UK Parenting, Lifestyle & Beauty Blog. Mum to Darcy

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Our Holiday To Tenerife

The first week of December couldn't come around quick enough, a week we had been waiting for for a little while, and a week I think we really deserved after such an awful November. Our first family holiday to Tenerife.

Our flight was pretty early on Saturday morning and whilst I was a bit apprehensive about this with a toddler in tow it was actually surprisingly easy, much easier than the evening flight home anyway. 
We stayed in Costa Adeje at the Iberostar Las Dalias but I think I am going to do a separate post about the hotel. We were really central with lots of pubs and restaurants close by but we were all inclusive so only used them a few times. Most days we stayed local to the hotel and went for a walk now and again, surprisingly it was easy enough to sit by the pool with Darcy and sunbathe obviously keeping her as shaded as possible. We decided to go to a place called Siam Park which according to Trip Adviser is the best water park in the world! It was pretty special, however I have a slight fear of water and heights so not the best place for someone like me. I could still enjoy it though as it had a lazy river and a fake beach which I could lie on all day whilst Paul went on the thrill rides, ha. 

The weather was so much better than I ever expected at 27 degrees everyday. I came home a bit browner than when I started which I definitely wasn't expecting in December.

We had such a lovely time and I would really recommend going to the canaries in December especially Tenerife. It was nice to have a break away from the horrible cold weather.


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

7 Tips For Flying With A Toddler

Last week we embarked on our first family holiday to Tenerife, myself and Paul have been here a couple of times before so we thought it would be a perfect place to take Darcy having known our way around. 
I'd like to write a diary style post on our trip so look out for that, but I thought I'd tell you a few of my tips that helped us with the 4 hour flight. I was kinda dreading it, I really didn't know how she was going to take it or whether she would even enjoy it but she did really well and much better than I expected.

Be organised. I suppose to most mums this is obvious, I can't say I am the most organised person but when it came to getting to the airport and getting through security ect. I wanted to make sure we had enough time and also that I had all of our documents in a easy order.

Comfort is key. Make sure your little one is comfortable for both ends of the trip, we were leaving a freezing cold country and getting out in 25 degree heat, lovely but it did mean taking a change of clothes so she wasn't too hot when getting off.

Pack Pull Ups. If you're in the middle of potty training or even a couple of months after like us, I was a bit worried about the not being about to get to the toilet when the seatbelt sign was on and also in the coach transfer. Turned out to be absolutely fine, but I just think it makes everyone feel a little more comfortable that there will be no accidents.

Download Apps. If your toddler sometimes like to watch Youtube Kids like mine does, they may not be able to do so due to no internet, the phone can keep her entertained for up to half an hour so instead I downloaded a few age appropraite apps which encourage learning through play.

Buy A Small Toy Your Child Has Never Seen Before. I bought Darcy a travel sized etch-a-sketch a while ago which I was going to just give her for Christmas. I am so glad I saved it and just got it out on the plane, it kept her entertained a lot longer than expected and even throughout the holiday.

Take A Familiar Blanket. This may seem like something you'd just pack anyway but this came in so handy for us, Darcy is the kind of girl that fights her sleep if she isn't comfortable so this just provides that little extra comfoirt.

Snacks Snacks Snacks. This probably the best way to keep a toddler entertained, with a good snack. If your toddler is anything like mine then they will love a snack. Anything from Raisins to Milk Buttons.

Hope this helps you with your travels.
Thanks for reading 


Thursday, 9 November 2017

Toddler Gift Guide: What I Am Getting My 2 Year Old For Christmas

With Christmas again, quickly approaching.. It just comes around too quickly doesn't it?! I want to share with you what I am planning on getting Darcy for Christmas. These will be her presents that will be under the Christmas tree and then I will also be doing a stocking. Now, I wasn't too sure whether I wanted to do this post or not because you're always going to get that one person that says 'wow, that's a lot of toys for a 2 year old' or 'it's not enough' but I'm just putting my whatever face on for this blog post.

Top Left:
Play Till - I recently bought Darcy a cheapy till for doing so well at toilet training but it broke within a couple of weeks, so I wanted to get her a nice one which I hoped would last a little longer. The one in the picture is actually not the one I've decided to buy as I found another one a bit cheaper but still looks good.

Sylvanian Famillies Figures - So Darcys' main present will be her Beechwood Hall Sylvanian Famillies house, my mum is kindly getting her the furniture so I'm going to get her a little Family to play with. 

Melissa & Doug Scoop & Serve  Darcy is absolutely obsessed with ice cream at the moment, whether that is eating it (probably her favourite) or just generally pretend playing with it, so I know she will really like this.

Melissa & Doug Pizza Set - I am not 100% on whether I will get this for Darcy or not, so it will probably be a last minute order if I do but I just generally love wooden toys, they last so much longer. Like above also, the girl loves pizza so she'd love playing with this.

Sylvanian Famillies Ice Cream Parlour - Moving back to Sylvanian Families again, as you can see there is a bit of a running theme here isn't there. I wanted to get Darcy a little add on to her house that I've bought her, as I said above this kid just loves her ice cream so I figured this would be the perfect thing to get her.

Sylvanian Famillies Beechwood Hall - This will be Darcys 'main' present if that's what you want to call it. I'm so excited to give this to her as I just know she is going to love it. 

Moana Doll - Darcy has recently become obsessed with the film Moana, so I know that this doll is pretty high on her Christmas list. The only thing is that it is £40 so whether or not I can find a cheaper one I don't know, but anyway I'd expect a lot from it at £40.

Baby Alive Snacking Lily - This would be very loved, Darcy is really in to her babies at the moment so I think she'd like this one. The fact that it poops is probably going to provide much entertainment, I didn't think the price was too bad either for what it does at £20. Considering you can buy Baby Annabelle & Baby Born for around the £40-£50 mark, sometimes you're just paying for the name though.

I'd love to know what you're getting your little ones for Christmas!
Thanks for reading


Thursday, 2 November 2017

How To Be Sick When You're A Mum

When you're a mum you can't call in sick unfortunately, life still has to go on. However I do still think that you still need to give yourself a break and take it easier. I just wish I could actually tell myself that when I am ill because I feel really guilty about it all. It got me thinking about things you could do to help yourself and distract your little ones so that you do feel okay about putting your feet up with a cuppa for a well earned rest.

All the rules go out the window with me and I seem to just let Darcy do what she wants, get all her toys out, eat all the chocolate. She would probably enjoy me being ill more often to be honest, ha.
I decided to ask some fellow bloggers what they do to keep little ones entertained when they're ill.

Sticker books and drawing always go down well here! Plus lazy movie days - all screen time cares go out of the window!  - Alex

I have a chronic Illness. So we’ve learnt to adapt our routine. Some days garden picnic, some days duvet day. You can’t pour from any empty cup. So go easy on yourself when you’re poorly - Jade

'Can you find me something' - soft/green/round etc - they are running about excitedly, you get to stay on the sofa, everyone wins! - Siobhan

Doctors and nurses!! I play the patient on the sofa and they look after me by getting glasses of water and reading me stories! - Louise

I have a two year old and most of the time he is the one who is sick. He really doesn’t “get it” when Mum doesn’t want to walk to the kitchen and open and close cupboard doors “just for fun”. Against all my initial statements that he would never use the iPad it has been a life saver on more than one occasion. As long as His favourite Cbeebies shows are on the Kids iPlayer he is happy. We also like building blocks. For some reason he likes playing with his old baby toys though. That keeps him enchanted for a while as he is quite happy with his rediscovery and they are all quite sensory focused so he is fully engaged - Helen

I have a toddler so when I’m not well, I have a bath and my toddler will play in the bath for ages. Gives me a break. - Annastasia

When I'm ill I ask my own mum to help out and take him as much as possible. Luckily she only lives 10 mins away so that is possible for me. At home I would definitely use a TV or tablet and loosen my screen time rules if I'm struggling with being poorly. - Christy

I sellotape loads of pieces of paper to the floor and we have a drawing day. They go collect things from around the house, draw round them, draw round each other etc and I just sit and watch!  - Jade

 Being ill is the only time mixing playdough and sticking stickers in the wrong place is acceptable! - Fern

We are experts at the duvet day. We build a fort when either of us are sick, bring in our blankets and duvets and spend the day watching tv, eating and hanging out with our favourite Disney classics, the sickest gets to pick - Charlotte

Play Google maps! Give them your phone with your house on Google maps & give them local landmarks to find on street view - it keeps them entertained for hours plus it's educational too as they're learning directions! - Natalie

I get my two to put on shows for me so I can just lie down and watch! Or open the back door and let them loose in the garden! - Jenny

I loved all of these and it also made me realise that you can have a sick day and it's okay because they can still be happy and entertained as though nothing is out of the ordinary.
What do you with your litlle ones when you're ill?

Monday, 23 October 2017

Things I Said I Wouldn't Do Before I Became A Parent.. But Did.

I suppose I could admit perhaps I was a bit judgmental before I became a mum. Just someone with too much of an opinion. Don't get me wrong, I didn't go round telling people my opinion obviously. But a lot of thoughts came to mind 'I don't know why you'd ever want to give your child a dummy, they look horrible' little did I know hey!

There were various other thoughts that came to mind too, like 'my child would never have chocolate'. 'I will be a super strict parent and my child would do no wrong'. Those are only just a few!

Luckily I was happy to see I am not the only one that said they wouldn't do certain things before they became parents but did, I asked some fellow bloggers what their thoughts were and I can totally relate to them!

I wouldn't stick them in front of Peppa Pig to get 5 minutes peace! - Jennifer

I wouldn't let them sleep in our bed - 6 months of sleepless nights changed thatNicola

 The list is long! Dummies, Screen Time, Sleeping in the Bed, Allowing him to have any sugar, Dressing him up just for photos... I've broken all my (silly) rules! - Christy

Give them a McDonald's when they were toddlers - Kerry

I wouldn't let them be fussy eaters...fine this is the last time you have pasta and cheese!  - Gareth

I said I’d never let them have a tablet/iPad... ooops! - Beth

I wouldn't let them get up and watch tv on their own in the morning. I would be always present and do craft instead. HA! - Louise

I said they'd never have a dummy. Within 2 days of being born my daughter had a dummy - Katie

I said I wanted to breastfeed, but after a terrible experience with my first I'm now glad I didn't with my second and third!  - Sarah

I said I would never let her win an argument as a toddler and bribe her with chocolate . This is now a daily occurrence -Jessica

I said that breastfeeding past 1 year was weird and I’d never have a child in my bed... here we are at over 2 years of breastfeeding (and we’ll continue until he weans at natural term), and we bedshare every night... wouldn’t have it any other way!!! -Emily

I would never bribe them to behave with the promise of a treat! Bah ha ha! - Victoria

 My kids were only ever going to have wooden, educational toys, nothing with batteries or flashing lights. - Robyn

 I said I'd never dress siblings in matching outfits...until I had two girls! I just can't resist! - Natalie

I swore my child would never own a character onesie. Now the proud owner of a 100% synthetic PJ masks onesie pick your battles I say  - Sinead

I love these, I do tell people who aren't parents now that make a comment, 'honestly do not say anything until you've had a child of your own. Parenting completely changes you doesn't it, haha.

Can you relate to any of these or do you have any different thoughts to the ones listed above? I'd love to hear them, I find it so funny.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

How To Get Free Food

So I just wanted to write a quick blog post talking about something really cool I discovered recently. This is probably going to look like a sponsored post but honestly it's not. I think we all suspect it now days when someone is raving about something they must be getting paid for it.

I've been googling ways to make money every since I went on maternity leave and now 2 and a half years later I still am. Now this isn't a way to make money however it is a way to save money which is still pretty handy!

Shopmium is basically an app which is on the app store and the amdroid store. It has a list of food items on there which you can go and buy, it will tell you the specific shops you can buy the item in which is generally most big supermarkets. You purchase it, keep your receipt, take a picture of it and scan the barcode and bam the money you just spent goes straight back in to your bank account. It will also ask you to take a short survey to basically review what you've just bought. One thing i've noticed is a lot of the items on there are new to the market, so it's to get you to try them out...not the case for all of them though.
I recently bought the toddler little dish meals from tesco and realised when I got home that they were on there so I got my £2 back, I just think it is brilliant.

ALSO... if you use my code: 3m88n you'll get a free Lindt bar of chocolate which is amazing!


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

How I Felt Looking Back As A New Mum

I was 21 when I had Darcy which could be considered as 'young'. I was excited though and I knew that it was going to be hard work but on the other hand I felt so lucky and grateful to be able to embark on such a wonderful adventure. 
Those early days were so tough, almost as though I didn't know what I was expecting when like I said I knew it was going to be tough. I hope this is normal but thinking back it just seems like such a blur in my memory, I do feel sad about that. I think with sleep deprivation and hormones floating around perhaps it is normal. I can't really remember what it was like to have my newborn baby, time has just gone so quickly. I struggled so much with breastfeeding and so wanted to be able to do it, so much so when the health visitor came round one time I lied and said I was expressing.. I wasn't. I had actually given up trying and started using formula but I felt like such a failure that I just couldn't admit it. What would the health visitor actually of done, I mean at least I was feeding my baby. In hindsight I do think if I hadn't of stopped trying to breastfeed I would of very quickly of fallen into depression because I sure was getting there. I think one of the reasons I lied to the health visitor is because when the topic of going to baby groups to meet some new friends came up she mentioned a breastfeeding group. I felt very isolated, as though because I would of gone along with a bottle I wouldn't be welcome. Looking back, how stupid was I to even think like that. I didn't really ever attend baby groups and I did make myself very isolated, I suffer with social anxiety and I don't think that is ever taken in to consideration for new mums. You're expected to just go out and meet people.
I think having a newborn baby can put a strain on your relationship too, you're both tired and I know it did for us. You're constantly in a competition of who is allowed to be more tired, and when I look back I realise how silly this really was. Of course you're both allowed to be tired, one of you is looking after a newborn all day and the other goes to work all day. Whilst having a new baby is such a happy and wonderful time, I feel sad that I can't look back and think I felt the same. Don't get me wrong I was happy and grateful to have such a beautiful baby girl but I don't think I knew what to expect


Friday, 6 October 2017

The Mummy Tag

Today I decided to do a tag which I've not been tagged to do as I am a little bit lame, who needs to be tagged anyway ;) I tag anyone who would like to do this.

1. Are you a stay-at-home mum, or a working mum?

I am for the most part a stay at home mum, however I work two days a week just to get those pennies in, I am lucky enough to have a partner who works full time which enables me to stay at home a lot and to be quite frank, childcare is too expensive.

2. Would you have it any other way?

Absolutely not, I love being able to stay at home and enjoy time with my little girl. I do like working two days a week though to get adult interaction, ha.

3. Do you co-sleep?

At one point we did as it was the only way Darcy would settle, however we don't any more. The bed is too small and she's gotten too big! No one was sleeping well.

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?

This is such a tough one to narrow down to just one thing, excluding all the essentials, maybe her soft octopus blankie, it settles her really well and she just loves him. 

5. How many kids do you plan on having?

No more than 2.

6. Date night? How many nights per month?

At least once a month to go out but you can have date nights at home too.

7. Your child’s favourite show?

Peppa Pig is always a winner with Horrid Henry & Ben & Holly a very close second.

8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using?

Plenty of clothes & baby shoes.

9. Your child’s favourite food?


10. How many cars does your family have?


11. Weight gain before pregnancy, during, after and now?

I didn't put on too much weight whilst pregnant and I am now back to my normal size however my hips have definitely gotten wider.

12. Dream holiday with your kids?


13. Dream holiday without your kids?

Bali, Maldives, The Carribean, Mexico or Dubai. The list could go on to be honest but I'll stop there!

14. How has your life changed since your baby has been born?

It's a massive lifestyle change, but I love my life more now than I did before.

15. Finish the sentence: ‘It makes my heart melt to see …'

Darcy playing with her toys and talking to them.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?

Next, Zara, Marks & Spencer and Primark.

17. Favourite makeup and skincare products?

Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel, Liz Earle & MAC.

18. Huggies or Pampers?

Neither, I like the Aldi nappies.

19. Have you always wanted kids?

Yes, definitely.

20. Best part about being a mum?

Feeling so proud of everything they acheive, feeling completely responsible for a little person and the love they show you in return.

Thank you for reading, like I said above I tag anyone that wishes to also do this, would love to read yours.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Potty Training Tips

So Darcy is potty trained, yay! I wasn't even going to start doing it yet but it seemed to just happen naturally. In May I bought her a training seat for the toilet as I could see she wasn't really too interested in her potty.  At first she wasn't too keen on that either but to be honest I could see why, it must be pretty daunting sitting on something with a massive hole which must give them the feeling they're going to fall in. A couple of weeks went on and she was getting more used to it, sitting on it but for no more than a couple of seconds but it was fine because this was progress. On Fathers Day in June, funnily enough she did her first wee wee, which we absolutely jumped for joy about. It didn't make me think though, right that's it now let's start potty training because I was a little anxious about this part. Over the Summer at home she was naked most of the time or at least from the bottom down and we just kept the training seat on the downstairs toilet. She was going on the toilet a lot, obviosuly was still having a lot of accidents but it really didn't matter. On the morning of the 31st August I decided to take her nappy off her and put on pants. We've had pants in the drawer for quite a few months now, and to make it exciting they were Peppa ones. On the first day of explaining to her that during the day she would now be wearing pants, she had a couple of accidents but was going on the toilet. On the second day she only had one accident and even did a poo which I rewarded with a little present. 

Two weeks on now and I would say Darcy is potty trained with wees! Poos are still a tricky subject but we are getting there. I am so so pleased and amazed with how quickly she has picked it up. Feeling very proud.

Here are my top tips:

Get a potty or training seat a few months before you plan to even start potty training. This helps them get used to it so it's not so scary straight away.

Look for the cues, are they interested in the toilet or potty, can they pull there trousers down? Chances are they are probably ready.

Take them shopping for pants, let them pick some with there favourite character on.

Buy some bribery items, (a reward chart, a toy for going on the toilet for a week or something)

Give them loads of praise, make sure they know that they have done such a good job.

In the early days when they will only sit on the toilet or potty for a matter of seconds, give them a book or something to look at, whatever works for you. Just to keep them on the toilet for a tiny bit longer.

Do you have any good tips?


Friday, 1 September 2017

My Blogging Story

I've been blogging unconsistently for around 5 years now, however I've been blogging consistantly since Darcy was born so maybe nearly two years. Before Darcy was born and before I got pregnant I'd of said I was more of a beauty/hair sort of blogger, just a typical girlie blogger. I really enjoyed this but I guess I clearly wasn't as passionate about it as I thought because I was getting around a post a month out...but I think this was okay because at the time I was enjoying it. I can't really remember why I was only posting once a month or maybe even once every few months because surely I'd of had more time than I do now. 
Anyway, from when I fell pregnant with Darcy I decided that I wanted to document my pregnancy and just generally Darcys life and that I did. I love that I have a sort of online diary to look back on and also Darcys monthly updates I can look back and see what she was doing at that time. I think this is when I really found my niche if you like because I just love talking about all things parenting. It's amazing how technology has grown and that we can do this now. 

I think it is crazy that there are people out there making this a job for themselves and how lucky are they, to be able to write about things they're so passionate about. I think that is ultimately a dream for most of us but with the blogging industry growing every single day it's getting tougher and tougher. I'm grateful to be able write as a hobby and hope to continue to do so in the future.


Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Expectation To Have A Second Child

When I had Darcy it never even occurred to me or even a thought in my mind when I'd be having the next child. I just wanted to soak up being her mum and thought of nothing else. As the months grew on more and more people were saying to me 'when's the next one?' I still had never even thought of it. Even now, I'm not thinking of having another baby. I'm sure a time will come in the future where perhaps I'll want another one but right now one is just enough. There are many factors that come in to place when deciding to have another baby but I don't think you can let things stand in the way when you do want to have a baby.

1.Financially.. having another baby can be quite a big cost. For example currently we live in a two bedroom house and I know kids can share rooms but I'm a bit of a control freak and I think I'd like them to have there separate places which would mean we would need to find a three bedroomed house. Thats just my personal opinion. Another thing is once I go back to work I'd have to put them both in childcare and that's another biggggg cost as well as new gear. Luckily, I've saved a lot of Darcy's newborn bits for when that time comes.

2. This is a bit selfish but I do need to consider myself in all of this. I am 22 years old and still not too sure what I want to do with my life (career wise). I feel like perhaps at some point I'd quite like to go back to education but to do what, I still don't know, having another child now would push that back a bit. I have a few anxiety and confidence issues also and something that would need to be managed. Having another baby probably wouldn't make that any better.

3. Current family dynamic is another one, a lot of people say you need to have another to keep the first child company but I really don't believe this is the case. Yes, it is nice however Darcy is such a sociable little girl (nothing like me, so i don't think she is lonely by any means.)

It is just generally expected that once you've had one, when will be the next one.. but what if you only wanted one? It's just not very common. 

Thanks for reading


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Why You're A Better Mummy/Daddy Than You Realise

Being a mum is quite possibly the hardest job in the world, there is so much to learn in regards to getting a balance, setting up boundaries and just generally devoting all your time and being responsible for somebody else. However, being a mum is honestly the best job in the world and I feel so grateful everyday that I am one. 

Some days I feel like I am superwoman and just getting it so right, but other days and more frequently I feel like such a fail and as though I am the worst mum in the world.

This is either because I didn't give enough discipline or I haven't been around and playing as much.. I think this is such a shame that I feel like this because we all must feel like that sometimes, right?

Of course we all doing a much better job than we ever realise simply because we care, we care that we might not be doing a good enough job and we want to strive to be better parent everyday and that in itself is amazing.

We show them love everyday, and when they're upset we let there emotions be heard, we sit there and we listen and teach them that it is okay not to be okay sometimes.

We are the first teachers to them, they watch our every move.. they see us use manners. They see us say sorry when we need to and we just talk to them which teaches them how to speak, they go on to copy us and grow.

We are strong to them, they see us as superheros that can do anything, and thats what I'd like Darcy to think.. that she CAN do anything.

Say goodbye to the guilt, easier said than done, I know. We need to give ourselves a bit of love in order to stay happy, treat yourself and take a break for you.. besides a happy parent means a happy child as they say.

These are just a few simple reasons as to why you're all doing just a fab job and there are hundreds more personal reasons I am sure. We really need to tell ourselves more often just how amazing we actually are.

Thanks for reading 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Simple Moments #1

On Sunday we decided that we really needed a family day out, we hadn't spent time together as a family in a little while and it was much required. Whilst deciding upon what to do I remembered that I had seen someone I am following on Instagram went to Devon Railway Centre and Model World. It looked like such a fun day out and looked like there was quite a lot to do for kiddies which is obviously very important!

It was so easy to find and only took about 45 minutes to get there. It isn't the biggest place but with kids under 5 you could spend quite a decent amount of time there and the price is pretty reasonable to get in, you can have unlimited journeys on the steam train around the park which Darcy thought in her own words was amazing. There is a little museum with plenty of interactive buttons to press for the little ones to move the trains ect. There is even a soft play area which is every child's dream really isn't it?! There is plenty of outdoor playgrounds too, It has literally been done for rain and shine. As well as this there is a ride your own train' and another model village which were really impressively built. It was such a simple but lovely day and just what we all needed. 

After all the fun that we had here we decided to go and get a bite to eat at a lovely country pub, me and Paul had a scrummy roast and Darcy had Sausage, chips and peas, not forgetting my Yorkshire pudding that she ate! It was such a lovely day and I am looking forward to another lovely day like this, the weather held out for us too which made it even better.


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