Monday, 29 February 2016

Me and Mine - February

I can't believe that it's almost March. This year is flying by just as much as last. February was an ok month for us. We had half term which was lovely but we were all poorly. That along with some family issues made February hard but ok. The weather is so up and down too but we've managed to go on some lovely walks.

The kids love getting outside and if it's sunny we try to make the most of it as you never know when its going to throw it down.

This months picture is from one of our walks. It was a sunny Sunday morning (Valentines Day). The park was full of people walking their dogs, the kids loved it. Does anyone else's kids love dogs? Both of ours love them. Maybe it's because we don't have one. Parker spent the entire morning laughing at all the dogs and Paige wanted to stroke them all.

It was so lovely to have Parker walking around with us, he is such a good walker but we always put him into the buggy as we are normally rushing around somewhere. He walked for over an hour and loved it!

We sat down on a little bench while Paige finished her snack and I just snapped a picture. I'm quite surprised that everyone is looking as this was the only picture I took.

I really do hope the year will continue to improve as the months go by. March is set to be quite a chilled out month I think and April sees my birthday. Then the madness of the kids birthdays and summer holiday begins!

Nicola Xx

The Me and Mine Project

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Mummy and Me - February

You know those weeks when you feel a bit down in the dumps, everything seems to get on top of you. Even the small things that in the grand scheme of things don't matter. Last week was one of those weeks.

The weather was rubbish, normal day to day stuff was getting me down, I couldn't keep on top of cleaning, I wasn't sleeping well, we were all ill and all I wanted to do was eat junk and stay in bed all day.

But we made it through!

This week I was determined to have a better week. The weather was on our side and I decided we needed to get out the house as much as possible. I am so ready for warmer weather! Anyway during the week we went on loads of walks, to the woods, to feed the ducks. If it was sunny we went out, anywhere. But we went out together. Me and the kids. Just us. I didn't take the pram so we all walked.

This months pictures are taken on one of our walks. Selfies with parker not looking half the time but they make me remember our walks we had and how much fun we had. How Parker was fascinated with the ducks and how Page didn't stop talking the whole way.

Just me and my babies.

Nicola Xx
Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Friday, 26 February 2016

Planner Supplies - Stickers and Aldi Haul

I've done a few posts on my blog about my love for planners and stationery. I tend to not do too many but I do want to do them more regularly.

I recently got some new stickers and planner supplies. The stickers are from EllieBethDesignsUK and Chochoandmimi. Both great UK sticker shops. If you want to see those in more detail check out my video below. The stationery items I got are form Aldi. They have such a great range of stationery in at the moment, you will have to be quick though!! My store didn't have much left. I grabbed what I could and they are all gorgeous. Everything from Aldi was £2.99! Bargain.

First up I got two journals. I really want to try bullet journaling and thought these would be perfect. They have lined paper inside which is pretty good quality.

Next up is this gift set. It comes with three notebooks and a pen. The patterns of this range are gorgeous. I will probably throw the box away but the notebooks are cute. Some are lined and some are plain. The pink pen is a gorgeous colour but not great. Just a cheap ball point.

I then picked up these notepads. I got two sets and you get four in each set. I couldn't between them and I always use notepads. Four different designs and sizes in each set. There perfect for jotting down notes.

 I meal plan each week which saves me loads of money and means we rarely waste food. To help me with that I picked up this weekly organiser. Inside it has note paper, sticky notes and a weekly planner. Perfect for meal planning!

 Lastly I picked up two of the clip boards with note paper. They both came with a pen, again not great quality but they look cute. I have no ideas what I will use these for but they were too cute to leave.

Below is a video of my little haul which I hope you like. To see more pictures of the items check out my planner Instagram.

Do you use a planner or meal plan?

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Mothers Day is just around the corner. I really enjoyed putting together my Christmas gift guides so thought I'd do one for mothers day as well. Lets get started...

I love bags. I can't get enough. If your mum is the same why not give her this bag from The Royal British Legion which is available to buy at The Poppy Shop. All proceeds go directly to The Royal Legion so you will be helping out other families too. The bag is a gorgeous poppy red, across the shoulder bag with two zipped compartments perfect for a little trip to the shops.

Spring is the perfect time to wear a light scarf. If your mum is a big scarf wearer why not add to her collection this Mothers Day. My Scarf Shop do a whole range of scarfs, i'm sure theres one any mum would love.

This gift is a little out of the box but so fun. Roller skates!!! I used to roller skate all the time when I was younger, I must admit I haven't done it for years but I can't wait to try it out again. I have the Rio Roller Candi Quad Skates from and love them. You may need to include some safety gear with this gift!

Next up is some personalised items from Photobox. They have a whole range of items that can be personalised. My personal favourites are the Love Mug and the phone cases. My phone goes everywhere with me so having a personalised case is a must for me. I also drink a lot of tea so my own mug is an essential. Having my children on the back is a wonderful.

Like I mentioned my phone goes everywhere with me so the battery can run out quite quickly. A practical yet thoughtful gift is a portable power pack. This gorgeous floral one is by Cath Kidson. It also has a built in torch, you never know when that might come in handy. This little power pack can fully charge your phone twice and for me is a handbag essential.

Every mum needs some relaxing pamper time every now and again. Mothers Day is the perfect opportunity for that. What says relaxing more than a Yankee Candle gift set?! This gorgeous set is the My Serenity 3 Small Jar Tin gift set which is available from Love Aroma.

Maybe your mum is a stationery addict like me. Amara have some gorgeous stationary items as well as other items too. I have shopped many times and continue to love it. Some favourites for me are the Kate Spade pencil pouch, my future listography book and Liberty of London Kimberly and Sarah sticky notepad. Some lovely items of stationery that are gorgeous and practical.

 Lastly is some more personalised items, this time from I Just Love It. I think that Mothers Day is the one day when a personalised gift is a must. There are plenty of items to choose from like the mug or phone case above but an equally lovely personalised gift is the my family keyring or personalised atomiser.

I hope there's something above that you think your mum or yourself would love as a gift this mothers day. What are you getting your mum or wanting yourself?
Nicola Xx
*Contains PR samples*

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

20 Months Old

Just four little months to go until Parker is two. Not much has changed in the past month if I'm honest but I still wanted to do this update.

I was starting to get a little worried about Parkers speech. Just like Paige he doesn't say much at all. All children are different and progress at different rates and that is perfectly normal. Parker says a good few words but rarely tried saying anymore or copying us. In the past week he has started again which is lovely. It's nice to hear him try again. I guess he must of needed a little break.

He still hasn't got his last set of molars which I'm presuming they're moving around and causing him so pain.

He is still napping but can last through the day without one. Otherwise he normally naps for around 1.5 hours. He is normally such a grumpy butt when he wakes up and it can take him a good hour to come round properly.

His eating is suffering this month. He is becoming quire fussy but we keep offering him food and he will try it. His new favourite is chicken korma, he loved it!

He still loves to dance and wiggle his bum. It's so cute. He also loves playing football and is getting really good. He loves any toy with wheels and can play for hours. He's really started to enjoy helping me around the house. Before he would help me dust but now he helps unload the dish washer and load the washing machine.

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

My Spring Wish Lyst

Spring is almost here. I don't know about you but I am craving the warmer weather and sunnier days. I always think that I'm a winter person but the fact is once Christmas is over with I can't wait for the warmer weather to come.

With the Spring and the warmer weather comes the lighter jackets and dresses. The hats and gloves disappear and hopefully the sun shines more. I always say each year that I want to wear more skirts and dresses. I want to be girly but it still has to be practical because lets face it I have two children to run around after.  
I don't consider myself a very stylish person. I am very safe when it comes to clothes. I know what I feel comfortable in and hopefully what looks good on my body shape. I am a big believer in people dressing for themselves and how they want to dress. It can be hard finding your style and feeling confident after having a baby. It just takes time. I am still trying.

I like quite simple dresses and simple clothes in general. Something I can throw on and be comfy. I love these three dresses from Lyst. Comfy, casual but still cute. The T by Alexander Wang black classis tank dress would be perfect for a rare date night with Mark. The cute Etre cecile French Bulldog print t shirt dress is so cute. Perfect for a park date with my two little ones. The Guess round neck mini dress is simple and casual but could be dressed up with some heels.

I love pumps. I am not a sandal type of girl and can barely keep them on my feet. Pumps let me run around the kids and are comfy. These Novesta Gray Starmaster Grey Woollen Sneakers would look cute with a dress on a spring/summer day. You can also match them with jeans with colder days. I told you I'm about comfort.

Have you started thinking about your spring/summer style? Do you wear similar things each year or try to change things up?

Nicola Xx

*Written in collaboration with Lyst*

Monday, 15 February 2016

Siblings - February

Another month is over. They go so quickly. This month I've started thinking about September. I know its a while away but it will soon come around. Paige will be starting school and will be gone all day during the week. I keep wondering if it will have an effect on their relationship. I already know that Parker will miss Paige so much. He is so used to her being around.

They're like a little team. They do everything together. At the moment their favourite thing to do is pretend to sleep in Paige's bed.

Every night when they are both ready for bed they climb into Paige's bed and we leave the room. They laugh and giggle and love it. They just love each other so much.


This last picture is them both dressed up. They both love dressing up, they don't care what as. They also love dancing. Parker especially. He will grab Paige's hands and they both start dancing.

I love the stage their both at right now. The innocence, the love and their relationship.

Nicola Xx

Friday, 12 February 2016

Our Morning Routine - Feb 2016

Some of you may know that I like to be quite organised. I have my planner that keeps me on track with appointments and special events. I also track day to day things like cleaning and social media. I like to make sure I keep on top of things.

When Parker was smaller I blogged about our old morning and evening routines. I wanted to do an update as things have obviously changed a little now. So here is our morning routine, its pretty simple.

7:20 - I wake up, take a shower and get ready
7:45 - Paige is normally awake so I get her ready
7:50 - Parker is normally up but will play and talk in his cot. I go and get him ready
7:55 - We go downstairs. I will make breakfast, have a drink and normally check social media, usually start some laundry or clean up the kitchen if I was lazy the night before
8:20 - I do Paiges hair, brush the kids teeth
8:30 - We do the pre school run and drop Paige off
8:50 - Me and Parker get home. I always make a cuppa then we will play for an hour
10:00 - Snack time for Parker.
Between 10am and 11am I call the golden hour. This is the hour where I can usually get a lot done. Cleaning mostly. Parker will happily play in the living room. I sometimes use this time to blog or respond to emails too.
11:00 - I will play with Parker again
11:30 - We go to pick Paige up
11:50 - We get home. The kids will play together.
I usually have a 20 minute window here before I start lunch. I can finish anything I didn't manage to do during the morning. 

I am very lucky that most of the time the kids will play nicely together. Obviously we have the odd fight over who is playing with a certain toy but generally they are both very good. There are days when Parker is a bit grumpier, or maybe teething and he won't let me leave his sight. If this happens we usually just play all morning and leave all cleaning until the next day or I will get him to help me. He loves helping me hoover and dust. I try hard to spend quality time with Parker while Paige is at pre school but its also some of the only time I can get jobs done. He always comes first though.

Paige goes to pre school 5 mornings a week. So generally this is how our days go. At the weekends we normally have a slower start to getting ready and then we are normally out the door as a family.

How do your mornings usually go?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 11 February 2016

New Year, New Home Without Moving

New Year, new me is a promise we all make ourselves as we attempt to convalesce from Christmas overindulgence but rarely leads to lasting changes. So, instead of beating yourself up for stumbling with your resolutions how about you make some changes to your home? 
Spring is almost here and you may already be planning a spring clean and declutter of your home so why not make use of the time spent cleaning to make a few simple changes to give your house a little lift? 
Storage is an issue for most homes these day as the average square footage in UK homes shrinks with every generation of new builds. The cost of housing also means many of us move into homes smaller than our needs and must be super creative when making the space work. Beds are often the go to place for storage and with the best will whilst spring cleaning, there’s always so much stuff we just can’t bear to let go so it ends up under the bed.

Ordinary beds offer generous space to storage things under but can be an eyesore and also a bit of a pain if what you need to retrieve is right in the middle – even more so if your bedroom is a little on the small side. Divan beds offer tidy storage with drawers but you can still suffer from the space problem when opening the drawers and many divans don’t utilise the full bed space. Ottoman beds are the perfect hybrid because it utilises the whole space but removes the small bedroom issue. The beauty and
the convenience of an ottoman bed is that it lifts effortlessly beneath the mattress allowing you to easily access your hidden items – it’s also the perfect place to hide presents away from prying eyes and inquisitive little hands.

It’s important to change your bed and mattress every 8 years – you can
give yours an MOT with the UK Sleep Council – and thanks to Bedstar and their user-friendly website you can find your next great night’s sleep without leaving your sofa from their great range of beds and mattresses.

Small additions like plants are an easy way to freshen your home and not just visually. Plants look great and are known to have mental well-being benefits but they also are natural air purifiers and will even deodorise your home too.

Decorating a whole room can be a pain but with little more than a small tin of paint, a brush and about 20 free minutes you can transform any room by painting a bright, fun colour in your window recess. The pop of colour will lift the entire room and give the impression of being newly decorated. You can achieve a similar outcome with wall stencils.

Natural light will beautify and enhance any room and thankfully the sun is starting to shine again. You can maximise this natural light (and reduce your electricity bill) by placing reflective surfaces on your walls – there’s so many options to choose from as well. You can go down the conventional route and put up some mirrors with pretty frames or you could opt for copper or chrome wall ornaments or even pictures or paintings with glass surfaces. Canvasses have been all the rage for a few years but traditional frames with glass fronts are coming back in fashion and cheap UV technology means your photos won’t fade.

A few simple changes to your home this spring could make the world of difference.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

A Student Once More

Since having kids I've always wanted to study. I could never find the perfect subject or the perfect place. I didn't want to start an online course as I felt that Parker was still a little bit young. This all changed after he turned one and I was looking into different options then but never found anything suitable.

Recently NCC home learning got in touch and asked if I wanted to review a course. I thought this was the perfect opportunity and had a look what they had to offer. They have a whole range of courses and I finally settled on a diploma in child psychology.

I actually did A Level Psychology at college and really enjoyed it. I always enjoyed the child side before I'd even thought about kids. And now I do have children it kind of makes sense. It just feels right.

I'm not sure where it will lead but for now I am very much looking forward to starting the course and learning something new. I promise to not analyse the children at every chance I get but it will be nice to find out a little more about how they work and maybe some tips and tricks to help them learn more.

I will of course be sharing how I get on. The course is 12 months long so I should be finished in January of next year. It seems so far away but with 18 modules I'm going to need all the time I can get.

Mark also started a university course very recently so we are now both studying and hoping it will bring better things for our family.

Have you ever taken an online class?

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Hating Pre School

Paige started nursery in September. It took her a couple of weeks to settle in but after that she was fine. She would walk in happily and have loads of fun while she was there. When the weekends came she would always ask to go to nursery and ask about her friends.

Things didn't stay that way.

She started saying she missed us. Then started not asking to go. Then started not wanting to go. It's so hard walking your child to pre school every morning knowing they don't want to go. We'd walk, sing songs, talk about what we'd do after school and the closer to school we got that was when she would say she didn't want to go. Then the tears would come. I've have to hand her over with tears in her eyes and mine.

Once she is at school she is perfectly fine. She plays with everyone. She is lovely with her teachers. She even got the first ever star of the day. It's just leaving me she doesn't like.

Separation anxiety. Anxiety.

When Paige was younger she suffered with stranger anxiety. Quite badly at one point. We thought that was the end. I thought that as she got older it would be easier to explain to her and that she would be able to explain to us.

We are trying to help her through this just like we did then.

We talk about pre school and how much fun she has. We talk about her friends. I try to get her excited to go. We talk about how mummy and Parker will always come back to get her. I bring her teddy with me when I pick her up. We are trying everything we can think of.

We try not to say that she is being silly. Or tell her to be a big girl. For some reason leaving me makes her anxious and I don't want her to think that it isn't ok for her to feel that way because it is. It's ok for her to feel however she is feeling. It's ok for her to express her feelings. It's just hard for her and me.

I'm hoping she outgrows it just like she once did before. She is such a happy little girl normally that's its so hard to see her this way. Her teachers are concerned as she really does get over it almost straight away once I've left. Its just those couple of minutes s we say bye.
Has your child experienced separation anxiety?

Nicola Xx
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