Friday finds 21/2/14

It’s been a while since I put togther a Friday finds post but this week there were a couple of blog posts that I just had to share with you all. I hope that you enjoy reading this collection as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. I hope you all have a great weekend.

friday-finds-211. I added a few instruments to our collection yesterday. Music madness set, ELC, was £20, now £10

2. We’re very excited about the opening of CBeebies land at Alton Towers this summer (Poppet adores in the night garden and all the characters).

3. Nurture store has teamed up with her favorite kids’ writers and produced a fantastic looking ebook of activities for babies from 0-2 years, Zero to two, $8.99.

4. I picked up a few bits and pieces for sensory play from The Works, these embellishments are also great for arts and crafts (prices start at 99p and they were on 3 for 2 the other day).

5. This Easter, Little Fun fest sounds like the perfect day out for under 5s.

We are just starting out with sensory play in my house but Edspire has a lot more experience and has put together this really useful messy and sensory play shopping list.

Talking of messy play, I love this messy tea party from Ghostwriter mummy.

I heart snapping shared 5 tips for beautiful portraits.

Have you discovered this fab crafty site – Let’s do something crafty? I love it, my favorite so far is the egg carton toy camera.

Looking for ideas for getting your kids in the kitchen? why not try getting them to help make macaroni cheese. Or if your more interested in baking then these easy oat biscuits might be the recipe to try this weekend. I’ve added this recipe for cheesy bean and mushroom crumble to my list of things to make for my baby, it looks delicious.

I had to share with you this very brave and honest post from Emily at The startup wife, it’s so inspirational. Motherhood and body image.

In case you missed it here’s what I’ve published this week:

Dear baby.. a letter to my baby at 9 months

Living arrows 7/52

I like fruit – what we’re reading

Musical play


Friday finds – 18th October 2013

After missing last week I’m back with my favorite blog posts from the last two weeks. It’s been a busy week on the blog. I blogged about starting weaning my baby, our current favorite book to read snuggled in bed each morning and I shared my favorite kids’ wellies. Hopefully Friday finds will be back next Friday with a special Halloween selection of Friday finds. Have a great weekend.18-10-13

1. I’ve shared my love of Wild thing dresses before but I couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful bear cape with you.

2. Early learning center currently have 50% off selected toys, including this fabulous fun fair happyland set (down to £30 from £60). Next Christmas happyland will definitely be on my little ones Christmas list.

3. In my post about Hairy Maclary on Tuesday I mentioned purchasing a 15 book collection of further books from the series. Well Hairy Mclary’s hat tricks is one of them and it was mentioned in a great post by Edspire about autumn story books for children. Whilst you are over at Edspire have a look at the details for the Matilda Mae welly walk taking place on 2nd November.

4. Last weekend my parents brought over a few toys for my baby. Not just any toys but toys that were mine and my sisters 30 years ago. I’ve been asking them to search this fisher price happy apple out for ages. It easily rocks on the floor when you touch it, making a lovely chime sound. My baby seems captivated by it and I love that she is enjoying playing with something I played with 32 years ago.

5. Another thing I have mentioned before on here is bento boxes. This week I was pleased to see an online shop selling a selection of supplies in the UK. I love this selection of fruit and vegetable silicone cups.

You might have noticed that I’m a big believer in the importance of children spending time outdoors (see my the great outdoors series). This week I enjoyed reading posts including Autumn love and connected to nature. If you are expecting your second child you might be wondering if you need a buggy board or double buggy? to help you get out and about. Sometimes though it’s nice just to spend time at home (that’s what we’ll be doing this weekend).

This week I have started looking for a nursery for my little girl for when I go back to work (not for another 6 months thankfully but it still feels like it is coming round too fast). I’m sure as it gets nearer I’ll go through the 5 stages of the end of maternity leave. I want to remember to read this post again nearer the time, it’s positive and full of really useful tips – tips for life after maternity leave. Another useful tips post for mums is 21 breastfeeding lessons learned. If you are a mum yourself, I’m guessing you won’t need this next post but you might know someone who does – 11 helpful things to do for someone who has just had a baby.

Have you heard of slow toys or slow play? I hadn’t until this week when I read about it on Edspire where Jeannie explains what it is and shares a great slow play activity using pom poms and paper cups. If your looking for craft activities how cute is this horse chestnut snake?

I love to cook and bake. This week these recipes for aubergine, tomato and mozzarella bake, Toffee apple muffins, lentil, sweet potato and chilli soup and chicken pot pie caught my eye. One for the kids, perfect for the weather we’ve been enjoying this week – a rainy day bento box.

Team Honk is back and bigger than ever! Read about how you can join in with a blogger to blogger relay from John O’ Groats to Land’s end.

I can relate to so many of the items in this final blog post & the ones I can’t I know it’s only a matter of time – you know you’re a mummy when ..

Friday finds – 4th October 2013

Another week has flown by and yet again I find myself writting my weekly friday finds post on a thursday evening. I really enjoy putting these posts together but every week I plan to start writting them as I come across things but it never happens.This week on the blog I shared one of my favorite places in the UK, I wrote a letter to my baby at 5 months and I shared another UK handmade artist, The fabric phoenix. I hope you enjoy reading this collection of links. Have a good weekend.

template-friday-finds1 – We currently have a mamas and papas sola pushchair that I love but I can see me getting fed up with the size and weight of it once my baby is older (it takes up most of our boot). I love the look of their new pushchair, armadillo which comes in a range of modern colours/designs. I would love to here your recommendations though for lightweight/compact pushchairs.

2 – Is it too early to mention chirstmas? This year I plan to bake christmas cakes for the first time which means starting soon so that has got me thinking about christmas. I have made a gingerbread house before and I remember that the templates in the recipe I used were not correct and we had to play around to get it right. This week I spotted this set of cookie cutters from lakeland designed to make baking gingerbread houses easy. I plan to get this set as I would love to make gingerbread house with my little girl in the future. I might bake one this year anyway.

3 – I spotted these cute ceramic jars with wooden lids on etsy. They come in a wide range of designs.

4 – We’ve had a mixture of sunny days and rainy days here this week. My baby has no need for wellies this autumn winter but if you have a little one who loves to splash in the puddles you’ll need a good pair of wellies for them. I love these bright yellow ones from Hunter.

I love making homemade soup in autumn & winter. This week UK parent blogs were full of delicious soup recipes including this one for sweet potato, butternut squash and chilli soup. Mummy pink wellies shared not one but three simple soup recipes this week that you could easily make this weekend. Or how do you like the sound of harvest vegetable soup with smokey bacon? Prefer baking to cooking? then you’ll love this recipe for blackberry crumble. If you are looking for lunch box ideas for your little ones, then you love this recipe for ham and cheese muffins. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the idea of bento boxes and this week I discovered another mum who has started making fabulous bento boxes for her little girl (and husband). My little one is nowhere near ready for packed lunches, in fact she is still exclusively breastfed. However we are soon to start on our weaning adventure so I read with interest mummy daddy and me’s post on weaning the second time round.

How is it October already? If you are starting to think about Halloween you might find this post from tots100 handy – 20 spooktacular ideas for Halloween. I love the idea of making a pumpkin house from nurture store, so cute. Looking for more autumn craft ideas? Have a look on red ted art where you’ll find an autumn nature tree craft idea.

I mentioned last week that my husband had been ill and I was fighting off a cold. Since then we have both recovered but not surprisingly our baby developed a bit of a cough and cold. She has been doing well though as doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. Another blogger struggling with her little girl having a cold is my pretty mummy. She shared a post with some tips that might help others for surviving the chaos of the common cold. If your little one is unwell or you’ve simply had a day where nothing seems to have gone right this lovely post is a beautiful reminder of just how important our jobs as parents are, putting the world to rights. Another beautiful post and reminder to us mums is from Hollybobb’s on body image – are you beautiful?.

Emily from The startup wife shared this fun, quick update to her little boy’s bedroom by adding washi tape, in her post on making a happy home. Two of everything shared a great sensory play activity for toddlers – Lavender gloop. Find 5 great ideas for easy after school play activities here. Help your child to learn spelling using ginger and cinnamon salt trays.

Friday finds – 27th September 2013

Welcome to another week of Friday finds. It’s been a quiet week on the blog due to a weekend a way at my parents, illness (my husband has a nasty bug & I’m fighting off a cold) and generally busy days looking after our daughter (who so far is not ill, we are hoping my husband caught the bug from her when she was ill the previous week). The only other post I have published this week was Wednesdays UK handmade feature Cwtch bugs. Hopefully next week will see more blog posts. Until then I hope you will enjoy this collection of items and blog posts I have put together for you (there is definitely an autumn theme to this collection).

friday-finds-27-91. Last year I did a UK handmade feature on Clara and Macy (back then they were called cupcakes for Clara) well this week I spotted this gorgeous autumn print.

2. I would like to add this classic, we’re going on a bear hunt, to my daughters book collection as it’s such a great story. This jigsaw version is a beautiful hard back book which will be nice as a picture book to read now but when she is older the pictures are 12 piece jigsaw puzzles (there are 7 puzzles) which adds a nice interactive element to the story.

3. I popped to my local Sainsburys yesterday to pick up a few bits of food and came home with 3 tops and a pair of trousers for my baby (for less than £10). TU clothing is all 25% until Monday (including sale items). Aren’t these purple spotted cord trousers (£4.50) adorable? and I love this Fairisle hat and mittens set (£4.13).They didn’t have either of these items in my local store but I would have snapped them up if they did.

4. I found it really hard to pick one item from the new Zara Kids homeware collection (perhaps I’ll do a feature on the collection in the coming weeks). In the end I settled on this cute ski towel. My baby is out growing all her hooded towels and I wondered what you all do when your little ones out grow them? I have been using a bath towel some times but I feel like hooded towels keep her head warm & dry her hair quicker especially as the weather is only going to get colder.

5. I discovered gumigem teething jewellery this week via many blogs. Personally I think they are a great idea as my little one is forever trying to put everything in her mouth and chewing/sucking on it (I don’t even think she is teething yet). My only problem would be choosing from the wide selection of styles and colours available. I do quiet like this skimmers grapevine, although perhaps for my baby a Bermuda bangle might work better (she often tries to chew on the fingers or wrist of who ever is holding her).

Did you all follow along with the MAD blog awards online last Friday? if you weren’t one of the lucky ones there of course. Congratulations again to all the winners. In case you haven’t seen it, here is the full list of winners.

Lots of posts have been published this week, sharing autumnal inspired activities for children of all ages. My favorites include bringing home a woodland walk, Autumn sensory dig, 20 autumn nature crafts, autumn play dough and autumn sensory play.

I am intrigued by this idea of making homemade crisps using the microwave and will have to give it a try soon. These pear and white chocolate cupcakes sound delicious, as do pear and cinnamon smoothies. I’ve bookmarked this recipe for the future, macaroni cheese with hidden vegetables. I love chocolate brownies and it is always good to have a standby, easy recipe, as well as a more indulgent one (pimp my brownie recipe). If you still want more recipes then check out this recipe swap using recipes on tea cloths

I love these posts – 19 pieces of advice to my pregnant self, on the eve of giving birth and To my Kitty, on your third birthday (gorgeous words, gorgeous photos). These posts made me chuckle this morning, out of the mouths of babes and chocolate tablets make us not stressed (I’m so writing these posts when my little girl is talking).

Friday finds – 20th September 2013

Welcome to this weeks friday finds where I share with you my favorite finds from this past week. From blog posts to children’s fashion, there is something for everyone. In case you missed it, this week I blogged about baby play with my baby from birth to four months and I shared with you a UK handmade range of baby wear from Parsnip and Bramble. I hope you enjoy reading my finds as much as I have enjoyed putting them together for you.

friday-finds-20-91. I’m currently reading this book and considering baby-led weaning with my baby. I’d love to hear from you if you have done baby-led weaning with your children, good and bad experiences. If you are starting weaning too but prefer starting with purees, here is some inspiration from this mummy.

2. The blogs are full of reviews of these beautiful tutu skirts. They come in a huge range of colours.  I can’t imagine any little girl who wouldn’t enjoy wearing one of these and I’d love one for my baby girl when she is a bit bigger.

3. A few weeks back I shared the gorgeous handmade items made by The fox in the attic with you. Since then they have added new designs to their etsy shop which I just had to share with you all. Isn’t this hippo cushion adorable?

4. I love this nursing necklace. I’ve tried wearing something similar with my baby who likes to hit me and grab my lips & hair with her top arm whilst nursing but it makes no difference.

5. Tonight is The MAD blog awards 2013. If like me, you aren’t at the awards but would like to keep up with the excitement you can follow via the live blog here from 7pm. Good luck to all the nominees and I hope you all have a fabulous night.

Bento boxes are getting more popular here in the UK. I think they are a great way of encouraging little ones to eat a variety of foods. Lucy who blogs at Captured by Lucy is a big fan and regularly shares her bento ideas. This week she shared fishy adventure bentos and asked other bloggers to link up their bento ideas. Whilst you are over there getting lots of inspiration have a read of her articles on bento supplies and getting started (including lots of ideas for foods to use). Tinned tomatoes is currently running a bento kit giveaway this month which would give one lucky person everything they need to get started.

Looking for inspiration for activities to do with the family this autumn? Mama owl shared her autumn bucket list. I love this mirror-based sensory play from the boy and me, perfect sensory play for those who don’t like gloop or mucky hands. Red Ted art shared a fantastic and detailed post on an art project for kids inspired by Joan Miro. I also loved their idea of an alternative (to toys) gift of a craft box. There is a lot of sensory play and arts and crafts on parent blogs but imaginary play should not be overlooked. I enjoyed this post on imaginary play from mummy daddy and me (and I love the knitted food too).

I’ve never been a massive pink fan. However, now I have a daughter it is growing on me. However I prefer my pink in moderation and as such I loved this non-pink girly bedroom thatbelongs to the daughter of Shaneen from breathe happy. I also like this boy’s bedroom makeover from littlegreenshed, especially the Eames rocker.

Inspired by The Great British Bake Off, blogs are filled with delicious looking tray bake recipes. I love the look and sound of buttery, moreish raspberry Bakewell tray bake and this recipe for spiced plum tray bake.

I’ve only spent 3 days in Paris but I completely fell in love with the place. These stunning photos on Simply Ruby made me realise it is possible to visit Paris with children. Maybe be my next visit to Paris isn’t as many years off as I feared.

Finally regular readers will know how much I love children’s book so I enjoyed reading ten tips from The Guardian for making bedtime reading fun.

Friday finds – 13th September 2013

It’s been a while since I last published a friday finds so these links below include some blog posts from over the summer not just this week. I’ve really enjoyed putting this collection of links together for you. I’m not going to promise to publish a friday finds every Friday but hopefully they will be at least one a month from now on. Have a great weekend and I’ll be back with more posts next week.

friday-finds-13-91 – Yes I know it’s only september but imagine my reaction when my parents phoned on the August bank holiday to say they had bought my baby a snowsuit! Thankfully it is far too big for her yet. The colours of this snowsuit are brighter than they appear in this photo and the quality seems great as you would expect from M&S.

2 – 13th September every year is Roald Dahl day. I love Roald Dahl and still remember his stories well from my childhood. I can’t wait to read them again with my little girl (although I know it will be many years yet before we do). The book people have the complete set of 15 books available for £15.99.

3 – I’ve read a lot of reviews of this new book (the day the crayons quit) by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers on various blogs recently. It sounds like a great book for parents (after all we have to read them to young children) and children a like.

4 – This summer saw the release of the diamond edition of Disney’s The jungle book. As well as rediscovering my childhood favorite books now I am a parent, I am also looking forward to sharing my favorite Disney films with my little girl. I’m sure there are some great new Disney films but I believe there is still a place for the classics too. I’m ashamed to say I don’t think I’ve seen The jungle book but I’m sure this will soon be rectified as my husband is very keen to get this on blueray for our daughter. The little mermaid was one of my childhood favorites and this has just been rereleased too.

5. I was very excited to discover Ikea has started selling doll’s house furniture. At the moment they are only selling this living room set for £12. I’m hoping by the time my little girl is old enough to have a doll’s house Ikea are offering more room sets.

Looking for inspiration for things to do with your children? Nurture store has put together 45+ activities for autumn or how about building a sound garden? 20 fine motor activities for babies and toddlers or how about making bath bombs? Why not prolong the summer with messy beach play. You might also find some ideas too in this post on 122 things every child should do before they are 5.

Lucy at Dear beautiful shared a tutorial for making a stunning tutu for little girls (I’m definitely going to be making one for my little girl in the future). While you are their check out Lucy’s what we’re reading posts for great book ideas/reviews. My wish list of books for my little one is growing by the week thanks to this series. I plan to continue joining in with sharing children’s book reviews in the coming weeks (see my previous children’s book reviews here). I love this idea from the startup wife for a story jar. Another great idea is this DIY kids art display from the making home.

Last year I loved Becky from The Ar-blog’s series The Arber A-Z first year survival guide and this years 2 years on, 10 lessons in, is another fantastic must read. I also really enjoyed my two mum’s 10 things we’ve learnt in one year as parents. Mummy daddy and me started a great new linky this summer for us all to share and remember the ordinary moments. Tigerlilly Quinn shares some great tips for taking family portraits.

My little girl is four months old and already I keep getting asked if I have started her on solids. At the moment I have no plans to start before six months as per NHS guidelines but I have started thinking about weaning in terms of will we do traditional or baby led. Alice from More than toast shares and honest and entertaining post on weaning from someone who has experienced both methods of weaning. As the mother of a baby who chews on everything and drools a lot, I’ve booked mark this blog post on teething from this day I love for future reference.

This week I have been listening to Radio 4’s women’s hour for the first time. They have been talking to parent bloggers about why they blog and the issues surrounding parent blogging. On monday they discussed parent’s blogging about the early years with guests Tim Atkinson (Bringing up charlie) and Alice Harold (More than toast) . Tuesday bloggers Mark Richards – Best Dad I Can Be, & Izzie Anderton –The World According To Izzie discussed the issues surrounding writing about teenagers. Wednesday was an inspiring discussion from Hayley Goleniowska (Downs side up) & Jennie Henley (Edspire)  using their blogs to campaign.

Still looking for somewhere to take the family this weekend? This weekend is heritage open days with 4500 venues opening their doors for free. Many of the venues are not usually open to the public and all of them are free admission (even the ones that usually charge an admission fee). There is a search facility on the site so you can see what is open in your home  town.

Finally, are you a blogger? do you make money from your blog? if so are you aware of the tax implications? Lucy from Captured by Lucy has published a really useful post on bloggers and tax on her blog this week.

Friday finds – 28th June 2013 – Breastfeeding special

This breastfeeding special friday finds marks then end of my week of breastfeeding posts for British National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts & found them useful. Below are a small selection of some of the great blog posts that I have read this week and also a few products that I have discovered. Don’t forget you still have time to enter the Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013 scavenger hunt.


1 – The ultimate dotty breastfeeding pillow – Converts in to a bag when no longer needed as a pillow

2 – Medela calma bottle – Unique bottle that enables baby to maintain the natural feeding behaviour they learn on the breast

3 – Snoob breastfeeding scarf – Stylish and discreet nursing cover

4 – The breastvest – Use with a nursing bra to convert any top in to a nursing top

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