Tried & Tested Tuesday

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Tried & Tested Tuesday!  We can’t wait to see what you’ve been reviewing over the last week or so and we always love the wide variety of products, experiences and blogs we get to read as a result of this linky.

We hope you’re getting on ok with the alterations we’ve made for the new year.  The plan is that these changes will make the linky easier for us to manage as it continues to grow.  Please do have a quick read to make sure you know what’s what!

* The linky will now only be open on Tuesday – from 8am as usual closing at midnight on the same day 

* If you’d like us to share your post on Twitter then please tweet us your link (@Lollinski@FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you 

* If you’d like Colette to tweet you a reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop her a tweet (@Lollinski) and she’ll add you to the list

* We will continue to feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and, if that’s you, we’ll send you the code for a very special “Tried & Tested Featured Blogger” badge should you wish to use it!

So if this is your first time here then welcome along! You can find out more about it and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too, it’s lovely to have you back! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – lets face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

Britax Advansafix car seat review from Lived with Love. With 6 (soon to be 7) children between us, we are always keen to hear about new car seats, and this one seems packed full of safe and practical features.

#TriedTested featured blogger

Cosatto Story bed review from Hollybobbs. It’s just so much fun, and makes a lovely change from the usual brown or white options!

If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment as well as a couple of others if you can – we know that people really, really appreciate the feedback! We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.  (Additional posts will be deleted out of fairness).We do our best to visit each post and leave a comment but we can’t promise to get round everyone every week. We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!

Family Fever

Bump watch: 18 weeks

bump watch, 18 weeks

The weeks are absolutely flying by. I am 18 weeks today, and in just 2 weeks I will be at the halfway mark!

I can’t wait for my next scan. Kevin wasn’t able to come with me for the 12 week scan, but he has booked the day off for the 20 week appointment, and it will be lovely for him to see the baby on the screen. We will also have a chance to meet my consultant and chat about the birth. I have some plans in place this time, and I really want certain things to happen if possible. I want the C section to be as natural as possible, with the baby delivered straight onto my chest. I am also going to ask them to cut the cord long, so that it leaves enough left for Kevin to cut the cord. This will be our 4th baby and he has never had the chance to cut the cord, so it would be a lovely thing for him to experience.

Symptom wise I am feeling OK. We have been on holiday to Center Parcs this week, and it has left me absolutely exhausted – I definitely felt the extra weight when we were cycling and doing lots of hill walking. I am achy and tired, but otherwise feeling quite well. The heartburn and headaches seem to have taken a back seat this week (touch wood) and I am really enjoying feeling the little flutters and rolls as the baby turns. I have also been using my doppler about once a week to listen in to baby – the heartbeat is always easy to find, just to the left of my belly button, and is between 155 – 160 bpm.

I haven’t really had cravings so far, but have definitely prefered some food to others. At the moment it’s a real fruit thing – I love fruit juices, grapes, red apples, pineapple and strawberries. Hopefully the healthy theme will continue!

If you want to read my 17 week update, you can catch up here. I will be back next week with the 19 week bump post!

Sleep routine for babies and toddlers

Getting your little one into a sleep routine can be really hard, yet there are some little tricks that can help you to achieve the holy grail of a full night’s sleep!

With my children I have always found that a set routine before bed is really important, even right at the beginning. We start with a warm, bubbly bath in a warm room. Following the bath it’s a massage with some baby massage oil. It is worth attending a few baby massage classes if you can, as you can learn some great massage techniques to help with relaxation and any specific problems, such as relieving colic.

Once your baby is in their pyjamas, it’s time for a feed. This is always done in a well lit room to prevent them falling asleep on the breast or bottle, as I believe it is important that babies learn to fall asleep on their own. This way, if they wake in the night, they may be able to settle themselves without needing a feed. While feeding, I find it a lovely time to softly sing or chat to your baby, the sound of your voice will naturally relax your baby, and it’s a great bonding experience too.

Once feeding is over, we pop on a Grobag. This keeps them warm and toasty all night, as they are not able to kick off their blankets. Just ensure that they are dressed appropriately, so if it is really warm, use a light sleeping bag and a bodysuit. If it is cold, you can use a thicker sleeping bag and a sleepsuit – or try a Grosuit for extra peace of mind. We use a nursery thermometer too – you get one with each Grobag, and they offer great advice on how many layers and which tog of sleeping bag to use. 

sleep, Grobag

Then it’s into a dimly lit room for a story. We have done this right from the beginning – reading to children is so important, and even right at the beginning babies enjoy listening to the soothing sound of your voice, and looking at pictures in books.

Finally, put your baby into their cot awake. This way they fall asleep on their own, and are more likely to be able to settle themselves again if they wake in the night. If your baby cries when you pop them down, place your hand on their tummy and say shhhh shhhh. Leave a soft nightlight on if it helps your baby settle. This can also be useful for night feeds. If you do feed in the night, keep the room dimly lit, and try not to interact with baby too much, keep it sleepy and soft so that baby learns to understand the difference between day and night.

This has always seemed to work for us, and all of our children have slept through the night from a fairly early age.

Project 365 2015, week 4

Project 365

Project 365

Project 365

Project 365

Project 365

Project 365

Project 365

Day 18 – Helping Daddy in the garden.

Day 19 – 17 weeks pregnant. You can read my latest update here.

Day 20 – Gemma has been saving her Christmas money for a special toy – today she splashed out and bought this remote control helicopter.

Day 21 – Max had already had a bath, but he was determined to gatecrash Jacob’s too!

Day 22 – Gemma’s 9th birthday. She has wanted a guitar for a long time, and she was over the moon to get one today. She took it off to school for her guitar lesson.

Day 23 – Magic tricks – Gemma has been busy trying out some of her presents.

Day 24 – Happy chappy – this little boy is always smiling.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Why so negative?

Negative people Photo Credit: Nicky Wilkes via Compfight cc

On the whole, I try to surround myself with positive people. I know everyone has down days – myself included and I will always be there to support friends in need. But on a day to day basis, I want to be around positivity, I want to feel like the world is a happy place to be.

Let’s stop and think about it for a minute shall we? How blessed most of us are? I know I am – I have 3 wonderful children, another on the way, a happy marriage, a home of our own, food on the table. Everything I could wish for really. There are days when I curse things, days when I moan and complain, but underneath it all I know how lucky I am to be in this position.

Since starting this blog, I have been thrown into the wonderful world of the blogging community – and most of the time it’s an awesome place to be. Bloggers are a friendly bunch, there is always someone out there, no matter what time of the day or night, who will help, advise and go out of their way to keep you on track. There have been times where I have hated blogging – it’s the same with any job, there are days when you just want to shut it all out and watch crap TV. But bloggers rally round, boost you back up and give you a virtual kick up the bum and before you know it you are back on the blogging bandwagon. I have met so many wonderful people – far too many to mention here – and who I now class as true friends. I wouldn’t have met them if it wasn’t for this blog.

Having said all that, there are a small minority who make it a dark place to be sometimes. Really dark and negative. They bitch, they whine and they undercut. They don’t congratulate you on your achievements, but instead ask ‘why you?’ They complain that you get ‘better’ opportunities, despite the fact that we are all different and all have something unique to offer. 

I just don’t get it.

I love it when my blogging friends do well. I love it when they get awards, receive a fantastic product to review, and get their posts featured on other sites. It just shows how much others love their work too – they deserve the recognition. They worked flipping hard for it. Why shouldn’t they shout from the rooftops about it? Why should they hide it away in case they upset someone else?

I have recently been having my blog header redesigned – my current header features 5 people and 5 handprints – and as we are soon to be a family of 6, it needed a tweak. I sent a sneak peek to a few trusted friends for some feedback. Now, I am all for constructive criticism – others pick up on things you may not have noticed yourself, and one of my lovely friends had a few fabulous suggestions that helped me make that header spot on. Others simply told me they loved it – and I trust their opinion. I got one reply that basically said ‘I don’t know why you are making a new header, it won’t get you any more views’.

Is it about that?

Do people really think I blog for stats? I like to think I am not that shallow. I love it when people enjoy my posts – but if my stats are down one day I don’t get too het up about it. I write what I want to write, when I want to write it – not everyone will love it all the time, and that’s fine. If we were all the same it would be a pretty boring world.

So, the point of this long and rambling post? Lets’ not spend all our time and energy putting other people down. Celebrate what others have achieved, and celebrate the fact they you are different. You will have achieved something else, somewhere else, that is much more you. We can’t all be the ‘top parenting blog’ – we are all top in our own way. Just remember how far you have come.

How to create a luxury bedroom

Creating a luxury bedroom Photo Credit: JasonParis via Compfight cc

All the best bedrooms exude luxury. These spaces should serve as a refuge from the chaos of everyday family life and offer the opportunity to relax and unwind in style. If your bedroom has seen better days and you think now’s the time to inject some extra beauty and comfort into it, take a look at these great design ideas.

Invest in quality bedding

Of course, a good quality bed and mattress are essential features in this part of the home. However, a surprising number of people fail to appreciate the importance of complementing these products with equally impressive bedding. A super-soft duvet and supportive pillows can transform your bedtime experience. Soft furnishing specialists like Julian Charles offer a broad range of bedding options. For the ultimate in comfort, it’s worth trying out goose feather and down versions. There is no substitute for the sumptuousness of these natural fillings, and they are superb when it comes to keeping you warm during the winter months.

Add an array of indulgent accessories

Don’t stop at replacing your duvets and pillows either. For the full effect, make sure you select bedspreads that both look and feel great. Why not treat yourself to stylish Egyptian cotton versions? This soft material is sure to help soothe you to sleep. You can take your pick from a variety of different designs and colours. For added visual impact, team your bedspread up with a throw and some extra cushions. Arranging these accessories on your bed will lend instant splendour to your sleeping quarters.

Think about introducing more detail elsewhere around your room too. Perhaps a soft rug would make the ideal addition to your floor, and maybe some new artwork would look stunning on your walls. Meanwhile, fresh flowers can bring colour and vibrancy, as well as sweet and relaxing aromas, to these spaces.

Choose your window dressings wisely

Take care to choose the ideal window dressings too. If you sometimes find yourself inexplicably awake in the early hours during the summer months, it may be because your room is too bright. To stop sunlight streaming in, you can fit blackout curtains. These products can also dull street noise and help to regulate the temperature. When pulled to, they can keep rooms cool during the summer and warm during the winter.

Whichever curtains you opt for, consider investing in some tiebacks to go with them. This seemingly minor detail can in fact have a major impact on the aesthetics of your boudoir, adding another layer of class and sophistication.

By following these simple suggestions, you can kickstart 2015 with a brand new bedroom that you can be proud of.

This is a collaborative post.