Monday, 28 February 2011

Something to Smile About :)

Although today has been a sad and reflective day, I thought it was only right to end it with something life affirming and positive.  On Saturday we went to my sister's first anniversary party to celebrate with her and her family.  We sang bad karaoke and I did some terrible dancing with my two left feet.  My lack of spatial awareness and my inability to distinguish between left and right really doesn't help me with taking direction in how to ballroom foxtrots, tangos and waltzes all look like the dance of a demented tin soldier when I do them.  I am not a dancer.

However, great food, wonderful company and a fun atmosphere resulted in an enjoyable few hours.  The best thing about the party though was the fun that my little boy had.  From running around with helium balloons, to chasing the disco lights to wearing a matching shirt to his daddy, Freddy just made my heart melt with his antics.  He is suddenly a little boy. His surfer dude hair and his more refined features have given him a more grown-up look.  My little baby is turning into a gorgeous little lad.  He finds such pleasure in the world around him and is a little ray of sunshine in my life.

With everything that has happened this week, I am reminded to enjoy every moment.  However busy I am, whenever I find myself wishing the days away...I will always stop, smile and count my blessings.  I am so lucky to have wonderful children and I adore my husband.  I will make sure my kids know how much I love them every single day, I'll never leave an argument unresolved and I'll make sure I remind myself just how fortunate I am whenever I'm in danger of letting myself slip into any self-destructive mood.

I'll leave you with some pictures and a little video that I hope will make you smile :)

Good-Bye my Friend xxx

Yesterday I heard some really sad news.  A school friend of mine had died.  He was 41 years old, a dad to two children, a Scout leader and a really nice bloke.  He died suddenly, in an as yet unexplained way.  This was such a shock to me.

We went to school together throughout the primary and secondary years.  We were good friends. He took me to my first concert that I went to (without my big sister looking after me).  We spent the day in London before going to Hammersmith Odeon to watch Marillion's Fugazi Tour.  We hung out together as teenagers going to the pub, to parties or just hanging out at friends' houses.  (Goodness knows where their parents were when we took over their living rooms.  It never occurred to me then, but now I'm puzzled?!)  Pete was always really protective of me.  We were close.

We lost touch post A'Levels as I became a mother and moved away from our hometown of Slough.  Years later, via the wonders of Friends Reunited, we got back into contact and exchanged lengthy emails filling each other in on the missing ten years, marriage, kids, jobs.  Then as Facebook became the communication media of choice, we commented on each others' photos and statuses.  His profile pic was a familiar icon in my Newsfeed.

His Facebook wall says that "Pete is attending 2013".  He joined that group showing his optimistic belief that the world won't end in 2012 whatever the Aztecs believed!  That made me cry.  He had posted on the Scout's Facebook wall to remind the boys to bring waterproofs because the weather this weekend was set to be atrocious.  He had just found out which celebrities shared his birthday.

Now suddenly he's gone.

Hearing news like this is so sobering.  It puts everything into perspective in your life.  It makes you appreciate everything you have, everyone you love.  It makes you hug your loved ones a little tighter.  It makes you promise yourself that you will overhaul your diet, your lifestyle and your fitness levels.  It reminds you just how precious life is.

So Rest in Peace my friend.  I'll listen to some Marillion in your honour and smile at our shared memories. And I'll yet again remind myself of the fragility of life so I live each day to its fullest potential and try to be the best person I can be.

Sleep Tight with Cuski xxx

Cuski say "Happy Babies = Happy Parents!"  

In 1999, the all natural, alternative Cuski baby comforter was born.  They are manageable, stylish and made using the softest, cuddliest washable organic cotton.  These unique and lovable products soothe, calm and comfort babies.  They are a much better alternative to a dummy or a bulky comfort blanket. They absorb the scent of mummy's own familiar aroma, which creates a cosy, safe environment for baby to drift off to sleep still feeling the closeness of mummy's hugs.  The Cuskiboo is the latest addition to the family, which is made of a special bamboo yarn which has antibacterial properties which makes it the most hygienic comforter yet. It is fully breathable, doesn't shed, is eco-friendly and super soft.   Available in a range of six gorgeous colours, in single or duo packs, they make a wonderful, unique gift for newborns.  Prices start at £13.75 in the Cuski online store.  Cuski are helping babies and toddlers sleep better in 30 countries across the globe.  They are the only comforter in the world with their own written protocol for use in hospitals and are recommended by midwives.  Suitable from birth to three years old, they are a safe, consistent and functional answer to helping babies get to sleep and feel secure, safe and happy.

Cuski also sell a range of innovative products which are perfect for mums and babies.  The Cuski Orthopaedic Kids' Pillow has been developed to prevent future neck and back problems in children.  It is sized and shaped to give essential neck support to the growing child and is suitable from the age of two.  

The Award Winning Pillow.
Comes in its own cotton carrying bag to take away from home.
The lovely soft 100% knitted cotton cover.
Pillowcases available in Creamee and Minty colours.

The Cuski Pillow is made of heat-responsive visco-elastic memory foam which has been anatomically designed to:

  • Continuously self adjust to relieve pressure points
  • Mould to accommodate growing shoulders and natural curves
  • Keep the spine correctly aligned allowing muscles to relax
  • Reduce tossing and turning to create optimum comfort whilst sleeping

Young children can't tell us that they're not sleeping well.  They aren't able to plump or re-adjust their pillows over night.  They can become tired and irritable during the day if they don't get a good night's sleep.  They can get pins and needles or numbness that they cannot articulate to us.  The transition to using a pillow is a vital point in a toddler's development, but something that is often overlooked.  The seven sensitive vertebrae in the neck receive little support from a conventional pillow.  Cuski Pillow provides the vital sustainable support  they need.  This can eliminate future back and neck pain, arthritis and poor circulation and helps induce a more restful sleep for your child.  This pillow is the first and only one your child will need during their growing years and is a real investment for their future physical development.

Cuski very kindly offered us the chance to try out the Cuski Orthopaedic Pillow for ourselves here Inside the Wendy House.  Freddy was using a regular pillow and I must admit I never really thought about the implications of that decision.  He is not a good sleeper and we have trouble getting him to stay in his bed.  He usually won't stay in for more than an hour at a time without waking up! So testing the pillow would be very interesting.

I was very impressed with the thoughtful addition of a cotton carry bag with the pillow.  It means that you can take it on holiday, to sleepovers or to nursery in its own holdall.  The pillowcase was soft and of a really high quality, made of the same 100% cotton as the Cuski Comforter.  It is an envelope design so uses no potentially harmful buttons or poppers.  The pillow itself is made of memory foam which feels firm but squidgy and moulds to shape.  It is shaped with a ridge on the front and the back and a dip in the middle which supports the head and neck.  I am a fan of my own memory foam pillow, this looked like a mini version!

Freddy has his own cotbed and we were excited to try the Cuski Pillow.  On the first night I awoke with a start at 2.40am realising that Fred hadn't woken up yet.  I had to go and check on him.  I found him in a deep sleep, snoring with his head gently cradled on his pillow.  Impressive!!  He certainly looked comfortable and peaceful...check it out on this video (excuse the quality but it was dark!!)
We've used the pillow for the last week and Freddy is definitely sleeping for longer spells in his own cotbed.  He stays in one position rather than tossing and turning which is something he did with his conventional pillow.  The unique shape of the pillow definitely helps him to sleep in a more comfortable way.  His sleep pattern is getting better each night.  I am genuinely thrilled with the effect it's had on his (and my) sleep.  This is something that I did not expect and so I'd say this pillow is worth every penny.

The pillow is priced at £35 RRP.  This is a real investment in terms of having a peaceful night's sleep for both you and your baby, as well as being important for your child's development.  It is the only pillow you will need during these early years and it won't go saggy or misshapen.  It is hygienic and a top quality product.  I'm really glad that I have discovered Cuski....I recommend that you check them out too!

Pop over and check out Cuski on Facebook for fun, news, chat, competitions and exclusive fanpage discounts.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Silent Sunday

Another 'ruined' photo for the family album taken at Qwerty Mum's Anniversary Party!

Silent Sunday

Football Crazy with Topps

Topps Match Attax and Premier League Official Album

It was about 17 years ago that I first became familiar with football sticker albums.  My son Joe who was (and still is) a huge Arsenal fan became completely obsessed with the packs of Merlin stickers.  He'd love finding the appropriate place in the album to put his latest purchases and would be super excited if he unearthed a Gunner or two.  Living down south, we attended the Merlin Swap Shop event at Legoland to get the few remaining stickers he needed to complete his album and we even queued up to meet some rather nice Premier League footballers and got them to autograph themselves in sticker form.
These days, things have changed.  Topps Football is the new name on the lips of every football loving schoolkid.  Topps are the people behind Match  Attax, the only official Premier League football card trading game.  An estimated 1.5 million loyal fans buy 144,000 cards per day, such is the popularity of this phenomena!  To put their appeal into context...27 packs are sold to every Mrs Bar worldwide!

My daughter's Junior School saw a huge proportion of the children, both girls and boys trading their cards at break times. Pencil cases were stuffed with cards that the children used to sneakily play with during lessons...I should know because I was the teaching assistant assigned with the job of ensuring that Match Attax swapsies took place in the playground and not during maths lessons!
As well as being fun to swap, the cards have Defence and Attack Stats which allows collectors to battle with each other on the pitch in  a game of strategy and skill that is suitable for all the family, for football fanatics and card game fans alike.  Collecting cards to strengthen your starting XI builds the excitement.
Ready to battle!
Priced from 50p for a packet of six cards, Match Attax are affordable collectables.  £4.99 will buy the Starter Set which includes a collection binder, a pitch, a limited edition card and 25 standard cards.  This allows competitive gaming from the moment the pack is opened.  The deluxe Collectors Tin would make a great present for a fan.  60 cards and a limited edition card are inside the decorated tin which costs £10 from Argos, The Entertainer and Toys 'R' Us.  It is perfect for players on the go, giving a place to store your top team as well as your all important swapsies!

An exciting addition to this season's Match Attax cards is the possibility of finding one of 101 specially signed Rio Ferdinand cards.  If you find one you can get to meet the man himself at a special Match Attax event!

The Topps 2011 Premier League Official Album is also available with some amazing never before seen additions, making it the most exciting one yet!  This year for the first time ever the sticker album comes in stunning 3D!  Players jump off the page!  Each £1.99 album includes a free pair of 3D glasses so you can enjoy this special effect.
In addition to this, the album includes fun facts, statistics and club information perfect for footie fans providing a comprehensive guide to the Barclays Premier League Season.  Also new for this year is a nostalgic look back at past footballing heroes.  A special legend from each team completes the page.  I hope we find Arsenal's gorgeous Thierry Henry (you know, the one with Va Va Voom!)

Each pack of six stickers costs 50p and there are 450 to collect.  Swap and Play events are taking place across the country over Easter so those doubles can be exchanged to complete your album.  An online swapping service is also available.  As a mum who has been through collecting football stickers, these services are invaluable!

Kizzy (and her camera shy brother!) thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Match Attax cards.  They are well made and sturdy.  The Collector's Album is really well designed, packed with information and fun facts about every team.  The 3D aspect is a really nice touch.  The special 3D stickers and the 3D sections of the album are eye-popping!  It certainly adds an extra dimension to the collection.  Overall, these products are great and  the children really do love them.  It's nice to see Topps keeping up to date with the new generation by adding some new, exciting developments.  Price wise, the products are affordable, however as with any collectable there is a temptation to overspend if you have a demanding child (like my son was back in the day!)  So, do consider that and take advantage of exchanges, swapsies and Swap Events to make use of the doubles!

Check out for more information on Topps Football and for the rules for playing Match Attax.

*Topps Football provided me with Match Attax cards and pitch and a Premier League album and stickers for the purpose of this review*

Showing Fred her dream team!

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Great Fruit Shoot Debate

When Slummy Single Mummy started the debate about Fruit Shoots I felt inclined to pipe up my two penneth worth.  The suggestion is that these plastic bottles of fruity beverage are some how the work of the Devil himself.  Our children are being corrrupted and ruined by their very consumption.

When I hear this sort of twaddle, I wonder how my own five children have coped being raised by a mother with such a lax, devil may care attitude.   In the eyes of the militant, parenting gestapo I must be scum.

My kids have chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, Cheesestrings and Fruit Shoots.  They have tomato ketchup on their dinner and they enjoy Wotsits as a snack. I am not ashamed of this at all, because they also love fruit, they eat all their vegetables because they like them and they happily consume wholegrains and pulses as part of their vegetarian diet.

The most important thing I think, is to give your children the tools to be self-regulating as they get older and more independent.  Making certain foods or drinks off limits just serves to give them a mystique which makes them more attractive and more sought after.  I have seen the parents who forbid their children to touch tomato sauce at home, go completely crazy for the sachets of condiments at Whacky Warehouse birthday parties.  While my kids take such things with a pinch of proverbial salt, the children who know they are getting contraband end up over consuming and running up the walls.

My children, aged between 18 months and 22 years, have never had restrictions put upon them.  Everything in moderation is my motto (although sometimes excess can be fun!)  To date, none of my kids have fillings in their teeth.  None of them suffer from any allergies or dietary problems.  There is no history of hyperactivity or  problems with attention.  They are all been above average developmentally whilst growing up.  The older ones have all done extremely well at school.  They are well rounded, well balanced and great kids.

So how has my Extreme bad parenting affected them?  I'm yet to see any problems with my refusal to jump on the 'holier than though' parenting bandwagon.  Life is here to be lived.  We cannot cosset our kids and protect them from the evils of additives forever.  You can bet your bottom dollar that some of those kids who are only allowed pure boiled water now will hit the alcopops as soon as they hit their teens.  And they'll probably hit them harder than most, relishing in their newfound freedom of choice and potentially overdoing it like the kids at the Whacky Warehouse parties with the tomato sauce.

There are so many other things in this world to worry about, why on earth expend that much energy on a harmless soft drink, that comes in its own convenient sports topped bottle for easy drinking when out and about!  They will remain on my shopping list (as long as they are on BOGOF or half price....My laxness has a price limit you know!)
So shoot me!!

Flashback Friday...Mummy the First Time

Karin from Cafe Bebe is asking us to delve into our archives again and relive a memory and share the story behind it.  This week I've gone for a photo from 1989, a few months after my first born son came into the world.  I was nineteen years old, fantastically thin and a new mummy to my gorgeous chubby baby Joe.
Motherhood was the thing that saved me.  It put me on the path to here and now.  This photo celebrates mine and Joe's bond. (It also demonstrates my late '80's dress sense!!)  It might be 22 years later, but it feels like yesterday.  I'm so blessed and so glad to be doing it all again now with my last-born son Freddy in my 40's (and thankfully I wear clothes that cover my midriff nowadays!)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

Here we are again...thinking of the things that have made us happy this week.  Michelle, Mummy From the Heart,  again invites us to link up and join in!

1:  Home Baked Coffee Muffins

My daughter invited her Grandparents over for dinner tonight.  She adores her Nan and Grandad and really wanted to spend some quality time with them.  She said she'd make them their favourite coffee muffins.  When it came to the crunch she went off out with her friends instead, in true teenager style, leaving me and her 8 year old sister to do the cooking!  That aside, we made some fabulous muffins from my favourite muffin cookery book.  Even though I say so myself, they were good!  Coffee Muffins are really delicious and make me very cheerful indeed!

2: The aforementioned Grandparental Visit was really nice.  The kids really love them and Freddy was chatty and entertaining them with his antics much to their delight.  Ella was playing her guitar and singing songs and Kizzy was being her usual clown-like self.  It's been ages since they spent any time at my house so it was a real treat for my children to just be themselves in their home with Nan and Grandad in the mix.

3:  My two big kids are coming home for the weekend.  I will have all five of my children together, which is simply wonderful.  They are home for my sister's Wedding Anniversary Party which is on Saturday.  The whole family will be getting together to celebrate and to sing bad karaoke.  I can't wait!  I'll have my Flip at the ready!

The Soundtrack to My Life

Metal Mummy and Him, Me and Three have both tagged me in this latest meme.  We are asked to write about our favourite songs and the music that defines us.  These songs are supposed to come from our iPod, randomly selected on shuffle.  However, my MP3 player that provides our entertainment on long journeys in the car, is the nearest thing I've got, and that is filled with the Rocky Horror Show soundtrack, some CBeebies stuff and my 14 year old daughter's it wouldn't really define me at all.

So these are the songs that I love, that mean something to me and are the soundtrack to my life.

1:  Head Over Feet - Alanis Morissette

This song was our first dance song at our wedding in 1997.  I am a big Alanis fan from her earlier angstier years.  These days she is too loved up and too busy being a mummy to baby Ever to produce songs of the calibre of the Jagged Little Pill era.  The words to this song really resonate with me.  "You are the bearer of unconditional things, you held your breath and the door for me.  Thanks for your patience," so true of my own story.  It took me a decade to feel worthy enough to accept that Ian was my soul mate after being in my previous destructive relationships.  I am so grateful that he held out for what he knew would be perfect.  Alanis could've written this song about us!
First Dance x
2: Meat is Murder - The Smiths

The soundtrack to my first foray into vegetarianism.  I was a militant teenage veggie who would question the source of the rennet on the cheese in takeaway pizzas much to the utter confusion of the poor Pizza Hut staff. This song was an anthem to my beliefs and The Smiths were just so damn cool.  Love it.  "Savour the Flavour of Murder"...powerful stuff.

3:  Patience - Take That

When I was in the delivery suite back on July 9th 2009 at 2a.m. the local radio station was playing.  My waters had broken and given that my last labour was so fast we were expecting to be home with a baby by lunchtime.  Unfortunately, Freddy decided to stay put and my contractions refused to start despite bouncing on a ball for hours.  'Patience' was played about ten times in those early hours of that Thursday morning.  It became the theme tune to my labour.  My patience was eventually  rewarded, my contractions finally started at 5pm and he was born  at 5.56pm.
Just have a little patience x

4: The Only Way is Up - Yazz and the Plastic Population

This song was in the charts when I was a five months pregnant teenager in July 1988.  I was on my own and a little bit broken.  My boyfriend had just walked out for the second time during my pregnancy and I made the discovery that he had been cheating on me for months with a much older divorcee.  However, I found a strength and I realised he'd done me a huge favour removing himself permanently from me and my son's lives.  This song was Number 1 in the charts.  It seemed very symbolic!

5: Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

The fact that my husband can play this on his guitar was a big factor in me falling in love with him.  It's just one of the best songs ever recorded and fabulous to sing along to.  Messrs Page and Plant are just the most awesome rock combo.  This song never ages.  My children all love it too...which makes me very proud! (No Bieber in this household!)

This is the soundtrack to my life!  I pass the tag onto anyone who is yet to be tagged and to Not Met Megan and Just Simply Ella.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Five Things I want my Children to Know about Me

This week's Friday Club Parenting Carnival at Notes From Home is 'Five Things You Want Your Children to Know about You'.

Here are five things I want to tell them...

1: I was young once too.  I had a head full of dreams.  I felt deeply.  Sometimes I think you believe that I didn't exist until I became a mother.  There was a point in my youth when I wanted to be a vet (I can't imagine why now though!!) and I thought I'd live in a luxury apartment in London.  I believed that I would be a bit of a jet-setter, possibly even famous!  I would no doubt marry a rock star (John Taylor from Duran Duran was on my wish list) and I would write books.  But dreams change.
The reality was very different...but do you know what, I wouldn't change a single thing, because where I am today with my family is the only place I'd want to be.

2:  I have always been a saver and never one to squander my cash.  Consequently you have grown-up in an environment where we've never worried about our cash flow. We are comfortably off now because I was frugal and made sure we never got into debt. Sometimes I think this may not have opened your eyes to the reality of budgeting.  Just remember, Dad and I have worked long and hard to be in this position.  Don't take it for granted because one day you'll need to budget for yourself...we lived on 3p beans once to get by!  Just don't take money and material possessions for granted.

3: If I'm ever down, don't take it personally.  I have suffered off and on with depression all my life.  Although these days I have it mostly under control, sometimes the dark cloud threatens to descend.  I become withdrawn.  I hate myself for my lack of control, which serves to make me feel even worse.  I know you really hate it if I'm sad. You worry that it is in some way about you. It's are my world.  I just need to work through my emotions sometimes.

4:  I have always adopted a very open and honest approach with you.  I let you understand my fallibility and let you know the mistakes I've made.  I want you to learn from my failings, I want you to understand my empathy, I want you to know I'll never judge you.  Our relationship has an openness that I am proud of.  No subject is off topic and I will always do my best to offer help, advice and sympathy (cake and cuddles).  You can always turn to me.  Whatever it is that is happening to you, you can guarantee I've been there and done that!

5:  I count myself to be incredibly blessed everyday.  Being your mum defines me and delights me.  Everyday you make me smile.  Everyday you make me proud.  Thank you xxx

The Friday Club

Five Things That Make Me Feel Good

This lovely little meme has been flying around blogdom for quite a while, started by Scottish Mum.  No one actually tagged me *sobs* but as my sister has written her post I will consider myself tagged by proxy!  However, after deciding to do this I've really, really struggled to think of anything that makes me feel good which doesn't involve my children or my husband.  I didn't sleep well last night and spent many an insomnia fuelled hour contemplating my personal happiness.  Is my own happiness so inextricably linked to my family's happiness that I have lost sight of who I am?  Or am I just so genuinely content that I have no need of having a role beyond that of mother and wife?  So a cute little meme turned into a psychological exploration of my self!  I don't do make-up, me-time, socialising, high heels, jewellery, fashion, long baths, flowers or fine dining.  Everything I do, and have done since I was 19 years old,  revolves around hands-on mothering.  I never really became the 'me' that I might have been, had my life taken a different path.  I do not regret a thing, but this is an observation.  I have found my happiness vicariously through my loved ones.  So the things that make me feel good have a lot to do with them.

That is what makes me happy.

1:  When my Baby Falls Asleep in my Arms 

There is something so magical about that moment when my baby boy relaxes into me.  His limbs fall and become heavy by his sides.  His breathing slows down and deepens.  His beautifully calm journey towards slumber delights me.  I breathe him in.  I hold him in my nurturing embrace and cherish the moment.  It makes me happy.

2: My House Filled with Music

Both my daughter and my husband are musical.  Our house has a collection of guitars that Hendrix would be proud of!  Music is a big part of our household.  Ella at 14 has surpassed her Dad's talents and is becoming an impressive songwriter.  I've watched her technique improve.  She has a real maturity in her lyrics that amazes me.  I am so proud of her.  But further than it, she loves it, she shares it, she let's us sing along and isn't precious about her musicality.  That is what makes me happiest of all.

3:  Cuddling
I love to cuddle.  It makes me feel good.  Safe, secure, content and loved.  I cuddle my baby, I cuddle my kids.  Even my two eldest come to me for a cuddle when we see each other.  Getting a hug from my 22 year old son is particularly pleasing....although he's a man now, he knows he is still and always will be my baby!  We're a demonstrative bunch...that makes me feel good.

4:  Going for a Coffee
This features regularly in my favourite thing style posts.  I just love going for a coffee.  It feels decadent, grown-up, makes me feel good.  The smell of coffee beans, the plush interiors (particularly plush to justify the astronomical cost of a cuppa!) and the mind boggling range of beverages never fail to please me!

5: Snuggling in my Slanket
I love my cuddly, cosy slanket.  It was a present from my husband and is a luscious chocolate brown colour.  Snuggling up on the sofa with the family watching a good film is a real feel good thing!   I love feeling warm...I'm one of those people who always has cold feet so I need to be wrapped in cosiness to feel good!

The Gallery...Expressions

Tara's prompt for this week's Gallery is "Expressions".  I've decided to dedicate this week's entry to my eldest son.  Here are a selection of photographs where my gorgeous boy's expression have made my pictures more interesting!  He makes it his mission to pull a face as the shutter clicks...he does a really good job!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cleaning up with the GTech Power Sweeper

One fact about me...I am not the best housewife in the world.  My friend bought me a fridge magnet that said "Dull women have immaculate houses!"  I take comfort in that and by that reasoning think I must be a really interesting woman!

Clutter is one thing...I can cope with lived in mess, it's a sign of a healthy, happy household.  However, cleanliness is something which is extremely important, especially with an inquisitive toddler in the house.  So I don't shirk my responsibilities as a housewife when it comes to dirty floors.

I hate lugging around our oversized vaccuum cleaner from the cupboard upstairs and instead usually end up on my hands and knees with a dustpan and brush sweeping up the carnage that our family leaves in his wake.  This is not the best method of cleaning up (for my knees as well as from a hygienic point of view!)  But we do generate a lot of mess.  From Freddy's lunch which is scattered liberally on the laminate, to Kizzy's arts and crafts debris on her bedroom carpet, to kitchen spills on the ceramic floor tiles.

I was delighted when GTech offered me the chance to receive one of their rechargeable floor sweepers for review.  The rechargeable, lightweight and portable SW18 Power Sweeper is suitable for all floor types and can be used to remove pet hairs.  It also has the benefit of being protected by Germ Guard.  This is a silver ion antibacterial additive blended into the plastic.  It is over 99% effective against bacteria including MRSA, Listeria, E-Coli and Salmnonella.  This is something which impressed me greatly having children in the house.

The Gtech Power Sweeper was easy to put together and looked modern and stylish.  (Very far removed from the old style, unreliable push along carpet sweepers my mum used to use!) It had to be charged for 16 hours before use so we plugged it in overnight, so it would be ready to test!

Product Information

  • The Power Sweeper has a fully adjustable telescopic handle which I found plenty high enough for myself at 5' 11". 
  • The head of the sweeper is attached to a dynamic steering joint which gives good mobility for ease of use. 
  • The low profile and long reach allows for easy under furniture cleaning.
  • It has an easy to empty 0.5l bin.
  • Removable handle and visor for effective stair cleaning.
  • Patented edge cleaning wheel.
Once it was fully charged I put the Gtech SW18 Germguard Power Sweeper to the test.  It was easy to find jobs for it.  After preparing their toast in the kitchen, the older girls leave a lot of crumbs on the tiles.  The Power Sweeper cleared up the debris right to the edge of the kitchen cupboards.  It was very easy to manoeuvre and was very effective.
I tried the Power Sweeper on the laminate floors in the hallway and the living room.  Again it was effective and fitted into awkward places really well.  It worked well on the carpet in Freddy's playroom, removing all the dust and crumbs! The removable bin stores the dust and debris inside, there is no bag needed.  It slides out easily and can be emptied directly into the dustbin.  
The reassurance of knowing it is protected by Germguard is a definite plus.  This is a feature exclusive to Gtech.  

Overall, I loved having the sweeper on hand, charged up and ready to spring into action whenever a mess appeared.  It is so lightweight and easy to use.  The fact that it is cordless made it so convenient to use in any room.  It was manoeuvrable and very effective in picking up the dust and debris that is generated on a daily basis Inside the Wendy House!

The Power Sweeper does make a bit of noise, but nowhere near as much as a vacuum cleaner.  My little boy who is quite wary of our hoover was not upset by the noise at all. The charge lasts for 30 minutes of usage and then the sweeper needs recharging for 12 hours. I've used the sweeper on and off for two days to clear up messes as soon as they happen, and it's still going strong.  The visor and handle can be removed to make a handheld sweeper for stair cleaning, which is a real plus, but I haven't tried that feature as yet.  

Here is a demo video of the Gtech Power Sweeper taking on the remnants of Fred's cheese pasty!
Pretty impressive!  And just for a bit of fun, here's my my children 'helping' with the housework. It does show how light and easy to use the sweeper is!

The Gtech SW18 Germguard Power Sweeper retails at £44.95 on the Gtech website.  It is a perfect helping hand for a busy parent.  I would also recommend it to students like my daughter who has a room at university.  It would be very useful for keeping her room clean!  

It gets a definite thumbs up from Inside the Wendy House


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