DIY Birthday Chalkboard

Monday, 26 January 2015

If you saw my post a️bout Harry's first birthday party you would have seen the birthday "chalkboard" I made all by myself *smiles a big chuffed smile*! It was actually super easy to make but took some planning and careful calligraphy!
If you would like to make your own birthday chalkboard, rather than paying the £25+ that Etsy demands, then keep reading!

You will need:

*a black foam board (mine is an A1 from Hobbycraft)
*metallic pens (mine are Papermania Fluid Metallic Pens that are specifically for writing on dark backgrounds)
*a ruler
*a pencil
*a rubber
*some scrap paper for drafting

Firstly you want to jot down some ideas for your board, things like what your little one is loving right now, how many teeth they have, favourite book, what they weigh or measure, what they dislike, things that they can do etc etc etc..

Secondly you want to draft your design on a plain piece of paper. Use a pencil and rubber as you will need to play around a bit to see which bits you can fit where

Font styles from
I used a website called da font to copy various fonts onto my board although you can just make up your own or doodle it in your own handwriting!

Once you are happy with your layout transfer it carefully into your foam board, again with pencil so you can correct any mistakes - unless you are brave enough to go straight in with your pens!!!
Then go over your wording with your metallics adding little drawings, stars, hearts, crowns or whatever fits with your theme! Use a ruler to section off your writing but be careful making sure its straight!

 It really is as easy as that! I plan to do one every year until Harry is like 21.... Hmmm!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Will you be making a birthday chalkboard??!

What is a Cochlear Implant?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

If you've seen my latest vlog you will have seen that I did a short video about so BIG EXCITING news! Harry finally has a date for his cochlear implant surgery - Tuesday 3rd Feb 2015!  But what even is a cochlear implant...

What is a cochlear implant?!
A cochlear implant is a tiny and very complex electronic device, that can help to provide sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing (Harry is profoundly deaf which means he has no natural hearing) The implant consists of an internal part that is surgically placed under the skin and attaches to an external part via magnets.
The Cochlear Implant is made up of the following componants:
·         A microphone, which picks up sound from the environment.
·         A speech processor, which selects and arranges sounds picked up by the microphone.
·         A transmitter and receiver/stimulator, which receive signals from the speech processor and convert them into electric impulses.
·         An electrode array, which is a group of electrodes that collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different regions of the auditory nerve.
An implant does not restore normal hearing. Instead, it can give a deaf person a representation of sounds in the environment and help him or her to understand speech.
At present around 10,000 people in the UK are fitted with a cochlear implant and the number is increasing each year.  You see a lot of cochlear implants around where the external part sits behind the ear, much like a hearing aid, however for the first 5 years Harry won’t have the behind the ear part and instead that part will clip onto his clothing.  We mainly chose this option because we felt his ears and head were too small to have that sort of hardware and also because the brand we have gone for is waterproof!
Advanced Bionics Neptune  |  Source

How does a cochlear implant work?
A cochlear implant is VERY different from a hearing aid – which simply amplifies sound so they may be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants however bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound.
Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to learn. However, it allows many people to recognize warning signals, understand other sounds in the environment, and enjoy a conversation in person or by telephone

During the operation the surgeon makes an incision behind the ear being treated in order to gain access into the middle ear and cochlear. The operation lasts between 3 and 4 hours per ear - Harry will be having both done at the same time so a mega long operation
The operation is delicate and intricate rather than dangerous because no vital organs are disturbed. There are no serious attendant risks with the operation beyond those normally associated with major surgery

What does the future hold for someone with a cochlear implant?
With advancements in technology and continued follow-up studies with people who already have received implants, researchers are evaluating how cochlear implants might be used for other types of hearing loss.
Other studies are exploring ways to make a cochlear implant convey the sounds of speech more clearly. Researchers also are looking at the potential benefits of pairing a cochlear implant in one ear with either another cochlear implant or a hearing aid in the other ear

So there you go I hope that answers any questions you may have or improves your understanding of what Harry's going to have done! Here's my latest vlog if you fancy seeing a little snippet of Harry and to hear my thoughts and feelings on him undergoing this massive operation..

A Royal First Birthday

Friday, 2 January 2015

Invitations by Forever Your Prints | Etsy
I can't believe this past November my little baby turned into a toddler and celebrated his very first birthday! Where on earth does the time go?   If you have a stationary newborn hold on to them tightly guys!!!
For his borthday we threw him a Prince themed birthday party at The Tea Bar in our home town and it was PERFECT!

Firstly I had to get invitations printed and handed out so I went with a pre-made template from a company on Etsy called Forever Your Prints, who were amazing and tweaked it to perfection! I would highly recommend them for invitations

I decided to get a bit creative and made a few felt crowns and a first birthday "chalkboard" (a tutorial will be up soon for both of these if you want one?!)


Seeing as there would be a whole age range we decided to hire a small soft play area for them littluns to get stuck into and it was a huge hit! We hired ours from Little Softies who have suppliers in various areas of the UK

The cake was handmade by my beautiful friend Jennie (she also organised my fabulous baby shower!) it was huge and oh soooooo chocolatey!!  She used a crown shaped cake tin to bake it and i think its totally GBBO-worthy! I got totally emotional when we all sang AND signed Happy Birthday around it!!

We were so overwhelmed and delighted at how many people turned up to celebrate Harry turning one, it was hectic but in a good way!!

Thank you to everyone who came to Harry's party and to all of you who sent gifts and left him birthday wishes!! He had the most amazing day!
OH and thank you to Sarah for taking such gorgeous photos for us!!!

Baby and Toddler Christmas Gift Guide

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Unbelievably Harry just had his first birthday and Christmas is just around corner.. He's recently started to be a little more interested in toys but none of his are very stimulating anymore so I feel bright garish coloured toys are going to be dominating his wishlist this year!  
Heres some first birthday and Christmas ideas for your very own 1 year old..

1.  Sockette Hand Puppet from £12.95 on Amazon - These super brightly coloured hand puppets are absolutly perfect for babies and toddlers! Harry gets so excited by puppets and will imitate their mouths opening - so cute!

2.  My First Gadget Set £20 from ELC - If your little one is anything like mine he or she LOVES remotes, phones and keys.. basically anything important that we don't want them to touch and break!  This gadget set is the perfect thing to help distract them from the real thing - I think the remote looks pretty realistic, don't you!?

3.  Jellycat FuddleWuddle Polar Bear* £17 from Jellycat - Its no secret that I am a huge fan of Jellycat soft toys! The quality of them really makes them stand out for me from the average cuddly bear and the FuddleWuddle Polar Bear is no exception!  Harry was kindly gifted this one from JC themselves and he can often be found giving him a loving cuddle whilst watching his fave telly programmes!

4.  Dance and Shout Mickey £31.99 from Argos - This was a present we actually bought Harry for his first birthday! Yes its very bright and loud and annoying but the boy is head over heels for it!  With the push of a button Mickey bursts into song and dances about like a nut case, and who doesn't love Mickey Mouse?!

5.  Alphabet Fridge Magnets from £4.98 on Amazon - I find these come in really handy when i'm in the kitchen as a distraction for Harry away from the hot oven!  He spends ages taking them on and off the fridge and as he gets older they will help with teaching him his alphabet!  (They are also great for leaving funny messages for your other half on the fridge!) 

6.  Zara Baby Clothing - This one isn't based on one particular item but if you are looking for gorgeous quality and nice boys clothing then head to Zara baby!  Its not just stripes and checks like every other little boys section and is quite reasonably priced

7.  Baby Bjorn Cup £7.90 from PreciousLittleOne - This one is more of a practical present and another one that we have bought for Harry ourselves. The Baby Bjorn cup is the perfect starter cup for toddlers and helps to teach them to make the transition from beakers. Its really tiny but enough to hold a good drink for your little one - Harry adores sipping out of his!

What are you getting your toddler for their Birthday or Christmas??!

Harry is One!!

Friday, 28 November 2014

I never knew unconditional love until I met my son Harry. It's the kind of love that you would put your life on the line for without a second of hesitation. 
Today Harry turns one - probably the biggest milestone we've accomplished so far! It's got me reflecting on this past year which has been a crazy crazy ride of tears, laughter, exhaustion and adventures! I feel I owe you lot a little big thanks for your words, encouragement and most of all friendships along the way.. I couldn't have made it through this year without you!

Right, I'm off to continue spoiling my lad with cuddles, cake and toys galore! Happy 1st Birthday Harry, I wouldn't change you for the world 

Smiley Print Photo Strips

Monday, 24 November 2014

Smiley Print Photo Strips $10
I spent a large portion of my teenage years in those old school 90's photo booths pouting, peace signing and sticking my tongue out to create ridiculous strips of memories with my best friends! So when i received these gorgeous photo strips from Smiley Print* I was overjoyed that photobooth'esque is coming back!!

Smiley Print collated my fave snaps of Harry from my instagram collection (there's quite a few of course #harryspam) into these gorgeous 4x17cm columns which are perfect size for keeping in my purse or popping into little frames.  They could also be used as bookmarks or for scrapbooking!

They offer a whole range of printing options including whether you want your photos in matte or glossy (i adore the matte look), you can adjust and resize using their super simple website and the best bit is the price is ridiculously reasonable...  These photo strips are $10 for 12 strips!!

You can get your hands on these photo strips as well as loads of other photo printing goodies on the Smiley Print website, I've got my eye on their photo sticker books!!

Did you love a photobooth photo when you were younger??

*Thank you Smiley Print for sending us these beautiful prints!

The Babybeau Ellie*

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I wouldn't have used just one handbag in my pre-harry days so I why should I have just the 1 changing bag?! That's my motto anyway..
The most recent addition to my collection is this stunning berry beauty by Babybeau. The Ellie is everything I crave in a changing bag and more, she's spacious, stylish and crammed with all the added goodies you'd expect from such a high end bag

The Ellie is made of luxurious real cows leather, adorned with gold hardware and the berry shade I chose is perfect for my A/W wardrobe!
She can be worn 3 ways - hand held, over the shoulder or across the body using the handy adjustable strap. Until recently I never realised how handy a long adjustable strap was, when your bambino is more active you literally don't have enough hands and slinging this over your shoulder is a lifesaver in a hands-free-crisis!

The classic shopper tote design is a winner for me, it's roomy for both mum and baby and comes with a removable organiser which will be a necessity when I go back to work and hand Harry over to his nanny! This then leaves the bag all for me and my junk *hoorah!* However the bag isn't so big that its bulky and this stops me from filling it with uneccessary items (something i ALWAYS do)

Inside is a leatherette changing mat and a thermo bottle holder, how chic are the stripes!? Also included is a handy little pouch perfect for those loose little bits usually found at the pit of your bag or your car keys - no more awkward fumbles with child-on-hip at the front door! Oh and did I mention it's all water resistant, praise the Lord!

I really do think I'm onto a winner with my Babybeau changing bag, I feel me and Ellie are going to become BFFs in no time!!

If you too would like to match your changing bag to the season then you can get your hands on the Babybeau Ellie from John Lewis, Mamas and Papas or directly from Babybeau.. OH and its also available in black, navy and tan!
What changing bag do you use??

Harry's Autumn/Winter Wardrobe

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Its one of my favourite times of the year, and although I hate the cold I absolutely love dressing for it and dressing Harry is no exception!
I am so impressed with what's available this season for little boys, I feel like the highstreet shops have really started to step up their game and keep up with these quirky boutiques selling baby boy leggings galore!
Here are a few things Harry is I am lusting after picks and some things we have already bought our little one for the chillier days ahead of us..
Knitted Grey Leggings, £5.99 from H&M Kids - Firstly, these are girls leggings! I often find myself wandering through the lady baby section to find little gems like these that Harry can get away with wearing! These are totally unisex and look amazing on our little man, as well as being super warm!
Navy Turteneck, £3.99 from H&M Kids - There's something so French about these turtleneck bodies from H&M! I totally love them and have a couple for Harry's A/W wardrobe, they will look fab alone or with jumpers on top
Striped Waffle Knit Sweater, £8 from Tesco F&F - What an absolute bargain from Tesco! I love this stripey number and think it will look fab teamed with skinnies and a turtleneck!
Striped Basic Long Sleeved Tee, £3.99 from H&M Kids - You can't go wrong with Breton on yourselves or on your baby boy! Some people can't stand stripes as it seems everything for boys is adorned with them, but I cant get enough!!
Scarf, £7.99 from Zara Baby - I picked this up a couple of weeks ago and I'm desperate for the cold weather to kick in now so I can Instagram the hell out of Harry wearing it!! Totally cute, and they had all different colours!
Grey Zip Up Hoodie, £14.99 from Zara Baby - I needed a plain zip up to get Haribo through these nippier days before having to wear a full on coat and this one from Zara was perfect.  Its a lovely light grey with just a little mask applique on it, it goes with abslutly everything and has a hood for any sudden showers!
Grey Fur Lined Coat, £27.99 from Zara Baby - Mr H fell in love with this one and declared we had to have it for our winter toddler! It is admittedly gorgeous and lined with the softest fur I have ever felt! I have no doubt in my mind that H dog will be lovely and warm in this bad boy!
Chelsea Boots, £19.99 from Zara Baby - I feel like it would be really naughty to buy these and possibly a huge waste of money as they look totally unpracticle/uncomfortable for little toddling tootsies BUT they are bloody baby Chelsea boots - what could be cuter?????!
Striped Socks, £3.99 from H&M Kids - I've said it before and i'll say it again.. H&M do the best staying-on-socks hands down, these stripey ones will see us through the season
Grey Pom Pom Trousers, £15.99 from Zara Baby - Another purchase from the girls section but again these are completely unisex and your little man can totally get away with them! Harrys even worn his with the pom pom belt on and didn't look in the slightest bit feminine!
Bobblehat, £7.99 from Zara Baby - Its a bobble hat. For a baby. Cuteness overload
Jeans, £12 from Next - I deteste babies in jeans.  Before I found these from Next! They are so so soft and stretchy and aren't jean material at all! They look mega wicked on him and he can crawl about in them reallyyyyy easily so I am now a baby jean convert!
I would love to see what your little one will be wearing this A/W!

Lucie & The Bump. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.