Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Baby Changing Facilities Review


As any parent knows, baby changing facilities are one of the most important things to consider when visiting any restaurant, business, shop or any other type of venue.

So when I was asked by Direct365 to independently review some changing facilities, I thought this would be a great opportunity to see what was available for mums (and dads) like me.

Direct365 supply baby changing facilities to leisure outlets throughout the UK and as part of a new campaign have launched a series of humorous videos to help improve changing spaces.

Check out the new Direct365 videos here https://www.direct365.co.uk/blog/direct365-launch-baby-based-videos-improve-changing-facilities/ (my favourite is number 3)

Baby Changing Facilities Review 1There is a whole host of things to consider when deciding if a baby changing facility is good enough for you to change your precious bundle of joy (even if their kicking and screaming at the time).

Like is it clean, are there any nappy bins or even a secure changing table. I know this may sound like basic stuff that most places should have but trust me there are quite a few different venues that are seriously lacking in even these areas.

Some places don’t even have a baby changing area, which is completely unacceptable in this time!

Here I will be reviewing two changing facilities at two different coffee shops, as I do not want to name and shame any business all I will say is that one is a well known, very popular chain of coffee shops and the other is a small independent one local to me.

The 9 points I will be assessing them against are as follows:

  1. How easy to find are the baby changing facilities?
  2. Are they available for both women and men?
  3. Is there enough space to move around?
  4. Are there any additional chairs for parents with more than one child and breastfeeding mothers?
  5. Are there any nappies, nappy bags, surface sanitisers?
  6. How does it smell? Are there any air scents or air purifiers?
  7. How safe and secure is the baby table?
  8. Are there nappy bins?
  9. Does everything seem to be well maintained (good stock levels and fresh bins)?

Independent Coffee Shop

First up is the small local independent coffee shop. It got off to a good start as I easily found where the changing facilities were without needing to ask a member of staff and they were available for both men and women.

Baby Changing Facilities Review 2The changing facility itself was very impressive as it was spacious enough for a parent with 2 or 3 children, with additional seating in the form of a small chair, it smelt very fresh, looked very clean and had a nappy bin to dispose of any used ones.

Baby Changing Facilities Review 3The changing table itself was very secure whilst having more than enough room than needed, there were no nappy bags or hand sanitisers available but this is usually not a problem as most parents will bring these with them.

Overall this was an excellent example of what a top notch baby changing facility should be like, I scored it 8/9 against the points above.

Large Chain Coffee Shop

Next is the large chain coffee shop, again it started well by being easy to find and available to both men and women but then it went downhill as the amount of space was considerably smaller than the independent shop and the changing table was secure but too small in my opinion.

Baby Changing Facilities Review 4There was a nappy bin but no extra chair if you needed one and the cleanliness was not up to the standard of the independent shop.

Baby Changing Facilities Review 5Overall I gave this a 4/9 as it did hit some of the points above but not as many as the previous shop or as many as I would’ve expected from a large chain.

You can check out the changing facilities I reviewed in this post for yourself in my video below.

January Favourites 2017


Can’t believe how quickly this month has gone. It really doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago it was Christmas but here we are in February with so much to look forward to.

As my Birthday is in December along with Christmas I look forward to January to give all the smellies and products I got for presents a try!

Here are my top 5 Favourite Products I used in January:

The Body Shop Banana Conditioner

I absolutely love this stuff. I have really thick, wavy hair so it gets really tangled rather quickly. Apart from this smelling amazing it’s fantastic at detangling your hair leaving it smooth and soft. I do recommend the shampoo too but I normally use coconut shampoo to help with stopping any damage to my hair.

The Body Shop Spiced Apple Bubble Bath

As you can see I have used this well. The smell is beautiful, I mean it is a Christmas smell (which for this reason I believe it’s on offer on the Body shop website) but I still love it. It’s rather thick so a little bit goes a long way and it leaves my skin smelling amazing after I have gotten out of the bath. There is a complete set that you can get alongside the bubble bath, which comes in a tin shaped like an apple which I thought looked lovely.

Yummy Mummy Bag

I got this as a present to myself ha-ha. I follow a lovely lady on Instagram called cbinteriors she has a lovely shop www.cbinteriors.co.uk/shop with lots of great stuff. This bag is perfect for me to keep hold of all my mummy essentials including my Vlogging Camera, phone and charger, mascara and lip stain. It’s a perfect size to hold everything in but also to store in the nappy bag when I am out and about. It’s £6.99 without postage, so it’s not too expensive.

Harry Potter Mug

Now I know this may seem like a strange thing to have in my top five but for anyone that knows me, knows what a huge Harry Potter fan I am and also probably drink more tea than recommended. This was a gift from my cousin Jessica for Christmas and I think I have used it every day since. As you can see I’m rather an easy person to buy for ha ha.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume

Now when it comes to perfume I am a creature of habit. I have loved Burberry weekend since I was about 14 (I’m 30 this year!! OMG). I still like to have a huge bottle and I probably top it up every few months. Every year my mother in laws always likes to get me a perfume for Christmas and as my lovely sister Emily had got me Burberry for my Birthday I thought I would try something new.  I love the smell of Daisy and I think it’s a very distinctive smell but it lasts a while which is another reason I love it and let’s face it the bottle is just so pretty!



Teething baby / why won’t you sleep?


Let’s face it, teething isn’t fun for any of us and as a parent all you want to do is take the pain away.

Poor Oscar got a high temperature Boxing Day evening that lasted till about midday the next day. Thankfully we had Calpol on hand to keep his temperature at bay.

Oscar always seems to get a cold when he is teething, so after the few days of sleepless nights because of the pain we are shortly followed with sleepless nights of un upset little man because he can’t breathe through his nose and have a dummy in his mouth at the same time (which he likes at night). It’s so heartbreaking seeing them in pain and you feel so helpless as there’s not much you can really do.

I was willing to give anything a go and these are the things I did try to help take the teething pain away.

Amber Beads

I have to get the next size up of these but I did find them very useful and effective when Oscar was a lot younger, you have to be very careful where you get them from as there are fake ones. There are a number of places you can get them such as Amazon, Ebay as well as the Amber Beads website.

Teething Granules

I have only recently discovered these, as my friend had recommended them to me. I brought the Nelsons Tetha Teething Granules from Amazon, you get 24 ready-dosed sachets which you can pour into their mouth and I found it was effective rather quickly, they are also a homeopathic medicinal product such as the amber beads.

Aloe Vera Gel

I was recommended this by a fellow mummy but sadly this didn’t seem to work to well for Oscar (works great as an after sun though, Jason is very pale so any sun turns him a lovely red colour ha ha).

Calpol Vapour Plug in

I literally cant spread the word about this enough. I’m So pleased I found it, it was suggested to me by my friend Georgia she had seem it on Mrs Meldrum’s YouTube videos. It worked absolute wonders for us the first night we used it as we got a full night’s sleep, which none of us have had in a few weeks. I got ours for £5 from Tesco but I have since found out they are cheaper in B&Ms.


I started with this but found Oscar used to like the flavour and lick it off (ha ha funny kid who does that) so found it was very good for him.

Extra Clothes

We have a Gro Thermometer in his room and his room is always 18/19 but we have recently found that he has been waking up crying, which after a few attempts of is he hungry (giving him a bottle) trying to rock him back off or even putting him in our bed (which I don’t like to make a habit of but hey when you need sleep your prepared to do anything!!!) Oscar is an active sleeper (another reason I prefer he doesn’t sleep in our bed in fear of getting hit in the face by Oscar, this has happened before ha ha) so even thou he has a blanket it doesn’t last and hes hates being in a gro bag which is a shame as I’ve heard nothing but great things and he used to love them when he was younger. The other night I put him in a vest, baby grow and then a little wool jacket. Nothing to thick or restrictive and he slept through.

I am in no way telling anyone this is what they should do, as let’s face it every baby is different. I just wanted to share what I have tried and tested as I like to read about different suggestions myself. Sometimes it can feel like you have parenting down then all of a sudden your back a stage one and you can feel useless (well I can anyway).

Comment below any tips or advice you have found works, I would love to hear!

Sarah xx

Getting Organised and Getting Rid of Clutter after Christmas


Happy New Year guys

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year.

After Boxing Day I always get the urge to take the Christmas tree down and get the house back to normal (is anyone else like this or is it just me). It’s also a time to try and find new homes for all the presents we got (mainly Oscar’s toys!!).  Jason didn’t want to wait until after New Year’s Eve so I decided to sort my beauty/ spare room out first.

Where we have recently decorated our bedroom, we moved a lot of the old furniture into the other room and the old wardrobe still had clothes in it. Some that I haven’t worn in ages either because they are summer clothes or I hadn’t lost enough of my baby weight for some items to fit. What I wanted to use the cupboard for was to keep things like my beauty supplies in it and my sewing stuff so that when I do have clients round it’s not messy.

After two hours, two cups of tea and a pile of ‘will I, won’t I wear this top again’, I was able to completely sort out the beauty room rearrange and hideaway items I didn’t want laying about.

It felt great! I’m always so happy when it’s all done (even if at the time I’m cursing myself for doing it!). I decided that I didn’t want to clutter my new wardrobe that Jason had built in our bedroom, so I popped to the range and brought some under the bed storage boxes. I love these because they are inexpensive and I decided to put all our summer clothes in there and just leave the main things we wear at the moment in the wardrobe.

 I don’t like the cold but I do prefer winter fashion. I love the layers and accessories; matching gloves, hats and scarves, and parker jackets. I just think it’s just such a lovely look and I normally spend my evenings on Pinterest looking at look books and outfit ideas with a hot chocolate in my pjs.

As it’s the New Year it always motivates me to get organised and I defiantly want this to stick. It’s always so manic towards to end of the year, not only is it Christmas but I also have at least 9 birthdays to get sorted for! This year is also going to be a big one for Jason and I (we share our birthday too) so I want to make sure everything is all sorted and planned so I can enjoy the time, rather than stress out. I been looking at organisers and diaries, there’s just so many I need to decide which one I like best.

What are your new year resolutions please leave a comment to let me know. I would love to hear!

Thanks for reading .

Sarah xx

Getting Ready With A Baby


Being a mum, as you are aware, your time is now very limited. When Oscar was younger it was somewhat easier to get ready as he was rather happy in a bumboo chair or bouncer.

Now he is 12 months and crawling and into everything this is where things become a lot more interesing. A few things I have found helpful wen getting ready are:

The Rainforrest Jumparoo by Fisherprice

This was a gift from my parents and Oscar absolutly loves it, he has also been known to fall asleep in there which is so cute. There are adjustable straps to help change the height and adapt to Oscar as he gets older, the animals, bright colours and sounds keep Oscar entertained.

High Chair

Oscar enjoys being in his highchair (well for a certain amount of time, I’m not a terrible mother and leave him in there for hours or anything). There are a few things I do to keep Oscar enterained while in his highchair. The obvious being food, so things like rusks, banana waffers or yoghurt friuit bites keep him quiet while I sit next to him doing my make up or even try and straighten my hair.

Teddies / Toys / Wipes

Oscar has a few things he loves to play with he has Micky Mouse, Winnie the pooh (sense a Disney theme here guys) his giraffe and ball. The Disney Teddies don’t make any noise, they are simply a plush soft toy and the ball keeps him entertained as it rattles and of course with all the toys in the world Oscar finds just as much enjoyment out of a pack of wipes as he does his Micky Mouse (sorry Micky).