Friday, 30 September 2011

Competition: Win £40 worth of skincare products from Yes To

The days are getting shorter and with autumn and winter knocking on the door, it's only a matter of time until you snuggle up in wooly jumpers and roast in front of the radiator. But did you know that it's the change from cold air outside and warm air inside that makes your skin dry and sensitive?

To help you through the winter months and make sure that your skin stays glowing and nourished, Mummy Alarm has teamed up with Yes To to offer you the chance to win a Yes To skincare package worth over £40.
Yes To's deliciously nourishing formulas combine high quality organic fruits and vegetables with the power of 26 minerals and trace elements and leave your skin feeling great with an unmistakable healthy glow.

Begin the day by using Lycopene-enriched Yes To Tomatoes Terrific Totally Tranquil Facial Hydrating Lotion (50ml, RRP £12.35) rich in tomatoes, an essential source of Vitamin A and C that also encourages a fresh shine-free complexion, and Rosemary, a natural antioxidant.

Give the skin a serious moisture boost, with Yes To Carrots Night Moisturising Cream (50ml, RRP £12.35), which contains a host of antioxidants such as Beta Carotene, Vitamin E and Green Tea, with purifying dead sea minerals to help replenish and refresh during the night. Waking up never looked so good!
After a chilly Autumn day, Yes To Cucumbers Calming Facial Mask (48g, RRP £11.99) gives tired skin a gentle boost of nourishment and helps reduce puffiness, whilst the Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes (30, RRP £4.99) contain cooling Cucumbers, Aloe Vera and Green Tea to detoxify and rejuvenate all in one swift swipe!

Yes To is available via and

Please, use separate comments for each entry. Failure do to so will result in only one entry per person.

How to enter the competition:

1. Leave a comment telling me your top skincare tip and leave a way to contact you - required

For extra entries: 
2. Follow @caro_mad on Twitter & tweet: "I want to win £40 worth of skincare products from Yes To with @caro_mad. You can enter here: " 3. Comment on one of my non-competition posts & let me know which one you commented on
4. Subscribe to Mummy Alarm via Google Friend Connect
5. Subscribe to Mummy Alarm via RSS feed
6. Follow Mummy Alarm via Networked Blogs
7. Like Mummy Alarm on Facebook
Terms & Conditions:
The closing date of the competition is 31/10/2011
The winners will be chosen at random.
The winners' names will be shown on this page.
Competition is open to residents of the UK only.
The prize is non-refundable and cannot be transferred. No cash alternative is available.

Loquax - The UK Competetion Portal

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

5 top tips for skincare in autumn and winter

Dry air and scratchy woolen jumpers can easily become your skin's worst enemy. For Mummy Alarm, Geraldine Howard, Founder of Aromatherapy Associates, passes on her 5 top tips to achieve soft, supple, radiant skin during the harsh winter months.

1. Moisturise
Once a week, apply a layer of products to the face and body before bed. Begin on the face, with a serum, facial oil and moisturiser. If your skin is feeling dry and generally looking a little lacklustre, also apply a mask as an additional layer under the moisturiser to seal in the goodness. Then, layer a body gel, body oil and cream over the whole body. Wrap yourself in loose bed clothing and leave to absorb overnight. You’ll notice an immediate benefit.

2. Pretend it's summer
Get into the habit of looking after the skin as well in the winter as you do all summer. Whilst not as many areas of skin are on show, the better condition you keep your body in throughout the year, the easier it will be when you do wear dresses or sleeveless items in the colder weather.

3. Get massaging
The circulation can be more sluggish in the winter, so it’s important to incorporate massage into your daily routine to keep a radiant complexion. Rather than viewing cleansing as just removing make up each evening, consider it an opportunity to perform a mini-treatment on the whole face. Carry out lots of small circular movements as you apply the product – this is an invaluable way to boost capillary circulation, helping to remove impurities and generate radiant, healthy skin.
4. Scrub it
I recommend a full body exfoliation at least once a week, and the same for the face. But always be conscious of which of your products actually contain a form of exfoliation, so that you don’t overdo it. One of the biggest causes of premature aging is over exfoliation of the skin, which causes inflammation.

5. Don't forget your hair
If you wear a hat in the cooler months, hair can get very dry and become static. Treat it weekly with a nourishing hair oil, massing into the scalp through to the ends of the hair.

Geraldine Howard is President and Co-founder of Aromatherapy Associates, a UK company formed in 1985 to develop specialised aromatherapy products and treatments for spas worldwide. Geraldine has personally worked on all of the Aromatherapy Associates’ formulations and these best-selling blends, known for their high quality essential oils and naturally active ingredients, bear the hallmark of her influence. She trained as a beauty therapist at the London College of Fashion & Beauty and also achieved qualification as an aromatherapist. Geraldine blogs here: Aromatherapy Associates Blog.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Fill the Gap Friday #2

Do you catch yourself finishing other people's sentences in your head?

Well, now is the time to do it loud and proud. Every Monday, I will give you the start of a sentence that can cover various topics you come across when you are a parent. On Friday, I will then open a Linky for you to share your finished sentences, blog posts, pictures, poems or anything else that fills the gap (for you). 

This week's sentence stars with "Before having a baby, I wish I had known...".

There are no limits - so let your creativity flow and fill those gaps. If you could pass the info about this new Linky on to everyone that might fancy joining in, that would be great. The more the merrier and if you want to share on Twitter too - why not use the hashtag #fillthegap to let everyone else know that you have updated your blog?

I'm looking forward to see you all on Friday!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Toy Review: Zoobles - play & collect

When I was asked if I wanted to review Zoobles, a new toy and collectible for girls around the age of 4 years, I did two things: First, I checked Google because, being the mum of a 5 month old girl, I am really no expert for pre-school toys, and when seeing their cute little faces, I jumped up and down in excitement thinking they'd be the perfect toy for my niece Ellie. 

Zoobles are small fantasy animals that come as a little ball (about 3cms in diameter) but magically spring alive when you place them on their 'happitat'. A happitat is the Zoobles' unique living space where they can curl up and sleep if they are tired or transform into cute little animals that blink, wag their tail or wink. All this happens with the help of a little magnet that sits on top of the happitat.
We received Zooble Icetasia and her daughter Iceabella for our review and we both agreed that they are just super cute. Icetasia and Iceabella look like fantasy teddy bears and come in a pale lilac colour and with a cute little snowflake motif that gives them a wintery feel.

I personally think that they are reasonably priced with £5.99 for a single Zooble and £9.99 for a double pack. I can imagine though that it might get pricey, if your little darling decides she wants to have all Zoobles in her not so little collection. What I really liked about them is that they come in such a great variety. There are not only the normal Zoobles but also Hair Zoobles with hair extensions to style, light up Zoobles that glow when you place them on their happitat and special edition packs all costing between £7.99 and £9.99. They would make great birthday presents for friends, stocking fillers or even a reward for when your little one has collected enough stickers on her reward chart. The larger play-sets cost about £20 and are fantastic present ideas for Christmas or a birthday.
Overall, a great toy and collectible that can improve children's role playing skills and helps them use their imagination and creativity.  

Disclosure: I was provided with a Zoobles double pack for the purpose of this review. All my words are my own and have not been influenced by Spin Master.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 23 September 2011

Fill the Gap Friday #1 - The best thing about being a parent is...

... to see how exciting all the small things in life can be when you experience them with your baby. Before having Amy I couldn't imagine why people would get excited about their baby rolling from one side to the other or producing an explosive nappy. I mean, all babies do that, so why does everyone has to share these things on Facebook, Twitter and when meeting up for a cup of coffee?

The truth is, when you are a parent, these things mean the world to you. They are little miracles. You carry your baby for nine months. You give birth for what feels like nine months and then you hold this little fragile bundle in your arms and think it will always stay this tiny. Well, it doesn't and that's where parents including me get so excited. Babies learn so quickly. One week they are virtually sleeping all day, the other week they start looking at you with the biggest smile you can imagine. I love experiencing all those milestones with Amy. I feel blessed to see her grow up and to share all those little things with her and I can't wait for all the amazing things to come. I sometimes catch myself smiling just thinking about her starting to crawl, walk, speak and sing. I imagine us playing in the park, going to the zoo and jumping into the waves when we are spending our summers with my parents. Of course, they are all normal things but sharing them with the little person you love the most, makes them so so special and that's what I love the most about being a parent - sharing my life with my baby girl.

If you have written a post, a poem, a sentence or want to share a picture that fills the gap of this week's sentence 'The best thing about being a parent is...', then share it in the Linky below and check out all the other entries. You can also grab the badge below to show support for Fill the Gap Friday and/or use the hashtag #fillthegap when promoting your post on Twitter.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

We are going on holiday with a baby and I am panicking!

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have read that we are going to Germany in six days to a) stay with my family and b) surprise my nan who is in hospital after a hip operation and has never met Amy. I can't wait to see my family and spend time with them and Amy but I am also slightly panicking because going to Germany involves taking a plane.

Flying itself is not an issue, at least not for Ben and me, however we are taking a 5 month old baby this time and this is where things might become a bit tricky. Piles of luggage, long queues at check-in and security, waiting for boarding and an almost 2h long flight are bound to unsettle a normally relaxed baby. Also I don't know how breastfeeding on a plane will work and I really don't want to be sat on a plane with a baby that will cry or possibly even scream from take-off to landing.

Do you have any experience of flying with a baby? How did you cope and do you have any tips or secret techniques that relax us all and make the flight appear like 5 minutes?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Welcome to Fill the Gap Friday!

Do you catch yourself finishing other people's sentences in your head?

Well, now is the time to do it loud and proud. Every Monday, I will give you the start of a sentence that can cover various topics you come across when you are a parent. On Friday, I will then open a Linky for you to share your finished sentences, blog posts, pictures, poems or anything else that fills the gap (for you). 

This week's sentence stars with "The best thing about being a parent is...".

There are no limits - so let your creativity flow and fill those gaps. If you could pass the info about this new Linky on to everyone that might fancy joining in, that would be great. The more the merrier and if you want to share on Twitter too - why not use the hashtag #fillthegap to let everyone else know that you have updated your blog?

I'm looking forward to see you all on Friday!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Let mummies feel safe - Support Save the Children's Campaign for more Health Workers in Africa

I grew up in Germany and live in the UK now. Both countries provide excellent medical care for young and old and this gives me as a parent a huge feeling of security. I know that if Amy is feeling unwell, I can see a doctor. I know that if she should ever get seriously ill, there will be an ambulance or even a helicopter there to ensure she gets medical help as quick as possible. Mums in developing countries don't know this feeling. Many of them have to carry their ill babies for days to get to the nearest doctor - just to find out that they're too late. To find out that their baby is dying. Help giving these mums a feeling of security. Help providing a wider availability of health care in developing countries. Help saving lives!
Copyright: Save the Children
On Tuesday, fellow blogger Chris Mosler (@ChristineMosler) will attend the UN General Assembly in New York. She is going there with Liz Scarff on behalf of Save the Children to pressure David Cameron to play his full part in solving the health worker crisis. There is a target of 60,000 signatures on the petition by Tuesday. At the moment that petition sits at 41,849 can we change that? Sure we can! 

Let's pull together, people power and make Chris proud. Lets do our damnedest to make sure she goes on Tuesday armed with 60,000 signatures.

1. Sign the petition!
2. Why not take part in the challenge set by HelloItsGemma and Michelle? They want (need) to see 100 posts of 100 words linked up here by Tuesday. If 100 bloggers write a post and encourage more signatures it will go a long way to obtaining those much needed remaining 20,000 signatures! Write your 100 words about a great health professional you have encountered in your life.
3. Add a link to the petition and either link or add in some information from Save the Children about the #Healthworkers campaign.
4. Link to bloggers and vloggers you know and encourage them to take part.
5. Spread the news on Facebook, Twitter, any way you can.

My 100 words:
When I gave birth to Amy, things got really worrying at some point during labour. Her heart beat slowed down every time I had a contraction and the doctors had to take blood from her head to see if she was alright. They found out that my contractions were too strong for her, so the doctors and midwives decided that it would be safer for Amy if we turned the drip down. In an African village there is no chance to find out if your baby is fine. There is no chance to ensure their safety. The baby would die!

The lovely bloggers I’d love to see take part are:

Carol from Dance Without Sleeping
Mirka from All Baby Advice
Adele from Circus Queen
Ella from Purple Mum
Jenny from Mummy Mishaps
Frances from Mother Venting

Friday, 16 September 2011

Review: Organic Monkey Bumfluff Nappy Balm and Hello Mellow Massage Oil

I love trying out new baby products and if they are as good for soft baby skin as the products from Organic Monkey, then it is even more fun. Recently, I was kindly sent two products from the Organic Monkey range to review and after having tried them over a good period of time, I would like to give you my verdict on them. 

The first product we received was the Organic Monkey Bumfluff Nappy Balm. It comes in 50 ml tub and is made with a blend of organic oils and fairtrade Shea Butter. Although Amy is lucky enough not to suffer from nappy rash, I still used the nappy balm quite regularly on her because I like the way it nourishes her skin. It is easy to spread and is soft and gentle to little bottoms. What I really like about this product is that you only need a little of it to cover the area you want to protect, so a 50ml tub will go a long way. Also it doesn't smell clinical like other comparable products which is a real bonus. With £10.50 for a 50ml tub, Organic Monkey's Bumfluff Nappy Palm is a bit on the expensive side however it absorbs much quicker than other products I have tried and it doesn't leave any grease stains on baby's clothes.

The second product we tried is the Hello Mellow Massage Oil by Organic Monkey. It comes in a 125ml bottle and has become an invaluable part of Amy's bedtime routine. The oil has a lovely subtle smell and absorbed really easily when I massaged it into Amy's skin after her bath. Other oils that I have tried before left a greasy film on Amy's skin and even soaked into her clothes. Hello Mellow however spreads nicely and is just a really lovely product to use on her skin. It has a nice smell and it really helps her to relax before bedtime. Similar to the Bumfluff Nappy Balm, the Hello Mellow Massage Oil is a very efficient product, so the price of £12.00 for a bottle really seems fair.

Both products are available in the Protect and Nourish Me gift set. It costs £20 and makes a lovely gift for a baby shower or the birth of a baby. All products are available from the online shop on the Organic Monkey website or a list of stockists that you can find online. 

Disclosure: Mummy Alarm was provided with the Protect and Nourish Me gift set free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by Organic Monkey.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Competition: Win 1 of 5 tubes of Organic Children's Toothpaste by Green People

The Green People have just launched their first organic toothpaste for children onto the market and Mummy Alarm got hold of five tubes for you to try.

But before it's onto the competition, here some information for you: 
Organic Babies offers two great flavours in their EcoCert Certified range, Spearmint for a conventional fresh taste and Mandarin a sweeter option, perfect for kids who need extra encouragment! Both priced at £3.50 for 50ml. All Green People Toothpastes are made without Fluoride, SLS, Triclosan, Sorbitol, Parabens, phthalates, artificial sweeteners, petrochemicals and colourants to bring you the purest children's toothpaste that nature can offer.

Please, use separate comments for each entry. Failure do to so will result in only one entry per person.

How to enter the competition:

1. Leave a comment telling me which flavour you would like - required

For extra entries: 
2. Follow @caro_mad and @GreenPeopleUK on Twitter & tweet: "I want to win with @caro_mad and @GreenPeopleUK. You can enter here: "
3. Comment on one of my non-competition posts and let me know which one you commented on
4. Subscribe to Mummy Alarm via Google Friend Connect
5. Follow Mummy Alarm via Networked Blogs
6. Like Mummy Alarm on Facebook
7. Like Green People on Facebook

Terms & Conditions:
The closing date of the competition is 07/10/2011
The winners will be chosen at random.
The winners' names will be shown on this page.
Competition is open to residents of the UK only.
The prize is non-refundable and cannot be transferred. No cash alternative is available.

Loquax - The UK Competetion Portal

And the winner is...

And the winner of a personalised Peppa Pig book of your choice is

Cheshire Mum - @Cheshire_Claire

Congratulations - please get in touch via the contact form!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A-Z of Me

I haven't been tagged in a meme for a while now and this week I have been tagged for the same one twice in a row? I better not waste time then and answer the questions that I've been sent by the lovely Jenny over at Mummy Mishaps and by my fellow Bristolian Frances over at Mother Venting. So here we go:

ANORAK…Do you have a sad side? I get really funny when people write in text speak. I know writing "U" instead of "you" saves you two characters but argh I just can't stand it. Words are there to be spelled out properly and really winds me up when someone doesn't.

BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change?
Ok, did you bring plenty of time and a cup of coffee because there is plenty that I would change if it didn't involve that much effort and discipline. My bum, my legs, my tummy, my bingo wings are all things that I don't really like about my body and well, I guess if I think about it long enough about it, the list would go get even longer but I think I just have to accept that I'll never be a size 10 and just try to live as healthy as possible. I have set myself the challenge to make a conscious effort of getting a healthier and more attractive body once I have stopped breast feeding.

CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why?
Hm, can I make one person out of David Beckham and Brad Pitt? I like the look of David Beckham and he seems to be a genuinely nice guy but ehm is voice might be a hard to get used to so if I could give him Brad's voice that would be fab.

Copyright: India Server

DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging? 
I honestly can't remember what my first ever blog post was. I have had several blogs that I wrote over the years and they all accompanied me in different situations. I blogged while I did my A-Levels and started uni, I blogged about everything and nothing in about 2006 and I blogged when I came to England in 2008 to keep in touch with my family and friends back in Germany. I love writing, so blogging is a great creative way for me to keep record of the different stages of my life.

ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret? 
It might sound big headed and I guess the one or the other person in my life can think of something I should put here but in the end I am happy where I am now and I wouldn't be here if I hadn't made mistakes along the way.

FUNNY – who’s making you laugh?
My boyfriend. He's cracking me up sometimes. His jokes come so surprisingly and he always manages to put a smile on my face and there is Amy, of course. She just started giggling and we often just giggle at each other because we love the sound of each other's voices so much. I'm not that much into comedians but my absolute favourite is Alan Carr. He is hilarious and is so likeable that he gets away with being naughty to the biggest divas in the world.

GRAND…If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on?
If you want me to spend it reasonably, I would buy a new oven and get my driving license. If I could spend it on whatever I want, I would go on a nice holiday to Italy with my little family.


HOLIDAY… What’s your favourite destination?
I don't have a favourite destination, I guess. I love traveling so much that I am curious about exploring as many countries as I can. However, I really love Budapest and Florence.

IRRITATE… What’s your most annoying habit?
I used to bite my nails for all my life but falling pregnant with Amy stopped me do it and I still haven't done it again, so that one is off the list. I think though that I am sometimes too stubborn. I find it hard to admit that I am wrong about something and I can go days ignoring someone if I think that I've been treated unfairly.

JOKER…Whats your favourite joke {the one that makes you laugh everytime you hear it}? 
"What is green and running through the woods?" - "A bunch of cucumbers!" "Have you ever seen cucumbers running through the woods?" - "No!" - "See, that's how fast they are!"

KENNEL… Do you have any pets?
Yes, a cat called Honey.

LOVE…Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner?
I am living with my boyfriend Ben who I have been together with for almost three years. He is also Amy's daddy.

MEAL… Whats your ultimate starter, main and dessert? My perfect 3-course menu would be green asparagus wrapped in parma ham with a nice vinaigrette for starters, pork chops with melted brie, garlic sauteed potatoes, green asparagus and creamy mushrooms for my main course and Ben's homemade tiramisu for dessert.

NOW…If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with?
I'm where I want to be - with my lovely little family. Nicer weather would be great though!

OFF DUTY…What do you do in your spare time? 
Spare what? Amy makes sure I don't have too much of it but if I have some time to myself, I like to read blogs, magazines, newspaper and chat away with my family and friends. I also used to go swimming regularly, so once I've stopped breast feeding I would love to take it up again.
Copyright: Guardian

PROUD MOMENTS …What are you most proud of?
My little family...

QUEASY …What turns your stomach?
White foods such as milk, rice pudding, egg white, cream and bananas give me the creeps. I can't even stand smelling them, so no way am I letting them anywhere near my stomach.

RELAX…How do you relax? 
I love snuggling up on the sofa, reading blogs or a nice magazine and munching on chocolate or popcorn. A good chat on the phone to my mum is also on top of my list.

SONG…Whats your favourite song of all time?
Elton John's 'Your Song' - I absolutely love this song and if I ever get married, I would love it to be my first dance. I also have a real soft spot for 'Living on a Prayer' by Bon Jovi and most Take That and Robbie Williams songs but then again, I am an absolute music junkie and can be caught singing to absolutely everything.

Copyright: Elton John

TIME …If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose?
I would love to go back in time and spend some more time with my grandad who passed away last year. I hadn't seen him for two years before he passed away and thinking back, I feel really bad for not having made the effort of saving more money to travel to see him when I moved to the UK.

UNKNOWN…Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?
Ehm no ;)

VOCAL…. Who is your favourite artist? I admire the musical talent of Freddie Mercury and Elton John and if you are asking for an artist in the sense of painter, then my favourite is Keith Haring. I love his modern twist of art and the vibrant colours he used for his pieces of art.

WORK….. What is your dream job, and are you doing it now?
Yes, I have always wanted to be a journalist and working with language and in different types of media is something that gives me big satisfaction. It is creative, never boring and challenging at times - just how I like it.

XRAY…Any broken bones? 
Hell yes. You name it, it's been broken. My left arm was broken on three different occasions, my right arm cracked once, my left leg had sprained ligaments on so many occasions that I have lost count and as for my right leg, well,don't get my started on that one. The story would make a whole new blog post.
Copyright: Emergency Physicians Monthly

YIKES…What’s been your most embarrassing moment?
I fancied that boy when I was about 16 and when I quickly popped out in my tracksuit bottoms and with messy hair, I noticed him on the other side of the road. I quickly grabbed my magazine, held it up in front of my face, pretending I was reading and slipped off the pavement. Result? Sprained ligaments...

ZOO…. If you were an animal, which one would you be? A cat, because they get spoiled all the time.

I am going to tag the following people and see if they would like to complete this Meme (you can copy a blank A-Z list from HERE)

Adele over at Circus Queen
T over at Mummy Barrow
Sarah over at Mostly Yummy Mummy
Karen over at All About The Boys
Nicki at Curly & Candid

Monday, 12 September 2011

Are you ready for a child? This test will tell you!

A lovely lady from my baby group shared this great piece of advice with us and I found it so hilarious that I just have to share it with you now - enjoy and let me know what you think!

Test 1 - Preparation

Women: To prepare for pregnancy:

1. Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
2. Leave it there.
3. After 9 months remove 5% of the beans.

Men: To prepare for children:

1. go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
2. go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.

Test 2 - Knowledge

Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour.

Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

Test 3 - Nights

To discover how the nights will feel:

1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 4 - 6kg, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
2. At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
4. Set the alarm for 3am.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.
6. Go to bed at 2.45am.
7. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs in the dark until 4am.
9. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
10. Make breakfast.