Tuesday 10 November 2020

Christmas Gift Guide for Babies & Toddlers

There’s nothing more magical than the first Christmas where your baby or toddler can finally begin to rip into their own presents and interact with their gifts. Harry turned one in November so he’s at that perfect sweet age between baby and toddler where I know he will be thrilled with whatever he gets and absolutely relish in tearing into everything!

If you’re stuck for ideas for your littlest, keep reading. I’ve compiled a little idea guide to give you some inspiration. They don’t need much at this age, but there are still some lovely options!

*Some items were gifted and some were purchased by me. All photography and opinions are my own*

Fun Sounds Love Monster

I absolutely love Love Monster. He’s a gorgeous red character from CBeebies, and Harry is always mesmerised when he’s on screen so I know he will be thrilled with this soft version. It’s a gorgeous soft fur material, perfect for cuddles and it features recognisable sounds from the show. 

Bobux Soft Soles

As Harry begins to take his first steps and toddle around the house, these soft sole shoes by Bobux make the perfect gift. They’re stylish and practical, and while bare feet are best for him to learn, now it’s colder these shoes are the next best thing. They’re flexible and breathable leather so he won’t be restricted at all, perfect for his development. You can see the whole collection here

Kid Active Caterpillar Tunnel

Perfect for inside and out, and foldable for storage, this tunnel is definitely going to be bundles of fun. I absolutely love the bold colours and I know any baby would be excited to crawl up and down or hide inside this tunnel. The material is lovely and crinkly too!

USBORNE “that’s not my” books

The touchy feely book range by Usborne is one of Harry’s absolute favourites. We already have a large collection of these books and be really enjoys turning the hard pages and finding the different textures. They’re a wonderful introduction to reading and great for their sensory development so I couldn’t resist getting a couple more for our collection. 

Lamaze Freddy Firefly Rattle

Lamaze toys are absolutely gorgeous- bright, colourful, interactive toys suitable from birth. We’ve had loads of them, but this one is new to us! Harry absolutely loves spinning around the wings on this rattle and all the different textures. Even as he’s got older it’s still one of his go to toys for sitting and quietly playing, and the hard wings are great for teething!

Melissa & Doug Blocks

I really wanted to include a more “open ended play” toy and I’ve been trying to think about toys that Harry can use for his development. I think these wooden blocks are an absolutely fantastic idea for Christmas- they’re great for small hands to explore and begin to learn to stack, you can use them for colour associations and eventually he can use them for imaginative play. They’re a lovely quality and I think they’re a toy that will get years of use with so many different ways to play. 


Tuesday 3 November 2020

Christmas Gift Guide for Four Year Old Boys

This year, Archer has finally got a really strong understanding of Christmas and how it works- he can’t stop talking about Father Christmas and he will happily list all his requests when asked... thankfully so many of the things he’s asked for we’ve been able to find and I’d absolutely love to share some ideas with you. 

Archer is three, turning four, and all these gifts would work wonderfully for your four year old!

*Some of these items have been gifted, and some of them were purchased by me. All photos and opinions are my own*

Baby Shark Singing Puppet

Baby shark do do do do... you’ve all heard it and it still hasn’t bored my kids! This Daddy Shark puppet is absolutely fantastic- the faster you move his mouth, the faster he sings, and the slower you move the slower he sings! The full song is included so get ready to sing along!

Paddington Interactive First Tablet

This little tablet is absolutely adorable, in the shape of a paw. It features lovely graphics from Paddington Bear and the buttons are really soft and easy to press. The games themselves are very educational but age appropriate meaning they can be challenging and fun at the same time. It’s a lovely small size meaning it’s easy to pop into my bag for Archer to play with if he’s got to sit and wait for something or for a car journey too. 

Peppa’s Phonic Alphabet 

This lovely set of interactive blocks is absolutely perfect for this age group. Phonics will be a huge part of Archer’s education when he starts proper school in September, so this gift is great for those first introductions to phonics, vocabulary and basic spelling. By incorporating a recognised character like Peppa with games and education it really is an all round lovely gift idea for this age group. 

Little Brian Paint Sticks

Last year I featured the Little Brian Easel in my gift guides, and this year they have an amazing giant paint stick storage with a whopping 30 paint sticks inside! I absolutely love the fact I’ll have somewhere handy to put them all away and these paint sticks are genuinely a miracle when it comes to keeping art time easy and tidy. No need for brushes or water, you just pop the cap off and paint! 

Super Mario Bros 

I have so many fond memories as a small child, watching my mum play Mario on our old Nintendo. I loved taking turns and asking her to help me and playing with my brother, so while I’m not always a huge fan of a lot of screen time I’m super excited to give this to Archer. He absolutely loves playing Mario Kart and I think he’s going to really enjoy playing this with the family. The game has multiplayer capabilities which is fab too, and I’ve found even at this age he can pick up the controls and figure out what to do quite easily. 

Melissa & Doug Puffy Farm

I absolutely love Melissa and Doug toys and this simple sticker set is no exception. The puffy stickers can be used multiple times in the barn book, which comes with a little handle making it easy to transport. There are several different “scenes” so Archer can set them up and play over and over. 

Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Stamp Set

This lovely wooden stamp set comes with everything you need for some easy crafting. The ink has a lid meaning it won’t dry out and it comes in a sturdy wooden box meaning it has a place to be put away!

Hey Duggee & Squirrels Figures

Archer has a few sets similar to this from his favourite TV programmes and he has really started to enjoy sitting and playing imagination games with figures and characters. This set has solid plastic figures and of course features the one and only Duggee. A-woof!

Super Mario Bowser Castle

As I mentioned, Archer really loves the characters from Mario games and I know he’s going to absolutely love playing with this castle. It has moving parts, a cage, sound effects and came with five characters plus accessories! Most shops only sell the characters separately but the castle itself is cheaper in these cases. I picked them up together in Costco but you can buy them from loads of different online retailers. 


Sunday 1 November 2020

Christmas Gift Guide for 6 year old girls!

 I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas! It hasn’t been a year for shopping, but if you’re ready to dip your toe in either online or offline I’ve got some fantastic ideas for you in this years Christmas gift guide. 

If you’re in need of some inspiration, here are my top ideas for girls age 5-6!

*Some of these items have been gifted, and some have been purchased by me. All photos and reviews/opinions are my own*

Ultimate Sparkle Science by John Adams

With 10 sparkling chemistry experiments, this toy is a fantastic educational and exciting option! I absolute like  love toys that work curiosity in Isla and educate while still being fun, and this is definitely a top choice if you want a STEM gift! From Crystal growing to making their very own shower jellies, this set has a really lovely variation of experiments and activities that support the national curriculum. 

Gemex Starter Kit by John Adams

If you’ve been keeping an eye on trends on tiktok and YouTube, you will have seen resin pouring! This set is exactly that- your child can create their own custom resin gems to turn into jewellery. The gel dries in just three minutes, meaning less mess and more enjoyment for your little one. 

Vet Squad Reef Rescue

I grew up watching Animal Hospital and playing with RSPCA toys and pretending fro be a vet, so these toys gave me such wonderful nostalgia! From individual themed vehicles, to larger play sets you can build a lovely collection of these toys. Isla absolutely loves imaginative play with figures and animals so I know she’s going to want more of these. 

Nebular Rollerblades from skates.co.uk

Rollerblades are back in fashion and I am so excited for Isla to get stuck into learning how to use them! These absolutely gorgeous Nebular skates feature light up wheels, easy to adjust straps (so no shoelaces!) and a gorgeous pink and black design. There are so many other gorgeous vintage looking pairs on the website too that you can see here

Harry Potter Room of Requirement Lego

Anyone who knows Isla knows how much she loves Harry Potter and she is an absolutely huge fan of Lego too. These sets are such wonderful quality and long lasting. The instructions aren’t too complicated for children as young as she is and I’ve found it so satisfying watching her really use her mind and time to build these things. This set is smaller so perfect for someone just branching into the more complicated builds. 

Harry Potter & Luna Lovegood Dolls

Isla already has the gorgeous Hermione and Ron dolls from this wizarding world range and they’re very similar in stature and quality to a Barbie style doll. With easy limb movements, removable interchangeable outfits and a wand accessory they’re fantastic quality for the price and there’s a huge range of characters available. The Luna was only released this year and it’s definitely nice to see her wearing her iconic clothing vs the Hogwarts cloak- something I know a Potter fan of any age will appreciate when receiving this gift!

Colouring & Personalised Pencils

You can’t do a present for a Potter fan without including this fantastic colouring book. Where a lot of these books are usually for adults with a lot of complicated detail to colour, this book is much more appropriate for young children to use- you can find it on Amazon. The lovely pencils were an absolute bargain from Studio at only 2.99 and I got a set for Archer too as they were such good quality for the price. 


Thursday 27 February 2020

Palmers Range [Review]

I am stretchmarks. I have scars. Most are from three pregnancies, some are from generic weight gain, puberty... it's a natural thing. There is an enormous culture for loving your body and while I do love my body, I don't love my stretch marks as much.

So when I was invited to try the Palmers range for both myself and baby, I was thrilled. I had used the Palmers Cocoa butter on myself in the past but I had no idea they had such an extensive range to try out.

The Massage Lotion and Massage Cream saw me through a lot of pregnancy. They are both extremely similar in what they do for softening skin and helping with stretching and itching (they contain collagen and argon oil which are wonderful for your skin!) however I found they had a slightly different texture. I preferred the massage cream for rubbing onto my stomach every day to ease itchiness and hopefully stave off too many new stretchmarks/reduce their appearance, and the lotion was a little runnier so perfect for making Jack give me foot rubs and back rubs!

Now I'm postpartum, I've been using the skin therapy oil to try and heal my skin from where it had grown and shrunk from pregnancy. It's super silky and has an amazing smell, and taking just a few minutes after a bath to apply it all over not only makes me feel good (self care is so important to mood) but I do think its seriously improved the condition of my skin. I was so dry and red after giving birth and now it's feeling better than before I even conceived.

Stretch marks are of course inevitable for some women. I knew I'd get more, but despite having the biggest baby I've had out of three, I didn't get nearly as many this time, they are definitely not as angry and red as I've had before and I'd like to say it is because I did what I could to help my skin using this range.

The baby range has also been an amazing addition into Harry's bath routine. The bottom butter is lovely and thick and I apply it after his baths once he's dry, as well as after his nappy changes and he's had no issues with rashes at all.

We also use the baby oil. I rub it quickly in my hands to warm it up and give him a baby massage which stops him screaming (he hates getting out the bath, more splashing please mum!). It isn't excessively greasy so it soaks in pretty fast so I can get him dressed quickly before he goes off to bed, and it smells absolutely amazing without being harsh on his sensitive baby skin at all.

I'm ridiculously impressed with the range- from bust cream to firm them up a bit (after breastfeeding I'll be so grateful for this) to bottom butter, there's a product for all mum and baby skin. I've even wondered if using the same product scent on myself as I do on him relaxes him and makes him think of me.

I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All words, opinions and photos are my own.

Alternative Newborn Photo Ideas

I've been having buckets of fun on Instagram lately- if you don't follow me already, I really would love if you checked out our page!

I've been sharing all the alternative ways you can take newborn photos. Are you a bit of a geek? A Harry Potter fan? Just looking for something different?

Here are a few ideas to tickle your fancy- there'll be more coming soon so definitely give us a follow here.
I wouldn't have nothing if I didn't have you- Monsters Inc

Harry solemnly swears that he is up to no good!

We love you Harry, to infinity and beyond.

I can fix it mama, I can fix anything!

I'll be your hero mum!

Chicco Next2Me Magic [Review]

For the last three months, we’ve been using the Chico Next2me Magic crib beside our bed for Harry to sleep in and I have to start this review by simply stating it is the best baby item I’ve had!

We coslept with Archer. He was a terrible sleeper and up to around 7 months old he refused to sleep unless he was touching me in some way- putting my hand through the bars of a regular crib didn’t cut it.

I knew if there was potential for us to have a similar experience this time around, I wanted to try a Chicco crib as they offer the option to “co-sleep” without actually having baby in your bed- which would mean more sleep all around for me and Jack this time! So when I was offered a Next2Me Magic to review I jumped at the chance. 

There are so many wonderful features which appealed to me with this crib. It isn’t just a generic side sleeper!

The crib itself is able to tilt at an angle, which is extremely helpful for babies who are suffering with reflux and/or congestion. It has breatheable mesh all around it, which is super easy to remove for cleaning as well as perfect for circulating air so baby can stay cool when sleeping.

One of the mesh sides drops which allows the conversion from crib to side sleeper and its really easy to do one handed which is great if you have your hands full (which you definitely will with a baby!). You can also click a button on each side to unlock the stand and put it into rocking mode which is great for comforting Harry when he is fussing.

I was worried about using it against my bed- we have a low to the ground futon style frame without any space for the legs to slide underneath (similar to how a duvan sits just above the floor) but the feet retract and once the brakes are on the wheels and the safety straps were on it sat perfectly. The height also wasn't an issue as you can lower and raise the crib depending on the height of your bed.

It’s been an absolute life saver for the last three months. I’m breastfeeding, and being able to just lean over and gently pick Harry up from beside me means he is far less disturbed and settles easily when set back in bed. If he is fussing, I don’t even need to get out of bed to comfort him as he is right there beside me.

It’s absolutely perfect for any parent interested in co-sleeping safely, and unlike a Moses basket which he would grow out of around 3 months old, it is suitable up to around 6 months which means I can keep him in my room for a lot longer.

The crib itself can also be used as a travel cot with carry bag means when we’ve stayed with relatives, and for our upcoming holiday, we can easily take it with us and he will have a familiar sleep environment. The adjustable height means I can change it to suit whichever bed we are in when we go away too!

It really is one of the best pieces of baby equipment I’ve used and I give it all the credit when I look at how well Harry sleeps at night. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

It has a higher price tag than a Moses basket or standard small wooden crib but I think the features and ease of use as well as how long they can stay in it completely make it worth it. The added bonus is that it comes in three really stylish colours (we went with grey but there's also tan and white) which means it fits into any room without looking out of place or garish.

I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All words, opinions and photos are my own.

© Under Our Roof
Blogger Templates by pipdig