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Me and Mine | August 2017

Thursday, 31 August 2017


And just like that, Summer is over, and I'm sharing what will probably be my last sunny pictures of the year, (unless September is kind to us.. fingers crossed!). July's me and mine post seems like a lifetime ago. With the long summer holidays still stretched out in-front of us, and plenty of time to enjoy as a family of four.

But here we are, with just a couple of days to go before the new school year starts. And it feels as if it's whizzed by! This month we've celebrated both Parker's and my own birthday. We were given the most wonderful news that bump is a baby girl. Jack started his new job, meaning we now get a whole extra day with him during the week. We've had countless National Trust days out. As well as far too many snuggly movie days in. And it has been wonderful... most of the time!


This month's pictures were taken at the last minute again, after a failed attempt during our visit to The Gruffalo Trail. We spent the morning at our favourite NT spot Knole Park with my sister, so asked her to snap some pictures for us. And I'm sooo glad we did, as I think these are my new favourites (I say that every month don't I?).

I'm going to miss the lazy mornings of August, but I cannot wait to get back into our routine and a bit of normality. September is set to be an exciting month, with Indie back to preschool, seeing bump again at our 20 week scan and our holiday to Bluestone Wales. I cannot wait to make more family memories!



The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

Making Food Fun with Organix Fun Plates

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

When weaning both Indiana and Parker we followed the baby led method. It was so much fun to watch them explore and discover new foods, and I will 100% put their 'good' eating down to this method.


I will admit though, once they started to eat proper meals I kind of gave up with trying to make their food look, and seem, exciting. Their snacks are pretty repetitive as I've just got into such a habit of handing them an apple, or some kiddy snacks.

So when Organix got in contact and asked if I wanted to try one of their fun plates, I of course jumped at the chance! Especially as my two are still huge fans of their yummy snacks (and I won't say no either if I'm offered). We were sent some Organix Goodies Gummies so we could try the fruit fish plate.



The plate was so easy to create, and all the fruit needed were ones we'd purchase in our weekly shop anyway. I will say I was skeptical about the kiwi, as Parker really isn't a fan of it at all. But he actually gave it a go, and despite not actually eating it, he did pick it up and try it which is a big step for him! The gummies weren't even first to go either, as grapes are a big favourite here.



Want to give it a go for yourself? Here's how:

Fruity Fish Fun Plate

You Will Need:

1/3 kiwi fruit cut into long triangles

2 round slices of orange cut into 3 semi-circles and 2 small triangles

4 green grapes, sliced into circles

5 Organix Strawberry & Apple Gummies

4 Organix Blackcurrant & Apple Stars


Step 1

Arrange the kiwi fruit triangles at the bottom of the plate for seaweed.

Step 2

Place two of the semi-circles of orange in the middle of the plate, pushed together to form a circle then add the third semi-circle to make the fish’s tail.

Step 3

Arrange the sliced grapes on top of the orange for the fishes scales, leaving one part of the orange clear for the face. Add the triangles of orange for the fish’s fins, then a one of the Strawberry & Apple Gummies for the fish’s eye.

Step 4

Finish the fun food plate off by scattering the Blackcurrant & Apple Stars among the kiwi seaweed for star fish and arrange the remaining Strawberry & Apple Gummies above the fish for bubbles.


Are you're little ones adventurous with their food?

We received the Organix snacks in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail at Bedgebury Pinetum

Tuesday, 29 August 2017


Last September we headed to our local Forestry Commission Bedgebury Pinetum, where we completed the Stick Man trail. This year however, we headed back to Bedgebury in search of someone a little bit bigger... The Gruffalo!

There are 26 Forestry Commission trails across the UK, all of which work in unison with The Gruffalo Spotter App. All you need to do is download the free app (it's best to do this at home, as most locations have limited service), and then hunt for the marker posts along the trail.

You can even pick up a little Activity Pack* in the Visitor Centre for £3. This contains an evidence collection bag, 5 fact and activity cards, Gruffalo character stickers, a special magnifying glass, and a pencil - all of which will help your little ones with the activities along the trail. We did pick one up for Indie and Parker to share, but at 3 and 2 they were probably most interested in the stickers. 



Armed with our activity pack, we were on our way! The trail is really well signposted, and there's definitely no chance of missing it or getting lost. There was even a little surprise at the start of the trail, as we came across The Gruffalo's Child.

The trail itself is a continuous woodland trail, but the animals to spot are split into 4 sections. There are 3 different sign post clues to find, which then lead you to the footprint marker posts. These are where you use the app to find the animals!

Your little ones will have to guess who is in the magnifying glass, spin a little wheel which is hiding 3 images, and then look through the 'binoculars' for the final clue. The activity packs contains a little booklet where they can fill in this information, and then once they've found the animal they can add the correct sticker too.





You'll come across Mouse, Fox, Owl and Snake before ending the trail with The Gruffalo himself. Unfortunately for us we did have trouble with the app on a number of the posts. It took a long time for the animal to load up before it gave you the option to take a picture, (not so handy with little ones who don't stand still for a picture anyway). We couldn't get the Snake post to work at all so missed out on a picture with him completely.

We also chose to visit the trail on a Bank Holiday Sunday, so it was extremely busy. This meant we often had to wait at each of the activities, as there were so many people completing the trail at once. This did kind of ruin the experience for Jack and I, but it was probably our own fault for picking a bad time to go. I'd probably recommend visiting midweek or early / late in the day to avoid this happening.







Overall though, we had a lovely time completing The Guffalo Spotters Trail. The walk through the woodlands was lovely, and despite a few hills it was perfect for the littles to wander around. The highlight for them was probably find The Gruffalo at the end of the trail. A perfect photo opportunity so don't forget your camera!

The trail and app are completely free (you just have to pay for the parking at your chosen location), so if you're looking for a fun family day the won't break the bank, it's definitely a great choice. Especially as Bedgebury has so many other activities such as cycling trails, Go Ape! and adventure play on offer too!



*We received expenses and products in exchange for our review. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you to LittleLife for providing Parker's backpack, TU at Sainsbury’s for The Gruffalo wellies and John Lewis for the cuddly toy!

Living Arrows // 35/52

Monday, 28 August 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.

It honestly feels like I was writing my week 30 Living Arrows post, talking about the loooong Summer ahead, just yesterday. But here we are, the last week of the holidays, and really only a few days to fit in some fun! It's been so lovely having both littles home - I'm really going to miss having Indiana around every day.

I took this picture of Indie this week, only because she was the one who suggested it! She loves being in front of the camera and posing these days.. I honestly don't know where she's picked it up from, but it makes for some super cute photos!


Of course, a Summer's day out wouldn't be complete without an ice cream would it? Jack now works 4 days a week with his new job, so on Wednesday we had a lovely spur of the moment trip to the park with my sister and her little ones. We had ice creams, scooted around the park and Indie even went on a pedallo with Jack. Parker was unfortunately too little, but he was did get the whole loaf of bread to himself for feeding the ducks!


Living Arrows

Mummy and Me | August 2017

Sunday, 27 August 2017

With the Summer holidays almost over, it's been lovely to look back over all the adventures the littles and I have had for this month's Mummy and Me. Don't get me wrong, the days haven't all be something to celebrate, and most haven't been that exciting. But I've loved having these weeks to enjoy those little moments with them - especially the pjs days and sofa snuggles, of which there have been plenty!


This picture of Indie and I was taken in London, on Parker's 2nd birthday. She absolutely loves being in front of the camera these days, and even asks to takes pictures with me which is so lovely! She's thankfully got another year of preschool before school next year, so I know I've got to make the most of it.

This shot of Parker and I was taken by Jack when we visited Standen NT a few weeks ago. It was completely unposed and I just love it. He's got sooo big these last few months, but he'll never be too big for a mama snuggle (I hope)!



Dotty About Phoebe, 'Artwork Charm' Review & Giveaway! {CLOSED}

Saturday, 26 August 2017


Dotty About Phoebe is run by mum of two Gemma, who started Dotty about Phoebe last year, while on Maternity leave with her youngest daughter.
 "I have always loved keepsake jewellery and first discovered it after losing our first baby in 2011 - it was the only tangible item we had that proves he existed. Our eldest daughter was born in 2013 at 23 weeks gestation & since having her I wanted to work for myself doing something that made me happy & what fitted around her numerous appointments." 
So last year she trained in keepsake jewellery, and that's how Dotty About Phoebe began! They use 99.9% fine silver to create all of the hand, foot and fingerprint jewellery. This is the purest silver available, and it preserves the most amount of detail in the prints.

Gemma got in touch after she spotted the picture I shared of my daughter's family portrait. It's a piece of artwork I know I'm going to cherish forever, but most likely hidden away in a drawer and never seen again (especially if I want to keep it safe!). So when she offered to create a charm with the drawing on, of course I said yes!


The process of sorting the charm was really easy. All I did was email over a copy of the artwork, and Gemma got to work. When you buy an artwork or handwriting charm, you will receive an order form in the post an order to complete. You can then either send a copy of the artwork back in the prepaid envelope or email like I did. Easy!

I was thrilled when my package arrived, as I couldn't wait to see how it turned out. It was presented beautifully in it's own little gift box complete with ribbon. The charm come attached to a jump ring (so I can thread it onto a bracelet or necklace), but I do wish I opted to get it added to a carrier charm so I can thread it onto my Pandora bracelet.


Overall I'm actually really impressed with how the charm came out. Especially as the image was quite large to fit onto a small charm. Okay, so if you hadn't seen the drawing first, you probably wouldn't know what it was supposed to be. But to me, I know that it's of Indie's very first family portrait. And that's what makes it so special!

I'm very impressed with the quality too. It feels strong and well made, and I'm not worried about it being damaged - unlike the original artwork. I do think it would look better if it was a fingerprint or writing - but like I said above, I think the fact that it's my child's artwork adds to it's 'charm'.

Fancy owning your very own charm? Gemma has kindly offered my readers the chance to win a £50 voucher to spend on the website! All you have to do is enter via the Gleam widget below.


I received this charm in exchange for my review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Summer Holidays, Disneyland & A New Wardrobe | #LittleLoves

Friday, 25 August 2017

I'm so excited to be back rounding up my week with these #litteloves posts. Although that does mean that Summer is almost over - let's be honest, did any Summer weather actually turn up this holiday?


As it's been a few weeks I thought I'd do a little catch up of our Summer so far. We've celebrated Parker's second birthday, Jack and I had a mini trip away for my birthday, and we found out we're expecting another baby girl! Here's what else I've been loving this month...

Read

I had such good intentions of reading while Jack and I were away, I packed a book in my bag especially! But when it came to it, I realised just how much I've fallen out of love with books. It's so sad as I have always been such a massive bookworm.

So if anyone has any suggestions of really good books to help me get back into it, I'd love to hear them!

Watched

Of course I have to mention Game of Thrones, because...WOW. How good has this series been so far? I was a little disappointed with last years, but every episode this season has had me hooked, and shouting at my TV frequently too! I'm actually gutted that it's the last episode on Monday.

A few weeks ago I braved the cinema with both littles on my own (well, with my sister and her 3 too). Was it probably a mad decision? Yes! But it definitely went better than I expected, and I really enjoyed Sing. 

Heard

As I mentioned above, we heard the amazing news that we are expecting another little girl! We decided to have an early scan a few weeks ago, and do a surprise gender reveal with all of our family. You can watch it here.

Made

This week Jack and I made some rather exciting (but equally crazy) plans... we've finally booked our Disney trip! We're off to Paris next March with the littles, and of course baby girl who will be a few months old by then.

My mind is already a complete whirl of plans, but PLEASE send me any Disneyland Paris posts / videos you may have, I think I need all the advice I can get!

Wore

I am definitely at my most body confident when pregnant, and I've found it's the only time I want to be in front of the camera - especially by myself. I feel as if I've been stuck in stripes for weeeeeks though. But as much as I love a good stripe, they do get a bit boring when it's all you wear.

I finally got around to ordering some new maternity bits this week though, and I'm loving wearing them! The top in the picture below is from New Look and you wouldn't even know it was maternity.



And Lastly...

As it was such a big part of our Summer, I thought I'd use this section to share a snap from Parker's birthday. I'm still in complete denial that he's 2! He's grown so much these last few weeks though, and is really turning into such a little boy. We've even bought a potty for when that time arrives... eek!


Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

A Birthday Babymoon in The New Forest

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


The older I get, the less I care about or even want actual presents on my birthday. There's nothing I really want, and if there is I usually buy it for myself anyway! So for the last few years when Jack has asked me what I'd like, my answer is simple.

A day out.

Time together.

And maaaaybe a cheeky Lush bath bomb to really help me relax.

Last year he booked us tickets to the Harry Potter Studios and a night away. The most perfect gift, and one I didn't think could be topped. But then I discovered what he had planned for this year. And my goodness was I impressed!

A couple of days away - just the two of us - in The New Forest. The most beautiful hotel, no plans, and he even threw in the Lush bath bomb!




Being almost 19 weeks pregnant, and having two very energetic little ones already, the break was most definitely needed. Especially as it's the Summer holidays where there really isn't much chance of a break. 

We stayed at the lovely Eastclose Country Hotel, which provided the perfect base for exploring and of course, relaxing. Located close to Bournemouth, it gave us plenty of choice for getting out and about.

The day we arrived we drove down to Lymington - the absolute cutest little town! We sat on the marina, people watching for ages (a little favourite of ours to do), before grabbing a bite to eat at The Ship Inn. An absolute must if you are ever in the area!

We spent my birthday morning shopping.. obviously, before heading down to Bournemouth beach. The weather was glorious, and again we just sat and chatted on the beach for hours. It's amazing how much you can actually talk about when there's no little ones interrupting you! 




Our trip away went by in a flash. Despite it being the longest we've ever been away from the littles, and missing them like craaaazy.. I definitely think I could have (and would love to already!) stay for longer. Quality time as a couple is oh so important, and it really made me appreciate just how much I love spending time with Jack.

A massive thank you to Jack's parents for looking after the littles for us too. Grandparents really are the best!

You can watch a little vlog from our trip below!

 

Living Arrows // 34/52

Monday, 21 August 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.

Looking through my photos for my post this week, I couldn't believe I hadn't taken any until yesterday. Jack and I were away for a few days for my birthday - the longest we'd ever left the littles - so I spent most of this week missing them!

We made up for it with a lovely and relaxed family weekend though. We made very little plans, and just enjoyed each others company as much as possible. Snuggling up watching Toy Story, playing in the garden, and then the park trip this week's photos are from. Both Indie and Parker are such little explorers at the minute and loved the natural play area. The dragon did prove to be a little scary for P though!



Living Arrows