A Yorkshire based parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

LITTLE FAWN BOX: THE SUBSCRIPTION BOX FOR MUM & BABY.

This post contains gifted products.

I’ve dabbled in a couple of beauty subscription boxes in my time but I’d never given it a second thought that there could be one out there for a new mum and her baby - That was until I was pointed in the direction of Little Fawn Box.


What is Little Fawn Box?
Little Fawn Box is a monthly subscription service which caters for pregnant ladies in their third trimester, right up until the baby’s born and reaches its first birthday. And rather excitingly the box contains goodies for the baby as well as the mama - Because mama’s need treats too you know!
Each box is tailored to you and your baby so when going through the ordering process you input details of how old your baby is as well as their gender, in order to receive something that’s going to be totally perfect.
Subscription boxes are £10 each + £2.99 shipping each month, but the treats you’ll receive within the box are worth three times as much which I think is fab!


What’s in my Little Fawn Box?

Human & Kind Body Wash Orange.
The first thing staring up at me was something for me - Woohoo! - I’ve not actually heard of Human & Kind before (maybe I’ve been living under a rock) so it’ll be nice to try something from the 'new to me' vegan & cruelty free brand. The scent is super strong, I don’t naturally gravitate towards orange scents when it comes to bath & shower products however this one smells beautiful - Good enough to eat!
Because it’s so citrusy I can definitely see this being more of a morning shower gel as even just a whiff of it makes me feel energised and rejuvenated. The fact it’s packed full of coconut oil & camomile makes me think this punchy smelling product is going to be a winner!

Mallow & Marsh Coconut Marshmallows.
Something else for me! Woohoo! Funnily enough it was only a couple of weekends ago that I’d had my first marshmallow, so opening these babies up definitely made me chuckle.I’m sure I’m going to love these, I like chocolate, I like coconut, I like marshmallow - Surely these are going to be a delicious addition to my tummy.
I'd like to think they're somewhat healthy as well because of the coconut content... That's what I'm telling myself anyway.


Little Fawn Box Baby Meal Planner.
This is going to be perfect for us! Amelia’s just turned 7 months so we’re well on our way with weaning, that being said however I still don’t feel like we’ve cracked the right balance with it all. I’m sure there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to weaning & every baby’s going to be different, but I think this little notebook is going to be really helpful in keeping a record of what she eats on a daily basis.
As gross as it sounds I’m judging how successful our weaning journey is, by what I find in her nappy, some days it’s like a newborn poop (if you know, you know) and others it’s an absolute effort for her to get out - I’ve not been able to master the proper human poop with her, and I'm hoping this little notepad will help. Gosh that’s gross isn’t it - I’m not even sorry!

Follow the rainbow print.
Well this is a little bit cute isn’t it! This is a lovely addition to the box & I've already thought of the perfect spot for it on Amelia's shelves. Rachel, the Little Fawn Box's founder has advised that there will be a similar print included in each box which instantly makes me want to collect them all... A bit like Pokemon, only cuter!


Oh-K 3 Step Bamboo Charcoal Sheet Mask.
I’m a sucker for a sheet mask & this one from Korean brand Oh-K looks lovely! The vast majority of sheet masks I use are to invigorate & rejuvenate the skin so it’ll be nice to give this one a go as I’d presume the charcoal will fully cleanse the skin, leaving me feeling squeaky clean!

Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment.
Before having my daughter I never fully appreciated just how much a baby’s bum needs changing - FYI it’s a lot, so this cream will 100% be put to good use! In fact it’s the perfect size to pop in the changing bag so I’ll definitely be putting it straight in there for safe keeping.


Belo & Me Reusable Food Pouches.
I am SO excited to have these in my posession. I saw Clare post recently on her Instagram about these, I’m not 100% sure if it was the same brand or not, but I loved the idea of these straight away.
Obviously these little guys are better for the planet than usual shop bought pouches, but what I was most excited about was getting my hands dirty (not literally) and making purees & smoothies of my own for Amelia.

What do I think of Little Fawn Box?
I love the idea behind Little Fawn Box - It's something I'd never have thought about, but now I have one & have had a peek at what's inside I think every mum or mummy to be should have one!
I think the subscription boxes would make particularly excellent presents for new parents as well as it's something a little bit different & something they probably won't receive in amongst the mass of newborn clothes usually given once baby arrives.
The box is jam packed full of goodies for both mum & baby which I'd say is split pretty evenly down the middle with enough things for me & enough things for her to keep us both content.


Have you heard of anything like Little Fawn Box before - Would you like to try it?

Claire.X

The Little Fawn Box was gifted to me for review purposes - All opinions are my own.

MAMA IN QUESTION: NATASHA QUINLAN.

Welcome to my new mini-series 'Mama in Question' a 10 question questionnaire filled out by mama's all across the country, hoping to serve motherhood realness and show all new mums out there that we're all in this together... When in reality we're all just winging it! Details of how you can get involved will be down below.

Mama: Natasha Quinlan

Baby: Harry (13 months)


Q1. What's one thing you said you wouldn't do as a parent that you definitely have done? 
I think the one thing I said we wouldn't do is have him in our bed with us. Not everyone agrees with it and I was the same but sometimes when hes been really ill  teething or just clingy it is so much easier for us all to come and have a cuddle with us and we can all get a good nights sleep. 

Q2. What's been the hardest thing about motherhood so far?
I think the lack of sleep. I can cope with the endless nappy changes, feeding, messy dinners etc but when I've not slept I really struggle and we have a baby that still has at least 1 night feed.

Q3. Have you settled into a routine with your little one? If so, how easy has it been?
To a point yes, it may not always be a traditional routine but it works for us. We are lucky that hes pretty flexible so he will sleep, eat and go anywhere. I think doing it from an early age helped with this so nothing fazes him. We all have off days but who doesn't right? 

Q4. What's surprised you most about motherhood?
I think...without sounding cocky..how easy we both took to it. When I say that I don't mean easy but it just became second nature straight away and we just got on with it, the day we came out of hospital we went straight out for a meal with family.

Q5. Do you think social media portrays motherhood correctly?
I think no matter how much people show the real motherhood I don't think the majority of it shows it in it's true light unless you have been through it before. I think any to-be-parents would get a shock when they have a baby if they believed social media.

Q6. How did you decide upon your baby's name?
Harry's name predates our relationship, my husband always wanted Harry as it's one of his middle names and his grandads name.

Q7. What's been your favourite memory so far on your parenting journey?
That's a tough one there are so many!! I think him giving me that proper cuddle for the first time, hes super cuddly and will always give the best hugs! 

Q8. How do you feel you've changed since becoming a parent?
I'd like to think I've not changed much, I've always had that want for a baby so I think my personality always matched being a mum and would always take on that role in any environment anyway! 

Q9. What's been your proudest motherhood moment?
Apart from bringing up my beautiful little boy every day I have to say the labour! It wasnt the easiest and the only part of the pregnancy/parenting aspect I was dreading as I'm not very good with pain or not being in control of what's happening and when. 

Q10. Looking to the future, what are you most excited for your little one to experience? 
I can't wait for him to finally walk and gain that little bit of independence that he so desperately craves, from there his world is his oyster! 


If you're wanting to get involved please feel free to DM me @__ClaireMac or send me an email to clairemacblog@gmail.com as I'd love for you to join the 'Mama's in Question' party bus.

You can answer whatever you feel comfortable answering, all I ask is that it's honest! I wan't to show others how flipping hard this parenting lark is!... Because I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for it! And we should! I'll of course be sharing the ish out of your social medias & blogs etc, so let's let loose, connect with one another and raise a glass to all those mamas just getting by!

Claire.X

MAMA IN QUESTION: EMMA BRUCE.

Welcome to my new mini-series 'Mama in Question' a 10 question questionnaire filled out by mama's all across the country, hoping to serve motherhood realness and show all new mums out there that we're all in this together... When in reality we're all just winging it! Details of how you can get involved will be down below.

Mama: Emma Bruce.
Baby: Charlotte Emily Bruce (6 months)



Q1. What's one thing you said you wouldn't do as a parent that you definitely have done?
Use a dummy! I was brought up in a household that didn't like or use dummies, so it stuck with me and when I thought of the children I may have in the future, I felt strongly against dummies.
However, becoming a parent opened my eyes to the fact that babies can't self-soothe for quite some time and sometimes need an aid to soothe themselves. So, we bought dummies as a last resort and started using them that very same day, because they worked instantly and not only gave Charlotte some relief, but us too!
In my six months of experience as a parent, it seems that 90% of people use dummies and that is perfectly acceptable! I would like to phase them out before Charlotte's first birthday and currently she's not particularly attached to them, using them mainly to aid falling asleep. 

Q2. What's been the hardest thing about motherhood so far?
For me, the hardest part of motherhood so far was not being able to breastfeed Charlotte. It was something I knew I wanted to do and I'd been led to believe that breast was best.
Sadly, Charlotte just couldn't or wouldn't breastfeed and we ended up back in hospital because of it. We tried everything and had the support of a breastfeeding expert, but it just wasn't meant to be, so we switched to bottle feeding with formula.
My views on breastfeeding have changed immensely and I now strongly believe that fed is best!

Q3. Have you settled into a routine with your little one? If so, how easy has it been?
Yes, we have a really good daily routine that we stick to pretty firmly. Charlotte wakes around 6:30am, has feeds at 7am, 11am, 3pm and 6:30pm, naps at 9am for 1-2 hours and 1pm for 1-2 hours and is asleep in her cot by 7pm. We are very lucky to have had such a settled baby overnight!
Once we introduced the naps, Charlotte was a much happier baby! And it meant that we could actually tick a few things off our to-do list whilst she napped.
Once Charlotte has dropped a bottle feed, her mealtimes will slowly change to coincide with our own mealtimes but we are confident that she will still be in bed by 7-7:15pm.

Q4. What's surprised you most about motherhood?
It has surprised me just how challenging being a parent is and also how one day can differ so much from another. For example, you could have an amazing day where everything just goes to plan and the next day you could be feeling totally useless and helpless.

Q5. Do you think social media portrays motherhood correctly?
I think 90% of people only show the good bits, which is totally understandable but it is refreshing and assuring when people share the bad bits and you feel like you can relate to them and perhaps approach them for advice.

Q6. How did you decide upon your baby's name?
My husband was actually the one who came up with the name, Charlotte Emily Bruce, and it is derived from mine; Charlotte is my middle name and one I've always loved! We feel that Charlotte's name is strong, traditional and very pretty.

Q7. What's been your favourite memory so far on your parenting journey?
I don't think you can beat hearing them giggle for the first time! But also, those first precious moments with them are just indescribable - Staring in awe at the little person you helped create!

Q8. How do you feel you've changed since becoming a parent?
I don't feel like I've changed much as a person but I'm definitely more confident as a Mama and more assertive!

Q9. What's been your proudest motherhood moment?
Each milestone achieved makes me so proud! But also successfully creating a routine which works for all of us has made me feel really good.

Q10. Looking to the future, what are you most excited for your little one to experience?
There are so many exciting things to come but in particular I can't wait to see Charlotte getting excited for Christmas, playing at the park, becoming best friends with Wilson (our dog) and just seeing her personality develop!

Emma's Instagram: @life_with_thebruces

If you're wanting to get involved please feel free to DM me @__ClaireMac or send me an email to clairemacblog@gmail.com as I'd love for you to join the 'Mama's in Question' party bus.

You can answer whatever you feel comfortable answering, all I ask is that it's honest! I wan't to show others how flipping hard this parenting lark is!... Because I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for it! And we should! I'll of course be sharing the ish out of your social medias & blogs etc, so let's let loose, connect with one another and raise a glass to all those mamas just getting by!

Claire.X


HOBBIES YOU CAN DO AS A NEW MUM.

This is a contributed post.

There is nothing more delightful than spending time with your newborn baby, you’re with them every moment- and of course, you wouldn't have it any other way especially in those first few months. It’s like being in your own little bubble of joy. However every now and then you need a small break from that bubble, something else to think about to keep you in the adult world. “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy” as the saying goes, so why not consider taking up some time on a new or existing hobby and taking an hour or two to do something creative? Of course, your hobbies as a new parent will need to be accessible, ideally from home and something you can do in your limited spare time. But there are lots of options, here are just a few of them. 


Baking.
Baking is a fun hobby and very satisfying when learning new recipes. Surprisingly doing something simple like baking a cake in your own home for fun can have positive effects on stress levels. You can fill the house with delicious smells and you can enjoy freshly baked cakes you can make yourself. It's up to you how ambitious you get too, from little fairy cakes and chocolate chip cookies to prize-winning gateau, all from your own kitchen. Investing in a good mixer will be beneficial as there is a lot of mixing in baking and you may really not want to do it all by hand. If you get serious with this hobby and to get the most out of it, you will need to get some essentials such as piping bags and decorations. You may find your creativity will be boosted as you experiment with different styles and patterns as you learn to create beautifully decorated products.


Gardening.
To sit in the garden on a sunny morning and listen to the birds chirping is one of life's more precious moments. If you are sitting in the garden and it's full of colour and aromas from the flowers and plants you have planted, makes these moments even more special. Taking up gardening is not only good exercise but being outside in the fresh air is good for your mood. This is a great hobby to take up as it is one that can benefit your mental and physical health and give you an energy boost. If you grow your own vegetables you soon discover how amazing homegrown veg tastes and you will probably want to grow it forevermore. Your knowledge base will increase as you slowly learn those complicated names of the flowers you love, and your patience will increase as you eagerly await for things to start growing. A lot of people would think of gardening as hard work and probably disregard it as a first choice hobby, but it is one of the most rewarding. It benefits your health and the end result is a beautiful garden full of colour for you to sit in and enjoy.


Craftwork.
There is so many choose from with crafting, from painting to basket weaving and everything in between. If you don't know where to start and are wondering what on earth could I make, there are always lots of inspiring ideas on sites such as Pinterest to get you enthusiastic. Anything goes with crafting, you can make mobiles and decorations for your baby’s room or Christmas and birthday cards. Try to make sure you have all the essentials such as paints, coloured pencils, card, fabric scraps and a good quality hot glue gun to stick everything together. Crafting is relaxing and good for concentration as you become focused on what you are doing. It's also fun to do in a group, so invite one or two friends around and enjoy an hour or two each week making things. Expressing yourself creatively may sharpen your brain and it will give you much satisfaction with the end product. So if you are thinking about crafting for a hobby, clear the kitchen table, and get your crafting things out. Who knows what you will create but you sure will have fun creating it.



Blogging.
Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts and ideas and tell the world about your hopes and passions. There are lots of benefits to blogging such as improving your writing skills, it can help organise your thoughts. When you are writing you are putting your thoughts on to the blog so it makes you pause every now and then to really think about what you want to say, so you may become a better thinker too. It's a place where you can converse and befriend people, and as a new mum, you can talk all about your experiences, and give advice to other people who are about to be new mums. It is very beneficial because you can write on your blogs like you are talking to an old friend, you can inspire people with the creative pieces that you write- and you can also talk about things that are bothering you too. Not only are you releasing it mentally, your gaining skills in writing and on the computer. A blog can be like your personal journal and because it's saved in the cloud it never gets lost. So with all the benefits of blogging, why not start one today? It’s free, simple to do and if you stick with it, you could even earn some money through advertising and sponsorships.


Having a hobby can be great for a new mum, while you're on maternity leave and dad has gone back to work, it's nice to do something for you in the times baby is napping. It gives you a break from your routine and you can build skills and enhance your creativity, and in a few years you can teach baby all about your new hobby and you can have fun and laughter as you do them together.

Claire.X

MY 6 MONTH OLD'S DAILY ROUTINE.

I’ve been in a somewhat reflective mood recently thinking about our parenting journey & how far we’ve come over the last six months, especially since those really quite difficult newborn days.


I wrote a blog post at the time about our daily routine with Amelia and looking back on it today is just mad! In some ways it feels like it’s been forever since the 4am get ups and the every three hour feeds, but in others it feels like it’s been no time at all. Parenthood really is a wild ride!

Amelia’s currently 6 months old & we definitely seem to have settled into a more steady routine now. I think since we’ve started weaning things have become quite clockwork, which in itself sounds really boring, but with regards to my sometimes angelic sometimes demonic child I think is a total blessing. 


6am - Our day usually starts around this time, give or take half an hour or so. Depending on the time or how tired I’m feeling depends on which one of us gets up. 95% of the time it’ll be me, I’ve always thought that seeing as though Dan goes to work all day & has to be around clients and people of importance that it’s better for him to get a good night’s sleep rather than myself. That being said he’s such a deep sleeper getting him to wake up and see to Amelia anyway can be such a battle. It’s much easier for me to get up and get on with the day than it is waking my husband from his slumber.

6:30am - We head downstairs, say hello to Willow and start making breakfast. Amelia’s currently taking 150ml of milk with either a small bowl of porridge or a fruit pot, depending on how we’re feeling. This morning it was a fruit pot as I had it left over in the fridge from yesterday however I prefer giving her porridge on a morning as she seems to enjoy it a bit more - She goes nuts for it in fact, but waste not want not.

8:30am - Time for her morning nap! She’s always been like clockwork when it comes to her first nap as it always takes her around two hours since waking up to drop off again. Amelia’s morning nap can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, I think it just depends on how tired she is from the night before although recently she’s not been napping for as long.

10am - She’s currently feeding four times a day so late morning we have brunch - Again she has 150ml of milk but this time I’ll give her something a bit meatier than breakfast. By meaty, I don’t mean actual meat, I mean something with a bit of texture, so she’ll have fruit wafers or fresh strawberries and raspberries. I like the 10am feed to be a bit more hands on for Amelia although she’s still quite confused by it all. She feeds herself really well for the first half and then seems to give up, she still has the food in her hands but it’s as if she’s forgotten about it & I have to remind her it’s there - crazy baby!

11am - This is usually the time we get up and go. I try and do something outside of the house with Amelia everyday whether it’s a simple task like popping to the shops or we have much more of an adventure like our trips to Temple Newsam or Kirkstall Abbey. 


12:30pm - Time for another snooze! What I wouldn’t give to be able to nap three times a day! Honestly, it’s just rude isn’t it! I’d love to try and cut it down to twice a day, but Amelia’s currently napping three times a day, although admittedly the second one is always a bit wishy washy. It’s usually a car nap if we’ve been out somewhere or a quick snooze in the pram. It’s not a long one but It’s usually enough time for me to have a coffee or a quick browse of social media.

2:00pm - Feeding time again, again I’d love to cut this down so she only eats when we eat at standard breakfast, dinner & tea meal times, so if you’ve got any tips on adjusting meal times throw them my way. She usually has a Cow & Gate pot at this point, something quick, easy & insanely nice smelling. Does anyone else love the smell of baby food but hate the taste of it? I remember having to do taste tests of baby food when doing my child development course in school and it was still rank then - Ew! I’ve been giving her a bit of water at this point too, although if I’m totally honest it’s not been going down the best. I’ve been giving her it in her bottles though so I’m not sure if when she’s drinking she’s expecting to taste delicious milk and is then let down by it being boring water? Who knows? I’m going to keep at it though.

6:00pm - Daddy comes home from work and we’ll all sit and have tea together. We’ve started giving Amelia a variation of whatever we’re having for tea that night and so far everything seems to have gone down really well. There hasn’t been anything food wise she’s turned her nose up at during our weaning journey. She’ll have her fourth bottle with tea, we did try with water again at this point, but milk seems to be going down much better - I am going to keep trying with water though.

7:00pm - Bath! And by gosh does she need it! Our weaning journey has been so messy so far and there’s been days when she could have easily had three or four baths. It’s not long after she’s finished tea that she’s in the bath. We’ve been using the little ones lavender bubble bath from Asda as I’ve heard so many people rate it for a good night’s sleep which to be honest I’m not 100% convinced by, but it smells delicious anyway & we enjoy using it.


8:00pm - Bedtime is usually around 8:00pm and 99% of the time goes without a hitch. She’s definitely been a better sleeper since introducing food and even more so since she’s started self soothing. I feel like self soothing is a bit of a hot topic right now & although I understand it isn’t for everybody, the first week was especially tough for me, looking back now it was the best thing we could have done.

So there we have it - That’s what we’re doing with our days at the moment. It’s crazy looking back on my previous post when she was only six weeks old and reminiscing on just how hard it was back then. Don’t get me wrong we still have dificut days, but nothing compared to what it used to be like!

I think the unconditional love you have for your baby really makes you forget just how dificult those newborn days can be.

Have you settled into a routine with your little one?

Claire.X