Enjoying The National Trust: Knole Park


Saturday was another roasting hot day, so what better to do than enjoy the great outdoors! We're lucky to live local to many National Trust locations and I even get free entry with my job at John Lewis... bonus! Knole Park is one of these so we thought we'd go for the afternoon.

We started off the day with lunch out at Harvester, as no weekend is complete without a meal out haha. I'm pretty sure the waitress was willing to take Indie home she loved her that much. Making a quick escape we made it to the park and started our walk. 

Knole holds so many memories for us and me especially. The last time we were there I was 39 weeks pregnant and trying my hardest to walk the baby out haha. It was freezing cold and I was the size of a whale and pretty miserable, yet looking back it's a great memory. The park is also known for it's deer that wander free around the place. I have many pictures of me and my sisters when we were younger feeding them and exploring the area.
The deer are still there today and are definitely not afraid of people. They were literally wandering in and out of picnicking families and were even happy to let people touch them, although I wasn't very happy about that. Jack got some great photos from the day and I definitely felt very grown up. I used to moan when going to these kind of places with my parents, yet here I am with picnic blanket in hand and my own baby, suggesting we go there haha, how things change!

Here are a few photos from the day:
What places do you like to visit as a family?
Emily xx

Indiana's 8 Month Update


I have an 8 month old... 8 whole months! I just can't believe it; okay maybe looking at her I can, but seriously where does the time go?! This month has been another huge month for development and hitting milestones. It also marks the last of my maternity leave as I'll be back at work in a week *sobs*.
I had Indie weighed last Wednesday (when she was 34+1 weeks) at the clinic. She's now a round 18lb and my arm definitely notices when she's in her car seat haha! Her cousin who is 6 weeks younger is almost 2lbs heavier which is so funny... she still manages to beat him up though!

As she'll be in nursery twice a week it was about time we got a definite strict schedule. It was pretty much there but just needed some fine tuning. She wakes around 7/8 and has a bottle, followed by a play and then breakfast. Then around 10/10.30 she has nap number 1 which lasts between 1-2 hours. We are SO lucky that she has always self settled and I swear by a grobag, comforter and her seahorse or soothing giraffe for this! Then she's up for lunch, more play and/or we go out. She has her second bottle around 3 when she'll go back down for her second nap which is also between 1-2 hours. Then it's more play or I'll let her watch TV while I prepare dinner. Dinner and then depending on how late it is she'll have a bath or just a quick snuggle with daddy. Then she has her last bottle between 7/7.30 and goes to bed! 
Well the dreamfeed was gone and not even missed after about 4 days haha, clever girl! So now once she's in bed she's a goner until morning. It's been ridiculously hot the past month so she's been sleeping in either a nappy or a vest and then her 1 tog grobag. I have even popped the fan on in her room on a few occassions as it was just so muggy and sticky. I love how she knows when it's nap/bedtime and she snuggles into her bunny comforter, so cute!
Baby led weaning worked so amazingly for us. She took to it so well and now eats three meals a day. She eats so much and I do worry sometimes she's had too much, as she just doesn't stop haha! However, I know this can't be the case and she clearly just enjoys her food. She's dropped her mid-morning bottle by herself so now takes 3x8oz bottles of Cow&Gate Stage 1 milk - morning, afternoon and before bed.
Her 6-9 month clothing is fitting much more comfortably now. Leggings and tights fit perfectly which I'm happy about, although some things are like t-shirts are still a bit long (she's got short arms just like her mummy haha). Still in size 4 nappies which I think she'll be in for a while.

  • Crawling! She started off commando crawling but now literally drags herself around the room. She rocks on all fours but hasn't mastered that quite yet.
  • Blowing rasberries - she literally does this all day long and I've got so many photos of her with her tongue out now haha.
  • Someone finally said MAMA! Aghh it's literally the best thing in the world, especially when she looks at me and says it.
  • Cuddling - every morning when I get her out of her cot she squeals, gives me the hugest smiles and then cuddles me. Almost as cute as her saying mama.
  • She's learning to clap and pull herself up. It's amazing watching her think about what she's doing and trying to figure it out.
  • Her pincer grip is pretty much spot on - she was picking up individual peas at lunch!
Another busy month for my little monkey this month! She's got a whole new adventure to start with nursery and spending lots more time with her daddy. I'm just praying I don't miss anything as I think that will make the transition a whole lot harder. It's also my 21st birthday this month, so hopefully little miss Indie has lots of plans to spoil her mummy!

What was your little one up to at 8 months?
Emily xx

thecanvasprints.co.uk | Review


I'm a total picture addict. I probably max out the memory on my phone about twice a week with pictures and videos haha. I even have individual folders for every month of Indiana's life and her 7-8 month alone has over 800 pictures already... . I love getting my favourite ones printed and put up and I truly think a house into a home until it's full of pictures and things on the wall.

So when The Canvas Prints gave me the opportunity to review a canvas for them I literally jumped at the chance! The online company is based in Bolton and they aim to 'provide quality canvas prints at low prices'. What I thought was brilliant was how easy it was to order my print. There are three options to choose from: single canvas, photo splits (one image across multiple prints) and then wall displays. 

I went for the single canvas option with a solid colour wrap. There are a lot more options for choosing your picture than other sites I've seen. You can do the usual upload from your computer which is my favourite as that's where all of mine are, but you can also upload from Facebook, Instagram or Google+! This is brilliant as most people use social media a lot these days, and I do find most of mine end up on Instagram haha.

There are so many size options to choose from, as well as different colour affects (these are not charged extra which is an added bonus!). All the time you make changes to your order the price is clearly updated so you know just how much it's going to cost. The only hard part of ordering was deciding which of my million pictures to use haha!

I admit I was a bit sceptical about how the great the quality of the canvas would be. I had never heard of the company before and I wasn't sure how good the picture would be once stretched. However I really had nothing to worry about. The canvas is absolutely gorgeous and I'm so happy with it.

It arrived well packaged with a clear 'fragile' label, as well as extra bubble wrap inside to make sure it wasn't damaged. The canvas itself was also wrapped in two layers for protection - one of bubble wrap and the other a clear shrink wrap. I think this added detail is brilliant as there's nothing worse than ordering something online for it to arrive broken!

The canvas itself it amazing quality. The picture looks amazing and has not been distorted at all with the stretching. The colours and bold and bright and it really stands out on the wall. The pink wrap around the edge goes perfectly with the colours in the picture and really finishes it off. The quality of finish on the backing is also brilliant. It is neatly secured down with added tape to cover it all. A hanging hook is also already attached so I coul put it up straight away!

Overall I am extremely happy with my canvas, and it now has pride of place on the wall in my living room. Prices for a single canvas start from £18 which I think is excellent value considering the quality (and the fact you can edit it for no extra cost!). 

*I was sent this canvas free of charge for the purpose of the review, however all opinions are honest and my own*

Baby Led Weaning Diaries: Week 8


This is probably the last weaning update I'm going to do for now as Indie's pretty much well on her way with her journey and it's going to get pretty repetitive! I'm amazed at how far she's come in 8 short weeks. If you go back and watch her updates from week 1 to now you can really see just how much she is eating in comparison!

The second food comes anywhere near her she becomes impatient and wants in right that second. Then as soon as it's on her tray she dives for it and shovels it in haha... so funny to watch! She's still loving everything we give her and is definitely a fruit lover.

This past week I've started to notice less and less mess left behind and she's actually eating every last crumb, and even then she can still be found searching for food. My little piggy haha :). We've also been trying really hard to get her to drink water this week as it's been so hot. She still hates it though and pulls the funniest faces!

New things she's tried this week are:

> Crumpets
> Rasberries
> Carrot + coriander soup (She loved this but couldn't understand why she couldn't have the bowl haha)
> Sausage
> Apricot yoghurt
> Plum little yums
> Homemade cheddar and sweetcorn fritters (SO easy to make and we both enjoyed them)
> Frozen yoghurt (ideal for this hot weather we've had)
> Butternut squash + sweet potato soup on a bread roll
> Chicken risotto
> Chicken stir fry with prawn crackers

I really hope she continues to eat so well. I grew up being and still am a really fussy eater, so I hope that she isn't. I don't think I have anything to worry about though, this girl loves her food!

Baby Led Weaning Diaries: Week 7


We've been trying to buy and give Indiana as many different foods and meals as possible in order to discover what she likes, and what she doesn't like. Well seven weeks in and to be honest we're finding it pretty difficult to find anything Indie doesn't like haha! Every food we give her, especially fruit this week, she scoffs down and asks for more!

She's eating so much now that she has dropped a bottle all by herself. She now has a morning bottle, breakfast, lunch, an afternoon bottle, dinner and then her bedtime bottle. I thought it would be ages before she dropped her milk but she did it all by herself! TMI maybe, but every poop she does now is a 'proper' one haha, so you can really tell she's well into eating food and leaving milk behind.

So new foods this week are:

> Shreddies
> Banana on toast - she went absolutely crazy for this!
> Nectarine
> Fish
> Mango
> Rasberry and blueberry rice cakes
> Hummus
> Chips
> Rice pudding
> Kiwi
> Chicken fajita
> Roast gammon

We've noticed that she really enjoys strong flavours and there is really no need to give bland food to babies! She loved the fajita chicken and didn't even notice it was spicey! She's also taken to loudly saying 'yumm yumm' whenever she's eating something she really enjoys.. so cute!

Bibisili Bibs | Review


Wandering around the Baby Show earlier in the year we stumbled across the Bibisili Bib stall. It was the bright colours, cute designs and individuality that appealed to us. They also had a fab offer on so we managed to get two bibs so cheaply!

At first we just thought they'd be pretty bibs to use for when we began weaning Indie, but they are so much more and are now the only bibs we use! Taken from their website Bibisili bibs are "Eco-friendly baby bibs, non toxic, odourless and harmless to your babies’ skin". They are made with super soft and flexible 100% sillicone. Not only does this mean they are soft against baby's skin and allow them to move easier whilst it is on, they are also so easy to take out with you; they literally squish small enough to put into your bag/changing bag that they hardly take up any room!

I have found them to be easier to use than other bibs such as the Tommee Tippee ones. They seem to be very wide across the shoulders and probably would limit how far your baby could reach forward. However Bibisili bibs are much thinner and look much more comfortable on too. They have an adjustable fastening just like any other bib, however they have a unique design that is created to try and stop your little one ripping off the bib. A brilliant idea I think as you don't want the food being caught in the crumb catcher flying all over the room!

The silicone material also makes them easy to clean. We just wash them in warm soapy water, although you can just pop them in the dishwasher if you want. We did find that the white bib stained after Indie ate curry, but with a little soak in bleach it came out whiter than white, and looked brand new!

Lastly they're just so much prettier to look at! I can't even tell you how many compliments I get about them and it makes me so happy to tell people where they are from. They come in 12 eye-catching, bold designs to make dinner times fun! Each retail at £6.99 with p+p starting from £1.75 for standard UK delivery, which I think is a brilliant price for an item that will last for years!

*I was not paid for this review and all opinions are honest and my own*

Goodbye Maternity Leave, Hello Work...


So in 24 days (not that I'm counting haha) I'm returning to work and saying goodbye to my baby and my maternity leave. When I decided to take 9 months leave I had no worries, 9 months sounded like ages, and how could that fly by? But boy was I wrong! It's whizzed by and I just cannot believe it.

My job is nothing exciting, I work at my local John Lewis, but it suits me and I'm happy with it. I love all the people I work with and don't get me wrong I'm looking forward to seeing them all again, and catching up with everything I've missed. I'm also extremely lucky to not be working full time either. I'll be working a two week rota, so 4 days one week (including the whole weekend which I'm not excited to do haha), and just two days the next week.

Some of you may now be thinking I'm moaning over nothing, and I've still got loads of time to spend with Indiana, and that I'm hardly working. But to me it's going to be so hard! I've spent everyday for almost 9 months with my baby. We've probably spent most of the time doing absolutely nothing, just enjoying each others company and having as many cuddles as possible. But everyday is so special, and now as the days pass I just don't want it to end!

I have been thinking about all the positives though. The routine will probably do me good, as at the moment we don't really have one, apart from seeing my sister at least once a week. This will probably make me do loads on the days I have off in the week too, to make sure I'm making the most of our days together. I think a bit more adult company will be great as well, as there's only so much baby talk you can have a day haha. I'll also be able to switch off from 'mummy Emily' and to just be myself again, although I bet I'll spend all day talking about Indie, or thinking about what she's getting up to haha.

The best thing about this all is that I know Indie's going to have so much fun! You probably already know that Jack works in a nursery. Yes this does mean that we get cheaper childcare (one of the many reasons I'm actually going back to work), but it also means I know that she's always going to be safe and happy with him around.

How did you feel returning to work after Maternity Leave?

Baby Led Weaning Diaries: Week 6


This week has included a whole load of firsts for Indiana. She had her first proper meal out, a picnic in the park, and her very first Nandos! She's suddenly decided that food from other people's plates are much more appealing than what is in front of her, and this led to her stealing Jack's dinner Friday night haha!

She's had a whole range of new foods, and we're still yet to find something that she won't try and doesn't like! She's also finally started feeding herself her bottles too using the Tommee Tippee handles... I feel very unneeded now!

So some new things she's eaten this week are:

> Apple
> Chicken tikka masala curry with rice
> Avocado
> Canteloup melon
> Vegetable pie
> Mash potato
> Pulled pork burrito!
> Corn on the cob
> Nando's chicken!
> Beef stir fry with noodles

She's also eaten lots of her usuals including toast, porridge, fruit, veg, crispbread, yoghurt, her snacky bits (Organix rings, rice cakes, etc), which she still loves! Her favourites at the moment are definitely bananas and toast fingers. She LOVES yoghurts too and can easily finish one for pudding most days, although as she's obviously feeding herself it's very messy haha.

She's now really getting stuck into food and we've noticed she's becoming less interested in milk as each day passes. With baby led weaning you aren't meant to drop bottles straight away, so we're just going to follow her lead and stop them when she really doesn't want them.

Is Dreamfeeding Worth it?


As you know we're bottle feeding Indiana as this is what we chose to do. It is most probably one of the factors that helped her sleep through the night much earlier than most breast fed babies. From 5 weeks old she slept from 10pm until around 5/6 am, maybe even 7 if we were lucky!

When she was around 3 months old we would feed her her last bottle at 10, put her to bed and she would sleep through until morning without a peep. This was around the time we moved house and decided to make the switch from her moses basket to her cot in her own room. With this decision we started to read up more about 'dreamfeeding' and realised it would work perfectly for us.

Dreamfeeding is where you feed your baby whilst they sleep, in order to help them sleep longer through the night. You can either gently pick your baby up to do it, or as we did just leave her sleeping in her cot. It meant that we could put her to bed earlier, and then just give her the 10pm feed before we went to bed ourselves. Perfect for us as it gave us our evenings back together as a couple, and it meant she got more sleep as well as her food.

It's pretty cool to watch and the first few times we did it we both just stared in amazement as she just knew what to do. The second we brushed her lips with the bottle she just started sucking, then when she was done she would roll away from us, amazing huh? However, what wasn't so amazing was when she started expecting the bottle.

At 10pm without fail she would wake up crying if we hadn't given her the dreamfeed quick enough. She was expecting it and it was basically becoming a habit, not something she really needed. So a couple of weeks ago we decided that we were going to stop it altogether (she's still getting 4 x 8oz bottles plus 3 meals a day!).

So we went cold turkey and when she woke at 10 we just gave her water. This continued for a couple of days; there was one night where she was crying at 1am for about an hour, but she eventually she went to sleep and woke up at 7 (proof she didn't really need it before you think we were starving her haha). Then I think she realised she wasn't getting anything and now doesn't even stir! 

The dreamfeed worked for us while we needed it, but in the end it did kind of backfire on us! We were lucky we were able to stop it so quickly, as who knows how long she would have been taking it otherwise haha! I don't regret deciding to do it though, as I think it's definitely beneficial if you want to get your baby into a routine of going to bed earlier than yourselves.

Did you dreamfeed? What's your opinion on it?
Emily xx

Dentinox Eye Wipes | Review


Earlier in the week I reviewed the brilliant Dentinox Teething Gel (read that here). When I was contacted by Dentinox they also told me about some of the other fab products they have on offer and have also given me the chance to review their Eye Wipes.

Now we're well into our weaning journey Indie is forever wiping every kind of food all over her face, and 9 times out of 10 it ends up in her eyes too.. ouch! She quite often has sticky eyes after naps too as little ones have trouble due to their small eye ducts. This makes Dentinox Eye Wipes perfect for us! They are designed to cleanse baby's eyelids and lashes in a safe way, getting out any nasties that may be in or around the area.

They are covered in a saline solution so are perfectly safe to put near little eyes and are even suitable to use from birth - great for when their eyes are at their most delicate. What's even better is that each wipe is individually wrapped (a separate wipe for each eye is recommended). This makes them great for on the go as you can just pop one in the changing bag - the box if pretty bulky so I'm glad they've done it this way.

I've used a couple of wipes on Indiana now and have had no problems with them. They are soft and gentle to use, and with just one wipe cleaned up her rather mucky looking eye haha (I did try and capture a picture but the one below is the best I could do!). They aren't too wet either so you aren't left with a horrible feeling on your hands or a soggy looking baby haha. I would say I'd want to see more in the box though, as 12 wipes wouldn't get you very far if you used them regularly (especially if you were doing both eyes at a time).

They're only £2.33 in Boots at the moment so I think for that price I would purchase them again, especially if she continues to think yoghurt belongs all over her face!

*Disclaimer - I was sent this item to review however all opinions are honest and my own*

Our Holiday | Majorca June 2014


So I've FINALLY got around to doing this post. I've been beavering away editing our holiday vlogs and wanted those all sorted before I wrote my blog post. They're going up a day at a time so make sure to check those out on my YouTube Channel.
On Saturday 7th June we had a very early start, 2am to be precise, eurgh! It was a rough start at I don't think I ever want to fly that early again. Although Indiana was an angel on the flight and slept most of the way, the poor thing didn't have anything to eat/drink until 12pm! She was hot and bothered but once day one was over with after an early night from us all it was the most perfect first family holiday.

We stayed in Palmanova in a rather bizarrely themed hotel... who knew The Flintstones was still a big thing haha? I was pretty nervous at first as I knew Magaluf was close by and was so worried it would be full of 'lads' drinking and swearing the whole week, but I had nothing to worry about! Everyone you looked it was couples, families and the usual wrinkly oldies who probably should hang up the bikini now haha.
We spent the week doing as much as we could as we're definitely not the sunbathing, doing nothing kind of people. We went on little walks nearly every morning and evening just to explore and see what we could find. As we travelled with Thomas Cook they had a number of excursions we could book. We went for Palma Aquarium and the well known Pirate's Adventure Show; both were simply brilliant! We also enjoyed crazy golf, the weirdest little fun house (an upside down house with a yeti theme - Katmandu was so random haha), swimming, sunbathing and building sandcastles at the beach!

I won't bore you with an indepth description of all the things we did, but like I mentioned previously, if you want to see what we got up to everyday definitely check out the vlogs! We had an amazing week, and I definitely think Indie was happier in the sun and loved all the attention she got too. She wasn't so keen on the food although I'm pretty sure Jack and I ate enough to make up for it... god I love all inclusive!
Where was your first family holiday?
Emily xx