×

Archive: September 2017


Trying to get your child to eat a balanced diet can seem challenging when they get to an age where they are fussy with some food, especially the fruit and veg - the important bits. My eldest, Mia, don't eat much veg but luckily she did eat some and was a huge fan of Broccoli when she was younger, she still eats it now. It's the fruit I struggle with her, but with Elliw she will try out most fruit and is great at eating most veg. At the moment, Freddie isn't too bad at eating his fruit and veg either. But if you have a child who isn't so keen, here are a few fun ways to encourage them to eat more fruit and veg:

MAKE THEIR PLATE FUN
Presentation on a child's plate can be key, sometimes. Make it look fun and colourful. Be creative and make some shapes out the food on the plate. You could even cut some food out into shapes or buy some shape cutters to make it even more fun. There are special patterned plates that could also make their plates look fun and encourage them a bit more too.

GROW THEIR OWN FRUIT AND VEG 
If your child doesn't mind getting their hands dirty and get the excitement of their own food growing in their back garden, this could be the way to encourage them to eat their own fruit and veg. My girls would absolutely love this and we are planning on doing it once the garden is complete. It's such a fun way for the kids to be outdoors and learn something while having fun too. First Tunnels have created a survey asking about you growing your own fruit and veg. You can take the quick survey here.

DON'T FORCE THEM / EAT WITH THEM
The last thing you want to do is to put them off the food completley by forcing them to eat it. A fun way to encourage them would be if you ate with them and have the same fruit or veg on your plate and tell them how tasty it is, also if it's crunchy and what ever other textures it is.

BLINDFOLD GAME
The kids will absolutely love this, and it's a fantastic game in trying all sorts of foods. Blindfold them with anything that they won't be able to see out of and put each food in a bowl for them to try out and they can tell you if they like it or not. It could also be a guess the fruit/veg game too.

GET THEM INVOLVED WITH THE SHOPPING
Let the kids choose which fruit and veg they would like to add to the shopping basket. Take them with you to do the food shop and let them tick the food off on the list, as well as adding them to the basket.


FRUIT PICKING
This is such a fun way to encourage your child to fruit and veg. Take them to your local Pick Your Own fruit/veg farm. You'll be creating memories as well as learning, having fun and encouraging your little one to eat healthier foods.

GET THEM INVOLVED WITH THE COOKING
Let the kids help you prepare food by letting them chop (with help) up the veg and serving the food out. Kids love it when they have made something and then for the family (or friends) to try it out. I am sure they will have lots of fun, they'll also be learning something too.

FRUIT SMOOTHIES
If they're not so keen on trying them, maybe encourage them to make their own fruit smoothies. You could also freeze them to make lollies too.



* This is a collaborative post

I say it every single month, and I'm going to repeat it, how on earth has another month flown by already? Since having Freddie, the months are just flying by. The days feel long but the months are flying. Although it's scary how fast time is flying by, I'm also so excited that we are getting closer and closer to Christmas. We have a few things happening this October, so I am sure this month will just fly by too. Another reason I'm excited for Christmas is that we have a week stay at Bluestone again and I'm super excited for it, the stay is also over Mia's birthday which will be nice.

Back to September, I was quite worried that we weren't going to be able to do many things as a family this month. Mainly because of my partner working on weekends and then Sundays becoming our kind of lazy days but the weather has been lovely most weekends and my partner didn't work one weekend - which is always good. Seeing as we hardly ever get time to spend together as a family during the week, I really do treasure those weekends. The only time we can have a full day together. If the weather is nice or just a little gloomy, I always try to think of somewhere, we can all go for the day or a few hours, so we're not spending a nice day indoors. Also to make some memories for us all.

At the beginning of the month, we went to Gypsy Wood, and I was so happy that Mia was with us that day. It was one of the last weekends that the place was open until it closed for the rest of the year to re-open next year. It was a few years back when I took the girls there last on my own, and it was the first time for Freddie and my partner to go, and they both really enjoyed themselves. I am still shocked to how much Freddie loved it there. He walked for at least 3 hours or more, fell into mud countless of times and just loved every single minute of the day. He was in his glory.




Before Gypsy wood, we went to Sea Zoo on Angelsey as a last minute decision. I love those days where you're in the car, and you haven't a clue where you are going, but it turns out to be an amazing day. We went around pretty quickly, but the outdoor area made it all worth it. Mia was in her Dad's so wasn't with us that day. Elliw and Freddie really enjoyed themselves, and Freddie was amazed by the fish.

We took the kids to Penmaenmawr last weekend, a place my Dad used to take my brother and me when we were younger. The last time I went, there was when the girls were really young. We didn't plan to go there, but we wanted a walk after doing some shopping at Primark in Llandudno. Again, Freddie walked the whole way and back, we didn't bother taking the pram out of the car. It's mad how different he is to the girls. He was obsessed with a dog that was there with its owners and even stroked it, he also had a lick from the dog which was hilarious, but I love how confident he is with animals. It was lovely watching Elliw come out of her shell and running around too. It takes her a while to feel confident and to just run around as she normally just walks near us and doesn't play on her own, so it was lovely to watch her feel free.




To end the month, I went attended a blogging conference in Manchester. BlogOn Xmas was my first ever blogging conference, and I was a nervous wreck, but I met some lovely bloggers and had an amazing day. I'm really looking forward to next year and absolutely loved everything that I had in the goody bag that we all received.

I have loved this month, we've managed to do a lot of things - theres me thinking we weren't going to do much. October is going to be quite busy with birthdays and a date night away to do the Christmas shopping (yes!) but otherwise I am going to try and sort out the back room of our house to transform it into my office, as well as trying to sort out the girls bedroom. Hope you all had a lovely month.







Linking up with My Family Adventures #KCACOLS

On Sunday the 24th of September, I finally attended my first ever Blogging Conference. I was super nervous, and I felt so ill for a few days before the actual day. Anxiety is a bugger. My first conference was supposed to be BritMums last year in July, but I wasn't able to attend because I was heavily pregnant with Freddie and if I'm honest, I don't think I would have attended in the end - pregnant or not. I did think for a minute that I wasn't going to attend BlogOn because my nerves were getting too much, but I'm so glad I just went.

My partner took me to my nearest town by 7.30am to meet the lovely Rebecca from Becster. I've never met her before, and she is the loveliest person I've met. She made me feel comfortable right away, and we had a good chat and laugh on our travel up to the conference. When we finally arrived at Hotel Football, which was right next to the Manchester stadium (not that I'm a football fan - but it was cool), we tried to find somewhere to park. Road works were going on, and we ended up going round in circles, but it was funny, and we eventually found somewhere to park. 

We headed towards the hotel, and we saw Nige (DIY Daddy), Leanne (A Slice of Wales), and then Lucy (Hello Beautiful Bear) joined us at the entrance. We got our badges and went for breakfast. There was a huge queue in one room, so Lucy and I decided to head down to the bottom floor to get breakfast there. It was in the room where the brands were, and we were stopped by one brand - Starkidz, and we took a photo. They offer birthday parties and look great. We finally had breakfast then headed to one of the rooms upstairs for the welcome talk. The sessions started not long after, and the first two sessions I attended was the Photographing with Kids with Sara-Jayne (Keep Up With The Jones Family) and Instagram by Harriet (Toby and Roo). I learnt a lot in both sessions, and they were both amazing. 

After the two sessions, Rebecca and I went for lunch, and I met the lovely Anca (Anca's Lifestyle). I then spent the rest of my time with her and went to the same sessions. Originally I planned to go to other sessions, but because I enjoyed the photography session with Sara-Jayne, I decided to make this year to learn more about photography. I went to the Festive Photo Styling with Mel Knibb (Le Coin De Mel) and Photo Styling with Lucy (Captured By Lucy), and although they were both amazing, I realised photo props just weren't for me. Although I learnt a few bits, they're not sessions I would attend again, but they are amazing sessions if you like props and flatlay photography. I regret not attending the Blog Life Balance and Camera Shy sessions, I think I would have learnt a lot with them.


The brands were lovely, and it was great to see all the toys, and I was mostly amazed at the new Luvabelle doll. At first, I thought it was kinda creepy, but they're actually quite cute. I'm sure my girls would absolutely love her. Another favourite was the Snopake stationery brand which I loved. They had a fountain pen that didn't leak or smudge - I received two goody bags of pens from them, and I've got a favourite pen. I rarely talk about stationery on my blog, but I am a huge fan. 

We were also able to vote for the best toys from different categories, and at the end of the day there was a raffle (the raffle money went to charity, and we all raised over £2000), and the prizes were one of the toys - which were amazing. I won a raffle and chose the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag Movi - I had my eye on it as I was voting, so I was super happy when I was able to choose it as my prize. I haven't opened it yet as I'm going to keep it for a Christmas present for Freddie, but it looks amazing. 


The day took me as a surprise as I was nervous I was going to be by myself and more nervous that I wasn't going to 'fit in' anywhere or with anyone. I felt the total opposite - I felt so comfortable there. In the morning as I was heading towards the breakfast area, the lovely Franca (A Moment With Franca)  stopped me and said hello. What she said to me really picked my confidence for the whole day. It was so lovely to finally meet her. I also met some of the lovely girls from my favourite Facebook Group #BlogBumpClub - Alex (Lamb and Bear), Hannah (Budding Smiles), Jade (Raising The Rings), Sarah (Run Jump Scrap) and I'm sure there were more, but my mind has gone blank. I will add on if I remember. Sorry if I missed you.

There were a few other bloggers who stopped me to say hello or said hello as they passed, but I am so bad with recognising faces so I honestly can't remember. I saw other bloggers who I wanted to say hello to but was too nervous too. But one thing I would like to say is a massive thank you to Alex from Lamb and Bear (who also sells baby/toddler leggings here) who came up to me when I was by myself at one point. 

At the end of the day when I arrived home, although it was an amazing day - one of the best days this year - I wasn't so sure if it was for me. But after reading everyone's posts about the day, thinking more and more about the day, I am actually looking forward to going again next year in May. I hope to be a lot more confident next year. 

Thank you, Laura and her team for organising such an amazing day. 

The goody bag was amazing - but I will do another post about that, however, here's a sneek-peek-photo!





Linking up with: My Sunday Photo

If you follow my blog, then you will know that Freddie was the first baby I breastfed as I bottle fed my two girls. Breastfeeding third time around was an easy decision as I wanted to do it. No one forced me, no one pushed me towards it, it was me that wanted to see how it goes and shockingly I was incredibly lucky that Freddie was able to latch from the very first feed. I remember feeling so happy and told my partner to take a photo of the first feed. I won't put it on here as my big hanging belly was out and I forgot, ha ha. But it's such a precious photo and one I will treasure forever.

Although breastfeeding felt easy right at the beginning, probably because of it being so new to me, I didn't know what was to come. A few days later when your boobs get huge, well for a small breast Mum (hello!) to have huge boobs was good (for me) but so painful. I didn't enjoy feeding when my breasts felt like they were going to explode, but I still had to feed through it. There were a few tears and a few sicky moments where I felt so nausea of the thought of him feeding as it just hurt so much. It calmed down a few days later, thankfully, and it started to get a little easier again.

But it wasn't as easy for that long. Freddie was a baby who liked to feed for around 30 minutes to an hour, have a 10-20 minute break then feed again, all day, every day. It was hard, but I honestly didn't mind it for the first 5 or 6 months. I struggled badly during the first two months, late July and August, as both girls were off school and so trying to entertain them and keep feeding Freddie was a day-to-day struggle. My partner was off for two weeks which I loved as he helped so much by taking the girls out for me so I could have some time to myself.


Housework was a huge problem. We had many arguments over housework. I honestly struggled to leave the sofa, I was in my own little world. But I look back now, and I don't regret one minute of it. I spent most of my days cuddling my baby boy, and I treasure those moments, so much. There's not one regret that I have for when Freddie was a young baby. I did the housework around Freddie and me. Although the washing baskets were filling up, the cleaning, washing, and tidying could wait, time couldn't.

Roughly 3-4 months later, Freddie was still feeding on me so often. He would never go 2 hours without a feed, and the health visitor did get a little concerned as to why he was feeding so often and suggested I start thinking about weaning him around the 4 month stage. I started weaning the girls around 4-5 months, so it had come to my mind. When Freddie was around 4 months old, I started him with fruit puree's first. He didn't take it that well, and I stopped for a few weeks. After a few weeks, he started feeding better. He was then slowly getting into a routine of feeding every 3 hours, then a few weeks more it was 4 hours.

As he was breastfed, it was me who settling Freddie to bed and feeding him through the day and through the night. It was hard. His sleep was getting worse, I was getting extremely sleep deprived, and then I started to change. I was miserable, exhausted, not thinking straight and I wasn't able to concentrate on anything or anyone. I remember feeling so mad at people if they told me that they were tired. I started to get jealous my partner going out with friends. I wanted to do that. In the first six to seven months I never really had the urge of wanting to go out. I enjoyed staying at home, in my own little bubble. But something just started in my head. I wanted to get my life back again.

I felt trapped.

I felt guilty for having that thought of wanting to go out with my friends.

I said no to my friends if they asked me to go over to theirs for a girly night, or even to the cinema because I was exhausted and knew I wouldn't be able to cope staying up late. I'm also not the chattiest or happiest person when I'm so tired.

I slowly started to hate breastfeeding.

I never wanted to get to the point of hating breastfeeding. I began to feel like some kind of crazy woman. I think a lot of it was because it would take around an hour or two hours for Freddie to actually settle to sleep, only for him to wake up an hour or less later and it was me who had to go back up and settle him. I cried at every night feed. I hated it.

His daytime feeds were getting better, and I was only feeding around 3 or 4 times a day, sometimes less. But his daytime naps were awful. One or two naps that only lasted 10 or 20 minutes. I was exhausted and couldn't remember such struggle with the girls, and I honestly do put it down with breastfeeding. A lot of it was a comfort, and if we ever planned another baby, there are a few things I would have done differently. But being a first time breastfeeding Mum was hard. It was all so new, and I did struggle, a lot.


I desperately wanted to reach the one year mark without having to introduce formula. But I failed that. I do feel guilty, but it made me a better person. A better Mum. Around 10 months old, I finally made the decision to start Freddie on formula in the evenings. It was still hard to accept, but I now feel 'free' in the evenings. I finally found that light at the end of the tunnel, one I couldn't see before. The sleep didn't really improve until a few months later and now 14 months on, he sleeps most nights. Starting formula meant I was able to get on with my work or relax a little as my partner helped by feeding and settling him to sleep. Combi feeding wasn't an easy decision or an easy journey either.

14 months on and I am still breastfeeding Freddie. The times I settle him to sleep during the evening, I feed him formula, and then he will breastfeed as a comfort, but I know he can do without as he does when my partner settles him. He will also have a feed around 10am just before his nap time, again it's probably a comfort as he can do without that too but I love the cuddles we have before his nap time. The other feed, a proper feed, he will have is his morning feed in my bed, when he wakes up. I absolutely love that time of day. It doesn't last long, probably around 10 minutes or less but I love it.

After struggling with separation anxiety with my baby boy, struggling with sleep deprivation and struggling with other problems, I am slowly feeling myself... just slowly. Although I've struggled a bit with breastfeeding, I still think it's been an amazing journey and I would do it all over again, by doing a few different things that I've learned from.



Posts you might like to read:
1 Month into my Breastfeeding Journey
6 Months of Breastfeeding
1 Year of Breastfeeding - an honest post
Why I Won't Stop Sharing My Breastfeeding Journey
I Was Nervous To Be A Breastfeeding Mum
Breastfeeding Must Haves
Tips For Surviving Cluster Feeding
11 Things I Didn't Know About Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding - Four Months
Tips For Breastfeeding In Public
Reasons Why I'm Glad I Started Breastfeeding
15 Things You Should Never Say To A Breastfeeding Mum
Breastfeeding - The First Two Weeks


Since becoming a Mum with my first child, I had noticed many of my friends disappeared, and I'm sure a lot of other Mums can agree that it happened to them too. Not only Mums but Dads too. It is a shame that you soon realise who your friends are once you have a baby. But it is better to have a handful (or one) good friends than a big gang of fake friends. Over the years I've been on and off friends with many. The main reason being that we all have such busy lives and all have different lives. I can easily count my real friends on the one hand - not a lot at all, but I'm not complaining. They are the ones that are there for me, and I'm there for them. We all have one big thing in common, that is, we all have kids. Itis good to be good friends with someone that you can relate your life with, rant with them when parenting gets tough and a shoulder to cry on if it gets too much.

Another thing that happened when I became a Mum was letting myself go a little. Especially after having Freddie, my third, I stopped going out with friends and never went out to enjoy myself. I rejected movie nights, going out for meals and drinks, even going out for catch ups. I was in my own little world, at home with my girls and boy. I was stuck in some kind of routine but also extremely sleep deprived that I loved the evenings more than ever before as it meant I could get at least an hour or so nap - or time to myself.

As Freddie is getting better with his sleep and will sleep through the night, most nights now, I have started to go out and do things that I enjoy. Whether it's going out on date nights with my partner or going out with a friend. I am slowly trying to get back into what I enjoy and feeling myself. It's such a good feeling to let your hair down once in a while. I went out for a few (ok, maybe it was a lot!) drinks a few months back and it was at the time Freddie wasn't sleeping that well for me. I was exhausted the day after but luckily no hangover. Although I had an amazing time, I just didn't enjoy the 'night out' experience, and I'm not sure if that's my age or if I'm just not used to going out drinking anymore.

I got invited to go out with a friend near my birthday. We went to the cinema, and for food, she paid as a treat for my birthday. I did the same for her a few weeks later for her birthday. I've been friends with her for roughly three or four years and not once have we fallen out (possibly a few tiffs here and there - haha.) But otherwise, she has been so amazing to me and even great with the kids. The kids absolutely adore her and Elliw is best friends with her little girl too, which is adorable.

She is one of the friends that I can feel 100% myself around and never have I felt like that before. I'm quite a shy person, to begin with until you know more, but it takes a lot for me to be completely myself and that's mainly because I get super paranoid that someone will judge me for what kind of person I am. Words that someone has told me in the past have stuck around in my head which makes it harder for me to be 100% myself around others.

When it was her birthday, I knew I wanted to get her something special. Something that meant something to her and something unique. I thought this Eternity Rose was the perfect gift for a perfect friend. I chose the Red Natural Rose as she is obsessed with Disney, and seeing as Beauty and The Beast is quite big at the moment, and my favourite film, the rose was just perfect for her. It's an absolutely beautiful gift, and each rose is presented in a lovely PU leather case. The finish has a stunning shine and is a genuine red rose that's glazed and edged with beautiful 24 karat gold. I thought it was the perfect way to show her how much the friendship means to me.



Do you have a friend that's one in a million?

* We were gifted the product in return for an honest review and opinion. All words, opinions and images are entierly my own.

As Mia goes to her Dad's every weekend, we don't very often go out for a day as a family of five. But every other Sunday she will be with us, and that's the time I tend to plan family days out. The past few weekends she has been staying in her Dad's for the full weekend, so hasn't been with us some Sundays. I was so excited to have her back home on Sunday just been, 17th of September, so we could all go out together. Luckily, the weather was absolutely stunning, and surprisingly hot too. We decided to go to Gypsy Wood in Bontnewydd. It's a place that's only about 10-15 minutes away from us by car, and somewhere I've been with the girls before, but haven't been for about 2 years which I'm gutted about. The whole place has changed - a lot since I last went, so it was nice to see it so updated and so much more things to do.

As Freddie isn't a very steady walker - yet (although, very confident) we got the family ticket which only cost around £25. The minute we walked into the park there was something to do, everywhere you turn there is always something for the kids to do. Whether it's playing on the trains, on a trampoline, finding the fairies, riding the cars or go-kart and so much more. We got there around 1pm and left around 4pm but could have spent a lot more time there as the kids were enjoying themselves so much.


Freddie was sleeping as we arrived which I was gutted about but after about 45 minutes I decided to slowly wake him up, and he did. From then onward, he walked everywhere. He hated to be carried, and just wanted to walk. I am still shocked now on how well behaved he was. I really do think he's going to be so laid back when he's older. He threw a few little tantrums when we left the go-kart area as he absolutely loved them. We would have stayed longer if he was a little older and was able to properly ride them without my partner having to hold and push him. But, further on we went back to the park area, and there were little cars and tractors more suitable to his age there, which he loved. He was covered with mud, on his hands, all over his jeans and shoes, but nothing fazed him and he just loved every single minute of it.

There's something to do for all ages and is one of my favourite places to visit. We were really lucky to go this weekend as it's only open next weekend until it's closed for the season. It will re-open sometime next year. If you've never visited before, I would really recommend you go there if you ever visit North Wales. You can easily spend a day there, and there is so much to do for the kids (and even fun for us adults, too) for such a reasonable entry price.




























Linking up with: KCACOLS
Copyright © Life as MumCREATED BY ThemeShine