Lukeosaurus and Me

Lukeosaurus and Me: January 2015

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Best Edible Play Dough

Recently, I went on a crazy craft binge and bought loads of bits and bobs for Luke - which I will totally blog about soon. I really want learning to be fun and play is such an integral part of  rettryryb development, so fun indoor activities for rainy days are a must. But more about that soon!

I have made edible play dough once before and I always use this recipe from The Imagination Tree - it takes five minutes to make and last around 6 months if kept in an air tight container. It's super easy to make, there's no cooking required and it's really, really fun. 

Homemade play dough

There are soooo many play dough variations and they will blow your (and your child's) mind. All the way from scented play doughs, glittery play doughs, to play doughs with added textures such as lavender or whole grains, seeds and oats.  

Play dough is really good sensory fun and is so versatile - there are so many benefits as well as play opportunities. Free play sessions with play dough improved fine motor development by building up strength in the hand muscles, readying children for pencil and scissor control. Using play dough scissors and cutting and tearing up play dough is also fun and beneficial for writing, and therefore language skills. You can find a list of benefits, as well as a comprehensive list of additional extras to create the ultimate play dough kit here.

Luke's play dough kit is growing and I am really excited to start making more 'exciting' variations for him to play with. I am looking forward to making sparkly play doughs with glitter, textured doughs and scented doughs. Honestly, I find the creative process - experimenting and researching - just as satisfying and fun as watching Luke play and learn.

Please stay with us and check up on our play dough evolution as I intend to make my way through the list of both play doughs and play dough kits and share Luke's experiences with you. There is nothing more satisfying as watching your child play so happily with something you've put a lot of love and effort into. I'll be sharing my recipes, pictures and games with you, as well as the positive benefits we focused on during the play session.

I am interested to hear some of your experiences with home made play dough - favourite recipes, extras, play dough kits and everything else, so please feel free to comment on this post or tweet me. 

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

An exciting day!

Hello fellow bloggers and lovely readers!
Today I did something really awesome.
Well, I think it's really awesome anyway.
I got a tattoo.
I have wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember. I mean really, really, really wanted one. Also, as some readers or people who know me will know, I am a huge Hunger Games fan - so the two sort of ended up going hand in hand with each other.
In case you haven't got a clue what i'm talking about, the arrow with the word 'real' is a reference to a conversation between Katniss and Peeta in Mockingjay, the final book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy, which goes like this: "So after, when he whispers, 'You love me. Real or not real?'
I tell him, 'Real.'" 
The "real or not real" part comes from Peeta trying to distinguish between real memories and the memories The Capital have forced into his mind. At first, he's terrified and programmed to kill Katniss on sight, but eventually memories of their relationship and various other events come back to him - mostly because of the help he receives from Katniss.
Anyway, to me, this tattoo is more than just a quote from a book. It symbolises how us humans need one another, how we are dependent, how we can find someone who fits so perfectly with us that we need them to be by our side sometimes in order to give us the courage to go on. Life isn't easy, but you are alive, you are strong, you are brave and you can overcome whatever scares you most. But that doesn't mean you should be afraid of asking for help, or being there to help someone in need - even if its just by being there for them. This tattoo is about courage, about love, about kindness, about trust and about one serious fan girl's obsession.

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Sunday, 11 January 2015

December Favourites

Hello lovely people of the blogverse!

I think doing a "favourites" blog is possibly more of a vlog type thing, I'm not too sure, but I watch a tonne of YouTuber's and I absolutely love watching people's monthly favourites. I definitely need to find some more blogs to read, because I'm seriously lacking in that department, so please recommend me a few!

Luke and I both had loads of fun buying stuff in December. I think it was a big month for me because, other than the normal bubble of Christmas excitement and stress, December was also the month when I really found out who I was. I realised I had outgrown friends, that I had matured as a person and looked upon things in a different way and mostly that I really wanted to do something with my life and live it to the max, rather than constantly skulk around in someone else's shadow. Therefore, I spent a few pennies and went about sort of 'reinventing' myself - or just, becoming me. But, as some of you may know, I am a sucker for all things toddler. So I couldn't very well not spend some money on things for my little Lukeosaurus as well!

One little note, before I begin, is that none of the things in my December favourites are from Christmas. We both received some really lovely gifts from friends and family, but the content of this blog are all pre Dec 25th. So let's begin!

Firstly, this isn't an item I've bought or acquired, it's a really fun place that my local council opened a few months ago. I live just around the corner from my local town that has a shopping centre slap bang in the middle. Just outside Mothercare, the council installed a free soft play area that Luke absolutely adores. We go and have a little play there about three times a week. Luke has just started walking with confidence, but most of the time the children who play there are a few years older than him - I think at times he's a little shy and a little unsure of them, so he stands still and stares at them, but after a little while he soon relaxes and totters around, interacting with all the shapes and trying to climb the ramp.

Two of my favourites from last month are skin care products by Simple; Simple Toning Cleanser and Simple Moisture Cream . Everyone knows that winter can be really harsh on your skin and, although I honestly have hardly any decent skin care knowledge, I have loved these products since I have started using them. The moisture cream is lovely and doesn't feel horrible or oily and has the additional bonus of being SPF 30 (possibly a bit overkill for a British winter - but every little helps!) The toner is now my new favorite toner ever. One thing I love about Simple products is how good they smell. To me, the toner smells so fresh and zingy and it just leaves me feeling so clean.

Speaking of being clean, Lukeosaurus has been loving bath times with Coussons Mum & Me Little Explorers Super Soft Squidgy Soap . Admittedly, it's quite a mouthful to say, but this soap is amazing! You can mould it into all sorts of shapes, it then holds said shape, and for lack of a better explanation - it's squidgy! Just shake the can briefly and squirt a small amount onto your hand and watch the magic happen. Its hypoallergenic and contains jojoba oil, for lovely soft toddler skin. The Little Explorers range is very cute and makes bath times really fun. Luke can't wait for his baths and once he's in, he always points to the can and says, "yeah?" It's advised not to be used with children under the age of 2 years, persumably because many children under this age tend to explore the world with their mouths, but with careful supervision (as you would expect in the bath tub anyway) for the first use, Luke learnt that it's not for eating. He enjoys watching me squidge the soap into the shape of a ball, or roll it out in my palms to create a sasuage shape, or make it into a cube. It's really quite amazing! Occasionally he'll give it a poke or grab some from my hand to play with. Aside from the fun, it's great soap as far as baby products go.

Back to another make up/skin related favorite, in December I discovered Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer. Most of the time I am a no fuss, most likely no make up, kind of girl. Either I'm meant to already be out the door, or I'm not going anywhere that day, so why should I bother putting make up on? But this concealer is lovely - if I'm going out for the day it works beautifully with the rest of my make up, but I also love just dabbing it under my eyes and on any unsightly spots for just a casual, natural look without the world being able to see the huge bags that reside under my eyes these days. It's light and feels rather nice on my skin and it definitely doesn't break the budget - I use Ivory, because I am a typical pale British girl.

I also absolutely loved the Santa Baby Lip Tint by Lush. This is from the Lush limited edition Christmas stuff and I couldn't get enough of it. I adore products from Lush and I really love how they stand up against terrible acts in the beauty/fashion industry that we tend to ignore. Lush stands against animal testing, the fur trade and also use naturally sourced ingredients to make their products vegetarian and vegan friendly. I wore Santa Baby a lot during December and have two tips: i'd recommend wearing some lip balm with the product as it did make my lips feel a bit dry, also, I'd suggest applying it with a lip brush or cotton bud as it's more of a stain than a tint and if you use your finger, it will be stained red for the rest of the day. Overall, a lovely bright red tint that is long lasting and smells of cherry cola - perfect for winter!

We bought little Lukeosaurus a beautifully fluffy hoody at the beginning of winter, which served him very well through the month of December. It was perfect because we went on so many trips to the park and went on a few very long country side walks, so this little beauty kept him lovely and warm. The little bear hoodie actually came from Lidl and cost a whole £4.99, which I consider to be a great bargain! It's just as fluffy on the inside as it is on the outside and the hood has little bear ears on it - the pocket on the front is in the shape of a bear's face, with a really cute little nose. Luke discovered it's the perfect place to hide sticks! 

When we weren't out and about, Luke and I spent our afternoons making Christmas decorations and doing fun wintery crafts. We bought these great Washable Kids Paints by Crayola and combined them with masking tape to make trees and stars, we also did finger painting and make "fairy lights" and made homemade gift tags (as seen in previous posts). The paint is so easy to wash off and, thankfully, it even washed out of my carpet and sofa! Messy time is my favorite activity with Luke and he loves dipping his fingers in the lids and making spots, doing hand prints or attempting to use the paint brushes. I always keep all his 'works of art' although I have no idea what to do with them!

And finally, three little side things that we both loved in those cozy December evenings - Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games Trilogy (Suzanne Collins) and Christmas Memories Yankee Candle.

So there you go, these we our favourite little treats from December - excluding Christmas presents. I'll most likely do more of this type of blog, so look out for those. Also, I have a huge bunch of post ideas written down in my note book , so keep an eye out!

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Pointless Post - books and baby bits.

Just a quick, chatty, rather poontless post today.
In honour of my New Years Resolution, not only did I join the Good Reads 2015 book challenge today, I also bought four new books to get started on after I finish 'Girl Online'. I'm really excited to read them because I haven't actually seen the film adaption of Divergent, or whatever it's called . After reading The Hunger Games trilogy, I've rekindled my love of the dystopia genre and I can't wait to get lost in another book set.

While out and about, we also picked up Luke a few bits. Nothing terriy exciting because he got so much fun stuff for Christmas that he has everything he could ever possibly want right now. But off we popped into town and we still managed to find things to buy him!
First off, an adorable fleecey hat from Morrison's. Morrison's do a lovely, very reasonably priced range of children's clothes and so I saw this and couldn't resist, it's far too adorable. Plus it was on sale! I'm not sure if it's a tad girly? Can a plain white winter hat even be gender specific? Either way, it was hanging in the boys section... and there's no gender stereotyping in my household!
Secondly, Luke has crazy dry skin sometimes. It's not too dry he needs to go to the doctor or anything, but he gets dry cheeks and arms. Also, after a horrible teething session, his neck is suffering a bit from drool. I bought the kids version of E45 for him to try out and popped it on him today after his bath. It has the same credentials as normal E45 - perfume free, allergy screened and dermatologically tested, I can only assume the the children's version is slightly weaker? Anyway, I thought as far as skin goes for toddlers, go with something you trust.
In other news, Luke has started really gurgling and having strange sounding conversations with himself. Which is, of course, adorable. Tomorrow's plan consists of crafty things and lots of reading, so watch this space. Also, I'm planning two new blog posts for the near future - mine and Luke's December favourites and a post about the books Luke received for Christmas.

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