Blogging – Worth it?

I’ve taken a break from updating the blog recently. The reason why? Life! Life has gotten in the way of my hobby and the thing I was really passionate about. I’ve found it hard to find the energy, time and inclination to update it …. so here I am, attempting to get back onto the blogging wagon. 

Lately I’ve been really pushing my engagement on social media and trying to improve my blog visibility, but, to be totally honest nothing appears to be working.

It can be really demotivating to know that no matter what you do, no one is reading your posts, looking at your photos or even seeing what you’re doing (thanks Instagram!) 

On that regard I seem to have lost my blogging and social influencing mojo somewhat. 

I need to re-energise things a little, I need new brands to work with and I need to find my mojo again! 

I don’t do this for the free stuff, or even stuff full stop, I started doing this as a hobby and something to help me express my creative side. Some days I love it, other days I hate it. 

So, any support and words of wisdom at this moment would be massively appreciated as I need to try and help find the reason I started all this in the first place!

Rebecca 

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Beach party theme Party Buckets

Planning a beach themed party for your child? Stuck for ideas on party bags? Look no further…!!!

I planned the beach theme as Nandy turns 1 in July and hoped the weather would be hot enough to justify a beach theme!

I couldn’t just get away with handing out party bags after I’d been inspired by Pinterest to have buckets instead! It was just too relevant to the theme! 

Now if you’re looking for cheap options then this isn’t going to be for you, being honest the cost of the party buckets must be in excess of £7 each child perhaps even £10. Multiply that by 15 children and it becomes an expensive option. 

So what’s inside Nandys party buckets?

  • Inflatable beach balls
  • Sand mould
  • Sunglasses 
  • Beach colouring book
  • Shell or fish shaped crayon
  • Beach themed flash card 
  • Beach themed foam bath shape
  • Bubbles
  • Deck chair striped candy bags with goodies inside 
  • Plastic bath boat
  • Personalised thankyou tag 

Bucket contents

  • I sourced the sand bucket from Smyths toys for £1.69 each.
  • The flash cards were a steal at 20p a pack from the Range.
  • The foam bath shapes were £10 for a bag from Jojomaman Bebe.
  • The bubbles were from Tesco in their party aisle Approx £1 for 6.
  • The sunglasses were £1 each from Primark. 
  • The deckchair style stripe candy bags were from Homesense. Approx £5 for 20 bags.
  • The shells and fish crayons were from Craystion station at approx 50p each. 
  • The inflatable beach balls were from EBay at approx £1 each. 
  • The colouring books were from Tiger at £1 each 
  • The plastic boats were £1.50 for 4 boats from a local baby shop
  • The plastic sand moulds were £1 from Poundland for 3 moulds.
  • The thankyou tags were from Zazzle. 


Now it’s only 3 weeks until his party – the countdown is officially on! I can feel myself getting emotional already! 

Hubby says I’ve gone over the top on things but it’s not every day your first child turns one is it! I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

If you like this idea then please don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, twitter and pin to Pinterest @lifeofnandy
Rebecca 

Bento Box Ideas for Babies 

Not long ago I discovered the wonder that is the bento box! I sourced this epic one from yumbox @eatwelluk. 

It was such a great buy and I haven’t looked back.

Each day we pack Nandy off to nursery with a different selection of snacks. It works perfectly for my Husband as it encourages him to pack a healthy choice of meals for him to eat. 

We tend to focus on adding at least one of these food types:-

  • Fruit
  • Dairy 
  • Veg
  • Carbs 
  • Eggs 

Below are some visual ideas on what you could pack if you are baby led weaning your little one:-


Mixed berries, rice cakes, cheese spread sandwiches, cucumber sticks, Petite filous strawberry yoghurt and babybel. 


Banana malt loaf, raspberries, baby pasta with a tomato and lentil sauce, cheddar babybel, Petite filous strawberry yoghurt and blackberries. 


Cheddar babybel, egg, marmite sandwiches, banana yoghurt, berries and a banana 

The uses for these bento boxes are absolutely endless and I’m so glad I invested in one!

If you have any ideas then please share them with me in the comments!

Don’t forget to pin the ideas on Pinterest! 

Rebecca 

All the feels of a working mum 

Further to my post on “the dreaded return to work” I thought it was time to write an update.

During June I have embedded myself back into work using KIT days (for those of you who are not familiar with the concept of KIT days then they are keeping in touch days, days where you can bed yourself back into work without formally ending your maternity leave)


I have used eight KIT days during June, in which time Nandy has also started nursery.

So, how does it feel I hear you cry!? I wrote in my previous blog post about the positives people shared with me on drinking a hot cup of tea and actually getting time to be a bit more “me”. The reality is quite different in my opinion. I have drunk less tea since being back and had less me time than ever before!

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The Mum Routine

Stay at home mum, Full time working mum, part time working mum, or on maternity leave… all the options! We find ourselves in need of a routine no matter what life throws at us right? Or is that only me?

Rewind 12 months, I’m heavily pregnant and considering “what I’m going to do with all this free time” now I won’t be working. I could literally laugh out loud at my stupidity! How stupid I was to think I’d actually have spare time.


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5 ways to enjoy your Shared Parental Leave 

Shared Parental Leave is a new government lead scheme whereby employees can share their Leave with their child. When I fell pregnant with Nandy I promised hubby that he could take 3 months off and I would do 9 months. When the hormones set in and I realised how much I enjoyed being a mum I changed that, I stuck with the shared Leave but we decided to take a month off together instead.

That’s right – you can take the Leave together!


So I’ve had 44 weeks off work alone and hubby has had 4 weeks at the same time as my remaining 4 weeks – making the 52 week entitlement.

So how to make the most of that time together?

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Post Partum – The Dreaded Return to work 

Going back, never something I thought I would dread. Dread is quite a harsh word isn’t it, but, it seems the only appropriate word to use to describe the feeling.

So let’s rewind to July 2016, I’m a heavily pregnant boss lady, career driven and uber tenacious. I cried and cried at the thought of leaving work behind, I sobbed my entire way through my last day. I just didn’t know what I would do without my job, no actually my CAREER.

 


 

Little did I know that Nandy would arrive and completely flip that on its head. I remember saying to friends that I might use maternity leave as a time to do a bit of work on the side or some new activities, they laughed at me. Now I know why!

Maternity leave – having a baby – it’s all consuming. It takes up every minute every sanctum of your being – but I love it.

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Our First Family Holiday – Day 3 

How is it Day 3 already! We’ve been having such a super time here in Devon courtesy of the apartment booked via Boutique Retreats!


Yesterday we explored the coastal paths leading from the front of the building to the left and right and then went for a swim in the swimming pool at the apartment , so today we decided we would go further afield and check out Salcombe.

Our NCT friends are staying here and Nandys gorgeous play date Alice would be with them too, so we decided to head out and meet them for lunch in Salcombe at the South Sands hotel – which has been rated one of the top 100 hotels in the U.K and based at south sands near Salcombe. Accessible via a sea tractor and ferry crossing this hotel sits on the beach front with awesome views of the estuary.

The day started off very very foggy, misty and not very warm. I checked the forecast and could see that it was scheduled to improve as the day went on.  

We took a trip to east Portlemouth to the ferry crossing over to Salcombe. The journey there was interesting – including ford crossings and winding country lanes. I’m glad hubby was driving because I’d have had both wing mirrors off within seconds!

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Our First Family holiday with Boutique Retreats – Day 1

We used to holiday all of the time before we had a baby, we were free and able to go wherever and do whatever we wished. Then it all changed! Little did I know that planning a holiday with a baby in tow would be such a mission.


So there’s things to consider with a baby that we hadn’t even contemplated before:-

1. Is the accommodation baby friendly?

2. Does the accommodation offer travel cots and high chairs to save lugging them with you?

3. Are you flying or driving? Either way there’s extra baggage to consider!!

4. How long is the drive / journey and will there be a need for numerous stops along the way to prevent meltdowns?

5. What will the weather be like in the chosen destination and is it baby friendly weather (I.e – not too hot or cold)?

6. Do they have a baby friendly pool / play areas?

7. Is there a Beach closeby and things to do for kids?

8. Are there things to do for adults once the baby is in bed? Like local takeaways and somewhere to cook food and have a glass of wine? DVDs to use and satellite TV (rock and roll I know!!)

The list is quite frankly endless !!! (Plus personal to every family).

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Day at the Farm

Daylesford Farm Shop is a gorgeous place based in Kingham Gloucestershire.

We spent the day here in April and returned again in May 2017 for their summer festival. Sadly the sun didn’t shine the second time around but it was still a fun packed day for the family!


It’s always difficult to think of things to do with babies because they get bored at home but also aren’t active enough to take advantage of alternative activities. I’ve discovered that Nandy just loves being out and about regardless of where we are – his head is always flicking from left to right taking in all of his surroundings like a meerkat!

When we visited the first time the weather was nice enough so we decided to take advantage and buy some of the gorgeous organic produce from the farm shop to eat and set up a picnic in the field. We did seem to be the only ones doing this though, but it was so beautiful we couldn’t resist! We had cheese, pickles, olives, fresh bread, elderflower ham and sausage roll, plus sundried tomatoes and homemade potato salad – it was lush siting in the sun and snacking on the food.

We saw cows and sheep, no pigs. We took a walk over railway bridges and streams, through fields and explored where the beehives and blossom trees were.

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