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FOUR REASONS I DON'T LIKE AUTUMN

22 September 2017



Don't be fooled by the title, Autumn is by far my most favourite season as it technically stretches until December 21st, which means it's generally filled with festive excitement, cosy sweaters and duvet snuggles. However like most things in life, Autumn being no different, there are some things that I'd like to leave behind and quite honestly dread every time September rolls around again. I'm not letting my brain fully sink into Autumnal mode just yet, as we have a little sneaky summer getaway planned for the end of the month.

HE'S A DAD NOT A BABYSITTER

20 September 2017



I count myself as fortunate that I'm in a relationship in which my other half has no qualms about doing his fair share. Whether it's household duties or parenting, he's more than happy to chip in and help out, some days he'll do more than me, if I'm busy cleaning he'll take on the task of occupying the boys and vice versa. I think we have quite a good balance, though often we hear some seriously outdated views on the boys being parented by their Dad. It's unfortunate really, as it shifts a focus onto Dads when in actual fact, most of these opinions and views aren't theirs, most fathers I know completely understand the dynamics of parenting, and that simply taking care of their children isn't a 'job well done' but a part of life.


XTAVA 5-IN-1 REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

15 September 2017

I'm a sucker for a beauty tool just as much now as I was before I became a parent. I've always been really into hair and beauty, even if I'm absolutely pants at it and just a simple Insta hashtag search of the latest trends puts me to absolute shame - I still love it. I wont lie though, I'm quite stubborn when it comes to trying new things, I like to sit firmly in my comfort zone. When it comes to hair tools I thought I'd found my ultimate life product in ghd's, I wasn't far wrong, they are flippin amazing and having owned a pair for eleven years now, I don't think that will change. However, there is room for more, I mean come on there is always room for more right? I often turn down the option to review new hair tools as they don't really suit what I want from a product, but when I caught a glimpse of the Xtava 5-in-1 curling wand, there was no way, I could say no.


ORGANIX GIVEAWAY

13 September 2017

I think most parents of weaning aged children have heard about Organix. They're an amazing baby food brand that pride themselves on having great taste, with zero junk. They've become a staple in our household, especially since Patrick became dairy intolerant, as Organix have been one of the only brands we've found that use dairy sparingly. Which of course is great for us as it means he gets to enjoy the same treats he always has, and doesn't miss out.


A YEAR ON - MY MOST USED BABY PRODUCTS

11 September 2017


I know along the way of parenthood for me, I've documented which products I love, those I couldn't live without and the ones I most certainly didn't need. They're usually pretty relative to what stage my sons have been at, which is great but doesn't exactly give a true reflection of my all time 'must haves' as a parent. I am a mum of two, so I've tried and tested my fair share of baby products, by no means am I an expert or anything close to but I have a blog and I'm a parent, so of course I'm going to share with you the things that I think will make life a whole lot easier if you're raising your own Brady bunch.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BABY?

6 September 2017

Over the last few months, Patricks health appears to have deteriorated. Don't panic, this isn't anything too traumatic, but it has been a seriously worrying and stressful time of late. Hence, you may have noticed small absences across my blog because when you have a poorly baby without a shadow of a doubt he's come first and ultimately that means my little corner of the internet has been on the back foot. I wanted to write about this as the situation unfolded, but we had no resolution, I didn't want to put the problem out there without solving it. However, we're here now a full five months later and I think, I really do think, we're so close to finding out exactly what it is that has made our baby boy so poorly.

OUR AUTUMN BUCKET LIST

4 September 2017


Autumn is my favourite season, it's mild, crisp and cosy. I love everything about it, from the warm knitted jumpers, darker evenings, hot chocolates and pumpkin picking to crunchy leaves underfoot and bonfire night. There's a lot that happens during Autumn and the build up to Christmas slowly looms. This Autumn is no different to last, and I have a set list in my head of things I want to do as a family. Last year Autumn was amazing for us, my blog really started to hit the ground running, my health fears over Patrick slowly drifted away and we really got into our grove as a family of four.


4 THINGS BOY MAMAS ARE TIRED OF HEARING

1 September 2017

Being a boy mama is a badge I'm proud to wear, I love raising boys and I couldn't really imagine life any other way. Yes there's mud pies, tractors, diggers and winky talk but there's also sofa snuggles, chubby hands to hold and the sweetest 'I love yous' life can offer. Whilst I was pregnant with Patrick, it seemed to be everyones assumption that I was disappointing I was womb-hosting another son. They couldn't have been further from the truth, I know boys, it's my safety zone and one I'm pretty content in staying well within the confines of. As much as I love the idea of shopping for pretty dresses and frilly socks, I think I can fulfil that urge when I eventually have a niece (seriously siblings, pull it out of the bag will you).

OUR SCANDI KITCHEN WITH DESENIO

29 August 2017


The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home, and it's a stance I completely agree with as it's probably the reason my heart was definitely in our current house, until now. I hated our kitchen, I really did. Stupidly I never took a 'before' photo, as I detested it too much to photograph, but with it's beech wood cupboards, magnolia walls and horrible tiles, it was as far away from my pinterest dreams that you could get. I knew I had to change things up and after pinning till my hearts content without actually converting my inspirations into reality, we decided to redecorate the kitchen.


LET'S TALK PARENT AND CHILD PARKING SPACES

23 August 2017


Parent and child parking spaces, always a bit of a controversial topic aren't they. Who are they designed for? Who should get to use them and should people who misuse them, be penalised? They're aimed so generically that it makes it hard to determine who should be favoured to use them and even when they are abused, are the rules ever enforced? I don't think I've seen someone yet be confronted by a store for taking advantage of their parent and child bays. After conducting a poll across twitter it seems that seeing someone without children in those spaces irks more of you (a whopping 70%) than it doesn't.

INSTASHAM

21 August 2017

Instagram, the platform I love to hate. It would be without a doubt my most favourite social media platform, if I wasn't a blogger. But I am, and from day one bloggers are drilled with growth, growth, growth. It's not a numbers game, but if you don't have X amount of followers we wont work with you, after all who wants to work with a micro-influencer that doesn't really have any influence. It's become more apparent now that if you're hosting big numbers on Instagram, you can be bringing in the big bucks too and from the outside it looks like a quick and easy way to riches, you just post a picture to your masses, reap in the interaction and therefore the cash - right? Wrong. But it doesn't stop people aiming for that, so with more people than ever playing the unfollow game, is Instagram even fun anymore?

BABY GIRL NAMES I LOVE BUT WONT BE USING

18 August 2017

Naming baby girls is something I like vicariously through others for as being a boy mama means I haven't had chance to experience it. Nor do I think I ever will as more children is definitely off the cards for us for the foreseeable. Which means, I can share with you all the would be names that we had in mind for the daughters that never were. Typically for us, baby girl names seemed that little bit easier to think of and agree on, not that it mattered too much as John is more than aware that I have the final say.

MUMMYS LITTLE TERROR - I THINK NOT.

16 August 2017

Unless you're hiding under a social media rock lately, you'll have seen the huge scandal that erupted after Clarks released their new school shoes with quite obviously sexist names to suit. The boys range were named 'Leader' whilst the girls seemed to appear quite inferior by being called 'Dolly babe'. And whilst I wholeheartedly agree that both of those are terrible names, they are sexist and give very unjust gender stereotypes. I can't help but feel a little miffed that all of the other glaringly obvious negative connotations towards little boys, appear to get overlooked?

SURVIVING IKEA WITH CHILDREN HACKS

14 August 2017

Ikea is the place of dreams. Cheap, cheerful and child friendly furniture what more could parents want? Well to shop in peace without children would be a start right? Ikea have tried, they really have, there are so many nooks and crannies for little ones to get a similar enjoyment from the store as we do as adults, but it just doesn't cut the mustard. I could lose hours in Ikea, much to my other half's dismay. Just recently after attempting and failing to palm the children off on my parents, we did the unthinkable and headed there with both children in tow. Now it wouldn't be such a big deal if our local Ikea was actually local but it's about an hour away on a good day - this trip had to be worthwhile.

BABY PRODUCTS YOU DON'T NEED

11 August 2017

When you're pregnant every woman and their mother wants to fill you in on the products that you most definitely need. You hear never ending stories of what baby swings worked miracles and the things that got their child sleeping through from the day they were evacuated from the womb. In hindsight it's super obvious that what works for one wont for another, as with us adults, we all have our preferences and in reality, babies are absolutely no different. In the same respect what you love one day, you can loathe the next. Parenthood is very fickle. What I did find out however, was that nobody really talks about the products that were a huge waste of money. I sure as hell spent a tonne of money on things that didn't have the tag ripped off or that sat in their nursery till this day. Ah yes, the nursery, you know that room that just had to be finished before the baby came but still sat there untouched until they reached half a year.

THE THREENAGER - A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH

9 August 2017

Terrible twos, threenagers, fearsome fours. I thought it was all a load of rubbish if I'm honest. I was in charge in this household and no mini-me would run me down. Ha, fucking ha. We seemed to breeze through Noah being a two year old, he's always been a bit wiser than his years and with his speech second to none, we communicated well and escaped relatively tantrum free. I was smug, too smug perhaps and karma decided to pay me a visit in the form of a threenager.

MY KITCHEN WISHLIST

7 August 2017


The kitchen in our house has always been my least favourite room. When I looked into decorating it, it felt like a huge job because there wasn't really any of it that I liked - minus the size as it's quite a large kitchen / diner. It seemed to be one of those tasks that I just didn't know where to start, but now we've lived here just over two years I've managed to give it the overhaul it needed within a couple of weeks and I can't describe the level of content it's brought.

BOYS NAME I LOVE BUT WONT BE USING

4 August 2017

Very late to the party on this one, but I absolutely love reading these blog posts and watching these youtube videos. I don't even know why, we don't plan to have anymore children but I still enjoy hearing peoples suggestions for baby names. I think baby names give you a little bit of insight into peoples lives, do they like the most obscure and uncommon names? Are they more down the traditional route? Are they modern and stylish?

LITTLE DISH - CLASSICS AND SAUCES RANGE

31 July 2017


We love Little Dish over here, their meals are some of my favourite to give the boys when I'm not serving up a home cooked meal as honestly, as a working family we just don't have oodles of time each evening to cook. Plus, my boys both have serious appetites and they don't want to hang around for too long with a rumbly tummy. It's about this point when Little Dish save the day. We've loved Little Dish since the very beginning, we worked with them when they initially started out and they've been staples in our kitchen cupboard since that very day. Convenient, delicious and at least one of their five a day - I can't really ask for much more.

A YEAR AS A MUM OF TWO - THE REALITY

28 July 2017

A year ago I was just beginning my life as a mum of two, I was nervous, unsure of myself and a little overwhelmed. Two children under the age of three hasn't been easy, I'd be really lying if I said that we've all breezed through this past year and I'm already wanting to pop out another. Quite the contrary, the thought literally makes me want to whizz John off to the snip clinic and never see him return. But, it has been amazing. I know for now that the hardest parts are over, and day by day life gets that little easier with two little boys under my belt.

CALL ME CRAZY - I AM THINKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS.

24 July 2017

I love Christmas, I live and breathe it come September. I'm one of the annoying people that is talking about it now and popping the festive tunes on in the car as soon as we've waved goodbye to August bank holiday. It's the only celebration that everyone around me gets to enjoy and look forward to together, other festivities like birthdays or going on holiday are very relative so you don't usually get the same build up as you do for Christmas, you know that feeling in the shops during December? When all the Christmas lights have their 'switches on' so the streets are twinkly as you're grabbing your last minute presents, I love that, and I can't freakin' wait for it to roll around.

WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR CHILDS NURSERY BAG

21 July 2017

Packing my sons nursery bags is one of those things that always stirs up some kind of mum guilt. What if it rains today? Is he going to look silly if he puts this spare top on with the shorts he's wearing today? Is there enough in there? It never stops. Every week I top up their bags with new things, weather appropriate and usually a whole host of other crap they'll never use. But, it eases my soul. As a nursery nurse myself you think I'd probably have a little understanding of what to pack wouldn't you? So, I'm going to share exactly what goes into the boys bags, and why.

*THAT* BEYONCE PHOTO

17 July 2017

So, Beyonce has popped out two babies and sent the world into overdrive, but let's face it, what does Beyonce do that doesn't set the internet into meltdown? That elevator fight, becky with the good hair, those pregnancies photos and now this postpartum snap. The girl can't catch a break since she showed the world her two newest additions - who might I add look SO adorable, though it seems nobody has actually looked at the babies because most people were too busy criticising her for not being 'normal' or 'real'. I mean excuse me? Since when does a woman have to put herself out to the world, looking like a piece of crap, for the benefit of making other women feel more 'real'?.

SUNDOWN ADVENTURELAND REVIEW

14 July 2017

I don't know how I've not spoken about this magical place before now, it's a mere fifteen minutes form our house and we absolutely love visiting. We've decided next year we'll be investing in some annual passes, as there is so much to do here I really can't see us becoming tired of it. If you hadn't already guessed, I'm talking about Sundown Adventureland, a theme park for the under 10's based in the East Midlands. It's such a fun day out, Noah who is four in December has loved it since he was able to walk and I'm certain he'll continue to do so for the years to come.

IT'S RENOVATION TIME

10 July 2017


We've lived in our house now for over two years, and with welcoming a new arrival in that time, redecorating was never top of our priorities, understandably I'm sure you will agree. However the boys are getting older by the minute and I've found myself desperate to get the house exactly how I want it bit by bit. It's no complete gutting and re-do situation here, it's more a few licks of a paint and a new soft furnishings job - thankfully because I am certainly no DIY professional. We wont talk about the day it took John 6 hours to put up a shelf. I'm wanting to make my house a home in short whilst documenting each step of it with you guys.

A HOLIDAY WITHOUT CHILDREN - SELFISH OR PERFECT?

7 July 2017


I'm not sure if I've mentioned, but we're holidaying without the children later in the year (that is a complete joke, I feel as though I never shut up about it) We are really looking forward to it, quite recently when watching a vlog from the lovely Emily whilst on her family holiday, she said something whilst explaining why her children were in holiday club, that I completely understood 'It's so we can have a little bit of a holiday too'. Don't get me wrong, holidays are a break from the stresses of home life, work, household chores etc, but children are still bloody hard work when abroad and sometimes you need a break when you're on a break.

FED REALLY IS BEST

3 July 2017


It's been almost a year since my blog post on why I bottle fed my boys, there isn't any big story to why I couldn't breastfeed, it was my choice, our choice as a family and one I'm really happy we made. However, I'm a lucky one, so often that choice we're so fortunate to have is ripped away from new mothers and newborns, illnesses, breast reductions, milk allergies, low milk supply, the list is endless of medical reasons that can prevent a mother and baby from starting that feeding journey that so many begin every single day. But are the 'excuses' heard through the harps of what is best for your child, since when did something that is an incredibly sensitive subject for many, become a target of weakness in which to bring another mother down?

OUR FAMILY HOLIDAY 2017 (Part Two)

30 June 2017


Continuing on from part one , in the evenings we would quite often let Patrick have a late nap so that he could stay up a while later whilst we explored the arenal. It's one of my favourite parts of visiting Javea as I have such strong memories from my childhood there. We found our definite favourite bar / restaurant that I'm sure we will frequent in, in the years to come. Night time however was definitely a bit chillier, by no means was it cold but I always brought a light jacket for the boys as the wind would really make an appearance, if anything it was a welcome relief from the searing temperatures during the day.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR...

26 June 2017


I sit down to write this and a week hasn't passed since your big day, I can't help but reflect almost every hour of this week on what life was like 'this time last year', I'll be honest, it wasn't good. We had you, the greatest gift of all but you hung in the balance of life and suddenly everything I thought that would be important; the colour of your eyes, how much hair you had, if you looked more like daddy or mummy and if you weighed more than your brother, none of that mattered anymore it all seemed so insignificant and something I wasn't sure if we'd ever get to find out. I tried, really hard to push my mind to the future and think about how insignificant your NICU stay would feel in a years time, but a year seemed too far when I really just wanted to know if you'd still be ok tomorrow.

CHANGING CAREER? / GUEST POST

24 June 2017


It isn’t really a typical ‘Once upon a time’ type of tale although, in a lot of ways it bears similarities to the famous old tales that teach us about life, and it’s many possibilities. It also teaches us that change is worth making a little effort for. And it teaches us that, with a little expert advice, planning and hard work; real change is something that anyone can accomplish. Changing careers can be daunting, who wants the upheaval when you're comfortable and quite content, but I think in order to push ourselves to what we know we are capable of, sometimes we just have to go out of our comfort zone. Today, I'm going to be telling you exactly how I did just that.

PATRICK YOU'RE ONE.

23 June 2017


Oh wow, what a year, what an absolute year. 365 days of Patrick, we've had our ups and my goodness have we had some downs but boy I wouldn't change it for the world. Your future was so bleak, I cast my mind back to that helpless newborn struggling so much, fighting with every single ounce he had, yet completely oblivious to how many hopes and dreams we had resting on him, it feels so strange to think that was you then and this is you now. You have come far, we all have. A year seems so long though it's gone so fast, you've brought unimaginable happiness and filled a gap we didn't even realise was there. Patrick, you are one.

DO YOU HAVE A JOB OR CAREER?

21 June 2017


I once saw a video, that I've included below that truly puts your career into perspective and I say career because I think so many of us out there find 'jobs', something that gets you by, brings in the pennies but when it's going to be a job you're spending such a vast amount of your life doing, surely it should be something you love? It can be a hard task for anyone; finding the job you want and that fits in with your life. So many people compromise, and end up in jobs that don’t really make them happy. Ever had that conversation where sooner or later someone says “well...at least it pays the bills”? Maybe you said it yourself, or thought it? I know I have sometimes after a hard day, but I know deep down those days are few and far between and I fortunately love my job. But, that's not always the case.

WHY I DECLINED AN ELECTIVE C-SECTION

19 June 2017

For most people the choice of an elective cesarean is a welcomed one, it gives a women that little bit of control back usually due to a previous labour that left them with little. I understand the need for them and fully support anyone who chooses to have one, there is so little we can actually predict when it comes to giving birth so if you're able to have a little more insight due to previous complications I think why the hell not. For me though, it wasn't that simple. Unlike most ladies who are given the option for an elective c-section with my second son, I had a previous vaginal birth, so why on earth was I given the choice you might wonder?

OUR FAMILY HOLIDAY 2017 (Part One)

16 June 2017

Our eagerly anticipated family holiday has been and gone, and now I'm just about over the post holiday blues I can write about everything we got up to. I'd looked forward to heading away with the boys and John for so long, we didn't manage to head abroad last year as Patrick arrived mid-way through the year and he was quite the poorly baby, so I was definitely in need of some tropical heat. We're fortunate that my parents bought a villa in Alicante a couple of years ago, so holidays for us have those home comforts more than most, as it really is a home from home now they've put their own stamp on the villa. Anyway, we headed off on a cold dreary May evening, for 8 days in the Spanish sun.

MY PARENTAL PET HATES

14 June 2017

I'm a pretty opinionated women, as I'm sure if you follow me on social you will know. So of course, it's natural that through life as a parent, I see things that others are doing that I really don't like. Needless to say that doesn't mean what they're doing is wrong, it just means we have different views on different things and guess what, that is ok. If we lived in a world where everyone had the same opinions, thoughts and feelings, life would be extremely boring and I'm guessing if you are here reading this - that you are a little intrigued as to what on earth has been grinding my gears lately.

DOVE HAVE A BABY RANGE? *Squeals*

12 June 2017


When it comes to my little ones skin, I'm not up for taking risks, I want to use brands that I know and love, brands that I've road tested myself and that I know have the same kind to skin ethos that I hold. It's a hard pedestal to hold out for baby brands, there are so few that cater for adults too so it's rare that I can actually say 'Yes, I've used them, I know they're amazing'. Dove has been a household name for as long as I can remember, it's been around for sixty years now and so I was naturally delighted to see they finally brought out a baby range.

FATHERS DAY GIFT GUIDE

11 June 2017


With Fathers Day a mere week away, I really wanted to get my guide up as to what I think might be helpful this year. In my eyes, men are quite easy to buy for, well the men in my life are - My Dad 'gangan' is an avid Aston Villa supporter and beer guzzler so you always have both of those as fail safes and John, my other half is a complete tech nerd, a motherboard sends him into over drive (this is not a joke) But I know that isn't the case for every guy out there and those things would appeal to such a small minority, so each time a special occasion arrives, I try to feature products I think that would appeal to a plethora of the male species.

MY SUMMER BUCKET LIST

9 June 2017

I adore the summer months, not nearly as much as Christmas but nonetheless it's still up there with my favourite time of year. There is something about the sun being out that lifts everyones spirits, as though the whole of England is a little bit happier with some blue sky. Summer for me also opens a lot of doors with opportunities of what we can get up to with the boys, lets be honest, nobody wants a picnic in the park during January do they? I feel that bit more free to explore because more often than not, you're going to have weather on your side. Last year I blogged both my festive and autumnal bucket lists, and they seemed to go down really well with you all - so here we are again.


MY TOP TIPS FOR WORKING MUMS

6 June 2017

Juggling work life and babies is hard, it really is and anyone who says different is either telling big porkies, or just has their shit together in a big way. Neither of those are me, I work 32 hours a week thankfully as I managed to reduce from five to four days, but that doesn't mean my mornings run smoothly and I come home from work all calm and collected - far from it. But given the fact this is my second time around the block with returning from maternity leave, and I have been a working mother now for almost four years, I've learnt a few tricks of the trade so to speak along the way.

IS IT OVER? WHEN THE BABY NEARLY BROKE US

5 June 2017

Having a child is probably the biggest life change you'll ever have, I mean it's certainly the biggest for me and John is in agreement on that. When you're expecting, you prepare as much as you can for your babies arrival, reading the books you're meant to, downloading Emmas Diary and heading off to antenatal classes. Everyone is talking about how much joy this new arrival is going to bring, it will complete you, but hang on? What happens when the baby nearly breaks you? When you're so deep in arguments over night feeds and nappy changes that you can't possibly imagine what attracted you to this indifferent human you've chosen as your life partner. What the hell went wrong, and how on earth can you fix it?

I THINK I'M DONE HAVING BABIES

2 June 2017


I always said I wanted two children since having Noah, the possibility of him being an only child just wasn't something I entertained. As mothers do, I over thought a lot, envisioning him totally alone when we eventually pass away having made no family for himself and it was those thoughts that haunted me a little. I felt that by not giving him a sibling I was depriving him of so many moments and experiences that both me and John had, growing up with siblings. Of course those worries are all gone since we welcomed Patrick into our lives, yet immediately and I really mean immediately I knew I wasn't done having babies. I'd just gone through the most painful experience of a womens life, and I was willing to do it again.

TRAVELLING ABROAD - OUR BABY HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS

31 May 2017

Last month we had our first trip abroad as a four, it was amazing and something I'd anticipated from the moment we booked it four months prior. We've been out of the country every year since as long as I can remember, and it's something I have continued with my sons, I really love for them to explore and for us to have these special memories together as a family. However, travelling with children isn't always easy, particularly babies. They need a lot because they're doing quite a lot. If you're thinking about heading away and are anything like me, you'll be researching heavily into what you can and can't be without when abroad, I'm hoping my little must have's will give you that little extra help in figuring it out.

SMOKING AROUND CHILDREN - WHY IT'S NOT OK

29 May 2017

Oh smoking, that deadly pleasure many people are addicted to. Everyone talks about the threats that a cigarette can possess to your health, and about the thousands of chemicals found in the tobacco smoke. But did you know that when you inhale and exhale that cigarette you’re not only harming yourself but you’re also putting at risk your children’s health too? The smoke that comes out of it travels through walls, hallways, and ventilation systems, exposing your children to the same health threats as a smoker. As a non smoker it's such a hard pill to swallow knowing my children are quite often exposed to others cigarette smoke, we experience it almost daily - having to walk through a plume of stinky stuff, I've strode through it outside hospitals when carrying my newborn, when trying to enter supermarkets with my children in a trolley or simply walking behind someone and being met with a huge slap in the face of smoke. It's something I'm really, really against and I know sometimes I should probably hide my disgust a little better, but I just can't help it. My tolerance level is incredibly low, especially when people are knowingly exposing their children to it.

MY WATERS BROKE 11 WEEKS EARLY

26 May 2017

When we envision our waters breaking it's usually one of huge gushes on the kitchen floor ensued by a mass panic to scramble the hospital bags in the car because an arrival was imminent. But what happens when your waters break a whole 11 weeks early? When the doctors ignore your concerns and you're rushed off home to continue into pregnancy. I even doubted myself. Had my waters gone or was this another side affect of pregnancy? Was I already losing full bladder control at the age of 23? I swear my story is like something you read in one of those 'real life' magazines.

IS BLOGGING OVER NOW I'M BACK AT WORK?

24 May 2017

I really worried upon making the choice to return to work, that I'd struggle to keep up the momentum I had with this blog. I imagined within a couple of weeks it falling to the side and in all honesty, it turning stale again for a while till I had things figured out. It had happened previously after my maternity leave with Noah ended and I truly couldn't see how this time would be different. I knew I had developed more of a deep rooted love for my blog this time around, and I was making a small income from it monthly, so that was definitely an incentive to push harder. But if I couldn't keep it up last time, and I would be having more on my plate now more than ever with two children in the mix, surely it would suffer the same fate? I guess the proof would only be in the pudding, how I actually felt when I returned to work and had to juggle my blog alongside that.

ELLAS KITCHEN TINY TASTER

22 May 2017

We love Ellas Kitchen, it's not only an iconic brand for us in the baby world but one that I trust as we've used it for over three years now. We've tried everything from the baby porridge, right up to their toddler and preschooler snacks - both my boys have always enjoyed anything Ellas Kitchen have to offer. We were fortunate enough to work with Ellas Kitchen when Noah was one, and of course I was delighted when they got in touch to ask Patrick to be one of their 'Tiny Tasters'. This meant he got to sample their delicious new pouches and boy were they a treat for his taste buds.

HOW I'VE FOUND RETURNING TO WORK

19 May 2017


I've now been officially back at work for over a full month, I've had the benefit of a full pay day too - YAY! I did begin to write this a week in but realised that it wouldn't really give a full portrayal, as a week definitely isn't enough time to tell how things have settled. But now I feel I can properly sit down and thrash out my thoughts on how everything has gone with both me and family life in my transition from maternity leave to work. Returning to work is a big task, of which I so desperately wish and do hope for the future, that phased returns will become the norm. I was incredibly lucky that my proposal to work 4 days instead of 5 now, was approved - as I really can't imagine running a house, with two smalls, working 5 days a week. People who manage it deserve medals.

PATRICK AT 11 MONTHS

17 May 2017

You're eleven month old update was one I have been incredibly nervous about writing, not so much now but over the last month. I've worked throughout the entirety of your tenth month, meaning only evenings, weekends and Mondays are ours to share and honestly, I wondered if I'd have anything to write - perhaps I would have missed any important milestones you would be hitting and not really know what you have been up to as such, maybe I wouldn't have noticed if you're saying a new word until a couple of weeks after you first spoke it? Or what if you got a new tooth and I wasn't the first to see it? I couldn't have been more wrong, I don't feel as though I have missed one thing, nor do I feel that I know you any less. Each hour, day and month our bond just grows and I can't quite believe your next update will be at a year old my son.

MY GRATITUDE LIST #1

15 May 2017

I made a little mantra to myself to be more positive, don't get me wrong I'm not one of these people sat warning off  'negativity' with incense around the house, I understand there are times when you are bound to feel down and negative, which is a perfectly normal, part and parcel of daily life - but I do believe positivity breeds positivity. I've followed the beautiful Emily's gratitude lists since she started over six months ago, even though they aren't relative to me as they're her thoughts and feelings, I cant' help but feel a little pick me-up when I read them myself. It's a fantastic idea and one that I want to try to do occasionally myself, starting today. It's easy to feel grateful for material things as it's physical, but more and more as parents I think we find happiness in the little things in life; - the toddler eating their meal without a tantrum, successfully avoiding a danger nap with the baby, a full nights sleep and a washing basket empty.

HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM - MY STORY

12 May 2017

If you've been around here long enough, you will probably notice I didn't really document much of my first two trimesters with Patrick and there is a very good reason for it all, besides the usual pregnancy exhaustion, I was uncontrollably sick. Flashing back, it's only around this time last year that I could go a day without having a second screening on what I'd eaten that day, the first twenty weeks were nothing short of horrific for me. It was a huge shock, with Noah I'd had your most textbook pregnancy with no real out of the ordinary sickness, so suffering with hyperemesis gravidarium hit me like a tornado.

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