Craft time review – Make your own unicorn.

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Before I start I want to make clear that I am in no way getting paid to write this review and I do not get paid if you order through my link to the shops home page. 

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My middle daughter absolutely loved unicorns so when we saw this it was a no brainer, we just had to get it.

I got this crafting set at my local home bargains shop. It cost £1.99 which I thought was a really good price.

The packaging it come in is very bright and automatically caught my daughters eye. The design on the box is very simple and the text can be easily read. The content of this surprised me. I thought there would be one unicorn and a few embellishments that you can use to decorate it, However when Kira opened the box it had three thick cardboard unicorns to decorate and five cellophane bags containing different items to decorate the unicorn with.

In these cellophane bags were…

  • 3D coloured gems
  • Pink foam flowers
  • Purple foam hearts
  • Wooden beads
  • Tube of pink glitter glue
  • Tube of PVA glue

Also included were two pages of coloured paper and two pages of stickers, one with eyes on them and the other was full of lovely unicorns, butterflies, crowns and flowers. There also was a cellophane bag containing blue, pink and white wool to make the hair of the unicorn.

I Brought this crafting set because my children are off school for the summer and I thought it would be a nice activity for us to do together. Kira loved doing this activity and we sat together just chatting and decorating for about 45 minutes. Kira decided to only decorated 1 unicorn and save the others for another day.

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I think this crafting set is mainly directed at girls between the ages of 4-7. Personal I think a child below 4 years old would struggle a bit with all the little stickers and plaiting the hair and knotting the beads. Girls older than 7 I think would find this a bit babyish and would get bored quite quckly.

To be completely honest, I was thinking this is too good to be true, this only cost me £1.99. There must be something to let it down but I can’t seem to find anything majorly wrong with this. I will admit that it could do with a few more of the foam stickers as there are three unicorns to decorate and not many stickers to cover all of them but this is not a major problem and Kira didn’t really mind.

I asked Kira what she thought about this unicorn crafting set and her reply was ” I love it mum, it was really fun doing this together. Can you get me another one next time you’re at the shop please?”

so it was a great hit with Kira and as a parent I really enjoyed spending time with her, doing something she really enjoyed. This product is really good for boosting childrens imagination and creativity. At the time Home bargains only had ‘ Make your own unicorns’ but I will be watching out for different characters in this crafting collection. Next time I am at Home bargains I will deffinatly be picking up some more of these and I would highly recommend them to any parent.

I just had a thought, This would also be a great top up birthday present for your childrens friends.

When Kira found out I was going to be doing a review on this, she made a comment about how it would be nice to see how other children decorated their unicorns. so I would like to set you a challenge. If you live near a home bargains please go and pickup one of these kits for your children, If you don’t live near a home bargains you can access their website here. Order you children one of these kits. Me and Kira would love to see all the different designs they can make. You can post your pictures below or tag me ( @limpingmum) in your images on Instagram or Facebook.

Leg ulcer update – Images included

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I’m feeling the pain of being an injured parent. 

Last Friday I went to my daughters school summer fayre with my mum. It was great. They had face painting, tattoos, bouncy castle, treasure hunt, tombola, cake sale and lots of transitional fayre games. Half way round I was starting to feel the strain on my leg and was so grateful that my mum was there to help me with the children and all the things they wanted to do.

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Pixabay image

I knew I would be in pain by going but I really didn’t want my children to miss out.

The next day I was in an unbelievable amount of pain. I had done so much walking the ulcer had started weeping and now had got stuck to the dressings and as walked it was pulling at the surrounding skin. My tendons were completely shot, every step I was taking I had shooting pain going straight up my leg. All the muscles in my good leg were aching because I was limping so much and using that leg for support.

Normally my leg does not cause me this much pain, I have been to the childrens school event before and not had this much pain. I changed the dressing that night and instantly I knew something was not right . It was really weepy and hurt more than normal. As it was Friday I had to wait two days to get a doctor’s appointment. It felt like the longest weekend ever.

Monday came around, I went to the doctors and it was confirmed I did indeed have an infection.wp-image-95502347

When I get an infection it affects my whole body, the pain reaches level where the morphine doesn’t touch it, it makes me feel like I have been hit with the flu and ache all over.

I was given a 14 day course of antibiotics and I was really hoping they start working quickly. I hate feeling like I cant be a proper mum and because the hubby had to step up and take on all the parenting, our house ends up being a complete mess.

It’s now Wednesday and the antibiotics are starting to kick in, I don’t feel as achy and miserable today, im hoping they carry on doing their job because I really want to start getting back to normal.

At the moment it seems to be one step forward and two steps back. This is the picture I took this morning, It has stopped leaking so much and it’s not all over yellow now. The dressings you can see are two iodine patches( The orange squares) and a DryMax padding. These seem to be helping and they are not sticking to my leg either. wp-image-850800991

I’m hopeful that I will regain them two steps and maybe move forward another one but who knows what will happen, I can never predict how it will look or how I will be feeling when I wake up. some days are good and some are bad, I just take everyday as it come now.

Make your mornings run smoother.

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Beautiful morning

Some people are morning people and some are not. I’m not a morning person, I love a lay-in so when that horrid alarm goes off I have to really pull myself out of bed and when you know your morning is going to be hectic and you have to hit the ground running, it makes it even harder to get up.

Just imagine this…

I have one child running around shouting ‘Mum I can’t find my sock’ and another child stropping and shouting ‘Mum my hair won’t go the way I want it’ At the same time I have a naked toddler running around shouting at everyone because she thinks it funny that the others are shouting. All of this is before I’ve even had chance to make breakfast.

This is how my mornings would be nearly every day. It was time to change and start getting organised. I searched online and found some great ideas on pinterest. It was like a light bulb moment, Why had I not done this before. I have put together are a list of some of the best tips that have really helped me make my mornings run smoother.

 Start the night before.

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Get clothes ready the night before.

Get a head start on your mornings. After cooking dinner is a great time just to spend 10 minutes getting any packed lunches or snack ready for the next day. You can store them in the fridge and add them to school bags in the morning. Before your children go to bed, get them to pick out which uniform/clothes they want to wear the next day also get them to go through their school bags and add anything they need for the next day and place their bags by the front door.

When the children have gone to bed, it’s now time to focus on what you will be needing for the next day, check your schedule or diary, get your clothes ready, check your bag and make sure you have everything you will be needing, place your bag, keys, sunglasses etc all by the front door so you can quickly grab it on your way out.

Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier.

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Get up earlier than the children.

This a hard one for me, Getting up earlier than your children helps you wake up properly before you have to jump into mum mode, It’s a great time to have a coffee, meditate, take a shower, start getting your self ready. This can help your morning run smoother because you are more awake and ready to start the day.

Stay away from technology.

I have made myself a rule to avoid technology in the mornings. Once my children wake up I stop checking/replying to emails, I stay off of social media and I don’t even let my children watch TV until they have finished their jobs and are ready for school.

Make mornings a happy time.

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Happy mornings

When waking up children try to be a bit gentler with them, put some music on, make them their favourite breakfast, give them lots of cuddles and give them chance to wake up properly before they have to start getting ready.

Make a morning routine.

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Brush teeth

Having a morning routine can help children get ready faster as they know the jobs that need to get done and what they need to do next. Children like routines it makes their lives easier and definitely helps my morning run smoother. We use a simple routine of  wake up at 7am, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, wash face, brush hair, check bags, get shoes on and leave for school. This has now become an automatic habit for my children and they don’t even need to look at the poster I made for them.

Offer rewards for finishing all their jobs and having a smooth morning.

My daughter has a princess poster that I printed for her (you can find so many different posters on the internet) and after she has finished all of her jobs and we have had a good morning, she gets to colour in a heart and when she gets to 10 hearts she can have a little treat of her choice.

Plan to leave the house 10 minutes earlier than you need to.

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Plan to leave 10 minutes earlier.

Things don’t always go to plan, life is just like that so by planning to leave earlier than you need to gives you some wiggle room to be able to solve a problem or two and still get out the door on time.

These tips have helped me transform our mornings from manic to smooth and almost every day the children are ready and heading out the door on time.

I hope these tips can help you and I would love to hear about any tips you use to help your mornings run smoother.

xx

 

Connecting with your tween. ( pre-teen )

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It can get harder to stay connected to you child as they start getting older. As the parent it is always your main job to give you child love, guidance and support. When your child comes into the tween years, they want more independence, more trust and less involvement from their parents. If you take anything from this please let it be this…             Don’t take this change that they are going through personally, it is part of growing up and pretty much all children go through this, you just need to loosen the strings a bit.

My mum says ‘ Practise what you preach’  Now I’m not very good at doing this but this quote has stuck with me for years. Children pick up a lot of their behaviour from the things they see so you can nag and moan your tween about a certain behaviours you don’t want them doing but if you are unconsciously doing that behaviour yourself they are never going to listen to you.

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My tween and my toddler

There are a few things you can personally change to help your tween connect with you.

Don’t over react. There will come a time when either you hear or see something that you do not agree with or something that makes you angry. There are two ways of dealing with it. Getting angry and shouting or dealing with the situation and addressing what you dislike at a later time. You need to respond to situations not immediately react to them.

Watch your tone of voice. The way you talk to your tween can change the mood of a whole conversation. Using a lighter tone can help keep things on a neutral base line and avoid any arguments.

Give them some space.  When they tell you to leave them alone, as long as there is no real problem, leave them alone. They don’t want to spend all their time with you any more and that is a normal part of growing up.

Showing affection.  Some tweens still like the big show of affection as they have not reach the full on teen stage yet but some may not, there are little ways to show affection without going overboard. A little kiss on their head as they pass you or touch of their shoulders can brighten up their day.

Verbal reassurance.  Sometimes all they need are a few words of reassurance to know that you care. Tell them how proud of them you are, tell them how much you love them just for being them.

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Callum reading in the garden.

Sometimes by making more of an effort when doing day-to-day tasks you can make a huge difference.

Ask your tween to help you make dinner.  This is a great bonding time and as you will both be concentraiting on cooking they may open up a bit more.

Eating dinner as a family.  I know that this can be quite hard to do 7 days a week but make a point of having dinner and catching up at least 2-3 times a week.

Spending time together.  Try spending one – one time together. For example walking the dog without other siblings or when your running out to the shop just take your tween and leave other siblings with your partner.

Bedtime.   Tweens maybe getting to old to be tucked in at night but this is a great opportunity to talk to them about how their day has been.

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A very big and easy way to connect with your tween is to learn how to LISTEN  and I mean really listen. Life gets busy and everyone seems to be moving at a million miles an hour however you will gain so much more trust from your tween if you actually stopped what you are doing and properly listen to them, If it’s not possible to stop where you are right at that point, tell your child that you want to give them 100% of your attention but at that moment its a bit difficult and can you have a chat after you are finished. Once you are listening try not to jump in with a solution to their problems, let them talk and let them get it all out, sometimes they don’t want a soloution, they just want to talk about a problem and share with someone else.

It would be great to hear any tips you have to help connect with your tween, it is always good to keep learning. I am no way trying to make out that I am top-notch mum all the time and i don’t use these tips all the time, I am only human.

xx

 

My Daily routine as a stay-at-home mum.

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When I first became a stay-at-home mum it was great and I loved it, I loved having so much time to spend with my children, I loved not having to rush around trying to get all my household jobs done before I went to bed as I wouldn’t have time in the morning.

However after a month or so it started getting boring as Ella was only a newborn and slept quite a lot of the time and I started to get really unorganised and the house turned into a mess. I decided I was going to change all of this and get myself organised and start a proper daily routine.

6am – I like to wake up early so I can enjoy my coffee and take my painkillers before the children get up. I also start a load of washing.

7am – I get the kids up and make them breakfast. Both of my older children have different school morning routines as they have different tasks that they do.

8.30am – My older children go to school, I am very lucky that my husband does the school run.

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Morning job list.

At this point me and Ella then head upstairs and get ready for the day. I get her dressed, I get dressed and do my skin care routine then I start my morning cleaning routine while I’m already upstairs and Ella plays in her bedroom.

9.30am – Ella will normally play for about 25/30 minutes when I’m finished we will head downstairs and she has a snack and I make a coffee. After this if we have any errands/ appointments/family visits we will start getting ready to head out of the door.

10am – If we are staying in for the day, I will get out an activity that I know will keep her busy for a little while so I can finish off my morning cleaning downstairs. If Ella has had enough playing and I’m not finished, she usually follows me around and helps me with my jobs.

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Activity time

10.30am – We have Mummy and me playtime, Ella gets 100% of my attention and we go into the playroom and play with her toys, building blocks, play dough or we go and play in the garden if it is a nice day.

11.30am – Ella has lunch.  I like to give Ella an early lunch because she still naps during the day and by the time she wakes it is too late for her eat lunch.

12pm – Since Ella was little we got into the routine of reading her a story before she goes down for a sleep.

Ella sleeps from 12pm to 2pm.

During this time I tidy up this mornings toys and activities, reboot the washing machine and make myself some lunch.

12.30pm – I have to rest my leg for at least an hour a day. When I rest my leg it has to be elevated higher than my hips. This is when I catch up on any programmes I have recorded, I also like to read my magazines or my kindle. Napping is also an option on the cards some days.

2pm – Most days I have to go and wake Ella, If I don’t wake her up at this time it is a lot harder to get her to bed later.

2.30pm – Ella has a snack and we play together until the older children come home.

3.30pm – The older children get home, empty their bags, letters and water bottles are placed on the kitchen side and they go get changed out of their uniforms.

4pm – Twice a week they have homework to complete, not on the same days. so we sit at the table and I help when it is needed.

4.30pm – I start dinner, normally on a school night I tend to cook a simple dinner. The children have free play until dinner is ready.

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Free play time

5pm – The children eat dinner. Ella is a very picky eater and it can be difficult to get her to eat a whole meal so I tend to eat later after she has gone to bed.

5.30pm – After dinner my children have a bath or shower. They don’t have a bath every night. One night my son will have a shower and the next night my daughters will have a bath.

6.30pm – Ella still has a bottle of milk before she goes to bed, I take this time to sit with her and read her a story.

7pm – Ella goes to bed and the older children get free time, at this point they are allowed to spend some time on their laptops.

After Ella goes to bed, the hubby will start dinner while I tidy up and put everything away.

8pm – Kira will go to bed and Callum will read a book for 30 minutes. Our dinner is normally ready by now.

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Tonight’s dinner

8.30pm – Callum goes to bed and I will tidy up after dinner and turn on the dishwasher.

9pm – I take my make up off, jump in the shower and relax for the rest of the night.

This is my week day routine, our weekend routine is a lot more relaxed. Since having this routine in place I have found I feel better, my home is more organised and my children seem to behave a bit better.

I would love for you to leave me a comments and let me know if you liked this post and would like to see more on routines.

xx