Watch me Grow! – Month Three

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By the third month, your little one will be a very active young lady! She’ll be constantly moving and wriggling around when she’s awake, waving her arms and legs – and delighting you with her squeals of excitement.

You’ll find she’s fascinated with everything you do and she’ll follow you with her eyes as you move around. She might be able to keep her head quite steady if she’s in a sitting position ut she won’t be able to keep her back straight just yet.  If she’s placed on her tummy, she should be abe to lift her head and chest up.  She’ll be able to hold a toy if you give one to her but may have trouble letting it go!

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Don’t forget, it’s NOT advisable to give babies a pillow!!

Now your little one has neck control, start putting her in a bouncy chair so that she can sit up and look around.  Interaction will be fun for her how she’s growing to be sociable.

You should find her sleeping patterns are settling down – she may be sleeping and napping around 14 hours a day but if she’s still not going through the night, don’t despair.  Try keeping her busy during her waking hours with two or three short sleeps so that she may go longer during the night.

You know by know how much hard work having a baby is – but there are NO words to describe the joy you get raising your little one.   As each month passes, things will get easier and you’ll be amazed at how quickly time flies ……

Missed month two? Find it here .…..

“Manners maketh the man”: so what’s happened?

public domain manners

I’m a bit of a  stickler for manners; nothing winds me up more than bad manners and lack of respect.  I was taught as a young child (and yes, I can remember that far back!) that manners cost nothing and will take you far.  Simple things like saying please and thank you, holding open doors for those behind you and helping people.  So what’s happened in today’s society?

We made sure our children were taught to be sociable and polite from a young age; opening doors for people and shaking hands were skills they learnt as soon as they were old enough to comprehend their actions (and which they still execute today, out of sight of our parental scrutiny!)   Little toe-rags they could be at home but wheel ‘em out into public and they were a credit!

There seems to be a whole generation of people who’ve been brought up with virtually no manners or social skills.  But worse, it’s not always the youngsters who are at fault.  They get a bad reputation for a lot of things but in my experience, sometimes the elderly are the worst culprits.   Perhaps they see age as an excuse to do and say what they please; who knows?  In my job, I see it daily and it riles me so much!  With a simple request, why the need for an in-your-face demand, coupled with a raised voice and an attitude that quite frankly stinks?  It’s clear some people don’t realise that you achieve far more by being polite.  Works every time with me.

Another of my pet hates is people answering their mobiles when you’re dealing with them, so you end up having disjointed two-way conversations: “Hallo? Darren..? Yeah, I’m in the surgery…  no I can’t do that … no I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to my boyfriend ….  yeah, I can make that … no babe, I’m talking to the lady here…” . Pity they can get a signal inside!

Sometimes, though, an incident can restore your faith in humanity, something simple which otherwise might have gone unnoticed.  Last week, Leah and I went up to London, arriving right in the middle of the rush hour.  We were trying to find our connecting tube lines and were undecided whether we were heading towards the right one.  We must have been overheard as, out of nowhere, a total stranger pointed us in the right direction.  A simple act of kindness, especially in the hustle and bustle of the Jubilee line!  Clearly, this man had been brought up to be polite and helpful, which didn’t go unnoticed.

Raising your children to be polite costs nothing but time and patience but will reward you with a family whose social skills will see them through many differing situations throughout their life.   Little ones learn through example so how you interact with them and others will  reflect on their perception of how people should be treated.  Remember that today’s moms, dads and grandparents are moulding the adults of the future!

Ok over to you –  do you still give up your seat for a pregnant lady or elderly person?  Do you think manners are important? We’d love to hear your views! Please leave your comments below …….


Wheelybug Ride-ons: how cute are these!!

If you’re looking for a decent sit and ride toy for Christmas but want something a little different, take a look at the Wheelybug Ride-on range, with cute bumble bees, ladybirds, tigers, mice, pigs and cows!  There’s bound to be a creature your little one will love.

These sit-ons are handcrafted with a robust wooden base and padded with a layer of sponge, covered with a tough polyurethane that’s easy to clean.  These toys are built to last!  The Wheelybug features multi-directional castors that allow your child to scoot around endlessly – which all toddlers love to do!

The Wheelybug is one toy that you’ll be happy to leave out – even when your little ones are tucked up in bed! With a handle bar, the Wheelybug can be used as a push-along toy when babies and toddlers are taking their first steps so you’ll get years of use from this lovely toy.

International & European Safety tested (EN71) so you know you can trust the design.

Take a break from plastic – get a wooden Wheelybug and watch your little one’s face light up ….

TIP: Go for the large size; this will last your child for longer than the small …..

… doesn’t it make you wish you were a toddler again?

Sharenting – are YOU guilty of over-doing it?

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For those of you who might still be in the dark over this term, “sharenting” is the term for the popular online phenomenon of posting endless details/photos of your children on social media platforms, for everyone to see and share.

It’s estimated that 62% of parents post photographs of their offspring on Facebook, Flickr and Instagram.   They do this  mostly to keep distant friends and relatives up to date with what’s going on, some just want to share their joy at being parents – and apparently, some admit to doing it to show off!

Although most of us are guilty of posting photographs at some stage,  sharenting is getting a bad name because of the  sheer amount of “babyness” being shared on the social media platforms.  Concerns about privacy shouldn’t be swept under the carpet; remember that once an image is online, it can be viewed and altered by anyone.  Do you really want to take that risk in this day and age?  Once it’s out there, it’s out there! Digital footprints are there to stay and could come back to bite your rear in a few years’ time.  Just remember that any online details you post will live in cyberspace forever …..

Simply taking a few precautions will help parents “sharent” sensibly …..

*  only share information/images with people you consider friends

*  don’t just accept anyone as a friend on Facebook.  You wouldn’t do it in the real world, so why do it online?

*  look carefully at any photos you intend to post; certain things should be kept private, such as bathtime or potty training images

*  over-sharenting could alienate you from your online friends! Of course, your little one is EVERYTHING to you, but not everyone will share your fascination with your off-spring

*  If you don’t want photos of your children posted, make sure you let your family and friends know

*  Try to avoid bragging about your children. Remember, each child develops at a different rate and your comments could possibly make an extra-sensitive parent feel they’re doing something wrong if their child isn’t at the same level …

So, are YOU guilty of being a “sharent”?  Is it something you think you child might thank/hate you for later in life?  Do you think parents have every right to put what they wish online? How do you think you’d feel if your parents had documented intimate details of your life via social media?

Let us know what you think …….  send us your comments below!



I’m sharing my home-made toddler recipes (but don’t tell Archie)

archie   When I had our three children, many moons ago, I cooked all their meals from fresh as the jars and packet meals on sale weren’t exactly the most appetising things going (much as they are today)  I cooked fresh baby meals for our first grandson and have been doing the same for our second (that’s him on the left!)

Babies and toddlers are surrounded with new experiences each andevery day, so introducing new flavours and textures to their mealtimes is normally quite easy.  I’ve put together a collection of some of the recipes I prepare regularly for Archie and they’re available for you FREE!

Simply pop your name and email into the box on the right and you’ll get instant access to some of Archie’s favourite meals!  Look out for more in the future …..


Investing your time wisely – building an online business ….

clock Have you been investing your time in learning all you can about building an online business?  I was lucky: having found my mentor back in 2009, I’ve personally invested many hundreds of hours over the last three years, learning every aspect of what it takes to build an online business from the very start. Nothing has been left out, from getting my head around HTML, WordPress,autoresponders, driving traffic to my sites, creating my own products – and I have enjoyed every minute (although there have been times when I wondered if I’d ever get there!) I’ve attended seminars, webinars and built up relationships with people following the same path as me.

There are those who take action – and there are those who don’t. The ones who don’t are usually the people who say that internet marketing and successful online businesses don’t work. Those who’re willing to spend their  time learning and implementing are the ones who reach their goal. You HAVE to make sacrifices if you want to win. What these sacrifices are will differ from person to person. When I began online, I gave up watching tv to concentrate on learning the skills I needed. Four years on, I still watch very little tv and spend most of my “me” time on my laptop, still learning and implementing!

Of course, we never stop learning. The very nature of an online business means that nothing stands still, you constantly need to learn new skills if you don’t want to get left behind. I’m now moving forward and beginning to incorporate new strategies on my sites – and I’m looking forward to seeing how they work for me. Nothing can beat putting something together and watching it come alive on your website at the click of a mouse!

Taking the time out to learn is something which you should take seriously if you want to succeed online. Take every nugget of good information you find and make use of it – find yourself one or two successful people who are doing things you like and learn from them.  Soak up their input and knowledge and then utilise this in your own business.  Having a mentor is, for me, a vital part of any success  so you may find you have different mentors for different strategies, ie, a mentor who is your number one g0-to for traffic, or social media and so on.  Learn from the best and be the best!

It’s a hard fact of life but unless you’re willing and committed to investing your time and effort into a business, you’re likely to fall at the first post. Get yourself in the right mindset, make your plans, set your goals and GO FOR IT!





* A version of this article originally appeared on my site reachsuccess-online

Keep Calm and Shop Online …

If you’re fed up of battling the pre-Christmas crowds already but need to find the perfect card for a birthday or new arrival, or you’re fed up with cold hands and need some cosy new gloves, sit back in the comfort of your armchair and head on over to handmade-inhampshire


Keep Calm and Shop Online

Pumpkin Soup

pumpkin soup

Now that autumn’s well and truly here, home-made soup is just the thing for a tasty, warming lunch or supper. Here’s an easy recipe and if you’ve never cooked with pumpkins before, it’s easy.  Roasting both the pumpkin and the garlic gives a great taste.There are plenty in the shops right now; choose the small varieties as they are so much tastier.  I get ours from our local fruit farm – it’s great watching them grow in the fields during the summer, knowing we’ll be enjoying them in the cooler months!


(Serves 6)

800g pumpkin, seeded and cut into slices

2 carrots, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 ½ tbs vegetable oil

1 large potato, cubed

1 litre water

2 vegetable stock cubes, crumbled

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

250ml double cream




Preheat the oven to 220c/Gas 7

Place the pumpkin slices and the garlic cloves in a baking dish or a roasting tin.  Drizzle with vegetable oil and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes.  The pumpkin and garlic should be soft but not blackened.  Allow to cool slightly, then remove the flesh from the skin. Crush the garlic into a paste

In a large saucepan, bring the water together with the crumbled stock cubes to the boil.  Add the potato, carrots and onions and simmer for about 30 minutes, until soft. Add the parsley and crushed roasted garlic.  Add the roasted pumpkin flesh and gently simmer for another 10 minutes.  Puree in a liquidiser or food processor until smooth.  Return the soup to the saucepan over a low heat, stir in the cream and seasoning to taste.

Serve with fresh crusty bread and enjoy!


Our new estore is now open!

handmade banner If you’ve read more than a couple of the posts here on justmoms, you’ll know that I’m  always busy crafting away at some project or other – and always have done! Finally, after being badgered by family and friends to get some of these crafts online, our new estore is now finally open! is currently stocked with a wide range of hand- crafted greetings cards for all occasions, hand-knitted fingerless gloves in the softest wool, buntings, peg memo boards, scented sachets ….. and we’re working on new items to put on the site.

This estore truly is a labour of love and it’s great to finally have a solid outlet for the things we make.  Our items are unique, one-off pieces which means that you won’t find the same card or the same pair of gloves in the estore.  So much stuff is mass-produced these days and who, honestly, wants to give a card to a loved one which another few hundred people have access to?  There can’t be many of us who haven’t received the same card for a birthday (we had three identical cards for our wedding many, many moons’ ago!) and this can be a real disappointment, especially for youngsters.

handmade collage So, over at handmade-inhampshire, you’ll find modern, unique designs to suit everyone – please feel free to browse.  Personalised orders are welcome; just contact us via the estore contact page and we’ll do our best to help

Fertility problems?

baby scan It’s a sad fact that many women (and men too) suffer from the heartbreak of fertility problems.  If this is you, or you know someone who’s in this sad situation, head on over to  

Here, you’ll find information on natural ways to boost fertility and a valuable free ebook filled with info and facts.  Leah has been researching and working hard on this subject for quite a while and I’m proud of what she’s achieved.  Make sure you read her “About” page to get an insight into her reasons for setting up her site.

Take a look at Leah’s site and perhaps this could be the first step to achieving your dreams of parenthood …..




The Adventures of Tooki ….

If you’ve got children who love reading, then why not take a look at this book? My good friend Maggie Gee’s niece has designed the website for the book and I think she has done a pretty neat job!!! There’s no affiliate link of any kind to this, just wanted to help promote the site :) Go take a look …….

tooki book

Autumn? Yep, its on its way ….

Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle

.. a great castle to visit

.. a great castle to visit

Well, we were spoilt here down south with some beautiful summer weather this year which extended right into the end of August and the beginning of September. Thoughts of an Indian summer drifted through our heads but then, as always, our hopes were dashed when we were bombarded with rain, wind and a nasty drop in temperature! Autumn has definitely hit us here, although the sun is shining today and it’s warm enough to go without a jacket. But hubby and I made the most of the good weather and headed just down the road to Portchester Castle – a stunning place to visit, right on our doorstep!

Son-in-law made a good move and bought a new digital SLR camera, perfect for capturing shots of Archie as he grows up! He’s produced some stunning pictures and can’t wait to see what else he comes up with ….

leah and archie

Inquisitive Archie!

On the crafting front, I’ve been busy (as always) and have been working on some hand-coloured cards, using my Promarker pens which I love! I’ve used designs from Lili of the Valley and Saturated Canary, two of my favourite sites for both rubber and digital stamps.  None of the cards below are finished yet …..

Design from Saturated Canary


Design from Saturated Canary


Stamp from Lili of the Valley

Cards will be available for purchase soon, so look out for details


work in progress

Working on this at the moment – stamp from Gorjus


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Work in progress – stamp from Lili of the Valley


Home-made Blackberry Jam

It’s blackberry time down here on the south coast, so what better way to use this lovely free fruit than by making blackberry jam which you can enjoy when the cold winter weather arrives? Here’s an easy recipe for you:

Home-made blackberry jam

• 900g blackberries
• 900g granulated sugar
• knob of butter

Put the fruit into a preserving pan or large heavy-based saucepan. Add 50ml of water and 1½ tbsp of lemon juice. Bring to the boil.
Lower the heat, then simmer for 15 minutes until the fruit is soft.
Tip in the sugar, stir over a very low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn up the heat, bring to a full rolling boil, then rapidly boil blackberries for 10-12 minutes, until the setting point of 105C is reached.
Remove from the heat, skim off any excess scum, then stir a small knob of butter across the surface (this helps to dissolve any remaining scum). Leave for about 15 mins so the fruit can settle. Pour into sterilised jars, label and seal. Delicious!!

The Sacred Truth – review of Lush’s face mask & Miranda Soap

The Sacred Truth Ok, so normally I LOVE Lush products. I love their ethos and the fact they are against animal testing. Having used a selection over the last few months, I’ve been so pleased with them but I’ve never bought one of their face masks. When I saw this one, The Sacred Truth, I thought I’d give it a whirl, as it seemed to be specifically aimed at women my age!

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Lush’s image from their website

As usual, Lush delivered in record time (yes I know there’s a Lush store nearby in Cascades, Portsmouth, but I don’t always get time to head over there!!) and I was really looking forward to trying out the mask. When I opened it, though, I have to admit I was immediately put off by the smell! The photo Lush puts on its website for this mask looks so tempting but this just doesn’t do anything for my sense of smell. Anyhow, I’d bought it so it was only fair to try it out. The actual product did make my skin feel really soft and smooth but the smell!! Even to try and improve my skin won’t tempt me to use this regularly, unfortunately ……. The Sacred Truth

But on a brighter note, I also bought some soap at the same time; and this definitely made up for the disappointment of the mask. I could smell it as soon as I opened the box and I just LOVE this – miranda soap Called “MIRANDA”, this gorgeous scented delight is made with whole fresh kiwi fruits, exotic fruit and flower essential oils and I can’t get enough of it. It lathers well and the fragrance just lasts and lasts. At £3.40 for 100g, the slab was large enough to cut into two. Lush say “This soap was inspired by Carmen Miranda, who used to have a huge hat of fruit. Our soap used to look like that too, but these days we’ve reshaped it and hidden the fruit-shaped pieces inside. First we make two bananas, two oranges and six cherries out of soap – then we hide them inside the block. See which ones you get in your bar”. Well I certainly got one of each fruit in my block!

I’d definitely give this soap 10 out of 10 for both cleansing properties but mostly for the smell. As you can tell, I really, really like how it smells!!!!