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Planning Ahead for the New Year

9 Dec

Hi folks,

Well, we’re getting to that time of year when we’re starting to think about New Years resolutions, the goals we want to set & plans for the year ahead. And what better way to plan & stay on track, than with a lovely personalised note book.

You all know I absolutely adore the personalised planners from Personal Planner. So I thought, why not add to my collection with a stunning notebook. Perfect for jotting down important lists & writing down those all important targets.

I love that these books can be 100% customised. From the front cover to what the page layout is like. And… you can even get fancy leather covers too!!! I just love love love mine! It’s fab with all of its little pockets to keep important things in like receipts etc… in fact, mine is going to double up as travel organiser while we go on holiday over the festive season! Ideal for keeping booking documents & vouchers in! I’m just so excited!

Did you know that Personal Planner offer free delivery & they also do gift cards!!! In fact – you can have the gift cards emailed to you digitally, so they’re fab for those last minute Christmas gifts!!! So why not give the gift of organisation this Christmas!?

You’ll also find a massive selection of accessories too… pretty pens & stunning stickers.

Personal Planner make something for everyone, as you literally customise the planners, notebooks or wall planners to suit you. If you’ve always wanted that perfect planning companion – look no further!

And… I have a little discount gift just for you. Use discount code: SLEIGHRIDE for 10% off. Valid until 25th December.

And… I’ve also got an amazing give away too!!! I’ve got a gift card with a value of £39.90 to spend on anything from Personal Planner. To enter, head on over to my Facebook Page or Instagram Page!

Thank you so much for reading as always & MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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.

“You Can Find Magic Wherever You Look. Sit Back and Relax, All You Need Is a Book”. Dr Seuss

25 Apr

Hi folks,

I love the Dr Seuss quote I’ve started this post with. It’s no secret that I’m a big Dr Seuss fan & that I think reading is a very important part of growing up. As a child I was always read to at bedtime & I was always encouraged to read. I was very lucky in that I had a selection of books to choose from & read.

From the moment I first found out I was pregnant with Seth, I began to buy him books… the first thing I bought him was a book. I was the same with Ted. It’s so important that my boys are surrounded by books… stories… literature.

Both boys have reading corners in their bedrooms, but they also have a gorgeous little corner now in their play area. Well, Ted is only 6 month… so it’s ready for him when he’s old enough to use it. For now he’ll have to put up with me reading to him.

The boys little reading corner is super cute… complete with a new comfy arm chair, perfect for little bottoms. Seth adores this chair… he’s very protective of it. He’s been sitting in it saying ‘Mammy… I love my chair”.

This lovely little chair is the loose cover chair from Just4Kidz.  It is quite literally the cutest thing. This chair has been handmade right here in the UK. It comprises of a solid wooden frame, lovely comfy foam cushions & then covered in stunning fabric that is exclusive to Just4Kidz… so you will not find that print anywhere else. There are lots of lovely prints to choose from. Seth decided he liked the farmyard design best. Everything is animal & farm based for Seth at the moment. Every other minute he’s singing ‘Old MacDonald Farm’. We’ve actually been sat looking at the fabric & making up stories about the animals printed on his chair. Seth just adores to make up stories. So even the fabric has been spiking his little imagination.

The chair is super sturdy. Being so well made, means it is quite literally built to last, and… the cover can easily be removed to hand wash too! I mean how amazing is that!? Perfect for grubby, sticky finger marks. The chair is perfect for pre-school children all the way up to primary school age. So this chair is a lovely little companion for little ones to grow up with. Ted is only 6 month… but he’s already been trying to stake a claim on it.

This chair can be used for all sorts… reading corner… arm chair for watching TV with family… etc… Actually Seth has been sat in it doing puzzles & drawing. It really is his new fave spot. I think he loves it knowing that it’s ‘his’ chair. His own little comfy corner. Well… until Ted decides to nab it lol.

This lovely little chair was the first piece of children’s furniture that Just4Kidz designed & sold. Over the years they have sold tens of thousands. The photo’s really don’t do it justice… it’s chunky, comfy & so well made. For me though… one of the biggest selling points is that you can remove the fabric to hand wash. We all know what it’s like trying to keep things clean with little ones running around. With every will in the world… it’s pretty impossible to keep those chubby little hands grime free for any length of time. If for any reason you damaged your fabric on the chair over the years… you can buy replacement covers. It really is a chair for life.

Everyone who has been over, has commented on how lovely it is. It’d be the perfect piece of furniture for any play room or bedroom. Or, if you have more than one child, you could always go for the loose cover sofa. I love the little sofa. So perfect for siblings to cosy up on.

Just4Kidz make & sell a gorgeous selection of children furniture. If you head over to their website, you can browse their products. Another of my fave items is their fabulous bed in a bag. The perfect sleepover companion. This would be ideal for children sleeping over at their grandparents house, or at a friends sleepover etc… It’s also an extra bed for if you have an extra little one staying over. Again, there is a lovely selection of exclusive printed fabrics to choose from.

If you’re looking for a special gift for birthdays or christmas, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something on their website.

You can find Just4Kids on Facebook & Instagram. Give them a Like & Follow to keep up to date with new items, news & competitions.

As always, thank you so much for reading. I really hope you’ve found this useful & that you have fun browsing all of those gorgeous handmade products over at Just4Kidz. They really are a lovely company with stunning products.

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.

Planning the Perfect Play Date

30 Nov

Hi folks,

Life is so hectic & fast paced these days… especially when you’re a parent. Planning your life around classes, play groups, work, housework, socialising etc… yikes… how do you fit it all in!?

I like to arrange regular playdates for Seth with all of his little best friends. Plus, it gives me some much needed time to have a catch up & have a cuppa with my fellow Mummy’s. The easiest way for us to arrange our playdates is with the use of Doodle. Doodle is so user friendly! Also, when scheduling an event – your invitees don’t even need to have the app as you can invite them via Text Message, Email, Whatsapp & Facebook Messenger. I usually opt for Facebook Messenger as we’re all on that social media platform.

Getting started is super easy… the app is free to download & very user friendly.

When creating the event you have free reign to choose time, date, location etc… the great thing about this scheduling app is that you can send your invitees multiple dates. That’s the main thing that I love about this app. When planning an event – you always need a few options. Like I said earlier… Life is super busy these days.

Once you have created your event/time poll you will be able to invite people. You do this by clicking the icon in the top right corner that looks like a little person.

You can also add messages & start discussions with one another via the speech bubble icon also in the top right corner. It just keeps all correspondence in the one area & it also means that no one is left out of the conversation.

Each time someone responds & participates in your time poll/invitation you will receive an alert via the app & an email notification.

Once everyone has responded – you should have a clear idea which date is most suitable.

Every busy parent needs this app. Myself & my husband have been using this app for arranging Christmas nights out too – it just cuts out all of the needless text messages. It’s quick, easy & precise! Like your very own personal assistant that lives inside your smart phone!

Happy Scheduling!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Educational Easter Activity Ideas!

28 Mar

Hi folks,

I’ve teamed up with the fab folk over at Education.com , who have kindly put together a fun, educational activity that you can do with the little ones over the Easter holidays, since Easter is literally just around the corner. If you check out their website you’ll find lots more activities & exercises.

So… here’s your fun activity:

Write Parts of Speech Acrostic Poetry!
You’ve packed up the kids, jackets, water bottles, tchotkes and all, and you’re off for a special afternoon. Maybe you’ll see a park; maybe a museum; maybe a special friend. Whatever it is, you know it will be fun, and you’ll want to keep some memories. You might even want to send a few along, perhaps in a letter to a relative, or a thank you to a host. Here’s a creative way to do it…while helping your second grader with adjectives, nouns, and other classic parts of the curriculum this year!

What You Need:

  • Camera
  • Pencil or pens
  • Booklet Paper

What You Do:
1. Next time your child goes somewhere enjoyable—to the park, or on a day trip to a museum, explain that to add to the fun, you’re going to collect words for what you see, hear, and feel. On the trip there, you have a perfect chance to review what we call some different kinds of words in our written language: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs. Second graders are studying all of them this year, and if you get a “we already know that!” go ahead and applaud; that’s great news!

2. As you’re traveling, it helps to review these fundamental parts of speech, even if your child feels pretty confident. Here’s a list, and a brief description to get you going:

  • Nouns: a person, place, thing (there are common nouns, which are not capitalized, and there are proper nouns, which are capitalized because they are names of people, places, or things). For example: cat, day, sound, coffee, bone, book (common nouns)
  • Verbs: action words. For example: run, read, eat, skipping, jogged, loved, thought
  • Adjectives: describing words. For example: green, round, shiny, tall, old, woodenbug
  • Adverbs: words that describe verbs (many end in –ly) For example: quickly, busily, happily, angrily

3. When you get to your destination, do like any typical tourist: take some pictures! Enjoy everything about your experience!

4. Then, on the way home or later that day, make your “Parts of Speech Travel Guide” for today. Have your child write the chosen part of speech vertically, in all capital letters, down the left side of the paper, as shown.

5. Now have your child create an acrostic poem about this word, using only words that are that particular part of speech. This means that for the first line, she will need to think of a noun that starts with the letter n, such as nest, net, or noodle. She writes her noun beside the capital letter N, and uses the capital N as the first letter. Then she goes on to the next line, and thinks of a noun that begins with the letter o, such as octopus, octagon, or ox. She continues in this way until all the vertical letters have been used.

6. Have her reread her NOUN (or verb, or adjective, etc.) acrostic poem. Ask her to explain what all the words in the poem have in common. (They are all nouns, or they are all people, places, or things.)

7. Repeat for other parts of speech. Then, compile all the parts of speech pages into a stapled booklet with your favorite trip photo on top. You’ll have a creative, unique “travel guide” memory of today’s experience—a book to keep or to send to a relative or as a thank you to a host. You have also given your child a natural, memorable lesson in basics of language that she’ll be using for the rest of her life. Not bad for one day’s excursion!

I’d like to say a big thank you to Education.com for sending that over! 🙂

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

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Let’s Have a Gossip 

16 Jan

Hi folks,

Right… let’s have a wee catch up! So far 2017 is getting off to a lovely little start. Well apart from the continued appointments I need for this abscess/cyst I have on my shoulder… the steroid injections really hurt. And… I now have physio fortnightly too, to help with the pain in my back. But… as long as they work/help… then it’s all worthwhile.

I’ve been in full ‘1st Birthday’ planning mode. We’re taking Seth on holiday to Centre Parcs for his first birthday, but I’m thinking I’d like a little low key birthday tea party at home before we go maybe. I’ve already bought Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Party Plates, Party Bags, Napkins & a Banner lol. Eeeeeck! Of course there’s gonna have to be some kind of Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake too. I’m just so excited. I can believe in 2 month time my little handsome man is going to be 1 year old!

We’ve also got a lovely little beach holiday coming up too at the end of May on the Northeast Coast… So excited. I’ve so many great memories of holidaying on the Northeast Coast when I was little. Admittedly… it may not always be the warmest… but the scenery is stunning & the Fish & Chips always seem to taste nicer.

I was asked to write a lovely little guest blog piece for a fantastic, creative little company called Cofi Coo. Once my post is up on their blog – I shall pop the link on here.

I’ve some fab reviews coming up for you all – been chatting to some lovely brands & PR folk… watch this space.

I received a fantastic package from Nuby UK today. 5 gorgeous items for me & Seth to review.

  • Trainer Sipeez
  • Toddler Training Spoons & Forks
  • Toddler Training Suction Plate
  • Octopus Hoopla
  • Build a Buddy

    I love the Nuby brand… well made & vibrant. Seth is just so in to everything right now. He’s loving playing with toys & exploring all of the textures & shapes. I shall be reviewing each item & writing a full review with lots of pics 🙂

    We discovered a new tooth yesterday! I can’t believe my little boy has 8 teeth! He’s standing up unaided too. When people said to me that time flies when you have a baby.. I don’t think I actually appreciated just how fast! I mean, today I was yet again sorting through clothes that are too small for him. I have them all packaged up in the loft. Hopefully to use again if we’re blessed enough to have another bambino at some point in the not so distant future. I just love being a Mammy so much. I feel like I waited so long to be a one.

    I’m totally into my healthy eating right now too. When I’m eating healthy I’m always so much happier. Healthy foods seem to make you feel happier & more positive about everything. Low fat, low sugar & lots of colour.I need to get my website updated so badly with some new recipes. Tonight for tea I made a really yummy turkey stir fry with freekeh grains & salad. Freekeh is very much like bulgar wheat – I love it. And, it’s practically impossible to ruin when you cook it!

    I know this is probably really sad… but I’m already planning for this coming Christmas too! Well, you all know it’s like my most favourite time of the year! I’ve gotten most of my Christmas cards already, gift wrap & ribbons & bows. We’ve also booked a lovely Winter Wonderland holiday to Centre Parcs again. We’ll be away Christmas week – so that means we’ll be celebrating our 6th Wedding Anniversary while we’re holidaying in the forest. We will be home for actual Christmas though. I just cannot wait. I love to have things to work toward & look forward too. Seeing Seth’s little face as he met Santa etc… was just magical. That’s why we just had to book & do it all over again. If you’ve always fancied going to Centre Parcs – I truly recommend going around Christmastime… it’s just so magical. I mean, we’ve been at all different times of the year… but it’s most magical during the Winter Wonderland season.

    Talking of Christmas… luckily last week we had some gorgeous storage arrive from Mothercare to home some of Seth’s new toys. Since he plays downstairs – obviously, it kinda makes sense to have most of this toys in the sitting room. Although, we have had to add more shelving in his room for his Charlie bear & various Disney Characters. I love how excited he gets when he’s playing with all of his toys.


    My driving lessons are going well… I’ve had 8 lessons now. I so wish I’d just bitten the bullet years ago & learnt to drive when I was a lot younger. But I always used being a poor student as an excuse. But really… it’s not an excuse. I’ve kind of waited to the point where I NEED to drive. I need to be able to drive my little bambino around to all of his social engagements, rather than just relying on the hubster all of the time to be our chauffeur lol. Although, I guess it is kinda nice to be chauffeured 🙂 I am so happy though that my leg doesn’t seem to pose a problem. That’s been such a relief.

    Oh, I’d like to say a big thank you for the fantastical & positive response I had to my article in New! Magazine. I was so nervous… but everyone seemed to love it – so, thank you so very very very much.

    I did make a shocking discovery last week actually… You may already know this but, did you know that the series Stalker has been cancelled? I mean… why!? I loved that series! It was so good & I really wanted to know what was going to happen between Jack & Beth! And, an even bigger shocker… Grimm has been cancelled too! So this next series that is to start soon, is only like 11 episodes long & that’s it! No more!!! I’m simply heartbroken! Why do I feel so sad when a series comes to an end? It’s like that same sad grieving feeling you have when you watch the last episode of Friends. I love me a good TV series. At least the new Prison Break is starting soon… YESSSSSS! That should help with those sad feelings of loss.

    Apart from that… life has been same old same old really… Going out for lunch, going to Music Bugs & Play Group, etc… I’m kind of a creature of habit really. I know what I like… & I like what I know lol. honestly… I’d eat out at the same place every time if the hubster would let me get away with it lol. I’m one of those annoying people too who literally orders the same thing off the menu too lol.

    So… there you have it… that’s what I’ve been up too.

    Thanks so much for reading… it’s lovely to see so many new countries being added to my reader statistics.

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx

     

     

    New Year Observations 

    9 Jan

    Hi folks,

    First of all… I’d like to start with saying a massive Happy New Year to you all. We have had such an amazing Christmas. Seth’s first Christmas has been truly magical. He was well & truly spoilt.


    Over the festive period I pretty much snaffled any food & treats I fancied… I drank sparkles… & basically just over indulged. But I have some observations from my 2 weeks of sheer indulgence… My skin is appalling! I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t really suffer from the dreaded spot. But… over Christmas I have had some major outbreaks! I’ve also suffered with some pretty harsh headaches too. When I was at my largest size – I suffered so bad with headaches. I totally 100% believe that my over indulgent diet has caused the spots & headaches. I’ve gone back to my usual healthy diet & my spots have gone, the redness in my skin has died down & my headaches have lifted. How bad is that… that eating over salty, fatty & stodgy foods has done that. I’ve also gained 5lbs!


    For the last week I’ve gone back to my healthy home cooking & limited my processed food intake. Healthy clean food is back on the menu. Don’t forget that I have a diet journey page where I post recipes etc…


    I mean, over Christmas & New Year… I have had far too many cheese boards, baked Camembert & waaaaaaay too much bread. It’s yummy at the time – but the bloating just really lowers your mood & self confidence. When I revert back to my healthy lifestyle – I don’t remove all treats from my diet, I just live by the golden rule of: Everything in Moderation. So, I’ll not be eating pudding in the house – but I may have one now & then if I’m out for a meal. I do have a drink, but not in the week. I’ll have a drink on a Saturday evening when Seth is in bed. Either some sparkles, a gin & slimline tonic or wine. I don’t drink on Fridays as I usually have a driving lesson on a Saturday morning. If I fancy some chocolate – I’ll have some. I just won’t gorge on a full bar. I just try to keep myself in check. I’m currently a size 14/16 & I just can’t wait until I’m back to a size 12. I don’t go in for body shaming etc… I was once over 19 stone… I’m nowhere near that anymore… therefore I am proud.

    Who read my article in New Magazine last week? Eeeeck… that was so exciting. It was so weird seeing myself in print. It feels right though to get my story out there. When you hit rock bottom… the only way is up! I’m forever the optimist these days & I intend to stay that way. Having 6 major surgeries over 5 years, was pretty tough. But I didn’t let it break me… It actually made me stronger. Cheesy… but true.

    So… what’s coming up? Well… I have some lovely reviews coming up for you all. I’ve had some rather exciting emails this year so far… So I’m hoping this is going to be one sparkly, fantastical year! And… let’s not forget Seth’s first birthday too!

    Well, I shall leave this post here as I’m super sleepy from a very full on busy day! Oh, before I go though – don’t forget about my website! I actually need to add more recipes… I must get that done soon.

    Thanks so much as always for reading!

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx

     

    Books, Books and More Books

    7 Sep

    Hi folks ✨

    I think I’m going to have build an extension just for all of Seth’s books. This is his little reading corner feature wall in his nursery/bedroom. He has a bookcase full of books & a pile of them downstairs too.

    I first started reading to Seth while I was pregnant. I watched a fantastic documentary on BBCi Player called ‘The Countdown to Life’. On there they were saying that from 20weeks, in the womb, a baby is able to remember things that are said repetitively. So I began reading Winnie the Pooh. Seth isn’t quite 6 month old yet, but he loves books. He loves being read too, he loves looking at the illustrations, he loves looking at the words. He just sits & gives you the biggest gummy grin that melt your heart. 

    I want him to be confident with words. I don’t want books to be something to fear. He has some lovely cue cards with pictures of animals with the written word underneath of what they are… He screams for it. Then he’ll lay on his tummy & just look at all the cards. I know he’s only a baby but I always think on some level the words must be being stored in there somewhere. 

    I have a friend who is an Usborne Books organiser… you can find her on Facebook for some great offers. You can order direct through her Facebook page for a personal shopping experience 💙

    Thanks so much as ever for reading ✨

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx