Our Month - March 2020

20.4.20


I'm sure you can understand why it's taken me so long to write March's monthly update. The world is just a little bit different now isn't it? The problems we had in February just seem to be so insignificant now in comparison - but I suppose that's the beauty of writing about our months.

March wasn't all negative though, as the first few weeks were relatively 'normal' for us as a family. Of course the beginning of March marks every parent's favourite day - World Book Day. I took a rather relaxed (aka lazy) approach this year and made use of the dressing up box and the costumes we already had. Parker picked his favourite pirate book and Indie went as Cinderella. They loved showing everyone their costumes, and although I really hate the pressure of the whole day, it really is fun for the littles.



We also had both Indie and Parker's school consultations in March. As expected they are both doing incredibly well with their learning and school work. Parker has improved so much since starting school in September and is able to read and write lots of words now, and is especially loving his maths. Indie has made a huge improvement with her confidence too and is joining in more and happily sharing her work which was so good to hear. They both have such lovely groups of friends too which is something that makes me happiest of all (and most sad about the current circumstances).

Jack and I were so fortunate to sneak in a child-free day just before everything happened, which I am SO incredibly happy about. We spent the day shopping, eating, chatting and just being us - a rare treat when you have 3 young children. I don't know when it will next happen again so I think this day was a total blessing in disguise.



Of course just after this everything changed because of Covid-19. We actually found ourselves in our own 2 week isolation (just before schools officially closed) as Parker had both a cough and a temperature - that of course went away within a few days anyway! Those first few weeks were unbelievably tough, and filled with an assortment of emotions. I would flit between crying and feeling incredibly anxious, to feeling at peace with everything and happy that we were all safely together. All while home schooling, trying to get a food shop and trying to stay as relaxed as possible.

We definitely made the most of our time in isolation though - baking, movies, games, home-schooling, and of course allll the garden time too. I celebrated probably the strangest Mother's Day we'll ever experience (which was actually a lovely day!). Ooh and just before our isolation Indiana learnt how to ride a bike without stabilisers - hooray!




I'm unsure how the next few month's posts are going to look, but I will definitely still be sharing them as a way to look back on this strange and crazy time. It will all seem like a bad dream eventually right?

NEW Candylocks Scented Dolls + Pets | Review

10.4.20


With the weather warming up and the sun finally shining, it seems the perfect time for the tropical themed 'Beachie Besties' Candylocks dolls and their pets to arrive. Candylocks are scented collectable dolls with super long, super sweet, and super easy to style hair - just like cotton candy. And now they have adorable pets that you can play with alongside too!


We received a Candylocks scented doll and pet set, as well as an extra Candylocks pet to review. The set contains:

1 Candylocks Doll
1 Candylocks Pet
2 Accessories
1 Collector poster and an instruction sheet

Indiana absolutely loved that the doll and pet where packaged to look like ice creams - it really adds to the tropical theme and sprinkles an extra level of fun. We received 'Ocean Spray' and her pet 'Rickcoon' which both have a beachy smell (think sun cream and the sea), but there are 8 sets to collect with other sweet smells such as mango, peach and lemon.




The tropical theme is seen throughout both Candylocks dolls with the colours, accessories and patterns. Ocean Spray has blue/turqouise and pink hair and a blue outfit to match her ocean theme. She came with a sunviser and a big blue bow (which actually doubles up as a pet food bowl for Rickcoon too).

Like all previous Candylocks dolls these 3-inch dolls comes with 15 inches of ombre hair, that has been designed with a unique texture to make it easy to handle and style - especially for little hands. It can be plaited, twisted, put in a bun... the possibilities are endless! 

As well as the sets you can also collect 20 fun and fruity 'Fruitpop Pets' too. Each individual pet comes with a Candylocks Pet, a pet bed (the packaging transforms into this), plus an accessory. Indie discovered the super cute lime-scented 'Chaz-Chilla', which came with a castle themed hair accessory.  The Candylocks pets have shorter easy-style hair but are a great addition to the Candylocks family.





The Candylocks and pet sets retail at around £12.99 each, and the Candylocks pets individual sets retail at £4.99 each. Both are suitable from age 5, and are available at most retailers including Argos, Smyths and Amazon.


I received this items in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Getting Back to Normal Post Pregnancy

9.4.20


A new survey conducted by Multi-Gyn and Multi-Mam has found that over a third of women (39%) felt pressure to lose their post pregnancy baby weight. With nearly a fifth (20%) feeling pressure to get back into a fitness regime too! Yet in reality, with the body adjusting to very little sleep and the demands of a newborn baby, for some women the challenges of this fourth trimester can be difficult enough without any of these added pressures. A lack of education, support and conversation about this time leaves many women unprepared for what to expect.


It can be difficult for new mums to know what to expect - every body and every birth is different after all - but self-care during this trimester is particularly important. In this post I am going to share 5 ways to help heal your body, and hopefully help you to enjoy this new stage of life with a precious newborn.

Sleep
It’s no surprise that getting a good night’s sleep can help to keep your energy levels up but it’s also important for the mind and body. Whilst it’s not a surprise to hear that many parents of newborns struggle to get a good night’s sleep there are things you can do to help you catchup. These include trying to sleep when your baby sleeps, making sure to get an early night, and where, and if, possible share the night feeds with your partner. Of course this can be more difficult if this isn't your first child, but it is important to try and rest when you can.

Eat Nutritious Meals
Consuming a wide variety of nutritious foods really helps with postpartum recovery. Make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as lots of proteins and calcium. If you’re breastfeeding, staying hydrated is particularly important, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water during and after every feed. If time isn't something you have you can make use of fantastic food delivery services such as Gousto, to help you prepare tasty and nutritious meals without the stress.

Fresh Air
Whilst it’s a cliché, it’s true, fresh air and sunshine really do make everyone feel a bit better. So try and head out for a walk at least once a day with baby in the pram / sling. This not only helps with mental health and your mood, but the gentle exercise will help build up your strength to help aid recovery too.



Friends and Family
Meeting up with friends and family and staying connected is really important for your mental health after you have just given birth. Learn to say yes to all offers of help and support, something that doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Whether it’s offers such as whizzing a vacuum around or helping with the washing/ironing, to walking the dog and simply holding baby while you can have a relaxing bath in peace.. just say yes!

Exercise
Exercise is important for our mental and physical well-being. When those endorphins kick in, you will notice an improvement in mood. Even though your body has changed after pregnancy and needs time to recover, after 6-8 weeks it is possible with sign off and clearance from your GP to resume light exercise. It’s important not to overdo it (your body needs time to recover and get over the big changes that it has been through), pregnancy hormones can affect your joints and ligaments for up to 6 months after the birth putting you at greater risk of injury so you must take it easy. But walking, swimming and aqua aerobics (once your bleeding has stopped), yoga and pilates are all options that you could explore.

The biggest thing to remember is that throughout this new chapter, although you might feel lost at times, you are not alone. Visit @realbirthsrealbodies on Instagram to see other women share their honest and real account of life with a new baby.

Multi-Gyn and Multi-Mam Compresses have been developed to provide soothing relief for the 2 most common discomforts new mums face - post birth vaginal discomfort and breastfeeding. They can be found in Boots, on Amazon and at other online pharmacies.

This is a collaborative post.

NEW Hatchimals Pixies Vacay Style Surprise Toy | Review

8.4.20


We are big Hatchimals fans in our house (you can read our previous review here), so we were really excited to receive some the NEW Hatchimals Pixies Vacay Style to review. The Hatchimals Pixies are the new additions to Hatchtopia. The collectible dolls are super stylish and glam, with glittery wings that really flutter, posable heads and of course the surprise toy element too.

The new Vacay Style Pixies are the newest collection, with the Pixies leaving Hatchtopia to explore the world! We received the Pink Passport series where there are 5 different Pixies to collect, all visiting popular destinations around the world. The Purple Passport series will soon be following with 5 more Pixies to collect, this time heading to locations around the USA.



What's Included?

Indiana couldn't wait to open the packet to see what was waiting inside. This included:

1 Hatchimals Pixie
3 Accessories
1 Display Stand
1 Sticker Sheet
1 Suitcase and 2 crackable carry‐ons
A checklist and instruction sheet





Each of the dolls style accessories is inspired by their location, and we were lucky enough to hatch Glittering Gracie who is off on a fabulous trip to Tokyo. The two crackable 'carry-on' suitcases contained the display stand and two accessories - a selfie stick and cool headband. We weren't lucky enough to find one of the exclusive Hatchimals inside, but there is a 1-in-10 chance you will!

Our Overall Opinion

With both passport series there is a total of 10 Pixies Vacay Style dolls to collect. These really are such a fun gift for children aged 5+. Even once the initial 'surprise toy' element is over there is still lots of hours of play to be had. Indiana likes to combine the Pixies with her Hatchimal collection for hours of imaginative play!

Each set retails at £8.99 and is available at most retailers including Smyths, Argos and Amazon.


We received these items in exchange for our review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Our Updated Travel Plans for 2020

3.4.20

When January arrived this year I was so excited for the months ahead. We had so much to look forward to, including a few holidays, special days out and time as a family. If you read my blog regularly then you would have seen the blogpost sharing all our plans for our summer holiday to Turkey. But of course, with the current circumstances and everything happening all over the world, it's looking likely that most of these plans are going to be cancelled. Of course we completely understand why it's going to happen, but that doesn't stop us feeling devastated!


I am sure there are many thousands out there who are in the same position as us though - especially with it currently being the Easter holidays when lots do travel. But what can be done in regards to these flight cancellations? Whether you spent years saving for that trip, or booked it at the last minute, you should of course be entitled to a refund, right? This is usually sorted through the company you booked your holiday with, but if you're unsure whether you're entitled to anything more Flightright can help. Their free compensation calculator can help you to find out whether you are entitled to compensation (and will then help you claim it with the help of their team of legal experts).

We currently haven't heard from our holiday company as our trip isn't until the very end of May, but I will definitely be checking back with Flightright regularly, as we're sure it isn't going to be happening. I understand we may be able to move our holiday to later in the year if this is the case, but I think we've decided now that if we can't go this year we're going to be asking for a full refund (we chose those dates specifically for the price, so can't travel any other time!).

As I said at the beginning of this post, we are absolutely gutted to not be going on this holiday, especially as it was going to be our first proper holiday in the sun as a family of five. But we have been looking into alternatives for later in the year. Possibly to somewhere a little closer to home and sprinkled with a little bit of magic and a mouse... Disneyland Paris of course! Not only would it bring some much needed joy after such a rollercoaster of a year, but it will definitely make up for not getting our big family holiday.


We aren't going to be booking anything just yet, but have everything crossed that the world becomes a little bit more normal as quickly as possible. I know a holiday being cancelled isn't the end of the world (especially with everything else going on), but when you've saved hard and have three excited children to let down, it is a bit rubbish isn't it?

Have you had to update your travel plans for 2020?
This is a collaborative post.