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Month: May 2018

Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

When you have two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s hard work. Trust me, I know. When you’re the primary carer of two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s really hard work. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent the best part of three years willing time to pass. Looking forward to the next milestone because that’s when things will get ‘easier’. One particular milestone that’s been in my sights, is nursery. Life would surely be simple when the kids start their nursery placements.

Now nursery is literally just around the corner, the biggest has her third birthday and then BAM, she goes to school. I honestly didn’t think it would bother me, I would get the quiet time I’ve been craving. I’d get time to work as when one is at school, the other will nap. The perfect scenario. I’m absolutely dreading it though, how can she be three already? How is it possible that she’s old enough to attend a state nursery? Seriously, where did that time go?

Less than 24 hours old.

Ready for the next step –

Her, not me. She’s so ready, you can almost hear the cogs going around in her brain it’s working that hard. She loves reading, drawing, riding her bike and being outdoors. Everything that nursery will nurture and make even more fun for her. She’s been asking to go to school ever since we went to visit back in November. She loved every second and I know it’s time for her to spread her wings.

It’s me that’s not ready for the next step. I know she’s ready and I know how much she will blossom, but I just can’t help but think it’s too soon. She’s my first-born and time has just gone too quickly, time that I sincerely wish I enjoyed more. Just like everyone told me I should. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I know, but I can’t help but look back on the times I’d wished things were easier with regret.

 

Becoming a big sister at 10.5 months old.

Three is a magic number –

On the day that this post was published, the biggest turned three years old. Three whole years passed in a flash and she’s gone from a tiny 6lb 3oz baby to a walking, talking, tornado of incredibleness. She’s funny, she’s clever and she definitely knows what she wants. All I have to do is believe in her, believe that she’s ready to take on the world and know that this is where she needs to start. So Happy Birthday my beautiful girl, here’s where your next chapter begins!

 

Happy 3rd Birthday!
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GreaterSkies Star Map Review – GIVEAWAY!

GreaterSkies Star Map Review – GIVEAWAY!

When Hubs and I were organising our wedding, I remember being so nervous on the run up to the big day. I’m not one for being the centre of attention anyway, so walking up the aisle in front of so many people was a terrifying thought. It was a difficult day too, as my grandfather had passed away just two days before. He had been ill for a while and we had booked the wedding within a short time, with the hope that he would be there. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be and our wedding day will always be a time of sadness and happiness, rolled into one. So when I was approached by GreaterSkies to review one of their star maps, I knew exactly which sky I would want to remember.

 

The GreaterSkies Star Map process –

Looking through the GreaterSkies website was a real treat. You choose the date, time and location of the sky you’d like to remember. Then you’re presented with an amazingly intricate image of the stars at the exact place and time you chose. The ordering process couldn’t be more simple!

You also have the option to add text at the bottom of the image. Ours states that it’s the sky over our village on the day of our wedding. I get a little sentimental each time I look at it!

 

 

Choosing your design –

Not only can you choose your preferred time and location, you can also choose the design that suits you best. I chose the night sky view, which is a predominantly black piece with white text. You can also choose the classic star map with a white background, or maybe their floral design is more up your street. There really is a design to suit everyone, which I think is great if you are giving the star map as a gift. It makes it even more personal.

 

 

Your GreaterSkies package –

GreaterSkies offer packages to suit everyone. The package we received is the night sky star map, which comes with a quality aluminium frame. It looks really sleek and has been a real conversation piece since it arrived. If you wanted to frame the print yourself, you can simply purchase the printed map and personalise it yourself. Alternatively you can purchase the download package and print your star map at home. This is a good option if you need your map in double-quick time!

 

 

The guys over at GreaterSkies would like to offer one of my lucky readers the chance to win a framed star map worth £118.95! All you have to do is enter using the form below, please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck! 

 

 

Win a Framed GreaterSkies Star Map Worth £118.95.

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Father’s Day Special – The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company GIVEAWAY!

Father’s Day Special – The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company GIVEAWAY!

Father’s Day is just around the corner and to celebrate we have a very scrumptious giveaway for you! Earlier on this week, the guys over at the Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company sent us a super yummy, Father’s Day Belgian chocolate pizza to try out. Hubs was delighted with his delivery, as were the girls and I!

 

 

 

The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company make delicious chocolate gifts for all occasions, including wedding favours and gifts. They are so reasonably priced, they deliver quickly and they are the perfect gift to make any occasion extra special. We have a few birthdays coming up and a couple of weddings, I’ll certainly be adding a chocolate pizza to all of their presents!

 

 

The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company would like to offer my readers the chance to win a Father’s Day pizza! All you have to do is enter using the form below, please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck! 

 

Father’s Day Gourmet Chocolate Pizza

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#Blogstravaganza #71

#Blogstravaganza #71

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast! 

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

 

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

 

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from View from the Beach Chair! Grab your badge here:

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

 

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast


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Thinking of Going Self-Hosted? Follow this Checklist to find the Perfect Host!

Thinking of Going Self-Hosted? Follow this Checklist to find the Perfect Host!

If you have a business in this day and age, then you need a website to go with it. Having a space online for your customers to visit allows for easy access to information. It gives them the opportunity to find out what you offer and why they should be using your business for their needs, whatever they may be.

Getting your business online also opens up greats advertising avenues. Take social media for example, it’s estimated that over 2.77 billion people actively spend time on the likes of Facebook and Instagram. Just imagine how many more people you’d reach, if you could tap into an audience of that size. Getting your business online and into the realms of social media may be difference between a mediocre business and one that’s booming.

 

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What is a website host?

A website host is an organisation that allows people to access your site on the web. Website hosts provide you with space on their server for a moderate fee, which often includes an email address, site backups and a support service to help you keep your site running efficiently.

Choosing the right website host for you is extremely important, as it determines how good the user experience of your site is. A poor service can have a detrimental effect on your business, as customers are easily put off by slow running sites and sites that are down more than they are active.

An effective site makes the user’s experience simple, which means they’re more likely to use your business again and to recommend it to others.

 

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Checklist – what makes makes the perfect website host?

The first thing you need to do when you are searching for a website host is to make a list of all of the top competitors. Draw up a quick comparison; what do they offer? How much is it going to cost? Read the small print, are there any hidden costs? This will help you narrow down your search a little, allowing you to get into the finer points of the companies that you are interested in using.

 

Location –

Finding hosting in the right location is very important when it comes to choosing who will host your website. Hosts that use UK/Europe data delivery will operate much quicker than those that are based in other areas. Website speed is paramount when your intention is to run a successful online business, so location is worth keeping in mind when you make your final decision.

It’s also a good idea to use a host that operates in the same time zone as yourself. That way, any communication can be made quickly and easily, without lengthy time delays due to area.

 

Support –

Websites are pretty amazing things, when they are running correctly. Like anything else though, there are times when there are problems that are beyond your control. When this happens you need to know that the support from your website host is easy to access and that they’ll get you back up and running as soon as possible. After all, all the time your site is down, you are losing business.

Look for a host that has a twenty four hour live chat service, that way you can be reassured that they’re working on the issue in hand. It’s also a good idea to make sure they have an accessible telephone service. The easier it is to contact their support team, the better. 

 

Data backup –

As you build your site, you’ll find that there are so many modifications and alterations that you can make. The beauty of having your own website, is that you can design it just perfectly to suit yourself and your business. The problem with being able to make so many changes though, is that sometimes it can go wrong. When it comes to websites, it’s easy to make a simple mistake that can have big consequences.

This is why you should choose a website host that backs up your site at regular intervals. The more backups they have, the quicker they can get you back in business.

 

Security –

Internet security is a huge concern for any website owner. So before you choose your new website host, you should check out what site security they offer. Do they automatically update your site? This makes sure the security measures you do have in place are kept running as they should. Do they offer firewall protection? This will repel any unwanted users that are heading to your site. Make sure you have as much security in place as possible, protecting your site is protecting your business.

 

Speed –

Put simply, the faster your website runs, the better. A fast running site means you’re likely to get more traffic. It means that customers are more likely to stick around and that means it’s probable that your business will make more money. Speed is also a factor when it comes to website ranking, so make sure your host offers the quickest possible speed. Google recommends a server response time of under 200ms, anything above this and it could negatively affect your site. There’s more information on website speed tests here.

 

Customer reviews –

Reviews from existing customers are a good way to gauge whether a website host is up to scratch. Real life experiences of the good, the bad and the ugly provide a rounded view of the quality of such services. It’s important to remember that each individual has different requirements, so experiences will differ according to their needs. Having said that, you can usually get a good feel for a company by reading a handful of genuine reviews.

 

Expert reviews –

Recommendations of website hosts written by the experts are an excellent resource when you’re looking into a hosting service. These are often impartial reviews that seek to highlight what’s good and what’s not about each service. Experts often pick up on things that others miss too, so if something is too good to be true, here’s where you’ll find out.

Finding the right website host for you doesn’t have to be difficult, but you should follow these steps to make sure you’re investing in the right company.

 

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#Blogstravaganza #70

#Blogstravaganza #70

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast! 

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from Don’t Drop the Baby! Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast


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The Medicine Cupboard – Home Essentials for Kids

The Medicine Cupboard – Home Essentials for Kids

*This post was written in collaboration with the Independent Pharmacy. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post does not contain professional medical advice. If you have any medical problems you should always consult a professional. 

 

Before we had children, I must admit that our medicine cupboard was very bare. If Hubs and I ever became unwell, it would result in one of us doing a mad dash to the local pharmacy to pick up what we need. Now that we have two girls though, I couldn’t imagine not having a selection of medical essentials to hand. When I was pregnant with our first daughter, I made a list of everything we would need. I put it all together in our medicine cupboard so that if we needed anything, at anytime, it was there!

I’m so glad I did this too, as even though we are very lucky to have two healthy girls, there have still been times when they’ve needed medicine quickly. The worst time this happened was just before the biggest’s second birthday, we were on holiday and she took a tumble on the tots play area. Luckily I was prepared with ibuprofen and paracetamol, to keep her comfortable until we arrived at hospital. As it turned out, she had fractured a bone in her leg, so being able to give her pain relief quickly made a huge difference to her.

 

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Ever since that very traumatic time, I’m even more prepared when it comes to medical essentials. If we start getting low on anything I’ve found that ordering online is a really easy and convenient way to stay stocked up.

Here are a list of our must have’s for kids;

Ibuprofen –

I always keep a bottle in the house and in my hand bag. As it’s an anti-inflammatory it’s great for bumps, bangs and swellings. As it can be taken alongside paracetamol too, I think it’s a great way of helping to keep their temperature down when it’s a little too high. I give it them intermittently, to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Paracetamol –

Carrying paracetamol is so handy. From small accidents to minor illness and high temperatures to snotty noses, a dose of this can be a real help!

Thermometer –

I really worry when our girls get a high temperature and I admit that I check it far too often, until it starts to come back down again. So having a thermometer in the house is a must. It’s good to know where they’re at and if they are comfortable!

Sterile fluid and plasters –

These are essentials that I keep at home and in the car! With two toddlers, bumps and scrapes are a regular occurrence. I think plasters are a really good thing to help kids feel better and to keep cuts clean. We definitely couldn’t be without a good stock of these!

 

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GUND Mythical Creatures – The Magic of Unicorns! GIVEAWAY!

GUND Mythical Creatures – The Magic of Unicorns! GIVEAWAY!

*We were gifted two unicorns for the purpose of this review,. As always,  all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

A little while ago I was lucky enough to work with the soft toy company GUND, on their Pusheen campaign. So I was really excited to be able to join them on their mythical creatures campaign too! With two young girls in the house, you can imagine how well magical unicorns would go down, so this was an opportunity for my girls that I just couldn’t miss. We’ve been a big fan of GUND since before our first daughter was born. In fact, they each have their own pink GUND My First Teddy’s, which have so much sentimental value now.

Looking through the GUND website, I really didn’t know where to start. They have so many gorgeous plush products that are based on mythical creatures. My favourite though and the one that I knew our girls would love best, was the light up musical unicorn. I loved it as soon as I saw it, so they were sure too! Both of our girls have their birthday in early Spring, so this was the perfect time to put in my order – magical birthdays are always the best!

 

The magical light and sounds unicorn –

The guys over at GUND sent over two unicorns for our girls. We all know what kids are like with toys and they’ve kindly saved me numerous toddler tantrums, as they don’t have to share the one. This was great as the girls didn’t put them down for some time! All you have to do is touch the back of the unicorn and its wings flash a pretty colour, as a little magical music is played. The littlest especially is delighted with the lights and music, she loves to watch her unicorn friend sparkle.

As always the quality of these products from GUND is exceptional. They are so well made, robust and super soft to touch. the eldest of our girls is still only three, so you can image the amount of use they get. They both still look like new, after a lot of imaginative play and even more cuddling!

 

 

Adding to our GUND collection –

Overall, both myself and our girls are over the moon with these amazing mythical unicorns from GUND. They are the perfect addition to their ever-growing GUND collection!

 

 

The guys over at GUND would like to offer my readers the chance to win a unicorn of their own, as well as a unicorn head wall display and a plush rainbow! For your chance to win, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions… good luck!

 

Win a Selection of GUND Plush Toys Worth £109.85

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The Importance of Children Learning to Care for Pets

The Importance of Children Learning to Care for Pets

I’ve always been an animal lover. Over the years I’ve had so many pets and caring for them has been an absolute pleasure. Dogs have been a staple in my life from being born. Since having my own home I’ve had chickens, rabbits, degus, hamsters and budgies. In fact, you name it and I’ve more than likely kept it. My poor husband however, is not a fan of any kind of animal. He’s been the perfect sport over the years, when I’ve rescued ‘another rabbit’ and when I insist that they need to spend time in the house!

 

Pets around children –

The trouble with having a husband that isn’t keen on animals, is that at some point or another those feelings could rub off on the kids. For that reason, I commend every effort he makes to pet the rabbits and paint a smile across his face at their ‘cuteness’. I know he doesn’t find it easy, yet sometimes I laugh at him for jumping at the sight of a bunny. He does so well though and he’s determined for our children to love and enjoy the company of animals as much as I do.

I think that children can learn so much from looking after pets. Not only does it teach them to care for and nurture another living thing, it also teaches them about love and companionship. Our animals make us smile, laugh and even cry on occasion. I think all of these emotions are healthy to feel and experience from a young age. It gives children the opportunity to learn how to deal with all of the different emotions that they will inevitably experience throughout their lives. I’m not saying they should be exposed to anything remotely traumatic, but life has its ups and downs and it’s OK for kids to appreciate that.

 

 

Exercise –

One great benefit of kids having certain pets, namely ones that they can exercise outdoors, is that it’s a super way for kids to get some exercise too. Our girls love nothing more than to head out onto the garden with their pet bunnies, or to take the dogs out for a walk. It gets them out into the fresh air and burns off so much energy! Some studies suggest that childhood obesity rates are on the increase, which is a really frightening thought. Kids should learn to be fit and healthy and it’s up to us as parents to teach them how to stay as healthy as possible. I think pets are a great way to encourage the kind of healthy lifestyle that kids should be living.

 

 

Happiness –

I do believe though that the combination of kids and animals is the perfect recipe for happiness. There’s nothing more infectious than the giggles of our girls, when they are outdoors playing with their pets. They’ll always remember the fun they had with them and I’m happy that I’ve been able to provide them with the opportunity to have their own little furry friends to love and take care of!

 

 

 

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#Blogstravaganza #69

#Blogstravaganza #69

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast! 

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from The Scribbler Mum! Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast
It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast


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