Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Ordinary Moments // My Cora Day

I love having a big family, I spend all week looking forward to the weekend and having all four of my babies at home with me, but I love my 'Cora day' too.  I never had much time with just Archie as Dylan was at home full time and as he started preschool, I started looking after a friend's son.  I try to spend some one on one time with them as much as I can though, and I have been lucky to have one day a week set aside for just Cora and I.

We usually meet our friends and go somewhere, either out for lunch, to the park or the beach or somewhere else.  All of the babies are the same age (there are only a few days between them) and I love that Cora has friends her own age.  Each of the boys has a set of friends outside their school or nursery (lots of them are siblings too) and I like the balance it gives them.  We still see the friends they all made as babies most week and I am happy that Cora has her own set of buddies.

As a parent, it means I have others to share the milestones and troubles with.  We all went through the weaning stage together, crawling and cruising and now planning first birthdays.  It means that I can talk about these moments as much as I want without people getting bored (I hope) and I am loving watching Cora start to interact with her friends.  

It gives me a bit of a break too, only having one to deal with, and one who isn't nearly as mobile as the others.  We get to go for walks together, to cuddle up close without being pulled in other directions and to take the day at our pace.  My Cora day is a special one.


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Thursday, 22 June 2017

What Cora Wore // Trendy Baby Box

Trendy Baby Box is a subscription service that offers you a complete outfit for your baby, either as a one off, or as an ongoing monthly offer and we were sent a box to try out with Cora.  I love shopping for her, and I feel like I am getting to know her style, but sometimes I am completely surprised when someone else chooses an outfit that I would never dream of buying for her and it looks so much better on.


This is how I felt with the Trendy baby box.  When it first arrived, I admired the pretty black dress, matching bloomers and tiny crocheted shoes, but when I put it on Cora I just loved it.  It really isn't our usual style but I think it looks so pretty on and she seemed really happy in it too.


On the website you fill in your child's details including their clothing size, but you have no input in the clothing that is sent to you.  I found this quite strange as I think people's tastes can vary so much, but it is a great excuse to try something different.  I would love to see a few options, the possibility to specify certain colours you don't like, or particular styles you do so that the box is better tailored to the child.


The box came well presented and the quality of the clothes is great.  I love that this outfit is really unique, you won't find any other babies wearing it and it gets a lot of compliments.  The dress fits Cora well and the little knickers have frills on the back and look adorable under the dress.  Unfortunately the crochet shoes weren't right for us as she just pulled them straight off, but for a younger baby they would look really sweet. This outfit is perfect for parties or special occasions, but it works well for exploring beautiful gardens too.  


We don't find dresses particularly practical at the moment whilst crawling is Cora's main way of getting around, but the matching knickers meant I could tuck the front of the dress in when she was on the move (this is the latest trick I have discovered whilst raising a little girl).


This box would make a lovely gift and is a great way to try out new styles and add something a bit different into your baby's wardrobe.  The Trendy Baby Box costs €42 and contains between 3 and 5 items, always making up a complete outfit.



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Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Ordinary Moments // Cora Tax

Cora is finally starting to eat a little more, but generally the portions she manages are very tiny and we don't really think about her when we are cooking or ordering our food at a restaurant.  In the spirit of sharing, we have introduced a 'Cora Tax' when we serve the boys their meals, which means they each have to donate something off of their plate to their sister.

It started as something little, asking them to pass on some left over peas or pieces of pasta, but it has become part of our everyday routine now, as they each portion up a small amount of their dinner to put on her tray.  I think it may well be Finn's favourite thing to do as he is willing to share anything in the name of 'Cora Tax' and proclaims it loudly as he is passing her some duplo or a toy.

This photo is from our trip to the beach yesterday.  It was a scorching 27 degrees and so it seemed vital to cool down with some ice lollies.  I didn't even think about Cora as I ordered and really she is a bit young to be having her own lolly, but Finn was happy to let her have a few licks of his in the name of Cora Tax. 



These two have a really special relationship and whilst they still have their moments, and Finn isn't always gentle with her, they are so sweet together and they play so nicely, chasing each other around on their hands and knees, climbing on things and sitting together carefully taking apart all their big brothers' duplo towers.  All the worries I had about having them so close together are gone when I see how wonderful they are together.

I am pretty sure that eventually Cora will start eating big enough portions that we factor her into our cooking, but all the while she is eating so little, we will all be paying Cora Tax, even with our ice lollies.
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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Small Business Saturday // Dotty About Phoebe

I love shopping with small businesses, supporting other Mums and finding things that are just a little bit different, so I am going to be asking the Mamas behind some of my favourite online shops to share more about their businesses every Saturday. First up is the lovely Gemma, a local mum to me who runs Dotty About Phoebe, a personalised jewellery company. Her items look unique and are perfect keepsakes and new baby gifts. Here is what Gemma has to say . . . 


       So tell me a bit about what you do?

I create personalised keepsake silver jewellery, using actual hand, foot and fingerprints of peoples loved ones – these tend to be babies and small children but this is definitely not exclusive and jewellery can be made with prints from any age! I also encapsulate hair into charms and pendants often from babys first curls, from lost loved ones and also from furry friends too – these I have named ‘Locks of Love.’
As well as jewellery I capture hands and feet in lifesize form in 3D casts and also Raised Impressions. There are so many possibilities with these keepsakes and they are gorgeous in the fact that every line and wrinkle in hands and feet are replicated in the casts– these are especially popular with parents of small children and babies.
 
       How did you get started?

In true mummy fashion I stumbled across the opportunity when I was researching for an independent tongue tie practitioner for my youngest daughter on Netmums when I was desperate for help one Saturday night! Since becoming a Mummy to my eldest daughter born at 23 weeks gestation I have a very different outlook on life to what I had before. I wanted to do something different with my career, something that meant more to me than just ‘plodding along’ at work. I was motivated by my daughter, to be there for her (and her many appointments). She is so special that I felt I didn’t want to miss a moment of her achievements. I searched for something different to do which meant more flexible working but never really found it, until I discovered The Keepsake Company who offered training in the products I now create. I had always loved silver jewellery having had my own memorial piece created after our own loss due to going into premature labour in 2011.  Having a tangible piece with your own loved ones prints is really comforting, so when I do create memorial pieces they definitely evoke emotion and I know how important that piece of jewellery will be.


       How do you juggle running a business and motherhood?

Juggling anything with motherhood is a challenge, even going to the toilet! Somehow us Mums find a way to juggle being Mummy and also having a working life. I actually still work part time in my day job as a teacher which is what I did before I had my girls. I do hope to build my business over time to be able to do ‘Dotty about Phoebe’ full time, but starting a business from scratch is by no means easy!

       What one piece of advice would you want to share with a new mother?

Enjoy every second as babies grow up so quickly!

       What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my girls, especially my eldest for the journey she has had. She has incredible resilience and determination without which she wouldn’t be here! Shes beaten incredible odds and; is such a lovable, cheeky little girl who is certainly proving statistics wrong!
In my business I have to say I am really proud that I have been given an amazing opportunity to work with ‘Just for Tiny People’ the magical teepee company who found success on Dragons Den. They have a huge amount of followers on Facebook and one of my ‘Handwriting’ charms is to be featured in early June on their live TV feed!

       What should we check out on your website?

My top three products are;

1.    Fingerprint Heart Charm with Heart Cut out – I think these look so lovely and work really well for all ages!
2.     ‘The Love Cast’ which is a 3D casting using the feet to make a ‘V’ in the word Love.
3.     Locks of Love – Encapsulating hair into charms as a wearable keepsake.


And Gemma is offering a Locks of Love hair charm to one reader too, if you have a tiny curl from your baby's first hair cut (or straight bit if you have a child with hair like Cora) or hair from a beloved pet that you want to immortalize, then enter below. It is available in a selection of colours and to fit a vaiety of charm bracelets or necklaces.


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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Our Summer Family Bucket List

The countdown to the summer holidays has begun and we have been busy creating a family summer bucket list.  This is the last summer before Archie starts school and unlike last year when we were learning to juggle four and working out how to do things with a newborn in tow, this year we have four children to entertain, enjoy and explore with.

So we wrote a bucket list, (inspired by one of my favourite blogger friend Hayley)  a list of things we all want to do, things to tick off this summer as we make our memories.  There are so many more things we could add, I think this will be the summer we get to watch Cora take her first steps, to celebrate a big birthday for me, to make a giant boat in the sand the way I used to as a child, to teach the boys to ride pedal bikes, to buy school uniform ready for Archie and to potty train Finn.  This is our final list though, our top 12 that we are determined to complete over the next couple of  months.


What is on your summer bucket list? Have you got anything exciting planned?
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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

What the Kids Wore // Nununu


Ed and I met at a rock festival many years ago and we both share a love for music and heavy metal which the children seem to have inherited.  We don't have any of the Disney tunes playing on car journeys, the boys ask for rock and roll or metal tunes to dance along to on the back seat.  They know their minds and they are starting to know their style, taking more interest in what they wear and what I buy.

Nununu is a minimalist kids clothing brand who believe that children are blank slates and that simple clothes can let them be more creative.  I chose a piece from their collection for each of the children - t-shirts for the older two, harem joggers for Finn and an all in one romper for Cora.  Each item was simple and shared their basic black, grey and white colour pallet, although the small two have the softest powder pink too.

four under five, nununu, minimalist kids fashion

nununu

The boys love their 'cool' tops, the familiar skull that they see emblazoned on pirate flags and the simple colours were a big hit and it meant we could easily add colour to the outfit with brighter shorts if we wish.  Nununu make clothes that appeal to the parents too and I can imagine Ed in one of the tees.

nununu, kids fashion blogger


I on the other hand would love a bigger version of Finn's trousers.  They look so comfortable, are super soft and they are perfect for running, climbing and exploring in.  The pink is so pale and so unisex, especially pared with a plain black t-shirt and I loved adding this subtle colour to Finn's wardrobe.  The harems are so light weight and perfect for summer and match with Cora's romper.



 Cora's romper is again light and soft and so practical for a crawling, cruising baby.  We sized up and it fits really well but does come down to her ankles when she is stood up so she should get a lot of wear from it!  We went for their normal size with everything else and found the sizing quite accurate.



 The clothing we received from Nununu are great quality, comfortable and stylish and I think these are going to be summer staples for them all.  They look edgy, fun but still childish and everything can be passed down to the next child as the younger two's bits especially are very unisex.


You can buy Nununu direct from their website and they do clothing from babies up to adults with a brilliant 'shadows' section for 8 - 14 year olds. 


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Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Ordinary Moments // A Saturday Afternoon

Saturdays it is mostly just me and the children.  The bloke works from home and I usually take them out somewhere local to run off some energy.  We don't go anywhere far as I don't drive and we have Sunday to do something as a family, but we pick somewhere fun and go out.  Yesterday we went to Quex gardens - a local gardens that we have an annual membership for.  It is beautiful and well kept and we know it is always quiet and there are no dogs running around.

My sister came with us yesterday which was lovely as the boys just adore her and it makes things so much easier having an extra adult when someone needs the toilet or we want to go and get ice creams.  

We spent the whole afternoon there and only left when they started shutting up.  My sister left and the four children and I set off for the train station to go home.  As we walked past a fish and chip cafe, the boys asked if we could stop there for dinner and it felt so good to just say yes.  I love this time of year where it stays light for so much longer, where you can stay out a bit later without any worries and we had a lovely evening, getting home just in time for bed.

I am loving recording the bigger moments through my blog, our milestones and our travels, but I want to remember the little things too, the ordinary moments, the Saturday afternoons we spent playing hide and seek in a beautiful park, eating a picnic under a tree and staying out late for fish and chips.  These little moments that are the things the children will remember.  My sister took this photo of us today, discussing which ice creams we were going to choose  (-because of course days like this need ice cream).


I am going to try and join in Mummy Daddy Me's linky to record the little things, those ordinary moments, the things that I don't always write about but I want to remember.
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