Monday, 20 February 2017

Looking ahead to Spring

Spring is (hopefully) just around the corner and I know I'm not alone when I say I can't wait. I'm getting impatient now with the cold days and grey skies and with the slightly lighter evenings starting to creep through, I really am hoping that the new season doesn't take too long to arrive.

With a need for a fresh new season, I've put together a few ideas and a bit of an update as to how I will be welcoming spring into my life and what we are looking forward to...



HOME Daffodils are the symbol of spring for me. They're just so bright and make me happy when I see them, plus they're so cheap, I've already started putting these in my shopping basket each week.



Now is a good time to prepare for a good spring clean. I tend to do a big clear / clean up twice a year - when the nights get darker and then when spring comes around - to get the house into order and create space. With a toddler who has a ridiculous amount of stuff, I'm always feeling the need to declutter so it's about time that we set aside time to tackle this so a new season is as good a reason as any. 

My top tip for spring cleaning is to take each area / section of the house in turn. You can take things out, sift through them to see if anything can be thrown away, recycled, donated or stored, hopefully freeing up some space and bringing a new sense of order.

Once you've done this, you can have a good clean. We need to tackle the lounge, where a big bulk of Ethan's toys live, the dining room, where paperwork goes to gather dust in our house, and the kitchen, where some of the cupboards are just filled with... I don't even know, they're just full. 



To give us a helping hand, Marigold kindly sent a pack of cleaning essentials to get our spring cleaning off to a good start. The home of the iconic yellow rubber gloves is celebrating its 70th birthday this year and I'll be keeping an eye out for their top cleaning tips from over the past seven decades. Really, I'd just prefer someone else to take care of it for me, but that being said, I do get a sense of satisfaction when I do roll up my sleeves and use a bit of elbow grease.



The rubber gloves will come in handy for sure and who knew that there was such a selection of different cleaning cloths and scourers to choose from?! Hubs started on our sink with one of these and it did the trick nicely, so I'll be using my new cleaning pack to crack on with our spring clean soon.



To make our home feel more spring like, I've been burning this WoodWick candle I was given as a present for Christmas. Ste isn't so keen on the scent so I only burn it for a short while, but it's zesty and upbeat. I remember that Sainsbury's had an incredible spring flowers scented candle last year, so I may need to pop out and pick one up again...

DAYS OUT I've really enjoyed being a Sea Life Centre ambassador this past year and will be heading to check out The Snail and The Whale event on during this half term. Ethan is a big Julia Donaldson book fan and it's the perfect excuse to go and see all the fish, sharks, otters and penguins again - and the giant turtle too!




We're also planning to go to Cbeebiesland at Alton Towers when the weather is a bit lighter and brighter (we've only been once before), and we're thinking for Ethan's birthday in May of going to Thomas Land as Ethan absolutely loved it when we went before Christmas and it does make for a great day out.

And on our days out, to save a few pennies, I'll be packing some lunches. I can't wait to go on picnics again too! I find we can quickly spend more than intended if we don't plan ahead, so having some snacks ready in the car at all times and packing a lunch to take out with us is really important. And with an always hungry / thirsty toddler in tow too, we always have to have something to hand for him!



Jucee has just introduced some new flavours to their 100% juice cartons and juice drinks range. Ethan, like most toddlers, loves drinks like these and whilst he doesn't have them every day, I think they're a great treat and option for when you're on the go too (particularly the juice drinks as these don't spill). 



The Jucee team kindly sent us a selection to try and as soon as Ethan saw these, he wanted to give them a go - and from the speed by which he drank the first one, I'd say it's a thumbs up from him!



FAMILY As mentioned, it's not really not that long until Ethan turns four so I'll be giving some thought to his birthday plans soon. I'm keen to make the most of our time together before he starts school in September, as I know we won't get this time back and we will all have a new schedule around school holidays to get used to.

We're still in the potty training stage, having started the journey over a year ago. Ethan is really trying and the past week alone, he's had four days where he has been using the potty / toilet all day with no accidents. But in-between, he's been having accidents and at nursery, has had to have a few costume changes throughout the day. I know it's a phase and some children take longer to get through it, but it is frustrating when there doesn't seem to be a reason for it. He doesn't mind the potty at all and we incentivise with stickers (which he loves) and small toys (which he loves even more) but some days, it doesn't make a lot of difference.


I was pretty relieved when I heard from Asda about how their Little Angels range would be offering super absorbent Day and Night Pants for older children. Ethan wears Little Angels pants in size 6 now but I was getting worried that he may grow out of these before being fully potty trained, and what we would do next. The team has kindly sent us a pack, in size M for ages four to seven, and we have these on standby. I hope that it doesn't take us too long, but as Asda says, "accidents happen, no matter how old your child is and even if your son or daughter is confident going to the toilet, it's not always easy to stay dry all the time."


ASDA Little Angels Day & Night Pants are available in larger Asda stores or online, priced at £3.87 in size M (4-7 years, or 17-30kgs/ 38-66lbs, x 10 pants) and L (8-12 years, or 24-50kgs/53-110lb, x 9 pants). I've always used Little Angels nappies as they perform well and others have actually irritated Ethan or have leaked. These new additions are a great idea if you ask me and they have quick-release seams & comfy flexible sides, making them easy to pull on and tear off, with age appropriate designs for girls and boys. Well done Asda!


BEAUTY With a fresh new season, I always want to freshen up my look too and I recently went along to The Body Shop to see what was new. I quickly fell in love with their new Almond and Honey collection - they have done both almond and honey products before, but they've now been blended together to make a divine smelling range that's super gentle on your skin. 



I also loved the sound of their new liquid peels, to slough away dead skin and reveal a fresh new complexion, and just had to snap up this peachy sweet blusher. Come spring, I love me a bit of peach!



STYLE I'm gradually trying to bring in spring with my style, using batwing / slouchy jumpers over floaty dresses to update my look for the season ahead - whilst still being weather appropriate! I'm loving my George at Asda ankle boots - I got a great pair of black suede style heeled Chelsea boots for £20 and some wedge tan boots for £25, and they are so comfortable and go great with skirts or dresses and opaque tights, or with skinny jeans.



What I am coveting, is the new candy coloured leather collection from Cath Kidston. Like, when am I not coveting something from CK, right?! I shared the above photo on my style Instagram feed a couple of weeks' ago and it seems that these bags are incredibly swoonworthy. Adding one of these to my wishlist... and don't even let me look at the new dresses or jackets they've just brought in...



***

Are you as excited for Spring as I am? What are you planning and how are you welcoming in the new season to your home and your style?

* Thank you to Marigold, Jucee and Asda Little Angels for the samples received for review, we enjoyed trying these out and all ideas and opinions remain my own.

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