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Tommee Tippee Ultra Bottle Giveaway

If you’re a mama yourself or a mama-to-be it’s likely you’ve come across Tommee Tippee before. They’re one of the biggest baby brands out there, offering a wide range of fantastic baby products from bottles and soothers to sterilisers, weaning equipment and baby monitors. I’ve had so much use out of my Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Steriliser and the Closer To Nature bottles that came with it were fantastic when Arthur was much younger.

Recently Tommee Tippee have launched the Ultra Bottle, a brand new design aimed to create the perfect feeding experience for babies. The Tommee Tippee Ultra Bottle has a breast-like shape teat for easy latching and is made from a high-grade silicone that can be moved in various directions to mimic a natural feeding action. Even if you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, it’s great to have a couple of breast-like bottles at home, as it gives you the option to express and bottle feed if your boobs need a break!

The Ultra bottle from Tommee Tippee is designed with a perfectly contoured teat, which forms a tight seal in the baby’s open mouth to prevent excess dribbling. You’ll also notice that the teat is angled on the Ultra bottle to assist babies in an upright feeding position and allow for effective milk flow.

I think the bottle itself looks great and is definitely something I would have used with Arthur, however now he is 9 months old, we tend to be using bottles less and less. Instead he takes most of his milk feeds from the breast and also has sips of water at mealtimes from a beaker. With this in mind, I thought I'd give away the Tommee Tippee Ultra bottle sent to me. So, if you fancy winning, simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Don’t forget to check out the Terms and Conditions.

Tips for Home Safety whilst on Holiday

As much as I love going away on holiday, there's always part of me that worries something will happen to our lovely house, so I take home safety pretty seriously. It's not just the cost of damage to your home or the loss of personal belongings but the stress and worry that comes with it. Whilst you can't plan for every possible eventuality, there are a number of things you can do to keep your home safe. The obvious thing is to set your burglar alarm but here are a few things you may have forgotten...

Don't Tweet about it
Understandably you'll want to tell your immediate family and friends you're going away on holiday but leave it at that. Start shouting about your upcoming holiday and you put your home at high risk of a break in. I often see people bragging about going away on social media and think why are you putting yourself at risk like that?! Post your holiday snaps when you're home instead.

Pull the plug
Before we went on our recent holiday to Northumberland, we did a quick check around the house to make sure that all of our appliances (apart from the fridge / freezer) were turned off at the wall. It's a pre-holiday ritual we've always done. Switching off appliances can help to reduce the risk of fires and also save you wasting money on utility bills.

Dig out your home insurance docs
Whilst you'd rather your home didn't get burgled or damaged whilst you're on holiday; it's only sensible to make sure your home insurance is valid and up to date. It's also a good idea to check that outbuildings such as your garage, shed or summer house are also covered by your home insurance policy, as these tend to be seen as easier targets for break ins. Remember that many home insurance policies require you to have taken certain measures to ensure home safety whilst on holiday and may even include a clause on social media. Read the small print and follow the guidelines closely to ensure you are 100% covered in the unfortunate event of a burglary, fire or flood.

Ask someone to play neighbourhood watch
Although you don't want to tell the world you're going on holiday, there's no harm in mentioning it to someone you can trust. Before my family went to Devon and Northumberland this year, we told a couple of our neighbours so they could keep an eye on the house for us (and put the bin out!) It'll definitely give you a little extra peace of mind - it did for us!

So there we have my top tips for home safety whilst on holiday. Do you have any more to share? Feel free to leave them for me and others to read in the comment section below!
*Collaborative post

When you realise blog scheduling isn't for you...

It's been around two months since I published a post on here detailing my new blogging schedule and if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that it's not for me. I'm not talking about blogging (I still totally love my little corner of the Internet) but rather sticking to a blogging schedule. I so want to be one of those organised bloggers that shares X number of posts a week, at set times but honestly, right now it's just not possible. I thought sharing fresh content three times a week, at dedicated times would help increase engagement on my blog and feel like a real sense of achievement but in reality all it's done is put me under unnecessary pressure. And I don't know about you but when I'm under pressure, I lose all sense of creativity.

So I've decided to scrap the blog schedule and make blogging work for me. No set number of posts and no set times! It's time to take the pressure off and blog when I feel most inspired. After all, surely it's better to share a passionately written piece rather than churn out a post for the sake of sticking to a schedule?

As well as finding more freedom in blogging, I guess I'd like to write a little more personally. I'm a fairly private person but I'd like to share a little more of me and my life on here - the things Arthur and I get up to, the places we visit, my thoughts and feelings about motherhood, my experiences, my advice, what I like to bake, what's inspiring me - the list goes on! I just want Seek My Scribbles to be a little more 'me.'

It's not very often I look back at my blog posts and think 'Yeah, I really love that!' but I recently wrote a little poem for Arthur called The Best Kind of Pair and it's possibly my favourite ever post on here. It was such a spontaneously written poem and although I was nervous to share it, doing so has really inspired me to be more creative with my blog posts. I came up with it just before I went to bed one evening on my recent trip to Northumberland and it made me realise that some of my best words and ideas come when I've not really planned to blog.

So although my blogging schedule turned out to be pretty naff, I feel like I've learnt from it, in a 'what not to do' sort of way. Blog scheduling isn't for everyone. Your blog should work for you, not the other way round. Re-discover your love for blogging and re-gain your sense of creativity by scrapping the schedule. I'm gonna take my own advice and do just that.


Arthur's Favourite Nuby Teething Toys

"Your baby won't start teething until he gets his first tooth around 9 months" said my GP at Arthur's first check-up...what a load of poop that was! Luckily, I'd already done my own research and read that babies start teething at various different ages - some before they're even 4 months old! Arthur actually started teething at around 5 months old and ended up getting his first fourth teeth (bottom and top incisors) through between then and 7 months.

There are various different types of pain relief out there for teething babies, from medicine like Calpol to an assortment of teething gels but to be honest, it's teething toys like the ones shown above that seem to provide the most comfort for Arthur. I noticed that when his top incisors were coming through he was particularly 'bitey' (even during feeds....owch!) so I was glad to be able to give him these to chew on, in addition to giving him a dose of Calpol, when I thought he needed a little extra pain relief.

Arthur's favourite teether is the Bugaloop Teething toy from Nuby, which he received for Christmas from my friend Kerry, along with the Chewbies Teether from the same brand. I love the attractive, colourful design of the Bugaloop Teether (£3.99) and Arthur seems to really enjoy giving the different surfaces a good old chew. The Bugaloop teether is particularly effective for back tooth teething, so I'm sure it'll continue to come in use over the months, as he begins to get more teeth through.

The Chewbies Teether (£2.49) looks a little like a dummy and is therefore easy for babies to hold and effective for use as a soother. Arthur was a little unsure of this one to start with, as I chose not to give him a dummy but more recently I've seen him take an interest in it. What I like about the Chewbies teether is that it has ridges and bristles, which help to keep his teeth and gums clean, whilst also massaging them to provide additional comfort.

Our latest purchase is the IcyBite Keys from Nuby (£3.99), which Arthur has taken a real liking too! These have multiple teething surfaces, designed to provide comfort for different parts of the mouth and also contain PureICE teething gel, which stays cooler than the other water-filled teethers you can buy. They're easy for babies to hold and Arthur loves taking them out and about in his pushchair. All three Nuby teethers are suitable for use from 3 months old.

We've had a great experience with Nuby as a brand. It's one I trust, would buy from again and would definitely recommend to new mums for their teething babies. The teether designs are fun, colourful and interesting for babies; they fulfil their purpose of providing relief and what's more, they don't cost a fortune! If you haven't already, go check out the Nuby website. I'm sure you'll be impressed with their fantastic range - I certainly was!


Making a Baby Scrapbook

Time goes faster and faster as you get older but I swear when you have a baby it doubles in speed. In a couple of weeks Arthur will be 9 months old and I still can't quite get my head around it! Enjoy every moment is the piece of advice I was given when I became a mummy and yes, it's a cliche but something that's so important because time really does go by in the blink of an eye. I guess if I was to give another piece of advice to a new mummy it would be to document as much as you can. I've always loved looking back at old photo albums from my childhood and wanted to make sure Arthur had plenty look back on too.

In addition to creating photo albums, memory boxes and Letters To My Baby, I've started a baby scrapbook for Arthur's first year. Each double page has it's own theme, such as 'My Baby Shower,' 'The Day You Were Born,' 'Your First Christmas' and I've filled them with pictures, words and little keepsakes that we'll be able to look back on together, in years to come. So far I've taken most of the scrapbook pictures on my Instax Mini 8 Camera. I love the retro-style 'polaroid' effect of these photographs and they're the perfect size for sticking in my Paperchase Scrapbook.

As well as creating pages for special times, I've also designed a few around Arthur's age and milestones. These pages feature pictures that show how Arthur has changed and grown over the months, as well as little snippets of information, like his weight, what he likes doing, the nicknames I've been calling him and what he's been getting up to. I know there are some great scrapbooks out there like Project Life but I wanted my baby scrapbook to be a little less formal and a little more and 'me!' I also think some of the scrapbooking kits out there are very expensive. I much prefer being able to buy little bits and bobs here and there without spending a small fortune.

Of course, a scrapbook wouldn't be a scrapbook without cute stickers and washi tape, so I couldn't resist ordering a selection from Paperchase. I love the colourful animal stickers and the seashells, along with the anchor print washi tape are perfect for my seaside themed 'Your First Holiday' page.

I've still got plenty of pages left in my baby scrapbook and can't wait to add to it over the next few months. I think I'll probably start a fresh one when Arthur turns 1. It'd be nice to do one for each year of his childhood if I could keep it up. It's certainly something I really enjoy doing when Arthur's gone to bed - it really helps me to wind down. I already love looking back at the earlier pages and seeing just how much has happened over these last few months. What a wonderful few months it's been!

Are you into scrapbooking?
I'd love to hear your recommendations on places to buy stickers, tape and other scrapbooking bits!


LOVING: Sewkuddly Leggings

Well aren't these the best leggings you've ever seen?! As soon as I saw them, I HAD to buy them for Arthur and he looks absolutely adorable in them. They're from Sewkuddly, a UK company specialising in handmade children's clothing. All of their prints are really unique and eye catching - very different from the 'typical' baby clothing you find in high street stores. The quality is exceptional, the material is baby soft and I've found the sizing to be perfect. Arthur's wearing 9-12 months, which is the size he's wearing in clothing bought from all other stores too.

They're extremely well priced (especially for handmade clothing) at £14.00 (price slightly varies according to size) and can be purchased from either the Sewkuddly website or their Etsy store. They also make various other clothing items including dresses, rompers, dribble bibs, headbands and t-shirts all in their quirky prints. Sizing ranges from newborn to six years.

Seeing as I love the Sewkuddly Origami Birdie Leggings so much, I'm definitely going to treat Arthur to some other bits. I think the Perfect Panda Leggings and Mint Candy Skulls dribble bib are next on my list - ah it's just so hard to choose!

I don't know about you but for me, there's just something about handmade clothing that makes it extra special. I like knowing that I'm supporting a smaller business, a creative and her family too! And when the prints are as cute as this...well who could resist a few more purchases?!


Bath Time Routine + Mini Reviews

As a newborn, Arthur hated bath time. He'd cry and yell until you washed his hair...that he weirdly enjoyed! But over the months his love for bath time has grown and grown, even more so now he has this rather awesome yellow duck bath to splash around in. C'mon, if there was anything that was gonna make you love having a bath, it'd be a big yellow duck bath! Now if only they made an adult size one...

The Munchkin Yellow Duck Bath was purchased from Amazon and is designed for babies age 6-24 months. I bought it as I thought Arthur would enjoy being able to sit up and splash around safely. It's inflatable, so you need a little lung power to blow it up and it comes with one of those White Hot Safety Discs so you can make sure the water isn't too hot. I tend to just dip my elbow in to check the water temperature before putting Arthur in though.

What I love about this bath is that it's travel-friendly. I took it with us on our Northumberland holiday to use in the bath in our cottage but it would be particularly useful if the place you were staying only had a shower, as you could fill it up with a little water and pop it on the bathroom floor if you needed to.

It's one of my best baby buys so far and though it's unlikely to last him until he's two (as suggested), for £9.95 I'd happily just get a few month's use out of it!

Before I start washing Arthur, I give him time to have a little splash about and play with his toys. I spotted these cute Bath Buddies at the till at Dunelm Mill and had to throw them in the basket! They were super cheap at £2.99 but you get 10 little characters and they're lovely and colourful. Arthur loves squeezing the water out of them and I make them do all sorts of little dances for him, whilst singing songs from The Little Mermaid in my best singing voice...as you do.

Once Arthur's had a few minutes play, I use a soft flannel to wash him. Anyone else feel like a super hero when they manage to wash their baby's neck? Trust me, it's a challenge! I use various different natural, kind-to-the-skin products in his bath, including Little Bunnies and Earth Friendly Baby but at the moment we're using the Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash (£7.99). It smells absolutely divine and leaves both his hair and body lovely and clean. I love that it is made from natural, plant-based ingredients and doesn't contain any nasties. Burt's Bees is also a cruelty-free brand, so I'm more than happy to spend money on their products!

After his bath, I wrap him up in a towel and we have a go at cleaning his teeth. Arthur's fascinated by his toothbrush and enjoys the whole experience so much that he doesn't like having to put the toothbrush back! I started the whole teeth cleaning process as soon as his first tooth appeared, as I wanted him to get used to it as part of his daily routine.

Once his teeth are clean and he's nice and dry, I usually use some form of moisturising product on his skin. At the moment I'm loving the Little Bunnies Organic Baby Balm. It's easy to massage into the skin and leaves it feeling super soft, just as baby skin should be! I've reviewed the entire Little Bunnies baby skincare range, if you fancy learning more about it. Again, it's a cruelty-free baby brand, which is really important to me.

After he's bathed, moisturised and in his pyjamas, we tend to cuddle up together, whilst I read a bed time story. Arthur loves the glittery pictures in the BusyBugz books and I also love the stories from the Snuggle Up, Little One collection. Story time is followed by a breastfeed and then I put him down to sleep in his nursery. This is a fairly new routine for us, as I was reluctant to part with him at night time but so far, so good! I'll keep you posted.

What are your favourite baby bath time products?

AmaWrap Re-Visited: A Mama Holiday Must-have!

Back in March I first tried my hand at babywearing and shared a rave review of a sling I'd been using, called the AmaWrap*. Initially I had only been using it around the house, however last week we travelled to Northumberland for our family holiday and I decided to give it a go on the beach!

The first day I attempted to take my Silver Cross Surf 2 Pushchair on the beach and whilst it was fairly easy to push once I got onto the wet sand (providing you didn't stop and sink), dragging it across dry sand was quite the challenge. The next day we had to walk down quite a steep hill to get to the beach, so the baby sling was my only option. I'm so glad I tried it outside though because honestly, it made the whole beach walk so much more enjoyable for both me and Arthur.

Initially I thought that I might find it quite difficult now Arthur's eight months old and quite a big baby but the AmaWrap provided plenty of support and distributed his weight evenly, making him much easier to carry. I think Arthur enjoyed being kept close in the AmaWrap and it allowed him to take-in and enjoy his new surroundings; feeling safe, warm and content. His smiles and happy noises were all the proof I needed!

For me, tying the AmaWrap and popping Arthur in was just as quick as getting the pushchair out of the boot and strapping him in that. It also saved time, as unlike the pushchair, it didn't need the sand brushing off it afterwards. I can tie the AmaWrap myself from memory but if you get stuck, there's an excellent step-by-step video tutorial you can watch for guidance.

If you're going on a beach holiday with your baby or even going on a walk where there might be some tricky parts for your pushchair, I highly recommend trying the AmaWrap or another baby carrier of your choice. Practice babywearing around the house to build your confidence with it and you'll soon see the benefits for yourself and your baby. The AmaWrap was a holiday essential for me and I'll definitely use it for other trips out with Arthur in the future.

*PR item

Our Week in Northumberland

I'm back from a lovely week away with my family in Northumberland. The weather was a little on the windy and wet side at times but we made the most of the sunshine when it appeared and enjoyed plenty of walks along the beautiful, rugged beaches. It was my first holiday in Northumberland and I can see why my mum and dad fell in love with it when they first visited a few years ago. The scenery is simply stunning and though busy at times, the beaches were no where near as packed as those I've visited in other holiday hotspots like Devon. At one point we had an entire stretch of beach to walk along all by ourselves. It was blissful!

We stayed in a former farm cottage called Letterbox Cottage, West Burton, which really was a home-away-from-home for us. It was cosy, had a spacious walled garden for Jazz and Oby (our German Shepherd Collie Crosses) and boasted amazing views of Bamburg Castle. I know it sounds daft but it also had a fantastic high chair and travel cot for Arthur to use, which made all the difference to my stay. You know you're a mama when you're excited to see a good quality high chair at your holiday cottage haha!

We visited various beautiful beaches along the Northumberland Coast and I enjoyed walks along the sands with Arthur snuggled in my AmaWrap. Although I did use the pushchair on two occasions, it was much more practical and enjoyable to carry Arthur close to me in my sling. I could tell how much he loved it from the big smiles on his face and the chirpy little noises he made. I think he really enjoyed watching our dogs race down the beach and splash in the sea. I can't wait to take him for his first little paddle when he's a bit older.

Good food is always a holiday essential and one of our favourite places to visit was the Saltwater Cafe in Beadnell. They had a great lunchtime menu (the Wedges and Dips were my favourite) and the homemade cakes also went down a treat. Oh and the lattes and loose leaf tea were some of the best I've ever had. Definitely the place to go if you happen to be visiting or staying in Beadnell! We chose to spend our evenings snuggled up in front of the fire, back at the cottage and enjoyed a couple of takeouts from √Član, an Italian restaurant in nearby Seahouses. The four cheese pizza was particularly yummy!
It was lovely to get away for the week with my family and take Arthur on a beach for the first time! The Northumberland Coast is every bit as beautiful as the places I've travelled to down South so if you fancy a holiday in the North, it's well-worth a visit. I hope we'll holiday there again soon.