Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Me and Mine - January 2018

The start of a fresh year and I am finally feeling excited about 2018. I wasn't not looking forward to it but I wasn't in a rush either. 2017 wasn't a bad year, nothing too exciting happened but it wasn't terrible. I'm hoping that 2018 will be a little bit more exciting and who knows what might happen, I guess we will find out!

January has dragged, I won't lie. I feel like Christmas was a life time ago. I think the weather has a big role to play. We've had rain, snow, hail and terrible high winds. Most of that was all at the same time too! Doing the school run was not fun! We have managed to trips to the park and although it was freezing it was lovely to get all wrapped up and head out for a walk. 



This is where this months picture was taken. It makes me giggle every time I look at it! Harleigh had fallen asleep and you can barely see her but it was so cute!

I can't wait to see everyone grow and change in 2018. I am already so excited for spring and summer to come, bring on the warmer weather! Until then we still have a couple of colder months ahead, full of snuggles and hopefully a couple more park trips.

Nicola Xx
The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Tips for Staying Stylish as a Mum

Once you become a parent, understandably the focus will shift from you onto your newborn. Children require a lot of love, care and attention, especially when they are still young, so it’s all too easy to become wrapped up in looking after your little ones and forget about taking care of yourself.

However, it’s still important that you take some time out to look after yourself. Being constantly on-the-go can be tiring at the best of times, but when you combine that with a lack of sleep, constant interruptions and the fact that your body will probably still be recovering from pregnancy and childbirth, it’s no big surprise that many mums end up being exhausted and burned out.


While many people will tell you that this is just another part of becoming a parent, in reality, the truth of the matter is that everyone needs a break from time to time, and there’s no shame in admitting that. It’s not always possible to book a babysitter or leave your little one with a trusted friend or family member for an evening off, but luckily, there are other ways in which you can help yourself feel good.

Many women struggle with their appearance and the way that they look post-childbirth, yet self-confidence and body positivity are slowly becoming a more integral part of supporting new mothers. After all, everyone is different; it’s important to remember that.

The way that you dress can have a big impact on the way that you feel. Appearance is linked to confidence and personality, yet it can be all too easy to forget about fashion and style when you are busy looking after your little ones. While remaining completely on trend and purchasing a brand new wardrobe every other month might not be achievable any longer, there are still plenty of ways in which you can keep looking stylish – even with the kids in tow!

Personality

Becoming a parent doesn’t mean that you instantly have to remove all traces of personality from your wardrobe. While some pieces may no longer be practical, there’s no reason why you can’t wear the clothes that you want to wear. Pick out a favourite piece of clothing or alternatively, keep it simple by incorporating your favourite colour into your outfit. Statement accessories and jewellery should perhaps be avoided with younger children who have a habit of pulling jewellery or trying to chew on accessories, but once the kids begin to get older, you can easily begin reintroducing jewellery into your daily style. To find the perfect piece to get you back into jewellery again, find out more here.

Revamp Your Wardrobe

Is your existing clothing collection looking a little worse for wear? Running around after toddlers and cleaning up endless messes can put a strain on your clothes, resulting in stains, tears and frayed edges. If you’re looking through your wardrobe and struggling to find something nice to
wear, it might be time to consider refreshing your outfit choices. Chuck out some of the older, more worn clothes and invest in a few key pieces to replace them. The key is to go for durable, long-lasting material and avoid white at all costs!


The Finishing Touch

Although we’ve already touched on the use of accessories, there are several other ways in which you can provide an instant boost to your self-esteem without having to break the bank. As a parent, the chances are that you will have a large amount of baby-related paraphernalia to carry about with you whenever you leave the house. From food and bottles to nappies, wipes and spare sets of clothes, you will need a good-quality changing bag to keep everything in order. Why not go for a stylish design or a bright pattern to add to your personal style? Alternatively, something as simple as going for a haircut or trying an easier to manage hairstyle can work wonders for reducing the time spent on your morning routine while giving you a fresh new look!

Of course, at the end of the day, looking stylish is all about dressing in the way that you want and boosting your self-confidence. There is a direct link between your choice of clothing and the way in which you perceive yourself, so why not help yourself begin to feel great in the outfits that you want to wear?

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Mummy and Me - January 2018

It's finally the end of January. I always feel like January drags on. The weather is always rubbish and everyone is full of the January blues. This January is no different, it has dragged. Christmas feels like it was ages away, not just last month. 

This month the big children went back to school after the holidays and they are both loving it so much. Its nice to get back into the routine of school. Me and Harleigh also joined a playgroup. I decided that this year I really wanted to try join a group or do something just for me and Harleigh. We first tried out a music group but they ended up changing the time and because we have to pick up Parker at 11:30am we couldn't attend the new time. We have found a lovely playgroup that is close by and some of our friends from school and nursery go there so we already know people who are there. It's so much fun, Harleigh gets to play with other children and I get to chat to other mums, plus we get to play together!



I am so excited to watch our babies grow this year. Paige will turn 6, Parker 4 and start reception and Harleigh will turn 2. I'm excited to see Harleigh walk and the kids really be able to play together and run around outside. Im excited for days in the garden and walks in the park without big coats and scarfs. Bring on Spring!

This months picture was a quick snap on our bed. I can't believe how lucky I am to have three babies, I still can't believe it sometimes. 

Has January dragged for you?

Nicola Xx
Nicola... Life Through My Eyes


Thursday, 25 January 2018

How I Keep organised With Three Children

People always ask me how I keep on top of things with three children. My memory is terrible especially after three babies so I need to have something that keeps me organised and reminds to do things. I use a planner. 



There are loads of different types but I’m currently using my medium black kikki k. This holds personal sized inserts and I love that I can personalise it to me and our family. The basics I have are a monthly calendar for appointments and important dates. I have weekly pages that go into a little more detail than my monthly pages. Then I have daily pages which is basically a list of everything for that specific day, I love ticking things off! I have have a notes sections where I write down anything and everything that comes into my head. A meal planning section to keep our food shopping bills as low as possible and lastly a list section. In this section I have lists of things I might need to reference. For example I have information about our holiday, addresses and a to buy list. 



I’ve recently done a planner flip through on YouTube if you want to have a proper look inside my planner. I also have a planner Instagram if you want to see more and an etsy shop, Nini Lola Designs which sells planner stickers and die cuts.


I do like to decorate and add pictures and die cuts. It keeps me motivated to use my planner and makes me want to look at it and use it everyday. 

I can keep track of appointments, school things, cleaning and even blog things. I love that its custom to me and to whatever I need and if something doesn't work I can simply change and adapt it as needed.  

How do you keep organised?

Nicola Xx


Monday, 22 January 2018

A Dream Garden

As winter takes over I find myself dreaming about spring and summer, I think a lot of people do. We always long for what we don’t currently have. I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer, for the kids to play outside without huge coats on and little red noses. Then I look out of the window and I’m hit with reality. 

Our garden is a mess. 

It isn’t suitable for anyone right now and I’m glad I have some time before spring comes to get it up to scratch. I must admit I’m not very green fingered, I don’t really know the difference between a weed and a regular plant. Someone once told me that a weed is just a plant you don’t want, so that’s the rule I go with. I just want somewhere nice and tidy for the kids to play, for BBQ's and for us to sit and watch. I will admit that in the summer children’s toys rule our garden. 


Whilst it is very cold outside (we currently have snow) it’s important for me to keep warm and safe whilst in the garden. A good water proof coat is a must, I usually wear a fleece underneath to keep warm too. Lots of layers are great for adding warmth too which can also be removed if I work up a sweat. I tend to wear normal jeans, if it’s extra cold I would wear leggings or tights underneath. I of course wear gardening gloves and usually a pair of normal gloves too, my hands are always cold. 

I am known to be quite clumsy so when working in the garden I do like to have proper shoes that if anything happened I know I’d protected my feet. Having three children to run around after means that if I damaged my feet I’d be in big trouble! I like to use e.s O2 Work shoes Minkar from Engelbert Strauss. I know it’s a well know brand that I can trust. The shoes are safe, comfortable and look nice too. 

It’s nice sometimes to get out into the garden on my own and just clear my head. It gives you time to think whilst still being productive. I don’t get much time to myself so the odd moments of peace are lovely. 

Nicola Xx

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Hipp Buddies - The Children Take Over

As you may remember in the last few months I’ve worked with Hipp Organics and me and Harleigh have tried a whole variety of jars in our moment for jars and first tastes challenges. This time we were challenged to meet the Hipp buddies. And I had to let the kiddos be in charge!! They had to pick what to wear, what to eat and what we did.

The Hipp Buddies are a group of animals who are super friendly and very fun. They all have different jobs and help in making yummy fruit for the Hipp Organic pouches. They all want to make sure that only the best ingredients go into each and every pouch.  Paige loves Georgie the giraffe, Parker loves Max the monkey and if Harleigh could talk I think she would like Casey the cat. 

The big kids got to help in picking ours clothes. They picked mine and Harleighs clothes! They had so much dressing us. Usually I pick everyone’s clothes out the night before on a school night or in the morning on a weekend so they loved having a chance to pick their own.


The picked me and Harleigh matching clothes, we had lovely pink matching jumpers. Perfect for the cold weather, they picked so well.


Harleigh is only 14 months old so the big kids helped out a little and they loved it!! First up was breakfast. Harleigh could do this all on her own. She loves food and always had so I knew she wouldn’t have any problems with any of them. Of course she couldn’t tell me so whichever she touched first or picked up that’s what she had! For breakfast it was fruity porridge. 


I simply took the cap off, which can be replaced if you don't use the whole pouch, and Harleigh was able to suck straight from the pouch. I didn’t even warm it up and she loved it. Plus it made no mess what so ever. I love pouches for this exact reason. They are quick, easy and mess free! 

In this pouch was a lot of fruit including pears and mango plus fruit juices. She actually cried when the pouch was finished because she wanted more!


We then went for a walk in the park. The children will also pick a walk in the park over almost everything else. They just love getting outside. Parker also got a bike for Christmas so he loves learning to ride. After we had worked up an appetite we came back home, warmed up and for lunch Harleigh picked the Mediterranean Vegetable Spaghetti. 


I knew she would love this one. She loves anything with spaghetti. Inside is some amazing organic ingredients which include tomatoes, onions and mozzarella. I can't have milk anymore so couldn't try the pouches myself but Mark did. He said they were all lovely subtle flavours but the texture is a bit strange to eat for adults. Harleigh loved it, I couldn't feed her fast enough. She usually eats what we eat but I love pouches because they are so easy and convenient. 

Next up was tea. We gave Harleigh the choice again, I just let her pick between a couple of different pouches or we could of been waiting all day for her to settle on one! She picked Vegetable and Chicken Risotto with peas. 


We don't usually have risotto so I wasn't sure if Harleigh would like it but to my surprise she did. Inside this one was carrots, rice, peas, chicken and tomatoes. Again she loved it. The texture is perfect for babies who are bored of smooth food and need a little bit more but also perfect for toddlers who like Harleigh already eat regular food. 

We tried a few different pouches both sweet and savoury ones and Harleigh has loved every single one. 

We couldn't recommend Hipp Organic enough. If you'd like to try them for yourself and see which buddy is your favourite I have a printable voucher you can download for money off. To discover more about the different pouches available make sure you view the full range



I always think weaning is fun and very messy, I've done it three times now and each time I learn a little more. Its so important to offer a wide range of food and try if you can to offer more vegetables than fruit. Most babies love fruit as they are sweeter than vegetables. If you offer more vegetables you are helping them move away from their natural preference for sweeter tastes. This could help them be less fussy as they get older. 

Don't forget to check out the Hipp buddies!

Nicola Xx

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Harleigh - 14 Months Old

Today Harleigh turns 14 months old. The months are still flying by. This month she feels much more like a toddler although she still hasn’t taken any steps. The past month she seems more into walking with her walker and cruising along and between furniture. She also learnt how to ride her ride on by pushing herself along.


She has cut another tooth this month so now has 7. 

Her naps and sleep as still a little up and down. Probably down to her teething and she is going through another leap. 


She understand what loads of words mean but hasn’t said any new ones. For example if we say ta she will give us whatever she has in her hands and it’s become quite a little game, she loves bringing us thing and passing us things. 

She loves food and will eat what we eat. She eats more or less anything and I hope it continues. Her favourites are grapes, pizza, banana and carrots. 


Not too much has changed. I think she looks a lot more like a toddler now and it will be so strange to see her walking, if she ever does because she are just so used to seeing her crawl now. She started crawling just as she turned 9 months so thats a good 5 months ago!

Nicola Xx

Monday, 15 January 2018

Siblings - January 2018

Another new year of siblings. I wonder how they will all change this year. Will their relationship change too? I’m excited to see and can’t wait to watch them together for another year. 

The big two went back to school this month and Harleigh has missed them so much. I think she has liked having me to herself for the morning again but loves when they get home, Parker at lunch and Paige at the end of the day. 

Harleigh and Parker are so close, they love playing together and just giggle constantly. She is close with Paige too but in a different way. Paige loves reading to her or teaching her how to do something. Paige and Parker are still really close too and love playing together, they are always together and still miss each other when at school and nursery. Parker can't wait to go to big school like Paige. 

They are both so excited for her to walk so she can run around with them! 

I don’t think seeing them all together will ever get old. I still love it just as much as when they all first met. 


I couldn’t just pick one picture so we have a few and I love them all for different reasons! 

Nicola Xx 
The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Friday, 12 January 2018

Finding Time For Me

When you have children it's so important to find time for yourself. You can't do your job properly as a mum if you're burning yourself out and not looking after yourself properly. That means sleeping and eating right too.

It is hard to find time for yourself, I struggle but I try everyday to have a moment for myself. If that means a cup of tea in piece, a long shower before the kids wake up or even painting my nails once they are in bed. Not everyday goes to plan, things come up and life gets in the way but I always make sure to try. If I can't manage something one day then I make sure to give myself time when Mark is home or on a weekend. 

This is something that I am really trying to focus on this year.

1. I am going to my class once a week. I really love working out. I'd love to find time to do a workout at home 1-2 times a week as well as my class but because it's at a set time every week and I pay for it, I feel like that makes me go even on days when i don't want to. I always come away relaxed and less stressed.
2. I'm aiming to paint my nails once a month. My aim last year was once a week and I failed in January. It wasn't realistic. 
3. I'm also writing in a journal and planner every day. This helps me stay organised so I don't feel like things are getting on top of me. It lets me reflect on the day and work through anything that made me stressed. I also just really enjoy it.
4. I'm trying to drink more water. I am so bad at drinking water and it is so important for you.



It's also important to find time for your partner if you have one. It's so easy to get into the routine of just passing each other in the hallway or eating tea without making eye contact. Day to day life gets in the way! Me and Mark are trying to watch a film together once a week and go out on a date once a month. I am already loving the extra time with him and we aren't even half way through January yet.

Please make time for yourself. Your children need you to look after yourself too. 

What do you want to do or already do for me time?

Nicola Xx

Friday, 5 January 2018

Harleigh - 13 Months Old

This update is a bit late, Harleigh turned 13 months on December 17th. With Christmas I just completely forgot. 

I think 13 months is a bit of a weird one. She seems to have stopped progressing. She was getting so good at standing and practising a lot and having the confidence to try things. Now she doesn’t. She hates standing but still can, only if she wants to. She barely tries letting go now and has no interest what so ever in taking any steps. She was going through a leap so was very clingy, then she got a cold and again was very clingy and then she got a sickness bug and now had another cold. They all followed straight after each other so she’s barely had time/energy to practise standing and letting go. She has good balance when she is standing and is very steady in her feet but she just isn’t interested in walking at all. She will walk with her walker and sometimes if we hold her hands but she has to want to do it. I honestly think that one day she will just get up and walk and that will be it. 


She still has 6 teeth but is teething again. Her teeth have taken ages to come before she I doubt we will see any new ones soon. Her hair is growing so quickly too!

She started saying mama, dada and hi but again stopped. She did the same when learning to crawl and roll. Once she masters something it’s like she doesn’t bother trying anymore because she just knows she can do it. 

She is such a cheeky little girl. She loves playing with Paige and Parker and adores them although she does bully Parker and he just lets her! We got rid of the dummy so she doesn’t have that at all now. She has one nap a day now around 12:30-1 until 3pm. She sleeps through on and off, sometimes she has really bad nights and others she sleeps 12 hours. She very much like Paige was as a baby with regards to sleep. 

She is fully on cows milk now and has three bottles a day. I should think about replacing the afternoon one with a snack but I’m in no rush. She also drinks water and loves drinking through a straw. She is a really good eater and will eat pretty much anything. She loves carrots, sweet corn and grapes. 

I can’t wait to see when she starts walking. I feel like that is the next big milestone and whilst I love that she is taking her time unlike Paige and Parker, I'm at the stage where i'm excited to see her walking and joining in with Paige and Parker more. 

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

My Goals for 2018

I usually start off the year like many people with a list of resolutions. This year I decided to set goals. I’m hoping this means I will keep them for longer. Most are based on me because I decided that 2018 should be the year I focus on me. It’s so easy to lose yourself when you become a mum and I would like to find myself again and do things for myself.  

Just little things like painting my nails once a month, start reading again and drinking two litres of water a day. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, if I don’t achieve something one day I’ll just try again on the next day. 

I also started an Etsy Shop in November so I would love for that to grow and develop over 2018 so that is also one of my goals. 



Another one is to make sure me and Mark have one proper date night every 3 months outside the house and an inside one once a month. Its so important for us to make time for each other.

I wasn’t sure if I was looking forward to 2018 or not. We don’t have anything particularly exciting to look forward to this year, we have basically no plans expect a little holiday away with friends which I’m very excited for! Apart from that we have nothing else. 2017 was a very quiet year, we didn’t do much and I would like 2018 to be a little more exciting. 

I have a list of things I would love to happen but right at this moment I can’t see any of them happening. I really hope that in the near future they will happen. 

Have you made any goals or resolutions?

Nicola Xx
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