Parent Groups & Sports Day [Ordinary Days]

Emily has been attending a group on a Tuesday morning for quite some time now, it was actually a really big deal for me to take her, as I'm sure you know if your regular readers I really struggle with social situations, it sets off my anxiety and my PND so I have just tended to avoid baby/toddler groups. However, that seemed to change slightly when Isabelle was born. I didn't want to be that mum who was stuck indoors for fear of going out and to put it bluntly I was so lonely because I was at home most of the day by myself, with the girls and I didn't really have any mum friends. I never thought I ever would have mum friends. Now when I look back on it, I really regret not pushing myself to go sooner - Emily has made some absolutely lovely lifelong friends, some of which will go to the same school as her next year, and I think that I have made some mum friends too - although my social anxiety does make me doubt that quite a lot of the time.

Home Improvements

When we moved into our little flat almost four years ago now - how has it gone that fast? We had big plans, there were quite a few things on our list to fix, or replace, to do up or pull out, and I'm happy to say that we are slowly getting through that list. As much as living in a flat frustrated us both, especially when it comes to the girls and wanting to be able to play outside, I don't think we will move anytime soon. We are in the perfect area for the girls. It's lovely here, and the girls are so happy. We are close to the school Emily will go to, and everything we need is right on our doorstep. We are also quite lucky in the sense we are in between two great big greens, so the girls do have plenty of space to run around and play. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you the few things we are currently working on.

Opening Gifts & Birthday Cake

I have to admit that I am a little bit sad that the weekend is over, we had the loveliest weekend making memories as a family, and celebrating Isabelle's first birthday. We actually decided to do presents and everything on the Friday, because we decided to go out for the day on Saturday and it didn't seem fair for Isabelle to open her gifts and then not have a chance to play with them, I also knew that she wouldn't open every single one. After all, she is only one, I knew how tempting the one package she'd opened would be and knew full well that our little feisty bug wouldn't want to open anymore and I was completely right.

Happy 1st Birthday Isabelle!

Dearest Isabelle 

How is it possible you have been in our life for 52 weeks already, 365 whole days since we first met you, held you, and fell in love with you. I can’t believe you’ve been with us a whole year already, I was always warned that the first year goes fast, but I never imagined it would be this fast. I remember the first time we saw your perfect little face, you looked so cute and your skin was absolutely flawless. I remember thinking you looked just like your big sister and thanking my stars that I was lucky enough to have another beautiful, healthy baby girl. I still can’t believe I’m a mama of two and feel incredibly lucky to have you in my life. 

Isabelle's Cake Smash

Isabelle's first birthday is coming up really fast. When Emily's first birthday was approaching I knew that I wanted to do a cake smash for her. Simply because I thought that it was a nice way to capture some memories and it will be nice to look back on. I decided to do a cake smash with Isabelle as I absolutely adore my pictures of Emily.

Summer Bucket List [2018]

As always, every year I put together a bucket list of things that we want to do over the summer months, and this year is no different. I thought that I would share our summer bucket list with you in case you wanted or needed some ideas of things to do over the summer period. Sadly there is no ballet or preschool during the summer holidays so I will be trying to find as many things as I can to do with the girls.

BRIO Race Car [Review]

Isabelle was very kindly sent this BRIO racing car to review. Brio is a brand that is well known in our household, both Sam and I had Brio train track when we were children, and naturally, when we were looking for train track for the girls it's the brand we gravitated towards. 

Family Fun Day & Face Paints [Ordinary Days]

There was a family fun day being held on Saturday at our local church, which seemed like a fab event. After speaking to a few of Emily's friend's parents it turned out that quite a few of them had plans to take their kiddos along. So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take my girls along and get to know a few of the other parents a little better - but also it was a great opportunity for Emily to see her friends outside of group/preschool, and in her eyes it was the best thing ever because there was a bouncy castle!

The Importance Of Servicing Your Car

Car tyre safety, along with getting your car serviced is something that really gets taken for granted or pushed aside. Especially in the summer month. They have always been really important for us, as we have two little girls to look after and keep safe. When the sun is out, everyone jumps into their cars and heads to the nearest beach or the zoo, to have lots of family fun - which obviously we all want to do.

Isabelle's First Shoes

Today I took Isabelle to get her first pair of shoes, I have been wanting to take her to get her a little pair for a while now, but I just hadn't got round to it. Lately, though she has been more keen to be on her feet and hates to be still. She pulls herself up on the furniture and is constantly trying to walk around it, so I knew that it was time to get her some, naturally, I took her to Clarks, as it's the place I took Emily to get her first.

Ways To Make Money Online

I can't say that I have ever tried to make money online - well I do make money blogging, but asides from that it is never something that I have looked into even though I have always been really curious. So I thought that I would do a little research of my own with hopes of finding some new ways to make money online - and share it with you.

4 Things That Annoy Me When Travelling

Travelling sounds like such a fun thing, there is nothing more interesting or enticing about going and exploring somewhere new. Whether that is exploring new beautiful beaches, going on a more adventure based holiday, or simply going on a relaxing family holiday. The problem is, travelling doesn't always go as smoothly as you might plan, or think it should. We are actually currently planning our first holiday abroad as a family of four, and I thought I would share with you the top 5 things that annoy me when I travel.

CMPA Weaning Diaries [5]

It’s been a while since I did a little update on how Isabelle is allergy/intolerance wise, and to be honest, the reason for that is because it was a bit all over the place. As you may remember if you saw my last CMPA diary update, I had been having a bit of pushback from the GP when it come to getting Isabelle’s repeat prescription. They wanted to reduce the amount she was entitled to massively, and she just isn’t ready for that kind of change. Especially as she doesn’t have a very big appetite and getting her to eat in the first place can be a bit of a challenge at the best of times - unless it’s pasta or cucumber and obviously she can't just live on that.

Giving Our Balcony A Make Over

While it really bothers Sam and I that we don't have a garden for the girls, we do have a balcony, so they do have some kind of outdoor space, a space that we often use to do messy play or water play. Especially in the summer months, the girls have even had a paddling pool out there - much to my neighbour's disapproval.

Isabelle's 1st Birthday Wishlist

Who knew that picking gifts for your child could be so difficult. Isabelle is a pretty easy person to please, she absolutely adores In the Night Garden and Moana, but she isn't to fussed with new toys. She loves all the toys that Emily already has - and has grown out of. This made it near on impossible to find gifts for her that I knew she would love and want to play with. What I ended up doing was buying things for her that I knew she could use with the bits that she already had. I really hope that she loves the bits we picked out for her. 

Isabelle's 11 Month Update

Oh squish - 11 whole months of loving you. We have been in full birthday prep over here, planning Isabelle's birthday. I've got her birthday gifts all brought. I have gift wrap, cards and balloons left to buy. I also have a cake to bake, who knew it would be so hard to find a dairy free cake to buy. I'm so excited to see her face light up when she sees all of her gifts.

Siblings [May 2018]

I never actually set out to take these pictures, it was just a random spare of the moment thing, and do you know what - I think that makes them 10 times better than they would have been if I planned it. Emily is a little bit obsessed with blossom, she has been for the longest time. She constantly asks Sam to shake the tree so it will fall and she can catch it. So while we were on the way to baby and toddler group, we walked past one of the churches close to us, and the blossom trees has dropped quite a lot of blossom, Emily ran straight up to it and started to pick pieces up to show Isabelle - with that in mind I took her out of the pushchair and sat her on the floor so she could see it too.

Finding My Way Back

I can't believe that I have gone so long without checking in - not that anyone would notice that I haven't, but that isn't the point. The truth is, I've been quiet on my favourite social media account too (instagram encase you were wondering), I seem to have just fallen out of love with everything online. Blogging for me always used to be something I enjoyed, it wasn't about other people, readers or views. It was an outlet for me, a safe space to blurt out everything that I needed to, but somewhere along the line, things have changed. There is this unwavering pressure to be a certain way or post a certain thing. All of a sudden there is so much more judgment floating around, whatever happened to 'if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all'. I found myself becoming incresinly frustrated, and feeling even more lost than I've ever felt, kind of like I had lost my voice.

Miffy Outfit

If you are a long-standing reader of my blog, you will know that both of my girls are a little bit obsessed with Miffy, we have all the books and lots of Miffy toys. When we were given the opportunity to review this beautiful outfit I knew that it would look adorable on Isabelle - and I wasn't wrong.

Isabelle's 10 Month Update

oh little squish, how are you almost one. They always say when you have your first child - cherish those baby days they go super fast, but honestly. I'm sure the second time around its gone even faster. I seem to have blinked and Isabelle is almost one. One thing is for sure, she is going to be a little handful, I mean she is already bossing her sister around. Isabelle is a very typical redhead, feisty, boisterous and very very stubborn. She already gives Emily the runaround.

Emily's First Day At Preschool

Oh Emily. How have we got to this day already, today was your first day at preschool. A day that I've been dreading and you've been excited about. I've never hidden the fact that I find it really hard to leave you, I hate it, and it makes me anxious and worried and gives me knots in my stomach. It's something I've been determained never to pass onto you, something that I never want you to have to experience or notice. I guess when you're bigger, and a parent yourself you will understand to some extent, but at the moment I'm sure you just think I'm embarrassing.

Family Memories, and Quitting Smoking

Growing up, I watched my grandad smoke, a habit I absolutely hated, and something that I knew I would never do, ever. I stuck to it too, I can happily say, I have never touched a cigarette in my life, and I think that is purely down to watching how hard it was for my grandad to quit. When he finally decided that he no longer wanted to smoke, he wasn't expecting it to be as hard as it was. I remember him constantly chewing gum to try and distract him and kick the habit. I'm proud to say that he managed to do it.

Siblings [April 2018]

Every month when I sit down to write these, I just end up staring in awe of how big you both have got, and how amazing your bond is. I always wanted a little girl, and I was lucky enough to end up with two, not just two, but two who are absolutely adorable together and the best of friends, and that couldn't make me any happier if I tried. You do have your moment of jealousy, but overall you two are pretty inseparable. 

Being An Adult Sucks Sometimes

I'm a little bit quieter than I normally am on here, and to be honest the reason for that is I just don't have much to say at the moment. I'm feeling a little bit down and lost. I'm trying to support my Grandma, and help her out with the things that she needs, and I've also been looking into preschool for Emily - which is a huge deal for me.

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.

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