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What to get a seven year old on her birthday

Emma has once again been very blessed this past few months and weeks by several PR companies, authors and company directors and she got to play with some of the most exciting releases so I thought of putting together a handy list for anyone facing a big 7th birthday in the months to come.

As a list, the ideas below are pretty comprehensive as possible birthday or even Christmas presents and I hope you will find it useful.

  1. A personalised book

I have written about personalised books before on the blog and we have already a number of them in the house, both for Emma and in Georgie’s memory.

This summer, I have witnessed the exciting “birthing” of another beautiful personalised book called Message in a Bottle. Alongside a number of other mummy bloggers, we helped Tuire, the illustrator, decide on the graphics, the wording and the online kids’ club quizzes. I grew quite attached to Kiki, the lovable character in the book and was delighted to see Emma’s joy at discovering her name in the book and the personalised message we added at the end. I did fear that Emma would have outgrown the idea of a personalised book but I needn’t have feared, she still found the whole concept and book magical!

The book is printed in the UK and both the illustrations and the quality of the paper is superb and faithfully reflected in the price (£19.95). Delivery is free; the template option for the personalised message at the end includes beside birthdays, bereavement, parental separation/divorce, being different and self-esteem options so the book can be offered on a variety of occasions.

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2. Subscription box

Emma got two subscription boxes to review this month. One, a toy box and the other, a book box.

The amazing thing about every subscription box is that the people behind them tend to do the leg work for you, so you are almost always guaranteed that the products you are getting are good value for money and age appropriate.

Emma was sent the Kids’ Parcel last week and to be truthful, I was as excited as she was about its contents.

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I had seen the Super Hero dolls in Tesco the previous week and I knew their market value but to find all this wealth of products, all for £29.99 was simply amazing! The toys are spot on for a seven year old who still fantasises about being a super girl, who is getting to grips with writing and needs loads of notebooks to express her creativity and who loves painting neatly. We also got the UNO dice game, another win since children at this age start being much more interested in strategic games and the adorable Tsum Tsums!

I would wholeheartedly recommend this toy subscription box to anyone lacking inspiration for birthday gifts.

The second personalised subscription box Emma got sent this month was the WILF book box. We were actually offered a 50% code towards a monthly subscription box which brought the price down to £10 for us.

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The idea behind WILF is amazing, personalised boxes of books sent out to children and a return service through which the children can gift some of their books to others.

As with the Message in a box, I did see it literally come to life, from an idea to the box we received last week.

The four books we got were lovely and three of them were age appropriate but would I recommend it as a subscription box? Not just as yet, to be completely truthful. There are some things that need tweaked, like the price and also, the choice of books. In this day and age where books are so competitively priced, paying £20 for four books, one of which is too young for Emma, is a bit much. I’ve passed my feedback onto the lovely and enthusiastic founders and I hope to see improvement in our next month’s delivery.

3. Books

Oh no, I’m not contradicting myself, I love books and I will always resort to them first when it comes to birthday parties as books tend to be presents which keep on giving, long after they were received.

This month, we found some gems in the local library and in our WILF subscription box, so these are our recommendations:

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Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World sits right up there with the likes of Ada Twist, Scientist and Rosie Revere, Engineer, and are amazing books that inspire girls to think outside the box and dream big.

Here is its introduction:

The women in this book didn’t set out to be thought as ‘great’. They achieved extraordinary things simply by following their hearts, talents and dreams. They didn’t listen when people said they couldn’t do something. They dared to be different.

In a world where Donald Trump is trying to reverse the society to a primal state where women are nothing more that pieces of meat, books like this one are priceless and their message resounds powerfully against the nonsensical propaganda of this age.

Prebook yours now on Amazon for £6.99, including delivery for Prime members.

Fins, fluff and other stuff came in our WILF subscription box and again, it is a book that totally supports my system of beliefs and how I want Emma to grow, as a happy in her own skin and confident child.

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 The book is relatively new, once again, having been published on the 16th of November 2015 and sells on Amazon from £1.57.

Here is my list, so far. Did anything appeal to you and why? Do let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: we were gifted some of the products mentioned in this post for the purpose of reviewing. The opinions expressed are truthful and entirely our own.

JORD Wood Watches: Review and Giveaway

Sometimes dreams come true.

A while back, I read a post on one of my fellow bloggers’ blog and started coveting for this wooden watches from JORD. They looked stylish, luxurious and easy to wear with almost everything and I knew I would love to own one.

Time passed and I thought nothing more of it, except for the times when a JORD wooden watch would pop onto someone else’s Instagram feed and make my heart flutter a bit faster.

And then, one evening, the most amazing email landed into my inbox, inviting me to join the reviewers’ team with JORD and pick a watch from the new collection as my very own!

I may or may not have squealed for joy and pinched myself a bit, not believing my own luck!

As you can imagine, I was off in a flash to pour over the choices on the website and took forever to decide, as you don’t get to choose such pretty watches very often!

In the end, I went for a Fieldcrest Zebrawood and Maple, as the nuances in the earthly wood appealed to me the most.

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I waited with trepidation for my wrist measurements to go through to the team and for my watch to make its way over the ocean to me.

Finally, two weeks ago, it arrived and it is everything I did imagine it to be, from the posh packaging right down to the most important thing of all, my watch!

Look what has arrived in the post today! #jordwatch @woodwatches_com #blogger #review

A photo posted by Mama's Haven (@mamashaven) on

 

I was a tad afraid the watch will look too big or too masculine on my wrist but it doesn’t! It looks stylish and luxurious, just like I thought it would!

Now, the lovely people at JORD have decided to spread some joy around and maybe, just maybe, make someone else’s dream come true!

So they are giving one of our lucky readers the chance to win a $75 e-voucher , and everyone who enters the giveaway, a $20.00 e-gift card (excluding the winner)!

Be sure to enter JORD’s amazing voucher giveaway! Click HERE to enter! 

The giveaway went live last night, and will end Sunday the 30th of October 2016. It is open to all times zones, so please feel free to enter, no matter where in the world you live!

(The $75 voucher will expire on 2/28/2017, and the $20 e-gift cards will expire 2/28/2017).

I wish all entering the best of luck and thank you for stopping by to read this blog post!

Disclaimer: we were sent the watch for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions expressed are truthful and entirely my own.

Autumn Fashion for Children

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Emma has been in school for three weeks almost, can you believe how fast time flies?

The weather has been very kind to us in Northern Ireland and has stayed dry for most of September but the mornings have started to be crisp and cold so it is time to move on to warmer shoes and jackets.

Kids always tend to grow from one year to another, especially when they are as young as Emma is, so upon inspection, almost all of her last year’s autumn jackets’ sleeves stop way above her wrist and her shoes have long since been passed on!

So we were thrilled (and this mummy, very relieved!) then we were approached by two lovely companies which offered Emma that essential yet fashionable autumn gear she needs!

I will start with Go Outdoors, which have recently opened a branch in Newtownabbey, very close to where we live! I was very ignorant and knew nothing about the amazingly wide stock on offer; them contacting me gave me a much needed chance to familiarise myself with the store. Everything one needs for being outdoors is basically available, from clothing and footwear for all sorts of outdoor activities (fishing, horse riding, cycling, camping) to the auxiliary gear, like bikes, tents and portable toilets (yes, for real!)

The store offered us a choice of items for autumn so this practical mummy decided to go for the new Retort jacket from Dare2Be, a warm yet girly jacket and Merrell waterproof sneakers for Emma.

Retort Jacket

Merrell Waterproof

The jacket is warm and cozy yet light while the walking shoes are bright and sturdy yet again, light on the feet. Their delivery was swift and the communication manner warm and professional. I think that for £35 each both the jacket and the shoes are great purchases and will definitely see us through this autumn and winter season, come rain or freezing weather!

Now, talking of shoes, I need to tell you about a very special pair Emma got sent all the way from America!

The UIN shoes have been around for a while in the States but it was only at the beginning of this summer that they made an appearance on the European market.

If I were to describe the UIN shoes in one word, I would say “colourful” and something both grown ups and children alike will adore wearing. Amine, the children’s shoe shop owner, has translated the larger UIN concept into a practical yet still true to its colours mold.

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The shop has also this ethos I enthusiastically subscribe to: for every pair of children’s shoes purchased, they donate one school kit to a child in need through the #Walk2School program!

Emma was gifted a Childhood pair from the new launched kids’ range and says that they are “light and comfortable, mummy!”

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The pair goes for $45 but Amine has kindly offered our readers a $10 discount with the 10GC/SEP code. Do hurry but, as the code expires at the end of this month!

I think we are truly ready for autumn now, two beautiful pairs of shoes and a warm jacket to keep Emma warm and stylish, all at the same time!

Have you moved on to warmer wear yourself? Do your little ones have everything they need for the approaching cold season?

Disclosure: we have received the items above for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are truthful and entirely my own.

Roco Clothing: Beautiful Occasion Wear for Children

When it comes to clothing, Emma prefers casual and comfortable, as a rule of thumb. Over the years, we have been gifted several outfits for her which ended up in the wardrobe, never worn.

But recently, she has been into princesses and fairies and things glittery and feminine and I did think it a good time to try her with some fancy dress from the lovely Roco Clothing people.

If you are not familiar with the name or the website, Roco Clothing is the to go place for anything occasion wear, from christening outfits to page boy, communion and waistcoat suits (swoon!) to flower girl, prom and party dresses for children.

See what I mean?

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So, the all important question, what did we order?

We have no imminent weddings to attend so I decided to go for a party dress and ocassion wear white shoes for Emma, something that she can wear for birthday parties and for attending special events, like Disney on Ice.

I was pleasantly  surprised to see that prices were within reasonable brackets and that there was A LOT of choice when it comes to party dresses on the website.

With Emma, we took our time and pondered our choices carefully, ending up going for the Faye dress in blue and white dolly shoes, studded with pearls, to match the design of the dress.

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The products arrived within two days of placing the order and our shoes, who came in the wrong size, were replaced promptly and were with us within days as well.

The weather didn’t play ball for a few days but we did manage to get some lovely photos in the back garden eventually.

See what you think of them and our choices:

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Both the dress and the shoes are true to size, I actually made the mistake and ordered size 2 junior for Emma, fearing they would be smaller that usual but as you can see from the pictures, they will need some growing into.

Most importantly, Emma loves them, she found the dress comfy due to the cotton under layer which allows the skin to cool off and breathe. The shoes are the fanciest she has ever owned to date and are taken out of the box only to show off to friends at present but hopefully by the time we celebrate her birthday, they will fit perfectly and see her dance her special day away in them!

Thank you, Roco Clothing, for making Emma’s princess dreams come true with her cozy yet so dreamy wear!

Disclosure: we were gifted the items mentioned in the review above for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions are our own and always truthful.

Helping an anxious child ease back into school routine

That’s a mouthful of a title, I know but I did feel it was important I wrote about the things that have helped Emma with her return to school anxiety.

Of course, first of all, an open and honest relationship with us, her parents is the most important. I have always encouraged Emma to speak about her worries and together we try to find solutions to what concerns her, be it a new teacher, playground squabbles or being on time in school but sometimes, I found that talking is the first step and extra assistance is needed.

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So these are the things I have noticed that have helped in the last week and I thought I would share.

  1. Keeping busy before school with calming activities.

Emma was sent last week a beautiful parcel from Eat Sleep Doodle containing two pillow cases and a mini iPad case to colour in and have fun with. If you are new to the concept, these are high quality cotton products that come with wash out fabric pens, encouraging children to be creative and never worry about making a mistake while colouring in.

Emma has loved colouring in her seven wonders of the world pillow case each morning after breakfast and chatting to us about continents, special buildings and animals and I did find her much more relaxed going into school after a session of colouring in and nattering to us.

 There are many exciting items  that would appeal to children at Eat Sleep Doodle, I love the look of their doodle backpacks, aprons, placemats and especially the table cloth, how fun is that as a concept:

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With prices starting at £10 for an iPad mini doodle case, the range is accessible to everyone and would be a very appreciated gift for all creative children out there!

                                                        2. Doing children’s yoga after school!

I was raised in church and for some reason, yoga had a bad name throughout my childhood and young adulthood and I never challenged those beliefs. But since losing Georgie, many of those beliefs got shifted and eliminated and since yoga had been mentioned by many grieving parents as a way to heal and release emotions, I decided to give it a go!

I joined in a yoga challenge at the beginning of the month and Emma showed a lot of interest in my exercises and seemed very keen to be part of it so when the following day, the new Cosmic Kids Yoga books landed in for a review, I took it as a positive sign.

Our review books @cosmickidsyoga

A photo posted by Mama's Haven (@mamashaven) on

 

Emma did two workouts since, following Jaime’s sensational videos on YouTube and loved every moment! I did sit with Emma and watched the programs myself and I loved how yoga poses have been adjusted and made into games by Jaime. Her two new books address important issues like finding one’s self-confidence and standing up to bullies but the workouts are perfectly adjusted to suit children’s physical abilities and emotional needs.

Emma loved her Frozen workout yesterday, fully recommend it to any fans of the movie! More importantly, she felt rejuvenated and relaxed afterwards, no afternoon slump nor any typical moodiness, amazing to see her coming into her own in such a way!

The workouts can be found on YouTube and are amazing! I admire Jaime’s passion and am grateful to her for such a great tool in growing children’s body strength and self-confidence.

The new books mentioned above will be released mid-September and will cost £8.99 on Amazon. They can be pre-ordered from now. I would recommend them as a parent and child workout, as some moves need modeled first and the story which goes with the exercise routine is better read by a grown up. Of course, for older children, they can be done individually, at one’s personal pace.

3. Worry Monsters: writing worries down before bedtime

I had heard about Worry Monsters from various sources, both from other fellow bloggers and from a local charity, called Angel Wishes, which works with children which have been affected by cancer, either personally or in a sibling.

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The idea is quite simple: the child writes his or her worries on a piece of paper and places it into the monster’s mouth. The worry “disappears” overnight, as the parent removed the paper, and relieves the child of carrying the burden of that worry alone.

Emma got her Worry Monster as a gift from Angel Wishes last weekend and she did make use of it almost immediately. It was reassuring to see her pour her little heart out on paper and seeing her little face in the morning, when she discovered that the paper was no longer there and that she no longer had to worry about being late for school and so on.

The Worry Monsters sell on Amazon from £7.99 and are a great addition to the family.

Disclosure: we were gifted the books from Cosmic Kids Yoga and the items from Eat Sleep Doodle for the purpose of a review. The opinions expressed are truthful and entirely my own.