Category Archives: Product Reviews

Calendar Girl

IMG_1335Well, here we are, blog entry 300…

Sarah’s been to see The Full Monty on stage which reminded me of Calendar Girls which in turn made this entry spring to mind and I thought it a fitting one being the 300th, a milestone of sorts.

For the last couple of years Sarah and I have put together The Official Isabelle Newman calendars for ourselves and our mums and dads. Anyone that knows me will know that we certainly aren’t short of Isabelle photography to pick from but it is always a challenge.

Sure, it may not prove as popular as the, er, Cliff Richard calendar but I know which I’d rather have hanging in my hallway. Besides it’s nice to have her greet you at the top of the stairs everytime you come in after a long day at work, which to be fair she pretty much does in person as well.

IMG_1336The trick, for me, was picking images even taken in that month or images that represented that particular month. Some, like October with Halloween, and August, the month of her birthday were easier than others. It was also about trying to chart her progress over that previous year so trying to capture her changing look and growing personality as well…not something that probably will bother the makers of The Official Justin Bieber calendar 2014.

Each year you almost set the bar higher than the last as well, especially if xyz month last year hard a particularly strong image to go with it, the other thing is you don’t want to go for a straight rehash of what featured for that month last year either. Who’d have thought selecting 12 images, 13 counting the cover, was so difficult!

It’s kind of fun to know that part of the images that will be forming next year’s calendar probably haven’t even been taken yet, so it almost acts as a fun retrospective of the year gone by when we start looking through the photographic runners and riders at the end of November onwards

IMG_1337Even though we’d picked the pictures it was quite something else to see them actually printed and in their calendar form. As the year progresses its nice to be surprised at the next smiling picture of Isabelle and the memories that they evoke, especially as for the most part its been me who was pressing the shutter to capture that month’s moment.

Various companies and stores to such calendars where you design the layout online and even the font used on the cover and right down to the paper finish. We’ve used Printerpix each time and I’ve always been impressed with both the design process and the finished article. It helps biding your time on when you are getting them done as if you wait for the rrp with multiple prints and delivery it can work out rather costly but they are always doing offers, especially on the run up to Christmas.

As the calendars become out of date we are saving them in a nice little box as a visual record for Iz when she is older. Quite what she’ll make of them is anyones guess but I can promise you this much future Iz, we won’t do a bedspread or curtains…Sarah does have you as her iPhone cover mind!

My Carry Potty helps defuse ticking time bums

Now the nappies have been largely consigned to history we are clocking up plenty of potty time miles with Iz flinging off her leggings or trousers, like Popeye when he’s just swallowed a can of  spinach, at increasingly regular intervals. So much so that I’ve lost count.

She’s pretty adept at yanking her own trousers down and taking advantage of sitting on one of the couple of potties we have around and she even parked her bum on the grown-up toilet on one occasion completely unaided. I don’t think I’ll be leaving any of my baseball caps laying round the floor though, just in case.

Much like the race to the moon it’s not been completely without mishap – less costly in human life and moneywise naturally – with the odd accident on the carpet and being caught out. We’ve even had  a poo in the shower, which was lovely as it mixed with the heat and warmth of the shower, mmmm.

The funniest thing was that Iz did it on the shower mat which has fish on it. She exclaimed “I’ve pooed on the fishes!” Now, each time she steps into the shower or bath she says that she isn’t going to poo on the fishes and as of the time of writing she has been faithful to that promise.

We’ve also got a cool portable potty called a My Carry Potty that goes with us whenever we are out and about. It’s like an infant gadget from Q-branch, looks like a case but quickly transforms into a fully operational potty – For Your Bum Only.

Iz also loves using her toilet wipes, fruity fragranced no less, which are like a halfway house between wet wipes and loo roll. We like them as they are flushable so can be poured away with the potty contents.

As the main team in the bum disposal unit Sarah and I have found that the My Carry Potty is simple but perfect, it’s the world’s only leakproof potty so its contents can sit happily inside until it’s convenient to get rid of it. You could say we’ve been blown away with its extra deep bowl that is easy to clean and has fast become essential in our potty training campaign. What’s more it’s light and has a carry handle that Iz is quite happy to lug around.

Unsurprisingly it has won a string of awards from Practical parenting & pregnancy to loved by parents.com, both in the best travel invention categories. Having only used it, metaphorically speaking, for a couple of weeks I’d highly recommend it as an essential addition to the toddler arsenal and is fast becoming one of the best purchases we’ve made since Iz was born.

Iz may still having a ticking time bum but there now has to be no mad dash across town, Bruce Willis Die Hard With A Vengeance style, to stop a ‘dirty bomb’. Sure, there will still be hits and misses but, with its secure locking mechanism, we’ve come to regard the My Carry Potty as the It Doesn’t Have to Hurt Locker.