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Inspiring the Design of their First Grown-Up Bedroom | Guest Post

Saturday, 18 November 2017

This is a collaborative guest post

Joy Richards is the Sleep Specialist at Happy Beds, one of the UK’s fast-growing bed manufacturers and retailers. When she’s not discussing all things bedroom-related, she’s raising her young family and indulging in a pasta dish or two.


I don’t know about you, but I dreaded the idea of transitioning my little one from her cot to her very first ‘big girl’ bed. I was expecting sleepless nights and tantrums that ended up with three in a bed, but thankfully I was given some sage advice that meant we all settled in relatively smoothly.

What’s the secret? Creating a room that excites your child. We’ve always got our little ones involved in the design process, and tried to make their bedroom somewhere they want to spend more time. If they happen to drift off to sleep then… bonus!

With that in mind, here is a little children's bedroom inspiration.

Build a Bedroom That Grows with Them 

If you enjoy a spot of painting and are a dab hand with design, then you may not mind doing a complete bedroom makeover over a few years. However, let’s be honest, most people aren’t Handy Andy.

If you’re looking for a fuss-free future, invest in a design and furniture that will grow with your child. In terms of kids beds, bunkbeds or a mid-sleeper are perfect as they really make the most of a room’s footprint, and can provide you with much-need storage too.

Plus, if your family does expand that little bit more, there’ll be no need to buy new furniture!


Choose Neutral Furniture and Add Pizazz with Accessories 

With time, not only do children physically grow, but their style and tastes do too. They may be obsessed with Paw Patrol now, but this will likely change. Therefore, we’d recommend investing in relatively neutral coloured furniture and adding colour through bedding, curtains and decorative accessories instead.

Why not invest in some brightly coloured, patterned bedcovers that your kids choose themselves? Alternatively, a soft bedroom rug or a funky lamp are always a simple and affordable way of adding interest to a bedroom.


Storage, Storage and More Storage 

As you probably already know, for such small people, children have an awful lot of ‘stuff', and they do like to get messy. That means effective storage is essential.

Bold coloured storage tubs are always a practical winner in my book. But, if you’re looking for something that is a bit more aesthetically pleasing, why not purchase a monogrammed toy chest? Not only will it look fabulous and help you hide away the clutter, but it’ll give your child a sense of ownership as it has their initials printed proudly on it.

Ensure You’re Not Investing in Style Over Substance

Last but not least, before you reach for your debit card, ensure you’re not investing in style over substance. You want the items you purchase to not only look good, but to be robust and safe. Therefore, you should always balance out quality and getting a bargain. Sometimes it's worth spending that little bit more, if you know it'll last for many more years.

How did you make the transition from cot to 'big' bed?

The Siblings Project | November 2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


I think this month's Siblings Project pictures are some of my favourite ones of the year, and they were probably the easiest to snap too. Taken on one of our many family days out this month, I told them to smile and they could get a treat after.. a minute and lots of cheeky grins later, we were done! Chocolate is always a winner right?

Despite saying how well Indie and Parker were getting on last month (and the cuddles in the picture above), we seem to have hit a wall again. They're hardly sharing, constantly squabbling and my goodness the bickering! 

Their age gap is so wonderful in many ways, but I think it's becoming tricker as Parker gets older too. He wants to join in with everything, but still doesn't quite understand about rules and how to place 'nicely'. Coupled with Indie's complete lack of sharing, you can understand how the arguments begin.



Thankfully we've still had plenty of lovely moments this month, especially when it comes to bonding with bump. Both of them love to cover my bump in kisses and feel her wriggle about. I know they're so excited, and I just cannot wait for our little trio to finally meet!

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Living Arrows // 46/52

Monday, 13 November 2017


“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
Kahlil Gibran


Every week I'll be sharing a capture of my littles - either individually or together. To capture how they grow and change week by week.

Hasn't the weather suddenly changed these last weeks? It's now bitter cold and pretty miserable most days, but I've tried to still get out and about with the littles are much as possible. Wednesdays are my yo-yo days as Indie is only in preschool for the mornings. And my goodness do those 3 hours whizz by!

Parker and I usually head out straight from drop off in order to be back in time. Last week we needed a few bits so we walked up to our local Tesco - via the park of course though. P was in his element climbing trees, racing through the leaves and we even spotted a squirrel or two. He's a little whirlwind, but I just love his adventurous personality.


I didn't have any individual photos of Indiana to share this week, so the photo I'm sharing features my nephew Oliver too. They're only 6 weeks apart in age, so as you can imagine they're like two little peas in a pod. Even if they're not communicating with words they seem to be on the same level, and it's honestly the loveliest relationship to watch.

On Saturday we visited a local park with my sister and her little ones, which is where this photo was taken. As you can imagine they all left absolutely soaked, (praise the lord for puddle suits huh?). But they had such a blast together!


Living Arrows

30 Weeks Pregnant {Baby Number Three}

Sunday, 12 November 2017

30 weeks pregnant and oh my goodness am I feeling it! I feel as if this is another little milestone of pregnancy too. Less than 10 weeks to go (or maybe even less if this little girl arrives early like her big brother). There's still so much to do, and just not enough time...

HOW FAR ALONG?
30 weeks & 3 days

DUE DATE?
14th January 2018

GENDER?
Girl!

HOW’S BABY DOING?
I use the Baby Centre App to check on baby's progress - baby girl weighs around 1.3kg and is just over 39.9cm from head to heel (the size of a cabbage apparently). She's almost at the length she'll be at birth now, but there's still pleeeenty of weight left for her to gain.

I saw my midwife again on Monday (a week early as she's away next week), and it was a brief but lovely appointment. I got the results from my 28 week bloods and unsurprisingly my iron levels are a little low. Thankfully I don't need tablets, but I do need to hunt down some Spatone and alllll the leafy veg! All my other checks were perfect though, and baby girl is now head down too. Fingers crossed she stays there from now on!


WEIGHT CHANGE?
I have absolutely no idea! 

SYMPTOMS?
Constant braxton hicks, lightning crotch, rib pain... all the glorious symptoms of the third trimester! I'm basically exhausted constantly too, so I think that's a clear sign that I reaaaally need to slow down (not that that's possible when you have two young children already).

SLEEP?
I seem to go between sleeping through wonderfully, and then waking up loads feeling thirsty or needing the loo. I'm still loving my Theraline maternity pillow though.

CRAVINGS?
I don't think I've necessarily craved anything, but I've been baking loads recently.. so maybe that's my body telling me I want all the sugar?

HOW I’M FEELING?
Really bloody pregnant now. Walking is also becoming increasingly difficult, as I end up feeling as if I've been kicked in the foof afterwards! I lovee being pregnant, but I'm almost near the 'get this baby out NOW' stage.

MISS ANYTHING?
Being able to get up and pick anything from my wardrobe to wear. Once again I have nothing to wear!



FAVOURITE RECENT OUTFIT?
I won't lie... probably my pjs. Nothing fits anymore!!

BEST MOMENT THIS FORTNIGHT?
I'm absolutely loving watching Indie and Parker bond with bump. Parker asks to 'see baby' constantly throughout the day, and loves giving it snuggles and kisses. Indie has decided to name her AnnaElsa (yes.. that's one word), and I just know they're going to be the best big brother and sister when she's born.

LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Getting more prepared for this baby girl. We have a small list of things we need to buy, and then it's just a case of washing clothes and setting everything up. I'm oh so excited to build our co-sleeper and have it ready for her arrival!

You can see how this pregnancy compares to Parker's (my second) here.

Linking to the Bumps & Babies Linky with Let's Talk Mummy

Keeping Warm During Winter Days Out

Thursday, 9 November 2017

If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you'll know how much we enjoy getting out and about as a family. Not much stops us, especially the weather! Even if it's a chilly Winter's day or raining outside, you will still find us enjoying the outdoors - even our Me and Mine photos in September were taken on the beach in the rain! Over the years, we have just learnt how to wrap up warm, so that we can still get out and enjoy ourselves.


Dress Everyone in Layers
If you're unsure what the weather will do, dressing everyone layers is the best approach. If it is cold in the morning, just wear extra clothes and then remove them as the day warms up. Retailers such as Simply Be sell a wide range of jumpers, coats and even thermal underwear, which are great for this type of dressing. I've found I now naturally leave thick and heavier items on the shelf, and instead opt for lightweight jumpers or cardigans that are I can pop over a t-shirt or shirt.

Keep Wellies and Spare Clothes in the Car
If you're planing on going out when the weather is wet, definitely go out prepared! During the winter months, we usually keep wellies and spare clothes in the car. It is also worth keeping an old towel in the boot (this is also handy for if you've taken your dog for a walk too). This way you will be able to dry everyone off a bit, and then the towel can be used to protect the inside of your car from the worst of the dirt too.

Remember Hats and Gloves
Make sure everyone has a pair of gloves as well as hats (and scarves if it's extra chilly). Studies have shown that keeping your hands and head warm will make a huge difference to how comfortable you will feel. If you're like me and need regular access to your phone or camera, it might even be worth buying touchscreen enabled gloves. They are far more convenient as you don't have to constantly take them on and off!


Wear Suitable Footwear
I have already mentioned that we keep our wellies in the car, but we also make sure that everyone´s regular footwear is at least showerproof (especially Parker's who as you can see, always manages to find a puddle wherever we go)! Boots or closed shoes are much more comfortable to wear too. It's worth keeping in mind that winter footwear usually needs to be a little bit bigger too, so that you can wear thicker socks / wellies socks with them. This boot buying guide explains what you need to look for when choosing winter footwear.

How do you keep warm on Winter days out?

This is a Collaborative Post

Living Arrows // 45/52

Monday, 6 November 2017


“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
Kahlil Gibran


Every week I'll be sharing a capture of my littles - either individually or together. To capture how they grow and change week by week.

Of course for this week's pictures I just haaaad to share some Halloween snaps. This was the second year we've taken Indie Trick or Treating, but Parker's first so it felt a little extra special. They absolutely loved the whole experience and I don't think they've stopped talking about it (or eating the sweets) since!

Parker ran straight to the door the second someone knocked, armed with the treat bowl to hand out the sweets. And Indie was the leader when we went out around our neighbourhood ourselves. Everyone commented on how sweet they looked, and it was just such a special evening for us all.



Living Arrows

Me and Mine | October 2017

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

I ended September's Me and Mine post hoping that October would be just as lovely, and I don't think it disappointed! Being the month of Halloween, and of course the middle of Autumn, our month was full of pumpkins, crunchy leaves, hot chocolates and puddlesuits. Although the weather has been bizarrely warm and sunny - a perfect excuse to get out and about much more though!

We've ended the month with Indie home from preschool for half-term. I was worried it was going to be stressful having both littles at home for the week. But I honestly think it's been the loveliest week we've had in a loooong time. 


Indie and I got to spend lots of quality time together this last week - something that's so rare when she's at preschool. She's such a clever little thing, constantly looking to learn and know what's going on. I'm really going to miss having her around now she's back to school. And I think Parker will too (although I don't think he'd admit it if you asked him!)

Parker is growing up at the speed of light these days too. If he's not chatting away to you, he's singing or counting to himself. I don't think he's ever quiet or still - unless he's watching Team Umizoomi which is his new obsession! He's still very much Jack's little shadow too, following him around wherever he goes. Long gone are the mummy's boy days *sniff*.



The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

Living Arrows // 44/52

Monday, 30 October 2017


“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
Kahlil Gibran


Every week I'll be sharing a capture of my littles - either individually or together. To capture how they grow and change week by week.

What a wonderful half term week we've had! Apart from Friday (when we definitely needed a rest!), we were out and about everyday. Visiting London, soft play, my midwife, plenty of parks and of course we carved our pumpkins too.

On Monday Indie and I hopped on a train to London, for a morning of PJ Mask Halloween fun. Parker stayed at home with my mother in law, so Indie and I got to have a lovely mummy and Indie day. She's at such a brilliant age now, and it was so fun to enjoy the day just the two of us.


Parker didn't miss out on any fun this week though - he got to have a sleepover at nanny's house after all! The picture I'm sharing of him this week really makes me smile. Taken on Jack's day off at a local park, he was in his absolute element running wild and free. Just look at that cheeky smile!


Living Arrows

Bluestone Wales Resort | The Perfect Holiday for Under 5s

Sunday, 29 October 2017


We all know that holidays with little ones can be stressful. Just the thought of travelling with small children is enough to put some parents off the idea all together. But there are some amazing resorts in the UK that are perfect for families - especially ones with really little ones.

One of these resorts is Bluestone Wales. Situated in the heart of Pembrokeshire National Park, the resort is surrounded by countryside, beaches, wildlife and plenty of history. It boasts 'free-range fun' for all ages, and honestly, it doesn't disappoint!

We enjoyed our second visit to the resort back in September; this time with an almost 4 year old and a 2 year old. It was just as lovely as I remembered from our first visit, however there have been some lovely additions making it even better for little ones.

Accommodation

I think my favourite thing about staying at Bluestone is the accommodation. We stayed in a Ramsey Lodge, which is suitable for up to 4 adults plus a little one in a travel cot (already provided in the lodge on arrival). These lodges feature 'upside down' living, with the bedrooms on the ground floor and the living space upstairs.


The lodges are perfectly equipped for a self catering break, with everything you would expect in a kitchen included (as well as a dishwasher which is a lovely little bonus!) One highchair is provided in each lodge, and stair gates are fitted as standard at both the top and the bottom of the stairs.

The only negative I will say about this style of living, is that the kitchen is very accessible to little hands. There are no cupboard locks - even on the ones containing glassware and the sharp scissors - and our two year old Parker had great fun with the oven / dishwasher buttons over the week too. I do think this is something they really need to consider, as I'm sure I'm not the first parent to notice this!



Food / Eating Out

Although the lodges are completely self-catering friendly, there are still plenty of places to eat around the resort.
Grab a snack prepared that morning at Tŷ Coffi, go for al fresco dining in the forest at Camp Smokey, settle in for a hearty pub lunch at the Knights Tafarn or try a delicious pizza at the Oak tree. You can head to the Farmhouse Grill where you will find a menu filled with delicious Pembrokeshire produce or dine with a difference at one of our dinner shows!
We ate out a few times, and found each location to be super child friendly. We loved the children's lunch boxes (a big favourite of Indie and Parker!) available at Ty Coffi, the dedicated children's menus at the bigger restaurants, and the fact that everywhere had colouring sheets and crayons on offer.



Even when there wasn't a child's size available, we found that the staff were always accommodating. For example when we popped to Ty Coffi for milkshakes one rainy afternoon, the staff didn't hesitate to split an adults sized portion into two. Even adding extra marshmallows which the littles loved!

Unfortunately we never made it to any of the dinner shows, but they looked and sounded amazing. Especially the Camp Smokey Shindig, which involved yummy food, singing, dancing and lots of family fun!



Activities / Things to Do

There are a plenty of things to do at Bluestone for little ones, and many of them come included in the price of your holiday. You can also book a number of activities at a small charge, including baby / toddler sensory, messy play, Mini Rangers, bug hunting, story time and there's even a fully equipped creche (because it's our holiday too!).

We didn't book into any payable activities this time, instead letting Indie and Parker decide what they wanted to do each day. They loved the adventure play area (a fantastic addition to The Village), and would have happily spent hours each day playing there. Now they're a little older they definitely got more out of the activities in The Adventure Centre. The Lego wall and soft play were probably their favourite parts though.





A highlight of visiting Bluestone has to be The Blue Lagoon swimming pool. Entry is included with your holiday, and resort guests get private access between 9am and 12pm. We never had any issues finding a family change room and it's gorgeously warm! The pool is great for little ones as it has a beach style layout, so they can sit on the edge and play. There are also two small 'coves' with water fountains and very shallow water to choose from too.

In general though, my two love nothing more than running around and exploring, and there was plenty of opportunity for that at Bluestone. We loved wandering around the lake, spotting the fairies and animals along the nature trail, and roasting marshmallows at Camp Smokey. Bluestone is car-free too so adventuring is a lot safer - you will still need to watch out for the golf buggy, bikes and resort vehicles though.






We had the loveliest mid-week break in Wales, full of fun adventures, cosy evenings in our lodge and lots and lots of memory making. We of course didn't manage to do enjoy even half of what Bluestone has to offer - a 5 day break just simply isn't enough time. But I think that just gives us a perfect excuse to come back time and time again!

We received a midweek stay in a Ramsey Lodge in exchange for our open and honest review. All opinions are my own and we were not compensated in any other way for this review.

Mummy and Me | October 2017

Saturday, 28 October 2017

I absolutely love the dynamic our little family has going on at the minute. Indiana and Parker are at such lovely ages, and I think their close age gap is really coming into it's own now. They've really started taking an interest in bump now too!

Not a day goes by without one, or usually both of them asking to see baby. Smothering my bump is kisses and cuddles (and the occasional wobble from Parker too). I just cannot wait to see what's in store for us, when bump becomes baby in just a couple of months time!




28 Weeks Pregnant {Baby Number Three}

Thursday, 26 October 2017

So here we are. The third (and final) trimester. I feel as if the countdown is really on until bump's arrival now. Eek! I'm been constantly fighting with my emotions recently, switching between being oh so excited to meet our littlest lady, to terrified that WE ARE NOT READY. 

HOW FAR ALONG?
28 weeks & 5 days

DUE DATE?
14th January 2018

GENDER?
Girl!

HOW’S BABY DOING?
I use the Baby Centre App to check on baby's progress - baby girl weighs just over 1kg now (roughly the same as an aubergine) and is at least 37.6cm long. Her heart rate has slowed down, she now has delicate eyelashes and her eyes can produce tears. Ooh and she may be hiccuping now!

I saw my midwife on Monday and everything is still going well so far. She's currently breech (which probably explains the large lump under my ribs!), but measurement wise bump is bang on 28cm. I had my bloods taken to check my iron levels, but apart from that it was just a routine check.

WEIGHT CHANGE?
I. Feel. Huge. This last few weeks I really feel as if baby girl has piled on the pounds, and my bump has grown loads. Although I still don't think I've put on my weight elsewhere... yet!


SYMPTOMS?
I've had a couple of dizzy spells again, but thankfully nothing that some sugar and a sit down couldn't sort. I just feel huge, heavy and reaaaally pregnant now. Rolling in bed requires a lot more effort, and I can tell I've slowed a lot when walking. 

The biggest symptom has probably been bump's movements though. They hurt! Long gone are the gentle nudges and kicks. She's doing huge rolls and is constantly pushing against my ribs / hips / everywhere. I loveee it most of the time, but I've had to stop to catch my breath a few times now.

SLEEP?
As I mentioned above, getting comfortable in bed is proving to be much tricker these days. I feel as if I have to physically move my bump when rolling over! I'm also waking up to go to the loo again, after a few weeks of escaping it. Thankfully getting to sleep hasn't be a problem as of yet though!

CRAVINGS?
I'm loving anything chocolatey at the minute. Or biscuits. Mmmm.. a chocolate digestive would be amazing right now!

HOW I’M FEELING?
Oh so tired! I thought pregnancy was exhausting with one child, but it's a whole new level with two to run around after! I'm loving experiencing it all with them around though. They love feeling bump kick and giving it all the kisses. It's so lovely.


MISS ANYTHING?
Being able to walk without feeling exhausted after 5 minutes. Oh bending down - you really forgot how much you take advantage of it when there's no bump there.

FAVOURITE RECENT OUTFIT?
I'm excited to be working with Mothercare at the moment, trying out their new Denim Range. There will be a post up in the next few weeks. But so far I'm looooving having more variety of bottoms to wear - especially as my one and only pair of maternity jeans have broken!

BEST MOMENT THIS FORTNIGHT?
Getting the all clear for our home birth! Of course there's still time for things to change, but I am so pleased all is looking good for now. I really need to start looking into to hiring a pool now.

LOOKING FORWARD TO?
It's my sister's baby shower this weekend, which is going to be lovely. She's due just a couple of weeks before me with her first - a new nephew for me, and a little play mate for bump to grow up with!

You can see how this pregnancy compares to Parker's (my second) here.

Second Trimester Essentials {Baby Number Three}

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

I cannot believe I'm 28 weeks into this pregnancy, and now into the third and final trimester. This pregnancy is going by so fast! Back in July, I created a list of essentials I couldn't have lived without during the first trimester. So I thought I'd create a similar list for the second trimester - things have definitely changed in these last few weeks!


Longline Vest Tops - These have been my wardrobe staple over the last few months for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are long enough to stretch over my ever growing bump as well as my bum (perfect as leggings have been my bottoms of choice too!). They're also easy and cheap to pick up in stores such as Primark, and fingers crossed they'll last throughout the last few weeks of this pregnancy too!

Deep Freeze Pain Relief Patches - I have been suffering from back pain from quite early on in this pregnancy, so these have been perfect. They're drug free and oh so easy to just pop on, making them great for pregnancy aches and pains.

Theraline Nursing and Maternity Pillow - Thankfully sleep hasn't been too bad at the moment, but maybe that's because of this bad boy. I was kindly sent the Original Theraline Nursing Pillow to try and it's been perfect for helping me comfortable at night. The filling means it can be moulded into whatever shape you desire while still being stable. It's really lightweight too, so I don't feel as if it's a burden to have in bed with Jack and I.

Maternity / Nursing Bras - I've actually been in nursing / maternity bras from very early on, but most people find they don't need to until the second trimester (especially as your breasts grow and change so much in those first fews weeks). I cannot believe I stuck with underwire bras in my first pregnancy - maternity bras are life!

Bubble Baths - As I've got bigger, and everything has been busy growing and stretching during the second trimester, an evening bubble bath has been just what I've needed! Adding a cheeky Lush bath bomb or bubble bar of course makes it 100x better too.

Love Your Bump Bando - Although I did have to buy quite a bit of maternity wear this time around, I did manage to stay in lots of my pre-pregnancy clothing with the help of my Bando. Made of seamless, stretchy material, the Bando is fab for covering the gap between your bottoms and your tops as well as giving bump a bit of support too! I was kindly sent the white version, but it comes in black too.

I'm so excited to experience these last few weeks of pregnancy, especially as this is most likely going to be my last! I'll of course write up my third trimester essentials when the time comes though.

What were / are your second trimester essentials?

I received some of these products in exchange for my review. All opinions are honest and my own

Living Arrows // 43/52

Monday, 23 October 2017


“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
Kahlil Gibran


Every week I'll be sharing a capture of my littles - either individually or together. To capture how they grow and change week by week.

With the crazy weather and end of term exhaustion, we didn't get up to much last week. We definitely made up for it at the weekend though, with plenty of outdoor adventures and fun! I missed out on the fun on Saturday (I was in London for The Baby Show), but thankfully Jack's love of photography meant I could see their whole day in pictures.

Armed with puddle suits and wellies - absolute staples during the wet and windy months - they explored the park and splashed in all the puddles. I love Indie's post ballet messy bun, and Parker's determination to find the biggest puddle. My little autumnal babes.



Living Arrows