Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones · Other Good Stuff

2017 Christmas Tag

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I was tagged by the lovely Rachael at From Rachael Claire to take part in her 2017 Christmas tag. Rachael is one of the most festive people I know, which is saying something seeing as I consider myself to be pretty festive anyway! She was the perfect person to create this tag and I’ve really enjoyed taking part. At the end of the post I’m going to tag some other bloggers to take part and it would be amazing for you to go over and take a look at their blogs too. So let’s jump straight in!

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Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones · Other Good Stuff · Reviews

Christmas Gift Guide For Toddlers

With Christmas looming I’ve put together this gift guide for toddlers to hopefully give some inspiration to any parents out there who are struggling for ideas. Let’s be honest you can go into any Early Learning Centre, Toys ‘r’ Us or Argos and be bombarded with choices and ideas of all the latest toys to buy your toddler, so I’ve focused on some more alternative ideas that you might not otherwise have thought of and to support some smaller or lesser known brands in the process.

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Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones · Other Good Stuff · Reviews

Christmas Gift Guide for Dads

I don’t know if I’ve ever met a single woman who doesn’t struggle to buy for the men in her life. For some reason men can be absolutely impossible to buy for and the ones in my life are no exception. I’ve put together this gift guide that contains some items that you might not have thought of before and also some trusty old faithfuls. I hope it helps anyone who might have  just realised that it is only three weeks until the big day and that they still have no presents bought for the men in the family. I know that feeling oh so well, so here are a few ideas for you: Continue reading “Christmas Gift Guide for Dads”

Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones · Other Good Stuff

Christmas Trees, Toddlers & Traditions

I’m sure if you are up to date on my last few blog posts that you will have realised that I’m pretty excited for Christmas at this point. For me most of the excitement is in the build up to the big day; it’s in putting up the decorations, baking gingerbread men, doing crafts with Darcie all while having the Christmas radio stations on all day every day and then snuggling up to watch Christmas films with hot chocolate and mince pies. It’s one of my favourite times of the year and so I like to make the most of it. Growing up our Christmas tree would always go up a couple of weeks before Christmas and we would always decorate it together. There would be the annual argument over whose turn it was to pick the colour scheme, the lights would go on and then we would cover it in as many decorations as the poor thing could handle. It was one of the things that we always did as a family and those memories will always make me smile. I’m so keen to carry on this tradition with my own little family, just with one difference; I’ve realised that one of the best parts of adulthood is getting to decide when the tree goes up and so in our household it goes up the first weekend in December!  Continue reading “Christmas Trees, Toddlers & Traditions”

Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones · Other Good Stuff

Tips for Moving House With a Baby or Toddler

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We’ve moved house twice now since having Darcie; the first time she was four months old and the second time she had just turned one. Throughout these two house moves I have learnt a few lessons that could be helpful for anyone reading this who is faced with the prospect of moving house with a young child in tow. I can honestly say that neither times have been too difficult, the first time was certainly easier as she wasn’t yet moving, by the second move she was into everything and using packing boxes to cruise around. She was old enough for unpacking a box to be the best game ever and so everything certainly took longer. Moving house is never going to be totally stress free but here are my top tips for reducing some of that stress.

Work out how long you think each task will take and add three hours
This is generally a good practise anyway when you have a child but now more than ever you really want to make sure you don’t run out of time and end up in a last minute panic.

Try to make it fun
If you are moving with a toddler then they will love to ‘help’. Try giving them their own box to pack or a duster to go around and do some ‘cleaning’. By getting them involved you will keep them on your side and hopefully avoid any tantrums in all the upheaval.

Pick your moments
Assuming you have a fair bit of notice as to when you’ll be moving, make sure that you use your time wisely in the run up to the big day. Use nap times for packing poxes and getting things done so that when your child is awake you can still give them attention and keep a sense of normality. The last thing you need is your kid going loopy because all they’ve seen for a month is cardboard boxes and packing tape.

Label all the boxes, in detail
As soon as you get into your new house, you’re going to need to know exactly where the bottles, the bedding and the pyjamas are. I always make sure that Darcie’s essentials are unpacked first so that we can at least get her sorted out and in bed before making a start on the rest of the chaos.

Accept help or ask for it
We are lucky in that we have an extremely helpful family who are always more than happy to help us in whatever way they can. We don’t usually have to ask for help as it’s probably already been offered. I’m not always good at accepting help but when it comes to moving house, ‘all hands on deck’ really is the best approach. Even if you just need a friend to watch the baby for a few hours while you pack up the kitchen, it really does make a huge difference not carrying the weight of it all on your shoulders.

Move at a good time of day for your child
I think it’s important not to mess up your child’s routine too much so try to work the day out around them. If you’re going far then maybe a good time of day would be to time it so that they nap on the way, or if you’re only going a short distance maybe move just before nap time so that they can sleep in the pram or cot (if you’ve found it) when you arrive. Or maybe if your child is a light sleeper it would be best to make sure they have napped first and then they will at least be happy while you are getting sorted. You know your child best and if you can move at a time that suits you and them, then make sure you organise it in a way that will be the least stressful for everybody.

Those are my top tips for moving house with a young child. I hope they have been helpful to some of you and good luck with the move!

 

 

Occasions & Milestones · Other Good Stuff

Where to Visit Santa Around Southampton 2017

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I know some people are still in denial about the impending arrival of Christmas, but not me. I’ve been ready for festivities since basically October, but now that we are in December I feel like it’s acceptable to start mentioning the Christmas word on the blog without getting too much aggro from any Scrooges out there. As a parent it really helps to be organised for Christmas, but this is where I tend to fall short. I love Christmas and I get so excited in the run up but when it actually comes to getting organised for the big day, I like to just put it off and have the inevitable Christmas Eve breakdown instead. This year once thing I am determined to do is to take Darcie to see Santa, she met him briefly at a baby group last year but this year she is so much more aware so I want to start a tradition of taking her to a proper Grotto to see Saint Nick. Luckily I’m spoilt for choice and Santa seems to be popping up in numerous places around Southampton, what a clever man to be in more than one place at once hey? I’ve listed some of the places you can find Mr Claus in Southampton this year so that we can all be organised parents together! Continue reading “Where to Visit Santa Around Southampton 2017”

Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones · Other Good Stuff

100 Elf on the Shelf Ideas

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Yep, you read that right, I have compiled a list of a hundred of my favourite Elf on the Shelf ideas! I’m not going to ramble on introducing this post because there is enough to be getting on with. So here goes…

Elf’s Arrival
Elf arrives on a parachute
Elf arrives with a note from Santa
Elf arrives on the doorstep with a big Christmas hamper for the family
Elf brings the advent calendars
Elf has put up the Christmas tree
Elf arrives on a hot air balloon
Elf arrives on the kitchen table and has written ‘Did you miss me?’ in Cheerios/Smarties
Elf arrives with a little suitcase
Elf is on the outside of the window and has written ‘help I’m locked out’ in the condensation
Elf is perched in the Christmas Wreath Continue reading “100 Elf on the Shelf Ideas”

DIY · Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones

DIY Alternative Advent Calendar for Toddlers

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Last year Darcie was only six months old when advent began, she had only just started weaning and so there was no way I was giving her a chocolate advent calendar. I decided to make her an alternative advent calendar that would contain a small toy or book for each day of advent so that she could still be involved in the festivities. The run up to Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year, especially since becoming a mum and I just love doing all sorts of festive things together. The advent calendar was such a success last year that I have decided to do the same again this year and probably every year, although we will have to see how it evolves as she gets older! One of the good thing about doing an advent calendar like this for younger children is that they get a small gift each day in the lead up to Christmas which means they can play with and enjoy each one separately without being bombarded with them all at once. The items I put in the advent calendar are similar to what you would put in a stocking so she just has a few stocking presents on Christmas day along with a couple of main presents. I think that is more than enough for an eighteen month old, especially seeing as our families are very generous to her as well! Continue reading “DIY Alternative Advent Calendar for Toddlers”

Breastfeeding · Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones

Self Soothing, No Tears

pexels-photo-54547.jpegMy daughter has recently turned 18 months old and I really can’t quite believe it. But the thing that actually shocks me more than her ever changing age is the fact that she has finally learnt to self soothe and put herself to sleep. For some people this will seem an odd thing to say. There are the people whose babies have been settling themselves to sleep since day dot, then there are the people who did sleep training to achieve this result and then there are the rest of us. The ‘I can’t bring myself to do sleep training so I’ll just accept a lifetime of little to no sleep and hope for the best’ gang.  Continue reading “Self Soothing, No Tears”

Mum Life · Occasions & Milestones · Reviews

Magic Santa Letter Review and Discount Code!

I know that some people will groan when they see me use the Christmas word on my blog when we’re not even quite in December. However, once you’re a parent I really don’t think there’s such a thing as being too organised for Christmas and what I’ve got to share with you today is definitely going to help you out with getting everything ready for the big day. Continue reading “Magic Santa Letter Review and Discount Code!”