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Christmas time changes

Christmas time is upon us and I am so excited this year. Last year I just wanted Christmas to be over and done with and couldn’t wait to get the decorations away which is so unlike me. I’m so glad this year I am back to full Christmas love & excitement.

Christmas decorating and Christmas time in general is a little different in our house than it would be in most households. Dylan doesn’t cope well with change, for example I took one thing out of the living room to make room for a bit of Christmas and he has dragged it back in very single day since. We decorate slowly and the tree goes up last. This year we will be putting the tree up on the 16th, plenty of time to enjoy it before Christmas but not too long that all the decorations being taken off and lined up and sorted into colour several times a day wont drive me so mad that I want to take it down.

After Dylans birthday on the 9th I’m going to slowly start to add little Christmas bits around the house so that it is slowly changing rather than all of a sudden his safe space is completely different. I know he is going to love all the lights on the tree, but his love for collecting and lining up things that are the same he will just be in overdrive all the time.

We have a lovely little Elf in our house called Max, Amellia totally adores him. We have a pretty lovely elf in our house who doesn’t do all that much to be honest. He moves around and leaves little notes of encouragement. On the weekends he will leave some small gifts which are generally arts & crafts related to Christmas like paint your own decorations, santa letter kits and things like that. Dylan does not understand the Elf malarkey but it is loads of fun for Amellia.

Advent calendars are done different in our house as well, because lets face it give a number obsessed kiddo something with numbers all jumbled up on, he’s gonna open all the doors in the right order in one day and get very distressed if he cant. I open his for him and then give him the item from the advent calendar, this year we got him a playmobil 123 one as he is loving it at the moment! Every morning when I have given him a piece that has come in the calendar though he looks at me like I’m mad and goes and puts it away in the box with the rest of the playmobil and then carries on with his morning. I think when the 25th comes and I don’t give him a bit of playmobil to put away he is going be so confused about why this new morning ritual has changed but we couldn’t let him go without an advent calendar!

Both the kiddos Christmas plays are coming up and I really can’t wait to see them both. Amellia is all bizz because she is singing at the very start of hers and has been singing the song constantly for the past few weeks, I must say she does have a simply wonderful singing voice. Dylans will be adorable just seeing them all together and hopefully taking part in a little sing a long to a few good old Christmas songs. Amellia is really excited as she is coming along to see his too, it’s on her last day of school so she wont miss anything at all as we all know that is a day just full of chaos!

Hope you are all enjoying getting in the Christmas spirit and your kids are enjoying it too, even if it is in a different way to how you used to enjoy Christmas.

-WeeOhana

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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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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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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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Willoughby Book Club

Ever been stuck wondering what to get someone for Christmas/Birthday?
What about a gift that just keeps on giving?

My sister got my daughter a fantastic present for Christmas! A gift that just keep giving and to make it even more exciting it arrives in the post every month! What little one doesn’t love receiving post addressed to them that they can thoroughly enjoy!
She signed her up to a The Willoughby Book Club!

At the start of every month a lovely shinny new book comes in the post in a cardboard sleeve with a big I ❤ WBC sticker on it! As soon as she spots that sticker she is so excited to open it and see what book she has got. Then it is wrapped in lovely tissue paper, which is very quickly ripped open, to reveal a beautiful book! Every book that she has received so far has been absolutely beautiful, wonderful stories, beautiful pictures and different ones to what you would find in your everyday shops! She then gets stuck on that book until the new one arrives in the post!

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They have subscriptions for every age on there website from 0-100 really! There are lots of options on there website! You should really head over and have a nosey- http://www.thewilloughbybookclub.co.uk/ 

When you have subscribed to receive one of there monthly books you then put in some information about yourself or the person who will be receiving the books and they then tailor the subscription to be perfect for the receiver!  They are also teamed up with Book Aid International, this is a charity that helps people in the Sub-Saharan Africa have access to books and supporting literacy. So every time someone takes up a subscription Willoughby Book Club Donates a book to them! Hoe super is that.. getting a lovely present for yourself or a loved one and also helping people who are less fortunate than yourself!

I highly recommended this for a gift for someone, I have been amazed by each and every book that my daughter has received! Beautiful, magical and a very enjoyable story time before bed all wrapped and presented so lovely.

WeeOhana xx

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Early Christmas Present <3

My absolutely wonderful husband treated me to the most amazing early Christmas present!

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Nutmeg. My new beautiful baby! We call her Meg, but I choose Nutmeg as she is the same kind of colour as Nutmeg and it reminds me of chirstmas and she was a christmas present! As soon as I went to see her, I knew that she would be part of my ohana! Infact.. as soon as I saw the advert for her I fell in love! My sister had recently bought Megs foal and I had went up to see her with my sister and she is such a lovely a horse, my sister has called her Cub! When I saw her I thought she was lovely, super friendly and just beautiful! So as soon as the advert for Meg was up my sister tagged me in it, and I just knew straight away I had to go and see her!

This is my sisters horse Cub;
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Aren’t they both just simply beautiful?

Meg is stabled in a beautiful livery yard just a five minuite drive from my house which is just super! All the people there seem super lovely and I have already started to make friends there which is super, as I am sure that other mums reading this know that it is pretty hard to try and “find” friends whenever you are with them, you always end up being “whoevers mum” and just chat in the playground really! At least thats how I find it!

Getting Meg has already started to really help me, I have had a pretty tough year this year and discovered a few things about myself which are always going to affect me, so having an outlet and somewhere for me to relax and get some “me time” is just fantastic! Not only that but she is so calm and loving! She hasn’t been in my life that long but we have got an obvious bond already! She chases me about the sand-school whenever I run about with her and is always so happy to see me, she is just wonderful! She has only recently been broken, but is very quiet and willing to please! Meg is coming on leaps and bonds and I myself can’t even believe how quickly she is progressing! I think as she is building my confidence I am building hers which is perfect really! The next thing to tackle is jumping.. may wait until my sister is with me to do that though 😛

Meg is a 14.3hh Welsh x Haflinger and is just simply beautiful! Has a wonderful nature and no badness, Well maybe likes to shove you a little, but she will soon learn =D

Here are some more pictures of my beautiful girl!
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Do any of you have a horse/pony? I would love to see a picture and hear some advice!
Seems my Wee Ohana, is getting a bit bigger pretty quickly!
WeeOhana xx

 

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Alarm & Waffle!

Once again, the alarm on the house across the road is going off!! It seems to go off at least once a day recently and it is really starting to bug me! Not only does it tend to go off at this time 7:30pm, so whenever my little one is nearly asleep in bed so it startles her and then takes me an extra half an hour to go back down, it make the most irritating noise ever! it goes straight through you! ='[  It has got so bad I have contemplated breaking it in the middle of the night so I don’t have to listen to that rancid noise anymore!

Moving swiftly on… I have bought the most amazing bedding in the world! Not only is it kinda Christmassy orientated .. its made from brushed cotton! It is so snugly and just lovely and warm! It feels like you are getting a giant hug from a teddy bear every time you get into bed and even better, it feels super lovely and fluffy and doesn’t even make you overheat! I was worried before I bought it that it would make me super warm in bed, and with being pregnant I’m already over heating in bed when I sleep with nothing on! So I thought, pah lets buy it anyway and see! Aw it feels so snugly and lovely… I think I’m in love with my bedding… But look at how pretty it is!
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isn’t it just marvelous! Pretty little reindeer’s and just so … haha I’ll calm down on the whole bedding love malarkey!

 

Hmm.. now that I went on a little note about my bedding I have completely forgot what I was going to blog about tonight! Currently sitting munching on a chocolate Orange with toffee peices inside it… its pretty delicious to be honest! If you haven’t tried one before you really should! Get yourself out to Tesco while they are on offer ;]

I got my old laptop working today and i turned it on… it had like 100000 songs on it, it was amazing because I fond lots of old music! It reminded me of when I was younger, I wouldn’t have went anywhere without headphones in! Even down to the kitchen without music was a big expedition for me! Music got me through everything in life, no matter what it was! Now; I hardly ever get to listen to music, bar nursery rhymes! 😛 What gets me through now is my beautiful little family! They are just fantastic, they always make me smile and just feel so special and loved! =] Thats what family is for right! I never knew how fantastic being a mummy would be! Mind you, no idea how im going to split my time between two kids, but loads of people do it for 3/4 or even more children! So I will be fine, I’m super mum right ;]

I would love to not have to go back to work and to get to spend all my time with my little munchkins! Though I will just have to wait and see how we cope and if it is even a choice for me to not go back to work, even until they both start work! Suppose lots of mums would like that though, it means you get to spend all your time with your precious little family! Though we will just have to wait and see!

Can’t believe how close it is that we will be changing from a three person family, to a four person family! My little girl tonight came up to me with a key and put it up to my tummy and went ” mummy that’s your tummy unlocked for baby brother to come out tonight” … Does she know something I don’t? lol! I found it ultra cute though, it shows that she does really understand it all and is obviously excited for baby, otherwise she wouldn’t be unlocking me for him to come out? right? I’m so glad she hasn’t asked me how he gets out, would be an awkward one to answer.. think I may just reply with “magic!” What did you tell your little ones? She knows that I have to go to the hospital and that she is getting to come to the hospital and she is all excited for getting to bring baby brother home! & more importantly.. shes super excited for her promised McDonalds.. lol!! Typical three year old! ;]

YAY! The alarm has finally stopped going mental!! =D

My belly button is now poking out.. so my belly looks like a giant boob with a nipple! This baby is pushing my poor little body to its limit!

Anyway, I still can’t remember what I had in my head to blog about! So I will stop waffling as I don’t think its going to come back to me! Time to panic about packing my hospital bag, any advice on what needs to go in it? Anything you took with you that would suggest I take? Look forward to hearing some wild and wonderful ideas! 😛
WeeOhana xx