The Magic Fairy Door

Review of yellow The Magic Fairy Door
Review of yellow The Magic Fairy Door

I’ll let you in on a secret… I believe in faeries. Just ask my Mum, she’ll tell you all about the countless fairy ornaments, the houses made from twigs at the bottom of our garden, the Fairy Tale – A True Story video that I practically watched to death, the numerous dog-eared Flower Fairy books and even the fairy climbing wall I made too (child logic, right there!). Even now, I’m still pretty certain they exist. I mean, who else would do the tooth fairy’s duties?

So when The Magic Door Store got in touch to see if we’d like to try out one of their Fairy Doors, I jumped at the chance! For the boys, obviously. Not just for me…definitely not just for me. As we’re in a flat, access to our garden to go hunting for fairies isn’t as easy as it was ‘back in my day’ so the Magic Fairy Door brings the magic of fairy hunting right into your own home. And despite having two boys, I will most certainly be sharing the magic of building twig houses, leaving cake crumbs & pink lemonade out, and staying very quiet as not to scare the fairies away, regardless!

I of course chose the yellow one but The Magic Fairy Door is also available in Red, Blue, Pink, Green & Purple. Best of all, each door comes with it’s very own supply of Magic Dust to show that the fairies & elves have been and visited! What kid wouldn’t love to wake up to that?

We started off by placing the boys new Magic Fairy Door in their room on the sly, with both being very intrigued when they discovered it. I was a bit worried about placing it at first, thinking it would need to be glued on which wouldn’t be ideal in rented accommodation like ours but it is in fact secured with white tac, meaning it’s secure enough to stay in place but not permanently fixed. Plus the nice little message of, “Please don’t handle The Magic Fairy Door roughly, or it might frighten the fairies away,” means you can even convince your wee ones not to pull it off! The door doesn’t actually open either so it’s quite nice knowing that you don’t have to explain why there’s a wall behind it (which obviously there isn’t) and it means the likes of David can’t break it off completely.

After a little chatting about the fairies, John seemed a bit apprehensive about something coming out whilst he sleeps, being the sensitive wee soul he is. But once Iain told him that the fairies would come out and bite his willy whilst he slept, it was game over and time to move the door! (Thanks, Iain…). So now our Magic Fairy Door has pride of place in our hall, which in actual fact I prefer as it means I the boys can show it to everyone that comes to visit us. And John isn’t so worried about losing his willy, especially since the fairy might bring him a car if he’s particularly good.

At £20, the Magic Fairy Door would make a lovely gift for any wee boys or girls with an imagination like mine! You can even buy a step ladder for the fairies to get in (similar logic to my fairy climbing wall, that is!).

Review of yellow The Magic Fairy Door

Disclaimer: We were kindly send The Magic Fairy Door for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts are our own.


How to Prepare a Preschooler for Immunisations

Immunisations. Does anyone enjoy them? No. The answer is no. I’ve talked before about my feeling on immunisations before and having dealt with an ill newborn, I’ll always take the required steps to protect my boys from preventable illnesses. And like a lot of parenting gigs, I think immunisations is just as unpleasant (if not more) for the parents as it is for the wee ones. In fact, I remember texting my Aunty whilst in the doctors waiting area before John’s first immunisations; at the time my cousin was fighting cancer (all good now though!) and saying how amazed I was by her strength as a mother, going through what she was whilst I was a nervous wreck over the prospect of a couple of jags! But we do the best by our children regardless of how unpleasant it can be.

The thing with taking a preschooler for their immunisations is that it’s very different than taking a newborn, or even a toddler. By age 3, most kids are pretty savvy and can tell when something’s up. And no parent wants to be consoling a distraught preschooler when they are already feeling illogical guilt about bringing their wee one for their immunisations already. So, how do you prepare a preschooler for immunisations?

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Honesty is the best policy.
I was surprised to find out just how many people lie tip-toe around the truth to their kids about immunisations. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is of having my own immunisations, with the nurse & my Mum trying to convince me that the sugar cube with the polio drops on was, “just like what I have on my Weetabix.” Knowing that I myself would like to know in advance if I was going to experience something new & potentially upsetting, it was important that I let John in on the matter too. On the day I also starting using the word, “jag,” as soon as we met the nurse so she too could be aware that John knew what was going on and we asked that she talk him through everything she was doing.

Practice makes perfect.
In my day, Calpol came with a spoon; now though, you get a handy little syringe to make the art of medicine-giving all the more easy. And that little syringe can make preparing for immunisations a fun game. Let your wee one practice on themselves & on you, explaining that they’ll get similar at the doctors but it’ll give them a bit of scratch when they get it there. You could even opt for a toy doctors set but I find the Calpol syringe to be a little closer to the real deal.

Help them understand.
For John, the moment of clarity came when he realised that getting his immunisations were just like his Aunty Holly’s daily insulin jags. However, I know not everyone will have a diabetic relative to make comparisons with but Dr Ranj from Get Well Soon does a great job of explaining why exactly immunisations are important and helps wee ones understand that they’re simply an important medicine to stop them getting ill, just like Aunty Holly’s insulin does for her!

Use positive words.
We referred to them as, “jags,” for no other reason that it was easier for John to say (& in turn ask about) than, “immunisations.” We also made a point of avoiding words like ‘sore’ & ‘painful’, instead explaining them as a ‘scratch’ that might ‘nip’ a little. I also made a the choice to tell John he ‘might get a bit upset’ and if he ‘needed to cry that was ok’ but that ‘being a scratch I was sure he’d be absolutely fine’. I’d also recommend keeping your own feelings under wraps, although I know this can be pretty hard; if your wee ones senses you’re own apprehension, they too will become nervous. Keep it cool, positive and use words they can understand!

Let them see.
Not every wee one has an Aunty Holly who they’ll regularly see injecting insulin but if possible, let your wee one see someone being injected beforehand. Be it a routine flu vaccine for yourself or even a documentary of some sort (just be sure to check the reaction beforehand – nothing like someone freaking out over an injection to make a wee one panic at the very thought!). Similar to my tips on potty training, making something seem normal will do wonders for how well your wee ones handles it.

End on a high.
Regardless of how your wee one gets on with their immunisations, make sure you end the experience on a high. Even if they have a meltdown, tell them they were exceptionally brave and that you’re proud of them. Rewards are always nice too and it doesn’t need to mean a trip to the toy shop; for John it was getting to choose a magazine and a Kinder Egg. Like I say, one of my earliest memories is from my preschool immunisations so you want to make sure that even if it has been a bit traumatic, that your wee one has at least some positive feeling around the event, as well as not having a fear of going back to the doctors ever again!

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Have you gone through preschooler immunisations? What are your top tips to prepare them?


Two Peas; Like Chalk & Cheese

John on the swings at Helix Park.
Toddler David on the swings at Helix Park.
Toddler John on the swings at Helix Park.
Toddler David on the ladybird at Helix Park.
Two toddlers watching the swans on the lake at Helix Park.

Two peas in a pod and absolute extreme opposites. These two are similar in so many ways, yet worlds apart in others. People have started asking if they’re twins. John is so tiny and David so big. They’re actually in the same size clothes now, both weighing 2 stone too. Yet in terms of personality, they couldn’t be more different.

John is a sensitive wee soul. Just today he told me he loved me countless times, asking for kisses & cuddles too. He is shy in new environments, always needing reassurance to try new things & liking to have his Mickey soft toy there by his side, just in case. With OCD tendencies when it comes to organising his toys & cars, he’s very much already set in his ways. He’s also a smart wee cookie who questions everything.

David on the other hand is a whirlwind, an absolute wrecking ball. He knows no fear, be it running as fast as his little legs will take him right into the face of danger. Or doing all he can to get the attention of a complete stranger. He’s loud, oh so loud! I can’t relax when David’s awake, simply because I’m waiting for the next moment where I’ll need to save him from his impending suicide attempt (see my recent vlog to hear more about David’s death wish). He takes great pleasure in kicking throwing & generally destroying his big brothers perfectly organised belongings. David is also a goofball, happy in his own little world of all things nice!

These pair are like two peas in a pod, yet complete chalk & cheese. Yin and yang if you wanna get all deep & philosophical. It makes for interesting times; with them getting along, working together one moment and at each other’s throat the next. But when John is feeling shy, David’s there to bound on past him and show that there’s nothing to worry about. And when David’s charging towards danger (or trying to jump into a lake after swans…), John’s there to hold him back and make sure he doesn’t, y’know, die.

The Best Sulphate-free Shampoos

A selection of sulphate shampoos for curly & wavy hair. All available in the UK.

A few weeks back I talked about how I’d ditched the straighteners & started embracing my naturally wavy hair. It’s been a learning curve to say the least but the biggest change has been in the products I use (& don’t use!) on my tresses. Following the Curly Girl Method means cutting out silicones & sulphates which given that the majority of haircare products are packed with them, isn’t so easy.
So why not use sulphates? Well sulphates are designed to break down the silicones in conditioners & strip the hair clean. They’re also found in washing up liquid as they’re brilliant at breaking down the grease on your pots & pans. In short; sulphates are great at ‘cleaning’ your hair but they’re also great at stripping out all the natural oils that your hair needs to be healthy & grow. So overall, they’re not really great at all and in fact they’re pretty bad, especially if you have wavy or curly hair as these hair types are naturally in need of extra moisture.
Cut out the sulphates & you have a gentler shampoo. A gentler shampoo means more moisture in the hair. And more moisture in the hair means happier, less fizzy hair all around! So here’s my favourite sulphate shampoos, all available in the UK and available to buy on the High Street.

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First & foremost, this smells divine! It was one of the first sulphate-free shampoos that I used and it remains a firm favourite of mine. I’ve always been a big fan of the Body Shop, especially their body butters and it makes sense that they’d have an entire range of haircare products free from sulphates & silicones. Like most sulphate free shampoos, the lather is a bit poor in this one but it does the job well. Price wise, it’s not the cheapest but for the smell alone it’s worth every penny. I’m close to the end of the bottle & will definitely repurchase this one.
This was a shampoo I picked up on a whim, looking for something to make the buy one get one half price offer worthwhile. I’m already addicted to Pure Argan Oil, using it as my daily facial moisturiser & in my hair also, so it made sense that I try an argan oil shampoo. I can’t fault this shampoo in terms of doing the job but the smell isn’t the best – not bad, just not as nice as the other. That being said, it does make up for it in goodness, packed with good ingredients like Orange, Clove, Geranium, Lemon, Cinnamon, Rosewood, Mandarin, Vanilla & Spearmint. I probably won’t buy this one again but I’d happily try another shampoo from the Dr. Organic range, after an initial sniff test!
My new favourite shampoo! I ordered this as part of a review and instantly fell in love with it from the first wash. The lather is as you’d expect from a sulphate-free shampoo but this one leaves my hair feelings hydrated & moisturised whilst also cleaning it nicely in the process. The bottle is great too & I love the pump dispenser. Fragrance wise, it’s still not as nice at the Body Shop shampoo but it isn’t too bad at all.
Out of all the sulphate-free shampoos I’ve tried, this one has the most lather; which can be great after a deep conditioning treatment or when I think my scalp needs a thorough clean but I find it a little too drying for daily use. It does smell lovely though and would be a great transitioning shampoo for a sulphate-free shampoo virgin. Best of all you can pick it up in Savers right now for a only £1!

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You can read about my decision to Ditch the Straighteners & Embrace Natural Waves here.
And I’ll be sharing my favourite Silicone-free Conditioners next week!


Linking up with Vlog Stars!

Amy Lorimer is now on air!

So at the beginning of 2015 I wrote about New Years Resolutions and how I wanted to get into vlogging this year. And given this is the first time I’ve really done a vlog this year, it’s safe to say that so far I’ve failed miserably. That being said, I’m growing ever fonder of watching vlogs and have been feeling inspired to give it a go again but have never really known what to do one on.

When I read about Amy from Mr & Mrs T Plus Three and Aby from You Baby Me Mummy plans to start a new linky, prompting bloggers to get their Vlog on, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to press record. So without further adu, here’s my first instalment of Vlog Stars!

You can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel to keep up to date with all our future vlogs!
Mr and Mrs T Plus Three