Monday, 30 November 2015

Me and Mine - November

I first joined in with Me and Mine in January 2014 but since November 2013 was our wedding month we actually have one family picture from then. This month marks 2 years of family pictures every month. November is also mine and Marks 2nd wedding anniversary.

The past two years have flown. We were a three and now we are four. We've had a tough year but we've got through it together. We are closer and stronger than ever.

I have no idea what the future holds for us but I'm hoping it contains a bit more happiness and good health than the past few months.

Our picture this month makes me smile.

Last year we took a picture of us all holding a wedding picture. So this year we are holding the picture that was taken last year. It's hard to remember us this time last year. Paige was 2 and a half and Parker was 5 months old but he looks so big at the same time.

I feel like now our anniversary is over we can properly start getting ready for Christmas. I am so excited to see the kids reactions, they really do make Christmas. Best get finishing present shopping!
Nicola Xx
dear beautiful

Friday, 27 November 2015

Mummy and Me - November

November has flown so very quickly. A not so good month for us but we are still going strong. We are very much looking forward to next month and Christmas. I am so excited to spend time with Mark and the kids.

Our pictures this month show the real us. I'm wearing pj bottoms, Paige is now nursery clothes and Parker is just him cheeky self, playing on Marks phone because he refuses to sit still for more than a second.

But you can see our happiness and love towards each other and I love that. These two kiddos make me a mummy and I love them for that. They make me smile every single day no matter what.
I am so lucky!
Nicola Xx

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Gift Guide 2015 - Child 3/4 years

Last up in my gift guide series is the child gift guide. This one is more focused on girls around 3-4 years old but some of the items are very unisex items.

Paige loves Duplo and Doc Mcstuffins so this item is a must gift for her. It is the Doc Mcstuffins Rosie the Ambulance (£16.99). Paige already has the Backyard Clinic and loves it to pieces. Duplo is such a great gift and perfect for children of many different ages.  Available here.

Everyone loves Cadbury. Christmas is the perfect time to treat the little ones to a little bit of chocolate. Its a must really. A really yummy gift they are going to love. It isn't just kids that enjoy Cadburys either, I'd love to see some of these inside my Christmas stocking.

If you have seen my baby/toddler gift guide you may remember the bean bag. Well they make a great gift for older children too. This bean bag (£23.99) is perfect for any child Paige's age. It is so well made and the perfect size for her. She loves it!

Pretty much every girl loves Frozen. You can 't go wrong with some Frozen toys this Christmas. If you want something small this Christmas these Frozen bath time items are perfect and what little girl doesn't like bubble and hair accessories. They are available from Sainsburys.

Another film Paige is obsessed with is Inside Out. It was defiantly a big hit in our house so the toys for Christmas are at the top of the wish list. Do you have an Inside Out fan? If you do this Sadness figure would be perfect. The other characters are also available too.

Sylvanian Families is a name that everyone has heard of. They make the perfect present and they include such a wide variety there is bound to be something your special little girl loves. This Labrador family is so sweet. Paige loves little figures and smaller toys and loves carrying these around and playing make believe.

Around 3 years old I think the perfect age to start introducing board games. We always got a new board game at Christmas. I picked Barbecue Party (£19.99) as the game itself is really easy to follow and play. The perfect starter game for a little one. Paige thinks it's so funny and loves her little game.

A bit of a different gift this year is by Moochies (£79.99). This watch is such a great little gadget and doubles as a phone for kids. I'm not suggesting a phone is a great gift for a 3/4 year old but the Moochies watch is more than that. It has GPS tracking, voice calling, watch function, you can set safe zones so that if your child goes outside the zone you will get an alarm on your phone. Everything is very secure and very safe. The designs are really cute too which children will love.

Last up is a wooden puzzle. Puzzles area lovely gift that get children using their brain. The Christmas Friends Jigsaw (£25.95) is a lovely wooden puzzle. It is very well made and the characters are super sweet and lovely. Inside you get four different puzzles which is great for keeping the kids entertained and focussed.

Would your child love any of these presents?

Nicola Xx

*Contains PR Samples*

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gift Guide 2015 - Mum

Time for the mums gift guide! I think this was one of the hardest to put together. Yes I'm a mum myself but that just means I find excuses not to have nice new items but Christmas is one time to spoil yourself and family. 
This Babyliss hairdryer (£9.99) is perfect for Christmas. I think a hairdryer is a very practical gift for Christmas. Most women use one and if not they are very handy to have just in case. It even comes with a sequin pouch to prepare for New Years!

Another hair care item is the Braun Satin Hair Brush (£23.99). This brush tames fizz and fly away hair with its ion technology. It also adds shine and creates smoothness. The perfect item for anyone who struggles with taming their hair.

Every mum deserves some special treatment especially around Christmas and this Olverum (£23.50) bath oil is just the item for the perfect pamper bath. Just a few drops added into a bath will help de stress and soothe aching muscles.

Another bath item is a Gillette Venus Snap Gift Set (£12.99). Containing a razor and shaving foam these are lovely little boxed items which come in handy for any woman.

While mum is relaxing in the bath why not get her a lovely book to read. Christmas Ever After (£7.99) is a book by Sarah Morgan and is the perfect Christmas read.
Do you have a someone to buy for who loves going to the cinema? Then a Cineworld gift card could be the perfect present.  A truly unisex item a gift card can be the perfect for that person is a little bit harder to buy for or someone who has EVERYTHING!

A very handy gift is a hand warmer (£20.75). See what I did there?! I for one hate having cold hands and something gloves aren't very practical or don't work. Available in different colours this hand warmer is great from anyone who gets particularly cold.

My mum is obsessed with boots. She always gets a new pair every Christmas and it is a safe, easy gift to give. These knee high boots (£48) from Brantano are gorgeous. The heel isn't too big so even busy mums can rock them with some jeans tucked it for the school run.

Last up we have the one that almost every mum will  love. Instax Mini 8 (£59.99) cameras are such a lovely thoughtful gift. In the very digital world that we live in its so lovely to take a picture and out prints an actually physical picture. These cameras are great quality and come in a range of colours. The pictures are gorgeous too.


What are your gift ideas for mum this year?

Nicola Xx

*Contains PR samples*

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Gift Guide 2015 - Baby/Toddler

Next up in my gift guide series is the baby/toddler. Parker will be 18 months at Christmas so a lot of these items are aimed at children around the same age just to make things a little easier for me.

We will start of with clothes. Kids normally aren't interested in clothing items for Christmas but I think that when paired with a little toy they can be great gifts. I love this personalised baby onesie (£25.99) from Getting Personal. A great item of clothes, perfect for the winter and the personalisation is a great detail.

Next up is a perfect stocking filler. The Ellas Kicthen Jingle Belly is a Christmas dinner in a pouch. Perfect for younger babies or to fill up toddler if they haven't eaten much plus 30p from every pouch sold goes to save the children. 

bean bag (£17.99) is a great present. Something they can use all year and something that is fun but comes in handy. Parker loves his bean bag and constantly uses it. They are made from faux leather and come in a variety of colours. They are also wipe clean, great from anything toddler related!

 If your toddler is anything like Parker he loves music and loves to dace. I thought the Leap Pad Music Player (£9.95) was the perfect gift. It is the perfect size for their little hands too. Its also quite a unisex item which is lovely.

Another unisex item is Miffy. Miffy is a cute little rabbit who has loads of items based on her from teddies to boots and even products for adults. A great little gift for a special baby/toddler.
For Parker's birthday he got the Toot Toot Drivers train set. He absolutely loves it so for Christmas we are expanding his collection and get him some more items from the Toot Toot Drivers range. I love the garage (£36.99).

Thomas the tank engine is a very well know brand that a lot of children love. With prices from £1.49 they make great stocking fillers. Parker loves bath time and these items will no doubt help him have loads more fun! They are available from Boots.

I hope you enjoyed this gift guide. I loved putting it together! What are you getting your baby/toddler for Christmas this year?

Don't forget to check out the dads guide!

Nicola Xx

*Contains some pr samples and some items we have bought*

Monday, 23 November 2015

A Make Up Masterclass

Today I have a slightly different post for you all. If you remember a couple of months ago I did a post for Cetraben. As a baby Paige had quite bad eczema and I like to try and provide as much helpful information as possible because I know that I searched the internet looking for tips and tricks to help her. Her eczema has recently flared up as the weather has gotten colder o we are currently getting it under control again.
Recently Cetraben have joined forces with Jenni, who is a professional make up artist. She teaches a little make up master class to try help you if you have eczema prone skin. Of course Paige doesn't wear make up but I do and my skin can be very sensitive and dry in the winter. 

The winter can be very harsh on our skin and its even more important than ever to look after it properly whether you have eczema or not. For more information please do check out the Cetraben website. It has some really lovely, helpful information.

Do you suffer from eczema?

Nicola Xx

*In collaboration with Cetraben*

17 Months Old

This month was one of the hardest I think. This month Parker has cut 3 out of the 4 canine teeth with the other so close to breaking through the gum. They seem to have given him so much trouble and pain. He's basically screamed for hours at a time multiple times a day. Its awful hearing him scream and not be able to do anything to help him. I've tried all sorts.

He's come on a big way this month though. His speech is getting better and he tries to say words, unlike Paige at the same age. The cutest word he learnt this month was "grandad". He is such a toddler now and knows his own mind. Now if we ask him something he shakes his head to mean no. He still doesn't actually say the word which I am thankful for, the shaking of the head is cute.

He runs and climbs over every thing including the sofa! He is so much cheekier than toddler Paige. He has the funniest tantrums, full on ones too. His arms and legs fly all over the place. Paige was never a tantrum child. 

His eating is a little off this month but I think that's to do with his teeth. His favourite foods are bananas and crisps. He would eat them both all day if he could. He's recently discovered pancakes too.

I cant wait for his second Christmas next month. He will also turn 18 months old a couple of days before. Crazy how quickly he is growing up.

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Friday, 20 November 2015

Are You Driving Safely?

Driving safely is hugely important whether you have children or not, but when you become a parent it makes you want to take extra care. You want to look after your babies to the best of your ability.

The lovely people at Simpson Millar have made the below infographic to make you aware of 5 laws you may not realise that you are breaking every time you drive. Are you driving legally?
I see people doing these on a daily basis. I had no idea that driving around with a for sale sign in your car was illegal. Did you?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Gift Guide 2015 - Dad

This year I wanted to write some gift guides. As the years go on I find it harder and harder to buy gifts for people and I need all the ideas I can get so I thought these might help others like me.

I'm kicking things off the gift guide for dad/granddad/brother/uncle. Basically any adult male in your family. I tried to find a whole range of items so hopefully everyone will like something.

First up you can't really do wrong with a toiletry set and who better but Bulldog. There Be Loyal Skin Set is the perfect set for any man. Mark has had one for the past few years and loves them. You get a great range of items at great prices. his set is £20.

Staying with the toiletries theme we have something for the man with a bread. This lovely beard oil  (£20) and comb (£11.99) from The Old Street Barber Co is a perfect present. The oil smells lovely and the wooden comb is very sturdy.

I love buying Mark socks, in fact it's sort of a little joke between us because he hates me buying him socks. But socks are a very practical gift in my eyes. This little set (£11.95) from Men-U is perfect. Some really lovely quality socks and some hair clay. Two very practical and very useful gifts.
You can't go wrong with food. At least with Mark and men in our family. The way to a mans heart is defiantly through his stomach!  Snaffling Pig make some super yummy flavoured pork crackling. I think Mark would be happy just to have the gift jar (£15.99) for Christmas.

 Maybe you know someone who loves condiments then Tacklements is where you want to look. This festive gift tin (£12.15) has 4 different condiments inside and is perfect for any foodie loving man you know.
There's always a football fan in a family. With Getting Personal you can give the perfect gift for any football fan. A personalised football book (from £39.99) of newspaper articles on their favourite teams. You can add the persons name and a message inside. This book is so well made and really lovely. A truly amazing gift for any football fan.

Lastly is the gift for the man that has everything or thinks they know everything. Rubiks Cube Light (£19.99) is the gift to get them. Everyone loves a challenge. I can just imagine the rubix cube getting passed around various family members on Christmas Day.

That concludes my gift guide for the dads. Look out for mums, baby/toddler and pre school ones coming soon.

Which item is your favourite? Mine has to be the rubix cube, such a fun item!

Nicola Xx

*Contains PR samples*

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Mummy Fitness

When you become a mum fitness maybe the last thing on your mind and I agree that you shouldn't even think about it for a good few months. It is totally normal to gain weight in pregnancy and to still have a big chunk of that left over once the baby is born. But once the time is right and you feel ready, exercise is a great way to boost your energy and lose those few extra pounds.

Once you make that decision the next big thing to figure out is actually trying to find the time to exercise. Nap times are always a good time but half the time I felt like I needed a nap too. Its tiring work getting up multiple times a night and you need to be kind to yourself and your body, especially if you have multiple children. There's no use burning yourself out.

For a lot of mums its easier to work out at home rather than going to the gym although some love the social side of that. Some also love escaping the house for an hour or so. You also have to think about the cost of things. Instead of spending loads of money on gym memberships or buying fitness equipment outright, why not just hire some? There are places which actually offer this service like Hire Fitness who even ship to Ireland here. Not paying for equipment out right is great if your budget is a little tight but you still want to work out at home with the right machines.

I love working out at home. Paige and Parker are at the age now where they try and copy and we all just end up in fits of giggles. I can also exercise around them and make them feel included. Playing with them is also a workout at times.

Having two kids to run around after is a constant workout for me but it's nice to add a little extra to tone up.

How do you workout around your children?

Nicola Xx
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