Thursday, 24 December 2015

Joey's Christmas Eve box 2015

Over the past few weeks I've been seeing a lot of lovely Christmas eve hampers created by my favourite blogger mums, so I decided to make one for Joey.
To be honest, I've only left my self about a week to get it prepared so it's probably not as good as I ideally wanted it but it's my first attempt. I plan on doing a Christmas eve hamper for Joey every year, it will be lovely to see how each hamper changes every year as he gets older.

Wicker baskets (Pack of 3) - £9.99 B&M

Here's what's inside...
Santa plate - £19.95
Last year it was Joey's first Christmas and the first time I'd ever seen a personalised Dear santa plate name bit it was too late to order one. Then this year I completely forgot about it and made a rather last minute purchase via and it arrived pretty quickly even if it was a few days before Christmas.
Santa paint canvas - 99p store
I was browsing one of our many pound shops in town and I came across one that sold Christmas canvasses with a few colours of paint and a brush. For 99p it's not bad for keeping the kids occupied.

That's not my reindeer 
I'd been trying to find these for ages in my town and went into one of the only bookshops we have in St Helens and they had a variety of That's not my books. They are touchy feely books so great for a bit of sensory play.  

Santa is coming to St Helens
Another great Christmassy book to read with the kids before Christmas but this makes it more personal to where you live and tells the story of Santa and his reindeers travelling to St Helens to deliver presents. Local landmarks are mentioned in the book so great for little ones to start learning about their local community. 

Sleepsuit - £10 Mothercare
This sleepsuit was a rather last minute buy at Mothercare in the sale for £10. It's a Christmas pudding sleepsuit and says "Mummy's Little pudding" and also comes with a hat. In January MyVoucherCodes are offering Up to 50% off in the Mothercare sale.

Marshmallows - £1. 80 Mothercare
A lovely little thing I picked up from Mothercare, mainly because of its packaging. They were in the sale at £1.80.

Here are a few hamper ideas from some of my fave bloggers:
Sparkles & Stretchmarks
Lilypod & Sweetpea
Mrs Meldrum

I hope you've enjoyed having a peek at Joey's Christmas eve box. Have you made one for your little ones?

Merry Christmas

Sunday, 13 December 2015

What Joey wore #28

It's been a long time since we last did a Weekend Mini Style post, so I thought it was time to get my bum in gear and get one done.

Outfit 1
1st December called for the first showing of our Christmas jumpers while we went food and Christmas decoration shopping.
Jumper: Primark |Jeggings: Zara |Shoes: Clarks
I bought the Christmas jumper from Primark about a month ago, it was £7 which I think is pretty reasonable. It has Rudolph the rednosed reindeer on it. I paired it with his light grey Jeggings from Zara.

Outfit 2
Ages ago I bought Joey some stag leggings from Fred & Noah and I love it when he wears them.
Top: Next | Leggings: Fred & Noah
The top from Next is like a long sleeve polo shirt, it came in a variety of colours and was part of their 2 for £10 offer. The top goes with anything, I love putting it with Joey's patterned leggings. The Fred & Noah stag leggings are lovely and wintery.

Outfit 3
It's Christmas so here's another Christmas outfit.
Top: Next|Vest: H&M |Jeggings: H&M
The reindeer print top is from Next and part of the 2 for £10 offer. I've never really seen reindeer print like this and I love it. It's winter and pretty cold so I put a long sleeved vest from H&M underneath and then his H&M Jeggings.

Outfit 4
This last outfit was from Joey's nursery  Christmas party last Thursday.
Jumper: Primark |Trousers: H&M
Any childrens Christmas party calls for a Christmas jumper. The trousers are like a courdroy material and think they're dead cute. I never normally put Joey in proper trousers but these are great and were only £3 in the sale and come in other colours.

I hope you've loved some of Joey's outfits sorry it's been a while. Don't forget to check out the other linkups over on This Mama Life.
This Mama Life
Also linking up with:
A Slice of My Life Wales
Until next time

Monday, 7 December 2015

Preparing for Christmas

We're now a week away from Christmas, I can't believe how fast this year has gone! As soon as 1st December was upon us it was time to start making the house look Christmassy.

Last year in one of my blog posts about Christmas I may have mentioned that Christmas time has never been my favourite time of year, with the passing of my mum in 1997 their didn't seem a point to Christmas. Christmas is for when families come together and our family had been torn apart. So for over 10 years I never really witnessed what a traditional family Christmas was, decorating a house or even a tree is completely alien to me. The decoration to the outside of our house is very basic, we have lights around our front room bay window, snowflake stickers and a Santa stop here sign. I couldn't imagine living in a house where the whole front is plastered with tacky lights. Next year I'd like some more outside lights.

But now that we have our own house I'm slowly trying to put my own spin on Christmas decorations. I tell you now that my Christmas tree is rubbish, and the decoration in the house is very low key thanks to a very active toddler. But here are my favourite bits...

Santa's Little Elf photo decoration
At the beginning of December Joey and I had a trip to The Range to have a look at Christmas decorations and this little tree decoration caught my eye. I love anything personalised and it wasn't expensive, think it was only £2.99.

Santa glitter lamp
Another find at The Range was this Santa glitter lamp which changes colours. Their were other Christmas characters to choose from but I preferred the santa one. I thought this was quite a good alternative to a sensory lamp and Joey loves looking at it.

Christmas bedding
Last year was the first year I'd ever bought festive bedding and I couldn't wait to get it back on once December had started. This duvet set is from George at Asda, they always do some great bedding. 

How do you like to prepare for Christmas?

Christmas wishes 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Joey's first month at nursery

Joeys has been going to nursery for just over 6 weeks now, he has settled in well and loves his key workers which is a relief as I thought he would hate it. 

When Joey first started nursery he used to cry a bit when we handed him over to his key worker, after a week or so he became less clingy but because he's been ill over the past couple of weeks he doesn't seem so enthusiastic about us leaving him. For the first 4 weeks Joey was going to nursery three full days a week so we had a good routine going on but now that my work pattern has changed everything is all over the place at the moment. Sometimes he'll do 5 hour sessions if I'm on a short shift at work or other times he'll do a full day. 

While at nursery Joey enjoys doing a variety of different activities, I love it when he makes us things to bring home. From the moment Joey started nursery his favourite thing to do was use the walker but he also enjoys sitting in the sensory area and playing with the sensory toys. Joey does a lot of fun messy activities and he loves to paint pictures.

He loves his food at nursery, when I read his notes at the end of the day it always says that he's eaten all of his lunch, tea and snacks. During his time at nursery though Joey seems to have been off his milk, his key worker would always try him whenever he was due one but he would push it away.

His walking has improved quite a bit while he's been at nursery, he is only walking between furniture but it's a start I suppose. His key worker is pretty positive that he'll be properly walking by Christmas and that's what they are focusing more with him at the moment. The nursery that Joey attends is lovely and are great with updating us with Joey's progress, they have an iconnect channel online that allows parents and the nursery to post updates and leave messages. 

Deciding to put your child into nursery can be a difficult decision to make, when Joey first started I would get so worried about him not liking it and crying the whole day but he really has bonded with the nursery staff. I'm not going to lie, nursery is a very expensive thing but I'd rather pay the money than him being bored sat at home with me. I'm glad that he enjoys nursery and has settled in well with the staff and other children. This month Joey turns a year and a half old which means that it will be time to move to the toddler room, it's a big step and something I was only prepared to happen when he turned 2 bit hopefully he'll settle in fine as he'll more or less be around the same staff.

Has your child recently started nursery.? How have they settled in?

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Season of sickness

If any of you know me personally or follow me on social media then you may have seen that our household haven't been very well recently. Theirs been colds, head injuries, sick, sick and more sick.

The season of sickness started about a month ago with Joey having a cold. He had this cold for a good 2 to 3 weeks and his sleep pattern was horrendous, he was waking up about 10 times in the night.
His cold started to clear up but was then replaced by a rattling chesty cough which again kept him up most of the night. As he was coming to the end of his cough he was sick a few times due to all the phlegm in his throat. He was sick in the middle of the night, had to get into our bed and was then sick again in our bed. He then caught an eye infection in both eyes and was prescribed a cause of Amoxocilin and it cleared up in less than a week.

Because of him being sick and having an eye infection he missed a week of nursery. He'd only been back in nursery a few days when I got a call from nursery last week saying that Joey had had a fall and hit his head on a table (which he's done quite a lot) they gave him his lunch and thew it all up. Chris went to pick him up from nursery early and was then sick again at home. When i got home from work I tried to give him some tea and then some milk at bedtime but 10 mins after he threw up again so we took him to an A&E. We were kept in A&E for 4 hours why they did observations on him, they put the sickness down to him having a headache after hitting his head.

Then as Joey has got over his head injury, Chris has contracted hand, foot and mouth disease from picking Joey up at nursery. Then the cycle comes back around again and Joey gets another cold and cough. I just wish the sickness in our household would piss off (excuse my French).

Has your family been struck with a lurgy?

Thanks for reading

Monday, 9 November 2015

Dressing your toddler for nursery

Joey has been going at nursery for a month now and I've quickly learnt what NOT to dress your child in. Here are a few ideas and tips to save those expensive/nice clothes from getting ruined.
Dressing your little one in plain basic clothes may sound boring but believe me, when you've sent your child to nursery in a Ralph Lauren cardigan and it comes home covered in paint I'd wish I'd gone for basic clothes. Basics don't need to be boring though, H&M have a wide range of basic clothes from rompers to tracksuits in all sorts of colours and patterns.

Next also have a selection of clothes that are classed as basics that are on a 2 for £10 offer.
Zara Kids have a couple of t-shirts in their basics collection that aren't plain and at £2.99 each I think they're a bargain.

Don't even think of buying anything white for your toddler to wear (unless you use a really good stain remover). Joey seems to get stuck in with a lot of messy activities at nursery so white or light coloured clothes are a big no no. I looked in Joey's wardrobe recently and I was surprised to see that all of his winter wardrobe is full of dark clothes, I hadn't realised I'd bought so many dark clothes for him.

Plenty of clothing stores have great Multi-buy deals, my favourite stores for this type of promotion are H&M and Next. At the moment, Next have a 2 for £10 offer on some of the kids basic items. A few weeks ago I nipped in and bought him a long navy polo top and a reindeer tshirt as part of the 2 for £10 offer.

H&M have a great offer on its kids basics, 3 for the price of 2 (cheapest free). I think it's great because you have a variety of different clothes to choose from whether it's trousers, hoodie and tops etc.
I love buying clothes for Joey and him showing them off so when a piece of clothing that was expensive or special gets ruined I die a little inside. Buying basic or dark clothes for your toddler isn't necessarily boring.

How do you like to dress your child for nursery? 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Being back at work and juggling family life

I've been back at work for just over a month now and I have to admit that being a mum, wife and going to work is a bit of a struggle. I knew things weren't going to be easy but I'm starting to realise how difficult it is trying to juggle everything.

As you may have read, I've recently started a job at amajor high street fashion store and even though I'm meant to be working in my home town I'm having to commute 28 miles a day for training. At the moment I'm on a 20 hour contract so my rota for the next couple of weeks is Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10am till 3pm and then Sundays 9am till 5.30pm. So that means that Joey goes to nursery three full days a week while I go to work. In an ideal world I wanted to be earning more than what I have to pay out on childcare but at the moment I'm not gaining anything financially from going to work. A few people I work with have questioned why I'm working when everything I earn gets eaten up by nursery fees, it would just be easier to go back to being a SAHM. Even though it may not be benefiting me at the moment I needed to get my foot in the door first before committing to a contract I was struggling to do. Once I'm more settled at work and at home I'm sure I'll be keen to take on more hours. 

Our routine at the moment is a bit all over the place because of the travelling I have to do and it looks like Joey is taking a bit of time to get comfortable with our new routine. His sleeping routine is just all over the place and it feels like he never sleeps at nighttime. So the sleepless nights and early starts are taking its toll.

Over the next few weeks our team will be moving into our new store so their won't be anymore long commuting and hopefully family life will calm down a bit.

How did you find going back to work after having a baby?

Friday, 30 October 2015

What Joey wore #27

We're back again with another #weekendministyle post. It's been 2 weeks since we did our last WMS post so we've got lots of new clothes to show off.

Outfit 1
A nursery outfit, this featuring a new purchase from Florence & Fred. 
Bib: Florence & Fred |Top: Peacocks|Bottoms: Florence & Fred|Socks: H&M 
I've been popping into Tesco after work and I've been really impressed with the sale they have in the F & F section, I picked up these joggers for £3. I could only find size 9-12months but they have plenty of room in them. I really liked the bears on them and think they're perfect for Autumn/Winter. His socks are new from H&M and I suppose you could class them as Christmas socks as they've got reindeers etc on them, his feet look so cosy in them. His dribble bib says "Dude" on it, with his cold AND teething theirs been lots of snot and dribble.

Outfit 2
I saw this top on the H&M website and fell in love with it, it says "Mummy's Little Gentle Man". 
Top: H&M|Bottoms: Zara|Socks: H&M 
I've been buying a lot more darker clothes for Joey to stop stains showing through as much. I paired the top with another pair of bottoms from Zara, I think the gold in the top goes nicely with the colour of the leggings.

Outfit 3
We took a trip to one of our local parks, it was so windy but Joey enjoyed going to the animal corner. 
Hat: Everton FC| Coat: H&M| Top: Florence & Fred |Bottoms: Zara |Shoes: Clarks 
I picked up Joey's hat from an Everton FC stall in Liverpool on my way to work a couple of weeks ago, it was £6, I liked it because it's white with the grey badge and has the grey pom pom on top. Joey's coat is a fairly new purchase aswell, I'd been looking for a parka jacket for Joey for ages. Originally I spotted one in Zara but then I saw this at work and I get staff discount so I thought why not. The top he's wearing is a Halloween top and says "Spooky Cute" with little ghosts on it, it was £3 from Tesco. He doesn't have any Halloween style trousers so I paired them with his grey geometric print bottoms from Zara, I thought they looked a bit like spiders webs.

Outfit 4
We had a lovely trip out to Southport. 
Bib: George at Asda|Top: Zara|Bottoms: Zara| Shoes: Clarks 
This outfit doesn't go at all, but I wanted Joey to wear his new mountain bottoms from Zara. I love the colour and the print on the trousers and paired it with his favourite "Little Heartbreaker" top also from Zara. I added the Pumpkin bib as it's nearly Halloween.

It's Halloween on Saturday and as of yet I haven't picked up a costume for Joey to wear, we're not planning on doing anything anyway. I hope you've enjoyed Joey's outfits, don't forget to link up with This Mama Life.
This Mama Life
Also linking up with:

A Slice of My Life Wales

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Hooked on Netflix

Netflix is a wonderful thing but at times you find yourself involved in a very long and time consuming relationship with it, you all know the type of thing I'm talking about. Staying up until the early hours because you can't sleep not knowing what happens next.

So what's had me hooked on Netflix....
Orange is the New Black was the first tv show that I got obsessed with on Netflix. Up until then I'd just been using it for watching movies. I loved seasons 1 and 2 but didn't feel as excited while watching season 3. Season 4 is being made at the moment so I'm curious to see what happens next to the ladies of Litchfield.

Dexter had me completely obsessed! I binge watched episode after episode even if it was late at night. I'm a massive fan of anything with crime scene investigation so having a character who is a blood splatter analysis AND a killer is pretty exciting. I finished watching Dexter ages ago and I'm very tempted to rewatch the whole thing again.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was another Netflix original series that I really enjoyed watching. Compared to the other Netflix shows I've enjoyed it's funny, stupid and a pleasure to watch. Season 2 is in the making at the moment and I can't wait to see what Kimmy's been up to.

Netflix is really good at adding new additions and I've come across a brand new Netflix original series Scream which is based on the famous horror film series Scream. Scream is on my Netflix list to watch next.

My idea of a perfect Netflix binge is being in bed and watching it via my Apple TV with lots of nibbles, Diet Coke and my comfy bed.

What has had you hooked on Netflix?

Disclaimer: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I have been given 12 months subscription and an Apple TV in return for writing regular posts about the service. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Joey's 16 month update

Joey is now 16 months old, only 2 months away from being a year and a half old. Where is the time going at all, he's getting closer to being 2.
So this past month a lot has been going on, if you've read a few of my recent posts or social media posts you'll know that Joey recently started nursery. He's on his 3rd week at the moment and doing really well settling in. So things have been manic and downright stressful. Since last months post I also took Joey to a foot clinic to double check that there weren't any problems with his feet, since he's been walking with his walker his feet have been pointing outwards at a really weird angle. Anyway, all is fine and we were told to bring him back when he's 2 (in 8 months time) just to double check.

Over the past few weeks Joey has not been sleeping very well. At first he was just impossible to get to sleep initially and now he falls asleep as normal and wakes up about 10 times during the night. I don't know whether it's his teething, his cold or just a development phase but I hope he gets back to normal soon.

Even though Joey has had a rotten cold for ages he surprising hasn't lost his appetite. The biggest changes to his eating has to be from nursery as he's being introduced to new foods he hasn't had before like mandarin, oranges, houmous and a few more bits. He seems to be doing great with food at nursery and usually eats everything.

Since last months update Joey has started to take steps on his own. So exciting, although you really have to stand in front of him and hold your hands out for him to do it. I'm sure he just needs a bit more confidence to do it properly.

That's all for this month, maybe next month he'll be walking!

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Baby Changing bag Vs Joey's nursery bag

As you may have read,  Joey has started nursery recently and with that comes the addition of a new bag for him to take to nursery. So does this mean Joey's lovely Pink Lining changing bag is now useless??? I do still use his Pink Lining changing bag occasionally when we're on a long day out, so I thought I would compare the contents of his changing bag to his nursery bag.

Pink Lining changing bag
As Joey has got older I've found that I don't need to put as much into his changing bag as I used to.
- Nappies: Obvs nappies are always in the bag, 4 nappies seems to be the most you can fit in the nappy sections. We never seem to need anymore than that actually.
- Baby Wipes:  I always buy Sensitive baby wipes that come with the plastic lid so they stay fresher.  Wipes that just have the sticky strip always seem to go dry quicker. I always buy mine from Asda or Aldi.
- Nappy Bags: a must if your out and about and not near a baby change are scented nappy bags. Handy also for putting any dirty bowls or cutlery after lunchtime.
- Nappy Cream: always have 2 tubes of nappy cream, 1 for his changing bag and 1 for at home
- Teething Gel: Joey has a lot of teeth and goes through teething very randomly so we never go anywhere without it. We tend to always go for baby bonjela.
-  Calpol: I tend not to need to give him any during the day but it's always in the bag just incase.
- Anti-bacterial hand gel: even before I had Joey this has always been in my bag
- Bib: Joey is a messy eater AND milk drinker so having a bib is always necessary
- Spare clothes: I've sometimes made the mistake of not having a spare change of clothes for Joey and then he has an accident.
-  2 bottles
- Yoghurt and spoon: Joey loves his yoghurt as a snack.
-  Joeys changing bag doubles as mummy's handbag so it always has my purse, phone, deodorant, Lip balm & sunglasses

Nursery bag
Joey has a brand new bag that he takes to nursery. I wanted to get him a cartoon backpack so I got him this Avengers bag from Sports Direct for £10. As he goes to nursery for 3 full days, his bag is usually full to the brim.
- 2 bottles
- wipes
- change of clothes
- nappies
- nappy cream
- nursery diary

I'm in two minds whether to buy a new but smaller changing bag for when we're out and about with Joey. But at 16 months old this post gives you some idea as to what we put in his changing bags.

Is their any item or changing bag that you couldn't be without?