Sunday, 31 May 2015

Me and Mine - May

Yet another has passed in the blink of an eye. This month Paige turned 3! I still can't believe it. Three seems so big and so grown up. She had a lovely birthday and we all had a wonderful day celebrating. 
 This month we also went on our first family holiday. It was so lovely to spent so much quality time together even if the drive was 7 hours long! Both kids did amazingly well on the drive and there back though so we can't complain. 
We've had so many amazing opportunities to take a family picture this month. Paige's birthday, on holiday, at the beach or even at a zoo but nope. We failed each and every time. So this months picture was last minute (as always) and in our front room while we were playing yesterday. Truth is we are all happiest when we are at home.  

Next month sees Parker turning one and another little trip away for us all. I am very much in denial at the fact that Parker is almost one. I may cry every single day in June! I also hope we get a slightly better picture!
So next month we will have a 3 year old and a 1 year old!!!! 
Nicola Xx

dear beautiful


Silent Sunday - 31/05/2015

Friday, 29 May 2015

Review - Chemist Direct

When the lovely people at Chemist Direct got in touch and asked me if I was interested in doing a review I couldn't wait to get choosing products.

Chemist Direct is an online chemist that is delivered directly to your door.  They are a GPhC registered and regulated pharmacy. They offer well known, loved brands and products at competitive prices. Your order is delivered for free, in the UK, if your total is over £40. Sometimes it can be a little embarrassing going to the chemist so to have an online option is great! Chemist direct also have an online doctor section which I can imagine will be very useful for some people although I didn't try this service out.

When looking for products I found the website very easy to use. All the departments are broken down into helpful sections, you can also search for a product at the top.

I had a £50 voucher to spend and this is what I got for the money.

As you can see I got quite a lot and  am very happy with the items. Below are a list of the items plus what I paid.

Plasters 53p
Hand and Surface Sanitiser £1.50
Handwash £1.00
Herbal Essences Shampoo £1.79
Herbal Essences Conditioner £1.66
Garnier bb cream £6.99
Dentinox teething gel £2.09
First Aid Cream £1.39
Snufflebabe £1.98
Rainbow coloured plasters 59p
L'Oreal Gradual Tan £5.29
Banana Boat Baby Lotion SPR50 x2 £5.99 Buy one get one free offer
Carmex £2.36
Simple night cream £4.49
Wet ones £1

Oral B Toothbrushes £1
Right Guard £1
Right Guard women £1
Colgate toothpaste £1
Heat defence £2.49
Simple wipes £2.99
Calpol £2.99

All together I saved over £25 on the RRP of the above products. My total was £51.07. When paying for additional £1.07 I chose to pay with Paypal. I got charged £2.25 instead of £1.07. I was refunded the difference 6 days later when my parcel was sent.

As for delivery times... I ordered late Friday night. I got an email the following Tuesday saying one item was out of stock and it would be in stock Friday. I then got an email on Thursday saying my order was due for delivery Friday. So it took exactly a week to come. I wish that there online stock was more correct. When I ordered all my items were in stock so I was disappointed to receive the out of stock email. The items came in a brown box with chemist direct tape. The fragile items were wrapped in bubble wrap and the other items were placed on top.

Overall I had an ok experience. Every problem that occurred was sorted out by Chemist Direct and they corrected there own mistake. I love the items and I love that I saved over £25! Amazing value!

Have you purchased from Chemist Direct?

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - I was gifted a £50 voucher for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Stealthy Ways to Inexpensively Revamp your Living Room and Bedroom*

 The sunshine streaming in through your windows as the year moves on is a blessing, but this natural blast of light can also show up some major living-room flaws. If your furniture or wall-décor looks as if they could do with a little brightening up, then it may be time to implement some relatively inexpensive fixes.
Revamping doesn't mean spending a lot of money, but instead, try looking at effective ways to enhance what you already have.

Our currently very boring living room is in desperate need for a revamp!
One major change
A feature wall is a simple but effective way to transform a room, and as you’re only focussing on one wall the investment needed is minimal. If you’re living room is one colour throughout then it’s easy to choose one wall to redecorate; it’s best to choose a wall without any doors or windows. Select a complimentary shade, or contrast with your existing walls by going bold and bright. Patterned wall-paper is a great way to contrast against painted walls but also consider reflective coverings that will open up a compact room.
Make some small changes
When the seasons change it’s also time to make some changes in the home. Quick, easy and effective changes can include packing away those blackout drapes, and hanging some brighter curtains in lighter materials such as linen and muslin. Laying down a new, bright rug on hardwood floors will help when creating a new look; if you want to go one better you can always consider staining laminate floorings, which will cover any marks and compliment your new wall décor. Switch the frames on your favourite wall art pieces, or move them to a different wall and highlight them with spotlights.
Furniture fixes
You don’t have to go completely all out and buy a new suite of furniture to brighten up your room, but you can consider investing in some new coverings. Made to measure, in a pattern of your choosing is an option or you can go for some loose coverings that will fit over your existing furniture. There’s always the option to de-clutter and get rid of some unwanted pieces, or if there is room you can add, for instance, a sectional or corner sofa to your existing sofa  you can find some great options at Tesco. Another inexpensive option would be to simply have your sofa professionally cleaned, and you’ll be surprised at the difference this can make when it comes to deodorizing, eliminating stains and bringing upholstery back to life.
Remember that small additions such as fresh flowers in vases, candles, as well as experimenting with lighting options are integral components when changing the look of a room. An assessment of your living room will no doubt reveal that many of these quick fixes can be easily undertaken, and will help to transform the most important room in your home.
Revamping Ideas for the bedroom

Here's another short section I felt it was about time I added. What about decorating and renovating your bedroom? Again, small additions such as candles, pictures, stylish cushions and a few additional furniture items could make a world of a difference.

From a women's perspective, a lingerie chest can be great for keeping clothing and underwear items out of sight and add a sense of elegance to a room. My favourite remains the mirrored lingerie dresser which not only is super stylish but can make an area feel even bigger than it is. I like the selection Wedgwood Interiors offers when it comes to lingerie chests:

Their 12 Of the best DIY lingerie chest makeover projects post also serves as inspiration if you decide to tackle a furniture fix or second-hand spruce up project instead of buying new.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Mummy and Me - May

I can't believe that another month has already passed. I honestly can't believe it. This month saw Paige turn three. Am I allowed to cry? I think she looks so grown up in these pictures. I fear I may have some sort of break down next month as Parker turns one.
This month we also went to Bluestone for a little break, more on that soon. We had such a lovely time and it was our first holiday as a family of four. We all loved it and didn't want to leave. This months pictures were taken on holiday.
The first two are us posing outside our lodge on the last day. Both children look so big and grown up. I find it so strange looking at Parker, I still see him as a tiny baby but as you can see he really isn't a baby anymore but is more of a toddler.
I've also just realised that I'm wearing the exact same outfit as last month! Oops.

This picture was taken at Tenby beach. Paige was so happy playing in the sand and Parker wanted cuddles. He is such a cuddle bug, he did love the sand too although we had to stop him from eating it all day.
Don't forget to join in!
Nicola Xx

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Monday, 25 May 2015

3 Years Old

My little baby is three! Three seems so big. Paige has come a long way in the past year. I've kept doing her monthly updates but I'm not sure if I will continue with those. At two Paige's speech was a little behind the normal, nothing to worry about but we did keep an eye on it. Then she could only put two words together. Now, she says full sentences. Her speech isn't the clearest but it gets better each day and we can understand her perfectly. She could only count to three at two years old. She can now almost count to 20.

She sleeps perfectly in her toddler bed and has even slept well in a single bed. She sleeps 12 hours at night. She is normally in bed for 7pm or just a little after. She has started having naps again but not every day. She was starting to get grumpy so now she has an hours nap every few days. Nursery days tire her out more. Speaking of nursery she still loves it. She changes to 5 half days in September so I imagine that will tire her out too. I'm hoping she adjusts well to her new nursery but we will just have to see.

She is still into crafts but is very much into little figure toys and now has loads. She loves playing make believe with them and will sit and make them talk to each other. She still has Bear and still loves him. He sleeps with her every night but she doesn't take him everywhere with her anymore.

She adores Parker and is so loving towards him and us. She is such a sweet little girl. She is so funny and absolutely bonkers at times. She is so cheeky and will blame Parker for naughty things she does. She doesn't have tantrums and to be honest never really has, she just sulks in the corner.

Nicola Xx

Saturday, 23 May 2015

11 Months Old

Just one month until my little baby boy is ONE!

This month I don't really think Parker has changed. He is still as cheeky as ever. He still loves cuddling and will just sit and cuddle for so long. He is still obsessed with Paige and teddies.

He now has 8 teeth, 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. This month he learnt how to stand up completely unaided. Paige didn't learn how to do that until well after a year old but he isn't walking as much as she was at the same age. Paige was full on walking at a few days over 11 months old and Parker isn't. He has taken a few steps in a row now but only do it when he wants, same with standing. He can stand up really very well on his own and squat down on his own too but only when he wants. He doesn't perform! Haha. He's super quick at crawling now and walking with his walker. I wonder when he will walk full time.

He also waves more consistently this month. He also copies you a lot more and likes to flick his tongue to make a sound and flick his lips with his fingers to make a sound.

He knows his own mind a lot more. If he wants something or someone he will let you know about it. He is still a good eater and is starting to snack as well as his three meals a day. He still has 4-5 bottles a day and we are working on cutting out the night time bottle. On holiday he actually slept through 3 of the 4 nights we were away which was lovely. He weighs around 24lbs.

I honestly can't believe he is almost one year old. We need to start thinking about presents ad his birthday. Next month I will have a one year old :(

Why do they grow up so quickly?

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Toddler Hair #2

If you missed my first toddler hair post then check it out here for more ideas. Today I have a few more ideas and some new favourites on how I am styling Paige's hair.
The milkmaid braids. These are so so cute. I would totally wear them in my hair if it was long enough. Paige's is just longest enough to reach over her head. All you need is two small elastics and some pins, I used four. Simple divide the hair into two. Do simple braids on each side, pulling slightly towards the front, secure with a small elastic and then pin them up on top of the head. Hide the little tails underneath the opposite braid. I pulled two small pieces of hair out to frame Paige's face but you don't have to.

Next up was a request from Paige. Minnie Mouse hair she said. I tried! This one still needs some practise and her hair isn't quite longest to wrap around but I made it work. All you need is a hair tie and some pins. Pull the hair into a high pony tail but don't quite pull the hair all the way through. It needs to be in a loop with the tail on top of the head.. Then divide the loop into two and wrap the tail down the divide so it goes back on itself. Then hide the ends and pin down the side of the bow to the top of the head. You can do it centre or off to the side like I did. There are some really great tutorials on YouTube which show you step by step.

Last up is a simply curl. Paige's hair is super straight and for a special occasion I would curl her hair. I did this using GHD's and heat protectant. I wouldn't do this everyday or even every month but one every while for a special event. You can also get the same effect by using rags or socks and wrap the hair around them. The child then sleeps in the rags and in the morning you unwrap the hair to reveal lovely heat free curls. Also works nicely in adult hair too.

Which is your favourite? Mine is the milkmaid braids.

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday

How did you get so big so quickly? How did you become so clever and so cheeky?

How are you three already?!!!

The past three years have passed so quickly. I can't believe that we now have a three year old!

Happy 3rd Birthday Paige. We love you so much Xxxxxx

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Tomorrow You Turn Three

For the third year I sit down and write a little post just before you turn another year old. Each year seems to pass so quickly, with the last flying by. I'll blame your baby brother for that.

So much has changed in the past year. You became a big sister just 5 weeks after you turned 2 years old. You are the best big sister and always have been. You took on the role perfectly. It's like you were made to have younger siblings, you also say you want three more! You look after Parker so well and always keep an eye on him. You love helping me look after him and still ask now to change his nappy with me or feed him. You especially like sneaking him bits of your chocolate or biscuit's that he isn't meant to be eating. He adores you just as much as mummy and daddy do.

You also started nursery within this past year and love every second. You are so cheeky, funny and a joy to be around.

Watching you grow and change this year has been a pleasure to watch. You have come on leaps and bounds. Your speech is miles ahead of where you were last year. You have grown so much, I had hoped you would of slowed down but not a chance. Your hair has also grown so much and makes you look so much older than you are.

So, tomorrow you turn three.

My baby girl.

We are so proud of you and we all love you so much. You brighten our days and make everyone you meet smile. You are a joy to be around and so good. You have your occasional feisty moments but we wouldn't change them for the world. You are still very crazy and I hope that never changes.

I hope you love your special day tomorrow and please let me have a cuddle to remember that very special day three years ago.

All my love,

Mummy xxx

Friday, 15 May 2015

Siblings - May

I can't believe it's May! Paige is three in a matter of days and Parker is one in 5 weeks. That is just crazy.
In the past month Paige and Parkers relationship hasn't changed much. Its just growing and developing. They are still the best of friends. I guess they play even more together now. Paige loves tickling Parker and Parker loves wrestling Paige. It's so cute how she basically lets him climb all over her and do whatever he wants. 
Yes, Parker was going to bite Paige's nose!! He didn't but they both thought it was very funny.

Gosh, I love my crazy pair.

Nicola Xx
dear beautiful

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Sleepy Circus Grobag Review

As a parent we worry about many things. One of those things is sleep. We worry that our children aren't getting enough, we worry where they sleep and what they wear to sleep. Depending on the temperature of the room babies should wear different things. When we moved on from swaddling the first thing we got was a baby sleeping bag. The baby is safely inside, the bag can't come above there head  like a blanket could and they can't wiggle from underneath it.

The Grobag is a great choice if you are looking for a baby sleeping bag. We were recently sent the Sleepy Circus Grobag in 6-18m 1.0 tog for Parker to try out.

First of all the Grobag is gorgeous. It is so bright and colourful and I love the circus theme. There is a cute monkey swinging, and elephant and a lion. The elephants ear flaps and there is also a flag on top of the circus tent which adds some lovely detail. Parker loves looking at the cute little animals. I love the cute stripe design. Its lovely to add some colour rather than just having a plain sleeping bag like our old one.

The 1 tog baby sleeping bag isn't super thick but it does have a nice cosy feel. It is ideal for rooms with a temperature above 21c which Parkers is in spring/summer, so it is perfect this time of year. There a many different togs to suit all year round and different room temperatures.

The Grobag also has some really nice and practical features. It has a zip for easy access. The end of the zip is protected by an extra bit of material so that baby can't access it or be hurt. It is machine washable, a must for any baby/toddler sleep item. It can also be tumble dried on a low heat which is very convenient. There are two poppers on each shoulder. They make getting the sleeping bag off very easy. The sleeping bag has lots of room and will last a year and a half if you buy it at 6 months which is great value for money.
This Grobag retails at £32.99 which I think it a great price for the quality and how long this size will last. 
Does your child us a Grobag?
Nicola Xx

Monday, 11 May 2015

Fish Face

On Thursday Parker has his first ever swimming lesson, thanks to Konfidence! If you didn't know, we got picked to be baby swimologists a couple of months ago.
We also got sent some products to try out and review. We will be using the BabyWarma, Roll and Go changing mat, Poncho towel, neoNappy and AquaNappy on Thursday. We also got sent the cute 3 pack of Blinkies. 
Paige and Parker have both always loved bath time. We have never had a problem when they didn't want to have a bath. They were both born in the water and are so happy there. The Blinkies can be used to help your baby enjoy bath time more, encourage splashing and help them with swimming lessons. They are cute, colourful characters and flash in the water. Paige and Parker love the blinkies. You can see that Parker also liked trying to eat the fish! They are a lovely bath time toy.

I can't wait for Parkers first lesson on Thursday. We never took Paige to swimming lessons and I really regret it. I think swimming is such an important skill to learn but it's always one of those things that gets pushed back. To say I'm not nervous for Thursday would be a lie. I'm not nervous of how Parker will react as I honestly think (hope) he will be fine. He loves bath time so surely that has to be a good start. I'm a little nervous of being in a swimsuit, silly I know. I'm nervous of getting us both dried and dressed after. I'm nervous of using the reusable nappies, we've only ever used disposable nappies before.

I guess I'm just nervous of something different.

I am so excited for me and Parker to do something that is just for us though. With him being the second child we don't have much time together so I am looking forward to some quality time with my boy doing something fun.

I'm preparing for tears, just incase. I've tried my swimsuit on, Mark said it looks fine. Thanks dude! And our bag is packed.

Wish us luck!

Have you used reusable swim nappies? Did you like them?

Nicola XX

Friday, 8 May 2015

Help break a bad habit

Let's face it we all have bad habits or know someone with a bad habit. Mine is not drinking enough water and not doing enough exercise! Do you have a friend in need? Help your best pal, loved one or family member break a bad habit with some handy hints. We've chosen 3 bad habits and detailed some ways to curb them.

Your partner wants to eat well...
If your loved one is a fan of ready meals, help them to switch to a lifestyle of healthy eating. Leave the ready meals on the supermarket shelf and reach for the fruit and veg instead. With research linking a healthy diet to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, there’s no reason not to. 

3 ways to eat healthily:
• Eat more fruit and veg
• Cut down on alcohol
• Read the ingredients

Top stat: A diet high in fruit and vegetables could reduce the risk of mouth, oesophageal, bowel, throat, lung and some stomach cancers, according to Cancer Research UK.

Your dad wants to quit smoking...
Smoking is bad for health. Quitting will bring a number of benefits, including better looking skin, better looking teeth and better energy levels. If you want to help someone stop smoking, suggest they make some changes to their lifestyle.

3 ways to help quit:
• Consider electronic cigarettes as a way to curb smoking traditional cigarettes
• Speak to your GP about the different options available
• Make a stop-smoking plan – and stick to it

Top stat: Smokers who quit before the age of 30 could avoid more than 90 per cent of the smoking-attributable risk of lung cancer, according to public health charity Ash.

Your best friend wants to get fitter...
Getting in shape through exercise is shown to help with weight loss as well as reduced risk of a number of conditions, including heart disease. Our busy lives can make it hard to find time for exercise, but doing so is well worth it.

3 ways to a fitter lifestyle:
• Buddy-up with your friend and join a running club together
• Start cycling or walking to work
• Get off the bus a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way

Top stat: Regular exercise can reduce the risk of conditions like stroke, cancer and mental health problems, according to Sustrans, a smart travel charity.

What are your tips for breaking bad habits like smoking, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise? Share them with us.
*guest post*

Life Through My Planner - Take a peek inside

I thought if you are starting out with a new planner or just like being nosey I would show you a little peek into my planner, the different sections I have and how I plan.

My personal planner is a personal sized Original Filofax in Fluro Pink. I say my personal planner because I also have three other planners which I use on a daily basis. More about them later.

My personal planner is the one that goes everywhere with me. It has everything in. I also have a little tassel on the outside that I made myself. It you're interested in having one made get in touch!
When you first open my planner you see my dashboard and pockets. A dashboard is the first thing you see when opening a planner. It can be something pretty to look at and protect the pages underneath. Some people have a fly leaf at the front which is basically a sheet of plastic that you can stick sticky notes and page flags to. In my pockets I keep things pretty simple, a few paper clips, some stickers I like and a nice project life card. The arrow paper clip is from Kate Spade. My pen is a Pilot Frixion pen.

My dashboard is from SwciStationery on Etsy. I have a pretty project life card on the front. On the back I keep some sticky notes and page flags. I then have a This is your life printable from Strange and Charmed. Next up I have a little picture that Paige drew. I then have a few other free pintables from Strange and Charmed.


Then I have 5 different dividers, I have them unlabelled as I think it looks better but I know lots of people who like to have labels, again that's up to you. I made the dividers myself from scrapbook paper.


My first divider is my lists section. This is pretty self explanatory. I am such a list person, I make lists all the time. This section houses them. I have wish lists, Etsy lists, goals, project ideas, quotes and packing lists for our upcoming trip away.
My second divider is a brain dump. I cut this paper down to size to fit. Its from the Target dollar spot but B&M also have some lovely ones.. Whenever I feel the need (normally before bed) I can write everything whats in my head and just get it out. Whether its something I need to do, remember or ideas. I then sort through the notes at a slightly later date and put them where they need to go. For example if I remember I need to buy a birthday card for something I can write it in my brain dump then the next day I can look at my brain dump see the reminder and write it on a specific day ready as part of my to do list.

My third divider has my calendar. First up are my monthly pages. My monthly calendar gives me an overview on things happening in this month. I write doctors appointments, birthdays, date nights, holidays, marks days off,  nursery information, play dates and that sort of stuff. That way I can quickly see what we all have going on in one month.


That is followed by my weekly pages. I have a right now bookmark which takes me to my current week. On my current week I can further elaborate on evens from my monthly calendar. This is where the majority of my daily to dos are kept. I keep a list of items that I am waiting for. I tend to decorate every sunday for the following week, I don't decorate weeks in advance. My decoration is pretty simple, washi tape, stickers and maybe a quote on a sticky note. Mark also made me a very simple task list for each month where I can track specific tasks over a monthly period. I simply colour in the box when I have done something. My monthly and weekly inserts are from my Websters Pages colour crush planner.



My fourth divider is my health and fitness section. I have my goals and a weight/fitness tracker.


My last divider is contacts and extra paper. I keep information on my penpal addresses and anyone else's information I might need. I use the Filofax contacts inserts. This section also has extra notepaper.


At the back of my planner I have a little pocket with heart sticky notes and some masking tape sets. I also have a fly leaf to protect the pages from falling down and getting bent. In the back pocket I have a few stickers sheets I like. The original Filofaxes have a space in the back for a list pad. On a list pad I keep a running shopping list of things we need.


So that is quite a detailed look at my planner. Any questions, let me know! To see more pictures of my weekly and monthly spreads don't forget to follow me on Instagram and have a look at my Etsy.

Nicola Xx
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