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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

“Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning” – Diane Ackerman

18 Nov

Hi folks,

Well, we’re now into my most favourite time of the year… CHRISTMAS!!!! Yes… it’s only November, but I don’t care! I’m in full on Christmas count down mode! I’ve put my tree up! I just literally couldn’t help myself!

So… since I’m throwing myself into all things Christmassy… I have a lovely little gift guide blog post for you. The boys have been playing with & reviewing some lovely toys from Hape.

As most of you know… Hape are one of our most favourite toy brands. You just cannot go wrong with good quality, vibrant, wooden toys. I’m such a big believer in learning through play. Apart from when Seth is at Pre-School… we play all day long.

Where to start? Lets start with the lovely Hape Number Peg Puzzle. Seth loves this puzzle. The pegs are easy to get a hold of & the pieces are lovely & vibrant. This is great for number recognition. Seth is doing so well with his numbers… but does get confused with his number 6 & number 9 at times. So playing with this puzzle has helped immensely.

This puzzle is just so well made & is a lovely size. This is recommended for 3yrs & over, so I’ve been careful to keep it out of Teds reach. He’s in that phase of shoving everything in his mouth to bite.

Ted utterly adores his  Pepe & Friends Push & Go Cat.

It has a clever internal mechanism that allows the toy to roll forward when the back is pushed down and released. So he’s had fun pressing it & watching it scoot across the wooden floor in the dining room. Ted just loves anything with wheels. He loves crawling around the floor pushing it around. It’s a lovely sturdy toy this one. If it can withstand some rough play & being thrown around by Ted.. then it can withstand anything lol.

Baby Einstein Colour Mixer. Both boys have LOVED playing with this toy. It’s such a gorgeous clever little toy this one. This lovely toy identifies colours and lights up as you experiment with different colour combinations with the beads. It flashes in a rainbow light show & plays music. You can also switch between music & spoken words which are in both English & French. It’s great as it introduces little ones to colours & helps to encourage motor skill development. 

The pictures really do not do this toy justice. It is absolutely stunning when you see it. In the box, it doesn’t look like much… but it really is a lovely toy. So many fun elements to it. It has kept both boys quiet. Ad again, it’s very sturdy & well made. So, perfect for little ones.

So, if you’re looking for some gifts & stocking fillers for the little ones – look no further. I’m always blown away with the quality & design of Hape.

Thank you so much for reading & hope you’ve fun this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

I May Not Be Perfect… But At Least My Eyebrows Are!

1 Oct

Hi folks,

I’m so happy that it’s finally Autumn… October is one of my most favourite months. I love crunchy golden leaves under foot, a chill in the air & the excitement of the party season fast approaching. I simply cannot believe that this month I will have a 1 year old & a 3 year old. How on earth is Ted almost a year old!? He started walking last month!!! Walking at 10 month… he’s so clever.

So, I’ve been wanting to write this blog post since January… but I’ve just been so busy & not gotten round to it. But… here it is. My eyebrow journey!!! As most of you know – I’ve had my eyebrows micro bladed. I can honestly say that this it is the BEST thing I’ve ever done cosmetically.

From years of over plucking… my eyebrows were just a state. I used to paint them in each day.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

With all of the over plucking, my eyebrows had just simply stopped growing. It wasn’t too bad when I had a full face of make up on, as I’d draw them in. But, if I was having a no make up day (which is so rare for me) I’d just feel so self conscious. It’d be even worse while on holiday & in the pool with the kids… I’d just want to hide & cry about my face & the lack of eyebrows. It seems to trivial doesn’t it? But your eyebrows frame your face. It was such a big thing for me.

I started getting my nails done at Ruby Red in January 2018. While having my nails done, I just happened to mention that I’d toyed with the idea of having my eyebrows micro bladed. That’s when Jo, told me that she actually did micro blading. She gave me all the facts, broke down the process & how it all works. She also told me, not to rush into it, to really think about it all etc… well… that very same month… I got pregnant with Ted. So, microblading was off the cards for a wee while. Over the year I got to know Jo so well & she has become one of my most favourite people. Becoming such good friends with Jo, really helped me to make the decision to have my eyebrows done.

So… my first piece of advice… really research your beautician. Ask to see photo’s of their work. Have a consultation. Have your eyebrows mapped. Discuss any concerns. Discuss the shape & thickness. And DO NOT rush into anything. This is a semi permanent procedure that will be on your face. You need to be happy, at ease & 100% confident. 

Eyebrow journey

At my consultation I had my eyebrows properly mapped & measured & I also had a dye test to make sure I had no allergies & to also colour match the dye. I opted for a much thicker & fuller brow. I have big eyes… cow eyes as my lovely hubster calls them lol. He assures me this a complement lol. I wanted quite big, full, natural looking brows with a nice arch. After going away for a week or so, I went back for my first sitting. With microblading, you’ll have your first sitting & then a few weeks later you have your top up. Its totally normal to lose a few strokes in your brows after your first sitting.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

First of all… the first thing I’m asked:

Does it hurt? Yes… but not like a tattoo. I found it to feel more like a graze. It’s fine in the beginning… but toward the end of the brow, it’ll sting. My eyes watered a lot. You will have some numbing cream though… so really do not worry about the pain.

Can you wear make up straight away? Yes… as long as you don’t go on the eyebrow area.

How long does the scabbing last? Everyone is different… my scabbing lasted around 10 days. My scabbing looked more like dry skin. Most of it was gone after 7 days. But I had a few areas that were still there. So I opted to keep my eye brows dry until all of the scabbing was gone. The advice is to keep eyebrows dry for a week. But I didn’t want to force any scabbing away. My saviour was my Liz Earle Cleansing Cloth.

Eyebrow journey

It allowed me to give my face a good scrub & cleanse… while avoiding my eyebrows. Yes, during this period your eyebrows can look a little unkempt if you really look. But just make sure you get them done when you’ve nothing major planned… like a wedding etc… It does not last forever & the results are worth it.

Once the scabbing has gone… you can wear your make up & wash your face like you normally would.

Now… I have to admit that after a few days… I initially freaked out one evening. I started to panic as the ink will become quite dark due to the scabbing. When you’ve gone from no eyebrows – to full on brows, it can take a while to get used to them. Also, as I’m so dark, I had the darkest dye. After my slight wobble… I loved them. Life is so much easier when you have brows.

Eyebrow journey

After my top up… I was even more in love with them!!! They were full, dark & just perfect. They suited my face so much.

Getting ready on a morning is much quicker. When I have a full of face of make up, I do lightly shade them in. But that is just my personal choice. I cut them in with my concealer & foundation & then I use a Make Up Revolution Eyebrow Pencil. But because I already have the brow there… it’s so quick & easy. Literally takes minutes.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

So… what do my brows look like now? Have they lasted?

Eyebrow journey

YES!!! They’re still amazing. And… do you know what else is utterly amazing??? My own eyebrows have actually started to grow! They’ve not grown for years. I’m wondering if maybe somehow, the trauma of the micro blading has stimulated the roots?

I am due a top up in January, & I simply cannot wait. In some ways I wish I’d had them done years ago. But then I’m also glad I didn’t, as I may not have found Jo. I’m so glad that she was the one to do them.

If you are in the Yorkshire area & you’re considering microblading… contact Jo at Ruby Red. She’s AMAZING!!! A true artist. I have linked their Facebook page, where you will find all of their contact details.

Before I go… I just want to leave you this:

Eyebrow journey

Literally all of the brow emotions you will go through lol.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post & you’ve found it interesting. If you’re considering micro blading – book that consultation!!!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

Staying Ahead with Good Planning

13 Sep

Hi folks,

I’ve been in planning & organising over drive lately. What with the start of the new academic year & Seth going back to Pre-School & everything that’s coming up with regard to events & celebrations… I’ve been furiously making lists etc…

I just couldn’t get by without my Personal Planner Wall Planner. It’s so perfect for busy family life when you’re juggling school events, work, appointments, etc…

This is the ultimate Wall Planner for a busy family. You get a week per pages & you can add family members & colour co-ordinate everyone. You can even add a photograph at the top of each column.

I absolutely adore stickers too… With your purchase, you get a free sheet of stickers, but you can also purchase more stickers from their online shop.

With the wall planner you can also add areas at the bottom for things such as: Menu/Meals, To Do List, Pre-School etc… it’s just a great area to add additional notes & memo’s. For us, it’s perfect having our planner to consult before booking anything in as you can see so quickly & easily what everyone is up too.

I’m a big fan of technology & I use my electric devices daily along with a virtual assistant in our home in pretty much every room lol, but when it comes to organising… paper & pen is always better. Personal Planner as a company make it all so very user friendly. If you create an account you can add all of you special dates, such as birthdays etc… they will automatically be uploaded into any planner you create with the click of a button. It saves so much time!

I’ve also got the Mini Planner too for my handbag. It’s literally perfect for keeping in your handbag when you’re out & about.

Just like the Wall Planner, you can colour co-ordinate everything & you can add stickers etc…

You can even add little fun areas like a little colouring image at the bottom of each page. I just love colouring in, but having 2 little ones to run around after – I never have time to finish anything. So these little images are perfect for when I get a spare 5 minutes. Yes… I am that sad lol. I just find colouring so relaxing with a cup of tea.

I love that the planners all come with an elastic to keep it closed whilst in your bag. There’s nothing worse than your organiser opening & getting all of its pages ruffled up. In each planner you’ll also find a plastic wallet to keep any important items such as receipts etc… as with the wall planner – you’ll also get your sheet of stickers. And… a removable ruler! Perfect to use as a page marker. I just adore everything about these stunning planners.

So… I have some exciting news!!! Personal Planner have given me a gift card worth £39.90 & valid until March 2020. I will be giving this gift card away to one of my lucky followers over on Instagram! Head on over to my Instagram Page now, to find out how to enter! I’m just so excited to pass on some Personal Planner sparkle to one of you.

Thank you as always for reading & I hope I’ve inspired you to get organised. In fact… why not treat your nearest & dearest this Christmas to the gift of being organised. You could gift them a planner or a personal planner gift card!

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.

Wobble, Wiggle and Grow

9 Sep

Hi folks,

Seth went back to pre-school last week. He was so excited. To be honest… I think he likes the routine of school Monday – Friday. Over the Summer break he has asked a lot for School. It’s so quiet in the house without him now he’s back. But looking at the positives – it gives me some one & one time with Ted.

Ted is 10 month old now… I just cannot believe that he’s going to be a year old next month. That time has flown. I know I always say it – but the time does just fly by. When people said to me that time flies once you have children… I don’t think I really believed them.

Ted has been having so much fun with his new toy from Hape & Baby Einstein. It’s no secret that Hape are one of our most favourite toy brands. We all just adore wooden toys. Ted’s new toy is Balancing Cal. Cal comes in 5 pieces & is a mix of wood & plastic. Some of the pieces make sounds too when you shake them. Fun & musical. The aim of the game is to stack Cal as tall as you can make him, without him falling down. This toy is great for encouraging & developing motor skills.

Each piece has been beautifully crafted & is the perfect size of little hands. Ted has had fun shaking them to make noise, clacking them together & has enjoyed giving them a good old bite lol. Each piece is lovely & smooth with no sharp edges & the materials feel very durable. The colours are stunning too. So vibrant.

Each piece has a different texture to feel too. The balls are perfectly weighted to be able to stack in a wiggly, wobbly way. Ted loves it when they all fall over. It’s really just a lovely little toy that does so much… makes music, rolls, stacks etc…

I know some folk think it’s a little too soon to be talking about it… however… Christmas is only around the corner! Balancing Cal would make a fantastic gift.

I’ve added some links for further reading & info on the product.

I hope you’ve found this post useful!

Thanks 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

 

 

 

Festive Gift Ideas for Little Ones

9 Dec

Hi folks,

Me & the boys have been having fun the last few weeks playing with & testing some beautiful toys from Hape.

If you’re not familiar with Hape; they are the world’s largest producer of wooden toys. I always think wooden toys have a certain charm. They create that warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling. And with such a well known brand – you know you’re always going to get good quality, well made products.

We were sent such a lovely collection… so here’s a little rundown & insight into what we have been having fun with;

This looks super cute & simply perfect in Ted’s nursery. It was really easy to assemble – no tools required & I did this one all on my own. It attaches to the cot really easily & is adjustable in height. The colours are beautiful, perfect & eye catching for little developing brains. It also winds up to play a lullaby. The quality is stunning. The music box is a wind up function, so requires no batteries. This mobile would make any little one a perfect Christmas gift as it’s suitable from birth. This would also make a stunning baby shower gift too.

 

My First Xylophone & Piano

We’re big fans of music in this house. Seth has gone to a music based group class from being 12 weeks old. Music is such an important part of development I think. Seth is now 2 years & 8 month old. He’s been having so much fun making music for his little brother. As well as an xylophone, there is a little piano which is made of removable wooden coloured shapes which also doubles as a shape sorter. This toy as a whole helps to develop shape, colour & sound recognition. I love the compact design of this toy. It won’t take up too much room in a toy box. It’d be great for popping in a bag to take over to the grandparents house when they’re babysitting 🙂 Perfect little parcel for any little folk for under the tree this Christmas.

 

Grow With Me Rocking Horse

I cannot begin to tell you how stunning this rocking horse is. Whenever I think of a traditional toy/play room, the first thing that pops into my head is a traditional wooden rocking horse. This is a perfect update on that traditional horse. The backrest has a lovely padded finish & you can even fix a wooden safety guard for younger children.

Ted is going to love it when he is a wee bit bigger.

Seth adores it as you can see in the above pics. It’s so study & strong. All of the edges are beautifully finished off… so smooth, so there aren’t any worries of finding sharpe bits. If you’re stuck on what to buy as that main big gift from Santa, then this would make a stunning main gift. It’s the perfect addition to any nursery, bedroom or play room.

The robust sturdy design of this rocking horse will withstand even the most boisterous of toddlers… Seth is a tad heavy handed at times & this horsey has remained in perfect shape.

 

Battery Powered Engine Set

What a stunning little set this is. The train set is battery powered & each carriage connects via magnets. There are also little trees & even a crane to bring your railway to life… the magnet on the crane lifts the cargo from each carriage. Each train carriage is brightly coloured & beautifully made – simply perfect for little hands. The track itself fits together like a little jigsaw, perfect for developing hand-eye coordination, creativity and sparks imagination. Seth LOVES this train set so much. Any child would adore this engine set.

Hape really do make some lovely things, they’d make any little one a beautiful gift or stocking filler. Hape offer a range of toys to suit all budgets.

Thanks so much as always for reading & happy shopping!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx