Monday, 23 January 2017

Elarna at Nearly 2!

Who knew that the last few months would pass us by so quickly. It's such a cliché to say that time flies but that it does. We are fast approaching Elarna's 2nd birthday. It's insane. It's been a little while since I've done an update, with everything been a bit manic recently I've really found it hard to sit down and fully focus. Juggling school runs, work, housework and blogging, time soon runs away. So anyway, here we are with my darling little poppets 20 month (ish) update. 


Elarna is a little madam. This little pocket rocket knows what she wants and certainly know how to throw a princess/diva strop if she doesn't get her own way, I mention this further on, the princess/diva strop is really quite something to behold!. Truth be told she's a right feisty little diva. She's quickly learning her way in the world and at times it can be hard to keep up with her and especially frustrating for Alfie who finds her quite irritating at times. I guess she's just learning the ways of being a little sister, ha!



She is the smiliest and happiest little girly, she giggles all the time and it's so gorgeous. I love her happy little face and most of the time she's a joy to be around. She spends a lot of her time chatting and she's starting to pick up a variety of words and learning very quickly. Every day at the moment is a learning experience and she comes out with a new word or action. Her favourite words at the moment (other than Mummyyyy and Daddyyyy) are brobro, bubbles, bubble POP, here you are, poop and byeeee oh and no, that is a one of her most used words!





She adores her big brother. She follows him around, watches what he does and pretty much copies him (uh oh). At times, Alfie can be very sweet and caring towards her, he loves to give her a hug on a morning, gets her breakfast stuff out and if she's upset brings her dummy and snuggy to her, it can be very lovely to see. However, that niceness is not all the time. There are the frustrating times, the times that he just finds her hard to deal with, mostly when he's playing or he's made something and she wants to play too but she doesn't understand to leave his track as it is for example, or not knock his Lego tower over. Obviously, Elarna doesn't get what she is doing wrong most of the time and Alfie can't quite get to grips with that!



Her giggle is utterly infectious and she can easily get anyone out of a grump or a mood with one of her grins or a cheeky giggle. She is very snuggly and at the moment doesn't like me or Daddy to be out of sight. She likes to be around someone all the time and hates being alone, even for just a minute or so if I nip to the loo. She also has mastered the art of anchoring herself to our legs when we're doing things around the house so jobs seem to take double the length of time that they should do! 





As with all children her age she knows no fear. I spend my life constantly wondering when the next bump or scrape is going to be and I turn my back for seconds and she's climbing on chairs, the table, she's into cupboards and unscrewing lids and then pouring things all over the floor, flipping nightmare. She legs it around the house on her little legs and tries to keep up with Alfie and this is usually the cause of most of her faceplants and bumps. 




Animals......oh animals she adores!! This again so different from Alfie who is always so cautious of animals and it's taken us so long for us to get him to feel happy to hold his hamster and gain confidence around Lenny. Elarna is poles apart and wants to stroke everything and touch them. We took her to a farm recently and she was quite happy to stroke the goats, she absolutely adores Lenny and the cats every day are treated to a stroke behind the ear or a pat on the head, it's very sweet but we do have to watch her to make sure she doesn't get carried away.......





She has absolutely, hands down perfected the diva/princess strop. She'll throw herself down on the floor (well really she checks what floor it is first!), she then sobs and screams, rolls around a bit, sobs some more before standing up and getting herself out of it. Alot of the time I can't help but laugh behind my hand, she is on feisty little lady! 




She eats fantastically and is generally not fussy other than potato and cucumber. 

Sleep......hmmmmm this is not such a great area. She wakes up alot, I would say that I/we are up with her a good 50% of the week, and it's generally a couple of wake ups in the night. I never really know what's wrong with her but she screams the house down, usually a quick cuddle and her dummy sort the issue but oh my god it is tiring. I would love my sleeping child back! She still has 1 nap a day, a good 90 minutes usually, I wouldn't say this has any effect on her sleeping at night because she is always exhausted she just likes to wake up in the middle of the night! I'm hoping that she'll keep napping for a little while longer while she's happy to. 



I am so besotted with my little firecracker, I simply wouldn't have her any other way. I think we're going to have our hands full in the next few months but I'm ready for the terrible two's......bring it on! 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

My Sunday Photo - 22/01/17


Have to share this as my Sunday photo. Yesterday Alfie declared that he wasn't Alfie anymore and that he was Batman. I do love the mind of a small child!! HA.

Photalife

Friday, 20 January 2017

Surviving Illness as a Parent.

It is so unbelievably sucky being ill and having to go about usual activities and be Mummy. What makes it worse is having a husband being ill at the same time meaning there is absolutely no relief for either or us. I am solely blaming my husband for the way I've been feeling in the last few days, he's happily been spreading his man flu to me and it got me hook, line and sinker. 


I'd started to feel a bit icky at work last Friday, by Saturday I'd developed a cold and by Sunday I felt utterly disgusting. I was asleep by 9pm and had no option but to take the Monday off work to which I slept for most of the day and Tuesday I was still not much better. We both seem to have contracted this nasty virus that's doing the rounds with no real end in sight, although we're starting to make slight improvements. On Tuesday I had a shower and put makeup on which is always a good start but I still felt fairly grotty! If you've followed me over on Instagram you might have seen my SOS insta stories and give me sympathy posts. 


With both myself and hubby poorly it really brought to light just how hard it is to be a parent and function and look after the kids. Usually if one of us is ill we could grab a nap or have some quiet time but with both us feeling like shite and the kids not really getting that  we just kind of had to grin and bare it. 



We did the usual rescue attempts like putting the TV on with films on loop, the tablet, toys out and where as Alfie will sit and watch for a while or play on his own Elarna just constantly craves attention at the moment so she ended up climbing all over us. I even tried a bit of crafty activity which kept them entertained for a little while but I sadly didn't take into account the mess that was created after..... all this while my head was banging, my ears were fuzzy, I was snotting, shivering as well as sweating and really just wanting to shut my eyes.




So while I've been suffering and feeling oh so sorry for myself I thought I'd put a shout out to some fellow bloggers to see just how they cope with the kids when feeling poorly sick. I got some great responses so please continue reading for some tips and ideas on surviving illness as a parent.......

My lovely friend Sarah from Run Jump Scrap says TV all the way!

Alex from Better Together Home suggests to ask for help if you're able from family or friends.She had help from her Dad with her daughter when they had flu which was a godsend.  Laura from Five Little Doves also says to ask for help and to take accept help when it's offered. In actual fact on Tuesday my parents did help out and it really was super useful.

I loved this idea from Talya who blogs at Motherhood the Real Deal she suggests making it a bit more like quality time, snuggling up on the sofa and having a real family day. Gemma from Somewhere after the Rainbow suggests similar, films, popcorn and a snuggly blanket.




Hannah from The Amphletts says to take a walk in the fresh air with a hot drink. I did this on Wednesday and it really did help blow the cobwebs away and make my head feel alot clearer. Kelly who blogs at Nature Mum Blog also says to get some fresh air too.

I really liked the tip from Deborah from Country Heart and Home to keep a stash of tissues around the house for all the runny noses! Also from Alex from Lamb and Bear who declares a PJ day, filling the living room with toys and snacks on hand nearby.

The cat kept me company ha!

The general consensus it would appear is to forget about everything else, park yourself on the sofa, arm yourself with tissues and snacks and get a ton of toys out haha. The most important thing is to listen to your body and try and get rest when you can. I have had some seriously early nights and was able to sleep during the day on Monday when I felt at my worst. Noone tells you when you become a parent about these sort of days eh!! 

So these are few tips and pointers on how to survive illness as a parent. If you can think of anymore please do let me know!! 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Best and Worst Linky #80

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hello and a big welcome to this weeks best and worst linky. I hope you've all had a good week, me not so much. Both myself and my husband have been totally taken over by this nasty virus so it has been pretty tough even mustering up the energy to attempt any blogging so  much much from me this week.

With it being a new year Sarah and I hope that the linky continues to go from strength to strength and perhaps 0ver the next few months we might implement some small changes but these are still being discussed. In the meantime let me welcome you, as always to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few months and we're looking forward to reading some more fabulous posts!

So what is best and worst all about? This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

What we are going to introduce is more of an emphasis on our #bestandworst hashtag. We would love to see more of you over on Instagram and Twitter sharing your pictures and posts with myself @helsy_1983 and Sarah @runjumpscrap this can be throughout the whole week not just when our linky runs and we will then aim to feature some depending on who uses the hashtag. As this is still a fairly new thing for us it might take a few weeks before people start using the hashtag more.

So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

We are going to be keeping a close eye on the commenting in the coming weeks, it's not fair to link and run so please take some time to visit some other blogs and comment, linkys  only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

So on with this weeks featured posts. We had some really lovely link ups last week, it was a pleasure to read them all. 

My featured post comes from Caroline who blogs at Becoming Stay at Home Mum this is possibly one of my favourite posts I've read from Caroline. No truer word spoken and I am totally taking a leaf out of her book and learning just to love myself a little more. It's a refreshing read and an absolute must read. 


Sarah's featured blogger from last week is actually one of my old bump buddies from back in 2012. Gemma has not long been blogging but she's writing some fab posts and one of her most recent about what being a Mum of 3 has taught her is no exception, check out her blog over at Somewhere after the Rainbow.

Somewhere After The Rainbow


Rules
  • The linky will open at 5.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from and remember to hashtag us over on Instagram too.

Best of Worst




    

Sunday, 15 January 2017

My Sunday Photo - 15/01/17


There is really nothing overly special about this photo, it's simply appreciation of the British countryside. More and more as I'm driving through the more rural areas near where we life I am so grateful to be able to escape to these views. Stunning and so serene. I love stopping and seeing this open expanse of greenery and fields as far as the eye can see with the sky like a watercolour painting, it's so unspoiled and natural.

Photalife

Friday, 13 January 2017

Why I'm Rocking Motherhood.......

The lovely Emily who blogs over at Twin Mummy and Daddy tagged me in this rather sweet tag about what I think makes me a good Mum. More often than not I convince myself that I'm a shit Mum and that I'm rubbish at all things motherhood so this is a kick up the bum to remind me that I am a good Mum and I am totally rocking motherhood.....whoop! 
If you fancy joining in the rules are pretty simple:
  1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
  2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10. I really don’t mind.
  3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
  4. Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.
You can also tag in your tweet @whitecamellias for her to have a read and she’ll even RT it for you.

I admit that when I started to think about this post my fingers hovered about the keyboard and I paused for a second wondering what am I good at when it come to motherhood? We are all so self critical it's really hard to suddenly start thinking about bigging myself up!

With that being said, here's why I am rocking motherhood.

1. You want a hug....? Well I'll squeeze you so hard like I'll never let go. I'm good at cuddles, whether it's a comforting cuddle, a loving cuddle or just because I'm a Mum cuddle. I totally rock at cuddles.

2. I would go to the ends of the earth for my kids. Yes they annoy me, yes I want to hide in a cupboard on my own sometimes and yes at times I wonder why I had kids. No matter what I would give up my life for theirs if I had to. I'm always amazed that I grew them and birthed them and am now nurturing them and I'm so thankful for everyday that I'm their Mummy.

3. I work hard (as does my husband) to make sure we can give them the best life we can. I want to give them memories to cherish forever and things that they'll talk about with their friends and their children one day and I'm always thinking of ways we can do this, whether it's days out, holidays or just simply going for a walk.

4. I'm the person I am because of them. My drive in life is from my kids, they've changed me for the better. I have an aim in life.




5. I feed, water and bathe them. The simplest things in life and I'm fortunate enough to be able to provide these for them. 

6. I let them have treats. Hey we are all individuals and if I decide I want to give my kids sweets or treats now and again that's my choice. My rules, my decisions, my motherhood.

7. I'm dedicated. Yes it's nice to have time away from the kids occasionally but I can't tell you how much I miss them when I'm away, even if just for the night. So I dedicate my life to them because I chose to be a Mum.




8. I will encourage them. If I see that they are interested in something or particularly good at a certain thing I'll encourage them to pursue it. I'll never tell them what path to take but I'll do my damn hardest to see them on the best route. 

9. This is much harder that it appears! I'm fiercely protective. I know every mother is but it seems the older they get the more protective I get.

10. Because I just am! We are all rocking motherhood in our own way and I like to think I'm doing ok. 

So this is why I'm rocking motherhood. Not the easiest tag, quite hard to think of 10 reasons, it shouldn't be but I found it quite difficult. 

So if you fancy taking part then please do, I would love to know your thoughts. I tag anyone who fancies joining in, all I ask is you tag me in the blog post and tweet me so I can read your answers!! So who else is rocking motherhood?
RockingMotherhood

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Best and Worst Linky #79

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

We're bacckkkkkk!!! After a very lovely and slightly extended break we're here again for the first #bestandworst of 2017. With it being a new year Sarah and I hope that the linky continues to go from strength to strength and perhaps 0ver the next few months we might implement some small changes but these are still being discussed. In the meantime let me welcome you, as always to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few months and we're looking forward to reading some more fabulous posts!

So what is best and worst all about? This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

What we are going to introduce is more of an emphasis on our #bestandworst hashtag. We would love to see more of you over on Instagram sharing your pictures and posts with myself @helsy_1983 and Sarah @runjumpscrap this can be throughout the whole week not just when our linky runs and we will then feature some on the next weeks post with a shoutout. 

So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

We are going to be keeping a close eye on the commenting in the coming weeks, it's not fair to link and run so please take some time to visit some other blogs and comment, linkys  only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.



Rules
  • The linky will open at 5.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from and remember to hashtag us over on Instagram too.

Best of Worst


Sunday, 8 January 2017

My Sunday Photo - 08/01/17


For my 1st photo in the 'my Sunday photo' linky of 2017 is this rather misty and murky shot. I find there something very eerie about how the fog completley obscures the view over the lake, really quite creepy. 


Photalife

All Beauty Roundup.

I make no secret that I'm a bit of a makeup addict. I love all things skincare and makeup related and I just can't help myself when I walk into a cosmetic store I do seem to end up buying something...... I'm just as bad online though, I browse and buy, it makes me happy. As I keep having to remind my husband, 'happy wife, happy life'...haha. 

I have more makeup and than I dare mention but I love adding to my collection and I think it's nice to have a really good selection of items. My makeup is really precious to me, I'm quite particular with the brands I use, the products I use and keeping it out of the way of the kids!! I get cold sweats anytime they go near my Guerlain Meteorites I tell you! 

Image result for all beauty
I'm in a bit of a catch 22 situation when it comes to shopping for beauty items. On one hand it's lovely to see the products and try the items in a shop but online you have access to so many more brands and a much wider variety of items to choose from. I've recently discovered allbeauty.com and it really does cater to all my needs. It has such a huge choice of brands and fantastic range or products and is easy to navigate and find what I'm looking for. It's also handy to know that you can find some discount codes over at https://www.discountpromocodes.co.uk/all-beauty which means you can feel much less guilty when adding things you need want! Always useful!

So if you're looking for a new beauty website, head on over and check it out. 

* Collaborative Post. 


Friday, 6 January 2017

Blogging Goals 2017.

I have been blogging for four whole years now. Unbelievable to think that I started my blog in January 2013 while I on my maternity leave with Alfie. Through this time I've worked hard at my blog using it as a place to vent, procrastinate, express my emotions and most of all document memories. At times it's hard to keep it going, I've thought about quitting in the past more so recently but I don't want to give my blog up as actually I love my little online diary, plus noone likes a quitter eh! My blog has also brought me many lovely opportunities and I've been fortunate enough to work with some really lovely companies which can make all the hard work that goes into blogging worth it. I've had lots of support and some amazing comments on many of my posts which helps with the motivation. I'm only small fry in a big ocean but it's nice to know that people read my ramblings.


Some people see blogging as a way to get freebies but it isn't simply a case of being sent something for free, far from it in fact. You have to test it out, photograph it, write about it, edit the post and promote the post. This can be very, very time consuming and with 2 small children to look after and work to fit in it can be tiring. That been said blogging is extremely rewarding and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year has in store for my little blog. 






So I've been thinking about what I'd like to achieve on my blog in the next year. I recently wrote a post about my personal goals and aims and thought it would be good to set myself some 'bloggy' aims aswell. I want them to be achievable so they'll only be little goals but it's nice to have something to work towards and aim for.


  • Firstly and most importantly I am not going to stress if I don't write a post. I used to try to post Mon, Tues, Wed and Friday (and recently Sunday again) but lately I've found I just haven't got the time or motivation to stick to this. I'm still going to try and post as often as I can but I'm not going to beat myself up about it if I don't. 

  • Learn to say no! As lovely as it is to receive things to review I really need to start being a bit more picky and only review things that I feel are something that are my worth my time. Sounds harsh? Well no not really in the grand scheme of things I need to learn to manage my time better and saying no to things might be the way forward. 


  • Continue to build my social following. Over the last year I've been trying to build my Facebook pageInstagram and Twitter. Slowly and steadily I've built up (what I deem in my mind) to be a fairly ok following. It's not easy to get engagement on social media but I'm happy to do it gradually. My aim is to continue working on these and hope to reach over 2k likes on my Facebook page, over 7k follows on Twitter and to hit 2k follows on Instagram would be fab but I think that will take some time and dedication.

  • Make a media kit. I really need to do this .... I've been saying this for a good 2 years now *embarrassed face*. I don't get asked for one very often but I think to appear professional I probably should have something to send over!

  • Probably one of my proudest achievements to date is entering in the 'top 500' of the Tots 100 charts. It means nothing to the non bloggers out there if I'm honest but it's a chart of parenting bloggers and considering how many there are of us, to be in the top 500 is ace. It's tough to climb up the ranks and it can vary greatly monthly so my aim in 2017 is to keep within the top 500 if I can. I'm not going to get too stressed about it though, stats and figures are not something that I am overly bothered about, after all the blog is my hobby and not my job. 

  • I'm not going to lose sight of the greater picture. As I said above, my blog is a hobby and that is simply what it is. I will never let it get in the way of family time and if I want a day of not writing/promoting/replying to emails etc then so be it, far too often I spend my time with my head in my laptop on an evening but over Christmas it was so refreshing to not write anything!

  • Improve my photos. I am still your classic phone user when it comes to taking pictures, it's just so easy, I always have my phone and am snapping away on it. Recently I've started to become a bit more aware of trying to take better shots and editing then slightly more. I try not to over edit my pictures as I like them natural but just sharpening them and making then a bit brighter does help. I'm definitely going to be doing that more in the next year. 

  • I'm going to continue to participate in linkies, I dropped linking to several last year as I just couldn't commit to keeping up with the commenting but towards the back end of last year I started to link up to a few more again. I particularly like 'That Friday Linky' run by Twin Mum & Dad & DIY Daddy, 'Word of the Week' run by The Reading Residence, 'Marv Mondays' run by Back with a BumpMy Petit Canard and Hello Archie, 'My Sunday Photo' run by Photalife and most recently 'PoCoLo' run by Life at 139A and Morgans Milieu. I do link up to a few other ones here and there but these tend to be the main ones........but am always on the look out for others to link up to when I can. I also continue to co-host Best and Worst  with Sarah from RunJumpScrap which will be reaching its 2nd birthday in 2017!
Overall I'm just going to go with the flow and see what happens with my blog. Opportunities present, motivation comes and goes and I'm going to write when I want to write not because I feel I have to. I think the goals I've set are fairly manageable and it'll be interesting to look back on this post later in the year to see how I'm doing. 

Have you set yourself any goals this year? What are they? Do share!