Wednesday, 20 June 2018

I sent my child to nursery* for a better life - and what happened next shook me to the core

This nursery was the kind of place where dreams come true - or so we were told. Our children would be happy and safe. They would have better life chances and the opportunity to make friends with a diverse range of people. Of course, there would be a settling in period and like most places, we would be able to stay with our children until they were confident and comfortable with the adults in the setting...

I sent my child to nursery for a better life - what happened next shook me to the core - replace nursery with America and classrooms with cages

This particular nursery can be rather exclusive and over subscribed. Places are usually reserved purely for those of a certain level of financial wealth, a family or friend recommendation or those who simply ‘fit the mould’....but we had heard about an opening and we took our chance. We clawed together a reservation fee to save our place and went on our way.

The first day of nursery arrived and we were all feeling a little nervous about how it would go. We packed our bags and waved goodbye to our home ready for our adventure. Holding hands tightly I tried to hide the fact that I was slightly worried about the kind of reception we would receive once we arrived, we aren’t the usual type for this particular setting but I told myself we had just as much right to a great future for our children than anyone else in this world right?


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

5 reasons why the early days are the easy days...


You know how it goes when you have a new baby, everyone tells you "it gets easier". You'll be walking around in a sleep deprived fog, week old hair hanging onto an entire can of dry shampoo whilst you 'lose' your glasses in the dishwasher and put your shoes in the fridge...but the advice is always there and readily available: It gets easier. 

In many ways, yes it does. They don't feed ALL night forever. Eventually they can walk and it gives your aching back a much needed rest. They learn to feed themselves so you aren't chained to the table at mealtimes. They learn to 'give back' and it makes every single thing absolutely worth it when they say 'I love you' and mean it......but when you've done this whole baby thing once already, you already know that there are just a few things that are already as easy as they are going to be...a few things you don't want to take for granted...or ok, a few things to feel grateful for now...

Friday, 8 June 2018

Birthday Gift List of a 30 something year old

Birthday gift lists change massively as we make our way through life. Our youthful demands of 'get me something I want' as we circle ALL the toys in the back of the Argos catalogue make way for our maturing ideals and moments of 'get me something I need'.  Suddenly, the idea that your other half might actually get you a new vacuum for your birthday seems quite exciting, and lets face it, your kids could give you a snot covered hankie as a 'present' and you'd love it anyway.

Birthday gift list guide of a 30 something year old

This gift guide includes products that some women and mothers (or men!) may initially believe to be luxury rather than necessity products. I would like to highlight why, in fact, they may be an investment in terms of longer term well-being and self care - and lets face it...THAT is a birthday gift we ALL need...

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Setting up a Betty's Café Tea Rooms Role Play area

Ever since I walked into my local Betty's Café Tea Rooms as a young 20 something and asked for a Dizzee Rascal instead of a Fat Rascal, I've had a bit of a love - hate relationship with the place...

Bettys cafe tearoom role play area

Most recently because I LOVE the cakes, but I'm dairy and soya free so I can't eat them anymore. Arthur, however, can eat them...and does eat them as often as he is allowed! He has a BIG interest in Betty's Café Tea Rooms at the moment and likes to play and pretend that he works there...anything he can find that look like a counter, or a till and hes straight into Betty's mode, "hello, what would you like?"

The best way for a child to learn is through play, especially when the theme is something that they are really interested in, so with that in mind I have spent the last couple of weeks turning our (still unfurnished!) playroom extension into a Betty's Café Tea Room...

Monday, 30 April 2018

The new MAM 2 in 1 Single Electric and Manual Breast Pump - review

When choosing a suitable breast pump to express your milk, it can be hard to know which choice is right for you - especially if you have never used a breast pump before. You may have different needs for different situations, such as a quiet hand held manual pump for expressing from one side whilst feeding your baby to sleep, or a more efficient electric breast pump which you can use comfortably with minimal effort.

MAM 2 in 1 electric and manual breast pump review

MAM have just launched their new 2 in 1 electric and manual breast pump which means you have the choice of either depending on your needs, whether at home or away - with an additional option of mains power or battery power (rechargeable!!) to make life even easier.

We were recently given the opportunity to review this product ahead of the launch and here is what we thought of it....

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

When words and phrases go wrong - a giggle at malapropisms

We all need a giggle now and then and I have to admit, some of the funniest moments I have come across are when people have got words and phrases totally wrong!  My husband once got "boils my blood" and "gets my goat" mixed up and declared that something really "boils my goat!"  and someone I know who shall remain nameless, in order to spare their blushes, labelled the pain au chocs in their shop as "pannow shocks" 

Comedy examples of when words and phrases go wrong - a giggle at malapropisms

My youngest sister thought 'make ends meet' was 'make ends meat' like the end cuts of a joint of meat, and I only found out recently that a hand glider was actually a hang glider....

A long time ago now, I asked some of my fellow bloggers about some of the funniest malapropisms they had come across and they didn't disappoint! I have finally found a spare few moment to put them together for your enjoyment....

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Charlotte's Christening with ROCO Clothing - review

Last week we celebrated Charlotte’s christening day. Unlike Arthur’s christening which we had planned meticulously for months in advance, the day this time around just sort of sprung itself upon us and we were still trying to figure out what we were doing about setting up the venue for afterwards and sorting out food in the morning!

Christening outfits from ROCO clothing
Luckily one thing I didn’t have to worry about was finding a suitable outfit for both Arthur and Charlotte as we were sent a gorgeous set for each of them from Roco Clothing....

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Extension clean up with the Vorwerk Kobold VK200 and new SP600 vacuum mop - review

If you’ve ever had building work undertaken in your home (or let’s face it, even if you’ve just drilled a few holes into the wall!) then you will know how unbelievably messy this can get - the dust just.gets.everywhere!!

 Vorwerk Kobold VK 200 and SP600 2 in 1 vacuum mop review

Add a toddler, a refluxy baby and less than 8 hours sleep a night into the mix and you’ll need a pretty good home cleaning system to tackle what’s left. It needs to be quick, it needs to be powerful, it needs to be easy and for the love of god it needs to give results on the first mama has the time, energy or toddler tidy enough to keep going over and over and over...

Friday, 6 April 2018

Sensory Fairy Mark Making Tray

This little sensory fairy mark making activity was cobbled together using a few bits and pieces we already had at home, during one of those moments where we really needed to find something new and interesting to do on a freezing snowy day in the Easter hols!
Sensory Fairy Mark Making Tray
The dry cornflower has the added benefit of acting a little bit like snow when pressed together and I think Arthur thought I’d been outside to collect some at first!

Naturally, this activity took its own turn and swiftly moved on from a sensory mark making tray to a builder’s tray. After watching a man lay the screed and floor in our extension, Arthur pretended that the cornflour was the cement and rolled it out onto the tray ‘floor’ and filled in the gaps using a spoon. He used the lollipop stick as a floorboard.

To set this activity up, you will need:

Friday, 23 March 2018

When Breastfed Babies Bite - 5 solutions

I know some of you winced in pain just reading that title. Me too. I've been there before. I'm there again. I've been blessed with children who are completely affected by the eruption of teeth in a way that only biting down on the nearest thing can relieve....and multiple times a day this includes the source of milk. I have silently screamed. I have bled. I have DEFINITELY asked Google about plasters for nipples. I have persevered...

When Breastfed Babies Bite - solutions to help and a Lansinoh Breastpump review

With my first child, Arthur, the biting started at about 7 months old. At the start of every breastfeed he would clamp down. The first time caught me by such a surprise I yelped, which he found hilarious of course and proceeded to do it every.single.time.

I began to dread feeding him and became desperate for a solution. If I tell you that I came to breastfeed Arthur until he was over the age of 2 yrs then you can safely assume we found a way.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

What's in my Makeup Bag?

Strictly speaking, this blog post should probably be entitled 'What's in my Makeup bag number'. I'm not even sure if I could fit all of my makeup into 22 makeup bags, but it seemed like a good guess as I stood in front of my makeup cabinet this morning and tried to estimate. I can almost hear the chuckle of my husband right now, sat at his desk 14 miles away, shaking his head at my lack of spacial awareness. He would probably describe the scenario as 'at capacity'. I would say, 'still room for more'....

Arthurwears What's in my makeup bag

Anyway, it would indeed take me days, possibly months to tell you about  everything in my makeup bag so I have basically just picked out the products I am wearing today. You'll probably have realised by now that I have a bit of an obsession with bareMInerals makeup and I love a natural look. Thanks to Nicola from Mummy to Dex for tagging me. Here is what's in my makeup bag today...

Thursday, 8 March 2018

You misunderstand why I blog

Being a blogger has been a real eye opener as to the thoughts and opinions of others (some) who don't blog... The keyboard warriors who tap away furiously with all their might, as if you could feel the physical force of their words... the unknowing trolls who spurt intentional typos such as 'blagger'... and the acquaintance who pops on their judgy pants and thinks its fair game because of what you do... which is ironic really, as typically bloggers are the ones penning their thoughts, feelings and opinions and sharing them with their audience...aren't they?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Squished kisses against the window glass - a poem

squished kisses against the window glass poem

Squished kisses against the window glass. 
Carefree wondering in the wet grass. 
Searching for worms. 
Discoveries to share. 
Wind blowing his curly hair. 
Making the most of these childhood days. 
Oh to go back to those childish ways.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Project Playroom Extension - Planning and Building

Project Playroom Extension planning and building

It has always been my dream to have a house with a playroom (and a utility room, but fun comes before washing in our household!) and sometimes, you have to take a bit of a gamble and spend a bit of dosh to make the best out of the situation you are in. We spend SO many moments talking about what we will have in our 'forever home', but nothing makes you realise the speed at which time passes like watching your children grow. I had started to feel a bit sad that by the time we could afford this 'dream home' our children would be too old to really make the best of it. By practising a bit of mindfulness and attempting to live in the moment a little more, we took the plunge and 'project playroom extension' began earlier on this year...

Thursday, 11 January 2018

How to make a bin lorry birthday cake

Last week Arthur turned 3. He had requested a 'blue bin lorry cake' for his party, and so armed with his toy bin lorry for inspiration and a guide, I set to work...

how to make a blue bin lorry recycling garbage truck birthday cake

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year 2018! This is just a quick update post from me (whilst willling my children to go to sleep!) to let you all know what has been happening over the last few weeks. Things have been a little quiet over here on the blog - my laptop died a painful death before Christmas, I was unable to download or save anything which has made blogging with any images pretty impossible... 

I have a few posts sat in my editor waiting for some lovely photos before they can be published, once my new laptop arrives (hopefully this weekend!) 

If you follow me on social media then you will have noticed that my little ones have been poorly over the festive period. Arthur in particular has had a pretty bad run of it with hand foot and mouth, then a nasty case of bronchialitis, chicken pox and now what appears to be the startings of a cold. Poorly children take up all of your time, even when they're asleep you just worry about them constantly don't you?!?

The exciting news is that we have had a bit of building work done - a playroom for the children!! This is well under way and I can't wait to publish my first instalment of how this is going....once that new laptop arrives of course! 

Sarah x

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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Xmas Day learning fun with Dom and Geri personalised wrapping paper

Not one to shy away from a learning opportunity on any day of the year (hey, learning should be fun so this isn't as 'scrooge' as it sounds!) I've found the perfect product for your gifts this Christmas!

Dom and Geri personalised wrapping paper flatlay with xmas decorations

Dom and Geri have a fantastic range of personalised wrapping paper, banners, cards and gifts available, so I decided to try out their Christmas wrapping paper for Arthur and took me forever to choose a design as there was so much choice, but I settled on this star wrap for Charlotte and a snow globe wrap for Arthur....

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Nappy Rash? Win a 6-month supply of Bepanthen and a £50 JoJo Maman Bebe voucher

Would you like to win a £50 JoJo Maman Bebe voucher, a 6-month supply of Bepanthen nappy care ointment and a Bepanthen cuddly toy for your little one? 

Nappy rash affects up to a third of babies and toddlers in nappies at any one time and it can be tricky to know how best to care for and protect your baby’s soft and sensitive skin.

Monday, 25 September 2017

6 products to help make infant reflux more manageable

Reflux is not a new experience for us. When my first born, Arthur, was a baby he had colic and reflux so extreme it left us in a place of sleep deprived shock and really impacted on our first few months of parenting. I wrote a blog post at the time 'Dealing with Colic and Reflux in babies' which documented our experience and everything that we tried to help deal with the situation - including medication and plans of action. I still refer back to the post now that Charlotte also has reflux, and if you are in the same situation I would urge you to have a look at the post just in case there is some advice in there which may be of help.

This time around I am more accepting of the reflux, and whilst I am exploring alternative reasons for it such as over supply and hyperlactation (more on this shortly), I am focusing on what I can do to cope better with the reflux and make the next few months as easy as they can be. There are a number of products I really couldn't do without at the moment....