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 

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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 

First Birthday Gift Ideas 

Are you stuck for ideas on what to buy your little one for their first birthday? Well so was I! Therefore, I have decided to put together this handy little guide with some links as to items you can purchase for your little one (if you so wish!)


A TRIKE

We love the Smart Trike in black and white colour – this one is so adaptable that it will last him ages! Perfect as a filler gift before a balance bike is bought!

SANDPIT

Because Nandy is having a beach party themed birthday it only seemed appropriate to get him a sandpit to play in with his friends. We toyed with the idea of making one but it was just as cost effective to buy one ready made! There are plenty out there to choose from, with covers or without covers. Plastic or wood: it’s entirely your choice as to which design you go for!

IKEA PLAY KITCHEN 

Not just for girls, my mum quaffed when I asked her to buy this for Nandy. She said “really?” But this little play kitchen is proving to be so popular with both boys and girls it would be daft not to buy it!

We are fortunate enough to have some little Tea towels made from Love Roo to match!

PLAY TABLE 

Nandy seems to be happier stood on his feet than he does sitting down these days, he is still a bit wobbly so this play table is ideal to help him learn to stand and keep him occupied at the same time. The cost of these play tables range from £20-£30 so not too expensive either!!

I hope you have found these ideas useful when trying to decide what to buy for your little one. It’s so easy to get stuck and end up buying clothes and nothing memorable.
Please don’t forget to pin this brief guide on Pinterest 🙂

Rebecca

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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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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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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Tears into Smiles with Elastoplast 

Nandy may only be 9 months old but we love to get out and about and explore – we shouldn’t be afraid of letting him explore his surroundings through fear of the odd cut or scrape!


We were kindly sent some Elastoplast children’s plasters to use if (and when!) Nandy has any little “boo boo’s” or “mishaps” or “scrapes” – however you want to name those minor accidents that can occur at any time with little ones who are on the move or being adventurous!

We love to get out and about and take photos in the most unusal of places, any slip or fall could result in some tears!

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KidloLand App Review

We were contacted by the lovely team over at KidloLand and asked to review their app which is suitable for babies and children up to the age of 5. 

Having an active youngster I was eager to download the app right away and start to find out what it was all about and hopefully entertain him.

The app can be downloaded from your mobile App Store either Android or Apple 

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/apple-store/id533412119?pt=275891&ct=lifeofnandy

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.internetdesignzone.nurseryrhymes&hl=en

Amazon Appstore: https://www.amazon.com/KidloLand-Nursery-Rhymes-Educational-Preschool/dp/B00HFQBCEU

After subscribing you get access to content such as nursery rhymes, games and educational tools.

Really intrigued

The app is fun, bright and noisy – perfect for entertaining a interested baby or toddler.

Example of the menu – Bright and colourful


Immediately I downloaded the content for the nursery rhymes section – the downloads are fast but I must admit you do need to take time to download the content in advance so that it is there for when you need it most!

Learn to trace


Ok so let’s start with just a couple of Negatives:-

  • You have to download the content before you can use it.  
  • The singing voices could be better and the song lyrics can sound really made up (to the point that my mum and I were really laughing at some of the lyrics they chose)!  

Now onto the Positives:- 

  • It’s brightly coloured and loud and immediately gets their attention!
  • It’s informative and educational 
  • It’s handy!! – on your phone or tablet so you can transport the entertainment around!
  • It has plenty of options for what to play so your baby won’t get bored easily! Games, music, even Christmas themes – all sorts! 

If you have a tablet device I can imagine this app would be even more handy to have – I was just using my iPhone to play the content to Nandy and found he kept trying to take the phone into his own hands – so I would seriously recommend you download the app onto a device you aren’t bothered about handing over to your kids to get their mucky hands and dribble all over! 

We were sent a free 6 month subscription to this app in exchange for a review. We would not take part in a review if we did not pride ourselves in the fact we give honest feedback. 

We would recommend you download the app if you have time to download the content and you want an educational and fun tool for your little ones! 

More information on the app and the subscription charges can be found by going to the KidloLand Website.
Rebecca 

The Post Baby ‘Mess’ 

Anyone relate? You’ve just had a little one, there’s stuff everywhere. High chair in the kitchen, food catapaulted all over the walls, toys all over the floor, soggy muslin cloths flung in every room, dirty nappy bin overflowing and washing, washing and more washing piled high, Yesterday’s pants strewn on the bathroom floor and cups of half drunk tea lying around the place like a cup graveyard… yep welcome to my new world of mess. 

Back when I thought ironing muslin cloths was a good idea!


Let’s rewind to my pre-baby life. I was OCD about stuff, things had to have their place. (Now I’m not saying I don’t still have OCD about where things reside but I’d say I’m just a tad more relaxed these days). You see, this is the thing … when the baby comes along all order seems to go out of the window. Doesn’t matter how many “ikea hacks” and baby organisers you deploy; there’s still a massive shift in your lifestyle and it takes time to adapt – or in my case – you don’t. 
Let me see if I can list this out in a simpler way (not because my readers need it simplified but because that’s how my brain currently operates that way now I have a child).

Key:-

Pre baby thoughts / Post baby thoughts

1. I’m not having plastic toys 

Sod it buy the jumparoo with added flashing tacking plastic keyboard and plastic cow.


2. Everything will have a place 

What do you mean which drawer do muslins go in? They could be anywhere!

3. The lounge will be our adult space 

The Lounge is now full of toys 

Toys in the lounge – standard now


4. Everything will match the decor.

I may consider redecorating the house in primary colours to match his toys.

5. Baby will have to fit into our ways

Let him do what he wants if it stops him screaming.

6. I may need a hobby to keep busy

Hobby? I haven’t been for a wee in 5 hours – I must schedule that in before my bladder implodes.

7. All white and pale colours are nicer I’m not decorating his room yellow!

Sod white and pale colours they shows the mess – where’s that yellow?

8. Our garden is not having a plastic slide and climbing frame
!

What’s he having for his birthday? A plastic slide and climbing frame for the garden …

9. He’s not having food in the car

Here have this wafer in the car whilst mummy tries to drive in peace. 

10. I won’t have a mucky faced baby 

Fine – if you won’t let me touch your face you can go out with a snotty nose and prune smeared up your cheeks

Food EVERYWHERE

Can anyone else relate to this? How has having a baby changed your outlook on mess / home life?

Rebecca 

Bathtime toys with Nuby

We have very luckily received some lovely  treats from Nuby for Nandy to play with in the bath!

Because he has eczema and the majority of it is on his stomach we find bathtime rather stressful as we often have to try and distract him so that we can stop him from scratching at his tummy.

So these toys were a welcome treat which could be used both in and out of the Bath! We tested them out in the bath last night now Nandy is sitting up more he was reaching out for them and kicking his legs having a good time!

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Such vivid colour 😎

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The yellow submarine fish is his favourite, he kept laughing at it

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Cups are easy to store when not in use (if you have OCD like me)

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Brightly coloured stacking cups have holes in the base so you can fill with water and make rain showers

I have refrained from posting the bathtime photos for now – but you can see that he had fun with the toys even out of the bath!!!

He kept pulling on the submarine fish and chuckling and squealing loudly! He particularly likes this one!

If you are a bit oCD like me then the stacking cups are perfect as they store easily and dont take up much room in the bathroom. They make plenty of noise and the bright colours really kept Nandy entertained! Yay!

For anyone looking for bathtime / toys in general then I cant recommend Nuby highly enough!

Purchase Stacking cups here!

Purchase bathime Submarine here!

Note: – I hope you found this article informative, Nuby sent us these toys to review and I would not geniunely post any positive reviews unless I truly believed in the product shown. All opinions are my own,

Rebecca