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.


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…..


And one on the toddler area…..


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.


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!

Coughs and sneezes – Olbas and Jakemans giveaway!

So, it’s that time of year and we are already on cold number two. It’s awful when your little one is ill but there are a few things you can do to ease their symptoms. Baby paracetamol, ibuprofen and Olbas oil for children are the three things we couldn’t do without and they are getting used on a regular basis.

Olbas oil for children is so simple to use, just put a few drops on a tissue and place near baby but out of reach. A bottle lasts a very long time, I only need to use it twice a day, once in the morning and before bed, it’s cost effective because a little goes a very long way.

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Did you know that parents lose up to a week’s worth of sleep a year due to their child having a cold?! I feel like I’ve lost that amount during the last month, let alone a year!

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I was quite surprised by some of those figures, those sleepless nights add up quickly but the percentages have hardly changed on how to sooth a child between 3 months – 3 years and 3 years – 7 years.

If you are feeling a bit under the wether or suffering from the winter blues, enter my Olbas and Jakemans giveaway, you could win yourself, 2 bottles of Olbas Bath, 2 bags of Jakemans Mini’s Throat & Chest and 2 bags of Jakemans Minis Honey & Lemon.
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New car seat

The time has arrived to upgrade Willow’s car seat. From birth she has been in a Maxi-Cosi, Pebble. It has been great and was also compatible with the pram, when out and about in the car we could take the pram frame and use the car seat on it.

Willow is a big girl (23lb and just under 8 months old) so she was rapidly outgrowing the Maxi-Cosi, Pebble.

I had been reading up on the benefits of erf (extended rear facing) and decided that I would like Willow to be rear facing for as long as possible because of the safety benefits. Most erf car seats are pretty big compared to forward facing seats which poses a bit of a problem for us, our car is a little 3 door hatchback!

We narrowed our choice down to two erf car seats, the Cybex Sirona or the Britax Dualfix. We decided we needed a seat that swivels because of the size of our car and getting Willow in and out of the back seats. Both seats are very similar in looks and features, 0-18kg and up to 4 years of age.

Willow and I were out shopping with my mum when we decided to pop into the Cardiff St David’s, Mamas and Papas store. I tend not to shop there too often because I find them a little bit pricey. That weekend they had a 10% off event and the Cybex Sirona was included! The seat is normally £400 but the discount knocked £40 off. A lovely staff member named Wendy gave us a demonstration and Willow even liked it!

I decided to buy it, delivery was arranged for the following Tuesday and I was so excited, it’s funny, once you have a baby, you get excited about new car seats, even if they aren’t for you!

It’s such a lovely car seat and I’m so glad we bought it but I feel like an accident waiting to happen, climbing in and out of the back seats with the baby. We may have just put a deposit down on a bigger car…………

I must say, the service we received was excellent, Willow was given a little armadillo pram toy as they were promoting their new Armadillo buggy and this morning, I received a £15 gift card from them for my custom. I think I will put it towards Willow Christmas Day outfit. I will definitely start shopping there more often.

Here’s a picture of Willow test driving the Cybex Sirona in store

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Morrisons Nutmeg range

Our local  Morrisons is now stocking their Nutmeg range, I had a look and was quite impressed. There are some lovely designs which are very reasonably priced. Simon would go mad if I bought Willow any more clothes so I picked up a 2 pack of bandana bibs for £2.50, one has an apple print and the other is red and white stripes. They look super cute but they don’t perform very well. They are a little on the thin side and after feeding Willow it was soaked through and had started to wet her top, I even use a muslin during feeds to mop up any mess. After washing, the red and white stripe bib has slightly faded and the stitching is a little on the messy side. Overall I don’t think I would recommend these bibs but I hope the rest of the range are better quality