Friday, 28 December 2018

What's in my makeup bag?

For someone who doesn't wear makeup everyday, I have a pretty extensive collection. I blame YouTubers Louise Pentland (Sprinkle of Glitter) and Zoella from yesteryear. Certainly before the boys arrived!

I'm always intrigued what people use, so here's the details of "everyday" make up bag:

Face Primer
Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser 

Foundation
Clinique Superbalanaced (02)
L'areal Paris True Match Powder

Concealer
Collection Lastin Perfection
Maybelline Eraser Eye
Rimmel Wake Me Up

Blusher/Bronzer Palette
Urban Decay Naked Flushed

Mascara
Smash box Full Exposure 

Eyeliner
MAC Technakohl Liner (Graphblack)

Eyeshadow Primer
Urban Decay Primer Potion 

Eyeshadow Palette
Benefit peek-a-bright eyes

Lips
Rimmel Kate Moss 01 Clear

Brows
Rimmel Brow This way

Brushes & Sponges
Real Techniques Bold Metals 300
Real Techniques Bold Metals 200
Real Techniques Bold Metals 103
Real Techniques Miracle Sculpturing Sponge
Real Techniques Mini Eraser Sponge

Sunday, 23 December 2018

We're now on YouTube











We have set up a YouTube channel to document our family adventures. We have kicked it off with #CRAIGMAS, sharing all our festive activities throughout December. 

Please go and check out our channel Craig Family Vlog, and don't forget to subscribe!

PS. Do you have a family vlog? Drop your links in the comments ❤️



Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Big Boy Beds

Last weekend we took the very brave move to transfer the boys into toddler beds. I was keen to wait until we had moved house, but that day feels like it's never going to come. Harry has started climbing into Ollie's cot and it's too dangerous.
With finances being very tight at the moment, I was super lucky that these Eric beds came up on our local twins Facebook group.
We wanted to make sure that they looked at inviting to them as possible. We were kindly gifted the bedding from the wonderful Bloomsbury Mill. We already had a few grey star accessories so we went for that design. Do check out their website, as their prints are gorgeous. They wash up really well, and haven't needed to be ironed - winning!
My hesitation for moving them sooner came down to the fact that they would suddenly be free to run riot. We were keen to get a better monitor to keep a proper eye on them. I came across the Lollipop Camera. It's super clever, as it's able to literally attach to anything. As we are moving soon we have popped it onto a shelf, but will install more permanently in their new room. 

The image quality is brilliant, and viewable via the app. Check out this screenshot that appeared on my Facebook story. It was pitch black in their room. 
Overall the transition has gone surprisingly okay. They take a little longer to settle, but so far haven't tried getting back out of bed. Finger crossed this continues.

Thank you to both Bloomsbury Mill and Lollipop Camera for gifting us these products to review.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Our Children's Bathroom Essentials

I love being nosey and watching peoples favourites videos. I'm not confident enough for YouTube, so here's our faves..

Kneeling Pad
I'm sure as parents Gav and I aren't alone when we say our knees have taken a hammering! We started with a cheap poundshop kneeling pad, but when we saw this one with a little more cushion and more aptly themed for the kids, we picked it up.


Bath Mat
The boys still insist in standing up in the bath, so we still use a bath mat. It has a great water temperature indicator built in.


Steps
We have a tiny bathroom, but we do have two stools so the boys can clean their teeth at the same time. The arguments just aren't worth it, but they stack inside each other when not in use.


Potties
I'm not going to lie, these potties are expensive, but they look like a mini throne. The boys just seem really comfortable on them. They are really sturdy, and the middle bit lifts out to empty and clean.


Toothbrushes/ Holder
It's no secret that the boys LOVE their BrushBaby toothbrushes. They have a really cool light up facility, which makes in super easy for me to clean their teeth, and check the back of their gums.


Toys & Toy Storage 
A little while ago I posted on my insta-story my frustration of a certain brands suction toy holder not working. And it seems I wasn't alone. I finally came across the perfect solution. The Ikea Waste Sorting Bin. It has a solid base, but large ventilated holes throughout. And for us it was even more perfect, as it fits perfectly in the gap between our bath and sink basin.





Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Reviewing Kiddylicious Toddler Meals and Snacks


Over the past month we have been reviewing and sharing the products below! We were kindly gifted them by Kiddylicious ❤️ 
The boys in general are rubbish eaters. It's not that they don't like something, just have small appetites and don't have the greatest relationship with food due to their reflux issues. 

Well I couldn't have asked for a better result. The boys really enjoyed the pouches, and super easy to grab when popping out for a meal. 

The fruity bakes are a great snack option, and carries them between mealtimes. 

I wasn't sure they'd like the coconuts rolls, but they actually go and get them out the cupboard themselves ๐Ÿ™ˆ
Ollie with one of his coconut rolls

Sunday, 2 December 2018

#MyAquaphor

Over the past month we have been putting Aquaphor to the test. When I first read about it being the ointment for all, I did doubt it if I'm honest.

As I'm always hesitant to use anything on the boys, I started by using the product on my hands and nails, and I loved the results. Not too greasy, but saving my typical mum hands (spends too much time with hands in water, with cleaning products). Then I moved onto using it on my lips and face. Especially now the colder weather is here my lips are prone to splitting. Now it's a staple of my bedside table.
I have since also used it on the boys bum. Teething bums can be a nightmare, so this works as a fab barrier ointment. I pop it in our changing bag when we're out and about, for use on us all. 

Thank you Britmums and Aquaphor for selecting us! 

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

GOSH Birthmark update

Last week Harry had his second appointment at GOSH regarding his birthmark. They first time we visited he was only 3 months old, and only weighed 8lbs! We had no idea what they were going to do at the appointment. 2 years ago the doctor gave us a couple of sheets of paper about laser surgery, explaining they'd do a test patch and we needed to take an unscented cream with us. Luckily we have been trialling Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm, and it's been in my handbag as a one for all wonder cream. It literally does everything from lips to baby bums. 

Gavin had suggested that she might have given us the paperwork because they would be doing the test patch that day. It completely threw me as it's not what I mentally prepared myself for. Of course because their was such uncertainty, I barely slept the night before, and had a very tearful morning. 

It turns out that I had got myself in a state for nothing. She literally compared the photographs they took before, with what it looked like now. 

The next steps...
We will be sent an appointment for April/May time for a test patch to be completed. We then have to return for them to review the results. Then he will be booked in for the surgeries under general anaesthetic. He will be required to have four surgeries over 18 months. 

Last time the doctor was pretty forceful with Gav and I, and basically bulldozed her "why wouldn't you" opinion on us.  This time she was really wishy washy, and implied that Gav and I had pushed the matter previously. Which totally wasn't the case, as I was in such denial that it would go on its own. 

It's one of those horrible situations where if we don't do it, he will moan that we didn't do something when her was younger, and if we do go ahead he will think we didn't think he was beautiful with it. I must make it clear, that it's not for aesthetic appearance. There is a risk that when Harry gets older his birthmark could form a 'cobblestone' effect, which means it becomes uneven and they bleed. 

We have asked to go ahead with the patch test (rightly or wrongly), and take it from there.

I've had a few parents come across my previous post message me. I'd love some reassurance that we're doing the right thing. 

Thank you for reading,
Hayley 
x

Sunday, 25 November 2018

My hubby and his love of BBQs

If you know us well, you'd know that Gavin LOVES barbecues. When I say LOVE I mean it. We have lived together for 8 years, and every year he will buy at least one, sometimes three new BBQs! Apparently they all have their uses, but for as long as I have known him he has wanted Weber BBQ. I was never keen on him spending that much on a summer fad, so at the beginning of the spring I made a deal with him to sell his current hoard, and he could then purchase one. Well to my surprise, he began listing them on Facebook Market place, and people were snapping them up. 

He then got to buy his dream BBQ. We bought a Weber Spirit Gas BBQ.

He then was super lucky, and won a competition for a sear grate accessory (thanks again Riverside Garden Centre!)

Over the summer he began really taking a passion for cooking, and during our long heat wave we barely turned the oven on. Here's a selection of my favourites..

He bought a few more accessories to perfect some of his dishes. Luckily for him, we have Riverside Garden centre just up the road from us, and this shop is like a BBQ lovers dream! He has bought some weber tools, a griddle plate and even came across some reduced to clear stainless steel grills in the local garden centre at a rock bottom price! I've never seen him so happy.. He is now on the look out for a thermometer to help perfect his dishes! I didn't know that there were SO many different thermometers..

At the end of the summer he then also purchased the Weber Go-Anywhere coal BBQ (because he can't possibly just have one BBQ!)


I have to be honest though.. When I saw the BergHOFF bbq in orange in John Lewis I fell in love with it. If we were to have a big garden I'd like one of those, just because it's beautiful๐Ÿ˜‚ (...bUT shhh don't tell the hubby) 

Monday, 19 November 2018

Shopping Small Gift Inspiration

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I'm a huge fan of supporting small businesses. I love the fact its a real person that is excited about their product, and they tend to do things a little bit different to the high street. Here's a selection of products that have recently caught my eye:

For the Kids

How about getting some crayons made 
in your child's favourite animals etc? 
Here's my favourites from Crayation Station 

I'm a huge fan of Ned the Robot. 
He's the wonderful creation from Rudi and Bear 



What a lovely touch to bedtimes 
with a personalised book pillow 


Child specific Bath Treats 



A personalised backpack in a fantastic 

range designs available from heavensentbabygifts 

(use code O&H10 for discount)


How cool would your little one 
look in one of these personalised 
caps from Marloweville

If your child is school age, or you 
like to keep their bits organised, maybe a 
personalised pencil case from Primrose and Bear


For the Men

Candles aren't just for the ladies. 
This Gin & Bear It Candle has a perfect 

masculine touch from Atria Fragrance


Or if you're not a fan of your man 
with a beard, why not buy a luxury 
shaving set from Eco-tots



Why not an insulated bottle from Sho 




Why not try Tubby Toms Sauces? 

How hot will they manage?



We are a huge fan on Meat Rubs in our 

house, especially this one 



On the topic of cooking, 
how about a Thermapen food thermometer?


For the Ladies

Why not get her a Candle or some 
Wax Melts in her favourite smell? 
Wax Delights offers some fantastic dupes
A brilliant organiser that literally 
thinks of everything from Lovefrombea 

The perfect grab bag for her 
from Tiny Tot Tribe - Check out her website. 
Fantastic products for all the family!
(Use code CraigTwins10 for discount)

For all those Instaspammer Mums, 

how about a funky phone grip 



How about a cute quote or 

personalised family names 



Why not treat her to a gorgeous 

bath bomb (or 3) from 



Chocolate is always the way 

to a woman heart, but how about 

hot chocolate from Choc-o-mine


Who would want one of these bath 

boards after a long day, 

to soak the troubles away. 

Available from bathboards


A fantastic mug for all mums 
from Lauren Dwyer 
(Use code CraigTwins10 for discount)

If you are a small shop, and would like to collaborate with us, please drop me an email craigfamilyblog@gmail.com ❤️

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Have you ever wondered what my C-Section scar looks like?

When I was advised at my 12 week appointment that most identical twin pregnancies result in csection my heart broke a little.  I had hopes of having a water birth, with both my husband and mum present, but maybe that wasn’t to be.

At 18 weeks, after reading A LOT online I’d decided I wanted a csection as the risks of times between deliveries etc seemed too high. I’m not going to lie, I was terrified.  I then spent hours watching YouTube videos of people showing and discussing their scars etc. This made me feel the worst. I had to come round to the fact that my body was never going to look like it did before. I would probably have stretch marks, saggy skin and a scar, but some of them were pretty horrific.

I was told horror story after horror story of what had happened ‘to their friend’... “she had be cut in both directions. Will they do that for twins?” “She decided to drive too early, and when she had to do an emergency stop it ripped open”๐Ÿ˜ท!

I was so worried, and on occasions when the operation was discussed I’d burst into tears. I was also anxious about having to sit still for the epidural! 

If you read my previous posts you’d know I went into premature labour at 34 weeks. Thankfully I was in too much pain to worry, and literally walked myself to theatre. My contractions were coming every 2 minutes and lasting 30 seconds. I was panicking so much, I begged for them to take the pain away and get the babies out safe ASAP!

For the first 48 hours it was covered by a large dressing, and Gavin or my mum pushed me from the ward to neonatal in a wheelchair. After that I was then advised by the nurses to remove the dressing and I was allowed to shower. It was pretty uncomfortable, but luckily my mum was there to help with the tugging. It was quite a site initially, and the stitches were very visible. I had a bead at one end that kept catching everything ๐Ÿ˜” 

For advice for this stage, check out my previous post: http://craigtwinsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/caesarean-section-advice.html?m=1

After a week I had the stitches removed, which literally involves them cutting off the bead and tugging out the stitch from one side. The pulling made me feel a bit light headed, but I’m a bit squeamish with that sort of thing. BUT it was already starting to look okay! 

Some months past and I religiously used bio-oil on my tummy and scar. I did get a small infection in the wound, but I was brave and squeezed out the nasty stuff and it did the trick! The healing process seemed to speed up after that point.

Now the bit you’ve all been waiting for! This is what it looks like 2 years on...





Of course you can still see it. But on holiday etc, it’s hidden under my bikini. And I'd do it all over again to have my beautiful boys! I hope that someone in the same position as me 2.5 years ago, frantically googling 'c-section scars' will see this, and it will reassure them that some really do look okay!

Friday, 2 November 2018

Childs Farm Review

As some of you may already know, Harry has a birthmark covering most his lower half. At birth he was referred to GOSH for on going treatment. It’s so far not really caused him any issues, but at the beginning of the year the poor love started to get #eczema on the backs of his legs, which made his birthmark look more angry than usual. I was keen to get on top of it, before his treatment begins. I though the sun would help, but unfortunately not. @childsfarm kindly #gifted us a bubble bath and moisturiser. It might be complete fluke, but in just a month it looks so much better. If your child is struggling, I’d highly recommend giving it a go ๐Ÿ’›


Thursday, 25 October 2018

Olay Daily Facials Review

Olay kindly gifted my a box of Daily Dacials to put to the test. I've always been a fan of Olay skincare products, so was super excited to take part. 

As mentioned before, I struggle to fit self care into my busy schedule. These make it super easy, and I have seen an improvement in my skin. 

Perfect product for all new mama bears! Go try them out ❤️


Sunday, 21 October 2018

Nimble Sticky Stopper Review

Over the past week we have been putting @nimblebabies Sticky Stopper to the test. We love it ❤️ it removes all the nasty greasy and sticky mess the boys leave after meal times, and also kills 99.9% of bacteria without using bleach. Meaning it’s safe for a whole load of other things, like cleaning their toys, changing mats, highchairs, bibs. This is a must have ๐Ÿ ❤️


Want to buy? Use code: NimbleCraigTwins20

BUY NOW - https://www.nimblebabies.com

Friday, 5 October 2018

Will we have more children?

Since the boys have turned two, the question on everyones lips is, when are we going go have another?

Right now we are living in a two bedroom home, so it isn't feasible. But I'd like to hope one day in the future we'd have another. Don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful to be blessed with my boys, especially after being told we'd struggle to conceive, and would have to go down the route of fertility treatment. But there is still a part of me that doesn't feel like we've completed our family just yet. I always say if money was no object, I'd have 6! Yes I said 6! I'd also like to adopt. Gav and I had always discussed the possibility of adopting when we knew about my fertility problems. Obviously we don't have a big house, with thousands in the bank, but we can all dream. 

I have only really come to terms with all that we have dealt with for the past three years. Going from thinking we'd struggle to have babies, then having the amazing surprise that I was pregnant, then to find out it was two babies, and then to have the realisation that it was classified as a high risk pregnancy. 

I don't believe that we let ourselves ever really process or fully attach ourselves of fear of something going wrong. It's not something I've really mentioned on here before, but there is a 10.5 year age gap between me and my sister. My poor parents suffered many miscarriages and my brother 'Nicholas' who was still born at 24 weeks. Nicholas was also a twin, which my mum had miscarried earlier on in the pregnancy. I can't even imagine what my parents went through, but from a very young age I was very aware that it wasn't easy bringing a child into the world. 

We decided we wanted to wait to 18 weeks to announce we were expecting to friends and extended family. We had gone awol for a while, so I knew our friends would start asking questions. 

Throughout the whole pregnancy we always said "if we", rather than "when we". We waited until the very final weeks to buy the essentials, and they were delivered to my grandparents, as I couldn't have them here. 

I left work for maternity leave at 33 weeks, as my c-section had been booked for 36 weeks. I knew we had a couple of weeks to get bits washed and set up, but of course the boys had other ideas and arrived prematurely at 34 weeks. It meant I never really got the "nesting" time, as we just did the bare minimum to cover ourselves. 

It sounds really ungrateful, but I feel robbed of the pregnancy. I had the rubbish of HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum), but none of the nice bits. No-one ever said I was glowing! I would have liked to have had a baby shower, to have felt comfortable documenting my pregnancy (with weekly bump pics and cute purchases), and the time to mentally process coming to terms with becoming a parent and my life changing forever. 

Then after the boys were born I felt like I was robbed of those first moments after they were born. They were whipped away, without even a seconds glance. 

I hope by having another, I can hopefully enjoy it a bit more, and allow ourselves to get excited.