Archive | December 2011

Things I Have Learned in 2011

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As 2011 ends people tend to ponder how their year has been. Mind has been mostly about being a new mummy to a new baby. The year has flown by so quickly and has been filled with extreme highs and lows that seems to come part and parcel with becoming a new mum. These are some of the things that I’ve learned this year…

1. Boy Babies will wee all over you the minute you take their nappy off/take their nappy off.

2. You can be as meticulous as you like when bathing a baby and carefully prepare everything before you put the baby in the bath. As you take baby back out of the bath you will realise the towel is at the other side of the room.

3. How not to wean a baby.

4. The first few months with a newborn make you cry. A lot. At random things.

5. Being a new mum bring out the inner tigress in you. The saying should actually be “Hell hath no fury like a new mum scorned”.

6. Baby sick doesn’t bother you after your baby has thrown up on you for the 102747th time. If it doesn’t smell and the wipe gets it out then that is perfectly acceptable attire.

7. You can spend all evening admiring your little one and being amazed at how they can place one cup into another.

8. If you’re short, like me, it’s bloody hard to put a sleeping baby into the cot!

9. Planning two parties for a first birthday party is stressful. Men don’t seem to get *it* and will offer such helpful words of comfort such as “why do we need to have a party” and “I didn’t tell you to plan it, why are you taking it out on me”. A helium tank and balloons will get said man to come running to help like a little excited boy.

10. It’s not advisable to glare at the little Damian replica (straight from the Omen movies) at your child’s party. His mum is most likely watching you watching him.

11. Having a pull string piñata is no less violent than having one that you hit with a stick. Little people will still run around like mental lunatics.

12. Despite all the stress, during the moment of lighting the candle and singing the Birthday song, your precious boy has turned one, nothing else matters and people are genuinely happy for you. Bedlam recommences as soon as the candle is blown out.

13. Blogging has helped me capture a lot of baby memories and I love looking back over my baby posts.

Happy New Year everyone!!


How Do I Know Which Is The Best Washing Machine For Me

This is a guest post from the lovely Jenny from Appliances Online. Some of you may already be lucky enough know her as one of the Fairy Hobmothers. This post is a little guide to knowing what to look out for when buying a new washing machines.

‘How do I know which is the best washing machine for me?’

Give me strength; I can’t deal with all the washing machine jargon anymore! I just want a washing machine that will get my family’s clothes clean! Ours has been on the blink for an age and it’s finally clapped out.

So, what do I do?

I don’t have time to traipse round the shops calculating the difference in energy usage between 2 washing. They all look exactly the same to me!

I’m a busy mum with 2 kids and a just want the best washing machine for me. One that won’t cost the earth to run and will get the job done quickly.

That was me just one week ago, but a lot has changed since then.

My friend has opened my eyes to the world of washing machines and now I’m going to do the same for you.

She told me that the first thing you need to figure out is what size drum you need. If you’ve got 4 or more in the house, you’ll need an 8kg machine at least. It may be obvious, but more people create more washing, so I’d add an extra kg on for every extra couple of people in your household. Believe it or not, some machines can get as big as 12kg, so there’s definitely one big enough for everyone.

Once that’s sorted, you need to tackle the dreaded wash programmes. I’ll admit I probably only use one or two of the umpteen programmes on my machine, but there are actually loads that are really useful! Here’s my jargon busting guide…

Quick Wash – ​​​Only for lightly soiled stuff, so no heavy stains, sick or grease!

Eco Wash – ​Think of it like a car doing 30mph and one doing 100mph. The eco wash is slower but it uses less petrol and will save you money in the long run.

Deliactes/Wool Wash – ​Uses less spin and lower temperatures to keep the shape and quality of your clothes.

Sports/Outdoor Wash –​ Ideal for breathable or waterproof fabrics as it won’t strip the waterproof coating from fabrics.

Dark/Jeans Wash – ​Fewer spins and lower temperatures to keep the colour in your darks.

Anti-Allergy/Sensitive Wash – ​Uses more rinses and increased water to get rid of all traces of
​​​ ​detergent.

Simple right? So why must they make it so difficult? The trick is not to let them confuse you, just think logically and look for the cycles that you know you will use.

After the programmes, you may want to consider the energy efficiency rating. In short, the higher the rating, the more energy efficient the appliance. The more energy efficient the appliance, the less it’ll cost you to run in the long term. This is well worth thinking about if you’re considering spending a little extra on the appliance to save you cash in the long run.

After that, colour, style and fit type are all relative. Go wild and get a black one if you dare .

Christmas of Yesteryear

The theme on the very last Gallery for 2011 is Christmas of Yesteryear.

I ha a fair few ideas of what to use as my piccy, including my photo as Mary, aged 6, during a school nativity, the first time my brother met Santa and pulled his beard, aged 3ish and the first time we were allowed to go mental in the snow… Aged about 6ish. Those pics are in storage at my parents and it was taking me ages to try to actually find them! (My parents were trigger happy when we were kids and they must have about 2000 photos of us all put together. NONE in albums!).

So, I found a more recent special moment taken at Christmas; me and Baby Boy Z, aged about 9 days.

This time last year I was due to come home after giving birth and as luck would have it, our heating packed in. It was a bit of a blessing in disguise as I had no choice but to go stay with my parents, with new born baby in tow, for 3 whole weeks. I spent the entire time in my pjs and nightgown!

Here I am making the most important discovery ever. Both baby and I have the exact same chin (at the time he looked a lot like his daddy). My brother caught it on camera.


I actually didn’t realise it was Christmas day at the time until someone told me. But looking back, its one of the most memorable ones ever. Its when I realised my baby looked a bit like me!

You can check out other entries to the Gallery by clicking on the icon below

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Fly Thomas Cook Kids Club – Entertainment for All

When we were asked to review the Fly Thomas Cook Kids Club , my first thoughts were instantly to fly off to a hot beach, shades on, drink in hand. I clicked on the link and it opened up a whole little world, just for little ones.

Fly Thomas Cook Kids Club provides entertainment for your little ones for wherever you may be travelling to. The site is designed well and very attractive to children and has a number of games and fun educational flash cards you can download for free.

Each of the options provides games such as Dot to Dot, Flash cards in different languages (I was particularly impressed with this one) and even mazes. The site has 4 options, each with varying games and puzzles. All games can be downloaded in PFD version and printed in A4 and every page is designed to be coloured in. The quality is excellent and the variety will keep children entertained on both long and short journeys. My hubby’s eyes lit up when he found out there was a colour by numbers picture!


The age range is mostly 3 years and upwards, so unfortunately it was a bit advanced for Baby Boy Z.

My niece, on the other hand, enjoyed colouring in the flash cards page…


I enjoyed doing the Dot to Dot pictures…


And this is what baby enjoyed doing.


Fly Thomas Cook Kids Club is a simple but clever site with a wide range of paper activities to keep the kids amused during travelling (or maybe just for a bit of home entertainment) and the ease of use is what impressed me the most. No faffing and no sign up required which results in happy parents and, hopefully, more peaceful journeys all around.

On the whole we really enjoyed the colouring, the dot to dot and the colour by numbers (which hubby won’t let us touch!!).

Please note, this is a sponsored review. All views are my own.