Friday, 27 January 2017

Mummy & Little Me: Pink Lining NEW 2017 Print

The first baby changing bag that i bought was a Pink Lining yummy mummy bag with blue bows. I've always found the Pink Lining designs so beautiful but most of the designs are quite girly. This month however, Pink Lining has brought out a new nautical themed print!

On this week's Mummy & Little Me post i give you a peek of the new Pink Lining range . The Navy & cream boats print is brand new for 2017 and i think it's going to be a popular baby changing bag print this year.
If you haven't already checked out the new range of Pink Lining bags head over to the Mummy & Little blog.

Do you have a favourite Pink Lining design?

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Guest Post: How to teach your child to do chores

Today i have a guest post from Danny over at My Parenting Journal about how to get your kids to do chores.

Chores constitute a great part of everyday’s life. These are the daily tasks that adults and children alike embark on to keep life on track and in good progress. In simple words, chores are the activities that people do to make their lives live-able. However, to children, these activities may be seen as a punishment thereby making them less desirable.

When your child seems to express resistance towards undertaking chores, it is necessary to correct him/her before it is too late. Chores can be used to impart unity and collective responsibility in children. Therefore, it is important to share with the child that these tasks are meant to make life smooth, comfortable, and efficiently running. Due to this, they need to be appreciated and taken positively as learning opportunities. Here are some proven tips that you can use to teach your child to do chores.

Set boundaries
Children seem to perform best when their parents have set boundaries for them and have clear expectations. When teaching your kids, you should set parameters that provide for successful completion and accomplishment of a specific chore. For instance, if you need your child to rake leaves in the backyard, you should set the timeline within which you want this task accomplished.

When setting boundaries, it is necessary to clearly state how you need the task to be accomplished and also let your child know what your expectations on getting the job done are. For example, after raking leaves in the backyard, where should they be taken? Providing your child with complete details on how you want the task done goes a long way in tracking the progress made by your child. Consequently, this allows you to be in a position to correct him/her perfectly in case they go wrong.

Listen to your child’s opinion
Parents require having an attentive ear to their children’s opinions. In line with this, as you are teaching your child how to do a chore, it is necessary that you listen to any opinions they may have as far as accomplishing the task is concerned. Your child may have a different strategy of doing a particular task. You should base your choice and instructions on the opinions of your child. The main aim is having your child do a certain task and the strategies/approached used should not matter much.

Set a good example for your child to follow as far as handling a specific task is concerned. It is advisable that you do a chore alongside your child for a few times before letting them do it on their own. This provides them with an opportunity to watch and learn about how the task should be accomplished.

Do not force your child into doing any chore
If your child does not want to handle a task voluntarily, do not force him/her into doing it. Forcing the child may result in rebellion especially if they really hate doing that task. Instead, you should watch your child’s reaction to identify the tasks that he/she likes doing most as well as those that they really hate.

If your child does not seem interested in doing a specific chore, you should let him/her know that there will repercussions for his/her behavior or if they do a shoddy job. As much as you do not want to force your child into doing something he/she does not want, it is important that they do not undermine your authority. Emphasize on them doing the designated task and ensure that you do not appear to force them to do the task.

Reward good effort
Children are greatly encouraged when they are rewarded for doing a chore in the best way they can. This goes a long way in motivating the child to handle the chore in a better and well-planned manner the next time they are doing the chore. You can use this opportunity to give your child an allowance as an encouragement and appreciation for good work.

When rewarding your child, it is advisable that you only give appropriate rewards. For instance, if you opt to reward your child monetarily, you should ensure that the gift is appropriate for your child’s age. Otherwise, you can just use rewards such as play dates, dinner dates, and toys to reward your child for a commendable job.

Consider your child’s age:
When delegating chores to your child, you should only assign them chores and tasks that are appropriate for their ages. For young children (2-4 years), you can assign light chores such as dusting, gathering dirty laundry and filling the food bowl of the family’s pet. For children within 4-7 years, tasks like making beds, watering plants, sweeping and folding towels are appropriate.

For children over 7 years, you can assign them to a couple of chores around the house including sweeping, raking leaves, vacuuming, setting dinner table, and taking out trash among other chores. Generally, it is necessary to ensure that you delegate your child a chore that does not pose any healthy and safety hazard to them.

Track progress
It can be quite frustrating to both you and the child if you are unable to monitor the progress that your child has made towards accomplishing a specific chore. This is why it is required that you maintain a chore chart that highlights the chores done by your child within a specific timeline and how well the child has been accomplishing the chores over time. You can opt to outline the chores on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the frequency that seems to work best for you.

At the end of every tracking timeline, you and your child should look at the progress made and identify areas that need to be improved on. This makes it possible to know how well your child is responding to the chores you assign him/her. 
Teach your child to have fun in doing a specific chore.

Your child should have a mentality that the chore assigned to them is fun and exciting to accomplish. This will motivate him/her to handle the chore in the best way possible and adopt a responsible mindset. It is worth noting that this positive outlook on chores can greatly help your child in becoming responsible and hardworking in all aspects of life including schoolwork.

Studies have shown that children who start doing chores at an early age grow up responsibly and are able to direct their energy and abilities towards doing activities with meaningful gain. It also goes without saying that a hardworking child who is able to handle different chores is very useful and helpful around the house and at home. Your children can save you the trouble of hiring a nanny or a house-help as the children can help you do most of the chores in the house.

Do you ecourage your children to do chores???

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Budget Meals with Aldi: Smolked Salmon Pasta

One of my favourite foods is pasta, so being able to put together a pasta meal for under £5 is my idea of heaven. My second budget meal using all Aldi ingredients is Smoked Salmon Pasta.

- 400g Penne Pasta (or other shape) 50p
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil £1.39
- 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed 85p
- 5 Spring Onions, trimmed and thinly sliced 43p
- 300ml Reduced Fat Crème Fraîche 89p
- 110g pack Salmon Flakes £1.50
- 100g Frozen Garden Peas 95p
- 1 tbsp Freshly Parsley, chopped 89p
- Salt

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the pasta.

Stir and cook at a rolling boil for around 8 minutes until al dente.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds.

Cook garden peas for time specified and drain.

Add the spring onions and continue cooking until softened. Stir in the crème fraîche and peas and then the salmon flakes, heating very gently.

Drain the cooked pasta, return to the pan and add the sauce. Stir gently to mix through.

Sprinkle with parsley and some Parmesan cheese.
Typically when i go to Italian restaurants i will order a creamy pasta dish. This smoled salmon pasta was so good, i added 2 packs of salmon flakes as i really love salmon. Instead of peas next time i might add asparagus to make it a bit different. Not only is this meal afforable and feeds a family of 4, it's quick to make aswell. Now that i work full time, it's important that i can make my own meals in around 30 minutes. So if like me you love your pasta AND want a quick meal then this one is for you. 

Keep your eyes out for two more budget meal recipes next week on the blog.

*Disclaimer: I was given Aldi vouchers in order to buy ingredients to prepare these meals. As always all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Budget Meals with Aldi: Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

In January it's normal for many families to cut back shopping costs after the christmas period. I'm one of those people that like to set a budget per meal when I'm doing the foodshop and it really does help to save money. I have been asked to make a few meals with Aldi ingredients for under £5. My first budget meal is Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers.

These Mediterranean stuffed peppers are the ideal meal for vegetarians but can also be adapted for meat eaters too. I have gone for a more vegetarian option this time and you really can add a wide range of ingredients. 

- 1 pack of Mixed Peppers 89p
- 1 x 100g pack of World Foods Hot & Spicy Cous Cous 39p
- 1 x 100g pack of World Foods Roasted Veg Cous Cous 39p
- Feta Cheese 95p

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Cut the peppers in half lengthways and remove seeds.
Chop the feta cheese into cubes.
Cook the two types of cous cous separately, as per pack instructions.
Divide the feta cheese equally between the cous cous.
Put the peppers on a baking tray, cover loosely with some tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Stuffed peppers are not only a real cheap dish but also pretty healthy aswell. In future i will probably add more ingredients  and even make some with chilli inside. These were really tasty, I'm a huge fan of cous cous. I will definitely be making these again. 

Do you have a favourite budget meal you like to make?

*Disclaimer: I was given Aldi vouchers in order to buy ingredients to prepare these meals. As always all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Bedroom Ideas

This year we have decided that we want to decorate our house, when it comes to being creative i am really bad. But i have found a few bits for our bedroom that i really love...

Cafe Mocha Lamp - £7.99

You may be able to spot a bit of a theme, i want to go for a really clean white theme with some dusty pinks and greys. At the moment our bedroom has some black and white floral wallpaper and our furniture is a dark wood shade. I really want to brighten the room up and make it more up to date and homely.
I have started to use Pinterest to bring together some ideas for each room we plan to decorate. The ikea chest of drawers and bedside tables i plan on putting marble effect adhesive film to the tops for a more on trend look. I can't wait to start decorating and buying stuff for our bedroom!

Monday, 16 January 2017

First week back at work

Last week was my first week back at work full time and Joey has been at nursery full time aswell. Its been a really tiring week but it's been all about settling in.

So for the next 3 week's I'm actually training for my new job and working Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm. It has been a bit tough trying to get into a routine which we know will change in another 2 weeks when we get given shifts. My biggest worry though at the start of the week was how Joey was going to settle in at nursery. I've been dropping him off at 7.30am every morning and then Chris picks him up at 4.30pm. As this was his first full week, I wasn't expecting any miracles that he wouldn't be upset.

The morning drop off is obviously still very new to him and he has been getting upset but then he settles down. I don't really have a clue what he's been doing at nursery all week as his daily diary hasn't been getting filled in. But Chris tells me that the nursery staff have told him that Joey has been quite good at mealtimes which was something else i was worried about because of him being a fussy eater at home.
So even though it's been a hectic week, it's been a pretty successful one. I imagine that as the weeks go on, we will settle into a routine.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Going back to work after being a SAHM

This time last year i was working part-time in retail and it was a struggle.  My husband works full time and without any family to help with childcare we had to rely completely on nursery. It soon became apparent that it wasn't worth me working because of the cost of childcare and i left in February 2016. I've been a SAHM for 11 months and finally i am starting a full time job this week.

Going back to work after you've had kids is a difficult decision to make, a lot needs to be considered before even applying for jobs. In our situation of having no family to help with childcare, we know that i would have to work full time to make it worth having a job and paying for childcare. I never planned to be a SAHM for as long as i have been but honestly i feel like there is no help or encouragment from our government to get parents back into work. From this week both me and my husband will be working full time so Joey will go to nursery full time at a cost of £700 per month.

But being stuck at home most days not doing anything has taken it's toll. Joey has desperately needed to be in nursery in order to improve his speech and development. Now that I'll be earning money I'm looking forward to treating myself now and again and to be able to start decorating our house. Being a SAHM has had it's ups and it's downs, I'm glad I've been able to spend time watching Joey grow up but it's now time for a new chapter. 

I'm really excited to be getting back into work though, and I can't wait to see Joey improve by going to nursery. I will keep you all updated on how life is being a full time working mum and Joey's development.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 9 January 2017

January Wishlist

As of today i am starting a new job full-time and i am so excited that I'll be able to treat myself now and then. I've decided to a monthly wishlist of things I'd like to buy over the course of each month. Here are some faves this month...
Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner - £12.50
New year means that it's timeto crack open the new calenders and planners. I desperately need a planner for my blogging and will also come in handy with my new job.
Zoella Stationary Book- £10
In December, i became quite a fan of watching Zoella vlogs, her Zoella Lifestyle range looks amazing. This stationary book would be a great addition to use with a new planner.
Molly Star Loungesuit - £22
I've always had my eye on loungesuits, they are nicer to wear during the day instead of pj's when you can't be bothered to get dressed. If you were brave enough you could wear it out to nip to the shops.

HD Brows - £24
My brows are in desperate need of some TLC, i haven't had them done since eyebrows are currently NOT on fleek.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for this month? 

Friday, 6 January 2017

Hello 2017

I want to start off by wishing all of my readers a Happy New Year and I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas.

We're now in 2017, a new year and a clean slate. I've already posted about the things i hope to achieve during this year, you can check it out here, i just wanted to check in with you all. Over the past 2 years this blog has been my hobby, something that I've been excited to contribute to. Then recently, I've been concentrating on my YouTube channel which has been something I'd wanted to achieve last year.

Over Christmas I've been waiting to hear back about a job i was interviewed for and while writing this it's been confirmed that i have the job. Things are goiing to change massively, as I'll be working full time i may not be able to post on the blog or YouTube as much as i have been doing. But i definitely won't be neglecting my blog especially since I've come so far, and if anything I'll be able to afford to do more things to document on here and YouTube.

So i just wanted to let you know that things might go quiet for a bit but not for long. This new chapter in our life feels a bit scary but exciting as well and i can't wait to share how life changes. I really appreciate all of the continued love and support i get from my readers.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Pacapod Jasper bag Review

Just before Christmas I received a Pacapod Jasper to review for the Mummy & Little Me website. I've had the bag nearly a month now and my review is now live on the Mummy & Little Me blog.
The Pacapod Jasper i think is the most gorgeous changing bag I've ever seen. The reason i chose the Jasper was because i was really lacking an over the shoulder bag in my handbag collection and also I'm not ready to get rid of using changing bags.
Jasper is a great luxury changing bag option to invest in that even doubles as a normal handbag. I seriously wish i had had this bag when Joey was a baby for all of his baby stuff.

The Pacapod Jasper comes in Chocolate, Black and Chestnut. It currently retails for £240 on Mummy & Little Me website.

Take a look at my review on my YouTube channel...

Thanks for reading 

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for the purpose of a review. I have not been paid for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

Monday, 2 January 2017

New year, same me

We are all guilty of making new year resolutions and not keeping to them. I'm not going to set myself unrealistic expectations but just small goals I think i can aim for. In 2017 I'm not going to set myself resolutions as such, more things that i want to achieve or improve on over the next year.

Get a job - this is the most importantrhing i want to happen this year. I need a job, not just for financial reasons but to also allow me to be someone other than mum and to be able to out Joey in nursery.
Go on a family holiday - subject to achieving the above, we NEED to have a holiday abroad this year.
Have a massive Primark spree - because I've been out of work i haven't really been able to have a massive splurge on anything for myself. Once i get a job I'm going to have a small Primark splurge.
Eat healthier - over the past year my cooking has improved a lot but i would love to join a weightloss group like Slimming World to learn how to eat that bit healthier. 
make new friends - I'm pretty sad to admit that i don't have a lot of friends, especially with kids the same age as Joey who i can do play dates with.
Film more for my YouTube channel - on the lead up to Christmas i had been uploading every week and i hope to continue in the new year.
Be more organised - i think I'm quite good generally at being organised but interms of my blog, i haven't been much of a planner. I need to invest in a good planner like the Be You Planner to keep ontop of life.

Do you have any goals you'd like to achieve in 2017???

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Thank god Christmas is over

Christmas can be a difficult time for many people, especially if you are missing loved ones who are no longer with us. I have never really enjoyed Christmas, from the age of 5 when my mum died it was just not a very happy time. Since having Joey though, it's become important that we enjoy it and start traditions for him but i still don't get excited about Christmas. This Christmas for us has been difficult for a number of reasons and I'm glad that it's over and done with.

We always miss the ones we've lost particularly at Christmas, but on Christmas day as i scrolled through Facebook and Instagram it just hit me how alone we are as a family. Pictures of families celebrating Christmas with parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, cousins etc filled my social media feeds and it made me so sad. It made me feel bad for my son that he won't get to experience a full family.

Don't get me wrong, i do try and get as excited and involved as i can with Christmas preparation. Joey still doesn't understand it's Christmas but maybe next year he will and it will be more exciting for all of us. I'm ready for a new year now though, and hopefully I'll feel more positive for Christmas 2017.

Anyone else glad Christmas is over and we can start over in the new year?