Never Stop Looking After Yourself

I don't really know what to say or how to start this off. It's a bit of a tough one to write if I'm honest, but yesterday it hit me. The past few weeks I haven't been looking after myself, as in I've hardly been eating, I got so sucked into being Mum that I forgot about me, I was just constantly on my feet doing something for the kids, changing nappies, helping Isla on the toilet, getting her juice, clearing up from breakfast and lunch etc. I was starting to stay awake until silly o clock and then would get up in the morning and be on my feet all day pushing myself to the max. I forgot I needed breakfast and lunch to help keep me going, I've always struggled a bit with eating, I'm not sure why either. I do love my food, I guess it's the thinking of what to do and then doing it that put me off, then having to clear it up. Not only had I stopped eating but the past week I'd even stopped drinking. It would get to dinner time at around 6pm and I'd think to myself hang on I've not had a drink today. I think this is why it's got so much worse, since Monday I've been having a few pains in my body and just put it down to starting to get poorly as Isla had a bit of a cold. Yesterday evening is when I had my wake up call, it came all of a sudden and before I knew it I was in bed feeling so exhausted, drained and run down. I had pains all over my body, tingly and shooting pains that were making me feel sick. My head felt so heavy and dizzy, I was having hot and cold sweats and I'm not ashamed to admit I thought I was shutting down and my body was giving up. I guess in a way it was, we have been so busy and I don't know where all the pressure came from but to get to a point that I'd hardly eaten anything all week and not been drinking in the day, it was a huge wake up call. I spent most of last night awake, the tingly pains were awful, I also had a couple of times that I was shaking and needed to eat straight away, thankfully Perry helped me as I was too weak to stand up and was a shaking mess. I threw up as soon as I swallowed food, it was really awful and I sat there thinking about all the things I'd been doing the past few weeks, all the days I was pushing myself harder and harder. I woke up this morning and it was like every morning in the week, Perry had left for work and I got up but felt so unsteady on my feet, I still felt so weak so I had to call him home. I felt so bad but I really needed the time to rest and just sit down. I needed it for me. 

I guess the point I'm saying is, don't ever stop looking after yourself. Of course your child/ren will always come first but they need a strong healthy Mummy most importantly. I've had so many blog posts I've been wanting to do but the past few weeks I've felt so empty and alone, I've felt lifeless if I'm honest. I'm hoping I will feel better by tonight, and from now I'm just going to take it slow, make time to have a warm drink in the morning, a bit of breakfast, I need to start having lunch and I need to drink. I've got bottled water that I am going to aim to drink 3 a day. I want to feel like I have the energy to enjoy life, not feeling like I'm running on empty and pushing myself beyond my maximum. 

It's time to start looking after ME. 

Weaning Archie

We started weaning Archie at 6 months old, which is almost a month ago now! We are doing a mixture of BLW and puree food, this way works out the best for us at the moment, but mostly he has finger food, when we are out he has a pouch and some finger snacks - so a mixture of both feeding ways. His first BLW meal was dinner and we had a beef roast, he managed to eat a whole Yorkshire pudding which he thoroughly enjoyed, mash and veg. We have since had another roast dinner and this time he sucked on slices of beef and seemed to really enjoy that too. He seems such a good eater already, he really loves his food. The first week he had mostly what we was having at the time, he seems to enjoy dinner the most. Here is a list of some of the foods he has been enjoying (and some photos), maybe you can get some ideas and also if you have any recommendations please comment below so I can try him on new things! 

Breakfast - Porridge (either feeds himself with the mam dipper cutlery or I feed it to him) Toast which is cut into slices for him to eat himself. Fruit which he feeds himself or a rusk (trying to use them up)

Lunch - Grated cheese, rice cakes, banana, tangerine, a puree fruit pouch which I feed to him, milk biscuits, boiled egg sliced up, pasta, skinless sausages, strawberries in a mesh feeder, carrot puffs.

Dinner - mainly what we have, rice with korma sauce, naan bread, beef stew, chicken stew, pasta with sauce, Shepard's pie, mash potato, roast dinner, sweet and sour stir fry, spaghetti bolognese, and so much more! 

With the banana i half peel it so he can easily hold onto the bottom of it without it flying out of his hands!

Having his first solids, definitely a Yorkshire pudding monster!

Wasn't a fan of the raspberry rice cakes..

Feeding himself a yogurt for dessert.

Preparing For Weaning

Archie turned 6 months on the 2nd November and we started a mixture of BLW and puree feeding with him, most of it being baby led which he is thoroughly enjoying. I thought I would share how we prepared (actually this post was meant to go up a month ago but shh)

The first and most important thing is the high chair, babies need to be sat upright and in a supported seat, I spent ages hunting around for a high chair as unfortunately Isla's old one got damaged while it was in storage. In the end I went for the Fisher Price space saver high chair, and I am really happy with it and I love that the tray can go in the dish washer and that I don't have a bulky high chair in the kitchen. For how often we have people over to eat its not really a problem for us either having it on one of the dining chairs, it also means he can sit up with us at the table too which is nice. 

I picked him up a couple of plates and bowls from Asda in the baby event just so he could have his own new ones instead of using Isla's old pink ones, although she has already used his ones so I think they will be sharing. We have a few spoons left from when Isla was weaning so for now they will do. 

I got these bibs in Sainsbury's as I like the pull over ones as Isla always use to pull her bibs off. I also got him one of the Tommee Tippee catcher bibs as they are a lifesaver and so handy for BLW. We also have a big splash mat for the floor, as BLW is very very messy. 

What are your favourite things for weaning?

intu Lakeside - Santa's Grotto | Christmas Street

We was kindly invited to attend a VIP blogger event at intu Lakeside for this years Christmas Grotto, I certainly couldn't give it a miss, I was keen for us to visit Santa this year now that Isla is that bit older and also being Archie's 1st Christmas too! 

We all met inside and then was taking out to the Christmas street which is where Santa's grotto and the German Christmas market are located. Santa's grotto is a giant gingerbread house with a ramp for access so perfect for pushchairs and wheelchairs. They also have a buggy park so you can leave your pushchair. While you are waiting to see Santa the grotto has funky mirrors and interactive games on the walls to keep little ones amused while they wait, my favourite was the naughty or nice game. The elves were also very friendly and interacted with the children to help the time pass while we waited, this definitely helped with a impatient 2 year old. Santa's grotto is open from 16th November - 24th December and is £6 per child. 

Santa was friendly and tried to spend as much time as he could with us, it didn't feel rushed and it was nice he was asking about the children. We had a couple of photos taken and then Santa gave the children their presents. We bought our photo and it was £6 although they did lots of bundles if you wanted more, or even key rings and snow globes. The presents were books which I was so happy about, children can never have too many books. Isla got a Tinkerbell sticker book which is her favourite type of book, and Archie got a rhyme book - both were great and I was pleased with them and the quality.

On Christmas Street you will also find a German Christmas Market with many stalls, there was a stall selling Donuts, Crepes and sweets, one selling burgers and German sausages and another with warm drinks, sweets, gingerbread and chocolate. They also had a Hook-A-Christmas-Duck which was £3, and a ride which was £2, Isla really enjoyed the ride and went on twice and both times it was quite a long go which was good! It definitely got us in the Christmas spirit and added to the excitement of visiting the grotto. 

We had such a lovely time and I can highly recommend visiting intu Lakeside for the ultimate Christmas experience. We also love that the Christmas street was right near the car park and the parking is free which is awesome too! For more information on times and booking click here

Location - M&S Food Hall - Car Park 9

Family Fever

Tips For Getting Better Sleep

Since becoming parents one thing me and Perry definitely don't take for granted anymore is a good nights sleep. Yes we are lucky that both our children slept through the night since being a month old but now we have a toddler and a baby we are a lot more tired now, we go to bed late because we try spending a bit of time together in the evenings, or I play catch up with the housework and chores that I was unable to do in the day. All this has affected our sleep so I'm here to share some tips on getting a good comfortable nights sleep to help other parents out there! What little sleep we do get should be a good sleep, there is nothing worse than waking up feeling like rubbish and still tired. 
One thing a bedroom should be is cosy, comfortable and dark. We are about to start a make over in our bedroom so now seems a good time to look around for items to help make it more cosy and relaxing. I want to keep it quite neutral, but maybe introduce a pop of colour somewhere, I can do this with soft furnishings like bedding, curtains, light shade and also some decor pieces. Id also like to add some photo frames as we don't actually have any in our bedroom, and maybe some fairy lights to make it cosy in the evenings. 

First thing is bedding, I found this bedding set on Dunelm that I quite like, its has the neutral colours of white and grey with the pop of yellow in it. Im not sure what colour we are going for yet but I think yellow is really nice and will put you in a happy mood when you wake up, or at least a better mood at the 6am wake up call. 

Secondly is curtains, we don't actually have any in our bedroom, we do have slat blinds but that is all. The voile curtains range from Yorkshire Linen CO look perfect with many designs and colours to choose from so you can find some to match your decor, also they have some lovely bedding sets and more too. The curtains will help with privacy and also help set off the room and especially our room as we have white walls, so it will help the wall look less blank. 

Lastly is decor items, I love this star from Wilkinsons, I love the rustic look to it and stars mean a lot to Perry and I so it would be perfect for us. I also like this cushion, it looks like it could match the bedding, and the good thing about cushions or blankets is you can get a colour to help tie in the bedding and curtains to help bring that pop of colour into the room.

I cant wait to share with you what our bedroom will look like when it is finished, I keep dreaming of getting into bed with fresh new bedding which will make the bed more comfortable, we also need to get new pillows and a duvet. Finally having curtains so that our room will be dark of a night, this will make a huge difference and help our sleep the most and also to keep more warmth in over the winter, not only do we need curtains but so do the kids rooms, these will also ensure they get a good nights sleep and to keep the light out so they hopefully sleep in a bit too!? We can hope. I also cant wait to add a few touches to the room to make it more personal and cosy for us both. I will share another post soon of a before tour of our room and then another when our room is complete!

* Collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own.

Siblings | November

You are both truly best friends, from Archie rolling over to the toy garage so they can both play with it together to Isla holding Archie's hand and singing to him to help get him off to sleep. You both get so happy and excited when around each other, Archie screams in excitement and smiles so much when he sees Isla, and when she is not around he is looking around for her wondering where she is. Archie is so playful now, he loves playing with toys and also he can move around the room so quick by rolling and turning himself round, he can easily follow Isla or take himself over to the toys to play. Its so lovely watching them interact together, especially Archie when he is playing too and trying to keep up with his sister.

5 months old and already getting his sister in a headlock!
dear beautiful

The Importance Of Teddy Bears

So your having a baby, what is one of the first things you can think of to buy? Well for me it was a teddy bear or soft animal of some kind, it just feels like the most suitable thing. I now have a almost 3 year old and a 6 month old, so its safe to say we have a more than a few soft animals and teddy bears in this household! Over the years we have had many of them, ones from family and friends, some out of grabby machines, some from a current favourite character and then the ones with 1st Christmas etc. I have to say we have donated a lot of them as they do soon take over, but we do have a collection that we just cant throw away, because these bears are special, they are important. 
Isla tends to go to a teddy bear when she needs a bit of comfort, like if she is ill we will tuck her up on the sofa with a blanket and her teddy bear, or times when she has fallen over and hurt herself she will sit with a teddy, it must give her some sort of comfort having something soft and cuddly to cuddle. We have a few very special teddies that live on Islas bed, these ones she sleeps with and when we tuck her into bed at night time she has these laying next to her, again it must be some sort of comfort for her. Teddy Bears are great for providing her that comfort when I am unable to, and sometimes a teddy bear may give better comfort than me. Isla doesn't have a favourite teddy bear that she cant go anywhere without, she's quite flexible with them which I like, but she does tend to get attached to certain stuffed animals in a shop and most of these we do end up buying for her.

If we go to a new place or to families house that she doesn't see often she does tend to get very shy and reserved, we have had a few times that she has taken a teddy with her and holds on tightly to it, probably for comfort and security. I also catch Isla having a picnic with her stuffed toys, she will sit them on a blanket and pretend to feed them all cake and tea, she talks to them asking what they want and also makes them talk to each other. Its the most sweetest thing watching her play and have a teddy bears picnic with all her favourites. 

As for Archie, he also has a fair collection of teddy bears, he has a little peter rabbit that rattles, and this is the best one at getting him off to sleep. He also likes teddy bears even if he does spend half his time chewing and slobbering on them haha. 

Teddy Bears are important because they provide comfort, security, they give social skills, and can help children when they feel scared. You can make someone feel loved by getting them a bear and showing your love to someone, there are teddy bears for all sorts of occasions, if your unwell etc. We also got a teddy for Isla to give to Archie when she met him, she felt so important giving it to him. We also have teddy bears that play music and are our saviour for getting Archie to sleep, that's definitely one important teddy!
We got a teddy bear when I was pregnant with Isla, a Gund bear to be exact, and we even put this bear in the car seat when we was learning how the straps worked, unfortunately we lost this bear when we first moved and I have been a bit gutted since, we wasn't sure exactly where it was from as my Mum won it in a raffle but now I know that Say It With Bears has them, and they can also personalise them too! So I will be ordering the same one for Isla and I may get one for Archie in a alternative colour, and get there names put on them, I would like them to be special bears. 

Does your child have a special comforter or teddy bear that travels everywhere with them?

*Collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own.

Isla's Toddler Room - Before

So after Christmas I have decided it about time to start doing our bedrooms up, that includes Isla's, mine and Perry's room as well as Archie's, but his bedroom mainly needs re arranging. I thought I would share how Isla's bedroom looks now, and then you can see what it looks like after. Since moving in we haven't really done much decorating or anything so its about time we did!

Isla is in the second bedroom of the house and the room is quite a good size, it is a double size but id say if you had a double bed in it you would struggle to have a wardrobe and drawers too. She is still in a toddler size bed so once she gets a single bed that will also take up more room. So this is the view you get when you stand at her door and look into her bedroom.

She has some of her favourite stuffed teddies on her bed, we removed her bed rail early this year and she has done so well without it so I feel a bit better about moving her on to a single bed now. 

On this back wall she has her window and dolls house which is from Asda, she loves this dolls house and plays with it regularly so we are definitely keeping it. Its also really pretty and adds to the girlie touch. 

We have a 8 cube unit from Ikea, I'm unsure of the name and I can see so many of you shouting at the screen right now telling me what it is haha. I need to go through these and organise the toys better in time for her Birthday and Christmas. The Happyland toys on the top have now been sold and so has the farm, although she did still play with them we just don't have the space with all the new toys she has got coming. We then have her wash bin which is falling apart, if anyone knows of any good washing bins please let me know! 

This corner of the room is to the left as you walk through the door to her bedroom, she has a play kitchen, her drawers which are also from Ikea (Ignore my can of energy drink I needed it after tidying her bedroom) She also has her trolley that is full of plastic and wooden food and then her arm chair which is covered in stuffed animals. 

So that's about it in Isla's bedroom, as you can see she doesn't have a wardrobe and that's something we need to get as well as a new bed. I'm not sure what theme I'm going to go with yet, I have two in mind and it depends on what bed we go for. I want to make it more cosy and girlie for her, she does spend a bit of time in her room, she might go up and play during the day for a little bit so I want to keep a lot of floor space for her to play. I cant wait to go through her toys and organise them better, a couple of the drawers in the cube units are not being used well, one is for her pull ups which we should find somewhere else for them, and the other is full of toys she doesn't play with anymore. We are going to donate the toys to charity or pass them down to Archie, also we will sell some to get money for her Birthday and Christmas presents. 

I'm looking forward to doing her room up, I will make another post when it is all finished! 

Me & Mine: October

October has been a pretty good month, we have slowly adjusted into the autumn weather and now we are really enjoying it with winter country walks, coming home to the smell of chicken stew cooking in the slow cooker, and then cuddling up with a hot chocolate and watching a film together, Mummy has also been shopping with friends quite a lot. We are now getting excited for what we have planned for the next 2 months, we have a few parties, Isla's 3rd Birthday, a surprise exciting trip and of course Christmas followed by New Year. Time is going by so quickly and at times it does become a bit overwhelming, but for now I'm just enjoying my little family and spending time with my girl before she starts nursery in January. 

Mummy's October Highlights
- Getting a slow cooker and cooking a lovely beef stew and dumplings! Mmm.
- Watching the leaves turn brown, yellow and orange, the trees look so beautiful.
- Going on winter walks in the country side in our wellingtons.
- Going out for afternoon tea with my Mum, Nan and Auntie, followed by shopping. 

Daddy's October Highlights
- Getting his new mountain bike.
- Cooking some nice beef roast dinners, which were enjoyed by everyone.
- Mummy going out and enjoying herself, a couple of times child free.
- Going on country walks with the family.

Isla's October Highlights
- Doing art crafts with leaves she collected from the park.
- Getting her new wellingtons, which she cant stop wearing all the time. 
- Going to a Halloween party at soft play, she dressed up as a devil. 
- Spending the night at Nanny and Grandad's house, it has been quite a while since she last did.

Archie's October Highlights
- Learning to say Mumma.
- Learning to shake his head sideways (No)
- Dressing up as Frankenstein for his 1st Halloween.
- Dressing up smart for a party and getting lots of attention.

dear beautiful