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Magic Unicorns Supa Bag | Cosatto Changing Bag Review*

Changing bags are something I had never even noticed before having Daisy, never mind thought about. When I was expecting Daisy I bought an oil cloth bag (think Cath Kidston style but cheaper) with a pretty floral print, it was on trend back then and it suited me. It didn't have any useful pockets though or dividers so rooting around finding things was a bit troublesome and frustrating but I could wipe it clean and well, it was cheap. It didn't last too long but it did me that first year pretty much.

Magic Unicorns Supa Bag | Cosatto Changing Bag Review*

With Alex I decided on a nice rucksack, a leather one. It was actually just a handbag I picked up off ASOS. Again it did me the job just fine but once again it wasn't designed to carry about all paraphernalia that comes with a baby AND a toddler! But it did mean I had my hands free.

I had never really come across these beautiful bags by Cosatto before. I knew of their gorgeous, bright pushchairs and travel systems and although I didn't personally have one I always admired the prints and part of me wished I had been more daring and just gone for it. When I bought Daisy's next stage car seat I had to have the flamingo print, because well, why wouldn't I?

When I was upgrading Alex from his crib and looking at Cotbeds for sale from Kiddies Kingdom  I noticed they were for sale there too. You can pick up various designs from online fairly easily.

Cath Kidston bag review

The bag has some useful pockets inside which you could store dummies and things in easily, or your car keys maybe! That is what I have used mine for, that and my lip balm, the two things I was forever losing at the bottom of my huge changing bag that felt like Mary Poppins' bag! This design is the Supa change bag in Magic Unicorns. The bag itself also comes with a fold-able changing mat inside it which is so handy!

Cosatto unicorn

Hayley x

*PR Collaboration. Samples provided but all my own opinions

2018 Travel Bucket List*

If you read this blog regularly then It will come as no surprise to you that as a family we love to travel and get out and about. It is what we choose to spend our money on and how we spend quality time together.  It doesn't have to be abroad to anywhere fancy, to me travel could be to a local beach for the weekend for camping. It can be simply getting away from the norm, the daily grinds of routine and home life.

2018 Travel Bucket List*

So for this coming new year we are aiming to get away at least every 3 months,  Obviously in the summer we will be doing our camping trips again so we should be going more often then but in these chilly months I'm not so sure. We tend to have a holiday (or 2) to somewhere further afield, I have been busy scouring the internet for ideas and websites such as Destination2.co.uk destinations page for some more inspiration. If money really was no option then I would be heading straight back to the Caribbean, I haven't been since having the children and would love to take them one day.

I obviously have several other locations that would be right at the TOP of my list:

  • Lapland - Need I say more?
  • See the northern lights - again I don't think I need to allberate
  • An  American Road trip - One I would save for when the children have grown up a bit (or maybe left home!!!)

We already have a city break planned for Berlin straight after Christmas and a big family holiday for a wedding later in the year to Skiathos. It is always nice to have things booked in advance so you have dates to work towards, something to look forward to.

2017 was a great year for travel for us with quite a few trips ticked off. Not as many camping trips as we would have liked but we can blame the glorious, British weather for that.

Lake garda with kids

We have lots of exciting ideas and plans we want to look into so watch this space! I am actually really intrigued by ski holidays, having never been on a snowy holiday before I'm really excited to look into it, possibly next year/ start of 2019.

Hayley x

*PR Collaboration

I couldn't have done it alone... #Thankyoumidwife

Both of my labours were amazing. Intense. Terrifying. But Magical. Something about birth just makes me think it is magic, what us women go through to get our babies in to the world safely is nothing short of a miracle. I read recently on a forum and with the research that Pampers are sharing that 1 out of 3 midwives feel under appreciated. That is at least one third of midwives. Which really saddens me.

I couldn't have done it alone... #Thankyoumidwife

With Daisy's labour it was a long process, a home birth that went on so long that ended up in consultant care with intervention after intervention. The process was long and painful, after a few moments of craziness where I fell unconscious and Daisy's heartbeat dropped we had consultants in and out, a midwife sat next to me at all times and always the threat of theatre which kept cropping back up! But they never left me. And then when it came to the actual delivery, it was all hands on deck. A full room of people there to look after me and my baby. And after a slightly traumatic hour or so we had our baby and felt safe. The reactions those incredible people made no doubt saved my daughter, they deliver her safe and well. As was I. A little sore, but safe.

With Alex his labour was crazy for different reasons. It was fast, I was expecting another 36 hour labour. Instead I was given probably less than 2 hours, I can't be sure, it whizzed by too fast! He pretty much helped himself out in to the world, he wasn't waiting for anyone. The midwife and the assistant in that day were just perfect. They knew how to treat me, look after me and reassure me throughout it and afterwards. When you're feeling so vulnerable after, after losing ALLLLLLL the dignity and having what feels like your whole body put back together that feeling of being cared for is priceless. And I will never forget those midwives and ladies who helped me during those labours.

Pampers is asking everyone to thank their midwives using the hashtag #ThankYouMidwife  and tagging @PampersUKIre on Facebook, @Pampers_UK on twitter and @pampersworld on Instagram. Every time a personal thank you is shared towards a specific midwife and/or hospital using the hashtag and tagging the brand across the relevant social media platform, Pampers will donate £1 to the Benevolent Fund of the Royal College of Midwives. Up to a maximum of £25,000 to the Royal College of Midwives.

So please join in and share your #ThankYouMidwife story and don’t forget to tag Pampers on Facebook (@PampersUKIRE) or on Twitter (@Pampers_UK), and #Pampers so we can get as much money as possible donated to the Royal College of Midwives Trust. Together maybe we can start to make them feel appreciated!

What To Buy a Mum For Christmas (Stocking Fillers) | A Christmas Guide For Women*

So if you haven't caught up with my Christmas Stocking Filler Guide for the men in your life, then you can find it here. But anyway, it is now time for the ladies of your life... AKA myself! ;)

Again these will be stocking fillers, not big, extravagant gifts. Christmas is not about that to me, it is all about the thought and pleasure of gifting.

I will link any brands below that I may have featured so you can simply click through to find the items.

What To Buy a Mum For Christmas (Stocking Fillers) | A Christmas Guide For Women*

I love you to Pieces Necklace: Prezzybox
Dear Mum Book: Prezzybox
Real Techniques Brushes: Superdrug
DKNY Perfume: Superdrug
Pom Pom Slippers: Next
Pom Pom Hat: Next

*PR Collaboration. Some Samples recieved

A Messy T Shirt Challenge With River Island*

We love a good old messy challenge so when we were challenged to design our own T we were super excited to get going. I am in no way a Pinterest mum, the way we tend to role is get lots of glue, sparkly things and hope for the best (not too much glitter stuck between the grains in my table)!

A Messy T Shirt Challenge With River Island*

So the Tshirt we have can be found in T-Shirts link.

We loved taking part in this and Daisy was over the moon about it. She was especially excited for the pom poms which are her absolute dream. I love how she did it around the neckline like a fluffy little collar! Very clever, maybe I have a future designer on my hands!

We then run glue all over the T and then sprinkled glitter on top, leaving a cute little, glitzy design all over it for that extra sparkle! All little girls love a bit of glitter!

Easy Toddler crafts

Pom Pom craft

It isn't the first time I have had River Island clothing for Daisy, I can't say I have bought much from there but the bits we have had have been really great quality and have washed well. I do find that sometimes the clothes can be a little grown up for a toddler (I am not all that trendy with Daisy, think cute, girly dresses and tights) but actually looking again now the range seems to have evolved and this season is a little softer, so I may have to go in and have a look. If I do pick anything up then I will be sure to share it with you!

Hayley x

*PR Collaboration - All Thought are my own

What To Buy a Man For Christmas (Stocking Fillers) | A Christmas Guide For Men*

It is that time of year again when every man and his dog gets out the Christmas Wishlist posts. I will have that coming later but for now I am doing a Christmas Guide to buying for the men in your life. We need every bit of help we can get don't we?

Ben is pretty tricky to buy for, if he wants something throughout the year then he generally buys it himself. Which leaves me very little to go for at Christmas time. I also have another problem where by his hobbies are quite expensive, Mountain biking & Photography which can mean unless I want to spend a lot of money it can be difficult.

But these are a few bits I have spotted over the last few weeks and have either purchased or popped on a list to get hold of over the next couple of weeks. I will list the items below for you, just in case :)

Unusual gifts for men

Bright and Funky undies and socks: Jacamo
Scratch Map : Prezzybox
Wash bag collection: Prezzybox
Lego personalised frame: Ourbricklibrary @Etsy
Beer selection: Beerhawk
USB Mixtape: Iwantoneofthose.com

*PR Collaboration. All opinions are my own, samples were revived. 

My Threenager | Becoming a YES Parent

Threenager? A phrase I hadn't heard of being having a toddler. The urban dictionary defines “threenager” as a 3-year-old spouting attitude like a spoiled teenager.

A threenager
We escaped the terrible twos with Daisy, she was seemingly an easy toddler who was pretty easy to entertain and look after. I guess she still is really, but with a few funny... turns? (That seems pretty awful to say out loud) Basically, she has a few moments, some days a lot more than others where she is difficult. Difficult to please, difficult to console and well makes the day feel pretty sad at times. It makes me wonder is it the reality of nurturing an independent, strong headed girl? But then I know a fair few little boys who are encountering the same types of behaviours.

The worst thing is that it is nothing in particular that can trigger it, or nothing glaringly obvious that I have spotted anyway. If I had it may be easy to resolve and possibly avoid! Most of the time the "turn" is at home and so it isn't as if she falling to the floor in the street or anything distressing like that. But it is still so upsetting. She can start by shouting the odds and crying uncontrollably, to basically looking like she has being possessed. Now it isn't normal behaviour for her so something is causing it. But what?

Could it be that her knowledge of the world is growing but her complete understanding isn't keeping up and it is frustration building? Or is it that she is growing and it is just emotions? Caused by all that growing she is doing? I really do think it is a combination of all those factors, plus some. Some I will have missed, some I am oblivious to.

She is so loving and caring most of the time, so placid and pleasant than when she does get these moments it is even more out of character. It is like we are walking on egg shells, terrified we will upset this little dictator at any given time!

It isn't standard behaviour for her, she isn't a "naughty" (I know, I know, we aren't supposed to use that phrase any more, labelling and all that) child, she is a pleasure to be around and i love spending time with her, which is why I just wish those awful moments away. I like to reflect on the better times we have together and make sure I spend that quality time with her to listen and chat and be at the same level. Bedtime is the perfect example, it gives us a little moment to sit and read, talk about book, talk about days and talk about the next day. That way I know she has gone to sleep at the end of a day knowing she is listened to, understood and loved, usually in a happy place.

How to become a yes parent

I guess the purpose of this post was to say I think it is normal. Normal for a 3 year old to have emotional out bursts, normal to test their parent/ carers patience and well just normal to be 3 years old. To get through it I am trying to be patience, considerate and as loving as possible. Trying to be that yes parent, not avoiding any situations but hopefully making it easier for us all on the whole.

How have you found that third year?!

Hayley x

Spooky, Grubby Faces with WaterWipes | Removing Face Paint* AD

It won't be news to you if you have been around here a while that WaterWipes are a staple in our house. I can't say I use them for everything now that my babies are a bit bigger but I always have a pack knocking around the kitchen ready to tackle grubby faces after particularly messy dinners like bolognaise! I always just think they are so much kinder to their faces than other wipes I could have around the house.

WaterWipes Review

WaterWipes claim to be the world’s purest baby wipes, no nasties, just natural fruit extracts and water – which makes them the ideal tool to remove all the face paint, chocolate and fake bloody from those little faces at Halloween.

Top Tips for Removing Stubborn Face Paint

  • Avoid fragranced wipes as these may irritate your child’s skin. WaterWipes are the perfect go to this Halloween as they are 99.9% purified water with a drop of fruit extract.

  • Generic wet wipes may contain oil extracts which act as a perfect seal to skin pores, just a little watch out!

  • Do not  scrub the paint off – this will only push the paint deeper into the pores which will cause further irritation to your child’s sensitive skin and obviously may be a little sore if you're having to scrub! 

  • Gently wiping in a circular motion will be the most effective way to remove stubborn face paint. As children’s skin is much thinner than adults make sure you do it gentley. 

Spooky, Grubby Faces with WaterWipes | Removing Face Paint* AD

Are Waterwipes worth it?

Hayley x

*PR Collaboration

How To Improve your Blogs DA Score? | What Is a DA Score?

It was a long time after I started my blog that I started to notice the word DA being thrown about. I would get questions such as what is your DA? And I had no clue. Over time i have learnt the basics of SEO and have realised that it is simply a metric that can be used with your website/ page/ blog.

How To Improve your Blogs DA Score? | What Is a DA Score?

I thought I would start to talk a little about SEO in posts becuase I get a lot of questions about starting a blog, SEO tips and all kinds of things inbetween. I am in no way an expert, I am self taught but on theother hand I have made my blog fairly succesful and consistent. My DA fluctuates between 26-30 on average, so by no means am I a "top Blogger", but I am consistent and the work that I put it does pay off, if I had more time tp spend on it then I am sure I could improve that but at the moment I am content with that score.

So what is DA?

For Google not all websites are equal. That is stating the obvious. Some sites will get tons of search traffic from Google every single day (sites like Ebay, Wikipedia, Amazon,…), while others are struggling to show up in the search pages when someone types in relevant words on the search engines such as Google.

Domain authority (DA) is a metric, developed by SEO, to predict the ability of a website / domain to rank in search engines. Domain authority uses a 0 to 100 logarithmic scale. A high Domain authority score means your complete website / all the pages on your domain have the potential to rank well in search engine results. (Paragraph extract gained from MOZ).

So one way to think about it is, if you compare your website’s DA score with that of your competitor’s, the site with the higher DA score is likely to rank higher in search engine searches.

So how do you improve your DA?

Because Domain authority is calculated based on 40+ link based metrics by MOZ, you should focus on getting relevant quality back links from high authority domains. Definitely easier said than done. Think guest posts, aiming for blogs or websites that have high standing in the market, a lot of traffic and great content. Submitting content to be featured on these sites is a great start, getting the back links will contribute to your DA. Of course you want to be aiming for strong DA's so simply check their links on a site like MOZ and you will quite quickly see what you are working with.

Another tip is to do with domain age. The older your domain is, the higher standing your score could be. Basically try not to change your domain name again and again and keep it consistent. If you are a BlogSpot / wordpress blogger, it’s a good idea to get your own domain name from somewhere like GoDaddy.

One really good tip I would always give is to look at internal linking. Make sure your every post is linked to at least one other post or page on your blog, and when you publish a new blog post, go back and link from your old posts. This will also pass link juice from old posts to the new one and therefore gaining links.

Hope this helps a little!

Hayley x