Just a quickie to say Happy Halloween I know it's a little late

Our home is beginning to look a bit like a photo gallery of Thomas we have photos of him dotted all around. He is blimmin' gorgeous and I am proud of him so I love to show off his beautiful photos. So when Your Image on Canvas contacted me and asked if I would like to review their product I was thrilled as I have never tried any sort of online canvas printing service, so I was looking forward to seeing how it would turn out.

Now I sent the company the picture I wanted to use and they printed it for me but I did have a mess about with their website to see if it was easy to use and it is. You have the option to first choose your photo, you can either upload from your computer or log in using Instagram which is where I got my photo from to use. Then next you get to choose what size canvas you would like they do so many different sizes and you can choose whether you want landscape, portrait or square and the prices for these canvas start at £34.99 for the 12x12 and that is the size I was sent.

Next you get to choose whether you want the image wrapped around the edges or whether you just want the edges left white. You also get to choose the canvas depth you want. There are so many different options you can get for your canvas so that you can get it exactly how you want it for example you can get the canvas coated or uncoated to protect it from scratches, You can have the image altered to be black and white, plus there are different pop art effects you can choose.

I am so pleased with how the canvas arrived it was well packaged and wrapped in bubble wrap. The quality of the canvas is brilliant and the photo is great quality. Definitely well worth the money as they are really fair prices I have looked on a couple of similar websites and they are really high priced.
One thing that might be nice to see on the website is if they could produce collage canvases too

I thought I would go through A few things that I think are essentials for your new babies. There are hundreds of things that you can be tricked in to buying but most of them you can do with out and to be honest there are some that are just a big waste of money. In the months before your baby is due money can be a bit tight as there are so many things you do need to buy.

Nappies - Nappies Nappies Nappies you go through so many and lets face it your baby will be wearing these for a good couple of years. So I would recommend everytime you do your monthly shop pick up a packet of nappies and make sure you get a variety of different sizes. You can also pick up a few different brands so that you can pick your favourite.

Baby Wipes - You will also get through so many of these you wont believe. For nappy changes and also in the future for wiping messy faces and sticky hands when you are out and about. I would recommend picking these up whenever you see them on special offer. My nan bless her gets us so many packets of baby wipes everytime we go to see her she has packets for us.

Changing Mat - To keep nappy changes as clean as possible poop can get EVERYWHERE.

Nappy rash cream - Luckily Thomas hasn't had nappy rash yet but some babies can get it quite bad and it can be brought on by teething so it's always handy to have some just incase.

Changing Bag - It doesn't need to be anything expensive Boots parenting club even give away free ones that are pretty good we have kept ours for if David ever takes Thomas out on his own so he doesn't have to take my girly one with him. I would say though by one that is good quality though because you will be taking this absolutely everywhere with you for as long as your baby is in nappies.

Bottles & Steriliser - Even if you start off thinking you are going to breast feed like I did I would still recommend getting some bottles and a steriliser just incase for whatever reason it might not work for you and your baby like it didn't for me and Thomas. Plus you can always use them if you want to express in the future. (If like me you decide to use Tommee Tippee bottles don't bother getting the smaller size bottles just go straight for the big ones as the amount of milk your baby needs soon increases so the smaller bottles will become useless after a few weeks so they are a complete waste of money) You will also need a bottle brush too.

Cot/Crib or Moses Basket - You need to decide what you want your baby to sleep in when they come home. Some people completely miss out Moses Baskets and go straight to cots. You can buy these second hand but please please please always buy new matresses.

Blankets and Bedding - You will need quite a few blankets for using as covers as night and also for use with the pram when you take your baby out.

Pram/ Carseat - You need these ready from day one to bring your baby home. Do your research and test a few out in the shops before you make up your mind. I would highly recommend looking in to travel systems.

Muslin Cloths - These are so so handy I seem to have one permantely over my shoulder or by my side they catch little sicky dribbles. I find these are better than the shoulder pad things that you can get as these mop up mess much better.

Bips - You may think that your baby won't need bips until they are older but they do. If you have a little dribbler like me he dribbles when he feeds and also he started teething at 2 months so they catch the dribble.

Vests - Now the weather is getting a lot colder you will need to make sure your baby is warm enough as they can't maintain their heat like we can. I'll be honest with you when Thomas was born after a couple of weeks we didn't bother with vests as it was quite warm so maybe that's something to think about if you are having a summer baby, we ended up with lots and lots of vests which he never wore but thankfully the 0-3 vests still fit him now he needs them.

Sleepsuits - As obviously they need something to sleep in.

Scratch Mitts - When Thomas was first born we didn't bother with scratch mitts as he never scratched him self but now he has cradle cap and baby eczema he is very itchy. If you can find sleep suits where you can fold the sleeves over to form mitts and obviously your baby wont be able to pull them off.

Socks/ Booties - You have to keep the little tootsies warm.

Hats - When your baby is first born they will need a little cotton hat to keep them warm, as I have said before they cant maintain their temperature. You will also need a thicker hat now its getting cold for when you go out.

Cardigans/ Coats - Especially now it's getting cold your baby needs more layers. If you are checking your babies temperature feel their chest or back and don't let them get too warm (don't go by their hands, feet, face and these are sometimes cool even if your baby is quite warm)

Baby Monitors - If you are going to be putting your baby to bed before you go bed then you then these are a must. In the early weeks when Thomas was napping all over the place I didn't take him upstairs until I was ready to go bed. Now he is in a routine and goes to sleep about 7:30 obviously we have to use them.

Play Mat - Even at a couple of days old babies need some sort of stimulation they don't want to be lying in their Moses basket staring at the ceiling so get them a nice colourful mat with some dangly toys to look at.

Swing Chair - We have the Fisherprice space saver swing chair and it was an absolute god send in the early days. Thomas is such a nosey baby so always wanted to have a good view of everything. Plus it use to be the only way I could get him to take naps. If you can try and get a chair that will swing, vibrate and play music and babies find this very soothing.

What do mummys need in the early days?
You do need to think of yourself too and there are some essentials that you need.

Massive big pants - If like me you need an unexpected C-section you will be living in big pants for a long time after. So get yourself a few packs just incase plus you will need them as you will be wear pads, which takes me to my next item.

Maternity Pads - You will get through packs and packs of these after birth as you will bleed rather heavily for quite a few weeks after. Whether you have a natural birth or a section. I just got Boots own brand and I think they were about £1.10 so stock up.

Breast Pads - Whether you breast feed or not you will still need these as some mummys still get leaky even if they don't breast feed.

Nipple Cream - I recommend Lanolin simply because it works and you don't need to wash your nip before you feed your baby as it doesn't matter if they ingest it.

I've been reading a bit about Sensory play lately and the benefits for your babies learning and brain development by using their 5 senses. So I thought I would do a little series on my blog documenting the different sensory activities we have been exploring.

The first activity we tried was playing in water. Thomas isn't really big enough for playing with toys in the bath yet as he can't sit up on his own so I thought I'd get him a bowl of water and let him have a play and make a mess with some of his bath toys that squirt water.

Thomas loved splashing his hands in the water and he found the noises the squeaky noises absolutely hilarious. I have a video of him chuckling his head off. Who would have thought such a cheap game like like this could be so much fun.

It was good to see Thomas's hand eye coordination when trying to pick up the toys and splashing them back in the water. It's really good he knows exactly what he wants and he goes and gets in. I was also using this for a bit of strength in his back as he was sitting up pretty much on his own for a lot of the time.

What sensory games do you like to do with your children or babies?
Becoming a mum for the first time is a very scary experience and I'll admit in the weeks leading up to Thomas's arrival I was pretty terrified. Sure I've had a bit of experience with babies I've got a younger sister and brother and younger cousin's but I've never had to look after a tiny baby for any length of time before. So I had moments of panic thinking what if I don't know what to do if he cries or what if he gets poorly what do I do then. What about if I'm getting him dressed and accidentally brake him?

The reality is when your baby comes along something clicks in your head and you know what to do, you start recognising the different cries (Or in Thomas's case the screams) You know when he is tired rather than hungry and you know when he is just getting bored and wants to be picked up and fussed for a while. There are of course times when Thomas's cries for no apparent reason but all you need to do is keep calm and work through a list of possibilities in your head of what could be wrong. Babies can pick up when you are tense so always keep calm. Also when they are really young you wont accidentally pull a limb off when you are getting them dressed, babies are quite sturdy really just look at how the midwifes pull them about when you are giving birth.

In the early days we use to put Thomas is to his swing chair to go to sleep people would have told us that was wrong and it would be a bad habit to get in to but he was soon out of that habit and he hasn't used that chair to fall asleep in for weeks.

Worrying that you are doing wrong doesn't end there either, No I worried when we couldn't get on with breast feeding I felt like I was failing as a mum but David was very supportive and I know now that breast feeding wasn't for us, we give it a go at least but it didn't work for us. Thomas is doing great on his bottles and that's good enough for me. I was also worried in case I was doing the wrong this with weaning him at 4 months but I knew milk wasn't doing anything for him with the amount he was guzzling before bedtime, so I began to give him some puree with his bed time feed and he loves it. If he wasn't interested I wouldn't of tried I would have left it for a month or so and then tried again. But Thomas is loving all of the new tastes and he is a lot more settled these days so that just shows he was ready.

At the minute Thomas wakes around 6am and I bring him in to our bed where he will go sleep for another hour or 2. Some people will tell me that I shouldn't be doing that as it's a bad habit to get in to. For now though I like it especially as he's in his own room, it's my time to have a cuddle and I love falling to sleep listening to him breathe. I don't mind much about him being in the habit of waking up at 6am either as when I go back to work that's what time we will have to get up anyway.

I think as parents we will always worry in case we are doing something wrong, I know I will. I will worry about sending him to the right nursery the right schools but I guess what I'm trying to say is nobody knows your baby like you do. You know what is best
When Michelle from http://mummyratesit.co.uk/ asked if anybody would be interested in taking part in a blog linky where we would each read one of the books that had been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, I jumped at the chance I love to read and I thought it would be a great chance to read a book that I wouldn't normally think about reading. You see I'm normally an airy fairy chick lit reader so this would be a good chance to read something different.

There are 7 of us in this linky and here is what we chose

http://themcleanhalladventure.blogspot.co.uk/ who is reading Bring up the bodies
http://mummyisagadgetgeek.co.uk/ who is reading The Garden of Evening Mists.
http://babybishbosh.blogspot.com/ who is reading Swimming Home.
http://circusqueen.co.uk/ who is reading Narcopolis.
So let me tell you about The Lighthouse, This story is about a guy called Futh (You never get to find out his first name) who has recently split from his wife and who is going on a week long walking holiday, I suppose to gather his thoughts about his recent split.
During Fuths first night in Germany he stays in a hotel called Hellhaus where he sees the landlady Ester. They never really meet or talk but she is seen coming out of Futh's room by her husband who thinks she has been up to no good when infact she was just delivering some supper for Futh. This is also where you first hear of the little lighthouse he carries around with him, you later find out that this belonged to his mother and it is the only real reminder her has of her. The story is then sort of split in two and you hear Esters story too. Even though Futh and Ester virtually never meet or speak to one another but the whole story is about how they are connected.
Futh’s first full day of his walking holiday his thoughts of his wife Angela fill his head how they met, their marriage and how it failed.He also thinks about his life when he was younger growing up with just his father as him mother left them when he was younger.  
After Futh's week of walking and getting his head straight he heads back to Hellhous where he finds the consequences of the misunderstanding that happened between Ester and her husband.
This is a sad novel definitely not one to read if you are after a light, happy book. It's quite an easy read you don't really have to think about it very much. For a book that has been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize I thought it would be better than it was or maybe I just think this because it's not my normal kind of book?
If you would liketo read reviews of the other books you can read them here http://mummyratesit.co.uk/blog-linky-the-man-booker-shortlist/
As A mummy I want to document every part of Thomas's life hence this blog and the scrapbook I am making for him. Part of watching him grow will be to measure his height often to see how my little man is growing.

Before Thomas was born I was wanting to get him a height chart but I could never find one that I like enough and to be honest there aren't really that many about that I can see.

I was recently sent this to review from www.thelittlegiants.co.uk who you can also find on Twitter here @littlegiantgift . Meet Jeremy Giraffe isn't he so cute!

What I first love about their products and not just the height charts is that they can be personalised which is great if you have a child with an unusual name that you can't normally find in the shops. The second thing is that they have some great eye catching and colourful designs perfect for a childs bedroom.
Now when I first put the chart up it was so easy to do carefully peel the top of the backing paper and line it up on your wall, you will need a measuring tape but I will get on to this. Once in place smooth it down and then gently pull the backing off with one hand and I found it easier to smooth the chart on to the wall with my other arm.
You will need a measuring tape or ruler as the chart starts at 50cm so you will need to measure how far up on your wall to stick the chart.

 So I took my measuring tape and measured it wrong...(I was never any good at maths...) So I carefully took it off the wall and thats when disaster stuck and that crumpled up mess happened. There is one thing I can say for this WOW it is sticky. Thankfully the chart is made from quite a durable vinyl material (I think) So I could carefully unstick it all and it didn't rip or stretch out of shape.

Ta daaaa here it is looking great on Thomas's wall good as new after the sticky drama. As it did come off the wall quite well you would be able to move it if needed so I shall be keeping the backing paper and tube it came in just incase we ever move in the future.

Little Giants produce all different sorts of personalised gifts for children such as backpacks, lunchboxes, reward charts, placemats and dinner sets. I've also noticed that the site have wall art coming soon so I will be checking them out when they go live of the site as I love this design and I think some wall art along with this height chart will really brighten up Thomas's room.

As you can see Thomas loves it.

This wall chart retails for £19.99 on The Little Giants website, which I think is a really good price for what you are getting a personalised chart. The design is really sharp and bright so you can tell it is a really good quality product. If you follow @littlegiantgift on Twitter they are currently holding a competition to win a personalised lunchbox which ends the end of October.

Any products I am sent for reviewing purposes I always give my honest opinions

The people over at Special K are really outdoing themselves on the snack front. They have a new product out for all of you savoury snackers out there who love crisps but always feel guilty after (Yes I am talking about myself)
I adore crisps always have done and always will. I will put my hands up and admit that in the past I have been unable to stop at just one packet.
These yummy little cracker crisps are just 95 calories per 21 crisps! In your average packet of crisps you are looking at about 170ish calories so already these are the better option and the crackers are quite big so I don’t even think I would eat 21 in one sitting.
The crackers come in three wonderful flavours Sea salt and balsamic Vinegar, Sweet chilli and Sour cream and onion. All 3 are my favourite flavours so I was super dooper happy about this.
Now if you have tried other low calorie crisps in the past you might have thought they were pretty tasteless but believe me these are really tasty.
What’s better is that these are available in 2 ways a box as I was sent perfect for a night in when your putting your feet up in front on the tele when the baby is in bed, or you can buy them in individual bags perfect to keep in your handbag for when you are feeling a bit peckish. These will be retailing for 60p per individual bag which I think is great especially when some packets of crisps cost upwards of 70p I know which I will be reaching for in the future. Also there is the boxes which will be retailing for £1.99 for a 100g box which again is fab as you can sometimes pay around that price for a large pack of crisps.

Although I have been sent these for reviewing purposes all the opinions are my own.
For any new mummy you never know when to expect your new baby to reach the various development milestones. Head over to Wriggley Rascals to have a read of my guest post on there, where I talk about when Thomas first began to roll over and what I think helped him to get there. You can read my full post here http://www.wrigglyrascals.com/blog/2012/10/when-did-your-baby-first-roll-over/
Also there is a little survey you can complete here all about when your little bundle of joy started to roll http://tiny.cc/wriggly145c to share your experience and to give other mums support.
The time has finally come for my baby boy to leave us and move in to his own room. I have been putting it off for a while but he has outgrown his moses basket now. I wish we had room to but his cot in our room but as it is quite a big cot bed unfortunately there just isn't the space.

So last week I put him in his cot and I got quite teary even now as I type this I am my baby is growing far too fast I wish time would just slow down a little bit. I was suprised about how sad I feel about it I can't just have a little peak at him during the night when I wake up and I can't just fall asleep listening to him breathe...or rather snore (he sounds like his daddy after a few pints!) Even when I sit down stairs after he has gone sleep for some reason I miss him even more now he is in his own room, how silly does that sound?

How teeny does Thomas look in his cot.

Thomas has taken to his new enviroment pretty well when I give him his bottle before bed nearly every night he falls asleep after he has bought his wind up so I have been placing him in his cot when he has been asleep. When Thomas wakes for his bottle during the night it take's him a little longer to settle as he is so busy looking around. The one slight problem I'm having at the minute is that the curtains in his room are quite thin so he is waking when it starts getting light. So we need blinds for the rest of the house but we will be getting some for his room pretty soon.
Being a first time parent it can be hard to know what to do for the best with you new baby, especially when you have so many people in your family who have already had babies and they do try and tell you what to do. I've had people telling me since 3 months that Thomas has been ready for food but I know that's not true plus his indigestive system wasn't ready at that young age.
It is recommended that weaning is started around 6 months but you can start from 4months, the earliest being 17 weeks. I wanted to hold off as long as possible really. Just lately though Thomas has been drinking loads of milk at night time, He drinks around 8oz at 7:30pm and then he was waking up again at midnight for another 6oz. So for me I knew milk wasn't doing enough for my son so after speaking to his Daddy too we agreed to start him on some baby rice with his bedtime bottle.
I sent off for the Hipp Organic and Cow & Gate weaning packs as they have lots of information in them and you even get a free spoon and a free packet of baby rice as well as lots of money off coupons.
Then one night when Thomas had been bathed and he was sitting comfortably and happy we tried rice for the first time. In the Cow & Gate book it says at first just give them a few spoonfuls after on of their bottles so that's what we did.

As you can see Thomas was loving it at first it was a bit weird for him after all he's been used to sucking from a bottle that's all he's ever know and now he's got to learn how to eat from a spoon.
For us the baby rice was a good place to start as it basically just tastes like his milk so he's not got to get use to eating from a spoon and a strong flavour right from the beginning.
Since trying his baby rice we are now trying baby banana and peach porridge and when he has got use to them we will add some purees in for some different flavours.
We also have our health visitor coming next week to go in to more detail about weaning as I told her I was starting to wean Thomas.

Trying to loose weight and being a terrible snacker isn’t really going to work is it? When you know you can’t snack your brain thinks it’s funny to make you want snacks even more than normal. So when I was given the chance to review Special K’s Biscuit Moments I jumped at the chance.

Biscuit Moments are a lovely light biscuit with a strawberry centre  with a drizzle of vanilla to top it off. They are a bit of a mix between a biscuit and a breakfast bar so they do feel really light. Each pack contains 2 biscuits and at 98 calories per pack these are fab, when you think that 2 chocolate digestives can contain 168 calories I know which I would prefer just looking at the size of them I feel like they hit the spot more than just 2 normal biscuits.


Although I wont be dunkin’ these biscuits in my afternoon brew they do go really well with them. Just perfect for when I want to put my feet up with a cuppa when Thomas is having his afternoon nap without having to worry about the next time I step on a set of scales.
Biscuit Moments are available in two flavours Strawberry and Blueberry and they retail for around £1.99. If you are a serious snacker like me I would suggest trying these out to get your biscuit fix without the guilt afterwards.
I was sent these by Kellogs but all opinions are my own these are seriously yummy. Just ask David he will confirm I’m in love with them.