Thursday, 28 July 2016

Getting your child to sleep in their own bed!

Making your child sleep in their own bed can seem like a bit of an impossible task at times. While having them occasionally hop in with you after a nightmare or something might not be such a problem, having them in with you all the time can cause issues. With that in mind, here’s some advice you can use to get your child to sleep in their own bed. 

Start as early as you can

The earlier you start teaching your children that they need to sleep in their own bed, the more likely they are to stick to it later on. It’d be difficult to find a teen or an adult that still hopped in with their parents. By starting when your child is a toddler, you’ll instill good habits into them.

Use positive language to help them

Positive language can have a huge effect on many areas of our lives, and the way we interact with our children and teach them things is one of them. Kids learn a lot from their parents! Saying something negatively and positively can ultimately mean the same thing, but the feelings positive language will create will have a better effect than negative language. Instead of telling your child that they must sleep in their own bed now or else (or anything to that effect), you should say things like ‘because you’re so grown up now you get to sleep in your own bed! How exciting!’. Make it fun for them and they’ll get excited. 

Slowly take yourself away

If you’ve let this go on for a while, it could be a case of slowly taking yourself away until they can drop off to sleep without you. After all, expecting them to sleep alone after years of sleeping with you will be painful and confusing for them. For example, maybe you could let them spend 15 minutes in your bed, and then take them to their own room. You could then sit on their bed until they fall asleep. Every few nights you could then move yourself further and further away, using a chair. Eventually, they’ll be able to fall asleep without you being so close to them.

Be consistent

Consistency is the key to really getting this down. You can’t let them have a night off after a solid week of sleeping in their own bed, as it could undo all of their progress. Make sure you stay firm and stick with your techniques to get the best results from them.

Give rewards

You could consider giving your child rewards for doing so well, if it suits. Maybe you could create a star chart, or give them vouchers they could trade in for more TV time, playtime, outings - whatever you like. Make sure the rewards are motivating to them, but don’t use bribery as a way to get what you want. They shouldn’t expect things from you. This is on your terms, not theirs!

Give them a clock

Give your child a clock. This could be a clock with a night light on it if they are afraid of the dark. If they know numbers at this point, you could tell them that they are not to get out of bed until the clock shows a certain number. This could stop them from disturbing you when they don’t know that it’s still the middle of the night after waking up.

Make sure they like their room

Making sure they like their room will ensure they want to spend more time in it. However, you shouldn’t fill it up with toys and things that could keep them awake at night. You want it to be cosy and relaxing for them. Maybe investing in a bed, like Cuckooland’s cabin beds would make them more excited to go to sleep. Keep clutter at bay, and don’t make the colours too bright and stimulating.

Give them something to think about

Sometimes, kids wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. If this is the case with yours, give them something to think about. Tell them to count backwards from a number, or count sheep. Give them a relaxing story to think about, or leave a book for them to read if that doesn’t work. 

Be firm

If your child constantly gets out of bed and still comes into your room, you must be firm with them. Pick them up and take them back to their own room eventually. This is a technique that Supernanny Jo Frost uses, and it works. It might take you putting them back in their own beds 20 times or more, but as long as you stand your ground, it’ll work. The key is cutting down communication. As they continue to come out of their room, you say less and less to them until you are simply picking them up and putting them back. This can deter them from getting up again. It isn’t about shouting at them and scaring them or threatening them! They might get teary and even throw a tantrum, but eventually they will calm down. This can be one of the hardest things for parents to do, but it can break years of bad habits.

Get them something cuddly

Maybe your child would enjoy having something to cuddle. Buy them a teddy bear or something to drift off with if they need comfort. 

See a professional

If you are still experiencing problems, it could be time to see a professional. Don’t be too hard on your child, as this can frighten them and get them stuck in negative patterns. You can still accomplish what you’re trying to do with lots of love and affection. It’s what is best for them after all! 

If you have any tips that have helped you get your child to sleep in their own bed, leave a comment below to let me know! 

48 hours in & around Blackpool // Day one

Last week we spent a few days pottering in and around Blackpool which, of course, is my most favourite place. Honestly, my heart aches so much every time we have to leave... I just don't know what it is about this seaside town.... I just love it so much. Oodles of nostalgia, perfectly British, endless entertainment.... Blackpool and the surrounding area really does "have it all" and me? I can't get enough!

As the weather was so good on our visit, we kept or trip fairly low key. We only visited a few attractions and spent heaps of time on the various beaches and in parks. Saying that though, we still managed to cram in quite a lot of stuff and so I thought i'd share our trip on my blog!

We drove up on the Wednesday morning, arriving fairly early to glorious sunshine. Our first stop was Park View in Lytham which is absolutely the most perfect place to spend a morning with little ones! Emilia loved the new sand and water play area and spent most of her time here just making sandcastles, playing with the water pumps and creating fast flowing rivers. 
There's everything at Park View.... from playgrounds catering for people of all ages (yes, even old folk!) to a BMX track, cafe and a gorgeous little vegetable garden. The park has a lovely community feel, we always make sure we squeeze in a visit whenever we're nearby!

After a busy morning exploring everything the park has to offer, we popped into the park cafe for a spot of lunch. Once we were rested and fed, it was time to hop in the car to drive to Blackpool. We parked in the Houndshill car park as we always do and inevitably, on our way out we were distracted by all the shops! The Disney Store in Blackpool is one of my favourite Disney shops, it is always so well stocked, the staff are ace and the interactive displays are well maintained. The same is true for a few other high street shops too including Primark which usually i'd avoid!

We popped into the tower building to collect our circus tickets for the following day and then headed out to the promenade for a potter around the comedy carpet, promenade and to spend the remainder of the afternoon on the beach. Emilia had a paddle, something I've still not done in Blackpool... ever. Shame on me! 

Late afternoon we checked into the Big Blue Hotel. We seemed to have settled on the Big Blue as our 'go to' place to stay in Blackpool, we loved it as a couple and we love it even more now as a family! Everything there is perfect.... wonderful location, spotless rooms and impeccable food (the breakfast is my favourite!). What more could you want?

It was our first time in a 'family room' now Emilia sleeps in a proper bed and my goodness, Emilia loved it. She had a separate area complete with bunk beds, Playstation console, games and television at the foot of the bed! Our room was complete with a view out onto the Pleasure Beach and Emilia loved watching the Big One whizzing past the window and waving to the little train! Absolutely perfect for a theme park crazy family like us!

Once we unpacked our bags, we headed out for our evening dinner. We hadn't booked in to eat at the hotel so decided to see what was nearby in south shore. We settled on the Velvet Coaster as we still haven't tried it and? I was actually super impressed! We sat up on the roof terrace looking out onto the promenade and following my meal I devoured the most amazing sticky toffee pudding with custard.... it was so. good. For a Wetherspoons? It was blummin' ace. We'll definitely be going back! 

After that we had a walk down south shore watching the sun go down, not forgetting to let Emilia have a go on the bouncy castle adjacent to the south pier which she spied from the Velvet Coaster. Honestly the most terrifying bouncy castle I've ever seen complete with an absolutely enormous clown that literally eats children and spits them out the back. Emilia loved it though, haha! 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

4 stylish ways to update your dining room

Your dining room is a place that will get a lot of use. The chances are that it gets used at least once per day for a family meal. So you after a while it will experience some wear and tear. It is natural to want to update the room and make a few changes after a little time. There are some simple ways that you can update the dining room, though. Here are a few ideas to help you.

Create a Focal Point

When you look in a room, it needs to have a focal point. In a living area, there is the natural focal point of somewhere like a fireplace. In a dining room, the natural focal point is the table. As a result, you will want to make sure that it looks so striking and draws people into the room. A great way to do that is by changing up the lighting that is in the room. A pendant light over the table can look so stunning. You could even consider getting a chandelier to hang over the table. It would add so much light and sparkle.

Change the Colours

If you change the colours in a room, you can make such a change. First of all, you need to think if you want to change the whole colour scheme, or just go for a slight change. Changing all of the colours could mean the furniture and flooring may no longer match. So if you do want to change all of the colours, this needs to be considered. If you are happy to change every aspect of the room, then go for it. It might even be worth getting a designer in to help you. You could check out Chandler interior designer for some ideas of the services a designer could offer you. If you’d like to consider fewer changes, then think of colours that will compliment the furniture that you already have. 

Use Mirrors

It might be an unusual choice to add mirrors into the dining room. But it can make a darker dining room look much brighter and airy. It can make the room look larger too. It will reflect the light and give the room a different dimension. Large mirrors that can take over a wall are a great idea. Try to avoid small and awkward mirrors in the dining room. You want it to make a statement.

Add Pretty Touches

Having a dining room that is appealing as soon as you walk in makes such a difference. So think about having some flowers in the room to add something different. They could be real or fake, whatever is easiest for you. How about a centrepiece for the table too? It could be something that you change up seasonally. If your table always looks ready to go, with a tablecloth, for example, it will get much more use. It will be so much easier just to go and enjoy being in that room when it looks good.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Attic Plans // Toy storage, blackout blinds and a teepee!

I imagine that many folk have a room in their home that doesn't really have a purpose and therefore it soon becomes the dumping ground for all the random crap that seems to constantly accumulate.... am I right?!

Well, our attic room is that room for us.

I have mentioned our plans to create some kind of workable office and playroom kinda space in there but before we can do that, we need to finish tackling the piles of clutter that currently fill every corner.  

I'd love for the space to be a really fun little room for Emilia to enjoy, as well as giving me somewhere to work. Eventually I imagine she'll take over that room completely and use it as her bedroom so I want to bear that in mind when it comes to furnishing the room.

Today I wanted so share a wish list of some of the things i'd like to see in there, a bit of an update on this post I did earlier in the year (yes, we have finally sorted that light fitting)!

Firstly, suitable blinds.... Essential for a good nights sleep in our house! Emilia is such a little Disney fan and I absolutely love these Disney Velux blinds over at They come with complete blackout for both night and day, perfectly combining functionality with the joy of seeing her favourite characters worked into the decor! There are 12 designs to choose from altogether featuring some classic characters but I really do love the Bambi design, subtle yet super cute!

Next up, toy storage! I love these cube storage units from the Great Little Trading Co.... I've had my eye on these for a while. The stone coloured finish is super elegant. I love that they can be combined with the canvas storage cube boxes too, perfect for tidying away all those toys at the end of the day! 

Finally, places to play! Our attic room is large enough to accommodate some bigger pieces and therefore i'd love to pop a teepee or play tent in there. The perfect little place to snuggle down and read stories, have tea parties and have fun! I love this floral patchwork teepee tent from Lulu & Weasel over on Not On The High Street.... such a pretty design! I'd probably try and sneak in there for some chill time too, to be honest!

Monday, 25 July 2016

The return of I-Spy books!

Do you remember i-SPY books? Well, I certainly have very fond memories of them from my childhood. Many a journey was spent looking out of the window trying to tick off every last item, it was such a great way to pass the time until we reached our destination!

This fantastic series of books has a surprisingly long and varied history and I am sure that there are so many of us who remember owning quite a few of the titles at some point! 
The series began back in 1948 when Charles Warrell began selling small paperbacks in his local Woolworths. The number of titles available to spot steadily increased as the popularity of these books soared. The series was later supported by the News Chronicle during the 1950's, then published by the Daily Mail until the late 1980's, when publication was taken over by Michelin.

I am so pleased to see that these iconic books from Michelin are making a comeback and are once again available to buy. We live in a world that is constantly dominated by technology but i'm rather fond of anything that will encourage children to engage and interact with the world around them. 

We were kindly sent two of the latest titles to try out, i-SPY On A Car Journey and i-SPY At the Airport.

I am forever looking for small but entertaining things to pack for long journeys and these books are very much a winner in my eyes! 

The books are nicely designed with full colour pages, interesting facts and of course, lots and lots of things to spot!

We are off to Florida later this year so i'll certainly be packing the airport book in our bag. Inside this book are things to spot whilst travelling to the airport, boarding, landing and even going through customs. Airports can be super stressful places so I think this book will provide a nice distraction for kiddo, especially as it will be her first time on a plane.

The car journey book is one I plan on keeping in the car. Inside this one is everything from road signs to different types of vehicles as well as interesting buildings, petrol stations and wildlife too!

Once the book has been filled in and you have scored 1000 points (each item to spot will gain you a number of points), you can hop over to the i-SPY website to apply for a certificate and a special badge that will be sent out through the post. Good old fashioned fun, I can't wait to get Emilia started with these books!

Other titles in the series include Creepy Crawlies, In the Garden, Dogs, Cars, Birds and many more.
Take a look at the i-SPY website to discover the full range of titles in this fantastic collection!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Things I've loved this week // 016

A little Sunday round-up, some of the little things that I've been loving this week!

We spent part of this week in my favourite place and the whole trip was just so lovely and just what I needed. We managed to squeeze in lots of touristy things as well as spending time on the many beaches and parks around the area. Of course, i'll be writing a proper blog post about our trip very soon! My heart aches so much every time we leave, I don't know what it is about this seaside town.... I just love it so much!

Sunny days
We've experienced a bit of a heatwave in northern England this week and so we've made the most of it by getting the paddling pool out, spending time in the garden and generally just taking it easy!

Pizza Hut
If you know me, you'll know I blummin' love Pizza Hut. Admittedly, we don't visit anywhere near as often as we used to but I think that makes our current meals there more of a treat (calorie wise, at least!). I was super pleased to see that they have recently started doing cocktails on the menu too so we made the most of their happy hour this week by sipping Pina Coladas which I must say, are pretty damn good!

Lord of the Lost
New song, new video..... of course i'm going to include this in my round-up! Counting down the days now until the new album is released.... not long now! My stars, hurry up 29th July!

Local days out
Honestly, I know I say this a lot but I feel so lucky to live in a city that's so green. We popped up to Graves Park at the start of the week and it was mighty hot but my little lady had such fun seeing all the baby animals, going on the bouncy castles and playing in the park. Sheffield is pretty ace.

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in a comment!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

5 ways to make the most of online catalogues

Catalogues let you pay for your purchases in instalments and have items delivered to your home address. Before you open a new account with one of these retailers, there are a few things you need to know. Here's how to make the most of online catalogues.

1. Look for discounts Most online catalogues let you use a voucher code that can be redeemed against your purchase, saving you cash. You will usually be prompted to enter a code when paying for your items during the checkout stage. Look for voucher codes on a retailer's social media sites, like Twitter or Facebook, or sign up a company's email list to receive the latest discounts direct to your email inbox.

2. Look for introductory offers Catalogues also offer discounts for new customers. This could be anything from money-off your purchase to free delivery. Finding a catalogue with a good introductory offer could bag you a significant saving so it's worth looking online and comparing different catalogue brands before you open a credit account.

3. Compare interest rates Interest rates will probably be the biggest factor you need to consider when opening a new credit account with a catalogue retailer. These can vary depending on the company so use a comparison website to find the best deals. Some catalogues won't charge you any interest if you pay for your order in a certain time frame.

4. Check clearance items and special offers. Catalogues will often have special offers throughout the year, including during the Christmas and New Year sales. This can be a great way to save cash, and you could make a huge saving. Alternatively, check out the clearance section on a retailer's website, were you might find end-of-the-line stock and reduced-price products.

5. Make repayments online A great way to make repayments on your purchases is by logging into your personal account on a catalogue company's website. Not all brands offer this service but it can be a quick way to make repayments without having to speak to a customer service advisor over the phone.