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#VicksTricks for Coughs and Colds

#VicksTricks for Coughs and Colds

I feel like a bit of an expert on this topic as we’ve probably experienced the rough side of a cough and cold with our daughter more than the average mum and dad.

I say this not in a competing kind of way, but having Isabelle has changed so many things about what I used to believe was the ‘right way’ to look after a child.

#vickstricks for coughs and colds- Surviving the cold season with vicksRyan was never a sickly child, slept and eat well.

 

We never avoided people with sniffles and were never really that phased when we turned up to nursery and yet another notice was on the door notifying of the latest illness going round.

Isabelle changed all of this.

We truly believe that you could sneeze across the road from Isabelle and she would catch a cold.

I hated it when I went to baby/toddler group and there were always children with coughs and colds as we knew that she would get them.

It irked me when family and friends would visit with a poorly child or ill themselves knowing that she would get it.

I can imaging you rolling your eyes at this point, but Isabelle never gets just a cough or cold. It was always to the extreme.

She would be poorly for days on end, none of us getting much sleep at night due to the crying, coughing and ultimately the projectile vomiting when she couldn’t control the cough.

She’s been given inhalers, antibiotics and steroids to help ease her symptoms mostly not helping at all. We know the signs a mile off by now so we know what’s in store for us.

So I pass on our baton of wisdom in all things ‘Cough and Cold’.

My Tips

No milk. I know this one isn’t possible when little ones are little little, but milk is claggy in the throat and can sometimes promote coughing as it thickens the phlegm. Also milk sick is so gross smelling and a nightmare to get the smell out of carpets.

A nice calm bath time routine. Adding a chamomile teabag into the water or a few drops of lavender oil to relax them and also open up their nasal passages.

No running. I know this sounds like a funny one, but Isabelle would have the most awful coughing fits if she had bursts of running around or being silly, so the run-up to bedtime has to be quiet play.

Open the windows – Even if its a freezing cold day. Open the windows during the day in your child’s bedroom to let some fresh air through. Alternatively you could get a dehumidifier.

Menthol vaporiser – We have a plug-in one that we got from boots which we put on about an hour  before Isabelle goes to bed.

Raising the mattress – When they have a cough and cold lying flat is not the best thing for them so put something underneath the mattress so that they are slightly raised. I also give Isabelle an extra pillow for the same reason.

Vick’s Vaporub – Don’t be shy go for the massive tub. We get through loads of this which we apply to Isabelle’s back and chest. We also read on a forum to put it on the bottom of her feet and leave her socks on so we did this as well.

Water – Make sure that your child always has access to water so that they can at least try to help themselves by having a drink during the night.

Isabelle can’t seem to control her breathing very well when she has  a cough and a cold and is quite often sick as a result of her panicking when she’s struggling. She now knows to get out of bed. If we can direct the sick away from the bed at least she can get back in without having to wait for the whole bed changing dance.

NEVER let them in your bed. We know only too well what happens when they’ve been sick in their own bed and thinking that it’s an easy option for them to climb in with you only results in nobody having anywhere to sleep!

We’ve also tried nasal sprays which she didn’t like at all so we keep them as a bit of a last resort to be used only with bribery.

Get some balm for their noses which get sore and red from all the nose wiping. It’s like a plaster, they love to have something to put on.

For coughs we give Isabelle ice lollies which she loves, but it also soothes her throat. If she’s not eating we can make them from fruit so that she’s at least getting some nutrition in her.

All the cough medicine that they are able to have. When things have been really bad we’ve been told by our doctor to give Isabelle an antihistamine so make her sleep.

During the day create a space where they can sleep if they want to. Isabelle won’t go to bed but if she’s comfortable she might at least close her eyes.

Have a selection of easy to play with toys. No jigsaws or complicated games which will end up in them getting ratty.

DVD’s or TV for them to watch. Whilst you don’t want them stuck in front of the TV all day some little one’s can’t seem to cope with much else.

Don’t expect them to sit and eat huge meals. When Isabelle is poorly she never wants to eat so we let her choose from a selection of things such as fruit, crackers, toast, yoghurts etc so that she can pick what she wants and is more likely to eat it.

Olbas oil on a flannel over the radiator and then dot a few drops around the room.

Honey and Lemon – Make them a cup of warm honey and lemon. Putting it in a fancy cup with a straw usually works for Isabelle.

Kids magazines always cheer Isabelle up. Isabelle’s favourite part is of course the toy on the front and it’s possibly the only time that she’s interested in the stories and activities inside the magazine as well.

Another good one is to be armed with an ipad or phone with some good kids apps. Isabelle is currently into kids youtube watching the unwrapping of ‘Blind Bags’. The voices totally drive me nuts but as each one only lasts about 4 – 6 minutes they’re tolerable in small doses.

We were sent ‘That Book’ – The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. It was quite a long book and I’m sure that it might work on a child who stays in bed, lying down in bed and doesn’t talk all the way through, but it made me tired, and she did go to sleep quicker than usual.

We also received some finger puppets which at the moment have prime pillow space in Isabelle’s bed along with bunny.

We do all of this whilst trying to avoid the sneeze spray so that we don’t end up getting it ourselves. It NEVER works, one or both of us always comes down with it so make sure that you have a cupboard full of remedies for yourselves as well.  Chris seems to like the Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray whereas Ryan opts for the Nasal Stick.

#VicksTricks Sliced Banana Trick

This is my entry into the #VicksTricks Campaign.

Lisa x

 

 

#devondaysout – Wildwood Escot

#devondaysout – Wildwood Escot

Wildwood Escot – We used to be frequent visitors of Escot when Ryan was younger so it’s nice to be invited to take Isabelle, especially as she seems to quite like mud, walking in mud, squishing in mud, poking sticks in mud……..just mud.

Wildwood Escot

We started off in the Anglo Saxon Village which was really cool. It was all set out as a proper village with a kitchen area, bedrooms, fire places and is used as part of the Camp Wild setting which offers holiday camps for children aged 7 – 12 years.

wildwood_escot

The Welly Walk

This February half term they have Creepy Crawly Welly Walks running twice a day which are definitely worth going on. We had a lovely guide who showed us some rather strange looking dried animals and skulls. Isabelle didn’t seem phased by the flat squirrel or hedgehog.

wildwood_escot

We stomped through the park to a pond where we dipped to see if we could find any creepy crawlies lurking underneath. We found some little ‘slug like’ bugs on the leaves and further on we found some frog spawn which Isabelle thought looked like snot.

You know the saying that you learn something new everyday?

Well at Wildwood Escot they have a deadly predator laying in waiting.

It doesn’t have claws, sharp teeth and it doesn’t growl.

It’s called Hemlock Water Dropwart and is poisonous if eaten.

We then took part in making mud creatures using mud, twigs, leaves and anything else that we could find on the ground.

Isabelle made a squirrel, a squirrel house with a fire outside the front and an antenna on the top for the TV.

It was amazing seeing all the other children using their imagination to make creatures including an alien and a fairy.

Exploring the park

After the welly walk we went to explore the rest of the park. There are some amazing climbing trees with really gnarly intertwined branches.

It was a lovely sunny day but the wind was quite biting so unfortunately we didn’t see the squirrels, but we saw the Lynx being fed by the keeper. There was one at the back, and we finally spotted the other one which was hiding in the giant tree trunk in it’s enclosure. They really are beautiful. I could just imagine one curling up on your lap.

The Wild Boar were all foraging for food and some were outstretched in the sunlight.

We went over to the Death Slide and Isabelle was really up for having a go. That was until she reached the top and looked over the edge, and then we came back down again. Ha ha. I was totally going to show her how it’s done but I had to help her back down the steps!

Otter Feeding

I really wanted to go and watch the Otter feeding, as they’re really interesting. They obviously know exactly what time feeding time is as they were all by the door that the keeper comes in whining in unison, and running round as a group waiting for their food.

The otters were given a selection of food including turkey meatballs and cherry tomatoes which was thrown all around the enclosure so that they had to look for it. They work really fast at getting the food!

A hanging type basket filled with straw and bits of food was hung up so that they had to rummage through the straw to get the food. It was really funny to see them find something like they were dipping into a lucky dip, run over to the water to wash it before eating it.

We spent some time in the outdoor play area where there are plenty of things to climb on, and then had a go on the rope swing where I very nearly took out a child. Oops.

wildwood_escot

Coffee and cake is usually quite high up on the list of things to do on a day out but we opted for flapjack which was so yummy and chewy (big thumbs up).

Isabelle found a tree where there were loads of wine bottles hanging. We told Isabelle that that’s where the witches lived and that they hung the bottles on the branches when they finished the wine.

wildwood_escot

There are loads of picnic tables or open grassy spaces around the park which is what we would usually do in the nicer weather.

Wildwood Escot is the place for you if you like being outdoors where the kids can explore, use their imagination and play.

Wolves are moving to Wildwood Escot shortly which we can’t wait to go and meet. Wildwood Escot is a registered charity and your admission is treated as a charitable donation. You can support this further by adopting an animal to help ensure that the animals are cared for and fed as they should. It also ensures that the park can be looked after for years more enjoyment.

For more information pop over to the Wildwood Escot Website for more exciting kids outdoor activities.

#adoptananimalweek

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

wildwood_escot

If you’re visiting the South West or live here but are looking for something to do then have a look at our recommended #southwestdaysout for some inspiration x

#whatwedidthisweek 06.02.17

#whatwedidthisweek

After last weeks coughs and colds finally lifting, normality and routine has been restored.

As it’s half term next week this week has been a bit of a drain waiting for our week off.
We haven’t really done very much aside from the usual round of dog-walking, cooking, school run and all the usual housey stuff.

As Isabelle wasn’t at school for most of last week we had a surprise Valentines School disco sprung on us on Thursday. Isabelle had a great time. She made up dance routines with her friends and they’d made a pact to all wear pink! One of her friends broke the ‘rule’ so she was mad with her. So young yet so grown up.

It SNOWED! On Saturday. I tried to take a picture but it was so fine that you cant see it in the picture.

Isabelle went to her second session of Rainbows on Saturday which she seems to like so I think we’re going to sign her up properly. We have the magazine for the uniform which is awful. I can cope with the top and the zip up hoodie, but the wide legged jogging bottoms are awful, so I think we’ll get the tops but pair it with leggings.

#whatwedidthisweek
We also made these Aquabeads false nails which Isabelle really enjoyed making, but unfortunately they didn’t stay on for very long so some are missing, and I’m pretty sure that they dog might have eaten a couple as well.

Isabelle hasn’t been out on her bike for ages so we thought we’d go along the river and get an icecream (yep come rain or shine).

It was a disaster. She learnt to ride her bike in the summer but as she hasn’t been out on it for ages she was so nervous and wouldn’t let Chris let go of her so it was short lived, and we didn’t get anywhere near the quay to get icecream.

We’ve spent the rest of today in the warm playing and watching TV whilst the boys are out at football.

The best bit is knowing that for the next week our lives won’t be dominated by the morning alarm clock.

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

#southwestdaysout – February Half Term

#southwestdaysout – February Half Term

February Half Term

It feels like we’ve only just got back into the swing of things following Christmas, and yet another school holiday is just around the corner.

I’m really hoping that the weather is on our side as we have a couple of outside trips to go on. Worse case scenario we go armed with wellies, raincoats and umbrella’s. Sometimes you’ve just got to go for it.

Here are some of the things that have made our ears prick up:

February Half Term

1. Wildwood Escot – Adopt an Animal Week

This is a great place to take the kids. All week they have animal talks including Otters and Red Squirrels.
What’s on this week? Creepy Crawly Welly Walks, pond dipping and making animal dens as well as all the usual outdoor fun.
Adult £9.50
Children £8.00 (Under 3’s FREE)

February Half Term

2. Crealy – Devon

What’s not to love about Crealy. There’s loads of stuff to do for all ages outside if the weather is nice, and if not you can hunch up with all the other mums and dads in the indoor play area and let the kids let off some steam. Meet the animals including Goats, Ponies, Monkeys and Meerkats. During half-term they’re running competitions for a chance to Win prizes totalling £5000 over the week. You can also camp, glamp or stay in a lodge in Crealy Meadows.
Adults £6.95
Children £6.95 (Under 92cm FREE)

February Half Term

3. The Donkey Sanctuary 

Named as one of the ‘Top Ten Family Day’s Out in Devon’. This is a lovely place to take the kids where you can meet the donkey’s and stay for a grooming session along with talks about the work that they do (which is amazing). They have a maze and an outdoor play area, and I hear that the food is absolutely delicious.
Adults FREE
Children FREE

February Half Term

4. Cofton Holiday Park

They are offering a Dip and Dine offer with swimming, sauna and steam (adults only) and food in Amelia’s where they serve a selection of hot and cold food. We’ve done this before where we’ve had a swim and then a cooked breakfast which was lovely.
Adults £9.00
Children £6.00

February Half Term

5. Pennywell Farm VIP February 

To launch the season’s opening, if you visit during 11th – 19th February you will be given a return ticket to visit as many times as you like during half-term. Take the little ones along for animal feeding, egg collecting, pond dipping, ferret racing and miniature pig racing. If you visit on 11th or 17th February Poco Drom will be playing which is always a treat.
Adults £14.95
Children £10.95

February Half Term

6. The Bear Trail 

A brand new adventure trail for kids and adults alike. The trail is for all ages and has a range of bridges, zip wires, stepping stones and ropes. If you’re kids like mud (who doesn’t) then this is great fun. Booking is advised.
Over 1 Metre £6.50
Under 1 Metre £3.50

February Half Term

7. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)

There are loads of workshops during half-term week including animation workshops, Family Collage making and a Chinese Trail. Most of these are drop-in sessions but pop over the to website to check to avoid disappointment.
Adults FREE
Children FREE

February Half Term

8. Prickly Ball Farm

I’ve been meaning to take Isabelle here for a while now. Not only do they have lots of hedgehogs that have been rescued, but they have other animals such as goats, pigs and ponies. Get involved with feeding and petting the animals. This February entry is only £5.00 (including half-term).
Adults £5.00
Children £5.00 (Under 3’s FREE)

February Half Term

9. Living Coasts – Beside the Seaside

During February Half Term they are having a Beside the Seaside theme including a Shipwrek Train, a Beachside Scene, Puppet Shoes, Mac the Penguin, daily Animal talks and more.
Adults £12.20
Children £9.15 (Under 3’s FREE)

February Half Term

10. Paignton Zoo 

Who doesn’t love a trip to the zoo! As well as all the Fab animals, this February Half Term celebrates the launch of Cold-blooded Creatures 2017.  There will be special talks, trails, Cuba the Croc mascot appearances and more!
Adults £15.40
Children £11.55 (Under 3’s FREE)

There are also lots of FREE things to do in the South West such as taking advantage of the many beaches. We love going to beach outside of summer time to find unusual things in the rock pools, and collect shells and pebbles . Put your wellies on, grab a bucket and a net and off you go.

Here are the Top 10 Beaches according to Visit South Devon.

Bantham Beach
Beer Beach
Bigbury on Sea
Blackpool Sands
Dawlish Warren
East Portlemouth
Hope Cove Beach
Sandy Bay in Exmouth
Slapton Sands and Torcross
Teignmouth

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

 

Valentines Day Card Craft

Valentines Day Card Craft

Valentines Day Card Craft – With Valentines Day just around the corner what perfect excuse to get the kids to be a spot of crafting by making their Valentines Day Card.

Valentines Day Card Craft

What you will need: 

  • Either pre-bought cards or white card folded in half
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Coloured tissue paper

valentines day card template

What to do:

Depending on the size of your card, cut a large heart shape to fit.

Cut up the tissue paper into small squares. We used pale pink, bright pink and purple.

Screw up the pieces of tissue paper and glue onto the heart shape. The best bit is that you can’t really make a mistake which is why it’s great to do with heavy handed toddlers.

tear up tissue paper in different colours of pink and purple and stick to the heart

Keep going until you’ve covered the whole heart.

Glue the heart into place on the card and voila!

valentines_day_card
All you need to do now is decide who you’re going to send it to.

Don’t forget to have a look at our other Kids Craft Projects and ideas or head over to our Kids Craft Activities Pinterest Board.

 

*This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small payment if you click on the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to you. 

Bidvine – Local Helping Hands!

Have you heard of Bidvine ?

•This is a collaborative post.

Bidvine is a great online service for finding professional help in all aspects of your life, from a plumber to a personal trainer.  There are over 800 services available covering the whole of the UK. 

Bidvine

The site which is also available as a mobile app is simple to use. When you first go to the site,  you simply put in the service that you are looking for along with your postcode. You are then asked some very simple questions so that you can be matched to the most relevant people in your area. 

So I gave it a go.

I thought that I would test this by searching for  Pet Boarding as we’re going away later in the year so will be looking for somebody to look after our lovely Charlie. 

These are the questions that we were asked. 

How many pets require boarding? 1 

What type of pets do you have?  Dog 

How long is the required boarding period? A week 

Do you require any related services?

Making sure they’re fed
Grooming services
Administering medication
I’m not sure
Other

Where can the service be delivered?

The service pro travels to me

I travel to the service pro up to: This is where you add in the miles that you are willing to travel for the services. 

When do you need Pet Boarding?

There is a drop down menu asking on the timescale which you can choose from being urgent to requesting a specific date which is what we would chose for Pet Boarding. 

Anything else the Pet Boarding Service Provider needs to know?

You can add in any additional details or requirements if needed. 

How would you like to receive bids? 

You can opt to have a phone call with offers or text messages

Then the request is submitted. 

This works on the basis that the Bidvine database will match you with  professionals offering all sorts of services matching  your requirements. You will then be contacted either by  phone call or text with offers which you can accept or reject. 

I was contacted within 20 minutes of submitting my request which I thought was amazingly quick.

What did I think?

This is really simple to do, and you can sign up for a Bidvine account by logging in with your Facebook or google account or by creating one using your email and a password. 

I’ve had a good old poke around the site, and there’s all sorts of services on there including Flat Pack Furniture Assembling to Stress Management Coaching. It’s really simple to do and using the app, can be used with ease as and when things crop up. 

What’s better is that most of us like to use people who have been recommended, so for any jobs that are completed you will be asked to review the services, and in turn you can read other peoples reviews which will help you make the right choice for whatever you choose. 

I’ve downloaded the App as it’s always handy to have in case of an emergency. I have a list of odd jobs as long (actually longer than) my arm which try as he might, Chris just isn’t Bob the Builder! 

Bidvine

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

#whatwedidthisweek 30.01.17

#whatwedidthisweek

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

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 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 these cool eyebrows.

??
Isabelle really suffers from coughs and colds, but unfortunately when she’s poorly she doesn’t deal with it very well, so we all suffer from sleep depravation 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.

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

Ha ha 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 breath 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’d quite like 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.

Did you do anything nice this week?

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

 

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

#Whatwedidthisweek

#whatwedidthisweek

This could be a disastrous thread to start as some week’s 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 every day 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 passed 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

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

#whatwedidthisweek

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 sour dough 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. The 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 cousins birthday party at Build a Bear, and the party person in their 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. Afterwards we went to yet another birthday party where there was a nerf gun fight. I didn’t come off to well as I got blasted in the eye. I thought a black eye was brewing but nothing came of it.

Saturday night I met up 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

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

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 

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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