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A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

WICKED WEDNESDAY | #7 My very own piglet

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I love this time of the week, so if you're up for a giggle or two don't forget to come and join Wicked Wednesday with us. This week, my crazy toddler found it highly hilarious that placing her nose on my parents clean windows making pig noises was a good idea. This kid makes me laugh so much. 

Blogs That I am Loving Right Now ♥

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I have been reading blogs for years, actually when I come to think of it I cannot tell you the amount of hours I would spend reading blog post after blog post. I guess it's a good thing that I have started my own little blog. There's just something about reading other people's life and getting a glimpse into their lives that I find quite fascinating. I also love a little venture onto You tube for some kind of hack or tip about makeup or anything beauty related to be honest. I must say since entering the wonderful world of blogging I have become so inspired by so many different bloggers who write about family lifestyle, fashion and of course beauty. And so seeing as so many inspire me and I am always wanting to share their wonderful posts, I want to share a couple of bloggers that adore and ones you should go and see too. 

Zoe Sugg - ZOELLA

This was one of the very first blogs that got me obsessed with the blogging world. I read her whole archive in a month or so. If you don't know who Zoella is then where have you been? This lady has literally taken the online world by storm and can do no wrong. Zoe is a great success, she has her own line of beauty products and even published her own book which has become a best-seller Girl online

Corrie Swaffield - DIZZYBRUNETTE3

A beauty blog. Corrie had been blogging for years and blogs about almost anything from her life, beauty, fashion, and her beloved labradoodle Frankie! I love how she comes across in her blogs it feels so genuine and friendly. I also watch her youtube channel where she shows regular hauls and gives great advice about beauty. I have major hair envy though, she has the best hair. Please take some time to check her out!


Jordan Bone is a beauty blogger from Norfolk. But she is not just a beauty blogger she is such an inspirational woman as 10 years ago after a car accident she left a tetraplegic, where she lost all movement in her limbs. But this has not stopped her from making her way in the world and her determination to encourage young people to not only drive safely but to consider all the choices they make through her road safety campaigns. Recently she has become a internet sensation with her video #MyBeautifulStruggle which was in response to some hurtful comments made on her blog and YouTube channel about her hands. I love her blog and her make up tutorials are amazing I have learned so much from watching them and even bought products because of her reviews! 

Hannah Parker - MUMS' DAYS

I came across Hannah's blog by researching about how I can to rid of my pregnancy tummy. It is still with me now but I am feeling good. Hannah's blog focuses on her life, parenting, fitness, food and she has a real love for making lists. Not so long ago she launched a Mums' days fit club and I think that this is great it has helped me no end I feel so much fitter and more determined because her videos. They are so easy to do and you can fit them into your daily life but involve the children. Hannah comes across so well and is so positive about everything she posts.

Emma Conway - BRUMMYMUMMYOF2

Emma Conway writes some amazing blog posts that are brutally honest and so funny, I love them so much because I can relate to her. This blog focuses on parenting but all the high the lows and the what real parenting is all about not this picture perfect idea. I love her linky party #WickedWednesday where parents can link up their most realistic or funny photos. I laugh all the time reading her blog so please take a peek. Share the blog love and check these lovely ladies out!

Amelia's 15 Month Update

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Here we are again. I can’t quite believe how quickly the last few weeks have gone. It doesn't seem so long ago that I wrote about my daughters 14 month update. I swear time goes so much quicker the older you get. So let's see how much my little girl has been growing...


HEIGHT AND WEIGHT

My little chunk is now weighing 21lb and is still measuring 31 inches, she's getting very tall and can even climb onto the side board units normally so she can get her hands on the sideboard unit, the little monkey. We need to get some more baby gros because she is growing at such a fast rate and I am sad to say that she has finally grown out of that beautiful navy dress turned t-shirt that I love so much. Another growth spurt required another shopping spree but there are so many adorable outfits for Autumn/Winter and I cannot resist them.  My daughter is a size three in shoes but they are so hard to find but I managed to get some of the most cutest dusty pink ones from Tesco for £10!

FEEDING

Even though my daughter is never been really much of an eater, because she prefers to snack on food rather than sit for a big meal, she certainly got an appetite this month. Some of her favourite snacks are of course grapes and bread sticks, who doesn't love a bread stick? We have had to move the fruit bowl because she loves to help herself making it harder for me to keep track of what fruit she is eating, as I don't really want her having too many grapes being full of sugar. Each month we like to try and new food in the house and this month we all have been enjoying some long green beans and swede and my daughter loves the both which doesn't surprise me as she loves her vegetables. Little lady is still having two cups of milk a day - one in the morning and one for night time. However this week on the food shop we got some Horlicks for a special treat and she loves the stuff, again because of the sugar we still try to limit hot drinks to every so often.

BEHAVIOUR

This month we have seen a real change in her behaviour. She has been super loving and enjoys cuddles and kisses with everyone, she loves to show her toys how much they mean to her as she squeezes and says 'ahhh'. However at our Rhyme Time session at the community centre she needed to understand that not every child likes a cuddle. A little girl had a flower on her top and my daughter being inquisitive decided to go and investigate, which took her by surprise but little lady persisted. Then all of a sudden my daughter tried pulling the flower and the little girl fell over onto another child, and then that child fell onto another completely embarrassing. So embarrassing that we left soon after.

Like with most thing with my daughter, despite the cuteness and loving side, she also has a mischievous and naughty side. The temper tantrums are crazy at the moment, it's beginning to get quite hard to know how to deal with them I must admit. Especially when we are in public, as I can't help but think every one is staring at me. Going out to eat at restaurants is quite testing, she scream and cries when she wants something and I end up trying to find anything that may distract her from the tantrum, but it's another learning curve.

SLEEPING

Sleep? What is that? Well that's what I have been thinking to myself this month. Now normally she sleep about eight hours a night but as she is going through separation anxiety this has been completely thrown up in the air. It is becoming easier each night and I think she is beginning to understand that I will go back to her. This month we have also seen a drop in the length of naps as you can imagine we have had a few grumpy afternoons because she can be stubborn, but I would prefer it if she did nap in the afternoon. (So I can snoozed too, haha no I mean do the laundry or something). During the night she does seem to be waking several times a night and I think its due to these teeth trying to break through, I do feel as if I have a new born baby again but I am loving those extra cuddles with her.

LIKES AND DISLIKES

She is obsessed with crisps at the moment but I have to limit how many she eats as they are not good for her, but I try to give her a good balanced diet. However as soon as you see a pack of Quavers she goes crazy until she gets one. My in laws decided to buy the little lady her very own chair and she loves it, she looks so grown up as she sits in it watching something on the television. She is more than happy to sit in her pink chair, her cuddly cow, yellow blanket whilst watching Upsy Daisy,

She actually hates her cot! Like literally. Every single time I try to put her down for a nap or try to settle her for bedtime she screams the house down, so the a controlled crying method is something that we have been trying to use with her this month. It's absolute torture to hear her get so upset, but if I did let her come into our room all the time I feel as if it will become too much of a habit. Slowly but surely I think she is beginning to understand that she can't have it her own way, she settles down after about ten minutes of crying.

MILESTONES

My little chatterbox is saying a few more words this month but her favourite word has to be ta and sometimes she will not give me anything I ask for until I say 'ta'. It's so sweet. Oh my goodness she has  also started to snort whilst Peppa Pig is on the box and I must admit it's pretty darn cute. I am also finding that she seems to be able to recall some information with pictures, colours, and people. She really likes our big cat magnet on the fridge and I will always ask you where the cat's eyes are and she knows exactly where to point. When we sing wheels on the bus and for the bell/ding she will tap her nose.

At the moment, she seems to be working on five new teeth and bedtime is pretty hard for us all. Even though the wake ups are becoming more regular I really do enjoy those midnight cuddles, feels so long ago that we had these. As you will see from the previous update we were going to introduce the potty and its going really well and even claps herself when she sits down on her potty. We are trying to introduce words that can be associated with using the potty and hope in time she will understand

Catch my Daughter's previous update?


WICKED WEDNESDAY | # 6 Leave me alone!!

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Hey everyone, 

So for this weeks Wicked Wednesday link up was from a family wedding where Amelia was trying to help her cousin fix his brace...But I don't think he wanted help!!!













A Mini Shopping Haul For The Toddler

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If you read my little lady's 14 Month Update you would have seen that my daughter is going through yet another growth spurt. I don't know if it just us, but it seems as soon as we have got all her clothes and shoes organised nicely into her cupboards, she throws things up in the air and grows so more. It's pretty rare that she actually gets to wear her clothes for more than a couple of weeks at the moment. But I guess it's a good excuse for a shopping spree, who doesn't love to go shopping? As soon as we got into town, she snoozed giving us a chance to make our way around the shops without dealing with a meltdown because she wants to escape the pushchair. 


I must admit, my husband and I got some great deals on some of the clothes on this trip. To be honest the rate this little lady is growing we need to save the pennies. When we buy her new clothes I do end up going through her cupboards and vacuuming packing some of her old clothes. However, those vacuum packs are coming thick and fast with ten and counting, why do I always want to keep everything? Anyone else like to hoard their little one clothing? I really do need to get organised with those and either sell some, donate or pass onto younger family members. So let's see what we got in our mini shopping haul for the little lady. 

Pyjamas - Primark - £3.50
Jeans - Primark - £4
Bow Jumper -Primark - £6
White tights - Primark - £4
Hair clips - Primark - £1
Shoes - Tesco - £10
Sleep suits - Sainsburys - £9 (great for sizes)
Short sleeves body suits - Sainsburys - £6
Pink body suits - Aldi - £3
Munchkin snack pot - TK Maxx - £3
' I am busy' book - TK Maxx - £3
Peppa pig books - Home Bargains - £4

TBT | Newborn Photo Shoots

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Since it's a Thursday today, I thought that it was time for a little throwback, who doesn't love a throwback? I wanted to take you back to our newborn photo shoot when our daughter was just eight days old. I must admit, it was probably one the best decisions we ever made and we were so happy with the images. So if there are any people who are expecting or you have just had a little arrival, you need to do one of these newborn shoots, especially when they are these small. Our photography was done by the very talented Sarah Smith Photography and as you can imagine we cannot recommend this lady enough, so please take a look at her work. 



When it came to booking the shoot, it was so easy we just send Sarah a message and she told us to bring so props and all we had to do was wait for little lady's arrival. She finally arrived, and a suitcase packed full of our personal props we headed over to her studio.  A quick meet and greet so she could ask us what we wanted from the shoot and we headed upstairs to a very hot room, as you can imagine with it being July we were all very toasty. We were at the studio for four hours and the room was well equipped with props, rugs, suitcases, bunting and such beautiful backdrops and Sarah knew exactly what she wanted from the photo shoot. I have to say I was so impressed with Sarah Smith Photography and her beautiful work, and she was the best hostess too. We even left the studio with a CD full of the unedited images, with 10 edited images send over within a week. Sarah took some beautiful new-born photos of our daughter that we will cherish forever. 

WICKED WEDNESDAY | # 5 They were too quiet!

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Yes, it's Wednesday which means one thing? It's Wicked Wednesday! The time of the week where I like to post a funny picture of my little one to show you the real side of parenting! I knew they were up to something my beautiful god-daughters were far too quiet... 

High Bands Cottage in Wensleydale

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So today I wanted to share my first review and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to review the accommodation we stayed in for our first family holiday. We stayed High Bands Cottage a five bed self catering holiday home which was perfect as there was fifteen of us, the cottage was set in the beautiful Yorkshire dales half a mile from Gayle and a mile from the market town Hawes. For years my family have visited the beautiful country side in the North Yorkshire Dales and so we have stayed in a number of locations and accommodations, but I have to say that this was by far my favourite. 


This cottage was fully furnished with an open fire and is well equipped throughout including gardens, patios, outdoor furniture, a barbecue and even has a pretty herb garden something we didn't realise until two nights before we were due to leave. There are five bedrooms - Bedroom 1 has a king sized bed and an en-suite shower room, bedroom 2 has a double bed, bedroom 3 has a king sized bed, bedroom 4 has 2 single beds bedroom 5 has two zip and link beds, there is a double sofa bed in the lounge area. My favourite room had to be the kitchen. I know I am such a geek but I have love the idea of a big kitchen that is fully equipped where all the family can sit and eat together. This cottage kitchen is more than ample...Just look at the size of that table and chairs!!!


This was our room. As we arrived first we decided to call first dibs on the best room so we decided to get the king sized bed with the en-suite so we wouldn't have to use the main bathroom. Haha. We didn't fancy waiting for the bathroom or shower in the morning after all we were on holiday with fifteen people. I immediately fell in the love with the white (very heavy) vintage bed and oh my it was so comfortable, I wish I could have stayed in it longer - I had to forget that with my early riser! The only negative comments I could say about this room is that the cupboard had an odd smell to it but I see this as an opportunity to not bother unpacking my case - making the packing for home easy! Our daughter didn't seem to take well to staying in the room with all the dark beams all over the room, it was a little scary. 


This was the main bathroom and seeing as we arrived in good time and a few hours before anyone else, we took advantage of a big bubble bath. It was perfect. Then after I had a long soak in the tub I had a little visitor who decided to jump in. Our daughter loved the big tub and even liked to use the shower head that was attached to the taps and thought it was highly hilarious when she sprayed me with freezing cold water! 



I do have to say that this is probably one of the largest accommodations that I have ever stayed in and it was more than ample for a large family. With beautiful surrounding walks and the local town full of gift ships, bakeries, pubs, and restaurants and only a walk away. So if you are looking for somewhere for a family getaway in the beautiful countryside then look no further than this quaint and charming cottage in the North Yorkshire Dales. 

RECIPE | Roasted Pork

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Who loves a nice Sunday roast? I know I love them and now that its getting colder we can have them more often. Yay! So here is our recipe for the best roasted pork and I know this is bias but it was so delicious. We had my parents over for Sunday lunch and they left our house with nice full bellies and later told us that they were in food comas for the rest of the evening!


What you'll need:

1 pork joint around 4kg
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 tbsp of mixed herbs (Fresh if you'd prefer)
500 ml chicken stock
25g cornflour 

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/ gas 7. Score the skin of the pork and rub with olive oil and sea salt.

2. Put the pork, onion and herbs in large roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, then take the roasting tray out of the oven, add the stock, cover with foil. Return to the oven and turn the heat to 150C/ 130C fan/ gas 2. 

3. After 4 hours, remove the foil, turn the oven back up again to 220C/ 200C fan/ gas 7 and roast for another 30 minutes. 

4. Take the pork out of the oven, remove the meat, cover and set aside to rest. Drain the cooking liquid, pouring off any excess fat. 


To make the best tasting pork gravy first by adding the cooking liquid into a blender then blitzing.

Then pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan then heat to a simmer and depending on how you like your gravy you may need to add a little corn flour. For this take a small bowl add a tbsp. of corn flour to three tbsp. on water then add to the cooking liquid. Simmer for a few minutes. Plate up and enjoy!

Separation Anxiety Sucks!

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Ever since our holiday my daughter has become a bit of a nightmare. I hate thinking of her as a nightmare but every time I leave a room or put her down for a nap she cries and cries. Now the rational side of me knows that it is just a phase of separation anxiety. But still, my hearts breaks every time I hear or see those tears streaming down her face and I question myself why is this happening now? I naively thought that this only happened to babies in the first few months - how wrong was I. 

Apparently it's normal behaviour for a toddler to experience separation anxiety and it's a good sign that they are developing as they should. I hate separation anxiety - it sucks!!! My daughter has become so clingy and loves to hang on my legs, something I never thought would happen. She gets very upset when I am out of her sight even if I try to make her feel at ease and play peek-a-boo. This anxiety is interfering with her sleep she seems to have cut out her two hour afternoon nap and I am missing a hot cup of tea :(. Before this she would sleep through the night and sleep between 8-10 hours a night, I know we are very lucky! I would always look forward to putting her down for a nap because she was such a good girl and go down without a peep - all it would take would be a cuddle or a story but now when she goes in her cot she has full blown temper tantrum. After trying to soothe her for a while and knowing I am getting no where with her I have to walk away because I know that I am probably doing her more harm than good. Last night it was the same I gave her milk, cuddles and said goodnight walked away with my fingers in my ears because her cries broke my heart. I wanted to pick her up so badly but I know that this stage wont last forever and that I need to persevere with it.

I am not one of the mums that want to spend every single waking hour with my baby. I try and let her do her own thing whether this be toddling after the dog or pulling all her toys out of the toy box. But now I have a little shadow and I cannot even go to the loo without an audience!!! My husband has his one-to-one time with her after he finishes work so I can have some time to myself and just catch my breath. We as parents have tried to do all we can to try and prevent this separation anxiety that seems to be rearing its ugly head at the moment!

I am finding this stage hard, I am struggling and I don't really know what to do for the best. We try to do what we are supposed to do to make her feel settled. We try to keep the amount of separation to a minimum, we play peek-a-boo (lots) she loves this game with mummy and daddy - to ease her anxiety and in time we hope she will soon realise that we will come back to her. Whenever we leave a room we always say goodbye and reassure her that we will be returning and the goodbye is fairly quick as I don't want to make her worse. We have also introduced a new comfort 'miss cuddly cow', along with her yellow blanket and her slumber elephant night light that plays lullabies. I know being a parent it hard work but this separation anxiety is just something else, its awful for her but so wearing on us to listen to our little girl crying uncontrollably because she wants us is just the worst!

SEPARATION ANXIETY go do one please, I want my happy baby back!!!!

WICKED WEDNESDAY | #4 Family photo

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It's time for another Wicked Wednesday post and this week shows how the family photo can go horribly wrong. As a blogger, you could say that I like to take a photograph or two. However, toddlers? Well let's face it, they hate their photo taken unless it's a selfie with a funny filter on. 

BOOK REVIEW | My first 100 words

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First 100 words was given to my daughter by her grandparents before her first birthday - this book is excellent for a one year old or older. This is a very large book and I love that the pages are so hard wearing so my daughter won't be able to ruin them like she had some of her other books, where she has chewed the corners. Each page is clearly set out I love the bright colours and that each word has a large sized photographs so she will be able to recognise them when she comes across them. This book has been arranged by section, again something that is a brilliant idea. My daughter can also associated each section to her day she particularly loves the bath-time section they include words like 'boat', 'fish' and towel. This normally then leads to her rowing back and forth and I take this as my cue to sign row, row, row your boat!

I would highly recommend this book to any parent that are introducing first words to their little ones and I am pretty sure that it will be a big hit with them. My daughter has had this a few months and I think she doing so great. We have bought her another called my big book of learning but I don't think she is quite ready for this one just yet!

RECIPE | Chicken and Chorizo Paella

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Our household loves paella. But we prefer a non-traditional paella and have chicken and chorizo. I love our version of paella and its so easy and stress free to make. If there are ingredients that you'd prefer to use then go ahead and make it your own. Trust me, you'll love it! So here is our sea-food free version of the classic paella.


What you'll need:

1 large onion, finely chopped 
1 carrot, finely chopped 
60g chorizo, peeled and roughly chopped 
2 chicken breasts, diced 
Dry leaf parsley 
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp paprika 
1 red pepper 
1 tbsp of tomato purée 
1 stock cube (Chicken or Vegetable is best) 
300g Paella rice 
Tin of sweetcorn/peas or both 

1. Peel and chop the onion and carrot. Then peel and roughly chop the chorizo and dice the chicken breast. 

2. Place a paella pan or wok on a medium heat with a tsp of oil and lightly fry the onion, carrot, chorizo, chicken and paprika for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley. De-seed the peppers and add these to the pan and fry for a further five minutes

3. Stir through the tomato purée and crumble the stock cube, the add the paella rice and stir for a couple of minutes. Pour in 750 ml of boiling water then bring to boil. Then simmer for a further 15 minutes stirring regularly.

4. Put in your tin of sweetcorn, peas or both. The cook for a further five minutes until piping hot. Add more parsley and then serve.

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