Create something special by upcycling this Christmas!

Now that the clocks have gone back, whether we like it or not, it's time to admit that Christmas is just around the corner. Christmas can be a great time for parents and children alike, but for those of us who have to shell out it can also be a great source of stress. Every year the Internet is awash with ideas of how to cut back on spending for Christmas. One that's very much on trend The process of “re-using discarded objects or material to make something of higher quality or value than the original.” 

When I first heard about the trend I was a little dubious, but after reading up on it a little and indulging my creative side, I now can't get enough! You can take any ordinary household item that you may have cast aside for a charity shop and turn it into something fabulous. One of my first projects, I'll admit, was a little ambitious. After years of staring at mine and my husband's lacklustre bed, we both knew it was time for a change. I just never had the heart to throw it out; after all, this was the bed that signalled the start of our marriage. When I discovered upcycling however, I realised that all I needed to do was make a few little changes! I found a great selection of headboards online and took off the old and tired looking headboard and replaced it with another. Wham. Good as new.

I soon realised that if I could do something so big, I could easily transform my creative talents into something smaller, such as a Christmas gift. There are plenty of upcycling Christmas gift ideas on Pinterest, and while some of these can look a little dated in their current state, there's nothing that a little TLC or lick of paint can't do.

DIY Chalkboard Mug
It's also perfect for Christmas decorations – how many years have you been holding on to those tired old baubles? With a little help from your children, you can breathe new life into your baubles by adding a little glitter and glue. You can change colours, designs and patterns, and the best part is, it'll cost a fraction of what it would have cost to nip to the shop and buy a whole other box-load!

Turn old CD's into decorations

Happy up cycling!

*In collaboration with Slap Up Media

Your Youtube #1

Over the last few months I have been slowly and steadily growing my Youtube channel. Inspired by the success of blogger such as Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter, I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed filming and sharing my videos.

It has occurred to me, though, that the parenting vloggers are few and far between and whilst the community is growing it is extremely slow to do so. I can probably count on one hand how many I am aware of and regularly visit and yet I know there must be more of us out there.

So I have decided to create a place where parent vloggers can share their videos and content and find one another. There is a huge gaping void in the Youtube market for us parents, yet we happen to know a thing or two about what we are talking about and definitely have something interesting to say.

So to help bridge that gap, I bring you Your YouTube! This will be a weekly linky each Friday for you to share your posts from the last week (although for the first few weeks feel free to link up any of your past videos until your content grows). Please make sure you visit at least two videos from the linky and like, comment and subscribe to their channels. I will be watching, liking and subscribing to everyone that joins in, and will also be sharing all videos on twitter. All I ask is you tweet and use the hashtag #YourYoutube when you've linked up. Let's help each other grow our channels and our audience and hopefully encourage others out there to do the same!

If you are struggling to think of things to vlog about then do visit Nickie at I Am Typecast, as herself and Kate from Wit Wit Woo co-host #vlogchallenge every week where they set a theme to get your creative juices flowing!

Pregnancy & Birth UK vs USA: The Birth

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my experiences of antenatal care in both the UK and the USA. Today I will be talking about

The Birth

Collecting Pumpkins

Halloween is a tradition we never really celebrated in my family when I was growing up. My parents felt it was an American concept that they weren't keen on and in fact today they still won't answer the door to Trick or Treaters. As I have grown up for the most part I have agreed with them. I do think the Americans go overboard with their festivities. However on the other side of things I always think their decorations and candy collecting looks like so much fun and they do put us to shame.

Wooden Toys For Christmas

Over the last couple of years the availability of wooden toys has grown massively and the range of toys on offer is huge. We have always bought a selection of different toys and I have to say that whilst I love wooden toys, I haven't bought a huge amount of them as they can be very expensive and I end up not wanting the kids to play with them for fear of them being damaged!

It now seems that more accessible brands are finally coming on board with the slow toy movement, one of those being Asda. When I discovered their new wooden toy range I was really surprised at not only the selection, but also the prices.

Is Zoella A Positive Role Model?

A couple of days ago I was involved in a really interesting conversation on Twitter, following the recent article on Zoella in The Independent. This article questions whether this Youtube sensation is a suitable role model for children, given that she talks about beauty and make up, and therefore the benefits of altering our appearances. A few of us shared our thoughts on whether a young girl who is now a Youtube phenomenon should be using her platform to encourage young girls to celebrate their natural beauty rather than her usual beauty videos.

Why America Will Always Hold A Piece Of Our Hearts

Growing up my parents took my sister and I abroad every year, since we were born. I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world - America, Australia, Singapore and even Pakistan are just some of the countries I have visited. Back then it was just the norm for us to fly overseas every year, sometimes twice a year, and my sister and I really thought nothing of it, in fact learnt to expect it. Most years we stayed in a private villa with its own pool in Spain and the big trips would be over Easter, flying long distance for many hours to stunning destinations.

Meet The Midwife With Cussons

Last week myself and a few bloggers enjoyed a lovely afternoon at PZ Cussons HQ. It was a special day for the brand and one special lady in particular, Kerry Evans, who is their chosen midwife to receive the financial support of £60,000 to enable her to undertake a PhD, starting this month. Working with the Royal College of Midwives and Wellbeing of Women, the sponsorship is the first of its kind to enable research for a PhD whilst allowing the midwife to continue working in the field.

My Holiday With Mark Warner

Last month I was lucky enough to visit Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes with Mark Warner. I wrote up all about our trip not long after I returned home, however after a few weeks of reflection and the post-holiday glow well and truly dampened by the English autumn, I wanted to write up my thoughts on the resort and what you can expect from your stay.

Giveaway: The Ideal Home Show At Christmas

Earlier in the year my mum and I attended The Ideal Home Show at Event City in Manchester. We had never been before and weren't really sure what to expect but we ended up having a great day, helped greatly by a sighting of George Clarke!

Our Family Photo Shoot

Last week my lovely friend and photographer, Jemma Lambert, came all the way from Yorkshire to take some beautiful autumnal photos of us. If you have read my previous post you will know I was really looking forward to the shoot and had even been planning our outfits.

I love to have regular photos taken of the family as I love photos and I want to look back and see the children growing through each picture. The last family photo shoot we had was in February this year and taken by Amy Russell, who created some gorgeous images.

Who's The Boss?

As some of you may be aware I have worked with online baby boutique, The Essential One, many times over the last couple of years. They sponsored me for my first ever Britmums event and we have tried out many of their beautiful baby clothes when Little J arrived.

This week we have teamed up once more to offer one lucky reader the chance to win one of their super cute 'I'm The Boss' rompers.

As with all of The Essential One's clothing, this romper is made of 100% superfine cotton and extremely soft and comfortable on your baby's skin. It features an embroidered patch saying 'I'm the Boss' and is fully poppered including down each leg for easy nappy changing. The romper is made in lovely neutral tones so perfect for either sex or for those parents-to-be who are wanting to keep the gender a surprise.

If you want to win this gorgeous first outfit, available in either newborn or 0-3 months, you can enter using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pregnancy & Birth USA Vs UK: Antenatal

Some of you may be aware that Miss H was actually born in America and is technically an American citizen. We were living out there for Mr H's work, and it is there that I began blogging. I have been wanting to share my thoughts on my experience of having her out there compared to Little J's birth in the UK for a while now, and I have finally got around to getting these thoughts down.

Our Doc McStuffins Party

Last week we took part in our second party in the last few weeks, this time a Doc McStuffins one! My two both love this show and already H has several Doc figures and a dress-up outfit. We were thrilled to be invite to party and really grateful for the toys and goodies we received for the party.

Review: Fisher Price Little People Skyway

My little man has been a car fan, pretty much as soon as he could move. Last Christmas the majority of his toys were on wheels and his collection is pretty vast now. I wasn't sure there was much else we could get him at this stage that would spark his interest, until we received the Fisher Price Little People Skyway to try.

#What2Buy4Kids Twitter Party

I'm really excited to let you know about another Twitter party we will be taking part in, with a brand I have just recently come across and who I am so happy to support - What2Buy4Kids. Started five years ago, when the owner, Lisa, failed to find somewhere to buy special and unique birthday presents for kids. Using her experience as a primary school teacher, Lisa is able to select fun toys and games and also encourage development and learning.


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