Monday, March 31, 2014

The Newest Edition To Tyler Lee's Library - 'My Daddy...' From Love2Read ♥

'My daddy...' from Love2Read is quite possibly the cutest book I have ever set eyes upon. This adorable soft cover book was personalised by myself on the Love2Read website which is super simple to use, you can create a personalised book in four quick and easy steps, you simply pick the theme of your books, add your own pictures and captions, choose a colour scheme and you're done. I chose the 'My daddy...' themed book as daddy is definitely the favourite in our house, Tyler Lee is a daddy's boy through and through and a mans man. Love2Read offer books about a whole host of family members, birthdays, holidays, pets, special occasions and you can ever add your own title. I was delighted when the book arrived and it looked great. The cover is glossy and is light blue in colour to match the interior border colour which I chose myself to frame the pictures. The printing of the pictures is great, so vivid and clear. The book contains ten captioned pictures and a photo collage of pictures of my boys, it's such a lovely thing to have.

I love the fact that you can put whatever caption you want in the pictures and I chose things that I'd like Tyler Lee to know about his daddy and be able to say as he's learning to read. This book is a very welcome addition to Tyler Lee's ever growing library and I love that this is a personalised book, it's like a twist on those photobooks you can get made up to keep your cherished photos in. As you can see Tyler Lee definitely approved of his new book, in fact, he keeps taking it off the bookshelf at every opportunity he gets! I think Love2Read books are fantastic as they encourage children to take an interest in books and reading from a young age as the story is personal to them, also the pictures of familiar characters helps to spark their interest even more. I love the idea of building my little one a personalised library of books which relate to his family, interests, likes, loves and milestones.

I think the next book we'll have to get is 'My mummy...' and see if Tyler Lee loves that one just as much! The 'My daddy...' book is £14.99 and the more books you buy the more you save. You can browse Love2Read's fantastic range of personalised children's books on the Love2Read website.


Living Arrows - Week 13 ♥

Your children are not you children, They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

*By  Kahlil Gibran

I am taking part in I Heart Snapping's weekly Living Arrows project, a photography project to capture an image which represents childhood to you through the actions, likes, dislikes, looks and movements of your own children. Below is my picture for the thirteenth week of Living Arrows. Last week my boys and I visited Blarney Castle, a local heritage site in our county. The grounds of the castle were in bloom with the most beautiful flowers including my springtime favourite - daffodils! I had been wanting to take a picture of Tyler Lee by some daffodils since spring began and I finally got my opportunity to during our visit. I absolutely love the shots I got. I love the lighting, the look on my little angel mans face, the burst of colour from the flowers. This is one of my favourite shots from the day and one of my all-time favourites of my boy. I think it captures the essence of spring perfectly. I was delighted to see my babe at one with nature, he was reaching out for the flowers, kicking the dirt under his feet and soaking up the sun. He's a little nature fairy for sure.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

What Mother's Day Means To Me ♥

For many mothers Mother's Day means being gifted with some wonderful treats, getting that much craved after lie-in and simply being appreciated for the love, care and support they have shown their child since their birth. For me Mother's Day takes a completely different spin on things. I see the day as not being all about me but celebrating the fact that I am a mother and what a cherished blessing I have in my life in the form of my little angel man Tyler Lee. I spend everyday with this little cherub, I get up with him, feed him, cloth him, wash him, I'm the one who has to handle his tantrums, calm him down when he cries, protect him from harm and you know what, I couldn't ask for a more fulfilling, rewarding and amazing role in life. Mother's Day for me is about celebrating my children, not them celebrating me, a celebration of our time together.

I don't want to be rewarded on Mother's Day by getting a gift for doing all of this for my son, a simply cuddle or kiss from him is all that I need. In fact, he's the greatest gift which was ever given to me so there's nothing else I need - even a new MAC lipstick couldn't tempt me and that's saying something! My boys and I spent a lovely day together this week in Blarney Castle and for me that was my Mother's Day treat, spending time with the two people I love most, unfortunately we won't all be together tomorrow as my fiance wants to work but I'll be in the company of my little angel man so it'll be a perfect day.

I have told Jacek not to get me any gifts but I don't think he has listened to me, he was hiding something when he came home the other evening. I don't need a gift to thank me for being Tyler Lee's mother, I want to be his mother, I don't need to be thanked and even though the sentiment is greatly appreciated and it's so lovely to be thought of I just can't justify big money being spent on Mother's Day gifts. Having said that I have bought cards for Tyler Lee's godmother, my own godmother, my mother and my grandmother, four women who have a special place in my life and I hope in Tyler Lee's someday too. I like cards, there's something quite sentimental about cards and handwritten things I think, perhaps it's the effort that goes into writing them.

I'll look forward to the day when Tyler Lee does little things off his own back to show me how much he loves me, like holding my hand, drawing me a picture and sharing his bar of chocolate with me - he will won't he?! Already in his early toddler stage he shows me his love by putting his forehead next to mine and saying "awwww", he cuddles into my shoulder and puts his hand on my cheek - this is what Mother's Day is about, the affectionate, amusing, amazing, sometimes pain in the bum children who make you the mother you are, no gift will add or take away from the fact that they are the most special presence you will ever have in your life.

Happy Mother's Day everyone with those little blessings that make you the mother you are!


Friday, March 28, 2014

#Project365 - Picture Number 81 - 87 ♥

This week marks twelve weeks of everyday picture taking for me, that's three months! Isn't it amazing how quickly the year is going by?

On Saturday my boy was rocking his chevron leg warmers and you know what? He absolutely loves wearing them! I guess he feels free and not restrained by trousers or jeans and is able to move as freely as he wants, plus he's getting some air to his little legeens! When the weather gets warmer I'll have him in leg warmers all the time for toddling around the house and garden.

On Sunday we had a very lazy day and my babe went for a nap in the afternoon, he seems to be introducing his afternoon naps back into his routine again this week. I love this picture I captured when I was playing peek-a-boo with him through his bedroom door. He literally just woke up so he has a messy bed-head and sleepy eyes. I used this picture for my Living Arrows image this week.

On Monday my boy was as good as gold entertaining himself as I did some typing for his daddy. When his daddy came home from work LeeLee didn't want to do anything but sit by him, chewing on his keys and watching TV. I think it's safe to say that daddy is the favourite in this house!

 On Tuesday my boy was delighted with his 'My daddy...' book from Love2Read and even had a go of reading it himself. You can see him smiling at all the pictures of him and his daddy.

On Wednesday my little fairy man had a great time exploring the grounds of Blarney Castle with his daddy and I. I just couldn't resist putting him amongst all the daffodils, spring is here after all!

On Thursday I dressed my little love in some new clothes and took him out the back garden to get some pictures for his outfit of the day post, however, he was more interested in eating the stones.

 On Friday my baby went to bed snuggled up with his PupPup and his warm beanie polar bear. It's so funny how he likes to fall asleep on top of a fluffy blanket rather than under it and how he tucks his dummy in behind his lip, I love his little quirks, they make him unique.


Family Day Out - Blarney Castle & Gardens ♥

On Wednesday my boys and I had one of our family days out and once again we went to a historic site, this time being Blarney Castle and it's amazing gardens. Blarney Castle is famous around the world for the Blarney stone which people come from far and wide to kiss it and gain the gift of the gab, well I already talk to much so I thought I better not give it a kiss and save people's ears! The castle grounds boast so many interesting places such as a fairy garden, fern garden and poison garden which contains lots of strange and wonderful plants such as salvia, wolfsbane, mandrake (yes, like in Harry Potter!) opium and cannabis. We walked around the whole grounds and had so much fun. It was a bit of trial and error working out where we probably shouldn't have taken the buggy... *cough* Fern Garden *cough* but hey, we had a laugh and Tyler Lee found the whole thing positively hilarious but really, you shouldn't take a buggy to a place with dozens of step, small stone steps, ever. Spring has most definitely sprung in the castle gardens and the place is awash with gorgeous colour, Jacek couldn't stop taking pictures of all the blooms, I was particularly interested in the bluebells and daffodils - my favourite spring flowers and as you can see from the pictures above I had a field day taking pictures of my little fairy man amongst all the yellow daffodils, I seriously love these pictures, I wish I could frame them all.

We took a long walk around the grounds and the lake where a lone swan came right up to us, I bolted before it had time to attack me - childhood memories, before ending up at the playground which we gladly had all to ourselves. My little babe loved being on the swing and wouldn't get out of it, his best friend PupPup joined him on the swing too, it was so adorable, my heart melted, a lot. We even got a family selfie by the swings, we never get pictured as a three so it was fun to get this shot, I'm so glad we're all looking at the camera. My heart melted even more when my babe took my hand and began to walk along next to me. He's not walking yet without holding onto things and this was the first time he ever wanted to hold my hand and walk alongside me, I was so proud that I nearly cried - super emotional mama for sure. Days like this are to be treasured.

Blarney Castle and it's grounds is a must-see place if you ever travel to County Cork, it is truly breathtaking and so much fun, there's so much to see and lots of places for children to explore and run around and of course it boasts a lovely little playground and picnic area. I will say though that the downside is the price - €12 for adults is very steep in my opinion, it's €5 for children and luckily Tyler Lee was free as he's an infant but €24 for two adults to explore a national heritage site is outrageous. The cafe's are quite expensive too - a cup of coffee, a bottle of lucozade and a chicken and pesto sandwich cost €10! I would suggest bringing a nice homemade picnic to enjoy on the grounds and if we go back during the summer we shall definitely be doing that. I highly recommend a visit to Blarney Castle and it's beautiful grounds, it has everything - history, beauty, legend and some fabulous photographic opportunities!

If you would like to see more places around Ireland that my family and I have visited then click here.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Freeva - Marvelous Monsters Cloth Nappy ♥

A few months back I converted to using cloth nappies not just because they're environmentally friendly but also because I thought that cloth nappies would feel better against my baby boy's delicate, sensitive skin as opposed to plastic disposable nappies. Freeva's Marvelous Monsters nappy is the first which we have had the pleasure of trying from the Freeva range and I have to say that I am super impressed with it. 

The print of the Marvelous Monster nappy is very fun and eye-catching, a brown background with orange and green monsters surrounded by blue splats, very cute indeed! I love the design range that cloth nappies have to offer, not only are they eco-friendly and functional but they can also be a style statement too. I know that I'll have Tyler Lee rocking his cloth nappies with leg warmers in the warmer months, I think they are so fashionable and quite adorable.

Freeva's Marvelous Monster nappy can be used on babies weighing 6-33lbs so you get fabulous longevity out of it. The nappy itself is made from a soft suede fabric on the inside - perfect for delicate skin and a waterproof PUL fabric on the outer layer which I have to say does work, we haven't had any leaks whatsoever. Freeva's nappies are so easy to use, you simply pop the microfiber insert which comes with the nappy into the pocket within the nappy and then the nappy itself closes with velcro style tab which can be adjusted depending on how you want the nappy to fit your baby, this also makes allowances for different tummy sizes and it also comes with an elasticated waist so each little cloth bum baby can have the perfect fit for them.

Overall, I think this nappy is fantastic and Tyler Lee looks so comfortable in it. The inside material feels fantastic and this nappy washes and dries really well. We haven't had any loosening of the velcro tabs which is fantastic as Tyler Lee really is a wriggly little toddler now. Freeva offer a whole range of gorgeous designs to choose from, many are unisex and are great value at just £10.95 per nappy which is a fantastic price considering a cloth nappy can last you for the whole time your child is in nappies if you take care of them properly and following the washing/drying instructions.

You can find the Marvelous Monster nappy and browse more from the Freeva range on the Freeva website.

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