Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tips for keeping your kids cool in summer

As parents, seeing the sunshine during our summer months is in many ways a dream come true. When the sun is shining it’s easier for kids to play outside, day trips don’t become a wash out and the increased amount of washing that seems to mount over the holidays is simpler to handle too.
However, for all of the benefits a heatwave brings there are equally niggling problems. The hot weather can cause children to become overheated, tired and stroppy.
While consistently warm weather hasn’t always been a familiar factor in UK summers, experts predict it is something we may have to start coming to terms with thanks to global climate change. So, let’s take a little look at ways you can tackle rising temperatures to quell any tantrums.

Home Design
It’s not just modern compact homes that can become heat traps in hot weather, old style homes can also suffer from a lack of ventilation that can cause rooms to heat up fast. When you are out and about you can keep curtains closed so that rooms don’t heat up but this isn’t so easily done when you have kids on the premises to entertain.
If you’re in the house or moving between it and your outside space, your best bet is to create a breeze. You could try putting windows on the latch, opening doors for air to pass through or for the ultimate in airy indulgence, fold back your bi-fold doors. It’s not just aesthetics that have driven sales of bi-folds in recent years, it’s also practicality. When hot weather descends it’s lovely to be able to peel back windows the full length of your wall and invite the fresh air in.  If your home features traditional rather than modern styling hunt out wood bi-folds like these from Creative Doors Direct.
Don’t live somewhere where opening windows and doors is an option? If you’re on the fifth floor and need to consider safety or are in close proximity to neighbours, you may be considering splashing out on air conditioning. Rather than fitting a system throughout your home you could buy a more budget-friendly standalone unit, which can then be moved with you to whichever room you’re in at the time. If you’re suddenly overcome with heat but don’t want to make a long-term investment, you could also consider hiring an air con unit.
How often do you walk passed your TV or computer and feel a little heat radiating from the screen? Leaving gadgets on standby can produce heat, so while you may be turning on fans and other air cooling devices make sure you are turning other electrics off where possible. This is something we are not very good at in our house. 
What to wear and what to eat
Wearing a hat will help to keep kids cool and can help guard against heat stroke. Where possible, keep them covered up in lightweight cotton clothing that’s breathable and choose light colours to reflect the heat.  
When it comes to cooling treats, ice cream is nice but thanks to the fat and sugar content it isn’t the best way to cool them down every day.
You can try low sugar ice lollies to keep them hydrated or serve them up bowls of frozen pineapple or mango that have been allowed to defrost a little. The latter are widely available in supermarkets and are a really affordable way to keep them topped up with vitamins too. A frozen banana is another healthy alternative to ice cream, is easy for smaller hands to hold and is a great use for slightly too ripe fruit. Simply peel, wrap in cling film and freeze. Just don’t forget to allow it to soften a little rather than eating fresh out of the freezer.
In summer we often tend to subconsciously adopt a grazing attitude to food – eating smaller snacks more often. Eating large meals, particularly those rich in protein, can cause your temperature to rise as your body works harder to metabolise your meal. With this in mind you may want to plan smaller more regular meals. 
You could consider including some curries in your weekly meal plan too because spicy food has been shown to cool you down. Luckily for us both our girls love curry as much as we do. Whatever you do, try not to let kids wash meals down with too much cola as caffeine will warm them up.
To help them sleep
One of the reasons warmer weather can become a time of sibling arguments and toddler tantrums is lack of sleep. We Brits simply aren’t used to trying to sleep in hot temperatures. 
Give little ones a helping hand by ensuring you have summer linen on their beds – perhaps adding a single cotton sheet cover they can opt to sleep under instead of a duvet. You could also try freezing bed sheets folded in freezer bags before popping them on the bed. Gel pillows are a wonderful invention too. Simply chill the inserts in the fridge and slip inside your pillow covers to help them drift off.
Simply imagining yourself in a cooler environment can help persuade your body that you’re more comfortable than you really are, so if you can bear to watch it again, it may be time to start watching the Frozen DVD as a family before bedtime!

Have you got any top tips for keeping cool in the summer?

*This is a collaborative post*


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Introducing Koochi A/W16

Koochi is a brand who I have recently been introduced to. I was unaware of them before hand but I am now in love with their prints and patterns. Koochi sell pushchairs, travel systems and car seats. 

They have a very similar philosophy to their brand as we do to our family life. They love babies and they love adventures. A winning combination in my opinion. If you are a regular reader of my blog then you will know that we are a wanderlust family and we like to find adventure in every day. Having children has never stopped us travelling the world and enjoying exploring together. This is exactly what Koochi represent and therefore we are a match made in heaven.

They currently have 4 collections which are Tokyo and Brooklyn and the brand new autumn/winter 16 designs Bali and Havana. I love the names of the collections, so dreamy and perfect for the prints they are representing.

First up is the bright Bali collection. The print reminds me of a chilled holiday. The pinks and turquoise transport you to the beach. The best bit about this design is that it has one of my favourite quotes on it, 'adventure is out there,'.

The car seat on the left is the child car seat which is suitable from 9kg to 36kg which is approximately 9 months old to 12 years. It's brilliant as you just adapt it to suit your growing child with no need to buy future booster seats etc. I love the fact that it has the 5 point harness for stage 1. Eva constantly manages to wriggle her arms out of ours so this would be perfect for her. This one costs £100.

The second car seat is the toddler car seat which is suitable from 9kg to 18kg which is approximately 9 months old to 4 years. It has a reclinable feature. How comfortable is that for your little one? As with the child car seat this also has the 5 point safety harness and it comes with removable seat liner, tummy and chest pads. It costs £120.

You can remove the seat covers on both car seats for washing.

Next up is my favourite item from the collection. It's the Pushmatic Bali. It's a 3 wheeled pushchair which allows for a smooth and easy drive whether you are adventuring in an urban city or strolling along your dream holiday destination. Every-time I look at this one it transports me to a tropical island. 
It's suitable from birth to approximately 15kg. The frame is lightweight. One thing that is perfect for little one's is that it can recline. I can just see Ophelia laid back, snoozing with the sound of the waves next to her. A girl can dream. Failing that she can be snoozing under the raincover to the sounds of the raindrops in our wonderful British weather.
It includes chest pads, head-hugger, fleece-lined footmuff (perfect for winter), a cup holder and a matching change bag. It costs £180.

This is the Speedstar Bali which costs £160. It comes with all the same features as above but is a different design and has 4 wheels.

Last up in the Bali collection is the Sneaker. This is a lightweight, umbrella fold stroller that simply pops up and folds down. It's perfect for travel and the warmer days here. It's suitable from birth to approximately 15kg. The hood is removable and it comes with a raincover. This one costs £110.

The Havana products are the same as the Bali collection just in a different print. The deep turquoise colours and patterns of this range will have you and your family dreaming of sandy toes and salty kisses. 

Koochi are so proud of what they make and their safety and reliability that every product you buy comes with a 4 year guarantee.

I also wanted to show you the Litestar Brooklyn AM travel system. It's perfect for our shopping adventures.

I am so pleased we've been introduced to this brand. I love bold patterns on baby products and anything that stands out from the crowd. 

That concludes the introduction to their new collection. What print is your favourite Bali or Havana?

Monday, 22 August 2016

Mama Style - Look 1

You may or may not now that before I started this blog I wrote a fashion blog. That's where my passion for blogging began. Since having children, it was left in the shadows. I'm not really sure why but I think the fact that any money I now have, I seem to spend on clothes for the kids and that I haven't really felt very body and mentally confident.

I'm slowly starting to feel mentally better and i'm trying to do things for myself again. Top of my list is exercise. I've decided to resurrect my passion for fashion and fashion blogging and bring it to this blog in a series called Mama Style. 

My first look is very representative of myself and style right now. It shows my mama personality and is very cute.

The tee is from the amazing FMLY STORE which is the Selfish Mother shop. I'd been lusting after something from here for a long time and seeing as I was starting to feel happy, strong and in control again, it seemed like the perfect treat. 

I chose the black Mother supersoft tee which was the very first one they designed. £10 from the sale of this top goes to the charity Women for Women International which help women in 8 war torn countries by helping them rebuild their lives. I love the fact that every purchase from the store donates some money to charity. It's a treat for you whilst helping others.

This tee is exactly what is says on the tin, supersoft. It's very comfortable to wear and provides a relaxed, loose fit. I've worn vests underneath for breastfeeding and not felt too hot at all. If you follow me on social media you will notice that I don't take this off. Its become my favourite thing to wear. It's so versatile that I can wear it with anything. I honestly have a very long wishlist from the FMLY STORE so i'm hoping santa is going to help me out with that one.

Here i've teamed it with a skirt I bought from Tu Clothing at Sainsbury's. I spotted this whilst on a recent food shop. The colour is a beautiful pastel pink. There are lots of these style skirts about at the moment and they are perfect for transitioning from summer to winter. This one can be worn with flip flops or sandals to see in the end of our so called summer and then with boots for the upcoming winter.

It's a lovely fit and hides all my mama tum area which is always a bonus. The colour contrasts lovely against greys, black and white so the mother tee was a great pairing for it. 

I've tried to find it online but it doesn't appear to be on there so you'll have to check your local store to see if they stock it.

I'm also wearing my stunning Olivia Burton watch. I was never a watch person until I had kids but if i don't have one on, I am lost. They have the most beautiful collection of watches. I genuinely could have every single one on the website. They are so pretty and feminine. You can also get some of them personalised making them unique and extra special.

So there you have it. My first mama style look. I'm looking forward to showing you more of this side of me very soon.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Why we're embracing mess is best whilst weaning

I'll be completely honest with you and say that when I weaned my eldest daughter I hated it. I found the whole thing completely stressful. All the hours spent batch cooking things to find she didn't like what i'd made or the endless cleaning up from all the mess.

I was also one of those mums that cleaned up as soon as there was one ounce of mess on her face, the highchair or the floor. I was always feeding armed with a wet wipe. She'd take a few spoonfuls and i'd be there cleaning it up. I would totally freak out. It didn't make for an enjoyable experience for either of us. 

Ophelia is now 9 months old so we have been weaning for a while. She loves her food. With the help of my Babymoov weaning team, we are having a much better experience than the first time.

This time around we are embracing mess is best. We are allowing Ophelia to get as messy as she likes. We are encouraging her to hold her own food and play about with it. This is also great for sensory development. Eating with her fingers allows her to discover the different textures. She seems to be really enjoying how relaxed we are about everything and how we are all giggling around mealtimes.

I've surprised myself at how relaxed I am. Whenever there is food on the floor or bits of spaghetti in her hair, I am not rushing to clean it up. Instead I am waiting until the end of mealtime to deal with it. This is a new me. Even my hubby is surprised at how chilled out I am. 

I'm not saying my house now has pasta sauce climbing the kitchen walls or bits of food all over the floor. I of course try and maintain mess is best with the help of a few products to keep the weaning journey stress free.

My Babymoov High Chair is fab as it's very easy to clean. We used to have the Ikea high chair which was good but when it came to pasta sauce or a curry sauce, it left a horrible stain which we were never able to bring up sparkling. Our new high chair cleans so easily. 

We also use a Messy Me Splash Mat. It is designed to be placed underneath your high chair to catch all the food mess dropped on the floor. It's ideal as it's wipe clean. Once again making my parenting duties super easy. We've used this mat for so many other things as-well such as indoor and outdoor picnics and for painting. 

One thing that has been very helpful during weaning is our Bibetta Bib. I can't tell you how many clothes I lost to Spaghetti Bolognese before we got this. It actually covers almost all of Ophelia except the bottom of her legs. It also doesn't seem to allow any of the food to sneak through under the neck like lots of other bibs. 

The bib has a fold out pocket which most of the time catches any food that she drops. She can then retrieve these herself. 

What tips have you got for embracing messy weaning? 

If you are on instagram and twitter keep an eye out for the hashtag #messisbest to see some fab weaning pics and ideas

*As part of our weaning ambassador role for Babymoov, we have been gifted with the highchair, mat and bib featured in this post. All views and opinions are my own*

A trip to London to see Scooby-Doo Live Musical Mysteries

You may have read my post earlier on this week about how Eva and I were going to see a new Scooby-Doo musical, my post. It was a trip that just the two of us were taking so I wanted to make the most of our alone time together. I booked for us to stay in a hotel the night before.

We travelled up on the Wednesday night. Unfortunately, we arrived quite late so we didn't get to make the most of having a sleepover together which I was a bit gutted about. I had envisaged us getting into our pjs and singing and dancing and painting our nails etc. All things she would have loved. Instead, it was into our pjs and straight to bed as it was so late.

We woke up and decided to head for breakfast and then visit Harrods. Eva had been given some money by her Grampy to buy herself and Ophelia a present. We must have spent at least 2 hours in the toy, teddy and book section at Harrods. She was loving life. After much deliberation she settled on a Disney make up box and cars set for herself and a Harrods teddy and a book for Ophelia. 

Next we headed off for the main event, Scooby-Doo Live Musical Mysteries at the London Palladium theatre. Eva was so excited. She had talked about it all day. We stepped out of the taxi to lots of paparazzi taking pictures. This added to the excitement and anticipation. We collected our tickets and headed in.

We spotted a fantastic lego Scooby-Doo which was perfect for a photo opportunity.

We then took our seats for the show and it began. It opened up to the well known song Scooby-Doo where are you? The audience all joined in.

The gang had to solve the mystery of the theatre ghost. To do this they decided to disguise themselves as a band. The audience were encouraged to join in by singing, dancing and shouting out whenever we saw the ghost. 

Eva and I really enjoyed it. She's 3.5 and didn't find it particularly scary. She was worried whenever the ghost came on stage but not enough to cover her eyes. 

After the show we were treated to a VIP meet and greet with Daphne and Scooby-Doo. This is available after every performance. Daphne invited the children onto the stage to learn some of the dance moves. Eva loved all of this until the music started. She then ran off the stage as she thought the theatre ghost was coming. 

Overall we had a fab time. Eva has been talking about it ever since. I loved the fact that at 3.5 years old she is able to say she danced on stage at the London Palladium.

Don't miss your chance to see the show as it's only on for a limited time. Get your tickets here, book.

Seeing as we had such a lovely time, what show do you suggest we watch next?

*We were given free tickets to the show in exchange for a blog review. All opinions are truthful and our own*

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Siblings Project - August

It's been a little while since I updated you on the siblings relationship between my two girls. The last update I did was in June and you may remember that I said their bond has taken a while to form. You can read the post here if you missed it, The Siblings Project June

Ophelia has always been amazed by her big sister but the feeling wasn't quite reciprocated. Fortunately, in the last couple of months we have seen a huge improvement.

Eva now seems to include her sister in playing. She quite regularly talks to her and is now concerned if she is crying or upset. I'm probably making it sound like Eva hated Ophelia. That's not the case at all, she just genuinely wasn't that bothered interacting with her.

At the end of last month we went on holiday to Turkey. It was a lovely holiday. The girls swam together in the pool and sea. They played on the beach together and they really enjoyed each other's company. The evenings were sometimes difficult as Ophelia was desperate to play with her sister and seeing as she's not on the move yet, she couldn't chase her around the restaurants. 

Ophelia recently went on a swing for the very first time, which she did with her big sister next to her. She was loving life. It was so adorable to see. You could tell she thought she was chocolate being able to do the same things Eva was doing. Eva also enjoyed it too, especially being able to push her.

We've had lots of nice weather recently which means the girls have spent a lot of time in the garden. One area they love is in their teepee. Well, that was until I broke it. It's a plastic one so it's easily done!! They've sat in it and read lots of books together. 

They've also eaten outside quite a few times for bbq's, picnics and I recently prepared them an afternoon tea. I made sandwiches, cakes and some savoury muffins. The savoury muffins were a big hit so i'll have to share the recipe on here.

They love singing together. One of their favourite songs is 'Girls Like' by Tinie Tempah. Both of them dance and sing. It's so funny to watch.

Next month will be a huge change for both the girls. It will see Eva starting preschool for 2.5 hours a day and Ophelia will also be going to a nursery one day a week. Big sob fest coming up for me.

The Me and Mine Project

Scooby Doo Live In London

Eva and I don't get any quality time together anymore, so when we were invited to watch a preview of the Scooby-Doo show in London's palladium theatre, I jumped at the chance to have some mummy and daughter time. 

Eva has recently become a fan of Scooby-Doo. I think she's been watching it with her dad. She finds him hilarious. 

This brand new show for the west end is called Scooby-Doo Live Musical Mysteries and will be in the London Palladium for a limited time only from Thursday 18th August - Sunday 21st August. There will be 3 shows per day. There are no age restrictions for the show but babies in arms aren't allowed into the theatre. The show lasts 1 hour and 25 minutes including a 20 minute interval. 

The show has come direct from a sell out tour in North America. The show is about a theatre that is being haunted by a ghost but Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are on hand to crack the case. 

Eva was over the moon to receive her special invite in the post. I have somehow managed to save the sweets so she can take them to the show with her. 

I can't wait to have some one on one time with Eva. I've been craving it for a while. Pop back to my blog over the next few days to find out what we thought of the show. 

You can find out more about the show and book tickets here, Scooby-Doo Live

Have you been to the west end before? What did you see?