Tuesday, 29 November 2016

whats changed? ( School drop off nightmare )

Being a 1st time mum is hard ... like really hard ! when they are young you have no clue what it is your meant to do doing. I thought i had it pretty much cracked with Bodhi he has always had such great range of speech so could always tell me what was wrong or what he needed.

When he started full time school in September 2016 he LOVED it ! he was a big boy in school uniform staying all day, having lunch, making friends, learning he was over joyed when he learnt to write word and read them back.

This was up until maybe 3 weeks ago..... that's when he all started... 

" mummy my tummy hurts " 
" I don't like school "
" children are mean to me " 
" I want to stay with you "
" I miss you " 

This has broken me as a parent. My happy brave and out going child has become the child who is crying his eyes out once the school gate is open, the other child now know to go in ( with out parents ) take coats off and to go into class, Bodhi .... he is clinging onto me for dear life begging me to take him home. I have spoken to his teacher and she tells me that he is 100% fine once he is in class its just getting him away from me and into class, We have sat down after school and had chats and its always something different to why he doesn't want to come to school ( this morning it was that his hands were cold )

I have tried bribes , praise , and tough love. nothing is working, When we get into the main playground he is fine running around playing with friends, As soon as his class gate opens he switches and becomes a wreck and then in turn so do i , Now part of me thinks he is doing it to make me feel guilty for sending him but on the other hand he is fine once i leave him ! its just so hard!! like really hard, i used to look at the parents of the crying children and think to myself " i couldn't cope with that " and i can't ! i dread the school run each morning and all day i keep my phone on loud in case the school phone me.

I have my fingers crossed that we crack this problem asap if anyone has any hints or tips PLEASE leave a comment i am willing to try anything ( this morning i was thinking of offering to help out at his school so he knew i was in the same building ?!?! )

I miss the Bodhi in this photo taken on his 1st day only a few months ago, If i was to have taken a photo of him this morning i would cry looking at it. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Making the most out of your Garden!

Our Garden has been a little un-loved over the last few months due to building work! But now the garden has pretty much been cleared we have had a new patio laid and the fences have been started.

When we moved into our house over five years ago the garden was a bit of a waste of space, a dull patio , 45 ft of grass and two huge trees. the plan was to cut down the tree at the back fence and to build a shed for hubby Chris but not just any kind of shed this was going to be a man-land heaven shed!

once the tree was cut down, it took my dad and Chris just over two weeks to build the shed , looking back on it we should have made shed a tiny bit smaller but hey it keeps the hubby happy! Chris will spend most of the summer evenings in this shed, He likes to make things from wood and has a huge pile of the stuff inside of the shed, the smaller side part houses the lawn mower and other garden type things. 

It is a lovely shed and when we had our house valued last year we was told to market it as a workshop and that it would be a plus point for a lot of viewers, We do have a garage but its in a block away from the house, so having this space even if it was just for the garden bits is a real plus point to any garden. 

We love spending at much time out in our garden as we can, with a young child its a great place to run around and play while being safe and close to home. we made Bodhi a small own space towards the back of the garden we turned a old flower bed into a wood chipping patch that was safe for him to play and dig and well just be a boy! He loves the space he has a sand pit and a fold away water table, we spent most afternoons out in the garden this summer and i am looking forward to spending more time as a family in our garden in summer 2017 

It is also wonderful to have a space to eat outside, we will soon have a new side patio to enjoy BBQ's with friends and family or just lazy weekend lunches on a rug on the grass. I feel its too easy to spend all of your time in the house , with my work i spend my time looking at my iMac screen so to have a space to work outside via my iPad would be lovely. 

The large cherry tree is staying in our garden ( for now ) i feel the garden would feel much larger without the tree and it would also be a lot less work , no leaves in the autumn and no blossom in the spring. but... Chris loves that tree and is sticking his heels in that it is staying. so we shall see on that one. 

I can't wait for my new patio to be finished along with the new fence, i love the fact that we have such lovely neighbours on both sides of our house so we have gone with 3ft fences and on one side we are putting in a jack & jill gate so the little boy next door and Bodhi can play. 

I think that Phil Spencer is a man who knows gardens , and this ideas in the above video are just what i am trying to do with our small space garden. I can't wait for spring 2017 so i can get out into the garden and get it all ready for a wonderful summer of play, relaxing and BBQ's

This post was a paid collaboration with Channel 4 all words and views are that of my own.

Brightlings * Play and Review * tested by Jess & Bodhi

Bodhi was so excited when his Brightling arrived via the postman, Brightlings are made by Spin master they are a interactive toy , they come in three different colours ( Pink / Teal & purple ) I do think its a shame that they are very much aimed towards girls with the colours. The dolls are soft bodies , arms & legs but the head is hard plastic her face lights up in different colours while she talks and sings, she is a little top heavy! 

She has a tone of play ideas, she says over 100 things such as ' i love you ' ' how are you feeling ' and much much more, Bodhi loves this as he little chats with her ( He has called her Ella ) She can also sing in a range of styles from pop/ rock / jazz / opera and she can even yodel & beat box !! if you press the button on her ear you can record for 15 seconds then press the button on her tummy and she will repeat it back to you.  They do require x3 AAA batteries for use  and they RRP is £29.99 but i am sure coming up to Christmas you will find them on offer and special deals. 

Ella's face lights up in different colours and her mouth moves while she talks, she is a very smart toy and i can see why some many children have a Brightlings on 2016 Christmas gift list, I do feel the body is a little light seeing at the head is so heavy and solid. Body has spent lots of time playing with Ella, they have had a sleepover, Afternoon tea and she has also come out food shopping with us. 

I feel the toy is good value for money the only thing i wish she could learn maybe? only few simple things like your child's name and a few other bits maybe? Bodhi had this to say about Ella 

" I love Ella , she is a fab toy and i know that my girlfriend Leah will love to play with her when she comes over for a play date soon " 

Thank you to spin master for giving Bodhi the chance to check out this toy in exchange for our review. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Bellz Magnetic Game Review ~ Tested by Jess & Bodhi

Spin master have made a wonderful travel size family game, The game is simple ( or so it seems ) picking up bells with a magnet how hard could that be right ?

The answer to that ? pretty hard ! The magnet want is really strong and if you are not careful then you will end up with more bells then you need , The aim of the game is to pick one of the four colours and to only pick up these if you pick up any of the other players colours then you turn is over ! 

The game comes with play Matt / x40 different sized coloured bells and the magic magnet want. The game Matt folds shut with a zip so you can keep the bells inside making this a perfect travel game no batteries or plugs or Wifi needed! only thing i would worry about is losing the bells. 

We played this game as a family of 3 Bodhi who is nearly 5 enjoyed playing but he took a few goes to get the hang of only picking up 1 or 2 bells at a time rather then trying to get loads in one go ( reminds me of the tortoise and the hard story ) 

We also played " who can get the most bells " with out worrying about the colours this could be a good way to play with younger children. Hubby is keen to play this game on a games night with friends and turn it into a drinking game ( men don't ask me ) 

over all i found this game fun and we all enjoyed playing it and it would suit a family based play or a older group of children its aimed at children 6 and over and this is the right age if they are playing without adults. 

we are looking forward to playing this over Christmas when we have family over, It would also make a perfect gift for a family or friend you can buy it from amazon for £17 ( price may change  ) 

We have been sent this game to play an review for spin master but all views and words are that of my own. Thank you to Spin master for the game.

Monday, 14 November 2016

lulu our pet cat Art work By Princessa A S Paradiso

If you have a pet yourself you will know that they are much more then just a pet they are a member of the family, Our cat Lulu is very much the heart of our house hold so when Princessa A S Paradiso was looking for bloggers to review her amazing art work i knew i wanted a drawing of Lulu ! 

Princessa works from photos so these need to be clear and well light and also to be a true likeness of the person / animal getting a photo of the cat was harder then you might think ( As 99% of the time she is asleep!! ) but at last i got a photo we was both happy with. She is very friendly and helpful and gave good advice on the photos. 

Above is the photo she worked from, Lulu is getting on in age now and i know she won't be around forever, the idea of having a custom drawing of her to keep for ever was a great idea. The portraits can be in A4 or A5 in size A4 start from £35 and from £45 for a A4 additional people / animals can be added into the drawing for £10-£15 extra depending on the size of the paper P&P is then added on top.
Generally each portrait can take from 3+ hours. Would usually take between 1-2 weeks for completion of work, busier periods longer. Once completed the original art work will be posted to you unframed. The artwork itself is copyright and i own any right to it.

The drawing didn't take long at all and it was exciting when my inbox showed i had a new message to view, Below was the 1st update i was sent i was so pleased with how the drawing was looking and couldn't wait to see the finished product.

I didn't have to wait much longer to see the finished drawing, I was blown away with the detailing in the colouring and line work, She really has drawn our Lulu it must be hard drawing from photos of a person or pet you have never met,

Lulu was also very pleased with her finished drawing and i am now looking for the perfect frame so i can hang it for all to see, Really is the perfect gift idea for those with pets / families please check out her Facebook page to see more of her wonderful art work.

Thank you to Princessa A S Paradiso for drawing us our Lulu we will always have it now to remember her in years to come. 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Old photo of me !

Now when i think of old photos of people i guess what is wanted is a childhood photo? But I've gone with a photo from my Hen do back in 2008 so still 8 years old ! in my mind i feel like i hadn't aged a day but my life has changed so much in the last 8 years.

graduated from Uni with a 2:1 in Graphic design 
got married 
got a promotion at work 
fell pregnant 
Brought our forever house
gave birth 
Has 2nd surgery for my medical condition 
learnt to drive
started Blogging & Youtube
new job role at work 

Who knows what will happen within the next 8 years  ? Scary to think that in 8 years time Bodhi will be 12 nearly 13 years old !! I will be a mum to a teenager.

Some days i do miss the person in this photo, The younger care free me. But i wouldn't change my life for anything.what was you doing 8 years ago?

Friday, 11 November 2016

BabyZoo Momo Sleeptrainer clock *REVIEW*

Bodhi has ( touch wood ) always been a fairly good sleeper but once his eyes pop open that is it its morning he is awake its time to get up ( little bit like Anna from Disney's Frozen " the sky's awake, so I'm awake ) ME on the other hand I'm more like a sloth ! I love my sleep and i can't cope with with the 5:30 am wake up calls of " mummy can we get the playDoh out " *shudder* 

So When i was given the chance to review the BabtZoo Momo sleep trainer clock i thought it was worth a try! The clock comes in either pink or green with the cute monkey on top The basic idea of the clock is that if the monkeys eyes are opened then this means its okay to be awake BUT if monkeys eyes are still closed this means it isn't time to get up back to sleep.  The analogue and digital displays help children to learn to tell the time. The alarm function also allows it be used as a conventional alarm clock for older children if needed. you will also need x3 AAA batteries required.

On our 1st night with the clock we set the alarm for 7:30 am and wouldn't you know it ! the next morning at 7:30 am i was awoken not by Bodhi but by the sounds of jungle noises and then Bodhi telling me that the monkey was awake so he can now get up. Straight off the bat i was over the moon that it seemed to have worked and for the rest of the school week it did the job of keeping Bodhi in his bed until 7:30 am a few mornings i did hear him awake but he stayed put in his room and that's A-OKAY with me ! 

At the weekends we unset the alarm function and put the clock away to see what would happen, Whoops big mistake !! 6:15 am Saturday i was woken up by Bodhi by my side asking where his monkey was!!! So safe to say It is working for us for our needs. 

We have placed the clock on his bedroom storage unit so i have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm function at 7:30 am so it is also helping me to get up in the mornings and our mornings have become a lot less stressful now thanks to the sleep trainer BabyZoo Momo clock ! 

You can buy the clocks online via amazon The price if you just wanted a clock is a little high but for me and getting more hours sleep in the morning i would be happy to pay double this for the clock. This clock has fitted in perfectly into our household and we wouldn't be without it now. 

Thank you BabyZoo for giving us the chance to try out your product in exchange for our review. 

build a bear workshop Stuffing Station * REVIEW * Spinmaster

Build a Bear opened its 1st store back in 1997 ! Now over 400 stores worldwide , I remember my 1st trip into a build a bear store was with husband when we was pregnant back in 2011 and we had a classic bear made for baby bump and now Bodhi sleeps with his Ted every night,

The idea behind the build a bear work shop is that you can make you own smaller scale soft toys are home! the stuffing station is based on the huge stations they have within the stores, With in the stuffing station you get all you need for making x2 soft toy friends.

The bears also come with clothes , love hears and bags of stuffing. it is a very simple project to make , simply place the bear skin over the nozzle ( the skins comes with zips so no sewing or needles are needed ) once the bears are in place you add your stuffing and turn the handle. 

We did have a slight problem when Bodhi got a little bit over keen on turning the handle and his bear popped off from the station , stuffing overload!! He found this funny tho and we just started again.

The bears also come with the plastic hearts that you can add a little note to place inside of your toy ( just like in the real stores) I feel that this kit would be perfect for a child who loves the build a bear store to bring the magic home. 

As you can see Bodhi loved his finished build a bear and he gifted it to one of his friends at school, We then made the 2nd bear and this one he kept for himself. Would also be a great craft for your child to do with a friend over for a play date, The station is for 4+ and this is the right age mark for the kit. You can also buy add on kits that come with all you need to make more soft friends. These start at around the £7 mark the station itself can be brought from all good toy shops or from build a bear direct for £29.99 

You also fill out your build a bear birth info sheet , Its these little touches that make this an amazing toy item and I'm sure the build a bear workshop stuffing station will be on lots of children's Christmas list this year. 

Thank you spin master for sending us this for in return for our review both myself and Bodhi had a great time making the bears,

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

7 Ways You Can Get Free Baby Stuff

7 Ways You Can Get Free Baby Stuff 

Whether you’re on your first baby or your tenth, free baby stuff can be a lifesaver.

If you’re on a tight budget or like to try new products, this free baby stuff is waiting for you. All you have to do is request them. Go through the following links and click each offer and make a request.

Below you’ll find 15 ways to get free baby stuff, like formula, clothes, nappies, gear, baby shower items and much more.

Tips: If you’re not having a baby, please pass this information to any relatives or friends who could use free baby stuff. You can also request the free baby stuff, and donate the items to a local women’s shelter.

1. Free Nappies 

If you want free baby stuff, free nappies can be easier to get than you believe.

You can sign up for the mailing lists for diaper companies, joining a diaper reward program, and request free nappy samples. These are just a few ways to get free nappies.

2. Free Baby Formula 

Companies like SMA pro milk and stores like Costco offer free samples of baby formula. Sometimes you can even get full-sized containers.

The main benefit of samples is that you save some money and get to test out new baby formulas to see which formula your baby likes better.

3. Free Samples of Baby Stuff 

Whether you’re looking for free samples of formula, wipes, medicine, or anything else, you’ll find them on this list of places that offer free baby samples

4. Check Freecycle to Find Free Baby Stuff 

Freecycle allows people to post stuff they don’t want. These people don’t want the hassle of selling the items. They just want to get rid of the stuff.

One person’s trash can be your treasure. If you go on Freecycle, you may be able to find tons of free baby stuff. All you have to do is go looking for it.

5. Check with Your Family and Friends for Free Baby Stuff 

Free baby stuff may be closer than you think. There are lots of people who like to hang on to their baby’s old stuff. These people are just waiting to give their baby stuff to someone who needs it.

Check with your family and friends to see if they have anything you need. You can also ask if they know someone who has free baby stuff. You may be able to score free cribs, strollers, and baby clothes.

6. Have a Baby Shower 

A baby shower is a wonderful way to get lots of free baby stuff. All you have to do is convince a friend or family member to throw a baby shower. Make sure they send invitations to everyone you know. You’ll get to celebrate this happy moment with them and you’ll get lots of free baby stuff.

7. Free Childcare 

Every child, aged three and four, are eligible for 15 hours per week of free nursery education. They can receive this benefit for 38 weeks, each year. Sometimes, two-year-old children may be eligible for this program. Check the free child care guide for more information.

You can also save up to £900 per parent, each year, on nursery costs. These childcare vouchers are available for employed parents. Our guide offers details on childcare vouchers. Child benefits, child tax credits, and childcare tax credits can help make childcare more affordable, if not free.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Am i a bad mum? mum guilt strikes again

Now as a first time mum i often ask myself this question and its normally around the same time of the day ( Just after Bodhi's bedtime ) If you didn't know Bodhi is my son he is nearly 5 and he is ... well .... hard work.

I love him don't get me wrong but i am finding myself more and more often losing my shit with him and questioning myself as a parent. Now i know he is at a testing him of his life, Just having started school in September he is over tried most of the time and i don't have the longest of tempers in the world.

Our mornings are stressful and our evenings often end in tears. I know i am not alone in these feelings of my guilt and worries of being a shit mum. but In my head i am all on my own and there is very little light at the end of the tunnel.

When i drop Bodhi off at school in the mornings i see all the other mums ( and dads ) they seem mostly happy and well put together... me... I'm lucky if I've remembered to change out of my slippers and put shoes on! I have spoken to a few mum friends and it does seem like we are in the same boat its just they are in 1st class and I'm down on the bottom of the ship with the scum !

Bodhi is at that age when he knows best, he knows how to press my buttons and ( i think ) he enjoys it. The other day i was so upset and angry i very nearly walked out of the house ( Chris was at home so don't worry that i was walking out on my child ) When i was getting my shoes on Bodhi ( who was also crying ) told me to stay. so i did, Moments later he is shouting and screaming at me again so i told him to put his shoes on as he was leaving !!!! i opened the front door and i told my 4 year old child to leave, Now i didn't but a small part of me remembered a time before having him a time when i didn't spend most evenings in tears tidying away the mess and crap from the day.

So am i a bad mum ? I love my son yes? but sometimes i really don't like him at all. I am hoping that in writing this it will make feel a little better and that tight feeling in my chest will ease a little. I feel like the Hulk and this mumma Hulk is pretty much always green these days.

I want to look back on his childhood and remember the good times, the laughter and smiles and not the shouting and crying. So i am going to count to 10 more, to walk away when i feel myself getting stressed and heck i might even get myself a hobby that means i leave the house once in a while.

But for now i am off to have a bath, a good cry and to once again go to bed after another stressful Monday thanks to my beautiful son Bodhi.

Now just inserting this photo i can't help but smile, this is the happy memories I'm talking about, the love the cuddles the lovely Bodhi i know he can be ! i may be the Hulk but my son is defiantly doctor jekyll and mr hyde.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

monster selfie studio : Review For Interplay :

Use the Free App you can morph your selfie image into scary monsters, then personalise and print your photo to create cool badges, photo frames and greeting cards ( our printer is out of action ATM so we still have this fun part to try out ) 
The Monster Selfie Studio app works on PCs and Apple or Android mobile phones and tablets, Its free to download or can be used via the website if you don't want to download it on to your phone/ tablet. 
Bodhi loves to take selfies, my photo album on my phone is normally full of them so when the chance to review the monster selfie studio came up i couldn't pass on the chance, the kit arrived in time for half term and halloween. The easy of the app was great Bodhi is nearly five and he could do the steps with out my help. 
1st thing you need to do is to open the app or website on your smart device , then you'll need to pick your monster. Now this was the hardest part for Bodhi ! you can pick from six monsters Vampire / Alien / Mummy / Werewolf / Frankenstein or a yeti. 

Once you have chosen ( He went with Yeti ) could can either take a self or you can also upload a photo from your photo album 

We went with taking selfies as , Bodhi struggled a little to get his face to fit inside of the marked lines , But not to worry as you can scale and move your photo around once take to fit better within the lines. 

Once you are happy with your selfie photo click on the tick and your photo will become the monsters face ! 

Bodhi couldn't stop laughing at the photos once made into the monsters, From this point you can share via social media or you can email the photo to friends and family. This would also be the point of printing out. once printed within the box you get craft items to make foam bodies for the monsters. Once i have sorted the printer we will enjoy doing this last part of the kit, We sent halloween emails to all of our family and they all commented on how good the finished photos looks. 

The kits also come in animal theme they are £9.99 RRP hours of fun and endless play, yet again another great product from interplay. You can buy direct from the interplay website or from amazon.