Saturday, 30 September 2017

Me and Mine - September 2017

What a month?! A very up and down month this September. We started really well with Paige starting year one and loving it, thankfully that has continued! Parker also started school nursery and again loves it. They sometimes also see each other in the play ground which is just the cutest thing ever.

Then they both got hit with a sickness bug and the month just went down hill from there to be honest. Its always rough when children get ill but when they get a sickness bug it's even harder. Parker is still sick now, he goes 30-36 hours within being sick and then he is sick again, which is rubbish as it means he can't go to nursery but he feels ok once he is sick so he finds it hard because he really wants to go but isn't allowed. 


I have great visions for this months picture, I wanted a lovely family picture, in the park with the autumn trees in the background but instead we are in our bedroom, with quite rubbish lighting but that is us. 

Together as a five and I love it.

Nicola Xx

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

Friday, 29 September 2017

First Day at School Nursery - Parker

This week Parker started nursery, school nursery. He used to go to private nursery before for three mornings a week but now at school nursery will be going every morning for 3 hours each time. The extra school run in the middle of the day will be a pain but that's only for a year.



On Monday he did one hour with me. That was his third stay and play and he loved it! Because his birthday is in June he is one of the younger ones so started later compared to the older ones. On Tuesday he did an hour on his own and again loved it. Wednesday was the whole 3 hours on his own and so far so good. He used to love going to nursery before so i'm really hoping that he will just continue to love going this time. 

He was so excited and so ready to start going more often plus it starts getting him ready for school next year which I can apply for already! Paige is so excited that now Parker goes to her school and they may see each other in the play ground! He can wear a uniform but I like to save that for reception year.

He seems so grown up now and it makes me so sad but I know he will love making new friends, love his teachers and be really happy to be involved in school.

Now I have to get used to just having Harleigh at home in the mornings.

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Mummy and Me - September 2017

I have to admit that I am cheating a little this month. School and nursery started again, I've had less time with Paige and Parker and trying to get a picture of all of us just hasn't worked. The plan was to take some this past weekend but the children got a sickness bug. The weekend before that we all coughs and colds. I didn't miss the school germs!



This first picture is one of my favourites I have of me with the children. It was taken in August though but after the previous mummy and me so that totally counts in my eyes, haha! It was on a really lovely day out we had and I love it so much, even though Harleigh isn't looking.





The others are random little pictures I've had with the children at some point during the past month, I had loads more with Harleigh than the big two purely because of school and nursery. I miss them so much!

Paiges first day of school, Parkers first day of nursery and cuddles with Harleigh.

Heres to a well October!

Nicola Xx

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes



Great Clothing Gifts for the Men in Your Life

Gift buying is not always easy. Sometimes you are lucky and things just fall into place. You go online or walk into a shop and the right present just jumps out at you. Other times, you are left scrabbling around trying to find something suitable.

I tend to find that this happens to me more when I am trying to find a gift for a male family member or friend. Why this happens I am not sure, but I think it is simply that I rarely go shopping in men´s shops. Therefore, I am less familiar with what is available. Fortunately, there is one type of gift that works for most men. Every man needs clothes, so shirts, trousers, underwear, socks and footwear all make great presents. As you can see here there are hundreds of options, so you are bound to find something suitable.

Stylish polo shirts

Polo shirts are surprisingly versatile and are popular across the age groups. They look good with both jeans and trousers and are comfortable to wear. The fact that they are semi-smart makes them a good option for parties. There are many different types available, with some stores introducing long sleeve versions, which are particularly good for the colder months.

Jeans for all shapes and sizes

Jeans are another item of clothing that most men and boys seem to wear. However, you do need to be careful when buying them as a gift. They are not cheap, so you do not want to end up buying a pair that simply languishes in the back of the wardrobe. It is usually only a good idea to purchase them if you know for sure which brand and cut the person you are buying for likes to wear.

Trainers and shoes

Most men have a certain style of shoes or trainers that they like to wear. To identify which ones would make a good gift, all you need to do is to pay attention and notice which ones they wear the most. Provided you know the man or boy´s shoe size you are good to go.

Sportswear

For men and boys, sportswear and equipment can make excellent gifts. The person you are buying for does not necessarily have to participate in sports. A football, baseball or hockey shirt featuring their favourite team is an ideal gift for those who are fans, rather than players.

Underwear and socks

For the men and boys in your life that you are close to, underwear can be a great gift. They are the type of item that most men hate going shopping for. Socks are a good gift for any man or boy. Just avoid the temptation to buy gimmicky ones. That type tends to only get worn once, maybe twice, and then shoved in the drawer.

Getting the size right

If you are buying for a friend, your father or brother you are going to have little choice but to guess his size. Therefore, you really should give them a gift receipt. That way if the fit is not right they can easily exchange the item. If, on the other hand, you are buying clothing gifts for your partner or son take the time to measure them properly before you buy. Doing so will potentially save you a lot of time and hassle. Here you can find out how to do it properly.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Hipp Organics - First Tastes

When weaning first tastes are so important. Your babies whole world was milk and now its time to introduce them to food. Hipp Organic have some new pure vegetable jars. They are perfect as first foods and are made up of single flavours using organic vegetables. Both me and Harleigh were challenged to test them out.


Parsnips - We started with parsnips. Suitable from 4 months the parsnips are very smooth in texture. Made from only organic parsnips and water. I tried it first and then Harleigh. To me it tasted exactly like parsnips, a little more of a sutble flavour than it would be if i ate a regular parsnips but it was nice. Harleigh wasn't a huge fan first time around but second time she liked it and ate the lot.


Peas - I was excited and a little scared for the peas. I went first and thought they tasted exactly like mushy peas, just pureed, which is a little weird when you aren't used to eating it. Harleigh loves peas and she loved them pureed too. She gobbled it up and couldn't get enough. Again just made from organic peas and water!


White Carrot - Without reading the jar I thought this one was parsnip again, I didn't even think about white carrots! To me they tasted a little sweeter than regular carrot but a nice flavour. Harleigh wasn't a huge fan. It was quite watery so i'm not sure if thats what put her off a little.


Mediterranean Vegetables with aubergines - Suitable from 6 months plus this one has more texture than the first ones we tried. Harleigh really enjoyed it, loved the extra texture and ate it all up without any problems. For me the added texture was very strange but the flavour was very nice, you could taste the vegetables inside which were carrots, tomatoes, courgettes, onions and aubergines.


Vegetables with fish pie - This one was the one I was least looking forward to trying. I am not a fish person and to be honest I hated it. The flavour was quite subtle but I still hated it. Harleigh loved it. This one seemed very smooth compared to the other 6 months plus ones. 


Buttered Vegetables - To me this tasted just like sweet potatoes which I like, again I don't think id ever get used to eating puree foods but the flavour was nice. This was Harleigh's favourite, she loves sweet potato so loved this! It had a little more texture too so I think she enjoyed that too. 

We really loved trying out the pure vegetable jars and Harleigh loved them! I was surprised how well she ate them as usually jars and pouches have some sort of fruit added in to sweeten them a little. I have a voucher which you can use to try out some of the new jars. I'd love to know how you get on.

Nicola Xx

*Sponsored Post*

Friday, 22 September 2017

Harleighs Room

As many of you know we rent our current house, right now we just can't afford to buy but that doesn't stop me thinking about what I would like our future house to be like when we do eventually buy and i'm sure that one day we will! In fact i'm always looking at houses just in case the perfect one pops up!

We are currently in the middle of redoing Harleighs room, I say redoing but in fact we never did much to it before. I'm not one of these people that spend the entire pregnancy decorating a nursery, I've never done it. I think because I get so sick in pregnancy I just don't have the motivation to do it plus don't really see the need. They don't use the room for the first few months of their life. Harleigh is 10 months old and her room isn't finished yet but we are getting there, when it is finished I shall do a room tour.



We didn't paint or anything but added some shelves, pictures and decor. I got bunting off eBay, frames from Ikea and lots of little decor pieces from This Modern Life which I love. I wanted to keep it quite low cost as it isn't our house we didn't want to majorly change anything.

If we owned this house I would love to move Harleigh up into the attic, put in Roof Windows and have her bedroom up there. I think roof windows look amazing and add so much light. We've never had them but my dad does in his attic and I love how they look. If you fancy roof windows yourself check out these 8 tips for choosing a roof window for some great hints and tips! There's so much to think about.

That would also free up the little bedroom for Parker to have his own room as he currently shares with Paige, which they currently love but i'm not sure they will in a year or two. 

For now I will have to add the final touches to Harleighs room and keep dreaming of our attic conversion and roof windows!

If money was no option what would you change about your house?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Review - Fisher Price Infant To Toddler Rocker

We were recently sent the Fisher Price Infant to Toddler rocker to review. It is a great seat which grows as your baby grows and develops. It has many different features which include:
  • Bright, comfortable seat and calming vibrations help to soothe and relax baby
  • Bat-at entertainment overhead helps to strengthen gross motor skills
  • Fold out the kick stand to turn the rocker into a stationary seat
  • Two comfortable recline positions
  • Suitable for little ones up to 40lbs/18kg
  • Removable toy bar
  • RRP £59.99
  • Suitable from birth+


I love baby items that grow with your child simply because I feel like they are the best value for money. They last your child longer so you get more use of out the product.


The Fisher Price Rocker is just that. It is a rocker which with the kick stand can be turned into a stationary seat which is prefect for a little nap. It also has calming vibrations which help to sooth newborns, I know all my three have loved them. When baby starts to become a little more aware there is the toy bar which has two lovely little toys on that Harleigh loves to bat and grab. It can be removed if you don't want it on too.


Once baby is a little bigger you can remove the toy bar and turn the rocker into a toddler seat. This is perfect for toddlers. Harleigh is almost 10 months old and loves to crawling around the room so she doesn't like to be strapped into the seat for more than a few minutes but it is perfect for keeping her entertained for a few minutes whilst I pop in the kitchen to make lunch. It has a great strap to keep baby safe too!



Once baby is walking around then a little seat is perfect for them to take a break and maybe eat a little snack. I've found that Harleigh is just a little bit too small at the moment but in the next couple of months it will be perfect for her to use a rocking seat. Parker on the other hand loves the seat! He is 3 and the amazing thing is that the seat lasts up until 18kg so is perfect for him as well as Harleigh.


Overall we love the rocker. I think it's a great little chair which is the perfect piece of baby equipment to see your baby through the years. I love how it grows with your baby and changes as their needs change and develop over time.

Have you tried anythin similar?

Nicola Xx

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

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Harleigh - 10 Months Old

How is my tiny baby two months away from turning 1! Time is flying by so quickly and I am hating it. Harleigh seems so big now and will be a toddler before I know it. 



She is still crawling and has got some speed on her now. She is pulling up but for the most part just gets onto her knees when she is using the sofa, if she pulls up on something lower she will get to her feet. She still isn't interested in cruising or walking at all. She has walked twice whilst holding our hands but refuses to do it again. I do love that she is taking her time, both Paige and Parker had already taken their first steps by now and Paige was walking 60% of the time. 



We still have no new teeth but her top four are very close to coming through, you can see them there waiting to pop through. She is having 2/3 meals a day and still her 4 bottles, she has dropped the amount a little though and will have a 7oz in the morning, then two 5oz bottles and then an 8oz before bed.



We still haven't had any first words, she is quite a quiet baby but will babble a little or shout. Its very cute when she decides to be a little chatty box.



Her sleep is a little all over the place. She will wake once a night for the most part and stay awake for 1-1.5 hours. She is still having two naps.

Nicola Xx





Monday, 18 September 2017

The Kids Are Back at School – Now What?

Summer is over and the kids are back to school, where did those six weeks go? Before we know it, though, October half-term will be upon us and then, after that, Christmas!

It is, of course, nice to have some peace and quiet for a few hours while the kids are at school but, after a while, you become bored and eager to plan the next adventure. Whether it’s a weekend away, making use of the October half-term or you dare to start thinking about Christmas, there is a lot that you can do.

Weekends with the Kids

With the weather drastically deteriorating (goodbye, sun, it was fun while it lasted), any trips are likely to revolve around staying inside. That’s okay, though, because there is still plenty to do at the weekend.

For instance, the coming months will see a number of family-friendly movies hit the cinemas. Some of the titles to watch out for are:

· The Jungle Bunch (released 15th September)
· The Lego Ninjago Movie (released 22nd September)
· My Little Pony: The Movie (released 6th October)
· Thor: Ragnarok (released 3rd November)
· The Star (released 10th November)
· Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (released 22nd November)

If, however, sitting still for a couple of hours aren’t something that you feel your little ones will cope well with, plan an action-packed day or two. In Nottingham, the National Ice Centre provides family fun on the ice and, if you are lucky, you could tie this in with seeing an event at the Motorpoint Arena which is housed in the facility.


October Half-Term

Depending on where in the UK you are, term dates will vary, although most schools will be closed between 23rd and 27th October. Some families may opt to book a last minute holiday abroad to get away from the wet weather, while this simply is not an option for many families due to the inflated prices during the school holidays.

That is not to say that families with children cannot go away anywhere during half-term, as there is plenty of option right here in the UK. It is worth looking for late deals with city-based hotels, even if they may be most known for business accommodation. You may be able to find a great deal in a great location, close to local attractions where you can take the kids.

If, like many mums and dads, you plan on saving the pennies for an extra lavish Christmas, it is all about making your own fun. Encourage your children to invite their friends round, or set up a playdate, and take part in fun activities around the house.

Planning for Christmas

How can we already be thinking about Christmas? It doesn’t seem five minutes since the last one, but it’s true, Santa’s elves have nearly finished 2017’s order ready for delivery.


Christmas shopping is never easy, and it’s only made even more difficult by having the kids at home. However, this is the time when retailers will put on massive offers as we start to enter the Christmas rush, and it’s a good time to ask what the kids want this year. 

Young children are likely to change their mind from one day to the next, while older kids will have a more well-thought idea of what they want Santa to bring them. After all, once Halloween and Bonfire Night are out of the way, we are well and truly on the final straight to Christmas, so make sure you have your lists ready for Father Christmas!

Still unsure of what to do now the kids are back at school? We didn’t think so.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Siblings - September 2017

I am so sad that the summer holidays are over with. I loved having them all at home, don't get me wrong at times it was madness but overall we had a lovely time and I miss it.




Paige started back at school last week and Parker starts nursery next week. Paige is loving school but Parker and Harleigh are missing her as much as I am. Parker is so excited to start nursery, he will go every morning this time instead of three mornings which he did before. 


I am excited to get some one on one time with Harleigh after not having much time together the past 7 weeks. She is almost 10 months old and the thought of her turning one makes me want to cry! She is doing so well though and having her brother and sister at home with her has brought her on so much.


The kids all loved the summer holidays and spending so much time together but I think they were ready for school to start and the routine and structure that brings. I think I was too as I missed that after a while.



I still can't believe we made these three babies of ours, they are so cute!

Nicola Xx
The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Autumn 2017 Wishlist For Harleigh

Autumn/winter is fast approaching and that means the colder weather is coming. Harleigh is currently wearing 6-9 months but some are getting small so I've started shopping for her 9-12 month wardrobe and thought I would share some items that I've fallen in love with. 

First up are these gorgeous Ugg boots. Love The Sales have a great UGG sale and these boots would be adorable for winter, or even a Christmas present. I know she would outgrow them quickly but they would keep her feet lovely and warm on all of those cold school and nursery runs we will be doing. 

I am a sucker for anything with bunnies on for Harleigh, I don't know why but they just remind me of her. I love these tops from Next. Paired with some leggings they would look super cute and keep her really nice and comfy. I could add a cardigan if it was chilly too!


Pink, spotty and with added ruffles just screams cute!! This is from H&M and would look adorable with a long sleeved top underneath. I love putting Harleigh in little jumpsuit/long legged rompers. They look so comfy.

Parker would just love Harleigh to wear this outfit from Matalan. He is superhero obsessed at the minute plus him and Paige already have batman/batgirl tops so now Harleigh could match. 


I'm still on the hunt for a cute autumn/winter hat for Harleigh if you see anything cute let me know!

Nicola Xx

Friday, 8 September 2017

Summer Holidays 2017 - Weeks 5&6

These weeks have flown by even more so than the first few. My friend from New Zealand came and surprised us, safe to say I cried like a baby. We also travelled 440 miles in a day, three children in the car for almost 8 hours was an experience, a good one though. They were all amazing. 

I've labelled all Paige's uniform and just need to get her another skirt. Both the older two have new coats and shoes for school/nursery and are ready to go.

I have loved having them off but it is a long time and I think they are a little bored now. We haven't done half as much as I wanted to these summer holidays but I think because of chicken pox that was a big chunk of time that we just couldn't really leave the house! 

I have managed to get so many pictures of the three of them together and that is one thing that I have loved. Usually I will only manage to get pictures of them all once a month for the sibling project that I join in with so the holidays really gave me loads of opportunities to get group pictures.






I will be sad when they go back to school but I am looking forward to the routine and structure that school and nursery brings.

Have you enjoyed the holidays?

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Blouses and Tops for autumn 2017

As a busy mum finding enough time to go shopping is often tricky. Even if you do make it to the shops trying on clothes with a child in tow is never ideal. You really cannot focus, so inevitably arrive home with one or two items that were probably best left in the shop. 

As a result, I now do a lot of my clothes shopping online. It is far easier for everyone concerned and it is really easy to shop around and get a feel for what is available.

This week, I have been looking for autumn and winter clothes. The weather is definitely on the turn, so now is the time to get ready and buy some warmer tops. I am pleased to say there are some great blouses and shirts available in the shops, at the moment. Here are a few of my favourites.



Off the shoulder tops

A lot of retailers are still selling the off the shoulder style of tops that were so popular during the summer. At first glance, I thought why would I want one of those in the winter? Then I realised that they are ideal for a night out. After all, when you are walking from the car to the venue you will usually be wearing a coat over the top. Once inside, it will be nice and warm. So, the fact your shoulders are bare is not really an issue.

High neck blouses

Most retail fashion designers have decided to offer the kind of blouses that button all the way up, this autumn. They are ideal for wearing on the school run or for walking the dog. You will not suffer from any draughts around your neck wearing one of these.

This style looks good on most women and is extremely versatile. They look particularly smart when worn under a formal jacket. However, when worn with the top few buttons open they make a very good casual blouse. This makes them ideal for wearing with jeans or over leggings.

Drop sleeve tops

The drop sleeve cut is proving popular, as well. They can also be worn formally as well as casually, which makes them a good addition to virtually anyone´s wardrobe. Perhaps the nicest thing about them is that they offer plenty of freedom of movement. One made out of a soft material would be ideal for wearing to the gym or while doing your housework.

Tunic tops

If you are feeling a bit self-conscious at the moment about your figure, a tunic top could be a good option. They are available in a big range of cuts and colours. The fact that they fall slightly away from the body and are usually mid-thigh length means that they are a good way to skim over any bulges you are worried about.

Choosing the right blouse for you

If you are unsure which of the above blouses is the most likely to work for your body type this article will prove helpful.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Goodlife - 3 Bean Chilli and Vegetable Masala Review

You might remember that a while ago we tried out some of the Goodlife products and loved them! They have recently reached out again and asked if we wanted to try their new ready meals. 

I'm always a little fussy with ready meals to be honest, to me they usually taste like cardboard and aren't very nutritious. The Goodlife ready meals are a different story! They can be cooked in the microwave or the oven. I cooked them both differently to see if there were any big differences. 

First up we tried the 3 Bean Chilli with Cauliflower Rice. This one can be cooked in 8 minutes using a microwave and is perfect if you need a quick, easy and tasty meal. 



It is really easy to cook and the instructions are very clear. Simply take out the box, piece film lid and cook for 4 minutes, stir then recover and cook for another 4 minutes, that's it! One of the most amazing things about this meal is that it actually has 3 out your 5-a-day. 


I'm not one to eat chilli but I did have a try and loved the rice! Mark loved it. He isn't one to eat a lot of vegetables and I feel like these meals kind of hide a lot of the vegetables with the amazing sauce. The chilli was quite thick, I'm not sure if this was because that's how it is or because it was cooked in the microwave but either way it was yummy, full of flavour and hit the spot! The beans also keep you fuller for longer which is great if you have a habit of snacking on naughty food which i'm sure we all do from time to time. A convenient vegetarian meal that is full of protein and low in fat.


Next up we tried the Vegetable Masala with Cauliflower Rice. I cooked this one in the oven and to be honest it took a long time. You pierce the film just like before and cook for 18 minutes, stir then recover and cook for another 17 minutes. Next time I would just microwave it but I will admit I did prefer the rice when done in the oven but only just!


The coconut milk, tomatoes and spices make the sauce really nice, full of flavour and you can't fault it! I love that they used cauliflower rice too, a great way to add in more vegetables without you really noticing. There are nice chunky vegetables (sweet potato and peppers) which make it feel very homemade and nothing at all like a ready meal. 

The kids wouldn't really eat chilli or curry if we made it anyway so i knew they wouldn't eat these but they did love the cauliflower rice which is amazing as they didn't realise it was a vegetable! I'm all for sneaking extra vegetables in them.

If you fancy trying them out look in selected Morrisons stores in the vegetarian freezer aisle towards the bottom of the shelf! For more information check out Goodlife.co.uk

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are my own*
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