5/31/2015

My Sunday Photo - 22/52



OneDad3Girls

Project 365 - Week 22 - 22/52


                                                                                       24th May - 30th May / Week 21



144
Sunglasses are perfect attire for the bath don't you know?! Noah spent the afternoon at his Nanna's while Nick and I spent the day doing chores and sorting the house. A usual Sunday for us! 

145
Bank Holiday Monday didn't bring us any sun but Nick was off work so that was great! We had a day at the park and Noah has a new found love for slides and really enjoyed going down on his belly!

146
My very kissy boy giving me a bit smoochy kiss after his afternoon nap! Nothing better than a kiss off your child. I'm enjoying them while I can!

147
I stumbled across this photo on my phone. How lovely is it?

148
I asked Noah to give Mickey a kiss and this is what I got. He is such a sweetie pie when he wants to be!

149
How gorgeous is Baby? We love our cats!

150
Saturday we decided to go to IKEA to buy some more things for the house. What seemed like a good idea at the time turned into a nightmare as Noah absolutely hated every second of it. He is usually great wherever we take him but he just wasn't in the mood. He has a cold, is teething and hasn't been sleeping well because of it so I think it was that more than anything. Next time Nick and I will go on our own and let him have fun with one of his Grandparents houses I think! We did manage to buy a lot of items for the house but also managed to not buy the majority of the things we actually went for! 


5/30/2015

Mummy & Me - May


May has come and gone already, in the blink on an eye! It's been a funny old month. In May we are usually guaranteed at least two weeks of sun but the weather has been terrible most of the time here in the North. It's almost like we had our Summer in April? Anyway, less of the rambling.


This month I have had many photo's taken with Noah but this is my favourite. It was taken last weekend when we attended the Geronimo Festival. I love animals and long before I had Noah I knew I wanted my child to love, respect and care for animals just like we do. It's one of those values that I think every child should be taught and shown at a young age. Our hard work and persistence is certainly paying off as Noah is such a animal lover and is so thoughtful and gentle with them despite only being 18 months old. I think we have a young David Attenborough in the making!


Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

5/27/2015

New releases from Maverick Books - Competition


Noah's a very lucky boy indeed because from time to time he is sent new releases from various publishing brands. We are both huge book lovers so we are always so excited to see the new editions and this week was no exception when we received the four new releases from Maverick Books.



The four new releases are A Gold Star for George, Horace and Hattiepillar, A Box of Socks and Pirates Don't Drive Diggers.

At first glance Hedgehugs really caught my attention but as they say you should never judge a book by it's cover because all four titles are equally as fantastic as the other. Each book is very unique in story and are all very different when it comes to their illustrations too. Noah's favourite is A Gold Star for George but that changes on a daily basis! 


A Gold Star for George -
The Heavenly Hippos Wildlife Park is awarding gold stars to the animals and George the Giraffe has the perfect spot on his fence for one. But will George win a gold star. 

Horace and Hattiepillar -
Horace and Hattie are the very best of friends... One day they find something tiny and interesting under a leaf. But what is it? 

A Box of Socks -
Granny Mutton loves to knit and so she has made a whole box of socks for Little Lionel’s friends. But Little Lionel gets all the socks muddled and has to find out which pairs belong to whom!

Pirates Don't Drive Diggers -
Digger-mad Brad is not cut out for a pirate's life, instead he dreams of life on a building site. When the Salty Dog sets sail, can he prove to Captain Blood that pirates do drive diggers after all? 




How would you like to win one of these fantastic new releases? All you need to do to enter is fill out the rafflecopter entry form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




t&c:
1. 1 prize to 1 winner.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR.
3. Competition ends 17/6/15
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

- I was sent these books for free to feature on the blog. All opinions are my own. 

Renovating - What we did & Where we are now.


This time last year we were fortunate enough to buy our first home after 6 long years of renting. We viewed only a handful of properties before we found the house that was for us.

Although the house needed a lot of work we saw past it and could envision what that shell of a home could become. I vividly imagined what the house could look like and I could picture Nick and I raising our family there. That's how we knew it was the right one for us.

Buying the house and then undergoing the renovation has been such a long winded process but we are finally getting there now. I sometimes forget how far we've come so I thought I would put together a blog post of what we've done so far and what is still left to do.



What we've done so far  


Central heating
. The house had never had central heating so we had to buy a boiler, have it set up and the whole heating system needed to be installed. This was one of the most costly aspects to the renovation.


New kitchen. The kitchen was a shambles when we bought the house, a retro nightmare. We knew we needed a new kitchen and we browsed different styles for weeks before we finally decided on which to go for. This of course was costly too but as we have a kitchen fitter in the family we only paid trade price and he fit it for free! Very lucky. 

New bathroom. Another room which was a retro nightmare was the bathroom. It was avocado green and literally the worst bathroom I have ever seen. I couldn't wait to get in there to start ripping it out. I actually removed most of the tiles myself, with a sledge hammer! It was a bit scary! We then had a new bath, shower, sink, toilet installed and tiled the entirety of the room. 

Decorating. Every single room in the house needed redecorating which meant lots of hard laborious work. Not only did each room need painting, new flooring or carpet but many walls needed replastering too. 



What we still need to do

Fitted wardrobes. As the majority of the messy work has now been completed we are now focusing on fitted features within the house. We are very limited when it comes to storage as our attic is currently sealed off. I have recently been looking at sliding wardrobes because not only do they look fantastic but it's amazing how much you can store within them too. 


The finishing touches. We are almost at the finishing line when it comes to the work but there are little bits and pieces here and there that need to be completed. I am excited to start focusing on dressing each room now that the DIY is out of the way. I have seen some fantastic lamps on Amazon that I would like to buy for our bedroom and I also have my eye on a couple of rugs from Rug Mountain which I would love for the dining room and hallway.

Attic conversion. We have been discussing the possibility of building up into the attic to give us another bedroom. We would need planning permission of course but this is a future job rather than a job that needs to be done straight away. 


Front garden. The front yard is a decent size for a terraced house. At the moment it is graveled with a little path which I don't think looks good and it's not very practical either. I want to keep the path but lay down a lawn so then Noah has somewhere to play in these warmer months.


Hopefully in a few months time I can report back on how we have ticked off another few jobs on our to do list! Do you have any renovating or decorating tips you would like to share with me?

5/26/2015

Exclusive Offer - Free DVD with Top Cashback



If you follow me on social media or read the blog regularly you will know all about my love for Top Cashback. Before I make any purchase online I first check the site to see if I am able to get cashback and the majority of the time I can. 


I have only been using the site for a couple of months and I have already earned a fantastic £74. This is pretty impressive because I haven't bought anything expensive or extravagant. The cashback is just from making my usual online purchases like take away's, grocery shopping and birthday presents. Basically this is free money and you must be crazy if you haven't signed up already!




If you are interested in joining and earning just like me then simply click HERE. Signing up is quick and easy to do and honestly the best decision you will make this week! 



If I haven't convinced you enough then let me tell you all about an exclusive sign up offer Top Cashback are running at the moment. If you sign up between Tuesday 26/5/15 and Sunday 7/6/2015 then you are going to be in for a treat! A free DVD after cashback!




The Deal-

How does a FREE DVD sound? 


If you are a new member and sign up between 26/5 and 7/6 then you can receive 100% Cashback on up to £10 on DVDs.

To claim this offer you simply need to SIGN UP and then the new member needs to click through Top Cashback's links and purchase the DVD from Amazon.co.uk. 
The full cashback will be activated once the promotion has ended and basically means you have a free DVD! How awesome and easy is that?


Do you use Top Cashback? If you don't, then why not?! Get signed up today!


- This post was written in collaboration with Top Cashback. 

5/23/2015

Project 365 - Week 21 - 21/52

                                                                                        
                                                                                       17th May - 23rd May / Week 20


137Sunday was my birthday and I turned 27. We spent the day together, just the three of us and then my Mum watched Noah so Nick and I could have a long overdue date night. We went to Pizza hut, to the arcades and then to the cinema. It was a great night and we definitely need to do it more often. 

138
A standard Monday for Noah and I. He slept in so we missed playgroup yet again. We need to find a class that doesn't start so early cause it's almost impossible for us to make it and I hate not taking him. 

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Noah being silly on Tuesday. We had a lovely day with one another and went for a lovely stroll although it was a bit chilly.

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My very cheeky and dribbly boy. He is currently cutting another two teeth and the drool has been relentless! 

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Nothing better than being greeted by this beautiful face in a morning.

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One way to keep the toddler contained whilst shopping. He actually loves being pushed around in a basket, crazy boy.

143
Saturday we attended Geronimo Festival and had the most amazing day! The weather was glorious and there were so many things for children of all ages to do. My favourite part of the day was handling a snake and showing Noah that there is nothing to be frightened of, they are such beautiful creatures. Noah on the other hand loved dancing in the Zumba class and then had a ball at Baby Ballet too! Such a little groover. We hope to attend next year too. 


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5/21/2015

Noah - 18 Months Old


My baby boy is no longer a baby, he's well into toddler hood. He is now 18 months old, 1 and a half! I find this insane, time has just flown by.

Character

His character obviously doesn't change month to month but different aspects of his personality change and take control. Noah is such a funny boy, always wanting to make you smile and laugh. He's very loving, gentle and caring but is also stubborn and feisty when he wants to be too! He's a lot like me in many ways but still so much like Nick too. He's such a little character.



Size

Noah is still wearing 12-18 month clothes but is now venturing into some 18-24 months too. People always comment on how tall he is but I don't think he is because surely if he was he would be in bigger trousers if he was? I know that sounds daft but it makes sense to me! I weighed him on our scales lately and he weighed 1st 9lb! He wears a size 4 shoe. 



Health
He's been fine on the health front, a wheeze here and there but that's all. Last month he cut 3 premolars all at once and they are still coming through. So he currently has those cutting through and also another two too, a front tooth and another premolar. So that's 12 teeth he has now!
 


Feeding
Noah still pretty much eats anything you put in front of him and we find ourselves very fortunate for that. He has two 10oz bottles of milk both morning and night, sometimes he has a 6oz bottle in the afternoon. He's on three meals a day and usually has a snack in the afternoon too. His favourite foods are cheese, raisins, apple, lasagne, pasta, carrots, peas.. I could go on.  




Sleep
I touch wood because he's been fine for a while now. He sleeps a solid 12 or 13 hours through the night and has a two hour nap in the afternoon. I have to say I'm dreading him cutting out his nap. It's lovely to have a bit of a break during the day while they nap. A hot cup of tea and your feet up, bliss. 



Speech
Noah knows around 20+ words now and a new one from this month is CAR! He says "car car" and pronounces it "CAA CAAR!" He has also learnt to say baby too which is insanely cute. I find it so fascinating how they decide what words they want to learn and which they don't. For example he can say words like Teddy or Baby but he hasn't sussed out to say ta! I think that's intentional, ha ha. 




Milestones and new tricks

Noah could dance before he could crawl or walk and it's always consisted of bopping up and down. This month he has broadened his horizons when it comes to his dancing as he now sways side to side and alters his dance to the type of music that's on! 

He has also been able to kiss for a good year but now he makes a big pucker noise when he does it, mwaah. 

He will wipe his hands and face with a wipe if you ask him to.

He knows how to txt. Of course he can't spell anything but he presses the screen to form words and then instructs me to send it! 

He's finally climbing! He's never really had an interest in climbing and apparently didn't think it was worth the energy. He is only just starting to try and he likes to stand on different things. 

He now makes a "Brmmm" noise when playing with toy cars. 

When I say "Awww" he will pretend to cradle a baby, rock the baby and say awww too. 



Likes

Dancing. He's always been a dancer and learnt to groove before he could crawl or walk. If he hears a beat, he dances!

CARS! This boy is car mad. He has never been interested in any other toy like he is with cars. It has to be the die cast ones too! 


Going out. Noah loves being outside and as soon as you mention that we are going out he will go and get his shoes.

Thomas the Tank Engine. He loves watching Thomas and will dance to the theme tune. My brother used to like the show when we were kids and I despised it then and I'm not a fan now, haha.

Pointing out different things in books or on his plate so that I tell him what they are.

Foot massages. He will ask me for a foot massage by shoving his foot on my lap and pointing at his feet.

Pretending to drive Daddy's car.


The cats. The first thing he mentions when he wakes up in the morning are the cats. "Teddy? Baby?" So sweet.


Nanna and his cousin Tristan. I think they are both his best friends.

Trumping! He will force his wind out and then laugh his head off!  



Dislikes

Having to go inside after a walk.
Getting out the bath.
Being told no. 

Brushing his teeth.
Yollies advert. 




I will part with this little gem of a photo! 

5/20/2015

Personalised Bambino Merino Sleeping Bag from Papucci


If I've said it once I've said it a million times, I love personalised goods. This fact is quite evident once you step into Noah's room and you see his name everywhere. His name is on a beanbag, on the wall in wooden letters, across personalised bunting on the roof and he even has his name on a toy box handmade by his Great Granddad. It's safe to say that Noah must be able to spell his name by the age of three, his name is everywhere!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Papucci who asked if I would like to review an item from their website and I gratefully obliged. If you haven't heard of Papucci before then let me tell you what they are all about. They are a bespoke website that sells luxury personlised gifts for your little ones. From soft toys through to shoes they stock it all and what's best is that you can have the item personalised with your child's name too.

After browsing on their website for a while and admiring the wide range of products I finally decided which item to choose. I opted for the Bambino Merino Sleeping Bag and decided to have it personalised too.


Papucci offer a wide range of options when it comes to personalisation which really gives you creative freedom when choosing your design. I loved so many of the different options we could have gone for but I chose the lovely half moon motif with Noah's name below it. 




The Bambino Merino sleeping bag has been voted Best Buy by Practical Parenting magazine and it’s no wonder! It is made from all natural fibres with a super soft 100% merino wool lining. The blue striped cotton outer keeps baby warm and comfortable throughout the night without the risk of overheating.

This sleeping bag is special because it is designed to be worn in ALL seasons and also fits from 2 months right through to 2 years of age! This you don't get with other sleeping bags and it can be quite costly purchasing the next size up every few months. Thanks to some clever armhole poppers you don't need to do that anymore!

The full length zip allows the sleeping bag to be opened completely flat for easy nappy changing and it comes with its own matching travel bag ready for holidays and visits to grandparents.
Approx length: 95cm
Age: 2 months-2 years
100% natural merino lining
100% cotton outer
Machine washable – wool cycle


What we thought-

I was very impressed with both the product from Bambino Merino and the service from Papucci, I cannot fault either. Both brands I would buy from again and would recommend both to a friend.

I think the sleeping bag is genius. 
To have a sleeping bag which your child can use from 2 months to 2 years is just the best idea since sliced bread. I wish I had come across it sooner because for the past year and a half I have been constantly buying the next size up in all the different togs. It's been so expensive and this sleeping bag could of saved me a lot of time, worry and money. 

The quality of the fabric and embroidery is also next to none. The material is so very soft that I am almost jealous that Noah gets to sleep in it. I want one too!

At £66.00 you might think that this sleeping bag is pricey but it's not. By buying this you are saving money in the long run. No more buying the next size up every odd month and no more fretting over different togs. It's a bargain and a baby must have if you ask me.

If you are on the market for a new sleeping bag for your little one then I can't recommend Bambino Merino enough. You aren't just buying sheer quality but also saving money too because this product is going to last.

Maybe you on in market for a personalised gift or two? Then do take a look at what Papucci have to offer. I can promise that you will be just as impressed I was.

- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own. 

5/19/2015

How to Budget for a New Baby


You’re deciding to take on one of life’s biggest most magical experiences, having a baby. There are so many exciting things to buy and prepare for the arrival of the little one and it’s just a little overwhelming to say the least. You feel the need to shower them in the newest latest most expensive things, but after the initial joy and happiness you may then become struck with fear and worry of how you’re going to afford all of this... don’t fear because with just a few simple ways you can save money and make your little prince/princess feel like royalty on a not very royal budget.

Know your costs
I have found knowing how much you’re going to be spending (however daunting this may seem) will really encourage you to watch your spending and find ways to save money. There are a number of tools online such as this baby cost calculator where you’re able to visually see the average costs of a baby over the period of 3 years. For example it has shown child care being the most expensive at an average of £10,000 per year. Yikes.

Create a plan
Next step is to create a plan by monitoring your spending habits, after this you’re able to create a realistic budget of what you’re able to afford each month. Tally up what you’re spending on essentials and secondly on how much you are spending on the luxuries. Have a look to see what you can cut out of your monthly spending, but remember to keep a little aside to treat yourself. Once you know how much you’re able to spend on your little one every month, it makes it easier to shop for things without being left short for money during the month.

Reuse
To save yourself some money ask friends and family if they have anything such as clothes and other items that they could pass onto. I have also found a lot of baby items advertised on local selling pages such as gumtree where mums sell bulks of their children’s clothes, toys and furniture for a very good price and most of the time it’s all in tip top condition so make sure to have a look and grab a bargain. If you’re planning on having more children then store your previous child’s clothing and toys and keep it for next time around. Babies grow out of clothing so fast that this is a great way to reduce the amount of money you’re spending on clothes and spend it on items that will last longer.

As for childcare, the cost could become cut down if certain family or friends could agree to help out once or twice a week.

Buying new
Buying new things is great and makes it feel more personal to you and your baby, and there are certain things that should be brought new such as bedding items. But an item which must always be brought from a reputable retailer is your little ones car seat. Never buy a second hand car seat as you can’t be sure if it’s been in an accident, and if it has it will no longer give full protection to your child. You may be able to collect vouchers such as Love to shop vouchers which you’re able to spend in Halfords and get money off of your car seat.


Taking your time to make a list of the items you need and doing your research can mean you can make some savvy savings.


- This is a guest post

Top Tips For Furnishing your Kids Room


When you are decorating your child’s room, it pays to choose furnishings that are practical as well as durable. To make the room a haven for your child, allow them to help when choosing colours and furnishings. This injects a little bit of personality into their bedroom too. The furnishings don’t need to be expensive; they can simply add a little bit of fun to the room. Here are some top tips for furnishing your child’s room.


Tough Carpeting

When choosing carpet for your child’s room, there are plenty of factors to consider. As a soft furnishing, a decent carpet provides warmth and comfort to the room. A luxuriously thick carpet is perfect for encouraging playtime as well. To ensure the carpet can stand up to general wear and tear, it is worthwhile investing in a sturdy material that is hard wearing. Professional companies such as Stainmaster Australia have a large range of models to choose from. They even have a handy calculator that can even help you work out how much carpet is needed for your child’s room (you can access it through this URL).


Fun Lighting

If the rest of the furniture in your child’s room is useful and practical, personality and creativity can be expressed through the lighting. The type of lighting you choose will depend on the age of your child – a nightlight might be necessary for young children. A simple overhead light can be dressed up with a fun shade, or you can add a funky lamp to the bedside table. Look for fun patterns or unusual shapes to add personality.


Choose the Right Desk

A desk provides your child with a space to engage in their own activities. They might only use it for homework, or it might be used for drawing, writing or other creative activities. Whatever the intended use, it is important to choose a desk that is the right size for your child. To ensure an ergonomic design that will last as your child grows, an adjustable desk is the best choice. A desk can help encourage creativity and learning for your child, so it is worthwhile splurging a little on a good design.


Make It Fun

Incorporate a little bit of playfulness when you are furnishing a kid’s room. Choose pieces with a bit of colour to liven up a room, like brightly coloured beanbags or bookshelves. Don’t feel that the furnishings or decorations have to ‘follow the rules’ of interior design. A child’s room is the one place that clashing patterns and colours can be embraced. For a personal touch, you can also frame pieces of your child’s artwork to hang on the wall.


Don’t Forget the Storage

Keeping your child’s room clean and tidy will be much easier if there is ample storage room. One of the best furniture pieces a room can have is a storage box with a padded lid. It offers functionality, doubling as a seat for your child to put on their shoes and socks; as well as allowing toys or books to be neatly put away in the box.


There are plenty of ways to decorate and furnish a child’s bedroom. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to furnish a space your children can enjoy. What are some of your top tips for furnishing your child’s bedroom?

5/18/2015

Gro-Clock Review & Giveaway


As a Mother you are introduced to new brands and products on a daily basis. You see advertisements everywhere from on the TV to on your twitter feed. There are so many opinions and products out there and I often find myself thinking do I need this product? Is it worth the money? The whole thing is overwhelming and can be a minefield.

That being said if the product is from The Gro Company you can pretty much guarantee this it's not just a product that you may need but it's one that you are are certainly going to want! 

The Gro-Clock is another innovative product from The Gro Company which is designed to teach children the correct time to go to sleep and wake up. If the screen displays the stars and is blue, it's bedtime/ nap time. If the screen is yellow and shows the sun, it's morning/ time to wake up. It also displays a real clock too so it's going to be of great use when your child is beginning to learn to tell the time too.





The key features of the Gro-Clock-
  • Glowing screen shows stars and the sun appear to communicate ‘sleep’ and ‘wake-up’ time.
  • Bedtime story book.
  • Stars go out one-by-one during the night to communicate the passing of time.
  • Option to set two separate wake-up times (weekday/weekend or night-time/day-time nap)
  • Key-lock option.
  • Silent operation.
  • Adjustable screen brightness.
  • Mains powered (UK adapter included)
  • Optional audible alarm feature.
  • Suitable from age 2+ years.

What we thought

We have been using the Gro-Clock for about two weeks now and have found it to be of great use to us. Although Noah doesn't usually have an issue with sleep and is a little young to understand it just yet, we've still found it to be a great addition to not only his bedroom but to his bedtime and naptime routine too.

For now we are just enjoying the bedtime story, the countdown feature and the soft nightlight glow but it's going to be invaluable as Noah gets older. It's such a fun and easy way to introduce him to a clock and I know we will get so much use from it.

The Gro-Clock is priced at £19.99 which is a bargain if you ask me!

How would you like to win your very own Gro-Clock? Well it's your lucky day as I have one to give away to a lucky reader. To enter all you need to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.






t&c:
1. 1 prize to 1 winner.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR.
3. Competition ends 15/6/15
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.


- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.