Amelia Salmon

UK Parenting, Lifestyle & Beauty Blog. Mum to Darcy

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

5 Summer Activities For Toddlers



With the warm weather now here, I am always looking for ways to keep Darcy entertained when we either need to stay at home or just some cheap we can do in the garden and crafting seems to be one the easiest.
Some fellow bloggers had some amazing ideas all of which I can't wait to give a go and I thought Ii'd share them with you.


Louise did a great blog post about how much her girls enjoyed footprint painting and it's as easy as it sounds, whats better is she had the paddling pool out so the clean up was so easy.




Creating a fairy garden you can buy the little fairy doors and paint them yourself - get the little ones to choose some pretty plants and some coloured stones like the ones you use in fish tanks - then get some plastic fencing from Poundland to put around it. I loved this idea, it's so sweet.. definitely think Darcy would enjoy this.


I've seen this before but completely forgot it was a thing..such a good idea and I love anything that is mess free to be honest! All you have to do is put paint on a piece of cardboard, wrap cling film around it and voila! So simple.





I really loved this idea as it is an activity you can do together with your little one, it's really easy and the link above takes you to a step by step guide on how to do it, they can pop it in the garden as a little decoration for them.



This a such a cute and inexpensive craft which I can't wait to do, we could be a little late for dandelions now but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use any flower petals. They make such a pretty gift for friends and family too!


I liked this idea because little ones can see the birds eating something they've made and it's something that you can all do together outside.


*All photos are from the links above them*

Amelia
xxx

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Friday, 3 August 2018

Review: Mud & Bloom Subscription Box


I do love a subscription box, I used to have the birchbox & glossybox until I became a mum and those kind of treats were no longer a priority. Now it's time to try something a little more related to Darcy. I didn't even realise that boxes dedicated to children were even a thing until recently!

So when the Mud & Bloom box arrived, we went straight in the garden and opened it. I already knew it was an outdoors based box after reading about it on the website. Opening it and first impressions were how nicely presented everything was, wrapped in tissue paper and lovely bright colours which definitely attracted my 3 year old straight away. 
The activities you receive in this box are so lovely, easy and simple enough for little ones to do.

First up, you get a Nature News leaflet explaining everything you'll see outside this month including plants, animals & insects as well as birds. Whilst I read most of this to Darcy I don't think she was overly interested in listening and too eager to get started on the activities. I do think this would be of interest to the older audience and if i'm honest i found it pretty interesting too! ha.

All together you get 3 different activites 
Grow Your Own Lettuce
Grow Your Own Radishes
Make Your Own Summer Vases

The instructions for each activity are so simple to follow and so far we have sown our seeds and Darcy loves going in to the garden each day to see how much they've grown. We are hoping to decorate a vase this week which she'll love, anything crafty and she is there!

The final leaflet in the box was a July Quiz and a 'Can You Spot These Leaves & Trees' 
The quiz again would be something for the older audience, however Darcy was interested in spotting the leaves from different trees.

The box is for 3-8 year olds and I would definitely say they're tailored to this age, anything the younger ones can't do, the older ones can help out with.

Mud & Bloom were so lovely that they gave a 15% discount code off your first box to give to my readers so that you can see how great it is for yourselves, simply pop in ANOTHERMUMBLOG  before 28th August 2018, also it can be a sibling or a single box. Would to see what you think about it!



*I was sent a Mud & Bloom box for an honest review. All thoughts are opinions remain my own.*
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Thursday, 12 July 2018

You Don't Always Have To Go Abroad... Have A Staycation





I must admit, I love going on holiday particularly abroad, you're guaranteed sunshine and you just generally feel like you've had a holiday.. however I've made the decision that I'd like to get to know this country a little bit more as I know there are so many places I haven't discovered yet, I was lucky enough to see this country a lot as a child so I'd like to do the same for Darcy as I really don't think I appreciated it enough.

A few places on my bucket list:


  • Cornwall (St Ives, Newquay, Lands End)
  • Scotland (Anywhere, as I haven't been here before.. although loch ness would be up there at the top) 
  • Ireland (Galway & Dublin)
  • Peak District
  • Lake District

These are only a few of the places I'd like to go, I decided to ask other bloggers if there any places they had been and recommended so I had more of an idea of all the amazing destinations in this country.

We went to Lanarkshire in Scotland last year. We absolutely loved it. It was peaceful and beautiful, but not too far from Glasgow so we had a day trip there. We also saw the Falkirk wheel and our boys loved New Lanark. We could have gone to Edinburgh too if we'd had time (on the list for our next visit!). So much to see and do but it felt so different with acres upon acres of open space to freely explore - Jo

We went to Folkestone for a camping trip. Loved it. The seaside was beautiful and the location was close to a few historical places we could visit (Dover Castle being one of them). The town was also nice, with nice independent shops, and the town centre has been regenerated recently.  - Irina

We used to come to North Wales on holiday. We stayed just outside of Rhyl. We fell in love with the beautiful beaches, the countryside and the Snowdonia mountains. In fact, we loved it so much, that two years ago, we moved from Birmingham and now live just a few miles down the road from where we holidayed! - Rachel

We went to Devon last month and had the most amazing time. We went to Paignton zoo, Crealys world of adventure, Babbacombe Model Village, went crabbing in Brixham and built sandcastles at Goodrington. It was the best holiday we’ve ever had. - Laura

I always recommend the Isle of Wight for a staycation. Getting the ferry over makes it feel like an abroad holiday and the island is so geared for holiday makers. Plus you can explore the whole island in your car from the Needles to Sandown and East Cowes. It's got a bit of everything, including beaches! - Rachel

We went to Norfolk last year. We love short breaks because it's just nice to get away and see other places outside of home, experience new things, and I can show my son places I went to as a child. In Norfolk we did the tour bus round Norwich, went to Wells next the Sea beach, National Trust places and just generally travelled round visiting places. - Emma

we went to Bath earlier this year. Somewhere I have always wanted to visit but never gotten around to so we booked it. It's so pretty and full of culture we would definitely visit again - Angela

Edinburgh is always the first place I’ll recommend. It’s got the best of both worlds, close enough to the coast to visit the beach, but with the hustle of a city break and plenty to see. Scotland is overlooked, but it has so much to offer. - Kirsty

Clearly I am not the only one that loves the idea of a staycation, I cannot wait to book one up soon which I think will be in Cornwall.

Amelia
xxx


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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Tips For Dealing With A Fussy Eater



From the age of 12 months - 2 and a half,  Darcy was a really fussy eater only eating about 4-5 different foods. It drove me mad and I was constantly looking for ways of how to get her to try different foods but seemed as though she had gained a fear towards anything she didn't really recognise.

I know I wasn't the only one who had this problem because after googling and doing some research it turns out a lot of other parents are in the same boat. Fast forward 6 months and Darcy is now (i think, and I hope) a lot lot better than she was with food so I believe this was just a phase some children go through. However, at the time I did find it very difficult so I'd like to share some of the things I learnt as well as tips I picked up from fellow bloggers when I asked.

1. Patience is the key. This is definitely a trait that comes in handy no matter what what aspect of parenting however throughout the fussy eating period it helped.

2. Praise. When they do eat, make sure you make them realise what a fabulous thing they've done.

3. Timing. Something I found was that Darcy was unlikely to eat when she was in a bad mood so when she was tired. I always found bringing her meal time earlier she was more likely to give different foods ago.

4. Don't Rush. Again similar to above but rushing will create stress for you and then like point 1. you'll run out of patience..it seems like it is just one big circle.

Like I said, I asked some fellow bloggers for there perfect tips.

Always put something you know they will eat, alongside something they may not be so enthusiastic about. That way you know they've eaten something, you don't have to go into battle and eventually you'll notice them starting to eat the whole plate. Power struggles are real for toddlers!!! Even if they don't eat your choice for ages, one day they will - Hayley

Take them to a pick-your-own farm. Them actually picking the food might encourage them to take a bite - my picky eater ate some corn this way. Also. Ketchup makes pretty much any vegetable palatable! Irina

Try to eat together as a family. Kids like to copy parents and siblings and they just might try some of the different foods! - Raimonda

Get them to help you cook the meal. My toddler is always a lot more excited to try things that she 'made'. - Leanne

Make the plate look fun. My middle was very fussy eating but I started to do funny faces on the plate, with the foods and she would eventually start eating it. I cut the food up into different shapes and size, made it bright and colourful too. - Beth

I stick spinach, broccoli and celery in a smoothie for my little one and then I had fruit juice and lots of fruit and frozen yoghurt. He drinks it, has no idea and I cackle every single time haha - Carla

I think the one reassuring thing to take away from this is that you're really not alone. There is plenty of other parents out there with the same problem and one thing people used to tell me although not sure if its helpful or not but 'When they're hungry, they'll eat.'

Amelia
xxx
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Thursday, 28 June 2018

Our Trip To Amsterdam


I wanted to write this post before I forgot any details because it has been a month since we went now which seems crazy, where has the time gone!? These kind of posts really are just a bit of a diary for me really, I love looking back on them, it's the same with all the Darcy updates I've done in the past.

Last month for Pauls 30th birthday we travelled to Amsterdam without Darcy, (she stayed with my parents) It was really nice to get away and have some quality time with each other and I think we both really enjoyed it. We flew with KLM which by the way are probably the best budget airline I have ever travelled on.. you get a free coffee and sandwich, ha it's just the simple things though isn't it! It was only an hour flight, so easy and stress free, everything just flowed so nicely. Once we arrived, then came the part that I was slightly anxious about, finding my way from the airport to the city. We knew we needed to buy our train tickets, but I didn't actually know how easy this was going to be! You just have to look for the yellow machines and everything is in English anyway so it's so simple. After possibly the easiest flight and transfer ever, we arrived in Amsterdam centraal and walked to our hotel, our whole trip has to be thanked to the maps application on our phones, without it I don't know what we would have done, ha. 

When we got to our hotel which I've written a blog post about here we were only expecting to dump our bags and go but luckily they had a room for us so we were able to freshen up a bit. We went out for a walk and got our bearings, this was the only day we didn't really have a plan so we just had a few drinks and a bite to eat in a traditional dutch pub, we sat in Dam Square and enjoyed people watching which is my favourite thing to do like, ever. 

The following day which was Pauls birthday was the day we had a bit more of a plan, we got ready and walked to FOAM which is a photography exhibition/museum. Paul is a photographer so I knew he'd enjoy this. We basically just walked everywhere on this trip as we were too scared to try and work out how the tram system worked. After visiting FOAM we had about an hour of free time so we began to walk towards the Heineken Experience and found a little dutch market, probably like the equivalent of an English car boot sale but this was way cuter, Paul was wearing reallyyyy uncomfortable shoes so he was moaning a bit about that which put a downer on it but he was determined not to let it ruin his day and he did do just that. The Heineken Experience was amazing and the highlight of the trip.. if you ever get a chance to go to Amsterdam.. please go here, even if you aren't the biggest beer fan it's still so well put together and interactive. After visiting we decided to go to the Hard Rock Cafe which I am still disappointed that I didn't get to buy a t-shirt. I had quite a few cocktails and we played a few games of cards which was lovely and relaxing. We began our walk back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner but I wanted to get my picture taken at the Amsterdam letters, so we went here en route. 

The walk back seemed to go on forever so we took the plunge and get the tram back which was way easier than I imagined it would be, don't know what all the fuss was about! Our dinner was a reservation I had booked at a Indonesian restaurant called Sampurna, ohhh it was just delicious and would go back again! Soooo yummy, I could talk about this place all day. Something that I do need to mention is that when we got back to our hotel that day, we found balloons on our door, and champagne chilling because they knew it was Pauls birthday! How lovely is that. The following day was our final day and Saturday which meant it was shopping day. We had to get Darcy a present to bring back and we treated ourselves to some new clothes. The downside though was the fact we had to carry around a lot of shopping for the rest of the day. We had lots of drink breaks though, of course. Travelling home was another easy and stress free trip. I'm so pleased with how it all went and glad I was quite organised as it made everything a lot more chilled!
This was such a great trip and would love to go back again, perhaps even with Darcy! Two things I'd do differently next time though would be renting a bike, I would of liked to of done this and seen the city in a different way and secondly visit the Anne Frank House which I did try to do but it was all booked up so think you have to do it like 3 months in advance.

Hope if you do read this, you gained a couple of tips.
Amelia
xxx

Paul completing the 'pouring a pint challenge' at the Heineken Experience. He won a pin badge which he made seem the proudest moment of his life.

The lovely hotel leaving champagne for Pauls birthday.





The Indonesian restaurant we visited Sampurna, we had rijstafel.





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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Review | Westcord City Centre Hotel Amsterdam

View from Westcord City Centre Hotel

Recently we went on a child free trip to Amsterdam *woohoo* it's the first time we've left Darcy to go abroad and whilst I was super anxious about doing so, it was so lovely to get away and have time as a couple. I knew she was in safe hands with my mum too, It's not for everyone leaving there children but it's so healthy and she really enjoyed getting spoilt by the grandparents.

I will do a whole other blog post on the trip to Amsterdam itself but I did want to touch upon the hotel we stayed in on its own rightful post.


We came to Amsterdam for Paul's 30th so it was a pretty special trip. We arrived very early, around 10am so I only expected that we would be dropping our bags off in the luggage room before we went and have a look around the city then come back at 3pm which was our check in time. The kind lady which I think from memory was maybe called Monica or Monique found us a room available  right there which was so nice as we were so tired from getting up so early so we could relax for just a bit. She was so friendly and welcoming, even rang the room to make sure everything was okay once we were up there which was something I'd never experienced before from hotel, I really felt they went above and beyond what I'd have expected from them. We were asked if we wanted breakfast but I always like finding a nice spot to eat so chose not to however we did walk through both mornings and it looked delicious so maybe we should have eaten there and we would do when we go again. 

The following day which was Paul's birthday after being out we came back to our hotel room to find balloons on the door and champagne chilling on our bed, this was just lovely. They must have realised this from our passports because we hadn't initially mentioned to them that it was his birthday, this was possibly one of the nicest touches any hotel has ever done. 

I suppose I haven't really spoken about the more specific things about a hotel, you know the stuff people really want to know, like was it clean etc? Yes it was, if I'm totally honest.. I wasn't expecting much.. when I stay at a city hotel I'm always thinking well it's just a base isn't it really, just somewhere to put your head for the night but yes it was very clean, very modern and very well looked after, it even had a nespessro machine! It was just the right size and had everything we needed. With the airline that we travelled with we needed to check in 30 hours before which meant we had to do it whilst in Amsterdam and the hotel had a computer with printing facilities which I was pleased about. Regarding location it was so centre, 2 minute walk away from Dam Square and Centraal Station so really perfect to get everywhere

All in all, this was the best hotel I've stayed at in a really long time.. they really look after there guests. I really want to go back! I definitely will be in the future. 





Not the best photos, you can tell I'm not a natural blogger when I forget to take photos,and when I do, they aren't great!
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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

3 Steps I'm Taking To Step Away From My Phone



Recently, I've read and watched online several influencers come forward and reveal that they believe they have an addiction to their phone. 'Addicted' I think, comes across as a very strong word so when you first hear it, it sounds a bit silly. It's been something I've been thinking about for quite a while now, possibly since Darcy was around 6 months old? Which is over 2 years then.. woah.

I've never thought of it quite as an addiction because I can put it down straight away if the thought ever comes through my mind that I'm currently spending too long on it, it's just it isn't much longer after that I've picked it back up again!
Sometimes it totally strikes me, what am I actually looking at!? I'm just aimlessly scrolling through other peoples life's and I don't ever really know what I am looking for. Self-fulfilment? Because if I needed that I've got my beautiful daughter right in front of me. I sometimes wonder what life was like before phones, because I can't even quite remember how I filled my time and it wasn't even that long ago! It's mad really isn't it. I do believe though in some ways the real reason I use my phone as much as I do is put a lot down to loneliness, I spend my days with my 2 year old and whilst there is certainly absolutely nothing wrong with that, I wouldn't change it for the world, I think I like to know what other adults are doing out there and it just kind of fills the gap of an adult being in the room.
I don't play games, well I have a couple of games on my phone but definitely don't go on them everyday, perhaps once or twice a week so I know my addiction doesn't surround that. It's purely around social media, when your hobby pretty much is social media it makes it a little bit difficult! I do need to cut down on the scrolling though. it's become such a habit that like I said earlier I don't even realise I am doing it! 
Steps I will be taking to make sure I cut down are:

1. Keeping my phone further away ie. leaving it upstairs when I am downstairs and vice versa.. not all the time but whenever necessary.
2. When I feel like I am about to go and look at my phone (for absolutely no reason) I'll replace that thought with something else such a book. I am going to start keeping a good book within reach because that isn't such as bad addiction.
3. Actually think about why I am about to use my phone, is it for something productive and useful?


After re-reading all of this ramble, I do know how silly I sound but I hope this is something somebody else can relate to!

Amelia
xxx
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