I’ve been quite lucky I think, because both my children naturally seem to drink a lot.

We’ve always have various cups and water bottles around the house for them, and they have always been able to just help themselves, and luckily have always enjoyed doing so!
robinsons 1

We’ve never really had to work at getting them to stay hydrated, but with warmer days coming I am really aware that I need to keep an eye on them and make sure that they are actually drinking enough.  So I was pleased to be offered the chance to get involved with Robinsons #EnjoyMoreWater challenge.

Robinsons are on a bit of a mission you see, to get us all drinking more water.  And adding Robinsons squash to your water is a great way to make it all a bit more interesting!  As part of the challenge I was sent 6 bottles of Robinsons Squash’d to try, and I was really quite impressed when they arrived.

The bottles are teeny but you only need a teeny amount in your cup or bottle to get a great hit of flavour.  And speaking of flavour, there are some really yummy ones in the range:

  • Lemon and lime
  • Apple and blackcurrant
  • Orange and peach
  • Summer fruits
  • Passion fruit and mango
  • Citrus

We’ve had a great time trying all the different flavours, and I think passion fruit and mango is my favourite, it’s so refreshing!  I also love the fact that the squash has no added sugar,  and has no artificial colours and preservatives, so if you’re one of the 42% of parents whose children thing plain water is ‘boring’, then Robinsons squash’d is a nice way of adding some flavour and interest without having to worry about adding a load of sugar.

 robinsons squash'd

If your kids do find water a bit boring and need a bit more persuading than mine to drink more every day, then these tips might help you:

1) Drink more yourself.
We all know that children want to be just like their parents.  So if they see you drinking water and squash regularly throughout the day they’ll be much more likely to want to do the same themselves.

2) Make it fun.
Let’s be honest, drinking plain water isn’t the most fun thing in the world.  But you can try a few things to make it more fun, and so more appealing to your kids.  Let them chose a special cup next time you go shopping, that’s just for their water.  Or try giving them a curly straw to drink through.  And simply adding some colour and flavour with a splash of squash can make a really big difference to how much they drink.

3) Always have drinks available.
I think this might be a factor in how much my children drink.  We always have drinks out for them, so they can help themselves whenever they want throughout the day.  And we find they seem to naturally regulate their own intake, drinking significantly more when they’re hot or poorly.

4) Work out their preferences.
If your child is reluctant to drink much, maybe it’s because they don’t like the temperature of the drink!  You might find that a mug of warm squash is much more appealing to them, or maybe they’re the opposite and will really love drinks that are super cold after being stored in the fridge.

5) Talk to them about their pee.
Young children won’t understand what you’re on about if you talk to them about how important it is to stay hydrated.  But getting them to look at the colour of their wee will help it make much more sense.  Talk to them about how the aim is for their wee to be as clear as possible, and challenge them to reach that target!

I really hope these tips help you if you’ve got a reluctant drinker on your hands, and that we all feel the benefits of drinking more water in an effort to encourage our children to do the same!


This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons.  

I received bottles of squash’d to try for this post, but all words and opinions are my own.

I’ve seen a lot of different emotions scattered around social media over the last few days.

Anger, sadness, confusion, despair, hopelessness.

The future suddenly seems very uncertain.

But I refuse to give in to hopelessness, so I’m just going to leave this quote here.

Hope begins in the dark quote

In the face of all this uncertainty, I chose hope.

I will stubbornly hold on to hope.  Because once that is gone, what are we left with?

 

Cuddle Fairy

If you’ve visted my blog before you’ll most likely know that I love taking photos, mostly of my family and our everyday life.

For the most part I take photos with my ‘proper’ camera because I love the control it gives me to get the image I want.  But, saying that, I am also a big believer in the quote, “the best camera is the one you have with you”, which is very often the one on my phone.

I think I just got out of the habit of taking photos on my phone after I cracked the screen and lens on my old one which basically rendered the camera useless.

Now I have a new phone though, I really want to get in the habit of taking more photos with it, and so I was really pleased when Mpow gave me the chance to test out some of their equipment.

mpow lens kit selfie stick

They sent me their 3-in-1 lens kits and selfie stick to try out and, honestly, I’ve had so much fun playing around with them!

I never thought I’d be a selfie-stick kind of person but I really love it!  I’m really quite passionate about us parents getting in more photos with our kids and a selfie-stick makes doing it so much easier, and a lot more fun than trying to cram into a normal selfie together.

The stick itself is really quite compact when you first get it out of the box, which is great as it means it wouldn’t be too awkward to pop in your bag if you want to take it out and about with you.  All you have to do is flip the phone holder round, put your phone in, tighten the clamp at the angle you want it and then extend the arm.  It took me a minute to position my phone in the holder just right, because the power button is on the side of my phone and was the holder was pressing on it when I first tried!  But once I’d sussed that it out was all good!

The selfie stick connects with your phone via bluetooth and this was really easy to set up by following the instructions on the box.  Then it was just a case of having a play.

mpow selfie stick review

Nerys was really intrigued by the selfie stick and loved posing for photos with me using it.  Next up is to have a go at getting all 4 of us in a photo together using it, which I think will be a lot of fun, although I’ll have to get over the thought of us being ‘that family’ if we do it out in public!  I do really like the stick though, it’s easy to use, nice and compact and just a really great way to avoid that crammed in feeling you normally get when you take selfies on your phone.

 

Next up for exploring was the 3-in-1 lens kit.  Now, I was really excited to give these a go.

As a photographer I love the way the lens you use can completely change the image that you create, so I was really looking forward to seeing how effective these little lenses would be.  And I have to admit I was really impressed.

I took the lens kit with us to the park to test it out and you can see in this set of photos the difference the lenses make.

The top photo is with no added lens, the middle one is with the wide angle and the bottom one is with the fish eye, and you can really see how much the lenses change the look of the photos.

mpow 3 in 1 lens kit

The weather’s not been that cooperative recently (that’s summer in Wales for you!), but I’m really looking forward to another nice, dry day when I can take these lenses out for another spin.  You have to be careful to get the lens in just the right spot over the phone’s existing lens, to really get the photos spot on, so I’m excited to have another good go with them to really get the best out of them.

What I am really pleased with though, is the result of my playing around with the macro lens.

Now, I have to admit, this one took me a few minutes to figure out as there were no instructions with it.  I attached the lens to the camera and the image was just really, really blurry.  I couldn’t seem to get it to focus at all.  Until I held the phone right up close to the object I wanted to photograph, like, practically-touching-it-close, and hey presto!  A gorgeous, close up shot.

Once I’d figured out that this was how it worked then I was away.  I went out into the garden to find a flower to practice on and this was the result.

mpow macro lens

For a photo taken with a phone, I’m really impressed!  I absolutely love the depth of field this lens produced and can see me having so much fun experimenting with it.

I would highly recommend both the 3-in-1 lens kit and the selfie stick, for both those who take most of their photos on their phone and who want to experiment and push the limits of what their phone can do and for those who, like me, tend to take most of their photos on their big camera and who want to have more creativity with their phone when that’s the camera that they have with them.

Keep an eye on my instagram for the results of my future efforts with these bits of kit!

We’ve all been there.

It’s 3am, the baby is awake for the 5th time that night, and you’re starting to feel like you might be losing it.

You start to feel really quite alone in all this, and worry that all the other babies out there are sleeping brilliantly and that you must be doing something wrong because yours is wide awake.

First, let me tell you that you’re not doing anything wrong.

Honestly.

The parents whose babies sleep don’t know some amazing secret that you don’t, they’re not better parents than you, they just got lucky!

Secondly, when you’re sat in bed in the middle of the night feeding your baby (again), check out these 5 blog posts that might just make you feel a bit better:

5 posts to read when your baby isn't sleeping at night

 

1. How to really and truly get your baby to sleep through the night.  This is a great post from ‘surviving a sleep thief‘, and a fab jumping off point to start exploring the rest of the posts there, it’s a great place to be if you’re living with a sleep thief of your very own!

 

2. Squirmy popple has also written a couple of posts about dealing with a baby who’s resistant to the whole idea of sleep, but this one is my favourite so far – how to get your baby to sleep in one easy step.

 

3. If you’re in need of more light relief then Brummy mummy of 2 is always a good option, I love the sense of humour in her posts.  Her post, 6 ways you know you are a ‘mombie’, had me nodding along all the way through, which is maybe a bit worrying!

 

4. On a more serious note, if you want some science based information on why it’s ok that your baby wakes in the night, then go and check out this post on baby sleeping patterns.  Make sure you check out the video which goes into details about the findings of a recent study carried out here in Swansea about how normal it is for babies to wake up in the night.

 

5. And finally, not wanting to toot my own horn too much, but this post I wrote on why I think we should maybe stop giving false hope to parents of babies who don’t sleep might give you some comfort in knowing that sometimes the best thing to do is stop trying to follow all the advice and just accept the stage you’re in.

Just ride it out.

Hang in there, it will get better.

Until then, go read some posts, know you’re not the only one going through this, and keep on drinking that coffee!

If you read or watch the news at all, you’d be forgiven for believing that this world is a harsh, scary place, full of evil people and dangers around every corner.  It’s easy to worry about what kind of world we’re bringing our children up in, and to think that we need to teach them to be tough and closed-off to keep them safe.  But I believe the opposite is true.  We need to teach our children to be strong, yes, but above all else we need to teach them kindness and love.

There’s a quote by L.R. Knost that I love that says:

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world.  It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless”

and I believe this with all my heart.  My son in particular is a sensitive child, and I don’t want him to have to change that about himself, I want him to use that part of him to reach out and make a difference to those around him.

 

There’s a movement that’s been gaining momentum over the last few years that’s all about carrying out random acts of kindness that I think is wonderful.  The beauty of it is that these acts don’t have to be huge, they don’t have to cost you anything, they don’t have to take up much of your time (although they can if you want to do it that way!), but they can have a big impact on someone else.

And that one random act of kindness, more often that not, leads to more, as that person is inspired to pay it forward and do something nice for someone else.

 

I read a lovely quote from Amelia Earhart that explains it beautifully:

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”

cup of tea acts of kindness

As parents we can really make a difference by modelling kindness for our children.  When they see us chosing love and kindness over indifference and selfishness then they will be much more likely to do the same.

So if you’re out and about with your children, look for opportunities to chose kindness.

It can be as simple as picking up another child’s dropped toy, or holding the door open for the Mum with the buggy struggling to get out of the shop.  It’s all about teaching our children to look at the world around them, and to think about other people.

 

You could then start to think up ideas together for random acts of kindess you can carry out.  You could plan to buy a few extra bags of duck food next time you’re at the park and hand them out to other children.  Or get your kids involved in sorting through their toys and seeing which ones they could donate to someone in need.  If you need inspiration then this list of 101 easy ideas for random acts of kindness should get you going!

Another campaign that’s been started this year is the #BeSelfless campaign, which asked people at the start of the year to abandon their usual new year resolutions in favour of choosing to carry out small acts of kindness throughout the year, which is a great idea because it’s win-win.

 

When we are kind towards others, they get a real happiness boost, and in turn so do we.  Doing nice things for other people gives us a great serotonin hit, which makes us feel happier and gives us an overall sense of general well-being.  Who wouldn’t want more of that in their lives?

And I know that making someone a cup of tea, or surprising them with a bunch of flowers won’t magically make this world perfect; but step by step, person by person, I’m certain we can make it better for our children.

We just need to keep chosing kindness and love.

 “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” – Aesop

pink tulips

This is a collaborative post.

 

 

 

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