Recent Posts

How to Plan a Successful Wedding

29.11.18

So, you have found the perfect wedding venue, but what do you need to do next?

There is so much to consider when it comes to planning your special day. Of course, you want to ensure that everything is just how you want it to be, which is why it is best to be as organised as possible. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover some of the venue-related tasks you will need to embark on, now you have decided on where you would like to have your dream day hosted.

Firstly you will need to begin by thinking about the theme and the colour scheme for your big day. Sometimes a venue can determine this; ff you have chosen somewhere that has a very unique design, you will have to play towards this, otherwise, you could end up with a room that looks a bit confused! Of course, if the wedding venue is neutral and gives you the opportunity to really add some colour and style, then the sky is your limit.


Do you want a traditional or modern styled-venue?

What colour scheme are you going to go for?

When choosing a colour scheme it is advisable to stick to three colours maximum. This will ensure everything blends beautifully and looks stylish. You can also use the likes of Pinterest to create a mood board, so that you can see what everything is going to look like together.

Aside from this, you should also consider the prospect of hiring some extra special treats that will make your big day special. Most people hire a band or a DJ, however there has been a trend for wedding magicians and other unique entertainment options lately too. Don’t forget the photographer either! Photographers like Daz Mack are a great choice, because they put the fun into wedding photography, and you can see work samples too.

In addition to this, you have plenty of other ways to make your wedding stand out. Have you thought about having your very own sweet stall, or why don’t you hire a photo booth and silly props! There are plenty of great ways to bring an added dash of fun to the occasion. You could even create your own cocktail and give this to guests to toast with, rather than having the standard champagne or prosecco. 


Last but not least, you will need to deal with the finishing touches. This includes everything from your table centrepieces, to the catering and the favours. Table centrepieces must be considered taking into account not only the style of the room, but the size of it. If you are having a small and intimate wedding, tall table centrepieces may dominate the room and make it difficult for people to converse with one and other.

Make sure to think about the wedding favours you are going to give guests too. Most people tend to go for something like a small chocolate or another type of edible favour. There are so many different unique ideas out there, so do a bit of research first. It is always nice to pick something that is special to you and your partner.

And finally the most important thing you need to do, is to make sure you enjoy yourself. Don’t let the stress take over. You’re getting married and planning the occasion should be half of the fun!
This is a collaborative post.

Lilah at 10 Months Old

28.11.18


I cannot believe how late I am with Lilah's update this month! She turned 10 months a few weeks ago now, but with Indiana's birthday and everyone being poorly, it's been difficult to find time to sit down and write. I haven't had time to take her to the weighing clinic either, so I don't have an update on her weight this month. But it has been a really exciting one!

Lilah is definitely growing well and is now fully in 9-12 month clothing. She's still a petite little lady though, and everyone always comments on how small she is for her age. Although what she doesn't have in size, she definitely makes up for in personality. She is constantly chatting and squealing away (she now says mama!), and my goodness does she make herself known when she isn't happy with something. She will stomp her feet at you and tantrum like a teenager when she doesn't get her own way sometimes. And although it's loud and hard work sometimes, can actually be rather cute!

Meal times are still her favourite part of the day, and Lilah loves most things put in front of her. She's getting really good with her pincer grip, and preloaded spoons are a little less messier now. As well as her meals she's still having three bottles a day - although she's not too fussed about her 3pm bottle some days, so I reckon we'll be dropping this one soon.



There have been some huge developments with Lilah this month, and she's quickly becoming a little girl and not a baby anymore. Two more teeth have popped through giving her a total of 8 already. And most exciting of all... she took her first steps! Very quickly she's learnt to stand herself up independently, take 3-4 steps, and can crouch and stand back up again if she falls.

I always knew those first steps weren't far off, but I still couldn't believe it when she did it. And despite Lilah being our third baby, those steps were still just as special. And probably the most bittersweet too, as it feels as if those baby days are coming to and end for the last time. And I don't think I'm ready!

3 Great Tips when Buying a House to Renovate

27.11.18

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
The cost of buying a home is out of control, and if you’re trying to buy a new property, you probably won’t be able to afford the space that you want. But you can save a lot of money if you buy an older property, and then renovate it instead!

It’ll take a bit of work and you won’t be able to move in right away, but you’ll be able to get a lot more for your money. However, you’ve got to be careful when you’re buying a property to renovate. If you take on a huge project that you can’t handle, you’ll end up sinking way too much money and time into it to make it liveable, and actually be worse off. So if you are considering buying a property to renovate, here are some tips to help you make the right choice.

Always Get A Survey Done
This is the most important step when you’re looking at any property, but it’s particularly important when you’re buying a house to renovate. If all of the work that needs doing is mostly cosmetic, you’re going to be fine. But if there are big structural issues or a giant hole in the roof, that’s going to be incredibly expensive and time consuming to fix.

You need to remember the exterior of the house as well, because any damage could cause you a lot of problems with insulation and damp. It’s important that you are aware of any problems like this before you buy, otherwise, you’ll end up stuck with a house that you can’t afford to fix up. That’s why you always need to get a survey done - because you won't have the expertise to spot these problems

Planning Permission
When you look around a house, you’ll probably start making plans about what you’re going to do to it straight away. But what if you buy the house and then find out that you don’t have the permission to do any of that stuff? That’s why it’s important to look into planning permission and find out about things like party walls before you agree to buy the property. What is a party wall, you might be wondering? A party wall is any wall that you share with a neighbouring property.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
This can be a big problem when you’re doing renovations, as you’ll need to get a party wall agreement with the owner of the other property, if your work will impact them in some way. Always make sure that you find out what work you can actually do, before you commit to buy somewhere.

Be Prepared For Competition
The low price for these properties attracts a lot of potential buyers, especially as house prices are so high at the moment. So you need to be prepared for a bit of competition. The offer that you initially put in may be beaten by another buyer, so always budget a little bit extra, and don’t go in with your highest price first. It’s also important that you don’t get your hopes up because sometimes, somebody else will be able to pay more than you can afford!

This is a collaborative post.

Gifts for Dad's with Jacamo

26.11.18


If your other half is anything like mine, then you'll be struggling to find suitable gifts for them this Christmas. I don't want to give him the usual gift of a video game, and some of his other suggestions have been a liiiiittle out of my price range. 

I was recently contacted by Jacamo though, who wanted to know whether I wanted to receive some items for Jack to try. I never considered them for him, but after looking through there website I was blown away by how many brands and items they actually sell. With sizes from Small to 5 XL, they have clothing for any occasion.

I asked Jack to pick some items (as there was far too many items for me to choose from!), and he was really happy with the outfit he got. First up he picked these Reebok trainers, as he really needed some for our outdoor adventures. Comfortable and stylish, they go with most of his other items of clothing and they were a reasonable price too.



The other two items Jack picked have quickly become his favourite go-to clothing items. He has lots of hoodies, but this dark pink one is all he seems to wear now. It's soft and fluffy on the inside (which is ideal now it's much cooler), and the kangaroo style pocket holds all the dad essentials - dummy, muslin, phone, etc!

To layer up with the hoody, Jack chose this Jacamo branded navy bomber jacket. You cannot beat layers in the winter, so this is a perfect addition to Jack's wardrobe. It's not only practical but it looks stylish as well, and works really well with the dusty pink hoody. And as you can see, Parker definitely took a liking to it as well!



Neither Jack or I have ever looked at Jacamo for men's clothing, but after working with them we would definitely consider them in the future. I know I will definitely be having a look for more items to get Jack for Christmas. Especially as Jack is a little bit obsessed with shoes!

This is a collaborative post with Jacamo. However all opinions are honest and my own.

3 Wedding Mistakes NOT to Make!

25.11.18

Every bride wants her wedding day to be special, and something she and her guests will always remember. Planning the wedding of your dreams can be a lot of hard work, but hopefully it will have been worth it when the big day arrives. There are mistakes made at every wedding though; here are just a few you should try to avoid!


The Bride (And Groom)

Most of the focus on any wedding day is on the bride. What is her dress like? What flowers will she be carrying? How many bridesmaids does she have? What you must remember is that there is one other very important person at your wedding - the groom! It is just as vital that he feels well dressed and comfortable. A bespoke suit from a company like Colmore Tailors, can really help with this.

Other important members of your wedding are your guests. They need to have a good time or they might remember your wedding for the wrong reasons. You would hope a pleasing experience will happen naturally, but this isn't always the case. You have to work hard at making sure they will be entertained, and have good food and drink. Make sure to try and speak to everyone during the day too.

Personal Is More Important Than Impressive

You could spend fortunes trying to impress your guests, but personal touches will always mean a lot more. Whether you spend 30p or £30 on centrepieces for tables is irrelevant, but if the wedding reflects who you are as a couple it will be much more successful. It is too easy to lay out far too much money on things that do not matter, but just remember that money isn't everything.

Why not try and make personal touches towards your guests too. If you have place name cards, write something personal on the back of each one. They can then take that away as a memory of your special day. 


Consider Your Guests

Whatever their situation your guests will have had to make an effort to attend your big day. They may have had to hire babysitters, booked transport or taken time off work. If you want everyone to be able to make it, you need to give them as much information as possible well before the wedding. The whole thing with a wedding is that it is yours and your partner’s day, but if you want it to be successful, you sometimes have to put yourselves last.
This is a collaborative post.

Our Perfect Cosy Night In with shopDisney

24.11.18


With December just a few days away now, we are really getting into the festive spirit in our household. The decorations may not be up, but Christmas is definitely sneaking into our home with the help of shopDisney, who have gifted us some lovely items.

The Christmas period to me has always been about quality family time, and spending as much time at home as possible. I always remember snuggling up with a Disney classic when I was younger, so I love that I can now do this with my own children. Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas and my personal favourite, Belle's Enchanted Christmas, will definitely be on repeat from December 1st!



You can't have a cosy night in without snuggly pyjamas and hot chocolates. shopDisney have all of this covered though, with their range of lovely pjs, mugs and other Christmas themed gifts. We were sent these adorable pjs from the Share the Magic collection (which come in both adult and child sizes!). These can also be personalised to make them that extra special. Lilah's super snuggly dressing gown is also from the Share the Magic collection, and is the perfect way to get very little ones involved.

Another fond Christmas memory of mine, is playing boardgames with my siblings while we waited for Christmas dinner to be ready. Of course we always got far too competitive, and none of the games ever ended properly - but that's all part of the Christmas fun isn't it? shopDisney sent us this fab 6-in-1 Disney Princess game, which has already been keeping Indie and Parker amused for hours. They're simple games that they can play independently (at 5 and 3), but also fun enough to enjoy as a family. Definitely perfect for Christmas day!



We are soo excited for Christmas and lots of cosy nights in now, and these special gifts from shopDisney have made the wait much more exciting! They have so many wonderful gifts available this festive season, so definitely make sure you pop over to have a look. So you can prepare for your own cosy Christmas with Disney.

We received a bundle of items from shopDisney in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

Christmas Gift Guide for 1 Year Olds | Christmas 2018

23.11.18


Babies are always tricky to buy for in my opinion. They have absolutely no idea what's going on, but you cannot leave them out. Especially when it comes to Christmas! Lilah will almost be 1 this Christmas, so we've got her a selection of little bits that she will hopefully love and use over the next few months.

My 1st Photos Personalised Soft Book

We love books in our house, and think it's so important to introduce them from a young age. Of course when they're young you've got to be careful with them (my three have nibbled on and ripped many a book!). These beautiful personalised soft books from My 1st Photos are perfect though!

Designed and created by two mummies, My 1st Photos makes fabric baby photo albums that are completely baby safe. You can pick the text, images and layout and then they are hand sewn and delivered to you. I love that Lilah can look through these and recognise the faces - and it's a perfect keepsake too!



Surprisingly Lilah already has 7 teeth, but there's still plenty more to come over the next few years! We love our Matchstick Monkey, so this gift set is a lovely idea as a present. I love the addition of the knitted monkey toy and the muslin, alongside the larger teething toy. They are great for using out and about, especially as the knitted toy can be attached to the pram.



We haven't introduced puzzles to Lilah yet, but I think this Dear Zoo chunky puzzle from Milly & Flynn, will be a perfect introduction for her. The pieces are chunky and perfect for small hands, and it will also teach her colours and animals as she grows.Wooden toys are definitely my favourite, and I know this puzzle is going to be long-lasting and well loved.




Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a selection box, and of course we don't want Lilah feeling left out! Organix Goodies sent us their Christmas Selection box, which is full of yummy treats that Lilah can enjoy. It's much better than chocolate, and all the bits inside are suitable from 12 months.


Nibbling Teether

Stocking fillers for 1 year olds can be tricky to think of as well, but I think these little gifts from Nibbling are a fantastic idea. The Gingerbread Man Teether not only helps with teething pain (it's smooth on one side and textured on the other for teething relief), it is the perfect design for Christmas! Nibbling products are BPA free, Phthalate free, and free of heavy metals, so are perfectly safe for babies.


Mama Designs Snoodie & Rudoplh Bibetta Bib

You can never have enough bibs when it comes to babies, so these two would make lovely little stocking fillers too. For teething and dribbling this lovely and stylish Snoodie dribble bib is great. Mama Designs offer great quality products that are both practical and stylish. For weaning and of course Christmas dinner, this fun Rudolph design Bibetta Bib is great! It's made of flexible and waterproof neoprene, and has a soft catch pocket, so no food goes to waste!



This guide contains items I have been gifted in exchange for being featured. However all opinions are honest and my own.

The Perfect Bedtime Story with Moonlite | Review

21.11.18


If you've followed my blog for a while, then you'll know just how much we love books and reading in our household. The Littles have a large collection of stories, and I'm always on the lookout for more! What we don't have though, is a huge amount of space to keep their books. So when I was contacted by Mumsnet, and asked if I wanted to review Moonlite - which combines traditional storybooks with modern technology - I of course said yes!

Moonlite is a special storybook projector, that easily attaches to almost any smart phone or tablet, and then uses the torch to project story images onto the ceiling or wall (or any surface really!). It was created by mother and former Google employee Natalie Rebot, who was inspired by her daughters love of shadow puppets before bed. She launched her initial concept on Kickstarter, and it has now gone on to be a huge success!


We received the Moonlite Fairytale Gift Pack, which contains the projector and 5 fairytale story reels (as well as simple instructions for use). My two absolutely love traditional fairytales, so this pack was perfect for us. Parker (3) quickly chose the Jack and the Beanstalk story, so while the Littles were brushing their teeth I got the story ready. Using Moonlite really was so simple, and it took me just a few minutes to set up!

There are 4 simple steps to follow -

1. Download the Moonlite App (for free!) from the App Store or Google Play Store.


2. Pick your story and add the reel into the Moonlite projector.

3. Open up the App and go through the set up (you'll find the activation code in the box with the reels), until you reach the alignment screen.


4. Attach the Moonlite projector to your phone - this is where you use the alignment screen on the app to guide you, but it's really as simple as lining up the cross on the projector to the cross on the screen! The app will also show you how to adjust the clarity of the projected images too.



With the projector set up I simply chose the correct story on the app, and we were ready to go. The second I clicked the story, the app really came to life! As well as the image appearing on the wall, the app shows the story so you can read along - clearly showing where you are meant to turn the projector wheel to view the next image. The experience is extra magical as the app plays background music, and some words in the story can be tapped to play sound effects too! My two especially loved this feature, as they really felt like they were getting involved in the story.


When Moonlite first arrived, myself and Jack both admitted we weren't sure what to expect. But since using it, we both agree just how lovely and special it makes reading with the littles. The images and sounds make the experience so immersive and magical, and Indie and Parker both love getting involved by turning the projector or pressing the words. I do think it could become an expensive way of enjoying books (story reels are £7.99 each), but they would be perfect gifts to receive, to build up your collection!

Moonlite is aimed at children aged 1-7, but I think it would be enjoyed by both younger and older audiences - especially together as a family. It was not created as a replacement for traditional storybooks, but as a truly unique way of storytelling, to inspires your child’s imagination! It is available to buy at many retailers including Argos. The Gift Pack (which includes 5 stories and the projector) retails at £39.99, and a Starter Pack (which includes 2 stories and the projector) retails at £19.99.


This post is in collaboration with Moonlite and Mumsnet. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Christmas Gift Guide for 5 Year Olds | Christmas 2018

20.11.18

 

Looking for Christmas gifts this year for Indiana has been a whole lot easier than previous years. I feel like a whole new selection of gifts open up once they turn 5 / start school. I have put together a collection of gift ideas for 5 year olds this year, that I hope will give you some inspiration this festive season!


Indiana absolutely loves playing games and doing fun activities when at home, and a favourite in our household is Orchard Toys games. We have a whole collection (and love to gift them for birthday parties too!), so I know she's going to be really excited to receive Giraffes in Scarves this year.

Designed for children ages 4 to 7, Giraffes in Scarves offers the perfect balance between learning and fun! The aim of the game is to collect as many scarves as possible for your giraffe, all while using colouring matching and counting skills. I know I can't wait to play!


Fingerlings

Indie got her very first Fingerling for her birthday last year, so I know she's going to be absolutely thrilled to add some more to her collection. The Fingerlings range has exploded and now you can get dragons, unicorns, pandas and even twin packs featuring 'mini BFFs'!

Fingerling monkeys have two special sensors on top of their heads. By tapping either once or twice on either side, you can trigger a variety of different reactions, including noises, movements and Indie's favourite is when they blow you kisses.


Totes Isotoner Slippers

There's nothing better than getting cosy and warm over the chillier months, so I know Indiana is going to absolutely love these slippers from Totes Isotoner. Plus they're a unicorn design - so that's a double win! They are lovely and soft and have a non-slip grip on the bottom too. And I love that they're machine washable too, as this is a must for children's clothing!


Itty Bittys

We are a Disney obsessed household, and ever since we went to Disneyland back in March, the littles have wanted more cuddly versions of their favourite characters. These super sweet Itty Bittys from Hallmark are the perfect way to bring our favourite characters into the house, and will be a perfect stocking filler for Indiana! They're super-cute and small enough to take out and about - and best of all there are SO many different collections if you aren't a Disney fan (including Star Wars, Marvel and beloved TV characters). I already want them all!


Personally Presented - Personalised Unicorn Apron

I love giving special gifts to the littles. Ones that aren't just your average item that everyone will have. Personally Presented have over 1000 personalised gifts for all special occasions and personalities. We received this lovely personalised unicorn apron, which I know Indiana is going to love. She loves baking, and I know she's going to feel extra special doing it with this apron on. It also features unicorns and rainbows, so that's another bonus!


So Glow Mini Jar Kit from Canal Toys

We recently had Indie's first parents evening, where her teachers described her as very creative and always busy - and we couldn't agree more! So this Magic Jar Mini Kit from So Glow DIY is going to be  the perfect gift for her. She can create her very own colour-change mood light (with a little help from me) at home. You can decorate the jar, mix the glitter and confetti with the special So Glow powder, and even add the special surprise collectable figure. A great gift if you 5 year old is creative and into crafting like mine.



As mentioned above, Indie is really into creative activities. This My Mermaid Lagoon set is going to be another great gift for her (especially as she's been asking for it all year!). You can create you own magical mermaid world by moulding, sculpting and playing with the glittery magic sand. Corals, shells, and other accessories are also included to create a beautiful and fun scene. Indie is going to love that she can take her mermaid around with her too, as the little clamshell she comes with fits into your pocket!


My Fairy Garden - Fairy Light Garden

Another gift Indiana has been asking for since last Christmas in a My Fairy Garden set, so I know she's going to be thrilled with this Fairy Light Garden. The set comes with everything you need to create a magical fairy garden, including a mushroom house (that lights up and plays music!), grass seeds to grow a lawn, characters and lots of accessories. Of course indie will need some grown up help with this too, but it's such a lovely gift for a little girl (or boy!) who loves magic and fairies.


Scootaseatz

Just like Parker, Indiana absolutely loves to go out on her scooter too. This pink Scootaseatz is such a fun addition to her scooter, and means she can take her baby doll or cuddly toy out for a ride with her! The seat is really easy to attach and can be used with all scooter brands and some bikes and trikes.


This guide contains items I have been gifted in exchange for being featured. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Preserving The Beauty Of Childhood

19.11.18


Childhood is one of the most beautiful and important things there are. If you lived a great one it will most likely affect your personality for the rest of your life (and you’ll often long to return to that innocent, childhood state). If you weren't so fortunate however, it could influence your entire life perhaps more chaotically.

We can overcome our childhoods, but we’re all absolutely a product of it. This means that as a parent, being the guardian of childhood isn’t a fantastic title given by someone with too much imagination. It’s a complete necessity for a parent to do everything they can, to allow a child to live free from the shackles of adulthood!

Of course, this doesn't mean they should be spoiled, allowed free reign over every single decision, and never disciplined. Childhood is hard to deal with, and even an excellent parent will find it challenging. It’s also always amazing to see just how much of your child’s personality is seemingly packaged with them the moment they begin to toddle about. Thankfully, preserving the beauty of childhood despite these challenges is possible, if you take into account the following advice...

Settling Issues

It can be very wise to settle issues in your family unit, before they start to influence the children in the family. For example, relationship issues might need to go through the impartial lens of family solicitors, or you might need to follow arrangements best made by your family counselor. Children are very smart and can tell when issues are taking place. It’s very hard to lie to them about this, and of course, lying to your children isn’t something you would ever want to do either. For that reason, taking issues by the horn and resolving them can make for a much better childhood.

Play

Children need to play, that's a fact! And actually, it’s one of the most important things a child can ever learn. Play simulates life in the microcosm, from sharing with their siblings to learning the rules of fair play. A child tests their personality and learns completely new things throughout the course of their years of play, and will begin to absorb the unwritten rules of the social landscape with their peers. Children need to play. So let them - preferably in social activities or using their imagination, then constantly allowing them to play video gaming consoles.

Growing Up too Quickly

We’re often quite disgusted to see dolled-up children that attend beauty pageants, with their pushy mothers and fathers. But we might not look at ourselves and see, in less obviously irritating ways, how we might be pushing our children to grow up too fast. If your 10 or 11 year old is allowed to watch films unsuitable for them, or is experiencing unsuitable things from hanging out with their older sibling, then it might be worth keeping an eye on them. If your 13/14 year old daughter wants to play with dolls still, let her! Help your children hold onto their childhood as they should, because they’ll have plenty of time to live as someone with responsibilities and adult cares in the future.

With these few simple tips, preserving the beauty of childhood is sure to take place!

This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | November 2018

17.11.18

I haven't taken many fancy pictures of our three this month, but I thought these quick snaps were too lovely not to share. Lilah is SO eager to get out and about on our outings now, and we cannot wait until the three of them are off adventuring together. And of course I wanted to share our Halloween pictures too, because they're just too cute not to share!

I actually cannot believe we have an almost 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 10 month old now. This year seems to have gone by in an absolute flash, and all three of them have grown and changed so much since my Siblings Project posts at the start of the year. And now we only have one more of these posts left!



Apart from half term, this month has been a relatively quiet one. We had a lovely Halloween with allll of the sweets, and the littles in the cutest outfits. Indie wanted to be a witch, Parker was a skeleton dinosaur (yes, it was as cool as it sounds), and Lilah was a baby witch to match Indie. Jack took the big two out trick or treating after work, which they are still talking about now!

We have had some lovely days out throughout the month too, including a soggy trip to Scotney Castle and fireworks with our friends Harriet and Josh. But as we have so many exciting events coming up over the next few weeks, we decided to enjoy our free weekends as much as possible. Because once Indiana's birthday rolls around, it will be Christmas before we know it!