Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Motherhood | Travel

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Opening birthday presents:A toddler gift guide


Post contains review items*

My little man turned two!!
That's still pretty crazy to even think about, let alone say out loud.

However turning two was a whole lot of fun, and involved a very early morning (he really does not believe in lie ins) with presents and cinnamon buns!

I have to admit, shopping for kids is actually really hard work. There's literally so much available to buy kids, so it's working out what they will actually enjoy. And it's so easy to fall in to the trap of buying and buying, because you see just another gift that would be perfect.

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

A home away from home - Room2 Hometel



Review Post*

I think travel is so important for families and can be such a great experience for everyone involved.
But it can also be a very stressful experience, especially for parents.

One of the key factors of any part of travel is where you stay. Where are you going to rest your head at right, and wake up in the mornings. Your base location. For families, it's vital to have a safe, secure and homely environment, to help create a stress-free trip or break.

And let's be honest. The traditional hotel just doesn't cut it 90% of the time. You see parents hiding in the bathroom whilst their kids settle down for the night. Or limited space because the cot or trundle bed have taken over half the room. And to be frank, most of them really don't look amazing. They're pretty generic with rules on what you can and can't have in the rooms, and limited additional facilities.

So when Room2 got in touch with their brand new concept, and invited me to their launch event*, I knew I had to go and get the down-low, because this has family travel sorted.

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Preparing the home for baby no.2



Review Post*

We are getting over closer to becoming a family of four and I'm not going to lie, it just does not feel quite real yet. Apparently the large watermelon shaped mound under my clothing just isn't enough for my brain to accept that we are actually going to have a second child soon.

That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying getting all the preparation done for baby number two. The organiser in me is thrilled to be able to wash tiny baby clothing, and organise drawers, and clean rooms. I think I was a born nester because I absolutely love it.

However there is much less to do this time around. Our home is already prepared for an active toddler, and realistically a newborn is far less of an issue on your home furnishings than a toddler - how do toddlers make some many crumbs? But we do need to create new space for the new addition, and our home has changed a lot since Henry was a baby, even though it was only two years ago.

So what have we been doing to prepare for our little newbie?

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Henry, you're two!!



Two whole years of Henry Gordon Ian.
That's pretty surreal to write down.
But it's been the absolute best two years of my life. I cannot imagine my life without my little guy and my whole world is more complete with you in it.

So Henry, you're two years old!

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

Farm Play - The Ordinary Moments


It's no secret that we love the farm. I mean we have an annual pass for our local farm.
Henry is a huge fan of a farm and chattering to and about all the animals, in fact it's one of his strengths and something that his nursery mentions all the time. His knowledge of animals is pretty amazing for his age, which I imagine is partly down to all our farm visits!

When we were in Poole last month, we hadn't really planned much for our days, but were given a brochure from the caravan park about local attractions, and included on it was Farmer Palmer's Activity Farm. As it was so close and the weather was on our side, we decided to go over in the morning as it opened and let Henry have a run around. 
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

40 activities to do with your toddler - an activity jar challenge


Pretty much every parent will tell you that they've had at least a day or two where they've really not known what to do with their kid.
If I'm totally honest, I've had far more of those days than I would like to admit, but entertaining a small person can be really hard work, especially when they have a short attention span, far too much energy, and you're feeling less than your best.

As I'm becoming a SAHM and will be battling the wills of two small people (though admittedly one will be far more controllable than the other) I decided I needed to come up with some ideas of how to keep Henry entertained, and keep myself reasonably sane.

So I scoured the internet for ideas of little things I can do with Henry on a day to day basis. As he's going to be with me solo parenting three days a week in June and four days from July, I wanted to put something together that would mean we would have varied days and weeks.

 And thus the activity jar was born!


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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Maternity Leave Round Two - what are my plans?


I'm about to start maternity leave for the second time, and I am oh so ready for it.
I won't lie, this pregnancy has been hard, and although I only work part-time, it's been difficult juggling pregnancy, a toddler and a job.

With Henry, I didn't actually start my maternity leave until the day after he was born (a Sunday) and I only had one week of leave prior to his arrival. So not an especially relaxing start to my leave. Of course I wouldn't change any of it for the world, but this time around I've decided to go off a little earlier than 38 weeks. My maternity leave officially starts at 36 weeks so I'm hoping for a good couple of weeks before Baby Boy joins us.
At the same time, Henry is dropping one day of nursery, so only attending two days a week, so although I won't be getting rest and relaxation every day, I will get two days a week to myself, and then some extra time with my little man before my time is split between two!

So what do I plan to do with my maternity leave this time around?

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Saturday, 2 June 2018

14 things to do with kids this summer for free (or just a few quid)


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Summer is finally on it's way, and I'm am so ready for sunny days with my boy/s.

With my starting maternity leave at the beginning of the summer, and Henry dropping a day at nursery, I wanted/needed to create a list of things to do on a budget with my boys.

I've admitted before that I'm not always great at playing, but like to do things with them both obviously, plus summer means lots of outdoors time. I want to get out and about as much as possible as I think I parent at my best when I'm out rather than cooped up at home.

So I've started to compile a list of budget-friendly toddler, kid and family activities to get me inspired and motivated, for hopefully, the best summer ever!


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