What's Next? | Personal Post

This is a bit of a different post for me but something I thought may be a little interesting or at least a little helpful for myself, maybe. A chance to see where I am at with my blog, what I plan to do and what is coming up...

Writing a book, photography lessons, blog photography

So I have been writing my blog for over three years now, I mean, how did that even happen? I don't tend to stick to many things, like hobby things, so this is a miracle. I think I still see it as something of my own, something only I can hide away and do, for some peace and quiet mainly. It has spiralled over probably the last 18 months and I now find  myself with deadlines to complete etc, but that hasn't taken any of the enjoyment out of it. If anything it has made me feel more proud of what I have built up. It is hard work to maintain it to the standard I want and sometimes I wish I could produce content more regularly and more exciting but at the moment it sits along my day job and family life, and those things have to come first.

So, writing; I love that I have learnt to enjoy writing, I am not the best writer out there by any stretch and I will never be some award winning mummy blogger or author but for now I just enjoy expressing myself, chatting random crap and well being me. If I think back to school time then there is no way that I would have seen myself in the future doing any writing at all, it really wasn't my thing back then.

I know this is a bit out there but I have been secretly writing for a while now, and have even started a little story. I am in  no way talking about a book that is to be published or anywhere near that kind of quality, it is just something I am enjoying getting stuck into. It is a story about a young woman and the ups and downs of her life, nothing like my own, which is why I am loving the escapism of imagining how different life could be and well getting stuck into a story. It is nothing spectacular and well I haven't done an awful lot of it, but I have started none the less. And this is an update and something I thought I could talk about.

I have got more and more into photography over the last 12-18 months. When I look back at some of my old posts I cringe, the quality, cropping and editing is just awful. But then it is what got me started and made me learn more, so it isn't a bad thing. So expect to see lots more photos coming up on here, especially of our travels which is also something I love to do!

If you are not new to this blog then you will know as a family we love to get away, home or abroad and we have lots more exciting plans in for the remainder of this year, we just need some sunshine to be able to do some of the camping plans we have!

Just like I mentioned about my photos, I also look back at videos I made. They were even worse. I have never been seriously into my YouTube channel (in the manner of subs etc) and have only pulled together videos to either compliment a blog post or to capture travel memories or an event. I have started to really enjoy not only the editing side but also the capturing. Playing with our new camera and finding out ways to make it more visually appearing, interesting and well exciting. I don't plan to take the world by storm on my channel and it certainly won't be a priority this year but I do hope to keep producing content and share it alongside here.

So that is just an update of where I am up to on this little online space of mine, I haven't done this in a while,

Hayley xxx


Have you ever heard of Tiny Tickers? | Babies with Heart Conditions

I am extremely lucky in that neither of my babies have ever had heart conditions since being born. Whoever that isn't always the case. I am sure we all know someone who has/ had a heart condition diagnosed at birth or later in life.

Have you ever heard of Tiny Tickers? | Babies with Heart Conditions

I don't often share things like this but it really struck a chord with me and so I thought why not.

Every two hours a baby is born in the UK with a serious heart condition. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of the biggest killer of babies in the UK, causing one in every 13 infant deaths. Early detection of heart defects means babies will get the treatment they need from the first opportunity – which can save lives, improve post-surgery survival rates and lead to a better long-term quality of life.

Tiny Tickers is the only national charity with a focus on improving the early detection, diagnosis and care of babies with heart conditions. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect and it is Tiny Tickers’ ambition that no baby should ever die with an undetected heart defect.

Tiny Tickers’ work can literally be life-saving. They provide specialist, on-site training in maternity hospitals to sonographers and health professionals who perform pregnancy scans.

On Sunday 21st May at 4pm on BBC 1 Tiny Tickers will be featuring in a BBC Lifeline appeal, presented by Gabby Logan. By sharing very different stories of two babies born with heart conditions, Tommy and Rocco, the appeal demonstrates how Tiny Tickers’ specialist sonographer training can save lives.

Have you ever heard of Tiny Tickers? | Babies with Heart Conditions


A Summer Wishlist For Toddler Girls

It is no secret that I love a shopping haul. Especially for Daisy. I am getting at better for shopping for Alex but I always admit that I will always LOVE shopping for girls. There is just much more choice.

Summer is my favourite time to shop. I am thinking holidays and exploring out in the sunshine!

I always keep my eye on Matalan because it is just so reasonable, almost on par with Primark pricing I think. And the quality is better and actually the choice for toddlers is too, they wash better and seem to last that bit longer. I am no Primark snob, I love a Primarni trip more than anyone.

My top tips from the new summer range from Matalan can be seen below. I am actually on yet another spending ban at the moment, Daisy has just far too many clothes. But I know I will have to get a piece or two ready for her next holiday in August. I mean just look at that bag, anything with pom poms is a winner to me!

A Summer Wishlist For Toddler Girls, Matalan summer

Another shop that I just love for the kids is the Essential One, which again sells high quality clothing. Their prices may be a little higher than Primark and some of the supermarkets but they are in no way not affordable and their sale picks are amazing !

Essential One Summer range

We actually have that gorgeous yellow summer dress and I can't wait to share some photos of it very soon, it is so beautiful!

Hayley x


#Tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast

I am a bit of a worrier when it comes to my daredevil children. Both of them are risk takers and both always have been climbers. It makes me stay on edge all day, every day. But I guess they learn from their tumbles and bumps.

Well you would think so anyway. Daisy not so much. She is very clumsy but I think she is always exploring and curious as to what will happen if she does certain things and what she can find. I love that she is such an explorer than she is always outside but it does come with cuts and bruises.

Thankfully nothing serious. We have tears for a few minutes, a cuddle and a rub and then she is on her way again. If that doesn't work then a character plaster will do the trick (like the ones below that Elastoplast have just released) and failing that then something like a biccie will definitely fix her!!! She is easily persuaded.

#Tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast

I must admit even though the kids terrify me with their risky business I do let them have these bumps, I can't wrap them in cotton wool and really, I wouldn't want to. They need to have fun and they need to be aware of their actions but not be too terrified to go out and explore. A graze is easily cleaned and wrapped up and a bump is easily kissed.

Here is a fab video that has been put together all about #tearsintosmiles

How do you "fix" your children with their bumps and scrapes?

Hayley x


I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else if you had to be there...

Dear Daisy,

As you lie there looking beautifully porcelain and restful with those pouty, rose lips mumbling away in your sleep it dawns on me just how much you need me. You're pale from being so poorly and exhausted yet you still look so peaceful. You see, You were three last week and I've been fooled into thinking your growing so independent and grown up. The truth is you'll hopefully always need your Muma.

Children sick

You've been poorly today, sick more times than I could ever count and although it was tiresome and exhausting running to and fro with you, mopping up the dribble, changing your jamas and washing away the bugs, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else if you had to be there.

I've heard my name quietly called for on repeat today, no one else would do and it made me think, it's exactly what I do. No one else will do, my Muma, your nanny, is the only one for me when I'm unwell too. I think it must be our role. Your nanny was the only one I wanted when I was labouring with my babies, except for your daddy of course. She's the one I call or text when I'm feeling unwell, even though there's not a lot she can do, I mean I'm 31 for goodness sake but still she comes. I hope that you're the same, that you'll still call me up and need me. And do you know, I have a feeling you will.

I'll always be here for you, to rub your back, run those magic bubbly baths and give you snuggles. Even if it means tomorrow there's a good chance I'll be in your position, all poorly and pale too. (Muma has the weakest tummy in the world)!

Just remember I will be there through thick and thin, never giving up on you when you didn't win, when you felt unwell or just because I can.

I love you princess. Feel better by morning x


Dear Daisy... You will Always be our Little Girl

At the end of the week you will be 3 years old. I have no idea how this is even possible, I feel like I have had you forever yet at the same time the last few years have just flown by. It feels just a few months ago that I was writing to you on your 2nd birthday. I really hope you don't cringe as you read this letters.

Dear Daisy... You will Always be our Little Girl

In particular the last year has gone super fast and I think it is because we have been so so busy with your little brother and things.

It wasn't until I sat and watched some old vlogs that I noticed just how much you had changed. You have really grown up and turned into a little lady from a wibbly, wobbly toddler. You're toilet trained, you eat better (still very much beige mind you), sleep well, interact well and have some great conversations!

The things you say really do make me chuckle, you come out with some great one liners. Only today you were telling your dad about Rapunzel's boyfriend and made him act it out, I mean how do you even know what a boyfriend is?

Then in the bath you said look mum I'm crossing my legs, we do this at preschool? Your baby ways seem to be running away, never mind slipping.

I remember writing how you are a strong willed little flower, who does what she wants, and only what she wants and when she wants to do it! Once you've made your mind up its very difficult to persuade you otherwise! And nothing has changed, in fact you're stronger than ever and your attitude really is something. Nothing holds you back, just as we expected.

You're now a preschooler, which to me feels a little bittersweet. I love to see you grow and learn new things but at the same time I want you to stay tiny forever.

You absolutely love being outdoors and would spend all day every day out there if you could. You don't mind what the weather is, you just like to be free and exploring. Getting filthy most of the time, which is a bit strange considering you're also incredibly girly and princess obsessed. Although who says a princess can't love a bit of poo muck as you would say!

You're just like us and absolutely love a holiday. We try to get away as much as we can, even if it is camping in North Wales. We have been on some lovely holidays this past few years and you have done lots of travelling already. We have been to Cyprus, Wales, The  Lake District, Italy (Venice, Verona & Lake Garda!), London, Menorca, Cornwall you have been very busy!

I expect this year will be the year we really see some big changes, as you prepare to go to school next year and as you become so aware of everything and everyone. I am excited yet a little nervous of what is to come!

Have fun little lady xxx


#Getmessy Making chocolate Eggs*

So I love a bit of craft or messy play with Daisy. I am by no means a Pinterest mum and our scope usually goes as far as cupcakes, sequins and lots of paint and glue! Not all at once, but you get my drift.

We were sent a lovely package from Waterwipes for Easter for both Daisy and Alex so they could make their own Easter eggs. I have never done anything like that before but knew that Daisy would just love it and that it may keep her busy for at least half an hour.

I was super grateful as Good Friday was a rainy day here in the Midlands and it gave us something to do together while Alex napped.

I pulled a little video together here of how we did it and how we got on.

It was actually really easy and Daisy really enjoyed it, what is not to love about chocolate and getting messy?

If you are new to hearing about Waterwipes then you I have done a few posts previously about them and how they are a staple in our house, especially with a little boy who has very sensitive, dry skin. You can find one of those posts here.

So on to a few photos from activity:

#Getmessy Making chocolate Eggs* chocolate craft

#Getmessy Making chocolate Eggs* chocolate craft

#Getmessy Making chocolate Eggs* chocolate craft

*This post is not sponsored but samples were recieved in return for personal opinions and experiences. 


Be Bold & Beautiful with Boden: Giving Birchbox a go...

The jury is still out with the service I am afraid.

I have just had my second Birchbox; March & April. And if I am honest, which I always am on here, I am not completely sold on the service. I was disappointed with the first box, my only saviour was the They're real Duo lipstick from Benefit, which wasn't full size but was close enough for me. Otherwise I went away feeling a bit MEH about it.

I wasn't going to order a second box but I got home one day and found the next box on the doorstep, I didn't realise I had set up a subscription. I thought I had just bought a one off purchase. That rubbed me up the wrong way a little if I am honest. But upon opening it I was pleasantly surprised.

It was the collaboration with Boden edition and the box itself is gorgeous, floral and bright. And it was a little drawer which was quite useful unlike the bog standard beige box from last month. It felt like you got a little more value for your money which is always nice.

Inside the samples were so much better from last week, I may actually use all of them at some point.

It seems that most people have had the Nip & Fab full size item but sadly I didn't. I would have liked to have tried some of that range and it would have been a perfect opportunity to. But my personalisation isn't quite right I don't think, so if I was to get another box then I would need to look into that. My box did however contain the Manna Kadar Cosmetics HD Powder, which prevents shine and sets makeup into place. It’s ideal for my normal-to-oily skin which can feel quite shiny in these warmer months. Again it was a brand I have wanted to try too. Which I guess is the plus about these boxes, you get to try brands you wouldn't usually reach for.

All subscribers receive an exclusive £10 Boden Gift Card to use on new season items which is a fab little bonus too. Some of their new range is gorgeous, especially the children's new seasons range. I am sure it will get spent! Some of my favourite items include:

Be Bold & Beautiful with Boden: Giving Birchbox a go... Boden childrens SS17

One great thing about this box is that it lead me straight to Boden and I have rediscovered my love for them. I am not sure my husband will see it that way though...

In case you are interested the standard Birchbox subscription costs £10 (plus £2.95 p&p).



Top Tips for Long Car Journeys with Children

I talk about travelling a lot over on my blog but I rarely mention how the car journeys can go and what we do to make them a bit easier. As we tend to travel all over the place quite regularly, our children have been taken on long car journeys from being tiny. I am often told that we are brave and/or crazy for this but you just need the right frame of mind and a little preparation.

Top Tips for Long Car Journeys with Children

1. Snack, Snacks, Snacks...

For everyone. All the snacks and all the drinks!
Kids love snacks, and so do I. Not a lot more to say except it passes time, keeps them quiet and keeps me from getting hangry!

2. Go at the right time

If we are going a long way we tend to leave early. Waking them up early, giving them a light breakfast, wash and change of clothes, ready for them to fall back to sleep again in a short time and sleep through a good chunk of the journey. Late at night is also good, that tends to be how we come home from a holiday. Have a full day and then leave, when you get home you can just transfer them straight to bed.

Try to avoid rush hour, by avoiding the peak times it can make a big difference to journey times and stress levels.

3. Entertainment

I am always thinking about how we can pass the time or how we can calm a het up toddler when we need to . The ipad or phone always gets packed first with short films or programmes loaded on and some simple games. We also pack magazines, books and a few of Daisy's favourites like her small dolls, barbies and cuddly toys.
4.Sit back and enjoy the ride!

4. Sit back and enjoy the ride! 

Stay calm. If you hit traffic does it really matter? If you go the wrong way? Take it in your stride, stop when you need to, don't worry how long it takes. If you’re relaxed, the babies are more likely to be relaxed.

5. Be prepared

As in know where you are going. Have in mind your first stop for a stretch and a walk. How long will your journey take (in an ideal world)? Have spare clothes at the top of the pile in the boot. You know the rest...