UK Parenting, Lifestyle & Beauty Blog. Mum to Darcy

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.


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.

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


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.

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


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?


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! 



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.



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!


Thursday, 4 January 2018

My 3 Simple Goals For 2018

When it comes to a New Year, I get super excited because it feels like a fresh start. I, however really dislike the term New Years Resolutions as it seems like there is a lot of pressure around it, and to be honest I always break them in the first few days. I'm going to go with the wording '2018 Goals.' I only have a couple of those..

1. To be more organised with time management.. I wouldn't say that I am organised now but I could do with making better use of time. I am really not a morning person but I really need to change that because I waste SOOOOO much time. 

2. Take more time to give myself a bit of self-care. I constantly put off looking after myself, whether that is just simply taking my makeup off and putting moisturiser on and even when I do remember to do it or find the time to do it I rush through it as quickly as possible because I am thinking about the 1000 other things I should be doing. I think finding the time to look after myself a bit will improve my inner happiness and confidence making me a more positive person.

3. Look after my blog. I really have been consistant enough with my one hobby which I think is such a shame. I'll get really in to posting for about a week and forget about it, I'd also like to improve my social media too as it all plays a big part and ties in together. I'd love to interact with other bloggers too but I am still learning how to do this.

Let me know what your goals are for this year as I love seeing other peoples acheivements.

Have an amazing 2018.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Help My Toddler Won't Stop Whinging! 5 Approaches To Whinging

We recently took Darcys dummy away, on Christmas Eve to be exact (we popped it on Father Christmas' plate and he took it to give the babies that needed a dummy) and I don't think I quite anticipated how hard it would be. I just didn't realise how much I used it as a plug which sounds awful but I really did!

She is getting better and 8 days later she is getting used to life without her dummy but wow the kid whines A LOT. Tantrums and the terrible twos are now in full swing without a doubt.

I needed to do some research on how to handle whining and everything that goes with it, because I mean, there is so many approaches. I thought I had found my way as a mum but taking the dummy away took me in to a whole other ball game!

I've made various different Google searches, I've tried a few approaches towards Darcy so far, ignoring her seems most affective, I tried telling her off and I've tried asking her to speak to me properly. 
I decided to ask some fellow bloggers what there approaches towards whining were.

1. I'm quite strict when it comes to whingeing, I won't listen to Pops unless she's speaking to me nicely. It can take a while sometimes but I'm hoping in the long run it will stop it happening! Wish me luck haha. Ayse

2.  I sit in a corner and rock until it’s all over.

I tend to try and reason with her, if that doesn’t work, distract her and if that doesn’t work, ignore. Terry-Ann

3. I stop them in their tracks and always give them two options - both ones that I prefer so it might be "do you want to have the biscuits later or shall we put them in the bin?" Plus, I ALWAYS followed up with any threats like that (biscuits would go in the bin) Sounds very tough but when its unnecessary whinging I cant cope with it (it gets them nowhere in the real world) and I only had to follow through with my promises a couple of times for my kids to know I mean what I say. They are brilliant kids that dont push and totally respect my word whereas their Dad is full of empty threats and it has no effect so the whining continues for him Charlie

4.  I will get down to her level and explain to her that I can’t understand her when she whining so can she talk to me without whining! Normally works. However, if she has been whining all afternoon and I get to a point where I might unleash my inner crazy lady, I stop and just do the same to her and it makes her laugh. End of the whining dilemma! Kelly-Anne

5. Drink. The name wasn't an accident 😉 in my experience it passes with age... although when my son stops whinging I may have nothing to blog about. He whinges hard. Frances (I think this was possibly my favourite answer!!!)

 LOVED these answers and hopefully it should help some of you with whining children but if it doesnt, Gin helps! I can assure you of this.


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