Dad In Training


04/08/2015 09:12

Russell the Dream Sheepdog Review

Me and Clayton especially were delighted to have recently been sent a Russell the Dream Sheepdog to enjoy and review. For those of you that don't already know; Russell is a cuddly sheepdog that is likely to become your toddlers new best friend at bedtime. They say dog's a mans best friend, don't they? He's an adorable looking dog with lots of cool features! A little squeeze and his belly glows an array of colours, putting on a gentle and soothing but spectacular light show that will mesmerise your little one and help them feel safe in a darkened room. 

Russell the Dream Sheepdog

Not only does he perform magic tricks with lights, but this dog talks. Russell comes with a built in recorder that allows you to record yourself or someone/something else talking, singing, reading, playing music... anything you want. This is a big step up from the white noise of Russells younger friend Ewan the Sheep. Clayton being a toddler now pays no mind to white noise, but needs stimulation; he needs to be entertained or soothed in a different way and Russell certainly provides that. I used the recorder in our cuddly friend to record myself pretending to be a dog. I barked, howled and spoke to Clayton by name using my best doggy voice and he loved it. 

Dog is a mans best friend

What's impressive about Russell for me is the length of his features. He doesn't require continuous pressing of buttons, which makes it great for bedtime and prolonged, repetitive play. The light show lasts 30 minutes with just one push of the button (though it can be stopped short if need be). The voice recorder allows you to record up to 4 minutes of footage, but repeats it a whopping 8 times and therefore totalling 32 minutes of continuous sound without need for interjecting. This is what makes him a great bedtime toy... most toddlers would be asleep after a 32 minute bedtime story or 30 minute hypnotising light display. 

Toddler cuddling Russell the Dream Sheepdog

Although Russell the Dream Sheepdog has all the bedtime features you would need, I have to say that we didn't necessarily make the most of his abilities. But that's not to say that you won't reap the rewards of a dog that sings your child to sleep. That also doesn't mean that we didn't completely fall in love with Russell, because we most definitely did! We're just lucky in the way that Clayton is already a great sleeper and has a concrete bedtime routine that works great for all of us. Because of that, we chose not to even introduce Russell at bedtime. So, why get a toy that's specifically designed to help a toddler fall asleep if he has no trouble doing so? Well why not? Russell is a cuddly, cute and loveable dog! His light show needn't only be for nightime, as it captured the attention of my child in the middle of the day just fine. His voice recorder doesn't have to be used to read a story in a monotone voice or sing a lullaby. The barking and silly dog voice we used our Russell to record prompted fun, games and sparked Claytons imagination into life. Sure Russell the Dream Sheepdog can help your child fall asleep, but our Russell did an even better job at being a new best friend - just like dogs are supposed to be.


Disclosure - We were sent our Russell the Dream Sheepdog in return for this review. All words are my own and honest.


15/07/2015 19:58

Wordless Wednesday

First Birthday Family Selfie


12/07/2015 14:30

Wicked Uncle - Review

We've all been there. It's a universal problem bound to rear its head time and time again. There's a child you have to buy a gift for and you have no idea where to start. My children are aged 2 and 1... I'd have no idea what to buy a 13 year old girl. What about those parents who raise a trio of boys but have a 4 year old niece to buy for? Wicked Uncle solves all of those problems and does the hard work for you.

Animal Sounds Hay Ride Farm Toy


Wicked Uncle are not just an online toy shop, but are the complete gift buying service. Their website is simple to use and starts with an easy filter and search feature. You tell them the sex and age of the child you're buying for and it provides you with a list of age and gender appropriate gifts. You can even have your choice gift wrapped and sent direct to the recipient. It's the perfect service for parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents; for absolutely anyone to use when they're stuck for ideas or in a hurry. My brother doesn't have children of his own, but has several nieces, nephews and Godchildren. I can picture him sat at his computer come Christmas time buy gifts for all of those children within 10 minutes and being stress free. 

Toy Building Blocks


I decided to try out their service and get a new toy for each of my children. The search worked great, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that although you can search by boy or girl, they didn't attach a gender to too many of the toys and avoided most negative steroetypes. Within just a few minutes, I had a John Deere Animal Sounds Hay Ride Tractor in my cart for Clayton to remind him of our recent trip to Coombe Mill. For Alice, I opted for Manhattan Toys' Create & Play Pattern Blocks. Less than 2 days later, they were sat playing with them! I was pretty impressed to say the least. 

Baby Girl Playing Toy Building Blocks


With birthday party invites expected to flood in through the school years, with siblings and friends having children, the list of people to buy gifts for is always growing. I can safely say that I will be using Wicked Uncle in the future and would quite happily recommend it to anyone.


Disclosure - I was given credit to purchase these toys in return for this review. All words and opinions are my own however and are honest.



Blog Feedback

Date: 09/07/2015

By: Anonymous

Subject: Depression

I want to congratulate you on coming out about your depression. Depression is nothing to be laughed or joked about. It hits and it hits hard, Affecting everyone around you much more deeply than you ever having a broken leg would. This is where your family really step up. It is always on the media how much women get depression but it's great you have highlighted here that men do get it to... I won't tell you to keep your chin up because I know (as you do) it means nothing. One hour at a time. :)


Date: 30/06/2015

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Date: 15/12/2014

By: Nike Air Trainer 1.3 Max



Date: 10/12/2013

By: Tuli Banerjee

Subject: Loved reading your blogs

Hi, I don't remember how I stumbled upon your blog. But the journey has been awesome. I am five months pregnant now. Reading your blogs really makes me laugh. :) the ones where you mentioned the snores of wifey, the fountains of Clayton, the 'life without a father' video - all were simply awesome.. I read them and also discuss them with my hubby and my parents... Good job done by you to put your feelings into words :D God bless your family... :D


Date: 14/05/2014

By: Ryan Costello

Subject: Re: Loved reading your blogs

Thanks for your kind comment Tuli... Good luck with your baby.


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