Today You're 4


So many people that have had children say time speeds up on their arrival and I never believed it but looking at you today I know how true that is. 

Today you are 4. 

Birthday cupcake with a sparkler in the centre

You are funny. You are happy. You are creative. You are cheeky. You are a wonderful little boy. You are our son. 

It is amazing to see so much of us in you. You love Disney like Mummy. You love cars like Daddy. You love to dance and be silly like both of us. You roll your eyes like Mummy. You like rock music like Daddy. You love superheroes like both of us, and you're very fond of Paw Patrol, but that's all you! You like food a lot! You're a bit crazy.

Little boy dressed like Spider-Man, whilst also wearing a baseball cap

You are our world. 

The next year will see us have lots of adventures in our little caravan, having fun with family and friends and trips to the seaside, all of which you love doing. 

In September you will face your biggest adventure to date as you start school. How is it time for you to start school already??!!! Mummy will be very emotional on that day, OK probably for a week or so, but I hope it will be a great adventure for you.

It took us 6 long years to have you and you were truly worth the wait.  The last four years really have gone quicker than any others.

We love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond.

A little boy giving Buzz Lightyear a high-five


Your Mummy Snowy Owl
xxxxx
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Easy Ways To Add A Little Something Extra To Your Crafts


Whatever you're crafting, if you're a keen crafter you're probably always looking to find ways of making it a little more interesting. There are many ways of doing this and if you're happy to use your imagination and if you're happy to use your imagination you can make some exciting changes. 



Whether you are crafting on your own or with a child, using these easy ideas will allow you to add a little extra to your crafts, regardless of what you're making! Bookmark these ideas to make your future craft projects even more exciting than usual!

Add Some Colour

Whatever you're making adding a little colour can always make a craft stand out. There's lots of ways to brighten your crafts, whether it be using paint or powder, or simply changing it up with the use of some coloured glue sticks. Adding some colour can make a huge difference to your finished craft and is easy to do. Use one brighter colour against neutral tones or pastels, or go for a complete blast of colour. 

Try A New Design

Maybe you want to try something brand new, go back to the drawing board and try a completely new design. Let your imagination take the lead with a brand new project and create something different to your usual crafts. Always remember though when trying something new that you will need to be patient and careful of errors to avoid having to start over again.  

Use different materials

Something that always makes a big impact on the finished product in any craft is the actual materials you use. If you're confident enough to try something new, why not change the items your using . The results could change your crafting in a big way. This is definitely worth bearing in mind if you don't want to change the nature or structure of the project itself but want to make it a little different.  Playing around with the materials may improve the finished piece in a way you would never have expected, making it another great reason to try it.



Make Something Completely Unique

As a crafter it's very exciting to make things that are entirely unique and one of a kind, so if you're stuck in a rut making the same things over and over it's probably time to try something new.  Creating something entirely unique is one of the easiest ways to add a little extra to your crafts. If you're feeling a bit lost this could get you crafting again. Just like when using new materials though, this can be difficult so again you'll need to take your time but if your craft goes well it could be massively rewarding. You'll have a great finished piece, different to anything else you've made, which should be a huge confidence boost! It's definitely worth trying! 

Practice

What if you've tried all of the above and you find it still hasn't made a difference to your crafting or made it any better? Well, it might just come down to the fact that you need a little more practice. The more and more your practice, the more confident you will get and it'll be more likely your projects will turn out just how you want them. So if you want to become an expert crafter make sure you spend sometime practicing with lots of different kinds of crafts to help your confidence grow, which will make a big difference in the future. 

Keep these tips in mind when you craft and bring a little extra to your projects as you go.

Enjoy!

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx
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Planning Your Dream Wedding On A Budget!



Weddings, weddings, weddings! Weddings everywhere! Wedding fever has taken over the world due to the latest Royal Wedding, and if you have a wedding planned it may fill you with excitement and ideas!

Sadly though your budget maybe a little short in comparison to Harry and Meghan’s! That shouldn’t stop you having your dream wedding though. So, if you’re prepared to plan thoroughly, shop around and get creative then here are my top tips for your perfect day, the wedding of your dreams and your happily ever after.

First, make your guest list and check it twice!

Yes, check it twice just like Santa! Make a list of all the family and friends you’d like to invite, thinking of the ones close to you and those that are a big part of your life. Then add the ones you need to invite, like the family members your Mum will insist on to avoid a falling out. Then sit down with your parents and strip the list down. 

A notepad with a pen and cup of tea

A good rule is to only invite those that you have seen within the last year. This is a little easier to do if you’re planning a wedding a couple of years ahead of time, as you can make a list and whittle it down gradually. Cutting down on guest numbers will definitely help your budget! 

Get crafty with your wedding favours

Putting the word wedding in front of anything makes it instantly double in price and this definitely comes into play when considering wedding favours. You’ll find items marked ‘wedding sweets’, ‘wedding biscuits’ etc, will be a lot more than your average treats. To save money you can consider putting the wedding favours together yourself. When we got married in 2007 traditional sugared almonds were all the rage, but there was one problem with that. My husband and I hated them. There were plenty of alternatives available. Handmade chocolates, personalised candles and heart shaped biscuits to name a few, but in the end we picked something we loved! Our favourite childhood sweets! 


A selection of sweets

We visited our local cash and carry and bought a selection of our favourites. Together with a ream of ribbon and a stack of plastic bags we made up our wedding favours to be reminiscent of the old 10p mix bags!

Shop around for your wedding rings

I spent ages looking online and in very expensive shop windows at wedding rings. Ones that were way out of my price range, to the point that some cost more than our cake and my wedding dress……..put together. 

Pair of weddings rings on a wooden blog with the sun shining on them


During a visit to a wedding fayre we saw some unique hand craft wedding rings and it opened our minds to looking elsewhere. In the end we bought our wedding rings at a high street store for a tenth of the price of the others we had seen! They were exactly what we wanted and we loved them! 

Pick a theme

Having a theme, whether it be a colour or style, doesn’t have to be expensive. Especially if you go for something with a little boho or vintage style. Think burlap and lace, candles and fresh flowers. The end results can be stunning but your budget doesn’t have to be huge to pull it off. Plenty of budget stores offer burlap bunting and you can also buy it by the ream from places like eBay, if you want to make it yourself or make table runners too. You can also save up glass jars and upcycle into candle holders or vases. Places like Pinterest and Confetti.co.uk are full of ideas.

Wooden table, with a lace edged burlap table runner, with glass jars containing flowers and a tea light

Weddings can be stressful, especially when you have your heart and mind set on certain things, but hopefully with a little planning and budgeting you can have your dream wedding. Most importantly though, it’s likely you will only have your dream wedding if you have what YOU want, so don’t feel you have to accommodate everyone! Pick and choose what you and your partner want and have the best day ever.

Enjoy your happily ever after!


A hand painted sign that says happily ever after

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx

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Picking The Perfect Wedding Venue



You’re engaged! Congratulations! 


So, you’ve picked your bridesmaids and bestman, and you’ve bought a stack of wedding magazines. As soon as your news spreads or you’ve made the announcement on social media people start asking that question!

The ‘have you set a date yet’ question! 

Picking a date though just isn’t that simple. First you’re going to have to make sure all your nearest and dearest are available and then comes one of the biggest choices you will make and that’s picking your venue.

There’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing the place where you want to celebrate your marriage and here’s my tips on how to pick your dream wedding venue.


Location

Whether it be a wedding abroad, a big stately home style event or bijou wedding, you’ll need to take into consideration where abouts you want to get married. You may dream of being barefoot on a beach in Barbados but if you have elderly relatives that you want to attend, a long haul flight and hot weather may not mix well.  A stately home maybe perfect for those wanting to wed and celebrate in one place but if it’s an hour from where you live consider how people will get to the venue, especially if you’re leaving from home. You don’t want to be travelling for an hour in your wedding dress! Think of the creases!

Decide on the ceremony

Church and Vicar, Town Hall and Registrar followed by a separate reception or everything all in one place. The type of ceremony you want will also have an effect on your venue. If you want to get married and have your reception all under one roof you’ll need to be sure your venue has a licence but if you choose your local Town Hall or Registry Office you won’t have that worry. The same goes for a church, although many will ask that you attend for a period of time before your wedding.


Capacity

The size of the venue you need is completely dependent on how many people you have attending. This makes writing out your guest list one of the first things you will need to do. Once you’ve ensured you’ve got all the must have relatives and friends on the list you’ll also need to decide if you want everyone to attend all day or if you’d like separate day and evening receptions, along with if the venue can hold all of those on your list.

Choices

What the venue has to offer should also play a part in picking your venue. The menu, the drinks packages, linen and table arrangements will all be choices you’ll have to make, so be sure the venue offers what you want. This is vital if you’ve picked a colour scheme or want a certain food. You may also want to consider a venue that offers overnight accommodation or a quieter area for older relatives or little ones in need of a power nap!


Photo Ops

I can tell you from experience that one of the things you look back on most will be your wedding photos. Framed or in an album, every time that you look at them the memories of your special day will come flooding back.  So, when you view wedding venues make sure to look for idea photo ops and locations, with spaces for big group photos of all the attendees or loved up photos of the bride and groom.

More than anything though, when picking your venue ensure it is the one for you and is perfect for your big day.

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx



This is a collaborative post with Bijou Weddings
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4 Kid Friendly Royal Wedding Activites


The time has come for another Royal Wedding! Whether you're a royalist or not there's no avoiding the hype that surrounds the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The marriage of a British prince to an American actress has got the world excited and many are braced to watch the wedding on Saturday! 

Are you having a watching party like Mammaprada? Do you want a couple of activities to keep the kids busy? Maybe you're doing a Royal theme with your Brownies, or maybe you're a Home Educator that wants to do some Royal wedding themed craft or activities on the run up to the big day?

Well, here's an easy four!



The first activity is to design a flag in honour of Harry and Meghan. 


To do this I bought small fabric flags and fabric pens from Baker Ross. I also used a crown template from the Disney Princess stencils that I picked up from Poundland. My Brownies really loved making their flags and they got very creative! If you don't have fabric pens and a plain flag, normal felt tips or crayons and a piece of card will do. 

Another great activity that I bought from Baker Ross are these tiaras.


Add gems, glitter, flowers and colour in to make your own unique tiara.

The final two activities are paper based. One being a design a wedding dress colouring activity. I found the cute printable over at SparkleBox.


The other activity is a wordsearch. These are a great spare activity when you need a quiet few moments or all the other crafts are done and the kids are looking for something more to do. I create all our wordsearches using the Discovery puzzle page here.

Whatever you have planned, have a great Royal Wedding weekend!!!

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx

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7 Quick Tips For A Pregnant Holiday



As you know, we love to travel with our little one, and that comes with its own challenges but before holidays with children are holidays pregnant and they require a whole other level of organisation! Here are my 7 quick tips for a pregnant holiday!

Pregnant lady wearing a bikini with her hands making a heart on her stomach


1. Choose Your Destination

The key to any good holiday is choosing the perfect destination, and this is even more important when pregnant. Choose from a relaxing pampering break, something full of gentle sightseeing, or even splash out for a cruise. Avoid holidays that involve long treks or theme parks so you’re not on your feet for too long or queuing up for rides you can’t go on!

2. Pack Smart

When you are packing, as well as all your usual holiday essentials, don’t forget all the things that you need for pregnant life. Make sure you have your prenatal vitamins, hospital notes and anything else you might need!

Suitcase laid out and partially packed


3. Be Aware Of Food And Drink

One of the best parts of a holiday is being able to enjoy new foods and drink but if you are holidaying abroad while pregnant be extra cautious. Buy bottled water and avoid ice cubes in your drink for example.

4. Plan Pregnancy Safe Activities

There are some things that you know you won’t be able to do, for example riding roller coasters, although there are others that may not be so obvious. Things like scuba diving should be avoided as the pressure can cause air bubbles to form in the bloodstream, which is incredibly dangerous for your unborn baby. A safer alternative to this is to go snorkeling or simply paddle in the pool.

A snorkel mask next to a pool


5. Keep Cool

If you are off to a lovely sunny climate remember that your pregnant skin is more likely to burn so be sure to slather on that high factor sun cream! A personal fan is a great investment and, of course, plenty of water! Try to stay out of the sun during the hottest times and let the shade will be a welcome relief!

6. Going Abroad?

One thing you will have to consider if you are planning a holiday abroad is when in your pregnancy you fly. Between 13 and 24 weeks is generally considered the safest time to fly and if you wait until after the first trimester you will hopefully be past the morning sickness and extreme exhaustion phase! After 28 weeks you'll have to have confirmation from your midwife or doctor to fly and, generally speaking, you won’t be allowed to fly after 34 weeks, so get that travelling in as soon as you can! 



7. Be Vaccine Smart

Some destinations require vaccines and the research around whether these are safe for unborn babies is not conclusive, so it might be best to avoid these destinations until your baby is born. Most anti-malaria tablets are not safe for pregnant women either, so do your research before booking.

Going on holiday whilst you're pregnant and enjoying a babymoon can be a great way to relax and make memories before the baby comes but it does require some extra planning. 

Do you have any other top tips for holidaying while pregnant? Let me know in the comments! 

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx



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Lighting Your Home



Lighting can easily be forgotten about when doing home improvements. An old strip light here. A wonky lamp there. It can often become the unsightly factor of your home.

A wonky light next to some old books and jugs

Unless it’s a stunning stain glass window bringing in a colourful blast of natural light or a beautiful chandelier, lighting is rarely a vocal point. This is probably why it easily becomes a second thought.

It really shouldn’t be though! Lighting brings warmth and, obviously, light to your home! The right lighting can make a house a home. A bright place to study and entertain or a cosy place to read and snuggle.

A person reading with a blanket and book on their lap

There are lots of factors to take into consideration when it comes to choosing lighting. First consider the type of lighting you want or need. Is it a ceiling or wall light, or both? 

Maybe it’s a table lamp or a tall lamp. Look around and see what would suit your room. At that point you can move forward and think about style and there are so many too! Modern, rustic, upcycled, concept, to name just a few, can bring an essence of uniqueness to your home. If all of this is a little overwhelming you could also consider working with a Lighting Designer.

Many high street home stores will have a lighting assistant in store but for something a little different,and if your budget allows, you could visit a lighting studio or a designer with their own design light shop.

Places like Studio Arntzen specialise in concept development and spatial design. Run by Dutch designer Paula Arntzen, the studio creates unique and dynamic designs from concept to final production.

Hand crafted light fitting

Following High School Paula studied Traditional Furniture Making at the HMC in the Netherlands where she developed her technical knowledge and crafts skills as a furniture maker. She then went on to study Product Design at the ArtEZ Academy of Art, which cemented her passion and future career as a Product Designer.

On graduating in 2009, Arntzen established her design studio, Studio Arntzen, where she began to focus on light installations for public spaces, realising that installations appealed to a wide range of clients in the Netherlands and internationally. After four years she decided to complete a Masters of Arts in Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London from which she graduated in 2015. Her work has become known internationally and she has worked collaboratively on several international workshops and projects.

Creating designs for the home and business, Studio Arntzen creates lighting for unique and differing environments.

A cafe with lights hanging over the tables

Through experimentation with materials and techniques each item is different and beautifully crafted. A range of different materials are used for their lighting products including paper, plastic, foil and glass.

The same goes for the furniture the studio make including a bench made from 100% recycled plastics.

A white and grey marble effect bench in an open space

Arntzen’s craft skills are mixed and used within her designs. Doing in depth research, she pushes the boundaries of design and creates distinctive end products.

So if you’re budget allows and you’re looking for a unique piece of lighting Studio Arntzen maybe the place to go. With her studio growing and her products becoming known internationally it may also be a savvy investment!

Mummy Snowy Owl
xxx


*This post is a collaborative post
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Product Review - Hunkemoller


Right ladies, lets talk bras. 


Over the shoulder boulder holders. Brasseries. Let's be honest about them too!

They are often uncomfortable, too small, too big and an irritant. Throw having a baby into the mix and your set for more fidgeting and adjusting.  Your wash day bra will soon become your best bra. What if you'd like to jazz things up again? Be a mum but a mum with a nice, yet comfortable, supportive yet, what for it...........SEXY BRA!!


Screenshot of Mila Klunis in Bad Moms in a frumby bra, so it's her sexy bra


Well, this is where I've discovered Hunkemoller can help! Stylish, supportive, comfortable and sexy underwear for a reasonable price.

Now, I know too well how ordering underwear online can go. The sizes are like a fairy tale, make believe. The chances are it's also nonreturnable or you just never get round to returning it and it languishes in a drawer.

You have none of this worry with Hunkemoller! I happily received a strapless bra and can confirm the sizes are true to size and very accurate! 

A black and white strapless bra laid out on a bed with off shoulder tops

Take a look at the lovely packaging and the unboxing in this video!



Bring larger busted strapless bras are always a concern for me but this one really took me by surprise! Not only did it fit perfectly, it was soft, so very soft, and supportive without feeling like a corset! It's perfect for a strapless or off the shoulder number!

A strapless bra laid out

This strapless bra is what dreams are made of! It even stays put with a shimmy! 

A woman dancing

I've also had a look through the rest of the Hunkemoller range and will definitely be ordering from them. Their leisure wear looks super comfy! 

So, if you're in the market for a new bra, take a look at Hunkemoller.

You might be pleasantly surprised!

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx


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