Saturday, 17 June 2017

Arthur's bedroom interiors - with a little help from Miffy

A few weeks ago I wrote all about decorating Arthur's bedroom - This is definitely still a work in progress, and I suspect that by the time we have totally finished it, it will be time to move Arthur into a new room and put his new sibling in there (thankfully the room is very gender neutral!).  The bedroom has a neutral colour palette with greys and whites to mimic a calming sky-like environment, with designs so far focusing on stars, clouds and aeroplanes. 




There are still a few key pieces to source, such as curtains and theme appropriate cot-bed bedding - the problem here being that Arthur has a cot-bed sized duvet, but a regular sized pillow! I have also struggled to find bedding which is 100% cotton which we prefer....again, perhaps I should just wait now until we buy him a regular sized single bed!?

I love the little extra touches we have added over the last few weeks. Arthur's Daddy was born and raised in Holland, and his grandparents (my parents in law) still live over there, so Miffy (or Nijntje as she is called in Holland) created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna has always had a special place in our home!
 We already had a few Miffy pieces for Arthur, such as books, toys, comforter....but we were recently sent this coat hook and snow globe from the UK Miffy Shop and I think they fit his bedroom theme of aeroplanes and stars really well...

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Midwife in a Box from The Natural Birthing Company

Pregnancy - it's supposed to be one of the most natural things in the world, but it doesn't always feel that way does it?? The stress and strain of growing a new life can take its toll on your body and it doesn't necessarily stop once your bundle of joy arrives. From engorgement and soreness to low milk supply....stitches and tears to scar tissue and stretch-marks ...and hot flushes to swelling... the natural birthing company has developed a solution to help make the whole process feel a little more 'natural' and manageable.
 

Midwife in a box the natural birthing company

I have been lucky enough to try out their 'midwife in a box' which includes their perineal massage oil called 'down below', postnatal compress solution called 'pure bliss', 3 breastfeeding oils called 'bosom buddies' and their cooling body spritz called 'cool it mama' - all wrapped up in a gorgeous box along with 2 cotton organic flannels and some directions and advice on perineal massage.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Father's Day 2017 Gift Guide - 7 gift ideas and giveaway

Well the day is almost upon us - Father's Day: Sunday 18th June 2017 - where we celebrate the role models in our lives who play a Father figure to us or our children. Of course, this isn't always 'Daddy' - it might be Grandpa, Uncle, Brother, partner, family friend or anyone else who helps us, looks after us and deserves a little bit of recognition and spoiling on a special day. 


Father's Day 2017 gift guide

The problem is, it can be hard sometimes to find unique and thoughtful gifts. I've always liked the idea of affordable Father's Day presents so that when Arthur is a little older he can use his own pocket money to carry on the tradition, but at the same time, it is also nice to be a little bit more indulgent!

Whatever your preference, I've compiled a Father's Day Gift Guide List below with lots of lovely ideas for that special person - some with a nice little twist on the old favourites!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Summer Infant Panorama Digital Colour Video Monitor - Review

Why oh why did I not consider a video monitor before now??!! It's like rediscovering the joy of those newborn days where you just used to stare at them sleeping for hours on end - except this week I've been watching Arthur 'failing' to have a nap and literally howling on the inside at what he gets up to whilst trying not to give the game away!


Summer Infant Panorama Digital Colour Video Monitor review

Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Perfect View with Perfect Glasses

Both my Husband and I are short sighted and require correctional lenses in order to see. My prescription is quite bad and so I usually wear contact lenses - but a few years ago I suffered from a serious infection in my cornea called Acanthamoeba Keratitis which left me unable to see in one eye and requiring hospital visits, hourly drops to my eye and a corneal scrape (yes it was as painful as it sounds!) Luckily I made a full recovery, but I was unable to wear contact lenses for quite a while and I often try to give my eyes a break by switching to glasses whenever possible. 

A perfect view with perfect glasses

My Husband on the other hand hates wearing contact lenses and wears glasses every day. Between us we probably spend a small fortune on glasses, frames and lenses and so are always on the look out for reasonably priced glasses online or in store...

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Holiday Bump...

Negotiating a holiday wardrobe whilst pregnant is no easy task. In theory, it sounds perfect: long, cool, floaty dresses, flip flops which don't constrain tired, swollen feet and the ability to wear a bikini without worrying that your tummy might look a bit big, because, well you know - it's supposed to!  


Arthurwears black and white pregnancy bikini and kimono - the holiday bump

Sounds like a match made in heaven, unless of course your ever expanding bump (and body) is not only unpredictable but also out of control. By day 3 of our holidays I'd outgrown my underwear and suddenly realised the perils of having to keep my legs hair-free when I struggled to even see them...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Decorating Arthur's bedroom...so far...

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...




Monday, 17 April 2017

Breast Milk Protein - why is it so important for Child Development?

Breast Milk Protein - why is it so important for Child Development?

*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.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Did I have a traumatic birth? - why things don't always have to 'go wrong' to be wrong...

 

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)

CACI Synergy non-surigcal facelift at Ilkley Beauty Clinic

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

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 while...here'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...