Tag Archives: motherhood

Making Memories

20 May

Hi folks,

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

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

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

The space itself:

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

Lower Ground Floor

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

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

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

Ground Floor

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

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

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

First floor

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

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

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

Outside

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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

Weaning Must-Have, Teething Troubles and School Styling

13 May

Hi folks,

Can you believe we’re at the weaning stage already with Ted!? It feels like only yesterday that he was born. And yet here we are… already at the foodie stage.

Weaning can be so stressful. Finding foods & textures that your little one will entertain. Then there’s the worry of finger foods… I get so anxious in case they choke!

Of course weaning always feels less daunting when you have plenty of Nuby products on standby.

Stackable Bowls with Lids

These bowls are fantastic! In the pack you will get 4 bowls with lids & 2 spoons. The bowls are microwave safe & also dishwasher safe when used on the top shelf. They’re great for feeding on the go, as you can pop the lid back on to save any mess getting in your bag. They’re also perfect for food storage too!

Catch All Bib

The bib in this pic of Ted was actually Seth’s! So it’s already seen us through 1 weaning journey. Proof that Nuby products do stand the test of time!

This bib wipes down easily & also catches any foodie falls! It fastens with Velcro. This bib may be 3yrs old… but it’s still fantastic!

Titan Grip & Sip Cup

This little sippy cup is fab for getting your little one used to a cup from using bottles. The handles are great for little hands to be able to hold onto. It’s also non spill & it comes with a little lid too for keeping it clean & hygienic on the go.

Ted’s really enjoying trying to hold his own drink at the moment & this cup is great for that.

Wacky Teether

Any parent will tell you that teething is so upsetting & traumatic. Poor Ted has 2 teeth poking through on his bottom gum. He’s been so upset with himself. Luckily though, he’s gotten some relief with his Wacky Teether. It’s a lovely size for little hands to be able to grab on to.

With all of the different textures, it’s perfect for massaging sore gums. The crinkly fabric & bright colours will also keep them entertained too.

Ted loves his Wacky Teether!

Trendz Mini Backpack with Reins

Trendz Water Bottle

Seth has recently started Pre-School… he absolutely adores it! His Trendz Backpack has come in so handy. To avoid all that awful traffic, we walk to school. But with having the buggy too for Ted, I feel like I need several arms to be able to hold Seth’s hand & push the buggy.

With Seth being a ‘big boy’ he doesn’t always want to hold hands, so it’s great being able to attach the reins on to his bag & then keeping it on my wrist. It’s just a little reassurance that he’s not going to wander too far or jump into a road.

Inside the backpack – there is plenty room for spare clothes… we all know what it’s like during toilet training. There’s also a zip compartment inside as well as a big pocket.

The water bottle is a great size for school too & also has a push button that releases the drinking spout. Great for keeping it clean & hygienic. Its non-spill too!

It’s easy to wash – it’s dishwasher safe… Hoorah! And… it’s shatterproof! Durability is a must have when you have a rather boisterous 3 year old!

I do love Nuby products they just seem to make everything a little easier lol.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

I hope you’ve found my review helpful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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

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

“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.

Sleeping Soundly Side by Side

2 Apr

Hi folks

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

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

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

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

Exact dimensions:

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

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

Product Weight: 8.79kg

Product Usage: birth to 15kg

 

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

Here’s a list of the exact features:

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

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

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

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

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

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

Toddler Toilet Time

12 Mar

Hi folks,

We’re still in the throws of toilet training. Well… when I say ‘toilet training’ I do actually mean potty as Seth shows more interest in the potty than the toilet.

We were sent the most gorgeous potty from Nuby; The Tots Toilet. Seth is a bit obsessed… which I’m totally taking as a massive positive step in the right direction to a ‘pull up’ free life! The first day it arrived he sat on it to eat his dinner in front of the TV lol.

Firstly… this is a lovely little potty. It’s a perfect mini toilet. There is a potty insert inside the little toilet that comes out easily for cleaning etc… with the potty being a little higher than a traditional potty, it’s great for little boys to be able to do a stand up wee without it going straight over the top. Boy mama’s… we’ve all been there. Now, the most exciting part to this Toilet, is the sounds & light. There’s a little flush button on the top. Seth is so obsessed with pressing the button. I also love that it has a toilet lid that you can close over after a successful toilet time. Seth gets a bit freaked out seeing anything in the toilet, so being able to close the lid is a massive plus for us.

As this potty looks like a toilet, Seth has been happy to keep it in our downstairs loo. Again, a massive plus for us as we’ve managed to get the idea of toilet time moved into the bathroom rather than the potty being in the front room.

Is Seth out of pull ups? Nope… not yet. He’s still a bit freaked out about the whole thing. Some days he’s very amenable to the whole toilet thing. Until we got this potty, he wasn’t. Other days though, he just does not want to know & cries & gets very anxious. I just feel that a tough love approach would not be right in this scenario as I don’t want to enforce anxiety & fear around the toilet. So, right now he can use the potty when he feels confident. And when he doesn’t, it’s not a ‘big deal’. Seth will be starting nursery next month after Easter. I’m hoping that seeing the other kids using the toilet – this will make him want to use it too. I say this because his friend Ruby used our Tots Toilet & it totally inspired Seth to use it too lol. Maybe Ruby can be his Toilet coach? Lol.

Seth isn’t pooping whilst we’re out & he’s completely dry on a night. So I know he has full control over when he ‘toilets’… it just seems to be his anxiety taking over. Like I said in a previous blog post… slow & steady wins the race. I’m hoping the calm & positive approach will help him to conquer the toilet once & for all.

We do love our Tots Toilet… & so does Ruby!

Thank you Nuby!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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

Holidays… Breaks… Vacations… Travel

4 Mar

Hi folks,

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

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

Stuart Lloyd, travel insurance expert at Columbus Direct comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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