National Stationary Week 2016 - Staedtler Noris colouring pencils - *Review*

Colouring pencils with a difference 


Coloured pencils with ABS as standard

The frustrating days of broken coloured pencils are over. An anti-break-system coating protects these leads from breaking so easily, so feel free to colour to your heart's content.


It's National Stationary week! Yay. 
This week is all about how writing matters.
I know some will ague that using a good pen/pencil & piece of paper is no unnecessary now due to the use of emails, text messages, laptops, iPads... the list is pretty endless. 
However the use of the pen & paper is so personal. 
Nothing beats writing thank you letters or cards, the meaning of receiving things through the post is still so magical. For adults and children. 
Writing matters! 

I was sent these brilliant pencils for review. 
They're perfect in every way. 
So far I've not even needed the use of the pencil sharpener (though I have a rather cool electric one that I've been excited to use) I may have to *quickly sharpen one.... to test it out of course.... 
Obviously colouring pencils aren't just for adults, my two children have really enjoyed using them.
Quote from my 6 year old "these are the 'bestest' colours ever! I want to pack them in my pencil case!"
My 4 year old coloured in a print out of a car.... he said "I chose red it's so bright & lovely I love red cars!" 
Even with the children using them the leads didn't break, 

For under £10 these pencils really live up to expectations.

Colouring pencils with a difference. 

Enjoy National Stationery week. 

*Disclaimer - I was sent these for the purpose of the review, however all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

WaterWipes - the world's purest baby wipes!‏ | Review |


What’s in the pack?
WaterWipes contain only two, completely natural ingredients - 99.9% purified water and 0.1% fruit extract. They’re as gentle on your baby’s skin as cotton wool and water, making them ideal as a convenient cleansing alternative.

Sensitive about skin
A baby’s skin is 30% thinner and much more sensitive than an adult’s. WaterWipes were developed with this in mind and are the world’s purest baby wipes. They are free from any tough chemical irritants that can be found in other wipes - such as alcohol, fragrance and lanolin.
Unique technology
Formulated using unique technology, WaterWipes are able to clean effectively without the need for soap or chemicals. Perfect for keeping your baby’s body refreshed and their skin calmed.
Allergy approved
WaterWipes are the only wipes to be endorsed by Allergy UK. Instead of aggravating sensitive areas, the wipes may help to prevent nappy rash or other sensitive skin conditions.
Gentle but strong
The wipes are thick, wet and absorbent, leaving no oily residue on baby’s bottom or skin. The abundant water in each wipe leaves areas calm, cool and (most importantly) clean.
My personal thoughts? 
Brilliant, my children all have sensitive skin & I wouldn't want to use normal wipes on their little bottoms however these water wipes are perfect. Perfect to use on even the most sensitive of bums. Great to pack in your changing bag or pop a pack in your car... They're easy to get out of the packet & on my two week old baby I just need one wipe to clean her bottom. I love them & would recommend any new parent go out to buy them. They’re as kind to a baby’s skin as traditional cotton wool and water… but far more convenient for you to carry around... 

WaterWipes are priced at £2.99 and are available from Boots, Amazon.co.uk, Ocado.co.uk and major supermarkets.

*Disclaimer - I was sent this for the purpose of the review however all thoughts & opinions are my own. 


Adventure Awaits the UK’s Little Trikers! Get active this Summer with Little Tikes

Get active this Summer with Little Tikes


After what seems a long Winter, Summer is on its way, which means it’s time to get out and have fun in the great outdoors. Building on last year’s award-winning Little Trikers Challenge, Little Tikes is once again encouraging parents to enjoy adventures with their family by getting out and about with their Little Tikes’ Trike. Hoping to inspire you, they’re working with five families to show you how exciting adventures look like from your little ones’ perspective and offering you the chance to go on an adventure with your own Little Triker by winning one of 20 trikes!  Launching on 22nd April, you’ll be able to find out more and join in at www.facebook.com/littletikesuk.
When families go shopping, out for a stroll or embark on day trips, little ones can sometimes be sat in their stroller for hours often leaving them bored or tired. Little Tikes want to make life out and about, from the age of 9-36 months, a little more fun by challenging parents to swap their strollers for a Little Tikes Trike this summer and create a nation of Little Trikers on mini adventures!
To launch the initiative, Little Tikes have challenged five families to undertake their very own stroller swap by using a Trike instead of their pushchair, and commissioned five videos of their little one’s adventures along the way!  Check these out at www.facebook.com/littletikesuk.   
Now they’re ready to challenge the rest of the UK!  Across their social media channels the UK’s number one outdoor toy brand is offering everyone the chance to win one of 20 Trikes to go on their very own Little Trikers adventure! All you need to do to be in with the chance of winning is to share your family fun days with the Little Tikes Team by posting videos or photos to the Facebook page. The competition runs until Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May and the winners, chosen at random, will be announced on Tuesday 3rd  May.
Try A Trike…
The must-have Trike for you and your little’s adventures is the new 5-in-1 Deluxe Ride & Relax® Recliner Trike from Little Tikes. Growing with your child from 9 months to 3 years+, it helps them learn how to ride, steer and finally pedal. The ‘perfect fit’ technology design allows the trike to not only adjust to three different positions but to recline too, so after all that adventuring your tired Triker can take a comfy nap!
This latest addition joins a fantastic range of award-winning Trikes from Little Tikes including the 4-in-1 Perfect Fit, the 4-in-1 Sports Edition, 4-in-1 Deluxe Edition and 4-in-1 Trike.  Each comes with a whole host of features such as detachable easy grip handle for parent control, 5-point seat belt harness and safety bar, padded, soft seating, removable shade canopy, durable quiet-ride tyres, convenient beverage holder, packing bag or storage bucket for additional trike storage. You can see the full range and individual Trike features athttp://www.littletikes.co.uk/trikes.
Every Little Tikes Trike has four stages to ensure it grows with your child:
1.      The Guided Stage: 9+ months. 
Push your little one along with the footrest down and safety harness in place.
2.      The Learning Stage: 12+ months. 
You’re still in control as your 
child learns to pedal and understand speed control.
3.      The Developing Stage: 18+ months. 
The Trike is child-and-parent powered! Your youngster can pedal, while you stay in control.
4.      The Independent Stage: 30+ months. 
The guide handle is removed and your child gains confidence, coordination and skill under their own steam.
You can check out the brand new Trikes’ section of the Little Tikes website at www.littletikes.co.uk, plus get some adventure inspiration through their Top Triker Trails here: http://www.littletikes.co.uk/top-triker-trails.
So what are you waiting for? Get your Little Triker on board and get triking! The adventure awaits!


 

Meet Baby Nelly : Birth story


I can't believe Nelly is 8 days old today! 
The last week or so has been a bit of a whirl wind if I'm honest....
Contractions started Friday 8th April they were coming thick & fast & painful. 
So we went up to the hospital I also had reduced Movements I explained it all HERE if you want to catch up... I was sent home still having contractions late Saturday afternoon.
It's funny because I actually thought I'd be pregnant forever. 
Little did I know that when I went to bed Monday night I wouldn't be getting much sleep.
I went to sleep at 11pm just because I couldn't sleep the contractions had stopped, however H woke me up at 12:01am when I got up to see to him I noticed I was leaking all I could think was my waters. So I quickly said to H that I'd be back & nipped to the bathroom (I've never lost my own waters I've always had them broken by the midwife so I didn't really know what I was looking out for) However this must of been my waters.
I put a towel on the bed & went to lay down when more came out.... still no contractions but went to have a bath to relax myself. 
Once out the bath I had a gush it was definitely my waters; Mr.H took H over to may parents house (E was already there as she was concerned I would go into labour at night time) How right was she. 
My waters just kept going honestly such a weird feeling. I felt fine as well so started tidying up the house & even managed to put some foundation on. Yes I know how vain of me... anything to keep my mind amused though. As I laboured so quickly with H after my waters were broken I rang the hospital to let them know. 
They told me to go right away & they'd let delivery suite know too. 

Well once in the car half way to the hospital I heard a huge POP sound & more of my waters went, It made me feel so sick. Then the contractions started... OUCH. 
Arriving at the hospital Oh my goodness my trousers were soaked through luckily it was 1am & the hospital was so quiet. 

Got to the delivery suit & was greeted by the midwife who sent me home Saturday night; I actually thanked her for sending me home & letting my body take control although being in slow labour since Friday was horrific I was just proud my body was able to go into established labour without any help from the professionals. 

I asked for an epidural after my horrific labour with H, she examined me & told me I was only 2cm STILL. Devastated. However I was in agony & knew things were changing by the minute. 
She got the cannula in my hand to start the hormone drip to get labour quicker (Though she really didn't need to because my body knew exactly what to do) The cannula was never used...

The anaesthetist came in to start my epidural & I was on the gas & air, I heard him question the midwife "are you sure she's only in early labour?) I'm guessing by this point I was about 5cm I thought at one point I was dying; Obvs. 
I accidentally moved & the epidural was done wrong *Effing brilliant* He said it had a 50% chance of working & that he would be putting myself & baby at more risk taking it out & redoing it than leaving it in. 
Once the anaesthetist had left the room I had my first shot of the epidural I could still feel every contraction but agreed they didn't feel as intense however I felt the need to start pushing. Baby was most definitely moving further down.

About half an hour later I was ready to push baby was on her way & the epidural may of taken the edge off but my god I will never forget the stinging pain of birthing a baby. 

I pushed with every contraction & then the alarms went & i had two midwives in with me ready to help with my new baby. 
I gave birth to her head... Her head was out! Then my body decided to stop. 
Literally contractions stopped no need for gas & air apart from the pain of baby's head being out...
We waited two whole minutes for the next contraction to then be told I had to do it myself.
Oh my god! Thank goodness the epidural hadn't worked so I could feel my body to help me push baby out. They tipped my bed backwards & I done four huge pushes then she was out. 
At 04:43am 12 April 2016
They recorded my labour at 2hours 56 minutes (even shorter than H's was) 
Nice & controlled & slowly. Of course she was slowly delivered my body must of given birth to her head & thought I had birthed a baby! 
She was handed straight to me skin on skin & I got her to latch straight away. 
Had the placenta injection but still my body hadn't started contracting again so I had to push the placenta out myself too. 

The plus side to this labour was although Nelly weighed a healthy 9lbs8 I got away with no damage. 
After H's horrific labour I am so thankful I walked away so lightly this time. 
Got up & showered (another good reason the epidural didn't work) Mr.H cuddled Nelly whilst I sorted myself out. 

We got taken on to the ward & managed to be discharged the same day by 8pm. 
The children came to see us & we went home altogether as a new family of five. 


She weighed 9lbs 8 at birth
5 days later she was 9lbs 5
She was born with dark eyes almost black but we are still undecided what colour they'll become.
lots of dark brown hair
Long finger nails, perfect face, long fingers and long toes just like her big sister E

She's settled in so well & we all absolutely adore her <3 p="">









Writing Matters! National Stationary Week 2016



The power of the written word cannot be overestimated.
From documents that have shaped history and survived to enlighten generations about the past, to love letters and cards cherished for decades, educational projects and even documents that help us in our day-to-day lives, handwriting is a skill that sets us all up for life.
While smart phones and computers have transformed everyday living, they will never be a replacement for the beauty of the written word in conveying a message – and results of a recent YouGov survey have revealed that the majority of Brits agree that handwriting remains as important as ever.
More than two thirds of people surveyed (68%) agreed that handwriting remains a very important tool, and 92% that it is very or fairly important while 97% agreed that it is important to teach handwriting to school children and - while 34% of people admitted they will use text messages or emails to send ‘thank you’ notes this year - 47% said they would send one by hand.
The survey found that almost a third (29%) had sent a handwritten letter or note in the previous month. In a separate survey carried out by the National Handwriting Association, the majority of people (64%) said that receiving a handwritten note makes them feel special.
This year’s National Stationery Week aims to keep Britain writing. Here’s an A-Z of why writing really matters:
A is for: Archives. Handwritten documents and notes have been passed down through centuries to permanently record some of history’s most important events - not just consigned to a virtual trash bin.
B is for: Beauty. A hastily-drawn up email will never capture the sheer beauty of a handwritten letter
C is for: Caring. Handwritten notes, letter and cards are the most personal form of communication. Think love letters and cards that are treasured for decades. A handwritten letter shows courtesy and etiquette. Emails declaring ‘I love you’ just don’t cut it in the same way
D is for: Diaries. Imagine pouring out your innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions and keeping it stored in a computer file to treasure for all time. Doesn’t have the same ring does it?
E is for: Education. The dawn of the computer era is upon us but when schools, colleges and universities set a project they’ll still expect it to be completed in legible handwriting. It’s up there with reading and ‘rithmetic.
F is for: Failsafe. There’s no need to rely on computer batteries or storage space. Handwriting can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time, without the need to rely on technology.
G is for: Generations. If something ain’t broke then don’t fix it! Generations upon generations have used handwriting to get their message across. It’s just as important now as it ever has been in the past
H is for: History. We know so much about the rich past of the world we live in purely down to handwritten documents passed down over time. There were no emails when the Magna Carta was drawn up…
I is for: Imagination. Crafting a handwritten letter stimulates the brain and imagination, and is proven to heighten the feel-good factor
J is for: Jargon. Can you remember the most important documents of all time being littered with LOLs, ROFLs or L8Rs? No, neither can we! Handwriting encourages the correct use of language
K is for: Knowledge. They say that knowledge is power. And it is proven that the brain takes in far more information when it is being written down
L is for: Learning. Evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep. Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information.
M is for: Memory. Handwriting enhances brain activity and memory, helping to keep the mind sharp
N is for: Nostalgia. Ever dug out old school notebooks, diaries and cards from years gone by to relive happy memories from the past? Threads of text messages and emails just don’t provide the same sense of nostalgia
O is for: Opulent. It’s not just artists that get to go wild with creativity. Beautiful handwriting can bring a page to life
P is for: Pen and pencil - the instruments that bring our thoughts and emotions to life on the page. You know how the famous saying goes – the pen is mightier than the sword!
Q is for: Quill. Let’s take a moment to step back in time! The quill was used to write with ink before the invention of the dip pen. Shakespeare’s world-famous plays would have been written down using a quill – and the literary masterpieces have certainly stood the test of time
R is for: Romance. Great love stories tend not to be rooted in the foundation of a text message or email! Think instead of soldiers in battle taking hope from letters sent from their loved ones back home or cards filled with soppy scribblings and cherished for years
S is for: Signature. Even if you’re never intending to become a scribe, everyone should practice their signature. Some of the most memorable moments in history have come from people signing on the dotted line…Think treaties, marriages, births, autographs – or even football contracts
T is for: Text Messages. Let’s face it, texts are a handy way of quick communication. But they’ll never beat a carefully-crafted handwritten message
U is for: Unique. Nobody wants to follow the crowd so handwriting is a perfect tool to express personality and individuality. Every person’s handwriting is unique
V is for: Vision. Our vision is for writing by hand to co-exist in perfect harmony with technology in this digital age
W is for: Writing. Because writing by hand really does matter!
X is for: X Factor. Handwritten notes just have that extra little something that makes them super special!
Y is for: You. Just like fashion sense and choice of hairstyles, handwriting says a lot about who you are
Z is for: Zeal. With handwriting proven to stimulate the mind and imagination, sitting down to write a letter will produce a feel-good factor. It’s a fact!
The importance of handwriting is being highlighted as part of National Stationery Week – as we launch a campaign to ensure Britain keeps writing!
A number of states in the US have removed cursive handwriting from the curriculum and then reintroduced it and Finland is also removing it in favour of teaching typing skills. MPs, celebrities, teachers, youngsters and parents alike are now joining forces to make sure the UK continues to prioritise handwriting as an important skill.
Whether it’s jotting down a shopping list, writing a birthday card, taking down a phone message or filling in an application form, handwriting is part of our daily lives and while modern technology has transformed the way we communicate, the skill of handwriting remains important in education, employment and everyday life.
If you feel the same, please write a brief letter or card of support to Small Man Media, 6 Waterloo Road (2nd floor), Wolverhampton, WV14BL or call Sehrish on 01902 587001.

National Stationary Week 2016 - Maped DUO Graph'peps *Review*

National Stationary Week 2016 - Maped DUO Graph'peps *Review* 

With National stationary right around the corner - 25th April - 1st May

National Stationary week is coming up & I'm reviewing these fabulous pens.
I'm probably in the minority these days as we own iPads, iPhones & a mac book however I still use a pen & paper most days. I own a diary & simply love the 'realness' of writing. 
I panic that I'll put a note in my phone & shortly forget it. Or forget where the note is in my phone....
My life is hectic. So crazy that I need a real diary to write everything down at short notice. It probably makes no sense to you if you use your smart phone for everything. I know a lot of people  do. 
I just can't get my head around it, I suppose I'm still quite old fashioned. 
Nothing beats a pen & paper.... in my eyes.

Lets talk about the pens - 5 pens but 10 colours. 
Fine point pens too, perfect for my diary or for doodling. Little E loves writing stories & drawing pictures. 

These are perfect for adults & children... 
especially with all the adult colouring books & fine details.

Lets get Britain writing again!




*Disclaimer - I was sent the pens for review however all opinions & thoughts are my own

Taking a small step backwards from blogging. Baby Nelly.



With the arrival of baby number three plus the children going back to school, I haven't managed to get a chance to blog much. So just to make sure you all know I will be back sometime soon & I will post the odd blog here & there just I'm not going to stress about needing to blog everyday.
I'm enjoying time with my little people, family & friends.... I'm also feeling exhausted & the effort it takes to type & focus my eyes on a screen is hard work.

I'll update you all on Birth Story & baby soon... I promise.



Bump Monday | 40 weeks Pregnant |

Happy Due Date to me.... 
|| 40 weeks Pregnant ||


How am I feeling?

Hmmm... how should I start? After all I can explain to an extremely disappointing midwife appointment Thursday morning being told I can't have a sweep until 41 weeks! I was feeling deflated & hormonal I suppose. Especially as I was feeling baby very low down & strange pains but I just carried on with my day & Friday morning we went to the local park with one of my best friends & her children... walking around I was experiencing the weirdest pains almost breath taking. 
I got home & had lunch bounced on my birthing ball & suddenly started having regular contractions we waiting a few hours & I had a hot bath. Phoned the hospital & due to baby misbehaving again with reduced movements I was asked to go straight in & be monitored. 

My contractions were coming thick & fast & very uncomfortable. 
Babies heartbeat was quite erratic & going from 110bpm up to 160bpm....
So pretty scary. Once I got to the delivery suit everything calmed down.... Ugh. 
SO annoying. I was told to get some rest & then see how it goes. Around 4am on Saturday things got going again OUCH I was given gas & Air & had an internal to be told I was still 2cm... 3cm dilated at a stretch. That they'd try to break my waters at 11am. 
I was so relieved my last two labours didn't get going properly until they broke my waters. 
Unfortunately the Midwives changed shifts & the new midwife on decided it was best for me to go home and rest & said I'd probably be back in a few hours after a good nights sleep. 
Gutted doesn't cut it however I was exhausted & I knew having a baby right now wouldn't be good for either of us. 

So here I am 40 weeks pregnant with a bump to be proud of but no baby as of yet.
Sunday I spent the day resting with contractions coming every 7 minutes or so....
Today Monday & contractions still coming... back ache is awful so I'm hoping things pick up again soon. 
Baby is the size of a small pumpkin.


Craving:
Pitta bread & Houmus again ... Yum!



On a positive :
It's my DUE DATE! Baby will be here soon :) 




BOUNCE BACK PARENTING *Infacol

  
BOUNCE BACK PARENTING 

Having a baby is supposed to be one of life’s most wonderful experiences but when you’re living life as a new parent, coping with everything from nappy rash and 4am feeds to a long night with a colicky baby, it might be hard to believe that you’d ever chose to do it again. With one-child families predicted to be the majority within a decade1, could it be the case that the stress of the first six months, the sleepless nights and colic, could be to blame?  Infacol, Britain’s Number One Colic Remedy2, asked mums whether their experience of infant colic had made them think twice about having another baby and the results are surprising! Despite the emotional roller coaster ride it seems most new mums bounce back, with almost 90%3 agreeing that their previous struggles with infant colic had absolutely no impact on their decision to have more children.   So why are more mums than ever choosing to stop at one? One popular theory is the increasing cost of parenting, with the average cost of raising a child to adulthood being estimated at £307k4 with almost £10,000 of that spent within the first year alone.   But the fact of the matter is that, although 74%5 of mums agree that the first six months of parenthood are the most stressful, around 30%6 of mums are pregnant with their second child within just 18 months of having their first!   
“As parents see their first-born growing and hitting their milestones – from their first tooth to starting nursery – the stress of the first six months starts to melt away,” explains GP Dr. Hilary Jones. “It’s a phenomenon that I call ‘bounce back parenting’: before long parents begin to relish the challenge of doing it all again! It can be hard to remember this when you’re sleep deprived and caring for a colicky baby at all hours, but you will bounce back too!”

Beautiful Bluebells we love Spring time! *Pictures

I love this time of year. 
We get surrounded by bluebells & I've turned it into a bit of a yearly event. 
This is E & H through the years in the same woods & on the same tree stump. 
We had to miss out 2012 as the woods were too wet. The bluebells got too squashed by all the rain that year. 

E being grumpy... ha just shows we are a normal family

E happy again after H swapped sides with her....

Sunshine!


H is off to find pirates whilst E looks for her favourite fairy.


Tree balancing 


Enjoying the Easter holidays

"We're over here Mumma!"


Like butter wouldn't melt


Scary faces...



Do you have any Bluebells near you? Perhaps its time to investigate your local woods? 
I'll get some more pictures when the bluebells are out more... maybe I'll be able to have some with baby bump too. !! 
You can see my previous posts about the bluebells here 2013 & here 2014 & 2015

Bump Monday | 39 weeks Pregnant |

|| 39 weeks Pregnant ||



How am I feeling?

We've had a strange weekend, with my two older smalls going away with my parents to see family in Norfolk. This meant Mr.H & I got some us time we obviously took huge advantage of this & visited cute coffee shops & local quant villages. This was the first time since being pregnant that SO MANY people commented on the size of Bump & looked shocked that I was out & about doing things with comments like "You're brave...." & "You look fit enough to pop...." I haven't had any comments till this Saturday & then the comments just wouldn't stop.
I'm hoping it's a good sign meaning that she'll arrive soon. I am feeling huge & uncomfortable now.
Heartburn & lack of sleep is so tiresome now. I'm so ready to meet the little lady.



Baby is the size of a mini watermelon.


Craving:
Pitta bread & Houmus again ... Yum!

Her Buggy arrived!! We went for the black chassis grey melange Bugaboo Buffalo. 
I love it. 


On a positive :
On my last week of Pregnancy (Well of course unless I go Over due)
7 DAYS to go!!

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