There comes a point in a parent's life where getting out and about start to become slightly easier. Going anywhere with two kids can sometimes seem like a military mission leaving me rather tired by the end of it. I'd usually have a pushchair, a heavy, full change bag and an endless amount of other things which i'm usually left carrying. However, this all changed when the girls starting to carry their own things.

No one ever warned me about how much stuff I'd end up carting around with me with one kid, never mind two, when everything doubles. My change bag was usually bursting to the brim and my back was rather sore after a trip out.

Eva and Ophelia are now at an age where they can both carry a rucksack so when Babymel asked if we'd like to review some bags from their Zip and Zoe range, I couldn't say no. They have a range of uniquely designed backpacks, lunch bags and drinking bottles which are all suitable from ages from 1+. 

I allowed Eva to choose her own bags. She loved doing this. She browsed the selection and opted for a Pink Colour Block Bag and a Daisy Dragon Face lunch bag.

I also allowed her to choose one for Ophelia. She chose her the Daisy Dragon castle.

Eva's backpack is suitable from ages 3+. She adores pink and purple so the colour block style really caught her eye. It also matches pretty much everything in her wardrobe. It has a large main compartment, side bottle pocket and a small front pocket. The straps can be adjusted easily. It also came with a keyring toy.

Ophelia's mini backpack is suitable for ages 1-4. It's a lot smaller than Eva's but it's a perfect size for her. The main zipped compartment area is big. The shoulder straps are padded for extra comfort. There is a musical tag on the bag although I can't tell you what it plays as ours didn't work. The best feature is the safety harness/reins which are detachable. 

Their lunch bag is super cute. It has PEVA lining, is thermo insulated and is wipeable.There is a loop which you can place a drink in which is handy. The feature I love the most is the grab handle. You can attach it to a pram and simply unclip it. It's ideal for grab and go picnics at the park etc.

I recently used the bags on two big days out. One being at Peppa Pig World and one at Folly Farm. The bags had all of our lunches in for the day. Eva did amazingly well at carrying hers all day which had drinks, crisps, sandwiches and snacks in for herself, me and hubby. Ophelia only managed to carry hers for short periods of time which is understandable. 

The reins in Ophelia's backpack are very helpful. She is at the stage where she likes to walk/run off but she's still at the toddling stage. It's a great way of letting her feel like she has some independence and also making sure she doesn't fall over. 

Both girls use their bags for school and nursery too. Eva loves the fact that hers is unique and by that she means that no one else in her class has the same one. It makes it easier for her to find at the end of her school day.

We're all really pleased with the bags. They stand out, look cool and are fairly unique in design compared to others. They are very well made and they still look relatively new considering we have been using them a lot over the last couple of months. 

Babymel also do a great range for parents too. They have lots of changing bags that have caught my eye. This new one which is being released in May is gorgeous, Anya. It looks stylish and quite designer. 

"You don't look like someone with PND (postnatal depression)". I can't tell you how many times I've heard this said to me. I've heard it said to me so many times that quite often it has left me questioning myself and my diagnosis. This got me thinking. What does someone with PND look like? The answer is easy really, it could be anyone.

It could be the young mum, the older mum, the mum with the sunglasses, the mum crying, the mum who laughs all the time, the mum who is perfect, the mum with the bouncy blow dry, the mum not returning any of your calls, it could even be a dad. It could be the person that looks like they have everything. It could even be a celebrity. I wrote a poem called To the Mum with PND, You are not alone which also highlights who may be suffering. You can read it here, PND POEM.

The point i'm trying to make is that people think depression has a look. They expect people to look and act in a certain way. They expect is to be fairly obvious if someone is suffering with mental illness, when in reality, it's actually quite the opposite. 

I've also had the following said to me on more that one occasion:
"But you always look so happy"
"You always go out and go places"
"You can't be depressed you've just be on holiday"
"You don't look depressed you're always smiling"

If you saw me on a daily basis you wouldn't know I suffer with PND. I've become excellent at  hiding it. You see, people who suffer with PND wear a mask. They mask the reality of their feelings because of the shame they think it brings them. I don't want people to think I can't cope or that I struggle. I don't want people talking about me as if i'm some sort of terrible mother. I wouldn't want people to see me at my worst. My mask hides the feelings of guilt.

Don't get me wrong there are days when I am genuinely happy. I have so many good days and they outweigh the bad days now. Some days I am a Mother warrior when I get everything done. I manage to take the kids out, I tend to the house and I genuinely enjoy myself.

However, it's important to remember that not everybody that is depressed is crying. In fact most of them don't cry that often and they certainly don't cry 24/7. They actually may be smiling or laughing. 

People with PND are able to perfect a facade. The facade enables sufferers to feel strong and powerful and makes them feel like they are fighting their illness. I may smile 24/7 around other people but you can't judge my mental health on that as you'll never know what pain my mind is putting me through behind my smile. 

So to the people that have used the phrase "you don't look like someone with PND", what do you think of these people?

Every one of these pictures is someone that has suffered with PND. You wouldn't know it by looking at them would you?

Just remember it's not often those that you think would suffer that actually do.

I'm not sure the exact age it started but all of a sudden Eva seemed to be involved in imaginative play. Stories and scenarios are often made up with most of them being centred around pretending to be families. There is always a mummy, daddy, sister, brother, nanny etc.

I remember playing in a similar way as a child with my much loved Sylvanian Families. They were my favourite toys to play with. I had houses, schools, various figures and therefore was able to embark on imaginative play about families for hours. When Eva started to show the same enthusiasm, we knew it was time to buy her some of her own.

She currently has the Cosy Cottage Starter Home and a few families. She was lucky enough to recently be sent the Persian Cat family. They are a 4 piece set which is a mother, father, brother and sister. They all have moveable arms and legs and removable clothes. They are a cute set with a vintage feel to their clothing.

The family have settled into her Sylvania world nicely. It's so lovely to see her acting out real life situations with her toys. On the Sylvanian Families website, it explains about the different families personalities. This is a great thing for encouraging them to use different behaviours etc for their imaginative play. I was able to tell Eva that the Father from the Persian Cat family loves to collect furniture and that the mother loves to design dresses. 

She quite often plays schools so we would love to get her the School.

Image taken from Sylvanian Families Net

There are so many fantastic items you can get to build a perfect Sylvania community. There are various houses, families, shops and vehicles. I really like the look of the new Fruit Wagon and I know Eva would love the Candy Wagon.

images taken from Sylvanian Families Net

These toys are classic, stand the test of time and are a lovely collectable range for any toy collection. Do you have any?
With less than a week to go until we go to Disney World, I thought i'd create my ultimate bucket list. This one will be for myself and I'll do a separate one for the kids. 

I haven't been to Disney World since I was 14 years old so almost 18 years ago. It has changed immensely since I was last there and I am hoping this Bucket List will ensure I tick off everything I am hoping to see and do. There are so many more things I need to do but these 25 things are my essentials!

  1. Dine at Be our Guest and try 'The Grey Stuff'
  2. Get a picture in-front of Cinderella's Castle
  3. Ride the Seven Dwarves Mine Train at Magic Kingdom
  4. Meet the talking Mickey Mouse at Town Square
  5. Ride Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom
  6. Eat a Turkey Leg
  7. See The Kiss Goodnight at Magic Kingdom
  8. Buy new Mickey Mouse Ears
  9. Buy more Pins
  10. Buy Disney Pandora Charms
  11. Watch the Rivers of Light Show at Animal Kingdom
  12. Ride the Rockin Roller Coaster
  13. Eat a Dole Whip
  14. Meet Jasmine
  15. Get a pair of Mickey Ears with my name on
  16. Take a Fireworks Cruise
  17. Find a hidden Mickey
  18. Buy an ornament from Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
  19. Trade a Pin with a cast member
  20. Get a Cupcake from the Sprinkles ATM at Disney Springs
  21. Visit The Dress Shop at Disney Springs
  22. Dine at The Coral Reef Restaurant 
  23. See the Fireworks Shows
  24. Buy a Balloon
  25. Get at least one family picture a day

Have you got any suggestions?

I have a bit of a confession to make, I live in organised mess. I used to tell myself that my husband was the one that caused all the mess and chaos in our house and that I was the organised one.

Truth be told, I did used to be incredibly organised. Everything would have its place and if it was moved half a centimetre I would have known about it. That was until I had kids.

Since i've had kids I've ended up being rather messy. I think it comes part and parcel with having the kids. You just can't keep the house tidy at all times. So there you have it, I will finally admit, I am messy.

I don't usually believe in the zodiac readings etc but this infographic is spot on for me. Embarrassingly so. I am a Taurus and as it explains in this, I am very stubborn and I like to think I am organised. Everything has its place. This is very true in our house. Everything is in organised chaos.

My husband is a Scorpio and again this is true for him too. We always joke about how much of a hoarder he is. He has receipts from years ago in his wallet.

We have been trying to organise our study. We both work from home part time and we need an office space. Well to put it bluntly you can't even see the computer. It's very embarrassing. It's one of those rooms in the house where you make sure the door is closed when you have visitors over. We need to get some organisation in this room asap.

Are you a hoarder? Are you organised? Does this infographic by Furniture at Work ring true for you? It certainly does for us.

*This is a collaborative post*
Blogger Template Created by pipdig