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The Bugaboo Donkey as a Duo – both facing

Team Mardon (that’s our family name), have been testing The Bugaboo Donkey to see if suits our active lifestyles and caters to our two children of different ages.  You can read the original review of our first impressions *here* and watch the below video to check it out in full.  Onwards, I discuss transportation, how easy it is to convert and manoeuvre and the all-important fold…

Watch the video >>>

Conversion

The Bugaboo Donkey converts from a mono to a duo with three easy clicks.  Everything is so easy to lift off, clip in and close down.  My husband figured it out without even looking at the instruction manual (such a bloke), since it is so cleverly designed.

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Easy-click buttons make conversion so simple – yes, really!

Transportation

Since you’re housing two children comfortably, the frame is wide as a duo in my opinion, although its width is only 5,4 inches wider than mono-configuration – I did find it a challenge to get through some entrances – not all – just some.  For instance, I couldn’t manoeuvre it through our narrow garden gate but it was perfectly fine throughout the supermarket – so it really depends on your personal circumstances.  The shopping basket is worth a mention too – roomy enough to fit my bulky catering-for-two changing bag in plus some shopping essentials.  Watch the video again for this, my choices of groceries totally give away the fact that I’m a hard-working mum, ha ha.  Anyone for Prosecco?

Featured here as a mono

Featured here as a mono

For the same reason, and because there are two seats (one buggy seat, one pram), it wouldn’t all fit in our car boot but it did fold down incredibly easy.  See onwards for more on this all-important feature.

I therefore find it brilliant for long strolls, travelling and an active lifestyle which to me, is exactly what The Bugaboo Donkey prides itself on.  You’re not limited in getting out and about with two children thanks to it.  Since we love to be active and take in the views of where we live, next to the beach – it suits us well.

The Fold

A push of a button and pull of the frame, and it folds down to a tiny, neat package.  Yessssss!  We all know what a nightmare a badly designed buggy can be to fold down, to the point where you just want to give up (or kick it)!  The Bugaboo Donkey is so easy to fold, you’ll want to kiss it.

Movement & Handling

It is super easy to steer and offers a very smooth ride with great suspension.  You’ll see in the video that we tested it on a number of surfaces including the rough terrain of our private road – and it doesn’t get more pot holed and pebbly than that.

The suspension and steering was so slick that our (very active) toddler fell asleep in it – that never happens!  This is thanks to the excellent shock absorption, one-handed steering and a seamless 360º turn.  Watch the video to see us demonstrating this.

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The wheels are designed specifically to suit the journeys they will make and are awesome at getting up and down bumpy curbs too. The harness of the seated side opens and closes with one easy click, no pulling, jerking, no wondering how the hell to loosen and tighten it.  Phew.

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One facing you, the other turned out

Comfort

Both the seat and pram sizes are ample, see dimensions in the original first impressions review *here*.  Baby girl had plenty of room and so did toddler boy.  The fact that our son fell asleep in it is total testament to its comfort.  They both seem very happy in it.  The materials are robust and high quality, durable and easy to clean by wiping down with a damp cloth.

Quality and Value for Money

This will last you years and is ready to go from day one.  The carrycot easily converts into a seat and vice versa.  You can have it as a single pram or stroller, as a duo for two kids and have either of them or both facing away, facing you or one of each.  The Bugaboo Donkey Duo has an RRP £1199.00 minus accessories which although it sounds pricey, will cater to two children from birth to approx four years old, and beyond if you opt for the accessories such as the compatible buggy board.  You could in this case take care of three children very easily.  It’s a slick, smart and intelligent design that grows with you and makes getting about very easy and enjoyable and to me, that is worth the price tag.

Summary

Overall, my husband and give The Bugaboo Donkey 9 out of 10.  We love how stylish it looks, the smooth steering and turning, how easy it is to convert and the fact that it comfortably caters to our two children of different ages.
I also love how proud it made my soon feel, riding next to his sister (see video of the adorable evidence).  He took comfort in seeing her and she took comfort in having him close, so it helps build a bond between your kids too.
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True love, feeling close (for now anyway)! Ha ha

It is as versatile and cool as we fancy or lifestyles to be – complementing the way we like to run our busy, active lives as a family of four.

For more information and ranges, visit: www.bugaboo.com

Disclaimer:

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.


With the arrival of baby no.2 just around the corner, I recently had a wonderful evening with a Baby Shower.  Some of my lovely friends helped me to celebrate her soon arrival and have some giggles – it was a warm, fun-filled and often gory (!) evening.

I didn’t have a shower with my first child and never thought to have one this time around until a friend asked me.  ‘Well ,why the hell not?’ I thought.  A Baby Shower is after all a way to feel pampered, have some all-important girl time and heaps of fun during the challenging time of pregnancy.  At 36 weeks now, I feel I freakin’ deserve all of that!

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I’ve always seen Baby Showers as an American tradition but they’re becoming ever more popular this side of the pond too.  We don’t tend to adopt all of the terms, however and put a British spin on it of course.  For instance, I could never see myself registering for baby gifts that I need / want.  Maybe it’s just me but I personally don’t expect anything, although my friends did get me wonderful gifts which was a lovely surprise (love you ladies).

Take a look at some of the images below to see what fun we had alongside some great ideas for games and the easiest menu EVER.

Food and Theme

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We held the shower at my place – this makes it easy for people to get to and from, with a ‘no-rules’ policy – you don’t have to worry about upsetting others in a public place with your laughs and lewdness.  Plus you personally don’t have to worry about childcare or waddling long distance!

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This is THE EASIEST BABY SHOWER MENU EVER. I went for a retro tea party with pink being the main colour, since were expecting a girl and served with vintage china and crystal.  I think showers allow you to be a little kitsch.

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I laid on fondant fancies, bon bons, chocolate eggs, chocolate dipped strawberries – these were incredible (see below)…

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Finger sandwiches of cream cheese and pesto, french bread with mozzarella and tomato, mini bruschetta with a twist using mustard, chorizo and parmasan, plus sweet chilli crisps and homemade humus dips

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The chocolate dipped strawberries look so effective and taste amazing but are so easy to make! I simply melted Lindt white chocolate in a bowl over boiling water then dipped the strawbs into the mixture followed by a dip into a pot of 100s and 1000s. This made them look super pretty. They’d be ideal for kids parties too but the big kids loved them.

 

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Thy were left in the fridge to set for an hour and a half (minimum), on greaseproof paper.

Favours and Little Touches

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I was wondering what to get my guests as favours.  I think it’s a nice touch to thank them for coming and for sharing the moment with you.  My friend Lucy bought over these gorgeous rose bushes for everyone to take home.  She referred to them as ‘blooming like Beth herself’, aww.

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Mine definitely is!  The roses are getting bigger by the day – I’m sure there is a metaphor here 😉

I didn’t go crazy with decor, I simply pinned pink curly streamers, ribbon and balloons around the room while Lucy provided pink ribbon for each guest to accessorise with.  I prefer this subtlety plus  – waddling, heavy and with pelvic pain – I don’t want to be taking down masses of decorations afterwards! Ha.

Drinks were simple – prosecco, pink lemonade and elderflower plus I made a greeting ‘Welcome to Beth’s Baby Shower‘ displayed on a vintage easel.

Games

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Now this is where it got really fun! Rachel and Lucy were games masters and put on everything from guess the baby – with each of us cringing at our baby photos, guess the (chocolate) poo, guess the baby food flavour and pin the catheter on the vagina. Yes, really.

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“it’s a good year, this one”. Here I am tasting the poop from inside a nappy. Well, the poop is actually chocolate, melted down and placed inside a nappy to look like a no.2. We had 5 chocolate bars / poos in total to taste and guess. I actually had to mentally prepare myself for this one, ‘it’s not really poo, it’ not really poo, it’s not…’

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Here we all are pulling our labour faces. I’m doing my yogic breathing (!) but a few of us look worrying…and yes, that is the vagina diagram behind us that I actually won for – whilst wearing a blindfold – pinning the catheter closest to where it should be. So proud.

This is a thank you to my lovely friends for helping make my first (and lest!) Baby Shower the most amazing evening, for making me feel like a Queen for the day and for erm, making me eat vomit-flavoured mush. Heh heh.  I’m so blessed to have you all in my life.

What do you think to Baby Showers?  Have you had one?


Welcome to our brand, spanking new linky for parent bloggers and vloggers, #MumCheats!

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Every month, the lovely and awesome Natasha Bailie and I will collaborate to bring you a new and exciting topic to get involved with, while giving you tons of inspiration (hopefully) while we’re at it.

I met Natasha, a refreshingly honest parenting blogger and vlogger, a few months back. A few flat whites and an instant connection later, we came up with this!

All the topics will be based around mum cheats – that’s tips and tricks, short cuts, speedy solutions, ANYTHING that makes our lives easier as hectic, busy mums.

The idea is that we all link up and become part of a community where we get to share both or wisdom and woes. After all, being a parent isn’t easy but there are ways to make things easier, and there is no better than way having an honest chat with other mums to know you’re not alone.

We’re kicking it all off with our Top Five Mum Cheats. Just watch the video below and have a quick read of the terms and off we go. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Watch this space for next months challenge too.

Have fun doing it and Merry Christmas.

Beth and Natasha xx

Watch the Video:

Link up your vlogs based on our monthly topics.

Here’s How:

  • You can link up to one post every month
  • Grab the code below to display the #MumCheats badge with pride (just copy then paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform), wherever you wish in the post.  Most people display it at the bottom like me below
  • Comment on this post to let us know you’re in and so we can get to know you
  • Visit two or three other links from below so you can get involved in our building community
  • When you share the link to you post and vlog, it’d be great if you can use #MumCheats so we can find you easily and big you up too
  • Finally, if you follow us both – we’ll keep in touch that way too (my social links are below and to the right)

Grab the Code:

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I wrote this at 4am due to pregnancy insomnia – The Mum’s Version of the 12 Days of Christmas.  Well, how else should I spend my time while I lie their uncomfortably, tooting and cramping? 🙂
I’m sure you’ll all be able to relate to the scenarios I’ve picked, maybe even the (exaggeration/ frequent day-dreaming / medicinal needs), of number five!
Watch the video to see me making a fool of myself as I attempt to sing, and join in with the words below.  It MUST be sung in the original tune and each line rhymes with the original so it’s easy enough to do.  Thank you for reading my blog and watching my channel this year. Have fun, have a giggle and Merry Christmas all.  xxx

WATCH THE VIDEO:

THE WORDS:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me a phone full of silly selfies
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Two missing gloves 
and a phone full of silly selfies.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 

Three tantrums,

Two missing gloves 

and a phone full of silly selfies.

 

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 

Four smelly turds, 

Three tantrums

Two missing gloves 

and a phone full of silly selfies.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 

Five pints of gin, 

Four smelly turds, 

Three tantrums, 

Two missing gloves
and a phone full of silly selfies.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 

Six shocking weigh-ins, 

Five pints of gin, 

Four smelly turds, 

Three tantrums

Two missing gloves 

and a phone full of silly selfies.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 

Seven knackered women, 

Six shocking weigh-ins, 

Five pints of gin,

Four smelly turds, 

Three tantrums, 

Two missing gloves 

and a phone full of silly selfies.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 

Eight mums a-milking, 

Seven knackered women, 

Six shocking weigh-ins,

Five pints of gin, 

Four smelly turds, 

Three tantrums

Two missing gloves

and a phone full of silly selfies.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me

Nine babies dancing, 

Eight mums a-milking,
Seven knackered women,
Six shocking weigh-ins, 
Five pints of gin, 
Four smelly turds, 
Three tantrums,
Two missing gloves
and a phone full of silly selfies.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Ten boobs a-seeping, 
Eight mums a-milking,
Seven knackered women,
Six shocking weigh-ins, 
Five pints of gin, 
Four smelly turds,
Three tantrums
Two missing gloves
and a phone full of silly selfies.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, 
my true love sent to me
Eleven bums for wiping, 
Ten boobs a seeping, 
Eight mums a-milking,
Seven knackered women,
Six shocking weigh-ins,
Five pints of gin, 
Four smelly turds, 
Three tantrums
Two missing gloves 
and a phone full of silly selfies.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 

Twelve rags for slumming, 

Eleven bums for wiping, 

Ten boobs a seeping,
Eight mums a-milking,
Seven knackered women,
Six shocking weigh-ins,
Five pints of gin,
Four smelly turds,
Three tantrums,
Two missing gloves
and a phone full of silly selfies.
Merry Christmas x
Image credits:
Tracksuit: Antoine K 
Baby Wipes: Abi Porter
Suckling Pigs: John Mason
Feeding Cow: Jenny Downing
Exhausted Woman: Lee Haywood
Scales: Alan Cleaver
Happy Poo: Moon Angel
Gin: Cyclone Bill
Tantrum Sculpture: Forest Runner
Odd Gloves: Tripp

To me, this feels an intimate subject to share but one that I feel is important to do so.  At 30 weeks pregnant, I’m starting to feel alone and rejected in a number of ways; professionally, superficially and lovingly.  Do you relate to any of this?

Professionally

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I have to make extra room at my Macbook for bump – but I’m still capable, thanks

The Issue:

Companies and people I work with seem to be signing me off as we near my due date, ‘well you’re baby will be arriving soon so we’ll stop here and continue when you’re back’.  But I don’t want to ‘stop here’.  I’ve still got the same talents, insight and drive.  I can still deliver the same commitment, I’m not in the hospital ward yet!  I just find that companies tend to squeeze every last drop out of you in a hurry like you’re going to pop any time and never be around again, while in the long term, treating us like we’re no longer useful and generally acting non-committal.  Does anyone else get this impression?

The Next Step:

I’ve decided to hell with that and have started to create opportunities based around my pregnancy and when post natal too.  I have a number of blogging and vlogging opportunities that all require me to write about pregnancy and beyond, life as a mum of 2, various baby equipment, the challenges of pregnancy.  To me, there is nothing more valuable than mothers sharing their honest experiences with others when you want to learn and connect.  The moral of the story?  Write about what you know, make the most of what you have and never be told you can’t do something.

Superficially

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The Issue:

I keep peering into shop windows, drooling over the gorgeous Christmas party dresses and longing to be able to fit into them, one thigh would perhaps. I waddle by the bars and cafes and longingly look at the crowds enjoying their huge glasses of wine and cocktails.  I’m not only jealous of their measures but their energy…and the fact that they can sit cross legged, bend down to pick up their handbag and generally move from one point to the next without feeling like their leg is going to drop off / pelvis is going to burst.

I blend in, I don’t get double takes unless it is agog at my massive bump.

The Next Step:

Enough is enough!  Just because I’m pregnant, it does NOT mean I am invisible.  Nor does it mean I don’t like a good time.  No, I can’t do shooters with you and I have to organise a military operation to meet up with you for just one hour (and leave an extra 30 minutes to get there on time due to becoming a right slo-mo-jo), BUT I’m still me and I can rock a pair of heels as well as the rest of ’em.  So what if I have to take them off after 20 minutes. Ha ha.  Whenever I do make that extra effort with my clothes, hair and makeup, I feel so much better for it.  Just yesterday, a rather attractive man totally checked me out.  He looked pretty mortified when he saw I was pregnant with a look of what I could read a guilt on his face, but I enjoyed it!  For inspiration on your maternity wardrobe and for heaps of mum-friendly quick and easy hair and beauty ideas, take a look at my channel.

Lovingly

The Issue:

I know part of it is my self esteem and feeling like a whale.  It might be that I can’t even see my legs (or anything in that lower region), let alone shave them.  Or it might be that I now look like an easter egg on legs but I’m feeling like I need more physical love.  My wonderful husband is always telling me he loves me, how beautiful I am and what ‘an amazing job’ I’m doing but I thought this cartoon sums up my reality so I think this issue speaks for itself:

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The Solution:

I’m not currently looking or feeling like Charlize Theron nor am I about to try so I’m going to convince my husband to ‘support his pregnant wife’ with physical loveliness.  Foot rubs and shoulder massages will be the order of the day.   He always has been good at romance in the smallest, most thoughtful ways such as running me a candlelit bubble bath with chocolates at arms reach, so I’ll just use the power of ‘I’m in the third trimester, say yes or run’ to ensure he doesn’t slip 😉 C’mon ladies, it really isn’t much to ask in comparison to what we manage is it!

We also have a date night planned later this month and try to maintain that every 1-2 months.  I think it’s really important to remain close and connect with your other half, just you and them.  We’ve started a babysitting circle among close friends who we and the kids fully trust.  We take it in turns to babysit while the parents go out.  Even if it’s just down the local, that time ‘off’ – whether you’re heavily pregnant or not, works wonders.

I know I’m certainly not alone in feeling this way and that there are millions of women out there who feel just the same so I’d love to hear from you in the comments box below. Thank you x