Sunday, 22 May 2016

Two-year old essentials...well useful stuff!

Hi All

Today I thought I'd share with you some of the useful bits and bobs that we have for our little girl who turned two in January! These are just some things that have allowed us to move away from thinking of her as a 'baby' (along with all of the equipment we have been so used to!) and more towards a full-blown toddler! Hope you enjoy!





We finally made the leap from the main travel system pushchair we had, into a smaller, more compact buggy! We were reluctant to make the change only really due to getting the most out of our Silvercross travel system. We didn't feel it was necessary to make the change when we could still get use out of it but when the mechanism kept failing us when it came to taking the pushchair down, we gave up and invested in a more streamline model! I absolutely love this. It cost us £49.99 when we bought it...it's now back up to £99.99 but I'd definitely shop around if you like this one as the price varied everywhere you looked! It is so light and so compact, easy to steer-even one-handed, I am really impressed. It comes with the rain cover and you are able to recline it so that your little one can sleep if they wish. Online reviews were very mixed, as with all of the models we looked at and it was one of those items I think we just had to see how it worked for us. I don't think it will last us years, but then we hopefully won't need it for years! But for what we now use it for, as our little one wants to walk everywhere, it does the job. We also bought it with travelling abroad in mind too, we wanted something that was easier to manage but that was still comfortable to sit in or sleep in if needed. I have had no problems so far and love, love, love it!








Our Mother-in-law let us borrow one of these backpacks that she had bought to use with our little one when she looked after her...needless to say, it never went back! We loved it! It was perfect for the stage she is at. She doesn't need a full nappy bag anymore, there is just enough room for a couple of nappies, wipes, a drink and a snack....and even a very special cuddly toy and dummy that have to still go everywhere with her! The link above doesn't go to this exact one but one that is very similar. Our daughter loves the independence of having her own little backpack, the pocket at the front is where she likes to keep her little toys and the detachable rein is great if you need your child to be a little closer to you when they are getting to grips with their walking. Highly recommended...whether I will still only use this when potty training time comes I'm not sure...extra clothes may not fit in! But for now, it is perfect!








3. Potty training equipment!

That moves me swiftly onto the next couple of items! It's getting to that scary time! We tried to start potty training a few months ago but she didn't really take to it and so we are ready to try again in a few weeks. Wish us luck! Any tips would be gratefully received! We decided to just get the basics and if she really didn't take to it we would perhaps invest in something a little pricier. So we just have an IKEA potty and a toilet training seat from Poundstretcher. I think the potty was £2 and the toilet seat was £2.99. Our daughter has shown interest in both, especially the toilet seat as it has ducks on (not frogs as in the picture!) so fingers crossed it will be an easy process! I'm currently studying all the hints and tips I can find, being a first-time Mum, potty training scares the life out of me! Hopefully it will go smoothly!!



If you have a little toddler you will know that they can be very trying! We decided we would start a reward chart with our little one pretty soon. I wanted her to be used to it before we started potty training and she loves the idea of being rewarded with a sticker and then completing a full row means she gets a little treat. Don't get me wrong, we still have many trying times but it is working really well for us and she is now nearly 2 and a half. I just bought this one from Asda and it was only £1.60. It comes with loads of stickers and you can easily peel them off and start a row again when needed. At first, we started to be quite generous but then we held back and only used them to help with her behaviour or to get her to take responsibility for tidying her toys etc. We are still getting to grips with it but it is working for us so far!

5. Bed guard and gate



It's also 'big bed' time! I feel like the age of two is a time of many transitions! Some of which we have been prepared to make for a little while but life has taken over and now they are things on our 'to do' list! Our daughter has never tried to climb out of her cot but she is quite petite so I'm not sure she would attempt it anyway! However, I definitely feel like she is ready to have a bed now. She still has plenty of room but I just feel it is time. Trying to convince her Daddy has been harder than I thought! Anyway, we are prepared for when we do make the change. We bought another safety gate as we currently only have one at the bottom of the stairs. We are planning to put this on her room so she can get out of bed but not create mischief anywhere else before we get up!! We have bought another of the Lindam Sure Shut safety gates. We have found this works in our house and little hands can't work it out...not yet anyway! We also went for the BabyDan Wooden Bed Guard in white. This is a bit more expensive than your average bed guard but a friend recommended it who has the same cot bed as us. She had quite a bit of trouble with other bed guards fitting so we thought we'd just go for this one straight away! So....we're all ready when the time comes...

6. Numbers and Letters Puzzles

I cannot believe what our daughter learns on a daily basis! It is mad. We actually bought these items for her first Christmas as she was almost 1 but she is now able to not only do the puzzle unaided but start to pick up on her numbers and letters. We have also bought her countless sticker books and books that are continuing to help her with this but I love a good wooden toy. I'm old-fashioned like that! These were from Sainsbury's (Alphabet puzzle - can't find the number one sorry!) and were on offer when we bought them, in fact, they are often on offer so keep a look out if you fancy getting some for your little one or for a great gift.

7. Toys to spark the imagination!




Most of the above toys we bought our little one for Christmas or her birthday. How she plays with them though has really developed over the past few months. We love everything Disney in this house and so I was so excited to buy her the Disney 'Little People' Palace and the figurines. It is so sweet to now watch her put her Princesses to bed and get them out to have dinner together. Sitting watching her imagination when playing with them is fascinating and makes my heart melt on a daily basis! We also bought her an IKEA kitchen (apologies, can't find the link on their website) as anywhere we went before Christmas that had a kitchen, we struggled to get away from! Once again, it has really helped her imagination to develop. She will often play with her dolls, 'cook' us dinner, 'bake' cakes and 'make' us a cup of tea. The other toy that she has really loved playing with has been a doctors bag. In this case it was the Doc McStuffins bag but she also has a Fisher Price one too. She will actually pull this out and look after us if we are a bit under the weather and it can't help but make you smile. I'd definitely recommend toys that toddlers are able to play with on their own and help them to develop their imagination at this age.

8. Picture Books


We have always had story time as part of our bedtime routine but I've definitely noticed a change in what our daughter enjoys reading over the past few months. She still loves her touchy-feely books and lift-the-flap books but she loves a good story now. One of our absolute favourites recently has been 'Barry the fish with fingers!' by Sue Hendra. I think we can all recite it without having it in front of us! Definitely recommend it. It can be hard to find the right length of books as some of the picture books can be quite long. A series like The Gruffalo can also be great as the rhyme makes the story seem a lot shorter and keeps them engaged for the time it takes to read it. Another of our faves!


There we go! Those are my current favourites or essentials for our little two-year old! Every child develops at their own rate and may potty train earlier or move into a big bed later, but I hope it has been helpful to perhaps prepare for this age! This is my first child so I am definitely learning as I go. Please feel free to mention any favourites that you may have below for your little toddlers and I will be back with another post soon!

Thanks for reading!
xx

Saturday, 14 May 2016

I've joined Bloglovin'!

Hi All

Image result for bloglovin

I've joined Bloglovin' and would love it if you would follow me. Trying to find lots of other fab blogs to follow myself. Please leave any suggestions of other Mummy and Lifestyle blogs below!


Thanks in advance!
xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Mini Mummy Triumphs

Hi All

I was going to write a huge long post about what we got up to yesterday, a typical 'at home' day....but then life took over! I will leave that for another day but here are a few highlights....

Mummy triumphs:
  • My daughter ate cereal...we may have finally broken the porridge obsession...
  • I managed to deep clean the bathroom and sort out the ridiculous amount of toiletries I had...
  • I made my toddler giggle her head off when pretending we were speaking to many of her favourite characters on her Tomliboo phone (a cuddly Tomliboo she has that she decided was a phone yesterday...!)...
  • My little fussy eater ate every last bit of her tea...
  • I cooked tea for the hubster...
  • I managed to do the dusting, tidied up, washed up and get two loads of laundry done...
Mummy fails:
  • The cereal was Coco Pops...Mummy guilt that it wasn't Muesli.
  • My deep clean revealed I need another three deep cleans to make anyone notice my bathroom has been deep cleaned.
  • I wouldn't let missy keep all of her toys in her cot when trying to get her to nap....noisy books and toys were bound to wake her if she rolled onto them during her sleep (I say that as if it lasted long!)
  • My anxiety over her eating is still sky high...trying to stay positive.
  • Tea for hubby was just something I shoved in the oven from the freezer...I'm no Nigella.
  • I'm sat here looking at the house again wondering what I actually achieved yesterday...all of the above needed once more...and it wasn't acknowledged it was done in the first place.
The joys of motherhood!

Hope you had a more productive day! Hopefully my next post will be a little more positive...think I am in need of a good night's sleep....
xx

Saturday, 7 May 2016

BBC Series - In the Club

Hi All

I sat down with a cup of tea yesterday and decided to watch the BBC programme 'In the Club' that started on Tuesday evening at 9pm. I had no idea that it was the second series and so I have some catching up to do but I thought I'd share what my first thoughts were as it is 'Mummy' related!



The programme follows the lives of about 8 women who are either expectant Mums or already Mums, whether it be their first or third child. It also suggested that we may also get a little insight into the father's role too which is often forgotten about and I'm looking forward to watching. I'm not going to reveal any spoilers but if you are a Mum already or expecting a baby then I can guarantee you will enjoy it. I was expecting a comedy that was full of stereotypes of motherhood but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was much more 'gritty' than that. The way the feelings of the women in different situations were explored was excellent. Not only did it add to the enjoyment of the programme but it made it visually exciting to watch. How a new Mum feels in the first year of motherhood, how an expectant Mum may be feeling awaiting a scan and the results from that, how a Mum who hasn't got the support from a partner or family at home might feel. All were explored and I could relate to almost every single one of the characters at some stage, and this was just the first episode! It was nice to watch a programme and actually feel like it was 'real', that it perhaps showed issues that other programmes/films may stay clear of and decided to tackle them head on, and I think many women watching will have breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they weren't alone in how they felt, or do feel during the puzzling world of being a Mum!

As you can tell, I really enjoyed it! Give it a go on Tuesday night, be warned, you may need tissues...or can I still just blame my hormones for my shot emotions!!

**All opinions in this post are my own and I do not wish to offend anyone at all.**

Thanks for reading!
xx

Friday, 6 May 2016

Entertaining a two-year old - Reading #1

Hi All


One of the biggest challenges I am having with my little girl at the moment is keeping her entertained. I don't know if this is something that all toddlers go through, whether they are just in need of more stimulation or if it is just that they are becoming more demanding but finding new things for us to do together is at the top of my list at the moment! I thought I'd do a few posts on this over the next few weeks and would love to hear about how you entertain your little ones too.



This post is all about reading or engagement with books. This is something that I am very passionate about personally before I became a Mum. I am a big reader and love many different genres of writing. The skills that children develop when reading or even just engaging with books at a young age are so important. We have always read to our little one and it is now a firm fixture to our routine each night. Seeing her now pick up a book, tell us what is happening on each page and trying to read it to us in her own little way is so rewarding. Seeing her go and pick up a book of her own accord and 'read' it to her dolls is also the cutest thing.

I have popped my top five tips below on how to encourage your little ones to read for entertainment....by no means am I an expert! These are just things that have worked for us that you could try if this is something you'd like to do with your little ones:
  1. Create a routine to read - this could be at night or before nap time, it can also really help to calm them down when they are having a moment or two!
  2. Visit the library - we have always visited the library since she was a baby as we took advantage of the free baby sessions they have but this gets them used to a calm environment and the chance to explore lots of different books again and again.
  3. Be silly and let go! - young children love it when their Mummy and Daddy let go and are silly with them. Do the voices, sing the songs and get them to do it with you. Reading should be fun!
  4. Interaction - especially for young children, get books that they can interact with, touch and feel books, lift-the-flaps, sound books, bright colours and ask them questions as you go along and as they get older.
  5. Involve them - get them to choose the books, if they are old enough of course, let them take ownership of them and encourage them to be independent readers, even if it isn't quite reading just yet!
We've found that the above have really helped her to develop a love for reading, at least at the moment anyway! We have been reading some of her favourites to her since she was a baby, some are more recent additions. She absolutely loves rhyming books and will often join in saying the last words of sentences as we are reading. If you'd be interested to read a top 10 books for babies/toddlers kind of post then please let me know in the comments.


I could talk about books all day so I'm going to finish this post here! I hope it helps and definitely is one of our forms of entertainment for our little one. Also one that is relatively quiet and mess-free!


Thanks for reading!
xx

Thursday, 5 May 2016

My World....

Hi All

As promised, my 'Introduction' post! I thought it best to start here and let you know who is in my 'Mummy world' with me. I'd love to hear who you are and what your world looks like too so please feel free to comment below!

I am 32 years old and I am currently a stay at home Mum. I have recently left quite a stressful job and may tell you a little bit more about that in the future. I am in the process of looking for part-time work, as much as I'd love to be able to stay at home permanently we need to be able to pay the bills! I am a very creative person, I love to craft, scrapbooking mainly but I have dabbled in cross-stitch and crochet in the past, and I love to write. My dream would be to write a book and be published and I have a few ideas that I'm working on at the moment. Everyone has to have a dream right?! Besides from that, I love everything Disney and can't wait to take our little one to Disneyland Paris in the near future. My other passion is for planning and organising. I have a love for all kinds of stationery but planners are a guilty pleasure! I am definitely also the organiser of things, events, holidays, parties...a compulsive list-writer who plans down to the very last detail...not always a good thing!

I am a first-time Mummy to my gorgeous little girl who is now 2 years old. I cannot believe where that time has gone! I am currently stumbling through the 'toddler' years which I'm sure many of you will be able to relate to! We are really lucky that, on the whole, she is such a happy little girl and we are so blessed to have her. Miss Bossy Boots is her new nickname however...not sure who she takes after...and she is so independent. It amazes me how much she learns each day and seeing the change in her is mind-blowing! Don't get me wrong....she has her moments! Often a fussy eater, tantrums galore and a strong-minded little one can be tough to deal with! But being a Mum is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm sure I will share both sides equally on this blog...the reality of being a Mum is hard work!

I have been married to my husband for nearly 6 years but we have been together for almost 13. He works full-time and is super supportive, loving and caring. Soppy alert....I definitely married my best friend and he is always there when I need him. I definitely count my blessings, even on those tough days when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel! He may leave clothes lying about, not get round to doing jobs for six months and have an unhealthy obsession in Marvel figurines but I love him all the same!


 
 
 

 
We love going on family days out and spending time together. However, we are very much the home-bods too! We love just staying in at home and playing, reading, crafting and baking together. I must also introduce our furry-baby too. He is nearly 14 and puts up with a lot with a two-year old running around! Our home just wouldn't be the same without him though and I always think a cuddle with your cat always makes things better at the end of a tough day!



So that is us in a nutshell! I am hoping to get into a routine of blog posts and to try and find the right balance between 'Mummy' things and just life in general! Keep with me as I try and find a way that works for me! I'd love to hear more about you below and what you would like to see on this blog and I will try to accommodate as much as I can!

Thanks for reading!
xx

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A new blog...this time a Mummy one!

Hi All


I have dabbled in the world of blogging many times in the past, mostly in the crafting world but sometimes exploring more of the lifestyle genre. This time I've decided to focus on the Mummy world! My life has changed so much over the past three years and I now have some time to be able to commit to other things and enjoy blogging once again!

This little blog will give you a bit of an insight into my life as a Mummy, but also help me to realise that I am still there underneath it, that my interests and who I am is still super important in order to be happy. I will try to show you a little bit of everything that goes on in my little world and I hope that you will enjoy it.

My plan is to update this regularly and to share my Mummy world with you. I will start with my Introduction post over the next day or so and see how it all goes! I have some ideas for future posts already and I hope that you will enjoy reading them.

So here goes! Wish me luck!

xx