Lily

Lily
Lily Tessa

Photography

Photography
Photography

Archer

Archer
Archer Leo

Christmas and the days leading up to


It's been a stressful old week which hasn't been ideal what with it being Christmas but such is life. In a way I think it's somewhat fitting that Christmas day was kind of pants this year because it more or less sums up how 2016 has been as a whole. Pants pants pants.

God that's a depressing start to this post.. It wasn't ALL bad I should say. The day itself I mean. I ended the day with the people I care about most in the world, my family, and that's more than a lot of people have. What a lot of people dream of. So I don't want this post to come off ungrateful and as though I'm just happily focusing on the negatives as that's genuinely not the case. But I can't pretend it was the best Christmas ever either. Because it wasn't. Not by a long shot.
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Siblings in December


My dreams of getting a beautiful christmas themed pintrest style sibling photo infront of the tree for the last siblings project of the year have been shattered , well and truly! I am however continuing my tradition of uploading the post late..at least that's something I've managed to stick to ;)

We're all sick in this house. again. Every single one of us. So our days are being spent indoors trying desperately to recuperate before christmas day. I can't even begin to allow myself to think what Christmas is going to be like if we're all still like this on Sunday. Ugh.
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Mama's Christmas Wish List



Us mamas are usually pretty on the ball when it comes to Christmas. We get everyones presents sorted, kids, parents, aunties and uncles, cousins, second cousins, you name it! But it's fair to say we often end up neglecting ourselves in the process.
Me & James have decided not to do presents this year as we're trying to save money for a deposit but that hasn't stopped me thinking about what I'd have on my christmas wish list and what other mums might like too. 
Men, if youre stuck for ideas, look no further!
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Blogmas Fail Explanation


I doubt that anyone's really noticed but I feel like I should probably apoligise for my radio silence.
I fully intended to complete Blogmas, I had lots of post ideas but I only managed to make it to day 10. There's a lot that has been going on in my personal life the past few months that I haven't talked about over on my blog and when things settled down a bit in recent weeks I felt like I got my writing mojo back a bit but unfortunately this week has seen another turn in events that has meant blogging has needed to take a back seat again in order for me to fully be present for my family.

I'm not sure whether there's any point in attempting to finish Blogmas so what I'm thinking I'll probably do is upload all christmas related posts and then go back to my original posting schedule afther christmas.

There's always next year to try again and my new years resolution is to try and get more of a regular posting schedule together, hopefully two or three posts a week, so keep an eye out for that :)


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Weekend Watch - A much needed lazy day | Blogmas Day 10


So I don't have the energy to type any sort of in depth post today I have to say. I'm poorly, shivery and achy with a horrible head cold but Blogmas I wont let you down I promise! I'm currently sat on the sofa watching the Xfactor final (it's pants) with a cup of lemsip and working on a scrapbook I've been doing for my auntie who isn't very well.

I've had a little think about what to write about for today's post and whilst I've got a few ideas floating around they'll have to wait for later days when I'm less exhausted. I've decided instead to post a few photos of our day in the form of a Weekend Watch post as it's been what feels like a lifetime since I've written one of these.
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Which child needs me more? | Blogmas Day 9


Truth time here. Having two children is way harder than I thought it would be. I've been thinking about it a lot recently and I've come to the conclusion that the things I thought I'd find hard about having more children are not actually the things I've found to be hard at all. Does that make any sense?

During Archers pregnancy the main two things I would worry over was a repeat of colic and how I would deal with sleep deprivation with two on my hands. But actually neither has turned out to be as bad as I thought. It's all been suprisingly manageable. I think not having that first time panic this time round means I don't question every decision to do with Archer in the way I did during Lily's baby days. Nor do I get that overwhelmed feeling I used to get every time Lily was hurt, miserable or poorly. Granted Archer's colic turned out to be nowhere near as horrific as Lily's, like, not even on the same scale so that definitely helped but I also think it's just been a natural progression of having more confidence in what I'm doing as a parent. I've made no secret of the fact that Archers sleep is abismal, the complete opposite to Lily, my little sleeping angel who slept through the night from 9 weeks but even sleep deprevation doesn't effect me in the way I was worried it was. Am I tired? Hell yeah. Of course I am, I've not slept in 10 months, I'm freaking exhausted! But I tend not to dwell, I just get on with it and for the most part it doesn't really bother me.

Anywho I'm rambling and I'll get to the point of this post before I head off on a tangent about baby sleep. The thing I've actually found the toughest about having two children, the thing I hadn't really even thought about during my second pregnancy is knowing who to go to first when both of them want my attention. A question I seem to constantly ask myself - which child needs me more?
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How we're doing with weaning - Blogmas Day 8


Ah weaning..such a messy messy experience! With weaning the second time around I have to say I've been way more relaxed. I remember when we weaned Lily I was terrified to give her anything that wasn't pureed to within an inch of its life for fear of her choking. She basically had jars and pouches for at least the first 6 months of weaning, possibly longer, and these days she's an incredibly fussy eater. I often wonder if a big part of it is down to me.

Archer has been weaned since 6 months and I have to say his eating experience so far has been completely different to Lily's.
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What Lily said December | Blogmas Day 7



Singing yet another one of her made up songs - "Boys. They steal our toys. & make a lot of noise. Those smelly boys. 30 seconds later..Except for father Christmas mummy!"  Clearly she's really bought into the whole Father Christmas is watching thing 😂

"If daddy is cheeky again I will be throwing him in the back of a dustbin lorry."

Looking at the chocolate bar on my bed - "I'm not going to eat your piece of chocolate mummy. I'm just going to look at it. And stroke it. It's so beautiful."

If Father Christmas ever rings me I will answer and say 'Hello Mr Christmas.' Because that's polite."

"There are lots of elves in the world isn't there?" (SO adorable!)

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Avoiding Sibling Rivalry at Christmas by Dr Amanda Gummer | Blogmas Day 6


      Written by Amanda Gummer, MD and founder, Fundamentally Children

Christmas is an exciting and therefore often highly emotional time for children. If you have more than one child at home, there’s lots you can do to ensure they all enjoy the festivities together, rather than arguing and bickering or getting jealous and competitive.

It’s a really good idea to make sure you spend some time with each child individually over the Christmas period. Find out what they would like to do and let them lead your time together to get the most from it. This ensures that nobody feels left out or sidelined in the excitement and business of preparations and also gives you the time to focus attention on each child amidst the madness.

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Do you ever truly feel 'done'? - Blogmas Day 5


I'm not going to lie after having Archer I thought I'd feel more 'done' with having kids than I do. I only ever really envisioned having 2 children, that was always the life plan and I find it kind of un-nerving that since having Archer it doesn't seem like such a solid plan anymore. 

And it's got me thinking - when do you ever really know if you are done having kids? I mean is there a defining moment of yep I'm finished, no more raising of small humans for me thanks. Or is it a case of being sensible and weighing up the logistics - pros and cons, finances and what not to help you to come to that decision. Will we just forever feel broody because we're women and we're all just programmed to feel that way? Does feeling broody necessarily mean its right for your family to have another? How do you know? It all just makes my head spin a little really.
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November Through My Phone | Blogmas Day 4

Cold I think is the word I'd use to sum up November. It's been absolutely freezing which meant most of November was spent indoors and therefore I have to admit that the last few rows of my camera roll are very samey.

This past month we've been looking around primary schools for Lily. Which still makes my heart jump a little to say out loud. I dont know if it's because of the fact that I'm suddenly aware of the fact she'll be starting school soon but she seems ever so grown up recently. We've decided on the primary school we want so fingers crossed we get it but you just never know with the amount of admissions these days do you? 
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A Pink & Grey Nursery Mood Board | Blogmas Day 3



During my pregnancy I was constantly day dreaming about what nursery theme I'd be going with. For a boy I had a few different ideas floating around but I knew that if I had a little girl I'd be going for a dusky pink and grey colour scheme as I love those two colours together. 
I'm not a massive fan of bold colours in a bedroom, they strike me more as playroom colours and I'm not usually a fan of pink for girls as I find it can be a little garish, especially hot pink. However this light dusky shade of pink I keep coming across is just perfect. I'd totally do my own bedroom this colour is James would let me!
As we've had a boy the pink and grey nursery idea hasn't seen the light of day (although Archers nursery is grey, I may have to do his tribal nursery showcase soon!) but that hasn't stopped me from sharing the mood board I put together during my pregnancy as I wouldn't want it to go to waste after all ;)
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Autumn Raincoats From Lighthouse | Blogmas Day 2



"The Lighthouse philosophy is all about inspiring our inner adventurer of the simple everyday, whether that’s through woodland wanderings, a breezy coastal walk or a countryside stroll. The Lighthouse AW16 collection is crafted to keep you toasty for Autumnal adventures through leaf scattered forests or chilly conker hunts with your be-mittened little adventurers. Incorporating cosy new fabrics, authentic hand drawn prints and reliable, highly waterproof features - you can enjoy the simple pleasures of an Autumn stroll or spending a few quiets moments to yourself on a park bench."

A company with this motto is a company I'm on board with! Seriously. As soon as I saw this slogan I knew they were speaking to my soul.
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Reflecting on Breastfeeding 10 months on - Blogmas Day 1


So here we are 10 months on and I can't quite believe I'm still breastfeeding to be honest. After struggling so much with feeding Lily I didn't really have many high hopes with successfully feeding Archer either. I knew I wanted to give it a try but had no time scale in mind. If it went well then great, but if I only managed a few days before swapping to formula well that was fine too.

In the end I think it was the complete lack of pressure that made it work for us this time around
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Archers 9 Month Round Up


Archer is 10 months as of today and I really just can't compute how this has happened. We made it to double figures bud!
He's developed so much this month - physically especially and it's dawning on me now how much of a little boy he's becoming. Not that he hasn't always been a little boy but you know what I mean, all of a sudden he's just so much less of a baby.

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Siblings in November | Blogmas Day 14


First of all let me just apologise for the awful quality of this months photos yet again. I suck I know! I've pretty much given up trying to get pictures on my big camera of the pair of them at this stage. Iphone photos are the way forward until time becomes on my side once again!

This month has seen a whole lot of jealousy on Archers part and a whole lot of patience on Lily's. It feels like Archer has only just realised he has to share me with his sister and quite frankly he doesn't like it one bit. He shows it by screaming and attempting to claw at Lily every time she dares sit on my knee, or come in to any touching distance really and I'm preying this is just a phase as it's not fun for poor Lil, although she's being very patient about it. Once again the mum guilt is back is full force and as a result I'm trying to give her lots of quality time when Arch naps.
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What Lily said - November



I think the word sassy is the best word to describe my daughter at the moment. Now that she's four she talks non stop and she has me and James in stitches constantly. After a conversation with a friend about all the things you forget about your children as they grow up I decided to keep note of some of the funny things she says each month so that I dont forget. Here are a few of my favourites from last month..

"I'm so hungry I could eat a whole village and all of it's houses!" - This is my personal fave - I have no idea where she got this quote from but talk about dramatic, she'd eaten less than an hour ago 😂

Watching an old video of herself on my laptop - "Baby Lily was so cute wasn't she?"

"I'm drawing grandma Beryl. I'm drawing her wobbly though because she's a bit old"

"I'm happy I have Archer for my baby because he's so lovely"

When I asked her to keep eating her tea (omelette) "If you want to be my best friend right now you need to get me something. Something that isn't omelette."

Whilst listening in to her conversation with her friend Iris - "Iris when you are four or three I will teach you to catch pokemon"

Watching the neighbour leave early morning from the window, she nudges me - "I think she's run out of cheerios"

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A few photos of late + an explanation



So you may or may not have noticed that I've been rather quiet on here and over on YouTube of late. I'd like to say this is something that's going to change in the near future but honestly I'm not really sure whether it is or not. All I know is that right now I have lost any faith I had in the universe, I'm so full of anger and rage and I just have very little desire to sit down and write when I'm feeling this way. Mostly for fear of what will come out on the page.

It all sounds very ominous I know but it's not something I'm ready to talk about yet and I dont know if I ever will be. But when something devestating happens to you and your loved ones it makes you realise whats important and that's spending time - actual physical time in the present with the ones you care about more than anything else in the world.

& So blogging is taking a back seat. For now. Because I just can't write from the heart when my heart is shattered into a million and one pieces. 
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October through my phone


It's been a month of pumpkin hunting, sleepless nights and my little girl turning four and I've taken so many pictures this month I'm suprised my phone hasn't exploded quite frankly. So much for slowing down!
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Archer's 8 Month Round Up



It feels like I was just writing Archers 7 month update yesterday. This month has gone freakily fast! Lily turns 4 in a few days and once her birthday is out of the way I always allow myself to start feeling more Christmassy. Except this year Christmas being round the corner means that Archers first birthday is just around the corner too and that's just not allowed, no no no!

I feel like I've been trying to cling on to so much of Archer's baby stage recently and this month has really just highlighted the fact that he's so nearly out of that stage altogether. The two things that were still making Arch feel like a baby to me - feeding and sleep - he seems to have got a new found independence for.
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Weekend Watch - Pumpkin Picking



We've not been having the best time of late hence why blog posts have become a bit sparse. We've not had chance to get out and do much and therefore there just hasn't been much to write about recently. I think everyone begins to slow down a bit when summer comes to an end and the weather turns cold again and naturally it's meant a lot of time indoors. 
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Siblings In October


This month has been a looong month! Lily and Archer have been annoying each other in equal measure recently which has been quite hilarious 😂😂 It's really quite amusing to watch. Lily likes to get in Archers face and sing to him really loudly which he finds funny for about a minute before he gets fed up with it and starts bashing her in the face. Then the singing stops and I hear "No Archer that's mean. Go on the thinking step right now." Lol. She also likes to run around him in circles so that he whips around to watch her and topples over. This happens several times a day which as you can imagine is great fun *feel the sarcasm.* In turn Archer has developed this high pitched blood curdling shriek when he wants attention and Lily HATES it. Actually, to be honest, we all hate it. But I remember going through this stage with Lily at exactly the same age and if I remember correctly it doesn't last very long.
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On the first day of your last year of pre-school


Lily, you're finally back at pre-school after what feels like the worlds longest summer holiday.

On exactly this day last year I was packing, probably over packing, your rucksack in the evening (healthy lunch - check, spare clothes - check, hat, scarf & gloves - check, a list of emergency contact numbers - check) and trying not to cry at the thought of letting someone else enjoy your company for 2 and a half days of the week.

When we left for nursery this time last year you were still so little in my eyes. You were shy around new people and you needed help getting your coat and shoes on. You still had accidents more days than not and you still asked for a story every night before bed. I  dressed you that morning and wondered whether I was making the right decision and I sat in the nearby Starbucks for hours after I dropped you off. Mainly because I couldn't bear to go all the way home incase you needed me to come back.

12 months on and things couldn't be more different.
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September Through My Phone

Oh hey October, when did you rock up? September's been and gone in the blink of the eye and because the weathers been so unusually warm it's felt a little bit like we've had an extended summer. Not that I haven't appreciated it because it's been great but I am looking forward to seeing the back of the heat now. 

Hello shorter days and colder nights. Bring on the hot water bottles, conker collecting and autumn themed latte's I say
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Archers 7 month update



Archer turns 8 months today so its time to round up how month 7 has been for him. It's definitely been the month of milestones, I feel like I have so much to talk about and honestly it's quite scary how fast it's all come on!
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The Last Week of the Holidays


The last week of the summer holidays has been and gone and I can't decide if it's been fast or slow.
Actually, no. That's a lie.
Lets be honest here folks, it's been slooooow.

Not saying there hasn't been good bits. If I compare it to last summer where I was pregnant and stuck in hypermesis hell it's been bloody brilliant. And there's been some days this summer that I know I'll treasure forever. But the majority of it has been spent with my whingy 3 year old complaining she's bored and me desperately trying to come up with some new things for us to do that wont break the bank.

We managed though! We got through it! & now that the return to pre school is on the horizon I find part of myself wishing for a bit more time. Why is the grass always greener eh?
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Siblings in September

 
I talked in my last sibling post about how Lily was experiencing a lot of jealousy and resentment towards Archer of late and although I knew it was all normal, it was still kinda breaking my heart a little. Well this month, thankfully, has been much much better and for that I must breathe a sigh of relief.
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Weekend Tot Style #2


September weather is so confusing I never know how to dress the kids! With Lily its not so bad as I can just put a cardigan on which she can take off if she gets too warm but since Arch can't tell me whether he's too hot it can be bit of a mare trying to dress him appropriately for our constantly changing weather.
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A day in Scarborough


Today my daughter is back at preschool.
Today I have the mother of all migraines.
Today, I'm dreaming of yesterday.
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New blog, New start


I'm not one for doing massively personal posts but anyone who knows me will know that I haven't been myself since Archer was born.

I dont like to talk about it really. If I'm honest it makes me feel weak and I'm much more of a bottle it all up inside and keep on pushing it down kind of person, always have been. Which I appreciate isn't the healthiest approach to my issues but hey.

Anyway my blogging has been affected massively in the last 7 months. You may have noticed. You probably haven't. But I've noticed and it's been getting to me. I keep trying to pick up my camera and take photos or pick up my laptop and write but it's almost impossible when my own head is so full of white noise at the minute.

I'm getting there though, & I'm determined not to let something I love doing fade away into the background just because of what is hopefully a bad patch.
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August through my Phone

Since having Archer I've had to put down my DSLR and rely on my phone for taking photographs a lot more than I have done in the past. My hands are so full at the moment that I rarely have time to do little more than a quick snap on my camera phone of the kids and whilst I fully intend to get back to using my DSLR regularly in the future once things are a little less hectic, for now I'm stuck with a camera roll of photographs, most of which are deleted once I run out of space and sadly never see the light of day. 

With that being said I've decided to a post at the end of every month rounding up the best of my phone photographs so that they dont go to waste. I think I'll continue doing it for another 6 months or so until I dust off my DSLR, although I might continue it for longer because between you and me I've become quite fond of using my phone to take and edit my snaps!
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Siblings in August


I've given up trying to get these photos up on time for the Siblings linky.. it just aint happening! I am however trying to at least get them up within the month and so here I am with 1 day left of August and I've finally managed to take them..talk about last minute!

I'd be lying if I said this has been a great month for these two. Archers been especially challenging with his teething recently and it's stirred up a fair bit of resentment in Lily of late. I can't say I blame her as he's had her up every night with his screaming for the last few weeks and during the day he hasn't been much better. She just puts her hands over her ears when he's upset and says 'No Archer I don't like that noise!' We've tried telling her that he's just in pain with her teeth and crying is the only way he has to express it right now but she's 3 and we don't really expect her to 'get it.'
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Toddler Style in August


It's been ages since I've done an outfit post and I want to get back in to it again because I love writing about clothes! This weekend I'll just be focusing on what Lily's wearing though as Archers been ill with a v+d bug and has been in nothing exciting. 

The weathers been on and off this week but we did have one day of really hot sunshine so I took the opportunity to put Lily in one of her new dresses. This particular dress I bought in H&M last week and I adore.
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My Productive Working Environment at Home


I would so so love to have my own in home office for my blogging but unfortunately our house just isn't big enough for one. It's disappointing but doesn't mean that I can't create my own working environment using the space I have available, which is exactly what I've done.

I decided that our bedroom would be the best place to create a working space and to be honest it didn't take very long to set up at all. 
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Archers Six Month Update


Here we are halfway through your first year of life Archer, it's gone so fast! 6 months comes with so many milestones - weaning, sitting, speech development and I can't believe we're at this stage already.

We started weaning Arch at exactly 6 months and I feel like since we started weaning him he's been a lot happier in general. He's loving finger foods, mainly toast, cucumber and pitta bread although he's been a bit iffy with the purees and has basically been shuddering and spitting it out up until today when he did a 360, finally deciding he liked it and grabbing the spoon off me to put it in himself!
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Weekend Watch - 30.7.16


This week has been so much fun! James has had it booked off work for a while and whilst we couldn't do everything we had planned on our to do list thanks to the weather (bye bye seaside!) we still managed to fit a lot in to the few days of sun we did have.
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Siblings in July


It is SO HARD to get a decent sibling photo these days let me tell you! I'm hoping it gets easier when Archer starts sitting up so I can just sit them next to each other because this month I was about ready to give up let me tell ya. I attempted to have Lily holding Arch but he's just too freaking heavy and they toppled over after about 30 seconds ha, Then I tried lying them next to each other but Lily kept getting annoyed at Archer who kept kicking her and so I called it a day! In the end I actually ended up preferring just casual ones I took of Arch in his walker with Lily in the background and so I've put them in too.
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Summer Style with JD Williams


It's been so long since I've been able to wear a nice summery outfit. Last summer we had some good weather but I was pregnant and barely left the house thanks to sickness, and when I did venture out I stuck to my leggings and baggy tops. When JD Williams challenged me to style one of the dresses from their lovely summer range I jumped at the chance to wear something nice for a change!
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Archers 5 Month Update


It's really hard for me to get my head around Archer being 5 months. When I stop and think about it, like, really think about it, it freaks me out. Does anyone else ever feel that way?
I mean next month he'll be half way through his first year and that's just something my brain can't even comprehend right now!
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Leeds Living with Kids #1 - Roxy Lanes Bowling


This Saturday we were invited along to a family blogger event at Roxy Lanes for some food drinks and bowling. I've never been to Roxy Lanes before, in fact despite living in Leeds I honestly didn't know it existed but being a big fan of Roxy Ball Room I had high hopes, and I wasn't let down. 
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KidloLand Children's App Review


I'm always a bit wary when it comes to kids apps for Ipads and phones. Mainly because they take up a lot of time with not a whole lot of benefit for the child. I can't sit here and say that I'm one of those parents who doesn't let their child use technology because I'm not - Lily watches more tele and films than she probably should and she gets to play on the Cbeebies app after bath time but in general I'd honestly much rather she played in the garden or did some crafts. 

When Kidloland got in contact and asked if I wanted to review their Kidloland app I thought it would be an app that Lily used once in a blue moon but actually I dont mind letting her spend time on it because it seems to have taught her so much in such a short amount of time.
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Making our house a home


For a long while now myself and James have been deciding whether to move house and if so when. We've been living in our house for nearly 3 years now, Lily was less than a year old when we moved here and despite the fact that we could ideally do with a bit more space now that we have arch as well, the bottom line is we all love it here. We know our neighbours, we adore the area and we feel safe. It feels like home. 
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Siblings in June



I'm pretty sure I sad the same thing last month (and the one before that) but the communication between Lily & Archer has really come on this month! Its mental how much can change in a matter of weeks! I'm more than slightly late with this post (as per) but June has seen lots of teething, rainy days and sleepless nights for these two. As such most of our month has been spent indoors, which is depressing to say that it's June.
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Archers 4 Month Update


As I'm typing this I've realised that it's exactly a year ago today that I had my positive pregnancy test. That is such a strange thought to me right now. That this time last year I had no idea who the little person in my belly would be. Arch was nothing but a teeny tiny bean of hope at the time and now here he is, happy and healthy and making our family complete. Amazing.
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Lansinoh Electric Breast Pump Review


'How are you feeding them?' is one of the Q's you hear the most when you have a little baby. Every time I'm asked how I'm feeding Arch and I tell people I'm doing mixed feeding it's always met with a bit of a '???' reaction. The questions that usually follow are 'What is that?' and 'How does that work?' and the truth is that mixed feeding wouldn't have been at all possible for me to do without the use of an electric breast pump.
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Weekend Watch - 04.06


This past weekend has seen the start of sum propa decent summer weather. Finally.

I feel like this is the first thing acquaintances say when they bump into one another in the street 'Ooh this weather really makes a difference to your mood doesn't it?' I know if I ring my grandma later she'll most likely say exactly that and yes its a bit of a cliche but its true! Nothing seems as bad when the sun is shining.

 We're 3 days into this blistering heat and long may it last.
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Weekend Watch - 28.5.16


Why do bank holiday weekends always go wrong for us!? I honestly think we're a little bit cursed when it comes to the weekend and making any sort of plans. 
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