Tag Archives: ParentHood

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 – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

“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 Planner 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: SUMMERISHERE 

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

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.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – 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 £89.99 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

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 SnüzPod 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 SnüzPod 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 SnüzPod 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 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Chilly Days Out

16 Dec

Hi folks,

It might be feeling very chilly & wintry outside… but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the great outdoors. Being a ‘boy mama’ means I spend a lot of time outside foraging under rocks for creepy crawlies & hunting through woods for Gruffalo’s & Bears.

We spend lots of time walking & exploring on a weekend. Even in the colder months, you’ll find us having a picnic all wrapped up.

We were sent some lovely ION8 Leakproof Water Bottles. Perfect for those days out!

The bottles we have are 350ml. Perfect size for children, but also it means you’re not logging around giant water bottles. These lovely bottles are 100% leak proof. They’d be ideal for packed lunches!

We have the lovely Lady Bug design & the orange.

Both bottles have a frosted kind of texture, making it perfect for grip while on the go. There’s also a great one touch button for opening & there’s also a little switch you can flick that will completely lock the bottle. So you can pop it in your bag with no fear of leaks! Perfect! No one wants a soggy handbag.

Both boys have found them easy to drink from. There’s even a little carry strap too!

The bottles are suitable for both cold & warm drinks.

You can find ION8 Leakproof on social media too!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Give them a follow to keep up to date with new products & promotions!

Thank you 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.

Cosy and Christmassy

10 Dec

15 days until Christmas… eeeeeeck I’m too excited!!! I just live getting all of the gifts wrapped & the house all Christmassy & cosy.

This year, I’m going to be putting the boys Christmas gifts on their Just4Kids chairs. Their gifts are going to look so cute all displayed on them.

These lovely little chairs are the loose cover chairs from Just4Kidz.  These chairs are handmade right here in the UK. They comprise 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. They print the fabrics themselves which I love. There are lots of lovely prints to choose from. Seth decided he liked the farmyard design best & Ted has the safari print. Both boys love animals & these prints compliment each other so well.

The chairs are super sturdy. I mean, Ted is only 13 month old & been climbing all over them. Being so well made, means they are 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. These chairs are perfect for pre-school children all the way up to primary school age. They’re the perfect addition to any lounge, play room or children’s bedroom.

These chairs can be used for all sorts… reading corner… arm chair for watching TV with family… etc… Seth has been sat in it doing puzzles & drawing at times or it’s become the ‘doctors chair too’ lol. Ted just loves being able to get all snuggly on it. I think he loves having his own chair that’s small & comfy.

Even the box the chair arrived in was the cause of much excitement & fun!

These lovely little chairs were 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 them justice… they’re chunky, comfy & so well made. For me though… one of the biggest selling points is that you can remove the fabric. 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.

They also make 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 that special gift this Christmas, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something perfect 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 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.

Parenting Win

19 Nov

Hi folks,

The last 13 month since seems to have flown by & Ted just seems to be hitting all of those first milestone so quickly. I sometimes wish I could just slow down time. Ted is very much a toddler now. He’s no longer my 8lb 4oz newborn baby. He started walking at 10month which still just totally blows me away, Seth walked at just turned 11month old & I thought that was super early.

When Seth made the transition from Bottle to Cup for his water… I remember it taking a little while for him to get used to it. However, with Ted, he has taken to it so well. So much so, that I didn’t even actually introduce him to a cup. He literally just picked up Seth’s 360 Cup one day & started to drink from it lol. So… after hearing this, the lovely folk at Nuby HQ sent Ted his very own 360 cups.

Ted started with the lovely Nuby Wonder Mini 360 Cup. These cups are fab, as they have the little handles on them, so they’re easy for little fingers to be able to grab hold of. I really didn’t have to try with this cup, in introducing it to Ted. He literally just picked it straight up & began using it. He grasped the ‘sucking’ technique so easily.

The 360 cups are super easy to clean too, as every single part comes apart for cleaning. They also come with a lid too, so they’re great for popping in your bag for on the go. You can also buy the replacement inner valve too.

The natural next step from this cup, is to move onto the maxi 360 cup with no handles.

This has been a piece of cake for Ted. He loves his ‘big boy’ cup. I think he feels more like his big brother when he’s using it. He has taken to it so well. These cups are suitable from 6 month. We have bypassed the traditional sippy cups really with Ted, & I think it’s better. This way, he is learning how to drink from more of a proper cup.

Another lovely product we’ve been using is the 3D Silicone Bib.

These bibs are fab! Well let’s face it… anything that cuts down on laundry is a lifesaver in my eyes. These bibs are so durable. And they wipe down so easily… & did I mention that they’re dishwasher safe too!!! The bib has a ‘catch all’ feature which catches all of those pesky flyaway foodie bits. And, while on the go, it easily rolls up to go back into your bag.

The silicone is soft & flexible with an adjustable fastening on the back for around the neck, making this a comfy bib for your little one to wear at mealtimes. It’s not stiff or ‘scratchy’ at all.

Nuby make some gorgeous bath time toys. Seth & Ted have both been having fun playing with the Astronaut Foam Mirror Set. It’s a cute toy as it clings & sticks to the side of the bath & on the tiles. And with the lovely mirror feature, they can see themselves, which Ted always thinks is great fun. Ted has chomped on this bath toy lots & it’s still in perfect condition. Durability is a must in our house lol.

With a Nuby product, you always know that you’re going to get good value for money & good quality products. Perfect for those little stocking fillers!

Thank you as always for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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

“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 – 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