Tag Archives: Blogging

The Magic of Christmas

1 Dec

Hi folks,

I’ve got that festive feeling. I know this year has been… bumpy shall we say. I also know it’s not going to be the Christmas we’re used too. I mean… for the last 8yrs we’ve gone to Center Parcs for Winter Wonderland & this year we can’t. Our holiday has been cancelled. Normally in December we visit Santa each weekend. Normally in the first week of December, Santa rides passed our house in his sleigh playing Christmas music. Normally in December we spend time with family. Normally on Christmas Eve we have breakfast with Santa & then have a Christmas Disco. Unfortunately… 2020 is not going to be the Christmas we ‘normally’ have. But you know what? For all it’s really sad… it’s just an opportunity to make new ‘normals’ or ‘traditions’ at Christmas.

We started the festive period wth a lovely delivery from Santa. Seth received the most gorgeous letter, certificate & activity book from The Lapland Mailroom.

Seth couldn’t believe it when the letter dropped through the door for him. He was super excited!!! He was even more excited when he seen the certificate!

The letter itself was utterly gorgeous. When choosing your letter online, you can add little personal touches such as your home town & best friend etc… Seth was utterly gobsmacked that his best friend Holly was mentioned in the letter.

In the pack, Seth also received the activity pack, which included a window sticker. Such amazing value for money. The letters & certificates are lovely quality & delivery was really quick. What a lovely keepsake. This will definitely being going into our memory box.

While we can’t got about our ‘normal’ lives… it’s time to make new amazing memories during a crazy year. I love that this letter is dated Christmas 2020… it most definitely is a year we will not forget. However… my babies will remember what an amazing Christmas they had & little touches like these gorgeous letters are just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like order, I have a discount code for 25% off!!! just enter code: BLITZEN at checkout.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

Stay Safe,

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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

“Reading is a Passport to Countless Adventures” – Mary Pope Osborne

31 Aug

Hi folks,

Wow… can you believe the kids go back to school this week? I feel so emotional about Seth starting full time school. He’s super excited & is taking it all in his stride. Me on the hand… I’m an emotional wreck. I’m really going to miss him. But I know he needs not only the education side of things… but also the social aspect too.

We’ve done learning from home over this pandemic/lockdown, so I’m not too worried about the learning side. ย And we have always been avid readers so I know his literacy is progressing.

From the moment Seth & Ted were born I’ve read to them. In fact, while I was pregnant I actually read to them. I watched a documentary about pregnancy & they said that babies can start to recognised texts when read over & over. I love that. My boys both love books & listening to stories. Ted gets so excited when he turns the pages to see new pictures.

The boys were sent the most gorgeous books from Wonderbly.

Ted is 22 month old & was sent: “The ABC of You”. You can add your childs name & change the colour of the front cover. Each page is totally personalised for your little one. I love the illustrations. The quality of the book is absolutely stunning. The cover is hardback & the pages are made from beautiful thick paper. Perfect for little hands to navigate.

I also love that you can customise & personalise the first page with a cute little message. These books are something that will be treasured by your little ones. I received a personalised book for christmas one year when I was a child from my God Parents & I still have it on my bookshelf.

Seth was sent: “You & the Beanstalk”. This is a lovely little re-telling of a classic. Seth was so mesmerised when he realised he was in the story. Seth is 4 yrs old. He literally could not believe he was the main character.

Seth loves seeing his name in his reading corner.

As with Ted’s book, this book can be personalised & you can also personalise the first page.

Seth has such an amazing creative personality & is always looking for adventures. This book fits him perfectly.

If you’re looking for that perfect gift – look no further than these stunning books. Right now, Wonderbly have 20% off when you buy 2 books. Just use code: MULTI20 at checkout. Books can be shipped worldwide & dispatch is within 48hrs.

We have had so much fun reading these beautiful books.

Thank you as always for reading & I hope you’ve enjoyed this review.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ: ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต – ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ &/๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ.

“Together is a Wonderful Place to Be.”

10 Aug

Hi Folks,

We’re trying our hardest to try & make life more normal here in our house. Now that we can see family members… we’re making plans & trying to plan days out for the kids, since we’ve had to cancel our Summer getaway. Things like seaside days out, strawberry picking, picnics etc…

Planning is always so much more fun when you have pretty pens & a Personal Plannerย or Family Wall Planner. Every year I have a Family Wall Planner made for us from Personal Planner. I love them soooooo much! They really are the best planners around.

With each Personal Planner or Wall Chart – you will get a sheet of stickers. Great for high lighting special arrangements. Another great feature is that you can upload all of your important dates, birthdays & anniversary’s. So each year you don’t have to go through writing in all of the dates… with one click everything uploads. It’s utterly perfect – I hate the task of the laborious date writing. So this handy little feature scraps all of that.

The family wall planner has enough room for each individual family member. They get their own colour coordinated section & photograph. Perfect for logging school dates, play dates & trips to the vet… of course our Chihuahua Coco has her own section on the family wall planner.

The most exciting & fun aspect of these lovely planners is that you literally design it all yourself. So it’s a perfect fit for you & your life. Whether you want it to aid with your studies, or if you need it to help with organising your office at home whilst working from home or like me… you want to plan fun family days out… Personal Planner has you covered. And what’s more… shipping is entirely FREE!!!

So… I have some super exciting news!!!! I’ve teamed up with Personal Planner for a phenomenal GIVEAWAY!!! All you have to do is head on over to my Instagram page & FOLLOW ME, LIKE & SHARE. Just look for the Personal Planner giveaway post.

For 15% off right now please use Discount Code: SUMMERISHEREย 

Thanks so much as always for reading & good luck in the giveaway!!!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

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

Lockdown Learning

20 Jul

Hi folks,

I can’t believe that the academic year has come to an end & we’re now into the Summer Holidays. I feel so sad that Seth didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to his Pre-School Teachers & Class Mates. We found out last week who his new Reception Class Teacher would be & which of his friends would be in his class. Seth is so excited to get back to school in September. He just loves to learn.

We’ve been doing lots of fun learning activities over lockdown & I think we’ll be carrying them on into the Summer Holidays too. Learning is much easier when its fun!

We had another lovely delivery of goodies from Best Learning.

My Learning Board iPoster ย is utterly fantastic!ย It’s perfect for helping with Spelling, Writing & Counting. It’s interactive with touch technology & you can also use the wipeable pen too. There is 12 separate learning activities already built in. It’s perfect for fun learning games together. Lots of fun sounds & songs will keep your little ones entertained for hours. We’ve had so much fun with this lovely interactive toy. You can also hang it on a wall, perfect for a play room, study area or kids bedroom. The integrated calculator is great too… Seth thinks it’s magic.

Inno Pad: Smart Fun Lessons.ย This is such an amazing compact toy. It comes with 16 separate learning pages that slide into the Inno Pad for different learning experiences. The pages themselves are made from durable plastic… meaning they’re sturdy but also can be wiped clean. Skills that can be learned include alphabet, numbers, time, colours, fruits, shapes, animals, the weather, emotions, professions, music, various transportation & problem solving. The learning levels range from basic to advanced. This is toy is great for travel… it’s really lightweight & slimline. It’ll be great for travelling when we go to visit family etc…

Seth loves problem solving & having quizzes, so he’s had so much fun playing with it. It’s great for a childs development, as well as promoting creativity. We’ve had fun playing this together, but Seth also like independent play & learning. He can off & play with this & figure it all out for himself.

Magic Puzzle Globe.ย This lovely little globe comes in 26 pieces with a little stand. We did have to help Seth with putting this together. It’s been great though for helping Seth with basic geography. Seth is only 4 years old, but he’s utterly obsessed with asking where each country is in relation to the United Kingdom. So this has been such a great learning aid.

Our magic Puzzle Globe lives in Seth’s room, because he loves to go over to it & find all of his favourite countries. I just love the wonder & amazement on his little face when he looks & then finds different places.

“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein.

If you would like to read a little more about the toys we’ve reviewed – please click the highlight text.

Thanks so much for reading.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

“Beauty is Power; a Smile is it’s Sword”.

15 Jul

Hi folks,

“Beauty is Power; a Smile is it’s Sword’ – John Ray. What an amazing quote & so true. Smiles are universal… when you smile you feel good & it also has a positive affect on the person receiving the smile. Smiling is a great way to start when trying to make our world a kinder place.

Feeling like I’m making the best of myself always has such a positive effect on my whole personality & confidence. I love my beauty regime I go through each morning. But it’s not just about the skincare & the make up… it’s about have a great smile too.

Each morning before I do my hair & make up… I’ll start with my smile. Having a healthy, sparkling smile… doesn’t have to be expensive. I love Colgate products… they’re so accessible & inexpensive. I can literally pick up a new toothbrush while out doing my shopping at my local supermarket. I can have quite sensitive gums at times, so a harsh toothbrush just wouldn’t do. I love the softness of the Colgate 360 Sensitive Pro, no one wants to start the day with bleeding gums.

The brush itself is a great shape for getting all areas in your mouth with an ergonomic handle & features a soft tongue & cheek cleaner on the back of the head of the brush.

I have 2 little boys & teaching them about good oral hygiene is so important. Seth is 4 yrs old & likes to brush his teeth with us each morning & night. Ted is a year old, so doesn’t have all of his teeth yet, but he’s already a keen teeth cleaner. I have to say that the Hey Duggee Tooth brushing badge Song is a firm favourite in our house while we’re brushing. It’s also a good way of ensuring we brush for 2mins too which is the recommended time… 2mins on a morning & 2 mins on an evening. My dentist always likes to give us that reminder at our regular check ups.

A healthy, minty fresh smile goes a long way… I mean… it’s the universal sign of happiness. And it’ll set off your favourite lipstick too.

So… in a world where you can be anything you want to be… lets be kind & SMILE! Make your smile so dazzling & infectious that folk cannot help but pass it on!

I hope you’ve found this review useful, I’ve embedded the product link in the bold text if you’d like to read further.

Thank you so much as always for reading!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

โ€œThis product was gifted by Colgate, but all views are my ownโ€

 

โ€œThere is more treasure in books than in all the pirateโ€™s loot on Treasure Island.โ€ โ€“ Walt Disney

29 Jun

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all safe & well. Hopefully we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel during this strange time. Pandemic parenting sure is a mine field. Homeschooling, trying to keep the little ones entertained & all the while, trying to shield them from all of the scariness.

Seth is now 4 yrs old & he’s currently at pre-school… well, not at the moment. He’s not been to school since lockdown began. So all of his recent learning has been here at home. A few weeks ago, we were sent the amazing Chameleon Reader.

I have been utterly blown away by this product. Seth calls it ‘The Magic Book Wand’. Seth has always loved books & has his own little book corner for reading in his bedroom with his own little corner sofa. We love reading together, but he’s at an age where he wants to be independent sometimes with his reading, but he hasn’t the reading ability yet to sit & fully read on his own. So this ‘magic book wand’ is perfect!

So… first of all… Whats in the Box?

  • Chameleon Reader Pen (batteries included)
  • 5,000+ Audio Stickers
  • 7 Audio Controls Book Mark
  • My Library Card
  • My Music Card
  • Card Album
  • USB Cable
  • User Guide

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/50049764163/in/dateposted-public/

First of all, I’d like to start by saying that this is so easy to use. This will work with ANY book & turn it into an audio book. So I can literally read books for Seth & record it for him. You simply choose a book… place a little chameleon on each page & record the audio of each page with a little tap.  Then, when your little one taps the sticker with their pen, the page will be read out…it really is MAGIC!

We started with The Gruffalo.

Seth’s reaction when he realises it’s me reading the story is just magical!

This clever little gadget will record up to 4 audio tracks per page. So 4 separate languages can be spoken which is ideal for bilingual children. The possibilities are endless.

The Chameleon Reader is great for getting the kids away from screens & is great for keeping them entertained while travelling. We’ve loved using it over lockdown, it’s been such a great learning aid.

Right now, Amazon have a great deal on, you can buy the whole starter pack for ยฃ89.99 with free one day delivery on Prime.

This would make such an amazing gift. I’m thinking of getting family members to record themselves reading books, as we don’t live near family. I think it’ll be lovely for Seth to be able to hear his favourite stories read out by his grandparents.

I hope you you’ve enjoyed this review. Click the bold text to be linked to websites for further reading & where to purchase.

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Play, Learn, Grow!

18 May

Hi folks,

I hope everyone is staying safe & staying positive. We’re all fine here… plodding on as best we can. I think one of the hardest aspects is keeping the kids occupied. Going out for a morning walk is great for burning off energy & then playing in the garden is also a massive help. But when the rain comes… it’s a whole different story.

We were sent some lovely toys from Best Learning who you can find on Amazon here.

Seth is 4 years old now. He’s really missing nursery right now. He’s missing all aspects of it… the structure… the learning & most of all; his friends. I’m not homeschooling as such, like I’m not setting out a full structured school day… but I am integrating learning into play. Seth loves to learn. The recent VE Day Celebrations have really piqued his interest in our little island & learning more about the UK as a whole. This i-Poster of the United Kingdom really did arrive just at the right time.

The i Poster has over 300 facts & questions about the UK. There’s also all sorts of different fun questions to test your knowledge in the quiz mode. There’s also a fantastic feature that will sing the national anthem too! As you can see from the photo above, we have ours hung up. Its in the front room as a permanent feature now. It really is a beautiful toy/ learning aid. Seth loves choosing an area of the UK & pressing it to find out facts.

We have a weekly phone call from Seth’s teacher & he has told her all about his talking map. The material is great – it wipes down easily if grubby fingers have touched it. It’s also super easy to use, simply touch the area you want to learn about & the map will come to life just like magic. Seth really thinks its magical.

Ted was sent the My Spin & Learn Steering Wheel. It’s the cutest little toy. Ted instantly took to this toy & its a one he will consistently choose to play with everyday. My favourite thing about this toy is the ’emotions’ feature. I’ve not come across many baby/toddler toys that touch on emotion. This is so lovely with a light up button referring to each emotion. It also incorporates light, shapes, sound, music & it also spins. Great for hand eye coordination. There’s so many elements to this toy that makes it different to other interactive toddler toys.

The wheel itself is the perfect size for little hands to hold & carry. It’s great for developing dexterity & motor function.

If you’re looking for some fun & educational toys to keep the little ones entertained – then Best Learning are a great place to start.

I hope you’ve all found this review helpful. Don’t forget to stay safe & stay positive!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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 SnรผzPod 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 SnรผzPod 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 SnรผzPod 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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. And 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

 

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

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