Playbrush Review – Brushing without Tantrums

Playbrush Review | Introduction

Dental health is one of the things that easily gets my attention. I am determined to give my toddler the best I can in this area; unfortunately, mine leaves much to be desired. So, when I was at the Baby and Toddler Show last month, the Playbrush’s poster at the Little Saints UK stand made me pause.

playbrush-at-toddler-show

Playbrush? Brushing, and play? It seemed a bit like an oxymoron, but one I desperately wanted to consistently experience with my toddler. The demonstration was like magic, and it dared me to dream of lovely toddler brushing possibilities.

You see, I didn’t start brushing my toddler when his first tooth came out as recommended; even then, I thought we had it in the bag … that is until he became assertive about his wants and likes.

For reasons I can’t quite figure out, his dad has way more success in getting him brushing than I do. But I need to sort him out sometimes, and I’m fed up with our increasing brushing frustrations, disagreements, and tears.

So, when I stumbled on the opportunity to review the Playbrush, I was definitely game … anything to improve our brushing time is worth the try.

Playbrush review pack

Sent free of charge for my independent and honest review

Playbrush Review | Key features

The Playbrush basically turns brushing into a game, by transforming manual toothbrushes into game controllers via Bluetooth connection to designated smartphones or tablets.

How the Playbrush works

Its brushing games are free for download on iOS and Android devices:

  • Utoothia
  • Utoothia Sky
  • Utoothia Magic
  • Utoothia Paint

Playbrush iOS and Android brushing games

Users control game characters with their brushing movements, to earn rewards and get live brushing feedback and tips, over periods of 2 mins at a time. The device makes this possible by measuring brushing speed, duration, and position.

playbrush-games-reward

This is meant to encourage good oral hygiene to keep parents, children, teeth, and dentists happy; by promoting:

  • Longer (2 mins at a go) brushing
  • Regular (twice-a-day) brushing
  • Better and accurate brushing (all around the mouth)

It aims to transform brushing from being a battleground to an entertaining and effective activity.

It works with existing household items: 95% of manual toothbrushes, micro USB charger plug, Amazon Kindle Fire, iOS, and Android devices.

Also, it can be shared, as each game allows for multiple player profiles, and each device can accommodate up to 6.

playbrush-games-profiles

Lastly, the games comes with cheerful tunes that can be switched off in the settings if desired.

Playbrush Review | Our experience

Design:

The device is convenient and straightforward, and the accompanying games are fun, instructional, varied, and rich.

Its indicator lights turn green when it’s on and red when it needs charging.

The smartphone holder is sturdy and easy to attach.

phone-holder

Size:

It’s the right size for both home use and travel.

Durability:

It has a 30-days money back guarantee, a 2-years warranty, and it allows for multiple users – features of a robust product.

However, it is not waterproof; but I see it lasting for a long period of time, if used as intended.

Usage:

We are using it with our toddler who is just under 3 years of age; though it’s aimed at 3 to 12 year olds. It has however been tested on younger and older children, and I reckon adults will enjoy it too.

It has transformed daddy and son brushing routine, to a family fun time – daddy supporting son to brush, mesmerised son very happy to be helped as he watches his progress on the screen, and mummy eager to read out the positive feedback and tips to commend and improve toddler’s brushing.

paint-feedback

I tell you, I have never seen my toddler so excited about brushing, with or without toothpaste. If he had his way, we would play the games throughout the day.

So far, we’ve tried the Utoothia Sky and Paint games; the Paint one is more age appropriate for us, even though our little one is happy with either.

The Playbrush games are really interactive and engaging; some have a leaderboard for brushing performance comparison. They also give lots of choices, monitoring, and offers oodles of enjoyment, whilst promoting good dental health.

playbrush-games-choices

They really are a treasure trove of brushing fun … a true ‘learning through play’ device; my, I see years of brushing enjoyment ahead.

Playbrush Review | Top 5 likes

  1. Portable for home use and travel
  2. Adds fun and excitement to brushing
  3. Cost effective and good value for money
  4. Instructional and high quality games that embed good brushing habits
  5. Easy setup, use, and maintenance – really clear instruction manual, on-screen guidelines, and online information.

playbrush-games-instructions

Playbrush Review | Overall

The Playbrush is a smart toothbrush add-on to have … a fun way to hopefully prevent future dental problems and costs, whilst helping to develop, maintain, and improve oral hygiene.

It’s use of screen time bothered me a bit; less, not more is what I want for my toddler. But my, the outcomes it offers for 4 mins a day is definitely worth it. And my concern about how to keep my excited toddler calm for bedtime, with his unfulfilled requests for another go after night-time brushing, has not been realised.

The smartphone holder has so far held up my phone, and made it easier to keep it away from splashes and falls.

I also really appreciate the intended and incidental learning opportunities that this device gives.

They come in blue and pink colours (and a green limited Christmas edition with stickers – on sale at the moment). You can buy them from Playbrush, Amazon, and selected retailers. The Playbrush webstore seems to offer the cheapest prices; its currently on sale for £19.99 (usually £26.99). You can also buy their smartphone holder, as well as quarterly or yearly (currently on sale for £8) toothbrush subscriptions.


How do you motivate your children to develop and maintain good oral hygiene?

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Trying to Log off | My Mini Digital Detox Attempt

Trying to Log off | Why?

‘Busy’ is my norm, and staying logged on is what I do. So, trying to log off and go offline is a really tall order and a big ask. I have a to-do list, so long that writing it down seems futile. There is always … always … always … something I need to be doing, despite my waddling pregnancy swag.

I can’t remember how many times my husband has expressed his concern about my attachment to my mobile, and challenged me to take breaks from it. I’ve gone from being nonchalant about social media to fully embracing it during my last maternity leave, and my modern year old-ish smartphone has made this so much easier.

So, Time to Log Off’s Digital Detox Christmas Challenge – #PresenceNotPresents – with Punkt, caught my attention. What better time of the year to go the extra mile in giving your family ‘the gift of your attention’.

Time to Log Off's Digital Detox Christmas Challenge, with Punkt

As you can probably guess, my husband liked the sound of it, and felt trying to log off and staying offline was definitely worthwhile.

Trying to Log off | Challenge

Well, I love a good challenge … and I decided to go for it. I mean, how hard can trying to log for 2 days be? We’re talking about Christmas eve and Christmas day here – probably the best 2 days to especially prioritise real life over mindless tapping and screen scrolling, replying emails and catching up with online tasks.

My, I can’t remember the last time I had hours of unadulterated, internet-free, and uninterrupted family or even me-time. The thought of it seems impossible, but the challenge of it feels liberating … freedom from digital buttons and keyboard pads … freedom from squinting eyes tired from looking at so many screens.

So yes, I’m taking the challenge. And come to think of it, this is a time my life will be taking … probably another really drastic turn, as I go from bump care to baby care. Good challenge combination, I think; each will probably make the other easier.

Trying to Log off | Trial run prep

I had to do a trial run last week, with the help of the support package that was sent to me free of charge, for my honest and independent opinion.

  • A journal, pencil, sharpener, and a pack of colouring pencils, to express my thoughts and calm my super active brain … lovely therapy – fab for one’s mental well-being
  • The minimalist – distraction / internet-free – but stylish Punkt phone

Digital detox support pack to help with logging off

  • And an infographic with suggestions on how to make the digital detox trial work.

Time to Log Off's #PresenceNotPresents infographic

I grew up with minimal screen time, and the internet was barely part of my life until I got to university. And as someone who appreciates the extent to which reading, creativity, talking, and the outdoors contributes to childhood imagination, screen time is one I’m not a great fan of, for my toddler.

Yet, I give myself unlimited screen time.

Reading the stats on the infographic got me thinking, though. Did you know that:

  • Smartphone users check their mobiles about 150 times a day
  • On average, adults spend 8 hours and 41 mins every day on screens, with social media accounting for 1 hour 42 mins of that

Trying to Log off | Trial run experience

The trial was way more challenging that I thought it would be. My, it was hard … very difficult … out of my depths … you name it.

Yep, you guessed right, I didn’t do too well.

In theory, I thought I could do it. I really tried to catch up on my pending work to reduce my concerns about all the stuff I really need to get done sooner than later.

The statistics bothered me – how often do I check my phone? I’m not sure I want to know really, but the 150 times on average seemed possible … and not one that makes me feel good. I definitely didn’t spend that much time on my phone less than a year ago, when I had a pretty basic smartphone.

And the amount of time I potentially spend on screens, and even more on social media unsettled me; even if it’s more for work than leisure.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t unplug cold turkey. At work, I had to use the computer, though I kept it to the minimum I could get away with. And with my family, I made more effort to have blocks of time off the net when we were together. But trying to log off … cutting off my internet use … keeping away from the screens … for 2 whole days … just like that … didn’t work for me. I couldn’t get rid of the unconscious and sometimes mindless digital itch, though I managed to resist it for periods during the day.

Trying to log off with the #PresenceNotPresents pack

Trying to Log off | What next?

I’m thankful for the practice run; it showed me how attached I was to my phone, and how reliant I was on the internet. Even more, it’s inspired me to rethink my relationship with the digital and to gradually create intentional pockets of digital detox within my days, weeks, and months.

So, I will be found trying to log off again on the 24th and 25th of December. But I think it would be easier this time; with something much more pressing on my mind … someone who especially needs my attention in a way that can’t be delegated … my new baby.

Nonetheless, I really look forward to making changes in my approach to the encroachment of the digital in my daily life. My children will be young for only so long, and I want to set better digital interaction examples for them.

I’d love to go on one of Time to Log Off’s week-long digital detox, but even more, I plan to make small daily changes to minimise the impact of the digital on my real life.


Could you do with a digital detox? 

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My Toddler and My Little Piccolo Review (Stage 1 Pouches)

My Little Piccolo Review | Introduction

I rarely ever bought food pouches when my toddler started weaning over 2 years ago; they just didn’t really ‘do it for me’. They were hit and miss with my little one; some he liked, others he couldn’t stand. So you can imagine my surprise at his many requests for My Little Piccolo pouches since I introduced them to him.

pp

My Little Piccolo Review | First Impressions

It all started when I went to one of My Little Piccolo’s weaning events, with my growing bump in mind. The session was down-to-earth, and they freely shared recipe ideas. I left, very pleased with my renewed confidence about weaning my future newborn to solids; and of course delighted that the samples I took home went down very well with my toddler. I suppose I wasn’t expecting it to be his cup of tea because he’s well past the weaning stage.

So when I was asked to review some of their flavours, it was a definite yes from me.

My Little Piccolo review - stage 1 pouches

Sent free of charge for my independent and honest review

My Little Piccolo Review | Our Experience

Flavours:

We checked out samples of their stage 1 flavours; what a lovely combination of fruits and vegetables, with spices.

  1. Spring Greens with a hint of mint
  2. Peach and Apple with a hint of basil
  3. Raspberry and Apple with soaked oats
  4. Sweet Potato, Beetroot, Apple, and Pear
  5. Cherry and Yogurt with wholegrain oats
  6. Apple and Apricot with a pinch of cinnamon
  7. Mango, Pear and Kale with a dash of yogurt
  8. Banana, Strawberry & Peach with a hint of mint
  9. Banana, Blueberry, and Apple with a hint of vanilla
  10. Squash, Red Pepper & Chickpea with a hint of rosemary

my-little-piccolo-flavours

They have other flavours in their Stage 1 vegetable patch and Stage 2 ranges.

To my delight, the vegetable pouches went down very well with my toddler, including tastes that were new to him.

pp2

Pouch Design:

Of the food pouches’ brands I’ve used, My Little Piccolo’s wins the day: right size for little hands, and attractive illustrations and colours for curious eyes.  The ingredient illustrations served as an empowering learning opportunity for my toddler; making it easier for him to ask for the flavours that particularly caught his fancy at different points. We had such fun moments identifying the fruits and vegetables and helping him to squeeze out every last drop.

pp4

My funniest pouch moment is the day my toddler discovered he could exhale into the pouch to enlarge it. My, the sounds of laughter that rang through our house … he got so excited about it that he ran around the house, blowing into the pouch over and over again … such fun.

Labelling:

The back of the pouch has a lot of information on it, but it’s easy on the eyes and arranged clearly. I also like the fact  that allergens in the ingredients, if any, are written in bold.

Safety:

I don’t allow my toddler access to the caps, a potential choking hazard as stated at the back of the pouch. Even then, I have some toddler craft ideas lined up for them during the holiday … watch this space for picture updates.

My Little Piccolo Review | Top 5 Likes

  1. Filling toddler snack
  2. Organic and nutritious
  3. Yummy flavours and very clear labelling
  4. Supports the NCT and 10% of their profits goes into food education
  5. Promotes current NHS weaning guideline of starting ‘around 6 months’

My Little Piccolo Review | Features

  • 100g pouches
  • 100% Organic
  • No added sugars
  • Eat warm or cold
  • Mostly gluten-free
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Mediterranean inspired

pp3

My Little Piccolo Review | Overall

My toddler enjoyed all our My Little Piccolo stage 1 pouches much more than we thought he would. They are fab for snack times at home, in the car, and whilst out and about. In fact, they replaced a few of his meals during some of his most grumpy moments.

These pouches are ready-made food / snack that I’m happy to buy for my toddler and use when my next weaning journey starts.

I would love to recycle the empty pouches but I’m not sure you can.

Their website has lots of useful information about their products, weaning, recipe ideas, and so much more … including retailers that stock their pouches.

They retail for as cheap as 6 for £5.


How did you / are you finding weaning to solids?

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Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Review

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Introduction

I’ve got to tell you: breastfeeding with nursing bras is so much more comfortable than without; definitely less clumsy. I  should know, I spent the first few months of breastfeeding without using one. Now a ‘nursing bra pro’ with over 2.5 years of experience, I can tell you that the Bravado body silk seamless nursing bra is definitely tops.

How do I know? Well, I’ve heard and read about it, and I’ve now tried it.

As you can probably imagine, I was pretty chuffed when I was asked to check it out; even more when it arrived.

Bravado body silk seamless bra - garnet

Sent free of charge for my independent and honest review

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra| First Impressions

I liked what I saw … really neat and inviting packaging. My word, what exquisite colours … so gorgeously rich in depth, and appealing to the eyes. You should have seen the big smile on my face when I looked in the mirror with it on.

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra Charcoal Heather

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Key Features

  • Easy sizing for its dual maternity and nursing bra functions
  • 4 hook and eye extension for rib cage expansion during pregnancy
  • Firm and flat nursing clips that are easily opened and closed with one hand
  • Removable foam cups to give a smooth look with or without breast pads
  • A proprietary Bra Conversion Kit (BCK) to change it to a “regular bra” post-breastfeeding

  • Full skin-to-skin contact of baby to breasts when feeding – opened cups fully drop down
  • Seamless with stretchy material for comfy all-day wear, and adjustment to the changing pregnant / nursing breasts

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | My Experience

Sizing:

During my first pregnancy, I learnt that you need to be measured every few months for the right bra size to support your growing breasts. As an eco-friendly savvy saver, big on getting good value for money, I wasn’t really keen on buying bras I could only use for a few months.

So stumbling on seamless wireless bras was a dream come true; they seamlessly (no pun intended) adjust to your changing breasts from pregnancy to breastfeeding, and beyond.

Bravado has a clear sizing guide on their website, as well the phone number and working hours of their certified bra fitters. I however decided to get measured for my Bravado bra size on the high street when I was around 25/26 weeks pregnant … just because … well … it was a kinda treat, I suppose.

Fit:

I am impressed with how comfortable and supportive this bra is; so much better than the cheaper seamless one I’d been using (from a different brand). I must also say that it’s made of really good quality material.

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Top 5 Likes

  1. Snazzy colours that feel good
  2. Good support without compromising comfort
  3. Excellent value for money for its superb quality
  4. Durable and super comfy to wear all day during pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding, and beyond
  5. Easy sizing which makes it a fab baby shower present if you know the size of the mum’s top

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Product Information

  • Price: £30 on Bravado UK’s website (£26.99 – £36.87 from other retailers)
  • Usual Colours: Ivory, Butterscotch, Pink Ice,
  • Seasonal Colours: Cherry, Silver Bell
  • New Colours: Charcoal Heather, Garnet (not yet available on Bravado UK’s website)
  • Size: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra Pink

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Care Information

  • Machine washable
  • Wash before wearing
  • Wash with similar colours
  • No tumble drying or ironing

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Overall

I’m really thankful for this bra; they are now my seamless bra staple … so comfy for my expanding pregnancy rib cage whilst breastfeeding my toddler. It’s not surprising that celebrity mums like Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr, Cate Blanchett, Pink Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Garner, Miranda Kerr, and others consider it a nursing bra to have.

You can buy the Body Silk Seamless from Bravado with free shipping; and Amazon has more colours and even XXL size.


What’s your favourite nursing bra and why?

Helpful review?

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Tomy’s Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Review and Giveaway

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Introduction

I didn’t grow up with pets and I’m not keen on the responsibilities involved in owning one. However, I cultivate a love of the natural world in my toddler, and I encourage him to engage with animals when we have the opportunity, and within a safe environment.

So, when I was asked to review the Push Me, Pull Me Puppy, I was totally up for it.
Tomy Push Me, Pull Me Puppy inside its packaging

This is the closest thing to a real dog my toddler would ever have in our home. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect too, as he started going to our childminder who has a dog

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | First Impressions

I was very excited to receive this toy puppy, and we weren’t disappointed … my son was ecstatic!

We tore through the thick transparent wrapping around the box, and cut the cords holding its pieces firmly in place.

Everything else was already assembled, except the top half of the lead that we had to key in. The colours are bright, warm, and attractive for toddlers – and the puppy’s eyes are so cute and inviting.

Tomy's Push Me, Pull Me Puppy - doe eyes with bone | @aNoviceMum Reviews

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Key Features

  • Dog bone
  • Water bowl
  • Moving legs
  • Wagging tail
  • Movable ears
  • Doe-eyed puppy
  • Removable lead
  • Music on and off button
  • Moving head with the leash
  • Music plays when walking Puppy
  • Puppy barks and pants when its nose is pressed

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Our Experience

Design:

It is constructed to maximise toddler engagement, and it supports the ongoing development of their cognition and coordination. Its colours are attractive and inviting, it’s smooth to touch and stroke, and just really nice to look at. All these makes it a good stimulus for imaginative conversations and interactions, as well as a fab reference for discussions about caring for animals.

The curved hoop at the top of the leash helps my toddler to securely hold it when he walks the puppy. He continues to improve on how to manoeuvre it to turn the puppy’s head, and master how to control it to push or pull the puppy, depending on whether he is standing in front of the puppy or behind it.

He also sometimes ties his dad’s belt through the hoop to extend the lead – I wouldn’t have thought of that. 🙂

Tomy's Push Me, Pull Me Puppy - lead hoop | @aNoviceMum Reviews

Size:

It’s not too small or too big; its size makes it realistic enough as a puppy that can be walked and indeed engaged with.

Durability:

I also like that the fact that it is not flimsy; I’ve accidentally dropped it on the floor a few times whilst tidying up, without any breakage. Its smooth plastic body makes for easy cleaning if needed; we haven’t had to clean ours yet despite lots of toddler handling.

Usage:

My toddler gave his Push Me, Pull Me Puppy a name on the day he received it – Dog Show. You see, we attended a dog show whilst on holiday in the Summer and we suspect this inspired his chosen name for his toy puppy.

He enjoys walking Dog Show at different points in the day, and he sometimes walks him really fast. This makes for louder noise than we would like, when on our tiled floor. However, I think (unlike his dad) that the noise is bearable, especially as we see his obvious enjoyment of the toy.

The puppy’s walking music – a short upbeat tune mixed with a puppy barking and panting – is repetitive, but not annoying. My toddler switches it on and off at the base of the puppy, as he wishes.

We discovered early on that pressing the puppy’s nose results in hearing the puppy panting or barking – good fun for any toddler.

I use the open box the toy came in as a kind of dog cage, to store it and its accessories when not in use.

I also like the fact that its ears and tail are made of a rubbery material, for a softer feel.

push-me-pull-me-puppy-ears

Engaging with this puppy toy is so easy and comes so naturally. My toddler talks to it, strokes it, and we have conversations about him and his ‘puppy’ with reference to his interaction with our childminder’s dog. We’ve found it to be both a fun and educational tool that promotes learning through play.

It has definitely given us lots of opportunities to encourage positive behaviour towards dogs specifically and animals in general.

This is one toy I wish my son had from when he was one;  and one I see him enjoying for a while to come.

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Top 5 Likes

  1. Portable
  2. Fun and functional
  3. Sturdy and long-lasting
  4. Excellent introduction to pet ownership
  5. Imaginative, interactive and educational

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Product Information

  • 12m+
  • 001 kg
  • 60 x 8.66 x 9.45 inches

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Overall

Reviewing this toy has been enjoyable for us; it’s given us a ‘pet dog’ without the accompanying responsibilities – no dog hairs to deal with, no insurance or vet visits, no outdoor dog walking, no dog sitting plans if we’re away for long etc. Yet, it is a good introduction to pets for our toddler, and it has inspired so many lovely conversations and moments.

push-me-pull-me-puppy-playing

I sighed when I first realised it was another battery operated toy, but I’m pleased that the batteries last long. We’ve been using ours for over a month and the batteries are still going strong.

The Push Me, Pull Me Puppy is a toy that will be enjoyed for a very long time in our home; definitely good value for money.

It’s available on Amazon and other retailers for around £20 to £30; though currently on sale at Amazon for less.

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Giveaway

As usual on my blog, you can win this fabulous toy – thanks to Tomy – by accurately completing the options on the widget below.

All the best with your entries, and I hope you found my review helpful.


What do you like most about the Push Me, Pull Me Puppy and who would you like to one for?

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The True Company Mirai Toothbrush | Review and Giveaway (£195)

Mirai Toothbrush | Introduction

Keeping my teeth healthy has been one of my body-care battles for as long as I can remember, despite knowing how vital this is for my dental hygiene. So, when I came across the opportunity to review The True Company’s Mirai toothbrush, I had to check it out. It’s an electric toothbrush like no other I’ve come across so far.

Mirai Toothbrush | First Impressions

I was / am impressed with its sleek packaging … it oozes luxury. The toothbrush is not too big or too small, and it feels nice to hold. You see, it’s made of silicone and doesn’t have the hard plastic feel of other toothbrushes.

The True Company's Mirai electric toothbrush in its box

The True Company posted this to me from America, free of charge for this review; 
as usual, my opinion of the toothbrush honestly reflects my experience.

Mirai Toothbrush | Key Features

  • Gentle gum massage function
  • Elegant and functional design
  • Silicone bristles don’t retain bacteria
  • Once yearly toothbrush head replacement ($7.99 from The True Company’s customer service)
  • Built in 30 seconds pauses whilst brushing
  • All-in-one self-sanitising electric toothbrush
  • Non-porous silicone prevents bacteria build up

Mirai Toothbrush | My Experience

In the box

I opened the top quality looking and feeling box, to find the toothbrush in a transparent-ish good quality plastic sleeve, placed in a foam-like mould. Underneath this were the instruction manual, warranty card, and USB charger lead. I was pleased it didn’t have a USB plug; I’ve got enough of this around the house.

There is an authenticity card attached to the front of the box, with a serial and model number, as well as a statement to confirm the quality of the product … all very reassuring about its value.

Mirai toothbrush unboxing

Charging

As per the instruction manual, I charged it for some hours before my first use. The indicator light at the end of the brush blinks consecutively for a period of time when it needs charging. It also emits a prolonged glow when it is fully charged.

I sometimes used the unit for days after the recharge blinks stopped, without any problems.

The indicator light also comes on briefly when you press the vibration button, on and off.

The True Company's toothbrush, front and back views

Brushing

The bristles are not as thin as that of your typical manual and electric brushes, and their top are not pin pointed but rectangular; making them gentler on the teeth and gum.

The Mirai toothbrush, brush head

As stated in the manual, I used it like my manual toothbrush, albeit with the vibration function. My teeth feels clean after each brushing session, and I think it’s more effective than my manual toothbrush.

I really like the fact that the vibrations pause for about a second, after every 30 seconds of brushing; making it easier to know how long you spend on each part of your teeth, and how long you brush for.

Mirai Toothbrush | Top 5 Likes

  1. Chic and functional design
  2. Adjustable vibration … for your desired intensity
  3. Inbuilt rechargeable batteries and easy to charge
  4. Gentle bristles … vital for sensitive gums like mine
  5. Lightweight: not bulky like your typical electric brush … fab for travelling

Mirai Toothbrush | Product Cost

  • £195

Mirai Toothbrush | Overall

I’m pleased with The Tru Company’s Mirai electric toothbrush. It’s lovely to have a toothbrush whose brush head only needs to be changed once a year – better for my pocket and better for the environment. Its 2 years limited warranty is reassuring, especially considering its cost. The instruction manual is straight forward and easy to understand, though I wish the print was bigger to make it easier to read.

Least I forget, yah to the fact that toothpaste doesn’t stick to the bottom of the Mirai!

Nonetheless, I must confess that I wish it was cheaper; it’s the most expensive toothbrush I’ll probably ever own. I also wish the recharge reminder light didn’t blink so much.  Even then, I can’t deny that it does a good job and I’m pleased to have it.

You can buy it online from the The True Company’s website in the UK.

Mirai Toothbrush | Giveaway

Thanks to the The True Company, one of you can win your very own Mirai toothbrush!

All you need to do is to accurately complete the following entry options on the widget below; terms and conditions apply.

Hope you found my review helpful; all the best with all your entries.


What do you like about electric toothbrushes?

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Hotmilk Lingerie’s Eclipse Nursing Bra | Review and Giveaway

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Introduction

Nursing bras are one of my current motherhood staples, and not surprisingly …. or perhaps, silly as it might sound to some, they are one of the things with the potential to get me excited. So, you can imagine how pleased I was when Hotmilk Lingerie asked me to check out one of their nursing bras.

“Lush”, I thought … “most definitely, bring it on”. I enjoy checking things out, especially things that fit well with my life.

Even better, I’ve consistently heard good things about Hotmilk on the nursing outfits’ grapevine – ‘stylish’, ‘comfy’, ‘good support’, ‘popular’ ….

So, this is one review I couldn’t say ‘no’ to.

After exploring their nursing bra range, I decided to go for the Eclipse Black Nursing Bra.  

Eclipse Nursing Bra | @aNoviceMum Reviews

They posted it to me free of charge for this review, and as usual, my opinion 
of the bra is independent and honest.

Eclipse Nursing Bra | First Impressions

I liked the look of the bra on their website and I wasn’t disappointed when I received it … the silky feel, the lacy rims, the cute little bow and the beautiful diamanté hanging from it – what a gorgeous ornament, give it that extra oomph.

Can you keep a secret? Shhhh … don’t tell anyone. It’s the most stylish nursing bra I’ve ever owned.

It looks good and feels good, both to touch and wear.

Hotmil's Eclipse bra, won by a pregnant womanEclipse Nursing Bra | Key Features

  • Underwire-free soft cup for comfortable support
  • Wider straps on larger cups for added strength
  • 100% cotton lined cups and straps for breathability
  • Stretchy at the top of the cup for pregnancy breast growth
  • 6 hook and eye extension for pregnancy rib cage expansion
  • Full cup with an A-frame for support and coverage when nursing
  • One-handed drop down cups for quick and easy access for breastfeeding

Eclipse Nursing Bra | My Experience

Sizing:

I got myself into knots trying to decide my size. You see, I like products that I can use for a long time; it’s better for my pocket and the environment. Hence, I wanted a size that I could use for the rest of my pregnancy, my next breastfeeding journey (however long it is), and if possible, beyond. Ambitious, I know; but I’m quite a ‘use-for-as-long-as-possible’ kinda girl.

It’s worth noting that I was around 25/26 weeks pregnant when I got my sizing done for this review. It’s not uncommon to go through 2 to 3 bra fittings and cup sizes during pregnancy, thanks to all the changes it brings about in the body. This will of course vary from one person to another.

With all the bust size changes I’ve been through – due to almost 3 years of breastfeeding and months of pregnancies – my correct bra size is oftentimes a mystery to me.

Hotmilk’s customer service to the rescue ….

They have a bra size chart and guide on their website, with clear instructions. However, I wasn’t sure whether my size judgement was correct. So I did what anyone in my position would do, and contacted their customer service. Their response was prompt and helpful. I emailed my underbust and cup size measurements to them, and they told me my bra size for their brand … simples.

Hotmilk Bra Size Chart

 

A woman unhooking a Hotmilk eclipse braFit:

I was quite surprised at how supportive it felt, given that it’s an underwire-free bra … it’s just as you see it in the picture on their site.

Unlike some of the nursing bras I use, the inner A-frame of the strap covers the top of the breast, and maintains the firm support of the bra when the cup is unclipped for breastfeeding. The hook and eye extension is also brilliant; giving ample room for adjustment during pregnancy and beyond, without compromising the firm support the bra gives.

The main part of the cup isn’t stretchy, but its top is; I reckon this and the adjustable straps will accommodate the size changes of the breastfeeding breasts.

 

A frame of the inside of a Hotmail nursing bra

Eclipse Black Nursing Bra | Top 5 Likes

  1. It’s adjustable and gives excellent support to changing pregnant and breastfeeding breasts
  2. It’s multi-functional; serving both as a maternity and nursing bra and I reckon you can continue to use it post-breastfeeding too.
  3. It’s made of comfy fabric … you can see and feel that it’s good quality
  4. It’s stylish and attractive … pleasing to look at and wear
  5. It’s good value for money … its price reflects its quality.

And I really appreciate Hotmilk Lingerie’s customer service. It makes such a difference to buy from companies that respond quickly to one’s concerns, doesn’t it.

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Product Information

  • £39.95
  • Sizes 32 to 42
  • Black and Nude
  • Cups B to H, including DD, FF, and GG

Eclipse Hotmilk website

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Care Information

  • Cold machine wash at gentle temperature
  • Line dry in the shade: no tumble drying
  • No ironing, bleaching, or dry-cleaning

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Overall

I’ve enjoyed reviewing this bra, and I’m glad it’s part of my wardrobe. I know there are cheaper nursing bras out there; I’ve got some myself … without doubt though, you get what you pay for. The quality of this bra means that it will most definitely last longer than some of my other ones.

You can buy the Eclipse from Hotmilk Lingerie, with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and 30 days return and exchange process. And you can get 10% off on your first order if you join their mailing list. You can also buy it from Amazon, where it is currently on sale, and from other online and high street shops.

Hotmilk Lingerie's guarantee and 10% discount on first order

You can also get matching bikini briefs from Hotmilk Lingerie, maternity / nursing sleep bras, and other kinds of underwear.

This is one maternity / nursing bra I’m happy to recommend.

Eclipse Black Nursing Bra | Giveaway

Now, regular visitors to my blog know that I always try to accompany my reviews with giveaways. Well, this review is no exception, thanks to the generosity of Hotmilk Lingerie.

For your chance to win an Eclipse Nursing Bra for yourself or a loved one that could really do with it, accurately complete the following entry options on the widget below; terms and conditions apply.

All the best with your entries.


What are your nursing bra must-have features?

Please comment and share If you’ve found this review useful; and follow my updates on social media. 

I’m @aNoviceMum on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramPinterest, Google Plus
Share my journey … join the discussion … be the first to know.

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Top 5 | Baker Days Letterbox Cake Review

Who doesn’t like a good-looking piece of cake? There might be some people, but I’m not one of them. So, when Baker Days asked me to check out their letterbox cake a while ago, there wasn’t much to think about. 🙂

I chose the cake I wanted and they sent it to me for my Baker Days letterbox cake review. I was pleased to receive my World Breastfeeidng Week themed cake on the last day of World Breastfeeding Week.

I  kept this really cute cake in its beautiful box for as long as I could resist tasting it; I was quite tempted to frame it and display it. 🙂 I eventually got on with checking it out and

Here are the top 5 things I like about it.

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Top 5 | #MumOnAMission Event Review

The invite to the #MumOnAMission fitness event with Kimberly Wyatt, an aspect of Kiddicare’s New Mum Fitness campaign, caught my attention. You see, I’m not an exercise kinda girl; it helps that my weight has never been a major concern. Even then, I’ve noticed a decline in my fitness level over the years.

The most I do is walk, but only in so much as it relates to my job, shopping and errands, or time with family and friends. However, part of what motherhood means for me at this point, is the increased feeling of responsibility to look after myself more. My little man is quick on his feet and I need more energy to keep up with him.

I went, unsure of what to expect; I left so thankful that I attended. ‘Why?’, you might wonder. Well, I came away with a wealth of helpful information about my postpartum body and how #MumOnAMission can work for me and other mums.

Here are the top 5 things I like about Kimberly Wyatt’s #MumOnAMission fitness program.

1. One mum to another

It’s an exercise regime created by one mum and her trainer Glenn Ball, for other mums. I know Kimberly is a professional dancer and exercising is core to it. However, she is a mum like me, trying to do her best for her baby, her family, and herself. She has been through pregnancy and birth, and experienced how it changes your body. I like the fact that she is not promoting a particular body shape, and her focus is not so much on getting your pre-pregnancy body back, as it is on doing your best for you and yours.

I must say that hearing Kimberly talk about her journey to #MumOnAMission especially endeared the fitness programme to me.

MumOnAMission Event Review

2. 24 7 Mummy juggle compatible

It only requires 24 mins every day to get desirable results. I find this manageable and doable. I can make the time wherever it  fits into my daily mummy juggle.

3. Special equipment free

I don’t need to buy anything special for this training regime. All I need is access to the internet and device to stream each workout from Instructor Live, an “anytime, anywhere, any device” online fitness ‘gym’.

No exercise DVD clutter and no looking for storage space!

It allows me to exercise effectively in the comfort of my own home, wearing whatever suits me. All I need is some space to move, internet access, and a phone, tablet, computer, or TV.

Unfortunately, this also means that if I don’t have internet access, I wouldn’t have access to the training session. I also can’t loan it to a friend months down the line, or dust it off the shelf to reuse it without paying, after another baby. I wonder if there is any plan to make the workouts available on DVD; or if I can save it to my computer for later use.

4. Affordable

It’s cheaper than joining a gym or signing up for individual exercise sessions; you can access it with other exercise programmes on Instructor Live for £5.99 a month. Not bad, hey.

5. Fun

I really enjoyed the moves and beats; the programme has 7 key dance based moves. I struggled a bit with coordination but this was sorted by the end of the trial session. Glen and Kimberly made it easy to follow, despite it being a high intensity training. There were also pauses in between that helped me and other mums catch our breath, in between segments of the exercise.

Another big plus for me, is that I can include Precious Sparkle, my active toddler. He loves music and dancing and I can see him joining in with me, in his own way. More importantly, it’s an opportunity for me to teach / show him the importance of exercising from a very young age.

MumOnAMission Event

There were opportunities during the workout to do pelvic floor exercises, which is fab; another area of improvement for me. Kimberly shows that this training works and you can feel the work on your muscles during the exercise. I’m also really pleased it doesn’t involve sit ups or any moves that could hurt my back; thanks Glenn.

There were lots of good information about the importance of exercise postpartum and I really hope some of these will soon be included in the information the NHS gives to expectant and new mums.

It was nice meeting some really lovely people, including @Just_motherhood, @MsXpat, Rachel (@Netmums’ Editor-in-Chief), and @DebEditor (@Babyworlddotcom’s editor).

I am especially thankful to Margarita Bennett, Kiddicare’s postnatal fitness instructor, who told me about diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles. This is apparently very common amongst mums, following pregnancy and birth. It was helpful to know that my mummy pouch is partly due to it, but even more than it can be fixed with the right exercises.

Thanks @Mb_bbf, for making time to check the state of my abdominal muscles, for showing me how to recognise diastasis recti, for your willingness to help me with sorting it out, and for your guidance during the workout. I also really appreciate how friendly and patient you were. 🙂
Thanks @dancartner (SportsShoes), for highlighting the importance of getting trainers that gives one adequate arch support and the fab goodie bag.
Thanks Mike (Asics.co.uk), for a fab goodie bag; I can’t wait to get #MumOnAMission with the exercise outfits.
Thanks Kiddicare for supporting achievable postpartum exercises.
Thanks @KimberlyKWyatt and @glennball7 for your mummy juggle compatible fitness regime; and for being so approachable and real.
Thanks to all the organisers for a useful session, good company, and yummy lunch (the caterers were fab).

I’m a #MumOnAMission, and I look forward to starting the fitness program.

~
Are you able to fit regular exercise into your daily juggling act? What do you think of #mumonamission?
~

Top 5: JD Harris Kegel Weights Review

I remember listening with shock, as the midwife told me about the potential consequences of not doing my postnatal pelvic floor exercises. I definitely wasn’t pleased when she told me that I had to do it for the rest of my life.

I wish I could say that I’ve done it every day since then.

So when I came across the opportunity to review the JD Harris Kegel Weights, I went for it. I hoped that perhaps it might help me to heed the midwife’s warning. I definitely don’t want to look back in years to come wishing I’d done more; whilst knowing I didn’t do enough in this area.

JD Harris posted the product to me without charge to check out, and I have been testing the weights for over a month now.

here are the top 5 things I really like about it.

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