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  1. It's Olive's 4th Birthday next week. 4, the number that comes after 3 and signifies the quick progression into “big school” wearing a uniform and developing an attitude! Where did my tiny baby go? I still pinch myself that after her bleak diagnosis she's here at all let alone nearly 4! Having an older brother and sister (and friends who are all huge in comparison) means she gets a lot of hand me downs, which we don't mind at all, but it does mean birthdays and Christmas can be hard. For her birthday last year she had a bike which she loves and is currently wobbling around with one stabiliser on. For Christmas they all had pimped scooters and the girls plethora of Frozen toys. Olive also had a large wooden dolls house (gotta love Tesco Clubcard points) so we are pretty much sorted.

    For weeks I've been asking Olive what she would like for her birthday to which she has replied each time with either nothing or Frozen slippers. Helpful! Frozen slippers already purchased I decided I might extend our doll collection. Olive has a lot of baby dolls (unlike Megan who was never very interested she's more of a Sylvanian Families fan) and loves playing with her pushchair outside.

    Taking BB shopping bought this pushchair for her 2nd birthday from @kiddicare she still loves it 😃

    A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on

    You would not believe the minefield that is buying a doll for a 4 year old! I wanted to move away from the Disney Princess style toddler dolls (which I know she loves) and introduce her to something new. When did there get to be so much choice!!

    You've got the my little BABY born® Bathing Fun not only can this doll drink and wet her nappy, but is also fully bathable too. my little BABY born® Bathing Fun encapsulates all the best bits of caring and nurturing role play patterns – giving water to drink, bathing and nappy changing! Suitable for ages one year and above and priced at around £19.99. In my day you had to shake the doll on it's back in order for it to release some weak baaaa sound like some mutant baby crossed with a sheep.

    You can't look at dolls without checking out the UK’s favourite large nurturing doll, Baby Annabell®. Who is now set to make toilet training easier with her super cute potty and realistic toilet sounds, applause sounds and the Baby Annabell® jingle (OMG!). The Baby Annabell® doll features are lifelike, which make role play with her extremely realistic and interactive. These functions include the recently added rocking function, eye and mouth movement when she is sucking on her bottle or dummy and real tears are produced when she drinks water. Then if she becomes upset, little ones can gently stroke her cheeks or pat her back to soothe her (WHAT! My kids don't soothe me when I'm upset!). The potty retails at around £17.99, and the doll around £49.99 and both are suitable for children of 3 years and over. Although I think Olive would love this it does freak me out a little!

    doll choices 

    I've also seen a lot of reviews/competitions in the blogger world with Lottie Doll so I thought I'd check her out too. The Lottie Doll is kind of like the anti Barbie/Bratz doll which I try to avoid like the plague! She's age appropriate, has a child like figure, ethically diverse and gets involved with relevant games/activities to our children. I really liked the Pony Club doll and fossil hunter!! Priced from £16.99 they make a great natural alternative and are more a playmate than a baby doll.

    I also then looked at mini dolls which I thought would suit Olive's wooden dolls house giving her a new game to play. I found these cute and quirky CHOU CHOU Birdies Minidolls. Each mini CHOU CHOU Birdies Minidolls comes with a super cute mini CHOU CHOU Birdie Pet Friend and look how cute are their outfits! They are so sweet I think I may need a couple to decorate my office! The mini CHOU CHOU Birdies Minidolls are priced at £7.99 and suitable for children of 3 years and older.

    So what did I get … you shall have to wait until next week! 

  2. I'm not a beauty blogger, I don't wear make up hardly ever! My eyebrows are quite wild and I could do with loosing a stone or two! But just recently I feel the PR world must be conspiring against me and trying to make me in to a yummy mummy. Quite possibly it is working a bit too! As I have been feeling slightly more body confident, wearing different clothes to normal, more colours and less thinking what would other people say about me. (you can check out some of my #OOTD on instagram | CharlieMoos using the hashtag #wearwhatmakesyouhappy).

    Here are my top 4 beauty/health products I'm testing out at the moment.

    healthbeauty

    1. Fitbug Orb – I've talked a little about how useful the fitbug has been on my office days. It shows me how few steps I've been taking which in turn has encouraged me to walk a bit more and be more active. I haven't always got it spot on but I have noticed a shift in my mindset, making me want to walk more (to get those circles pink or green) and I'm slowly starting to shift the weight. You can if you wish track your sleep pattern and calories intake (you can read more about this here on The Life of Spicers) but to be honest, I'm happy with just concentrating on getting moving at the moment.

    2. Seven Seas Perfect 7 Woman – I've always been a bit dubious of taking supplements as I always think I have a great diet. Whilst I was pregnant with Megan I had low iron and after the birth of Olive had problems with my thyroid as apparently having 3 babies in 4 years pretty much kills your body! Who knew! The perfect 7 consists of a tablet and a capsule that you are suppose to take daily. They have been scientifically designed to support skin & nails, hair, energy, brain, vision, heart and hormonal activity. I must admit I haven't been taking them daily but I have noticed that my nails are stronger and breaking less and my energy levels are definitely higher (although this could be contributed to the fitbug encouraging me to move). I suggest a drink with flavour not just water to wash them down with as sometimes you can get a fishy after taste from the tablet which is loaded with marine oils (which are super good for you but taste ewww).

    3. Vatika Naturals Virgin Olive Deep Conditioning Hairmask – my poor hair has taken a bit of a battering over the past two years with full on bright red dyes to bleached ombre and now I'm sort of back to brown (although my hair dresser did hint I needed re0dying!). Dying your hair can make it dry and brittle. I have regular cuts to try and combat this and avoid completely drying with a hair-dryer. But once a month sometimes more I have been using this virgin olive deep conditioning mask. You simply apply all over dry hair, leave for 15/20mins with a warm towel round your head then wash as normal. It smells divine and does as it says on the tin, reconditions and leaves you hair feeling healthier, shinier and full of volume. I've used it a couple of times to on the girls hair as they both swim regularly. It also contains natural ingredients and no nasties!

    4. Bee Good Honey and Wild Flax Daily Moisturiser The first thing you notice is how gorgeous it smells and how silky smooth the cream is. Bursting with natural actives, this gentle yet effective facial moisturiser absorbs in seconds to hydrate and protect skin. The £19.50 price tag puts me off a little so I have been using it sparingly and not everyday, however having said that it really does feel luxurious. What I do like about this product is that it is made in the UK using honey from British bees and it contains no parabens. It's something I can see me using a lot through the summer as my skin is so pale I tend to react to the sun quickly.

    I'm going to get back into juicing as well. I notice as soon as I stop juicing I lapse right back into drinking lots of coffee. What beauty/health products couldn't you live without? I'd love a few recommendations.

    FYI PR's as we spend an awful lot of time outside, I'm always keen to try sun-creams and foot scrubs!   

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