't want to have to take a handbag too to carry my things. The Leatherette is perfect for me as I keep my purse, my keys and all MY things in the front section of the main bag, nappies and wipes are in the other half along with a change of clothes. Bottles or cups fit easily in the side netted pockets and my mobile goes in the front pocket. The underneath part of the bag stays empty other than a carrier bag for those moments when there's an accident and a complete change of clothes is required (this is a regular occurance for me!) and I just put the 'wet' clothes in to the carrier and zip 'em underneath.

The Pushchair Test

I'm currently using the Quinny Zapp Xtra to whisk Little E around and I've talked before about the struggles to find a bag that works well with it. The Leatherette is perfect- it has a carry strap (as you would expect) but this unclips to make way for the intelligent stroller clips. You just clip the bag directly to your pram or pushchair which is great - I hate a bag that just hangs and slips down the handles.

The Shopping Test

Those intelligent stroller clips I mentioned are also perfect when you're out shopping. I just clip the bag directly to the trolley rather than carrying it around on my shoulder like my old bag.

The Verdict

I’ve got tons of changing bags and I used to swap and change between them quite a bit. For the past few months though my Willvin has always been on my arm/pram/pushchair/shopping trolley, I love it  we love it. In fact I love it so much that I even take it out with me when I'm on my own! Remember when I went for my Lee Stafford makeover?- I took that bag down to the big smoke for my trip and even the magazine girls loved it! Not only that it comes with lots of extra stuff too, like a changing mat so check out 'The Science Bit' below to find out about those.

All in all, a perfect bag; fashionable, sturdy, great quality, wipe clean and plenty of room to carry anything you might need. Go get one - I can't live without mine!
The Science Bit

• Available in 3 different durable and beautiful materials
• Works equally well at work as on the playground
• Can also hold a laptop
• Highest quality materials, design and function
• Smart extra compartments for diapers or clothes
• Practical zip bag for ointments, medications or cotton buds.

The following matching accessories are included:
• Changing mat
• Nappy or clothing nylon bag
• Bottle holder
• Zip bag

Find out more over at Willvin's main site.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A Funny Moment On The Train

Written earlier today...

I’m currently sat on a train on the way back from London. I need to do work but I can’t get online to access my emails. Even if I could get on, I can’t hear myself think. There are 3 girls (probably around the age of 18) on the table adjacent to me that are screeching so much about their night out last night.

They’re name dropping, talking about what a great time they had and they’ve mentioned they were staying at the Mayfair about a hundred times. It’s becoming apparent that they’ve met Chipmunk and someone by the name of Trey. From what I can gather it was Trey's concert but they were sat opposite him at one point, chatting to him. They only drank Grey Goose Vodka and champagne  - nothing else. And they got pretty wasted last night – the blond one has been sick twice during the journey – she had a chicken salad sandwich last night and now apparently it’s on the wall of the train toilet. The short haired brunette appears to pining over a lad called Jay-Jay – she’s so fed up with the way he’s been treating her and the other night she just got up, took her computer and left.

She's seems a bit down and proceeds to don a very large pair of white headphones, then starts singing extremely louly to Judas by Lady Gaga. They are all wearing MASSIVE false eyelashes and they orginate from Warrington - the same place as Kerry Katona - nuff said. They're already planning Friday night's jaunt to the big smoke but one of them can't make it 'cause she's going to a party.

I'm still taking it all in, my brain feels like it's going to explode from the noise level of these people. and their sheer lack of any need for privacy. There's a rather large man sat next to me and I sense he's unable to zone out either. The lady opposite is reading through pages and pages of photocopied sheets and obviously needs to be able to focus. It's clear that none of us on this opposite table have ever experienced anything like this on a train before but we don't acknowledge each other.


The girls are now talking about where 'headphone girl' ended up the previous night. The blond girl screams and makes a very rude un-postable comment along the lines of "I don't know but she certainly had her mouth full." The large man proceeds to spit half a bottle of Ribena out in shock, covering his shirt and tie and spraying the woman in front. 


I am not very good with trying not to laugh in these kind of circumstances. I couldn't help myself, I laughed. Loud. The lady in front laughed. The girls laughed. The man laughed.

Then we all went back to what we were doing as if nothing had happened, some of us a little bit more berry coloured than before. 


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Review: Brother Max Scoop High Chair

It's Easter Sunday so I thought I'd celebrate by sharing my review of the egg shaped Brother Max Scoop Highchair, with it's sleek and modern design and unique 'no strap' system, will it live up to my expectations? Read on to find out...

The Assembly Test

When I saw the size of the box I immediately freaked out, thinking that it would be really difficult to put together. I needn't have worried though, it came with really easy to understand, clear instructions with images of every detail so there were no issues. Here's how we put ours up...

As you can see, it's quite simple and more importantly - it only needs one person to construct.

The Baby Test

The Scoop is suitable from 6 months although it is recommended that babies should use the chair with the removable seat insert which is sold separately. The seat insert just makes the highchair more snug and secure for smaller babies as it reduces the interior size of the seat.

I did feel a little down-hearted when I realised that the insert wasn't included but I was confident that with the optional harness, 8 month old Little E wouldn't have any problems.

The only issue we had in not using the insert was that Little E is still a little bit wobbly. She is prone to jerking backwards and therefore would bang her head on the back of the seat so we just pop a towel on the back, just in case.

You can see from the image below how Little E fits in to the highchair - she's quite petite for 8 months old but she's secure and she loves being high up in the chair.

The Cleaning Test

In the past I've struggled with high chairs as they can be so hard to clean. This is where the Scoop excels on every other high chair I've used. There's no cloth to be stained, no straps to be soiled, no difficult cover to remove and wash in the middle of the night so that baby can still use the high chair again the next day. Every part of the chair can just be wiped clean. There aren't even any nooks and cranny's to cause any issues. The addition of a table insert could be good as it would allow for a thorough clean in the dishwasher but it's still perfect without.

Special Feature Testing

The scoop has lots of added features that you don't usually expect from a highchair.

Sliding Tray Table
The Scoop has a small lever handle just under the table attachment which allows the table to slide clear of the seat. This means that it was really easy to put Little E in to the highchair and secure her simply by holding on to her with one hand and moving the table up to her body with the other.

360 degree Rotation
The Scoop rotates through 360 degrees which I thought would mean Mister A would attempt to spin Little E around and around. Don't worry though, the chair swivels and locks every 90 degrees.

Height Adjusting
Due to the gas mechanism you just press the large button on the base with your foot to lifetthe chair to your desired height. The great thing about the height adjuster is that you can use it to adjust to  the height of any table, sofa or breakfast bar so you won't have a moment like we did one Christmas where Mister A's legs wouldn't fit under the table! The poor child had to sit about a metre away from the rest of us. With the Scoop there'll be no issue.

Gliding Castors
The Scoop is quite a hefty high chair so it's castors are a must. There are 2 castors and 4 height adjustable legs on the base so if your floor's uneven you can adjust the legs to compensate.

Conversion for use up to 5 years
So you're probably wondering why there isn't a beaming picture of Mister A trialling the high chair. The truth is, we just can't tell him that if we removed the table he could use it as a stool because he'd want to sit in it all the time - Thus leaving Little E without a high chair. It's great that we'll be able to use it for many years to come but so as not to cause any sibling squabbles I think we'll just keep schtum!

The Verdict

We really love the Scoop with it's clean lines and modern look, we're proud to have it in our home. It's easy to clean, easy to put baby in to, easy everything. The only down side to it is that it's so large. I'm used to having a high chair that can be folded and stored out of sight and clearly this can't be put away but the practicality of this chair makes for a winning product. I can highly recommend the Brother Max Scoop.

Don't just trust my judgement though, check out all the awards that the Scoop has won...

The Science Bit

* Suitable from 6 months to 5 years old, extra support for smaller babies
* Converts in to stool, incredibly comfortable for all ages
* Height adjustable for table, sofa or breakfast-bar and smooth gliding wheels for easy movement
* Ultra hygienic and much safer as can work without a harness
* Table moves right back out of the way for easy access and chair rotates 360 degrees

Boxed-product Weight: 19 Kg

The Brother Max Scoop is available now at

Disclosure: We received the Brother Max Scoop High Chair at no charge, to enable us to post this review.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

I Am Still Here, I'm just Quiet

Regular followers will wonder where I am. I haven't posted a personal blog on here for a good few weeks. No excuses... it's my blog... I can choose when I want to write and at the moment I don't want to. Well I do, but I can't. You see there's certain things going on in my life that are eating away at me and I figure, If I can't post happy stuff then I don't want to post at all. I've done a couple of posts at Big Mum > Little Mum about my 2 week old diet and some people may start to think that the diet is causing my angst but that's not the case. Although the lack of chocolate is leaving me feeling a little eurghhhhhhhh.

So I'm gonna go now, probably for a couple more weeks. I'll continue to review because I want to keep the blog going and there's little emotion going on in those little old posts. Hey, I'll call it 'Review Month' and pretend it's an intentional silence.

Don't worry about me though, I'm fine, we're all fine... I'll see you one the other side of this grey cloud.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

WIN 1 of 3 RoC Retin-Ox Wrinkle Fillers

As you may already know, you can also find me blogging over at Parenting Resources for Babywear Brands.

Babywear Brands is a leading Irish & UK online shop for lovely clothes for babies, kids & maternity, baby products, toys, books & now cosmetics!

To celebrate the launch of cosmetics on their site Babywear Brands have given me 3 RoC Retin-Ox Wrinkle Fillers to give away...

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is head over to Babywear Brands have a look around and tell me what other Health & Beauty items you think that they should stock.

Leave a comment below telling me what you'd like to see and 3 of you will be randomly selected to win!

For an extra entry tweet "I've entered to win 1 of 3 RoC Retin-Ox Wrinkle Fillers at @second_time_mum's blog - you should too! " and leave an extra
comment telling me that you've tweeted.


Prizedraw closes at midnight on Friday 22nd April 2011. Find more prizes at ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions. Loquax Competitions

Monday, 11 April 2011

Matalan: Cheap Holiday Clothes For the Kids

As you know I'm a lover of fashion but I'm also a lover of bargains too. My mum regularly laughs at the fact that I have a maximum amount that I'll spend on any one item - you won't find me spending £60 on a pair of shoes - what a waste - I'd expect at least 4 pairs for that! In fact, most of my purchases are all sale buys, for the kids I buy a season ahead. At the end of last Summer - just after Little E was born, I was already buying the clothes that she's wearing now. All in perfect condition, just end of the season stuff. Baby clothes can be expensive and while they are so young, clothes only last a couple of months before they end up in the loft so it seems daft to go mad buying designer labels. Now that the Summers here and a holiday is planned, I need to make sure that we can all look great on a budget.

Yesterday I hit my local Matalan store, with a £50 voucher to spend I wasn't sure exactly how many items I could get but I was surprised by how far the money went. Take a look at what I bought...

For Little E...
Navy Spot Summer Dress £6.00
Multi Colour Tiered Swimsuit £6.00

3 Piece Sundress Set £8.00
Mini Nautical Romper £6.00

and for Mister A...
2 Piece Brazil Football Set £5.00
3 Pack of Surf Vests £5.00
2 pack Swim Shorts £5.00

Boys Short Sleeved Stripe Shirt £7.00

All of that for just £49!!! I was amazed but, as per, I couldn't leave the store without finding a little gem of a bargain for myself. I managed to get these Summer sandals for just £2 in the sale!

So many great pieces and all really great value. We do shop at Matalan a lot and the clothes wash well and last too - there aren't many places you can get all of that for such a great price. We'll be heading back for more through the Summer - well it's only fair - I need holiday clothes too!

Disclosure: I received a £50 voucher from Matalan to enable me to post this feature.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Review: Clippy London Bag

I was really excited to get the chance to review a Clippy bag because I have admired them from afar for quite a while. It's one of those things that you know you'd like but you're not really sure what it'll look like in the flesh.

First off, What is Clippy?

The very first Clippy bag was made by a lovely lady called Calypso Rose (called Clippy by her friends) on the kitchen table. Clippy wanted to display all of her collection of Polaroid photographs in a bag. Lots and lots of people stopped her in the street and wanted to know where the bag had come from so she decided to make some for others and put 250 bags into production. She customised a large bag with a sign saying 'stop me and buy one' and then hired a stall on the Portobello Road, London. Clippy sold all her bags in the first month - hurrah. Clippy (then known as Clippykit) was up and running. 

So how does it work?

Well it's really simple you just head over to choose the size of bag you'd like - they sell make up bags all the way up to large shoppers.

When you've chosen you can then select the pics that you want on your bag. I decided to go for pics of the kids - I'm cute like that. It can be annoying having to upload pics, especially when you've already uploaded them before to Facebook. No worries, Clippy can access Facebook and use photos from there - EASY!

As you upload your images, you select where you would like them to sit on the bag. Once you've filled one side, you can flip the bag and fill the other. There's stock images too so if you want you can mix your pics in with some other funky imagery.

What does the finished article look like?

Well, I have to be honest, these pictures I've taken do not do the bag justice. It looks so much better. in real life. Here's my creation...

So what's the verdict?

The process is so simple and delivery is fast. I'm really impressed with the bag and I'm already planning another non-children version with all of my favourite things on it (yes, I'm talking about my Manolo's!) This would make a perfect gift for Grandma - she can use it when she's out shopping for the Grand Kids. I would definitely recommend Clippy - whether for something special for yourself or a unique gift - I guarantee you'll love it. Go on, try it, GO!

Disclosure: I received a Clippy bag free of charge to enable me to write this review.

Review: The Wean Machine

Fellow Mums take note - the wean machine is possibly THE greatest weaning product invented! I am totally in love with mine and Little E seems to enjoy it too.

What is the Wean Machine?

It's a unique feeding gadget that makes baby food wherever you are. It's fully self contained and it couldn't be easier to use - just fill it, squeeze and feed.

I use mine when all the time - at home or even when we're out and about. It's great that I can just grab the Wean Machine and a bit of fruit and go. It has it's own spoon so there's no panic that you've forgotten something to feed with and even if baby doesn't finish the food there's a cover to stop spillages on the way home.

One of the first things we tried in it was banana...

You just place a few slices in, squeeze the Wean Machine and your ready to go! Simples! Little E loved it and it's made foods so much more accessible - there's nothing worse than having to get the blender out for a tiny portion of food.

What's the verdict?

We love it. The Wean Machine helps prepare fresh baby food with no fuss, no mess & no noise. You just fill the bowl 2/3rd's full with soft fruit or suitable cooked foods, squeeze the handles together then spoon feed your baby straight from the bowl. It's great for portion control as the bowl is the size of a young baby's stomach, so you won't have more food than you need and it's great at home or on the move.

The Wean Machine comes with 2 different sized grills so as your baby becomes used to bigger lumps of food you can use the larger size accordingly. It's easy to clean too and it's dishwasher safe. It's become a daily part of life for us and we've even bought one for Grandma's house! A must-have!

Find out more about the Wean Machine or follow Wean machine on Facebook. Wean Machine is available at for £15.00

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 8 April 2011

Review: Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Volume 1

(c) Cartoon Network 2011

When I got an email asking if we would like to review the latest Ben 10 DVD I could hardly say no, could I? You already know how much of a fan Mister A is - you remember the time he refused to call me Mummy referring to me as Ben 24/7 even when he woke in the night?! Hmmm well the Ben 10 that caused all that is back on the scene.

Now I know what you're all thinking... the Omnitrix was destroyed in the last series when Ben 10 saved the universe (that was what you were thinking... right?) Well have no fear, there's a fabulous new hip space alien creator now - THE ULTIMATRIX!!!

So.. what does this mean for you?

Well, if you buy the DVD it means you gain instant appreciation from your children and you get 5 episodes worth of peace and quiet.


Well, along with the new series there are new 'ultimate aliens' to be purchased and when your child stares up at you in the toy shop begging for the Ultimate Spider Monkey toy, you are going to struggle to say no. My suggestion would be - buy the DVD instead of an Easter egg then get the relies (that's relatives to you non-common folk) to buy a Ben 10 gift in place of the chocolate eggs that will drive your kids crazy with sugar.

The Verdict

Mister A loves it - we watch it pretty much every day - including Mothers Day (twice). He loves it so we have to give a big thumbs up.

The science bit...

Featuring 10 action packed episodes, the series is the third incarnation of the Cartoon Network franchise and follows 16-year-old Ben as he learns how to master the secrets of the mysterious new Ultimatrix, after his precious Omnitrix was destroyed last series.

This brand new device not only allows him access to all of his previous aliens and powers, but also gives him the ability to evolve into super-strength versions of his alien entities - however, when things go ultimate, it is clear, so do the problems!

The series kicks off with Ben’s identity being revealed to the world making him an overnight superstar. Distrusted by adults but hailed as a hero by kids, Ben 10 is forced to juggle his new found fame with battling alien threats to the galaxy. It’s a tough job, as he fights old enemies who want to track him down and threaten his family, while at the same time trying to save five fugitives from Aggregor’s power. The question is, does being older make Ben any wiser?

Catch up with all of the Ben 10 action when BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN, VOLUME 1; ESCAPE FROM AGGREGOR is released on DVD on 18th April 2011.

(c) Cartoon Network 2011

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Review: Hotel Chocolat Easter Eggs

So Easter is almost upon us again - there'll be eggs all over the house, kids running riot on a sugar rush. Last year it took us months to get through the chocolate backlog of eggs that Mister A acquired! Don't get me wrong, I do love a good Easter egg but they're for the kids really - I shouldn't indulge but I do. I always feel guilty for eating stealing an egg from Mister A but no one ever treats me to an egg anymore... until now.

Last week I was sent THE most AMAZING 'grown up' Easter Egg I have ever seen - the Rocky Road Caramel Egg from Hotel Chocolat.

About the Rocky Road Caramel Egg

The egg comes in a luxurious box with a ribbon around the outside. I carefully slid the egg out of the box to reveal 2 individually wrapped halves. Each half was filled with a yummy variety of individual chocolates (10 in total) that come with their own menu. One half has a thick cookie-textured milk shell and the other is layered in smooth caramel chocolate.

What's the verdict?

I can not even begin to describe the deliciousness of this egg - I tried to just eat little bits at a time 'cause chocolates good in moderation - right? Wrong - chocolate is even better when you eat it all in one go NOM NOM NOM.

My favorite was the cookie side of the shell, I loved the crumbly cookie bits encased in the thick milk chocolate. Chocolate Heaven.

I did share a little bit with Chris, but he enjoyed it far too much for me to leave it unattended so I hid the egg and ate the rest of it myself!

So there you have it, it's amazing, I devoured it in a day. If you've got someone special in your life and you want them to be massively in love with you over the Easter period then look no further than the Hotel Chocolat Easter Gifts page. You'll be in the good books 'til Christmas - I guarantee it!