UK Parenting, Lifestyle & Beauty Blog. Mum to Darcy

Monday, 17 December 2018

Lapland Letters

This time of year is so exciting and I get so much more joy out of it now than I ever have purely because of Darcy. I am always looking for more ways to make Christmas more magical for her, because seeing there little faces light up is just everything! 
Lapland Letters really do this because not only do you get a lovely letter personalised to your child, you can also add on little magical extras too which include a Santa Stop Here Poster, Colouring Activity Sheets, Good Child Certificate & Wishing Stars. 
It makes for some lovely activities for Christmas Eve too so i'm going to pop them in her Christmas Eve box which should be exciting.
Like I said above the letter is personalised to your child so you can tell them their best friends name and add a little note at the bottom, I decided to tell them about Darcys recent outbreak of chicken pox because I felt like she would be amazed at how Father Christmas knew and that she was! I was so impressed in the envelope too as it was super realistic! A letter costs just £5.95 and with the magical extras I described above it's an extra £2.95 which I think is great value when you know how much they're going to enjoy it! Overall I was so pleased with this and will definitely be ordering one next year!


*This was a collaborative post with Lapland Letters*

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Win Ghost Perfume With Wow Free Stuff

With Christmas just around the corner, still with lots of presents to buy? WOW FreeStuff are offering you a chance to win Ghost Perfume. Why not keep it as a present for yourself or have you got a relative you know would love this? Besides, you've got to be in it to win it!

I've smelt the fragrance myself and it smells divine! I'd love for one of you to win it so please enter and let me know if you do!

To enter the competition all you have to do is click the link here Wow FreeStuff and like the facebook page & enter your name and email address, super simple!



Monday, 10 December 2018

Small Business Monday - Made By Me Craft Parties

Source: Made By Me Craft Parties

I recently realised that there wasn't enough avenues out there for small businesses to be seen. Now days you need a huge amount of money to spend on marketing and advertising which seems hard when you're trying to make money. I decided to make it a feature on my blog from now on, that every Monday I will feature a small business in the hope that it will help them in some way.
It may not seem much but sharing is caring so please show your friends if it seems like a business they'd like! 
This week I have an amazing business called Made By Me Craft Parties. As soon as I saw this, I just knew I had to pop it on here as it's such a great idea! What child doesn't love crafting, I know my daughter would love this.
The amazing thing is that she doesn't stop at childrens parties, she caters for all ages and there is a party for everyone. Such a cool idea!

Here is a back story behind Made By Me Craft Parties:

My name is Lexy and I run Made By Me Craft Parties, my passion is to create fun, beautiful and personalised craft parties for children, teens and adults.  I've run craft parties for birthdays. weddings, 'mummy' get togethers, team building days, yoga retreats, blogger events and well being sessions. 

My most popular party for younger kids is the Craft Mania party, while the older girls enjoy the Spa of Our Own party.  Other popular themes are fairy, pony and balloon parties and Stationery Crazy, but a big part of my business is being able to personalise parties - so if a child wants a unicorn themed craft party, I can arrange for sparkly horns, flowers and ears to be attached to tote bags, note books or even mini hot air balloons (true story).

I've always been creative, but I was happy working at the Student's Union at Bournemouth University until my children came along.  Then everything changed, I didn't want to work 5 days a week and it turned out that working part time on a job you used to throw your heart and soul into isn't very easy!  When Izzy (my firstborn) was 9 months old, I set up a small business selling rubber stamps and accessories and running adult card making classes (I did this as well as working at the Uni).  

It wan't until my daughter turned 4 years old that my party planning skills surfaced!  I absolutely love a theme and the first proper party I did for Izzy was a Minnie Mouse party - cue lots of black mouse ear making!  Friends began to comment that I should run kids parties as a business and before long, customers of my card classes started requesting kids craft parties.  

After the third friend asked me about a craft party, I decided to do a bit of research and found a gap in the market, so Made By Me Craft Parties was born.  I was found my card classes quite stressful and time consuming and I didn't particularly enjoy the selling aspect.  A year after my son (Austin) was born, I decided to hand in my notice to the Uni and concentrate on Made By Me.  

It wasn't as easy decision to leave the University, but I found working 3 long days a week with 2 young children, a husband who worked very longs hours (meaning, morning and evening routines were all on me Monday - Friday and we didn't have any family near by to call on for help -  it was all a bit stressful.  The trigger point was when I found myself on the landing at home with both children crying at 6pm in the evening, not knowing who to sort out first.  We were all hungry, we were all tired and miserable and I wasn't loving my job, not to mention child care costs!  I felt like I didn't want to miss out being there for Izzy in her first year at school or watching my babies grow up, so I left my Uni job in October 2014.

I love running my business - I decide what to do, how to do it and I can choose my hours.  I'm there for (most) school drop offs and pick ups, most of the school holidays, I can attend the assemblies and help at school trips.  I do work some weekends, but I balance it so it's not every weekend and I involve the kids in my business as much as possible - after all, they're my chief testers for new craft party ideas and activities!  

Negative points about running a small business, it can get lonely, but I do lots of networking and co-working.  It can be overwhelming and hard to make business decisions, but I have a business coach and lots of lovely fellow small businesses to turn to for advice and support.  Most of all I have THE MOST supportive husband, children, family, friends and customers, they're a pretty awesome bunch!

I've had both children at school for a year now and my business is going from strength to strength.  This year's highlights include, 
  • Winning Best Creative Business at the Devon and Dorset Successful Women in Business Awards in May,
  • Being asked to run craft activities at a blogger event in the summer for the TV show Oddbods.
  • Starting up toddler classes called Mini Makes and Bakes with the wonderful Biscuits By Sarah B.  We run 30 minutes of crafting and 30 minutes of biscuit decorating and they have been very popular. 
 I'm now deciding where I want Made by Me Craft Parties to go in 2019 and I'm really excited to see what happens! 

Source: Made By Me Craft Parties

It's amazing to see that her business is getting stronger and stronger and what an inspirational lady juggling being both a mum and a successful business woman! I really hope you'll go over and have a look at her website.


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Wisdom Tooth Removal

A couple of weeks have passed now since having my wisdom tooth removed, before having my procedure and also after, I did a lot of 'googling' I mean, who doesn't? I'm a bit of an anxious person but also a realist so I always want to know every outcome of what could happen so that I am fully mentally prepared.
Whilst I found quite a lot of information in forums, I couldn't really find a huge amount of personal experience. I don't really care about statistics, I like to know every detail of somebody elses experience. I had geared having my wisdom tooth out to be something a lot worse than what it was and whilst it was not the nicest experience I feel like now I can give a real insight to what it was like.
My dental surgeon who was removing my tooth was fantastic, he made me aware of the risks but not only that, he really reassured me too which I think is quite important because dentists can be a scary place and I think he knew that. After being numbed and given the local anaesthetic which was probably the worst part of the extraction process, everything was simple, the tooth was removed pretty easily with what looked like a shoe horn! I thought it was going to be cut up into small pieces which I think is something that does occasionally happen, worryingly mine came out a bit too easily.
I bled a bit after and sat down, I was actually shaking more after the surgery which was strange, I think i was really shocked over how easily the tooth came out! 

Here comes the worst part 

After going home for the weekend feeling a little bruised & swollen (no where near as bad i thought I would be, mind!) On Sunday evening, I  felt like I needed something a little sugary, yes stupid I know, i'd just had a tooth taken out, but ice cream is okay right?! To be honest, karma really because as I stepped outside that door and walked to the shop I had this horrible intense pain across my cheek all the way to my ear.. like a dull shooting pain.
It was worse at night too which I now know is because the pressure of lying down which makes sense really, anyway the dental centre were good at getting me in and I got a next day appointment although annoyingly I had to take the time off work. 

Basically what I had was a 'dry socket' which is where the blood clot didn't form & its bone and nerve on show which you can probably imagine and then filled it with a substance that tasted like clove leaf oil which wasn't the nicest. The girl that did this, I hadn't seen before and I personally don't think she did the best job because I was in pain still afterwards and unfortunately the next day I had to go back again, this time seeing the lovely dentist that took my tooth out who filled the hole again really well. and even gave me another injection to give myself a rest for a few hours! 

I was so impressed with my NHS Dental Care and really wanted to find out how I could send a letter of praise to NHS. Unfortunately there website only gives details on how to complain, how negative, Ha.

In order for this blog post to be as informative as possible I really wanted to give you some tips and advice on the whole procedure so I also asked some fellow bloggers on there experiences and what they would advise.

It was a long time ago now but I remember taking a straw everywhere with me and living on soup for the first few weeks afterwards - Jen

I’ve had two removed and my advice is have lots of painkillers ready, a heat pad and cold pack! I found alternating between them all helped - Becka

my advice would be to stock up on pain killers! I was also told not to use straws for a while after as the sucking action can dislodge the clot and lead to dry socket afterwards! My mouth also felt super sensitive after so if eating yoghurts etc take them out of the fridge for a little bit before eating them so they aren't really cold, same with hot food allow to cool right down before eating. - Sarah

As foul as the salt water rinsing is, make sure you keep up with it and follow the after care advice to the letter.  - Rebecca



Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Lots Of Girlie Fun With Girlzone

Darcy seems to be growing up at a much quicker rate than I ever remember growing as a child but I do wonder if that is just the next generation of kids. I struggle to think of what to buy her especially with Christmas coming and it seems like she has a lot of toys already. Girlzone very kindly got in touch and asked me if I wanted to test out anything from there newly launched products and with an extremely girlie 3 year old I did jump at the chance. I chose the nail art set and the sequin pillow, that sequin pillow was a major hit and she wont sleep if it's not on her bed now, she thinks the colour changing aspect of it is magic, i just love that.

This is aimed at older girls (8+) but it didn't stop my 3 year old getting involved. To be honest, I had to have a go too and secretly I really enjoyed this. It comes with a wide range of nail art and pens to create your very own designs and even a little nail salon which we did! Everything is is non-toxic so perfect for little fingers. Darcy enjoyed having lots of spots decorated on as well as the stickers it comes with. Additionally it comes with a little makeup bag which is such a good idea really because after the first time of using it you can pack it away in the bag rather than trying to squeeze it all back into the box. The colours are really bright and do come out with the same pigmentation on the nail which is such great value for money. Overall I'd really recommend this set as a Birthday or Christmas present idea.

As I said above, this was a bit hit with my little girl, she absolutely loves this product. It's super colourful and I love that on the front you have the sequin design however on the back you have a soft velvet cover which is comfortable to sleep on. I think as a present idea, it's a bit different and something a child wouldn't usually receive but would be equally delighted with it. It's also perfect for us parents as the cover is easily removable proving to be easily washable! It really brightens up Darcy's bed and is the perfect accessory.

There is a huge range of products at Girlzone, so many gorgeous presents that I'm not going to be able to resist buying as I quite possibly have the girliest girl in the entire world! 
I'm really excited to be able to offer you a 10% discount on both these items.
For the Nail Art Studio use: Amelia10
For the Sequin Pillow use: Amelia11



Thursday, 11 October 2018

Juggling Being A Mum, Working & Having A Blog

Since the beginning of September Darcy has started nursery and one of those days is one where I don't have to go to work. I am very lucky in that respect as I realise not everyone is in that position. A decision was made at that stage that I wanted to take my blog up a level, whatever that level is I haven't really worked that one out yet.

I love that saying 'Life is like having a load of balls in your hands and learning to juggle them' and it really is so true. Some days I feel like boss lady and have all the balls juggled and other days I've dropped them all on the floor, there isn't really an in-between!

As I said, I am so lucky to be able to have one day to concentrate solely on what it is that I want to do. In this case, that is blogging. I do also look after the admin side of my partners photography business  and use this day also to work on that with that being marketing, scheduling posts for him or just replying to clients emails and messages. I tend to dedicate the morning to him with the afternoon to concentrate on my social media, creating content for my blog, emails & engagement. This is the one day where everything seems to roll pretty smoothly. However it takes more than one afternoon to look after blog, there are things I need to be doing everyday. 

I tend to set Darcy up with an activity which I keep my fingers and toes crossed that it will keep her occupied for more than 10 minutes and I prioritise whatever it is that I need to do. Sometimes that'll work and sometimes it won't. 

On my work days I decide to completely give up on my blog because I am at work for 10 hours and want to come home and just be mummy. I do however still make sure I am scheduling my social media so that i am not completely abandoning ship, it is so hard though because I do really want to put all of my effort in to my blog and I find it so difficult to work around distraction, right now the room is silent, not even a TV on which is unusual in this house! The only way that I can tell I get through it all is just lists. Lists and lots of them, my to do list is always as long as my arm but let me tell you there is absolutely nothing better than crossing something off of it. Ha!

Well that's my kind of back story if you like, I know there are people out there who are a lot more organised that I am so I asked a few fellow bloggers what they to do juggle everything well.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to blogging. When you feel pressured, you won’t enjoy it half as much. My kids and then my job will always come first and when I have a bit of spare time, it’s my blog a distant 3rd. - Pete

t's not an option available to everyone but I'm going back to work next week 4 days a week. On my day 'off' I've arranged childcare so I will get a shop delivered, cook and prep what i can for the week, do all the washing and cleaning and change beds etc so that I have minimal chores to do in the evenings and weekends. I'm lucky in that I get an hour lunch break so I'll eat lunch at my desk and reply to emails for blogging and do blog admin and social media then, that's 4hrs of solid blog time I don't have now with kids at home! I've always done my writing in the evening once babies are in bed. - Kate

Apps are a life saver. There are quite a few tasks you can achieve on your phone like editing images and promoting on social media. I do those when I have a spare 5 minutes. I draft as I go too but my main writing time is in the evening. I make sure I dedicate blocks of time to be solely attentive to the kids as my toddler started telling me to put my phone in my pocket.  - Victoria

I work full time, parent and blog as well as packing to move house at the moment 😳 I used to try and post a blog every week but it was getting too much. Iv dropped the schedule and just write when I have quality content to write about. This way I’m not pressuring myself to have a brilliant new post up every week, and the content is a lot more thought out as Iv had more time to do it. Don’t get me wrong I still struggle but it’s working better for me - Amy

I'm on maternity leave atm but it finishes in about 6 weeks. Blogging is already hard enough with 2 young children at home full time so the only time I get to blog is at night once they are asleep. It can be very tiring and because of this I haven't yet set myself a posting schedule because there's no guarantee that I can keep to it.
Because my youngest is still very young, I also draft up posts while I'm doing night feeds rather than 'waste' that time.
I'll probably be using my lunch breaks when I'm at work to get blogging stuff done too. - Stacy

I try to do tasks in batches. Although I often feel like I'm getting behind with things, I think it saves more time in the long run as my brain isn't having to take time to get into each task after switching. I try to take pictures of several products while my daughter has her nap and write while she's eating her lunch or in bed of an evening. - Laura

I recently decided to start single-tasking. When I tried to muliti-task, for example checking my work emails while I'm with my children on my day off or doing blog related stuff while the kids are around, I just felt stressed! It was always so rushed and I would just end up doing a rubbish job of all of them. Now if I'm with the kids I focus on them. If I'm at work or I'm blogging then I'm focused just on that when the kids are asleep or I set them up with some playdoh so I can get some admin tasks done during the day. It's such a juggle! - Gemma

There were some great tips here and definitely some I am going to take in to consideration.
Thanks for reading


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Those Funny Things Kids Say To You

There is just no doubt about it, kids are just the funniest people and they really do tell you how it is. The idea of this post came to me after Darcy, my 3 year old told me that 'my bra is like a carrier, like a bag' it really cracked me up. I mean I could totally take that the wrong way but you've gotta laugh haven't you, they just say it like it is.

Honestly I don't think there is day that goes by without Darcy making me laugh and I really think that is so special. I love reading these types of posts, they're so lighthearted and give you a good giggle, that being said I decided to ask some fellow bloggers what the funniest thing their children had said and I had so many awesome responses.

I occasionally shower whilst my son (2 years) is in the bath - Multi tasking at it's finest. Anyhow last week I was doing just that and he got really upset... I asked what was wrong and he said he was sad... sad because someone stole his mummy's willy ... I tried to explain I had a fairy ... but he wouldnt accept it. - Carla

My daughter asked if her umbros (her word for breasts at the time) were going to be 'big and floppy' like mine when she grew up. - Erin

We were getting changed for swimming last week and my eldest shouted at the top of her voice “daddy, you have a small hairy tail” I have never laughed so much in my life. - Jenna

My daughter asked her granddad: "Why do you have a fat belly? Are you going you have a baby?" - Rim

My daughter (6) asked me: “daddy, were you born in the olden times when everything was grey?” - Ben

My eldest used to call muffins ‘muff pies’ and had a habit of loudly asking for one in public - Emma-Louise

My eldest habitually missed the 'l' out of clock when she was little. Often loudly and in public. - Kate

asked my son around the end of week one in school, reception class: “What’s your teacher’s name again?” 
He replied: “ Yesmisswright” He’s 4.5 - Eva

At the park singing I’m the king of the castle and then my daughter screams “You’re the dirty arsehole”. I was mortified. - Kelly-Anne

My 4 year old daughter came in while I was getting dressed the other day and told me my boobies needed ironing. Apparently they're very 'nobbly'. Honestly, kids always know how to make you feel better about yourself - Hayley 

 Today we were watching a film when my 5 year old son told me we should have got popcorn and cheese with cheerios. I eventually worked out he meant cheesy nachos - Katie

Loved these answers, wasn't expecting so many and them to be so hilarious. You often wonder what goes on in those little heads of theirs, super cute!

Thanks for reading


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Saving Money As A Parent

When you've got the financial responsibility of child, it can be quite stressful worrying about how much you've got to pay for. I know for me personally I worry particularly about Birthdays and Christmas and how I'm going to be able to afford to buy decent presents. I know that people don't really mind though do they but I just think it's more me and these stupid standards I decide to set myself.

When it comes down to thinking about Christmas, I've been thinking about my partner and what in the world I am going to get him, why are men so hard to buy for?! One idea did occur because an awful event in our lives, unfortunately last year our car was broken in to and our Sat-Nav was inevitably taken, stupid some might say for leaving it in there in the first place, but I'm sure we aren't the first people that this has happened to, anyway lesson learnt. Another Sat-Nav would be really useful, we made good use of our last one so I know it won't be a wasted purchase. 

Luckily now days we have this wonderful thing called the internet and when we want to make a saving we can research 'money saving deals on sat-Navs' or 'Sat-Nav discounts'. One website that did come up though was Latest Deals. Sat-Navs are very expensive pieces of technology, well can be anyway and I've always really like Garmin as a brand, they're very well established and you know there products are going to last. The discounts on Garmin, particularly on this website are really decent, so when the time comes for making those Christmas purchases, I'll definitely be using this website to look to save money wherever I can. Another purchase that I'll be making soon would be on their Dashcams, especially in this day and age they can be a complete saver on your insurance and again you're getting a really decent discount on this website. 

To be honest, I didn't even realise Garmin did anything other than Sat-Navs until now which is so useful to know as I really like Garmin as a brand, you know where you have those brands in your head where they're the ones you can trust. As well as Dash-Cams they also do Fitness Activity Trackers, a bit like a Fit Bit but over half the price well over half the price with this website as so much discount has been knocked off, and can do the same job. I love that they set you a personal daily goal, not even sure a Fit Bit does that? It certainly is going on my Christmas list, hintity hint hint. ;)
I love how this site takes you straight to the page using the link alongside it, it takes all the work away from directly looking for the cheapest price. 
Hopefully this site would save me a bit of money and gain me a Christmas Present in the process when I get my partner to take a look!

Thanks for reading


Monday, 1 October 2018

20 Things To Do This Autumn

Now that September has oh so quickly arrived I now consider it as Autumn, I think after it rained all day today, it gives me more reason to! I absolutely love the Autumn, the colours and just all the cosiness it brings, it's made me think about everything I'd like to do this Autumn and Winter!

1. Make a pumpkin or butternut squash soup

2. Make hot chocolates and cosy up under the blankets and watch a film.

3. Go on a walk and find lots of Autumn leaves, bring them home and make a picture

4. Go on a walk and take lots of Autumny photos of Darcy

5. Go on a scavenger hunt (I promise not all of these involve walking)

6. Make apple & blackberry crunble

7. Bake a chicken pie.

8. Go and pick a pumpkin

9. Put on my favourite snuggly jumper.

10. Put on our wellies and go and splash in puddles.

11. Do more reading (I know this isn't really Autumny but I always associate reading as being really cosy)

12. Write a early letter to Santa.

13. Cook a warming casserole.

14. Treat myself to a Pumpkin Spiced Latte

15. Play Monopoly

16. Make a Blackberry Gin.

17. Buy some new cosy socks for me and Darcy.

18. Learn to Crochet.

19. Do the Gruffalo Trail in Haldon Forrest

20. Collect Conkers and do crafts at home with them 


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

How To Stay Positive When You're Having A Bad Day

I am the absolute worst at staying positive and for me this can happen just when I go to wake up in the morning. I wake up and somedays I already have negative thoughts, generally when it is that time of the month so I do need to be a bit kinder to myself. I know first hand how hard it is to pull myself out of it but there are a few things that I do to help myself.

Podcasts. Recently I have really gotten in to listening to podcasts, mainly parenting ones but I do like motivational podcasts and these work really well when I am not having the best start to my day. Also It can make cleaning that little bit easier!

Understanding that it truly is okay not to be okay. I think this is such a big thing most of us are so guilty of. We are so hard on ourselves and don't even realise that it is simply okay not to be okay and just to have a big cry. You can feel 100 times better are letting it all out and it is so healthy too.

Me Time. I find this very difficult especially with a 3 year old but I consider writing this blog post right now as 'me time'. I am sat in silence whilst she is at nursery and it is pure bliss. Although I am missing her just a little bit! Isn't it funny when you can't wait for them to go and next minute you want them back!

I did also ask a few fellow bloggers to get there answers on what they do to keep positive on a bad day:

I usually go for a walk. If it's really bad, I have a good cry - Victoria

I love going to the gym, even for half hour. Headphones in with loud music, work off any stress, time to myself and I always feel much better! - Victoria

Have a long hot bath, lots of bubbles, good book, cup of tea! Always makes me feel better!  - Lauren 

As well as getting outside and going for a walk, I would ring my sister for a chat (she always can cheer me up or chat through my problems/thoughts), and also having a snuggle with my dog and/or cat! Animals are so therapeutic. - Kate

Watch Holby City on my own!!! It's the only TV programme i actually watch and its an hour just for me!!!  - Clare

Put Jeremy Kyle or Judge rinder on so I can see other people's misfortune instead of thinking of my own rubbish. Then I phone a friend and cry. - Jen

I love to do a bit of sewing. Being creative usually cheers me up. I’ll put on some music and have a wax burner going too. - Jo

I will sit and play the piano. It’s a way of escaping for me. - Emma

Some really good ideas here - I hope you do take some comfort in knowing it is okay not to be okay.


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Cleaning Hacks You May Not Of Heard Of

Recently I've been really upping my cleaning game #mrshinchmademedoit. Yes I started following Mrs Hinch on Instagram, who hasn't? I've started these new ways of cleaning, things I've perhaps not done before, one very simple thing in particular would be 'being organised' who'd of thought that's the secret to doing cleaning.

It got me thinking though, is there any other cleaning hacks out there that I don't know about? I asked some fellow bloggers what they did - I also added 'the weirder, the better.'

Bicarb of soda on bathroom tiles literally lifts the dirt off - Lianne 

Coke down the toilet leaves it sparkling and it is a great way to use up flat coke! - Emma

Nair down the shower plughole dissolves the hair that gets trapped down there - bit unconventional but it works!  - Alex

Put a plastic bag filled with white vinegar and water over the showerhead for descaling. Works a treat! - Victoria

Every week I fill the bath with cold water and Milton sterilising fluid and throw in all the bath toys to soak overnight - it helps minimise the mould and grot! - Suzi

Use a little baby oil to buff up your stainless steel appliances and surfaces. - Jayne

Oh I am a terrible ditherer. I now make my list then set a 30 minute timer on my phone and whizz round as quick as I can. It works great for me - I get soooo much done - Carla-Marie

Using some toothpaste is great for removing crayon marks from the walls! It's been a life saviour here. - Beth

When you've used a lemon don't throw it away - put it in the top drawer of your dishwasher - your pots will come out sparkly clean and smelling great - Lauretta

Loved these! I love hacks where you're using something that's actually used for something else eg. toothpaste, bicarb soda, flat coke. I hope someone else takes use from these too, cleaning definitely helps with the mental health!



Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Getting Yourself & Your Toddler Ready For Nursery

Darcy has gone to a childminder since she was 9 months old and will continue to do so, next week she also starts at a Nursery/Pre-School 2 days a week as well. I know a lot of parents send there children to a nursery a lot earlier than I have and I suppose there are a couple of reasons of which I went for a childminder over a nursery... 1. Childminders tend to be slightly cheaper and 2. They get a bit more 1 on 1 care which I like. However I knew this would be a great transition in starting big school next September. I decided to put together a couple of tips that I think will work well in preparation for this new change, I've also added what I will be doing to get myself ready as well.

Routine. I think routines are great to have anyway and you can adapt them to whatever the circumstances may be. It's especially good to get in to the routine right for you, so that little ones know exactly what is going on. It's a bit more security for them. A good bedtime routine would be especially important at this stage as the long days are going to be tiring for them.
Use Role Play To Get Them Ready. If this is there first time away from you, it's going to be a big change for them, it might be a good idea to play little imaginative games with them and act out what will happen when you leave them, making sure they know you're coming back but you're just going to go away for a while.
Listen To Their Worries. They worry but they may not show it in the way we do, it's good to ask them how they're feeling and make them know that it is so normal to have all these emotions especially if they're worried.
Make Sure You're Ready With Prep. If you're stressing, it might rub off on your child and then they'll wonder why she's stressing and it's just a great big circle. Make sure you've read the kit list of what the nursery expects the child to bring with them. Going back to the getting the child ready point, it might be a lovely idea to take them to buy there new bag or lunchbox and let them choose it so the excitement can begin. Something I've never done before is using name tags so that items don't get lost, I was super lucky when My Name Tags got in touch and asked me if I wanted to give them a go because this is likely something I would forget but they're so important.They have so many lovely designs to choose from and personalise as your own. I was slightly apprehensive choosing the sticker option but knew this was the easiest option for me, however they're so durable. I can also say that I've put one on Darcy's drinks bottle and washed it a few times now, the sticker is still in tact and clear as anything.



Monday, 20 August 2018

6 Wish List Items For A Dream Kitchen

Ever since I moved out, there has always been an element of me longing for a beautiful kitchen. Unfortunately as we rent it is a dream slightly further away as there is only so much you can change in rented properties. However, appliances can always come with you so I guess this is what we invest in whilst saving for a house. I've put together my wishlist items for my dream kitchen, some of which will have to wait until we have our own house.

We've been talking about getting a a food blender probably ever since Darcy was weaning as they would of been brilliant for blending up her purees but we just never really got round to it, they're so useful for soups too and I'm hoping to make more of those this Winter. The reason why I am loving this particular food blender is because it is so versatile, it has 33 functions so whether its baking, juicing, mincing meat, pressing fruit or draining salad or many more it's an all one product. It's not just it's uses that makes me buy a product, it's obviously got to be how it looks on my kitchen side that really entices me in and this is super stylish with its glass touch button menu. I'm beginning to wonder after writing this why I don't already have one as seems like an essential right?!

A dishwasher probably seems like a bit of a bizarre wish list item, I know. We would have enough space for one if we moved the washing machine in to the hallway cupboard, and I'm beginning to become very tempted indeed. If we were to have any more children it would very much be an essential because even now I am sick of constant washing up! Not too bothered about what make it is and how fancy it looks just someone else please do my dishes! 

I think coffee machines are what dreams are made of? The amount of money I must spend in Starbucks and Costa, why not invest in my own. This De Longhi coffee machine is not only beautiful but it also steams your milk so you can make lattes and cappucinos. Would need a bigger kitchen first though because there is only so much I can fit on my worktops.

Ooooh a bigger oven would be a dream, we are only a 3 person family so I am not sure why we would need one, but they look nice and it would be nice to boil on hob that isn't so bunched up together. Christmas day would be made a lot easier too.

Is this Samsung fridge not just the ultimate fridge of dreams? It is verrryyyy expensive so I'm not sure I'd ever be able to justify the astonishing price tag but it does have a lot of cool features, with the tablet on the front you are able to listen to the radio through the speakers, it has a calendar/diary so it's fab for all the family. You can even place a food shop order through it! The best thing of all though has got to be the fact that it has cameras inside so when you're in your supermarket and you can't remember what is in your fridge at home, worry no more because you can check on your phone through the app, so cool!

When it comes to buying a house, a Belfast sink will definitely be what sells it for me. If it doesn't come with a Belfast sink then it will be the first thing that gets renovated because one day I am living in a house with one. I am not really too sure what It is that I love so much about them, they just look change the look of a kitchen completely. 

Ahh one day! I will have allllll of these items, but for now it is a wish I'll work towards!

Thanks for reading! 

*This is a collaborative post

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*


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