Massive Pyjama Party! #GetYourStripes


Matalan are running another campaign this year to help raise funds for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – and we are so excited to be involved! A few weeks back there was a massive pyjama party for the children at Alder Hey and we were very kindly sent some lovely bits for us to join in, by hosting our own mini party at home. I couldn’t wait to spend some quality time with my little family while hosting our party.

Children's Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas is fast approaching, and if your anything like me I bet you’re not even ready for it! I still have a massive amount of wrapping to do, and there is still lots of things to get on my ‘to buy list’. So if you are looking for the perfect gift for your child then look no further – I have put together a little gift guide which I hope will give you some inspiration.

Emily loves to watch Little Baby Bum on YouTube. It is the #1 education channel on YouTube. They recently brought out the brands first ever musical plush range. The musical toys make the perfect gift for young fans of Little Baby Bum. They bring them unlimited enjoyment of their favourite nursery rhymes in a cute, cuddly toy! There are six various characters to choose from, Emily went for Cow and Tinkle the star. Each electronic plus plays four nursery rhymes. These impressive new toys are suitable for children aged 6 months to 4 years old.


A personalised hairbrush is a beautiful little gift for all the little and not so little people in your life. Emily is at that age now where she loves to brush her own hair, so this beautiful personalised hairbrush is right down her street. It is a keepsake that can be treasured for years with a name that will never rub off. You can simply pick which type of bristles you would like, type in the name you would like to personalise the brush with a choose from one of the beautiful designs. I went for the roses design and Emily adores it.


Jamie's Italian, Milton Keynes


We always try to eat together as a family, at the table. When I was growing up it wasn’t something we did as a family, I would sit at the table with my two brothers but my parents wouldn’t sit with us, as usually they ate at a different time. Sam works shifts, so every 3 weeks there is a week where he won’t be home in time to sit at the table with us, before Emily goes to bed. So, we really make the effort to make sure we sit together as a family the rest of the time. We were kindly given the opportunity to review the new A/W menu at Jamie’s Italian at Milton Keynes, it is a place we have often passed by and said ‘we should go there’, but never ventured in. So of course, I said yes, and I was excited to see what they had on offer. 

Advent Calendars


With only 3 weeks till the start of December I have started to think about advent calendars. I am usually the person who is unorganized and ends up picking whichever one is left in the shop days before December. Emily has a WOW toys advent calendar last year and really liked it, so I wanted to get her a good one. There are so many options this year that I thought I would share my favourite advent calendars with you.

Autumn Themed Playdough


Last year we made homemade autumn themed playdough, and I thought I would give it ago this year again. Emily loves playdough, she constantly asks to play with it and it is one activity I know she can never get bored of. To make the playdough autumn themed I add some spice to the recipe. I used cinnamon, and ginger. Emily and I also picked some leaves on our walk, to then include it in the activity. Emily loved to roll the playdough in balls and then push it down with a leaf. She also enjoyed smelling the playdough.

Lemon Cheesecake


We were recently given the opportunity to taste test some biscuits from the independent range, this is the brand owned by costcutter. While we often shop at costcutter I have never tried any of their biscuits, I always find myself reaching for the well-known brands. The range includes chocolate chip cookies, jaffa cakes, caramel wafers as well as some of the more staple biscuits such as rich teas and digestives. We decided to test out some digestives by making a cheese cake. We are big fans of cheese cake in our household so it was a great use of the biscuits, in our opinion.

Tips For Creating Videos

As you may be aware I have a YouTube channel, which I do try to post to as often as I can. I am slacking lately when it comes to uploading though. I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my content, and tips on promoting it. 

I was sent this infographic recently and I found it interesting. It was cleared by Toast TV, a leading company in TV advert production. The infographic is has their best pro-tips for creating videos for social media. Did you know that you can upload 45 minutes’ worth of video to Facebook? I didn’t, and it made me think about using Facebook more often to promote the videos I do create. I thought I would share my top tips, that I have learnt over the first year of creating YouTube videos – I am no expert though.

Picking & Carving Pumpkins


Halloween is well and truly over now, and we are well on our way into November – how did it go so quick? And oh, my god it is nearly Christmas, I’m so excited but unprepared. Anyway, I am going off topic, before we completely leave Halloween behind us I wanted to share some of the pictures I captured over the last few days with you. Emily has absolutely loved Halloween, mainly because she loves dressing up and her favourite colours – purple and orange – are everywhere. Also, because she got to pick her own pumpkins.

The Importance Of Road Safety


I was recently given the opportunity to test out a new road safety online game with Emily. The game is a quiz created by accidental advicehelpline, it is a quiz which Is made up of 8 questions. Road safety is so important, and something I often teach Emily when we are out and about. At two years, old she knows all about the green and red men on the traffic lights and gets very frustrated at strangers who cross without waiting for the green man. I think that it is so important to teach our children about road safety, how are they going to learn without our guidance?

Kazoops! Release An Album!


As a parent I am sure you have heard all about Kazoops! Well I have some exciting news, Children’s TV producer, Cheeky Little Media, is proud to announce the worldwide release of ‘Just Imagine – Volume 1’ on Friday 28th October. A total of 20 songs from the popular Kazoops series will be included in this first album, and digital service providers will include iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora and Youtube. Fans of the pre-school TV series will be able to either buy the album and individual songs or alternatively stream the music online.

Saving for Christmas


- collaborative post

Christmas is approaching fast, and I am happy to say I have brought nearly all my presents, there are just a few people who I need to finish, for example Emily’s stocking gifts and presents for grandparents. That aside I have done the bulk of it, and I’m pretty proud of myself. 

CBeebies Fun With Pudsey and Friends Review & Giveaway


Emily was recently sent a new DVD to review. The nations favourite bear Pudsey brought us a very special DVD compilation featuring 15 episodes from CBeebies’ best loved shows, providing over 3 hours of top entertainment in Pudsey and Friends, released by Abbey Home Media. This will raise valuable funds for this year’s BBC Children in Need appeal.

What Emily Wore


There are two things I really love, taking pictures, usually of Emily, and picking cute clothing for Emily to wear. I figured I should just start doing Emily’s outfit posts again – because I miss them. I constantly take pictures of Emily in cute little outfits, it seems a shame for them to just sit in a file on my laptop. 

Win A 3 Month Membership To Robinson's Pool & Fitness


On Saturday, we headed to Robinson’s pool and fitness for the official opening, while we didn’t get the chance to swim as Emily was feeling unwell, I must say I loved what I saw. The centre has had a complete overhaul. It now has a fitness suite with the latest equipment. The pool-side changing village is very nearly complete, the area offers a modern and spacious facilities that we love the look of. There is plenty of locker space, and a vanity bar complete with hairdryers. I thought the hairdryers were a nice touch as the last thing you want to do in the winter months is take your children outside with wet hair. So how do you fancy winning a three month membership?

Halloween Feast


When we were making our Halloween drinks, it sparked some ideas for a little Halloween feast. I thought I would make Halloween themed food, and we have enjoyed it. Emily really enjoyed helping me and her favourite thing to make was the big pumpkin cake. I’m sure that she ate more mixture than I managed to get into the pan! So let me show you what we have been making..

Shaken Udder Milkshake


We were recently sent some Shaken Udder milkshakes to try out. Emily loves milkshakes, so does her Daddy, I’m sure that is where she gets it from. I couldn’t wait to test out milkshakes, as much as I like them I have never found a brand I love, most milkshakes are usually too thick or leave a powdery taste in my mouth after. The new flavour also seemed appealing to me.

Pumpkin Buttons


Yesterday I had some time to kill, and thought that I would do a fun activity with Emily. As much as we love to create messy pictures, I had something else in mind. My grandma has this great collection of buttons and she can’t possibly ever use them all, so I thought why not turn it into a picture. We created a pumpkin button picture, and I absolutely love the way it turned out, so I thought I would share with you how we created it.

Halloween Drinks


With Halloween, fast approaching I thought I would put together some tasty Halloween themed drinks! I have made mocktails and fun themed drinks with Emily before and she has always enjoyed creating them with me. So, I thought why not make the most of Halloween and make some more! Since I made these drinks with a toddler I wanted to keep them as simple as possible.

Degustabox - October


This month we have had another Degustabox land on our doorstop, these little subscription food boxes are full with treats and surprises! I was excited to see what was inside our box this month, Degustabox offers new and interesting products to try as well as products that you may not have considered buying before. The contents always varies.

The Effect Contactless Payment Has On My Child


Did you know that you can pretty much pay for everything without cash now? Recently the new £5 notes came into circulation, and I found myself excited at the aspect of getting one when I withdrew money, but then it dawned on me. This chances of that happening were slim to none. You see I never pay with cash anymore. I shop online, or pay with my card. Or use apple pay. The list goes on.

Emily's Halloween Basket - 2016


Last year I put together a Halloween basket for Emily, she is much too young to go trick-or-treating, so it seemed easier to just give her a little Halloween themed basket full of goodies. I did one of these at Christmas and Easter and she loved them. I don’t know why I just really love to put them together and see her face when she opens them. I am usually a lot more prepared and would have had this basket put together at the beginning of the month, but at least it is done now.  I thought I would put together this little post to show you what I have brought for Emily this year. 

Emily's Bedroom & Bed Decisions


As you may know Emily has been in a toddler bed for quite a while now, we made the decision to move her across to a bed a little while ago as she kept climbing over her cot railings. It was far too dangerous for my liking – I’m sure my little girl wants to be a stunt person! It was a pretty easy transition if I am honest. We simply took Emily’s cot sides off and transformed her bed into a cot bed. While I was changing it, I thought to myself ‘I’m so glad I brought a cot bed – I’ve saved myself a good chunk of money here’.

Yankee’s Candle Harvest Time Collection


It’s finally autumn, one of the best times of the year in my opinion. The brown leaves are falling from the trees and are crisp when you walk. There is a chill in the air, and the dark nights are drawing in. It is the perfect time to get cosy under blankets, with hot chocolate and watch some good films. There is nothing better at this time of the year than candles, they add that warm and cosy moments. Yankee candle have recently released they’re festive time candles. These are inspired by all of the comforting treats that autumn has to offer, form delicious warming puddings to woody forest notes, this collection of candles is not to be missed.

Robinsons Pool & Fitness Grand Opening Event


I love nothing more than promoting businesses that are local to me, Robinsons Pool is a pool where I have lots of fond memories as a child, I went here for my swimming lessons and also for a school swimming trip once a week in lower school. It is also a pool that we regularly visit with Emily. I thought I would share some exciting news about their upcoming reopening!

7 Top Tips For Attending a Firework Display With a Young Child


It’s almost 5th November – bonfire night and that means It is time for fireworks displays and bonfires! It is a fun event that is marked in the diary of many families up and down the country. However, with children, it can often be a source of distress. The loud noises and flashing lights can be a challenge for some little children, so it is important to think ahead and avoid the unexpected.

6 Things I Wish I Knew In My First Year Of Parenting.


When I found out I was pregnant with Emily, I denied it for a while, 3 prior miscarriages and I didn’t want to get my hopes up to be destroyed again. It wasn’t until I was 20 weeks pregnant that I started to actually accept I was going to be a mama, something I wanted for so so long. Although I played it down, and acted like nothing was going on, I did a ridiculous amount of reading when I was pregnant, I read so many articles and parenting blogs on birth stories and motherhood. I even watched a few YouTube videos – I wouldn’t advise watching birth videos before going into labour, you will terrify yourself.

Halloween Gingerbread


Bright horizons nurseries can be found up and down the country; with our nearest nursery in oxford. They recently sent Emily a cool doodle apron and copy of bright horizons nurseries cook book. The cook book is designed to encourage parents to cook more with their children, and share some of the favourite meals from nursery and preschool with the whole family. The dishes are balanced meals packed full of adventurous flavours, they are also healthy but made in a way that the most small people are happy to try.

Baby Annabell Review


Emily was recently given the opportunity to review a BabyAnnabell doll, and I was so excited for her. She has got to that adorable stage where she wants to look after everything, and give them all her love and attention. As soon as Baby Annabell arrived, Emily couldn’t wait to play with her. She immediately gave her kisses and cuddles.

What's On Emily's Bookshelf: Halloween Edition


I have found myself purchasing a few new books for Emily’s book shelf recently, with the seasons changing I have found myself shuffling her books. Emily adores books, she would sit all day in her tepee and read if we gave her the opportunity to do so, and I love nothing more than reading, so I’m sure she has picked it up from me. I thought I would share with you some of our favourite Halloween and Autumn books, but also a few of the new ones we have picked up too. Be warned there is quite a few!

Pasta Bat Hunt


As you may know I love to create sensory play activities for Emily, especially when there is a theme that I can stick to. Last year I did frozen jelly in the shapes of skulls and bones. Emily loved the activity and I wanted to create something new, and Halloween-y. I came up with the idea of a pasta bat hunt, at first I was unsure as to how I was going to create the bats – I did think of ordering some rubber bats, but where is the fun in that. When I was buying the macaroni to hide the bats (that I hadn’t yet figured out how to make), I stumbled upon some bow pasta. I figured it looked like bats, and once it was dyed black it would be perfect.
This activity is super easy to recreate and Emily has had lots of fun playing with it. 

Coach Hire Services: 5 advantages that will change the way you sight-see


Edinburgh is one place that is really close to my heart, it is the place where my Grandad grew up, and I have a lot of good memories of touring the city with him during my childhood. It is also a place I really want to take Emily, I want her to get to know the place that holds a lot of memories for me, but also some of our family history. I have been looking at planning a trip to Edinburgh for our holiday next year as it is such a beautiful place, and there is so much to do. 

Kicking Anxieties Arse!


Last night was a big night for me, let me explain. Following my post last week about anxiety and my worries of passing it on to Emily, I decided that something needed to change. I text my best friend, because if I was going to do this, if I was going to leave Emily for a couple of hours, she was the person I wanted to be with. She has been my best friend since I was 4, and if anyone can keep me grounded and calm it’s her. When everything went wrong in my life, she was my rock. When I got into a depressed state, hit rock bottom and tried to take my own life, she was there. When I got out of a messy relationship – she was there, when I had Emily, she was supportive, spoilt my daughter and became her godmother. She really is the best friend anyone could ask for, and I am so grateful to have her.

Weird dreams and what they could mean #DreamsExplained


Dreams are strange things – they can be completely out of this world, or they can seem really personal with yourself, family, friend, or whatever is going on in your life taking centre stage. Dreams are almost like a extension of yourself – and apparently they can tell a lot about what may be important to you while your asleep.

Capturing Those Special Moments


I have a confession – I have an obsession with taking photographs. There I said it, don’t judge me. I have always been really into photography, it was a subject I wanted to take when I was in school, and it has just been something that always interested me. Since becoming a mama, I have become a bit more obsessive when it comes to taking pictures. I want to capture every moment I possibly can – they grow up so fast, and I want to be able to remember it, look back on it and relive the moment.

Num Nom Inspired Cupcakes #WackyBakers


Emily and I were recently challenged by Num Noms to come up with a Num Nom inspired recipe. Emily is a big fan of Num Noms, and I have previously featured them on our blog. I’m not sure what it is about these food scented toys that she loves, but if she is happy, so am I. To create your own flavour fusion, you simply mix a Num and a Nom to make a recipe.

Dressing Up For Halloween


Halloween is fast approaching, there is only 24 days to go. Excitement in our household is building for Halloween because Emily absolutely loves dressing up, any reason to dress up and she is so happy about it. I have been telling her that on Halloween she can wear her dress up outfit all day, and she is thrilled at the idea of it. While we don’t go trick or treating, Emily will be able to wear her outfit to Nanny’s house the day before Halloween and wear it wherever we go on Halloween.

What If I Pass My Anxiety Onto My Child.


I can’t remember when I started feeling depressed and anxious, I feel like I have struggled with it for as long as I have been breathing. Knowing how difficult anxiety and depression can be, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I worry about passing it along to Emily; When I think about her struggling the way I do, it makes me break out in a cold sweat and feel so guilty. I recently read an article somewhere, I can’t remember where it was but this statement stuck out to me the most...

Why You Should Go On A Babymoon



First there was the honeymoon, and now there is a babymoon. Why did someone not tell me about this sooner? Now that your two, is about to come a three it really is the perfect time to make the most of the time you have with each other before the baby comes. It was something I was told so frequently when I was pregnant but I just shrugged it off – ‘it’s just a baby! We will still have time as a couple’ I would say, and boy how wrong was I.

Things To Consider When Planning Your Bathroom


I recently wrote a blog post about sprucing up our bathroom, where I briefly mentioned that I was adding accessories into our bathroom. It now has become a frequent topic of conversation between my better half and I what our ideal bathroom would be like. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the space to have a nice big bath, under a window, with a walk in shower and his and hers sinks? Yes, it would, but in reality that’s never going to happen as we simply do not have the space.

WOW Toys London Range


Emily was recently given the opportunity to review the new London range by WOW toys, it is a brand that I adore, and Emily has many of their sets. So of course, I said yes. The London range is made up of three toys, London bus Leo, Taxi Ted and the palace guard's. We recently featured Taxi Ted in our toddler gift guide, but I wanted to go into more detail as Emily really adores the toys.

Bedtime Bing and Owly Nightlight Review


Emily has a new found obsession with Bing, I feel like she is a little late to the party on this one. I remember when Bing first started appearing on Cbeebies, and she was not interested in the slightest. Now she asks for him constantly and adores the fact he is a bunny – I’m not sure if this is because her favourite animal and toy is a bunny, but none the less she loves him. When I was asked to review the Fisher Price Bedtime Bing and Owly Nightlight, of course I said yes. It sounded like a product Emily would adore.

Priory Country Park


We decided to get out the house this weekend, sometimes you just get cabin fever and really need to get out. Saturday was a day like that for us, we decided to head to our local country park, Priory. We have been there several times as It is just on our doorstep. Priory country park is Tucked away on the banks of the River Great Ouse; Priory Country Park is made up of 250-acres.

Tips To Get Through A Bad Day


As a regular reader you will know I fight daily with depression and anxiety, I have never hidden from the topic, and have frequently shared my ups and downs with you - my readers. One thing I get asked on a regular basis is how do you cope on a bad day, what makes you get through it or even turn the day around. It actually got me thinking, what do I do to get through. So I thought I would share my top tips to get through a bad day.

Yumbox Review


A while back we were sent out the YumBox mini, and Emily absolutely love it. It came in really handy to pop in my changing bag for Emily’s snacks, I also loved the fact it was leak proof. The only thing that was bothering me was how small it was, the more I used it the more I wished it was bigger. I was recently given the opportunity to test out the original YumBox, and I couldn’t wait as I knew I would love it just as much as I loved the mini. I decided to go with a purple one, as that is Emily’s favourite colour. It is available in several colours though.

Autumn Bucket List

(sorry about the poor quality, it was really hard to get a good picture of the wreath because of the glitter reflection)

Autumn is my favourite time of the year, I feel more relaxed and I love the sound of crunchy leaves. Autumn also brings a whole list of things I want to do with Emily. Last year I put together an Autumn bucket list and found it so productive. We managed to do so many things as a family that I would have forgot to do if I didn't have my bucket list to refer to. So this year, I told myself I would definitely put together another bucket list, and blog or vlog about the things we tick off it.

Emily's Birthday Party


Emily has a lovely little birthday party the week before her birthday, nothing big or extravegant, just a few of her little friends, some cake and a lot of playing. She had the best time, and it was so lovely to see her have fun with her friends. It really is the small memories in life that we take for granted, I thought I would share a few photographs from her party, So one day she can look back on this. 

The Forest Of Marston Vale


I'm sure if you’re a regular reader you will know we love nothing more than getting out and exploring new places. One of our favourite places to visit is the forest of Marston vale, it isn’t far from us, and it’s a place we love to explore. It is so peaceful there, and Emily loves to be outdoors. Every time we have visited we have found something new that we didn’t know was there.

Autumn Kitchen Wishlist


Autumn is approaching fast, and is one of my absolute favourite times of the year. There is nothing better than snuggling under blankets, with thick knit socks and a hot chocolate when its cold outside. It is also a time of the year I spent most of my time in the kitchen. There is nothing better than good traditional winter warmer dinners, such as Shepard’s pie, casseroles and homemade pie dishes. Oh and homemade crumbles and apple pies. I do need a few new things for my kitchen this year though, and I would call them essentials, so I thought I would share my little wish list with you. You may also see a theme as the things I have picked are all copper. I adore this colour, and it will fit in well with my kitchen colour scheme.

#CaptureChristmasMagic


If you are a regular reader, you will know that I adore Christmas. It is my favourite time of the year, and I cannot wait for the festive season to start. I love the build up, and we always get up to lots of seasonal crafts. I'm so so excited to share a new little community with you today.

Summer Bucket List Recap


The end of summer is so close, with September 22nd marking the start of autumn. While I am glad to be saying hello to autumn and winter, with big snuggly coats, hats, and hot chocolate. Most importantly Halloween and Christmas, I am sad to see summer go. I put together a summer bucket list back in June of the things I wanted to do over summer, while I didn’t manage to tick them all of, we did get a fair few done and I wanted to share them with you! I had so much fun creating this bucket list, and it actually helped me stay more focused and rather than saying 'what shall we do this weekend?' and wasting a day, we actually picked something off the list, and went out to do it!
© Raising Emily

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