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wash, wear, repeat... #EcoverLaundry

Looking back to my childhood, I recall that the washing machine was constantly on the go and there were always clothes drying on the line outside. Fast forward 30ish years and not much has changed. As a busy Mum of three, it seems like the laundry basket is never empty and so continues the inevitable cycle of wash, wear, repeat... 

I spend a lot of money on washing detergent every month and, due to the eczema issues in our family, I am very particular about the products we use. I usually choose a non-bio formula manufactured by a leading brand and avoid fabric softener. I need a detergent that is tough enough to deal with all the weird and wonderful stains and smells that come with parenthood yet is gentle on sensitive skin.

Everything Unicorn

It's official, we have got unicorn fever in this house but there's no need to panic, this is not some sort of tropical disease, no, this is the unicorn craze that seems to have been sweeping the nation for some time now. So this week we are embracing everything sparkly, cute, shiny and even gooey that this magical, horned creature has to offer!

Something Sparkly...

Add some sparkle to storytime with these two fabulous unicorn-themed books. Sugarlump and the Unicorn is written by one of our favourite authors, Julia Donaldson. The cute and whimsical illustrations are the work of the extremely talented, Lydia Monks. Together Julia and Lydia have created several other brilliant children's books together, including The Singing Mermaid; The Princess and The Wizard; and the What The Ladybird Heard trilogy.

Our story so far... #EctodermalDysplasia #JeansForGenes

Tomorrow it's Jeans for Genes Day and, around the same time each year, I reflect upon the impact a tiny faulty gene continues to have on our family's day-to-day lives. For those of you who don't know, I have a condition called Ectodermal Dysplasia (ED) as does my son, Theo. I have previously shared a little about the condition and my concern's for Theo's future here: Along Came Poppy: Word of the Week: Kindness 

I'd like to emphasise from the outset that I consider our family to be extremely lucky not to be more severely affected by Ectodermal Dysplasia. However, having reviewed last year's post, I now realise that in just over twelve months a lot has happened regarding Theo's condition and treatment. I hope that by sharing our personal experiences, we will raise awareness of ED and may even help other families looking for answers.

10 Budget Ways To Grow Your Child's Library

These days our bookshelves are overflowing with beautiful children's books but this has not always been the case. When I was pregnant with Mini Reviewer, Izzie, I started to look for ways I could build up a little collection of books for her but without spending a fortune. Here are my tried and tested ways to grow your child's library on a budget...

Bath Time Adventures with Cocobubble - Review & Giveaway

Cocobubble is a family business based in South Wales that is reinventing bath time with a range of child friendly bath bombs, soap paints and mini character soaps. Cocobubble also sell innovative activity bundles, eco friendly toys and, yep you guessed it, a bath time book! 

The Magical Wood is described as a bath time adventure book. It is made using a flexible, waterproof material so it can get splashed or even be fully immersed in the tub. Cocobubble also sell The Magical Wood bath bundle, which can be used along with the book to promote imaginative play and storytelling. We thought this sounded such an amazing way to brighten up any bath time.

As the Mini Reviewers have mild eczema, we have to be quite careful what products we use on their skin. We were pleased to find out that Cocobubble products are not only made in the UK, they are 100% vegan and gentle on skin. They are made from many natural ingredients and are free from parabens, mineral oils, SLS, SLES and phlalates. So of course we were happy to try out some of their bath time range.*

Lollies Blog Tour:The Prince of Pants #Lollies2017

Nothing quite beats a book that gets you giggling, so we are delighted to be taking part in the LAUGH OUT LOUD 2017 Book Awards Blog Tour. The Lollies were created by Scholastic to celebrate the funniest books for children and are awarded in three categories: Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book; Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8s; and Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13s. The winning books will be announced early next year and are decided by children's votes. To view the shortlisted books and to place your vote visit the Lollies website.

Read with Lottie - Review & Giveaway

Lottie Dolls have been on our radar for a while now. We first came across Fossil Hunter Lottie in the shop at The Natural History Museum in London and loved the concept of dolls that are fun yet educational. Then we discovered that Puffin had released a series of books featuring Lottie, Finn and some of their friends. So, when we were asked to review Lottie Dolls, we happily agreed because we just couldn't wait to read with Lottie!

If you take a look at the full Lottie Doll collection you will see that there are boy and girl dolls, as well as dolls with different hair and eye colours and skin tones. There is also a whole range of different accessories, so your doll could be anything from a ballerina to a fossil hunter. He or she could go fishing, ride a scooter or even gaze at the stars. The vision behind the dolls is that childhood should be an inclusive place and Lottie Dolls are designed to empower children to be themselves. The tagline Be bold, be brave, be you! is therefore very fitting.

Meet Lucy and Jack - H is for Haemodialysis

It has been quite a while since I wrote a Books to Inspire post but you cannot get more inspirational than the story behind the Meet Lucy and Jack series. Just over 12 months ago I reviewed a very special book called "H is for Haemodialysis" written for children whose families are affected by kidney disease. It was the debut picture book of Anita and Simon Howell, who had been inspired by their own experiences of dealing with kidney disease and the impact it had upon their own family life raising two young children. Simon himself suffers from kidney failure and receives dialysis. He is currently waiting for a second kidney transplant.