Our 2014 Bucket List Update

We have actually now done quite a lot from our bucket list and you can read our previous update here. Here’s how we’re getting on now that we’re two thirds of the way through the year…

2014 Bucket List

A few weeks ago we had not just a night out without children but a whole weekend away at Fawsley Hall Hotel which was lovely! It’s something we will hopefully be doing more regularly in the future. Whilst we were at Fawsley Hall we also had incredibly decadent Afternoon Tea – I have never had Afternoon Tea like it and it was nice to tick something else off our bucket list!

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A couple of months ago I was sent a Preserving Set to review and made jam for the first time – soon after I made another batch and I now definitely have the jam making bug – I will probably be making chutney at Christmas! Jam was a great way of using up our huge harvest of garden strawberries and I can see it being a regular feature in our summer from now on.

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The children have been to the seaside a few times now and LP had a play on the beach when we visited Lauren in Worthing a couple of months ago. We have also been to Hove and I am hoping to take the children to Brighton before the weather gets too cold – especially as we still need to get noodles on Brighton pier!

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LP has been swimming on holiday this year but we are still hoping to take her ‘proper’ swimming at a local leisure centre soon but it’s difficult to find the time when we can all go as a family now that I’m back at work.

We have been embracing messy play and after an introduction to painting we asked LP’s grandparents to buy her an easel for her Birthday and since then we have been painting constantly. I think my fear of getting everything messy has now disappeared although we do try and paint outside when possible!

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LP and Little Man have been to a few farm places this year – we fed all the farm animals at Staunton Country Park and LP loved the petting animals and farm at London Zoo. I’d love to take them to a dedicated rural farm but there aren’t really any near us.

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We celebrated LP’s Birthday with a day out at Wellington Country Park on her actual Birthday and a party the weekend after – when I say party it was more of a family gathering but LP had a great time all the same.

Bedtime stories are a regular part of Little Man’s bedtime routine now and it’s lovely to see him so interested in books. We have read LP a bedtime story every night for well over 18 months now and I know that before we know it they’ll be reading and enjoying the same books before bed.

I’m quite confident that we’ll manage to tick the rest of the things off our bucket list, a lot we can only do around Christmas time so I’ll update you again at the end of the year with how we’ve got on!

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

We received the Bigjigs Rail Figure 8 Train Set to review a couple of months ago and I have been looking at accessories ever since, not really knowing where to start. This month Bigjigs have sent us their Lifting Bridge to review which is a great way to kick start out train set collection.

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

The Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge comes as one bridge unit with two pieces of curved ‘bridge’ track supplied too. The bridge has a train track going underneath and one over the bridge and there’s a knob that you turn to lift the bridge up and down. The knob can be turned from either side of the bridge and there are also plastic gates that you can put down to stop any trains going on the bridge when it’s raised.

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

Although LP didn’t understand the concept of this bridge she loved to turn the knob and make the bridge go up and down. She’s always loved making trains go through tunnels or over bridges so this has given her an extra play dimension to experience. train move across and under the bridge easily and even Little Man is able to turn the knob to work the bridge.

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

Having this new bridge has made LP think more about how to make the track join up – although we need some more track to complete the circuit now – I’ll be buying some asap! LP also has to think about whether she wants the train to go over or under the bridge and what track the train needs to be on to move along the path she wants.

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

The Bigjigs Lifting Bridge is a great addition to any train set and for it’s £14.99 price tag you get a good size train set accessory that will add hours of play value to any train play session.

Review: Bigjigs Rail Lifting Bridge

Disclosure: We were sent the above product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

My Experience of Colic

*This is a sponsored post

When LP was a baby I didn’t experience colic at all. I didn’t even know what it meant or how common it was. But when we had Little Man nearly two years later he would cry constantly every night. The crying would last for hours and the only way to make him happy was to feed him or sit and rock with him but then he would either be sick because he’d eaten too much or he would start to cry again the moment I put him back into his cot.

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These nights of relentless crying seemed to last forever. Those nights started so early into his life but thankfully for us he grew out of it by the time he was three to four months old. One day we just realised he wasn’t crying as much anymore and things improved. When we were experiencing the worst of those nights it was easy to think that it would last forever, that we would never sleep again and that our baby was broken, that he would never be happy at night ever again. It was rare that he would be upset to the same level during the day but when it did happen we wouldn’t leave the house, LP would watch TV and we would stand holding Little Man, watching cartoons and rocking from side to side, that rocking motion that any parent knows.

We tried absolutely everything to ease Little Man’s crying – we fed him on demand and sat with him upright after feeds, winding him for up to an hour before trying to put him back down. We would try swaddling Little Man, making him as snug as possible. We’d use white noise and limit the amount of distractions around – feeding him in the dark and not talking to him, just shushing him. But nothing worked for us and we just took each day and night at a time.

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One thing I never thought to do was seek medical advice or to ask a pharmacy about using a natural product like Nelsons Colica Granules to ease Little Man’s crying. I got most of my information from google and speaking to friends on Twitter who had babies too and it just never occurred to me to go to the doctor – Little Man seemed completely normal and healthy in every other aspect apart from his crying.

It doesn’t surprise me that a recent study by Nelsons revealed that 49% of parents think colic is the most distressing ailment for parents. I think that those weeks and months of Little Man being so upset every night were some of the worst times we’d had since we became parents and it’s reassuring that Nelsons have now launched new Nelsons Colica Colic Granules, a homeopathic medicinal product which should help to relieve the symptoms of colic.  Nelsons Colica Colic Granules contains a unique formulation of a 30c potency of natural Citrullus colocynthis and Dioscorea villas. Nelsons Colica Colic Granules cost £5.80 and are available from Boots, Amazon and Morrisons. You can visit the Nelsons Facebook page or their website for more info.

I didn’t write about Little Man’s colic at the time. I actually didn’t write updates very often for him as I had hoped to. I was just focusing on getting through each day and now looking back the first months of his life are a complete blur – a colic blur that I have blocked from memory.

Have you ever had a baby with colic? What did you do to help settle them and relieve their symptoms? Did your child’s colic go away over time or did you use remedies to help it? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Our love of Vintage Toys #MyToyStory

*This post is in association with John Lewis Insurance

Hubby and I both have fond memories of toys from our childhoods that we loved. Ones that would now be called retro, or vintage but back when we were small they were just toys. Toys we remember so clearly now even though we had them over twenty years ago!

I had a whole collection of toys on the end of my bed from squidgy Cabbage Patch Dolls, brightly coloured Care Bears and My Little Pony characters. I had a Teddy Ruxpin toy who sat in the middle of my pillow and slept in bed with me every night. He was my best teddy friend and looking back now I have no idea where Teddy went but I definitely don’t have him now!

When I met Hubby he had a whole collection of Pound Puppies, original Star Wars Lego figurines and his loved to the point of destruction glo worm that we still have in the loft now although it isn’t in a condition that would make it suitable for any child in the future – but Hubby insists we keep it!

I haven’t got any toys now that I had as a child, only cuddly toys from my teens but in the shops I see so many toys from my childhood making a comeback – The Fisher Price Chatter Telephone and the other ‘Classic’ Fisher Price Toys as well as a new range of Care Bears, My Little Pony toys and even new Glo Worms – which we have bought for both Little Man and LP – we had to really!

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John Lewis Insurance have had a series on their website celebrating the Nation’s favourite toys and there are so many I can remember fondly from childhood, ones that my older brothers had and ones that I had always wanted. This week marks the final week in the series so make sure you check out the final #MyToyStory installment.

What would be your favourite toy? Do you love the toys that children have now or can they not compete with the toys from your own childhood? I would love to know what toys you enjoyed when you were younger.

Review: Joe Browns Vintage Floral Print Dress

I absolutely love the Joe Browns brand and most of my wardrobe is from there as I tend to stock up a few times a year in the sales! I was lucky enough to review a dress of theirs that lasted me all summer and now Joe Browns have sent me another gorgeous dress to review.

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The Joe Browns Vintage Floral Print Dress is absolutely beautiful. I’m trying to wear dresses more often and the vintage floral print is lovely and girly without being over the top. The cut is also flattering, fitting nicely to the waist and then floating out to skim my hips and add movement to the dress. This is a dress that could be worn both during the day or dressed up at night – I love how versatile the dress is – like with most Joe Browns clothes.

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Joe Browns clothing makes it incredibly easy to put together a whole outfit from the one brand with everything from shoes and jewellery, to clothing and bags. Here’s a little look at how I would style my beautiful new Joe Browns Dress.

Joe Browns Outfit

The Vintage Floral Print Dress is now my failsafe dress for a special occasion, night out or fancy afternoon tea. It’s effortless to wear and makes me feel fantastic. It fits well and with it’s flattering shape it’s a dress that I don’t feel at all self conscious in. Another fantastic Joe Browns item for my wardrobe!

The Joe Browns Vintage Floral Print Dress has an RRP of £34.95

Disclosure: I was sent the above dress for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.