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#whatwedidthisweek 30.01.17

#whatwedidthisweek

This is one of those weeks where we haven’t really done a lot.

#whatwedidthisweek – Both kids have been really poorly with coughs and colds. Daddy is the one that has bore the brunt of their illness whilst I’ve been out at work, and then in a proper tag-team style he’s gone off to work and I’ve taken over.

We received a lovely goodie bag from Vicks with some great tips videos which I will share with you in another post, but the timing couldn’t have been better.

I did try to cheer her up by making one of her toucanBox boxes which worked long enough for her to make me some cool cardboard eyebrows.

Isabelle really suffers from coughs and colds, but unfortunately, when she’s poorly she doesn’t deal with it very well.  We all end up suffering from sleep deprivation and your ears start to ring with the sound of her whinging. I know she can’t help it, but she really will sit there coughing and spluttering waiting for you to hand her a drink or a tissue, or pull up her blanket which she really could do for herself.

Feeble Mable

She has an alter-ego when she’s poorly called Feeble Mable.

Feeble Mable has legs made of jelly

She sits with her clothy and watches the telly

She sips from her cup and nibbles on snacks

This terrible cold has stopped her in her tracks

She has little red cheeks and hair stuck to her face

It really is sad to see her in this place

Finally, Feeble Mable starts to fade away and our little Belle Boo comes back out to play

Haha that’s the extent of my poetic skills. We’re putting Isabelle’s quick recovery down to Benylin Children’s Night Cough mixture which she can take (it’s 6+). Usually, the worst part of her cough is the nights when she can’t seem to control the coughing and then struggles to breathe which then leads to her being sick. The last time she coated me from head to toe in sick. Nice.

#whatwedidthisweek

Yesterday I was able to get out with Charlie (the dog) for a really lovely long walk. The river was totally wild and some of the path was missing, but Charlie loved being able to run around in all the mud and puddles. I love being out with him, it seems to help de-stress me and it’s a nice kind of walk where I’m not rushing to or from something, just walking.

I then went on to make White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups (recipe to follow) which I thought Isabelle would want to help me make, but she decided that she would much rather play YouTube that make cheesecake.

The weather was awful this morning so we had to think of something to do with Isabelle that was indoors but not our indoors as she hasn’t been out since Tuesday. We thought it would be nice to actually leave the house. Our options were bowling, but after checking the extortionate prices we decided against this, indoor climbing (fully booked), cinema or soft play. I wanted to take her to watch Sing but she opted for Bearfeet indoor play area with one of her friends so that’s what we did.

#whatwedidthisweek – Did you do anything nice this week?

Lisa

 

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

#Whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

This could be a disastrous thread to start as some weeks go by and we haven’t done anything fun, and the only achievement is tackling the ever-growing ironing pile or being totally chuffed that I’ve actually seen the bottom of the laundry basket.

That’s life and for many of us, these mundane tasks and household chores are the everyday norm.

We have had quite a jam-packed week this week.

The first and possibly the biggest fist pump goes to completing my tax return. I hate this job. Making sure that everything is accounted for is a big enough task, but each and every year I leave it to the last minute and end up being the biggest ball of stress. Each and every year there seems to be a problem with my log-in. Each and every year I have to re-set my password and each and every year I have to phone the helpline.

This year my log-in wouldn’t work, and then I kept being sent to an error page. Thankfully I got past all of this and on Tuesday I finally got to press the send button.

Seriously, it’s like being pregnant and giving birth! You know, the bit where they hand you the baby and all the pain is forgotten. Until next time that is!

#whatwedidthisweek

This is charlie at 12 weeks when he came home with us.

#whatwedidthisweek

Birthday Boy

It was our lovely Charlie boy’s birthday on Friday. It’s unbelievable that he’s three already. I still refer to him as our puppy, and the time has flown by so quickly. I couldn’t imagine life without my fur-baby now.

#whatwedidthisweek

Coast View Holiday Park

I was invited to Coast View Holiday Park in Shaldon which has recently opened. It’s one of three-holiday parks that the owner owns with the other two being based n Cornwall.  It has a brand spanking new restaurant called Ode & Co which has a very relaxed vibe where you can eat gazing over the amazing view of the Jurassic Coast.

#whatwedidthisweek

We tried a selection of sourdough pizza’s which were made in the open plan kitchen in an enormous wood-fired oven. My fave was definitely the venison chorizo and mushroom pizza. They offer a ‘dip and dine’ offer with swimming and a pizza which we’ll definitely be taking advantage of. The prices are very family-friendly as well, and they have a selection of craft beers and yummy wines if you’re not the designated driver.

#whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

To finish that day off, Isabelle went to her cousin’s birthday party at Build a Bear, and the party person in there was absolutely fantastic, keeping the kids entertained by playing games and picking out party t-shirts as well as making the bears themselves.

On Saturday had a trial at Rainbows which Isabelle really enjoyed so we’re just waiting for the registration forms now. Shame about the awful uniform and it only gets worse if she stays on and becomes a Brownie. Afterward, we went to yet another birthday party where there was a nerf gunfight. I didn’t come off too well as I got blasted in the eye. I thought a black eye was brewing but nothing came of it.

Blogger Night Out

Saturday night I met up with some Devon Bloggers in Coal, Exeter for a fantastic meal and cocktails. We even had lovely surprise goody bags filled with lovely treats from some of the Princesshay shops which was a really nice treat (Hotel Chocolat, The Cove, Joules, and Saks).

#whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

Sunday was the most miserable day (weather-wise) but it started off great for me with a lie-in and breakfast in bed followed by a stroll around the shops (actually it was more of a stomp running from one shop to the next in the rain) and back home for an Indian feast.

How was your week?

Lisa

 

Money Saving for Mums

Money Saving for Mums

And Dads of course, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it!

Christmas feels like a long time ago, and for many of us we’re holding out for January payday.

For some, Money Saving is a lifestyle rather than a fad, but many of us kickstart our Money Saving in January and go from there.

Money Saving for Mums

 

We’ve started the #365daypennychallenge which is saving a small amount each day which surprisingly adds up to a tidy sum by the end of the 365 days (£667.95 to be exact).

We’ve also become very savvy when it comes to food shopping and shop around to get the best deals. We haven’t gone as far as setting up meal plans, but we base our meals around special offers and deals so that we get the most for our money.

I plan to check out our utilities this month to see if we can save money by changing provider.

I’ve already been through our direct debits to make sure that we don’t have any payments for things that we no longer use any more.

Whatever you’re looking to buy or maybe cutting costs on, there will be ways of getting it cheaper if you’re prepared to look.

For some this is just too much which is where sites like Gratisfaction come into play . They take all the leg work for you by listing a variety of deals on websites as well as loads of Free Stuff. They have oodles of categories from including Gadgets, Eating Out and Baby Stuff.

I thought I would have a poke around the site and see what they have on offer for us as a family of four with a dog.

Great Freebies!

A Free Ice Scraper – Perfect for the weather at the moment.

A Free Little Book of Pain – As a long-term neck pain sufferer this will definitely be worth a read.

A Free Online Cooking Course – When you get to this website there are loads of courses to choose from so I have chosen Social Media Marketing which should cost £395. Total madness but I’ve grabbed it and will let you know how I get on.

A Free Monu Skincare Pack.

A Free Anker Phone Charger – He’s a teenager so no explanation needed.

Free Colgate Max White One Toothpaste.

Free Vita Coco Coconut Oil 

A Free Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Razor 

A Free Bathbomb Sample

A Free Rimmel Volume Shake Mascara

We no longer have babies at home, but the Baby Section is full of loads of stuff including Weaning Pouches and Drynight’s Disposable pants.

Some of these offers are amazing. I’m especially loving the cosmetic/beauty type offers as I love a bit of pampering so once these arrive I will add them to my treat basket which I dip into when I get the chance.

Pop over to the site regularly as some of the offers are only available for a set number of people before the close.

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

•Sponsored post

The Bedtime Tag: My Routine

The Bedtime Tag

The Bedtime Tag

The Bedtime Tag: Here’s how I wind down ready for bed in the evening’s. Probably not something to be envious of or strive to achieve but it is what it is.

First of all a big thank you to Gorgeous George’s Mama for tagging me.

Describe your usual bedtime routine.

Things have changed a bit around here with Daddy changing his job so the bedtime routine is mostly me these days. Isabelle goes to bed at 7pm but this can be between 7pm – 7.30pm dependent on her and my mood. Brushing teeth is possibly the worst part of my day by far. Isabelle doesn’t like the taste of toothpaste and on any given day she doesn’t like the toothbrush so we have several. Once this drama is over we always read to her. At the moment we’re reading the Julia Donaldson Mirror Belle series which is the first chaptered book we’ve read to her and she’s loving it.

Once Isabelle is in bed I set to work. I work on my laptop most if not every evening so I start to wind down at around 10pm – 10.30pm which is usually brought on by a combination of dry eyes and overwhelming tiredness. I usually get ready for bed and then we usually watch an episode of something which is Lost at the moment which we totally missed the boat on when it first showed.  I’m quite bad at falling asleep on the sofa which is really naughty I know but I’m gone before I know it. I probably should go to bed before I do but following a bit of TV I go up to bed, check my social media (tut tut) and then read my kindle for a while. I’m a big fan of chick-lit so it’s always really lighthearted

What are your favourite pyjamas?

I don’t think I have a favourite pair of pyjamas, but I do like comfy and warm bedtime clothes. I have a soft fleecy dressing gown which I love to wear, but I don’t get ready for bed until all work is finished. I think it’s a weird mindset thing, but as soon as my PJ’s are on my brain starts to shut down.

What is your current bedtime reading?

Always a soppy chick-lit book. I used to really like crime/murder books, but I totally went off them and now prefer to read about finding Mr Right and all the drama that come’s with it with a nice happy ending.

What would I find on your bedside table?

My bedside table has a small basket full of lovely goodies that I got for Christmas such as hand creams, facemasks, soaps, bath bombs. It’s my treat basket. I also have a glass of water, and my contact lens paraphernalia as well as my kindle. Oh and my phone. How can I forget that! I check it last thing at night and first thing in the morning. I have to have it there as I use it for my alarm clock. Tee hee!

What scent makes you sleepy?

I LOVE the smell of freshly washed bedding.

What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?

I usually go to bed at around 11pm and wake-up at 5.30 for work. I should probably alter this so I can have more sleep but for now it’s ok.

What are your top three bedtime products?

I would love to say that I have a really good bedtime routine that sets me up for a great nights sleep, but mostly I slope into bed in a slovenly way as I barely have the energy to keep my eyes open. I have to take my contact lenses out so I use my contact solution. I’ve also started using cocoa butter vaseline as I have really dry lips, eye drops to combat dry eyes and hand cream (from my treat basket).

What is your most common sleeping position?

I like to curl up in a ball in the foetal position. I thought I would google this to see if it has any meaning and apparently it means that I have a tough exterior but am sensitive inside. Conscientious and ordered, but prone to worry and overthinking. Yep I’ll take that.

Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?

Erm well apart from my man, not really. I’ve just had a flash back to when Isabelle was a baby and before I had a kindle. I used to take a torch so that I could read under the covers without waking Isabelle up who was usually laying sprawled out between the two of us. Ha ha.

What is your worst bedtime habit?

Eek confession time: I don’t take my make-up off. I know. I know. I know I should and it wouldn’t take me long but like choosing my clothes at night instead of scrabbling around in the dark in the morning, I can’t be bothered. Moving on!

This is possibly the first time that I’ve actually thought about my bedtime routine in depth. I may have to make some changes with the top of the list adding make-up remover wipes to my beside table which I promise I will do.

The Bedtime Tag

I’m going to tag a few fellow bloggers so that you can read about their Bedtime Routines.

Tag you’re it:

Ready for a Cuppa 

Mums the Nerd 

Something About Baby

Cups of Charlotte 

Chic Geek Diary

Once you’ve done it give me a shout @babynotincluded or hashtag #thebedtimetag and I’ll pop over for a read

The ten questions for my nominees to answer

  1. Describe your usual bedtime routine.
  2. What are your favourite pyjamas?
  3. What is your current bedtime reading?
  4. What would I find on your bedside table?
  5. What scent makes you sleepy?
  6. What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?
  7. What are your top three bedtime products?
  8. What is your most common sleeping position?
  9. Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
  10. What is your worst bedtime habit?

The rules of the Bedtime Tag are included them:

Step 1: Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
Step 2: Display the Bedtime badge; which you can find at the top of this post. (save the picture)
Step 3: Answer the ten questions included above.
Step 5: Nominate between three and five fellow bloggers to take part, and set them the questions.

Lisa x

#365daypennychallenge Money Saving Challenge

#365daypennychallenge

So last year we looked at ways we could save money without noticing it so much so we started the #365daypennychallenge. You can see our original post here.

#365daypennychallenge

 

We bought one of those tins that you have to open with a tin opener so that nobody would be dipping into it for carpark change or money for the kids lunches.

Isabelle really enjoyed putting the coins in, and we did really great with it.

However, I might do things a bit differently this year as with many people we don’t tend to keep that much cash on us anymore and towards the end of the challenge the amount was far greater so not everybody has that amount to put away.

So I’ve created a downloadable PDF that you can print off and keep next to your saving jar and tick off as and when you do it.

#365daypennychallenge

What I thought I might do is around pay day I will pay the higher amounts and then other times I can pay a smaller amount. As long as you tick off the amount that you put in you will still end up with the saved £667.95.

If you have any other great ways of saving money or tips then do pop them in the comments below.

Happy saving!

Lisa

365 Day Penny Challenge

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

Baby & Children’s Market Exeter 25.06.16

Baby and Children’s Market – Saturday 25th June 2016

We’re really happy to say that we’re going to be at the next Baby and Children’s Market on Saturday 25th June 2016.

09.30 – 11.30am

St James High School, Summer Lane, Exeter, Devon, EX4 8NN

As well as local business’s like ours there will be lots of Mum’s and Dad’s selling pre-loved baby and children’s clothing, toys, books, games, prams and lots more.

At the last market I watched a Mum and Dad tag team. They had a list of what they wanted and one of them went up one side and the other did the other side, each checking in with the other as they whittled down their list.  They left laden down with all sorts of things for their new baby who had been transferred from the pram into a sling to make way for the things they’d bought!

If you come along, do pop over and say hello.

I have heard that there’s going to be a FREE ball pit for the littles to play in!

To keep up to date with the latest details go to the Baby & Children’s Market Exeter Facebook Page.

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

World Book Day

This is our FIRST World Book Day! (it’s the 3rd March if you didn’t know).

As this is Isabelle’s first year at school we have yet to partake in this school event, and as earlier this year they had superhero day and there were some impressive costumes the pressure is on.

I wanted to base this on Isabelle’s favourite book (or one of) not which costume was the easiest to make/obtain.

So our favourite books at the moment are:

The Scarecrows Wedding
Stickman
Trixie Ten
Winnie the Witch (ANY)
Superworm
The Princess and the Wizard
I don’t want to go to bed

So I was thinking that the easiest option would be The Little Princess which would consist of a white nightly and a crown or Winnie the Witch would be quite an easy option as well. There’a a fantastic Stickman costume which you can see on the Pinterest board, but I’m not sure that I could convince Isabelle to wear it. I would like to make one, but there isn’t much time with Isabelle currently being ill, work and general life.

As with all my crafty projects I always take to trusty old Pinterest (what did we do before).

I’d love to know what characters you’re dressing your kids as.

Either pop us an email to mail@babynotincluded.co.uk and we’ll have a little post with all the pics, pop a pick on our Facebook page or add a link to your pinterest account so we can have a look.

We’ve also set up a World Book Day Pinterest Board if you need some ideas as well.

Follow babynotincluded’s board World Book Day on Pinterest.

I’ll share a little pic of Isabelle once she’s decided which character she want to be.

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk – Good Quality Nursery Wall Stickers 

October Half Term Activities in the South West 24th October 2015

October Half Term Activities in the South West – Monday 24th October 2015

So officially the first day of the October Half Term and there’s loads going on. Here are some of the things that have caught our eye.

Jelly Charity Shop – Launch (Re-Launch) Party, 148 – 149 Fore Street, Exeter, EX4 5AN 11.30am – 5pm

Jelly is moving and therefore are having a launch (re-launch) party to celebrate. There will be music from Poco Drum & Woodford Green, Goody Bags, Cookies and Cakes and a special appearance from the Unmumsy Mum. As well as all this you can browse their lovely selection of clothing and toys. Babyccino will be there with Baby Sling and Nappy Surgeries.

Crealy, Exeter, Devon from 24th October – 1st November 

October Half Term Activities in the South West

There are loads of events happening at Devon’s Crealy this half term. Each child will receive a free pumpkin and get the chance to meet Crealy’s resident witch. Are you brave enough to come face to face with the mischievous Treehouse Trolls. See the site for details of events throughout the week which are finished off with a Firework Spectacular on 1st November from 5pm.

Pumpkins, Witches and Wizards – Wildwood Escot, Ottery St Mary, EX11 1LU 

Meet Hagatha the Witch and Choose and Carve your own Pumpkin as well as enjoying the usual activities within Escot. Running from 24th October – 1st November.

Becky Falls, Newton Abbot, TQ13 9UG

Pumpkin Carving, Scary Snake Shows, Biscuit Decorating, Scary Scars and Mischievous Meerkats. All enclosed in gorgeous grounds.

The Big Sheep, Bideford, EX39 5AP 

The have loads going on including a Daylight Hayride, Witches Flying School, Meet Spookly the Square Pumpkin, FREE facepainting and join in the Horrendously Horrid Spook Hunt.

Mum2Mum Market Nearly New Sale – Harewood House, Ridgeway, Plympton, PLYMOUTH, Devon,  PL7 2AS

Looking for good quality second hand baby and children’s goods? Our sales bring local parents together to buy and sell their outgrown, unwanted nursery equipment, prams and buggies, cots, clothes, toys, books and much more. Over 20 stalls all with good condition items to sell directly from previous owners.

Halloween Fun at Kents Cavern – Torquay, TQ1 2JF

There’s lots to do this October Half Term at Kents Cavern with cave tours, the Witch’s Hat joke trail, spooky dig and the Underground Pumpkin hunt. No need to book – just turn up.  Cave tours from 10:20 every 20/25 mins. Last cave tour at 4pm.

Halloween Fun at Knightshayes, Bolham, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7RQ

With a spooky house to discover, a haunted garden trail to explore and crafts to keep them occupied – let us help keep the bogeyman of boredom away.
£2.50 per child. Normal admission applies. Running from 24th Oct – 1st Nov.

Don’t forget to let us know of any other events that you know about or may be running and we’ll add them.

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk – Funky Clothing & Accessories from Newborn to Toddler 

Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home

Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home By Ty Schmidt

It’s something everyone always told me would happen, but I didn’t believe it until it happened to me. My dear 18-month-old son has developed into something they all said he would. A sponge. From the ground up, that is what he is on a daily basis. He picks up everything, from words and actions to a general understanding of all things happening around him. And while this is super (just what any parent of a toddler longs for during those sleepless nights of newborn-hood), it comes with its fair share of considerations.

Among them is how best to keep this young mind occupied with all things learning while he’s awake. He still sleeps enough to make most adults envy him, but how do you engage him while he’s awake. If your answer is PBS Kids or Disney Junior, you’re not alone. But you shouldn’t have to live that way, and neither should your toddler. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse, the Wild Kratts, or Curious George. Each show has its own empirical charm. Yet there is more you can be doing with these warm summer days than learning how George most efficiently packages a grocery bag.

Summer Activities for kids

Live a little this summer by keeping these fun summer activities in mind:

DIY season. With the exception of the dead of winter when literally nothing else is going on, summer is one of the best times to get those creative juices flowing. Siphon them into something meaningful with a do-it-yourself theme to at least one day a week this summer. It doesn’t even have to be the same day. Just choose one day a week when you indulge in all things creative (like a homemade water slide) and really bring it to life.

Summer loving. For most of us, summer is a time that involves making the most of water. As a Midwesterner, one comes to appreciate the water of summer, be it in pools, water balloons, water tables, or basically any form. Find ways to embrace the simplicity of water this summer. You won’t regret it.

Camp comes home. Channel your inner child and embrace what he or she shares with you about fun things you did to stay occupied in the summer months. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but things like a family campout in the backyard or family game night outside can fill those hot summer nights with a purpose that breathes life into everything you do.

Get cooking. I didn’t cook much with my mother growing up, and I wish I had. While I refuse to live vicariously through my children, I have already decided to involve them more in the food preparation for our family as they grow old enough to understand the purpose behind what they’re doing. From chopping the ingredients to fresh homemade salsa to understanding what grows in our garden, it is never too young to start teaching little ones about where food comes from and the importance of eating well.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com. Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home

*This is a collaborative post with Modernize Home Services.

Baby Sensory Play – Baby Sensory Bottles

Baby Sensory Bottles

Entertaining your little ones can be tricky sometimes and the abundance of colourful plastic can be overwhelming for your baby or toddler. These easy to make Baby Sensory Bottles will give them hours of fun.

Hands up if you’ve bought a present and the box gets more attention than the actual gift. Babies and children have the most amazing imaginations and the simplest of things such as emptying the pots and pans and a wooden spoon can give hours of fun.

Not all play things have to be conventional ‘toys’ so we’re going to bring a series of ideas for sensory play and crafts to keep your baby, toddler or pre-school child/ren entertained.

Baby Sensory Bottles

What you will need:

  • Clear plastic bottles
  • Rice
  • Oil (can be whatever edible oil you have in the cupboard)
  • Food colouring in colours of your choice
  • Glitter
  • Sparkly Craft Items
  • Beads
  • Superglue
  • A funnel

Shaky Sensory Bottle

Before you start you will need to colour the rice. All you have to do is measure out how much rice you will need to filling the bottle you will be using so that it’s about three quarters full and then separate it into bowls and add a few drops of food colouring. You may need to leave this for a little while so that the colour doesn’t transfer onto the bottle.

Baby Sensory Bottles

In the meantime you can choose what you would like to add to your bottle. We added a selection of coloured glitters, pom poms, coloured plastic beads and a selection of craft sequins and shapes.

Baby Sensory Bottles

Once the rice is dry, using a funnel (I used a jug as I don’t have one) add the rice to the bottle and with a bit of superglue screw the lid on. We finished this off with some coloured tape to make it extra nice.

And Shake………..

Baby Sensory Bottles

Water Sensory Bottle

For this bottle you need to fill up your bottle to about a third of the way up and add a few drops of food colouring of your choice. We added some coloured glitter to make it extra pretty. Then fill the bottle with the cooking oil of your choice leaving about an inch gap at the top. Again add a bit of superglue before screwing on the lid, and we added some coloured tape for prettiness.

Baby Sensory Bottles

AND Shake…… the water and oil will separate giving a lava lamp effect.

Baby Sensory Bottles

Baby Sensory Bottles

We’d love to see your Sensory Baby Bottles so either leave a comment with a pic or pop over to our Facebook Page and upload one.

Lisa x