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Me and Mine | February 2017

Tuesday, 28 February 2017


How is February over already? It honestly feels like yesterday I was writing up my post for January! I suppose with February being a shorter month, and the fun of half term the days really did just whizz by. I decided we'd get this month's Me and Mine photos at the weekend not even thinking about the date.. so it's lucky I did really!

I adore this month's captures though. If you've been a reader for a while, you may even recognise the spot they were taken in. Last February we headed to this exact spot in Knole Park, with a 2 year old Indiana and a 6 month old Parker.

When they popped up on my Timehop I knew we had to go back this year. And it was honestly the easiest photo taking ever - we set up the tripod, the kids sat and 'cheeeeeesed' at the camera, and we were done in 3 minutes. This spot must be magic!



This month although still full of miserable weather, has been really good for our little family. After dwelling for ages over moving house or not, we finally started looking... and we now have a house! After living in our flat for three years, you cannot being to believe how excited I am for more space, our own garden.. even somewhere to hang our washing! 

We ended the month buying a new car too (it's also been an expensive month, eek!). Our little Seat Ibiza has served us well, but now the littles are older and want to take scooters everywhere, as well as the pushchair, we needed something bigger. It may also have room for three car seats too...


February has been lovely and very, very kind to us. My two have grown up so much and we've got some very exciting things happening now. Here's hoping March is just as exciting!

The Me and Mine Project

Living Arrows // 09/52

Monday, 27 February 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.

Ever since Indie was a baby she's not been the biggest fan of getting messy. She's a careful and cautious little thing - never making a mess with toys at home, never learning to climb. So whenever we went out on family adventures we really had to encourage her to get stuck in.

That was until Parker came along though. With his mischievous ways and zero fear, he's actually the one encouraging her to get involved. And it's SO wonderful to watch!



The pictures of my two this week were taken on our most recent weekend adventure. It was crazily windy and trying to rain, but that didn't stop my two. Indiana was hunting for sticks, happily joining me on a bear hunt. Jumping, climbing, and exploring.

Parker was his usual wild self. So happy to be running free - it really is his favourite thing in the world! If he climbed, so did Indie. If she wanted to walk on the logs, so did Parker. Both of them running and playing together.

This really is what having siblings is all about.



Living Arrows

My Favourite Blogs, Exploring the Zoo & Bulding Forts | #LittleLoves

Friday, 24 February 2017


I am soo pleased it's Friday again. As much as I love spending every day with the littles, weekends are just so much better with Jack at home. I cannot wait to get and about either. I feel like I've been stuck at home all week - if it wasn't the weather being crazy, we were waiting around for people / packages. Yay for the weekend!

Here's what I've loved this week...

Read

I've read so many wonderful blog posts this week, it would be hard to pick just one to share. Instead I thought I'd share some of my favourite blogs to read.

Lilypad & Bow (previously Lily-Mae Adventures) is one of my absolute favourite blogs to read. Abbie not only writes wonderfully, but has the most beautiful photos. Her two little ones are just the sweetest too!

Another one of my favourites is Life With Mrs Lee. Harriet is mama to 3 year old Bella, and is currently expecting her second, a baby boy. Since meeting at a blog event last year we've not only become friends, but so have our girls - isn't blogging wonderful?

Finally I couldn't not mention New Young Mum - Alice & Amelia. I've followed Alice's blog from the very beginning and I don't think I've ever read a post I haven't enjoyed. She's another blogger who takes gorgeous photos, and makes me jealous of where she lives on a daily basis!

Watched

It seemed as if luck was on our side last weekend, as we not only managed to visit the zoo, but the weather was nice enough for ice creams! Despite it being huuuuge to walk around, Parker spent very little time in his pushchair. It was lovely to 'watch' him run around with Indie, exploring and seeing the animals as he pleased.

It was also lovely to watch Indie get so excited about our trip. She ran around with her map, guiding us to the animals she wanted to see. I asked her what the best bit of the day was, and she said "watching the elephant do a poo and a wee..." - aren't 3 year olds delightful?



Heard

Who else watched The Brits this week? To be honest I wasn't hugely impressed with most of the performers, and I'm sure they were having issues left, right and centre. But Ed Sheeran was fantastic, and totally stole the show!

Made

We were sent a fab box of goodies from Plusnet, to celebrate their #halftermhygge event. The box was full of everything that we needed to get all hygge - fairy lights and a star garland, popcorn, a hot chocolate spoon, and idea cards to make our very own hygge fort.

My two absolutely loved making our chair fort. Indie brought in all of the cushions, I added blankets and the lights, and we closed the curtains to make it all cosy. I may have failed at the popcorn (next time I'll stick with the packet stuff!), but hot chocolates and biscuits were good enough for us. And I bet you can't guess what film we watched?

Wore

I'm technically cheating at this one, as they haven't actually worn the clothes yes... but how gorgeous are these pieces from JoJo Maman Bebe? I paid a visit to their new store in Tunbridge Wells, and couldn't resist having a look for myself and the littles. Do pop over and have a look, as there's also a giveaway to win a £50 voucher (it can be spent at any store or online!).


And Lastly...

Does anyone else feel as if their house is constantly full of germs? Thankfully Indie seems to have built up her immune system, from being at nursery and now preschool. But poor Parker seems to get every cold going (and then passes it to me). Argh!

Have a lovely week :)

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

JoJo Maman Bebe, The New Tunbridge Wells Store + £50 Voucher Giveaway! {CLOSED}

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


Parker and I had a very exciting morning yesterday. We hopped on the bus into town, to visit the newly relocated JoJo Maman Bebe store! The Tunbridge Wells store has moved from it's previous location inside the Royal Victoria shopping centre, to it's new location on Mount Pleasant (on the way to the station) between Wagamama and Carluccio's.

Since opening their first store in 2002, JoJo Maman Bebe has quickly become the leading boutique mother and baby brand in the UK. They are a brand I have lusted over since I fell pregnant with my first child, and somewhere I love to shop for both of my little ones (and would be for me too if I was expecting). So I was very excited to check out the new store.


Spread over three floors of a beautiful Georgian building, the new store has SO much to offer. The ground floor is home to all of the items you would have found in the original store. Baby and children's clothing, toys, and accessories.

There is plenty of floor space so you can browse with ease, as well as there being room for multiple pushchairs - a must in a baby store. They have a lovely little table and chairs, as well as crayons and paper, so older children can sit and colour while you shop. Parker absolutely loved this as it meant he was entertained and I could look around - win win really!






Access to the upper floors is either via the stairs or lift, both located at the back of the store. The spacious first floor is where you'll want to head if you're expecting. It's a rare luxury for JoJo stores to have this amount of space, so it's amazing that the Tunbridge Wells store has room to offer the full maternity collection.

No need to worry about safety while on this floor though, JoJo have your back. The top of the stairs has a safety gate! How brilliant is that? There are also two large changing rooms and plenty of mirrors. It really is a perfect place to shop.





On the second floor you will find a dedicated feeding area, with comfy chairs and water on offer. However you don't need to worry about heading up there to feed if you don't want to. There is plenty of seating available throughout the store. You will also find toilets and a baby change on this floor.

The Tunbridge Wells store really does have such a lovely feel to it. The staff are friendly and very helpful, it's lovely and bright and all the products on offer are simply beautiful! The dedicated team also offer extra one-to-one advice if you need an extra hand - just simply call to book a visit. This may be a good idea if you wish to have a bra fitting (although not essential).




If you're local to Tunbridge Wells and a mama or mama-to-be, I would 100% recommend a visit to JoJo Maman Bebe. The store is open 9.30am - 5.30pm Monday - Saturday, and 10.30am - 4.30pm on a Sunday. Just don't blame me if you come out with lighter pockets (it'll be hard to resist though!). 

And if you need any more persuading, I'm thrilled to be offering my readers a chance to win a £50 voucher to spend in-store or online! Just enter below (terms and conditions apply).


Disclosure - We received a voucher in exchange for this post. However all opinions are honest and my own

Learning to Swim with Puddle Ducks, West Kent {Lessons 3 - 6}

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Last month I posted about our first few swimming lessons with Puddle Ducks, West Kent. Parker was only two lessons in at that point - still very new to the style and getting used to the water. We're now six lessons down, so I thought it was the perfect time to update again!

I can see such a big different between those first fews lessons and now. Parker's (and Jack's) confidence have really grown. The second Parker sees the pool he wants to get in and he happily squeals 'splash' and 'play' until he does. Make sure to read to the end to see Parker in action!



He knows the lesson structure a lot more too - welcome song, bubbles, different activities and then splash time at the end. I think it helps that Jack is now more settled into the classes too. He knows how to do the activities and holds, so he doesn't feel like the 'newbie' anymore.

By week three Parker was ready to do his first underwater swim. He did really well with it, and I don't think I was even a little bit worried about it. He continued this new skill into week 4, where he practiced lots of underwater skills. He even jumped in from the float with very little encouragement, which was a good sign.


He's even started to transfer the skills he's learning to outside of his lessons. During bath time if we use the cue words 'Parker, ready..', he knows to expect the water over his head and he doesn't get upset. 

Unfortunately the last couple of lessons Parker was poorly, and then very tired so they weren't so positive. He played up a bit in the water, but managed to stay in for the whole duration. The teacher dealt with it fantastically though and it didn't disrupt the class at all.

I'm hoping he's back to his normal splashy self when we go back this weekend. We only have two lessons left with Puddle Ducks, which I'm really gutted about. Parker is really improving and it's so lovely to watch Jack and P bond each Sunday. But I'm so thankful for Konfidence being able to give us this opportunity.

Make sure to come back in a few weeks for my final update!




Disclosure - We received our swimming lessons as part of our work with Konfidence and the #swimologist programme.

Living Arrows // 08/52

Monday, 20 February 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.

We had a really mixed half term. Some days we didn't stop and were out most of the day, and other days we didn't get out of our pjs at all. It was exactly what we all needed though. Parker has loved having Indie at home. Although I do think he's going to be happy when he has free reign of all the toys again!


It's been lovely to have my big girl with us every day. Just watching her play, and immersive herself in her toys is so wonderful to watch. Her imagination has developed immensely since starting preschool, and we've had an extra person with us all week; Indie's make believe friend 'Bella' - I think someone is missing playing with her friends at preschool!


I'm looking forward to getting back into our routine again now, although I already cannot wait until the next half term (and that's not just because we're going away!). I'm going to miss having my little duo around every day. And Parker is going to miss playing with (and winding up) his big sister. 


  Living Arrows

I am a 'Tough' Mum.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

I see so many posts from parents, their children crying over their dinner because they wanted it on a different coloured plate. Or them dressing in something crazy because they refused to wear what their parents told them to. And I just don't understand.

Being a mum to two mischievous toddlers, I've experienced my fair share of tantrums and meltdowns. I've had plenty of arguments with my three year old about why she has to get dressed. Witnessed so many dramatic falls to the floor it's laughable. And don't even get me started on the sibling squabbles.

But do they ever win over me? Their mum. The one in change.

No.


If Indie complained her food was on the wrong coloured plate? Tough. She gets what she's given, and she either eats it or not. I never make them a different meal, or change their dinnerware.

I always decide on their outfits, but if they don't like it? Tough. I want them to look presentable, and make sure I dress them to suit the weather. I do give Indie more choice nowadays, but if what she wants to wear isn't suitable, she doesn't wear it.

If either of them are continuously naughty or misbehave, they will get treats taken away from them. I very much stand by my threats (they're useless otherwise aren't they?), and I think it definitely proves a point. If Indie doesn't behave when we're out there's no way we're going to the toy shop, even if we said we would.

Am I a mean mummy? 

You probably all think so by now.

But it works. They know who's in charge. They know arguing and screaming will only end up with them in trouble. And at the end of the day, we're all just doing what works for us aren't we.

And if I'm judged by others for parenting this way?

Tough.

New Books, A Lush Event & Good News! | #LittleLoves

Friday, 17 February 2017

It really feels like yesterday I was writing last week's #littleloves post. Half term has whizzed by in a blur of soft play visits, trips to town and constant re-runs of Trolls. I've relished not getting dressed until late a couple of times, and I know Indie has really enjoyed playing with her toys at home. I'll be sad to have her back at preschool on Tuesday.

Read

We have a huuuuuge selection of children's books. Baby books, classic stories and plenty of quirky modern ones. One book we've never had in our collection is Guess How Much I Love You? - although Parker's baby book is based on the story.

We were sent a beautiful pearlescent copy of the story, along with a lovely colouring book, which I gave to the littles as their own little Valentine's Day treat. The story is lovely, and Parker was very happy with the stickers inside the colouring book!


Watched

How could I not mention The Walking Dead? It's finally back (although, does anyone else think it came around rather quickly?) and just as good as ever. I loved that this episode actually felt a bit like the earlier ones, and I'm already hooked again.

We always watch The Talking Dead after - a chat show where they discuss the episode with those involved in the show. It's hilarious and I look forward to watching it as much as the main show. If you don't watch it definitely give it a go!

Heard

If you read last week's post you'll know we were anxiously waiting news on a possible move. Well this week we 'heard' the good news that we got the house! I am so excited to be moving and have started window shopping for new furniture already.

There's a little bit inside me that feels sad though. We've lived in our flat for 3 years now. Both of our little ones grew up here, so it holds so many memories for us. It's going to be a sad day when we leave for the last time.

Made

Thursday evening I was invited along to my local Lush store, to have a sneak peak at their Mother's Day collection that launches today. We all love a Lush bath bomb in this house, but have never really adventured into their different products.

During the event we learnt about the new products, watched demonstrations and even had a go at making our own fresh cleanser - Angels on Bare Skin. I never even knew these kind of products existed and now I get to try one I made with my own hands.. exciting!



Wore

We've been in our pyjamas a lot of this week (it's acceptable during half term right?), so no exciting outfits for us. The littles did 'wear' lots and lots of paint on Tuesday though.

This was the start of our painting activity.


All calm. Painting nicely on the paper.

I turned away for a couple of minutes, and then came back to a much different story! Paint everywhere. Apparently they ran out of paper so had to paint each other instead...

And Lastly...

With the weather actually improving the last few days, we're hoping to visit the zoo this weekend. I've never considered the zoo in the winter. But after seeing a few people go recently, we thought we'd give it a go! I've definitely just jinxed the weather thought haven't I?

Have a lovely week :)

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Tackling Teeth with Brush-Baby + Dental Set Giveaway! {CLOSED}

Thursday, 16 February 2017

We've all been there. Chasing your toddler around the house, toothbrush in hand. Trying every way possible to get their mouth open, trying to brush their teeth. Then when they do finally let you in, they clamp their teeth shut... Game over.

Teething is hard enough.

So protecting those teeth when they finally pop through, shouldn't be hard too. 


And that's when Brush-Baby comes in.
"Brush-Baby began as one mother’s journey to introduce good oral hygiene habits to her child. She found that there was little available to help mothers; nothing to clean baby mouths, teethers and toothbrushes that were too large or too hard and that many teething toddlers chewed just the toothbrush." 
They designed their own range of products - especially made for babies, toddlers and young children. Products that took into account tooth development, children's habits and brushing skills. To hopefully not only make toothbrushing easier and enjoyable, but to help protect those important little teeth.

We were sent a range of different products from their three stages - baby, toddler and child. The Dental Wipes are not something we could really use, as Parker has far too many teeth for it to be safe for my finger (he's a biter!), but they are a clever idea.


The Chewable toothbrush has been a huge hit though. The silicone brush helps clean teeth and gums while your baby / toddler chews - it's design means it's perfect for little mouths, as it can reach right back to those pesky molars. It's been brilliant while Parker is teething too.

The Babysonic Toothbrush is something I was unsure about. An electric toothbrush for a baby? But it's been brilliant! P loves the light vibrations, giggling whenever we bring the toothbrush out. He's actually let us brush his teeth a lot easier. Although he's still too young to sit for the full 2 minutes.


Combined with their Teething Toothpaste (which is specially formulated with camomile to soothe during the teething stage), toothbrushing hasn't been easier! The toothbrush comes with two heads so it can grow with your baby too, which is a bonus.

Overall we've really enjoyed using these Brush-Baby products, and they've definitely helped our toothbrushing situation. Fancy trying them for yourself? Enter via the Gleam widget below for a chance to win a Brush Baby dental care set in your age of choice!


Disclosure - We received these products for the purpose of this review. However all options are honest and my own.