#BlogCrush – week 68

#BlogCrush – week 68

I’m back! It feels like forever since I last hosted the #BlogCrush blogger link up, I have moved house and things have been CRAZY!

Alice and Lucy have done an amazing job (as always) as hosts and I am very sad to report that Alice will no longer be co hosting the linky. Lucy is on the look out for a new co host but I am still going to be here, reading, commenting and sharing all your posts once a month.

I hope you are all well and I am looking forward to seeing all the blogs you have been enjoying recently and reading your fabulous content.
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Child free couples, STOP taking these things for granted

Child free couples, STOP taking these things for granted

Today, I have to decided to write a post not for my usual demographic. This post is not here to offer advice and solidarity to other parents as is the norm here at Naptime Natter. Child free parents, I am speaking to you. Have you got babies on the brain? Maybe you are trying to conceive or are already expecting your first ever little bundle of joy, I am here to offer you a friendly reminder to start appreciating what you now probably consider ‘the little things’. Once your gorgeous baby comes along, all these day to day activities will suddenly not be as simple as they once were and when you hear parents say things like ‘going to Tesco on my own feels like a spa day’, they are not being dramatic, it’s the truth. Don’t think of this post as a mum moaning about life with kids, think of it more as a bucket list of things to enjoy now while you still have the chance. I love my kids but, I am not going to lie to you, it would be nice to not have to use the toilet with my little ones either watching or sat on my knee. View Post

Why you should still be printing your photos in 2018 {featuring My Personalised Case review}

Why you should still be printing your photos in 2018 {featuring My Personalised Case review}

*sponsored post*

Want to hear something a bit ridiculous? I have 3756 photos on my iPhone, I have only owned this phone since September 2017. I have snapped almost 4000 photos in just 8 months, that’s insane. Out of all those photos though, I probably only have  200 printed, 200 physical copies I can hold in my hands, store in family albums or frame and display proudly on the walls of my home. View Post

13 tips to help your child settle in to a new school

13 tips to help your child settle in to a new school

We’ve moved house! It has all been a bit crazy, what with packing up a million boxes while my kids try an unpack them at the same time, and I haven’t got around to sharing our news on the blog. We have moved back to Swansea, after 2 and half years away from here it feels so good to be home. Although we are all so excited to be back living by the sea and closer to family, Leo is a little bit nervous and sad as he will be starting a new primary school very soon. It was very hard saying goodbye to his old school, it really was a lovely little infant school, the staff were amazing and Leo had a great group of friends that he is missing loads already. We are currently waiting to hear back from the council to find out where Leo will be placed, in the meantime I am doing all I can to prepare my little boy for starting a new school. I want the transition to go as smoothly as possible and I have asked some fellow bloggers to share their tips with me on how to help your child settle in to a new school. If you are in a similar situation, I hope you find this post helpful and I am wishing you and your little one lots of good luck with the move.  View Post

5 things not to say to someone struggling with depression

5 things not to say to someone struggling with depression

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a week for open and honest discussions about mental health. I have said this a million times but the only way we can make those of us struggling with mental health issues feel more comfortable and confident to seek help and support is by talking openly about our own struggles; normalizing an issue is the best way to help break the stigmas that surround it.

If you read my blog regularly then you will know that I am currently taking anti depressants to treat my post natal depression and perinatal anxiety, something I was at first very nervous to admit. When a loved one or friend is struggling with depression it can be difficult to know what to say and sometimes you may say something in kindness but actually your words can have the opposite effect. For mental health awareness week I have decided to share a list of things not to say to someone struggling with depression, not to make anyone feel bad who may have made these comments in the past but to help those who know someone with depression to not end up accidentally hurting them further.  View Post

Tips for taking your toddler to the cinema for the first time – Showcase de Lux and Sherlock Gnomes review

Tips for taking your toddler to the cinema for the first time – Showcase de Lux and Sherlock Gnomes review

*collaborative post*

Taking the kids to the cinema can be a bit hit or miss can’t it? Especially taking a toddler under two, they are unpredictable at the best of times, let alone in a darkened cinema room, with a big screen, booming sound and loads of people about for your little cherub to throw popcorn at. We have been taking Leo to the cinema since he was about 20months old and he loves it. Alex is 18months and he is more into the whole popcorn throwing thing than watching the film but I think he enjoys it too. We were invited to a preview screening of Sherlock Gnomes at Showcase de Lux in Southampton and we actually managed to all have a really lovely family trip to the cinema and I definitely think the cinema itself and the film we watched were key in making or day out such a success. If you are planning on taking your kids to the cinema for this first time soon, here are my top tips for taking young children and toddlers to the cinema, along with my thoughts on the Showcase de Lux cinema and Sherlock Gnomes. Spoiler alert: We loved it all! View Post

How you can help a mum who has post natal depression

How you can help a mum who has post natal depression

It is hard to watch the ones we love in pain, isn’t it? When a loved one is hurt, physically hurt, sometimes there is nothing we can do but more often than not there are practical steps we can take to help them to feel better. If your baby is teething you can give them some calpol to ease their pain, if your toddler has cut their knee you can clean it up, pop on a plaster and seal it with a magical mummy kiss. When someone we care about is struggling with their mental health, when they are in pain but we can not see the cause, it can be really hard to know how to help them. Post natal depression is awful, in fact, it’s agonising. When you want nothing more than to be happy and enjoy your baby but your brain has other ideas? Well, it is a really painful time for mums but also for their family too. If you have a wife, sister, friend (or any other mum in your life) that is having mental health struggles , here is a list of things you can do to help a mum struggling with post natal depression. These things are simple yet effective and it is often the smallest things that can help mums going through depression the most. View Post

25 things to do before your child starts school

25 things to do before your child starts school

Starting primary school, it’s probably one of the biggest milestones for parents and their little ones. Leo started school last September and the day he first tentatively stepped foot in to the classroom was the day our lives completely changed forever. School is, obviously, an essential and necessary part of every child’s childhood but for all the amazing things that an education brings, school life also restricts your family life to a certain degree too. Now Leo is in the classroom five days a week, there is a long list of things that we can no longer do and enjoy together and there are some things I wish we had done more of before his life as a schoolkid began.

If you have recently found out your child’s school place and feel like you are too scared to blink because you’re worried September will be here when you open your eyes and you’ll be waving your child goodbye as they take their first nervous step into school, wearing their brand new shiny shoes and oversized uniform, then this post is for you. I know parenting a three/four year old is hard and there may be lots of times you are desperate for a break from parenting. I am not telling you to cherish every moment of these next few months before school begins but there are definitely some things you should make the most of while you can. View Post

Day out with Thomas at the Watercress Line

Day out with Thomas at the Watercress Line

*collaborative post*

When Leo was two he was obsessed with Thomas the Tank, I mean ob-sessed! His bedroom is still full of various bits of track, he has about five little Thomas trains and a James, Gordon, Harold the helicopter, Percy and, well, you know all the rest right? We took Leo on a Day out with Thomas at Eastleigh miniature railway when he was two and he loved it so when we were invited along to go for another Day out with Thomas, this time along the Watercress Line, I knew my Thomas super fan would be desperate to go. Last week, during the Easter holidays and on the sunniest day Hampshire had been blessed with in months, Leo and I headed out for a Day out with Thomas, singing the theme tune the whole way there in the car. View Post

The best bedtime routine for kids of all ages – Bath, Book, Bed

The best bedtime routine for kids of all ages – Bath, Book, Bed

*collaborative post*

If there is one thing all parents are obsessed with, it is getting our kids to go to sleep. My main concern when I had Leo 4 years ago was how on earth was I going to get my baby to have a good nights sleep so we could both get some much needed rest. Struggling to get your little ones off to the land of nod and then actually getting a decent stretch of sleep once they finally drop off is one of the biggest challenges faced by parents and is something we are all keen to find a solution for. Well, I have two kids now and I have been using a very simple routine at bedtime ever since Leo was 6 weeks old and, I am pleased to report, it really works. The bedtime routine we use with our toddler and four year old is bath, book, bed. Jo Frost and Book Trust have teamed up together for the third year running to share tips and advice on the best bedtime routine with their successful Beth, Book, Bed campaign. A good bedtime routine really is the key to a successful nights sleep, here are my tips along with some great information from the Bath, Book, Bed campaign to help you are your little ones have a happy bedtime and a peaceful nights sleep. View Post

#BlogCrush – week 60

#BlogCrush – week 60

Hey there lovely bloggers! Welcome back to another week of #BlogCrush, I have had a manic week with Leo being off school for Easter and that is why I am soo late getting this post written – school holidays have a lot to answer for!

I hope you all had a wonderful week and had a great Easter. I probably ate atleast six eggs so I am on a serious chocolate detox for the next few weeks.

Thanks for stopping by and if you are new to #BlogCrush, please be sure to check out the rules before linking up. I am looking forward to reading all your posts this week.

Happy linking! View Post

Naptime Natter birthday giveaway

Naptime Natter birthday giveaway

Guess what? I have now been blogging for three whole years! Just like I say every time one of my kids has a birthday, how does the time go so fast? Three years ago, I put 19 month old Leo down for his nap and felt that all too familiar loneliness and boredom begin to creep in. Leo always napped for at least 2 hours every day and it meant that I spent most afternoons trapped in the house while he snoozed away up in his cot. I used to fill that time with housework, watching TV and baking but as the months went on I had started to dread naptime. I do enjoy time to myself but I could feel my brain starting to turn to mush due to the monotony of stay at home mum life. I needed a new project, something new to learn and help reignite my creative side. I wanted to do something in those hours every afternoon that stopped me feeling so bored and alone. That project was this little blog of mine and when I typed out my first ever post I had no idea I would still be writing it three years down the line and that it would become such a huge part of my life. View Post

Hey Mama, you’re stronger than you think { #mumsthatgotthis roundup }

Hey Mama, you’re stronger than you think  { #mumsthatgotthis roundup }

Being a parent, it’s not all sleepy baby cuddles, picture perfect days out and heart warming moments that you’ll cherish for eternity. Sometimes, raising tiny humans is really hard work. By their very nature, kids are curious and it is built into them to push boundaries and test us, they need to do this to develop and figure out what being a person is all about. Despite knowing this fact that children challenge us in order to learn and grow, that doesn’t make things feel any easier when your toddler is performing tantrum number ten of the day. Parenting is definitely no walk in park. Well, not unless you usually end up feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and anxious after a stroll through the park, that is. View Post

Don’t let motherhood stop you from chasing your dreams – WIN an online creative writing course

Don’t let motherhood stop you from chasing your dreams – WIN an online creative writing course

*collaborative post*

Want to hear a secret? Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write a book. I have always been a massive bookworm, for years I would fall asleep with my glasses still on my face and a book in my hands, the page I was reading lost until morning. I love reading, I love how I can physically just be sat in my living room but, through the power of words on a page, feel like I’m in a whole different place, watching the excitement and drama of someone else’s life unfold. Books really are amazing.

I have always admired how authors are able to make you feel so many strong emotions just through the sentences they have creatively crafted together.  There have been times I have slammed books closed in frustration, cried my eyes out with what feels like genuine grief at the demise of a main character and times I have laughed so hard it hurts. That’s my dream right there; I would love to write a story that people really invested in, that moved them and made them really feel something. So why haven’t I done it, you might be wondering? Well, I have a good reason. Two good reasons actually, one is called Leo and the other is called Alex. View Post

Living with a mischievous todder {featuring outfits from the Disney Store baby collection}

Living with a mischievous todder  {featuring outfits from the Disney Store baby collection}

*collaborative post*

Have you seen the original version of The Jungle Book? Of course you have, it’s an amazing film. Do you remember the song King Louie sings? The chorus goes ‘Oobe do, I wanna be like you. I wanna walk like you, talk like you, too‘ and so on. Well, I am pretty sure my toddler Alex is channelling his inner King Louie, but in reverse. Alex is already a man cub , so to speak, but he is desperate to show us all that he would love nothing more than to be a little cheeky monkey. My 16 month old is so mischievous and is always trying to get up to no good. View Post