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Me and Mine | May 2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


How are we another month of the year down already? I honestly feel as if I'm writing these Me and Mine posts every week.. it's crazy! But what a wonderful month we had in May. Definitely made that much better by our family holiday to Ibiza, which I'm hoping I get chance to blog about at some point soon.

May also saw the sun make it's appearance, and my goodness was it beautiful! Arriving home from our holiday to sunshine and warmth, really made the holiday blues that much easier too. The littles have loved being able to play outside again. Having our own house now has made this weather that little bit more exciting too - a garden means playing out late, paddling pools and water play!



I love the pictures I managed to capture this month. I knew I wanted to take them on holiday, so armed with our tripod we wandered along the beachfront to find the perfect spot. I always wonder if people think we're strange, running back and forth from a tripod doing different poses (we did get some reps laughing at us, but they said we looked sweet). I'm so glad we do it though. We may look silly for 5 minutes, but we have wonderful memories of a lovely holiday captured forever!

The holiday did come with it's problems though. Both littles were ill (Parker while there and Indie the day we arrived home), and we're having troubles with Indie's sleep too. I think having Jack at home with us so much during May has also confused P a little bit. He's definitely more upset when Jack leaves now, as he's so used to having him home.

Hopefully we'll get through all these problems in June, and have a month that's just as exciting as May. Fingers crossed this lovely weather sticks around too!


The Me and Mine Project

Fun Party Themes for 4 Year Olds!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Party planning. You either love it or you hate it I think. Thankfully for me though, I LOVE it! Deciding on a theme, collecting all the co-ordinating items, putting it all together on the day.. and then watching as all your hard work is 'enjoyed' (I say it like that, as really it's only you who really notices isn't it?).

Indie will be turning four this year *sob*, and I'm already thinking about what kind of party we're going to have. She's into so many different things at once at the minute - princesses, Trolls, and even Mr Bean. So picking a theme this year is definitely going to be a little trickier, especially as I don't think I can get away with what I like best anymore either!


Thankfully though, Funidelia have my back. They are the biggest fancy dress online shop in Europe and they have a huge range of children's fancy dress costumes. You can also find the party decorations and accessories you need to go with them! These can then be ordered and delivered in a quick, easy and completely secure way.

There are so many ideas on their website, but I've tried to pick a little shortlist of some fun party themes, which I think would be perfect for 4 year olds.

Disney Princesses

What little girl (or boy, Parker LOVES dresses too!) doesn't love dressing up as a princess? With the release of the new Beauty in the Beast film, Indie is now obsessed with all things Belle. I know she'd love to get dressed up in a beautiful dress, and twirl and dance throughout her party. Of course Frozen is still a firm favourite too, so it's great to know Funidelia have everything any Elsa and Anna fan would need, including the birthday decorations too.


Fairytales

We have a huuuge classic fairytale book that's actually one of Indie's favourites at the moment. Stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Little Mermaid are so well known, that I'm sure everyone would love this theme. I think it would make a nice change from the regular Disney princess theme too.

Superheroes

As I mentioned above, Indie is into so many different things at the moment. Of course she absolutely loves princesses and all things girly. But her second favourite love is definitely superheroes! She loves watching Batman cartoons with Jack, and I think she would absolutely LOVE this theme. Definitely one for everyone.

Animals

Now I think this is the theme I'm definitely heading towards most.. how sweet would it be to have a hall full of little animals running around? Funidelia have a huge selection of animal costumes including frogs, dogs and lions.

Thankfully I've still got a few more months to decide, although I already think it's going to be a struggle! What theme did you have for your 4 year olds birthday?

This post in in collaboration with Funidelia. All opinions are honest and my own.

Living Arrows // 22/52

Monday, 29 May 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.

This week's pictures are from our trip to Bewl and the beach, with Harriet and Alice. I love that blogging has not only brought lovely people into my life, but little friends for my two as well. Indie hasn't stopped speaking about Bella and Amelia since!


Despite being the only boy there, Parker had so much fun too. He was absolutely smitten with Amelia  which was so sweet to watch. We were definitely not prepared for the 'fun' of the beach though. We should have known though after visiting the beach on holiday.

The second Parker saw the sea he was in.. not caring how deep he was going or that he was fully clothed. He tripped and ended up completely soaked, yet he kept going back for more. We didn't have any spare clothes (whoops!) so he ended up in Bella's dress and barefoot for dinner. At least he had fun though!



Living Arrows

Mummy and Me | May 2017

Saturday, 27 May 2017

What a wonderful month May was. Full of family days out, sunshine and fun! We also headed off on our summer holiday this month, where I managed to capture so many snaps of my and my two (thanks instahusband!).

This holiday really made me notice how big my two are getting now. Parker is not the little baby I imagine him to be anymore. But a little boy - full of cheekiness, fire and imagination. And our beautiful big girl Indie surprises me daily with her knowledge and sassiness.

Our holiday to Ibiza was just what we all needed. Time to enjoy each others company. To soak in our family dynamic and just enjoy each other - with no routines, nowhere else to be and most importantly no rain!!







Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Sad News, Playdates & Glorious Weather | #LittleLoves

Friday, 26 May 2017

What an awful week. So much sadness with the awful news of Manchester on Monday. It made me want to jump straight back onto a plane and head away again.. to get back into the blissful holiday bubble with my family at my side.


This post is all about celebrating the good though, which I feel is definitely needed this week!

Read

Since we arrived back from our holiday, there's been absolutely no time for reading. I've been trying to catch up on the linkys I joined in with while I was away, but with very little success. I'm hoping this sunny Bank Holiday gives me a chance to sit down with a book and relax!

Watched

On Wednesday we had an exciting trip to Bewl Water and the beach, meeting up with Harriet and Alice for a play date! The three girls had never all met before, but it actually went better than I expected. It was so lovely to watch them interact and play with each other, and they even let Parker play too which was a relief, (especially as he took a particular shining to Amelia). 

Heard

We always have Radio 1 on whenever we're in the car, and on our way home Monday they were live from Radio 1s Academy. They had artists performing live, but the one that's stuck in the head most was this mashup from Bastille. Who knew Snoop Dogg and Lorde could be put together?

Made

Absolutely nothing! Unless 'making' a start on the holiday washing counts?

Wore

We have been so lucky with the weather recently! Not only was it beautiful in Ibiza, but it's been absolutely gorgeous since we've been home too. I'm making the most of the weather while it lasts, wearing summery dresses and sandals. 

I love this dress from New Look - the picture doesn't show it but it's bardot style and actually really comfortable. The fit also means it doesn't cling in any places either, which means it's perfect for eating all the food too.

And Lastly...

Anyone else absolutely buzzing for the Bank Holiday weekend? We've managed to spend so much time as a family this month, and I absolutely love it! If only there were Bank Holidays every month.

Have a lovely week :)

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Do you Wash your Bedding? | Spundown (Washable) Duvet Review

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Answer this question honestly - do you wash your bedding?

If you answered no, then you're actually not alone. A staggering 24.5% of Brits have admitted to having never washed or cleaned their duvet. When The Fine Bedding Company got in touch and shared their stats with me (below), I was shocked. I'll put my hand up and say I'm probably in that percentage. Although I have washed the littles bedding a number of times, I don't think there's any escaping that as a parent!


My excuse for not washing our duvet is probably a bit rubbish, but I just never though it was possible to do at home (and we never took the time to take it somewhere!). But with washing not only cleansing the duvet of dirt, moisture and dust, but keeping it plump and hygienic too - it's clear that it's just as important as washing your sheets!

The Fine Bedding Company sent us one of their Spundown duvets, to see how easy it really is to wash your duvet at home. These washable duvets are filled with Smartfil fibres which are highly compressible, making the duvet capable of squashing down to fit in your machine. These then recover and return to their original state! The peach soft cover is a lovely edition too, as it makes the duvet super soft and snuggly.

I was a little skeptical at first as I was worried it wouldn't fit in the machine, let alone dry quickly. But I had nothing to worry about. The duvet washed well, and came out of the machine just as soft and plump as when it went in. As you can see in the video below, the duvet also dried within 4 hours which is incredibly quick - I really did have the duvet off the bed and back on within a few hours!

During official testing, lab technicians also reported that the Spundown Duvets:
  • Easily fitted into a 7KG washing machine
  • No clumping - the filling hadn’t significantly moved inside and plumped when shaken
  • No loss of plumpness / bounce
  • No excess shrinkage
  • No deterioration of seams, stitching or to fabric - maintained its resistance to creasing
  • Dried in 45 minutes in a standard dryer 


And to answer the question is a washable duvet important? I now know the answer is most definitely yes!

Disclosure - This post is in collaboration with The Fine Bedding Company. All opinions are honest and my own.

Living Arrows // 21/52

Monday, 22 May 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'm so gutted this week's post is up late, but it's for good reason I suppose. We've just returned from our summer holiday to Ibiza, which was the loveliest week we've had in a very long time. Both littles thrived - loving the sun, the pool, the food.. even the kid's club which was a bonus for us!

I love these photos of Parker, I had the camera out looking through photos I'd already taken and he just instantly started cheesing. I loveee his happy little face, and I know looking back at these I'm going to remember the moment so clearly.



These photos of Indie were taken down at the beach, which was right on the doorstep of our hotel. She found a watering can and was instantly in her element - making sandcastles and sandy puddles to jump in. At one point she was even making sand angels!

It was so lovely to just sit back, actually relax, and just watch my two play. It's rare it actually happens (holidays with little ones aren't much of a break are they?).. so I made sure to cherish this moment.



Living Arrows

Aeroplanes, Holiday Spam & Getting Dressed Up | #LittleLoves

Friday, 19 May 2017

I'm going to apologise for the holiday spam now, as this week's #littleloves post is going to be full of it.. sorry, not sorry! I'm currently typing this while Jack's bathing the littles - they're off to the late night kid's club so we can have a meal just the two of us tonight. Because as lovely as this holiday has been, it's been far from relaxing!

So here's the week's #litteloves...

Read

When I've had 5 minutes peace to myself, I've really been enjoying The Unmumsy Mum Diary. I read her first book on holiday last year, so just had to bring this one along. I'm constantly nodding along as it's like she's describing my life sometimes. It really does make me feel not so alone is this crazy parenting world.

Watched

We borrowed Sausage Party from Jack's brother at the weekend, as I've been intrigued by it for ages. My goodness what an odd film. Hilarious in parts, and just bloody weird in others (if you've seen it and watched until the end you'll know what I mean)! I'm still not sure whether I like it or not.

Heard

It's been a bit of a hit and miss week with Indiana. She's absolutely loving being on holiday, but I think the heat and over tiredness is really getting to her. We've had daily battles with her and lots of tears, but hearing her giggling away when in the pool or at the evening entertainment, really does make up for it.

Made

A poor link this week (sorry), but we 'made' the journey to Ibiza! Parker is an absolute transport fanatic, and was so excited by the whole journey. An early morning car ride, train (we ended up at the wrong terminal), flying in an aeroplane and then a coach to our hotel. I don't think I've ever seen him so excited!

Wore

I'm not sure why, but whenever we go on holiday we always make a little bit more effort in the evenings. After a day in and around the pool and covered in sun cream, it's nice to feel that little bit more put together. And who doesn't love an excuse to dress the littles up either?

Indie's top is from Zara, and her shorts and sandals are from Primark.

Parker's top and shorts are both from Zara, and he's got his Converse on.

My dress was an absolute bargain from Primark... £6!!


During the day it's all about swimming costumes and beach towels. We got our Cuddledry UV towel last year, but it still looks as good as new! It's so easy to just pop on when they come out of the pool, and just how cute does he look as a little blue ghost?


And Lastly...

My two have loved swimming on holiday, but they've previously lacked the confidence to go in very far. We picked up these rings from Poundland (they had a number of patterns), and they've made such a difference! I'd definitely pick some up if you're off on holiday this year.


Have a lovely week :)

How to Keep the Cost of Your Holiday Down | Guest Post

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Right now we're currently sunning ourselves in Ibiza (well, I hope so anyway). This post is written by fellow blogger Jon, who runs The Money Shed - the UK's largest community based website, dedicated to earning money from home! He's sharing some top tips for saving money while on holiday...


WE NEED HOLIDAYS!

There’s no doubt that without a holiday to look forward to it makes each day a little bit harder. Knowing we will be sunning ourselves on the beach in a few months time can make those cold mornings when we have to go out and about a bit more bearable.

The cost of holidays over the years sure have gone up. I remember in 2003 we used to go to Ibiza for £99 EACH for a week HALF BOARD! You wouldn’t get anything like that now and while the costs have gone up our ‘want’ for a holiday hasn’t gone down.

I won’t lie, I love going away. I go to Florida each year and on top of that love having a break or two away at Centre Parcs and some short weekends away in Europe so I’ve been thinking about a few TOP TIPS I could share in this post about how to keep the cost of your holiday down.

The eBookers Hotel booking Loophole

I’ve already blogged about this before but ebookers have a FANTASTIC price guarantee in place which means that up to 48 hours before you check in if you find your hotel cheaper elsewhere (either on their site or on any other site) you can fill in a simple 1 page form and get the money refunded.

You need to use Trivago to check every week or so to see if the hotel is cheaper elsewhere but I’ve had probably £1000s returned to me through using this and it’s meant that whenever I go on holiday I am 100% sure I am getting the cheapest price available and the best thing is that ANYONE CAN DO THIS so if you are booking a hotel anywhere in the world you need to take advantage of this!

Pack Smart!

I’m not talking here about only taking the clothes you NEED to wear but rather things like toiletries. In the past we would go on holiday and find we have left something behind we need. Some item for first aid or skin cream for the kids and would have to go looking for some while on holiday. ASDA do a fantastic range of ‘travel items’ which cover everything you could possibly need while away on holiday, making sure you don’t have to fork out for anything while you are there.

Use Travel Cards!

I can’t stress this enough. There are lots available but I would personally recommend using FairFx, who offer a very competitive rate when it comes to changing your money over to your required currency. I always think travel cards are better than just changing up your money into yet more cash as I find you end up taking more money than you need and as much as you say before you go that you will bring back what you don't use the reality is that on those last few nights you will burn through the money like it’s nothing. 


I think there are lots of different ways you can make small and clever adjustments in your run up to your holiday to make sure that you have a fantastic time without having to worry about money at all. A holiday where you are stressing about how much is being spent, or how much the whole thing is costing is no fun at all!

The Siblings Project | May 2017

Monday, 15 May 2017


I'm probably going to be amongst a sea of people sharing bluebell shots for this month's Siblings Project. But you know what? I am so excited to be a part of the cliche! These are some of my favourite photos of my two this year, and they remind me of what a lovely morning we had exploring the woods for the bluebells.

These pictures really make me stop and take a step back too. Just look how big they are! And I'm sure as each day passes they look more and more alike. The same golden hair. The same beautiful blue eyes. And definitely the same cheeky smiles. It really does make me wonder what a third would look like when that day comes. As Indie and Parker really are little peas in the same pod.



This month has thankfully been an improvement on last month. Indie being at preschool really does make such a difference - they're not under each others toes constantly, and they get time to miss each other. And my goodness does Parker miss Indie when she's there.

Preschool pick up is his favourite time of day, and he practically pulls me out the door calling for Indie. The second they see each other they both light up, giving each other the biggest snuggly cuddle ever. Usually followed by a kiss from P.

It also means they seem to enjoy their time together a lot more too. Of course they do still fight and bicker (that's just a normal sibling relationship isn't it?), but they have played together a lot more. Their favourite thing to do at the moment is to snuggle up together under a blanket, with a film or some Ben and Holly. Just enjoying each others company. And if I'm lucky I get invited in too!



The age gap between these two was definitely tough when they were little. But when I see them now; how close they are, knowing they'll have each other to turn to always. My goodness was it all worth it!

The Me and Mine Project

Living Arrows // 20/52


“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.

The sun finally decide to make an appearance for us this week, which meant we could get back out in the garden to play. Parker absolutely thrives from being outside, so he was very excited! We spent the whole of Wednesday outside - picking dandelions, playing with his cars and just enjoying the sun.


I'll give Jack full photo credit for this picture of Indie. He took her out on Saturday, to watch The Dad Network Dads play in a charity tournament. She wasn't so keen on watching others play though.. instead opting for a kick about herself, lots of rolling down a hill and even having a go at the long jump!


Living Arrows

Big Little Lies, Holiday Packing & A Family Portrait | #LittleLoves

Friday, 12 May 2017

I am soooo excited that Friday has come back around again. Not only does it mean the weekend, but it also means our holiday is almost here.. and I cannot wait! We're off to Ibiza for a week of sun (hopefully), relaxing (hopefully) and just a general break from day to day life. 

This week has therefore been a blur of packing, and trying to fit in filming / editing. So that I've got bits going up on my blog and youtube channel over the next week. It's probably totally unnecessary, but I just can't let everything go for a week. Is it just me?

Read

I've not read much at all this week. If I've not been packing or playing with the littles, I've been binge watching Big Little Lies - more on that below!

Watched

I cannot believe it took me soo long to start watching Big Little Lies. It is SO good! I watched the whole series in about 4 days (and it would have been quicker if I had more 'me time' to watch TV). The cast was fantastic, the storyline was gripping and I definitely didn't see the ending coming. If you haven't already I'd 100% recommend giving it a watch.

Heard

Despite only being 3, Indiana comes out with some fantastic conversations. This one really made me chuckle this week:


Made

As mentioned above I've made a start on packing for our holiday - everything is piled on top of the suitcase, I just need to find the energy to properly pack it!

Indiana also came home from preschool with this picture she 'made'. It's the first family portrait she's ever drawn, and I'll be honest and say it made me get all teary (even if we do look a little like potatoes).

Wore

This week's dressing up outfit of choice for Parker was as a fairy princess - I think he totally pulls it off! He was shouting 'ribbet' 'ribbet' while waving his wand around, turning us all into frogs too.

And Lastly...

Now I've got through Big Little Lies, I'm on the hunt for another show to get sucked into. Definitely let me know if there's anything you think I should watch next!

Have a lovely week :)

Sheffield Park and Garden | Days out with The National Trust

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


We love exploring with our National Trust passes. Living in West Kent we have so many fantastic properties and places around us; so last weekend we decided to visit Sheffield Park and Garden.

Situated halfway between East Grinstead and Lewes, Sheffield Park is really easy to get to. It's even close enough to the Bluebell Railway, that you could hop aboard the train (at weekends you can get a bus from the station straight to the entrance).

The park features acres of landscaped garden, bordered by historic parkland and woodland. Four lakes create the centre of the garden, with paths then circulating through the glades and wooded areas surrounding them. The house is private, but forms a beautiful backdrop for photos!




There was so much to see and do for the little ones, and Sheffield Park is very child friendly as the paths are all mostly buggy accessible. There are lots of open areas of water though (the lakes don't have any fences), so do keep that in mind if you have a wild one on your hand like I do!

Family facilities include:

  • Natural woodland play trail across the parkland.
  • Family activities to pick up from reception every day.
  • All-terrain pushchair and back carriers available to borrow.
  • Baby-changing facilities in toilets at reception and the tearoom.
  • Children's lunches and lunch boxes in the tearoom, as well as bottle and baby food warming facilities.
  • Children's scooters are allowed (weather dependent though).




I must say the park was absolutely beautiful to walk around. Blooming flowers wherever you looked, ducks waddling along behind you (much to our twos delight!), and just a calmness that seemed to be created by the place.

We were gutted to have missed the Bluebell woodland walk, but I can imagine this was lovely to walk through. We also would have loved to explore the play trail but with so much else to see, we just simply didn't have the time!





Before we had a proper explore we did check out the Tearoom for a quick lunch. I'm a sucker for a National Trust meal - they're always crazily overpriced, but the fab quality does make up for it. The Tearoom itself was lovely. A good size with a great outdoor seating area and great facilities for little ones.

The food was disappointing though. The children's lunch boxes were pre-made, so you couldn't choose each item like you usually do (there only seemed to be 4 instead of 5 items too!). My sausage roll was undercooked and the cleaning staff cleared up our tray without asking, throwing Jack's half full drink away in the process!

Hopefully it was just a one off bad experience, and I know we'll definitely go back again. Just a heads up if you do visit.