Dine with Totseat

Today I wanted to share a post about a fantastic product that I know other parents will LOVE.

But before we get onto it, let’s start by talking about just how rubbish most highchairs are when you’re dining out at a pub, restaurant or café. I don’t know about you but most of the time they give you those awful wooden ones sans-tray. I wouldn’t mind the fact they don’t have a tray if they were table height but most of the time that isn’t the case! And the majority don’t come with any padded inserts so you find that your little six month old is wobbling about all over the place – so much so that you may as well just keep them on your knee!

Then there’s the dining establishments that have filthy highchairs…I’m not the type of mum that anti-bac-wipes everything but seriously, some restaurants could really do with cleaning their highchairs between uses if the parent hasn’t bothered to!

Finally there are the establishments that don’t seem to have enough highchairs to accommodate every child. Again – not in the least bit helpful for a parent who is trying to enjoy a meal out with their little one.

So this brings me onto the fantastic product that seems to solve all of these dining out niggles and that’s the Totseat*. This lovely little product was sent over for Arthur to try and honestly, it’s so useful! It’s basically a travel-friendly, portable fabric highchair that you can take along to restaurants, pubs and cafes to use on one of their chairs. It turns pretty much any style of dining chair into a safe, practical and comfortable highchair for your little one.

The Totseat is lightweight and pocket-sized so you can throw it in your baby changing bag to take with you and it’s also machine washable so you don’t have to worry about it getting covered in food. It’s super easy to attach to chairs and sort of looks like a big nappy for your baby! I was initially worried that Arthur would wriggle out but because the Totseat goes up to his chest, around his armpits and fastens just above his head, there’s no chance! I feel like I can relax while he’s in his Totseat because not only is he perfectly safe but also very content. I think he feels like he's less restrained than in a traditional highchair and sees the Totseat as something fun.

If you want more information about the Totseat and how it works, I suggest visiting their website and having a good old read when you get a minute. My Totseat now lives in my changing bag so it’s always there just-in-case but I’ve also used it at home as Arthur has fussy days where he doesn’t want to sit in his other highchair. It’s such a useful product and one I’ll definitely be recommending to other mamas.

You can use the Totseat when your baby can sit up unaided – usually around 6 months give or take and it’s suitable for using until they’re 30 months old, so Arthur will definitely be getting plenty of use out of ours yet!

Be sure to check out the #DineWithTotseat hash tag on Instagram to see the Totseat in action.

What do you think of the Totseat?
*PR item
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Skincare that doesn't cost a small fortune

As important as it is to take care of your skin, I have never been able to, or even wanted to, justify spending a small fortune on premium brands. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with other people doing it (you do you and all that...) but luxury skincare just isn't for me. Now I have Arthur to look after, I'm more reluctant to spend money on things that I don't really need. For me skincare is an essential but there are some fantastic budget-friendly ranges out there, with one of my favourites being Botanics.

Botanics is a Boots brand specialising in organic, natural skincare, as well as bath and body products. They work closely with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to carefully select natural plant extracts that benefit each skin type and even better - they are committed to sustainable sourcing and do not test on animals.

Botanics has created a number of different ranges to suit various skin types. My favourite, as you can see from the product selection above is the All Bright range. Anything that makes my skin look more radiant and awake gets a big thumbs up from me! The All Bright range has been developed for normal to dry skin; making use of Hibiscus Flowers, rich in alpha hydroxy acids. They exfoliate and renew the skin's surface to help create a more radiant complexion.

I am currently using three cleansing products from the Botanics All Bright range - the Gentle Cleansing Cream, 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Solution and Cleansing Face Wipes. The Cleansing Cream, which is currently just £1.99 (usually £3.99) is great for removing heavier base makeup but I always like to use the Micellar Water (on offer at £2.25 from £4.49) afterwards to double cleanse. This product is much better for removing eye makeup. In the past I've been a bit of a face wipe snob but now I'm a mum, I'm far less fussy! The Cleansing Face Wipes (£1.74 down from £3.49) are great for lazy makeup removal on those I-NEED-MY-BED-NOW evenings.

Funnily enough, the toner I bought wasn't actually from the All Bright range but the Organic range instead. The reason being that it came in spritz form! The Botanics Organic Rosewater Spritz (£3.99 down from £5.99) is designed to tighten the pores, whilst also removing any last traces of makeup. It feels so refreshing and is actually my favourite skincare step.

Once I've cleansed and toned, I like to use the All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum (£3.49 down from £6.99) to energise and brighten my complexion. This is a really lightweight serum and a little goes a long way - I only tend to use three drops morning and evening. The serum comes with a dropper so you can pop it exactly where you want it - avoiding the sensitive eye area. Of course, you don't want to leave the eye area out so for that I use the Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll On (£4.37 down from £8.75). This eye gel is designed to cool, refresh and help reduce the appearance of dark circles by hydrating the under eye area. Again, I feel like this product makes such a big difference to my skin - the only downside is that you really need to leave it to sink in or it'll make any makeup you apply over the top crumble away.

The final step of my skincare routine is to moisturise. In the mornings I use the Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream SPF15 (£2.49 was £4.99). This is a lightweight moisturiser but that doesn't mean it doesn't pack a punch in terms of hydration. I notice immediate results in terms of how smooth and moisturised my skin feels after applying this and love that it contains SPF15 to help protect my skin from the sun. It's worth noting that the products in the All Bright range containing AHAs can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun, so it's important to apply an SPF to protect it. In the evening I switch the day cream for the Botanics All Bright Hydrating Night Cream (£2.49 was £4.99). As you may have guessed, this is much thicker in consistency and richer in terms of it's moisturising properties.

I have been using these skincare products from Botanics for around a month now and I feel like they've made a big difference to my complexion - so much so that I never apply more than a lightweight BB cream and a little concealer these days. I've never really enjoyed wearing foundation so this is a huge plus for me. I also feel like my skin looks much more radiant in the mornings when I wake up and even though I'm up at least a couple of times every night with Arthur, I don't think I look half as tired as I should! For tired mums with babies that don't like to sleep, this skincare range is a real winner.

In terms of price, I cannot fault Botanics. I bought all of these at sale price (varying slightly from the prices shared in this blog post) and spent just over £20.00. Considering that some luxury skincare products cost three times that, I'd say I did pretty well! I'm not saying that it's on par with luxury skincare - I couldn't possibly tell you seeing as I don't have the means to compare them BUT what I can tell you is that the products are natural, effective and affordable. The Botanics products are everything I want from a budget-friendly skincare range and it's a brand I'll be repurchasing from again and again in the future.

Are you a fan of Botanics?
Where do you stand on budget friendly vs luxury skincare?
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Storing Memories in Style with Pen Heaven

As much as I love being able to take endless photos on my digital camera, save them on my Macbook and upload them to various social media sites, I still get so much enjoyment out of creating photo albums and scrapbooks. Looking through albums filled with photographs from my childhood is one of my favourite things to do and now I'm a mum myself, I want to share that experience with Arthur (when he's a little older) too. Scrolling through them on a digital device is great but there's just something a little more special about having actual prints to view in a beautiful photo album.

Over the years I've built up a collection of photo albums and memory boxes but none so special as this gorgeous Turquoise Leather Photo Album from Pen Heaven. Handmade in Italy, this genuine leather photo album provides the perfect place for me to store snapshots of Arthur's childhood for us both to look back on in years to come. The quality of the photo album is exceptional and I've no doubt that it'll stand the test of time.

With fifty pages (each with their own protective overlay) there's plenty of room for lots of gorgeous photographs of Arthur. I thought I'd start filling the photo album with some of my Inkifi prints. I wanted to start from the very beginning - when Arthur was still a bump, so I've chosen some of my favourite pregnancy photos for page one. Seeing as this is a traditional photo album, there isn't any pockets so you have to stick the photographs in yourself, either by using photo corners or like me, you can just use a dab of glue!

Aside from the striking turquoise colour, the thing I love most about this photo album from Pen Heaven is that it has my son's name embossed on it. I think it's such a special thing and a lovely personal touch if you are buying it as a gift for someone else, perhaps for a christening or birthday. Embossing your photo album costs a little extra but if you're buying a luxury personal gift like a Saffiano Leather Photo Album*, it will add the perfect finishing touch.

Speaking of finishing touches - the Saffiano Leather Photo Album is presented in a lovely cream box and there's also the option of having it gift wrapped. Pen Heaven beautifully gift wrapped our photo album and it really made all the difference to the opening experience.

If you are looking for a special gift for a friend or a family member, Pen Heaven has a lovely selection of photo albums, journals and travel accessories to choose from, each of which can be personalised. There's something for all budgets and free tracked delivery on all UK orders.

I'm looking forward to filling up our photo album with lots of our memories to reminisce over in the future and I hope creating photo albums and scrapbooks is something we'll continue to do together when Arthur's old enough.

Do you still use photo albums now everything's online?
*PR Item
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Jumping on the Baking Bandwagon

I've always had a sweet tooth and been a huge cake lover but only recently have I tried my hand at baking and do you know what, I LOVE IT. I'm no Mary Berry and I'm certainly not Bake Off worthy but I just get so much enjoyment out of it and feel I've finally found another hobby I love - in addition to blogging of course!

With this in mind, I thought it'd be fun to do a few baking-themed posts here and there. We all know I don't do blog scheduling but I'd love to share some recipe ideas, baking wish lists and baking hauls here and there.

For now though, I thought I'd share a super quick Cheese Scone recipe. These have gone down a treat in the Hunt household! Arthur even likes them and I feel happy knowing the exact ingredients that have gone into making them.

What you'll need...
8oz Self Raising Flour
2oz Unsalted Butter
1oz  Mature Cheddar Cheese
150ml of Milk
Pinch of Salt

How to make cheese scones...
1. Pre-heat your oven to 220c and line a baking tray with lightly greased parchment paper
2. Pop the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in a pinch of salt
3. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your hands
4. Stir in your cheese and pour in the milk
5. Mix together to create a soft dough
6. Pour a little flour onto a clean work surface and begin lightly kneading your dough
7. Pat it gently into a rounded shape and cut out as many scones as you can - kneading and re-shaping the dough in between (I use a 2 inch circular cutter but you could do it without a cutter for a more rustic look!)
8. Brush the tops of your scones with a little milk
9. Place in the oven for 12 minutes. Your scones should have risen and have a lovely golden appearance
10. Cool them on a wire rack and then serve with butter!

It's such a simple recipe but trust me, cheese scones are so tasty and perfect for lunch and snacks. I usually make around ten scones with the recipe above but you may be able to make more or less, depending on the size of the cutter you choose.

I hope you've enjoyed my first baking post. I'm really looking forward to exploring this new topic on Seek My Scribbles!

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Tommee Tippee Ultra Bottle Giveaway

If you’re a mama yourself or a mama-to-be it’s likely you’ve come across Tommee Tippee before. They’re one of the biggest baby brands out there, offering a wide range of fantastic baby products from bottles and soothers to sterilisers, weaning equipment and baby monitors. I’ve had so much use out of my Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Steriliser and the Closer To Nature bottles that came with it were fantastic when Arthur was much younger.

Recently Tommee Tippee have launched the Ultra Bottle, a brand new design aimed to create the perfect feeding experience for babies. The Tommee Tippee Ultra Bottle has a breast-like shape teat for easy latching and is made from a high-grade silicone that can be moved in various directions to mimic a natural feeding action. Even if you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, it’s great to have a couple of breast-like bottles at home, as it gives you the option to express and bottle feed if your boobs need a break!

The Ultra bottle from Tommee Tippee is designed with a perfectly contoured teat, which forms a tight seal in the baby’s open mouth to prevent excess dribbling. You’ll also notice that the teat is angled on the Ultra bottle to assist babies in an upright feeding position and allow for effective milk flow.

I think the bottle itself looks great and is definitely something I would have used with Arthur, however now he is 9 months old, we tend to be using bottles less and less. Instead he takes most of his milk feeds from the breast and also has sips of water at mealtimes from a beaker. With this in mind, I thought I'd give away the Tommee Tippee Ultra bottle sent to me. So, if you fancy winning, simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Don’t forget to check out the Terms and Conditions.

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Tips for Home Safety whilst on Holiday

As much as I love going away on holiday, there's always part of me that worries something will happen to our lovely house, so I take home safety pretty seriously. It's not just the cost of damage to your home or the loss of personal belongings but the stress and worry that comes with it. Whilst you can't plan for every possible eventuality, there are a number of things you can do to keep your home safe. The obvious thing is to set your burglar alarm but here are a few things you may have forgotten...

Don't Tweet about it
Understandably you'll want to tell your immediate family and friends you're going away on holiday but leave it at that. Start shouting about your upcoming holiday and you put your home at high risk of a break in. I often see people bragging about going away on social media and think why are you putting yourself at risk like that?! Post your holiday snaps when you're home instead.

Pull the plug
Before we went on our recent holiday to Northumberland, we did a quick check around the house to make sure that all of our appliances (apart from the fridge / freezer) were turned off at the wall. It's a pre-holiday ritual we've always done. Switching off appliances can help to reduce the risk of fires and also save you wasting money on utility bills.

Dig out your home insurance docs
Whilst you'd rather your home didn't get burgled or damaged whilst you're on holiday; it's only sensible to make sure your home insurance is valid and up to date. It's also a good idea to check that outbuildings such as your garage, shed or summer house are also covered by your home insurance policy, as these tend to be seen as easier targets for break ins. Remember that many home insurance policies require you to have taken certain measures to ensure home safety whilst on holiday and may even include a clause on social media. Read the small print and follow the guidelines closely to ensure you are 100% covered in the unfortunate event of a burglary, fire or flood.

Ask someone to play neighbourhood watch
Although you don't want to tell the world you're going on holiday, there's no harm in mentioning it to someone you can trust. Before my family went to Devon and Northumberland this year, we told a couple of our neighbours so they could keep an eye on the house for us (and put the bin out!) It'll definitely give you a little extra peace of mind - it did for us!

So there we have my top tips for home safety whilst on holiday. Do you have any more to share? Feel free to leave them for me and others to read in the comment section below!
*Collaborative post
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When you realise blog scheduling isn't for you...

It's been around two months since I published a post on here detailing my new blogging schedule and if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that it's not for me. I'm not talking about blogging (I still totally love my little corner of the Internet) but rather sticking to a blogging schedule. I so want to be one of those organised bloggers that shares X number of posts a week, at set times but honestly, right now it's just not possible. I thought sharing fresh content three times a week, at dedicated times would help increase engagement on my blog and feel like a real sense of achievement but in reality all it's done is put me under unnecessary pressure. And I don't know about you but when I'm under pressure, I lose all sense of creativity.

So I've decided to scrap the blog schedule and make blogging work for me. No set number of posts and no set times! It's time to take the pressure off and blog when I feel most inspired. After all, surely it's better to share a passionately written piece rather than churn out a post for the sake of sticking to a schedule?

As well as finding more freedom in blogging, I guess I'd like to write a little more personally. I'm a fairly private person but I'd like to share a little more of me and my life on here - the things Arthur and I get up to, the places we visit, my thoughts and feelings about motherhood, my experiences, my advice, what I like to bake, what's inspiring me - the list goes on! I just want Seek My Scribbles to be a little more 'me.'

It's not very often I look back at my blog posts and think 'Yeah, I really love that!' but I recently wrote a little poem for Arthur called The Best Kind of Pair and it's possibly my favourite ever post on here. It was such a spontaneously written poem and although I was nervous to share it, doing so has really inspired me to be more creative with my blog posts. I came up with it just before I went to bed one evening on my recent trip to Northumberland and it made me realise that some of my best words and ideas come when I've not really planned to blog.

So although my blogging schedule turned out to be pretty naff, I feel like I've learnt from it, in a 'what not to do' sort of way. Blog scheduling isn't for everyone. Your blog should work for you, not the other way round. Re-discover your love for blogging and re-gain your sense of creativity by scrapping the schedule. I'm gonna take my own advice and do just that.

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Arthur's Favourite Nuby Teething Toys

"Your baby won't start teething until he gets his first tooth around 9 months" said my GP at Arthur's first check-up...what a load of poop that was! Luckily, I'd already done my own research and read that babies start teething at various different ages - some before they're even 4 months old! Arthur actually started teething at around 5 months old and ended up getting his first fourth teeth (bottom and top incisors) through between then and 7 months.

There are various different types of pain relief out there for teething babies, from medicine like Calpol to an assortment of teething gels but to be honest, it's teething toys like the ones shown above that seem to provide the most comfort for Arthur. I noticed that when his top incisors were coming through he was particularly 'bitey' (even during feeds....owch!) so I was glad to be able to give him these to chew on, in addition to giving him a dose of Calpol, when I thought he needed a little extra pain relief.

Arthur's favourite teether is the Bugaloop Teething toy from Nuby, which he received for Christmas from my friend Kerry, along with the Chewbies Teether from the same brand. I love the attractive, colourful design of the Bugaloop Teether (£3.99) and Arthur seems to really enjoy giving the different surfaces a good old chew. The Bugaloop teether is particularly effective for back tooth teething, so I'm sure it'll continue to come in use over the months, as he begins to get more teeth through.

The Chewbies Teether (£2.49) looks a little like a dummy and is therefore easy for babies to hold and effective for use as a soother. Arthur was a little unsure of this one to start with, as I chose not to give him a dummy but more recently I've seen him take an interest in it. What I like about the Chewbies teether is that it has ridges and bristles, which help to keep his teeth and gums clean, whilst also massaging them to provide additional comfort.

Our latest purchase is the IcyBite Keys from Nuby (£3.99), which Arthur has taken a real liking too! These have multiple teething surfaces, designed to provide comfort for different parts of the mouth and also contain PureICE teething gel, which stays cooler than the other water-filled teethers you can buy. They're easy for babies to hold and Arthur loves taking them out and about in his pushchair. All three Nuby teethers are suitable for use from 3 months old.

We've had a great experience with Nuby as a brand. It's one I trust, would buy from again and would definitely recommend to new mums for their teething babies. The teether designs are fun, colourful and interesting for babies; they fulfil their purpose of providing relief and what's more, they don't cost a fortune! If you haven't already, go check out the Nuby website. I'm sure you'll be impressed with their fantastic range - I certainly was!


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Making a Baby Scrapbook

Time goes faster and faster as you get older but I swear when you have a baby it doubles in speed. In a couple of weeks Arthur will be 9 months old and I still can't quite get my head around it! Enjoy every moment is the piece of advice I was given when I became a mummy and yes, it's a cliche but something that's so important because time really does go by in the blink of an eye. I guess if I was to give another piece of advice to a new mummy it would be to document as much as you can. I've always loved looking back at old photo albums from my childhood and wanted to make sure Arthur had plenty look back on too.

In addition to creating photo albums, memory boxes and Letters To My Baby, I've started a baby scrapbook for Arthur's first year. Each double page has it's own theme, such as 'My Baby Shower,' 'The Day You Were Born,' 'Your First Christmas' and I've filled them with pictures, words and little keepsakes that we'll be able to look back on together, in years to come. So far I've taken most of the scrapbook pictures on my Instax Mini 8 Camera. I love the retro-style 'polaroid' effect of these photographs and they're the perfect size for sticking in my Paperchase Scrapbook.

As well as creating pages for special times, I've also designed a few around Arthur's age and milestones. These pages feature pictures that show how Arthur has changed and grown over the months, as well as little snippets of information, like his weight, what he likes doing, the nicknames I've been calling him and what he's been getting up to. I know there are some great scrapbooks out there like Project Life but I wanted my baby scrapbook to be a little less formal and a little more and 'me!' I also think some of the scrapbooking kits out there are very expensive. I much prefer being able to buy little bits and bobs here and there without spending a small fortune.

Of course, a scrapbook wouldn't be a scrapbook without cute stickers and washi tape, so I couldn't resist ordering a selection from Paperchase. I love the colourful animal stickers and the seashells, along with the anchor print washi tape are perfect for my seaside themed 'Your First Holiday' page.

I've still got plenty of pages left in my baby scrapbook and can't wait to add to it over the next few months. I think I'll probably start a fresh one when Arthur turns 1. It'd be nice to do one for each year of his childhood if I could keep it up. It's certainly something I really enjoy doing when Arthur's gone to bed - it really helps me to wind down. I already love looking back at the earlier pages and seeing just how much has happened over these last few months. What a wonderful few months it's been!

Are you into scrapbooking?
I'd love to hear your recommendations on places to buy stickers, tape and other scrapbooking bits!

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