Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Sinterklaas has been at our house

Hoi,

I know it has been a long time, but we moved from our one bed flat to our 2 bed house that seriously needed (and in some rooms still) some TLC. Plus we all had to get used to the quietness and different environment. Deacon having his own room and sleeping in a cot bed in there. All exciting times and hardly time to blog!

But I am back with a vengeance. Today I wanted to touch on the subject Sinterklaas... Well that is a Dutch tradition and as I want Deacon to know both cultures, Sinterklaas is part of it. Sinterklaas or Saint Nicholas is a bishop who originates from Turkey, but every year he arrives per steamboot from Spain to Netherlands together with his Pieten. They will fill shoes almost every evening with sweeties or little presents and on the night of 5th December he will knock on the door and leaves a bag full of presents and yumminess with him.



Well, Deacon is now only 17 months, so he doesn't really understand the tradition. I have been putting Sinterklaas songs on YouTube and he absolutely loved it. With great thanks to my mum we actually had a nice stash of presents to open for all three of us.
It was lovely and nice and hoping the excitement will be back in Deacon's face as he will understand more.

Next year I am definitely going to see if I can go all out, maybe pay a visit to Netherlands when Sinterklaas arrives? I don't know what yet, but I will go all out and get this Dutch tradition going in our household. My friend who lives around the corner is also Dutch, so together we will come up with something.

Now that is over and done with, the Pepernoten are almost finished and our chocolate letters are almost melted it is time to head over to Christmas.

Have a lovely day all and I will see you next week with another awesome blog post.

Doei,
Charlene

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Maclaren Techno XT Review

Hoi,

We were looking for a stroller, as we are living in a one bed flat it had to be an umbrella fold so we can actually store the stroller in our house. Our travel system has been living in the back of the car. So you can imagine what a pain it was to get that continuously set up and put away again for every outing.... Tiring!

We were looking for new ones and offers, but still they were quite expensive and we didn't want to fork out a huge amount because it could very well be that Munchkin would be walking in about 6 -8 months time. Plus I hardly buy things for full price as you have several outlets these days to get things second hand.

Cue us on visiting Leigh, just random and there was a charity shop which was selling a Maclaren stroller. It had been stored outside for a while and was a bit rusty but OH looked it over and we bought it for £7 also thinking, it is under £10 plus if it does break it doesn't really matter.
Once home we took all fabric off and washed and we cleaned the whole frame. On Ebay we purchased a new raincover and an orange footmuff and et voila the new pram was born!




Now we are many weeks further and I have to say I am still very impressed with this stroller. It is very easy foldable, even with one hand and Munchkin on my hip. It feels very light and when pushing it doesn't feel like you are pushing around a tonne of plastic like the previous travel system... Smooth and Munchkin can sit in it perfectly. The height of the handle is perfect for me and the fact that you can still change the height of it is perfect.

Of course there are a few minors, combined the fact that it is a second-hand.
First of all the basket is very small and almost inaccessible. Very annoying as I used to use this quite a lot. I would store some shopping there, a box of nappies or toilet paper. Well you get my drift. Now it just about stores the raincover and an empty shopping bag.
The seat should have 5 or 7 different stands to change to for Munchkin, but I think only 3 work. Munchkin hates sleeping flat in it.
When you fold the stroller, you have a clip of some sort which goes around a metal hook, this clip very easily bends within the stroller and if you are not careful you bend it more or break it.
One of the frontwheels is a bit stuck, but not sure if that is from previous storage or a Maclaren issue.

All in all we are very happy with our stroller and can highly recommend the Maclaren Techno XT stroller. Even if we wouldn't be able to get a discount one, I would be tempted to buy a Maclaren for full price - Not without looking for a discount though :)

Do you have a favourite stroller or do you still use your Travel system? Let me know in the comments below.

Doei,
Charlene

Friday, 7 July 2017

It has been a while - Hello again

Hallo,

I am back! I know it has been a few months, but life got in the way and then my laptop broke and froze and I hadn't been able to get myself a new one until recently.

A lot of things have happened in the mean time - my little boy will be 1 very very soon! Yikes!! Who knew a year could fly by this quickly?? I mean, really?!?
I feel like I have grown massive and learned tons in the past year. From not being able to give a hoot anymore about what others think in how we are raising him, to being much more relaxed as a parent myself.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Bilingual ^_^

When I found out I was pregnant I was determined to raise my baby bilingual - which means I will only speak Dutch to him so he will learn that language. Easy peasy I thought… How wrong was I..?!?


Well it all starts with the fact that I am already in the UK since 2008, so a long time with not speaking Dutch 24/7… Only the weekly Skype video’s or the occasional chat or email. You don’t know how much of the usual and normal words you actually forget. Take spoon for example… It took me hours to find out (Yes… I could have been smarter to use a translator programme haha) and only found out by showing the actual object to much amusement to my dad.


The troubles with my language first arrived whilst in labour - when you are in that amount of pain your brain automatically refers to your own language, to much amusement of my Other Half. He answered questions for me asked by doctors and they were not impressed with him answering. (I can’t remember much of this bit…) but apparently I heard and understood clearly what they were asking and I got frustrated and annoyed why they couldn’t understand my answers… well if you start asking those questions during a contraction I will answer in Dutch.. John, my OH, knew what was asked and knew what the answer was. So when the doctor finally asked me quite rudely if I understood her, I apparently said: “Yes I bloody do, why do you not understand my answers back..!!” She then finally understood that I was answering the questions. Plus the midwives and my OH now know a few explicits in Dutch haha!


The first couple of months I was struggling, luckily Deacon was still a newborn so it didn’t really matter lots, but I wanted to get in the hang of things. But on top of everything else, besides being a new mom, no sleep, a newborn and figuring him and us out. Plus him ending up in Hospital I added the other stress on top of only speaking Dutch. My OH then told me to focus on a few things at the time and I would slowly slip into a routine with him. Thank god for him being so sensible, I had enough worries to worry about!


Now, Deacon is 6 months, and it goes perfect! Well, it goes ok.. When it is just me and him I only speak Dutch, to the point when someone phones me, my first few words are usually Dutch. I only have troubles when I am surrounded by others, not so much with my OH. But out in public - I already have had the occasional comment and look when I am not speaking English and that makes me conscious especially with the looming Brexit coming up.


But I will persevere! I have a lovely Dutch mama friend who lives around the corner and her baby is 3 weeks younger than Deacon. We help each other out with talking, learning, teaching and just playing in both languages. There are tons of books available on Amazon which are bilingual with sometimes hilarious translations.

I guess - in the end it doesn’t matter. I don’t want Deacon to forget his other roots but with the help of my lovely family and friends that shouldn’t be a problem.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Week 5 - Our weekly adventures

Hoi,

I thought I do something else, something new. Instead of vlogging our week I will do a summary on paper instead. The vlogging will be coming, but not at the moment.
So let's get started ^_^

Monday 30 January
We haven't done much - Munchkin was just happily playing all day with me. His papa had an early shift at work and we picked him up from Starbucks when he was finished. We walked to Middlebrook shopping centre and had a little look at the poundshops. I want to make some sensory bottles so having a look for bits, such as Loombands.

Tuesday 31 January
Papa started late, so we had a nice morning together. We have no baby groups today, although there is a playgroup but it is a bit driving, and I wasn't feeling well as Munchkin decided not to sleep well. So walking with papa to work, get some food from Asda and go home. At home I pureed some cauliflower and broccoli which is now in the freezer.

Wednesday 1 February
wow - It is February already..!! We had a relatively good night with Munchkin. He slept, or let me sleep till 0815 with 2 wake ups for milk. Awesome!
In the morning Papa, Munchkin and I went to 1 charity shop and Papa carried Munchkin in the Lillebaby. Munchkin still needs to get used to it, but does like it and falls asleep in it! After the charity shop run we went back home, whilst papa got dressed to get to work, Munchkin and I went to Baby Sensory in Lostock. He loves it there, whenever the song plays he smiles and the little activities and playtime he loves too. Plus a bonus for me as Munchkin normally falls asleep really well after as was today... Yippie! He slept from 1520 - 1730.. Whoops... But is now in bed asleep since 8pm.
I had another evening of entering competitions, reading up on the Dutch news and sorting out baby clothes for Ebay sellings.

Thursday 2 February
It was an ok night... It could have been better, more sleep for mama! haha but it is ok. We didn;t go to playgroup at the church this morning as Munchkin decided to have his morning nap from 10am till 11am haha! Gave me time to film a video about makeup. We went to weigh in at the Health Centre, where he is perfect weigh of 18.1lb :) a healthy baby boy. Then we went through some charity shops and picked papa up from work. Relatively easy and quiet night tonight.

Friday 3 February
Well did I jinxed it or what?!? The night was horrendous...! Lil man decided that 4am was a perfect time for waking up and playing... He fell asleep again at 6am...
But we had a good day, Papa was off and we went into Bolton Town Centre. Not a great deal, but walked around some charity shops, we had coffee at Starbucks and lunch at cafe Odessa. Lovely! Now back home and papa is now picking up his girls who are staying for the weekend. By the time papa got back with the girls Munchkin was fast asleep.




Saturday 4 February
Today was a lovely day - we drove to Manchester to visit the Museum of Science & Industry. The girls loved it and Munchkin also had a long but lovely day. We also went to the town centre and walked around Arndale and some charity shops. We got home late afternoon and spend rest of evening watching silly Youtube videos and I fell asleep just after 10.

Sunday 5 February
A nice relaxing day - Munchkin did had a weird night... But woke up all happy! Papa unfortunately had to work late afternoon. Once we got home we chilled and watched some Netflix. After they left, Munchkin was really upset. Real tears and sobbing his heart out, broke mine..!! He has finally fallen asleep and is in his cot. Now coffee for me, dishes and hanging up washing. With some netflix or radio on the background.




Doei,
Charlene

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Review Joie Mimzy Eco Highchair

Hoi,

When you think you finally got everything major and big purchases for you little one, the weaning period starts... and then you realise ... PING... a High Chair... Yikes!

I thought I would write a review about our Joie Highchair - when we were in need of one, we got so overwhelmed with all the choices out there that we went purely on reviews within our budget. And it worked!
 
There were a few things we had in mind that we wanted from the chair:
- Seat should be adjustable, not height but if he does fall asleep in the chair we could put the chair backwards.
- Foldable - as we have a tiny flat, we are always in need of space savers. So a chair that was foldable and be put away is a must.
- Sturdy - we looked at a couple of chairs and we just found that they were feeling flimsy...
- Easy to clean - well this kinda says it all!
- 5 point harnass - Makes it feel more secure

And there were a few we looked at including the cheap Ikea one - which we felt was very flimsy and if Munchkin would be throwing his legs it would feel that he would throw the chair over.
That is how we came across the Joie Mimzy Eco Highchair - we did shop around but ended up buying from Argos as sometimes convenience is also a factor for us.

We currently love the high chair and Munchkin gets really excited when he sees I am putting up the chair as it means he can bang his toys loudly plus there is normally food involved haha!




Pros: 
- Foldable!!! And tiny too - the tray fits between the legs of the chair on top of the storage net 
- Storage net - a bonus, that is where we store wipes and all different kinds of bibs. Easy peasy to grab and clean.
- Seat - the seat is recline-able and the seat cover can be washed and easy to wipe clean with a cloth.
- Tray - Easy to clean tray with a cup holder. Perfect to store that dummy or a beaker.
- Sturdy - the chair feels really sturdy and not flimsy. He had a few boisterous moments in there and I was happy to watch him and not be able to kick over the chair.

Cons:
- Straps - the straps around his waist are perfect, but he is just heightwise a tad small so the straps around his arms/shoulders are a little loose and I have now renamed Munchkin into Houdini as he always is able to undo the strap from his left shoulder. Plus the straps get quite dirty and I have to make sure I clean/scrub them every day.

So overall it is still a thumbs up for me - taking into consideration the price versus quality. I am pretty sure there are tons more and maybe even better chairs out there. But we are happy with this one and we couldn't have picked a better chair and brand.

Doei,
Charlene


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Review: Garnier Moisture Bomb 3-in-1

Hoi,

Today I thought I give a nice little review about the Garnier Moisture Bomb 3-in-1.

I recently changed my morning routine with my face, because it is winter my face more often feels dry and dehydrated. Drinking more water is now also what I am trying to do - this always seem simpler and easier to do when it is not cold and dreary or snowy outside. I know I should drink more - but to help a little bit more I have been looking for a nice hydrating  moisturiser.

In Boots I saw the Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb 3-in-1 Super-Hydrating Antioxidant Moisturiser on offer and the words Super-Hydrating and Moisture Bomb were the keywords in me purchasing it.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb 3-in-1

I have been using this now for a week every morning and I love it! It goes on smoothly and it smells amazing!! I am such a sucker for lovely smelling products but this one is amazing. You don't need loads and once you put it on your face you can instantly feel a difference. After a week I feel my skin is less dry, way softer and I look hydrated and less tired... Maybe the latter is more a wish, but I do feel like I look more awake. Always a bonus when you have children! It also has a SPF 10 - I wish this was a bit more but it is better than nothing I think.

I use this product in combination with the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water - I swear by this! It feels good on my dry skin and no perfume which is a bonus. This combination feels that my skin is much more cleaner and more hydrated. This Micellar Water I have been using for a while - every evening and morning before I either put day or night cream on.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

Conclusion

I can highly recommend this product when you have a dry skin, My skin is extremely dry in winter also due to me not hydrating enough by drinking water. I am not sure I would use this in the summer as my skin is usually less dry. But for the winter, what I have tested, it works marvellous. I can also highly recommend that you combine this with cleansing your face with the Micellar Cleansing Water - you will feel a difference within a week.

This is not a sponsored post - the product and my thoughts are my own.


Doei,
Charlene


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Clueless about Makeup!!

Hoi,

Well with a mama lifestyle blog comes the topic of Make up. I never really had makeup, the odd mascara and lippy, mostly lipgloss, here and there.
Now that my baggy eyes, sleepy eyes and red spots etc are more pronounced due to me not sleeping very well (I do miss sometimes my 8 or 12 hours sleep...) I want to do something about it. Also to make me feel abit more confident. I just don't know where to start!

I have started to watch tutorials on Youtube, I roughly know that I should start with a foundation, concealer, Blush, Powder, Mascara, Brows, Bronzer, Eyeshadow and Lips. Maybe a highlighter and maybe even contouring. I understand all the steps... I just don't know what products to buy..! How do I get to the right foundation, concealer and will it stop showing my freckles? I do like them and don't really want to hide/conceal them... Also how on earth do you put makeup on, when you are basically blind...! Even a magnifying mirror isn't of much help. I guess the latter is just a case of practice, practice and practice.

I am also on a budget, which means I have to try good products at a fraction at a price, maybe some online webshops? But which ones are they? What type of brushes or beauty blenders do I need to use for what? Aaarrrgghhhh.... I am 33, I should know these things right?!?

And then when I want to show off my lippy, how on earth do you do a nice selfie?? I look like weird and strange. Again you can get help with lights and tripods etc, but once again that costs money - So tips on this as well please!

I think what I am trying to achieve from this post is HELP! How do I choose the right foundation, makeup, what is cheaper but good makeup? Where do I buy it from, in an actual store or online? And which ones, stores or websites, would be the best?

And what about brushes and beauty blenders? Will it make my lovely freckles disappear? I just want to look or appear fresh, as if  I have slept 8-12 hours instead of 2-4 hours haha!

Are you able to help me out?

Doei,
Charlene

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 Hoi, Yes I am a few days late with this - but still I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

This will be a very positive year.. why?? Because I want it to be!

I will be paying more attention to this blog and to my Book Blog - Miss Book Eater. Posting more thought ramblings at least once a week on a Sunday evening, more reviews on products I have used for either Munchkin or for myself.
Loads of new stuff to look forward to and more pictures of my cutie pie!

I will also start to struggle with the bilingual side now, because he will be 6 months this week and it is time for me to solely talk Dutch to him, that sounds easier than that it is. I can tell you that... Luckily I have a good friend, who is also Dutch, living around the corner and together we will get there...

Have you done the yearly New Year Resolutions? I have and they are as follows:
Be a better mama to my Munchkin
Make my Munchkin smile and giggle every day
Make my handsome feel appreciated for what he does
Maybe, maybe I will be able to eat healthier and shift those few extra baby rolls? But as you can see that is last on my list.

Just a little rambling post now from me - but still a very Happy New Year. On to a year full of positives and may all your New Years Resolutions come true.

Doei,
Charlene