Mummy & Me - July

How am I writing July's Mummy & Me post already? July has been and gone in the blink of an eye but it's been a great one, full of lots of fun days out and exciting adventures. I chose three very different photo's this month as I adore each one for different reasons.

The photo above was taken this weekend on a long family walk and I just love the expressions on both Noah and Ava's faces, they are such happy children and I look full of pride! The photo's below are both candid shots which Nick took when I was unaware, something I'm very grateful for and something I've been encouraging him to do for a while now. Us Mum's take so many pictures of our children with their Dad's, siblings and other relations but we always tend to be on the other side of the camera! I think the last photo is my favourite this month. I was feeding Ava to sleep, Noah rolled over to cuddle her and fell asleep himself, I think my heart was melting right there and then. Look at them!

Project 365 - Week 30/52

23rd July - 29th July

23rd July 2017

24th July 2017

25th July 2017

26th July 2017

27th July 2017

28th July 2017

29th July 2017

It only feels like yesterday that I was writing last weeks post! The weeks are flying by at a geometric rate at the moment, what's going on?! Last Sunday saw us have our weekly family day out but with the weather being rather hit and miss we just went to a local park to stretch our legs and get the kids some fresh air instead. I'm hoping the weather picks back up soon because we've not had much summer yet and we all love the warmer weather.  

It's now half term so Noah hasn't had nursery this week and he's missing it already! I decided to plan lots of activities to keep his mind busy and his body active because he's the kind of child that loves to be doing something every day and he gets bored easily. 
The first of the activities we did on Monday, a nature hunt! Noah really enjoyed it and we'd ticked everything off our list in about 15 minutes so next time I think I will add harder things to find.

In between the breaks in rain we've been on lots of walks and trips to the park and on Tuesday my Mum came to visit and took him to Blackpool Zoo for the day. He had such a great time and it was nice to have one on one time with Ava though I have to admit that we did have a cheeky little nap together! It was bliss!

We have been looking into classes and activities for the kids to start attending. Baby sensory for Ava and swimming for Noah, though it'd be great to take them both swimming to get them both used to the water. With this in mind I've been looking at new
swimming costumes because I've recently lost 12lb on Slimming World and nothing fits very well at the moment. Once Noah is more confident in the water we are going to book him swimming lessons, something that makes me feel excited but little apprehensive too!

Tomorrow is Sunday and we've not planned anything just yet but I'm hoping the weather will be kind to us so we can have a proper family day out this weekend.

What have you been up to this week?

- This post contains a sponsored link. 

Siblings - July 2017

Siblings has to be one of my favourite project to write about and document. Even before I had Ava I knew that I'd have to take part once she arrived. It's now the fifth month I've published and you can see my March, April, May and June posts here. It's amazing to look back and see how much Ava has changed in such a short amount of time and Noah has too, he seems so much more grown up since Ava was born.

Our photo's each month are quite candid moments and shot quickly on my camera. I do get my big camera out every now and again but these type of shots just seem to be what I opt for each month so I'm kind of sticking with that theme.

Noah is now three and a half and Ava is just about to turn five months old and they have such a bond already, it's so sweet to see. Ava idolises her big brother, she's always watching him, looking for him, smiling at him and he was the first person she ever laughed at. I have to work really hard to do something funny which will make her giggle but Noah only has to jump and she's in fits of laughter.

When it comes to how Noah is with his baby sister I couldn't have asked for anything more. I always knew that he'd be a fantastic brother and he makes me proud every day with how caring and patient he is with her. I think he loves her even more now that she giggles at him because he's such a people pleaser and really likes to make people laugh. Every day I find him performing for her and she just lays there's smiling or giggling.

Yesterday I watched them "play" together for the first ever time. Ava was playing in her jumperoo and when she stopped Noah would jump beside her and then she'd laugh and jump again. They did it over and over and were both giggling so much. This is what it's all about when you have two children, it's so rewarding watching their bond grow every single day.

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

How To Prepare For Your First Year In University

This is a PR collaboration.

Statista data estimates that about 1.8 million UK undergraduate students enrolled in higher education courses in 2018/19. Your uni experience begins with the first year, which can be exciting and overwhelming for fresh secondary school graduates. However, excellent preparation is vital to ensure your smooth transition to university life. If you wish to learn more about preparing for your freshman year in uni, consider the following points.

Visit Campus Before Your First Year Begins

Image credit 

University tours are standard for secondary school graduates transitioning to uni life. However, walking through the dorms, lecture halls, and cafeterias of a few campuses can blur some details on your chosen university, so consider revisiting your uni to check things out again. Thankfully, you can participate in sporting events, show up for public lectures, or walk around for a few hours to get a better idea of uni life. This way, you can feel more at home and even get excited about your first-year experience.

Figure Out Your Living Situation In Advance

Your living situation is crucial as a first-year university student, so it is vital to figure this out early on to prevent stress later on. Generally, you can commute from home to uni if your campus is nearby to save money on rent, food, and utilities. Also, you can live on-campus in a dormitory for convenience, so keep this in mind. Many first-year students opt for on-campus living to get a complete university experience.

If you are staying on campus, prioritize accommodation close to your classes to save time every day. Furthermore, you can choose an affordable house or student apartment close by to sort out your living situation. For instance, you can check out student accommodation in Sunderland to find budget-friendly and excellent housing options if you attend the University of Sunderland.

Learn Essential Life Skills

Getting by on your own is central to university living, so it would be best to prepare for this. Fortunately, you can learn some crucial life skills that will come in handy. For instance, learn how to do your laundry, set up a doctor's appointment, and create a budget you can stick to before going away to school. In addition, you can also learn to cook standard meals, since decent culinary skills will save you a lot of money at uni.

Prioritize Your Mental Health

Image credit 

A reported 1 in 5 university students suffers from mental health issues, with depression and anxiety being the most common conditions they face. University life can be challenging due to the academic pressure, new environment, and strain on your social life. It doesn't even matter if you've never shown any signs of mental health issues before, as you can quickly start to exhibit them once you encounter the stress associated with starting university. As such, prepare yourself for the rough times ahead and ensure that your mental health is a top priority. This way, you can remain happy and healthy throughout your first year and the remainder of your university experience.

July Degustabox - Review

As the month draws to a close it's time for our monthly Degustabox review. As mentioned in my previous posts the arrival of our Degustabox at the end of the month is a little highlight to our week, it's so exciting to sit down and open the box together as there's always a product suitable for each one of us.

We've been reviewing Degustabox for quite some time now and I can tell you that in all the time we've been receiving our box we've never ever been disappointed with the contents. Personally I think that's really impressive and on that note I don't hesitate in recommending Degustabox to my friends, family and blog readers.

What was inside July's Degustabox:

1. Blossom Hill Spritz - £4.99
2. Crafted Fruit Juice
 - £1.80
3. Ryvita Thins Three Cheese - £1.89

4. Rowntree's Randoms 30% Less Sugar - £1.29

5. Oloves Healthy Olive Snacks - x2 £0.99

6. Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Red & White Quinoa - £1.99

7. Frylight Cooking Spray with Avocado Oil - £2.99
8. Weetabix Additions Coconut & Raisin - £2.99

9. The Collective Kids Big Tub Yogurt Voucher - £2.00

10. Maille Dijon Original - £1.99

11. Thor Non Alcoholic Drinks - x2 (These would be in the non alcoholic box instead of the wine)

Total: £23.91

July's box is named the Summer Box and you can see why, there's so many different products which are ideal for Summer. Ryvita thins, quinoa, and fruit juice for a picnic at the park and a bottle of wine with a bowl of olives in the evening once the kids are in bed.

I think this box is one of my favourites to date because so many of the products were ideal for me being on Slimming World. The Blossom Hill Spritz although not very Slimming World friendly was enjoyed last Saturday night. It was my first tipple in months and it was so light and refreshing. I'll be buying that again that's for sure! Noah was excited to see some sweeties in the box and I was more than happy for him to have a couple straight away with them being reduced sugar. Nick on the other hand loved the quinoa and mustard, not together though, that'd be a bit strange!

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.

Angel's Face Review & Competition

I absolutely adore baby clothes, there's just something about them which make me go all soft and gooey on the inside. Even before I became a Mother I could never resist heading down the baby aisle to admire and coo over tiny dresses and dungarees. That obsession of course developed into something more once I had my son Noah but even more so now that I have a daughter! Girls are a lot more fun to shop for and dress up, just because there's so much more choice out there.

With my love of baby clothes it comes as no surprise that I enjoy discovering new brands and reviewing clothes is one of my favourite things to do too. Angel's Face is one of those brands, a brand which is new to me and I'm so excited to be collaborating with them.

The brand was started by mother of three, Keely Deininger back in 2007 straight from her kitchen table, a true home brand. Coming from a design background, she has worked as a designer for suppliers of top brands such as H&M and Topshop and was Design Director at the main fashion supplier for Marks and Spencer. Despite her success, Keely’s life-long dream was to start her own business and brand. Angel’s Face has allowed her to both fulfil her dreams and enjoy watching her children grow up at the same time. 
This maternal element is evident in all of Angel’s Face products – from the attention to all the small details to the high-quality of the garments, the brand is very much designed with parents in mind as well as children!

Angel's Face recently sent me a piece from their beautiful range to review. We were offered the babygrow vest which comes in three different colours; snowdrop white, vintage rose and ash grey all of which are lovely but I opted to go for the rose colour as I thought Ava would suit that one the most.

When it arrived I was blown away by the quality and understood why it was a little more expensive than a regular baby vest. It's so luxuriously soft and not only stunning to look at but it seems like it'd be a dream to wear too. Ava loves to mess about with her clothes and she really likes touching the different materials on the babygrow. The soft cotton like body and the satin sleeves are such contrasting but complementary materials. I absolutely adore the puff sleeves and peter pan collar on the vest, the attention to detail on the babygrow is like nothing else I've seen on similar garments. It's absolutely adorable.

The babygrow is available in three different colours and from size 0-3 months through to 9-12 months. I think the fitting is great, maybe a little bit bigger to size which I always like in baby clothes. Ava is four months old but is quite big for her age, the vest she is wearing is 3-6 months and as you can see there's still plenty of room to grow into.

The baby grow is available to buy directly from the Angel's Face website and costs £29.00. This may sound a little pricey but it really is a special garment, one which would be perfect for parties or to mark a special occasion.

How would you like to win an Angel's Face baby grow in your choice of colour and size? 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

Angel's Face Babygrow worth £29.00

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner of the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 20/08/17
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

Project 365 - Week 29/52

16th July - 22nd July

16th July 2017

17th July 2017

18th July 2017

19th July 2017

20th July 2017

21st July 2017

22nd July 2017

Where is the year going? The weeks are passing so quickly at the moment and I still can't get my head around the fact that Ava is now four months old, nearly five months! We will be weaning her before we know it, it's crazy! The weather has been a bit crazy this week, we've had a bit of everything! On Sunday we had out weekly day out to Thornton Hall Farm, we didn't stay as long as usual though because it was one of those short notice kind of trips. 

Noah has now broken up for half term and will now be home with us for the next few weeks. He has another year at nursery before school and when he returns in September he will be attending for 30 hours a week instead of 15! I think he's really going to miss not going over the next six weeks and will really miss all of his friends. As it was the last week at nursery they had lots of different activities going on, a bouncy castle, a leaving party and they even had Marshall from Paw Patrol and Princess Poppy mascots visit the children. We got some photo's of Noah with them and they are hilarious.

My Mum came to visit us on Tuesday and after Noah finished nursery we all went into town for an hour or so which was lovely, it's always nice to see her as she lives a couple of towns away. Ava is getting better at settling at night now with the help of a bottle of expressed milk before bed which is great! We have a little bit more time in the evenings now to unwind. We bought her a Jumperoo this week which so far she absolutely loves but she hasn't learnt how to bounce just yet. 
She's becoming such a little character and has just started to giggle at things she finds funny which is usually Noah jumping up and down or being silly! 

The rest of the week has been a bit of a blur really. As I type this it's 2pm on Saturday and the sun is shining so we are getting ready to get the kids out in the fresh air.

What have you been up to this week?


Ava - 4 Months Old

Writing these posts month after month I always say that I can't believe how fast time is passing us by and how quickly she is growing and I'll say it again, what's going on?! Ava is now 4 months old and she's really coming into her own little character now and it's so lovely to watch her grow and learn as the weeks and months pass us by.

She is such a sweet natured little girl, she's so happy and is always smiling. She loves to be talked and sung to, kissed, cuddled and snuggled. She's already like my little best friend, she's such a sweetheart. She's starting to find her voice, has a whole array of different noises and is her happiest when she's in my arms. 

I haven't had her weighed for a while but I know she's gaining weight like a trooper, she's really thriving. She is wearing mainly 3-6 month clothes but some of it is small, other pieces have plenty of room so I think it depends on the fitting. I'm going to have to start buying 6-9 months in some clothing, already! I'm currently looking online at various websites for deals on sleep suits and the Jacamo promotion here looks great because I can keep her sizing up to date without spending more money that I need to. I can't believe how big she's getting, she's so long and has super chunky thighs and the sweetest little hamster cheeks. 

She's has a little cough and cold on and off lately, thanks to her brother bringing home all the germs from nursery. She's been fine in herself though and has just got on with it, although she's had a little bit of calpol here and there. She had her second lot of injections a few weeks ago and thankfully had to side effects from them.

We are still breastfeeding and everything is going really well, I'm so happy about our journey so far. I feed her on demand and she probably feeds about 10 times in 24 hours but I couldn't really put a number on it really as I don't keep track. The past week I've started to express milk here and there with my Medela Swing so then my partner can feed her in the evening too. So far it's been helping when it comes to settle her but I'll mention more about that below.

As mentioned above I recently started expressing my milk as I wanted to try something new at bedtime. Ava has only just started settling upstairs in the evening (before this she would only sleep when I went up to bed!) Now I take her up at 7pm, all dressed and ready for bed and I breastfeed her to sleep. I then sneak away and about 15 minutes later she will wake and my partner will take up a bottle of expressed milk and usually she will then go to sleep. This is the only way we can get her to settle without me there with her so for the moment we are going with it. She usually wakes twice in the night for a feed but I usually fall straight back to sleep with her. Naps are still hit and miss but we are making progress in that department too, I think! 

Milestones and new tricks
*She now laughs at funny things and not just when she's tickled. She's only recently started doing it so both Nick and I have to really try to make her laugh but Noah only has to jump up and down and she's in a fit of laughter.
*She can now reach and grab for things perfectly, without missing. She's a dab hand at bringing things to her mouth and can even put her dummy in herself.
*She's very vocal and has so many different noises and sounds that she can make. Her favourite at the moment is like a gurgling sound and one that sounds just like a telelphone ringing!
*She's not yet rolling over but when you put her on her belly for tummy time she's very strong and try's to push herself forward with her legs. It wouldn't surprise me if she learnt to crawl before she rolled but I hope she takes her time!
* She had her first bottle at last week and has just the one in the evening and it's my expressed milk, not formula. Some breastfeeding babies can be fussy when taking a bottle but Ava accepted the MAM bottle right away, the first type of bottle we tried!
* We bought her a jumperoo and she's learning how to bounce in it pretty quickly. 

Likes and dislikes
Ava loves to be held, cuddled and kissed. She's totally besotted with us all and thinks her brother is hilarious. She loves her bedtime feed when we snuggle up in bed together and I nurse her to sleep. She also likes books, songs, singing, slinky, sophie la girafe, musical toys, her bunny, muslin cloths, baby TV, Peppa Pig, trees, bath time, Mummy's bed, Daddy's beard, watching us eat. She doesn't like having her clothes changed, she hates it. She also doesn't like being in her car seat or in the car.

- This post contains a sponsored link.

The Hidden Meaning Of My Favourite Flowers

I absolutely adore flowers. There's something about them, perhaps the scent and sight of them which instantly makes me feel happier. I've been with my partner for almost ten years now and he's only recently started buying them for me, can you believe that? I'll let him off though because he's pretty much perfect in every other aspect, he's my best friend and the most amazing father to our two children (but if you are reading this Nick, keep the flowers coming!)

Flying Flowers recently invited me to write all about my favourite flowers and I was excited to take part because it's not a topic that I usually get the time to cover. So here you have it, my favourite flowers and their hidden meanings.

It's no surprise that roses represent love and adoration but you will be surprised to learn that it's not what every type of rose signifies. The colour of the rose depends on the meaning and the message you want to portray to the recipient; white roses for sorrow, yellow roses for happiness, peach roses for friendship and of course red roses for love. My personal favourites have got to be pink, peach and yellow roses as I'm such a big lover of pastel colours.

Cherry Blossoms
Now you don't get cherry blossoms in any sort of bouquet that I've ever come across but they are probably my favourite flower of all time. They signify the beauty and fragility of life and whenever I see a cherry blossom tree in bloom I can't help but feel at ease, they are beautiful. They only bloom for a short amount of time and they always remind me that life really is too short, you've got to make the most of it. I'd love to visit Japan one day mainly to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, I think the experience would literally take my breath away.

The first thing that springs to mind when I see a sunflower is happiness but they stand for a lot more than that. Did you know that sunflowers also represent loyalty and adoration? I didn't! There's something about sunflowers that make me smile and feel cheerful, they are so bright and colourful. I really want to grow my own with the children next year as they'll both be a little older and it would be a fun project for us to do as a family.


Last but not least we have the delicate little daisy. Daisies represent beauty and innocence and you can really see why. When I think of daisies I'm taken back to my childhood, sitting in the garden making daisy chains with my siblings and cousins. Daisy was also on our baby name list back when I was pregnant with Noah but of course with him being a boy we had to scrap that idea. It's no surprise that they've always been special to me.

What are your favourite flowers and do you know their hidden meaning?

- Wrote in collaboration with Flying Flowers.

Cornish Daisy Bibs - Review & Competition

I've been blogging for five years now and over the years I've worked with countless brands and companies, on reviews, competitions, collaborations and so on. A firm favourite of mine to work with has got to be Cornish Daisy.

Cornish Daisy is a home run business, founded by Kate, a busy and hardworking Mum of four. The brand was founded shortly after baby number three was born as Kate had been making clothes by hand for her new baby. So many people asked her about the clothes, where'd she'd bought them and how lovely they were that she decided to start making and selling to order and Cornish Daisy was born.

I was a huge fan of Cornish Daisy back when Noah was a baby as I found them to be the best dribble bib on the market. We had a couple of bibs and Noah had so much wear out of them, they were washed continuously throughout teething and weaning, through copious amounts of drool and food stains and three years on and I can still use them with Ava, they are as good as new! I think that says it all really!

Now that Ava is four months old and is drooling like a trooper I decided to buy a couple more bibs from Cornish Daisy but Kate said she'd send me a couple as a gift and asked if I'd like to set up a competition for her, I happily obliged!

We were sent three bibs; Sweet Pink Stripe, Pink Floral Liberty Print and Beaches and Cream. I love being able to choose the pink and floral prints now I have a girl but there's so many different designs and colours available.

These beautiful handmade dribble bibs are designed and sewn by Kate from Cornish Daisy. Their extra special design sees water resistant breathable fleece for the inner fabric and a highly absorbent soft cotton interlock on the outer to ensure little chins and clothes stay dry all day long.
The soft folds of fabric which sit under the chin give a cowl effect and produce the cutest of looks while still being of the utmost comfort when wearing. The bibs are secured round the neck with a safe resin fastener which has two poppers so as baby grows they can be adjusted. The Cornish Daisy Dribble Bib provides both functionality and comfort while also offering a unique and trendy look for any lucky little dribblers.

Cornish Daisy dribble bibs cost £5.99 each and are well worth the price as they are handmade to the highest of quality and really do stand the test of time. Bib's can also be personalised with vinyl letters with up to 10 characters for an extra £1.50 if you'd like something a little extra.

How would you like to win a set of three Cornish Daisy dribble bibs? I'm giving away a set here one the blog and also over on Facebook too! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

Set of 3 Cornish Daisy Dribble Bibs

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner of the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 13/08/17
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.