Stylishly Organised with Edie & Rona (Review and giveaway)

I'm a lover of stationery and trying to keep organised. When it comes to stationery I sometimes love to choose items that look nicer than just the basics. Edie & Rona sell a wide range of stationery and organisation products which you will be proud to have on your desk. 

Notebooks are an item that I use quite frequently for jotting down any ideas that come to me and I have ones for certain things such as ideas for blogging, crafts ideas to do with Blake etc. This gorgeous Inky splash Portico Designs notebook has a sturdy cover and features "Notes" in gold foil. The pages inside the notebook are lined and are great quality and are edged with gold foil. RRP:£12

I've been wanting to get a card holder for awhile so that I don't have to squeeze my purse into my bag on nights out. This Caroline Gardner card holder is a bright and vibrant color and is embossed with hearts.It holds up to three cards and is small enough to slip perfectly into your bag or pocket. RRP:£10.80

Edie and Rona are giving my readers a chance to win a little bundle which includes: 

- Studio Note : Sticky Notes
- Studio Note: Travel Mug
- Set of ice cream rubbers. 

To enter just complete the rafflecopter below

Terms and Conditions
-To enter you must be over 16
- This competition will close on 6th May 2017 at 12.00am GMT 
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, twitter or facebook
- If the winner doesn't reply within 30 days another winner will be drawn
- Open to UK residents only
- Prize will be sent direct from Edie & Rona

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WIN Chase Rhubarb Vodka

It's the start of the rhubarb season which calls for a pink twist on favorites such as gin and vodka. 

31 Dover are selling Chase Rhubarb Vodka that is made with carefully pressed rhubarb, to give it a subtle sweetness and a natural scent, without using any artificial ingredients.

Chase slowly cook Herefordshire rhubarb, then marinade it with their award-winning, three times distilled Chase Original Vodka. The mixture is distilled a fourth time in Chase's copper pot still to infuse the flavours, before maceration with fresh rhubarb and filtering. Its soft and gentle flavour is like rhubarb and custard. Perfect to add subtle colour to delicate cocktails, but do try it neat over ice too. With Champagne and a vanilla pod it tastes like rhubarb crumble.

If you love trying out new flavored spirits than you are in luck as 31 Dover sell a wide range and I am collaborating with them to offer one lucky winner a chance to win a bottle of Chase Rhubarb Vodka. 

Terms and Conditions
-To enter you must be 18 and over 
- This competition will close on 5th May 2017 at 12.00am GMT 
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, twitter or facebook
- If the winner doesn't reply within 30 days another winner will be drawn
- Open to UK residents and over 18's ONLY
- Prize will be sent direct from 31 Dover

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 steps to a healthy relationship

Raising a family can put a big strain on your relationship. Let’s face it, nothing can drain the romance out of a partnership quite like night feeds and endless piles of washing. However, there are things you can do to help keep the connection between you and your other half strong. For example, the following three steps should make it easier for you to enjoy a healthy, happy relationship.

1. Be honest about problems in the bedroom
You can’t expect to always want to tear your partner’s clothes off, especially if you both tend to fall into bed at the end of the day tired and desperate to catch up on some much needed sleep. However, if there’s a specific problem getting in the way of the physical side of your relationship, it’s important not to fall into the trap of trying to ignore it. Sexual problems are much more common than many people realise. It’s thought that as many as a third of women experience issues like pain during sex and a loss of desire, while the majority of men experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives.
There’s no need to let these problems stop you from enjoying intimacy with your partner. By being open and honest with each other, you can avoid any misunderstandings and look for effective treatments. Your doctor should be able to give you all the information and advice you need. Depending on the cause of the problem, they may recommend lifestyle changes, medical treatments or talking therapies. Treatments for a range of conditions are also now available online. For example, men can buy tadalafil, an erectile dysfunction medicine better known under the brand name Cialis, from reputable pharmacies over the web.
2. Make time for each other
Between work and family commitments, you and your partner might struggle to spend time together, and when you do finally steal a few minutes, you might be too tired or preoccupied to make the most of them. Eventually, this can really start to take its toll on your relationship and if you’re not careful, you might find yourselves drifting apart.
To stop this from happening, try to rethink your priorities and make more space for each other in your schedules. Whether it’s taking a trip to your favourite restaurant or enjoying a film at the cinema, or even in the comfort of your lounge after the kids have gone to bed, spending some quality time with each other could help you to reconnect.
3. Be open but reasonable about things that annoy you
It’s easy for resentment to creep into relationship. Negative feelings can build up over everything from a lack of trust to your partner’s approach to money or the way they do - or don’t do - household chores. If you want to stop resentment from eating into your relationship, it’s important to be open and honest with your other half about what’s bothering you. This is much healthier than trying to bottle it up. Just make sure that when you raise any issues, you do it in a calm and reasonable way, and you’re prepared to listen to their take on the situation.
Also, try not to overreact if your partner opens up to you about something that’s annoying them. Being prepared to make compromises and see things from your other half’s perspective should help to make you a stronger couple.
If you’re really struggling to keep your relationship on the right track and tips like these don’t seem to help, you might benefit from couples counselling. Talking therapies don’t work for everyone, but some people find them to be a big help.

Summer Wardrobe Wishlist With Esprit

Summer is fast approaching and I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will be lucky enough to have some lovely weather this year.  I have compiled a wishlist of items that I have come across on Esprit. All items can be found in their women's collection, although Esprit do cater for men and children as well. 

When it comes to clothing in the summer I like to choose items that can be mixed and matched together or with other items in my wardrobe. The frayed hem cardigan is ideal to be thrown on with a lot of outfits. The skirt is such a gorgeous pattern and I own a few tops that would go perfectly with it.  As the for the pink ruffle top I love the pastel shade which is ideal for summer and I think it would look great paired with white shorts/trousers or a pair of skinny jeans. 

I really love the dye affect top which would also go well jeans and white shorts/trousers. 
The navy top with the hummingbird print is definitely my favorite top from the selection and I love the colorful bird print. 

Last of all my favorite item is the navy maxi dress. Maxi dresses are my favorite thing to wear during the summer months.This lace maxi dress comes in three colors navy, white and dusty green. The great thing about the lace maxi dress is that it can be dressed down with sandals, a kaftan, a beach bag and some funky jewelry for a relaxed boho vibe. In the evening the dress can be worn with heels, some stunning delicate jewelry with hair up. I love that the dress is a double V neck wrapped over the front and has a discrete zip at the back. The design of the dress also makes sure that there is emphasis on the waist.  

Living Arrows- 17/52

 “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

I've not been good at taking photos this week which is a big fail. I seem to always have photos of Blake at the park so need to start taking more exciting ones of what we get up to. 
Blake decided this week that the big swing was the best. We did meet up with one of our friends which was lovely though as well. 

Living Arrows

What Daddy Wore: Jacamo Clothing

*We received the clothing for an honest review 

Stuart doesn't get a mention that often over on my blog so when Jacamo got in touch asking if we wanted to review some clothing for him I said yes. It's great to be able to include Stuart on my blog and to be able to cater for any male readers of my blog. I think I need to include Stuart more on my blog so watch this space. 

Stuart lives in polo shirts at the weekends and so naturally when choosing items for him I went straight to that section on Jacamo's website. They had quite a wide selection to choose from in a range of sizes and different brands. 

As Stuart suits darker colours better I thought navy would be a great colour to opt for rather than black and so I decided to find some polo shirts that weren't similar to what he already has in his wardrobe. I think I actually did well as Stuart loves the items I picked for him. 

The first I picked out is the Original Penguin Printed front polo, RRP: £60. The shirt features a white checked pattern across the front with a plain navy collar, arms and back. It has a three button collar and the Original Penguin logo embroidered onto the chest.

The second shirt is the Mish Mash Hunter Polo, RRP:£40. The shirt features a micro print blue fabric with contrasting plain blue collar, buttoned down three-button collar and a small slit pocket on the left of the chest.

We went for Stuart's usual size which is a large and they are true to size as he likes to have his shirts on the baggy side. They are of excellent quality and comfortable which make them perfect to wear in the spring/summer time. 

The Jacamo menswear range including suits, shirts, chinos and other men's clothing starting at size S right up to size 5XL. 

The pressures of hitting milestones

Every child learns at their own pace is a phrase I hear an awful lot, in fact I was taught it when I was studying childcare at college back in 2007/08. So why is it when you have a child of your own that there is so much pressure on us parents for our children to meet their developmental milestones?

Isn't it time to start ending our obsession of our children meeting their milestones and actually let them do things at their own pace? Since the age of one when we had a one year review with the health visitor we were told Blake was a bit behind in most areas. 

This has meant constant reviews and filling in questionnaires every 6 months or so and referrals to different professionals. I was quite relaxed about Blake's development until others started to question why he wasn't walking (he did eventually at 19 months) and the questionnaires that the health visitor gave me didn't help with my worry about why he wasn't doing certain things. 

He was referred for a medical assessment which he passed and he was then discharged from. Then the health visitor become concerned about his lack of speech and so he was referred to see a speech therapist who we are seeing at the moment every 8 weeks or so. 
He has also had a hearing test which he passed and I had to undertake a chatter tots course last year for a few weeks to learn ways on which to help with his speech. 

I don't disagree with the need of having a developmental timeline to catch severe developmental delays and I can see how it can help many families. I just feel that there really is too much pressure and competitiveness for children being able to do the same thing as their peers. 

Blake was 19 months when he learnt to walk properly, some of his friends learnt at one year ,others around the 15 month mark. I feel as long as Blake is still learning even if he is a little behind his friends than that's OK.

I think it's time for us while they are little to enjoy kids being kids as at the end of the day. Once they start going to school that's when they will have to start thinking more about achieving things ready to be successful in life. 

Living Arrows 16/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

The first photo I'm sharing this week is of Blake chilling out on the sofa after keeping me up Wednesday night until 3am Thursday morning as he didn't want to sleep and wanted to play. He is such a cheeky little one and it's a good job he is cute as I can't stay mad at him for long. 

The second photo is from yesterday (Easter Sunday) when we popped to see his Grandad at the care home. Blake loves his Grandad and he was also running around this was taken when he decided he wanted to be in the outside bit. His outfit you can probably see is slightly dirty from covering himself in not just his dinner but from one of his Easter eggs too. 

The Ordinary Moments - Easter hunts, baking and visiting family

This weeks been a good one with the lead up to Easter weekend we have done quite a bit actually this week compared to recently. 

One of the things we did this week was an Easter hunt although I wasn't impressed with it. Blake enjoyed himself going round finding the clues whilst on Stuart's shoulders. The hunt was finding clues dotted around and at the end you got a small plastic egg with a small pack of Haribo. The whole thing wasn't that organised well either which was a shame really as it could have been good. 

This week thanks to Pat a Cake books we got sent a bundle so we got read to Blake, plant a spring flower and bake some yummy Easter cupcakes topped with mini eggs. Although they don't look that exciting they were delicious. 

On good Friday Blake and I visited my sister and her boyfriend over in Northampton. They have been living in their place 9 months now its only been the first time we had got around to visiting. They have such a lovely house and Blake once he had calmed down from being in a different environment enjoyed himself. 

Last of all on Easter Sunday we spent lunch time around Stuart's family for a lovely Easter Sunday dinner. Followed by popping into the care home where Stuart's Dad lives. Blake loved having cuddles with Grandad and running around outside being cheeky. 

Dealing With The Terrible Two's

Looking at the cute and cheeky little face of Blake you wouldn't believe how bad Blake's tantrums have been recently. Since he was about 18 months Blake has had the start of the "Terrible Two's" and since then they have gradually got much worse. 

In front of others Blake is the dream child he has no tantrums, very rarely cries or hits. In fact he is rather shy and very clingy towards me when we go to groups and takes awhile for him to join in. 

At home is a different kettle of fish he is stroppy, demanding and from time to time I describe him when talking to Stuart as a little brat. He will start throwing objects, once he is told not to, we get the hitting his head on the wall followed by the laying on the floor kicking and screaming. When he is asked not to do something or wants something and we don't understand him we will get the smacking, headbutting, crying, screaming. 

He's starting testing his boundaries too, just the other day I was asking him not to eat with his feet up on the table which resulted in the smacking me around the face and finding it hilarious. We are starting to have to give him consequences to his actions and I think we are going to have to start using the thinking corner. 

On the flip side he is loving be praised for doing something good such as putting himself down for a nap, listening to us for example I asked him to shut the bathroom door the other day and he did it so we clapped and told him well done for listening. 

Other behavior we are dealing with at the moment is the refusal to nap and to stay in bed at night. We have had to pick him up and put him back into bed so many times kicking and screaming however we are lucky that this hasn't happened every night.  He does know he needs to stay in bed he just doesn't want to. 

He will also throw strops when it comes to not having the same foods every day and trying to get him to try something different. This then results in being woken at silly o clock as he is hungry.The joys of a fussy eater!

Blake is behind in his speech and so its tough when it comes to also understanding him as he gets so frustrated at not being able to communicate what he wants.

Blake's Easter Basket

It's that time of year where I share with you what I have put in Blake's Easter basket. I've done one every year so far you can see his first one here which I did for him when he was three and a half months old and his second one when he was 16 months old is here.

I love putting these baskets together and choosing bits that are perfect for him. The basket I picked up is from poundland and they have such a fab selection this year of bits and bobs.
The basket is a great size and good quality too.  

I picked up two twirly woos books when I was in The Works the other day. He loves twirly woos and the books were only £2 each so i thought they would be great to have in his basket. 

The Easter story book and the bunny in a carrot are both items that he had in his basket last year and so I've reused again. I picked up some markers from tiger for £1 which are a great size. The plastic eggs come from a pack from poundland which were for of course £1 and I'm going to put some chocolate buttons in. 

I saw the ribbon streamer and hook and ducks in poundland too. The ribbon streamer will be great for using this summer when running around the park and the hook and duck set I'm planning to use with him for water play.  Last of all is a 4 pack of dinosaur figures also from poundland.

I also plan to pick up a small Easter egg for him other than that the basket is finished and good to go. 

Have you done an Easter basket this year?

WaterWipes #Review

Since becoming a mum wipes have become an essential part of our everyday life as they have so many uses. When you have a newborn though it isn't recommended to use wipes to begin with and just use water and cotton pads. I really wish I had known then about WaterWipes when Blake was newborn. 

WaterWipes are the worlds purest baby wipe, they are chemical free and made of 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract. 97% of midwives believe that they are suitable to be used on delicate newborn skin. WaterWipes are the only baby wipe to be approved by Allergy UK and the National Eczema Association of America.

Even though Blake is a toddler WaterWipes are still suitable not for just cleaning bums, but for keeping hands and face clean. If your toddler is anything like Blake than they will get messy very easily not just when it comes to eating but everyday playing as well.

WaterWipes have become an essential over the last few weeks we have used them when it comes to nappy changing time, cleaning him up after eating, cleaning up after messy play, cleaning up snotty noses when I've not had a tissue to hand are a few ways. I love that they are such great quality too and aren't flimsy and they don't tear easily either which is handy. 

Each pack contains 60 wipes and there are also handy travel packs with 10 wipes in which I pop in our changing bag. 

Do you use WaterWipes? Have you used them on Newborns? 

Living Arrows 15/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This weeks photos were taken over at my In laws in their garden on Sunday. Blake loved the space and freedom to run around and play. I do hope we can move to place with a garden eventually as I know that he will love it so much as he is at his happiest outside. Blake loved that it was shorts and t-shirt weather and got to run around bare foot.

The second photo is of Blake exploring with the water feature. He started out on his hands and knees using a toy coin from his plastic piggy to touch the water before he started using his hands to feel the cool of the water and eventually even stuck his head under. 

Living Arrows

The Ordinary Moments - Making the most of the sunshine

We have had such gorgeous weather recently and so we have been making the most of it and spending time outdoors. Yesterday we had originally planned to go the park and play ball games as well as bring Blake's scuttle bug with us. The plan changed as Stuart's phone had been playing up and so needed to pop to the other side of town to Tesco to get a new contract sorted. 

So we ended up spending time over at the In laws in their garden which Blake loved. He loved having the freedom to run around and loved playing with the little water feature. He even started putting his head under it and got soaked. It was lovely to see him enjoy being outdoors and we will be certainly making the most of days out in the sunshine this spring/summer. 

The Ordinary Moments

Laundry Hints and Tips

When you have a family the laundry can be like the never ending story and all you want is to see an empty basket. I very rarely see an empty basket in our home however I do like to try and make things easier for us.

I thought I'd share with you some of my tips for making laundry much easier for you too:

Wash baby/children's clothing on a delicate wash
This way their clothing can be kept in near perfect condition. I always make sure we use a non bio washing powder as not to irritate Blake's skin and wash his clothing separate from our own. 

Color catchers
We use these to stop colors from running especially new clothing and reds and blacks. 

Treating Stains
Children's clothing gets so messy and so I've started to use products to pre-treat before washing and also for putting in the machine too. I'm really love ACE products for our laundry at the moment. The ACE Power Mousse combines the might of bleach with ACE cleaning power, the ACE Power Mousse works hard to keep white laundry bright and clean and works on surfaces around the home too. The ACE Original removes the toughest of stains and is gentle on clothes as well as being ideal for everyday use. 

Not over loading the machine
This is lesson we have learnt as over loading means that clothing may not get washed properly and clothing may also get damaged. 

Using a dedicates bag 
I use a dedicates bag more often these days to keep my underwear protected. You can also use them to keep socks together in hope of no longer having missing pairs. 

Giving your machine a clean 
Instead of purchasing specialised machine cleaner I give our machine a clean with white vinegar. I just pop a slug in our machine and run an empty load every now and again, simple.

Alternative Easter Gift's

When it comes to Easter children tend to get an overwhelming amount of chocolate and so we prefer to to give Blake alternative Easter gifts. Each year we do Blake an Easter basket and we will be doing the same this year. I have compiled a small guide of alternative gifts for your little ones this Easter.

Say hello to  Warmies® the cute and cozy plush bedtime companion. Heat him up 90 seconds and once warmed up and smelling of lavender he will lull your little one off to the land of nod. I love this cute elephant design however they also come in sheep,puppy and many more designs. £14.95 

The Leapfrog count along till will make a fab gift this Easter. The Leapfrog count along till comes with 8 colorful food pieces, 10 coins and a shopping card. When you press the buttons on the till it talks about the colors as well as numbers and counting. You can read my full review here. RRP:£19.99

If your little one loves trains and cars why not purchase the monkey pop-up track from Hape, offering a cheeky addition to your child's wooden track. The three cheeky monkeys hide in the jungle just waiting to catch that banana!The pop-up track will be a guaranteed hit with any child, adding fun characters to your train sets, with the excitement of a pop-up surprise.  As the banana car glides cross the wooden track, the monkeys keep an eye out, and as the banana passes, POP, the monkeys jump out to claim their banana. £15

Last of all books are always a hit whether Easter themed like Chicken Nugget in scrambled egg or something from Julia Donaldson.

Chicken Nugget In Scrambled Egg: It's not easy being the smallest chick in the family, but Nugget has had some good news: he's going to be a big brother! Little baby Benedict is still an egg at the moment and it's Nugget's job to look after him. What could possibly go wrong?

Peppa Goes to London: Peppa and George go on a very special day out to London in this picture book story based on the exciting new episode.
The Giant Jumperee:
Rabbit was hopping home one day when he heard a loud voice coming from inside his burrow.

When Rabbit's friends Cat, Bear and Elephant come to help they are each scared away in turn by the mysterious voice

If you still want to give chocolate why not give this Chocolate Silicone Mould Kit from Pro Cook. This makes an ideal alternative gift as children can have fun making their own chocolate egg and bunny. The six piece kit is made from high quality durable silicone ,is dishwasher, freezer and oven safe to 260C. The kit comes with a 1 year guarantee.  

Keep your toddler entertained for hours with this Rainbow Rabbit Puzzle.  Be sure to place mummy and baby rabbit back together before they hop away, and count the pieces to develop your little ones learning further. The 7-piece puzzle helps encourage hand and eye coordination and problem solving skills. The George Luck Rainbow Rabbit is suitable for 3 years + and is available to buy online from Debenhams for £6.00.

These Eggspressions from Hape are sure to provoke hours of egg-citement this Easter. Enjoy the 6 characterful eggheads as you follow their journey through the scrambled feelings idea book. Watch as children learn to identify and express their feelings while developing hand and eye co-ordination, perfect for any early explorer. The Eggspressions are suitable from 24 months + and are available to buy online for Argos for £19.99.

Living Arrows- 14/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This past week Blake has been really bad with his tantrums. We've had to deal with hitting, kicking, headbutting as well as throwing things when he gets into a strop. I really think he is getting all the more frustrated at not being able to verbally express himself.  

Blake loves animals whenever we go for walks he loves to try and chase the cats and stroke the dogs. He even loves seeing the birds in the trees and the sky and gets very excited. So we decided since we needed to make a trip to Tesco which is the other side of town to go and see the ducks. Blake was chilled out and relaxed at this point and we were hoping he would drop off for a nap which didn't go to plan. 

This week we also chose to take Blake to two local pet shops. The first one that we visited sell exotic pets such as turtles, snakes, bearded dragons and chameleons and even fish. Blake enjoyed seeing the fish and was more into them than the other animals, unlike my other man child (Stuart). The other shop was a general pet shop that sell different types of birds, gerbils, hamsters etc. It didn't surprise  me that Blake loved the budges. 

Living Arrows

The Ordinary Moments - A Hen Do

I've been lucky that last year I went out on a few nights out with some "mummy" friends. 
Getting ready when you have a toddler around can be a nightmare and I've learnt the art of being able to straighten my hair in under 5 minutes and get my make up done in under 15 minutes. This obviously takes longer if Blake decides that he needs my undivided attention throughout the getting ready process.

Friday was my sister in laws hen do, and I was lucky in  that getting ready was a breeze as i had Stuart to keep Blake entertained. Blake seems to know when I am going out and usually he goes into a full meltdown which involves screaming and crying as he doesn't want me to leave. There have been times when I have had to sneak out before he has noticed. This time however Blake was fine he waved me off and there were no tears. I even had a text from Stuart saying he told Blake that I was out and he responded by clapping and giggling. 

The hen night itself was fun we all enjoyed a buffet meal with lovely company. Me and Kat (the other bridesmaid) dressed up my sister in law (Kim) with a tiara/veil, sash and a badge. 
The rest of us wore a badge and we dressed up the table with a Hen night balloon and some table sprinkles as well as ahem willy straws. 

It was great to celebrate with my sister in law and all the others that were a part of her evening. It's also been great to have some time away from Blake as he has been a little bugger recently with tantrums galore.