Friday, 31 March 2017

Me and Mine - March 2017

March wasn't too kind to us so i hope that April will be a little better. 

We did have loads of family time together and that was nice but other things around that weren't. We went on our first family holiday as a five and that didn't quite go as expected. Our pictures this month are from our trip away and are actually pictures of pictures but thats ok. 

April will bring my birthday and the Easter holidays. I'm excited for some more spring weather too. 

Nicola Xx
The Me and Mine Project

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Five Tips To Help You Save Money

I am always looking for ways that we could potentially save money. To be completely honest we've never been good at saving money but we are planning on buying a bigger car in the next few months so we've really had to be careful and try save as much as we can. 

  1. Meal planning. If you don't meal plan you should. We've saved so much money each week. Each Thursday I sit down and think about the week ahead. We look through the cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what meals we already have (or parts of meals) and use that as a starting point. We then make a list of 7 meals and each item we need to buy to make those meals goes on the shopping list. When doing the food shop we only buy these items plus other essential items including nappies, wipes, cleaning supplies etc, which i keep track of throughout the week. We also started shopping at Aldi our food bill reduced even more. You can get some great items for much cheaper. We love the lasagne!
  2. Switch energy supplies. We recently switched and saved over £100. It really is amazing how much you can save with the click of a button or a few phone calls. It isn't as hard as people think and you can save a lot. 
  3. Clear the clutter. Putting items you no longer need on eBay or Shpock frees up space and makes you a little money in the process. I've recently sold some brand new bottles as I completely forgot we bought them and we didn't need them anymore. 
  4. Look for voucher codes. Voucher codes and coupons can help you save so money. is a great website to use to find discount codes. Using codes on things that you would need to buy anyway can save you money, also buying things in bulk that wont spoil is another good tip!
  5. Walk more. We got super last and started jumping in the car to go get a pint of milk or a loaf of bread. When we walk it may take us 10 extra minutes but you save so much petrol.

Do you have any top money saving tips?

Nicola Xx

*Sponsored Post*

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Review - Moonlight and Melodies Hug Me Projection Soother Bear

Harleigh has just moved into her own room. She may only be 4 months old but after our holiday we realised that she just needed more space than her basket offered. I'm hoping that this helps improve her sleep a little. When we moved her into her room we also added an extra element into her bedtime routine. While she drinks her milk in her dark room we use the new Moonlight & Melodies Projection soother from Skip Hop

With one click of the button it projects a gorgeous starry night sky onto the ceiling. The lights change colours and are very soothing and calming. Harleigh loves staring at the lights while she drifts off to sleep. 

Another great feature is that there's a fabric pocket which can be flipped over the projector to transform the soother into a soft cuddly friend. This turns the projector into a soft  glowing nightlight. We haven't used it in this mode yet for sleep as Harleigh is only 4 months old but Paige and Parker both enjoy it. The nightlight features stay-cool LED lighting so there is so worry about it getting hot whilst in use which is a must have feature. 

There are also four melodies which play when you press the button twice. They are very sweet but i feel like they are a little too loud to be calming for Harleigh, she is used to white noise so any other sounds keep her awake and entertained rather than soothing her.

The bear is cute and very portable which is handy for trips away and helps to soothe your baby on the go. It also turns off after 20 minutes which is the perfect amount of time to help baby drift off to sleep but to also save the batteries. It does take 2 AAA. Our little bear will be used as part of Harleighs bedtime routine for many months to come and as she grows he will become a cuddly friend she can snuggle up to. 

Does your child use a night time projector? Paige and Parker actually use one in their room too!

Nicola Xx

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

Monday, 27 March 2017

Mummy and Me - March

Well, March didn't exactly turn out as planned. In fact it was quite an awful month. I am very glad to be seeing the back of it and hoping the April is a little kinder to us.

I'll be honest and say that i really don't like our pictures this month but they still capture me and my babies in March and thats what my aim is to do with my Mummy and Me linky. The kids will never be this little again, they grow up so much each and every day. 

We have my birthday coming up and me and Mark will become Godparents to a very special little girl. I am so excited. April also brings Easter and hopefully more sunshine.

Nicola Xx

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Friday, 24 March 2017

Harleigh - 4 Months Old

It still seems crazy that Harleigh is 4 months old, wasn't she just born?! She now weighs 14lb 5oz and is wearing size 3 nappies and 3-6m clothes. Its so crazy how small she is because at the same age both Paige and Parker were 18lbs!

They had also both rolled over by this point. Parker from his front to back and Paige from her back to front. So far Harleigh hasn't done either, she does try to roll over from her back to front but loves laying on her side too much so gives up. I don't like to compare them too much but its so fascinating just how different they are.

She loves grabbing toys and hitting them when she is on her playmat. She also love playing peek-a-boo and giggles, it is the cutest thing. At this age Parker hadn't giggled.

Another thing that is interesting... sleep! She is right in the middle of them both. Paige was waking once at 4 months and Parker 3/4 times. Harleigh usually wakes 2/3 times a night. She was doing a solid 10 hours which was amazing but that quickly stopped. I think we hit the 4 month sleep regression a little early as napping became a problem too. She is slowly getting better so i hope her sleep improves soon. She is also still in our bedroom with us. Both Paige and Parker were already in their own room by now and i'm wondering if Harls would sleep better in her cot as she would have more room. We are on holiday next week so we may try her in her cot when we come back.

At 16 weeks Harls had her last set of injection until she 12/13 months. Just like the first set she got a fever but it calmed down after about 36 hours.

I think that is everything for 4 months. She is doing so well and it still amazes me how she has fit in so well.

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Review - G Tech AirRam K9

We have three children and a cat. Our house gets very messy, very quickly! To deal with the mess we need a vacuum that can keep up. 

We've recently tried out the G Tech AirRam K9. The G Tech AirRam K9 is suitable for all pets and gives you high performance cleaning without a cord, perfect to quickly pull out and clean up any mess. It is strengthened by aluminium components to resist wear and tear caused by pet hair. Pet odours can also make ordinary vacuum cleaners smell, the AirRam K9 has refillable floral scented tabs that slot into the filter and deliver a clean scent every time you hoover. I love the scent feature and Mark even commented on the smell. Its lovely to have the scent left over after you've used the vacuum. 

As the AirRam K9 has no cord you can easily clean all around your home without a snagging cord and no need to unplug every time you change rooms. It can also change from carpet to hard floors without any need for a setting change making it quicker to use. It weighs just 3.5kg and is super portable, i know i hate carrying heavy vacuums up and down the stairs. The size and compactness is one of the main things i love about the AirRam K9. It is easy to store and great to bring out to clean up messes throughout the day, which very often happens with three children and a pet. It is also very easy to adjust the handle, simply press the black button and the handle is made bigger.

The power comes from a 22V Lithium-ion battery that is surprisingly quiet and powerful. After a 4-hour charge you can clean for up to 40 minutes. A 1-hour charge gives you a short burst of additional run time. When i first learnt the times i thought i would be charging the battery really often but i find that just charging once a week i can use the vacuum every day for some quick cleaning then once a week for a more thorough clean. You can easily see how much power is left but a 4-stage LED display. The battery can be charged while still in the vacuum or can be taken out.

The AirRam K9 is really easy to empty. The dirt is compressed into a capsule in the head of the vacuum. You simply pop the compartment out, open it and the dirt falls into the bin, you then slide the ejector arm to clear out the remaining dirt.

The vacuum also has a light on the front which is handy for seeing the dirt before you hoover it up. A great little feature that is useful for under beds/tables. 

Overall we love the G Tech AirRam K9, it worked really well and does the job well, it copes well with pet hair and any mess that the children make. It is a little tricky to get into corners and edges as there isn't a nozzle but I love how lightweight and compact it is. 

Have you tried a cordless vacuum?

Nicola Xx

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

Monday, 20 March 2017

Speech Therapy Update

As some of may remember at the end of last year I took Paige to have an assessment for her speech. After the assessment they said that Paige had 6/7 issues with her speech and she was then referred for group sessions. 

We had to wait a few months but at the beginning of march she started those sessions. She did 45 minutes every Thursday. 

The sessions went really well. There were 4 other children in the group and Paige was the only girl. They were all aged 4 but some had just turned 4 and others close to turning 5. Since the first assessment we've noticed just how much Paige's speech has come on by itself, mainly because of school and her learning phonics but there is still room for improvement. 

I was very curious as to what the group sessions would involved. Basically they just played games which all related to different sounds. They concentrated on the "c" "f" "g" "s" "t" sounds. The games were really fun and involved flash cards and toys to keep the children interested. 

Paige was really quite shy at first but began to warm up as time went on. 

We are now on a waiting list for some one on one sessions. The speech therapist said that she thinks Paige will only need a few one on one sessions and will then be where she should be at for her age. 

I am so proud of how well she is coming on.

Has your child ever had speech therapy?

Nicola Xx

Friday, 17 March 2017

4 Months Postpartum - Baby #3

Four months since having Harleigh and I'm feeling pretty good. Tired but her sleep is very up and down and has been for a month. I'm hoping it improves again soon as she was doing so well. 

I stopped working out because I was just running myself into the ground trying to workout every day plus keep everything else running smoothly while still getting up a lot during the night. I really miss working out and hope I can start again soon. I had some great results. 

I'm still about 6lbs from my pre pregnancy weight and my waist is 1.5inches bigger still but I fit into all my pre pregnancy clothes. I am finding it so hard to lose the weight this time, just like I did with Paige. It's so strange as with Parker it fell off. I remember with Paige I didn't fit into pre pregnancy clothes until 5/6 months postpartum so I'm already doing better as this time it was 3 months. I'm quite happy with where my body is to say I'm not working out and I'm not exactly eating clean. One thing I have noticed is my cravings for bad thing is going away as I am eating better. I eat well 70/80% of the time but let myself have a treat whenever I fancy it because life is too short. 

My skin is a bit up and down but my nails are stronger again. My hair is also still falling out. I'm pretty much back to normal but would like to lose another 2lbs and tone up.

How did you feel at 4 months postpartum?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 16 March 2017

How Bad Lighting Might be Ruining Your Room

A lesser considered element of the ambience of any given room, the lighting can greatly improve or completely ruin the vibe. You may have gone into rooms and sensed that something was a bit off, odds are, you were having a reaction to bad lighting. Although the effects aren't always immediately noticeable, bad lighting could be totally ruining your room.

The following is a short look at the many ways in which your lighting could be having this effect.

Small and Stuffy

First and foremost, if good lighting can open a room up and make it appear bigger, then terrible lighting can do just the opposite. Indeed, depending on what type of lighting you select for your room, your room could appear much bigger or much smaller than it actually is. Assuming, like most people, that you prefer a room appear larger than smaller, then you better take some extra special time with regards to selecting the lighting for your room. In particular, pendant lighting, and lighting hung a bit higher tends to make a room appear larger than it is.

Productivity Issues

In addition to that, if you have a difficult time focusing and getting to work, your lighting might be the culprit. In other words, bad lighting can cause a host of issues that counteract productivity. For instance, bad lighting can make it more difficult to read and view things, causing strain on the eyes, headaches, and more. Moreover, bad lighting can also be detrimental to the mood. Rather than making you feel energetic, bad lighting can leave you feeling exhausted and lethargic.

Colour Scheme Troubles

The last way bad lighting can ruin your room is by literally changing the way the colours appear. Although it might sound like some sort of magic trick, the lighting you choose can make the colours in your room pop, fade, appear brighter, or more faded, as well as an array of other things. On the one hand, by selecting a more universal lighting choice such as halogen lighting, pretty much all the colours in your room will appear more vibrant.

On the flip side, by selecting a lighting type such as fluorescent lighting, colours such as blue and green will appear more refined. Moreover, by selecting incandescent lighting, the oranges and reds in your room will appear more prominent. No matter which lighting type you choose, be sure it goes great with the colours in the room, or you will likely end up spending more money later to correct the issue.

How to Fix Lighting Problems

For the DIY types, there are plenty of ways to fix your lighting. However, the methods vary from situation to situation. For instance, you may need to buy more or fewer lights, you may need to hand your lights higher or lower, you may need to try a different type of bulb or any combination of these things. Start by looking at a range of fittings like those offered by Abbey Gate Lighting and find the lighting that best suits the most prized elements of the room.

For those who don't like to DIY and need a bit of help with regards to this matter, there are tonnes of interior designers, and also those who specialise in lighting specifically that can help you out. Simply conduct a search and find a reputable company you can trust.

*Guest Post*

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Siblings - March 2017

Another month has passed in the blink of an eye.

We've had a slightly better month which is good. Harleigh's sleep is still not the best but Paige's is back to normal and Parker's for the most part, he does keep having some very loud dreams though!

They are still the most amazing three. They still adore each other and love spending time together. Seeing them all together does not get old. 

Next week we go on our first holiday with them all and i am so excited for us all to spend some quality time together. 

I need to remember to take some pictures using my big camera again, I got so good but these are just iphone snaps.

Nicola Xx

The Me and Mine Project

Friday, 10 March 2017

A Disney Daydream

We love Disney, like many children ours are a little obsessed. When they reached out to us to help promote their baby range we jumped at the chance.

They sent over a little surprise package for Harleigh. Inside was a super cute Winnie The Pooh teddy and pyjama set. 

My challenge was to come up with a picture using the items we were sent. I went with a little daydream scene, simple but cute!

The Disney baby range is gorgeous. We got the super cute Piglet Layette Pyjamas and slippers set. Included in the set is a long sleeved top, leggings and slippers. The top has an adorable picture of Pooh and Piglet and a cute tulle frill trim. It has some lovely embroidered writing on too. The top has popper fastenings on the back which if I'm honest is a little fiddly with with a 3 month old. The leggings have a lovely elasticated waistband and look very comfortable. The set is made from 100% organic cotton and feels amazing against the skin. Harleigh is wearing 3-6m and they fit great with a little room for her to grow which is always lovely to get the most out of an item.

The slippers are so cute and very soft, they even have little 3D ears. They finish off the outfit perfectly.

Pooh bear is a very classical teddy. He is gorgeous. He has a lovely satin bow and gorgeous facial features. He is super soft and perfect for any age or gender.

Don't forget to check out the Disney baby range. I'd love to see your pictures using #DisneyStoreUK  and make sure you look out for ours!!

Nicola Xx

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

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2017

Mothers Day is almost upon us again and I have another gift guide to share with you all. I have a lovely range of items which vary in price and there will be something to suit all mums.

I think flowers are an essential Mothers Day gift. I know that me as a mum I never buy myself flowers so receiving them is really nice. I'm not a big flower person but I think that a nice little bunch of flowers is a lovely gift. They don't have to be expensive. Aldi have a love range of beautiful flowers for Mothers Day starting at just £3.

Another lovely gift has spring and summer in mind. Hopefully the sun will shine and that would mean sunglasses! Imagine some lovely new sunglasses paired with a little box of chocolates or a lovely bunch of flowers, they would make a lovely gift. I love these ones from Maui Jim.

Does your mum love stationery or staying organised? If she does a gorgeous Kate Spade pouch might be the perfect gift this Mothers Day. It also comes with some lovely stationery items inside. 

New pyjamas are always a lovely gift. You could opt for some fun character ones or some more luxury ones. I love these mummy pig ones from George at Asda. They are really fun and I know that my children would love to see mummy wearing some character pyjamas. 

As a mum i'm always busy and rushing around after children, I always forget to drink and keep myself hydrated. If your mum is the same why not get her a funky Thermos Hydration bottle to keep herself in tip top form. It even has a handy guide so you can keep track on how  much you've drank.

Personalised gifts are always a big hit in my eyes. This super cute keyring can be personalised with extra tags and names and would make such a lovely gift. Mark got me one when Harleigh was born and I adore it! Its available from DollyBirdUK on Etsy

What are you giving or hoping for this Mothers Day?

Nicola Xx

*Contains some PR samples*

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

February Fitness Update

Time for Februarys fitness update.

This month I was poorly, twice. The first time with tonsillitis and the second with a viral infection, both two weeks apart. This meant that I didn't do any exercise for half of the month.

I recently started the 30 day shred so I will have an update on that next month when I've completed it. I'm 9 days in so far and have already seen great results. I've only lost 1lb in February but that's ok. I actually only want to lose another 2/3lb so I'm not far off my target now.

January - February

So how did I do?

I've lost 0.5 inch from my waist, an inch around each thigh and an inch from around my belly. I think that's pretty good considering I haven't workout out for half the month but I do feel so much stronger. At the beginning of the month I also went for my first run and loved it. As I was poorly I haven't gone on the second yet but hope to in March.

I'm now fitting in all my pre pregnancy jeans and recently treated myself to some new clothes. I failed so badly at my water intake goal so I will try again. I've done well with my steps this month and managed 9/10/11k each day so I hope that continues.

My goals for March are
* To finish the 30 day shred
* Drink more water
* To try not to focus on the number on the scale

Nicola Xx
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