Wednesday, 26 October 2016

What the Boys Wore - Sunuva Swimwear

We live near the sea and our summers are spent at the beach.  I have such happy memories of sandcastles and swimming as a child and I am hoping my four remember the same.  I think that living so close to the sea it is really important that my children learn how to be safe in the water as well as how to be confident in it and I love taking them swimming.

It isn't easy and we aren't usually allowed to all go in together due to the ratios.  Dylan now has lessons on his own and every week I take the smallest two swimming at a small local pool that we hire with friends and I love watching my water babies play.

I may not be teaching them much swimming just yet but they love being in the water and it really tires them out!  So much so in fact that between my leaving Finn on a float (supervised of course) to go and get my camera and getting back he managed to fall asleep - the ultimate water bed!!

Sunuva sent us some swim shorts for all three boys, but as it isn't quite warm enough for beach swimming anymore (much to Dylan's dismay), I couldn't get photos of all three.  The shorts are lovely and I picked this design as it was bright enough to be able to spot them easily and the zebras look fun.  The swim shorts have UPF 50+ protection which makes them perfect for the hotter days and the waist is adjustable which is an essential for us.  They easily fit Finn's Huggies swim nappy underneath which is what you can see poking out the top.

And one more picture because he is usually awake when we go swimming! 

These are great quality shorts, easy to machine wash and fast drying.  Hopefully they all still fit next summer as they will look brilliant together and having them so bright and matching makes head counts a lot easier!  If you are feeling organised then check out the Sunuva website as they have lots in the sale now (including these ones) so you can buy ahead for next year!
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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Win a Kids Carwash Kit

My children are desperate to earn some money of their own at the moment, they are always asking for jobs to earn a little money and the list of things they are saving for seems to be growing daily.  We give them tasks to complete to earn some pennies, usually things like tidying up or sweeping, and Vauxhall's recent survey showed that 36% of children are paid to wash cars.  

My boys are still a bit young to be send out to work (they can't quite reach the roof yet) but it is definitely something I will give them the chance to do in a few years and Vauxhall have created packs for young entrepreneurs who wan't to start up their own car washing franchise.

The Vauxhall Kids Carwash Franchise starter-pack gives you everything you need to start your own business, including:

  • Car-washing equipment – including a bucket, sponge and squeegee
  • A pop-up Kids Carwash sign to advertise your business
  • Kids Carwash business cards so you can drum up trade
  • A ‘How to’ guide to carwash like a pro
  • Kids Carwash badges
  • Fold your own money box, where you can collect your hard-earned cash.

I have teamed up with Vauxhall to offer 10 carwash kits to you guys so enter via the rafflecopter below! If anyone local to me wants to enter then that would be great as our car really needs a wash!

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Tips for making a Carpet Creation

Are you thinking of making your own carpet creation?  It isn't nearly as complicated as they look and you probably have all the accessories you need lying around the house!  Here is how I put together my sleeping bunny scene.

Step one – Think about the scene you would like to create.  Cora was asleep in the car in her bunny hat and I decided to base the creation around that.  The possibilities are endless though so have a look around the room and choose something to inspire you.  If you are still looking for ideas look at the names of the Carpetright carpets- Mist and Highland Design for example offer ideas just with their names.

Step two – A sleeping baby is essential and ideally one in a very deep sleep so you can put them down somewhere other than their cot and move them around a little.  We actually went swimming before I took this shot as I know she is always so tired afterwards. Cora hates sleeping on her back so I love that I managed to get these shots.

Step three – Choose your favourite carpet.  I used the 'Peak district green artificial grass' from Carpetright for this shot as I wanted it to look like she was in the garden.   Blues and greys make perfect skies, bathroom floors can double up as a swimming pool and laminate has so many options

Step four – Use whatever you have lying around to help elaborate the scene.  As a mama to a small baby I have muslins everywhere so I grabbed a handful of coloured ones to make some flowers in my garden scene.  They are very versatile props, as are bed sheets and towels.  Kids toys are the perfect size next to a sleeping baby too.

Step five – Get up high to look down.  I put a chair next to my creation so that I could lean over and get lots of the scene in.   I took these photos on my phone as I could get everything into the frame and then cropped the edges out using free editing tools online.  I must have looked ridiculous to anyone looking through my living room window, but these images are ones that I will always treasure (and always have to torment my daughter with when she hits the teenage years).

I love how there is no limit to your creativity when making a carpet creation, there are unlimited ways to make your own scene and I am excited to be judging the public competition on behalf of carpetright! Make sure you get your entry in quick as the competition finishes on Friday!!

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Monday, 24 October 2016

The Nights

The nights are long with a baby, and too short at the same time.  We see far too much of them, every half an hour some nights but we wake up wishing that morning was a little later, that we could spend longer tucked up.

Cora's sleep is erratic, we have nights where she sleeps well and nights where we she seems to have her eyes open more than shut.  I love the ease of breastfeeding, that I don't have to leave my bed in the night, that I don't have to really wake up to feed my baby.  When she first wakes up, I can lift her on to me and we both drift off together.  

During the night, she feeds when she is hungry, I help her, half asleep myself.  She is close enough that she doesn't need to cry out for me.  Her brothers don't hear her and I sleep lightly so that when she stirs I wake.  

I wake up in the morning to the sound of her breathing, her tiny body against mine.  The days are as long as the nights and so busy with her brothers but these nights are ours, they are the time we can be close.  The early morning, as the light slips in between the curtains and the house is still so peaceful before the chaos, this is our time.  I can watch her sleeping, marvel at how tiny and new she still is, study her features, breathe in that sweet milky smell.  It is our time to just be, in the way I wish I had appreciated more with the first baby.  

The baby phase is far too short and before I know it this little girl of mine will be sleeping independently in her crib, she won't need me in the same way she does now, so completely.  I will only be her whole world for such a short time, and the nights are where I can stop and remember that, and enjoy it, even if my eyes are stinging from the lack of sleep and the morning alarm is coming around too quickly.

Of course I want her to 'sleep through' in some ways - a long stretch of sleep sounds both wonderful and mythical at the moment.  The idea of my little baby sleeping all night is also a little sad though too - another sign that she is growing up, leaving the last phase behind and entering a new one.  For now we are just going with the flow, knowing (and reminding myself regularly) that things won't be like this forever.

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Thursday, 20 October 2016

What the Kids Wore - Little Chickie // Sture and Lisa

 I appear to have developed a bit of a love for fox themed clothing at the moment - between the autumnal colours and the novelty ears, it seems the perfect attire for the two smallest people in my house.  I love how unisex most of the fox bits are and these items from Sture and Lisa at Little Chickie are perfect for my baby girl and my little boy.

I never intended to dress them matching quite so much, but Finn just adores his little sister and they look so sweet together that I can't resist.  I love matching them but with a few differences and these outfits are perfect for that.  Cora has an all in one romper and Finn has the matching long sleeved t-shirt with some co-ordinated brown bottoms.  You can also get a vest and bib in the same fox print.

Cora is wearing a 68 / 3-6 months and has lots of growing space.  She is an average sized 3 month old and I imagine this will last her until she is 6 months. 

Finn is an average 19 month old wearing the size 12-18 months.  He often fits in a 12-18 months and these items are the perfect fit on him and should last a few months too.

I love how sweet they look together and that Finn's outfit is so unisex that I can save it for Cora to wear next Autumn! Little Chickie sell more than just adorable fox clothes - as well as some of our favourite small babywear brands they sell beautiful gifts for little people too and I already have my eye on a few bits for Cora's Christmas present.

Thank you to Little Chickie for sending us these beautiful bits. 
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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Cora's little Corner

When we moved into our house I was pregnant with Archie and we were quite sure that he was our last baby.  We chose a three bedroom house that we thought would see us through the next few years.  Finn was a surprise and Cora even more so and suddenly with six of us in a three bedroom house space is quite tight.  I don't fancy moving with four so little so we are finding ways to make the most of our space for now.

Cora is still sleeping in with us and we don't have a real long term plan beyond that.  We may put the three boys in one room and our baby girl in another, or we may put Cora in with Finn so there are two in each room.  For now we are all happy where we are and we have created a small space for Cora in Finn's room.

A girl needs somewhere to keep her clothes and Cora has a white chest of drawers as well as a few bits hanging in my wardrobe.  Minene kindly gave me some storage to help keep her corner neat so now all the little baby toys are kept in a lovely black and white basket and her bibs and socks are in the lidded soft box on top of her drawers.  

Finn's room is now triple purpose - it contains his cot, wardrobes and the nursing chair as well as Cora's little corner and a desk as it is also our home office.  For the smallest room in the house (bar our box of a kitchen) it is pretty busy!

Being a fourth baby has some definite advantages - a more relaxed Mama, adoring big brothers and more experienced parents, but it does mean you don't get quite as much space of your own.

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Monday, 17 October 2016

What the Kids Wore - Tootsa MacGinty

There is something to love about every season and I am sure I say it each time the weather changes, but I do think Autumn may be my favourite.  The memories of summer, the promise of Christmas and the ever changing environment to discover.  The weather seems to change every day and it is all about layers for us as I can never quite tell whether it is arms out or jumpers on.  One of our favourite places to explore in the Autumn is the forest and Tootsa Macginty sent the children some clothes that were perfect for climbing, crunching, running and cuddling in.

It is the first time we have been since Finn started walking and I love watching him discover things in a new way now that he is more vertical.  He loves the freedom of being able to roam and his brothers mostly followed his lead - it is a lot easier than telling him no every time he walks away from us.  

Finn is wearing some gorgeous yellow cords which are soft and lined with an adjustable waist.  I love the colour and the adorable fox poking out the back pocket.  They even have little fox details around the cuffs.  His jumper is incredibly soft and even nicer in real life - probably my favourite piece from the whole collection.

I love how unisex Tootsa Macginty clothes are as it makes them ideal to keep to pass down to Cora.  The new collection is all so well co-ordinated that you can find a style to suit each of them and know that they look brilliant together.  This Northern Lights collection takes inspiration from the dramatic scenery and magestic wildlife of Scandinavia.

Archie's raglan sleeved top comes up small so definitely size up in this style.  The sleeves have a village scene on them and match Finn's jumper which I love!  Archie's trousers are like jogging bottoms but in a denim shade and they look so comfy.  The waist is adjustable which is necessary on my super skinny boy and they are thick enough to keep him warm over the winter and protect him as he explores the woods.

These clothes were designed to be played in and despite Finn crawling, climbing and falling, everything washed really well and looks as good as new still. The cords seem to repel dirt and the white tops stay white even after lots of wear, and my boys are not the tidiest of eaters!

There is something so refreshing about being out in the woods - these big boys of mine who have suddenly developed an obsession with the tablet and x-box, need time away from technology where it isn't tempting them, and they get so much more from being outdoors.  I want them to have a good balance and being somewhere so free really helps.

Cora was sent a new dress which matched her smallest big brother perfectly, even down to the little foxy pocket.  This is a 6-12 month on my 3 month old so there is a lot of growing space but it is beautful and I just can't get enough of the mustard colour this season!

I can't resist a bit of matching and I love how amazing these look together! The dresses are one of the only non-unisex things in the range.  I have a new found love of all things girly though so I couldn't resist it for Cora.

I want more days like this whilst it isn't too cold or wet, whilst the scenery changes week to week as new leaves fall and new colours line the paths.  I want to watch the boys run and jump around in nature, playing their own special games and I want to carry Cora close as she experiences her first Autumn.  These Tootsa Macginty clothes are perfect for my little adventurers.

Thank you to Tootsa Macginty for Archie, Finn and Cora's outfits.  Everything pictured is from Tootsa Macginty including Cora's adorable hat (although Dylan's clothes are old summer stock so you may still find them in the sale) so check out their website!

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