Category: Family Life

DIY Summer Cake Smash / First Birthday Photo shoot

DIY Summer Cake Smash / First Birthday Photo shoot

Last week, in preparation for Florence’s first birthday we headed out to a local park for a little DIY First Birthday photo shoot and an attempt at a cake smash. Having turned to Pinterest for some inspiration, I knew exactly the look I was after. […]

Darling Florence, Now You are One

Darling Florence, Now You are One

Oh little girl, I can’t quite believe I’m writing this already. Today you turn one. A whole year. Words cannot describe the joy you have brought into our lives. You’ve filled a piece of my heart that had been void for as long as I […]

Joie i-Level Car Seat Review

Joie i-Level Car Seat Review

When it comes to things1 you absolutely must buy for a baby, a car seat is at the top of the list. When we had to start shopping for a carseat, despite my previous years working in the baby industry, this was the one area we were a bit clueless in. I knew of a few brands who made them, I knew of a certain brand I definitely didn’t want to buy, but in this instance we were completely reliant on the knowledge of the sales rep at John Lewis. At the time I had just 2 requirements: it had to fit to our pushchair (Joolz Geo) and it needed to be isofix… whatever that was. And so, after a few demonstrations that went entirely over our heads, we opted for the Maxi Cosy Cabrio Fix – it just seemed the simplest. Functional. It wasn’t until we actually had Florence that we started to realise what the potential benefits of having all the extra bits on a car seat and we wondered if we maybe should have done a bit more research. It was then that Joie got in touch to ask me if I’d mind testing out  the Joie i-Level Car Seat. I was intrigued to see whether there would be much of a difference between this one and the one we already had and there were already a few features that had caught my eye.

What’s in the box and installation

The car seat came in two parts – the seat and the isofix base and along with them were the necessary instruction manuals. There’s a video up on my YouTube channel which shows just how easy it was to fit into the car and our first impressions so I won’t bore you by going into too much detail here on that, but if you’re looking to buy one definitely head over and have a watch.

Joie i-Level 0+ Car Seat Review

Joie i-Level Car Seat Review

The i-Level car seat is in the 0+ category, which basically means it’s suitable for your new baby up until they reach a weight of 13kg and is suitable for rearward facing only. For reference, Florence was born weighing 3.7kg and at very nearly one she is around 9kg so I think it will likely last her at least a couple more months. It is a seat that grows with your child, initially fitted with the newborn insert(pictured above) which is removable once your baby has outgrown it as well as having a joie’s signature Grow Together head rest and harness system which is fully adjustable to make your baby’s time in the car as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Joie i-Level 0+ Car Seat Review

The main draw to this car seat for me was its ability to recline. The i-Level has 3 positions; upright, slightly reclined and then fully reclined which is great for use in long car journeys and ensuring if baby falls asleep in the car, they can rest safely & comfortably at a fully reclined position. It takes a simple lift of the lever at the back and a light push down to change position.  This is also ideal for using on your pushchair. Joie i-Level 0+ Car Seat Review

Compared to our other car seat, the I-Level has so much more protection for little ones as well as just seeming more sturdy overall. Fully i-size certified, the seat features Joie’s very own Intelli-fit foam for ultimate side impact protection and is only usable with the isofix base to ensure safe installation for all journeys.

The three point harness is easy to fasten and adjust as needed – once you’ve worked out where the adjust button is! Just above the pull belt, is a little slit in the car seat cover – there’s a little button in there that you have to push.

Joie i-Level 0+ Car Seat Review

Joie i-Level 0+ Car Seat Review

It also comes with a detachable sun canopy.

The i-Level car seat can be purchased from a number of retailers including Mothercare & John Lewis around the £250 mark. 

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Baby number 2

Baby number 2

We have reached that stage, with Florence about to turn one, when the conversation has started to include ‘the next baby’ and we’ve had a few questions lately as to whether or not we will be having another little one any time soon. I know […]

Keeping Clean with Messy Me Designs

Keeping Clean with Messy Me Designs

If there’s one thing that comes with babies it’s mess. Especially once weaning begins! Over the last few months we have been testing out a number of products designed to make messy meal times (and messy play times) a little easier to clean up! Two […]

50+ Simple Baby Play essentials you probably already have at home

50+ Simple Baby Play essentials you probably already have at home

With so many lovely responses to my recent Simple Baby Play posts, I thought I would finally get around to sharing with you a list of items I class as baby play essentials. These are all things that I have built up over time and most of them are things you will more than likely have in your house already, and the rest I either picked up at Wilko, Tiger, The Works or Poundland. They are my four go to store for picking up little bits for play which don’t cost a bomb. When it comes to storing everything, we have a little plastic drawer unit in our conservatory where most of it lives, but you could use a large plastic box, a spare cupboard or drawer. One thing to bare in mind is, as some of the items are quite small, I keep the contents out of reach of Florence so for safety reasons, she can’t just help herself to these things.

Kitchen Utensils (wooden spoons, spatulas, whisk, measuring spoons etc)


Cookie Cutters

Plastic Cups – Stacking or otherwise

Brushes (Hair, nail, pastry, make up)

Rubber ducks

Miniature Vehicles

Miniature Figures





Googly Eyes


Straws – Plastic or paper

Silk Scarves

Balls of all sizes & types

Shower Gels

Baby Oil

Empty plastic bottles

Tuff Spot

Plastic Storage Tubs




Zip Lock Bags

Musical Instruments (You could of course use Pots, Pans & home made shakers too!)

Textured Sticky Back Plastic

Fabric & Ribbon Scraps


Foil Blanket

Ice Cube Trays

Baby Safe Mirrors


Kitchen Roll Tubes

Board Books (See our favourite baby board books here.)

I hope you’ve found this little list of baby play essentials useful. If you’re looking for some ways you could use them within your play, you can check out my baby play posts here. 

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Plans for Florence’s First Birthday

Plans for Florence’s First Birthday

So here we are in May. Where on earth has the last year gone? I remember this time last year so clearly – I had just begun maternity leave and we were making the final preparations for Florence’s arrival. Now, in just 3 weeks, our […]

5 More Simple Baby Play Ideas

5 More Simple Baby Play Ideas

I’ve had so many lovely messages about my last baby play post that I thought I’d share another five simple baby play ideas with you guys. What’s in the bag? Whenever my Mum comes to visit, the first thing Florence does is empty her handbag […]