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Gifts from Small Businesses!

This year I have been getting the majority of my presents for others from small businesses and if small & local they are an even bigger win. Kids toys are pretty hard to find but there is a few items for kiddos featured which are a bit different to just toys as we all know every kid has far too many to even decide what to play with nowadays! Mainly though are presents for older loved ones. Some of these items have been bought for others.. so if you know me & we do gifts, ignore the things that look like you would like them, lol!

img_0261First up is the fab arts & crafts boxes you can order from Squidgy Doodle. A lovely lady makes these up in her house and has a whole range of different craft boxes on her website with many different price options. You can order a seasonal box which means the little one you order it would get 4 boxes throughout the year to help them learn about the different seasons through art. She also does a range of boxes from unicorns to pirates. Check out our full review here which also features a discount code!

Buying for someone with a sweet tooth? Then take a look at these Zaeire Artisian Chocolates as they are bound to love them.. They are handmade in Wexford and have won a gold star award from The Guild Of Fine Food. They are absolutely incredible and my favourite was the honeycomb one. The chocolate Christmas items for the kids were really enjoyed too, lovely thick chocolate so it didn’t melt really quick while the kids were holding it. Dylan really enjoyed the snowman!

Another item for the kiddos is something that will help their imagination expand and soar. WannaBees create little packs that encourage and help children’s imaginations by being a fun prop. Amellia received the teacher pack and its fab, inside it is packed full of things. Registration, weather, writing, reading records, stickers for good students and much more. She really enjoyed using this pack with her dolls and it kept her entertained for a whole afternoon! They do several other packs too so I’m sure you will find one to suit the little person you are looking to buy for.

An amazing and very local shop that is perfect for food lovers of every kind is Indie Fude. They only stock items  from the island of Ireland and are the loveliest staff members you will come across. They do hampers all year round which are always great for gifts, and an even bigger bonus is that they are provided in eco-friendly packing. They can make hampers starting as low as £5 which is perfect for teachers, if you go in for a chat or drop them a message they will be more than happy to help you sort out the perfect hamper for whoever you have in mind!

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Another local business is Inspired by Thea. A lovely lady hand makes clothes in her home for little ones in many funky fabrics. Dylan & Amellia both love these clothes as they are so soft and comfortable! Use code Dylan10 for 10% off.

Any Disney fans? The friendliest of ladies opened up a little business called Hakuna.Majournals recently and it has really took off for her. She makes diaries & notebooks from Disney books, after I received my first order I had to get my hands on some more! They are fantastically priced, wonderfully made and she will even go on a hunt to find you just the one you want which is absolutely incredible. Perfect gift for a Disney fan, and can’t wait to get my hands on mine again on Christmas Day, thanks hubby!

I totally love ElephantBum so much. It’s ran by a lady who handprints T-shirts & jumpers. She does some lovely little designs and some incredible quotes. I have made several purchases through the year and plan to order some more in the new year!

We got sent the Chewymoon box which is full of individually wrapped healthy little snacks for little ones and you also get some stickers! Who doesn’t love stickers. Amellia really enjoyed these and they were perfect size for popping into her bag for her snack in school. You can sign up to this box of snacks to receive them weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

 

I have more things on the way from some small businesses I have found and will share them with you over on my Instagram as they arrive and will be doing more posts in the future where I spread the love for more that I discover along the way. If you know any small businesses please share them below in the comments!

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2018 has gone too fast!

I hope 2019 goes slower than 2018, This year seems to have just flown by at an alarming rate and I’m not sure how I feel about it!
Adrian and myself have been married 5 years this January, Amellia is now 7 and Dylan is 4 next week!

They say time flies when your having fun, I think our time had flown because we have been so stressed and had so much going on! This year especially I feel like I haven’t had a moment to think or process anything that has been going on.

Amellia has changed to a new school which is absolutely incredible, and in a completely different league to her old one.

Dylan has started nursery with a very rough start but seems to be enjoying the morning class a lot more so is sorted for a little while.

Amellia got referred to a paediatrician who we will be seeing in February, and has been seeing lots of therapists throughout the year.

Dylan got his official diagnosis and is now starting to say words! This time last year he didn’t even attempt to say or make any meaningful noises so it is absolutely incredible. Never give up hope.

We added two little guinea pig buddies to our family who are totally adored by us all and have the quirkiest little personalities and enjoy squeaking at us every time the fridge is open.

Adrian & myself got out for one night together without the kids, drank too much and ended up forgetting half of the evening. What we can remember was a great time though and we thoroughly enjoyed.. next year if we get out together we will try and be more controlled with the drink. lol!

Amellia has shown us just how incredible she is at spelling and is making us super proud by achieving top marks every single week.

Dylan now has a huge love for Duplo and is constantly building towers bigger than himself and knocking them down.

To round it up, its been a very stressful year full with many high highs, and low lows. Hopefully 2019 will have a few more level moments for us to catch our breaths and we will be able to continue to do what is best for our kids and maybe if we are really lucky get two nights out together!

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Kids Christmas gift ideas!

Christmas is coming along quickly and I know what it is like trying to figure out what to get the kids in your life, be they be your own kids, nieces, nephews, friends kids and all  the others in between. 
Here is a little gift guide that will hopefully help give you some ideas of what to get them including; board games, arts & crafts, toys, clothes & chocolate! 

First up are some board games that we got sent to see what we made of them. We always find it difficult to find board games that Amellia enjoys as she is so full of energy and very easily distracted that they never hold her attention for long, but some of these games were even enough to keep her entrained for a good period of time.


Polar Panic is similar to a game of snap and pairs. Spread the cars out and then take turns to turn one over at a time. When you spot cards with one or more common fish on you quickly place your hands on them both and we shouted out “panic” too to add a bit of extra fun. Most matches wins and gets to do a little winner dance.. or so Amellia thinks anyway! She loved this game, simple, quick and fun!
It costs £8.40 which I personally think is a great price for a gift and a fun game that the family can all play together. Perfect stocking filler price too!

img_2479-1This game has got a great concept behind it. Find an item in your house or use one of the cards provided and place it in the box, then others have 22 times to ask you yes or no questions about what is in the box. My girl enjoyed playing this game with the fun of finding objects to go inside the box and asking the most ridiculous questions like “does it poo”
This game costs £17.95, which isn’t too bad for what you get but you could also make this up with items you have at home for a quick and fun game to play.

img_2475-1This game has won two gold awards for Best Family game & Best Problem solving game, you have to memorize 12 symbols in 60 seconds and then they will swap and change around the board. My girl who has just turned 7 needed our help (game is suited to 8+) but the hubby & myself had great fun playing it, especially him when he won. Its £20 which I think is a great price for a game that gets very competitive and lots of fun for older ones.

fullsizerender-1Amellias favourite game that we got sent was this one! You have to scratch and sniff the card then guess what smell it is and put down a memory to go with it. Inside the box is loads of different cards with different smells on them so it’s a game you can play over and over again. Amellia is always asking to play this game again and it held her attention so much that she asked to play another round right away. It’s a lot harder than you think to place the smells without a picture! This game is currently £19.95, I think its worth every penny and would be a perfect present to get all the family involved, enjoying time together and laughing at each other!

img_2468-1Fingerlings are said to be one of the most desired toys of 2018, they cost £16.99 and make a huge range of noises, blow kisses and react to how you treat them. The dinosaur ones you can either treat them nice and tame them or keep them crazy and untamed. Amellia really enjoyed trying to tame the t-rex, but Dylan for some reason was petrified of them. They weren’t a huge hit in my house if im being honest and were quickly forgotten about after a very short time.

img_2486-1This chemistry lab is going to be so much fun! It comes with the majority of things you need to do over 100 experiments and the things you need to add are simple things to find like salt/water etc. We have had sets like this before and they have required you to buy some things I had never even heard of so when this one came with more or less everything you need I was over the moon. I have got this one hidden away for a day when Ad is off so that he can watch Dylan while we turn the kitchen into a science lab, but I just know she is going to just love this set! £24.99 is a bargain for all that comes in this set!

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I’m saving this one for when I’m doing the chemistry lab with Amellia because Dylan is going to go crazy for this! He absolutely loves Peppa pig, numbers, counting, colours and posting so this has it all in his eyes.. minus letters! What I really love about this is that it talks in the actual Peppa pig voice, I find that toys often  have completely different voices to what they sound like on T.V and this really upsets Dylan. He needs the familiarization and if it is meant to sound a certain way and doesn’t it can really confuse him. This is an amazing toy, teaching kids many essential things and at £19.99 its one I am going to be picking up for a gift too! 

img_1539What kid doesn’t love slime and all things related! I’ve featured these products before from Zimpli kids here. They are a perfect stocking filler price ranging from £2.50-£7. We cant wait to try out the snoball play closer to Christmas time!

Last but not least for this gift guide is Little Brian paint sticks! We absolutely adore these and make sure we always have them in our cupboard. Dylan loves painting but isn’t a fan of getting messy so these are just perfect for him and Amellia loves how bright and vibrant the colours are… especially on the day glow ones! The packs start at £4.50 which is a perfect stocking filler and you can get a set of 24 for £14.99 which would be an amazing gift for any kiddo! They also now do mini ones, fabric and chalk ones too, I cant wait to get my hands on the fabric ones and letting the kids go mad on some t-shirts! 

I hope you have enjoyed this gift guide, next week I will have another which will feature some smaller businesses with a range of products so you are sure to find something that someone you know will love! 

 

– These products were sent to me in exchange for a feature in this guide, all opinions expressed are my own honest ones.-

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Something I’m ready to be open about..

Something I haven’t really been open about on here is Amellia, and I suppose it was all just due to coming to terms with it all. We knew she had her challenges and that she was a very unique child but recently more and more things are proving challenging for her.

We changed her school as her old one was just not supporting her at all. In her words “they would shout at me for getting things wrong but never show me how to do it right. I love my new school as they don’t shout and show me how to do it properly.” Personally I am all about positive reinforcement rather than putting a child down constantly because they can’t do something.

When she went to her new school for a trial they picked up on so much and were absolutely shocked at how little her previous one had been doing. I mean, she was in for two hours for her trial and they had already thought of ways to help her and have referred her on further. To say I’m a little pissed at her old school is an understatement, but she is now moved and it is the best thing I have done.

She started and they had an assistant in the room for another child so we’re going to sit Amellia beside them to try to help her until she could get her own one, but this wasn’t working out too great as she needed too much attention for the assistant to split her time. They then sat her beside the teacher and same story she needed too much for her to be able to teach properly so the school have now funded her own 1:1 until she is seen by Ed psychologist to get her own one funded by the education board. I am so impressed.

The teacher and Amellia sat down together and made her IEP with attainable goals for her to try to reach by January. When I got this home I realised just how much]she struggles in the classroom; Things like listen 3 times day and be able to sit still for 5 minutes made me realise.

I know that she will continue to improve and come on leaps and bounds with all the support she is receiving and as annoying as it is that we have had to wait this long for it, I can not wait to see how much this helps aid her in her learning.

As a mum, yes I feel extremely guilty that I didn’t pick up on this before and notice early on. Thankfully it isn’t too late and we will be able to put steps in now to help her for the future!

-WeeOhana

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Sorting & Painting!

We are currently trying to sort he house out.. a bit of a pre Christmas clear out/sort but also because we have far too many things. I am finding so many things hardly played with or even looked at that it is insane.

I’ve always been an impulse buyer and when I’m feeling low I love a good shopping spree to spoil the kids, as not much makes me feel better than there smiling little faces. Though when it comes down to it, they have so much they do not need. I also found that with Dylan I was buying him toys that he should be playing with for his age but in reality he has no interest in at all. I guess it was a bit of false hope, but having came a long way mentally with accepting it all I am now starting to realise just how much of a waste it is and how unnecessary it is. I have been selling a few bits online but the majority I have been taking to charity shops so that other little ones can enjoy them too.

Going through the cupboards too I have found some amount of random things I didn’t even realise existed .. let alone in my house! I’m trying to sort out and not replace with more random stuff that we don’t use nor need. We are trying to only buy what we need and will use, especially with wanting to move house in the future, I’d rather not have to move stuff that we don’t use or having to sort out while we are trying to pack to move.

This Christmas I am going for quality not quantity, Amellia is really into arts and crafts, baking and things like that so I’m going to get her things that can be thoroughly enjoyed and then disappear rather than just sitting in a drawer unloved a month after Christmas then as soon as you mention getting rid of them they act like they play with them all the time. Dylan I am going to go for educational toys, as they are what he really enjoys. Numbers and letters are his top priority along with colours and shapes, I am also thinking of getting him a wee Pram and baby as they have said in school he plays with them everyday and it really helps to promote imagination play.

We are also giving all the rooms a fresh lick of paint as we get them sorted, first to get done was the bathroom and it looks absolutely amazing. I am so impressed with it and it has given me a kick up the arse to get everywhere else all sorted and sitting lovely!

 

What are your top sorting hints and tips?

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School Progress!

We are into the fourth week of school now and Dylan has quickly had a turn in feelings towards school and now loves it! It’s so beautiful to see, I take him to the door and he takes his teachers hand without a second thought and off he goes with a quick wave goodbye. The change in him is amazing and I can’t wait to see how much he grows over this school year!
img_9764He has always had a really restrictive diet and stopped eating anything dairy about a year ago. This week in school they managed to get him to lick some yogurt!! I know it doesn’t sound much and is a strange thing to celebrate but we have been trying for a long time to get him back on yogurts to make sure he has having at least something dairy! Now is to try and get him trying a few more foods and maybe someday soon he will eat something rather than mince for dinner! I’m really excited at the prospect but i am going to stay realistic and him even just licking a food or even touching one is a huge cause for celebration in our house!

Amellia has settled in even more now and totally adores her new school, they really are going above and beyond to help her and it actually makes me so angry when I think of how little her previous school did and when she is saying things about what they did and how her new school is doing it, it’s bloody ridiculous. I’m extremely glad we moved her and just wish we had done it sooner. She is coming on leaps and bounds, they really get her and support her. She now has a 1:1 provided by the school until the Ed psychologist can come out and assess her and provide the school with funding for her to keep the current one on. They seem to get one really well and I’m looking forward to go and see the teacher in October to see how she has really settled in and what we can do at home to help her keep moving forward!

-WeeOhana

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School Fun!

This past week has been all about getting into the swing of being up and ready early on and trying to work out the best time to leave to get to the schools at the correct time and still be able to park! We have got a hang of if now and are ready to rock this school year!

Amellia has been going in fantastically and is absolutely loving her new school! She told me that she wishes there was no weekend so that she could go to school everyday. On Monday she did have a little cry going in but the teacher came over and chatted to her about her coat and then took her by the hand and they headed in, I think after the weekend she was just thrown a bit, she really strives off a routine so once she gets into the swing of it again she will be grand.

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Her changing school has really been one of the best things I have ever done. My only negative about it is that I wish I had done it sooner. This school is providing her with so much more support and help than she ever received at her previous school. They are also keen to get everything else rolling to be able to provide her with even more help and support. She got 20/20 on her weekly spelling test and was over the moon, we are super proud of her and even more importantly she is really proud of herself and was so excited to tell everyone.

Dylan still isn’t really loving going into school, they have been trying putting him in a buggy to get him to the class as they can’t lift them Incase they were to trip and fall and cause the child to then get an injury which I completely understand. He too found it even harder on Monday and I reckon that is because he had been off for the two days and had got back used to that, but hopefully soon he will learn that school is great and he gets those two days off to be with me.

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He seems to be a bit hit and miss with how he settles once in the class. One day it only took him 15 minuets but then the next day again he was back up too taking a long time to settle so it really is a take each day as it comes type of thing he always comes out happy and smiling when he sees us so that makes it a lot easier, not sure I could leave him if he was coming out crying too!

Hope your little ones and you are settling back into the school routine ?

WeeOhana