Mambo play centre, Cardiff

After Mondays experience at a local play centre, yesterday we decided to pay Mambo’s a visit.

Mambo’s has only been open a few weeks but I’ve already heard some good reviews from friends, my inner child couldn’t wait to go!

Mambo is situated 5 minutes from Cardiff city centre and is easy to get to with plenty of parking available on site.

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Upon entering there are ‘rules of play’ posters next to the desk, where you need to sign in and pay.
I like these rules of play posters, it tells parents and their children, what’s acceptable behaviour and what’s not.
As Willow is under 12 months old, we didn’t need to pay for her and parents go free, bonus! To get to the play area, a staff member needs to open a little picket fence that’s magnetically locked, great security to stop little ones escaping.

Once inside, we could see all the different areas clearly defined, baby, toddler, party area ect. We choose a table, took off our shoes and made our way over to the baby area, which consists of soft play shapes. I think it would have been nice to have a little ball pit for the babies even though there is one in the toddler area.
One thing that I love about Mambo’s is the ‘rules’ signs, there was one on the baby area…..

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And one on the toddler area…..

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Not once did I see a child in the wrong area and Willow was safe to explore the soft play. Friends have even told me that staff do enforce the rules and they make sure all children play in the right zones.

One thing I did find odd, Mambo’s has carpet tiles. Whilst we were there, we saw staff cleaning with a hand held Hoover several times. Although the carpet was very clean, I can’t help but to think that in a few months times, it won’t be as nice. But it did feel nice to walk on!

After Willow had a little play, we decided to order some lunch. They have a decent menu available and they are competitively priced.

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I ordered a latte, hot chocolate, baked potato with beans, tuna melt panini and a child’s meal, burger and mash, it came to £14 odd.

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Please excuse the drinks pictures, I ate all the yummy cream off my hot chocolate before I remembered to take the picture!

All of the plates, cutlery, high chair ect were spotless, there were staff members constantly cleaning and they were easily identified as they had ‘STAFF’ written on their t-shirts. A staff member was never far away, there were plenty of them and they also engaged in conversation with us.

I do think that they need to update their website and social media with real pictures of their play centre, even though the artist impression pictures are pretty accurate, it’s nice to see the real thing before you visit. At the moment, their website says ‘Real images will be available shortly’.

Overall, we had a very pleasant experience. I will be telling friends about Mambo’s and would most definitely recommend to others. We’ll be back!

 

Children’s play centre

On Monday we attended a relatives birthday party at a local children’s play centre, all was well until we took Willow to play in the baby and toddler area.

I don’t begrudge any parents having five minutes peace with a cuppa, but please, supervise your children. Don’t use a play centre as child care and don’t let them run riot whilst you use the time to gossip with friends. It spoils the experience for others and I very much doubt we will be returning any time soon.

Every play centre we have visited, have designated areas for certain ages and activities. These areas need to be enforced by the staff to avoid little ones getting injured. Boys kicking a ball about next to the baby and toddler is dangerous, what annoys me more, is that there’s a special enclosed area for ball games, that they chose to ignore. The ball got kicked at my head and narrowly missed Willow.

The baby and toddler area is for 0-3 year olds, I’d imaging it’s more or less the same age limit for most play centres. One little boy, older than three (he was wearing a school uniform) was in the baby and toddler area and was throwing the soft play blocks about, he held one above Willow head, ready to drop it, Simon gave him the death stare, he soon moved. Another child shoved Willow out of his way.

I’m shocked that parents allow their children to ‘play’ like this and even more shocked that the staff don’t enforce the designated areas.

Children’s play centres aren’t the cheapest places to visit, for the amount they charge, I’d at least want a safe environment for my child to play in.
This afternoon we will be visiting a new play centre that has recently opened, it’s about 15 minutes drive away but I’ve heard some good reviews, watch this space!

Klorane, Bioderma and Avene.

When a request was put out asking for bloggers to review a shampoo for oily hair, I had to apply.

I’m not a beauty blogger but I felt that this product would be relevant to me as I’ve always suffered with greasy hair. I have medium length, thick, coloured hair (got to cover those greys), I tend to wear my hair tied up quite a lot because I have a little one and don’t have the time to wash it everyday. If I wanted to wear it down, I’d have to wash it everyday.

Klorane Nettle Shampoo for oily hair
The only experience of nettles I’ve ever had is stinging myself! It’s never occurred to me to try products that are made from nettles. I’ve seen some crazy people eating them in a contest, ouch!
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As I knew I would be trying this product, I let my hair get really dirty for a few days, yeah, yeah, gross I know, but I really wanted to put this shampoo through its paces.
It’s a boxed product that comes with a leaflet about their different shampoos and conditioners.

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I think that they could do away with the box and leaflet to be more environmentally friendly.

After wetting my hair and pouring some shampoo onto my hand, my first thought was that it’s really runny and not as thick as other shampoos. I had to get it onto my hair pretty quickly before it ran off my hand. The first application didn’t lather up at all because I’d let my hair get really dirty to test the shampoo. The second application lathered up beautifully and I finished off by conditioning the ends of my hair.
This nettle shampoo doesn’t have a strong scent at all, the only way I can describe the faint scent is by saying it smells ‘green’. After drying, my hair felt soft and the shampoo had done a wonderful job in cleaning it. At the end of the day, there was no grease in sight. The grease started the next morning but it’s an improvement on my usual shampoo.

Priced at £5.10, it’s slightly more expensive than what I’d normally pay for shampoo but if it keeps the grease at bay, it’s worth every penny.
Klorane claim that ‘after sustained use, oil secretion is regularised, enabling you to wash your hair less frequently’. I will continue to use this product and hope that the claims are true, if they are, I will most definitely purchase in the future.

I was also lucky enough to be sent two full sized cleansers to test.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution
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Priced at £14.50 for 500ml, this gentle, fragrance free cleanser is suitable for sensitive and normal to dry skin. It gently removed my make-up and cleansed my skin, was easy to use and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. It’s alcohol free, so it didn’t leave my skin feeling tight or dried out. It costs more than I would usually spend but it’s such a big bottle, it will last ages and probably works out to be rather cost-effective.

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser.

At £3.40 per 100ml, this cleanser works our more expensive than the Bioderma (depending on what bottle size is bought).

My first impressions are that this looks like a liquid soap or handwash, its fragrance free with a no rinse formula and is suitable for sensitive to irritated skin and doesn’t contain any skin irritants such as paraben preservatives or colouring agents.

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It was very simple to use, I applied it with my fingertips, worked into my skin and wiped off any excess with a tissue. Just like the Bioderma, my skin felt lovely afterwards, without any tightening but I must be honest and say I didn’t like the way it felt, it feels almost soapy, like a liquid soap. I’m just being picky because I prefer to soak a cotton pad and wipe my skin. If I had to choose, I’d choose the Bioderma over the Avene, they are so alike in the benefits, skin types, cost and how my skin felt afterwards, that I have to be picky and I found the Bioderma slightly quicker and easier to use.

* I received these products to review, all opinions are honest and in my own words

February Photo A Day 2014

A friend on a Mummy group asked if we were up for a Photo A Day challenge, we were given a list of words, a different word for each day of the month. Every word can be interpreted differently and I’m sure we will come up with some funny, artistic and happy snaps.

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I’m not sure who started the Photo A Day challenge but as you can see from the picture, this list was made by Fat Mum Slim. It’s a fun challenge, nothing too taxing and hopefully I wont get bored. I hope my readers will enjoy looking at my pictures and even join in, share your pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #FMSphotoaday.

1. You.

You are probably expecting a picture of me and you are right, but a picture from when I was younger. Yeah, Yeah, it’s a cop out, I know, but I didn’t want to do the obvious selfie, maybe later in the month. Anyway, this is me as a baby……

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I wanted to include the following picture because I’m around the same age as Willow is now, maybe slightly younger.

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And finally, me, my Mum and my Granny. How amazing is my coat?!

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I know it’s meant to be ‘Photo A Day’, I knew I wanted to use an old picture and when I was looking through them, I couldn’t help myself!

2 down, 12 to go. 14 things for 2014

One thing on my ’14 things for 2014′ list, was to learn a new craft of skill. After getting some inspiration from a friend, Pinterest and etsy, I’ve decided to have a go at Lino printing.

I did try it in school many years ago, cut my fingers to shreds and 16 or so years later, I’m going back for more.

I’ve purchased a few bits to get myself started, a Lino cutter (with 5 different attachments), brown paper and some Lino blocks. I still need to buy some ink or paint and I’m good to go. It’s a very cheap craft to start doing, under £10 so far. The potential is there to save money, especially if I make my own gift wrap, tags and bags ect.

I have a few simple designs in mind to get myself started but I won’t reveal anything just yet, incase it goes pear-shaped Lino printing isn’t for me.

 

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I like to think I’m quite crafty and I can turn my hand to most things, with the exception on knitting and crochet. They have both been disasters! I wanted to knit a baby blanket and crochet a baby hat but I don’t have the patience for either. Hopefully I won’t find Lino printing too difficult and will get quick results.

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Moments that mattered in 2013

Now that we are in 2014, I want to reflect on the moments that mattered in 2013.

2013 was a life changing year for us, instead on being a couple, we became a family by welcoming our baby daughter, Willow into the world.

After an awful pregnancy, our beautiful daughter Willow was born on the 21st February 2013, at 12.39am, weighing in at 7lb 11oz, we didn’t realise how much one little person could change our lives forever.

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I knew the first few weeks would be tiring, but nothing can prepare you for how tired you’ll be, but it does get easier.

They say, that you don’t understand the concept of time until you have a child and it’s soooo true, the time is flying by and we will be celebrating Willows first birthday in a few weeks. It’s amazing how fast she’s growing and learning new things, from crawling and now trying to walk. At times she can be a handful and demanding but we wouldn’t change her for the world and we knew what we were letting ourselves in for.

2013 was a year of firsts for us, lots of firsts that mattered…..

First bath
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First Fathers day
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First time at the park
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First tooth
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First taste of chocolate
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First pair of pj’s
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First pony tail
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First Summer
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and the first time she ever fell asleep by herself!
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All of these firsts may not mean a lot to you, but they are my moments of 2013 that mean the WORLD to me!

*This blog post is my entry into the moments that mattered prize draw in connection with http://www.lloydsbank.com/ *