Monthly Archives: February 2017

Sparklers #MySundayPhoto

Last weekend I was in Oxford for my cousins Hen Do.  We all had a great time and went to a club on the night, we were in the VIP section and were brought a large bottle of prosecco and a bottle of vodka with mixtures and we just loved the way they were brought out with sparklers attached to the bottles, Couldn’t resist a photo opportunity.

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Photalife

Kid’s Party Planning Hacks All Parents Should Know

Children’s birthday parties are incredibly stressful, or at least, they can be. For kids, one of the most exciting parts of turning another year older is the fact that they get to have a birthday party, for us it’s one of the most stressful parts. The truth is that children’s party planning takes a lot of time, effort, and money, which is why, as parents, we find it so stressful.

However, the good news is that just because kid’s party planning can be stressful, that doesn’t mean that it has to be. If you know what you are doing and are willing to plan in advance, you can ensure that your child’s next birthday party is practically stress-free. Yes, really! Here’s everything that you need to know:

Cupcake, Candles, Birthday, Party, Birthday Cake

Book a venue that offers a setup and clear up service

One of the most stressful (and time-consuming) parts of holding a birthday party is the setup and clear up. So, why not spend a little more and hire a venue that offers complimentary setup and clear up? That way, all you have to do is drop off any decorations that you want put up, and they’ll be in place by the time of the party comes around. And when the party ends, instead of having to spend an hour or so clearing up, you can head home. Just think how much easier that would make things…

Plan a party that comes with its own entertainment

To make party planning even easier, attempt to plan a do that comes with its own entertainment. For example, if your child loves football, plan a football party and hire a football coach to run it. If your little one is obsessed with princesses, hire a princess entertainer to run the party. Or, if they love swimming, plan a pool party. Instead of having to plan party games, plan a party that comes with its own entertainment. You’ll feel less stressed out for it, that’s a promise.

Order the items for the goody bags online

When it comes to the goody bags, go online and get inspired. You don’t want to give out the same thing as every other party gives out, so it’s worth taking the time to get creative. Once you’ve found some ideas that you like, such as getting each child a name bracelet, a teddy bear with their name on, or getting custom bobbleheads for each child. Get creative, get inspired, and come up with some unique goody bag ideas.

Have the food catered and the cake professionally designed

Spare yourself the hassle of having to make and decorate a cake and make up lots of sandwiches and snack foods and hire a caterer and a professional cake maker. Believe it or not, this won’t be as expensive as you would think and will make party planning much easier and less stressful. Just make sure to inform your caterers of any allergies that any of the kids who are attending may have.

So there you have it, party planning hacks that will make the next kid’s party you plan much easier and less stressful.

20 Week Scan & Update – My first Pregnancy

This is a day late…Oops.

On Tuesday 14th February – Valentines Day & our 8 year anniversary it was the day we got to see our baby again.  The scan date couldn’t have fallen on a more perfect day for my partner and me and one to certainly remember.

Our appointment was at 1.40pm, I left work in town at lunch time around 1 PM, and jumped on the train with excitement to see our little baby at 20 weeks – halfway through already, how has the time flown so quick?  We arrived at Solihull Hospital, parked up and wandered into the women’s unit, luckily it was fairly quiet too so didn’t have to wait too long to be seen, maybe 10 minutes.  We were both so excited and couldn’t wait to see our little baby.

We then got called in, my heart was beating really fast but I was so nervous at the same time, I was excited and nervous all rolled into one.  I lay down on the bed, the lights were turned off and the sonographer started, applied the gel and started finding the baby, she asked if she found the gender would we like to know and we both said no because we would love a surprise as it’s our first baby togther.

20 weeks Scan
Baby Cooper at 19 weeks & 4 Days

We were in there approximately half hour because the baby was getting measured and making sure everything was developed and normal and everything could be seen.  The baby wouldn’t stop wiggling nd moving away from us so the lady kept having to get me to keep moving from side to side to try to get baby to move into a better position so she could see the heartbeat and all its parts and measure him/her etc.  It felt like we had been in there for ages, we were holding each other’s hands and couldn’t stop smiling and I felt quite emotional watching our baby on the screen. It was so magical.

Then the lady kindly printed out our scan pictures too and this time we got 2 copies instead of one.  Off back to work we then both went.

I have been feeling absolutely fine still, apart from the odd day of tiredness and horrendous heartburn on and off I am quite enjoying this pregnancy.  I bet I will regret saying that in a few more weeks or months.

How is your pregnancy going?

I am exactly 20 weeks pregnant and 1 day today! Half way through already!

Wedding Invitations, Spotify & Hen Do’s #LittleLoves

Well this has been another crazy one, starting off with trying to recover from a crazy weekend in Oxford for my cousin’s hen do, where I literally survived, somehow on only 5 hours sleep the whole weekend after waking up at 7.30am Saturday morning and not going to bed until 4 am Sunday morning, Tuesday, we had a lovely day of a triple celebration as it was Valentines Day, Our 8 year Anniversary and we got our 20 week baby scan booked in for the afternoon too.  One to certainly remember.

Read

I surprised myself with this one, this week I have read the Metro 3 times on the train while on the way into work. Not very interesting though.

Heard

A Song that I used to love when I was younger and I still know all the words to it, sad I know, Called Saturday night at the movies by Robson & Jerome.  Absolutely brilliant.

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Watched 

Quite a bit of TV actually.  Suits on Sunday, Soaps in the week, Emmerdale & Coronation Street and a series on Amazon Prime called “The Fall”

Wore

A going out dress, finally the first time in a long time, I went to Oxford for my cousin’s hen do and it felt amazing to properly get dressed up and go out on the town, go for food, have a good old girly laugh and go to a club.

Made

Well with our wedding fast approaching and a baby on the way I decided I needed to start planning and making the wedding invitations sooner rather than later.  So Monday night when I got home from work I decided to make a start on them, with a little help from the OH.  It is a very slow process but super exciting and I love the look of them.  If you are getting married and require stationery, you can check out my handcrafted all occasion cards which are available for order here.

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And Lastly

I created my first blog Facebook page with the help of my sister-in-law and would love people to maybe like it and follow my journey from a lifestyle blogger to a parenting blogger too.

How has your week been?

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Babyproofing Your Home

Whether you’re expecting a baby soon or if you are planning on moving to a new location for the sake of your child’s future, the first thing on your mind has to be babyproofing your home. There are many dangers around every home that will affect your baby’s safety. Anything from stairs to cupboards and sharp corners can seriously hurt your baby, and the type of flooring you use will also have an effect on the safety of your child.

Babyproofing your home is simple but it does take some time to finish. This guide will go through the basics of baby proofing your home, some extra tips depending on the type of home you live in and some additional improvements you can do to plan for when your baby grows older. These improvements aren’t very expensive and some of them will be great investments for years to come until your child grows old enough to be wary of the dangers around the home.

Crescent Moon and Cloud Wind Chimes

Finding the time for improvements

If you’re a busy couple then it can be hard to find time to make these home improvements let alone find time to look after your child. Luckily, the mother is able to get a minimum of two weeks maternity leave to look after their child immediately after the child is born. However, many people don’t know that the father is also eligible for paternity leave. This article from Ellis Whittam on paternity will explain all the terms and conditions that you have to meet in order to be eligible. In short, the father can get up two weeks off to help with looking after the child. You don’t need to be worried when you return to work either because you have the right to return to your normal role at work. In addition, you are also eligible for paternity pay to help you pay for things such as bills or additional toys and furniture for your child. Keep in mind that these two weeks have to be taken off consecutively and within 56 days of your child’s birth.

Once you finally make the time for improvements, you should get to work as soon as possible and make the most of your time. In addition to spending time on home improvements to babyproof your home, you should also spend more time with your partner and with your baby. Try to get in as much quality time together before you go back to work because, for a busy couple, it’s rare to get to see your family together and spend some time with them.

Baby's Feet on Brown Wicker Basket

  1. Replace Carpets With Laminate or Wooden Flooring

Your baby’s main method of travelling around the home is going to be on all fours crawling around. As a result, you want to make sure that all crawl-height dangers are removed. This includes things like electrical outlets, crawl spaces under furniture, sharp corners on shelves and drawers, and miscellaneous objects you might have around the floor. The first thing you should consider is laminate or wooden flooring. Babies spend a lot of time on the floor and carpets are prone to housing small objects and dust which can adversely affect your child. It is also far more hygienic and easy to clean when you have a clear floor such as laminate or wood. It’s easier to vacuum dust and random objects, and you’ll spend less time each week cleaning the carpets.

  1. Banishing Crawl-Height Dangers

As mentioned before, your baby will crawl around a lot as their main method of getting around, meaning that you have to eliminate as many dangers as possible. Get on your knees and crawl around the home, try to bring your down to the height of your child as they are crawling and look for sharp corners or edges, electrical outlets and other hazards.

For electrical outlets, do not buy socket covers that are plastic and plug into the sockets themselves. Contrary to popular belief, babies cannot fit their fingers into power outlets so they don’t pose as much threat as some people would think. However, the socket covers you can buy are a waste of money and potentially even more dangerous than leaving them uncovered. Instead, buy covers that clip over the entire outlet and require opening and shutting. These are a little more expensive, but they offer more safety for when your children grow up and are more likely to stick objects into the outlets.

Of course, you also need to worry about things such as sharp corners and the edges of things like drawers. For corners, you can buy soft plastic corner guards that will protect your baby from most injuries. However, it’s a good idea to try and declutter the house as much as possible and constantly be on the lookout for objects that could fall off shelves or tip over onto your child.

Pregnant Woman Standing Near White Brown Bassinet

  1. Creating a Baby Room

If you’re worried about the dangers around your home and want a quiet location to keep your baby’s cot, then look no further than converting one of your bedrooms (your child’s future bedroom) into a baby room or a nursery. It is much easier for you to keep track of your baby if they are confined to a single room, though it’s not a good idea to have them locked up in the same place like a prisoner. However, it is far easier to clean up and babyproof a single room at a time as opposed to your entire home.

The baby’s room should have plenty of colourful decorations, a cot, a changing table and other essentials. You might also want to install a baby camera in the room so you can monitor how your child is doing when they are sleeping or playing inside the room. There are some other great additions you can add to the room as well, for instance, you can have a rocking chair for when you need to calm your baby. The relaxing rocking motion is soothing for babies and will make them fall asleep very quickly. It’s important that you try and keep clutter to a minimum in your nursery so that there aren’t many things to trip over or bump into for your child.

  1. Baby Proofing the Kitchen

The kitchen is perhaps the most dangerous room of all when it comes to babies and toddlers. There are many sharp objects, dangerous fluids and plastic bags that your baby or toddler could suffocate on. It’s a good idea to install a gate on your kitchen door and lock it to prevent your baby from crawling inside or your toddler from wandering in. Try to keep your kitchen off-limits and until your child is old enough to understand the dangers inside, don’t let them in. Keep your dining table in a separate room if possible and keep the gate shut at all times.

If getting a safety gate isn’t practical, then you have to do some serious cleaning around the kitchen. You’ll need to declutter the kitchen as much as possible and store as much as you can inside of cupboards. Do not leave any wires for appliances dangling in plain sight because your child can pull on these and drag down appliances or fiddle with the electrical wires. Tidy up after your mess as soon as possible and don’t leave any of your pots and pans unattended while you answer phone calls or something similar. Always keep an eye on active cooking and make sure you know where your child is at all times.

Keeping Long Distance Grandparents Involved in Your Kids’ Lives

Image result for Grandbilly & Hanna flickr

For many grandparents, spending time with their grandkids is one of the best things in life. They love spending time with the kids, playing, laughing and making memories. Sadly, many grandparents do not get to do this anywhere near as much as they would like due to the fact that their children have relocated and they live far away from their children and grandchildren.

As you get older, travelling isn’t as easy as it once was, which is why it is important that all you parents out there who live long distance from grandma and grandpa do your best to ensure that your parents get to spend more than a few days a year with their precious grandkids. Here are some helpful tips for doing just that:

Get Connected

Apps like Facetime and Skype may not be the same as seeing each other in person, but they can ensure that your kids and your parents are in constant contact. If your folks are reluctant to use technology, by them an iPhone or iPad and have the kids teach them how to use it. The grandparents will love spending time with the kids and the children will love being able to demonstrate their skills to grandma and grandpa.

Record Videos

If grandparents aren’t able to make it to school plays, birthday parties and other special moments, make sure you record them so that they still feel involved. Grandparents will treasure each and every moment captured on video, and since we all have phones with recording capabilities these days, it really doesn’t take much effort to get recording.

Use Parental Leave Entitlement

If grandparents aren’t able to come to you, but you don’t want them to miss out of seeing the children, you might want to check your parental leave entitlement to see if you can take a few days off from work to visit them. Parental leave is unpaid, but it will be worth it to see the joy on the face of your kids and their grandparents when you bring them together for a visit.

Send Mail

Encourage your children to write letters, do drawings and make crafts that they can send to their grandparents to let them know they are thinking of them and to brighten up their day. In return, grandparents can send care packages filled with candy, colouring books and postcards to keep the kids engaged.

Start a Photo Album

Take lots of photos of your children every day and upload them to a private website, or even create a physical photo album, for the grandparents to keep them up to speed with your kids’ growth spurts or funny moments.

Holiday Together

If at all possible, try to book your holidays so that they coincide with the holidays of grandparents and spend the time together. If you and your partner need some me time, and your parents are up for it, you could even let the kids holiday with grandma and grandpa while you have your own couple’s holiday.

No matter what else you do, it is important that you let grandparents know that they are loved by their grandchildren and that efforts are being made to keep communication open, It will mean so much to them that you are involving them in your children’s lives.

Why Spending Quality Time With Your Baby Is So Beneficial

If you have a baby, spending quality time with them is really important. You might think that you spend plenty of time with them – but a lot of time doesn’t mean it is quality. Quality time is singing to your baby, reading to your baby, playing with your baby, and bonding with them.

Bonding is different for many new mothers, so you should never feel as if you’ve got it wrong. Some people feel an intense, emotional attachment immediately after childbirth. Some take a little longer. Some don’t even realise that it has happened until they see their baby do something cute and feel that unmistakable rush of pride and love!

Babies bond many different ways. Of course, it comes naturally as you care for them every day. However, it also comes from things like touch, which is why as soon as you’ve given birth the midwives will encourage skin to skin contact. Eye contact is also great. You might notice your baby try to mimic you and your facial expressions!

Although you might not know it, babies also enjoy listening to your conversations and descriptions. All of these things can help them to bond with you, and develop into amazing little toddlers. Breastfeeding is also a way that mothers and babies form an attachment. You might not get it right away, but your midwives should be happy to give you tips and advice on getting it right. The majority of midwives love their jobs and feel privileged to watch new life brought into the world!


Produced By Staffnurse.com – Midwifery

Inspired Interiors: Room by Room Lighting Ideas

If you’re redesigning your interiors it will pay off to focus on the lighting. Lighting can transform a room. It centres our focus, can warm interiors and adds personality and flair to our homes. Often overlooked, so many of us don’t make enough of the lighting fixtures and fittings in our homes. Take inspiration from these room by room lighting ideas.

Dining Room

Dining room lighting is all about creating an atmospheric space. This is most likely the space in the house where you will be doing your entertaining. Lighting plays an important role in setting the mood of the room and illuminating the centerpiece- the table. You can position your lighting above the table, as close to the table as you dare to go! This low lighting has been a big trend for dining rooms in recent years. Oversized industrial lampshades work well, space out three at even intervals above the table. Alternatively, for a theatrical effect, have wall lighting torches. These give the room more of a gallery feel.

Office Lighting

No doubt your office is the room in your house where you most want inspiration to strike! For thoroughly modern and bespoke lighting choose a unique fitting. Multiple raw bulbs with glass dome shades will make a statement. Chose to have these secured to some driftwood or another natural material for an interesting contrast. These also work very well in dining rooms.

Living Room Lighting

The lighting for your living room should reflect what you want out of the room. If you’d like it to be a cosy and relaxing space choose a large decorative lampshade rather than a glass or raw fitting. This will make the room feel warmer. Invest in some lamps. These can be used when you want to dim the lighting for a cozier evening in.

Hallway Lighting

Lighting in hallways, or other connecting spaces, is all about practicality. It makes sense to have as much light as possible flooding into these areas. This will make the hallways look larger and brighter. Try harnessing the natural light that you have coming into these spaces as well as using artificial lighting. Take advantage of the natural light coming through windows to make hallways feel spacious and airy.

Bedroom Lighting

Cluster pendants are a fun way to add some colour and personality to a bedroom. These creative pendants come in all different designs. From sleek greys to more adventurous prints- there are designs to suit every style of room. If you’re looking for a polished finish chose glass hangings, otherwise, experiment with different fabrics to create an eclectic look. These are also great in children’s bedrooms as they resemble hanging mobiles. Place above a bed for a comforting feel!

Dermasalve Cream Review

When I was younger I suffered from slight eczema on my legs, it irritated me so much with none stop scratching making my skin red sore and bleed.  Eventually, over time it just disappeared.

My OH suffers quite badly with eczema and has ever since he was young too, he has tried and tested all sorts of creams and lotions to try and help.

When we were offered to try a new product called the dermasalve cream I jumped at the opportunity to see if it would help the OH with his skin.  It really gets him down some days and gets stressed about it which makes it flare up more.

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His skin can flare up at anything, stress, general life, washing up, cleaning and much more.

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The photo doesn’t really do this picture much justice but this is a fairly good day for my OH.  He gets so annoyed and frustrated with it, the constant scratching and irritation and the cracking of his skin which makes it really painful.

My OH has been using this cream pretty much every day and we will keep using it over a large period of time and see if it helps him with his eczema as only time will tell if it is working the longer we use it for.   It does help keep his skin smooth and soft and prevent it from getting too dry and cracking which he is pleased about.

* I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However, all thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own.

What’s The Right Style For Your Home?

Cottage, Cabin, Outside, Nature, House, Wood, Natural

There are hundreds of posts all over the internet about what interior design styles are currently fashionable, and which one’s you should forget about. There’s no doubt that this is great after all, many of us love to stay on trend and keep our homes looking as fresh and up to date as possible. But there’s one thing that a lot of these kinds of posts seem to forget about, and that’s the fact that not every home is going to work with every design style. In fact, the type of home that you live in is going to have an enormous impact on the kind of interior design work that you do in it. In the same way that not every person can wear the same types of clothes, not every home fits with every design choice. To help you make the right choices for where you live, here is some advice on choosing the perfect style for your home.

Look at the building

One of the biggest factors that will impact what kind of interior design aesthetic that you choose is inevitably going to be the building itself. After all, it’s a pretty rare occurrence that the exterior and interior of a home are complete and total opposites. If your home has a fabulously rustic and rural style, it’s going to seem a little odd if you decorate and design it in a radically modern way. By the same token, if you’re living in a brand new, modern apartment complex then trying to make it look like an old farmhouse is going to seem a little bit strange.

Think about your furniture

Many of us don’t have the budget in mind to change the furniture in our house every time we want to redesign the interiors. Instead many of us find the perfect piece of furniture that we really love and invest in that as something we’ll be using well into the future. This means that you should always be thinking about your furniture when deciding on the style of each room. If your living room furniture is the epitome of class and elegant style, then it’s hardly going to fit well if the rest of the room looks like a college dorm, complete with beer pong and posters.

Be consistent

If there’s one piece of advice that every single person should follow when figuring out the right design options for their home it’s that you should always strive for a consistent theme throughout. This doesn’t mean that every single room has to be the same. But few things can make a home feel confusing and messy than having a completely different style in every single room. If you’ve chosen a style that emphasizes a retro aesthetic, then that’s something that you should keep up throughout every room. Of course, within that theme, there’s plenty of room for expressing yourself so be sure to get creative and make specific design choices for each individual room.