Saturday, 25 October 2014

Simplifying Family Life - Eliminating Physical Clutter

I have been feeling really overwhelmed for the past few months, I have felt like I've been spinning too many plates, treading water and wading through treacle, I don't know about you but when there is too much clutter in my mind, too many to-do lists and the constant feeling that I need to catch up I come to a complete standstill instead, productivity becomes nothing more than a long distant memory.

One afternoon last week I had an epiphany, a light bulb moment and all of a sudden it became clear, I needed to be ruthless and simplify my life, look at all the areas that were making me feel so frustrated and de-clutter them within an inch of their life !

I'm not just taking about the type of clutter that we physically accumulate, I'm talking about mind clutter, digital clutter and debt (it is a type of clutter if you think about it).

I am determined to reclaim the time and space for us to grow as a family, I want the weekends back for us to do things as a family rather than catching up from the chores from the previous week.

This is the first part in a series of posts I want to write about our experience as we declutter and simplify our family life, feel free to join us along the way.

Physical Clutter

I have never been a hoarder, I probably have a sort out at least once a season, I give stuff away frequently but that's just no good if I'm then replacing the items with more stuff.

Over the past week I've been absolutely ruthless, going through each room and filling boxes to be donated or passed along to family.

These are the things I have asked myself each time I've faltered or been indecisive

Have we used the item in the last year ? 
Would we notice if the item wasn't there anymore ?

Am I just keeping the item because I'm worried about the money I wasted on it ?

Am I keeping it out of obligation ?

Is the item adding value to or enhancing our life ?

You really have to tale a long hard look at why you are holding onto things to be able to make any real progress, at the end of the day it's all just stuff, you need to make room in your life for the things you really want by letting the stuff you don't need go.

As the rooms and spaces become clearer I am finding them so much easier clean and keep in order (as much as you can do with children in the house) , I still have quite a way to go but I feel motivated that doing a little at a time is going to make a huge difference in the end.

Of course clearing the clutter is no good if you are not going to change your mind set about the items you buy or bring into your house and life, this process is making me realise that we need to think carefully about our purchasing decisions, I am quite an impulsive person and it's really helping me to learn a different way of doing things which is no bad thing.

I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel after just a week of going through the process, I can already feel the fog lifting.

Do you have any tips for me about decluttering ? share your experiences with me in the comments I love hearing from you.

Angela x

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Jacob At 5 Months Old

I'm a few days late with Jake's update, he turned 5 months old on the 9th October, things have been a little tough over the past couple of weeks, life with two little ones is certainly a lot harder than I remember but we plod on regardless. I take my hat off to anyone with lots of children and single parents I really don't know how you do it !


This is a sore point for me at the moment, Jake will go to bed around 9pm and sleep until around 6am each night which is great but his nap times in the day are very frustrating at the moment as he won't nap anywhere but on me, some of you might think that's no big deal but when you have a 2 year old deciding they need a wee just at the point Jake has dropped off, on top of the fact that I have to sit down and can't get anything done it's just becoming exhausting. I know he will grow out of it I just hope it's soon for my sanity.


Jake is still having five bottles a day of 7oz hungry baby formula, I have tried him a few times with food and although he will eat a few spoonfuls he is still not very interested, I think he prefers his milk at the moment.


I've not had Jake weighed recently but I know he's a big boy, he has been wearing 6-9 month clothing for a few weeks now, even some of those are snug on him. I think he has grown a little taller too I think he will be a big lad when he grows up.


Jake seems to like sitting in an upright position more now than being on the floor on his play mat, he still needs support though. He can now reach for his toys and is definitely more dextrous when playing with them.

He is still trying his best to roll over but isn't quite there yet, he has also developed a high pitched squeal when he wants some attention, he is a very smiley baby and loves watching his sister play, he wriggles in excitement, you can tell he can't wait to be mobile and join in.


 I think Jake is starting to lose his baby looks and is starting to get proper little boy features now.

He has his final lot of immunisations next week thankfully, I'm hoping he won't cry too much it's one of the worst things you have to do as a parent.

I will be back next month with another update, I can't believe it will be his 6 month one, that seems like a huge milestone.

Thanks for reading

Angela x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

What's In A Name ?

I'm not really one for keeping up with the lives of (so called) celebrities, I don't care about what they are doing, how much they weigh or what they had for their lunch last week but the one thing I do love reading about them is what they call their babies.

I love hearing what unusual, quirky and often bizarre combinations they come up with, I think I live vicariously through their odd choices because I wouldn't be brave enough to bestow such vibrant moniker's on my own children.

My children all have two middle names, it's my thing you see, no particular reason it's just something I decided I would do, some are named after important people in our lives, others are just names we really liked and were second choices to the names we eventually settled on.

I think choosing a name for a new baby is so exciting and equally as frustrating, there is always that one name you just can't agree on or the name you like that causes your partner to think you have taken leave of your senses.

Chris and I were considering (just for a fleeting moment mind) the name Bane (the villain from Batman) when we were pregnant with Jacob, in the end we just weren't brave enough, although if we had have had a girl second time round she would have been called Wren (so sad we will never get to use it).

Sometimes when your baby is born the name you had chosen throughout your pregnancy just doesn't suit when you actually see their little faces, this happened to me when my eldest son was born, he had one name when the midwife left the room and when she returned five minutes later he was called something completely different, my advice is always be flexible and have a few standby names at the ready.

Here my ultimate top 10 celebrity's kids names

1. Harley Quinn Smith -Kevin Smith

2. Maple Sylvie - Jason Bateman

3. Phinnaeus Walter - Julia Roberts

4. Kal El - Nicholas Cage

5. Sunday Rose - Nicole Kidman

6. River Rose - Kelly Clarkson

7. Axl Jack - Fergie

8. Rex Rayne - Fearne Cotton

9. Bryce Dallas - Ron Howard

10. Bear Blu - Alicia Silverstone

Photo Credit
Do your children have unusual names ? or are you a traditionalist ? let me know in the comments I love hearing from you.

Angela x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Review: Motorola MBP27T Sense The Temperature Digital Video Baby Monitor

I was contacted a few weeks ago with the great news that I had been accepted as part of the Babies R Us Babyologist programme, I previously filled in their online application on their Facebook page, applications are still open if anyone else is interested (you don't need to be a blogger).

I was very excited to hear that we would be sent some video baby monitors to review, not as excited as my husband Chris who is a massive gadget nerd, we have only ever used audio monitors before.

We were sent the Motorola MBP27T Sense The Temperature Digital Video Baby Monitors, upon opening them we were intrigued to read that not only was it a video monitor it also had a touchless thermometer built in, Motorola have used the latest technology to help you monitor the health of your little one.

Once we had set up the monitor the real fun began, testing out all the functions of the monitor.

 The Video Monitor

The picture and sound quality are excellent, the unit also features a night vision mode, the built in photo sensor detects a low level of ambient light and switches to night vision automatically, the screen then appears in black and white while the picture quality remains thanks to the high intensity infra-red LEDs.

You can also turn off the video monitor but leave on the audio monitor if you wish.

Talk Mode

This talk mode feature is one of my favourite things about this video monitor, by pressing the button you can talk to your baby, this is great if your baby just needs to hear a soothing voice without having to enter the room and disturb them, I think this feature would also be great for toddlers who won't settle.

Touchless Thermometer 

I think the touchless thermometer really sets this video monitor apart from it's rivals, there are two buttons, one is for testing forehead temperature and the other is for testing the liquid temperature of things like milk or a bath by using infra-red technology, it's so easy to use and the results are clearly displayed.

Digital Pan and Tilt

Another great feature is the ability to pan and tilt the camera unit from the monitor, this means if your baby wriggles around their cot like ours does you can move the camera to the position you need without having to disturb them by entering the room.


The parent monitor also features an alarm which can be set for a 6,4 or 2 hour period.

Range and Portability

Once charged the monitor is fully portable and has a range of up to 300 metres and an out of range warning, I've found this a brilliant feature as I usually get my chores done whilst the baby sleeps, I can take it from room to room without worrying.

I can honestly say that we have been incredibly impressed with the monitor, not only is it reliable and flexible it also offers unique features which make is so much more than just a baby monitor, meaning it will be used by us way beyond the baby years.

The video monitor offers you peace of mind which can be something we all seek as parents of little ones.

Here is a short video where I point out some of the features of the video monitor.

You can buy the Motorola digital video baby monitor from Babies R Us online for £99.99 .

Do you use a video monitor with your baby ? let me know in the comments below.

Angela x

*We received the monitor free of charge as part of the Babies R Us Babyologist programme but all opinions are 100% honest and my own*

Friday, 12 September 2014

Pampers Active Fit #BritainsDriestNappy Challenge

Here at the Webster's we have been taking part in the Pampers Active Fit #BritainsDriestNappy challenge,

I don't know about you but I don't think I've ever given much thought to how wet nappies might be on the inside, that was until Pampers sent us a fun little challenge to find out.

We are a Pampers household but we usually use Pampers Baby Dry, we have tried some supermarket own brand nappies but have always returned to the reliability that we feel Pampers offers us.

Dryness Demonstration 

I'm a massive nerd when it comes to anything that seems like a science experiment so I got quite excited at the dryness demonstration that Pampers sent us to do at home, my husband and I both sat  down to do it together, Daisy did observe but she was supervised at all times.

Here's a list of what you will need if you want to try the experiment for yourself:

A Pampers Active Fit Nappy
150ml water in a cup or bottle (this is about 2-3 wees in baby terms)
A timer
Some tissue or kitchen roll
A pair of scissors

* Take the nappy and place it as if you were about to put it on your baby, make a kind of bowl in the middle.

* Pour the water slowly into the centre of the nappy in the bowl you made.

* Set your timer for 1 minute 30 seconds.

* When the time is up place your tissue paper/kitchen roll on the surface of the nappy and apply  some pressure, about the same amount you think the weight of your baby would apply.

* Lift the tissue/kitchen roll and see the results for yourself, also have a feel of the surface to see how dry it is.

We followed all the instructions above and we were really surprised with how little moisture was on the kitchen roll, the surface of the nappy was remarkably dry which was a shock as the 150ml of water seemed like such a lot when I was pouring it !

              Above is a photo of the kitchen roll result, as you can see the dampness is minimal.

The dryness demonstration also challenged us to cut the nappy in half to see how Pampers Active Fit stay so dry, inside the nappy are absorbent micro pearls which absorb the liquid to form a gel which then locks the liquid away, this means it can keep your baby protected from dampness for up to 12 hours, this is great for overnight if you are lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps through.

                                      A close up of the inside of the Pampers Active Fit Nappies.

I was already confident that Pampers were the best nappies for us, but taking part in the #BritainsDriestNappy challenge has reaffirmed our decision.

                                     Here is Jacob modelling his Pampers Active Fit Nappy.

Why don't you have a go at the dryness demonstration at home yourself, let me know if you do and what results you get.

Angela x

*We were sent a trial pack of Pampers Active Fit nappies for the purpose of this blog post but all opinions are 100% honest and our own.*

 This post is an entry for #BritainsDriestNappy trial sponsored by Pampers. Learn more at .

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Jacob At 4 Months Old

Today Jacob is exactly 4 months old, as each month passes I wonder where on earth the time has gone, it seems like yesterday he was a shiny new baby and now he is this little person with a personality all of his own !


Jake now sleeps on average about 11 hours during the night, he has his last bottle between 7.30-8.30 and is usually asleep by 9, this of course is wonderful for us, we are getting s much better quality nights sleep which is a relief as I'm terrible when tired.

Jake does nap during the day but at the moment it seems to be only when he is being held by me, this normally wouldn't be a problem but when you have a toddler to look after as well it can prove quite difficult and if I'm honest a bit frustrating.


We have taken Jake down to five 6oz bottles , we found he was bringing a lot of excess milk back up after his feeds, he is still satisfied with the reduced amount and it's not affected his sleeping.

I have tried him a few times with baby porridge when he has seemed hungrier, although he doesn't dislike it he isn't very interested so we are taking it slowly.


I had Jake weighed last week, he weighed 18lbs 3oz ! no wonder his 3-6 months clothes are a little snug. They don't measure him at the clinic I go to so if anyone knows the best way to measure a baby at home please do let me know.


This week Jake discovered he has two hands and hasn't stopped grabbing at the other, he finds it fascinating and spends ages just gazing at them. Jake loves watching what Daisy is doing and attempts to jump of my lap so he can join in, I've also noticed he can wriggle himself of his play mat, I never find him where I left him.

Jake loves sitting on my knee and can quite easily hold himself up now, his neck and muscle control is growing stronger everyday.

We are also at the wonderful stage where we can make Jake giggle, is there a nicer sound in the world than this ?

I spent a few days last week chasing up an appointment for the second lot of immunisations that Jake missed out, he finally has an appointment next week so I'm not looking forward to that.

I will be back next month with another update.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below if you have any comments or suggestions, I always read them and comment back.

Angela x

Friday, 5 September 2014

All Quiet On The North West Front

Up until the middle of August I was blogging regularly, the ideas for posts were coming thick and fast, the inspiration and motivation to do things so I could blog about them was at an all time high, then all of a sudden everything stopped.

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you may have read other posts where I have touched on the fact that I do suffer bouts of depression, I can't tell when this is going to happen and one morning in August from the minute I woke up I knew the horrible darkness was back.

As I get older I'm starting to recognise the build up to a bout and what my triggers are, there were a few things niggling me for weeks that I didn't confront and unfortunately that's the outcome for me.

I'm also convinced that I've had a bad reaction to the contraceptive injection (Depo), I am going to write a separate post explaining about it.

Anyway, I'm feeling so much better, I had a kind of rock bottom moment recently and it's been onwards and upwards ever since.
I decided not to seek medical help this time around and instead have looked at ways that I can help myself through it, it's a work in progress and I now accept that I will have to work really hard the rest of my life to not let depression gets it's hooks well and truly in.

My head is once again full of ideas of things I want to do and write about, now comes the task of finding the time.

I had stopped writing some of my regular posts as I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take my blog, but I reminded myself that this is my space to write in, I'm writing for me and if I'm lucky enough for anyone else to read it then that's a bonus.

I'm going to be working on a posting schedule to keep me focussed as I know that writing is my therapy, I'm going to bringing back some of the old regular posts I used to write like 'Webster's Week In Wins' which I'm going to revamp to include my success with surveys, I've also got some ideas for new regular posts.

The most important thing for me at the moment to accept is that if I don't feel like blogging I won't, I don't want to lose the joy of writing so I'm taking the pressure off myself.

Thanks for reading.

Angela x