29.3.19

They may be Brothers but they are polar opposites | Blog

My two boys are so similar in so many ways. There little mouths, their button noses, the way they get a red patch on their head when they are really upset, the way they are both the chunkiest of babies. The first thing I remember saying when Smidge was born was 'Oh my god he looks like his brother'. To me, he was the spitting image of Pickle and even now that Smidge is almost 10 months old, I still see such a striking resemblance between them. Some times I look at Smidge and it's like I'm holding my baby Pickle once again. They may look alike but that it where the similarity ends for these two. I honestly can't believe that two brothers can look so similar but yet be so different in their personalities and their ways. 

Pickle was pretty much a textbook baby. He slept really well, drank his milk perfectly, weaned with no problems, learnt to self sooth, listened to what he was told and steered clear of things if he was told no...he was such a good baby and is still a very good little boy now. He always like to play by the rules, listens to what he is told and always wants to do good. Smidge, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. 
He is a terror! He is into everything. Anything he finds anywhere goes straight into his mouth, you tell him no and he just smiles and carries on, he wants to climb everywhere, he hates sleeping on his own, doesn't need hardly any sleep and is just so different to his older brother. One of the funniest differences I see between the two of them is when it comes to biscuits. Yes, that's right, I said biscuits. When Pickle was little, and even a little bit now although not so much, if you gave him a biscuit that was broken, he wouldn't touch it. He would get upset, would whinge and wouldn't eat it until he got a biscuit that was complete and in tact. On the flip side, if you give Smidge a biscuit he will actually purposeful break it! He snaps it clean in two and then happily munches away!! I find it hilarious as it is something so small but it really shows the difference between my two boys. 
Smidge is like a whirlwind. He is into everything and whats to go everywhere. His little personality is starting to come out and he is so strong willed and stubborn. I can honestly imagine that he is only going to become more and more different to Pickle as he grows. Pickle is so sensitive, caring and kind and I can see Smidge growing up to be ferocious protective but also a bit of a jack the lad and a bit of a nightmare! 
I am so pleased that my two boys have there own personalities but I also can't believe that two children that are from the same parents and have been raised exactly the same can be so different. Just proves that sometimes your born with it. 

27.3.19

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2019 | Gift Guide

I think that buying for your Mum is one of the hardest things! They usually have everything, don't want you to spend money on them and never give you any ideas for what to get them. Well fear not! I have brought together a few ideas that would make the perfect gift for your Mum for Mother's day. You are welcome! 

Flowers from Appleyard Flowers

I am yet to meet a woman who doesn't like a surprise bunch of flowers so why not send a bunch to your Mum this Mothers day? Appleyard Flowers has a huge range of gorgeous bouquets at a range of different prices so there is something to fit every taste and every budget. Whats more is they offer next day deliver and additional extras like chocolates and cards which is perfect if you've left things a little bit late this year. Make sure you head over to the Appleyard website here to see what they have to offer. 


Joie i-Spin 360 i-Size car seat | Review

I don't know about you but I have found the car seat market an absolute minefield ever since the guidelines changed. There are so many different kinds of car seat that all promise to do different things and it can become rather overwhelming when you're trying to find the best one for your baby. Well, look no further! I have found the PERFECT car seat that not only meets all the new guidelines and regulations, it is stylish, comfortable, filled with safety features AND will last your baby until they are 4 years old! Meet the Joie i-Spin 360 i-Size car seat.



Joie is a relatively new brand when it comes to the parenting and baby market having been around for the last 5 years or so but they are sure making themselves known. The have a huge range of car seats and the i-Spin 360 is the latest. Firstly, lets talk about the most important part of a car seat...the safety features. This seat is filled with so many different safety features such as:

23.3.19

Bluestone Wales  | Press Trip Review 

Note - we were asked to visit Bluestone Wales free of charge in return for our honest review. All of the opinions below are my own. 

When booking a holiday, what do you look for? Price, location, travel time, activities, accommodation, food options? For me, I like to find somewhere that is filled with things to do for all the family, as well as having clean, comfortable accommodation and it has to be a good price. We’ve done a few staycation trips in the past year or so and although they have been fun, I’ve never been truly blown away... that was until we went to Bluestone!

bluestone,wales, bluestones review, holiday, uk, pembrokeshire, through amis eyes,


Bluestone is a 5* National Park resort in Pembrokeshire and is billed as 'All weather, free range lodge and cottage breaks for all the family with spa, waterpark and activities for all ages' and that is exactly what it is! There was so much that we loved about this trip that is it so hard to write about it in a comprehension review as I just want to ramble on and on about all of the amazingness that is there. So to avoid any rambling, I figured I would spit this review into a few different sections to hopefully make it more readable!

22.3.19

Dealing with your separation anxiety | Collaboration

Separation anxiety is often talked about among parents; however, it is usually the issue of your child
suffering from separation anxiety and how you deal with that. Children typically do grow out of it so
while it can be a stressful time it won’t be forever. However, what you may not have heard of or
anticipated is that you, as a parent might suffer separation anxiety from being apart from your child.
You might think you would look forward to some free time, to not being followed around constantly
and having this little person demanding your time and attention so much. While many parents say
how much they miss their child when they are away from them and how guilty they feel leaving them
at nursery or with a babysitter, in reality, parental separation anxiety is much more than that.


19.3.19

Mothers Day Gift Ideas that Give Back  | Guide Guide 

Note: Some of these items were sent to us for inclusion in this guide but all opinions are honest and my own. 

Mothers Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect excuse for us to spoil our Mums and give her a bit of TLC. But, what of you could give your Mum a treat whilst giving back and helping others. This got me thinking about gifts that would be lovely for mothers day but also have a heart or a story behind them. So here are a few ideas for Mothers Day gifts that give back!

Tancream 
This is unlike any other tanning cream I have come across before and I think that the emotional story behind this amazing self tanning cream makes it a perfect gift as well as a wonderful small business to support. Tancream was launched in 2017 after being developed by 2 North Yorkshire Mums after one of them was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer. Gillian and Katy joined forces with leading sun care expert, Dr Jack Ferguson and cosmetic chemist Johanna Warren to develop a sun lotion for safe body coverage with the added bonus of a rapid bronzer and a beautiful tan. Tancream was born and it has become a huge hit winning awards all over the place and being stocked by over 100 retailers.



This cream is an unique daily moisturiser for face and body with high sun protection offering SPF50, 5 star UVA and an instant bronzer with a natural, gradual self tan. It is also scientifically proven to help prevent premature ageing and sun damaged skin. What more could you want and what a great gift to give to someone? Protecting their skin whilst giving them a lush glow!
You can find all the stockist and grab a bottle for your Mum here https://www.tancream.co.uk/

English Tea Shop Tea
Afternoon tea is so popular now but sometimes it can be hard to get booked somewhere to treat your Mum. It can be expensive, fully booked or just difficult to get a date where you are both free. If you can't get out then why not bring afternoon tea to your Mum? Grab yourself some cakes and some tea and set up for an afternoon of chatting and munching. The English Tea Shop only work with the finest organic and fairtrade farmers, blenders and producers from all over the world to produce their special range of teas and they really do have something for everyone. From selection boxes, to loose leaves and herbal, they have really thought of everything. Now you can have the treat of afternoon tea whilst knowing that you are only supporting fairtrade and ethical production of tea.
Find out more about the English Tea Shop here: https://www.etsteas.co.uk/




This Girl is Enough Affirmation Bracelet
I am obsessed with affirmations at the moment and a while ago I discovered that I actually had one of Laurens bracelets in my draw that I was given at the Do it Like a Mother hypnobirthing course we went on back in April last year!! Since rediscovering it, I have fallen in love with it and actually have a couple more on order. Lauren is the owner and creator of 'This Girl is Enough' and not only is she a kick ass Mother, blogger, Instagrammer (I love her insta stories!) but she is also a brilliant business woman. She makes these amazing bracelets and you can customise pretty much everything about them from the wording to the colour and the best part about it is that with every £6 bracelet that is sold, £2.50 of that goes to women's aid! That's almost 50% of the cost going to an amazing charity and that, to me, is a reason to get one of these for your Mum. Give her a beautiful gift whilst giving back to an amazing charity. Win Win!



Make sure you check out Lauren's website here: https://thisgirlisenough.co.uk/shop-products

'Rocking the Mama Life' Slogan Tee - Ada & Alfred
This may be a bit of a cheeky one for me to add into this guide but I don't care because this brand and the brain child of one of my lovely friends and I want to include her to support her and because I love her products. So in a way this is a gift that gives back because you'll be supporting a small business that deserves all the love!



Ada & Alfred have a HUGE range of slogan tees, jumpers and tote bags that are perfect for Mother's Day! I personally love the 'Rocking the Mama Life' tee because it's super stylish, easy to wear and so comfy! It's also a total bargain at just£14!  Make sure you head over to the website to see all that is on offer:

So there you have it. A few ideas for gifts that you can give to your lovely Mum or Nan this Mother's Day whilst still giving back to others.

Enjoying a Backpacking Trip to Melbourne | Collaboration

To say Melbourne is a popular tourist attraction would be an underestimation. The Australian city has so much
to offer and so it is no surprise that so many people go there year after year. One of the great things about
Melbourne is the fact that it is suited to all people; from couples, to young groups of friends, to families, to
indeed backpackers. This blog post deals with the latter by providing you with some top tips on what to do
whilst visiting Melbourne as a backpacker.



But, first thing is first, let’s reveal the reasons why Melbourne is a recommended holiday and backpacking
destination.


Weather – If you are someone who loves hot weather Melbourne will be your paradise. There are lots of
beautiful beaches offering you the ideal place to enjoy the glorious sunshine as well.
Culture – The culture of Melbourne is diverse and consequently extremely interesting. You will never tire
of exploring the local traditions. There is also a great emphasis placed on the arts and sport.
Lots to do and see – As you will soon discover, Melbourne is a place whereby boredom is not even an option.
From the annual events, to the parks, to the art galleries, to the bars, to the museums. There is so much to
enjoy.


It is always a nice idea to try and coincide your trip with some of the most popular events in the region. After
all, Melbourne hosts some of the most famous events in the world. This is why it is important to find cheap
airfares to Melbourne or to look into debt consolidation loans to cover the cost, so you have the cash available
to enjoy the following...


What are the best events in Melbourne to go to?


Australian Masters – Are you a golf fan? If so, then you should definitely visit Melbourne in November for the
Australian Masters.
Melbourne International Film Festival – This takes place from August 1st - 18th. If you are a film buff then
you are going to thoroughly enjoy this.
L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival – If you want to watch top models strut their stuff on the catwalk then
this is ideal.
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix – That’s right; another sports event. Well, Melbourne is well-known for

being a city of sport and so it is definitely worth embracing this while on your backpacker’s trip. There are
usually places you will be able to view all the action without having to pay the huge ticket fees. The 2019 event
has just concluded, so you will have to wait until March 2020 for this one. But, with native Daniel Ricciardo
being one of the best on the grid, it is guaranteed to be a treat.


One of the best things about visiting Melbourne as a backpacker is getting to enjoy all of the great bars. Make
sure you incorporate the following into your trip; Urban Central, Bev and Micks, Public Bar and the College
Lawn Hotel. These have all become backpacker havens.

8.3.19

A letter from my Mum as I turn 30  |  Blog 

The other day I was clearing through my emails when I saw one from my mum which was odd because she hardly ever sends emails and she hadn’t told me she had sent anything to me. I clicked into it and there was an attachment named “A letter to my daughter as you turn 30”. My wonderful Mum has written a letter to me all about her thoughts and feelings as my birthday approaches. I couldn’t make it to the end without tears and I know she could either. She has very kindly said I can post it on here which I’m so pleased about because it is too beautiful not to share. So... here we go...


A letter to my daughter as you turn 30

I still remember it like it was yesterday, the day you were born and changed my life forever. This little bundle of pink, born at 9.05am, weighing 7lb 2oz and with a mass of jet black hair. I instantly fell in love with you and have loved you ever since.


Your great nan would have loved you so much but sadly we lost her when you was 2 days old. It’s strange how history repeats as we lost your dear Brissy when Pickle was only 4 months old. It’s never easy loosing someone you love so close to gaining something you love more than anything and it’s a pain I’m sad we’ve both had to go through. 

Anyway, you were the most content baby, who grow into a fun loving toddler. You loved to dance, dress up, all things Disney & play Barbies..you were just so happy. That jet black hair soon became Barbie blonde and you grew into a child. You did well at school, had lots of friends, enjoyed dance and drama and boy did you love the spice girls. Seeing your passion for musical theatre was wonderful. I always got a lump in my throat when we watched you up on stage and that happens even now! Some things never change. We had holidays and made lots of memories. I remember when we took you to Disneyland Paris when you were about 6. You loved “It’s A Small World” and we rode it about 100 times. I think your dad is still traumatised by that song! But that trip started your love of Disneyland and it become your special place. 



Things weren’t always easy for you though. For 8 years you’d been an only child. Suddenly your brothers came along. One when you were 8 years old and the other when you were 10. Not sure you were so keen on them too start but you soon got over it and loved them. But we, as a family, had to adjust and moved house and area. You settled easily into secondary school, again becoming popular, hard working and still dancing/acting. I remember watching you play Sandy in Grease and also when you were a 14 year old directing the entire school production of Oliver! We was super proud and got that lump once again!



We got through the teenage years pretty unscathed. Your teenage years went in a flash and one of my regrets is not spending time with you having girly days as I had your brothers who took a lot of my attention. I’m sad that we missed out on that time and that I didn’t get to spend more time with you but I’m sure you understand now that have two children under 5 years old can be all consuming. But time moved on and on your 21st birthday you left home to move in with your now hubby and we grew close again. We had girly days out, trips to the theatre and even went to see the Spice Girls AND we are going again June 2019 woohoo!!! I got to be mum of the bride in 2012 and you shocked me as you wasn’t a Bridzilla! You were a beautiful bride and we were was so proud of you that day. I’ll never forget how dads speech had everyone in tears (including you) so I gave you a tissue. I didn’t realise it was an Aloe Vera tissue which stung your eyes and we couldn’t stop laughing! 



Then, in 2014, you allowed me to be part of a most magical experience, the birth of your first son. This is in my all time top 10 life moments. Seeing my little girl become a mumma herself is something that I can’t explain and what a super mum you are! Now I’m crying as I type this bit! What’s more, you didn’t allow me to experience this just once...you invited me in the share the moment again in 2018 when Smidge entered the world. The whole magical ,if scary, experience was another that I will never forget and your strength and calmness during that time amazes me. Thank you both so much for sharing these milestones in your life with me. Both your boys make my heart swell with love and I love being a Nanny. Being a nanny is such a different kind of love to a motherly love but one that is just as strong.





I am so proud of everything you have achieved in your 30 years. You’ve been a rock to me when life’s been tough and I thank you for that. It is lovely to see you happy, settled and surrounded by the people who love you. You’ve achieved so much in your 30 years and I’m so proud of all you’ve done. I feel like I’ve achieved my job as your mumma.



So Ami as you turn 30 I just want to say how proud I and of you and how much I love you. I want you to remember that although I may not always be there to hold your hand and I may not always have the answers, I am always here for you, on your team and supporting you. You are a amazing young women and we wish you the bestest birthday ever! Bring on your party in April and a future making more memories (not forgetting the Spice Girls in June!!!!!)

Lots of Love
Your Mumma xxxxxx

Making the most of family time | Collaboration

At least once a month Hubby and I like to have a family day. This is a day where we dedicate an entire day to the boys and each other. We don't do any work, we try and stay away from social media and we just enjoy each other. The boys are growing up so quickly and I think it is so important to make the most of the time we get with them because one day they won't want to spend any time with us because they will be too busy with their friends. Family days are my favourite and they don't have to break the bank! I thought I'd share with you the ways we have a family day when we are on a budget.

1. Find free things in your area.

There are so many amazing, free things to do in the UK...it's just finding them. Have a serach on local Facebook pages or use good old google to find things in your area which will be fun for all the family without costing you the earth. Look for county parks, national trust sites, parks, woods, geocashing...the list is endless and means you can get out and about with your family without having to spend lots of money.

2. Keep your eye out for deals! 

Make sure you keep an eye on website such as Latest Deals to get brilliant deals on DVDs, books, games and toys. This helps to keep costs down as it means you can treats the kids to something new to play with them with, without having to spend silly amounts of money! 

3. Go back to basics.

Family time does mean you have to go out... if it’s raining or if you just haven’t got the finds in the bank to head out for the day then that’s okay. Go back to basics and do something simple as a family. Bake some bread or cakes, cook dinner all together...getting into the kitchen is a fantastic way to spend tome together and you end up getting something scrummy out of it too! 

4. Get crafty! 

If your kids are anything like mine then they love cracking out the paints and playdoh for a bit of crafting. Usually I stead well clear of joining in as it’s a great activity for Pickle to do on his own whilst I’m doing dinner etc BUT sometimes it’s great to join in and get messy. Play with the paints and join in with the play doh... I promise the kids (and you) will love it!!

So there you have it...4 easy and cheap ways to enjoy family time! Now go and enjoy your family time and please let me know if you have any other ways that you make the most of family time. 

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