Motherhood · other

Sleep techniques for older children

I’ve mentioned a few times that my daughter has always been a terrible sleeper. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was 2 and a half (and by “through the night” I mean from my bedtime until morning, I’m not talking 12 hours) and even then it wasn’t very often that she would actually go all night. 


She is now 8 and once she’s asleep she’s fine, but getting her to go to sleep can be almost impossible, more often than not she’s going to sleep in our bed. I have tried so many different techniques that I thought I would share them with you, in the hope that one of them works for you. 

  • Sleepy stories; I love these! They are special stories with hypnotic suggestive phrases to help you fall asleep. They worked for a while with bethany and she still uses them, but it doesn’t work every day. 
  • Lavender sleep spray; encourages relaxation and a soothing environment for sleep. 
  • Projection light; these project stars onto the ceiling. It gives you something to look at and distract your busy mind from thinking thinking thinking!
  • Massage; I attended a local back massage course and learnt some techniques to soothe and encourage sleep. 
  • Breathing techniques; I found an article online which described breathing techniques for bethany to try. So far she has refused to try them. 
  • We even went to far as to buy a new mattress and new pillow for her. 

I asked some fellow bloggers for further ideas to try and these were suggested:

Hopefully something works soon, as poor bethany is often still awake when I go up to bed and that is really not enough sleep for an 8 year old!

Life · other

Stunning photographer in West Sussex

Eps and I wanted a photographer to do some joint head shots for us to use on our blog, I went to school with Darren of Darren Gritton Photography and approached him to see if he would help us out. 
There are lots of photographers around to choose from, the best idea when picking someone is to look through their portfolio

Darren has a studio in Steyning where you can get your photos taken or he can come to you or on location, really flexible which is nice. 

He has recently done the most stunning wedding photo shoot in London. Really it’s worth following him on Instagram or Facebook just to see the beautiful photos. 

Eps and I were a bit nervous, but Darren soon put us at ease and we really enjoyed strutting some different poses. He was really patient with us when we suggested different things to try!

We came up with some ideas we wanted to try:

These photos were along the lines of “mates hanging out”

We wanted some photos to show us product reviewing, since that is the main aim of our blog. 

The final images we had done were of my pole fitness. It is very difficult to get good photos on a pole, I think both Darren and I did very well!

We are really pleased with our photos, which do you like best?!

food · Home & kitchen · other · Product review · Recipes

Gousto Review, fresh recipe delivery box

I had heard about these fresh ingredients delivery boxes and had fancied trying one for ages. So when Tornado contacted me and offered me one to try I was really excited.

My children are fussy eaters and I often end up eating their boring children’s food, so it was really nice to have 2 days this week where we had “adult” food. But more importantly the recipes didn’t need loads of prep time and weren’t so complicated that I couldn’t help the kids with their homework while I cooked.


The box was delivered to my “safe place” because I wasn’t home, they carefully wrap the cold items with freezer packs and sheeps wool to keep it cold for several hours if you are out at the time of delivery:


The sheeps wool is a bit stinky, but it is environmentally friendly.

The selection of recipes to choose from is not huge (22 recipes) but there is a nice selection and changes frequently. I chose the Mushroom Dal with Coriander Chutney and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Tosemary Potatoes, but it was difficult making the decision there were 4 or 5 top contenders.

Neither recipe took over 45 minutes to make and both were surprisingly easy, my husband even made the Lemon Pepper Chicken while I was out, so it must be easy.

Both meals were delicious! The curry had lots of flavour and was juicy enough to have with rice and Naan Bread and the lemon chicken was amazingly flavoursome. They were really impressive recipes.

I was surprised how well priced they were as well, the 2 person box (with ingredients for 2 recipes) is just £27.49, which works out as £6.87 per serving, or it works out cheaper per serving if you increase it to 3 or 4 recipes, and even cheaper per serving if you use the family box (2 adults, 2/3 children) but personally my children are not adventurous enough to try these recipes.

We have a special offer code for you: enter TORNADO for a £40 discount spread on the first and second orders. 

*note: Gousto box was provided free in exchange for a review. This does not effect my opinion and all words are my own.

We're going on an adventure

 

food · Giveaways · Motherhood · other

ChewyMoon snacks for kids (and grown ups)

I saw an advert on Facebook for ChewyMoon, a free trial box so I just had to give it a try. 

My Jack is a massive snacker, he grazes constantly all day and it is really difficult to get him to snack on healthy food. Which is where I thought ChewyMoon would be a great idea. 

Check out our YouTube video of Jack and me exploring the boxes. 

Anyone can get a free first box from them off their website, they have the choice of a fruit box, savoury box or a variety box (which is a mix of both) and you can select a “no nut” box if you need it, unfortunately they are not suitable for allergy sufferers, the snacks are all packed at the same place so cross-contamination could occur. 

The boxes are nutritionally balanced and tailored to your child’s age, they are all natural with no additives. Once you have tried the box you can go back to the website and rate the snacks so you don’t get ones you didn’t like and get more of the ones you loved!

After the first box they are £4.93 a week including delivery and you can pause deliveries if you go away or cancel them at any time if you need to. 

Jack loved these snacks, as you can tell from him yumming it all up here:


ChewyMoon have been kind enough to offer one of our followers a months worth of ChewyMoon boxes completely free! 

To enter please use our rafflecopter below, one entry per item completed, open to uk residents only, open until midnight on the 30/04/17

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mudpie Fridays
Mummy in a Tutu
Accessories · Bargain find · other · Toys

Magic Fairy Wings, childrens website

I simply adore the online shop; http://www.magicfairywings.co.uk it covers all sorts of kids accessories and toys; from hair accessories, to ponchos and creative toys to learning toys. 10% discount code is epsamy10

They very kindly sent us a selection of toys.


Bethany has been learning lately about telling the time so this clock was perfect for us and at £11.99 is so well priced.

 


Such a good idea for home-schooling or just for additional support for school children.

We also had 2 lovely canvas which come with all the tools required to hang it up after your child is finished. At £4.99 each they are a great price, as this includes their paint.


On the reverse of the packet is instructions to show the children which colours to mix to make the different colours needed, this is a bit different to other canvas sets I’ve seen and make it a bit more educational which is nice.


My children spent ages painting up their canvas and are very proud of their works of art! Bethany finished hers in one sitting, but jack has been working on his for days and still has some left to go.


We were also sent this lovely hair clip set:


We will be receiving more of their hair assessories over the next few weeks and some for a giveaway, so watch this space!

The prices from magic fairy wings are so low, yet the quality is so good. I would completely recommend visiting and having a look around.

I even have a 10% discount code for you, just enter epsamy10 at checkout!

*items received for the purpose of review, but all words and opinions are my own.

Family Fever
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Days out · Motherhood · Ocassion · other

Whizzfit Nerf and Dodgeball Events, South Coast

My kids were so excited when Whizzfit invited us along to their Nerf and Dodgeball event in Portslade.

They run events all along the south coast (Portslade, Horsham, Chichester, Winchester, Guildford, Bristol, Tolwlrth etc), in which you will be in a mixed group with other families, or you can book a party just for your children.   Individual prices are £12, or families tickets from £45 (plus booking fee), a party is from £159 for 14 children. 

The event starts off with 45 minutes of dodgeball games


They introduce a variety of games, traditional dodgeball, British bulldog with dodgeballs, jail Dodgeball, swapping sides Dodgeball. Each game had a way to be “saved” from being out so nobody was left out not joining in, very clever by the organisers and it meant that the kids didn’t get upset when they were tagged.


After dodgeball there was an hour of Nerf Wars, let’s be honest, that was what every kid there was waiting for!


Whizzfit supplied different styles of guns, and safety glasses for everyone. There were barriers put up so the teams could hide behind them to fire.


Different games were again played, from “jailing” when you have been shot, to a capture the flag type game. Again, there was always a way to be rescued if you were hit, so nobody was left out while the game went on.

The event is aimed at children from age 6, so my jack was a bit young (at 5), luckily their insurance allowed him to join in, the only problem he had was reloading the gun was a bit too difficult for him and I had to help him out.

The only complaint we had was the games relied on honesty by the players and a number of times somebody was hit and didn’t head to “jail”, which kind of ruined it a bit. Unfortunately there isn’t anyway to change this other than having more referees around to spot the cheaters. My kids weren’t worried about “cheaters” but hubby got quite stressed by it!

After the nerf wars it was tug of war time.


Kids against each other, kids against grown ups, all of which is great fun to watch!

All in all a fantastic afternoon of entertainment, the kids had a wonderful time. I’ve never seen them do so much exercise and not realise they were doing it! They are so quiet afterwards it is amazing. I would definitely recommend checking these guys out if you live down this way, such value for money. I will be booking a party for the kids birthday!



Check out our YouTube video here.
*tickets for this event were provided free from Whizzfit, but all words and opinions are my own.

Family Fever
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
The Places We Will Go
Home & kitchen · Motherhood · other

Children’s name labels: mynametags.com review

One thing you need lots of when the kids start nursery/school is name labels! I have 2 children at school and everything has to be labelled: clothes, shoes, pe kit, trainers, the bag it goes in, lunch boxes, snack boxes, drink bottles…everything!

A sharpie pen works well for a while, but does run when you write on some materials and does wipe off quickly on some materials. I have found the best solution are sticky labels, like these from mynametags.com:


You get 56 of these to a sheet (for £11.95 + p&p), which should last you the first year or so of school. You can change the background design, the font and the picture on the side. The picture is great for preschool/reception children before they recognise their names. The text is quite small, it gets smaller the more letters you add so perhaps put: Jack S instead of their full name if they struggle to read small letters.


The labels can be used on snack pots or drinks bottles and are dishwasher friendly so won’t come off. They can also be used on clothing, washing machine safe and shoes, which is great they don’t get the sticky residue which some leave behind.


These labels last really well and are well sized for fitting on everything, not too big and not too small!

Check out my video review here

*please note: item was received free in exchange for a review, however this did not  input my opinion and all words are my own.

Family Fever
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday