- - two become four | a blog about our life with twins... and lots more

31 August 2011

Present Love ♥ Sing-a-ma-jigs

Tilly and Jasper received so many fab presents for their birthday that I thought I'd do a few 'Present Love' features of a few of their (and our) favourites. First up are these completely wacky Sing-a-ma-jigs... weird singing phsycadelic creatures that harmonise! Fantastic fun :)

Scroll down to see a little video of them in action...

29 August 2011

Fabulous Finds: Free Nursery Art Printables

by the handmade home via pinterest
How beautiful are these? I think they would be perfect for a girl/boy twins room. Lovely neutral shades and super cute pictures! How about getting them printed as postcards and find some simple frames.

There are lots more free printables there too... including a fab picture alphabet.

24 August 2011

Tilly and Jasper turn 2 in tweets and pictures

Tilly and Jasper love their new bricks! (And so does Mummy!)

Tilly just woke from her nap and stroppily started asking for "more presents"! #whathaveIspawned?

Just told Tilly we were getting the paints and pens out... So she high fives me!

Birthday boy rocking in his magenta t-shirt... but wants to add some red to his hair!
Tilly draws a 'bainbow' :)
The perfect use for plastic thali trays? After curry of course!
Jasper tests out the new bedding
Tilly settles down to read some fan mail birthday cards in comfort
Birthday t-shirts :)
Tilly goes for the 80s look!
The birthday cake :)
Blowing out the candles
Tilly and Jasper would like to thank you very much for their presents :) xxx

Jasper at 2

Jasper at 2 years old

Jasper at 2 ...

... can concentrate on one toy at a time, endlessly
... loves Cars and can spot any merchandising before you've even entered a shop
... can hardly get a word in when Tilly's around, but is quietly growing his vocabulary
... has a full set of teeth
... loves to have water poured down his back in the bath
... still calls his sister "Diddy" and likes to make sure she has everything he has
... is a complete perfectionist
... does not like to be fed by anyone, but enjoys stealing food from others' plates
... is definitely going to be left-handed
... has wavy blonde hair with a hint of auburn
... wears size 5.5G shoes
... is proud of his growing Matchbox motoring museum
... has spurned Duplo now that he's discovered the joys of Lego Technic
... enjoys sitting on Daddy's motorbike
... loves his Cars drawing book
... does not do reigns or holding hands
... enjoys colouring, but only if the picture has wheels!
... loves playing on the slide and in the sand pit
... likes to wear his Mummy's ear muffs
... is quite possessive of things and people
... is loved very very much

 ♥ ♥ ♥ Happy Birthday Beautiful Boy ♥ ♥ ♥

Photo courtesy of the lovely people at John Crane

Tilly at 2

Tilly at 2 years old

Tilly at 2 ...

... is always on the move
... loves and knows most characters on "Beebies"
... knows most of her colours, but her favourites are purple and pink
... has still got a few teeth to cut, but hasn't been too bad when teething
... loves to bounce and can jump with ease
... still calls her brother "Babba" and loves to boss him about
... is a complete exhibitionist
... can feed herself quite competently but recently regressed to needing "halp" and being spoon-fed
... has beautifully fine, curly auburny hair
... wears size 5.5F shoes
... can sing most of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and also makes up other songs to the same tune
... is ever so slightly taller than Jasper
... now no longer needs the comfort of her "Noo Noo"
... loves her Peppa Pig magnet book
... prefers to walk than go in the pushchair
... is very good at drawing circles and straight lines, and loves colouring with pens, pencils and paints
... loves playing on the swings and in the sand pit
... will not keep any accessories in her hair for more than 10 seconds
... is always the first to go to sleep
... does not like it when music stops or goes quiet, and will ask for "more diggit"
... is definitely going to be right handed
... loves "fishing" (aka swimming) in the bath
... likes to ask for lots of "cuggles"
... is loved very very much

♥ ♥ ♥ Happy Birthday Gorgeous Girlie ♥ ♥ ♥

Photo courtesy of the lovely people at John Crane

20 August 2011

Time to get back on the exercise horse

Filming for Powerade
Caught on film at Battersea Park!

Thankfully just the metaphorical horse, and not a proper exercise horse... that would be daft! But it's high time I started to think about getting back into shape again.

I was going to say that I've never been a hugely active person, but thinking back I used to do judo and enjoyed athletics at school... but was never into the team sports - now there's a surprise! And more recently, before moving away from friends and family, I (semi)regularly played squash and did a couple of 'courses' of Tai Chi. But I would have to force myself to do these in the knowledge that it was doing me any good.

This is why, way back in Feb/March, I agreed to take part in a Powerade/Coca-Cola Small Steps to Health video, showing how easy it is to incorporate simple exercises into an everyday hectic schedule and is full of excellent suggestions like fitting a few in during a television ad break.

It was a fantastic experience, and for a while I managed to fit a few of my favourites of the exercises (hey, it's a start!) into my daily routine. But then we moved house, and although there was the initial excitement of the move, I fell back into a very long and low patch, finding it difficult just to leave the house... so naturally the exercises were quick to go... along with my motivation.

There was quite a bit of time between the filming and the video going live on the Coca-Cola website. In fact I'd totally forgotten about it until I received an email at the end of July! But it has, amongst other things, reminded me that I need to concentrate a bit more on myself again.

A few weeks ago my mum was measuring me up to make a skirt and she commented that I shouldn't have such a flabby belly until I'm at least her age. I know she didn't mean it to sound offensive, but it cut quite deep. And then my step-mum seemed shocked during a conversation that I was ever a size 8! Again, deeply offended! Until I met Keith I was a steady size 10 with minimal, if any, effort... apart from a big fat blip when I lived for a year in Northern Ireland... but we don't talk about that!

So, yes, it's time to do something about it.

I think the biggest thing for me to change is the way I actually think about exercise, which is why I was extremely excited to be asked by Thinking Slimmer to try out their new Drop 2 Jeans Sizes Slimpod... oh yes please! I'm hoping that in conjunction with the easy exercises learned from the filming I will get there, so watch this space!

Oh, and just for added cringe-factor... here's the video in it's full glory! It's actually rather splendid, and I'm hugely impressed with the finished edit:

19 August 2011

Project Knitted Patchwork is go!

A little while ago Keith sent me the link to a tutorial on how to knit a dishcloth... don't ask... he's in the habit on sending random links with little messages like "You should try this xxx"... not sure what message he was trying to get across with this one ;)

It must be at least 25 years since I last attempted knitting, and even then I had to get my mum to cast on for me before sending me on my merry way to get bored after several hours minutes and then casting it aside, never to be touched again.

But after reading the tutorial I got the urge to go out there and buy some wool and needles with the rather ambitious idea of making a whole stack of these knitted dishcloths to construct into a patchwork blanket.

So I have now got myself some rather lucious balls of wool... and a pairof knitting needles...

Yummy scrummy wool

I found a video tutorial for casting on... and in no time I was happily clickling away... it appears that after all of these years I haven't forgotten how to do the basic knit stitch...

I can still knit!

I am stupidly happy with my 'attempt' so far! Now I just need to work on the patience that I lack quite a bit of!

Watch this space :)

Biorepair Toothpaste

Every mum knows it can be hard to keep kids away from sugary treats such as fizzy drinks and sweets - and foods high in acid and sugar can cause extensive damage to young teeth.

However, there is a solution - a toothpaste which could protect your children’s teeth continuously from the word go (potentially saying goodbye to fillings for life), Biorepair.

Dr. Girk Baytug, a dentist for over twenty years, explains in the following video/video below the results of a recent study which tested two repairing toothpastes - one being BioRepair - on their ability to repair enamel erosion caused by a soft drink, which showed that BioRepair provides continuous protection against multiple acid attacks throughout the day, keeping little teeth healthy and protected!

This means you can stay safe in the knowledge that your kids' teeth can stay healthy - even if they manage to sneak a treat past you!

This is a sponsored post

18 August 2011

Fabulous Finds: Cute Mouse Pumps

Marc By Marc Jacobs Mouse Pumps

How. Cute. Are. These!

I am a total flat shoe addict... or at least I used to be, and would now be if finances allowed it. Instead I opt for wandering the internets and coming across exceedingly overpriced, but beautiful designer boutiques  that stock all sorts of wonderful fashion clothes and torment myself by browsing through the designer shoes!

I instantly fell in love with these mouse pumps... part of me thinks that doesn't sound quite right. Should it be mouse or mice? I quickly add to my fantasy shopping cart a fabulous pair of Alexander McQueen curved wedges (although it was a tad difficult choosing between all of the suede boots) and a rather splendorous ring! Crystals, skulls and bumble bees... stunning!

Right then... I'm off to spend some more imaginary money, and perhaps do a bit of knitting!

Alexander McQueen Skull Ring

10 August 2011

What do you ink?

So David Beckham has a new tattoo. Are we at all surprised? Tattoos can be quite addictive... once you've been inked it's in your blood, if you pardon the pun.

David Beckham Harper Tattoo
Mmmmm :) (Pic by spashnews.com)

It's a tad sickening that he is in such a position that it doesn't matter about the body art, he's a damn good footballer and doesn't have to worry that people won't employ him because of it. Whereas us mere mortals who, if they weren't at home looking after the kids, would rather have a decent income, have to opt for tattoos in obscure and less obvious places.

I like to see tattoos, although I am picky and they have to be well thought out and designed... I like to see piercings, preferably on fully-clothed people - I don't find any kind of facial piercing offensive in any way... and I like wacky hair. It amazes me how quick people are to judge and I'm always a little shocked when someone catches a glimpse of one of my tattoos and says something along the lines of not thinking I was the tattoo type! Well in that case you don't know me that well then.

I got my first tattoo not long after I turned 18. A delicate purple rose on my right shoulder blade. Yes, I was going through a bit of a rebellious phase... pink hair, huge nose ring, an earful of metal, and a navel ring (that my Mum came along to hold my hand for!), but I'd always wanted a tattoo and don't regret it one bit.

The second one was the day after seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers play at Wembley in 1996. A spur of the moment decision, and perhaps not my finest hour. I would probably chose a different design now instead the tribal sun I have just below my left ankle, but it's a part of me and signifies a stage in my life and I am more than happy with that.

These were both a long time ago, but the urge to get more has never gone. I always liked the idea of getting a Chinese dragon, but haven't found a design that I'm 100% happy with. But lately I'm thinking about totally different ideas.

I definitely want to get a small ankh on the inside of my wrist. I'm also considering a much larger, and more colourful piece to represent the twins. I'd like to get a quarter-sleeve of twin kois. I've been collecting ideas and found a local artist that specialises in Japanese designs... so now it's just a case of making that big decision...

Nick La Koi Design
(image by Nick La of N.design Studio)

Koi Twins by TattooBiker666
(image by TattooBiker666 on deviantart)

What do you think? Should I go for it, or should I start acting my age (35 this year - how did that happen?!)?

Do you like/have tattoos or can you not stand the sight of them?

05 August 2011

What I Would Wear...

... The 'If Money Were No Object' edition.

For many years I have followed the Peruvian Connection, tormenting myself by browsing through their gorgeously styled, and hugely expensive ranges of clothes and jewellery. There was even a time when I was able to occasionally splash out on the odd piece or two.

But those days are long gone now. My love of clothes shopping has been dampened by our lack of budget, and usually I only tend to venture out when the sales are on and just grab anything that looks like it will fit my strange-shaped, post twin pregnancy body. Having said that, I did manage to have a very productive sale session at H&M last week that left me feeling much happier.

Anyway... enough of my moaning and back to the matter in hand. When I was at my Mum's last week the latest brochure from the Peruvian Connection popped through the letterbox, so of course I had to have a bit of a dream again. The latest season's styles are just so what I would want to buy, so I immediately went online to pin (yes, I've discovered pinterest and now have another social media addiction) the styles that I most lusted after.

Peruvian Connection Dream Style

This is pretty much my dream style  Then I thought about trying to recreate a more affordable version from the high street, and lo and behold Next came up trumps. Did I mention that I love Next?!

Next Dream Style

I am loving the current trends of warm earthy colours and Navaho patterns... and just look at those boots ♥♥♥!!

Here's just one more outfit to drool over, I could have gone on forever! Soft, snuggly, rugged - but at the same time femine (if that's possible?)

Peruvian Connection Dream Style

And here's the Next recreation... I think I'm in love!

Next Dream Style

I totally love the unusual grey colour of these boots... and I have to admit that I may even prefer my recreated look! I couldn't find a hat, so opted for the quirky skinny belt with the horse buckle to finish the look.

What do you think? Is this a look that you'll be trying this season?

I am a member of the Next Blogger Network, a private online community for selected bloggers to connect with Next. I am not paid to write these posts, and Next have no editorial control whatsoever about what I blog about. Being a member of the Next Blogger Network means that I may recieve the occasional goodie or product to review, or even invites to previews and other events. This does not affect how I write and will always blog with honesty and integrity.

03 August 2011

Caffrey's Story

Those of you on Twitter may have noticed the #RSPCA247 hashtag being used a lot today. This is because the RSPCA are holding a 24 hour tweetathon to help raise awareness of the relentless work that the RSPCA Frontline team undertake to help animals around the clock.

Did you know that the RSPCA has been caring for sick, abandoned and injured animals since 1824? Today they receive an emergency call every 30 seconds – that's more than 1.25 million phone calls a year. Every day the RSPCA responds to around 1,000 incidents a day, rescuing, caring for and re-homing animals that have been trapped, abandoned or hurt whether it is 2pm or 2am. What’s more, the RSPCA is funded entirely by voluntary donations, so engaging the public in the work that is undertaken and gaining their support is key.

As a life-long pet owner, when I was approached to write a blog post for the tweetathon, there was no hesitation at all to help promote this worthy cause... especially having first-hand experience of their work.

The following is the story of Caffrey, affectionately known as Chuckles, who now lives with my Mum...

Caffrey black and white cat

I left home in 1999, bought a house, and not long after acquired my chunky little ball of fluff to keep me company. Caffrey is half British Blue Shorthair, half Mog and has an intense dislike of the male of the human species. Being the sole person responsible for a living creature was a whole new experience to me at the time so I decided that the best thing to do was to keep him as a house cat. This worked out fine. He would always be waiting in the window for my return from work and we would spend many-an-evening snuggled up on the sofa and then in bed. Yes... he was a spoiled cat!

Then several years later, when my brother needed a place to live, we moved back in with my Mum so that he could live the independent life that he was more used. Mum had three other cats at the time who enjoyed the freedom of being able to roam the neighbourhood, but I was insistent, for the short-term, to try to keep Caffrey as a house cat. Not that simple when cats can easily slip through open windows and it is the height of summer!

One weekend I eventually decided that it was too cruel to keep him from enjoying the outdoors and we opened the back doors to let him explore. He bolted in the blink of an eye and was off over the fence. I wasn't worried... we've grown up with cats and they always come back to where they can get a regular meal!

Except he didn't come back.

Eight weeks passed in which I had given up hope of seeing him again.

Then early one evening I received a call from an unknown number - the RSPCA - asking for the owner of a black and white cat called Caffrey. Thankfully I had the foresight to get him microchipped... but after such a length of time I was expecting just a confirmation of the worst news possible. And then it began to sink in... Caffrey had been found... alive, but in an extremely bad state... and my whole body began to shake. I couldn't believe it... he was alive!

It turns out that he must have got trapped somewhere by his collar. Perhaps up a tree, perhaps in a shed or garage... and he'd obviously tried to free himself by hooking one of his front legs through the collar to pull it off... but it didn't work and trapped him further. He must have eventually struggled free and managed to drag himself through the nearest catflap... just in the next street... he was so close and yet we didn't know it :(

It must have been a terrible shock to the house-owner to find a pile of skin and bones with one leg almost hanging off coming in to their house! But they immediately called out the RSPCA, who collected him and took him to one of their veterinary surgeries.

The next day I went to collect him to take him to our usual vet. They were amazed at how he had survived, but they managed to save his leg and after a long period of convalescence in his own room at home he was back to his normal, grumpy, self.

Seven years later he is still going strong.

Do I regret letting him out that day? Certainly not.

I do however regret putting the collar on him, and none of the cats have worn one since.

I am hugely grateful to the house-owner for calling the RSPCA, and to the RSPCA for reuniting me with my buddy.

Why not show your support for the incredible work that the RSPCA do by joining in the tweetathon and retweeting this post (remembering to include the #RSPCA247 hashtag) or even make a donation. You can read the other blog posts and also keep in touch with the RSPCA on facebook and YouTube.

Disclosure: this post was written for an extremely worthy cause that I would not expect any compensation to help promote.

01 August 2011

What Tilly wore to the farm park

Tilly at the Farm Park

T-Shirt - TU at Sainsburys .:. Skirt - Pumpkin Patch .:. Leggings - Rocha Little Rocha at Debenhams .:. Wellies - F&F at Tesco .:. Glasses - Pugly Pixel .:. Rather fetching pink harness - an absolute necessity when you have twin toddlers who want to go in different directions!

Today we took a trip to Foel Farm Park to have fun feeding the animals and riding on tractors... and they also have a rather special chocolate shop :) I loved the outfit I pulled together for Tilly... and it all coordinated quite well surprisingly!

Chocolate teacakes - the perfect beach food

Tilly & Jasper at the beach

Yesterday, after an lovely afternoon at Cemaes beach.

And yes, I have brought my laptop away with me :$