Potty Training | Week 2

Week two has been really really good, and I can safely say that Isla is potty trained, well 99% trained in the day time, we will work on night time in a few months. She does not have wee accidents at all anymore, I was worried as at the end of last week she did seem to take a couple of steps back but I soon learnt that it is completely normal for them to have a regression at the end of the first week, so this kind of explains it and I do believe that is what it was. Monday morning she was back to her normal self, and we have been using knickers this week as well. To start with she was sitting on the potty in her knickers and having a wee, so I had to explain to her a few times to tell me when she needed to go and I would help her. So now she often tells me she needs a wee and I pull her knickers down, although the past few days she has been doing it all by herself, she just needs help with pulling them up. Sometimes I see her hold herself and I will ask her if she needs a wee and she says no, then I ask her again and suggest using the big toilet and she says yes and when we go she does have a wee. 

Using The Big Toilet
Surprisingly she started to ask to use the big toilet, so I have set up a stool so she can hop on and off the big toilet by herself, and sometimes she asks for the potty and sometimes the big toilet. She is doing so well and doesn't even need a seat to go on top of the big toilet either. 

Going Out And Staying At My Parents
She has stayed at my parents house and while she was there she has been using the potty and also telling my mum when she needed to go. I'm pleased that she seems comfortable in other places to go to the toilet so that is good. The ONE issue we have still is that she won't tell us when she needs a poo and therefore goes in her underwear, on day one of potty training she went on the potty but that is the only time. So we are still working on that, and also going out is a bit of a nightmare, I do put her in a pull up. Tonight we went out for a meal and she was in a pull up, while we was there I asked her if she needed a wee and she said yes so we went to the big toilets and she went. About 10 minutes later she told us she needed a wee again and I took her and she went again, so I think we are getting somewhere with using the toilet while out so that is good. 

I cant believe how amazing she has done, it only really took a week to train her, we had a few little hiccups at the end of the first week but that is normal, now she seems fully adjusted to telling us when she needs a wee and using either the potty or the big toilet. We have a couple of little things that we still need to work on but I would say yes she is potty trained at home. Going out... its still early days, and I think a lot of it is to do with her confidence. 

I will be sharing some tips and items we have been using since potty training in the hope it can help another parent going through potty training. 

Me & Mine: July 2015

* I know I know this is too late to link up but I still wanted to document it*
July has been a super busy month for us, it has been filled with lots of family and friend get togethers, Perry took a day off work and we had a family day out at the Zoo and splash park, I then got a train with my friend to Clacton for the day and spent lots of time with friends in the good weather we had. We had messy play days at home with friends, I also had a night in with a friend and had a few drinks too! We had our local fair that comes every year and Isla was so excited this year going on nearly every ride, we also got the boat and jet bike out a few times as well. I also started the gym so look out for a post on that soon, and to top the month off Archie's special silver penny came! 

Mummy's July Highlights

- Going to the zoo and splash park on a day that Daddy would normally be at work!
- Letting her hair down and having a few too many drinks with her friend. 
- Lots of good weather so that only means BBQ's with friends and family. 
- Spending lots of time down on the beach with friends. 

Daddy's July Highlights 

- Having a night out with his friends and also had too much to drink, apparently he is never drinking again?
- Getting out on the jet bike a few times.
- Going to the gym with Mummy.
- Taking Mummy out for a meal and having a night together (well we did have Archie too but he don't count as he sleeps in hehe) 

Isla's July Highlights

- Going on her first roller coaster all by herself.
- Going to Clacton twice and winning Elsa and Anna off of the 2p machines with Mummy.
- Playing on the beach with her buckets and sand moulds.
- Giving up her dummy and getting a treat for doing so well. 

Archie's July Highlights

- Receiving his lucky silver penny for being born the same day as Princess Charlotte.
- Getting his passport photo taken... yes its priceless. 
- Laughing for the first time at Mummy. 
- Going to the zoo and splash park for the first time. 

Mummy & Me | August

August seems to have flown by, we haven't been as busy as last month and I am kinda glad that things seem to have slowed down a bit. I mean it is lovely going out and making the most of the weather but boy is it tiring! This month has been a bit more chilled, we have been going out on the boat and this month Isla came out for the first time too! Its been a month of quality family time, we have watched the fireworks together for our yearly tradition, but of course this was our first year as a family of four. Me and Isla have been doing lots of art activities, we have been going over to the park, swimming and so much more. Archie has grown so much this month, I keep looking at July's photos and just think to myself how did you get so big!? I am looking forward to the colder months coming up and being able to hideaway at home, I feel like I'm ready for it and I'm looking forward to some of the activities I have planned for the winter months too! 

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Mrs Gleam's Little Darlings Range Review

Mrs Gleam has recently released a Little Darlings range which includes a potty spray, a car seat and buggy cleaner and a highchair cleaner, all of which are safe around children, safe on skin and eco friendly, so I was super happy about that, and even more so that all three products within 30 seconds will kill 99,999% of germs! All items are 100ml so are suitable to take on holiday in your hold luggage as well which is handy for our upcoming holiday. Each spray is £3.99 or you can get all three in a handy little bag for £9.99 either on the website, Kiddicare or other participating stores. 

The Potty spray has been fantastic as we are currently going through potty training with Isla, so I give the potty a spray after every use just to keep the germs at bay, and because I know it is safe around children I don't mind using it sparingly either, it is handy for on the go as well, the bottle is small enough to put in my nappy bag to use when we are out. The potty spray is apple scented which is nice so it doesn't seem to burn your nose like other antibacterial sprays. 

Isla does not use a highchair at home anymore, sometimes when we go out she will so again this is handy to fit in my nappy bag and also for when we go on holiday so I can spray the seat and table, and after 30 seconds its safe to eat off. I will be saving this for when Archie starts weaning at 6 months so I can spray his high chair after meals. I did use this spray on Isla's table and chairs that she does sit down to eat her meals at. 

The car seat and buggy cleaner is a great one, I was unaware that actually a car seat and buggy are probably covered the most in germs. I never thought about them that much but thinking about it now makes me shiver. I gave Archie's car seat a spray, and I also am yet to do Isla's but we have decided we are going to take it out the car so I can give it a good clean, and spray with this product as it can be used as a cleaner too. I sprayed both of the pushchairs, the Cosatto wasn't dirty as its fairly new but it was nice to spray it so I know the germs are almost gone, I did use the cleaning method on the iCandy though as when I looked at it I was surprised at how dirty it was. Im so use to putting the kids in and not really looking at the seats, the marks did come off the seat which was good, I just need to hoover them out now as the amount of crumbs etc in the creases is disgusting! Im definitely going to make a habit of spraying the seats often with this spray, especially in the winter. 

Here is a before and after when I used the car seat and buggy cleaner, you can see on the before picture that there was a mark on the right shoulder strap and also at the bottom right there was a mark as well. The spray done well as a cleaner, you just simply spray the marks, leave it to work for a little bit and then wipe (you can also repeat this step if needed) and you can also just spray the whole thing to get rid of the germs that you cant see. I sprayed the bumper bar (a common thing for young children to bite) and also the foam handles I sprayed as well. Im really happy with all the sprays and I love the size of them as well to put in your nappy bag, I hope they bring out bigger versions to keep in your cupboard at home as well. I am also going to check out the other Mrs Gleam products for around the house as I love that they are safe on the skin, safe around my family, eco friendly and non caustic! I love cleaning (weird I know) but the feeling when its all clean just makes me happy and feel better and now I can clean my children's most used items safely and soon my whole home with the rest of the Mrs Gleam products! 

*I was sent the 'on the go' pack to review, I was not paid for this and all opinions are my own as always.
Family Fever

Potty Training | Week 1

This week was our first week of full on potty training with Isla, I did try a few weeks ago but made no progress at all so I decided to stop and wait a bit longer. On Sunday Isla had got out the bath and was in her pyjamas ready for bed, she went into the bathroom where Perry was bathing Archie and she said wee wee, so we asked if she wanted to use the potty and she said yes, she sat on the potty and had a wee! We was so shocked and so I decided this was it, as from tomorrow we are potty training and going for it this time. I am so proud of her and how well it is going, I made a little diary of how she did in the week, we still have a bit to work on like knickers, letting me know when she needs the toilet and using the potty when we go out, but overall she has done so well for week 1 and hopefully week 2 will be just as good as well. 

In the morning I changed her nappy and put one back on her, we went down for breakfast and afterwards I asked her if she could do a wee on the potty, she sat down and had a wee. I was surprised at hoe easy it was and just thought it was a one off. After a while I opened the back door for her to go in the garden, she was naked from the waist down and pretty much as soon as she got outside she did wee on the floor. We had her Nan come over who hasn't seen her in a while so I did put a nappy on her as I wanted them to enjoy the day together and spend some time together, it just was not the right day to do it. 

After breakfast I asked her where she would like me to put her potty, I asked her if she needed a wee and once again she instantly went. I kept her naked from the waist down all day as I found it easier and didn't want to overwhelm her with knickers straight away as I knew last time they didn't help at all. She did go over to the potty a few times and I could tell she needed a poo, at 1pm she had a wee on the potty again she was playing and I heard her say "my potty, my potty" and I said quick get to it and then she went. At around 4pm she was watching the TV as it was raining so I put the potty in view of the tele and said sit down. She then had a poo on the potty and I was so amazed that she did. Later on that evening I was running a bath and she was watching, I said to her if you need a wee your potty is in your bedroom, I ran downstairs to quickly get something and when I came back up she had done a wee in the potty on her own! This was huge improvement that she was using it without me asking. 

She was quite wet when she woke up so said she didn't need to go in the morning, at 8am after breakfast she had a wee on the potty, then another at 10am, 12pm, 2:45pm, and all of these times I would hear her say my potty and then run to it, at 4:45pm, 5pm and 5:20pm she just went and sat on it and done a wee without saying anything. Again we had another day without accidents which was just brilliant. I didn't write anymore times down that she went but she had no accidents. 

As soon as she woke up I went in to her bedroom, I took her pull up off which was practically dry and I asked if she needed a wee, she said yes and sat on the potty and had a big wee. Again after breakfast she had another wee. Perry was at home this day and as soon as she realised she started to play up a bit, she is typically naughtier when Perry is at home unfortunately. As she had got all the stickers on her chart we headed to Smyths to buy her a treat, we put a pull up on her and took the potty with us, we told her we had it so if she needed it she could use it. When we was about to leave the shop I asked if she needed to go and she said no, I could tell she seemed really shy about it. Once we started heading home she cried out my wee wee, we pulled over but it was too late she had gone in the pull up. Back at home she wouldn't go, so in the afternoon we headed over to the park, again we took the potty but she would not use it, she ended up wetting herself in the field, this time she was in knickers so it went everywhere. 

She had a wee in the morning followed by another 2 wees on the potty, then I decided it was time to put knickers on her, she ran to the potty twice and done a wee with them on while on the potty, so I explained she needed to tell me when so I could help her (we are struggling with this bit) then she seemed to be in a bit of pain, and must of been constipated, all of a sudden she done a accident on the floor, after a bath we tried again. At around 3pm my Mum came to pick her up for the night and she said at her house she used the potty twice. 

Now we are at a funny stage, I don't know what has happened its like she hates it now? We was out Saturday so she was in pull ups and it kind of all went a bit pear shaped. Today she had a wee upstairs and hasn't been again. I don't know if its because Perry is home or what. Im hoping tomorrow will be better and we can try and get back to how good she was last week. Every time she used the potty we would go and flush it, wash our hands, she would get a sticker and sometimes a little treat too and I would always praise her as well.

If anyone has any tips or advise on getting her to tell me she needs to go, teaching her about the knickers, making her feel comfortable using the potty out and about or any other advise id be grateful. 


Packing Tips For A Family Holiday

We are now within a few weeks until we go abroad on holiday with the kids. Florida 4 Less have teamed up with Trunki and created a video showing you how to pack in 18 seconds, so I thought I would share with you my tips for space saving when you have limited baggage space, often forgotten items and a few of our family holiday essentials that we like to take abroad with us when we go away. 

My Space Saving Travel Tips
- Invest in a re-usable swimming nappy, you can easily wash it out and use it again. It saves taking a whole pack of disposable ones, and helps the environment too!
- Fill your sterilising container with spare bottles etc and use sterilising tablets instead of taking sterilising fluid, this will save space and weight. 
- Put perfume and fragile items in your shoes, this will help protect them and save space. 
- Put shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc in plastic travel sized containers. 
- Roll towels and other items where possible instead of folding, this will use less space and help prevent creases.
- Make use of all space that is available in your suitcase, for example either side of the handle I usually put my socks, bras, bikini tops/bottoms and underwear, this then makes it an even surface so I can then lay my clothes on top. 

Often Forgot Items
- Plastic cutlery - I bought Isla a set that comes in a handy case to keep them clean. Also a beaker so you can fill it up with water for them to drink while you are away. 
- Travel wash - There is nothing worse than your toddler getting a mark on their clothes or on your clothes while on holiday, so at least you can give them a little wash to help stains. Also you can wash clothes so you don't have to take so many so that will save space, you can use it to wash the reusable swimming nappy too. 
- A first aid kit - You never know when you or your children may become ill especially after travelling so its a good idea to pack plasters, paracetamol, ibuprofen, thermometer etc.
- A plastic bag - To put dirty clothes or stained clothes in so as soon as you get home you can treat them and then wash them. You may also have damp clothes from your last day before you fly home so you can put them in a bag as well. 
- Phone charger - The chances are you are going to have your phone on charge in the night before you leave so you will have to make sure you don't forget it in the morning or whenever it is that you leave. 
- Antibacterial wipes / hand sanitiser - I always like to take these to give the highchairs and tables a little wipe down first and also hand sanitiser is good for when you're travelling or out and about on holiday. 

Our Holiday Essentials

A few of our essentials we like to take on holiday with us:

- Snoozeshade - This is perfect for keeping young children out of the sun, its breathable so they stay cool and it also creates a dark environment for them to have a sleep in.
- Clip on fan - We used this lots last year in Egypt, on the pushchair and on the cot.
- Reigns - these were perfect when we had a toddler who was adamant she wasn't going to sit in the pushchair.
- UV suits/hats - These are great for protecting them from the sun while in the pool or even sitting around the pool, look for the ones that offer 50+ UV protection.
- Konfidence swimming costume/vest - Can not recommend these enough, they also provide better movement in the water where arm bands would normally restrict them.
- Milton Mini soother steriliser - This handy little gadget is great while travelling and on holiday, you can make up a solution in the morning before you go out and you can use it unlimited times for 24 hours, just strap it onto your pushchair or bag. 
When I asked Isla what her travel essentials were and what she would like to pack in her suitcase this is what we got! I placed her little over night suitcase on the floor and let her fill it with what ever she felt she needed, to say the results were amusing is an understatement! So this is what we got...
- Her Baby Annabell 
- One jelly shoe
- A doll with a leg missing!?
- George Pig keyring 
- Minnie Mouse beach bag
- Minnie Mouse UV suit (I think she knew on holiday we go swimming hehe) 
I think its safe to say I will be packing her bags for holiday, so look out for some posts coming up soon on what I am taking for her on the plane and more! 

*This was in collaboration with Florida4less. I was not paid for this and all writing was typed by me personally. 

Archie's 3 1/2 Month Update

Archie has changed so much and is doing new things since my last update at 2 months. He is almost 16lb and in the 75th percentile for his age, so he is a chunky boy and likes his milk. He is on 8-9oz of formula every 4 hours, and now he seems over his colic we switched him back to Cow & Gate Stage 1 formula and he is doing great. He is fully in 3-6 month clothing and they fit him perfectly so I cant see them lasting until 6 months unfortunately. He also has big feet and is wearing 6-12 month socks, he is wearing size 3 nappies and has been for the past few weeks as the 2s were just not containing what it needed to lets say! He sleeps through the night still and has been since 1 month old, he goes to bed around 9pm and wakes around 8.30am. 

He is smiling, giggling, belly laughing, babbling and now copies you, like if you make a coo noise or stick your tongue out. He can roll over from belly to back, he can go quite long with tummy time now which is good, when he is laying down you can see he is trying to sit himself up by lifting his head and shoulders forward. 

He is teething pretty bad at the moment, I can see one of his lower teeth starting to bulge through so hopefully it won't be long and it will cut through. He loves his jumperoo and toys in general, he loves hitting them and grabbing toys as well. He also loves his big sister, he watches her every time she is in the room and he gets so excited when she goes over to him and plays with him. His hair is growing more and more at the back and sides, also when he is sitting and the natural light is shining on his head you can see some blonde underneath coming in so he could be a blondie like his sister. He is generally a happy smily little boy and I couldn't be happier that he is part of our family now. 

Our 5 Year Anniversary

We celebrated our 5 year Anniversary on Monday, 5 whole years just blows me away I cant believe it! If you want to read about what we got up to last year click here.. as I was reading it just now I realised that I was actually very early pregnant with Archie so that explains the falling asleep ;). So over the weekend we done some nice things together to celebrate our Anniversary as we knew on Monday Perry would be at work. We had a chinese take away on the Friday night and I also made Perry a cake on Friday so we had some of that. 

Saturday was a bit of a lazy day, Perry did take the kids over to the park so I could have a bit of alone time and have a shower. Afterwards when he got back we all got into our bed and watched Toy Story with a Mc Donalds! It was lovely to all snuggle up in bed together as a family, as now I feel like our anniversary is a celebration for the family too, without us they wouldn't be here so its nice to enjoy them and make a little fuss of them too. 

Sunday we got up and I wrote Perry a post that you can read previous to this one, while I was doing that he popped to Argos and bought a badminton set and a ball game... I don't know the name of it but basically you hold a round disk type thing that is covered in velcro and then you throw the tennis ball at one another and catch it on the disk... whats it called!? 

We had a lovely time over the field and park, we even got an ice cream from the ice cream van that came round, I had a huge one which was covered in sprinkles! Isla enjoyed playing in the park as well and then it got a bit cold so we came home. We just played for the rest of the afternoon in the garden and then had stir fry for dinner. 

Monday was our official Anniversary, Perry went off to work and then we exchanged gifts after, I got him new trainers, clothes, gym clothes and a wrist screen to go with his go pro that I got him last year. He got me chocolates, a wedding planner, a pandora charm and a new vlogging camera! We cooked one of our favourites meal, lamb shank with minted gravy and mash, followed by cake. Perry run me a bath and lit candles, he also put in a Lush bath bomb which was amazing and he even put banners up! Afterwards we snuggled in bed with chocolates and watched a film. We had a lovely time celebrating and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year brings! Here is to 6 years :D 

A Letter To My Partner - 5 Years

I cant quite believe it, 5 whole years we have been together, and in that time we have done so much and have changed so much too. We have grown up and matured together, faced so many adventures and situations together, been through such hard times that would normally tear a couple apart, yet we have come out stronger every time. You're my best friend, my soul mate and my partner all in one, and I cant wait for the day to call you my Husband. It all started when I was 17 and you was 22, we met at a mutual friends BBQ and it went from there, before long we was off on our first date to the fair and the fireworks and that was it, we became inseparable - but this was a problem with you living almost an hour away! We would see each other in the week on MSN cam.. wow do you remember that!? 


So a few things we got up to that I can think of, taking the Evo on the London Tunnel Run and then we got lost (yeah I cant read maps you should of asked first!) and then Jap Show Finale in the rain where you polished the thing about 3 times you nutter, our first road trip to the Norfolk Broads for your birthday in November, it was freezing and you hired a boat out for us to go on, our first Christmas together at your Mums, then my 18th Birthday where we stayed in the Millennium Hotel Mayfair and it was super posh with the man in the top hat taking our cases and all the sports cars, after giggling all the way up to our room we then got ready to go to the Ice Bar, you proposing to me, going out on the boat in the summer, our first holiday to Egypt was the best, going clubbing (wow now I feel old), getting our tattoos of each others names, when we use to go camping and fishing and you set the grass on fire, and so much more. 

2012 was an amazing year, we had a heavy snow fall and loads of fun playing in it down at the beach, then we had to drive back to yours in it as I was off to Disneyland Paris with your Mum, Sister and Nephew the next day. We went to another posh hotel for valentines day, and while we was there we got talking about moving to Australia for a year, next thing we know less than a month later we are booking one way tickets to Australia, we had our farewell dinner / my 19th birthday and 2 days later we made the emotional good bye at Heathrow Airport and then made the super long journey to Perth. We had a great time and was enjoying life, on our second month out their we found out I was pregnant, I was 19 and the other side of the world from family and friends and so we stuck together more than ever and this tested us so much, after going to the doctors and having a scan it was confirmed our little one was due 26.12.12, after 3 months we decided to come home so we could get ready for our little bean that we soon learned was our little Princess. We moved into our first family home, we got our family car, we was meant to be getting married but that didn't happen because of the pregnancy, we spent our 2 year anniversary at a hotel in London and I squeezed into a dress but after dinner had to come home as it was too tight hah, then we had firework night and your 25th Birthday to celebrate in our first home, we had an amazing year together and to top it off our little girl Isla was born on 19.12.12 just in time for us to enjoy her for Christmas, that's when we became a family and our lives changed forever.

2013 we enjoyed being a family of 3 and watching our daughter grow, experiencing her first smile, laugh, roll over, crawl, walk, word, Mother's Day and Father's Day etc. We learned so much and adapted together, it was quite a roller coaster of a year, but we made it together. We went snow skiing for my Birthday at Milton Keynes and as we was going up the zip wire to the top you fell off and bundled into the snow! We went to Butlins, spent the summer at the seaside, splash park, and at our flat that we soon out grew and decided we needed to find somewhere bigger. We went to a lodge with its own hot tub and enjoyed another little family break which we loved as we took Isla swimming lots, she loved it as she had started her swimming lessons. Winter came and we moved back into my parents home while we was looking for a new home, while we was there Isla took her first steps at 10.5 months old and we was soon shocked at how big she was getting and decided we needed to be a family again in our own space, so we found a new flat that was bigger and we moved out the day before Islas 1st birthday party which was stressful, but we did it, when we need to we can work so hard together and make things work, that's one of the many reasons why I love you. We enjoyed her first Birthday in London at the sea life aquarium and shopping, also a little celebration for surviving the first year of parenthood, 6 days later we had our second Christmas together as a family and we enjoyed a quiet New Years Eve in together which takes us to.. 

2014, this was a year that was pretty eventful with some highs and unfortunately some lows as well. We started off the year in our new flat, my 21st Birthday was lovely I was surprised with a meal with family and friends, followed by a night away in London with you and lots of shopping, we went to the Shard for dinner and it was amazing, it was lovely to get away with you and over looking the view of London at night time was pretty special. We booked our first family holiday abroad to Egypt which was pretty exciting, that holiday wasn't relaxing at all but it was still amazing, even with a feisty 17 month old. We had lots of adventures that Summer, going out on the boat and jet bike, bike rides with our new trailer, adventurous country walks, and we also decided we was ready to try for another baby. On our second month trying I fell pregnant and we was over the moon, although I felt something was wrong we still was happy, soon after I had a miscarriage and was devastated, you stood by me and helped me as much as you could, 2 weeks after the miscarriage I fell pregnant with our Rainbow baby, we found out the night we got home from Peppa Pig world and although we was happy we was still pretty on edge, especially with some of the symptoms. But our little bean held on tight and we then had to move again as the flat was just not big enough to have another baby in and we wanted a garden, so yet again we moved back to my parents. While we was there I booked a gender scan and surprised you for your birthday, and what a great present to find out you was having a Son. We was over the moon and so excited,  next we celebrated Isla's 2nd Birthday and once again was in awe at how grown up she was, Christmas wasn't great, I was ill and your Dad was unwell too, but we still had a good day. 

The start of 2015 wasn't great, but we did book 2 holidays for this year which was exciting,  and we also had a week away in Wales which was lovely to enjoy one last little break with Isla, fast forward to 02.05.15 we welcomed our Son Archie into the world and once again our lives changed forever, we went from a family of 3 to 4 and couldn't of been happier, he was just perfect and his birth was amazing, once again a all natural drug free birth and he was born into the pool as well, I couldn't of wanted more for our special Rainbow baby and he was born on the same day as the new Royal Baby! When he was 3 weeks old we got the news we could move into our new house in a few days, so yet again we moved which this time being the most stressful, but at least we won't be moving for a long time now. Since moving life has been great, we have been going to the sea side, splash park, fair, water fights in the garden, BBQ's, we have been enjoying so many adventures together, and are now enjoying all of Archie's firsts, also we get to watch the bond between our 2 beautiful children grow, and here we are back to the present day, we have our holiday to Egypt coming up in a few weeks and so much more stuff to look forward to this year, we are now starting wedding plans and just could not be happier. I cant wait to enjoy the rest of this year and see what next year brings. 

I was going to write a letter to say how much I love you and Thank You for being the best partner and Dad ever, but I guess you kind of know that already so I thought I would look back on the past 5 years so we could see how far we have come, starting from just the two of us, who would of thought that 5 years later we would be four. I am so happy, we have two beautiful children and so much to look forward to for the rest of this year, and I am so happy we are going through it together and you are by my side. We face new situations together and when times are tough we stick together, I cant wait to marry you! Here is to the next year together! 

Love Tara xx

Partybags & Supplies Review

We was recently asked if we would like to review a party pack bundle from Partybags and supplies, and with one of Isla's friends birthdays round the corner we decided to throw her a little get together instead of just getting her a present. So I ordered this set from the website as I thought it was really girly, although I could of picked loads of character sets which looked fab! I wasn't really sure what character she was into the most and as we was doing it for a surprise I just went for the Sweet Stuff Cupcake Birthday Party one. This set included:

- 8 paper plates
- 8 paper cups 
- 1 table cover 
- 16 napkins 
- 8 party bags (already filled)

One thing I loved about the sets was that the party bags were already filled and made up, this meant I only needed to set up the decorations and not have to do any work so that was brilliant for this busy Mum! I set the table up with everything that came in the set before they arrived, we put the girls up at the big table for a treat and me and my friend used the other plates and stood in the kitchen watching the girls. 

I was really impressed with the size of the paper plates, seems such a mummy thing to say but normal plates are smaller, so these were great and meant I could stick more food on my plate haha! The table cover was also a very good quality, it proved this when one of the girls knocked their drinks over and I simply just wiped it and it was dry after and looked good as before, it was also huge and could of fit on a table double the size of mine! The cups were a good size for the children too and they enjoyed drinking out of 'big girl cups'. Included in the pack was a big pack of napkins, and well with young children I was so grateful to have plenty of those. 

The party bags were a huge hit with the girls, they loved the bubbles and couldn't wait for us to put their temporary tattoos on. Of course the sweets were a huge hit as well, and also the purses and head bands were a nice thing for them to take home and keep. I was so pleased that the party bags were all made up, it made it so much easier and I could imagine if you was having a bigger party it would be even better and less stressful for us Mums! 

Each party bag came filled with a bracelet, fairy temporary tattoo, a pack of Maoam (Either Strawberry, Raspberry or Orange) , bubbles and a purse with 4 elastic hairbands on. 

Because the set was for 8 and we only used 5 on the day, in the evening I decided to serve dinner on the plates and use the cups and have a second little party with Daddy and Isla. I was just impressed to not have to wash up! Starting to think of buying paper plates more often! I'm not sure if I would pay £28.99 for the set, I would if it was for 12 people and included banners too, but they do have different sets at prices to suit your budget. Overall I was happy with the set and also the website offers so so much from decorations to catering, so you can easily find something to suit your party. I have also got so many ideas for Isla and Archie's birthdays, and have seen some bits on the website that I have not seen elsewhere before, so definitely check out the website if you are having a party soon, not just for children but for teens and adults too. 

* I was asked to pick a set to review, I was not paid for this and all opinions are my own

Siblings | August

I cant believe how much these two are growing, and how different their bond is changing and getting stronger all the time, especially with Archie getting that bit bigger. They are interacting so much more now, Archie reacts to Isla with smiles and coos which she loves. He has a jumperoo now and Isla loves playing with him and showing him how all the toys work, I can tell she is going to be a good teacher to him, teaching him everything good - and bad, Im still trying to decide if thats a good thing or not. We have been getting lots of photos of them this past month as I just cant get my head around how much they change all the time, I just want to capture them and their bond growing which I think in the photos you can tell how strong it is getting. I asked Isla if Archie was the best present ever and she said 'yes, of course'. Yep my heart melted at that moment, and I can tell that Archie is so fascinated with his big sister. 

"Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. ~Vietnamese Proverb"
dear beautiful

Mummy's Lifesaving Items

Being a Mum is hardwork, and after time you soon come to realise what products are your must haves to keep you sane. I have sat and thought about what top 5 products I use the most and ones that help me out a lot. After all, we are all doing a hard job so I thought it might help out another Mummy who needs some help or to find new products to help you with daily tasks and to make being a Mum a bit easier! 

1. My Coffee Machine - I was never really a lover of coffee before I had children, but now I quite enjoy a coffee. Not so much just for the caffeine although it is a handy bonus, but more so that I enjoy making a coffee and just sitting down to drink it. It gives me a reason to sit down and take time out otherwise I would just be on the go all the time. My favourite drink is by Carte Noire - Caramel Machiato! 

2. Beets Blu Key Finder - What are the main 2 things that you always lose? For me its my keys and iPhone, well I say lose but I really mean my toddler hides them or leaves them somewhere. There is nothing more stressful than trying to get out the door and then realising you have lost your keys. This handy little gadget can be controlled via your mobile, so using your phone you can make the fob send out an alarm to help you find your keys! I have seen similar before but you have to whistle, and well they are really useless but this is great it connects via bluetooth. The awesome thing is if you have your keys and have lost your phone you can use a button on the fob to make your phone sound an alarm! I use this so much I don't know what I would do without it now. You can purchase them from Amazon.

3. iPad - I love my iPad, I use it for catch up TV, reading blogs via Bloglovin and games. I also love that if I need to get something done and Isla is being irritable I can give her the iPad and put on a educational app or game for her to play while I get a quick job done. Using the accessibility section I have also set up a password so I can lock her into a app and I don't have to worry about her getting into anything she shouldn't. Her favourite apps are the Duplo ones and Disney Palace Pets. We also have a bracket so we can put it behind our headrest in the car so she can also watch films when we go for long drives, I downloaded an app where you can stream YouTube videos onto it so you can watch them when you are not connected to wifi. I got this case from Aldi and its perfect for kids with the carry handle and built in stand. 

4. Jumperoo - With Isla we had a pink exersaucer for her to stand in, it was awesome and she used it until 1 year old, but obviously Archie is a boy so I wasn't keen on putting him in the brightest pink girly activity station. So we recently bought him a Jumperoo by Fisher Price and I have to say we love it so much already. Again, if I need to get a job done like washing up I can put him in it and he happily bounces away and looks around at all the colours. Because he is still so young he doesn't go in it a lot just yet, but I am so glad we made the purchase! 

5. Tangleteezer - Although Isla has short hair it still gets really knotty and I also have thick hair so I use it too. Since having Archie my hair falls out in handfuls so this helps to prevent loosing anymore hair, if thats even possible with having children? Since using the tangleteezer it has reduced so many tantrums about me doing Isla's hair! They are quite expensive but definitely worth it, I have had mine years. 

What are your lifesaving items? Let me know in the comments section below! 

Mummy & Me | July

Well well well another month has flown by, like how!? I really need to catch up, but we have been so so busy this month, we have been having some really good weather so have been making the most of it with play dates with friends. Almost everyday we are meeting friends and doing something, like going to the park, soft play, activities at home which is what we have mainly been doing. We have had a messy painting play day, a sensory activity day and even pizza movie nights with friends (toddler friendly) haha. On weekends we have been going to the seaside, beach, having BBQ's at home and also going out on the boat! We also had our local fair that comes every year which was fun, Isla is at a great age this year so she went on every single toddler ride so it was a good evening out. 

Archie has grown so much, he is smiling and making noises all the time, his personality is really starting to come out. He is so close to having his first belly laugh and I honestly cant wait for that. Isla took ages to laugh and when she did it was on her terms, but Archie just seems so much more ticklish so its easy to get him all excited and start making noises. He loves being bounced so it just seemed perfect for us to buy him a jumperoo and he absolutely loves it. 

Isla has started talking so much more, and putting together sentences, she is so cheeky and she knows it. She has been loving spending time with all her friends and all these exciting days, she really loves the craft days we do as she loves getting messy and making Mummy drawings as she says. She went out on the boat for the first time this month and also went on her first rides all by herself at Clacton and at the fair. We have had such a good month and are looking forward to more adventures in August! 

Tara xx

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes