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Babyzen Yoyo+ pushchair review – Baby’s very own stylish travel system is just a delight for travel and city fun.

The BabyZen Yoyo+ is a multi-award winning pushchair that ‘converts in a flash into hand luggage dimensions’. Ideal from birth it comes in a variety of colours and weighs between 6.2 and 6.6kg, depending on the version.


For babies from birth Babyzen Yoyo+ comes with a flat carry cot with a 3-point harness and lies parent facing. Moving to 6 months using the same frame the fabrics are swapped and baby then faces the world. The backrest can be reclined to 145 degrees and has a 5-point harness.

The Babyzen Yoyo+ also has car seat adapters, a shopping basket and storage pouch and boasts an ultra-padded seat, 4-wheel suspension, canopies for solar protection and rain covers.

Could this be the best travel all-round pushchair on the market?

At the end of 2016 we were fortunate to be given a Babyzen Yoyo+ to review. We sent it off with the Hufford family to South Africa and here is how it faired…

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Reviewer: Bronwyn Hufford WITH baby Georgia #HolidayTotsandGeorgia

The Babyzen Yoyo+ is in my opinion, a really good quality product. After three weeks of travelling, three flights, different terrains – it is still like new and even withstood a red wine spill, with the wine just running off due to the coating.

We found it extremely easy to use. It does what it says on the box and after travelling with my normal pram/travel system – this was a godsend. It folds up small enough to fit in the overhead locker which was amazing as you knew the baggage handlers weren’t going to damage it and we could put our baby in it whilst still on board, making it a quick and easy exit.

The 5-point harness is easy to use even while Georgia slept. If you need to recline the seat, you just loosen the strap at the back, and you tighten it to bring the seat back up. It comes with most well-known brand car seat adapters which is great (we did not have an opportunity to use these). It is also machine washable which is great of anything associated with a baby!

As a compact pushchair, the Babyzen Yoyo+ is amazing. It is small, compact and easy to use. We loved it whilst out and about too, on and off planes and our family were extremely impressed with it.

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The fact that we could take it on board for us was amazing, as not only could we put Georgia in it before leaving the aircraft, but we also knew no one was going to damage it. It is so easy to push and is extremely light even with baby in it. Pushing her around the airport was simple and whilst away in South Africa she even joined us on a 4-hour shopping spree a few days before Christmas. The shops were chaotic but having the Yoyo meant she was easy to manoeuvre and she was more than happy to look out at the world for hours on end – which means it must be comfy too! We did use the parasol when out and about in the sun but it was a little fiddly and tricky as you had to keep moving/bending it whilst out walking.

I love how compact this pushchair is. It is easy to push and small! Just what you need when travelling. The canopy is large which is great in the sun and when baby is sleeping. The peephole is uncovered which was a bit of a pain in the sunshine, but not a major issue as ! just put a muslin over it.

Pros:

  • Compact (First stroller that is fully compliant with IATA guidelines for cabin baggage dimensions)
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Machine Washable
  • Stylish

Cons:

  • Hard to find anything bad to say really! Not really built for rougher terrain but that’s not really what is for! If you are looking for an all-terrain pushchair they also have the Zen
  • Uncovered peephole on canopy often left sun shine onto my baby’s face and head.

Rating:

Functionality / usability – 10/10 

Aesthetics and design –10/10

Value for money –  8/10 – At approx GBP370 this is a more expensive pushchair but I feel worth the money.

Quality – 10/10

Innovativeness – 10/10

The Babyzen Yoyo+ was developed in France by five forward thinking French men who thought that families needed a more stylish travel Pishchair on the market to choose from. They also have the all-terrain Zen and a good selection of accessories for both pushchairs: footmuff in a variety of colours to go with the style of stroller you choose, car seat adapters, Parasol, Magic Stroller Bag, Babyzen cup holder, Babyzen mosquito nets and Yoyo+ travel bag.

For more details and where to buy, visit their website http://www.babyzen.com/en/

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Cozyosko Multifunction Footmuff review – and your chance to win one too!

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The Cozyosko Multifunction Footmuff converts from a cosytoes pushchair/pram cover to play rug, car seat wrap, blanket, changing mat and even a pillow. It is suitable for any five-point harness buggy or seat and is generally sized for ages 0-3 years. It is machine washable, made of anti-pill polar fleece and is warm and cozy.  We asked our reviewer, mum Bronwyn to check it out with baby Georgia…

Quality

The product is of great quality and washes really well. It also dries quite quickly which is great because I would be lost without it on our walks.

Ease of use

The product is very easy to use, it fits in any 5-point harness pram and you just buckle the baby up, cover with Cozyosko and zip up the front. There is an extra pouch over the feet area which keeps Georgia extra warm.

What is it?

It is basically a blanket that you can use to keep your babies (up to 3 years old) snug in their pram whilst being securely fastened. It also opens up into a square play mat whilst out and about.

Feedback

 I received the Cozyosko just before the winter. After an amazing summer, the drop in temperature was a total shock to the system and as a new mum (Georgia was only 2-3 months old) I had no idea what to buy to keep her warm. This product was an absolute lifesaver when we went out for our walks. I didn’t feel I needed to layer her up which was great when we got to my local coffee shop as I didn’t need to undress her and pile on the layers again before we left. The Cozyosko is warm and a product I would highly recommend.

It is very easy to use and keeps my baby nice and warm in the horrible cold months. She falls asleep very quickly. We often use the term ‘Snug as a bug in a rug’

The designs are all very bright and colourful (which I love) but perhaps people may prefer subtle tone/design.

At approx GBP40 this is a mid-range footmuff. There are others out there that are cheaper but they don’t double as a play mat.

NB: We have found some cheaper on Amazon as the product is not readily available in the UK now – bargains to be had if you can find them!

Pros –   Washes Well

Doubles as a blanket and an all-in-one snow suit.

Cons –  None!

Cozyosko is an Australian company and the Cosey Toes Footmuff is their signature product winning Practical Parenting awards. The Cozyosko Multifunction Footmuff comes in a stunning array of colours and designs all of which are bright, fun and bold.

You can view more here:

http://www.cozyosko.com.au/products.asp?id=22

There are UK stockists offering varying prices including Amazon.

Or better still why not enter out competition to win one! Just pop over to our Holiday Tots competition page:

 

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Our visit to ‘Christmas at Kew’ 2016

kew3I have been wanting to go to ‘Christmas at Kew’ for a few years but every year remember too late and by the time I try to book they are sold out! This year we booked in time and got tickets!

We booked a 6.30pm slot which gave us time to drive from school, grab dinner and park in the Kew car park – which by the way, I would highly recommend if you have young children. By the end of the trail they were ready to drop and slept all the way home.

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We were really lucky with the weather, clear skies and a little chilly so perfect for getting in the Christmas spirit. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so often when you have high expectations of something you are eager to see and it disappoints but Christmas at Kew certainly didn’t.

 

 

Beautiful light displays are spread over a mile of gardens, winding pathways take you on a journey of a fairy tale Christmas delight and the kids enjoyed the freedom to explore.

kew2One of our first stops was at a floor display which we thought looked like a magic carpet and the kids promptly jumped on board!

 

 

 

 

 

I had been eager to visit The Hive this year and was delighted that it was part of the display, the kids enjoyed listening to bee sounds through their teeth!

 

Every so often there are activities to titivate a different sense. Toasted marshmallows were especially welcome!

Father Christmas and his elves also made an appearance!

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One of the most amazing light displays takes place on Palm House, a fabulous light display set to music across the lake. The whole adventure ends with some festive food, shops and fairground rides (please note that the rides are not included in the price).

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Freddie thought Christmas at Kew was ‘amazing’ and was surprised by ‘how many lights’ there were, I have to say I agree.

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If you have tickets to go to Kew this Christmas you are in for a real treat, if you haven’t then make sure you get it in the diary to buy some next year! We will certainly go back.

There are a few main gate tickets left (ones with car parking have sold out).

Off peak still available family ticket £48 (2nd January only date available now)

All other times £52 for a family ticket (£18 adult and £10 child)

http://christmasatkew.seetickets.com/tour/christmas-at-kew/calendar/2

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Family holiday review – child-friendly holiday complex in the Charente, Poitou-Charentes, France

In a region dotted with tiny hamlets, lakes and beautiful countryside you will find these wonderful family-friendly holiday cottages. Each cottage is baby and toddler friendly and there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained within the grounds.The Tilbury family headed off for their summer holiday earlier this year and below is what they thought. You can view the cottages they stayed in by visiting the Holiday Tots website here: holiday cottages

Tilbury family: mum, dad, Ben age 7 and Maya age 5.

144308566178815_largeAfter finishing school that week, the family were looking for a chilled holiday somewhere we could let the kids run free and enjoy themselves, come and go as we please and just enjoy some peace and quiet ourselves too!

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Time for a chat and a few roasted marshmallows

Stansted to Limoges is a dead easy flight, nice and quick and no hassle. The car hire at Limoges is ridiculously easy too – we literally stepped out of the airport and there was the car hire centre, collecting the car took about 10 minutes which was great when you just want to get going.

The holiday complex is only 40 minutes from the airport and it’s a fairly easy drive too. We arrived at the cottage complex to a warm welcome from Paula and some lovely French bread, cheese and a bottle of rose – fab! Paula showed us around and let us explore in our own time, the kids had other ideas though and were desperate to get into the pool, so whilst they raided the suitcases for swim kit, we sat outside and enjoyed the first bit of glorious sunshine…

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Sunset from the Jacuzzi

The accommodation is ideal. We stayed in PM4S and the size was perfect for the four of us. Our little courtyard was great for some al fresco dining and the kids were able to run in and out to the gardens and come as they please. (There are 4 cottages in total, suitable for a variety of party configurations and you could hire the whole place – for up to 26 people… that’s our next step!) The grounds are awesome! So much room to play and lots of different areas to explore. The pool was a huge hit, and the hot tub! But they also enjoyed the barn, little play areas and indoor games room as they all provided some relief from the mid-day sun. What really surprised me was the peacefulness, it is so quiet here. It’s gorgeous, you can really sit back and relax, read a good book and have a great nights sleep!

Local Boulangerie

Local Boulangerie

My husband took on the role as croissant and fresh bread collector each morning (a 5 minute drive to the village) and we enjoyed lunch every day outside the cottage.

We did venture out to a few places, Parc Bellvue –  http://www.parc-bellevue.fr/page/accueil  (fairly expensive for what it is – a bit tired and in need of some modernisation in my opinion) and trips to Roucherchourt (lovely to walk around, enjoy the chateau and some local boule watching) La Guerlie beach is only a mile down the road and has a café, restaurant, water sports, beach, playground etc… but to be honest, our home for the week was so good for all of our needs and wants – we stayed here most of the time!

Toddler play area

Toddler play area

If you are after a chilled family friendly break away with a warm welcome and very helpful hosts (Paula booked a restaurant for us and also gave us tips on places to visit and things to do, information on the beauty treatments – which are amazing, according to our neighbours for the week!) this is the place to come. I kept saying to myself all week, “This place just works.” They have thought of everything. There is plenty of baby/toddler equipment and anything you need, just ask.

f66e4b3115It is so safe and quiet, we could let the kids roam and know that they were fine. There are toys and games dotted around the cottage, the grounds are full of things to do, there is no chance of boredom here. The week we stayed, two out of the four cottages were occupied so we had pretty much everything to ourselves. I think the kids would have preferred some others to play with, however the following week 13 kids were booked in – so it was an unusually quiet week for the owners.

maya-hammockWe will definitely return and come back with friends and family, they will love the place.  The kids miss the hot tub and the lovely cats, my husband misses his early morning coffee on the bench overlooking the whole grounds and I really miss that hammock (when I could get a look in! – can’t quite beat it!

A big thank you to Paula, Richard and their girls. A lovely stay, can’t wait to return!

For more details on the four cottages and facilities visit Holiday Tots 

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Standon Calling Festival: boutique, family fun in Hertfordshire

IMG_0796Standon Calling Festival is held in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. It’s small, but not too small that you feel you are milling around in a field.  There is enough to keep all ages entertained from babies through to grandparents, offering family fun by day and a young party vibe by night. The music acts are varied from pop and rock to hard hitting electronic and everything in between. My husband had never been to a festival before and so he joined us under duress, at the end of the three days we had to drag him away!

If you are a virgin festival goer but like camping the main difference you will find is that the camping fields (we stayed in the family field) are quite tight, you get to know your neighbours! If you have a group going like we did just pitch up at the same time and this will give you a little area for a gathering, although you will find that you spend most of your time in the festival ground.

IMG_0945Freddie is 7. When I asked him what he enjoyed the most he simply said ‘everything,’ then when I asked him ‘do you enjoy camping or festival camping the best?’ He replied festival camping of course ooh arghhh!’

Standon is a great introduction to festival life, the themed costumes are amazing, this year being Legends of the Sea- I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’stheme will be.

There are the usual children’s activities and a baby and toddler area but the added bonus is the swimming pool, if the weather is favourable it’s a great area for a family splash around. There is also an annual dog show that seems to be very popular, our dog Millie won first prize in the waggiest tail class!IMG_0908

The main stage has a great space in front of it, room enough to laze through the afternoon listening to lesser known bands and didn’t feel too cramped when the main acts were on either. In fact the children’s area was situated to the left of the stage which lent itself to the left hand side of the stage becoming a family area.

People here were nice, we felt safe and there really was a happy go lucky festival vibe, it was great to mill around stopping at a stage or act that caught our fancy when we felt like it. The kids loved being able to get close to the main acts too and the cashless wrist bands were a god send, they loved having control of their own money and we had no fear of them losing it.

All in all Standon Calling Festival rocked! Here are is our journey in pictures…

We were given tickets for Standon Calling Festival this year and this is our honest review. When we get given tickets to anything for review I always ask myself ‘would we go if we had to pay?’ We will be going back in 2017 even if we are not invited to review, so there is your answer, and we can’t wait!

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Competition time: Win tickets to Standon Calling Festival in Hertfordshire

Standon Calling festival is being held at the end of July in the stunning Lordship grounds of Hertfordshire and this year’s theme is Legends Of The Lost Seas!

There is an extensive family programme this year: from baby multi-sensory raves and street dance classes to crafts, kids-only trapeze and yoga.

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If the weather holds, the outdoor swimming pool is heated and the family swim sessions are sure to be a big hit!

Standon Calling opens its doors early this year on Thursday 28th July with ‘The Welcome Feast’ with family games, camp fire sing-songs and specially curated menus from a variety of chefs.

For the kids:

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Children’s singer – Nick Cope

Readings from children’s authors, music performances, pop up circus, puppet and theatre performances, evening campfire storytelling, street dance, juggling workshops, arts, crafts, dressing up and much more. There is also a dedicated family campsite located away from the main areas for when it is night night time.

And don’t worry the adults have plenty to keep them entertained too with lots going on including performances from: Jess Glynne, Suede, Kelis, The Hives, Everything Everything, Ghostpoet and much much more…

Dogs are welcome at Standon Calling Festival too, so if you want to bring your pooch why not enter him or her into the annual dog show! Always a popular event.

For your chance to win a family set of five tickets (worth over £350!) just visit the Holiday Tots competition page.

For more details about Standon Calling festival, camping options and to book tickets visit the Standon Calling festival website.

Standon Calling Festival – 29th – 31st July, 2016

Competition closes at midnight on 13th July, winner will be notified by email after the closing date. Good Luck!

 

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Family Festival Series part 3 – Henley Festival Family Sunday plus your chance to win tickets…

In the third of our family festival series we look at this year’s Family Sunday at Henley Festival. ‘Not just for grownups’, Family Sunday promises fun for all ages. We also have a family set of five tickets in our competition on the Holiday Tots website.

There are children’s entertainers, musicians, comedians, magicians and street entertainers. Mad scientists will be electrocuting members of the audience and there will be superheroes too!

So if dipping your toe into a festival for a day, rather than camping overnight, appeals to you then Henley Family Sunday just might tick the box, oh and dressing up for day is obligatory!

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Confirmed acts for all the family include:

Superhero battle where three of planet Earth’s greatest go head to head for the title of ‘Most Supreme Superhero… Ever!’

The Henley Music School

Jay Foreman and his disgusting songs

Science Mania

Solomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids

lighthouseThe Lighthouse Workshop where the lighthouse keeper will be sharing stories of the sea and showing animations of his adventures

Awe inspiring acrobatic feats from Upswing and more

Henley Festival Family Sunday takes place on Sunday 10th July 2016 from 11.30am to 3pm

Visit their website for more details: http://www.henley-festival.co.uk/2016-programme/family-day

Sadly we are camping at Blackberry Wood otherwise we definitely would be visiting this one!

Competition – Your chance to win a family ticket for up to five people

The organisers have kindly offered a family ticket for five for the Family Sunday as a competition prize. Visit the Holiday Tots competition page where you will find all the details. Good Luck! The competition will close on Friday 26th May.

https://www.holidaytots.co.uk/competition/24/