Thursday, 29 January 2015

My Hobbies - Cross Stitching

I thought it would be nice to show you what I do in my spare time (not that I have that much!) I mostly cross stitch, i've been doing it for probably around 15 years now, ever since my mum bought me my first kit, a little children's one.

I buy most of my kits off eBay, I never used to though! My mum started purchasing them off eBay, and as long as you read the description and check the sellers feedback you should get a good deal. As I prefer to use the auctions than the buy it now prices, as you get better deals. The little mini kit you may recognise from my What I got for Christmas post.

I'm currently working on a few different pieces, as I tend to get bored easily (haha!), this one is a Winnie the Pooh one, that is no longer available (another great thing about shopping on eBay). I have a few of these, and they're meant to be for Ben's bedroom, but I don't think they'll be up until he's 5!

I like to store my kits in these plastic popper folders, or I use plastic bags, although some are still in their original packaging, which I need to sort out as it's not great for storage.

This is a Christmas Dimensions kit that I'm also working on. I love Dimensions, as their kits are always so detailed and look fantastic when finished. I do have other kits I'm working on as well, but thought I'd just show a couple in this post.

I will do follow up posts on my progress of my projects, to add something a little different to my blog.

I hope you liked this post, and what does everyone else do in their spare time? I'd love to know.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Our Sleep Training Experience

When it came to wanting to get Ben to sleep in his cot, we hit a bit of a hurdle. When he was a baby he never slept on his own, apart from during the day in his rocker, at night he would never settle in his little crib or he would wake up when I put him down after nursing. So I just got fed up of no sleep, or sleeping with him in my arms. So I would nurse him whilst laying on my side, and him laying directly on the bed, with my arm around him.

Once we'd reached a year of breast feeding and co-sleeping I wanted to stop both gradually. With the sleeping we would try to rock him to sleep, and then wait until he was in a deep sleep before placing him in his cot, but time and time again he would wake up, either as soon as we put him down or a little later, he would go no longer than 2 hours without waking, and he would then end up coming into our bed, as we could never get him to settle again.

In the end I researched sleep training - as we were getting rather frustrated and really wanted Ben to be able to settle himself to sleep, that way if he woke up at night he would be able to settle himself back to sleep without one of us having to go into him.

I just searched sleep training on google, and loads of sites came up.

In the end I chose the controlled crying method, after researching I decided that this method would be the best for us, and most likely to work. As Ben would cry when in his cot, but I didn't want to let him cry it out.

Controlled crying is when you do your bedtime routine, put your baby down in the cot, and leave. Return after 1 minutes, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes. Which is what I did on the first night. Second night I left him for  2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes, 16 minutes. The third night I started at 3 minutes. One the fifth night I started at 5 minutes, and would then go in after 10 minutes, 20 minutes. By this time he was crying less, getting used to the time alone. I then jumped up to 10 minutes on the sixth night before I went into see him, and kept doing it 5 minutes later the following nights. Until we go to the stage where we just stopped going in and waited for him to fall asleep by himself before going and checking on him.

It was amazing and how quickly he took to it, and didn't cry too much after the first few days. He then also started sleeping through the night as well. Which he hadn't done since the day he was born. So we got a full nights sleep, and also time in the evening together, just us two which we hadn't gotten as one of us was generally trying to settle Ben to sleep.

I didn't try it earlier because he would fall asleep nursing. If there is another baby in our future then I will try it earlier than around 13/14 months, if we are in the same situation.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Gingerbread Biscuits

I've always loved gingerbread, whether it be the biscuits or cake (I'm yet to make a cake, buying a loaf tin is next on my list to purchase).

I found the recipe I used in Christmas cooking with kids, that I actually purchased in TK Maxx just over a year ago. I cannot post the recipe for copyright reasons, but I have linked a few similar recipes that I found that the bottom.

All three of us love these and I made them for family for Ben's birthday party last year and they were a great hit.

Here are some similar recipes that I've found online to the one I used:

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Sale Shopping

I did a bit of sale shopping after Christmas, I don't normally like sale shopping, but decided to brave the city to see what I could find. But first off I made an online order with Zara

 Leggings all £5.99

 Long sleeved top and Mickey Mouse jumper

Long sleeve Linen and lace top

 Pyjamas and pants from Mothercare

 Pyjamas from Next - the top is so soft!

 Shirt and fox top set from Boots Mini Club

Soap and Glory Gift Set

Thursday, 15 January 2015

My Christmas Presents 2014

As my last post was Ben's Christmas presents, I thought I would show you what I got, I always like looking at these types of posts or watching videos on youtube, to give me inspiration on what I might like.

Ottoman from my mum and dad 

Cake display plate from my Grandma and Grandad 

 Liz Earle set from the in-laws
Make-up bag, nail varnish and Soap and Glory body butter from my sister Julia
Soap and Glory gift set from Steve's brother and his girlfriend
Lush King of Skin body butter from Steve's other brother and his girlfriend

 Mini notebook and cross stitch kit from my mum and dad

 Burgundy Converse shoes from Steve

Pandora bracelet from my mum and dad

 Bag charm from mum and dad
Sweet Sister charm from my sister Louisa

 Yankee Candle set from my mum and dad

Thorntons Santa from Ben
Hotel Chocolat chocolate from my sister Julia's boyfriend
Mini Thorntons from Steve's other brother
Thorntons box of chocolates from a family member of Steves

Monday, 12 January 2015

Ben's Christmas Presents 2014

I decided to take a break from blogging last week, as I was on holiday from work along with my boyfriend, and it's nice to spend some time together.

So I know this post is a bit late in coming, but I find it's still good for ideas of what to get a toddler that may be a relative or friends child. Ben was 20 months old at Christmas, so all toys were for 18 months or older.

 A water and Sand Table

 Clothes, shirt was from Sainsbury's, NYPD t-shirt was purchased in New York

 Plastic playfood - ELC
Play cans - Melissa and Doug

 Little Cooks Kitchen - ELC

 Musical Instruments - ELC

 Read with me Scout by Leapfrog

My Own Leaptop - Leapfrog

A selection of books 

Gruffalo puzzles
Wooden train by Carousel - Tesco
Wooden alphabet toy by Carousel - Tesco
My 1st JCB - Argos
My 1st dot-to-dot

 Toot Toot Drivers cars by Vtech

 Micky Mouse bowl and cup - Disney Store
Money box

Farm and accessories - Brushwood Toys 

 Puzzle - Melissa and Doug

Ben also received some money, that we're going to put in his Savings Account, but I'm going to buy him a nice new pair of Clarks shoes in the Spring as well.

Some things are obviously for when he is older, the farm set is aimed from 3 years and above. So this is currently in a cupboard out of the way, will probably set it up on his bedroom floor when he's older.