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5 things I've learnt in 2017

2017 has been weird and wonderful. It's not all been plain sailing but easily one of the best of my life and I'm eager to see where 2018 takes us. But for now, I thought I'd share a few things I've learnt this year...

There’s magic in the littlest moments
I love watching Arthur discover the world as a toddler. He makes the smallest, most insignificant things magical because to him, they’re brand new and full of wonder. Seeing the world through a toddler’s eyes is good for the soul.

Making friends as an adult is tough
When I moved across the country, the hardest thing was leaving behind friends - the best friends I’d had since school and mum friends I’d grown so close to since having Arthur. I guess I thought I’d find it easy making new friends in a new place but as an adult that doesn’t go out to work, it’s a little more difficult. I think I thought I’d find a group of mums that I fitted into but it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m lucky that I’m very close to my family, I’m in a relationship with a wonderful man who has become my best friend and I still speak to many of my friends via WhatsApp so it’s not that often I feel lonely. I’m hoping 2018 may bring new friendships though - it’d be nice to make a few local mum friends!

So much can change in a year

When I had Arthur, I kind of assumed it was just going to be us two forever. I couldn’t imagine ever being in a relationship again, especially as a single parent. It wasn’t something I particularly wanted or needed for the first year of Arthur’s life. And then something changed. I think I’d finally got to grips with everything. I’d re-discovered who I was and for the first time ever felt comfortable in my own skin. And then he came along and I just knew he was my person.

Sticking together as a family is so important
I’ve known this for a long time but this year has been another reminder of the importance of family. Stick together with your family (whether they’re family in the ‘traditional sense’ or family by choice) and you can get through anything. If you’re giving your family the best chance of happiness and putting them first, there should be no guilt and no regrets.

I need to believe in myself
I’ve always had confidence issues - even with the world’s most supportive parents who have cheered me on through every stage of my life. I’d say there are some parts of my life where I’m completely confident but when it comes to self-belief in my skills; I think it’s fair to say I’m somewhat lacking it. Work has taken a backseat since I became a parent. It’s had to. And to be honest, I’ve been completely fine with that. But now I’m constantly thinking about the future of my family and I want to be able to provide for us, whilst also being at home for Arthur. So it means putting my confidence issues aside and getting back into freelancing. I know I’m going to have to work hard but what I want IS possible. A little self-belief can go a long way, so let’s hope I find it!


Megan xx
Thank you better half for letting me steal your photo!

Belmio Coffee Capsules Review

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Those who know me well will tell you that I am a BIG coffee lover. For me, it's not all about the caffeine hit (I survived on decaf during pregnancy) but the taste. It's my favourite drink in the world and whilst I'm no connoisseur, I like to think I know a good cup of coffee when I taste one and these days, in my opinion, some of the best coffees come from the pods designed for home coffee machines.

Belmio is a brand I've recently been introduced to, which designs a range of luxury Belgian coffee capsules, compatible with most Nespresso machines. The line includes eight distinctive coffees, made from only the best Arabica and Robusta beans. Each coffee is encapsulated in a colourful aluminium pod, with the intention of preserving the coffee to the highest standard and allowing machines to consistently produce great tasting, aromatic and intense flavours.

I was sent over the Classic Collection to try, which contains 50 coffee capsules - 10 Allegro, 10 Largo, 10 Intenso, 10 Risoluto and 10 Origio. But as we do not yet have a Nespresso machine in the house (Dad's getting one for Christmas) I asked my other half and his family to help me taste test the capsules instead!

After sampling the different Belmio capsules, we found that you could really tell the difference between each blend. Some were much darker with really intense roasting flavours, whereas others were creamy and had a hint of sweetness. You can see on the packaging how strong the coffee is rated and pick accordingly. Whether you're after a strong pick-me-up espresso or a longer, more leisurely drink, there's something to suit all.

I think it's fair to say coffee is quite a personal thing - how you like it may be completely different to how someone else in your family drinks it and that's why collections like this one from Belmio are well-worth a try. They give you the option to sample each blend and find the ones that you like the best. Although I haven't tried the coffee capsules from Nespresso and therefore can't really compare the two, what I can say is that Belmio certainly offer premium coffee capsules that I imagine most coffee-lovers will enjoy.

The Belmio Classic Collection can be purchased from the Belmio website for £16.50. If you know someone who's getting a Nespresso machine for Christmas, Belmio is a fantastic coffee brand to introduce them to and one they probably haven't heard of. We'll definitely be picking up a pack to use with the new Nespresso machine after Christmas!

Megan x
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Scented Gift Candles from Brinley Williams

I don't know about you but I feel like candles are a fail-safe gift for any occasion - birthdays, valentine's, anniversaries, you name it! And with Christmas just  a few weeks away, what better time to share a lovely personalised scented candle from Welsh company, Brinley Williams?

Aside from a beautiful scent, the thing I always look for in a candle, is an attractive design. After all, we live in the age of Instagram and if I've got a good-looking candle, I'm more than likely gonna stick it on my feed...as sad as that sounds. When it comes to design, Brinley Williams' are definitely insta-worthy with their minimalist monochrome quote designs. There are a number of different quotes to choose from, which can be matched to different gifting occasions, or if you prefer you can make up your own! If you're thinking of getting someone a Christmas candle, the option to personalise the text will make the gift that little bit more special. It's worth noting that the text is actually printed onto the glass (it's not just a sticker) and you can re-use the container as a votive or tea light holder.

Brinley Williams' glass gift candles come in a range of different scents, with something to suit everyone. Although I would usually pick a sweet scent like 'Pure Vanilla' or 'Fairy Dust' in a heartbeat, I decided to go for 'Black Pomegranate' as I thought it'd be a little more festive! The scent is fairly powerful even before burning but once lit, it mellows out and is perfect for creating a Christmassy scent in the home.

At £18.00 it may not seem like the cheapest candle on the market but neither is it the most expensive for it's weight, quality and burn time. You're paying for a quality handmade candle with expectations of 40-50 hours burn time, so compared to other candles of a similar standard it's a fair price. Unfortunately if you want a lid for your candle, you have to pay an extra £3.00 which in my opinion is a little excessive but it is of course optional, as is a gift box, which requires you to pay a further £2.50.

If candles are your thing or you know someone who'd love a candle for Christmas, the Brinley Williams scented glass candles are definitely worth checking out. With stylish designs, scents to suit all and the option for personalisation, I think they'd make a really lovely gift this Christmas.

Megan x
PR Item. All opinions are my own.

Christmas Traditions - Making a Christmas Box

For Arthur's 1st Christmas, I picked out a special bauble to mark it and decided that it'd be something I'd do every year, with the idea being that he'd have his own little collection when he's older. It was kind of inspired by my mum's tradition of hanging mine and my brother's very 1st pair of Christmas socks on the tree each year - something I've always thought was such a cute idea!

This year though, I found myself wanting to add to our tradition by making Arthur a little Christmas box to open today, 1st December. I made it out of cardboard packaging from a delivery we'd had and personalised wrapping paper* from Pretty Gifted. Inside the box there's a few things he'll be able to use to get ready for Christmas - including Christmas books, a reindeer drinks bottle, Buddy the Elf on the Shelf and of course his bauble - well actually this year it's ended up being baubles as we couldn't pick just one!

We bought the felt Santa decoration and 'Arthur' angel decoration from the Christmas market in Exeter. I knew Arthur would love the Santa but I couldn't resist the little angel, as when I looked at the stand 'Arthur' was the first name I saw. Arthur's granny and grandad also picked up the gorgeous reindeer decoration from a Christmas craft fair so he's got three to add to his collection this year!

Seeing as Arthur's two and beginning to show an interest in Christmas, I thought I'd have a go at doing the whole Elf on the Shelf thing this year. So yep, Buddy is coming to stay! I feel like I'm going to need some serious Elf on the Shelf inspiration, so if you have any posts on the little guy, do pop the links below. I've already been noting down some of the fantastic ideas from this Elf on the Shelf blog post by Kate!

Jolly Jingle Christmas: 10 Festive Sounds Book - £12.00 // The Christmas Bear (Tom and Bear) - £4.49
Arthur loves being read to, so adding a couple of Christmas themed books to his collection was a no-brainer. These two interactive books are particularly good picks as he's really into 'lift the flap' and sound books at the moment. I can't wait to introduce him to some Christmas characters - he's already recognising Santa and his Reindeers, which is adorable.

I finished Arthur's Christmas box off with the Sass & Belle reindeer milk bottle, which I know he'll love drinking out of, while I sip my coffee from a Christmas-themed cup!

So there we have the start of what I hope will become a little Christmas tradition of ours. We also managed to pick up a Happyland Advent Calendar and Wooden Nativity Set as part of a Mothercare offer but I think I'll save them for another post. Have you made a Christmas Box? Or do you have other traditions? I'd love to hear about them!

Megan x
*PR Item
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Christmas Gift Ideas for Him and Her

It's not even December yet but I bet you've already browsed a billion gift guides right? Well, I apologise 'cus here's another one for you! I haven't really put together a gift guide for a good few years but I've seen so many lovely things this year that I just couldn't resist sharing a few of my ideas. I've actually already bought all of my other half's presents but was careful not to include any of them because even though I don't think he reads my blog, I can't be 100% sure he won't see it!

I did however include a couple of gifts in the 'For Her' guide that I've already got - the Instax Mini 8, which is one of the best Christmas presents my parents ever bought me - I have so much fun with it! And the Sanctuary home fragrance set is similar to one I had a couple of years ago, which was so lovely. My mum has also bought me the Busy B 2018 Perfect Planner Diary as one of my presents this Christmas - I picked it out because of the colour and stickers - bet I'm not the only girl sold on planning stickers though right?
Sanctuary Spa Home Fragrance Gift Set - £18.00 //  Knitted Stripe Jumper - £12.99 // Instax Mini 8 Camera - £59.99 //  Zodiac Mug - £8.00 // Busy B 2018 Perfect Planner Diary - £14.99 // Charlotte Tilbury's Beauty Icons - £55.00

Dear Barber Beard Grooming Mens Gift Set Collection- £14.95 // Men's Fragrance House - £20.00 // Marvel Superhero Comics Wallet - £15.90 // Cultured London Leather Bag - £75.00
I feel like men's grooming kits are here and everywhere these days because of the 'beard trend' but I think this one from Amazon is packaged really smartly. Funnily enough though, I decided against buying my other half anything to do with his beard as I assumed it would be a go-to gift idea for other people! I also love the look of the Men's Fragrance House, which is currently on offer at M&S. Their beauty, bath and skincare products are all cruelty-free and as a family, we've always really loved their Christmas offerings.

I hope my Christmas gift ideas for him and her have given you a little buying inspiration! I've also recently shared a Christmas gift guide featuring my top picks from Uncommon Goods so be sure to check that out if you haven't already.

Megan x
Post contains affiliate links. 

Scuttlebug Review - A great gift for Christmas!

With Christmas coming up, I thought I'd share a few reviews here and there of some of Arthur's most-loved toys, as you never know, they could provide a little inspiration for gifting! Today I wanted to tackle the Scuttlebug, which has been a huge hit with him ever since I bought it. For those not already familiar with the Scuttlebug, it's basically a lightweight ride-on, ideal for toddlers that are active and interested in bikes but not quite ready to balance or pedal! I bought Arthur's earlier this year when he was around 18 months old but it is suitable for ages one year and over. The Scuttlebug is available in a range of different colours and can be used both indoors and outside.

Unlike other ride-on toys for toddlers, the Scuttlebug is compact and practical. You can simply fold the legs and handlebars down in just three clicks, making it easy to take out and about for your toddler. Arthur loves using his Scuttlebug in the house but we also regularly take it to the park so he can ride up and down the path. I love that I can carry it along without having to worry about it being too heavy or getting in the way.

Arthur finds it really easy to scoot along using his feet and the handlebars make it easy for him to turn left and right. Once you have locked the wheels into place, the Scuttlebug is extremely sturdy, giving you peace of mind that your little one will maintain their balance and safety. The age range is 1-3 years but of course, you have to consider your child's height and weight too. I reckon Arthur will get at least another six month's or so use out of it before he's ready for something a little more advanced.

The price of the Scuttlebug is also extremely reasonable - usually around the £20 mark but different designs seem to come with a slightly different price tag. Argos is currently selling Scuttlebugs at £19.99 but it's worth looking on Amazon too, as the Scuttlebug Butterfly is priced at just £15.99.

And to top it all off, the Scuttlebug is ready to use out of the box (well almost - you've just got to do the three easy clicks) perfect for excited and impatient toddlers on Christmas Day!

Megan x
Post contains affiliate links.

Sharing special family moments with Lifecake

The decision whether or not to share photos of your child online can be a tough one for so many reasons. When Arthur was a baby I was willing to share photos of him here on my blog but this past year, I've been a lot more conflicted about doing so. I tend to share more photos on my private social media accounts, where I can control who can see them and more recently, I've been introduced to an app called Lifecake (by Canon), which allows you to share photos privately with the family and friends you choose. It provides a platform where you can share and celebrate little moments of your child's life that whilst insignificant to others, will mean everything to you and your loved ones. It's also great for families and friendship groups that are spread across the country (or even further) but still don't want to miss out on important moments in your child's life.

Lifecake gives you the option to add stories to your photos and I love that they're timestamped so you can work out exactly how old your child was in that very moment. Family and friends with the Lifecake app can favourite your photos (once invited) and it's great knowing your precious pictures are safely stored and accessible from the app, no matter what device you're using.

As much as I love being able to store photos of Arthur digitally, I also like having printed copies that I can stick in his scrapbook and the many photo albums I've been creating since he was born. I still love looking back at the photo albums of my childhood and I hope that even in this digital age, where it's so normal to flick through photos on an iPhone, that he'll too love looking at his scrapbooks and photo albums when he's older.

One of the great things about the Lifecake app is that it comes with a print shop, making it super easy to order a wide range of photo products straight from your phone. From prints and polaroids to calendars, invitations, mugs, bags and phone cases; the offerings are truly fantastic. Not to mention, you can also create photobooks featuring pictures of your little one saved on your account, directly from Lifecake.com.

Ordering your photo products couldn't be simpler. It's basically a case of selecting the photograph/s you would like to feature on the products, editing them to your liking and adding them to your basket! I decided that the Mini Square prints (6.8cm x 6.8cm) would be the perfect size for Arthur's scrapbook and I have to say, I'm very impressed with both the quality of the card and image quality. They're a great size for scrapbooking but they'd also look cute pegged onto a photo line display or could be hidden in a card as a nice surprise for a loved one!

Sticking with the mini theme, I chose a selection of magnets to brighten up our fridge. Again, I was really impressed with the image quality of the magnets. They've also proved to be pretty robust so far and can withstand Arthur taking them off the fridge and putting them back on several times a day. Bonus points for the fact they keep him entertained while I'm trying to quickly prepare his lunch!

Last but not least I chose to get one of my favourite photos of me and Arthur as a single photo poster. This photograph was taken on Christmas Eve - he was only coming up to two months old, so he was still very little and it was such a special time. The photo poster was a little smaller than I thought it was going to be (I think the word poster made me think it would be much larger and I didn't check the size) but having said this, it looks lovely framed and propped on the bookcase facing my bed. I love that it's one of the first things I see in every morning.

I love that Lifecake gives you the opportunity to create an online baby book but with the option to keep photos just for your family and in your control. The addition of the print shop is also a bonus because if you're anything like me, you can never have enough print outs of your baby!

If you would like to try the Lifecake app yourself, you can download it for free on iOS from the app store or Google Play for Android. Lifecake have also kindly offered my readers an extra 10GB of storage when they download the app, along with 25% off their first print products, using the code 'seekmyscribbles' (valid until 31st January 2018.) With Christmas coming up it's the perfect time to get sharing your little one's special moments and what's more, the print products will make fantastic gifts for family too!

Megan x
Post contains PR samples.

Affordable Hair & Body Range from Kind Natured

For a good few months I've been trying out some of the hair and body products from the Kind Natured range, available at Boots and I thought it was about time they got a blog feature! I've long been a fan of more natural hair and body ranges but I really feel like Kind Natured is a step up from some of the others I've used in the past and what's more, it's extremely well priced.

Kind Natured is dedicated to offering high quality products, with at least 97% of the ingredients of natural origin. They are free from all the nasties like parabens, sulphates and silicones and they use 100% recyclable packaging. Oh and what gets them an even bigger thumbs up is that they're made in the UK and not tested on animals!

I know when I've tried some of the more 'natural' brands before, the quality hasn't been quite as good - body washes haven't lathered up like they should or shampoos have left my hair feeling lifeless but I can honestly say this hasn't been the case with Kind Natured. The body washes have amazing scents - I'm currently using Amber & Pink Pepper (£4.99) and Sea Salt & Bergamot (£4.99) and they're both lovely. They lather up well, leave you feeling clean and they're also perfect for bubble baths - though Kind Natured do have a range of bath soaks, which I'm yet to try!

I've also previously used the Creamy Shea and Macadamia Body Scrub (£5.99), which worked wonders on my skin. I'd describe it as a fairly gentle exfoliator but it certainly did the job, leaving my skin feeling renewed and nourished.

More recently I've been using the Ylang Ylang & Sage Shampoo (£4.99) and like with the rest of the Kind Natured products I've tried so far, it's made a positive impression. Maybe it doesn't have the same lasting benefits as some of the more 'high end' shampoos out there but it smells great, cleans my hair and doesn't leave any residue like some other shampoos I've tried. I've also got my mum using the Argan & Kukio Oil Shampoo (£4.99) which she loves because it makes her hair feel soft and nourished and I've been using the Kids' Jam Doughnut shampoo (£2.99) on Arthur's hair, which smells absolutely delicious. I love that it's made from natural ingredients, which are kind and gentle on his delicate skin.

As you can see, I've shared the prices of the Kind Natured products throughout this post and they're all under £6, making them very affordable. So if you don't want to splash out on hair and body products but still want to benefit from high quality, natural ingredients, Kind Natured is a real must-buy. Their range is available both from the Kind Natured website and Boots (who currently have some offers on Kind Natured products!)

Have you tried anything from Kind Natured? What did you think?

Megan x

Introducing Children's Meditation at Bed Time

I'm sure I'm not the first mother to say that getting a toddler to bed isn't always the easiest task. You can have the best intentions in the world of implementing the perfect bedtime routine but if they're not playing ball, it can all go down hill pretty quickly. Bedtime with Arthur varies. Some days he'll go off like an absolute dream and other times he'll take hours to get off to sleep. It can be frustrating on those more difficult evenings (especially when you're exhausted yourself) but I try to take a calm approach to it all and just think, it's not going to be forever!

I've always been quite good at reading to Arthur before bed time but I'm especially conscious of doing it now he's a little older. He has a selection of favourite stories, with one being a lovely story called 'Night Bear' but more recently, I've also been reading a book called 'The Children's Meditations In My Heart' by Danish author Gitte Winter Graugaard. The idea is that using bedtime meditation can help children fall to sleep easier, whilst also teaching them the importance of self-esteem and self-love. The book encourages parents to share their feelings of unconditional love for their child, with their child at bedtime and provides children with mind tools they can use to draw on that love, when they're perhaps feeling a little anxious or unsure.

The book features four meditations for parents to read to their children, which Graugaard created using her own positive experience of heart meditations with her daughters. Each story becomes a little longer and more complex as the book goes on but all are easy for parents to read and understand. I think they're very well written and I find it easy to form the images in my head as I read them to Arthur, which too helps me get into a calm and relaxed state. I love Graugarrd's imagery of the mountain, where your heart lives and how she explains it has a volume button, which you can use to turn up the intensity of love. It's something I imagine children (a little older than Arthur) would find easy to picture. I also really love her cloud imagery, which she explains can be filled with love by others for when you need it or sent to others who may need a little extra love themselves. It really is such a lovely idea.

As you can see from the front cover, the illustrations are extremely beautiful and relate to the stories perfectly.

I've got to be honest and say that Arthur is perhaps a little too young to fully appreciate this children's meditations book at the age of two. His speech and understanding of words is excellent for his age, however I believe children would need to be a little older than this to be able to fully understand the meditation stories and put them into practice. Having said this, I do not think this should deter parents from trying the meditations with younger children. I think The Children's Meditations In My Heart really helps to set a calm tone at bedtime and encourages parents and children to share their love for one another, which is possible and important whatever their age.

Although we may not be using the book to it's full potential yet, I am really glad to have introduced children's meditation at bed time and it's something I hope we'll continue to use as Arthur grows and develops.

The Children's Meditations In My Heart is available from Amazon (hardback or Kindle) or alternatively a PDF copy can be purchasedfrom Room For Reflection.

Megan x
I received a copy of The Children's Meditations In My Heart in exchange for an honest review.

Unique Christmas Gifts from UncommonGoods

I don't know about you but I feel like finding the perfect gifts for loved ones gets a little harder every Christmas. Maybe it's that I don't like buying the same old thing every year. I try to find more unique Christmas gifts; gifts that my family and close friends will find useful and perhaps things that they'd truly love but maybe wouldn't spend money on themselves. UncommonGifts offers all that and more, so when they approached me asking to share some of my favourite picks from their website, I couldn't resist!

I've long been a fan of companies that support independent sellers and go the extra mile to offer customers not only unique and interesting gifts but those that are also handmade, sustainable and created in a socially responsible way. UncommonGoods ticks all the boxes, whilst also doing their bit for charity. Their 'Better to Give' programme allows every customers to choose a non-profit organisation at the checkout in which UncommonGoods will donate $1 dollar to. Yes, UncommonGoods is based in the US but the good news is they ship to the UK!

Mama Bear Necklace | As a mum myself, I really love gifts related to that part of my identity. This silver and bronze handmade bear necklace is beautifully crafted and signifies a mother's protective nature. I love that you can personalise it by choosing the number of cubs, dependent on how many children the recipient has.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Toy House | Doll houses always make wonderful gifts for children and I particularly love the design of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears Toy House. Gender neutral in design, kids will have hours of fun building the three bears' house and re-enacting scenes from the accompanying storybook.

100 Books Scratch Off Poster | Perfect for the avid reader, the 100 Books Scratch Off Poster is a great way to get them through the bucket list of classics. Use a coin to scratch off the title once read and it will reveal beautiful literary artwork underneath.

Coffee and Donut Earrings | With a cute and quirky design, these mis-match earrings are sure to put a smile on someone's face and will make a fantastic stocking filler.

Personalised Family Mugs | If you're looking for more personalised gifting options, how about this lovely set of family mugs? Each mug can be personalised with your family member's name, along with a sketch to represent them. Choose from different clothing colours, skin tones and hair colours. We love a good mug of tea in my family and I imagine a gift like this would be a real winner!

Confetti and Sweet Peach Dessert Bowls | Who doesn't love a good old pudding over the festive season? These gorgeous bowls are sure to make dessert that little more special. And what's more, each bowl is handmade from clay and molten glass, making every design completely unique.

Design Your Own Doll Kit | This DIY craft kit is great for bringing out kids' creative side. Inside you will find an organic cotton doll, handmade by a women's collective group in India, along with the materials to make three changes of clothing. The thing I like most about this gift is that for every doll created, one is sent to an orphan or vulnerable child - what better way to get into the spirit of giving during the festive season?

So there we have my top Christmas gift picks from UncommonGoods. I hope it's provided you with a little inspiration if you're looking for a more unusual or handmade gift this Christmas!

Megan x
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George Home Deluxe Kitchen Review

Arthur turned 2 a few days ago and as his main birthday present I bought him the Home Deluxe Kitchen from George. I had been searching for the perfect play kitchen for a good few months and for me, this one ticked all of the boxes.

I don't know why (maybe it's a little snobby) but I really wanted to buy Arthur a wooden play kitchen. I think they just look cuter and this one from George has certainly been finished to a high standard. It has a lovely red and cream cherry print design and comes with a microwave, sink, hob, drawer, oven and cupboard - everything your little one needs for imaginative kitchen play!

Another advantage of the George Home Deluxe Kitchen is that it doesn't take up a lot of space. At 89cm x 56cm it is relatively small in size but big enough for your child to be able to play at it properly. It says that it takes an hour for 2 people to build and Arthur's grandad did it alone in 1hr 5 minutes, which I think is pretty good going. As an ex-kitchen fitter, I couldn't think of a better person for the job haha!

In terms of functionality, the microwave, oven, cupboard and drawer all open, allowing your little one to put food and utensils inside them. The hobs turn to show blue or red and the dials and clock hands also turn too. Arthur has already had so much fun playing with his kitchen and I love that it gives him the opportunity to use his imagination.

Having done a little research, I definitely think the George Home Deluxe Kitchen is one of the best priced out there. I think £40 is very reasonable and I was also happy to pay the extra £12 wooden cooking set. I can't seem to find the red cherry print cooking set on the George website at the moment but they do have the same pan set in a different colour-way on sale for just £9.60. There are so many different accessories and food you can buy to go with children's play kitchens. I decided to just buy some plastic cutting food on eBay and we also found some lovely play kitchen accessories like toasters, coffee makers and baking sets at the Early Learning Centre too.

The reason I wanted to share my review of the George Home Deluxe Kitchen is that I think it'd make a fantastic Christmas present for toddlers. I think Arthur is the perfect age for his play kitchen but I imagine he'll still get enjoyment out of it for another couple of years and with any luck it'll be something I can keep or pass along.

Megan x

Why Becoming a Teaching Assistant Is Perfect for First-Time Mums

If you are a first-time mum, you may want to consider taking a teaching assistant courses from NCC Home Learning. We give reasons why the role as a mum and role as a teaching assistant work well together below.

You’ll find your own reasons as to why becoming a teaching assistant is perfect if you’re a first-time mum. However, the most common and popular reasons are as follows:

More Time with Your Children
As a first-time mum, you’ll want to spend every waking hour with your child. Unfortunately, this is not possible for most mums. By working as a teaching assistant, you’ll be able to have more time in the evenings and holidays with your child. Although you may be required to work late on some days, you’ll generally have a set schedule every day.

You may have read how tiring the hours are for teachers. One of the advantages of being a teaching assistant is that you’ll have less responsibility than teachers. This means you'll have more freedom and more spare time on your day off, resulting in more time to spend with your son or daughter.

Helps You Juggle Life
Your daily life as a teaching assistant will be made up juggling just about anything and everything. You’ll be trying to help one child stop crying as you talk to the class teacher and help another student find their lunchbox. You’ll become superwoman! If you manage to tackle all of this in the classroom, imagine what kind of skills you’ll have with one baby at home?!

You’ll Keep Updated on How Schools Run
Education is constantly changing and if you’ve just had your first baby, the chances are that by the time he or she is ready for school, the way schools do things will have changed. How nice will it be to really know how the industry works, to really know what to expect for your child so that you know they’re getting the education that they deserve?

Become a teaching assistant and you’ll be able to get to know which schools in your area are thriving and which schools to avoid.

Bond with Children
Although you’re a first-time mum, you may or may not have a natural bond with children. Becoming a teaching assistant will allow you to naturally interact and bond with children. You’ll be able to have fun reading stories and playing together; something that you’ll enjoy doing with your own child.

Motherly Instinct
Children need someone around them who are going to care about them. Being a first-time mum will help you in your career here. Little ones will love and respect you for being someone to look up to and rely on when their own parents are not there. Older students don’t need smothering, but still need someone to turn to from time to time. Having that maternal instinct will often aid you in the workplace in situations like these.

Talking with Parents
Sometimes you’ll have to liaise with parents as a teaching assistant. First time mums will do well at this because they understand what parents want for their children. If a child or a parent has an issue, with your natural motherly ways, you’ll want to resolve this to benefit all involved.

If you can help communicate between the school and parents, you’ll become a well-loved member of the staff by your employer and the parents of the children you work with. This will make you feel like you’re progressing and accomplishing something good, which in turn will make you a happy employee.

You Won’t Mind Helping Doing out of Classroom Activities and Tasks
If you work in a primary or secondary school, you may end up on school trips that other adults dread. As a first-time mum, you’ll be used to it. This may even give you the opportunity to find good places to take your own child!

Young primary school children may also have a few accidents that nobody really wants to clean up… Mums to the rescue!

Although we have spoken about first time mums, more and more dads are deciding to take up careers in teaching and teaching assistants. If you’re a dad for the first time, or a dad for the fifth time and want to qualify as a teaching assistant, do it!

All parents are great at being teaching assistants; are you a parent who decided to go down this career path? What has your experience been? Have you got any tips to share?

If you’re a first time mum and have been thinking about becoming a teaching assistant, check out NCC Home Learning.

Megan x

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Happy Halloween!

Although we didn't get round to pumpkin picking in a field and getting all those Instagram-worthy shots (we just made do with Sainsbury's finest), we did have great fun spending our Sunday afternoon pumpkin carving. I've got to admit, I'm pretty proud of our efforts! I had every faith in my other half and his pumpkin carving skills (how amazing is the cannibal pumpkin he free-handed?!) but I really surprised myself! I think it was all down to having a good stencil, so spending a fiver on a pumpkin carving kit and stencils on eBay was totally worth it...even if I did see a similar set in Pound World for you guessed it...a pound...oops.

As well as carving pumpkins we decided to have a go at making a pumpkin pie with the leftovers and that turned out pretty well too! I'm not really into cinnamon, cloves and all those sort of spices but even I thought it tasted quite pleasant. The other half absolutely loved it so it was definitely worth the effort of picking out all the seeds (which we also toasted). I'm hoping to make some sort of curried pumpkin soup with the little portion I have left - that'll definitely be more up my street! Waste not want not and all that.

Of course, like most mums out there I wanted to dress Arthur up in an adorable Halloween costume and take loads of pictures but it didn't quite go to plan. Why? Well, Arthur hates his costume. Thankfully I bought it in age 3-4 years so fingers crossed it'll fit him next year when he'll hopefully think dressing up like a little devil and posing for lots of pictures is much more fun. One can hope...

However you're celebrating (or in some cases not celebrating) Halloween, I hope you have a lovely day!

Megan xx
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