Recent Posts

The Siblings Project | July 2019

17.7.19


What a difference a year makes huh?

A year ago Lilah was just 6 months old, a teeny tiny squish between her brother a sister. And now? She's just turned 18 months and is just as crackers as the other two! I absolutely love the dynamic between the three of them at the moment though. Of course the squabbles and fights are still as full on as ever, but they are so fiercely protective of each other too. 

Indie has absolutely loved showing Parker around her school and telling him what to expect come September. Proudly telling everyone that 'my brother Parker is in *** class!' I'm still not sure he gets that he won't see her every day when he does start, but it's reassuring that they have each other around the school in general. I just know they'll have each others backs over the years - because you know that no one else is allowed to hurt the other but them right?

And then there's our not so little Lilah, who is quickly learning that whatever they can do, she can usually do better... help! For example, a few weekends ago the big two were climbing a hugeee dirt hill, when Lilah ran over and climbed to the top nearly just as fast. No hesitations. No fear. Just the biggest grin on her face that she was joining in with the big kids. I just know she's going to be trouble.


Four Easy Tips for a Smooth Pregnancy

I'm sure you've heard many horror stories of pregnancy - the back pain, the swelling, and all of those hormones causing awful mood swings. But it really isn't like that at all! There are things you can do to make your 9 months of pregnancy easier; giving you that 'glowing' pregnancy journey. In this post I'm going to share just four tips you can follow to have a smooth pregnancy.


Build a Support Group
Everything’s easier when it feels like we’re not the only ones going through something. Going through a pregnancy alone (and believing that there’s no-one looking out for us) would be incredibly difficult. So take the time to find a support system! If you have family living near to you, then this could mean getting them more involved in the process, or inviting close friends to help with baby shopping. And definitely make sure you sign up to antenatal groups such as NCT or pregnancy yoga, as this is a great way to find likeminded mums to be - plus make friendships for when baby arrives too.

Stay Informed
There’s no getting around the fact that a pregnancy can be full of anxieties and worries. This is the most likely the biggest thing that you’ll do in your life, so of course it’s natural that you’d be a little anxious. But by keeping yourself informed about everything you're experiencing can really help. Read books about pregnancy, visit your healthcare professional regularly, and download a pregnancy tracker to see how things are progressing each week.

Remember to Look After Yourself
Your focus will be mostly on the little human that’s growing inside of you, but make sure you’re not putting all of your attention on the baby - you should also focus on yourself. You have some license to be a little selfish when you’re pregnant, so make the most of it! You can treat yourself well by making sure that you’re getting as much rest as you need, and all-around looking after your body. That means eating well, regular low intensity exercise, and taking any prenatal vitamins your midwife recommends.


Enjoy the Process
There are always going to be stressful moments when you become a parent, both during the pregnancy and after. But there’s also plenty of scope for having fun and enjoying the process too. Embrace your growing bump and capture it's size with a bump cast. Enjoy decorating the nursery and buying your baby's little wardrobe. And most importantly make the most of the time with your partner before the baby arrives - a babymoon is the best way to do this!

This is a collaborative post.

8 Fun Wedding Theme Ideas

16.7.19

Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting, but most stressful things you’ll ever do. And deciding where on earth to start can be one of the trickiest parts! Choosing the theme of your wedding is tricky, but with the right idea, you can create an unforgettable day that will represent you and your future spouse beautifully. But what theme to choose? In this post I'm going to be sharing 8 fun wedding theme ideas, that hopefully you will love.

Festival
If you and your fiancé love nothing better than getting muddy in a field listening to live bands, then a festival theme could be an ideal way to share that vibe with your family. Think live music, teepees, outdoor games and food trucks. Why not send out wristbands or tickets instead of traditional invites or Save The Date cards for an extra touch of fun?

Beach
Love the beach? Then why not get married on one! Think light and breezy fabrics, tropical details and relaxed island vibes. Check out some beach wedding tips to make sure you choose suitable clothing, food and decor to tackle sand and sea on your big day. If you can't afford an actual beach, then why not get creative and make your own!

Photo by Arshad Pooloo on Unsplash
Fairytale
A very popular theme for those who love the romance and magic of classic Disney films - fairytales. Go for large floral arrangements, blush tones and why not even look into hiring a horse and carriage instead of a traditional wedding car.

Rustic
If you’re tempted by a venue like a barn, then maybe go for a rustic theme to compliment it. Fill your venue with hay bales, string lights and mason jars full of candles. Think simple, outdoorsy details, like using natural woods and hessians in your decor, and carry seasonal, local flowers to match your colour scheme. The current trend for naked wedding cakes also fits the rustic theme well!

Photo by Tikkho Maciel on Unsplash
Christmas
Getting married at the most wonderful time of the year? What better excuse to go all out with the festive spirit. Decorate your venue with lots of lights, a Christmas tree and flowers in deep reds and golds. Fill your evening playlist with Christmas classics and serve hot chocolate or mulled wine to really get in the Christmassy mood. You could even hire a Father Christmas for that extra festive touch!

Travel
This is a perfect theme if you and your partner met while travelling, or just simply love exploring and adventuring together. You could send out airline tickets or boarding passes as invites. Then decorate your venue with maps, photos from your travels and decor from the countries you've visited. Name tables after countries you’ve visited together - maybe even adding a photo from each destination for that final touch. You could even ask guests to sign a globe instead of a guestbook, to make an extra special keepsake!

Vintage
Are you an art deco fanatic or a rockabilly babe? You could theme your wedding on your favourite era or decade, by finding appropriate props, decor and music. If you really want to stick to the theme you could even ask guests to come dressed in appropriate outfits for your chosen era!

Photo by Thomas Curryer on Unsplash
Geek
Are you both Trekkies, Jedis or wannabe Vampire Slayers? Theme your wedding on your favourite 'geeky' things, whether it’s games, comic books or movies. You can inject a lot of fun with a theme like this, such as sending out invites that look like old school game cartridges, filling bowls with Lego for centerpieces or naming your tables after favourite comic book characters. This is a perfect theme for fancy dress too!

This is a collaborative post.

Everything you Need to Know About Driving to Disneyland Paris

15.7.19

There are 3 different ways you can travel to Disneyland Paris - fly, on the Eurostar, or by car. We have now travelled by Eurostar and driven, and both Jack and I agree that driving was the better and easier option! Of course driving in France can seem a little daunting and scary at first, but honestly it's nothing to worry about as long as you do a little bit of research first.


The Benefits of Driving to Disneyland Paris

Of course the first positive of driving to DLP, is that it is a lot cheaper! The Eurostar can be incredibly expensive, whereas you can get Eurotunnel or ferry crossings from as little as £66 each way. Parking is free is you're staying in a Disney hotel for the duration of your stay too.

Taking your own car means you also have no restrictions when it comes to packing, and shopping while you're at Disney! We filled up our car with a huge suitcase, a buggy, plenty of food and lots of entertainment for the children (and still had lots of room for the souvenirs and giant Mickey balloons we bought on the way home).

Self driving means you are also on your own schedule. The drive from Calais to DLP takes roughly 3 hours, but you don't need to worry about rushing or it taking longer. The route has plenty of rest stops (a mixture of both service stations and picnic areas), so you can stop whenever anyone needs the loo or you want to stretch your legs. If you pick the latest tunnel / ferry crossing back you can also make the most out of your time in the parks too, as Eurostars tend to leave a lot earlier!

What you Need to Take (in the Car)

The laws in France are slightly different to that of the UK, so make sure you have everything you need before setting off. There are certain items you legally need to carry, which are:

Your driving licence
Your passport
Your V5C certificate
Your insurance documents
Green Card (Brexit dependent)
GB sticker / GB numberplate

Plus a recovery kit* that includes:

A warning triangle
Reflective safety jackets (for each passenger)
Breathalyser
Headlight beam deflectors
Spare bulbs
Important Information to Know

The route between Calais and DLP is incredibly easy to follow. You take the motorway most of the way, until you reach huge signposts that tell you Disneyland Paris is near! You'll join a toll road quite early on along the route where you take a ticket. Just keep on the road and you'll reach the end where you use the ticket to pay for the toll - this costs €22.50 (each way) which you pay with card or cash - the machines do give change if you choose to use cash.

Remember that your speed is measured in km/h not miles in France, and keep an eye on the speed limits, as they are very strict about speeding. Speed limits also vary depending on the weather conditions too:

  • Motorways - 130 km/h in normal conditions, 110 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Dual carriageways or inner city motorways - 110 km/h in normal conditions, 100 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Other roads - 90 km/h in normal conditions, 80 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Urban/built-up areas - 50 km/h in all conditions.

Another couple of important rules to remember are that if you are the driver, you cannot use headphones or headsets at all while driving. You must also switch off are speed camera alerts if you're using a sat nav, as these are not allowed in France.

It does seem daunting at first, but hopefully this post will have helped settle some of your worries. Feel free to ask any questions if there's something I've not included though, I would be happy to help!

*Affiliate links. These mean I earn a small percentage if you buy through these links, however there is not extra cost to you.

The 4 Biggest Signs You’re Ready to Propose

It can be difficult to judge exactly when you should consider proposing to your partner. You shouldn't just listen to the peer pressure of family and friends (or the hints dropped by your partner!). It's got to be at a moment when you think BOTH of you are ready to commit to marriage. If you're still unsure, there are luckily plenty of signs that you can look out for, and I'm going to be sharing 5 of the main signs you're ready to propose in this post.


You Talk About the Future
This is usually a red flag if it’s done in the first few weeks or months of a relationship, but if you’ve been with your partner for a long time and your talks have gone from “what should we do this weekend?” to “where should we look for a house to buy?”, then there’s a good chance you’re both ready to tie the knot.

You Support Each Other’s Passions
Whether it’s a sporting career or a business venture, being supportive of each other and understanding each other’s ambition is a great sign of things to come. Neither of you should feel you are giving up something you love in your relationship.

You're Honest About Your Financial Situation
One of the most difficult things to trust a partner with is your financial situation. If you’re both open about your finances and can trust each other with money, then it’s a good sign that you’ve already built a lot of trust in each other. You cannot go into a marriage with secrets and worries.

Your Friends and Family Support You
Having a friend or family member be against you proposing is usually something to take into consideration. However, if they’re all really supportive of your relationship then it usually means they’re giving you the thumbs up on your engagement. A close friend or family member may even be a good help for choosing the ring!

If the signs are right and you’re ready to take the next step, then the infographic below will help with the actual proposal itself - it's got to be perfect after all!



This is a collaborative post.

Swimming with Konfidence Swimwear at Splash Landings, Alton Towers! #Swimologist

3.7.19


If you have followed for a while, then you'll know that we are currently Child Swimologists for the fantastic swimwear brand Konfidence. We previously worked with them a few years ago, testing out their baby swimwear range during baby swim lessons. But this year we were given the task of testing out their Konfidence Swim Jackets, plus other items from the older swimwear range. To test them to their full potential, we headed off to the amazing Splash Landings Waterpark at Alton Towers, for a weekend of swimming, sun, and lots of fun!

Although the littles absolutely love swimming, we don't nearly go as much as we'd like to. And when we have been in the past, Indiana and Parker have been a little nervous heading into the pool. But I can honestly say that since having their Original Konfidence Swim Jackets there has been such a positive change in them.



First released back in 1998, the Konfidence Swim Jacket is the bestselling buoyancy swimming aid! It's made from high-grade soft neoprene, making is soft and comfortable for your child/ren to wear - plus giving it a lovely snug fit too. The jacket incorporates eight 'float pockets' which are what help your little one to float, while still giving them the freedom to swim. These are then removed in pairs as your child becomes a more confident swimmer, and eventually all floats can be removed as your child can swim independently!

Indiana is 5 and Parker is 3, and both of them really enjoy wearing the swim jackets. Indiana can independently put hers on and do it up thanks to the chunky zip, and I love all of the fun and bright designs you can buy the jacket in. The jacket also features a high-vis yellow back (to increase visibility in crowded pools), as well as being 100% UV protective when worn outdoors!



Both Littles usually complain of being chilly not long after getting in the pool, so while in the Splash Landings Waterpark we teamed their jackets with the Konfidence Warma Wetsuits. These not only kept them warm while splashing about in the interactive water features and pool, but also protected them from the sun while we were in the outside pool, as they provides 100% UV protection to all covered areas. These will definitely be perfect for future trips to the seaside too!

Of course Lilah didn't miss out on any of the fun though, as she had a Konfidence Floatsuit to wear. Combining a traditional swimsuit with the principal of the Original Konfidence Jacket, it was perfect for Lilah as it was easy to put on and super comfortable too. We swear by the Konfidence Swim Nappies too, and have used them since Indiana was a baby!



With the help of our Konfidence swimwear we had the most wonderful time at the Splash Landings Waterpark. The littles were splashing and swimming with so much confidence; even Indiana who was too scared to jump in a few months ago was in her element! I just know that with time and lots more swimming practice, we'll have three confident independent swimmers. So thank you Konfidence for taking us to Alton Towers, we had an amazing time!

We were gifted our visit to Alton Towers and the Splash Landings Waterpark (plus our Konfidence swimwear) as part of our role as Konfidence Swimologists. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Top 5 Must Do's at Disneyland Paris!

2.7.19

Despite our Disneyland Paris trip over a month ago now, I've definitely still got the Disney blues! So what better way to cure them, than by talking about all things Disney? Since our visits we've been asked lots of questions about what we got up to, and what the best parts were, so I thought I would share my top 5 'must do's' when visiting Disneyland Paris. And hopefully if you're planning a future trip this will help you with your planning!

Watch Illuminations

There is no better way to end an amazing Disney day, then by watching the incredible Illuminations show. A combination of fireworks, projections, fire, lights and music brings the Disneyland Park and Sleeping Beauty Castle to life. The show makes me emotional every time I watch it, and it really is pure Disney magic! Timings of the show depend on the time of year, as it begins at park close (this was 8pm in March and 11pm in June), but it's totally worth staying up for.

Photo Credit: Emma

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

I had heard so much about Buffalo Bill's, but was still a little unsure what to expect before we visited this year. All I can say is WOW! I won't give too much away, but it is an interactive dinner show full of fun, laughter and lots of yummy food. You get to see plenty of Disney characters during the show (and if you arrive early enough you may bump into Wild West Mickey too), as well as stunt riders and real live cattle. I really wouldn't miss it!



Explore Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Of course you cannot go to Disneyland Paris without exploring the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle! You can climb the stairs and go into the castle itself, where you can find out more of the story of Sleeping Beauty (and spot the snoring suits of armour). As you walk through the castle there's the Christmas Shop and a Glass shop - this is where you can watch them make (and buy!) amazing glass wands and ornaments. But don't forget to explore underneath the castle too, as this is where you'll find the Maleficent dragon! To find the entrance to the cave, head to the left as you walk towards the castle, and you should find the secret door.



Eat Mickey Shaped Treats

There are many iconic snacks at Disneyland Paris, but of course the best ones are Mickey shaped! Not only are they fun to find (and make for great photos), they are all super tasty too. You can find Mickey shaped waffles at The Old Mill in Fantasyland, special Disney popcorn buckets dotted around the park, and of course Mickey shaped cookies and marshmallows at the Sweet Shop on Mainstreet - it's on the right just as you wander down towards the castle!




Enjoy a Character Meal

The best way to meet characters without the crazy queues, is to enjoy one of the many character meal options. We love these as you can meet lots of characters while enjoying your meal, leaving you free to enjoy rides and explore the parks without hunting down the characters. You can have character breakfasts at Plaza Gardens or with the princesses. And then lunch / dinner with the characters or princesses at Inventions (in Disneyland Hotel), Auberge de Cendrillion (Disneyland Park), or Cafe Mickey (in Disney Village). Make sure to book these in advance though as they are super popular!



So those are my top 5 must do's at Disneyland Paris, especially if you are visiting for the first time. Is there anything you would add to my list? Why not let me know by commenting below!

Me and Mine Project | June 2019

1.7.19


Wow, what a month June was! We started the month with our magical trip to Disneyland Paris, and ended it with a whirlwind trip to Alton Towers. It's been crazily busy and super exhausting, but I do kind of wish every month was this exciting... we've just had so much fun as a family!

I honestly cannot believe how many family photos we managed to get while in Disney (there are a number I haven't even added to this post), but I love everyone of them. We've definitely got better at asking strangers to take family snaps, and the Disney Photopass meant we could all jump in photos with the characters too. Although you can probably tell the problem we're having with Lilah at the moment... she reaaaaally doesn't like strangers!




Of course June wasn't just about holidays though. Jack and I celebrated our 'datingaversary', as this month marked 7 years of us being together. Indiana finally lost her second wobbly tooth (which she accidentally swallowed.. whoops), and Lilah has become an explosion of new words. And our beautiful boy Parker had his very first school settling in session! It's amazing what you can fit into 30 days isn't it?

Four Ways to Survive the Summer Holidays

Can you believe that another school year is almost over already? Indiana's first year has absolutely flown by in a blur of school runs, birthday parties and plenty of fun. But with the six week Summer holidays upon us, I must admit that I'm already feeling a little nervous! As much as I love our children it is super hard work, and the responsibility can be overwhelming at times. Thankfully school keeps them busy and teaches them all of the things we can't, but what do we do when the term is over?

For the first few days they’ll probably make their own fun, but 6 weeks can feel like an incredibly long time - especially for children who don't understand the concept of time. I've already started thinking of ideas, and hopefully this post will help you if you're worrying too. So here are just 4 ways to entertain your little ones during the school holidays!


Arrange Playdates 
Of course the holidays means that all children are off of school, so make sure to arrange playdates and days out with your children's friends. Whether it's just a picnic at the park, going to each others houses, or a big day out, I can guarantee this will be beneficial for you just as much as your children! If you don't know the children's parents already, now is a good time to get those contacts before the school term finishes.

Have Movie Days
Having a fun day doesn't necessarily have to mean leaving the house - especially if the weather isn't looking so good. Let your children pick a few films (you could get a Netflix subscription or look at the latest now tv offers to see if there’s anything you will all enjoy), then get some popcorn and sweets, and set up a 'movie theatre' in the living room with duvets and cushions. You could even make it an event by getting your children to create theatre tickets and decorating the room with fairy lights, to make it even more fun.


Join Holidays Clubs & Groups
A lot of regular clubs finish for the holidays just like school, but there are plenty of different holidays clubs and activities you could go to instead. Whether your child is into sports, dance, drama or just getting outdoors, there will be something to suit everyone! Make sure to look into these as soon as possible though to guarantee a space, as some may require payment in advance too.

Get Them to Help Around the House
With everyone at home you can imagine how messy and chaotic it can be - especially if you use school hours to catch up on house work! A great idea to combat this is to get your children to help you work around the house. Depending on the age of your child, you can get them to do simple chores such as tidying their room, setting the table or organising toys. This not only helps you out but helps teach them important skills. If you don't think your children will be too keen, why not try making it a game, or using pocket money as a little incentive.

What would you add to my list?
This is a collaborative post.

Help Support the Tommy's Splashathon 2019! | AD

24.6.19

Every year, 1 in 4 women lose a baby during pregnancy or birth. The baby charity Tommy’s are committed to reducing this unacceptable statistic, and along with the help of Water Babies, they are aiming to raise a whopping £1 million with the 2019 Tommy's Splashathon!


Tommy's the baby charity fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, as well as providing pregnancy health information to those in need. Although we have never personally experienced baby loss, we do have many close friends and family that have. Jack ran the London Landmarks Half Marathon back in March for Tommy's, so of course we wanted to show our support and get behind such a fantastic cause once again!

This year is Tommy's 8th Splashathon event and it is set to be loads of fun, especially as this year's theme is Peppa Pig Pirates and Princesses! Every mum, dad and baby that takes part in the Splashathon will be helping other babies who aren’t so lucky - with each pound raised helping to save a babies’ life. This year the charity has set itself a massive goal of raising £1 million to help fund life-saving research. I believe we can most definitely achieve this if everyone gets involved, and supports the Splashathon and those taking part.


To take part you simply attend your local Water Babies class (you do have to be Water Babies customers already!), for a special fundraising Peppa Pig pirate and princesses themed class. You are of course encouraged to dress up, and join in with the water-based fun, including a challenge to swim a width! You can learn more about the Splashathon here. If you can't make it to one of the Splashathon events, getting involved could be something as simple as going for a fun family swim, and then donating what you can to the Splashathon fundraising page. Why not take the Water Babies and Tommy's swimming style quiz too, to see what kind of swimmer your little one is!

Let’s help save babies’ lives. Make a splash, donate some cash!


Collaborative post.

4 Ways to Simplify your Life!

21.6.19

For many of us, striving to achieve success involves cramming our lives as full as possible. This can especially be true if you’re a mum. It can be challenging to continually meet the demands we set ourselves, all while looking after our families, keeping up at work and not forgetting important dates and appointments. If you’re struggling under the load of your day-to-day responsibly, instead of trying to force yourself to get everything done, try to identify things (whether they are objects or habits) that you can remove from your life. In this post I'm going to share 4 ways to simplify your life with just of a few subtle adjustments.


Shop in Advance
If you can get into the habit of planning your meals for the week and shopping ahead of time - only for the products you need, you’ll actually save yourself hours of stress and worry in the long run. Especially on those evenings when you just want to get dinner done! If shopping for the whole week sounds daunting, remember that you can buy groceries online and have them delivered, and lots of dietary supplements or speciality food items that you don’t normally buy from the supermarket can usually be ordered via a subscription service too. A coffee bean subscription is especially useful, as running out of coffee is one of those crisis moments that can send you running to the store when you have committed to your weekly shop.

De-Clutter your Home
While it’s important to stop buying things you don’t need, getting rid of clutter is the place to start. Even if it seems like an unpleasant, never-ending task to being with, open that cupboard and get into the loft, and start clearing away things you don’t actually use! Don’t throw everything away just because you don’t need or want it though - making a donation to a charity can help you mitigate your waste, and could bring joy to someone else's life. See what you can sell on eBay or Gumtree, and even consider places such as Facebook for selling clothes and baby items. And then once you've sorted through everything, you can really sort out your home with the items you truly want and need.

Avoid Toxic People
Your time on earth is limited, and unless you devote a significant portion of that precious time to your relationships, those relationships are not going to blossom. Close family aside, save your time and energy for the relationships in your life in which both parties have the same level of commitment and effort. If you’re investing your energy in relationships that are unequal, or that make you feel devalued, you’re draining your time and energy for no reward. While it can be awkward and unpleasant to remove yourself from toxic relationships, you will be doing both you and the other party a favour in the long run! Listen to your heart and do what’s best for you.


Unplug and Unwind
These days our mobile phones are like extensions of our hands. They are not only how we communicate with loved ones, but our diaries, our cameras and our escapism from reality. But unplugging once in a while and tuning in to real life, can really help you relax and unwind. You can reconnect with friends or family face to face, and really engage with what's happening in that moment. Of course this is unlikely to be something you do constantly, but why not consider a 'blackout' once a week or month. And use the time to live in the moment, without the distraction of a phone or the internet.

Whether you’re feeling just a little taxed by life or you just need to feel more relaxed, why not consider slowing down rather than speeding up. And hopefully these tips will help you simplify your day to day life, giving you time to consider the things that really matter to you.

This is a collaborative post.

Why I Love Being a Mum of Three | AD

19.6.19

Sponsored by SMA® Nutrition.

Growing up I always knew I wanted to have children; I would picture myself with two little girls and I even had them named I was that convinced! But after we had our bigger two (and we had both agreed we were done), there seemed to be a little part of our family missing. I didn't feel done having babies at all... and so came Lilah, our third little baby and most definitely the final piece of our family puzzle!

When I was expecting Lilah, I had so many people tell us we were crazy to add a third child to the family though.

"You'll need a bigger car / house!"

"Ooh you're brave!"

"Third labours are the worst you know!”

Lilah has now been a part of our family for over a year now, and I have to say, having a third baby has been the easiest (and loveliest) transition of all! Of course everyone has different experiences, and this is just ours, but I would do Lilah's pregnancy, labour and first year again in a heartbeat.


I was a young first time mum when Indiana was born, and I think I worried about every single moment of her first year. And apart from my mum and my sister, I had hardly any support from anyone either. I really wish I had been aware of SMA Careline® when she was born, as it would have been exactly what I needed!

Parker was born just 20 months later, and although the age gap was close, I felt completely different heading into motherhood this time around. I had the most empowering drug-free water birth, and had a more positive attitude towards breastfeeding this time. Of course two under two had its difficult moments, but I still believe it was (and still is!) such a lovely age gap.

So when Lilah was born, both Jack and I felt so much more confident. We had the knowledge of raising two babies behind us, as well as the support from family, friends and online support systems such as the SMA Careline®. Their live chat is available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, where you can chat to their experts (who have over 20 years of experience!), regarding anything pregnancy, baby or toddler related.


The most special part of Lilah growing up as a third baby though, has definitely been watching her with Indiana and Parker. There is undoubtedly nothing more special than sibling relationships - and she couldn't ask for a better brother and sister! They have always been so helpful, and loved that they could help feed her. We introduced SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk to complement her weaning diet when she turned 6 months, right up until her first birthday. Did you know that at 6 months babies develop so quickly that their need for iron increases? SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is enriched with iron to help support normal cognitive development in a baby’s brain. It also contains Omega 3 & 6† and iodine to help support normal growth, so we felt happy that Lilah was in good hands, as we began to wean her onto a more varied diet.

As a third child, Lilah just slotted into our family perfectly, and it was so much easier to create a routine with her as she just settled into the one we already had with the other two! So although three children may not have been in my plans when I was younger, I honestly wouldn't change our family dynamics for the world now!

Do you have more than one child?
How did each experience differ for you?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breast milk is best for babies and breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is for babies over 6 months, as part of a varied weaning diet. Not intended to replace breastfeeding.

† The beneficial effect of essential fatty acids is obtained with a daily intake of 10 g of Linoleic acid and 2 g of α-linolenic acid.

Smyths Toys Store - The Baby Room Sale + £50 Smyths Voucher Giveaway! | June 2019 {CLOSED}

18.6.19

If you're a new parent or are currently expecting, then this post is hopefully going to be helpful for you. Because Smyths Toys Store's dedicated baby area (The Baby Room) have officially launched their sale, offering £10 off Every £50 on ALL Car Seats and ALL Travel Systems, and well as some great offers across their whole baby range until Monday 8th July - including 20% off ALL Mini Uno mattresses!


The sale begins Tuesday 18th June, where their fab car seat and travel system offer will be valid in-store and online until Monday 24th June. And if you do decide to pop into store you can have your new car seat fitted for free by on of their certified in-store baby experts. Don't worry if you can't make it to a store though, as there are installation guides for each car seat available online too. 

Make sure to check out their new and improved range of premium car seats, travel systems and buggies from brands such as Joie, Britax Romer, Cybex, Graco, Mini Uno, and Babylo. Most of which can be delivered using their next day delivery service or using their 1hour click and collect service. It really is so was to shop at Smyths The Baby Room!

Top offers include:

Babylo Panorama Travel System NOW: £229.99 SAVE: £50

Leotie Lux Travel System & Car Seat Bundle NOW £399.99 SAVE: £90

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And what makes this even more exciting is that I have a £50 Smyths Toys Store voucher to giveaway to one lucky winner! All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions apply.


Terms & Conditions
£10 off every £50 promotion is taken on the latest marked price on ALL Car Seats & Travel Systems and will be calculated at the checkout. This offer excludes Car Seat Bases and Accessories. This offer is valid in-store and online. Offer valid from Tuesday 18th June until Monday 24th June 2019. Offer excludes purchases of gift, savings, digital download or POSA cards, plastic bags. Customer limits apply. No bulk buying. This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other promotional offers or money off vouchers. Offer excludes in-store home delivery. If items purchased in conjunction with this promotions are returned at a later date only the cash value exchanged will be refunded. No voucher necessary. 



This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | June 2019

16.6.19

It's funny how time works isn't it? It feels like only yesterday I was writing up May's siblings project post, but at the same time a lifetime ago that we took those pictures. We've managed to squeeze in so much since then, including of course our magical holiday to Disneyland Paris. So there was no way this month's sibling's project was not going to include Mickey ears or the castle!


The bond between our three seems to have grown even more since our holiday. Lilah has learnt to say Parker and Indie (in her own super cute way of course), and will shout for them constantly to come and play. All three of them will snuggle up in our bed or on the sofa after school too, with Lilah always squeezed in-between her big brother and sister like a little sandwich filler. Everything is currently crossed that this love between them continues over the Summer holidays...

This month Indiana lost her very first tooth, which was an exciting moment for the whole family it seems. Parker was probably just as excited to see whether the tooth fairy had come as she was! I love that as they are so close in age Parker gets to see what exciting moments to are to come for him. This is especially true right now as he starts his transition to big school. Having watched Indie do the exact same thing this past year he (currently) has zero fear or worries, and would probably skip into school merrily right now if he could. Indie has been really supportive too, telling him all about what to expect and what he has to do. I just hope that he takes to school as well as she did come September!

5 Tips for a Fun Filled Wedding Reception

14.6.19

After the 'I Dos' and ceremony itself, the part of your wedding your guests will remember most is the reception. So you need to make sure you keep this in mind when wedding planning! To make the evening truly memorable, you should focus on making sure the guests in attendance have as much fun as they possibly can. Of course this is easier said than done, but with the right ideas in place and enough planning, you'll be sure to have the best wedding reception in town!


To help you with you planning, I've put together a few ideas and tips that are sure to make your reception a night to remember - and all for the right reasons!

Unexpected Entertainment and Games
Your wedding reception should be fun and joyful. You could achieve this by providing entertainment and games, that’ll keep people interested and having a good time throughout the evening. There are so many choices that are predictable these days though, so why not pick something a little more unexpected and unusual? Why not have steel drummers or a rock band instead of a DJ or swing band? A mixologist could entertain your guests with your own specialty cocktail, or how about getting an impersonator to be your master of service? Whatever you decide, keep it fun and all about you!

Keep People Coming to the Dancefloor
If you can keep people coming to the dancefloor, that’s one way of knowing that they’re enjoying themselves and having a good time! Good music is the most important factor in creating a busy dance floor, so make sure to choose your DJ or band carefully. Some DJs will even provide extras such as dry ice and lighting to make the dance floor even more fun!


Hire a Photo Booth
If you want to do something fun and memorable, then why not look into photo booth hire. Your guests can take funny photos of themselves with you or with other guests, which can then be compiled into an album as a memory of your big day. You could even get guests to leave messages on the back of their photos to use instead of a guest book!

Re-think your Wedding Breakfast
Re-thinking your wedding breakfast is another way to have some fun at your wedding reception. Rather than providing food or a buffet in the conventional ways that most weddings do, why not do something different? You could hire a streetfood stall or have a festival BBQ. There are all kinds of ways to feed your guests in a more exciting way!

End the Day with a Bang
Finally, make sure that the evening goes out with a bang! The very best way to do that, both figuratively and literally, is to host a firework display outside the venue. It’s a fun and magical way to end a fun-filled evening and memorable day. It will make for some amazing photo opportunities too.

Your wedding reception should always be fun and enjoyable for everyone - especially you. That’s why it’s worth putting as much planning into the party as you put into planning the ceremony. Good luck with your planning!
This is a collaborative post.

Disneyland Paris Trip Report - June 2019


We are not long home from our second magical trip to Disneyland Paris, so to help me recover from the Disney blues (seriously, they're definitely a real thing!), I thought I'd write a little round-up 'trip report' of our stay. I am going to apologise now if this is long, but if you've been to DLP before then you'll know that it's anything but a relaxed and slow holiday!

As a quick re-cap, we are a family of 5 (two adults, and 3 children aged 5, 3 and 16 months), and this is our second visit to DLP - we went last March which you can read about here. This year we decided to travel by car via the Eurotunnel, and stayed at the Newport Bay Club Hotel with the Half Board+ meal plan.

Day One - Sunday 2nd June

The day started bright and early with our holiday reveal, which had us all buzzing with Disney excitement! We live in Kent so the drive to the Eurotunnel was incredibly easy and quick. We arrived earlier than our booked train, but managed to get onto an earlier one for free. The train journey was only 35minutes and it wasn't long until we arrived in Calais. The drive to Disneyland Paris itself was incredibly easy. It's mainly motorways with plenty of services and rest stops along the route. You go through a toll at the start and get a ticket, then just keep driving and you'll reach the end - it was super easy to pay (€22.50 each way) and the machine does give change if needed. The whole journey took roughly 3 hours which was totally manageable.




We arrived at Newport Bay, checked in quickly and went straight to our room to drop off our bags and change. We just had a standard room (4240) but it was lovely, and even had a balcony looking over the front of the hotel! It was a roasting 32 degrees this day which was probably a bit too hot for us, but we sun creamed up and walked to Disney Village to grab a quick lunch at Earl of Sandwich, before heading into the Disneyland Park.

After taking plenty of pictures and finding the dragon under the castle, we headed for Pirates of the Caribbean as this was due to be closed the rest of our trip. There were actually lots of rides closed during our trip (Buzz, Dumbo, Slinky Dog, Cars, Autopia and the Railroad), but I don't think it made any difference to our trip - so don't worry about closures when you go! We did a few more rides before wandering back to Newport Bay for dinner at Cape Cod.  We all really enjoyed this meal; there was plenty of choices apart from fish (which was my main concern), and the littles loved the ice cream machines and sweets for pudding.

As we were all still buzzing with excitement and not too tired, we decided to stay up this night for the fireworks. The queues were tiny during this time, so it's worth staying out late to get on the rides that usually have longer queues. Illuminations wasn't until 11pm, but it is totally worth staying up late for at least once!






Day Two - Monday 3rd June

Despite the late night, we were up for breakfast early to make it into Studios Park for Extra Magic Hours (EMH). There was lots of choice including hot and cold options, and plenty of fruit too which was nice to see as it can be a rarity in Disney. We used EMH to do Tower of Terror (my 5 year old LOVED it, my 3 year old HATED it!), Aladdin's carpets, and the Studio Tram Tour. While I was waiting for the others on ToT I used the Lineberty App at dead on 9.45am and managed to get a Buzz slot (and then Jack got a Mickey slot around 9.55am). I just kept refreshing the app around that time and got a slot easily, so definitely download the app before you go! These were amazing meets too so definitely worth it!

Our main aim for the morning was to meet Spiderman, so Jack joined the pre-queue around 11.40am whilst I took Indiana on Ratatouille. He was one of the first in the queue, which was lucky as by 12.15pm the queue was miles long and Spiderman had only just come out! It was another amazing meet though, so definitely worth the wait. We went to Mcdonalds for lunch this day as there aren't many quick service restaurants in Studios at the moment (or anything at all really...). It was relatively cheap and quick, so we could squeeze in a few rides at the Disneyland Park before dinner.






We had pre-booked Buffalo Bills* (the 6.30pm show) for this night but wasn't really sure what to expect. But WOW, what a show! The food was yummy and plentiful - we had cornbread and tortilla chips when we arrived, chilli, chicken, sausages, ribs and potatoes for main, and an apple crumble with ice cream for dessert. The littles had everything but the ribs and a rocket lolly for pudding instead! Our drinks (coke, beer or water) were constantly refilled, and the show itself was brilliant and really interactive. My youngest didn't get a seat or meal, but they gave her food anyway and there was plenty of room to pop her in-between myself and Jack on the benches. We were in Category 2 seating but I don't this affected our view at all, so I wouldn't necessary say you need to upgrade!

The show ended around 8pm, so we did a bit of shopping in the Disney Village and then went back to Newport Bay for a swim. Jack took the two eldest alone no problem, and he said there were plenty of floats, armbands, and towels available to use for free.









Day Three - Tuesday 4th June

We were up and out early again, as we had character breakfast at Plaza Gardens booked. We arrived at 8am for 8.15am booking, so it was lovely and quiet in the restaurant and we were seated quickly. Despite this I found the character interactions SO rushed and crazy. There was hardly time for my big two to look up from their plates before the characters were already posing for a picture. It didn't feel very special which was such a shame. I honestly wouldn't recommend it, and have decided we wouldn't ever go again.

Once we'd eaten we headed straight to Princess Pavilion as we heard Snow White was there (who the girls were dressed up as), but despite it still being EMH it was already a 90 minute wait! But with the girls dressed up and Snow being Indie's favourite, we decided to just go for it. There is nothing to do in the queue though, so if you're going to do it then bring phones / iPads and lots of snacks with you to help with the waiting. It was all worth it though as Snow was perfect, and the pictures we got on our PhotoPass are amazing!






We had lunch at Colonel Hathi's Outpost in Adventureland where the littles got Mickey pizzas, and we had star shaped pizzas. Their meals also came with a salad, a mini ice cream, and milk which was one of the healthiest lunches we had. After being a drizzly morning the sun came out, and it was absolutely roasting again this day. So after a few more rides and wandering around Alice's Curious Labyrinth, we popped into the Disneyland Hotel to have a look around and some drinks at Cafe Fantasia. Four drinks cost over €50 (that did include my Glowtini that was €19 alone) but they were super yummy although incredibly strong!

We spent the rest of the afternoon back at Studios watching Mickey and the Magician followed straight after by the Superheros United show. Both were incredible, but do arrive about 20/30 mins before their start times to get in (ALL the seats have a good view though). We didn't have an evening meal booked this night so went to Annettes Diner in the Disney Village. This was one of my favourite meals of the holiday, and the service was incredibly quick! It was pouring by the time we were done though, so after more shopping we had a well needed early(ish) night.







Day Four - Wednesday 5th June

This was our last full day, so once again up and out early for EMH. It rained basically all of this day but prepared with coats and rain covers, we didn't let it spoil our fun. We managed to fit in Thunder Mountain, Star Tours, Hyperspace Mountain and Pinocchio during the extra hours. We made use of Parent switch service that DLP offer so much during this trip, so this helped us to get on lots of the bigger rides without as much queuing. We quickly ran over to Peter Pan's meet before the heavens opened and I feared we had queued for nothing. The staff were absolutely fantastic though, and within minutes we were guided to an undercover location and the meet continued as normal. Well done Disney!

We had lunch at the Marionette restaurant next to Pinocchio, which was nice but nothing special (or very healthy). I think we would have gone somewhere else if it wasn't raining so much. Everyone was absolutely exhausted by this point, so with the younger two asleep in pushchairs we used the time to wander at a slower pace, and we finally hunted down some Mickey shaped treats! These were in the sweet shop along Mainstreet (on the right as you walk towards the castle, not the bakery as we originally thought!) and were just as good as I hoped.






The rain definitely helped with queues this day, as everywhere was so quiet and empty. We easily got a spot by Small World for the parade, where we ate Mickey waffles and had hot drinks while we waited (Jack got these from the Old Mill in Fantasyland). Despite the drizzle the parade went on as normal. I don't think Parker stopped waving for the whole of the parade, and it was just as good as I remembered. Watching from here meant we could dash to a few rides whilst the parade finished with ZERO queues - Jack was even asked if he wanted to stay on the Storybook Boat ride as no-one else was there.

After a few problems with our meal vouchers on our Magic Passes, we ended up switching our Chez Remy reservation for the Silver Spur Steakhouse in Frontierland. I hadn't looked into this restaurant at all, but it was amazing and some of my favourite food! Jack and I both had Ceaser salads to start, steak, chips and corn for main, and a huge chocolate dessert. The littles had cute Mickey shaped plates with spaghetti and veggies, and ice creams for dessert. I'd definitely recommend! Unfortunately it did get very cold this evening and the rain continued, so we bailed early and went back to the hotel to relax and pack.




Day Five - Thursday 6th June

You guessed it, another early start! We needed to finish packing everything away and into the car, so we could make the most out of our last few hours at Disney. We spent the morning at the Studios Park for EMH as Jack and I wanted to go on Crush's Coaster. I went in the single rider line which took about 15/20 mins, and then used parent switch so Jack got straight on after. It's such a unique and fun ride, so definitely try using your magic hours to enjoy it!

After trying (and failing) to go on Parachute Drop, we spent our last few hours in the Disneyland Park. We waited about 5 minutes to go in one of the Mainstreet Vehicles (the police car) as it was on my Bucket List. It is only one way but such a fun way to head up to the castle! As it was still relatively quiet we found a perfect spot to take castle pictures with minimal other people in too - if you head to the right of the castle, on the path towards the castle stage / Discoveryland, you can get some lovely pictures with the Castle in the back!





After some final rides we had our last lunch at Auberge De Cendrillion (the princess lunch), where we saw Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Rapunzel and the two mice Suzy and Perla. We had a 12.15pm booking so it was super quiet when we got there, and we managed to see most of the princesses really quickly. It was lovely and the food was good, but it is expensive - about €150 on top of half board plus dining - worth it though if you don't want to queue for hours to meet just one princess!

It was a lot busier by the time we'd finished eating, so we made the decision to do some last minute shopping and then head back to the car to drive home. Within 5 minutes of leaving the Newport Bay all the littles were asleep, and the drive back to Calais felt like 1 hour not 3! We stopped for diesel on the way which was simple and roughly the same price as at home, so don't worry about needing to fill up. We made the 8.20pm tunnel crossing, and with the time difference we were home by 9pm.


We had the most amazing time, and despite Lilah being only 16 months she still went on plenty of rides! If they were open she could have also gone on Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Slinky Dog Spin, Cars Rally and Dumbo, (and she didn't make it onto Snow White or Phantom Manor) but she did do -
  • It's a Small World
  • The Carousel
  • Pinocchio
  • Orbitron
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Flying Carpets
  • Ratatouille
  • Mad Hatter's Tea Cups
  • Casey Jr Train
  • Storybook Boats
  • Alice's Curious Labyrinth
  • Studio Tram Tour

Despite not really enjoying the characters she would happily wave to them from a safe distance away, but she absolutely loved the shows, sitting mesmerised throughout them! Running around the parks and playing with her bubble wand was her favourite thing to do though, as well as eating all the yummy treats.

If you have any questions feel free to ask them below, or message me on any of my social channels!

*We were gifted our tickets to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show by Magic Breaks. All opinions are honest and my own.