Masons 4 Month Update

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Look at his cheesy grin! Bandana bib from @sewsian

How he is 4 months old I’ll never know.  It has completely flown past.  He’s getting bigger and cheekier by the day!

He got weighed last week and at 17 weeks my little chunk weighed in at 16lb 8oz.  He’s pretty much fully into 6-9 months clothing although as I write this he’s wearing a 9-12month t-shirt and it really doesn’t look that big!  He wants to be on his feet all the time and if you hold his hands he actually tries to take steps which is bloody terrifying.  His right leg moves so quickly but he really has to concentrate to move his left.  He looks at it so angrily as well, as if he’s trying to work out why it won’t do what its told!  He’s still rolling front to back and almost back to front, if he could just figure out what to do with that arm he’d be off!

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Omg the leg rolls! Told you he was a chunk!

Sleep wise he still does a solid 11-12 hour stretch a night, we’re getting closer to having both him and Connor in bed at the same time.  Just now there probably about an hours difference, which isn’t bad going, all things considered.  Napping has pretty much gone out the window this month – Mason is King of the Catnappers.  He seems to have a couple of days where he’ll nap for 20 mins at a time then one day where he spends the majority of the day asleep – obviously catching up on all those lost zzz’s.  However, if he’s in the car or pram (and it’s moving, always has to be moving) he will sleep for the entire trip – sometimes if you’re very lucky, he’ll stay asleep even once you’ve stopped (that is the dream!).  He’s developed a wee thing for rubbing blankets over his face when he’s tired, particularly soft, fluffy blankets, I think he’s going to be one of those kids who has a comforter – Connor never was.

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See what I mean about the blanket? Don’t worry he could still breathe!

We’re still not a particularly big fan of the dummy.  He will only take the Mam soothers – yep, the ones that are £6 a whip, only the best for Mason!  Connor wouldve taken any old dummy, he wasn’t fussy, but Mason is a whole different kettle of fish.  He really only uses it to get to sleep then once it falls out he doesn’t wake looking for it, I’m hoping that means it’ll be easier to get off him eventually!  He has cottoned on to the fact that sooking the dummy means 9 times out of 10 he’ll fall asleep so he’s taken to spitting it out, if he’s trying to stay awake – I told you he was cheeky!

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How cute?!

He is still the biggest smiler out, giggles are starting to become more frequent and he really is just the happiest baby.  Goos and gaas are pretty much constant now, he even shouts at you if you have the cheek to look away from him.  He loves attention, which he gets plenty of from his big brother.  Mason just loves to watch Connor and I can see already that he’s desperate to join in with all his nonsense – they’re going to be some pair!

Mason is still teething, those bottom 2 teeth are just about through, infact they may well be completely through but he won’t let me look in his mouth!  Dentinox teething gel and his fists are his best friends at the moment.

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Mason looks like one of the Mitchell brothers!

The biggest thing thats happened this month is we’ve started weaning.  For no reason other than he seemed ready and we were right.  This boy loves his grub, just like his big brother before him, there hasn’t been anything he’s disliked.  So far he’s had porridge, broccoli, banana (huge hit!), strawberry, carrot, peas, parsnip and pears.  He still has his 4 bottles a day but I’ve cut him down to 6oz instead of 8 at breakfast (using the other 2oz to make his porridge) and the same at dinner time.  He still has 8oz at lunch and 9oz at bedtime.  Water hasn’t been such a big hit but we’re persevering and offering it in a sippy cup with both meals and throughout the day, I’m sure he’ll grow to love it eventually.

Mason Loves

Standing Up – all the bloody time, he wants to be upright constantly

Music – He loves people singing – George Ezra is a particular fave at the moment.

Food – Banana and carrot have been his favourite so far.  Although he hasn’t spat anything back at me!

Connor – He just adores his big brother.  He would watch Connor all day if he could.

Mason Hates

Naps – Catnaps for the win apparently!

Water – This does get spat back at me regularly.

Lying down – Still not a fan, I think its more to do with nosiness than anything.

Overall, he really is the best baby.  I can’t complain at all.  Mason has made having 2 kids so easy for us so far, I hope it stays that way!

V x

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Days Out : Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life

 

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Connor had his first nursery trip last week – how is he big enough for trips?  Anyway, the venue of choice was Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, it used to be called Summerlee Heritage Park when I was wee!  The museum was built on the site of the Summerlee Iron Works and you get to explore the old buildings and see the machinery etc that was used back in the day.  It has Scotlands only operational heritage tramway so you can hop onto the tram and go to see the old miners row cottages – one of which is now a sweetie shop!   You can take a guided tour around the recreated mine and see the dark, cramped spaces the miners had to work in .   We didn’t make it that far of course because there is a MASSIVE play park and the sun was splitting the trees, so guess where we spent almost our entire day?  Yep, at the play park.  To be fair, the weather was gorgeous and there were plenty of little picnic tables dotted around so us Mums were pretty happy to just sit and watch the kids play.

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When we first arrived, Connors group took part in a workshop where they were shown how to do the washing – 19th century style, complete with wash board and ringer.  The kids loved playing with the big soap bars and the tin water buckets.  They got to wash an item of clothing, put it through the ringer and then hang it up to dry on the line.  Afterwards, they all settled down for a story in the sunshine; the man who held the workshop (I can’t remember his name!) was so nice, and really took the time to explain everything to the kids and answer any questions they had, no matter how weird or wonderful.

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Since it was such a beautiful day we took a little walk; the grounds are lovely, there’s a gorgeous seating area just next to the entrance and large pieces of machinery are dotted about the place.  Everywhere you turn theres something interesting to see.  So like I said, we found the play park and the boys set up camp there for the next 2.5 hours!  I managed to get into the actual museum with Connor for a quick look but only because we took an “accidental” detour on the way back from the toilet!

The museum itself is full of treasures from the 19th century, there are little themed spaces with sports memorabilia, an old cinema set up, a shop complete with products – we even saw a diy enema kit!!  Music from that era is playing in the background and it was just lovely to watch the Connors face as I explained to him what things were; some things were so alien to him he couldn’t even guess what they were meant to be!

There are some interactive activities around the museum – building blocks, musical instruments – and they are all linked in some way to the part of the exhibit they are in.  There is also a Treasure Hunt app which you can download and use during your visit, we didn’t manage do that this time, but it’s definitely on the list for future visits.

After our quick toilet trip it was back to the play park where we enjoyed our lunch in the sunshine.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how gorgeous a day it was, have I?  We don’t tend to see the sun often in Scotland (although we’ve seen it quite a lot recently) so when we do we make the most of it.  There is something for all ages in the park, I’m pretty sure I saw a pirate ship and I heard Connor mention a car, although I didn’t see that myself.  The park itself is boxed in by loads of trees and the boys just loved running through them and making dens, they swore they saw a baby rabbit.

Talking about baby animals, there were cygnets next to the Vulcan boat which is moored just down from the play park.  The Mummy and Daddy swans were not happy about all the kids running about and did a fair bit of hissing and wing beating.  I’ll be honest, swans scare the shit out of me.  I got bitten by one when I was little and I’ve never trusted them since.

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We finally got the boys out of the play park 20 minutes before the bus was due to leave.  So that left just enough time for a tram ride,  they had a ball sitting up on the high seats and looking out the windows to wave to all their friends.  The tram stop is right at the entrance to the park and I think its £1.50 for an adult and 95p for a child to ride (something like that).  It takes you up the side of the museum and round to the old miners cottages.  As I mentioned before, one of the cottages has been turned into an old sweetie shop selling all kinds of delicious treats.  Connor, of course, chose the biggest blue lollipop he could find and by the time we got home he was part human, part smurf.

Each of the other cottages on the row have been decorated in the style of a different decade  – 1920’s, 1940’s, 1960’s etc – I think I got pictures of most of them.  I think the only room I missed was the 1910’s and thats because when I walked into the room I had the most horrible feeling and got shivers right up my spine so I had to leave quickly!  No idea why, I just got a bad vibe from that room I think.

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My favourite room was the 1960’s, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen my post the other day.  I just love the wall colour, I also loved the fact that in the kitchen of this wee cottage was a coach built silver cross pram.  I’d have absolutely loved to have one of those!  The boys were amazed to learn that the music was coming from a record player and that the tv was in a box – who would’ve thought?!  Sadly we didn’t have time to go down the mine, which was the one thing I really wanted to do.  My Papa (Connors great grampa) used to work down the pits and he really wanted me to take Connor and show him what his Papas job used to be.  I’d quite like to see it myself; learning about years gone by (particularly in Scotland) really interests me and I’m hoping I can pass that on to Connor and eventually, Mason.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the bus.  A quick trip to the gift shop and yet another Hot Wheels car and we were ready for home.  We had the best day at Summerlee and will definitely be going back over the summer – I will get down that mine!  Best of all, its all completely free!  You only have to pay to ride the tram and if you choose to get something from the cafe or gift shop.  It’s the perfect family day out regardless of the weather.

 

Have you been to Summerlee?  What did you think?

 

V x

Top 5 Luxury Fathers Day Gifts

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Here I am again with another Fathers Day Gift Guide.  This time it’s slightly more ‘high end’ – although everything featured is under £150 so not too pricey – and even better, all of these gorgeous products are made by Scottish companies.

Dalvey Salamander Gents Wrist Watch

Website

This gorgeous gents wrist watch is from Dalvey; a company based in the Highlands of Scotland.  Dalvey is a family run company which has been in business since 1897 and sells a variety of luxury products – from shirts to fragrance to timepieces.  The Torque Wrist Watch I have chosen (or rather, David has chosen) is the Salamander style in orange and black.  It comes in a beautiful presentation box, complete with certificate of authenticity and warranty – it really does make the most beautiful gift.  Coming at £129 it’s not too expensive and definitely a bargain, considering the workmanship which has gone in to the making of this watch; the quality is second to none.  It was hard to choose just one watch to feature in this guide as Dalvey make so many beautiful pieces – I particularly love this skeleton pocket watch.  But as it’s a Fathers Day Gift Guide I thought it best to let David choose and I think he chose well.  The Salamander has many features including – a scratch resistant mineral glass lens (perfect for David, he’s so clumsy!), it’s water resistance to 50m and day, date and 24 hour functions.  Dalvey also offer other complimentary products if you really want to go all out this Fathers Day.  Delivery is free on all orders over £75 and there are gift wrapping options available for that finishing touch.

The Torque Wrist Watch combines masculine engineering with meticulous attention to detail, robust functionality, and exceptional design. A versatile style, the Torque is the perfect gentlemen’s accessory for all occasions.

A bold statement piece, the Salamander combines deep, richly textured black with accents in blazing sunburst orange and mirror-polished stainless steel for a design that’s tough, refined and striking. Perfect in combination with the Kraken Pocket Square and Insignia wallet. Impressive packaging makes this wristwatch an ideal man’s gift.

Pickering’s Original 1947 Gin

Website

Now, I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to gin; I’ve never particularly liked the taste or smell although, I am aware that new flavoured gins are taking over & I should probably get involved.  However, I am reliably informed by my husband that gin is actually quite nice, hence why it’s included in this guide.  The lovely Leah over at Pickering’s Gin gave me bucket loads of information regarding gin and now I feel pretty knowledgeable about it all.  This particular blend (get me!), the original 1947 gin, is distilled to an exact recipe given to Mr Pickering by a school friend of his late father and comes highly recommended by Leah herself.

This is a style of gin that has been largely lost to history as it would have been used over in the last days of the Raj to mask the taste of anti-malarial tonic water.  1947 Gin doesn’t have a drying agent like most gins so we find that even gin skeptics, particularly rum drinkers, are very fond of it.  The perfect serve is with light tonic water and a slice of orange, but its versatility and level of spice mean that it is great with ginger ale, apple juice and in a variety of cocktails.

Candelle and Co Personalised Soy Wax Candle In Jar

Website    Instagram    NOTHS

Because men love a candle too you know!  Candelle and Co are a company local to me who specialise in fragranced gifts.  They do everything from wax melts – which smell incredible & last ages – to room mists and diffusers.  The owner and creator, Danielle, is an absolute sweetheart & so passionate about her brand and products – rightly so I might add!  I met her last year at a pop up shop (although I don’t think she knows) and it was clear to see how much she loves her business.  She designs such fantastic products I just had to feature Candelle and Co in this guide.  These particular Dad candles are exclusive to Notonthehighstreet.com and come in 3 scents – Pink Prosecco, Orchid Noir (my fave!) and Black Fig and Coconut.  The jars can be personalised to say anything you fancy.  You have up to 50 characters; simply choose which colour of font you would like (black or white) and enter your text into the box before you click add to basket!  These candles come in at £25 plus postage and they are worth every penny; the throw from them is amazing – it will literally fill your whole house.

Candelle & Co was established in 2015, home grown in Scotland by Danielle Calder.  All products are hand made from start to finish with fabulous fragrances, fun phrases and designs.  Danielle creates these in her studio at home.

The Kraken Beard Co

Website    Instagram

Made by a beard for a beard.  Now, I’m no expert when it comes to beards, far from it in fact and if I’m being 100% honest I wasn’t even aware beard care was a thing until the beginning of the year.  Thinking about it, it does make perfect sense; we women take great care of our hair, buying all the latest products, conditioning it regularly to make sure it stays lovely and soft – why shouldn’t a man do the same for his beard?  Enter The Kraken Beard Company, handmade in the Scottish Highlands and using 100% natural products.  They offer a variety of beard oils, balms and even combs, all to ensure that the man in your life has the best beard he possibly can.  There are a few gift set options available and the packaging is very old school – I absolutely love it!

I am super passionate about natural, handmade products.  It all started with me creating my own to try and make an all natural, cheaper, good smelling alternative to what was already on the market.  All products are handmade by myself in Inverness, the Scottish Highlands.  Everything is 100% natural and made in small batches.  All components are locally sourced with the exception of the combs .  The Kraken Beard Company believe that the way our products are presented is as important as the product itself.  We pride ourselves on having quality products and excellent service.

Kingdom Scotland Fragrance

Website    Instagram

I first came across Kingdom Scotland when they ran a competition earlier this year to celebrate the release of their first collection of limited edition perfumes and have followed them ever since.

The collection consists of 3 different scents –

Metamorphic, a scent inspired by the complex geology of Scotlands landscape.  Rich and complex with top notes of black pepper and tobacco.

Albaura, inspired by the Aura and ancient name of Scotland, Alba.  A fresh scent, with hints of artic poppy.

Portal, a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.  A woody, outdoorsy scent featuring Scots Pine and Bergamot.

These gorgeous fragrances are meant to be enjoyed by men & women alike, and Kingdom Scotland are currently offering free delivery within the UK so what are you waiting for?

Our perfumes capture stories, experiences and dramatic contrasts at the heart of a land that enthrals the imagination. Consciously crafted in Scotland, using only the finest natural and aromatic ingredients. This is Scotland’s First Fragrance House creating evocative and modern scents.

I’ve absolutely loved putting these guides together and I hope you’ve all got some inspiration from them!  I’d love to hear what you thought, please leave a comment below or come follow me on Instagram @lifeinthegingerlane 

V xx

Fathers Day Gift Guide – Insta Shops

I don’t know about you; but I’m fed up with the same old, shop bought, Fathers Day tat year in, year out. So this year I thought I’d see what some of the small Instagram businesses had to offer and I was amazed. So amazed in fact, that I thought I would put together a little Gift Guide and share what I found with you.

All of these products are handmade and can be personalised to suit you and every single one of the business owners are absolutely lovely!

I’ve included links to buy each of the items in the guide plus a link to each shops Instagram – please go and give them a follow!

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Personalised Slate Coaster – @meganandmadisonltd 

Instagram    Website

I loved this coaster design as it has a simple, classic style.  Lucy at Megan & Madison offers a variety of products, all of which can be personalised to suit your needs.  Her newest make involves engraving your little ones hand & footprints on to slate, wood or acrylic – the sweetest little keepsake.  The quality is fantastic, they are so reasonably priced and I can’t wait for David to see this on Fathers Day – he’s going to love it!

I am a wife and Mum of two sweet, kind little girls.  I also run a business; Megan & Madison which I am super proud of and which allows me to just be me for a while.  I have always loved arts and crafts, so being able to design and make pretty things that people will treasure is a fantastic job to have!

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Family Portrait – @peachiepiedesigns

Etsy    Instagram

How gorgeous is this print?  The perfect gift for your little ones to give to their own superhero plus it will look amazing in your home afterwards – win, win!  These prints are a Fathers Day special and are currently on offer for just £23!  Ordering is easy and can be done via the Etsy shop linked above, all you have to do is send over some photos of the people you want included in the print – it’s as simple as that.

I just love bringing a little Peachie Pie happiness to peoples walls with my illustrations.  Each one is personalised for every individual and completely one of a kind.

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Fathers Day Prints – @prettypersonal_crafts

Instagram   Website

How sweet is this? I’ve seen loads of prints for Fathers Day but the majority of them were pretty similar to one another. These two stood out a mile away because they were different to anything I’d seen before.  The football top one is my favourite!

Pretty Personal Crafts is a small business which is run by a mum of 2 (soon to be 3) where personalised unique gifts and keepsakes are created. Each item is made to order and designed to suit the customers requirements. There is a large variety of products available…and each one is made with love.

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Laser Engraved Chopping Board & Coaster – @happyblossomgifts

Facebook  Instagram  Etsy

Is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen? I sent over a picture Connor had drawn on one of those magnetic scribbler things & his name and as if by magic they appeared on this beautiful wooden coaster.  I saw the video of it being made and it really did look like magic!  I actually think its too pretty to use as a coaster so I think I’ll either wall mount it or attach a magnet to the back of it & put it on the fridge.

Happy Blossom Gifts is a small, one man show and every product that leaves my little workshop has been made with love, care and attention to detail. I love receiving orders from new customers and do my best to make sure what leaves is something that can be cherished for years to come.

Happy Blossom Gifts have very kindly given me a discount code for you all to use.  So enter GINGERLANE10 at the checkout to get 10% off!

 

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Dad Scrabble Tile Frames – @aimeesscrabblewordart

Facebook    Instagram

Continuing the superhero theme are these lovely frames from Aimees’ Scrabble Word Art.  These come in various different forms as you can see in the picture and feature tiny superhero figures – how cute?!

Aimee’s Scrabble Word Art is a small home business run by Aimee who is a Mum of 1 little lady.  All frames and accessories are hand made to order and can be personalised to any specifications.  Unique gift ideas for any occasion made with love and scrabble!  All frames and accessories are available on Instagram and Facebook with a website coming at the end of June.

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Personalised Pint Glass – @printinglilly

Instagram

Is it really a Fathers Day Gift Guide if it doesn’t include some kind of glass?  These pint glasses from Printing Lilly are a lovely change to the usual type you find in the shops.  I particularly love the ‘This guy is one awesome Dad’ glass – David has referred to himself as ‘This Guy’ in the past so its perfect for him!

I’m a teacher and a Mum.  I started doing little craft projects as a hobby; like hampers and other bits and bobs.  Then I decided to make some glasses – I wanted some for a gift but the ones I saw were quite expensive so I decided to have a go at making them myself!  I just want my products to be fun and reasonably priced.  I love handmade gifts myself and want others to enjoy them too!

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Clay Tile Frame – @claycreationsforyou

Instagram    Website

This beautiful frame had to be included in the guide; I mean, how could you not love it?!  Clay Creations For You frames come in two different sizes – two tile or nine tile.  Prices start from £18 for the 2 tile up to £35 for the 9 tile, the quality is excellent and they are well worth the money.  They are accepting orders for Fathers Day up until the 1st June so be quick!

Unique images on clay, handmade for you.

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Daddy’s Little Box of Treats – @little_bird_designs

Etsy    Instagram

I’ve never seen anything like this gift before so when I came across it I knew I had to share.  The set includes 12 little cards and each has a special ‘treat’ for Dad.  Whether that’s a long lie, unlimited cuddles or breakfast in bed you can personalise the set to suit you.

Welcome to Little Bird Designs.  A small, design led company based in the Shropshire countryside.  Design inspiration chiefly comes from the in vogue Scandinavian styles, and are designed to fit into todays modern home.  If you’re looking for special occasion gifts or something to brighten up your home then Little Bird Designs is for you!

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Fathers Day Activity Box – @the.great_eskape

Instagram     Website

 This is a little something for the kids to do with Dad.  A craft box filled with goodies for both kids and adults to enjoy; this particular one is Fathers Day themed.  You can purchase this as a one off box or as part of a subscription; the boxes retail at £9.75 each and I think its the perfect way for your little one to spend some quality time with Dad.  The Fathers Day box will include an activity book, a craft activity to complete, fathers day card and resources to decorate.

The Great Eskape provides themed activity boxes for young children (aged 2.5 years – 6 years).  Our boxes are catered to different events and festivals throughout the year.  Boxes are designed by early years workers to create togetherness for both adult and child and are aimed to bring a part of nursery/school life home.

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Laser Engraved Keyring – @thelaserengravingcompany

Instagram     Website

I absolutely love this keyring; there’s something about the wood paired with the laser engraving that just appeals to me.  There are various different styles of keyring available especially for Fathers Day and Tamzin from The Laser Engraving Company was such a big help when discussing the options available.  Ordering is easy to do via the website linked above, go have a look; I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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Personalised Baby Bibs – @sewsian

Website     Instagram     Facebook

These gorgeous bibs are from the lovely Sian over at Sew Sian.  They are embroidered and can be personalised to say whatever you like.  The quality is fantastic as is the craftsmanship, Sian is lovely too!  Sew Sian offers a whole range of products and are always open to new ideas – they love a challenge!

Sew Sian is a small business ran by first time Mam, and lover hall things handmade, Sian.  It began as a dream long ago and was made a reality when Sian gave birth to here son, Archie.  Every item is embroidered and sewn to the highest quality and completely personal to each customer.  With a product available for every age and occasion, you’ll love our fantastic range of personalised items.

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Chocolate Sweetie Bar – @flossyfizz

Instagram   Facebook

I know what you’re thinking, and yes they really do taste as good as they look.  The perfect gift for those with a sweet tooth, these treats can be personalised to say anything you like.  Flossy Fizz have a huge range of products and they all look absolutely delicious.  I can think of nothing better than getting a tasty gift like this through the post; my idea of heaven!  Orders can be made via the Instagram or Facebook links above, please give them a follow!

I hope you enjoyed this Gift Guide.  Please let me know what you thought & if you buy anything I’d love to see it!  Which is your favourite product?

V x

Mama Needs New Glasses – Perfect Glasses Review AD

When I was pregnant with Connor 4 years ago, I noticed a major change in my vision, obviously I got it checked out straight away and bought myself some new glasses only for my prescription to change again when he was born. Apparently high blood pressure & general pregnant-ness can cause changes in your vision which may only be short lived. Obviously I was unaware of this and spent a fortune on my new frames only to have to go out a few months later and get a new pair. Rookie mistake. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Mason, this time however, I was savvy enough to know what was happening and wait until he was here to have my eyes tested. There had been a definite change in my prescription which would require new frames, so when PerfectGlasses.co.uk reached out to see if I would like to work with them again I was very excited!

I did a review of Perfect Glasses last year which you can see here, I opted for a pair from their cheaper range called Jorgio and was pleasantly surprised. This time around I decided to go for a more expensive pair of frames and using the try-on option I tested out probably every brown coloured frame on the site (I’m not brave enough to try another colour) and finally settled on a pair of designer glasses by Police. They are a dark brown with red legs and a little silver detailing in the corners, not my usual style with the red in them – slightly out of my comfort zone – but I loved the shape! Price wise these came in at £180 but are currently £90 using the discount code HALFOFF. There is such a huge range of both men’s and women’s glasses available, from basic frames starting at £15 to prescription sunglasses I challenge anyone not to find a pair they love!

The service was very quick and professional; my new glasses were courier delivered within the week & boy was I glad they were. The headaches and scrunched up eyes are long gone and I can finally see clearly again! My glasses came in a lovely protective case with a little cleaning cloth & I absolutely love them. The frame is slightly darker than I had expected but I’ve gotten used to that and actually I really like it! The glasses themselves are lovely quality; they feel very sturdy and I’m not concerned about them breaking easily – a very real possibility with 2 boys in the house!

Overall this has again been a very positive experience & I have been recommending Perfect Glasses to all my friends and family. So if you need new glasses or fancy treating yourself to a nice pair of sunglasses for the summer then definitely get yourself over to PerfectGlasses.co.uk especially whilst there is 50% off – what’s not to love?!

Teething with Belo & Me

Both of my boys were early starters on the teething front. Connor began to show signs bang on the 3 month mark & made us wait until he was 9 months old before we saw the first tooth. He continued to teethe until he was around 2.5. Ashton & Parsons teething powders and Sophie the giraffe were all that eased his pain so when Mason started to show signs of teething we assumed the same would work for him.

Mason was born with 2 little indents and the top of a tooth showing through his bottom gum so really it was only a matter of time before that started to bother him. I think the first signs of discomfort appeared at around 7 weeks however, he was diagnosed with reflux at the same time so I’m not 100% sure. By the time he was 9/10 weeks he was showing definite signs – chewing his fists, rosy red cheeks & more saliva (although not quite drooling). We tried him with Sophie, he didn’t like her. We tried various other teething toys and he didn’t like any of them. He’s still a bit wee to properly hold things which was the first problem. And secondly, doesn’t seem to like anything in his mouth apart from his fist – which is fine, but he rams it so far into his mouth he ends up gagging. I was also concerned that he would end up with sore hands from them being constantly wet.

When I saw that one of the products Belo & Me sell is a teething mitt, I was amazed, this one little product could possibly solve all of my problems. It comes in 2 designs – blue/grey clouds or pink/grey stars & retails for £12.99, obviously I opted for the blue and ordered it right away.

Our parcel arrived within a couple of days and Belo & Me had very kindly included another couple of bits for us to review – another teething toy for Mason and a crafting kit for Connor. The teething mitt goes on a like a normal mitten would and has a velcro strap to secure and tighten it around the wrist. The first couple of times I put it on Mason he wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it & would stick his arm straight out like he had a cast on! It took a few attempts and I had to show him what to do but I think we’ve finally cracked it. He seems to really like chewing on it and it’s big enough that he can’t fit the whole thing in his mouth – so no choking!

As you can see, Mason loves his mitt & it really seems to ease the pain.

What helped your little ones through teething?

V x

You can find the teething mitt here.

The Old English Company Enamel Pins

I’m the first to admit I’m not the most fashionable. I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought something other than leggings/jeans/jumpers to wear. I see all these other people wearing things that I would never dream of, I’ve very much got a ‘mum wardrobe. Since I had Mason I’ve been trying to push myself to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to clothes but ripped jeans are as far as I’ve gotten – I know, right? Pathetic. So I’ve decided that instead of trying to change my clothes, maybe I should add a few accessories & ease myself into it.

Enter The Old English Company; their new collection of enamel pins is exactly what I need to make my wardrobe less Mum and more fun – I mean, I’m only 27. God that sounds old when I write it down. Anyway, I digress. I came across The Old English Company on Instagram & I just love what they do. I thought I’d share a few of my favourite pins with you & you can let me know if I’m pushing my luck!

How sweet are they? I particularly love the Mama Bear one.

Luckily for you guys The Old English Company are giving away this gorgeous trio of enamel pins!

To enter just click here:

https://oldenglishprints.com/pages/enamel-pin-competition-win-a-set-of-enamel-pins

Shop the entire range of pins here:

https://oldenglishprints.com/collections/enamel-pins

Masons 3 Month Update

Well what can I say about my smiley boy? He’s now 3 months old (how?!) and I’m struggling to remember a time when he wasn’t here. He’s slotted into our lives so perfectly & made becoming a family of 4 easier than I’d imagined. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been a few bumps along the way but I feel like we’re starting to get into a wee routine now & it’s going pretty well.

If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know that Mason has reflux, he’s still using Gaviscon to treat it & it’s working 90% of the time. He still has a few little symptoms which are making me feel like there’s possibly an intolerance to either lactose or cows milk so I’m going to take him back to the doctor for a check up.

Sleep wise, the boy still loves his sleep. He naps for roughly 3-4 hours during the day & sleeps straight through from 9-7 every night, give or take. He would sleep longer but his big brother has other ideas! He’s still in his Moses basket in our room but I’m hoping to transfer him into his cot soon as he’s getting too big! To sleep we still swaddle him; we use the ergo pouch (god send!) – if you’d like a review on that, let me know!- if he’s not swaddled he punches himself in the face & wakes himself up.

He’s a little chatterbox. He goos and gaas to anyone who will listen to him, definitely going to have another blethter like his brother. Connor said his first word ‘hiya’ at 6 months old and hasn’t stopped talking since, I wonder if Mason will be the same?

He still has 4 bottles per day, three 9 ounce bottles during the day & one 10 ounce before bed – he’s a grubber. I think we’ll be weaning shortly as he’s eyeing up everyone’s food & just looks desperate to try. We weaned Connor at 4.5 months as there was no filling him, I have a feeling Mason might be the same.

He’s teething already – I know! He was born with two little indents and signs of the top of a tooth in his bottom gum so it was only a matter of time before the symptoms started. Around 7 weeks we noticed that he was chewing his fists and there was a lot more saliva; were still waiting for a tooth to fully poke through but I don’t think it’ll be much longer. His brother kept us waiting til he was 9 months old for a tooth though so you never know!

Mason is the smiliest baby, and he’s just desperate to laugh – I can’t wait to hear those little baby giggles. He can roll over from belly to back, has done since he was 4 weeks old, I think that’s because he hates being on his tummy so much. He’s dying to sit up & I don’t think he’s far away, when you hold him upright he takes the brunt of the weight & I’m just there as a safety precaution. He holds himself from his waist and falls forward rather than to the side, so once he’s got his balance right he’ll be fine!

He last got weighed at just over 11 weeks and he was 14lbs – almost double his birth weight. He’s in 3-6 months clothes and some of them feel a little snug, so I doubt we’ll be in that size for long!

Mason Loves

His big brother – His wee face lights up whenever Connor is nearby. I love the way they look at each other – pure love.

Mummy singing – He prefers me singing over music playing (wee ego boost!), it’s funny because Connor would rather I played him a song than sang it to him. His favourite is ‘ I wish I was a punk rocker’, he tries to sing along, it’s so cute.

His seat – He has this Mamas & Papas Bouncer that he absolutely loves. He can make it bounce by himself so he thinks it’s great fun.

Daddy tickling his feet – He just thinks a David is hilarious for the most part but he loves it when he tickles him.

Sitting up – He loves being able to look around and see what’s happening in the world.

Sleigh Bells & his Faces book – He has a set of sleigh bells that he loves listening to, he can grasp them but hasn’t quite got the hang of shaking them yet & he loves to look at faces so this book is a firm favourite.

Mason Hates

Lying down when awake – He’s so nosy, he’s frightened he’ll miss something if he’s lying down so he cries until he’s upright.

Being naked – He absolutely hates having nothing on. He even just hates having no socks on. Bath time is great fun, I thought he’d get used to it and he is slightly better but he still screams the place down if you try to take his clothes off. He’s even been known to hold on to them so you can’t undress him.

Baths – See above. Although he likes the warmth and putting his ears under the water I think he’d prefer it if he could be bathed fully clothed.

So far so good. Mason has been the perfect addition to our little family and were so excited to watch him grow. Seeing the relationship blossoming between him & Connor is amazing to watch. Mason looks at him like he’s the only one in the room, he absolutely adores him. Thankfully the feeling is mutual & Connor loves being a big brother.

Our Outdoor Adventures

As I mentioned in a previous post, we found out in the month of April that Mason has reflux. As luck would have it this coincided with the Easter holidays, so I had a screaming baby & a bored 3 year old – not a good combo, let me tell you! It wasn’t until the last few days of the holidays that I discovered the solution to some of our problems lay outside. We just had to get outdoors & everything seemed better, so simple I really should have thought of it sooner. I joined in on a few hashtags on Instagram, one being #getoutdoorsinapril and our outdoor pictures got a good reaction. I thought I’d share a few here & mention some of the things that we did while we were out and about.

Daffodil picking was a firm favourite, no matter where we went Connor wanted to pick them. I had vases full & so did my Mum, he absolutely loved it & took such care to pick the biggest/brightest flowers he could find.

We mostly walked through a local park and did loads of nature treasure hunts. I found this a great way for Connor to explore and finds things that he probably would have walked past without noticing before. I asked him to find me loads of different things but always worded the question differently so that although the treasure could be the same, it had been picked for a different reason. For example, I’d say ‘Can you find me something smooth?’ And he would usually come back with a pebble but if I’d asked him to find something round then a pebble would have worked too.

Some examples of things I asked him to find are:

3 different types of leave

Something smooth/rough

A (insert colour) flower

3 things that shouldn’t be lying around (i.e rubbish)

3 different sized stones

You get the idea. At any point during our walks I would stop & ask him what he could hear/see/smell, most of the time his answers were birds/trees/cow poo but it got him to take stock of where he was and pay attention to what was around him. For a little boy who rarely sits at peace, stopping for a minute or so to see where he’s at is something he doesn’t do very often so I’m trying to work on it with him & this little activity definitely helped. He only slowed down for about 30 seconds but I’m hoping that in time he’ll be able to stop and ‘smell the roses’ without having to be asked to.

As I’ve said before, my boy is an animal lover so some of our adventures had to include our furry friends. Connor fed goats and sheep, saw huge fat pigs and beautiful peacocks, played in the sandpit with diggers & to top it all off gave himself a cracker of a black eye in the play park! To be fair, it wouldn’t be a trip out if Connor didn’t have some kind of accident – the boy is a calamity.

All in all we just had fun being together and exploring. We loved finding little hidden trails and following them to see where we would end up. We didn’t follow all of them because we had the pram & that thing is just not made for our kind of adventures. But we’ve decided that we’ll definitely go back in the summer either just us or with Mason in the carrier & see where those trails lead. I’ve had a ball just watching his little imagination bloom, seeing him look for fairy’s in the trunks of trees, pretending he’s a pirate with a huge stick for a sword or just flapping his arms pretending to be a goose. Connor is definitely an outdoor boy, he’s never happier than when he’s filthy and freezing from being outside all day and I just need to let him be & go along for the ride.

Do your kids love to be outdoors? What kind of activities do you get up to?

V x

Why won’t my baby stop crying? Masons Reflux Story.

Mason is now just over 11 weeks old and the first 7 were an absolute breeze. He spent most of his little life asleep, he woke to eat and then would basically go straight back to the land of nod until he was due fed again. If you were lucky he was awake long enough to give you a few smiles but he really felt hard done to if he was awake 20 minutes longer than was absolutely necessary. It was all going great, he’d slotted into our lives perfectly, until about a month ago when he started to cry. And I mean really cry. For what seemed like hours and hours. It would kick in about an hour after he’d eat and last until his next feed was due. He’d never been a particularly sicky baby but he had started to spit up and occasionally projectile vomit; Connor had been a sicky baby and it was alway wind that had caused his problems so I assumed the same for Mason. I bought every over the counter remedy I could find to try to help it.

What totally confused me was that he would still sleep at night; he’d have his last feed and go down no problem, sleeping for 8ish hours then wake in the morning perfectly happy. First bottle went down no bother and he’d go back to sleep. When he woke for his next bottle that was when the fun & games started, he’d take it fine but then not settle & the crying would begin. We thought he could be teething – he was born with a little indent where his bottom teeth should be & we could see the beginnings of a tooth; teething gel seemed to settle him slightly but didn’t completely solve the problem. After 3 days of the unexplained crying we noticed a slight rash on his chest and arms so I finally cracked and phoned NHS24, they sent us to out of hours where we were met with the stupidest doctor I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Typically Mason had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the surgery & so was quite settled when we went in to see the doctor. I explained what had been happening & the doctor looked at me blankly – here I was saying that my baby had been crying constantly and was impossible to soothe yet he was lying in my arms perfectly content. He could find nothing wrong with him which I had half expected as he looked completely fine and of course the rash had disappeared. I happened to mention that I’d thought he could be teething & he immediately jumped on board and said that was the cause. Mason finally started to cry & I said that this was how he’d been the majority of the time for the past 3/4 days; something about his cry must have bothered the doctor because he immediately picked up his phone & made a call. He advised us that he wasn’t sure what the cause was, possibly teething, but that because we weren’t happy he wanted to refer us to the Paediatric Ward of the nearest hospital. So we packed up & headed off.

When we arrived at the hospital the nurse did the usual checks & then showed us to a bed where we waited to be seen by a doctor. The doctor arrived and again I explained what had been going on, she then checked him over and said we had three possible options. She felt it was either reflux, a cows milk intolerance or teething – she later said that the latter was probably a contributing factor but not the main cause of the crying. We were to start giving Mason Gaviscon powder in his milk & see how he got on with that but first they wanted a urine sample to check there wasn’t any underlying infections. A urine sample from an 8 week old baby – how the hell do you do that?! The answer is you take their nappy off, hold a foil bowl under them and hope for the best. There was a family across from us who’d been waiting for their little girl to pee for well over an hour, thankfully Mason only kept us waiting for 20 minutes. Urine sample came back clear so we could go home, we just had to give him 2 sachets of Gaviscon in every bottle from now on. They said it could potentially take 3-5 days before we noticed any difference, that literally stopped me in my tracks, there was no way I could listen to him cry like that for any longer!

Thankfully it seemed to work from the get go. We’re almost 4 weeks in now, although it feels a hell of a lot longer, and the crying has basically stopped. He’s had a few little off spells – particularly after his jags – but I’ve found that they’re relatively short lived. I know some babies really struggle with reflux and I’m so thankful that we managed to catch it early and that the first stage of treatment seems to be working so far. I haven’t really spoken to any other Mums who’s babies have reflux but I’d be interested to hear of other people’s experiences so please leave me a comment below.

I’ve also found myself wondering if the sheer amount of antibiotics I was given during my pregnancy could have something to do with Mason developing reflux. I remember a conversation I had with a health visitor just after Connor was born about how he was terrible at bringing up wind. She asked me if I’d had antibiotics during my pregnancy and I said yes, I’d had a short course at about 7 months for a urine infection. She said that that could be the cause as antibiotics during pregnancy can upset the delicate lining of a babies stomach. However this time I had at least 4 courses of very strong antibiotics so I’m really leaning towards this being a possible cause of Masons problems. A quick google search provided me with some evidence to support my theory but I’d be very interested to see if any other Mums have found the same?

V x