Thursday, July 31, 2014

Christmas In July - Perfect Gift Ideas For Toddlers ♥

It's never too early to start preparing for Christmas (yes I did just mention the 'C' word!), at least when you have children that is. I find it's always better to be organised with Christmas gift shopping, especially when it comes to the little ones that's why I'm bringing you this guide on some fantastic toys and gifts that are available with just one click of your mouse! I've already seen some fellow blogging mums stating that they've gotten more or less all of their children's Christmas presents sorted already with Christmas in July sales and events which have been happening a lot this month and I've already got some things stashed away for Tyler Lee already, I just can't resist and actually get excited about the prospect of gift buying for him. I also find it easier to buy things bit by bit instead of splurging out in December so hopefully this gift guide will be helpful to parents of toddlers like me who wish to pick up a few gifts at this point in the year. This toddler gift guide is gender neutral too so is perfect for toddler boys and girls alike.

1. Pippin the Push Along Pup. This is such a lovely toy for little ones and can be given to children 6+ months. My boy has this lovely toy from Lamaze and the moment he saw Pippin he fell in love with him. Pippin can be pushed along the floor, has four wheels which scoot him along as well as a material body with the fabulous crinkly bits that Lamaze is known for. Pippin's body also acts as a bag and holds a bone, which has a squeaker and a ball in it. Pippin offers sounds, movement, different textures to touch, the fun of taking things in and out of the bag (which every baby loves!) and is an all round winner of a toy. This is one I highly recommend from personal experience. Pippin the Push Along Pup is £16.99 and is available from all good Lamaze stockists.

2. Moccis. If you're a fashion loving parent like myself and love treating your little one to a slice of something stylish then Moccis is the perfect gift. These super soft, super cute designed moccasins are simply gorgeous and are loved by the likes of Victoria Beckham and Rita Ora. My boy has the Stoney River Moccis and they are so comfy for him. I also love these Pengy Brr Moccis for winter, what with it being a Christmas gift guide and all! There are so many gorgeous designs to choose from so there's something to suit any child's personality. Baby Moccis are £34.97.

 3.  Fisher-Price Little People City Skyways Playset. This is the perfect gift for little ones who like to use their imaginations whilst playing, creating scenarios of their own with the characters and cars provided. It's also a great gift if you already have some of the Fisher Price Little People sets already and would like to add on to your child's collection. This toy stands over three feet tall and is great for little people who like racing cars, they simply send one of the cars down the ramp at the top and then wait for the surprise finish, with three spots for the car to zoom out of the outcome is different every time creating suspense and surprise for your little one at playtime!  

4. My 1st Years Personalised Wooden Xylophone. This is a must have gift for any little budding musician in your life! This xylophone is so colourful and eye-catching and can be personalised with your child's name. It's made from pine wood and come with two wooden drumsticks making it such a fun toy to play with for lots of musical fun. I also think the fact that this toy is wooden and what with it being so colourful makes it a lovely decorative piece for a baby's nursery too. Like all of My 1st Years gifts this gorgeous xylophone comes presented in the stunning My 1st Years tiffany blue boxes adorned with a bow so there's no need for wrapping paper on this gift. The Personalised Wooden Xylophone is £15.

5. En Gry and Sif Felt Nativity House - Fair Trade.
This felt nativity house is the perfect gift for Christmas and such a lovely playset to have when telling your children the nativity story. This gift is handmade in Nepal and is adorned with stunning embellishments such as sequins on the rooftop and comes with five characters for children to play with and reinact the story of the nativity. This really is a special gift and one which will be treasured for Christmases to come. My boy has this and I can see it becoming a bit of a family heirloom in years to come, it's simply stunning and made to absolute perfection. The fair trade aspect is also a big plus, especially for a Christmas gift - it is the season of giving after all. The En Gry and Sif Felt Nativity House is £ 54.99.

6. Fisher Price Classics Toys. I love the nostalgia of the Fisher Price Classics Toys range and I'm sure the little one in your life will too. My boy has the Classics Changeable Picture Disk Camera (the perfect gift for the child of a photographer or blogger!) which has a distinctively retro look to it, a wrist strap and four changeable picture disks. It has a shutter button that, when pressed, moves the picture disks along the next image. This is the perfect toy for a child who wants to be just like mammy or daddy behind the camera. The Classics Changeable Picture Disk Camera is £19.99. 
 7. Another toy from the Classics range which I highly recommend and which is one of Tyler Lee's absolute favourites is the Change-a-Tune Piano. This super sweet, little piano plays three tunes, you simple turn the tune selector and the song plays as little ones press the keys. This toy features beautiful, classic illustrations and words to the three nursery rhymes it plays. It's such a gorgeous looking toy and I love the old-fashioned feel it has. The Change-a-Tune Piano has been a big hit here and is sure to be a winner with any music loving child, RRP £22.99.

8. Peter Rabbit Peg Puzzle. Peg puzzles give toddlers so much enjoyment and I especially like this Peter Rabbit themed one. It is decorated beautifully in the classic Beatrix Potter illustrations, is wooden, durable and will give little one lots of fun as they try to figure out which pieces go where. This is such a great little gift for Christmas, a perfect stocking filler perhaps? The Peter Rabbit Peg Puzzle is £9.99.

9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Wooden Shape Sorter Clock. This is a great toy for fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book. This shape sorter clock features twelve wooden number pieces which can be slotted in and out to complete the clock. Decorated in the vibrant colours featured in The Very Hungry Caterpillar book this toy offers little ones hours of shape sorting fun as well as teaching them numbers. This clock also features movable hands which are perfect for teaching time when the child is older. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Wooden Shape Sorter Clock is £24.99.

10. WOW Wonderland and WOW Town Advent Calenders. It wouldn't be Christmas without an advent calender and these offerings from WOW Toys are amazing for little ones. These advent calenders feature beautifully illustrated, fold-out scenes which include a surprise toy which matches to the numbers on the calender. Toys include Santa, his reindeer, a build your own snowman plus many more surprises! These advent calenders are £19.99 and will be available from WOW Toys from August.

11. 'Pebble' Fair Trade Knitted Angel Rattle. This adorable little angel rattle is the perfect stocking filler for little ones this Christmas time.The crochet knit on the rattle is beautifully done and the rattle inside will keep little hands entertained. This sweet little rattle would be a lovely guardian angel symbol for your special little one, a lovely gift to receive, especially at Christmas time. The fair trade aspect of this rattle is a real winner too, RRP £11.99.

12. Janod My Own Toy Workbench. This wooden workbench is definitely on the bigger end of the gift ideas spectrum but isn't it gorgeous! This is the perfect workbench toy for boys and girls who love all things DIY! The bench features a magnetic system for keeping toys in place, 22 chunky wooden tool pieces, a chalk board and a clock. This is the perfect role playing toy and will keep little handymen and women entertained for hours on end. The Janod My Own Toy Workbench is £89.99.

13. Fair Trade Natural Wood London Bus. I love wooden toys and think they make wonderful toys as well as being quite decorative for playrooms and nurseries and this London Bus toy is no exception. This bus comes complete with 15 passengers and a bus driver, as well as a removable roof. This is a gorgeous gift for little ones who love movable toys and cars. This wooden London bus is high on my Christmas wish list for my boy, I just think wooden toys are the best, RRP £39.99.

14. Doodle and Crumb Infant Rocker by Little Bird Told Me.
  This gorgeous rocking horse is another toy on the bigger end of the gift giving spectrum. I think a rocking horse is such a classic toy for any toddler and the red colour of this one is perfect for a Christmas gift. This rocking horse features a suede mane and tail, a sturdy wooden frame and detachable foot rests. This rocking horse is suitable from 9 months and would be a stunning gift for any child this Christmas. The Doodle and Crumb Infant Rocker by Little Bird Told Me is £75.99.

This is just a small selection of the great toys and gifts which are available for toddlers this Christmas. I shall do another gift guide post for more toddler gifts closer to December to show some new releases on the market. All of the above mentioned toys and gifts are of fantastic quality and would make amazing gifts for toddlers this coming Christmas.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Running Around The Orchard ♥

 Last week was sweltering hot, the long awaited Irish summer has finally lived up to expectations and I wanted to get out of the house. Yes, the backyard is lovely for relaxing in the sun but ours has no grass, is full of pebbles and is quite uncomfortable to sit in (we've no sun loungers!) so I went in search of a quiet, grassy area where my boys and I could just relax and enjoy the sunshine. We ended up in Barryscourt Castle, a lovely castle situated just ten minutes from my home but this was only my second venture there, shameful I know and worse still I haven't even been inside. That'll all have to wait though as it appears they're doing renovations on it at the moment. The great thing is though, unlike other castles around Ireland this one and it's grounds are free to visit so a big hurray for thrifty family outings!

My little toddler absolutely loved the grounds, the last time we visited he was just a little baby and was perched in mine and his daddy's arms the whole time, this time though we couldn't even get a grasp on him, he was gone like the wind the moment we set him down. He was running between and underneath the apple and pear trees having a grand ole time and enjoying every second of it. Watching him run around I just had to think where the hell does he get all his energy from? I wish he'd be nice and share some of it with me, God knows I need it (I couldn't even wake up this morning I was so tired!). He delighted the passerby American tourists who thought he was just adorable and I was questioned by one lady about his name, age and where he got his curly hair from, funny how my child always leads to people sparking up conversations and question sessions with me now, he seems to be a great talking point!

It really was an unbelievably hot day and the more my little dude ran around the redder his face got, I'm sure he was even breaking out in a sweat at one stage but he would just not stop running. Finally though he settled on the grass, only for a spot of baby yoga of course. It always amazes me when fellow bloggers and the marvelous people of Instagram are able to get their little darlings sitting down or standing still for wonderful looking photos, my child is a moving target, it's incredibly hard to get a decent photo of him but I think the slightly blurry, out of focus shots capture his spirit quite well, he's a whirlwind which shall never be tamed.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Living Arrows - Week 30 ♥

I am taking part in I Heart Snapping's weekly Living Arrows project, a photography project to capture an image which represents childhood to you through the actions, likes, dislikes, looks and movements of your own children. As we were away last week below is my picture for the thirtieth week of Living Arrows. 

 I got this shot of my boy whilst he was running around the orchard of Barryscourt Castle on a sweltering hot day. He wouldn't stop running around and his face was getting redder and redder until he finally lay down on the grass and put his feet in the air to do a spot of baby yoga. I love when he does this, it reminds me that even though he seems like a proper little person he still has some small baby qualities to him. How I love him and all his kooky little ways.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

#Project365 Picture Number 200 - 206 ♥

 It was such an eventful week for my boy and I, so eventful in fact that I'm only managing to get this post written now when it should have gone live Friday, I am so behind with everything. Better late than never though, right? My little dude and I had such a lovely week together and were basking in the sunshine a lot as the weather has been amazing, the Irish summer has finally lived up to my very high expectations of what summer should really be like. On Friday Tyler Lee was running around the garden being a crazy kook doing that screaming in joy thing he does and I caught him mid scream, he's hilarious. On Sunday I caught him when he had gone to bed and was well on his way to Dreamland, it wouldn't be a weekly roundup of my #Project365 without a obligatory sleeping picture now would it? On Monday some gorgeous new goodies arrived for Tyler Lee's cot and he had great fun snuggling up to them once bedtime arrived, he's such a lucky little duck. On Tuesday we went for a walk in the woods and then I got my boy to act like a little model, dressing him up in his adorable handmade fox hoody to get some cute snaps of him for a feature on the blog. On Wednesday Tyler Lee held an ice-cream cone for the first time ever and he quite enjoyed it I'll have you know, especially the sprinkles, I think more trips to the ice-cream van are in order for him! On Thursday my boy came to the city with his daddy and I and got some new clothes, again he's such a lucky duck and I'm jealous! We then went to Barryscourt Castle and took some pictures of him running around the orchard, I caught him in a rare sitting still pose, I'm amazed! Finally, on Friday, I put some water in the paddling pool along with his play balls and put his slide in over the edge, he slid down into the water and thought it was the best fun ever, for a short time anyway, toddlers attention spans aren't the greatest, especially my little one who gets bored so easily.

It was a great summery week, lets hope it continues to be positive and fun for us both.


Facebook My Dear... It's Over ♥

I have been on a go-slow all week, taking a step back from the internet having become disillusioned with it all, particularly my old buddy Facebook who has taken up multiple hours of my day ever since I signed up to the bloody thing way back in 2009. First it was good ole Farmville, a game which seemed to be top priority for every student in UCC back in the day. Looking around the Boole computer rooms it was all you could see on every screen, shame it didn't count towards any of our degrees otherwise we'd have all come out of their with First Class Honours, instead all we came out with was wasted hours of our lives, masses of digital currency we couldn't use and enormous amounts of virtual livestock, looking back now I really do wonder what all the hype was about?! These days Facebook seems to just be a boasting paradise, a place for people to say "hey look at me, how many likes can I get for this, look how great my life is compared to yours", etc, etc, filled with people who are not really your 'friends' at all and only add you so that they can get a nose at what's been going on with you since you left school, a place where I feel I have to update people about what's going on in my very mundane and uneventful life, nothing has happened! No wonder on Jeremy Kyle (yes, yes I have been known to pop it on just to get confirmation that my life is a little better then those featured, I needed a pick-me-up okay?!) Facebook is the number one reason for everyone's relationship going to the wayside, it's social media, without the social. 

Facebook, you even got a mention on my Bebo page. The shame.
 I've been logging on all week for my daily check-in and a tumble-weed may as well have appeared on the screen, the news is that there is no news. Facebook has all become a bit too Bebo-ish for me. What is Bebo I hear you ask, well it was Facebook before Facebook existed, a site where you could give people a daily 'luv' and befriend anyone who would have you just to say you were popular. It was filled with poser pictures, (I'm sorry to say I was one of the biggest offenders), I had two accounts, one was named 'Phenominal', I'm dying with shame! Bebo is basically what Facebook would have been like as a teenager. My timeline is now flooded with shops that sell handmade items (because the boy just had to have more handmade toys that he will never play with or love) that I simply can't resist, people looking for me to do something for them (like this picture if you really follow my updates, blah blah blah) and the blogging groups which I do enjoy being in but become overwhelmed by at times, just how many bloggers does one world need?! I'll never have time to read them all. I'm also sick of being told it's someone's birthday, someone who I then realise I have NEVER spoken to in the whole time of our Facebook friendship which makes me delete them, on their birthday, what a bitch I am. 

The other side of Facebook which has really made me all the more miserable is the fact that anyone can contact you, namely in my case, people from the past who meant so much and probably still do yet all they want is to chat to you simply because there is no one else. Oh dear Facebook, I never thought I'd say it but I hate you. I hate that when people tell me they don't have a Facebook account I'm both shocked yet envious of how strong they are to resist the temptation of you. If only we could have the wondrous times of the great Bouncy Balls addiction back. It's never coming back though is it, along with those valuable hours of my life... I'm afraid deactivation may be imminent, even if it is only for two or so hours. Why are you so hard to resist? You handsome blue fiend you.


Where Rainbows End Blog Hop #5 ♥

Hello and thanks for stopping by my little blog! I've decided to re-introduce the Where Rainbows End Blog Hop back into my blog, I originally started this link up in January and it was quite popular then so hopefully it'll be the same now. I hope that you'll all link up, have fun finding new blogs which you'll hopefully fall in love with and have some great posts to follow from your newly found fellow bloggers. You can link directly to your main blog or your favourite post from the past week or a giveaway you're running it doesn't matter, just enjoy it! You can submit Bloglovin or main blog page links for GFC users too.  All blog genres are welcome too!

This blog hop starts on Sunday and ends on Wednesday so you can link up posts from previous and present weeks if you wish. This is a weekly blog hop.

This weeks lovely co-host is Bex from Futures. 
Please do stop by her gorgeous blog and share the bloggy love.

Please let us know if you've followed our blogs by leaving a comment on this post and we'll be happy to return the favour!

The rules are simple:
Please follow your hosts if you like their blog, don't just leave your link and leave, please do visit other people's blogs too, that makes the blog hop work properly and be beneficial for all involved.
Leave a comment on someone's blog if you have the time to let them know you've stopped by.
Thanks for taking part!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tyler Lee's OOTD - Designer Baby ♥

I said I was making all things about Tyler Lee a more prominent feature on my blog so here he is again, back with an incredibly gorgeous outfit of the day post featuring some gorgeous pieces from the designers at Debenhams baby/children's range. These pieces are absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure you'll agree, they make my little one look like a proper little gentleman. This outfit has that classic, chic looking charm which I love to dress Tyler Lee up in, this is such a stylish little outfit but still comfy enough for him to run around in without any limits. I love that the jeans have braces that can be worn up, down and are detachable too. The aztec print on the top is gorgeous, I love the mix of the blues and purples, I think they're great choices for autumn/winter and the polo collar keeps it looking casual for everyday wear. The gilet just brings the outfit together, the quilted fabric with the cord collar and gold embellishments is so gorgeous, making it the perfect fashion staple for my boy this coming season. I think this outfit just has that quintessential autumnal feeling - long-sleeved tops with purples and blues, dark jeans, gilets, it all seems to cosy for the colder months. Tell me my child isn't the only one who wear designer to the woods?

Jeans with braces: c/o Junior J for Debenhams
Gilet: c/o Junior J for Debenhams
Shoes: start-rite
Bib: c/o Funky Giraffe

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