Friday, 28 November 2014

Etsy Christmas Gift Guide - Babies

It's so fun buying gifts for the little ones. Whether they're old enough to excitedly anticipate Father Christmas' arrival or it's their very first Christmas, watching children on the big day is always magical. Last year Henry was a bit too young for presents, and as we already had everything we needed, we focused instead on some new items for his nursery. Here are some of my favourite decorative items for a babies room...

I'm very much looking forward to this Christmas - Henry now knows how to unwrap a gift and we've picked some lovely toys for him which I know he'll love! 

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

The House Detox ft. Dyson Animal

Matt and I have recently embarked on a major house cleanse. Not only is it necessary for our upcoming plans (more on that at a later date!) it was very much overdue. Clothes, accessories, homeware - it's the biggest de-clutter we've ever had. Bags upon bags have been filled and taken away by Clothes for CharityThe side effect of creating space where before there laid clutter is all the unexpected dust and random objects you discover in its wake. And that's where the Dyson Animal comes in handy - a slimline cordless vacuum with a digital motor. You know you're a fully fledged adult when a new vacuum cleaner gets you excited. But upon it's arrival, that's what Matt and I were, and we found ourselves scrabbling to unwrap it like children on Christmas day.

The Dyson Animal has been incredible when it comes to easing the cleaning process. Being a cordless vacuum, it means there's little effort required. It is concise and light, so there's no heaving it around, trailing wires around. Vacuuming is a breeze - we spot something that needs cleaning (and this happens a lot when you live with a toddler) simply pick up the Dyson and whizz it away. Stray hair (long haired ladies will know what I mean) crumbs, fluff - it's all gone in a second. Dare I say it, it's even quite… fun. 

It certainly has revolutionised our cleaning. Our house is now a lot more tidy, a lot more of the time, and vacuuming the house is no longer a chore that fills us with dread. Tackling upstairs and downstairs is a super fast job (it takes a fraction of the time it used to) and we can zap the stairs in a matter of minutes - a job that was always put off for as long as possible previously. The car had it's first tidy in a long, long time, and we can now whip away any cobwebs higher up because the Dyson Animal is so light and easy to handle.

I've found it's ideal for 'little and often' tidying. A quick blitz around the kitchen at the end of the day clears up the toddler chaos quickly and efficiently. An upturned bowl of cereal on the floor? No hassle. Crumbs all over the carpet? No hassle. Fluff and dust from an assortment of cuddly toys? Easy peasy. It has a run time of 20 minutes, which initially I didn't think was too long, but surprisingly it's enough to do the house. I also love that there's little impact on me physically. Being somewhat unfit, having a vacuum cleaner that does not feel like a work-out pleases me greatly!

These are the particular features I love about the Dyson Animal… 

- It is compact and lightweight but still incredibly powerful - having the same suction power as a conventional corded vacuum cleaner. 

- It's easy to manoeuvre. The head easily twists and turn along with your hand, which makes cleaning around objects and furniture much easier.

- It requires no bags or filters, so there are no extra costs. Simply push the button and release the dust. 

- It has extra tools, which are brilliant for nooks and crannies, skirting boards, window sills and ceilings. I love the fact that it can be turned into a handheld vacuum with a short tool and then swapped to the long cylinder to use on floors.

- It has a convenient docking station, which stores and charges the machine, and holds all the additional attachments.

I had a read of the reviews for this vacuum and I wasn't surprised to see everyone raving about it. It's slim, it's lightweight, it's simple to use. If only de-cluttering the house was as quick and easy!

The Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner has an RRP of £299.99 and is available to buy from John Lewis

*Item sent for review

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Etsy Christmas Gift Guide - For Her

Christmas is only one month away - eek! If you're looking for gift ideas for either yourself or a special lady in your life, I've put together some of my favourite items from my favourite place, Etsy...

Wire Love Sign - Pastel Leather Journal - Roman Numeral Bracelet - Birthstone Ring

Lately I've been looking for inspiration for my future home office, and I'd love to feature the first three items in it. The house cushion is cute and quirky and I adore the print and wall decor which would add interest to a blank canvas. You can't go wrong with delicate jewellery, and being able to add a special date or birthstone to these pieces makes them all the more personal.

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Autumn with Joules

It's always a welcome change to embrace the cooler weather and dress for Autumn in cosy fabrics and layers. Henry and I donned our new Joules outfits and headed out for an autumnal walk amongst the fallen leaves and amber coloured trees. I love how quintessentially British the Joules brand is. Wax jackets, luxurious tweed and their Wellington boots are pretty spectacular too!

I love the 60s vibe of this wool tweed mini skirt. I paired it with a feminine Peter Pan collared blouse, my favourite riding boots and my new coat for an autumnal outfit. The brushed cotton gingham shirt kept Henry warm, and he just looks too cute for words in his little quilted jacket!

*In collaboration with Joules

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Henry's 1 Year Update

The months are passing quickly, and Henry is blossoming more and more each day. I'm sure I'll say this a lot over the years, but 12 months has been my favourite age of his so far. He has become his own little person and it is a delight to witness his quirks and traits come to the forefront. 

noticeable difference over the past few months is that he has become a lot more independent. Whereas once he wanted to be on me or next to me at all times, he now happily plays on his own and explores his environment. It is a joy to watch him in his own little world as he plays with his toy cars, stacks his cups and takes blocks in and out of his rucksack. He also loves to dance now - if he hears a tune that tickles his fancy he will bounce his legs and jiggle his little bottom with a big smile on his face. 

Henry is a very cuddly little boy, much to our delight. He often toddles over to me for a hug, sucking his thumb and resting his head on my shoulder as he plays with my hair. He snuggles anything soft in sight, whether it's a cuddly toy, a cosy blanket or a discarded fluffy sock!

(The birthday boy enjoying his cake!) 

Weight: 20lbs 14oz at his first year checkup.

Health: Two big health milestones occurred just before Henry's first birthday. First - he completely stopped his reflux medication. This was a huge accomplishment for us as he's been on some form of reflux meds since he was just 6 weeks old. We also trialled the milk ladder to reintroduce dairy into Henry's diet, and thankfully he's had no reactions. He can now happily eat cheese, yogurt and all sorts of other delights containing cows milk, so his diet had opened up to a whole new range of possibilities.

Routine: Breakfast at 8.30, lunch at 12.30 and dinner at 4.30, with a morning nap at around 10am and an afternoon nap at 2.30pm (if we're lucky!)

Sleep: Still sleeping through the night, usually from 7pm - 7am. There was a period where I was nervous (terrified) that Henry was attempting to drop to just one nap a day, but thankfully I think it was just a phase! 

Clothes: Henry is in that awkward in-between stage where 9-12 month clothing is too small and 12-18 month clothing is on the big side.

Dislikes: Attempting to change Henry's nappy is a constant battle. He hates lying down so I've had to become somewhat of an expert at the standing-up nappy change as often that's the only way it'll get done without a wrestling match. He's started to have tantrums when he can't have or do what he wants, but they pass quickly. And washing his hair always results in tears, no matter how fun we try to make it!

Likes: Henry is currently obsessed with the songs from Frozen. He brings me my iPhone numerous times each day for me to play them on YouTube, and gets so excited when they start (and equally upset when the songs finish!) It is the only time when he is still, relaxed and quiet, so it's lovely to cuddle up together and enjoy some animated fun.

Milestones: Henry now has six teeth - four top, two bottom. He waves goodnight to us when we put him to bed, which is just heart meltingly cute. Besides mama and dada, he can say 'moo' when he sees a cow in his books and he says 'brum brum' when he's playing his with toy cars. Both very sweet!

He understands and reacts to a lot of things we say, such as 'rest your head,' 'walk to the window,' and 'have you finished?'' He brings me things he wants to play with or read, and takes me to places he wants to show me or explore.

Henry has now mastered walking and it is the sweetest thing to see him toddling around. He's become a lot more confident with his ventures, and walks greater distances each day. I'm sure it won't be long until he's tearing around the house!

(Nap and post-nap pout!)

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