Monday, 22 September 2014

Activity Corner - Conker Rolling

On Monday, it was a beautiful Autumnal morning, and daddy had the day off so when we had dropped Harrison off at nursery, we took Alex to the park to play on the swings and walked home through the cemetery.
Our local cemetery is huge, and is a beautiful and peaceful place for a quiet walk. In Autumn, it is absolutely beautiful, with all the trees changing colour and the floor covered in the brightly coloured leaves. It is also the perfect place to collect conkers and pine cones.
Last year we used our conkers in a sensory bin along with some leaves, cones and sticks. This year I wanted to use them in an art activity, and so we did some conker rolling!
To do this you need:


Some conkers

A tray with edges
Paint
Paper cut to fit the tray
 Put the paper into the tray (if it is slightly smaller than the tray, sellotape it down to stop it moving about) and squeeze some blobs of paint onto the paper. We chose to use some autumn colours – reds, greens, browns, yellows and oranges, but you could use whatever colours you wanted. Drop the conkers in and roll them around!


The conkers move through the paint and create some lovely patterns. We had fun rolling and shaking the trays to see what effects we could create. It was also the perfect opportunity to talk about colour mixing – what would happen when the red and yellow paint was mixed up? We used brown paper in one of our trays and white in the other to see the different looks.


We used quite a lot of paint, which created a lovely marbled effect. It would be interesting to see the different effects that using less paint and conkers would make – a definite activity for comparison!
The paintings can be left just as they are or cut out and used to make leaves for an Autumn picture.
This would be a lovely activity to do around Christmas with red and green paint to make special wrapping paper for small gifts. I think we will also have a go with white paint (with some sparkles) on black paper for some wonderful snowy images.
A quick and fun activity with conkers!
Rachel x 

Pre-Christmas Market Night

I know, I know, it's only September and I've used that C word rather early for most people's liking... BUT on Thursday 25th September, between 7 & 9pm we're hosting a Christmas Market Night over on our facebook page.

Here we'll be offering you some amazing discounts on some of our best selling items to help you on your way to having Christmas all wrapped up for less!

Here are just some of the fabulous products you'll be able to buy on the night.

Fabric Fancies Christmas Roast Set


KidKraft Booksling


KidKraft Market Stall


NodPod Blanket


Poddle Pod with 2nd Generation cover of choice


Nattou Toy Bundles




To find out about other items up for grabs click here & while your there please help spread the word if you can by liking out pinned post & sharing it with your friends.

All you have to do to claim your item of choice is comment SOLD on the relevent photo. The first person to comment will win the item. Once confirmed, you'll need to message the page with your email address to which I'll send you an invoice. This invoice must be paid within 7 days and only once payment is made will your order be processed. If an invoice is not paid within this time your order will be cancelled and the person next in line will be offered the chance to buy the item.

We hope to see you there! 

Foxy Fashion Picks for your Tots

It's officially Autumn and to start off this colourful season we've a month filled with fun features based around your favourite woodland creatures! 

Today I thought I'd share with you some fabulous foxy fashion picks for your tots. 

Wee Clothing Fox Baby Grow £21.00

Your little one will look more cute than ferocious in this fun fox babygrow.

Snuggly soft and stretchy fair trade cotton, this babygrow has shoulder detailing and poppers for ease of changing. It features a hand crafted monkey design that is made from machine washable felt.

Machine washable at 40 degrees



Mr Fox Day Dress £22.50

Look cute as a button and smart as a fox in this unusual fox print dress! Featuring green and orange foxes on a yellow background, fully lined with pale yellow cotton. Can be worn alone or team with a long sleeved top for colder days – perfect all year round!
Machine Washable at 30c






Dot & Co Foxy and Friends Babygrow £22.50

Stand out from the crowd this Autumn/Winter in our woodland foxy babygrow. 

-Long sleeves with intergral mitts to keep hands warm and avoid babies from scratching their face.
-Nickel free poppers at bottom for easy dressing.
-No scratchy labels at the back neck.
-No scratchy labels at the back neck.



Baba & Boo Mr Fox Appliqued T-shirt £14.95

A gorgeous 100% organic cotton t-shirt with appliqué fox aged from 3-6m, all the way up to 3-4y too. Designed to fit genrously, and bring out the cheeky character in your little one, this Mr Fox T-shirt is sure to be a favourite this Autumn! 



To shop our full range of baby & toddler clothing, visit www.beebiesbabystore.com

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Beebies Ambassador Announcement

So here we are... Sunday night... #BabyHour and time for me to announce our two new Ambassador Families! 

I am totally overwhelmed with the amount of applications we received - what a lot of love for Beebies! 

Having read all of the applications, visited all of your blogs and had a good old read through I've finally come to a decision. You really didnt make it easy for me ;)

 I am very pleased to announce that the new ambassadors are.... 

 **Drum Roll Please** 


 &



Congratulations ladies and welcome to the #welovebeebies team! Your Ambassador packs will be on their way to your inboxes very soon! 

 photo BeebiesAmbassadorBadge_zpsa36e561b.png

I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who applied and shared their love of Beebies. 
Head over to www.edspire.co.uk and take advantage of the 15% discount code she has for you there. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

National Cupcake Week - Role play

As if we needed another excuse to indulge ourselves in all things cake, this week is national cupcake week!
Over the next few days we'll be sharing our favourite cake related activities right here and would love for you to come and join in.

Today it's all about Role play, and we thought we'd show you our favourite items for cake related role play.


“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

KidKraft wooden cupcake stand with cupcakes
This adorable little cake stand is the perfect prop for your tots play shop! With mix and match tops and pretty lace detailing on the stand, little ones will take pride in displaying they're cakes for the world to see! 


Fabric Fancies personalised celebration cupcakes
If you are looking for the perfect memento of a special occasion or just want to send a really special personalised gift, these fabric cupcakes are the perfect solution! Available in a number of colours & designs you're sure to find something your little one will love. We love this Pirate themed birthday cupcake.


'A party without cake is just a meeting.' - Julia Child 

Fabric Fancies Large Bunting Cake
A modern take on your traditional toy birthday cake. Made of fabric and finished with strawberries and bunting frosting your little one will love this! The perfect addition to any party table. 


Come back tomorrow for more cupcake inspired loveliness! 




Saturday, 13 September 2014

Become a Beebies Ambassador!

Good Morning Beebies lovers! 

I'm very sad to share with you the news that our lovely Kelly has decided to stand down from her ambassador role. At this point I'd like to thank her for all of the hard work and support she has given to both me & Beebies, especially in the run up to the LBPAwards. We've loved having Kelly & Tia on board and will continue to follow their adventures over on their blog

She isn't disappearing from the Beebies team completely though as she'll  be continuing with her Cloth Nappy Clinic column each month :). 

 Kelly's departure from the #WeLoveBeebies team does however mean that we've an opportunity for not one, but two lovely families to join the Ambassador team. 


  
Upon success...
- You will rceive a discount of up to 25% on all purchases at www.beebiesbabystore.com. 
- You will receive a product to review on your blogs every 4 months (minimum)
- You will be provided with a prize for a competition / similar opportunity every 4 months (minimum)
You will have the opportunity to guest post & feature on the Beebies website.
- Your blog will appear on the Beebies Website
- You will be the first to hear about the latest Beebies products & news
- You will join a friendly community 

In order to be successful you will need to:
- Write and maintain a parenting blog to a high standard 
- Have a child / children under the age of 4. 
- Be an active user of social media, including twitter, facebook, instagram & pinterest 
- Be committed to supporting Beebies Baby Store and sharing our products, events and ethics passionately with readers and followers. 
- Give honest and constructive feedback  
- Be enthusiastic and take part in virtual events 

To apply sign up by completing this questionnaire before midnight on Saturday 20th September 2014. Task 2 of the application process will be emailed to you upon submission.

Successful candidates will be announced here on Sunday 21st September 2014 during #babyhour between 8 & 9pm. 

Any questions, please feel free to email me at ami@beebiesbabystore.com. 
Good Luck! 


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Activity Corner: Autumn Apple Fun

Today we've the pleasure of sharing a wondeful Autumn Activity bought to you by Beebies Ambassador Jennie who writes over at www.edspire.co.uk . I was lucky enough to go along and join in their fun yesterday too! 

September arrives

Autumn falls

Apple harvest begins

We are very lucky to live in the heart of rural Kent

Our garden is full of blossom in the spring

Fruit in the summer

And in autumn we get busy with our treasures

Making apple juice and cider

Eating delicious apples straight from the trees

Autumn is also a time

For new routines and fresh ideas

For us

Means a new focus for our messy and sensory play

This week we have been playing with apples

Yesterday Ami from Beebies came to play

And we worked through a series of apple inspired activities

With my four year old twins Esther and William

We played inside and outside

Using all our senses

Our imagination

And developing both fine and gross motor skills

We started with a sensory apple orchard

I made Esther and William one each in a medium sized baking tray

I filled the trays with porridge oats

We then added ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg

It smelled delicious

Good enough to eat

And Esther had a lovely time

Mixing all the ingredients together



We then added red and green pom poms

To be the apples

And we asked Esther and William what creatures we might find in the orchard

In autumn

After discounting giraffes and dinosaurs

We started to think along the right track

Rabbits and robins

Squirrels and moles

Hedgehogs and badgers

Foxes and deer

Esther and William love small world play

And were happy for ages

Feeding the animals

Letting the animals roam the orchard

Placing and organising the apples

We let them enjoy this free play

And they loved it





When they were starting to show signs of being ready to move on

I gave Esther and William each some tweezers and an empty bowl

They explored the sensory tray with the new accessories

We then had a race to see who could move all their apples

From the orchard to the bowl the fastest



Esther loved this activity

Her fine motor skills are better than William’s

She was able to concentrate and move the pom poms

Using the tweezers with accuracy, control and speed







William got frustrated that he was not able to harvest his apples

As quickly as Esther and so we returned to free play

Until he had calmed down

When they were again ready to move on

I showed them a picture that I wanted them to complete using their pom poms

It needed apples to be placed in a tree and the letter A to be collaged

I gave them each a spatula and some PVA glue

William worked hard to put red pom pom apples on his tree

And green pom poms on his letter

Esther added green and red pom poms to the tree

And chose to collage her A with scented oats

This was a lovely idea that I had not thought of

And she really enjoyed making a mess while working away



Once the pictures were complete William had had enough

But Esther returned to her small world play for ages

And I have kept the trays for more sensory play today

Our third activity was outside

I wanted Esther and William to paint a tree

An apple tree

We have lots of apple trees in our garden

So with guidance from Daddy as to which ones he was happy for us to paint

We headed off with our chosen colours

To our designated tree

I am not sure who enjoyed this activity more

Esther and William

Or Ami and me?

With brushes and rollers and a range of shaped sponges

We began to paint our tree

A rainbow apple tree

Much like the Calafant model we had made a few days before

But this time we were outside

Painting a real tree

Developing our gross motor skills

And breathing in fresh autumn, country air

It was good

It was fun



Esther and William were soon painting anything and everything they could find

They decorated old fallen logs with colourful handprints

And picked and painted the apples themselves

This was a great way to extend our autumn apple sensory play

And to take our play outside

For more ideas for apple and autumn play you can follow the links to my blog below

I have also been collating ideas on Pinterest here

For apple themed products from Beebies Baby Store to complement your play
Please click on the links that are here
I will be writing up more autumn sensory play ideas over at Edspire this month

And I will be back to Beebies in early October with some Halloween and Fireworks themed play. 


ClarinasContemplations
Mummy of Two

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

#BeebiesBakeOff Mischievous Monkey Muffins

So it's Wednesday evening! And of course that calls for another Beebies Bake Off instalment. This week, we're sharing a super easy recipe from Good to Know which is perfect for your mischievous monkeys! A combination of banana, peanut butter& chocolate which will make the ideal treat or lunchtime snack.

To make these yummy scrummy muffins you will need:


  • 75g butter, softened
  • 75g crunchy peanut butter
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g dark chocolate chips
Method




  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Line 12 holes of muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
  • Gradually whisk in the eggs until evenly combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder and lightly fold in. Add the banana, vanilla and chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed.
  • Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 20-25 mins until risen, golden and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


  • What have you been baking up for / with your tots this week? Link your posts up below.

    Monday, 8 September 2014

    The Conception Diaries by Caroline - Entry 1

    Hi, my name’s Caroline and I am a Beebies Baby Store ambassador as well as a blogger over at Cakes, Corks and Kids.  I recently ‘came out’ about trying to conceive (you can read the initial post here) and the lovely Ami from Beebies asked if I would write a monthly column about our experiences on this seemingly never ending journey. I jumped at the chance and so here goes nothing….

    We’re entering our seventh cycle now and officially in the minority. In general, a fertile couple has a good chance of getting pregnant within a year, as out of 100 couples TTC (trying to conceive) naturally:

    • 20 will conceive within one month
    •70 will conceive within six months
    •85 will conceive within one year
    •90 will conceive within 18 months
    •95 will conceive within two years


    I know they’re just stats and making a baby should be a joy but it’s that feeling of being left on the shelf, being the last one chosen in PE and wondering am I actually good enough? Is my body still capable? What am I doing wrong?  Not a day goes by where I don’t ponder all these thoughts and it gets tiresome and it gets boring, not just for me but for my husband too.

    I read online about secondary infertility, and although this would be my third child, the principles the same. You’ve had one or two kids, fell pregnant quickly and easily and now you’re struggling. Apparently it’s more common than not being able to conceive at all, I’m guessing that’s because second, third, fourth children come along as we get older and therefore our fertility starts to decline naturally. But I’m only 30, and my partner is 36.  We know of many, many couples that have had kids well into their 30’s and 40’s so I’m kind of reluctant to believe our age is the problem but as the months pass I just imagine all these little sperm getting old, wrinkly and dying. 

    A good friend of ours, who recently had a beautiful rainbow baby, recommended a reproductive reflexologist.  I looked her up and loved the sound of it and what she might be able to tell me about my body and my cycle.  I think next month I might book in.  Have any of you used a reflexologist during TTC and found it to be beneficial?

    We’ve changed a number of things over the last few weeks in terms of ‘trying’, firstly we changed….well you know, how we do it.  I’ve also changed the pre-natal vitamin I take, I used to use Seven Seas and I’ve now switched to Pregnacare. We’ve used Conceive Plus Gel a couple of times so I’m living in hope that we might get the right combination and make ourselves the perfect storm so to speak.  I need to bear in mind that there are a long list of things which need to happen in order to conceive – hitting the nail on the head is quite a feat when you actually think about it.  Finally, we’ve made a few decisions at home that have made me 100% happier but I’ll be blogging about all that over on my own blog this Friday.

    So, here we go again!



    Saturday, 6 September 2014

    Choosing a Cot for a Happy Baby Bedtime by Fi Star Stone


    It's so exciting waiting for your new arrival and choosing all of the lovely things for the nursery, but when it comes to choosing a cot it can be quite a tricky task! With so many lovely cots and cribs to choose from? How do you know which is perfect for you and your family and most importantly - a happy baby bedtime?
      
    A happy baby bedtime
      
    From birth it’s advisable that your baby sleeps in your room for the first six months, so in the early days a crib or Moses basket is advisable and practical, because you can move it around your home so that your baby is always near you. Of course this isn’t ideal in all homes, and it doesn’t always work, especially if you or your partner are loud sleepers (I’m talking snoring! Anyone else have a snorer?) 
      
    There are some lovely cribs and moses baskets available and choosing is really a matter of personal taste, but again, ensure it's safe and it's advisable to get one where the dressing or interior is fully removable and machine washable. There are often a few messy moments with newborns - so anything that can be washed is a bonus!


    Cot-beds
     When your little one is ready to move to a cot, I'd always advise investing in a good cot-bed.

    A cot bed is a cot that adapts into a bed as your baby grows up and becomes a toddler. It’s well worth investing in a cot-bed as it could last you from birth right up to five years! In fact this beautiful one (link over the words to the cot) lasts up to teen! How amazing is that?
      
    It's also essential you invest in a good quality mattress to go in it. Choose a mattress that’s firm, rather than soft, and that fits well in the cot with no gaps around the edges. This is very important as little hands and feet can become trapped if the mattress is ill-fitting.
      
    It's also important to mention here to always use a new mattress for a new baby. Even if your baby has a sibling, don’t be tempted to use their old mattress. The phrase I always tell new parents is 'new baby – new mattress.'

    As well as considering the design and look of the bed you choose, ensure it conforms to British Safety Standards (BSeN716). The regulations are there for a reason and they will help keep your baby safe!
    Don't forget to measure the space where it will go – cot-beds are larger than cots, so check the measurements before ordering your final choice!


    A safe baby bedtime

    When planning your baby’s room, ensure the cot isn’t near a radiator or sunny window. Babies are less able to regulate their body temperature so may overheat quickly. This is one of the most common causes of night waking – but it can also put your baby at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (link here to NHS)

    Without wanting to worry you, it's important to talk about safe sleeping when talking about a happy baby bedtime. All the evidence from every source around the world suggests that placing your baby on their back at the beginning of every sleep or nap significantly reduces the risk of SIDS.
      
    If your baby is in a cot, make sure they can’t wriggle down under their blanket by putting them in the ‘feet to foot’ position with their feet at the bottom of the cot, rather than their head at the top.
      
    By following these simple steps from The Lullaby Trust, you’ll be taking the most proactive measures you can to ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible:

     You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side - unless your doctor has advised you of a medical reason to do so.

     If your baby has rolled onto their tummy, you should turn them onto their back again.

     Once your baby can roll from back to front and back again, on their own, they can be left to find their own position.


    The information isn’t intended to frighten you, it’s simply a guide to help parents avoid the dangers associated with SIDS and essential that I mention it when talking about a happy baby bedtime.

    Finally – when choosing bedding for your baby, think empty bed! Sounds silly, but the emptier the cot the safer the sleep.

    It's tempting to choose pretty cot bumpers, teddies and quilts, but its advisable to keep the cot as clear as possible. It's not advisable to use quilts or pillows until your baby moves to a bed when they are older. If you need to use a blanket – always ensure it is tucked in snuggly and no higher than waist height.
     
    Baby sleeping bags are much safer than quilts (which can cause little ones to over-heat.) Babies can also move underneath quilts whereas sleeping bags are fitted snuggly to their body –  offering both comfort and safer sleeping. 
      
    Finally, whichever cot you choose for a happy baby bedtime – make sure it's safe, comfortable and is right for you and your family.
      

    My book 'The Baby Bedtime Book' is a gentle sleep guide full of useful tips for a happy baby bedtime and available from Amazon here


    Friday, 5 September 2014

    New Arrivals at Beebies

    We've been rather busy this last fortnight checking out and some fabulous new lines to the Beebies website. Here's a little round up of just SOME of the newbies at Beebies!

    We're all set for Autumn here at Beebies, and as the days start to get cooler, we thought it time to introduce some gorgeous new clothing designers to the range.

    First up is Olive & Vince, a gorgeous handmade clothing brand. I'm so excited to have this collection available at Beebies. We particularly love these hooded dresses - perfect for early Autumn walks as well as the gorgeous corduroy slouchies available in red, purple and green.


    Another new line to the range is that of Baby, Child ad Home. This stunning Autumn dress is just one item from the collection and I'm not sure about you, but I think it makes for an adorable outfit for day trips and parties! 



    On the topic of clothing, we've some fab new additions to our maternity range too! Our top picks have to be these vintage over bump jeans and this gorgeous 2-in-1 wrap top. Perfect as the days get cooler as the summer comes to an end.




    As well as clothing, we're really excited to announce the arrival of some amazing kids furniture & toys. Perhaps most exciting of all is this TOTALLY AWESOME KidKraft Airplane toddler bed. Complete with a handy storage compartment at the front, Mums & Dads are sure to love it as much as their littlies!



    More additions from KidKraft include teepees, dolls houses and  accessories and even more beautiful wooden kitchens!


    Check out all of these and more at www.beebiesbabystore.com

    Thursday, 4 September 2014

    Using a feotal Doppler? Advice from Count the Kicks

    Elizabeth Hutton, CEO at Count the Kicks talks to us about the dangers of using a home doppler during pregnancy and what you should do if your baby's movements reduce.



    Home dopplers and apps that claim to listen to the baby’s heartbeat are becoming more and more common. But many mums remain unaware of the dangers of using them for reassurance.

    It is all to common for a mum to be, worried about her baby’s movements or welbeing to pick up an app or doppler and have a listen. On hearing the heartbeat, convinced all is OK, they carry on as normal. This could however lead to problems.

    It is important to remember the devices you see being used at antenatal appointments and check ups are being used by trained professionals. Professionals who can tell the difference between fetal and placental blood flow. Even if a mum to be is accurately picking up the baby’s heartbeat that does not mean all is well.

    If you have noticed a change in your baby’s regular pattern of movement they may be in distress. In order to prevent a stillbirth, babies at risk need be identified while they are still alive, ie have a heartbeat. Now would be the time to present to your midwife, when something can be done to save your baby if it transpires they are in distress. Waiting until you can no longer hear a heartbeat before calling the midwife is leaving it too late.

    If you saw a person in the street showing symptoms of a stroke or heart attack would you delay phoning an ambulance because they still had a heartbeat?

    It is vital that medical intervention is sought when the baby still has a heartbeat in all incidences of reduced fetal movement. So if you have any concerns about your baby’s movements contact your midwife, do not rely on a home doppler.

    Pregnant women see these devices being used in clinics at every appointment as a marker of fetal wellbeing. I do not feel that any amount of emphasis on the part of the manufacturers that they are not meant as a substitute for normal antenatal care will suffice. It is vital that medical intervention is sought when the baby still has a heartbeat in all incidences of reduced fetal movement. So if you have any concerns about your baby’s movements contact your midwife, do not rely on a home doppler.

    For more information on baby’s movements and when to call the midwife visit www.countthekicks.org.uk



    #BeebiesBakeOff - Week 5 - Back to School Bakes



    It's that time of the week again! The winner of last weeks bake off is...



    This week in the #BeebiesBakeOff  we're sharing our favourite bakes for back to school.

    Here's our five favourite recipes for healthy(ish) bakes perfect for lunch boxes from All Recipes! 





    What have you been baking with / for your littlies this week?