Thursday, April 28, 2016

37 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2 ♥

It seems like an absolute age since I wrote my last pregnancy update, even though it was only a week ago! I guess the next two weeks will go by quite slowly now as we await the arrival of our new little babe. I'm 38 weeks pregnant today and I am so ready to have this pregnancy over and done with. I'm not one of those lucky women who suits pregnancy at all. I feel as though I can't even leave the house much until I have the baby as I'm constantly feeling faint and in need of sit down.

I just feel generally uncomfortable, I have back and rib pain, my thighs get the most awful cramps at night and my sleep is so restless, I'm exhausted from it all. As my due date approaches I'm becoming more and more anxious about labour. I began getting mid back pain during the week and it felt exactly the same as the pain I felt during labour with Tyler Lee. He was in the O.P. position (where the baby's head is against the mother's back) and it was the most painful time of my life - I'm sincerely hoping that this baby is in a more favourable position for labour!

The nursery is finally done, except for some finishing touches which I'll be doing this weekend. I still need to pack mine and they baby's hospital bags but these will be done this weekend too and then I can finally relax. We've decided to go with a Beatrix Potter theme in the nursery (how could I not!) and I'm just waiting on some last minute buys to arrive before the room is complete.

 My poor Tyler Lee is getting quite upset that I won't give him the Peter Rabbit lullaby pull-down or the little cuddly from the baby's cot though... I don't think he'll fully understand that they're not his things until the baby is here.

This week...

Baby is the size of a - honeydew melon, according to my Ovia pregnancy app.

I'm looking forward to - having the nursery completely finished, I wish the Ebay seller I bought from would hurry up and post the mobile!

My favourite moment was - getting the cot together. It now has it's sheet, quilt, cushion and some Peter Rabbit toys waiting for it's new occupant.

I've been feeling - tired and seriously uncomfortable. I think baby has definitely run out of room now.

I've been buying for baby - we bought a vintage mobile on Ebay which we are waiting to arrive. The Ingenuity swing and other pieces which I ordered from John Lewis last week have arrived too. I think we have everything now and if we have forgotten something then I'll just send Jacek out for it when baby is here.

I'm missing - a good nights sleep. I'm so restless at night now, my left leg feels as though it constantly needs to be moved, I have horrible silent reflux and my bump hurts a lot if I move in the bed. I'm also having to get up between five and ten times a night for the bathroom - the joys!

I'm craving - still nothing, although I wouldn't mind a takeaway before baby's arrival!

I'm loving - Tyler Lee's affection towards my bump. He lifts up my top now to lay his head on my bump and says "I love you!" to the baby. It's the sweetest thing and I can't wait to see him interact with his baby sibling. He's told me that he wants to bring the baby home and give it a blanket, so cute!

I've been meaning to - get the hospital bags packed, it will be done this weekend!

I can't wait for - our next hospital appointment on May 4th, although I'm still undecided about whether or not to have a sweep.


Spring Cleaning Checklist For Busy Parents ♥

I've recently been spring cleaning the house from top to bottom, spurred on by a mixture of being sick of all the clutter and nesting for the new baby's arrival. I've been wanting everything to be mess-free and spick and span, just to make life less chaotic for us all and to live in a house that's easier to clean. I always feel that once you have a good deep clean and clear out the daily cleaning tasks are much more manageable and that's just what a busy parent needs.

Since we had our son, our possessions have grown two-fold and our house just isn't big enough for all the stuff, plus, having toys and other knick-knacks everywhere makes it impossible to give the house a hassle-free clean - there is always stuff in the way!

As a busy (and about to get busier!) parent, I've been spring cleaning the house in the most convenient and thorough manner that I possibly can and I thought I'd share my checklist with my fellow parents out there who are sick of the clutter and are wanting to give their home a good airing whilst the brighter and warmer seasons are upon us.

The easiest way to clean your house, in my opinion anyway, is to focus on the cleaning and de-cluttering room by room. This makes the task seem much more manageable and seeing your efforts materialise in one finished room really does spur you on to do the rest. Here is what I've done room by room -

This was one room that has needed a thourough clean out for quite a while now as the cupboards and drawers were full of products I was never going to use and clothes I was never going to wear - which I'm sure is the case for a lot of people out there!

1. Clean out cupboards/wardrobes - throw out any old beauty products, etc. and donate unwanted clothes and shoes to the charity shop or charity bins, if in good condition of course.
2. Flip your mattress and apply fresh bedding - some people choose to invest in some new bedding once springtime arrives and we've bought some new sheets and pillows.
3. Clean underneath the bed and re-organise - also check if there is anything you can bin or donate to free up some more space.
4. Dust fixtures and fittings, clean bedroom mirror and give the bed frame/headboard and good clean too.
5. Wash soft furnishings such as curtains, rugs and scatter cushions - we've just washed our curtains and rehung them, it really does give the room a new lease of life.

Bathroom spring cleaning is something that we were very much need of and since cleaning out the room we've also given it a new lease of life with a fresh lick of paint too.

1. Sort through your toiletries unit/cupboard and throw out any unwanted or past their best products. Re-organise unit/cupboard.
2. Clean and dust fixtures and fittings.
3. Thoroughly clean and bleach the toilet, sink and bath.
4. Clean or replace shower guard/curtain - ours is made of glass so a deep clean with some glass spray really helps to get rid of the soap scum.
5. Clean tiles in bath/shower area - apply fresh grout if needed.
6. Wash bathmat and any towels on display as these can gather dust quite quickly.

The kitchen really needed a good tidying up and organising and thankfully my lovely other half tackled this at the weekend. Here's my *top tip* for the kitchen - if your hob or any of your appliances are stainless steel, pop some baby oil on a piece of kitchen cloth and rub it on them to give a great shine to the surfaces.

1. Clean out cupboards and drawers, throw out any food past its best by date and any broken or unused crockery.
2. Remove fridge drawers and shelves and give a thorough clean. Also de-frost and clean freezer if needed.
3. Scrub inside of the microwave.
4. Clean oven and hob.
5. Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces and cupboard fronts.
6. Deep clean sink, washboard and dishwasher if you have one.
7. Take out rubbish bins and give a deep clean with some disinfectant.
8. Scrub and mop floor.

Living Room
This is the most used room in our house so it gets the most wear and tear, as well as the majority of the dirt. Our living room was in need of a good spring clean and now that it's been tackled the room is brighter and much nicer for us all to enjoy.

1. Wash curtains and any soft furnishings such as rugs and cushion covers - I've taken the opportunity to change the cushion covers and throw out the old ones which had been well worn.
2. Dust all fixtures and fittings.
3. Clean and organise any shelves or cupboards - we've donated the majority of books that were on our bookshelf to the charity shop and there's now space for us to display photos, etc.
4. Clean/vacuum the sofa and underneath it too.
5. Dust skirting boards, mantelpiece and windowsills.
6. Vacuum/mop the floor.

Children's bedrooms/playroom
We're not fortunate enough to have a playroom so the majority of our sons toys are in a basket in the living room and in his room. My *top tip* for children's bedrooms is to invest in some storage bags to store cuddly toys and the like. I've gotten some cheap ones in Penneys for my son for as little as €6, but he also has a lovely personalised one which I've reviewed here. They're perfect for keeping the room tidy and keeping clutter off the floor.

1. Organise and throw out/donate any unwanted/unused toys - we've donated a lot to the charity shop recently and it's been great for freeing up space in the rooms.
2. Wash curtains and any soft furnishings.
3. Clean and organise under the bed/cot.
4. Clear out wardrobes and donate any unwanted or outgrown clothes to the charity shop/bin.
5. Wash bedding and pillows.
6. Shampoo and vacuum carpets.

Entire House
We live in quite a small house, but that means our hallway, storage cupboards and stairs are used a lot, meaning they can get grubby and messy quite quickly. My *top tip* for areas in the hallway is to be as creative with storage as you possibly can be. Our hallway was always scattered with shoes as we take them off as soon as we enter the house. We've recently gotten a shoe holder which now sits at the end of the stairs and has made the space much more organised. Hooks, shelves and cubed units are also great for storing items in hallway spaces too.

1. Shampoo and vacuum all carpets - especially on stairways.
2. Wash all windows, inside and out.
3. Dust all skirting boards, radiator covers and any other fixtures.
4. Wash all area rugs.
5. Change batteries in all smoke alarms.
6. Clear out and re-organise the shed to make space for new things you may wish to store.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Parisian Chic | 3 French Inspired Interior Design Ideas For Your Home ♥

Effortlessly cool and charming, it’s no secret that French-inspired interior design is a trend that is here to stay. If you’re keen to welcome a little Parisian chic into your abode, keep reading.

1. Focus on the detail
When it comes to achieving the Parisian look, it’s all about the detail. From the cuisine, to the architecture, to the fashion, the people of Paris have almost everything down to a fine art. In terms of interior design, you could take inspiration from this and focus on the detailing in your own home. A good place to start is with your furniture. If your current furnishings are looking a little bland, you could invest in a few intricately designed pieces. For example, you could swap your bed frame for a more sophisticated and unique-looking model, such as the ‘Sophia’ button upholstered bed from furniture specialists Crown French Furniture. Choosing a bed that features exquisitely carved detailing is guaranteed to transform your bedroom into a French-inspired boudoir.

2. Mix it up with old and new
There’s no denying that as a city, Paris strikes the perfect balance between old and new. From the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the entire city consists of a combination of historic and iconic landmarks mixed with ultra-modern buildings. The good news is, it’s fairly simple to inject elements of this style into your own home. For instance, positioning a stylish and modern-looking sofa next to an antique side table allows you create a contrasting yet chic vibe. Don’t be afraid to mismatch styles. Be creative with your interior styling and you should find you’re able to infuse elements of Paris’ beauty into your own home.

 3. Keep it neutral
To turn your home into a Parisian-inspired abode, you should aim to stick to a neutral colour palette. Keeping your decor minimalist and simple is a guaranteed way to bring Paris into any room. For example, you could update your walls with a lick of fresh, pure white paint. In fact, Parisians are notorious for decorating their walls in white to maximise the amount of light in the room and it’s a prominent design feature in many of the city’s apartments. However, if you crave colour, you could sneak in some subtle hues of your choice. For example, you could create an accent wall in a shade of grey or dusky pink.

By following these design tips, you should find that you’re able to perfectly depict the essence of Paris in your own home.

*Photography credits - Bench Accounting and  Aly Inay.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Waving Goodbye To The Only Child Years ♥

In less than three weeks, if all goes to plan of course, I will no longer be a mother of one, my son will no longer be an only child and we'll have another precious baby in our nest. If I'm being completely honest, these last few months have been bittersweet for me. Whilst being excited and looking forward to the future with a new baby to take under my mothering wing, I've also been quite sad that my years alone with my son are due to come to an end. At times I even felt guilty and felt as though I should have left him as an only child - the roller-coaster of  emotions that a pregnant woman feels for her firstborn are unbelievable, let me tell you! There's no way that I could have left my son as an only child, he's far too sociable for that.

We've slowly begun waving goodbye to the time that I'll affectionately refer to as 'the only child years', a time where I could devote all my love and attention to one little person. During these years my son and I have become not only mother and son but the best of friends too - even though my mother says you can never be friends with your child, she is most definitely wrong by the way... We've come to know almost everything about each other - what makes us happy, what annoys us and what pushes our buttons and we've formed a solid bond which I hope we'll have forever.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about the new adventure which awaits us, no longer being able to laze with my boy in the mornings - something which he loves to do, cuddles with mummy are something which he's really embraced since I began telling him about the baby. I worry that I won't be able to give him the same kind of attention as I did before, it's been just the two of us for such a long time now - daddy works long hours so it's always been my boy and I - I just hope having a new person contending for my attention doesn't affect him too much.

He relishes the days when he can go out and about with his father and I. He firmly knows and loves the fact that our family is "mummy, daddy, Tyler", it's the sweetest thing to hear him say this and although I've been telling him all about the baby, I don't think he'll fully understand that we'll be growing to a family of four very soon, until the baby is actually someone he can see, hear and hold.

I know that once the baby arrives everything will fall into place and it'll feel as though we were never without him or her. But now, we must wave goodbye to the only child years, the years where I learnt how to be a mother (although I'm quite certain this is a vocation with endless learning opportunities!), formed routines with my son, shaped a calm and familiar lifestyle for us all to enjoy and only just about learnt how to deal with the one child I have - the toddler stage is most definitely a never-ending experience of highs and 'oh my God, what's he doing nows'!

Now our lives are about to descend once more into that unfamiliar, lovely chaos that a new baby brings upon a household. We'll have a new person to discover, learn all about and most importantly love and if that little person smiles just like my firstborn in the pictures I've featured in this post, then I'll know that I created two happy children who I love endlessly... and for that, the sleepless nights, tantrums and juggling life with two little ones in tow will be most definitely worth it.

Goodbye only child years, you've been amazing. I only hope that 'the sibling years' are just as wonderful. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us all.


Degustabox | April 2016 ♥

It's always a happy occasion in our house when the Degustabox arrives, especially for the boys, the love seeing what sweet and savoury treats are included each month and can't wait to try out some new foods, drinks and flavours. In case you're not already aware, Degustabox is a monthly subscription box which delivers a selection of delicious foods and drinks to your door. We've discovered lots of new brands and products we love through Degustabox and it's great to be able to experience some things which we'd have otherwise overlooked in the supermarket.

This months box had a mixture of sweet and savoury items for us all to enjoy. Let me share what was in the box -

Popchips | Sea Salt, Garlic & Rosemary (£1.99) - I love trying out new crisps so it was great to see these included in April's box. The boys loved the Popchips and the flavour of these and although they were pleasant, they wouldn't be my favourite crisp flavour. The taste reminded me of mashed potato with lots of seasoning.

Veetee (£1.49) - Rice is something we have a lot with dinner and right now I'm having to have plain rice due to my silent reflux, so I was happy to see these Veetee microwavable rice boxes included in April's box. These are ready within two minutes and I've already tried the wholegrain and quinoa rice, which was quite sweet on it's own but it would be great with a sauce.

Milkybar | Smarties (£1.00/£1.29) - It's always great to see chocolate included in the Degustabox and having already tried the Smarties Sharing Block, I was delighted to see it in the box, it's delicious! We've yet to try the Milkybar Milk & Crunchy but I know we'll love that too, especially Tyler Lee.

Parle | Biscuits & Rusk (£0.25p/£0.89p) - Parle G is the largest selling biscuit brand in the world and although I had never heard of the brand before seeing them in the Degustabox, I can definitely see why they're so popular after tasting them for myself. The biscuits are absolutely delicious - the toddler and I battled over these. We've yet to try the Parle Rusk but if they're as nice as the biscuits then we're onto a winner.

Bebeto (£1.99) - These are fruit strings and I always love seeing things like this in the Degustabox as it's great to find new snack ideas for Tyler Lee. These are really delicious and perfect for little ones.

Canderel (£3.00) - Included in the box was the new Canderel Sugarly, this tastes and looks like sugar but has zero calories. It was great to discover this as I always load lots of sugar onto my breakfast cereal and it's nice to find a healthier alternative for my bad habit.

Levi Roots | Jerk Coat 'n' Cook Sauce (£1.00) - Levi Roots is a brand we're familiar with since Dragon's Den but this isn't a sauce we've tried from the range before. I'm looking forward to trying this with chicken for dinner. I know it'll definitely be a winner with Jacek.

Rejuvenation Water | Apple & Mint (£1.99) - This is Derbyshire spring water enriched with amino acids and I have to admit, I am a fan of waters like this. I drink a lot of water and it's always great to have a refreshing twist on plain water.

Green Lady | Sparkling Tea (£1.99) - Degustabox allows us to try out new drinks and a new and unique one for us this month was Green Lady, which is a modern restyling of an ancient beverage using Green Darjeeling tea leave and an assembly of natural ingredients. Jacek described this as tasting "very healthy" and I have to admit that it definitely wasn't to my taste.

Pimms | Cider Cup (£2.29) - I've never tried Pimms before, but it seems to be the perfect drinks brand for summer. I'm looking forward to trying this after I have the baby.

So that was April 2016's Degustabox and as you can see there was a great mix of products within the box. If you would like to try Degustabox for yourself use code BLDEG15 to get a huge £6 off your box. You can follow Degustabox on Twitter @degustaboxUK for news and updates on the fabulous products included in each months box.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Orchard Toys New Baby Lotto Game | Review ♥

Now that Tyler Lee is a bit older we've begun introducing him to board games and more challenging puzzles. We had never played board games with him before we were asked if we'd like to review two from the lovely people at Orchard Toys and we were delighted when the games arrived, we couldn't wait to explain the concept to him and have a good old-fashioned family game night.

The game we were sent was New Baby Lotto - a game which we thought was quite fitting considering that we'll have a new baby in the house in three weeks time - eek! The idea of the game is that each player (up to four) gets a large card depicting a room in the house with a baby and the different things a baby needs in those rooms - bathroom, kitchen, nursery, there are smaller cards with the items on them which a player chooses in turn to try and find everything in their picture. The person who finds all the items in their picture the first wins - of course, Jacek and I had to let the little one win, this is his first ever board game after all.

New Baby Lotto is suitable from two years and the concept of the game is simple enough for little ones to understand. Matching the pictures to the bigger board really helps little ones to use their memory skills and it also keeps them interested in the game too. Now Tyler Lee is the type of child who doesn't want to be shown what to do, he'd rather work things out for himself, so it did take him a little while to get used to the rules, taking turns and understanding that only one big board was for him - he wanted to match the pictures on them all!

New Baby Lotto has helped us in preparing Tyler Lee for his new sibling, which I'm very happy to say that he is genuinely excited about meeting. The pictures and scenes depicted on the cards have helped us in showing him what a baby needs at different times during the day and it's lovely to think that he already feels involved when it comes to the baby.

New Baby Lotto is priced at £9.50 - a great price I think and it is available from the Orchard Toys website, where you can browse their other lovely games and puzzles too.

*We were sent this game for the purposes of this review, as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.


What Do The Shape Of Your Lips Say About You? ♥

You may have carefully considered your lip shade, whether you opt for matte or gloss finish, or even how ‘natural’ your favourite lip tint is, but what about the shape of your lips? In the era of massive over-lining, thanks to Kylie Jenner, whose iconic lip look I recreated here, what do the shape of your lips say about your personality? Let’s find out:

Full Lips -
Since she hit the silver screen in the late 90s, many a woman has visited their cosmetic practitioner wanting plump, full lips like Angelia Jolie. Other celebs like Scarlett Johansson, Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Adriana Lima are also waving the flag for big lips too. 

These voluptuous lips project the idea that the owner is courageous and self-assured. She is sexy and irresistible, however she is caring and desires to settle down and have a family. Naturally big lipped people are giving, selfless and appreciate true relationships, whether romantic or other.

Wide Lips -
Celebs like Julia Robers, Elle Macpherson and Cameron Diaz are known for their gloriously large grins, a smile style that connotes the idea of being social, lively and having diverse interests. Wide smiles are often found on perfectionists, who put 100% into everything they do, therefore, they are often over-achievers.

On the other hand, artificially filled lips which are this shape mean something else. A person with filled large and wide lips is seen as being dramatic and exciting; a person who loves the spot light.

Round Lips -
Cute, small and dainty, round lips are seen as a youthful shape. Think Clémence Poésy and Lily Cole. Women with small lips often have young tendencies, such as the desire to travel, a rebellious nature or they’re a bit of a flirt.

People with small, round lips may be a little guarded at first, but will open up greatly when they get to know a person.

Thin Lips -
Thin lipped ladies are sensitive and detail orientated. They are sweet, well-natured and are likely to have a genuine interest in getting to know a person and those who are important to them. Thin lipped ladies are often seen as quiet or shy, but talkative among close friends or family in a small group. These people are independent and a bit of a loner, but they like it that way.

Lips with a Peaked Cupid's Bow -
Whether full or thinner, well-defined lips with a strong Cupid’s bow give off the idea that the person is open-minded and a good communicator. This type of person is creative and reactive, often not having a filter or thinking before they speak.

So why not look in the mirror and see what the shape of your lips says about you?

If you’re unhappy with the shape or fullness of your smile, Perfect Lips by Dr Rob can help. With a pain-free, non-trout pout guarantee and experience working with celebs, he is the expert lip specialist for you. Call 0333 577 9293 to arrange your free lip consultation.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

36 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2 ♥

I honestly can't believe that I'm 37 weeks pregnant today, it really does feel now that this pregnancy journey is coming to an end, but it still feels so unbelievable that I'm going to have a new baby in my arms very soon.

This past week we've been getting everything organised for baby's arrival. My mam came in on Tuesday to help me paint the nursery and thankfully it only needed one coat of paint so we got it done quite quickly. Jacek and I then went shopping for nursery furniture yesterday and he put the things together yesterday, I now just need to move baby's clothes into the chest of drawers and their little books and things into the cubed unit. We've decided to use Tyler's Mokee mini cot for the baby as it seemed pointless buying a new cot when we had a perfectly good one already.

I just need to put the finishing touches in the nursery now and it's done - you have no idea how great it is to say that as it was something I was really panicking about. I'm so glad it's all come together and that we've created a beautiful, calming space for our new little babe.

We've been sent some beautiful things to review when baby arrives but I can't help but share them in my flatlays for these pregnancy updates. We did some babywearing with Tyler Lee but we're hoping to do even more of it with this baby, I just love the closeness that babywearing brings. We were sent the beautiful blue reversible sling from Rockin Baby, I love the design I chose as it reminds me of a Hawaiian print and what could be more perfect for a summer baby? The sling is such good quality, the fabric is soft and breathable, perfect for snuggling baby up in. The extra fabric on the sling allows for a zippered pocket, so handy for popping keys or other bits and bobs in when out and about. I can't wait to get baby in the sling.

Swaddling isn't something I did with Tyler, in fact, I had never even heard of it when I had him, but this is something I really do want to try with the new baby. We were sent some beautiful swaddles from the new aden+anais collection, the mariposa 2-pack organic swaddles which have a very pretty butterfly design on one and a teardrop shaped design on the other. These are so soft and apparently they just get softer with washing. Baby is going to be so snug and cosy in the swaddling blankets.

This week...

Baby is the size of a - ripe papaya, according to my Ovia pregnancy app.

I'm looking forward to - having the nursery finished and ready for baby's arrival - almost there!
My favourite moment was - shopping for last minute baby things and for bits and pieces for the nursery too.

I've been feeling - tired and a bit worried about everything. The anxiety is beginning to kick in now.
I've been buying for baby - Jacek bought the nursery furniture yesterday and put it together so the room is almost done. We also bought new curtains for the room and some accessories for finishing touches. I also used some John Lewis vouchers I had to pick up a baby swing, some gorgeous clothing bits and some Peter Rabbit things for the baby too.
I'm missing - a life without silent reflux, it's gotten to the point where the acid is almost choking me at night and is making my throat bleed. I hope it all stops after the baby is born.
I'm craving - nothing at all, in fact, when I'm eating I feel really full quite quickly - no more room in my abdomen at the moment!
I'm loving - finally feeling as though we're getting everything organised and prepared for baby's arrival.

I've been meaning to - get the hospital bags packed, I have everything now and just need to put them in the bags.
I can't wait for - our next hospital appointment on May 4th. I must remember to actually ask questions this time round!


Thursday, April 14, 2016

35 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2 ♥

Another week of this pregnancy has just zoomed by and I actually can't remember a lot of what has gone on if I'm honest - I have the memory of a goldfish! I have been rather tired this past week though and really do feel as though I'm coming to the end of my pregnancy journey. We still have a lot to do and get for this baby, the nursery still isn't done but hopefully we'll get on it this week, we just need to find space for all the storage boxes that are currently in the box room and then we can get painting.

We're hoping to attend the Pregnancy and Baby Fair on Saturday morning and will hopefully pick up a few things. We still have to get a new cot, a baby swing, bibs, short-sleeve vests and some sleepsuits. There's probably a whole lot more to that list but those are the things which I know we're distinctly lacking at the moment.

This week I picked up some new pyjamas and a dressing gown for my hospital bag. I think it's about time I started getting it packed, just in case. I don't want to over-pack like I did with Tyler Lee though and shall be keeping things to a minimum as I'm hoping for a short stay in hospital this time.

Yesterday we had another check up and scan at the hospital and everything looks great. Baby is 3/5 engaged so still has a little while to go yet before being ready for it's journey into the world. I have been offered a sweep for three weeks time when I'm 38+6 weeks and I don't know whether I'm up for it or not, I think I'd prefer things to happen naturally. I had a sweep whilst I was in labour with Tyler Lee and I remember it being very painful. I've also asked on my blog's Facebook page whether or not people were offered a sweep before their due date and if it worked for them, the majority of people said it didn't so I really am in two minds. Anyway, a lot could change between now and three weeks time!

This week...

Baby is the size of a - bunch of carrots, according to my Ovia pregnancy app.

I'm looking forward to - going to the Pregnancy and Baby Fair on Saturday, if we manage to get to it of course. Our plans always seem to be changing last minute these days.

My favourite moment was - Tyler Lee thinking that the baby was coming home and getting all excited, it was so sweet.

I've been feeling - tired, I would sleep all day if I could.

I've been buying for baby - I've bought two beautiful knitted outfits from two baby boutiques on Instagram. I've really fallen in love with Spanish babywear at the moment, I just love the classic look for newborns. I've also ordered a custom romper in Tilda fabric, also from another Instagram shop, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out. Jacek bought some babygros in Penneys too in newborn size - if this baby is as big as it's brother was we'll never get to use them. I also bought some photography props for really cheap on AliExpress. I've used the site before and have always had everything delivered so hopefully my orders arrive in time for some newborn photo sessions. My Dad also bought the baby the beautiful Peter Rabbit knitted outfit featured in the pictures. Grey is my favourite colour, along with pink and of course, everyone knows my love of Peter Rabbit so I can't wait to dress the baby in this outfit.

I'm missing - a life without silent reflux, it really is the most horrible thing ever and nothing works to stop it.

I'm craving - I've been having rolls and baps with Marie Rose sauce, potato salad, peppers, sweetcorn and cheese and really can't get enough of them, but having thrown up immediately after eating one yesterday I don't think I can stomach one again!
I'm loving - picking out beautiful outfits for the baby, although I think I may have to put my spending ban in place again. Everything always seems so cheap, then the postage costs get added on and it's extortionate!

I've been meaning to - get packing mine and the baby's hospital bag. I'll be doing this during the week.
I can't wait for - our next hospital appointment on May 4th. I must remember to actually ask questions this time round!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How To Design The Perfect Children's Bedroom ♥

Knowing how to design your child’s bedroom can be a tricky task, however, with some guidance and suggestions, you should find it easy to create an ideal space for your little one to enjoy. I've just redone Tyler Lee's bedroom as we've moved him into a proper bed and am about to embark on decorating the nursery also, so I thought I would share some tips that can really help when planning the perfect bedroom for your little one.
Be creative with your lighting choices
As a place where your child will play, study and sleep, it’s important that you think carefully about the lighting. A well-lit room is vital, and you should try to incorporate elements of fun and creativity into the space through the illuminations you choose. There are a whole host of cute lighting solutions available for you to take your pick from, and you shouldn’t struggle to find designs that your child will love. For example, lighting specialists such as The Lighting Superstore offer a range of ceiling fittings that are available in an array of styles, from pink floral patterns to multicoloured aeroplane designs - the latter being one that I'm sure my boy would love.

Be savvy with your storage solutions
From toys, to books, to board games, it’s likely that your little one (if they're anything like mine anyway!) has a lot of treasured belongings and unless you’re organised, you could end up with a room that resembles a junk sale rather than a calming and fun space. Being savvy with your storage solutions is a guaranteed way to maintain order. If you’re stuck for space, you could go for a wall-mounted bookcase or shelves. I've seen so many gorgeous pictures on Instagram on shelves above cots and beds which are used for holding little knick-knacks and books and they create a real talking piece within the room.

Alternatively, you could use storage baskets (we have wicker and soft bag baskets in Tyler Lee's room for holding cuddly toys and musical instruments) or wooden crates to keep the area tidy, or make the most of the under-bed space with plastic storage boxes that you can keep out of sight but within easy access. Storage is a key element in the design of any child's room so you really can’t afford to skimp on it.

Be picky with your colour pallette
When it comes to selecting a colour theme for your little one's bedroom, you may think it’s pretty straightforward. While most kids love anything bright, you don’t necessarily have to go with this theme in their room. So that your decoration choices stand the test of time you could opt for something more neutral and mix it up with one or two splashes of colour. For example, you could paint three of the walls white and create a statement with one in a striking shade such as dark blue or hot pink.

Alternatively, you could paint a neutral shade on the walls and have fun with colour by the soft furnishings you pick. Tyler Lee's room is currently an off-white shade with different shades of blue in his bedding and accessories and it really works well for creating that 'beachy' vibe we were going for. Using too many bold hues can overwhelm the room, so to make the area appear more spacious, be careful when you’re picking your colour pallette.

With a little effort and creativity, you shouldn’t find it difficult to put together the perfect bedroom space for your child and have fun whilst creating it also. I shall have an update on Tyler Lee's new bedroom and the nursery when they're both completed.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

TOMY Britains | John Deere 7310R Tractor & Big Farm JCB 550-800 Loadall | Review ♥

As a mother to a little boy our house is filled with a plethora of cars, trains and trucks, all of which my son is obsessed with and could play with for hours. Recently he's begun getting interested in tractors and farm toys too, having discovered his uncles old model JCB and fallen in love with it. Now anytime we're out and about in the car and pass a JCB or a tractor Tyler Lee has to declare to me that one is passing us and he gets very excited, so you can imagine his surprise when I presented him with a John Deere tractor and JCB all of his very own.

This John Deere tractor and JCB are part of the fantastic TOMY Britains range, a collection of farming themed toys and collectables for boys and girls alike. I have to admit, I loved playing with tractors and farm toys when I was a child so it's great to see my son being interested in them too.

The Big Farm JCB 550-800 Loadall (£34.99) is an amazing toy for little ones. It's quite large in size and comes with extendable arm, a bucket that moves backwards and forwards and is also interchangable with palettes etc., working steering wheel, lights and realistic engine sounds - this replica really does have it all.

My boy loves this JCB toy and as it's suitable for indoor and outdoor play he loves to take it out to his sandpit (reviewed here) and scoop sand up in the bucket. The JCB is very well made and won't be broken easily, even by the heaviest of hands! Tyler Lee loves that the steering wheel actually works and moves all the wheels at once, just like a real JCB.

The John Deere 7310R (£26.99) is a fantastic model of a real John Deere tractor and is made from die-cast metal. This toy reminded me of the metal tractor models my brother had as a child (and has still kept to this day) and it's something quite special indeed, especially for little ones who love their tractors.

This tractor is compatible with other toys with other Britains replica models, making it perfect for those who want to build up a collection. I have to admit, part of me wanted to leave this tractor in it's box as it's great replica, but then I think it's quite sad to see toys not being played with so I just had to give it to Tyler Lee. I'm glad to say he loves it.

The TOMY Britains collection really is perfect for little farm lovers. The toys are made to fantastic quality and so true to the real life models of these vehicles. As I said, I didn't want to take the John Deere tractor out of the box as it was so true to life and something quite special. The Britains range would be perfect for little ones who want to build up a collection of farmyard toys and I envision us having plenty more of them in the house of the coming years. Tyler Lee loves his new tractor and loadall, as you can probably tell by the pictures!

*We were sent these products for the purposes of this review, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.


Pappe | Beau Bloomer & Putney Luxe Organic T-Shirt ♥

I love to feature children's fashion on the blog whenever I can, introducing my readers to beautiful new brands and getting to experience new and unique fashions for my boy. I've spoken before about how difficult I think it is to find gorgeous clothes for little boys - unless you know where to look of course. I'm not a fan of character clothing (unless done in a subtle and stylish way, such as the classic Winnie the Pooh and Peter Rabbit outfits I've featured on Tyler Lee before), garish colours and dinosaur prints, all of which are found in abundance in the boys section in high-street stores and this is why I search online for stylish and unique clothing for my son - why should his clothes be any less special just because he's a boy?

I was recently introduced to the delightful Australian baby and toddler designer wear brand Pappe and I immediately fell in love with their offerings. "Inspired by the contrast between traditional children’s wear, and contemporary trends, Pappe combines nostalgia and modernity, with beautiful design and world-class fabrics". Pappe's clothes have a timeless and minimalist feel to them and the fabrics used in their pieces is nothing short of pure quality.

Tyler Lee was very kindly sent two pieces from Pappe's toddler range to sample and I immediately fell in love with them when they arrived, packaged beautifully in a white box with tissue paper and a copper seal, it felt like he was receiving something very special indeed. 

The t-shirt Tyler Lee is wearing is the Putney Luxe Organic T-Shirt ($34.95), which is a crisp white t-shirt made from the finest organic Turkish cotton and elastane jersey. The fabric of the t-shirt is soft, quite thick and feels quite luxurious - you can immediately tell that this isn't any ordinary t-shirt and in fact, I think it looks rather smart and compliments the bloomers he was also sent perfectly. The t-shirt is age 3 and I was concerned that it wouldn't fit him as it seemed quite snug but it actually fits perfectly.

Tyler Lee was also sent the Beau Bloomer ($74.95) which are the most adorable set of shorts I've laid eyes on for a toddler. I just love the fit of these, they have such a classic style to them and are perfect for teaming with little socks and t-bar shoes, as I did in the styling for the photos. The mid-blue colour of the bloomer is perfect for summer and as these are made from cotton and linen they are light enough for little ones to wear on warm, sunny days whilst remaining comfortable. The Beau Bloomer has an elasticated waist which makes them comfortable for even the most boisterous of toddlers (like my boy!) to wear. Tyler Lee was actually sent the Beau Bloomer in a size 2 and it fits perfectly, amazing considering he's over the age of three now, it just goes to show how generous the fit is.

I would recommend Pappe's clothing to anyone who is looking for clothing that is well made, stylish and classic looking for their little ones. You can immediately tell that these clothes are coming from a designer brand from first touch, the quality and fit really does speak for itself and I really do love the minimalist, timeless design each piece from their range has - no garish items to be seen here! Another great element to Pappe's collection is that their pieces are unisex, the outfit that Tyler Lee is wearing would look equally as lovely on a little girl and I love that ease of wear.

You can browse the full collection of Pappe's stunning baby and toddler clothing here.

Tyler Lee wears:
T-shirt - c/o Pappe
Bloomers - c/o Pappe
Cardigan - H&M
Socks - here
Shoes - Little Bird at Mothercare

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