Thursday 28 June 2012

Aromatherapy Play Dough - Guest Post

Today we have a guest post with a brilliant idea for a money saving activity.  We all spend so much on toys and games for children when there are so many things we can make to encourage their imagination and creativity.

Hi everyone, it is Jen from The Mad HouseA Thrifty Mum and Frugal and Fun 

Home Made Aromatherapy Play Dough 


1 and half cups (1 cup is 250ml) of salt 
3 cups of warm water 
3 cups of plain flour 
3 tablespoons of oil 
6 teaspoons of cream of tartar 
Food colouring 
Essential oils 


  1. add the salt and water to a large pan and heat until the salt to melt has melted 
  2. add the flour, oil and cream of tartar and heat over a medium heat, stirring continuously until it starts to pull away from the sides (you need to be quite vigorous) 
  3. Tip out the dough and need for about 2 minutes 
  4. Split the dough in to smaller amounts and add food colouring and essential oil 

aromatherapy playdough, homemade sensory, activities for kids

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Wednesday 27 June 2012

So is he disabled then?

Sometimes I am shocked by the things that come out of people's mouths.  I have been told more times than I can count that I look far too young to be a mother, often in a very rude way, but this is something I am now so used to it goes straight over my head.  I know that age plays no factor in how good a parent you can be, and I have enough unconditional love for my son I know I am a good mother for him.  I am also much older than they think I look.

Today I had a new one though, directed not at me but at my son.  A stranger came over on the train.  A middle aged woman who wanted to coo at Dylan as he had been proclaiming his love for dadadada throughout the journey.  She touched his hand and asked me his age and I replied that he is ten months old.  'Oh' she said, 'So he is walking now?'.  'No' I replied, thinking it was rather unusual for a ten month old to be walking unaided although more and more of his friends are starting to take those shaky first steps.  'So he is crawling?'  Was her reply.  This is something I am a little sensitive about, and I have written already about the fact that he seems to be the last one to crawl.  I answered her informing her that he was not  crawling, and her response completely shocked me.

'So does he have a disability?'
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Tuesday 26 June 2012

You make me Smile - Week 2

Firstly I would like to thank the wonderful bloggers who joined in last week.  There were some fantastic posts and pictures and I can't wait to see what you come up with this week!

So here are the things that made me smile;

baby at the beach, writing in the sand, Dylan
After what can only be described as miserable weather, the summer weather seems to have arrived.  Let's just hope it stays now!

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Monday 25 June 2012

Me & I - Review and Opportunity

Me & i is a fantastic Swedish company offering bright and fun designs for children.  Their prints are relatively unisex and their items work well together to create unique and funky outfits.  Although they focus mainly on home parties, you can also find their lovely items on their website.

me and i, bright colourful children's clothes, circus t-shirtDylan was sent one of their circus T-shirts, and from the moment I opened the package I was in love.  The material is so soft and with plenty of stretch.  You can sense the quality without even touching them and I love how colourful it is.  I could immediately think of plenty of his trousers and shorts that would go perfectly and couldn't wait to get it on him.

He wore it to a Jubilee picnic we attended and I spent the day getting admiring comments and passing out the website details.  It really is better in real life than it looks in the photos!  Dylan is wearing the size
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Sunday 24 June 2012

My Britmums Live Diary

After months of planning and excitement Britmums Live weekend finally arrived.  Armed with my phone, my notebook and my galaxy tab, I set about to record my experience of the parenting blogging community in all their glory

Friday 11.30am
 I am sat on the train wondering whether this was really a good idea.  Only twenty minutes into the journey and I am already missing the little dude, his geeky smile and those four little teeth.  I wish I could explain to him that I will be back soon and that I love him and miss him.  Guilt about leaving him has taken over the excitement and nerves.  The man sitting opposite started eagerly chatting but as soon as I mentioned that I was going to a conference for parent bloggers he went very quiet!

Friday 12.40
 The nerves have arrived in full force.  It isn't like I have not been to events before but I usually have Dylan alongside me to hide behind -an icebreaker.  Suddenly I am all on my own!
life and times of the working mum, britmums live
Checked into the hotel and it is very basic but completely adequate as somewhere to rest my head after a long day. They do have some strange ideas about what people like to put in their coffee though as the tray came complete with a tin of petit pois! Waiting for laura aka thelifeandtimesoftheworkingmum to arrive so we can be nervous together

Friday 3.10pm
name tag, britmums live badges
We are here!  Mummyadventure is in the building and the nerves have become adrenaline.
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Saturday 23 June 2012

A Rat in my Hotel Room

After a lovely weekend at Britmums Live laura (lifeandtimesoftheworkingmum) and I arrived back at our hotel ready for a quiet night and a chat. Little did we expect a third room guest.  A long tailed brown haired furry kind of room mate. Laura had naively booked a hotel room on late rooms without reading too many reviews and the Kings Cross Hotel seemed a reasonable price, a nice distance from train station and venue and adequate for resting our tired heads after a long day.  Communal bathrooms and showers could be overlooked if it meant more money to spend on wine.

On arrival I was a little confused to find a tin of peas included in our coffee tray and a dirty plate on the floor but ignored these as the bed had clean sheets and I was eager to get to the conference.  Fast forward to the second night, we are sitting on the beds, chatting away when we notice the rat crawl out from behind the sink.
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Friday 22 June 2012

Britmums Live is here

So the day has finally arrived when I pack my bags and head off to London leaving my gorgeous little boy behind.  I am both excited and terrified and nowhere near ready. 

None of this would be possible without my wonderful sponsors.  The lovely Social Sparkles and the brilliant Baba and Boo.   Thanks to them I will be able to meet bloggers from all over the country to discuss how to improve our writing and take our blogs to the next level.  I will get to put a face to all the names I regularly tweet with as well as meeting again those a little more familiar.  The event I am attending is Britmums Live.

I will get to sit on a train ( On a normal seat not suitable for buggies) and read my book in peace.  I will
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Tuesday 19 June 2012

Skeanie Shoes Review

A babies foot is a very precious thing.  They are a very different shape to an adults and ever so soft.  They need to be cared for in the best possible way, and studies have shown that walking barefoot is the best thing for their development.

Of course this is not always practical.  Dylan is starting to try and pull himself up, and loves standing holding onto my hands.  It won't be long until he is off and when we are outside I need to protect his little feet.  Skeanie baby shoes are leather with a suede sole, meaning they allow your child to walk naturally, as if they were barefoot whilst protecting them at the same time.

The Australian brand have an eco-approach to making shoes and use only off-cuts of leather.  They are designed to protect and nurture little feet.  Their infant range is for
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Monday 18 June 2012

You make me smile Week 1

I have decided to start a new linky with the intention of improving my photography and helping me to appreciate the great things in my life.  I will post it up every tuesday and you can join in anytime during the week.  The idea is you post three photos of things that are making you smile this week, whether they are a lie in, a piece of delicious cake or your babies first steps. You can add as much or as little explanation as you like.

Here are mine for the week:

Getting a new sling for Dylan.  He has sadly outgrown his stretchy wrap and I love baby wearing so I am really emjoyimg having a nice woven wrap to carry him in.

The upcoming  britmums live is getting me really excited and fulfilling my desire to write lists (insert picture of list of lists to write)

The warm weather on Sunday really made me smile as we had a lovely afternoon down the beach.

If you want to join in then write your post and please back to this one so your readers can check out some more great bloggers.  here is a badge you can add to your post just copy and paste the html code.  When you add your link please leave a comment and try and visit some of the other blogs. I hope to see some fabulous entries!

You make me smile


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Competition - Baba and Boo

With Britmums live only a few days away, I have a fantastic competition from my sponsor.  If you have read my review of the Baba and Boo cloth nappy you will know how impressed we were.  I'm hoping that some of you went over to their website and had a look?  Maybe some of you are interested in cloth nappies but haven't taken the plunge yet.  Whatever your little one is wearing, this competition is for you.  I have a wonderful prize of a £20 voucher for the winner.  

If it were me, I would buy:

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Friday 15 June 2012

Pretty Little Things - My First Picture

I have decided to join in on this linky as I am struggling to believe how much Dylan has changed in the last 10 months.  The tiny little baby that I once held in my arms is now a little boy.  I gave him a peach yesterday, whole and he ate it fine, taking bites, chewing and getting through it.  He loves playing peekaboo and reading books, turning the pages as we go.  He is trying to pull himself up and can roll around the room and get into everything.

Once upon a time, he was a squishy little newborn, still curled up, eyes tight shut and with the unmistakable new baby cry.  He was born at 5.39pm on August 2nd 2011, at 38 weeks and weighing 8lb 10oz and I knew from that moment that he was perfect.  Here is the first picture of him as we are in the recovery room.  He was about 1 hour old and had the most beautiful chubby cheeks even then.

newborn baby boy, 1 hour old baby, 8lb 10oz baby
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Thursday 14 June 2012

Homemade Father's Day Idea

Father's day is just round the corner and if, like me you have left shopping for a father's day present to the last minute, here is a simple idea for a thoughtful gift.  Something personal that is not too  difficult to make (I managed it!) but should put a big smile on Daddy's face.

First thing is first and you need 3 pieces of cardboard in whatever colours you choose.  We went for green and red glittery as I thought they would look great.  Using as much of the A4 piece of card as you can, cut out the letters D, A and Y.

The next bit is the simplest, and the most fun, although I would advise that 10 months is the wrong age to try it - a younger or older child may be slightly easier!  You need to take a picture of the child with each of the letters, and 3 pictures using the letter D.  I think it looks great if each picture is a little different, but it is up to you quite how different you want it.  

homemade fathers day gift
Not so easy when they just want to wave them around.

Once you have your lovely photos,a quick pop to the town is necessary as you need to print them off, and get a photo frame that holds 5 photos.  I have found this one 

Insert them all in and Voila. . . Your lovely father's day present!  Unique and homemade, and hopefully with a few more smiles than mine.  (I maintain a 10 month old is difficult.)

father's day present from baby. father's day, daddy pictures

If you decide to try this at home then let me know how you get on!  Only 3 days left until father's day now!

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Wednesday 13 June 2012

Ergo Pouch Review and Giveaway

As the evenings are getting warmer, I have been thinking about how to dress Dylan for bed.  Some go for just a vest or a sleepsuit, but I know how much I love the feeling of being tucked up, and even on a hot night I use a sheet.  So it falls to a thin sleeping bag.  The 2.5 Tog will be pushed to the back of the cupboard, and we are using our super light ErgoPouch 0.3 tog bamboo sheet. 

ergopouch, sleeping bag, bamboo sleeping bag, 0.3 tog

The white sleeping bag zips up the front - (the easiest way we have found) and is designed to kepp your child 2-3 degrees cooler when it is hot, and 2-3 degrees warmer when it is cold.  Perfect for those nights when you are not quite sure how to dress them, and ensuring that baby satys comfortable all night long.  The sleeping bag comes complete with a list of reasons why it is the best choice.  It is hyperallergenic, antibacterial, antifungal, eco-friendly and grown without pesticides.  It also comes with a mini room thermometer. 

cool sleeping bag, ergopouch
ergopouch, 0.3 tog sleeping bag, bamboo cotton

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Tuesday 12 June 2012

Yummy Mummy MEME

Vikki at Love from Mummy has tagged me in this meme by  Busy Bee Mummy Bex and it's all about the yummy mummy side of motherhood.  So here goes. . . 

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Well I jump out of bed, ready and excited for the new day of course - haha.  I count to 60 with a promise to myself that I will get up when I get there, and then repeat the exercise a few times until Dylan tells me time is up.  I think go into his room, look down on his smiley little face and excited wiggly toes, and we say hi and wave at each other before having a nice cuddle.

Do you shower daily? Are you an early morning shower or evening bath type?
Since having Dylan I have become very much an evening shower-er.  Trying to fit it into a morning schedule is not achievable anymore so I go for a late night shower and inevitably sleep with wet hair.  I have the odd bath with half a bottle of bubbles in it but I get too restless to stay in there long.

Do you wear make-up daily?
Yes.  Not a lot, but
I don't feel alive without a nice bit of eyeliner.  Eyeliner and mascara mean I am ready for the day and even on a night out I don't really wear anything else.  I can't stand the feel of foundation and don't have the time or the energy for making too much effort.

What's in your make-up bag?
Eyeliner (of course)- pencil and liquid, mascara, under eye concealer and a blushy/bronzey thingamagig.  I think that is it actually!.

When you're having a slummy mummy day what do you normally wear?
Nothing is more comfortable than my baggy jeans and a T-shirt.  And of course slippers.  I have several pairs all around the house so that wherever I am I can find a pair to put on.

Nails - how often do you get them done?
I'm not sure I have ever had my nails done.  Waitressing means a ban on nail varnish and even without that I manage to chip them in minutes every time.  My toenails are usually a bright shade of pink or red and done expertly by moi.

Your top tip for tired eyes?
Eyeliner is my life saver.  It always makes my eyes look a little more alive. When I was younger and a bit more fun, I used to wear glittery eyeliner in bright colours when I was tired or hungover to take the attention away from the bags, but I would have to make that a permanent part of my make up bag now!

Are you a Starbucks or a Costa Coffee kind of girl?
There isn't a Starbucks nearby, yet we have an overdose of Costa so I guess I am a Costa girl.  Given the choice I would probably go for starbucks though as I love their frappucinnos.  

How many children do you have/want & why?
I have a beautiful 10 month old boy, Dylan and I would love another
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Monday 11 June 2012

Baba and Boo - Review

In less than two weeks, I will be joining hundreds of other parent bloggers at Britmums Live.  I am lucky enough to be sponsored by a fantastic British company -  Baba and Boo is a reusable nappy company selling beautiful yet affordable pocket nappies.  They sent me one to review, and I am pleased to say I am converted.

After an initial disappointment with cheap pocket nappies, I swore never to trust them and have since been using Tots Bots easyfits boosted and prefolds with covers.  We have found what works for us and have been happy like this.  Nevertheless I was excited to try the Baba and Boo nappy which comes with two inserts, one for a light wetter, or if you change the baby's nappy very often and two to last longer. 

My first impression was that the sizing was perfect for him.  The nappies are one size fits most, and I am pleased to say Dylan fitted well with plenty of growing space.  We have found some osfm nappies come up quite small and I do not see them fitting him past a year but these definitely feel like they will last the stretch.  They also popper down lovely and small and should fit a newborn from 8lb.

I stuffed the nappies with both of the inserts as soon as we received it and popped it straight on.  3 hours later when I came to change it, there were no leaks.  Cloth nappies build up absorbency the more they are washed so I was rather impressed that it did so well already.  

baba and boo, cloth nappies, orange cloth nappy
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Sunday 10 June 2012

Silent Sunday 10th June 2012

baby eating watermelon, baby led weaning

Love All Blogs

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Saturday 9 June 2012

A Bit of Me-Time

It has been ten months since I have had some time alone.  I mean completely alone, just me.  No baby gurgling away and no bloke pottering around making a mess. No-one that I have to keep the noise down for as they are busy sleeping.  Just me.  

Since Dylan has been born we have been inseparable as most mother and babies are.  Breastfeeding him until 8 months made it only the more difficult to be apart from him.  When I went back to work,  I suddenly had a few hours in the week where I wasn't with him, where I was just an ordinary adult, one able to hold down a normal conversation, and do what she wanted without worrying about anyone else.  But I still wasn't alone, I was on a bus full of people, or busy working.

The bloke has gone away for a week, and so I have Dylan all to myself.  For 24 hours a day, for a 7 day week.  With not even work as a break, as much as I love him to bits, this is a long time, and I salute the single parents out there.  I rely on
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Friday 8 June 2012

Philips Avent's Natural Range

Philips Avent, after 25 years of a singular design, have made the decision to relaunch their bottles, and there are some brilliant changes.  They invited me along to a blogger event to tell us all about them.  

I have to admit that I was never keen on the original design.  I breastfed for eight months, and when moving on, decided to go with a bottle that was a more natural shape in the hope that Dylan would take to it easily.  The new Avent bottles would have been perfect.  In fact, we have introduced them to the little dude and he has taken to them straight away!

philips Avent natural range, baby bottles

The bottles are longer and thinner, with a teat shaped more like a nipple.  They have
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TV for Babies

Before I had a baby, I was determined not to be one of 'those parents'.  You know, the ones who pop their children in front of the TV.  Lo and behold I appear to have joined them.  We don't have it on every day and we certainly don't have it on all day, but first thing in the morning, I have to admit I am not even close to feeling like playing games and singing nursery rhymes.  In fact, I would do anything in my power to have a few minutes to wake up and drink a large cup of tea in peace!

And suddenly big arrows appear all round the room pointing at that little grey stick, you know, the one with all the buttons, the one that turns the big black screen into an all singing all dancing entertainment centre.  How can I resist?  So we wake up, Dylan has a cuddle and his milk, and up pops the Tweenies, jumping around with the energy I will never possess at that ungodly hour.

baby watching TV, justin fletcher, cbeebies

We started when he was about
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Tuesday 5 June 2012

A whole lot of Red, White and Blue

We may not have spent the weekend attending street parties and watching the concerts on TV, but we have had a lovely long weekend enjoying time as a family. 

We decided cooking was not in the spirit of things, and went to Nandos for dinner.  Dylan has been perfecting his pincer grip recently, and loved getting stuck in with some peas!

That wasn't the only meal out we had, and a pub lunch meant Dylan had plenty of time to play with Daddy and read the cocktail menu

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Monday 4 June 2012

Stuff Every Dad should know - Review

When I was offered to review a couple of books aimed at new fathers, I called on the bloke aka Daddy Adventure to help me out.  Here are his reviews:

Fortunately this is not a test.  This is a book review on 2 little books we were sent called 'The Art Of Roughhousing' and 'Stuff Every Dad Should Know'.  The first book is great and the second is not to my taste.
The Art Of Roughhousing

I love everything about this book.  From its pleasantly curved edges, to its nicely illustrated diagrams.   The book starts with a bit of a warning on how to rough-house safely.  Common sense unfortunately needs to be reiterated.  Then it goes on to describe in some details about what rough-housing is (it's play) and why its so important.  I liked reading this part as this is something that Dylan and I do for large parts of our time together.  I recall the midwife that visited us a few days after Dylan being born mentioning that I am very comfortable holding my baby and moving him around with enough vigour that it is in contrast to most new parents who treat their babies as if they were as delicate as a spider web.  And ever since Dylan has been flown high and low around the living room.  Being flung in to the sky and not coming back down to earth for several minutes is one of Dylan's favourite things.
the art of roughhousing, daddy book,

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Sunday 3 June 2012

Silent Sunday 03/06/12

silent sunday, 9 month old boy

Silent Sunday

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Saturday 2 June 2012


I have been tagged in this great little meme by Dorky Mum.  Anyone with a toddler will have heard the word 'why' more times than they would have liked, and that is just today.  Although the little dude isn't yet saying much more than dada I know it won't be long until he is questioning anything and everything.  Before he learns the word, I have my chance to ask him a few Why's. . .

question mark, scrabble words, why

Why do you insist on chewing your own toes?  I am almost certain that they don't taste great but in all fairness, I am not about to try them just to prove a point.

Why do you think 7am is an acceptable time of day?  It is the middle of the night and always will be.  We won't even start on night feeds. . .

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