Monday, 15 December 2014

Snowflake Candle Jar with Jam J-art & #DDDHMC


When I was first contacted regarding the Jam J-art campaign, I wondered how on earth I hadn't heard of it before! A big feature of Diddle Diddle Dumpling's Home Made Christmas thus far has involved recycling jars and making something extra special for Christmas with them. The concept behind Jam J-art is to use a bog standard jam jar & turn it into something new & most importantly, useful! And since it's the time of year for all things twinkly, I decided to share my ridiculously simple but beautifully festive Snowflake Candle Jar with the guys over a Jam J-art.

All you need is a recycled jam jar, some stickers (I used these Snowflake ones from eBay but your standard Gold Star stickers are a good alternative) and a can of spray paint. It really is as simple as putting your stickers on your [clean] jar, giving it a spray with your spray paint - I use black but any colour will work too, just make sure you get a good even covering, two coats should do - and then once dried, remove the stickers. And to really amp up the Christmas-ness, use a Christmas scented tea-light of your choice!

These make the perfect gift as well as the perfect home decoration, especially when the lights are low and the Christmas tree is lit up in it's full glory! I've already got plans to make a number more of these before the big day. If you do decided to give the Snowflake Candle Jar a go, be sure to let me know on your chosen social media with the Diddle Diddle Dumpling Home Made Christmas hashtag #DDDHMC as well at the Jam J-art hashtag #JAMJART.


Happy making!

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Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas Jumper Day 2014

Toddler John & baby David in their Christmas Jumpers for Christmas Jumper Day 2014
Baby David in his reindeer jumper for Christmas Jumper Day 2014.
Toddler John in his Christmas Jumper for Christmas Jumper Day 2014.

Ho ho ho! I do love me a Christmas Jumper, particularly when it comes to the boys. Today is Christmas Jumper Day, with Save The Children. The boys actually wore their jumpers for nursery yesterday, as they were running the occasion over two days and John & David are at home with me on Friday. Nonetheless, they loved putting on their festive jumpers which Granny & Papa kindly got them from Asda earlier this week. I think they'll even be making a return for the nursery Christmas party and Christmas day itself. Now to convince Iain that we should totally get Christmas Jumpers for ourselves too...

John & David both do look incredibly cute in them (even if the only way to get John to pose for photos is to bribe him with Jazzles...) but one thing's for sure, these jumpers have nothing on the Snowman jumpers knitted by my Granny that me and my sisters used to wear! REMEMBER, KIRSTY & HOLLY! I wish we still had them for the boys to wear when they're a bit bigger...

Christmas jumpers: Love them or loathe them?

You can donate to the Save The Children Christmas Jumper Day via the Save The Children website too!


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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Funky Girrafe & GIVEAWAY

David in Christmas print Funky Giraffe bandanna bib.

In so many ways, John & David are very similar. But in others, they're polar opposites! The easiest example is in regards to teething. John sailed through teething with barely a whimper. One day he had a gummy smile, the next a mouthful of teeth. David on the other hand... Oh boy, when he's teething do we know about it! In fact, I'm pretty sure the whole of Edinburgh does!

Moaning, screaming, up through the night, red cheeks, chewing everything and of course, the dribbles. When David is cutting a tooth, multiple changes of tops daily is pretty much guaranteed. Usually, we resort to plastic backed bibs but David is comfortably in the habit of ripping these off within second of me putting them on. Bandanna bibs have risen in popularity in recent years, partly because their so cute(!!) but also because their so incredibly perfect for dribbly wee ones, be it due to teething or just that lovely developmental stage at a few months old.

Filling the gap in the market for practical but beautifully designed & incredible quality bandanna bibs is Funky Giraffe. The brainchild of Mum, Yasmin, who started Funky Giraffe whilst on maternity leave with her son. The idea behind Funky Giraffe was to make high quality, fashionable products that were not only reasonably priced but also had the element of longevity. What originally started as making bandanna bibs for her son & friends soon developed a range of hats, burp cloths, romper suits & other baby clothes. But still at the heart of Funky Giraffe & what they're best known for is their extensive range of bandanna bibs.

With David going through the dreaded teething again (does it ever end?) the opportunity to try some of the Funky Giraffe bandanna bibs could not have come at a better time. But the task of choosing what bibs we actually wanted to try was certainly not easy! With hundreds of bandanna bibs to choose from, including plain colours, festive prints, personalised & even satin ones for when you need something a little bit more formal, there really is something for every occasion. In the end we chose two festive print bibs & a lovely little bumble bee number; very apt for David given his recent Bumble Bee Birthday Party.

David in Bumble Bee print Funky Giraffe bandanna bib.

And boy, am I impressed with them! Each bib is made with high quality jersey cotton, backed with fleece and completed with nickle-free poppers (hurray for no fluff-filled velcro & not being able to be pulled off but uncooperative babies!). Unlike other bandanna bibs we've had in the past, Funky Giraffe ones also have a decent bit of fabric around the neck so they really do gives good protection against dribbly wee ones; plus they're super absorbent and we've yet to have any drool soaked clothes whilst David has had one on. Best of all, they wash so easily, although I'd recommend hanging them to dry as opposed to bunging them in the tumble dryer, as otherwise they can curl a little at the bottom; a cosmetic issue more than anything as it doesn't actually affect their use in anyway.

In terms of price, Funky Giraffe are very reasonable, with bandanna bibs starting from only £1.98 and even come the option to purchase sets of 5 or 10 bibs & save some more money too. But be warned! I think it'd be impossible to buy just one and you may end up with more than you'd originally planned to buy.

Funky Giraffe bandanna bibs GIVEAWAY on Diddle Diddle Dumpling.

As you can guess, we're more than impressed with the Funky Giraffe bandanna bibs which means I'm extremely excited to be able to host a GIVEAWAY for one of the Sets of 5 Funky Giraffe Bandanna Bibs (pictured above). It's as simple as entering the Rafflecopter below & the winner will be announced next week, with the fantastic prize being delivered before Christmas. A perfect stocking filler, or what?

T&Cs.
1. The winner will be chosen by random via Rafflecopter, and announced on Facebook & advised by email.
2. The prize will be sent before the cut of for Christmas post providing address details are given before Saturday 20th December.
3. Open to UK residents only.



Disclaimer: We were kindly sent a selection of bandanna bibs from Funky Giraffe for the purposes of this review & giveaway. As always, all opinions are our own.

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Immunisations & Reflecting


I think I was pretty naive before becoming a Mum. Things like breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, co-sleeping vs. using a cot & immunising vs. not immunising were things that never crossed my mind. So when John was placed onto my chest at a totty 6lbs 12oz, I suddenly had a lot to learn. We quickly chose breastfeeding, followed by co-sleeping and the topic of immunisation soon followed.

Just like the choice to breastfeed, co-sleep & pretty much every decision we made as new parents, I researched immunisations to death. In the end, we chose with no doubt at all that immunisations were the right thing to do. Having read countless articles & studies, it was clear that the argument for immunising was far stronger than the one not to. And that was that.

Nearly a year ago to the day, my feeling towards immunisations took to a whole new level. After a restless night & emotionally exhausting morning, at 3 week old David was rushed too & admitted to The Royal Hospital for Sick Children. At only 3 weeks old, my tiny little newborn having not yet had any immunisations, my instant fear was meningitis. What followed was a week of lumber punctures, replacing numerous IVs, blood tests, ultrasounds of all major organs, x-rays of a distraught baby, precautionary anti-biotics, feeding tubes and a insane lack of sleep on both our parts. Nurses staying by his cot all through the night, patting him with cool cloths in a feeble attempt to bring his temperature down. Looking back, it's still a time I've never really dealt with. It's one of those times that I've kind of buried in my subconscious memory. I've always tried to avoid thinking about the worst case scenario.

Thankfully, what could have been something devastating, was 'just' a nasty virus that David got through, thanks to the help & care of fantastic staff at the Sick Kids. But what if David was a few month older? What if it had been whooping cough? Or a nasty case of rotavirus? What if it was meningitis or septicaemia? What if we didn't choose to immunise our kids against something that is so easily preventable and they then became so ill that they needed lumber punctures, IVs, bloodtests, ultrasounds, x-rays...? How could I ever live with the guilt of putting them through that? How could I ever forgive myself if something happened to my kids?

Even though David being ill at only 3 weeks old was something completely out of my hands, I still carry a bucket load of guilt for letting it happen. As a mother, it's your job, your instinct to protect your kids. When a doctor tells you that you can't feed, hold or even touch your baby as the virus they have causes their nerves to go in over-drive and even the comforting touch of their own mother is painful, your heart shatters into a million pieces. Then, a year on, when your baby that resembles a toddler is not yet walking, you still question if it is because of them being so ill when they were just weeks old. And when they are up at 3am with a fever, you find your body freeze with panic at the thought of their temperature climbing over 40°c.

So on Friday, David had his MMR jag, as well as his other 13 months boosters. Having a baby, a child, being so ill never leaves you. You feel guilt when it's even out of your hands and I can't begin to comprehend how it would be if it was due to something so easily preventable. At least, that's why I will always immunise our kids.

What's your stance on immunisations? I'm always open to hearing other people's views!


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Friday, 5 December 2014

John's Christmas Wishlist


He's got it. He's well and truly got it. The concept of Christmas that is! Santa in particular. He knows he comes down the chimney, he knows he'll have something left for him to eat & drink and he knows most of all that he brings presents! John now sits with any catalogue and flicks through the pages announcing, "John ask Santa for that one! John want that from Santa! Santa bring John that!" But what does a 2 - nearly 3 - year old really want from the big man in red? These are few things that John has mentioned on more than one occasion and that Santa has heard loud and clear.

Leappad. This is one that I think may save our families sanity! John has recently discovered our phones & his Granny's iPad and would happily spend all day playing Cars: Fast as Lightening. So to save us giving up our own technology lifelines, a kid friendly, eduction-based alternative is definitely a goer.

Balance Bike. Since he's taken so well to his Toddlebike, we think it may be time to introduce a fully fledged balance bike to John. He's so desperate to have a bike like his Daddy and this motorbike inspired one is pretty damn cool. Even if I'm still not convinced his feet will actually touch the ground...

Easel. You know those moments when you think, "Yup, you're definitely my kid." Well John is well & truly taking in his Mummy's steps with his love from drawing, painting & all things generally arty. We've not a great deal of space in our house so a easel that folds away is ideal for those times he wants to get his craft on.

Thomas Take 'n' Play Engines. I've got wind that Santa will be bringing the boys their very own wooden train track and as John loves him a bit of Thomas the Tank Engine, so the Take 'n' Play engines will be a fab addition to the Diddle Diddle Dumpling track.

Penny's Nee-Nawr. This is the one toy that he'll always answer with when you ask John what he wants from Santa. He already has a couple of Fireman Sam engines but he's got his heart set of adding Penny's Fire Engine, "Venus" (aka. Penny's Nee-Nawr) to his collection.


What's on your wee ones Christmas Wishlist this year?


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