Friday, 31 October 2014

Baby In A Pumpkin



I honestly love nothing more than taking pictures of Parker. I'm enjoying having him a baby that will sit and pose and stay still (for the most part) while I can. With Halloween upon us I couldn't resist but taking some themed pictures of him. I love all the baby in a pumpkin pictures you can see on the internet so decided that I would try our own. We got a giant pumpkin from Asda for £1.50!!! I carved 'Parker' into the front and popped him in. I would of loved to do some outside but it's just too cold at this time of year. 


I love them so much. If I could find a pumpkin big enough for Paige I'd totally do the same, hehe.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Me and Mine - October


Another month has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Its crazy to think that in just two short months this year will be over. I honestly think that this year has flown by. It has been the quickest year of my life.

I'm so looking forward to the next two months. We have mine and Marks first wedding anniversary in November and then our first Christmas as a four in December.

I wanted to get outside for this months pictures. Mainly because we've all been so ill this month it was nice to get outside for a little bit. We are in the woods by a little pond near our house. I love coming for walks down here. it's always so peaceful and looks gorgeous, especially with the autumn leaves.

So that is us in October.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 30 October 2014

4 Months Postpartum

 
I can't believe I had a baby 4 months ago. I honestly don't feel like it was that recent. 

I'm doing good at 4 months postpartum. I'm 2lbs away from my pre pregnancy weight and I'm quite happy with my body right now. My stomach needs some toning but to be honest with the sleepless nights I just can't factor in exercise at the moment. Any extra energy I have is focused on housework to be honest. I fit into my pre pregnancy clothes and have for a while. I actually fit into my smaller pregnancy clothes too which is nice. I'm actually really shocked with how quickly I seem to have sprung back. With Paige I felt like it took ages. I didn't really fit into normal pre pregnancy clothes until she was about 5/6 months and that was big pre pregnancy clothes. I guess running around after a toddler really does help!

 
 
A big thing this month has been hair loss. I had the same with Paige too that started just after 3 months the same as this time. I think it's calming down a little now. Normally I lose quite a lot of hair on a daily basis because my hair is so thick and when I'm pregnant I hardly lose any so it gets super thick. 

I love being a mummy to two. It's so amazing and worth the tiredness. 

Thanks for reading, 

Nicola Xx 



 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review - My 1st Years*

There's something about a personalised gift that makes it that little extra bit special. My 1st Years is a company that let you create gorgeous personalised products for that special little baby boy or girl. There's everything from clothes, toys and teddies to keepsake items and 1st Christmas gifts. 


When they got in touch and asked us to review an item for Parker I jumped at the chance. After having a look around the website, which is so easy to use, I decided on the blue star print hooded robe. My main thinking on picking this was because Paige has a dressing gown which she loves and Parker hasn't got one yet. 

 
We got the dressing gown in size 6-12 months. Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will know that Parker is currently 4 months so the dressing gown is big on him at the moment. In fact Paige had a little try of it and she could get away with wearing it and she is a big 2 and a half year old. The sleeves and body are short for her but not nearly as small as I thought they would be. This just means you can really get a lot of wear out of it. I decided on this bigger size so that Parker could get the most wear out of it over Christmas and the winter time when let's face it, is when we all need a cosy dressing gown. 

Parker's dressing gown is of course personalised with his name which I love! I love that you can add this detail and because there is space on the website for you to write your personalised word you can write exactly what you want (up to 12 characters). This means you could easily add nicknames if you wanted to. For example we could of had PJ on Parker's or if we were to get Paige one we could have Pudding. 


The dressing gown itself is amazing quality. It honestly makes me want to steal it so I can cuddle up to it! It is the softest thing I have ever felt which is just what you need for baby soft skin to cuddle up to. The blue star print is gorgeous. A lovely baby blue with cute white stars. It also came wrapped in the most gorgeous box which you can use to store things in. It would make a lovely addition to any nursery.
 
 
 
The dressing gown retails at £20 and is available in 0-6m, 6-12m, 1-2 and 2-3 sizes. For the quality and personalisation this is an amazing price. A gorgeous gift that would be cherished for years to come. Even when Parker outgrows his I'm planning on still having it hung up in his room as it really is gorgeous. 

What do you think about personalised baby gifts?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola xx 

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

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Parker at 4 Months

4 months old and a third of the way to 1 year! Crazy. 
 
Parker is getting so big and so strong. He's mostly in 3-6m clothes but he is outgrowing them fairly quickly and does fit 6-9m. He weighs around 18lbs. He's quite a big baby just like Paige was and still is. 
 
 
 
He loves to suck his thumb. I've tried to give him a dummy as you can wean them off a dummy whereas weaning them off sucking their thumb is harder as it's always with them. But he isn't having any of it. A dummy will calm him but he won't fall asleep with a dummy like he does his thumb. Speaking of falling asleep... His sleep is a little better. He normally wakes up 3-4 times but has had the odd night where he's just woken for a feed at 5am which was lovely. He has 3-4 naps a day. He normally gets tired two hours after he wakes up. His naps are nearly always 45 mins long unless he's cuddling you then he will sleep a good 1-1.5 hours. 
 
He loves the jumperoo. He particularly loves the little lizard. He grabs toys and is really starting to get into them now. He also loves putting your hand into his mouth and playing with his feet. 
He smiles all the time! And is finally giggling a bit more. Only daddy can get proper giggles out of him so far though. Apparently mummy is only good for cooing. 
 
As soon as you lay him down for some tummy time he rolls straight over. He will occasionally lay on his tummy though. He tries to roll over from back to tummy but gets half way and just stops. 
 
He loves to sit and is pretty good for a just gone 4 month old. He will also pull himself up to sit if he's propped up on your knee or in his baby bath. I think it's time to say bye to his bath as he's getting far too big for it. 
 
 
He's drinking 5oz at a time now although he drains them so I think we should move him to 6oz. He will have a 6oz before bed though. I think he's having a bit of a growth spurt as he will drink 5oz every 2 hours through the day. 
He's had his last lot of injections now until he is one which is good. He hardly cried and didn't have any side effects. 
 
He also had his first trip to A&E as he burnt his hand on the radiator. You can read all about that here

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx








Monday, 27 October 2014

A Trollbeads Halloween*

I've noticed so many Halloween things in shops this year. I know that in other places of the world halloween is a big deal whereas here we don't really go all out but I think that might be changing. Of course Paige and Parker will be dressing up but the kids aren't the only ones who can have halloween treats. 

If you remember a few weeks ago I did a review of my Trollbeads bracelet. You may not know but they do Halloween beads too! They sent me this gorgeous sleeping bat bead and peach bubbles bead to try out for Halloween. They also have a pumpkin bead if bats aren't your thing but I think he's cute! I always like to get into spirit of Halloween even if I don't like scary things. And a simple bead is the perfect thing to add a little bit of Halloween to an outfit without going all out in fancy dress! 
 
Are you looking forward to Halloween? 
 
Thanks for reading
 
Nicola xx 
 
*Disclaimer - I was sent both beads for free but all views and opinions are my own* 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Family Command Centre

Since moving house in March I have wanted a command centre. Somewhere to hold important information, keys, to do lists and meal plans. Since having two children my memory is really bad. I find that my mind is constantly spinning trying to remember loads of different thing that I need to get or do. It helps to have a handy place that I can write things down. I started using a dairy but most of the time I forget to look in it as it get closed up and put out of sight. I can be a neat freak! 
 
 
Our command centre is something I always see. It is in our kitchen, which lets be fair is where I spend most of my time. I'm either cleaning, cooking or making bottles.
 
I currently have a clock so I always know the time, I never wear a watch and Paige normally always has my phone. It wasn't very helpful when the batteries started dying a few weeks ago, I was always late! Note to self - always keep spare batteries in the house!
 
 I have a cute little wooden blackboard with our meal plan on. I find that having a meal plan not only saves time when we are trying to decide what to have for tea but it also saves money when we do the weekly food shop. Being a stay at home mum I do try to save money where I can and food can be a big monthly bill! By having a meal plan I can work from that to create a shopping list for the week. That way I'm not buying loads of random things for meals that may just get thrown away. I also hang keys and recipes from here. Mainly the car keys and garage keys as they are always getting misplaced.
 
Next to that I have our calendar. Our calendar is probably the most important thing. I write down appointments for the children and for me and Mark, things I need to do/get, family days out, birthdays, anniversaries and I obviously have a Christmas countdown too! It's safe to say I'm a little excited. 

Lastly in our command centre I have a decorative heart. I feel like this just gives it a little something plus it's cute and I like it!
 
Our command centre isn't perfect and I would like to change it around a little in the new year. I'd like a better looking clock (if there is such a thing), a letter holder and a new photo calendar by PhotoBox. I quite like the idea of having a personalised family calendar but we wanted to wait until after Parker was born to include him. But it works for us right now. I'm sure that as we grow and develop as a family it will change with us. 
 
Have you ever thought about having a family command centre? Or do you already have something similar?
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

Monday, 20 October 2014

29 Months Old


This month was a big month for Paige. She started nursery! I honestly can't believe it. She goes three mornings a week and has settled in so well. We haven't had any tears at all and she gets so excited when you ask her if she wants to go to school. Whenever we drive past she always wants to go. I'm so excited that she is going, of course I miss her but she gets a few hours a week when she can play with other children, paint, draw, get messy and play in a huge sandbox. While I can be at home with Parker and enjoy some one on one time with him which was a very rare occurrence before. It also means that while she is out the house I can get the housework done and while she is at home we can play and spend time together.


With Paige going to nursery she has become a lot more tired which is understandable but she still refuses to nap. She is very tired on an evening after nursery and we have moved her bedtime. She is now in bed and more or less asleep by 7pm. Her wake ups have also being a little off this month. Normally she would wake up between 7-8am and normally she would have a lie in on a Saturday. Now she is waking up between 6-7am and normally wakes up screaming for me or Mark. She comes into our bed and will watch peppa or something until we get up. I am very much dreading the clocks going back and the 6am wake up turning into 5am!

She is constantly talking. Like all the time. She never shuts up! Her words are becoming clearer every day and she is getting so much more confident. It's so lovely to have proper convocations with her. Her last molar is finally through so she officially has all of her teeth!!

This month she learnt to pretend yawn. No idea why but she loves it! Probably because of the amount of times a day that I yawn haha.



She still loves painting, puzzles and baking. She asks to bake so much and loves it probably more than anything else right now. She also bakes at nursery so that gives me a little break and means I don't eat a thousand cupcakes every week.

She will be 2 and a half next month!!!!


Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Friday, 17 October 2014

Parker at 14 and 15 Weeks

14 weeks 

He has defiantly found his hands this week. He is constantly chewing them. I'm surprised how much of his hand he can actually fit in his mouth!
 
He slept from 9-6:30am which amazed both me and Mark. Sadly it was a one off but at least we know he can do it which gives me hope hehe. Apart from that one night his sleep is quite bad. He is normally up 5 times a night. He doesn't always want feeding though. I think its the start of the 4 month sleep regression a little early.
 
We had our first little tiny giggle. He sounds so funny. It still like he doesn't quite know what to do so such a strange sound comes out but its so cute. He also smiles as soon as he sees you. It's lovely to get that reaction as soon as he sees you.  
 
He hates to sit and will always try to push off his legs to stand up. I remember Paige going through a similar sort of stage. He is really good at sitting by himself though. Paige mastered that around 4 and a half months and was pretty confident at 5 months. I wonder if Parker will be the same?

 
 
15 weeks 
 
His sleep is still rubbish. We normally have wake ups at 12,3,5 with sometimes 2 and 4 thrown in for good measure! Very tiring. I actually had to start asking Mark for help because it was killing me. I like to do the night feeds on my own because he has to be up for work. He will also fight going to sleep at night and nap times. He pretty much has to nap on me or he won't sleep. He is such a happy little boy unless he is tired. Then he is such a crabby bum, very much like me in that sense! We are having to rock him to sleep as well or he just doesn't go. I defiantly think he is having the sleep regression now as he was always so good at self soothing and naps.
 
He is starting to get into toys  more. He loves grabbing them. He also loves the jumperoo. I think its the noise and lights he likes! He doesn't stay in it for long though.
 
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but he does have cradle cap. I always keep meaning to mention it and always forget. he's had it for a few weeks now. Paige had it too but because she had a lot more hair you never really saw it.
 
 
I can't believe he is almost 4 months old!
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

1 Million Views

When I first started my blog I started writing about Millie, my cat, and some beauty bits and bobs. I only did that for a few weeks then found out I was pregnant with Paige. I then didn't blog for a few months while I got over my morning sickness. I started again in January 2012. I blogged about my pregnancy and I love looking back on those posts. Since then I've blogged about Paige (a lot) about our wedding, about another pregnancy and about Parker and our life as four.
 
I never could of imagined the amazing things and people I would meet through blogging. Some I now count as my closest friends. 
 
And yesterday I hit 1 million blog views.
 
1 million.
 
I can't believe it.
 
The fact that people want to read my random words is amazing. I may not be the biggest blog or have the best stats or ranking but none of that matters. Even if there was no one reading I'd still be here. On my little space of the internet writing about our life and enjoying every second. 
 
Blogging with two children is hard work. It's hard to find time. Throw into that sleep deprivation and I've hardly blogged at all this month. I feel a little cheated that I've reached 1 million views in one of my quietest month since I've started blogging. 
 
But I am thankful.
 
Very thankful to everyone that has ever read a post or commented. Thankful to all the amazing people I've met along the way, the opportunities I've had and the companies I've worked with.
 
Thank YOU!
 
Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

First Time in A&E

Parker isn't even 4 months old and we've had our first trip to A&E.
 
Yesterday I went in the shower like I do every morning. Paige was at nursery so I laid parker down on the floor on his changing mat with a toy. He has a little cold so the steam really helps unblocks his nose. Just before I got in he started crying. I picked him up and comforted him but just thought he was tired (we had a rough night). He settled back down, I had a shower and got dressed. We went downstairs, I got some breakfast and then I got parker down for his nap. Everything was fine. 

 
He woke from his nap around 9:15am. Something caught my eye. I looked at his fingers and saw two blisters. His last three fingers were red. I quickly took him over to the tap and held his hand under the tap. After a few minutes I placed a wet piece of kitchen roll over instead of the tap. He was wiggling around too much. I dried it and wrapped some cling film around. I gave him some calpol just incase he was in pain but he seemed fine.
I tried to call Mark and couldn't get through. I was now such a mess. Crying my eyes out. Mark came home at 10am on his break and I was still crying. Parker on the other hand was the happiest he has been all weekend! He was giving Mark the biggest smiles ever. I took the cling film off for Mark to look. The biggest blister had popped. Now I worried about infection so I phoned 111. They were so good and told us to pop to A&E so they could have a look. 
Two hours later and we were back home. They cleaned and dressed his hand. It took two nurses and me to do it but we got there eventually. They said there won't be any lasting damage and it won't scar so that is amazing news. He was so brave. He was smiling at all the doctors and nurses. 
 
They are checking his hand in a couple of days and will re dress it if its needs it. So for now we have to keep his hand from getting wet. 
 
He is perfectly fine and I don't even think he's noticed. I am a mess and feel so bad that this happened. He wasn't even close to the radiator and I have no idea how he got to it but he couldn't of done it anywhere else.
 
I can tell that he is going to keep us on our toes!
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Siblings - October

This past month was probably our hardest month so far. Having two children is hard work. Paige is firmly in the terrible twos and her favourite thing to do is ignore every word I say. Parker's sleep is really bad. Last night we were up every hour but on average we are up between 3 and 6 times with him. It's hard wok when you have an energetic toddler to look after during the day as well.

I kind of feel like this months picture represents our hard month. It wasn't intentional but I kind of love it all the same.

 
Just as I took the picture Parker decided to pull Paige's hair. He then smiled like a cheeky little boy as if he knew exactly what he had done. You can see the start of his cheeky smile on his face. Of course at only nearly 4 months old he had no idea what he was doing but it has given me a peak into the future.

Having siblings isn't all smiles and playing together. They will argue and may hate each other at times but at the end of the day a bond that strong never goes away. Moments after this picture all was forgotten and Paige was helping Parker to play with his toys. I'm sure in years to come Paige will get her own back :P

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

PS: Paige was absolutely fine :)
dear beautiful

Friday, 3 October 2014

My 30 Day Shred Experience

As some of you may know I started the 30 day shred at the beginning of September. I feel like such a failure but I only managed 27 straight days and not the full 30. I could of kept going and finished but I was putting myself at risk. Parker sleep is pretty shocking right now so I'm not getting enough rest. That coupled with Paige starting nursery which is such an emotional thing especially as she wouldn't leave my side the first day. I'm also trying to blog, keep the house in order and stressing out about what I'm eating. It's safe to say I was burning myself out. 
Never the less I have seen some results in the past 27 days. I will admit that my progress isn't as good as some that I have seen but this is due to my eating. Over the past 27 days I've still eaten the odd bar of chocolate and packet of crisps. I've even had kfc and McDonald's. Although at McDonald's I had a salad!!! I've never only had a salad at McDonald's so I'm very proud of myself for that.
 
And although I do feel like a total failure I have decided that I will do the shred again and try to complete the whole 30 days. But I will wait until Parkers sleep is better. I am going to aim to do the shred or some form of exercise 2-3 times a week to keep my fitness up. It has improved so much over the last few weeks and I don't want to lose that. I have also lost inches and lost weight. I took my measurements and weight at the beginning and the end to compare. I won't be posting my actual weight or measurements as to be honest I don't really think they matter.

But overall I lost...

Waist -1.5 inch
Around Belly Button -3.75 inch
Under Bust -0.75 inch
Legs -1.5 inch on both legs
Hips -1.0 inch
 
 I also lost 7lbs.

My muscles have gotten so much stronger. When I first started you could literally just push your hand into my stomach without any resistance from my stomach muscles. Now you can feel my muscles and they are pretty tight. Yes I still have a little pouch but I honestly think that's hugely down to my eating. The are small changes around my stomach, especially around my tattoo. I noticed that clothes also fit better.
On day 2 and day 27

I really enjoyed the whole 27 days. Of course there were days that I didn't feel like doing it but I pushed myself as much as I could. The first few days of each new level were so hard but you really notice a difference in your fitness and it keeps you going. I advise everyone to take measurements as they keep you going as well. I liked each level for different reasons. I had read a few reviews and most people said they didn't enjoy level 2 but I really did. I found the hardest transition was from level 2 to level 3.

I didn't go into the 30 day shred with a 6 pack in mind... I was only 10 weeks postpartum when I started and still had nearly a stone of baby weight to lose. My stomach muscles were still slightly separated (only 1 finger width which is considered normal) so I adjusted the ab work at the beginning as to not make the separation worse. Instead I just did the exercises that my doctor told me to go to help close my muscles. My stomach muscles are defiantly my most improved. Before I started they were so weak from having Parker that I couldn't do any form of exercise with them. Level 3 for me was hardest with the ab work but I think if I had done the last 3 days I would of seen even more improvement with them.

I am so excited to try and complete the whole 30 days which will probably be sometime in the new year.

For now I will defiantly keep going with my fitness with the hope of starting to run and lose the rest of the baby weight in the up and coming months. I find it a great stress release and I truly think I've caught the fitness bug.

But for now I need sleep!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Review and Competition (CLOSED) - Caseapp.co.uk

I've recently got a new phone so my old phone cases didn't fit anymore. Plus with an extra little special person in my life I needed a new cover anyway. 

Caseapp.co.uk is a website that lets you create your own personalised case for either a phone/tablet. You can also create personalised skins for a phone/tablet or laptop. You can also pick one of there designs if you prefer.

I choose to create my own personalised cover. I of course had to have a picture of Paige and Parker. I started out by designing a collage of photos but to be honest although the website was very easy to use I just couldn't get the right look. None of my pictures seems to fit well even when I adjusted them so I decided for one big picture.


I've inserted a screen shot of what my case looked like on the website. Below that is my actual case so you can compare. I'm really happy with how my pictured turned out. I will say that in real life my case has a slight colour tinge, kind of a bluey/greeny colour. The picture isn't as bright in real life as it is on the screen shot but I still like it.




As you can see when my phone is the right way round the picture is on its side. I couldn't have the picture the right way up as it wouldn't fit and I had my heart set on this picture so I simply turned the picture around. I don't mind at all. I've had other cases the same and it isn't a problem.

The qualify and finish on the case is lovely. The pictures are clear and look great. The case feels nice when you hold it and is comfortable. It is very smooth. I picked the matt finish as I thought it would look nice and it does.
 


Below are pictures of my phone from the front and side so you can see the case. It wraps around the phone giving a little added protection. The picture is also carried on around the sides. When I first put the case on it made my phone look a lot wider as I wasn't used to the picture wrapping around but now I don't even notice a difference.




Overall I am very happy with my case. The website was very easy to use and I actually spent just over an hour playing around with all the designs and my pictures. The delivery was quicker than the expected arrival date which was a lovely surprise.

The case retails at £19 for an iPhone 5 personalised one like mine which is very reasonable and I would happily pay that amount and recommend the site to a friend.

Case App have very kindly offered me the chance to give a case away to one of my lovely readers. You will receive a code so that you too can design a case of your very own. All you have to do is complete the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - I was given a code to purchase a free phone case for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are my own*
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