Just do you – the only parenting advice you should definitely follow

just do you

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Recently I have been feeling the fear. Not the fear of all the spiders creeping into our house for the winter (although that does terrify me) or the fear that Christmas is looming and I am so not ready for all the chaos that the festive season brings. No, this is a fear that only people with children can truly understand. Lately I have been worrying about people judging the choices I make on how I decide to bring up my kids. I think all of us feel judged at one point or another but when you are trying to bring up a child it seems everyone has an opinion on how you choose to parent. The old lady in the shop, that person online, your best friend’s dog – everyone has something to say when it comes to how we bring up our own kids, whether we ask for their opinion or not.

I have been feeling the fear of judgment over the past week or so as Alex is almost one now and I am still breastfeeding him. In fact, I have zero intentions of stopping breastfeeding him any time soon. There is something about how mums decide to feed their babies that brings out all the judgey, perfect ‘my-way-or-the-high-way’ type parents, the ones that love nothing more than to criticise any mum who’s feeding choices differ to their own. Yes, I feel proud of myself for sticking at breastfeeding and planning to continue until my baby wants to stop but I can’t help but worry about what people are going to say when they see me still feeding him at a year old. I only know a handful of other mums who have breastfed and of those mums, only about 4 have continued to breastfeed past their child’s first birthday. With breastfeeding rates in the UK being one of the lowest in the world, it is not a surprise really that I feel like one of the only mums still feeding their baby into toddlerhood. View Post

5 reasons to bake with kids – featuring easy halloween cookie recipe for you to try together

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Some of you may think I’m a bit crazy for admitting to this but here goes..I LOVE baking with my kids. I don’t stress over sticky fingers or flour on their clothes. I don’t get in a panic over buttercream icing in their hair or eggs smashed on the kitchen tiles instead of on the side of the mixing bowl. I embrace the chaos and love nothing more than to spend an afternoon in the kitchen, creating memories and yummy treats to share with my little ones. Due to my complete adoration of baking with my babies I am always surprised to hear other mums declare they can’t stand baking with kids. It baffles me that the mess of the kitchen and the inevitable imperfect bake at the end of it all are strong enough reasons for them to hang up their mixing spoon and apron until the kids and the risk of a flour explosion is eliminated. Baking with kids is so much fun and something I really believe every parent should try, even if it’s just the once. Need convincing? Well, here are 5 reasons you should bake with kids and my lovely friend Pam from Pams Bake and Baby Blog has even provided you with a really simple chocolate chip orange cookie recipe to try with your little ones today. View Post

Stick Man Live – the perfect first theatre experience for toddlers

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What toddler doesn’t love Stick Man? Actually, what adult doesn’t love Stick Man? If you have no clue what I am on about, let me quickly fill you in. Stick Man is a children’s story written by the brilliant Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the people who brought us the modern day children’s classics of The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and so many more beautifully imagined story books. The story of Stick Man captured my Leo’s heart a couple of years a go and when I saw Stick Man Live was coming to our local theatre I just HAD to take him.  If you have a Stick Man fan in your family then you are definitely not going to want to miss this. View Post

Lidl, why are there no seatbelts on your trollies? – An open letter

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Dear Big Boss of Lidl (sorry, I don’t know your name),

Can I start this message off just by saying I love your stores? Your prices are cheap but the quality of the food you sell remains high. I love how I can pop into one of your shops for the basic kitchen essentials and come out having made the most random of purchases, ostrich steak being the most unusual. I love that thanks to you I am able to do a weekly shop for my family of four without having to worry if we are going to be able to afford it all when push comes to shove at the checkouts. Your fruit and vegetables are cheap and this is not because they are on the cusp of being rotten over ripe. Your food quality is good. Unfortunately, the purpose of this letter isn’t to sing your praises. Something happened today that I feel the need to tell you about as you need to do something about it pretty damn quick.

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Mental health after pregnancy – a candid conversation

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Today, Tuesday 10th October, is World Mental Health day.  There is a real stigma surrounding mental health. Those you have never suffered or studied it don’t really understand the complexity of mental illness and many of those who have suffered do not feel they can talk openly about their mental health with others. There is a real stigma attached to mental illness and the only way we can break through that is to start talking openly about it with each other.

I have written about mental health on this blog before. After I gave birth to Alex last October, within a few weeks of him being born I developed depression and anxiety. I didn’t want to tell anyone for a long time as I was terrified of being judged by others and I felt ashamed of the way I was feeling. No new mum should feel like that. Awareness days are a brilliant way to get people talking and that’s what my post is all about today. Recently I had a very open and honest chat with 3 other bloggers about our mental health and how we have struggled since becoming parents. The point of this post is to show how depression and anxiety after pregnancy is more common than we think. I really hope that if you think you might have post natal depression, or any other kind of mental illness after giving birth, that this post helps you see that you are not on your own and there are people out there who understand how you feel. View Post

How to plan a dream baby shower

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There are several rites of passage mums to be must go through before they get to welcome their little bundle of joy into the world. There’s the morning sickness, the first scan, those first fluttery baby kicks. In recent years, mums have had another pregnancy milestone to look forward to – the baby shower. Despite being a mummy of two, I have never had my very own baby shower (cue the violin music). Living far away from friends and family meant organising a special get together to celebrate my bumps just wasn’t really possible. I have attended a few baby showers though and I always think they are such an exciting occasion. As I never got to have my own baby shower (sob) and I’m 99% sure I’m not going to be having a third baby, I thought I would put together a little post all about throwing a baby shower of dreams! Just because I didn’t get one of my own doesn’t mean I don’t know how to organise a party that will make a soon to be mama smile. If you have a pregnant friend and are planning to throw her a baby shower, or maybe you’re organising your own, hopefully this post will be helpful. View Post

Easy ways to save money and make extra cash

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Are you feeling the pinch? Do you hold your breath when you check your bank balance at the ATM? With Christmas only a few months away, are you panicking about how you are going to get through the holidays without going completely bankrupt?

Raising a family is a seriously expensive business and we could all benefit from saving a few extra pennies where we can. If you are looking for ways to save money and make a little bit of extra dollar too then I hope you find this post helpful. I have put together a list of 5 ways to save money and 5 ways to make a bit of extra money too. So, get reading and start planning what you’re going to do with all that extra cash. View Post

I miss you now you’re at school

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My baby boy who is no longer a baby, I miss you so much.

I miss you the second we part in the morning and I get back in to the car without you.

I miss you when I listen to music at home and I don’t hear your excited voice asking for the Lego Batman movie soundtrack instead. View Post

Why you should buy your baby personalised gifts * Gifts Online 4 U review *

personalised gifts gifts online 4 u

I love personalised gifts. I have probably said that about a thousand times before on this blog but it’s the truth. Personalised gifts are my absolute favourite because they show that someone has put a lot of thought into your gift instead of just plucking it off the shelf and every gift is unique. Alex is turning one next month (ahh!) and I am definitely going to be buying him some personalised gifts to celebrate this massive milestone. As an early birthday present, Alex has been sent a beautiful personalised money box from GiftsOnline4u , a fab website specialising in beautiful personalised gifts for the whole family.  If you are not sold on the whole personalised gifts thing, then here are 3 reasons why they are a great idea for a baby gift and read on to find out more about Gifts Online 4 U and the beautiful money box Alex received.   View Post

Baby update – Alex is 11 months

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Alex is 11 months old! Ok, in all honestly he nearly one now, I have been really behind in writing this update. Leo started school at the beginning of September and we moved house so things have been a little crazy. Anyway, enough of the excuses, here is what Alex has been up to since his last update. View Post

Piccolo launches One for One campaign – help vulnerable families and WIN a month’s supply of Piccolo pouches

picollo one for one

Imagine not having enough money to feed your baby every day. Unfortunately, this is the awful reality for thousands of families across the UK. When my kids are hungry they are given food immediately, I can only imagine how heart breaking it must feel to see your baby crying in hunger and not have any food to feed them. So many British families are relying on food banks to be able to give their children the essential nourishment they need to grow up and develop and there are many charities who are also doing what they can to make sure no one has to go hungry. Organic baby food brand Piccolo are launching a brand new campaign to help families struggling to feed their children. The One for One campaign will launch in October and hopes to donate 100,000 pouches of Piccolo baby food to the children who need them the most.  View Post