Chatty Pillow Review and Giveaway

Valentine’s Day is rapidly creeping up on us, and the shops are full of hearts and flowers, and all things romantic. Great if you are romantic, but what about those of us who think it’s all a bit cheesy? Graham and I have been together for almost thirteen years, and neither of us are into all that soppy stuff.

We don’t do Valentine’s Day for that reason – but if we were, these quirky pillow cases from ChattyFeet would make an ideal gift. They’re a bit daft, just like us, and every time I see them, they make me smile.

Chatty Pillow Review and Giveaway | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

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Things to consider when buying bunk beds

Benjamin is now 14 months old and still sleeps in our room. Now that he is sleeping through most nights, we need to start thinking about moving him into the room which Harrison and Alex share.
The problem that we have at the moment is room. Harrison is in a single bed, and Alex is in a toddler bed, which he is rapidly outgrowing. There just isn’t space in there for another bed or cot. Our only solution is bunk beds. Harrison would be on the top, obviously, with Alex underneath. Benjamin could then have either his cot or the toddler bed in the room. We’ve started to have a look around, and it’s much more complicated than we realised. Who knew there were so many types of bunk beds and things to think about?

Things to consider when buying bunk beds | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

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Bras, Midwives and Murderers #LittleLoves

How many people have clicked on this because they think I’m going to be announcing something? Haha, sorry to disappoint! I haven’t been visiting any midwives (hell no!!), just watching them.

It’s been a fab week, apart from Thursday when we had two poorly little boys. Alex has been sick a few times, and Benjamin has had a couple of very dodgy nappies. Nice.

Anyway, onto this week’s Little Loves…

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Stationery Stash

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had an obsession with stationery. I used to collect folders, ring binders, plastic wallets, staplers and pens. Yes, I was a geeky kid! When I was at sixth form, I had a weekend job at Staples – as you can imagine, I was in heaven!  I used to gaze at the expensive Mont Blanc fountain pens and dream of writing up my history notes with them!

Teaching was the perfect job for me. It was the perfect excuse for using my multicoloured pens and huge collection of funky shaped post it notes. For a long time in between leaving my job and starting blogging seriously at the beginning of last year, I didn’t really have any excuse or reason to use much in the way of stationery. My post it notes stayed in a box, untouched and I could never find a pen on the rare occasion that I needed one. The very few appointments that I needed to remember were saved in my phone so I didn’t need a diary.

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Valentine’s Day Crafts with Baker Ross

Regular readers will know that we are a part of the Baker Ross Blogger Network. The kids love sitting down and making things and get really excited when one of the boxes filled with crafty bits and pieces from Baker Ross is delivered.

Our latest box was crammed full of stuff for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day crafts. I’ll be sharing some of our Mother’s Day crafts in a few weeks, but I thought I’d share some of our Valentine’s Crafts with you – it’s only a few weeks away!!

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Paperwork, Trevor and Love Hearts #LittleLoves

This week has been a really strange one, with us all trying to find and adjust to a new routine. I’ve been absolutely exhausted – even though I’m only working part-time, I’ve had to take so much new information and so many new faces in, and I was in for the whole day on Wednesday which meant leaving the house the time we usually get up! I’ve really enjoyed my first week, and I am so glad I made the decision to apply!

Onto this week’s Little Loves…

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What to Wear When Working in a School

What to wear when working in a school | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

If you’ve read my blog recently, you will have probably noticed that I’ve started a new job in a school as a teaching assistant. When I had the phone call offering me the position, one of the first things that crossed my mind was what I would be wearing. For the past four years, I’ve lived in the typical ‘mummy uniform’ of leggings and long tops, which I realised probably wouldn’t cut in a school. I’ve still got most of my work clothes from when I taught, but three kids later they are more than a little snug!

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Top Tips for Making Laundry Easier

With three kids, our washing machine is used every day. When we give it a rare day off, we end up drowning under a pile of washing. We don’t really have any sort of system – it all just gets bunged it together (yep, darks and whites all go in one wash – in five years we have only ever had one unfortunate colour run incident!). However, there are a few things that you can do to try and make doing the laundry a little bit easier!

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Epson EcoTank ET-4500 Printer Review

With working from home and Harrison being at school, a printer is a necessity. Using our existing one can be a bit of a pain – plugging it in, connecting it to my laptop, and sorting out the inevitable paper jam, not to mention changing the ink cartridges which never seem to last very long. Printing out anything is a real chore, so I end up saving it all up to do in one go. When Epson got in touch and asked me if I wanted to review an Epson EcoTank ET-4500 printers, I crossed my fingers that it would be the answer to my printing problems.

Epson EcoTank ET-4500 Printer | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

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Living Room Wishlist

As I’ve mentioned before, we live in a rented house, so are very limited with what we can do in terms of making a house our own. Most landlords are ok with tenants doing some basic redecorating, on the provision that it is kept neutral or is taken back to its original decor when you move out.

One way that you can make a rather uninspiring and neutral living room your own is with furniture and accessories. Sometimes, having really simple and plain decor gives you a chance to be a little bit more adventurous and colourful with furnishings! Although we have perfectly fine, functional and practical furniture, at some point in the future I’d like a complete revamp and change it all. I love greys as a basic starting colour because you can add bright splashes of colour which can be easily changed when you get bored.

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Valentine’s Day Notebook Cover

Valentine's Day Notebook Cover | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

One of my resolutions for my blog in 2016 was to post more craft – based posts. These are always popular, and I really enjoy making things and writing about them. When I was asked if I wanted to be a Bostik Blogger, it seemed the perfect way of encouraging me to get creative once again. The theme for this month’s box was ‘Valentines’ and we were set a box full of lovely crafty bits and pieces to create something with.  As I sat and thought about what we were going to make, I spotted a little notebook on the side – you know, one of those free promotional ones you get? Bingo! We were going to jazz it up and make our very own Valentine’s Day Notebook Cover!

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Thinking Slimmer with Slimpod Gold

It’s no secret that I struggle with my weight. I’ve written about it before. I did quite well last year, losing around a stone in the summer but as Autumn crept in, the willpower waned and I put it all back on again

The problem I have is that even though I hate the way I look, I just have no willpower. If someone offers me a biscuit, or a piece of cake, I can’t say no. I eat for the sake of eating sometimes, not because I’m hungry or even particularly want it. Until I can get out of that mindset, and until I can change the way I think about food, I’m never going to lose weight and be able to keep it off.

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Before the blog…

I’ve been blogging for over two years now, and whilst I don’t write about every single aspect of my life, you generally know where I am in my life. But what about the 28 years before that?

Well, I was born in 1985. I was the first child, and the first grandchild on my dad’s side of the family. Just before my first birthday, my mum and dad moved to the house where I would live in until I moved out, aged 25.

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Brownies, Stripes and Eddie Redmayne #LittleLoves

Can you believe that we are a full week into the new year already?If this week is anything to go by, 2016 is going to fly past! Harrison went back to school on Tuesday, and although it has been nice getting back into a routine, I miss the lazy mornings and later movie nights that we had almost ever day in the holidays!

This is the first time I am joining in with Little Loves on Coffee Work Sleep Repeat. The idea of this is to think about the little things that I have loved this week. On with this weeks….

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Boys Bedroom Ideas

Although we live in a three bedroomed house, only two of the bedrooms can really be used. Because of a lack of storage, the box room is used as a storage room and is home to our tumble dryer. Luckily, having three boys means they can share, and their room is plenty big enough.

At the moment, Benjamin is still in with us, but we are looking to put him in with Harrison and Alex at some point in the next few months. This means a bit of a re-jig of furniture, and is the perfect chance to have a look at making their room even better. It was only decorated a few months ago, in a basic Spiderman theme. We had painted the one wall red and had added a big Spiderman sticker on the chimney breast. Since then, they’ve gone off Spiderman and decided that it’s all about the Marvel Avengers. It’s easy enough to change this, and Ben moving into the bedroom is the perfect opportunity to give it a fresh look.

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Our Favourite Things – December

Our Favourite Things in December | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

This is something I am going to do every month this year – a little reflection on the previous month, and talk about five of the things that we, as a family, have really enjoyed. This might be days out, new things, films, books – whatever has taken our fancy!

December was obviously a lovely month, and it has been so hard to narrow it down to just five, but here goes….

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Restless Legs Syndrome

Something I have suffered with, for as far back as I can remember is restless legs syndrome. Even when I was much younger, my legs would be fidgety and hurt at night. It is one of those things that unless you have experienced it, you have absolutely no idea of just how irritating and how painful it can be sometimes. There have been times where I could quite easily have hacked my legs off!

Restless Legs Syndrome | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45471172@N08/9717467466

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Hosting blog competitions and giveaways

Hosting blog competitions and giveaways | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

Running competitions and giveaways is something that many bloggers do. It’s a great way to build a relationship with a brand, and to gain some new visitors and followers for your blog. I love entering blog giveaways – sometimes the entries are lower than other web competitions, and the daily entry options on many give you a higher chance of winning.

From a bloggers point of view, it seems quite simple – set up a Rafflecopter (I’ll only talk about Rafflecopter as I don’t like or use Gleam), whack it on the bottom of a blog post and away you go. However, to make sure you are following all the rules, and to protect yourself there are things that you must do. Failing to do so can land you in hot water with ASA (Advertising Standards Agency).

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Budget Beauty Bits

Budget Beauty Bits | www.parenthoodhighsandlows.com

I’ve never really written about anything beauty related on the blog before. I don’t really know why because I love makeup and creams and all that sort of stuff! Like lots of parents, I don’t have the money to spend on the higher end luxury stuff, but over the years I’ve definitely found some products that I love, which I thought I would share with you.

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How I get ‘me time’

How I Get 'Me Time' | www.parenoodhighsandlows.com

Before I had kids, I always thought the concept of having ‘me time’ was a crock of shit. Surely everyone has time for themselves once in a while? Then I had children, and boy, did that way of thinking change!

It can be really difficult as a parent to get a few moments to yourself. We all joke about going to the toilet in peace, but it’s actually true. Sometimes that can be the only few minutes to get to ourselves in a day. Whether a stay at home parent or a working parent, it’s the same. You spend most of the day either at work or looking after little people, often not getting chance to sit down and have a drink without someone demanding something. When they’ve gone to bed, it’s often the only chance you get to tidy up, get the ironing done or spend any time with your partner, or you’re simply just too bloody knackered to do anything other than slob in front of the TV.

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Highlights of 2015

Well, another year has come and gone. Like most years, 2015 has had some moments that I would much rather forget, but there has been some pretty good times. My only resolution for 2016 is to stop looking for the negatives in everything, and focus on the positives. Here are just some of the best bits of 2015.

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