Fathers Day Gift Ideas 2014

With Fathers Day looming, I thought I would put together a list of gift ideas that won’t break the bank, something to suit all daddies,and the things I like. Last year was my husbands first Fathers Day, his birthday is also in June, so I got him something small from Amelia, this cup, featured below, and we went out for dinner in our favourite “child-friendly” restaurant in London Zizzi’s in Chiswick.

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1.Defintion Mug Personalised Defintion Mug: notonthehighstreet £12

2. Personalised Wooden Chopping Board : notonthehighstreet £25

3.Personalised Copper Wallet Insert : notonthehighstreet £18

4.Dune Paps Canvas Holdall Navy : House of Fraser £59

5..Personalised “The Day You Became My….” Key Ring  : notonthehighstreet £13

6.Smooth Operator, Organic Skincare : Neals Yard Remedies £23

7.Personalised Dad Keyring : Etsy €13

8.Irish Craft Beer/Cider Hamper : McCambridge’s of Galway €32

9.Cheese & Chutney Selection : Marks & Spencer £25

10. Rustic Cast Iron Bottle Opener : Etsy €5.27

 

What will you buy your partner/father for Fathers Day? I’ve picked my husband’s gift out,but he surprisingly reads this blog,so will have to keep it a secret!

Don’t Forget to like & share

T & A xxxxx

Love The Little Things

This is such a lovely linky, looking back at the week, and appreciating the little things. Thank you, Morgana at butwhymummywhy for hosting, such a lovely idea.Don’t forget to take a look at all the other fantastic posts also.

Read

image I have had this book on the bookshelf for so long, and only picked it up the other night,to have a look at it, when there was nothing on the TV. I picked this book up in a bookshop in Soho a few years ago, I loved the look of the book. It basically documents their life In pictures, a lot of the pictures have not been previously published. Easy reading, and you got to love Jackie O! Life at the Little Wood, this is one of my favourite blogs to read at the moment, check out their posts on their beautiful house, we are hooked, they are living “our dream”, such a great read.

Watched

24 hrs in A&E. I don’t know why I watch this, it only makes me miss  work more and more. Caught up with all the soaps we missed while on holiday last week.

Wore

image This picture is from our holiday last Saturday. Everything I took on holiday was old. Mostly clothes from my honeymoon 3 years go! Black Maxi Dress- H&M, Black Havaianas, Straw Trilby  – Primark, Straw Beach Bag – H&M, (buggy & baby – they are my forever accessories!!)

Listened

Mr. Probz WAVES, love this song, brilliant summer tune, I played it on repeat yesterday in the garden, until even Amelia gave me a look!!

Made

image Another Bento Box for Amelia,new foods this week- Olives & Salami (just a little). Spaghetti Bolognese is the only meal I’ve made this week, salads have been on the menu since we returned from holiday, feeling very lazy!

And Lastly……

 We had an amazing holiday in Portugal, I would highly recommend it to families with young children, the flight time was only 2hrs 20mins. T & A xxx

butwhymummywhy

Don’t forget to like & share

T & A xxxx

Lessons I have Learned from Blogging

I have only been blogging for a mere 4 months, feels far longer eh!Well to me it does, 85 post in 15 weeks and a brand new website on the way in the next few days, it has been a whirlwind. Blogging is exactly what I needed when we moved back to Ireland, as I needed something to occupy myself with & to keep my mind working somewhat while I was not working. Yes, being a stay at home mum is more than a full time job, however when we moved to a new place, I did not know anyone, and while Amelia was napping, I felt I needed something to fill the void that was left after London life. This time use to be filled with baby groups, coffees, lunches and meeting up with friends.

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I have always read beauty blogs, and when I was pregnant I started to read parent blogs and forums. Here is what I have learned from writing my own blog and from reading the blogs I love to follow:

1. Content Is King

You can have the most flashy,pretty and “techie” blog around, but if the content is not worth reading, then it will not do well. The blogs I like to read have great posts, day after day.In fact, I rather blogs that do not post everyday,as the writer can become repetitive, but that is a personal choice. Fresh posts, with enthusiasm and passion for what is being written, must in my eyes come across in your post, to keep your readers coming back for more.

2. Sometimes Blogging is Overwhelming

When I’m not blogging, I feel I should be, or reading and commenting on other blogs. When I am blogging I feel guilty that I should be doing something else (housework, spending time with my husband etc). I never blog when Amelia is awake, unless her daddy is here. I promised myself from the very beginning that it would not interfere with my time with her. Some days I panic as I have complete “Bloggers Block”, and cannot think if a single thing to write about. I read on a blog once, when you cannot think about anything to write about, take your camera out and picture your day, something will “pop out” in the pictures that will help you along the way.

3. Blogging Bullies

Yes, they are out there!!I have been lucky up to now, not to my knowledge, have had any negative feedback, but I have seen this in blogging forums, groups and other blogs. Haters are always going to be there, my advice…keep going, they are only jealous and ignore them.

4.Blogging Lovers image The people I love the most. My regular readers, commenters and always there with a thumbs up! Remember when blogging or reading a blog, leave a comment, whether it is good or indifferent, feedback is always appreciated, and gives the writer a better insight into who is reading their posts and what is working or not.

5. Say Cheese – Pictures Please

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When I first started blogging, I did not realise the significance of pictures. Firstly, I know now, that I’m more likely to keep reading a blog post with pictures. It keeps the blog post flowing, ensuring it does not come across like an essay. We like to visualise what we are reading, and this helps the reader to stay focused on your post.

6.Social Media

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I have always loved dipping into social media sites,be it  (showing age) Bebo, Facebook & recently Instagram. However since I have started blogging, I have had to dive into social media,learning how to keep up by adding, Twitter, Bloglovin and Pininterest into my mental list of things to keep interacting with while blogging.

7. Reaping the Awards for Hard Work

You get back what you put into your blog posts. the days you don’t try as hard, or write a post half heartedly (would I ever!!),  you will see it in your blog post responses and views. When you give your blog posts 100% you reap the rewards! with positive feedback.

8. Nothing in This Life is Free

We often get sent some beautiful things to review, however, do not mistake these for being free. The time it takes to review and write on these products, plus the other posts that are written in my free time, I have paid for them in time. We are always grateful for what we are sent, however I would advise, only ever accept a product that is suited to your blog, and that you would buy and use regardless of it being sent for review.

What have your learned from blogging? If you are not a blogger,but read them,what keeps you reading a certain blog?

T & A xxxx

Slip-Slop-Slap Sunsafe for Children

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With the beautiful weather we had across Ireland and the UK last week, and our upcoming holiday to Portugal this week, keeping Amelia safe in the sun has been the hot topic in our house at the moment .She has typical Irish pale skin, and though she spent last summer in the hot London sun, she was always shaded. She was not on the move last year, so keeping her under the shade was far easier. Now she is bum shuffling everywhere and will take her sunhat off when she realises it is on her head, keeping her protected from the sun has become a little harder. Slip-Slop-Slap is the iconic and internationally recognised sun protection campaign prominent in Australia during the 1980s. Slip on a t-shirt, Slop on the 30+ suncream, Slap on a hat. Launched to encourage people to reduce sun exposure and protect themselves against an increased risk of skin cancer. A highly successful programme, that is taught in schools, I think it is something that should be brought into schools across the UK and Ireland. Malignant melanoma is the most common cancer in Ireland and the 5th most common cancer in the UK. 86% of malignant melanomas in the UK in 2010 were linked to the sun and sun – beds. Sunburn — the skin reddening caused by overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation— may seem like just a temporary irritation, but sunburns can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. Children are especially at risk: One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. Do not let your children get burnt. image Last year, I tried a number of different sun creams, though Amelia does not have sensitive skin, the daily application of heavy sun cream to her face led to her developing little bumps and spots on her face. When choosing a baby sun-cream you should look for one which is specially designed for babies’ skin. Don’t just use an adult sunscreen, because even though the sun protection will be just as effective, an adult sunscreen could contain chemicals that irritate your baby’s skin or even cause an allergic reaction. . We have always used Bepanthen Nappy Ointment on her bum after every nappy change, and 14 months later I can honestly say she has never developed a nappy rash, even when teething. So this year when chosing sun cream for her, I decided to try Bepanthen Sun Cream SPF 50 as I had such great results with the nappy cream and had read positive reviews on how good it was for sensitive skin. Bepanthen Baby Sun cream has been specially developed for babies’ sensitive skin by the experts in baby skin care. It’s free from parabens colour, fragrance, and preservatives offers very high protection against the sun. After 1 week of use, her skin is effect, no blemishes and most importantly, it has protected her from the sun in the garden and on a breezy beach. I also have decided to use Bepanthen’s Extra Sensitive Moisturizer Cream on Amelia, as an after sun care while we are on holiday.   image image image Ideally, babies under six months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight. This is because their skin hasn’t built up enough natural melanin to protect them from UV light yet. As baby gets older, she can go out in the sunshine, but she will still need sun protection .Apply sunscreen liberally to any parts of baby’s body not covered up by clothes, remembering baby’s face, ears, feet and the backs of the hands. When you’re looking for the right sunscreen to protect your baby, opt for one that gives UVA as well as UVB protection. If the worst happens and baby does get burnt, apply after-sun cream to help relieve the pain.

Keep Cool and Carry On

Keep your baby cool in hot weather and try to keep baby covered up as much as possible. It’s not just sunburn that can affect babies and young children when the weather is very warm, you also need to protect them from heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration, too.

Heat exhaustion happens because the body overheats and can’t cool down. It can lead to heat stroke if not picked up.

Symptoms to look out for are:

  • hot, flushed skin
  • heavy  sweating
  • vomiting
  • rapid heartbeat
  • weeing less than normal

If you notice any of the symptoms, take baby somewhere cool immediately, loosen clothing and give hime/her lots to drink. If you can, try and cool baby down with a cool flannel or cloth. The symptoms should ease in around 30 minutes. If there’s no improvement after this time, call an ambulance. Top Tips for Keeping Baby Cool Keep babies and young children out of the sun when it’s at its strongest, between 11am to 3pm.  If you have to take your baby out on a hot day, keep her in the shade by attaching a parasol to her pushchair. Apply a high factor sunscreen such as Bepanthen Baby Sun Cream frequently. Look for a total sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50, and remember to apply it again if baby has been playing in the sea or a paddling pool. When baby or children are exposed to the sun while at the beach or outdoor pool, protect your baby additionally by dressing them in a UV protected swimsuit, such as this Splash About Baby Snug Mini Wetsuit,we use this one for swimming classes, and we will use this on the beach while on holiday.It also has a double lined swim nappy built in. 91iepBpDfrL._SL1500_ (2) Protect baby’s head and neck with a sun hat; find one with a wide brim or that has a long flap at the back to cover her neck.

We invested in these items last year,and will continue to use them :

A Sun and Sleep UV Shade for a stroller/buggy,this is great for sleeping babies and children,while protecting them from the sun. See “here” for more details.

Sun Tent this was perfect when Amelia was small,  it has a soft mattress and it is a pop up tent.See “here

Family UV Tent and beach shelter.We will take this on  holiday with us, as it is larger, but packs away neatly.See “here

 

Hope this helps with keeping your little ones safe in the sun.     T & A xxxxx

*Contains a sponsored link  

The Mummy Tag

I’ve been tagged by a few other blogs in the last few weeks to take part in The Mummy Tag. So, here you go. I tag all the mummy bloggers reading this:

1.Are you a Stay at Home mum, or a Working Mum?

Right now, I’m a stay at home mum. I’ve been off for 16 months (Went on 2 weeks holiday at 34 weeks,then started maternity leave at 36 weeks & Amelia was 10 days late). I’m really missing work, I’m an A&E Nurse,and I plan on returning to work after the summer.

2.Would you have it any other way?

I was planning on returning to work when Amelia was 9 months. We then ended up moving back to Ireland,and there was no rush to return to work financially,unlike when living in London. I feel very lucky to have had the last  14 months with Amelia.This is something I could have only dreamed of when we were living in London. However, I am now more than ready to return on a part-time basis,and Amelia’s grandparents will look after her these two days.

3.Do you co-sleep?

No. There have been some nights where Amelia will not settle and I’ll go into the spare room with her,but it’s not something we do regularly.

4. What is your one must have item for your baby?

Jumperoo by Fisherprice. This became one of the items we still say was the best money we spent. It was like having a permanent babysitter at times.I could leave the room,and she would not come to any harm. We only recently put it away in storage.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?

This is hard to answer,because you don’t know what lies ahead. We would love 4, but will have to see.

6.Date night, how many nights per month?

That would be zero! We have moved to an area that is quite far from our family & friends. We don’t know anyone where we live,so have not managed any nights out. We are moving again soon,and will be near Paul’s family,so hoping the answer to this then, will be at least once or twice a month.

7.Your child’s favourite TV show?

Amelia does not seem to take any notice of TV. On the iPad she will watch Baby Jake, but that’s it.

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8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using?

Changing Table. We never used it,not even once. I changed her on the bed and then had another changing mat,basket of nappies,wipes etc on the kitchen table.Baby shoes,I bought a few pairs in Zara, and she still has not worn shoes at 14 months.She has worn her Uggs as slippers a few times. Until she is walking there is no need for shoes.They do more harm than good to their feet.

9.Your child’s favourite food?

Cherry Tomatoes

10.How many cars does your family have?

One. We only needed one in London,but now we are in Ireland we really need a second car.Thats next on the list of purchases.

11.Weight before,during and after pregnancy?

I’m not sure pre – pregnancy what I weighed,but I wore size 8 clothes generally,I put on approx 2.5 stone in pregnancy and now I have no idea what I weigh,as I refuse to weigh myself. I fit into size 10.Some pre pregnancy clothes fit,but are not very flattering.

12.Dream holiday with your family?

We would love to take 6 months off and take Amelia around the world.

13.Dream holiday without your kids?

We love Dubai,we have been a few times,and would love to go back for a week,baby free.

14.How has your life changed since having your baby?

I have had to learn to cope with not being in control of everything,patience,and we have moved country for her.Im also a happier person.

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15.Finish this sentence.”It makes my heart melt to see”…. Amelia’s face when her daddy comes in the door after work.

16.Where do you shop for your kids?

Zara,Gap,Boden,Du Pareil Au Meme,Mothercare,Next,John Lewis

17.Favourite make-up and skin care products?

This changes all the time. Make up at the moment is Estée Lauder Double wear or Benefit Oxygen Wow Foundation. Skincare is La Roche Posay.

18.Huggies or Pampers?

Pampers

19.Have you always wanted kids?

Yes,absolutely.

20.Best part of being a mum?

Unconditional love.

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T & A xxxxx

Please feel free to join the Mummy Tag,whether you are a blogger or not. Leave your answers in the comments.

Developmental Activities for a 1 Year Old

Hi everyone, hope ye have all been enjoying this lovely weather we have had this week. We have spent most of the week either in the garden or on the beach, which has been lovely.
Long may this weather last,but if it doesn’t,here are a few “rainy day” indoor activities that we have done over the last few weeks. They will keep your child engaged as well as helping develop some key skills.
Babies love to play and interact with the world around them. Developmentally age-appropriate art activities can stimulate a 1-year-old and let them enjoy all the new things they are able to do.

Dry Pasta,Bucket & Spoon

*Easy Clean Up Mums/Dads!
Sensory play is an important part of early childhood development. It lets children explore and learn about their world through what they do best – play.
Fine motor skills are used in this activity including precise motions using fingertips and hand-wrist coordination. Improve your toddler’s fine motor skills by encouraging her/him to use a spoon to scoop up the pasta & pick it up.

Water,Cups & Suds

It’s no secret that babies and toddlers love to play with water.Yes it can end up messy,wet and you mopping up the floor,but it passes away an hour,it’s something they can do on their own under supervision,while you have a cup of tea!Get a large bowl,warm soapy water and some plastic cups/beakers.
Water play will help teach your child about why and how things happen. For example, given sinking and floating objects, a child will soon discover that just because something is large in size does not mean it will sink.Development. Water play encourages the development of eye/hand coordination through pouring, squeezing, stirring, painting, scrubbing, and squirting. It is one of the most relaxing activities children can experience (maybe not for the parents), and encourages children to use their imagination.

Home-made Playdough

Depending on your child’s age,they could help you make the playdough. Easy to make,using what you have in your cupboards.

Recipe
1/4 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl then add water. Knead and squeeze the dough to make a clay consistency. You may need to add more water. Note: This dough doesn’t last as long as the cooked recipes.

Ideas: Divide into sections, then knead in food coloring (liquid or paste). Kids love making the white play dough change colours.. Use food colouring for colour and glitter for sparkly play dough.

Amelia loved playing with the dough, we just rolled ours and made a caterpillar (or something that may resemble a caterpillar). Other ideas are use shape cutters or dough cutters.This recipe is safe,should she have tried to eat some. Playdough is a great way to exercise the muscles of the hands to develop fine motor skills, and you can also develop your child’s bilateral coordination skills at the same time!

Gymboree : Music & Development

Amelia loves music,as many other children do too. We are unable to get to Gymboree where we live,as it is on at the same time as her swimming classes on Wednesdays. See blog post on that here. So, we improvise. Amelia was given some children’s musical instruments for her birthday, and prior to that she used “Rice in a Bottle” and her mini maraca’s.
Gymboree: Music & Play.Gymboree uses a unique and impressive combination of music, movement, props,and imaginary play, all to create a fun and magical world where children learn, thrive and most importantly have fun. While it will never be as good as going to classes,we still try it at home. I put some Gymboree Videos on the iPad and try and copy them as best we can.

Blowing Bubbles

Newborns and babies: Blow bubbles for your baby while he is sitting in front of you in an infant seat or snuggled in your lap, facing out. (Make sure you aim away from your child’s face.) You might want to put on some music to set the mood. Toddlers and preschoolers: Show your child how to pop bubbles with his hands and stomp them with his feet. Blow bubbles for your child indoors (try doing it just before washing the kitchen floor!), at bath time, or outdoors (breezy days are best). Let your child blow his own bubbles and see how far they travel. On cold days, see if you can blow frozen bubbles!

Colander and Straws

Toddlers are developing their fine motor skills at super speed, and the cool part is they love any activity that involves fine motor skills practice. Simple fine motor skills practice games are pretty much the only time you will see a toddler sitting still and concentrating! All you need is a few straws and a colander. We had a few left over from Amelia’s party,however plastic bendy straws work better for this activity.Your child will take the straws and just shove them into the holes of the colander. Just show them a couple of times, and they will get the hang of it quickly.

Scribbling/Crayons

Scribbling is a satisfying activity for babies because they can see the fruits of their efforts on a piece of paper. You could tape a large piece of paper to the floor and give your 1-year-old crayons to colour with. Floor art lets them experience scribbling with his whole body instead of just with his arm. Extend the activity by cutting the paper into shapes such as circles, triangles or squares.
*Amelia eats the crayons,grant it she spits them out again,and they are non-toxic….close eye needs to be kept on them for this activity.

Why Babies are like a Good Book- Unputdownable

Pre baby,you could go where you wanted,do what you wanted,eat when you wanted and most importantly,go to the toilet when you needed to. You can plan weekends away and dream of just heading off without any planning.Today while out walking,I was thinking,wouldn’t it be nice to go to a music festival,you know,such as Glastonbury,Isle of Wight or Electric Picnic where we could camp,drink,listen to the bands and chill out.Funny enough pre baby I could not have thought of anything worse, but I could have gone if I wanted to! Baby comes along,then this all changes. You are never alone!

It can be claustrophobic,baby in your arms,baby on your hip,sleeping on your side of the bed, sitting with baby for every meal,heck even when on the toilet you have two beady eyes staring back at you. If you have issues with going to the toilet, in front of someone,you may quickly find a way of dealing with this.There is no getting away!

 

 

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In the early days of this claustrophobia it is more mental that physical. Baby is sleeping, you jump in the shower, only to think you can hear baby crying. Out you get,silence, are you going insane?, it was your imagination. This still happens me 13 months later. You pop around the corner to the shops while husband minds baby,I mean literally around the corner,and within seconds, phone to make sure baby is not crying,missing you or hungry.You go and get your nails done in the salon as a treat, only to be met with a delay in your appointment, panic sets in, you have timed this impeccably so that baby will not wake/need feeding for an hour.What will your partner do if the baby wakes?? You think about leaving,but know you won’t get another appointment for ages.Finally get to have your nails done and therapist starts chatting,you just want to scream,while legs are tapping under the table “just hurry up,stop gabbing,I need to get home to my baby”. Well that’s your “me time” ruined. You may as well just stay at home, because though out of sight,they are never out of your mind.

 

 

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We went to a wedding for two days when Amelia was 7 weeks old. I had expressed milk for the two nights we were away, I had no idea if she would take it from the bottle or not and this just added to the stress. I rang home (my parents were looking after her), I reckon every hour,until my mum threatened to plug out the house phone and switch off her mobile. I needed that stern talking to,it worked.I realised she was fine.She was too small to realise we were not there.She was warm,being fed and had 100% undivided attention from everyone around her. They will be fine without you,but this takes time,weeks or months for you to realise.

 

Now things have changed, enjoy when your baby doesn’t even notice you are there or not. Now, if I go upstairs for a minute to collect the laundry,there are tears. Leave one room to another, I have a bum shuffling baby follow my EVERY move!Put clothes out on the line,I have the chorus of “whimpering,mama and banging on the window of the door”. Now, when my husband rings to ask if we need anything from the shops, I stop him dead in his tracks and say “just come home,I need to get out”, never have I enjoyed so much the short drive to the supermarket,radio blaring (non nursery rhyme tunes),and wandering around for half an hour, just to get some bread.

I am now looking forward to some upcoming weddings over the summer,just for this time away. It’s healthy. I should have done it more in the beginning.I blame it on being a “First Time Mum”. Maybe I’ll know better next time round, or maybe not.

It’s lovely to feel wanted and needed,and equally I love and need her now,but sometimes we just want to be left alone.

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T & A xxxxxx