Featured Post

Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Quiet Time in the Canaries* #Unexpectedcanaries

When I was pregnant with Daisy Ben and I took a last minute holiday to Fuerteventura to get some quiet time before our lives changed completely. We actually went out of season in January for some winter sun and although it wasn't really sunbathing weather it was comfortable enough to walk and sit around, especially for my round bellied self!

Fuerteventura was beautiful, the sand dunes went on for miles and miles and were so nice to walk through and watch the windsurfers flying by, a little windy but so untouched and natural. It is the oldest island in the Canaries and we found it to have a really rustic feel to it.

When we were there we watched the ferry leave the harbour a few times heading over to Lanzarote and on one of our last days we decided to take a trip ourselves. It was a short trip but really worth it to see another of the islands. Lanzarote felt a little more touristy but was still so beautiful as you can see in the photos below. The port especially was amazing, it looked newly built and felt a fairly wealthy area of the island. We had some delicious lunch there and just watched the world go by a little while enjoying the sunshine for the afternoon. Shame I couldn't join Ben with the seafood paella and cerveza though! Lanzarote is famous for its volcanoes and sadly we didn't see any sign of them due to our fleeting visit so maybe one day we will get to see them. 

I would love to explore more of the islands and actually I would love to return to both of the islands mentioned above with the children, they appear to be really family friendly. The islands are all so varied and offer different surroundings and experiences, the map below goes into a little more detail. I was surprised to see islands on there that I hadn't even heard of so I am going to look further into them. 

We always look all over for our holidays including some of the popular companies such as Thomson but also more niche agents such as Inntravel, they specialise in holidays with the lesser known paths which help to make your holiday a bit more unique and a little off the beaten track which is what we love, even if we have lost that a little bit since having children. 

Which canary island?


*PR Collaboration

A Mummy Gift Guide

I managed to get up a little gift guide in good time for both the children and husband but of course neglected myself.

Here are some of my top picks this year:

A Mummy Gift Guide

Lifecake do some great personalised gifts now as well as being a great platform to save your photos on and create time lines. I have actually ordered some magnets for gifts for our friends - I will share some pics over on my social media so keep an eye out!

I have always been a fan of Next PJS and slippers too, I had a lovely pair a few years ago and although they maybe more expensive than say Primark they really do wash well and stay just as nice as when you were given them.

I am a big Marc Jacobs Daisy fan too, obvious reasons (as well as the gorgeous smell)! And of course no gift list is right without some Benefit chucked in there too!

The Niggles & Wriggles Of Nappy Changing: Are Boys Trickier Than Girls? *

One of the first thing I started to think about and ask when i found out I was having a baby boy the 2nd time around was how on earth do I change his nappy? They have extra "bits" compared to what I was used to (I already had a little girl for those of you that don't follow my blog) and it did make me feel a little nervous, no idea why because now I know that a baby's bum is a baby's bum, additional parts or not.

I'm not saying it isn't trickier, there is pointing down to think about unless you want a water feature shooting out of the top of their nappy, and then there are the bits to lift and clean, but as long as you are gentle and make sure they're nice and clean that is all that matters right? I mean girls have creases to tackle which isn't all that easy at times, especially when they get to that age where they just keep rolling and wriggling away! Even though I think they're much of a muchness 40 per cent of parents think baby girls are ‘easier to change’, compared with just 21 per cent who think boys are easier.

According to WaterWipes commissioned research a third of new parents feel ‘totally unprepared’ for and overwhelmed by the thought of doing their new babies nappies. For me this could be down to lack of guidance, you don't often see parenting classes on offer or at least I didn't when I was pregnant. I am lucky to have a niece and nephew that I have been able to practise with but without family I may have been even more clueless. You see on programmes such as "Call the Midwife" all of the expectant mums being taught how to do these things in classes as weird as it may feel it would still be really useful.

The research of 1,000 parents with children under five by WaterWipes, was carried out as part of their #PureLove campaign to champion new mums’ self-belief in those early days of parenthood, where confidence is often at its lowest. And I guess that is when it is all really new to us as new mums and dads and those first few weeks can be really overwhelming as it is.

My top tips would be:

  • ASK! You may think that people would think it is a bit daft that you're having a bambino yet are unsure of how to do something as "simple" as clean and change their bum but honestly they really won't. We have all had those thoughts, I promise! We all have to start somewhere. 

  • Use the time to interact with the little one. sing and chat to them and that will distract them and in turn make the task a little easier.

  • Be prepared for the baby to cry, it is chilly when you get stripped down so it may upset them a little but don't hesitate just get it done ASAP and then have lots of snuggles after. 
Hayley x

*PR Collaboration

Going Potty: My Top Tips for Potty Training

You may or may not have read my post or seen my video on potty training a few weeks or perhaps a month or so ago. We were struggling with potty  training Daisy, or at least making her toilet habits consistent anyway.

Going Potty: My Top Tips for Potty Training

Well I am happy to say we finally have a toddler out of nappies after a long old slog getting her to this point. I should point out that we were not caught up on getting her trained right now but she decided she didn't want to wear a nappy anymore so we were forced into making the move into big girl knickers. We had to follow her lead and in my opinion she wasn't quite ready for it which is why it took quite a few weeks, maybe 7/8 thinking about it.

Had I have been more prepared then I would have done some research before hand and got in some essential "kit" but she kind of jumped it on us and it was a now or never kind of approach. There are some great articles out there and one in particular that really jumped out to me mid- potty training hell was this one from Parentsneed.com giving you some top tips for potty training. If only I had read this before I was jumped on by a piddle pants toddler! It is all about the introduction to the process, and some tips on how to get started and read the signs that it may be time to get cracking with it, find it here.

So my top tips would be the following:

  • Be Prepared - Be prepared to do a million loads of washing EVERY SINGLE DAY for about at least a week. We had lots of accidents and you just can't leave soggy stinky urine clothes hanging around unless you want the house to smell like a men's public urinal!

  • LOTS and I mean LOTS of pants - Cheap but comfy pants or knickers are a must. In my opinion leaving Daisy naked did nothing but make her feel chilly and care even less about doing an accident. At least with knickers on she learnt the sensation of "wetting herself" and I honestly think this is what lead to it clicking and her realising what needed to be done to not be left soggy. 

  • Patience - I struggled with this admittedly. There were days I just had enough of it. Training anybody is tricky but a toddler that is bursting with attitude and moods makes it even harder. We all know that toddlers will only do what they want to do, bribed or not. But being patient and chatting to her about what we were doing and why really did help. 

  • Be Supportive - Not only of your toddler but also anyone else who is involved. Some of us find puddles all over the floor easier to cope with than others. We all have breaking points. And believe me when I say Ben and I had to overcome a few of these days. 
Potty training was definitely the hardest thing we have had to do with Daisy, hands down. I must admit I dread the day we have to tackle it with the little guy, Alex. 

Hayley x

Festive PJs, Bedding & Country Walks: Building New Christmas Traditions*

Two years ago I wrote a post all around Christmas traditions and how that we now had our own little family that we had to start making our own traditions. Well we now have an additional little guy in the family and Daisy is now starting to understand more and more about what is going on.

At 2 and a half Daisy is grasping the idea of Christmas slowly, well she understands something exciting is happening and that Ho Ho (Father Christmas to you and I) is coming to bring presents anyway. That means I can go all out a little more this year and get a little more festive.

We have introduced Elf on the Shelf this year, ours is called Elsie the Elf! She arrives every morning after visiting Father Christmas during the night but she is never in the same place each morning. She gets up to all kinds of tricks! So far she has rolled down the stairs in a toilet roll, hung upside down from our light and drawn all over kitchen floor with chalk. Daisy finds her good fun and loves searching for her in the morning. But I think next year will be even more fun when she gets the idea a little more about how the elf keeps an eye on her for Santa and then goes back to him to update him about being naughty or nice.

I have got some gorgeous bedding for Daisy to put on the night before and will get some lovely matching jamas for both of the children (maybe myself if I am feeling particularly festive, I am not sure Ben will be so keen!!!)  when I manage to get myself to somewhere like Matalan. Just to make it all feel even more exciting and different. Both the PJs and bedding will be a surprise for Daisy! She loves a good surprise!

The bedding below can be found here and is so super soft and just what we were after.
Christmas Traditions

Of course we will pop out snacks and drinks for Father Christmas and Rudolph on Christmas Eve and read our Christmas Eve story in our PJS like we have the last two years.

Over the last few years our wider family has grown and so some things have naturally changed, for example what we get up to on Boxing Day. For the last how ever many years (at least 10/11 for me personally but more for my husband and his family) we have always gone to a relatives house and all had big, yummy lunch after a few drinks at the pub. So we decided we need to start building some new traditions. We have come up with a nice walk up our local hill followed by a drink in the pub and then a late lunch back at our house. I might even find a few games for us to play!!! (My relatives will love it, honest)

Do you have traditions?

A video will be going up on my YouTube channel over the next week or so about traditions too.

Hayley x

*PR Collaboration

A Gift Guide For Daddy

Or maybe just a special man in your life.

I find men so difficult to buy for and always end up asking what my husband wants for Christmas or at least end up taking a peek at his wish list on Amazon for some inspiration. 

I have been having a look around at some different kinds of pressies other than the usual socks and pants I may usually go for (isn't he so lucky? 😂) and thought I would share them with you.

A Gift Guide For Daddy

Beer52 subscription box*- I love a subscription and quite often will get magazine subscriptions for friends or family, I like the idea that they keep on receiving even when Father Christmas has gone off back to the North Pole. I have a code for £10 off that you can use if you wanted to give it a go :) 

Something personalised like a leather key ring. When ever I think personalised I think of something a bit more cheesy like a mouse mat but when I did some research there are lots more offerings out there which were much nicer. 

Ben likes cooking and especially likes chillies and the challenge of anything hot so this chilli preserve set would be a great stocking filler. You can also get a chilli beer set on there which is rather interesting, albeit a bit strange. 

And then there are obviously all the usual pressies chucked in there for safe measures. I mean what is a Christmas without new socks and pants?! 

* PR sample but all opinions are my own

Christmas Past and Present

I talk a lot about capturing memories by taking pictures and capturing videos and more often than not I share them on here too. I love to look back on them and see what we were up to at that time or how things have changed since then.

If you have children then you'll know all too well how fast they change and how quickly they grow, they're babies for all of about two seconds. 

I thought I would look back at the last few Years at Christmas and share them here as a mini time lapse! 

Feeling Grateful...

I know, I know. All I seem to chirp on about is the sentimental side of Christmas, I'm not sure if it's my hormones or my age or perhaps just that I am feeling thankful for everything I have this year but I am showing no signs of stopping chirping just yet.

As part of #Blogmas this year I wanted to talk about traditions and the things we do as a family that make Christmas for us but I thought I would wait until our tree etc is up so hopefully I have some nice photos to go alongside it, this blog is written mainly for me to look back on after all and it would be nice to see those memories this time next year.

This past few weeks we have seen most of our family, some that we only see a few times a year and it has been really nice. It reminded me that although you don't see them very often how nice it is when you do and how we should all make more effort to do it more often. These photos were from my parents vows renewal last weekend after being married 25 years, which again I felt lucky to have seen not only this time but their wedding too all those years ago. 


 There has been so many bugs and germs around these past few weeks and all of us in the house have suffered at some point but also so many of other family and friends have also been victims of the winter nasties too. It's nothing unusual for this time of year is it really but it does remind you how special family are and how we need to spend time rather than money on one another, this is going to sound slightly morbid and depressing but it isn't meant to be as I am also talking about friends who I don't see as often as I would like to too. We will always have money (kind of!!) but we don't always have time. We have to make it and when we do get it then we have to make the most of it. 

This year I'm trying more than ever to share more of the moments we create and enjoy so I can look back on them like a journal so bear with the photo heavy posts coming up!! 




Hayley xxx

A Toddler Christmas Gift Guide: Inspiration

Earlier this week I dared to start to talk about Christmas and actually wrote a post all about how I want to keep the magic of Christmas alive and not make it too based around material things like gifts.
However, that doesn't mean I don't buy anything and well I also have nieces and nephews to buy for too. I thought I would share a few bits with you that I have either bought or are on my list to pick up in the next week or so.

A Toddler Christmas Gift Guide: Inspiration

Asda little angels Christmas nappies are just a little lighthearted gift that perhaps would be suited in a Christmas Eve box if you do that kind of thing. Daisy has actually already got these and things it is very funny to have Father Christmas on her bum! | Peppa personalised book | Baby Annabell | Lily's Driftwood bay | Princess Fancy Dress |

Hayley x

*PR samples may be included

Happy 1st of December! (& A Rant About Santa!)

Well the 1st of December has arrived and I actually can't quite believe it, where has this year gone? I remember this time last year being in the throws of nausea and sickness but being excited for Christmas with Daisy. And now this year we have two little elves to enjoy the holidays with.

I love winter when it truly is chilly and the ground is crunchy, especially those mornings when the sky is actually blue but the ground is white over where Jack Frost has been. I am going to be trying to make the most of those times with the babies whilst I am off on maternity leave, even if it just a 15 minute adventure up the lane or a slow (it's always slow with a curious toddler) walk down to the village. I digress...

Anyway, dare I say the C word yet? Christmas. It is now time to get geared up and start to think ahead and do some more shopping. I have collected a few bits and pieces over the last few months and started to think about it but haven't done much off my mental list yet. Christmas isn't all that materialistic for me, I like to stick to traditions and build our own and spend time with our family and friends. I know most people say this but for me it really is important to try and stay away from the endless list of Christmas gifts that one day my children will request (or demand!) and try to just build excitement and fun around it instead. I am not saying I won't be buying gifts, I love to give pressies and wrap them all pretty and see the faces of the recipients when they open them up but I do think sometimes we can get all caught up in the commercial world a little too much.

I saw a post today by "Mr Claus" on Facebook and it kind of struck a chord with me and so I thought I may share it with you. In my (maybe blinkered) mind Santa wouldn't bring an iPad or a fancy mobile phone and well maybe some parents just can't afford it, so we shouldn't risk some children thinking they must have been "naughty" or that Father Christmas likes them less just because they didn't get fancy pressies because their parents couldn't or simply didn't want to compete. Would that not take the magic away from Christmas?

Maybe the big, fancy pressies should be given by you or friends and family and stick to what Santa is all about. (If that's what it's all about!) I don't know, I am just thinking out loud now!

What traditions do you enjoy as a family? Or what are you trying to make sure you do this year?

Hayley x

I am upset with the pattern I am seeing for so many years now.
What is wrong with you people?
Christmas is not about what you or your child wants and it never was.
Parents are letting their children ask for anything and everything and are not teaching them about the true meaning of Christmas.
Remember this one thing I (Santa) do not bring all the presents, friends and family do. I only bring 1 small gift for each child and that gift has great meaning in his or her life. You and your family give the rest of the gifts. So if you let your child ask for things you will never get them and then blame me you will be killing the magic of Christmas for them and future generations.
I used to get letters from children that started out like this....Dear Santa how are you and Mrs. Claus? They were always respectful.
But now it's This is what I want, then they list 10, 20, 30 things and most of them are very expensive. Now don't get all mad at me, most of you parents get it and do the right thing, I'm talking to the ones that have no clue what they are doing or worst yet are killing Christmas on purpose.
Love Always Santa Claus