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Staycation Isolation

1 Apr

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all doing okay. So much has changed & happened since my last blog post!!! How crazy is everything at the moment?

We’re very lucky, as both me & the hubster & the kids are all home safely together. Oh & we can’t forget Coco too. The hubs is now working from, so we’ve been self isolating for quite a while now. Seth has no idea about the virus really, I mean, he’s only 4 yr old, so we decided it was better to keep it from him. We didn’t want him feeling scared or worried. Our families don’t live close by, so it isn’t like he see’s family everyday. So in that respect… he’s not noticed any difference. He did ask about nursery… but we just said we are having extended holidays from school for Easter. He hasn’t even questioned it. And Ted, well, he’s only 17 month old… so he’s none the wiser too.

I’ve been focussing on keeping the boys entertained. It was easier last week, as the weather was so lovely! So we could get out in to the garden.

 

We’ve chalked our walk, we’ve played in the mud kitchen, picnicked in the garden etc… while the weather has been nice… we’ve been out breathing as much fresh air as possible.

To make this time as fun as possible, we’ve decorated the house for Easter, early. I just wanted to inject some fun & some colour around he place. We’ve also added rainbow colours to our windows too.

We’ve had so much fun crafting & making decorations. With Seth only being in preschool for half a day each day, I’ve decided not to make a home schooling timetable. I’m still encouraging learning & I’m constantly asking little maths questions etc… while we play, but I wanted to focus this time on fun & making memories rather than it more about school. It’s such a scary & uncertain time, so our focus is being fun, carefree & present. I’m making a photobook for the boys of this time… so in years to come they can revisit this time & see that even though things were scary… we tried our best to make it fun. Like a colourful, cheerful, Staycation.

We’ve had PizzaParty picnics, we’ve camped in the front room, we’ve excavated dinosaur eggs, we’ve had wildlife in our front room, we’ve painted etc… Seth keeps telling me this is the most fun holiday he’s ever had. I think he loves that his Daddy is home all the time & working in our office at home & isn’t going out to work. I think he’s loving the novelty of it all. The weirdest part is that he hasn’t asked to go out at all. He’ll ask to go in the garden, but he’s not asked for days out. I really thought he would have. But it’s like he’s so happy & content at home. This whole thing has made me realise though, just how much I actually go out. I’ve always gone out a lot & joined groups etc… with the boys. But since passing my test in December & buying a 2nd car, I’m out even more.

I’ve been trying each day to find a positive in this whole saga. So far… I’ve come up with so many. It’s also opened up my eyes to how much stuff I take for granted too. I have a new found respect for food. I mean, I waste very little food anyway, but now, I’m literally making sure that each thing is used & nothing is wasted.  Today I got an amazing Fruit & Veg delivery from a local market stall… everything is so colourful & looks & smells amazing. I’ve never been so excited to eat a salad for tea!

I’ve had some amazing video calls with family  friends too. The amount of giggles I’ve had is fab – considering the circumstances. I do feel that it’s brought people together.

I’m planning each week on Sunday & making a menu for things to make for tea.

Keeping organised is really helping me to get through this bizarre saga. I love meal planning & prepping… I find it really therapeutic. I’m in the process of making some strawberry yogurt… I can’t wait. The boys love fruit yogurt – so I’m on to a winner!

I do hope you’re all keeping safe, well & positive. I cannot wait for the massive celebrations to be had once this is all over!

Love, huggles, & much love,

Hayley xxx

Feeling Spicy

4 Mar

Hi folks,

Can not believe we are into March already. It’s been such a quick year already. My days seem to just fly over so fast, life moves so fast. Sometimes it feels a struggle to fit in family life, work & not to mention trying to cook from scratch every day.

I love homemade healthy food & when it’s quick & simple… even better! I don’t like plan food either… I like something with a little spice!

This week I’ve been creating some lovely, quick & easy meals, using my new fave ingredient!

On Monday I made a gorgeous Chilli in the Slow Cooker. The crushed chillies add just enough spice. Its the perfect staple to keep in your spices cupboard.

To make, I threw the following into the crock pot:
250g Lean Beef Mince
Chopped Celery
Diced Garlic
Diced Onion
Sliced Mixed Peppers
Chopped Mini Corns
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Tin of Kidney Beans
A good helping of Schwartz Chilli Flakes.

I left it to cook all day. I thickened with a little tomato purée before serving.

This Chilli was super yummy. Plus, it’s totally healthy as i didn’t use any added salts or oils. Perfect!

On Tuesday I made a delicious Moroccan inspired Lamb Stew.

I’ve thrown the following into the crock pot:
300g Diced Lamb
Diced Celery
Diced Onion
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Handful of Dried Apricots
Fresh Coriander
Mixed Peppers Sliced
1 Tin Chick Peas
Crushed Garlic
A good Sprinkle of Schwartz Crushed Chillies

Both meals were utterly delicious, healthy & so simply to make. Making your won sauces tastes so much fresher than using a premed jar of sauce. This little jar of spices has gone so far & i still have loads left! Well worth the money!
Tonight I’ve used the chillies as a seasoning. I sprinkled on a pork loin & grilled, then served alongside a baked potato & salad.
This little jar of spices is so versatile & a total must have for any ingredients cupboard.
It’s amazing how eating healthy really lifts your mood & makes you feel so much more positive. I’ve loved how easy these meals were to make.
I can’t to try more recipes!
Thanks so much as aways for reading & I hope you’ve found my review useful.
Love & Huggles,
Hayley xxx
Schwartz have sent me Crushed Chillies for review, but all views are my own

Making Memories

20 May

Hi folks,

I love the month of May. Spring is everywhere & everything looks so beautiful… the weather is on the turn to sunnier times & it’s also mine & the hubsters Birthday month.

We always try to do something nice for our birthdays as they’re only 4 days apart. But when you have little ones in tow… plans have to change & adapt. This year we had the most amazing little break in the Yorkshire Dales in a stunning Georgian Cottage.

So… first of all… let me tell you about this simply beautiful cottage. Green Cottage is an elegant Georgian Cottage set on the green of one of Yorkshire’s most picturesque villages. It’s an ideal base to explore the Dales in any season. And… it’s 100% Family-friendly… that includes doggies too. A dog bed & bowl can be provided if needed. Our Coco is such a little diva though & likes her own little comforts – so we took her fave bed & mini food & water bowl… most dog bowls are big enough for her to bathe in lol.

The space itself:

The house is fully detached and set over three floors. Don’t worry thoughif you have little ones, then baby gates can be provided. Seth is 3 & Ted is 6 month so we very much need baby gates on the stairsso this was fab for us. They were already installed too!

Lower Ground Floor

  • Kitchen diner (featuring an extendable table to seat up to 6 guests and fully equipped with Rangemaster cooker, dishwasher, fridge with freezer shelf and microwave along with plenty of good quality cooking and baking equipment, glasses, crockery etc). Honestly…the kitchen has EVERYTHING you could possibly need. Even down to the colourful plastic kids crockery from IKEA that we all know & love & can’t live without! We ate in both nights… did ‘snacky food & we had sparkles… obvs

  • Utility room (with washer-dryer, iron and ironing board and a drying space for muddy boots and outdoor gear)There’s great tray there to stand your dirty shoes in there’s a radiator right underneath the coat rail too – so if you’ve gotten a little damp – everything will dry off.

  • Bathroom (with spa whirlpool bath, and toasty underfloor heating). The bath is utterly divine! I had visions of having an uninterrupted bubble bath with a glass of sparkles… but of course that lasted all of 5 minutes until Seth came bounding in lol. But that’s Mama Life for you!

Ground Floor

  • Living room (sofas to comfortably seat 5, log burner, digital Smart TV with Freeview, BBC iPlayer etc as well as lots of books, maps and games) we took our amazon fire stick with us & connected it to the WiFi. So we were able to watch Disney Life, Netflix & Prime. Please note that the play pen in the living room is ours & not part of the cottage.

  • Snug / third bedroom (large day bed which can be made up into full size single bed, second TV, desk)

  • Shower room (walk in monsoon shower with extra large enclosure, heated towel rail) There is also a toilet. It’s fab as there is literally a toilet on each floor. Essential for toilet training! Seth is totally dry now, but we’re still only in our first month of toilet training… so a toilet on hand is utterly essential lol.

First floor

  • Master bedroom (king size bed with deep, comfortable mattress, large wardrobe and antique dressing table) oodles of spaceLoads of room for a travel cot. A travel cot can be provided too if you don’t want to take one.

  • Twin bedroom (two full size single beds with pocket sprung mattresses, chest of drawers and clothes rail) a waterproof mattress cover can be provided too! Perfect!Please note that the bed guard rail is ours & not part of the cottage.

  • WC with basin (‘Jack and Jill’ style access from both upstairs bedrooms, ideal for families, or can be set up as en-suite for either bedroom)

Outside

  • Enclosed garden to rear and side, paved and gravel with outside seating, and a charcoal BBQ
  • Bike store (lockable for up to 5 bikes, can also be used as a pram store)
  • Direct access to the village green – a large expanse of grass free for all to stroll, sit or play
  • Play area visible from back gate – swings, slide, football posts etc. We spent quite a lot of time in the little play area. Seth loves a park. There’s also plenty wide open space to run around or to picnic. But, if you take your fur babies… please ensure you scoop that poop! There’s nothing worse than dog poop making the place dirty!

As you can see from above & from my photos… everything is catered for.

The bedding was so comfy!!! Egyptian cotton bed linen on all beds, 13.5 tog thick duvets (hypoallergenic and feather / down) and plenty of soft and fluffy Egyptian cotton towels. As you can see… Ted had to try out the king size bed lol.

There’s a welcome pack with all the basics for your first couple of days (loo rolls, hand soap, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, bin bags, tea towels and kitchen cleaning supplies) as well as tea, coffee, milk, bread and a few local treats. This was soooo nice!!! It just means that you don’t have to pack a lot of shopping. And it also means that it’s all ready for you to get the kettle straight on when you arrive… coz let’s face it… we all need that first brew when we arrive somewhere! Especially when you’ve had to sing Baby Shark & Old McDonald Farm all the way there lol.

 

Also… when we arrived there was a lovely big box of toys left out for Seth to explore, as well as plenty children’s books. There were even a few laid out on his bed for him. That was such a lovely touch & Seth was super excited!

So as well as a travel cot, baby gates & toys… the owners can provide a highchair – which Ted thought was VERY comfy & there is also a baby monitor. Oh & I did mention the plastic IKEA crockery, but there’s also a MAM Baby Cup too. Just so many little things that have been added to make your break so much easier! This cottage is really like a home from home.

For our furbabies, there is a lovely fluffy blanket provided & the use of a hose pipe outside to wash down those dirty paws.

 

Okay… so you’ve heard all about the gorgeous cottage… but what did we do while we were there? We investigated Settle. What a stunning little town. Seth particularly enjoyed The House That Jack Built. He got some lovely new Melissa & Doug toys. There are so many gorgeous shops, tea rooms & places to eat, to investigate. There’s also the Watershed Mill. It is absolutely stunning… the scenery is simply breathtaking. We popped there for a little bite to eat over lunch time.

We spent a lot of time playing on the green outside of the cottage & in the little park. We were only there for 2 nights… next time we’ll be booking for a week.

The cottage has a lovely organised folder of leaflets & places to visit etc… so helpful for when you’re planning days out.

This beautiful cottage is simply worth every penny. If you book before August & quote: “IxxyPoco” you will be given an exclusive discount. You can book a year in advance. So use that code before it runs out. Simply head to Green Cottage on AirBnB & send a message to the owners quoting my blog.

Thanks as always for reading & I hope you’ve been inspired to book yourself a lovely break away ❤️

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

“You Can Find Magic Wherever You Look. Sit Back and Relax, All You Need Is a Book”. Dr Seuss

25 Apr

Hi folks,

I love the Dr Seuss quote I’ve started this post with. It’s no secret that I’m a big Dr Seuss fan & that I think reading is a very important part of growing up. As a child I was always read to at bedtime & I was always encouraged to read. I was very lucky in that I had a selection of books to choose from & read.

From the moment I first found out I was pregnant with Seth, I began to buy him books… the first thing I bought him was a book. I was the same with Ted. It’s so important that my boys are surrounded by books… stories… literature.

Both boys have reading corners in their bedrooms, but they also have a gorgeous little corner now in their play area. Well, Ted is only 6 month… so it’s ready for him when he’s old enough to use it. For now he’ll have to put up with me reading to him.

The boys little reading corner is super cute… complete with a new comfy arm chair, perfect for little bottoms. Seth adores this chair… he’s very protective of it. He’s been sitting in it saying ‘Mammy… I love my chair”.

This lovely little chair is the loose cover chair from Just4Kidz.  It is quite literally the cutest thing. This chair has been handmade right here in the UK. It comprises of a solid wooden frame, lovely comfy foam cushions & then covered in stunning fabric that is exclusive to Just4Kidz… so you will not find that print anywhere else. There are lots of lovely prints to choose from. Seth decided he liked the farmyard design best. Everything is animal & farm based for Seth at the moment. Every other minute he’s singing ‘Old MacDonald Farm’. We’ve actually been sat looking at the fabric & making up stories about the animals printed on his chair. Seth just adores to make up stories. So even the fabric has been spiking his little imagination.

The chair is super sturdy. Being so well made, means it is quite literally built to last, and… the cover can easily be removed to hand wash too! I mean how amazing is that!? Perfect for grubby, sticky finger marks. The chair is perfect for pre-school children all the way up to primary school age. So this chair is a lovely little companion for little ones to grow up with. Ted is only 6 month… but he’s already been trying to stake a claim on it.

This chair can be used for all sorts… reading corner… arm chair for watching TV with family… etc… Actually Seth has been sat in it doing puzzles & drawing. It really is his new fave spot. I think he loves it knowing that it’s ‘his’ chair. His own little comfy corner. Well… until Ted decides to nab it lol.

This lovely little chair was the first piece of children’s furniture that Just4Kidz designed & sold. Over the years they have sold tens of thousands. The photo’s really don’t do it justice… it’s chunky, comfy & so well made. For me though… one of the biggest selling points is that you can remove the fabric to hand wash. We all know what it’s like trying to keep things clean with little ones running around. With every will in the world… it’s pretty impossible to keep those chubby little hands grime free for any length of time. If for any reason you damaged your fabric on the chair over the years… you can buy replacement covers. It really is a chair for life.

Everyone who has been over, has commented on how lovely it is. It’d be the perfect piece of furniture for any play room or bedroom. Or, if you have more than one child, you could always go for the loose cover sofa. I love the little sofa. So perfect for siblings to cosy up on.

Just4Kidz make & sell a gorgeous selection of children furniture. If you head over to their website, you can browse their products. Another of my fave items is their fabulous bed in a bag. The perfect sleepover companion. This would be ideal for children sleeping over at their grandparents house, or at a friends sleepover etc… It’s also an extra bed for if you have an extra little one staying over. Again, there is a lovely selection of exclusive printed fabrics to choose from.

If you’re looking for a special gift for birthdays or christmas, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something on their website.

You can find Just4Kids on Facebook & Instagram. Give them a Like & Follow to keep up to date with new items, news & competitions.

As always, thank you so much for reading. I really hope you’ve found this useful & that you have fun browsing all of those gorgeous handmade products over at Just4Kidz. They really are a lovely company with stunning products.

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Toilet Training is a Developmental Process… Not a Race

21 Jan

Hi folks,

Wowzers… what a week! So, last week marked the start of ‘potty training’. Obviously this whole chapter is new to me. Seth is 2yr & 10month old. We decided to begin potty training since Seth has been dry on a night now since before Ted was born. Plus we know he’s more than capable & his speech is really good. He’s great at communicating etc… So, last Monday I went full throttle & took him out of pull-ups. Monday was great… only a few accidents with some success on the potty. Not the big toilet as he decided he didn’t like it… even though we have a child seat & a step etc… Tuesday was even better! We had a wee & poop on the potty – great! I’ve never been so excited to see poo in all my life!!! Wednesday though however… what an utter nightmare. Seth was anxious & just had accident after accident. I need to add that during this time, not once has he asked for the potty. It’s all relied on me asking him like every half hour. Thursday was a little better. We had a successful wee on the potty. But then… midmorning Seth decided to pull his pants down, shout big poo & what followed can only be described as the start to the Eastenders theme tune… you know the one… well that’s how it sounded as Seth proceeded to squat over the carpet. Looking for the positive in this scenario… it was firm so easily lifted from said carpet with no mess left behind. How I’m not sat rocking in a corner clutching a bottle of gin I’ll never know! lol. Sorry for the description… but if you’re a parent… you know what it’s like.

After that… it’s just kinda gone downhill really. Over the weekend Seth had some nightmares about the potty. I just cannot stand to see my little boy upset. So, against peoples advice, I’ve popped him back into training pants. Being so active on social media, people love to give you their opinion. But when it comes to potty training (I’m no guru) I really do think… Mother knows best… Just call me ‘Mother Gothel’ lol. The change in Seth today has been amazing! Seth has never actually told me when he needs the loo… yet today he has told me when he needs a wee & a poo! Now if that’s not progress then I don’t what is. So rather than being full on & constantly asking him… I’m letting him tell me. He’s totally controlling his bladder & telling me each time he needs it. I think it’s also having a positive effect on him as he feels more in control. No terrible tantrums & no crying… that’s got to be healthier & nicer. No one wants this process to be a battle ground. I’m going with the mantra of… slow & steady wins the race.

Some things I’ve found that have helped; Seth adores the Kandoo Wipes in the little dispenser. He loves pressing the button for when you need the wipes to wipe his bum. I’ve never seen anyone do a yoga pose quite like Seth during bum wiping, whilst he’s shouting “wipe me I’m a mess’… it’s a good job I love him lol. He cracks me up. I got the dispenser from Ocado for around £4. Seth has also loved the magnetic reward chart that I bought from Home Bargains for £2.99. Green Stars for a wee & pink for a poop. He also needs his quillow next to him too each time he sits on the potty. I think he just needs to feel safe & secure. It’s a whole world to him.

I’ve made sure he gets plenty praise, even if he doesn’t do anything on the potty… just sitting on it I’m telling he’s clever. When he has an accident, it’s a case of “oh well, next we’ll try to get it in the potty”. There’s no point being too negative or shouting. It’ll only enforce fear. So overall… it’s been a tough week in some ways… yet I’ve personally learnt a lot. I think it’s made me take a step back & view things more from Seth’s point of view. Again though, I’m no guru, far from it. These are just things that have worked for us.

It feels like such a busy time here at the moment. The invitations arrived for Ted’s Christening.

They’re absolutely gorgeous, I paid extra for the gold lined envelopes. I can’t show you all a pic, as I’ve only just posted them today. Almost £19 to send. So with what they cost to make & then the postage to send them out… it’s come to almost £100. But, he’s worth it. And we did the same for Seth, so it’s only fair we do the same for Ted.

He’s such a gorgeous little pudding. I can’t believe he’s almost 13week old. I’ve bought him a gorgeous outfit from the Heritage Collection at Mothercare for the big day. I’ve seen a few things in Next that I’ll get for Seth. Then it’s just us parents who need an outfit. But, as a parent you always come last. The way it should be.

And, when you’re a parent there’s always less time to get ready on a morning as you’re running round after everyone else. That’s why I love my 3 weekly visit to get my nails done.

I get a gel polish. I keep my nails super short, but since Ted has been born, my nails have been very weak. I’ve started taking Seven Seas Hair, Skin & Nails vitamins. They’re already making a difference I feel. My nails are feeling stronger. Last week I also had a consultation for microblading!!!! I’m far too excited!

I always wear make up. I love doing my make up, but it also gives me more confidence. But, I am very self conscious of my eyebrows. I painstakingly paint them on every day with wax & powder… I use BrowZing from Benefit. But because my eyebrows are so ‘made up’ I then have to do a full face of make up really to fit with them if that makes sense. Some days it’d just be nice to be able to wear less make up & be a little more natural. So for me… microblading is the answer. I’m lucky enough to know an amazing lady who does some amazing beauty treatments. She also does my nails. So of course she’s the one doing my eyebrows too. I have my first sitting this week. Then I’ll have a top up in 6 week time.

So, I’ve had the shape & size mapped, I’ve had the dye/colour match done & all of the health & safety allergy tests. I can’t wait to have full, natural looking eyebrows with hair strokes!!! I’m a victim of the over plucked 90s brow… but not for much longer. Eeeeck… so stay tuned for the results. I’ll be blogging about my full brow journey… Glad brows to Beautiful Brows… or something along those lines lol.

Along with new brows… I’ve gotten myself a new shiny iPhone XR in red. I LOVE it!!!

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Love love love it! Even better when you get a good contract deal that is cheaper than you were paying for your old iPhone! But, as it’s a bit bigger than my old iPhone 6s… I’ve had to sell my beloved Vivienne Westwood pouch. I don’t get on well with phone cases really,  I much prefer a pouch I can put my phone in to stop it getting scratched in my bag etc… I decided to treat myself to a customised Lucrin leather iPhone pouch. I do love a monogram.

Of course I went with the red to match my phone.

Ooooh, something I’ve tried this week is non-sulphate shampoo. Being a natural curly haired girl, my hair can be so high maintenance. It’s very long & super thick. Even thicker since having the boys. I don’t always want to fully straighten my hair, but when it’s left to dry naturally I fall victim to the dreaded frizz. I’ve been reading up on the Curly Girl Method (CGM) online. That’s when I first really took notice of non-sulphate shampoo’s. Palmers make a shampoo & conditioner in Coconut Oil & Olive Oil.

Apparently, the more you use it, the better it makes your hair each time. I’ve only used the coconut one so far & that’s only been once. And I have to say that my hair isn’t frizzy at all. It’s way more manageable already. So I’m really excited to see the results 6 month down the line. I’m really just looking for all of those little beauty hacks to make my life easier & getting ready on a morning quicker. It won’t be long until I’m doing a school run… eeeeck. So getting ready really needs to be as simplified as possible.

Since we’ve all not been well & then with beginning the dreaded toilet training… We’ve literally spent a whole week at home which is different for us. But, it’s actually been nice. We’ve played, decorated cardboard boxes (I mean who doesn’t love a box lol) & had lots of cuddles.

All in all… it’s been a positive week really, even though toilet training is pretty stressful. I mean… on day 2 I booked another holiday lol. Nothing extravagant… a week at Haven in Blackpool. I’m so excited… it’s been years since I’ve been to Blackpool. Seth loves a Haven holiday & I’m sure Ted will too. Hopefully the weather will be nice & we can get down on the beach. If not, then we have the facilities on site as well everything else Blackpool has to offer.

I’m very much looking forward to a nice chilled out weekend.

Seth has football practice, then a birthday party. Apart from that… it’ll be a cosy family time for us. Ted has his 12week jabs this coming Friday… so that’s another very good reason to make sure it’s a quiet one for us.

Well, I think that’s about it really for this little update. Thanks for reading!!!

Oh & for any potty training parents out there… hang in there… we got this!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

Bad Case of Mum Guilt

13 Oct

 

Hi folks,

37wks pregnant & managing to hang on in there… just!

The last few weeks have been the toughest. How much of a whinge bag do I sound!? But this last week has been filled with emergency hospital visits, tests, scans etc… It just seems to be a never ending circle of tests & sleepless nights.

But, unlike my first pregnancy, I don’t just have the baby to worry about… I have my gorgeous boy Seth to worry about too. When I say worry… I mean I just worry that he’s missing out on his healthy energetic Mammy.

Bear

Bear

Bear

Seth is my sidekick… he’s my little baby bear that I spend every single day with. Normally we go out to the park, picnics, classes… just lots of fun days out. But lately… I’ve just not been able to do that. It makes me feel so guilty. I’m breathless, I have swollen ankles, headaches, pain & I’m so exhausted all of the time. So our usual energetic, fun days out have been swapped for… crafts at home, imaginative play in the house & the garden & Fridays at Music Bugs.

Bear

Bear

Bear

Bear

at least he’s still smiling though in all of those pics… I’m trying my hardest to keep things fun.

I have such high standards for myself… I always want to function at 110%. I cook from scratch everyday… I hoover twice a day… I do a full face of make up everyday… I take Seth out… I think up fun activities… I’m learning to drive…. etc… But, during this pregnancy I’ve suffered with bad sickness, pregnancy migraines, bleeding, hypertension… the list goes on. So all of the high standards I set myself have crumbled a little. There’s been more days playing at home & I just can’t run & roll around like usual. It makes me feel so guilty.

I’ve managed to keep up with my driving lessons, with only having to cancel when I’ve been in hospital. I’ve also managed to keep taking Seth to his Music Bugs sessions. But I’ve not been able to go to his football training – so that’s become an activity that he does with his Daddy. Also, kickabouts in the park have become a daddy/son thing too. I just can’t stand up for very long or run around… it breaks my heart.

Bear

Bear

But… it’s not for much longer luckily. I so cannot wait for our second little Prince to join us. Then I can get back to my usual self. Being able to run & play & be silly. I just can’t wait to start operation lose the ‘Mum Tum’ too.

For all this week has just been the utter worst… I’ve still managed to almost finish all of the Christmas Shopping & wrap it lol. I’ve also made an ‘All Hallows Eve’ Box for Seth & Little T & I’ve booked some fun activities for Seth & his new baby brother to do over Christmas at Centre Parcs. I so want to make it up to Seth for all the sickness that I’ve had. He’s so loving & gorgeous though… he’s always asking if I’m okay & giving me hugs. I’m so lucky to have such a loving, sensitive little boy.

And… we’ve started planning for LittleT’s Christening & when it might be.

We’ve also gotten Little T’s nursery ready for him.

Bear

Bear

My hospital bag is packed & ready to go, the babies bag is packed & ready to go & I’ve got my Mam & Dad practically moved in to help me day to day while Graham is at work. So, for now, everything is pretty organised as much as it can be for Little T’s arrival. With some developments this week at hospital… I’m more of a labour risk now too – so I’ve got my family watching me like a hawk. I really don’t want an emergency c-section. I’d so rather a planned c-section.

I’m just focussing on when we get home & t’ll be time to get us into a lovely routine as a family of 4. Well 5… including Coco. I can’t wait to see my two little boys together. Perfect. It’s going to be lovely having Graham here for 4 weeks on paternity leave. I want to do lots of family things & days out to make it a special time for Seth. I want to ease him in to life as a big brother with plenty fun & laughter.

Even though, It’s be a rough couple of weeks… there’s been some utter stand out moments for me. It’s in the rough/tough times that you find those little gems who keep you going & have your back no matter what. The people who aren’t actually family or blood – but who just want to be there for you. I have lots of friends, but there’s that magical few who always seem to pick you up & make you smile. I’ve got an amazing neighbour who checks on me everyday & keeps me up dated on any fabulous champagne offers lol. I’ve got 2 amazing Mama Friends – one who will take me to Music Bugs when my feet are swollen & another who will hold my hand & offer me a sick bowl when I need an emergency scan. Then there’s my beer garden bezzie who I became bezzies with & even her bridesmaid. You know who you are… you’ve kept me smiling this last week or so & truly do appreciate it. It’s not often you find people who will drop everything for you.

So keep those peepers peeled for any baby announcements!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Any Excuse For a Party!

8 Aug

Hi folks,

You all know what family life is like here at Thorne Towers… hectic, busy, fun & full of giggles. You also know that we don’t need an excuse to celebrate & have a party.

Since Seth is becoming a big brother in October, we’ve been trying to get him to understand that we’re having a baby join our family. He’s only 2 year & 5 month old… sometimes I think he totally gets it & other times I think he’s still not quite sure.

So… what better way to get him excited? Have a little tea party! And what does every party need? Well, cake of course!

bakerdays are a fantastic company who make letterbox cakes… yes that’s right… a cake delivered through your letterbox! How fab is that!?

Yes you read that right… they can make you a stunning personalised cake to celebrate any occasion that comes in a lovely tin & fits through your letterbox. They also offer gluten free, wheat free & dairy free options!

Seth was sent a cake to celebrate the fact that he’s going to be a Big Brother. I can’t even begin to tell you just how stunning the photograph was. The detail & quality was so high. And Seth adored having a Ace with his face on… he’s such a poser.

Seth’s cake was a plain sponge – simply because that is his favourite. But you can choose other options. You also don’t have to choose a letterbox cake. They offer 4 different cakes sizes as well as cupcakes.

Now for the important bit… how did it taste?

As you can imagine… Seth takes his role as cake testing rather seriously. After snaffling his first piece… he hastily demanded another. I can therefore confirm that he did indeed think it was “Nommy Nommy” lol. That’s a direct quote right there. This 2 year old knows good cake when he tastes it.

Everyone agreed it was really lovely & super fresh. I have to admit that I was thinking “will it be fresh?”… but it really was! Plus it’s such a fantastic novelty having it delivered through your door. You could send this to any loved one for a special occasion & it would most certainly make them smile. You don’t even need an occasion really… just simply treat someone who needs a pick me up perhaps?

Thank you so much bakerdays for making a little boys day. What better way to become excited about being a big brother than with cake!

Thanks as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Our Little Wardrobe

13 Jun

Hi Folks,

As a parent we all know how tough teething can be. It’s so rotten for our little ones to go through something so traumatic that we have no control over.

While Seth has been teething the drool has been never ending. Literally 5 mins after dressing him, his little tee shirt can be soaked around the neck. For me, bandana bibs have always been a saviour.

A few weeks ago we received a gorgeous little handmade bandana bib from Our Little Wardrobe It’s super cute & such good quality. All handmade in the UK too.

As you can see – Seth loves Mickey Mouse. So it was lovely to get a Mickey Bib to match his tee shirt. The bibs are super soft & have a popper fastening. The stitching is lovely & the quality is fab. It’s almost double layered if that makes sense – so it’s ideal for catching that pesky dribble before it soaks a tee shirt & rubs delicate skin. And to the important bit – it washes so well! We all know how annoying it can be when you’ve bought something your little one adores but then it comes apart or shrinks. But not these bibs. Ours has been washed half a dozen times already & it’s still looking perfect!

As soon as I opened it up when it arrived in the post, Seth was shouting “Mickey Mickey”. It’s nice when they recognise designs. If you head on over to their website, you will find the perfect design for your little one I’m sure! You’ll also find lots of other gorgeous little goodies perfect for Baby Showers!

This is a lovely little business ran by Mummies, for Mummies. You can find them on social media too! You can find them on Facebook & Instagram. So why not give hem a follow to keep up to date with new products & offers.

Thanks so much for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Stunning Storage Solutions

13 May

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago Seth received the most beautiful custom handmade toy box from The Traditional Toy Box Company

As you can see from the photo above – these toy boxes are so beautifully made. The quality is stunning. They’re also fully customisable which is great for finding that perfect toy box to suit any room & any colour scheme.

As most of you will know, Seth has not long just turned 2 years old. It’s always a bit of a worry with toddlers that they can be a tad too ‘heavy handed’. Before our beautiful toy box arrived I did worry in case it wouldn’t be sturdy enough to withstand Seth on a daily basis lol. Well I can honestly say that I needn’t have worried. The boxes are so solid – they actually weigh quite a lot. Which is great as it shows just how high a quality the whole thing is. The fittings & hinges are also really strong & of good quality – they seem really durable. Which is fantastic since Seth is in & out of the box every other minute lol.

As you can see from the above pics – the toy box does hold a LOT of toys. It’s great for literally throwing toys in at the end of the day, then once that lids down – the room is nice & tidy again.

But it’s also fun to dig around in the toy box & to drag everything out on to the floor too apparently lol.

The top of the box is padded & covered in lovely fabric – which is also customisable. With it being strong & then padded – it makes a lovely little seat. In fact… Seth’s been having fun making little displays on top of it haha.

This stunning Traditional Toy Box would make such an amazing addition to any nursery, bedroom, play room or lounge. I don’t think the photos convey just how beautiful it is. Everyone who has seen it in the flesh has said just how gorgeous it is.

This would make a stunning baby shower gift… you could fill it with so many goodies. Perfect for that collection at work when no one knows what to buy. Or, why not start planning for Christmas in advance. Any child would be delighted with such a beautiful gift. This toy box is big enough to be shared too, so if you have more than one child… this could be a lovely communal toy box. When our little bundle of joy arrives in October, I’m sure him or her will love our communal toy box.

You can also purchase memory boxes too. Perfect for keeping all of those treasured keepsakes safe. Weddings, Births, Christenings etc… What a fantastic thoughtful gift.

Right now, The Traditional Toy Box Company are offering a massive 35% discount! But be quick as this is for a limited time only. Use code: EXCLUSIVE50OFF

If by the time you’re reading this, the fabulous 35% offer has ended… fear not! Simply add coupon code: ixxypoco10 for 10% off.

There is also the opportunity to pay using an interest free payment plan along with a small deposit. Simply head on over to their website for more info.

To keep up to date with news, new designs & offers, you can follow The Traditional Toy Box Company on Facebook & Instagram.

Thank you so much as always for reading & I hope you’ve enjoyed the review!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Pregnant Life

29 Apr

Hi Folks,

April has been such a busy month. In fact it has been a wee while since my last blog post. But this month just seems to have zoomed by so fast!

We seem to have packed a LOT into just 30 days… Seth went to his first birthday party which was unicorn themed. His little face was amazing – he adored everything about it. The bouncy castle, the pink lighting, dancing on the stage… just everything!

We also had an amazing day out to The Yorkshire Wildlife Park for their Alice in Wonderland event. It was really cold & windy, but we just wrapped up warm. We even managed to have our picnic outside too.

This month has seen some amazingly warm sunny weather too. It was so nice to be able to get out into the garden. We enjoyed it while it lasted. We had homemade picnic platters & played in the ball pool. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the best memories.

I was also admitted to hospital too. I just couldn’t believe it. Being pregnant whilst having a toddler is such a different experience to the last time I was pregnant. Everything is harder as I’m not my own priority anymore – Seth is. We don’t have family around us where we live, so I can’t just scoot off to Hospital. I need to make sure Seth has someone to look after him. So, my hubster stayed with Seth until my parents made the 2hr drive to us. It was kinda scary being in hospital on my own. I mean I’ve been in hospital on my own before, but the beginning part while you’re sat around on the ward waiting to have tests I’ve always had Graham with me to hold my hand. Don’t worry – baby is totally fine. We’ve named the baby ‘Little T’ until he or she arrives. I’ve got red degeneration of my fibroids. I suffered with this throughout my pregnancy with Seth. Even though I’m in pain – it’s reassuring to know exactly what it is. But I do just feel constantly exhausted at this stage. We got to see Little T for the first time last week. I’m coming up to 14wks… I just cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is going. I felt like I was pregnant with Seth for like a year or something lol.

I also got to meet my consultant this week as I’m being consultant led again being a high risk pregnancy. I was pleased to find out that it was the same consultant who actually delivered Seth. So that is just amazing as I’ll be having a planned c- section again so the same lady will be delivering Little T.

We’ve made the decision to stay Team Green during this pregnancy – we’re not finding out the Baby’s Gender. I’m actually quite excited to have a gorgeous surprise when Little T arrives. I’ve been pushed back one day, so Little T’s due date is 31st October. I’ve also made the decision to have my Fallopian tubes removed during my c-section. Purely because we definitely only want 2 children & because I’m generally quite poorly during pregnancy. We’ve been moving furniture around in our bedroom to make room for the SnüzPod. So that means I got to move my dressing table & make it all pretty in a new location. I do love an organised make up station… I’m so sad lol. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest looking at nursery decor ideas. We’ve gone for White, Pale Grey & Silver. I can’t wait to start decorating. Then when Little arrives I can buy either pink or blue bunting with his or her name on as a finishing touch. Eeeeeck… it’s just too exciting! We’ve already got the cotbed which is Obaby & from Precious Little Ones.

May is looking to be a VERY busy month too… it’s my birthday in May, it’s the hubsters birthday in May, we have 2 Bank Holidays & we have a holiday coming up too, to Haven. I’ve never been to a Haven site before. I’m super excited – it looks perfect for Seth. We normally holiday in Center Parcs… but wanted to see what Haven was like. We’ve got a Center Parcs holiday come up in August. Then, Christmas week we’ll be going again, but this time we’ll have our new addition with us. I’m so excited! I have some lovely reviews coming up all about the Traditional Toy Box Company & Nuby. I promise I’ll be blogging more this month… my sickness is starting to get better & I just need to get back to my organised routine.Thanks so much as always for reading! Love & Huggles,Hayley xxx