Recent Posts

A Summer of Adventure with The Disney Store!

Saturday, 23 June 2018


The Summer holidays are nearly upon us, and with school just around the corner for Indiana, I definitely want to make it one to remember. We were recently contacted by The Disney Store, who have sent us some fantastic goodies to make this happen for sure!

The Disney Store ‘Summer of Adventure’ Shop is bursting with so many lovely products, clothes and accessories, to make the 6 week break that little bit more exciting. This is our last Summer holiday before Indie starts school, so I definitely think these goodies will be perfect to make it a special one. 

Indie is really into her writing and colouring - I'm pretty sure she comes home with 2 or 3 drawings every time she's at preschool! So this Disney Emoji stationery set has become a firm favourite already. It's got colouring pens, stickers, washi tape, and plenty or room inside the case for all those extra school essentials too. Indie has already asked if she can use it for when she starts school in September too; how sweet is that?




Both Indie and Parker haven't stopped wearing their Disney Store tees either... even on the super hot days the long sleeves haven't put Indie off. I love how bright and eye-catching they are, and the quality is just fantastic too. Definitely perfect for summer!

I know we'll be spending many days in the garden this Summer, so thankfully The Disney Store have us covered here too! These character chalks are so much fun, and they'll let the Littles get creative outdoors.

Not only can they draw bright and colourful pictures outside, I know we can use them to help keep Indie learning before school too. She's mastered her name already, so maybe we'll try and learn how to write the Disney Character names as well!



We are so excited to spend these next few weeks together, and I just know these fab products will definitely help us to have a Summer of Adventure. As well as helping Indie with her very own new adventure in September; starting school!

We received these items in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

Lilah at Five Months Old

Friday, 22 June 2018


Our beautiful little Lilah is now 5 months old, and she is absolutely blossoming! I know I say it every single month, but these weeks really are flying by so fast. It feels as if just yesterday she was born - and now she's on the move and getting all the chub rolls!

At 21 weeks I popped to the weighing clinic, and Lilah is now 14lbs 15oz, which puts her back on the 50th percentile. We have absolutely no concerns about her weight though. She's filling out her 3-6 month clothes nicely, her legs have rolls for days, and just look at those chins! If anything I'm a little sad she's getting too big already.

Her hair is growing in slowly, and it's got that reddish tint to it that both of the older two had. Her eyes are looking bluer by the day too, so I have a feeling they won't be changing. This month she's really found her voice and is constantly gurgling or babbling away to herself - although she's still hard to get giggles from. And she's also discovered her feet, which is the cutest thing ever!



Milestone wise Lilah is really on the move now! She's rolling all over the place, twisting and turning to get around, and has even started to push backwards too. She's getting incredibly frustrated that she can't crawl properly though, so I really don't think it's far away at all.

Teething has most definitely arrived too, which isn't fun at all! Lilah is definitely a dribbler, and she's constantly got a finger, or even a whole fist, in her hand chomping away. We've got a whole selection of teething products to get us through though, so fingers crossed she pops a tooth soon. Please!

We're not weaning yet, but I don't think we're far off at all. Lilah still has 5 x 8oz bottles a day, but she's definitely getting more interested in us eating and seeing what's gong on. We've got the highchair back out, and we are sitting her with us at meal times now to get her used to it. So I think by her next update we'll be well into our weaning journey!

I just cannot believe in the next few weeks we'll have a 6 month old... it's going too fast!!

The Siblings Project | June 2018

Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Just look at these three monkeys! I feel as if they've all grown a crazy amount since my last Siblings Project post. I love that Lilah is properly sitting by herself in these photos now - they look like a proper little trio. A very cheeky trio!

This month has absolutely flown by and honestly, I can't really remember much about what we've done each week. What I do know is though, that these three absolutely love being around each other at the moment. Lilah is so lucky to have the best big brother and sister around. And she rewards them with the biggest smiles and loudest coos and giggles ever.



Indie and Parker are also getting on a whole lot better at the moment too... well, for now at least! We've recently upgraded their beds to bunk beds, and they've proved to be a huge hit. Not only are they both sleeping better, but they're happy to sit and chat in their room in the mornings and evenings more too. We really couldn't have asked for it to go better.

I've also really noticed a fiercely protective side of Indie recently too. When we're out at somewhere like soft play, Indie will introduce herself to other children, and it will swiftly be followed by "that's my brother Parker, he's two!" She'll then keep a protective arm around him and make sure he's okay. It's the same if anyone talks to Lilah when she's in her buggy - Indie will always run straight over and chat to them. It's so lovely to see how proud she is to be a big sister!


By next month Lilah will be 6 months, and I'll be half a year into life with three little beans. I honestly cannot believe just how much a third baby has fit into our family. Lilah is such a little dream, and I honestly couldn't imagine our family without her. And I don't think Indie or Parker could either!

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Fisher Price Kick 'N Play Musical Bouncer | Review & Giveaway

Saturday, 16 June 2018


We were recently sent the lovely Kick 'N Play Musical Bouncer from Fisher Price, and it's definitely been one of those baby products we didn't know we needed. Lilah absolutely loves it and happily sits kicking away in it at least once a day now - and the interactive elements keeps my older two entertained too!

The Kick 'N Play Bouncer is a 2-in-1 soother and entertaining seat, suitable from birth. When your baby is younger the musical and vibrating functions will help to soothe them. The seat cover is wonderful soft and padded, so it's a comfortable spot to place baby that's not just flat on their back too - especially perfect if your little one has reflux. Then as they become older and more mobile, the seat becomes somewhere fun to play and entertain baby! Helping to develop their gross motor skills, and encouraging sensory development through play.



There are two different functions, depending on what your little one prefers. There is a 'short play' option, where the lights on the toy bar light up as your baby kicks the piano keys with their feet. Or the 'long play' option, which plays a continuous 15 minutes of music and lights. Both can be played at two volume settings - an absolute must for me, as I prefer to keep musical toys as quiet as possible!

The toy bar also features two hanging toys (a microphone rattle and a tambourine), which your baby can grab and play with. Lilah absolutely loves these, and is now trying to pull them towards herself to chew on too! Unlike other basic bouncers, the toy bar is incredibly sturdy and doesn't fall off - yet it's still easy to remove. We like to take it off so Lilah can enjoy the toy bar toys while not in the seat too.




One negative of the bouncer however, is that it cannot be stored or transported very easily. The frame is metal and therefore it doesn't fold down or pack down any smaller! We have a relatively small living room so it does take up a fair bit of space. We liked to take a bouncer with us when visiting friends and family, when Lilah was smaller too, and this bouncer definitely isn't the easiest to take from house to house.

Overall though we absolutely love the Kick 'N Play bouncer. The bright colours and patterns are perfect for little ones, and it really is a fun and interactive toy for them. And from personal experience, I can tell you that the seat cover is really easy to pop off and wash too... thanks Lilah!

The Fisher Price Kick 'N Play Musical Bouncer currently retails for around £59.99, however I'm giving my readers the chance to win one for themselves! Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.



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

Simple Ikea Kura Bunk Bed Hack | The Perfect Bunk Beds for Under 5s

Thursday, 14 June 2018


We've wanted to get the biggest Littles bunkbeds for a long time now. We only have a small two bedroom house, so we need to make the most of the room we have - and Indie was quickly outgrowing her toddler bed too!

Most of the beds we found were either really high (something we didn't want as they're only 4 and 2), or incredibly expensive - which we simply just couldn't afford. I decided to ask on my social media for advice, and so many people suggested looking at the Ikea Kura Bed hack. It suited us perfectly, so we got to work!

We managed to pick up the Kura bed second hand for a bargain £40; but it's only £130 new so still a lot cheaper than most bunkbeds to begin with. We weren't keen on the mattress being straight on the floor, so we bought bed slats from Ikea, to make the bottom a proper bed. You need to get the 90 x 200 size, as this is the size of the Kura.



Our first job was to paint the frame white, to match all the other furniture in their room, and to just brighten it up a bit. We used chalk paint which was easy to find, and it took us a couple of evenings to complete. Jack then built the frame (apparently this was trickier than it looks), and then it was a case of literally slotting the slats into the bottom frame. Easy!

We bought these Ikea mattresses as these fit perfectly with the bed, and also picked up the 4tog duvets - under 5s aren't meant to have duvets over this tog! To complete their beds I got the Littles to pick some new duvet covers. Indie of course chose unicorns, and Parker picked dinosaurs. Both are from Tesco and they're lovely quality and super cute.



We're so pleased with how the beds look, and they really are perfect for the Littles while they're still young. Both can climb up and down the ladder easily, and I don't have as much fear of them falling from the top either. The height also makes it a lot easier for me to make and change the beds too! It really is the perfect set up for young siblings sharing a room.

5 Simple Fixes for Common Budget Problems

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Whether you're just starting to consider budgeting for the first time, or you've been using the strategy for years, it's worth noting that financial freedom isn't always easy to come by. There's a good chance that you'll run into issues that make budgeting harder, and there are a handful of problems that are generally more common among those trying to gain control of their spending.


Whether you're a frugal person or not, it can take a lot of work to get your budget into pristine condition. Here are just some of the most common problems that people face with their spending habits, and the budget fixes you can use to address them.

Your Cash Flow Is Poor 
A lot of families assume that if they have a poor income, there's simply nothing they can do to save back extra money each month. If you're running out of cash before the end of each month, to begin with, then it's easy to see how you might struggle to find enough money for a savings account and emergency fund.

Fortunately, you don't have to be rich to have a budget. In fact, the people who benefit most from budgeting are often those that struggle with money. Look at the things you can cut back on that you may not have thought about before. For instance, could you switch your gas and electricity supplier? How about getting rid of your TV channels and switching to Netflix instead?

You Buy a Lot on Impulse
Another major money problem that you can fix with good budgeting is 'impulse buying'. Many of us assume that we're good with money, until we sit down with a bank statement and see how much cash we've wasted on extra treats from the corner shop, or fast food. If you're the kind of person who tends to add something to your basket without a second thought, then you need to correct your spending habits.

A good way to reduce your chance of impulse buying is to swear off online shopping. Instead, go and buy what you need from a physical store, with a list, and the exact amount of money you need in your pocket. When you only have so much cash available to spend, you won't be able to buy anything extra - no matter how tempted you feel!

You Forget to Track Your Spending
It's hard to have an effective and accurate budget if you forget to track how much you're spending each month. If this is a problem for you, then you could try sticking to the 'envelope' budgeting method. This means that you set all of your expenses aside for the month into separate envelopes. That might include one envelope for food, one for fuel, and one for entertainment. If you don't pay your bills by direct debit, you can include those too. 

Tracking your envelopes and the money that comes directly out of your account each month will help to give you some accurate numbers to work with. Remember, with the envelope method; you should be dealing only in cash. Don't use your card to pay for anything.

You Always Overspend in One Category
We all have our vices. Maybe you're great at cutting down your spending on entertainment and treats, but you always overspend on clothing. Perhaps you have trouble cutting down on the nights out you have with friends. There's nothing wrong with having a problem category, but you'll need to think about how you're going to adjust your spending in that area.

A good option may be to use a reward system where if you limit enough spending in the month, you get to treat yourself with something from the category you enjoy. Alternatively, you can look at reducing your spending in other areas, so you can keep that single category the same.

You Just Don't Earn Enough
Finally, sometimes it feels like no matter what you do to improve your budget, you're never going to have enough money in your bank account to pay for what you need. If that's the case, then you could consider looking for a second job or an alternative way to make money. For instance, you could launch your own side-business from home - walking dogs or delivering catalogues.

There's also plenty of online options for earning extra money thanks to the current freelancer community. You could find a great night-time gig that helps to upgrade your monthly income!

This is a collaborative post.

Summer Infant Wide View 2.0 Duo Digital Video Monitor | Review

Monday, 4 June 2018

Lilah is now over 4 months old and in a pretty set bedtime routine. She goes down upstairs without us in the evenings now, although she's still in our room while she's this little. To make the transition easier for us (well... me, I still miss her!), we were sent the Summer Infant Duo Digital Video Monitor. So not only can we hear if she stirs and needs us, but we can keep a close eye of her too!



Setting up the monitors was incredibly simple. The monitor comes with two cameras (and you can buy extra ones if necessary too), so we can have one in the older twos bedroom as well. A feature that I really like is that cable clips are also included. This means that the wires are secure and safe - an absolute must for a baby product.

The parent screen is really easy to use as well. It has a 5" screen, which means that you can see more of your child's room. This feature is great for us as it means we can see both Indie and Parker in the screen at the same time. You do have to give this a long initial charge before first use though, so definitely keep this in mind.

The main on/off switch also controls the nightlight on the cameras. I found you have to hold this button down for quite a while to get it to turn on, but the rest of the buttons work fine. The 'Video' button turns the screen on/off to conserve power, and you can find the volume buttons here too.


The menu buttons on the right are how you connect the cameras to the parent monitor. You simply click 'add camera' and it will find those that are switched on. Once connected you don't need to do this again, and you can add up to 4 different cameras. We usually keep the camera on the monitor in our room to watch Lilah. But you can have it on 'Scan' which will switch the screen between the cameras you have connected. This is especially handy if you don't want to manually switch between each camera.

The Duo Digital Monitor has an inbuilt talk back function, which you use by simply holding down the button on the left and talking. This isn't something we use for little Lilah just yet, but it is perfect for the older two. If they aren't going to sleep, we can just talk through the monitor without having to go upstairs or shout!



Another feature that has been especially handy during the recent heatwaves, is the onscreen temperature display. It means you don't have to have a separate thermometer, as you can see how hot (or cold) each room with a camera is.

Although the monitor is really easy to use, I do think it has a few flaws. The main being that the image isn't very clear. The camera is stated to have enhanced night vision - however we have found the image to be a little fuzzy when the room is dark. This doesn't affect using the monitor completely, as you can still see hear child, but it is a little disappointing for a video monitor. I also dislike that you can't control the cameras from the parent unit. I'd like to be able to set them up perfectly from downstairs, without having to manually move the cameras to get them in the right place.

The Summer Infant Wide View 2.0 Duo Digital Video Monitor currently retails at £179.99, which I do think is a little on the higher side for what the monitor includes. As although you get two cameras, and features such as talk-back and built in nightlights, the picture quality really isn't what I expected! However if you need a reasonably priced monitor for multiple rooms like we do, this is definitely one to consider.
We received this monitor as part of our role as a Summer Mama. All opinions are honest and my own.

Easy Tips For Decorating Your Child's Bedroom

Sunday, 3 June 2018

One day, you'll wake up and realise that your baby just isn't a baby anymore. They've grown into a toddler or a young child, and they've got new needs, new opinions, and a brand-new attitude. Your little one is growing up. The perfect way to celebrate? With a mini makeover of course!


Decorating your child's bedroom might not seem like a difficult chore at first. Yet, when you start to work on all the complicated details, you may find that you're not nearly as prepared as you should be.

Here are some quick and easy tips to help you make the most of decorating your child's bedroom.

Have fun with accessories 
Want to make the most of your decorating experience without over-spending? Try accessories! They're a great way to let your youngster add their own personality to a room without investing in anything too excessive. Cheap accessories also mean that you don't waste money on something that your youngster will grow out of within a few months.

Let them have their way (most of the time)
While you still have to be the adult and decorate with safety and practicality in mind, make sure that your fantasy of what your child's room should look like doesn't get in the way of their dreams. Make sure that you respect their preferences. After all, it's your child that's going to call that room their own - you need to be sure they love it.

Use cash carefully
It's tempting to get carried away when you're designing the perfect bedroom for your little one. After all, you want them to have everything they could possibly want, from new wallpaper to a brand-new bed and even a set of funky wardrobes too. However, try not to over-spend. Establish a budget before you go shopping, and only spend large amounts of money on big items that are going to last for years.



Remember your window fittings 
You'd be surprised how much of a difference that the right window fittings can make to a bedroom. After all, they not only add to the d├ęcor, they also help to brighten up a space by making sure that the right amount of light can get in through the day. Tier on tier shutters also mean that you can open the top part of the shutters to let your kids look out at the stars if they want to.

Remember storage 
Finally, if you're investing in furniture, remember that you're going to need item that provide lots of storage. A bed with built-in drawers is a great way to save space in a smaller room, and if you've got the money, it's worth considering built-in closets and toy storage cupboards. The more room you have to keep everything tidied away neatly, the less stressful cleaning the house will be.

Good luck! 

Decorating a child's room isn't always as simple as it seems, but if you keep the five tips above in mind, you should at least keep the hurdles you encounter to a minimum. Make sure that you let your kid have their say, and keep practical points in mind too, and you'll have the perfect room in no time.

This is a collaborative post

10 Newborn Essentials as a Third Time Mum

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Despite Lilah being my third baby, I still found myself constantly googling and searching for the 'essential' newborn products. Things really do change so quickly - especially in the baby world it seems - so there were so many products around this time, that we didn't even know about when Parker was a baby, let alone Indie.


So I thought I'd put together a list of the products we've absolutely loved using this time around. Items that we think really are newborn essentials! This list includes a few brand new products to us, and a some trusted oldies too...

The Sleepyhead Deluxe

I've written a whole separate review of the Sleepyhead. But my goodness what a product! The Sleepyhead is a sleep pod/nest, and has been designed to create a 'womb like' environment for baby to rest in. Lilah has slept in hers from day one, and it the best sleeper out of all three of the Littles - whether this was the reason or not we can't be sure, but I like to think it's definitely helped!


A Co-Sleeper

Another brand new product to us, but one I would recommend 1000%, is a co-sleeper crib. We have the Knuma Huddle, although there are a few different ones available. It fits right next to our bed, and means Lilah is right by our side during the night. Not only does this give her comfort, but made night feeds and wakings soo much easier too. A co-sleeper is much bigger than a traditional moses basket too (and fits the Sleepyhead perfectly!), so it will last a lot longer too. The older two outgrew the moses basket at 4 months, whereas I know there's still plenty of room left in the Huddle.

White Noise (Whisbear)

We've used white noise to help settle all three of the Littles at night. It's worked like magic with all three (and I actually find it pretty soothing myself now!), but the Whisbear that we're using with Lilah now, is definitely the best white noise toy we've had. The automatic cry sensor turns on if Lilah stirs, so she settles back to sleep by herself before waking up completely. It's really easy to attach to things too, as it's legs are magnetic - especially compared to Ewan the Dreamsheep which we found difficult to put anywhere.



WaterWipes

When your baby is first born, they recommend you use cotton wool and water when changing their nappies. We've never found the need to though, as we've always used WaterWipes. Made with 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract, they really are as gentle on babies skin - without the faff of cotton wool! Not only does this make cleaning those first meconium nappies easier, but they're much easier to use out and about too. On the subject of nappies, we love Aldi and Asda Little Angels ones the best!

Shnuggle Bath

This is also another new product this third time around, but one that we'd now couldn't be without. With two older ones to bath, there's no way we could put Lilah in at the same time with her so little. The Shnuggle bath means she is safe in her own little space, but without taking up the room of a huuuge baby bath. The bath also has an inbuilt seat, so that baby can sit upright. This is great if your baby is sicky, or just doesn't like laying down like Lilah!


Sleepsuits

We really learnt our lesson with Lilah, and she was in sleepsuits day and night for the first few months. When they're newborn they are just so tiny, that grown up outfits just look silly on them (and are a nightmare to put on!). The poop explosions and sick makes for frequent outfits changes too, so you might as well just stick to buying lots of sleepsuits instead! Our favourite place to buy them is Next, as they're great quality, lovely and soft, wash well, and the in-built scratch mitts are really handy.

Muslins

You seriously can't have enough of these, especially if you have a sicky or refluxy baby. Muslins are perfect for laying over items such as the Sleepyhead or moses basket to protect them, and of course over your shoulder for burping too. I'd definitely suggest getting a few more 'expensive' ones, rather than the cheap ones from somewhere like Primark. You can really notice the difference in quality, and the the cheap ones are usually thinner so don't do a very good job.


Perfect Prep Machine, Dr Brown's Bottles and a Cold Water Steriliser

If you're bottle feeding like we are or even expressing, then these three products are definitely essentials. We have used our Perfect Prep Machine with all three children now, and it's not only a time saver, but a sanity saver! It makes the bottle to the perfect temperature within just a few minutes, so baby isn't having to wait for a bottle to cool.

The best bottles we've used are the Dr Brown's ones too. They contain a few more pieces, but they have been designed to help reduce wind and colic - something we've definitely seen improve!


And to keep them clean, you can't go wrong with a basic cold water steriliser. With our first we thought you needed an electric one, as it seemed 'better'. But after using this Milton one, I can't believe we didn't get one from day one. You simply fill with water and add a steriliser tablet, and the water is good to use for 24 hours. Muuuuch easier than waiting for an electric or microwave steriliser to finish and cool, and you can add items such as teether and dummies too.

Baby Wrap / Sling

Newborns loved to be held and cuddled, but things such as washing and cooking still need to get done. So a baby wrap or sling is perfect for them! We have a few (here are my reviews of the Aura Wrap, Wuti Wrap and Izmi Baby Carrier), but my favourite for a newborn is probably the Close Caboo Carrier.


Bouncer (Joie Dreamer)

We've used a bouncy chair with all three littles as well, as none of them have liked a swing. It's a comfortable and safe place to put baby while you do other things, or just to give them a different environment from laying flat - they're also great if your little ones prefers to be raised slightly. We have the Joie Dreamer this time around which is brilliant and I would really recommend it - just like everyone else did to me!

What would your newborn essentials be?

Some of these links are affiliate links. This means I receive a small percentage if you buy through these links. As always all opinions are honest and my own.