Friday, 30 September 2016

Me and Mine - September

This month has flown by, I realise I say the same thing each month but I swear they go by quicker and quicker. This month Parker started nursery and Paige started school. It felt like a big month with a lot of changes, it was both scary and exciting.

Its kind of strange.

Now I have 12 hours a week where I have no children around. This will change come November but for now I am embracing the change and trying to make the most of it.

Both Paige and Parker are loving their new routines. They are a little grumpier because they are that little bit more tired but I'm hoping that will level out soon. Weekends and family time feel so much more important now.

This months pictures are finally some from my big camera but they are just in our bedroom. We also had to resort to silly faces but I love them all the same.

Next month will more than likely be our last full month as a four. It's so crazy how quickly this pregnancy has gone.

Nicola Xx
The Me and Mine Project

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Do I Regret Not Going To University?

Growing up I always wanted to be two things, a mum and a teacher. From an early age I loved playing mum and looking after my dolls. I was forever pushing them around in prams, pretending to change nappies and feeding them. As I got older I stopped mothering my dolls and started pretending to teach them. I'd use my chalk board and write the date in the top corner and begin teaching. I've no idea what I was teaching them but enjoyed planning out lessons and pretending.

Me at 18

Throughout school I was never the top achieving student, don't get me wrong I did well but I wasn't an A* student. At college I really struggled with what to take, I didn't know which path to follow. In the end I took English Literature (which I hated), Psychology (which I enjoyed) and Dance (I wanted to take something out of my comfort zone and grow my confidence). Again I did well but then I was stuck. I didn't want to be a dancer or do anything in psychology so I applied for a teaching course at one university and got turned down. I only applied to one as I really didn't want to go anywhere else. I figured that if I didn't get in it just wasn't meant to be. I didn't want to push the idea of university as to be honest I didn't want all that debt. Around this time I also met Mark and we had discussed moving in together which was also a huge thing.

I feel like university is a big thing. It's life changing and as well as the learning side of things it also has a huge social side. The first thing I think of when I think of university is  honestly, debt. Maybe that's the more practical side of me. My Voucher Codes recently looked into seeing if having a degree is really worth it. A lot of people are very successful even without going to university. It costs a lot of money to attend university. Once you take into account fees, living costs and then all the extras it soon adds up. So, is it worth heading to university? Do I regret not going?

Looking back I think I made the right choice. I could of applied to many more universities and got a place but it just wasn't the right decision for me. I wasn't 100% sure on if teaching was the right thing for me and couldn't risk all that debt for nothing. Of course, if I hadn't of met Mark I might have pushed myself a little bit but I ended up going to a specialist beauty college and loved my time there. I ended up breaking my arm just before my final exams, but that's another story!

I still think about becoming a teacher but now I have 2, nearly 3, children of my own I'm not sure that's something I want to do anymore. For now I'm happy staying home with them, who knows what will happen in the future.

Nicola Xx

*Collaborative Post*

Starting School - A Week In

Paige has now being at school for over a week. A week of full days. The first three days she did until lunch then on Monday started doing full days. I was nervous for her, it's a big change but she's done amazingly well.

On the first day she fell over and ended up wearing some school socks and hurt her knee but she was fine. She has loved going and is so excited each morning. That first day I went inside the classroom with her, helped her hang her coat and bag up and pick her lunch. I didn't want her to get into the habit of having me there so the next day I let do it by herself. I stood outside the classroom and watched just like I have everyday since but she never sees me.

She seems so big and so grown up. She seems to have come on so much and we are only a week in. Her speech seems better and her confidence has grown. She has made a few friends but no one that really stands out as a best friend but she will get there. She is still getting used to school meals. She says her tummy hurts so stops eating, I honestly think it's hurting because she is hungry but she isn't realising. Hopefully she starts eating more soon, it isn't like she doesn't like the food they are serving. All  just part of the adjustment I think.

She has had her first piece of homework and did so well. She couldn't wait to get home to do it. I wonder how long that will last?!

I am so excited for her but do miss her like crazy. When Parker is home from nursery he always walks around looking for her and calling her name for a few minutes. I know he is really missing her too. We are so proud of how well has is adjusting, still early days but she is doing so well.

How is your child settling into school?

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

31 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #3

This week baby girl is getting close to her birth height but will still gain between 3-5lbs before she is born. Her immune system is nearly ready to fight off illness, her brain and nerves are continuing to develop and she is still piling on the weight. Her neck and joints are getting more flexible each day.

This week I feel very pregnant! My bump is starting to get in the way and i'm just generally feeling huge. I did freak out slightly this week and I realised that my belly had shrunk an inch. I'm guessing baby girl just moved but she felt in the same position. She does feel slightly lower so maybe that effected my measurements. That was earlier in the week and now i'm back up to measuring where I was last week.
I've had so much heartburn this week, especially in the evenings and at night. It's awful but just one of those things. I've also had a lot more nausea again which isn't fun.
Baby girls movements are so painful now. She really is getting so big. I'm also getting more out of breathe, another sign of just how big she is getting!

Waist - 29inch, same as last week.
Belly - 36inch, same as last week.

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Mummy and Me - September

Another month over so quickly.

September was a big month for us. Parker started nursery and Paige started school. I feel like they've both grown up a lot and I'm just left here with no one that needs me. Of course they still need me but its so strange having 'free time'. I have 12 hours a week where they are both out of the house. 12 hours is a long time when you aren't used to it. I've tried to make the most of it, getting as much housework and blogging done as I can so that when they come home they can have all my attention. Of course when baby girl comes she will keep me very busy in those 12 hours so I am going to enjoy the peace while it lasts!

My bump is really growing now and I am getting really big. The kids still both adore my belly and can't wait for their baby sister to come. I still don't think Parker completely understands but when we ask him where the baby is (and call her by her name) he always points to my belly. I really wanted some pictures with my bump in as there won't be many more months before bump turns into baby.

I do love these pictures and i'm so glad that we took some. It isn't easy to get two children and a pregnant woman to pose!

Nicola Xx

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Monday, 26 September 2016

Nailmatic Review

Paige loves everything I love. She loves to copy me and think she is a big girl. Lately she's become obsessed with painting her nails. She adores it when I do them for her and I do too. It's lovely to have some quality time together, just us two. Obviously she can't wear nail varnish for school but in the holidays and at the weekends she loves nothing more than me doing her nails.

She was recently this cute cone from Nailmatics. I didn't tell her what was inside so she was super excited to see. Once opened, Paige was delighted.

Inside was a balloon, lollypop, some tattoos, a mini pencil case, felt tips and nail varnish. Paige loved everything inside. It is all something that she will use and enjoy. The nail varnish needed two coats, but most does! It is a gorgeous sparkly lilac and so pretty. It is also water soluble so came off in bath which is great for ease. The little extras along with the nail varnish are a cute addition that most children will love.

Overall Paige loves everything. I think the set makes such a lovely gift for a little girl. It would be the perfect stocking filler around Christmas or perfect little birthday present.

To purchase Nailmatics or learn more about them please check out 1Two facebook page.

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - Paige was sent the above item for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are our own*

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Baby Buys #2

Here is the second instalment of our baby buys for baby #3. Check out my first post to see what other baby buys we've gotten for baby girl so far.

First up are the Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles. We got these from Asda in the baby event for £10, such a bargain! These will go perfectly with our steriliser. We used these bottles with Paige and she loved them so hopefully baby girl will too.

Something else from Asda are these cute panda bibs. As you will know I am a little obsessed with Pandas but I didn't actually buy these, Mark did! He really can't resist cute baby items. At £3 for two you can't go wrong.

I love Next baby clothes as many parents do. Its great quality and they have some lovely items. I fell in love with these Monochrome Fairy sleepsuits and couldn't leave them behind. I'm also eyeing up the Little Sister Fairy sleepsuit.... SO cute!

Next up is a review item that we were very kindly sent from Bambeano. This is the baby bean bag which I can't wait to use with baby girl once she arrived. I love the idea and having a safe place to pop baby down is so important when they are so little. A full review will be coming once we have tried it out so look out for that!

Last up today is this cute headband from a shop called Like Sewiously on Etsy. This was actually the first item I bought when we found out baby was a girl. Surprise, surprise it has pandas on!!

We still need a changing mat and play mat amongst other things.

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Secret Hamper - Newborn Baby Mega Hamper

When a baby is born and you want to give the new parents a gift it can be hard sometimes to know what to give them. You may want to give them something more special or something more practical. I'm personally a fan of a bit of both. I always think it's nice to give something a little more special, maybe a personalised item along with something more practical that will actually be used. are a company that offer very practical gifts. They have hampers which are available for new parents, students, friends and neighbours. They have a couple of value choices in each category so there's sure to be something to suit your budget. Instead of featuring luxury gifts Secret Hampers features everyday essential items to make life a little bit easier for the receiver. The idea is that secret hampers saves you the trouble of going to the supermarket, buying a bunch of items and then delivering them to your person in need. You simply order a box and they deliver to your chosen address. 

We were recently sent the newborn baby mega hamper to try out. The items came in a huge box, to be honest I was expecting some sort of a hamper because of the name. Once opened there were some information leaflets and a letter from secret hampers which included a place for a personalised message which is lovely. 

Included in our box were 
  • Chocolate treat for Mum
  • Shaken Udder Milkshakes Pack of 3
  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Rice
  • Curry sauce
  • Size 1 Nappies 3 Packs
  • Size 2 Nappies 2 Packs
  • Wetwipes 4 Packs
  • Small Powder Milk Bottle x 2
  • Muslin Squares x 6
  • Nappy Sacks
  • Cotton Wool Buds
  • Cotton Wool Pleats
  • Sudocrem
  • Saline Drops
  • Infacol
  • Teething Granules
  • Baby Bath 500ml
  • Baby Lotion 300ml
  • Tommee Tippee Baby Care Kit

I love the range of items. The baby items are very practical and will most definitely come in handy. I love that a lot of supermarket brands are included. We love using the supermarket brands and love the quality and price. Everything is very gender neutral which is great.
The medicine related items are also a great bonus. We've used saline drops, Infacol and teething granules with both Paige and Parker and love them all. Sometimes you do forget to buy then so its great to have them handy.

The other items which are included are a lovely thought. Some great cupboard items that are lovely to have a stock of especially when you have a newborn baby and some little treat items for mum and dad. The chocolate especially gets a big thumbs up from me!

Also included in our box were two little masks which the kids loved!

Overall I love the idea of Secret Hamper. I think it would be such a lovely, different and thoughtful gift to give new parents.

Would you ever try anything like Secret Hamper?

Nicola Xx

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

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

30 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #3

This week baby is shedding lanugo. She will also put on around half a pound a week until she is born. Her eyes are still developing but she can see, this will improve over the next few weeks. She is around 17 inches long and weighs around 3 and a half pounds. If she isn't already she should be moving into a head down position for birth.

This week my belly is getting in the way, haha. Washing up I've noticed I have to stand further away and then it starts to hurt my back. Baby girls movements are also getting painful at times. I'm having more frequent Braxton hicks too, especially if I do a lot. I'm going to try to take it easy and not do as much in these coming weeks and just let my body rest a little. I've had nausea again this week and heartburn. A not so nice symptom are  nightmares. I keep having horrible dreams about people cutting my belly open and stealing the baby. I'm really hoping they stop soon as they are disturbing my sleep so I'm extra tired.
I got my whooping cough jab too. It was fine and just gave me a dead arm for a few days.

Waist - 29 inch, no change.
Belly - 36 inch, same as last week

Nicola Xx

Monday, 19 September 2016

Top 5 Tips For Helping Your Child To Brush Their Teeth

First Teeth

It can be so hard to get your toddler to brush their teeth. Half of the time they just refuse and then the other times they want to do it by themselves and you just know they aren't doing it properly. Its all about balance. About them feeling big enough to brush by themselves but then you also helping them out until they can do it well enough.

So here are my top five tips and tricks for encouraging a toddler to brush their teeth.

1. Let them pick their own toothbrush out - They are more likely to use a toothbrush with their favourite character on. It doesn't matter if you don't like it, if they do they are more likely to want to use it.

2. Brush your teeth with them - If your child sees you brushing your teeth they might be more likely to copy you because they want to be big like mummy/daddy. I always try to brush my teeth with the kids each day.

3. Make it routine - If brushing teeth is part of everyday routine children will learn and understand it's just something they have to do, like getting dressed or having a bath.

4. Start them young - As soon as that first little tooth pops through start brushing it. This usually happens around 6 months but not always. If they grow up knowing that they always brush their teeth they won't see reason to not do it.

5. Sing or make a little game out of brushing teeth - This just makes it a little more fun for them, maybe try doing a silly dance too. You also want to give them lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement.

We are quite lucky that with these little tips and tricks we've never had much problem with Paige or Parker. They both really enjoy brushing their teeth. Some days they are more willing than others but that's ok. Each day we brush their teeth morning and night, I will brush them first and then they will have a little go while I do mine.

It's so important to look after yours and yours children teeth. For more information why not check out The Centre For Advanced Dentistry Yorkshire.  

Have you got any tips or tricks for helping little ones to brush their teeth?

Nicola Xx

*Sponsored Post*

Saturday, 17 September 2016

DIY Maternity Pictures - 29 Weeks

This pregnancy I'm trying to capture as much as I possibly can. It may well be my last and I want to remember everything, good and bad. This is partly why I'm doing weekly updates. I know that once this baby is born I will love looking back on my pregnancy.

I would really love some professional maternity pictures, I've never had any but in all honestly I don't think it will happen. So I grabbed my camera and decided to take some myself. Just a few before I get bigger. I love this stage where you aren't huge but you are noticeably pregnant. I want to take some more in the coming weeks but I love these so wanted to share.

Did you have any maternity pictures taken, either professionally or not?

Nicola Xx

Friday, 16 September 2016

Review - Sophia The First

If your little girl is anything like mine she will love Sophia the First. Paige is obsessed with anything Sofia. She also really loves playing with small figures.

They are perfect for her little imagination to make up stories and she will give each character a little voice, so cute! She loves taking them out and about with her and I don't mind either because they are nice and small and don't take over the whole car.

Paige was recently sent a lovely little package full of Sofia goodies which are all available to buy at Smyths Toys. All the goodies were sent in this adorable Sofia backpack, perfect to carry all your childs toys and maybe an extra set of clothes for a day out too.

Paige loves these cute little figures. With Sophia, Ruby and Jade and all the animals she loves collecting them all and showing them off in her room. They look just like the characters from the show. Each doll includes one animal friend to play with and at 3inch they are perfect for on the go play.

Paige also got sent the Mini Royal Prep Art Class Playset and the Mini Princess Amber's Closet Playset. Both again are a lovely size to take out and about. They are fun, colourful and perfect little toys to collect and play with.

Lastly Paige was sent the Sofia Royal Camera and Tiara. She loves these. She can now dress up and pretend to be Sofia with an adorable crown. She also loves the camera, and although it doesn't take pictures you can look through the viewfinder and see eight scenes featuring Sofia and her friends.

Paige absolutely loves these Sofia The First toys. She can't wait to have the full sets. I think I know what she'll be asking santa for! They are perfect stocking fillers.

Does your child love collecting figures and toys?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Siblings - September

Big changes have happened this month. Parker started nursery and Paige started reception.

I'm very interested to see how these changes impact on Paige and Parkers relationship. I think it's a little too soon to tell as Paige only started school yesterday.

This month we've had more bickering than usual. I think that's because they've been together, under each others feet for 8 weeks. Maybe it's also their ages. Parker is very much a feisty 2 year old and Paige can be a bossy 4 year old. Most of the time they are wonderful together. Still so loving towards each other and they clearly think the world of each other.

They still love playing together. They can play for hours. Normally with Parkers toys but they both love playing with Paige's dolls and figures too. We are in the process of having them share a room. If Parker would fall asleep without chattering for an hour before we would be more successful but we will get there soon.

I know that their relationship will change and develop even more over the next few months. They will adjust to being at nursery and school and then baby girl will come along and add another element to their relationship.

I tried to get some nice pictures of them both on my big camera this month but that clearly didn't work. Next month!

Nicola Xx
The Me and Mine Project
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