Sunday, 30 November 2014

Me and Mine - November

I feel like this month was quite a big month for us as a family. This month Paige turned 2 and a half. I honestly can't believe that we have a 2 and a half year old. This month was also mine and Marks first wedding anniversary.

Even though I didn't start posting our Me and Mine pictures until January this year I do have family pictures from November last year so technically we've being doing them a whole year now.

A lot has changed in the past year. We've moved house, had a baby and just grown as a family. On our wedding day I was 8 weeks pregnant. Parker was our perfect secret with only a few people knowing. Paige has changed a ridiculous amount in the past year. She's turned into such an amazing little girl.



 I love the idea of having our wedding picture in this months picture. It really shows just how much we have changed. I really hope that we carry on this tradition and each year hold the previous years picture.

I am so excited for our first Christmas as a family of four. Parker also turns 6 months old!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx


dear beautiful

Friday, 28 November 2014

Our First Wedding Anniversary

Me and Mark got engaged in early 2008. We always planned to get married sooner than we did but money was a big factor. Weddings can be so expensive. In 2011 we finally had a bit saved up and decided to go ahead and start planning. We then found out we were expecting Paige and plans got put on hold. Fast forward to 2013 and we decided to try again. It took us a matter of months to plan the wedding. We didn't want anything huge and we didn't want a huge fuss. We just wanted to be married. We found out we were pregnant with Parker a matter of weeks before the big day but it didn't matter. I wouldn't be that far along so people wouldn't notice. 
 

Fast forward a year and we've now been married for 365 days and have an extra member in our family. 
 
They say that some of the most stressful things in life are getting married, moving house and having a baby. We've done that in the last year. I'd like to think that the next year is a little more calm and we can enjoy each other. 
Our card from Paige
 
The day of our anniversary came and we didn't have too much planned. We had planned to go out for a meal but with Parker not sleeping well we decided to give it a miss as I don't think either of us would of lasted until the end of the meal. Paige was at nursery during the morning so mark dropped her off and came home with bacon sandwiches. We then opened cards and presents. Part of my present was a drawing of one of our wedding pictures with our first song written over the top, I loved it! We then headed out the door. Mark has a surprise for me. We ended up in Leeds and in Primark. Primark is probably my favourite shop and Mark told me to just go wild so I did! This was the second part of my present. Paper is traditionally the first present for a wedding anniversary hence the picture and the paper bags from Primark. Like always when you have money to spend barely anything catches your eye but I didn't pick up a few pieces, ok a lot of things. After we drove home and collected Paige from nursery and headed to Costa for some lunch. Next was nap time and some food shopping in the afternoon. We actually love food shopping as a family, is that weird?! 


Tea time came around and we had pizza and some family over. We chatted, played with the kids and then put them to bed. After we played some good old board games and just had a bit of fun. 
 
The day was full of family, giggles and yummy food. Just like our wedding day
 
Here's to the next year! 
 
Thanks for reading, 
 
Nicola xx 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My First OOTD

I've wanted to do an OOTD post for so long now but just haven't had the confidence. To be honest I still don't but I wanted to give it a go because without trying you never know what you can do.

I'm not the most fashionable person. I regularly pick comfort over style. I spend 80% of my time in pajama bottoms and when I do have regular clothes on them they are normally covered in food from Paige or dribble from Parker.

I don't go shopping for new clothes very often as I prefer to spend any money I have on Paige and Parker.

But here is my first outfit...

 
Jeans, a jumper and some boots. Pretty simple and easy to thrown on. The jeans are about two years old and from Dorothy Perkins. They are black skinny jeans and I probably should get some more as they have faded quite a lot.
 
 

The jumper is a new addition from Primark. Its navy blue with a white collar and a white panel in the back. I love it and it was only £12.


The boots are black flat ankle boots. I've had them that long I honestly don't know where they are from but they are practical and comfy.

I keep hair and make up really simple as I don't tend to have lots of time to get ready. As for jewelry I have some flower studs and my wedding rings.

Let me know if you would like to see more. I can't promise they will be interesting but I've quite enjoyed doing this one :)

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Because I Love Pandas

 


My little cub trying to crawl



 
Grumpy Bear

Parker is so close to out growing his gorgeous fluffy suit from Next I just had to get a few picture of him.

Nicola Xx

Monday, 24 November 2014

Parker at 5 Months

Parker is now 22 weeks and is officially 5 months old. I swear he was just born.
 
 
Parker had another long nap by himself this week. In fact he seems to be having a long nap over lunch time which is nice. Apart from that sleep is still bad. He is still trying to sit up and crawl in sleep but seems to be getting a bit easier to settle. Mark did the whole of one night and parker only woke once! The average seems to be 3 times again which is a lot better than the previous 2 weeks of 5/6 times a night.
 
He has a little cold. Poor thing. Pretty sure he caught it off Paige as she has a cold too. 
 
He smiles at his reflection and anybody that will smile at him. When out and about all people have to donut glance in his direction and he beams from ear to ear. He is so much more smiley than Paige was. You always had to work for a smile with smile but she giggled a lot easier than Parker does. His giggles sound so funny. It sounds like they take over his body and he just can't handle them. It's so cute.
 
 
As for milestones he still loves to stand and is constantly rolling over in both directions. If you lay him down on the floor he doesn't stay still and frequently ends up in a completely different place to where you put him. He isn't yet sitting fully on his own, Paige was when she turned 5 months but she didn't roll as well as Parker can. I know they are different babies but I can't help them compare. They are both perfect in there own way.
 
He still has around 5 bottles in 24 hours. During the day they are 6oz but during the night he doesn't always finish them and sometimes he will just have one during the night. He hasn't yet had solids but is starting to get interested and constantly watches us when we eat. Another month then we will start him on baby led weaning. I can't wait.
 
He is so good at grabbing things and loves playing with toys. He still loves Paige and she loves him. His face lights up as soon as he sees her.
 
 
I think that his hair is growing a little more and his eyes are a dark green. He is still a big boy and fitting into 6-9 month clothes. I wouldn't be surprised if 9-12m fit him too. He's such a mummy's boy and I'm loving every second.
 
I can't believe that next month he will be half a year old! I can't wait to see him develop even more and start sitting properly and crawling. I'm excited to see how it changes his relationship with Paige.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Parker at 20 Weeks

 
I'm talking about sleep again, what a surprise. This week has probably been the worst week. Parker has woken 5/6 times a night every single night. He isn't hungry every time but he does have two bottles during the night at midnight and 5am. He isn't going through a leap so I thought the reason for him waking was him trying to master a new skill and I think I'm right. The other morning I was up with him and he was fast asleep in my arms. He then started trying to pull himself up to a sitting position while laid down and fast asleep. I was also regularly finding him at the top of his cot and turned around the other way so I defiantly think he's trying to master a new skill. 
This week he took his first two hour nap by himself. Normally I have to hold him for his to sleep that long during the day. 
 
When he's awake and laid down he rolls quickly onto his belly then puts his head down, brings his knees up under himself and shuffles forwards like he's trying to crawl. The boy wants to go!! Paige started trying around the same age so it will be interesting to see if he crawls before she did at just gone 7 months. 
 
He is still obsessed with blowing bubbles and raspberries. 
 
He is having around 5 bottles a day including the 2 during the night I mentioned earlier. They are all 6oz bottles. He is now in 6-9m clothes and wearing size 4 nappies!!!! 
 
If only we could sort his sleeping out a little. Me and mark are knackered. But I know it won't last forever. Fingers crossed!! 
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Review - Room To Grow*

Paige is getting to the age where she wants to know everything. We are trying to teach her as much as we can. We are currently teaching her the alphabet and she loves learning so much. I can't wait to start teaching her about time. She always asks when and I cant wait to tell her a time instead of after lunch or after nap time.

To help with teaching a child time Room To Grow have some lovely clocks that are simple, easy to read and big. We were sent the Carib glass wall clock in black to try out.

As Paige is still a little young to be telling the time the clock lives in the kitchen right now, above our command centre. It is in the perfect place for me to be able to see and also Paige. We have an open kitchen and living room so Paige spends a lot of time in that area.

 
The numbers are clear, big and super easy to read. I especially find this helpful as when I don't have my glasses on I can still see the time very easily. The contrasting colours also make the clock really easy to read.

The clock is made from coloured glass but isn't really heavy. The hands are chrome which gives the clock a really modern finish. I really love the look of this clock and I think it would fit in well in most houses. It is also available in a lime green colour if black is a little boring for you.



 
It takes 1 AA battery. It does have a loud tick too it which would drive me mad if it were in our bedroom but as it's in the kitchen there's normally so much other noise that I don't notice it.
 
The clock retails for £22 but is currently on sale at £19.80. In all honestly it is a little more expensive that what I would normally pay for a clock but for the style and look I think its a good price.
 
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx
 
*Disclaimer - We were sent this clock for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Paige Is Two And A Half

Paige is two and a half years old. It honestly feels like she was just born. Time really does go too fast. 2 and a half is such an amazing age. I really wish we could freeze time and enjoy her at this age for a little longer. Paige has come on so much these past few months and seems so much more grown up than when she turned two. Its crazy how much can change in half a year.

Paige is still a big girl. She is wearing 3-4 year clothes and weighs around 33/34lbs. She is a size 8 shoe and in size 5+ nappies. Still not potty trained but we aren't in a rush. She will let us know when she is ready.

Nursery has done wonders for Paige. She loves it so much. She is so confident around everyone now and is shining like the amazing little girl she is at home. Her speech has come on leaps and bounds. She is getting so clear and says 5 words in a row now. She is currently obsessed with saying how big or small something is. She loves pointing out things she knows and basically just doesn't shut up. Its amazing after her not talking much. She is also starting to enjoy talking on the phone and will talk to her grandparents which is lovely.
 
She still loves puzzles and is onto ones for 4 year olds now. She is so good at working things out and I can already tell that her brain works very much like her daddy's. She still loves to draw. colour and paint and do anything that is hands on. She draws lines and circles and even tries to colour within lines. She also loves dressing up and playing pretend tea party. She loves stories and tries to read.
 
She recognizes different shapes and some colours. She counts to 10 but still missed out 7 and sometimes 4. She is now drinking from a normal cup, something just clicked I guess and she never spills anything now.
 
She is such an affectionate little girl and is always kissing and cuddling, even at nursery. She is such a good big sister and loves helping me with Parker. She is always making him smile.
 
She is always happy and giggling. She does have the odd tantrum just like any two year old but they are quite rare. Recently she has become a little fussy with food but she is ill so that may be something to do with it.

 



 
She still has bear but leaves him at home when she is at nursery. He still sleeps with her every night. She is napping again (most days) for an hour or so. Nursery really takes it out of her. At night she still sleeps 11/12 hours.
 
I am so excited to see how much she changes between now and when she turns 3.
 
We are so proud of the amazing little girl she is turning into.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

Friday, 14 November 2014

Parker at 18 and 19 Weeks

18 Weeks

This week Parker finally rolled back to tummy. I say finally but 18 weeks isn't late to be rolling at all. Just like with rolling tummy to back he started trying for about a day then the next day had cracked it. He seems like such a quick learner once he puts his mind to it. Paige rolled around the same age but it seemed to take her a couple of weeks of trying before she finally did it. 

His sleep is terrible. I feel like I constantly repeat myself with sleep issues. He's so up and down and not consistent at all. He had one awful night where from 1:45am - 6:24am I had to constantly hold him while walking up and down the living room so he would settle. Luckily it was a Sunday so I went to bed at 6:24am and Mark took over. 
 
Prior to this night he was super fussy too. I've no idea why. He just didn't seem himself and happy. He was going through a leap and we actually think that bad night was the end of it as since then he is back to his super happy self and sleeping better. 

Parker is now wearing 6-9m clothes. He's a giant! He's so big. Defiantly following in Paiges footsteps. 

 
19 Weeks 
 
Parker seemed to change this week. He almost grew up over night. His sleep went back to his typical twice a night waking although he only really feeds the first time he wakes up between midnight and 1am. He then wakes around 5am and just needs a cuddle then will sleep until 7am. He sometimes doesn't settle very well after the 5am wake up so in those cases we bring him into bed and he sleeps fine. His bedtime is between 7-7:30pm depending what time he wakes from his last nap. He has about 4 naps a day. Normally they are 45minutes long but he will occasionally have a two hour over lunch time (if I am holding him). 

His feeding changed this week too. He has always being such a snacker (very much like me) but this week he's gone to having 3-4 bottles during the day of 6oz a time. It's such an effort to get him to drink them. It's like everything in the world is so exciting and his milk is so boring. Haha. 

He is obsessed with blowing raspberries. He first blew them weeks and weeks ago then never did again and now they are back with full force. It's so cute and Paige thinks it's funny.

 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Naming Our Children

When it comes to choosing your babies name it can be a difficult task. 
Before we even had Paige we had two names picked out for our future children. Like a lot of couples do we had discussed names and found a couple we agreed on. One for a boy and one for a girl. 
These names weren't Paige and Parker. 
They were Jacob and Isabella. We had no idea how popular they were about to get thanks to Twilight. So when we did get pregnant our name choices changed. Not because we didn't like those names but because we didn't want a hugely popular name. 
We wanted a name that people could spell and knew of but one that wasn't very popular. I didn't want another 10 people in the same class at school to be called the same thing. 
Just like a lot of couples we spent the whole pregnancy discussing names and couldn't agree on anything. We knew the sex of each baby by 20 weeks so this made picking a name a bit easier as we only needed one each time.

Both Paige and Parker were names we loved for middle names. In the end (as you know) we used them as first names. We were always looking for names when we had two perfectly lovely names straight in front of us it just always took us a while to notice them.
Paige actually came from the TV show Charmed. I am slightly obsessed and one of the characters is called Paige.
Paige fit the list we had. It wasn't super popular but most know how to spell it. Her middle name Ellen is actually my grandmas name. I love that it's a little different and I think it goes with Paige really well. I also love the fact that Paige is my grandmas first great granddaughter.
Now for Parker. Parker is my maiden name. Since we knew were getting married I knew that my maiden name would soon be a thing of the past. We wanted to incorporate the name in some way and the easiest way was to have it as a middle name. It never really dawned on me that we could use Parker as a first name. I think Mark mentioned it once but I never really considered it. Then one day I was speaking to my mum about baby names. We liked the idea of using a family name but we never loved any of the male family names. My great grandads name was Smith and I then loved the idea of using a surname as a first name. And so Parker sprung back to mind.
We mentioned the name Parker to a few people in our family. Mainly parents, just to see what they thought. Not everyone loved it but we did! 
I think at first it was a bit of a shock. It isn't a very popular first name but that doesn't matter. In fact that's what we wanted. We always get the question... Oh is Parker his first name? When we say yes I normally explain that it's my maiden name and then people love it because it has meaning and history.
James is Parkers middle name and at first it was a name that both me and Mark didn't particularly like. It's an ok name in itself but its so common. But we think it fits perfectly with Parker. Parker James has a lovely ring to it. We love calling him PJ for short.

Our Paige and Parker
I love the names Paige and Parker. I really hope that as they grow up they will love them too. It was quite a coincidence that they both start with a P. It wasn't intentional and to be honest we had reservations about whether we wanted both names to start with a P.
I have no idea what the future holds. If we will have another child or not. And if they do will they have a P name. We will just have to see.
How did you pick your child's name?
Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Parragon Books - Count to 10 with a Mouse*

As part of the Parragon Book Buddies scheme we get to try out different books each month. Paige is still obsessed with reading and Parker loves listening too.

The most recent book we were sent was Count to 10 with a Mouse by Margaret Wise Brown. It also came in a set with a cute little mouse toy to bring the book to life. A great little Christmas present idea!


The book is about a cute little mouse that travels through the pages learning to count. On his way he passes a variety of animals which he counts. Each page has a little rhyme and the story has a nice flow too it. It isn't too long which is perfect for children who don't like to sit still for too long.

The mouse teddy is also a great size for a smaller child. Parker can easily pick it up and play with it although to be honest he normally just chews it's face off! Poor Mouse.

Don't forget to check out Parragon books on Twitter.

Does your child enjoy books as much as mine do?

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, 10 November 2014

Siblings - November

November.... already!

I totally forgot about this months post until this morning. I couldn't even remember if I had taken any pictures of my two together this month. But luckily I have and I just couldn't pick a single favourite.

This month has been lovely. I feel like as Parker gets older and interacts more, Paige has so much fun with him. Her current favourite things to do are giving him horsey rides and blow raspberries on his belly. He loves every second of it. As soon as she catches his eye he is all smiles and Paige will do anything to make him smile. Parker has learnt to roll from his back to belly within the past month and Paige loves this. They play there own little game of Parker rolling over and Paige rolling him back. They both find it so funny.

This was what I was waiting for when I first found out I pregnant again. I couldn't wait to see both my babies together and enjoying each other. I think that's the beauty of having two. The look of pure and utter love that is so plainly written on there faces is heart melting. The little smiles or squeals of laughter from Parker and the big kisses from Paige.




They are both getting so big. Paige is 2 and a half this month and Parker will be 5 months old not long after.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

dear beautiful

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Baby Versus Career: What To Choose*

If you’re currently struggling with your family and your career you may want to read this infographic. It can sometimes be immensely difficult to continue with your career after having a child and if this is the case then you need some help. The bottom of the graphic features some really useful tips on how to juggle.

  Gumtree infographic baby versus career
Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

*Sponsored Post

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Review and Competition (CLOSED) - Woodpic*



Woodpic are the original wood art printer, the first of its kind in the UK. Woodpics are engrained direct onto sustainable 12mm thick, ply ensuring a personalised art piece every time. Each Woodpic embodies the grain of the wooden canvas to give a completely unique finish. Meaning each is a little different.

I must admit that when Woodpic first got in touch asking if we would like to review a print I had no idea what to expect. I've heard many times of canvas prints but never had I heard of printing onto wood, at least not for home use. I was very excited to get started.

Using the website was really quick and easy. The longest part for me was choosing a picture. In the end I went with a picture of Parker, simply because we already have prints of Paige but very few of Parker. All you have to do is select a size, select your picture and crop the image to how you want it to look. Below is the image I used just so you can compare it to the final product.

 
 

The delivery was quick and the print was packaged very well. It also came with the fittings to attach it to the wall which is a good addition.

My first impression was how good the quality of the print is. Obviously you have to use a high quality imagine but the print is amazing quality. The wood is also good quality. I did read the description of the 12mm thick wood but actually seeing and feeling it in person it was a lot thicker than I expected. It makes you feel like it will last a long time and is worth the money.



The grain on the wood is something which is really key to Woodpic and at first I honestly wasn't so keen. Because I choose a picture of Parker and I cropped the image to be quite close around his face the grain is very strong close up. In my opinion it kind of make Parker look a lot older. From a distance you can't really tell. After getting over that initial thought the picture has grown on me. I am learning to love the grain for what it is and how gorgeous the print looks. It is lovely!

Prices for Woodpic start at £29.99 and are worth every penny. What a gorgeous and unique gift for yourself or someone else.

Woodpic have kindly shared some codes below for you to buy a woodpic of your choice with a discount.

11x11" Woodpic - £15.99 (online £39.99) CODE W1111
15x10" Woodpic - £19.99 (online £52.99) CODE W1510
23x15" Woodpic - £44.99 (online £99.99) CODE W2315


I also have a competition for you all to win your very own 11x11 Woodpic. UK only. You will receive a voucher to order a free 11x11 print.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also find Woodpic on Twitter or Facebook.

Thanks for reading and good luck in the competition!

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - We were sent a voucher to purchase a print free of charge but all views and opinions are my own*

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Halloween 2014

We aren't crazy on Halloween but I do like to dress up and do some themed crafts and get into the Halloween mood a little. We never do anything super special but this year we decided to pop over to my dads house. We didn't want to take Paige trick or treating and I still feel like she is a little too young and to be honest I think she would get a little scared.

 
Paige was dressed up as a cat and loved it. She is currently obsessed with cats so loved every second. She kept playing with her tail and loved looking at herself in the mirror and seeing her nose and whiskers. Parker was of course a Panda because I love Pandas but mainly because we already had this outfit  and I didn't see the point in spending money on something else.

 
We did some crafts on Halloween and made spiders out of toilet roll tubes and pipe cleaners. We also made hand and footprints into spiders and Frankenstein. Paige also painted pumpkins. I had carved a pumpkin the night before with Paige who was so scared of the insides she refused to touch them. I hope next year she wants to join in a little more.

 
We dressed up, ate sweets and made a huge glitter mess and decorated a pumpkin with glitter and stick on gems. I think the counts as a huge Halloween success!


 
What did you do on Halloween?
 
Check out Paige's first and second Halloween.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Nicola Xx

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Best Soft Toys*

Jellycat are a brand that many parents have heard of. We first heard of them when Paige was around 6 week old. Me and Mark left her for the first time for a couple of hours with my dad while we spent some time together. We decided to go for some lunch and somehow ended up in a shop that sold jellycat teddies. We decided to buy her a cute little rabbit as a present from the first time mummy and daddy left her. 
 
With Christmas coming up I wanted to get her another. And of course get Parker one of his own. When Jellycat offered to send us two I couldn't wait to receive them. 
 
 
I picked Bartholomew Bear for Parker and Fuddlewuddle Kitty for Paige. There are a huge choice to choose from on the website but I picked the bear for Parker because I thought a bear was such a classic teddy and he didn't have a bear of his own. I picked the kitty for Paige as she is obsessed with cats at the moment. She is normally crawling around on her hands and knees meowing (strange child)! Hehe. She also dressed up as a cat for Halloween so it seemed to fit quite well. 
 
 
Having never ordered from the website before I didn't really know what to expect but when the teddies arrived I was pleasantly surprised. Both soft toys came wrapped up in there own little blue jellycat bags. I let paige open hers but I opened Parkers for him. As soon as Paige saw her kitty she hugged her straight away and I knew that she was a big hit. Paige loves teddies and always carries her Bear around with her. Now she carries Kitty and Bear. She makes them play together and even makes them give each other kisses, it's so cute. Parker is really starting to get into toys at the moment and loves to touch and cuddle Bartholomew.
 
 
 
Both soft toys are so soft and cuddly. They feel amazing and such good quality. Both our teddies are the medium size which are 23cm and 28cm tall. Kitty retails for £17 and Bartholomew retails at £16. These really are toys that will last a lifetime.  
 These would make cute and adorable little Christmas presents for anyone. I'm a big soft toy lover and I would love to receive one in my stocking. I have my eye on the pandas (hint to Mark if you are reading)! I can just imagine them poking out from the top of stockings and looking so cute!

Do you love Jellycat toys as much as us?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

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