Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Finding Out - Baby Number 2

Today is October 26th. Today our whole world changed again.

I'm still in shock and can't quite believe how we got so lucky. I'm pregnant. Again! 
 
With Paige it took us 16 months to fall pregnant. This time we weren't trying. This is our surprise baby. Very much wanted, just a few months early than planned.

The day of my due period came yet nothing was there. A few more days passed. I went off my beloved cups of tea but nothing clicked. After a couple more days I got a thought that I should maybe take a test. After all my hen do was a week away and there wasn't a chance that id be drinking if I was pregnant. 

I woke up before anyone else. Went into the bathroom and took the test. After a few minutes I looked at the test and thought I saw a faint line. Surely I can't be?! I had to be seeing things. I took the test back into the bedroom and set it down. I got back into bed. After a few more minutes I got up and took the test to the window so I could see. 

A precious pink line. The line that said I was pregnant. I'd only bought a cheap test because in my mind there was no way I could be pregnant. But there it was, clear as day.
 

I laid back down. Mark woke up and asked if I had done the test. I showed him and said it was positive. We laid there in shock. Shocked but excited. A million things started to go through my head.

I had a wedding, a dress to fit into, a hen do to go on, a toddler to look after. Could I do this?

After working out all my dates I figured out i'd be due around June 30th. Paige would be 25 and a half months old. We could totally do it!

A whole new adventure was about to start all over again....

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas 2013

I was so excited for Christmas this year. I knew that although Paige wouldn't properly understand she would get excited and be able to open her presents. Putting my sickness aside we promised to have a good day and we did.

In fact it was wonderful.

Mark woke at around 7am and jumped in the bath. I was still snoozing until around 8am when mark made me a bacon sandwich which I ate in bed. With my sickness I have to eat straight away so this was the perfect way to start the day. We then waiting for Paige to wake up. She had quite an unsettled night so we didn't want to wake her. She finally woke around 9am. I must say I enjoyed this as I know that the next few years she will be waking early as she properly understands Christmas and is excited!

We then opened presents and just enjoyed each other and the gifts we had received. Paige was so cute while opening her presents. She was so excited by each and every present. She even opened some of mine! I surprised myself... I hardly took any pictures at all. Apart of me is a little gutted but the other part is glad that I just enjoyed the whole day. The memories will last me forever. I did get a few pictures though so don't worry :)

We played with toys and had a lovely time while we waited for dinner for cook. We then all sat at our new table and ate Christmas dinner together. Wearing party hats (which Paige loved) and telling rubbish cracker jokes. Paige ate so much Christmas dinner. A Sunday roast type dinner is defiantly one of her favorites, just like her daddy :)

After dinner we played some more, had video chats with far away family and then ate some more. A wonderful relaxed family day.

 
 
 
 
 
 

I am now so excited for next year. Paige will understand a lot more and she will have a little brother or sister to share it with! Eeeeekkkkkk!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola xx

Monday, 23 December 2013

Me and my BABIES!!



Christmas Pictures 2013

Last Christmas I remember taking some photos of Paige in a Santa hat. It was so easy to keep her still as she was only 7 months old. This year it was a challenge but it payed off. Well at least I think so, I got some super cute pictures and the perfect picture to compare to last year.

I'm so excited for next year already... I'll then have 3 pictures to compare! The subtle but striking changes are amazing. Babies and toddlers change so much. I love capturing Paige in pictures and comparing them to her baby photos. It's even better when I get to dress her up in cute Christmas outfits!





And I couldn't finish this post off with comparing a picture to the ones I took last year...


Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Project 365 - Week 51

Monday 16th December
My child is under there I promise
 
Tuesday 17th December
Paige's accessory for the day
 
Wednesday 18th December
I passed 100000 page views
 
Thursday 19th December
Cutie
 
Friday 20th December
Watching TV
 
Saturday 21st December
Trying to steal my lunch
 
Sunday 22nd December
Making our yummy Christmas Gravy
 
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

19 Months old

 
 
The months keep passing by so quickly, I can hardly believe it.
This month has been hard. Paige has decided to stop napping.  She is clearly still tired and still needs the nap but she refuses to take it. We can get her all ready, start rocking her because she screams if you just lay her down, she starts drifting off then out of the blue just wakes up and won't drift off again. It quite annoying that she is clearly still tired but refuses to go to sleep.


She has overcome some fears this months. She will now hide under a blanket and try to go down our stairs. She never liked having her head under a blanket but now loves hiding underneath it and will just lay on the floor hiding under a blanket. As for the stairs she was always so scared of them and wouldn't do anywhere near them to come down. She still won't climb down them and our stairs are quite steep so I don't really want to teach how to do it until a she is a little bigger.

She has learnt to roar, woof and moo. She tries to meow and make other sounds but hasn't quite got it yet. She also tries to repeat certain words that we say. The first one I can think of being star. We were pointing out all the Christmas decorations and she tried to repeat it. She will also copy sounds you make like clicking your tongue. She still doesn't use a whole lot of words but has said book and bye bye this month.


She has 12 teeth and six cutting number 13 which is one of her vampire teeth as I like to call them. It does seem to be causing her some pain so maybe that isn't helping with the nap situation!

She is still eating well and her hair seems to be growing like crazy. Her eyes are still green and have been since she was around 4 months I think.

She reacts to and gets excited by so many things and is constantly saying ooooohhhhhh. Christmas is going to be so fun! When she gets excited she also shakes with excitement which is so cute.

Her interest with Millie has grown this month too. She loves saying Millie and will call other cats Millie too. She loves stroking her and does it very gently now. She also tries to share her toys with her and feeds Millie her dinner sometimes.


I can't wait for her second Christmas!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola xx

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Panic Attack

A panic attack wasn't the main aim of my day last Sunday.

We were doing the weekly food shop as usual for a Sunday. It was slightly busier than normal due to the time of year but apart from that everything else was the same.

We were about 80% done when I started to feel a little off. Something wasn't quite right. We stopped and I had a drink of water. My scarf felt like it was tightening up around my neck, I rushed to take it off. I became hot and faint. All I could see what blackness, my eyes kept going out of focus. Mark told me to sit down. As I walked away from him and Paige I struggled to breathe. My chest felt tight. The tears started to stream down my face. I finally made it to a chair. Mark was close by but not directly next to me as he had Paige in the trolley.

It got harder and harder to breathe. I had lost control. I sat there on the chair struggling to breathe. No one approached to see if I was ok, clearly I wasn't. After what felt like a lifetime I told myself I had to calm down, I had to gain control. After a few minutes I started to control my breathing. I regained control of my body.

I sat. Just staring into space. I'd just had a panic attack. I had no idea why and still don't now looking back on the situation.

I went to find Mark. I told him I was fine as he had carried on shopping as I just wanted to go home. He asked me how I felt and to be honest I felt fine. I felt better for having the panic attack as crazy as that sounds.

When we were at the checkout I started to feel panicky again. I was being rushed and hated that feeling. Somehow I managed to get it under control before it developed into another attack.

We got home. I had lunch then went to lay down. I had a huge headache and felt horrible. The rest of the day wasn't good. I didn't eat tea and slept a lot.

I'm hoping it was a one off. I wanted to write this post for me. For me to remember how horrible it felt and how I hope it won't happen again. If it does happen again I have this to look back on.

Have you dealt with panic attacks?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola xx

Monday, 16 December 2013

Project 365 - Week 50

The year is nearly over. When I first started project 365 December seemed so far away. I can't believe I've nearly manage a whole year!

Monday 9th December
Peek a Boo

Tuesday 10th December
Christmas Crafts

Wednesday 11th December
Asleep on daddy

Thursday 12th December
Favourite Decoration

Friday 13th December
Cuddles with Moo

Saturday 14th December
Me and my girl

Sunday 15th December
Not my planned Sunday

Thanks for reading,

Nicola xx

Are Parasites more Dangerous to Kittens or Adult Cats? *

Parasites that affect your beloved family pet (such as worms, fleas or ticks) will be a huge nuisance to them, and if not caught and treated early, can make them really sick. They can also be harmful to other members of your family, such as young children that have a love for putting things in their mouth, or who haven’t quite learnt the importance of washing their hands a lot yet.
Depending on the age of your cat, you may need to take different necessary precautions to protect them from contracting parasites and infections. 

Kittens and parasites

Intestinal parasites – such as worms – can be extremely harmful to young pets, such as kittens. This is mainly due to the fact that they require a lot more nutrients than older cats, which they cannot receive if their intestines are inflamed. They will also have a weaker immune system, so will not be able to fight the infection as effectively and quickly. If one kitten in a litter is infected with worms, it’s extremely likely that they will pass it on to the others.
It’s vital to take your young kitten to the vet regularly during the first year of their life, so that they can establish any problems early on, and deal with them effectively. Also, it’s important as it may be difficult to spot any health issues in a young kitten yourself, whereas a vet will be able to conduct investigations to identify them for you. They will be able to work with you to find a suitable preventative treatment, ideal for the kitten’s age, too. Additionally, this is especially a good idea if you’ve never had a cat before. 

Adult cats and parasites

Adult cats are much more resistant than kittens to intestinal parasites, though it is worth noting this is only usually so if they are healthy and well looked after. Adult cats are more likely to have a stronger and more efficient cleaning routine rather than younger ones, and are therefore more likely to prevent them or get rid of them on their own in the first place, if the problem is not severe. 
However, if their living conditions are seriously contaminated with germs and parasites, they too can become very ill. Fighting illness before it occurs is often regarded as your best defence against worms. By arming your cat from infection by giving it Drontal cat tablets from sites like Vet Medic, the likelihood of them becoming ill will be reduced dramatically. 


It’s also important that you take your adult cat to the vet regularly, as they are known for ‘putting on a brave face’ and suffering in silence when affected by worms. You may not even notice a problem as the cat’s behaviour may not change very much, or may do so very gradually. Therefore a vet is more likely to be able to spot that something is wrong more quickly than you can, no matter how much loving attention you give them. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

The 5 craziest energy saving tips - that might just work!*

With incessant energy price-rises, such as recent jumps of as much as nine per cent in the UK, we’re all becoming more aware of the part we have to play in saving energy, which in turn will save us money. Some energy-saving tips might seem a little strange, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work. 

* Fill up the freezer: Having spaces in the freezer or fridge wastes energy because every time you open the door, you allow warm air from your kitchen to get into those spaces, which will then become warmer. Once you close the door, those spaces will need to cool again, using energy and costing you money. Obviously, the best thing to do is keep your fridge and freezer well-stocked with food, but if you can’t do that, containers of water will be just as efficient. Filling ice-cream or margarine tubs is a great way of doing it.

* Buy more dishes: As you’re probably aware, running an appliance at its full capacity is the most efficient way to use it. For example, a washing-machine or dryer is very wasteful if you half-fill it. This applies to the dishwasher as well, but if you only have a small household, it may be difficult to do this and you could end up wasting energy by washing small loads. Buying extra dishes to cover for this makes it much easier to fill the dishwasher or you could simply not keep any for special occasions. Just enjoy all your crockery all year.

* Vampire power: If the word ‘vampire’ only brings to mind stories of bats and bloodsuckers, there’s more for you to learn. ‘Vampire power’ is a term that describes the effect of leaving appliances in standby mode or even switched off but still plugged in. While standby is the worst offender, many people don’t realise that power can ‘leak’ via a switched off, plugged-in appliance. Remove plugs from sockets wherever possible and watch the savings grow.

* Self-glazing: While many homes have double-glazed windows, if you don’t, or if you still feel that the cold is seeping in, some well-placed cellophane can act as an extra layer of glazing and a barrier to draughts. For small windows, a roll of cling-film will probably be enough and for larger windows a plastic dust-sheet from your local DIY shop will do the job. Once you have attached the sheet with tape, blow it with a hairdryer on a warm or hot setting to tighten it.

* Reflect on the heat: Not all of the heat from your radiators goes where it should, particularly if they're on an external wall. An old trick to make sure you get the benefit of all of a radiator's heat is to attach foil to the wall behind it. According to a BBC report, although there are specially made foils, a good-quality kitchen foil can be a reasonable substitute.

By following these unusual suggestions as well as other methods, such as changing your old light bulbs for new energy-efficient ones, fitting room thermostats and shopping around for companies that offer lower energy tariffs, you can make big savings. Only pay for what you really need to use and, who knows, you may save enough to splash out on a holiday somewhere where you won't need to worry about radiators. 

REVIEW - Suit Hire Direct

If you have seen my wedding day post you may be wondering where some of our clothes came from. We were very lucky that the lovely people at Suit Hire Direct let us hire Marks suit in exchange for a review.


I was over the moon. We had looked into buying Mark a suit and it was coming up quite expensive to be honest. As you know we didn't have a huge budget for the wedding and we wanted to keep costs down and save money where we could. Hiring a suit didn't really pop into mine or Marks head as an option. I honestly thought the whole process would just add stress to an already stressful day but, I was very wrong.


Me and Mark had a look at the Suit Hire Direct website and were quiet impressed. The suits looked lovely and price is also very good. Mark decided to pick the 6 piece longue suit. This meant we would only have to buy some cuff links as he already had some shoes. It was a perfect match.

First up was picking the colours for the suit. We wanted to keep it pretty neutral and Mark said he wanted a grey suit so he picked the mid grey. His shirt was plain white with the added Victoria collar which provided a nice detail. He also got the Ivory Raso waistcoat, Ivory Ruche and an Ivory Handkerchief. The website is really easy to follow with clear instructions to guide you through the process. Even measuring Mark was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I was very worried I had measured him wrong but as you can see the suit fit him perfectly.

Delivery of the suit was quite a big worry of mine. As the bride I wanted everything ready and organised. The suit was ordered to be delivered a week before the wedding and it came right on time. I do think delivery could be improved with an allocated time slot. I was waiting in all day and it didn't arrive until 4pm ish so a time slot of a couple of hours would make the service that much more amazing. You can get delivery before 12pm for extra £10 if needed. The suit arrived in a cardboard box, which you keep to return it in, and a suit bag.


Excuse the confetti!
Mark tried the suit on straight away and it was a perfect fit. The suit was ready to go! The shirt needed an iron but that's to be expected. The big day came and on closer expectation we did see that the ruche had some very slight treading missing. It wasn't noticeable unless you were up close and looking carefully. I did email Suit Hire Direct just to let them know. I didn't want them to think that we had done it. They then informed me that if we had noticed the day we got it then they would have arranged for a replacement to be sent out which gives you great piece of mind. Like I said though it wasn't noticeable at all, as you can see from the pictures. The suit looked perfect.



Returning the suit was just as easy. We agreed on a pick up date at the time of ordering which was the Monday after the wedding. Mark packed the suit into it's bag and placed it in the box. The box was then sealed and that was it. The delivery man knocked on the door and placed his own return label on the box meaning we didn't have to worry about that at all.

Overall the service was amazingly easy and I would recommend it to anyone. I exchanged many emails and even had a phone conversation with Suit Hire Direct and never had a problem.

Thank you for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - Mark was sent this suit to hire for free for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are mine and Marks*

Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Smile

In adults a smile can hide a thousand things but in children a smile can reveal the inner joy. The joy that as adults we sometimes can't fully show for one reason or another.

Children have such amazing smiles that light up their entire face and can warm our hearts.

A smile is the best gift. And I get to see this cutie smile everyday!

 

To get these smiles from Paige I was fooling around and making funny noises. At least she thinks I'm funny if no one else does!

What makes your little one smile?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola xx

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ferry vs Plane*

Can you believe I haven't gone abroad on holiday for about 7 years now?! When I was younger my mum would take me and my brother abroad every year. We went to Turkey, Greece, Spain and France. We travelled by plane and by ferry. I'm not very confident at flying although, as the years have gone on I have got better. Mark has actually never flown before at all.

We are wanting to take Paige abroad next year... With me a nervous flyer and mark having never flown before a ferry may be the way forward for us!

Britannia Ferries have put together this lovely infographic which shows the benefits of travelling by a ferry and why it's better than travelling by a plane for a family.
Ferry to France vs Plane

Have you travelled by ferry before?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Changing Clothes*

Mark has been asking what I want for Christmas for ages now. I have no idea. I never do. I want everything and nothing all at the same time. Is anyone else like that? I moan about stuff I would like all year then when Christmas actually comes around I have no clue.

I need some new boots. Mine are all worn and should be after 3/4 years! I hate buying footwear for myself. I just hate spending a lot of money of them without knowing they will last. As long as they will last me a few years I'm fine with paying out for them, if not I'll make do with a cheap £15 pair but I want some decent winter boots. Possibly knee length to tuck my jeans into them but they have to be practical as 99% of the time I'm either pushing Paige in her pram or running around after her. As much as I love high heels they aren't too practical with a toddler. Rieker at Shoetique have some lovely flats and also some low heels which could work and look quite comfy.

I'm such a sucker for comfort now a days. I'd take a pair of yoga pants and some pumps over a little black dress and heels any day but it wasn't always like that. I used to enter beauty pageants! Yes, I do still love getting dressed up but it doesn't happen very often and I'm ok with that. I'll save my fancy clothes and shoes for when Paige is a little older and wants to play dress up! 

Has your style changed since becoming a parent?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

REVIEW - Nonabox November

I was quite excited to receive the November Nonabox. After the October one I was told to expect more toddler related things. I was a little disappointed.


In this box I got
JoJo Changing Mat Clutch RRP £15.00
JoJo Packaway Pocket Highchairs RRP £14.00
JoJo Henry Rabbit Blankie RRP £9.00
Plum Stage 1 Porridge RRP £2.55
Fireman Sam Christmas Books RRP £2.99 
Mr. Men Two Christmas Books RRP £2.99 
Plus samples.

The first thing that I noticed when I opened the box was the porridge. Paige hasn't eaten stage one baby food since she was a baby. At 18 months old this product is useless to us and I am a little confused as to why it was in our box. I was told that this was a mix up but in my eyes it shouldn't have happened at all.

I love the pocket high chair. It may not actually fit in any of my pockets but I think it's a very useful product and is age related. It was just a couple of weeks ago that we actually went to restaurant and they didn't have any high chairs. If I had had this product it would of saved the day. It's now going to live in the changing bag if this situation were to occur again. The fact that the high chair is blue doesn't really bother me but a more neutral colour would be nice.

The clutch changing bag is a fabulous idea. I personally don't love the print so wouldn't carry it around on its own but I think it's fabulous to keep nappies and wipes inside and then when baby needs changing and you're out and about all you have to do it grab the clutch and you have everything you need!

The comforter is nice. Not really toddler related and Paige won't use it. Maybe I could save it for if we have another baby. A pretty useless product for an 18 month old though.

The books included are good, toddler related items although they say for ages 3+. I kind of feel like they are pretty boy related but I'm sure Paige will still enjoy them. She loves flicking through books.

The samples are a nice added extra but don't add any value to the box. I feel that this box is worth a lot less than the previous ones. As you can see from the price list above you still get more than the £25 you pay for but as I'm disappointed with some products in this box.

Overall I still think Nonabox is a great idea, it just needs a few extra changes to suit all age types. I think they have the baby boxes covered but the toddler boxes defiantly need some work. I also think it would be nice if they took the sex of your baby into consideration a little more.

Have you tried Nonabox yet?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - This Nonabox was sent for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Project 365 - Week 49

Monday 2nd December
 More mummy and Paige fun
 
Tuesday 3rd December
Cute
 

Wednesday 4th December
A year ago

Thursday 5th December
Yum

Friday 6th December
Big girl table

Saturday 7th December
Daddy went shopping

Sunday 8th December
Decorating Christmas cookies

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx
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