Christmas Gifts with Sports Direct – #SDfiverchallenge 

Can you believe it’s only 10 weeks until Christmas! Where did the year go? 

It’s Nandys’ 2nd Christmas this year and he is more aware of the festive season than ever. Which adds to the pressure of finding the right gifts for him to tear open on Christmas Day.

Now, if you’re like me and hate tacky presents (I like useful things!!!) it can be a struggle to find affordable, useful gifts for the family – especially with the cost of childcare and living it’s nice to be able to spread the cost of Christmas out!
I’ve started earlier than ever this year – sportsdirect.com has a great range of gifts (not just sports related!) for affordable prices! 

Here is a selection of things we managed to purchased for just £5 – £6 an item! 


I was really impressed with the fact that all items we managed to purchase were branded and a cut at the price you’d pay in other high street stores! Playdoh and crayola are big names and I trust my baby with them! 


As Max started with childcare this year we realised he really enjoys his arts and crafts, what better way to kit him out with all the supplies needed.

This little bundle cost me only £26! With next day delivery options available it was perfect for any last minute panics too! 

I even managed to get a little something for my golf loving family for £5 – a Nike golf glove! 


I will definitely be using sports direct again for future gifts as the range of stuff available and affordability is second to none!
Go check out sportsdirect.com now for their range of gifts and inspiration! 

Rebecca 

Disclaimer:- All views in this blog post are my own and honest representations. This post is an entry for BritMums #sdfiverchallenge Christmas Challenge, sponsored by Sportdirect.com

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Family Holiday Washing with Ecover 

Our first holiday abroad, that’s it! Done and dusted for another year! 

I was apprehensive about travelling with a baby. All the stuff you have to pack, I felt like I was packing up the entire house just for 10 days! I decided to pay for additional luggage so Max could have his own suitcase. Turns out that was a good idea, because it was full of outfits for him (see previous blog post on Nandys holiday wardrobe!)

I envisaged lugging half of it back home unworn, but I judged it perfectly. Well not so perfectly, we had to buy more trousers in France because he had a giant up the backer poonami on the last day and his clothing was wrecked. He had been suffering from a cold and all his bibs were snotty, not to mention the entire carribean chicken dinner he tipped over his blue shirt! I knew I had some serious washing issues when I got home! 

Seems dunking him in the sea to wash didn’t work!


So 

I’ve come home to – you guessed it – all of that to wash (in the washing machine not sea!) and iron and put away.
I’ve only just finished putting away all the dried clothes from before our holiday – I’m sure no-one enjoys washing. 

I’m also particularly careful with washing detergents because Max has super sensitive skin, so I’m really careful to select a detergent which is gentle on his skin and good for the environment. 

That’s why I’m so glad we discovered ecover washing liquid, it’s safe for his sensitive eczema prone skin and is tough on stains (for a non-bio) – great for all that food mess and other stains that he is capable of making!! (Rolls eyes). 

This bottle of detergent covers 25 washes so I know it will get us through the mountain of holiday washing we have just fine! 

Thanks Ecover for taking care of our family washing needs. 

Rebecca & Nandy 


This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover. You can find them over at Ecover website

Beach Birthday Party … (indoors in the rain) 

Anyone that’s been following the blog for some time will realise that I have been planning Nandys 1st birthday party, a beach themed birthday party, for some time now. 

The plan was to host the party in our back garden so the past few weeks has been spent prepping said garden – clearing rubbish away, sorting out the rotten decking, digging out an old tree stump and making sure the grass looked lush and green (following a dry spell) all in preparation for it guests.

I’d purchase bunting and tassels in bright colours to adorn the garden furniture and the plan was to lie beach towels down on the grass area for guests to sit on..

Until the rain came

And boy did it rain…. it rained and it rained. I checked the forecast daily with the hope that surely no more rain could possibly fall out of the sky…. surely it was all rained out by now. But no, in typical law of sod fashion – the forecast for his party day was the worst of all days. 

I should have known after last years attempt at a garden based baby shower (equally a dreary June day!) that I didn’t have luck with weather. 
T minus 3 days to the party and I decided enough was enough and it was necessary to book a village hall and relocate the party indoors. 
The plan was to have the sandpit and paddling pools in use – those plans now redundant made way for a bouncy castle (so beach party right!?).


I hired a last minute castle for £60 and the hall set me back £55 – £115 I hadn’t intended on spending! 

Day of the party came and we set about the hall and tried to cheer it up as much as we could using the bunting the flags – sure enough as my luck would have it – the sun shone in all its glory just to piddle on my parade!!!!! 


Guests arrived for 1pm and soon started making light work of the huge buffet on offer and the soft play and toys which adorned the hall. 


I’d blown up beach balls and other various inflatable fish / whales for them to smack each other around the heads with (or play nicely with) also a suspiciously fallis shaped lilo! 


The time capsule cards went down a treat and I have spent a few hours reading through the messages left by the guests and weeping into my cuppa. 

One thing is for sure – we didn’t need the sunshine or the theme – friends are what make the party and they did not disappoint. We had a great turnout and everyone left smiling which is the most important thing! 


I think we did Nandy proud on his day and he behaved like a little star being passed around between people for hours. 

So that’s it for his first birthday – over in a flash. Sobs 

Now I just need something else to plan ….. 

Rebecca 

First Birthday Ideas

I Can’t believe it. I’m actually planning his first birthday and it’s actually only 4 days away now. 

The party buckets are done and the presents have been purchased. All that’s left to do is make his cake and wrap the presents. 

It’s safe to say I have my hands full of party prep! But, first things first – the photo garland. 

I wanted to capture the past 12 months and I’d seen a few others do similar things on Instagram along these lines. 

I decided to stick with the square theme and ordered Polaroid style snaps from Photobox and using twine and pegs strung the photos up along the length of the wire! Perfect display!! (Sobs into a massive bar of chocolate and glass of vino – especially at the baby photos). 


Next up has been the party food! (Ok so I can’t prepare most of the food yet as it’s still a week until his actual party), but, I can start to arrange all the non perishables out! We were fortunate to be sent a box full of Bensons Juices for the kids to drink at his party. I can’t wait to see how well they take to testing out these Orange and Apple drinks! 

We also had the buffet for labels perfectly crafted by Lottie and Lyla for the food. The labels match the beach party theme perfectly! 


Last but not least is the time capsule, I was flicking through Instagram the other week (standard right) and I came accross this fab idea for a time capsule. The guests can leave Nandy messages for when he turns 18 on 27/07/2034.

To top it off we have created a little box for the cards to go inside and it can be “buried” and opened in the future for him to read! 


I think it’s safe to say I’ve been a busy bee with all his preparations! There’s so much more to come – so watch this space for more inspiration / ideas / general updates! 

If you like any of these ideas then don’t forget to pin the post to Pinterest and give us a follow @lifeofnandy

Rebecca 

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 Tips for starting a ‘Mum Blog’ 

Many of you may be able to relate to the negativity from non-bloggers about the reasons why I have an online blog. They simply raise their eyebrows at me as if to say “what is the point” or say things like “how do you find the time?!”. The simple answer is that my journey as a parent is being documented for me, my family and friends to look over in years to come, many a feeling and thought has been documented where it may have been lost without be blog. I do find the time, because quite simply put – I enjoy it,  I am an organised person by nature and sitting on my butt and doing nothing for 12 months of my maternity leave would never have worked for me. I always need something to keep my brain functioning, so why not start a blog!

Here are my 5 tips for anyone out there considering starting up a parenting blog:-

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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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