Important Ways to Document Your Childs Life

Kids. They grow up fast don’t they? As parents, we are always finding ways to document our kiddie’s lives. Whether that is in the form of a photo or a Facebook status. But, there are some great ways that you can document your child’s life. After all, they are always changing and developing. One minute they are a tiny babe in your arms, the next minute they’re leaving to go to college! It all happens in the blink of an eye.

So, if you want to make sure that you are capturing those all-important years, there are some brilliant things that you can do. 

Let’s take a look...

Photo Memories

Newborns don’t stay that way for long! One minute they are squishy and entirely dependent on you, the next they are colouring in the walls. We wouldn’t have it any other way. But, if you want to make sure that you are documenting your child’s life, why not opt for professional photo shoots? You can take your children there on a quarterly basis or every month if you prefer to capture the changes as they happen. This can be a great way to see how they are growing and developing. What’s more, you have a perfect keepsake for your family.

Invest in a Scrap Book

Scrap books are important. You can collect ticket stubs, shells, postcards and receipts from your day trips out with your kids. Get them to write a diary extract for the book so that you can see how they feel about the day. Turn the scrap book into a family affair with everyone writing memories within it from their travels. This would make a perfect gift once they turn 18! They will love to see all of the treasured family memories in one place.

Keep Their Birthday Mementos

Cards, badges and banners don’t have to thrown away. Create a memory box and keep their valuable cards and birthday memories within the box. After all, memories are powerful and birthday memories, in particular, are the most prevalent in a child’s mind. 

Save Their Drawings

Kids draw all of the time, so it’s not feasible to keep everything. But, if there is something special about you, that they have drawn, keep it and store in the scrapbook or memory box. It’s a cute way to see how their skills have developed. But, it’s also nice to have some memories of when you are a child as you grow up. 


Blogging is one of the most fulfilling and cathartic things that you can do. Document your child in a unique way. You can write a blog when they have been good, naughty or funny. It’s a great way to engage with other parents too. What’s more, you will love spending the time showing off to an engaged audience about your kids. What could be nicer than immortalising their life in the published word? Wordpress themes are free too, so you don’t have to spend any money on this important memory-maker!


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How to Encourage Creativity in Your Kids

Getting kids to be more creative isn’t as hard as you might think. It’s all about breaking rules and doing things differently, and what kid doesn’t like to do that? You should never impose rules on a child’s creativity. Give them the opportunity to express themselves and most kids will embrace it.

All kids have the capacity for creativity; you just have to find their niche. Creativity doesn’t have to be about drawing pictures; there are hundreds of ways in which a child can develop a creative streak. Here are some tips for encouraging creativity in your son or daughter!

Give Them the Freedom to Create

There’s nothing more detrimental to creativity than an overbearing parent. If you take all the fun out of being creative, why would your child want to pursue a creative art? Take a back seat and let them get on with what they’re doing.

If they feel like they can do what they want, they might just surprise you. Limits will only hinder their development. They should be exploring their own ideas, independent of you, so even if they want your help, encourage them to think for themselves.

Buy Them the Equipment

If your household doesn’t foster a creative atmosphere, your kids simply won’t take an interest in being creative. They need to have the materials and the equipment at hand to be able to do something creative.

Sit down with them and find out what they’d be interested in. It might be a new set of paints and brushes or a musical instrument. Give them the room to choose something which is of interest to them rather than imposing something on them.

Let them Decorate Their Bedrooms

Not many parents have the confidence to allow their kids to design their bedrooms, but why not? Children have a lot better imaginations than adults, so they’ll probably surprise you and it is their bedroom, after all!

You don’t have to let them choose the furniture; there are plenty of places where you can look at luxury beds for boys. But when it comes to choosing a theme and getting involved with the painting of the walls, you can let them get creative with you.

Make Home Movies and Put on Plays

There’s no better way to tell a story than to act it out. This encourages your kids to think creatively and put their ideas into action. You could work on an idea for a short play with them and then act it out in front of the family. This can be a lot of fun and gets them thinking.

Creating home movies as a family is a great way of being creative too. As a parent, you probably try to limit the amount of time your kids spend watching TV and movies, but they are still creative arts! We all have small cameras on our phones, so it’s easy to make a little movie in the home.

Make Reading Fun

If your kids take an interest in reading at an early age, the chances are they'll go on to develop more creative personalities. Open their minds to new stories when they're young and as soon as they're old enough to read, get them involved in the process.

You can take it in turns reading and take on different characters in the story. Then you can start creating your own stories with them.


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How To Encourage Your Kids To Take Up A Hobby (And Stick To It!)

If your kids are anything like mine, then they pick up and drop a new hobby every week! Not only do you feel like a headless chicken chasing them from one pastime to the next, but it also costs you a fortune to pay for the equipment needed for each. Of course, it’s all part and parcel of them growing up and finding out who they are which is why it is often difficult to say. Ultimately, you don’t want to stifle their creativity or deprive them of the benefits that come from many hobbies. In order to save myself stress and money, I’ve learnt a few tricks that have helped my kids to find hobbies that they love and ones which they haven’t given up on (touch wood!). Here are my tips:

Drop-in hobbies: Thankfully, more and more places are offering drop-in classes where you can go along and try activities out without committing to a course. These are often ongoing so you can just keep paying as you go, instead of paying for a block that your children may not end up completing. So, if your child decides they’ve had enough or even if they just don’t fancy it that week, it won’t cost you. At the same time, they get to try out a lot of different classes until they find one they want to stick to. 

At-home hobbies: Your kids may have a number of hobbies they do as part of an organized lesson or class. Although that it’s important that they do this to develop their social skills, as well as for the educational benefit, if there are a lot these can add up in time and money. Break them up with a few at-home pastime options. For example, arts and crafts, reading and cycling are all great options. You can still help them to develop their social skills by taking part in these hobbies with them or inviting some of their friends over so they can enjoy these hobbies together. And, although you want to encourage them to stick to their hobbies, if they lose interest in one of these pastimes, it’s not as big of a deal.

Tailored lessons: I think that one of the reasons why my kids get bored of a hobby quickly is because it doesn’t apply to their particular interests and strengths. Group hobbies tend to be quite general, and there isn’t a lot of one-on-one time. That’s why I think smaller groups or even individual lessons are often more productive and long-lasting. Bespoke Music Tuition, for example, offer music lessons appropriate to a child’s age and level. By arranging for the hobby to be delivered in this way, you know that your children will be learning at a pace that is right for them.

At the end of the day, your kids are likely to want to try a few different hobbies out before they find the ones that they enjoy the most. Luckily, these are just a few things you can do to minimise the stress and financial strain this chopping and changing can cause. 

Let me know if you have any tips on this subject!

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Top Tips For Picking A Family Friendly Puppy


Getting a new dog is a big decision. The kids may have been pestering you about getting a new family pet for months. There comes a time when you run out of excuses not to and decide that perhaps now would be OK to find a new puppy. While adding a new member to the family isn’t ever done to shut the kids up, you know that they will delight and revel in this new addition. There are so many good reasons to bring a puppy into the family as well. The kids will have a new playmate and companion. They will also learn something about taking responsibility for him too. With your mind made up, it’s time to draw up a course of action. 

Firstly, you need to decide where you want to buy your puppy from. Finding a rescue centre is a lovely sentiment, but with small children in the house, you need to be certain of the animal’s temperament. The only way to do that is to buy with particular breeds in mind. When you are looking at puppies for sale, stick to the breeds you know are least likely to have behavioural problems, especially with excitable kids about.

Next, you need to narrow your list down based on the size of the dog when fully grown. If you live in a two bedroom terraced house, chances are your garden isn’t really big enough for a large dog. When you think about the size of your children, the dog will be fully grown in just a year or two. Do you really want a dog around that is bigger than your three-year-old? Equally, if you go for a large and powerful breed, are you confident you are strong enough to walk it and hold it back at the roadside?

Finally, you need to think about the cost. Big dogs may cost more in food bills, but some smaller breeds may require more to be spent on veterinary costs. It is difficult to judge what health problems may arise, so do your research into your preferred breed, and get some pet insurance quotes. Any pet will cost you a lot of money, but budgeting for this carefully will make it easier to handle later on.

Now it is time to meet your breeder. Make sure the person who you are buying from is reputable and takes good care of the animals. If there is lots of mess and shedding, you should walk away. Your new puppy should be successfully weaned and house trained and have the appropriate documents regarding breed and veterinary care. Once the money has changed hands, you are responsible for the health of your puppy. As a non-breeder, you will want your puppy neutered at around six months of age. Also, have an identity chip fitted in case you lose her.

When the kids meet their new puppy friend, there is going to be a lot of excitement. Try to lay down some rules before things go too awry! Some puppies are nervous so take your time with introductions. Let the puppy know where to toilet, where to sleep, and where to eat and drink. Let the kids know not to interfere with these processes too.

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Clearzal || Tootsie Care Products - Are They Worth The Hype?

Skincare is one of those things that even the beauty-phobic still use and need - well in most cases. Over the years I've grown to be a bit of a snob when it comes to the ingredients and I've come to realise that a huge percentage of high street skincare products are actually really terrible for our skins. If you suffer from allergies or inflammatory conditions - celiacs, eczema, psoriasis for example then you really need to be wary about what you put in and on your body. 

I have my own health issues like most people but one of those side effects is dry skin. The dry skin then snowballs so that my nerves are affected which leave me with an uncomfortable feeling that's akin to constantly dragging your nails down a chalkboard - my body gets goosebumps on it's goosebumps. 

Foot care and hand care are a must. Multiple times per day you'll find me lathering my skin with creams and potions - some are terrible and don't last anything over thirty minutes, others last hours. I much prefer the latter. Hubster also has his own skin issues with a condition called Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris - it's rare so managing it is important to keeping him comfortable, the only issue is getting him to action the skincare routine without much nagging. He's a man's man - explains it all really doesn't it. 

I recently got to try out some of these Clearzal products - note how I say ''I'' - well I came home to find hubster had got into them. Crazy right? Yup I got a call saying 'oh some things came' and low and behold I find them all unpacked on his side of the bed. Needless to say I wasn't going to break up this hubster and Clearzal relationship, not since it started without any nagging. 
Products that we've been putting to the test included: 

Scrub Exfoliator | Amazing for the legs and for combating ingrown hairs. This is a must prior to shaving and after shaving as I always had annoying and somewhat painful ingrown hairs, so far I've had none - I think that speaks volumes really.  

Hard Skin Remover | This product has completely transformed my husband's feet from problematic to almost normal. I swear we've never used a product that's shown any real improvement other than this one. The magical ingredient is salicylic acid which helps to slough away dead skin cells and is still seeing a huge surge in popularity across the beauty market. To soothe the tootsies there's also Aloe Vera which is wonderful and natural for our skin. 

Foot Food Nutritional Cream | Rosemary, thyme, lavender, Aloe Vera and urea all feed your tootsies with the nutrients they require to stay soft and supple. This cream also has some pretty amazing lasting power without the greasy, slip and slid that comes from similar brands. 

Pain Relieving Gel | I hold my hands up here, I actually use this on my shoulder - a lot. Fibromyalgia plays havoc on my muscles and I just can't shake the painful knots in my upper shoulders and neck area, this pain relieving gel helps to numb and soothe the pain almost instantly. It's a real godsend. I've since recommended it to a friend who has lymphedema in both legs to help with her pain. 

Busy Feet Energising Cream | Ah this is so refreshing on the feet. It reminds me of deep heat but without the heat and the pain gel but milder. If you suffer from sore soles, especially when wearing heels then this is perfect for you. 

Antimicrobial Foot Sanitiser | This kills 99.9% of foot nasties - athlete's foot included. We use this on all of our tootsies, especially our sons. Hubster sprays this on before he applies the foot food cream. It's apart of his new and improved foot routine. 

Antimicrobial Foot Cleanser | Sweat, socks, diet, exercise and stress all play a huge part in our feet's ecosystems throwing it out of whack. Hot and moist areas are the perfect breeding ground for bad bugs to start to breed and nasty symptoms to appear. This foot cleanser is not only refreshing and easy to use - it also kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and fungus. If you have feet then you need this product. 

Tea Tree Foot Soak. If only you could smell this product, it's seriously refreshing.

Ingredients include peppermint, benzalkonium chloride, tea tree and eucalyptus and after a long day at work this really makes me go 'ahhh.' Benzalkonium Chloride is also fantastic for cuts, scrapes, blisters and the usual food suspects as it's an antibacterial topical agent and works to reduce infection. 

Once you've soaked, cleaned, scrubbed, spritzed and hydrated your tootsies the only thing that's left is colour. 
The hardest and most stressful part of my foot routine is deciding which colour to opt for. The colours I'm swaying over at L'Oreal Colour Riche in Kimono Empire which is a deep plum with the tiniest hint of sparkles - or - Bubblegum Pink which funnily enough is a bubblegum pink with a hint of purple undertones.

Overall we're so impressed by these products. I honestly didn't believe these would make a difference with hubsters feet - my feet yes, his no but I've been well and truly proven wrong and now hubster has deemed the hard skin remover and foot food to be regular must have purchases.

You can pick up your own products at your local Boots or the Boots website.  The hardest thing though is which colour polish would you opt for?
PR & Non PR 

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Want To Get Back To Basics With Toys? Here's How


As a parent, you may sometimes despair of all the noisy, battery-powered gizmo's and gadgets that make up the bulk of today’s kids toys. You may long for the days when you were a child, and the iPad didn’t exist. Nowadays, our children seemed glued to apps and LED lit toys that make more noise than a class full of kids can do. There are plenty of articles out there detailing the benefits of our electronic world for children. More information than ever is instantly accessible, so it helps them learn anything and everything from the comfort of their own sofa. 

If you really fancy going back to basics, or you just need something that doesn’t make a noise, there are some lovely gifts you can choose for a child. You’re definitely not restricted to socks if you want to buy them something that doesn’t flash endlessly. Admittedly, there are probably electronic versions of everything you can think of (except maybe the socks). But sometimes traditional is great. Perhaps you could even consider it novel now!

Dolls and Collectibles still have the power to light up a child’s face. These kinds of toys may seem rare nowadays, but it is still possible to buy something beautiful like the princess dolls collection that is all about the craftsmanship. If your child loves pretty things, they can spend hours with these toys, and even turn them into a prized collection. Handcrafted toys, particularly those made of natural materials like wood, are also sought after. They may not be cheap, but they will last and last. They may even become an heirloom!

Books are bulky, smelly, and easy to damage, but boy we love them! A real book in your hand instead of reading an electronic one on a mobile device, still makes for a great evening of entertainment. Lots of children only see books in their school library when they are very young. They may see some music books if they learn an instrument, but digital scores are everywhere already! Everything is available digitally, and that seems to be the preferred medium. However, a real book feels good in your hands once in a while and gives kids something ‘real’ to handle as they read.

Board games used to keep all of us entertained for hours as kids, but you so rarely see any advertised for children anymore. Pretty much all of them have been turned into apps, but sometimes it is nice to sit around a table together. You can  physically handle the pieces rather than ‘bump’ them between devices on the wi-fi network. OK, so the pieces may get lost, and the table get knocked so everybody loses their place. But isn’t all that part of the fun of a family games night?

Crafts sets are great fun for letting a child’s imagination run wild. Glue and tissue paper, pom poms and plasticine make up the staples of any arty set. Of course, the kids can paint and build in 3D on their mobile phones these days. They’re even taught to code the apps to do it! But getting your hands and your home messy once in a while is what childhood is all about.


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Fun Things To Do On A Saturday Night

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If you have a Saturday night free, you may be wondering how to spend it. Saturday night is the perfect time to have some fun and forget the stresses and worries of work and family life, if you can get a babysitter, that is.

What if the idea of having a night out is too much? Or perhaps the thought of heading out for dinner just doesn’t seem all too appealing for once? Don’t worry, now and then it’s natural to want a bit of a break from going out, especially when you are exhausted from looking after your children all week.

If you have a Saturday night free but don’t want to go out, that’s okay, there are plenty of fun things you can do with your time. For our guide to all the best things, you can get up to on a Saturday night, have a read of this.

1. Have a movie night

What better way to spend a Saturday night than curled up on the sofa with a good movie, a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine?

For the ultimate Saturday night movie marathon, download two or three movies from Sky box office or head to the DVD store and rent a couple of movies instead. Make sure to pick three films from three different genres. Otherwise, you could end up getting a little bored.

Instead of ordering in, why not spend the evening making your own homemade pizzas? It’s fun, easy to do and totally delicious. All you will need is some pizza dough, tomato pizza topping, grated mozzarella and various other toppings of your choice.

Depending on how much of a good cook you are, you can either buy  ready made pizza dough, or you can have a go at making it yourself. It is completely up to you.

3. Have a candle lit bath

If you are feeling stressed out, why not spend your Saturday night enjoying a nice soak in the bathtub? Trust us, after a soothing soak, you will feel much happier, calmer and more relaxed.

For the ultimate relaxing bathtime, run yourself a bubble bath, place scented candles around the room, dim the lights and break open a bottle of bubbly.

4. Browse the internet

If you rarely get any time to yourself, let alone enough time to go online and browse, spend your Saturday evening doing just that.

Sit down with a glass of wine, update your social media profiles, catch up with old friends and see what you have missed online. You could also go on YouTube and other sites, to look at comic videos and sketches, as well as all the funniest fails on there too.

5. Invite the girls over

If the kids are in bed and your partner has gone out, why not invite the girls over the a girls night in? You can relax and chat with your friends while enjoy a bottle of wine or two.

For the ultimate girls night in, pick up a couple of romantic comedies, a few bottles of wine and some nibbles and just spend the evening chilling out together.


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Eight Awesome Must-Read Tips For Young Mums

Hubster and my eldest bubba Coley-Moo 8 or so years back

As a young mum, I know what it takes to look after little ones. When people first have a baby, they have no idea what it will take to take care of it. I found that, as time goes by, it gets easier to do simple things with your kids. Becoming a mother is a massive change, and at first, you might find the prospect of it all a bit much. Here are some awesome tips to help you when you enter this new phase of your life. 

1. Get used to feeling sleepy 

New mothers tend to feel sleepy all the time. Until now, you had the luxury of sleeping through the night with no interruptions. Suddenly, there is a screaming baby in your home, and you have to jump out of bed to look after it. There is no point moaning about your tiredness - get used to it.  

2. Ask people for some advice

If you think that you know just what to do when it comes to parenting, you are naive. Until you have children, you have no idea how difficult it is to look after them. Before you have your baby, it is worth chatting with some of your friends who are already parents. They will tell you what being a mother is like and give you some helpful advice. 

3. Get support (you will need it)

There will be times when you need a day off. If you plan to be a stay at home mum, you still need to give yourself a break now and then. Now is the time to contact a nanny agency. If you sort out your childcare before you have your baby, you will not have to worry when things get tough. There is no shame in needing a little extra support sometimes. 

4. Let your parents help

Your parents will be desperate to help you when you have a baby, and you should let them do so. Some mums make the mistake of shutting people out when they first have their children. If you do that, you will alienate the people around you for no reason at all. 

5. Talk to your partner before you have your child

Your partner knows you better than anyone else, and so he will help you with this new experience. Remember, parenthood is something that you do with your partner. You are not going through this phase alone; he is right there by your side. Let him help. 

6. Teach your kids new things

You know loads of exciting and interesting things. From the moment you give birth, it is your duty to teach your child about the world. As soon as your baby can talk, it will start to ask you questions about things. Children expect you to know everything, and so you better prepare your answers. 

7. Put your kids first 

When you are a young person, you have a million different things that you want to do. One of the hardest things about being a mum is learning to put your children's needs first. If your money is tight, you will need to buy things for your children before you get yourself anything. 

8. Make your home child-friendly

Before you have your baby, you need to make your home child-friendly. You should make some changes to your house and garden so that your kids are safe. If you change things now, it will mean that you have one less thing to worry about later. 

Soon, your life will change forever. Being a mother is a gift and an enormous responsibility. Enjoy it!

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Espirit || Transitioning Spring Styles

I'm eagerly anticipating spring guys. I've even taken to wearing my ballet flats in the snow even though it's freezing simply because this cold and rain isn't doing it for me anymore. Around this time of year I start the hunt for some capsule pieces that will team well with my cold weather clothing yet can be transitioned into the warm SPRING!

I've found what works for me over the years and also what works for my overstretched budget and that tends to be pieces which come in neutral tones, classic shapes and have great lines. I suppose that statement sounds pretty blase but what I mean by classic pieces is items of clothing that come in a pattern that's not necessarily on trend, stripes and spots are classic, dainty florals are classic and even plain colours such as white, black and navy are perfect classic pieces. Great lines pieces simply describe clothing that suits the wearer's body shape, normally they're made from a better fabric mix so they hold the original shape or can be ironed so that they hold a neat shape. Body con, lycra, some polyester mixes all tend to wash badly leaving the hems all over the place and wouldn't make it onto my clean line list, ever. 

To make the change I've been browsing lots of online websites and of course Pinterest for inspiration. After viewing and pinning umpteen images  I can't shake the need to own some classic French styles. It just never goes out of style does it and it looks good on all shapes and all ages? I'm also loving simple pops of colour and pieces with interesting textures so, I think this is the direction I'll be going in for what's left of 2015 and I'll be starting with these two hand picked outfits from Espirit

This striped dress is so cute. French sophistication mixed with playfulness non? This is exactly what I would describe as a dress that has clean lines, the type you could just pull on and go and still look incredible.

Because of it's put on and go qualities I figured flats would work for a casual daytime look and also the tan bag slung over your shoulder with your sunnies on and your hair pulled back would be sublime. To enable this to work you'd need to keep your accessories to a minimum. Mixed metals or a hint of a primary tone would look amazing.
This second outfit ticks all of my capsule wardrobe needs.

The dress somewhat resembles the lose shape of a shirt dress and can be worn casually with those amazing Leo boots or other similar ankle boots. String on a long tassel necklace and kink your hair into some boho waves and you're set for spring-summer. If you want to dress up the look for work or play I recommend teaming it with the lemon textured cardigan for a pop of colour and added texture as well as a dainty necklace like this cute Sterling Silver heart. Again mixed metals will keep this looking chic and the Aurora ring by Links of London is simply beautiful.

These two outfits stood out because I know I'd get so much use out of these because the styles never truly go out of fashion. I'd definitely describe myself as a classic, fashion lover than a current trend maven as there's no way my bank balance and my stress levels could deal with changing up my wardrobe every three months. Don't get me wrong, I love fashion and current trends but within reason and I don't stop myself from purchasing on trend pieces that I adore as long as they work with the capsule basics. Espirit currently have some amazing bohemian pieces available that my inner magpie just wanted to feature - but - the sensible me decided to stick to the capsule needs.

You know I'll probably still snap up the gorgeous crochet kimono which I'd class as being on trend but you know, a girls gotta buy what a girls gotta buy and that kimono is calling my name. I've learnt the hard way though and over the years I have been an impulse shopper, snapping up things that appealed to my love of pattern or colour only, to get them home and they didn't go with anything I owned. I think my husband got sick of my regular 'I have nothing to wear' cries and mentioned that I had to cut back or rethink my purchases. It was probably the best fashion advice I've ever had.

Have you ever purchased any classic or capsule suitable pieces from Espirit or other online stores? check them out over on 

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