Top Ten Money Saving Tips for Your Nursery 2015

 

Top Ten Money Saving Tips for Your Nursery Did you know it costs Canadians $243,660 to raise a child to age 18? In the UK, the average cost of bringing a child up to age 21 is £229,251. It’s no surprise that parents are finding the need to cut back on costs in order to make ends meet. Cutting down on spending should start before your baby is even born, by making careful purchases when it comes to buying the baby essentials. This infographic offers parents 10 easy money saving tips for creating their dream nursery on a budget. Designing a Pinterest-worthy nursery is a lot easier than it may seem, it just takes a bit of creativity and some DIY. By making smarter purchases, such as buying a convertible crib and combining your dresser and changing table, you can avoid spending an unnecessary fortune and still get the baby room of your dreams.

Source : http://www.iconwallstickers.co.uk/blog/nursery-decor-budget/

nursery-decor-on-a-budget-4

Skype Advice

If you want someone to talk to about any parenting tips or general advice based on my experience being a parent – please do get in touch.

There is a voluntary contribution which we can sort via pay pal.

I am here for a talk. whether your feeling fantastic or a little exhausted you can click on the contact button and send me your Skype address and we can schedule an appropriate time for you. Or you can directly Skype me a message on TanyaColdtea

I currently live in Vancouver so there will be time difference – whether its with video calling or not, get in touch.

All the best parents,friend,carers and guests !

Tanya x

Marriage After Children

marraige

 

 

 

 

Hows Marriage going ?

Let’s face it, things have changed.  A beautiful new life has entered your world and your learning how to nuture and take care of him or her the best way you can.

The quality of your marriage could be at a tiresome stage? ie no time to even think about making an effort … or even lack of energy. The fact that your wives body has completely changed after birth or not at all. There are so many factors that can influence the changes. Did you have a c- section (me two times) or a natural birth with a few changes afterwards. Or your marriage can be stronger, better and you see an amazing side of your husband or wife that you have been longing for . Watching him or her care after a young child and become a parent is an amazing concept.

Lets put this all in perspective along with all this tiredness and no ‘me’ time. Think how lucky you were to conceive in the first place and grateful you are that you and your partner and child are healthly. I know not all my readers here will have this. Some of you may have had difficulty in concieving and the thought of going through it again but longing for another one seems tiring. Or you maybe have adopted or had IVF and it was very hard also with the processes involved. The point of this is you have a child or children, but the relationship as a married couple has somewhat deteriorated in the bedroom or general communication . Have you ever thought of in a natural way ? we have sex to reproduce and you have. Marriage to me is about being a team and sticking together throughout anything and if there is something wrong in the marriage, you talk and talk about it . If you have to grab a marriage counseller then do. There is nothing wrong with someone else stepping in and seeing what is going wrong and right, It is a step forward and very healthy.

I think it is important to go out together as a couple in the evening at least once a month to have that alone adult time together. It is also a good idea that you and your partner get involved in a class/hobby somehow if time permits on a regular basis for general well being.

I also think you should always discuss the way in which you would like to “parent” your child together. You must stick to the same rules and not soften up…. keep on the same page this is important as the child will grasp that this is what mummy and daddy do and they have to obey and understand. I have noticed my child listens more if we talk out loud to each other about what the consequences are if he does something wrong again.

Marriage in general always needs to be maintained. I think that if you are mature enough to have and be responsible for a child, you are ready for usual everyday changing marriage concepts. We all have separate expectations of our partners and sometime they are not fulfilled – but again this is when they need to be discussed and resolved, avoiding a build up and explosion of things. So maintaining a marriage is fulfilling those concepts and living through parenthood together through love, affection and understanding each other.

 

I hope that this helps! please feel free to get in touch – I have a Skype chat option if so (refer to other pages)

 

Tanya x

A Day in the Life of Parents……..

I thought it would be good to share some experiences of everyday parenting for those who have had children to feel reassured that you are not alone on routines, and that people who are considering being parents can see an average day in the life of ……

Enjoy !

Full time stay at home Mum of two toddlers

I’m a Lucky Mum

When I was asked to write this paragraph I protested – I’m a terrible person to write about being a mum with two small children, I’ve got it really good! A lot of mums have to work hard, with a mad rush from dawn till dusk, juggling work, cooking, feeding and shopping, not to mention cleaning. I hear from some that it is easier going to work than it is being at home with two small children. Not for me. I think I always wanted to be a mum and to be able to be a full time mum is a bit of a dream. I love the small talk at playgroups, mucking in with getting out the toys and watching small children battle over the shiny toys. I love the walk to school, in all weathers, and there has been a lot of weather about this winter so I should be jaded by it by now. But I’m not. Perhaps I’m on a bit of a high at the moment, not for any particular reason, but maybe spring is on the way and it feels good. I have my youngest starting pre-school soon. It will be the first time in 5 and a half years that I will not be able to justify my leisurely existence with having to raise our offspring. Does this mean I have to go back to work? I really hope not.

I’m Still Me

I get up at 7am and we are out of the door at 8am for the 40 minute walk to school. We always walk. We have seen every type of weather and my eldest has only been at school for 1 and a half terms. She’s already on her second pair of shoes. I stopped looking glamorous when I had kids and now I find that I have to have a different wardrobe for the older woman. When did that start? I give my youngest leftovers from last nights dinner and I eat what she doesn’t. Is this a balanced meal? I haven’t officially worked since I had my daughter 5 and a half years ago but I have been totally immersed in the school parents association. I’ve become class rep, newsletter editor, trustee for the school association and now I run the local Rainbows for 5-7yr olds. If anyone says I don’t work I want to clobber them. I love the playgroups and the friends I’ve made through them and I really believe they will be with me forever. They’ve been with me through every high and low through this most life-changing experience of starting a family. When my youngest starts pre-school soon, I will go cycling, running, do more diy and definitely make the garden look lovely. Spring is on the way and it feels good.

I am a mum with two small children. But I am definitely still me.

Dad of newborn who went back to work

To state the obvious, having a baby has had a huge impact on my routine. It has materially changed my body clock, when I eat and sleep, and even my commute to work. I’m waking up at 6am and am generally in the office by 8am. This is partly because our (now 13 week old) son, Finn, tends to wake up around this time and needs changing, and partly simply because I am going to bed earlier. I am as such getting pretty much the same amount of sleep as I used to… but the late evening football match, DVD, let alone night out, has, for the moment at least, been resigned to memory.
Let’s get nighttime out of the way. My wife is breast-feeding, so apart from the odd nappy change when required, there’s not much for me to do when Finn rouses. That said, interrupted sleep (Finn will generally wake up two or three times during the night) does have an impact on my state of alertness, particularly by the following afternoon, when a few yawns tend to creep in. I am nevertheless becoming accustomed to being 10-20% more tired during the day. I am also starting to sleep through some of the night time feeds – which presumably my wife has mixed feelings about…
As for the day? Well, work is work. Around that, one of the unexpected changes is that I am enjoying my commute – a 25 minute train sandwiched by two 10 to 15 minute walks. I think this is due to two related factors; first, the commute is now pretty much my only ‘me time’ and so attains a sort of scarcity value that I had not anticipated just a few months ago. Second, I have now, probably to make the most of this time, started listening to music and podcasts – I have for example discovered Mayo and Kermode’s ‘wittertainment’ film reviews. All very enjoyable even though there is little chance I will actually get to see any of the film’s reviewed!
The return from work is now invariably something of a dash to arrive home in time to cook dinner and for Finn’s bedtime routine, starting with a bath at around 6.30pm. He loves the bath. He doesn’t love being put into his sleep suit and into the cot for bedtime. This can sometimes be a low point. You get home from work fairly tired, but have to spend most of the precious alloted time with your son trying to stem the flow of tears or at least soothe him. Being able to spend real ‘quality time’ with Finn at weekends, does make up for this, but it does take some getting used to. In any case, the day comes to a close shortly afterwards. Having had a feed, Finn usually drifts off at about 8pm – and I won’t be too far behind him!

Mum of  toddler twins…. back at work

As I write this article I am sat at work, on set for the show Bedtime Live. I am a freelance floor manager and usually work a couple of times a week on various TV shows. The director has just called a 10  minute break and I have a lovely hot cup of tea by my side. This is the most relaxing 10 minutes I will have for the rest of the week, you see, I am a mother of 2 and a half year old twins!

When not on a day of rest, by which I mean when I am not at work, my day starts between 6 and 7 am when my daughters, Lola and Darcy come into our room.  Mornings are my favourite part of day. Me, my husband and the girls snuggle up in our bed whilst the girls drink their milk and we drink a large cup of caffeine to kick start our day.

My husband works from home, so usually heads upstairs to his studio at 9am. I have to be so disciplined  and ignore the fact that he is upstairs, but the temptation to call up for help when you have two manic little girls creating mayhem downstairs is hard to fight!

The girls are brilliant to hang out with and are growing up at a ridiculous rate. Their vocabulary multiplies by what seems like the hour. They make me laugh continuously and have brought immeasurable happiness to our lives. However, it is hard work. Imagine spinning plates on a cross trainer for 12 hours a day…that is the only analogy I can find to describe the energy required to look after twins!

I like the girls to have routine as they function so much better, as do I. Tuesday morning is Monkey Music and Friday morning is nursery. Other mornings are usually spent running round the park. I spend a lot of time running from one twin/hazard to the other!  Once home, it’s lunch; sarnies, soup, mess!! By around 1pm the girls start to get clumsy, which means it’s nap time. My problem though, is that the girls refuse to have a nap at home. I have tried many a time to get them to nap in their beds, on the sofa, in their buggy, but they do not sleep despite being exhausted. The only solution I have found is to drive them around in the car until they fall asleep which only takes about 15 minutes. Once asleep, I drive to my favourite place….the graveyard!!!! Although this sounds terribly morbid, trust me, it is my place of quiet, where I can either get work done, or close my eyes and get 40 winks without any disturbance from anyone!!!

After their nap we usually go for a walk or play at home if the weather is bad. At 4.30 the TV goes on and suddenly the mayhem turns to calm and stillness as the girls become hypnotised by the Disney channel, allowing me the space to cook their dinner.

Bedtime is quite a long process. We head upstairs at about 6.30 for bath time then it’s pyjamas and stories whilst they have their milk.  They do anything to stall getting in to bed and going to sleep. Once lights are eventually out, I sing a few songs to them as they fall asleep and then commando crawl out of their room. (Not a Bedtime Live tip!!)

Father of two girls

Hi everyone,
My name is xxxx and I’m a daddy.  I am 36 years old, have been with the love of my life for 12 years and we have 2 beautiful daughters aged 7 & 3. This is my very first blog and my good friend Tanya has asked me to write about what its like to be a dad.  I didn’t know where to start at first but then I decided that all I need to do is be honest and I can only share my opinion about what I know through my experiences and I hope that any other dads or mums can relate. You’ll see a few more short posts from me in the future and my thoughts about striving to be a good dad, every day and in every way.
My father wasn’t a good dad, simply because he couldn’t “keep it together”.  But after nearly 8 years of putting my heart and soul in to being the best dad I can be, the truth is that it is difficult to “keep it together” all of the time.
When I say “keep it together” in mean in regards to loving, caring, chastising, comforting, understanding, encouraging and being a positive influence in the lives of my children.  Setting an example, being someone they can and want to talk to and giving my children no possibility of doubt about my love for them are ongoing priorities in my life.
Being a dad may not be easy but as long as we are able to “keep it together” in terms of the purposes and practices we put in place, the attitudes we reflect and the values we embrace, I truly believe that overall we can “keep it together” as dads if sincere efforts are made.

Full time stay at home Mum of two toddlers

Woke up at 7, got 1 child washed and dressed whilst hubby dressed the other, dived back into bed for 10 mins avoiding getting up! Kids drink milk downstairs watching tv. I get showered and dressed hubby leaves for work. Get kids and myself breakfast, drop 4yr old off at nursery for 9am run home have a cuppa. Spend morning playing with 2yr old with train set and cars and a bit of tv. Lunch at 12, then leave house at 12.30 scooter under arm (in preparation for daughter when collected from nursery) whilst son scoots alongside me as I walk to nursery. Collect daughter and take both kids to park for runaround (end up carrying both scooters for part of journey!). Weather turns cold so head home again, put washing in, unstack and stack dishwasher whilst kids play together. 3pm leave for shopping centre, take daughters new shoes back for refund as she’s already ripped material off tops after 3 days wear! Get bday present for kids party at weekend, quick shop at tesco for food for tea then kids have ride on Thomas and Barbie car rides. Take daughter to swimming lesson then back home and straight into tea. Shower kids, milk, stories and bed.
P.S. – this is just the basics, I have not included all the arguing, bickering and winding each other up that goes on constantly between my son and daughter and the anger levels and sometimes shouting levels raised from within me when dealing with this!!!

 
If you want to write an average day in the life of your own – please do email me on coldcuppatea@gmail.com and I would be happy to put it up on my site.I also think that it is important for other parents to share their everyday lives with others.
 Thank you all of those who spent time writing these articles and sharing your parenting days. We will get through it !

Ipad Tantrums & Protecting You and Your Children From the Internet

Ipad

Am I alone here? My children are having ipad tantrums! I had to hide it above the kitchen cupboards the other day to stop them both from reaching for it. Yes we do try and schedule it a bit, but no I am not perfect. I get it when we really do need it, i.e. when I am at the doctors and want a proper chat with no distractions. It works well for me and my children in waiting areas and traveling situations where you queue for ages for check in at the airport for example. Yes, I’m not denying it at the breakfast table too just so they will both sit and eat – I know some of you will disapprove. I am not a perfect mother, but am trying my best at times. I think it is just a case of not getting too much into a routine of it and reasoning with my four year old that may help!

Do you have any ipad stories that you would like to share?

email me on:     coldcuppatea@gmail.com

 

Spring clean your computer

you tube and security

Do you know how to change your settings on you tube so your children can’t access inappropriate content?

Do it now!! (This is a guide from a laptop)

Go into your tube, log in if you haven’t already and then scroll down right to the very bottom of the page and it will say safety mode on or off. This is what it says ….

Choose your safety mode

Enable safety mode to avoid videos that may contain inappropriate content. Safety mode uses community flagging and other signals to identify and filter out objectionable videos. Safety mode does not guarantee to block every such video.

Safety mode lock prevents others from changing the safety mode settings on this browser. To make sure no one can unlock it and it stays locked, sign out of YouTube.To unlock safety mode:

  • You’ll need to sign back into your account in order to unlock and disable safety mode. Safety mode cannot be unlocked unless you’re signed into your account.
  • Once you’ve signed into your account, scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page and click the safety button. You’ll then be able to unlock and disable safety mode.

Then it will say this on your screen…….

Successfully locked Safety Mode setting on this browser

ipad tips and tricks

I have just bought an amazing ipad- tips and tricks magazine (not cheap)

Email me a question or concern and I will try and answer it for you!

coldcuppatea@gmail.com

I am looking into small things like hiding my facebook and email into a place where the kids can’t access it. I will update this page once I have done it.

Facebook and You

Also when was the last time you deleted your facebook messages and posts? if I was a hacker and got into your account how much information could I collect? hmmm.. your anniversary, your child’s birthday (oh that could be the password), your birthday. We all need to clear some data.

So go into your messages and if you need to individually select ‘delete messages’, then do. It is very time consuming. I would press delete conversation and that will delete the whole message in one go.

New friends that you have made

Have you recently adjusted your privacy settings on your new friends? do you want them to know that much about you?

Advice, if you are at work – plan out four ‘facebook clearing’ lunchtimes. So maybe over one a week or two.

Day 1 – Sort out your messages. ( 20 mins)

Day 2 – Sort out your privacy on each friend. (Could take longer than you think)

Day 3 – Take off stuff on your timeline that you think a hacker could use, or permanently delete them.

Day 4 – Log in a check who can see things and who can’t.

Also you would have to think about the information on your other accounts too. Which is yes very time consuming but worth it .

 Screen lock on phones and ipads

Have you got  password lock on them? our 4 year old has seen us unlock our number code on the ipad that he knows it himself now! he unlocks by himself! just a future warning…. but in general it is the best secure thing to do is to have a secure password.

Oh yes, and when is the last time you checked and deleted all your spam mail? you find really old emails in there you said you never received…this has happened to me  on many occasions.

8 Ways to avoid getting your computer hacked

http://www.informationweek.co.uk/security/attacks/8-ways-to-avoid-getting-your-life-hacked/240005151

Also ‘who is anonymous’ article is interesting and there is a documentary on this which is an insight.

I think the more we are in touch with technology we can gain as much knowledge as we can to protect or children for the future. So keep update with the times all parents !!

Changing your details …

After watching this  you may want to think about changing you details, passwords and generally refreshing  them. Or even changing your name slightly on facebook maybe make up your date of birth or simply delete it, just so it wouldn’t link with your bank details and other things that are found on the net. Surely the friends that you have on Fb all know you now …. even if things aren’t showing on your timeline and hidden from everyone else, hackers can see everythings as they are into your account.

look up anonymous hackers on u tube, funny enough the links I have previously put up on this has been altered.

Also google facebook hackers and have a look how they would get in

Put symbols and signs into your passwords

or look up symbols for your current key board you have now at work … for example

http://keyboardsymbols.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/code.html

Good luck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Break Tips With Children & What to Do

What are you doing and how are you going to manage the time with your children over the holiday period?

or are they at at age where they may be able to go to summer camps?

Travelling to Granny and Grandads? or just visiting friends?

This travel cot is brilliant, a bit pricy but we are still using it after 4 years, so it has been useful.

We have used it in hotels, staying with friends and family and it can be used as a place to store toys or simply somewhere to put down newborn baby, while you make a cuppa or when nature calls!
LittleLife Arc-2 Travel Cot I used it recently over the last half term to secure my little one in there.

Plants

Having a Staycation ?

Outdoor fun.. weather permitting….

Put a tent up in the house or in your garden (if you can withstand the cold right now and have a garden of course!) sleep there for the night with the kids… If your garden is big enough you could recreate a whole new camping experience with a small gas fire, torches etc and it could be fabulous !!you could make breakfast outside ithe morning and so on – all for the kids smiling faces !

Plant a tree/ flower in the garden
You can now buy a nice plant which will grow in the summer that you need to plant now, so for example we have a lovely scented Rose that my son has chosen and we need to go in the garden to put it in the ground and by summertime it would have grown a bit we hope!(with the recent weather reports!)plants

 

 

 

 

Easter break

Easter egg hunt
When I was younger – I will never forget the excitement of running around our garden (or can go to the park) searching for mini easter eggs to go in my little basket. It was the best game ever. You can do it around the house if too cold outside. These are the baskets that I will be making for my boys as they are little and it is just as fun. I made these last year.

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-basket.html

Indoor fun

Painting eggs
I also loved getting real eggs and piercing them open with a pin at each end, then blow out all the contents into a bowl. Then paint them and make a beautiful basket full of lovely painted eggs. This is a great activity to do and creative for your children.
All the contents you can then use to make scrambled eggs on toast.

A few easter books you could order,it’s not too late ….

Easter activity Books

You are Granny and Grandad and want some ideas if your grandchildren are paying a visit over Easter,or you want to just buy some things at home ..

5 in 1 Egg Colouring Kit

Annabel Karmel has some wonderful cookbooks out for kids and some really fun recipes
We are currently having fun with that and I keep renewing it at the local  library!

Libraries too are a great place to take the kids, we always go once every two weeks and I use both their cards every time and get the maximum amount of books, so between 15-20 most of the time.

Garden centres are places we like to hang out as they usually have fish there too. So the kids love just walking around in and outdoors looking at plants and different outdoorsy objects.

Origami at home ?
Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding and is usually mainly made by square paper only, with a few exceptions to the rule. I hosted a few girls birthday parties teaching this and having fun before I had children. It really is fun. Obviously depends on the age and personality of your child. My son who is 4 wouldn’t be able to sit for too long and you do have to catch him in his chilling mode and not in his ‘burning energy’ mode. We made things like jewelery boxes and jumping frogs, and whoevers frog jumped the highest and landed in the cup won something.

There are so many things that you can do with your children at home, you just need to get creative and enjoy the time with them, forget the washing, ironing, cooking for a bit and enjoy your moments and you will notice things that your child will remember forever!!

Example, My husband and I got a piece of cooked spaghetti, from a bolognese we made at lunch, he ate one end I ate the other and we ate each others until we kissed. My son wants to do that with me 7 months later – it stuck out in his head, mummy and daddy having fun with food !

Teach and show them different exercise positions, my son loves me teaching him some yoga at home. There also could be  a yogabugs class in your area for your little one.

Washing up bowl fun..

Place a plastic sheet on the floor and fill washing up bowl with water .

Get some straws, washing up liquid and a breakfast cereal that floats .. they will have lots of blowing fun! or you can do bobbing apples… My kids love just washing up liquid and blowing through the straw and generally making a big mess… this keeps them entertained for a while!!

Counting Money

Empty out your childs money box, (assuming s/he has one of course!) – and pop it into a change machine, we did it at our local supermarket change machine. You have a choice of converting the change into a donation of a charity of your choice, or they give you a receipt and you have to go to customer service desk to get the cash or just use it towards your next shopping bill (also, contribution for a toy bought in store)
A fun activity that teaches them counting.

Structured activities

Just generally planning, visualising it first of course of how you want things to happen and then make them happen. So do some planning ahead.  You can have allocated times at home for when you do things – like set up a painting area for half an hour before lunch or after lunch and so on. It could be slightly different like painting nails or feet or something silly and unusual. Teaching them, showing them some cooking techniques, ie how to crack and egg..

You could book them into something going on in your area, get there early as these activities can get busy. Have a general round about plan or timetable of events, activities, so you make these most of that time, including being creative/imaginative and letting them relax with a movie and so on. For me I probably won’t book them into anything and will sort out some play dates and allow time to relax with my kids, plod around in pjs and so on. The booking in activities for me feels to hectic sometimes. Good Luck and Enjoy your Easter break with your children.

Oh lastly I wanted to mention this amazing book that is  must read! there are two here ….
The 5 Love Languages of Children/The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers Set

Basically it gives you insight to speaking your childs language, very helpful and brings these languages to your awareness and how to use it appropriately.

You can also pop it on in the car and have a listen on a CD on the way to work or a class.
THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN CD By Chapman, Gary D. (Author) Compact Disc on 01-Apr-2005

Enjoy and don’t forget to ‘like’ my pages or send me some comments and pass them on to people who you think maybe find this information helpful. Thank you again.

 

Tanya x