Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our Year That Was | 2015 ♥

It's the last day of 2015 and it seems that the older I get, the faster the years zoom by. 2015 was a great year for my little family and I. We spent a lot of time outdoors, having adventures and enjoying life and I really hope that 2016 will be just the same. This year was our last full year as a family of three and I like to think that we really did make the most of it. Below are some of my favourite memories and significant moments from 2015.

January
We began the New Year the right way when Jacek and I went for a delicious meal on New Years Day. This is something we rarely do so it was quite a treat. We continued the great month that was January with a visit to Dublin to see Slipknot and Korn in concert and even though I was dying sick it was great to explore the city and to see some of my favourite bands again. On January 5th Tyler Lee began playschool and I'm delighted to say that he still loves it to this day. Tyler Lee and I spent lots of quality time together this month and we had a lovely visit to Fota House and Gardens together, in fact, we were the only ones there! We also had a visit to Blarney Castle where we witnessed two seasons in one day with all the gorgeous snowdrops and daffodils in bloom, we love the castle gardens. January was a fab month for us and we actually packed a lot in.

February
In February Tyler Lee experienced his 2nd Valentine's Day and just like the year before I had a mini Valentine's photo session with him - he was so cute! I also was busy making lots of Valentine's Day treats for my boys, which I think turned out pretty well! February is Tyler Lee's birthday month, so we always have a great time planning his presents, party and what we'll do on the day of his birthday. This year we took him to Blarney Castle and I love the pictures I captured of him amongst the daffodils. This year he had an In the Night Garden themed party, which he absolutely loved. My last highlight of February was attending the #CorkBlogMeet15 where I got to meet some more of my fellow bloggers, sample some gorgeous makeup and beauty products and have an amazing time.

March 
March is my birthday month and I had a lovely time with my boys celebrating my 25th birthday. The day after my birthday Jacek and I flew to Amsterdam, one of our favourite cities, and we had an amazing time there exploring the city. My boys and I had a lovely and sunny St. Patrick's Day on the beaches of East Cork and I captured some gorgeous pictures of Tyler Lee in his little vintage green romper. We were also looking forward to Easter and I put together a little woodland Easter egg hunt for Tyler Lee, which he absolutely loved. At the end of March my little blog turned two, it was a great achievement for me to have been blogging for two years.

April
April was a gorgeous, sunny month here in Ireland an we spent lots of time outdoors. We had a great time at an Alice in Wonderland Easter egg hunt with friends, celebrated Easter outside with another mini Easter egg hunt for Tyler Lee and we even frolicked about in the fields with the newborn lambs. Tyler Lee and I also had some lovely woodland walks this month and I captured some more beautiful pictures of him

May
May was a pretty quiet month for us, but once again the weather was good so we were able to get out and about. One especially lovely thing that did happen in May was that Tyler Lee and I were featured in Oh Baby! Magazine. This was my first (and probably last!) magazine feature and it was such a fun experience.

June 
In June Jacek and I attended our first ever blogging conference which was Britmums Live in London. It was such a great experience and it was so much fun getting so see some of my fellow bloggers in person. I also began my Weekenders linky (which I'm going to take up again in the New Year) and my boys and I had such great weekends together during the month of June. We visited the beautiful Old Head of Kinsale, Garretstown Beach and took lots of photos along the way.

July
July was a fabulous month for us. We continued having some great weekends, which I documented in my Weekenders feature. We also went on holiday to Jersey in the Channel Islands to see my Dad and his girlfriend. While we were there Jacek and I took a daytrip to the neighbouring island of Sark, which is absolutely beautiful. We also had a visit to Jersey Lavender Farm, where I captured some of my favourite photos of Tyler Lee ever.

August
In August we returned to Jersey to spend more time with my Dad, the weather wasn't as nice there as it had been but we still have fun nonetheless! We had lots of fun outdoors in August with Tyler Lee making friends with the animals on my stepdads farm. We also had a visit to the Fairyland in the woods, just two minutes away from my parents house and Tyler Lee loved all the magic and wonder of trying to spot the fairies.

September
In the first few days of September we were still in Jersey and I was in awe of the nature on the island. I just had to capture some photos of Tyler Lee amongst the sunflowers and I still love these photos to this day. We also had our annual September visit to Fota Wildlife Park and it was great to see Tyler Lee paying more of an interest to the animals there - he's getting so big! September is also Jacek and I's anniversary month and on the 24th we celebrated four years together.
October
October began with a gorgeous, sunny woodland walk, where we also made it to the beach. I love spur of the moment outdoor adventures like this with my boys. October was the month that we revealed we were expecting baby #2 and we had a fun pumpkin themed photoshoot to announce our good news. I also took Tyler Lee trick-or-treating for the 1st time on Halloween night and he loved ringing the doorbells and interacting with the people when they answered the door - the boy is so social!

November
In November I began posting my weekly pregnancy updates and it's so lovely to have these as a keepsake as I never documented my pregnancy with Tyler Lee. I also began preparing for Christmas and was busy trying to figure out which gifts to get Tyler Lee. I wasn't feeling very well with my pregnancy and ended up in the emergency room with chest pain, luckily all is fine now. Jacek's mother visited us for three weeks from South Africa and he was delighted to have her here with him to celebrate his birthday and to attend his graduation. He graduated with his law degree and we couldn't have been prouder of him.

December
December for us was all about preparing for Christmas and as the weather was so bad - it literally rained from November all the way through December, we couldn't go outdoors much or take many pictures as the light was so bad. We did get to see Santa at Wish in Fota Island Resort though and that was an amazing experience. Our Christmas was simple but perfect and just the way any Christmas should be.

I'm really looking forward to 2016 and all it will bring us. We have so much to look forward to, the most important thing being welcoming our new baby to the world in May and beginning our life as a family of four.
I would like to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year 2015, I hope it's filled with happy memories, wonderful adventures and lots of love and luck for us all!
 


 


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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

20 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2 ♥

On Christmas Eve I reached the halfway point in my pregnancy and it feels amazing to have gotten here. I can't believe that tomorrow I'll be entering my 21st week of this pregnancy and that there'll only be four month and one week to go until we meet our new baby - if all goes to plan of course.

Last week we had our 20 week scan and it was great to see the baby again. They were moving around lots and I was surprised when the consultant kind of gave us an indication that the gender may not be what we were told at our private gender scan at 19 weeks... He's sending us for an anomaly scan in one or two weeks time (I'm just waiting for the appointment letter) so hopefully we'll get a definite confirmation then as that scan is 20 minutes long and will be looking for any defects or syndromes in the baby. Fingers crossed all will be fine and that we'll have another healthy baby on our hands.

I'm also being sent to the hematology lab for a blood test to determine whether or not I have Von Willebrand disease - a condition that causes prolonged or excessive bleeding as the consultant suspects that I lost a lot of blood after giving birth to Tyler Lee as my iron levels had gone down to 5.7 and 7 is probably the lowest that they should be allowed to go to. He just wants to make sure there's blood on standby for a transfusion if I need another one (I had to have one after Tyler Lee's birth and refused a second) - oh the joy...

My iron levels are already beginning to lower, they were 12.7 when I began this pregnancy and they're now 11.3 so I began taking an iron supplement this week along with my pregnancy vitamin. I've been doing pretty well this week apart from almost fainting in the city, I don't know if it was the crowds or what but I had to collapse on a manky step in a shopping centre and Jacek had to get me water and a sandwich - this isn't the first time this has happened during pregnancy either. I hope this doesn't continue because I'll be afraid to leave the house on my own with Tyler Lee, eek!

This week...

Baby is the size of a - Palmier cookie, according to my Ovia pregnancy app. I'm love being able to see baby's size in relation to Parisian bakery treats.

I'm looking forward to - the anomaly scan where we'll get to see baby in more detail and for twenty minutes.

My favourite moment was - seeing the baby again and Tyler Lee falling asleep in my arms on Christmas Eve - that boy melts my heart.

I've been feeling - much better this week, I'm just longing for the rain to stop so we can all go and get some fresh air.

I've been buying for baby - I've finally purchased some clothes for the baby! I've bought a vintage item on Etsy for them and have picked up some gorgeous bodysuits and 6-9 month outfits and cardigans for them in the sale, I couldn't resist the bargains! As you can see in the pictures above, I've picked up some sunny yellow for my summer baby.
    
I'm missing - my glass of bubbly at Christmas and now with the New Year happening tomorrow. I need to go and get an alcohol-free sparkling drink!

I'm craving - nothing really this week. I didn't gorge on chocolate during Christmas and my stocking is still full. We've been having chicken, mash, stuffing and veg for dinner since St. Stephens Day and I'm pretty happy with that to be honest.

I'm loving - Jacek having five days off work together so that we can spend some quality time together as a family.
    
I've been meaning to - clear out a space to put the things that I've been buying for the baby. It will be done this week, promise...!

I can't wait for - my silent reflux to end, it's tearing my throat to bits!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Blogging Progress In 2015 & My Goals For 2016 ♥

2015 was a great year for me, not only in my personal life but with my blogging progress too. This was the year that I decided to step up my blogging game and try to turn this into more than just a hobby - as I wrote in a previous post "I am working for my blog, not just relying on it to work for me".

It's fair to say that my blogging stats have exploded this year, but this has been down to some serious hard work and strategy on my part. I now promote my blog on a daily basis, (not always on the weekends, but then we all need a break!) using Facebook groups designed for blog and website promotion. I was so impressed with these groups and the impact that they were having on my blog that I even went so far as to set up my own group for blog promotion - Promote Your Blog. I've shared my experience from using these groups and have documented my stat growth on the blog before. I've also shared the techniques I used to triple my blog traffic in one week. I'm a huge fan of these Facebook blogging groups and love the fact that this form of promotion is free and that it's bloggers helping their fellow bloggers. I couldn't recommend them more to anyone who is looking to grow their blog and gain more exposure.

I began the year with 600,000 or so page views on the blog and I didn't think this was bad going for a blog that was less than two years old. My ultimate goal for the year was to reach one million page views and I'm delighted to say that I smashed that goal back in September and since then my little blog has gone on to gain almost 250,000 more page views - my blog now averages a quarter of a million page views every three months and I've shared how I get these quarter of a million page views on the blog before.

My social media stats have also grown and this is something which I'm equally delighted about. My Instagram and blog Facebook page have gained over 4,000 followers each, my Twitter now has 27,000 followers and my Pinterest has grown to 1,300 followers.

I've been so fortunate and lucky enough to be able to work with some amazing brands this year too and to get the chance to review some amazing products. Some stand out ones for me have been the Cosatto Supa Firebird, Lancome makeup, Graco Evo XT Pushchair, Rowdy Roddy Vintage, Hand On Heart Jewellery, Wickey Sand Pit, Soufeel Charm Bracelets, Stokke Tripp Trapp, Urban Decay makeup and IsaDora makeup. As you can see, the products I love to review the most are baby/toddler products/clothing, jewellery and makeup and these are the types of things I shall concentrate on reviewing in 2016.

This year I also attended my first ever blogging conference - Britmums Live in London. I was sponsored by the lovely people at My 1st Years and was delighted to be able to go meet some bloggers, speak with some brands and learn some blogging tips. It was an experience I shall never forget and I hope to go to another blogging conference soon.

Finally, to end my amazing year in blogging, I was delighted and surprised to have won bronze for Best Photography Blog in the Blog Awards Ireland 2015. This was such a fantastic achievement for me, having only received my DSLR camera in December 2014. This award has spurred me on to want to further my photography skills in 2016 and take some amazing shots.

My Goals For 2016 -
1. Take more photos, have more spur of the moment shoots and take part in some photography challenges and linkys. I'm most interested in doing Living Arrows again, 100 days of summer and the black and white challenge but this may change and I might even take part in some more if I have the time.

2. Gain another million page views. This would be an amazing goal to achieve and would take my stats to 2,500,000. Plus, if I reach this goal Jacek might by me another cake to celebrate!

3. Grow my social media stats some more and engage more with my followers on there. Facebook is one platform that I'd love some more engagement on.

4. Feature more family days out, travels and more of the things I love. I don't want to get bogged down with anything to do with the blog this year so I'll be a lot more subjective to the things I take on and the things I wish to post on here.

5. Make 2016 as great a blogging year as 2015 and try to top it in some way if I can.

They're my goals, all are pretty simple and straightforward but I really do want to incorporate the photography aspect even more into the blog and make it about myself, my family and all that we love once again.

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Our Christmas 2015 ♥

This Christmas marked our last as a family of three and you know what, it was probably our loveliest Christmas ever. It was a simple but perfect time with the three of us enjoying the majority of the festive season alone. We tried to make this Christmas as special as we possibly could for Tyler Lee and it was great as he understood about Santa and the toys he would be bringing on Christmas morning, it's so lovely when the little ones understand what's going on and get all excited for the surprises they have in store on Christmas Day.

Our Christmas actually began the day before Christmas Eve. Jacek and I attended our 20 week scan in the hospital and got to see the baby again, that was an early Christmas present in itself. Children aren't allowed in the pregnancy clinic so we left Tyler Lee with my mam and he had a great time with her putting wreaths on the graves of our dearly departed, visiting the dogs I minded in the summer months - where he got a big bag full of toys and his Nana gave him his gift - his first ever bike and helmet, which he absolutely loves. We won't be seeing my mother again until the New Year so she spent some time with us that day and it was lovely to catch up.

On Christmas Eve Jacek had to work the whole day, something he has to do every year, so we gave Tyler Lee his Christmas Eve basket in the morning. He was delighted with it, especially with all the sweet treats we popped in there for him and he was dancing around the sitting room with the Lush bath wand singing songs! Once Jacek had gone to work I made us some hash brown toasties and we watched some of The Santa Clause, although Tyler Lee never sits through a whole film, he's always too full of beans! As it wasn't raining (yet!) I decided to take Tyler Lee out to my parents yard so that he could learn to ride his new bike. He was far more interested in the sheep, chickens and seeing what his uncle was up to and then it rained so that ended the lessons for the day! We then visited my grandparents - or Mr. and Mrs. Biscuits as Tyler Lee calls them because they always give him biscuits, and I had a catch up with my Nan before we headed home to wind down for bed and Santa's arrival.

We sprinkled the reindeer food out the back garden for Rudolph, had dinner and then Tyler Lee had his traditional Christmas Eve bath before getting into his new pyjamas. We watched The Snowman and afterward The Snowman and the Snowdog, with Tyler Lee falling asleep cuddled up in my arms before it ended. It was such a lovely moment and my favourite part of Christmas Eve, I sat cuddling him for a little while.

On Christmas morning Tyler Lee gave us a lie in until twenty to eight - the best Christmas gift ever! We then went down to the sitting room to see what Santa has left him and this year he was overwhelmed with everything too, not knowing what to do with everything and hesitant to unwrap the gifts. He took a shine straight away to his cleaning set, dinky cars and Sylvanian Families tree house. I'm so glad he loved everything and he's had hours of fun since playing with them all.

Once we had had breakfast and got ready we visited my grandparents house - my favourite part of Christmas Day as I love seeing everyone. Everyone was in great spirits and we were all catching up, enjoying some delicious homemade sausage rolls - my favourite, chocolates and drinks. We didn't leave there until ten to three and then we had to go straight out to my parents house where we were having dinner with my stepfather, brother and his girlfriend - who Tyler Lee is besotted by! Dinner was lovely and we all had a laugh with each other, you can't beat some banter at the dinner table! At six o' clock we had a very tired and cranky little boy so we decided to head home. He fell asleep in the car, he was exhausted from all the fun and surprises of the day. Jacek and I finished off our Christmas Day by watching the soaps and almost falling asleep on the couch - a typical Christmas Day night!

This Christmas I didn't take as many pictures as I'd have liked as I was too busy enjoying the moments with my family, instead of looking in from the outside with my camera. We didn't eat lots of chocolate or sweets, in fact, the stockings are left untouched to this day! We didn't get to relive some traditions - such as reading bedtime stories to Tyler Lee on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but you know what, our festive season was perfect and just how I wanted it to be, full of quality family time, happy memories and all those little moments that make life special.


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Monday, December 28, 2015

Tyler Lee In 2015 ♥

Another year with my beautiful boy has just flown by and I can't believe that he'll be turning three years old in just seven weeks time! We've had a fantastic year together, 2015 was very good to us and we were able to enjoy lots of time together outside. I took lots of pictures of him, some of which are my favourite photos ever, we made lots of memories together and this year is one that I'll always remember fondly.

We found out in September that this will be Tyler Lee's last full year as an only child and although I'm delighted to be adding to our family, I'm also a teeny bit sad that it won't just be myself and my little prince on our adventures anymore. Does the mummy guilt ever end? He's become so attached to me since I've told him about the baby - he follows me everywhere, is always wanting to be on my lap and is always giving me cuddles, I'm sure he's afraid that I'm going to forget him, the poor dote. I could never forget my little angel man!

This year we had lots of adventures by the sea, were surrounded by fields of flowers on more than one occasion, Tyler Lee celebrated his second birthday and began playschool in January - he's now in junior pre-school since September, we had a gorgeous Easter outdoors in the sunshine and Tyler Lee made friends with the new lambs, we visited Jersey twice, he got to see all his grandparents again even though three of them live abroad and we had lots of fun days out together as a family.

2015 has been kind to us and that's something I've very grateful for. Now that we're on the cusp of 2016 I've been thinking of what I'd like to do with my boy in the new year. I want to begin taking more pictures of him again, I've really been slacking on this since October. I think I'll take part in the weekly Living Arrows linky again. I want to continue with our outdoor adventures and spend as much time outside as possible again. I want our 2016 collage to be as colourful as the one above. Ultimately I just want my son to be happy and healthy and making great memories in what will be the third year of his life, if I can achieve those things then I'll be one very happy mummy indeed.


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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas... ♥

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours, from me and mine.

As you can see, the Christmas Eve basket went down a treat this morning - chocolate Santa lolly for breakfast, why not? After all, it's Chrisssssstmaaaaasss!

Have a wonderful time everyone!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Yankee Candle 'Berry Trifle' Large Jar | Review ♥

I've made no secret of my love for the Yankee Candle brand, having featured their gorgeous smelling candles many times on the blog before. I'm still burning through my large jar Christmas stash from lash year and have a jar full of wonderfully smelling wax tart melts so I wasn't planning on buying any new ones this year, but last week I was very kindly gifted the new Berry Trifle Large Jar and I was absolutely delighted to add another candle to my collection - especially as this one smells both festive and delicious!

Berry Trifle is described as - " a mouth-watering fragrance of fresh berries, tangy and sharp, nestled on a white bed of soft vanilla cream - delicious!"and I definitely think this sums it up quite well. The fragrance is distinctly festive, not one I would burn outside of winter, yet it has a fruity side to it too with its distinct smell of berries. I've had this burning in the kitchen, after all, where else would you find Berry Trifle?

I think this scent has such an atmospheric element to it and it's definitely one which could stir up feelings of nostalgia for people who favour a trifle dessert at Christmas time. It's a personal favourite scent of mine.

Yankee Candle large jar candles provide up to 150 of burning time and Berry Trifle is a scent which most definitely fills up the room. As the scent lingers in the room I find that you don't have to burn the candle for as long, so it really will last for a long time - fantastic value for money for sure.

Berry Trifle is available from the Yankee Candle UK and is £21.99 for a large jar.

*I was sent the Yankee Candle in Berry Trifle for the purposes of this review, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Last Minute 2nd Hand Gifts ♥

We all know that Christmas can be a very expensive time of year, with presents taking up the majority of people's budgets. However, even if you don't have money to spend on brand new, big, expensive gifts, you can still find some lovely gifts for people from places such as charity shops, carboot sales, stores which sell new and used goods such as Cash Generator and 2nd hand selling sites such as Ebay and Etsy. I'm a fan of shopping in charity shops and going to the carboot on a Sunday morning, you can find some incredible bargains and most of the things you can pick up are in fantastic condition, making them great gift choices.

I was recently challenged to take £20 and see what 2nd hand gifts I could pick up for this and under. I accepted the challenge as £20 is actually a lot of money when you're picking up 2nd hand items from these type of shops, there are so many bargains to be had. So lets see how well I did with my £20...

Tyler Lee and I love all things Sylvanian Families but they can be quite expensive, so you can imagine my surprise when I spotted this Sylvanian cottage and old style nursery bus in a local charity shop. The cottage was just £2.50 and the nursery bus was 50p! I was so delighted to find these and Tyler Lee will love putting his little families in these.

I found this adorable vintage Peter Rabbit romper on Etsy and I couldn't resist picking it up for a friend who shares my love of all things Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter. The light blue colour is absolutely gorgeous and the Peter Rabbit stitching on the chest is the same as one of Tyler Lee's Peter Rabbit outfits. The back of this is also adorable. This isn't my picture as this is arriving from California but I love it and I think it'll make a great gift. This was only £8.75 - such a bargain I'm sure you'll agree.

I always like to pick up some books anytime I go to the charity shop and this time I found some real gems. Carrying on with the Beatrix Potter theme, I was lucky enough to find this Beatrix Potter Treasury which is in perfect condition and it was just £1.50. I also found this Beatrix Potter Nursery rhyme book, which again is in amazing condition considering it was published in 1987. I spotted this on Etsy last week and it was selling for over £10, I got this one for just £1. I also picked up Deans Book of Fairy Tales, simply because I couldn't resist the cover. This is in perfect condition even though it was published in 1967. I love this illustrations and this was just 50p! These will be gifts for Tyler Lee as I love building up his library.

I think I got some amazing bargains out of my £20. By the way, the rest of the £20 went on the postage of the romper. It just goes to show that you can pick up some amazing items 2nd hand and most of the time there's no need to go to any added expense and fork out for new things. Just today Tyler Lee was gifted a bag of 2nd hand toys and you know what, he hasn't stopped playing with them, he's absolutely delighted! Children don't care if something is new or not, they just see the fun in everything - I wish adults were like that too.

Have you picked up any 2nd hand gifts this Christmas?

*This is a collaborative post on behalf of Cash Generator.


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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Santa's Little Selfies With #argospetselfie | Tilly ♥

Christmas is a time for spending with family and for most of us, family includes a member of the animal kind too. I have a cat and a dog, my cat is now 18 years old and my dog is just over a year old and I will always think of them, and all the pets that came before them, as part of the family. Some people even go so far as to buy their pet a Christmas present - I remember my ex's mother buying our kitten a stocking full of cat treats for Christmas, it's still something that makes me smile til this day and years ago my mother used to send Christmas cards to the cats and dog - I kid you not!

This year I've been thinking about our boxer dog Tilly (or Tilly Tot as Tyler Lee affectionately calls her) and I wanted to get her a new toy to play with and a new blanket for her house - this horrible weather we've been having means that her blankets keep getting wet and dirty from her dragging them out of her house, so it'd be good to have another one in rotation! She'll be inside with us on Christmas Day, having a bowl of scraps and meat from the dinner (which I know she'll be delighted with!) and will no doubt be lying by the hearth in the kitchen once her tummy is full. She'll have no idea what's happening but we like to include her anyway, after all, she's family.

As I've said, my cat Sassi is now 18 years old - she's definitely intent on using up her 9 lives, and she's required some extra care since she's entered into her winter years. It's been great to have cat insurance so that we don't have to worry about huge vet bills and have the reassurance that she'll be treated if and when she needs it. We know we're incredibly lucky to have had her around this long and I for one would love to have her around for many years to come.

Argos are currently running a Santa's Little Selfies competition where you can be entered for the chance to win a £100 Argos voucher simply by uploading a festive picture of your cat or dog and using the hashtag #argospetselfie on Twitter or Facebook. There will be two winners - one cat and one dog, because who can choose between an adorable cat or dog?! You can find full T&C's here and the competition will run until midnight on January 3rd.

I'll be sharing the above picture of Tilly who was looking extremely festive last year for her first ever Christmas when she was just 12 weeks old. Isn't she adorable?!

Will you be entering your pet into the #argospetselfie ?

*This is a collaborative post on behalf of Argos.



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19 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2 ♥

Tomorrow I reach the halfway stage of my pregnancy, I can't believe how quickly it's all going by now and it doesn't seem that long until our second precious baby will be in our arms. We've seen baby twice this week - once at our private gender scan and again at our (almost) 20 week hospital appointment and all is going great. It feels so surreal to finally know the gender and we've decided not to share, only ourselves and six other people know and that's the way we'd like to keep things until baby arrives. Baby was adorable in the scan. They have the cutest face and were cuddled up to the side of my womb. They were also upside down which reminded me of the arch of a rainbow - well, they are my little rainbow baby after all.

This week I've gotten ill again thanks to my darling son coming home with a cold from playschool. I can't stop coughing and I think the cold is turning into a chest infection now, it's horrible! This week I've also tried to introduce the idea of having a new baby in the house to Tyler Lee. We took him along to the gender scan and he was mesmerised by hearing the heartbeat and afterwards was giving kisses to the 3D pictures we got of the baby. I think he's a bit worried that I'll forget him though because he's constantly coming up to me for cuddles, has started calling me mumma again instead of mummy and he is following me everywhere. He doesn't want to leave me out of his sight!

This week...

Baby is the size of a - Crepe Suzette, according to my Ovia pregnancy app. I'm love being able to see baby's size in relation to Parisian bakery treats.

I'm looking forward to - relaxing with my boys over Christmas, I seriously can't wait for my Christmas dinner.

My favourite moment was - seeing the baby in 3D, it was amazing to see their little face and see them cuddled up to the side of my womb.

I've been feeling - like I'm about to cough up a lung... I may have to give us all a Dettol bath once a week! I joke of course, I'm not that obsessive about germs... yet!

I've been buying for baby - I'm in the process of ordering their first summer outfit. It'll be a handmade piece and it's just adorable!
    
I'm missing - the energy I had before I got this cold, I honestly hate being sick.

I'm craving - still mayo, I smother my chips with it. I've also been having roasted chicken with potatoes, stuffing, gravy and veg and I can't get enough of that dinner either.

I'm loving - looking online at all the adorable things I'd like to get for baby, the majority being from Etsy and Instagram shops. It'll be lovely to order some things in the New Year and to get started on the nursery.
    
I've been meaning to - start filling in the baby's journal. I'll begin doing it some evening over Christmas.

I can't wait for - the day when I'm able to feel the baby moving. I know they're moving in there but I've felt nothing so far.


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Photobox A4 Personalised Photobook | Review ♥

As you'll all probably know by now, I love photography and snapping pictures of the beautiful world around me and my wonderful family. I love to capture pictures of my little boy especially and all of our family adventures in the great outdoors. I have thousands of photos stored on my laptop, most of which will sadly never be printed, so when Photobox gave me the opportunity to review a product from their range I was delighted.

The product I chose was the A4 Personalised Photobook as I thought that this would act as a lovely keepsake for my family and I, a book to look back on to see some snippets of our outdoor adventures throughout 2015. I will advise you that if you're wanting to make one of these books for yourself to give yourself plenty of time. It can be quite a long process choosing the perfect photos for your book, making sure they look and fit well and the pages, adding in any text that you want and all the other finishing touches. I decided not to add any text to my book as some of the pictures took up the whole page and I didn't want to spoil the photography. I will also advise you to look over the completed book a couple of times before completing your order to make sure there are no duplicate photos - there's a duplicate photo in my book and I honestly don't remember seeing it twice in the preview.

One thing I found strange about uploading the photos was that I was constantly being told on some pictures I chose, that the resolution was of bad quality and this would be reflected in printing. I have no idea why the resolution of these photos was worse than the others as they were all captured on the same camera and not heavily edited. This was a bit annoying as I really wanted these photos in the book as they're some of my personal favourites from the year. So just be careful as to what pictures you pick and pay particular attention to the resolution - you'll see colour coded smiley faces to let you know if they're suitable enough.

Once I ordered the book it arrived very quickly. I love the hardback cover, it makes it just that extra bit special. The fact that the pages are glossy and of good quality just make it all the more perfect too. The A4 Personalised Photobook really was the best product to store our treasured photos in.

The A4 Personalised Photobook would make a fantastic gift, it's perfect for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries, to share special memories captured on camera to look back on in years to come. I'm going to order another photobook once the new baby arrives and I can get some pictures of the baby and Tyler Lee together.

The A4 Personalised Photobook is such a lovely keepsake to have and it's a great alternative to a traditional photo album. I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted to display some of their favourite photos in print forever. The A4 Personalised Photobook is €32.99 for 26 pages and is available from the Photobox website.

*I was sent the A4 Personalised Photobook for the purposes of this review, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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