Recent Posts

An Interview with my Three Year Old | Parker at 3!

21.9.18

I really enjoying asking Indiana these few questions, so I thought it would be lovely to keep a record of Parker's answers too! He has only just turned 3, but he is already such a cheeky little character. So here is an interview with my three old, Parker!


What’s the best thing about being 3?

When it was my birthday (we went to Legoland)

What makes you laugh? 

When daddy tickles me!

Who do you love, and why?

Daddy, mummy, Parker, Indie and Lilah!

What’s your favourite book?

Harry and his Dinosaurs (Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs)

What's your favourite food?

Spaghetti bolognaise


What's your favourite song?

Anything he can wiggle his bum to! The Greatest Showman is a favourite

What's your favourite outfit?

My ninja trousers (he calls his black leggings ninja trousers!)

What's your favourite TV programme? 

Blaze!

What's your favourite toy? 

My monster truck (from Blaze!)

What's your favourite thing to do?

Doing painting at preschool

An Interview with my Four Year old | Indiana at 4 and 3/4!

20.9.18

With my big two growing up so fast, I think it's lovely to capture a little moment in time. This time last year I did an interview with Indiana at almost 4 years old. So I thought I'd ask her those same questions, now that she's nearly five!


What’s the best thing about being 4?

I like playing with toys!

What makes you laugh? 

Playing my new games with Parker. And pulling his socks off *laughs*

Who do you love, and why?

Daddy, because he's my best daddy ever!

What’s your favourite book?

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

What's your favourite food?

Chilli!


What's your favourite song?

The shotgun gun! (George Ezra - Shotgun)

What's your favourite outfit?

This outfit! - she just got some new clothes from Sainsburys

What's your favourite TV programme? 

PJ Masks

What's your favourite toy? 

Playing with Snow White - she's really into dolls and Barbies at the moment.

What's your favourite thing to do?

Playing with my toys!

The Siblings Project | September 2018

17.9.18

I feel as if there's been a huuuuuge change between my three since last month. Maybe it's Indie starting school, or the fact Lilah is standing in the last two pictures, but they just all look SO BIG. Especially Lilah who looks more than an 18 month old, than an 8 month old. It's not fair!

Our new routine is going well so far - although Indiana still hasn't started school full time, so I'll have to report back once she does. Towards the end of summer I could tell they needed some time apart, and I think it's made a huge difference with the big two. They do bicker and argue a hell of a lot (read: LOADS), but I feel they enjoy their time together a lot more now. They actually want to play together, and will sit practically on top of one another, snuggled on the sofa in the evenings. 



It's been so strange having just one little one - instead of three crazies - at home during the day too. Of course I loveeeee having more quality time with our little Lilah bear, but I kind of miss the buzz of a busy house. Not forgetting that I can probably get more done with them all home, because they all just entertain each other!

The big two absolutely love their baby sister, and you can tell just how much she idolises them too. She follows them around like a little puppy, and although they still don't really want her to play (not that she let's them stop her!), they do their best to include her. We recently switched to an world-facing buggy for school runs too, and they love entertaining her and making her laugh on the walk. I honestly think Lilah really misses them when they're not here - although it doesn't mean she gets full pick of the toys!



3 Steps for a Happier Home

14.9.18

Everyone wants their home life to be as easy and as enjoyable as possible, but it can often be surprisingly hard knowing how to actually make that happen. The truth is though, making your home life easier is always going to difficult. But as long as you focused on a few key areas in particular, you might find that it is actually much easier than you first thought! In this post, I'm going to share 3 steps that could improve your happiness at home; therefore boosting your happiness overall!


The first thing you can do is to improve the atmosphere. In general, as long as the atmosphere is one which is happy and positive, you will find that it is much easier to be able to enjoy being at home. You can actually relatively easily improve the atmosphere, no matter what is going on in the house, so that everyone who lives there can feel better about being there. As long as you are personally bringing a lot to the table, so to speak, you should be able to ensure that your home life is that much more exciting and enjoyable.

Another way to make your home life a whole lot easier, is to upgrade your internet! The majority of homes have internet now, and many people will tell you how much better it is to have faster, more reliable internet - especially when you think about all of the things that you use the internet for. If you can upgrade it, you will notice a difference in the way it feels to be in that home. You might be looking at upgrading to fibre optic, for instance, which can make a huge difference to the speed and connectivity of the broadband. If you learn about how to make that upgrade and put it into action, you will find it makes a huge difference to the home.

Sometimes the best way to make sure that everyone gets on, is to make some rules that you all have to stick to. This can work equally as well with a standard family as with a more modern family of friends. As long as everyone is agreed upon the rules, you can be sure that you are going to have a much better time of it. Give everyone their own jobs around the house, and make sure you all stick to them. You can even get little ones involved by making chores into games, or creating a reward chart.

This is a collaborative post.

Creating A Nursery For Your New Baby

13.9.18

Decorating and gathering items together for your child’s nursery, is one of the most exciting parts of the pregnancy process. Nesting and creating a little haven for you and baby to retreat to is the perfect way to help you get ready for their arrival, and ensure that you have all you need for the day you bring them back home.


It’s also a great chance to make the most of choosing the decor and style in their room, before they are old enough to start making those decisions themselves. There are a mixture of things you’ll need to invest in or source, but focusing on a calm and cosy environment will help you create your dream nursery for your newborn.

The first piece of furniture you’ll probably invest in is a cot for your baby. There are a soo many options available, so you’ll find something to suit every style and budget. It’s worth checking out sites like https://teddyone.uk/product-category/cot-beds/, so that you have a better idea of what’s out there that's suitable for the space. You might want to invest in a couple of mattress protectors too (accidents will happen), or maybe a cot that can extend into a small bed as your child grows - this is a great way to be thrifty from the get-go.

You’ll probably be feeding and settling your baby quite a lot in their nursery space too; especially for the first year. Therefore, it’s worth finding a comfortable chair for yourself to get cosy in. Place it in a warn corner of the room ,so that it’s a restful and calm area for both yourself and baby. Soft rugs and quilts will help section off spaces where you can put your growing baby down as you pop something away in their room, or play with some sensory toys together too.

As well as a light in the room that’s bright enough for a nappy changes or getting your baby dressed, you’ll need to have some warm, low-lighting options in the nursery too. Nightlights that plug into the wall, bedside lights, and even soft, musical lamps, will all help to soothe your little one as they drift off. The calmer the nursery, the more relaxed both you and your little one will be, so start thinking about your options as soon as possible. 

This is a collaborative post.

10 Ideas For Your Next Family Holiday

12.9.18

At this time of year, we’re all getting ready to hibernate for the winter. But sometimes, that is an idea you don't want to even think about. Maybe you didn’t get to have a holiday this summer? Or it was earlier on in the year, and you’re already stressing out about the long, cold, and dark months ahead? I can bet you’re not the only one though!


Most of us dislike the great British winter that we’re often faced with year after year. So, it can be a great idea to start thinking about your next holiday. When you start to plan your next family holiday, it can really lift your spirits and give you something to look forward. Whether we’re talking about something for next year, the October half-term, or even over Christmas, you’ll want to get thinking. So ifyou want to do something low key and close to home or big, different and special, let’s take a look at ten ideas that could inspire your next family holiday.

British Staycation

First of all, you have the idea of going for a staycation in the UK! Now, a lot of the time, you’re instantly going to think about going abroad to somewhere warm, and laying by the pool. But that’s not the only kind of holiday that is available to you. If you like the idea of doing things differently and changing up the scenery, why not stay right here in the UK? With lots of beautiful destinations and things to do, it’s a great way to change things up when you fancy something different.

City Break

If you do want to leave the UK, but not travel too far, why not try a city break. Maybe there are sights that you really want to explore. Maybe there are locations that you’ve always seen in pictures or in movies, but you’ve never seen them for yourself? Then why not head out and explore them next? You will often find lots of museums and parks so that there’s things to interest the kids too.

Coast Close To Home

Maybe you do really want to go overseas and find a warmer climate, but you don’t like the idea of flying for too long. Then you could find that going to the South of France is perfect. You’ll benefit from the beautiful weather and the gorgeous sights and attractions, but you don’t have to spend hours on a plane to get there.


European Adventure

Expanding on a European city break, why not take it one step further and head out on a European adventure. Maybe you want to see all of the infamous sites, like the Colosseum to the Eiffel Tower. Then why not think about doing a kind of mini European tour around all of them? Maybe planning a few weeks touring through some of Europe’s mainland is exactly what will work out best for everyone. And it’s definitely an adventure for you all!

Skiing

To stay on the same theme, maybe you want to go skiing? Especially if you’ve never been before! Here, you’re going to want to find yourself a gorgeous base, like Chalet Iona in Meribel. You will often find that the resorts cater to all abilities and offer lessons and other leisure pursuits to help you really make the most of your experience.

British Road Trip

Now, another really fun option for you all, is to head out on a British road trip. A lot of the time, we think of road trips as being an American thing. But why not do something similar right here in the UK. After all, there are so many incredible cities, coastlines, and countryside to explore, that with a road trip, you’ll get to take in the best of it all.

Family Cruise

If you like the idea of doing absolutely nothing on your trip, but you’re still interested in seeing a range of sites, then, you could consider a cruise. Here, you don’t have to cook for yourself, or lift a finger if you don’t want to, but you get to stop at lovely sights around locations like Europe or The Caribbean.

Hiking Holiday

For the family that wants to use up their energy and really get active on their next holiday, why not hike? This is something that you may think of doing for an afternoon or on a weekend. But why not turn it into an active holiday! You could explore the mountains we have here in the UK, or head to Europe to explore some of the peaks overseas.

Cabin Fever

Another really great idea for families, is to head out to a great cabin or lodge in a gorgeous setting. And luckily for us all, there are so many wonderful mountain cabins and lodges that we could look to stay at. Maybe you want to be in the heart of the Alps or you want to enjoy some of the Spanish countryside? Then booking a lodge and enjoying the natural surroundings could be the perfect choice for you.

All-Inclusive Excitement

Or, maybe what you really want to do, is to enjoy an all-inclusive luxury resort where you can relax and just enjoy yourself. When this is the case, you definitely want great weather, a relaxing atmosphere, and some incredible food and entertainment too. While you could go just about anywhere in the world, all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean are perfect. You’ll definitely get the luxury, indulgent break that you know you need.

This is a collaborative post.

6 Ways to Keep your Baby Safe in the Car

11.9.18

As parents, safety is always our number one priority. There are so many hazards in and out of the home that could cause harm to our children, so it's necessary to always be one step ahead of any dangers; taking preventative measures to protect our little ones. And this extends to time in the car too. In this article, we will focus on this one aspect, and give you a few tips on safety when you're out on the road with your children.

  • Buy safety equipment. No, you don't need to buy your child a hard hat (leave that for fancy dress play) but you do need to purchase all the necessary protective equipment for your child. Heading over to www.for-your-little-one.co.uk, consider the range of in-car safety equipment available, including the appropriate booster seats and car seat adapters for your vehicle.
  • Install the car seat properly. After buying a carseat, you need to install it correctly in your car. Reading the instruction manual is a must, no matter how clever you think you are. There is also advice at www.babycentre.co.uk on the best place to affix the seat in your car, and how to do it properly. For further precautions, you might also want to get the seat inspected by a professional. Check this site, https://childseatsafety.co.uk/, to find the nearest expert to you.
  • Clean your car. If you ever needed an incentive to clean your car, then your child's safety should give you the reason to do so. Any piece of debris can be a choking hazard for your little one, so remove anything that is liable to cause harm, from small toys to pieces of food. The cleaner your car is, the safer your child will be.
  • Keep baby entertained. Long car journeys are difficult enough with kids in tow, though we have some advice on our website, https://www.emilyandindiana.com/, that we think you will find useful. But when talking about safety, we are thinking about ways to distract your little one, so you aren't distracted while driving. A back-seat DVD player, baby tunes on the radio, and safe toys are all ways to focus your child's attention away from you. 
  • Install an internal mirror. To keep a better eye on your child, you can install an extra mirror on the inside of the vehicle, to help you see your child in the back seat. Not only will this help you see your child without you having to take your eyes off the road, but it will also help you to preempt any problems your child may be having, such as discomfort in the car seat or overheating.
  • Use your common sense. Finally, remember some basics that will protect your child in the car. Double and triple check carseat straps to ensure they aren't too tight (or too loose). Roll down the window a little way to cool your child down when driving in hot temperatures. And never ever leave your child alone in the car for even a moment (there have been many nightmare stories in the media to remind you why you shouldn't). The more alert you are, the safer your child will be!

Have we missed anything? If you have car safety tips of your own, please let us know, and help us all take measures to protect our little ones while driving.
This is a collaborative post.

3 Simple Ways to Improve your Home

10.9.18

When owning a home, there will come a time where you will realise that there's more that you can do. It may only be small things, but you'd be surprised by the impact that they can have on a home! While you may already feel safe and comfortable in your home (which is the most important thing), you might not have translated that feeling into the environment.

There is nothing wrong with injecting your space with your own personality - you can be as wild and unique as you want to be, that's the whole point. So here's some tips for making your home look as good as it feels...


Work with an architect - If you're looking to start a real project, be it adding an extension, having a complete renovation, or building an entire house altogether, then the best people to contact will be Contemporary Architects. These are professionals who will sit down and discuss exactly what your ideas are, and then they will be able to create a brief illustration of the process so that you can have a realistic idea of what they can give you. This can be a pretty costly option, but remember that it also adds to the value of your home, making it a long term investment for if, and when, you do decide to sell one day.

Bring in a new colour scheme - You may have painted your home when you first moved in, or maybe you left it the way it was, but you're most likely bored of that same shade of cream running throughout already. You can have any colour you wish of course, but it's a good idea to think about colour schemes in different rooms. Knowing this will allow you to pair up unusual colours that add a brilliant touch to your space, ensuring you get compliments whenever you have guests round.

Don't forget the garden - It's vital that you don't overlook the exterior of your home, as that is just as important as the interior - especially in the summer! You won't want to spend time out there though, if your garden is an ugly mess. So trim back any overgrown hedges and bushes, remove any dead leaves so the plants can grow again, and pull out any pesky weeds. The more regularly you do this, the less you will have to do overtime.

Now you have a few ideas, have a think about how they can be of use in your home!

This is a collaborative post.

My Three Birth Experiences | Why I Wouldn't Recommend an Epidural

8.9.18

Despite a house full of noise, chaos, and every plastic toy under the sun, I still find it hard to believe I'm a mama to three beautiful children. On the other hand though, I remember each of their births so clearly still...

With Indiana I was your typical first time mum. Blissfully unaware of what was yet to come, I counted down each day to my due date with so much excitement! So when my waters broke on my due date I told as many people as possible - even sharing a status on my Facebook page - and anxiously waited for the pains to come.

Little did I know, that it would actually be almost two days until I would give birth. Eek! I ended up with an epidural, episiotomy and ventouse delivery, which although I know was necessary at the time, still makes me incredibly sad. It ruined my postpartum experience with Indiana, as just sitting was eye-wateringly painful. I also still get back pain from my epidural almost 5 years later.


Although Indiana's labour experience was traumatic, it definitely didn't put us off from having any more children. And so fast forward 20 months, here I was again waiting to give birth! My waters broke at 39+1 weeks with Parker, and although terrified of history repeating itself, my experience the second time was such a positive one.

The thought of being sent home from the hospital put me off from going in at all, so I laboured at home for 90% of the labour. By the time I actually got to hospital, there was just about time to jump in the birth pool before Parker was born.

No medical interventions, just gas and air, and the most amazing positive experience. My recovery was so quick and relatively pain free too, which just proves what a difference an 'easy birth' can make. And although I begged for the epidural, I am soo pleased I didn't get one. Being able to get up straight after birth is such a better feeling, and I dread to think how much worse my back would be now!


Parker's birth changed my mind completely about labour and birth, and was actually one of the factors in deciding to have our third baby. Lilah was another due date baby (I'm apparently incredibly lucky!), and probably my craziest birth. Not because it was a negative experience, but because it all just happened so fast!

I laboured throughout the night, but as my waters hadn't broken, I was adamant it was a false alarm. But at 6.30am everything got incredibly intense, we raced to the hospital, and Lilah was born at 7.59am with just a few puffs of gas and air! We were then home by lunchtime, still rather shocked at what had just happened.


All three of my births couldn't have been more different, but I think it just proves that one negative experience, shouldn't stop you having more children if you want them. I am so lucky that despite Indie's slightly traumatic birth, I’ve had great experiences at my hospital too, with no medical negligence. Did I think I would go on to have another baby (let alone 2!) the days after Indie's birth? Of course not! But I would honestly say I loved giving birth, and I'm actually so sad I'll never get to experience it again.

This is a collaborative post.

Me and Mine Project | August 2018

4.9.18

Blogging has definitely been a lot harder during the summer holidays, and I'm so, so late with this months Me and Mine Project post. But better late than never and all that, so here is this month's post.

August was a wonderful month, and I'm actually a little bit sad that the holidays are over. Our routines are going to drastically change from now on, with Indie starting school, Parker attending preschool 3 full days a week, and hopefully finally signing Lilah up to some baby classes... I'm exhausted just thinking about it!


We started August celebrating our beautiful boy's third birthday, with a fun-filled day out at Legoland Windsor. Then we packed in two weddings - where Jack was best man at both, Indie was flower girl at both, and Parker was page boy for the second - I turned 25, and we ticked off our whole bucket list apart from one thing (which we actually half managed, so I'm not calling it a fail).

This month's Me and Mine pictures were taken at our close friend's wedding, and I absolutely love them! It was lovely to get dressed up and celebrate, and the 5 of us partied until gone 10pm - which I thought was pretty impressive for the Littles. It's also so reassuring to have people you don't know complement you on how lovely your children are. It must mean we're doing something right!


September is going to be a quieter month for sure, but hopefully it will be just as fun. I just hope the sun keeps shining that little bit longer, because as much as I'm looking forward to Autumn, I'm not ready for it leave just yet!

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

Simple Ways to Make Your Home Look Lighter and Brighter

3.9.18

Bright, spacious and airy rooms always look gorgeous - so it can be frustrating when your home suffers from a lack of light. Bad positioning and small windows are often culprits when it comes to this, however there are some things you might be doing yourself which could be fixed with a few simple changes. So here are some examples of ways you can improve the lighting in your home!


Change your window dressings

You might have had your curtains and blinds up for so long, that you’re completely overlooking them as a potential issue for your room looking dark and dingy. However, to maximise the light you really do need to have the right window treatments. If you’re already not getting much light in where the windows are small, or due to the position of your house, the last thing you want is to be blocking out what you do get.

One tip is to choose lightweight voile style curtains, as these let in the will make the window (and the room) look finished by having something up, but won't block out any of the light. For practical purposes, then hang a roller blind. At night this can be rolled all the way down, or if you need to block out bright light while watching tv it can be rolled halfway down. But the rest of the time, it can be rolled right the way up so it’s not blocking any light at all from the window. Vertical blinds and shutters might look nice, but even when they’re open they still partially obstruct the light which can be a problem if you’re already not getting much in!

Keep windows clear of obstructions

Another thing to be aware of is obstructions in front of your windows. The windowsill might seem like the perfect place for a plant, photo frame or vase of flowers, but it will partially block out light that could be coming in. Avoid placing cabinets and other pieces of furniture so they’re blocking windows too - you want to make the absolute most of any light that you have coming in. The same applies to any trees or plants outside too. Have a tree surgeon come in and remove any large trees which can instantly make your home inside look much brighter.

Hang a large mirror

A large mirror makes a statement with your decor, and it can also make any room look bigger and brighter by reflecting the light around. Take your time finding one which has a beautiful frame that matches the rest of your decor, and go with the largest size that comfortably works in the space you have. The best position to maximise the light it opposite a window, however anywhere you put it will still have an impact, and it’s an easy way to make the most of the light you have coming in.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Invest in glass doors

If you own your home and are in a position to make renovations, then sliding doors made from glass are a fantastic option to consider. They will give you a gorgeous view onto your back garden, and will completely flood the room with natural light. You could even go a step further and have an extension built with skylights, or have the entire extension made from glass - a gorgeous way to extend a modern kitchen. If you can’t extend, another option would be to make your windows larger instead.

Paint the walls

The colour of your walls can make a massive difference to how light and bright it looks. Dark colours will draw it in, making it look dingy and smaller. So if you do want to use bold colours, then stick with an accent wall or use accessories instead. White, ivory and grey are all great choices, they’re neutral so go with any decor and really help to bounce the light around. As well as making it look fresh and chic, you’ll also make it look bigger and brighter.

Add lamps

Finally, as well as letting in as much light as possible during the day, you also want your home to be properly lit when the sun goes down. Adding secondary lighting such as lamps and strip lighting helps to create ambience, and allows you to tailor the room to the task that you’re doing. Smart lighting can give you even more control in this area - set up a couple of lamps with smart bulbs and you can create your perfect lighting for every situation.

Regardless of how beautifully decorated your home is, if it’s dark and dingy it will never fulfil its best potential. Try these tips to help you make the most of every room and allow you to enjoy it as much as possible!

Do you have any tips for improving a dark or dingy home?

This is a collaborative post.

Keeping Your Home Warm as the Temperature Drops

1.9.18

Summer has come to an end and we are entering into the chillier Autumn months. This, of course, has come hand in hand with a whole host of different signs that we are slowly creeping towards winter. The days are getting shorter, we are experiencing more rain, the leaves are falling from the trees, and Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte is back in the stores. Generally speaking, things are good and we can start looking forward to a few of the festivities that the upcoming season has to offer us.


But one factor that can significantly affect our home lives around this time of year in a detrimental manner, is the way in which the temperature is slowly dropping. You may be able to add a couple of extra layers when at home to keep toasty for now, but as time passes, our properties can become extremely cold and uncomfortable if we don’t take adequate steps to keep things warm. So, here are a few steps that you can take to ensure your home is the perfect hibernation spot!

Make Sure your Radiators are Functional - We tend to assume that the radiators our property comes with are the ones that we are stuck with. This is generally because we don’t see new radiators advertised all too much, so it’s easy for us to consider a radiator as permanent a feature in our property. But you can replace your radiators for new and improved versions! Just take a look at the range on offer from https://www.onlyradiators.co.uk. Brand new radiators will be in prime working condition and will be able to effectively emit plenty of heat to keep your property as warm as you would like it to be.

Put Rugs on Wood Floors - Wood floors are great in the summer, as they help to make rooms feel bright and breezy, offering a comfortable alternative to the hot floors outside of your property. But in the winter, they can become extremely cold to the touch and be a vehicle for draught. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to replace all of your wooden floors with carpet. You can simply add a plush rug instead! This will give you a warmer and softer surface to shuffle across and they can pose an obstacle for any draughts that may be running through your property. There are also plenty of different options available on the market, so there’s bound to be something that fits in perfectly with your interior design.

Invest in Draught Excluders - A cold draught running through the house, can make the temperature of a room drop dramatically. This is also not so great if you have little ones playing on the floor, as they will get the full blast of the colder air. Draught excluders are easy to find, and laying them across doors can make a huge difference! Not only keeping the heat inside a room, but adding a little extra detail to the room too.

These are just a few different steps that you can try out, to help your home feel as warm and comfortable as possible during the upcoming chilly months. The best part is that all these investments are long term - they will serve your property well for many winters to come, not just the upcoming one!
This is a collaborative post.

Flying Long Haul with Children Made Easy!

30.8.18

The thought of opting for a long haul trip can be daunting, and can be enough to put some families off visiting certain destinations. But it needn’t be this way! Take a look at this guide to help you work out how you can experience some far flung destinations with your little ones, with a lot less stress.

Prepare

Preparation is the key. There is no point in trying to book a last minute exotic trip to somewhere you haven't researched. It will turn into the most chaotic fortnight of your life! Instead, spend a few months honing where you want to go, what you want to see and the sorts of activities you would like to find. Make sure that you draft out a basic itinerary too, to make it less stressful when you arrive.

Boredom is usually the main reason for your children switching from angelic cherubs into little demons. Don’t allow them to get fidgety or frustrated, by filling up their days with new and exciting experiences. You might want to consider a trip to the Inca trails of Peru, a jaunt to the beautiful Maldives or a foray to the Far East. As long as you are prepared, you have half of the battle won.


Know what you need to pack early on too and make a list using some of the ideas mentioned on The Telegraph. If your darling daughter cannot go anywhere outside of your house without their security blanket or a favourite toy, make sure this is packed in hand luggage immediately (just be careful not to lose it!). Pack some games, toys, and snacks so that there is an air of familiarity for your little ones. You want them to experience something new and different, but you don't want them to fear travel due to culture shock.

Where To Stay

Heading long haul means that you place a lot more faith in where you end up staying for the duration of your vacation. If you are travelling somewhere where you plan on moving hotels more often, this is inevitably going to be more stressful with little ones. Try to ensure that you stay in a place for at least three nights to allow your family to become immersed in a place. Moving nightly causes untold amounts of stress and your little ones may find it difficult to settle and to sleep in an ever-changing environment.

Alternatively, if you are staying in a place long term, you might want to look at apartments rather than hotels. The homes away from home available on sites like https://rumahdijual.com/ can make worrying about accommodation less of a concern. Travel to Indonesia, put roots down at a base and enjoy exploring the region from your apartment. You will have a kitchen area to cook your own food, have somewhere to wash your clothes, and have a generally more comfortable time while you are away from home.

Where To Go

If you are keen to explore the great outdoors, then a trip to Iceland, snowshoeing across glaciers and trekking near frozen waterfalls, can be awe-inspiring. You might want to take a tour to try and spot the Northern Lights and tick this natural phenomenon off your bucket list. The people are friendly, the region is very family oriented, and it is a safe country to visit.


If physical endeavours aren’t really your thing, but you do fancy exploring a part of the globe relatively untouched by tourists, perhaps hot-footing it to the Far East could be an option. Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan each have their own personalities, culture, and ethos ready to explore. If you want to get a little off the beaten track, you don’t have to head to Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka. Instead, take a bullet train and ferry to the stunningly beautiful and awe-inspiring island of Miyajima. Here, your family can enjoy staying in a traditional ryokan, you can climb a mountain, do a spot of temple hopping and enjoy finding out about the wildlife on the island. Peaceful and off the tourist trail,  Miyajima could be just what your family is looking.

There’s nothing better than trying to teach your offspring about different cultures, people, and environments across the globe. The best way to show them these aspects of life is to go and visit and immerse yourself in these regions for an extended period of time. Enthuse your brood with a love of travel from an early age and don’t fear the long haul trip with kids. It can be done!

This is a collaborative post.

The Importance of Taking Time Out

28.8.18

It’s vitally important you take time out for yourself, as a mother, particularly if you’re trying to manage on your own. There’s only so much any one person can take, and we all need to take time out and replenish so that we can be the best mum we can be.


Finding time to replenish can however be challenging, as often our sleep is interrupted, plus we are almost always on call. Unlike having a job, where we can leave our work at the office, being a mum is a full time responsibility - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

After a while it can wear you down, and there’s no shame in that. It’s just important you take some time out for yourself in order to replenish, and live your life. As this way you will be a much better mother for you’ll be more patient, enthusiastic, and let’s face it, less likely to snap.

In an ideal world, you would head off to a luxurious day spa, perhaps even checking in overnight to indulge in adequate rest, relaxation and replenishment… yet, if you don’t have that time luxury, or if this is unaffordable, you can still pamper yourself by blocking out time that is just for you - even if this is a private candlelit bath wish some cucumber for your eyes and an extotically scented bath bomb!

Often, we spend so much time looking for ways to entertain our children with fun days out, we forget that we deserve these too. For instance, you could go to see a show such as the popular musical, Wicked, or indulge in a fancy meal (that doesn’t involve high chairs or chicken nuggets).

Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress, and comes with the added bonus of a natural high in the form of an endorphin rush - meaning you not only look better but, feel better too. If you are feeling particularly tense then there are two approaches, both of which go hand in hand; the first is to do something explosive such as boxing which can really help you get your feelings out of your system. Then, there’s the more holistic mind, body, spirit side to exercise such as yoga, that can be equally helpful in balancing your soul.

It’s healthy to take time out, and whilst some people feel bad, or selfish, for leaving their child whilst they go off to take care of themselves, it’s important to remember this will allow you to be the best mother you can be… and there’s nothing to feel guilty about in taking some time out for yourself!

This is a collaborative post.

7 Ways to Save Money on Your Family Holidays


Going abroad can get expensive - especially with kids. However there are ways to cut costs! Here are just 7 ways to save money on family holidays abroad:

Take advantage of early bird deals - Booking a holiday early can get you access to early bird deals. When it comes to flights, this could include big discounts or even a free seat for a child. Booking early can also increase your likeliness of getting upgraded – many airlines will treat early bird customers to free upgrades to business class, whilst hotels may upgrade you to a family suite if you booked early. On top of this, booking early may allow you to pay off a holiday, in smaller instalments over a longer period, so that you have less saving up to do.

Take advantage of last minute deals - The alternative strategy if to book last minute. Many airlines offer cheap flights to last minute customers to fill empty seats, whilst you can also secure last minute cruises from Southampton for a steal. Some hotels meanwhile may also slash prices a couple weeks before to help book up empty rooms. Booking a last minute holiday can be difficult as your workplace may not allow you to take the time off last minute, although you could always book this time off in advance, and simply hope there are deals around a couple weeks before.

Travel out of season - Avoiding peak holiday times can also allow you access to cheaper deals, plus you won’t have to deal with the crowds on the beaches or the queues for attractions. This may be better suited to families with young children that aren’t in school yet though. You should make sure that you choose somewhere that’s still hot out of season. Destinations such as the Canary Islands or Turkey are ideal as they can remain pretty warm all year round.

Avoid tourist traps - Certain destinations are naturally more expensive such as Paris and Barcelona. Unless you’ve got your heart set on travelling to these places, consider trying somewhere off the beaten track. There are many upcoming holiday destinations that are cheaper simply for not being the traditional destinations – these upcoming places include Croatia, Turkey and Bulgaria. Of course, you may still be able to find a cheap place in France or Spain simply by avoiding the big resort areas.

Break up long flights - If you’re looking to travel somewhere further afield, you may want to consider breaking up the flight, rather than taking one long direct flight. Whilst you can get to Florida or Thailand in a single stint, such flights can be very expensive. Booking two shorter flights could cut the price by as much as half. If you’re worried the longer travel time will take its toll on the kids, you could always stop over somewhere and book a hotel for the night – even with the added cost of a hotel, you’re likely to save money.

Go all inclusive - All Inclusive holiday deals save stress and money in most cases. Such packages generally include flights, accommodation, food and drink and airport transfers. To get these all inclusive bundles, you will have to generally go through a travel company. You can shop for many of these deals online.


Try alternative accommodation - Whilst many people like the luxury of staying in a hotel, there are other accommodation options worth considering. For example, you could try staying on a campsite – even if you don’t fancy roughing it out in a tent, you could still save money compared to a hotel by staying in a caravan or lodge. For a big family, you could also look into renting out a holiday home. This could be much cheaper than renting out multiple rooms in a hotel and you’ll all be much closer together for the duration of your holiday. You can even find family hostels in many cities that could be perfect for a family city break – these contain more basic room amenities but as a result are a fraction of the price of city hotels.
This is a collaborative post.

Lilah at Seven Months

26.8.18


I'm pretty sure I was just typing up Lilah's 6 month update, and now she is 7 months old. I've almost lost track of how many weeks she is (it's 32, I had to google it!), as they all just blur into one these days. They go too fast!

I popped back to the clinic the day Lilah turned 7 months, expecting her to have put on quite a bit of weight. But she's still a teeny tot, at just 16lbs 12oz. She's now in a combination of 3-6 and 6-9 month clothing, and size 4 nappies. Although she is slowly growing out of the smaller bits. She's now got both of her bottom teeth too, giving her the cutest little grin.

This month we finally dropped the 10pm dreamfeed, meaning she has a total of four 8oz bottles a day. She's eating three meals a day now too, which she is absolutely loving! I don't think we've found anything she doesn't like yet, and just like the older two, fruit is her favourite at the moment. She's properly chewing and swallowing the food now too, which I was really surprised about - especially only a month into baby led weaning. But I think it just shows how ready she was to starting her weaning journey!



This last month has been a huge developmental leap for Lilah. She is now sitting steadily, and can get from this position down to crawling with ease. After a week of rocking, she crawls on her knees properly most of the time too. And her newest trick is pulling to stand... and cruising!

There is absolutely no stopping our little bear anymore. She crawls around after you, climbs on everything and everyone, and loves getting into mischief. Thankfully we hadn't taken down the stairgates yet, so we can contain her a little bit! And with her standing, it was time to pack away our beloved Huddle co-sleeper. She's now sleeping in her cotbed, sharing a room with the older two. And for now it's going really well.

Toys such as her jumper, bouncer and snug seat are all tucked away in the corner now, as she just wants to stand instead. And we really don't think walking is too many months away, as she's already taking steps when you hold her hands. She's just too big.

Oh and guess what her first word was? Da-Da of course!

5 Simple Hacks to Sell your Home Fast

24.8.18


If you are planning on selling up anytime soon, you will no doubt have had pangs of worry that your humble abode will end up staying on the market for months. While you love your home, because you have made many wonderful memories within the four walls, potential buyers will need to fall in love with its charm, location, and vibe for the first time. Take a look at these five simple hacks that can have you seducing any potential buyers that walk through your door:

  • It sounds crazy, but the smell of a home can be one of the first things to attract or put off any potential purchasers. If you have a dog or a couple of cats, they need to be somewhere else while you are conducting a viewing. While you may be used to their pet scent, buyers will not find this odour at all appealing. Light some candles, bake some bread and perpetuate a more homely scent to fill the air.

  • Many buyers will head straight to the windows to check out the views from your home. At the same time, they’ll be checking out the casings, the glazing, and the fixtures too. Instead of a pair of old curtains, maximise the natural light within your rooms as well as adding a modern touch with some blinds. When looking at how to install roller blinds or Venetian blinds, ensure that you order them to your bespoke measurements. This can add a clean look to your home that can tempt buyers.

  • If your sofa is a little old and beaten up, no amount of soft furnishings is going to enhance its appeal. Although buyers won’t be purchasing your furniture, they will want to see your lifestyle in action. Instead, hire some top quality furniture specifically for your house viewings. There’s no long term commitment to buying it, and you can sell your home quicker by exuding an appealing lifestyle.

  • Get rid of clutter. Put your ‘things’ away in drawers, clean up the kids toys and don’t have random ornaments and pictures cluttering up your shelf space. This sends a message to your potential buyers that the house is small and they will outgrow it quickly. Instead, you want clean lines, space and natural light to envelop your rooms.

  • Even if you don’t have a green-fingered bone in your body, you should at least ensure that your flora and fauna is pruned, the lawn is well coiffed, and that there are some colourful hanging baskets adorning your porch. The drive and garden leading up to your home is the first thing potential buyers see, so make sure it is welcoming and homely.

Selling your home sounds easy, but with a wealth of other properties on the market, it can be a fierce competition to sell quickly. But if you use these hacks, hopefully yours will be off the market as soon as possible!

This is a collaborative post.

The Best of Ireland this Autumn

23.8.18

Ireland is a fantastic place to visit at any time of year, as whilst it isn’t known for its sunny weather, it’s incredibly atmospheric and the people are fantastically friendly. There’s also a lot of variety to be found in Ireland - on the one hand, you can be in the modern metropolis of Dublin which is quaint yet packed with things to do, then on the other hand, you could find yourself in a tiny little village where the accent will be so broad, you’ll struggle to understand what they’re saying.


The thing with Ireland however, is that there are many 'hidden gems' that you’re unlikely to know about, unless you go on a tour with a company such as https://loveirishtours.com/. Although if this isn’t for you, a good option would be to rent a car and explore for yourself! Ireland is a rugged, rustic and rural place that really does require a car to squeeze the most out of it.

With the Summer drawing to a close, I think all of us are getting excited for the cooler months, and special events ahead. So I am going to be sharing three fun things to do in Ireland this Autumn.

Celebrate Halloween
Did you know that Halloween was actually invented in Ireland? It was voted in a poll by USA Today as the best Halloween spot in the world! The Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival in Derry even beat the world famous Halloween spots such as Salem and Transylvania.

Get Locked in a Pub
Irish traditional music session tends to take place in a pub, with a copious flow of alcohol and a bunch of merry men playing a variety of instruments, and the local crowd all joining in the atmosphere by dancing and clapping. And although this sounds like an adults only kind of affair, these environments are perfectly friendly places for kids to hang out - in fact, they’re likely to get a lot of warm attention from the locals, and it’s a great way to build their social confidence in a warm and friendly environment.


These gatherings are often extend into the early hours - way beyond closing time. With a blazing open fire to keep you cosy from the howling wind and rain, it really is the very spirit of Ireland. You’re sure to make some new friends!

Celebrate the Harvest Festival
In Ireland, you’ll have access to a variety of farmers markets, some big and some small, where you’ll have the chance to pick up fresh food, straight from the farm. These farmers markets can be found throughout Ireland, yet one of the best is the English Market in Cork.
This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | August 2018

20.8.18


Who knew getting pictures of three little people was such a challenge? This month's Siblings Projects pictures aren't the greatest, and they're incredibly late, but I know I'll still treasure these in years to come! My three little Peachicks, now aged 4.5, 3 and 7 months.

These last fews weeks have been full of wonderful moments, stressful moments and some of my absolute favourite moments since we've had all three. When the Summer holidays began I admit I was nervous to have all three at home for 6 whole weeks. But now we're reaching the start of September, I actually don't want them them to end.

It's been oh so lovely to have lazy mornings all snuggled in bed together. No running around to get dressed, or rushing to finish breakfast. We've been able to do as we please and take each day as it comes - something I know will definitely be off the cards once September arrives, and school runs will run our lives.



Of course these last few weeks have been full of arguments, fighting and constant competition for my attention too. But all that aside, I know they've loved having each other to play with! Indie and Parker have been playing PJ Masks together most days, and now Lilah is so mobile, she loves to follow them around and watch what they're up to.

Speaking of Lilah being on the move, I feel as if they dynamic of our trio is definitely going to be changing soon. She is crawling, standing, and almost cruising; so gone are the days where the big two can play and she can't get to them. She's already destroying train tracks and trying to get her hands on their Lego! I just hope she becomes a new little play mate, and they don't find their baby sister too annoying...

Setting Up Your Own Online Shop

16.8.18

The idea of running your own online shop is something most people don’t give much thought to. You have your job, your partner has theirs, and you spend the rest of your time facing up to family responsibilities. But it’s something that could really help you out if you're up for the job!

If you’re someone like me, who spends a lot of time online, and already has an assured online presence to go with it, then why not use this as your opportunity to set up your own little shop? It can be a store entirely crafted by your own hand, and every decision you make involves you and you alone. A small time enterprise can have a big impact after all! So here’s a couple of tips on getting started.

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash
Talk to Someone Who Already Sells - If you’ve got the opinions and advice of someone who already uses the online world to sell, you’re going to be in a much better position for starting your own shop than before. You can get an inside look at what’s challenging about ecommerce, and whether or not it’s really worth it. They might have some handy tips and advice for starting out too.

Make a Website - You can of course use your already running blog to get started, however if you use a dedicated website for your ecommerce option, both you and any customers are going to find it easier to shop with you! You can use dedicated servers with an SSL lock here, and have an easy link back and forth between your blog, and your brand without mixing the two up. And it’s actually a lot easier to make a website than you think, especially with all the free tutorials there are out there to get you started.

Find a Worthy Shipping Option - It’s very unlikely that anyone buying from you is going to be able to pick up their products by themselves. So you’re going to have to find a shipping option that works for your budget (and with prices that don’t drive customers away!). You could always offer your own delivery service (using your own vehicle) for those customers that live close by. It would be a great way to network with customers face to face, as well as a way to drop off any business cards or leaflets to local businesses. If you have no idea where to start, you can always look up Shiply courier to find where to start.

Running your own little shop online is going to be hard, there’s no doubt about that. But you can get into the groove and really build an online reputation for yourself if you try it. Good luck!

This is a collaborative post.

Parker's 3 Year Update

15.8.18

I cannot believe our beautiful baby boy is already 3! We celebrated with a wonderful day out at Legoland on his actual birthday, and had a little family party at home the weekend before. Parker had the best time celebrating, and hasn't stopped talking about his birthday since.

I last shared an update on Parker at 2 1/2, and he has changed and grown so much since then. He's roughly 0.9 metres tall (according to the measuring charts at theme parks!), and fitting nicely in 2-3 and some 3-4 year old clothing. I have absolutely no idea how much he weighs, but we have no concerns.


He's lost most of his 'babyness' though and has developed such a grown up face. It makes me so sad that he does have his chubby cheeks and baby squish anymore. But he has got the most gorgeous little freckles now, which are something I'm a little glad he's got from me.

After a bit of a regression when Lilah was born, Parker has done soo well with potty training. He is completely dry both day and night, and he has no issues telling you when he needs to go - not having to worry about being near a loo when out is such a good feeling!

Parker still eats like an absolute trooper too, although he has started to become fussier about certain foods - including things he used to enjoy! His favourite meal of the day is probably breakfast, followed closely by pudding (although I don't blame him for that one). He would snack all day long if we let him too, which is exactly what I expected from our cheeky boy.



Development wise Parker is really blossoming now. He loves to sing and dance, and he is starting to play independently really well too. He is still a little shy around adults, but makes friends with other children really well - although sharing is still a pretty big issue! His favourite playmates at the moment are his sisters. He really looks up to Indiana and wants to do everything she does, and he loves showing Lilah all of his toys and snuggling her. 

Parker loves to chat (he never stops talking!), riding his scooter, building train and Toot Toot tracks, PJ Masks and Paw Patrol, dancing, watching Youtube Kids, getting messy, exploring and getting into mischief.

Parker hates talking to strangers, creepy crawlies (he's not a spider fan!), being made to share, not being able to do something (he's rather upset he's not starting big school), and having the iPad taken away.

We have some big changes coming up in the next few months. He'll be going to preschool 3 full days a week from September, and all on his own too. He's already agreed to send his dummy to Father Christmas this year too - I don't think he'll be letting go of his muzzies anytime soon though!

You can see how Indiana was getting on at three here.

Is it the End of the British Summer?

14.8.18

So as quickly as it arrived, it looks like the British heatwave is over - for now at least! And while some people remain optimistic and continue to wear their summer sandals (hoping it might encourage the sun to come back), more and more of us have been forced to dig out our Autumn wardrobes again. Families who are flying abroad for their holidays can still enjoy some sunny, hot days around the Med thankfully, but even there the weather is nothing like what it was only a few weeks ago! So is it already time to pay your respects to the end of the British summer?


The drop in temperatures has not been drastic, but it’s happened so quickly it's harder for our bodies to acclimatise. You might find yourself feeling cold at 20°C! But before you start shopping for cosy jumpers, there are a few tips you can follow to wrap up warmly and enjoy your day out. For a start, you might want to keep your wellies in the boot - it might not rain, but it’s best not to take any chances when the sky is grey. Make sure to add some spare clothes too, so that if you get soaked you can change into dry and warm clothes easily. This is definitely important if you're going out and about with puddle loving children.

The end of Summer usually means heading to the shops for back-to-school wardrobes too. The choice for children is usually easy - school uniforms and quality shoes. But why not add a little something to put yourself in the mood too? You’ll find more inclined to forgive the cool temperatures after you’ve updated your collection of autumnal women's blouses, for instance. When the weather gets cold and rainy, it's the perfect time to update everyone's wardrobe!

The end of Summer if the best time to prepare your garden for the change in weather too. If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid the thunderstorms and intense rain in your area for now, you may need to keep an eye on the weather forecast (The East Midlands, East Anglia, Yorkshire and Humber regions have all been placed under a weather warning for risks of flooding). After several weeks of drought, you can expect the soil to be too dry to absorb the water, so you should prepare your garden for what there is to come. A compact soil will increase flood potential. Improve soil drainage and add a layer of gravel to take the pounding from the rain.

After such an intense heatwave, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the sudden weather change. But I find it gives me more motivation to think of the next few months. Back to school, Autumn wardrobes and before you know it, the Christmas season will be upon us!

This is a collaborative post.

Summer Infant Pop 'N Jump | Review & Giveaway! {CLOSED}

11.8.18

Lilah is now 6 months old, and is constantly on the go and full of beans. She wants more interaction and entertainment throughout the day than she used to, which means my days are a little bit more hectic than they were when she was a newborn! As part of our role as a Summer Mama, we were been sent the Summer Infant Pop 'N Jump to try, and it has been perfect for keeping Lilah entertained when I can't.


With the older two we had another well known jumper, but we sold it on before Lilah was born, knowing we wouldn't have room in our house now. It took up soo much space as it didn't store away, and was cumbersome to move around too. The Pop 'N Jump has been designed with all this in mind though, and it is so, sooo much better!

The lightweight folding frame comes fully assembled, and can be popped up (hence the name) within seconds. And when you're baby is done playing, you simply unhook the two latches on the side and it pops back down again, and into a storage bag. It's simple, but genius. There are 3 height settings too, so it can grow with your child. 




It's ideal for us and our small house, as it means we can have it out in our living room during the day, but then pop it away when Lilah has finished playing. The storage bag also comes with a shoulder strap so you could also easily take it in the car with you when visiting friends and family, or even on holiday if you wanted to - it would have been brilliant on our recent Haven holiday!

The jumping feature doesn't allow Lilah to jump that much, but she's more than happy being upright playing with the interactive toys and people watching. The Pop 'N Jump comes with a spinner ball, mirror book, a teether, and a rattle. They are in a lovely forest animals design, and Lilah really enjoys chomping away on the wings of the bee teether. There are also loops on the fabric so you could attach your own toys if you wanted to as well.




The jumper also comes with a UV canopy that you simply attach with poppers. Honestly I wasn't too impressed with this though, as it's a little fiddly to attach, and it doesn't really offer that much protection - I'm not sure if it was just ours, but it was bent from where you twist the canopy to store it. We've loved using it outside though, as with the combination of the canopy and attached material on the bottom, it creates a safe and comfortable environment for Lilah to be in.

Overall though we're really impressed with the Pop 'N Jump. It's incredibly easy to set up and it keeps Lilah entertained and happy - which gives me 5 minutes to relax or get some work done! I'm so pleased to be offering my readers the chance to win a Pop 'N Jump of there own too - just simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below (terms and conditions apply).



We received this product as part of our role as a Summer Infant 'Summer Mama'. All opinions are honest and my own.