Decorating Arthur's Bedroom: This little project has been THE slowest bedroom / nursery decoration - possibly ever! It started when I was pregnant with Arthur (before I even started blogging) and now I'm pregnant with the next baby, the nesting mode has had a full on revival! There is nothing like a massive baby bump to make you think that climbing up ladders and bending over furniture (steady) is DEFINITELY the best idea for your bank holiday weekends...
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Monday, 17 April 2017
*Disclosure: advertorial feature
As an Early Years specialist, the brain development of young children from birth to five has not only been a focal point for me as a Teacher and as a Parent, but it is also a subject I am incredibly passionate about.
I am sure that many of us have come across the social memes and quotes on this subject explaining how optimal brain development happens in the first five years of life - and the opportunities we give our children in those five years will impact how the next 80 turn out. It is absolutely true. This can feel like a huge responsibility, and is one of the reasons I always endeavour to provide fun and exciting Learning Through Play opportunities wherever possible.
It starts way before this though - good nutrition and a healthy body are also absolutely critical to brain development and learning, and this is most important in the first 1000 days of life - from pregnancy right through to their 2nd birthday – helping to build their nutritional foundation for life. Remember that saying 'my body is a temple' ? well so is theirs - only they rely on you as a parent or carer to provide them with the good stuff they need in order to develop. Protein being especially important, as it gives them the building blocks they need to develop and grow.
Thursday, 13 April 2017
Saturday, 8 April 2017
It has taken me a really long time to write this post...27 months in fact, and even now there is still a part of me that asks, do I have the right to suggest that my birth experience was traumatic? Should there be a real medical emergency and threat to life in order to feel this way, or can the after effects of a certain scenario be enough?
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
The most Advanced Facial in West Yorkshire? - Ilkley Beauty Clinic introduces the new CACI Synergy (plus giveaway)
How about this for a non-surgical face-lift facial: Red and blue LED light therapy combined with microcurrent energy, orbital dermabrasion, ultrasonic peeling, hydratone and CACI's unique Wrinkle Comb (a non surgical 'botox' alternative) ... these are just a few of the advanced technology techniques used by Zoe at the Ilkley Beauty Clinic with the brand new CACI Synergy system - favoured by celebrities such as Meghan Markle.
I have tried the classic version of this amazing machine previously at Ilkley Beauty Clinic and been astounded by the results (you can see my before and after photos of the facial here) so frankly, this sound of this new one, and all the extras it had to offer, had me more than a little bit excited!!
Thursday, 16 March 2017
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
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
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
|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
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
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
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
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
Here is her career changing story...
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
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
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
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
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!
Here is her career changing story...
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
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
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
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...