My Sunday Photo - 52/52

Project 365 - Week 52/52

24th December 2017

25th December 2017

26th December 2017

27th December 2017

28th December 2017

29th December 2017

30th December 2017

31st December 2017

Well, that's it! The very last week of 2017 and what a year it's been! I'll be writing an run down of our year on an upcoming post, so stay tuned if you'd like to read about it. This week has of course been jam packed full of Christmas festivities, we've been so busy! We've had a Christmas Eve party with family, Christmas Day madness at our house where we cooked Christmas dinner, then visited more family, another party but this time on Boxing Day, Noah had a birthday party to go to, a soft play play date, then we've had a few trips out and of course New Years Eve. It's been a wonderful week and the most perfect first Christmas as a family of four, Ava's first Christmas.

What have you been up to this week?

Mummy & Me - December

As we near the end of 2017 I feel quite emotional writing my last Mummy & Me post. This time last year I was pregnant with Ava and one of the photo's I used was a picture of me holding Noah, with both of our hands on my bump. Fast forward 12 months and my baby bump is now a nine month old Ava bean and it's honestly been the fastest year of my life. I feel like I've blinked and a whole 365 days have just flown on by. She's well and truly completed our family and I can't remember what life was like before she arrived.

I had half a dozen different photo's to chose from this month, from days out or quick shots whilst we've been at home but I had to go for these three festive pictures. My favourite has got to be the one of Ava giving me a big Christmas kiss whilst we waited to visit Father Christmas. She looked so cute in one of her Christmas dresses, matching headband and fluffy white coat and it was such a lovely afternoon. The other two photo's are a little grainy with them being a front camera selfie but I love them none the less. We were all sat under the tree on Christmas Eve, so excited for the morning ahead! Christmas is always magical when you have a child but having two, it just made it even more memorable. Our first Christmas as a family of four and we've all had the most amazing time!

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Merry Christmas 2017

Just a quick post to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2018! This year is going to be super special for us being Ava's very first Christmas, our first as a family of four. I hope you have a wonderful time and make lots of lovely new festive memories! 

I'll also take this opportunity to share some of the images from the Christmas themed photo shoot Ava won a couple of months ago (you may recognise a couple from the banner on my blog!) They are way too cute to not publish and I absolutely treasure each shot. I just wish I'd dressed Noah out of his nursery clothes as a precaution as I didn't know he'd be invited to take a few photo's too!

Project 365 - Week 51/52

17th December 2017

18th December 2017

19th December 2017

20th December 2017

21st December 2017

22nd December 2017

23rd December 2017

This week has been a mad dash of last minute Christmas prep (shopping, wrapping, planning) and front room decorating bedlam. Why we decided to start work on our front room four weeks before Christmas is beyond me, but everything is getting there slowly but surely. Most pictures this week are of Ava looking cute because we've been so busy and when Noah's been home from nursery he's either been having play dates or preoccupied with something else. This week at nursery everything has of course been Christmas themed, he had a Christmas party, Father Christmas came to visit, they've been sledging, doing festive arts and crafts, they even walked down to a local to school to see some reindeer's. It's such a fantastic nursery, I couldn't have asked for anything better for him!

What have you been up to this week? 

Ava - 9 Months Old

Well this year has no intention of slowing down, Ava is now nine months old! 9 months in, 9 months out and I can't quite seem to get my head around where the times gone! I can't remember what life was like before she arrived, she's totally completed our family. She's an absolute joy to be around, she just has this aura about her and even makes total strangers smile from ear to ear.

As mentioned on previous updates she's an absolute joy and is such a happy baby. She is rarely grouchy or whiny and is always cheerful, with a big cheesy smile on her face. She's super affectionate and loves nothing more than to give copious amounts of kisses and cuddles, it's just the sweetest thing. She gives us a big sloppy kiss or a clumsy cuddle when we ask for them but she also gives them freely and without a prompt too. She already has us all wrapped around her finger, at just nine months old! She is very inquisitive and always seems to be learning something new. As well as being quite laid back, happy and affectionate she can have her moments where she will have a little strop, usually when you take something off her that she shouldn't have. She's also a proper Mummy's girl, sometimes all she'll want is me but then again the moment Nick walks through the door she's literally leaping out of my arms with excitement.


recently weighed Ava on our bathroom scales and although they can be quite unreliable it said that she now weighs 1 stone 3 which is 17 lb. This means that she's following her centile line to a tee, she's right where she should be. She's quite tall but she is quite stocky too, she's so heavy to carry! She is now wearing mainly 9-12 month clothing but some are still way too big, which is quite frustrating. Why do baby clothes vary so much in size?

Nothing to report on the health front as she's been fine, perhaps a few sniffles here and there. She cut her first tooth last month on her brothers fourth birthday and since she's cut another four more! This means she now has 5 teeth which is strange to me because Noah didn't get his first until a week before his first birthday! They've not bothered her at all, she's been a great teether so far.


We are still breastfeeding and have no intention of stopping anytime soon, everything has been brilliant on that front. She gets so excited when I ask her if she'd like some milk and if I ask her where her milk is she will lift up my top and laugh. She feeds around 6-8 times in 24 hours but it can vary from day to day. Her longest feeds are of course first thing in the morning and her bedtime feed. Not only does she love milk but she adores her food too! She is another Noah  when it comes to her appetite and I've not found anything that she doesn't like. She mainly eats what we eat now and has very little baby food. She has the occasional pouch or jar here and there but she's really easy to please and does prefer to eat what we are having. She has three meals a day and a couple of snacks during the day. Her favourite foods are; pasta, cheese, tomatoes, toast, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, brioche, cake, pear, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, yogurt.

We are still waiting for a full night sleep but she's getting there! She's managed 6 and 7 hours without waking so far and every week she seems to be getting better and better. Nap time is okay but it really depends. Sometimes she will want to nap earlier and usually when she does she will only sleep for about half an hour. With this in mind I try to keep her awake and encourage her to wait a while longer and usually she will then nap for an hour or so. We set up her cot last week and although she is still in our room she is sleeping so much better! I think because she's not in our bed or in the co sleeper next to us, we aren't disturbing her as much. Who knows, next month she may be sleeping through!?

Milestones and new tricks

* Ta and Aww has now joined Ava's vocab of Mama, Dada, Hiya and Baba!
* We now have a fully fledged crawler on our hands, no more bum shuffling. She is so fast too!
* Not only that but she can now pull herself up and stand against chairs and tables. She can't be left for a moment as she is also starting to cruise with furniture.
* She now has five teeth with her sixth on the way.
* We said goodbye to the co sleeper and now she mainly sleeps in her cot and sleeps so much better, though she still ends up in my arms at some point during the night.
* She dances when she hears music but she has been doing this for some time now.

Likes and dislikes

Mummy, Daddy, Noah. Her family. The cat. Guitars, especially when Daddy plays his. Food and milk, eating in general. Little Baby Bum videos and songs. Singing and dancing. Reading and books. Playing with Noah and his toys. Crawling and getting up to mischief. Pulling herself up and trying to cruise. Building blocks and balls. Soft toys and giving them a cuddle. Peppa Pig. Cuddles in bed. Being held. Nursery rhymes. Remote controls, wires, mobile phones. Bath time. Sleeping in her cot. She's not a fan of men with big beards, the changing mat or being in the car.

aden + anais Dream Blanket - Competition

For the past couple of weeks I've been uploading my annual Christmas gift guides and they've been so popular this year, more than ever before. My final gift guide of the year was put together for the little ones in our lives, the babies. In my baby gift guide I included a lot of practical and useful items because for me as a parent with a baby, those kind of gifts are appreciated more that ten dozen different toys. One of my favourite items that I included this year has got to be the aden + anais Dream Blanket, read below to find out why.

Here's a little background about aden + anais, one of the many reasons why they are one of my favourite baby brands. Once upon a time, a new mum found herself searching high and low for the muslin swaddle blankets that her mother, grandmother and generations of Australian women before them had used to comfort their own babies. When she couldn’t find them anywhere in her adopted home of the USA, she made them herself, and aden + anais was born. aden + anais believe that soft, breathable muslin is the only fabric you should use on your babies.
Perfect for those born to sparkle, their 100% cotton muslin dream blanket gets a metallic makeover with new prints that are as soft as they are shimmery. Made with four layers of breathable muslin, aden + anais dream blanket’s uses go beyond cuddling, as it also makes a snuggly surface to lay your little one on no matter where the day takes you. They are machine washable, but the precious fabric requires specific care instructions, so be sure to follow them carefully.

I hope my gift guides have given you a little inspiration when it comes to your gift giving this year and to fit nicely with my baby gift guide I've teamed up with aden + anais to give away one of their Dream Blankets worth £58.00 to one lucky winner! To enter simply use the Gleam for below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

aden + anais Metallic Silver Deco Dandelion Dream Blanket worth £58.00

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 14/01/18.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

Project 365 - Week 50/52

10th December 2017

11th December 2017

12th December 2017

13th December 2017

14th December 2017

15th December 2017

16th December 2017

As we near the end of the year, the weeks don't seem to be slowing down. I can't believe that Christmas is just over one week away, I'm so excited but not prepared at all! We've had a pretty ordinary week really, nothing really exciting! Just our regular daily routines of slimming world, nursery, shopping, family visits, etc etc! Noah had lots of Christmas themed activities at nursery this week, as well as Forest School. He's loving it so much lately, there's no more tears at drop off which is such a relief. Ava is coming on leaps and bounds at the moment, I just have to blink and it seems like she's learned something new. I can't keep up her! She loves to pull herself up now, up against the sofa or a table. She also crawls very very fast!

What have you been up to this week? 

5 Simple Ways To Make A Modern Home Feel More Traditional

If you are among the many people enamored with TV period dramas like Bridgerton and Sanditon, the quality of the residential decor on screen could have particularly caught your eye. Unfortunately, though, the prospect of buying an actual period home could be one your bank balance just can’t contemplate. It’s reassuring, then, that there are various simple things you could do to give your home’s interior design an endearingly traditional touch – even if the building’s outer shell was assembled relatively recently.

Paint the walls in warm, medium colours

In an article for the Financial Times, the New York-based designer Thomas Jayne refers to his keenly-held belief that “we practise traditional design not because we lack imagination but because historic designs are tested and true.” He implies that, for a home’s walls currently decked in pure white, he would opt instead for “warmer, medium colours, which are characteristic of historic spaces.” If you want to avoid colour altogether, “a modestly darker neutral” than pure white could serve you well, according to Jayne.

Give each room a sense of symmetry

One article by The Spruce comments on a photo of a particular living room where a Chesterfield sofa acts as a centrepiece and sets the room’s overall tone. Also pictured are matching sets of end tables, table lamps and accent chairs – with the resulting symmetrical arrangement imbuing the space with an elegant and effortless feel. Then there’s the large painting which, hung on the wall emerging from behind the sofa, displays various colours also incorporated elsewhere in the room.

Place a few old rugs around the house

You might already have a fair few rugs like this, even if they are currently just stacked in your attic. If you actually don’t, you probably won’t struggle to source some, such as on eBay or at charity shops. As a general rule, the older a rug is, the stronger the sense of tradition it could bring to your home when placed in full view throughout several of its rooms.

Install some heritage-style lighting fixtures

Jayne explains: “Bringing in textural pendants or chandeliers gives rooms a sense of cosiness and enclosure.” Hence, you could – for example – invest in some vintage-inspired chandeliers to help give your interior decor that Downton Abbey look while allowing for effective mood lighting. You could further contribute to this lighting by adding some old-style table and floor lamps, while Jayne notes: “I would also put picture lighting above select artwork to highlight the pieces.”

Going for a ‘70s style? Then bring in some rattan furniture

Though the weaving technique used to create rattan furniture can be traced back to ancient times, rattan furniture did not become widely popular until the 1960s and 1970s. When used in furniture, rattan and wicker “are the perfect materials to bring a little texture, depth, and fun into the crispness that has permeated new homes and construction for the past few years,” Los Angeles interior designer Stefani Stein says in words quoted on the Better Homes & Gardens website.

Baby Dove Rich Moisture Range - Review

All parents know how delicate and fragile babies skin can be, it's thinner than ours which means it loses moisture easily and can become quite dry if you aren't careful. From the moment they are born, it really pays to be conscious of how you take care of their skin; they need the most gentle cleansing to make sure their skin remains healthy and protected.

Dove has been a leading retailer in skin care for the past 60 years and they recently developed a brand new range, aimed at children with normal to dry skin. Introducing, Baby Dove! Included in this range is everything you need to take total care of your baby’s skin. The products are; Baby Dove Rich Moisture and Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture (fragrance-free) Head to Toe Baby Wash, Baby Bar, Shampoo, Lotion, Nappy Cream and Wipes. The entire Baby Dove range is dermatologist tested, paediatrically approved, and plus the Head To Toe Baby Wash is also pH neutral and clinically proven to be as mild as water. This range isn't just mild on delicate skin but it also helps to replenish essential moisture and nutrients too.

We were recently invited to try out our pick of two products for the new range, whichever would be the most suitable for Ava. I opted for the Baby Dove Head to Toe Wash and the Lotion. I thought they would both be great to try out for the first time during our bath, book and bedtime routine.

I always check the labels on the products that I use on my children's skin and when it comes to using them I only use the smallest amount of product, as it's all their skin needs. I also found that bathing them every other night, rather than every night helps prevent their skin from drying out and lets the natural oils get back into their hair and skin. Baby Dove is however gentle enough to be used daily, even on newborn skin.

We were very happy with the two products we received and would definitely buy them again as they provide exactly what's promised - total care of my little ones skin. I also adore the gentle scent of the products which is described as a "hugs and kisses" fragrance however if you prefer your products fragrance-free I'd recommend the Sensitive Moisture range rather than Rich Moisture products.

Prices for the Baby Dove range start at RRP £1.25 and it can be purchased online and in store at most leading retailers. Head over to the Baby Dove website for the full information and more details.

- In sponsorship with Baby Dove.