Me and Mine: A Family Portrait in August

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August has been a month of so many ups and downs for us! We're definitely settling into life together as a family of four now - the day to day is becoming easier, and it feels like Ben has always been a part of our family. He's such a little ray of sunshine, and is just such an easy going little guy. He's really developing into a little character now - you just have to smile and him, and you get a flurry of smiles back at you. And although he's always done this funny little squawk laugh, this week he's started laughing properly and it's just the best sound in the world! At the start of the month, John took ...

A Visit to Castle Ashby

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Castle Ashby in Northampton has been on my wishlist for a visit for a long time now, after seeing such beautiful images of it's orangery on so many people's instagram accounts. It's a fair jaunt for us to get to, so we saved it for the two weeks my husband had taken as paternity leave, and all four of us headed off on a little adventure to Northamptonshire! As we parked up in the car park, I spied a pretty amazing looking kids playground, complete with it's own wooden 'Castle Ashby'. And this playground set the tone for our visit - Castle Ashby is one of the most child friendly gardens I've visited. The whole vibe was really family friendly and ...

Making the night feed less painful with the Meemoobaby Meelight

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I love all the new products that have arrived on the market since Max was a baby, there are so many things that make life easier for life with a newborn. One of the things I was most excited about was the Meemoo Meelight night light, so when Cheeky Rascals sent me one to review I was really keen to test it out. When Max was little, I found the night feeds were hands down the hardest thing about becoming a parent. They continued for us until Max was about 7 months and it was relentless and exhausting. I used to try and keep lights fairly dim, but would have to use my bedside table lamp to get things started, and ...

7 Must Haves for Breastfeeding Mums

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Breastfeeding is really hard in the early days, so anything that makes that journey a little bit easier is very welcome in my book. These are 7 of the most useful things I've come across, so whether you're a breastfeeding mum, or intending to breastfeed, I hope they'll be useful for you.   Lansinoh HPA Lanolin In the early days breastfeeding is so difficult and so often painful. It's difficult to get the latch right, and just one bad latch can cause a lot of damage to your sensitive nipples. Add in something like tongue tie, and you can be experiencing an awful lot of soreness. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin is what I credit with getting me through breastfeeding the first time around, and ...

Sleep Training Success with Zazu Pam the Penguin

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Despite both my husband and I being decidedly not morning people, we seem to have created an early riser in our son. 6am is a good start for us, but often he emerges in our doorway somewhere between 5 and 6. Very definitely not what you want when you have a newborn and have been up half the night anyway! When I was sent Zazu's Pam the Penguin to try out, my original intention was to use it for the new baby's room - it's so cute and looked so sweet sat in the nursery! But when Max saw it, he was really keen on it, so I thought we'd give it a go and test out it's sleep training abilities - anything ...

Living Arrows 34/52

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You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth – Kahlil Gibran Last week was a bit of a disappointing one if I'm honest. It was my husband's second week of paternity leave and we had so many things planned, but both Max and my husband came down with a nasty cold last Sunday which continued all week and pretty much wiped out all the plans we had. Yesterday Max was feeling a bit better, so we headed to Loseley Park - which I thought was a good choice as it's not too big, in case Max got exhausted quickly. He loved running around, but one of my favourite shots was this one of him with this little ...

How to Host the Perfect BBQ – Part Two

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Welcome to the second part of my BBQ 'series'! This post is going to focus on the food and drink itself and I'm going to leave you in the capable hands of my husband, John, to talk you through his most recent discovery for the BBQ - brick chicken - before I take the reins back to talk about side dishes and drinks (we stick to fairly traditional gender roles for our BBQs!). John is an engineer by trade, and every so often, he chooses a particular thing to try to perfect and this year it's been this recipe, which is all kinds of amazing. It's like a roast chicken, but so, so moist, and just packed full of flavour.   Brick ...

How to Host the Perfect BBQ – Part One

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There's nothing we like better in our house once summer rolls around than getting the BBQ out. I swear I have an in-built BBQ sense and my nostrils can pick up any BBQ within a 10 mile radius! Over the years we've hosted so many and there are a few things that I feel can really give your BBQ that extra touch. I'm splitting this into two posts - the first focusing on styling your BBQ, and the second post focusing on some of our favourite food and drinks to serve at a BBQ.   Drinks & Glassware If you're anything like me, your cupboard is full of mismatched glasswear - we seem to have numerous 'lone' glasses where we've broken 5 out ...

What makes our Perfect Family Holiday?

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Holidays can seem a daunting thing when you have children. All of a sudden, that longed for break is more about 'life as normal but in a prettier location', but without all of the things that you have to hand at home to make life easier - toys, gadgets, TV - all of those parenting crutches are gone! We've had a few holidays as a family since our children came along, and there are certain things that we definitely look for to make our perfect family holiday.   A Home from Home Pre-children we were all about a luxury hotel, but all of our holidays since Max came along have been villa holidays or cottages in the UK. I find the flexibility of ...

Living Arrows 33/52

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You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth – Kahlil Gibran   Every now and again I snap a photo that just makes my heart leap and this one definitely did that! We were walking along and Max was being a 'naughty fox' and was pretending to eat Daddy! I love watching these two together, they have such a close bond.