A Day in a Parenting Blogger’s Life – Life Unexpected

Good morning to you all. It’s Friday! We are in the beginning of December now and I think you can definitely talk about Christmas now. Have you got all your shopping done? Is the Christmas tree up yet? We are planning to put it up at the weekend. Hubby wants to get a new one but if we can’t find a good one, we are just going to stick with the old one.

Featuring today on the blog is Chloe from Life Unexpected. Over to you Chloe.

First of all, tell me a bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m Chloe. I’m a full-time freelance writer and blogger. I live in a beautiful little seaside town in Cornwall, with my very cute and chatty two year old called Evie. I run an award winning family lifestyle blog called Life Unexpected.

life-unexpected-1

How many times were you woken last night?

Just the once. My two year old has a cold at the moment and it’s making her very grumpy at night time.

Do you co-sleep?

Occasionally I do. Sometimes Evie wakes up and doesn’t like being alone, so she’ll try to come in with me. The same if she’s not feeling 100%. She used to be amazing at sleeping alone and through the night, but we’ve had some huge family changes this year and she is still adjusting to moving around to two houses each week.

What time do you normally wake up?

7am every morning via my toddler alarm.

How much average sleep do you get a night?

On average, I get between 5 – 7 hours of sleep each night, dependant on how late I stay up working.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

As soon as I wake up, I set up playtime for my little girl and then I go onto my laptop to check my e-mails and to schedule social media for the day. I try and get as much done before breakfast and after that I can enjoy time with Evie, for the rest of the morning.

Tell me about your typical morning routine.

Mornings are always super busy for us, but they vary dependant on the time of week. Evie spends half of her week with me and half with her Dad. When she is at her Dads, I get up and start work straight away. I normally work 7am through to lunch time, with a short break in between, to run up to the gym for a quick hour.

On the days I have Evie, we get up, I do a little work and after breakfast we get ready and go out to either do something fun or run chores. We both hate being indoors! You can normally find us in the woods or on the beach, rain or shine!

When and how often do you prepare the family dinners? Give us a few examples what you would cook.

Unless we’re eating out, then we prepare dinners every night. I am a little bit health-obsessed so try to make sure everything is really good for us. A typical night would have me cooking salmon with roast vegetables, stir fry, or a nice warming chilli con carne.

What’s on the menu for lunch?

Lunch for me is a quinoa salad with tuna and olives. I go through phases of really loving things and this one seems to be my go to at the moment. I love to batch make it, so I can just grab it out of the fridge without having to do any prep.

What activities have you got planned for the day for the kids?

Our days completely vary.  After being outdoors in the morning, afternoons is play time at home. This could be anything from playing with regular toys, to reading, messy play or baking.

life-unexpected-2

Do you generally eat dinner together as a family or get the kids fed first?

We usually eat dinner together at 5 o clock. I was always brought up with dinner time being family time. My family love to use it as the time to catch up with what everyone has been doing that day.

What do you do after dinner?

After dinner, it is time for Evie to quietly play by herself, while I tidy up and do some chores. She does sometimes help me with these willingly, which I always try to encourage, but it does always end up taking twice as long.

What is your bedtime routine?

Bedtime routine includes bath time at 6pm, followed by quiet play and then close to 7pm we go upstairs for stories and cuddles, before Evie goes to sleep.

As soon as her eyes are shut, it’s time for me to work. Between 7pm and 11pm (sometimes later) I’m on my laptop finishing freelance deadlines, catching up with blogging and replying on social media.

Most importantly, when and where do you normally blog in those 24 hours? Do you have a schedule?

My blogging schedule varies from day to day. I try to do at least seven hours work on an Evie day and a lot more when I don’t have her. When I have Evie, I always blog five hours in the evenings (7-11pm) and at least two hours in the day. When I don’t, then I am usually working either on my blog, or freelancing for a good ten to fourteen hours.

Wow, that’ s such a busy day. I am in envy how you manage all the blogging word on top of minding and playing with the toddler. Super Mum right there. I’d love to come for dinner one evening. It sounds delicious what you are making. I don’t seem to have the patience to cook fancy meals that take longer than 30 mins.

logo

Blog URL: http://www.lifeunexpected.co.uk

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lifeunexpectedblog

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/bloglifeunexpected

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lifeunexpected2

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.co.uk/lifeunexpected2

If this is something you might be interested in, why not drop me a quick email to be featured as well and I will get back to you. schnurri87@msn.com

Organix Goodies Launches New Crispy Bars

A few weeks back Organix Goodies kindly sent us a sample of the new Crispy Bars. We have been working with Organix Goodies quite a lot now and I have to say most products were a big runner with the kids. The only one that didn’t quite hit was the puffs. But anyway, everyone has different tastes. So…

picture1

The new Organix Goodies Crispy Bars are packed full of juicy raisins and crispy puffs of rice, they’re a fruity, no junk snack for little adventures. If your little one loves Goodies soft oaty bars – the UK’s top selling toddler snack – they’ll love to try these new crispy bars. They’re available in two tasty flavours: tangy berry – bursting with a fruity twist from strawberry and raspberry juice – and scrummy cocoa & orange – a new flavour in your local supermarket’s baby aisle. Packed into individually wrapped bars for little tums, they offer a new lighter texture for little ones to explore on the go or in between meals.

These new crispy bars come with the Organix No Junk Promise, a stamp of reassurance that they are made with the best organic ingredients and contain nothing unnecessary, so your little one gets great tasting snacks, without the junk.

New Goodies crispy bars come in a multipack containing 6 x 18g individually wrapped bars. RRP: £2.49 You’ll find them  in selected Tesco, Morrison’s and Waitrose stores – coming soon in other retailers.

My four year old loved these. When he finished one, he wanted another one, so it’s definitely a hit with him. My 22 months old wasn’t too sure about them. She nibbled on them a bit and that was it but I think when she is a bit older, she will like these too. She doesn’t have that many teeth yet, I know she is nearly two years of age but they seem to be taking their time breaking through.

It can be a challenge to ensure your little one is snacking healthily. Wherever your little one needs a snack – running around in the garden, on a long car journey or on the way home from a swimming lesson – Organix Goodies has a choice of foods to suit any occasion.

Organix 2016 - Moors Valley Park, Bournemouth. ©Barbara Evripidou2016; m: 07879443963; barbara@firstavenuephotography.com
Organix 2016 – Moors Valley Park, Bournemouth. ©Barbara Evripidou2016; m: 07879443963; barbara@firstavenuephotography.com

7 reasons why toddlers need to snack

• Eating little and often is ideal as little tummies only hold small amounts
• Tops up little ones’ intake of nutrients, to meet their daily needs
• Provides essential calories to meet toddlers’ energy needs
• Adds variety to the diet with different tastes and textures
• Gives opportunities to try new foods either at home or out and about
• Keeps your little one going in between meals
• Helps teach healthy food habits

Disclaimer: I was sent the product above, however the opinion is my very own as always.

Me and Mine {November}

Wow I can’t believe how quickly November has flown by. I feel like I got absolutely nothing done, that’s how busy I was. Normally I would have all my Christmas shopping done at this stage and be at the wrapping stage. But nope unfortunately I am not even half way there. I picked up a few toys in Smyths the other day and that was it. I must really get my act together.

November was quite enjoyable for us . The weather on the other hand was playing a trick on us and still is. It’s going from 8 degrees to -2 degrees. No wonder we all get sick . I have a bad sore throat at the moment and my four year old is dealing with a cough and runny nose. He is always wrapped up warm though. Let’s talk about the good stuff this month…

Daddy was loving:

• New house
• Exploring the town
• Chloe talking

Mammy was loving:

• A weekend in London
• Attending my first Blog event abroad
• Going to social tennis
• Seeing the Coca Cola Christmas Truck

Matthew was loving:

• Writing a letter to Santa and colouring it in
• A day out with mummy in IKEA
• Playing with his cousins
• All the Christmas decorations in the shops
• His new digger he got from my friend Sabrina

Chloe was loving:

• Her first pair of shoes
• Going to sleep with her teddies lately
• Her bobble hat
• Chasing her brother around on the Mickey Mouse Ride On

This month I am linking up a very special photo. I mentioned in my last post that we decided to drive into the big city to go and see Coca Cola truck as they are touring through Ireland at the moment. We queued for about 30 minutes and got a lovely photo with all of us.

dsc08004

What have you all been up to this month?

The Me and Mine Project

The First Festive Weekend

Our weekend was quite packed for once. We usually never have anything on at the weekend. It’s actually nice to capture and plan a few things now that we moved. Prior to that we were spending time in the house and maybe went to the play centre and that was it. There was not much to do in Sligo other than going into town and have a look around. That doesn’t mean we were completely bored out of our minds. We still managed to have great fun every weekend.

Living in Dublin is so much handier though. Hubby has a lot of family here. Most of his siblings live in and around County Dublin. Some of them have their own family which means Matthew and Chloe get to play with their cousins. So at the weekend we organised for hubby’s sister to call over, see the house and bring the kids with her. She has four kids, three boys and one girl. We expected them around lunch time. I had lunch prepared. Chloe was just about to go up for her nap but she was having none of it. She might miss out on the fun. In fairness to her she did sleep in until 8.30am, so there was no way she was going to have a nap at 1pm. The kids enjoyed some, crisps, sausage rolls and sandwiches. Then it was off to play. Thankfully the play room is nearly all setup. The only thing we are missing is the seating corner but that’s in progress and there will be a post on it how I built my own one. Before the cousins came over, hubby decided we needed to clean the house from top to bottom. Upstairs is fine but I don’t see what the point was of downstairs. It was dirty within seconds. That’s what kids do.

The kids were having great fun. Indoors as well as outdoors. The boys were so nice and brought Matthew a new football. He loves his footballs and this one is brilliant. It quite light and bouncy. Perfect for his age. We are just missing the goal post in the garden now. Luckily our wall to the back is quite high. I mean you could try and shoot a ball over it but it’s not one of these accidents that would happen where you constantly have to go over and get the ball. It’s quite handy to have a such a high wall. One of Matthew’s cousins is about the same age as him (6 months between them) and they are always having great fun together. Typical boys.

When they left late in the afternoon, I went outside the back for the first time. I have actually never seen the back of the house. It looks even more impressive than it does from the front.

2016-11-26-16-20-01

Someone was definitely exhausted from all the playing. He calls this his “own little house”.

2016-11-26-16-39-24

Sunday morning we had something really exciting to wake up to. After a bit of breakfast and play, we got ready to head into Dublin City. I never even knew how close Naas was to the city centre with the car. It only took us around 30 mins which is nothing in my opinion. We first decided to take the train and Luas in but that will take way too long. I had been keeping my eye out on the Coca Cola website. I really wanted to go and see the truck with the kids. The last time I’ve been, I was a kid myself. I must have been maybe 14 or 15 years of age as far as I can remember. A long time ago.. so it was time to go again. Luckily it was coming to Dublin Smithfield. It was on from 12pm to 7pm. We decided to go very early to avoid big queues. Handy enough there was a car park right beside Smithfield square.

2016-11-27-12-35-13

When we started queuing, we were standing beside a sign that said “60mins wait from here”. So I sent hubby and Matthew off to get a drink and some snacks. But in the end it was pretty quick and it didn’t fee like queuing more than 30 mins.  It wasn’t as cold which made it bearable. While going around in the queue they had a game on in one corner called “Ice Jenga”. Matthew was too shy to play but that’s ok. That’s his little personality.  In the next corner we were handed some Coke. You could choose between Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero. I went for a Coke and daddy for a Diet Coke. Honestly, after Blogfest I probably turn into a coke junky, the amount of Cokes I had in the last two weeks.

Finally we were at the end of the queue. Chloe was such a good girl. No giving out in her buggy or anything. She just loved looking around and taking it all in. I’d say she loved the music too. She is a big fan of dancing to music. Which reminds me, I must get the Disney Christmas CD out that hubby purchased in Mothercare the other day.
I took Chloe out at that point and lifted her up on me. The buggy was pushed to the side and we got up on the ramp beside the truck to have our picture taken. As a blogger I would say it is quite grainy but I am happy with it. We got our picture with Coca Cola Christmas truck with the WHOLE family and that’s the main thing. Some of you may know how hard it can be to get a photo of everyone.

dsc08004
We deserved a lunch out after that for sure. Just in the square we went to a bar called Oscars. They did lovely food. Hubby and I had a Chicken Curry and the kids had Chicken goujons with chips/mash potato. On the way home they both had a little power nap. We passed Johnstown Garden Centre where I sneaked in to see if I can find some Christmas tree branches for my advent wreath while hubby was waiting in the car. It’s impossible in Ireland for some reason unless you go into a forest. Instead of going out empty, I decided to pick up an artificial wreath. It worked out well in the end. I could still decorate it the way I want it and I never have to worry about sourcing branches each year.

2016-11-27-15-37-19

The coming weekend we are planning to put the Christmas tree. When I collected the kids from creche today, we spotted a house that was covered in blue lights. Matthew pointed it out to me and said “Look at all the lights, we need to put up the decorations”. So I agreed with him that we are going to do it at the weekend. I can hardly say no to a four year old.

How did your weekend go? Did you do anything festive yet?

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

Keeping Dry Skin at Bay with Aveeno Baby

aveeno-baby

Over two weeks ago I flew over to London to attend the Blogfest in Kings Place. Just a few days beforehand I got word that a few bloggers went over with Aveeno because Aveeno was one of the sponsors at the blogging event. I was really excited to see their stand.

Both my children have eczema and with that dry skin. My oldest more so than my youngest. My four year old was diagnosed with eczema when he was only  three months of age. Since we have been using Aveeno. We tried out the whole range. For nearly three years we have been using the Aveeno bath and cream with the green lid. Only to find out then that Aveeno Dermexa (Only available in Ireland) is way more efficient and effective. To keep their dry skin and eczema at bay, we need to cream them once a day and bath them every two to three days. Sometimes it can flare up more but it’s okay again after a week or two.

When Aveeno got in touch to work with me on their latest product range, I was more than happy to help out. With four years experience of using Aveeno, we were the perfect match.

dsc07973

Specially formulated with natural colloidal (finely ground) oatmeal, the new AVEENO® Baby range nourishes, soothes and protects your baby’s sensitive skin. The unscented range has been Paediatrician tested.

The benefits of oat

• Helps to restore and protect the natural moisture barrier of the skin
• Helps to comfort irritated skin
• Colloidal oatmeal granules act as micro-sponges absorbing dirt and dead skin cells
• Creates a protective film on the surface of skin
• Helps maintain normal skin pH

Aveeno released three new products from the baby range.

AVEENO® Baby Soothing Relief Baby Emollient Wash

This wash is brilliant for your little ones bath time.  We have been using it the last week and also added it to the bath water. Up until now we never used any wash to add to the water. I used to put the Aveen Dermexa wash on their skin and wash it off after a while. So as well as applying the Aveeno Baby emollient wash to their skin, you can also add it to their bath water. Of course it’s soap and tear free which means I am also using it to wash their hair. RRP £8.50

AVEENO® Baby Soothing Relief Baby Emollient Cream

This cream can be combined with the wash after your little ones bath.  It’s clinically proven to moisturise skin for 24 hours. This cream is part of our bedtime routine every evening.  I’d rather keep them creamed every evening and not having to deal with flare ups for days which can be tricky to get rid of quickly. Especially when your four year old hates being creamed. As a result his skin is flared up on his back at the moment. Hopefully we will be back on track with this soon. RRP £8.50

AVEENO® Baby Daily Care Barrier Cream

The barrier cream is specifically designed for delicate newborn skin.  It creates a breathable skin barrier on the nappy area, protecting it against external irritants. I’ll be honest when it comes to cream that is applied on the nappy area. Since my littlest, who now is 22 months old, had a very bad nappy rash when she was younger, I have never applied any nappy cream. I used to apply Sudocrem which basically made it worse. She does get a bit of redness every now and then when she is teething but I never apply anything and just carefully clean her bum. This cream is probably brilliant though as I never had a bad experience with any of the Aveeno range. RRP £6.99

dsc07991

Do your kids have dry skin/eczema? If so, how do you treat it?

Disclaimer: I was sent these products for the purpose of the review. As always this is my honest opinion.

Family Fever