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Me and Mine | March 2017

Friday, 31 March 2017


March has been pretty crazy. We moved house. We bought a new car. We've celebrated birthdays (it's Jack's tomorrow!) and our fourth Mother's Day. As well as plenty in-between. But we got through it all as a family, and I can honestly say we've never been happier!

On Sunday 12th March we waved goodbye to our flat, and officially moved into our house. We still rent (and probably will for a loooong time), but this just feels so much more homely, not to mention grown up. We have our own front door, a garden and so much more space. The littles still share a room, but after being together for over a year I think they prefer it that way anyway!

This month's Me and Mine pictures were taken on our last day in our old home. The place both children grew up in, and where they learnt all of their milestones. Where Parker came home from hospital to (and where my waters broke!), and where we lived when we got married.


So it only seemed right to capture these last family moments. The four of us together, snuggled on 'the big bed'... ready to take on our new adventure.

We are nearly all settled in now, and I'm sure it won't be long before this really feels like home.

Who knows where this next chapter will take us?


The Me and Mine Project

Peppa Pig, Floral Shirts & A New Baby | #LittleLoves

Waking up Thursday morning I could have sworn it was Friday. Apparently the week has got that slow. I have no idea why though, as we've been pretty busy! A trip to London, Mother's Day, lots of garden fun and the last day of preschool.

Here's this week's little loves...

Read

If you've never read Amber's blog (Meet the Wildes) before, you are honestly missing out. She writes so beautifully, and shares the most amazing pictures. Her reviews are more like stories, and are just so lovely to read. Her latest review in collaboration with Medela is worth reading, even if you're not interested in the products!

Watched

We hopped on a train bright and early Saturday morning, to watch Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience. It certainly was an experience! Absolutely fantastic for kids (my two were mesmerised from the beginning)... but I'm certainly not in a rush to see Peppa's face that big again!


Heard

I fiiiinally watched Moana this week - the littles were with me of course, although I would happily watch it by myself too! I've had the soundtrack stuck in my head since. Thank goodness for youtube so we can listen to it whenever we like.

Made

Indie made her very first Easter Bonnet at preschool this week! We're off to her little parade this morning so I don't have any pictures just yet. Make sure you follow on Insta though as I'll probably post one over there.

Wore

I know every blogger seems to have this floral blouse.. but I just couldn't resist it when I saw it on the Zara website! Isn't it just so pretty and spring-like? I'm already on the hunt for more in a similar style - if you know of any please let me know!


Indie also wore this lovely turquoise bow on our trip to London - I love how it matches her top perfectly! We were so happy to be sent a surprise box from Pretty Little Isla - Indie has loved picking a different one every morning.

And Lastly...

Today is a very exciting day, as my sister is being induced! I'm her second birth partner (all going to plan), and I'm so, so, sooo excited. She was there for us when Parker was born, so I'm thrilled she wants me to be there for her. And who doesn't love newborn baby squishes? Wish her luck!!

Have a lovely week :)

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Visiting The Queen and #Peppa1stCinema Experience

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


Last Saturday we were invited to London, to be one of the first people to see Peppa's 1st Cinema experience! A train, two tubes and lots of buggy lifting up stairs later, we arrived at Picturehouse Central ready for lots of Peppa Pig fun.

There was plenty to do including face painting, crown making, and meeting Peppa and George (although Parker wasn't so keen on this part). The film itself was brilliant, and one I'd definitely recommend seeing. Brand new episodes including Peppa visits London, as well as interactive segments - it really encourages your little ones to get involved by singing and dancing throughout. 

With the film over and the sun finally shining, we decided to go visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace. We had never taken the kids before and Indie was very excited to show off her crown - it is really easy to walk to from Trafalgar Square, so it was the perfect place to visit!




Indie loved watched the guards and seeing where the Queen lives. Although she was a little disappointed that she didn't come outside to see her crown!

As it was such a lovely day we headed to Green Park (just to the right of Buckingham Palace), to let the littles run around. I never realised there were so many green areas around central London. It really is more child friendly than you think.

Despite the events of last week, it was still pretty busy in London. I love the atmosphere and feeling that London has. No matter how many times you visit, it feels like an adventure!



Peppa's 1st Cinema Experience is in cinemas from April 7th. We attended this event free of charge in exchange for social sharing.
life as our little family

Mummy and Me | March 2017

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Of course I had to share some Mother's Day snaps, for this month's Mummy and Me post. We did try and get some lovely posed ones, but it just wasn't happening. But I love these candid shots that Jack managed to capture. 

We had a lovely lunch at Bill's, and then spent our afternoon in the sun at Ightham Mote. I'm so pleased the sun finally made an appearance, as it really does make a day that much better... even if Parker decided to sit in a stream and both kids were exhausted! 




Living Arrows // 13/52

Monday, 27 March 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.

I wanted to capture Mother's Day for this week's Living Arrows, but my two just weren't playing ball! I tried snacks, bribery, even pulling silly faces.. but they were adamant they didn't want a nice picture with mummy (anyone else experience this?).

We did get a couple of lovely ones - well apart from mr grumpy gills Parker! - before we went out for lunch. It's crazy to think this was my fourth Mother's Day as a mummy myself.



Living Arrows

Little Street Maidstone | A Role Play Centre for Young Children

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Last Thursday we were invited to Maidstone, to be one of the first to play at the new Little Street play centre. Open now, the new centre is located in the Royal Star Arcade, right in the middle of the town centre, making it easily accessible by car, public transport or foot if you live close enough!

Created with little people (aged up to 8) in mind, Little Street Maidstone features a supermarket, construction site, police station, theatre, medical centre and a whole lot more - a typical town all scaled down for little ones; carefully designed and filled with props to give a fun and educational play experience.








My two (aged 3 and 20 months) were amazed from the second we walked in. The fire truck was of course the first stop, quickly followed by a shop in the supermarket - although the trolleys in there quickly become popular. I loved the attention to detail in every area, and that as well as toys for each themed section, there was also costumes to dress up with too.

One of the best things about Little Street is the educational benefit. Role play in children is hugely important for their development. Helping with language skills, problem solving and their understanding of themselves and others.

Little Street was also designed with input from Early Years Practitioners, who have incorporated other learning opportunities such as shapes, colours and numbers. Indiana (3) especially loved being a postman, and had no idea she was learning numbers and colours as she found where to post the letters. 







All play sessions have a limited number of spaces, so the space never feels too crowded. There are 4 sessions daily at:
09:30 - 11:00

11:30 - 13:00

13:30 - 15:00

15:30 - 17:00

After each session is finished the staff get to work tidying up, putting every last toy back to where they belong. This means that every session starts with the rooms ready to be discovered again. This is brilliant as the items really do end up all over the place!

There is a seating area with plenty of tables, so you can sit and watch your little ones play - although I did find I wanted to be in there playing as much as they did! The wall is low enough to see into the rooms, and most can be seen from this area which I think is great. There's a little cafe too which sells hot drinks for parents, as well as healthy treats for little ones.

Overall I was hugely impressed with our visit. Everything was thought of, even down to the little details such as steps in the toilets for little ones and gates to keep them safely in the play area. I would definitely recommend a visit - you can book onto a session here. Just don't forgot your socks!

Watch my vlog from our visit below!



Disclosure - We received our entry free in charge in exchange for our review

Watching Trains, Mother's Day Gifts & A Busy Weekend | #LittleLoves

Friday, 24 March 2017

Oh Spring... when will you decide to make an appearance and actually stick around? The weather has been pretty rubbish this week, meaning it hasn't been very exciting. It's also been overshadowed by more sadness in this world. But I don't want dwell too much on the negative, so here's this week's Little Loves...

Read

I haven't actually read much this week. Of course I've read plenty of blog posts, but nothing I can really pin point. I did read that One Born Every Minute is back on soon though... who else will be watching?

Watched

I know this is a rubbish link for this week, but I'm going with it! Wrapped up in coats, hats and wellies (come on weather, it's almost April!), I took the littles for a loooong walk on Monday. We discovered a park I never even knew existed, and had it all to ourselves. Even better it was right next to a field with horses, and you could watch the trains go by - We watched them for absolutely ages; I've never seen Parker so happy!


Heard

Can you believe I still haven't got my hands on Ed Sheeran's new album? I have been listening to a few of the tracks this week though, and I've loved them all so far. This one is my new favourite!

Made

Picking Indie up from preschool on Wednesday, I was presented with my first little Mother's Day present and the sweetest "happy Mother's day mummy". She was SO proud of it and told me about every sticker on our walk home.

Wore

I thought I could finally post about some of the new Spring clothing I bought a few weeks ago, but it's still not warm enough! So here's Parker rocking Batman and a tutu... a winning combination right?

And Lastly...

We've got a fully packed weekend planned, with Mother's Day on Sunday and a day in London tomorrow. We're off to see Peppa Pig at the cinema (the things we do for our little ones huh?), and then I think we're heading to the museums. I'll admit I am worried after this week, but we're not going to let it ruin our fun!

Have a lovely week :)

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Toddler Swimming Essentials

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Going swimming with your little ones can be one of the loveliest experiences... but only if you are prepared. They can get chilly quickly, be slippery little things, and don't even think about going for a dip without a proper swim nappy.

So I've put together my list of toddler swimming essentials, to hopeful make your swimming experience a positive one!

Toddler swimming Essentials
This year we're thrilled to be working with Konfidence, as one of their Baby Swimologists. Parker recently finished his term of swimming lessons with Puddle Ducks, where we got to test out some fantastic Konfidence products.

We've used the Konfidence Aqua Nappies since Indie was a baby, and have recommended them to almost everyone. They're made from a soft polyester outer layer, a PVC middle barrier and then a soft inner mesh. They grow with your little one as they can be adjusted with poppers and velcro, and when you're done just wash and reuse!

A post shared by Emily (@emilyandindiana) on

Most swimming lessons have a double layer policy when it comes to nappies, so we used the Konfidence NeoNappy nappy cover on top. It provides that extra security (no one wants a poop explosion mid-swim!), by creating a soft, stretchy, impermeable shell.

If you've ever changed in a public changing room, you'll know they're not the nicest of places. The Konfidence Roll & Go Changing Mat is great for this. It's made from soft cushioned neoprene with a non-slip back - creating a more hygienic and warm spot to change / dress your child. It rolls up really easily too which is a little bonus.

A swimming bag probably isn't an essential, but it's pretty handy! We love our Trunki Paddlepak as it's waterproof, full of handy little features, and the designs are just adorable. You can read more about our experience here.

A post shared by Emily (@emilyandindiana) on

If your little one gets cold easily (or you're going abroad where you know the pools with be freezing), the Konfidence Babywarma Wetsuit is brilliant. It's essentially a baby/toddler wetsuit - it's a lot easier to use those as it is completely velcro adjustable. As well as keeping your little one warm, it also offers 100% UV protection on all covered areas, it provides additional grip and it looks pretty cute too!

Although showering after swimming isn't always easy, you can make it a more enjoyable experience with lovely products. We love Childs Farm and their 3-in-1 swim not only smells absolutely amazing, but I know it's gentle on our two's skin. This travel set is perfect for swimming as the bottles are smaller, and it includes a hair detangler and moisturiser too.

Finally, you of course need a snuggly towel to wrap them up in! We love our poncho towel from Cuddledry, although any hooded/poncho towel would work. The poncho design means they're covered, but they have their arms free - perfect for holidays too.


Disclosure - We received the Konfidence products as part of our Swimologist role. All opinions are honest and my own.

Living Arrows // 12/52

Monday, 20 March 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.

Our new sofa has been a huuuuge novelty for Parker. On, off, on, off. Jumping around and snuggling up with blankets watching Ben and Holly. I love that even the simplest things can be so exciting for him. Although saying that, I think our new sofa is pretty exciting too!


Soft play on a Sunday morning wasn't really my idea of fun - the things we do for our littles huh? Indiana loved having daddy there to play with her though, as well as her cousins. It's been a busy week for all of us, so it was a perfect opportunity for her to just run around and play.


Living Arrows

AEG 6000 Series L6FBG941R 9kg Washing Machine | Review

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Moving house and having children are apparently some of the most stressful things you can do. So when we moved house at the weekend WITH two children, we wanted to things to be as stress-free as possible.

We knew we needed a new washing machine, so I got in contact with AO.com after hearing so many good things about them. They were fab and after ordering on Friday, we had our delivery slot arranged in minutes for the Saturday!


We received the AEG 6000 Series L6FBG941R 9kg Washing Machine which is perfectly suited to our family. Packed with the latest technology and a huge 9kg drum it's really made doing the washing a much less stressful task!

I can wash more in a load and know it's done correctly, thanks to ProSense® Technology. This fantastic feature weighs the load and then automatically adjusts the cycle settings to suit - making sure every item is given the best possible wash whilst saving energy and water too... how fab is that?

Speaking of saving energy and water, the machine has an A+++ efficiency rating, and costs just £29.26 to run per year. This is extra helpful for families like mine, where the washing machine feels as if it's constantly on!



There are 10 different wash programmes including cotton, delicate, easy iron (I love this one!), and quick wash which is only 20 minutes. You can adjust the spin speed (top speed of 1400 RPM) and temperature of the wash, with the touch of a button once you've selected your setting.

A handy feature is that the child lock automatically turns on and off once you hit start and then the wash finishes too. The handy display screen also shows you (with the help of flashing icons) which stage of the wash it's on, as well as the time remaining.

Another thing to add is that it is soo quiet - we sometimes put our wash on overnight, and you wouldn't even know during most of the wash! And on the subject of washing overnight, the time delay function (up to 20 hours) is perfect for this.


Although we love the actual product, I will say the delivery did leave a lot to be desired. Sorting the delivery with AO was very easy and quick, however the delivery men weren't so helpful. Their communication skills weren't very good, and they didn't seem to have the correct tools needed to fit the machine - it was lucky we had a neighbour who has what they needed, or they would have had to come back another day to install it!

Overall though I would definitely recommend the machine, and ordering from AO to anyone. If you're constantly doing laundry and want a more effective but yet efficient machine - the AEG 6000 Series L6FBG941R is definitely the machine for you!

Dimensions - H85 x W60 x D63

Disclosure - We received this item in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Cefalu' - An Underestimated Holiday Destination for Your Family | Guest Post

Everyone knows about the allure of Sicily. Its ancient treasures, which are the envy of archaeologists and nature-lovers worldwide. And its rich historical heritage, resulting from over three millennia of cross-cultural interaction with the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Northern Europeans.

But aside from the beautiful and perfectly restored temples, it's cathedrals and beaches and it's lovely nature settings, the magic of Sicily is clear in its simplicity and also the rustic character of the various villages that dot the island. With their unique folklore and traditions that bring to life the multi-faceted character of the jewel of the Mediterranean.

In this melting-pot of cultural and cosmopolitan diversity lies the splendid town of Cefalù, which represents a true gem in the history of Sicily. This ancient fishing village, conquered by the Normans in 1064, is not only one of the best beach resort towns in the island, but comprises some of the best artistic and architectural wonders of the Renaissance and pre-Renaissance era.


It is perfect for a family holiday because it represents everything that is typical of Sicily and, as such, satisfies every taste for visitors.

The best way to reach Cefalù is from the main airport of Palermo (Falcone-Borsellino International airport). Transport is available from Palermo via bus or train (which run on an hourly basis) and within Cefalù there are bus lines which connect to the surrounding villages and towns.

Don't forget to book early for accommodation though; Sicily is one of the preferred destinations for tourists and it is busy all year round - thanks to the favourable climate which allows you to visit even in the months of October and November.

While visiting Cefalu’, many travellers prefer to rent a villa so that they can experience Sicilian life and culture in all its aspects. There are many villas in Cefalù, located in the northern part of Sicily, which come at great budget prices for groups and so you can definitely bring your friends (and your dog!) along.


You can find a villa with direct access to the beach, with a private pool and/or with a glorious Mediterranean garden. Meaning you can experience your holiday in luxury and completely relax with all the comforts of home at your finger-tips.

More importantly, this type of accommodation affords the opportunity to live like the locals. It provides a base from which to explore the surroundings (and the many secluded spots that are hidden from the majority of conventional tourists), away from the hustle and bustle of tourist hotels. You can also walk to the local market and buy food to cook at home so you can save on expensive restaurants and get the chance to create your own traditional Sicilian home-cooked meal!

Once you have settled in, it is time to visit the spectacular places that Cefalù is renowned for. Starting with the Centro Storico, a visit to the main Duomo and its Norman Cathedral (built in 1131) and its collection of 12th Century Byzantine Mosaics (with pictures of Christ, the Madonna, Angels and Apostles) is a must for any art historian or art appreciator.


Venture up to the Rocca for a lovely hike that affords a majestic view of the town and the coastal areas, and visit the ruins of the 5th Century B.C. Greek Temple of Diana. Step into the town’s museum, the Museo Mandralisca, for an exquisite trip into the ancient past, and check out the ancient Saracen wash-house (Lavatoio) to learn about the customs of the many civilizations that peopled the area.

Enjoy the sun-filled beach that lines the coast of Cefalù, then head over for a trip to the Madonie Mountains inland and admire the Mediterranean flora and fauna while enjoying a picnic, or participate in the activities of the adventure parks in the area (something which every child and adult will no doubt enjoy).

Cefalu' is where the main regional specialties can be found, including game and freshly grown vegetables. You can also learn about traditional Sicilian cooking methods and recipes, so you will be able to take back home with you a piece of Sicily that will remain forever in your heart and memory.

In collaboration with Mary J