WITH LIFE + STYLE CONTRIBUTOR
Thrilled to say hi, let me introduce myself… I’m Lucy Felton, Alex and Alexa’s Life + Style Contributor, a fashion journalist turned lifestyle blogger at The Lucy Edit, wife, mum of two (one on the way) and lover of chocolate, décor and buying hordes of magazines I inevitably never get to read!
Just like you guys, I’m a mother trying to juggle it all, stay sane and pretend I’ve got all bases covered when I’m generally having a meltdown on the inside and dropping plates left, right and centre. I never get to go to the bathroom alone anymore and can’t remember the last cup of tea I drank hot but would I change it? Of course not! Hopefully, you’ll get to know me a bit over the coming months as I share my motherhood journey with you all. Expect plenty of baby hacks, parenting tips and pregnancy advice.
So the kids are back at school and the everyday routine has set in once again. Super mum status has resumed (as if you ever really got to hang up your cape on holiday anyway) and you’re expertly plotting and planning their movements on the family calendar to ensure everything runs like clockwork for the weeks and months ahead. For me, the fast-approaching arrival of baby number two is claiming every ounce of my organising power. Getting as much done now to ensure the household is shipshape and in order, before I’ll be knee-deep in nappies, reflux and sleepless nights once again will certainly pay off later on. The new baby is due this November, then it’ll be Christmas (sorry, I said the C-word!) and come February it’s my little boy Hector’s second birthday. It’s all coming around so fast and to prevent the panic I’ve got a million and one to-do lists on the go at once in an attempt to make me feel like I’ve got some of it covered.
NAVY MEGA MONSTERS LONG SLEEVE PYJAMA SET
At the start of my second pregnancy, I had the best intentions to be fit, strong, healthy and well-rested so that my body could be in optimum condition to endure birth. I guess I hadn’t factored in the spending every day looking after a toddler bit! I’m on a constant treadmill trying to make sure Hector is getting all the interaction he needs, whether it’s baby groups or visiting family, being a wife and then shoehorning work into my already over-packed schedule so that my career isn’t firmly on pause from now until the kids go to school. It’s inevitable the fridge is often empty, laundry bin is forever brimming and that I forget to send friends birthday cards. Anyone else feels like they’re running on empty? How do you guys tap into your reserve energy supplies? When I slump on the sofa at the end of the day I’m often left wondering if I’ll be able to muster up enough power to start the whole process again tomorrow. Let alone get a yoga mat out to practice a bit of stretching and mindfulness.
Even the midwife appointments have become a chore, something I really enjoyed the first time around. I just loved all that chat about babies, being able to quiz the professionals and learn something new with each visit. Now I’m struggling to hear what the consultant says over Hector’s screams. To be fair to him, those hospital rooms aren’t designed to accommodate toddlers! When they ask if everything is ok with bump I find myself retorting ‘yep, yep, all fine’ before sprinting out of there faster than they can say ‘Did we take your blood pressure and urine sample?’
This pregnancy really has flown by and I’m already thinking ahead to Hector’s second birthday in February and what we’ll do to celebrate this time. I’m conscious that he doesn’t feel pushed out when the second baby arrives. Same goes for this festive season and making it extra fun for him, even if I do have a new baby stuck to my boobs all day (and night). Come his second birthday, I really want to pull out all the stops. For his first, it was a dinosaur themed bash, which is why I’m here today sharing my ideas and wisdom on all things dino-related.
Whether it’s their first birthday or fifth, you want it to be special, with the right amount of homemade touches and unique finishes to really make all your friends and family gasp in amazement. But that’s all got to be done on a tiny time frame and shoestring budget, because once you’ve bought all the presents, there’s barely anything left for the rest. Realistically, us mama’s don’t have loads of spare hours to do all the fine tuning either. But with a few simple ideas and some imaginative inspo, you can really create that party punch. It’s super easy to pull off, I promise! Totally transform your home into dino-land with these roar-some tricks…
#1 Turn Everyday Party Foods Into A Dino Feast
You needn’t spend hours hunting down a bespoke dinosaur cake and prehistoric nibbles. With a bit of vision, the simplest party foods can become every tots dino dream. Pick up crinkle cut crisps as ‘Stegosaurus scales’ and sugar-coated chocolate eggs make the best ‘dinosaur eggs’. Grab some Twiglets and yoghurt covered pretzels for the coolest bowl of ‘dinosaur bones’. Line up pots of houmous and crudites and hey presto – you’ve got a fab ‘herbivore valley’. While you can make a dramatic dino head from a watermelon (a bit like a Halloween pumpkin) and let a fruit platter spill out of its jaws. Mini scotch eggs can be ‘Pterodactyl eggs’. Don’t forget to label everything up so your themed goodies don’t go unnoticed! Create a show-stopping centrepiece by topping a chocolate cake with mini cornflake cakes that look like rocks, palm trees, maybe a mini volcano and plastic dinosaurs. I even made tiny pom pom party hats for T-Rex and Diplodocus so that Hector’s dino pals really stood out at the cake table!
WITH A BIT OF VISION, THE SIMPLEST PARTY FOOD CAN BECOME EVERY TOT’S DINO DREAM.
RED SPIKE DINOSAUR KNITTED JUMPER
#2 Create A Hide And Seek Tipi Den
Kids love any kind of tent but if you don’t have one fear not, check out the tipi den I rigged up with a basic clothes rail and embellished throw. Hector loved running in and out, and by adding rugs and pillows the whole set up becomes instantly cosy and inviting. Almost like their very own chill out zone. I brought out his play table and stools too, providing the perfect base for games and snacks. This Done by Deer grey and powder pink set has a really cool secret centre-hatch where they can store their treasures and toys. It’s amazing! Finally, make sure there’s lots of dinosaurs – plastic and cuddly – to nestle down amongst all of the fun.
#3 Set Up A Dino Hunt In The Garden
Organise a dinosaur hunt to split up the celebrations and take a break from all the party games and food. It’s a great excuse to get everyone outside and moving too. Plant toy dinosaurs around the garden and amongst foliage and encourage guests to embark on the hunt. Whoever finds the most wins a prize. You could even make your own dino-themed signs and bunting to pretty-up your outside space. I dotted ‘Live Dinosaurs Roaming’ and ‘Enter At Own Risk’ signs around ours which got a few giggles. Order in some huge dinosaur foil balloons and fill with helium to create focal points within the party space.
#4 Dress Them In Dinosaur Kit
While dinosaur tails and masks are the perfect add-on’s, start with the basics, like Hatley’s Mega Monsters long sleeve PJ’s. They make the coolest, comfy dino-print get-up and will most likely be their fave pyjamas for the next year. No doubt they’ll need a change of clothes with all that dinosaur hunting and if you’re in the market for something a little smarter check out Stella McCartney Kids new Autumn Winter collection where edgy flames, cool cars and fierce eagles all make a starring role. Hector’s car and flames sweater is the perfect impact piece that’s practical and non-restrictive for a tiny party host!
Stop by the comments below and let me know what you’re planning for your kids birthday celebrations. Hit me with any questions you have and if there’s something you’re really keen to read about in my Alex and Alexa Life + Style column then please let me know. I really love hearing from you guys! For more pregnancy, parenting and fashion you can follow my posts and daily life over at my blog The Lucy Edit and Insta @TheLucyEdit.
Happy party planning all!