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

I'm In There Somewhere... | Body Confidence As A Mum

This has to be one of the most widely covered topics that a lifestyle / parenting blogger will cover, a day doesn't go by when one doesn't pop up on my feed. So today I am going to be a cliche and write about exactly that.

Go Ape, Mum Tum workout

I have had this post "idea" (I know, so innovative!) in my diary for a while now but just not had the motivation to write it, slightly ironic.

But this last few months I have felt a change in myself. I have wanted to get up and go out to the gym, for me. I have been a member at the local gym for almost a year now and except for swimming lessons and things I could count on one had the amount of times I had been there for just me.

But you can't force something if you really are not interested. I wasn't at the point where I was feeling fat, had loads of weight to move or needed to get rid of my mum tum after having Alex. But that doesn't mean I was happy with myself.

If I look back I lost confidence in my self, in my body. After having Daisy I (I hate this term but can't find a suitable replacement) "snapped back" fairly quickly, and before long didn't feel much different to how I had felt pre- pregnancy. But after Alex it was different. I was looser, softer and just didn't feel like I owned my body anymore.

When I look back I have to give my body some credit, it housed and birthed TWO healthy babies. It stretched A LOT in a short amount of time and then I asked it to do the same again just a year or so later. It was bound to be different this time.

I wasn't at a point where I was hiding away under bin bags but I was feeling nervous at the prospect of a bikini for my holiday. Dressed I am happy but slightly exposed, not so much. Before our last holiday I took to going to classes, helped by a friend and it didn't take long until I started to see a little definition again. I am never going to have abs and I am never going to be super lean, I love food too much and I am just not THAT dedicated. But I am now starting to like my tummy again and feel happy in a bikini, my boobs are naff but hey they fed two babies and I always expected them to be rubbish.

And actually I am enjoying it. I feel like me again. I feel nice. And I am not sure if that is because I have the confidence from shaping myself up a little or the fact I am doing something for myself, having time out and releasing any tension of the day. Either way I will take it and ride with it, and keep at it.

Go Ape, Mum Tum workout

Hayley x

What Mama Wore Monday #2

So I may have missed a few weeks but I have still been following the link up and seeing all the other gorgeous photos that people have been sharing.

I am back with an outfit that I am wearing to death at the moment, it is so easy to chuck on and feel nice and most importantly at the moment with this weird weather in the UK, cool.

The dress is from H&M and is a simple linen style, light dress. It is floaty and a little precarious when it is windy though! But some how when I wear a dress I feel more put together and made up.

What Mama Wore Monday #2
Dress H&M | Sandles H&M | Sunglasses Ebay | Backpack ASOS

This photo is Daisy pinching the sunglasses, which when I first bought I wasn't too sure on, but now I love! They are a bit bigger and a bit more out there than I would usually wear but they just took some getting used to I think. They were so cheap too, less than £5 delivered! Ebay have some great finds, although they may not be the best quality but that doesn't really matter when your toddler is going to pinch them anyway!

Hayley x

Tempted By Eurocamp? | Le Brasilia France

It isn't the first time that we have done a holiday like this. We did something very similar back when I was pregnant with Alex, in Lake Garda. You can find that post here.

If we were to recommend a holiday we always go for the option where you have space. Space for a young family to run about, explore and well, be free. We sometimes opt for Villa holidays and other times we love this kind of camping holiday.

Tempted By Eurocamp? | La Brasilia France

This time we stayed with Eurocamp in one of their Aspect chalets. We opted for a two bedroom chalet which was plenty big enough but for sleep arrangements (with a baby who was dead set on waking up their older sister) we do wish that we had booked the 3 bedroom. Next time we will, for the small price difference it would have been worth it for us. We ended up with the travel cot plonked in the living area, which wasn't a massive problem, but it would have been better tucked away in their own bedroom.

The chalet is kitted out for everything you may need. We also were provided with not only the travel cot but also a bed guard for Daisy, a potty (not that we needed it), a high chair, a step for the toilet and also a baby bath. The bath actually was brilliant, it was big enough to sit in the shower tray and not only bath Alex but also Daisy (3 year old!). She was able to sit in it and wash away the sand from rummaging around on the beach all day.

You can see on the photo above that the decking area is also really spacious and what we loved most was that it was all enclosed. So they could roam about with us worrying they were going to fall down the steps or escape! It meant we could keep the sliding doors open any time we were back there.

Tempted By Eurocamp? | La Brasilia France

Not only was our chalet spotless (this isn't an ad by the way, I just want you to know how good it really was!) and well equipped but the park itself was beautiful. I actually think La Brasilia was the nicest campsite that I have ever stayed on. It somehow didn't look like a campsite, it seemed a bit too "fancy". You can see by the pool areas how nice it was, the spa looked beautiful (from the outside, I wasn't lucky enough to give it a go!) and the restaurants and shopped were great.

It was only when you went to the mini supermarket and the entertainment disco area that you were reminded it was a campsite. The supermarket and take away etc was not cheap but I think you expect that in this kind of establishment, like anywhere when you are holidaying really. We used to go to the hypermarket up the road and do some shopping for our lunches and a few evening meals and it actually worked out quite reasonable, we brought home a fair few euros for our next trip!

Tempted By Eurocamp? | La Brasilia France

Aspect Eurocamp

Aspect Eurocamp

We are now looking for next year, where we can go and when, we have got the bug for this kind of holiday and it suited us perfectly as a young family!

Hayley x

Thank you for being my Daddy | Fathers Day

Dear Daddy,

Thank you for being my Daddy.

For building sandcastles with me at the seaside and making sure I don't eat it. It doesn't taste very nice.

For chasing the seagulls down the beach and being silly with me.

For running around after me, trying to throw my hat on to my fair head.

For waking up in the night to take me back to bed when I have a bad dream or wake up and not know where I am.

For pestering me to have my tea, I might waste away otherwise. I often forget I need some dinner in my tummy.

For taking me on super fun adventures where I get to see places that are a long way away.

Thank you for being my Daddy | Fathers Day

For digging in the garden and letting me get really mucky.

For playing princesses when I know really that you don't find it as exciting as I do.

For letting me dunk my biscuits in your tea, even if I do drop them in and make your tea look yucky.

For letting me play hairdressers with you.

And help fix your bike.

I hope you have a nice time camping at the weekend with us and love your card I got for you.

Daisy x

Thank you for being my Daddy | Fathers Day Cards
How cool are these cards from Hallmark at Tesco? They have so much variety I couldn't choose! 

Thank you for being my Daddy | Fathers Day Cards
This is my favourite!! An actual shed??

*PR Samples may be used, but all opinions are my own

Which carseat Is best?*

Is it just me that finds car seats past newborn baby stage an absolute minefield? With all of the newly introduced guidelines I felt a bit lost with it all.

Both of my babies had the same Maxi Cosi Pebble, it came up lovely and clean and although not perfect it did Alex just fine. He actually still uses it at a year old because he still fits fine and it is great for moving about when out with his Nan & Granddad. But I wanted something a little bigger which I would expect to be a little comfier.

Which carseat?

I took ages researching what would be best and it was a little overwhelming to be honest. There is so much information out there but I find this website to be the most informative and most easy to read. I will copy a part of it below so you can see too what regulations are in place for an infant seat.

Babies and infants need to be carried in rearward-facing baby seats. This reduces the risk of death or injury in a crash by 90% compared with being unrestrained.

Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby's head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats. So, it is best to keep your baby in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible. Only move them to a forward-facing once they can sit up unaided and they have exceeded the maximum weight for the baby seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat. Or, you could consider using a larger (group 1 or group 2) rearward-facing seat.

I knew I was after a Group 0+ & 1, which allows you to keep your child rearward-facing until they are 18 kg in weight, which that website says is roughly four years old. Some can be turned into forward-facing seats when the child has reached 13 kg in weight, or they can continue to be used rearward-facing. I found the Maxi Cosi Pearl 2-way to fit into this category and actually was really nice to look at too, and came in various colours.

Which carseat Is best?* Maxi Cosi Pearl 2 way

Which carseat Is best?* Maxi Cosi Pearl 2 way

Which carseat Is best?* Maxi Cosi Pearl 2 way

The 2wayPearl complies with the latest car seat safety regulation known as i-Size (R129) offering secure ISOFIX installation in combination with the 2wayFix base. Hope you're still following, there is a lots of jargon thrown about and acronyms isn't there with car seats?

Anyway, on to the Pearl itself. Not only does it look nice compared to seats we have had before but it is just so easy to use. From the isofix base beeping and lighting up when it is/ isn't fitted 100% correctly, to the harness straps being simple to fasten. Unlike a Britax seat we currently have for Daisy, where the straps are constantly twizzling.

I wanted to share some of the regulations I found and how I have deciphered them for Alex's next seat. And also what we have gone for and are pleased with.

Hayley xx

*PR samples have been supplied but all opinions are my own

Cleaning Hacks - Steam Mop Vs Standard?*

I must be of "that age". The age where you get excited over clean sheets, washing on the line outside and well, a clever old mop.

Never did I think I would be sharing my thoughts on mops but after trying a few (I have a dog with messy, massive paws and two grubbs for children) I feel compelled to share them with you. Hold on to your knickers, it is about to get exciting :)

I got my steam mop about 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. They were all of the rage all of a sudden and with a dog about the house (downstairs anyway) and at the time a baby learning to crawl about I figured it was a good time to get one. SO you basically fill it with water, plug it in and off you go. It doesn't take long to heat up and isn't too difficult to use. But as time has gone on I have used it less and less.

If the floors are particularly gross or someone has been unwell or something has been spilt then I use it but day to day I was finding myself resorting back to my old map, just for convenience.

I now have the Vileda 1-2 Spray mop. Same principal in that you fill it with cleaning fluid, this time it fills the handle rather than a little tank. You then pull a lever to squirt the water/ cleaning fluid out onto the floor and you then mop it with the flat head of the mop. Very, very easy. I have then just been chucking the mop pad into the washing machine once a week or when it really dirty. Really nice and easy. It couldn't be more simple. It doesn't take much space to store either.

So now I am leaning towards this. It is so simple. I of course will keep using my steam mop but for day to day quick mop ups and freshening up of the floors this is my go to. I find myself reaching for it every day after meal times and then once I have hoovered too.

So basically you don't NEED a fancy steam mop at all, this is a far more cost effective way to ensure floors can be cleaned with ease. Especially for those people who don't have much storage.

One tip I do have is when the mop head is grubby put it in the washing machine with a cap full of Zoflora, that way it disinfects it, cleans it and makes it smell amazing too!

Cleaning Hacks  - Steam Mop Vs Standard?* Vileda

*This post includes PR Samples but all opinions are my own

What Mama Wore Monday... #1

This is the first time I have done this kind of post but I have been reading a few of my favourite bloggers posts for a while and felt a little inspired. The trouble I have is that I am rarely in front of the camera, unless it is a shameless selfie!

But Alex was one last week and that meant we got out for the day as a family and that my husband took some photos.

Not quite as glamorous as I would have liked to start but a well worn Mum style of mine none the less. It was a day out at the park, feeding the ducks and having ice creams.

So the distressed jeans, casual T, fringed sandals and simple backpack were an easy outfit to throw on.
What Mama Wore Monday... #1
Jeans - George | Sandles - Topshop | T - Topshop | Backpack - ASOS
The jeans are are from George, and I am slightly shy to admit from the kids section. I have short quite slim legs and find jeans really tricky to get hold of. These are just a cheap pair I can chuck on for days like this when things may get messy! I have distressed them a little more than they were to make them a little rougher around the edge.

The Tea and sandals were from Topshop but last year.

And my favourite piece of the outfit is my leather backpack. I bought this as I was sick of lugging around a full changing bag that I found difficult to hold on to and two children at the same time. A backpack means my hands are free and it doesn't feel so heavy, and it looks much nicer of course!  This is an ASOS bag.

easy mum outfits

easy mum outfits

And as usual my babies look much more put together than me!!! 

Hayley x

Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket

If you have followed my blog for a while you will know how passionate I am about ensuring my children swim regularly and have confidence in the water. And hopefully one day build up a life long skill that could potentially save their life, or somebody else.

I have taken both children from about 7/8 weeks to lessons and thankfully both have loved it from day one. They may have an off day where they're a bit under the weather or tired and are a bit grumpy, but on the whole it is usually them that are causing havoc splashing about in the pool.

For me it is all about having fun at this age, learning to swim is great but they have to be able to enjoy it if you want them to learn anything. There is plenty of time for strict lessons teaching them the different strokes. But for now it is all about fun, games and getting about in the pool with confidence.

Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket

Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket

Daisy can now swim unaided and has been able to for a few months (she is just 3), I am not saying it is some fancy front stroke, but she can get herself to the side of the pool or from one side to the other.

When we are on holiday or swimming together I like her to wear her Konfidence jacket, and Alex will be the same as soon as he fits in his. It gives me that reassurance that she has that helping hand at all times, even when just playing in the shallower areas.I of course will not allow her to swim out of her depth without one of us in with her, right by her side.

 It has removable flotation aids around the waist which allows them to feel that bit more secure but without restraining them, and allows them to feel free in the water. As Daisy's ability progresses, the floats can be removed in pairs to reduce the buoyancy and encourage further development, making the Jacket fully adjustable for your child's swimming skill level. Eventually, all floats are removed and allows the child to swim freely, yet giving them the stability and consistency of wearing the jacket. Anyone who has had a toddler knows how important consistency is, they DO NOT like change!!! (Or maybe that is just Daisy)!

Confidence in the water: The Konfidence Swim Jacket

These photos were from our latest holiday in France and you can see how cute the design is. She is super impressed that it how bows and frills on!!

As you will already know I am sure we are Konfidence Swimologists this year so keep your eyes peeled for more adventures with the jacket and other fab products from the range.

Hayley x

*PR Samples are used int his post but all opinions are 100% my own

The Holiday Edit: The Essential One & The Holiday Vlog

I actually can't believe this little guy is one. A fully walking, starting to talk, eating machine. The cutest one ever of course...

You will see me share various pictures of our holidays over the next few weeks but I just had to share these photos as they're some of my absolute favourites. He looks such a cheeky chops!

Essential One

Essential One

I have been really truing to get to grips with our new camera, the Sony a7 II. I am loving it now I finally have the hang of it a little bit. It was quite a change from our Nikon but now I have worked what works best with the settings I am just loving it.

You may have seen our holiday Vlog went live last week, I will link it here.

Alex is wearing his Essential One T here, how gorgeous does he look :)