Tag Archives: Blessed

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.

Creativity, Imagination and Learning Through Play

26 Apr

 

Hi folks,

It’s definitely no secret that we’re big Hape fans in this house. I very much follow the mantra of ‘Learning through play’. I try to make each day as fun as possible for my boys. I am very lucky in that I get to stay at home with my boys, so I make it my duty to try & teach them as much as possible, in a fun, creative way.

Seth starts pre-school on Monday… eeeeeck! I’ve tried so hard to make sure he knows his alphabet & his numbers before starting. Along with recognising his name & other words. Our lovely bundle of Hape goodies came at just the most perfect time.

So… what did we receive?

ABC Magnetic Letters

Seth has had so much fun using these gorgeous letters. There is a mix of upper & lower case letters. They also come in a gorgeous little drawstring bag that will keep them neat & tidy. The edges are all beautifully rounded & smooth – perfect for little hands to use. They are also beautifully coloured.

We’ve had so much fun trying to get the alphabet in the right order & also spelling out words. They’re such a good teaching tool.

ABC Wooden Blocks

Seth is such a huge fan of building blocks. Like all Hape toys, the quality & finish on these lovely little blocks is stunning. Just like the magnetic letters, these blocks come in a lovely little drawstring bag. The bag makes it so easy to pop into your handbag for taking over to the Grandparents house etc… to keep your little ones entertained for on the go.

These blocks are multicoloured & feature letters, words & pictures. So not only can you build, but you can also make up stories & work on your alphabet & spelling too.

Clown Stacker

The Clown Stacker has been such a huge hit with Seth & Ted. Seth has been having so much fun trying to teach Ted colours. He’s been trying to tell him how it stacks up too. It’s so super cute to watch them bond over a toy.

This toy is fab for hand eye coordination.

Ted has had fun batting it about with its wobbly bottom.

We’ve had fun stacking it from biggest to smaller & smallest to biggest. This toy is great for colour recognition & also sorting & recognising patterns.

Baby Bugs Books

Books are so important for a childs development. The earlier you can introduce books, the better in my eyes. This gorgeous little bug book is perfect for those early introductions. It gives them their first experience of having to turn the pages.

The illustrations are so bright & colourful. Ted loves looking through it. It’s also lovely size for chubby little hands to manage.

You’ll also be glad to know that its 100% safe to chew too… Thats good where Ted is concerned lol.

Like I’ve said in the past, wooden toys seem to have that unique, timeless, charm. We are never disappointment with Hape Toys… bright, colourful & safe. They’re the perfect addition to any toy box, bedroom, nursery or playroom.

As always, thank you so much for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful.

I’ve got some interesting blog posts coming up… so keep a look out for those!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Welcome Baby Ted

14 Nov

Hi folks,

Sorry it’s been a wee while since my last post. These last few weeks have gone by so fast. I’m pleased to announce the birth of our second gorgeous baby boy; Edward Thomas Jim Thorne… Ted for short. Or Baby Ted as Seth calls him. Ted was born October 24th & weighing 8lbs 4oz.

Getting Ted here wasn’t an easy journey. I wanted to write a blog post about it mainly to just get it out there & off my chest… & maybe for anyone going through something similar… it may offer some comfort.

The last 3 weeks of my pregnancy with Ted were literally the worst. I don’t think I’ve felt so many emotions. I mean, when you’re pregnant, your emotions are all over anyway… but with everything that was happening… I think everything was so much more heightened. After countless hospital visits, stays & tests… I was very on edge. With my first pregnancy, I had no bleeding whatsoever. This time round I had quite a lot. And as a pregnant lady… that’s the last thing you want to experience. I had so many scary tests for various things & I do have to say that my Midwife & triage unit were utterly phenomenal. They really did keep a close eye on me.

On the morning of my c section I was quite literally a state. I just felt that with everything that had happened, something was wrong or that it was going to go wrong. I think I’d pretty much convinced myself that I wasn’t going to make it home. I know that sounds super bleak… but that’s the head space I was in. When I got to the hospital, I was told I’d be second down to theatre… however… after consulting with me, my consultant decided I should go last as I was more of a high risk case. So… at 11am I headed down to theatre with my husbter holding my hand. Ted was born at 12:31 noon. I was on the operating table for a further 1 hour. After blood loss & a uterus that wouldn’t contract… They managed to get me into recovery with my uterus fully intact. I have a lot of fibroids & this time round they caused quite a lot of problems. I was put on a drip to force my uterus back down to it’s normal size. I’ll be forever grateful that they fought to do that as it saved me having to have a hysterectomy. Even though I’ve had my tubes fully removed… I didn’t want a full hysterectomy… purely as I’m only mid thirties & I just didn’t want to go onto HRT. Once I’d gotten into recovery, Ted had a nappy on & had, had a bottle. But, he wasn’t dressed, he was wrapped in a blanket waiting for me so I could have that precious skin to skin contact. It’s amazing how everything in life becomes so insignificant when you’re handed your beautiful baby. All of the pain, illness, stress & worry was so worth it to hold my perfect baby in my arms.

I’m still taking a ridiculous amount of medication… due to having hypertension in pregnancy, B12 deficiency, iron deficiency from blood loss, injecting clexane for 6 weeks… etc… However, I have managed on just paracetamol & ibuprofen for pain relief. The pain has been immense though. My stomach is so battered & bruised. This c section was a lot more gruelling than last time & the recovery has been a lot different. But I’ve been trying my best to get out & about in the fresh air & walking a lot too.

I mean Seth is a big ‘park’ fan… so it’s a good excuse to wrap up & get out & about!

Seth has taken to being a big brother so well. It was the most precious sweetest moment when they first met.

Every night he kisses Ted goodnight… it’s just so cute. I cannot wait to watch their bond grow & develop as they grow up together.

The advice I’d give myself if I could go back in time, would be to trust the professionals… I was so worked up by the time Ted was born that I was literally making myself ill, when I was feeling ill anyway. Our NHS is truly an amazing thing… the team I had around me on the day was phenomenal. They got my little boy here safely & they also managed to put me back together.

So… what is life like as a Mammy of two? Well… it’s amazing! I feel very lucky to have 2 gorgeous boys. It’s tiring… but amazing! Seth sleeps for 12 to 13 hours every night & Ted is only waking once in the night for a bottle… what an absolute dreamboat! So, having sleep is really helping, especially with the recovery side of things!

However… I had forgotten just how much stuff you need to lug around with you when you have a newborn. I’d kind of taken for granted just how easy it is to go out with Seth now he’s 2 & 7 month. No changing bag… No Travel System… No Bottles… etc… We made the decision that we needed a bigger family car. So… last week… we bought a new car lol.

Completely in love with it! C Max Grand Titanium… I don’t how I lived without rear sliding doors!!! Such a God send when you’re getting little ones in & out of the car. We seem to have fit quite a lot in to the last 3 wks… new baby… Halloween party… Lots of visits to the park… Soft play play dates… Bought a new car… trip up to Durham… Christmas shopping etc… But I love my busy little life with my little family. And it’s only gonna get busier with Christmas pepping round the corner. It is my most favourite time of the year through so I’m thoroughly excited!!!

So there you have it… That’s the last 3 weeks in a little nutshell. Now that Ted is here you can expect lots of reviews on some lovely baby products I have.

Thanks so much for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley… Mama Of Boys

xxx

Let’s Support And Empower

4 Sep

Hi folks,

I wanted to write a blog post based around something I feel very strongly about. As a woman… a mother… a friend… a wife… a member of society, I feel we can do more to empower & support one another. The topic of this post – is Breast Feeding. What is it about this topic that gets people so worked up. There seems to be so many strong feelings around this subject.

As a lot of you know… I had a bit of a rough time breast feeding Seth when he was first born. I was so wrapped up in the thought of breast feeding & it being amazing, that I never once considered that it may be difficult or that it may not happen at all. Seth was born via c-section at 38 weeks & weighing 8lbs. Perfect healthy baby boy. But, by day 4, he had lost over 14% of his body weight. I was devastated. I felt like I’d failed as a mother. We were rushed into hospital where Seth was monitored. The staff were AMAZING! So very supportive & very sympathetic of my feelings. They also supported me in my decision to continue to breast feed, but, until Seth gained the weight, I combination fed. Over the next 9 days I tried my hardest. I breast fed, expressed… I did everything I could. But it wasn’t meant to be. My body was just not producing milk. My breast feeding journey was very short lived. But, I am glad I tried. I have to say, that my GP & Midwife were phenomenal. Very supportive & caring. It was the only time in my life I think where I felt down & like I’d failed at something.

Now, I’m pregnant again & expecting our 2nd gorgeous baby boy in less than 8 weeks. Before making any quick judgements & decisions… I decided to read up on other peoples experiences of breast feeding via blogs & support groups. I also started to read up on what support is out there & how confident mothers feel about breast feeding in general. I came across some interesting reading via Lansinoh. I didn’t know this, but they run ‘The Feed with Confidence Awards’  recognising people and places that help to support mothers and positively change perceptions. It’s amazing that such an award exists as it shows there are places supporting breast feeding mothers… however, I read some saddening statistics;

A government study found that although 72% of the British public outwardly support public breastfeeding, over half of breastfeeding mums take steps to cover up and 34% feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. Research carried out by Lansinoh found that 37% of men and 41% of women find women breastfeeding on a bus uncomfortable, whilst mums breastfeeding on the underground were frowned upon by 34% of men and 44% of women. Although a third of those surveyed admitted that they were not comfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding in front of another woman, the research also found that the longer the journey, the less people find an issue with a mother breastfeeding in a public space.

With statistics like that, it’s so important that this campaign exists. I am ‘pro- feeding’. Whether it be breast feeding or bottle feeding. I don’t think anyone should be made to feel self conscious or shamed by how they feed their baby. We need to be supporting one another. I didn’t actually know that there was an ‘Equality Act’… The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to stop breastfeeding, or cover up or leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport.

I found breast feeding so difficult. People need to take a step back & think to themselves, that the mother huddled into a corner breast feeding her baby, might be finding it challenging. The last thing she needs is the sound of tutting or a look of disgust. I’m not saying to go high five everyone you see breast feeding… but be kind. Smile, encourage & if someone looks tired & exhausted… why not offer a kind word. A smile can change someone’s day. For me, when I see a breast feeding mother, I’m envious. I get this pang of jealousy in my heart.

The choice to breast feed has actually been taken out of my hands this time round. I had made the difficult decision not to breast feed… simply as I found it so difficult last time & I did’t feel I could go through it again. But, a few weeks ago I was taken into hospital for some investigations & ended up having to have a CT scan. I was injected with a dye that contains iodine that effects your breast milk. Therefore, I was advised by the consultant not to breast feed when my baby is born. I’m actually okay with the decision & the outcome. Seth did well being bottle fed & I’m happy to follow that same path. But, my 9 days of breast feeding Seth, even though it was a struggle… I will cherish.

Above is my one & only breast feeding photos. This is one of my most favourite photographs. It’s my little piece of proof that I tried… I tried my hardest.

Breast feeding for many is not an easy journey… so we don’t need negativity making it anymore challenging. Breast feeding is natural… it’s beautiful. That may sound odd coming from a ‘bottle feeding mammy’, but my short lived journey had a profound affect on me.

If you would like to enter a person or place that has helped & supported you on your breast feeding journey, you can do so here. The closing date is 31st December & winners will be announced January 2019. By entering, you will be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury family break.

If you’d like to read more about this lovely campaign, you can do so here.

We need to support campaigns like this, but more importantly… we need to support one another. We need to raise awareness & banish prejudice.

Thanks so much for reading

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

Nesting

18 Jul

Hi folks,

Wow… so today I hit the 25wk mark… I just cannot believe how quickly this pregnancy is flying by. With only 15wks left – I’ve gone into full on nesting mode.

The babies nursery is starting to take shape… when I say take shape… I mean it’s full of boxes & paint tins. But… we have everything for his nursery sorted at least. We just need to paint & build furniture. I’ve also got all of his bottles & steriliser etc… After a bit of a traumatic start to my Mammy Life when Seth was born… I’ve made the decision to exclusively formula feed. I have to reiterate that this is my own decision. Purely as for me & my family – this is the best decision for us. I am in no way against breastfeeding, it’s just something that isn’t for me. I tried my very best with Seth & my body was not playing ball & wasn’t producing what he needed. After a hospital stay & discussions with experts… formula was the way for us.

With Seth, we exclusively used MAM UK bottles, soothers & steriliser… so it was a no brainer to use this fantastic brand again. In fact, Seth still goes to bed every night with his favourite MAM UK glow in the dark soother or “Soo Soo” as he calls it. The great thing about the glow in the dark ones is that if he wakes up without it – he can find it in his little bed easily.

So… why do we choose MAM UK? Well firstly… the fact the bottles come completely apart is just brilliant for cleaning. The bottoms & tops completely unscrew unlike a lot of traditional fixed bottom bottles. So you can give them a really good soak before popping them in your steriliser. With Seth we only had the microwave steam steriliser. This time round we have got the Electric Steriliser & Bottle Warmer. I already love this product & I’ve not even used it yet lol. The microwave steriliser fits in my microwave fine, but when Seth was 9month old we went on holiday to Center Parcs & the steriliser wouldn’t fit in the microwave. Now luckily, all the MAM bottles are self sterilising, so we just sterilised them individually. But with the electric steriliser we can either use the microwave or use it with the warmer. Which is great since we will be going to Center Parcs in December when the baby is around 8wks old. So… what’s in the box:

1x Electric Steriliser

1x Express Warmer

2x 160ml Easy Start Anti Colic Bottle

2x Start 0-2M Soothers

1x Teat Tongs

(Only 1 electric base unit included and needed for Steriliser & Warmer)

6 functions in 1 device

1. Microwave sterilising

2. Electric sterilising

3. Express bottle warming

4. Gentle bottle warming

5. Defrost & food warming

6. Keep warm function

Key features:

• Compact design that saves on kitchen space

• Electric and microwave steam sterilising possible

• The MAM Steriliser & Bottle Warmer includes 2x Easy Start Anti colic bottles, 2x Start 0-2M Soothers a small pair of tongs to assemble the clean bottles

• Gentle or fast warming: perfect for breastmilk and formula

• Extremely fast warming of milk in just 2 minutes 30 seconds

• Extremely fast defrosting of milk in just 10 minutes and just one setting.

• Safety auto turn off feature

Such a fab buy!!! If you’re looking for a good baby shower gift… look no further! I love the gender neutral silver grey colour too. It’s so funny, coz we’re actually decorating his room with pale grey & white. So even his bottles will match lol.

We’ve still so much to sort out before our little bundle of joy arrives, but having all of his bottles, steriliser, etc… is something we can most definitely tick off our list!

Don’t forget that MAM UK run lots of promotions & announce new products via their social media pages! So… go give them a like & a follow!

Instagram

Facebook

Thanks for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful & please look out for more reviews of these lovely products when Little T arrives.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

MAM Milestones

16 Jan

Hi folks,

Having a baby is the most amazing & precious gift. You just want to cherish & remember every single moment. When Seth was born I vowed I’d take as many photographs as possible & that I’d actually print them out or I’d have Photobooks made… so I could look back in years to come & be transported back to that moment in time. Making memories is so important.

A fantastic way to remember & document all of those important little achievements is using milestone cards. MAM UK have brought out their own milestone cards along with products to match. We received a gorgeous set of the cards with corresponding soothers.

They’re so lovely & there’s even a little box where you can write the date.

Seth was utterly fascinated with the cards… he wanted to read them & point out the pictures on them. I wish I’d had a set for when Seth was first born. But, we are hoping that Seth will have a brother or a sister in the near future… & if we are lucky enough to have another – I’ll most definitely be using these cards for each & every milestone.

The cards themselves would make a lovely little gift for any baby shower, especially with the matching product.

Seth has always been a huge fan of MAM Soothers… they’re literally the only ones he’s ever taken too. He would only ever have MAM bottles too.

Since the very beginning… Seth’s always been a MAM UK fan. It’s so nice when you find a brand you simply adore & trust.

Thank you as always for reading.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Festive Fragrances

5 Dec

Hi folks,

Hands up if you’re feeling festive!? We put our tree up at the weekend & I’m just feeling so Christmassy. I love this point of the holidays when you can sit back & relax & just breathe in the festivities.

If you’re looking for any last minute treats for yourself to have around your home to add to the sparkle of Christmas. Or, if you need any last minute stocking fillers & gifts… then look no further than the fabulous Crabtree & Evelyn.

The products I’ve been using to add that festive spritz in the air are:

Both candles come in a stunning metallic glass holder & they come presented in a beautiful decorative box. Imagine how festively fabulous they’d look with a little name tag & then presented on your dining table as place settings? They’d look so gorgeous & they’d be a lovely little gift for your guests. They’d also be perfect for a Secret Santa gift.

The candles can be purchased in the larger size too.

The room spray is fantastic for an instant burst of festive fragrance around the home. I’ve been using this lots. It’s in a lovely elegant glass bottle & again, in a lovely decorative box. You really don’t need to spray a lot to fill the room with a stunning scent. I’ve been using this several times a day & I’ve hardly used any really when you look at the bottle.

We’re going on holiday in just over a week & I’m planning on taking a candle & a room spray with us for our lodge… Eeeeck I can’t wait.

I find that in this day & age – people are so hard to buy for. Everyone tends to have everything already that they need. So gifts should be lovely little treats. This room fragrance would make anyone a stunning little treat.

Crabtree & Evelyn offer a free click & collect service. So you can literally run in store & collect your items. No need to battle the crowds! Or if you’d prefer home delivery, they’re offering free delivery on all orders over £50. So you may as well treat everyone & yourself!

Head to their online Christmas Gift Guide for some inspiration & for gifts starting at just £7!

Ooooooh it’s not long now folks until Christmas… I’m super excited… can you tell!?

Thank so much as usual for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx