Monday, 24 July 2017

5 Family Travel Sleep Tips

It was shortly after Cora was born that we decided to upgrade our pillows and a year in and we have never looked back. We tested them all out in the store and ended up Choosing some Tempur pillows in the end.  Suddenly we have become pillow snobs, finding faults in hotel pillows and declaring our own bed to be quite clearly the comfiest one ever.  

This post comes straight from France where we are currently staying in a mobile home with a small double bed and some slightly flimsy pillows.  I feel quite smug that I have packed my Tempur travel pillow and with the amount I am still up in the night with Cora, I am definitely glad to be getting more comfortable sleep when I can!



So here are my 5 family travel sleep tips.

  • If you are flying, then plan the times around the children so that they can sleep on the plain.  We normally choose either an early morning flight so that they can be awake in the airport and then finish their sleep on the plane, or straight after lunch when they are more inclined to nap.
  • Take your own pillow! My Tempur travel pillow is small enough to fit in my bags and their eye mask is super soft and thick and really blocks the light out.  Good quality sleep makes all the difference.

  • Pack the children's sleep cues, whether that is their favouite bed time story, a much loved bear or a dvd that they always watch in the evenings.  Keeping their routine as normal as possible helps them to settle in an unfamiliar bed.
  • If you struggle to sleep in new places then download some soothing tunes or ocean sounds to relax with and don't forget to pack your headphones if you are sleeping on the go!
  • Going for a walk before bed can help expel any energy the kids have been storing and can be quite relaxing.  Let them run off steam, take in the views and hope the fresh air helps them sleep more soundly.
Do you have any sleep tips that you would add?

Tempur® have a challenge until August 7th where you can test out their mattresses in stores and win a travel pillow of your own. You can find more details here

This post is in conjunction with Tempur® but all thoughts are my own
Read more ⇨

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Whole House Wifi with TP-Link Deco

Both Ed and I work from home with the internet being a vital part of what we do.  We no longer have a TV licence, relying on Netflix for all our shows and we have three little boys that are desperate to get their hands on a tab to play games with whenever they can.  Unfortunately our wifi doesn't always hold out and the moment you step into the kitchen you lose all signal.


As a self confessed terrible chef, I rely heavily on step by step instructions when I try and cook something new, and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to see the next step and realising you have to carry your device back towards the living room to get enough signal!


TP-Link offered me one of their Deco kits and I wasn't the only one to get excited.  It was something we have been looking at buying anyway and it has made such a difference to our signal.  Not only am I burning less of the dinner, I am also able to control how much time the children spend online via the parental controls in the app, and the built in anti-virus helps keep all of our private information private.


The simple style means the TP-Link Deco fits easily into our home, no matter which room and it  provides up to 4,500 sq foot of coverage! The Deco currently retails at £229.99 and you can buy it from Amazon


Disclosure : This post is in collaboration with TP-Link
Read more ⇨

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

What Cora Wore // Kinder Feet

I love the children wearing clothing that nobody else has, and our latest discovery, Kinderfeet is perfect for this.  Evi not only makes all the clothes and shoes herself, but she also uses a local designer for the prints so her clothing is really unique.  The soft organic cotton is all printed in the UK and the playful designs are perfect for little boys and girls.

I chose a daisy and ladybird print for Cora's outfit as I love the blue and these little rompers are just adorable! Perfect for crawling baby, chunky thighs and a great unisex shape.  Cora has a matching sunhat too, although she really wasn't keen on wearing it when I tried to take the photos so I eventually gave up.




Kinderfeet also makes little leather baby shoes and these are Cora's very first pair.  I am absolutely in love with the little strawberries and they are perfect for her cruising around outside as the bottom is soft but protective.  There are so many different designs on the website and Evi takes custom orders too if there is something different you want.  There are lots of co-ordinated clothing and shoes too which look adorable! I was tempted by the daisy shoes but I just can't resist strawberry clothing and the watermelon ones are next on my to-buy list.




Evi says "Kinder Feet started nearly 4 years ago when I finally decided to be brave enough and follow my dreams! I have always been interested in anything crafty and I have always been passionate about eco and organic materials and products.
When I touched the softest and most eco-friendly leather for the very first time, I knew I would never be able to find any better! And I knew this is the leather I want to work with and I knew it will keep those little (and now also big) feet warm and protected, without restricting them. My organic Kinder Feet exclusive fabric was born in 2016 when I got talking to a friend who is an artist. He had this amazing idea to help me design fabric which matches my shoe designs. The design was one element but the hardest part was finding the right place to get organic fabric knitted and printed in the UK, in order to make sure no child labour was involved. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was also not impossible and I am now working with an amazing mill and printer in the UK. I am very proud to be able to say that there is no child labour involved at any stage in the making of the materials used and the making of my shoes and clothes! You will receive a truly ethical product!"






Read more ⇨

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Ordinary Moments // Birthday Parties

This weekend is our busiest in a while with three birthday parties and a Christening to attend.  We tend to have one day at the weekend where we stay close to home, and then another where we do something more exciting, but this weekend there is no quiet home day and a good amount of cake!

Archie's friend T had a brilliant balance bike party yesterday and the boys loved it.  The older children went out on their balance bikes round a trail and came back covered in mud but with giant grins on their faces.  The younger ones stayed at the base camp and scooted around, had their face painted and played with toys and we all reconvened at the end for party food and cake. 

T's little sister E is the same age as Finn and they get on so well, they were chasing each other round on scooters and bikes, hiding under tables with a bowl of mini sausages and they made the best lion and tiger. 


These two had no problem keeping themselves occupied whilst their elder siblings were off in the woods and their baby siblings were crawling around in the hay.  Finn hates being confined so a huge country park was perfect for him and I think E is just the same. 


The countdown until the summer holidays has really begun now with term finishing on Thursday and I think the boys are going to be ready for a break after our busy weekend!

Read more ⇨

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Amazon Fire 7


The end of term is approaching and the boys are tired. When they come in from school and nursery they have taken to just flopping on the sofa or bed and wanting to watch TV or play a game. When they are well rested they are happy to run around and play, but most days at the moment they just need to switch off for a little while.



We have a tablet, but Ed uses it for work, so the boys were delighted when Amazon offered to send us a Fire 7 . It is an upgraded version of their bestselling tablet, compact and light for small hands to hold but durable and it comes with 8gb memory (that is expandable), a choice of colours (we have blue) and Alexa as well as access to the Amazon app store which has over 800,000 apps and games on offer.  It is fantastic value for money at £49.99 and I actually ordered a second one last night so that the boys can have one each.


I downloaded a few to start us off as we have a big drive coming up at the start of the summer holidays and I want to make sure there are a selection of games to keep them occupied. It was easy to turn off in app purchasing and I have added passwords so I know that when they have it in Kids mode, they can only access what I have allowed them too. They have discovered Minecraft  on Daddy's computer so I am pretty sure that is going to be our next purchase through the Amazon app store!



Our top 3 games for 4 and 5 year olds (so far) are

1) Peppa Pig : Mrs Chicken  - I wasn't expecting this one to go down quite so well, but they love the variety of little games. There are apps related to lots of their favourite shows and the Ruby and Max one has been entertaining them a lot too.

2) Cbeebies Playtime - This app is full of different games based on the different programs and it changes every so often too so there is often something new to discover. This was the first app that any of the boys tried and Dylan still enjoys it at 5.

3) Doodle Maths -  Every day they get 5 maths questions and I got to input information about the children and where they were at before we started so they are all age/ability appropriate. The questions are spoken as well as written and it has been good for helping Archie to follow instructions as well as increasing his exposure to math related terminology.





And of course I downloaded a few apps for me, my top 3 are

1) Netflix - There is always something to watch and the kids love it too. I have recently disovered that you can download certain programs from Netflix which I will definitely be doing ahead of our trip.

2) Instagram - I am a little bit addicted, I can't resist flicking through beautiful images and having a look into people's lives

3) Words with Friends - I never find the time to sit and play Scrabble anymore so I love this online version that I can pick up and put down whenever I find a minute.





I think this Fire tablet is going to be a great help with keeping the boys entertained on our summer travels.



This post is in collaboration with Amazon Appstore




Read more ⇨

Monday, 10 July 2017

Fairytale Holiday Destinations

The list of places I want to visit seems to only grow as we travel more and I want to show my children so much of this world.  I want to take them to those traditional magical destinations, like the crystal clear beaches in Jamaica, and that fairytale castle in Disneyworld, but also to the lesser known cities that are still completely entrancing.



We recently took them all to Hamburg, but I would love to head back to Germany to take in the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty's castle, Neuschwanstein Castle.  I am trying to sneak some classic Disney in between the more modern Pixar movies that they love to watch and I think that visiting this stunning castle would help them find the magic.  This fairytale destination also featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I have been looking for an excuse to share the films of my childhood with my own children.

It would be a dream come true to take a Christmas trip to Lapland and I can think of nothing more magical than real snow and a visit to the big man in red.  I think with the fact our children are all so close in age, there is going to be a 'sweet spot' where they are all at a perfect age for a trip like this, old enough to understand and young enough to still be completely under the spell.  Reindeer, mince pies, snow angels and Santa - what a combination!


We are hoping to take them a little further afield in the next couple of years, especially once we have ditched the nappies and buggy and are a little more free and India is high up on our list.  I want to show my children different cultures and ways of life, let them try different food and drinks, explore not only with their eyes, but with their tastebuds too.  The Taj Mahal has to be one of the most beautiful buildings ever built and I know they would be scouring the sky for magic carpets if we visited.

I visited Thailand after I had finished university and spent time backpacking around it.  It is such an amazing country and one that Ed has always wanted to visit, and we are hoping to go as a family in the next few years.  After discovering the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, I am thinking we need to plan our trip around it! Sitting back and watching thousands of lanterns rising slowly into the night sky (think Tangled) would be such an amazing experience with them and I loved trecking in the mountains and visiting the elephants in this northern part of Thailand.

Which fairytale destinations have you always wanted to visit?

Collaborative post
Read more ⇨

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Ordinary Moments // Settling in Sessions

There are only 6 more sessions of nursery and then he has finished, for the summer, forever.  Next September Archie will be joining his big brother at school and he is pretty excited.  This week we had the final one of his three settling in sessions and I left him in his classroom for two hours.

The first two sessions involved me sitting in the hall listening to the head teacher and other members of staff and PTFA talking to us about the school and what to expect whilst Archie went off to his new classroom for an hour.  This final one was two hours though and I dropped him off and left the school.  

Archie never wavered, never looked back and I think (I hope) September will be just the same.  Unlike his brother who only turned 4 a month before he started school, Archie will be four and a half and that bit more ready.  I heard others speak of the boredom when Dylan was coming towards the end of preschool, but with a summer born baby I never really understood.  With my February son I get it though.  Archie seems to have outgrown preschool in many ways, he seems bored, ready for the next stage and I think school will challenge and encourage him in the right ways.

I didn't feel nearly as emotional when I dropped him.  I remember the worry with Dylan, counting down until I could collect him and constantly checking the time.  With Archie it felt easier and I don't know if it is because he is the second baby, or because he is that bit older, but we both enjoyed the session.


That was the last session until September now.  We need to buy uniform, shoes and a schoolbag and I know the time will fly until this baby boy of mine will be joining his big brother in the school playground at 9am.
Read more ⇨

Friday, 30 June 2017

Me and Mine in June

It has been a month of sunshine and heatwaves, beach trips and afternoons at the park, paddling pools and dips in the sea, and yet our monthly photo is taken in our slightly messy and incredibly cluttered living room.  This month we have been so busy having fun that we haven't managed to take a single family photo so at 5pm on the last day of the month, I have balanced my camera on the window sill and pressed the button once. In some ways I am a bit sad that our photo this month doesn't reflect the wonderful month we have had, but equally, this is us still, at the end of a lovely June.

The biggest event this month has been Cora turning one, but Dylan would probably argue that losing his first two teeth is pretty high up the list. I feel like we have had sunshine nearly every day and I am hoping July is a lot like June was.

Ignore the washing basket full of nappies that still need folding, the fact that Dylan won't let go of the x-box remote and my disastrously dyed hair, here is our photo.



So this month I have been loving spending so much time at the beach, discovering a new place to get macaroni cheese with friends, dressing up as a unicorn for Cora's birthday and planning our summer.

Daddy has been loving the hot weather, Father's day at Kearsney Abbey, sitting in the beer garden with friends in the evening and teaching Cora to walk.

Dylan has been loving his first visit from the tooth fairy, making cardboard houses and a cardboard city at school, playing Minecraft and Cora's birthday cake.

Archie has been loving starting swimming lessons, fresh watermelon in the garden after school, helping Cora learn to walk and playing with his best friend Pippa.


Finn has been loving giving Cora tax from his meals, sitting on the potty, sliding down the stairs really quickly on his belly and spending time with Aunty NatNat

Cora has been loving taking her first steps, cake at her first birthday party, playing chase with Finn around the house and giving big sloppy open mouthed kisses.
Read more ⇨

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Unicorn Themed First Birthday Party

I just love throwing a first birthday party and I can't resist a theme.  After three boys (who had rainbows, very hungry caterpillar and robot themed parties), I decided that Cora could have a unicorn themed first birthday party and I gave in to all that was pink and sparkly for an afternoon of celebrating with family and friends.

unicorn themed first birthday party, unicorn baby outfit, unicorn baby

We had the party in my parents' garden as they have a lovely big space and a large gazebo that we can all sit under to get out the sunshine.  I decorated inside and put tables and chairs in there, and then we had garden toys everywhere for the children as well as a couple of games.

Cora wore a unicorn crown that I ordered from Harper Jade, a one vest with gold writing that I bought from Betty Bramble and a pink tutu that I made myself. It was simple and perfect for the birthday girl and so much more pink than I thought I would be comfortable with!

rainbow party food, unicorn first birthday, rainbow fruit kebabs

I didn't want to have to cater for everyone properly (we had about 60 guests) so I held the party in the afternoon so that I could just do snacks.  We had cut up vegetables and breadsticks with hummus and rainbow fruit kebabs that my sister helped to make.  As it was a first birthday party I wanted everything to be suitable for the babies as well.

baby tea party

The children played so well, and we did a pinata half way through the party.  I found a unicorn pinata on Party Pieces and filled it with the bear paws 'sweeties' (or at least that is what I call them for the kids) so that everyone could join in with the game and the prize was suitable for little ones too.

I bought some cupcake sticks from the same website to decorate my homemade cakes as well.

unicorn first birthday party, unicorn cupcakes

unicorn themed first birthday party, unicorn cupcakes

For the main cake, I must admit now that I didn't make it.  I knew exactly what I wanted and it was just so far beyond my skills that I decided to outsource the cake and I found a local baker who made just the most perfect work of art.  A two tier cake, with 8 layers of  rainbow sponge on each tier and stunning unicorn decorations.  The entire cake was also vegan as I have a lot of vegan friends and this meant that everyone could enjoy it.

unicorn cake, unicorn first birthday party cake, vegan unicorn cake

unicorn first birthday party, mum and baby unicorn, vegan unicorn cake

I dressed up for the party too, in a tulle skirt and headband from Boohoo.com and a unicorn necklace from Claire's accessories.  Lots of our guests came in unicorn attire and we even had a brilliant dragon too.  I bought Finn some unicorn trousers but completely forgot to get a picture of them!


unicorn themed first birthday party

unicorn rainbow cake, unicorn birthday party

We don't usually let Cora have cake, but at her own party it seemed cruel not to and she definitely enjoyed it! She had a nibble from the main cake and then we let her loose with half a cupcake too.  

unicorn first birthday party

unicorn first birthday party

Instead of giving out party bags, all the children that came took home a giant bubble wand with a windmill attached, tied on with rainbow ribbon.  I spent a long time trying to think of a unicorn themed party gift that was suitable for 1 year olds all the way up to 6 year olds, but in the end we settled with bubbles.

unicorn first birthday party, unusual party bags, rainbow party favours

Cora was absolutely shattered at the end of the party as not only was there so much to take in, she also took her first steps that day!  As soon as the last guests had left, she crashed out on my parents' sofa whilst we cleared up.

unicorn first birthday party

It was such a lovely party and the unicorn theme worked really well.  I didn't manage to get many photos as I was busy hosting the party, but I am glad that I managed a few to look back on.

(I paid for everything mentioned in the post)
Read more ⇨

Monday, 26 June 2017

The night before One.

Baby girl, tonight you fell asleep in my arms, the same way you have every night, for 364 nights.  Your eyes closed slowly and your face looked calm and content as you lay snuggled up on me drinking your milk.  It is these moments when you seem most like that new baby still, so small, so dependent on me.

Tomorrow is your first birthday, at 12:31pm, just as we will probably be eating our lunch, you will be turning one.  It doesn't seem possible that a whole year has passed, I still remember parts of your birth so vivdly - walking up and down the stairs, bouncing on the ball, chatting to the midwife as I paced up and down the living room.  I remember the fear, the strength and the love that came immediately.  I remember snuggling up on the sofa as the midwives packed away, studying your tiny features and wondering how I was going to cope as a girl-mum after 4 years of raising boys.

And now we are here, on the night before you turn one and you are asleep right in the middle of my bed.  It turns out parenting a girl, or parenting this girl is a bit different.  You know where you want to be, and that is right next to me.  You want to be carried in my arms or in the sling, you want to sit on my lap as you play, hold my hands as you walk and sleep curled up in my arms where you feel safe.  You are the only baby of mine to still be in my bed at a year and whilst I miss the space and the sleep, I love falling asleep with your head on my arm and waking up to your smile.  

You are determined in a way that your brothers weren't and you are the first one to take steps before your first birthday.  You have eight teeth (far more than the others did at this young age) and you still rely heavily on breastmilk, although you are definitely getting the hang of food a little more now.  You have the cheekiest smile and you adore your brothers.  You are so loved.



We don't have much planned for your actual birthday, but we have already thrown a big party for you yesterday and I think you enjoyed being surrounded by your family and friends.  Tomorrow is just us, you have a couple of gifts to open and I am sure we will have some more cake (as it is all but compulsory on birthdays).  I can't believe that we are here already, so close to one, but we are.  

This first year has been perfect.  I have loved getting to know you, learning how to parent you, watching you interact with your brothers and discover the world.  I know the next year will be full of new milestones, that you will change so much again, so I just want to pause time, just for a little bit.  I just want to remember you now, as you are, spread out like a starfish in the middle of the bed, your chunky thighs on show as the evening is warm.  I want to stop just now, whilst you are still the perfect size to fall asleep in my arms, whilst you still need my hand to walk more than a couple of steps, whilst you still hold your arms up to me for a cuddle.  Let us stop, just to make sure this moment is etched as a memory forever, for you will never be this small again.

And now we must start the time again, for your brothers are impatient to help you with the present opening, because you can't stay small forever, there are too many mountains to climb and milestones to conquer.  

Baby girl, you are more loved than you will ever know.  

xx
Read more ⇨

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.


Read more ⇨

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.



Read more ⇨

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.
Read more ⇨

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.


Read more ⇨

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?
Read more ⇨

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. 


Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...