Great Christmas traditions to start with your kiddos.

Happy December lovely readers!

How quickly did we get to December this year?! I feel like I’ve only just put away last years decorations!

Anyway, over the last three years of having Amelia here for Christmas’ (this will be her 4th Christmas) we’ve picked up a few little traditions. Some have evolved from traditions from my own childhood, some have picked up from here and there.

Decorating the tree together.

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This is one of those traditions that carried on from my own childhood, I have fond memories of me and my brother ‘helping’ my mum decorate the tree and getting up the next morning to find our artfully arranged clusters of decorations much more evenly distributed/completely rearranged. Of course, now I have my own little pint size helper elf I understand completely why that happened haha. Millie also now has her own little Christmas tree that she can decorate and take apart as much as she pleases.

I love setting the Christmas tone with Christmassy smells in the form of candles, Christmas music playing in the background while hanging those decs.

Book advent

The book advent is one I really love, I got the idea from Pinterest in Amelia’s first year of life and we’ve done it every year since (apparently I didn’t snap last years though). The idea is you chose 24 books and wrap them individually, pop them under the tree for your kiddos to choose one each night to open. Every night they get to choose and unwrap a mystery story and you get to spend quality time snuggled up reading to them. They don’t have to be new books either, I pick most of them from her already large collection of books. But every year I get one or two new wintery/Christmas themed books for her so that theres some new material. Millie gets really excited when she sees the book shaped presents stashed under the tree.

Christmas Eve Boxes

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Every year on Christmas eve as kids we had new pjs to snuggle in to and I carried that on in to my adult life, and passed it on to Amelia too. Then last year, with Millie being older and having more excitement and understanding, we evolved it a little to Christmas eve boxes to really add to the excitement. We wrapped up a bunch of activities and treats for her to open and get in to the Christmas spirit. Last year’s box contained quite a bit but this year’s is more toned down as a lot of last year’s stuff was things to last, like a Christmas blanket and Santa cushion, Christmassy mugs and Christmas bedding, on top of that we also included Christmas activities for the day time, a Christmas movie, slippers, snacks, hot chocolate, and of course fresh new pjs. We loved it. It made the whole day even more special and dare I say it, magical.

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Tell me about them!

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Tips for surviving the first year of being a Momma.

First things first, I am by no means an expert, I’m not trying to preach to anyone or tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. Every baby, every mum is different, I’m just sharing what worked for me. Disclaimer over.

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Listen to advice, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow it.

There’s always going to be a queue of well meaning but often unsolicited advice out there, and everybody is going to have different opinions on what you should do, shouldn’t do, and how you should do it. They are just that, opinions. Ultimately, I am a firm believer that you know your own child better than anyone. End of.

Don’t be afraid to tell family how YOU want things done with your baby.

Here’s an example; if you want your baby to have a dummy but they ‘never did that for any of their kids’ well, good for them, but that’s not you. And you should tell them that, gently. At the end of the day your child isn’t theirs, and every child is different. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for others. And while we’re on the topic of one child does things one way or another, let’s talk about feeding. Obviously, at times a slightly controversial topic, even though I think it really, really shouldn’t be. I breastfed Millie, because that worked for us, I was always aware that that might not always be the case, things could change at any point. I hate the fact that mum’s are made to feel guilty for their choice of how they feed their child. The fact remains that not all mum’s are able to breastfeed, not all babies take to the boob and honestly, not all mums want to breastfeed, and that is completely their right and their choice. Why should we feel guilty for that? There’s enough pressure on new mums without making them feel bad about what works for them. There are multiple pros and cons for both breastfeeding and formula feeding. If you ask me, as long as baby is fed, loved, and happy, what difference does it make how they get their grub?

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Start a good bedtime routine early, even if it doesn’t seem to be working at first.

With Amelia, from really early on, even just a few months old, I started making a distinct difference between nap time and bed time. Nap time was kept in normal daytime conditions, curtains open/lights on, nobody was made to keep quiet or anything and while she was still small her naps were in the front room with us. Then at night time she’d be bathed, boobed and a story read, the lights would be dimmed or turned off and she’d be in her moses basket in the bedroom or later her cot. This routine really worked for us and she has been great at bedtimes ever since, even now at 3 and a half.

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Don’t beat yourself up.

I’ve touched on this slightly in my other points, but don’t beat yourself up for your choices. Your baby cries, doesn’t mean you’re a bad mum. You can’t breastfeed, not a bad mum. Haven’t totally worked out why your baby is crying, not a bad mum. Need 5 minutes piece, not a bad mum. We have this thing in our heads that constantly causes us to second guess ourselves and we are innately terrible for comparing ourselves to others.

Take time for yourself.

This is so, so important. I was so guilty in the beginning with Millie of not doing this. I was so terrified as a new, first time mum that when I put Millie down at night, that was the end of my day, I would stay in the room with her, reading by a little book light, my relationship did suffer because of this. There was time for me and Phil to be a couple, because I was so focused on being a mum. Thankfully our relationship is pretty strong and we’ve weathered a lot of storms and with time I realised it was ok to leave her alone at night, she was safe, she was content and after all I was only a room away. Once I realised that it was ok to take time for yourself, it was bliss to participate in things I used to do prior to Millie. Watching a movie with my man, reading with a hot cup of tea, taking a bath etc etc. Enjoy your time, you won’t get much!

Sleep when you can and as often as you can.

I was told this a lot! You are constantly be on the go, mentally and physically, babies are hard work! So make the most of catching naps with your little one, sleep as much as you can.

It’s good to have a great mom friend.

I was really lucky when I had Millie, I had a couple of friends who had kiddos a few months either side of me, both of whom had older kids too. It was great to have friends to both share my experiences with and ask advice from. And I’m still really close with these lovely ladies, and still rely on them deeply at times.

Enjoy every single second.

This is self explanatory, but babies aren’t babies for long, enjoy every single second of that time.

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Autumn walks through crispy leaves

Have I mentioned that autumn is my favourite season?!

We woke up quite early one Sunday morning to a lovely brisk but sunny start. So we had breakfast, wrapped up and headed down to our local park while it was still quiet. Of course as soon as we stepped outside it started to drizzle…

Amelia took great pleasure in throwing the leaves up in to the air and watching them trail back down to the ground. A lot of the leaves have started to dry out meaning walking through them gives you that gorgeous crunchy, crispy sound.

I’m really trying to get back in to the swing of things at the minute, blogging, photography, life in general. Its hard sometimes to keep creativity flowing when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

How do you deal with creative block? Can you share any tricks or tips?

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Kid friendly Halloween flicks

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays, only partially because my birthday is the day before but also because it’s just such a cool time of year.

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found on pexels.com

One of the best things about Halloween is the excuse to snuggle up and watch spooky movie (not that I need an excuse!). I used to love horror movies but these days I’m all about the kid friendly flicks. So here’s my compiled list of top weird, wonderful and spooky kid friendly Halloween movies.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

06-dyk-nightmareEverybody loves a little Jack and Sally, obviously the movie doubles up as both Halloween and Christmas compulsory viewing and just so happens to be a favourite of mine and Amelia’s, the kid has great taste. The movie has a fun plot and great singalong worthy songs peppered throughout. Class A viewing for all ages!

Hocus Pocus

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This has been a firm favourite of mine since before I can remember. I adore Bette Midler and this movie just makes me love her even more.

Paranorman

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Amelia’s favourite, she used to have me watch this on repeat, a child friendly zombie movie, winner!

Labyrinth

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Labyrinth has always and will always be a favourite, I absolutely worship David Bowie, the man is a God. And the artwork involved in the making of this movie blows me away. While studying art at college I focused one of my research pieces entirely on Brian Froud’s work, primarily his artwork from this movie.

Coraline

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Coraline is a film adaptation of a book by one of my most favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. Although I had read books by Gaiman before watching Coraline, I hadn’t actually read that specific book. But I still instantly fell in love with it, and despite the incredibly creepy other mother Amelia also is a huge fan!

Corpse Bride

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Corpse Bride is one of those that I actually really love but often forget about, I don’t know why that is. I love that the afterlife is brighter and more colourful than the living world.

Harry Potter

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Movies about witches and wizards and the magical, wonderful world they live in and the struggles they face. I’m a huge Potterhead, I live, love and breath Harry Potter and routinely reread the books almost every year. But the movies make for great viewing and my little lady is starting to become a fan of them too which warms my heart immensely!

What are your favourite Halloween movies? Can you recommend anymore? Do we share a love of the same films?

 

Autumn days are here

Autumn is my favourite season. It’s home to so many of my favourite things, so I thought why not share a few of those things as a soft way to ease myself back in to blogging?

Here are a few of my favourite autumnal things;

The colours

Warmer clothes

Crisp mornings

Layers

Bonfire toffee

My birthday

Snuggly evenings

Hot chocolate

Halloween

Comfort food

Crunchy leaves

Blankets, cuddling and books

Candles

Bonfires

Boots

What’s your favourite things about Autumn?

*Disclaimer: none of these photos are my own, all are free stock photos found on pexels.com*

Change is good. Change is healthy.

I decided to change the name of my blog. Little Things is the name of my photography business, and I decided that I didn’t want this blog to be another extension of that business. I wanted it to be fun, a little escape from everything else and a place to put my ramblings. It will still heavily feature my photography but not the business side of it, just the everyday bits and pieces. In light of that I chose the name an autumnal soul because I feel, like the season, my soul is ever changing.

I hope you’ll still join me!