A month or so ago now I was luckily enough to win the chance to review the new Graco EVO along with 4 other lucky ladies. This is just part one of the competition though the overall winner will then be chosen to become a Graco ambassador so good luck to the other ladies.

An introduction to the Graco EVO

First things first The Graco Evo was super easy to put together. I had never even attempted to put a pushchair together before so after a quick read through the well written and easy to follow instructions I set to work putting the EVO together.

The only thing you really need to with the frame is slot the wheels in to place. You don't need to use any screwdrivers or any tools they simply just slot in to place. The one time I did get in to a bit of a pickle was when I was putting the rear wheels on, if you can see in the centre of the wheel there is a cap that goes on. I put that on without realising you actually have to put a little clip inside which actually keeps the wheel on....silly me! So thankfully I managed to get the cap off again and then clip the wheel on properly.

The front wheels then just click in to place. You then have the option to have the front wheels locked or so that they can swivel, I decided that I was going to have the wheels so that they swivel to make the stroller easier to manoeuvre.

To open up the frame of the EVO you simply have to pull the leaver below and then the frame opens up. Which is great it's not fiddly to do at all and only takes seconds.

Taadaaa here we have the frame. With the Graco EVO you also have the choice to buy the car seat and carrycot so you can use it straight away right from taking your baby home from hospital until your baby grows in to a cheeky little toddler.(Thomas wanted to show his cheeky face in the photo) The frame itself is really light weighing just 6.5kg so no problem at all if you are lifting in in and out of car boots or on and off buses. The light weight also adds to the fact that the Stroller is really easy to manoeuvre.

The best thing for me is that when using the toddler seat you can either have it facing you or facing away. At the minute I love having Thomas facing me so that I can talk to him and keep my eye on him when we are out and about but I love the fact the option is there that in the future and I can turn him round so he can face the world and see where he is going.

To remove the seat to turn it around you simply push in the two grey clips that are located either side of the pushchair and then the seat just lifts off.

With the EVO you also get a good sized basket underneath which is a great size for shopping bags and you can actually fit quite a few things in there. Unlike other pushchairs I have seen where the basket is pretty useless. One thing I will say about the basket is that if you are using the seat as parenting facing then you can't really get things in and out of the basket very easily.

Another big plus point for me is that the EVO comes with a footmuff and raincover which is ideal for this time of year. Mind you we do live in England so we will probably need to use these all year round. Unlike my previous pushchair which I would have had to purchase a footmuff separately

Here is a front view of the EVO without the footmuff so you can see it a bit better. When you are first putting the stroller together you also need to clip the front bar across the stroller which just clicks in to place. The sun hood also comes separately which you can just clip in to place when you need it.

The Graco EVO collapses using just one hand all you need to to is push along the switch in the picture below and then pull in the other grey bit. (Did that make sense? It didn't did it) This is so handy one thing I will say is that the stroller wont collapse with the seat on in the parent facing position.

Overall I absolutely love the Graco EVO it makes using a pushchair actually enjoyable it is no longer a battle like with my old pushchair. The EVO is really easy to manoever which made shopping in the sales really easy which I never thought it could be whilst having a pushchair, I could just whizz around the aisles and through people it was brilliant. One thing I will say is like with all pushchairs check the measurements of it and make sure it fits in the boot of your car. Unfortunately when the EVO is folded up like the above photo it wont fit in our boot so we have to collapse it in 2 peices and put one bit in the boot and one in the backseat. Which isn't a problem as to be honest Thomas and I are rarely in the car and if we do need the car we can still all fit in.
One of my goals for 2013 is to make my blog bigger and better. I love my little blog it is a hobby that I truly love and enjoy and I put a heck of a lot of work in to blogging. In 2013 I want my blog to grow and do to that I would love to attend Britmums Live.

BritMums Live is the largest event for Lifestyle parent bloggers and it has come from BritMums which is the UK's largest parent blogger community, made up of more than 4,200 influential bloggers with  8,000+ blogs. BritMums Live gives bloggers the opportunity to get to know each other, build relationships with brands and most importantly you can learn ways to develop your blogging skills.

The reason for this post is that I am looking to see if any brands would like to work with me and sponsor me to attend the event. Do you have a baby friendly brand that you would like help promoting at the event?
I am looking for a sponsor for the ticket which if purchased before 28th February 2013 is £49.99 and sponsorship for travel and overnight accommodation or help towards.
 In return for the sponsorship I will happily promote your brand at the event in the following ways
  • I will wear branded t-shirts or badges to promote your brand.
  • I will happily hand out business cards for your brand during the event. 
  • You will also be mentioned as my sponsor for the event on personal business cards for my blog
  • Your badge/advert will appear on my blog for the whole of 2013
  • I will write a blog post introducing you as my sponsor for BritMums Live and will also talk about your brand
  •  I will be happy to review any of your products on my blog over the coming year.
  • Your brand will be mentioned in tweets what I talk about BritMums Live both before and during the event.    
 Unfortunately I can not hand out any samples or marketing materials of your brands on the premises of the BritMums Live event.

If you would like to work with me on this please email me at yummymummytraining27@gmail.com

Christmas 2012 has been the best Christmas ever. Forget when you were little and it was all about you getting lots of presents, watching your child open their presents is the best thing ever. Even though Thomas didn't have a clue what was going on and why we kept making him rip paper and where all these new toys kept coming from it was so lovely to watch. We also finally made use of the camcorder my dad bought David and I for a wedding present and we recorded Thomas opening his gifts in the morning so that David's family can watch when we next see them.

Christmas Eve Thomas had a little present to open which was a new bedtime story especially for Christmas and he also had his Santa Pyjamas to wear.

Thomas looking really excited for all of his presents as if he knew what was coming. These presents were just a few of us and then Davids mum and sister completely spoilt him. Lucky little boy.
We didn't really take that many photos of him unwrapping his presents as we were recording it.
Thomas at Grandad's house after he had just opened his presents and then he immediately started to pull himself up to standing on that bus you can see in the corner of the picture.
Dinner time!!! It looks like Thomas is stuffed out the way but we did pull him closer to the table.
Thomas's place was set with his own special cracker.
Munching on a Yorkshire Pudding for the first time. When I was pregnant we use to call Thomas a Yorkshire pud as his Daddy is from Yorkshire.
I think the hat was a little too big
Funny Face
I adore this present off my Auntie.
Yummy treats my mum bought for after dinner.
Playing with noisy toys whilst Daddy is trying to watch Dr Who.
Love, love, love these from my mum as we are big, Big Bang fans.

Shattered after his first Christmas. 
Christmas 2012 DONE roll on 2013
When I was younger we always had some little Christmas traditions in our family such as we would leave mince pies, sherry and a carrot out for Santa and Rudolf. Early in the morning my sister would come in to my room to open her stocking and then I would have to get her to go in to our parents room to wake them up, obviously as she was younger there was more of a chance her getting them up. Then we would all go downstairs as a family to open all of our Christmas presents.

After breakfast we would all get dressed in our new clothes that Santa bought us and then we would go and visit each of our Nan's to deliver presents and have the presents that Santa dropped off at their houses. My dads mum makes mini sausage rolls every year and my cousins and I fill our faces with them whilst opening our presents. Then early afternoon we would go home for a nice little family dinner and then spend the afternoon playing with our new toys.

I want to make some new Christmassy family traditions now I have my own little family. Each year when Thomas is older he will have a phone call from Santa a few days before Christmas day so that Thomas can tell him what he is hoping for at Christmas.
On Christmas eve we will leave cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for Rudolf before we take Thomas to bed with his little Stocking. We will also leave Thomas's Santa key out so that Santa can come in as we don't have a chimney.
On Christmas eve we will also have a little Christmas eve goodie box with new PJs and a new Christmassy book to read before bed and we will watch the muppets Christmas carol before bed. I love the Muppets Christmas Carol and I have watched it every Christmas for as long as I can remember and that will be one Christmas tradition I will pass on to Thomas.

Then on Christmas day we will get up as a family and see if Santa has been to visit us and we will record Thomas every Christmas morning. After breakfast we will get dressed in to our new clothes and then go to visit our grandparents like I use to when I was little. Starting with my dad and then his mum. This year we have my mum and her mum coming for lunch.

Aww I'm so excited for Christmas and for all of our future Christmases
On the 17th December Thomas had his very first Christmas party at his playgroup so I thought I would share a few photos with you from the party.
Thomas was the most Christmassy baby there, I thought the other babies would have been looking a bit more festive but they weren't oh well Thomas looked super super cute. He is wearing his Santa hat, my first Christmas bib and then a little grey t-shirt that says "Too cute to be on the naughty list"
And he most certainly is too cute.

There were lots of tables with party food  which we all tucked it too. The best thing about Christmas is all the buffet food you seem to have everywhere.

Thomas tried some new foods too which he did really well with, As you can see on the photo above there were little sandwiches so we gave Thomas a tuna one and a spread cheese one and he did pretty well with them. Then for a special treat we gave him a wotsit, a teddy bear crisp, a chocolate finger and a couple of little mouthfuls of jelly and ice cream. I think the jelly was a big hit he kept helping me guide the spoon in to his mouth.

 And then he met SANTA. He was the only one who didn't cry when he got close to him. Obviously Thomas was the only one that tried to pull off Santa's beard the little tinker.

 Before we left Thomas fell asleep he was all partied out bless him and he slept for a whole HOUR he really must have been tired after all the fun and excitement hehe.

Thomas had a cold lately, it was all Daddy's fault he bought it home gave it to Thomas who then shared it with Mummy. I do feel sorry for Thomas when he has a cold the poor thing can't just get himself a drink if his throat is feeling a bit dry or he can't get himself some medicine if he has a headache. So we have to do a bit of guess work to find out what Thomas wants.
So I thought I would share with you a couple of tips that have got us through Thomas's cold.

1. Make sure you have calpol in the cupboards, babies can have calpol from 2months to help a cold.

2. Have a tub of snuffle babe to hand, from 3 months you can use this on your babies chest but before this we used this on a muslin and then hung it on the radiator so that the scent would fill the room.

3. Hot steamy bathrooms can also help to clear snuffly noses so if your little one is too young for any type of medicines try this. Simply take your little one in the bathroom whilst you're having a shower.

4.Offer more drinks, Fortunately Thomas has been having his milk as normal but when he last had a cold he wasn't really drinking much of his milk. So you may need to offer little and often.

5. Lots of sleep and rest. You know when Thomas is really feeling poorly as he doesn't wriggle and try to get away when you are snuggling. He also doesn't seem interested when he is on the floor with his toys.

6. Lots and lots of Mummy cuddles. I have found that this is one of the best cures for a cold. When Thomas is feeling poorly he just wants to snuggle and be close to you all the time. So your daily chores can wait, get snuggled up on the settee and have lots of cuddles with your little one until they are feeling better.
Now the cold weather is setting in it's time for a thicker blanket for Thomas to keep him warm on our little outings.That is where Lilly & Sid come in.
This beautiful knitted blanket is from a company called Lilly & Sid they sell lots of beautiful baby clothes, accessories and toys.Their blankets make beautiful gifts for expectant Mummys and they also have matching outfits available so that your trendy little one can be colour coordinated. There is a choice between knitted and jersey blankets in lots of lovely colours suitable for either girls, boys or unisex.

As you can see Thomas loves his new blanket and it is so snuggley for keeping him warm on our little walks. These beautiful blankets are just the right size so I find they can either be used in your pushchair, Moses basket or simply for when they are enjoying a nice afternoon nap on the sofa.

The quality of these blankets is brilliant they feel really well made and are super soft and not scratchy at all which is what comes to mind when I normally think of knitted blankets but this will be lovely against your babies skin.

As I mentioned earlier Lilly & Sid don't just do blankets they also do childrens clothing and what I am also looking forward to is there new collection of boys clothing early next year which will go up to 8 years of age. Now where can I get an adult version of this blanket?....
A little while ago I did a post on how I found creating my Blurb Book, You can find that post here.
My Blurb Book has now turned up and I love it. I chose to create the Instagram book as you may know I am a little obsessed with Instagram so I thought this type book was best suited to me.

I am super happy with how the book has turned out it is a lovely hardback book with a dust sheet. It just feels like a really good quality book the pages are really thick and good quality. I am also extremely pleased with how fast delivery was I think when I ordered it on the 26th November the estimated delivery date was around the middle of December so I was shocked when it turned up on the 3rd of December I was expecting it to take much longer. So if you get in there quick you could get one of these in time for Christmas, These would make a lovely gift for a family member. I also have a cheeky little 20% off code to use on the Blurb website just enter NOEL20 when you get to check out.

Here are a couple of the pages from inside my book as you can see dedicated to our beautiful boy. The prices of the Blurb books vary as there are so many different options you can pick to make your book exactly how you want it. Seeing as though this book pretty much covers Thomas's first 6 months I shall make another one I think around his birthday time to cover the next 6 months.

Hi Monkey

It's been a while since I have wrote to you so I thought I would write you a quick little letter which may turn quite long.
I really wish time would slow down you are growing so fast now I feel like you are changing from my little baby to my little boy, you are not only growing in size but you are growing as a person your cheeky personality grows by the day I can see Daddy and I will have our hands full with our cheeky little monkey. Why am I saying "will have" we already do have our hands full. You are currently obsessed with everything you shouldn't be. The living room floor could be full of toys and you will dodge them and head straight for any wires you may spot you favourite game is pulling the wires our of mine and daddies laptops. Sometimes you even turn to look at us to see if we are looking at what you are doing!
Your favourite toy at the minute is a £1 remote we bought you from the pound shop as you wont leave remotes alone so we bought you your very own one and you wont leave it alone.
You are able to get about quite easily now with your funny commando/frog hop crawl so we can't turn our backs for one minute before you are messing with something you shouldn't, gone are the days where you would quite happily lay in your play gym for ages you always need to be moving now and playing with things.
You are so inquisitive you are constantly looking at things taking the whole world in around you, which can be quite difficult when we are out shopping and you are in your baby sling and you throw your head back to look at something which may have caught your eye.

Christmas is fast approaching and I am so excited my first Christmas as a mummy to a beautiful precious little boy. I just can't help wish Christmas was still months away and I still had longer left on maternity leave with you. It makes me so sad to think February will soon be upon us and the time will come for me to go back to work and for you to start nursery. I know it will be great for you and your development and I know you will enjoy it but it makes me sad as it means my baby boy is getting older. I am so so so glad that I will only be working part time at first though which means we will still get lots and lots of Mummy & Thomas days we will just have to make them super special.

I will leave it there now baby boy and promise that I will write again very soon.

All my love
forever & ever
Mummy xxxx
Thomas is now 6 months old and now the time has come where he can start to try a wider variety of flavours and textures at meal times. I was excited to reach this point with Thomas so that he can try lots more different meals and I think it also gets easier that he can try more of the foods that we are eating.
On his 6 month birthday his special new dinner to try was some scrambled egg and half a slice of toast ( I know wow what a lucky boy hehe) It is safe to say Thomas loves his toast as soon as he picked it up he knew exactly where it was suppose to go he sucked it until it was all soggy and easy for his little gums to nibble on. Before he tried any sort of harder foods I was a bit worried it sounds silly now but I was thinking like how does he know he has to chew this and not just swallow it and I was panicking in case he started choking on anything but babies just know what to do then again eating is a natural thing.

The next foods he tried was a mixture of things I softened some carrot sticks and broccoli a couple of slices of pepper and a couple of pasta swirls. I think we may have been a bit too late at night with this as he wasn't very interested in the only thing he really tried were the peppers and after being a bit unsure at first he seemed to get use to the strange taste. So for now I think I may keep the finger foods for lunch times until he gets more use to feeding himself and then carry on giving him purees for tea but I wont be making them as smooth now I will be giving them more texture.
I am so unbelievably excited for Christmas this year as obviously I am a mummy for the first time and so we have put the decorations up earlier than we usually do on normal years I normally put them up about 2 weeks but this year I put them up on 2nd December after seeing lots of photos on Instagram of other people putting their trees up I NEEDED to put ours up.

So here it is out living room looking all christmassy now. Happy happy happy

 I get such an excited feeling in my belly when I think about Christmas day with our little boy

My mum bought David and I this fireplace a couple of years ago and there was a spare hook which is now filled with Thomas.

This little beauty was only £5 from Wilkinsons I love it 

Thomas's first ever Christmas picture

Yes this next month is going to be so fun pulling our little monkey away from the tree