9/29/2016

18 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2



Baby
The baby is now almost 6 inches long and weighs around 6.7oz. The bones in her body are beginning to harden so vitamin D and calcium is really important at this stage and going forward. Among these first bones to develop is the inner ear so baby girl will be starting to hear my heart beating and tummy growling any time now. She's certainly gotten stronger this week as I'm feeling her kicks and wriggles more. I had my hand on my belly the other night and I felt her kick my hand, it was amazing! 


Mummy
Same as last week really as I've been feeling really good. I'm shattered but that's nothing new and is to be expected when growing a tiny human all while looking after a toddler. Emotional wise I feel a lot more level headed which is a relief but I have had anxiety flare ups but I think that's due to Noah starting nursery. I've also had an unwelcome visitor return, Mr Heartburn! I had it really bad with Noah and was prescribed Gaviscon which didn't really help much, hopefully it won't be as relentless this time around. I haven't weighed myself for a few weeks and dread to think how much I've put on. That being said I haven't been eating as bad as I did in my first pregnancy. I'm not craving full fat milk this time either so that's got to count for something, ha ha. Speaking of cravings I still can't get enough oranges! Jaffa oranges, satsumas, clementines, they are tasting like pure heaven at the moment. On the bump front there's no mistaking I'm pregnant now and have I'm starting to see people notice and smile. I still can't believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by! 

See you next week! 

9/28/2016

Mummy & Me - September



Can you believe we are coming to the end of September already? I'm sure as I get older the weeks and months just seem to fly by even faster. This month we've had lots of family days out and my first photo for Mummy and Me this month is one we took at Blackpool Zoo. Noah was so fascinated by these huge dinosaur statues and insisted he had a photo taken with them. It was such a great day out and we made lots of lovely memories.

My second photo has to include both my babies of course. My baby girl in my tummy and my lovely Noah. He's going to make the most amazing big brother, I can just tell. Can't wait to become a Mummy of two. 



Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

9/27/2016

Blaze and the Monster Machines Transforming Fire Truck - Review


Last week Noah was sent a new toy to review, the brand new Blaze and the Monster Machines Transforming Fire Truck. Although Noah isn't familiar with the TV show I knew that he'd enjoy it because he loves vehicles in all shapes and forms, fire engines in particular.



The Blaze Fire Truck is a 2 in 1 transforming car which changes from monster truck to fire rescue vehicle. It's very easy to switch from one vehicle to the other as all that is needed is a quick push on the back and the body flips over. It didn't take Noah long to realise what it did and he could easily do it himself which is always a plus.    

Not only does Blaze transform from one vehicle to the other but it also has a water cannon, ladders, siren sounds and a light bar that flashes just like a real fire engine. Blaze can also talk and has over 25 different phrases which change depending on what mode it is in. 





The toy arrived early one morning (hence the PJ's) so I decided to Noah straight away as he'd had a big week starting nursery. I told him that it was a surprise for being such a good boy and he loved that. 

Noah's played with Blaze every day since it arrived and his favourite thing about it has to be that it transforms, he thinks it's so cool. When he flips it over he's so impressed and it makes him feel good that he can do it himself too. There's nothing worse when a toy is designed for a certain age range but then they are unable to do it without help so I've got to praise them for that. It's certainly toddler friendly as it's easy to figure out and it's quite a sturdy toy too.

The Blaze and the Monster Machine Transforming Fire Truck usually retails at £19.97 but is currently on sale at £15.00 which is a bargain if you ask me. It would make the perfect gift for any Blaze fans this Christmas.

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

9/26/2016

Robinson Crusoe DVD & Activity Pack - Competition



STUDIOCANAL is pleased to announce that the adventurous ROBINSON CRUSOE is coming to 3D + 2D Blu-ray on 26 September, as well as on DVD – which comes with a free pop-up Frisbee! The hit film will also be available digitally from 19 September.

On an exotic island, Tuesday, an outgoing parrot, lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, he can’t stop dreaming about discovering the outside world and the adventures it holds. After a violent storm, the friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe.


What follows is a fun-filled family adventure, from the creators of The House of Magic and A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures, with sea, sand, and surprising escapades! 
ROBINSON CRUSOE is available on DVD, Blu-ray, & 3D Blu-ray from 26th September.

To celebrate, we’re giving away 3x merchandise packs that include a colouring book, character masks, a sticker set, activity sheet and Robinson Crusoe on DVD! To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions

Robinson Crusoe DVD & Activity Pack

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 3 winners.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 28/10/16
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

9/24/2016

Project 365 - Week 38


18th September - 24th September

18/09/16

19/09/16

20/09/16

21/09/16

22/09/16

23/09/16

24/09/16

This weeks main focus has been trying to help settle Noah into his new part time nursery routine. He's only going for six hours per week but so far it's been a struggle and we've both found it so stressful and emotional. This week I blogged about the nursery, our settling in session and about his first afternoon too. He's getting there slowly but surely and hopefully next week will be easier. Other notable things we did this week was an afternoon our at Blackpool where Noah enjoyed paddling on the beach, a donkey ride and of course the arcades. We both came down with a cold towards the end of the week so we've been having lazy afternoons curled up on the sofa too.


What have you been up to this week? 




9/23/2016

17 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2



Baby
This week the baby is approximately 5 inches long and weighs roughly 6oz. She's been focusing on forming layers of fat underneath her skin and from now on her weight will sky rocket and she'll hopefully be putting on a nice little bit of weight every week. She is also mastering simple reflexes such as swallowing, sucking and blinking too. She can also get hiccups which I'm pretty positive I've felt ever so slightly.


Mummy
I've been feeling great! No nausea, heartburn, back pain or headaches. I do seem to get tired really easy but that's expected as it's hard work growing a baby inside you all while chasing around a toddler. I've also started struggling to get comfy at night and often find myself wide awake when I get in bed despite being shattered. I think my bump has gotten bigger this week as I'm getting more comments on it and it feels more rounded too. Movement wise I'm still feeling her little wriggles and the odd prod but nothing overly strong at the moment. On the craving front there's nothing new, it's still all about oranges and I can't seem to get enough water. One craving I keep getting that I won't be acting on is sparkling wine! I'm thinking of getting a non alcoholic alternative to try and see how I get on! I'm not a big drinker usually so it's a very strange craving to have! We've been trying to think of names a bit more since we found out the gender of our baby but we are struggling with them which comes as a surprise as we didn't have that problem when I was pregnant with Noah. I still can't get my head around how quickly this pregnancy is going!


See you next week!

5 tips for Mums to get back to work after having children


Nowadays it is less common for mothers to have children and then become stay at home Mums. Many women are returning to their careers or even beginning new ones to help support their families and follow their own dreams. It does not matter if you have been out of the work force for one year or ten years, you can get great job offers and become successful in a profession once again.

It is not best to wait for the perfect time to return to work. There is never the perfect time to go back you simply just have to do it when it is almost perfect. When you have a small amount of time to brush up your resume or talk to your previous employer; take it.

Becoming a mother provides you with an entirely new skill set that is incredibly marketable. Raising children develops your people skills, ability to multi task, creative problem solving, and time management skills like nothing else. It is not something tangible you can put on a CV but it should give you incredible confidence for any new job you pursue.

Adapt to the new job hunting tactics. Job hunting is very web based now and you can search for new careers and job offers on sites like uk.jobrapido.com or many others. Learn how to master these online job boards and even how to network online, and you will find it much easier to find a new career path.

With newborns or young kids it will be extremely helpful to find a flexible position or a part time job in the beginning. This will enable you ease in to a new job and simply the schedule of having to work again.

Flexibility is a two way street. Make sure the employer is offering a flexible position or a part time position and do not make any assumptions. You also have to be prepared to have a change in the work schedule or work longer hours if needed, because in the end you are making a commitment to a new job and always want to make the best impression.

- In collaboration with MJB.

9/22/2016

Little Tiger Press - Hyde and Squeak - Competition



Hyde and Squeak
Written and Illustrated by Fiona Ross
Published 8th September 2016
RRP £12.99
ISBN 9781848692671
Format Hardback
Age 3 - 6 years

Would YOU dare eat a beastly-looking jelly? Squeak the mouse just can't resist a taste… Slurp! Burp! Grunt! Growl! Uh-oh! Squeak has turned into Hyde – a massive, messy monster mouse! Look out!

It has been one hundred and forty years since Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was first published. In 2016 the story lives on through Fiona Ross’ wildly creative and playful retelling that introduces a new generation of readers to Stevenson’s much-loved, spooky, classic.


Just in time for Halloween, author-illustrator Fiona Ross (Ballet Cat, Chilly Milly Moo) brings a hilariously inventive twist to the tale of Jekyll and Hyde. With laugh-out-loud humour and striking comic-book style illustrations, curious Squeak’s transformation into the insatiably hungry monster mouse, Hyde, is sure to engage and delight young readers.


From rotten jellies to magical machines,
Hyde and Squeak breathes new life into an old classic, and adds a spark of silliness and fun into the mix to create a wholly original and thoroughly enjoyable story for families to enjoy together.

How would you like to win a copy of Hyde and Squeak? To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions

Hyde and Squeak Book

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 24/10/16
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

Starting Nursery - Part 3



This week I've been writing all about nursery as Noah has just started. You can read about our decision and feelings towards nursery here and how our settling in session didn't go to plan hereToday's post is all about how Noah did on his first afternoon without Mummy.

If you know me or have read my previous posts you'll know how anxious and worried I've been at the prospect of Noah starting nursery. I know my son, he's a gentle soul and I know how dependant he is on me. We're together all day, everyday so all my worries were inevitable really.

After our not so positive settling in session I did wonder how Noah would feel about going back but he was excited so that was a big relief. I packed his little rucksack with all the items they suggested I bring; suncream, a change of clothes, a jacket, a hat and so on. I also included his comforter and told him that kiki was coming to nursery with him. I really tried to think of everything I could do or say to make the process more comfortable for him. I even dressed him in a Darth Vader tshirt (Batman the session before) because I thought that may give him a little confidence as he likes to pretend he has superpowers. I really did try to think of everything.

Once we got to nursery we waited outside for the gates to open with the other parents and children. All the other parents were just as worried as me so that made me feel a little better. When we got inside Noah put a piece of fruit we brought from home into the share basket and we hung his bag on his peg and we walked into the main room. 

Noah is in the blue group so we found his table and sat him down next to another boy and directly across from his key worker. I popped on his name badge which they'd provided and she basically shooed me off. I didn't expect to have to go so quickly but I presume this is to make it easier on the child. I bent down to Noah and said I'd just be going to the shop, that he was to play nicely with the other children and when I come back I'll bring him a chocolate coin. At first he seemed to want to come with me but he stayed sitting down and what more, he didn't cry! 

I left the room and I couldn't believe it. I peeked through the door and through the window a couple of times before I left but he was fine, sat there, smiling and chatting away. When I left I felt such relief but at the same time I wanted to cry too! Damn pregnancy hormones.

Once I got home I had three hours to myself and I literally didn't know what to do with myself as I never have time to myself. I had some lunch, did some blogging, entered a few competitions and packaged a few things for eBay and then it was time to go collect him.

When it was time to go I walked up with my neighbour who's daughter attends the same nursery and we were talking about how well both of them did when we'd taken them earlier in the day. When I got there I expected to find him playing and peeked back through the window as I wanted to see what he was doing before he saw me. Much to my surprise he was sat on his key workers knee, all red and bleary eyed. I then heard him cry so I went in and he ran over to me. I asked what was wrong and if he'd been crying for long and she said he'd been upset for the past twenty minutes. He was upset because some of the other parents were collecting their children early so he kept thinking I would be next and didn't understand why I wasn't with them. I suppose in his mind he was confused and just wanted his Mummy. I gave him a cuddle and he began to calm down. I spoke to his key worker briefly and she said he was fine the whole time until that point. They suggested coming half an hour before the session ends and building it up whilst he gets used to it and I'm more than happy with that, whatever makes it easier for him. 

So again it was a experience where it had it's negatives but positives too as it's a big adjustment for him. Now when I ask him about nursery he says he likes it and can't wait to go again so that's great and we'll see how he gets on next week.


How did your child find nursery?

9/21/2016

Starting Nursery - Part 2


Yesterday I blogged about our decision to enroll Noah into nursery for two afternoons a week and a little about the nursery itself. Today I write about how Noah has found it so far as he started last week.

On Tuesday last week we had our anxiously anticipated introduction to nursery. It was just for an hour in the afternoon and I'd be there the whole time so I wasn't really worried. I hoped it would be a positive experience so that when it came to him going on his own he'd feel a bit more at ease.


Once we got there for our hour session he was so excited and didn't know what to do first. We said hello to the teacher and to his key worker and he buzzed from one area to the next. He liked to play in the home area with the other children, he enjoyed a spot of painting, got stuck in with the play doh and pretended to be Iron Man too. I love watching him play but I did notice that he was looking and asking for me constantly. I was trying to distance myself a little because I know how dependant he is on me but as soon as I'd inch a way he'd shout or run over to me.

Once he had his fill of the indoor area he realised he had the entire outside area to explore. 
When outside he was playing on the cars and then spotted an older boy who he seemed to want to play with. He ran over to the boy and stated showing him his tshirt, shouting "Batman!" The boy took one look at him and then hit him and ran off. I then saw Noah sink into himself and stand with his back to the wall not knowing what to do. I think this was the moment when his confidence was knocked and he realised he wanted to go home. After that happened he clung to me even more and then after a while began to cry and was asking to go home. I wasn't expecting this because I was there with him and I though't he'd be having a whale of a time just like we do when we go to playgroup together.

When it was time to leave I felt emotionally drained as it hadn't gone the way I'd hoped and I could tell that Noah wasn't leaving on a good note either. I have to admit I shed a few tears when I got home about the whole situation but I think it was more to do with my pregnancy hormones. After a couple of hours we decided to forget about the negatives that happened, focus on the positives and hope for a better outcome the next time we attended.


How did your child find their first settling in session? 

9/20/2016

Starting Nursery - Part 1


Up until recently the thought of Noah going to nursery made me worry so much and filled me with anxiety. I can't really put my finger on why but I think it's a combination of Noah being my first child, the fact he's been with me every day since he's been born and how much he still relies on me for comfort and reassurance.

Recently I've started coming around to the idea and I think it's due to a couple of things. The fact that he's almost three being one of the main reasons as it feels like it's the right time. Another reason is that I think it would be beneficial for him to have time away from me to grow a little confidence when it comes to his own independence. I also feel at ease about the nursery because all I've heard are positive reports and it also has an outstanding rating from Ofsted. It's just across the street from our house which is great because I can literally run across if he needs me.

A few weeks ago we have a nursery tour with the head mistress and when we arrived all the children were playing outside. As soon as Noah saw them all he got so excited and wanted to play too. Whilst we were waiting in the reception for her to arrive Noah was popping in and out and couldn't decide what he wanted to do, play with the children or hold Daddy's hand. We watched him play while we waited and felt so proud watching him interact with other children and share toys with them.

Once the head mistress arrived she asked Noah if he would like to play and he said yes so she had a member of staff keep an eye on him whilst we went for a look around the nursery. Two minutes later that member pops her head around the corner and tells us that Noah was upset and wanted t stay with us. So after wiping away his tears we went on the tour, toddler in tow.

The nusery is a historical and listed building and that in itself gives the building so much character, never mind the dozens of children's painting and nature finds which are strewn across every wall. I was amazed at how education focused the nursery is as I thought at this age it would be all about play. Another element I love about the nursery is that once a month they have a week of "Forest School" where they spend the week outside, learn to climb trees, forage, play in the mud kitchen, play on tire swings and so on. They also have their own pet turtles, fish, caterpillars and also hatch chicks! The place literally ticks every box for us and we are excited for Noah to start. 



How old was your child when they started nursery?

Introducing the Pampers Club App



Being a blogger there are many exciting opportunities that come my way but possibly the best one yet came a few weeks ago. I was contacted on behalf of Pampers asking if I'd like to be on the very first Pampers Baby Board amongst a few of my fellow bloggers. I was delighted to take them up on their offer as Pampers have always been a brand we've reached for when it comes to disposable nappies and wipes as we've found them superior to their competitors.

This is my first post since joining the Pampers Baby Board and today I'd like to introduce you to the brand new Pampers Club App. This app is FREE, very easy to use and gives you rewards every time you buy Pampers products.




How it works

1. Download the Pampers Club app for free and register.

2. Open the app and take a photo of the receipt on which your Pampers product appears to earn points for the purchase. The receipt must be less than 30 days old.

3. For every £1 spent on a Pampers product, you will receive 10 points to exchange for gifts and for your first receipt you will even get a bonus of 500 points! This is a great way to get you started and give you a great head start for cashing in your first reward, whichever that may be!

4. Convert your points into a wide selection of rewards chosen with you, your children and your whole family in mind. You can put your points towards coupons off for more Pampers products through to magazine subscriptions and even baby toys. 




This is the first time a nappy brand has come up with a reward scheme and I think it's such a brilliant idea and one that I'm sure is going to be extremely popular with us parents. Not only do we spend a lot of money on wipes and nappies but we also spend a lot of time changing and cleaning dirty bums too! It's time we got rewarded for it, don't you think!?

You can download the Pampers Club App for free here and it's available for on the App Store and Google Play. 


What will you be spending your rewards on?

- Wrote in collaboration with Pampers. 

9/19/2016

In the Night Garden Bundle - Competition



In the Night Garden is a favourite for so many children and parents alike. The lovable characters are so endearing and every child seems to have their favourite. Noah is going up for three now and still absolutely adores watching it and even gets a little emotional towards the end. He never wants them to go to bed and usually asks to watch it again and again.

Take the fun and magic of In The Night Garden wherever you go with these fantastic pieces from the new product range. Fun at the pool or at home, these In The Night Garden Towels from Dreamtex feature Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy. The sturdy, and brightly coloured Igglepiggle Backpack from Trademark William Lamb is perfect for carrying all those school and weekend essentials.  Make every mealtime fun with an In the Night Garden Tumber, Bowl & Plate set from Spearmark – ideal for dinner-time anywhere! Perfect for bedtimes and long journeys, Igglepiggle’s Birthday Surprise, from Penguin is a beautifully illustrated picture book featuring all the In The Night Garden favourite characters.

How would you like to win this bundle of In The Night Garden goodies? The bundle includes; In The Night Garden Bath Towels, Igglepiggle Backpack, In The Night Garden Dining Set and Igglepiggle's Birthday Surprise Book! To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions


In The Night Garden Bundle

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winners who will win the bundle mentioned above.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 21/10/16
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

9/17/2016

Project 365 - Week 37


11th September - 17th September

11/09/16

12/09/16

13/09/16

14/09/16

15/09/16

16/09/16

17/09/16

We've had a really busy but great week. On Sunday we spent the day at Blackpool Zoo and had a wonderful time. Noah loves being outside and is a huge animals lover so places like these are ideal for us. He wasn't interested in seeing the sea lion show though as that involved sitting down for ten minutes, ha ha. He loved Dinosaur World, the otters and the lemurs the most. Monday I had my 16 week midwife appointment which was the quickest appointment of my life. My bum had hardly touched the seat before they whisked me off and my next appointment isn't for almost two months but all went well. Tuesday saw Noah's induction at nursery. It was only for an hour and I was there the whole time but it didn't really go to plan and towards the end he was crying and asking to go home. I felt so deflated on the way home and very emotional but I knew I had to try again. Wednesday we decided to have a lazy day after a couple of busy days. Thankfully it was lovely and sunny so we literally spent the day playing in the garden in the sun. On Thursday was Noah's first afternoon at nursery on his own and I was so apprehensive. I'm going to write a blog post about it soon but it went a little better than the first session. Friday we went to the park and did a bit of shopping and the same can be said for Saturday too! A great week with lots of changes.

What have you been up to this week?




9/16/2016

16 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2



The day I turned 16 weeks pregnant we attended our private gender scan and I was so excited. I woke up that morning and was adamant that I was carrying a girl and I said to my partner just as much. I'd always thought I was having girl but for some reason that morning I was certain. We drove over to Manchester for the scan and within a couple of minutes of being in the room with the sonographer she confirmed that our baby was indeed a girl and I couldn't believe it! Well I could because I always felt like she was a girl but it felt so good to be right, mothers intuition and all. She confirmed that she was a girl three times and said she was absolutely certain too. So there you have it, we are team pink! (We hope because we've bought about 101 dresses already!)

Baby

This week the limbs are more developed and are more controlled when it comes to movement. My baby girl is now the size of an avocado and weighs roughly 3.5oz although at our gender scan the sonographer said she weighed roughly 5oz. The baby's weight will also double by next week. I've been enjoying her little movements and she seems to be most active around 1am in the morning. I can't wait to feel stronger movements and kicks.

Mummy

I'm feeling okay at the moment. I get tired very easily but on a whole I feel good as I don't feel sick or have any back pain anymore. I can be up and down with my moods though I have to admit. I feel really emotional at the moment and I think that is a combination of my crazy pregnancy hormones, everything that's been happening around me lately and the fact my boy has just started nursery. Craving wise it's still all about orange or citrus foods and drink. My bump is getting harder and rounding out a bit. Like my first pregnancy I popped early but my bump is such a different shape this time around as I'm carrying really high rather than low.


See you next week! 

9/15/2016

Take part in our syndicate & win with us - Competition



We all dream about winning big, the jackpot! We imagine what we'd do with all the money, where we would go and how we would feel. I've always thought I'd give my house to my Mum and pack up and move to Majorca! I'd live next to the beach and have the most incredible life with my family. Then I snap out of it and realise, I'm in dull and dreary Lancashire! I don't gamble very often but I do enter competitions and the principles are just the same, you've got to be in it to win it and someone has got to win!

What is Lottoland and how does it work?
Lottoland is a fun and easy to use website where you can place bet online. There are your regular Lotto draws to take part in but there are also lots of different games to play too. When it comes to Lotto what happens is the website makes bets on official Lottery draws such as Euromillions, Irish Lotto and Powerball for example. It's a way to play different lotteries from across the world. If your numbers come up, you win and the payments are made directly from Lottoland. 

Take part and WIN

In collaboration with Lottoland we've created a syndicate where my readers are welcome to take part! If I win, I share with winnings with you! All you need to do is simply enter below! Good luck!

Lottoland Syndicate Winnings


Terms and Conditions
The competition ends 25/09/16.
This post is in collaboration with Lottoland.
Winnings will only be shared if we win over a certain amount so that entrants would receive a substantial share and not pennies.



9/14/2016

TMNT Half Shell Heroes Squeeze Em's - Review



I was recently offered the opportunity to review a new toy from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Squeeze Em's range from Flair PLC. Noah isn't very familiar with TMNT just yet but as soon as I saw the toy I just had to accept as I knew that Noah would absolutely love it! 



When the toy arrived I first noticed how fantastic it looked, I knew that Noah be so excited when he set eyes on it. I was pleasantly surprised by how big it was, not too big but a little bigger than I expected. It also looked really sturdy which is perfect for the 2-4 year old age range this toy is aimed at as it's bound to take a bit of a beating by heavy handed kids. 





What is so much fun about this toy is that when you squeeze it's shell it makes funny sounds and it's eye's pop out! The harder you squeeze the louder and longer it belches or shout. I knew Noah would love it but I didn't realise how much so. He thinks it's hilarious and has been copying some of it's phrases "Ahhhhh, pepperoni!"

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Half Shell Heroes Squeeze Em's retail at £24.99 each and are available at leading retailers online and in store. I think it'd make an excellent birthday or dare I say it, Christmas present! 



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