Mummy & Me - May

We've just got back from a week in Marbella so there was an abundance of photo's to choose from for this months Mummy & Me post. It was Noah's second holiday abroad but it was Ava's first being just 11 weeks old when travelling. I dreaded taking such a young baby abroad but it was really easy! I think breastfeeding made everything much more straight forward as I didn't need to worry about bottles, formula and sterilising. We all had such a great time and are already planning next years holiday as we like to have a couple of holidays both abroad and in the UK to look forward to. I decided to choose 5 photo's this month as it was so hard to decide which to go for. Two are from an sunny afternoon at the beach and both candid shots, two are from the pool and the last one is another candid shot of the three of us all curled up in bed after a tiring day in the sun.

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Lottie Dolls - Review & Competition

Being a blogger and a mother there are certain brands which you just love and adore and one of those for me has got to be Lottie Dolls. As a young girl I was a huge fan of dolls and I think I played with them until I was about twelve years old, until my younger relations started telling me I was too old to still enjoy them. One of the advantages of having children is that you're able to relive your childhood all over again, through them.

Lottie Dolls have a vision and it’s to empower children to be themselves! They aim to encourage kids to embrace and accept individuality, enjoy their childhood to the fullest and to embark on fun and meaningful adventures!
Unlike other dolls, Lottie and Finn are based on characters that are nine years of age. Lottie and Finn are relatable, age-appropriate and fun dolls, many of the dolls and accessories from the collection were inspired by real children.

I was recently asked if I'd like to review a doll and accessory pack from their website and being the admirer that I am I quickly obliged. This is where all the trouble began, how was I going to choose?! After a long deliberation I decided to go for the Forest Friend Lottie Doll and Biscuit the Beagle Dog Accessory Set which retail at £18.99 and £9.50.

When the doll arrived I first noticed how beautiful it was presented, in a colourful and attractive gift box with the "positive role model" medal, it looked so pretty that I almost didn't want to open it up. I carefully removed Lottie from the box and I was taken aback by her beauty.

Reading her book at bedtime, Forest Friend Lottie is enchanted to learn about all the magical forest fairies that live deep in the woods and forests. Lottie imagines how exciting it might be to discover a secret fairy door on a tree, where fairy tales come to life and anything can happen! Perhaps the forest fairies might sprinkle fairy dust all around her so that her wildest dreams come true?

Hair: RedEyes: Green. Doll Height: 18cm.
Recommended Age: 3 years+
Lottie is dressed in a delightful green and lilac fairy-inspired costume comprising a velvet-style bodice and petal tutu skirt. A cute bow hairband and sparkly gold ballet flats complete the look.
 Green and lilac fairy-inspired costume 
 A cute bow hairband
 Gold ballet flats

Lottie’s body is based on the average 9 year old girl and is designed with specialists in the areas of child psychology and nutrition. The dolls represent a healthy opinion on body image and is a positive role model to all young children. Lottie also doesn't wear make up, glitzy jewellery or high heels and her hair doesn't tangle either.

Not only are there numerous Lottie Dolls to choose from on the website but they also have a wide range of different outfits and accessory packs to choose from too. As mentioned above we were also sent the Biscuit the Beagle accessory pack to review as I thought it would really compliment the doll we chose and we are such big animal lovers. 

Lottie loves Autumn and especially the changing colours of the leaves on the trees. Wrapped up warm in her coat, hat, scarf and boots, Lottie explores Harley Wood with her dog, Biscuit the Beagle, kicking her way through all the crisp, colourful leaves. Getting muddy, kicking leaves and building dens is just so much fun!

  • Dressable Biscuit the Beagle dog figure
  • Dog bag for Lottie to carry Biscuit in
  • Leash
  • Outfit
  • Dog bed
  • Bone
  • Drinking bowl
You can buy your very own Lottie Doll directly from the website, prices start at £18.99 but if you sign up to Club Lottie you can save 10% on your first order. 

How would you like to win a Lottie Doll of your choice? I've teamed up with Lottie to giveaway one doll to one lucky winner! 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!
Lottie Doll

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 25/06/17.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

May Degustabox - Review

It's almost the end of the month and to mark the occasion we have received our monthly Degustabox delivery. It's become part of our end of month routine and it always puts a smile on our face once it arrives. We are always really excited to open up our box and to discover what products were inside, this month was no exception.

What was inside May's Degustabox:

1. Zeo Soft Drink - £1.19
2. Crabbies Original Alcoholic
 Ginger Beer - £1.89
3. Cadbury Dairy Milk Peanut Caramel Crisp - £3.49

4. MOMA Gluten Free Raspberry & Coconut Bircher Muesli - £3.20

5. Millions Sweets - x2 50p & 60p

6. Cereal Lovers CrunchTime Nuggest - £1.59

7. Deli Kitchen Skinni Wraps - £1.25

8. Homepride Strong White Bread Flour - £1.50

9. Hippeas In Herbs We Trust Snacks - £1.50

10. Portlebay Popcorn - 79p

11. Candy Kittens Sweets - £3.00
12. Bean Bags Coffee Bags - Blogger sample

Total: £21.00

There was a total of 12 different products inside May's box, the contents worth £21.00 (not including the sample) which makes it such great value for money. Degustabox named this months the "Picnic Box" and you can see why with the drinks, snacks and wraps as they'd be perfect for packing up and taking out on a picnic. The contents didn't last very long this month because there was a little something for everyone inside. Nick really enjoyed the Crabbies ginger beer and the Portlebay popcorn whilst Noah gave a big thumbs up the Cadbury chocolate. Myself, I discovered and adored the Hippeas chickpea puffs, they were absolutely delicious and I'll certainly be buying them again!

Degustabox costs £12.99 per month but if you would like to try it for the first time use the code: CTOMW at the checkout to receive a huge £7.00 off! That means you can get your first box for just £5.99!

What products or brands would you like to see in Degustabox next?

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

Project 365 - Week 21/52

21st May - 27th May

21st May 2017

22nd May 2017

23rd May 2017
24th May 2017

25th May 2017

26th May 2017

27th May 2017

We got back from our holiday to Marbella on Sunday so most of the week has consisted of us trying to get back into our regular routine. Back to life, back to reality like they say! Sunday and Monday was spent washing all our holiday clothes and trying to tidy the house, nothing exciting to report there! Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Noah was back at nursery for his afternoon sessions. I wondered how he'd take it having been off for a week but he was fine. I'm thinking of using more of his free hours next term because at the moment he only uses 9 hours a week when he could be using 15. As he's getting older now I think he will benefit from a few more hours and even more of a routine. It's been a scorcher of a week so when we've not been trying to get back into the swing of things we've been out enjoying the sun, visiting family, taking trips to the park and shopping.

What have you been up to this week?

10 Little Things That Make Me Happy

Being a mother of two the majority of what I do, say, write and think revolves around my children. Some days it consumes me, especially with Ava being so young. I often find myself spread really thin but I wouldn't have it any other way, noway. Today I thought I'd put together a post that is just about me, 10 little things that make me happy (minus my babies because lets face it they aren't little things, they are huge!)

1. The colour of the Balearic sea! In fact, everything about the Balearic's makes me happy! I will emigrate out to Majorca one day, it's a dream of mine and one that I will make come true one way or the other. 

2. American TV shows. You can't beat a good TV show binge with a big bowl of snacks, especially if you can get some of your blogger friends addicted to the same show at the same time too! Rebecca and Charlotte, sorry not sorry! 

3. Tea. I was never a fan of cups of tea until I gave birth to Noah and that cup of tea and plate of toast you are given after labour tasted so good that I've been hooked ever since. I now know what all the fuss is about! In fact, I'm sipping on a cuppa right now.

4. Spotting Cherry Blossom Tree's when they are in bloom. I don't know what it is about them but when I see them I automatically feel happier and more relaxed. I have one tattooed on the back of my neck too, although it's a bit naff and needs re doing. 

5. The smell of freshly cut grass. I don't think there's a better smell? Bar the new baby smell and petrol perhaps. 

6. Having my hair brushed or played with. I love it so much that I've offered to pay Nick to do it in the past and have even bribed him a couple of times too. 

7. THE SUN, especially that first bit of warm sun on your face after a cold and dark winter. I can almost feel the Vitamin D soaking into my bones!

8. Banana and Nutella pancakes, need I say more?

9. A good book and having the time to read it and really get stuck into it. Those moments are few and far between at the moment but reading is one of my favourite things to do.

10. When a song that's one of my old favourites comes on in the car or on the kitchen radio then breaking out in song and dance. I must look and sound like a fool but who cares, it makes me happy! 

To spread a little happiness around I tag Rebecca from Mum of a Premature Baby, Cassie from Lily's Little Learners, Sophie from Soph Obsessed, Jess from Tantrums To Smiles, Lyndsey from My Family of Roses and Rachel from It's Rachel Beauty.

What are 10 little things that make you happy? 

Celebrating Organix 25th Birthday & Win A Hamper Of Organix Snacks - Competition

Leading baby and toddler snack food brand Organix are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2017. For 25 years, Organix has been setting standards for the food industry, providing parents with nutritious ‘no junk’ organic food for their little ones and campaigning for better quality food for children.

Organix makes their food in a sustainable way and to celebrate this milestone in their history, they are launching Making Things Better - their first sustainability report - which tracks their progress across 19 key areas. A letter from Organix to the children of future generations pledges their commitment to always keep improving and challenging the status quo (see notes to editors for full text).

Now the number one baby and toddler snack food brand in the UK, Organix originated from more humble beginnings, the kitchen of founder Lizzie Vann, who decided to turn her vision to improve children’s health into reality and set about developing the UK’s first organic baby food.
Long before it was popular to put purpose before profit, Organix was set up with a social mission at its heart – ‘Pure Food, Healthy Babies, Safer World.’ Since then Organix has worked tirelessly to pioneer healthy children’s food, lobbying Government and the food industry through impactful, attention grabbing campaigns, including:

* Food for Life (2003): led to changes in school meals and was championed by Jamie Oliver.
* Action on Additives (2007): sought the removal of six artificial colours from food targeted at children - food giants like Nestle, Coca-Cola and Cadburys changed their recipes as a result.
* Georgie, Porgie, Pudding and Pie (2008): Highlighted the poor quality and lack of regulation around nursery food.
* Out to Lunch (2013): transformed children’s food served in restaurants, at leisure attractions and on the high street.
* Engineering Taste (2016): shines a light on food engineering and how food companies are making misleading claims and leaving parents confused.

Organix will be marking their quarter century with a show stopping birthday cake which tells the story of their 25-year history through the medium of icing! The cake, comprises seven tiers of delicious sponges reflecting the flavours of two of their top selling foods – Carrot Sticks and Goodies Raspberry & Apple Oaty Bars – and is topped with another of their best sellers, a Goodies Gingerbread Man.

Fun Facts
* 12 million people have bought Organix snacks – that’s enough to fill Twickenham 150 times over!
* Organix have sold over 3,000 tons of Goodies raisins – that’s more than 21 blue whales!
* Organix have sold 1.6 billion rice cakes – that’s enough to share with one fifth of the world’s population!
* Organix have sold over 235 million Goodies soft oaty bars – laid end to end they would reach to Timbuktu and back 3 times!

I've teamed up with Organix to give away a hamper of Organix snacks to one lucky winner. Included in the prize will be the Organix Carrot Stix, Organix Goodies Raisins, Organix Goodies Gingerbread Men, Organix Goodies Soft Oaty Bars and the new Organix Punk'd Bars. To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog and social media competitions!

Hamper of Organix Snacks

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 18/06/17.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

Pampers Active Fit Nappy Pants

Back when Noah was around 6 months old I noticed a change in his movements and how active he was and how nappy changing became quite a challenge at times. He didn't want to lie down at all and quite frankly didn't have time to have his nappy changed, he thought he was too busy for that! One of the tricks that he liked to do was wait until I had taken his nappy off and then he would try and crawl off at the speed of light!

When you think of nappy pants the first thing that springs to mind is potty training and the toddlers who are ready to make the transition. But actually what I have discovered is, they can be used so much earlier than that – and are great to use on your wriggly baby!

I missed the trick with Noah, knowing more about Active Fit Nappy Pants would have saved a lot of unnecessary wriggle time… no fiddly tabs to have to wrestle with, simply pull up and go, hey presto. They would have made nappy change so much easier that's for sure!

Pampers nappy pants are made the same way as regular Pampers, but with all round stretchy and easy to put on waist. I wish I'd have known back then because as you can see with the photo above I had one super wriggly baby! Nappy pants would have certainly made my life a lot easier but lesson learned, I'll be buying them for Ava this time around!

Have you tried Pampers Active Fit Nappy Pants?

        - This post was brought to you in collaboration with Pampers.

Project 365 - Week 20/52

14th May - 20th May

14th May 2017

15th May 2017

16th May 2017

17th May 2017

18th May 2017

19th May 2017

20th May 2017

As you can see by the photo's we've been on holiday this week, seven days in Puerto Banus, Spain! The weather was absolutely perfect and we had such a wonderful holiday with extended family. It was Noah's second time abroad and Ava's first holiday and it was such a great experience, although holidays don't really feel like holidays anymore with two young children in tow! We wouldn't have it any other way though, that's for sure! We stayed in a family members villa and it was by far the most luxurious place we've ever stayed at, it was 7 days of pure bliss. Noah and his cousins loved splashing about in the pool and play fighting with Nick and I enjoyed copious amounts of Sangria! We had trips to Puerto Banus harbour, to the beach, a couple of meals out, shopping trips here and there but most our days were spent relaxing by the pool. We are already thinking of booking our holiday for next year, back to Majorca I think!

What have you been up to this week? 

Siblings - May 2017

I can't believe this is the third Siblings post that I've taken part in now, time is flying by with these two rugrats. Find our first post here and our second here, they have both changed so much in such a short amount of time. 

Noah started off quiet and very gentle around her but now he's so used to having his baby sister around that he's no longer quiet and often dives right on her! He's still gentle but his movements can come across quite boisterous but that's just how he is. He can come bounding over and then jump right next to her but when he leans in to give her a cuddle it's ever so gentle. One thing I know for a fact is how much he loves Ava, all he's ever done is show love and patience with her. It's so endearing to see. 

Ava on the other hand, well we know how much babies grow. She's no longer a newborn is now 10 weeks old. She absolutely adores to her family and to people watch, especially Noah. She loves to watch him play, she will babble along with him and she also seems to give some of her biggest smiles to him too. I'm so excited to watch their friendship blossom as they get older, squabbles and all. 

The Me and Mine Project

My Breastfeeding Journey - The Early Days

When I fell pregnant with Ava last year I knew I wanted to give breastfeeding another go as unfortunately it didn't work out the first time around with my son Noah. I didn't want to put any pressure on myself but I knew that I wanted to start fresh and give it another try. With this in mind I teamed up with Medela just before Ava was born and wrote all about my breastfeeding hopes and fears which you can read here.

I've now been breastfeeding exclusively
 for two months and can happily say that it's going really well and I couldn't be happier with our journey so far. That being said the early days and weeks can be tough so I thought I'd write all about my own personal experience so far.

Before I get into all that I want to start by offering encouragement to any expectant mothers out there who are wanting to breastfeed or thinking about trying to. Whether
 it be their first child, second or tenth, if you've not been able to previously or are unsure about it. If you want the encouragement then please do take it and just give it a go, what's there to lose? Don't let previous experiences put you off as I could have easily done. I'm so glad that I tried again as it's been a whole different experience this time around. 

Let's start at where our breastfeeding story began, two months ago when Ava was born. The minute she entered the world she was placed on my chest for instant skin to skin and I gave her a cuddle in the towel as she gave out her first cry. I settled her in an exhausted haze and then brought her to my chest, she latched instantly and that is when our journey began.

We had to stay in hospital for 24 hours to be monitored after she was born which is a standard protocol when your waters break but your contractions don't start naturally. I didn't mind because it gave me time to rest and get my bearings before heading home with her. I remember laying in the hospital bed in the early hours with her and just gazing at her in awe. The midwives were amazing with me and one in particular offered me lots of support by showing me different feeding positions and gave me tips on how to get the ideal latch. Having this support so early on was just what I needed and I cannot thank them enough.

I found the first few days at home the toughest, especially at night. To begin with I struggled with her latch on the left side which made my nipple sore and cracked. As it was so sore I found myself feeding more on the opposite side as I wanted it to heal. Again I got great advice from the midwives who visited, they told me to feed through the cracked nipple, to apply lots of nipple cream and get lots of air to it because if I didn't feed on that side it could effect my supply. It was the perfect advice just at the right time. I did what they suggested and everything was fine in a day or two.

Then there's the cluster feeding, let me talk about that! When Ava was around two weeks old there was a couple of nights where she literally didn't stop feeding and being new to breastfeeding all kinds of thoughts and worries flooded through my head. Was she hungry? Was she not getting enough milk? Was there no milk left? Is this normal? I spoke to numerous people about this and they all assured me that it was all totally normal and it was her way of "upping supply" and perhaps a growth spurt too. So if you are currently going through a cluster feeding stage just bare with it, get comfortable, turn on Netflix and grab a load of snacks! It's the perfect excuse to relax and indulge while your baby does too!

We have now been breastfeeding for 10 weeks, a whole 70 days and our journey so far has been everything I had hoped it to be and so much more. I went into this thinking "just give it another go Jenna!" and now I can't imagine doing anything else! I love breastfeeding! 

Do you have any breastfeeding stories you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them! 

- Wrote in partnership with Medela.