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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Book of the week!


This week's book of the week is a day or two late as we've been enjoying the festive period! As part of that we've been enjoying a very festive book, Santa is coming to Nottingham.


Santa is coming to Nottingham book


Thursday, 22 December 2016

Christmas Spotters!!


With Christmas just days away I thought I'd do a special spotting activity and obviously it has a festive theme.


A christmas gift wrapped in brown paper, red ribbon and a sprig of fern


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

5 Minute Fun!


Its easy to get bogged down with the hustle and bustle of Christmas and not have the time or energy to sit down and have a quiet moment with your little ones. As the hype continues over the next few days your overexcited offspring may struggle to settle down and do quieter activities.

5minutefun.com brings super quick fun and educational activities from the makers of CBeebies magazine.  Ideas and activities vary from games to do during the weekly shop to wind downs before bed. From games to make you move to games that make you do maths!

I decided that we should give the dice game a go. Its simple and easy to play. You roll a dice and clap the number it lands on. I soon realised this was going to take some work.

Joseph is quiet a good counter. He can follow the numbers and say the one that comes next. I say one, he says two etc. What I hadn't considered was that he hadn't seen a dice before. Cue excitement and lots of "mine, mine, mine" like a seagull from Finding Nemo, but we persevered and let him keep hold of the dice and got another for rolling. 



Toddler playing with a dice

Monday, 19 December 2016

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Gingerbread Men Decorating!


Joseph loves to bake and as its the season of gingerbread I fancied giving them a try. I am, however, completely and utterly rubbish at making gingerbread. I've tried twice and each time was a disaster.

The first time they fell apart as I took them off the baking sheet. The second time I made them as a Boxing Day treat for my nieces and when one of them looked like they were going to break their baby teeth I stopped them from eating them!

But I really wanted to decorate some gingerbread men with Joseph so what was the alternative? Something that didn't include disappointment and broken teeth, so we made these!


Completed gingerbread men laid out


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Handmade By The Kids - Christmas Cards


Christmas is getting nearer by the day but there's still chance to make a few festive treats with your little ones. 

Now this craft isn't all that messy and there's no paint or glue! Yippee!!! So, here it is, easy to make, low mess, Christmas cards!


Finished Christmas Cards



Monday, 12 December 2016

ParentsNeed.com


There's a lot of parenting websites out there. Whether it be UK or USA based there are tonnes on offer, each with different ideas on anything and everything. From nappies to weaning, co-sleeping to potty training. There's advice and opinions on each, but what if you want a break. A change from Mumsnet, Babycentre and the like?

Well, there's ParentsNeed.com.


ParentsNeeds logo



Sunday, 11 December 2016

What To Bring A New Mum


Your friend/sister/cousin/neighbour has had a baby. Maybe its a while since you've had your little ones, maybe you don't have any yet or your baby brain simply won't function properly and your at a bit of a loss as to what gifts to take. Apart from the obvious nappies, sleepsuits and bibs what do we really, really want?


A gift wrapped in brown paper with a pink ribbon


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Hello Santa!


Last year Joseph met Santa for the first time. We had planned to go the year previously to mark his first Christmas but I was struck down with various germs and we couldn't go. To make up for the disappointment the following year we discussed going on one of the Santa trains but with our trip to Disneyland Paris just around the corner we realised our pennies just wouldn't stretch that far. So, we finally decided upon a visit to Bluebells at nearby Spondon.

A little boy looking in awe at someone


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Book of the week!


Joseph has always been a bit of a book worm. As soon as he could roll around he would edge towards books over toys. Our shelves are now full of bought, gifted and handed down books. There's a huge and varied selection, with the favourite changing on a weekly basis. So, I thought I'd start a weekly post about the current fave, what its about and where you can get it.

Our first book is The Usbourne Dinosaur Jigsaw Book.


Smiling toddler boy holding up the book


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Handmade By The Kids - Paintings


As an Aunty one thing I've always liked to receive from my nieces are paintings and drawings that they've proudly done and I know that many relatives, especially grandparents feel the same.

With this in mind I've come up with little idea for a homemade Christmas gift. 


A canvas painted by a child that says granddads workshop


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

PureChimp Matcha Green Tea


I've never been one for green tea. Plenty of people recommended it to me when I was trying to lose weight to enable us to have fertility treatment but I just couldn't stomach it. I don't like the smell or taste and I hate the stains it leaves in your mugs. So, when PureChimp offered me the opportunity to try theirs I thought I'd give them the chance to change my mind.


PureChimp Logo


Sunday, 27 November 2016

Hand Print Hedgehog


As our hedgehog friends prepare to snuggle down for the winter and the weather takes a turn, here's a craft that can be done with our prickly friends in mind and in the warmth of inside. 

Here's how to make a hand print hedgehog!


Hedgehog painting made with a handprint


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Freshen Your Fabric


One of the key parts to living sustainably is to reuse, upcycle and have little waste, so when Dylon sent me a selection of dyes to try I wanted to use them to brighten something that I, and lots of other Mum's use regularly. Something that I couldn't be without. I thought about it and wandered round the house. 

My little boy is now two and a half years old, so the baby related items are slipping away and being put into storage but what are still used? What's still scattered around the house? Well, in nearly every room was a muslin, also know as a muggie. Whether it be mopping spills, wiping the kid or cleaning a graze, they are still used as much as they were when he was a baby.

As time goes on they can start to lose their white sparkle and look a bit dull but what can change that? Over the weekend I discovered that dying them can. 


Piles of tie-dyed muslins in purple, yellow and blue with matching coloured soft toys on top


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Packet Mix Baking!


Ok, ok, I know baking isn't overly complicated, especially when you're whipping up a dozen fairy cakes but throw a toddler into the mix and it can easily be a recipe for disaster. Imagine trying to measure out ingredients whilst trying to stop your little hurricane from cracking/dropping/kicking/eating the eggs. You've really got to have your whits about you. If you've haven't got the time or patience to measure out the ingredients beforehand what is the alternative?

A week or so ago we were in the baking aisle of our local Tesco when babs spotted one of those packet mix boxes.


Fairy cakes being decorated


Monday, 14 November 2016

Live Lagom - Tips and hints for the newbies!


When we were picked for the Ikea Live Lagom project last year I was super excited. Mostly I was excited about the money we were given to spend and the chance to save a few more quid! 

I didn't quite get the whole sustainable thing. What really is it? I recycled and went round turning lights off when the house looked like Blackpool Illuminations and at the time I was also upcycling baby food jars to make candles. Recycle, upcycle, turn off, what else could we really do?

Well, it turned out their was plenty. Changing bulbs, hanging curtains and laying rugs. Wasting less. Making do and mending.

The result is a warm home, lower bills and more money in our pockets. 

For this year's recruits joining our Live Lagom family I offer you a few tips and words of wisdom. 

Go to as many workshops as you can. You'll learn a lot from them, catch up with your group and get more freebies!

An Ikea blue bag full of small products
First workshop freebies!


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Autumn Spotters


Remember back in the Spring when I did the activity to spot the signs of the new season? Well, here's one for the Autumn!


Here's what you should look for when the weather starts to turn autumnal.


The turn of the trees


One of the main sights to confirm Autumn is on the way is the leaves changing. Can you spot the following colours?



Yellow leaves on a tree
(Yellow Leaves)

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Faith, trust and fertility dust!


Quite a few friends, family members and readers have asked me whats happening on the fertility front.

What's happening? 
Is there any update?
Are you expecting yet?

Well, no nothing is happening. There is no update. I'm not expecting. That bump is Chinese takeaways and crisps.


Flower laid next to motivational cards


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Wray Castle


Wray Castle is a mock-Gothic National Trust property, which perches on the shores of Lake Windermere. Built  in 1840 and used by Beatrix Potter and her family as a holiday home it is advertised as being kid friendly, but is it really??

Back in September we found out!

It was the standard rainy day in the Lake District when we arrived at Wray Castle. Luckily it wasn't overly busy so we could park in the small onsite car park. We walked with haste up the path as the toddler refused to have the raincover down on the pushchair! We were met by the sight of the impressive Gothic-styled castle. The kind you expect to see in a fairy tale. It was very Disney-esque


Exterior of a traditional castle with turrets


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Might not have, must haves!



When you know you're expecting it's easy to get swept up in the must haves, needs and wants when deciding what to buy. There are some things that may not be the top of your list or you may not have thought off.

There were a few things I hadn't had on my list but looking back I wouldn't have been without them.

Here's my top five might not have must haves!!


1. A shaped baby bath
Acqua Bambino Two Stage Bath  - Pearl White

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Casemade iPhone cover


With Halloween done and dusted Christmas is just around the corner and our thoughts are starting to turn towards gifts.

Gift buying can be extremely stressful, especially for those that seem to have everything and buy the little things they want when they want them. For these difficult to buy for people I tend to learn towards getting them something useful. Something they can really make use of. So think about it. What does the person you're buying for use often? The thing they can't be without? The chances are its some sort of electronic device!

Could you maybe buy them a gift that works with that or even better, protects it? 


Casemad cover still in package laid out in a flat lay


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Spooky Mummy Tealights


This will be the last of my Halloween crafts for the year and with that in mind I've made it quick and cheap!!


Completed candle holders


Friday, 28 October 2016

Wizard Wands (alternative to glue gun)


If you liked the look of the last craft but haven't got a glue gun then this is for you. A glue gun free wizard wand! So here we go!


Completed wand


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Wizard Wands


Fancy making your own unique wand filled of handmade magic?? Yes! Well here you go!

I will be doing two versions of this craft. The first with a glue gun and the second with normal PVA glue, as I realise not everyone will have a glue gun and its not overly safe to do with the kids!


Completed wands, one white, one black

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Aira Force


Protected and maintained by the National Trust, Aira Force is a remarkable 65ft waterfall surrounded by ancient woodland. There are many rainy days in the Lake District but that's apparently ideal for seeing a waterfall.


Aira force waterfall surrounded by woodland

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Apple Pumpkins


Halloween is getting nearer so here's another craft for you! This one turns an apple into a pumpkin!

*DISCLAIMER - YOU CANNOT EAT THE APPLE WHEN ITS PAINTED!



Apple painted to look like a pumpkin

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The World of Beatrix Potter


The World of Beatrix Potter is a child friendly attraction in Bowness On Windermere. Based predominately inside it is an ideal place to visit on a rainy day. 

As expected when we visited the Lake District it was raining so we had it on our list of places to go. There was also the added bonus that they accept Tesco Days Out vouchers so I cashed in some Clubcard points beforehand.

As we entered the town we parked in a nearby car park, walking the short distance to the attraction and using the buggy friendly side entrance. The price of admission was £14.40 (two adults at £7.20, 2's and under free) but with the use of our Tesco voucher is came to just £4.40!!! A complete bargain.

We made our way through to the small cinema type room to watch the five minute presentation that introduces Miss Potter, her stories and illustrations. At this moment Joseph decided he wanted out of his pushchair and wanted to walk, so we spent most of the time wrestling him into his reins! 

At the end of the short film a door opened as we stepped inside we were whisked into the stories of Miss Potter. Greeted first by Peter Rabbit and then by Jemima Puddle Duck, the characters are identical to those from the books as are the scenes. 


Daddy and toddler looking at Peter Rabbit figure

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Charity Spotlight - Heidi Luckraft / Dazzle


I first met Heidi a few years ago via Brownies. Working as a children's entertainer alongside her husband, she had been recommended to us by other groups as well as my sister in law. As a change to our usual Christmas party we made a booking and we weren't disappointed.


A photo of smiling woman

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Wordsworth House and Gardens


Owned and preserved by the National Trust, Wordsworth House sits near to the river in the heart of Cockermouth in the Lake District.

The birth place and childhood home of the poet William Wordsworth, is fixed in the 1770's and has a stunning, traditional garden to accompany it.


Exterior of Wordsworth House with man in period clothes walking down the path
(Picture credit National Trust)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Pumpkin Picture & Bunting


As the nights drawer in our thoughts start to turn to the festivities the next few months have to hold, with the next being Halloween.

Over the next couple of weeks I will bring you a range of crafts to do with the kids and this is the first one!!


Pumpkin picture with a hand holding a pen and drawing on the stalk

Sunday, 9 October 2016

The highs and lows of working part time


I'm one of the lucky mummies that since having my little one has been able to reduce my hours and work part-time. Don't get me wrong I'd much prefer to not work at all but that isn't financially viable for us at the moment and part of me, a very tiny, incredibly small part, likes to go to work now and again.

There's a lot of pros and cons with working part-time.


A desk with keyboard a hands writing on post its, along with stationary and a diary


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Eden's Semilla Oils

Since being given a mix of essential oils post-birth by a hospital midwife I've been both intrigued and more open to using them. Having already used Eden Semilla's Jojoba Oil I took a look at what else they had to offer.


Row on mini oil bottles laid out

I found they had some nicely boxed sets, which I purchased two of, each having a mix of four oils. The first had Pine Tree , Lavender, Bergamot  and Cinnamon. The second contained Sweet Orange, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood and Peppermint. I also ordered four separate bottles of Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Rosemary and Frankincense.

Lavender and Frankincense
I gifted both the Lavender and Frankincense to my friend who'd had a baby two days before. I was given these oils as I left hospital and they helped massively with reducing the pain and helping the healing and they have done the same for her. These two are a must try for those post-birth! 

Lemongrass and Tea Tree
I am not normally a huge fan of Lemongrass as I find it to overpowering but the Eden Semilla's one is strong but sweet. Having taken the oils on holiday I decided to use the Lemongrass as a deodoriser. The place we were staying in was beautiful old barn and had the expected old place smell but as dogs are also allowed to stay it also had a slight pooch smell. I placed a few drops on some kitchen towel and left it on the work surface. Wow it made such a huge difference. No smell at all, just the fresh and sweet Lemongrass scent. I did the same with the Tea Tree and again it gave a fresh but not overpowering sent, whilst acting as a deodoriser.

Pine Tree
With the Pine Tree I've added it to my bathroom cleaning routine, placing a couple of drops in my toilet and the super fresh smell lasts for days. Much better than using even more chemicals!

Peppermint, Cinnamon, Sandalwood and Sweet Orange
I’m a keen candle maker and regularly make candles using soya wax and essential oils but recently I have found the quality of my usual supplier had dropped so I used the Peppermint, Cinnamon, Sandalwood and Sweet Orange in a couple of batches of candles. The scents really hold when in the wax and don’t disappear once you’ve opened the bottles like a lot of oils.

Eucalyptus and Bergamot
As the seasons draw in my asthma often suffers. I have to take my inhalers more often and cough a lot at bedtime. Reading up on the benefits of the Eucalyptus and Bergamot I decided to try putting a few drops on my chest each night and wow what a difference it has made. My chest feels clearer and I am getting a more restful sleep each night. I wish I had tried them sooner.
Begamot and Eucalyptus Oils

Rosemary
Along with the Jojoba Oil from Eden’s Semilla that I had previously bought, I have been using the Rosemary on my hair. My hair thins easily when I’m stressed but I’ve noticed patches where it is struggling to grow back. With the Jojoba making it shiny, the Rosemary has helped the regrowth.

The Eden’s Semilla oils are reasonably priced, yet excellent quality. Each one is a strong, clear but not overpowering scent.  I will use them again and again. You should definitely give them a try.

Selection of bottled essential oils

For more information on Eden's Semilla Oils click here.

Mummy Snowy Owl
x


Item gifted

Monday, 3 October 2016

Lakeland Maze Farm Park


Those of you that look at my Instagram will know that we have been away on holiday for the last week to the glorious, yet very wet, Lake District.

We've been out and about and visited lots of different places with the little dude in tow. The first, found after a basic 'things to do with kids in the lake district' google search, was the fab Lakeland Maze Farm Park.



Lakeland logo



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Charity Spotlight - Sienna's Journey


I first came across Sienna's Journey via a Facebook post shared by an old school friend. The post, a heartbreaking story of a poorly little girl brought tears to my eyes. I soon discovered that my friend that shared the post, Sarah, was related to the little girl and that Sienna was Sarah's niece.

I have followed Sienna's Journey since that moment and want to share her story with you. So, this month's charity spotlight is shining on Sienna's Journey.



Little girl holding a teddy


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

How Do They Do It?


First, let me say this post is not meant to be patronising in anyway whatsoever. I simply want to share a realization I have had over the last few weeks. A realization followed by admiration.

Let me set the scene. It's Sunday morning and babs is shouting from his cot. He is clearly not happy. There's what sounds like proper crying, not the pretend I want to eat biscuits and watch bloody Peppa kind, the proper kind and as hubs soon discovers there's a good cause. A lumpy, sicky cause. Yes, there's sick in the bed.


A little boy curled up on the sofa with a blanket


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

It's Not Too Late To Plan Early!


The children are back at school and in-between the hot September days autumn is starting to draw in.

All of this can only mean one thing...........................................


Elf shouting Santaaaaaaaaaaa

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Why You Shouldn't Frown On 'Hand Me Downs'!!


When I discovered I was finally pregnant I quickly set about making a list of the things I needed and wanted for our little bean. When I started to add up the cost I felt a bit sick and it wasn't just morning sickness or too many ginger biscuits! As our pregnancy news spread the offers of secondhand items started to flood in but I didn't know how I felt about it. We'd waited so long I wanted as many shiny new things as possible. I spent ages searching the internet looking for the best deals for everything from cots to clothes. It was simple though. We just couldn't afford it all and we needed to consider accepting the hand me downs and secondhand items being offered to us.


Baby standing in a cotbed




Monday, 5 September 2016

Bloom & Wild







It was under sad circumstances a year ago that I first came across the company Bloom and Wild. A close friend had lost her father and I wanted to send her a bouquet so she new we were thinking of her. I had a hunt round the internet and the usual companies, like Interflora, came up. The last time I used Interflora was a complete disaster. The flowers were delivered to the wrong address and the recipient had to go out in the snow to collect them.


Saturday, 3 September 2016

There's A Fault On The Line!


As I write this one of my oldest friends is in slow labour with her first child. I feel all kind of emotions. Excited for the new arrival and that my friend is joining me on the mummy journey but nervous for her at the same time knowing what she still has to go through.

I find myself wondering if this time next year I could be holding my own new arrival. Another hobbit sized person in our home and our family.

The chances are I won't be.

I had hoped by Christmas I'd be giddy on Clomid again. I say giddy its more hot, hormonal, tearful and a bit sweaty. Yes, I had hoped for this but it would mean we are closer to having another baby.

After the cock up at the doctor's last week it now seems so far away.


Toy train on a wood track

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Charity Spotlight - Little Princess Trust



Little Princess Trust logo

This month's charity is the amazing Little Princess Trust.

As those that regularly read my blog will know over the last year we've been part of a special project with Ikea to live a more sustainable life. Making us rethink our waste and how we live, it has made us review how we look and live life. After a morning at the hairdressers I started to think about what happened to the waste hair and mentioned it to my hairdresser. She mentioned that there are places that you can donate it to but it has to be cut properly and you can't use the sweepings off the floor!

So, when I got home I did some googling and found the charity, Little Princess Trust.

The charity provide real hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland that have lost their own hair through cancer treatment. The wigs are given to the children completely free of charge. The charity also provide wigs to children suffering with illnesses such as alopecia.


Monday, 29 August 2016

Getting Through The School Holidays!


For those of you that have school age children the long summer break can be exhausting. 

Where are we going?
What are we doing?
I'm hungry!
I'm bored!


Smiling sunshine drawn in the sand and surrounded by towels, shells and starfish


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

When the shitty just gets shittier



Poo emoji


The last couple of weeks have been pretty shit. It feels like an endless conveyor belt of shitness, so obviously feel I should share it with you.


Monday, 15 August 2016

It Starts


That's it then. It's official. The fertility train has pulled in at the station and we are on the platform with our tickets.


Holding hands


Monday, 8 August 2016

Jojoba Oil



Bottle of essential oil

A lot of things go a bit south when you've had a baby and that can include your skin, hair and nails. Post-pregnancy I had thick glossy locks but they've slowly disappeared, Mostly down the plug hole.  My skin isn't much better. Glowing and then dull and lifeless unless I'm having a hot flush. My nails? Well they just about grow but they break and bend with ease.


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Avoiding The Inevitable



Today I avoided a phone call from the Doctors surgery. This involved wrestling a toddler to stop him answering the phone but I decided I didn't want to talk to them. Initially I didn't know why but as I put Joseph down for his nap a couple of hours later it dawned on me. As I stroked his little ginger head and wished him a peaceful sleep I thought about what we had been through to have him.

The two laparoscopy and dyes, the numerous blood tests, the trips to the hospital, the dieting, the numerous people looking up at my front bottom, followed by a difficult birth, have all taken it out of me. I really don't know if I have the physical and emotional strength to go through it again.


Redheaded woman standing in a woodland