I’m really excited to announce that Nerys and I have been given the opportunity to be brand reps for a lovely children’s clothing company – Ted Wears Organic.

Ted Wears Organic is a practical and funky new independent children’s clothing line, created by a lovely Mum called Vicky and named for her son Ted.  Vicky uses high quality organic cotton in several designs and patterns that you can mix and match to create your own unique outfit.  And I just love this idea!  The range starts from just £6 and includes t-shirts, leggings, harem pants, dresses, shorts, skirts and maxaloones, which grow with your child.

It works like this, you visit the Ted Wears Organic store and choose an item, then comes the really fun part as you get to choose what fabrics you want to use!  Say you’re ordering a t-shirt, well then you chose the fabric you want for the body and then you can get creative and chose a coordinating or contrasting fabric for the arms, such fun!

All of the fabrics have been specifically chosen by Vicky to co-ordinate, but if you’re not sure that what you want will ‘work’, then get in touch with her and she’ll talk you through it and make sure you’re completely happy with your choices.

Ted wears organic

Nerys was so excited when her outfit arrived in the post – she walked round the house hugging it!  Her outfit consists of a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings in a gorgeous ‘over the sea’ design with co-ordinating pink dotty fabric.  It really is lovely, so well made and beautifully soft.  I can see us getting a lot of wear out of this outfit!

Ted wears organic clothing

You can check out the whole range at the Ted Wears Organic Etsy store, and as one of my lovely readers you can get 15% off your first order by using the code ‘GLORIOUS15’ when you check out.

If you want to keep up to date with the latest news from Ted Wears Organic you can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

I am a brand rep and was gifted this outfit, but all opinions are my own.

 

Apparently colouring in pictures at 8 in the morning requires sunglasses.

This little one already knows what she wants (and what she doesn’t want!).  I love how her personality is coming through more and more every day; I’m fascinated seeing the person she’s becoming.

Living arrows

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Living Arrows

In case there’s any confusion caused by the title of this post, I mean to say that my children are curious about life and the world around them, not that they themselves are a bit curious.  Although, they do have their moments!

Both my children are naturally curious, asking “what’s this?” and “why is that?”, and while there are days when the constant questions get a bit draining, I want them to always question the world around them.

I’ve written before about how I want my children to stay curious, and as they get older and start to explore more and more of the world around them I feel this even more.

Blessed are the curious quote

 

How boring would their lives be if they weren’t curious?  If they just accepted the status quo, and blindly followed the crowd without querying anything, would they ever have any adventures, or would they just drift along the safe path created by so many others before them?

Here’s hoping my children always remain curious, and have many, many adventures!

 

Cuddle Fairy

Since Nerys turned 2 she seems to be moving further away from the baby days at great speed.  Which makes me feel like a lot of those wonderful ‘firsts’ that you get to experience with a baby are behind us.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time recently reflecting on this, and wondering, ‘are the baby days behind us?‘.  And it’s made me feel a little sad.  Rhys is looking more grown up by the day, and Nerys seems to be catching him up fast and I do miss the early, new baby days with them both.  But I’ve started to shift my focus and, rather than stay in the past, think about all the amazing ‘firsts’ that we still have to look forward to, the firsts that are yet to come.

The firsts that are yet to come

 

The first day (and night) with no nappies.

This is one of those firsts that feels a bit bittersweet, because it marks the end of another part of the ‘baby stage’.  But I’m quite excited about it really.  Rhys was relatively late at potty training, but I think Nerys is nearly ready to start trying.  And I’m quite happy at the thought of not needing a stockpile of nappies and wipes around the house for the first time in 5 years!

 

The first joint sleepover at Nana and Pop’s house.

Rhys has slept overnight at his Grandparents’ house quite a few times in the last few years, but Nerys has been a bit more of an unreliable sleeper so we’ve not packed her off there yet!  The time is coming though.  She’s sleeping much better these days and has been asking if she can have a bath and go to bed at Nana’s house soon.

The first night that both children spend the night there together will definitely be a strange one, but the thought of waking up of my own free will rather than being woken by a shouting child is a wonderful thought indeed!

 

The first holiday as a family of 4.

We’ve travelled to Kent as a foursome to see my family at Christmas, and before Nerys was born we took Rhys to Morroco and to the Isle of Man, but we’ve not been on a proper holiday as a family of four yet.

This is a first I’m really looking forward to, whether it’s another trip to the Isle of Man, or just a weekend away somewhere here in Wales, I think we’ll have a lot of fun altogether, letting Rhys and Nerys explore somewhere new together.

 

The first ‘big day out’.

We tend to stay quite local at the weekends, and during the school holidays even we mostly spend our days at the park, or the beach.  So we’ve not really done any ‘big days out’ with Rhys and Nerys yet.  But this is something I would love to start doing now that they’re of an age to really enjoy trips out and for it to not be too stressful for us (Rhys was a real ‘runner’ as a toddler so taking him anywhere really was quite stressful!).

I have a list of places I want to go to as a family, including the zoo and an aquarium with one of those tunnels that you walk through that goes under the water!  I know I would have a great time there, and can just picture the children’s faces seeing all the animals and fish for the first time.

 

The first challenges overcome.

I remember the first time Rhys was brave enough to tackle the fireman’s pole at the park all by himself.  I think I have a video of it actually.  I was so proud of him, because he’d be scared of it for so long.

At that same park recently Nerys climbed up the rope ladder all by herself and without hesitation slid down the helter skelter slide.

These little challenges have been huge to the children, and it’s amazing to watch them persevere and work to overcome them.  I’m really looking forward to watching them handle themselves against all the other challenges they’ll face as they grow up.

Parents of older children, what other firsts have I got to look forward to?  And parents with little ones, what firsts are you excited to watch your children experience?

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Both my children love books, and we read a couple every night at bedtime as part of our nightly routine, so we were really excited when we were offered the chance to review a couple of books from Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter – The dinosaur that pooped Daddy and The dinosaur that pooped a rainbow.

I have to admit I hadn’t heard of this series of books until a few months ago, when Rhys was given a copy of The dinosaur that pooped a planet for his birthday and he really enjoyed it.  Well, he is a 5 year old boy after all, anything to do with poo is funny!

So he was very happy to see two new ‘the dinosaur that pooped’ books arrive in the post the other day.

The dinosaur that pooped Daddy is an eye-catching little board book, much shorter than the dinosaur that pooped a planet, and was written with younger children in mind.  Even so, Rhys really enjoyed it and I loved the fact that it had an educational element to it for Nerys.

The book counts down items around the house from 10 to 1, as Danny and Dino search for Daddy which is great for Nerys who is learning to count at the moment (we’re still at the 1, 2, 5, 6, 2, 10! stage at the moment), but the fun rhymes and the poo-related ending kept it entertaining for Rhys too.

The Dinosaur that pooped a rainbow, as you might have guessed, is all about the different colours of the rainbow, with the addition, of course, of the colour brown.  It’s silly, it really is, but that’s a big part of it’s appeal.  It’s just a fun way to help young children learn colours.  And the simple, rhyming text makes it nice to read, as it has a good rhythm to it.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading books out loud to my children it’s much nicer when the text has a good rhythm to it!

The dinosaur that pooped daddy

To celebrate the release of the book, The dinosaur that pooped Daddy, there are some really fun printable activites available to download.  We printed out two copies of the Father’s day card so that Rhys and Nerys could each do one, and then they got stuck in to the other activities and had great fun with it.

The sheets are lovely and colourful, and there was a fab mix of things for my 2 year old and my 5 year old to do, so no one got left out which I thought was great!

dinosaur activities sheets

I will say this, if you don’t really find poo funny and are trying to steer your kids away from toilet humour, then these books probably aren’t for you.

But, if you have a young child who finds all that stuff hilarious then these books will be a big hit.  They’re a bright, colourful, fun way to introduce kids to numbers and colours, and to make reading books fun if you’ve got a bit of a reluctant reader on our hands.

If you want a fun Father’s day activity for your children then you can click on these links for the Father’s day card and activity sheets and print them at home.

 

Disclosure – I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review.  All words and opinions are my own.

Crack open the champagne – I’ve done it!

After a few months of deliberations and a week of Google searches and fiddling about I have moved my blog from Weebly to WordPress.

And I have to say it went much more smoothly than I thought it would.  I still have a bit of rejigging to do with the way everything looks now, and I have a lot to learn about WordPress, but the main thing is, I’m here, my blog is here and all my comments are here too which I’m so pleased about!

I started my blog with Weebly back in February 2015 as it just seemed like the easiest way to get up and running.  And I actually don’t regret that decision.  Weebly was good for me.  It was so straightforward to use that it allowed me to just get on with writing posts, finding my voice, learning about blogging in general.

But, over a year later, I felt that it was time to move on.  I was feeling a bit restricted by Weebly, and really didn’t like the fact that they were basically in control of all my content (and they don’t have an option for backing up your blog posts with them).

The thing is, Weebly really don’t make it easy for you to move your content away from them.  And a lot of the results of my googling were out of date, as they talked about using google reader which doesn’t exist anymore.

So, in the hope of helping someone else who might be wanting to move from Weebly to WordPress, here’s how I did it and the steps you can take to make the move yourself:

moving blog weebly wordpress

 

The first thing I should mention is that I had a bit of an issue in that I  already had my domain name with GoDaddy and it was pointing to my Weebly site.  I wanted to move the domain name with me over to WordPress, so I went into Weebly and changed my domain name there back to the basic .weebly.com option.  This meant that anyone looking for my blog might be a bit confused for a few days as it either wouldn’t be there or would look a bit ‘off’, but it freed up the domain name so I could crack on with setting it up with a new host and with WordPress.

I should also mention that one of the most time consuming parts of migrating for me was backing up my blog posts.  Now, as Weebly don’t have a way of doing this for you, what I mean by this is that I manually went into each post and copied and pasted all my text into word documents, and made a note of the date they were written and the url of the post.  I wanted to be absolutely certain that I wouldn’t lose all my hard work in the move, and for the most part this turned out to be unnecessary as all my posts were fine in the end.  The one issue I did have was with the dates of the posts, as they were all wonky in WordPress so it was useful to have a record of when the posts actually went live so I could go in and edit them in WordPress.

 

Get hosting.

The first big step in making the move from Weebly to a self-hosted WordPress blog is to get hosting for the new site.

After asking around other UK bloggers I decided to go with TSOhost, and they’ve been great so far.  You simply go to their site, and sign up for hosting.  I selected the lite option as you can always upgrade later if you need to.

Once I’d signed up for hosting TSOhost sent me a welcome email with some important information and details in it.  When you get your email, click on the control panel URL link and log in using the details they give you.  Click on the ‘add a site’ option and add the domain name that you want to use.  If like me your domain is already pointing at your Weebly site you’ll have to change this, so go to your domain provider and change the nameservers to the ones listed in your welcome email.

This willl mean that your blog will go down for a bit, but this whole process didn’t actually take too long so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

 

Install WordPress.

Install WordPress through the TSOhost control panel.  Again this was a pretty simple process, just follow the instructions on the screen.

Once WordPress is installed you can log in to wordpress and choose a theme.  There are loads of free ones to chose from, but I went for a premium theme from Pipdig as I had an idea of what I wanted and really loved the look and feel of this particular theme.

 

Migrate your blog posts from Weebly to WordPress.

The next big step is to get your blog posts, categories and comments over from Weebly.  This is where I got confused as most of the tutorials I could find were out of date, and involved using Google reader which doesn’t exist anymore.  But there is a way to do it, and for me at least it was really easy and worked perfectly.

I went to shifttowp.com, and followed the instructions there to get the rss feed from my weebly blog.  This file gets sent to you in an email, which also includes instructions to get the full wxr file.  This does cost about £15 but it’s well worth it if you want to take all your hard-earned comments with you!

Once you get the wxr file you need to import it into WordPress.  You do this by going into your wordpress dashboard and going to tools, import, wordpress and then uploading the file you were sent in the second email.

All of your blog posts should now be with you in wordpress – hurray!

The next really important thing to do is to install and run the Import external images plugin to transfer all your images from Weebly to WordPress.  It might seem that your photos have already been transferred over with your posts, but they’ll actually still be held over on your weebly site, so if/when you delete that old site all your photos will disappear from wordpress, so do make sure you don’t skip this step!

 

Rejig anything that needs rejigging.

Chances are your blog posts won’t look quite how you want them to look in your new set up.  So take a bit of time to straighten up your images, make sure your posts are in the right date order (mine got really messed up in the move!), and basically get everything looking the way you want it to look.

 

Set up any other pages you want your site to have.

Now all your blog posts have been migrated you can set up any other pages that you want.  There is a way to migrate this information over but I just did it manually, by creating new pages in WordPress and typing in the content I wanted – simple.

 

Sort out your 301 redirects.

One problem you might have is that the way Weebly sets up its urls is different to the way wordpress does it, so anyone trying to find one of your old blog posts using one of your old links will get a 401 error.

There are two schools of thought on how to deal with this, you can either create a custom url in wordpress so that it creates its urls in the same way that weebly does, or you can set up 301 redirects from your old urls to the new ones.  From what I read the second option is best, although I couldn’t quite work out why!

Setting up the redirects was surprisingly easy though.  I installed the simple 301 redirects plugin and found it really simple to use.  Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin you need to go to settings, then 301 redirects then put in the request and destination urls.

Let’s say for example a post on your Weebly blog had the url http://www.yourblogname.co.uk/blog/this-is-a-post. then that means your standard url for all blog posts would be www.yourblogname.co.uk/blog/blog-page/%postname%/ so in the ‘request’ box you would put /blogpost/%postname%

As standard on WordPress, blog posts don’t come under a header of ‘blog’ like they do on Weebly, so the same post would have a url in WordPress of www.yourblogname.co.uk/this-is-a-post, so you want to set the ‘destination’ to /%postname%

This seemed to work for me, as my old links now open up the post in my new wordpress site, so give it a go!

 

Start blogging with wordpress.

That’s the hard bit done, now you have the fun of getting stuck into WordPress, so go and explore this brave new world!

 

I really hope this post is helpful to anyone wanting to make the move from Weebly to a self-hosted WordPress site.  If you think I’ve missed a step please do let me know so I can include it, and if you’re considering doing it, then I urge you to just take a deep breath and go for it, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!  Good luck!

 

Cuddle Fairy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll say it again (and again), but my children love the beach.  Winter or summer, rain or shine, they’ll happily jump in the car for a visit to the beach.

And we really are spoilt here in Swansea, as we have such an amazing selection of beaches to choose from.

From our old faithful Swansea bay, to the award-winning Rhossili bay on the gower and all the gorgeous beaches and bays in between, there really is a beach for everyone here.

We can see Swansea bay from our house, and so it does feel like it’s pretty much on our doorstep.  But we do still have to either jump in the car or walk for 20 minutes to get there.  Now I know that’s not far by any means, but I do sometimes think how amazing it would be to pitch up a tent at one of the campsites on gower and really be right next to the beach.

Swansea-bay-beach-photo

The thing is, I’ve not really done much camping.

When I was growing up we went on holiday to Devon and Cornwall, and then as I got a bit older we started travelling to the south of France every summer.  We would stay on a campsite there, but always went for the caravan option rather than a tent.  So the idea of pitching a tent and piling in with my husband and two kids is a little bit daunting to me.

Luckily for me, Halfords have created the ultimate guide to camping, to help make a potential camping trip go smoothly.  The guide is nice and compact but it’s full of useful information about campsites and attractions around the UK as well as fab tips and tricks on:

  • how to keep the kids entertained while you’re away
  • what you should and shouldn’t do as a newbie camper
  • cooking at a campsite
  • glamping (if you’re not the back-to-basics type of camper!)
  • travelling safely with children

There’s also a really useful checklist on the back so you can be sure you’ve not forgotten any essentials before you head off.

It really is a fab little guide, and you can check it out for yourself by clicking here and downloading the ultimate guide to camping.

Halfords-camping-guide

I’ve now had a good read of the guide and I have to admit, it’s made the whole idea of camping with the kids sound like a lot of fun!  Maybe this will be the summer our tent makes it’s way out of the cupboard and into the sun.  And if we choose gower as our destination, at least I know we’re not far from home if it doesn’t go to plan!

This is a collaborative post