Friday 30 September 2016

Me and Mine September

It has been such a warm September that the shorts and summer dresses haven't quite been packed away yet.  We have spent more time at the beach than I imagined and less time splashing in puddles.  It has been a month of adapting again after a wonderful summer and we are slowly falling back into a routine - even if the morning bit isn't coming back so naturally.  

I can't find the remote for my camera and trying to get six people in a photo is challenging, especially when you are relying on one adult to keep them all still whilst I run back and forth trying to set the timer!  Archie thought it was great fun to stay still and then run off as soon as I pressed the button.  We managed one where nobody is actually crying and we are all pretty much in focus so we are putting it down as a success.

This month Mama is loving Instagram stories, that she doesn't have to pack away her sandals just yet, quieter days with just the two babies and getting a bit more sleep (thanks Cora!)

Daddy is loving having more time with the children, Pizza date night, playing computer games with the boys and Magnum ice creams.

Dylan is loving starting swimming lessons, being in red class, playing Pokemon and after school playdates

Archie is loving preschool, drinking cups of tea, the number 45 and playing on the tab.

Finn is loving Malted Milk biscuits as we start the milk ladder, playing ball with dogs in the park, having Aunty NatNat around again and dancing

Cora is loving swimming on a Wednesday, going into some of her next size clothing, Mama milk and tickles around her neck.

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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Carpet Creations

Have you seen those sweet nap time pictures before?  The ones where the parent has created a fantasy land around a sleeping baby, a human art attack almost?  Well Carpetright have challenged me to make my own and armed with a snoozy baby and some random props I have built five scenes around my sleeping baby.  Well four really as in one she is quite clearly awake - this is a baby who hates to sleep on her back and so her little eyes popped open as soon as I put her down that time.

Flying a kite made of muslins on 'mist' carpet
A snoozing bunny on 'peak district green artificial grass'

my little fairy flying high on 'lilac'
floating around on 'Lolita mosaic'
A caterpillar's picnic on 'highland design'

Carpetright are running a fantastic competition to win up to £1000 of vouchers so if you are feeling inspired by our creations then why not try your own?  Check out the Carpetright website  for more information.

You can share your own Carpet Creation, by either tweeting their picture to the @Carpetright Twitter handle, using the hash tag #carpetcreations, or alternatively visit the Carpetright Facebook page and upload your photo to our dedicated competition

What scene would you create? 
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Tuesday 27 September 2016

What the Kids Wore - Baby Mori

I cannot resist a bit of matching for the youngest two, especially if I can put a girly spin on Cora's outfit and make Finn's practical for a toddler.  We were sent two items from Baby Mori and they are without a doubt the softest clothing I have ever felt.  Finn adores his sister and seemed to find her extra cuddly in her BabyMori vest.

Cora was sent a long sleeved poppered vest and Finn a long sleeved t-shirt, both in the same yellow and white stripes.  The natural bamboo fibres help keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter and bamboo is an environmentally friendly choice for clothing. 

These tops are perfect for wearing on their own or for layering this winter.  Finn wore his with some leggings and Cora paired hers with a cotton pinafore dress and tights.  

If you want to order some super soft clothes of your own then follow this link to receive £10 off your first £30 shop.  As well as these items Baby Mori make leggings, yoga pants, cardigans, muslins and sleeping bags and they are all perfect for sensitive skin.  

I really love the simplicity and most of all the softness of these beautiful items (and did I mention how soft they are?).  

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Sunday 25 September 2016

Merci Maman Giveaway

We know Merci Maman for their beautifully engraved jewellery, but they have recently expanded their range and offer a home range full of gorgeous embroidered baby gifts.  We were sent a personalised gift box for Cora  and it arrived equisitely packaged in a white box and wrapped in tissue paper.

The gift set contains a hooded towel, two muslins and a comforter, each personalised with her name.  This is a perfect gift for a baby with a more unusual name and definitely something to be saved in the baby box.  

The girl's box has both a pink and white muslin and a choice of two comforters.  The muslins are pretty big (75 x 75) and the comforter is the perfect size for little arms to cuddle.

Merci Maman offer free delivery with a choice to upgrade it to next day delivery if you need it sooner. 

The towel is 100% cotton and feels lovely and soft. It is ideal for baby bathtime and Cora looks so snuggly in hers.

Not only was I sent one to review, I also have an embroidered gift box just like this one to giveaway.  The winner can pick either the pink or blue set and personalise it with the name of your choice.  Entry is simple via the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday 21 September 2016

What the Baby Wore - Bambini and Me

When I was pregnant with Cora I refused to buy anything pink.  I was determined that she would wear bright unisex colours, that we wouldn't succumb to the pastel pinks that little girls everywhere are wearing.  Since she has arrived I have found myself more and more tempted by the 'girly' stuff though, and when Bambini and Me asked me which of their prints I preferred, I went for blossom.

As soon as I put it on Cora I fell in love.  The colour looks so beautiful on her that I think I may have to allow a little more pink in her wardrobe.  What I really love is that this vest is made from super soft bamboo - the kind that can grow anywhere, that doesn't use any pesticides to grow, that is biodegradable and ethically sourced.  

Bamboo is so breathable that it keeps us cool in summer and warm in winter, isn't irritable to people suffering from eczema and feels like silk on their skin.  Cora looked so happy in her vest (and totally adorable too).

As well as vests and rompers, Bambini and Me sell huge muslin swaddle blankets and although we don't swaddle I find them great as light weight blankets, and to put down on the floor or bed for play time.  Being bamboo the swaddles are breathable too so the perfect summer blanket for a baby.
I am already a lover of bamboo clothing, but I think I may be a bit of a pink convert now too!  This vest is currently £15 and the muslin swaddle is also £15.  They both come in a variety of prints and are available from the Bambini and Me website 

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Monday 19 September 2016

What Mama Wore - Radley Bag

My pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit, my hair usually needs a wash, I often have a wet patch on my left shoulder that Cora just loves to lick and every morning when I dress myself I have to think about how practical my outfit is for breastfeeding in.  My wardrobe needs updating desperately but I keep putting it off with a 'I will start eating healthier / doing more exersize' and fit back into the jeans that tease me every morning when I open the doors.  When Radley offered me a new handbag, the obvious answer was yes!

Every Mama needs their own bag, something a bit more grown up than a baby bag, something without crumbled up rice cakes and empty nappy bags in the bottom.  We all deserve something that makes us feel good and this bag is it for me. 

Baby bits are banned, no wipes, no dummies, no toy cars and lego bricks.  This bag is for me and when the day comes where I can leave the house without a baby attached, this will be the bag that accompanies me and reminds me of all the things I am as well as a Mama.

For now it is kept high up so that no Playmobil people or plastic keys mysteriously find their way in.  It is kept baby free even when I want to quickly throw a nappy in there rather than open up the changing bag and it is looked after, kept special in anticipation of the day I leave Cora at home and venture out without her.

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Sunday 18 September 2016

The Weekend

Now that two of my four are not around for a large part of the week, it makes the weekends feel even more precious.  Unfortunately the busy week means they also need most of the weekend to recover so we are torn between wanting to go out and do fun things together and their need for quiet time at home.  We mostly try and find the balance with one quieter day and one family day out.  

The rain has returned after a wonderfully dry summer but we picked the right day to go out this weekend as the grey skies that covered us as we left the house turned blue as the day went on and the jumpers I had hastily thrown in a bag were not needed.  We had the wonders of a rail replacement service in the morning that turned a normal 17 minute journey into an hour stuck in traffic on a coach but it was worth it to watch 4,000 rubber ducks swimming in the river.

There was a charity event on, the Canterbury Duck Race which saw people sponsoring a duck to win a race down the river.  It isn't a sight you get to see often (once a year if you live locally) and the real ducks moved out of the way to let their yellow counterparts through.  Sadly we got there too late to sponsor a duck as they had sold out but we got to watch sacks of ducks being unloaded over the bridge into the water.  

It happened that the start of the race was right next to our favourite park so we didn't watch the whole race as the slide was beckoning.  The big two really miss each other in the week and I gave up following them around after a while as they didn't even notice I was there, they were so absorbed in their play.  Finn loves the attention, so I entertained myself with him instead whilst Cora slept in the sling.  

We stopped for a picnic and then fed our leftovers to the real ducks before exploring the rest of the park.  My sister had come out for the day with us (the bloke was working) and four children is so much easier with an extra pair of hands! I could sit and feed Cora knowing that someone else was making sure Finn didn't dive into the river (he looked very tempted!) 

I took a few pictures whilst we were out

Finn's leggings and hat are from Ted Wears Organic

Cora's sleepsuit is from Nod London

Archie's t-shirt is from Lindex and his joggers are from Well Grounded

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Wednesday 14 September 2016

Baby Bundle Baby Rocker

At eleven weeks, Cora is starting to leave the fourth trimester.  She has always been a baby that wants to be held, she loves to be close and she definitely knows who her mama is.  She has spent lots of time in the sling around the house as that is where she is most content and I have loved this transition phase and watching her become more confident being put down.

She now spends periods of her day 'playing' or at least kicking her legs around and stretching out away from me and we have been using her Bababing baby rocker from Baby Bundle lots.  

This rocker is simple and perfect for little babies.  The seat is small and cosy so they feel secure and the more muted colours provide stimulation without it being too much.  Cora is content and happy in there and she is starting to reach out for the toys now.  The rocker comes with two toys, but her youngest big brother is rather fond of pinching one as they are attached with velcro and easy to pull off.

One of my favourite features of this rocker is just how portable it is.  It folds down really easily and is easy to transport and it is incredibly light.  These photos were taken at the beach hut last weekend as it was ideal to pop in the car and to give Cora somewhere safe to play whilst we were out.  

I don't think this rocker will last past about 4 months for my long baby (she is currently 2.5 months), and the velcro shoulder straps are almost too small now, but I will continue to use it just with the waist straps which have plenty of growing room and are handily hidden until the grey fabric.  

I do think this is a great rocker, I love that there are two height positions, how portable it is and easy to store (especially with a one year old who will climb on anything he can reach) and the colours are lovely.  

Disclosure : I was sent this rocker for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own. 

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Five Ways to Bond with Your Baby

Cora was born into a big family, she has three big brothers that demand my time and attention and where I would spend hours cuddled up with my first newborn, things aren't that easy with the fourth.  Finding different ways to keep the wonderful bond between us is a priority and I still find time every day to just enjoy her on her own, even if it does mean that I don't get much (any) time to myself.  There are little things we do each day that keep us close, that are just between us and I love how bonded they make me feel with my new baby.

Babywearing - Cora wants to be close to me at all times, understandably, and I want to keep her safe.  Her brothers adore her, sometimes a bit too much so keeping her with me makes sense.  As well as using a sling to make getting out and about easier, we also use it in the house.  She is settled when held against my chest, I have two hands free for her brothers and we can have skin to skin.

Breastfeeding - Cora is exclusively breastfed which means that as soon as she is hungry she comes back to me.  I didn't feel like my bond was any less with Finn when I had to bottlefeed him, but I find there to be something so precious about breastfeeding and knowing how reliant she is on me and me alone.

Co-sleeping - Co-sleeping works well for us.  It enables me to get some sleep and Cora to feel secure.  She sleeps the first stretch of each night in her crib and then comes in with me for the rest of it.  It feels so natural to keep her close at night and it means we both get more sleep!

Baby Massage - When the boys all go to bed, the house suddenly goes quiet and it is a great time to have some special time with my baby girl.  We love baby massage as a way to reconnect after a busy day and it keeps her skin lovely and smooth too.  The skin to skin contact releases the love hormone Oxytocin which helps us to connect and bond (I have some Huggies wipes handy for change timeGayle Berry, Infant massage & baby yoga expert says“Nappy changing offers a special time to bond with your baby as you have the opportunity for eye contact, touch and to talk together. Reducing artificial smells in the products you use means that baby can recognise your special scent which encourages the bonding process and is kind to both you and your baby’s skin”. They are made with 99%  pure water and completely free from nasty chemicals such as alcohol, phenoxyethanol and parabens.  To find out how HUGGIES® Wipes naturally care for your little one’s skin visit to find the full range. )

Bathing together - Until she is big enough to go in with her brothers, Cora comes in the bath with me.  We both love the calmness, the opportunity to have skin to skin and being able to feed her and comfort her if she needs it.  I would love to take her swimming one day too and we have plenty of HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® ready with the new Disney© Pixar Finding Dory characters on.  You can pick them up in the baby aisle or visit for tips and advice. HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® is inviting families to “Get set, splash”, inspiring them to enjoy fun in the water with their little ones, giving them the confidence that they’ll be protected from any little accidents

I feel like my bond with Cora is as strong as with any of the others.  She gets so much of me, but she has three big brothers to love her as well.
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Tuesday 13 September 2016

A Lidl Surprise

Buying baby clothes has always been one of my guilty pleasures and all four children have far more clothes than they really 'need'.  I just can't resist a cute vest, or a teeny pair of tights and when Lidl told me about their new range of organic cotton baby clothes I was really excited to see what they were like.

I am so impressed with it all, the cotton feels soft and lovely and knowing that its production isn't contributing to pollution makes my shopping habit a little more acceptable.  Not only that, but everything is amazing value!  Thick winter tights for only £1.50, a 2 pack of vests for less than £4 and a soft cardigan for £4.99!  Most of the range is completely unisex and it is all autumnal creams, beiges and browns.  You can even pick up some leather moccasins for only £5.99

Here are some of my favourite pieces, I have chosen some of the girlier things as I am planning Cora's autumns wardrobe, but there are some lovely boy bits for Finn too:

Everything is in stores now so be quick if you want to grab some organic cotton bargains!

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