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Category: Children

The Wonders of Millenial Parenting with Johnson’s Baby

The Wonders of Millenial Parenting with Johnson’s Baby

I’m a Millennial. My Parents are Boomers, born to parents who advocated freedom, this makes me a Millennial. A Millennial childhood is encompassed by protection, an analogue existence and fewer rules than the next generation. According to research completed by The Pineapple Lounge Millenials value the happiness of their family above everything else.  So how does being a Millenial shape my parenting style?

An analogue childhood –

I’m one of the lucky people who has experienced an analogue childhood, that is a childhood free from technology. No Facebook, no tablets and no smartphones! When I was growing up we really did make our own entertainment, we spent a lot of time outdoors and we enjoyed much more time involved in creative play than generations that continue to follow. This way of living will always be available, but technology has succeeded in taking over. Technology plays a huge part in children’s upbringing now, more than ever before.

Living through such a technology free childhood has given me valuable insight into the benefits of switching off. I firmly believe that children should remain unplugged for a large proportion of their upbringing. Valuable skills can be learned from technology, but there’s nothing more valuable than taking in the world first hand. I agree wholeheartedly with the research collected by The Pineapple Lounge, as a Millenial I do put my children’s happiness above all else. As such, I know from my own experience that an analogue childhood breeds happiness. Therefore finding the right balance of switched on and switched off for my own children is essential.

A digital upbringing versus an analogue upbringing. 

Digital adulthood –

Even though I firmly believe that experiencing an analogue childhood has shaped my parenting style for the better, I know that living a digital adulthood has opened my world up to an immense amount of opportunity. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for technology and for this reason, I know our girls need to get to grips with technology at some point. Sheltering them from the online world for too long could have detrimental effects on their success in the long run. After all, we are now living in a digital age.

More research from The Pineapple Lounge has found that Millennials are incredibly motivated to develop themselves personally. It’s about doing things to the best of our ability and that includes being a parent. Often we treat parenting like a career, progressing up the ranks as we learn from our successes and mistakes. I know from personal experience that I’m constantly questioning my parenting style and ability. I strive to make our girls’ upbringing as perfect as possible, even though I know there is no such thing.

The wonders of Millennial parenting –

Parenting as a Millennial isn’t an easy task. Having had an analogue childhood, I can see the benefits of providing our girls with a similar upbringing. As an adult living in the digital age though, I have been introduced to a world of connections, opportunities and friendships that wouldn’t exist without technology. What I can take from both scenarios is the need for balance. As a parent I believe it’s my responsibility to provide the next generation with the best bits from an analogue and a digital world.

As a parent all I want is the best for our children. My life revolves around enriching their’s as much as I possibly can. I also know that our girls have to make their own way in life, you never know they might gain more from living in a digital age than I ever thought possible!

A Millennial parent.

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Pre-School Parent’s Evening – What to Expect

Pre-School Parent’s Evening – What to Expect

Our eldest daughter is in a state pre-school and has been there for a couple of terms, so they know her well and have a good idea of where she is in terms of development. We like to keep track of where she is as parents, so that we know what we need to be working on at home, in order to help her progress. That’s why when it came around to our first pre-school parents evening, I was looking forward to finding out how she was doing and where we should be going from here.

What to expect at your first pre-school parent’s evening –

I don’t believe that these kinds of parent’s evenings are serious business, in fact I know a few mums and dads who didn’t feel the need to attend at this stage. I do think it’s good to show willing though and even if you are pushed for time, it will only take around ten minutes out of your day. Even if pre-school doesn’t seem that crucial to you, it’s massive in your child’s world and that’s always worth remembering.

Children at this age have early years targets to meet and your child’s teacher should give you a good idea of where your child is at with respect to reaching them. It’s good to discuss this with their teacher as you may be aware of a milestone that has been reached at home, that their teacher hasn’t witnessed. So you can put your thoughts together to get a very clear picture of where your child is at developmentally.

Your child’s teacher will also discuss the social aspects of school life. How well they are settling in. If they’re making friends and if they’re having positive conversations with their peers. All of this information gives you a good idea of how your child is behaving when you aren’t around. Again, this is a good way to gauge what your child is doing well and what you may need to be working on at home. My favourite part of parent’s evening was a look at our daughters file and reading through her learning journey so far. It’s amazing to read and see what your child has been achieving at school.

It will make your heart melt and you’ll probably shed a tear, but pre-school parent’s evening is a must in terms of attendance!

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Our Smoothie Movie Night with Num Noms

Our Smoothie Movie Night with Num Noms

*We were gifted a Num Noms product package for the purpose of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Over the past few months our girls have developed a deep set love for Num Noms. The biggest especially, adores everything about them. She loves that they smell so amazing, that they have intricate pieces and all of the glitter – she just can’t get enough! This week they were asked to give the Num Noms Snackables Silly Shakes Maker Station a whirl. With the cold days and dark nights setting in, a #NumNomsSmoothieMovieNight sounded like an offer I couldn’t refuse!

We were sent an amazing set of goodies including a movie voucher to get the perfect film, the Num Noms Snackables Station and a whole host of Num Noms goodies. As well as the snuggest pom-pom blanket I’ve ever laid eyes on. The girls were so ready for a special night in and this little lot succeeded in putting smiles on their faces!

Movie selection: It had to be Disney, so we went for the classic Snow White! 

The Num Noms Snackables Maker Set –

This set is everything our girls love and more; glitter, slime and amazing scents! When it arrived their eyes were immediately drawn to the sea of pink and they couldn’t wait to get into it. Our youngest is a big fan of the Surprise in a Jar products, she loves to cuddle them and smell them. As it happens, this one smells pretty amazing!

The biggest however is all for the intricacies of play sets. She can spend hours putting them together, organising them and making the what they have inside. This time she was very excited to make her own slimy smoothies, when she found out there was glitter involved she was very impressed!

The girls were also sent a set of Num Noms mystery boxes. These are mini boxes that have a ring of a surprise character inside, ideal for little treats for the kids. The mystery boxes are a lot of fun as the girls get so excited to find out which Num Nom is in the box. The rings are squishy and light up when pressed, these boxes made both girls very happy!

Overall, our #NumNomsSmoothieMovieNight was a complete success. These products never fail to impress our girls and as a parent, a product that makes them so happy is a winner! We had the cosiest night with two very content girls, thankyou Num Noms – we loved it!

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Ready2Robot Collectable Toy Review

Ready2Robot Collectable Toy Review

I’ve seen collectable toys popping up left, right and centre this year! My girls are loving them and to be honest, so am I. They keep them entertained for hours and it means that I always have an idea of what to buy them for special occasions. This week they were asked to try out Ready2Robot, collectable and slimy warriors that they can do battle with!

Ready2Robot are available at Smyths and all good toy stores and there are a few different items available:

  • Single packs are £9.99
  • Bot Blasters are £14.99
  • Battle Packs are £19.99

The Review –

Some might see these as boys toys, but in our house anything goes. If the girls enjoy playing with something, then that’s all that matters! Much like the L.O.L Surprise Dolls, Ready2Robot are small figures that you have to build once all of the pieces have been found. What my girls love most about this product is that the warrior in hidden in slime, they have to dig through the goo to find them!

Our eldest can spend hours playing with toys like this, she loves how intricate they are and has a lot of fun building them up. She also likes to swap and change the parts to make her own unique robots. These robots are great for encouraging fine motor skills in kids too, by letting them build, swap parts and add warriors you can see them learning whilst playing. The ideal combination!

Overall, we are impressed with this product. If you have younger children you do have to keep an eye on the small pieces, but apart from that they are fun and have the added educational benefit. Ready2Robot have definitely been a hit!

 

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Kids VS. Parents Games Night Challenge with Little Tikes

Kids VS. Parents Games Night Challenge with Little Tikes

*This post was written in collaboration with Little Tikes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Now that our girls are well and truly growing up, we have a lot of family fun with board games. Hubs and I love to play all of the traditional board games with the girls, so when we were asked by Little Tikes  if we wanted to take part in a games night challenge, we couldn’t wait!

Little Tikes have a new range of super fun games out, ideal for kids aged 5 plus. They’re the kind of games that are that so much fun to play, the girls have no idea how much they’re learning whilst playing. So to kick of our Kids VS. Parents Games Night Challenge, Little Tikes sent us their Crazy Toaster and Hot Hoops games. As well, a music voucher and a Just Eat voucher to keep up the energy of the competitors!

Crazy Toaster – This is a pop up toaster game that will have you and your littles giggling all night! Slices of toast pop high out the toaster and you have to try to catch the flying pieces in your pans. If you catch them and they match the toast on your plate, they’re yours to keep. This game is fun, energetic and can be played for hours, but be warned – it’s not as easy as it looks!

Hot Hoops – This is a head to head challenge game and it’s perfect if you needs deciding points on your games nights! It’s fast paced and is bound to bring out the competitive streak in the whole family. The best thing about this games is that it’s compact and east to take on your travels.

 

Our family games night –

 

We had so much fun on our family games night, but unfortunately the parents did not come out on top! The kids of the house had scores well above ours and it was our eldest who was victorious and took the medal! We had such a great evening thanks to Little Tikes, their new games range is a lot of fun for both adults and children. Now all we need is a rematch to knock the kids off of their winning spot!

 

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Five Things being a School Run Mum has Taught Me

Five Things being a School Run Mum has Taught Me

I’ve had the joy of being a school run mum for a few months now. The novelty is wearing off and I’ve begun to countdown each term, eager for the holidays to start. It’s not because I don’t like school, we are very pro-education over here. It’s that the school run can become a bit of a bind! It’s a rat race, with everyone believing that they’re in more of a rush than the next person.

The good thing about the school run is meeting people on your wavelength. There will be at least one other mum, or dad, that you really get on with. You’ll laugh and cry with them as your children go through school and they will be your school run ally. Other than that, the school run is a real eye opener. So much so that if you did stand-up comedy for a living, you’d have fresh material for life!

Here are five things that being a school run mum has taught me;

Parents will KILL for a parking space –

Yes I drive to school, but in my defence we do live a couple of miles away. With a two and three year old to transport, walking each and every day is not an option. I’ve learnt though, that if you’re going to be driving to school then you need to be prepared to stand your ground.

People park their cars anywhere and everywhere and they get really shirty if you get in their way. The working parents are the worst, they want the space closest to school, so they can run in and run out in double-quick time. I understand they have to turn into work, but being a few minutes late is probably something they ought to have made their peace with when they had kids.

Kids are all sweetness and light until you get them out of the school gates. Then they turn into ‘hangry‘ monsters –

My kid is always happy at school. She’ll walk out with her friends talking and behaving like an angel. As soon as she gets into the car the ‘hangry’ monster appears. She wants food NOW and will be grumpy until she gets it. Why do parents always get cracked with the ‘hangry’ stick?

You’ll come across so may different types of parents. Remember though, you’re all knackered and you’re all stressed –

You’ll meet parents you like and parents you don’t. You’ll meet the ones whose kids you don’t mind your kids mixing with and you’ll meet ones you’d prefer they didn’t. What you shouldn’t over look though is that all of these parents are most likely knackered and completely stressed out, just like you are. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all that.

Hold back on the smug when your kids goes into school meltdown free. Your time will come. Believe me –

When our eldest started her school placement she went in like a dream. I would see the parents with screamy kids looking fraught as they tried to get their little one to go and play. I’ll be honest I felt a little smug, mine was doing so well, we had no trouble. Oh the naivety! Of course once she’d settle in and got her feet well and truly under the table, our angel daughter felt comfortable enough to wail at the top of her lungs one morning as I tried to leave. Not so smug now hey?!

Play dates are a thing. Deal with it –

I was so inexperienced at school mum life until recently, that I honestly never realised that I would have to schedule play dates into my already brimming diary. It wouldn’t be so intrusive if I dropped the kids off and picked them up tired and ready for sleep, but at their tender ages I have to stay with them. Now I’m all for being sociable, but I find squeezing work into my day hard enough as is it, never mind when I have to leave my own four walls for hours. Yes the kids love it and yes it’s good for them, but I won’t half been pleased when they can head off and see their friends without me!

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Poopsie Surprise Unicorn Review

Poopsie Surprise Unicorn Review

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

A sure-fire way to make my kids happy is to make slime with them, they absolutely love the stuff. Throw in a unicorn and they just wouldn’t be able to contain their excitement. I know this because recently we reviewed the Poopsie Surprise Unicorn and I’m sure they thought all of their Christmases had come at once. It would seem that slime and unicorns are the perfect combination!

The Poopsie Surprise Unicorn is available at Smyths, The Entertainer and Argos, it’s RRP is £49.99.

 

The Review –

Now as a parent, you can imagine that slime isn’t one of my favourite things! My kids however love it and the Poopsie Surprise Unicorn was no exception. You have to feed the unicorn all of the slime ingredients, using the tools provided. Once the unicorn is full of ‘food’, you put it on the toilet to poop out the slime. Now you understand why my kids love it so much, hey?!

The slime instructions are really easy to follow, and the girls thought feeding the unicorn was great fun. The littlest loved the brightly coloured mane of the unicorn and uses it as a toy, even when it’s not making slime! This set comes with glitter that you can add to the slime, making the ‘poop’ fit for the most glamorous of unicorns! You don’t just get one set of ingredients either, so the kids can make slime until their little hearts are content.

Overall, my girls just loved their Poopsie Surprise Unicorn. They laughed and giggled all the way through making their slime and I’m pretty sure it’s their new favourite toy. If you’re in need of some Christmas inspiration this year then I couldn’t recommend this product enough, it’ll get you some serious brownie points with the littles!

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Perfecting the Bedtime Routine with Johnson’s Baby

Perfecting the Bedtime Routine with Johnson’s Baby

#ad – this post was written in collaboration with Johnson’s Baby.

Bedtime can be a real challenge when you have kids. During the newborn stage, it’s all about hitting the hay whenever the baby finally falls asleep. Then as the kids get older, you have to try and wrestle them into bed at a reasonable hour. Ever since I began working with Johnson’s Baby, I’ve been thoroughly educated on the scientific wonders of bedtime. I’ve learned so much about how to get bedtime right, meaning less stress for my girls and I.

When our first daughter was born I really wasn’t getting bedtime right. I would often bathe her in the morning instead of the evening, just because I thought it was easier. That meant that at night time, I would try put her to bed and expect her to settle. There would be no relaxing bath time, followed by a little quiet time before sleep. I had things completely upside down and it was a very difficult time.

Learning with Johnson’s Baby –

It wasn’t until I began working with Johnson’s Baby that I finally began to realise the error of my ways. The most important thing that I’ve learned is that the first three years of our children’s lives are absolutely crucial in terms of brain development. Every tiny interaction helps to shape a baby’s brain, it gives them the grounding on which they will build their lives. I also learned that children relate well to smells. Scents bring back memories for us all, good and bad. So if we pair lovely smells, with even lovelier interaction, we’re able to create long lasting happy memories that will follow our children through life.

With this in mind, I realised that I hadn’t taken the opportunity to create those memories with my children. After all, a quick bath in the morning is not relaxing in anyway shape or form. There are so many other benefits of an evening bathtime routine that we were missing out on. It’s proven that bathtime with a scented bath reduces stress in babies and parents and that it can improve maternal anxiety. Like a lot of new mothers, this was something I really struggled with in the early days. For this reason alone, I wish I’d focussed more on creating a relaxing bath time.

Getting bath time right with the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine –

At this stage in my parenting journey and with a lot of thanks to Johnson’s, I’m now getting bedtime absolutely right. These days, bedtime passes without a struggle and both girls benefit immensely from the calming environment we create each evening. To achieve this, all we had to do was implement the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine;

Step 1 –

Run a nice warm bath, using lush smelling products that will calm your senses and your baby’s. I love using Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath.

Step 2 –

Give your littles a gentle massage, even if it’s just on the arms and the legs. This is another super calming experience that will help prepare your baby for the land of nod. My favourite product to use here is Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Oil, it smells amazing!

Step 3 –

Turn the lights down and enjoy a little quiet time, maybe a calming bedtime book. We love to sit and read our girl’s favourite books, lit by their nightlight. It’s the ideal transition into a good night’s sleep!

We’ve been following this bedtime routine for a little while now and it really has made a difference. Our girls know what’s going to happen and when. They jump into bed ready for their book and they drift off without any trouble at all, which is great to give Hubs and I time to relax in the evening.

I put the question of creating the perfect bedtime to my fellow bloggers, asking them to pass on their tips and tricks for getting the littles to settle down to a good night’s sleep. Here’s what they had to say;

Jaymee from The Mum Diaries: I always found bath, story and bed worked well with my 3 boys.’

Jo from Cup of Toast: ‘ We always have a bath / shower, followed by three picture books or a couple of chapters from a book, then lights out! We do the bath / shower time at the same time for our three boys then go in age order with stories (the youngest has them first) so that the older two both get a little bit of extra quiet time in their respective rooms.’

Gail from Yummy Mommy: ‘Routine!! Bath, chat, beaker of milk and a story and cuddling to sleep. Lights go off in our house at 6 and lamps go on. Make the place as dark as possible. Swear by this!’

Jade from Jade’s Journey: ‘We have just cracked getting our 2 year old to sleep after trying everything and what works for us is, no reading or playing for 20 minutes before bed instead we have a cuddle watch a little something then up she goes snuggles down with a teddy of her choosing and we give a kiss and cuddle close the door and that’s that. With our son who is 6 he has a calming down 30 mins before so he can read a book or watch TV then he goes up and same kiss cuddle and close the door.’

Charlotte from Looking After your Pennies: ‘We do bath, books and cuddles to sleep. But mine have never slept through the night (3.5 and 15 months) so I’m probably not one to talk.’

Pete from Household Money Saving:  ‘We went with story, bath and then teeth. Then an episode is Sean the Sheep if they behaved (usually they did) and straight to bed.’

Emma from Emma Reed: ‘ My 4 year old has a bath then has to come downstairs to chill for a bit, he doesn’t like to think it’s the end of the day straight after bath time for some reason. So we watch a bit of telly, then up to do teeth, he snuggles in bed and we read 2-3 books, sing a song and then say goodnight. He goes off by himself quite nicely after that.’

 

It would seem that we have a lot of advocates for a good bedtime ritual! Do you have any tips and tricks to create the perfect bedtime routine?

 

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L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

*We were gifted the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

This week our girls were sent the L.O.L Pop-Up Store to review. The biggest has been a big fan of L.O.L Surprise, since we reviewed our first dolls a few weeks ago. Now she’s a super fan and couldn’t wait to put the Pop-Up store through its paces. I was excited for this product too, as it meant we would be able to keep her L.O.L Surprise dolls altogether in one place!

The L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store is available at Smyths, Argos and The Entertainer.

The Review –

Our Pop-Up Store arrived on one the most miserable days of Autumn so far, which was perfect timing. Neither myself nor the girls bode when we’ve been stuck indoors, so to have this product to review was a very welcome distraction! First of all, we got out all of our existing L.O.L Surprise dolls, so that we had them ready to put on show.

Our biggest loves how detailed and intricate the dolls and their accessories are. She uses them to create her own stories, it’s great to see these dolls igniting her imagination so much. Once we opened the Store, we found all of the hidden packages to build up the doll that comes with the product. It was stored away in all of the different compartments, making it exciting for the girls to find them!

This product was full of different areas each with its own theme, including a diner, a beauty salon and a kitchen. The salon was a firm favourite with our girls, they had their dolls in there for hours beautifying them for a special event! Now that we have quite a few dolls, it’s really fun for them to swap and change the outfits on the dolls, making unique outfits for each and every one. Our eldest spent a whole rainy afternoon, making her dolls look like fashionistas!

Not only does the Pop-Up store allow you to display all of your L.O.L Surprise dolls, it also comes with a handle to turn it into a carry case. So wherever you are, it’s easy to take the dolls with you to keep the littles entertained. Our daughter loves that you can display the dolls most and has her proudly on show for everyone to see!

Overall, both the girls and I have been very impressed with the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store. The girls adore it and it certainly makes it easier to store all of the dolls and accessories in our collection!

 

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Super Cute Collectible Num Noms – Review

Super Cute Collectible Num Noms – Review

*We were sent a selection of Num Noms products for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

I’ve seem Num Noms all over the shops recently and my girls have been so intrigued by them. So when I was asked to review these super cute Collectible Num Noms, I knew it would be something they’d love to do! Num Noms are cute and wonderfully scented really cute characters that are filled with flavoured lip gloss. You can see why my girls have been so intrigued by them!

What’s in the box?

We were sent a Num Noms Glossy Gloss, as well as extra sets of mini Num Noms characters, packed with lovely lip gloss. Num Noms are available to buy at all good toy stores including: Smyths, The Entertainer and Argos!

 

The review –

As we’d never been introduced to Num Noms before, we had a lot of fun exploring what was in each of the product packages. The girls love toys that they can collect and they were so pleased to see that there were many different characters for them to get their hands on. My favourite were the fluffy characters, they have a little light in their tummy and they smell absolutely amazing!

The brilliant thing about the Glossy Gloss Truck, is that the girls were able to make their own lip glosses. It comes with a tub of plain lip gloss that you can add to your preferred Num Nom character, as well as extra glitter that you can add and mix together. This was a lot of fun for both girls, they were making fancy new lip glosses for an entire evening when our truck arrived!

Overall, both girls and I have been impressed with our Num Noms set. It’s been a lot of fun and I think it’s a great product to collect, especially on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas!

 

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