UK Parenting, Lifestyle & Beauty Blog. Mum to Darcy

Thursday, 7 June 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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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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Friday, 27 April 2018

3 Bookkeeping Tips to Help Mums Save Money


Let’s be honest, raising kids is expensive. The spend starts well before birth and never really ends. Whether mums go back to work or not, family budgets are squeezed a lot tighter, so knowing (and using) a few useful ways to track spending and save money makes life a lot less stressful.

A Simple System

Simple is always best, and as bookkeeping has a ‘businessy’ sound to it, many mums don’t think it can be any real help, or that it will be complicated and time consuming.

To set up an easy bookkeeping system you can use a notebook, Excel on the computer, or a combination of both.

In a notebook, you’ll need four columns on the page: one for the date, one for what you bought, one for how much it was, and one to record the difference it made in your bank balance. Just draw three lines down the page and head each column in the order given, so the date is on the left and the bank balance on the far right.


Start entering numbers by putting your current bank balance at the top of that column (use your bank statement or you online banking app). From now on, every time you buy something, jot down what it was, what it cost and when you bought it. Subtract the amount from your bank balance, and put the new balance in the row with the purchase.

Start a new page every month (or every week if you buy a lot and your pages are small) and always begin by putting your current bank balance in the top right column. Don’t forget to subtract standing orders or direct debits to keep the balance accurate.

If you keep an Excel spreadsheet, set it up exactly the same way. The advantage of using a computer is that you can make columns automatically add up.

Saving Receipts Can Help

Try and get into the habit of carrying your notebook all the time. A small one takes up hardly any space in your bag and it only takes a moment to jot down what you bought and how much.

Sometimes, though, you don’t have time to stop and write in a book. Receipts are your lifesaver. Hang on to them (and ask for one if it’s not offered when you buy something), and fill in the details once you get home and do have a moment.

Unless you’re keeping receipts for a business, you can bin them once the information is transferred into your bookkeeping records.

Family bookkeeping is a lot different from business bookkeeping in this respect. For a business, you do need to keep all your receipts, and may find an accountant or professional bookkeeper helpful in setting up a system that’s more suited to business needs. An accountant would also have valuable advice if your family finances are more complicated, for instance if you have investment income. But for purely family budgeting, you can safely throw away your old receipts (except when they’re for warranties or you might need to return an item).

Making Use of Your Records

Saving money is a lot easier when you can see where you spent it. Maybe your restaurant or cafe bill is way bigger than you thought (one cup of coffee in a fairly basic cafe can run up a bill of around £40 a month), or top-up grocery shopping is costing as much as the usual ‘big’ shop does.

Having a written record of everything you spend money on lets you pick a category (say days out or coffee with friends) and just add up the cost of those items. You can quickly figure out how much you could save if you did things differently, and also how much you’re willing to change habits so you can meet savings or other financial goals.


Once you get the habit of tracking money, it can even be fun and rewarding. If you have older kids who get pocket money, teaching them how to track what they spend it on will also set them up for good money management and budgeting skills in the future.


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Monday, 16 April 2018

Why Its Normal To Be Anxious About Your Childs Future




It's hard not to think about your child's future, how you want them to grow up and how you want to raise them, your hopes and dreams for them but I find it so hard to ignore the current change in society and just how quickly times have changed. I consider myself as a pretty young mum, Darcy was born when I was 21 so I didn't have long since I experienced my own childhood, but in that short space of time social media really kicked in as well as many other things. The effect social media is having on teenagers  (and younger!!) is crazy, I'd hate to have had all this pressure on likes ect, the whole 'popularity contest' at school was bad enough and this does really concern me for Darcy. 
I like this blog to have some sort of positive to every post so I'd hate to write something blurting out all my concerns and worries, post it and then be like thanks for reading byeeee. So what I will say is I do think we as parents will learn to parent in a slightly different way to how our parents did, partly because it's a generation change but we also have social media to take in to consideration now. I found it interesting to see that I wasn't the only one worrying about this when I asked fellow bloggers and actually pretty reassuring, I learnt that social media wasn't the only thing people were anxious about and some things our parents may of worried about with us too. I think also, as a parent we will always have something to worry about anyway because that's just what we do!

My daughter has a lot of allergies and I worry about another child using that against her in the future, as I've seen videos of this happening on social media sometimes. - Katy

I worry about my children's self-image because social media often portrays a 'right' way to look and act. It concerns me that they might lose themselves a little (or a lot) trying to confirm to this. - Cass

I worry about just how young children are becoming sexual and the unrealistic expectations of boys. Even primary school girls are being encouraged to send topless or nude pics to their peers. I am so glad they didn't have this when I was young and I really hope I can give my girls the confidence to say "No". - Kate

I worry that social media makes it harder to form real world meaningful relationships and worry what this will mean for future generations - my kids included. - Kate

I worry about, if they choose to go, whether they will be able to afford to go to university. And then whether they’ll be able to get on to the housing ladder. - Pete

I worry that they will never learn how to read a map & get hopelessly lost without any signal! (Seriously!!) So I’m going to teach them. - Louise

I have three children, one of whom has severe learning disabilities. I’m afraid for his future because he is incredibly vulnerable and open to exploitation. Who will look after him when we are no longer around? I don’t want all the burden on his two sisters so am always thinking of and trying to plan for his future. - Alice

I'm Mum to 6 year old twins and 7 month old twins, I am embarking on a home educating adventure. This makes me anxious. What if I'm not clever enough. What if I cant cope with being with all four children 24 /7. What if i keep them in school and they cant cope with it. I am anxious about everything. - Nina

 I am petrified of my kids being cyber bullied. Some people are so nasty over social media, I am so worried that my kids will be targets one day. Saying that, my worst fear is one of my kids being one of the bullies - which I honestly hope NEVER happens. But social media is getting worse. - Beth

Gaming and it’s power of addiction I find it really scary that kids are outside less and less. - Kate

I do hope that we as parents worry less. or at least find a way to be able to worry less because I can't see  social media going away.

Amelia
xxx
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Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Terrible Twos - 5 Tips To Help You Survive


I hate moaning about Darcy, but man are kids testing sometimes!! Darcy is currently going through a phase where it seems as though she is playing some sort of game with me.. like she is seeing how far she can push me. Boy do they push you. It's not like she is a throwing huge tantrums kind of girl and that isn't the problem, the kid has a terrible attitude, has become so rude and is just generally like a teenager before her time. It must be some sort of phase... i hope??!!

I am still learning what my parenting approach is and sometimes I think it changes from day to day because I want an easy life which is completely lazy parenting, i know, i know. Certainly no expert over here but there are a few ways in which I tackle her (not literally)

Time out - I don't use this that often but I find it really effective when it does come into place. Can give you much needed break too for a couple of minutes and also to think about your next move if needs be.
Distraction - This is a good one if you want your child to be quiet quicker but not always good depending on the kind of behaviour and if they needed telling off. Getting a toy out and talking in a silly voice is usually a good one.
Offering Choice - Darcy likes to have a bit of responsibility, she's a very independent girl.. sometimes I find offering too much choice can be overwhelming for them and cause it's very own little tantrum but giving no more than two options can give them a sense of feeling like they got there own way.
Sleep - The main root cause of Darcy having a difficult day and being a bit of a nightmare is usually because she is tired and to be honest I think we as adults can relate to this, sometimes it's good to have in your head an excuse for there behaviour especially if like me you feel like you're totally failing sometimes.
Patience -  I think if you asked me the question 'What is the biggest thing you've learnt since having a child?' my answer without a doubt would be in the words of take that 'have a little pateince' this is my survival through tantrums, luckily I'd consider myself as a pretty patient person, I've often felt it wearing thin though!

Hope these tips provide you with some sort of survival - if all else fails.. then there is always Gin. For you.. not the baby! 

Amelia
xxx
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

3 Reasons Why You Should Book Tenerife As Your Next Holiday





We've been to Tenerife 3 times now and I would never of considered myself as someone who goes on holiday to same place all the time but I've really grown to love it here. The all year round sun, the fact you can go holiday in December to somewhere within a 4 hour flight away and come back with a tan! I've never visited any of the other Canary islands and I think that I would like to, so from someone who has visited Tenerife a few times and knows the Costa Adeje & Playas Las Americas area pretty well I thought I'd give you 3 reasons why you neeeeeed to go.


As I mentioned first of all, the weather is a very good reason as to why you should go, we went back in December and I just couldn't believe that I came home with a tan, which I definitely didn't expect. I mean, yeah we had a couple of miserable days but it was just glorious to be somewhere hot two weeks before Christmas.

The food is another great reason to visit, so many beautiful restaurants and it's the ones without people standing outside trying to entice you that you want to visit, we found a hidden gem which had gorgeous tapas dishes, you will find so many of these places and you should try all the food even the ones you're not sure you'll like because you might surprise yourself!

It's probably the most family friendly holiday destination I have ever visited. This is quite important to factor in when planning your holiday, there are so many boat trips you can do, days out (water parts, jungle parks, zoos, ect) they are so friendly towards children and I think Darcy was given a lollipop from the staff 10000 times a day, it makes you feel so much more at ease when you know you're welcome, especially in restaurants when its's not the easiest place to keep a child quiet.

I've written a blog post all about our trip to Tenerife so check it out, I can wait to book our next holiday here.


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Friday, 9 March 2018

Ways Our Parenting Styles Have Changed From Our Parents



Times have certainly changed especially in the way we parent our children. I had a pretty good childhood and I cannot thank my parents enough for everything they did for me, I was so lucky to be able to go on holiday too which is a luxury, it created so many amazing memories for me. I've learnt everything I know about being a parent from them and whilst I may not do everything that they did with me with Darcy, I respect that we all parent differently and adjust with the times. I found it really interesting to learn about what other bloggers thought about there parents parenting styles (wow i've said the word parenting alot) and what they wouldn't do with their children now.

My mum would always refuse to drive me anywhere growing up - I think she thought she was instilling independence in me - but actually it just meant I ended up in some questionable situations, really not worth it when all I wanted was to go to the cinema with my friends! - Kate

My parents didn’t give me pocket money until I was a teenager. I hated it as a 10-year-old watching my friends going into shops and being able to buy sweets. We gave our kids pocket money from a much earlier age - Pete

I don't pressure my child into thinking everything hinges on academic success. My parents were really strict and if I didn't get top grades or strive to be a lawyer or something 'professional' I felt like a failure and was letting them down. I encourage my daughter to do whatever makes her happy, explain that exam results are more for the schools benefit than hers and that as long as she does her best that is all we expect. - Alex
100% agree with this, I really felt this alot growing up too.

Hitting my kids. If I can't reason with them using words and teach them to behave well without physical threat, I'm not worthy to be a parent. - Irina

My mother rewarded me for being good with sweets (on a daily basis!) and although I understand why she did it, I do think it created an unhealthy relationship with food and sugar. I won't be using food as a reward personally and will be trying to avoid refined sugar and chocolates except on special occasions. - Christy

I was told to do stuff and never asked so for example 'jade your doing the washing up' rather than 'jade please could you do the washing up' I also never got pocket even when I did help out. The reason I was given was 'well you get money from babysitting' I was very independent as a way of how I was brought up which wasn't necessarily a bad thing but it did result in me getting married at 16 just to get away from home. - Jade


I would never tell my daughter she’s fat or chubby. It’s so damaging. My parents and grandparents have done it to me all my life and are still doing it to my younger sister. It’s wrong, every girl is beautiful and a young girl trying to work out life in the midst of tons of hormones shouldn’t be told that she’s anything but perfect. 
Now I have my own daughter, if anyone mentions her weight no matter how old she is, I’ll tell them that I feel it’s completely unacceptable and if they continue, I’d rather them not be in her life. She needs to grow up knowing that she’s perfect and shouldn’t change for anyone. - Bella


My parents were far too easy on me with their expectations about helping at home. I grew up not knowing how to do much for myself at all. I know they wanted me to have the loveliest childhood, but when I joined the army I had to learn to iron and it was so alien to me. My boys learn to do as much independently as they can, and have chores too. - Sara-Jayne
This was the same for me too, when I left home I had to learn everything from scratch as I just didn't know how to do anything for myself.

Limiting sweets and junk food. My family were quite strict on sweets and while we were allowed them, it wasn't very often. I grew up with an array of eating disorders and I'm sure this sort of limiting contributed to that. I have no rules surrounding sweets with my two and they rarely ask, are a healthy weight, etc. I don't want them growing up to think any foods are off limits. - Georgina

Comparing me and my siblings. In particular my mum would compare my sister and I in terms of our body shapes (we're very different to each other) and it led to me feeling insecure about my appearance. I want to teach our kids that everyone is different and to accept and love others how they are -Bridget


I found this really interesting, especially in the way we use these experiences to teach and parent our children, i'd be curious to know what our children say about us in years to come. I think being a parent is the hardest job in the world so knowing what is best to do doesn't come easy.
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Monday, 5 March 2018

16 Things You Shouldn't Say To A New Parent



The other day I overheard someone in the shop ask a mother of a newborn 'is she sleeping through the night yet?' it got me thinking... 1. what a stupid question? and 2. So what? What is this person gaining from this lady quite understandably saying 'no she's 15 days old'. At first I thought well you've got to be pretty lucky if your baby is sleeping through the night from birth but then on second thought I think I thought but surely that is such a long time for a newborn baby to even go without a feed anyway? Besides the point I wanted to pick out some of the things that I thought were pretty mad to be saying to a new parent.

Is She/He Good? I don't really know what people are specifically asking when they ask this question, how can a newborn be bad?

Is She/He Sleeping Through The Night? Just like the comment at the top, why would she be sleeping through the night.. and it's the comment that comes straight after that really bugs me 'oh, well mine was sleeping through the night when my little one was that age'.

When's The Next One Then? Well, I have just given birth to this one so would quite like to enjoy this one first if that's alright?

He/She Looks Nothing Like You. This used to really hurt me although I'm not really 100% on why because I guess it took two to make the baby so there is a 50/50 chance he/she is going to look like you, but it's sometimes said in such a negative tone as though I've stolen the baby.

Are You Breastfeeding? What does this actually matter? I mean as long as the baby is getting fed!

You're Looking Tired? Well yes Mary I'm looking after a newborn baby...and I've just given birth?

Making Assumptions As To Why Your Baby Is Crying? This used to grate on me so much, as though somebody knows YOUR baby better that YOU do...

I also asked some fellow bloggers what there experiences were on this topic...

"oh well my wife is already back in her size 8 jeans!" - Entertaining Elliot

Is there another baby in there?" said by my own mother (yes you heard that right) whilst visiting us at the hospital less than 6 hours after I'd given birth! - Mommy and Rory

Will you/when will you be going back to work? This question drove me insane - there is no way to answer without feeling like I was giving the wrong one. My work, my baby, my choice - I've literally just popped him out, give me a chance to breathe a little before questioning me about work... - Life With Boys

 You just need to sleep more. Said by my own Mum! - Katy Kicker

"I'm so glad you're not the type of person who can have a newborn baby and keep the house tidy." - Baby Holiday

"It only gets worse as they get older" said to me in my sleep deprived, constant feeding, not knowing where to put myself state - Sophies Nursery

"You need to start thinking about a routine" - said three days Post Caesarian. I couldn't even get out of bed, let alone make a routine!  - Georgina Clarke

'Oh you're doing it like that are you?!' - Emma Reed

Can I have a cuppa / sandwich .. this was said to me not long after giving birth and I honestly thought you could have offered to make me one instead!  - Mummy Of 5 Miracles


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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Mum Hacks: 8 Ways I Try To Keep Organised

I had never really been the most organised girl in the world, growing up my mum and dad would always nag me about not being organised enough and losing things ect, however since I've had Darcy I think I've completely changed in that respect, because I had to really there's no other reason. I would have struggled to get through day to day life if I hadn't been more organised. A few hacks I've learnt over the last couple of years..

Meal Plan and Online Food Shop - I try to online shop as much as I can as I absolutely despise taking Darcy to the supermarket, it just really is not a pleasant experience at all.. same with going to town as well really. Meal planning is something I've recently in the last 6 months done and I've definitely noticed a difference in my shopping bill and it's much nicer not having to pop out all the time because you haven't got the right ingredients.

Get Organised The Night Before - If I know Darcy or me have something on the following day or we're really busy I always lay our clothes out the night before or if it's a childminders day then packing her bag and making most of her lunch for the next day as well, it takes away soooo much stress and I notice our mornings before getting out the door are much more pleasant and she is happier too.

Plan Ahead - Christmas and Birthday and even alot of the other holidays throughout the year are expensive, they definitely don't need to be but I like to start buying presents at least 2 months in advance, for two reasons really so that I'm not stressing because I don't have enough time to get out and actually do the shopping and secondly money, there is only so much money you have in a month so its much better to spread it, unless of course you like doing it all once.

Every Time You Go Upstairs Take Something With You - So, in regards to housework I like to just get it all done and out of my way but I guess that isn't always possible if you don't have enough time. If like me you always chuck things that need to go upstairs on the stairs then what I've started making myself do is every time I go upstairs I have to take something with me, you're going up there anyway so its not like you're going out your way to do it.

Put The Phone Down - Every time you're meaninglessly scrolling through Facebook or just on your phone for no reason... put it down! Do something productive, there is always time for that later and I waste soooo much time doing this when I could be doing other things. I've been making a real effort in trying to cut down.

Set Your Alarm Before Your Child's Wake Up Time If Necessary - Again, like the getting organised the night before point, if you know you have a busy day ahead it's so much easier just to get up before the kids, do your own breakfast and get yourself ready so that when they're up you can just focus on them and not worry about what you have to do.

Make Lists - I think I am queeeeen of list making, I love a good list and I love ticking things off. Some days I have an overwhelming amount of things to do and getting on a piece of paper can clear my head a little bit. Plus there is something satisfaction seeing a list and ticks on it at the end of the day.

Schedule Social Media - So one for the mummy bloggers is schedule your social media the night before, this way you won't have to keep having to remember and you can just get on with all the other things you have to do.

Hope this has been helpful in any way.
Amelia
xxx
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Friday, 9 February 2018

Valentine Gift Guide For Kids


I know, buying a present for your child isn't really the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word Valentines Day. To be honest, it's not something I've ever done but I really want to celebrate holidays with her and involve her and teach her what they all stand for, which is why I do Easter Baskets ect. I created a gift guide for those of you that like to buy a nice affordable heart themed gift.

I found it pretty difficult to find 'boys' valentines gifts as the whole theme is love and pink, that whole stigma should really change. I did find some cool little things which I'd say some are unique.

1. Melissa & Doug Shimmering Beads Set.

My little girl would love this, she's really starting to get in to things like this, I love that it is wooden too and not the plastic ones you usually find. They're lovely and glittery too.

2. Pirate Puzzle.

My little girl loves pirates so I wouldn't suggest this is a boys gift, I think it's really lovely though. Especially for the younger ones

3. Pirate Lunch Bag

This is super cute and also quite a useful gift. Not too expensive either!

4. Bath Cupcake Set

This would definitely be a winner with the other ones, I even think my 2 year old would like this in her bath, probably after I told her it isn't a real cake. Very sweet and a typical valentines gift to involve the kids too.

5. Barber In The Tub Set

This looks really fun, I love bath toys especially when they're slightly unusual and I've never seen anything like this.

6. Dinosaur Umbrella

I love this umbrella, it is so cute. I'm sure it could be quite useful in this weather too!

7. Colour Changing Umbrella.
Now this I thought was cool and I'm definitely going to purchase this for my little girl. She would love watching the hearts change colour and it's her favourite colour too!

8. Peter Rabbit Rattles

I wanted to find a gift for the babies and I thought these were cute and inexpensive too. I love the Peter Rabbit print too.

9. Heart Necklace

This being the cheapest of them all, what a lovely gift to make little ones feel special. It has hearts on too so what says Happy Valentines Day more!

Here is the best bit, if you like any of these gifts. You can get 10% off with the  Promo Code: ANMUMB18


Amelia
xxx
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Thursday, 1 February 2018

Our 2018 Travel Wishlist



2017 showed us our first family holiday and plenty of other weekend breaks. Now, with 2018 in full swing it's got me thinking about where I'd like to go this year.

Center Parcs.

This year we would really love to go to Center Parcs. I've never been before, however Paul has and he says that it's amazing. I love the idea of going on a holiday and always having something to do as well as trying to relax.

Alton Towers

For Darcys birthday I'd really like to take her to Cbeebies Land at Alton Towers. I know she'd love this and I feel like she's at the right age now to be able to go on a lot more rides, obviously not the massive ones but ya know what I mean her age ones.

Another Family Holiday (Spain, Canaries, Greece?)

We'd really like to go on another family holiday, Darcy really enjoyed the whole experience of it and it was a lot more relaxing than I thought it would be. Around September/October time would be lovely. I'm not really too fussy about where we go, Tenerife is always a safe bet because we know that we love it, but i'd quite like to go to Greece especially.

Weekend Break To Amsterdam

Paul turns 30 this year so we'd really like to do something special, this probably won't include Darcy because you know, child free time and all that. Amsterdam is a place we both love so it would be fun to go on our own.

Random Weekends Away

I really enjoy not planning things and then just running away as a family to places we've never been before. I'd really like to see more of Cornwall this year so I'm really looking forward to seeing where we go.

What are your travel plans this year?
Amelia
xxx

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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January 2018: A Month In Summary



This month has been an interesting one, I started the month on a brand new page as like a lot of people and felt super positive and very excited for all the new challenges of this year.
I wanted to put blogging first this year obviously after all of the important stuff like family etc but I really wanted to focus on it a little more than I did last year, I've got t that point now where Ii really enjoy it as a hobby but I also want to kind of gain something from it. Half way through the month I went in to a proper slump again and just thought Ii wasn't good enough. I really need to get better at having a bit of self belief. I'll give it another go in February..

Family life has been pretty quiet this month, we haven't done a huge amount, mainly down to the horrible weather and illness etc. Also, because of lack of inspiration. I just don't know where to go in this weather. We started the month or year off with a lovely walk on the hills. There has been a lot of staying at home, which I've enjoyed but equally felt really guilty about as I feel I need to constantly find Darcy something to do and I always think she is bored. There has been plenty of cake making and play-doh playing.

Hopefully, February is warmer month! 

Amelia



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Thursday, 18 January 2018

10 Things I've Learnt Since Becoming A Mum




Since I became pregnant, life became just another learning curve. I absolutely love being a mummy, but there has been some big lessons learnt. I've grown up alot in the last 3 years and I feel like I am properly adulting now!

Patience. Probably one of my biggest lessons in parenthood is patience, you're going to need a lot of it. Especially when your toddler is taking an hour to eat a banana and having a tantrum in the supermarket and every one is watching.

You Could Buy All The Gear In The World But You'd Still Have No Idea. When I was pregnant, I probably had the whole of Mothercare, I thought I'd have it all together and know exactly what I was doing. WRONG. This baby came along and I realised that 50% of the 'gear' I didn't even end up using!!

You Can't Take Too Many Photos. Nope. Never. I have about 100000 photos of Darcy doing the same thing, will I delete them? Absolutely not! You can never have to many and you will cherish each and every one of them forever.

That Gin Is The Cure. You will definitely get to that point in the day where you are not sure how you will go on, well let me tell you... Gin really helps and gives you that lease of life to get you to bedtime. 

You'll Appreciate Time To Yourself On A Whole Different Level. Walking to the shop on your own to get milk just turned in to one of life's little luxuries. Even things you used to hate such as the dreaded food shop, getting to do that on your own is just beautiful!

You Will Be Judged. No matter what you do, there will be those Mummies that give you the look up and down and are secretly judging you, not all of them though but there will even be narky comments, you've just got to learn to ignore them and just do you.

The Days Are Slow But The Years Are Quick. There will be shitty days when you can't wait until bedtime and then the next thing you know its there first birthday and you're wondering where the time went.

Snacks Are The Key. No matter where you go with your toddler, do not I repeat DO NOT forget snacks, they will be so useful when you don't even realise they would be. 

Google Will Become Your Best Friend. As soon as you get pregnant you will Google everything! I always thought that would stop but Darcy is 2 and a half now and its not even slowed down. Google is my best friend but also my worst enemy at the same time.

The World Will Become A Scarier Place. You will become anxious about the world around you, you'll even wonder sometimes why you brought another life in to this scary world, you won't want to let them go. I think It all comes in time, but the news doesn't really help now days.

Amelia 
xxx

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Monday, 8 January 2018

8 Tips For Winter Walks With A Toddler





On New Years Day we enjoyed a slightly rare walk out in to the countryside. This is something we really want to do more often this year, it's free and such a lovely way to spend time together, the only downside was simply that it was just sooooo cold! With Darcy at the age she is now I find I don't really need to take much out with me for her anymore, however we did realise when we got there that I forgot a few essentials such as a hat! I mean who forgets a hat in this weather, she did have a coat though!

I've got a few items that I would definitely bring me with me next time.

Warm Clothing. You'd think this one would be pretty obvious, clearly it isn't for me! Definitely hats, gloves and plenty of layers!

Hot Chocolate in a flask. I know this isn't really an essential, but it's something I am going to be bringing next time because I think it'd make everyone feel very cosy and warm.

Snacks. I think snacks are always an essential anyway when you have a toddler but they particularly like to have a snack in there hand whilst walking apparantly?!

I asked some fellow bloggers what their essentials were and here were there answers.

Nappy sacks, perfect for collecting pine cones, sticks, leaves etc. Also for picking up dog mess that others didn't feel that they'd like to clear up themselves. - Sarah

Wellies and waterproofs so you can let the kids run wild knowing that you can just strip off the muddy stuff afterwards - Beth

Some spare clothes for afterwards so they don’t need to worry about getting dirty and can be nice and comfy afterwards -Carly

We live in the countryside and often go on long rambles, even when they were little. We always take ‘stile sweets’ which they get after climbing each stile. It keeps them going and they don’t know what we have as we give them in our pockets so it is a surprise each time - Bec

My camera. I find I get the best photos when my little one is busy exploring rather than posed - Nadia


Hope some of these will help you if you're planning a wintery walk soon!
Amelia
xxx




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