Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Wordless Wednesday


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Monday, 28 December 2015

My Most Popular Instagram Photos of 2015


If you use Instagram or any type of social media you have probably seen a lot of people posting nine of their most liked Instagram photos from 2015 with the hashtag #2015bestnine. I posted mine on my Instagram page and thought I'd include them here on the blog as well. Along with twitter, Instagram is now my favourite form of social media (sorry facebook). As you can probably tell I love taking photographs and use my DSLR regularly. However, it's big and heavy and a bit of an effort to take out all of the time so when I finally purchased a new iPhone this year, with a pretty decent camera, I started using Instagram. I've been using the App since May and wish I had started sooner. For someone who loves to take photographs where had I been?! I do love the fact that, it's so quick and (obviously) instant. Point, click, edit and post. Instagram is also a great place for interaction. I've met people, online at least, and it's amazing to connect with people from around the world and see snippets of their lives! Whenever I'm feeling a bit of wanderlust or missing places abroad I'll use the search tag for a location and photos will come up in an instant. I've done this a lot for locations in India recently since I have family there and would love to take my little boy at some point. Until then, Instagram will suffice! It's also nice for searching things closer to home in and around Brighton.
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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Silent Sunday


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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Heirloom Toys for Toddlers

Do you have heirlooms in your family? I don't remember anything being given to me as an heirloom however, I did get many toys handed down to me from my siblings, being the youngest of four. I think Scalextric was probably the most exciting thing and I'm sure my little boy will love it when he is older, especially as he loves trains and anything on wheels. One of my favourite toys was the Tiny Tears doll! What a novelty it was to give milk in a bottle to your doll and be able to change her nappy when she wet herself! I actually still have Tiny Tears and gave her to toddler when he was smaller but he hasn't shown much interest! Instead, he likes cuddly toys, Lego, animals and, of course, any vehicle toy. He has a large collection of cars and buses but not so many trains. So when I was asked what would make a good heirloom I instantly thought of trains, especially as he loves Thomas the Tank Engine at the moment. Scalextric is too advanced for him at the moment so I have chosen something more age appropriate for a two and half year old. These will go towards his Christmas presents and I'm sure he'll love them all :) 

Wooden Train Set 



I've had my eye of this wooden train set from John Lewis for ages and as toddler plays with any train set at play group I bet/hope this will keep him entertained for hours. 


My Push and Learn Thomas



I was looking for something related to Thomas but not just a single train. My Push and Learn Thomas from Asda seems ideal as it comes with a choice of buttons for numbers, colours, shapes, characters and there is an option for playing a quiz. I'll let you know how he gets on but I think he'll be excited just to see this big version of Thomas! 


LEGO Duplo Number Train 



Toddler has a whole set of lego at home and he loves building towers. He doesn't have any Lego trains and when I saw this Duplo Number Train at Asda, for ages 2-5, I thought he'd love it. 

So he may get an overload of trains this Christmas but these will keep him entertained for a long while I'm sure! I think these are lovely toys to pass down too. 


Do you have heirloom toys in the your family? What would you pass down?

Please note: This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own 
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Monday, 21 December 2015

Thorntons Amazingly Choctastic Christmas Gift Finder

I was recently asked if I wanted to review Thorntons Amazingly Choctastic Christmas Gift Finder in return for some chocolate. Of course I said yes, who can turn down chocolate?! :) The Amazingly Choctastic Christmas Gift Finder is a unique way to find chocolate for that special someone. Simply answer six Christmas themed questions about your recipient by turning dials, adjusting switches and sliding levers. It's all a bit of fun and at the end you'll be given a list of present suggestions to choose from. Depending on your answers this could be anything from a single chocolate lolly to a huge chocolate hamper. Funnily enough, my predictions for myself resulted in the hampers!


I received some delicious personalised chocolate in the form of alphabet truffles. I don't think I've ever been given personalised chocolate before and it certainly did make me smile when I opened the box. The truffles were delicious and I would certainly buy these for someone in the future. 


If you fancy trying out the Amazingly Choctastic Christmas Gift Finder just click on the link to have a bit of Christmas fun. 


Please note: Chocolate was provided in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own :)
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Silent Sunday


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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Three Amazing New Children's Books from Parragon


I'm delighted to announce that I'm a new Parragon Book Buddy! Since meeting the Parragon team at the Britmums Live Conference in June and being introduced to their beautiful range of children's books, I was invited to become a regular book buddy. It's very exciting and we have been receiving a new book each month. Although my little boy has just turned two and a half I decided to choose the 3-7 age range as I thought that would be more appropriate for his reading level. Here are my reviews of the latest children's books from Parragon. 

Spot A Lot Vehicles Book and Jigsaw Pack 

The first book to arrive could not have been a better choice since toddler loves anything that moves or is on wheels. I have always been keen to avoid any type of gender stereotyping when it comes to toys however, he has naturally gravitated towards cars, trucks, trains, planes, helicopters, fire engines, his toy buggy, his scooter and anything else with wheels on. Since he was a few months old he has been fascinated by wheels and it has continued up until today! Coincidently, I was actually looking for a book with vehicles in it since he loves spotting all of these things whenever we leave the house. Therefore, this book was a perfect choice for us. The book includes every type of vehicle you can imagine; cars, buses, helicopters, diggers planes, motorbikes, trains, submarines, and more. You name it, this book has it! The story flows really well, with rhyming lines and each page is filled with vibrant colour and activity. The book tells a story about a delivery man who has to travel across town to deliver a parcel. Each page is not only filled with vehicles, but also animals and people. As well as spotting vehicles this is a great book to use for counting and naming different colours. You can easily spend several minutes on each page. Needless to say my little boy has loved it! 



The bonus is that this book came part of the Spot A Lot Vehicles set with a matching jigsaw. This has been toddler's first real jigsaw and he has mastered the art of putting it together (with a little help). The other side of the jigsaw is left blank with just outlines of vehicles for your little one to colours in. How clever is that? The box and jigsaw come in a very handy and convenient box complete with a handle and velcro fastening, ideal for little hands and perfect to carry around and take away on trips. This is by far one of the most exciting books we have read!  Toddler loves it and I really enjoy reading this book too. I could not recommend this book & set highly enough. I'm certain any toddler/child would love this especially those that already love spotting vehicles! 

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere



In line with Halloween we received this beautifully illustrated book, written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Lorena Alvarez, about the adventure of four little trick or treaters on their journey to the pumpkin parade. This is the first Halloween book I've read to my little boy and I'm so glad we received it. It's funny how much kids absorb and from the first time of reading this book toddler was already repeating the story and spotting pumpkins whenever we saw them outside. I did feel the content was a little sparse at the beginning of the book with just a couple of words on each page. These words were relating to emotions such as 'pumpkin happy, pumpkin sad' so for a two and a half year old this is benefical as he's just learning about emotions however, I feel an older child might find it a little basic. The sentences do pick up though and I did love the lovely rhymes in this book. One of the best things is that this book benefits from beautiful illustrations showing an idyllic scene of trick or treating and ending with a fantastic pumpkin parade at the end. Wow, I wish there was a parade like this in real life! Although Halloween has come and gone this is still regular bedtime reading and it's nice to read a seasonal book all year round. 


Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen



This is a hardback edition of a collection of fairy tales written by famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The gorgeous book includes eight of his most famous stories including the Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling and The Princess and the Pea. Every single page of this 192 page book is filled with a colourful illustrations so reading it is a delight. This book is recommended for 6+ years so the content is too long for a toddler but I think he'll love this book in the future. I'm really looking forward to reading him these true classics and until then I can read them myself :) I love that by having children you get to rediscover so much of your own childhood again. I'm especially looking forward to reading the Little Mermaid and the Ugly Duckling which were some of my childhood favourites. 

Do you like the sound of any of these books? What are you reading to your little one?
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Friday, 11 December 2015

Photo Friday: Love



"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." A. A. Milne 


Linking up with Photo Friday & Friday Photo Journal

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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Wordless Wednesday


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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Silent Sunday


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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Wordless Wednesday


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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Celebrating Extended Breastfeeding

© PositiveaboutBF
I'm delighted to be part of this year's 'Celebrating Breastfeeding Christmas Extravaganza'! Organised by Sian from Quite Frankly She Said and Laura from Life with Baby Kicks, with many other amazing bloggers joining in, these collection of posts are part of the 'Positive About Breastfeeding' movement and give you the chance to read about our breastfeeding stories and be in with a chance of winning prizes worth over £300. I'm really happy to be part of this collective since I have been breastfeeding my toddler for two and a half years, to this day in fact! 

There are many blog posts and articles on breastfeeding little babies but not so many on extended breastfeeding. According to the 2010 NHS Infant Feeding Survey, although the initial breastfeeding rate was 83% at birth, at three months the numbers dropped to 17%, at four months 12% and exclusive breastfeeding at six months was just 1%! Extended breastfeeding, being defined as breastfeeding a baby over the age of one, is, therefore, well under 1% despite the World Health Organization recommending that babies are breastfeed up until at least two years. Now, this isn't a post stating that everyone should breastfeed. In an ideal world that would be nice but I've seen friends who couldn't because of medical problems or those that tried very hard to the point where they became very stressed with it all and several other reasons. Everyone should have a choice about what they do, what is right for them and their baby without feeling pressure or guilt.

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Monday, 30 November 2015

Making the Most of 'Me Time'

© Pic Jumbo 

A recent study showed that, on average, mothers get just 17 minutes of 'me time' every day! I think many parents will relate to that feeling of never having enough hours in the day and enough sleep at night! Parenting is amazing and exhilarating but along with the highs it can be all-consuming and exhausting! I've been a stay at home mum for two and a half years now. Recently, I have been doing some freelance work around the hours my toddler spends with his dad. That's given me a parenting 'break' and a bit of time to earn some money and use my creative skills again. Juggling work and childcare has its own challenges and whether you're a stay at home mum, a working mum or anything in between we all need a decent break and some 'me-time' on a regular basis. I think it's so important to get some time to ourselves, recharge our batteries, have a break and come back feeling energised or as energised as we can be! Relax with Ocean recently asked me how I relax. Here are some ways I spend my 'me-time'.

1. Exercise. Leave the chores (and baby) behind and go out and do some exercise. I think everyone knows the benefits of exercise! I love walking along the seaside, attending yoga classes and having a relaxing swim. Last week I went to three yoga classes (go me!) and felt so much better by the end of the week.
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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Silent Sunday

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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Adapting to a Life by the Sea



Living by the sea is a truly wonderful experience and there are several benefits. It is a dream come true for many and people usually conjure up the image of long romantic walks along the shore and endlessly gazing at beautiful sunsets. It certainly is like that at times! Most Brightonians wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world and Brighton has a wonderful mix of city and sea. But seaside life definitely isn't just one big holiday. So for anyone who's thinking about a potential life by the sea, here are a few things to consider.
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Photo Friday: Sheep


Linking up with Photo Friday & Friday Photo Journal
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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Mrs Robinson's Store: Review & Necklace Giveaway


Mrs Robinson's Store is an independent boutique based in Worthing, West Sussex. I've written about the store previously as they were one of my sponsors for BritMums Live back in June. I recently visited the boutique with my little boy and met the lovely shop owner, Sally Robinson, in person. It was great to browse through the extensive selection of items in the shop and have a chat with Sally.


The store won the Best Retailer 2014 Adur & Worthing Business Awards, was a finalist for Best Newcomer at the Greats Gift Awards and was shortlisted for the Johnston Press South Business Awards. When you visit the shop you can see why! Located near the seafront in Worthing's shopping district, Mrs Robinson's Store offers a wide selection of products including jewellery, cards, prints, mugs, brooches, bags, stationary, cushions, scarfs, games, home accessories, a body and home fragrance range and children's merchandise. Many of the shops items are animal themed including those from the local Sussex countryside. Sally works with a number of illustrators and designers to bring a unique mix of products whilst maintaining that they stay affordable. Most of shop's products can also be found online at Mrs Robinson's Store Website. 

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Wordless Wednesday


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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Silent Sunday

© Our Seaside Baby
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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Silent Sunday


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