Top 5 Christmas Stocking Fillers For The Whole Family

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash Christmas is creeping up on us and if you are anything like myself then you will have already got the major items on your Christmas shopping list crossed off. Yet, it is the Christmas stocking gifts that … Continue reading

Keep Little Ones Healthy With These Medicine Tips

Little tots get anywhere and everywhere, making them super susceptible to getting ill. Having young nieces and nephews has shown me just how easily children can feel under the weather. Although it is inevitable, parents do their best to try and avoid it. Whether it be wrapping your kids up warm or getting them to wash their hands. However, sometimes you just can’t beat the lurgy, and this is where medicine can come to the rescue. As much of a Godsend medicines are though, mistake happen frequently, like accidentally storing medicines improperly for example. Could you be making any of these medicine mistakes?

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Not Finishing A Course

Doctors determine the type and dosage of medicine and the exact length of medicine prescriptions depending on the individual. When a full course of medication is not administered, this increases the chances of the illness reoccurring and the medicine being ineffective.

Overdosing And Underdosing

To think you could be over-dosing and under-dosing your child without even knowing it is truly terrifying. Everyone knows that it is important to give the correct amount medicine and you can do this by reading the information leaflet provided or by asking your doctor. However, even when you follow the instructions there are still things to keep in mind. In terms of measuring at home, use a measuring cup on a flat surface to reduce the chance of unintentionally pouring too much or too little. Crushing tablets is also often seen as an easy way to get stubborn children to ingest tablets without a struggle, however this changes the formation of a tablet and can lead to further issues. To avoid this, ask your doctor if there is a liquid medicine version that will help you administer the correct dosage without difficulty.

Sharing Medicine

Medicines like Calpol are regularly used to treat minor colds across most children. Even though this is openly available to any parent and not extremely harmful, it is not recommended to share bottles and syringes. Of more concern, is sharing prescribed medicines like antibiotics. When a health professional decided to give a child medication to treat their ailment, the dosage recommendation would be based on their patient’s individual profile including their age and weight, therefore the prescribed medicine will not be appropriate for another child. Sharing medication can lead to the administration of an incorrect dose or active ingredient causing further complications.

Inappropriate Storage

Often medicines are required to be stored in a cool dry place or even refrigerating. Many like storing medicines in a bathroom cupboard however, where the heat and moisture from taking a shower can change the environment rapidly. Read the information leaflet carefully and assess which area of your house is most suitable. Most importantly, medicine needs to be up high, locked and away from children.  Storing on top of counters is not recommended as children have the ability to get everywhere, something which I see often with my nieces and nephews!

Reusing Medicine

If your child has a cough a few months on from a previous one, it may appear to be the same strand of virus. This is why some parents would think to use the rest of a bottle of medicine previously administered for another cold. Treating medication in this manner is a sure fire way to end up giving your child the wrong medicine for their needs. Not only that, medicines have sell by dates which need to be taken into consideration. Make sure to review your stores regularly and throw out old medicine safely.

When your little one is poorly (which can happen regularly given all their exploring) all you want to do is make them feel better and fast! Children’s medicines are great for getting them back up and out playing, but even when you follow the guidelines it can still be easy to make mistakes. If you read and remember these tips, you should be all set to give your tots what they need and in the perfect dose and condition!

Help! I Need a Baby…Gift!

Photo by Sadık Kuzu on Unsplash

I am beginning to realise that I have entered a stage in my life where half of my friends are settling down to have kids and the other half are out chasing their careers, travelling or still partying. Even though I am pretty much done with partying, it’s not quite the right time for me to have a baby yet. Although, it hasn’t stopped me getting super excited for my friends who are!

And, where there are babies, there are baby showers.

However, with the baby showers comes the dilemma of getting a gift. The level of effort/money put into finding the perfect gift is going to be determined by how close you are, or maybe what the bank balance says at the time. Both issues come with their own stresses, so I have put together my top tips for getting a fail-safe new baby gift.

Get Them Stocked

Photo by Annie Theby on Unsplash

Yes, it is that boring. Or at least seems like it.

For many the thought of getting nappies, bibs or dummies are an effortless gift, they believe that it is easy to purchase and can be bought at any time. They may even rather to get clothes, hats or get really creative for their new bundle of joy.

But from being around and babysitting for my good friends, I learned quickly that babies grow super fast and get through A LOT of nappies.

While hats might be really cute and thoughtful at the time, after six other friends have the same idea, there are only so many hats that can be worn before they grow out them. With supplies, if six friends have the same idea, Mummy is going to save a lot of money and be prepared for a growing babies basic needs for the first four to six months. This is a game changer for them.

Personalise It

Source: Pexels

The other problem with getting clothes or a cuddly toy, is it all becomes a little too generic. There is no doubt that there are many awesome kids clothes out there at the moment, but they do not quite get across the thought behind the gift….unless you are throwing obscene money at the situation.

No, the answer is to get thoughtful with personalised baby gifts for the new addition.

They are something a little different and really show that you have put effort into your chosen present, even if it does not break the bank. You can get a piece of art with the family’s name on it to capture to moment, or if the baby’s name has been decided you could get cuddly toy or bib embroidered as this makes the coming addition even more real!

Go Big

Credit: Pixabay

If you really want to treat the new addition or family to something a little special, but can’t afford to go it alone, think about joining forces with friends or family to split the cost.
There are many expensive items that the new family would love to have, that are genuinely going to make their life with the new one a lot easier. They will just not be able to afford all of them in one go when budgeting for their new family member! Despite this, if they are anything like my friends, they would never want or expect anyone to help them out in that way. When we have managed to clubbed together as a group for something a little more hefty however, we have been blown away by how touched our new parent friends were!

I may still be in the independent stages of my life, but I absolutely adore the excitement and anticipation in the air when one of my friends are expecting! Our friendship group are a little more comfortable for cash these days too, so we are able to get something extra special for our parents-to-be friends. Yet, this doesn’t always make it easy to get the right thing! I hope this has given you some inspiration for finding the perfect gift. Please let me know if you have any other recommendations in the comments section, you never know whether a happy announcement is just around the corner!

Interior Design For Children’s Bedrooms

My sister and I both love interior design, but when it came to decorating my niece and nephew’s room this week, we were just going to take the generic route. As we were planning, we got to thinking; kids spend so much time in their rooms, shouldn’t their spaces get the same consideration as the rest of the house? Feeling a little sheepish we decided to approach their rooms like we would our own and focused on the following aspects:

Collecting meaningful pieces

It can be tempting to fully furnish a kid’s room all in one go, just to get it finished. We resisted this urge and started out sparse rather than cramming it full with complete sets of furniture. As with any other space, it’s worth waiting and buying high quality and beautiful pieces. These will be more meaningful and add character to a child’s environment. Although it will take a little more time, you will end up with a collection of items that will stand the test of time, as well as looking fabulous.

Maximise storage

There is a physical law that wherever children live, clutter will build up like there’s no tomorrow. The irresistible joy on their faces when they receive birthday and Christmas presents will mean an ever-growing toy collection. Not to mention them growing out of clothes and interests within months! When planning our scheme, we made sure to include lots and lots of storage solutions. Consider the following for inspiration:

  • Keep under-bed storage organised with pull-out drawers or boxes
  • Create a play-table from an old coffee table and add drawers for small toys
  • Attach crates to the walls for storage and keep them cute by wallpapering or painting the back ground
  • Make reading books a feature by placing them in open-front shelves and colour coordinating
  • Finally, Bunk beds for kids are a great way of saving space

Go neutral

If you imagine a generic child’s room it will most probably be bright with shades of pink, blue or yellow. The problem with these colour schemes, is that they are outgrown incredibly quickly. Additionally, lots of colours and patterns make a room feel smaller and more cluttered – not very relaxing. Choosing a neutral pallet will create a calm environment that feels spacious. We decided on mixing a colour palette of earthy greys teamed beautifully with and mood boosting warm yellow.

Children spend so much time playing, relaxing and sleeping in their rooms that it is so worth taking the time to plan their décor. Choosing meaningful pieces, picking a neutral palette and maximising storage will give your little one a relaxing and spacious environment with character for them to relax and be themselves in.

Do you have any tips about interior design for kids? If so, please leave a comment I’d love to hear them!

 

Halloween Style Guide

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Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/halloween-pumpkin-carving-face-1001677/

It’s official – Halloween fever has gripped me. I LOVE dressing up for Halloween (and I’m not talking about those ‘sexy’ Halloween outfits that involve hot pants and cat ears). I still feel a sense of childish glee when I put on a wig or fake blood and walk out the door. I’m sure this year will be no different, even though I haven’t quite figured out my costume yet. After all, 2016 has been one of the scariest on record – the numerous high profile celebrity deaths, Brexit and the US election will no doubt be the inspiration behind the more topical choices this year. As tempting as it is to follow suit, I like to lean towards costumes that are stylishly scary, rather than just plain terrifying. So I decided to put together my very own Halloween Style Guide for anyone still looking for inspiration!

  1. Wednesday Addams   

A classic Halloween look, but this one will never go out of style. All you need is a black dress with a collar, 2 plaits and you’re done. I’m personally a huge fan of Wednesday as a character. She’s doesn’t try to fit in, and she’s nobody’s fool. If you want to go the extra mile then try and convince your partner or friend to go as her brother Pugsley.

  1. Eleven from Stranger Things

This costume has the benefit of being topical and trendy. If, like me and millions of others, you are also obsessed with the 2016 American sci-fi horror web TV series Stranger Things, then this could be the costume for you. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you must watch it immediately! As someone who can just about remember the tail end of the 80s, it’s a great throwback show, and Eleven’s retro style will be instantly recognisable for those in the know. Essentially, all you will need is a pale pink dress, a blue jacket, trainers, sports socks and a blonde wig. You can also add a bit of blood to make it spookier!

  1. Resurrected 1920s Flapper Girl

Let’s face it, the roaring 20s didn’t get that name for being dull. They had a lot of fun back then, and Halloween is a great way to pay homage to the era with a spooky twist. To become a ghost from the 1920s all it takes is feathers, fringe and a flapper dress. You can afford to spend some time on the face paint on this one to make sure you capture that ghostly look.

  1. Cruella De Ville              

Any outfit that requires faux fur is a winner in my eyes. And if like me, you’ve always wanted to pretend to smoke a cigarette through one of those cigarette holders then look no further. Cruella is super glam, so red lipstick and heels are a must. And of course, let’s not forget her trademark two tone black and white hair!

  1. Spider’s Web

This might sound like a slightly odd choice, but spider webs make successful Halloween outfits. A black dress and some shredded thin black tights form the basis of this costume. Then all you need to do is fix some spider props in to your hair, and draw a web pattern over one eye (I’ve used liquid eyeliner to do this in the past). And there you have it – a Halloween spider’s web. To go that extra mile then you could even spray some cobwebs in a can for extra decoration.

Happy Halloween!

Unique Baby Shower Gifts for Family and Friends

I always used to think that baby showers were the strangest events we take part in as women. Sometimes a dozen ladies, sitting in a circle and showering someone in the cutesiest gifts money can buy. Worst of all, we can’t even drink! I suppose that’s fair enough, your poor friend has gone nine months without a glass of rose, I guess we can go one day!

As I’ve gotten older, I finally understand baby showers – the main event is of course, the gifts. We might act like we aren’t competing with one another on the surface, but we’re all trying to get her the best gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, unique is the name of the game – and here are the most unique baby shower gifts you can get!

Biscuits!

New Baby Biscuits

This was one I hadn’t come across before, I would never have thought to buy anything perishable as a gift. I’d been thinking that I had to buy the expectant mother a gift that they’d use every single day. They must get dozens of walkers, strollers and items of baby clothing – they can’t possibly use them all. The best thing about this particular gift is that it doubles up as a gorgeous little tin once you’ve finished all of the biscuits.

God knows us ladies love pretty little storage containers. If you can categorise it, it’s got its own little tin, drawer or box. I’ve got one for my keys, receipts, travel photographs and jewellery from over the years. I guess what sets this apart from other new baby gifts is how delicious these ones look!

Keepsake Box

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Keeping with a bit of a storage theme here – this gorgeous keepsake box is great for the sentimental mums. It comes fully assembled so hapless dads don’t have the opportunity to put it together wrong! There’s a dedicated drawer for all of the major little keepsakes the new baby will have over the course of the first few years. The box houses everything, from their first pair of mittens, to their dummy and hospital bracelet.

It makes more sense than getting the new mum a blender, doesn’t it? Not only is it functional, but it looks brilliant too, that little drawer of special keepsakes at the bottom could be used for anything!

Organic Creams

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This might sound like a bit of a controversial one. Just because it’s the baby shower, doesn’t mean mum should miss on gifts of her own. It shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone that bearing a child for that long takes its toll! Mum needs some looking after. A selection of organic body creams would be a more than welcome gift.

Hand creams are a fantastic gift idea. Unscrewing tight bottles, testing temperatures, lifting heavy bags, and cleaning up after little ones really wears down your hands. No doubt they’ll love your gift!

Personalised Blanket

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If there is one thing new babies like more than crying all day and rejecting any attempt to feed them, it’s their blanket.

Please find out a) what the baby’s name is and b) how you spell it before you get them their own personalised blanket. Might be best to check with the Dad first, don’t let him tell mum though. The personalisation can be as subtle or blatant as you see fit, but be sure that they’re going to get hundreds of hours of use out of it.

Don’t be so quick to spend over a hundred pounds on one made of cashmere though, I know that I took my blanket with me everywhere…I mean everywhere – every puddle, every dinner time, every walk through the park with dad, every car trip. It’s going to get muddy at some point, don’t invest in a blanket so soft that they’re restricted to using it in a nice clean living room. That’s not how babies work!

This list isn’t to say that bouncers, push-chairs and ‘aww’ worthy little shoes won’t be great baby shower gifts, but everyone gets those – there isn’t anything more awkward than two people bringing the same gift and the cheaper one having to be taken back. Babies grow unbelievably quick, don’t spend all your money if they’re only going to be that size for a couple of months.

Why You Should Support Your Children Travelling

Source: Steve Wilson I’ve known many parents who are terrified at the thought of their children travelling. Whether it’s international terrorism, Ebola, or EU instability, there’s always something that will be a cause for concern out in the wide-open world. … Continue reading