As a child, I loved Halloween growing up. Other than Christmas it was my second favourite holiday. Now as a mother I want to be able to help create new beautiful memories with my daughter. Last year we attempted something quite 'Pinterest-y' and it didn't quite go to plan, for one she was too big to sit in the pumpkin. (Still quite cute though, if I do say so myself)
However this year I really wanted to kick it up a notch, but with her still being quite small I didn't feel comfortable taking her door to door for trick or treating. (Especially seeing as she can't even say trick or treat yet)
So my sister came up with a great idea on how to still celebrate this spooky holiday without causing cavities or breaking the bank.
Of course Halloween wouldn't be Halloween if we didn't get to dress up a little, so I bought this adorable, glow in the dark pumpkin witch costume from Tesco. (Only £8!)
Next we bought a few little bits and bobs from the seasonal section in Poundland, to create an eerie and spooky feel. My mum actually bought all the props here but from memory I think all together it only came to around £8-10. Which really isn't bad. We also bought some tinsel to create a little fire pit with a few sticks and logs in the woods to make an effective but perfectly childsafe fire.
After that we added a few spiders around and some little edible treats inside the couldron for my daughter to discover.
And then finally just let your child explore! The pictures below are just a few of my favourites that I edited on instagram. (A great free way to edit any photos you love to make them look slightly more professional)
My favourite part about doing this 'photo shoot' is that it really became a family event. Everyone came together to help set up and make the day even more memorable.
Not only that but but if you are looking for a cheap and time effective way to spend your Halloween. As I said the whole set up and costume cost less than £20, and literally only took 10 minutes to set up. We let my daughter roam for about 20-30 minutes and then packed up.
This is great if you have young children who aren't quite up to the task of trick or treating yet, or you just don't fancy spending your evening shuffling from house to house for hours and end up with sugar crazed kids.
I really hope you enjoyed reading. I'd love to hear about how you spend your Halloween with your little ones, especially if you do any alternatives to the traditional ways to celebrate it. Don't forget, pictures and comments are welcome!
Day of Knights
Now I don't know about your kids, but my daughter loves drawing! She definitely knows what she wants and if we don't draw at least once a day, there is usually hell to pay. But with her being under 2, her masterpieces are usually nothing more than colourful(but beautiful) scribbles on a page, and sometimes I just can't stand to throw them away.
So I've come up with a quick DIY solution which not only looks good, but also budget friendly. (Some things I had, but the extra items only totalled £6!)
First, I bought a plain binder from Poundland. I really like the rustic look, but if you'd prefer something with a pattern or a bit more colourful, they have quite a good selection there!
Next I simply edged the spine of the binder in some self-adhesive lace. (Which again came from Poundland) I was a little worried about it not being very sticky and peeling off but we have been using it for about 4-5 months now and it had stayed on so far. Of course if you are a little worried you can always stick it down with hot glue or a glue stick.
Following that I cut some strips of black card (which I already had) and backed them onto the front of the binder with double-sided tape, before adding wooden scrable tiles on top with hot glue. (Once again I already had the scrabble tiles from a previous DIY project, but I originally purchased them from Amazon for £1.52 for 100tiles. So very inexpensive!)
And then finally, I just added a square of corrugated cardboard, which I'd tore off the side of a nappy box and her hand and footprint using print ink that I still had from her baby shower.
On the inside I clipped in some colourful pocket folders (from Tesco for £2.50 for a set of 5) and using my label maker added one to each for her different ages.
And there you have it, a beautiful, customisable way to store your children's artwork for £6! (Well £6.02 if you're really counting)
What I really like about it, is that it's very space effective. Especially for smaller children who can't quite draw shapes and figures yet, with masterpieces that may not be fridge-door worthy yet, but you don't want to throw it away. For older children you could possibly use a binder with a thicker binder for their drawlings of even artwork that they bring home from school.
Let me know if you've enjoyed reading about how I store my daughters artwork by leaving a comment below. And please let me know how you keep your children's sketches or school work. I would really love to know. Thanks again for reading.
Day of Knights
Its always a special moment when the time comes for your child take that step from sleeping in their cot to sleeping in their 'big bed'. For me that moment came just over 2 weeks ago when my daughter let herself into my room before I'd even had the chance to fully get out of bed. On one hand it was sad to see that my little baby was growing up, but on the other hand I was so proud that she had finally reached that iconic milestone.
So that evening, down came the cot side and my daughter was free to roam her room. With her having slept peacefully through the night since she was 10 weeks old I believed my only worries to be her turning her bedroom furniture into a nocturnal assault course. But to my surprise a whole new problem erupted. One I was really not prepared for.
My sweet, happy daughter who would usually wave to family members as she went to bed and hold my hand, smiling as we walked the stairs was now screaming at the stair gate and hanging off of my leg. She had suddenly become terrified of her room. And at first it would seem that nothing would console her, no reading or cuddling or self soothing.
I felt so guilty. I had stolen her safe haven from her, somehow making her room into a place of terror and fear. But, not wanting to take any steps back we powered on through, fulled with advice from online forums and family friends who had recently also taken the plunge. Thankfully, I found that this was quite a common occurrence with toddlers suddenly feeling exposed from the lack of cot bars and wanting to be comforted.
So if you are going through a similar situation, believe me you are not alone! And it will get better. It took my daughter just over a week to understand that once I put her in her bed she would need to stay there, and another week or so for her to begin to sleep through the night again. We are now at a point where she is beginning to entertain herself when she wakes in the morning so I can go in once I am ready. (However this is not everyday, but it is getting more frequent).
Here are a few tips which i found to be really helpful when we made the transition:
1)Cot Guard - I wish we had bought one before taking our cot sides off. This helps to give just a bit more security back to your child as they are less prone to feeling exposed. (And also less likely too keep falling out in the night and therefore waking themselves up... Or just sleeping on the floor)
2)Cot bed/Single Duvet - Even after my daughter had stopped fighting her night time routine, I still found that she was waking during the night and not wanting always staying asleep. It suddenly dawned on me that as there was now more space for her cover's to move, so she may have been getting cold during the night. We bought our cot bed duvet and pillow set from Mothercare (Purchased for £13.99 + £12.99 for cover set). This has really helped to reduce the amount of times a night I have to go back to tuck her in and is definitely something that I would recommend for as soon as you make the transition.
3) Persistence! - For me personally this is the most important step! No amount of guards or duvets will help you if your child is sleeping in your child is sleeping in your bed. (I am not trying to criticise any parenting techniques or co-sleeping, however ideally If you're child is still sleeping with you then the chances are that neither of you are ready to make the transition just yet)
The first night my daughter was in her bed she got out no less than 6 times. And with each time I felt so guilty. She cried. I cried. Wondering if I was doing the right thing, feeling unnecessarily mean as I tugged her from my leg and silently put her back in her bed. But low and behold, (just as my family and friends said it would) it started to work. I was so shocked! Night after night my daughter started to stay in her bed and if she did wake up she would go straight back to sleep when I tucked her back in. I'm not going to lie it was tough. If felt like having a newborn again I was having so little sleep but I was so proud when she started sleeping through and being happy with her room again. Knowing that I hadn't forever ruined that lovely bonding time we'd had was such a relief.
So if you are going through this tough time at the moment and feeling that despair! Please don't give up! You are doing so well and will get there in the end, probably sooner than you think. (Even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment.) Please feel free to let me know how you tackled this transition, I would love to hear your stories! Or if you think I have left something out please don't hesitate to add that in the comments as well! I hope you have enjoyed reading.
Day of Knights
When I first had my daughter I, like most of us I'm sure, felt completely overwhelmed. Even though you've had 9 months to prepare for you're new arrival, physically and mentally adjusting to you're new lifestyle can take some time. Even now over a year and a half on, I still find that just getting out of the house for a short while can be just what you need to see clearly again. But the last thing you want when you comeback is a messy home. So here are 4 simple tasks I do before I leave my house.
1) Make you're Bed! - Sometimes this can mean the difference between chaos and peace. As you're bed probably takes up the majority of space in your bedroom, it's a well known fact that as soon as you're bed is made, your eye automatically takes that in first instead of anything else you may have lying on the floor. (Great if you've had a long day with a small baby or energetic toddler!)
2) Sofa Cushions! - Just like in the bedroom, you're sofa is often the focal point of your lounge or family room. So if that's out of place it can often make the room seem a lot more of a mess than it actually is. What's great about the simplicity of sofa cushions is that it literally takes less than 30 seconds to do. So whether you're sleep deprived from your newborn or in a rush getting to school it's very effective for very little effort.
3)Wash the Dishes! - This is one of those never ending tasks, (like laundry) the more you seem to do, the more keeps coming. And if you let it build up, even for a day, it can become extremely daunting to tackle. (Especially if you have a large family!) I try to ensure I wash up before leaving the house. That way when we return if anyone is hungry or I need to start dinner, I am faced with clean pots and pans rather than hunting to find something that doesn't require soaking first.
4) Toy Tidy Up! - The amount of clutter kids leave in their wake is frightening. Most days I discover toys I didn't even know we owned. (Or can't find things I thought we did.) I can't count the times I've left the mess to run an errand only to return with a sleeping baby and have to tackle the musical obstical course. (A side note, they should really stop making toys that talk when you switch them off! It's just asking for trouble at nap time!)
Save yourself the Lego foot injuries and have a quick whizz round the room immediately before you leave the house. I recently posted on 'How to stop Kids Clutter from Taking Over your House' in which I talk about ways to store and manage toys for a quick 5 min tidy up. Which I would really recommend for situations like this.
I sincerely hope you found my 4 tips helpful. I would love to hear what you do before leaving your house, or if you think I have missing anything crutial please leave me a message! I am always greatfull for any hints/tips on how to save time and effort!
Day of Knights