Special thanks

This post is dedicated to my friend Daniella. She’s an absolute saint! She’s helped start my blogging journey by offering advice, helpful tips and answering my questions AND she’s super dooper generous!

I’m not very technical when it comes to computers but Daniella helped me set up my own website and at times I was completely baffled.

I’ve never met Daniella but I would most definitely class her as a friend. We ‘met’ on an Internet forum for pregnant ladies, a facebook group was later set up, it was easier for us to communicate through the group and it was also a private place we could all chat. There’s 29 wonderful Mummies in the group, from all over the UK and there’s even Sarah, who lives in Turkey! There’s been a few mini meets but I’ve never been to one as I’m the only one in Wales.

We really should organise a meet that everyone can attend!

I really do love my fellow MSE Mummies and Willow has an extended family of internet Aunts and Cousins xxx

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Our garden

When we bought our current house, just over a year ago. One of the things that sold it to us was the garden. Neither myself or my husband have green fingers and it’s pretty much low maintenance and was already landscaped.

Now we have a little one, I would like to make the garden more child friendly and have some more family time in the garden. I really feel like children spend too much time indoors these days, they need the fresh air and the Vitamin D.

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There are a few things I want to change, see that big rock? That’s actually a water feature! I would like to get rid of it, along with the pebbles that surround it. I want the paved area to be somewhere that can be used for ride along toys, without the rock blocking the way.

As you can see from the picture, we also have a decked area. Looking at the picture, on the left we have a fig tree and on the right, we have a tree and a spikey bush. Like I said, I don’t have green fingers, so I don’t know their names lol

My mother wouldn’t be too happy if we chopped down the fig tree, she made chutney out of this years fruit. But the tree and the spikey bush would have to go as I would want the decking to be Willow’s play area.

The decking does need to be treated but that’s an easy job for the husband to do….hahahaha.

Safety is very important. Although Willow wouldn’t be unsupervised, you can’t help trips and falls from happening. I would purchase a few of these Protektamats from Activity Toys Direct they are very reasonably priced at £13.99 and are pretty big in size.

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We recently took Willow to the park for the first time, she loved the swings and was giggling away to herself. For this reason, I would l would love to get a swing set for her. I think this swing from TP Toys growable swing with quadpod. It works out better value than the other TP Toys swings, as it includes a seat, unlike the others where they have to be purchased separately.

I do love the activity centres and the climbing frames but because of Willow’s age, they wouldn’t be suitable, I’d get a playhouse instead. I think the wooden playhouses look better than the plastic type and if they are treated from the elements, they will last a long time. I’ve seen a lot of plastic playhouses that have faded from the sun. The AXI Noa playhouse would be perfect for my little princess, what I love about it, is that it comes untreated. We could paint and finish it how we want it. I could even make some little curtains for the windows and decorate with some fairy lights! A bargain at £185!

Keeping with the wooden toy theme, I’d buy a TP Toys picnic table/sandpit. A picnic table and a sandpit in one. We already have a bucket play set that would go really well with it. Something like this is great for little ones hand/eye co-ordination, which is very important.

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Because of our British weather, I’d like to have some toys in the conservatory for rainy days, this Plum terrace wooden kitchen would be ideal. I used to love playing ‘kitchen’ and ‘shop’ when I was younger.

That’s everything I would like to do for a play area, I would also like to have a go at growing some veggies, nothing too adventurous, carrots, peas, potatoes, some salad leaves and strawberries. I think a little vegetable patch would go here….

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I think it’s the perfect little space to start a veggie patch, we already have a bay tree. If it’s successful, we could expand it and grow more of a variety the year after next. I would also like some sort of fruit tree, probably an apple tree. When I grew up, my parents had a massive pear tree in the garden and every summer we would have loads and loads of pears. A Willow tree would look lovely and also the babies namesake but they grow fast and have very extensive root systems, I wouldn’t want to risk any damage to our or the neighbours properties.

If growing our own veg is a success, in the future, I would like to have a water butt and a compost bin.

I would like to encourage wildlife into the garden, a bird table and feeders is a must and also wildflowers for bee and insects – they are so important! The RHS site has lots of info on pollinators and plants for pollinators. I’d like to do my part for conservation and make a flower bed or lots of pots with wildflowers especially for the bees and other insects.

Some inspiration for finishing touches……

Capture

We are lucky enough to have a garden table and chairs, BBQ and a conservatory already. The table, chairs and BBQ have been put into the garage for the winter. You will notice there is no grass in our garden and my husband wants to keep it that way but there is a very large grassed area about 2 minutes walk from our home.

I’ve made a picture of what our Garden would look like with the adjustments made……

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Costs.

Garden toys.

Swing £127.99

AXI Noa playhouse £185.00

Picnic table/sandpit £58.99

Plum cottage wooden kitchen £109.99

Plum Protektamat £11.99

Total = £493.96.

Garden improvements.

Wild flower seeds £5

Vegetable seeds and compost £25

Bird table £25

Bird seed £5

Apple tree £20

Strawberry plants £10

Bee/insect houses £10

Assortment of plant pots £25

Total = £125.00

These garden improvements costs are a total guess, as I really don’t have a clue how much this type of stuff costs. If costs were really this low, we could also get paint for the decking and playhouse and even afford to buy the water butt and compost bin this year.

“This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity Toys Direct garden makeover competition”

Parents to be shopping list.

The one item that should most definitely be on any new parents/parents to be shopping list, is a bottle of Vanish.

It has saved so many babygrows from the bin after a messy event. Now that Willow is eating solids, it’s also handy for cleaning up food stains on her clothes. It’s really cost effective, only costs a few pounds and super easy to use. Just spray on the stain ASAP, leave for 1-2 minutes then wash!

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Vanish also do carpet and upholstery cleaners, hygiene cleaners that kill bacteria as well as remove stains, sensitive stain removers and more!

Crafty crafty

I like to think I can turn my hand to most crafty things, with the exception of knitting and crochet – both turned out to be big fat fails!

I had some amazon credit I needed to use up before the end of the month and these knitting looms caught my eye.

The set includes four different sized looms, 14, 19, 24 and 29 cm, loom pick and a yarn needle.

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They are easy to hold, as they are chunky and not fiddly. The bright colours make them almost cool to be a knitting loom user! Lol

After about 45 minutes, this is what I made……

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For my first attempt, I’m quite proud of myself, although I’m not too sure Willow is. It’s the only wool I had in the house (from my failed knitting and crochet projects). I’m going to have another go tomorrow with some much, much thicker wool and I’m going to make one a little bit longer. I’m surprised at how easy it was, I was sat watching Corrie and knitting on my loom, no concentration required!

Nonabox

A few months ago, I signed up to Nonabox, it’s cost £25 a month but is discounted when you subscribe to 3 or more boxes.

Products are tailored to suit, depending on babies age, sex, breast or bottle fed and if they have a dummy or not.Yesterday I received our second Nonabox and I was really, really impressed with the contents and you are guaranteed to get more than £25 worth of products.

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Everything comes in a lovely box that’s sealed with a ribbon and wrapped with tissue paper.

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I was quite excited when I unwrapped the tissue paper, I think we will use everything thats included in this months box.

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Cloud B Sleep Sheep
A lovely soft sheep, that makes noises to help baby sleep. It has different sound setting, mothers heartbeat, whales, rain and the ocean and also time settings, 23 and 45 minutes. It has a Velcro strap, so it can be easily attached to babies cot. This product covers the cost of the box alone!

Cloud B sheep rattle and burp cloth set
A smaller sheep that’s a rattle and easy for baby to hold, lovely quality, just like the other Cloud B products and a set of three burp cloths. The burp cloths have a nice satin trim and feel quite thick compared to other burp clothes I’ve seen.

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MAM Bite and Relax Teether
Willow hasn’t had a chance to try this yet but I do expect it to be of good quality like their other products. It comes in a little box that can also be used to sterilise it in the microwave , fab idea!

Beaba 360 spoon
We haven’t had a chance to use this yet but I did take it out of the packaging to see how it works. It’s very clever design and great for little hands. When Willow will be feeding herself with cutlery, in a few months time, it will be great and really good for little ones co-ordination.

Halos N Horns moisturising lotion
From Halos N Horns, we have this baby moisturising lotion. With no nasties included, it’s suitable for little ones sensitive skin. We used it last night, after bath time. It absorbs easily with hardly any effort, non-greasy, has a light fragrance and comes in a decent sized bottle, which is value for money.

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Ella’s Kitchen Wakey Wakey Apple and Mango Porridge
After breakfast this morning, Willow definitely approves, she scoffed the lot! I think the Ella’s kitchen packaging is so funky and different compared to other baby food products, their packaging really stands out in the supermarket. Even better, it’s 100% organic, so I feel like I’m feeding my baby quality food. It’s easy to make up, 1 spoonful of porridge to 5 spoons of babies milk.

Pasito a Pasito natural wooden rattle
A very pretty natural wooden rattle, made from beech and maple. It comes with an information card that says the rattle is painted with dyes that are danger free and harmless to baby. Very reassuring, especially when you have a teething baby and everything goes in their mouth!

Tea Pigs lemon and ginger tea
I don’t usually drink flavoured teas but I gave this a go, the lemon is very refreshing and you can drink it hot or cold. Also a bonus, it’s caffeine free!

Water wipes
Made from 99.9% purified water, these wipes are amazing for sensitive skin and can do a good job cleaning up after a horrible poonami! They are more expensive than other brands but I guess it all comes down to what you want to use and what your budget it.

Pebble UK PODO PRO file
A double sided foot file, for smoothing rough skin, it can also be used on hands. Perfect if you have some hard skin on your feet. Use it during or after a shower or bath and you will have lovely soft skin in no time. I don’t think I will use this but I know my husband definitely will, he’s in big heavy work boots all day and suffered with hard skin on his feet.