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Everything is Easier With Sleep!

30 Jan

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year! Sorry its been a wee while since my last blog post. It’s been a very busy few months! I wanted my first blog post of 2020 to be more like my older blog posts… back to basics. More info, tips, advice & general rants about surviving day to day as a stay at home – work from home Mama.

I’ve been joking for a long time now that I’ll one day write a book on the bedtime routine I use for the boys, as they both sleep. I’m constantly being asked what my secret is. But to be honest… I have no idea lol. So… I thought I’d share with you all, what we do each evening. I don’t do anything magical, but, you mind find something you’ve not tried. Or, I might be just doing the same as everyone else.

I love reading blogs & I get a lot of my fave tips from other parenting blogs. So hopefully… I can pass some on to you too.

Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m no guru or medical professional. This is only what we have personally implemented in our own home for our bedtime routine. 

Okay, so lets start right at the very beginning. Seth was born at 38wks via c-section. I was determined from day 1 to be this amazingly successful breast feeding Mama. That just didn’t go to plan. Within the first 6 days, Seth had lost over 14% of his body weight dropping from 8lbs to 6lbs 13oz. We were rushed into hospital – literally the worst day of my life. The guilt I felt was immense. That first week quite literally was sleep deprivation at it’s finest. I had Seth constantly on my boob & when he wasn’t attached to me – an electric breast pump was. I was emotional, recovering from major surgery, I felt guilt that I wasn’t providing for my baby & I felt let down by my breast feeding support nurse. Whilst in hospital Seth began to combination feed. With amazing support from my Husband, GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Consultant & Paediatrician, I made the decision to stop breast feeding… I had zero milk. Still to this day – I struggle with the feelings of guilt & like I let Seth down in that first week of his life.

Once we were discharged from hospital, Seth gained weight steadily on formula. But, he struggled with extreme colic. It was horrendous. No matter what we did, he’d scream & scream. Even with the help of Infacol & a special milk, he’d struggle. We had a SnüzPod at the side of our bed as I just don’t like co-sleeping ( personal choice). But I’d say for a good 8 weeks, Seth slept upright on my chest or Grahams. It’d be the only way he’d settle. So it’d be hours upon hours of just sitting awake on a night in bed, so Seth could sleep & get relief from the colic. I remember on a morning, retching & throwing up from sheer exhaustion & my Mam telling me over the phone that she’d not heard of anyone dying from sleepless nights. Ah yes, just to add… both my family & Graham’s live quite a distance away from us. So we have no regular childcare or family just popping in to help.

After around 8 weeks, the colic settled, from then on, Seth would sleep 6hrs: Midnight to 6am. We used to class that as sleeping through the night. When you go from zero sleep to 6hrs right through, you feel like you’ve had a week at a spa retreat lol. Seth slept in his SnüzPod beside me until he was 5 & a half month old. He began to outgrow it at that point. So, he went into his own room in a full size cotbed. He looked so tiny. But he slept great & started to sleep from around 9pm to 6am, which was just amazing. At around 7 months old though, Seth started with partial awakening which lasted around 2-3 month. He would literally wake every 45mins screaming. All we could put it down to was teething. That was so hard. Functioning on such little sleep is tough. But, as a parent, you just want to comfort your baby. The only way they can communicate they’re hurting or they’re upset – is through crying. Thankfully, the partial awakening stopped as quick as it had started.

With Seth being our first, we had no experience of a sleep routine. Graham has always gotten home around 6pm/6:30pm, unless he has assessments to mark etc… then it could be much later. On occasion he does have nights away with work or through freelance work. But I’m always here with being able to work from home. We’d both agreed that we didn’t want bedtime to be negative or a battle ground. So, we have never ever used bed as a punishment. Neither of us agree with the cry it out method or self soothing method. I’ve also never let Seth nap in his room. When napping during the day, I’ve always let him nap downstairs. I just always wanted to keep the bedroom for bedtime to make a clear distinction between bed & nap. I’ve also been careful of danger naps… napping after 5pm has always been a no no, unless they’re poorly.

Seth’s routine from being 6 month has been:

  • No napping beyond 5pm… so I’d wake him gently from a nap if he was napping late afternoon or, I’d keep him awake by playing etc…
  • Teatime has always been around 4:30pm/5pm for the kids.
  • Bathtime 6pm – we don’t do bath time every night as Seth has always had baby eczema. Again, this is just a personal choice. I’ve always found, that a bath later than 6:30pm is too stimulating & tends to keep them awake.
  • CBeebies bedtime hour is always on in our house… PJs on, Milk & chill time. So we have no running around or loud toys from bedtime hour starting. Once bedtime hour is over – no more Kids TV. That has always been our rule. Kids TV is too stimulating, so nothing after 7pm. No tablets either & especially not in the bedroom. Again – that’s just personal choice.

Seth is now 3 years old & has gone to bed for 7pm since he was around 20 month old. We take him to bed, he has a wee, we read a story & that’s it. He goes to sleep. Obviously, as a baby, it wasn’t as simple as that. So, after the partial awakening had ended. We always gave Seth his bottle upstairs on our bed around 7:30pm. Then, we’d let him fall asleep in our arms & we’d carry him to bed. If he woke in the night, we’d give him a bottle in our room but with no lights on, no TV. Just keep it super boring. No talking etc… So he’d have the bottle & go back to bed.

One night, Graham was away in London & I took Seth up for his bottle. I lay with him on our bed & he was just looking at me, as if he was saying “well I ain’t sleeping here”… so I carried him to his room & put him in his cot. I took the monitor downstairs & I sat just watching him. I half expected him to cry as he was still awake… but he didn’t. He just lay there stroking his quilt & fell asleep! From that moment, we would give him a bottle & then put him in bed awake for him to nod off.

Still to this day, Seth has his little ambient blue night light plugged in so it’s not super dark. He loves his room & his bed. He’s now graduated to a big bunk bed – he sleeps on the bottom bunk as he’s only 3, we do have blackout blinds & black out curtains in his room – mainly for when it’s Summer. But he still likes his blue light on.

When Ted was born, we already had a good bedtime routine in place, so Ted just kind of fell in line with that.

At this point – I just want to point a few things out that we do:

  • Both boys were bottle fed. Ted from day one as I didn’t want to try breast feeding in case I let down my baby all over again.
  • Both boys have used soothers. Ted always goes to bed with a soother.
  • I have always kept the cot free & empty of toys, bumpers etc… I never used a sleep/grow bag purely as both Seth or Ted would settle in them. So I always used cellular blankets & a tight fitted sheet on the mattress. Seth now takes his quillow to bed & Cub (his little Ikea Bear)
  • Both boys have slept in a full size cotbed – so they’ve lots of space to stretch out. Seth had the sides off his cotbed from 23 month old & then he went into a full size single/bunk bed from age 3.
  • During nap times, both boys have always napped downstairs.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/44167779470/in/dateposted-public/

Nap times downstairs were a little bit of a mine field when Ted was first born. By this time Seth had outgrown day time naps & began going up to bed at 7pm. But Ted needed somewhere safe to nap. With a 2 & a half year old running round, I was always scared that a moses basket or a lounger would get knocked over. So, we went with a large playpen that had a firm memory foam & sprung mattress from iSafe. It was a life saver. It’s spacious & safe for Ted to nap in. We still have it now. Ted is 15 month old & loves his naps in there. I do allow soft toys in his play pen – purely as I can see him at all times. He doesn’t have toys in his cot bed upstairs. That’s totally free of clutter.

Ted follows the same routine as Seth with regard to when he gets his PJs on, bath time & tea times etc… From 8 weeks old, Ted has pretty much slept from 11pm right through. From around a year old he’s started to go to bed around 8pm, but recently, he’s started asking for bed once Seth has gone up. So, we put Seth to bed, then around 7:30pm, Ted will have a bottle in our room & then goes straight into his room to bed. We put Ted in his cot awake & falls asleep with no problems. We have video monitors on both boys in case they need us in the night. Ted sometimes will wake in the night for a bottle. But it’s literally a quick bottle & straight back to bed.

Ted was in a SnüzPod from birth to 5 month. He outgrew it from 5 month so he transferred to the Joie Kubbie Sleep which is also a side sleeper. He slept in that until he was 10 month old. The he went into his own room into a full size cot bed.

It’s lovely being able to have evenings free. But, being poorly or teething throws the sleeping lark out the window. But that’s just parenting, you have to expect sleepless nights at times.

When we go on holiday, we still follow our bedtime routine. That may sound strict, but Seth still only being 3yrs old, he doesn’t really appreciate a late night as a treat. By 7pm he’s asking for bed as he’s so tired. He’s so active, so he’s ready for his bed. Keeping the routine is constant. We’ve just always kept it up & over time it’s paid off. We’ve taken the boys out at night for meals etc…

I think in the beginning, it can be a bit of a shock to the system at just how much your life does change when you become a parent, but they’re only little for such a short time. Me & Graham met at University & we were together 7 year before we got married. Then we had 5 years together after we got married just us… so we have done the late nights out etc… I think we’re happy being home all snuggly now lol. I’m sure once the boys are packed off to University, we can become party animals again lol.

So there you have it… that’s our bedtime routine. See… I have no hidden secret. It’s just been keeping a good routine in place day in & day out. I hope you’ve found this useful?

Thank you so much reading 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Chilly Days Out

16 Dec

Hi folks,

It might be feeling very chilly & wintry outside… but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the great outdoors. Being a ‘boy mama’ means I spend a lot of time outside foraging under rocks for creepy crawlies & hunting through woods for Gruffalo’s & Bears.

We spend lots of time walking & exploring on a weekend. Even in the colder months, you’ll find us having a picnic all wrapped up.

We were sent some lovely ION8 Leakproof Water Bottles. Perfect for those days out!

The bottles we have are 350ml. Perfect size for children, but also it means you’re not logging around giant water bottles. These lovely bottles are 100% leak proof. They’d be ideal for packed lunches!

We have the lovely Lady Bug design & the orange.

Both bottles have a frosted kind of texture, making it perfect for grip while on the go. There’s also a great one touch button for opening & there’s also a little switch you can flick that will completely lock the bottle. So you can pop it in your bag with no fear of leaks! Perfect! No one wants a soggy handbag.

Both boys have found them easy to drink from. There’s even a little carry strap too!

The bottles are suitable for both cold & warm drinks.

You can find ION8 Leakproof on social media too!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Give them a follow to keep up to date with new products & promotions!

Thank you so much as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Parenting Win

19 Nov

Hi folks,

The last 13 month since seems to have flown by & Ted just seems to be hitting all of those first milestone so quickly. I sometimes wish I could just slow down time. Ted is very much a toddler now. He’s no longer my 8lb 4oz newborn baby. He started walking at 10month which still just totally blows me away, Seth walked at just turned 11month old & I thought that was super early.

When Seth made the transition from Bottle to Cup for his water… I remember it taking a little while for him to get used to it. However, with Ted, he has taken to it so well. So much so, that I didn’t even actually introduce him to a cup. He literally just picked up Seth’s 360 Cup one day & started to drink from it lol. So… after hearing this, the lovely folk at Nuby HQ sent Ted his very own 360 cups.

Ted started with the lovely Nuby Wonder Mini 360 Cup. These cups are fab, as they have the little handles on them, so they’re easy for little fingers to be able to grab hold of. I really didn’t have to try with this cup, in introducing it to Ted. He literally just picked it straight up & began using it. He grasped the ‘sucking’ technique so easily.

The 360 cups are super easy to clean too, as every single part comes apart for cleaning. They also come with a lid too, so they’re great for popping in your bag for on the go. You can also buy the replacement inner valve too.

The natural next step from this cup, is to move onto the maxi 360 cup with no handles.

This has been a piece of cake for Ted. He loves his ‘big boy’ cup. I think he feels more like his big brother when he’s using it. He has taken to it so well. These cups are suitable from 6 month. We have bypassed the traditional sippy cups really with Ted, & I think it’s better. This way, he is learning how to drink from more of a proper cup.

Another lovely product we’ve been using is the 3D Silicone Bib.

These bibs are fab! Well let’s face it… anything that cuts down on laundry is a lifesaver in my eyes. These bibs are so durable. And they wipe down so easily… & did I mention that they’re dishwasher safe too!!! The bib has a ‘catch all’ feature which catches all of those pesky flyaway foodie bits. And, while on the go, it easily rolls up to go back into your bag.

The silicone is soft & flexible with an adjustable fastening on the back for around the neck, making this a comfy bib for your little one to wear at mealtimes. It’s not stiff or ‘scratchy’ at all.

Nuby make some gorgeous bath time toys. Seth & Ted have both been having fun playing with the Astronaut Foam Mirror Set. It’s a cute toy as it clings & sticks to the side of the bath & on the tiles. And with the lovely mirror feature, they can see themselves, which Ted always thinks is great fun. Ted has chomped on this bath toy lots & it’s still in perfect condition. Durability is a must in our house lol.

With a Nuby product, you always know that you’re going to get good value for money & good quality products. Perfect for those little stocking fillers!

Thank you as always for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Essentials to Make Life Simple

12 Aug

Hi folks,

I can’t believe we’re almost half way through August & the ‘Back to School’ countdown has begun! Seth is so super excited to get back to PreSchool… he asks every day if his teachers are back from their holidays yet bless him lol.

So… along with the usual new uniform & school shoes… he has his trusty favourite backpack!

Seth simply adores his Trendz Robot Backpack from Nuby. It’s the perfect size for our little people. It also has a detachable rein on it too. There’s also side pockets either side, the perfect size for a matching drinks bottle.

The new stainless steel Robo Cups are perfect for School… they keep drinks cool for up to 10hrs! They’re also very durable… Seth has dropped his on concrete several times & it’s left no marks or dints!

Ted is a BIG fan of the Stainless Steel Food jar… perfect for dinners on the go! The contents will stay warm for 5 hours & cool for 7 hrs! Perfect for when you’ve arranged those all important playdates!!!

And where would we be without those all important Catch All Wipeable Bibs!?

In fact… they’re almost good enough to eat lol.

Weaning can be such a tedious time. I have been a lot more relaxed about weaning this time around. When I was weaning Seth I was super stressed all of the time about finger foods. With Ted, everything has just felt more relaxed & laid back. Everything is so much easier though when you have good quality products thats you can trust!

Here’s a little list of some of our new found favourite products:

This has made independent drinking so easy for Ted. He has taken to this cup so well. It’s great for little sips of water during meal times. I think I may start introducing a 360 cup.

I love these little bowls. They’re perfect for food storage too when you’ve been making baby food. Also, for feeding when you’re out & about, it’s great being able to pop the lid on to avoid any food spillages in your bag.

This is great for finger foods. It grips fantastically to smooth surfaces, such as your highchair table/tray.

This is such a cute little bowl. The lovely soft texture feel is great for little hands. All of the edges are smooth etc… & I just love that you can stick it down too. It’s that first step toward self feeding.

These lovely spoons have been developed to help with self feeding. The shape & design is perfect for little chubby hands to grip. They also have choke protection guards to reduce gagging and choking.

Such a perfect first cutlery set. Ted hasn’t gotten round to using these ones yet, but once he’s hit the 12 month mile stone… I’m sure he’ll be using them.

I used these fantastic lolly makers with Seth. So you can be assured that they’re long lasting. Ted adores his homemade fruity ice lollies. They’re perfect for sore teething gums. The clever design catches any stray drips & the handle itself is perfect for little hands to grip. They come with a lovely little freezer tray too.

If you head over to the Nuby Website, you can get free delivery when you spend £15 or more & there’s also some Back To School bargains.

We simply adore all of our Nuby products. I love anything that will make day to day life that little bit easier!

We’ve not got long left now of the Summer Holidays… so let’s hope that this weather of ours picks up!

Thanks so much as always for reading!!!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Out and About with Versatrax

26 Jul

Hi folks,

We’ve had such lovely weather for the last few days… I really do hope that this is it now… Summer has finally landed!?

I can’t believe that Seth has completed his first full term of pre-school. I’m so glad that we decided to take early intake with him rather than waiting until September. He has come on so much & his development has been amazing in the last few month.

I love that each day he gets excited for his walk to school with Mammy & Baby Ted. It’s one of the first things he says when he wakes up. Driving whilst doing the school run is so not enjoyable. Parking is a nightmare! We walk too & from school everyday. I think it’s good for kids to walk & to get out in the fresh air, rather than bundled in to a car all of the time. We’re very lucky in that our school is only a very short walk away. It only takes us 10-15mins to get there… depending on how slowly Seth wants to walk lol.

Ted just loves being out & about in a buggy too. We’ve just received the Joie Versatrax. It is absolutely gorgeous.

With Joie you always know you’re going to get safety & quality. But the Versatrax isn’t just reliable & safe… it also has that ‘fancy feel’. It has lots of added little extras that just make it all the more luxurious. The tan leather trims & cup holder – really finish this travel system off perfectly.

I love that this is a sturdy travel system, yet folds so compact. It literally folds down in half. Also, there’s no back breaking manoeuvres or fancy footwork needed to collapse this pram. It’s so simple & quick. I am quite literally the most clumsy person I know, & even I have mastered this easy procedure. A click of the safety switch & you’re pretty much done!

Once folded this pram will stand freely. So it’s perfect if you’re short on space. Also, you won’t need to prop it against your hallway wall. There’s nothing worse than a pram or buggy that doesn’t free stand & has to be propped against your cream walls. It’s also great for if you’re in a restaurant etc… you can fold it & stand it out of the way with ease.

I love that this pram gives you the option of forward or rear facing. Ted is 8 month now & loves to be nosy & look at what’s going on. However, he is teething & it’s been making him a bit upset. Sometimes he likes to rear face when he’s feeling a little under the weather. So the Versatrax gives us that option. It’s so simple to unclip & turn round.

Like all Joie products… the Versatrax is super comfy. We’ve had no complaints from Ted. The seat is comfy & has a nice soft feel. No sharp edges or corners. Everything is finished off beautifully. The seat will fully recline & has a soft touch harness. There’s also calf/leg support too. So your little one can really kick back & relax.

The Versatrax handles beautifully. The push bar is comfy to hold & has a one handed push. Now you all know that one handed push is a big requirement for me. I need to be able to push the pram/buggy with one hand while I’m holding Seth’s hand too. We have 2 busy roads to get across on our school run. So need to have hands available. Also, I’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist/hand. Vibrations can really trigger the pain. The Versatrax has lovely foam filled rubber tyres making it a smooth ride for your little one & a comfy one for you while pushing it. There’s hardly no vibration.

There’s also a really big storage basket on the bottom & is very easy to access. A big basket is a must for us, as I just seem to have so much stuff with me all of the time lol.

Here is a list of the features:

  • Suitable from birth with flat reclining seat
  • Adjustable forward and rearward facing seat
  • Pairs perfectly with Joie infant carriers gemm™, i-Gemm™, i-Level™, and i-Snug™ with the included adapters or with other infant carriers using Maxi-Cosi® style attachment
  • Pairs perfectly with ramble™ XL carry cot using the included adapters
  • One hand easy fold and setup, with seat rearward or forward facing
  • Freestanding when folded
  • Carry strap built in
  • Water repellant canopy
  • Full-size UPF50+ canopy with eyeshade visor
  • Multi-position recline for backrest tilt options
  • 2 position calf support
  • Front and back access storage basket
  • All wheel suspension for a smooth ride
  • Sweet Stride™ single front swivel wheels
  • One touch brakes
  • SoftTouch, 5-point harness
  • Height adjustable pushbar
  • Locking front swivel wheels
  • Cup holder

This really is a fantastic travel system. If you’re looking for a travel system that you can rely on, look fancy, is great on space & easy to use… then this is the one for you. Travel systems have a reputation for being big & bulky. But this certainly isn’t like that. It’s sturdy, lightweight, easy to use & folds very compact. It really is perfect for everyday family life! It’s going to be great for travel too as it doesn’t take up much space in the car! So look out for my review on how it is on holidays!

Thanks so much for reading & I hope you’ve found this review helpful!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

My Fave Must Haves!

1 Jul

 

Hi folks,

Wowzers… how are we even 7 month into 2019 already!? This year is going by super fast… but then, I’m just super busy 24/7… so no wonder it’s flying by.

Parenting is so much easier, when you’ve got the best parenting must haves to help you! I mean… where would I be without my most fave Joie products!?

In May we had a lovely birthday break in the Yorkshire Dales & then in June we had a lovely little Haven Holiday to Blackpool. For both holidays – we took our Kubbie Sleep with us for Ted. I know I’ve written a review about the Kubbie Sleep already, but I just wanted to say once more – how much we love this travel cot. I so wish we’d had this for when Seth was a baby too. It’s great as it’s a travel cot – but also a side sleeper. Side sleeping has been such a lovely bonding experience for us. We have never co-slept. So having a side sleeper has been the better, more safe option for us. And it’s even better when you can carry on side sleeping while travelling too.

As you can see from Ted’s happy little face… he loves the Kubbie Sleep.

One of the things we love about it, is that it folds down small into it’s little carry bag. It’s so easy to assemble too. There’s nothing worse that a really fiddley travel cot.

It has a lovely thick, firm mattress for your little one to sleep on. The metal poles come apart & collapse easily to fit into the carry bag. The bag is perfect for storage too – it’ll keep your Kubbie Sleep nice & dust free between each use. The mattress can also be removed easily too for playtime & tummy time… Perfect!

This really is the perfect travel companion. You can find my original Kubbie Sleep review here. This really is a must have item when travelling with baby. We tried Ted in a regular travel cot & he would not settle at the mattress just was not firm enough. Yet he settled so quick in the Kubbie Sleep. I cannot recommend this travel cot/side sleeper enough.

Now… It’s no secret that I’m also a massive Joie buggy fan! Let’s Meet Mirus

The Mirus can be used forward & rear facing by simply moving the push bar. It’s nice to have the option of rear or forward facing. Ted is super nosey… so I do tend to forward face him. But, if he’s a little upset – which he has been recently with teething… it’s nice to be able to see them.

A massive thumbs up from me has to be the anti scuff brake! I hate the fact that all of my shoes get scuffed on the toe from flicking the brake up on most other buggy’s. But the Mirus has the brake on the side of the push bar!!! So with a flick of a switch you can put the brake on & off with your hand. No more scuffed shoes!

The seat fully reclines making it suitable rom birth. There’s an easy to use handle/lever on the back of the seat making it easy to recline if your little one nods off & you want to make them that little bit comfier. I also love that it’s a one hand fold. I am so cack handed & clumsy – it’s unreal… and even I can fold the Mirus with just one hand. It falls into a fold position really easily & automatically locks into position. When folded, it stands upright. Great for storage. We keep ours in our front porch & it just stands neatly against the wall & is so slimline when folded that it doesn’t get in the way.

The basket on the bottom is a great size too… great for carrying your picnic when on days out lol.

I love the large hood – great for Summer days when the sun is shinning.

I use the Mirus every day on the school run as we don’t live too far from school. The Mirus will manoeuvre easily when using only one hand. There’s a few busy roads I need to cross so I need to be able to hold Seth’s hand while I push Ted in the buggy. One handed push is not a problem for the Mirus. You’ll also receive a rain cover as standard too – which is a total must have.

Seth has really taken to holding Ted’s hand actually while he’s in the buggy… so cute.

This pushchair is also fully compatible with Joie 0+ infant carriers… no adaptors needed. So in effect… this would be the only pushchair you’d actually need to buy. So, if you’re on a budget, you could save money on buying big expensive travel systems.

This is such an excellent buggy… lightweight… one handed fold… one handed push… comfy… what’s not to love!? I’ll be taking this buggy away with us too when we travel, so you can expect more updates on it is to travel with.

Thank you as always for reading & I do hope you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

 

Making Memories

20 May

Hi folks,

I love the month of May. Spring is everywhere & everything looks so beautiful… the weather is on the turn to sunnier times & it’s also mine & the hubsters Birthday month.

We always try to do something nice for our birthdays as they’re only 4 days apart. But when you have little ones in tow… plans have to change & adapt. This year we had the most amazing little break in the Yorkshire Dales in a stunning Georgian Cottage.

So… first of all… let me tell you about this simply beautiful cottage. Green Cottage is an elegant Georgian Cottage set on the green of one of Yorkshire’s most picturesque villages. It’s an ideal base to explore the Dales in any season. And… it’s 100% Family-friendly… that includes doggies too. A dog bed & bowl can be provided if needed. Our Coco is such a little diva though & likes her own little comforts – so we took her fave bed & mini food & water bowl… most dog bowls are big enough for her to bathe in lol.

The space itself:

The house is fully detached and set over three floors. Don’t worry thoughif you have little ones, then baby gates can be provided. Seth is 3 & Ted is 6 month so we very much need baby gates on the stairsso this was fab for us. They were already installed too!

Lower Ground Floor

  • Kitchen diner (featuring an extendable table to seat up to 6 guests and fully equipped with Rangemaster cooker, dishwasher, fridge with freezer shelf and microwave along with plenty of good quality cooking and baking equipment, glasses, crockery etc). Honestly…the kitchen has EVERYTHING you could possibly need. Even down to the colourful plastic kids crockery from IKEA that we all know & love & can’t live without! We ate in both nights… did ‘snacky food & we had sparkles… obvs

  • Utility room (with washer-dryer, iron and ironing board and a drying space for muddy boots and outdoor gear)There’s great tray there to stand your dirty shoes in there’s a radiator right underneath the coat rail too – so if you’ve gotten a little damp – everything will dry off.

  • Bathroom (with spa whirlpool bath, and toasty underfloor heating). The bath is utterly divine! I had visions of having an uninterrupted bubble bath with a glass of sparkles… but of course that lasted all of 5 minutes until Seth came bounding in lol. But that’s Mama Life for you!

Ground Floor

  • Living room (sofas to comfortably seat 5, log burner, digital Smart TV with Freeview, BBC iPlayer etc as well as lots of books, maps and games) we took our amazon fire stick with us & connected it to the WiFi. So we were able to watch Disney Life, Netflix & Prime. Please note that the play pen in the living room is ours & not part of the cottage.

  • Snug / third bedroom (large day bed which can be made up into full size single bed, second TV, desk)

  • Shower room (walk in monsoon shower with extra large enclosure, heated towel rail) There is also a toilet. It’s fab as there is literally a toilet on each floor. Essential for toilet training! Seth is totally dry now, but we’re still only in our first month of toilet training… so a toilet on hand is utterly essential lol.

First floor

  • Master bedroom (king size bed with deep, comfortable mattress, large wardrobe and antique dressing table) oodles of spaceLoads of room for a travel cot. A travel cot can be provided too if you don’t want to take one.

  • Twin bedroom (two full size single beds with pocket sprung mattresses, chest of drawers and clothes rail) a waterproof mattress cover can be provided too! Perfect!Please note that the bed guard rail is ours & not part of the cottage.

  • WC with basin (‘Jack and Jill’ style access from both upstairs bedrooms, ideal for families, or can be set up as en-suite for either bedroom)

Outside

  • Enclosed garden to rear and side, paved and gravel with outside seating, and a charcoal BBQ
  • Bike store (lockable for up to 5 bikes, can also be used as a pram store)
  • Direct access to the village green – a large expanse of grass free for all to stroll, sit or play
  • Play area visible from back gate – swings, slide, football posts etc. We spent quite a lot of time in the little play area. Seth loves a park. There’s also plenty wide open space to run around or to picnic. But, if you take your fur babies… please ensure you scoop that poop! There’s nothing worse than dog poop making the place dirty!

As you can see from above & from my photos… everything is catered for.

The bedding was so comfy!!! Egyptian cotton bed linen on all beds, 13.5 tog thick duvets (hypoallergenic and feather / down) and plenty of soft and fluffy Egyptian cotton towels. As you can see… Ted had to try out the king size bed lol.

There’s a welcome pack with all the basics for your first couple of days (loo rolls, hand soap, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, bin bags, tea towels and kitchen cleaning supplies) as well as tea, coffee, milk, bread and a few local treats. This was soooo nice!!! It just means that you don’t have to pack a lot of shopping. And it also means that it’s all ready for you to get the kettle straight on when you arrive… coz let’s face it… we all need that first brew when we arrive somewhere! Especially when you’ve had to sing Baby Shark & Old McDonald Farm all the way there lol.

 

Also… when we arrived there was a lovely big box of toys left out for Seth to explore, as well as plenty children’s books. There were even a few laid out on his bed for him. That was such a lovely touch & Seth was super excited!

So as well as a travel cot, baby gates & toys… the owners can provide a highchair – which Ted thought was VERY comfy & there is also a baby monitor. Oh & I did mention the plastic IKEA crockery, but there’s also a MAM Baby Cup too. Just so many little things that have been added to make your break so much easier! This cottage is really like a home from home.

For our furbabies, there is a lovely fluffy blanket provided & the use of a hose pipe outside to wash down those dirty paws.

 

Okay… so you’ve heard all about the gorgeous cottage… but what did we do while we were there? We investigated Settle. What a stunning little town. Seth particularly enjoyed The House That Jack Built. He got some lovely new Melissa & Doug toys. There are so many gorgeous shops, tea rooms & places to eat, to investigate. There’s also the Watershed Mill. It is absolutely stunning… the scenery is simply breathtaking. We popped there for a little bite to eat over lunch time.

We spent a lot of time playing on the green outside of the cottage & in the little park. We were only there for 2 nights… next time we’ll be booking for a week.

The cottage has a lovely organised folder of leaflets & places to visit etc… so helpful for when you’re planning days out.

This beautiful cottage is simply worth every penny. If you book before August & quote: “IxxyPoco” you will be given an exclusive discount. You can book a year in advance. So use that code before it runs out. Simply head to Green Cottage on AirBnB & send a message to the owners quoting my blog.

Thanks as always for reading & I hope you’ve been inspired to book yourself a lovely break away ❤️

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Sleeping Soundly Side by Side

2 Apr

Hi folks

A few weeks ago we got our gorgeous Kubbie Sleep from Joie. It’s no secret that Joie is one of our most favourite baby brands. We have lots of Joie products that we use everyday. Our latest addition – the Kubbie Sleep certainly does not disappoint.

First off… Ted is a really big bambino lol. He’s measuring above average on the 75th centile. He’s incredibly long. This side sleeper has plenty of room. Ted has slept so soundly in it. The mattress can be lowered, but right now we’ve been using it on the higher setting as Ted is only 5 month old. The cot is nice & wide too. So much so that there’s plenty of room for Ted to roll around. In fact he’s started to roll over on to his tummy in his sleep…. not ideal I know. He also likes to do a spot of baby yoga too lol.

The mattress is completely removable so you can easily use for play time & tummy time. The metal rods on it make it super firm & nice & comfy. Lots of travel costs seem to be to too soft & flexible n the base I’ve found. This is perfect & loses no shape when you lay your baby down in it. A cot bed flat sheet will fit this mattress perfectly… thats what I’ve been using as you can tucked it under better than a fitted sheet. I’s like to also mention that with the mattress being so firm – you could easily use this form birth.

Another great feature is that you can afix this to your bed for safety & you can also drop the side. So it’s a perfect side sleeper for home & for travel. We’re actually going away next month & then again in June. So we will be sure to take our Kubbie Sleep with us. It folds down into a carry bag. It’s becomes so slimline that it easily fits into the footwell of the backseat of your car leaving your boot space completely free.

Exact dimensions:

Setup Dimensions: l 99cm x w 59.5cm x h 80.5cm

Folded Dimensions: l 27cm x w 25cm x h 80.5cm

Product Weight: 8.79kg

Product Usage: birth to 15kg

 

All four sides of the cot are mesh lined for ventilation & there’s integrated wheels to, perfect for moving around.

Here’s a list of the exact features:

  • Bedside cot for safe and cosy side-by-side sleep 
  • Simple and stylish design with exposed tubing complements any space 
  • Full size bassinet removes and attaches easily 
  • Compact, ultra secure frame for naptime or playtime 
  • Removable mattress doubles for naptime or playtime 
  • Two integrated wheels 
  • Mesh lined for ventilation on all 4 sides 
  • Compact, folded package for easy travel or storage
  • Tidy travel bag included for travelling and storage 
  • Zipper on side for easy entry

Ted has slept so soundly in his Kubbie Sleep. He literally goes down at 10pm/10:30pm & wakes up around 6am. If you’re having trouble settling your little one… maybe the Kubbie Sleep is the magical answer you’ve been looking for lol. It’s nice knowing that when we’re travelling to places, we can take a safe, secure & snuggly bed for Ted. We like going for little vacations & weekends away so this is perfect for us. This would also be ideal to keep at a grandparents house if you have family who babysit on a regular basis.

Overall… this gets a 10 out of 10 from Ted. I’ll be writing another blog post all about it after our weekend getaway next month, then again after our seaside week away in June.

Thank you so much as always for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful. Don’t forget to check out the Joie website for more info & for a list of stockists.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Holidays… Breaks… Vacations… Travel

4 Mar

Hi folks,

Is it just me or does travelling abroad as a parent sometimes fill you with sheer dread? We’re planning a little European vacation this summer to Germany. I’m already trying to think like a million steps ahead… what do I pack!? Toys, formula, buggy, nappies, wipes, calpol… blah blah blah. I mean… do I even have luggage big enough!? What I wouldn’t give to have a private plane lol.

Then there’s the travel insurance. While I was pregnant, with both Seth & Ted, we holidayed in the UK. We always just purchase the travel insurance through the company we’re booking with. To be honest… I was always to scared too about travelling abroad whilst pregnant. So much so that we cancelled our trip to Sweden & Denmark whilst I was pregnant with Seth. Now looking back… I wish we’d not cancelled. But I mean… what is the advice? What are the guidelines whilst pregnant!? Well, the fabulous folk over at Columbus Direct have put this statement together:

Stuart Lloyd, travel insurance expert at Columbus Direct comments:

“Like Meghan & Harry, many parents-to-be will be looking to travel whilst pregnant but perhaps are unsure if it’s safe.

“If you’ve had a straightforward pregnancy, you should be safe to fly up to 28 weeks as normal. Beyond 28 weeks there are other considerations including whether you’ve had an uncomplicated pregnancy, the specific airline you’re flying with, as well as your insurance policy.

“Most airlines will require a “Fit to Fly” medical certificate from your GP beyond 28 weeks and the majority of airlines will not allow you to travel beyond 37 weeks for a single pregnancy, and beyond 32 weeks for a multiple pregnancy. Our advice is to always check with your airline as many have their own guidelines and you don’t want to be caught out.

“Before travelling, ensure you’ve not only bought travel insurance but have also checked the policy terms to see what is required of you and what you are covered for when travelling whilst pregnant in the event that you need to make a claim.

“Always consult your midwife or visit the NHS website for any medical related questions.”

I wish I’d read this statement back in 2016. But, I’ll just have to book Denmark & Sweden for the future!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Well hello there 2019

9 Jan

 

Hi folks,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you have all had an amazing Christmas. Don’t worry… this isn’t going to be a ‘New Year – New Me’ kind of blog post, but more of a ‘New Year – Same Me – Positive Vibes’ kind of post.

We have had such an amazing Christmas. From the moment Ted has been born, the time has flown so much. We’ve had lots of visits to see Santa & an amazing Christmassy vacation to Centre Parcs for Christmas week.

Every year we go to Centre Parcs for the lead up to Christmas… it’s just perfect. It really gets you into the Christmas spirit & full of magic. It was even more amazing going as a completed little family. We’ve already booked for next year… I’m literally already planning for Christmas 2019… I know – I can’t help myself lol. I actually bought myself a Rachel Ellen 5 Year Christmas Planner. It’s fab! I didn’t get mine until September, so it’ll be great having it a whole year in advance this time round.

From August last year I started to save up those Morrison’s match & More points… I managed to save up £50 worth of vouchers which I used for my Christmas grocery shop 2 days before the big day. Can I just say though that shopping 23rd December was like Hell on Earth! So, this year, I’m going to start saving my vouchers now & I’ll be placing a ‘Food to Order’ shop so I don’t have to battle the crowds. If I can save up £50 in just a few month… then imagine what I can save in a whole year. It’s so worth doing if you shop in Morrison’s regularly. I downloaded the app & I keep an eye on offers where you gain more points on certain items etc…

Christmas this year was made even more magical, as Seth totally understands Christmas now & Santa Clause. Last year he cried every time we went to see Santa… this year we just couldn’t keep him away lol.

Christmas Eve was filled with Breakfast with Santa at a local family pub… which also included a Christmas disco. It was fantastic & all of the kids had such a lovely time. Afterwards it was home for Christmas crafts & all of those family Christmas Eve traditions. I filled Seth’s Christmas Eve box with lots of Christmas crafty things for us all to do together. And of course… we became that family who wear matching PJs.

Christmas Day was just non-stop… Seth was super hyper. It was just perfect.

Next year is going to be amazing with Ted up & about toddling around. It’s crazy to think that this year I’ll have a 1 year old & a 3 year old.

We haven’t had the best of starts to 2019 really… I ended up in hospital with borderline pneumonia & a severe throat & chest infection. It was pretty scary at the time as they thought it was sepsis in the beginning. Luckily though it’s nothing steroids & anti biotics can’t fix. The consultant thinks it’s mainly down to a very low immune system after my c-section. Being poorly when you’re a Mammy just isn’t an option really.

I’m so very lucky to have my boys. Seth is growing up to be such a bright, beautiful boy… he’s my little comedian. I can’t wait to watch Ted grow & develop his own little personality too

And… Coco of course is still a super diva!

So… what do I have planned for 2019?

Well… we have a Christening to organise. This weekend I really do need to make a list of numbers & book it all. Then I need to order invitations etc… I’m normally way more organised than this – but being poorly has really thrown me. I have been watching Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix & it’s given me a much needed kick. In fact… today I reorganised 4 cupboards & a drawer lol.

Next on the list will be Seth starting pre-school. I just cannot believe it’s almost time. I’m happy to say that we got our first choice – yey! And, we have his 3rd birthday too. We’re planning on taking him to Seven Stories for the Elmer Exhibition. He loves his books & Elmer is one of his faves.

This year we’ve also got a few little family vacations & some exciting little things planned that you’ll just have to wait to find out about throughout the year 🙂 And of course we’ll have a Halloweeny 1st Birthday in October too.

I have no New Year Resolutions  this year… I just plan on being as healthy as I can be… smile & laugh everyday & continue with a positive outlook. And of course to be the best Mammy I can be to my beautiful boys.

So, Happy New Year! Thank you so much for all of the support last year & thank you for continuing to read 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx