My pregnancy story & the arrival of our Little Man

Hi everyone! Well I'm here blogging on my phone from my hospital bed - couldn't help myself. So hopefully it turns out ok. I am now a proud mother of two and we have become a family of four. We are so smitten with our newest addition...

I just wanted to share a few dot points of my pregnancy journey and how it all turned out. I'm not one for birth stories, so will keep that part brief :)


- 15th April 2015 = Last drinks! My favourite Rockford Alicante Rose to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

- I was 8 weeks along on my 32nd birthday & Mother's Day

- In June I went to Melbourne for a girls weekend to see The Lion King with my wonderful inlaws.

- We announced our exciting news on the 30th of June at 12 weeks.

- We found out that our baby was a boy at 20 weeks (well 95% sure we were told).

- I was craving anything and everything sweet pretty much the whole pregnancy.

- At 25 weeks I was privileged to be bridesmaid for a dear friends wedding. It was an epic weekend but so much fun!


- We started to get Miss M prepared for the big changes and helped her reach her 'big girl' milestones, no dummy, big girl bed & toilet trained in October school holidays.

- Miss M started making sense of it all and gave me some tips on how to handle 2 kids! 


- As I started to get bigger and the toddler toys all over the floor became increasingly difficult to pick up - enter 'the claw' = best ever pregnancy life hack!


- We got the nursery ready with hot air balloons & clouds. I love it! And Miss M loves playing in there, she puts her toys to bed in the cot and tells us 'sshhh'!


- I had a follow up scan at 32 weeks to check for low lying placenta (which had moved). And at this scan there was no doubt that he was definitely a boy!

- I absolutely loved (and was very lucky to be) a friends 'guinea pig' as she studied pregnancy massage and practised on me.

- I worked up until 36 weeks, made it to the end of the school year. So relieved to have made it.

- Our little man was very wriggly & active on the inside and was measuring quite big like his big sister.

- Arrival date! 30th of December 2015 (38 weeks + 4 days). Elective caeserean (for several reasons). Miss M ended up being a caeserean after a long labour that wasn't progressing, so we decided to schedule one this time around. Same OB as last time and the same hospital. Being taken care of so well.

- His stats... 3.9 kg, 53 cm length and 37 cm head circumference.


- All went very well and smoothly. We had a lovely, calm, relaxed and happy day 1 with him. I soaked up every moment.

- Miss M was amazing with him when she visited, wanted to cuddle him non stop and was so gentle. She gave him a special gift she had chosen, and told him that he would have his own bedroom at our house. My heart melted!


And there you go. I've fallen in love all over again.

Happy new year everyone!! Wherever you may be. I've heard we may even be able to see some fireworks from our hospital room balcony :)

Lauren xx

We choose to keep our children's names private in this blog and ever expanding and overwhelming Internet world. So we'll just call him 'Little Man'.
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A Year of Teacher Types {2015}

We're getting close to Christmas and the end of 2015, and I was feeling all inspired by Jess from Essentially Jess with her end of year wrap up post and so I wanted to do the same. I wanted to share a snapshot of my best blogging and significant happenings from this year. Teacher Types is nearly 2 years old, and I'm so proud of how far I've come, and that I've been able to consistently stick to it. It brings so much to my life and I'm so excited to see what opportunities 2016 will bring!

Please enjoy a trip down memory lane with me :)
If you're a loyal reader (YOU ROCK!) and please let me know your favourite post of the year. If your a newish follower (THANK YOU!) and I hope you like reading some of my best posts from this year, there may be some you've missed.


January


We went on a mini family holiday to Melbourne to start our year, and overall it went pretty well (although we haven't been on a plane since, and we stressed out slightly when Miss M didn't have her day naps while we were there). But I shared a few highlights on the blog...as you do.

Melbourne Snapshot

January is the perfect time for 'Back to School' posts as parents, children and teachers are all preparing to return to school (some more enthusiastically than others). I wrote a back to school series covering all sorts of topics from separation anxiety, to giving kids a head start with reading.

February


February saw my most popular post of 2015 - Phonics Treasure Baskets and this activity was a big hit in my classroom as the children were learning their letters and beginning sounds. 


I also reviewed one of my favourite little Adelaide play cafes (well, it's way more than your regular play cafe)... Amalie's Play Space and have been back many times throughout the year. 

March


March was Miss M's 2nd Birthday and we celebrated with a party at Amalies. She was a bit overwhelmed with all the people there, had trouble sharing and cried when we all sang 'happy birthday'. All her guests had fun though!

I really liked this Maths post of 10 hands on way to learn numbers. Lots of great ideas here for classroom or home. 


April


In April I bought you a lovely series with the help of my online Mother's Group - "Stories from Real Mummies". There were stories about Ridiculous Reasons for TantrumsManaging Toddler BehaviourFunny things our two year olds say and Best activities for two year olds. I love that these stories, advice and quotes are directly from the mouths of mums who were/are living the 'terrible twos' here and now. Must do another series like this in 2016. 


May


In May I finally joined Facebook! Yay! Now I have 850 likers...(although Facebook can be very frustrating at times when 10 people out of those 850 see my content). 

I attempted the 'Blog every day in May' challenge and made it 27 days. Interestingly though - may saw my highest pageviews of the year. Two favourite posts of these 27 were How to make the perfect rainbow rice and Art Work made from toddler paintings.



May was also Mother's Day and my birthday. I shared a rather personal post here - There's a story behind this handbag.

June


I used up all my good ideas and content in May, so lost some mojo in June. But I guess these two weren't too bad and could do with a mentioned - Clever Craft ideas with CleverPatch and What's in a quiet box?


July


We were so thrilled to announce our pregnancy news in July, and it's not long to go now until I'll be making another exciting announcement of his arrival. Another highlight of July was when we went to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. It was absolutely magical and I would highly recommend it to all young children and their families. 

Image used with permission.

August


We ditched the dummy in August and (of course) I blogged about it. Miss M still loves this colour sorting activity that I shared. 


September


September was a quiet month with only 2 posts - both pretty good though if I do say so myself. These alphabet collages are a great idea to help children learn their letters. 


We enjoyed a family trip to Goolwa and Miss M was in her absolute element jumping on the jumping pillow at the caravan park. 

October


October was fun and a few special milestones were achieved during the school holidays. Miss M adjusted to a big girl bed and we decorated her 'rainbow' bedroom. We managed to master toilet training, and we still battle with daily getting dressed tantrums.


November


Another family trip happened in November, this time to Mount Gambier and it the road trip went really well compared to the same time in 2014. November was the exciting time when I teamed up with Finlee and Me to become a brand rep. I wrote about 15 of my favourite products you can find on their online store. 


December


To kick off December and get into the Christmas spirit I hosted a HUGE Christmas giveaway. It was a lot of work but totally worth it and I was so grateful for the 7 small business for their prizes and everyone who entered for their support. 

I only just recently shared our completed baby's nursery - and this certainly has been a highlight of the month. 


So I think that's where I'll sign off for now. The next time you hear from me I'll have some baby news to share :)

Thank you for following along this year. 
Have a wonderful Christmas and a joyful start to 2016!

Love Lauren & family xx
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December Round Up {Childhood 101 Guest Posts}

I have been so lucky and fortunate to have had the opportunity to write all year for such a brilliant Kids/Parenting Website - Childhood 101,  and I'm pleased to say that this collaboration is continuing in 2016! I thought it would nice for an end of year post to wrap up the 12 posts I've written over there... There's been quite a variety of posts, literacy, books, maths, sensory, things for toddlers, preschoolers and school aged children... I asked Christie (editor of C101) how my stats were, and my most viewed post was Busy Bags for Toddlers.


So here they all are (in order of most recent)




















You can also find all the articles I've written elsewhere around the net at my "I've been featured" page.

I interviewed Christie from Childhood 101 in June this year - read it here
Thanks again for having my on the C101 team Christie! If you don't already follow Childhood 101 - you really should! FacebookInstagram
Lauren x
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Planning for Baby #2 {Baby Boy Nursery Inspo}

Yes - you've guessed it (and I've dropped quite a few hints recently) - we are having a boy! It's been lots of fun decorating our baby boy's nursery and I've been dying to share it with you. We've gone with the theme of "Up up and away!" with hot air balloons and clouds. Sweet as pie :)

Here is a link to Miss M's Bird Themed Nursery and the transformation to a her big girl Rainbow Bedroom (but I kept a few of the little bird details).

So without further ado...here it is!


All the white furniture was from Miss M's nursery (cot, shelves, drawers/change table + glider chair). The strategically placed blue stripe on the cot was to temporarily hide teeth marks! 


We have roller shutters on all our bedroom windows, so didn't need curtains. I love that they make the room pitch black at any time of day (especially useful in daylight savings!). 

You can see the drawers/change table in this photo - I like the uncluttered look of the change mat sitting on top of the drawers, and when you're done with nappies, the top comes off and the drawers will last for many years. 


It's a bit hard to see the quilt, but it's quite plain with grey/white clouds on it - from Target


I love our IKEA squares (these are the Expedit ones, but I believe now they're called Kallax). Both kids rooms have them. The toy storage white boxes were from IKEA as well, super cheap, light and easy to use. 




Hot Air Balloon wall decals available here and clouds here {Etsy}
Cloud hooks from Kmart.


Pom Pom rug from Ecoviva - Miss M has the rainbow one in her bedroom. I love the colours of this one.
{generously gifted - so grateful!!}


Hanging cloud from Kmart. We decided to attach it to the wall rather than have it hanging by string since it's over the cot. Looking forward to finding a few more special things to display here.

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Miss M already loves playing in her baby brother's room, and she's coming to terms with donating some of her baby toys and books to him. Although it means I have 2 kids rooms to keep tidy!

If you'd like to share some pics of your nursery - pop on over and visit me on Facebook tonight when I share this post :)

Not long to go now!!

Lauren x
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My Most Exciting Interview Yet | Hayley Pearson from ADELADY


Ok I'm just a tad excited...as my regular readers will know every month I interview a fabulous blogger, lately keeping it local and chatting with fellow Adeladians. Today I'm welcoming Hayley Pearson - Radio host, TV presenter and co-owner of Adelady. I remember her from her breakfast radio days on SAFM, and often see her cheerful face on the 'metro whip around' on The Project on Friday nights. I've had the privilege of writing for Adelady recently (here, here and here with another in the works) - I started following when it was just a colourful insta-feed and have seen it turn into a very successful website. 


Screen shot of Adelady's insta feed - go follow them now!!

Welcome Hayley!

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Tell us Hayley, you've achieved so much in your career - TV, Radio, and now your Adelady website is your newest adventure! What's been the highlight of your career so far? 


Before this year I would have said the time that Nova (the radio station) flew me to LA to interview one of my fave bands - The Foo Fighters! That was the absolute highlight! I was even flipping out at the fact that I got to sit on Dave Grohl's toilet. Okay, I'm a little crazy!  But after Adelady was born, this year is the highlight of my career. Starting something with one of my closest friends and building it up to be everything we wanted it to be is just so satisfying! It's exciting!

Who's the most famous person you've met? (or who were you the most excited to meet?)


Probably the most famous would be Will Smith, Ashton Kutcher, Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, Angela Lansbury, Katy Perry, Lady Gag Ga... but I was most excited about interviewing John Snow from Game of Thrones!

Wow - just wow!


Can you share a favourite post from Adelady?


My most favourite ones are ones from the heart, the ones that make us smile and laugh and think "omg I do that too". Our most popular one was picked up by News.com and that was 40 Signs You Know You're From Adelaide.

I'd love to know what play activities your two boys are loving at the moment?


We park hop. We are trying to test out every park in SA! With a 4 year old and one year old, it's all about tiring them out so they sleeeeep! (Read Hayley's Top 11 Parks post here)

Any tips for a mum about to go from one child to two? (By 'a mum' I mean ME!)


It was easy. Nothing is new. You are prepared for vomit covered t-shirts, middle of the night feeds, and baby poo explosions. I've enjoyed having two bubs SO much! Also one of the most special moments for me was introducing Austin (our 3 year old) to Alfie for the first time. Make sure it's super special and they get to meet the newbie before any other family members (other than yourself and your partner of course). (I love this article Hayley wrote recently Baby 1 vs Baby 2)

You were in the Credit Union Christmas Pageant recently? What was it like?


So much fun and so tiring at the same time. You are performing non-stop the whole way! But seeing the smiles on kid's faces is so cool - especially when you spot your own children.

How can awesome Adelaide businesses get in touch with you to be featured on Adelady?


Email us or call us!  We are all about collaborating with like-minded South Aussies. We promote businesses that suit our brand! Our filters are Adelaide/female related and fun!

A quote to finish?


Source unknown - made with wordswag app.

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Thank you so much Hayley! What a pleasure to have you here today. Looking forward to collaborating in 2016! Keep up the great work xx

Get social with Adelady here...
email: hayleyandlauren@adelady.com.au

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Preparing for Baby #2 {Advice from other Mummy Bloggers}

So, you probably all know that I'm getting closer and closer to welcoming a new addition to our family. I've previously written about What we plan to do differently this time around and What's in Miss M's Big Sister Bag?. The other day I put a call out to a the wonderful Kid Blogger Network Group for their posts about this topic - and received an overwhelming response! Here some really useful posts and articles I found (all images and links are used with permission)

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Meghan from Playground Parkbench has written How I Survived 2 under 2. I found this article really useful because it's organised into Before/After baby's arrival. My favourite tips included role play with dollies and cots etc, involving the older sibling in the preparations (this one has been so true to us), stocking the freezer with meals (must do this!) and using the baby bjorn. Meghan also wrote this post on how her 2nd child taught her that every child is different. I'm so interested to see how our baby is different to Miss M - we were so surprised when she turned out to have fair hair and blue eyes while hubby and I both have brown hair/eyes. Miss M was a pretty good sleeper, but is shy and was reluctant to go to other people from about 4 months old. Well time will tell!

Damjana from Apple Green Cottage put a similar call out to her mummy blogger friends just like I have to get some extra advice. You can read their tips and stories here.



Melissa from Powerful Mothering wrote a great post titled How to stay sane with a new baby and a demanding toddler - and she had some great tips to share. She explains how in the beginning its all smooth sailing while your other half is home to help, and family is coming around all the time with home cooked meals - until life returns to the 'new normal' and you need to start surviving the days on your own with the two little ones!! A very useful article.


MaryAnne from Mama Smiles has written a lovely post about a positive parenting approach to introducing a new sibling. She has lots of great advice, and positive language examples to use with the older sibling. I especially like the angle of reminding the older child that they can do things that the baby can't do yet to make them feel grown up and special.

Kristen from Practical Mommy talks about how life is different when you Become a Mom of 2 - she outlines things she learnt, and how having one child now doesn't seem like it was that hard!



I absolutely adored this post of 'Big Brother Gift Ideas' from Non Toy Gifts. The idea boxes are included here which we have ready to go for Miss M.



Children learn through play, and when a new sibling arrives, and older sibling is more than likely going to want to act out this new scenario through their play - it's how they make sense of their ever changing world (chances are they do this sort of make believe play anyway). Nicole from The Kavanaugh Report (a Montessori inspired blog) has put together a lovely little baby care basket to encourage imaginative play and keep and older toddler busy with their own dolly while Mum or Dad is busy with bubs. I love treasure basket play so will definitely put this one on the to do list.



I've written a few busy bag posts in my blogging time, but Nicolette from Powerful Mothering has put together a huge collection of Busy Bag Ideas - sorted into categories. I really must prepare a few of these ahead of time to grab at a moments notice to keep Miss M busy when I need her to be!



Finally, my Adeladian friend Sarah from Working Mums Collective wrote an open and honest post about her experiences when she had her second child - she found she was not prepared for this huge change. Reading her story and tips has really helped me wrap my head around it all. But I guess the key point out of all of these articles, is that you can only read so much, but won't really know what works until you are actually in that situation.

Thanks to all the bloggers who contributed links today. 
Our baby's nursery is almost done - just a few finishing touches to add and I'll be able to share!!

Lauren x
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Planning for Baby #2 {What's in Miss M's Big Sister Bag}

In just a few weeks, Miss M is going to become a big sister, and it's a huge change in the life of a two year old. My caesarean is booked in (due to various reasons) so we know that we'll be in hospital for a few days, maybe even a week, so I created this 'big sister bag' for Miss M to open, discover, play and keep busy while she's in the hospital visiting. I've tried to think of not only things she'll like, but things that are quiet, low mess and low fuss, and activities she can do relatively independently. The big sister bag will stay in hospital until we all come home...

Here's a look at what's inside...


  • Books to read - 'Too Busy Sleeping' (read why this is the perfect book for this situation) and 'My Mum is the Best'
  • Sticker/Activity books (she's into Frozen already!) + highlighters (for some reason she loves highlighters so this will be something special)
  • A big sister T-shirt and special necklace ('pretties' she calls them)
  • Threading - a nice quiet activity she can do
  • Playdough (we gave another friend's daughter some playdough when she became a big sister so Miss M thinks she should get some too! Will just have to minimise the mess potential!)
  • 'Big Sister' mini Idea Box - these boxes are a fantastic idea, they come with 30 wooden coins, each with an activity written on them, such as make a welcome home sign for the baby, look at baby photos of family members, visit the pet shop and look for baby animals... Finlee and Me are trialling these wonderful products - and you can see their full range here 
  • A couple of treats ;)

I think it's so important that the older child get some special attention as well at this exciting time. Given that Miss M would have just been spoilt over Christmas when our baby arrives, she really doesn't need more and more 'stuff' - I think we'll be doing a toy rotation and having some of hew new toys away and changing them around over the next few months. Another tip that friends have suggested, is that when she comes for her first visit to meet her baby brother, to have him in the bassinet so she can come straight to me for a cuddle (if she wants) instead of me already having my arms full with the new baby! We plan to keep visitors to a minimum on the first day, and maybe just immediate family on day 2 - but we'll wait and see. A gift & card for her to give the baby, and for the baby to give to her is also a cute suggestion I've heard from friends who have been through it all before.

Have you got any advice for me? I've put the call out to the Kid Blogger Network I'm a part of, so will have a whole list of articles and links on this very topic coming up soon.

The count down is on!

Lauren xx

Here's the last post I wrote about preparing for baby #2 - the things we plan to do differently this time around.
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Preparing for Baby #2 {What we Plan to do Differently}

I started this blog when Miss M was 9 months old, so I didn't write anything about my pregnancy or her early days, weeks and months... so this time around it's nice to keep a record and share what's going on. I've got 3 "Preparing for Baby #2" post ideas my the good old drafts folder, and in particular I'm writing about what's different this time around.

Most parents are a tad more relaxed when it comes to second and subsequent pregnancies/babies, as we've been through it all before. Still a very exciting time - but different in so many ways. For me this time around, I'm still working at 34 weeks, when with Miss M (simply due to the school year and her due date being early March) I finished work/school at 28 weeks and had 12 weeks of absolutely luxury before she arrived - I watched the ENTIRE series of Greys Anatomy, went swimming regularly, took our dog Archer for daily walks, went shopping all the time and was always getting new baby girl outfits... A friend said to me "enjoy this time because you will never have it again!" and boy was she right.

So this brings me to the point of todays post - what will I (correction - we) will do differently with our second baby compared to Miss M. There's nothing too major, in general we're really happy with the parenting choices we made, I quickly learnt to ignore all the books and conflicting baby advice and followed my mummy intuition and do what we felt best for her and our family. But there's always such a thing as hindsight, so here are some things we think we'll do differently this time around.

Use a Capsule


With a toddler and a newborn a capsule just makes good sense to me (especially if it fits onto your pram). We just used a rear facing car seat with Miss M, and I could never get the car - cot transfer to happen, so quite often I would stay in the car to let her sleep once we got home, or hold her while she completed her nap. Don't think that's easy to achieve with a toddler in tow. The pram we used with Miss M didn't have a capsule either, just the bassinet attachment. So this time we've gone with the Steelcraft Agile + capsule we borrowed from my sister in law. Miss M hasn't liked or used a pram in quite sometime, so we're not going with the double, but thought the little skateboard attachment might be handy!

Choose a Child Care Centre closer to home


This is a tricky one we're deliberating with at the moment. When Miss M started Child Care, it was all a bit last minute due to my mum getting sick, so we just needed to get her in somewhere, and a colleague highly recommended the centre near school (30 mins from home). I've been so so happy with it, the high level or care and professionalism, how the staff take a genuine interest in Miss M and their learning programmes. I just can't spending a total of 2 hours driving there for her to keep going one or two days a week (I should also mention many friends with 2 kids have recommended keeping the older child in Child Care when the younger one comes along - it benefits everyone!). So now we are looking at a different centre closer to home (found one - walking distance, the most beautiful outdoor play area I have ever seen), but this means another change and transition for Miss M. Wish we had of had her in this centre from the beginning...

Embrace Online Shopping


I've tried online shopping before, but think that I'll give it another go when James goes back to work after we have the baby. Just another way to (hopefully) make our lives easier. Don't get me wrong, I still want to be able to get out of the house with the littlies, but I'm sure there are more exciting outings we can do other than the grocery shopping. 

Don't skim/skip the Chapter about Caesareans in the baby books


I made this mistake last time. I think in the back of our minds, first time expecting mother's know that a caesarean may just be how it all turns out in the end, but I didn't really study the books to know what to expect if this was the case (which it was). Thankfully, at the antenatal classes we had to 'act out' the whole caesarean operation - eg which medical people would be there, where they would be standing around you, what they may say to you and what you might hear. This certainly helped! I only wish someone had warned me about the agonising pain when you laugh post op!

Make the most of drive through coffee


The day Maccas announced that their Mc Cafe coffee was coming to drive throughs it made my day. If I can grab my coffee on the go without getting both kids out of the car = winning! And there's so many of these popping up around the place - aside from Maccas and On the Run servos.

Stress Less


Overall I think this is the main one. Second time parents have been through it all before, and even though all babies are different, you at least have some idea of what you're doing and it's not as scary and overwhelming. As I mentioned in my intro, I quickly learnt that the baby books weren't really helping me - and then when I read this article about all the conflicting advice from baby books and parenting experts (which I wish I had read before having her!) it really hit home!

Another awesome article about Baby #1 vs Baby #2 is from my friend Hayley over at Adelady. Good for a laugh and so true!

And in this article I came across - a mum shares why she won't keep a list of things she'll do differently with baby number two. A different take on my post, but still a good read.

So whether you're a first time mum looking for advice, a second time mum getting ready like me I hope you've found this post useful. If you're a mum who's finished having kids and you have any advice about the change from one child to two - I'd love to hear!

Lauren x
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Christmas Craft with a CleverDIY Project Kit

We love art and craft in our house (well Miss M and I do) and we were so excited to receive this special little package in the post the other day... {gifted}

image source - Clever DIY Media Page

This is the CleverDIY Christmas Project Kit! CleverDIY is CleverPatch's new side project providing creative crafty solutions specifically for parents. Many teachers order their bulk craft products from CleverPatch (myself included), but the great thing with CleverDIY is that in this neat little box, you get all the things that you need for just those projects - not huge tubs of paint, glue, glitter which you'd never get through and would clutter up your cupboards at home. They've thought of everything!

"A back to basics approach to kids creativity"

The project kits cater for a variety of ages. Little tikes such as Miss M can work closely with their parents to paint and stick, 5-7 year olds may only need a little extra parent help, and 8-12 year olds can fly solo and be kept busy working independently.

The other great feature of CleverDIY is that you can subscribe and receive a new project every month or just purchase a single box (great birthday or Christmas present idea). You can also order extra craft items from their 'shop'.

Here's a little snap shot of our projects (some not quite complete yet). Looking forward to adding some of Miss M's decorations to the tree and putting the wreath on our door.


I've been so lucky to collaborate with CleverPatch in the past - here are two previous posts if you're looking for more arty and crafty ideas...

Art and Craft Ideas with CleverPatch
Clever Craft Ideas

Now, here's the exciting part, you have a chance to win a CleverDIY Christmas Project Kit for yourself! I'm hosting a huge Christmas giveaway - starting on Tuesday the 1st of December, and there are 7 prizes up for grabs over the week. So stay tuned for a blog post on Monday with all the details, and keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook for when it all kicks off on Tuesday night.

So excited! (If you know me in the real world you'll here me exclaim with a little squeal) :)
Lauren x

{Thanks to the team at CleverDIY}
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