Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sensitive Skin-Friendly Play Dough

Play dough for sensitive skin

S has the sort of skin that's sometimes a little sensitive. A while back she had some sort of eczema that eventually covered her whole body. We tried several different creams before we found one that worked. None of them made it any worse, and I had gloriously soft hands from applying it twice a day... but they didn't solve the problem. 

Meanwhile, S loves to play with play dough of any description. I usually make it with corn flour and oil, but the oil can stain her clothes - she's a bit of a mucky pup, and it tends to get everywhere. Traditional play dough has a lot of salt in it, and can make her hands dry and sore quite quickly - which is not ideal as she doesn't like to have cream on her hands. I was delighted then, when I found this post on The Imagination Tree, for play dough for sensitive skin.

The basic idea is that you mix up dough using corn flour (the God of play dough ingredients!) and cream - moisturiser, medicated cream, whatever you know works for your child. I've no idea why I didn't think of this before! I mixed ours with Diprobase, because we have tons of it, but it doesn't work for S. I added some green food colouring, because I know she's ok with colouring, and set her to playing with it.

play dough sensitive skin diprobase

I think I added too much cornflour, as it was fairly crumbly - but she enjoyed playing with it any way. She's not really into rolling out dough for shapes, as much as she is just squishing it up and making a mess any way!

Diprobase play dough

I think next time I make this, I'll use less corn flour. By the time S had finished playing with it, it had become really crumbly. Also it's worth noting here that the green on S's hand in this video is from previous colouring shenanigans, not the play dough!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My Baby...

One day last week, I collected S from nursery, and she seemed to have grown noticeably, since I dropped her off. Just lately, she has been growing up and learning new things at a rate of what seems like a mile a minute: 

  • She used to sit quietly in the pushchair when we walked into town, perhaps reading one of her books. Now she sits up, pointing out doors, cars, bikes, dogs, cats. 
  • When we get to the shops, she demands, "out!" and takes my hand to drag me around.
  • When we go into the supermarket, she demands a banana. 
  • She tells me which colour she's using to draw all over the floor. 
  • She has learned to ask for Mr Tumble (though she calls him Mummle). 
  • Asking for a drink has gone from "nuck" to "too" to "dink" in the space of a couple of weeks. The first time she said "dink" her face lit up, like she knew she'd finally hit the nail on the head!
  • She can unzip her coat and pull it off.
  • She can mostly hold her umbrella over her head all the way to nursery.

All of this, seemingly overnight.

On the one hand, it's a bit *sniff* that I no longer have a tiny baby I can cradle in my arms and coo at... 

I know babies have growth spurts; I read all about wonder weeks, and I've written essays on toddler vocabulary spurts... but this, I was not prepared for. It's kinda fun! She loves to say her new words and watch my face. We walk down the street shouting, "Car! Tree! Cat! Dog!"

I've just downloaded the Timehop app to my mobile. It's been very weird to look at it each day and see what I was updating last year, two years ago, three years ago. This time in 2010, I was having a breakdown. This time in 2012, I was a petrified new mother. If at either of those times, you had told me I would have spent yesterday afternoon with my two-year-old, reading "Mummle" and Dear Zoo, I would have laughed at you. 

It's so lovely to see my baby growing up, to see her learning new words, new things, new sounds. 

And yeah, I did this. Would you just look at what I made!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easy Home Repairs

Easy home repairs

Being a mum is both rewarding and daunting at the same time, and sometimes completing even the most simple of tasks can seem like a chore – especially if you have your hands full with the little ones!


The key to completing a number of household chores is to be organised. Whether you plan a play date with the children or use your time wisely while they’re at nursery, having a few hours to yourself is a sure-fire way to get things done.

Top tips

From cupboard doors to replacement doorknobs and faulty taps, a number of home repairs can easily be competed without the help of a professional. However, there are also some tasks that will require the help of an expert. For example, if you live in a period property, then you may need to repair sash windows. The overhaul may be as simple as a draught sealing service, maintenance or a slight adjustment. A professional will be able to complete the repair without compromising on the aesthetic character and charm of your existing property.

Take photos

When replacing the likes of a cupboard door or a hanging rail, it’s important to pay attention to its appearance prior to removing the existing item. Taking photos of the different stages will certainly help you to easily reconstruct the replacement item.


If you need to repair or a replace a cupboard or drawer door handle, removing the existing handle and taking it along to your local DIY store will ensure you purchase the correct fixtures and fittings. If not, you may end up purchasing the wrong size or shape.


If you’ve decided to repaint an item of furniture, an old desk or a tired-looking door, then preparation is key. It’s important to ensure that all of the surfaces are clean and sanded down prior to beginning your paint job. It’s also wise to wash or vacuum the surface as debris has a habit of getting trapped under wet paint, which will only result in a shabby finish.

Electrical work

Although certain tasks can easily be completed alone, others require expert help, such as electrical repairs. In order to ensure your own safety and also, the safety of those around you, it’s imperative that you employ the services of an electrician. If the job at hand is as simple as replacing a light bulb, then this is an entirely different matter. It is however important to ensure that the power is off prior to doing so.


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