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How to decorate with a toddler

How to decorate with a toddler

Don’t do it!! Haha, just kidding. Although, it can feel like that majority of the time. I vowed I wouldn’t let being a mom change anything though. If I wanted to paint all the walls in my house, white than dang it, I would. I’m crazy, right? Right. Even so, I’m still steam rolling ahead with the decorating every room at the same time to try and get it all finished as time pleasing as possible. I have lots of other things to be cracking on with like being a mom (which takes up ALL of our time, doesn’t it?!).

So, I’m no expert at decorating and definitely no expert at being a mom for that matter but, I’ve recently entered the world of decorating with a toddler on your hands and boyyyy, is it a crazy world. So, first off, be prepared for the late nights (major yawning going on right now). If you’re a pro DIYer like me than HEY (insert waving hand emoji here). I actually quite enjoy doing it myself. Or should I say, used to. It’s become quite difficult as of late because of a mischevious toddler, who loves nothing more than sticking her hands on wet walls…… enough said. 

So, my first bit of advice is to palm the kiddie winks off on to family. You will get SO much more done, I promise you. Family love to see them, you get to get the job done and walaaa happy days. Although, you can’t just chuck your kids to the family for a few weeks (or months in my case) so this would only be a short term problem solver, but still a problem solver none the less. Gotta take it where you can get it.

If the family scenario fails, the best possible advice I can give is to absolutely wait until they’re napping or gone to bed for the night. If your toddler is anything like mine, they’ll wait until you set up to start painting during nap time, and just as the paint brush is about to touch the wall….. They’ll decide they want to nap no more. And then it leaves the painting to when they’re in bed, where you feel like you have to be suuuuper quiet as you daren’t wake the sleeping dragon (toddler). And let’s be honest, you’re pretty tired yourself and all you want to do is indulge in all things calorific and pop your feet up to watch trash TV, am I right or am I right? You’re going to have to sacrifice those relaxing evenings while you’ve got a bit of DIY to do I’m afraid, it’ll be worth it when it’s complete though.

If all else fails and you really can’t tear yourself from your slobby evenings (I get it, they rock!), than you could do it in toddler behaving snippets. Toddler behaving? What is that? I hear you say. Ha, no, I’m kidding. I know they behave sometimes/very very very rarely. But let’s say, you’re having a good day than bounce on that opportunity and get yourself to work. Stick on a Disney movie (alllll hail Walt Disney), give them their favourite picnic food, let them do some colouring orrrrr painting for themselves if you’re feeling uber brave. Prepare for complete mess if you’re leaving them unsupervised for longer than a minute though, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you have any tips as to how to entertain the little ones affectively, so that DIY can take place in a sufficient time frame than hit me up. Us parentals have gotta stick together, right?! There should be a decorating crèche where parents can drop their crazies off to get some decorating done. Why is that not a thing yet? I’m on to a millionaire idea here, for sure!

Happy DIYing folks.

Ohthatstacey

xo

The truth about motherhood

The truth about motherhood

I always rave about how amazing it is to be a mom and how much I love it. Which I do, but I thought it was time to get a little real. Being a mom isn’t all cuddles, kisses and cute clothes.

Being a mom is poo-nami’s, vomit-splosions, tantrum-nados and everything to do with poop, gastly coloured plastic toys, mom buns, shared baths and zero alone time.

There’s been days where I’ve took my little monkey for a walk because, I could just not bare to spend another second in the house, waiting for the thousandth tantrum of the day to erupt. There’s been days where I’ve had to go and sit in the corner of the room, with toddler not in sight (for 0.00001 second) to count to ten and breath so that I don’t explode myself. There’s been nights where I’ve practically begged (out loud) for my little girl to just go the heck to sleep, so that I could get some sleep too.

The good thing about being a mom, is that each day is a N E W  day. To start a fresh and try again. Not to be perfect but to be perfectly imperfect. Because that, that right there is motherhood. It’s learning new things about yourself as you watch your little one grow. It’s seeing yourself turn into this new person, with new responsibilities and an even more exciting life ahead of you. With a forever partner in crime.

So sure, it’s not all staying home and baking perfectly cooked pies, or having dinner presentably perfect on the table for 5pm every day. It is however, rushing out the door with chocolate in hand for breakfast already ten minutes late, forgetting the nappies or wipes and having to sprint your way back in to find wherever your toddler hid them. It’s imperfect in the most perfect way. A life I would never change. Because, a life with a child is unpredictable, exciting, and the most loving road you could ever take.

Being a mom is thee least glamorous job but better pay than a n y w h e r e else. Because, the payment is in first smiles, first crawls, first steps, first words, first days of school, all the firsts that you can think of. It’s an unbreakable bond, a forever love.

Here’s to motherhood, the greatest hood of all!

Ohthatstacey

xo

How I plan my days to be productive

How I plan my days to be productive

With a toddler in your life, productive days can become a thing of the past. A few months after little E was born, I tried not to spend my days spent in pyjamas, as easy as that is. I knew for my own sanity that I needed to get up and out so I did just that.

As months passed by, I came up with routines to make days easier and make sure that I came up with ways to become more productive. I love pj days as much as the next person and implement them into my weeks as much as possible but now, with a crazy, mischevious toddler on my hands I have to be on my toes and save my pj slob hours for when she naps or goes to bed. I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.

On the Sunday evening before the beginning of the week I like to search to see if there’s any activities little E might enjoy during that week. There’s a lovely little activity every now and again in our local park where they have a little picnic, story time and toys for the little ones to play with. It’s one of Esmé’s favourites. She loves a good story book and any new toys she can get her hands on, even for a short while. You should see if there’s one in your area, there is more often than not a group on Facebook that advertises them if you search for one. I promise you’re little one will love it and will make at least one day in a week, more entertaining and more bearable for you and your child(ren).

I often keep to a schedule on how to keep on top of things. For example, every Monday I go to the farm shop and do the weekly shop. I never have to panic that we don’t have enough bread or enough snacks because I stock up every Monday morning. Saves me a lot of stress and keeps this MASSIVE foodie satisfied, winner! I wash the bed sheets for all the beds every Tuesday, make sure they’re dry and get them ironed ready to put back on to the bed for a cosy nights sleep. Tuesday night’s have quickly become my favourite nights because freshly laundered bed covers are just perfection. Am I right or am I right? I never have to worry that I’m going to get behind because I have a set day to do it. I can put them in the wash as soon as I wake up, hang them up to dry and go out for the day if need be. Organisation really is key when you’re a mama.

Every Friday I’ll have a “face mask Friday”, it’s a little me time and that is SO important. This can really help with the productivity problem. If we’re not taking care of ourselves are we going to want to be productive? I know I don’t. We should remember that we are important too and I always stress that even though we’re a mom, we’re a person too who also needs taking care of. Remember that if nothing else.

I make sure I get out and see family/friends at least once a week. Save your sanity by not being stuck in the same four walls with no adult communication. A good catch up (especially if food is involved), where you can laugh and be yourself is good for the soul. It helps even more when those friends have children so they can all play together while you put your feet up and have a natter. Mom and child are happy. Absolute winner in my eyes.

The most important point to ALWAYS remember is to not be so hard on yourself. If you’re having an unproductive day, still in your pjs at 2pm, no idea what you’re cooking for tea, rocking the messy mom bun then OWN it. We alllll have those days. Anyone that says they don’t, are just lying. We had days before we had children where we wouldn’t want to do anything and that’s no different now we’ve got smaller versions of ourselves running around. Take a day off being an adult. Be a sloth for the day, whatever it takes just take a breather. You’ll be so much more prepared to take on the next day. Parenting is hard. Do what you gotta do to get through it.

Happy future productive days babes.

Ohthatstacey

xo

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Snot so good

Snot so good

The dreaded flu/snot season has arrived. I love fall and all that comes with it EXCEPT snot infested days. Now, I know with a toddler, most days have some snot here and there but autumn/winter takes those snot days to a whole new level of snotness. If we were playing snot bingo right now, someone would have totally won and it’s only the first paragraph, stay with me. I can offer sanity in those snot filled days.

Your child gets sick, the whole household gets sick and then you get sick. Unless you’re extremely lucky and have an epic immune system, it’s a given. Prepare for it. The hardest thing in the world is not being able to lounge around all day when you’re poorly sick. With a crazy, mischievous toddler on your hands I have to laugh out loud if you think that’s going to happen. How do we survive? Fear not my little friendlings I have a little advice that has helped me and may just help you too.

Stock up on that good little thing we call medicine, flu tablets are a god send when we are under the weather, hot lemon water, vapour rub, tissues, tissues and more tissues. If they’re in stock, there’s no worries about it being socially acceptable going to the shop in your pjs with your hair like a pineapple to grab some, dribbling your germs along with you as you go. Stay in the comfort of your own home. Win win.

Now, of course as a parent when we’re sick our little world doesn’t just pause, we still have all our chores to do and crazy children to keep us on our tippy toes to control. Get those colouring books out, with tons of pictures, stickers, crayons, old magazines, glue sticks, let them go wilddddd. Just sit back, and relax. Watch them learn and enjoy their time all by themselves, it does them AND you a world of good.

Have disney films ready for on repeat. Don’t even be ashamed of this one. Disney films are AMAZING, kids love them, we love them, keeping them entertained for an hour and a half? Run with it. Even if you’ve watched it a thousand times this week already, if it makes them happy then you can be happy. Let’s be honest, who’s not happy when Disney is involved?

Get creative with minimum effort. Children are SO easy to please. They may not want to play with the ten bags of toys you have for them buuuut, dry pasta and rice in bottles? Oh now that can keep them entertained longer than should be real. Let them pour the rice or pasta into bottles it containers and watch them turn into a child rock band. It may not help that headache of yours but it’ll definitely help with the whole, put your feet up and get some rest thing that needs to be going on.

Books, books, books e v e r y w h e r e. Spread them all over the room and watch them go to town with taking to themselves, pointing at the pictures, maybe even pile them all on top of each other to knock them over. Even if your throat hurts or you’re losing your voice, you don’t have to talk, just get them looking through the pictures. I promise you it’ll keep them entertained, even if it’s just for a little while. Every little helps.

And once you’ve made it through the day, because you will no matter how long it feels.. Get that much needed pamper you deserve AND an early night. Need some ideas? Look at some of my previous blog posts on how to achieve the perfect pamper night at home. As parents we sometimes forget that we’re only human too, we need rest and pampering as much as the next person. Take care of yourself, your tomorrow you will thank you for it.

Happy battling the snotty days babes.

ohthatstacey

xo

How to cheat your way in to a lie in

How to cheat your way in to a lie in

These days, a lie in for me is getting to stay in bed until 07:32 instead of 07:30. Over the past six months or so, I have learnt a few tricks of the trade to get to spend even longer in bed. Winner! I only have one little munchkin but I’m sure these tricks could possibly work as more come along, I’m willing to give it a try anyway.

Not only is sleep important, but having the time to adjust to day time after hardly getting any sleep the night before is also, VERY important. The last thing I want to be doing is jumping out of bed after having four/five hours sleep to get my somehow, crazy, full of energy toddler out of bed. Where do they get all their energy from? It would only be fair if they shared their secret, right? Hopefully these tricks will give all you sleep deprived mamas/dadas a moment or two in the morning to adjust to the sleep deprived day you will have. Keeping it real.

O N E — Their favourite programme/movie. Bing goes down a treat in our house. Snuggle up in your sweet, beautifully comfy bed and bask in the glory of all things Disney. It’s a life saver for sure. BUT, if your little(s) are anything like mine, this will only keep them entertained for a short while. Which is all good and well until they think bouncing up and down on your tummy is the next fun activity to do (enter eye rolling emoji here).

T W O — Breakfast in bed. Now I’m not talking go and slump in front of the oven and cook a full English breakfast. No no no. I’m talking chop some fruit up, pop it on a plate and ta daaa. Preferably the stuff that makes the least mess. This may just be Esmé’s favourite thing to do which makes my whole life. If a plate of fruit keeps her in one place for ten minutes who am I to complain? This, mixed with her favourite Disney movie really is a winner. And an excuse for breakfast in bed for you too? Oh, why not. It is for the kids after all. You’re welcome.

T H R E E — Books. I’m not talking about the books that you have to sit and read on repeat, ain’t nobody got time for that at half six in the morning. Get the ones FULL of pictures, where they can just chuckle to themselves and make all the animal noises as they flick through. It’s actually quite nice to lie back in bed and watch your favourite little learn all by themselves. It gives a nice, positive start to the day. Trust me. I’d take that over a tantrum because they’ve ate all their breakfast and can’t figure out why there’s nothing left in their bowl. any. day.

F O U R — Sing. Sing your flipping heart out if you manage to lie in bed for ANOTHER ten minutes or so. Esmé loves a good sing song. Twinkle twinkle and row row are her favourites, she even does the rock herself back and forth on her own. All I have to do is open my mouth and sing. I may be tone deaf, but Esmé enjoys it so we can’t go wrong really (she’s a good egg), the neighbours may hate me and my strangled cat voice but again, ten minutes extra in bed then I can definitely live with that.

These tricks often get me half an hour extra in bed and that is like heaven! I may not have got any extra sleep but sometimes just being able to stretch and wake yourself up properly before bouncing into the day makes allllll the difference. Obviously, there is no school run in our house just yet but when that time comes, the weekends will be the sweetest cheat a lie in days E V E R.

The sweetest part of all? The kiddie winks have no idea that you’ve managed to just bag yourself extra time in bed. They just think you’re the best parent ever for “letting” them eat in bed and do all their favourite things. Can’t go wrong with that, right? Hope these tricks work just as well for you.

Happy steaing extra time in bed babes ♡

ohthatstacey

xo

Top tips for car journeys with a toddler

Top tips for car journeys with a toddler

Ahhh car journey’s with children are just bliss. The longer the better. We all look forward to them, right? WRONG. I can hand on heart say I have never heard those words come out of any parents mouth, like ever. And if I did, I’d call them out on their BS because let’s be honest, car journeys with toddlers alone are hard. flipping. core, never mind adding a few more hours into it for a road trip. If your little is anything like mine than you’re heading for hell. At least that’s what it feels like.

My family live two and a half hours away from me so getting used to longer car journeys, with a toddler has been a given. Something I’ve been wanting to master with zero toddler wobbly’s. Since new born my little has HAAAATED being in the car, I thought she was finally out growing it and then B A M! Que the almighty car meltdowns on every long journey (eye rolling emoji times one thousand right here). Here are a few, I really mean a f e w tips that may just make those disastrous car journeys a teeny weeny bit easier. Sending you alllll the love if your child is anything like my car demon one.

Used to travelling at convenient times for you? Say goodbyeeee to that. And say hello to your new, driving whenever they will sleep life. This is the best advice I could ever give. Car journeys are SO much easier when children are asleep. F A C T. This is however, slightly difficult on a six/seven hour journey. I try and go as early in the morning as my tired, mom body will let me. Four in the morning has become the norm for the longer car journeys. I get an early(ish) (what even is an early night for us parents?) night and leave super early in the absolute hope that they’ll fall back to sleep in the car, aaaaand stay asleep of course. Then they wake up for the last leg of the journey and it makes it a little easier to cope with. Because, there is light at the end of the tunnel by that point.

Can’t face the no sleep zombie stage? Fear not, just set off at a time where they could possibly have a nap and. go. prepared. By that I mean, have chocolate, have sweets, have toys, have juice alllll on hand. There’s nothing you can’t bribe your child out of with a bit of chocolate. They’re suckers like that and it’s our chance to have a bit of a slummy parenting win. No shame. I’ll take a win any way I can. Even be prepared to listen to CBeebies top charts (that’s what it feels like) for the whole journey. You may be singing them on repeat in your head for a few days but rather that than almighty meltdowns.

Plan stops, as many as your sanity needs. If it’s motorway driving, some services have play areas for those mischievous kiddiewinks. Hunt them down and plan to stop there. It’s amazing what running off a bit of energy can do to a toddlers behaviour.

Sing. Sing. Sing. This has got me out of some preeeettty dire car slumps. Row your boat being little E’s favourite and a common car song. Get creative, get crazy. If they’re dancing and laughing rather than having a melt down? Then do you really care if the car passing you can see you singing with your tongue hanging out and a nappy on your head? Probably not. Obviously drive safe though guys and if you can, have a 24/7 entertainer i.e a passenger to help the journey go a little more smoothly, literally.

A tub of chewing gum. You probably think I’m crazy but this has literally kept my little entertained for a good hour!! Take it and run with it my friend. Something as simple as that could quite literally save your car journey sanity. Children are known for rather playing with a box than a toy. Or paper rather than a toy. Give them something none lethal, but what they haven’t played with before and you are definitely on to a winner. An old magazine always goes down a treat with little E, even if it ends up in shredded up paper on the floor. Rather that than your hair. For reals.

If all else fails, crank that music up and hope it will drown out the whinges and pass the time by until you get to your beloved destination. In all seriousness though, I don’t think car journeys hardly ever go smoothly for people with kiddiewinks so know that you are not alone. I feel like there should be some sort of secret sign to give to other parents you see braving the roads. You know the one where it’s like, ‘meltdown number ten in five minutes, loosing the will to live, rocking back and forth’ moments. Just a little sign to say, hang in there broseph, the meltdown will be over soon and you can love their cuteness once again, promise. Let’s make that a thing, K? Ok. (Sign to be determined).

Any tips that have worked for you? Share them below, I welcome ANY help. In the mean time, chin up babes. Raising humans is hard, you got this. You’re doing theeee best job. Laugh through it, you will miss them being so little and will hold on to moments like this (I think). ♡♡♡

Ohthatstacey

xo