Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Essentials for the Outdoors

Summer is always the perfect opportunity for us to get active, warm sunny days and longer, lighter warmer nights it gives us that up and go feeling.  I know lots of you will be going on camping holidays (Summer time isn't just for beach holidays!) Abigail has just come back from a week in Devon where she done lots of activities, being in the outdoors is great, for both children and adults.  Nice walks in the evenings, especially to ware out the children before bedtime is perfect.  Or if you go away without the children and are very active then you will need the right clothes to wear.  There would be nothing worse than going away wearing uncomfortable shoes and the wrong clothing.

Here's a list of clothing essentials I've put together for that perfect outdoor trip!

Waterproof Jacket - If you are out on a long walk then you will need a hooded waterproof jacket, the last thing you will want to go is be carrying along an umberella.  Something that isn't too padded that you could layer up underneath.  Especially if its cold then layers are ideal.

Microlight Insulated Vest  - These are fab for the outdoors, and great for layering up to wear under coats, or even if its warmer weather you can wear these without a coat and just add a long sleeved top underneath.

Walking Boots or Shoes - Now this is so important to have the correct footwear.  There would be nothing worse than finishing off a nice walk with sore blistery feet so make sure you have the correct footwear.  There are lots of great ones available and you don't have to spend a fortune but just make sure you have the correct ones.

Rucksack - Always great to have a rucksack to carry your essentials around in, drinks, food, maps mobile phone etc.  Also if you are taking small children then how about a child carrier, they are fab for small children.

*In collaboration with e-outdoor

Monday, 28 July 2014

Sophia's 11 Month Update

I haven't updated in a while about how we are doing on our breastfeeding journey.

Sophia is going to be 1 next week and I can't quite believe how quick the year has flown by and that I am still breastfeeding! I didn't think at the beginning of our journey I would even make it past 3 months, just shows how little confidence I had in myself.

So, little miss Sophia is still feeding a good few times a day, she has her breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks and water inbetween but still likes a good few feeds, I am finding most of the time this is for comfort for her when she wants to nap during the day and at bedtime.  She has never once fallen asleep on her own, she has always been fed falling asleep and there is nothing wrong with that but I would like to try to get in to fall asleep on her own, I am going to have to come up with my own routine to do this, something that suits me and Sophia, obviously I don't want to distress her so I shall be trying out a few things and then will update on what's been happening!

To be really honest I am getting so tired as she isn't sleeping through the night still, infact I can't even remember the last time she did.  She wakes at least 4 times a night, I feel so tired constantly.  

After thinking long and hard about it (and feeling slightly guilty) I am going to try to wean her off of the boob, and try her on a cup which she uses anyway in the daytime and hopefully she will take to a bottle of milk in the evenings.  I know this is going to be a long process, and am hoping not too much of an upsetting one for her but I just feel ready to.  I know there are going to be people reading this maybe thinking I'm being selfish or saying to stop when she wants to, but for my own selfish reasons I am ready to do it.  I have fed her for a whole year, given her a great start but now I am ready to start a new journey with her.

Story to be continued......


This week has been amazing, a few days ago Sophia took her first steps, whist chatting away in baby babble to her dolly which she had launched on the floor she took 6 slow steps towards it and then clapped herself at the end!! It was amazing to see, my Dad was with me too and I think that made him quite proud to see her first steps.
Over the past few days since, she has been taking small steps and loves walking along pushing her baby walker and clapping herself some more for doing so!


She can say Mumma, Dadda, Abba (for Abi), hello or hiya, what's that (and also points to whatever she says it too) so when she says what's that she likes you to tell her what it is, her particular favourite is a big photo at my Mum's house of her and Abigail.  She also loves to pretend to babble on the phone and likes to chat to her dollies!

Sophia's 12 Month update to come at the end of next month!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

New Beauty Post My Summer Favourites - Featuring, LOreal & Benefit Make Up

Its been so long since I have written a beauty post on my blog, and I think its something I should do more of as, I love to have a skin care routine and am a big fan of make up!
Today I wanted to share with you two of my latest favourite products I purchase last month.
I shall start with my fav brow product - Benefit Gimme Brow Gel.  I totally love this product and its something I use everyday.  I don't have the thickest of brows and my hair is fair so this product is great for me, plus it being a fibre gel you can build it up as much as you want.  I always make about 2 applications and its really easy to apply.  It gives a really natural look.  I used the light/medium colour, it also comes in medium/dark   (£17.50)
I love the Benefit products and also use the Big Easy Multi Balancing Complexion Perfector which is amazing but I shall write up a separate review on Complexion products. 
The next product I am loving right now is LOreal Paris GlamShine Glam Matte Lipgloss.  This is such a gorgeous gloss especially for the Summertime!  And it stays on for most of the day which is great.  There's nothing worse than having to apply a gloss constantly throughout the day.  The colour I purchased is Fuschia Flare.  I love this gloss as its not too glossy! Has a matte finish but keeps the lips looking moisturised too.  (£7.99)

What are your favourite Summer colours?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The End of Abigail's School Term

I can't believe that Abigail's end of term is approaching.  My big girl has finished off her Reception year and in September will be moving up to Year 1.

Abi September 2013
Abi July 2014
I am so proud of her, how far she has come through her Reception year.  Learing to read on her own, write and so much more.  Her confidence has grown so much, my baby is not such a baby anymore!  Yes she is still only 5 but acts like she's 15!!
She has her first every sports day on Friday which I am super excited about, I can't wait to see her competing in her first race.

Lucky for Abi she is off on holiday this coming Weekend, which I am super jealous about! Yes, a holiday without Mummy, my Mum is taking Abi on hols to Devon for a week, along with my Sister and Niece Charlotte, who is nearly 4, her and Abi are very close (and argue alot!!) 
They will be staying on a farm.  I wish I was going too, instead I shall be house sitting and feeding my Mum and my Sisters Cats. (Exciting!)

I think Farm holidays are the perfect holidays for Children, I would love to wake up in the Countryside every morning, with the fresh air and nice long walks.  So refreshing! I have been trying to be organised and pack all her clothes early, she won't be needing loads of bits to take but I want to make sure she has enough, I bet I end up packing too much!  One thing I won't be forgetting to pack are her wellies, being on a farm everyday she will defo be needing to take those.  Skate Hut sell a lovely range of wellies for children (and adults).  I have had strict orders from Abi to pack her bikini, yes my 5 year old really wants to take her bikini away, she loves them! What happened to little girls and their swimming costumes!

I will be lost without Abigail for a whole week!

Have you planned any Summer holidays?

*In collaboration with Skate Hut

Friday, 11 July 2014

Sophia the Model

This is a pround Mummy Moment right here!

Sophia earlier this year was asked to model for the Funky Giraffe Bib Website which I was so excited about as I already had a few of their products which I love! Its so lovely to be able to look on their website and see my baby.

She recently had her second shoot for a very well known company.....More to come on that soon!!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Preparing for a baby – Birth Plans

How many of you a preparing or already have written up a birth plan for your pregnancies? I think these are a great way of feeling in control of what might happen when that big day comes, and to have a plan in your head that you can write down and share with your Midwife is great.  That way you get to feel like you can make the final decisions (if all goes to plan) instead of them being made for you, and at such a personal moment in your life I think it’s only right to have a plan which is going to make you feel comfortable and as focused as possible.  I think involving your partner with the birth plan is also important especially if they are going to be there with you, you can discuss options together write down ideas and feelings that you both have and then combine them into a proper plan, you will probably find as you progress in pregnancy feelings might change in certain things so you can always change things along the way!

Here are a few tips on what to think about with planning for the birth of your baby:

Where to give birth – hospital, home etc.
Companion – Who would you like to have with you, partner, mother or friend?
Pain relief – Some women like to read up on every choice of pain relief, others choose to do it the natural way
Feeding your baby – Will you breast, bottle feed or do both

With pregnancy/labour remember not everything goes as planned! I think every woman in their minds think about the ideal labour and what they would like, i.e natural birth, water birth, but the truth is, it is rare than everyone’s plans actually happen.  Giving birth is not easy and sometimes it is best to listen more to the Doctors and Midwifes if they think doing things a certain way will make your labour easier/safer for you then don’t feel upset.  

With both of my Daughters at the beginning of my pregnancies the first thing I thought about were birth plans! For my eldest Abigail, I planned in my head and with my then partner that I would like a natural birth, with no pain relief, even though the thought of giving birth actually terrified me I had to make up some kind of plan to prepare me I suppose mentally it made me feel better!! My plan never did happen, Abigail came 5 weeks early and my labour was painful but quick, and I actually really enjoyed it, I had gas and air but no proper pain relief and I felt 100% in control which was great.  With my youngest Sophia, I wanted a water birth and no pain relief.  But due to a medical condition I was refused a water birth which really upset me, as I had this image in my head and also written down on paper of what would make me feel the most relaxed during labour.  And of course that didn’t go to plan either! Sophia was breech so I ended up having an emergency C-section which absolutely terrified me, I was convinced that I would die during the procedure.  It’s quite a scary thought being cut open and having your baby taken out of you and all done whist you are awake but I had my partner with me and a great team to make sure my baby was delivered safe and well.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

My Britmums Experience 2014

Last weekend, I attended my first ever Britmums conference in London.

I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Naty by Nature for the conference so a big thank you to them. 

So, I had heard so much about Britmums and have been reading lots of other bloggers posts from last year so was interested to see if it was a fab as everyone said it was going to be.  I have mixed thoughts about the conference and I don't think I was as impressed as I expected to be.

Why did I want to attend Britmums?
I wanted to go to Britmums to learn how to improve my blog and also to just be me for the weekend instead of Mummy.  I was looking forward to having 2 nights sleep in a bed of my own, knowing that I won't be having any little people getting in with me in the night and then hanging off the edge!

The Friday
So on the Friday I met up with the lovely Hayley who blogs over at Sparkles & Stretchmarks & Emma from Handbags to Changebags both of which were my room mates for the weekend, I went to meet Emma first and then we met up with Hayley and headed over to our hotel together.  We all clicked straight away, I have been talking to both Hayley and Emma since I started my blog and we have all become close, so when we met it felt like I had known the girls for years!

Being with Hayley and Emma really helped me, I don't think I could have gone on my own.  I also met the gorgeous Alex who blogs over at Bump to Baby who we have all become close to since starting our blogs and I hope it stays that way!

Me, Emma, Hayley and Alex

I found the Friday quite overwhelming and slightly stressful! It was manic, walking into a venue full of bloggers who I didn't know.  We stayed for a few hours, for the welcoming talk, got to know some of the brands some of which I didn't find engaged very well with me, I found some only wanted to get details about winning their competitions and that was it, no other interaction or info which was quite disappointing.  After a break we headed back to the venue and stayed for the awards which were great, and I really want to take time to read the blogs who were up for nomination as some I have never heard of, thats defo one thing I will take from Britmums is to make time to read other blogs and interact more!

So when the evening had finished we met up with Becca from Keeping up with the Joneses blog, she was so lovely we spent time with her and Diana from Paint Sew Glue Chew who I also got chatting with, was nice to finally relax and get to know some lovely bloggers.  Emma, Hayley and I then headed for a curry which the next day left me with a very dodgy stomach!
We stayed up until quite late back at the hotel room, chatting and laughing for hours.

On the Saturday morning we were in no hurry to get up and head to the venue for the 8.30 start so we had a lie in, and headed for breakfast before arriving to the venue after 11.  As soon aas we were in there, I felt a more relaxed atmosphore, not like Fridays! I attended a couple of sessions of which I thought would be relevant to me improving my blog.  And also got to know some more lovely bloggers.

We had been to most of the brand stands on the Friday apart from the Heinz Baby one, which was fab!  A lovely cool room, with the most welcoming people! I even got to have a massage which was lovely, and was given lots of information and samples for Sophia of the Heinz products, which she is loving (more to come on those in a seperate post)

The lovely Katy Hill

Heinz lounge enjoying a massage

Photo credit - Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks

I had to leave slightly earlier than I would have liked on the Saturday due to Fridays curry! But I was happy to make it home as I knew Sophia was missing me and I was dying to feed her, breastfeeding and stupidly not taking a pump with me, resulted in me having really full, painful boobs!  Abi came back on the Sunday as she had stayed with my Sister.  I was so pleased to be home with my girls.

Will I be attending Britmums next year?
The answer is yes! I loved being me for 2 days.  It felt great to know I still had the confidence to mix with people I didn't really know, sometimes being a Mum you get stuck into 'mummy zone' something of which I needed to step out of for a day or two! I know that I need more time to myself even if its an hour we all need time to catch our thoughts.   I have also come away with some great tips on how I can improve my blog.