Thursday, 30 April 2015

Me and Mine - April

Yet another month has passed so quickly. I'll be honest, April wasn't so great what with sickness but I am looking forward to May and June, even though it means that my babies will be turning 3 and 1!

We also have our first little family holiday just after Paige's birthday so I am very much looking forward to that.




As time flies by each month I realise just how far we've come as a family. How much we all change and develop together. How much our love for each other grows.


I am so very lucky to call these people family. I would do anything for them. Me and Mine reminds me of that and I truly cherish these pictures each and every month.
 
Nicola Xx



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Review - Penwizard

The lovely people over at Penwizard got in touch over on Twitter and asked if I wanted to review a personalised book. Of course I said yes. The first reason was because we love books, the second was because they had a personalised Peppa Pig book. Paige loves Peppa Pig and can recognise her name so  knew she would love seeing her name next to Peppa's. 
 
 
 
Of course I picked "My Mummy". There is also a "My Daddy" book too, just to make things fair hehe. The personalisation of the book is really quite simple. You simply pop your child's details in and then pick what they look like. You pick gender, hair colour, eye colour, skin colour and hair style. There are quite a limited range of options but the ones they have are good. You can then add a sibling and personalise there character. This is an option, you don't have to add a sibling if you don't want to or if your child doesn't have one. You then add Mummy. You have very similar options to the children. You then simply finish the ordering process which is really straight forward and wait for your book to arrive.
 
Ours arrived really quickly and I was so excited to see what Paige thought of it. The day we received the book we read it around 5 times in the space of half an hour. Paige loves it!
 
 
 
The book itself is very well made and lovely quality. It has your personalised details on near enough every page. The story itself is ok. Some aspects aren't my favourite but Paige doesn't really care to be honest. She just loves that she is in a book with Peppa Pig. The book retails at £14.99 which I think is a fair price considering the quality and personalisation.


The pages are clear, bright and very attractive for young children. They are simple which helps Paige recognise hers and Parker's name easier than other personalised books. The book is very positive and happy. It says activities which Peppa, Paige and Parker like doing with their mummy's. It would be nice if you could further personalise the activities and story with a few different options.


All in all we love this book. I'd recommend them 100% and if Peppa Pig isn't your child's thing they have many other options for personalised books.

Would you purchase a personalised book for your children?

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - We were given a voucher to code to purchase this book for free for the purpose of this review but all views ad opinions are my own*

Monday, 27 April 2015

Mummy and Me - April

April is always a bit of a sentimental month for me. Its my birth month so getting a year older doesn't help but it's also the last month before Paige's birthday. So this months pictures are the last with my two year old.

Something being a mum has taught me is that time goes far too fast. Those early sleepless nights did sometimes drag but I tried to cherish them as even those pass quickly in the grand scheme of things.

April was a funny old month as a mum for me. For a good couple of weeks Paige was ill and then Parker got ill. Paige was only at nursery for 1 week during the whole month. Having ill children can be pretty rough, especially when they are being sick but we got through it. We have our first family holiday to look forward to next month too so that helped a lot! Haha.

This months pictures were taken in the garden. We've pretty much spent all out time in doors for the most part of the month so as the weather has being quite nice recently we've tried to out in the sun as much as we can. A lot easier said than done with a 10 month old who wants to eat flowers and grass!



Of course Parker isn't looking at the camera in any picture but his little chubby legs are too cute!! Paige also almost pushed me over as she was hugging and kissing me so tightly.

They both drive me insane on a daily basis but I wouldn't change them for the world.

Nicola Xx


Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Friday, 24 April 2015

10 Months Old

 
How is my little boy already 10 months old?! 10 months sounds so big and so close to becoming a toddler.

At 10 months old Parker is still cutting his 5th tooth. It's been half way through for a month now. Its right under the gum but is taking forever to come properly through.

 
He can now stand for 30+ seconds unaided. He never really falls anymore just gets bored so sits down and crawls off. In some huge news Parker took his first unaided step at 9 and a half months. He only did it the once so no idea when he will do it again. He also stood himself up unaided from sitting but again only did that the once. He walks everywhere with his walker and loves chasing Paige while pushing it and walking. He can also finally climb onto the sofa. He has tried for a couple of months now. This of course means I need even more eyes in the back of my head as he likes to chuck himself off.

 
He always has 3 meals a day now and loves breakfast! Cereal and fruit especially. He will still pretty much eat anything and pasta is still a firm favourite, just like Paige.

He's still in 9-12 months clothes but some 12-18 months fit too. I feel like he's evened out a lot now whereas Paige was and still is so big for her age.

He is very much a mummy's boy still. He will always crawl over to me and will sometimes just cry until I hold him, even if Mark is holding him. He loves a good snuggle and is so ticklish. He's adopted the Paige Pout and turned it into the Parker Pout. So, so funny.

 
I can't believe that he will soon be 1. Time goes so fast. Too fast.

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Scottish Friendly Letter Fall

Before I started blogging I used Twitter to enter competitions. There's nothing better than entering a free competition and actually winning something. I won quite a few!

Scottish Friendly have created a competition that you can play to try and win a £25 My Rewards Card. The game is called Letter Fall.



The aim of the game and how to win is to get the highest score. The player with the highest score at noon on the last working day of each calendar month will win the prize. You need to make sure to properly fill out your details after your game so that Scottish Friendly can get in touch if you win.

So how do you play?

You play the game by capturing falling letter tiles from the screen and creating words to gain points. To create a word you simply click on the falling letters that you need. Once you use a letter they disappear. If you don't use a letter they pile up. The game ends when the letters pile up to the top of the screen. The score you gain for each word depends on how many, and which letters you use. To submit the word you click on the tile that you highlighted to create the word with.

Of course it's a game so it isn't that straight forward but that's the main idea. Some tiles have special features, some need to be used twice before they disappear, some have timers which earn you bonus points. The speed the letters fall and quantity increases as you progress. You really do need to be quick thinking.

Letter Fall is one of those games that you just can't stop playing. You feel the need to try and beat your score over and over again, especially as there is a prize up for grabs.

I will admit that  am rubbish at word games but even I enjoyed playing. Mark is going to love beating me, even though it won't take much. One my first go I only scored 107!! My second was slightly better at 530.

I'm sure you could do better. Let me know if you beat me.

You can play the game here Scottish Friendly Letter Fall.

Nicola Xx

*This is a Sponsored Post*

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Reflecting

In less than 4 weeks my first baby will be turning 3. I honestly have no idea where the time has gone. It has flown.

Before Paige was born I never knew what being a mother would be like. I'd never held a newborn. I'd never changed a nappy. I'd always wanted to be a mum but I had no idea if I would be any good. I spent the first 4 months of the pregnancy being very sick and losing weight. The next 5 months went smoothly and we welcomed our baby girl one evening in the birthing pool. That is the moment that our lives changed forever.


And now my little baby will be turning 3 in a matter of weeks. I still have no idea if i'm any good but I try my best. We have made it three years together. Not all times were easy especially when you throw in a siblings but I wouldn't of changed anything.

 
Paige's first and second birthdays don't seem long ago. We didn't do much for either and we won't for her third. I like to save the big party's for when she is a little older. For her first we held a small party in our old house and had a lovely meal out. It wasn't fancy but it was special, just for our little baby girl who was celebrating her first birthday. For her second we had another little party for a few close friends. We put on a little buffet and had toys outside as the weather was lovely. I even made a cake and got little party bags for the children.


They played outside in the sun and we ate lots of food. I was pregnant at the time but that didn't stop the fun. I remember looking at Paige and wondering what kind of big sister she would be. Wondering how she would be at nursery and wondering about the little girl that she would turn into.

Now as she approaches three I wonder how her and Parker's bond will develop. I wonder how she will be starting her new nursery in September.

I can't wait to watch her grow up even more. It is so bitter sweet but I will sit back and watch her blossom and grow into even more of a little girl with a smile.

How do you feel when your child comes up to another birthday?

Nicola Xx

Monday, 20 April 2015

35 Months Old

 
 
My baby girl is 3 in ONE month.

She is such a little girl now. Such a sweet, caring little girl. She still loves Parker more than anything. She plays with him and is so excited for him to walk although she still likes to help him do everything.

She is developing her own ideas and makes her mind very clear. If she doesn't want to do something she sulks. These normally last about 5 seconds and she is back to her usual happy self. She loves playing with you. If daddy tells her that he loves her she will say "I love you daddy" then "me no more love daddy anymore, me love mummy".


She is still pretty big for her age and is a good 2/3 inches taller than others than the same age. She is wearing age 4-5 clothes.

She is still not potty trained. We keep trying but she just doesn't get it. I'm not worried, I know she will get there in her own time. I'm hoping over summer we can get it.

 
 She is still obsessed with her little figures and Peppa Pig. She is getting really good at colouring within the lines but has to want to do it. She can finally count to ten without missing any numbers and still knows her alphabet.

Her speech is still continuing to grow and get better. She still tries to say anything we ask her but we are still working on the clarity. We can understand her fine as can most people for most words.

Her eyes are still a green/hazel colour and her hair is so long. It may be time for a proper trip to the hairdressers soon, rather then me cutting her hair.
 
 
 
I can't believe she is 3 next month.

Time really does fly.

Nicola Xx

Friday, 17 April 2015

Minene Extra Large Hooded Towel Review

Babies and toddlers get dirty, a lot! Everything is a possible chance for them to get dirty. Eating breakfast, a walk in the park and even colouring. This leads to a lot of used baby wipes or a bath.

Some children hate bath time and that can be so hard. Paige went through a stage of hating it but for 99.9% of her life has loved bath time. Parker is such a water baby at heart and would stay in the bath all day if we let him.

 
I always think that its lovely for children to have their own special towel at bath times or when they visit a pool. When they are tiny babies there are loads of options but as they outgrow them I've always struggled to find other towels that are cute but the perfect size. House of Fraiser have a wide range of Kids and Baby Towels. We were recently sent the Minene extra large hooded towel to review. I choose the yellow cat design as I thought it was cute and unisex.

The first thing I noticed about the towel was the cute bag it came in. Very useful for storage but it can be a pain to fold back up but goes back into the bag quite easily. The next thing I noticed was the size. It is huge. Obviously not as big as an adult towel but great for babies and children. Parker hasn't used the baby towels for months and Paige always trips over the adult sized towels so this one is perfect. It works for both of them so well with extra growing room too. Paige in particular loves it. When we has it on she doesn't stop meowing, so cute.

I love the design. There are a few to choose from if the cat isn't your favourite but I think its super cute. The ears are the winner for me.

 
 
The quality of the towel is lovely. It is soft enough but still a decent towel at getting them dry. I love the hood as it helps dry Paiges hair. She also loves to sit in her towel after her bath so it keeps her snuggly and warm.

The towel also washes well and doesn't take forever to dry which is perfect for swimming or beach type holidays.

The two apron style straps allow the towel to be attached around the parent making it easier to wrap around the child after bath time. I use them to tie around Paige to keep the towel on but they couldn't be pulled tight to be dangerous. I found them ok for me to use but I just find it easier not using them as that's what I'm used to doing.

 
 The towel is a little more expensive than other towels at RRP of £28 on sale now at £22 but the quality is there and it will last a long time.

Does your child enjoy bath time?

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

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Relaxing On a Rare Night Off

All parents crave a night off now and again. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t swap my kids for anything, but having the occasional time where you can just pop to the pub down the road for a drink with some friends or to go and do the food shopping without “muuuuuuum” or “daaaaaaad” ringing in your ears is quite nice.

The problem I’ve noticed recently, however, is that when I do get some time to myself I never know what to do! It’s a bit of a hazard of parenting and growing up really that you send so many “sorry, I can’t tonight” text messages to friends that they stop asking or when you can do something, they can’t.
This made me think about the kind of things I can do in my free time without it either costing lots of money, and without having to leave the house. Here are some of the things I came up with.

Box Set Catch-Ups
As all parents will agree, you don’t really get the chance to watch your favourite programmes on the television once you’ve got kids because, well, once they’re old enough the TV belongs to them, not you! Until they reach that point you’re too busy anyway so TV just doesn’t happen.
I’ve heard a lot about certain series’ in the past few months and I’ve taken to catching up using the on-demand TV box sets and Netflix. At the moment I’m watching Breaking Bad - yes, I’m very late to the party on that one - and I love it! I’m not a fan of Walt, there’s something about him, but I think Jesse is pretty cool. I’m on season four at the moment so please don’t spoil the ending!

Next on my list is The West Wing or House of Cards, I’ve not decided yet.
  
Games
I’ve got an iPad and, like most things, that becomes the property of the children during the day too. In the evening, however, I’ve taken to relaxing for an hour or so each day by checking my emails, Facebook and so on, and then playing the odd game. FIFA football is good but it’s quite fiddly on an iPhone compared to the console version.

I used to enjoy playing the lottery but don’t have time to go out anymore so I found this great site called lottosend.com which lets you join the draws over the Internet. It’s really quick and easy so I like that one a lot. I also enjoy playing board games so I’ve downloaded things like Words with Friends - that’s really addictive if you get your friends involved, and it’s always nice to beat them with a killer word!

Reading
It might sound pretty dull to some people, but I really do enjoy reading. Lately it seems as though I’ve just been reading things like Horrible Histories to the kids but they are actually quite funny and a great way to learn.

I’m definitely a fan of the crime thriller books and also autobiographies. Some of the celeb ones have been terrible, but others are quite funny - it’s the risk you take really, so I stick to the crime.

*guest post*

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Siblings - April


These two melt my heart. They still love each other so much. In a couple of months Parker will be 1 and Paige turns 3 next month! Already! I can't believe it. Its gone so fast but watching the both of them together have been the most amazing thing ever.

 

They love playing together even more and I imagine that will continue to grow as Parker starts walking. Parker loves all of Paige's toys and they sit for ages just playing. Of course Parker normally tries to steal Paige's toys out of her hand but she is really good with him.

Paige still loves to cuddle and kiss him and he just sits there and lets her.


 

Parker is starting to put more sounds together now so Paige loves to tell us what he is trying to say.

I am so excited for the next few months.

Having two is honestly the best thing. Watching them together makes me want even more children.

They are the best of friends and our whole world.

Nicola Xx
dear beautiful

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

How To Be An Allergenius #aocleans

Apart from Britmums I've never attended a blogger event. I've been invited to quite a few but some don't quite fit with me and my family or my blog. Others have fitted but something has always come up. 

When AO.com got in touch about there how to be an allergenius event I was hoping that this would be the first one I actually went to and it was. 
 
So last Wednesday me and paige headed off to the event. It was held in Halifax. After signing in and paige getting a t shirt we got to have breakfast and relax a little bit while others arrived. Shortly after the lovely Lisa from Hollybobbs arrived. The last time I saw Lisa was almost 2 years ago at Britmums. Blogging is great for meeting new friends and I have a few that I would call my best friends but with everyone spread all over the country it's hard to actually meet people in person but when you speak to them regularly on social media sometimes it isn't really a necessity. 

After everyone arrived we had a little introduction and then the crafts started. It was so lovely of AO to have some activities set up for the children. The first was making spring flowers. Paige loves any sort of craft so this was a big hit. Safe to say she was better than me.
 

Next up was a hunt for dust bugs. There was a little living room set up and the children had to look for the bugs. A game that all the children loved and one that was repeated several times. Obviously a spot of hovering was also included.



The parents had a lovely chat with Hotpoint about all the different appliances that they have to help with allergies including the lovely hoover that Paige was using and these rather fancy washer and dryer. They are available at AO.com if you want a closer look.

 
Next up was food at Eureka and then play time! The food was super yummy and included buns (win)! We've never visited Eureka before so it was lovely to have a look around and see what Paige thought.
 
 
She really loved it. The sandpit outside was a big hit but she also loved inside. It was super busy as it was half term so I'd quite like to visit when it was a little quieter. There was so much to do I don't think we even saw half the things available.

 
 
 
All in all it was a lovely day out. You can view a video of the day here. AO.com are also offering my reader a £20 discount off any large Hotpoint appliance purchased from April 20th until May 3rd. Just enter the code HOTPOINT20.
 
Thank you AO.com and Hotpoint!
 
Nicola Xx
 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Life Through My Planner

A couple of months ago I got my first ever Filofax. I some how stumbled across the planner community and was sucked in. Since then the obsession has grown.

 
I've always loved stationery but past school and college I never really thought anything more of it. Now is a different story.

There's something to practical about putting pen to paper. Something so lovely about it in this world where we use computers, phones, tablets and the internet so much. Hey, I'm even writing this on my laptop!

Having a planner keeps me organised, motivated and on track. You can use them for so many different things. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but I am starting a planner series called Life Through My Planner. I want to share my love of planning, my hints and tips and basically just geek out in my obsession.

In this series I will cover:

How I stay organised
How I get things done while looking after a baby and toddler
A look at my planners
How I decorate
DIY's
Planner reviews
Planner accessories
My cleaning schedule
Meal planning and many more.


I have a whole Instagram dedicated to my planner addition if you want to give that a follow. I am also hosting a giveaway on there too. Find my planner addition Instagram here.

I am no expert and lets face it i'm still learning but I wanted to share this little part of my life which makes me happy and keeps me on top of things.

Do you share my love for stationery and planners?

Nicola Xx
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