12/28/2015

Mummy & Me - December





Wow, we are at the end of December! How did that happen? Noah and I have taken many selfies this month, they aren't the best quality but I love them none the less. 

The first photo I took when I cut and donated my hair to The Little Princess Trust earlier this month. I can't help but smile when I see that photo, our expressions are priceless! The second and third photo we took on the eve of Christmas Eve. Noah was giving lots of kisses and lots of cheesy smiles too. I think he was on his good behaviour as he knew Santa was on his way.

We've had a wonderful December and Christmas, I hope you have too! 


Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

12/26/2015

Project 365 - Week 51 & 52


13th December - 26th December / Week 51 & 52


Sunday 13th December
We met up with family and decided to go on a Christmas trail at Towneley Park. Noah didn't understand much of what was happening but he did enjoy it so much! We found Santa at the end of the trail too which was fantastic! 


Monday 14th December
We had a super lazy Monday as we knew we had lots planned for the week. I just love this photo of Noah playing with his two favourite toys, Woody and Buzz! 


Tuesday 15th December
As we had such a lazy day on Monday we just had to get out and about on the Tuesday so we caught a taxi over to our local soft play centre. There wasn't many kids about so Noah had free run of everything really! He loves climbing, throwing himself about and jumping on the bouncy castle. I took my eyes off him for a moment and saw him really high up in the jungle gym! I had to dash up to get him which he found absolutely hilarious! 


Wednesday 16th December
My Mum came over to visit for the day on the Wednesday as it was her day off work. It makes Noah's day when he spends time with his Nanna and we had a great day, relaxing and playing about. 


Thursday 17th December
I found Judy chilling out on the fridge!


Friday 18th December
On Friday it was Noah's Christmas party at his playgroup. They had a children's entertainer on called Mr Dazzle who brought a long with him two bunnies which Noah adored. It was a bit much for Noah to have to sit on my knee for 45 mins to watch the entertainer as he naturally just wants to be running about playing so he soon got frustrated. We visited Santa at the end of the show and he got a little present and his photo taken. He seemed to be a bit out of sorts but I just thought it was down to him wanting to play but come evening I knew something wasn't right. He had a sky high temperature and was irritable and off his food. I then noticed some spots on his bottom and he seemed sensitive to light. I was in on my own as Nick was out on his Christmas party and I was in a panic as I had no one with me to reassure me or share their opinion. I managed to get Noah's temperature down but he was very restless and didn't want to sleep.


Saturday 19th December
When Noah woke the next morning we could see he wasn't well. He had a slight temperature, spots on his bottom and sores in his mouth. He couldn't eat, drink, have his dodo or talk much. It took a while but we realised it was hand, foot and mouth and I think he came into contact with it when I took him to the soft play centre earlier in the week. We ended up taking him to A&E as the calpol, neurofen, anbesol and bonjela just wasn't working at all and the sores in his mouth were excruciating. We waited in the waiting area for almost 3 hours, until 1am and it was just a waste of time. We knew they couldn't prescribe anything for it but we thought they maybe able to offer some advice as our son was in pain and there was nothing we could do about it but nada, waste of time.


Sunday 20th December
Noah didn't feel any better come Sunday, he probably felt worse. He had only eaten 2 mini milk ice creams the day before as his mouth hurt so much but Sunday he couldn't manage anything. He would hold our hand and take us into the kitchen and ask for food because he was hungry but he literally couldn't eat anything and he would cry in hunger. Anything that we offered that he probably could eat he just wouldn't try, it was so upsetting and frustrating. We just couldn't wait for him to be better and was so worried he would be ill for Christmas.


Monday 21st December
Noah slept in my bed on Sunday night as the previous night he was waking lots and needing lots of comfort and his medicine topping up. Thankfully he had a good night sleep and woke feeling a little better. He was still struggling to eat and drink but I saw a big improvement and I starting thinking he would feel better in time for Christmas!


Tuesday 22nd December
Noah had a really good nights sleep and woke up chirpy. I asked if he wanted breakfast and he said yes yes yes! He ended up eating 2 whole bananas, raisins, shredded wheat and white chocolate and I was so relieved! The illness was almost gone and he was finally able to eat again. It's so worrying when they are unable to eat or drink, especially when it's down to pain and they want to eat but can't. It felt amazing to see Noah back to his usual happy self and I literally let him eat anything he wanted all day as I was just so relieved to see him able to eat again after a few days of eating hardly anything. 


Wednesday 23rd December 
With Noah finally feeling better we were able to start enjoying the Christmas activities I had planned. On Weds we read, played games and made a gingerbread house. We then went out for a walk and Noah enjoyed splashing about in muddy puddles! 


Thursday 24th December
Christmas Eve! Noah was fully better and we had a lot planned for the day. The morning and afternoon we spent babysitting our nephew, we made a trip to the tip and then took the boys out for hot chocolate, which they loved! Noah sat there a good ten minutes dunking his gingerbread man into his hot chocolate! In the evening our Nan put on a Christmas Eve party and we all had a blast enjoying one another's company and great food! 


Friday 25th December
It's Christmas!!!! Noah didn't wake until 10am so we got showered and brought breakfast upstairs before taking him down to see the presents. Once we got downstairs and he noticed the presents he was straight in there! He's never really been interested in opening presents before but did do this Christmas! His favourite toy from us seemed to be Rex from Toy Story, when he opened it he roared! We spent the early afternoon opening presents and then my Mum, her partner and my brother came over to exchange more presents and stay for Christmas dinner. It was the first time Nick and I cooked a Christmas dinner and the first time I've cooked for so many people! It was a little stressful but we did it and it was delicious! After dinner we then headed off to Nick's families house to exchange more presents and to have a little Christmas party! I had quite a few glasses of wine and did get a little merry! All in all it was an absolutely wonderful Christmas!


Saturday 26th December 
We awoke to floods surrounding most of the Lancashire area which was a shock. Fortunately it hasn't affected us but we did worry about it and our family. We had our annual Boxing Day party at my Nanna's to get to and after attending every year of my life I really didn't want to miss it. After a few hours of wondering if we would be able to make it the flood warnings were lifted and we got there. It was a great evening and Noah had a blast playing with my younger brothers and pushing my Nanna around in her wheelchair! 

Sunday 27th December
Christmas is always such a busy time for us so we decided to have a lazy Sunday but we did venture out in the cold as Noah was asking to go to the park. Once you are there chasing a toddler about you soon warm up! 


Monday 28th December
I have to admit that Monday was a rather lazy day too. It involved a lot of shopping and wandering about. Nothing really exciting! 

Tuesday 29th December
On Tuesday we decided to drive over to Preston to take Noah to Toys R Us to spend his Christmas money. On the way we stopped for lunch which at the moment is always a little hard work with a toddler in toe. Once in Toys R Us he was running and wild and made a beeline for the Toy Story toys! He wanted another Buzz, ha ha. He didn't get one but we did buy him a little wooden easel, a booster seat for the table and some other bits and pieces. 


Wednesday 30th December
On Wednesday we nipped into town to buy some board games and to get mine and Noah's passport photo's taken. That's about it really!


Thursday 31st December 
New Years Eve! We decided to throw a little family party at our house this year. Noah's grandparents, great grandparents, uncle, auntie and cousin came. We enjoyed some nibbles and some wine and then the grandparents left so the rest of us ordered a takeaway. We did try to put Noah to bed around 9am but he wanted to stay up with his cousin and carry on partying so we let him. We all did the countdown together and then I gave Noah a big kiss when the clock struck midnight! Mwah!


Well, this is the end of Project 365 for 2015! I've decided to carry on next year but will be doing it a little differently! Happy New Year!

12/22/2015

My Christmas Favourites



Christmas is just over a week away, it's right around the corner and I am finally starting to feel festive! When you get older Christmas seems to lose some of it's magic but having a child has certainly injected the excitement back into the festive period! I'm so excited for Christmas this year, so much so I decided to put together a little post all about my favourite things this season.


1. The Elf on The Shelf
We started a new tradition this year with The Elf on The Shelf. 17 days in and we've had so much fun! Noah loves trying to find her every morning and usually has his advent chocolate after he does. I will definitely be carrying on this tradition again next year and many years to come.

2. Beary Xmas Hatley PJ's
I'm a sucker for Christmas PJ's and I was recently sent a pair of Hatley Beary Xmas PJ's from the new Christmas range from Hatley. They are so soft, snug and cosy and I can't help but feel festive when wearing them in the evening.

3. Ferrero Rocher
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my all time favourite chocolates! What are your favourites?

4. Bronze Table Lamp
I recently bought a new table lamp and it just so happened to look very festive and match my Christmas decorations perfectly. The lamp certainly won't be packed away with the decorations through, it's going to be out all year long! 

5. Voluspa Candles
If you know me you will know how much I adore candles. I have tried so many brands but Voluspa are totally new to me. I am currently burning one of the beautiful scents from the holiday collection and it's absolutely divine, a new favourite of mine. Find more about them on their facebook and twitter pages.

6. Beary Xmas Hatley Onesie
I wasn't the only one to receive some Christmas PJ's lately as Noah did too, matching ones! As if my love of Christmas PJ's couldn't get any bigger I then get my hands on a matching pair, I am now twinning with my son and I love it! The Beary Xmas Suit is the perfect romper for Christmas, it's gorgeous and is currently sat waiting in Noah's Christmas Eve Box!   

What have you and your family been loving this month?


12/17/2015

Waterwipes New Mums’ Essentials Giveaway




Nothing in the world is as delicate or as precious as your baby’s skin. A newborn’s skin is five times thinner than an adult’s skin and is much more sensitive too. Yet, despite this, without knowing it, many of us expose our babies’ skin to chemicals every day, stripping baby’s skin of its vital moisture, leaving it irritated and sore.

WaterWipes are the only wipes in the world that are as gentle on your baby’s skin as pure water. Scientifically formulated to be as kind to delicate skin as cotton wool and cooled boiled water – but much more convenient – the only ingredients used are 99.9% purified water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract … and that’s it.




Most parents change their baby’s nappy up to 10 times a day. Imagine wiping unsuitable ingredients on your baby’s skin 70 times per week, and then locking them in with a nappy. WaterWipes are suitable for babies with other sensitive skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, which is why they are the only wipe ever to be approved by Allergy UK.

WaterWipes has an amazing giveaway for your lucky readers: a three month supply of WaterWipes. Fall in love with the world’s purest baby wipe for the world’s most sensitive skin.

To enter all you need to do is use the Rafflecopter form below and don't forget to check out my other competitions too! Good luck!




t&c-

1. 1 prize to 1 winner.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR.
3. Competition ends 17/01/16
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

Buyagift.com delivers happiness across the UK to celebrate special heroes!


Buyagift.com have been on a mission to deliver happiness across the UK and surprise some special people to enable their customers to say ‘thank you’ and give something back to someone who truly deserves it, by surprising them with a gift of a lifetime on their very own doorstep with the help of ITV presenter Stephen Mulhern!


Buyagift.com customers were given the chance to nominate someone who they thought deserved a special thank you, this could have been anything from charitable work, keeping a positive outlook through adversity or going the extra mile to help others.


Buyagift.com was overwhelmed with the number of responses they received, hundreds of nominations came flooding in from people wanting to surprise their Christmas hero, and after much deliberation three winners were chosen.


ITV presenter Stephen Mulhern helped deliver the festive cheer and travelled the country to personally surprise the winners with their special gift on their own doorstep alongside the person who nominated them, so they could personally tell them why they are a hero.




Stephen Mulhern was delighted to support the campaign and said, “It’s so important to take the time to truly appreciate those that have done fantastic and selfless things for others, and this is what the campaign with Buyagift is all about, just taking the time to say ‘thank you’. We have surprised some incredible people with a gift that will create special memories for them, to show them that they are truly appreciated. We travelled nearly 500 miles to surprise our heroes but it made it all worthwhile just to see the smiles on their faces! ”

The winning heroes


Callum Wilson from Southampton was nominated by his sister Samantha Wilson to receive the Ariel Atom 300 Thrill for serving in Afghanistan for 8 years and overcoming a serious injury whilst still managing to be a huge support to her. Samantha said,

“I would love to give this to my amazing brother as after 8 years serving in the army and 3 tours of Afghanistan he has sadly been medically discharged after suffering an injury. I would love to show him how much we love him and how much we appreciate what he did for us and his country. This would be the ultimate pick-me-up after a rough year.”



Antonia Kingscott from Birmingham was nominated by her Mum Sonia Kingscott, to receive the Two Night Family Treehouse experience in Wales for being a huge support to her whilst she battled cancer, and still managed to carry on with everyday life and secure her dream of getting into the West Bromwich Albion football team.

Sonia said, “I was diagnosed with cervical cancer several months ago and my world fell apart. My daughter is 15 and all I worried about was that I was going to die during the middle of her exams. I will never be able to tell you how I got through the treatment without my daughter. Her strength never ceases to amaze me, and through it all she got into West Bromwich Albion as a footballer for their premier league side, I was bursting with pride. I am now clear after treatment and hopefully it will be gone for good. Without my daughter I would not have made it, she is my world and always will be and I am beyond proud of her. I just know she would love to stay in a tree house, she loves adventures and it would be amazing as a family to get away after all the doom and gloom. She is my one true hero and always will be.”



Dan Mountain CEO of Buyagift.com said,

“At Buyagift.com our aim is to create amazing, long-lasting memories with the gift experiences we provide, and as such the Buyagift motto is ‘delivering happiness’. This Christmas, we wanted to give our customers the chance to deliver some happiness themselves to someone who they believe is an unsung hero or someone who has gone the extra mile for others without a second thought, by surprising them with a gift experience that will create special memories for years to come, as a token of appreciation that others feel for them.”


- This is a PR Collaboration. 

12/16/2015

6 Simple Ways To Add Style To Your Home




Making your home look stylish can be a big task that often seems confusing. Between feature walls, bench tops, new furniture, and a whole heap of décor, how do you make your humble abode resemble the ones you see in the magazines? Luckily, there are some easy ways that you can refresh your space without breaking the bank. Here are some simple tips inspired by professional interior designers for adding style to your home.

New Linen

New linen can instantly add style to your home, particularly in the bedroom and lounge. For a quick update, all you have to do is pop some colourful pillows on the couch or lay a throw on the bed. But if you’re after something more permanent, invest in new linen for your bed – think bambusa bamboo sheet sets, bold quilt covers and decorative pillows in fresh colours and patterns. Whether it’s monochrome, floral, animal print or stripes, popular retailers such as Yo Home offer boundless ideas and inspiration.

Add Some Décor

Little bits and pieces can add a whole lot of style and personality to your home, so don't underestimate the power of a few trinkets here and there. Think a gorgeous vase, statement coasters, a feature clock or some cute knick-knacks, these can all work to give your interior a cohesive look. Be inspired by the latest trends and incorporate marble, rose gold, bold prints, interesting typography or a pineapple (for good measure) to achieve that that stylish edge. Whatever way you choose to go, stick to the one colour palette and don't go over the top with the décor items.

Fabulous Artwork

A great piece of art is perfect for your lounge, living room, kitchen or hallway as it can create a stylish feature wall without committing to a new coat of paint. Depending on your home and personal style, opt for something that makes a statement but also complements the rest of your interior.

Indoor Plants

Have you seen the gorgeous succulents and terrariums around at the moment? They're the perfect addition to your home because they add a wave of colour and are an interesting feature on your coffee table or windowsill. If you want to take the indoor plants theme to the next level, consider installing a vertical herb garden on a kitchen or patio wall.

Add Texture

You can also demonstrate style through size and texture, which is great if you love a monochrome look. Add interest in your living spaces with shaggy rugs, cashmere throws, marble bench tops, tiled splash backs or wooden accents. The contrasting textures will provide depth and stop a minimal palette from being boring.

A Splash of Copper

Copper and rose gold are really trending in homewares right now, and there's good reason for it – they’re so stylish! Add a splash of copper to your home with updated hardware or a piece of décor, such as a lamp or fruit bowl.


Adding style to your home doesn't have to be a big, expensive project. If you use these tips and add a couple of things to each room, you'll instantly update the style of your home and give it a fresh new look. How do you keep your home stylish? Tell us in the comments below!

12/15/2015

Drink more water this Winter with Robinsons




Robinsons has been a household name in my family for as long as I can remember. From their blackcurrant through to fruit and barley, we've sampled it all. I have fond memories sitting outside in my Nanna's garden supping on an ice cold glass of barley water in the heat of summer.

That being said I'm a little boring when it comes to our soft drinks so when I was asked if we would like to experiment with Robinsons squash and create a few recipes that we hadn't tried before I was really looking forward to it.



We were sent two bottles of Robinsons squash and a recipe book to get us started and I couldn't wait to start experimenting. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of recipe ideas that are in the booklet and I chose two which I thought that we could all enjoy together.




SPICED ORANGE SQUASH


Ingredients-
Robinsons Orange

Water
Sliced orange
1 clove
Ground ginger

Method-

Pierce 4 slices of orange with 1 clove each.
Place in a jig with 200ml of Robinsons Orange and a good pinch of ginger.
Fill to 800ml with warm water from the kettle.
Leave for a few minutes for flavours to infuse before pouring.





SPICED APPLE & BLACKCURRANT

Ingredients-
Robinsons Apple and Blackcurrant
Water
Cinnamon
Mixed Spice

Method-

Dilute 200ml Robinsons Apple & Blackcurrant with 800ml of water.
Warm in pan and add cinnamon and mixed spice.
Simmer gently for 3 minutes and then set aside for the mixture to infuse and cool. Serve warm in your favourite mug or festive cup!




Noah and I really enjoyed creating and sampling these new drinks and it's inspired me to think up some of my own recipe ideas. Our favourite has got to be the warm spiced orange which warmed us up nicely after a cold walk outdoors, the perfect Winters drink.

How do you take your squash? Hot or cold or have you created some recipe's too? I would love to hear all about them! 


- We were sent these products for the purpose of this post. However all opinions are my own.

12/14/2015

Preparing your home for Christmas




It’s getting to that time of year, the most wonderful time of the year but the messiest and most cluttered time of the year too!

I absolutely love Christmas. I think it brings everyone closer and it’s a time to really unwind and spend quality time with one another. I have to admit I do love the presents too but one thing I struggle with year after year is where to put all the gifts once Christmas is done and dusted.

We have a large family and the amount of presents we give and receive is crazy! We received far too many gifts back when we were just a couple but now we have Noah I am literally in a panic over where everything is going to go come Boxing Day.

This year I've promised myself that I am going to be ready for it, bring it on! I'm going to have designated areas, plenty of storage and places for these presents to go. 
I want to be organised and I don’t want to be fretting about clutter and mess. 



Here are some top tips for preparing your home for Christmas-

Donate - I like to donate new or next to new goods every so often and Christmas is the perfect time to do so. Not only are you freeing up space for all the presents and gifts but you are also donating to a good cause and most charities need the extra help in the holidays.

Storage space - On thing my house is lacking is storage space and I've recently been looking at modern storage solutions for my home not just for Christmas but for all year round use. A big storage unit in the dining room could solve so many of my storage issues as bits and pieces could easily be stored inside. 

Tip trip - My biggest tip is have one big trip to the tip! I have gone through the house and thrown out everything I don't want or need. We have taken numerous trips to the tip over the past few weeks and it feels great to be a little more clutter free. I feel like we now have so much room for all the gifts we will receive.

Are you prepared for Christmas? Do you have any tips you would like to share?

12/12/2015

Project 365 - Week 50 - 50/52


6th November - 12th December / Week 50

I usually date my photo's with what number day we are on but sometime during the last few weeks I have mixed them up so going to date them instead, ha ha! 

Sunday 6th December
Our day started at 2am as Noah decided he didn't want to sleep and was complaining of a sore tummy. I gave him a good stomach massage and it seemed to ease it a little but then he didn't really want to go back to sleep.


Monday 7th December
On Monday there was a Christmas Craft session in the afternoon at Playgroup. Noah has so much fun making Christmas cards and decorations though he was confused at why the car cars weren't out and did keep asking for them. We had a great day but that evening Noah dropped a toy on his already sore toe so we had to take him A&E. They did an x ray but his toe was fine, just bruised, swollen and very sore. They bandaged it up and we were on our way.


Tuesday 8th December
After a late night at A&E we had a lazy day and Tuesday started with Breakfast in bed which made Noah very happy! Crumpets, banana's and a cup of tea (for me) while we woke up, talk about bliss! We spent the rest of the day playing and reading. 


Wednesday 9th November
I did it, I finally did it. On Weds I finally had all my hair cut off to donate to the Little Princess Trust. This is something I had been wanting to do for years and I am so glad that I have finally gone and done it. I've not had hair like this, ever so it's taking a while to get used to it being so short but I love it and I feel good about it too!


Thursday 10th December
My sister emigrated to America a few months ago and on Thursday she married her partner over there. It's sad we couldn't be there but we were able to watch it live via Skype which was amazing! 


Friday 11th December
Friday was a rather lazy day as not only are Noah and I still full of colds but the weather is so horrible out, constant rain and so bitter cold. We did visit family and went out for a meal in the evening though which was nice. 


Saturday 12th December
The weather was awful again as there's a lot of flooding near us. We aren't affected thankfully but we do have a lot of rain so there's not much we can do outside. We decided to do a spot of shopping and visit the family and then had a take out when Noah was in bed. I love this photo of Noah and Milo, he's such a little animal lover.

How has your week been?