The Zoggs Peppa Pig Swim Range {A Review}

Before our month-long holiday to Spain and Portugal we were sent some lovely swim things for Ava from the Zoggs Peppa Pig Swim range.

Zoggs Peppa Pig Swim Ring

We received the Zoggs Peppa Pig Swim Ring and Goggles, and after we had been sent them I realised that last year I had bought the armbands, swim bag and soakers from the same range, so I threw them all into the bag and took them with us.

Ava particularly loved the Peppa Pig swim ring and it made a big difference to our days on the beach. Ava kept wearing the blow-up ring around her waist whilst she was just splashing about on the shore, but after a while and a bit of persuasion from Mummy she decided she was happy to venture further into the water with me. The inflatable ring meant that she could come further into the water (with one of us by her side the whole time of course) and we didn’t have to spend all of our time on the shore. She bobbed along with the waves and didn’t have to worry about going under. I think even though armbands keep kids afloat, as they are placed on the child’s arms, water can still splash all over their faces, whereas with the ring around their waists they are a bit higher up so it’s nicer for them, and Ava loved it.  I could hold on to it as I pulled her further into the sea and she really enjoyed being brave and going further in.

Swimming with the Zoggs Swim RingZoggs swim ring

The swim ring was easy to blow up, and small enough that it didn’t take up too much room in our luggage. We ended up not using the armbands that we took as the swim ring fit Ava (at three and a half) perfectly, it was quicker to put on her and she could move about more easily with it on. It is only £8 which I think is a really good price for something that you can take with you (unlike bigger rings than you would want to buy on holiday and then leave there), and that can help younger children get used to the water and feel safe.

Zoggs Peppa Pig Rangezoggs swim ring in the sea

The Peppa Pig goggles are another great little thing to get your kid used to the water. Ava enjoyed wearing them and she seemed to find them comfortable. They seemed very secure although we couldn’t actually test them properly as she wasn’t ready to go under the water. She loved the Peppa Pig design and couldn’t wait to put them on when she saw them, along with her ring. I think she’ll enjoy trying them out some more when we go to our local swimming pool. The goggles cost £10.

Peppa Pig Swim GogglesZoggs Peppa Pig GogglesZoggs Peppa Pig Swim Range

One of the things I bought last year was the Peppa Pig soakers from Zoggs which Ava had already played with numerous times in the bath and at a swimming pool at Bluestone Wales last year, and has also carried them around with her out of the water. The soakers consist of Peppa and George and are the perfect size for little hands to hold and grab at in the water. They are really good to take into the water with you and to throw to encourage little ones to swim to get them. Ava enjoys having Peppa and George with her in the water and loves making them have little conversations with her in the bath. They are £8 which I think is a good price as they should last a while and as they can be used in the bath you can gets lots of use out of them.

Zoggs Peppa Pig Float ToysZoggs Peppa Pig Swimming Ring

We really like the Zoggs Peppa Pig bits that we have tried. The Peppa design makes them more interesting for kids and they are nice and bright too. They also come in blue if your child prefers that to pink. The range is very reasonably priced and a good size for taking away with you or using at the local pool.

We were sent the Zoggs Peppa Pig swim ring and goggles to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own or Ava’s.


Making the World a Better Place For Kids

The next generation will inherit whatever footprint we leave on this world. This is exactly the reason why responsible adults must do everything they can to leave the planet in a habitable state, filled with people who are full of love and compassion. If you love your child and want to give them a beautiful future, you may want to consider doing these things in your community.

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Volunteer at your local school

Do you have a special talent that you think kids in general can benefit from? Whether your kid is still studying or not, you can volunteer your time to a school that is always looking for volunteer parents. Not everyone can afford classes in cooking, sports, and many other activities, and it is through volunteering that some kids can learn things that they so desperately want to. You can even volunteer as a subject tutor for those who cannot afford tutoring services.

Make the air cleaner

While it’s more convenient to take kids to places in a car, it would make the world a much better place, and it’s more environmentally friendly, if you walk or bike instead of driving. According to the Better Health Channel, walking just 30 minutes a day can increase cardiovascular fitness and strengthen bones. If the play center or sports field is just a few minutes walk, you may want to consider just walking to it with your child instead of driving. Walking gives you time to talk to your child about life and values, as well as giving you some nice exercise.

Sponsor kids who are not as privileged as yours

It’s sad to think that not all kids can live a full life. Many are terribly oppressed, especially in areas that are torn apart by war. While it’s sad to watch news about suffering kids, it’s uplifting to know that some groups are doing everything to ease their pain. Usually, child-centered charities seek sponsorships from those who are willing to help marginalized kids get through life until they are old enough to find work. If you can, try to make the world a better place not just with a one-time donation but also by a long-term sponsorship.

This is a guest post.

Me and Mine: A Family Portrait Project – September 2015

me and mine a family portrait project

September has been a great month for our little family. For the majority of it we have been travelling around Spain and Portugal for our honeymoon. We only got back on the 25th in the evening, and then it was a whirlwind of a birthday, a wedding, a day hungover and sleepy, and then back to work and nursery. There are still suitcases and piles of clothes everywhere as I just haven’t had chance to sort it all out yet.

So we spent most of September in lovely sunshine, exploring Salamanca, Porto, Lisbon, Armacao de Pera, Seville, Madrid and Santander. It was a great few weeks, and it actually feels like September was a longer month than usual. One of the biggest highlights for us as a family was spending a few days at the beach and by the pool in Armacao. This is where Ava was at her happiest; she adored splashing in the sea with us and digging holes to sit in with her Daddy whilst the waves spilled over them. She never wanted to leave. She ate tons of ice creams, plenty of chips and just had the best time ever getting covered in sand. We loved seeing her so happy and as she was pretty difficult during the rest of the trip we were happiest here where she was easiest.

We also spent a wonderful afternoon on a red hot day in Madrid in Buen Retiro Park. We had a picnic, enjoyed some Cava (not Ava!), played about, and then went on a rowing boat on the lake, and had yet more ice creams. It was one of those perfect afternoons that we didn’t want to end.

Our photos this month are from different places on our trip. We don’t have as many as we really should, especially as we were away for a whole month; I really should have cracked the selfie stick out.

me and mine september 2015

This was in Lisbon. The very kind gentlemen who offered to take this for us was talking to us as he took it – that’s why we all look a bit funny.

september me and mine

This was in Seville. We had a lovely day exploring the beautiful city. I asked a couple if they would mind taking our picture, and then we did the same for them. They took the one below for us too.

me and mine 2015

me and mine sep

These were in Salamanca at the end of a very long, but lovely bike ride. It was Ava’s first time on the back of a bike and she loved it (even though she’d like you to think otherwise in this photo – little madam). I bloody would too. I’m not sure what was happening in the photo below; I think I was trying to get missgrumpypants to smile.


family bike rideseptember 2015 me and mine

I know this is a really rubbish blurry photo because it was dusk – but I love it because this was during our time by the beach and we were very happy….

family portrait project

October for us means more dark, cold mornings on the school run, clearing the house out and getting Ava’s bedroom finished. But it hopefully also means those lovely crisp Autumnal days, with the pretty rust coloured leaves on the floor and family walks bundled up in coats and scarves. I thought I would hate to come back to cold weather after our extended summer – and it is hard suddenly making the change and trying to find where I put our winter clothes – but I am actually really looking forward to embracing Autumn and the new season. Ask me again in a month though and I may have changed my mind.

dear beautiful

The Weekend #2 Being Back Home

On Friday we got home from our month long trip around Spain and Portugal. We got back in the evening, dumped all of our stuff in the house and then went straight to Paul’s mums because it was her birthday. We were pretty knackered but it was nice to see family for a couple of hours after not seeing them for so long.


Then on Saturday we had our friends wedding to go to which was great fun, and it was lovely to spend some time with friends.

Now it’s Sunday and we’re a bit hungover and very tired and sleepy. It’s actually quite strange being back in our house after a month away. It feels like we were away for a lot longer. The house kind of feels a bit unfamiliar, and I’ve forgotten where some things are! It’s taking some time to get used to being home again and doing all of the normal things we do every day and getting back into our routines. It honestly feels like we’ve been away for months. I don’t know why.

Now I’m looking forward to catching up with emails and blogging work, getting Ava back to nursery and her dance classes, and starting to get the house more organised and ready to sell. It was amazing being away but I’m now looking forward to getting back to ‘real’ life, wrapping up in jumpers and coats, and enjoying autumn in England.

Mindfulness and Healthy Eating

I was recently challenged by Legal and General to try mindful eating for a week. Mindfulness is a mental and physical practice that’s all about becoming more aware of the present moment. It involves taking a moment to stop and notice the thoughts running through your head which in turn helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.


Mindful eating therefore, is about increasing your awareness of what you are eating and why you are eating it, thinking about what your body actually wants and needs, and potentially changing your relationship with food. Mindful eating is about enjoying your food by really sensing the tastes, textures, smells, the atmosphere and taking in as much of the moment in as possible.

For me this challenge was quite easy, as for the last couple of years I have really thought about what I put into my body and about the ingredients in my food. I already did try to eat as little processed food as possible, and fill my body up with nutritious food. As a family we sit down to a home cooked meal every evening, at the dining table, and enjoy our food and conversation. I think that really makes a difference as if we all sat in the lounge in front of the television, we would just ignore each other and probably shovel our food in without thinking about it, and not stopping when we were full or really taking the time to enjoy it. It’s really important to sit down together every day despite the fact that Ava tries her hardest to persuade us that we shouldn’t.

I think it’s always good to have a little nudge to help you do better though. Every so often I will realise that I have slipped in my healthy eating, got lazy and started feeling worse for wear. And it kind of feels like I have to start from the beginning again, but really I have come so far since making an effort to be healthier and there are things that just come naturally to me now, like drinking lemon water in the morning that mean I am still being quite healthy even when I think I am not doing well at it.

I know when I eat crap and fill my body with crap then I really do see a difference very quickly. I feel more lethargic, get more headaches, get big spots that scar (this happens very quickly), get a sore mouth and mouth ulcers and generally feel run down. I always feel a bit jealous of those people who can eat and drink crap constantly and not be affected by it (but of course I’d still rather be healthy on the inside too), because as I have got older I really notice a difference in how I feel when I eat more healthily. I have noticed for the last couple of years that my mum has to be a lot more careful about what she eats as she gets indigestion very easily now and then really suffers so it just isn’t worth it to her to eat the foods that do that to her. And it is like that for me now too; if I have a Chinese takeaway I can feel really, really sick and migrainey a few hours later (I think it’s the MSG) so it really does help me to think about what I am putting into my mouth and how it will make me feel.

Sometimes, especially if we are enjoying something we keep eating and eating even when we are full, and I think mindful eating can help with that as you are going slower, taking your time and really thinking about the meal, rather than being distracted.

I guess for a while I have kind of done mindful eating without even realising it. I think about what I am putting into my body and how it will make me feel, but it really isn’t as conscious as it sounds. I think healthy eating fits really well with mindful eating, as those who try to eat healthy foods do usually think about their food more and what their body needs as well as what they want to eat.

During the mindful eating challenge I didn’t have any huge changes to make, but it did make me think about what I was going to have for each meal a little bit more. Like I said, we have a home-cooked meal almost every evening, but sometimes we will buy a pizza or have something that is a little more processed. At lunch I often have a sandwich, often with some ham or salami, so I switched those for something like mashed avocado on toast or a smoothie or salad. I do eat all of those things anyway but just tried harder to not have any processed food for this week.

In the week of the challenge we (the boy!) cooked with lots of veg and fresh ingredients, and we (the boy!) cooked all of our evening meals from scratch. We do tend to do this anyway, but it did make me think a bit more about what I was putting into my body and was a good reminder to keep it clean. It also made me slow down and enjoy the flavours whilst I was eating, which not only makes it more enjoyable, but also means that your body has time to realise when it is full, so you don’t overeat.

We are big foodies and love to sit down to an amazing meal and really savour the flavours. We are in Spain and Portugal at the moment for our honeymoon, and before we came away we mostly talked about the food that we were going to enjoy and being excited about it all.

For me food and the process of eating isn’t just because we have to eat, but because of the whole experience, like when going out for a meal; it’s about the atmosphere and the enjoyment of the whole thing, and being mindful about it.

I think that thinking about the food that we are eating a bit more, trying to eat food that is as unprocessed as possible, and taking the time to enjoy and savour our food can only be a good thing. Especially as we get older, eating healthily is really important, and impacts on our physical health as well as how we look and feel. For me, it is really important to make an effort to eat healthily and consider what I am putting into my body. Mindful eating helps me to slow down when eating a meal and enjoy the moment.

Have you ever thought about mindful eating, or have you tried it? Or have you practiced mindfulness in any other areas of your life?