Taking a stroll with the Quinny Yezz {Review}

I’ve learnt that buying a pram or stroller is an investment that should not be undertaken lightly. Much like buying a vehicle, a test drive is imperative. These days there are so many features and accessories to be bedazzled by.

Now that Pebbles is getting older, a stroller is the ideal way for us to get around easily. The strollers I have used in the past have been the conventional 4 wheeled umbrella style. While generally inexpensive and functional, I have found these to lack durability, style and comfort. So when we were offered a Quinny Yezz to test drive, I jumped at the chance!

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We’ve been using our Yezz for a few months now and here’s the low down.

Style

The Quinny Yezz certainly is a stylish and unique little stroller. The amount of compliments we receive is amazing. They come in a great range of colours as well

Manoeuvrability

This has to be one of the biggest selling points of the Yezz. Weighing in at only 5kg, steering this stroller is a dream. It has 3 wheels, which is pretty unusual for a stroller, but they aren’t just any wheels. The Yezz features skate wheels which glide effortlessly on smooth surfaces. This makes it the ideal stroller for shopping centres and pavements. The downside to these light thin wheels is that rough terrain can be a struggle. However, it certainly is my vehicle of choice on the mad dash to school drop off!

A word of warning, the Yezz is so light and easy to manoeuvre that it can easily get away from you. It has a wrist safety strap which I tend to use a lot, particularly on hills.

Comfort

The Yezz is certainly comfortable to steer as mentioned above, and can be pushed easily with one hand. As for the passenger’s comfort, the seat is a simple hammock design with a 5 point harness. The hammock design means there are no pointy metal frames to poke into your child or to get your fingers jammed in! As it is not adjustable to a layback position, we still tend to use our larger pram for extended outings in the rare event Pebbles may have a sleep. An older toddler or child would be more than comfortable resting their head to the side for a doze.  The Yezz is suitable from 6 months up to 17kg (approx 4yrs).

The Yezz also has a sunshade which pops out to protect your precious cargo and a rain cover is also available as an add-on accessory.

On-board Storage

One can’t expect too much storage from a lightweight stroller, however the Yezz has a roomy back pocket that claims to hold up to 2kg. I personally find it more than sufficient to store my wallet, phone and keys with room to spare for a nappy wallet if required.

Ease of Use

When the Yezz arrived it required some assembly. Due to it’s innovative design, I must confess The Man and I did some serious head scratching until I found an online tutorial on how to assemble and erect it! Now it’s a breeze. A simple push button on the handle lets you erect or collapse the stroller, in conjunction with a foot mechanism to lock the frame in place. Up and down can easily be achieved with one hand (and one foot).

The 5 point harness is a standard configuration with over the shoulder, waist and groin straps clicking into one central point.

The material of the Yezz is water and spill resistant, making it easy to clean. Hurrah!

The Yezz folds down to a compact size. It also has a shoulder strap built into the frame, and combined with it’s light weight, this really does make it the ideal stroller for travelling (or for carrying when your stubborn toddler decides to walk!)

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Price

The Quinny Yezz is definitely at a higher price point than any other stroller that I have purchased. To be honest I’m not sure I would have spent the money if I hadn’t had the opportunity to give it a test drive. Having said that, the quality and features of the Yezz definitely make it a great stroller, especially if you use public transport or travel a lot with small children.

Over all, I think the Quinny Yezz is a top little stroller and I’m sure we will get a lot of use out of it in the years to come.

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Now tell me, do you ever find yourself pushing an empty stroller or pram while bub either walks or insists on being carried??

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Weighing in on the Grey debate

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Let me start off by disclosing that even though I have read the books, I am yet to see the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. For the sake of this discussion however, it’s not necessary.

I’ve read many reviews and arguments for and against the Fifty Shades books and movie. As with any review, the personal views and experiences of the writer inform their feedback. Fair enough, too. If we all thought and liked the same things, a very boring world it would be.

However, I am most perturbed by the increasing calls to boycott the movie and books by folk who believe the movie models domestic violence and abusive relationships.

Last I looked, Fifty Shades of Grey was FICTION.

Rarely do you see other books or movies that portray equally or even more disturbing relationship dynamics being shouted down so much. I acknowledge that the relationship between the main characters is neither conventional, or dare I say desirable, in the real world. I also understand aspects could be a trigger for those who have experienced physical and/or emotional trauma at the hands of a dominating partner. My advice to people in such a position is to not read or watch.

Just as I avoid horror films and those that portray abuse to children and animals, I think it is important for us all to moderate our own exposure to material that we find distressing or distasteful.

The movie bears an R+ rating and there has certainly been plenty of media coverage regarding the nature of the story. As consumers of entertainment, we are responsible for the choices that we make. It is important that these are informed choices. I don’t believe the producers of entertainment can be held accountable for  any fallout.

Would I be comfortable with my daughter watching this movie? Probably not, but my mother would no doubt be equally uncomfortable knowing that I watched Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman at a friend’s place at the tender age of 8. Hi mum!

However, if and when my daughter does watch Fifty Shades, I would hope that it is not the sole thing informing her understanding of intimate relationships. Hopefully, her father and I would have succeeded in role modelling a (moderately) healthy relationship and she will have been exposed to other influences in her young life so as to interpret this and other fictional sources in the context in which they are intended.

Unlike passive media exposure, such as advertising billboards, movies are designed to appeal to a specific audience and if the ticket sales are any indication, the audience for Fifty Shades of Grey is very receptive idea.

Cries that the storyline inaccurately depicts BDSM relationships also hold little ground with me. Once again, I highlight that this is fiction, not a BDSM handbook. I used to work in a forensic sciences laboratory, and you don’t hear me calling for CSI to be boycotted because of it’s ridiculous portrayal of scientists who swan around in Armani suits solving crimes in less time than it takes to boil an egg. I can assure you the reality is far from glamorous.

The whips and cable ties are only one aspect of the Fifty Shades story, just as prostitution is only one element of Pretty Woman. If I enjoy the movie, does it mean I will let my husband tie me up and spank me? Sorry to disappoint you honey, but I’m just as likely to become a street walker.

Fifty Shades may not be Academy Award winning calibre, the books certainly were no Pulitzer prize winners. However, they are designed to be entertaining escapism. Please view them as such. Like all genres, they will appeal to some, not so much others.

Whatever floats your boat.

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Jellyfish, super yachts and two bites of the cherry

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“Immortal Jellyfish” life cycle. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s amazing what you learn from kids’ television. Did you know there is a jellyfish that can turn itself back into the jelly-equivalent of a baby?

No, neither did I until the Octonauts told me about it yesterday. Of course I felt compelled to google this remarkable creature to find out more. Essentially, the “immortal jellyfish” can change its cellular structure and morph back into its immature form which then spawns multiple babies! It does this at times of high stress or crisis to ensure the continuation and population of its species.

Imagine if that happened to the human race? Talk about population explosion.

One day you’re having coffee and counselling your friend through their relationship breakdown or work stresses, the next thing you know you’re nursing triplets!

The whole “rebirth” thing intrigued the Wilful One. He asked me if I would change back to a baby if given the chance. I informed him that I was immensely happy with my life as it was, so had no need for a do-over.

That is, I lied.

Fortunately, my wishy-washy response satisfied him. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, kids and husband and wouldn’t swap them for all the chocolate at the Cadbury factory. But if I had the opportunity to have all that THEN go back and do something different the second time? SIGN ME UP!

As for what I’d do with my second bite of the cherry? Well, a few possibilities spring to mind…

I could pay attention in grade 9 maths, study marine biology and become a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld.

Or, I might be a little more committed to my childhood drama classes, audition for NIDA and become an Oscar award winning actress.

Then there is the always the very materialistic yet attractive prospect of marrying for money and living the life of luxury. Louboutin shoes, diamonds, personal chef, Ferraris and travelling the world on a super yacht.

Nah, let’s face facts. Given the opportunity, I’d happily be a chocolate-eating, coffee-swilling beach-bum, content to be surrounded by beautiful cherubs and a doting man. Which is exactly where I’m at, so I might just leave the immortality gig to the jellyfish.

A super yacht would be nice though.

If you had a second bite of the cherry what would you do? Have you learnt anything from kids’ television lately?

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5 reasons writing a book is like reading one

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So I have started writing a book. I’m not sure if it’s going to be good, bad or indifferent, however I have a story to tell and I need to get it out.

Maybe I shouldn’t call it a book, because a book is really a story that’s actually been published. For me that is just a dream at the moment. It is good to dream though so I’ll humour myself and stick with the term “book” for now.

Anyway, it has become apparent to me over the last few weeks that writing a book is much like reading one.

1. Living in the land of the story.
You know when you get caught up in a really good story?  You think about it over coffee, dream about it and maybe even wonder what’s happening when you’re not there. When I’m not in writing mode, I still have snippets of dialogue or flashes of scenes running through my mind. I never really step away from my story.

2. Falling in love with the characters
For me to like a book, I need to connect with the main players. My story is still in it’s infancy, yet I’m completely hooked on my protagonist and their supporting cast. Even though I’ve created these fictional people, I can’t wait to get to know them better, find out their full role in the story and see how their fortunes unfold.

3. Not really know what’s going to happen next
Yes, I know this sounds weird as it was my idea that seeded the story in the first place. Obviously, I know the general gist of the plot and how I would like it to turn out in the end. However, the getting there is just as much of a mystery to me as it would be to a cold reader.  The twists and turns of the story evolve as I write. It’s an amazing and exciting process.

4. It’s an escape

Reading used to be my guilty pleasure. How glorious to be tucked up with a good book and be swept away into someone else’s fantasy land. Now I love nothing more than to steal away to the world of my own creation and continue to weave my tale. It’s like a choose your own adventure but better!

5. Never wanting it to end

You know the feeling, that bitter sweet final chapter of a wonderful story. Of course, I’d love to be able to put my book “to bed” but for now I am more than content to languish in the creative process and see where my story takes me.

The irony of these insights is that, despite being an avid book-worm, I never thought I’d be able to write a whole book. Turns out I am loving writing a story for all the same reasons I love reading one.

Do you love writing as much as you love reading?

 

 

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So your kid wants a NERF gun…

I am one of those weird peace loving mamas who has always been against toy guns. Yes, yes, I know they will pick up a stick and pretend to use it as a gun anyway, but so be it. That doesn’t mean we should supply them with a plastic arsenal to use when battling their imaginary foes. A less realistic stick and some imagination can go just as far and be a lot less psychologically powerful!

However, I’ll hop off my soapbox now. As I was saying, me – anti-guns yadayada. That is until my son’s recent 8th birthday when a friend gave him a Nerf gun. 

Is it just me or is a weapon a weird thing to buy as a gift for a kid you don’t even know? Maybe I’m just being to precious. 

The Wilful One was over the moon, of course as the forbidden fruit was delivered into his hands by his new BFF. He looked at me expectantly, sure for a reaction but I just smiled tightly. You just gave my son a weapon that actually shoots projectiles. Excellent.

Being a goodie two-shoes like his mum, the Wilful One didn’t dare fire the thing until he had dutifully heard all the rules. 

Do NOT fire at people
Do NOT fire at the cat/dog/brother/sister/other breathing life form
Do NOT fire in the house/over the fence/at the cars 

In the end my very clever son asked for a target to shoot at. Perfect! I quickly whipped one up.

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Well obviously the target isn’t perfect, but it does the job.

Purely for to test for accuracy and safety, I insisted that I took the first shot. As any caring, self-sacrificing mother would do. And you know what? 

I FREAKING LOVE NERF GUNS!!!

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In fact, I’m thinking of asking Santa for one. Who would of thought that firing 30cm of cold hard plastic could feel so good! It is the most therapeutic feeling. The kids actually started to complain that I was hogging. Meanwhile, how cool is this giant crossbow that comes in pink?!

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I can just imagine shooting that sucker upstairs with a note at attached “Dinners ready!”

So, the moral of the story is, if your kid wants a NERF gun for Christmas and you are in two minds, they really aren’t all that bad. Worse case scenario, you can confiscate it and use it for cheap therapy yourself ;)

How do you feel about kids and pretend weapons? What would you use a pink crossbow for in your house?

 

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