4/30/2016

Project 365 - Week 17



24th April - 30rd April



24/04/16


25/04/16


26/04/16


27/04/16


28/04/16


29/04/16


30/04/16

Well I think I jynxed us all last week by praising the lovely weather and how much we've been enjoying it. This week was a stark contrast to last as we had awful weather, rain, snow, hail, the works! We've spent more time than I'd like indoors but we've had lots of fun none the less. We've done arts and crafts, had the play doh out, baked cakes, read books and curled up and watched movies together. We've also seen lots of our family too so that's always a plus! Here's hoping that next week will be more pleasant! 

What have you been up to this week?


4/29/2016

Introducing aden the new range by aden + anais - Competition


Global baby brand aden + anais, the creators of the award winning muslin swaddle announce the launch of aden by aden + anais, a new brand that unites the magic of muslin baby products with affordable pricing.

Raegan Moya-Jones co-founder of aden + anais - “We believe that soft, breathable muslin is the only fabric you should use on your babies. We also believe that every parent and caregiver should have access to this “wonder fabric” and its benefits—which is why we introduced the aden by aden + anais collections. By creating similar products to our aden + anais range with just minor adjustments, we are able to make the calming assurance of muslin accessible to everyone everywhere.”

Made from muslin and woven with 100% cotton, the aden product collection features a unique fabrication that is extra-soft, breathable, and durable. It is gentle on babies’ skin, stays soft wash after wash, and stands the test of time. aden by aden + anais is now available exclusively at Babies R Us. Products retail between £7.49 and £29.99.

Ensure your little one is snug and secure with the Safari Friends Swaddleplus, featuring four delicate patterns. Made with breathable, soft material, these swaddle blankets reduce the risk of baby overheating, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing night’s sleep. The swaddle is generously sized to fit around your baby, even as they grow bigger. This swaddle promises a good night’s sleep for both parent and baby.

Also comes in two other pack designs; Light Hearted and Small Fry. 



Musy Squares 5-pack - RRP £19.90

These perfectly sized muslin squares works as hard as you do. They go from security blankets to makeshift bib to burp cloth in no time. Made from breathable fabric to reduce the risk of your baby overheating and get softer each time you wash them, it’s no wonder these muslin cloths are so popular, an essential item for feeding and winding!





Burpy Bibs  - RRP £7.49

Made with 100% cotton muslin, this Aden Safari Friends Giraffe Burpy Bib keeps you and your baby clean. The generously sized, absorbent fabric drapes over your baby’s shoulders and snaps at the back for a breathable bib that catches the sneakiest of side dribbles. It also doubles as a no-slip burp cloth with its kidney shape that sits over your shoulder. An essential item for feeding and winding, the muslin is pre-washed so it’s super soft from the start.



aden + anais is a brand that I've loved ever since Noah was born and a brand that I still support now and continue to recommend to other parents. To celebrate the launch of their new range I have a set of SwaddlePlus swaddles worth £29.90 to give away in the winners choice of design. To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

set of SwaddlePlus Swaddles worth £29.90

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. 1 winner will receive 1 set of SwaddlePlus in their choice of design.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 07/06/16 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

Mummy & Me - April



It's that time of the month, Mummy & Me time!

April saw Noah and I spending lots of time outdoors come rain or shine. We had lots of one on one time and took lots and lots of selfie's! Out of all the photo's we took this month I just had to choose this one because for once Noah is smiling instead of being silly or ignoring the camera! Dark circles and crows feet as side, I quite like this photo of the munchkin and I. 


Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

4/28/2016

5 Tips for Fussy Eaters



With picky eaters, parents often decide early on that they just aren't up for the battle. You manage to get them to school on time, with name labels in all their clothing, shoes, and school supplies, and honestly that just seems like it should qualify us for Parent of the Year sometimes. But family dinner is one routine we often hear we "should" do that we really can do. It helps expose children to a wide range of foods, develops family relationships, and helps develop good eating habits.

Here are a few tips on 
how to make that family dinner dream come true.

1. Compromise on time

We all want our children (and us!) to get enough sleep, but that's no reason to move dinner to 5:30. If two parents are working, they're hard pressed to get a proper meal prepared, served, and done by 5:30. Evening routines are important for some children, but have a look at yours and see what can be changed so that your dinner isn't ruled by the scheduling needs of a 5-year-old. Nightly bath? Not necessary for children. Cut it to a few times a week with sponge baths in between, and have regular baths occur earlier.

2. Involve kids in the menu and learn to cook veg

Serving plain steamed broccoli or canned peas is not the only way to expose kids to vegetables. By learning to cook a few vegetable-based mains, you'll expand everyone's horizons and develop a taste for healthful foods. Children often refuse food just because they want to be independent, but they respond to being involved in creating a meal. Plus, they like food with funny names. How about green pancakes for dinner? Cut steamed broccoli into small bits, mix with herbs, cheese, egg, lemon zest, and enough flour to get the mixture to stick together. Fry in butter. Everyone wins.

3. Don't offer too many choices

Remember that you are the parent. If you regularly offer five choices that all fall into the "kids' menu" category, you'll set up a habit that will be hard to break. Offer no more than two choices and figure out how to make your own versions of their favorites.

4. Pick your battles

Incorporate your child's needs into how you cook a proper dinner. If your child likes chicken, but hates it "with spots", ie herbs, roast pieces very simply and create a separate sauce. That way, you and your partner can enjoy your beloved Dijon mustard-tarragon chicken, while your child gets a spot-free meal.

If you think about what your child eats in terms of a weekly intake, rather than day to day, the task of developing broad tastes and a healthful diet will seem more manageable. Some days it will be hard to get them to take a bite, but the next day it might be easy, so don't be too hard on yourself if Monday ends up being cheese sandwich night. With a little give-and-take, you can make a habit of family dinner. And between that and those cute name labels, you really will deserve Parent of the Year status.

- Do you have any tips that you would like to share?

- This is a PR Collaboration 

4/27/2016

My First Baby Annabell Let's Play #NationalBabyDay - Review & Competition



On the 2nd of May it's #NationalBabyDay and to celebrate the occasion Zapf kindly sent a doll from their new SS16 range for us to review, the My First Baby Annabell Let's Play. I believe that all toys are gender neutral and that toys are toys and shouldn't be generalised into genders so I couldn't wait for her to arrive as I knew that Noah would have lots of imaginative fun with her. 



My First Baby Annabell is a lovely interactive doll. She suckles from her bottle and once it's empty you can wind her and she burps! You can also tickle her under her arms to make her giggle and if you hold her above your head she laughs wildly. After all the fun if you lay her down she will then close her eyes and go soundly to sleep, ahhh. The My First Baby Annabell is pint sized perfection and would be ideal as a first doll for anyone's child. 

The Baby Annabell range is a family favourite when it comes to dolls and it's no surprise as to why. Their dolls are incredibly life like, well made and robust. Their creations focus on the social and emotional bonding side of parenting and encourages both empathy and the sense of responsibility too. It really is a joy to watch your child play make believe and role play with them.


My First Baby Annabell Let's Play costs £29.99 and comes fully dressed in a romper suit and hat and a bottle and little sheep is included too. How would you like to win one? To enter simply use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitionsMy First Baby Annabell Let's Play

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. 1 winner will receive 1 My First Baby Annabell Let's Play.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 05/06/16 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

4/26/2016

Our Little Adventurer



Without a shadow of a doubt Noah's favourite place to be is outdoors. Come rain or shine there's nowhere else he'd rather be. As soon as he has his wellies and his big coat on he knows it's time to explore.

Give him a couple of stones, a twig or two and a big muddy puddle and he would be set for the day, it's all he needs. I love this about Noah. I love that in such a plastic fantastic and gadget orientated world that he can still take pleasure in the little things, the little things that made our childhoods so magical. 



When we come home with mud splattered jeans and wind burnt faces we know that we've had a great day and made some lasting memories together.

Does your child love the great outdoors?


4/25/2016

My Given Name Personalised Book - Review & Competition



Personalised children's books are amongst my favourite things and over the past few years Noah has amassed quiet the collection. With this in mind when I was contacted asking if we would like to review the My Given Name personalised children's book I happily obliged and was so excited for it's arrival. 



My Given Name was born with the idea in mind of providing a truly personalised children's book which offers just that little bit more too. They aimed to create the perfect personalised book but also one that had a positive effect on a child's life. Positive affirmations are used throughout the book to help make the reader feel better and to help create positive attitudes and thinking patterns. They say their books are a fun and magical way to introduce your child to positive thinking. Not only is the book filled with positive messages but it's also a very bright and attractive book, one that a toddler and a child would both enjoy.




The main character in the story is called Bindee and he is a stork. His mission is to deliver a baby home and that baby of course is the child you personalise the book for. On the journey to collect your baby he meets different animals and each animal has a very special, positive and personal message to share. These animals and their messages form the letters that create the child's given name and is the heart of the story.

I obviously personalised the book for Noah so I chose a boy with blonde hair and blue eyes and the animals we met in our story were a Numbat, Owl, Aardvark and Hippo! The name of your child will determine the animals you will meet and the positive affirmations you will receive.


We love our My Given Name book and think that everything they wanted to achieve when creating these books were certainly met. This is a book we are going to treasure and one that we are going to read for years to come. The hardback version of this book costs £23.90 and can be ordered directly from www.mygivenname.com.

How would you like to win your own personalised My Given Name book? To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to
enter my other blog competitions.

Personalised Book from My Given Name

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 

1. 1 winner will receive 1 personalised book.
2. Prize supplied directly from the company. 
3. Competition ends 30/05/16 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.


                                                                    

4/23/2016

Project 365 - Week 16



17th April - 23rd April

17/04/16

18/04/16

19/04/16

20/04/16


21/04/16


22/04/16


23/04/16

As you can see by our photo's we've had a wonderful week! The sun was out so we slapped on some suncream and spent most the week enjoying every moment of it! We played in the garden, splashed in the water table, had picnics on the grass and it was perfect. My Mum came to visit on Tuesday and we took a walk to the park and had ice cream which was a highlight of our week. Noah's best friend from next door visited a lot too and it was a pleasure to watch them play together and boss one another around, haha. The weather at the weekend hasn't been the best so far so I'm hoping that that isn't our Summer over and done with before it's even begun!

What have you been up to this week?



4/21/2016

Win 1 of 3 Organix Weaning Bundles #RealFoodFace - Competition

I thought I would pick up where I left off yesterday where I shared Organix recent survey findings and weaning tips from the experts, you can read that post here or search the hashtag #RealFoodFace

We weaned Noah what feels like a lifetime ago when in reality it was only 2 years ago now. His expressions or should I say his #RealFoodFace played a big part in what foods I thought he would like and which he wouldn't but I didn't let that stop me introducing new foods to him. He's now almost two and a half and will eat pretty much anything you put on his plate and I think that is all down to offering a wide variety of food as soon as weaning begun. 



Organix has created weaning foods with a variety of tastes, shapes and textures to encourage your baby’s curiosity about food. For little ones at the start of their journey Organix offers a variety of simple and natural first tastes in baby cereals and fruit pots, to more challenging flavours and textures as your baby moves on. Their finger foods come in lots of different shapes and sizes to encourage your little one to pick them up and learn to feed themselves. All its foods come with the Organix No Junk Promise, a stamp of reassurance that they are made with the best organic ingredients, and contain no unnecessary additives so your little one gets great tasting food, without the junk. 


To help your little one on their very own weaning journey I've teamed up with Organix to offer 3 lucky winners a £20 bundle of their baby foods. To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions.


1 of 3 Organix Weaning Bundles

                                                                 t&c- 
1. 3 winners will each receive a £20 Organix weaning bundle.
 
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 29/05/16 

4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 

5. UK entries only.

4/20/2016

Top Weaning Tips & Ideas with Organix #RealFoodFace



A survey, launched last week by leading baby food brand Organix, reveals that one of the biggest barriers to introducing new foods during weaning is baby’s facial expression in response to new tastes. It can be challenging to introduce new foods during weaning and the faces babies pull can be interpreted by parents as disgust or dislike at what they are trying, which can make it all the harder.


The Organix weaning survey reveals
:
* More than half (55%) of mums say a baby’s facial expression puts them off trying to encourage their baby to like a new taste and flavour.
* 49% say it’s a struggle to keep babies interested in food.
* 42% say they find it hard to get babies to try new foods during weaning.

From sweet carrot to sour lemon and bitter broccoli, weaning is the beginning of a taste adventure, the first opportunity for your baby to explore and experience taste sensations. Evidence shows that it can take between 10 and 15 times to introduce a new food or flavour and that learning about food is all about familiarity and repetition. So by understanding more about their babies’ facial expressions, parents are likely to feel more confident about introducing new foods.

In response to the research, Organix has commissioned Vivien Sabel, Clinical Psychotherapist and body language expert, to help parents interpret and understand their little one’s facial expressions, rather than being put off.


Top tips from Vivien Sabel, Clinical Psychotherapist and body language expert:
* Look out for all of your baby’s non-verbal cues and expressions, they can support your baby and you through weaning and trying new foods.
* Observe your baby’s expression and mirror it back to your baby as a way of saying you understand their communication.
* Remember babies do what babies see! They are like sponges and soak up everything you do, if you look like you’re enjoying the food, your baby is likely to copy you.* The more time you spend observing your baby the more you’ll understand what they’re communicating.


It can be challenging to keep offering new foods and coming up with new and inspiring ideas to tempt little ones, but it’s important as those first tastes during weaning help define a child’s future relationship with food. The Organix survey found:
* 63% of mums say it’s stressful to think of different foods for your baby to try.
* 57% say it’s a challenge to encourage little ones to try a wide range of tastes.

To help inspire parents Organix’ children’s food expert Lucy Thomas has lots of simple, fun activities to help introduce new taste sensations to babies. Here you can see how vlogger Charlie O’Brien put some of them to the test with her son Noah https://www.youtube.com/user/Organixfood


Ideas for Weaning Fun – by Lucy Thomas, Organix’ Children’s Food Expert:
* Finger popping purée: have some fun with Organix fruit pots and explore new tastes and textures at the same time. Dip your fingertips into the pot so they’re covered in the brightly coloured purée (Organix Apple & Blueberry is lovely and bright), then suck the purée off your fingers with a loud popping sound followed by a big smile. Then help your baby do the same - if easier pop a spoonful of purée on their highchair tray for them to dip their fingers in.

* Matching pairs: match a finger food with a purée, such as Organix carrot sticks as a dipper with carrot purée, you could try a soft cooked carrot baton too. It’s a great way to offer the same vegetable in lots of different ways for baby to try without masking the real flavour.
* Tiny taste explorer: offer your baby small taste experiences throughout the day, to introduce them to new tastes. Try a lick of the lemon slice from your water, a sprinkle of cinnamon on their apple purée, a hint of curry powder in their parsnip mash or a pinch of nutmeg in some Organix banana porridge.
* Mirror image: babies are fascinated by their reflection, even though they can’t recognise themselves! Hold a mirror in front of them whilst they’re eating or holding a finger food, it’s a great activity when you’re introducing something new, watch how their expression changes.


Do you have any tips or ideas you would like to share? 

- In collaboration with Organix. 

4/19/2016

Our Potty Training Journey & Potty Training Tips



Forget the weaning, the sleeping through, the learning to walk or the tantrums, the development stage which worried me the most was the prospect of potty training. All I'd ever heard was how hard and stressful the whole process was so with that drilled into my head I was dreading it before we had even begun. I shouldn't have listened because our potty training experience has so far been a walk in the park.

First of all let me start by saying I'm no expert when it comes to potty training, not by a long shot. Noah is my first child, this is the first time I've potty trained a child and he isn't dry at night time just yet. With that aside I thought I would share some of the things which have helped us a long the way and to hopefully put other parents minds at ease because potty training doesn't need to be stressful for either you or your toddler.


1. Wait until they are ready.
Potty training is not age linked, there's no age that you should start or a set age they should be fully dry by, so don't worry. It's all about when your child is ready and showing signs. If they aren't showing signs don't push them, they'll be ready soon.

For us we knew when Noah was ready because he started showing signs such as hiding when he was going to have a poo, telling me when he was having a wee and asking to use the toilet.

2. Introduce the potty.
Another important step I think is introducing the potty at the right time, too soon can cause upset or confusion and too late they just might not be bothered with it at all. 

Once Noah showed the signs of being ready to potty train we bought a potty and placed it in the corner of the living room. For the next week we let Noah run around the house bare bottom and every time he said he needed a wee I would remind him about the potty and he would toddle over to it himself, sit down and have a wee. He would then get a cheer and a round of applause and hearing the encouragement and seeing the smiles on our faces seemed to make it all click into place. He's never needed much persuasion when using the potty or toilet and I think that is due to starting when he was ready and by creating a positive association with the potty from the get go. 

3. Accidents are no big deal.
I've seen and heard parents and grandparents being quite firm with their child when they have an accident and I personally don't think that's the way to go at all. They need to have accidents to learn, it's all part of the process.

On the rare occasion Noah has has an accident we usually say "nevermind sweetheart, next time we will do it in the potty" and just brush it off. I've never wanted to create a negative association and I think that's really helped Noah a long the way.

4. Skip the training pants.
Training pants or pull ups are often recommended to parents but I think they feel too similar to nappies. I didn't want to confuse Noah with it so we skipped this stage all together. We went from bare bottom to underpants in about two weeks and we haven't looked back, it worked for us.

5. Let them choose their own underwear.
I think that including your little one in making decisions like this really encourages them and makes them feel more involved. Noah's favourites are his Thomas & Friends vest and matching undies which he chose himself, he looks so cute in them too!

6. Buy a personalised potty training book.
We have a personalised Pirate Pete potty training book from Penwizard and I feel it adds more excitement and fun to their potty training journey. It would also be great to look into if your child just needs that extra little nudge in the right direction or they are a bit wary of the potty.


Do you have any potty training tips you would like to share?
Or perhaps you would like to share your potty training experience with me?

4/18/2016

March Degustabox - Review & Competition



We've been working with Degustabox for quite some time now and as I've mentioned before receiving our box each month is something we really look forward to. Once it's arrived my son and I usually take it into the living room and unpack it together, it's always so exciting to see what's inside and we've never been disappointed.


March's Degustabox lived up to expectations as it was full to the brim with exciting products to try:

1. Brioche Pasquier - £1.40
2. Weetabix On The Go - 2x £1.50
3. Good Hemp Original - £1.49
4. Metcalfe's Skinny Popcorn - £1.50
5. Kent's Kitchen Stuffing - £1.85
6. Chewits - 4x 35p

7. Parle Biscuits - 2x 59p / 39p
8. Pipers Cheddar & Onion Crisps - £2.00
9. Lindt Chocolate Bunny - £2.99
10. Kallo Multigrain Cakes - x2 £1.89 / £1.00
11. Karyatis Meze To Go - £1.99

There was such a varied selection of products within last months box that I don't really know where to begin, there was a little something for everyone! The Brioche and Weetabix On The Go made easy to grab breakfasts for my partner who's always in a rush in the mornings. The Lindt Chocolate Bunny and Hide and Seek biscuits made a yummy after dinner treat for Noah. Myself I really enjoyed the Pipers Crisps for a treat with my lunch and the Karyatis Meze To Go was absolutely heavenly!




A box costs £12.99 per month but if you would like to try it for the first time use the code BLDEG15 at the checkout to receive a whooping £6.00 off!

Not only have I got that wonderful voucher code for you to use but I also have a competition for you too! How would you like to win your very own Degustabox? I have three up for grabs! Enter below for your chance to win! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

1 of 3 Degustabox
t&c- 
1. 1 prize to 3 winners (Winners will receive June's box) 

2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 

3. Competition ends 27/05/16 

4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 

5. UK entries only.