Sunday, 31 August 2014

Me and Mine - August

I can't believe that another month has passed! It's almost September.

This month has passed in the blink of an eye. A lot has changed. Paige has grown up so much. Her speech is really coming along, so are the tantrums! Parker has doubled in size. He has learnt to roll over and is getting very strong. Me and Mark have taken on a fitness challenge. To lose a bit of weight and just get healthier. This led to this months pictures.


We decided to get out together a family, to enjoy a lovely sunny Sunday and get out for a walk. We live in Yorkshire and have some amazing views. I love the hills and the gorgeous views that are just minutes from our house.

On this particular day we shared ice creams and walked 2 miles. 2 miles of me carrying Parker in the sling, 2 miles of Mark chasing Paige, 2 miles of us together, spending time together, taking to Paige about the trees, water, boats and ducks. I snapped a few iPhone pictures to capture the moments of us together on our walk. Not the best quality but the best memories!

2 happy miles.

Over the course of our lives together I'm sure we will cross many more miles together but these two were two of my favourite so far.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

dear beautiful

Friday, 29 August 2014

Parker at 2 Months

Another month has passed. They are still passing far too quickly.

Parker had his 8 week check this week.

Parkers check went really well. He now weighs 12lb 11oz. His head circumference is 40cm. The doctor was very pleased with both his weight and head measurement and said they are perfect for him. He checked his eyes, ears, hips, stomach and listened to his chest. Everything was perfect. He also said that he had amazing muscle tone and was very strong. Its always nice to hear that your child is doing well. He said there is no sign of eczema which is good news as Paige had it quite bad as a baby. I have noticed that Parker has a slightly flatter head on one side which he said that was perfectly normal and not near enough to cause a problem.

He also had two injections and 1 lot of medicine. He did so well with both, he drank the medicine like a champ and hardly cried at all for his injections. The first one didn't phase him at all but the second did get a tiny cry. I scooped him up and he stopped immediately. Me on the other hand took a few moments longer to stop crying. I'm such a wimp when it comes to my babies having injections, I was the same with Paige. Its so funny because when I need injections I'm fine. I can even watch them doing it and it never hurts. Mark on the other hand hates needles but he is fine holding Paige/Parker when they need injections.

This week Parker seemed to grow up so much. He can now roll over from his belly to his back which is crazy!!! I can't believe it, he was 8 weeks and 4 days old. He also hates tummy time unless he is in the mood but he will happily lay on his belly on us. When he does decide to like tummy time he will do a mini push up and hold his head up really steady.

His hair and eye lashes seem to be growing. I'm so excited to see what colour his hair ends up. Paige was so dark at birth and now is more light brown/dark blonde.

His sleep is getting more consistent now and he is settling a lot better at 5/6am which is nice. Mark hasn't had to get up early with him for a good few nights now. We found that bringing his swing upstairs helps settle him in the early morning but he doesn't always need to use it. He normally has a feed around 1:30am then 5am ish. He will then sleep until 7am.

He's getting so big!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

27 Months Old

It's not very often that I manage to get pictures of Paige these days. She doesn't want to sit still and pose for mummy, she wants to be running, jumping and playing. She especially loves jumping!

So when she will sit still and pose for me I take full advantage...


She has come on so much this month. She can do 16 piece puzzle son her own, count to 8, drink my a big girl cup, put on her own shoes and socks. She got two more molars, loves to identify shapes and numbers and defiantly knows her own mind. Her speech is really coming along and she is putting 3-4 words together a lot more regularly.

Still not quite ready to potty train but she is getting there and is starting to realize when she has a dirty nappy and will tell us.

She still loves Parker so much and he adores her just as much as she adores him. She is always asking to hold him, feed him and kiss him. She has become so very affectionate this month. She wasn't one to cuddle or kiss, she would when you asked her and she was in the right mood but now she will randomly come over and ask for a cuddle and a kiss. It is the sweetest thing!

We fall more and more in love with her every day!

Our beautiful girl at 27 months old.
Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


When I was pregnant with Parker I spent many hours looking at newborn and baby pictures of Paige. I tried to imagine what he would look like. Would he have Paige's eyes, her nose or would he look nothing like her?

As much as I tried I could not imagine a boy version of Paige.


When he was first born I will admit that I didn't think he looked anything like her. But as he has filled out and grown he now looks like her twin! It's so crazy how alike they are. They have the same shaped face, same nose and mouth. There eyes look different though. He also doesn't have half as much hair as Paige. 

I know that as he grows he will change and develop into his own little person but right now every time I look at him I just see baby Paige.  I can't wait to see what he looks like in a years time. 

Did/do you imagine what your unborn child will look like?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola xx 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Review - Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine*

As a parent you look for gadgets that can help and make your life easier. Anything that saves time or helps out when you are dealing with sleep deprivation is very much welcomed in my eyes.

Filling bottles does take some time. Measuring out the water can be a pain especially when you are sleep deprived, it can take a few goes to get it right. We normally measure the water out and mix it with formula when Parker needs it. This is fine for us as he isn't too bothered about having his milk warm, he will drink it at room temperature but if you are having to then warm the bottle up this can be very time consuming. It can also be a pain waiting for the water to cool down if the kettle has just boiled.

The Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine takes all that away.

*It makes a fresh bottle at correct temperature in less than 2 minutes.
*Filter system removes impurities present in water.
*Initial ‘hot shot’ of water kills bacteria that may be present in formula.
*Dispenses correct amount of water for a more accurate and consistent dilution.

Specially designed to make preparing bottles quicker and more accurate, Perfect Prep gives you the extra peace of mind that comes from knowing your baby's bottle will be perfect every time.

In my eyes the machine had a lot to live up to. I'd heard very good reviews and didn't want it to be a let down. I'm glad to say I wasn't.

What comes in the box...

*The perfect prep machine
*A bottle with slow flow teat
*Storage lid

Before your first use and after every filter change you need to run the cleaning process. This takes about 10 minutes and is very easy to do. You place 1 litre of freshly boiled water into the hopper (without the filter) then press the cleaning mode button the the side for 2 seconds. A container needs to be placed under the dispenser to catch the water as it comes out. You then throw that water away. Next up is setting the filter up. You need to submerge this in water under the bubbles stop. This takes a few minutes. It can then be placed into the hopper and both can be placed into the machine. You then fill the hopper up with cold water. The tank empty light can take a couple of minutes to turn off after this step as now the water needs to filter first. Lastly you need to have a practise run and discard that water before making your first bottle.

Before making each feed you need to make sure there is enough cold water in the hopper. The process of actually making a bottle is then quite easy. You select how many ounce you want using the dial and place your sterilesed bottle under the dispenser making sure the top of the bottle is as close as it can be to the dispenser. You then press the start/stop button. The light will flash red and a shot of hot water will be released. The machine then has a double beep. This beep is quite loud. You would defiantly hear it in another room. After these beeps you then have 2 minutes to mix your formula with the hot water. After the formula has completely dissolved then place your bottle on the stand again and press the start/stop button once more. A green button now flashes. If for some reason you don't get the formula mixed in time a long beep sounds and you should throw the feed away and start again. The rest of the water will make the feed up to the correct ounce you selected at the beginning. The double beep will sound again and the green light will turn solid. You then pop the lid on, give it a little shake and the feed is perfect and ready to go. You do have to double check that the correct amount has being dispensed and that the feed isn't too hot. We haven't had any trouble with the feed being an incorrect amount or too hot but it's always beat to double check.


The machine is very easy to use, even as a sleep deprived new mum I haven't had any trouble. The instructions are really easy to use and very clear. They also include pictures which is lovely. 

The machine itself isn't too big and doesn't look out of place in the kitchen. It also has a handy hooks on the bag to wrap the cord around to keep it nice and tidy.
I love that you can use whichever bottles you prefer. The bottle stand is adjustable so lots of different bottles fit under the dispenser.

One thing I don't like is that the smallest feed you can make up is 4oz. This isn't very good for newborns as they don't drink that much until they are older. Parker is now only on 4oz bottles at 2 months old and Paige was on 5oz bottles at the same age.

The perfect prep machine is £64.97 in the Asda Baby Event. The filters are £8.99 and need replacing approximately every 3 months. I don't think this item is a necessity but it defiantly does make life a little bit easier. It would be very useful if you had more than one baby.

Have you tried the Perfect Prep Machine?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

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

Friday, 22 August 2014

Parker at 7 Weeks

This week was a very mixed week. At the start he was sleeping 6 hours again then a growth spurt hit and we were up every two hours. This lasted for three days and all he did was sleep and eat. He was very snacky and would rarely finish a 4oz bottle.

He was normally sleeping 4 hours this week apart from during his growth spurt. He is still fussy between 5-6am and mark normally gets up with him so I can have an hour or so sleep which is amazing and I'm so thankful to be able to get at little extra sleep.

He has also started dribbling this week... I wasn't expecting this to start so soon but we have some dribble bibs so we are all ready to go although I can't say that I'm looking forward to teething.

Parker loves to be stood up or sat up. He holds his weight on his legs really well. He doesn't like tummy time but loves to laid on our chest on his belly. He is also very much a mummy's boy. I instantly calm him. And if I leave a room and walk back in and talk he will kick up a fuss until I hold him.

Paige is still very much one of his favourite people. And he will follow her around the room with his eyes. She tries to play with him but he is obviously still a bit too small to so anything with her. She still always asks to hold him and feed him. She still calls him Par Baby for the most part. She will call him Par and occasionally try to say PJ.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 21 August 2014

More Baby Pictures

Parker could be our last baby so I am trying to soak up as much of this baby stage as I possibly can. This means taking lots and lots of pictures to help me remember just how small he was.

Paige was taking a very rare nap so I whipped out my camera while Parker was wide awake to take a few pictures. I just love a baby wearing neutral clothes on a white background. They look so cute and their little faces just shine through.

I know that I am very biased but he really is such a gorgeous little boy. His eyes are in the middle of changing colour... I can't wait to see what colour they turn out. I have dark brown eyes, Mark has gorgeous gray eyes and Paige has dark green. Hers are a perfect mix between mine and Marks. In certain light Parkers look like they could be turning green too.

In these pictures Parker is 8 weeks old. I can't believe he is 2 months old!!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Daddy's Struggle

Mark has written a couple of blog posts for me in the past so I thought that it was about time he did another. This time I wanted to get his view on how having two children was for him. I wrote my thoughts in a recent post here.

"Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" It's 4:20pm and I've only just walked through the day. All I want to do is sit down for five minutes to recharge, Paige has different ideas! Nicola is looking like she, Paige and Parker have just had a nice relaxing day, everyone looks happy and calm. And then it happens.

Nicola with shoot off upstairs to get Paige's and Parker's pyjamas ready for the night or put the washing away, Paige will start running around and Parker will start crying! This is the situation I dread, I really can't handle it.

I find it so overwhelming having two children. I have no idea who should get my attention first? How long do I spend with each child? Panic doesn't take long to creep in.

When it was just Paige I thought I was a pretty good dad, I loved it when she was a newborn and we now have such an amazing bond, I thought surely it would be just as easy second time round.

I love both my children dearly and they are the driving force behind everything I do, but now I feel so inadequate as a father I can't help but get down about it. I'll be honest, I don't do any night feeds. We have a routine set around Parker's sleeping habits. Nicola will do the night feeds, normally one or two, and I'll get up with Parker when he becomes cranky at 5:30am. The long days aren't helping, I've never been so tired, I know that's a big part of why I feel so low.

One on one I'm fine, I'm back to being a competent dad. My son is what every man dreams of. I love just holding him, looking at him, giving him plenty of kisses and cuddles. And similarly with Paige when it's just us two it's perfect, we run, jump, build and play. They both make me extremely proud.

I need to get better at managing my time, I keep asking Nicola for advice and guidance, it seems to be helping. I just want to feel like I deserve that "amazing dad" mug I'm sure I'll get for Father's Day next year! I know things will improve as our sleep improves. But until then I'll muddle through, feeling like the weak link in the family. All that matters is I adore my children, and they seem to adore me. I am so thankful that I have a great wife that can be there when I'm struggling. As a family things will only get better, of that I am certain!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Review - Shnuggle Moses Basket*

A few weeks ago you may have seen my review on the Shnuggle baby bath. Today I have a review of there lovely Shnuggle Basket.

The award-winning Shnuggle moses basket is made from a super-strong, hypoallergenic and easy to clean material it's far safer for your baby. It's almost silent when baby moves around and a clever locking system means the hood actually stays up, helping your baby to stay asleep.

The Shnuggle basket design was the result of talking with hundreds of parents to learn what they loved and didn't love about traditional Moses baskets. The result was an evolution in design, a basket that is still lightweight, portable and cosy for baby - but with the extra benefits of being hypoallergenic, hygienic and easy to clean. By making the Shnuggle basket in the UK it doesn't travel around the world to get here - which reduces our carbon footprint. Also, the Shnuggle basket is free of BPA and Phthalate and is manufactured with NO added chemicals, so you can be sure that your baby is in a healthy environment from day one.

The basket comes with most things which you need. All you have to do is add a stand and a sheet.

We have now used the basket for nearly two months. It is the only product that Parker has slept in and we love it. The basket isn't made from wicker or palm leaves like most but is actually made from a strong molded shell. It is fully ventilate, hygienic and hypoallergenic. It also uses 100% pure cotton fabrics to make it an extra cosy place for baby to sleep.

This makes the basket super easy to keep clean for your baby. All the material can be washed at 30c and the base can be wiped down unlike regular Moses baskets. For me this is an amazing feature. This means that it can be used for multiple babies and will be nice and clean each and every time. Once the covers are washed and air dried they are also very easy to put back on.

It is also 10% bigger than regular  baskets. We still have Paige's basket from when she was little and the Shnuggle is bigger. There is more room for baby to move around and grow into. We had to move Paige out of her basket when she was 11 weeks old because she simply outgrew it. This time Parker will be able to stay in his longer as he has that extra room.


The Shnuggle basket is also available in such gorgeous colours, 5 in total. They are Ivory Cream, Pure White, Pebble Grey, Sage Green, Sky Blue and Blossom Pink. There will be a colour that everyone loves. We loved them all but decided on Sky Blue for our baby boy. After having a girl we kind of went blue crazy. But I love that the colours are so soft. They all look gorgeous and they aren't in your face which means they don't look out of place even in your living room.

The design of the basket means that it is easy and light enough to move around the house. We have regularly had it in our room at night and in the living room during the day giving Parker his own space to nap but keeping him nice and close. As the basket isn't made out of wicker or palm leaves there isn't that annoying creaking sound every time Parker moves or when we have to move the basket. It is very quiet which is defiantly a bonus.

The hood is also a very clever little feature. It actually stays up unlike most other basket hoods. It also looks very pretty which is an added bonus. We don't tend to use the hood that much but it was useful when we had the warmer weather as Parker could have the extra protection from the sun, even while in the shade it can still be very bright on a sunny day.

The basket seems very comfy, obviously I'm not going to climb in and test it but we haven't had any problems. Parker sleep very well in there and seems very comfortable. The mattress it comes with is very nice and the padding around the sides make the basket feel very cosy and comfy.

The handles are actually fabric too which is nice. With Paige our basket handles were wicker so would stick straight up making it harder to get baby in and out. With fabric handles they lay down the side and are kept out of the way. 

We paired our basket with the folding stand but there is also a rocking stand available. Normally we would choose a rocking stand as I think they is a good feature but because we had a rocking stand with Paige's Moses basket I wanted to try something different, I will admit that I missed the rocking stand but the folding stand is also great. It was easy to put together and very strong. It raises the basket off the floor and aids in ventilation. It brings the basket up to a much better height like a regular bed. As it folds it is great for storage. It is a lovely white wood so matches the basket perfectly whichever colour you go for.

Overall we have loved the Shnuggle basket and wouldn't use another other type of basket now. It retails for £75. This stand retails at £25. The price is very good especially if you keep the products for future babies. Parker outgrew his basket at 4 months which is quite early but he is a big boy at the 95th percentile for his age range.

Fancy a discount code? Enter save10 to give yourself a 10% saving!

Any questions just leave them below and I will try my best to answer them!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

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

Monday, 18 August 2014

Parker at 6 Weeks

This week saw an improvement on sleep. He went from sleeping 3-4 hours to sleeping 6 hours which was very lovely but I'm not sure it will last. I am enjoying it while I can hehe.  He is awake a lot more during the day and very alert when he is. He normally wakes around 4pm and will stay awake until he goes down for the night between 7:30-8:30pm. He will then either have a feed at 12am or 2am. Go back to sleep and have another two feeds at 4am and 6am. It all depends really and his routine is still a little all over the place but we are getting there.
Parker is so obsessed with Paige. He smiles at her, coos at her and just adores her. Whenever she is around he just stares at her. We can smiles too but you really have to work for them... just like when Paige was little. 


I packed away all his newborn clothes this week :( 0-3 months are still quite big around his waist but he has long legs so we defiantly needed to move up a size. Speaking of his legs he loves kicking them and does stop when he is laid on his tummy. He still quite likes tummy times although he does get a bit frustrated.

His head is still really strong and gets better every day. He loves being sat up and it instantly calms him. For the most part he is still a very chilled out baby.
The weeks are still flying by I wish they would slow down a little.
Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx

Friday, 15 August 2014

The Last Summer Holiday*

As a mum it is very important to take time out for yourself. Whether this be having a long soak in the bath or having a night out with friends it doesn't really matter but a break it always good. It can sometimes be quite overwhelming looking after little children all day, at least I think it can.

My own mum actually lives about a two hour drive away. This makes it hard when we see each other and when she sees Paige and Parker. She tends to only see us for an hour or two at a time with a couple months gap in between which is understandable with the distance between us. She came to stay with us when Parker was a newborn and we recently went up to visit her but with the babies around we can't always spend that much quality time together.

Me and my mum actually get on really well. We like the same things and listen to the same music. We used to be really close and although she moved away that hasn't really changed, we just change the things we do when we do see each other to suit Paige and Parker.

On holiday
Before I had Paige we would regularly go on holiday and have trips away. My favourite was down south to Weymouth. I was actually 7 weeks pregnant at the time. While we were there her partner drove us up to London for the day. We grabbed some lunch and went to The O2 to see Kylie. It was lovely to spend the whole day together doing something fun and different. My mum had never previously been to London so it was that little bit more special. It was also the last time we went away together, the last time I was on holiday before becoming a mum and the last holiday before my mum moved away. A lot changed after this summer holiday!

I do hope that sometime in the near future we can go away together again. Of course it won't be the same taking two children but that's not a bad thing. Maybe we can drag Mark along who could look after the children while we go shopping again and have some quality mother and daughter time.

Its funny how things change.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Sponsored Post*

Thursday, 14 August 2014

I'm Lucky!

I've being a mum of two children for just over 6 weeks now and I feel very much settled into my new role.

While I was pregnant loads of people told me how hard having two children was. As much as I was looking forward to meeting Parker I was scared by other people into wondering how on earth I would cope with the big adjustment.

When Parker arrived and Mark went back to work I actually loved every second. I was somehow more organised and felt more at ease with two children than I did just one. I have no idea how that is even possible but it's true. I feel like I've adjusted and coping really well.

I'm not saying it's all easy but it isn't as hard as I was imagining. The hardest thing for me is the lack of sleep. When Paige was a newborn I was able to nap during the day when she did but with two children this isn't so easy. In the early days there were many times during the day when parker would be fast asleep and all Paige wanted to do was play, which was fine because she is after all a 2 year old. This was also made harder by the fact that Paige's naps were so hit and miss. 6 weeks later and Parker is in a good sleep routine with the occasional bad night but that is also fine as he is still so young. I am very lucky that Paige is a good sleeper at night and for 99.99999% of the time sleep 12-13hours.

I'm not going to lie... I've had a few days when I've cried from the tiredness, it was just too much. Running around two children all day on your own with little and broken sleep is hard but I just kept telling myself that it wouldn't last forever. There would come a time when I'd miss getting woken up and being able to have newborn snuggles in the middle of the night when the rest of the house was quiet. I don't get as much alone time with Parker as I did with Paige so I do treasure him waking me up as much as I love/want sleep. Some women would give anything to be woken up by a baby that needed them so I remind myself each and every time just how lucky I am.

I'm lucky to have these extra dark circles under my eyes. I'm lucky to have a little mummy pouch and stretch marks. I'm lucky to have two beautifully healthy children.

I'm lucky.

Don't get me wrong there are times when I want to pull my hair out. Times when one child has to cry that little bit longer than I wish they did. Times when Paige asks 'mummy more pig' and I give in and turn the tv on just so I can have 5 minutes peace. Times when I give Paige an extra biscuit just to stop a tantrum.

I know as they both grow older things will evolve and change. But all I have to do is look at them both and remember just how blooming lucky I am!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Review - Degustabox July*

In this months box we received...

6 x Maggi Cooking Sachets – RRP £5.44
3 x Portlebay Flavoured Popcorn – RRP £2.37 (79p each)
 2 x Hornsby’s Blueberry Cider – RRP £2.50 (£1.25 each)
3 x Zeo soft drinks – RRP £3.87 (£1.29 each)
The Berry Company White Tea – RRP £1.49
Frank Snack Bar – RRP – 85p
Green & Black’s Lemon Bar – RRP £2.29
Dr Oetker Violet Crystals – RRP £1.29
Dr Oetker Eton Mess – RRP £1.99

We have tried one Maggi cooking sachet before so it was lovely to be able to try different flavours. I love the range you got meaning that we hopefully guaranteed to find something that you liked.

The popcorn was something I was looking forward too but I didn't like any of the flavours. I told you I'm fussy! Mark ended up eating them all and liked all three. He loved the Chilli and Lime. He said that the Maple Syrup and Bacon flavour was very strange at first but defiantly grew you on as you kept. I only had one try of this and honestly couldn't stand it. I think i'll stick to the normal flavours!

Mark tried the cider and I had a little taste. I do like cider but aren't a big drinker. Again I didn't like this and neither did Mark. We both much preferred the other flavours in the previous May box from Hornsby's.

The Zeo soft drinks were a lovely addition to the box and again I didn't like them but they weren't undrinkable. We don't tend to drink soft drinks very often but it was nice to try them and something that we wouldn't of tried otherwise.

The Berry Company White tea was sat in the kitchen cupboard until a few days ago. Both me and Mark kind of forgot about it to be honest. I'm not a fan of flavoured tea but this was actually really nice. Mark loved it too. It wouldn't of been something that I would of tried without this box so I am very happy that it was included.

The Frank snack bar was not our cup of tea at all. We both didn't like it and neither did Paige.

I hate dark chocolate so I didn't try the Green and Black's lemon bar. Mark tried it and didn't like it. The lemon flavour was quite strong and the smell put me off trying it.

Like I've mentioned in previous reviews me and Paige love baking so can't wait to use the Dr Oetker crystals and eton mess. They are perfect for cupcakes which we make on an almost weekly basis!

This was our third Degustabox and I am still very impressed with the boxes. Although this wasn't our favourite box I still enjoy trying the new products each month. Personally I wish the boxes had less drinks in them and more food items.

Don't forget to check out our May and June reviews. You sign up via the Degustabox website and I have a discount coupon code for you, which gives you a £3.00 discount when registering. Simply enter SNUEX.
Degustabox are also on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think of Degustabox?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Monday, 11 August 2014

Parker at 5 Weeks

This week has seen Parker become so much more alert during the day. Now when he is awake he is normally awake for a few hours at a time. He normally wakes up during the morning for two hours then wakes around 5-7pm until 9pm.

He is still on 3oz bottles and does prefer to snack rather than have a bigger meal in one go. He has 2-3 feeds at night. This week he started sleeping 3 hours at a time. He normally does this once a night then does 1-2 hours slots.

He has moved into size 2 nappies and is starting to fit better into his 0-3m clothes. He is defiantly starting to pile the weight on and get nice and chunky.

Parker loves rattles and anything that makes a noise. He will clearly turn his head toward the sound. He also looks at Paige when he hears her or sees her. He loves her so much already.

I also noticed a small birth mark on his lower back. At least I presume it's a birthmark. I will ask the doctor at his 6 week check up which is actually at 8 weeks.

We are pretty much settled as a family of 4 and Parker has fitted in perfectly. I'm excited for him to be even alert and bigger so that he can properly interact with Paige.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Siblings - August

Both Paige and Parker have changed so much since last month, Parker especially. He was only days old. Now he is 6 weeks old and is looking a lot less like a newborn.
This month I had imagined a lovely picture of them both laying together and looking up at the camera but as you can see from the picture above this didn't quite work out as planned. Parker was as good as gold but Paige not so much.
I still love this picture as it represents the stage at which Paige is at. She is learning about herself, what she likes and doesn't like. She hates her picture being taken unless she wants its taking. I have no idea how people get such amazing pictures of toddlers because it is hard work.
The above two pictures were the only half decent ones I managed. Paige was sat on the sofa and asked to feed Parker. She does this on a daily basis and even brings his milk to me. Most of the time it's when he is asleep or just finished a bottle but it's the thought that counts. She loves holding him and helping to feed him so the above pictures are actually quite fitting. I know that there will come a day when Parker won't stay still for Paige to hold him or when he will feed himself.

I can't wait to see the difference between these pictures and the ones next month. I want to remember these first moments as much as possible because as the days pass the tiredness tends to blend together in a happy but exhausting mush.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx
dear beautiful

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Review - Coco Bow Oxley*

Coco Bow are award winning real leather changing bags, designed with parents in mind. The bags are designed by mother of two Katie, therefore every thought has been put in to each design to make each bag as practical as possible. The bags blend style with convenience.

The bags are currently available in two styles... 'Eva' and 'Oxley'. I choose the lovely Coco Bow 'Oxley'.

Main features:
  • 2 large front pockets with magnetic buttons
  • Large zip pocket for valuables at the back of the bag
  • Internal Zip pocket
  • 4 large expandable pockets for wipes, nappies etc
  • CocoBow bag tag with metal logo
  • Portable insulated bottle pocket
  • high quality Changing mat featuring two zip wet pockets, a pocket for nappies and wipes so parent can go to the changing room if needed without the bag
  • Key Fob
  • Can be used as a handbag, worn over the shoulder or used as a backpack.
Dimensions: 40cm x 30cm x 16 cm
The bag itself is lovely. I picked the gorgeous tan leather as I thought it would work with most outfits and be more wearable but it is also available in a lovely blue. It is very well made and high quality. The good thing about having a high quality leather changing bag is that it will last long after I need to use it as a changing bag and from the outside no one can
tell that it is a changing bag.

There are three pockets on the outside which I love. The too big pockets at the front fasten with a magnetic closure. I love these pockets and tend to keep things that I need close to hand which is normally snacks and little toys for Paige. On the back there is a big zip pocket. This is also useful for those items which you need to keep close. For me that's my purse and phone. I love a bag with lots of pockets as it means that everything can have it own place.

The bag opens with a zip which makes it extra secure. On the inside there are 5 more pockets. One zip pocket and 4 large pockets which are expandable. These expandable pockets are great for keeping nappies and wipes. They also make them very assessable so that when you are changing a nappy they are within easy reach which is important. The zip pocket is lovely addition for another mummy pocket. In here I normally keep bits of make up.

The lining of the bag is also gorgeous. Small butterflies and flowers give another lovely detail to the inside and make it feel that bit more special.

There is also a key fob inside the bag. This is possibly one of my favourite features. I love that I can attach my house keys and keep them safe. Meaning that I can always find them easily. There's nothing worse than rooting around in your bag to find your keys when you have two grumpy babies. 

The rest of the changing bag is quite spacious. I can easily fit everything I need for two children who are both in nappies. I also take a spare outfit for both Paige and Parker just incase. The bag does then get quite heavy but this is just because I tend to over pack! I'm defiantly a just incase kind of woman. Of course the bag isn't as light as a canvas bag would be but this is just because it is made from high quality leather. 

The changing bag also comes with a changing mat and an insulated bottle holder. The changing mat is great. It is a good size and well padded. It also has a zip wet pocket and a pocket for nappies and wipes. This means that if you wanted to you could just take this with you into the baby changing unit instead of your whole bag. I personally don't do this. I keep the changing mat in the car stocked with some wipes and nappies. This way if I don't want to take the whole changing bag for any reason then I know that we have nappies and wipes in the car. The insulated bottle holder is a great accessory. Although not all women bottle feed this is great for people that do. The holder is great and does keep bottles warm. We don't use this all too often as Parker will actually take his bottles just at room temperature so we have no need to keep them warm for him. The holder holds both Dr Browns and Tommee Tippee bottles that we have. I do find that when this is in the bag it takes up quite a lot of room in my opinion.

The straps on the Oxley make this bag very special indeed. You can use the bag as a regular handbag, as an over the shoulder bag or as a backpack. This multi wear feature is amazing and one that I haven't seen in a changing bag before. If I have my hands full with both children I can simply wear the bag as a backpack so I have both hands free. I do tend to pop the bag over the pram most of the time when we are out and about but with the extra strap this at least gives me the option of how I would like to wear the bag. 

The bag also comes with some lovely added details. The gorgeous Bows on the bag add that small bit of detail without being in your face and over powering. They add to the bag rather than taking something away.
The Oxley retails at £190.00. For an amazing quality leather, award winning changing bag I think this price is great. Yes, it is more expensive than your standard changing bag but this is so much more and will last you long after your children are grown up and you no longer need a changing bag. It would make an ideal weekend bag.

What do you think of the gorgeous Coco Bow bags?

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

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

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