29 May 2015

Theo's house rules

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Since Theo's grown older he's become a lot more assertive about what he likes and doesn't like meaning we have to employ bargaining tools on a regular basis. I guess it comes with the age and becoming more self aware of his wants and needs, but his reasoning and rationality isn't really up to speed meaning there seem to be quite a few moments where his expectations and mine are wildly different!

I feel that since we moved and were lucky enough to buy our house we've felt a little more grown up, and Theo included! With owning our own house we've obviously had a lot more freedom with what we can do with the place and over the past 9 months or so have done a lot of work to the house. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to rip up carpets and get rid of wood chip wall paper, something we were dying to do in our rented places. I think and hope that Theo has enjoyed settling into the new house and putting his own little stamp on the place. But of course with all the exciting aspects of the a new house, there are also new set of house rules and since we painted the floors white taking your shoes off at the door is a great example of one!

But as important as it is to follow adult rules, they can be pretty boring, so I asked Theo what rules he would set if he could have his own house rules! He took a little encouragement as I don't think his true wild child imagination has kicked in yet, but in the end we came up with a few fun rules.

I took a little video of our conversation:

His first rule was to be able to wear his batman costume I made him all day for one day. This is something he requests quite often so we thought it was a pretty good rule to have! 

Second we talked about what he likes doing, and we decided that having a morning of silly
dancing (something that also happens regularly!) should be a great rule for our house! Sometimes I think it's way to easy to get caught up in boring adult stuff that we forget to let go for a while and just be a bit silly. It certainly helps us when we feel a bit wound up! 

Lastly Theo decided that he would like to eat chocolate spread for dinner! I'm not sure if I could let him eat just chocolate spread, but maybe a dinner of chocolate spread on toast one evening would be a bit of a treat! 

So there you have it, Theo's house rules! I'd love to hear if you have any fun house rules, or why not ask your children if they have any of their own! 

This post in collaboration with Principality Building Society's My House Rules campaign

22 May 2015

A half term DIY nature explorer kit!

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So with half term just around the corner I thought I would share a little DIY activity box that I put together for Theo. Inspired from a while ago by Lia's wonderful classroom in a box I decided to make Theo a nature explorer box, full of everything he might need to go on a little nature hunt in the woods or wherever!

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- I downloaded some great little nature hunt cards with lots of pictures of things to spot and tick off, which my sister kindly laminated me making them weather ready for our adventures. I thought that these would be great for inspiring us what to look for and are great as they have changable cards from season to season. 

- I included a paper bag to bring home any treasures we may find, such as feathers, seeds, leaves, flowers, sticks etc. 

A compass just for fun, to get into the spirit of finding our way and pretending that we're real explorers. 

- A bug viewer to study the creatures close up (without touching!)

- A magnifying glass to peer under logs and stones and look at the details of the things we find

- Some pens and a notebook to perhaps do some drawings of stick in some of our treasures that we find

- A bird spotting book to try and identify any birds we see (I'm planning on adding a tree and flower spotting book too!)

- and finally a pair of binoculars, because no nature kit is complete without them! 

I mostly found these objects from what we already had lying around the house, but picking up a few items here and there! 

On Sunday we took the opportunity to test out the kit and explore a woodland near by to us that we only recently discovered. We had great fun trying to spot some of the items from the cards and searched through the woods for hidden treasures. 

I hope this half term gets you out and exploring, and perhaps you could make your own little nature explorer kit! 

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and of course I made a little video of our walk! 

21 May 2015

Holding onto memories

So a month or so ago I attended the Clarks press day in London, and fell in love with about 50 different pairs of shoes that pretty much have to be mine for Autumn/winter! But what really stole my heart were the selection of kids shoes for next season, and as usual the range is bright, stylish and beautiful! But it's just dawned on me that the next pair of shoes we buy for Theo are most likely going to be for school, meaning saying goodbye to the bright and the colourful in favour of something a little more school like. I'm sure we'll manage to find something though, and still look a little stylish! But here are a few of my favourites:

I love choosing Theo's new seasons shoes for him, and I remember as a child going through the ritual of having your feat measured and choosing your new school shoes at Clarks...my favourite of course being magic step shoes (which I long for them to bring back in adult sizes!) I feel like it's going to be an emotional day when it's Theo's turn for the first time!

I did get me thinking about all of the previous pairs of shoes that we've held on to, including his first pair stored away in a little box in the loft. I'm pretty bad when it comes to getting sentimentally attached to things, and we have boxes and bags bursting with Theo's old clothes, shoes and toys in the loft. I just can't seem to get rid of things, as they hold too many memories for me and we never know whether we'll want to use them again. It seems so long ago that he was just a wriggly little baby who fitted into these sweet baby grows...broody much?! When we moved we did try and have a sort out of all things we'd held onto and we're in desperate need of doing a car boot sale to get rid of some of the baby items that we thought we might need but didn't or got about a weeks use out of. Luckily most of it was hand-me-downs or second hand so I won't feel to bad about letting it go for cheap!

I think that's the problem with your first baby, you go a little over board and buy things that you probably don't need 'just in case'. I think what our problem was, was that we really didn't make a plan or go and look at much. I think a good idea, especially for first time parents is to go to a showroom like the Online 4 baby showroom near Manchester and check out all that is on offer, before you settle on one thing. I know we made that mistake with a pram first time around, and didn't really do any research into different types, and settling for the first thing we saw only to regret it 3 months down the line. I didn't know my bugaboo from baby jogger or my i-candy to red-kite...I think that's the thing as there's so many different brands from well known ones like Maclaren, Silver cross, Bugaboo, Cosatto  as well less well known such as Joolz, chicco, Stokke, Clair de Lune and Uppababy. All falling into viarous different price ranges. It's a bit of a minefield and if you don't do your research or test them out in person it can be a waste of money if you get something you're not happy with. 

So I think the point I'm trying to make is, to avoid being left with an attic full of stuff you don't need perhaps it's best to choose wisely so you're left with space to store the things you do want to keep, like the first shoes and some favourite toys. 

Now to get sorting!

This is a collaborative post

19 May 2015

Postcards from Devon part three

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So before we go on holiday next week and I have another thousand photographs to go through and share I thought I'd put up the last of our trip from Devon, from what seems like months ago! I actually think that these might be my favourite set from that trip. Rob joined us for the end of our mini holiday in the Easter holidays and we took a trip over to Dawlish Warren for a play on the seafront and perhaps a little go on the 2p machines...

After our last beach trip got cut a little short by the sea mist rolling in we were more than happy to have another paddle and play on the beach. It was great to see Theo's confidence with the waves and the sea grow over the few days, and I hope that this means over the summer when (fingers crossed!) it's warmer we can go a little further in! 

At the weekend we're heading over to Norfolk for some of our dear friends wedding and we couldn't be more excited! Following that we're taking our bell tent and camping with it for the first time along the beautiful Norfolk coast. I can't wait to show Rob and indeed Theo the places and beaches I used to visit when I was little and share my seaside experience with them. 

I have a few more posts lined up this week (hopefully!) but as of next week we're going pretty off grid with no electricity and probably not a lot of internet! I feel like I need a little holiday, and I just can't wait! 

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