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Archive: March 2019

We’d all like to say we possess some skills when it comes to the home. Some problems can be easily fixed with a bit of logical thinking and usually with a nail and hammer. However, there are some house problems that are best left to the professionals. So here are some you shouldn’t try and DIY.



The Roof 
We often forget about the roof, but it plays a big part in keeping our homes warm and sheltered from the elements. It’s also a place that we don’t often pay attention to unless we need to use the attic space for retrieving the annual Christmas decorations or having a clear out. You should be checking the exterior of your roof (ideally from the ground) and internally just so you can spot any problems as early as possible. Go with a reputable company like PH Roofing who have decades of experience in fixing and maintaining roofing.

Always get this sorted as soon as the problem is spotted. If it’s a breach to the roof where there’s gaps or holes, then you risk flooding or pests getting in.

Severe Plumbing Issues 
A blocked toilet can most of the time be fixed by some hot soapy water, but for more severe plumbing issues, it’s best not to go near the problem whatsoever. When you’re dealing with water, one slight mistake can end up costing thousands of pounds, so it’s not worth the risk, even if you have an inkling of what could be wrong. There are normally minor repairs such as sealing up a small leak around your shower door or replacing a faucet but that should be the maximum you do.

Electrical Problems 
Anything to do with electrics is going to have some physical risk and live and exposed electrics are not going to end well. General caution should be taken whenever you’re dealing with anything electrical, and it’s wise to put electrical covers on your plugs especially when there are small children around. Like plumbing, you may be able to pull off minor repairs like changing a light switch or simply replacing a bulb, but anything more is not worth risking the potential expense and safety of you and your family.

Structural Damage 
Most houses are built to a high standard and so much so that we would rarely have to worry about the structural aspect of a property unless it’s a very old build. However, if there are structural damages that you’ve noticed, the last thing you want to do is to cover it up or knock it down. With most structural damage, a lot of it is internal, and therefore you don’t quite know the full extent of what’s wrong. So the best thing to do is to hire a contractor who’ll be skilled enough to find out what’s wrong.

The last thing you want is to be paying more than you should, so although the temptation may be strong to just fix it yourself, always proceed with caution and get the professionals in.

- this is a collaborative post


Having a child is expensive! And if the money you spend keeps you awake at night, what do you do if you've got a child that's, even after the age of 1, still isn't sleeping? Lots of parents have this predicament. Some parents have a dream child that falls asleep after 2 weeks of being on this earth, but others have so many sleepless nights, or a child waking up at 3 in the morning for some inexplicable reason. What could be the reasons and what can you do?

Has There Been A Change In Routine?
You've got to remember that your child is constantly learning and developing, and when they hit these leaps in development, this can shake up their sleep patterns so much. Not only this but have you undergone a change in life recently? For example, is there going to be another addition to the family? Or are there so many things going on, that your child doesn't have a specific structure anymore? It's important to integrate a proper nighttime routine and stick to this. Even if they wake up in the night, by sticking to this routine, they will, hopefully, get back into some sort of routine quicker.

Are They Teething?
It's important to check their teeth because if there's a tooth that's trying to break through, this could be a simple reason. The first teeth that come through are horrible, but just because they're more used to the teeth coming through later on, doesn't mean that it hurts. If you haven't checked this, have a feel of your child's gums to see if anything is coming through, and if necessary, give them the miracle Calpol!

Are You Not Letting Them Fall Asleep By Themselves?
When our child wakes up in the middle of the night, we can be quick to jump up and tend to them. But if we aren't giving them the chance to fall asleep by themselves, this could be a very simple solution. Perhaps we've been holding their hand so they can fall asleep, or they’ve got used to cuddling all night before they go to sleep, and as such, this means that they're not used to getting themselves back to sleep if they wake up in the night. After all, they need you there. It's a very difficult thing to do, but if you can start to see if they can get back to sleep by themselves, by waiting 5 minutes, you will at least see if they are crying crocodile tears for you, or they are really upset.

Are They Simply Not Comfortable?
Have you ever slept in a child's bed? The mattresses are thin, the pillows aren't particularly comfy, and if you're not comfy, do you think your child is? It's a little thing, but if you spent the least amount of money on a mattress because you are buying everything else for your baby, it's time to spring for a good quality mattress. There are Silentnight mattresses out there that can do the job, but if you're looking for something to suit your budget, there are plenty of comfortable ones out there. It could be as simple as this!

There's nothing worse than having disrupted sleep, or having an upset child in the middle of the night, but as they get older, it might be time to change your tact.


-This is a collaborative post.

Firstly, being in debt is nothing to be ashamed for, but it is something you should never ignore. Many people are in debt and it is important that it gets paid and noticed. It's so easy to get into debt these days with everything from university, store cards, car loans and more. It can be difficult to get out of because of charges etc, but it's well worth a little struggle to get out of instead of ignoring it.

If you are really struggling to pay off your debt, Creditfix is a company who could help pay your debt. You can find out more information here. I've listed a few of my top tips that may help you pay off your debts:

1. Work out income and outgoings
Firstly, you will need to write down all your bills going out and what's coming in. This will help you sort out how much money you are left with at the end of the month. By knowing how much money is left over, you can then work out from there how much of the debt you can afford to pay each month.

2. List your debts
Secondly, list your debts down. This is for you to know how much needs paying on a weekly/monthly basis. If the amount equals to more than what you have left over at the end of the month, after paying your bills, phone the company up and see what they can do to help lower your debt monthly amount.

3. Pay off the most expensive
Thirdly, after listing all your debts, you will see which ones are the highest and it's advisable to make sure you pay off the most expensive debt first. This will eventually be easier to pay off the smaller debts in the long run.

4. Pay extra when possible
Next, you will need to properly budget your money and whenever you get any bonuses - make sure you put it towards your debt. It's not a nice feeling seeing your money go just like that, towards a debt, but you will feel ten times better once the debts are finally paid off. 

5. Set up a direct debit
It's so important to make sure you don't add any extra on top of your debt. To make sure you don't get charged, be sure to pay your minimum monthly amount by the correct date each month. This will help reduce the extra late payment charges and other extra charges on top.

Have you ever been in debt?

How did you clear them off?

* This is a collaborative post.

Mother's Day is just around the corner and it's the day to treat that special woman in your life. Whether she is your Mother, Grandmother, Aunty or just someone special in your life, it's always nice to treat her with something special and let her have the day that she deserves. I've gathered a few great products that would be a fab gift for Mother's Day this year:

1. Motherhoodie by Ada and Alfred
This amazing Motherhoodie is a great gift for someone who loves comfortable hoodies with a touch of retro. Ada and Alfred have a few products that would be perfect for Mother's Day this year. From tote bags, hoodies to jumpers. You will not be disappointed. 




2. Mrs Potts Tea Pot
Disney has become extra popular these past few years for the 90s kids with all the good old classic Disney film products coming out. Beauty and the Beast was my favourite film growing up, and this Mrs Potts Tea Pot would be the ideal gift for any Mother who loved the film. Such a great piece to use in an afternoon tea with a friend, or just for show. 



3. Apple & Pips Self Care Gift Set
Life can get pretty hectic and it's important that Mother's take care of themselves too. Each day is an unexpected day when there are kids involved. Even if the kids are all grown up now, that special woman still deserves to look after herself and make sure to put herself first. This Self Care Gift Set from Apples and Pips is a great gift to remind her that self-care is needed. 



4. Chocoholics
Who doesn't love chocolate?! These Chocolates for Chocoholics have the most amazing chocolate. From their filled-fluted cups to gift sets for all occasions, you're not going to be disappointed. There's a great range too choose from for reasonable prices.



- We were kindly gifted the Mrs Tea Potts to feature in this Gift Guide.
All words are my onw. 

There are so many baby products on the market today. From many pushchairs to choose from, different styles of play gyms, highchairs, changing mats and the list could go on. It can be a little overwhelming for some parents, especially first-time parents. When you're a first-time parent you want pretty much anything and everything that's new for babies. However, the older your baby gets or the more kids you go and have, you begin to realise that some products were not really needed. As a Mother of three, here are some of my must-haves for baby and toddler:

Pushchair
Of course, a pushchair is definitely a must have product if you have a little one. A Cosatto Supa Pushchair is a great pushchair and has many positive features that I always rave about. It reclines flat, has an extended hood which is great for blocking wind or the sun and not forgetting the amazing rain cover that fully covers the whole pushchair too. It's also a lightweight pram that's nice to push and also folds flat which is great for storage.

Carseat
There are many car seats to choose from, but this Joie Bold Carseat is a group 1-2-3 which means it also grows with your baby. There are more car seats to choose from in the Smyths Baby Catalogue that are suitable from birth onwards.

Bedside Cot
This Babylo Cozi Sleeper is suitable from birth to 9kg. From using a co-sleeping cot with Freddie, I can honestly recommend one of these cots. They are great if you are breastfeeding and also a great way to bond with your baby. There's a 5-position height adjustment and there's also soft mesh ventilated sides and a ventilated drop side too.

Cot
Once your baby outgrows their moses basket or bedside cot/crib, a cot is needed. Or for some, a cot is used from birth. There are many baby cots to choose from and it all depends on what taste you have what your budget is. A cot can be used for a good couple of years until it's time to transition your baby to a bed. But there's also a choice of cots that transforms into a cot bed, which could save you money.

Baby Rocker
Again, there are so many different kinds of rockers to choose from and honestly, this is a product I would recommend. Having a baby is hard work and you don't get much time to yourself. By having a rocker, it may help you get 5 minutes too yourself, whether you just want some free hands for a change or you need a quick run around for the housework, a rocker could be great for that.

Jumperoo
As your baby gets older they will be more awake and more alert with things such as sounds, colours and other surroundings. A Jumperoo is a great item to have to keep your little one entertained. Again, this product is great to help you be able to have some free hands or get on with a few bits around the house.

Nursing Pillow
Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding, nursing pillows are perfect for feeding and/or cuddling your little one. I had a nursing pillow for my third baby as I was breastfeeding him. However, I really wish I had one with my first and second too. They're so comfortable and have some great uses.

What are your baby/toddler must haves?

- This is post is in collaboration with SmythsToys


Freddie was recently sent a Big Car Carrier by Little Tikes to help celebrate their 50th Anniversary, and to also take part in their campaign #PlayBig. The Big Car Carrier is a classic Little Tikes toy and again, we were not disappointed. We are big Little Tikes fans in this house and I am overly pleased with the quality of this car carrier toy.

The Big Car Carrier is a great size for toddlers and young children. Although it is rather large, it's incredibly sturdy and great quality. Freddie has spent hours playing and using his own imagination, which is amazing to watch. It's a great size and ideal for indoor and outdoor use. I can just picture Freddie playing with this toy outdoors in the backgarden many times during the summer season.

The Little Tikes Big Car Carrier also comes with two sports cars: one yellow and one red. There's a ramp that can be flipped up and down easily, which is great for the little ones. Two cars can be placed on the carrier, or one can be placed on the top. Your little one will love transporting these sports cars around the room in this Big Car Carrier.











* We were kindly gifted this item free of charge in return for an honest review.

World Book Day is coming to its 22nd year on the 7th of March this year. The day where we celebrate books and where most children dress up as their favourite storybook characters for school. We've collaborated with Welsh Council Books to help spread the word for the #ShareAStory campaign that World Book Day is doing this year.

Whether reading is just part of the bedtime routine or just something you or your child love to do, there are so many benefits that come with reading most days. It's such an important part of learning as your child grows up.65% of 5-7 year olds can read themselves if they are read a book to most days, whereas 73% 8-13 year olds can read to themselves if they are read a book to most days too.

Sharing stories is a great way to calm your child down too, which is why it's great for your bedtime routine. My kids have had a bedtime story most evenings before they go to bed because it helps them calm down before bedtime. Not only does reading a book at bedtime help calm your child, but it also provides quality moments for you both too.

My middle child, Elliw struggled with her speech and language a few years back but has been fantastic with her speech and language for a good while now. She started to read herself roughly a year ago, around 6 years old. Reading helps her calm down so much and she loves her bedtime stories.

A story Elliw and I have been reading recently is Y Fachgen Mewn Ffrog by David Walliams. Both girls are big fans of David Walliams. I personally love his books because I love the stories and I love the fact that you can purchase his books in Welsh and English. Both girls are first language Welsh, which makes me happy that there are some Welsh David Walliams' books out there.



Y Fachgen Mewn Ffrog translates too 'The Boy in the Dress' in English. It's all about a boy who ended up living with his Father after his Father and his Mother divorced when he was young. The boy misses his mother deeply then finds a yellow dress just like his Mother in a photo he has of her. I won't ruin the full story but from what we have read so far, it's a heartwarming story and definitely a good read too.

Are you sharing a story this World Book Day?










 - This is a paid collaboration with Welsh Book Council

As a mum it’s so important that you make the time to look after yourself. To use the classic example: it’s like when you’re in an airplane - you focus on your airmask so you can help them. It’s easier said than done, when are you going to find the time to focus on yourself? Once the kids are in bed, this is a perfect time for you to look after you. Your own bedtime routine can easily become a part of your self-care routine. 

Meditation

You may hear the word mindfulness and be tempted to roll your eyes. Does it really work? What exactly does it entail? Mindfulness and meditation are not just the latest trends; they’re a vital step with self-care. Meditation may seem like an intimidating word, and you might not know where to start. Don’t worry, there are plenty of apps you can download which offer step-by-step guides for your mindfulness journey. Unsure which one to pick? The Independent offer a list of their favourites.  You’ll be amazed at the difference they make, even after a short amount of time.

Reed Diffuser

An important part of any bedtime routine is making the right setting. Your room needs to make you feel relaxed as soon as you enter it. There’s lots of things you can add to your environment to make it feel cosy and welcoming. From lighting and bedding, to artwork and music. Don’t be afraid to treat all of your senses. By buying a reed diffuser, you can instill some calming scents into the air. As soon as you open your bedroom door, you’ll be greeted by familiar odours, which have been specially chosen to make you feel at ease.

Skin Care

Looking after your skin should be an important part of your bedtime routine. Taking those few minutes to take off your makeup, cleanse and moisturise can make a world of difference. Not only does it help your skin, but it also means you’re taking the time to feel a bit human. Focus on you for a few moments, and validate yourself.

Reading

It can be very tempting as soon as you’re in bed to unlock your phone and scroll through your social media apps, or maybe watch a video or two. However, your phone should not be part of your nightly routine. It has to be proven to keep you awake much longer. It is much better to leave it charging on the other side of the room. Understandably, you’ll probably still want something to help you wind down before falling asleep. Reading can be a great way to unwind after a long day. Choose a story that helps relaxes you, maybe avoid thrillers for your nightly reading.


 * Collaborative post
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