How to Parent After an Injury

31.5.19

If you've ever been unwell or had an injury as a parent, then you will understand just how difficult it can be. The change in circumstances could also leave your little one/s feeling uncertain or insecure too. It is most likely that they will look to you for comfort to help them understand and cope with their feelings. Of course, as a parent you want to do what’s best for them. But just how do you parent while injured or unwell? In this post I'm going to share a few of my top tips for coping, so hopefully you can survive!


Put Yourself First
It is a parents instinct to put their child’s needs before their own. But sometimes you do need to put yourself first! Think of it this way - if there's an emergency on a plane, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first, before you are able to help someone else. The same principle applies if you are injured or unwell. You need to think of yourself if you want to recover quickly!

If your children are old enough, get them to do some of tasks that you usually do for them, such as packing their school lunches or making their own breakfasts. If your children are younger and still unable to do certain tasks, then why not ask a friends or family members to come over and support you.

Communication is Key
The active imagination of children, can often lead them to get the wrong idea about what is really happening in a situation. Therefore having good communication between everyone is going to help make the circumstances a lot easier.

Allow your child to ask questions about the situation - explain how you got injured at work, or what the illness you have is. The more your child knows, the less scared and confused they will be. Of course make sure you share any information in clear, age-appropriate ways though, as too much information can just confuse a young child more!

Help is Good
Although our children may see us as superheroes, we also need help every now and then. Especially if you have injured your leg leaving you unable to drive, or cannot leave the house. If your partner can’t get away from work and you can’t drive, then why not consider having your children use the school bus until you recover, or asking a class parent you trust to help you out.

When it comes to caring for them after school, perhaps look into school aftercare until your partner is home, or even hire a nanny for during the evening. This will give you the peace of mind that your children are in safe hands, as well as giving you time to rest and recover. You may also need help emotionally. There is absolutely no shame in seeking professional help. Your doctor can give you support, and possibly refer you to someone who is more qualified in that area o help.


Stick to your Regular Routines
From my experience, most children get very distressed when their regular routine is changed. Of course there are going to be some parts of your routine that will need to be adapted. But when doing this, make sure to explain to your child when these changes will happen and why. By keeping them informed they will know what to expect and ultimately react calmer. Try and at least keep meal times and the bedtime routine as close to normal as possible, as this will help them settle better for bed.

Check in with your Child's Teacher
A big change in a child's life can affect how they behave outside of the home too. It’s therefore a good idea to check in with your child’s teacher, to let them know what is happening with you and how it may affect your child. Your child's teacher may also be able to help with reassuring your child, and support you with finding out of school clubs if you should need them.

This is a collaborative post.

5 Changes you can Make to Improve your Home

28.5.19

Whether the changes are big or small, changing up your home can be such an exciting time. If you don’t know where to start hopefully this post will help you, as I am going to sharing 5 changes that you can make in your own home!


Redo your Bathroom
A big change, but something that can make such a big difference to your home is to redo your bathroom. Have a look at replacing all of the larger items including the bath itself, but make sure you don't forget the small details such as rails and taps. People really underestimate the importance of having the right taps, as they can really change the look of the room. If you're struggling to decide, then this guide to bath and sink taps might help you choose the right ones. It is no good getting an entirely new bathroom if the smaller details are not perfect as well!

New Kitchen Cabinets
Of course you could invest in complete kitchen makeover, but if this is (understandably) out of your budget, then why not just purchase new kitchen cabinets instead. The first things that you and your guests are going to see when they enter your kitchen, are the cabinets. Make sure to do your research carefully though, as there are so many different designs and styles to choose from.

Add More Furniture
How much furniture do you have in your home? Unless you are going for the minimalist design trend, then the answer is not as much as you should have! Even if you do have the amount of furniture that you want, why not change up what you already have? Update the furniture that you do have to create a completely new aesthetic in your home - it can make a huge difference. For example if your furniture is all white and sleek, why not add a bit more colour and style with wooden furniture instead.


Sort Out your Garden
If you have been leaving your garden to overgrow for the last couple of years (or even months), then this is an easy area to make changes in, that will make a huge impact! Simply cutting the grass and removing the weeds will make an instant difference. Then you can move onto adding flowers, furniture or even a beautiful water feature to finish off the space. If you don’t think this is something that you can do yourself, you can always hire a landscape gardener, or even rope in family and friends to give you a hand!

Finishing Touches
If you've done the basics around your home - painting, DIY and adding furniture - then your final step is to add the finishing touches. These make your house feel like a home, and will instantly make change up the feeling it gives you. Candles are a soothing thing to have around your home, as they give off wonderful aromas that make your home smell amazing, as well as leaving everything feeling fresh and warm. Fresh flowers will instantly brighten up any room, and of course don't forget to hang your family photographs too.

This is a collaborative post.

Our Disneyland Paris Plans + Bucket List | June 2019

25.5.19

After months and months of planning, it's now just over a week until our magical holiday to Disneyland Paris. I didn't actually share too much of our trip last year on my blog, but this year I'm hoping to share so much more, starting with our plans for our visit!

Last year I shared our holiday plans, so I thought I'd do similar for this year's trip - as well as sharing my Disneyland Paris bucket list! There are so many things we missed last year, either because we didn't have time, or because we didn't even realise they existed.


Our holiday plans

This year we're travelling differently, opting to self-drive via the Eurotunnel instead of the Eurostar. Our Eurostar journey home last year was particularly disastrous (over 2 hours delayed, dirty train, Indiana was unwell and Lilah screamed the whole journey...) This way we don't have to worry about luggage allowances, as we can pack as much as we want in the car. Wish us luck!

I am so excited that this year we're also staying in a different hotel - Disney's Newport Bay Club. Santa Fe was great last year, but the deal we got this year made NPB so much more reasonably priced. The pool will be great when we just want to unwind, and the walk to the parks will be slightly shorter too.


We have the half board plus meal plan again this year, as it was fantastic on our last trip (I would 1000% recommend getting a meal plan and pre-booking your restaurants before your trip!). We are having meals at -

Cape Cod (NPB restaurant)
Plaza Gardens character breakfast
Chez Remy
Auberge de Cendrillon (Princess Character Dining)
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

Bucket List


Of course there are soo many other things that I want to do and enjoy on our holiday (and I'm also not expecting to tick off everything - we are travelling with three children aged 5 and under after all!). There's definitely things I've missed completely too, so I'd love to hear what your must-dos are for Disneyland Paris, so I can add them to my list!

Parvel GO Baby Monitor | Review + Giveaway | AD {CLOSED}

21.5.19

I remember the very first baby item we bought when we were expecting Indiana, was a baby monitor. It was incredibly basic but did it's job perfectly. Technology has changed a lot since she was born though - and she's only 5!

We were recently sent a Parvel Go Baby Monitor to use with our youngest, Lilah. The monitor is unlike any other we've used before. It is completely unique; using advanced motion sensors to monitor your baby's sleep, the connected app will then alert you when your baby is awake (or even when he/she is about to wake up).


The Parvel GO device is of Scandinavian design, making it small and sleek. You simply pop it next to your baby while they are sleeping (we've popped ours under the cot sheet to keep it safely away from Lilah's hands), and connect it to the app on your phone via Bluetooth. No wires or lots of different monitors to keep charged. Just one unit - and Parvel doesn't even need charging either as it runs on a single, replaceable battery that lasts up to 2 years!

Although the baby monitor doesn't offer video, the app gives you plenty of useful information regarding your baby's sleep. It monitors the temperature (in real-time) and can give alerts if the temperature rises or drops significantly. It monitors your baby's movements, so you can receive alerts when your baby is waking up. And over time the smart software will even be able to interpret the type of motions registered and identify them - only alerting you to genuine 'I'm awake' movements. The app also features a built-in timer, to help you keep track of how long your baby has slept for!

There are a number of features of the Parvel GO that I absolutely love. Firstly, it is incredibly easy to set up and use. Once you have connected the device to the app, you just need to make sure your Bluetooth is on to connect it the next time. The small size of the Parvel means it's also perfect to use out and about, or when travelling. It could easily be used in a pushchair, or thrown into your suitcase for a holiday.



I do not think the Parvel will be for everyone though, as I know some people may not like the idea of needing an app to use the monitor. I like to close everything on my phone each night to preserve the battery, so have mistakenly closed the app on a number of occasions myself too.

That being said though, the technology used by Parvel emits extremely low levels of electro magnetic radiation - dramatically lower than other baby monitors on the market! This ensures it is perfectly safe to use, and won't expose your baby to any unnecessary radiation.

We have really enjoyed using the Parvel Go baby monitor, and I think it's a great device to use - especially if you have an older baby. I am excited to be offering my readers the chance to win a Parvel GO of their own, all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!



*The Parvel motion- and temperature baby monitor indicates values regarding motion and temperature within the immediate surrounding environment of the device. Parvel can NOT meassure the body temperature of your baby.

This post was written in collaboration with Parvel. All opinions are honest and my own.

5 Easy Ways to Personalise your Home

16.5.19

Our home is the place we come back to at the end of each day, to relax in and enjoy with the people we love. When designing our home to be the best it can be for ourselves and our family, there are a lot of different elements that come into play. Today we are going to take a look at some of the ways that you can personalise your home, to make it feel totally unique to you and your tastes.


Photographs
There is no better way to make a room feel like a true family home, than to have some photographs of you and your family around the space. You can use Bryce Noone Photography to take professional photos of your loved ones, or simply use photos from family holidays and trips to make your home feel like it truly belongs to you. Why not create a photo gallery wall in your living room, or have frames going up the stairs?

Hang Art
If your children are anything like mine, then you will know that they love to be creative and create artwork at the weekends or at school. One of the things you could do as a parent to show your pride (and to also brighten up a blank wall) is to hang some of their artwork up in a frame. It will make the house feel lived in, plus it will be a good talking point for people who come to your home too.

Add Colour
One of the best ways that you can take a full room and transform it into something new, is to use colours to brighten the space. Colours can be a great way to show your personality in the home, because you can choose the shades to really get the right feel for you - bright and bold or light pastels, whatever you do make sure it reflects you. You could even paint a feature wall, or hang some coloured wallpaper onto one wall of a room, if you're not feeling brave enough to decorate the whole room. 

Plants
Sometimes a great way to show off your own skills and bring some life to a room, is to literally bring life to a room. Plants are always a wonderful thing to bring into your living space, and you could even think about something like a herb garden for your kitchen. It can be fun bringing plants into a space and it will make your room feel more organic as well as providing some fresh air and colour. Just remember you need to care for them properly, in order for them to grow and thrive though!

Keep it Light
A bright and light room will feel much more cosy and relaxing! Make sure you have plenty of windows around the house, and consider removing chunky curtains as these will block light. Making space in your rooms by moving furniture around can also make your design look better and feel more complete. 

This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | May 2019

15.5.19


Another May siblings project post, and of course another visit to the bluebells! I love looking back of these posts over the years - I mean, just look at how the big two have grown since our first hunt for bluebells 3 years ago! This years trip was probably my favourite yet. Watching all three of them exploring the woods, and climbing fallen tress amongst the beautiful flowers. 

This month has been an extra exciting one for our three little loves. After discussing getting a cat for as long as I can remember, we finally added a new little member to our family. Belle has been welcomed into our home with sooo much excitement and lots of love (although probably too much from Lilah), and I love that all four of them will get to grow up together.



Next month we have the most exciting surprise for the Littles, as we're off on our trip to Disneyland Paris. I cannot wait to watch all three of them soak up the magic again - especially now Lilah is not just a teeny baby - and enjoy quality time as a family again. Keep an eye out for plenty of Disney spam!

6 Money-Saving Tips for your Home

5.5.19

Everyone could do with a little extra money to play with each month - especially when you have little ones to look after. The cost of raising children has skyrocketed in recent years, with everything from clothes and childcare, to school trips and other treats costing so much more. If there’s no way for you to increase your income, or you’ve tried everything that you can think of, then you might find yourself needing to find other ways to cut costs. With that in mind, here are six money-saving tips!


Find Cheaper Childcare Options
Most parents spend a lot of money on childcare. After all, there are going to be times when you can’t watch your little ones yourself, so it does make sense to pay out for someone experienced to look after them. However, this isn't always necessary. There are many cheaper and free childcare options to consider. Childminders are usually a cheaper alternative to a nursery, and you might find the more intimate setting is more suited to your child too. There is also the option of asking loved ones to help you out with childcare - grandparents, siblings, close friends, etc.

Cook your Own Meals
As lovely as it can be to treat your family to a meal out now and then, you should avoid making this a habit if you want to save money. Most restaurants and takeaways charge much more than they need to on their food, leaving you out of pocket. So cooking your own food is not only better on your bank balance, but usually healthier for you too. You can even bulk cook meals and freeze some for later to save time and money in the long run!

Invest in Loft Insulation
A poorly insulated home can cause a lot of bother. Not only will you struggle to keep your house warm, but you’ll waste a lot of money doing it too. Because of this, you should consider investing loft insulation such as spray foam insulation. This works to block up and seal all of the gaps in your loft, which helps to keep warm air in and cold air out. Saving you money and also helping the environment in the process.

Head to Bed Earlier
Staying up late can be bad for your health, but it doesn’t do your bank balance any favours either. After all, the later you stay awake, the more gas, electricity, and water you will use. For this reason, you should develop a bedtime routine where you head to bed a little earlier. While you’re asleep, you also can’t order anything online or eat, which will save you even more money.

Tackle your Own Repairs
Some repairs should definitely be left to those who know what they’re doing, (attempting work involving gas, electricity, or plumbing is often a mistake that risks your own health, as well as your wallet). However there are many other simpler tasks that you should have no trouble handling yourself! So grab your toolbox and tackle those simple DIY jobs yourself.

Remember to Treat Yourself
Completely eliminating treats from your budget is rarely a good idea. Although it can potentially save you money, it’s more likely to make you want to splash out - usually costing you more. To avoid a big spend, make sure to allow yourself and your family a few treats each month. You could plan a day trip somewhere special, or allow yourself a budget for clothing and treats. Just don't let yourself go over that budget!
This is a collaborative post.

Me and Mine Project | April 2019

2.5.19


Well wasn't April the most wonderful month? We celebrated Jack's birthday at the very beginning of the month, had a fantastic family holiday to Somerset, enjoyed the sunny bank holiday, and ate allll the chocolate over Easter. It was so lovely to spend so much time with my little team, especially now Lilah is on the move so much - 3 children is a lot to chase after by yourself!

We managed to capture so many family snaps while on holiday, so I thought I'd share them all for this month's Me and Mine post. We had plenty of people around to take the photo for us instead of setting up a tripod, so I definitely made the most of it... I don't think the littles or Jack were quite as thrilled as I was though!



We ended April with the excitement of school placements for Parker. Thankfully we didn't have as much stress as we did with Indie last year, and he got into the same school as her no problem. He already cannot wait to go, and although he's going to be one of the youngest in his year (turning 4 only a few weeks before starting), we know he's going to thrive there. I just cannot believe the time has come for school for him already. Those first few years really do just fly by don't they?

After a busy April (and an even busier June to come), we're planning on having a quiet May... well, as quiet as you can with three children, birthday parties, ballet and day-to-day life to fit in!