Author: Zoe Waite

5 Baby Boy Spring Outfits |The White Company

The warmer weather is finally creeping in! The past few days I have found myself choosing T-shirts for Frankie over his knitted long sleeve tops and we are only in…

The warmer weather is finally creeping in! The past few days I have found myself choosing T-shirts for Frankie over his knitted long sleeve tops and we are only in April.The little white company spring

When I first found out I was having a baby boy, I did wonder to myself if I would still have the same interest in choosing his clothes as I do for my baby girl. Truth is…

I do! Even more so.

Frankie’s style is muted. I like to think I let his little features on his face do the talking rather than dressing him in overly loud clothes.

The White Company are perfect for simple yet classic pieces. From newborn to now (nearly 7 months old).

Here are my 5 top favourite baby boy outfits for Spring:

Piqué Dungarees & T-Shirt Set

Piqué Dungarees & T-Shirt SetThe T-shirt is class and super soft against their skin white the dungarees give the look some texture.

The straps are adjustable and the wooden fastenings give the set a natural vibe. A beautiful set for dressing smart but still cool.

If the weather was a little chilly, I would pair this with a chunky knit jacket for him and some longer socks.

Crab Sweatshirt

Crab Sweatshirt

What I love about this blue sweatshirt is that it screams Summer. The crabs symbolise what we sea during the summer time, at the beach by the sea yet, the jumper is perfect for Spring weather.

This jumper really gets me in the mood for when the weather here will be warm enough for little swim shorts.

Again, the muted baby blue is a beautiful colour and the pop of red from the crabs makes this jumper playful and fun.

The style is will still make Frankie look like a baby and not too grown up. I would pair this jumper with some knit leggings on a cooler day or chino shorts on a warmer day.

Zebra Embroidered Pyjamas

Zebra Pjs

Yes, this set is described as a set of pyjamas but I LOVE this for everyday wear. I can just imagine how comfy Frankie will feel wearing this.

Seen as most of our days are now spent lounging around the house, it is only appropriate Frankie has his loungewear set too.

If the weather was warmer, I wouldn’t put a body suit underneath for him and go sock free.

Hippo Embroidered Pyjamas

Hippo Pjs The Little White Company

As we are indoors now, this set is another one of my comfy favourites. A simple top and trousers made out of the most purest cotton.

I’m a huge fan of the harem trousers for Frankie. I can imagine how they are loose and comfortable to wear around the house compared to a chino style trouser or fitted legging.

The embroidered hippo is a cute feature and looks lovely on photographs!

Lama Print Jersey Romper

llama the little white company

The Lama Print Jersey Romper is a wardrobe must have!

A romper is so easy to pull out in the mornings when you are busy. A full outfit done in a second. The popper leg opening makes it easy to change the nappy too.

An effortless outfit that had added detail with the mock wooden buttons and the fun lama print makes it look smart.

The short sleeve and leg make it appropriate for the warmer weather approaching and will last through till summer.

On a cooler day, I would pair this with a thick jacket and thick terry cloth socks.

I hope you enjoyed my 5 Spring favourites from The White Company! Let me know which one is your favourite. 

Please note: Links are affiliate links. You do not have to use them although, I will earn a small commission and would be extremely grateful. Thank you.

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Two Year Old Girl Birthday Present Ideas

Mole’s second Birthday is approaching. Time flies so fast! I feel like it only yesterday when I held her in my arms for the very first time. I didn’t want…

Mole’s second Birthday is approaching. Time flies so fast! I feel like it only yesterday when I held her in my arms for the very first time.

I didn’t want to feel like I was buying her toys for the sake of it. It is easy to get sucked into buying toys that they don’t necessarily need.  This time, I was focused in finding items that she genuinely needed or toys that will help with her imaginary play or educate her.

All the rest can be left up to friends and family to spoil her with!

One decision I made was to save a budget for a birthday party. Unfortunately, i’m still unsure if this can still go ahead with the advice people should be isolating. The idea behind it was that she would have an experience to remember and a day full of fun that can be shared with the whole family.

The gifts

Liewood Dante Beach set – Sea Creature Mix

Liewood Dante Beach set - Sea Creature Mix

This bucket and spade set was going to be for our holiday. It rolls up and will fit easily into out suitcase. The design is beautiful and Mole loves sea animals. I thought she could also use it out in the garden with her water table or we could invest in a play sand pit. Failing that i’m sure she can have lot’s of fun with this in the bath!

Le Toy Van Honeybake Tea Set

Le Toy Van Honeybake Tea Set

Mole has been into her play kitchen more than ever. I figured seen as we will be spending more time indoors to make use of this with a new tea set.

In the past we have had tea sets that she has loved but i’m hoping this wooden set will last her longer. I can’t wait to show her how to play teddy bears picnics with this in the garden.

Olli Ella Play & Pack City Bag

Olli Ella Play & Pack City Bag

The Play’n Pack is a backpack filled with imaginative play. Whether we may be flying or not this year, this bag will come in handy at some point. It is packed full of games and puzzles for Mole to do.

Inside your City Play’n Pack Drawstring Backpack you’ll find:

    • 1  Mini Playpa Colouring Roll (2m)
    • 103 Stickers
    • 6 Non-toxic Crayons
    • 2  Wooden Toy Cars
    • 52 Play’n Colour Alphabet Cards

The excitement that it all comes in a bag as a surprise will be perfect for a rainy day. There are other versions too!

Liewood Vita Lunch Box in Panda Mustard

Liewood Vita Lunch Box in Panda Mustard

liewood lunchbox

An item Mole needed! This may sound silly but searching for the perfect lunch box took me the longest time. I needed to make sure that it was suitable for holding snacks as well as her lunch.

The silicone is free from BPA and safe to use for food. It has two big sections inside at the head and 2 small sections inside the ears.

Liewood Tobi Rain boot – Dino Mix

liewood rainboot

These short rain boots are perfect for playing in the garden or out and about on muddy walks. I love the unisex design. Another item Mole needed as her other shoes are canvas and not ideal in the mud!

Franck & Fischer Aske Backpack

Franck & Fischer Aske Backpack

Mole needed a new bag for nursery and her trips out. I love how this one is a little grown up but the bug design keeps in fun. It is large enough to fit all her items like a change of clothes or a lunch box.

The muted tones will match most of her outfits too, so there will be no colour clashing.

Plan Toys Water Way Play Set

plan toys water play set

This fun, natural rubber water play set looked perfect for creative play. Mole currently plays with a small boat and a baking pan that I fill with water so this will be an amazing upgrade for her!

Petit Collage Magnetic Play Scenes

petit college magnetic play scene

Another game that will use Mole’s creativity and imagination. I thought this toy will be nice for her to sit and play independently with. She really has taken a liking to figures and fiddly bits at the moment so this will be perfect!

 

I hope this have given you some new ideas for gifts. Remember, there are always cheaper alternatives for products out there and never feel any pressure into buying hundreds of presents.

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What I didn’t expect having two under two

Two under two. Unless you have been through it yourself, honestly, you have no idea how crazy, amazing, chaotic, fun and overwhelming life can be at the same time. I…

introducing a newborn to a toddlerTwo under two. Unless you have been through it yourself, honestly, you have no idea how crazy, amazing, chaotic, fun and overwhelming life can be at the same time. I must admit, I was very naive with my expectations on what life would be like before little Frankie arrived.

Here are my expectations that did not quite go as I thought they would.

  1. The double pram

The minute you find out you are pregnant you are like oh i’m going to need a double pram. I spent hours searching online for the best one. I asked so many mums for their recommendation and the truth is, Frankie is 4 months old now and I’ve used the double pram, which cost over £1000, twice.

The age gap between Mole and Frankie is 18 months. Mole is very independent and as you all know, she hates the pram. I thought the double pram would be the easiest option for when I am out and about solo with them both. However, I’ve found what works best for us, is having Frankie in a baby carrier so I can be more mobile with Mole (running after her without leaving Frankie stuck in a pram on his own). Sometimes I take a stroller for Mole when she is tired or I need her to stay put.

It is much easier going out with them both on the weekend when my partner is off work and one of us can hold Mole’s hand and the other one pushing Frankie in his pram.

My opinion is, if you have a confident walking toddler, try a buggy board first before spending a large amount of money on a double pram. Then if you feel you need a double pram then go ahead. I really recommend theBugaboo Donkey Duo 2. It is not as wide as you think so you can get into doorways ok, you can see them both at the same time and you have easy access to both children quickly. Compared to the tandem pram I previously had for them both, this one is far easier to drive.

2. The double nap timeintroducing a newborn to a toddler

My vision of this was that they would both just nap at the same time everyday. I am so confused why I originally thought this. Or maybe I did know double nap times were like hitting the jackpot and I just didn’t realise how hard the day would be without it.

When you don’t strike with a double nap time, for the whole day you do not stop. You don’t get that 2 minute break for a hot coffee or that half an hour to put the washing and drying on.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love playing music class all day or reading children books to them both, but spending the whole day doing it can leave you clock watching for bedtime.

3. “The dishes can wait” quote

During my first pregnancy I was told “the dishes can wait, the washing can wait etc” so many times. I never listened to this advice. the little energy I had was spent getting the house in order before being back on mama duties again.

So, during my second pregnancy I thought, ahh you know what, this next time around I will take it easier. The house chores can wait and I will enjoy my time more. I was in for a shock.

Yes, you can leave the dishwasher and all of those annoying little jobs however, they catch up with you big time! You soon realise if you have that spare 10 seconds to move the pile of ironing or wipe down the kitchen table you have to take it there and then.

If you end up with a no double nap situation, they last thing you want to do is the cleaning in the evening.

4. The bed time routinebirth story

I assumed they would both fit into having the same bedtime routine together. I completely forgot that whilst Frankie is a newborn, he needs to have a later bedtime that Mole’s 6:30 bedtime. Although now it is easier as Frankie goes to bed at 7:00pm. The first few months, the evenings felt long. I would get Mole bathed and ready for bed then have to start the same process with Frankie again a few hours later.

5. I know what I am doingtwo under two

The second time around, your confidence is stronger. You know what is to come when you go into labour, you have a better idea on when milestones are approaching and in general you do just feel more like “you’ve got this”.

What I did not expect was how no two babies are literally the same! Mole is independent, she loves to play with toys and she developed at a faster pace. Frankie on the other hand, he is not really into toys and would rather be cuddled whilst watching a film together. What worked for Mole does not always work for Frankie.

I have often thought to myself “oh I have no idea what to do.” As each baby is different they need different methods of help. Clearly, I was over confident in thinking that I have had a child before so I know what to do but, that is not the case at all.

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Amazon | What you don’t know you need: Baby 0-3 months

After having two babies now, i’d like to think I have a good idea of a few items that you won’t necessarily think of when you start your long, long,…

After having two babies now, i’d like to think I have a good idea of a few items that you won’t necessarily think of when you start your long, long, list of items you need for your baby.

Here are a selection of my Amazon must haves for babies aged 0-3 months. Some of these items I have had for both children and some of these items I have had for just one or on my Amazon wish list.

Cool Mist Humidifier 

baby amazon must haves

This is a MUST HAVE. If I had to choose one product out of all my baby products (obviously not including milk etc) it would be this one. The sleep we all get when having this switched on in the room is so much better. It is incredible if you or your little one has a stuffy nose, bad chest or a nasty cough. IT really clears your airways. Air changes at night so you will find your little one coughing more. Having this switched on helps to stop that.

Jelly Cat Bookamazon baby must haves

Mole and Frankie are two completely different babies. One thing they have in common is their love for this book. The tails are easy for baby to grab and the fabrics are great sensory play. The story in the book is great to read to a toddler. For us, it has been the perfect toy they can both share.

Travel Cot With Net

amazon baby must haves

If you have a newborn and you have a dog or a toddler, this travel cot will be a life saver.

For the moments when you need to nip to the loo or make a fresh bottle. You can place your baby in this travel cot with the zip up and be assured that your toddler will not be poking their hands into the cot and the dog will not be licking their face.

The cot is well designed too. It does not look like an eye sore in the room and it can fold up small when you need to store it. We kept ours in the living room.

MAM Bottle Dispenser 

amazon baby must havesThis is a new product I purchased for Frankie. Considering I formula fed Mole after a few months of breast feeding, not sure how I lived with out it.

This product comes with me everywhere. No more spilling formula all over me and looking like I have been on some sort of wild night out with a suspicious powder all over my clothes.

There is more than one compartment for multiple feeds rather than opening lot’s of different pots.

I even fill this milk dispenser up on days where I am at home all day, just to save that extra bit of time. I can make a bottle straight away.

Nappy Caddy

amazon baby must havesHave one of these in your living room and bedroom. Keep all the nappy changing essentials in there and a spare change of clothes for your baby. It just means that everything is tidy and organised but most importantly, you don’t have to keep going upstairs to change your baby.

Car Seat Rain Cover

amazon baby must havesI appreciate this product more now with a second baby. When your baby falls asleep in the car and you finally arrive at your destination, the last thing you want to do is wake your peacefully sleeping baby. If you have go the travel car seat pram system, then this product is great for our lovely British weather.

You can keep baby in the car seat whilst they are protected from England’s lovely rain. Rather than moving them over to the pram, potentially waking them, to use the rain cover.

Easy Changing Mat With Nappy And Wipe Compartment

amazon baby must havesNappy changing when you’re out and about has never been easier. All you have to do is reach into the changing bag and pull out this one product. Everything you need can be stored inside.

I hold Frankie in one arm and take this product with me to the changing room. So much easier than searching through the baby bag for wipes, bags and a nappy…sometimes a spare change of clothes too.

Natural Wooden Hair Brush Set

amazon baby musthavesThis product is on my Amazon wish list. A very Instagram friendly brush set. They look beautiful and all natural. But, the part that caught my eye was how they are cradle cap friendly.

Wardrobe Dividers

Iamazon baby must havesf you have not already got this product yet, you need to invest. When your baby is born, you are gifted with clothes in all sorts of sizes. Wardrobe dividers will help to keep your baby’s wardrobe organised. They make it easy when you want to grab an outfit out and all the clothes are already listed in the correct size.

A small product that is a must have which is very easily overlooked.

I hope you found some products here from Amazon, which you would not usually think of. Yet, are still must have products.

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My Toddler’s a Fussy Eater: Tips

I can not begin to tell you how many meals I have made for Mole and they have ended up going in the bin. It’s like she can taste the…

Fussy Eating toddlerI can not begin to tell you how many meals I have made for Mole and they have ended up going in the bin. It’s like she can taste the smallest bit of pea mashed into meal. A shame really as when we started weaning Mole would eat everything!

We recently attended a dietician appointment. It was suppose to be for Frankie and his milk allergy but seen as we are already a dairy free household we switched the conversation onto Mole and her fussy eating.

I left the appointment feeling reassured and determined with Mole’s meal time issues.

Here are her tips and some of my own that have really helped us:

Do not serve up a different meal

The biggest mistake I was making was, when Mole refused her food, I would go and serve her up a completely different meal. My biggest worry was that I didn’t want her to go hungry. But more often than not, she would then refuse the next meal. It was almost like a game with her and the more she played up, the more attention she would get because I didn’t want her to be upset or throw her plate on the floor.

The dietician advised to ignore her tantrum. If she gets worse, take the plate away, calm her down and reassure her. Even if she needs to have a little break away but then go back, give her the same plate. This way she is not learning she can demand what ever dinner she wants.

Change location

Once in a while, I do an indoor picnic. I make it sound really exciting for her, we set a place up in the living room and I serve her simple foods like fruit and sandwiches. If I was to give her this in her high chair she would not eat it. Yet for some reason she eats every single bit of food this way. The important thing is, it gives us both a reset. Its stress free for me and I know she is eating. And exciting for her.

Sometimes she is distracted with her toys in the living room, I just make sure that even if it takes a while for her to eat, she does go back to her picnic and eat.

Family Timefussy eating toddler tips

The whole family eating together at the same time helps. It establishes a good routine and you are being a positive role model. Mole is then not distracted by what someone else is doing and trying ways to get their attention.

I like to show Mole i’m eating the same food as her too and how tasty it is.

Again if we hit a bad meal time, when she has been in the highchair long enough, I will put her on my knee and let her explore some of my dinner. This is only when I have finished eating too. For some reason, she seems to be more open to trying food off my plate than her own.

Don’t overkill the favourites

Easier said than done when you know what their favourite meal is. The fussier Mole became, the more I was serving up her favourite pasta dish. Then I realised she was eating it 5 times a week! Soon Mole showed no interest in eating it. Which at the time, you are so caught up in dinner time, you automatically think she is just being fussy again or teething when really, she is bored of it.

Back in time

One question we asked the dietician was “Why does she go three days eating loads of food, then another three days not wanting anything?”

Her response was interesting. Humans use to have to go for long periods of time not eating food as it was not available. In our nature we are trained to fast. This is so we would have been prepared for the hard times. As a baby, we are still programmed that way but as we grow older, we realise that food is readily available so we unlearn this behaviour and teach ourselves to eat everyday.

It’s completely normal for Mole to have an appetite some days and others not wanting much at all. Respect her and offer her food but, if she is not hungry, do not stress.

Common food

The dietician said: If you keep serving Broccoli, Mole will never see this as unusual, and one day, she might actually go to try it. It may time a long time, but, it will happen. Where as, if you never give her Broccoli, and then suddenly make a big deal about it to her she will more likely play up to it.

Personally, I felt a bit confused by this one as I hate wasting food and did not want to keep throwing away veg in the bin. I gave it ago and she was right, Mole took a few weeks to try it.

Fun food

Make food more fun. Cut it out into different shapes, make funny faces with it or get them involved in making it. This could be a make your own pizza night or simply putting the pasta into an empty pan for you. The more fun it is, the more likely they will eat it. Switch off any distractions like the TV so they can fully focus on the food.

 

I hope these tips help you. They have certainly helped us. Having a fussy eater can be hard but, I think it is important to know that because they have a label of a fussy eater, does not mean we have to accept this and have stressful meal times. There are ways we can have fun meal times where food is not thrown onto the floor on purpose.

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Potty Training: Tips before your child starts

It is usually advised to start potty training your child when they are between 18 months to three years old. This is when they are more emotionally and physically ready…

It is usually advised to start potty training your child when they are between 18 months to three years old. This is when they are more emotionally and physically ready for it.

As a first time mum, I had no experience on potty training before and my first perception of it was a task that could be done within a week. While this is possible for some children, it certainly wasn’t the case for Mole. With researching potty training, there were actually a few things we needed to do before we officially started.

Firstly,

You need to make sure your child is actually ready themselves for potty training. The signs below will give you an idea if you’re child is ready. Please note, your child does not have to do all of these signs, but by showing they can do a good few will make potty training easier in the long run.

Signs your child is ready to be potty trained

  • Pulling on their nappy
  • Say when they have a wet nappy or show signs of being uncomfortable
  • Taking an interest in you going to the toilet
  • Can say the words wee wee or poo poo or something similar.
  • They hide to do a poo or stop to do a wee
  • Can go a few hours with a dry nappy
  • Go to do a poo at regular times
  • Wants to be more independent
  • Enjoys praise and will do activities for praise
  • Understands your question of “do you need a wee?”

What to do before you start potty trainingtoddler potty training tips

Before you go ahead with the potty training, there are actually a few tips you can do first. This will help to ease you and your toddler into it.

  • Take you toddler to the toilet with you every time you go. Explain to them exactly everything you are doing, from pulling your pants down, flushing and washing your hands. This will help them to become familiar with the routine.
  • Let your toddler choose their big girl or boy pants. Make it fun for them. They don’t have to wear fashionable ones, just let them be in control.
  • Buy toddler friendly potty training books. I got Mole this one from Amazon: Princess Potty Book. It’s surprising how much they learn from a book and again making the process seem fun for them.
  • Invest in a sticker praise chart. Explaining how to get the sticker praise first will make them see a reason to start. Using stickers is a healthier alternative to sweet treat praise too.
  • Invest in a potty. We first got a potty and Mole was too small for it. So before you start try out different potty’s until you find the right one for your child.
  • Get a new toy or find new videos on your phone or tablet. This is a distraction technique to help them stay sat on the potty. Getting together new toys or videos will be more intriguing for them.
  • Have a word with yourself. Be prepared. The first few days will be messy so ask yourself is this the right time to do it before you start? It is best to stay in the house too, so ask yourself if you can handle that for a few days.

I hope you found this useful and remember, if you or your child is not ready there is no pressure. Start again when you both are.

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How to save money during Christmas spending

December is a tough time for us all financially. We are suddenly inundated with buying gifts, extra food and home decor. Am I the only one that thinks the price…

saving money during christmas spending

December is a tough time for us all financially. We are suddenly inundated with buying gifts, extra food and home decor. Am I the only one that thinks the price for a Christmas bauble seems to have doubled?!

Not only do you have to pay for all of the extra strains, you still have to keep up with your regular bills and maintenance costs. This is extremely hard especially if you are surviving off maternity pay.

It can be very tempting to dip into that savings pot you have worked so hard for through out the year but, I’m here to tell you now don’t!  Check out my very handy saving whilst spending tips first!

Honey

On Chrome, you can simply download a FREE extension. Guys, let me just say that this took me under 5 minutes to do. It was so easy!

Honey will pop up when you are at the checkout on your online shop with a discount code. Not only that, Honey searches for the best possible discount code for you! Amazing.

Here is the link: Join Honey

Quidco

Using a website like Quidco, you will get instant cashback from shopping online. All you need to do is log onto Quidco first and then shop through there onto your retailer of choice. For example, I want to buy a pair of trainers. I will log onto Quidco site first then I will look for the Nike website and click on it and carry on with my shop. Simple.

You can get rewarded cashback on so many different products, whether it will be gifts for people this year or you want to take out that break down cover you desperately need but can’t afford at full price.

If you are a new customer the chances of your cashback amount being a better rate will increase!

Sign up with my link for a free £5!

Here is the link: Join Quidco

CamelCamelCamel

Did you know that companies regularly change the prices of products on their website? Amazon can do this multiple times a day! So let’s say you are on Amazon, and you really want a new TV, if you put what product you want to track into CamelCamelCamel, you will be notified with an email when that product is at its cheapest or the price has dropped.

There is also a free browser extension too.

Here is the link: Camelcamelcamel

Groupon

Sometimes you just want to treat someone to a really lovely gift. This could be a trip out or a spa day. Check out  Groupon. They have amazing offers where you could save yourself so much money rather than booking direct.

They even have a full section on handy discount codes too!

Here is the link: Join Groupon

Basket Abandonment

You have done your full online shop and got to the checkout at the end and realised, you know what? I can’t afford all of this right now. So you leave it.

If you do this whilst logged into your account. You can get an email saying “Hey, we have noticed you have left items still in your basket, here is 10% off to complete the purchase.”

A great way to save extra money. I know that Pretty little Thing do this, Apple and Ebay. It will be trail and error finding companies that offer this way of discount but will be so worth it! Just be careful with risking your product will be still in stock.

 

Happy Saving and Happy Shopping Everyone!

saving money during christmas spending

*Some links are referral links.

 

 

 

 

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Help To Buy ISA | DEADLINE

Are you a first time buyer? If you save for a mortgage deposit in a Help To Buy ISA the government will add an extra 25% on top of the…

Are you a first time buyer? If you save for a mortgage deposit in a Help To Buy ISA the government will add an extra 25% on top of the amount you have saved!

But, time is running out!

When is the deadline?

The deadline to open a Help to Buy ISA is Saturday 30 November.

help to buy isa

How much money do you need to open one?

All you need is just £1 and you can be eligible for up to £3,000 towards your first mortgage.

Who is eligible?

You need to be a first time buyer ages 16+. You have to have a valid national insurance number.

What does the government add?

The government will add 25% tax-free to whatever the amount is in the ISA when it is used to buy a home. There is even a bonus of up to £3,000 if your total amount in your ISA is £12,000.

The minimum amount in your ISA to get a bonus is £1,600 and you can get a bonus of £400.

Buying a house together?

If you are both first time buyers then you can both get a Help to Buy ISA.

Can I use the bonus on the house deposit?help to buy isa

Be aware that the Help to Buy ISA bonus is for the mortgage deposit not the house deposit. You only get the government’s bonus with the Help to Buy ISA bonus on completion. So if you are planning on using the bonus towards the house 10% deposit. You may need to speak to the seller to agree on a lower deposit that you can afford.

You get the bonus when you become the legal property owner.

It is designed to help cut the cost of your mortgage and reduce the amount you need to borrow.

If this is an issue for you, the Help to Buy ISA might not be the best option for you. A Life time ISA pays you a bonus monthly.

What happens if my circumstances change?

If you find yourself in a new job down the line where you have to move abroad then you can still rent out the property you have even if you used the Help to Buy Isa. You can not rent out the property if renting is your intention when buying. You may have to pay the bonus money back.

Will I lose my money if I don’t end up buying my first home?

You will not lose your money. In fact you can withdraw all of your money penalty free.

What happens if I have already invested the money into a cash ISA?

A Help to Buy ISA counts as a cash ISA. You can only make payments into one of these ISA’s in the same tax year.

You can transfer your savings over into a Help to Buy ISA but, this depends on the total amount of you have paid into your cash ISA this tax year.

The best option is to speak to your provider if you are wishing to transfer as not all providers allow this option, especially, if you have paid more than £1,200 since April.

If you have paid more that £1,200 into a cash ISA, you will need to open it with a provider that allows you to transfer and then ‘split’ your cash ISA.

Natwest and Nationwide allow you to open the Help to Buy ISA and the cash ISA where as, other providers if you have paid £1,200 will make you either withdraw £200 or invest the £200 into stocks and shares. Again speak to your provider if you need more advice.

What happens if I can’t make the max payment this month?

help to buy isa

Still open one and keep your options open. You just won’t be able to make a double amount next month. You will only be able to put in £200 not the £1,200 the first month offers.

If you are interested in the Help To Buy ISA then you can apply online right up to the closing date. But, remember the closing date is approaching so don’t leave it until last minute.

You don’t need to be currently banking with the ISA provider and you don’t have to have your mortgage through the same provider either.

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Two under two | What it is really like

Two months of having my gorgeous little squish Frankie. And two months in on being a mum of two under two. What is it like you ask? Well, I am…

Two months of having my gorgeous little squish Frankie. And two months in on being a mum of two under two.

What is it like you ask?

Well, I am here now to explain how I am truly finding life…

The first few daystwo under two

The first few days felt easy for me. I am not sure if it was because I was running off adrenaline or going from 0 to 1 felt so much harder than the jump 1 to 2.

I struggled with motherhood first time around. This was one of those niggly thoughts I would torment myself with during my second pregnancy. Asking myself over and over, “will I struggle again?”.

With Molly, everything came as a complete shock. I guess you could say I lived a very selfish life before becoming a mum. After having all the time in the world to myself to suddenly having zero time for myself. I use to spend days mourning my “old” life.

Fitting Frankie into my life felt like that missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle was finally found.  I felt nothing but pure joy. I got to experience love at first sight and I was lucky enough to feel that rush of emotions. two under two

New mum and loneliness

A few weeks in, feeling extremely overwhelmed got the better own me.  I felt extremely trapped and lonely. Having a baby shows who your real friends are. Those friends that drop everything to come and see you. Those friends that will drive over an hour to come and congratulate you. So dealing with a new addition and all the overwhelming feelings of being a new mum again is hard enough, but, you also have to deal with the realising who you thought cared about you don’t. That goes for family too.

Personally, I find it challenging to be out and about with both of them on my own. Mole hates the pram and wants to run the opposite way. I’ve found that short trips are helping. It’s nice to do simple trips and see adults out and about.

Playing Super Mum

The first few days you really do try and do it all. I was fighting against myself to let go of the jobs I was so use to doing. I would wake up at daft o clock to rush into see Molly, for when she first wakes up in the morning after being up all hours of the night. I tried to take them both to soft play on my own at 9am on a Monday morning. I wouldn’t go to bed until all the clothes in the washing basket were ironed and put away. I could go on and on at all of the stuff I was trying to do.

It is so easy to forget that when you only had one, there was more time for washing or more time for the extra 10 minutes in a shower. Not that I am incapable as a Mother not being able to do it all. I just don’t have the same time.

Once the all nighters became a regular occurrence, I genuinely felt my body was breaking down on me. I knew it was time to let the washing slide, not be on top of emptying the dishwasher and take it easy with trying so hard to get out of the house with two on my own.

The hardest part to deal with, has been letting Jay take care of some of Molly’s jobs. I have looked after her and been present for so much of her life. I had full control in knowing what she needed and it is scary letting someone else take the ropes. I battle with thinking she won’t like me as much anymore or will she think I prefer Frankie over her. But accepting or asking for help will make you feel so much better.

The new routine

two under two

I use to tell everyone how easy it is having two under two as Frankie slots into Molly’s routine. He did at first. But trying to care for a newborn and a toddler requires a whole new routine.

If you are like me and do not like change, you will understand how hard this part was for me. I kept bath and bed times the same for Molly. I am not as strict on the times. Before I would make sure she was having her 10:00am nap dot on, now, if I am feeding Frankie at that time, I am not going to stress myself out that she is going to become over tired and not go down.

It felt inconvenient trying to look after Frankie with keeping Molly’s routine the same. He is now slowly getting his feeding times the same or his naps and it has been far easier to slowly change Molly’s routine into fitting in with Frankie.

Bath and Bed Time Madness

My most asked question is: “What do you do at bath and bedtime when on your own?”

two under two

Answer: Tea starts at 4:30pm. This gives me time to make it without a hungry toddler screaming at me. Molly is in her highchair watching TV eating a fruit starter whilst I feed Frankie.

After tea, Molly goes straight upstairs with me and Frankie. Molly plays in the playroom whilst I get both of their outfits ready for the next day and their pyjamas for after the bath.

Molly goes in the bath first at around 6:00pm. Frankie sits next to me in his Angel Care bath seat. Depending on Molly’s mood, after her bath she either goes straight to bed or stays up helping me bath Frankie and we all ready a story together afterwards.

Frankie goes back downstairs for another feed and usually naps until I take him up to bed at 11:00pm.

(Update: I am now bathing Frankie at 8:00pm and then putting him straight to bed)

Happiness

With all that said above, there is no happiness like it. Sure days are twice as hard, nights are twice as hard and life becomes twice as hard. But, life becomes even better than you thought imaginable. Seeing your two children bond with each other will make your heart feel like it is going to explode!

I would not change my life for the world. I am so happy!

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I just wanted to throw a little honesty out there as it is okay to admit life can be hard as well as being the best.

 

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Elvie Breast Pump Review | Is it worth the money?

My experience with using a traditional pump to express breast milk after my first pregnancy with Mole was no fun. The whole process felt like a tedious chore. I was…

My experience with using a traditional pump to express breast milk after my first pregnancy with Mole was no fun. The whole process felt like a tedious chore. I was lucky enough to have an electric pump, but, I was constantly tied down to it as it had to be plugged in. The loud pumping noise drove my partner insane and I ended up giving up with it.

This time, I was determined to not only make expressing breast milk work for us, but most importantly, to enjoy it too.

Purchase the Elvie Breast Pump Here

Elvie Breast Pump Review

Researching

After hours and hours of research into finding a pump that would work for us, I came across the Elvie Breast Pump. Every website I checked said it was sold out or they had a waiting list for a few weeks. Well instead of putting me off this intrigued me even further.

Why was it constantly sold out? Is it really that good?

The clean modern and sleek design compared to current breast pumps on the market made it look a whole lot more attractive. In a similar way of having the latest iPhone compared to an old Nokia. In fact, it looks so modern that it doesn’t even look like a breast pump.

Key Features

  • Small, compact and lightweight
  • Fits inside a nursing bra
  • Hands-free
  • Revolutionary silent technology
  • Five parts and no tubes, cords or wires
  • Closed system for maximum hygiene
  • Two modes: Stimulation and Expression
  • Seven intensity settings
  • Smart app
  • Comes with: one hub (the pump mechanism), two bottles (5oz/150ml, BPA free), two different sized breast shields, two valves, two spouts, two seals, two storage lids, two bra adjusters, a USB charging cable and a carry bag

Elvie Claims:

Elvie Pump is the world’s first silent wearable breast pump, giving you more freedom and mobility while you pump

Double electric breast pump for hands-free expressing at home, at work or on-the-go

Small and lightweight to fit discreetly inside your nursing bra so you can pump anytime, anywhere

My Experience

I was sold. Elvie Pump is the world's first silent wearable breast pump, giving you more freedom and mobility while you pump Double electric breast pump for hands-free expressing at home, at work or on-the-go Small and lightweight to fit discreetly inside your nursing bra so you can pump anytime, anywher

The product arrived with minimal packaging (something I am big on now), with very few pieces to set up.

I just had to download the app and connect everything together.

The pump easily fits inside your nursing bra. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is completely discreet as the on button lights up through your top. The pump was so comfortable that you can barely feel it working. The best part is, you can get up and carry on with jobs around the house of like me, see to your toddler and newborn without even giving pumping a second thought.

Cleaning the pump is no problem too. The non-electrical parts can be put in the dishwasher and sterilised.

App FeaturesElvie Breast Pump Review

  • Track milk volume
  • Pumping history for each breast
  • Control the pump remotely (changing intensity, pausing or restarting).

 

Downside of the Elvie Breast Pump

The price. Currently costing £249.00, the Elvie Breast Pump is one of the most expensive breast pumps on the market. And that is just for one pump.

Another downside to the Elvie Breast Pump that I disappointingly experienced was, when the pump started to fill up over half way, the milk would leak out onto my top. I put it down to me moving around. A shame when being able to be portable is one of the pumps biggest selling points but if you do move around then it leaks out.

I then tried the pump with a smaller breast shield and whilst sitting down and it still leaked out all over my top.

The measurements of milk on the app were off. Sometimes the app would claim it is full when it was not.

Although the pump claims to be silent, you can still hear it switched on pumping away over the TV on a medium volume.

 

Final VerdictElvie Breast Pump Review

I love the Elvie Breast Pump. The smart technology was extremely helpful for me to track how well I was producing milk, very important for me whilst I was exclusively expressing.

Although I would not feel confident using this pump at work (teaching a class of students) due to the noise or the leaking issue, I still love how the pump fits discreetly into your bra. It is so convenient to use, I doubt I would have ever been able to have exclusively expressed for so long with a toddler around without this pump.

 

Purchase the Elvie Breast Pump here

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