Friday, 8 December 2017

3 Small Businesses to Support This Christmas

Christmas is great isn't it? Full of festive cheer and time to spend with your loved ones. For me I have always enjoyed putting a smile on people's faces and buying an extra special gift is a perfect way to do this. This year I have tried to buy from small businesses where I can, be it at Christmas fairs or online and I wanted to share with you 3 of my favourite places to pick up unique handmade or hand designed gifts.

Up first is a brand I have mentioned over on my social media a lot over the last few years. Lamb & Bear started off life when talented blogger Alex decided to take a gamble and set up her own business designing children's leggings. Her unique designs included ducks, crocodiles, giraffes and my favourite's Stevie Stegosaurus prints. 

Over the past couple of years the brand has grown but Alex still works from home around her two little boys and has recently released a range of new designs including these beautiful Flaming Flamingo leggings, muslins, sleepsuits and a new range of Mummy and Baby headbands. All the clothing is 100% cotton and the sizing is great. I love the fact the designs are unisex and Ted and Callie had matching Stevie leggings for a while too. These products make great gifts as they are so reasonably priced and come wrapped complete with a Lamb & Bear sticker.

Next is a product close to our hearts as they are handmade by our brother in law Frank. He is so talented and I just had to mention our hand carved Family Stone Drop. Each drop is carved from re-purposed wood with gemstones set in for each member of the family. We have a Blue and Pink stone for Joe and I and two smaller stones below for both Ted and Callie. They come on a rustic wood slice plinth and each drop is packaged perfectly with a certificate of authenticity. Frank is in the process of setting up his own Etsy site but you can contact him directly through Facebook to register your interest and place an order. 

Finally is the brainchild of another work at home Mum, Beth who has 3 small children set up Freddie & Co just last year and her personalised prints and stationery are fab. Beth works so hard to adapt each design to suit her customers requirements and even makes designs from scratch if requested.

We have 4 prints we will be displaying around our home including this 'Our Family' print with wellies for each member of the family. We also have 3 other designs going up in the kids bedroom so I will share those with you when they are finished. I may also have ordered a unicorn print for my Goddaughter too! I love this sort of thing and I think personalised prints can really add some finishing touches to a room. These prints are really reasonably priced and would make a great gift in a pretty frame. 

So there you have it, 3 brands or products you may not have heard of before and 3 stories behind them. I hope this post has inspired you to hunt out some new small businesses this year. It feels so much better knowing your money is going to support a family or to someone who puts so much time and love into their products.

*I was sent these products as samples but all opinions are my own

Thursday, 16 November 2017

School Mum Essentials from Superdrug

When it comes to winter essentials our priorities change considerably when we become parents. I never in a million years would have thought a box of colourful emoji plasters or a nit comb would enter my home yet Superdrug were kind enough to send us some of their back to school essentials and we have been trying them out over the first term. 

When it comes to boo boo's kids get a lot of them and they aren't satisfied with beige medical issue plasters. To get those bad boys on a paper cut they must have fun characters on. In Ted's case it would most often be superheroes but these Superdrug Fix 'Em Plasters went down very well following the recent Emoji Movie release. The Savlon cream is also great for cuts & grazes, insect bites & stings, minor burns & scalds. 

Then there is the non blood related boo boo's in germ form. Once he started school Ted became a target for those icky germs and has had a constant cold since September. This is where we are relying on lots of fruit and veg to boost his immune system but for added reassurance we have been topping him up with a multivitamin. 

These Haliborange chewable ones are great and he actually asks for his 1 a day trying to convince me he doesn't need to eat his veggies if he has one of those! I remember having them as a child and as a parent it puts me at ease knowing he is getting the vitamins he needs even on days when chicken nuggets is all he wants for dinner.

I mentioned nit combs. My skin crawls at the thought of having to deal with them in the future but more than likely we will face the dreaded headlice at some stage and I am well prepared. I can't even write about them without itching but I am going to have to suck it up and deal with it should the 'issue' arise.

We were also sent a pack of Superdrug Handy Antibacterial Wipes, an essential for any changing bag and perfect when you arrive at school and spot your childs leftover Marmite toast still smeared across their cheeks! 

What must have items would you recommend to first time school parents?

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

An Ode to New School Mums

An Ode to New School Mums

It is almost half term,
We have made it this far,
We are feeling haggard,
We need a trip to the spa,

There are stains on the polo's
And stuffs to the knees,
Name labels have come off,
We have resorted to the Sharpies,

Maisie Mountain is our new BFF,
Good old Read Write Inc,
We have so many dates to remember,
There is barely time to think,

But they have eaten all their lunches,
Cracked their new routine,
Made friends and laughed lots,
And a few days came home clean,

They nailed their song for Harvest,
They made us burst with pride,
Then despite refusing not to,
These brave new school Mums....cried!

Mother, Son, Walk, Parenting

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Coffee and a Catch Up...

No automatic alt text available.

I haven't blogged in a long time. If I am honest I have been struggling to get back into the swing of things after the summer. Ted has now started school which has its own stresses (so much to remember!) and while he was on half days the time just flew by. It is my birthday next week and Joe's the week after so been sorting bits out for that and dealing with lots of other things so really life has been a bit crazy. 

I have a few posts I am working on but my mind keeps going blank making publishing them near on impossible. I have been meaning to update you all on Callie's development as she is now 10 months and turning into a toddler before my eyes. I want to share the pictures from our trip to Prague and a few days out we have been on. II have ideas for vlogs that I want to get filmed, I also have craft tutorials and house tours, recipes and weight loss updates but it is all a bit too much at the moment and I honestly need to focus on myself and my little family who are the most important thing right now. 

I have been embracing just spending time with them and enjoying moments without thinking that I have to photograph it for the blog. My Instagram is updated daily so if you do want to see what we are up to I always find the time to keep that going, do pop over and say hi. 

I will have a giveaway coming up soon for a Blade and Rose set which I am sure lots of you will love and a few travel essentials from Summer Infant to share with you. 

Anyway that is what is happening and where I have been. I want to know if you guys would be interested in any Christmas gift guides, if so I will try and hunt out some good gift ideas to share. Leave me a comment and let me know how you are all doing, I do love to hear from you!

For now I will go back to my roots and end this with Over and Out Blog Jockeys! 

Catch you soon!

Monday, 4 September 2017

Visiting The Grandparents - Packing Checklist with Hipp Organic

Last month we went to Prague. It was a lovely trip and I will be sharing the pictures on the blog soon. While we were away Ted and Callie went to stay with Joe's parents and I will tell you now we packed more for them for the 2 days than we took abroad for ourselves. With that in mind I thought I would share our checklist for Visiting The Grandparents.

Sleepover at Nana and Grandad's!
Joe's parents are in their 40's (I know, we both have young parents) so they are still very hands on with the kids as are my parents which definitely helps when it comes to sleepovers. Ted is nearly 5 so pretty much fends for himself but Callie being a baby is that little bit trickier and I wanted to make sure they had everything they could possibly need to make their lives easier for those few days. 

Ted's Bag (4 years old)

3 changes of clothes (plus the ones he travelled in)
Cuddly Toy
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Car Seat

Ted's bag sounds pretty empty but he eats really well and will play with Joe's younger brother (8) so doesn't need a lot to keep him occupied. Callie on the other hand...

Callie's Bag (9 months old)

5 changes of clothes (plus the ones travelled in)
Nappies and Wipes (full packs just in case)
Nappy cream
Ewan the Dream Sheep (we actually forgot him!)
Bottles and Steriliser
Bowl and Spoon
Food jars (will go into this in more detail below)
Bumbo for having dinner in
Calpol and syringe
Car Seat
Travel Cot (Joe's parents have one we leave there)
Baby toys 

We were actually able to reduce Callie's down by using the Bumbo as a high chair and place to put her in to play and watch cartoons etc. We have taken our Pop n Jump and rocker chair in the past and honestly for 2 days we just didn't need to take all that stuff. 

I mentioned food jars. We decided as Joe's parents don't have a lot of experience with feeding babies that it would be easier for them if we just gave them jars of food for the few days we were away. They also eat mostly vegan now so I felt happier knowing Callie was getting the diet she has at home without feeling like we were making them cook with dairy products which they don't agree with. 

These Hipp organic jars are perfect as they are nutritionally balanced with natural ingredients. Super easy to use and actually really tasty. Callie loves the Creamed Porridge and Banana Yogurt but the fruit ones are 100% fruit and perfect for mixing in to porridge or just as a stand alone snack. I felt happy knowing she was getting healthy food while making feeding her easier for the grandparents. 

My main advice for leaving the kids with family members is to relax. If you have asked them to take care of your children then it is because you trust them to be capable. If they need anything you have forgotten there is always a shop down the road but making sure you pack wisely will make the experience easier and they will have more time to focus on enjoying time with the grandchildren which is what it is all about!

*we were sent some Hipp jars to try but all opinions are our own.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Nibbling Pembridge Teething Necklace Review

Are you even a Mum if you don't own a teething necklace? 

Well that was what I thought and desperately wanted to get a new one to fit in with my Mum style. I was kindly sent one from Nibbling to put through its paces and as much as I love it I do have mixed opinions on it. I shall tell you for why...

OK so the Pembridge Teething Necklace on first impressions is beautiful. Right up my street with the pastel and marble beads. I really love the design and the length is perfect too, not too short so that Callie can have a good old nibble without garotting me.

Unfortunately there is one main issue I have with the necklace and that is that my hair gets wrapped around the beads! I am always shedding hair and postpartum is probably the worst time for this which is a real pain in the backside. This means my poor husband is always complaining about finding hair around the house, it often ends up in food and our vacuum cleaner needs to be de-fuzzed on a regular basis. I know I have thick hair and not everyone will have this problem though so it is just a personal issue with the necklace. 

I realised I could rectify the issue by only wearing the necklace when my hair is tied back which certainly seems to help and means I can totally rock that Mum bun/teething jewellery combo. Throw in a slogan tee and some Converse all stars and I have totally won at motherhood!

Callie has her 5th and 6th teeth pushing through at the moment so I welcome anything that helps ease the pain for her. Having a teething necklace means I don't have to remember to pack a teether in the bag when we are out of the house and it helps that it looks stylish too.
I can see past having to unwrap stray hairs if it means keeping Callie happy while out and about. 

Have you got any teething jewelry? 

*I was sent this necklace as a sample for review purposes but all opinions are my own.