Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Thursday, 16 June 2022

New Baby Essentials gift guide

Are you having a new baby soon, or know of someone who is? It can be hard to work out just what to buy as a gift for a new mum or a newborn baby - making sure your gift is useful or meaningful is key, as you don't want to be adding to the amount of 'stuff' that new parents seem to acquire once a baby comes along! Some parents may be starting out with nothing, and so helping out by purchasing the 'essentials' rather than something more luxurious may be your preference. You may wish to treat the parent to a useful gift, rather than the baby...after all, they have likely spent 9 months growing a baby (and all that goes along with that!), to then be faced with labour, birth and sleepless nights. Whatever your prefer, this new baby essentials gift guide has a range of ideas for every budget and preference...
 
New Baby Essentials Gift Guide

Disclosure: Paid partnership - some of these items are affiliate links or gifted items for the purpose of an honest review. 

From purchasing the newborn essentials, to making sure you have new mother and baby well-being covered, this blog post gives some suggestions and honest feedback on a range of products for both parent and baby...

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Home office essentials for dealing with back pain

 Back pain is no laughing matter, and unfortunately if you have a sedentary job which requires you to sit at a desk or be in an office for a large number of hours during the day, you may find that this low level of activity combined with poor posture can have a big impact on your back health. Whether you already suffer from debilitating back problems, which your current job exacerbates, or whether your current set up is leading to back issues - there are a number of things you can do to help deal with back pain at work...
 home office essentials for dealing with back pain

Disclosure: Paid Partnership. Contains affiliate links
A few years ago, my husband ended up with a herniated disc in his lower back, we had a 2 year old toddler at the time (I'm sure picking him up and lifting prams and pushchairs etc probably didn't help!) and he found the pain debilitating. Regular physio and visits to see an osteopath were not successful in treating the problem. A dalliance with strong painkillers to help with the pain lead to severe withdrawal symptoms (I'm talking about you Tramadol!) and the injection at the hospital to try and numb the pain in the nerve next to the spine was unsuccessful. Eventually, the only option was surgery to 'shave away' the offending protrusion pushing into his nerve, and remove part of the bone. Thankfully, the operation was a success BUT there are measures that needed to be put in place to help manage his condition and recovery moving forward, and to make sure that he did not end up with more back problems. Here are a list of things to help with back pain at work...

Friday, 1 April 2022

Why Poetry?


NB: Words are subject to copyright and must not be copied and pasted or used elsewhere without permission. If you would like to share this poem you may use the URL of this post to share.

You may enjoy some of my other poems here

Why poetry?


Why poetry? You may but ask

As you tire of another thankless task

The words they mingle in your mind

Grabbing any emotion they may find

And as your thoughts they wander on

You find despair has been and gone…


Taken from inside your head

To burn through paper notes instead

And when those words are shared around 

You find yourself on breaking ground 

For you were not alone in this 

Those thoughts that opened the abyss 

So many others felt the same

And now they let go of the shame

As they read the words you’ve written down 

You gave them air, now they won’t drown…


Drown with the weight of all they feel

You wrote it down and made it real

And they breathe a sigh of great relief 

Their burden halved: “it’s not just me”


The pain I feel … it’s not just me

The thoughts I steal…it’s not just me

The things I’ve seen …it’s not just me

The depths I’ve been … it’s not just me

Your words translate, “it’s not just me”

And this is why…poetry


Sunday, 27 March 2022

EYFS Writing | Success Criteria grid for Self Evaluation

Help children to be more independent when self-checking and evaluating their writing, by offering an EYFS success criteria grid with visual prompts of sentence writing steps. Children can mark their own work before asking a friend to peer review...

EYFS success criteria grid for writing with self evaluation and peer review

This blog post includes a video demonstration and a free print to download (including a cursive option) so that you can use this sentence writing success criteria grid within your setting, or at home with your child for home-learning. I introduced this to my own Reception class towards the end of the year in the Summer term, and have done the same for my own Reception aged child at home...

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Covid symptoms before vaccines vs after when pregnant

Back in March 2020, at the start of the first lockdown I contracted Corona Virus, or, Covid19 as it is more commonly known. This was before vaccines were available, and even before routine testing - although my symptoms were all in line with covid and became severe enough to warrant a visit from the emergency services. 10 months later I was also diagnosed with 'long covid' as my symptoms and the after affects took such a long time to improve. 
 
covid symptoms before and after vaccines and whilst pregnant

At the time, I quarantined in my bedroom away from my family for 7 days as per the rules at the time. I have since had both vaccines and a booster jab at 12 weeks pregnant making me 'fully vaccinated'. I am currently 25/26 weeks pregnant with my third child and have (along with the rest of my family) contracted covid again.

During my first bout of covid I started a video diary of my symptoms. I never did publish this video to my YouTube channel as my recovery took such a long time it seemed pointless by the time I felt better! However, looking back at this video has enabled me to create a comparison of day by day symptoms which I have listed in the post below....

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

DIY Sensory activity mat for babies

DIY baby sensory play mat

This blog post gives you some ideas, inspiration and links to buy resources in order to make your own DIY sensory play mat for your baby or toddler...


Thursday, 17 February 2022

Mixing the colours of the Playdough

Mixing the colours of playdough - is it really THAT bad? Why do so many struggle with this and are we actually missing out on important learning opportunities by forbidding this to happen??

 mixing the colours of playdough - a lump of playdough colours mixed together


A couple of years ago, Hannah from hi baby blog shared a Facebook photo by Tom Fletcher showing an image of playdough that had been squeezed and mixed together, and the reaction from most parents was that of utter horrification. The need to keep the colours separate appears to be very, very real and the calming down techniques needed when it all inevitably ends up in one big colourful heap are vast.

I'm going to lay my cards on the table early - I love everything that the metaphorical mixing of playdough colours stands for. Not just the metaphorical mind you, the ACTUAL mixing of colours too. I'm not going to sit here and wax lyrical about the parallels we can draw between colour mixing playdough and other, much bigger issues in the world relating to race, religion, politics etc whilst refusing to actually let my children mix the colours of their own playdough - they can genuinely mix all they want....but the focus of this post is why should you let them, and why does it matter??

Monday, 14 February 2022

We bought a rat infested house

There. I've said it. Our new house had a serious rat infestation and we didn't have a clue until after we moved in. In this blog post I'll explain how we came to discover the rat issue, the damage that has become apparent since and why we didn't know about the rats before we bought the house. I'll also explain how we have rectified the rat problem and the measures and repairs we have had to put in place to get rid of the rats since moving in. 
 
we bought a rat infested house


There were lots of things I wanted from this house move - an extra bedroom for our future arrival (I was 6 weeks pregnant when we moved), a bigger garden, more storage space, a utility area. I had accepted that we would have to modernise the house and redecorate and I'd made peace with the fact that we could only make this move if we were mortgaged up to our eyeballs and made a few sacrifices along the way....but i didn't expect THIS...

Monday, 10 January 2022

Playing Catch Up | Helping With Your Primary School Child’s ‘Lost Learning’


“Lost learning” is a term that has been thrown around a lot for the past year. Since being in lockdown, the government have been very keen to stress how important it is to help the millions of children catch up on the lost hours in the class room. A lot of valuable time has been lost and this generation, particularly the younger ones, have suffered setbacks in their academic progress, their social development and most importantly their mental health.
 
Whilst most of my regular readers will know and understand the importance of learning through play, planning to children's interests  and making sure that we are planning and teaching creatively in a child-led way in order to make learning fun, (and therefore more memorable!) rather than focusing on rote learning and memorising of facts - it is part and parcel of the current education system that there are certain skills that children will need in order to progress smoothly throughout their school life. 

Today, we have a guest post from Daniel Grabowski, a qualified Teaching Assistant who is currently working alongside primary aged  children in the aftermath of the covid lockdowns, helping them to make sure that they are having positive learning experiences at school without unnecessary added pressures. In this post, Daniel discusses how you can help your child at home....

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Planning a gallery wall with Desenio

I’ve always loved a good gallery wall! We have had a range of frames on the wall climbing the stairs in our house for many years now - a montage of black and white photos of relatives and special friends, in varying frame sizes but all with the same mount and border. I was keen to do something similar on the wall above our sofa in the lounge, but with some cool, calming prints in muted tones to create a gorgeous gallery wall which would create a relaxing and inspiring space after a long day.
 
desenio wall art gallery wall review
  Disclosure: Paid partnership with Desenio. Pints were sent in return for an honest review. 

Planning a gallery wall can often be the tricky part, trying to imagine how all of your images might fit together, whether the sizes will work next to each other and then of course, finding the right sized prints to fit the frame! This is where the Desenio’s gallery wall tool makes it super easy to plan your wall art. Read on for more info on how we used the tool to plan our gallery wall and how this compares in real life too!