Quick evening crochet: Owl Hat

I’ve seen this child’s hat around a lot in the last year or so and always thought it was sweet – when I saw my friend’s baby wearing it this week it inspired me to give it a go and here is the result!

I’m really pleased with it, particularly as it only took me 2-3 hours to make.





Appologies for the terrible photos!

I found the pattern on Repeat Crafter Me. Looking at her blog I can already see there are loads more projects that i want to try, as well as making many more of these owl hats for friends!

What have you been making recently?

F x

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My teething baby: 5 tips.

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How will I know my baby is teething?

1. Babies can be “teething” for a quite a while before there is any sign of a tooth (anything up to three months!) Signs of teething can be chewing their fists and excessive dribbling. Some people attribute things such as loose stools and a fever to teething, but there is not medical research to support this.

For us, we had some discomfort for 2 or so months;we could see the tooth under the gum for some time (a white bud) then a black hole appeared in the gum. A few days later, there the tooth was, and its been slowly rising up ever since!

When will my baby get teeth?

2. As with everything in baby land – it varies, so don’t worry if your little one isn’t following Dr Google’s guidelines. But the majority of babies get their first teeth, the lower central incisors, around 6-10 months and the upper ones around 8-12 months.

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I’ve always referred to this chart for guidance. Click the picture to be taken to the original source.

How can I help my teething baby?

3. There are a range of teething gels, liquids and powders available over the counter at your local pharmacy. We prefer to use liquid Anbesol as it soaks straight into the gum. We found the gel slid around a bit and haven’t tried the powders yet, as we really do swear by anbesol. Most teething remedies contain a local anaesthetic and antiseptic to ease pain and prevent infection.

However, if you prefer something a little more completely natural, then some people swear by amber anklets or bracelets. I believe Amber Pumpkin is a popular site to purchase these for a reasonable price.

Our favourite teething toys.

4. Mummy’s hand….Daddy’s hand…. anybody’s hand she could get in her mouth….!

Ok, on a more serious note… we are fans of Sophie the giraffe (teething ring) Sophie’s are hugely popular and worth their price tag! We went for the teething rings so that A could hold it herself from a younger age. It has different textures for your little one to enjoy. The Nuby wacky teether –  a really cheap, bright and attractive option, also easy for your little one to hold; the bristly green section was a godsend for her first teeth! And finally the twist and turn rattle, featured in ‘Our Top 5 Toys’ last week.


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Do I need to brush my baby’s teeth? 

5. Once your baby has a tooth (or teeth!) then they need brushing! Help your baby brush their teeth twice a day with a children’s fluoride toothpaste. For babies (under three) a smear of toothpaste is all you need. Babies are unable to spit the toothpaste out, so any more than this then they will swallow too much fluoride – this will cause their adult teeth to be brown and patchy! You don’t need to take them to the dentist until they are around 2-3 years old, but it is always good to take them with you to your appointments so they can get used to the environment and learn that there is nothing to be afraid of!

How have you helped your little one with teething? Any magic tips?

F x

Toys for a newborn: Our top 5

Ok, so its true – your newborn doesn’t really need toys for the first few months. But its fun shopping for them, and – if you’re anything like me – you like to be prepared! So here is our 5 favourite toys for a ‘newborn’.
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1. My friend Emily (Lamaze toy)

With a clip on the top you can attach this toy to pretty much anything (a play gym, pushchair, car seat etc.) Each part of ‘Emily’ is covered in a different textured, different coloured material with a crinkly sound below, Alice has spent hours exploring the different parts of this toy. Now she is a little older (5months) she is using the rings that emily is holding to help with her teething. This was the first toy that Alice really started to enjoy around 3 months. Alice was given hers at my baby shower, but you can buy them from Amazon.

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2. Baby’s First Doll (Fisher Price)

A super soft, pink, padded dolly with a rattle inside; “baby’s first doll” is perfect for young babies. Alice has always enjoyed looking at this dolly and listening to the rattle. Since about 4months she has been able to grab the dolly herself and it inevitably rattles as she fires it towards her face (Thank god its so soft!) This, again, was a present but can be bought from Argos. Don’t be put off by the online pictures, its less freaky than it looks and your little one will love it!

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3. My Pal Violet (Also available in green called “My pal Scout”)

I purchased this as a christmas present for Alice in an amazon lightening deal for around £8 (what a bargain!). Each of the four paws has a different control: sleepy sounds, games, music and off (each of these with many different songs/games on). Violets ‘tag’ lights up as she talks and sings and what’s best is you can personalise Violet with your child’s name! I always get the songs stuck in my head…“me and my friend ALICE! we like to do everything together…..”  Alice has enjoyed this since about 3 months old and now at 5 months is mesmerised by the lights as she bites Violets nose and presses the buttons herself!

2317899454. Jellycat Bashful Blossom Bunny

There’s nothing particularly special or outstanding about this bunny, its just a soft toy! But it is our favourite. This is the first thing daddy ever chose and bought himself for Alice. He said that the ears are the type pattern that you’ll never forget. Alice has always loved having this near her and in her pram to gnaw on. I hope she grows old with this one. We purchased ours from Jojo Maman Bebe, but have also seen some John Lewis’ selling them in various sizes and colours.

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5. Twist and turn rattle

Out of all the many toys Alice received for Christmas, on the day – this was the only one she was interested in! With moving parts all the way down and rubber ridges on three parts, this rattle can be bent into many different shapes for your baby to chew on. I particularly like it as its small enough to carry around in the change bag for whenever entertainment is needed! I can’t find anywhere online that sells the one we were given, but amazon does sell a simpler figure 8 version which she also enjoys. Let me know if you can find the one pictured above to buy online and I will add the link to this post!

Whats your newborn’s favourite toys?

F x

Most Popular Baby Names of 2014

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Picking a name for your little one is one of the hardest and most important decisions you will have to make, pre birth. There are so many lovely names to choose from. And yet, somehow, some parents seem to have the ability to get it oh so wrong! Hashtag, Number 16 Bus Shelter, Lucifer and @ just to name a few! Obviously these are extreme examples and what is a ‘normal’ name for me might not be for you so I do try not to judge but when faced with a baby “Audi” I am forced to bite my tongue!

For us, we wanted to choose a name that was cute as a baby (check), cool as a child (check) and sensible enough to survive in the adult world (Check. I think.) – eventually we narrowed it down to ‘Alice’. Alice was, in fact, my grandmothers middle name so it is nice for there to be a namesake also.

If you look back through records, you can see how names seem to be becoming popular again from our grandparents generation (Ida, Stanley, Jack, Ava, James.) I expect this cycle will continue on forever (and no doubt more ridiculous names as parents attempt to outdo each other on ‘originality’)

Here are the top ten baby names for 2014 as submitted by babycenter users. Is your little one’s name on here?

Girls               Boys

Emma            Liam

Olivia             Noah

Ava                Mason

Sophia           Ethan

Isabella          Logan

Madison        Jackson

Abigail          Jacob

Mia               Lucas

Charlotte      James

Olivia           Oliver

For the full list please visit Babycenter.

Would your favourite name being on a ‘most popular’ list put you off using it? Or would this be the list that you make your choices from? What are your little ones called and how did you come to choose it?

F x

Music for Children and Babies – “Walter Martin – We’re All Young Together”

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*Image taken from WalterMartinMusic Etsy Shop

We’ve all heard the classics….

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands….

Row row row your boat….

Five little ducks went swimming one day….

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Lets be honest. These are 99.99% for baby’s enjoyment and we are more than tired of singing them over and over! It’s definitely time for something different. For the sake of your sanity.

Though not specifically a children’s’ album Walter Martin’s ‘We’re all young together’ is playful, mischievous and full of fun (read a full description here). It’s now a firm favourite of ours (we even had our first dance at our wedding to ‘Sing to me’!).

Give it a listen on Spotify and let us know what you think!

What’s your favourite music to share with your little one?

F x

5 Things I took for granted before I had a baby.

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I wouldn’t change being a mum for the world. It is hands down the best thing i have ever done. I would, however, take the time to go back and tell my younger self to stop, take time, and appreciate the following

1. Bathing more than once a week. Don’t get me wrong, I do bathe every day. But a lukewarm bath with a squiggly rugrat on your lap just doesn’t cut it sometimes. I greatly look forward to a Sunday afternoon where I can take my book to a bath that is so hot it hurts, and just sit there in adult bubblebath. Uninterrupted. This I do not take for granted. Because I know that soon enough, the afore mentioned squiggly rugrat will be pestering me to get out and come play with her!

*note to self: must move to a house that has a lockable bathroom door.

2. My pelvic floor. Before Alice i could quite happily sneeze, do star jumps, go on a trampoline; do all sorts of things without the risk of a bit of wee coming out. Nowadays I just have to cross my legs and hope for the best! If any of you ladies are currently pregnant, then – for your own good – do your pelvic floors! You’ll regret not doing it more.

3. A clean house. Now, I have never been the most tidy person in the world. But what I now deem as an ‘acceptable’ standard of living has changed dramatically in the last five months. My house occasionally resembles that of a student. Or a squatter. My dining room has now been renamed the laundrette (I occasionally find time to fold the washing, but rarely get time to put it away!) And you are lucky if you can navigate your way across my very small living room without having to step over toys, nappy bags, knitting and cold cups of coffee. But who cares, we see the carpet and the dining room table once in a while when we have visitors.

4. Staying up late ‘just because’. This was all well and good before Alice, but now I could stay up, but we all know that tomorrow will be the day that Alice decides that 5am is the time she wants to get up and play. Sleep

5. Popping Out. Not going away for a holiday, not going out for the day, not even meeting a friend for a coffee. But popping out.Getting up and leaving the house at a moments notice to get something you needed, or simply ‘just because’. Now we have to change her nappy, sterilise bottles and boil water, prepare formula, pack change bag, dress little one, put little one in pram, head towards the door. Reverse back into the house, that noise didn’t sound to friendly. Check nappy. Change nappy. Change clothes, this one went up her back. Put back in pram. Baby cries. Check your watch, its time for a feed. Feed baby, burp baby, baby throws up, change baby….you can see why I can never just ‘pop out’ any more, right?

What do you miss from your carefree days?

F x
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Handmade with love – my first make.

Now I love crochet. But recently I’ve been learning to knit and have really enjoyed learning. I thought I would make Alice a little something to wear and here is the result!

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This is a cable knit jumper using 4mm needles, 5 50g balls of double knit wool (We used Peter Pan) and a “Snuggly DK” pattern number 1813. (I got my wool and pattern from Get Knitted, Bristol – a really great friendly little shop local to me).

This took me about ten evenings of knitting to complete, but i am a complete novice and had to learn a lot of new techniques, so a more competent knitter could complete in less time I’m sure. I made it in size 6-12 months which fits fine around the tummy area but the sleeves turned out rather long, so if i were to do it again i would reduce the sleeve length to one more appropriate for Alice.

What are you guys making for your little ones at the moment? Do you have any good patterns to share?

F x

My next project is a crochet cardigan, so far i have spent one evening on it and it is near completion and looking much smarter than this cable knit jumper. For me, crochet is much easier and works up much faster! I will post the completed cardigan shortly!

Earth mummy, pushy parent, laid back mumma, super mum…

This is totally worth a watch!

Brilliantly put! Every parent is different, as is every child! Largely, there is no right or wrong! Let have happy mummies and babies!

What do you guys think?

F x

Sleep Secrets – Ewan the Dream Sheep

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Ewan the Dream Sheep (Can be purchased here for £29.95)

Ewan the Dream Sheep is a cuddly sheep that emits pink noise (Around 125Hz) and a lullaby to your baby to help them sleep. Choose from three different pink noise settings, or a lullaby by pressing each of Ewan’s feet. The pink noise, alongs with Ewan’s soft pink glow aims to replicate the conditions that your little one would be used to in the womb – therefore settling your baby to sleep.

I have to say that Ewan has been a lifesaver in our household, at 5 months old Alice is still using it every bed time and nap time, and i would say it is well worth the £29.95 that we paid for it. The only downside i can really find is that the pink noise is emitted for 20 minutes, so i sometime find myself sneaking into Alice’s room to put Ewan back on – this can get a little tedious! A little warning though, three batteries are used and they tend to only last about three weeks!

Now I know that not everyone can justify spending this money (If it wasn’t for money given to Alice when she was born then we might not have invested!) I really recommend this free app:

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Sleepy Sounds

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Choose from various sounds and a soft glow to help your little one off to sleep.

I have to be honest, we’ve been using this app more than Ewan lately; just don’t forget to put your phone on airplane mode or a phone call might wake your little one up and your plan would have backfired!

What tricks do you have to get your little one off to sleep?

F x

Our Favourite Books

I don’t think a child is ever too young to be read to. your little one might not understand what you are saying, or the story; but they will enjoy listening to the sound of your voice and looking at the pictures whilst being close to you. There is nothing better than holding a real book, and although i own an eReader I plan on helping Alice to continue to grow her collection of books!

I try to read to A every day, but at her age not all books keep her interested. She likes (who am i kidding) i like books that are written in rhyme. It feels more enjoyable for me to read and A likes to listen to different rhythms and pitches I read with.

Here are a few of our favourites.

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“The Gruffalo” – Julia Donaldson

This book has become hugely popular in the past few years and we can definitely see why! A lovely little story that reads like a song. And the great thing is there are many more books in the series for when you get hooked! We have this in a “board book” and A finds it fun to help turn the pages.

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“Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae”

This was bought for A by her surrogate Aunty (who incidentally has great taste in books!) Another book written in rhyme; a favourite to read most days!

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“Catch That Rat – Caryl Hart” 

You’re probably starting to notice the reoccurring theme now… we love books that rhyme!

Books can be really expensive, most seem to start around the £6.99 mark and that can soon start to mount up! Keep an eye out on Amazon; they often have popular children’s books for half price or less (with free delivery for orders over £10). Or if you prefer to shop in a ‘real’ shop then try your local Foyles bookshop. I could spend hours in that shop!

What books do you and your little one like to read?

F x