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Archive: March 2015

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L E A R N  Y O U R  T O D D L E R  T O  S W I M
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When we were on holiday we stayed in my partners parents house which had a swimming pool outside so we took the chance and taught Elliw to swim! I am so glad we taught her to have confidence in the pool even though it did take a while so we were quite lucky that we were on holiday for 3 weeks. Sometime we would just have to grab her and let her scream and cry but in the end she would calm down and she was full of smiles and laughter which we were really pleased! Me and my partner love Swimming and were in the pool every single day for the whole 3 weeks. In the last week Elliw was confident to be by herself with no one holding her and she would kick her legs to move/swim at us.

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T I P S  &  A D V I C E
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1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SWIMWEAR.
Elliw wouldn't wear a swimming costume for us so she ended up going in the pool with her clothes on or just her underwear but it was warm enough so we didn't mind. She wore her armbands and her floating life jacket as you can see in the photos. Sometimes she would even want a rubber ring around her too! You need to find something that they feel comfortable and confident in.

2. WATER TEMPERATURE
Make sure the water is just the right temperature for them. You don't want them to just jump into a freezing cold pool. Sometimes if they go into a freezing cold pool they will want to get out straight away and may not even come back in again.

3. MAKE IT FUN
This is a big must! When we first started taking Elliw into the pool we made sure we would do funny things such as splashing water on my partner, chasing after him and even chucking toys and trying to get them in time before they sank! The best thing she liked was splashing my partner (or me, if my partner was holding her).

4. CONFIDENCE
The main thing you want in the water is confidence. If you show that your confident in the water then the child has a better chance of being confident too. Don't try and scare them and don't try and do anything that will take their confidence away. Take each step slowly there is no rush in learning them to swim.

5. SWIMMING POOL TOYS.
Don't make the pool boring! Let them chuck toys, get some rubber rings and floating boards. Elliw loved sitting in a floating ring and chucking her toys and then trying to grab them before they sank.


 
Very rarely will there a photo of all 4 of us but when I get the chance to take one I jump straight at it. I've probably only have a handful of photos of us 4 and the last one that was taken was by using a selfie stick with our phones whilst we were on holiday in Thailand just over 3 weeks ago.




dear beautiful
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C L O U D  B 
R E V I E W
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Mia absolutely loves her teddies and she has her favourites so when I got asked recently if I would like to do a review for this great company Cloud B, I just had to say yes! The delivery was pretty quick too might I add! We received the MaMa Koala which looks so adorable and shockingly SO soft. Even a friend commented on how cute it looked and how soft the teddy was.



 
MaMa Koala also came with a baby koala inside MaMa's arms which was another adorable thing. When I gave this Koala bear to Mia she instantly fell in love with it. It's a totally different kind of bear to her other teddies so she was extremely happy and she loved how soft it was too. It also comes with a box that does a few sounds.

F E A T U R E S
- Comes with a rattle which is also detachable (baby koala).
- You can tie MaMa's hands around the bar on a cot or somewhere else.
- Plays 4 peaceful sounds.
- Automatic Sound Sensor.
- Auto shut off in 23 or 45 minutes.
- 2 AA batteries are included.


4  P E A C E F U L  S O U N D S
SLEEP - Mother's heartbeat.
CALM - Spring Showers.
SLEEP - Ocean Waves.
RELAX - Whale Songs.

We didn't really need the sounds because Mia is 5 years old she really she used to Koala bears as a comfort to go to sleep at night. We have had the Koala for nearly 2 weeks and she has slept with the bear every single night. I would say this bear is perfect for newborns and babies. I would definitely purchase one of these if I was ever to have another baby.

”The
O V E R A L L
We are really pleased with this product, I would definitely recommend this bear to parents of young children and parents-to-be. You can purchase this gorgeous MaMa Koala & Baby Koala for £32.95 HERE.

* I was given this product free of charge in return of an honest review. All opinions, words and photos are my own.
Family Fever

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T H I N G S  T O  D O  T H I S  H A L F  T E R M
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It can be quite hard to entertain your child all day every day for a whole two weeks especially if they are used to being in school 9am - 3pm! Routine is just out of the window, however there quite a few things we will be doing this half term that I have planned already. Most depends on the weather too and all depending if the girls behave or not.


OUT FOR A WALK
This is all weather depending and apparently the first few days the weather isn't going to be brilliant - in fact it is going to be rubbish. So the first few days of the holidays we will probably have some lazy days in the house and some indoor activities.


BAKING
I will be baking probably on Wednesday which is my weigh-day so I don't mind having a treat after weighing. Both kids love baking and I always have a full box of baking ingredients ready for whenever we want to bake cookies or cakes. Plus it's a great time for both parent and children to bond and a perfect time for both children to bond and help eachother too.

VISIT FAMILY & FRIENDS
I will probably be doing this often. One of my young brothers is coming up from South Wales for the week on the last week of the holidays so we will be spending most of the days with him as we don't see him often and I love to spend as much time with him as we can, plus the girls love seeing him and he loves seeing his nieces too! I will probably have friends coming over too with their children and i'll be going to visit them too.

LEARN ELLIW TO RIDE A BIKE
Me and my partner have decided to try and learn Elliw how to ride a bike. Mia could ride a bike before her 4th Birthday so it would be nice to try and get Elliw to ride a bike before the end of the year but yet again it is all weather depending! You can read Mia's post here.

TEDDY BEAR PICNIC
This will probably be done indoors because our garden hasn't been sorted yet. I can't wait to do this with the kids and hopefully they will really enjoy sharing a picnic with their favourite toys and teddy's.

EASTER SUNDAY
This Half Term is for Easter so we will probably go for a walk or have a lazy Easter Sunday depending on how we feel and what the weather is. Mia will be in her Dad's but she will be enjoying herself there so I will give her Easter goodies Tuesday morning.


INDOOR ACTIVITIES
There are plenty of indoor activities you can do with children such as painting, colouring, picnics, baking, building things and much more. You can buy some Easter activity packs from shops too which is what we will be doing some days.

What are your plans for this Half Term?

Mummascribbles
Shopping on credit is something more and more people are doing today. It affords you the opportunity to buy items you otherwise couldn't afford, and pay it off over time. However, people sometimes do not properly budget, they overspend, and they over extend their credit, which can cause more problems for them in the future, simply due to irresponsibility with online catalogue shopping. 

These are a few tips to ensure you are safe, don't ruin your credit, and don't put yourself in a financial hole. 
1. Set a budget Even if your credit limit is £5000, set a budget lower than this. Doing this not only helps limit your spending, but also makes you think twice as to what you have to buy, versus what you are buying on impulse. Further, it avoids the revolving credit and interest trap, and allows you to pay down your balance in less time.

2. Pay above the minimum due If you owe £30 per week, on a weekly catalogue purchase, pay £35 or more if you can avoid it. Doing this helps you pay off the total in less time, and allows you to reduce the interest burden which these catalogues carry. You will pay off your balance sooner, and won't simply be paying towards interest which is what most people do when they pay the minimum amount owed. 

3. Pay when you can If you have a buy now, pay later credit card, set up to be paid monthly, if possible, pay sooner. If you have some extra cash at month's end, put it towards these payments. Doing this allows you to pay off the purchase sooner, and helps you reduce the overall burden on your credit lines.

Catalogue shopping can be beneficial, but being a responsible shopper is also important. So, setting budgets, setting limits (below what the catalogue offers you), and making sure you keep up with your payments, and pay above your minimum due, are all things which should be done by those who purchase on credit.

For more information on catalogue shopping, check out Justcatalogues. They provide a large collection of reviews of the top credit catalogues including what products they sell and what credit options they provide.
The past few weeks haven't been great and if I am honest I need a great big kick up the backside and get back to being on plan with my food and get more organised. I feel like I have no energy, I am tired all the time and I just really can not be bothered doing anything! Last week I went to visit a friend and I saw this cute little note pad/note book and I just had to buy it. I am hoping it will help me remember a few more things, stick to Slimming World and hopefully get me more organised and get my energy back. We will see by the end of next week how I get on!


I'm not quite sure why I feel tired everyday and to why I have no energy but i'm putting it down to how I've not been 100% well the past few days and with the children not really behaving much. I am planning to write my meals down for foods and if I have any appointments or anything else coming up then I am to write them all down because I easily forget. There are few ways to be more organised here are a few;

WRITE IT DOWN
Even though I love writing I never seem to write down the things I really need to do such as attending appointments etc, but like I said above I am going to try my best from now on to be more organised and write everything down.

STICK A NOTE SOMEWHERE
This can be a huge help. If you remember that you need to do something then write it on a sticky pad or paper then stick it somewhere you know you look at everyday such as the fridge, cupboard or mirror.

MOBILE PHONE ALARM
If i'm honest I hardly ever do this because I always forget about it. I need to start doing it when I have Doctors appointments and other things. You could always set an alarm for the day before and again a few hours before.

BE TIDY
The last thing you want is an extremely messy office or workspace. In fact, my work space isn't tidy at all at the moment as I have been busy with my other job making Hampers but I am needing to tidy it up in the next few days now. Having a tidy workspace can make things a lot easier to find and less stressful.

STORAGE
Storage can be a plus in a workspace or office. There is nothing worse than having nowhere to keep your work and other things. There are plenty of places you can go to get storage for all kinds of things such as papers and pens etc.

Are you an organised person?

The past week and a half has been so unplanned and unorganised. If you read my blog then you may know that I started the '30 Day Shred' and I have done two update posts about how I was getting on. DAY ONE and DAY SEVEN. I had my Coil removed nearly two weeks ago so I haven't been feeling to well after it, If I'm honest I haven't been feeling like myself at all I have been so tired with on and off tummy pains however my moods are much better and that was the main reason I decided it was time to remove the coil. I have been struggling to get out of bed sometimes and dealing with the kids when they are home from school but I've coped and I've done it! I decided that Friday was the day I needed to get back into doing my work outs from home so I've decided to re-start the 30 Day Shred and it was much easier than I thought. I've also decided I need to go back into healthy eating and sticking to plan with Slimming World also as I know after a first few hard days of trying to get back onto plan I feel much better in my self.

Hey everyone! You may have read my previous blog post the other day that I am starting a brand new linky. If you haven't read it then take a look here. 'Fun Family Days Out' is a linky that you can link up ONE or TWO posts about your days out OLD or NEW. It can be any kind of day out such as;
- Day out with your friends or family.
- Day out with the children.
- Day out with just your partner.
- Visiting friends or family.
- Visiting somewhere for the week/weekend.
- Trip to the park.
- Walk to the shop.
Absoloutley anything that involves going OUT! I love going out as a family. The children make it extra special with the memories and that is the main reason why I have started this linky which will be a weekly linky running every Sunday until Wednesday. If you would like to know more about this linky then take a read

I hope you will join up, I look forward to reading your posts!

Before joining please read these simple rules first;
- Comment on at least 2 other posts (more if you have the time!).
- No giveaways.
- No more than TWO posts.
- Make sure you have the badge on your linked up post please.

Twitter
Don't forget you can tweet that you have joined the link-up by hash tagging #FFDO or #FamilyFunDayOut and my twitter @lifeasmumblog so I can re-tweet you!

Comments
On the comments you give to people please hash tag #FamilyFunDayOut or #FFDO so people know where you found them.

Favourites
I will be commenting on all posts during the week and choosing my favourite post! I will put my favourite post on the following Sunday link up.


 
I haven't taken much photos recently because I need to sort out my photos on my phone as I have so many photos that its taken up memory and I just find my camera to big to carry around with me all the time but otherwise you will always find me taking photos of the kids but not many of me and both kids in one photo. There are plenty of photos of me with one of the girls but it's nice to have one with both girls and me. I've joined the new linky 'MUMMY & ME' this month.


This photo was not long taken after we came back from holiday, where we had a very lazy morning and just thought 'lets take a photo!' I absolutely love this photo of the girls! Their faces just show how much of a happy mood they were in!


 
Nicola... Life Through My Eyes
Mia goes to her Dad's house every weekend for one night and every other Sunday she is with us so we make the most of going out. Last Sunday we decided to have a family picnic. Usually we will eat in the car but we found the perfect quiet place to go. We were going to go to a big park but I wasn't keen because I knew there was going to be quite a lot of people so luckily I remembered about this other park where I'd been once or twice when I was a bit younger. It is a bit run down now but the park was still ok for the girls to play and there were benches there for us to sit and have our lunch too. The sun was out so it was a perfect day for us all. We decided to get our picnic from Morrisons and it was all lovely! After a bit we decided to go and see my partners Nain in hospital then to see my Nain and Taid and after that we went to see my partners Aunty and Uncle and finally we went home. We were all shattered but we all really enjoyed the day and it was nice seeing most of the family too.







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You will see me updating photos daily on Instagram, if not daily then I will do it every other day atleast! I like to share my Slimming World foods and my work outs on Instagram. If you haven't followed yet then feel free to follow me here.


This is a new linky that will start this Sunday 29th March 2015. I would just like to tell you all about my new linky #FunFamilyDaysOut. The name says it all really! We all have those family days out wheather it is just you and your child(ren) or maybe the whole family! Maybe it's just a trip to the park? walk down the road? visiting a family member or a friend? going out for a picnic? Or maybe you've travelled somewhere to spend the day? Anything!


The Link for the badge will be up this Sunday when it goes live. I would love it if you could join! It will be a weekly linky and hopefully there will be a few people linking up!

The only rules to follow are;
1. No giveaway or product review posts, the blog post must relate to a 'Day Out'. A review of a day out is acceptable.
2. Please comment atleast 2 other blog posts. If you don't have the time now, then please do it within a week.
3. The badge must be on the blog post.
4. No more than TWO posts please.

Twitter
Don't forget you can tweet that you have joined the link-up by hash tagging #FFDO or #FamilyFunDayOut and my twitter @lifeasmumblog so I can re-tweet you!

Comments
On the comments you give to people please hash tag #FamilyFunDayOut or #FFDO so people know where you found them.

Favourites
I will be commenting on all posts during the week and choosing my favourite post! I will put my favourite post on the following Sunday link up.

More about the linky;
- It is basically just linking up your Family Day Out Posts.
- Opens Sunday 12 AM until Wednesday 10 PM
- Linky is on every Sunday.

Hope too see you Sunday!

I've got to travel on bus if I need to get into town to go shopping or meet someone and I always find it a hassle having to go on the bus with the pram all the time as I always worry there may not be space on the bus incase there is another pram there or if there is someone else taking the pram space. I always try to avoid taking the bus but if I need to go then I just go. Today I decided to take Elliw without the pram, I remember taking her with no pram quite a few months back too and I said 'never again!' however this time was different. She was well behaved and she was really excited as she probably felt so grown up! She loved looking out the window at the sheep in the fields. She also loved singing on the top of her voice too with everyone looking at her, as cute as she was it was pretty embarrassing but I couldn't stop laughing!
I will most definitely take her out more often without a pram. The only time I do take her out in a pram is when we go to town or taking Mia to school when Elliw doesn't go to Playgroup in the morning and to pick Mia up from school.


Mummascribbles
Super Busy Mum
The Dad Network
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When you're pregnant you don't really think ahead as in what it is going to be like when the baby is a bit older such as 2 or 3 years old. We all know that you will love the child unconditionally. We hear about the sleepless nights, the tempers etc but we mostly hear more about how much we will love the child. Not often will we be told the actual truths about being a mother.

Teacher
Yes, we are a teacher to our child. They copy and look at everything that we do, we are the ones who learn them to talk, walk and other things. They can start school at 2.5 years old but full time school at 5 years old, however it's not only the high-paid teachers that teach them, us mums who don't get paid we teach our children every single day. We help them with numbers, words, manners, dressing themselves and so much more.

Bad Mum
Us Mums are in the bad books most days of the week. They don't like the word NO but they have to learn the hard way sometimes. As the child gets older we may even get told that our child hates us, wants to leave home and so on, I remember saying it to my Father! Luckily, Mia isn't old enough yet and she has only told me 'I don't like you mam' I guess that is better than the word hate!

Singer
This is one job I'm not very good at if i'm honest. Sometimes at bedtime we will have singing time and usually the songs are Let It Go and about 2 nursery songs. They love it when I sing but I know in my head I sound like a screeching cat. But Hey! If they like it then i'll just carry on.

Nurse and Carer
We have to stop everything such as routine and work if our child is unwell. We have to be a nurse for the day or two (or longer) whilst they are unwell. Except we don't get paid for it but we don't mind as we hate seeing the children unwell. We have to clean up sick, change dirty nappies/underwear oh and don't forget, every mother experiences getting puked on!

Night Carer
Oh yes, those sleepless nights where maybe the child is a bit unwell or maybe the child just won't settle at all. Those nights where you really needed the sleep but end up awake most of the night then a zombie for the rest of the day but we all manage it!

There are so many things we have to do when we are a Mother and most things we weren't even told but just taught ourselves naturally as the child grows older. It can be extremely hard work but it really is worth it in the end. Seeing the smile on the child's face at the end of the day, the bedtime story time before they go to sleep really does make up for a bad a tiring day.
There are many more things I could add to the list but I would be here forever writing them down.

What do you think being a Mum is?
It's been a week since I started the 30 day shred and if i'm honest I haven't tried my best. I did my best actually doing the work outs but I have been struggling with the food part. I am struggling to get back on plan with Slimming World and just eating too much junk but I have to get back on it today. If you didn't know I was going the 30 Day Shred you can read Day 1 here.

Rest Days: 3.

INCHES.
Top Legs -
was; 22" now; 22"

Bottom Legs -
was; 16.5" now; 16"

Thighs -
was; 27.6" now; 26.5"

Hips -
was; 47" now; 46.6"

Waist -
was; 33.5" now; 33.6"

Arms -
was; 13" now; 12.2"

Bum/Lower back -
was; 45" now; 44.5"

As you can see I've lost a tiny bit in some places but not as much as I wanted to but if I carried on eating healthily then I know I could of lost more so it is my own fault. I need to loose everywhere on my body at the moment but the main part I am looking too loose the most is my lower back just above my bum! I really hate how much weight I've put on there! I was only planning to have 1 rest day but I had my 1st rest day when I wasn't well at all, the 2nd rest day I had to get ready for work all day so I didn't have time and my 3rd rest day we had a family day out and came back late. I will come back next Monday on my results again and hoping I've lost a lot more.

Next Weeks Goal - Loose more inches in every single place. Would be happy with an inch off in every area stated above. Cut out the junk. Eat more healthily.
Easter is coming up and Balloons By Up Up & Away are giving one lucky reader a chance to win a stunning Easter Hamper worth over £40!
Up Up And Away began in 1990. The Company started as small family company and has gone from strength to strength although still remains in the family. They supply a range of products from balloons to party supplied and also able to cater for a range of events including weddings, birthdays and holiday occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day etc. They are an Award winning company - 'Party Times Best Wholesaler' who believe that your shopping experience should be uncomplicated and stress free.

The Prize Includes;
x2 Balloons.
Pack of Easter Decorations.
x2 Easter Bonnets.
Pack of Bunnies/Chicks Easter Eggs.
Easter Cupcake Kit.
Selection of Tableware (Table Roll/Cups)
Pack of Windmills
Chocolate Egg
Cuddly Toy.

Before entering this giveaway please make sure you read the Terms and Conditions.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Giveaway is open to UK residents only.
Prize will be posted to winner within 72 hours on receipt of a valid postal address.
Prize is not exchangeable for any cash value.
Giveaway started 23rd March 2015.
Giveaway ends Sunday 29th March 2015 at 9pm.
The winner will be e-mailed by midnight 29th March.



We had a family day out today which is something we don't do very often either because my partner works or Mia is in her Dad's so we made the most of it today and decided to go to a park about 15 minutes away from us and take a picnic with us. It was such a lovely day, both kids loved it.
 

 
As you can see the place we went too is a beautiful place but it has really gone down hill the past few years which is such a shame. It was full of rubbish and bottle lids and smashed glass by the benches in the park. I managed to get a few stunning shots of the place.




 We recently asked if we would like to review some Educational toys from George/Asda and because we were going on holiday in just a weeks time when we were asked I said yes and chose an Innotab 3S and some Play-Doh.

The Innotab 3S is perfect for 3+ years and great to keep the children entertained whilst they are learning too. There is a 2MP camera which can face both ways which was a great bonus for my girls because they love to take Selfies! There is Wi-Fi, media player, e-books, activity games and 15 apps included on the tab which you can download more over the internet or buy games from the shop. There is a 2 GB size memory which you could expand if you buy a microSD card. The size of the Innotab is 40.6 X 6.1 X 27.9 which I think is just the right size for a child. The Innotab is thick enough for the child too hold which makes it perfect for little hands.

Although at the moment we have no photos of the girls playing the Innotab 3S because they won't let me take a photo! The tab came along with us to Thailand and they loved playing it most days. They get to make their own profile which makes them happy that they have their own part on the tab. We got the Hello Kitty game to review aswell, which they haven't played much because they have been so into either taking photos or playing the other games that are on there.

I don't let them play the Innotab for long but at least when they do play it, I know that they are learning something from playing it which is a good thing.

You can buy the Innotab 3s for only £50.00.
You can buy the Hello Kitty game for £12.97.
(March 2015 prices)



The girls have had so much fun with this Jake and the Neverland Pirates Play-Doh! I have never bought them play-doh before because I thought it would get too messy but I thought it would be nice for them to have it as a treat in the evenings once or twice a week. They really do enjoy playing with them. The set comes with 3 Play doh pots which I found were a bit small and I will have to buy more for the girls, they also came with 7 other parts as you can see in the photo. Again, this was perfect to learn the children with shapes and different patterns with the cutters. It also helped them with the colours as I told them not to mix and keep the colours in the right pots.
You can buy this play-doh set for £9.97

(Please ignore the mess on their table, it is their Art Table! Also it is green stamps on Elliw she thought it would be fun to stamp herself whilst I did the dishes!)

You can see the whole Educational Range over on Asda's website here.


* I was given these products free of charge to do an honest review. All words and photos are my own.
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