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Archive: February 2017


This time last year, I posted my 18 week pregnancy update. It's so unreal to think that Freddie is now 7 months old. I also wrote a post about how the girls are feeling towards having a new baby brother and how they were talking about him, a lot and you can read that here. Our conversations this time last year were choosing a name for our baby boy and sharing my worries having a third child. One of my reasons for writing everything I thought about during my pregnancy was that I could look back and read them. It's mad how much one full year can change. Over 300 days ago we were a family 4, and now this precious bonus baby has completed our family and made us a family of 5.


Anyone who knows me, know that I absolutely love taking photos. I always have a camera at hand, whether it is my main camera or my iPhone 7. Life is too short and goes by so quickly, especially kids. Kids grow up so fast, and I do think it's important to capture as many things as you can while they are young. I have so many special photos but only a handful of photos will I get emotional over. I've got a tonne of photo albums upstairs all in a box together. Some have been filled, and some are waiting to be filled.

My Taid has hundreds of photo albums. We've sat down and looked through many photos one day, and I hope to go through the rest another day, soon. It's so lovely looking back and talking about family and friends. The ones who are still with us and the ones who are not. It's always nice to remember the story behind the photos and all the memories.

I'm currently on my 3rd laptop, and my other two laptops have thousands of photos which I need to be transferred to a disk, somehow. I need to get myself into gear and find out how or find someone who can do it for me at a price. I have made a promise to myself this year, to print more photos out instead of leaving them on a laptop. I think looking through photo albums and having prints are much better than sitting down looking at a laptop.



When Supersnaps contacted me asking if I'd like to review some custom retro prints, I said yes straight away. I knew which photos I wanted to order, and so I went to order them. The order process online was super easy and quick. You can choose the fonts of your writing (if you want a caption) and there's also a feature where you can choose a background. I decided to go for a plain white background as that's what I like. However, there are some lovely background designs, and fonts too choose from.

Having the option to caption the photos is a great idea. I did it on some of my snaps. I decided to write a caption on the ones I remembered the date of, as well as the special moment photos that I'd captured. Supersnaps also offer various other high-quality prints. The minimum to order the custom retro prints is 23 photos for £6.99, which I think is a very reasonable price.


We are overly happy with our snaps, and we're happy to say we've teamed up with Supersnaps and giving one lucky winner one pack of their own original retro prints. All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter below.

There is also a 15% off code for everyone to use and is valid until the end of May 2017.
CODE: LIFEASMUM15

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF GIVEAWAY
UK residents ONLY. The prize is ONE pack of Custom Retro Prints by SUPERSNAPS. The prize is provided by Supersnaps NOT Life as Mum. Giveaway ends 18th of March 2017 at 23.55pm. Please be sure to enter correctly, or you will be disqualified. Good luck! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



"Cat" (CC BY 2.0) by kevin dooley

If you’re considering getting a pet for your family, you may have already made up your mind about the type of pet you want - or you may still be deliberating over what type of pet to go for. Getting a pet for the family home is a big commitment, especially when you already have several responsibilities like being a parent, doing a job and keeping your home!

A family pet can be a wonderful addition to the home, giving all of you something else to focus on and helping children to learn about responsibility. There are many things to think about but perhaps one element that people don’t always consider is the cost – how much will it cost to feed your pet, take it to the vet, put it in kennels when you’re away and pay for insurance (if applicable)?

Money saving website Voucherbox recently came up with some fascinating facts about how much our pets cost us over their lifetime. One of the most expensive pets to keep is actually a box turtle that costs on average £26,198 - but this is because it can live for around 50 years! Dogs cost £15,382 on average, while feline friends are £10,395. The lifetime cost is worked out using the average lifespan of the pet, plus vet fees, food, insurance, kennels, toys and treats.




"
Harmony" (CC BY 2.0) by amyramoon

What Pet Are You Considering?
As most people have busy lifestyles, we have made a list of suggested pets for your home. Consider the time you need to commit to your pet, how much it will cost and whether it is suitable for your children and the family home. Be realistic, because the last thing you will want to do is rehome a pet that you couldn’t make enough time for.

Easy to Look After
These pets are the easiest to look after, only requiring cage or tank cleaning and feeding: Goldfish, Hamsters, Snakes and Reptiles.

Self-sufficient Pets
Some pets are less dependable and will be more self-sufficient than others. Although they do require some of your time, they do not need regular attention: Budgies, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits.

Highly Dependable Pets
These pets require their owners to be attentive to their needs most of the time with daily feeding or walking: Dogs and cats.


"My Dog" (CC BY 2.0) by ETersigni

Most Popular Pets
The most popular pets by far are dogs and cats. The PDSA Paw Report recently noted that there were 9.4 million dogs and 11 million cats living in UK households in 2016. So what is it that makes dogs such an attractive pet to have in the family home? Dogs are loyal and loving, generally good with children (although specific breeds such as the bull terrier and the bichon frise are more kid-friendly than others), always happy to see us and often our shadow wherever we are in the house. They do require daily walking which can be a bind, but it also gets us out in the fresh air for some exercise. If you are thinking of getting a puppy, consider that ideally you will need to be home most of the time. Cats, on the other hand, are fairly self-sufficient and independent – they don’t require their owners to walk them daily but they will still cuddle up on the sofa with us and be affectionate. It should be noted, though, that cats do require some daily playtime (especially if they're house cats and are not allowed to go out), which will keep them healthy and happy.


Choosing a pet for the family home very much depends on how much time you can commit to it and how much it will cost during its lifetime. However, it’s great for children to grow up learning how to care for an animal. After all, pets can bring so much joy to the home!

Welcome back to week #2 of Lovely Little Things. Although there weren't many link up's last week, there was more than I thought, so I'm happy! Hopefully, there will be more this week. We've had a pretty good week with the girls being off for half term, you can read about our week here. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's posts from last weeks linky and look forward to reading more this week.

This week we have a special giveaway for readers and bloggers!
Party Bags and Supplies is giving away £30 to spend on their website.
Anyone can enter as long as you are a UK resident. Also, make sure you read the rules before entering. All the best!

Prize - £30 to spend at partybagsandsupplies.co.uk
Giveaway ends - Saturday, 11th of March 2017 at 11.55pm
Winner will be contacted within 48 hours of giveaway end time. If winner does not reply within 30 days, another winner will be chosen. Good luck!




On Tuesday I went on YouTube to watch some vlogs. I never used to watch many vlogs before but since I started vlogging myself, I've been really interested in watching vlogs on a daily basis, and I really enjoy it. One vlog that came up and I watched was from Katie, Mummy Daddy Me. It's a vlog from last year in May {watch it here} and watching it reminded me of the early days with Freddie. Although I was pregnant in May last year, her little boy and Freddie are only a few months apart and all the memories from the early days with Freddie came flooding back to me. 
Linking up with; My Sunday Photo

Having three kids our home is full of toys, papers, nappies, wet wipes and all sorts. The kids receive way too many toys over their birthdays and special occasions through the year. We have a small living room and so making sure we keep things away to still make it liveable and cosy is pretty important to us. We like our living room to be tidy before we settle for the evening.

At the moment we have the jumperoo and a Freddie's play gym's folded away in the corner but otherwise, everything else is kept away. We keep Freddie's nappies, wipes, bibs and our other bits and bobs in the 5 drawer rattan storage rack that we received from Rattan Direct. This high-quality handmade solid wooden drawer has completed our room. It's reduced clutter and it's been really handy for storing the kids items. It's also easy for the kids to still get their things if they want them, with the easy handwoven pull in and out strong-quality wicker baskets.

We are overly pleased with the storage drawers we received. The wood is proper solid and will defintley last many years. The baskets are a perfect touch and very high quality, like the wooden frame. If you're looking for a homely good quality, handmade storage, I would recommend this Storage rack from Rattan Direct.

Rattan Direct also offer other storage drawers that are smaller to this particular one. You can find their storage range here.

This post will be updated soon with a living room tour video added.

* I was given this item free of charge, in return of an honest review.
As always, words, image and opinions are my own. 


Enjoyed writing last week's post, and I was looking forward to writing this week. It's been half term for the girls this week. I was really looking forward to our lazy mornings and not having to do our usual boring routine before school. However, I was dreading the arguing the girls were going to have and the stress. Shockingly, both girls have been pretty much well behaved. Of course, they've argued a few times, but they've pretty good all week. The girls don't go back to school until Tuesday as there's teacher's training Monday, so I'm really looking forward to doing something with the girls on Monday. We only have one more week left until we leave for Bluestone again and we're all super excited. We're counting down the day.


We love our kids dearly but it's nice to have someone to offer you some child-free time, day or night {or both} once in a while. Having time to yourself or time together, if you have a partner, is healthy every now and then. It keeps me sane for sure. For the first few times you may be stuck on what to do during that time. Here are just a few ways you could spend your kid-free time.

30 Ways you can spend your kid-free time:

Get your nails done
Book a spa day
Have a hot long relaxing bath
Get your hair done
Watch a film with snacks
Have a few drinks
Meet friends for a catch-up
Go for a long walk on the beach
Do your food/clothes shopping
Search for holidays
Sleep
Relax in bed 
Have a lazy day at home
Spring clean the house
Climb a mountain
Go swimming
Go to a friends house
Go see a family member
Go on a train ride
Catch up with work {if you work from home}
Have a meal out
Plan a get together with friends at home or out
Have a few drinks
Go to the cinema
Have a cosy night in with the partner or friend
Have an early night to catch up on sleep
Go to a hotel for the night/day
Visit a new location
Catch up on the soaps
Order a takeaway

What do you like to do when you're kid-free? 


* Advertorial feature

Whether you are bottle feeding or breastfeeding your baby, it is common for babies to get colic, reflux and constipation. Studies show that up to 55% of babies are likely to experience common feeding issues at least once during the first 6 months. My second child, Elliw, had colic when she was a couple of weeks old, and she would cry from 10pm until 1am most nights. It was heartbreaking knowing she was in pain. As she got older, she got constipated a few times, but the bicycle cycle motion helped her. 


I've been breastfeeding Freddie for over 7 months now, and it's honestly the best decision I've ever made. While I was pregnant, I was panicking quite a bit as I had no idea what it was going to be like and if I needed anything. I remember the silliest thing I thought about was, how would I breastfeed him during the night? I hate wearing bras during the night, and I found nursing vests and tops expensive, and I didn't fancy spending so much money. Feeding for over 7 months, I've found that I don't need to spend a lot of buys these fancy clothing. But there are some essentials, these are the things I've found as breastfeeding must-haves, in my opinion;

Nursing Pillow - I was in two minds of having one of these. I had read mixed reviews. Some saying yes and some saying they're a waste of money. After using one for 7 months, it's honestly the best thing ever while feeding. I keep our nursing pillow on the side of the sofa, and it gets used each time he has a feed. It's comfortable for him and myself. Your arm can ache pretty quick when feeding, but the nursing pillow helps. Worth buying.

Nursing Bras - I was looking around for some decent priced nursing bras and eventually I bought some brand new ones at an outlet store on Ebay. I bought 4 nursing bras, and they're so comfortable, and they were at an affordable price too. During the first weeks, I was wearing my normal bras, and it was always a struggle pulling the cup of the bra down for each feed. Nursing bras are a must. 

Vests - Lots and lots of vests needed! I have countless amount of vest tops. I bought a few from Primark for around £2.50, and they have been the best vests I bought. They're a long cami dress vest and easy for pulling down when I feed. I also find vest ideal if I'm feeding out and not wanting to show of my belly, I can just pull the vest top down.

Shirts - This may not be a must of everyone, but since breastfeeding, I have bought many shirts. I find them super easy when I need to feed. I hardly wear jumpers or tops as buttoned shirts are just simple to open and close when I'm at home and outdoors. 

Breastfeeding cover {if you are using one} - This is not a must have for everyone. My only reason for buying a breastfeeding cover was because Freddie kept pulling away from me pretty quickly and I'd be flashing. It was for my own comfort that the cover was on me. However, I don't use it very much now. 

Nipple Cream/Lotion - I've used two different types of nipple cream. Lansinoh Lanolin is one make of cream I used, and the other was Mama Baby Bliss nipple lotion. They both worked perfectly well for me. I've stopped using the creams now, but I did use them for around 5 months and a lot during the first couple of months. 

Breast Pads - There are two types of breast pads you can choose from - disposable and re-useable ones. A friend of mine preferred re-useable ones and found them comfortable. I used the Tommee Tippee disposable breast pads which are quite a decent price for 50 pads. I did use a few other makes, but the TT ones were the most comfortable. 

Muslins - I was recommended to use muslins while breastfeeding by a friend. I was given quite a few, and I've used them countless of times within the past 7 months of feeding Freddie. They're great to put under your breast while feeding because the baby can dribble milk out and by putting a muslin cloth under your breast, this stops your clothes getting wet. 

Water and Snacks - I find breastfeeding made me very hungry and extra thirsty. Especially in the first few months where I was feeding Freddie more often. I always made sure I had a glass of diluted juice and some snacks next to me while I was feeding. 


You can buy some must haves here; 


This post has been linked to; Brilliant Blog Posts

A baby shower is a great way to celebrate near the end of your pregnancy before becoming a new mum. I've never had one, but I would have loved to have had one. It was originally more popular in America, but many people have started to have one in the UK recently too. It's a great way to get everyone together, friends and family before the baby arrives. The Mum-to-be is given many gifts for her and baby just in time for the new arrival. Here are just a few baby shower gift ideas; 


I had lost my blogging mojo for a while, but for the past few days, I've been working hard on getting some motivation back and getting my stats back to where they were before I lost motivation. Not only have I managed to do that, but I've also actually doubled them. I've gained more followers on Twitter and Instagram too, but I will write that in another post in the next few days.


When we first bought our home, nearly three years ago we decided that we wanted the back room to be our main living area. Our two previous private rented houses had long living rooms and that was something I wasn't keen on. My Dad's house had a front and a back room downstairs and this house my partner and I live in now has near the same downstairs layout as my Dad's. As the back room is the smallest room we knew we wouldn't be able to fit many things in there. This is why we decided to add some accessories to make it feel homely and a place we could relax during the evenings when the kids are in bed.


When I was pregnant with Freddie, I knew I was going to put him into sleeping bags to sleep in during the night. I always found it quite a pain with which tog to put him in, in case he got too cold or too hot. Both girls slept in a sleeping bag too, I find them a lot safer than blankets. Freddie does have a favourite blanket, but I tend to put it near the end of his crib so it can't get to his face during the night.


On Saturday, Mia was in her Dad's and my partner was working all day. Elliw, Freddie and I spent the previous Saturday in the house as the weather was miserable and so I decided that we were to go for a walk this Saturday instead. I asked a friend of mine and her two kids to join us and then come back to mine for lunch. My friend started full-time work in January and she's the friend I used to see on a daily basis on the school run, morning and afternoons, as well as popping to each other's houses for a cuppa. I've never had a friendship like that before. It was nice to feel completely myself. Knowing someone was down the road from me if I wanted a break from my own house or some adult company. The past few weeks have been strange. My Dad comes weekly and so does another friend with her little boy, my nephew and I love seeing them all. 

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may remember that I ran a linky called #justanotherlinky. It ran for over a year but it really quietened down nearer the end, and I couldn't keep on top of posting each week because I was so busy with my appointments during my pregnancy and then the demand feeding when Freddie was born. As I get a little bit more time (sometimes) now I have decided I want to start a fresh new linky. I really enjoy linking up to daily linkies which you can see here, but I also did enjoy running my own too.


"In the eyes of a child, you will see the world, as it should be"

Linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife

I've decided to write a post about our week, every Friday. I've always wanted to write a weekly post about the week we've had, but I never got round to it. I've caught up on a few things recently, and so I've decided to start it today. I think these posts will be nice to look back on in future too and encourage me to take as many photos as I can during the week of all three.


I started weaning Freddie when he was around 4 months old. Although I didn't want to start until he was six months, I don't regret my decision. It was the right choice for him and us. He's loved trying out different foods and textures. One of my favourite baby brands is Tommee Tippee, and when I was asked if I wanted to review the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender and other bits from the brand, I couldn't wait to receive them and start using them. The only blender I've owned is a hand blender, so I was interested in trying out and seeing what how this steamer blender would make things easier. 

From parent to parent, we know that the kids have more clothes than us. That's a fact. I'm forever living in my jeggings, vest tops and a quick and easy jumper or blouse/shirt. I want to be more stylish and up to date but it can be difficult when I haven't got the money to do so. However, there are ways us mums can be stylish at affordable prices by mix matching and recycling our outfits.

I can not believe that Freddie 7 months old and has already passed the half way mark to being a 1 year old - already. How is that even possible. Time has flown by these past 7 months. They've not been easy but I feel extremely lucky to have such an amazing little boy, who has completed our family. The past month has been a strange one. He's been through some good and bad phases. The bad phases have been pretty difficult and stressful but I think the main reason is down to teething.


I get really embarrassed when I look back at my old photos when I first started blogging. They were even worse before I even knew what a blog was. When I was a few months into blogging, I bought a camera which I loved. I have recently bought a more updated camera that is perfect for taking photos and for filming for my channel which you can see here. My photos are still not how I want them to be but they're getting there. I am still learning myself.


Last month went way too fast for me, and I totally missed the Siblings post and the Me and Mine post. One thing I promised myself at the beginning of the year, was to take more photos of the girls and of all three kids together. With both girls being at school every weekday and Mia being at her Dad's at the weekend, the only time I can manage to get a photo of all three together is after school or every other Sunday when Mia's not at her Dad's. It was Freddie's Christening at the beginning of the month, and I jumped at the chance of capturing some photos of all three together and separately. I have fallen in love with the pictures, and I want to blow them up onto a canvas soon.


Before I had Freddie I loved online window shopping at baby leggings and other handmade clothing on Instagram. I follow a lot of shops on Instagram that sell stunning and adorable handmade items for babies, toddlers, kids and adults. Although I haven't bought from every single shop, I plan to buy more once Freddie is 1+ years old. At the moment he is going through clothes like there's no tomorrow. He doesn't walk, he doesn't crawl so no one can really see his clothes because he is always cosied up in his cosy toes in the pram.

I've been blogging for over three years now and although my blog is an online diary for myself where I can write about our family adventures, memories of the kids and more, it's also my income. My partner goes out to work full-time and I work from home as well as being a stay-at-home Mum. Not many people know that I work from home and most people are shocked when I tell them that my job is my blog and that is where I get my income from.


I haven't written one of these posts for a while now, but it's mainly because I am getting a little too stressed with everything at the moment. Once I have one little problem in my head it all of a sudden turns to a 100 things, which can be quite annoying. My mind just goes into overdrive, and I panic. Shockingly, I've been working on my blog every single day and evening/night until midnight. I haven't got much to show that I've been working that much, but I know why. Most nights I've just been sitting here staring at the screen, feeling sorry for myself.


If you're a reader of my blog, a follower on my Facebook page then you may know that Freddie hates sleep. Since day one, he's been pretty much a rubbish sleeper, day and night. He did have about one week where he slept from midnight until 3 am (ish) but that soon went, and for the past 6 months he has been waking up every 1-2 hours or 3 at a push. It's been exhausting. Never have I had such little sleep. It also doesn't help that he cat naps. His naps during the day are 20-30 minute naps. Twice a day. I mean, what baby doesn't like to sleep?! Seriously.


I've always been a fan of Bumbo seats, and I remember buying the classic Bumbo seat for Mia when she was around 4-5 months old. She absolutely loved it, and I've always recommended the seat to other parents through the years. When I was asked if I wanted to review the Bumbo Multi Seat, I was really interested to see how different it was and so I said yes. The Multi-Seat has been used daily, and Freddie absolutely loves it.


I've been weaning Freddie since he was around 4 months old and he's recently started finger foods, which he loves. He hasn't had many different finger foods yet, but I am going to start giving him different kinds of food such as veg and fruit as well as sandwiches and other suitable finger foods for him. We go out for family meals at least once a month, and soon Freddie will be eating food with us when he gets the hang of feeding himself at meal times. When the girls were exploring with finger food, I remember putting some chips of mine on a clean tissue or asking for a spare plate. It was quite a nuisance because the plate would always get flung (which wasn't good as they're not plastic!). 

We were sent the Bibetta Placemat with pocket to review, and I personally think it is a perfect idea. The placemat is a perfect size of 58cm x 45cm. It folds up to pocket size which fits perfectly into your handbag or changing bag. If you love going out for meals and have a baby or/and toddler who feeds off the table, this placemat is perfect. 

Valentine's Day will be here soon enough. There are many gifts around to buy your loved such as the obvious flowers and chocolates. Maybe this year you could buy that special person something different? Something unique? Something funny? There are many gifts available at Prezzy Box. Here are a few gift ideas for that special man or woman in your life; 

I've got three kids and I formula bottle fed my first two and breastfed my third. Breastfeeding was a whole new experience for me. I was told about cluster feeding but didn't think too much about it. I had no idea how I would feel and how exhausted I would be. Breastfeeding is hard (most of the time) and takes up a lot of your time during the first few months. Cluster feeding takes up a lot of your time. Having two other kids to look after, it was hard. To others, it may seem pretty easy. I mean, we sit down and just feed, right? Surprisingly, feeding constantly is exhausting.


Have you booked a winter getaway with the kids? Well, whether you’re heading for sunnier climes or are embracing cooler temperatures for a snowy break, you’re going to need to give a bit of thought to packing. Leave yourself plenty of time to ensure you’ve packed everything the kids will need, using this list below for reference…


When I was pregnant with Freddie, I had already planned that I was going to get him christened. To begin with, I am not religious, but I think getting a child christened is a lovely thing to do to celebrate their life. My partner and I were christened when we were babies, so it felt right that all our kids were christened too. Mia was christened back in 2011, Elliw was christened in 2013 as she celebrated her 1st birthday too and I decided to christen Freddie today (5th February 2017).

I love online shopping and I must admit I've bought way too many clothes for Freddie the past few months. I really need to stop because when I was sorting through his 0-3 ad 3-6 months clothes, I realised he hardly wore most of the clothes, which was a shame because they're so expensive to be just worn the once or not at all. I follow many Instagram shops and one of my favourites is Turtledove London. Their clothes are adorable, good quality, affordable price and modern.

I remember buying this romper when they had a sale. I think I bought it for £10 and in a size 6-12 months. I think it will fit him until he is around 10 months or maybe 11 months at a push. But that is because he's big for his age. As he is just over 6 months old, I decided to put the romper on him and it fits perfectly with room to grow.


 ( Strike a pose ! )

This post is linked up to; Weekend Tot Style

I can't believe it's been nearly two whole years since we visited Thailand. It was such an amazing 3-week experience. The girls absolutely loved it, and we would love to visit again, especially that we have Freddie now too. My partner and I were looking through our Thailand photo albums the other night, and they brought back so many memories. For a while, we were chatting about the things we did and things we plan to next time when we visit again.


Freddie has already got 8 teeth, some have come through and some are cutting through. Neither of my girls had so many teeth by 6 months, Elliw didn't even cut her first tooth until she was around 7 months old. It makes sense to why Freddie has been so grumpy, unsettled and dribbling galore. I've been forever giving him bonjela to help him soothe his gums and it works for a little while.


I love going out for walks and taking the kids out to different places. There are so many places to visit in North Wales, and my favourite kind of places to visit are the ones with the breathtaking scenery. It's quite easy to find somewhere around here that has stunningly beautiful views. On Saturday we decided to go out for a walk after the rain had stopped. Mia was in her Dad's so it was just my partner, Elliw, Freddie and myself. We had thought of asking my Taid to come, but he was busy.

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