Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, which for many of us means thinking about getting something special for our loved ones. Over the last few weeks, I have had some fun working alongside some fabulous companies to put together a rather special Valentine’s Day gift guide, which will hopefully give you some ideas and take away some of the stress in finding the perfect gift!

To be honest, I always get a little bit stumped when it comes to Valentine’s Day, I like to try and find something a little bit different, yet something personal and thoughtful too; and I think the following gift ideas certainly tick all three of those points!

Personalised Star Map – Under Lucky Stars

Under Lucky Stars is a company that creates personalised Star Map’s, which shows the alignment of the stars, where you are, at a moment in time special to you. All you have to do is visit their website and start creating and I challenge you to try and narrow your special moments down to just one! Or, you can do what I did, and get lost in stargazing for well over a hour!

When I designed a Star Map, I thought about all the special moments my fiancé and I have had together and I thought about our last weekend as a couple (before Pumpkin). We had planned a romantic weekend together and “surprise surprise” Pumpkin decided to make an early appearance and share the weekend with us! So, I chose our Star Map to reflect the moment our little star said hello! The result? See for yourself, it’s really beautiful and is a constant reminder of when our lives changed forever!

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Star Maps start from $55

A New Map of Love – Abi Oliver

To me, a book is a really personal present, as it shows the person who has gifted it has taken time to think about the recipient; their likes, dislikes, their humour and also taken the time to have a sneaky peek at their book shelf to get an idea of the kinds of books they like to read!

Since becoming a Mummy, I have not been able to read any where near as much as I would like and to be given a book for Valentine’s would be wonderful, although I would also be telling my fiancé to expect to see me with my nose stuck firmly in the book every evening until it’s finished too! Perhaps, not quite so romantic, but such a gift of a “little bit of me time” though!.

A New Map of Love is such heart warming read about a gentleman called George Baxter and the journey into his new life following the loss of his wife of twenty-six years. It’s a novel about second chances in love and do you know what?, that is all I am going to say about it as I don’t want to spoil the book for you! Yes, I know that’s rather mean of me, but, I loved it and savoured every reading moment and I want everyone else to have that experience too! Plus, there is the little issue that I have passed the book on to my mum, who no doubt will be reading this and will not have finished the book yet and will be cross at any “spoilers”.

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Couple’s Personalised T-Shirts – Genie Gadgets

Personalised couple’s T-shirts are a big thing and Genie Gadgets have some amazing ones to brighten up any couple’s wardrobe! Whether you and your partner are “Sweet Peas” or “Huggy Bears”, you are sure to find a T-shirt to personalised to suit and reflect your personalities! These are such a fun idea, the only problem you will have is choosing what ones to get, will you be matching or will you be independent personalities?

When I showed my fiancé, he wasn’t to sure whether I was joking or serious about them! I don’t think he could even disguise the look of pure terror on his face when the T-shirts arrived, perfectly cuddled up together in their packaging! Terror was replaced with relief when I assured him I wouldn’t make him wear it out, although I can guarantee the one day he does wear it to take the bins out, he will be caught by the neighbours and stuck chatting for ages! I shall enjoy that moment (and promise to update this post with photographic evidence)!

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Personalised T-Shirts £12.99 each

Cupcake Bath-Bombs 

I love bath bombs, especially if they come with the promise of a disturbance-free bath! Is it just me, or whenever I get in the bath or shower after my son has gone to bed, I can mysteriously hear him cry and when I go to check, he is actually snoring away! If I dare to have a bath whilst he is awake, I will hear a knock at the door, followed by “mamma mamma” – which gets increasingly louder until an ear piercing cry is about to be let loose in the hallway!  So, bathing, always comes with a big “do not disturb sign” and Daddy is on duty during this time!

These Cupcake Bath Bombs, are just so pretty and come packaged as a Little Box of Love! There are Six Bathbombs in total: Chic & Cheerful, Love Buds, Kiss Me Quick, Rosebud Buttercup, Feel The Love, Urban Rose.

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Cupcake Bath-Bombs £9.99 – as an added bonus, you can get 10% of all orders, use the discount code LUPSIE218 at the checkout!

Luxury Dog Collar ID Tags – Paws With Opulence

Dog’s are important members of the family and why should they be forgotten about on Valentine’s Day? This is where Paws With Opulence comes to the rescue with these incredibly beautiful broken heart dog collar ID tags!

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They are available in Sterling Silver, 9ct Gold and 9ct White Gold, and also available in 2 other different designs, with hand-engraving available too. All of Paws with Opulence’s products are all handmade using the finest quality materials, so you can be certain your dog is going to be well and truly spoilt!

Whilst your choosing your dog collar ID Tags, why not have a look at Paws with Opulence’s collars, leads and accessories and I dare you not to fall in love with their gorgeous range and spoil your dog a little bit more!

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Broken Heart Luxury Dog Collar ID Tags: Sterling Silver £89 9ct Gold £229
9ct White Gold £289

Wooden Toy Two Tier Cake Stand & Cakes

I have covered presents for pretty much everyone in this gift guide, except for the important little people in our lives. When I was a nanny in the USA, I was surprised at just how big Valentine’s was! It was also a day for friends and family members too! So, it would be rude not to include the little ones too!

Pumpkin enjoys making everyone imaginary cups of tea at the moment and would absolutely love these toy cakes and cake stand, to make it a proper tea party! Plus, its wooden, so it will withstand some of the rigorous testing that only toddler can give it!

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Two tier cake stand and cakes – £19.99 – to get 10% of all orders, use the discount code LUPSIE218 at the checkout.

I hope you like the gift guide, below are links to the retails main websites, where you’ll find a wide range of other gift ideas too!

Under Lucky Stars

Abi Oliver – A New Map of Love

Genie Gadgets

Paws with Opulence

What2buy4kids – Don’t forget if you use the discount code LUPSIE218 you will receive 10% of your order!

Disclaimer: Some items were gifted for the purpose of this gift guide, all opinions are my own.
Contains affiliate links.

Happy New Year!

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As many of you were getting ready to welcome the new year in, I was tucked up in bed fast asleep. As a parent to a very active 15 month old little boy, sleep is a luxury to me and my fiancé and therefore to us, it’s more appealing than staying up to welcome in the New Year. Call us old or boring, or even both, but that’s our life at the moment and we wouldn’t change it for the world.

2018 will be a year of big changes for me (more of this to come at a later date) and I am going to try to embrace this with a positive and open mind. Yes, there will be times when I will feel anxious and question what I am doing and whether it is right for our family, but ultimately we are doing this as a family and this is what I am keeping central in my thoughts during all moments of self-doubt and when my old friend anxiety creeps in.

New Year’s Resolutions

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, as I know I am crap at sticking to them and I can’t be done with putting any additional unnecessary pressures upon myself. Let’s face it, I know I need to loose weight, I know every gym in the country would eagerly sell me a contract that I would only use for a month and stupidly pay for the next year and feel guilty about it every time I drive past the gym on the way to the shops to get some more chocolate. Likewise, I know I need to cut down on coffee, chocolate and other delicious food groups (yes, when you are a parent, coffee becomes a food group), but the cravings will beat me down by the end of day 2 or 3. If I need to do these things, I will do them when I am ready to, not just because it’s the start of a new year.

Daily Positive Reflection

Instead, I try to make time at the end of each day, before I go to sleep to reflect upon and find three positive things from my day. These three things do not have to be big things, they can be the small things such my ones for yesterday 1) My favourite song coming on the radio 2) Seeing the absolute delight Pumpkin gives his Nain and Taid, and, 3) Listening to the wind and rain outside, whilst we are all warm and snug inside playing with Pumpkin’s favourite toys.

I openly admit, I don’t always remember to do this every day, sometimes I am just too tired and fall to sleep and other times if I find myself awake during the night worrying about things, I try to reflect then. As I find this helps ease the worrying and gently coaxes the sleep back.

What did 2017 teach me?

Whilst I am writing about reflecting upon the day, I am going to take this opportunity to reflect and be honest about what 2017 has taught me and try and take these lessons forward into 2018.

1. Dreams are there to be chased, sometimes all you need to do is take a leap of faith into the unknown and you may just land in a place where your dream becomes a reality! I have always wanted to live in the West Country and this year we took that leap into the unknown and now we love our new home in Somerset and couldn’t be happier

2. Sometimes our dream challenges are not all they are cracked up to be and no matter what positives we try to throw at them, the negatives just outnumber the positives and we just have to let that challenge go. 2017 saw me achieve something that I had wanted for a long time, only to discover it was not all it was cracked up to be. Despite trying my best, it was not going to change, so I held my head up high and walked away, as there are other dream challenges out there too!

3. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to baking, Christmas tree decorating and organising Birthday’s, moving and erm anything else really…hmmm that makes me a bit of a control freak too, doesn’t it? However, when I am doing this with Pumpkin, I need to let the perfectionist go and just get on and enjoy myself too, after all isn’t that what he is doing? I learnt to see things through the eyes of a toddler, if they oooh, ahhh, laugh and clap then I know I am doing things right!

4. Believe in yourself, if there is something you want to try and you have the opportunity do it! I spent nine months of 2017 deliberating whether or not to start The Lupie Mummy. I was always too shy to share my writing/thoughts with others, I was worried what people would think and self-doubt crept in and stopped me repeatedly. It was my fiancé that gave me the final push and I am so glad he did, it has been my escapism and more importantly it is slowly but surely helping me regain my identity again.

5. 2017 threw my little family a lot of obstacles and we jumped over every single one, at times it was a challenge but we never once doubted our strength as a family unit to be able to get through each challenge life decided to throw at us. I absolutely love and adore my little family and watching Pumpkin grow from a baby to a toddler has been amazing and so much fun, I really couldn’t wish for anything more. Even in the tough times, comfort and strength was be found close by and I don’t need to take on the world by myself, I have my family (both immediate and extended) around me and we do it together!

Looking Ahead

Let’s look ahead, I hope 2017 was fun and 2018 will be kind to you and your family. If you have made resolutions, do not put unnecessary pressure upon yourself to achieve them, make them fun, so they become an enjoyable part of your year not an energy drain.

2018 is going to be an exciting year for The Lupie Mummy and family, I hope you will join us over the next few months as our adventures will begin to unfold (don’t get too excited it doesn’t involve another baby, a cat or a puppy!).

So, on that note, Happy New Year!

The Lupie Mummy xx

A Toddler Friendly Christmas

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I can’t quite believe that Christmas is just under a week away, the tree is up, but the stockings are not hung up yet; as I don’t think they could withstand the rigourous testing of pumpkin on a relentless daily basis.

I love Christmas, I love decorating the tree, I have a wonderful box of gorgeous glass, porcelain and other precious handmade decorations that adorn our Christmas tree every year…well they did up until this year; the year of the toddler! This year its all about Pumpkin…well kind of! I have a confession to make, I went and bought some toddler friendly, shatterproof baubles to go on our tree; we decorated it and ended up removing at least the bottom 2 feet of the tree’s worth of decorations, as my mini tree terror had a wonderful time of pulling them off, throwing them across the room, and screaming at the top of his delighted lungs “BAAAAALLLLLLSSSS”. The Christmas tree decorating perfectionist in me died a little that day, I kid you not, that night, after pumpkin had gone to bed, I sat on the sofa, I looked at the tree and declared that I hated the tree and it was horrible (Yes, I had turned into the Mummy Sized Toddler). Please do take into consideration, that I was also suffering with the most terrible PMT on earth and you could have decorated that awful tree with bags of Peanut Butter M&Ms and it would still have been met the same answer.

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So, the next day, my long suffering fiancé took pumpkin and myself to our local (ish) garden centre, to get some more decorations to make it more how I wanted it. Yes, you read right – two important things here: how I wanted it and garden centre. So lets break it down, All thoughts of toddler friendly and it being all about Pumpkin, kind of went out of the window for a few minutes and also so did the budget I had set myself….the dream tree would have set me back £££ if I didnt give myself a good reality kick up the backside. Did you see what happened there….yes I got carried away into a little excited Christmas decoration delirium that for a brief second I forgot about the grubby sticky toddler fingers, that would wreck it in 5 minutes flat.

I ooo’ed and ahhh’ed at the gorgeous trees and I did keep my Mummy hat on and kept to the children themed tree (which incidentally was in my favourite Christmas colour theme) and went a little bauble crazy. Luckily, for my bank card, my previous colour theme was the same and so I knew I had some baubles that were shatterproof at home that would go with them, so I didn’t need to buy too many!

So, that evening when Pumpkin, the Christmas Tree Destroyer went to bed, I removed the silver baubles of gloom, and the inner perfectionist came out to play. Oh, the inner perfectionist had fun, the tree looked all Christmassy and admittedly it does look like the Red and White Christmas Decoration Monster has thrown up all over the tree, but hey it now looks the part and the Mummy Sized Toddler is happy!

When Pumpkin toddled in to the room the following morning, the shout of “ooooooh mummum ooooh” was so worth it” and then the fatal war cry of “BAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLSSSS” echoed through our home shortly afterwards. I spent the next few days telling him no, removing the balls from his chubby little vice like grip and putting them back on the tree, or putting all the stolen balls into a bowl and then putting them back on the tree at the end of the day. I have also and also tried ignoring him and watched as the Christmas Tree was dragged across the floor (thanks for that nugget of advice Dear Google our friendship is on the rocks). Now, I have relaxed/admitted defeat: it’s Christmas, why get stressed out about it, its the first Christmas that Pumpkin is aware that something big is happening, but yet he doesnt really know what. He is into everything, he wants to be part of everything and if that is decorating the tree with Megabloks and Little People so be it and do you know what….his way is better than mine (well, maybe!)

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Exploring our new home town

 

The Lupie Mummy blog has been quiet over the past few weeks, our little family has been sharing and battling colds and chest infections. Last week was particularly bad, with Pumpkin having a trip to the Dr and being kept at home rather than going to Nursery. After three days at home, both Pumpkin and myself were getting a severe case of cabin fever, so on day four, we were both raring to get out and go exploring our new home town!

Since moving to Somerset, we have been having fun exploring our new area, and our family are equally excited about our move and have already booked their holidays to come and stay next year! Whilst my sister was booking her holiday to visit us, staying at the rather gorgeous looking Sutton House, she got chatting to the owner, Ben; who told her about a bakery nearby that was not to be missed during their stay! Well, all I needed was the word “Bakery” and I needed to go and explore!

So, after a bit of research, the Barley Sugar Bake House was located and it’s open on Saturdays from 7am through to 1pm. As luck would have it, that was the day, Pumpkin and I was heading out for a walk; we wrapped up nice and warm, headed out into the chilly outside world and went exploring our new home town.

Tucked away on a little side street, is the bakery, and as you step in, you are greeted with a counter full of delicious treats and the smell of freshly baked bread is just perfect (and also makes you wish you had more cash in your purse!). As Pumpkin’s “Nan Nan” was coming to stay, it made my choices easier, I bought the hugest Donuts I had ever seen, a loaf of bread and a Lardy cake!

If the smells wafting from the bag of baked goodies was any indication to what they were going to taste like, we were all in for a treat later! Seriously, my stomach was rumbling by the time we had walked home and it took all my will power not to eat my way through the bag of donuts when I had a coffee, before Nan Nan arrived!

When Nan Nan arrived, Pumpkin was very excited and kept giving her big cuddles and kisses, whilst showing her every toy that he has, then all his books and all his doe-dees! Once, Nan Nan was settled, we brewed some coffee and had the donuts. I can honestly say, I have never had such a yummy donut, it was huge, light and fluffy, it was filled with a generous helping of jam and I will say it again…it was so yummy! I can’t believe I have to wait until next Saturday for another one, actually, perhaps that’s a good thing!

I think the Barley Sugar Bakehouse, will become a regular part of our weekends and next on the list to try is their Mince Pies, seeing that Christmas is just around the corner!  Thank you Ben for the recommendation!