RIVER RAMBLES AND STONE THROWING - FAMILY TIME


Sometimes it feels that  we don't spend any actual time together as a family, in the midst of having two children, running a household, and working 72 hours a week is it any wonder? Life is so busy, and our week truly is spent in a rush. We're out of the house for almost twelve hours every day and the whole working week passes by sometimes with the feeling that we haven't actually spent any substantial time together. By the time we're home from work, the children need tea, bathing and bed and then we do what we need to around the house before winding down ourselves. The morning never leaves time for anything does it, in fact our morning routine leaves a lot to be desired as it's always a scramble with us never actually leaving the house any earlier even though we swear we will every single day.

TOY SHOPPING WITH TKMAXX


Toy shopping is in full swing in this household, with Noah's birthday and Christmas coming up, we're definitely scouring the shelves to see what we can snap up. Though if I'm honest we have got quite bored of seeing the same toys, in every single store. The prices can fluctuate but we've noticed most stores really stocking the same things and it's made present buying that little bit more difficult this year, especially if your children are like ours and aren't into one big tv show character, or a specific type of toy.

25 AUTUMN ACTIVITIES FOR BABIES & TODDLERS


Autumn is my favourite season, but it's one I know a lot of people tend to get a little disheartened about. The sun is rising later and setting sooner, the days are undoubtedly getting shorter meaning we tend to have less time to do things. Gone are the evenings in the park just before bed, and in comes the morning wake up's when it still looks like the middle of the night. I spoke myself about the reasons that autumn does suck a little.  I had a little think to myself and realised just how much we can actually do in Autumn though. The weather isn't always amazing, but it's still often quite warm, and so I've compiled a list of twenty five activities you can do this Autumn with your little one.

DOCUMENTING OUR DAYS


This blog, Babies and Beauty began over four years ago now, though under a total different name it initially started as a way to document a pregnancy. A pretty boring textbook pregnancy if I'm honest. I remember reading the beginnings of blogs like Lucies and Roms and feeling inspired and intrigued by other peoples pregnancy updates, I knew nobody in my life who was expecting and so it felt nice to relate to other women online - thus Babies and Beauty began. Quite quickly after it all started, Noah entered the world and I suddenly realised what a fantastic space my blog actually was. Within months I began to look back and feel grateful for capturing those moments that might have otherwise be gone forever.

A BABY BOY HAUL


I love Autumn / Winter for boys clothing, it's the season that it really shines as if I'm honest a lot of the other seasons are a little bit bleh. I've been waiting for the plaid shirts and cable knit jumpers to hit the stores for what feels like months and thank goodness it's here because I need to see my boys in them. Colder weather (I'll refrain from saying Winter) has hit us a bit early this year, well, sort of. Come morning, when I'm deciding what to dress my sons in for the day, it's cold, wet and miserable, barely reaching 6 degrees yet by lunchtime it's almost a job for sun cream and sunhats. It plays havoc with my emotions because I just want to feel autumnal now.

THE BLOGGING MISCONCEPTION


Although blogging has been around since the dawn of time, in a variety of forms, it's still incredibly new in terms of careers. Bloggers are forging new ways and setting new standards every single day and it can be really difficult for anyone outside of blogging to actually understand what it is we do. I couldn't tell you the amount of times I've heard 'So you just get sent free stuff to write about?' I'm not exactly great at responding to it, I usually just agree because most of the time, people aren't actually demeaning what I do, they just don't understand it. Who can blame them, the world wide web hasn't even been around for thirty years so it's an extremely new path.

A VERY BUSY PRESCHOOLER


Every month me and Noah have our mummy and Noah days, they're something I look forward too as much as he does. I think it dawned on me over the summer that this time next year, he'll actually be in full time school and no matter how much I want to, I wont be able to just keep him off for a day together like I have done in the past with nursery. Of course we'll have the summer holidays, but so will half the county and it takes away the element of our days feeling that bit more special. That being said, school is just around the corner and with him starting part time in January - the perks of a December birthday, it means we've both taken much more of an interest in ensuring he is where he needs to be in terms of academia.

PICKING PUMPKINS


We had a lovely weekend last week, all suited and booted in our matching yellow coats we headed off to our much awaited Pumpkin Patch visit. We'd only picked pumpkins for the first time just last year, but it's easily one of my favourite memories of Autumn and Winter. Patrick was only three months old and we'd just ploughed through a really hard September with both boys catching the dreaded chicken pox, visiting the Pumpkin farm was our first taste of the outside world in a few weeks and it felt great. This year, with two boys wanting to whizz in different directions, it was tricky at times but still just as magical.

OUR LITTLE GETAWAY


If you caught my recent post, you'll know that our feet are well and truly on British soil again now, quite muddy and wet soil if I'm honest. We had such a lovely time and it was more than needed, me and John haven't had any real time away together since we had two children, even before Patrick was born we'd only had an odd night here or there in the whole three years. Without the everyday stresses of work, children and household chores it was very relaxing and I thoroughly recommend it to any couple. Of course we missed the boys, that much is obvious but I had certainly missed full nights of sleep, laying in till silly o'clock and not arguing over who's turn it was to wake up with the boys.


BOO!


Halloween hasn't ever been a huge thing here in the UK really has it? Well at least I don't remember it ever being. I have some really vivid memories from trick-or-treating as a child, and though they are fond moments to reflect on, the idea of letting my children knock onto strangers doors and accept sweets seems to alien to me now. After all, we spend so much of our time telling children not to talk to strangers and all of the warnings that come along with that. That doesn't mean I wont be dishing out a tonne of sweets to all of the locals in our village. Last year we popped a sign on the door after 7:30pm asking nobody to ring the bell as not to wake the boys, but simply help themselves, I was pleasantly surprised the next morning to notice there were sweets left - what an honest village we live in. I'm not sure younger me and my siblings would have such restraint as not to take the majority of the bowl.


BABY NAMES TAG


I love thinking about baby names, more so when you don't have an actual baby to name yourself because there is no pressure, you can throw names about and it's all in jest. Which is why I've loved the recent baby names tag floating around Youtube, I'm yet to see it on an actual blog so I thought I'd bring it this way myself. The questions are interesting and goes a little deeper than the generic 'You're favourite baby names that you love but wont use'. Just to give you a head start, the questions instruct you to go from this baby names list for boys and this for girls, both from the year 2015.

SIX MONTHS BACK AT WORK


I can't quite believe both how quick and slow that time has gone, I can still remember the evening before my first day back like it was yesterday yet maternity leave feels an absolute age ago. So much has changed in such a short space of time, my baby is a baby no more and Noah is in his final year at nursery before he begins school next year. I remember my first six months back to work after having Noah, feeling so nervous and it taking some time to find my feet - this time around life feels to have gone a lot smoother in the work place, I'm content, tired but content and actually looking forward to what the next six months will bring.

I MISSED MY BABIES - THE ORDINARY MOMENTS



We're back, we've landed, unpacked the suitcase and cracked open the duty free choccies we bought. Ahh is it good to be home, I think sometimes you need a break away just to appreciate home that little bit more. They say your home is wherever you feel most comfortable and that is definitely our house for me. Reuniting with my babies was the best feeling, I know in the grand scheme of things that four nights isn't much, but we've never spent more than one away from each other so for us it felt like a pretty huge deal. By bedtime I'm sure I'll be ready to jump back onto that plane and whizz off into the skies but for now, I'm so glad to be home with my boys.