Monday 31 October 2016

Its a Num Noms Halloween

Happy Halloween Everyone!  

This halloween we decided to have a Spooky Num Noms Party. 

We loved these Activities that Num Noms have thought of below and so we thought that we would use Num Noms to inspire our party. 

There are so many different ways you can use Num Noms for spooky halloween fun. 
First we got ready our Num Nom inspired Pumpkin, inspired of corse buy Pumpkin Spice!

So last night we carved a Num Nom face into the pumpkin. Not the Scariest Pumpkin in the world but it looks pretty cool! 

Num Noms sent us a pack of Num Noms to join in with our party. It was the Dinner Jumbo Combo set. Inside was lots of different Food Num Noms. 

I felt that Hot dogs were a great food for our party and I got that inspiration from Hayley Hot dog. Hot Dogs are great for halloween, covered in ketchup which you can pretend is blood, they look very Halloweeny. 

Lily's Num Noms all gathered around Lily to join in with her Spooky Lunch. We then did a Spooky Num Nom Drawing. We chose Chilli Go go as our Num Nom as it has a angry looking face! I drew it for her and Lily coloured it in.

Last but Not least we put lots of Num Noms into a bucket of cobwebs and the game was to dare to dig your hands into the bucket and get the Num Noms out! Lily found this great fun. 

Which Activity from the Num Noms ideas and my ideas would you do? 

Saturday 29 October 2016

The Bedtime Routine Campaign

Lily has never been a brilliant sleeper. She is about to hit two year old and although her sleep has improved she still has plenty of nights where she wakes me and plenty of nights where she won't go to bed. 

When Lily was a baby, she would wake me continuously though out the night around every 3 hours, and at one point it was every hour. It wasn't until she was about 18 months old did she finally start having some nights of sleeping through. 

But then as she got older, also getting her to bed started to become a challenge. With her being aware that it was bedtime and not wanting to go to sleep. We started to notice she would try her hardest to keep herself awake, fighting her tired eyes and standing up in her cot shouting Mummy, Daddy.
Still to this day we have nights where she is like this and so I was happy to get involved in the Bedtime Routine Campaign to try and see what could help Lily get to sleep and stay asleep. 

The Bedtime Routine Campaign has outlined 10 tried and tested techniques that are found to help a baby sleep. These are

1.            Bedtime stories (61%)
2.            Strict routine (56%)
3.            Black out blinds (50%)
4.            Technology black out (40%)
5.            Night light (37%)
6.            Letting child sleep in your bed (35%)
7.            Controlled crying (29%)
8.            Swaddling (21%)
9.            Taking child for a drive (19%)
10.          Taking child for a walk (17%) 

I was asked to choose one and try it out and see my results. 

For me the two that stood out the most was a Strict Routine and Bedtime stories. As we like to do bedtime stories in our routine already I decided that trying to keep to a strict routine would be the best to do. We have never been able to try out black out blinds as Lily has huge windows in her room. I also have never let Lily sleep in our bed unless she was ill. Im also not a big fan of controlled crying. So these were not an option for us. 

A strict routine for Lily doesn't just start before bedtime. I find it has to be kept up during the day to. Starting with nap time. To be able to get them to nap at the right time is the important thing and so having the naps around the same time each day is crucial. The biggest problem with this is that it all depends on what time Lily wakes up. If its early around 7.30am then I find she will need that nap at about 11.30am. If its later and around 9am then I find around 1pm is a good time for her to nap. That does mean that the daily routine isn't as strict as it could be. But its still routined in the fact that her nap is 4 hours after she wakes up. 

Lily will usually nap for around 1 and a half hours and I never let her nap longer than 2 hours. 

The next part of the routine that is important, is when she has her dinner. I try to get Lily to eat around 5pm so then that gives 3 hours before she is laid down and hopefully going to sleep. 

After that, the bedtime routine will start at about 7.30pm. My partner usually takes her to her bedroom and gets her into her pjs, changes her nappy, and brushes her teeth, while I prepare her a bottle of milk. We like to get Lily involved in the night time routine and so she shuts her own curtains and turns on her own lamp and turns out the light. She then says goodnight to Daddy and I take over. She usually sits on my knee and we read a few stories while she drinks her milk. After the stories I will turn out her lamp and put on her nightlight which puts stars around the bedroom. I snuggle her into my arms for a nice cuddle while she finishes her milk and then lay her in her cot with her favourite teddy's. This part of the routine usually takes around 30 mins and if the whole routine from morning to night has been stuck to, then she will generally go straight to sleep. 

She won't always sleep through though. I found that the days she didn't have a nap. She slept through. But the problem is that she is still to tired in the day for me to cut out her naps and if I don't give her the routined one then she may just fall asleep around 5pm and then won't go to bed at 8pm. 

I do find that its not always easy to stick to a strict routine. I think if maybe you stayed in your house 24/7 then maybe, but of corse you can't do that and we take plenty of days out and they can really mess with the routine. I will find that even if I do the bedtime part of the routine perfectly. If the daytime part of the routine was messed up and so napping and eating times messed up, then she won't go down to sleep. 

I think that any parent really appreciates those good nights though. So even though we can't stick to a strict routine each day and night. I would really recommend trying to do it on those days you can. 

Coming from a parent who has had some very broken nights sleep I would really say that having a routine in place has helped Lily sleep better. So its definetly worth a try. 

You can see my story featured here as well as other bloggers sleep stories. 

I would love to know what things you think help your children sleep? I know each child is different and maybe you know something I don't. Please feel free to comment below and tell me. 

Friday 28 October 2016

White Chocolate Krispy Pumpkins

So today I decided to try a idea I had in my head. I have seen a few recipes that are with marshmallow. But Lily doesn't like marshmallow so I wanted to see if I could do something similar with white chocolate. 

So we made some White Chocolate Krispy Pumpkins. I must admit i'm not the best as presentation, but to children's eyes I think they look like pumpkins. Maybe you could do a neater job. 

So, its really easy to make Chocolate Krispy Pumpkins.

You will need lots of bars of white chocolate, depends how many you want to make to how much chocolate you will need. One bar got us around 5 pumpkins. 
You will also need some Rice Krispies, orange food colouring and squirty icing. 

Step 1 - Melt your chocolate, I find the best way is to use a glass bowl over some boiling water and keep stirring, but make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. My bowl was small and I had to hold it above the pan to get the correct heat to melt the chocolate. 

Step 2 - When your chocolate has melted, Stirr in as many Rice Krispies as you can. 

Step 3 - Put in a small amount of food colouring, or enough so all the chocolate is coloured but not to much as it will make the chocolate seize up. This may make the texture of the chocolate a little thicker but that helps for step 4. 

Step 4 - This is the messy part, with your hands grab some of the mixture and squeeze and roll it into a ball shape. 

Step 5 - Put them in the Fridge until they set. 

Step 6 - Decorate your pumpkins with a green stalk and spooky face. 

These are such a nice tasty treat for halloween and i've already eaten one or two of these. 

If you do decide to try these then I hope you enjoy them. 

Thursday 27 October 2016

Mummy and Me October 2016

I didn't really get many opportunities to get a good photograph of me and Lily this month, Its been a really busy month and Lily isn't really one for posing for pictures at the moment. So this one has been taken today at the halloween party we went to. I was a boring Mummy and didn't dress up (although I Do think I look like the walking Dead with those bags under my eyes!) But Lily had her cute halloween dress on. I also love how blue both our eyes look in this photo and also how grown up she looks. One more month and Lily will be two years old so this will be the last mummy and me of her being one! 

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Baby Born Interactive Wonderland Doll Review and Giveaway

With Lily being such a huge dolly fan, calling them her babies I was so excited to find out we were getting sent a Baby Born Interactive Wonderland Doll from Zapf Creation. We love the Baby Born doll and all that she does, but the Wonderland doll is all that more special because she is dressed in a super cute fairy dress. 

Lily has recently really started to be interested in fairy's and princess's and recently got her first fairy dress of her own. So I knew she would love this doll. 

So before I gave Lily her doll, I decided to see if she would like to wear her fairy dress and excitedly she did. She looked so cute with her fairy dress on just like the dolls dress. 

The doll is so beautiful. Her dress is just the perfect dress for a fairy doll and its a beautiful mixture of pinks and purples. She wears a stunning tiara on her head and comes with detachable fairy wings. She also comes with some finer details, she wears a really pretty necklace of a unicorn and a delicate little bracelet on her wrist. All these features just add up to make one really pretty doll. 

She also comes with a small pair of shoes that match her dress. Lily really liked being able to put the shoes on and off, though I did need to help her a few times. 

The doll also comes with other matching accessories. Such as her purple potty, a nappy, her dummy, a spoon and plate, some of her favourite porridge, her drinks bottle and another bracelet. 

Lily really enjoyed doing everything with this doll. She loved pretending to feed her and giving her the bottle. She loved putting the dummy in the dolls mouth and then sitting her on the potty. 

The doll is a really great quality and the legs and arms move so you can place her into the sitting position. 

Of corse the doll is not just great for its beautiful fairy features but also its interactive features. 

Baby Born drinks real water and then she wets her nappy and can cry real tears. Then you can feed baby born her own porridge and press her belly button for her to poop into the potty. Its so clever to have these features in a doll. 

Baby Born is also fully bath able and you can buy bathtubs from Zapf Creation for her to go in. 

Then of corse after all that, when you lay your Baby Born down, she will close her eyes and sleep. 

This Baby Born is the perfect gift for Christmas for any dolly loving child. She is recommended for ages 3+ and is around £39.99. Head to the Zapf Creation Website to see more. 

Seen as Christmas is coming up. We are giving one lucky winner a chance to own a Wonderland Doll. 
Enter below on the Gleam app. 

Win a Baby Born Interactive Wonderland Doll Worth £40

Tuesday 25 October 2016

The Baby Show October 2016

Its october again and that means its time for The Baby Show again. In the last year i've always taken a trip to The Baby Show. I usually go alone but this year I decided to take Lily with me to. The Baby Show always has so much to offer from activities happening throughout the day, and shows held on the stage and loads of great baby brands to see.

So we headed to Olympia London where it was being held and started our day. 

I could tell Lily was very excited and was pulling at my hand to get walking around the hundreds of stalls that were there. 

We first headed to EZPZ who were launching their product for the first time at The Baby Show this year. They were doing a food activity and I was excited to get Lily involved. Lily happily sat there in front of one of EZPZ's very cool plates that stick to the table. The team at EZPZ gave her some food and together we decorated the plate so it made a funny face. They are really cleverly designed and I think they will really encourage children to eat. 

We next headed to the Campbell Books Reading and Activity Zone to see Monkey Music do a performance. Lily loves music and dancing and so I knew she would love this. The singing session involved a dancing monkey and had all the children involved with shaking material around and making noise with shakers. Lily was a little shy of the monkey but she really enjoyed getting involved in this and by the end of it got a lot closer to the monkey. 

Next we had a invite from Stokke to celebrate the 10,000,000 Trip Trap Anniversary with a little party they were having. They had a huge table of arts and crafts which Lily loved, she made loads of sticky pictures and really enjoyed wearing a party hat. It was tricky to get her away from the crafty table but a party bag managed to get her away and we got some photographs sat on the Stokke Trip Trap highchairs. 

There was so much to see and we were more than half way through the day and so we made sure we popped to see some of our favourite brands. We headed to Funky Giraffe bibs where Lily became best friends with the giraffes. We also just had to pop to Heavenly organics seen as we are a taste tester for them. The stand looked great and Lily got to munch on some of her favourite snacks that they had on display there. 

We also popped along to see Nuby who we are soon to be working with and testing out their products. Lily really loved all the colourful items on their stand. Lily also really enjoyed that Chicco and Vtech had some toys out for her to try and spent quite a decent amount of time playing with those. 

Our last visits for the day was to 2 brands that I love and always keen to support. Snuglo and Magnet Mouse. Both great makers of baby clothes but both in 2 compleatly different ways. Was lovely to see what new items they had. Magnet mouse have a new breastfeeding shirt that opens so easily with their magnet fastenings and Snuglo have some really great new prints and soft Pjs which I just love. Snuglo kindly gave Lily one of there dummy's which meant Lily had a well needed nap. So I was very thankful for that from them. 

Having Lily with me at the baby show was great but meant one thing. I really didn't have much chance to see most the stalls and chat to the people there. So I decided I would head back on Sunday. 

On sunday I got to chat to some great new brands and also some I have loved for a while now. I was really impressed with Kiddihug. They have just launched a new baby carrier that not only supports the parents back better but also supports the baby better by not having there legs dangling. I tried this carrier on and it was really comfortable to wear and you can feel the support it provides you. 

I also visited Bundle Bean, who kindly gave me one of there New buggy organisers to try out. It looks great and can't wait to get using it so keep a eye out for my posts and tweets about that.

I met and chatted to so many different brands on the day. But here are a few that stood out to me on the day.

Bobux Shoes
Moor Baby
Diddi Dance
Mini - Me London
Taste 'n' Tell 

I couldn't leave The baby show without buying anything. So I ended up coming home with some Christmas books from Campbell Reading, Some Skin cream from Mustella and some cute Pyjamas from Zippy Bib. 

Overall The Baby show ended up being 2 really great days out for me. I can't wait for the next one. Head to The Baby Show website to see when the next one is.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Wow Toys Advent Calendar Giveaway

We are so excited to be joining WOW toys for there #WOWToysAdvent this year. We shall be doing a countdown to Christmas with them by using there fun Christmas Advent calendars. Keep a eye on on my Twitter Page to see daily advent tweets.

The WOW toys advent calendars are the perfect way for your child to count down to Christmas. WOW Toys have 3 different calendars all with a Christmas theme and is filled with toys. Behind each door is a new toy and by Christmas day your child will have a whole new set.

The 3 calendars that are available are Farm, Town and Wonderland.

All sets come with 24 pieces, a car and a mixture of characters, animals and Christmas themed toys. All WOW Toys are made with PVC Free and Non Toxic Paint.

The calendars fold down to create a scene and when you open each door, the toy you get will match with a number on the scene.

The advent calendar is designed for 1-5 year olds and are £24.99. If you are interested in buying one of these fantastic calendars you can look here - Stockists 

I hope that you will join us for the WOW Toys Christmas Countdown and if you decide to, then please post any pictures you take with #WOWToysAdvent.

How would you like to win one of these? WOW Toys has one to give away to a lucky winner.

Enter on the Gleam app below.

Win a Wow Toys Advent Calendar

Thursday 20 October 2016

Autumn Art Activity's

If you follow my blog you would have seen that a few days ago we went out to collect leaves and other autumn goodies we could find outdoors. If you haven't read that, then here is the post.

Here is a few art Activities we did with some of the things we found. 

Leaf Pictures

We decided to make colourful leaf pictures. The first time we did it we stuck them onto white paper, but as we had left it a day or so since picking the leaves, they had gone a little curled at the edges and were tricker to stick down. Lily did a great job at putting the glue on the paper and pressing down the leaves. The second time we did it, we collected the leaves and then went straight to get some coloured paper to stick them to. We got much better results with these ones. Its a really great and easy activity to do over and over again. 

Pine Cone Rolling Pictures

We collected a few pine cones and I really wondered if they would create a nice pattern. We dipped them in the paint and rolled them or dabbed them onto the paper. The results looked great. Lily was also really good at doing this, dabbing was her favourite way of creating the marks. Again its a really easy way of mark making and also using something different to paint with.

Leaf Printing 

Then we tried to do some leaf printing. I thought we would get a shape of the leaf but I don't think we had the right type of leaf as the paint didn't sit on it properly. But what paint did sit on the leaf created a really nice mark as we pressed it down. Again another way of making marks. 

Stick Drawing

We first tried dipping the sticks into the paint and then drawing with them, but that didn't leave much of a mark. So I had a idea.  I pushed the piece of paper into the paint to make a layer of paint on the paper. Then I let Lily draw on the paper with the stick and it made marks in the paint. This ones very messy though but can look great if done right. 

Which of the activities do you like the most? 

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Puppy Play Set from Learning Resources Review plus Giveaway

As part of the Learning Resources Christmas Gift Guide we were sent the New Sprouts Puppy Play Set to review. 

Christmas is not to far away now and I know we are secretly all out doing early Christmas shopping and all making those Christmas lists. So here is a toy that both Learning Resources and I think makes a great gift for Christmas. 

The Puppy Play Set! Now lets be honest, how many people asked for a puppy for christmas when they were younger? How many people have children who have already asked for a puppy for Christmas? Well if your not considering getting a real puppy then I think the puppy play set is the answer. Its the perfect way to get your child a little puppy to look after without having to deal with any of the mess and responsibility that comes with it.

That being said, A Puppy Play set is not just for Christmas, its something that your child will need to take care of each and every day. The puppy comes with its basket so your child can put the puppy to bed, comes with a dog bowl and dog food so your child can feed it each day, comes with a bone so your child can play with the puppy and give it a little treat and finally it comes with a brush so they can groom it each day.

Lily was super excited to receive the Puppy Play set and as soon as she got the puppy out of the box she gave it a big squeezy cuddle and said "Aww". Its quite nice that the dog is a soft toy because its perfect for cuddling and loving.

I showed Lily which was the dogs bed and put the doggy in it. Lily soon picked this up and understood that that is where the dog sits. She straight away understood the brush part and when I said Aww brush the puppy, she understood and started to brush it again saying Awwww as she did.

I showed her the dog food and showed her how to empty it into the bowl and then said give the puppy a bone and she put it to the puppy's mouth. It really is a great simple little set that young minds can understand and that encourages early imaginative play.

I have left the puppy play set out this week so if she wanted to play with it she could go and get it herself. This is always a great way to find out if she likes a new toy. So far Lily has got it out to play with each day. Its really nice to leave her alone to play with it and see her talking to the puppy and really engaging in imaginative play. Its great to see how this toy is helping with Lily's language development. 

The pieces of the puppy play set are all a great size for little hands and are all made from rubberised PVC and durable plastic. They are all super bright which is eye catching and the design is really appealing to children. Its recommended from children aged 2-6 years old and is £20.00 to buy. 

You can head to the Learning Resource Website now to buy it or read more.

Ok, As its nearly Christmas. We have one Puppy Play set to give to one Lucky Winner. 
Enter on the Gleam App Below.

Win a Puppy Play Set from Learning Resources