Learning a New Language with TeacherBoards: Review

We were recently given the opportunity to receive a product from a company called TeacherBoards for the purpose of a review. At first, I considered something that only BattleKid could play with, but with us all trying to get to grips with Portuguese, I thought something to help us all would be more valuable. Today I’m going to tell how we are learning a new language with TeacherBoards.

Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards

TeacherBoards is a Yorkshire-based company that has been manufacturing and distributing boards to educational facilities for over 30 years. With a huge range of boards and educational tools, all manufactured within the UK to highest quality and specifications, TeacherBoards have something to suit everyone. They say

We aim to offer high quality, innovative products with outstanding customer care from specialist knowledge experts, providing you a simple and reliable service time after time.

As already mentioned I had considered choosing something for BattleKid to play with but I thought better of it. We didn’t start learning Portuguese before moving to Portugal but that hasn’t stopped us starting as soon as we landed.  We’re all at various stages of learning Portuguese, although BattleKid is way ahead of us as he is immersed in the language everyday in school.

But at home we often find ourselves referring to Google Translate or our Collins Portuguese-English dictionary when BattleKid asks us “mummy/daddy, what’s that in Portuguese?”. Once we find the word we are looking for, we find we often forget it and are continually referring back to the dictionary or translator.

BattleKid is very inquisitive and is eager to learn the Portuguese words for things. He accepts that there are two words for everything and never questions why. He surprises us everyday with the things he comes out with but there are still words and phrases he hasn’t learned.

So, in an effort to answer his questions and further our own learning, I asked TeacherBoards if they would be prepared to send us their Magnetic Dry Wipe Workboard Starter Kit, as I felt this would be the ideal tool to help us with our learning at home. Not only does it have a large dry wipe workboard and smaller ones too, but it also has a pack of lower case letter and numbers, which would help BattleKid with his alphabet and numbers learning.

I was absolutely thrilled when they agreed to send the kit to us. Learning Portuguese was about to get a whole lot easier at home. We eagerly waited for the kit to arrive and once it did, we got to work straight away.


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


The Magnetic Dry Wipe Workboard Starter Kit contains the following items:

  • 10 x A4 Magnetic Drywipe boards
  • 1 x A3 Magnetic Drywipe boards
  • 12 x Slim Barrel Medium Tipped Drywipe Markers Black
  • 12 x Magnetic Mini Erasers
  • 1 x Tub 286 Magnetic Lowercase Letters
  • 1 x Tub 286 Magnetic Numbers/Maths Symbols
  • Multi-coloured storage trunk to hold everything.


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


How we are learning a new language with TeacherBoards?

We decided to put the A3 board on a cupboard by our fridge so that we could add new words to it as we learned them. The idea is that by having the board in a prominent place, we can read the words we are learning, any time day or night, and absorb the Portuguese for them until we are comfortable enough to replace each word with a new one.


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


The first word to go onto that board was the word for flag, bandeira. I asked one of BattleKid’s teachers what it was as he had brought a toy flag into school one day and I realised I didn’t know the word for it. BattleKid’s teachers are so helpful and are always telling us new words when we ask them. I think they appreciate the fact we are trying to learn the language and they hear us using what little Portuguese we have with BattleKid, so they know we are making the effort where so many other expats don’t.

In a short space of time our A3 board was filled with words BattleDad and I want to learn, some for ourselves, others such as monkey, sheep and donkey to use with BattleKid. We will probably keep the words there for a few weeks before replacing them with others.

As for the A4 boards, we’ve used them in two ways. Firstly, we decided to put one in each room to help us learn the words for the items of furniture in that room. For instance, in the kitchen we have one with the word for things like the cooker, the sink, the fridge and the kettle. Beside each word you’ll notice an “M” or an “F”. These denote whether the word is male (um) or female (uma). Portuguese follows the same sort of rules as French with words being either male or female. So far this hasn’t been a problem unless you are referring to two of the item or thing as there are two ways to say “two X’s” depending on whether the singular is male or female. But it makes sense to learn that now rather than later.


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


Secondly, I’ve been using the A4 boards with BattleKid to help him learn and recognise the letters of the alphabet. In school he has been learning his vowels and can recognise them and write them too, much to our surprise. I’ve also used the A4 drywipe boards to help BattleKid with his writing. Although he doesn’t start real school until he is six here in Portugal, he has started learning to write in preschool and I’d like to continue that learning and help him improve at home.


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


So, we’ve been having fun in the evenings after dinner with letters and writing. And it’s a much better use of that hour before bedtime, rather than him watching TV. It’s also been great seeing BattleKid starting to recognise other letters apart from the vowels, and also to see him writing. It’s a milestone I wasn’t expecting to see so soon for some reason.


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


What I love about the Workboard Starter Kit from TeacherBoards

  • A fabulous teaching aid.
  • A3 board is a perfect size for learning several words.
  • A4 boards are great for putting up in various rooms.
  • A4 board is the perfect size for little hands.
  • The drywipe nature of the boards make it easy to change up the words we are learning.
  • The magnetic letters and numbers are a huge help to continuing BattleKid’s learning and education at home.
  • The board, erasers, number and letters are bold, bright colours and will appeal to children.
  • The storage trunk is perfect for keeping everything together when not in use.
  • This kit will be so useful within the classroom situation for any teacher.

What I don’t like about the Workboard Starter Kit from TeacherBoards

  • Nothing.

Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


If there was just one thing I could change about this kit, it would be to have a smaller ‘home’ kit. We really don’t use all 10 of the A4 boards and it’ll take quite a while for us to get through the full box of pens. We also aren’t using all 286 letters at one time either. My suggestion to TeacherBoards would be to create a smaller “at home” kit for parents to use with their children. The kit could be recommended by the teachers who use the full starter kit within their own classrooms.

That said, I love this dry wipe board kit. It has become so helpful and useful around our small home in helping us learn everyday Portuguese words. It has also become a favourite of BattleKid’s for practising his writing and his letters. In the future I think it will help tremendously when he starts Maths as well.


Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards


This kit not only helps us in learning a new language with TeacherBoards but will help with BattleKid’s continuing education at home. The dry wipe workboard starter kit would also be an invaluable piece of kit for anyone embarking on home education. The bright, bold colours will make the boards, erasers, numbers and letters appeal to kids and will help make learning fun.

I can highly recommend the Magnetic Dry Wipe Workboard Starter Kit to anyone wanting to learn a new language or home educate their children. TeacherBoards not only have this kit but a full range of whiteboards for teachers, and other teacher boards ideas. So please do check out the TeacherBoards website to have a look at their full range of educational boards and teaching aids.

TeacherBoards are confident that you’ll find what you are looking for. However, if not, they can alter a product to meet your specific needs. You can’t ask for anything better than that.

Are you learning a second language at home or are going down the road of home education? Then TeacherBoards might be able to help you out.

Cath x

*We were very kindly sent a Magnetic Dry Wipe Workboard Starter Kit for the purpose of this review, However, as always, these are my own honest thoughts and opinions of the product.

Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards - We've been using the awesome Magnetic Dry Wipe Workboard Starter Kit to help us learn a new language.

Learning A New Language with TeacherBoards - This Magnetic Dry Wipe Workboard Starter Kit has been helping us learn a new language. Read more on the blog...

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made: Review and Giveaway

I recently got a lovely email from the lady behind Kent-Made to see if I’d be interested in receiving one of her wooden signs for review. Now, I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t come across Kent-Made before receiving the email but once I’d had a look on the website, I knew I wanted to collaborate with them. So, after some discussions, I waited patiently for our personalised wooden sign by Kent-Made to arrive. And to say I was thrilled to receive it would be an understatement.

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made

Kent-Made is a company that specialises in

Custom-made wooden gifts that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Kent-Made creates laser cut wood signs and engraved wood signs which can be personalised. I asked the lady behind Kent-Made, Chantel, to tell me a little bit more about her business, why she started it and here’s what she said

I had two young children, aged 2 and 3 at the time I started Kent-Made. I really wanted to spend as much time as possible with them but I also had a real desire to get back to work, even if it was in a small capacity. With the help of my husband we decided to do this by starting up a business from home that I could hopefully grow to something full time by the time the kids were in school. I always had a passion for wood, and so I decided to do custom made gifts that would last forever!

Currently I’m working day and night, as things have picked up tremendously as of late. I’ve had to really work hard to make time for the kids. I make sure I close that workshop door and make time to just play.


It was always going to be risky starting a small business from home with two little kids running around and not going back to work where I had a guaranteed income. I wanted a flexible working environment to still spend time with Emily and Cameron and be able to call the shots as to how I run my own business. So far it’s been a great journey, hopefully Kent-Made will continue to grow!

Chantel offered us one of her custom wooden signs in return for a review. Well, I didn’t know where to start. Her website is beautifully laid out and she has so many custom-made wood signs that I was spoilt for choice. From wooden name signs of every shape and size, to wooden wedding signs that will make a lovely and unique gift, there was so much to choose from.

I eventually decided on a personalised wooden bedroom sign for BattleKid. I thought it might be the ideal item as it’s small enough to not take up too much room and would be something for him. As we live in a very small two-bedroom home, space is at a premium, so little things to make it homely are ideal. 

I searched through the wooden bedroom signs and while I thought the airplane design might be the one, I got back in touch with Chantel, to see if she had a motorbike in her portfolio. I hadn’t found one on the website but thought it was no harm asking her if she could make one for our motorbike-mad son. And to my absolute delight she came back with a picture of one saying she would be happy to make it, if it fit the bill. Of course I said yes.

Chantel worked her magic and our personalised wooden name sign was soon winging its way to us.

When it finally arrived, I opened it and was thrilled with what I discovered. The sign was perfect, just what I had hoped for. It measures 22cm by 13cm and is made from 3mm plywood and was easily recognisable as a motorbike.

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made

I waited for BattleKid to get home from school and told him to “close your eyes and hold out your hands” for a surprise. He duly did as he was told, and when he opened his eyes he was thrilled to see a wooden motorbike sign in his hands, even if he wasn’t totally sure what it was for.

He recognised his name and was soon naming the vowels in his name. For some reason his preschool teacher has been doing the vowel letters with them, so he can easily point them out.

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made

What do I think of our personalised wooden sign by Kent-Made?

I have to say I really like it. Chantel went out of her way to create something unique for us and it wasn’t too much trouble at all. This to me speaks volumes where customer service and satisfaction are concerned. Not many larger companies would add a design to their portfolio because a customer has asked.

Secondly, the sign itself is well made, light and doesn’t feel flimsy. There is some flexibility in the sign but not enough to cause worry should little people attempt to bend it. The letters of BattleKid’s name are well formed and easy to read. And because it is light, it will stick anywhere. I also like the fact it is left unpainted and unvarnished. This means if I am brave enough I might allow BattleKid to customise it even further one day. Watch this space!

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made

What I love about our personalised wooden sign by Kent-Made

  • Lightweight.
  • Well-made and feels durable despite the flexibility in the sign.
  • Because plywood has a natural grain, all signs will look slightly different from one another to reflect this fact.
  • Personalised to any name, great if your children have unusual names that high-street bedrooms sign companies don’t cater for.
  • So many designs to choose from for all occasions.
  • If a design is not on the website you can get in touch with Chantel, who will be happy to work with you to create something special. Our motorbike request was no trouble at all.
  • Each sign comes with free shipping within the UK and international shipping is available too.
  • Signs are not painted or varnished meaning your little ones can customise their wooden door signs even further.
  • They are brilliant value-for-money at a cost of just £8.99 each (for bedroom signs).

What I don’t love about our personalised wooden sign by Kent-Made

  • Nothing!

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made
I think someone is happy with his new bedroom sign

I should point out that bedroom door signs aren’t the only personalised wooden gifts you’ll find on the Kent-Made website. There is a lovely range of laser engraved wood signs to choose from with things like personalised postcards (costing just £4.99), to wedding save-the-date cards (starting from £1.99) to Christmas decorations (priced at £4.99) and even beautiful wooden flowers (costing £5.99 each) which would make a lovely gift for anyone. I will be keeping Kent-Made in mind later in the year when I get ready to buy BattleKid’s annual personalised Christmas decoration.

I cannot recommend Kent-Made enough if you are looking for a personalised wooden door sign or a different personalised wooden gift for any occasion. And as mentioned, if what you are looking for isn’t on the website, please get in touch with Chantel via the support page of the website, or email her at help@kent-made.co.uk to discuss further. She might just be able to help you find the perfect gift.

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made

And that’s not all. Chantel is kindly offering one of my readers the chance to win their choice of Kent-Made products up to the value of £20. So if you have two children, you can easily get them a bedroom sign each! Simply follow the instructions in the widget below and good luck!

Win a lovely Kent-Made Wooden Sign

Cath x

*We were kindly sent a personalised wooden bedroom sign from Kent-Made in return for this review. However, as always, these are my own honest thought and opinions about the product.

Competition Terms and Conditions

  • Open to my readers from the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Competition ends at 23.59GMT on 28th March 2018.
  • There is no cash alternative.
  • One winner will receive their products of their choice from Kent-Made up to the value of £20.
  • The winner will be picked at random and notified within 5 days.

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made - Our review of the motorbike personalised wood sign by Kent-Made we received for BattleKid's bedroom door.

A Personalised Wooden Sign by Kent-Made - Our review of the motorbike personalised wood sign by Kent-Made.

Personalised Jigsaw Puzzles from TinyMe – Perfect for Little Wanderlusters

We were kindly given the chance to receive a personalised jigsaw puzzle from TinyMe for review. I had never come across TinyMe before, but once I checked out their website and the range of products they have to offer, I immediately said yes. We were offered a puzzle of our choice and I chose an intermediate level puzzle for BattleKid. The intermediate jigsaw puzzle from TinyMe is designed with 4 and 5-year olds in mind. As he is almost four, I thought it would be a good idea to get a puzzle that he could grow into. And if you like the sound of the intermediate personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe so far, I advise you to read on!

BattleKid enjoys puzzles and has a set of four with puzzles ranging from 12 to 24 pieces. He can easily do the 12 and 16-piece puzzles of the set, but still needs some help with the bigger ones. That said he still enjoys trying to fit the pieces together.

Personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe come doubled sided so there is twice the fun. They are made from premium quality materials and are printed in high resolution colour. They are also coated with a clear gloss for extra durability. And they come with a handy felt pouch which will make tidying up easier, and storage even easier.personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

Creating personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe

Choosing your personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe couldn’t be easier. You first chose the age range suitable for your child, or children, from the four choices.

  • Beginner – 19 months+ is a 6-piece puzzle
  • Junior – 3 years+ is a 12-piece puzzle
  • Intermediate – 4 years+ is a 24-piece puzzle
  • Advanced – 5 years+ is a 48-piece puzzle.

Once you have chosen the degree of difficulty for your puzzle, you then move onto your choice of design and colour. There are 14 designs to choose from, and 6 colour choices. You can also choose between an A4 or an A3-sized puzzle. And you can preview your design before you commit to purchasing it.

I chose an intermediate puzzle from the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe for BattleKid. As he is quite good at recognising his numbers already, I chose the Alphabet puzzle to help him with learning and recognising his letters. I chose to have it in Bright Bolds, as I like bold and bright colours. I inserted his name into the website and was very happy with the design.personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

What do I think of the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe?

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened our package. As the puzzle we received was A4, there was minimal packaging (which is always good in my books), and I was very happy when I opened the puzzle. The puzzle is made of really good quality materials and feels sturdy and durable. These are important properties to any children’s toys.

There is a lovely smooth feeling to the surface and edges of each piece, and the gloss coating isn’t noticeable. Each piece is quite chunky, so should easily be managed by pre-schooler BattleKid. The pieces fit nicely into each other but aren’t too tight either. I’ll admit BattleKid hasn’t gotten his hands on this yet as it is going to be added to his Christmas gifts.

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme
Pen shown for perspective – nice big chunky pieces for pre-schooler hands

The colours are bright and vibrant, and the design is exactly as it was shown on the screen when I created it. The storage felt pouch has a Velcro closing and is ideal for storing the puzzle flat. This means it won’t take up as much storage space as a puzzle box. Nor will it take up much luggage room when we look to bring it on holidays with us.

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme
Bright, bold, vibrant colours

What I love about the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe

  • Easy to create and design.
  • Comes in four different age ranges depending on your child’s age and skill level.
  • Huge range of designs and colour combinations to choose from.
  • Colours are bright and vibrant.
  • Available in A3 and A4 sizes.
  • Easily stored flat in the felt pouch it comes in. No more puzzle boxes taking up room!
  • Ideal for travelling as it won’t take up much luggage space or weight either.
  • Made from high quality materials.
  • Chunky pieces feel smooth and sturdy.
  • Designed to stand the test of time with children.
  • A lovely gift for special occasions, a birthday or for Christmas.

What I don’t like about the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe

  • Nothing.

I am really impressed by the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe. They are well designed and will stand the test of time with children. The colours we chose are bright and vibrant, which for me, is a must in children’s toys and puzzles. They are also an ideal personalised gift for a special occasion such as a christening, or for birthdays and Christmas.

I love the fact that they don’t take up a lot of room, which is always a good thing when you live in a small home like we do since moving to Portugal. Puzzle boxes always need space and it’s a luxury for us these days. But the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe are designed to be stored flat in their felt pouch, which they come supplied with meaning less storage space.personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

I am always on the hunt for educational toys that we can take on our travels and these jigsaw puzzles are ideal as they don’t weigh much. As they are designed to be stored flat, they are perfect for popping inside a suitcase or cabin bag. We could have done with this on our recent trips to America and Bluestone. Also, both the Alphabet and Numbers puzzle are ideal as educational toys.

So, if you like the sound of the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe, then I urge you to check out their website. But be warned, you might make more than just one purchase. I’ve just ordered BattleKid some more items from their website. Don’t tell BattleDad. Or why not try winning yourself one with my giveaway.

The lovely people at TinyMe are offering one of my readers the chance to get their hands on a personalised intermediate puzzle. Simply follow the instructions on the widget below and best of luck!

An A4 Intermediate TINYME JigSaw Puzzle

Cath x

*We were kindly send an intermediate personalised jigsaw puzzle from TinyMe for the purpose of this review. However, as always, these are my own honest thoughts and opinions about the product.

Competition Terms and Conditions:

  • Open to my UK and Republic of Ireland readers only.
  • Competition ends at 23.59GMT on 17th November 2017.
  • There is no cash alternative.
  • One winner will receive a code redeemable against an A4 intermediate jigsaw puzzle at www.tinyme.co.uk. The voucher code is valid until 31st December 2017.
  • The winner will be picked at random and notified within 5 days.

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme



The Ultimate Cabin Bag from CabinZero – Review

As a wanderlust family, we love to travel and do so as often as our finances and BattleDad’s work allows. We average about three holidays a year that involve flying, with weekends away thrown in for good measure. Packing a family for a holiday is no mean feat, as I’m sure most parents will agree, but one thing that is always a bug-bear of mine is getting our carry-on luggage sorted. I have been on the hunt for a carry-on bag that will fit all our needs. And I might just have found the ultimate cabin bag from CabinZero. Imagine my delight when they recently got in touch and offered me the chance to review one of their bags.  They also have a special offer for you, so read on.

ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero

CabinZero bags first came to my attention earlier in the year but for some reason their name escaped me when I started trying to find the ultimate cabin bag. As a mum of a pre-schooler I have travelled with a baby change bag for a few years. This always had everything I needed for him but we had to travel with at least a second bag for anything my husband and I needed for flights. Even worse, I had to travel lightly myself if I was flying solo with our son.

However, after our son was toilet trained I no longer had the need for a cumbersome change bag. And so, my search for the ultimate cabin bag commenced. We considered normal backpacks but nothing quite suited our needs. Large weekend bags were just awkward to use with an energetic pre-schooler in tow.

What I believe is the ultimate cabin bag from CabinZero has been designed by a British company and is the brainchild of Neil Varden, the founder of CabinZero. In his own eternal quest to find a lightweight, lockable, trackable, durable travel and cabin bag, he designed his own and CabinZero was born. Hailed as an urban carry-on, these lightweight cabin and travel bags are not only practical but very stylish. All the CabinZero range are cabin sized and fits 55 x 40 x 20cm. They can be carried in a variety of ways including by hand or as a backpack. This alone was a huge advantage for me. Having both options when travelling with a pre-schooler is a must.

CabinZero bags come in a range of capacity from 28L to 44L, they have global tracking built in with Okaban, have lockable YKK zips, are made from lightweight, yet durable materials and come with a minimum 10 years warranty. And there are loads of colours to choose from. All of this, in my eyes, makes them the ultimate cabin bag.

I received the Classic 44L Cabin Zero bag in white for review and was absolutely thrilled to receive it prior to our recent visit to Bluestone in Wales. And believe me, choosing one colour is not as easy as it sounds as the range available is large. We have visited Bluestone many times before, but this time we were going as part of their Bloggers Programme and we were also flying into the UK from Portugal. So, this gave me the perfect opportunity to road test our CabinZero bag.

ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero
Arriving into Bristol with our CabinZero bag

When I received my bag from CabinZero I knew instantly what it was that first piqued my interest in them. It’s how stylish they are! They don’t resemble your typical hiking backpacks and yet still maintain a look of versatility, durability and most importantly, style. On closer inspection it’s a great bag made of high-quality materials. The outer shell is a waterproof polyester, with the inner being made from polyester. The zips are YKK zips and are strong and have loops to allow them to be locked for safety and security. The seams and stitching are well constructed too.

The main compartment is large, mine with a 44L capacity. There is an internal zipped compartment and a netted one too. In the front is a side-zipped compartment which is large enough to store my 15” laptop with room to spare. The sides are secured with strong side release luggage straps too. The bag has two carry handles, one on top and one on the side and has strong, padded shoulder straps to convert it from a carry bag to a backpack. The back is also padded.ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero

Do I really think this is the ultimate cabin bag from CabinZero?

Simply put, yes. On our recent trip back to the UK this bag ticked all the boxes for us. BattleKid had his own little bag with his tablet and a few small toys in it for the plane, while our CabinZero bag contained everything else we needed for the plane journey and more. I packed the following items into it, with room to spare:

  • A bag of spare clothes for BattleKid.
  • A bag of spare t-shirts for BattleDad and I.
  • A set of Bose QC15 headphones for BattleKid (not small in their case!).
  • Toiletries bag containing essential just-in-case items for the plane.
  • Spare tablet for BattleKid.
  • My blogging notebooks and pens.
  • Wallets, sunglasses and light jackets for all three of us.
  • Portable chargers and cables for our phones and tablets.
  • All our travel documents and papers.
  • Snack boxes for BattleKid and his drinks bottle.
  • Additional bottles of water bought at the airport.
  • BattleKid’s Adventure Belt.

On the way back from the UK I fitted even more into the bag. And again, had room to spare. The 44L CabinZero Classic bag really is big.

ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero
Getting ready to depart the UK once more with CabinZero

And while we were visiting Bluestone, it doubled up as a day-out bag. I hadn’t brought a spare bag with me, so for our trips out to discover some of Pembrokeshire, it worked well to carry spare clothes and snacks for BattleKid.

ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero
CabinZero bags can double up as day-bags for busy wanderlust families

Within Bluestone, it came into its own when we visited the Blue Lagoon, their swimming pool. I managed to fit all our swimming gear, towels and toiletries inside. And it fit neatly into the changing lockers too. It was truly an all-round perfect bag for our trip to Bluestone from Portugal.

What I loved about the ultimate cabin bag from CabinZero

  • Ultra-lightweight, weighs only 760g so doesn’t impact your weight allowance like some bags.
  • Airline approved (50 x 40 x 20cm) so will fit even the meanest of airlines’ carry-on limits.
  • Made from strong, durable materials and has a waterproof outer lining.
  • Made with YKK zips which are lockable for safety and security.
  • Thick padded shoulder straps to use as a backpack. Has two carry handles on top and at the side.
  • Comes in a range of capacities from 28 to 44L and a large range of colours are available.
  • Fitted everything we needed into it, with lots of room to spare.
  • Doubled-up as a day-out bag while out and about in Bluestone and wider afield in Pembrokeshire.
  • Very comfortable to wear and easy to fit into overhead lockers on the plane.
  • Having a backpack type bag is always handy when travelling with a pre-schooler as it leaves both hands free to keep hold of them in busy airports.

What I didn’t like about the ultimate cabin bag from CabinZero

  • Nothing at all, although a chest or waist belt could make it just that little bit more secure when travelling. But this is not essential

Our overall verdict is this bag is absolutely brilliant, as not only a cabin bag, but as a day-out bag too. For families it is by far an extremely versatile bag, that is not only stylish but comfortable to wear, and with lots of room for both kids and adults’ essentials.

ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero
Very comfortable to wear

I cannot express how thrilled I am to have had the opportunity to receive a CabinZero bag for review, and have already gotten rid of one of my other backpacks that I’d been using as a travel bag. This fits everything we, as a family, need for a comfortable plane journey (and more), and will get a lot more use from here on in, starting with an overnight stay in Northern Portugal tonight and also our forthcoming trip to Disneyland Paris in December.

So, if you are sick of struggling with cabin bags and are on the hunt for one that ticks all the boxes, I highly recommend you check out what I believe is the ultimate cabin bag from CabinZero. There are bound to be a few that will fit all your needs. Not only will you have a cool and stylish cabin bag, but also something that easily and comfortably doubles up for days out, wherever your wanderlust takes you. BattleDad has already hijacked it for a business trip back to London this week!ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero

And that’s not all. The lovely people at CabinZero are offering my readers a 10% discount off their entire order on the CabinZero website for the next 30 days (expires 27th November 2017). Just use the following code at the checkout:


If you’d like to get your hands on a great cabin bag from CabinZero, check out the full range on their website.

Cath x

*I received the Classic 44L white CabinZero bag for the purpose of this review. However, as always, these are my own honest thought and opinions of the bag.

**To remain fully transparent, please be aware that this post contains affiliate links. That means that I receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link – this doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support my blog. Thank you.

ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero

ultimate cabin bag from cabinzero

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The ladybirds' adventures

Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore Review

Shortly before we headed off on our USA road trip, I got the chance to receive an Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore for review. We had used traditional baby reins with BattleKid when out and about until they got too small for him shortly before he turned 3. Since then, and as he has grown older and more stubborn, we have struggled to keep hold of his hand, especially in busy places. So, when I discovered the Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore I knew it might be the answer to our problems. And I was even more thrilled to receive one for review.

adventure belt from More-2-Explore

The Adventure Belt is the brainchild of Lucy Bostock. It came about after her 5-year-old son got separated from them during a family trip to Legoland. Although he was only missing for 10 minutes and was found safe and well, she immediately started to think about ways to keep him close to her without him losing his independence. And so, the Adventure Belt was born.

We received the Panda Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore, although there are three other colours in the range as well. I held off opening the Adventure Belt until just before we were ready to head off on our trip. We had to get a flight to Heathrow to get our flight to Portland as we had booked our trip before we moved to Portugal. The only flight I could book direct to Heathrow, to save us messing around with changing airports in London, was on the Thursday evening. This resulted in us having 36 hours to ourselves in London before heading to the USA.adventure belt from More-2-Explore

What better way to spend 36 hours than a family day trip into London itself. BattleKid has never been to London before, so we considered things to do with him and decided on a trip to the London Eye, SeaLife and the Tower of London. I knew when planning this day trip that the Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore was going to get its first outing.

adventure belt from More-2-Explore - waiting to go on the London Eye
Waiting to go on the London Eye

And boy did it come in useful around the London Eye. I had booked Fast Track tickets but despite this, we still had to negotiate our way through the crowds at the Eye. We had brunch in Southbank before walking around to the London Eye, but before we left the café, I put the Adventure Belt on BattleKid and me. This meant he was free to walk slightly ahead himself but not so far as to become separated from us.

adventure belt from More-2-Explore
Keeping safe while we cross the Jubilee Bridge in London

We kept it on while we waited in the Fast Track queue and removed the bungee cord while we were in the Pod itself. But as soon as we exited the Eye, it was back on so we could walk to SeaLife. Again, we removed it while we were inside so BattleKid was free to enjoy the aquarium but it was firmly back on while we walked to the tube to get to the Tower of London.

adventure belt from More-2-Explore - out and about in the Tower of London
The Adventure Belt in the Tower of London

BattleKid never once resisted putting on the Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore, as he used to with his baby reins, probably because it wasn’t as restricting as them. His hands, and mine, were free and he still retained his own sense of freedom. That said I could pull back on the bungee to get him closer to me if necessary.

We also used the Adventure Belt in Yellowstone National Park, one of the destinations we visited during our USA road trip. It came into its own around the geysers and springs. Many of them around accessible via boardwalks but not many have side rails. The Adventure Belt meant we could keep him close to us at all times around these beautiful but dangerous natural wonders.

adventure belt from More-2-Explore - exploring the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park
Discovering the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park

In Portland, our final destination, we used the Adventure Belt to keep BattleKid close to us during our shopping trip into Downtown Portland. I don’t know about you, but I generally worry about the safety of BattleKid when we visit new cities and places for the first time. Although it feels like a very safe city, there are tram lines on the roads, and a train-mad fan like BattleKid might easily become excited or distracted and wander onto those roads. The Adventure Belt meant he could still enjoy spotting the trams (or trains in his eyes) but from a safe distance. It also put our minds at ease knowing he couldn’t wander into the road as he was tethered to one of us at all times.

adventure belt from More-2-Explore - in Portland
Strolling through Portland

The Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore got a lot of remarks from parents while we were in America, many of whom said it was exactly what they needed for their pre-schooler. I have also had comments from followers on Instagram with older children saying it looks brilliant. And it really is.

What we love about the Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore

  • It is the ideal alternative to traditional baby reins.
  • The Adventure Belt doesn’t look or feel like traditional reins and that is why I think BattleKid was more than willing to put it on.
  • The pouch, which measures 10cm x 10.5cm, is the perfect little place for them to store their treasures, or small bag of SeaLife toys as BattleKid did. It also fits several Disney Cars models as I can testify to. It closes via Velcro so is easy for kids to use.
  • Because the Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore physically links child to parent, there is no chance of them running away from you.
  • With no rein to hold, your hands are free to browse the shops, or take pictures if acting as a tourist for the day, as we were. 
  • The elasticated bungee strap is adjustable from approximately 40 to 80cm and can be detached when you want to let them be completely independent.
  • Because the buckles to the bungee and child’s belt have a three-way opening system, it means little hands are unable to open it themselves.
  • The Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore is designed to be used with children aged 2 years or more who are walking independently.
  • It fits a hip waist of 75 to 150cm and complies with EU safety regulations for children’s toys and accessories (standards I used to test against in my job as a scientist).
  • While we received the Panda Belt for review, there are four colours in the range including the Panda, a black, a blue and a purple belt. So, there is one to suit everyone. Personally, I love the Panda one and am thrilled it’s the one we received for review.

What we didn’t like about the Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore

  • Absolutely nothing!

The Adventure Belt is available via the More-2-Explore website (and Amazon) and costs just £15.99. A Two-pack is available to purchase for £27.99 and a triple pack for £37.99. And yes, you can use the Adventure Belt with more than one child.

adventure belt from More-2-Explore
The Adventure Belt pouch

I cannot tell you how much we’ve loved the Adventure Belt while on our own adventures. It has made our lives less stressful while acting as tourists. Before it came into our lives, BattleDad and I would be constantly fighting with BattleKid to keep him close to us while out and about, particularly in new places. Being an independent almost 4-year-old meant the battles were real. He’s not called BattleKid lightly! But with the Adventure Belt he retains his independence, has a hidey hole for a few toys and his hands are free to enjoy discovering new things. It hasn’t bothered him in the slightest putting it on and he really likes his Panda.

For those of you with children who have outgrown their baby reins, or who refuse to wear their reins, the Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore might be the solution to your problems. It has certainly eased things for us, leaving us all free to enjoy the things we love doing the most, exploring and discovering new places.

Cath x

*We received a Panda Adventure Belt from More-2-Explore for the purpose of this review. However, as always, these are my own honest thoughts and opinions of the product.

**This post contains an Amazon Affiliate.

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