We Have A Puppy!

For years and years, my partner has wanted us to get a dog and for years I've said a plain no. Main reason being is because I am the one who would be with the dog as my partner works 40+ hours a week. Not only that, but I also have three kids to look after too! But a good few months ago I started to feel like it was the 'right time' to get a dog. Saying that I don't think there is a right time for anything, but I felt ok about welcoming a dog into our family.

Luckily, a friend was selling her dogs pups, we went to visit and we instantly fell in love. Within a couple of days, we said yes and put down our deposit. Then it was just counting down the days to bring him home. The kids were excited, especially Mia and Freddie. Elliw, on the other hand, was excited but extremely nervous. Anyone who knows Elliw will know that she's never been 100% keen on dogs and she always needs reassurance, this was another reason I felt like it was right to get a dog, to help her too.

2 weeks went by, very slowly, but finally, it was the day to pick our Ollie up. As it was a Tuesday, the girls were in school as normal and Freddie was home. My partner took a couple of hours off work and went back to work within half an hour of bringing Ollie home. The first day was a challenge with Freddie being there too as well as trying to settle Ollie, but we got through it.

Ollie is now 12 weeks old and has been with us for 4 weeks but it feels like much longer. Time has flown by and although it is hard, we couldn't imagine life without him. There are so many things I've had to learn over the past few weeks and I'm still learning as I'm going along. It's definitely much harder than I thought, but I don't regret having him. Not at all.

We're getting a bit cabin fever at the moment, but there are only 2 weeks to go until he can start going out for his daily walks. He's so hyper at times, but cuddly most of the time. He loves it when the kids are around and he's constantly on the go when they are home too. When it's just me and him, he's more sleepy during the day, until the kids come back home from school.

I am looking forward to so many adventures with him and the kids these next few weeks.

How To Make Your Living Space Work For The Whole Family

The living room is any family home’s heart. It’s the place everyone hangs out in a group, catching up on the events of the week and laughing over movies. It’s also probably the place pizza treat night happens, putting a smile on everyone’s face. If your living room isn’t quite there yet, then it can be with a little planning and maybe some rearrangements. It’s important to consider the needs of the whole family when creating a functional, fun, and inviting space for everyone. Is it possible to please everyone when they’re almost guaranteed to have conflicting ideas regarding how best to arrange things? It’s certainly not impossible! Below are a few ideas on how to make it work for the whole family.

Supersized Seating
Everyone has a favourite spot on the sofa and there’s nothing quite like having to fight for it on a Saturday night. It’s also not exactly fair when someone ends up having to abandon their cushioned seat for another, due to a family member sprawling out horizontally over the duration of an evening. Should all these scenarios sound very familiar then it might be time to upgrade your seating. A great sofa, whilst a potentially pricey investment, is the guaranteed solution. If the space in your living room permits it, then a corner sofa is a fantastic investment that will maximise the availability of cosy seating for everyone. No need to compromise on design as it’s easy to style the sofa with attractive cushions and throws that can be rotated out seasonally, if you wish. You may find that spending a little extra on a high-quality sofa will pay off in the long run, with the cushions staying firmer and more comfortable to sit on for longer.

Creating Small Spaces
Depending on the size of your room you may be able to carve out separate ‘spaces’ for different activities. A bookshelf can be used as a stylish room divider, concealing the slightly messier play area for the kids whilst working as a focal design point of the room. Alternatively, a corner can be dedicated to games and entertainment – the trick is to have a chest of drawers or even a large ottoman that can hide all evidence of toys at a moment’s notice. It’s important to balance the need for play and toys with aesthetic appeal since it’s a shared space that’s also used for hosting.

Storage and Clutter
Most households struggle with storage solutions that are functional and attractive. No one wants to see endless stacks of unread magazines, piles of toys, and strewn about tangled wires. Attending to these small details can completely transform the feel on a room from messy to chic, with little effort on your part too. First order of business is a through declutter. We all accumulate useless bits and pieces almost unconsciously so a proper annual clear-out can reveal some much-needed space. Look at your current furniture and evaluate if any of it can be upgraded to include extra storage; a coffee table will typically occupy a large chunk of space with little by way of storage – look for one with inbuilt storage capability instead.

The perfect living room that pleases everyone doesn’t really exist but a compromise that works for kids and adults does. Don’t let the space get overrun with toys as the space has to balance adult and children’s needs equally.

- This is a collaborative post. 

Num Noms Treat Bundle

Last month the girls were very lucky to receive a great bundle of Num Noms goodies. They've always loved Num Noms, ever since they came out. If you're not quite sure what Num Noms are, then where have you been?! On a serious note, they are collectable scented characters. They are soft, squishy and hallow characters. On the inside, there are hard-shelled characters that are filled with flavoured lip gloss. Now, in different series' they also do nail varnishes, pencil toppers and more. They are all scented and a huge hit with kids these days.

The bundle that the girls received included a bunch of fun Num Noms goodies. Included in their bundle were some Num Noms Mystery Make Up Pack which included: x1 Num Noms character with hidden makeup surprise. x1 scented lip gloss Nom, x1 reusable plastic bottle and a collectors menu. These were the girls' favourites and they have reused the plastic bottles to store their Num Noms when they keep them away.

The bundle also included a magazine, some sweets and some other Num Noms surprise gifts that the girls were really excited over. You can find out more about the Num Noms products over on their website here.

Our Cosy Afternoon In Pyjamas

When the kids and I have arrived back home from the school run, I always try and make the rest of the afternoon as calm as possible, but it doesn't always go that way. If you're a parent you may understand that the busiest hours of the day is probably between 4pm-7pm, which covers coming back home from school, preparing and cooking food (unless you've used the slow cooker!) and getting ready for the bedtime routine.

But one day last week the kids and I decided to go upstairs for a bit and just chill in my bedroom in our new pyjamas from pyjamas.com. It's always nice just taking some time together and forget about the cooking and cleaning for a change. Let's face it, no matter how many times I clean and tidy up, my house is never going to be spotless. But at the same time, my kids aren't going to stop growing, so I like to take some time 'off' to just chill with the kids.

Ollie, our new pup, was having a little nap while we were upstairs and we just chatted about all kinds of different things such as what did they do during school time, what they would like to be when they are older, they're favourite memory from last year and so on. When having little chill afternoons or days, there's so much you can catch up on. You will probably find yourself learning and knowing more about the kids. Because let's face it, life is pretty hectic. We don't get time to sit down for too long chatting about things with the kids every day. 

While we were chilling and chatting, I thought we would take some photos together too, especially to show our new pyjamas that we were kindly gifted by pyjamas.com. Both girls went for the 'Boss like a floss' pyjamas, which was black and pink. I went for the Minnie and Mickey, then chose Mr Tumble for Freddie and Only Fools and Horses for my partner. There's a great range of pyjamas on their website and they're all reasonably priced. I am super pleased with the quality and the sizing of the pyjamas. They wash really well and I can already tell that they will be pyjamas that will be worn over and over again, and most importantly, they will last.

* We were kindly gifted these items for the purpose of this review.
All words, images and opinions are our own. 

Baby Annabell Sophia So Soft Review

We were recently sent the new Baby Annabell Sophia So Soft to review. Anyone who knows Freddie, my youngest, will know that he adores dolls, just like his sisters did when they were younger too. My middle still adores dolls too, but not as much as Freddie. The new Sophia So Soft is a 43cm sized doll, which is a great size for little people.

Sophia is Baby Annabell's big sister. I am always super pleased with the quality of Baby Annabell dolls and this Sophia So Soft doll didn't disappoint. She has beautiful soft golden blonde hair and comes with a pink hairbrush. Freddie loves brushing through her soft hair and Elliw, my middle, loved brushing her hair too.

Sophia So Soft is dressed bright and fun with her dress and colourful purple and white polka dot top, not forgetting her matching headband and her pink trainers too! She has a soft body, which is great for the little ones to cuddle and playing.

Freddie adores Sophia and loves to cuddle her, and her soft body makes her even more cuddly and friendly for the little ones. Her hair is soft and the ideal length for little ones to brush her hair. Sophia is great for little ones to use their imagination and learn more through imaginative play. Something I love watching is when the kids are using their imagination when playing. Whether it's playing hairdressers with the dolls, going shopping or taking her for a walk.

We kindly gifted Baby Annabell Sophia So Soft. However, all words, images and opinions are entirely our own.

Family Day Out in Llanfairfechan {Our Favourite Adventures}

For the past 6 months or so, I've kind of neglected my blog and stopped writing about our family adventures. I used to love writing and sharing about our adventure days outs. Mainly because I could look back on them and remember the little details of the day, which I love. I am back this week sharing a lovely fresh walk we had a few weeks back. I'm also joining in with Donna's linky The Ordinary Moments, which is a linky I used to link up to every week a year or so ago. Here I am, trying it again! Hopefully, I will stick to it this time and get back into sharing more about our family adventures.

If you have followed me for a while you may know that we, as a family, love going on different kinds of walks whether it's through some forest walks, beach walks, national trust walks and a mix of other places, we always enjoy it and love making memories with the kids. Of course, not every single day out and walk is plain sailing when there are kids but we try our best to make sure we visit the best places for kids in North Wales.

A few weeks ago we decided to visit Llanfairfechan, a place we visit often and it's a beautiful place throughout the year. During the summer season, the cafe is open which is great for people who love to visit and have some lunch or a cuppa. My Nain and Taid visit Llanfairfechan every Sunday throughout the warmer seasons and they love it there.

Mia was in her Dad's on this day, so we only had two of the kids with us. They brought their bikes with them that they were given for Christmas. Freddie has a balance bike which is amazing. He goes on his bike so well. It was a crisp fresh day but we were wrapped up and the cold didn't bother us as much as we thought.

We went along the front, and there is a walk you can do that goes a good few miles, but we only stayed in the main part,  near the lake as the wind was quite chilly and we didn't want to take the kids further if it was going to get colder or start to rain.

It was such a lovely day. The walk wasn't really long, but it was enough for the kids. Elliw is getting so confident on her bike and Freddie is just like a pro on his. I absolutely love taking the kids on walks that they enjoy themselves too.

Our Favourite Children's Books

Reading my kids a bedtime story is probably one of my favourite things to do. It takes me back when I was a child myself and getting a bedtime story from my Dad. I remember these two particular storybooks that he always read to me and my brother. I think that is why I always made sure there was time to read a bedtime story into our bedtime routine.

Over the years the kids have had many books, but there are only certain books that I have to read over and over again. As I've got three children, I let them take turns each night to choose a book they would like to either read or listen too. The two eldest are great readers, and my little boy loves to listen (most of the time!) to a story. But as their ages are so different, I always like to make sure that their storybooks are fun, short and full of fun. For Freddie, I like to make sure his stories rhyme, short and filled with bright colours. 

As said above, the kids have their favourite books and I've listed them below. I've also included an infographic below made by Furniture Village where they have looked into what makes a perfect bedtime storybook for kids. 

Where is Lamb?
This book is Elliw's from when she was around 1 years old. All three kids absolutely love this book, especially Freddie right now. There is a hand puppet in the middle, which makes the story even more exciting for the child. The story is a rhyme and it's not too long, so your child will never get bored and it sure is a fun story to read. 

Peppa Pig
Peppa has always been a great hit in our home. This book is also an oldie, it belonged to the girls when they were younger but now Freddie loves it. Again, it's a short and quick story but there are bright photos and the story is fun. 

Dora The Explorer
Elliw has a bunch of these Dora The Explorer books and all three kids absolutely loves them. These books are great for having fun, as well as helping them learn. Each story always has a meaning, and it can also help the child understand and learn new things such as learning manners, sharing and making friends etc.

David Walliams
My eldest, who is 9years old is a huge fan of David Walliams books. This book, in particular, is a huge hit. It's a great story and it's a fun book to read too. Something else I find great with David Walliams' books are you can also buy a Welsh version too, which is a great bonus for welsh kids like mine. 

* This is a paid post with Furniture Village