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Breastmilk Jewellery?

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You can find breastfeeding jewellery all over the place… but I’d never seen jewellery made of breastmilk before this week! A number of sellers on Etsy have been producing designs from preserved breastmilk to commemorate your breastfeeding experience. You can even buy kits to make your own breast milk jewellery!

I wasn’t sure. “Preserved breastmilk” makes me think instantly of that sour milk smell that nursing bras get after a while no matter how carefully you wash them – not exactly the memory I would have wanted to cherish.

There are some really quite cute designs though.

©2002-2013 Hollyday Designs.MommyMilk® Creations Breast Milk Bead™ Pendants©2002-2013 Hollyday Designs.

Maybe I would have been tempted. What do you think?

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Gifts for Toddlers – Christmas Gift Guide

Mouse Skittles
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Stuck for preschool present ideas? Here are a few gifts that any one or two year old will love straightaway and will still be using years later:

Rocking horse – the bigger ones are very expensive but they are the kind of heirloom that will be passed down for generations. I love this one from NotOnTheHighStreet as it reminds me of a hospital rocking horse I played with a lot, but there are lots of antique rocking horses and more reasonably priced traditional rocking horses on Ebay. For a more contemporary option, this rocking motorbike is also a sturdy ride-on!

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traditional rocking horse
Hand Carved Rocking Horse, £380
Not On The High Street

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All Terrain Wooden Rocking And Ride On Bike
Wooden Rocking And Ride On Bike, £249
Not On The High Street

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Skittles – there are skittle sets for every pocket and they’ll all provide hours of fun. Great on hard floors as little ones love to hear them clatter to the ground.

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Chad Valley Skittles
Steal: Chad Valley Skittles, £4.99
Argos

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Mouse Skittles
High St: Mouse Skittles, £14.95
Not On The High Street

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Gruffalo Skittles Set
Splash Out: Gruffalo’s Child Skittles, £32.40
Amazon

Sand table – It may be winter now, but you don’t just have to buy indoor toys. You can buy basic plastic sand tables for £20-£30 but I think this Sand and Water Picnic table is much better value – use with the lid on as a garden bench!

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Plum Sand & Water Picnic Table[/column][column width=”50%” padding=”0%”]

Sand & Water picnic table

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Plum Sand & Water Picnic Table,
Was £79.99 Now £39.95 at Amazon

Trike with handle – Unlike the smaller, pushalong ride-ons, these can be pedalled by kids with longer legs, so are a great choice for taller or older toddlers. Word to the wise: You’ll want a parent handle at a sensible height with a comfortable grip – if possible look for one with a decent sized basket or trailer. They’re a great alternative to a buggy and even better if you can put your bag in the back!

My picks? The Little Tikes 3-in-1 Trike and Smart Trikes are expensive for a reason as they has everything you could wish for, but this Bentley Kids version looks equally good at half the price!

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Little Tikes 3-in-1 Trike[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Bentley Kids Trike with Handle[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”0%”]

Smart Trike Recliner[/column][end_columns]

Keyboard / piano – my daughter has been coveting this keyboard and stool for about a year now but we’ve promised ourselves to buy less space hungry presents this year. The ELC mini keyboards are half price at the moment, so great value! Try to find one with at least 8 keys (an octave) so that they can start to play tunes they recognise.

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Keyboard & Stool
Keyboard & Stool, £30
ELC

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carryalong keyboard pink
carryalong keyboard red
Carry Along Keyboards
Were £15 Now £7.50 at ELC

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Dolls pram / pushchair – Whether a basic buggy or a posh pram, this will get toddlers walking independently and is a lovely present for soon-to-be big brothers and sisters. I personally favour prams as it means I don’t always have to carry the shopping home… but fold down buggies are good for popping in the boot of the car, or hanging on the handles of the full-sized pushchair when little one gets tired.

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Folding Toy BuggyFolding buggy, £7
The Entertainer

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Silver Cross Junior Roamer Doll's Pram
Silver Cross Roamer Toy Pram, £34.99
Argos

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Silver Cross Surf Dolls Pram
Silver Cross Surf Doll’s Pram, £49.99
Amazon

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Duplo – Lego and Duplo are wonderful toys for dexterity and coordination and they really stretch the imagination. They’re also really soothing for adults to play with or “supervise”.

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Lego Duplo First Farm
Duplo First Farm, Was £19.99 Now £15
Amazon

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Duplo bricks set
Duplo Bricks, various prices
Amazon

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Kids Table & Chair Set – Endlessly useful, but try to get 2 chairs to save arguments with friends. Check out Poundstretcher for plastic sets in multiple colours.

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Beep Beep Collection Play Table and Chairs
Beep Beep Table & Chairs, £29.99
Dunelm Mill

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Kidcraft Activity Table with Lego BoardsKidcraft Activity Table with Lego boards & storage, £108.94
Amazon

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Safari Playroom FurnitureSafari Playroom Furniture, £175
Not On The High Street

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Roleplay Toys – a lot of the roleplay toys which little ones love to play with contain small parts which can be a choke hazard for under threes. These sets are designed to be safe for little ones, but won’t seem babyish as they grow up.

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Wooden Post Box Toy
Wooden post box, £15
ELC

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Just Like Home Storage Tea Pot Set
Tea set in giant tea pot, £14.99
Toys R Us

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Jigsaws – always a winner, but check with the parents what size / type of jigsaws their child is doing already and try to buy a step up. Dexterity varies massively at this age as they all learn things in different orders! It’s hard to beat ELC for lift out puzzles but look out for puzzles with noise or tactile puzzles. There are some gorgeous shaped puzzles around too.

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ELC Cottage Lift Out Puzzle
Cottage Lift Out Puzzle, £8
ELC

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Noisy Sound Puzzles
Sound Puzzle (various designs), £15.99
Not On The High Street

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Cat Number Jigsaw
Cat Number Jigsaw, £11.95
Not On The High Street

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And last but not least… Bags – Toddlers adore bags and can spend hours taking things in and out of them and carrying them around. They are the new, exciting, upgraded model of last year’s hit present, “the box”. We really liked the Little Life DaySacks. Available in Ladybirds, BumbleBees, Sharks, Dinosaurs and lots more, kids wear them happily, they have practical little rain hoods tucked away inside, and they have both a rein attachment and a grab handle which means they can keep both hands free and you can hold onto them tight in those moments when their independence starts to cause panic rather than pride.

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Little Life Ladybird Rucksack

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Little Life DaySack Rucksacks

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Lots more gift inspiration coming soon!

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Coolest kids costumes ever!

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Just been doing some Christmas gift research and found possibly the coolest kids dress-up costumes ever! If you’re bored of witches, wizards and skeletons, and want something with more year round appeal, these costumes are brilliant for toddlers and bigger kids alike.

Wearable bulldozer costume

Wearables Bulldozer Costume

Wearable airplane costume

Wearables Airplane Costume

Both are available from FindMeAGift, who ship worldwide. They will be in stock from 12th October, and can be pre-ordered now. They are also offering 20% Off Halloween Costumes at the moment – enter SPOOKY12 at checkout.

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Mother’s Day: Treasure the Memories

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I have always enjoyed celebrating Mother’s Day, usually picking a plant from the local garden centre for my compost crazy mum. In my close circle of friends though, the commercial exploitation of Mother’s Day means it gets a mixed press.

However you feel about the day itself, motherhood is special and deserves to be celebrated. I will always remember the excitement of feeling my daughter kick inside me as I gave my mum her card 2 years ago. Last year, my first “proper” Mothers Day with a young baby left me in floods of tears – I was so worried that I hadn’t got a card and present sorted for my own mum that it hadn’t occurred to me that I was finally a mother myself!
Gifts for mums-to-be & new mums:
Our most cherished items are rarely the most valuable. My parents keep plastic Ewoks and ugly old furniture pitted with mine and my brother’s teethmarks, and I treasure the cheap Avon ballerina necklace that my little brother gave me before he died more than any expensive jewels. If you are pregnant this Mothers Day or you have a young baby, why not celebrate motherhood with gifts that will hold memories for years to come.

Silver Pregnancy Bola pendant - Eliza
Bola pendant, Mama Jewels

Mama Jewels has a great selection of jewellery that is  both practical and beautiful. For mums-to-be, the pregnancy bola pendants are a lovely gift. Wear the bola pendant next to your bump and from around 20 weeks old your baby will be able to hear the bola’s gentle, reassuring chime. This memory stays with the baby, and once baby is born the bola’s chime can again be used to gently settle and soothe. 

For mums with young babies, the Mama Jewels new mum jewellery is ideal. When your wardrobe is limited and you don’t have time to pamper yourself, jewellery and accessories are an easy way to make yourself feel special, but most jewellery just won’t survive an inquisitive child. Beautiful enough to brighten up any day, Mama Jewels is the only nursing / teething necklace brand in the UK that test to toy safety standards on strength, design and toxicity. Despite their elegant appearance, they can be chewed, washed, sterilised and played with and, in years to come, those treasured baby teethmarks will be  far more easily stored than the ones on my parents sideboard!

Gifts from older children:

AM Jeweller

This year, my daughter will be old enough to make my day special herself. She has already started bringing home heart-melting little gifts of drawings and cardboard daffodils from nursery. For something a little longer lasting, why not print their artworks onto bags, mugs or clothing at Photobox, or even get them turned into beautiful silver jewellery.

Gifts for your mum: 
Now I’m a mother myself, I am even more appreciative of all the sacrifices my own mum makes without fanfare and often, to my shame, without thanks. Photo gifts are always welcome and I love the idea of a bound book of family photos. There are lots of companies that offer this service online – you can even upload your photo selection and format it  one-handed while breastfeeding! Photobox has “boasting books” starting at £5.99 and photo cards from £1.50.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday 3rd April and to celebrate, Mama Jewels is offering MilkChic customers 20% off – just enter the code BFM20 at checkout.

You can also get free delivery on orders over £10 at Photobox with the code MUMGIFTS, valid until 31st March 2011.

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