Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kerastase Nutritive Irisome Lait Vital & Bain Satin 2 ♥

 I'm a big fan of Kerastase products, they work wonders for my hair and always leave it looking fabulously shiny, healthy and give it the much needed tender loving care it deserves. I recently had the chance to try two products from Kerastase's new Nutritive Irisome range, Bain Satin 2 Irisome Complex and Lait Vital Irisome Complex a shampoo and conditioner which have worked fantastically on my locks. Now for the science bit - Kerastase's Nutritive Irisome range has been developed to provide long-lasting nutrition to hair by combating oxidation loss and dryness from styling. The range works to provide your hair with an ideal nutritional level and to maintain this level for a long time to come. The range is derived from exclusive Irisome and Royal Iris complexes which are key to nourishing and repairing the hair, detecting the dry areas and infusing them with goodness to protect, replenish and magnify hair. 

 Bain Satin 2 is a shampoo which offers exceptional nutrition for dry, sensitised hair - perfect for me as my hair is quite dry and takes a lot of conditioner to tame and repair. This shampoo contains the Irisome Complex combined with a conditioning polymer to enhance the nutritional benefits of fragile areas of the hair and a lipid agent to boost nutrient performance. This shampoo lathers exceptionally well and it feels great to wash your hair with all those bubbles, it gives the impression that your hair really is getting a deep clean. The scent of this shampoo is quite pleasant too, it leaves your hair smelling and looking as though you have just left the salon.

Lait Vital is an incredibly light conditioner which gives exceptional nutrition to normal/dry hair, again perfect for me as my hair is quite dry. Lait Vital contains the right balance of Irisome to soften and nourish the hair fiber without weighing it down, unlike other well known conditioners that I'm aware of. After using my Bain Satin 2 I apply Lait Vital and left on my hair for five minutes before rinsing. This conditioner applies very well to the hair, it smoothes effortlessly from the roots to the hair tips and is so silky. Lait Vital has quite a a similar scent to Bain Satin 2 but there is a fragrance in this that I'm not too keen on, to me it smells a bit like charcoal. I will say though that this conditioner is amazing for hair. I usually have to use a leave-in conditioning spray in order to comb through my hair after washing but after using Lait Vital I was able to comb through my hair without any aid.

I have been using Lait Vital and Bain Satin 2 for a few weeks now and I must say my experience has been nothing but joyful with these products. The products have transformed my hair from being a dry, unruly, headache to style to a ultra-soft, silky, smooth delight, my hair looks as though it has been through a salon treatment and is so easy to manage now. People have actually commented on how healthy and soft my hair looks and feels so it's been great to get this positive feedback as my hair has always been my 'thing' and I like it to look the best it can. I'm once again left super impressed by Kerastase and these products within the Nutritive Irisome range are nothing but pure quality for hair.

Bain Satin 2 is €18.90 and Lait Vital is €22.30, these and the other products within the Nutritive Irisome range are available from Kerastase salons nationwide from next month. You can read more about these and other products by Kerastase on the Kerastase website.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Putting the Cart Before the Horse - My Experience As A Younger Mother ♥

This year the most important event that will ever happen in my life took place, I became a mother for the first time. This day was the most perfect day I could ever imagine and finally getting to hold my precious baby boy in my arms after ten, (yes ten, forty weeks is ten not nine months!) long months waiting for his arrival was the most magical moment I will ever experience. I really didn't know love until I became a mother. I strongly believe that there are different types of love, the love I feel for my fiance is very different to the love I feel for my son, a mothers love for her child is unconditional, something which can never be replaced and the bond can never be broken, no matter what happens they will always be your baby. I love my son with all my heart and try my best to be the most perfect mother I can be. I want to do everything I possibly can for him and want him to both love me and respect me. However, my becoming a mother has not only gained me a precious son and a new role in life but also ,sadly, a lot of ridicule from those who are meant to be closest to me.

I became a mother at the ripe old age of twenty-two. Am I ashamed of this fact? No. Should I be? Hell no. I graduated from university in 2010 so it is not as if I am a teenager still in school who needs to complete her education. I am in a loving, committed relationship with someone I have known for over six years so it's not as if my son is the product of a one night stand. Fair enough my fiance and I are not married, it would have been nice to have been married before our son arrives but hey, life isn't a fairytale and everything doesn't go perfectly to plan but if I am told one more time about how I "put the cart before the horse" I think I may just scream! Having a marriage certificate does not constitute being a good parent. There are many single, divorced and separated people who are fabulous parents, to say that being married is necessary to begin a family is in my opinion quite insulting, some people don't even believe in marriage, does this mean that they have no right to be a parent? I don't think so! As for my age, I am now twenty-three, my birthday was twenty-one days after my sons and you know what I feel as if I'm forty-three, I am so settled. Age is also a factor which does not constitute whether someone is a good parent or not, I know people in their mid-fifties who have never been good parents and never will be, age does not make you more suitable to be a parent. Yes I am young and some people my age wouldn't even consider the idea of having a child in their twenties but that is their perogative, my choice has been different and do I regret it? Absolutely not. People closest to me see my decision to have a child as a big mistake and this really hurts, even now eight months on since my sons birth I face unjustified ridicule and insults from people who should understand my decision and how positive it has been on my life. Look at my smile in the above picture, it is not just for the camera, this is not the smile of someone who feels like a failure because they got pregnant at a younger age, this is the smile of a proud, loving mother who is completely happy with her decision to have a baby.

I recently was made aware of the fact that someone I know was going around to people close to me saying "what a shame it was that I got pregnant after all my education", as you can imagine this made me shake with rage! What business is it of this person whether I have a child or not? I cannot stand these gossips and busy-bodies who have nothing better to do than go around giving their unwanted opinions on people's lives, I think they'd be better off concentrating on the antics of their own children instead of being "disappointed" in me. I took this as such an insult as I believe this person was insinuating that my son was a mistake in my life, he is not! He is the best thing that ever happened to me and to imagine life without him, well there's just no point in that, my life would be unfulfilled without him in it. If I had waited to have a child then they would not be my son so can I then say that it would have been right to wait? Definitely not.

I am proud to be a younger mother and a damn good one at that! I cherish my son and am a fantastic mother if I do say so myself. I'm not one of these 'wans' who go out partying every weekend and live for child benefit day to be able to go on a shopping spree, I actually have never been apart from my son except for leaving him with my mother on a handful of occasions and I do everything I possibly can to make him happy, healthy and feel loved. I enjoy every moment with him and am delighted that I have gotten to experience the joyous adventure that is motherhood. To anyone who has something negative to say about a younger mother who is doing her best keep your opinions to yourself, I can assure you that no one wants to hear them, concentrate on your own life. I am so happy to have had my baby at a young age, it means that I get to spend more wonderful years with him and create many fabulous memories for him to remember when I'm long gone. If you're also a younger mother don't ever let anyone put you down for having a baby in your younger years, no one but you knows how this was the best decision of your life.


Natures Purest Bears For Bliss - Design A Bib Competition ♥

Natures Purest, an adorable baby products company who I've previously featured on the blog and I'm delighted to be able to make them aware to you again and this time it's for a special cause. I'm always happy to support charity and since becoming a mother the charity behind this cause by Natures Purest is one which touches my heart. Natures Purest are calling on parents,children and grandparents to get creative caps and design a bib for a special edition Natures Purest bear which will be sold in support of Bliss, the special care baby charity. Budding artists can submit their design to be in with a chance of seeing it produced on a special edition charity Hug Me ‘Bear for Bliss’. The creative and lucky winner will also win a £250 Natures Purest voucher, imagine all the beautiful baby items you could get with that!

Only 300 bears with the chosen design will be produced so this really is a limited edition piece, imagine your design being on this coveted bear and best of all all profits from the special edition bears will go to Bliss, giving vital support and care to premature and sick babies in the UK. These special edition bears will go on sale next year to coincide with the launch of a new range of clothing for tiny babies from Natures Purest.

People can take inspiration from whatever they want and the more creative and imaginative the better! Natures Purest will be displaying the best designs on their Facebook page as they are submitted so be sure to like them on there if you're submitting an entry of your own, you may just see it on their Facebook page. Natures Purest will be asking people to vote for their favourite design from a compiled shortlist in December so the winning design will be chosen fair and square. Entries for the competition close on December 2nd so you have just over a month to get creating something wonderful for such a worthy cause.

You can visit the Natures Purest website for more information.


My John Lewis Christmas Wishlist ♥

Tis almost the season to be merry and with the weeks flying by at a steady rate I wanted to share with you all some festive pieces which have caught my eye and left me excitedly dreaming of a white Christmas. Christmas is my favourite time of year, I just love the magical feeling of it all, the twinkling lights, the glittery decorations, spending time with family and delicious food, it's perfection. This year is even more special for me as it's my baby's first Christmas, a time to truly treasure and I want to make it extra special for us all to enjoy and remember for many years to come. I like to find all the things I need in one store if possible as from the end of October the shopping districts become overwhelmed with people gift shopping and looking for bargains and I just can't handle the crowds. A store which I've found has a wide range of beautiful products to make Christmas truly magical is John Lewis. Their Christmas shop boasts everything you need to make Christmas wonderful from fashion, cards, gifts and decorations, from the decadent to the commemorative, there's no where else you may need look, John Lewis has it all. While browsing through their range I've found something pieces which I absolutely love and would like to get for Christmas.

 Buying gifts for my fiance is a hard task, he really is a man who has everything but there's one thing he can't resist, sweets! He's a big fan of Jelly Belly jelly beans and John Lewis have a hamper packed full of these tasty treats. This is the perfect gift for him and all these tasty treats come in a white box, adorned with jelly beans and wrapped with a red ribbon, gorgeous.

When I saw this wooden advent calender I thought it was so quaint and charming, each of it's drawers is decorated with a Christmas themed design and it's shaped like a Christmas tree, so sweet! This is something you can use year after year unlike cardboard calenders which just get thrown out. This advent calender boasts individual drawers which pull out and can be filled with anything you may want to treat your little ones with for advent.

When it comes to Christmas you can't forget the party wear, for all those fabulous festive occasions you need to attend you need something special and no one can resist a bit of sparkle at Christmas time. I've fallen in love with this black Miss Selfridge embellish skater dress. I love the shape of skater dresses and the embellishment is sure to leave you sparkling in style, it's so stunning and is sure to leave you being the belle of the ball.

As I've said it's my baby sons first Christmas and we want to celebrate that in our decor. This 'My 1st Christmas' snowglobe is so adorable and is sure to leave my son in awe when I shake it and all the snow and stars fall. It has a happy looking Santa, penguin and a Christmas tree and is a sweet little item to commemorate this first lovely festive season in a baby's life.

Silver and gold are the colours which I decorate my home in at Christmas time, I think they're so luxurious and have a cosy feel. I also love to light candles and tealights in the evening so this Anglaspel Star Carousel Tealight Holder would be a lovely addition to my festive decor. I think the design of this is so beautiful and intricate and the best thing about this is that the star carousel actually moves around as it's propelled by the heat of a burning candle, so lovely! I need this!

Finally the last pick on my wishlist is the John Lewis Family Fun Hamper. This scrumptious hamper comes presented in a wicker basket and is filled to the brim with thirty-two mouth-watering and fun treats for all the family. This hamper boasts treats such as strawberry jam, butter fudge and even comes with crackers, an ice fountain and a game of Uno, the chocolate edition. Christmas is a time for family and I couldn't think of anything better than having a cosy Christmas Day evening in front of the fire enjoying these tasty treats with my loved ones.

These are just a few of my favourite picks from the wide range that John Lewis have to offer in their Christmas shop. They really do have the most beautiful decorations, thoughtful gifts and everything else you may need to make your Christmas truly magical this year.

You can browse these pieces and others from the John Lewis Christmas range on the John Lewis website


Monday, October 28, 2013

Connecta Integra Baby Carrier ♥

Babywearing is at the height of popularity these days, mothers preferring to keep their baby close while out and about or doing stuff around the house and I must say that I love the idea. I recently got to try out the Connecta Integra baby carrier, mine being the Oscha Eden Copper Beech Connecta Integra Wrap Conversion, a stunning deep red/burgundy colour embroidered with a floral design and lined with a black fabric, it is gorgeous to look at and so stylish. This is part of the special edition Connecta Integra range. The fabric used on the outer layer is woven wrap fabric and is made from Tussah Silk and Cotton and both are of very high quality and are so luxurious, this carrier will not be prone to wear and tear. One of the things I was concerned about as a mother who had never used a baby carrier before was the safety aspect. I was terrified that the straps would give way and my baby boy would go crashing to the ground but no, the Connecta Integra is so secure and the thick, padded back straps make it both stable for baby and comfortable for a parent to wear.

The Connecta Integra is also so simple to put on. I was worried about having a lot of different straps and bits and pieces to connect, imagining myself spending hours beforehand actually trying to get the baby carrier on before leaving the house but I found this so easy to put on, I actually got it right first go! I favour the front carry position as I love having my son close to my chest as he's still small, however, the Integra can be worn in three ways beginners back carry and advanced back carry being the other two options. To use the Integra in front carry position I liken this to putting on an apron. Two straps go around your waist and clip in. You then put your baby up to your chest, placing their legs on either side of the fabric. Holding onto baby at all times with one arm you lift up the fabric with your free arm and guide the padded straps across your shoulders, each strap crosses over to the opposite side of your back and clips into a buckle on each side of your waist. The waist buckles are the largest ensuring totally security and safeness for baby. The Integra also has a overhanging piece of fabric which clips into two smaller buckles to support baby's head, however my son is so curious and loves to see what's around him so I usually leave this part down. I probably made this sound very complicated but it really isn't, I promise!

The Integra is suitable for babies from 3.5kg to 16kg (7.5lbs to 35lbs) and considering that my son is eight and a half months now and still well below this maximum weight I can see myself using this right up until the middle of next year at least. I only wish that I had embraced babywearing from the moment he was born, I would have loved that closeness and had him sleeping close to me as I pottered around the house or went out and about. I shall definitely be doing this with my Integra from the moment I have my second child. We now use the Integra a lot. My fiance and I both wear it whilst out shopping, just popping out somewhere or when we're trying to get stuff done around the house when our son is not co-operating and not wanting to entertain himself. We have gone exploring museums and national heritage sites with out son in his carrier, it's so great not having to deal with the hassle of a pram or buggy and being able to walk freely through busy places.The easiness and functionality of the Connecta is amazing and I really do love it. I highly recommend the Connecta Integra for any parents to be, it'll last you for months and is so luxurious, perfect for your precious little ones.

Remeber that if you use this or any other baby carrier always follow the T.I.C.K.S rule for safe babywearing.

My particular baby carrier, the Oscha Eden Copper Beech Connecta Integra is £95, you can view this carrier and browse through others in the Connecta range on the Connecta website.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blogging | What's the Problem? ♥

 I wasn't going to even write this as my blog is meant to be about all the things I love and want to share with the world and this topic is something I most definitely do not love, however, I felt I had to write about it. I have been blogging now for just under a year, Dolly Dowsie is actually my second blog and I absolutely love writing, sharing my loves and recommendations with the world, my blog is for me to express these things and if others enjoy it then that really is the cherry on the cake. I was left horrified and appalled last night when, via Twitter, I stumbled onto a forum about blogging, which I am not going to name as I don't even want it to get anymore hits, mainly beauty blogging as far as I could see, which has a section on 'Abhorred Bloggers' full of threads slating and berating well known (well to me anyway) beauty bloggers. 

Now I understand that when you make your image and thoughts accessible the public domain you will always come across some negativity, that's just the way of people, always very quick to focus on the negative rather than positive aspects these days, but these threads were different. These threads weren't just general criticisms on bloggers and aspects of their blogs which weren't appealing to these people, they were purely set up as far as I could see to spout pure nastiness and hatred, it was disgusting. Also, what was even more shocking these statements of utter bitchiness were coming from fellow bloggers!

Now we all know that these things usually stem from jealousy, which most probably is the case considering these bloggers are quite successful but this is no excuse. It's never okay to publicly bash someone and it was awful to see so many people join in on these 'discussions'. No wonder so many people are put off and give up blogging if these are the sort of people within the community. It's just blogging, what's the problem? I know it's hard but I would strongly urge people not to take these sorts of comments to heart if they ever find themselves being the target of a small number of vile characters within the blogging community. I have fortunately only come across two people slating my work, I confronted one but just ignored the other. After becoming a mother a grew a backbone and will no longer let people walk all over me like I did before but I have learnt that it's better to ignore people who have nothing nice to say, the 'block' button is a wonderful thing. If someone wants to post about their favourite makeup products, a makeup look they created just for the fun of it, do a sponsored post, recommend a beauty product then what's the problem, that is their right and as long as they're not publishing hate speech then I think best of luck to them, I wish them every success with their blog, why can't others do the same?

After all this I decided to try and do something positive and put out a tweet urging people to join in, creating a chain of positive comments about fellow bloggers, Simply tag a blogger who you admire and say something positive about them using the hastag #bloglove, many people joined in, especially the parenting bloggers, a group which I have become more involved in recently. 

A blog is someones expression and opinion so to unjustly ridicule it is not on. Blogging is actually a lot of work and takes up a considerable amount of time so I commend people for sticking with it and  to call someones effort 'crap' is just terrible and very uncalled for. Of course we all have people we don't like for one reason or another and blog which just aren't our cup of tea but someone once told me if you've nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all - great advice, especially in this instance. A bit of support goes a long way and if you don't like a blog then don't read it, it's as easy as that people!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Look Wishlist - Punky Vamp ♥

New Look is one of my favourite shops, I especially love their selection of dresses and footwear, they're always stylish, great quality and a proper fit unlike other well known stores I can think of! It seems like forever since I had a night out and since I bought a new outfit, (I used to get a new one every week before I became a mother!) but I have some events coming up and need new threads so here is my New Look wishlist - a punky vamp look, totally my style. I chose black as it's such a flattering colour and as someone who's still working on her body since having a baby I need all the flattering I can get! I love the shape and style of skater dresses, they're effortlessly cool, comfortable and quite casual, perfect as I don't like to be over dressed for a meet up in the pub with friends. Also, a skater dress is so versatile as it can be dolled up or down to suit the occasion, whether it be a day out shopping or clubbing with the girls. The suedette ankle boots are gorgeous with a capital G. I have boots in a similar shape to these but with a peep toe and I would love a closed toe for the colder months as they're perfect to wear with tights, suedette is a great fabric for autumn/winter too. I love lace look tights so the pattern on those tights really appealed to me and they really do make for a vampy look. The leather leather jacket with faux fur trim is cosy, stylish and gives that whole punk vibe I'm going for. I think the aviator style of this is great and I love the detailing of the zip and zipped pocked. The faux fur trim make it perfect for autumn/winter too. To add a bit of bling I chose the silver mini pyramid bracelet pack. These are the perfect finish for my whole punky vamp look and are just enough to keep the outfit simple and stylish, not over adorned by accessories.

Black Leather Faux Fur Trim Aviator Jacket - €85.99
Black Suedette Shoe Boots -  €34.99
Black Off The Shoulder Skater Dress - €14.99
Silver Mini Pyramid Bracelet Pack - €8.99
Black Lace Tights - €6.99

You can view these pieces and others from the New Look range on the New Look website.

Stay pretty people!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Meow Cosmetics - Caribbean Escape Eye Shadow 'Beach' ♥

Meow Cosmetics is an online only cosmetics boutique who hand make all their mineral makeup products for each customer, their range of eye shadows are amazing! The colour spectrum is wonderful and there is a mixture of brights, neutrals and dark shades in each collection they have. 'Beach' was an eye shadow which I won from a fellow blogger in the U.S., it is part of Meow Cosmetics Caribbean Escape collection, an island inspired collection full of bright, carefree shades whose names and hues have me dreaming of a tropical holiday. This eye shadow came in a very small pot but the shadow is fine powder so only a little is needed to make a fabulous eye look. 'Beach' is a fawn colour with undertones of gold. The shadow has a metallic effect and a satin finish, it is truly a stunning shade. This eye shadow has fantastic wear, I applied this without a primer but it didn't crease at all, I was super impressed by this as I can't stand when eye shadows crease after just a few hours of wear, I need something which will last all day. I think this colour is very versatile and as the shade is quite demure it makes a great colour for day-time makeup looks, however, the metallic effect it has makes it perfect for an evening look too.  

Other shades I am lusting after in this collection are 'Surf', a striking deep blue, 'Shipwrecked', a gorgeous dark purple and 'Blood Orange', a perfect orange shade. 'Beach' and the other Caribbean Escape shades were $8 for a five gram jar and $1 for a sample bag. You can browse these eye shadows and other products in the Meow Cosmetics range on the Meow Cosmetics website.

Stay pretty people!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Redken 5th Avenue NYC - Powder Refresh 01 ♥

Ever since I began using Redken 5th Avenue NYC Diamond Oil I've had very high standards when it comes to hair products. This product was amazing for my hair and when I got the chance to try some more Redken products I was absolutely delighted. I was expecting great things after my previous experience with the brand and luckily I was not left disappointed. I was left amazed by Powder Refresh 01 a powder/dry shampoo which has worked absolute wonders for my hairstyle. I am now a big fan of my natural hair and don't like to use heat products that often so with the natural wave my hair has I like to create an effortless, low maintenance look with products to add texture and style. Redken Powder Refresh 01 adds fantastic texture to the hair while also acting as a dry shampoo and blow-dry reviver. 

I use this product every second day in my 'in between' day from washing and it instantly revives my hair making it look refreshed, non greasy and textured to perfection, it's the perfect product to create an effortless, chic hairstyle when you're on the go and don't have the time to primp and preen your locks, giving the impression to the world that you have a "Yeah I have messy bed hair and rockin' it" attitude! This product is so lightweight and does not cause stickiness or weigh down the hair. It is impossible to use too much of this product as it can simply be brushed out if you think you've sprayed too much. It really is a wonder of a product and I'm only raging that my can is almost gone, I love it! It's easy to see why this product was used at 10 leading shows on the A/W '12/13 runways as it instantly gives that whole boho-glam, messy 'cool girl' hair which designers favour a lot for their models. Redken 5th Avenue NYC Powder Refresh 01 is €19.90 for 153ml and is available from all professional Redken 5th Avenue NYC salons.

Photo by Charles Sykes for Redken
Photos by Charles Sykes for Redken
My hair styled with Powder Refresh 01

 Stay pretty people!


La Roche-Posay - Hydrating Water-Cream Foundation 'Golden Beige' ♥

When it comes to finding the perfect foundation it can really be hit and miss. I've been lucky enough to come across some foundations by chance which have suited my skin perfectly, La Roche-Posay Hydrating Water-Cream Foundation being one. La Roche-Posay is not a brand I had ever used before, in fact I only began using their Toleriane Teint Hydrating Water-Cream Foundation by chance in July while I was on holiday and had forgotten my foundation back at home (what beauty blogger does this I'll never know!) I went to the local pharmacy looking for makeup and this was the only brand they had on offer but aren't I glad it was! I decided upon the Hydrating Water-Cream Foundation as I was in a very hot country and wanted something light, moisturising and non-caking on my skin. I chose the shade 04. 'Golden Beige' which is a perfect colour match for my skin. This foundation has the consistency of a tinted moisturiser and blends into the skin perfectly giving a lovely, dewy appearance, it has medium to full coverage and makes the skin look radiant. This foundation has great wear and lasts all day, although I do need to apply some powder on my t-bar area to counteract shine. This foundation also contains SPF 20 which was ideal for me being in a hot country. Another great aspect to this foundation is that it suitable for normal to dry sensitive skin, my skin being the latter so I have to be very careful about what I apply to it, thankfully this foundation has given me no problems. It's also true to it's name as it really is very hydrating and gives a silky smooth finish to the skin, it's always fantastic when a product does what it says it will so top marks to La Roche-Posay for this one! La-Roche Posay Water-Cream Foundation is available in five shades and is €23 for a 30ml tube. 

Stay pretty people!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tyler Lee's OOTD - Black Cat ♥

I had bought two outfits for Tyler Lee for Halloween but having decided to go with the other I wanted to dress him up in this black cat costume just for the utter cuteness of it all! I cannot resist dressing my baby in fancy dress whenever I can, so far he's been a turtle, owl and now it's time to be a black cat. I picked up this costume in Penneys for €8 and it came with a velour baby grow with built in paws and a hat with a cat face and ears to match. There is also a little bow-tie/ribbon detail on the neck, it's so adorable! I had to take lots of pictures of him wearing this not only to remember how cute it all was but also to shame him when he's older! Oh how he'll hate me and all these outfits I just had to dress him up in. I love having these fancy dress moments with him, I'm like a wannabe Anne Geddes with the camera constantly on him when he's sporting an outfit like this, too sweet for words.

Black cat costume - Penneys/Primark


First 1,000 Days ♥

Pregnancy and the first two years of a baby's life are some of the most important in regards to nutrition and development. The First 1,000 Days is a concept launched by husband and wife team Neven and Amelda Maguire in June 2013, Neven being one of Ireland's most famous chefs. The First 1,000 Day represent a full term pregnancy, 270 days plus year one, 365 days and year 2 also 365 days, these first 1,000 days provide a unique window of opportunity to secure the long term health and development of an individual. Pregnant women are so cautious about what they eat, drink, etc during pregnancy, wanting to eat as healthily as possible for both themselves and their developing babies. When a baby is then born it is either breastfed or bottle fed, getting essential nutrients from milk. When the weaning stage happens it's both fun and exciting helping your little one discover new foods but finding foods and meals which provide some source of nourishment for them is very important. During the toddler stage it is important to maintain a healthy eating routine and a wide variety of foods which are not only tasty but nutritious too. To celebrate the launch of the First 1,000 Days movement Danone Baby Nutrition in partnership with the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute unveiled the First 1,000 Days Recipe Book, a charming little green book full of tasty, healthy recipes for each stage of the 1,000 days and mouth-watering images which will most definitely give you the inspiration to try these dishes out for yourself. This book aims to make optimising your baby's nutritional needs easier by providing a wide variety of recipes which are easy to make and tasty too.

My son is at stage three of the weaning stage so can just about eat the majority and foods available. We favour baby led weaning and I make all his meals fresh everyday, nothing is frozen down for him. This book is such a delight to have. The recipes are so inspiring, things which I have never made before and had never even thought about making him but I decided to give some a try. Our lunch time favourite is the avocado and kiwi puree, it's tasty, refreshing and packed full of goodness. It only takes a couple of minutes to make too so perfect for busy days. Today I was inspired to make the salmon fish cakes featured in the book, you can see my results below! I am not a fan of fish but I decided when I was pregnant that I really wanted by baby to eat fish. It's so healthy and provides Omega 3 something very important for brain development. This recipe was explained so easily within the First 1,000 Days Recipe Book that I didn't find it daunting to do at all and I'm delighted to report that they turned out wonderfully and were a big hit with my son. You can view the recipe here for yourself Salmon Fishcake Recipe. I think the First 1,000 Days movement is fantastic and is a great way to raise awareness to not only mothers but also mothers-to-be about what they can eat and cook easily to ensure that their baby is gaining optimum nutrition and healthiness in all that they are consuming.

 You can read more about the First 1,000 Days movement and browse through some great recipes of the First 1,000 Days website. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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