Me & Mine | December 2015


December has been all about spending time as a family. It's been such a busy month filled with Christmas celebrations that we've barely had time to get family photos. We spent this Christmas at home for the first time, wanting to spend it as a family of four. It was our first as a married couple and Parker's 1st Christmas too!

Now with the festivities over, that means the year is over too! 2016 has been incredible and definitely a very busy one too haha. This next year is going to be quieter, but hopefully just as fun filled. We've got our first family holiday in May, Parker will turn one in August, plus I've got big plans to hopefully go further with my blog!

dear beautiful

Our Christmas 2015


So that's it. Christmas is over for another year, and as usual it went by in a flash! This year we celebrated Indiana's third Christmas and it was our beautiful boy Parker's first.

We decided to have our own family Christmas this year and stayed at home. It was so strange not having dinner with my siblings and parents. Jack made an absolutely amazing Christmas lunch though, and it was so lovely to spend the day as a family of four. We joined my family after watching The Queen for more presents, food and Christmas fun though.

Indiana had so much more knowledge of what was going on this year. She really understood who Father Christmas was and loved the tree (and was very upset if you didn't turn the lights on in the morning haha). She enjoyed opening her Advent Calendar every morning and was very excited by her stocking and presents on Christmas morning!

We started new traditions such as leaving a mince pie, milk and carrot out for Father Christmas and opening our stockings all together in our bed in the morning. I'm excited to continue these every year, especially next year when Parker will understand a bit more!

What Christmas traditions do you have with your family?

Mummy & Me | December


December was a busy month filled with fun, family and Father Christmas. I didn't actually manage to take many pictures with my two though.. we were clearly having too much fun! Indiana is also at an age now where she hates posing for the camera, and if I do manage to capture her she's blurry as she doesn't sit still haha. I do manage to get a lot of Parker and I though. The second he seems himself on the screen he's all smiles haha.


Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Baby's Big Day Out! | A Winter's Walk at Knole Park


If you've followed us for a while you'll know our love for Knole Park. Now we're National Trust members we can visit for free at any time. So of course when we didn't know where to go on Saturday, it's where we ended up!

The house is closed for the Winter, but that didn't stop us exploring the grounds. We of course made sure to wrap up warm and snuggly - although who else thinks it's surprisingly warm for December? That being said we opted for a duffle coat for Parker instead of his snowsuit. Teamed with his brown leather shoes and 'jeans' he looked so grown up!

Luckily Parker woke up in time for us to get these gorgeous snaps. He didn't feel like smiling but I still love them. His little ear poking out of his bobble hat makes me smile every time. Unbelievably that hat is size 6-12 months... Parker is only 4 months! I'm loving dressing him in 'little brother' tops too. He probably has a million already in his wardrobe, but couldn't resist this one. The mustard is perfect for the season, and it goes so well with his jeans.

Saturday was actually my sister's birthday and she came to join us on our walk which was a lovely surprise. Both kids adore their auntie, and it was great to spend some time with her on her birthday. After exploring the house we went hunting for muddy puddles and Indiana actually got within touching distance of a stag; it was terrifying to watch haha, but she loved it.

We completed the day with a lovely meal out at Harvester. Parker was good as gold and happily played in his car seat while we ordered (although did decide he wanted milk as soon as food arrived haha). Indiana was having a whale of a time with her new Bing book too. I just hope going out to eat with these two is always as easy!

 Where do you always end up if you can't decide where to go on a day out?

Disclaimer - We were provided with Parker's oufit by George at Asda for this blog post

Wedding Series | The Venue


Today in my wedding series I'm going to be sharing all about our wedding venue! Even before we got engaged, Jack and I had both decided that when we got married we wouldn't want it to be in a church. Neither of us are religious so it just didn't seem right. We both also wanted it to be all in one venue - not only making it easy for guests, but to save us the worry of extra transport and finding more than one venue!

We actually first went to our venue for a wedding fair last September! The second we saw it we just knew it was the place we wanted to get married. Salomon's Estate is a Victorian mansion was everything we were looking for and more!

We opted for a package as it was such an amazing price, and included everything we wanted! It included the ceremony, drinks reception, 3 course wedding-breakfast, and the evening reception (including an evening buffet). The wedding team, and all of the staff were brilliant and very helpful. We even had our own wedding co-ordinator who helped finalise all the little details, super helpful as we were very sleep deprived in those final weeks haha.

The girls and I got ready in our own rooms provided at the venue. We then made our grand entrance down the staircase towards the ceremony room. Everyone was watching and it made me feel so special! It made for some lovely photos too. The room we married in was called the Gold Room and fit our number of guests perfectly. We kept it simple with just a floral centre piece on the registrar's table. The room didn't need much though as it was so pretty!

We had the meal and reception in the Drawing Room; which again was the perfect size for our wedding party. I'll be doing a separate post about the decorations and favours - but my sisters and I did all the decorating ourselves the night before. The food was one of the highlights of the day (I unfortunately couldn't eat as much as I would have liked; my dress was pretty tight haha). We dined on leek and potato soup, roast chicken and chocolate brownie. Everyone complimented us on it and apparently the wine was good too; not that Jack and I drink it haha.

After the ceremony we had our drinks reception in the conservatory and terrace. It was such a beautiful day so everyone got to relax with drinks in the sunshine, whilst enjoying the view. The grounds are absolutely stunning and we had free roam of them. Our photographer knew where all the great spots for photos were - there were two lakes, amazing views and acres of space to enjoy! We even got to travel around in a golf buggy which was a fun adventure.

For some reason that day there were hundreds - and I'm not even joking - of ladybirds around! They were everywhere and I think they were attracted to my bright dress as they wouldn't leave me alone haha. Every two seconds they were in my veil, on my dress, in everyone's hair... it was the strangest thing I'd seen in a very long time haha.

I think what I loved most about the venue, was the fact that we really didn't have to do anything to it! Everything was perfect, and looked exactly how I imaged it to look. We wouldn't have had time to do any DIY with a baby on the way/a newborn, so it put my mind at rest. The inside and out was just so pretty; the weather just topped it off and made it perfect!

Christmas Eve Basket 2015


Christmas Eve baskets seem to be the big thing this year! We did one for Indiana last year but obviously she was only one, so didn't really understand. This year she knows who Father Christmas is, understands presents and generally has much more of an understanding. So of course we had to continue the tradition, but this time add in some bits for Parker too!

We didn't want to go overboard as we know both of them will be spoilt on Christmas day, so just added some little treats we can all enjoy on the day. We went with something they could wear, read, watch, eat and a little extra treat to enjoy too. The basket itself is from eBay as I thought it would be useful for around the house throughout the year too. The ribbon I added myself to make it festive, and again was from eBay.

Firstly I added this cute little treat tray, for Indie to leave out for Father Christmas. I've seen beautiful personalised plates, but with the kids both being so small still I didn't want to risk it just yet haha. This one was from The Range and was really cheap. Also how cute are the little knitted characters?!

Of course they need new Christmas pjs! I was worried I wasn't going to be able to find matching ones, as you don't get many unisex items of clothing these days (what's with all the pink and blue?!). I found these gorgeous ones in Tesco and they were a bargain £6 each. I love that they'll be matching and in such cute pyjamas too.

Just like last year we got them each a book to read and then a Christmas film for us all to enjoy. I saw these 'Santa is coming to...' books and had to get one. They come personalised for your town and the story includes local areas, attractions and parks. The illustrations are beautiful, and the writing is big enough that in years to come Indiana can help us read it.

I love the 'That's Not My...' series so of course had to get another addition for Parker. These books are great for babies and toddlers, and I think both of them will enjoy this one. I got the penguin version last year, so went for polar bear this year! Both are from Amazon really cheap (we get most of our books from there).

I did buy two films for us to watch this year, but Elf managed to find it's way into the DVD player already haha. We also got Arthur Christmas for us all to watch. We first saw it last year and it's a lovely family film, complete with adult jokes which makes it fun for everyone! Again this is from Amazon for a couple of pounds.

As a little extra treat I added a couple of little presents that they can play with. For Indiana's first Christmas she was only 4 weeks old, so this rattle is the only thing we got her! It's now in her special memory box, so I wanted one for Parker too. He loves grabbing things now so this should Santa rattle should be fun for him. I got it in Mothercare's sale alongside a 'My First Christmas' vest for only £6.

For Indiana we got her this Toybox reindeer figure from ELC/Mothercare. She's obsessed with these toys and has quite a collection now. She loves role-playing with them - making them talk, go to sleep, play together, etc. They're great for her imagination and for only £4 I couldn't resist this reindeer to go with her Father Christmas. 

The last bits are little treats for both of us and Indiana to enjoy with the film. I got the idea for the 'Snowman Soup' hot chocolate cones from Sophie at Mumology. They're basically just hot chocolate, marshmallows and chocolate drops in the shape of a reindeer - how cute right?! These are from eBay and aren't that costly (I would have made my own if I had the time haha).

Of course no Christmas would be complete without chocolate coins, so I just had to throw these in too! We actually got these for Indiana when we went for breakfast with Father Christmas. I saved them and added them to the basket instead. I'm sure they're easily available for about 50p though.

Have you done a Christmas Eve basket? What have/would you put in yours?

Indiana's 2 Year Update


Can you believe it, our little girl is 2 years old! It's crazy to think I started this blog with her 3 month update, and now I'm writing about her turning 2... time sure does fly. So Indie turned 2 on the 26th November 2015. We celebrated the day as a four, with birthday cake for breakfast, presents, soft play and a yummy lunch out - perfect for us!

Where we live we don't have 2 year checks until they're 2 years 3 months old, so unfortunately I don't have any stats (but I'll try to remember to add them when I get them!). She is however in 1.5 - 2 year clothing, has size 5 feet and is still pretty short haha. She still has 20 teeth - which according to the dentist are perfect.

Things she loves at two are: colouring, stickers, puzzles, her baby and pushchair, dancing, singing, role play, Bing, Minions, bananas, chicken, her Toddlebike2, jumping, running, playing with her little friends at nursery, water play, playdoh, and lots lots more.

Indiana loves to talk, and chats away constantly now. You can have a conversation with her and understand a lot of the words, and she's been making sentences for a while. We love hearing her little voice develop; even if it's when she's shouting 'stop it' or screaming 'noooo!' at you haha. Her current favourite is Christmas! She's even started singing which is simply THE cutest thing in the World (although I do wish she'd move on from twinkle twinkle haha).

Her eating has definitely improved, which I'm hoping will continue. She's no longer in her highchair and eats like a big girl at her little table. She's also trying more food and refusing less which I'm SO happy about. She does seem to eat more things at nursery than at home though, which is really strange. Jack even witnessed her eating cucumber and asking for more - something she would turn her nose up at at home!

Sleep wise we have always been blessed with an amazing sleeper. Indie sleeps 7-7 with a nap after her lunch, usually between 1-3. She loves her toddler bed and has taken to climbing in with as many of her toys as possible - currently it's bunny, minion, Bing and her slumber hippo. She's now sharing her room with Parker which has gone amazingly well (she doesn't even stir when he wakes in the night).

She is such a loving, cheeky, bubbly little madam. She has the dirtiest laugh which is simply infectious and she has us in stitches a lot! She does have quite the temper on her though and does love to get her own way. The strops can be pretty intense haha, but that's just a two year old for you! Most of the time though she's an absolute delight and I couldn't be any prouder of my little girl.

Here's to the next year, and more adventures baby girl, mummy and daddy love you very much!

A Year.


December 9th. I was late for my period and although I was taking the pill I knew something wasn't quite right. I had a test in the drawer from a previous scare so decided to take it. Indiana was sleeping, she'd not long turned one, Jack was at work completely unaware.

I filmed the test. I think I must have known it was going to be positive, and I knew I wanted to document this baby from the very beginning (you really do forget once it's all over). Watching the pink lines appear I was absolutely shocked; as well as excited, scared, nervous, over the moon... any emotion you could think!

The next day I took a Clearblue Digital and just like that the words 'pregnant' appeared on the screen. It took what felt like years for '3+ weeks' to appear underneath! Not knowing how far along I was I contacted my doctors and got a midwife appointment straight away.

My first appointment was Christmas Eve 2014. My lovely midwife was brilliant and managed to get us an early scan for the 27th, just a few days away! The wait for horrible as neither of us knew if things were okay, and we chose to keep it all a complete secret too.

The scan was rather unpleasant (an internal one - not what I was expecting haha). But the second our little Pip appeared on the screen I completely relaxed. With a very strong heartbeat, and measuring 7 weeks 6 days.

I cannot believe this was a year ago. Parker is now 18 weeks old and the most beautiful baby boy I've ever seen. It was a crazy year. But probably the best yet!

Parker's 4 Month Update


So I'm terrible at getting these up on time now, but Parker is 4 months old (he turned 4 months on the 4th December). I'm also a rubbish mummy and haven't had Parker weighed this month either - but I'll try and update this when I do! I do know that he is in 3-6 month clothing, and wearing size 3 nappies though.

Feeding wise Parker is all over the place at the moment, thanks to the God-awful 4th leap, and the 4 month sleep regression! Both us said we couldn't ever remember Indie being like this, but according to her update, she was exactly the same haha. He's roughly taking 6 bottles a day of anything between 4-7oz in each. We're still on the Comfort milk, but hoping to try and wean him off this soon, as his colic doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. He goes through stages of wanting milk every 2 hours, and then only taking a few ounces too.

As I mentioned we're well into the 4 month sleep regression. Sleep and naps have been just a bit rubbish really. Just when he was starting to sleep through the night, we're back to frequent wake ups and he fights going to sleep.

Naps are also tricky, and if you don't get him down at just the right moment you've got no chance of getting him to sleep without lots of work haha. I do follow a routine with him though and try to get him down for a nap 2 hours after he wakes, which works well for us. He's also no longer in his moses basket in our room.This big boy now sleeps in his cot, sharing a room with Indiana - I'd love to have him still in with us, but he is just so so long his moses basket was too small, and his cot won't fit in our bedroom!

Once again The Wonder Weeks app has been spot on for us. The 4th leap is most definitely the hardest so far - I say so far as I know how bloomin' hard the next ones are haha - and has been very testing. Parker is a very fussy and clingy baby anyway, but with this leap he wants constant attention and cuddles. I love doing this on my days when Indie is at nursery, but it's just impossible when she's home which makes things tough.

Between the fussing though Parker is such a happy, cheeky little boy. He gives the biggest smiles and giggles with delight when you play with him. He can grab and put toys to his mouth and learnt to roll front to back this month. He's started doing mini pushups and bringing his knees up under his bum in preparation for crawling; honestly these milestones are just as amazing the second time! 

Parker is such a mummy's boy already haha. Whenever he's on Jack's lap he looks around for me, and gives me the biggest smiles. I love it as Indiana has always been a daddy's girl! He pretty much loves attention from anyone though - although strangely he really doesn't like cuddling to sleep anymore, and wants to be left alone when he's sleepy.

He's really growing and changing so much. He's most definitely found his voice and can communicate with more than just cries now - he squeals and shouts a lot haha. Tummy time is improving although he still pretty much hates it! He's chubbed out which you can probably tell, and I think he's finally starting to look like his big sister Indiana. Also this boy has THE strongest legs I've ever seen! When you hold him he just wants to stand and bounce haha, I think this may be a sign of things to come.