Still looking for Christmas gifts? Check out the choices I made for some of my friends and family!

This week I was gifted a few items by Paladone when they kindly asked if I wanted to receive something as a present for Christmas.

They sell so many wonderful items and there’s always something for everyone.

I picked out three things with certain people in mind which I will wrap and gift them this Christmas.

These are the three items ready for wrapping and sending to the North pole so that Father Christmas can bring them back with him. (Or that’s what we tell the boys!)

a picture showing three gifts, a star wars lamp, a enchanted rose lamp and a fun graffiti light to use with a smartphone

Star Wars Gifts

The first item is for a star wars lover! This Tie Fighter desk lamp is perfect for my Star Wars obsessed hubby! I hope he doesn’t read this…..I don’t think he will!

It’s USB powered so when sitting on a desk work area won’t take another plug, just plug it in to a USB outlet. Why am I always running short of plugs? If you are not then you could always use a USB plug adaptor instead if you’re putting it in an area with no computer.

The Smartphone Light Graffiti can is going to be given to my 7 year old. He had an iPad for his birthday this year so this is something he would love to play with.

For this gift you use a long exposure app to write words or draw pictures with the tiny can. The app captures what you are drawing and makes it look like a graffiti art without actually making any mess!

Disney Gift

The fabulous Disney Enchanted Rose Light from Beauty and the Beast  by Paladone is a very special choice for a friend of mine. She adores the film and this is going to be perfect for her. It’s USB powered meaning it’ll look amazing on her desk while she’s working away at the computer. I know she’s going to love it.

a beautiful rose stands in a glass dome with some petals falling off

Some of my other favourite items by Paladone are in the Harry Potter section. There are some beautiful gifts for fans of the books and films. Unfortunately in this house my boys haven’t caught on to Harry Potter yet despite my best efforts so those gifts would be a waste for now. I’ll save buying Harry Potter items for another year. Or maybe I should buy them for myself!

With grateful thanks to Paladone foe helping me to tick some people off my list!

 

 

Dear Roo,

Well little guy, now you are one. I’m not sure where the year has gone?

Happy Birthday!

It seems like only last week you were born. I love watching your birth back. It was so special. I’m sad I’ll never do it again. As you grow though and we say goodbye to the baby stages my love for you grows and grows. You made us complete, you made us a five.

picture of a baby in a pushchair looking happy

I made you a birthday video. It’s so you can see how you’ve grown. I loved looking back at the last year and all the fun we’ve had. I had so much to include but had to edit lots out. I hope that when you are older and watch it back you will see how much you are loved by everyone.

Always remember mummy and daddy love you always and forever xx

I can’t believe it’s a month since my last post. There was good reason for the gap and that’s because we’ve been away. We’ve just got back from our favourite place in the world…Walt Disney World!

The whole family with Goofy at Walt Disney world

My love of Walt Disney World started in 2004 on my first trip. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to go back 10 times, including our honeymoon.

We first started taking the boys when Thomas was just 16 months old (obviously he was our only boy back then as he’s the oldest). This was Thomas’ 4th trip to Walt Disney World. I try to make sure he realises how lucky he is to be able to visit such an amazing place.

If you haven’t been to WDW it’s hard to explain the hold it has on you once you’ve been to experience the magic. We are absolutely addicted.

This year we had booked two weeks at the Beach Club resort staying club level. We had never stayed at the Beach club before but knew we were in for a treat with the resort facilities. The Beach club has the best pool on Disney property (if you don’t count the water parks). Staying club level meant we had access to the club level lounge at certain time for snacks and drinks. This is something I will cover in a later vlog.

For now I have managed to edit and go live with our travel day vlog. I’m already onto editing all the other days. I took a lot of footage so it’s taking a while to go through it all! However I am loving the memories I’ve captured.

We travelled from Manchester Airport to Orlando International airport on a Thomas Cook flight in the Premium Cabin. Roo is too young for a seat so he travelled on my knee for the flight.

The flight was roughly 9 hours in duration and we arrived in Orlando late afternoon.

We are already missing the place like crazy! Roll on the next trip!

Give the gift of Floof It’s October so surely I’m allowed to talk about Christmas now?

Most people who know me well know that I adore the Christmas time. Every year I can’t wait to get started with the planning. I love buying gifts for people. I adore the day itself. Made even more magical now that I have my own children to make magic for.

So in the run up to Christmas time I will be sharing review posts of items I have agreed to test out. The reviews will always be my own work. I will not be paid for the posts. This is my blog so I can write what I like. All the items I review will either be bought by myself or sent to me (with prior agreement) and I will personally try them all and let everyone know what I think of them.

picture of floof box

Without further ado I’ll jump right into the first thing I’ve agreed to review…Floof! Yes I know it’s an odd name but to be fair it’s quite catchy. I can tell you are probably sat there now repeating it in your head..Floof..Floof….Floof!

picture of floof mr and mrs snowman set box

So what is Floof?

The official description is: Floof is a marshmallow-like molding material that has to be felt to be believed. This kinetic toy is as soft as a pillow, as light as a cloud, and as malleable as clay. Use it for fidgeting, building, or as a pure tactile treat. Since Floof never dries out, you can always keep some out and ready to play.

So to get hands on with some Floof I’ve been playing with the Builders set and the Mr and Mrs Snowman set.

picture of the inside contents of floof builder set, which has a play tray, a packet of floof and 4 tools to build with.

 

It’s recommended for ages 3 and up, but thankfully it’s non-toxic so no need to worry if you have younger ones around that get hold of it. Obviously with any substance I’d advise using it under adult supervision.It’s really hard to describe what floof feels like. It’s similar to a mixture of the kinetic sand stuff and the fake snow at Christmas.

Hand full of fluffy floof

I like it, it feels soft and squeezy.

squeezed ball of floof

One of the massive bonuses for me is that it doesn’t dry out. So you can leave it out or leave the lid off and it’s all still fine and ready to use again and again.

Inside the Mr and Mrs Snowman Floof kit you get a packet of Floof, a snowy scene background and some snowman accessories.

In the Floof builders kit you get a packet of Floof,a play tray (which I think is great for younger children over 3). As well as some tools to use with Floof.

 

Clean Up Carpet Test!

Now if you are a mum reading this you’re probably thinking that’s all well and good but does it get stuck in the carpet? I can report that I did a test and no it doesn’t! Hip hip hurrah! I even managed to vacuum it up very successfully when I’d finished the carpet test!

floof on the carpet all rubbed in

Now you see it (my best effort to actually rub it in too!)

plain carpet after floof is all vacuumed up

Now you don’t!

Would I recommend it? As an alternative to any other kind of moldable dough yes absolutely. The downside I’d say is that it only comes in one colour. However for the fact that it never dries out and it can be cleaned up very very easily (this part is the winner!) then it’s a hit with me! It also feels lovely too, I can imagine little ones who like to feel new textures will love Floof! There are various sets of Floof available at different price points which would make a great stocking filler and give little ones something to do.

Having three children keeping on top of skin care needs to be quick and easy. Nobody in our house wants to be spending ages with creams and rubbing, they want to be off to the next toy or game.

So with that in mind I’ve written a list of the top tips around skin care I’ve learnt over my years of being a parent.

5 Top Skin Care Tips

  1. Baths – Unless your child is covered in something sticky or icky then don’t bath them everyday. From the moment they are born the skin produces amazing natural oils to protect itself. Bathing excessively washes these off, leaving the skin prone to drying out. We usually bath the boys once every other day. Unless of course they look like they’ve been in a pile of mud!Three boys in a bath all soapy
  2. Soaps – Be aware of what you are using in the bath, most soaps are harsh on little ones skin and again cause the natural oils to wash away. Did you know that Epaderm junior can be used as a soap substitute? It’ll get little ones clean whilst keeping them moisturised.a child sits with glasses on all soapy
  3. Cloth nappies – Now I know not everyone likes the idea of them. With my eldest I used cloth nappies full time and I never ever had a problem with nappy rash. With the other two I’ve used cloth part time. I notice a massive difference in their nappy area skin when we are using cloth. It much less prone to rash or any redness. So if you do struggle with this then it’s worth considering the use of cloth nappies. Even if it’s just part time. Just one nappy a day would make a difference not only to their skin but to the environment too.baby in a cloth nappy
  4. Moisturise after bathing them – Just as we do it’s nice to have soft skin after washing so little ones are no different. Be aware what you are using though as some creams can be full of extra unwanted chemicals and highly perfumed. Epaderm is fragrance, colour and SLS free. The cream which comes in a pump top bottle is super easily absorbed into little ones skin so you won’t be spending ages rubbing it in. It’s also suitable of eczema, psoriasis and dry skin.two products of epaderm
  5. Stay Hydrated – This is especially important during the summer months. We’ve been lucky to have had an awesome summer in the UK this year. If there’s one thing though that’s going to give you glowing healthy skin from the inside out its water. I like to have reusable bottles all over the house and garden so that it’s easily available for the boys to drink. If your children don’t like plain water, try adding a small amount of sugar-free squash or make some fruit tea and let it cool. Studies have shown that water helps them learn better too, so make sure they take a bottle to school.

Disclosure

Thanks to Epaderm for sending us some samples, I do already use Epaderm products prior to being sent these items. I only ever write about things we would genuinely use and so I felt this fit perfectly. This post has been written as part of the Epaderm competition  #OneTwoFreeYourSkin

Last weekend we met some good friends for a day out. Whilst we were there we came across a huge horse chestnut tree also known as a conker tree. My boys have never played conkers before. So we set about collecting pockets full. I love seeing how shiny and smooth the conkers were fresh for their shells. The boys were so excited everytime they found one even though there were hundreds laying on the ground.

Boys stoops down to collect conkers

Photalife

Early in the summer the Worsley Park Marriott turned 20 years old and to celebrate yesterday we went along to a family fun day!

Worsley Park Marriott

7 year old boy sits in a swing boat with a smile on his face

I’ve been to the Worsley Park Marriott quite a few times for meals, celebrations with family and friends and events as it’s local to us. I always have a great time as the staff are lovely and the food is always delicious too. So when we were invited along to take part in the fun day we were going to say yes!

The trip out also gave hubby a chance to try his new iPhone XS Max camera too.

a happy couple are smiling holding a baby

The highlight for the boys was collecting conkers, something they haven’t done before and there were hundreds in the beautiful hotel grounds. The hotel facilities include a golf course, country club, spa, driving range and well regarded restaurant ‘Grill in the Park’.

young boy shows delight in collectting conkers from the ground

I also can’t mention the Worsley Park Marriott without linking to their wonderful breakfast which we reviewed last year.

As people are starting to think about Christmas I thought it was worth mentioning all the wonderful events that the Worsley Marriott are planning for this year. If you are North West based I thing Worsely Park Marriott will be a strong contender for meeting the big guy himself Father Christmas. For children they are holding two Santa Lunch events on consecutive Saturdays in December (8th and 15th December 2018) For more information or to make a booking call: 0161 975 2000.

I haven’t seen the hotel decorated for Christmas but every time I go they have some beautiful decorations out for the season so I imagine Christmas there is extremely magical.

floral decorations at the worsley park marriott

 

Thanks again to the Worsley Park Marriott for inviting us along to join in the fun!

This week I started a brand new job! Not only was it my first day back after maternity leave had ended but everything was new. New job, new workplace, new colleagues…..
When I got home after my first day these were waiting form me from a friend. They are called candy floss and they are stunning!

Photalife

Oh dear, we’ve come to the end of day 2 with the childminder and again you’ve been upset.

I so desperately don’t want her to hate you. I don’t want her to think you’re the difficult baby.

I love you so very much and know she never will but I want her to like you. To see your adorable smile.

I want her to like playing with you and to help you to develop.

I just want you to be safe and happy in her care.

I know it’s not her. I see her all the time at school and all the other children are happy.

It’s such early days and I know you need time to adjust but it breaks my heart that you are so sad in the day. She’s told me that today whilst you were out and about you were better but from 3pm you cried. She reassures me theres no tears but still you are obviously distressed.

You’ve barely drunk the breastmilk that I have left for you but she said you’ve eaten so that’s good I suppose.

I wish you could understand why I have to leave you there. I leave you there because I love you and want to be the best person I can be by going to work.

Please don’t change little guy, it’ll be ok. We can work through this.

Off to the Childminder

Today is the day. Today I had to do it. I had to hand over my baby to someone else. Someone who doesn’t love him. Someone I pay to keep him safe so I can work.

I kissed his head.

I walked away and didn’t look back.

I heard him cry, which turned into his panicked crying.

I kept walking.

He must think I’ve abandoned him.

What if he thinks I don’t love him?

What if he thinks I’m not coming back?

I walked back into the house as I’m working from home this morning and there was his empty pram.

I’d taken a picture of him just 10 minutes earlier when he was happy. I don’t know why. I just thought I’d forget him if I didn’t.

Image of the baby, sitting in the pram. Smiling and happy in the daylight

I looked at the picture, it made me sad.

I’m trying not to think about him.

I can’t spend the whole day crying.

I desperately want to just go and pick him up but I can’t.

I want to text the childminder every 10 minutes to see how he is, but I can’t.

I want it to be 3pm so that hubby can go and get him early, but it’s not.

Today is going to be hard.

I know he won’t remember this time as the other two don’t but I know that his heart is hurting too not knowing where his mummy has gone.

To the future you…baby boy if I didn’t have to leave you I wouldn’t but I need to work. You’ll be ok baby boy, we can do this. We will do this. It will get better x