Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Me and Mine - April

Another month and another family picture. I am loving having these pictures to look back on. It feels so special to me and amazing that soon another little person will be in them with us. I can't wait!
This months picture didn't quite go to plan. I wanted a nice, smiley, everyone looking at the camera picture. I soon became to realize that with a nearly two year old and a big kid at 29 years old (Mark) this wasn't going to happen but I realized that the pictures we got are perfect anyway.
The first pretty much sums up this month just as it should. Mark giving Paige a kiss. She is such a daddy's girl lately that this picture is perfect. She wants to snuggle daddy, play with him and just generally be near him. He now comes home for his lunch as we live a lot closer to his work so I think she is getting a little more attached to him if that makes sense. It is so lovely to see and to be honest it gives me some Nicola time and time to rest in my pregnant state.
The next two are our failed attempts are us three looking at the camera and smiling. I have it down but Mark and Paige need some work I think, hehe. In the first Mark is trying to lick my ear. Yes he is a freak! In the second Paige was about to run away. I need to get used to the fact that these pictures are getting less likely to happen each month, especially when baby boy gets here. 


I also had to include this next photo as Paige took it all by herself. She got so happy when it popped up on the screen and she could see both mummy and daddy. So here is me and Mark as Paige sees us :)

This month I turned 25. This month was also our last full month with a 1 year old as Paige turns 2 in May. It was also our first proper month in our new house and I am ending this month at 30 weeks pregnant. The 10 week countdown to baby boys due date begins!
Thanks for reading and I will see you next month with my 2 year old!!
Nicola Xx

dear beautiful

Freezing Time

Being a mum is such an amazing thing and I wouldn't change it for the world but it is very, very bittersweet. You go through pregnancy imaging yourself with a tiny baby at the end of it but no one really explains just how quickly that baby starts to support themselves and how quickly they want independence. How they change and grow before your eyes and even though you love every second you can't help but want to freeze time and just watch them for that extra second longer, just to soak it up that little bit longer.

As a mum you love watching your baby develop and learn new things but you also wish they'd slow down a little too. As they grow you start to miss the newborn days, the days when they would fall asleep on you and the days when they didn't answer no to every one of your questions.

Paige turns two in a matter of weeks, 17 days to be precise. 17 days until my baby is two. 17! How did that happen?

I want to remember Paige just as she is now... sweet, cheeky, a terror at times, an only child, a 1 year old, my baby. 


Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Nonabox Review - April

If you have read my blog before you will know that I have previously reviewed Nonabox before. I was sent the September, October and November boxes last year.

This month I have being sent another to give it another try now that I'm pregnant, I was pregnant when I received the other boxes but hadn't announced it yet.

I must say that  I am very impressed with this months box. Included in the box I received a body wash and shampoo by Green People, a UK snooze baby comforter, a UK Soother Company dummy, a Mega Bloks - Block buddy, two Plum baby items and some Arbonne Cream.

The boxes retail at £25. I have included a price breakdown of the items included in my box so you can get an idea of the value of the items in the box if you were to buy them individually.

Green People - Organic Baby Wash and Shampoo 150ml £7.25
Arbonne - Intelligence Rejuvenating Cream £29.00
Mega Bloks - Block Buddy £2.99
Plum baby (+6) Little Yums pumpkin, banana, spinach, apple and kale £3
Plum baby (+1year) Mighty 4 kale, strawberry, amaranth and Greek style yogurt pouch £1.19

Overall I think the value of this box is great. I can save a lot of items for baby boy and Paige loves the Mega Bloks Block Buddy. She will also eat the Plum baby pouch but won't touch the Little Yums as it's a little young for her. This also won't save for baby boy as the date runs out before he will be weaning. I'm also excited to try the cream out as I've never tried it out before so that's something nice for me :)

You can order a Nonabox HERE.

Have you tried Nonabox before?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

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

Monday, 28 April 2014

Bump Update - 29 Weeks

This week baby boys testicles are moving from up near his kidneys down into his groin. I'm sure your all very pleased to read this, hehe!
This week has been quite jam packed with symptoms. I'm all over the place to be honest.
I've been starving all week. My skin is breaking out again. I'm sleeping badly again. I've felt sick 3 nights and I've had more heartburn. I've also started to feel uncomfortable at the end of the day and aching. It hasn't being much fun this week.
I'm also getting the start of a very faint linea nigra on the lower half of my belly under my belly button. I did get one with Paige so was expecting it to come. 

Baby boy also get hiccups 3 times a day now which is so cute.

Don't forget to check out my 28 week update and Paige's 29 week update. See you next week for week 30!!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Big Girl Bed

When we found out that baby boy was due 6/7 weeks after Paige turned two we wondered if we would be able to get her transitioned into a big girl bed before he came. We thought this would be the easiest way to go about it rather than wait and have to deal with the transition and a newborn.

At our old house Paige was in the attic so changing her into a toddler bed wasn't very practical then so we waited until we moved. In our new house she has a bedroom which is next to ours and on the same floor which is perfect. We gave her time to settle into the new house and then started the transition.

We first introduced a pillow. Up until now Paige had just slept in her cot with a sleeping bag and we didn't have any problems. We added a pillow and she loved it! I was a little scared to give up the sleeping bag as I know how much she loved it but she also loved snuggling up in our bed with the duvet.

We decided to do the switch on a Friday night thinking that if there were any problems we could hopefully sort them out over the weekend and everything would be fine for when Mark went back to work Monday.

The first night Paige did amazingly well. She loved her bed which was originally a cot bed so just needed a few changes to turn it into a toddler bed. It doesn't have any sides so we pushed it up against a wall at one side. We thought about putting a mattress on the floor incase she fell but to be honest the drop isn't a drop at all. Its a very low bed so we weren't worried. She slept as normal and we had no problems.

The second night she was a little harder to get to sleep but again slept very well as usual. Each night since then she has slept very well.

She sometimes gets out of bed in the morning and will read to herself but she doesn't scream or make any noise. She often just lays in bed awake playing with her bear who she sleeps with.

She was 22 and a half months old when we made the switch and I think it was the perfect time! She uses a Gro to bed set and loves it. The pillow is attached to the sheet so she can't lose it while wiggling in her sleep. The duvet also zips onto the sheet to keep that in place and make sure Paige is warm all night. I would defiantly recommend this if you are wanting to transition your toddler.

How did your toddler react to a toddler bed?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Review - Cantaloop Pregnancy and Nursing Tank Top

I was recently sent the Cantaloop Pregnancy and Nursing Tank Top, in white, to try out. I have previously never owned a nursing vest as I didn't breast feed Paige so I was very interested to see what it was like and how comfortable it was.

The vest arrived in it's cute little box with a lovely information leaflet. I was sent a size 2. And the fit is pretty good. I'm normally a size 8 in tops for reference. I must admit it doesn't feel long enough for my liking. I wouldn't say I have a huge bump but I feel like it wouldn't really fit me at full term, we will see! I much prefer a tighter bump hugging top as I think it shows it off better. Saying this though this top would be perfect to layer underneath other tops.

As a nursing top I think it would be perfect to hide the extra weight you carry after just giving birth as there is plenty of material. It has no irritating seams so is very comfortable to wear. It also has an integrated inner bra which provides good support. From the picture below you can see the clips on the top for breastfeeding.

The top is very soft and feels lovely quality against the skin. It also has the added detail of a little silver butterfly which is nice but could easily be hidden if you needed it to be.
It also washes well which is important in any pregnancy/nursing top as they can tend to get a very dirty, especially with a newborn!
 All in all I like the top and think it makes a great addition to any pregnancy/nursing wardrobe. You can purchase Cantaloop from Amazon.

Have you tried Cantaloop before?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer- I was sent the tank top for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Moving House with a Toddler while Pregnant

As some of you may know we moved house at the end of last month. Paige was 22 months old and I was 26 weeks pregnant.

Before the move I asked on Twitter and looked online for some tips... A few people said don't do it!

I actually didn't find the experience all that bad. I will admit that I did most of the packing with Paige's help, if you can call it that. We did most of it while Mark was at work mainly because we only had a couple of weeks to get things sorted. I left all the really heavy things for Mark to do as when you are pregnant you really shouldn't lift anything heavy. I labelled all the boxes with the contents after they were sealed up so we knew where things were.

On the day of the actual move we had my dad and brother helping out. I was looking after Paige as I couldn't help with the actual move. The first load off the van was me and Paige and some of her toys along with the sofa and a few other essential items. We then stayed at the new house while they all went back for another load. I think they made around 3 trips altogether which wasn't bad at all. Me and Paige played and just got used to the new house. Sadly things didn't quite go to plan with the unloading of things. Everything got dumped in the living room instead of being taken to the labelled rooms on each box. This annoyed me a lot as I couldn't move things myself so had to ask mark to do it all after he had just spent hours moving everything in the first place.

I probably found that the hardest thing... I couldn't help. I knew where I wanted things and where most things were as I had packed them but I couldn't get to them or unpack a lot because I couldn't lift a lot.

That evening Mark put our bed and Paige's cot up. I had read so much about how important it was for a toddler to be surrounded by their own things. It certainly helped Paige a lot. She took to the new house so well and seems so very happy here. Her room was the first to get unpacked along with the living room and kitchen.

My tops tips

*Label boxes while packing and make sure they go in correct rooms when unloading the moving van. It really would make life a lot easier when it comes to unpacking
*While packing get the toddler involved as much as you can. I had Paige help me pack her toys away and draw on the boxes. I think it helped her understand a little and she loved it.
*Get family and friends to help if you can. I think if I weren't pregnant we would of had someone look after Paige for a few hours so that I could of helped out without having to look after her
*Pack an over night bag with essential items in - this made getting dressed the next morning a lot easier as I had a spare change of clothes for everyone plus toothbrushes and things like that.
*Pack essentials like the kettle, milk and some food in a box within easy reach. The last thing you want to do is hunt through boxes to find everyday things
*Unpack the toddlers room first - make them feel as at home as you can. Favourite toys around them help
*If you are pregnant don't try to do too much. The two days after the move I was so tired and I didn't really do anything but it does take it out of you. Be the brains behind the move!

All in all I think the most important thing to do is to relax as much as you can. I think it rubs off on the toddler and helps them feel more at home.

During the move I popped my feet up with a cup of tea and Paige actually took a nap on me. Something that hasn't happened in well over a year. Even with the chaos of the move and boxes everywhere she certainly felt at home.

Do you have any moving tips?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Review - Jiggly Giraffe

 Lately Paige is obsessed with books. She wants me to read them over and over again. Or she sits and flicks through the pages herself.
As part of the Parragon Books Buddy programme Paige gets sent a new book each month which for her right now is such a fabulous thing. This month we were sent Jiggly Giraffe.

Jiggly Giraffe is a cute little gift set which retails for £9.99 and is part of the little learners collection. This collection is perfect for Paige. Cute, short, fun stories which keep Paige engaged.
The book is gorgeous with a cute little rhyme inside. I love that it comes with a little toy rattle that matches the giraffe in the story.

As you can see from the pictures Paige loves the book and the rattle. I did think that she would be a little too old for the rattle at first as she doesn't really play with her old ones anymore but she loved it. I think it helped that it matches in with the story and brings it to life a little more for her.

Don't forget to check out the Parragon website and twitter.

Does your little one love books?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - We were sent this book for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

Monday, 21 April 2014

Bump Update - 28 Weeks

Hello third trimester!!

Baby boy will now turn his head to follow a bright light shining on my belly. He is also getting used to blinking his eyes and even has eyelashes.

This week I've had a touch of heartburn but not as much as I did with Paige, maybe because I carried her higher.

My wrist no longer hurts and my fingers aren't as swollen.

I had my 28 week midwife appointment this week. I had routine blood work done just to check antibodies and my iron levels. I do think my iron levels will be still low so I'll have to go back on my iron tablets but we will see! My blood pressure was low but my midwife wasn't worried as it's normally quite low anyway. This week was also the first week that she measured my belly. It actually measured 27cm so I'm measuring a little behind (I was 28w+4d at my appointment) but it's nothing to worry about as I measured 2 weeks behind with Paige and we all know how much of a chunk she was! Baby boy also has 12 weeks left to grow so maybe he will have a growth spurt in the next few weeks. My next appointment is at 31 weeks.

I'm feeling pretty good this week. The weight gain isn't playing on my mind as much. Baby boy is still kicking up a storm and I feel him moving all day. I've craved tea and cake this week so I may have made two batches of fairy cakes!

Don't forget to check out my 27 week update and Paige's 28 week update.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter 2014

If you missed our Good Friday post don't forget to check it out.

We didn't have too much planned for Easter Sunday. We never really do, preferring to just be lazy and have some family time.

The day started well with a lovely 9:10am lie in from Paige which was lovely. This was basically followed by chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. We ate Easter eggs, played with bunnies, play-doh and ate chocolate Easter nests that me and Paige made yesterday.

Paige got far too many Easter eggs and loved piling them on top of each other to create a huge chocolate tower that was bigger than herself. She also got some clothes and shoes. Such a lucky little girl!


We spoke to Mark's family via webcam and my dad and brother came to visit just before bed with more chocolate. All in all a lovely family day.

Happy Easter! Our last as a family of three.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Good Friday

I love bank holidays.
We are lucky that Mark gets them all off work so we can spend them together as a family. As the weather was so nice on Friday we decided to take a little walk and head to the park. We actually went to two!
Paige is at the age where she loves playgrounds and parks. She gets to burn off all her energy and play, climb and just have a great time. Her favourites are defiantly still the swings and slide.
I am now getting to the stage in the pregnancy where I can't really run around after Paige, especially not in a big park or play ground. I'm so thankful for Mark that he is able to do all those things while I sit and take photos. I can go on the swings with her and smaller things like that but I can't lift her up, swing her around and chase her like daddy can. 

After the park we came home and had a picnic in the garden. This was followed by lots of book reading, tower building and puzzle playing.
For tea we had the traditional fish and chips. Every year we always have fish and chips on good Friday.
How was your good Friday?
Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

23 Months Old

Only 1 month until Paige turns TWO! It's funny because I remember writing her 11 month update like it was yesterday. Time passes far too quickly.

Paige has come on leaps this month. First off we have moved house and Paige handled that so well. She seems to have settled right in and loves the new house.

Her speech has come on loads this month too. She talks non stop, I love it! A lot is still baby babble but she says a handful of new words each day and has started linking two words together a lot more than she used to. We can really communicate with her now and understand what she wants. She is also starting to learn how to say her baby brothers name and regularly tells Millie off when she is naughty.

She has developed a love for ketchup... Probably my fault. I eat way too much. Shes still doing really well with food and will eat and try most thing we give her. Her favourites are defiantly still pasta based dishes.

This month we also moved her into her toddler bed which she is doing great in, a post will follow soon! She also had a wee in her potty for the first time. We aren't starting potty training yet as she still isn't quite ready but we are getting there.

She tries to count so badly. She will do 1,2 and 3 along with the correct fingers. Then randomly says 8 and 10. She also learning how to catch and will catch teddies and bigger items probably 70% of the time. We are still working on balls.

This past week Paige has started to get a little grumpy and will randomly cry for no reason. We also had our first temper tantrum... it wasn't fun!

She has really started to get into crafts and baking too which is so much fun. We are having such fun playing and learning.

See you at the 2 year update.... CRAZY!!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Sainsbury's Easter Activities and Gifts‏

Easter is now days away and this week I thought it would be nice to get Paige involved with some Easter activities and crafts. I wanted something quite simple as she is still pretty young.

Sainsburys have a selection of goodies that fit this perfectly. First up we tried their craft set. I'm always 100% honest when it comes to reviews and today is no different. I was very much looking forward to this and I was a little disappointed. First off because we didn't have any instructions in our box, meaning I had no idea what pieces were what. In a way this was nice because I had to use my imagination but I hated it. Paige on the other hand didn't care one bit. She loved the pom poms and pipe cleaners the most. We found that double sided worked better than glue but maybe we just had rubbish glue! I felt like Paige could join in more with the double sided tape too.

As you can see we made some pretty cute items and it kept us busy for close to an hour, I was very impressed. Of course Paige didn't make all of these but she loved watching me and helping stick the foam Easter eggs and arms and legs on.

We were also sent this make your own crown set which we loved! I'm still currently trying to get it off Paige's head. This is made from foam and double sided tape so Paige really could get involved a lot. She loved popping the pieces of out the foam and sticking them onto the crown. I gave her simple directions which she followed perfectly and ended up making two very cute crowns.

We didn't use all the parts in either packs so I have saved them for another day to entertain us both when we are a little bored. Paige has only just started getting into crafts so we are both learning as we go so please be kind :p
Have you checked out Sainsburys Easter craft range?
Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx
*Disclaimer - We were sent these products for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Asda Baby and Toddler Event

Having a toddler and a baby on the way I always look forward to the Asda Baby and Toddler Event. I always find that they have such great deals at fabulous prices. 
We regularly use the Little Angels nappies for Paige and will be using them for baby boy too when he arrives. I love the quality and price. Paige is currently in size 5. We have very little accidents with them and they hardly ever leak. They don't cause her any rash and she reacts very well to them with having sensitive, eczema prone skin.
I was sent some of the NSPA Mum To Be range to try.  To be honest I'd never really thought about trying Asda for a mum to be range. I've really thought about any mum to be range to be honest. I'm very impressed with the range so far.
I've being using the stretch mark oil twice a day. It smells lovely! When you first apply the oil It does feel like it won't sink into the skin but when it does it leaves your skin so soft. It really doesn't take that long to sink in either which is nice. In all honestly I don't believe that any cream or oil can prevent stretch marks as I personally think it's genetic. I do think that its very important to keep skin moisturized during pregnancy and this oil will defiantly do that.

I've also really enjoyed using the cooling leg and foot gel. If I could convince Mark to give me a foot massage using this I would be in heaven. As most pregnant women at the end of the day my feet hurt and my legs ache. This gel is perfect to pop on and massage in and have a little relief. I also think it will be amazing when the warmer weather comes.

Each product smells amazing and I can't wait to try out the relaxing bath soak at the weekend. I have popped the nipple balm into my hospital bag for when baby boy arrives and can't wait to try it out.

All the product smell really nice and not too over powering which is lovely as pregnancy can heighten your sense of smell.

With something for everyone at Asda you are sure to find a bargain in the baby and toddler event. The event starts online TOMORROW (Thursday 17th April) and instore from April 21st.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - We were sent a pack of Little Angels nappies and some sample NSPA products for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Easter Crafts

With Easter just around the corner I wanted to do some simple crafts with Paige. We didn't do any last year as I didn't really think that Paige would be interested. This year she is nearly two and really getting into painting and doing crafts. She loves it!
If you follow me on Twitter you will be very proud of what I'm about to write... I went onto Pinterest to find some fun, easy craft ideas. Me on Pinterest!! I have such a love/hate relationship with it but it is such a fabulous place to get great ideas from.
After a few minutes I found two cute ideas that I knew I wanted to try with Paige. The first involving her hand print and the second involving her foot print. I love that this is something really personal to Paige and that next year we can repeat them again and see the difference.
First up we tried the hand print. I painted her palm and two fingers and let her make the print. I then added the extra details and turned it into a cute little bunny.

The foot print was basically the same. I painted her foot and then we made a print, which she loved! She was giggling the whole time. It was so cute. Just like the bunny I added the final details to turn it into a little chick. The print isn't perfect as Paige is a wriggly toddler and smudged the print a little but I think it makes it look like the chick has a little wing.

I have to say I love these prints. Very easy and very cute. We did a few sets and have actually made them into Easter cards for her grandparents. I've let Paige do some Easter drawings inside the cards with pretty Easter colours. I've also added some recent pictures of Paige. As most of her grandparents live quite a long way I think they will really love the personal Easter gifts that cost us next to nothing to make.
Have you done many Easter crafts with your children?
Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx

Easter with Thorntons

Easter is less than a week away... are you prepared?

We were luckily sent a lovely hamper full of Easter goodies to try out. As you can see our hamper included 8 eggs, a box of Premium collection chocolates and 2 chocolate lollypops. They were all delivered in a big box with lots of protection so all our eggs arrived in perfect condition.

At the best of times I love chocolate but there is something about Easter that makes eating chocolate more forgiving and makes me feel less guilty. Thorntons chocolate, in my eyes, is the best quality chocolate out there. You can really taste the difference.

So far we have sampled a couple of the eggs and will save the rest for the Easter weekend. The two we tried were a Harry Hopalot and the chunky milk chocolate. I have to say that the Harry Hopalot was my favourite, I'm a sucker for white chocolate. You can also meet Harry at the Harry Hopalot Easter tour. It is safe to say that Paige also loved this egg as I gave her a little piece (or two) to try.

Marks favourite was the chunky milk chocolate egg. He loved how thick it was compared to normal eggs.

The quality of both eggs was great and I can't wait to eat the rest. I may save the chocolates just for me as a special treat along with a bubble bath!

Have you tried Thorntons Easter eggs?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - We were sent this Easter hamper for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are our own*

Monday, 14 April 2014

Bump Update - 27 Weeks

This week the baby is huge and getting bigger by the day, hehe. He now opens and closes his eyes, sleeps and wakes at regular intervals and may also be sucking his thumb. So cute!

Not a lot has happened this week.

I feel huge but I realize I say that every week. Baby boy is defiantly growing and getting stronger. His movements are crazy. I'm pretty sure he's going to come out fighting and already a master in karate or something!

A new thing this week is heart burn. With Paige I started experiencing heart burn a few weeks earlier in my pregnancy. Last night for the first time I woke up during the night with horrible heart burn. I'm kind of hoping it was a one off but we will see.

My fingers have started swelling up, especially when I'm hot. My wrist has also started hurting. I'm not sure if its carpal tunnel or just playing up as I broke the same wrist a few years ago. I will have a chat to my new midwife at my 28 week appointment.

I can't believe that I'm nearly in the third trimester. The second went just as quickly as the first if not quicker!

I'm so excited to meet baby boy but we still have so much to do. Or at least it feels like way. In the coming weeks I'm going to organise all his things we have so far for him and make a list of everything we still need. I think my mind needs putting at ease a little! Having the cot already set up already helps a lot but now the next big thing to think of is the pram! To get a double or not... that is the question!

Check out Paige's 27 week pregnancy update and last weeks 26 week update.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Friday, 11 April 2014

My 25th Birthday

I can't believe I'm 25. It seemed to come around so quickly. I remember thinking at the beginning of this year I would have another baby when I'm 25, it seemed so far away.

I knew that once my birthday came around Paige's would be 6 weeks away and baby boys due date would be another 7 ish weeks on top of that. Now my birthday has passed I'm really freaking out about my baby girl turning 2 in less than 6 weeks and becoming a mum for the second time in less than 13 weeks.

I didn't do anything special for my birthday, I never really do to be honest. There was a lovely lunch out with Mark and Paige, a new hair cut, a Chinese take away and the film Gravity.

All in all a lovely relaxing, quiet day with my family.

My first as a wife, my last as a mum of one.

See Marks birthday post for me here.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx
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