Gardening With Kids

Friday is here at last.  I hope that you have all had a super week and are planning an even better weekend.

I have started to do a weekly vlog over on my YouTube channel and the first one went live yesterday.  If you aren’t already subscribed I would love you to go and check it out and have a look.

Check out Weekly Vlog #1

Today I wanted to share some garden friendly ides of things you can do with the kids.  Mine have loved helping us plant seeds this year and we were lucky enough to be sent one of the fabulous gardening subscription boxes from Mud & Bloom this year too.  My boys are very pleased with heir green fingered activities of late – Gardner’s by name, gardener;s by nature it seems!

Mud & Bloom Subscription Boxes

It was great to be contacted by Anja from Mud & Bloom and asked to try out one of her gardening subscription boxes for kids.  Subscription boxes seem really common at the moment, but I liked that this stepped away from the crafty type that there are so many of and encouraged kids to get outside in the fresh air.  The box we were sent contained:

  • Basil and tomato seeds
  • Instruction cards for seeds
  • Compost blocks
  • Gardening quiz card
  • Acrylic paints and brush
  • Rock painting activity card

I think the boxes are fantastic value at just £7.95 a month which includes your monthly box and delivery charges.  The compost blocks are a fab idea and mean you do not need to worry about having compost in to get the seedlings started.  Just add water and they expand so you can add the seeds!  You can also start growing them in little yoghurt pots for example, so perfect for children who like to recycle!

The boys really enjoyed planting their seeds and we have also planted sunflower seeds, poppies, sweet peas and strawberries this year so far.  We are also planning on growing potatoes and peas.

Rock painting, hiding and seeking has been really popular recently and there are lots of groups on Facebook sharing ideas on places to hide and find them in your local area.  The boys found their first rock on a scooter ride and were really happy, although Leo wasn’t too sure about re-hiding it as he wanted to keep t.  They love hunting for good rocks to paint on dog walks and trips to the park, so the paints went down really well for that!

Overall I think the box offers a great range of activities and items at a brilliant price.  The boys could do the activities together meaning that one box was enough for them both and I wouldn’t have to make multiple purchases as with some boxes, so they could have one each.

Visit Mud & Bloom to see how to sign up and receive your first box

mud

Other Fun Garden Based Activities For Kids

Sunflower Growing Competition

We like to plant sunflowers every year and see who can grow the biggest one!  Leo is very diligent about watering and generally ends up responsible for Riley’s too, so he normally accepts the win!  This year we chose a different variety – Teddy Bear Sunflowers – which have large fuzzy heads and we are looking forward to see what they look like when they flower.

Great for encouraging maths skills – measuring and counting

Potato Growing

Growing potatoes is a pretty easy thing to do, so brings good success.  As they grow under the soil, children get really excited when it is time to dig them up and see how many have grown

Great for encouraging counting skills

Podding Peas

My Mum and Dad grow peas every year and one of my boys favourite things to do is help them to pod them (and eat them)!

Great for encouraging kids to eat vegetables and fruit as they see where they have come from and have helped to grow them

Mucky Children = Happy Children

Isn’t that what they say?  It is certainly true with my two, they love spending time outside in the garden, doing a range of different things.  Riley really loves the large chalkboard we have on the side of the shed and will practice writing and do drawings on there for everyone.  I picked up the blackboard paint from Wilkos and painted three quarters of one side of the shed and it is a popular activity for any of the kids who visit us!

Gardening gives you such a great scope for discussion with children, teaching them everything from growing cycles to how to take care and be responsible for something to discussion about the weather.  I hope you have been inspired by my suggestions and with the Summer holidays coming up, give some of them a try.  Don’t forget to visit the Mud & Bloom site and check out their boxes as I am sure they will be very popular!

natki

Best Boot Forward | Indigo Wilderness

 

The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – The Mummy Club

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone’s weeks have started well after a lovely weekend.  I have been a bit up and down the past few weeks since getting out of hospital, so I am trying to get back on an even keel this week.  I may not be posting as regularly for a little while but am aiming for two posts a week, and am starting to post videos on my YouTube channel again but please bear with me.

I have been mentioning The Mummy Club subscription boxes for a while now (check out my January Favourites and Mother’s Day Gift Guide posts).  I first came across The Mummy Club on Instagram and thought the idea was a brilliant one.  There are many subscription boxes out there, mainly containing make up and skincare products but I feel like they can be very hit and miss with introducing you to products you may or may not like.  I loved this idea as the items contained are pretty dislike-proof and can be used by everyone.  I have been writing a lot recently about taking time for yourself as I feel this is important for everyone to do, and I feel like a lot of women and mums, don’t give themselves this time as they can be so busy.  This box gives you everything you need to take that time out for a bit each month, whether it be a little every day or some time once a week.

I received my first box in January as a gift and couldn’t wait to get into it.  I was delighted at the contents.  The box included

  • A spacemask
  • ‘Sketchy Mama’ by Anna Lewis
  • A pack of four Optiat coffee face exfoliating scrubs
  • Albus & Flora lip balm
  • Notecard
  • Postcard

I have been enjoying testing the items out and have found them all useful so far.  The spacemask was a huge hit.  I had a relaxing bath then got into bed and popped the mask on.  It was made of soft cloth and looked really pretty, I almost didn’t want to put it in the bin when I finished with it.  The mask heated up on my eyes and the smell was subtle but nice.  I enjoyed twenty minutes of relaxing and really zenned out, even with Ste getting out of the shower and starting harassing me. I took my bedtime meds, picked up my book but within ten minutes I was asleep! Ste had to put my book away and turn off my lamp. I’m not sure if it is supposed to help you sleep but it was certainly a welcome side effect for me, as I often struggle to drop off.

I’ve only had a quick flick tbrouth the book but have had a giggle so far at some of the pictures. I’ve also used two of the face scrubs, they are really lovely. The exfoliating beads are small but do the job and as long as you don’t mind quite a strong scent of coffee you will love them!

The lip balm has also had plenty of use as I’ve been really struggling with dry lips and this was just what I needed.  I love the packaging of it too, looks great int he handbag.

I was so impressed I just had to sign up. Each box is £18 and p&p is £2.75. you get an email at the end of the month reminding you that your payment will be taken and the date it will go out in case you want to unsubscribe – there is no contract so you can miss a month or unsubscribe at any time. There is also an option to get a mini box which I believe is £11. You can also purchase boxes to send as gifts which I think would be a lovely idea for a mum to be or new mummy, as well as a mum friend in need of a pick me up.

My second box in February was equally as fab and contained

  • A spacemask
  • Bath Tea
  • Bath Salt Soak
  • Salted Caramel Marshmallows
  • ‘Five Go Parenting’ book

I have also just received my March box but won’t go into what is in that one as I don’t want to spoil the contents for anyone who hasn’t had theirs yet!

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the contents and the absolutely lovely customer service you receive from them.  These products have definitely given me that nudge to make a little more time for myself which I probably wouldn’t normally get if I was expected to go to the shops and actually buy products for this purpose.

If you are interested in signing up, head over to their website and take a look, it is really simple to join and I am sure you will be impressed.  Hope you enjoy your boxes as much as I do!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Valentines Day Gift Guide

Thought I would get in the romantic spirit and post about some of my favourite finds which I think would make great Valentines Day gifts.  Me and Ste don’t overly celebrate on February 14th as we don’t think you should need a special day to treat each other, but we do get little gifts and normally celebrate with a nice dinner.  What are your plans for the big day?  Let me know in the comments below!

First up – who can resist some sexy lingerie?  Jasmine Stacey is an absolutely amazing and talented designer who I have talked about before.  Her lingerie is designed for ostomates although it is perfect for anyone fancying a little more coverage in the tummy area – mum tums can be banished!  The Red Bow Ouvert Brief is perfect for Valentines Day and will make you feel a million dollars as well as being a treat for your partner.

If you are looking for something a little more covered up, I couldn’t recommend the classics (both in black and the slightly more risque, crotchless ivory) enough and also Jasmine’s new designs – the Floral Collection, the Emerald and Royal Blue which are simply stunning.

Check out the Jasmine Stacey Collection website here and have a browse, you won’t be disappointed.  And you better be quick as I hear some sizes are already out of stock or in short supply.  As a side note I hear the men’s range is coming along nicely so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can see what Jasmine has designed for the men in our lives.

Next on the list is always chocolate!  I follow the lovely lady on Twitter (check out One Hull Of A Mum) and saw she posted these amazing looking treats.  I know many people who follow a vegan diet and most of the time treats for them aren’t well publicised so here I am doing my bit for awareness and all you vegan readers.  I just thought they were beautifully packaged, are fantastically priced (from £3) and I am a big fan of supporting small businesses.  You can order from the Scrummy Crumb Vegan Etsy shop by clicking here

If you are looking to treat the lady in your life to some pampering treats I would highly recommend The Mummy Club subscription box.  For £18 a month, the special Mummy will receive a box filled with support, goodies and pick me ups straight to her front door.  There is also the option to purchase mini boxes and one off boxes as gifts.  It is another great small business which I am pleased to support (I am a subscriber) and £1 from the sale of every box goes to PANDA which helps support parents with pre- and post-natal mental illness.  Check out the website here and you can also contact them on Instagram.

vdaytmc

Don’t forget the card!  I have ordered from Love Layla before and the cards are great quality and arrive quickly.  There are far more (and much more risque) available on their website, but here are a few of their Valentines Day offerings.  Obviously being an ostomate I don’t have to worry about farting in front of my boyfriend, but you can’t beat some toilet humour!

One for the boys now and especially for those bearded fellows.  I came across Beard Poo on Instagram and loved their little Valentines Day limited edition gift set which includes

  • Beardpoo Shampoo
  • Beardpoo Moisturiser
  • Love Hearts
  • Flute of red beard glitter

This set is available for £19.99 by clicking here and with every purchase you will be helping support CALM, a charity helping prevent male suicide as Beard Poo donates 25% of it’s profits to them which is amazing.

 

You can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of perfume or aftershave.  Some of my favourites are This Is Her, Armani Diamonds and Jimmy Choo.  This is Him for men is also one of my favourites to buy for Ste, as are Jean Paul Gaultier.

 

Hope you like some of my ideas and you have a really lovely and romantic day next week.  And if you are single don’t forget to go and treat yourself too!  Would love to hear how you are celebrating in the comments below, don’t forget to let me know!

January Favourites

Can’t believe it is that time already, January has flown by!  Hope you have all enjoyed the first month of 2018.  It is typically known as the most depressing month but I have come into the new year with a positive attitude and am really looking forward to what I can experience, achieve and accomplish this year.  On with the post and here are some of the things I have been loving this month!

First up is a new series I have been watching on Netflix.  I am a bit late to this one as most people I know watched it when it was shown on the BBC, but I am really enjoying Doctor Foster.  Suranne Jones is amazing as the lead character and definitely deserves the awards she has received for this role.  I am about three quarters of the way through season one.  Without spoiling too much she plays a doctor who finds out her husband is cheating on her but rather than confront him straight away, she starts to plot her revenge while still acting as the dutiful wife.  It is really interesting and I am not sure I would be able to be as controlled as she is.  A must watch if, like me, you didn’t watch it when it aired on TV.

Doctor Foster (Netflix)

 

Sticking to a TV theme I also advise you all to check out Bad Moms Christmas.  Me and Ste watched it a couple of weeks ago and it is fab!  I really enjoyed the first one and so was looking forward to this one and it didn’t disappoint.  A great cast and storyline, sometimes sequels can be a bit of a let down but I throughly enjoyed this one.

Food next!  I have been trying to eat a little more thoughtfully this month as the steroids have definitely taken their toll this last year.  I am now on a reducing plan with them and can’t wait to be rid of the them for good.  I discovered these and thought they would be a bit of a healthier snack and I can just grab a handful when I fancy something to munch on.  They are the Jacobs Cracker Crisps and are so delicious and a few always fill me up enough so I can last until my next meal.

Jacobs Cracker Crisps

I have also discovered the Just Tasty packs of sandwiches from Aldi and am in love with the smoked cheese ones.  Think I have had about four in the last couple of weeks!  It is nice to find tasty sandwiches on plain bread (this bread has sundried tomatoes in but I mean without the seeds).  With my stoma I am unable to eat the multi grain breads so often the only choices are plain cheese or ham on white bread!  This is super tasty and they also have a pulled pork, stuffing and apple sauce one which is yummy too (but not as much as this one).

My next couple of things I have been loving in January were a couple of things I have ‘treated’ myself to.  The first is these Blom Cards.  I have been following Anna (aka Mamas Scrapbook on Instagram) for a while now and she keeps me highly entertained with her Instagram stories.  She is a psychotherapist and has created Blom Cards with one of her designer friends.  They contain 30  cards, each with a psychologically grounded insight or challenge and I have really found them helpful.  I keep them on my make-up desk so I can see them every morning when I am getting ready for the day.  I do not aim to complete one a day but stick with a card until the opportunity presents itself, or just bear the advice given on it for that whole week.  You can purchase your own over on the Etsy shop by clicking here

blom cards

The other treat came from the lovely ‘The Mummy Club’, who sent me their January subscription box to try out.  The boxes contain treats, support and pick me ups for mums and mums to be.  My box was filled with some amazing things but I won’t spoil it too much by going into it, as you will be seeing a complete review of the box very soon.  You are able to sign up for the monthly boxes, get a ‘mini’ box or even send one to a friend as a treat which is a lovely idea.  Check them out on Instagram and look out for the full review coming soon.  I have now signed up for a monthly box which shows how much I loved it!  I really love supporting small businesses and love the ethos of mums supporting mums.

mde

The Mummy Club January box

One of my favourite beauty treats this month has been these Essence nail polishes.  They are super affordable (£1.60 each in Wilko) and the nail SOS treatment was just £2 and has really been helping to strengthen my nails.  They come in a huge range of colours, apply nicely and last well.

Essence nail polish

My other beauty treat came from a Christmas set Ste bought me.  I try and use the hand scrub from it at least twice a week (normally on my face exfoliate and mask evenings).  My skin can become dry and dehydrated very quickly and the last few weeks I have even started to get splits and sores on my knuckles but using this gives my hands a real boost. I follow it up with the hand cream which I use every night.  Keeping it next to my bed helps remind me to do it!  I had never really thought of using a scrub for my hands but it has really helped with the dry skin, particularly on my knuckles.

champneys hand scrub

Lastly, my favourtie book of the month has to be Giovanna Fletcher’s Some Kind Of Woonderful.  ‘Chick-Lit’ books aren’t typically my favourite style to read but I do enjoy the odd one now and again as I find them easy to read and uplifting.  This one however, eschewed the typical everything suddenly falls into the main characters lap and she lives happily ever after and just seemed so much more real.  It showed the struggle of ending a long term relationship and how you begin to pull your life back together.  Highly recommend this one and will be checking out her other books too.  You can still sign up to my book club, check out my post about it here

I am pleased to announce I have teamed up with a fantastic company called What2Buy4Kids.  They sell educational and unique toys and gifts for children from birth to 12 years and the customer service is second to none.  You can visit their website by clicking here and I have a discount code which will give you 10% off any orders placed which is SPOONMU218.  Happy shopping!

wtbfk

Last but not least I had to mention the boy’s and their fun in their ‘Gelli Baff’.  If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the photos.  The boys each got one in their stockings, this was Leo’s and Riley has the ‘Crackle Baff’ which we haven’t tried yet.  They both absolutely loved it and spent an hour playing in the bath and having fun.  They come in different colours and wash out really easily, so no mess afterwards.  I wasn’t sure how Riley would react at first as he can be funny with different textures, but after five minutes of getting used to it her was having as much fun as Leo.

Screenshot_20180129-130300

So those are my January favourites for you this month, I hope you enjoy checking out the ones of interest to you.  Let me know anything you have been loving this month in the comments below and here is to an exciting February.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

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