Summer Essentials For Busy Mums

This is a collaborative post.

I don’t know about you but I am always busy doing something. I work from home – juggling a lot of different working hats too (blogger, freelance writer, virtual assistant, proofreader), I am also the main person at home doing the housework as Steve is out of the house a lot of the day. I also have Olivia at home all day (as she is too young for her free hours yet and I don’t really have the finances to put her in childcare) and so I am the main person taking her to her different groups, doing the school run with Jack and taking him to and from his groups.

As you can imagine, I don’t get much time to stop and actually relax. I actually went to bed for a lie down yesterday about 8pm for thirty minutes (I had so much to do but didn’t feel 100%) and woke up this morning instead – this very rarely happens and was very much needed!

With me being on the go all the time, I thought I’d talk about the essentials I am going to be needing this summer. What are your summer essentials?

First of all – and perhaps one of the most important summer essentials for everyone – a good sun cream. I can guarantee I will be out in the sun a lot this summer so I definitely need to ensure I’ve always got some suncream on hand.

A decent pair of shoes is my next choice. I spend a lot of time in flats during the summer but they can get worn out very easily – I do a lot of walking in the summer and this wears my shoes down quicker than I would normally do. I’ve been thinking about investing in some loafers or moccasins for the summer – perhaps some of these pairs from Damart – as they look very comfy, good quality and will wear better than a pair of ballet flats.

Thirdly, I will definitely be needing some maxi dresses. I mentioned in a recent post that I tend to wear leggings a lot – and my outfits can often be all black – which is not ideal in the summer and I can overheat. Maxi dresses are both stylish and light enough to be the perfect outfit option in the warmer months.

My final choice – and perhaps a weird one – is hairbands. I usually get my hair cut quite short in the summer – not pixie cut short but above my chin slightly. However, my hair grows incredibly quickly and I often end up with quite long hair by the end of summer. In the heat, I hate having my hair draped down my back, getting in my way and making my neck unbearably hot so I always like to put my hair up in a ponytail or a bun.

What summer essentials are on your list this year?

 

Mum Time – The Importance Of Making Time For Yourself As A Mother

Written in collaboration with Mary Davis

In today’s world women juggle a career, relationships, family, a household, activities and many do so all while being mums as well. The question is therefore, are women making enough time for themselves while trying to do everything? It is extremely important to make time for yourself and do things that contribute to your overall wellbeing.

THE BENEFITS OF MUM TIME

Mums, especially ones with small children are always on the go, running around after their children, doing errands and taking care of everyone in the family. While taking care of family always remains a priority, it is also important to factor in a bit of “mum time”. Alone time is important because it reminds women that they are not only mums, but also women who have interests and activities outside the house and who enjoy doing more grown up thing from time to times.

Regularly taking time for you has proven beneficial for mums and the whole family, as it shows children how important it is to have personal interests and it encourages them to find an activity or passion of their own. A bit of mum time is also beneficial for mental health and recharging while taking a step back from stressful and overwhelming situations. Mum time is also great practice for a future in which the kids grow up and no longer need assistance 24/7, it allows mums to prepare for the free time they will slowly start gaining back as their children prepare to leave the nest.

HOW TO ENJOY YOUR ALONE TIME

A few activities perfect for taking some mum time range from catching up on a favorite tv shows or books, to getting a fresh haircut and manicure as well as getting out of the house for a relaxing walk or fun activity. Mum time can be the perfect time to catch up and watch any new and recent movies. Streaming platforms like CHILI for example are perfect for this, as they offer a lot of up-to-date content from which to choose from. Mum time is also a great chance to catch up on reading and finishing that book that has been left untouched for quite some time. Taking a nice long bath can also be a great way to relax, wind down and pamper yourself. Getting a new haircut or simply getting a blow-out can be enjoyable and the perfect way to prepare for a nice dinner out without the kids. Going to the gym for example is also a great way to work off any stress an feel better in your own skin. Catching up with friends over a glass of wine or lunch is also a fantastic way of hitting pause on mum duties.

While it can certainly seem difficult to put yourself first when juggling children, a family and a million other things, even a few hours a week of some alone time or in the company of someone not inside the household can be extremely beneficial for a mother’s mental health. Understanding the importance of taking some time off can also make you a better parent, also by showing children that they must always take care of their health and happiness.

Are You Saving Enough For Your Child’s Future?

This is a sponsored post.

Saving money for my children has always been a big thing for me – and for other members of my family. Jack was very lucky when he was born to be gifted quite a bit of money from family and friends and always gets some across birthdays and Christmas. Olivia, being the second child, didn’t get gifted quite as much but still receives some each birthday and Christmas too – although she is of the age that people tend to buy her clothes and toys!

They both have their very own savings accounts where they are saving their money for whatever they want it for in the future. We chose the bank they are using specifically for the benefits they get and can’t wait to see their final figure when they reach 18. But what I wanted to ask today is are you saving enough for your child’s future?

This infographic from Shepherds Friendly reveals some data they’ve collated – what are your thoughts?

Are You Saving Enough?Are you saving enough?

Survey results from 2,000 parents showed that only 43% of parents said they would consider opening a savings plan for a child – something I found very shocking!, 65% said they would only pay in between £10-£50 a month (not shocked by this, everyone has different budgets) and 32.8% are saving towards a housing deposit for their child.

We aren’t saving for anything specifically with our two children – we put money into their accounts, they put birthday and Christmas money in if they wish to save it and other family members put money into their accounts too – but what they do with it when they are older is completely up to them. Of course, we will encourage them to use it on something sensible such as a house deposit or a car but at the end of the day, it will be their money to do what they want with.

We are currently happy with the level of savings they have and what we are contributing however we do take a regular look at it to see if we can add more. Once we are completely debt free and our own savings accounts are looking a little more healthy, we hope to be able to contribute more but we are currently satisfied with what both the children have.

Are you saving enough for your child’s future? Do you believe in saving for your children or letting them save? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How to Choose a Crib Mattress for Your Nursery

Collaborative Post

Among the best experiences in life is bearing a child. Once you have delivered a baby, you want to make sure that he or she feels the love you have on him. One of the best ways to do this is by purchasing a comfortable and safe crib mattress for the baby.

The problem is the fact that there is a variety of companies manufacturing these mattresses today. As a result, they are available in a range of brands and at a different price. Each of the products has unique qualities from others. In this way, selecting the best crib mattress turns to be a tricky exercise.

In consideration of this, we devoted our time to generate a guide on how to choose a crib mattress for your nursery. We aim to make sure that your selection process gets simplified. The followings are seven things that you should look out for when purchasing a crib mattress.

  1. Safety Standards

The first step to make sure that you are buying only the best is by considering safety standards. The federal regulations outline the rules of a full-size crib as well as the mattress. Understanding these regulations gives you a chance to buy both the crib-bed and the mattress separately. You’re sure that they’ll fit each other perfectly.

Such regulations ensure that there is no head entrapment between crib and mattress sides. Therefore, it helps to reduce any chances of the baby suffocating. You should make sure that the space between cannot fit two fingers stuck together. It’s a regulation that got enacted by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. This article will help you learn more about these regulations.

  1. Construction Structure

In the market, you will have a variety of materials used to make the mattresses. These include foam, innerspring, and organic mattresses. With foam mattress, they are less expensive in comparison to innerspring. Their thickness ranges between 3” to 6”. However, we advise that you consider picking a foam mattress that gets the specific design for babies. By doing this, you help to reduce the chances of SIDS or suffocation. Excellent foam made crib mattress should be firmer than softer.

An innerspring mattress is a better option than the foam crib beddings. You can evaluate the efficiency of the bedding by checking on the amount of steel used in the making. You can also consider purchasing organic mattresses. However, the materials used such as organic cotton and wool are expensive. In this way, this mattress type is more expensive in comparison to other mattresses.

With these types of mattresses, you’ll have a variety to consider. Therefore, you should spend time learning about the benefits of each brand. By understandings pros and cons for each mattress type, you can comfortably purchase a category of your choice.

  1. Weight

Another significant factor that you should consider checking is the weight of the crib mattress. For a foam mattress, consider picking a weight that ranges between 7 to 8 pounds. The density can, however, rise to 20 pounds. For the innerspring baby mattresses, you should run for something that ranges between 15 and 30 pounds of weight.

Charles 🇵🇭

  1. Double Side Mattress

It’s possible that you have seen some mattresses marked 2-stage while in the market. What it means is that one side of the bedding is firmer and the other one softer. You can use the firmer surface for infants while the fainter side will perfectly suit the toddlers. You, therefore, stand a chance to reuse the mattress as your baby develops in different stages.

However, whether to turn the mattress should not be a random choice. You should consider talking with a pediatrician before making the final decision. Also, before you can purchase the bedding, you should check for a tag showing which side is firmer and which one is softer. If the label is missing, ignore that particular product.

  1. Air Venting

When you purchase a mattress, you should consider buying one that has a proper venting. The cover should be in a position to ensure sufficient airflow throughout the bedding. The venting should also assure that the baby can adequately breathe without any complications.

There are chances that the baby will roll and sleep on their stomach. When such a situation happens, and the beddings lack proper venting, the baby can suffocate and die. A flawlessly vented mattress should consist of side vents to keep the air moving correctly.

  1. The Cost

The cost of bedding is also an ideal factor on how to choose a crib mattress for your nursery. You should consider a price that comfortably fits into your budget. From the statistics, a perfect quality mattress will sell at the cost of approximately $90 to $200.

It’s good to note that, higher prices means extra unique features incorporated. Take an example of someone shopping for an organically manufactured mattress. Or a cushion that comes with an allergen-reducing cover. Such a buffer will not sell for a price of less than $190. You can, however, find crib mattresses that cost as low as $40 but the quality is not up to standards.

The best thing to do when it comes to cost is not to consider saving money. If you want something that is perfectly comfortable for your baby, be ready to spend as much as possible.

  1. Crib Mattress certification

The first certification for a standard mattress is the Consumer Product Safety Commission certificate. If you’re purchasing the bedding in the US, you should also check if it passes the “American Society for Testing and Materials.” You can as well check on other certifications such as the Global Organic Textile Standards. The GOTS is a regulation that runs all organically made textiles. The procedures call for 70% organic fibers in the making of the product.

The Final Verdict

When you consider selecting a mattress, you should always think of the comfort and safety of your baby. For proper guidelines of safe baby sleep, consider these tips, which will help you make sure that your kid sleeps safe and out of possible injuries. Don’t worry about the cost of the mattress if the quality is your drive. Make sure to purchase the best to make sure that your baby enjoys the comfort of the bed. Also, make sure to check on the presence of all independent certifications if you aim to buy the best.

Checking Out The Smyths Baby Room Catalogue

AD – This post is in collaboration with Smyths

Smyths is a shop I spend a lot of time in. We have a store the next town over and I could easily spend hours in there. Forget all the toys and stuff for my kids, there’s plenty in there that I want. The majority of Jack and Olivia’s birthday and Christmas presents came from the store and they are one of our go to places when Jack needs to buy a present for a friend’s birthday party.

The brand have just released their Baby Room catalogue which is filled with gift inspiration for kids under three. I’ve been checking it out – seeing what products they have to offer and making a mental list of some items I plan on getting Olivia in the near future. Why not take a look and see if any products take your fancy?

As is to be expected in a baby catalogue, there are plenty of pushchairs, strollers, car seats and other baby accessories. There’s also plenty of nursery furniture available too. I knew that you could get these items from Smyths but did you? So many think of the brand as just selling toys and games! There’s even products for sleeping, for weaning, for potty training and for when they are on the move. Smyths really have covered all bases when it comes to every stage of your child’s life from birth to age 3.

I loved going through the catalogue, making notes of products I know Olivia would love and seeing some old favourites such as the Big Steps Play Musical Activity Cube (which I reviewed here). There’s a great selection of brands available such as Big Steps, V-Tech and Fisher Price and gifts that suit every price point.

There’s also a variety of indoor and outdoor toys.  If you are looking for a scooter or a trike for your child, there are plenty to choose from and if play equipment for your garden is what you are searching for, there is plenty of that too.

What I also love – and didn’t actually know that they offered until today – was the note about free car seat fitting on the back of the catalogue. You just need to ask their certified Baby Experts for free advice and a free car seat fitting in-store. I was also made aware of their new Facebook group ‘Smyths – The Baby Room’ which I also didn’t know existed until today. Both these things fill me with confidence that Smyths are totally a brand to consider when it comes to all things baby.

It seems that Smyths have plenty to offer families who have children between the ages of 0-3. Not only do they have a vast selection of toys and games for this age group but they also have an amazing selection of baby safety products and so much more. With the ability to get a free car seat fitting in store and be able to buy all your baby needs in one place, it sure would be difficult to make the decision to go elsewhere.

Did you know Smyths had all this to offer? Do you shop with Smyths – whether in store or online?