TEMPLATE ERROR: Expression is null before 6 in North East Family and Lifestyle blog

Thursday, 2 April 2015

First time father tips from him indoors

You can read all the guides, listen to all of the advice and buy all of the gadgets..... but you can never be prepared for your first baby!! 

From a man point of view I think having your baby in your life is a little like supporting a football team.

At times it can be frustrating, hard work, and almost work like, but the moments of joy that you get back in return are the most wonderful you can every experience. (even better than a stoppage time winner in a cup final). The first time you and your partner are left in the house, alone with your baby is one of the most terrifying things you'll ever experience but one of the most exciting too. If you say you're not terrified, you're lying!
It s the first time you realise that you have no real idea what to do with a baby, but you've been let loose with this tiny little human. I also found it was the first time I really knew me and my wife were a real team. Stuck in the muddle together, panicking over every little noise or sniffle and learning together. 

Nothing can really prepare you for your impending arrival, but hopefully some of the tips below can give you some simple advice from a mans point of view.

1. Hear what you want to hear 
Everyone, from the moment your baby is born will have their own opinion on what you need to do to bring your baby up, from the clothes it wears to the food it eats, everyone thinks they know best. My advice ... ignore it all! Trust your own instincts and learn from your own mistakes. I truly believe that no one knows your baby more than you and your partner. That weird parental instinct that people talk about kicking in after birth is completely true.

2. Enjoy the very first moments, you won't get them back  
If, like me you only get your two weeks Paternity leave before having to return to work, enjoy it and use every hour of it. You will miss your baby every morning when you have to leave for work, so make them most of your time. Make sure you also use this time to look after your partner. Popping a baby out is no mean feat whichever way it comes out, so they will need some recuperation too. It is your time to shine, bank those Brownie points for a later date. 

3. Learn to live without sleep  
Your days of a good nights sleep are gone! The night feeds and lack of sleep will take its toll on you. Everyone gets ratty and irritable when they are tired, but don't take it out on your partner or baby. Cram in every second of sleep that you can, every second is valuable, sleeping will become more important than shaving, washing and even eating. 'Nana naps' will become your friend. 

4. Your baby does not need 16,000 outfits
As predicted my wife bought a ridiculous amount of outfits for our unborn son. That combined with the piles and piles of clothes we were bought as gifts has resulted in a spare room stacked to the ceiling with new or hardly worn clothes than are will be sold for pennies on Ebay. 

You will need a small selection of baby clothes, don't buy millions of things in 0-3 as the chances are you baby won't even get a chance to wear them before they're packed away into bags or boxes. 

5. Don't waste hundreds of £'s on must have gadgets
Gadget wise, I found it was trial and error. We bought just about everything that the guides in magazines and websites suggest, but the majority ended up unused. You really do only need basics. I would thoroughly recommend the Perfect Prep though, it's amazing. I was and still am completely clueless about making up a bottle and the Perfect Prep does it all for me in a matter of minutes. 

It's the same with toys, your baby doesn't need masses of toys and gadgets, a play mat, bouncer and some rattles is enough to keep your baby entertained for the first few months.
6. Stay away from Google!
If your baby is unwell, phone a doctor. Under no circumstances Google the symptoms all you will do is terrify yourself and make your wife cry! Another big no no is You tube birth videos. Just don't!
7. Enjoy it
As cheesy as it may sound, cherish every single second. The last 13 months have flown in our house. My baby is a toddler and it's been the most fun, most tiring and most disorganised year of my life, but also the most amazing!
A post written by my husband

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My Little World : Please

Now the little man is a bit older, he will sit still long enough to listen to a story. He loves being able to point at the illustrations and listens intently, especially when Daddy does funny voices. We've started to incorporate a story into our bedtime routine and it's been working nicely. 

We have a couple of new additions to our book collection, one of them being :-

Please from the My Little World series at Little Tiger Press. It's a book aimed at 0-3 year olds and features a cute little finger puppet who can be used on each page. 
The board pages mean they're suitable for little fingers to grab hold of and wipe clean should they have to endure any accidents or spillages. Please is all about bear and his inability to remember his manners. The little finger puppet is a fun way of keeping your little persons attention and reminding them of the importance of being polite. He's also the little mans favourite thing to kiss. 
I think Please is a lovely little book and the little man has become a little obsessed with it. We read it around 5 times a day at the moment, and he loves pointing at the bright red train and butterflies and waiting for Mammy or Daddy to tell him what they are. At £6.99 I think it's a lovely addition to our book collection and would also make a great gift.

*Book sent for review purposes, Opinions are my own*

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Bon Marché #BMBlogger swap

I was recently asked if I'd like to take part in a challenge with Bon Marché. Bloggers had to secretly choose an outfit for another blogger, with the only inspiration being from their blog and social media. A bit of a scary challenge for both parties!

My outfit was picked by the lovely Lauren who writes Belle Du Brighton blog. I think Lauren may have actually been rummaging through my wardrobe as she got my outfit just right and picked three beautiful staple wardrobe items. 
I'm not comfortable in skin tight clothes and tend to go for loose fit designs which don't cling to my 'extra bits'. I'm usually found in jeans, a simple top and some form of jacket or cardigan. 

The Ann Harvey cream top has a jersey layer underneath which is covered by a light and floaty top layer which is flattering and forgiving for those of use with curves in all the wrong places. It's lovely and cool to wear, and although it has longer sleeves its thin enough to wear during the warmer months. 
The top washes well and if you hang it up when it's still slightly damp it doesn't crease so there's no need to iron. I've worn and washed it numerous times since it arrived and it still looks brand new. 

Lauren also picked out this great patterned pinstripe blazer. It's a complete bargain at only £22.50 and the quality is great. It's machine washable and dries perfectly well in the tumbledryer on a low het setting. I love how well it goes with jeans, it's my new favourite wardrobe basic. 
The final addition to the outfit Lauren picked for me was this beautiful butterfly bead bracelet. I love the shades of blue and green, especially on a sunny day as they really stand out.

I love the outfit I was sent and it's also encouraged me to add Bon Marché to my list of go to shops for wardrobe updates. 

Thanks to Bon Marché for inviting me to take part in the challenge and to Lauren for my lovely new outfit.

Viridian supplements

I'm no expert when it comes to supplements or vitamins but I'm always intrigued when a company claims that their product can make a difference to my life. I have a very busy life, I work full time, doing 12 hour shifts consisting of both day and night shifts. I'm a parent, blogger and feel like I'm constantly on the go. I often have very little energy and it can be hard to get a good nights sleep.

I was very optimistic when the lovely people at Viridian Nutrition offered to send me some of their supplements to try out. They recommended the Qi-Ribose and L-Theanine & Lemon balm, a combination that sounded ideal for my hectic life. My ordered arrived very quickly and safely and also included a small pot of raw coconut oil which was a great additional extra. I love coconut oil, it's uses are endless. We sometimes use it for cooking but I mainly use it on my skin and lips to combat dry and sore skin. 
L-Theanine and Lemon balm is a combination of natural ingredients which work well together to reduce stress and anxiety. 1-2 capsules each day can help created a more relaxed mental state, reduce restlessness, nervousness and help with concentration levels. There are a multitude of studies which show the proven benefits of using lemon balm and how it's alleviated anxiety and mood disorders in some people. 
Despite the size, the capsules are easy to swallow with no nasty after taste. I take them on a morning with breakfast as I find I'm less likely to forget then. I've been taking one each day and I'm coming towards the end of the 30 day course. I do feel like they've made a difference to my concentration levels at work which I really need, my job is quite hard work, with lives often depending on me, so a clear head and a calm mind is exactly what I need. 
I've been taking Qi-Ribose in conjunction with the L-Theanine and Lemon balm capsules. Qi-Ribose is a natural powder with energy boosting properties. Rather than capsule form it's a powder that you add to a liquid of your choice. I add mine to apple juice as I'm not a fan of the taste in water. It's not a particularly strong flavour but it is noticeable to me so I prefer it in a stronger tasting liquid such as apple or orange juice. 

The powder contains Magnesium which helps obtain a normal energy metabolism and can reduce fatigue and tiredness. It's also free from Gluten, soya, wheat, lactose or any other preservatives. 

I think the supplements work well in conjunction with each other, whilst I haven't become Superman with superhuman powers, I have felt my energy levels increase and I felt less like a zombie at work Despite the fact the little man is teething and our family sleep is very disturbed I've still felt quite sprightly. I have a few days left of both supplements and intend to repurchase them again, I do feel like they make a difference and I need all the help I can get!

*I was sent the products for review purposes. Opinions are my own*

Monday, 30 March 2015

Personalised gifts from Prints with Feelings

You'll know from previous posts and reviews, I'm a huge fan of anything personalised. We have a huge amount of family pictures, prints and handmade items round our home which I love looking at, I think they're a unique way of capturing memories and brightening up our home.

I was rather excited at the opportunity to add further to out collection of pretty items when I was recently asked if I'd like to review a product from Prints with Feelings. A company based in Leeds who offer a wide range of personalised homeware and gifts including cards, cushions and mugs. 

I chose one of their beautiful personalised family tree prints which is available to be purchased in 7 different print colours with or without a frame. 
After I passed my order over, delivery was extremely quick. The packaged arrived in a matter of days. I wasn't expecting my print to be framed so I was very pleasantly surprised. The packaged was well protected and carefully wrapped. The 'glass' in front of the print is actually a lightweight perspex which means it's much safer and less likely to be damaged during delivery.
The print is well printed with no pixel blurring. It's clear and bright and the colours go great in our living room. The lightweight frame and perspex is a welcome addition, it makes me worry less about it falling over or being grabbed by tiny hands.

The frame options available are only black, I would like to see some other options added at a later stage, as I think both brown and white frames would look equally as nice.
The family tree print can be bought for £18 without a frame or £28 with the frame. Prints with Feelings stock a great range of gifts suitable for anyone who loves personalised gifts. To look at their products further, check out their website or keep update with them on Facebook or Twitter.

*I was sent the print and frame for review purposes. Opinions are my own*

Bathtime fun with Munchkin

Bath time has always been the little mans favourite part of the day. He's loved it since he was a tiny baby and has no fear of the water. He'll happily spend an hour splashing away, playing with his toys and chuckling away to himself. It's become a fun part of our daily routine.
The Scrubby and squeegee friends set is great for kids. It's debatable whether the little man enjoys 'cleaning' the side of the bath and tiles or just sucking water from it! 
The super cool little Safety fire ducky is a great bath time addition. I don't know about you but I struggle to get the temperature right at bath time. I'm always worried that it's too hot or too cold. This handy little duck solves any temperature issues - he has a simple to read safety indicator on his bottom which illuminates if the bath water is too hot for your little person. 
The little man is obsessed with his collection of squirtin farmyard friends, particularly the fact they can squirt Mammy and Daddy in the face! The bath is filled with them every night. He loves lining them up along the edge of the bath and then pushing them into the water.
The Scooper Hooper is a firm favourite. He likes to use it to catch the squirtin farmyard animals, his feet or the bottles of bubble bath he's dragged into the bath. The Scooper Hopper can also be stuck to the side of the bath with a little suction pad and used as a net. Daddy has taught the Little man to 'Slam Dunk' and if you say it to him he'll put anything he can get hold of through the net. 

Munchkin have a great range of new bath toys on their website if you're looking for something fun to add to your little persons bath time. 

*I was gifted the items from Munchkin as I am part of their blogger panel.*

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Hibba toys of Leeds wooden toy competition

I've mentioned many times before how much I love wooden toys. They're durable, long lasting and perfect for younger children's less than delicate hands. 

A brand selling exactly what I love is Hibba Toys, a Leeds based company passionate about innovative toys who have great pride in designing and manufacturing hand made timeless wooden toys and personalised wooden toy boxes that are built to last a lifetime.

Their customer profile comprises some of the UK's finest and respected retailers including Harrods of Knightsbridge and The National Childbirth Trust. Their unique hand crafted traditional wooden toy box was even supplied to the Cabinet Office to be given as a Christening gift to Prince George!

One of my lucky readers has the chance to own one of their beautiful wooden International Airshow toys, a play set that includes an airbase with control tower, helipad and runway. It's suitable for children aged 3 years and up and features a variety of extras including stunt planes, a working bell and fire truck. 
If you'd like to enter just complete the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Terms and Conditions
  • A winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter
  • The winner will be notified via email and Twitter (if you leave your handle)
  • ALL entries are checked and if any of your entries are found to be fake ALL of your entries will be disqualified.
  • Fake entries/automated entries will be disqualified. 
  • You will have 28 days to respond to the winning notification, if you don't a new winner will be chosen. 
  • The prize will be sent from company. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

My Sunday Photo #12

Now when you ask the little man where his smile is, this is the face he pulls! He has the cheesiest little grin in the world, I love seeing his new little teeth poke through.


Friday, 20 March 2015

Blackspade loungewear

I don't know about you, but there's nothing I love more than getting home from work and getting changed into my comfy PJ's, thankfully Hubby is the same. Good quality and comfortable lounge wear/ nightwear is very important and we both have a huge range!

Hubby was recently asked if he'd like to try something from Blackspade, a Turkish brand owned by parent brand Narkonteks. They pride themselves on classic comfortable designs for both men and women. They sell a range of products including underwear, loungewear and even maternity wear. 
Hubby was sent a comfortable lounge set with checked cotton green bottoms and a stretchy grey t shirt.
The material from both is light, airy and comfortable, The cotton material is washable and can also be tumble dried. It's been washed and dried quite a few times already and the quality looks as good as new.

I always buy Hubby PJs to go in with his Birthday and Christmas presents so I'll definitely consider Blackspade products in future.

*Hubby was sent the loungewear for the purpose of the review*