Goo.ey Skins for Tablets and Smartphones - Free Your Hands with Suction Power!

 

Goo.ey skin for iPad
Goo.ey Skin for iPad
Like most parents of young children, I rely fairly heavily on the internet and since I work from home, quick and easy online access is a must. From researching material for an article I'm writing, to helping the children source information for homework, our iPad is used a lot. However, I'm forever leaving it down whilst I get on with housework or seeing to my toddler and, as anyone who has a tablet computer knows, you leave it down momentarily, someone in the family swipes it on you! 

 

For instance, if I sit my iPad on the coffee table whist I go to fill the kettle, I'll come back moments later to find one of my children has sneaked off with it. Worse still, I take my eyes off it to take a phone call and someone will walk off with it right in front of my eyes!

However, help is now at hand in the form of Goo.ey, an innovative material that affixes to the back of compatible tablets and smartphones and which allows you to stick your device securely to a suitable surface, be it in the home, office or even car!

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Sound Medicine by Anime: Using Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies to Destress and Transform Your Daily Life

In recent and even not so recent years I've often found it difficult to relax. Most likely, the sole reason for this is simply that I lead a busy life, caring for our four children and my husband. It doesn't leave a lot of time for me to focus just on me and that means I often end up feeling stressed. It's not like I want or even need a lot of time to myself, but like most mothers, just a half hour here or there is all I desire!

I've often found that in those occasional half hours that I do manage to grab for myself that deep relaxation recordings help me cope with the daily stress in my life and I suppose I first started reaching for them when I was a student. Studying for what seemd to be never-ending exams in the hope of achieving my dream of becoming an English teacher, it was often difficult to wind down at the end of the day.

As the years have gone by, many things have changed. I achieved my dream but found that full-time motherhood became more important to me and that's why I made the almost overwhelmingly difficult choice to stay at home full-time. Not that I made that choice deliberately I might add. When I went on maternity leave just before my second daughter was born, I fully intended on returning to the workplace. However, it just never happened. I briefly thought about how childcare would work out and couldn't bring myself to leave the children with strangers. My parents and my husband's parents had been more than eager to look after their first grandchild but with a second it was more difficult for them and I didn't even ask as I knew it would be too much.

It wasn't an easy decision to stay at home as I had always loved my work and got a great feeling of excitement from helping young people to learn, but it had physically pained me when I had initially left my first baby behind with one set of grandparents whilst I left to educate other children. Somehow, the decision to become a fulltime mother was made for me without me even realising it - it was only as the weeks at home became years at home that at some point I actually thought to myself how did that happen?

These days, with four children who demand my almost every moment, I often look back on what could have been had I managed to secure a permanent job in teaching as soon as I'd qualified. I probably wouldn't have found it just so easy to walk away, and in fact probably wouldn't have done so, but since my early teaching positions were always temporary I just never went back after the birth of my second daughter.

Looking back into my own past always causes me mixed feelings. I know in my heart I've often made what were difficult but ultimately the best choices I could have made at the time, yet I still wonder incessantly about how I could be more productive in society. My husband tells me what I do is enormously important - as a full-time mother, I'm the one who takes the children on medical appointments, nurses them if they're ill and I do most of the school work, all the school runs and house-keeping. But my mind often refuses to quieten, questioning many of the decisions I have made and continue to make. 

Every day I look at working mothers and wonder how they manage and how I would have managed had that been the path I had ended up taking. I have many regrets but also many moments of clarity and when it all starts to become overwhelming help is never far away in the form of one of the many mp3 relaxation cds I have on my ipod. At the moment I'm enjoying some of my many Glenn Harrold recordings, in particular his solfeggio meditations series of which I have three. The recordings are based on an ancient sound system using certain frequencies which correspond to specific worries, stresses, hopes and dreams and I have found them remarkably effective and rather inspirational. Like many similar hypnotherapy/relaxation recordings, they start off helping you focus on breathing techniques which help you drift into a lovely deeply relaxed state before suggestions which help focus on problems or desires in your life. I usuallly fall into a deep sleep fairly quickly and usually awaken with a loud snore just as the recording ends!

What I really love about these recordings though is the background sounds and music, so much so that I actually bought myself a copy of just the background music which is composed and arranged by spiritual musician and healer Ali Calderwood, the man behind Anima.

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Bébé Gourmet - My Baby Recipe Book

BeBe GourmetRecently I reviewed Annabel Karmel's latest recipe book and it's certainly become one of our family favourites. Full of tasty and easy to adapt recipes, there's something to suit everyone's tastes in the family. So, I was excited to receive another baby recipe book to review recently, namely Bébé Gourmet - My Baby Recipe Book, by mother of two Jenny Carenco of Les Menus Bébé.

A stunning book to look at, it is full of tempting and very beautiful photos of delicious meals which aim to help parents raise adventurous eaters from the age of 4 months upwards!

I'm proud of the fact that none of my children have ever been particularly picky eaters, something I firmly believe breastfeeding has helped with, although that's not to say they don't have certain preferences. For example, my eldest daughter prefers plainer foods and also eats raw rather than cooked carrots whilst my son absolutely adores spicy foods. My second daughter isn't keen on mushrooms but will take them if chopped up very small. And Sophia, the toddler, well she'll eat anything and everything. Consequently, Bébé Gourmet looks like a good bet for us.

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The Big Family School Year Diary - Helping Busy Families to Remember the Important Things Each Year!

The-big-family-school-year-diaryEvery year, around the end of December, I treat myself to a nice new diary. The kids all head back to school and at some point in June they all come home with a year's worth of special dates for me to remember. I start to write them all into my diary and of course, because it only reaches until December, I run out of pages. I usually stuff the important pages with all the dates into the back of my traditional diary and then typically forget all about them until I realise I've forgotten to note in my next diary something or other that I should have written down!

That's where The Big Family School Year Diary comes into its own. Unlike traditional diaries, it covers the school year, ie August to August and allows parents to mark all those important dates as soon as they arrive. Not only that, but rather than having to squash up everyone's dates together, the diary has individual space for every child via the MUM's Office signature GRID format. This is a great feature as it allows everyone in the family to know at a glance who is doing what on any given week. Genius! 

The diary doesn't stop there though. It also contains lots of useful sections allowing parents to note the following:

Essential Family Contact Details and Information
Pocket Money Records
Important Dates to Remember
Need to Know Information
Our Plans from July to the following August
Travel Plans,
Our Week
General Notes

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Blue Microphones Mikey Digital - A Must Have Plug and Play Microphone for Your iPhone and iPad

 

Mikey Digital
Mikey Digital

Like most parents, my husband and I enjoy keeping a record of special moments and fun times in the lives of our children, and as such, we are always on the lookout for gadgets that will make recording these moments a little easier.

In fact, that was one of the reasons I bought an iPad 3 last year - I knew it would make it so much less hassle to capture treasured moments without having to go the bother of setting up my digital camcorder and then transferring the videos onto my computer for viewing. An iPad meant I could just get on with recording instantly and then watch my footage back as and when I wanted to!

However, pleased as I am with my iPad, I've always been a little disappointed with the sound quality of my recordings. The sound is slightly tinny and, dare I say, cheap sounding, and compared with my old digital video recorder, well, there is no comparison really!

As well as wanting to record my children, I also make relaxation voice recordings and occasional Youtube videos and for these, in particular for the relaxation recordings, I require professional quality equipment. An iPad simply isn't good enough, or at least it wasn't until now...

I've been using Blue Microphones Mikey Digital this past week and from what I have seen so far it is no exaggeration to say I've been astounded at the recording quality. Seriously, from the moment I made my first test recording and compared it with the same poem spoken through my iPad's microphone, the difference was incredible. The Mikey Digital, which attaches to the power outlet of your iPad/iPhone, delivers crisp, clear, stereo cd quality recordings with a lovely soft tone that is very similar to what I refer to as BBC radio quality. You'd actually think you had made the recording in a proper studio setting.

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New Annabel Karmel Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes - Tasty Food for the Whole Family!

Annabel karmel quick and easy toddler recipesI've been testing out a lovely book this week, Annabel Karmel Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes, the first in her Quick and Easy series.

The book is a 144-page, 100 recipe full colour book teeming full of healthy, balanced meals aiming to make mealtimes easier for hard-working families.

With a great choice of breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner recipes, many focusing on key food groups such as fish, pasta, poultry, meat, vegetables and fruit, as well as time saving tips and tricks to encourage children to eat well and experiment with different sweet and savoury flavours, this book is definitely one for the kitchen book shelf!

Having bought another of her recipe books in the past when my other children were younger, I was keen to try this new one to see if my latest addition would enjoy the meals I'd be preparing. And I'm pleased to report, so far so good.

With a family of four children and two adults, it can be difficult to keep everyone happy at times. My husband and I like lots of spicy foods like curries and noodle dishes, but as any parent can understand, the children aren't always so keen. I'm almost always presented with the dilemma of who to please at mealtimes and preferring for everyone to eat the same meal, rather than having to prepare two completely different meals, I tend to cook meals which everyone will eat rather than meals that everyone loves!

However, this week, with Annabel's guidance, we've all been happily sampling many new and interesting meals and with those I've prepared I'm thrilled to report so far everyone has been pretty happy.

The book, like others Annabel Karmel has written, has a huge array of meals ranging from snacks to main meals and desserts and is certainly a lovely looking book with lots of very appetising photos of meals within. To be honest, my main problem was actually deciding what to prepare from it as there is just so much choice. However, below are photos and rundowns of how I got on with several meals I cooked.

Hummus, Tomato and Cucumber
Hummus, Tomato and Cucumber Sandwiches
Hummus, Tomato and Cucumber Sandwiches

The first snack I chose to prepare was for the children coming in from school and feeling peckish. Normally, I'd make a few ham or cheese sandwichs or toasties, perhaps a shop bought pancake or scone but on this occasion I chose Hummus, Tomato and Cucumber sandwiches. Usually, I'd only serve hummus as a dip at parties so it was a novel and unusual combination which the children weren't too sure about at first glance.

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Introducing Baby Lit: Classical Counting and Colour Primer Board Books for Babies!

 Every once in a while I'm asked to review something rather special, something which I look at and think to myself, "Wow, that is a very good idea indeed!" This is exactly how I feel about Baby Lit books, a range of nine colour and counting primer board books based on famous works of classical literature but aimed at babies and young children.

As a literature graduate and English teacher maybe I'm biased, but if so I make absolutely no apology for it!

I truly think Baby Lit is a lovely and very original idea. Take a great piece of literature, one that has withstood the test of time, and turn it into something unique for little ones to enjoy. That has got to be a recipe for success. Not only is it a thoughtful way of introducing children to some of your own favourite works of literature, but it is also a very individual method of bringing colours and numbers into their lives too.

Having studied and throughly enjoyed Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre at university, I was more than thrilled to review the two Baby Lit books based on these original classics, namely Little Master Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet and Little Miss Bronte: Jane Eyre!

My youngest daughter is just 17 months so I was excited to introduce her to these very beautiful and stylish books. In fact, I must confess, I don't think I'll be leaving her alone with them any time soon as I might just want to display them as pieces of art on my old dresser later on!

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Gumigem - Fashionable Baby Proof Teething Jewellery for Babies and their Mummys!

 

Gumigem teethers
Miller Heart Pendant, a piece of Gumigem teething jewellery

When I'm breastfeeding my 17 month old daughter she loves to play with my chain and cross. She twists and turns it between her fingers and rather remarkably, is very gentle with it, just as her three siblings were.

However, I often fret that one of these days it's going to just snap. She's also been teething a lot lately and now has almost all her front teeth plus four great big back teeth. As many mums know, teething equals chewing and for Sophia this means chewing on almost anything she can lay her little teeth on. She has even chewed lumps out of books that the other children had cherished from their baby days!

Oh yes, we have teethers galore in our house but the problem is I can never find one when needed so, for me, the chance to review a piece of award winning teething jewellery, namely the Gumigem teething necklace, made in Dundee, Scotland, couldn't have come at a better time. Imagine, a teether that looks like a trendy necklace so always on hand but which looks the part when out and about with baby! Perfect :)

Designed by a fellow mummy, Jenny McLaughlan, the Gumigem baby proof mummy jewellery teethers were her lightbulb moment. Trying to soothe her own son who struggled with teething and chewed everything in sight, Jenny decided it was time to design a teether which doubled as a stylish piece of jewellery. So successful has she been that she now has many celebrities including Coleen Rooney, Sienna Miller and Jenny Falconer, wearing and raving about her product.

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The Snugg iPad 4 Executive Case Cover and Flip Stand - Stylish and Functional Protection for Your iPad

The Snugg iPad 4 Case has arrived and I've been fortunate enough to test it out.

Now before I go on, I must admit, I've been having a bit of trouble choosing a cover for my iPad 3, the reason being there are so many on the market to choose from. Being very indecisive by nature I simply haven't been able to make up my mind which to go for.

One thing I was sure of though was that I certainly didn't want to purchase an Apple iPad Smart Cover.

Why ever not, you may ask?

Well, having bought the Apple Smart Cover for my husband's iPad 2 I was reluctant to fork out again for a product which we felt was overpriced for what it offers and not very successful at the half job it does - it is forever falling off and doesn't afford any protection whatsoever to the back of the iPad. Therefore, for me there was no indecision here - if I did ever get around to choosing a case for mine, it would be one of those that offer full front and back protection without losing any functionality.

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Baavet Natural Wool Duvets - Sweet Dreams in a Perfectly Warm Bed Guaranteed!

I've suffered increasingly over the years from hayfever and in recent years have noticed even house dust becoming ever more troublesome. In fact, it's got so bad that I need to use antihistamines year round, not just in the pollen season. Anyway, just before my baby daughter arrived last year, I decided to look into buying her a natural wool cot fleece and, much to my surprise, learnt that wool is hypoallergenic once the lanolin is removed. Natural wool products are also dust mite resistant, promote peaceful sleep, totally sustainable and contain no horrible chemicals. 

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