Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Why Keeping a Tidy House with an Infant Doesn’t have so be Hard

Are you a parent that is constantly picking up after your child? Too embarrassed to invite friends over because the house looks like a bomb has hit it? Why does it all have to be so difficult?

Well, the simple answer to that is that it doesn’t. Yes, children can be messy little creatures, but keeping a tidy house can be as simple as your ABC’s. All that you have to do is to be smart with the layout and design of your home and everything else will fall into place.

Easy to Clean Surfaces

The first step to becoming a smart homemaker is to ensure that you have easy to clean surfaces in your home. This means dining tables that can be wiped down instead of a cover that requires washing, and non-fabric furniture that doesn’t stain.

Leather furniture is obviously very expensive, especially when bought brand new, which is why many opt for faux leather instead. It looks like leather, it even feels like leather, but it is nowhere near as expensive. The main difference, however, is that it is not as durable as the real thing, but there are certain steps that you can take to stop the surface from cracking.

Be Smart with your Garden

The garden is a hotbed for child activity. They come out here to play and, when they walk back inside for meals, you just know that there is going to be an almighty clean-up operation needed. So what can be done to combat the mess outside?

Outside storage options are a parent’s best friend, and can be used to store away garden equipment if there is not enough room in the shed - a win-win situation all around. Dedicate one or two storages boxes for toys that live outside, and encourage the kids to pick them back up and put away before coming back inside if they are finished playing.

With these in place, you will be able to sit back and revel in the tidiness of your garden, perhaps from the private sanctuary of glass decking to add a modern element.

Cluttered Staircases

Not only do toys and other objects on the stairs make the place look a mess, they are also a major health and safety hazard. Hopefully, your children know better than to leave toys and gadgets on the staircase and other parts, but if they can be prone to this then action needs to be taken.

Many homes use the space underneath the stairs as storage space, which can often become highly cluttered and incredibly unorganised. If you are guilty of this, it is time to go through this space and throw away anything and everything that no longer has a use. You will be surprised at the amount of space that can be saved.

With the extra storage space, depending on how much room you have to begin with, you can invest in stackable boxes that can easily be used to pick up wandering objects and put away nicely. This can also be useful when looking to save boxes for any electrical devices that you have recently bought in case you have to take them back (as some suppliers can be funny if you haven’t got the original box).

Get them Cleaning

How do you encourage the kids to help you clean? Turn it into a game by offering a reward for who can clean their room the fastest. If children are getting something out of it, other than a tidy room, then you can be sure that they will be eager to get to work.

As you can see, you do not have to pick between having children and keeping a pristine home as both are possible if you are smart about.

*Guest Post*

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Harleigh - 8 Months Old

Only FOUR months to go until Harleigh is one. That really is crazy! I want to cry! I can't believe how quickly time is passing.

No new teeth but her two bottom ones are getting so big now. Weaning is going well and we are still doing a mixture of puree and baby led weaning. Harleigh is still having two meals a day and seems content for now.  

Harleigh is still trying so hard to crawl. She still hasn't figured it out. She is so close to getting onto all fours but just has that last little bit to go, she is getting so so close. She enjoys rolling around more now and is very mobile even without crawling. She looks like she could be trying to figure out how to pull herself up, she sits there and you can see her little brain working. I wonder if she will work it out soon.

Nicola Xx

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Siblings - July 2017

Yet another month has flown by. I can't believe. Since last month we have celebrated Parker turning three!! He is so big now. Not too much else has happened in the past month. The weather was rubbish and we still haven't managed any nice summer days out, unless the park and ice cream counts! We have had a few nice trips to see family and friends though but I can't wait to visit the seaside. The summer holidays are coming up!

This months pictures were hard. Harleigh does not want to stay still and the kids weren't int he mood for picture either. Hopefully next month we can get out and about more and get some better pictures.

Nicola Xx
The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Stay And Play

We recently had a stay and play session at Parkers new nursery. It was just an hour session and I stayed with him. I left Harleigh at home with my best friend while she napped. 

He absolutely loved his stay and play session. He didn't want to leave. He loved playing with all the toys and meeting his new classmates. He met his new teachers and we know them from when Paige went so that is so lovely that we already have a relationship with them. They were wonderful with Paige and I know that Parker will be in good hands. 

We weren't sure if we should move him from his current nursery or not. He does love it there and his teachers are amazing. He could stay there until school next year, he would of just needed to move up a class. We decided that moving him this year instead of next would be better for school. We are really hoping he gets into Paiges school next year, we can even apply in September! Him going to the nursery school means that just like Paige he can get used to the school and the surroundings which I think is the best thing.

In a way he seems so much older than Paige did at this age. He talks so much and is so clever. He will love learning more at nursery.

Next up we have a home visit in September and then another stay and play, more with me and then he starts on his own!

I am so excited for him. When he does start he will be going every morning for 3 hours.

Nicola Xx

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Beaba Babycook Review

Harleigh is 7.5 months and we are right in the middle of weaning. Everything is going well so far and we are doing a mixture of baby led weaning and purees. We've done the same with Paige and Parker and have really loved it. Both Paige and Parker much preferred puree but we had no idea what Harleigh would like.

I was really excited to try make my own puree for Harleigh as I didn't with Paige and Parker. When Paige was at weaning age I tried once to make my own puree and she hated it so I gave up and never tried with Parker.

We recently tried out the Beaba Babycook. The Babycook is a great product that prepares fruit, vegetables, meat and fish in less than 15 minutes. You can use the machine one handed. It has a stainless steel water reservoir and a patented steam heating system. It is small enough to store but looks equally as good sat on the counter top. Also included is a spatula, mixing lid and recipe booklet.

The Babycook is really easy to use and you can cook and make food, blend and reheat all in one machine.

I mainly use the Babycook to cook and make food and blend it up. To do this is really quick, simple and easy. Firstly open up the Babycook using the black button on the top of the machine.

You then use the numbers on the side to measure the amount of water needed to steam the ingredients. This information is found in the booklet where it breaks everything down. 

Then add your food into the basket that needs to be cooked. Today I did sweet potato and carrot which is one of Harleigh's favourites. The buttons are really simple too. There is one main button that does two things. You press the button in to steam and turn it to blend. Once pressed the machine also lights up.

The machine beeps to let you know that its finished and the light then flashes. Then empty the contents into the main machine ready to blend. I tend to leave the steamed water which drains into the blender part during the steaming process. For Harleigh this makes the perfect consistency.  

Then simply turn the button and blend it up. You can then use the spatula to scoop out the food. It can then be frozen or kept in the fridge.

I really loved using the Babycook to make food for Harleigh and next I want to try adding meat in as i'm yet to try using meat. Its such a great little machine to have and is very handy having everything all in one place.

Have you ever made your own baby food?

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - I was sent the above item for review, all views and opinions are my own*

Friday, 7 July 2017

Quinny Zapp Flex Plus Review

Having a portable pushchair is a must. Some can be big and heavy and that isn't for me at all. This is why I love the Quinny Zapp Flex Plus. It has to be the most lightweight, portable and compact pushchair I've ever used, and I've used a lot.

It is modern, versatile and really sleek. It looks gorgeous and is available in loads of different colours. It is suitable from 6 months until 3.5 years or 15kg. You can combine it with the Quinny Lux Carrycot, the Quinny From-Birth Cacoon or the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus car seat and this makes it useable from birth.

You can use the seat both parent and world facing which I love. It is so easy to adjust too. There is a main button at the top of the seat which you use to take the seat off and to also fold it down. The button does take me two hands to use but it is really easy and simple.

The seat has multiple positions and the straps are adjustable and have a 5 point safety harness which is really easy and simple to use. There is plenty of room for Harleigh to grow as she gets older. The fabric is also water-resistant which is great for babies and children.

The handle is really easy to use one handed and the pushchair itself is really light and easy to handle. The handle doesn't adjust which I thought would be a problem as i'm quite petite but it really isn't at all. The hood is also another great feature. It has a great canopy which has UV 50+ protection. It extends via a an extra zip which is great for the sunny weather.

It has four puncture proof wheels which provide a nice ride for baby. The handlebar is closed and easy to steer with one hand which is makes it perfect if you have an extra hand to hold as well as pushing the pushchair.

The fold is very compact and really easy. There are three main steps to folding. One thing I don't like is that the pushchair can't be folded when the seat is parent facing, which is a little annoying but it only takes seconds to adjust the seat. There is an automatic folding lock which engages when the pushchair is folded which means you can just fold the pushchair and go.

There is also a shopping basket which is one of my least favourite things. Its small and to be honest I don't use it a whole lot. I mainly keep the rain cover in there as in Yorkshire you can guarantee that it will rain on most days. The break is really easy and simple to use too. 

Also included is the Maxi-Cosi car seat adaptors which is great to be able to use it from birth. 

We love the Quinny Zapp Flex Plus, it has fastly become one of my favourite pushchairs. 

Nicola Xx

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

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Parker at Three

A couple of weeks ago Parker turned three. I still can't believe he is three. he has come along so much in the past year. 

he's always seem a lot more advanced than Paige. I know I shouldn't compare but it's easy to do. 

He is sleeping well, most nights he sleeps 12 hours and he shares a room with Paige. They love sharing a room. He doesn't nap anymore and if he happens to fall asleep then it does take him a while to fall asleep at night. He goes to bed at 6:30-7pm. 

His speech is so much more advanced than Paige's was. He amazes me daily. He can count up to 10 and sometimes a little more. He knows his shapes and can draw a few. He also loves letters and can recognise quite a few too. He can write some letters but hasn't quite got his name down yet. He loves drawing faces, people, monsters and animals.

He loves Paw Patrol. He loves playing with toys, figures, balls and cars. He has just started to get interested in jigsaws and can do 16 pieces on his own. 

He is very stubborn and knows his own mind. He will have tantrums and express his feeling very loudly sometimes! 

He is fully potty trained during the day but still wears a nappy at night time. 9 times out of 10 they are dry in the morning but we haven't yet taken the step at night time. 

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 2 July 2017

My Sunday Photo - 02/07/2017

I don't care that the picture is blurry and terrible quality. I love it! 

Happy 10 years!!

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