Paddling Pool Splashing

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year, naturally, I had to get out the paddling pool for the girls. Isabelle hasn't actually ever seen the sun or warm weather like this, even though she is a summer baby - it really did feel like we had the LONGEST winter known to man. Emily couldn't wait to get outside to play, I had actually cleaned out the sand and water table the week before in preparation for her being able to play out there. So it took me a matter of minutes to fill it all up.

Picnic In The Park

Sam and I tend to get a little bit of cabin fever, especially when the weather is nice. The girls love being outdoors, Emily especially and we don't have a garden, so when the warmer weather does come - we find ourselves going out more, or getting really frustrated that we don't have a garden or both. Sunday was the first day in a long time that we have had really nice weather, doesn't it feel like we have had the longest winter known to man? My poor summer baby doesn't know what the sun is.

Isabelle's 9 Month Update

Nine months old, just three short months until your first birthday, how have we got there so fast. When I was pregnant with Emily everyone said to make the most of the days where they are young, soak them up as they go by so fast. I sort of shrugged that off and thought how can days possibly go faster, but it's true they did - yet this time around, it seems to have gone even faster. I'm not sure if that is because I have two babies to take care of now, or what it is, but I seemed to have blinked and my diddy little girl is suddenly so big, and boisterous.

Mama, How Did The Baby Get In Your Tummy?

What do you do when your three-year old starts to ask where babies come from? I have to be honest, I knew this question would creep up eventually, but not this young. I guess since Isabelle was born, she has been fascinated with everything to do with babies, doctors, and midwives. She often tells us that she wants to be a doctor. Her exact words the other day were 'I want to be a doctor, in a hospital and do blood pressure like when you had a tummy bump. 

Emily At 3.5 Years

Emily has changed so much since I last posted an update about her, she is beyond clever and has such strong opinions on everything. She's feisty, determained, and won't be swayed once she has made her mind up on something. She is also really kind and loving, especially to her sister, and has a great deal of empathy. I couldn't be more proud of the person she has become if I tried but the day she turned three, she developed this fierce independence, to the point that she won't let anyone help her do anything, even if she is really struggling, she doesn't care - she won't accept help. It's frustrating for me as I want nothing more than to help her, but at the same time, I don't want to force her to accept help that she doesn't want and I really try to let her figure her own stuff out.

Easter Weaning Recipes [With Tommee Tippee]

As you may know, if you have read my weaning updates, we are not having the easiest time when it comes to weaning Isabelle, there are lots of things that we are having to avoid due to slight allergic reactions, and then there is the fact we have to completely avoid dairy. She also is pretty fussy and hates different textures so we have lots of hurdles to try and overcome. That doesn't mean that I'm giving in though, or that weaning can't be fun. I have recently found that the more interesting something looks, the more likely Isabelle is to try it. We have also moved away from puree's because I feel like it isn't helping her, and she won't try new foods as she gets really lazy.

Emily's First Bicycle [Ordinary Days]

On Tuesday we ventured over to Toys R Us, we were actually looking for this shaky hammer thing that Emily brought just before Christmas that Isabelle has fallen in love with - it's just one of those £1 party bag fillers, but we cannot for love nor money find another to replace the one Emily has. Sadly Toys R Us didn't have any left, with their closing down sale I kind of expected them not to have any left, but somehow Sam and I ended up buying Emily her very first bike.

Contraception And Period Rage

Contraception isn't something that many people speak of, but it's something that is part of most peoples everyday life. I take a contraceptive pill every day to prevent pregnancy because I know that I'm never having another baby. I couldn't go through another loss, or pregnancy again. The relentless sickness, and not being able to do anything was just way too much for me and quite honestly, never having to do it again sounds perfect. I'm also really content with just having two babies, lots of people ask if I want a little boy, but in all honesty, I'm happy with my little team of girls, I was never all that fussed about gender, as long as they were happy and healthy that is all that mattered to me.

CMPA Weaning Diaries [4]

I mentioned in my last weaning update that I was feeling a little frustrated with a combination of people when it came to weaning Isabelle, the GP, the Dietician and the health visitor. People who are supposed to be there for you, hold you up, give you advice and help you along the way. Something that I strongly feel they are not doing for us lately. If you read my last update you will know that Isabelle's prescription was reduced - pretty much cut in half, without warning or explanation. I wasn't even notified that it was going to happen. I ordered the prescription as normal and when I went to collect it, I noticed it wasn't right. I queried it the chemist, thinking maybe he made a mistake but nope, he was right.

Siblings [March 2018]

Oh, March, what a funny old month you have been. I'm so used to having lovely weather in March, with the start of spring and being able to watch all of the daffodils bloom - but our spring started off with snow. I can't quite believe it to be honest. I don't think I've ever started spring this way. Emily and Isabelle absolutely loved the snow, Emily is still convinced that it is Elsa who makes it snow, and Isabelle was just mesmerised by watching it fall, naturally, they went outside to build a snowman and play with their sleigh. 

Easter Nests Two Ways

Every year Emily and I make Easter nests, we have used rice Krispies, cornflakes and even shredded wheat. It's kind of become our little tradition, something that I plan to do with her always and with Isabelle to one day. I know that Isabelle will love it just as much as Emily does. We decided to melt down some of the Easter eggs the girls received and turn them into Chocolate nests - as they both got a fair few chocolate eggs. 

Easter Basker [2018]

Every year I put together an Easter basket for Emily - this will be Isabelle's first year. You can see the previous years here 2015, 2016, 2017. This year was a little harder, as I had to find things that were suitable for both Emily and Isabelle, I also had to find treats for both of them - as Isabelle is dairy free. It actually isn't as hard as most people think to find dairy free chocolate. I thought that I would share with you what I have put in the girl's basket this year, in case you are looking for some inspiration.

Plans To Update Our Bathroom

For a while, I've been thinking, speaking and attempting to move house. For one reason or another, it's fallen through or just not gone the way we wanted it to. For the longest time, I've been sick of our decor in our home, our bathroom especially - we are quite lucky as we have lots of space, but it's poorly used, and we just don't have very much room in there for what we need. So rather than putting all my energy into moving, which isn't likely to happen until the girls are quite a bit older - we have decided to give our home a little redo. I know I will feel so much better about it by making a few changes.

Easter Bonnet Making [Ordinary Days]

On Tuesday we went to group like normal, and after, rather than walking home we popped into town. Emily has an Easter party on Saturday with an Easter bonnet competition. We absolutely love doing crafts, so naturally, we wanted to make our own Easter bonnet at home to take with us on Saturday. When I mentioned it to Emily she was so excited about making her own one, even more, excited about going to town to find the craft bits for her hat with her little friend Carrie.

Falling In Love With Photography Again

Lately, I have been reaching for my camera more, rather than capturing a glimpse on my phone. I don't know if it's an anxiety thing because I always tend to lean more heavily on my creative outlets when I feel anxious - be that blogging, drawing, or photography, but the change is something I've actually really been enjoying. I am capturing more moments of my girls, and that is something that I have always wanted to achieve.

Wonderful Easter Treats For 2018!

Easter is almost here, and it is one of our favourite holidays. Some families celebrate with a huge  Easter dinner, while others spend the morning in their place of worship. But, almost everyone who has children celebrates with candy, egg hunts and other fun activities.

Trip Planning & Camper Van Daydreaming

Travelling is something that we have always loved to do as a family, something Sam and I used to talk about way before we had children. We always go on our UK holiday to the same place every year, on my birthday week and it is a tradition that we will always keep to, but we really love the idea of getting a camper one day, and just driving around exploring the UK and what it has to offer. Of course we would one day love to travel all over, and explore other countries, but for now, I'd really like to see all of what the UK has to offer us first.

Malteaser Cheesecake

Emily and I have been in the kitchen baking again, this time we baked a delicious Malteaser cheesecake, and it went down a huge hit with everyone who tried it - Emily especially. She isn't usually a fan of cheesecakes, so I was a little surprised when she asked for a slice, but she ate the whole thing, and declared it was 'the best chocolate cake ever'. I mean if that doesn't make you want to make it, what will?

CMPA Weaning Diaries [3]

This week has been a little bit of a mixed bag of emotions, as I'm sure you know if you read my blog, Isabelle has CMPA (cows milk protein allergy). We recently saw a dietician, who said that she could either change her formula - the one she is currently on is recommended for 0-6 months but can be used for longer if they wish. The other option is for her to stay on the one she is on, of course, I don't want to disrupt her, if you have a baby with CMPA you will know that the formula smells disgusting, and it actually took a long while for her to adjust to the one she is on now.

Soft Play & Friends [Ordinary Days]

On Tuesday we normally go to a playgroup, this week we went to the soft play which was actually somewhere different for us. I have to admit I'm a little bit of a bad mum when it comes to taking Emily to soft play, I can count on one hand the number of times I have taken Emily to soft play, there is no particular reason why I don't take her other than the fact the one closes to us is just a little bit grubby, so I'd rather take her somewhere else, but there isn't anywhere else close.

Sylvanian Families Ballet Theatre [Review]

Emily was very kindly gifted the Sylvanian Families Ballet Theatre recently, and it has quickly become her new favourite thing. I guess that is a mix of the fact she is obsessed with anything to do with ballet lately - and also the fact she has such a big growing collection of Sylvanian toys, that she loves adding to her collection and gets so excited when she gets something new.

Mothers Day [Ordinary Days]

Mothers day is a bit of a mixed bag of emotions for me. While I'm so thankful for my two lovely little perfect rainbows, I'm also left with a pang of guilt for our babies that are not here with us. Also, the disappointment that my relationship with my mother isn't the way it should be - but that's a whole other topic of conversation.

Planning A Family Trip & Making Sure Our Car Is Safe.

We have a planned holiday in the next couple of months, just a UK holiday - but I'm so excited to go and explore somewhere new, to get away just for a week and spend some time together as a family of four, without all the stresses of home family life. I'm also a little bit excited and nervous about the road trip. It's going to take us a good few hours to get to our destination, and Emily has recently found a love for Eye-Spy. Although she doesn't play it the normal way, instead of using a letter, she uses a colour. I'm sure that we are going to be sick of guessing every colour car on the way within the first fifteen minutes - but that's what you do on a road trip, isn't it.

Custard Creams Cupcakes

Emily and I have been in the kitchen baking again (I honestly can't wait till Isabelle is old enough to bake with us too). This time we rustled up some cupcakes based on her favourite biscuits. Custard Creams. I have to admit, I wasn't sure if this was going to work, and did doubt myself a little. I also ended up making them about three times just to get the quantities of ingredients right, but I'm happy to say we finally got it balanced and they tasted amazing. 

March Goals

Back at the beginning of the year, I set myself some goals to see out this year, a couple of them I have stuck to, a couple I haven't actually done at all, and a few I have tried and failed. This year seems to be absolutely flying by - I mean how is it March already? With that in mind, I thought it was about time that I refocused my goals, and tried to make more of an effort to actually stick to the ones I set as goals in the first place. A few in particular. With that in mind, I thought that I would share my goals with you, because writing them down and documenting them, is something that will prompt me to actually stick with them.

Isabelle's 8 Month Update

Oh how things have changed in our household this past month. Isabelle is now on the floor lots more than she was before, and she just seems to be into absolutely everything. This means that Emily can no longer leave all of her little toys laying around, and I cannot leave them alone in the room on there own together for fear of Isabelle somehow getting hold of one of Emily's smaller toys.

Spring Wish List

I love the fact that we soon will have warmish weather - I say warmish because this is the UK and the weather is so unpredictable at the best of times. With that in mind, I have been looking and lusting over lots of new beautiful clothes for my girlies. Luckily they both need to move up a size, which means I will be buying a whole new wardrobe for them both. I actually find it pretty hard to not just dress them in the same things, because Isabelle hasn't yet got her own taste in clothing, so I tend to just buy her similar sort of things to what I would buy for Emily. I'm also a big big fan of floral, so there are lots of floral pieces in here.

World Book Day 2018

March 1st was world book day, Emily hasn't ever celebrated world book day before, I guess that's because she isn't yet at school and doesn't go to nursery. We are big book fans in our house though, I have always loved reading and it was something that I really wanted to instal in Emily, I wanted her to enjoy reading, and I have always read her stories, with the hope that she will fall in love with books, and it will be something that stays with her. So far I have found that is working, she absolutely adores her books. I often find her sitting in a corner with a book, or laying on her bed reading to her bunny.

Snow Days [Ordinary Days]

The past couple of days we have been making the most of the snow, I know personally I have never seen it snow this much before, maybe when I was younger but I can't say that I remember. As soon as it started to snow, Emily was full of excitement, ran to the window, bouncing up and down shouting 'mama it's snowing, really snowing, I wanna make a snowman, pleeeeeeease'. 

Easter Rocky Road

With Easter fast approaching Emily and I have been baking some yummy Easter-themed treats. I have to be completely honest here and say I haven't actually tried rocky road before - I know I must have been living under a rock somewhere. It appealed to me because it was a case of just throwing everything in, its stress-free, fairly mess-free, and really quick to make. Emily and I rustled this up in about 15 minutes alongside me making a roast dinner.

Siblings [February 2018]

Oh February, I'm sad to be seeing you go. I've had such a lovely month with the girls, I didn't think it would be possible for their love for each other to grow anymore but it just seems to be growing more and more. Isabelle is trying her hardest to crawl, and it is more of a bum shuffle than crawl, but she has almost perfected it, which means she is on the floor with Emily lots more, and wanting to play with all the things she shouldn't be touching. I've had to start moving Emily's smaller toys up high, and I have also been trying to make Emily more aware that she needs to be more careful with her toys.

A Quiet Family Weekend [Ordinary Days]

The past couple of weeks haven't been the greatest if I'm honest, Sam has been working more than usual, and my depression is seriously taking a whack from this weather, I wish it would make up its mind what it wants to do as it's depressing not being able to go out. Sunday the weather was pretty nice, don't let those blue skies fool you - it was freezing but at least it was dry and we were able to head on out. We asked Emily what she would like to do and she requested going out to feed the ducks, so that is exactly what we did. 

Isabelle's Favourite Toys

Isabelle seems to be growing up so fast, I'm not sure if it is just me, but when you have children, the months and years seem to just fly by, twice as fast as they used to. I remember lots of people warning me about this when I was pregnant, and I really didn't believe them - but here we are, and they were clearly right. Isabelle confidently sits up by herself now and has done now for quite a few weeks, so naturally, she is a lot more interested in toys than she was before and loves nothing more than having lots of various things scattered about so she is able to play with her big sister.

Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins [Dairy-Free]

As you know, Emily and I love to be in the kitchen baking. It's the one thing we have always done, and even now we have Isabelle I always try to carve out time to bake with her, as it's always been our thing. With Isabelle being dairy free I try to bake and cook from scratch as much as I can, just because I prefer to know exactly what is in her food and it gives me that extra peace of mind. Last week we rustled up some dairy-free pancakes for her (recipe will be up soon) and today, we decided to make some banana muffins.

Starting Ballet [Ordinary Days]

For a while Emily has been talking about ballet, I say for a while I literally mean since she was about two. She has always shown a real interest in singing, dancing and anything theatrical. I'm sure that she is going to be a professional dancer or actress. I looked into ballet lessons a while back, but she wasn't quite old enough, and the location of the ballet class was really far away.

Dr Oetker Unicorn Pancakes

Seen as it was pancake day, Dr Oetker kindly sent us some ingredients to make there Unicorn pancakes. Emily was so excited to open up the package and see lots of multicoloured chocolate chips. Now I am going to be completely honest, Emily doesn't like pancakes, I have tried lots of different recipes with her, and I tried again this year, but she just doesn't seem to like the texture, and therefore she just doesn't end up eating them. She did try them though, and that is always a step in the right direction.

Planning A Trip To Disney

We have been saving up for an abroad holiday for quite some time with no idea where we would actually like to go - well that's not entirely true, there are plenty of places we would like to go, but not all of those are suitable for a family of four. I did originally want to wait until the girls were older before we booked a holiday for them, but recently I have started to think about booking a holiday before Emily starts school.

Little Mini Egg Cheesecakes

As I'm sure you all know by now, Emily and I love to get our bake on. She absolutely loves being in the kitchen and helping out as much as she can. It's something that the two of us can do together, and I really think that it has helped us keep our close relationship since Isabelle has been born. We decided since the shops are now full of mini eggs, we would create something 'Easterish'. Emily's favourite chocolate's at Easter time are Smartie Mini Eggs, so I knew that would be the one chocolate she wanted to include in our bake. In the end, we settled upon mini cheesecakes, and I'm so proud of how they turned out I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Rustlers Burger Hacking Challenge

Rustlers set us a really fun Burger Hacking challenge, and I was pretty happy to take part. Emily loves chicken burgers, and often we buy the double pack southern fried chicken burgers as part of our weekly shop, as Emily really enjoys them, and thinks they are the ultimate treat. They are also perfect for busy weekends, as we can pop one in the microwave and within no time she has eaten her lunch and we can head back out the door again. They are quick, convenient and really affordable.

Isabelle's 7 Month Update

How is my little bug 7 Months, honestly before I know it she will be one. I think as the months pass by I feel a little bit more emotional with Isabelle than I ever did with Emily, just because I know that she is my last. With Emily, there was always that chance that we might decide to have another, this time that's gone. She is definitely our last. Anyway, back to her actual update this month her personality has really blossomed, she is constantly chatting, and babbling to us.

Clingfilm Painting With Isabelle

Coming up with various different ways to craft with a baby can be tricky, We all know that babies love nothing more than sticking everything in their mouth and that is not always ideal - especially when your painting. When Emily was a baby, we did lots of clingfilm painting, and she loved it. It's such a simple activity, and even better its great for parents who don't really like a mess - because there isn't any mess, like at all. Brilliant right?

Valentine's Heart Printing

Valentine's day fast approaching and I have started to think more about craft activities to do with Emily, every year she makes her daddy a card for valentines day, and this year is no different - I really hope he doesn't read this post and completely ruin the surprise. Anyway, Emily wanted to do painting, so we decided to use our empty toilet roll tubes to make some heart stampers. It was really simple to do, I just folded one half into an m shape, creating a heart and used a little bit of sellotape to keep it together.

Peter Rabbit Party With Baking Mad

When baking mad asked us if we would like to host a party, at first I thought it isn't either of my childrens birthdays, so why would I wanna host a party. Then I thought about it, and knew it would be a perfect opportunity to give something back to the local group Emily, Isabelle and I attend each week. I have made some lovely mum friends - a thing I never thought I would do because of my anxiety, and Emily loves going. I knew I was onto a winner when they mentinoned cake - who doesn't love cake right?

Siblings [January 2018]

Emily and Isabelle's relationship seems to have absolutely blossomed this month. Isabelle is interested in everything that Emily is doing, and Emily is besotted with Isabelle - so much so she doesn't let her sleep, which can be very infuriating and I do feel like I am constantly saying 'Emily stop waking your sister up'.

Thinking About A Change Of Career

Being a stay at home mum is hard, I often worry because I am not contributing to our family in the same way as Sam is, financially which is a little silly as I do bring in a little bit of money, and of course I run our house and keep on top of all the housework, washing and various mum things that go with it. I have always played with the idea of starting my own company - selling little handmade things as I'm often told I am quite creative, and I'm fairly sure I could make it work.

Vanilla Cupcakes [Dairy-Free]

As you may know if your a regular reader, Isabelle has CMPA, so her diet is dairy free. Hopefully as she gets older she will be able to tolerate dairy, but for now, we are adjusting things to suit her, so that she doesn't feel excluded and can eat the same kind of foods as us. Emily has been asking to make cakes for ages, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to not only spend time with Emily but also try Isabelle out on cooked egg. Turns out Isabelle absolutely loved the cakes, as did Emily. So I thought that I would share my recipe with you, as I was surprised by just how well they turned out - and they tasted amazing.

CMPA Weaning Diaries [2]

Weaning Isabelle hasn’t been the smoothest of transitions. With Emily we went with a mixture of baby led weaning and purée, she took to it almost instantly and loved her food, especially bananas and carrots. Isabelle is proving to be the complete opposite - well they do say you never get two children alike right?

Aden + Anais Dream Blanket [Review]

If you are a regular reader, you will know that since I have had Isabelle, I have fallen in love with Aden + Anais products. I sadly missed out on how amazing they were when Emily was a baby, but when a friend introduced me to them while I was pregnant with Isabelle I knew I just had to have some of the soft swaddle muslins. The combination of soft muslin, generous sizing and beautiful prints had me sold straight away.

Happy Half Birthday Isabelle!

Dearest Isabelle,
How are you 6 months old already, knowing that we have had you in our lives for half a year already seems crazy. I think this time around I'm a little more emotional, knowing that you are my last baby. Seeing you hit all of your milestones makes me so proud, but it also makes me realise that I am never going to get to see a baby do that again - well not one of my own anyway.

Goals For 2018

I'm not one for resolutions, I just don't see the point in them as I know full well that within two weeks I'd of quit whatever resolution I'd decided to tackle, and I'm not about to set myself up to fail. Where is the use of that? I did, however, want to set myself a few goals for this year, there are things I want to achieve, things I want to improve, I want to be a better version of myself. So I thought that I would share with you a few of the goals I have set myself for this year.

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