Monthly Archives: June 2017

“Frozen” Themed Candy Buffet

If there are any little girls in your life, you certainly have heard of the Disney hit movie, “Frozen”.  The movie was the fifth highest grossing film of all time! Giving your little girl a Frozen theme party, complete with a candy buffet, dessert table will be the highlight of their event.  We will give you some DIY – easy tips to make her party a Frozen success!

Colors

We know the theme is Frozen. Our colors will be shades of blue and white. This is to represent cold, ice, and beautiful winter scenes.

Table covering and backdrop

Of course, you will find many Frozen decorations in the party section of your department store. However, select only a couple of pieces that show the characters of the show. A few props are all you need. To make your table unique and fun, most of the decor you will place yourself. No one wants a generic candy buffet.

Select a nice shade of blue for the table cloth. Use white felt as a topper for the cloth. Turn the felt so the corner forms an upside-down triangle. Sparkles are great if you can find felt with them already on it. Use white and blue felt snowflakes in various sizes and shapes to decorate the table covering.  You can use the same type of coverings for your backdrop. The backdrop should come up to a point in the middle with ribbons or streamers. The focal point in the center should hold your Frozen cutout or party prop. Attach your snowflakes and ice cycles sparingly. You can purchase felt cloth and snowflakes at your local craft store. Consider placing a few foil trees on the table.

Bulk Candy

You will want to purchase your candy online in bulk. This is the most cost effective and the candy comes to you, which saves you time. Select a supplier that carries all the popular candies in the colors you need. You will need about 8-ounces of candy per person. You may choose some specialty candies which will be a one-per-person purchase. If you are ordering chocolate (foil wrapped) be sure you consider the temperature where you will store the candy. The supplier will let you know how long it will take to get to you and how to handle each type.

While you will select candy that matches the theme, consider the size and the taste of the candy. If the candy is too small, it will take more to fill the jars, which can get tiring during the event. Wintergreen and mint candy give a cool flavor that ties in with the theme. Rock candy in robin’s egg blue or clear white look a lot like the “Frozen” wands. Soft peppermint and gummies bring your display together. Coordinated lollipops fit here well.

DIY fun

Since the theme is Frozen, you may want some treats that “look” cold. Consider hand dipped cotton candy placed in ice cream comes. You can sprinkle them with sugar and place them in a three tier cupcake holder, or place in a clear bag, tied with a ribbon.

Use taller clear containers on the back of the table and stage them down to the trays on the front of the table (keeping the triangle shape going). If you use shapes, make sure they are in the winter theme. Frozen goodie bags will finish things off and your guests will be thrilled.

It has never been easier to create a candy buffet. There are tons of sites that have basic instructions. All you need to add is a great candy supplier and a little imagination.

Tips on Hiring the Best Home Remodeling Company

When the time comes to remodel your home, install additions to your property, hiring the best contractor for the job becomes top priority. We have all heard horror stories from homeowners who went with the first, or lowest estimate they got only to discover why the price was so low. Quality materials and skilled labor costs money. Hiring a reputable company who offers a fair and reasonable price, does good work and stands behind their service is the goal. Below you will find some tips on how to find such a contractor.

Kitchen and bath

Remodeling most rooms in your home require someone who is good with building, painting, and finishing. But the kitchen and bath areas take more skill. When remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms the contractor must have experience in working with water, plumbing, cabinetry, and electricity.

Tip 1

Before you contact a contractor, have a general idea of the work you will want them to do. You will need them to be skilled in installing modern sinks and vessels, as this is the focal point of each of these important rooms. However, if you want to relocate the sinks, that is a totally different job.  Make two plans. Plan one will be what you want if you can afford to do everything you would like to do, and have a secondary plan of what you absolutely must have done.

Tip 2

Referrals are important. If you have chosen your new sinks, consider asking the vendor who they recommend for the job. Quality vendors know who buys the good stuff. Ask friends, family, and neighbors who they have used. Once you have narrowed down your choices, ask the contractor for references as well.

Tip 3

Check their licenses, insurance, standing with the Better Business Bureau, and inquire about their guarantees. Remember, a guarantee is only as good as the company who stands behind it. Find out how long they have been in business, if they bond their employees, and what kind of background checks they do on the people they are sending to your home.

Outdoor structures

When adding a garage, storage building, shed, or barn to your property, consider the value of a prefabricated steel building. Steel buildings are by far the most economical structures you can add to your property. They are virtually maintenance free and last for decades. Steel buildings come with a 40-year limited warranty. They stand up to any weather condition and with cool roofs, you save money by going green, The cool roof reflects the sun away from the steel building ensuring the integrity of the building and the contents.

Tip 1

Inquire is the contractor has ever erected a prefabricated steel building before. You may be better off to allow the vendor of the steel building to arrange the installation for you. These buildings go up quickly and a professional should not require a huge crew to assemble them.

Tip 2

Ask the contractor for a labor rate before you ask for an estimate. In erecting a prefabricated steel building, the materials come with the building and no special tools are required.

Tip 3

Ask if they will ensure all the proper permits and town requirements are met before they begin the job.

Do not base your decision on price alone. If a contractor is giving you an extremely low price, he is probably using low-quality materials or he is desperate for work which can mean he cannot afford to do the job unless you pay in advance. While some states will only allow a contractor to ask for a ⅓ deposit on a job, most states and companies ask for 50% of the costs upfront.

5 Considerations For Any Parents-To-Be

If you are in a position to be thinking about starting a family, then there might be a few things that you need to check or think about first. Of course, there never seems like there is a ‘right’ time to start a family. However, there are certainly some times in life that are going to better for starting a family than others. So in order to give your baby the best start in life possible, there are some things that you should look into first. Here are some suggestions for you, if you’re thinking about taking that step to parenthood.

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Consider Your Health

Being healthy is really key to having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. So if there are any factors that you need to look into beforehand, then make sure you do. If you have any health issues that have not been addressed, then they should be looked into sooner rather than later. Being able to carry a baby to full-term is important, so you want to be in the prime position to be able to have a healthy child and pregnancy. There are factors like being overweight, diabetes, and even things like undiagnosed STIs that can be harmful to a baby or lead to miscarriage or premature birth. So having a general health check to check your weight and blood pressure, as well as something like a chlamydia treatment if you think you might need one, is a good idea. You want to be feeling at your best to carry a baby as it does take it’s toll on your body.

Consider Your Thoughts on Parenting

With your partner, it is a good idea to talk about things that you would expect with a baby. Often these kinds of topic won’t have come up unless you bring them up, but it is important to discuss it. Would you want the baby to be christened? Would you have a baby led style of parenting or more of a structured routine? What are your thoughts on discipline and other parenting tools? You need to talk about these things as it can be hard to discuss it when you’ve got a child and are in the thick of it all. So start those kinds of discussions about family life now.

Consider Your Financial Situation

There is no getting away from the fact that babies cost money. Plus, there is the fact that they need care every single day. So you need to check where you are financially to see what the best options are for you. Would you be financially able to get by if one of you was to give up work full-time and stay at home with the child or children? Would you prefer to go back to work? If so, you need to weigh up the costs of your wages versus childcare options to see what will work for you. It might seem a bit crazy to talk about these things now before you’re even pregnant, but let me tell you, a pregnancy flies by! And you won’t have too long after the birth before you will have to return to work (or not). So knowing roughly what your plan is going to be can be a really good idea.

belly button, birth, family

Consider Things That You Want To Do In Life

As wonderful as having a child is, there is no escaping from the fact that some things are harder to do with a baby than others. So if there are some things in life that you’re pretty desperate to do, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or exploring Alaska, then you might want to get those things done first or just put them on hold. While taking kids to travel with you is great, some expeditions aren’t going to work too well with children or a newborn. So it might need to be a case of go and do them now, or wait for a few years and do them when the children are a little older.

Consider Where You Live

Thinking about schools and family life might be one of the last things on your mind. And if you want to move at any given time, then you can do just that. But if you stayed in the home you’re in and the neighbourhood that you’re in, could you imagine raising a family there? Look at the school reviews, as well as preschools, and even things like parks and outside space, especially if you don’t have your own.

Is there anything else that you would add to the list?

Abstract Tree With 3 Owls Wall Print Review

img_79341With my due date fast approaching approx now 2 weeks to go, it was about time we starting planning the baby nursery even though baby won’t be in it for a few months I still want it looking cute and ready.

We weren’t finding out the sex of our the baby so we are having to decorate the room in neutral colours, it is currently magnolia all over but would like to add some colours to the walls in forms of art or pictures to brighten it up.

I was offered a wall print of my choice off Kids prints website to review, we choose this Abstract tree with 3 owls in size medium (approx 150cm x 170cm).  This print is available in 3 sizes, small (approx 150cm x 140cm), medium (as above) and large (approx 170cm x 170cm), it will fit any size room and space available and prices start from just £42.

It was so hard choosing from all the different designs that were available from Kids Print website but eventually, we made up our minds.

We choose the above print as it was suitable for both genders and with us not knowing what were having it would be perfect and would certainly add some colour and a lovely feature to the wall of our nursery.

It arrived in a lovely brightly coloured triangle cardboard box,  with instructions on the inside, the wall art print was rolled up to protect it in the middle.

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It had further instructions with it inside to explain how to apply the wall art and if required remove them as well.

Wall art
It looked very complicated

I was under the impressions it came ready made up whole on one sheet, ready to just stick straight on the wall. When I received this I was a little disappointed but may have got it wrong and misread the description.  I was looking forward to the challenge though of how easy it was to put together up on the wall and see my creative side.  I liked the idea you could make it up as you went along and put the Owls where you wanted them too.

The time taken was approx an hour and half.

The cost of the product is RRP £78 which I thought wasn’t bad value for money considering the work that goes into it and the actually size.  The wall we put it on was the perfect size.

Final product
Finished product

We had great fun putting it together on the wall, yet it was difficult at the same time to try and work out what it was going to look like, plus the amount of times we had to peel, stick repeel and stick it back.  Just hope it stays put now.

  • We received this product free of charge for the purpose of the review.  However, all thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own.

Sick of Scrubbing? These Home Hacks Make Cleaning Quicker!

Cleaning, Washing, Cleanup, Sponge

Cleaning your home certainly isn’t the most thrilling job in the world, but it’s a necessary evil. Busy life requires a clean, tidy and organized home or let’s face it, chaos would ensue pretty quickly. Even when everything is neat and in it’s place, kids can still misplace shoes and homework. And I’m sure you’ve found yourself running around the house looking for your own lost items more than once! Thankfully there are a few changes you can make around the home which make everything easier to clean, allowing you to power through more quickly (and free up time for more interesting things!) Here are a few ways you can go about it.

Replace Carpets With Tiles or Wooden Floors

Having carpets upstairs isn’t too much of a problem, just create a ‘no shoes upstairs’ rule. That way you get the soft and cozy feeling underfoot without them getting wrecked and needing replacing every couple of years. However, downstairs it’s always better to go with easy to clean flooring. It can be awkward asking guests to remove their shoes, and if you have workmen or other professionals in the house to do jobs at any point, it’s often not really appropriate to ask. Plus you have people eating, pets running around and everything else that can easily lead to stains and marks no matter how careful you are. Do yourself a favor and replace downstairs carpets with tiles vinyl or Laminate floors. They’re so much easier to clean and don’t hold onto stains or smells. If you’re worried about it feeling a little cold or bare, throw down some rugs. These are far easier to wash than carpets which are fixed to the floor.

Upgrade the Bathroom

In the bathroom, tiles are one thing that are hard to clean and can start looking worse for wear. Grout holds on to any marks or stains, and while the tiles might still be in good condition, yellowing or dark stained grout between them is always going to make the bathroom look dirty (even when it’s not!) For high traffic areas, why not have a panel fitted instead? Large bathroom shower panels will look sleek, and with no grout they are easy to wipe down and keep clean. Perfect for saving time when you’re scrubbing the bathroom! Shower curtains are another issue. Since get wet and then sit bunched up in the bath, it doesn’t take long for them to get moldy and a bit disgusting. Plus they can look a little tacky and don’t exactly add anything to the look of the bathroom. Replace with a clear shower screen instead, they look far more elegant and can be cleaned with a quick spritz of cleaner and a cloth.

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Minimise Clutter

Dust is an ongoing battle. It doesn’t take long for it to reappear once you’ve dusted, unfortunately, it’s a fact of life. So to make things easier for yourself, keep clutter to a minimum. If you have lots of items on display, consider investing in a display cabinet with a glass door. This will keep out the dust and means you’re not cleaning off a hundred different ornaments a day. A quick spritz with some polish and a wipe with a dusting cloth and you’re done. Since dust can aggravate allergies and respiratory issues in some people, it’s important to keep this to a minimum.

Better Than Average: How To Plan A Dream Wedding For Less

If you recoil in horror when you read about the average cost of a wedding, don’t panic. You’re not alone! The average UK wedding now costs in the region of £27,000. If you’ve just got engaged and you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to get that kind of money together for the day of your dreams, have faith. Affording the wedding of your dreams is possible! If you’re about to start the planning process, here are some tips to help you organise an unforgettable day without blowing the budget.

Setting your budget

The first thing to do when you start planning a wedding is set a budget. Nobody wants to have those awkward conversations with their parents about how much they’re willing to donate to the cause, but the sooner you get them out of the way, the better. If you have parents or other family members contributing to your wedding, ask them for a figure and add this to whatever you have saved or you’re hoping to save along the way. This will give you an accurate idea of how much you can afford to spend. If you can’t rely on donations or gifts from others, there are ways of raising money, but it’s best to tread carefully before you look into options like loans for bad credit. Make plans for the budget you have now first, and then consider borrowing. If you aren’t quite at the sum you need to be, it’s often possible to make savings on items on your list that aren’t going to make or break your wedding.

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Prioritising purchases

Every couple has items on their list of things to buy that are more important than others. Some brides, for example, are desperate for the dream dress and they’re willing to forgo other things, such as table favours, a live band and a 5-tier cake to get that gown. Go through what you’ve written down, and work out where you want to splurge and where you can save. Don’t feel pressured to have everything you’d normally find at a wedding. Just because other people have a sit-down meal doesn’t mean you have to if you’d rather have something more relaxed, which is also cheaper. You can also save money by making your own favours and table plans, sending online invitations, and asking guests to arrange their own transport.

Choosing a date

You may not think that the date of your wedding has much to do with your budget, but it can actually make a huge difference. If you choose a Saturday in the height of the summer or a national holiday, you’re going to pay a lot more than you would for a weekday in the autumn, winter or early spring months. During the low season, venue hire fees are lower, but you can also make savings on transport, catering, photography, and entertainment.

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Weddings are expensive, but you don’t have to give up on the wedding of your dreams just because you don’t have thousands of pounds lying around. It is possible to plan a perfect day on a budget and to make savings along the way. Set a budget, stick to it, and focus on what’s really important to you.

Bath Time Fun With Good Bubble – Review & Giveaway

As a kid I used to always love baths and I still do now to an extent but can never seem to find time to have one.

My nephew Jack on the other hand still loves his baths at 9 and we struggle to get him out, when I was offered to trial a selection of Good Bubble bath product he was super excited.  We do have to be careful with certain product as Jack has sensitive skin and suffers from ezcema on his arms.

Bubble bath

We received a nice selection which contained Shampoo, conditioner, hair & body wash and bubble bath set including a wash mitt.

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Jacked poured the bubble bath in and we didn’t need much to produce lots of lovely smelling bubbles – Can never have too many bubbles….right.

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Jack Loved the shampoo & Conditioner,

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Jacks thoughts and words were:  Smells nice & fruity, makes bath time fun, the bubbles last for ages and the Shampoo/conditioner makes my hair soft & fluffy.

The clara gift set wash & mitt we were sent is RRP- £8.00

The shampoo we were sent is RRP – £3.69 for 250ml

The conditioner we were sent is RRP – £3.69 for 250ml

The hair & body wash we were sent are RRP – £3.69 for 250ml

I would defiantely purchase these products again for when my own baby arrives.

Competition time!

How would you and your little one like the opportunity to win either a clara or Dexter gift set with wash mitt?  Here’s how you can enter to win.

To enter to win one for yourself, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Widget below.

**Please leave the ‘URL’ box BLANK when writing a comment unless you are a blogger or a website owner. You do not need to write N/A, none, Facebook or anything – failure to do this will lead to disqualification from the giveaway**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

The closing date is Monday 24th July at midnight.

There is one prize of the Bath gift set and wash mitt from Good bubble as above.  No cash alternative.
This competition is open to residents of the UK only
Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question in the widget – this is the ONLY mandatory task. Comments must answer the question. Comments such as ‘great prize, fantastic giveaway’ etc will not be counted. You can gain extra entries in the draw by completing the other tasks in the widget. All entries will be verified.
Unless you are a blogger or website owner, please leave the URL box blank. Anything else in there (such as email addresses, none, facebook, x, N/A will invalidate all of your entries).
A winner will be chosen at random using the widget
The winner will be notified via email within 5 days of the closing date and must respond within 28 days to claim their prize. The prize will be sent out directly from Good Bubble. Please allow up to 30 days to receive your prize

Morse Toad Personalised Chocolate Review

img_8701Fathers day has not long passed us by and each year I really struggle with what to buy my dad as it is usually the same old things I buy him, beer, shirts or vouchers.

This year was different I came across a company called Morse Toad who create personalised messages out of chocolate, and be honest who doesn’t like chocolate for a gift?

I went on their website to see what I could get.  The selection of options was great, you had the choice of making your own message out of chocolate or a pre written option that you could select.  I choose a pre written one, that read “Happy Fathers Day, We Love You”

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Each letter of the word is on its own piece of chocolate, made from top-quality Belgian chocolate

It came carefully packaged in another box with warning labels on it, and to not be left in direct sunlight etc.

You can also add a personalised message on a card for free, which I didn’t bother with.

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When I gave it my dad on Sunday he looked a little puzzled as to what “Morse Toad” was but when he opened it, he was able to see and understand what it was.

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Here’s my dad looking pleased with his gift.

The prices I think are pretty good too, the price of mine was £14.00 with free delivery over orders of £7.50 and they are all letterbox friendly.

They cover all occasions and because you can make your own up you can send anything to anyone spelt out in chocolate, adding that extra personal touch.

If your order is made before 1pm it will be dispatched the same day.

PERSONALISED: 1 Row = £11, 2 Rows = £14, 3 Rows = £17 & 4 Rows = £19
STOCK ITEMS: 1 Row = £9.50, 2 Rows = £12.50, 3 Rows = £15.50 & 4 Rows = £17.50

I will definitely be ordering through Morse Toad again in the future, every part of the service was excellent from start to finish.

  • I was sent a £15 voucher code to spend on their website on a product of my choice.  However all words & opinions are my own.

Doggy Nutrition: What Every New Owner Needs To Know

Just like us, dogs need decent nutrition to keep as happy and healthy as possible. The nutritional requirements of a dog vary according to size, breed, and age. If you’re about to bring a dog home, you may think that feeding it is pretty simple. However, there are various guidelines you need to follow to make sure your dog’s getting everything they need. Here’s some information you may find helpful.

How Much, and How Often?

https://i0.wp.com/maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/static/photo/1x/Animal-Dog-Puppy-Eating-Chewing-Bone-Food-Pet-1502565.jpg?w=604 Portion sizes and frequency are very important to think about when it comes to a dog’s nutrition, and their needs vary with time. Most puppies up to six months old should be eating three to four times a day. From six months onwards, you can generally take this down to two meals a day. While small and medium sized dogs can make the transition from puppy to adult food fairly early in life, larger ones may need to stick to a puppy diet slightly longer. Remember that these are only guidelines, and the best way to figure out the best diet for your dog is asking your vet during a check-up. The most common issue when it comes to feeding portions and frequency is overfeeding, so when in doubt, go for smaller, less frequent meals.

Can a Dog Be Vegetarian?

This is a question that a lot of new owners have to address sooner or later. The short answer is yes, they can, but it can be hard to manage. If you want your dog to be a veggie because you don’t like the idea of the additives and processing that goes into pet food production, there are many organic alternatives and natural treats for dogs on the market. They’ll cost a little more, but you’ll have that much more assurance about the state of your dog’s nutrition. If you want to keep your dog vegetarian for some other reason, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you! Not all vegetables are safe for dogs, for starters. Like us, they need to be getting a decent amount of protein, from sources other than meat, to be a healthy veggie. Start doing your research and meal planning as soon as possible, and make sure you understand the work that goes into owning a healthy, vegetarian dog, before committing to it.

Be Careful with Table Scraps

Cute dog sitting under the table

A lot of owners throw scraps of meat from their own plates to their dogs at meal times. While there are many traditionally human foods that you can give your dog with no ill effects, you need to be very careful. Anything with chocolate, fat-heavy foods, chicken bones, salty foods, and rare steak, can be bad for a dog. Having said that, there are some foods that can be bad for some dogs, yet fine for others. This depends largely on their usual diet, their size, and their genetic makeup. A full-grown Labrador can eat chocolate, and while it won’t be good for them, the effects will be fairly benign. A Chihuahua, on the other hand, can get extremely ill.

My Hospital bag – My First Pregnancy

As this is my first pregnancy I will be able to recognise the most obvious things to pack for me & Baby but it’s the other things I’m not sure about that I may forget.  With a little help from my Sister in Law who’s had 3 boys I should be ok and have everything packed that I need and with plenty of time.

Baby is due on 7th July so hopefully, it will be quite warm and won’t need any big coats or snowsuits to take.

In my bag for the baby I will pack:

Blanket – My mum has brought us baby’s first blanket and it is gorgeous so I am definitely packing that for us to wrap him/her up into coming home.  It was from Boots and is super soft.

Nappies – Another major essential, I have stocked up already on loads as we will get through these quite quickly.  I’m trying different brands of ones and have Sainsburys own brand, Aldi’s & Pampers.

Baby Wipes –  Plenty of these and I have a variety of different brands to try out such as Pampers, Johnson’s, Water Wipes, Asda’s little angels & Aldi own brand.

Nappy cream –  May or not need this but I’ve got a couple of tubes just incase as if the nappies don’t agree with baby’s skin I don’t want a sore baby.

Muslin Squares – From what people have told me these are a must have essential in your baby and to have at hand all the time when feeding and winding your baby so I;ve packed a few of them.

Vests – Plenty of these as they may get through a lot of these especially if we have any explosive nappies.

Sleepsuits –  Lots of these as well because if they are sick on them we will have to change and may get through quite a few.

Bibs – For feeding time and incase they are sick

Comforter –  We have 2 of these at the moment a teddy one and an elephant one so I have packed one to put in with baby when he/she arrives.

Dummy – I am hoping I won’t need it, but it’s there just in case.

In my bag for me I will pack:

Pyjamas –  I will pack a couple of pairs of PJ’s.  I don’t want to stay in the hospital longer than I have to but I will need something comfy for after baby is here.  Someone can bring more up if needed.

Nightie – Something that is cool and not tight round me while in labour or after labour.

Pads – Lovely maternity and breast pads.  Enough said!

Swimwear –  Just in case I get to have my water birth

Clothes & Underwear – To come home in as it will hopefully be warm, but something loose and cool.

Shoes – I haven’t suffered with swollen feet too bad but will take loose shoes and or flip-flops.

Toiletries – I’ve packed shampoo, conditioner & body wash, my toothbrush and toothpaste as well.

Energy drinks & snacks – Lucazade was a must have on my list and some food.

Also to go in my bag, but at the last minute is:
Dressing Gown
Make up
Mobile phone and charger
Camera
Some money
Hairbrush
Maternity notes

So that’s what is in my bag! I have done babies bag but that’s another blog post!

What are/were your must have’s in your hospital bag?