Thursday, 16 March 2017

Should I give in and try controlled crying?... I think I've found my answer...

Should I give in and try controlled crying? I think I've found my answer

This isn't the first time I have sat down and asked myself this question. Usually, after a particularly tiring night I might whisper the words in the back of mind - but then just as quickly I seem to push them away with even louder thoughts of "never, never, never..."

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Mark making activity box for pre-writing and emergent writers (plus giveaway)

Mark making activity box for emerging writers

When we are thinking about how to help young children become successful writers, there are a number of steps, or pre-requisites,  which must come before the expectation of a good pencil grip and the ability to form letters. The ability to mark make starts with the physical development of the child - esssential elements include building on their gross motor skills first and foremost before moving onto fine motor control and eventually pencil grip. Building up the muscles in their chest, shoulders, arms and hands is a really important process that young children must have the opportunity to go through before being expected to sit and form letters or write sentences - and this starts right at the beginning, through the use of 'tummy time' with babies.
This blog post isn't going to focus on these larger movements, I'll save that for another post! This piece will hopefully give you some ideas of the kinds of resources and activities you can do with children who are ready to start exploring mark making, or who are also getting lots of gross motor development alongside their mark making opportunities. The key, as always, is to keep things fun and interesting!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Children Changing Careers p:20 - Lucy from Boffin Recruitment

children changing careers Lucy from Boffin recruitment

Welcome to part 20 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

This week's post features Lucy from Boffin Recruitment

You can also find Lucy on her blog The Two Saving Sisters

Here is her career changing story...

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Learning Through Play Outside - Wigwams and WOW moments

Big Game Hunters WigWam
Wigwam from Big Game Hunters

One of the biggest mistakes we can make as educators and/or parents of young children is planning for and seeing the outdoors as something entirely separate to the indoor setting. In the Early Years, wherever possible the outdoor area should be an extension of the indoor classroom - not a carrot dangled on a stick in the form of 'playtime', used as a reward once the more 'important' work and activities have been completed inside. Often, when 'outdoor play' is confined to short bursts, we see a lot of 'low level' learning taking place and 'playing around' rather than quality play - simply because the children don't have the time to engage in all of those important processes that result in quality learning and interactions, deep level learning and sustained shared thinking...

Monday, 20 February 2017

Tree of Life silver keepsake with Kaya Jewellery - plus win a £40 voucher

Tree of Life silver keepsake from Kaya Jewellery

We all remember the Tree of Life breastfeeding selfies right? I sort of missed the boat with those myself - most of my breastfeeding photos were from when Arthur was much smaller, and I never quite found the time to sit down and work out just how to actually make the photo! Nevertheless, the images are a wonderful keepsake for any parent, breastfeeding or bottle feeding (I saw some great alternatives) and it made me realise that if I were to make a memory box for Arthur, I don't actually have that many things to put in there! 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

XYZ Smart Collagen Luxe Cream Review and Giveaway

XYZ Smart Collagen Review

Just before Xmas I was sent some of the XYZ Smart Collagen Luxe Cream to try out. I had heard of this cream before in the past, but only in relation to the 'tattoo healing' cream it was originally developed to be used as. Having the grand total of zero tattoos myself, this sort of passed me by - but I can see how this would work. The cream is now being hailed as the next best thing for wtrinkles and anti-ageing - claiming to Increase your skin’s natural collagen production to lift, firm and smooth the skin and visibly reduce lines and wrinkles, making you look 7.5 years younger.....which at the age of 31 would give me the face of a 24 year old. Yes please! Having been endorsed by the likes of Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan and being 100% vegan, it certainly grabbed my attention. As with most skincare reviews, I like to give it a try over a number of weeks in order to see a true result. 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

I haven't written in a's why...

I haven't written in a while, here's why

It's been a while since I've published a blog post...not since last year in fact, which makes it sound significantly longer!!

I'd already got used to cramming most of my blogging into the hour of 9-10pm once I'd 'finally' managed to get my toddler to sleep, but then on Christmas Eve it just hit me with full force: morning sickness...

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Children Changing Careers p:19 - Chloe from Life Unexpected

Chloe from Life Unexpected on her career change after having children

Welcome to part 19 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

This week's post features Chloe from Life Unexpected

You can also find Chloe on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Here is her career changing story...

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Toddlebike2 review

Toddlebike2 review

I first heard about 'balance bikes' a few years ago whilst Teaching Reception year at school. Until then, I really hadn't seen the point in a bike without any pedals...surely it defeats the object?! However, after taking part in a training session with my class and seeing the massive impact that the balance bikes had and the obvious progression in skills I am now a total convert. We have one ready for Arthur when he is big enough which his Grandparents bought for him last Christmas, and I really have been itching for him to be able to use it! You see, Arthur is a very active little boy and he LOVES pretty much anything with wheels.

Imagine my delight then, when we were given the opportunity to review the Toddlebike2 - a 'pre-balance bike' for toddlers once they are confidently walking. I am actually amazed ( and a little ashamed) that I hadn't heard of this before...Arthur started walking at 10 months so we have had a long time of waiting for him to be big enough for his balance bike when we could have been using this Toddlebike2 instead...

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Wise Words - a book of advice for kids - review

Wise Words a book of advice for kids review

Last month we (Arthur!) told you all about the Book of Everyone which we sent to Arthur's Nanny for her birthday - it was a wonderful gift idea, and gratefully received (and there is still time to win your very own via our gift guide), so imagine our excitement when we heard all about a NEW book they now have available to personalise - the Wise Words book of advice for kids!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Crunchy Cocoa Chia Brownies - gluten, nut, dairy free

crunchy cocoa chis brownies

After a couple of requests on a previous post about some Crunchy Cocoa Chia Brownies I made with Arthur and his friend, I have decided to do my first 'recipe' blog. No one is more surprised at this than me (well, maybe my husband). ..You are, after all, reading words written by the same girl who tried to cook her husband (then potential love interest) a frozen pizza in the microwave on the night they met.... things have improved since then, thankfully but I'm definitely no Delia, Mary, Ella or even a Gordon. You won't find Pinterest worthy shots in here - I do, after all, do my baking with toddlers, but they can't get enough of these - and we all know how fussy little eaters are don't we?? Best of all, these are all natural ingredients with no added refined sugar and they are gluten dairy and nut free (also possible with nuts).

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Children Changing Careers p:18 - Anisa from Parenting Success

Anisa Lewis from  Parenting Success  Yorkshire

Welcome to part 18 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

This week's post features Anisa from  Parenting Success - Yorkshire, who left her role as Teacher and Head of Operations  to set up her own business specialising in interactive workshops for parents, full  of brilliant parenting ideas!

You can also find Anisa on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Here is her career changing story...

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Learning opportunities with Waff notebooks

Learning opportunities with waff notebooks

This week we have had loads of fun playing with our new WAFF creative combo journal - a notebook with a soft and fun to touch silicone cover, making it extra good for sensory play! (For proof - Arthur licked this as soon as he got his hands on it!) the notebook can be customised with the Waff Cubes - a little bit like amazing, tactile, soft Lego that fits on top of your book - but much more 'pressable' ! Once in place they look like little buttons which are so satisfyingly squishable, I could literally waste hours doing just that!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Baie Botanique Rose Renew - skincare review

Baie Botanique rose renew skincare review

A few weeks ago I started trialling a new skincare range from Baie Botanique called Rose Renew - a powerful botanical skin care range loaded with pure and natural ingredients and a high organic content
If you have read any of my previous skin care reviews  then you will know that I prefer to use natural products wherever possible, and the staple ingredients of this range - the Rose Renew REGENERATE line are Rose and Rosehip. The company are cruelty free and the products are suitable for vegans, wich is a great big tick in my book and something I believe all beauty products should be aiming for, don't you? 

Here is how I got on...

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Children Changing Careers p:17 - Kate from Grace and Bloom

grace and bloom

Welcome to part 17 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

This week's post features Kate from Grace and Bloom, who previously worked as a Head Nurse at a specialist equine centre.

You can also find Kate on
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Here is her career changing story...

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas Guide - plus *win* The Book of Everyone

Ahhh, it's that time of year again folks! You know the one - where all of a sudden you find yourself in a supermarket looking for rolls of loo roll and end up being greeted by rolls of wrapping paper. Tin foil looks mysteriously like tinsel and and there are baubles as big as your backside swinging precariously from side to side (not unlike your backside)...

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Children Changing Careers p:16 - Louise from Craft and Crumb

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

Welcome to part 16 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

This week's post features Louise from Craft and Crumb , a DIY cake kit company. I haven't had the pleasure of trying one of these kits out myself, but I do know someone who has and they were really impressed! 

You can also find Louise on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Here is her career changing story...

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My top picks for protecting sensitive skin in babies and toddlers

protecting sensitive skin in babies and toddlers

Most babies and young children have very sensitive skin - although Arthur is particularly sensitive to a lot of products so we have always been extra careful. We always use non-bio washing powder, having learnt early on what can happen when we don't...before Arthur was born we washed everything ready for his return home, but the one thing we just didn't think about was a last minute purchase - a cotton cover for the changing mat - which went straight on without a thought given. Here was the result:

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Children Changing Careers p:15- Pamela from abfiftyone

children changing careers - Pamela from abfiftyone

Welcome to part 15 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

You can find a link to all the posts in this series via the pinterest board page here.

This week's post features Pamela from abfiftyone - 
You can see more of Pamela on her blog, Twitter and Facebook

Here is her career changing story...

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Book of Everyone - a Present for the Nanny who has Everything?

The book of everyone review

Hello everybody! It's Arthur here, on a blog take over for the first time since my diary of a 9 month old escape artist...I can walk and everything now! 

So...I've been listening to mummy talking on the phone to Auntie Laura and it turns out that Nanny Lyn has a birthday coming up!! Nanny Lyn is actually my 'Grandma' or my 'Nanna' but she thinks she is too young for that name, so I call her Nanny Lyn! (Actually I call her Danny Lyn but that's another story!)

I've been wondering what I could give nanny Lyn for her birthday...

As you can see, she is actually a very young and glamorous looking Nanny, so she doesn't need lots of lotions and potions, nips and tucks...