Halloween Basket [2017]

If your regular readers, you will know every year I put together a Halloween basket for Emily as a treat, seen as we don't usually go trick or treating, and this year was no exception, I just love to raid the shops for little gifts that I know she will enjoy, and then watch her face light up when I give her the basket. I also decorate her bookshelf with Halloween themed books to read before bed, which she loves - but more on that in another post.

Migraines & Parenting

Migraine headaches are tough to deal with anytime, I have always suffered with them, and normally I would just go to sleep or lay in a dark room in quiet and wait for it to fade. Now I am a parent that just isn't possible, so I thought I would put together a post full of tips on how I cope with migraines now I'm a parent to two noisy, stubborn, under 4-year-olds. As you can imagine, it's not an easy task dealing with them when your head is pounding. So here are my top tips.

Buggy Board [Review]

When I found out I was pregnant with Isabelle, one of the first things that I started to question was how would I manage to get out and about with two? I know many people do it, but how? Emily has always been a confident walker, and she stopped using her stroller when she was about 2years 6 months, so naturally, I knew that she wouldn't want to go backwards and it would have been a waste of money for us to get a double buggy.

Papa Johns Deep Crust Pizza [Review]

We were lucky enough to be asked if we would like to try out the new deep crust pizza from Papa Johns. I have to admit, I'm a massive pizza lover, so for me it was a no-brainer, I couldn't wait to try out the new base, as we are already fans of Papa Johns due to the fact it is the only takeaway local to us that does a thin crust cheese and tomato pizza.

Quit Smoking For Stoptober!

When I was younger, I remember my Grandad used to smoke. It was something I always hated. As a child, I used to hide his tobacco whenever he left it lying about in the hope that he would just not bother looking for it and not smoke anymore. Obviously, that never worked, as he would just tell me off and get me to return it, or buy more. I never gave up though, and eventually, he did actually quit - not because of me, just because he decided that it was too expensive, and a bad habit. I couldn't have been more proud of my Grandad in that moment. Even as an adult now, I haven't ever smoked a cigarette, it doesn't appeal to me, and I just think it is a really bad habit, one I would encourage anyone to quit.

Aden + Anais Swaddles & Sleepbag [Review]

I've mentioned on my blog before how much I love Aden + Anais. When they reached out and asked if I would like to review the Disney Bambi Swaddles and sleep bag, of course, I said I would love to. The print is absolutely beautiful, and the swaddles are my favourite product. They are so versatile and can be used for many things, such as swaddling, mopping up messes, to create shade, or even as a blanket. 

Giving My Kitchen A Little Refresh!

If you are a regular reader, you will know just how much I love to be in the kitchen baking and cooking with Emily. There is nothing that makes me happier, I truly believe that the heart of our home is the kitchen, and I strongly believe that it is important to teach our children to bake and create new recipes while they are young - it's important life skills that they won't get taught at school.

Isabelle's 3 Month Update

Our three-month-old baby girl! It is a strange feeling watching them get older, on one hand, I feel like she has always been here, on the other, it feels like she hasn't been here very long at all. Although she is the final little puzzle piece of our family, and I really couldn't imagine life without our little Belle-Bear now. I just wish it would slow down a little bit, especially as she is my final baby, I'm just not ok with how fast it is going.

Siblings [September 2017]

These are always my favourite posts to write, this month we went on holiday. Emily had the best time, and I think Isabelle did too, although she can't tell me like Emily can. Watching their relationship flourish while we were away was lovely. Emily dotes on Isabelle and loves to tell everyone that she is her sister.

Seeking Alternative Methods for Conception? Receive the Gift of a Lifetime

To say egg donors are generous is putting it mildly; they provide a selfless gift to couples who are longing to start - or complete their family. The donor egg IVF journey may come with a few challenges and a whirlwind of emotions, but educating yourself on your fertility options can help. Here, donor egg bank USA offers information for those exploring egg donation as a means of conception.

Gift Guide For A Three Year Old

Emily is three! I can't quite believe it, when you have children they say that time flys and they were not kidding. It has gone so fast. I found this year so much harder when picking a gift for Emily. She had asked for a few things, but they were only small things. I searched and searched for things that would make good gifts for Emily, and thought that I would share with you a few of the things I ended up getting for her.

Did You Know Each Flower Has Its Own Meaning?

I'm not really a flower person, and I never really have been. I grew up listening to my grandad tell me how flowers are a waste of money, as you pay for them and then watch them die. I never really second-guessed that statement really. Sure they are beautiful, and I love wildflowers, but I wasn't really interested in bouquets of flowers - that was until I met Sam's nan. I have never met a person who loves flowers more than her. She loves to be out in the garden planting and growing new things, she appreciates the things I barely noticed. Nothing makes her happier than receiving a bouquet of flowers for her birthday or mothers day.

Every Moment Counts

Growing up I didn't have the best relationship with my parents, for whatever reasons they may be. When I became a parent myself, I knew that I wanted my girls to know how much they meant to me, and to always have a good relationship with them, no matter how hard that may be. Since Emily has been born, we really have made every moment count. We have taken holidays, done lots of things together, things that I hope both the girls will look back on, and remember. Remember how much fun we had, the laughs we shared, and how much her dadda and I love them both, unconditionally.

Emily's 3rd Birthday [Ordinary Days]

It feels like yesterday that I gave birth to my gorgeous blue-eyed little monster, and now she is three, I can't believe how fast the time goes, and how much she has grown, changed and developed her own little personality in such a short space of time. Shes, not a baby anymore, she is a little kid, and I couldn't be more proud of her.

Milk Monster [Review & Giveaway]

We were recently given the opportunity to review a Milk Monster timer, which I honestly couldn't wait to test out. I'm always forgetting how long Isabelle's milk has been out for, and rather than risking it I end up throwing it away - which is such a waste if I'm honest. 

Summer Bucket List Recap

With the end of summer almost upon us, although it hasn't felt like summer for so long - I thought I would do a little recap of our summer bucket list as we have managed to tick off quite a few things. We didn't get them all done, because obviously I had a baby, eek. I wanted to share with you the few things that we had done, I had so much fun ticking things off, and it helped me stay more focused and rather than saying 'what shall we do this weekend' and then debating all day what we would do, we just picked something off the list, and went out to do it!

Mini Toad In The Hole #HealthyRedMeat

Finding healthy recipes that your children love isn't an easy task, it is almost as hard as getting your toddler to try a new food. I learned pretty fast that the only way to get Emily to eat vegetables was to hide them in her food - meaning we have lots of hidden veg in our casseroles or pies. What they don't know can't hurt them right?

The other thing I have found really helps is getting your child involved. Emily loves to cook and bake, whenever I head into the kitchen, it doesn't take her long to follow me and ask to help. I have also found that she is more likely to try new foods if she has helped to make it - bonus if you ask me.

Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker

We were recently given the opportunity to review the Fisher-Price Infant to Toddler Rocker, and I was really excited to see if Isabelle would like it. She has a bouncer at the moment, which she likes for about 10 minutes and then gets bored. It isn't very bright, and although it looks lovely, she just doesn't seem all that interested in it. The Infant to Toddler Rocker couldn't be more different from Isabelle's bouncer so I knew that she would love it!

Places We Would Love To Visit [Bucket List]

My girls haven't been abroad before, I want them to be old enough to appreciate and remember a holiday abroad, plus there are so many places in the UK to visit that we just haven't felt the need to venture abroad yet. I personally am not a fan of the warmer weather, I much prefer the cold but dry days - luckily for me, Sam is the same.

Emily's First Cinema Trip [Ordinary Days]

Emily's birthday was on Tuesday (12/09), and she was so excited - she couldn't wait for cake and the fact daddy is off work for a few days and I have heard about it every day. Emily's Grandad, Nanny and Bobby came to visit the weekend before, to spend time with Emily before her birthday due to the fact they live so far away Emily doesn't get to see them as often as any of us would like. Since they were down, we obviously wanted to do something special that Emily would remember. We were going to go bowling, but it is quite expensive and we have already taken Emily before so I wasn't too sure if she would enjoy it as much as last time.

Paradise Wildlife Park

We were kindly given the opportunity to review a day out at Paradise Wildlife Park, which is fairly local to us. It is a place that both Sam and I have wanted to take Emily for a while, due to the fact Sam has visited there many times when he was younger. Emily was so excited to be heading to the zoo, and the first thing she asked was if there were penguins - which she was delighted to find out there was!

Happy 3rd Birthday Emily!

Our, Em-bug.

How is it possible that another year has passed, it feels like yesterday I was sitting down to write you a letter on your birthday. I can't believe how much you have changed and grown in just a year. I know that you think you're a big girl now, and you don't need your mama and daddy anymore - but I can assure you, you do. I wish you would stop being so stubborn and let us help you a little more.

Tableware Wishlist

Emily turns three soon, and she is growing up in more ways than I like. One of the things that she has been asking for lately is her own plate. I have more IKEA plastic plates than I like to admit, plenty of character ones too but she doesn't like them. She asks for a big girl plate, like ours. I have been searching for a dinner set that will make her feel like she is a real big girl, and keep her happy.

Bumbo Changing Pad [Review]

We were recently asked by Bumbo if we would like to review the changing pad, of course, I said yes. We went through about 5-6 cheap foam changing pads with Emily, at the time I wasn't too worried as they are cheap, but these things soon add up and it ended up being costly. This time I wanted a changing pad that would last.

Saving Money On Birthday Shopping

Emily turns 3 next week, and I have been in full birthday preparation mode. I have been searching for bargains, buying presents, and birthday party supplies. The thing is, it can be really expensive and the cost of these things soon add up really fast, I have managed to save quite a bit of money by making some small changes and I thought that I would share those with you, hopefully, I will inspire you to get a bargain too!

Emily's Birthday Wishlist

Emily's birthday is fast approaching, and I can't quite believe that my baby girl is going to be three. This year she is so excited about her birthday, she has asked for particular things and knows that she is going to get a cake and balloon. She will tell anyone who listens that she is having a strawberry cake, with candles, as she is going to be three, and she is going to blow the candles out. I'm literally so excited for her this year, but sad that she is getting another year older at the same time. I thought that I would put together a little wishlist of things that Emily has asked for, or has talked about recently.

iSwaddle [Review]

When I found out I was pregnant with Isabelle, babywearing was one of the things I really wanted to try out. I had real trouble bonding with Emily when she was first born (due to a difficult labour and PND amongst other things) so I figured the closeness of babywearing would really help speed up bonding with Isabelle. I kindly got offered to review the iSwaddle, and of course said yes, as I not only loved the look of the product, but I also thought it was a really affordable price too.

Isabelle's 2 Month Update

Isabelle has just turned two months, and I have to say that things are finally starting to settle down, not just Isabelle's mood and routine, but Emily too. I feel like the first 6-ish weeks were the hardest, as Isabelle just cried constantly, Emily was not happy about it, she constantly wanted to give Isabelle cuddles but didn't like the fact she was crying so edged away from her a little bit.

Siblings [August 2017]

I love writing these posts every month, even though Isabelle has only been in Emily's life for two months, it's clear to see how much they love each other and how much of a strong bond they have. Now I'm not going to sugar coat it, adjusting to having two girlies have been hard, especially as the age gap is quite close in my opinion. Emily doesn't quite understand that she can't be all over Isabelle, when we tell her not to be so close, she thinks we are telling her off, or asking her not to be near her at all which isn't the case - it's just Emily likes to be right in her face, and when I say that I literally mean nose to nose. She is getting better though, especially as Isabelle is a hair grabber, usually it's my hair she goes for but she managed to get Emily's the other day, safe to say after that Emily wasn't interested in being so close to her anymore.

The Importance Of Car Tyre Safety & Matintenance

Car tyre safety has always been really important for us, after all, if your tyre is worn down, you are at a higher risk of having a blowout, or even crashing your car as they will not have a good grip on the road. Since having our children, we check or tyres even more than we did before, after all our main priority in life is our children's safety - especially when in the car. It took us ages to decide on a good, safe car seat for both the girls. I remember Sam and I searching and reading up for hours. We found good safe car seats that had the right safety regulations but that is all for nothing if the car isn't safe too.

Britax Affinity 2 & Carrycot [Review]

We were kindly given the opportunity to test out the Britax Affinity 2, suitable from birth (when used with the carrycot) the new and improved Britax Affinity 2 features a larger seating surface, single handed recline adjustment from the back of the seat, apron attachment improvement and a bigger carrycot with a larger apron allowing for children to travel in comfort at all times. We have been the proud owners of the Affinity 2 for about 6 weeks now, and I have to admit I love it.

Miffy's Adventures With Emily

I posted about some Miffy products we were kindly sent a little while back, and since then Emily has been a little obsessed with Miffy. She has been watching Miffy's Adventures on Tiny Pop most nights and has been playing the Miffy World game - which might I add she absolutely loves!

Sylvanian Families Starry Point Lighthouse [Review]

Emily is a big Sylvanian fan, she adores the little bunny rabbits and has a cosy cottage for them. She even picked out the family saloon car and a baby bunny for her birthday. I love watching her play with them, she makes up little stories and gives each little bunny a story and a background. It's the sweetest thing to watch. When I was asked if we would like to review the Starry Point Lighthouse and the new poodle family, I knew that I had to say yes, as Emily would adore them. 

Moccstars [Review]

Isabelle was recently sent some gorgeous traditional fringe moccasins from Moccstars. I couldn't wait to put them on her, I always wanted some for Emily but I never found any that I liked. When I saw these beautiful white moccasins (milk bottle) I knew that they were the right choice, and they go with pretty much any outfit.

Gulliver Adventures & Puddles [Ordinary Days]

I don't know if I was feeling brave, or just being damn stupid, but I thought it was a good idea to go on a day trip to Gulliver's world of adventures with Emily and Isabelle by myself. Well, I wasn't completely by myself, I knew other people that were going, and I knew if I needed help it would be there but anyone who knows me will know that I am such a stubborn person and that I never ask for help. Carla (one of my lovely friends) was going too with her two kiddies, and I knew that she wouldn't be able to go on many rides as she is expecting a little girl later this year. It was nice to know that there would be someone I trusted to watch Isabelle from the side of the ride, while I took Emily on them.

Isabelle & Her Milk Protein Allergy

Since Isabelle has been born, she has never been content or happy. At first, I thought it was just because she was unsettled but I started to notice whenever she had her milk she would get more upset. Then she got a cold, and really struggled with that, a week after the cold cleared up her mood still didn't improve, and her face was covered in a rash. It was red and blotchy, she was still crying whenever she had a feed and she was also having tummy problems. I knew something wasn't right but when I spoke to the health visitor she said maybe the rash was a reaction to our washing powder, but we hadn't changed it, and always use non-bio. I knew it wasn't that, we also ruled out any aftershaves or perfumes that Sam and I wear. We stopped using bath stuff to but it still didn't clear up.

Hamerton Zoo Park [Giveaway]

We were very kindly invited to visit Hamerton Zoo Park a couple of weeks back and Emily couldn't wait to see the Zebra. It's rare that we get to go out as a family, as Sam works lots of long hours. So when we do, we try to make the most out of our day. I was a little worried about the weather as I didn't want to be caught in the rain, luckily for us it did stay dry but when we arrived we soon noticed that most of the park is under covered walkways, meaning no matter the weather you are set for a good visit and will be able to see most of the animals.

The Journey Through Egg Donation

When we started trying for a baby, I was young and nieve, I thought that it would be a straight forward thing and we could conceive quickly. However, we ended up having four miscarriages before being lucky enough to conceive our two rainbow babies. Having our miscarriages led me to start my blog, which then opened the door to other blogs, particularly parenting blogs. I learned so much about miscarriage, and baby loss through reading other blogs - I realised I wasn't alone. I also learnt lots about IVF and other treatments. The one thing I haven't really learnt much about was egg donation which is something that has always interested me. 

Fair Rides & Toddler Tantrums [Ordinary Days]

On Sunday we planned to take Emily to the mini fair that was visiting near our house. Emily has never been to a fair before, so it was kind of a big deal to her, like any two years old would be she was full of beans and so excited to go and visit. Normally I'm not a fan of fairs, they are usually over priced and crowded - but this wasn't the case with this one because it was the school holidays they had a really good deal on. We paid £6.99 for Emily, and she could go on as many rides as she liked between the times of 12-3. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me, and when we got there I was really impressed because there weren't any big scary rides, all of the rides were age appropriate and out of them all, I think there was only one she couldn't go on, which was pretty good going.

Joie I-Gemm [Review]

When I was pregnant with Isabelle, Joie reached out to see if I would like to review the I-Gemm car seat, of course, I said yes. Fast forward to now, Isabelle is a month old and we have been using the car seat since she was born. I have to say I'm a little bit in love with it. Especially the pavement grey colour.

Picnic, Ice cream & Feeding The Ducks

Emily has been asking us to go on a picnic for about 3-4 months, it would be raining outside and she would still ask for a picnic. I felt really bad for her saying no all of the time, but the weather just wasn't right for it. When we finally did get better weather, of course, I said we could go on one, so we packed up this gorgeous wicker basket from flying tiger, and headed out for our picnic. I was really impressed by just how much I could fit into the basket - I have wanted a picnic basket for ages, and this one is perfect for us, as Emily is able to carry it.

Isabelle's 1 Month Update

How is it possible that our little girl is already 4 weeks old, that is one whole month. It feels like we have had her in our life forever, but at the same time, I'm still learning what she likes and dislikes. In one short month, she has made best friends with her sister, although Emily already classed her as her best friend when she was in my tummy. You can read more about their relationship in my sibling post.

Big Sister, Little Sister Teddy Bears From GiftPup [Review]

I was given the opportunity to review a white Millie teddy bear from GiftPup for my girls, and I couldn't wait to see how they turned out. As you may know, I put together a big sister bag for Emily to give to her from Isabelle. I wanted something that would make the adjustment of becoming a big sister easier and that is exactly what these gorgeous teddy bears did.

Siblings [July 2017]

Watching Emily and Isabelle bond has been the most heart warming thing, from the moment Emily saw Isabelle she has been besotted. There hasn't ever been any doubt in my mind as to how much Emily would love her sister, but seeing it, and the way they have bonded has really brought it home for me. I was, of course, worried about jealousy - like any parent would be. Luckily there hasn't really been any. Emily has taken it in her stride.

Lottie Dolls [Review + Giveaway]

Raising girls is no easy task, there is so much media pressure on girls, from a young age to look a certain way. I want to raise my girls to feel happy and content in their own skins, to be confident in the body that they have. Children learn a lot through play, and having the right kind of toys, to promote positive play is important. That is where Lottie Dolls comes in. They have a vision and it is to empower children to be themselves! They aim to encourage children to embrace and accept individuality, enjoy their childhood to the fullest and embark on a fun and meaningful adventures.

Bibetta Star Changing Mat [Review]

When the opportunity to try the Bibetta star changing mat arised, I jumped at the chance. I have a padded changing mat at home, but needed one for when we are out and about - so this seemed like the perfect changing mat to do just that. I also like that you can store a couple of nappies and a small pack of wipes in the little pocket.

Sleepyhead Deluxe [Review]

When I was pregnant with Isabelle, there were lots of different products that caught my attention, products that I wish I had when Emily was a baby - one of those being the Sleepyhead Deluxe. When Emily was a baby she really suffered from silent reflux, and due to that she always wanted to be held or be in our bed with us. I was determined that this time around that wouldn't be the case, and I wouldn't let Isabelle creep into our bed with us, or hold her all the time, after all, I would have both the girls by myself when Sam went back to work - so I needed to be able to put Isabelle down while I played with Emily. As I didn't want Emily to feel pushed out. So, I knew that a bedside crib was what I wanted with the Sleepyhead inside.

Giving A More Meaningful Gift

Gift giving is something that everyone I know does, no matter what the occasion - Birthday, Christmas, or even a new baby. While it is lovely to receive a gift, sometimes I think that the money could be used somewhere else in the world. There are a lot of countries and people who need it more, and I think as a parent it is so important to teach Emily to give back. Last year for her birthday, we let her adopt an animal. She is a massive animal lover, and it is something that she was really interested in. She loves the fact she got a little pack telling her all about her animal, and I like knowing that one day when she is bigger we will be able to tell her the importance of giving back, and the difference she made by adopting that animal.

Vionic Footwear [Review]

When you're pregnant and carrying lots of extra weight, the most important thing is having something comfortable on your feet. During both my pregnancies with Emily and Isabelle, I had such swollen feet all the time, and no matter how much time I spent keeping my feet elevated they wouldn't go down. As you can imagine chasing a toddler around all day on swollen feet was no fun.

Adjusting To Two

I had all these visions of how life with two children would be, the way we would adjust and what we would do as a family. I really wanted to venture out while Sam was on paternity leave, and do something as a family of four. After days, weeks and months of being stuck indoors unable to go out due to the horrible sickness I was suffering with during pregnancy- It's safe to say that I'm sick of the sight of our four walls. The truth is none of that has happened.

Money Saving Tips With A New Baby

Babies are expensive, more expensive than most realise at first. So I have put together a few money saving tips in case you are worried about money - because let's be honest the last thing you want to be worried about is money during the first few months of your newborn's life, you want to be enjoying that squidgy little newborn.

© Raising Emily

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