Spring/Summer bedroom makeover

Almost 18 months after moving into our home we’ve finally put the finishing touches to our guest room. The rest of our house is quite neutral so I was determined to go for some brighter colours in this room (with the view that if I didn’t like it at least I wouldn’t have to look at it every day!)

Spring/Summer bedroom makeover

We visited Watergate Bay hotel in Cornwall last year and I loved how they used pops of colour in the hotel rooms to give a modern yet relaxed vibe, which inspired me (several Pinterest boards later) to go for this colour palette of yellow, dark grey and sky blue. Continue reading

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#mysundayphoto 24th May

Last week we became members of the National Trust and had a lovely day out at Caughton Court in Warwickshire with Taylor. I captured this photo of the bluebells which are out in full bloom at this time of year. We’re looking forward to getting the most from our membership and discovering more special places throughout the UK over the next year!image

OneDad3Girls

“Is she sleeping through yet?”

As soon as you realise that sleep deprivation is the root of all evil – which pretty much occurs the minute you come home from the hospital with your little miracle – your greatest aspiration in life becomes getting them to ‘sleep through’ (*translate* – you want to sleep through).

baby sleeping through the night

It becomes a bit of an obsession in fact, an ongoing quest to seek out that magic formula as though there’s some ‘cure’ to get your baby to ‘sleep through’ – if only you could work it out. The idea that your baby is actually capable of sleeping through – but just isn’t doing – becomes all-consuming. You quiz your friends who seem to have sussed it – they must not be telling you something. You change your mind about what the magic formula must be on a weekly basis. Our journey has gone something like this:

One week: “Perhaps she’s sleeping too much in the day, let’s try cutting her naps”
The week after: “Sleep most definitely breeds sleep”

One week: Let’s just top her up with as much milk as possible before we go to bed”
The week after: “She still wakes up at the same time anyway, let’s not disturb her”

One week: “Just keep putting her dummy back in, she’s not hungry”
The week after: “Now she’s just crying for her dummy – I think we should take it away”

baby sleeping through

Just a pipe dream

One week: “Maybe she is hungry after all, perhaps we should just offer her a feed again every time she wakes up”
The week after: “She’s definitely not hungry, let’s try hot water.”

When Taylor hit five months we thought we had finally cracked it. She actually slept through. And I’m talking 7pm to 6am sleeping through, so definitely something to celebrate. We started to stay up past 10.30pm to watch ‘just one more episode’ of House of Cards and even indulged in a second glass on wine on some nights. We thought we were one of the lucky ones.

This lasted for an entire six nights…

And then on the seventh night, Taylor woke up and exclaimed “Ha! Not really! I was just playing with you guys!” Not quite, but she may as well have done. And now we’re up every couple of hours again, adamant that we’re not going to feed her (“she’s not even hungry!!!”) until I finally give in (following nappy changes, cuddles, teething powder, hot water, Calpol and every other remedy in that book), knowing that a little milk is the only thing that will get me one more hour of sleep (“but she’s not hungry – look she’s just fussing.”) Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And it’s not the first time she tricked us. At three months she went for a whole two weeks of just waking up at 4am, feeding and then going back to sleep until 7am. I felt normal again. Fresher than ever in fact. Until again, she decided that ‘actually mum, I quite liked being fed every three hours afterall’. What the hell????

So my dear friends, do not let them trick you. Just when you think you’ve finally cracked it, your little bundle will probably have other ideas. I’ve finally accepted that I just need to go with it, not over-analyse and enjoy those good nights while they last.

Who needs sleep anyway?

Super Busy Mum
Mummascribbles</div

#MySundayPhoto 17th May

I’m linking up with One Dad 3 Girls today for his great #MySundayPhoto linky.

Turning five months this week, Taylor has learned to roll onto her front all by herself and has also cut her first tooth! She can’t quite figure out how to roll back though so she is still freaking herself out a little which makes me chuckle (is that mean?) Here’s a photo I took of her this week having tummy time. Growing so fast now. x

Taylor 5 months

OneDad3Girls

Tips for creating a gallery wall

tips for creating a gallery wall

When we got married we used photo frames for our table names. Alongside this, I seem to have collected a ridiculous number of the things over the years so I decided last week to create a feature gallery wall to spruce up my hallway.

A gallery wall not only creates a great focal point, it also gives you an excuse to frame all of those photos you love but that aren’t quite professional or staged enough to warrant a place on the mantelpiece alone. It’s a doddle to do and all you need is a handful of nails and a hammer (don’t even mention it to the Mister – queue “I’ll go and get the drill”). Alongside your frames it’s a good idea to include some other decorative pieces to add a little more interest and break up the images – I had some large typography pieces around the house which I incorporated.

There are also some great online resources and blogs that offer free printable downloads such as littlegoldpixel.com, which are great if you don’t want every picture in your gallery to be a photograph.

I started by laying out all of the frames on the floor in front of the hall wall to get an idea of how wide and tall I wanted the gallery to be. I admit that I felt like my mother a little bit here, obsessing over which pieces looked best where, but it’s worth spending some time until you get a layout that you’re happy with. I then took a photo of the layout so that I could replicate it on the wall. Starting by nailing the highest frame onto the wall, I then worked my way out until I got the finished gallery. Definitely an easy and cost-effective way to make a great feature in your home!

Mummascribbles</div

Taking baby abroad for the first time

I know that some parents would feel a little reluctant to take a four month old baby abroad – taking them away from their routine, worrying about maintaining their temperature in a new climate and panicking that a potential meltdown could make them ‘those parents who can’t shut up their child’ throughout the duration of the flight.

Taking baby abroad for the first time

But we found that taking Taylor to Dubai wasn’t stressful at all, thanks to some great tips from other mums and making sure that we were fully prepared. In fact, she absolutely loved it and thrived being around new people and in new places.

So here are my top tips if you’re planning a baby voyage anytime soon:

Limit the amount you pack: At four months old Taylor only needed a couple of small toys/rattles, and enough clothes for each day/night she would be away (plus a handful of spares in case of accidents). If formula feeding think about how much you’re realistically going to need and don’t take excessive amounts. We also only took enough nappies to last the first few days and then stocked up once we were there. Not being over-burdened with excessive amounts of luggage also helped us to keep more organised once we were on holiday.

Taylor chillin'

Taylor chillin’

Getting to the airport: Legally, you don’t need a car seat to travel in a taxi in the UK (and most other countries), so if this would be your preferred method of travel to the airport, don’t feel you need to drive. If it’s a resort you’re going to where you won’t be needing to travel much, leave your car seat behind.

Don’t forget your baby carrier: We found our baby bjorn so useful, especially at the airports and getting on/off the plane. Taylor loved bobbing around looking at everything going on and we could turn her to face us when she got sleepy.

Book a bassinet for the flight: To ensure that you won’t be holding a crying baby throughout the entire flight, make sure that you book a bassinet in advance. Most airlines have limited numbers of these available so don’t leave it up until check-in to get this sorted. Taylor was a gem and pretty much slept the whole flight (there and back) aside from waking up for feeds. Result.

Stock up on ready-made formula (if formula feeding): ready-made infant formulaOkay, so we ran out of time and didn’t get chance to do this thinking that we might be able to grab some from Boots at the airport – we couldn’t. Obviously we had prepared and had our powdered formula at the ready, but waiting for boiling water to cool down etc just took that little bit longer than we would’ve liked.

At the beach: We had a beach shelter/tent for Taylor which proved invaluable. Not only did it shelter her from the sun and the wind, it also kept her away from those pesky grains of sand. She loved chilling in there – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Poolside: Don’t forget to stock up on swim nappies before you go. Also worth getting a swim hat so you don’t ruin your pretty cotton ones! Also take plenty of cooled boiled water so that you can keep baby hydrated between her milk feeds.

Bath time: When visiting hotels we bathed Taylor in the sinks, lining them with a hand towel first so that they weren’t too cold for her to sit in. You can also place socks over the taps to limit any potential hazards with those!

Enjoying your evenings: The best advice I can give is to not be too hard on yourself about breaking any routine you may have established back home. Being out and about every day meant that Taylor napped when she wanted to and we found that most evenings she would fall asleep in her buggy after her usual 7pm bedtime anyway (following bath and feed), so we were able to enjoy meals out etc as we would’ve done before. Make sure that you take out extra blankets/muslins that you can hang over the hood and of course any usual soothers, additional feeds just in case. We did find that Taylor woke us up more frequently throughout the night, but hey, we were on holiday and at least we could share the load.

My list of essentials (in addition to the obvious usuals):

  • Baby bjorn
  • Beach tent
  • Pool nappies
  • Sun hats/ pool hats
  • Baby sun screen
  • Travel steriliser and sterilising tablets (if you use a microwave steriliser or yours is too big!)
  • Extra blankets
  • Plug-in night light
  • Travel cot (if the hotel doesn’t provide one)
  • Calpol/ first-aid kit (just in case)
  • Travel black-out blind (the Gro Company do a good one)

And most important of all…enjoy yourself! x

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