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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

My little Orla bear is officially 15 months...I still can’t work out where an entire year and some has gone..but I’ll save all of that for another day. I don’t think it matters if it is your first our fifth baby, as expectant parents you are always looking for what is going to work best for you and your baby. There are so many products to choose from these days, even more so than when I had my son Leo nearly four and a half years ago now. The choice is amazing but it can be a little doubting as well. I thought it was about time I shared our most used baby items and why I loved them.

Let’s kick it off with the one we have all heard about, the Sleepyhead. I wasn’t convinced at first, I thought why would I pay that amount to essentially have my baby sleep in a pillow? It turned out to be so much more than that. My son Leo was not a particularly good sleeper as a newborn so finding anyway to help orla sleep better was at the for front of my mind while pregnant. It ended up being a life saver, she slept so well in those first six months. I remember people asking me oh how is it with two kids and my answer was always “so much easier than I had anticipated.” Don’t get me wrong, there was tough moments in those first six months but when isn’t there tough moments mixed in with those millions of rewarding ones in parenting. I think I found the newborn days as a new mum to two little humans a lot easier than I had expected because I was getting an adequate amount of sleep
most nights. Orla self settled in the sleepyhead, she seemed comfortable snug and safe in there. I could easily feed her in our bed in the sleepyhead and then transfer her in to her cot.

Next up is something I knew I loved but didn’t think I would get as much use out of as I have. Swaddle blankets, particularly these beautiful ones form little blue nest baby. I’ve been raving about these since the day I bought the first two. I came across the brand on Instagram while pregnant with orla and instantly fell in love with the beautifully hand drawn images. They are huge, soft and so incredibly lovely. They have been orlas blanket, a breastfeeding cover, a picnic blanket and her bedtime comfort. They are probably our most used baby item a apart from our pram.

You guessed it, the next most used item is of course our Pram. We have a bugaboo chameleon three and let me tell came with a hefty price tag. One I had to poke and prod my husband to be to buy. I think he gave in, in the end because he was tired of the nagging! We had a bugaboo gecko with my son leo that we had bought off some friends unaware of how good and reliable the brand is. We used that thing every single day for three years and prior to that it was used by friends for a year so by the end it was on its last legs. We (..more like I) decided to invest in another buggy from the same brand for Orla because I was so happy with the previous one and knew it would with stand being used every day with two children attached to it this time. And it has, they are pretty, practical, do everything you could want and need them to do and as I said earlier..reliable. Which is exactly what you need in baby items that shlep everything you own around on most days.

Another item I was not completely convinced by until orla arrived and I was able to try it out was this baby bath support. When I had my first we purchased a basic baby bath and I was absolutely petrified to bath him alone in those newborn days. With this bath support I felt confident from the beginning and orla seemed to love it! I can safely bath the kids together and have a hand free to wash both of them.

Another essential item is a baby carrier. I used the same one for Orla as I had previously used for Leo. My mum gifted the Ergo Baby Carrier to us when I was pregnant with Leo. It is comfortable to wear,, easy to put on and most importantly comfortable for baby. I have loved having both of them close when needed while still being able to stow away the carrier easily under the buggy if needed. Four and a half years later, two kiddos warn in it and ours is still going strong. Their new ones are awfully pretty too!

Lastly..and this may seem like a strange one but I was unaware of its existence until a friend of mine brought me one to a play date and since then i keep on buying them. It is a sanitising spray. I am not sure how i lived with out it for so long. how many times have you been on the tube and your childs dropped that damn sophie the giraffe for the 50th time, you've picked it up wiping it with a wet wipe while and reluctantly handed it back to your teething babe wondering how many germs you just handed over. well, i have at least. anyways, this spray you can spray directly on whatever has dropped and you can hand it straight back to your baby with out any worry. It takes two seconds to spray and those worries and awkward side glances while you attempt to clean off things are gone. wow i sound like a sales woman but again i promise i am not!

I really love all of these items and I don't know how I would have gone on with out them.

Getting back to me..

Sunday, 21 January 2018

I have been having anxiety attacks recently. I have had them before but never like this, heart pounding, body shaking, eyes blurred, sweating, mind racing and unable to breath. I find some comfort in being able to pin point where it was coming from. 

A large part of my ever growing anxiety has been due to my two children giving us a few heart palpitating scares this year. My 10.5 month old in particular has visited A&E more in the past month than I have in my 25 years on this earth. Another large contributor is the lack of care I have shown to myself. I put myself last on my to-do list and I never seem to reach the top. I have decided to start wedging myself past the never end laundry pile, the baby clothes I dream of organising, the bedroom walls I would love to re paint and get back to 'me'. Of course my children and their needs and happiness comes first above everything  else but that doesn't mean I have to lose myself along the way.

Since we had our second child I have been struggling to find where I fit myself in, feeling guilty anytime I priorities myself. Those anxiety attacks have taught me a valuable lesson I was already aware of but not willing to make the necessary changes to honour that lesson. Unless I am taking care of myself and my basic needs, I cannot take care of my children to the best of my ability. 

So, I have decided to do just that! I went to the gym for the first time in three years last night..three years! I couldn't even find my running shoes. I showed up in a pair of very old leggings, a pyjama shirt and some dirty converse. I felt out of place at first but soon realised no one else noticed or cared. I left feeling elated, it is amazing what the release of endorphins can do! 

From now on I am going to work out because I know it makes me feel better, drink less coffee because a mummy with the coffee shakes is just not a good look, eat healthily because I owe it to my body that made two beautiful children and may one day make more, sleep because with out sleep things feel impossible and do things for myself that I enjoy with out any guilt attached.  So with out meaning to sound overly cliche here, cheers to a brighter and lighter (and late) 2018! 


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Time is moving so quickly and you are growing up too fast, I want to remember as much of these precious little moments and memories of you as my little one before I blink my eyes and you are a stinky teenage boy locked in your bedroom. You are going to be three soon and oh, what a fun yet challenging age this is has been! You amaze me every single day with the new things you have learned, sentences you have come up with, ideas and interests you have. 

You absolutely love trains, and I’m sure I will never forget that. The second we arrive home from a train journey you run straight over to your train set and recite all the stations we went through and announcements that were made. Your daddy and I love watching you on the train, concentrating so hard on all the details. You are terrified yet fascinated by certain things. The man we saw dressed up as a tree at Kew Gardens (aka tree man), the lion in your favourite bed time book, and the rescue robots on your favourite show. You constantly reassure me that they do not live in our house and they will not get to your breakfast before you do every morning, hesitating before heading out of your bedroom to make sure I agree.

Your second favourite book at the moment is the one about the baby in mummy’s tummy. Before we got the book you exclaimed “mummy you ate the baby and now it’s in your belly and Leo ate lunch and now its in my belly! That’s silly!” (You talk about yourself in the third person quite a bit these days..) I knew it was time to bring the baby books out. I’m not sure if we’ve shaken the idea that I ate the baby but you have a new appreciation for what is to come, happily announcing that it will be mummy, daddy, Leo and the baby. Always double checking that the baby isn’t just going to come out to play and then go back in mummy's tummy.

You are a valiant little thing. You run and jump off everything, never stopping to rest. You stood up to two much older kids a couple of weeks ago when one of them stole your little buddies bucket at the paddling pool. You didn’t even back away as one of them, about 4 times your size, stormed towards you demanding for it back. As most do, you have a few fears though and you recently overcame one of them. Usually I cannot get you anywhere near anything but the sea and a paddling pool but the other week we went swimming! You were very hesitant at first and clung on to me for dear life but after 10 minutes you were jumping in from the sides getting everyone to take turns catching you, calling out which train stop you were approaching while in the air.

One of the things that catches my heart every time is how loving you can be. For such a boisterous little boy you can be the sweetest little thing on this planet. You will run up to me and crash straight into my leg wrapping your arms around me and looking up with a big grin announcing “I love you too!” before I have said a word. You ask mummy and daddy for “lots and lots of kisses” and check in on us when we might be looking a bit glum or tired “are you haaaappy?”. When we get in from a nice drama free play date and I check in to see how you enjoyed yourself you always name whomever we joined that day and say that you were happy and they were happy. I hope you never forget that being kind can go a long way. I absolutely adore you, you changed my life in a way I could have never imagined and I am so proud to be your mummy..toddler tantrums and all. 


Sunday, 14 August 2016

On a hot sticky morning my mum and her partner, along with Leo and I, set off in search of the beautiful Kew Gardens. A tremendously magical open space, perfect for a boisterous toddler! Once through the line we were met face to face with what appeared to be Treebeard, from Lord of the Rings. While everyone else was excited to have their photo taken with him, my usually fearless toddler was not. We had a glorious morning filled with many memorable moments but I am sure that catching a glimpse of the “Treeman” will be the moment that stays in Leo’s memory the longest. I didn’t even get a second to snap a quick photo as Leo took one look at the man and started shouting “Nooooo I don’t like it!” while scrambling madly to return to the safety of his pram. It took a lot of coaxing and reassuring that the Treeman had gone home and didn’t have keys to get back in. Eventually Leo was ready to set out on foot to explore his magnificent surroundings.

Once paths had been sufficiently strutted down, flower beds had been gazed at and we had ran in and out of the Waterlily House a few dozen times, Leo was ready to rest by the duck pond. My little man is a delightful little chatter box, exclaiming every time a duck came by, and reminding all of us that we were not allowed to join them in there for a swim. Feeling a little bit peckish and worn out from the heat, we went off to hunt down the prefect shady spot to snack in.

Toddlers tend not to sit long and mine is no different, as soon as his food was devoured, Leo persuaded us into a game of hide and seek. How can I say no to that cheeky little face?!

We arrived at the tree top walkway, something I was quite happy to use my toddler as excuse not to climb up the 18 metre high structure. However, Leo had other plans. He headed straight for the staircase exclaiming “I too excited to wait!”. My 2.5-year-old climbed up like a champ not even blinking an eye that we were in fact higher than the monstrous trees that surrounded us, whilst I trembled inside and gripped on with dear life to the railing.  

 One of Leo’s favourite parts of Kew Gardens is exploring the forest. He loves strolling amongst the “big big heavy trees!”, collecting pine cones as he goes along and finding mini Leo sized trees, announcing that they belong to him. We came across a little miniature castle called Toad Hall, perfect for running around and around, and pretending tigers live inside!

After all that running and exploring, someone was tuckered out and ready for a shoulder ride back through the many trees and gardens, towards the gate. Not before checking that the treeman was nowhere in sight and would not be joining us on the train ride home.


Sunday, 31 July 2016

I have always loved and lusted after makeup, with all the millions of shades and beautiful packaging, how could a girl not? I am quite reserved with what I am willing to experiment with as I have always believed less is more when it comes to painting my pale skin every morning. Until quite recently I have shied away from trying makeup that is out of my comfort zone. Being a bit more adventurous with makeup has allowed me to find things that really suit the small window of time I have to apply it before my toddler attempts to empty the contents of my makeup bag and have his way with it. I tend to favour a basic and natural makeup look paired with a neutral lip stick.

It doesn’t seem to matter how much water I consume, I seem to be left with dry lips no matter what I do. Finding a lipstick that will moisturise my lips while giving them a splash of colour is a must. This lipstick from Neals Yard does just that, it moisturises, it’s the perfect shade for my skin tone and I feel more confident and a little bit less of a mess with it on. It is also a necessity that I wear a lipstick that doesn’t smudge or smeer. Running after a surprisingly quick toddler all day long leaves me with little time to check up on what is going on with my face. I don’t want to have foundation dripping down my face and lipstick across my teeth. This lipstick builds really well, I can put it on more heavily for the rare date night my fiancĂ© and I have or I can put it on lightly for every day park play dates.

This sumptuous lipstick is even more of a winner because it is 100% vegetarian and free of all nasties like paraben, silicones and carmine. Each lipstick is packed with a whole lotta goodness. They contain a minimum of 77% organic ingredients including moisturizing argan oil and and antioxidant white tea. 
I am not being paid by anyone and I didn’t receive this for free but my sister had it in her makeup bag when she was visiting last. Being the younger nosy sister that I am (some teenage habits don’t go away) I started sifting through her makeup bag with out asking, applying this lipstick with out thinking and being so pleasantly surprised with how much I loved it. So, I went and bought myself one and I will continue to buy this because it has now become a makeup staple. I thought I lost it the other day and believe me, my reaction was not a pretty sight. I would highly recommend this lipstick especially if you are looking to go natural with your makeup choices. 


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Like many other mummy’s and daddy’s who are woken up at the crack of dawn by their little ones, I have a slight…well, major coffee addiction. Even though my son is two and a half, I am still woken up many nights by Leo yelling “my moooooouuuuussseeeee” or “Mummy!! My sunglasses!”. I always throw myself out of bed and across the hall so fast that I give myself an instant head ache. I feel groggy and zombie like in the morning’s until I have had my morning cup of coffee. Once I have rushed Leo and I out the door in the morning and we have spent three hours at a play group running wild, singing and jumping around and of course fighting with other strong willed toddlers for one out of a million identical cars…we are both exceptionally exhausted.

We have quite a few coffee shops on our way back from most play groups or nursery and I tend to feel overly drawn towards the smell of coffee as I walk past. I have just gotta have ooooooone more cup. This little to go cup is heaven. It looks lovely and a little dainty compared to most “travel mugs”, with the cork detailing so you don’t scorch your hand, it is the perfect size for a small coffee and better yet it lessens the guilt I feel about having my second coffee of the day.

The Problem with to-go Coffee’s is that Coffee cups are not recyclable, no matter which bin you put them in due to the polyethylene plastic which keeps the paper cup intact. This is true for every company selling to-go Coffees unless specifically stated compostable on their to-go cups. Compostable products are available, but they do come with ecological costs of their own. Coffee shops should take responsibility and offer a to-go option which is less harmful to the earth, but it is not up to them alone. You can go one step further by buying your own reusable coffee cup and carrying it with you wherever you go.

Keep Cup’s new glass coffee cup is by far the prettiest and most useful I have found. She has been dropped twice and I have yet to break her (*knocks on wood*) To-go coffee cups tend to spill everywhere especially if I am trying to push my surprisingly heavy pram, one handed whilst attempting to casually take a sip of coffee. I have had far less embarrassing and awkward coffee dribble moments since being gifted this lovely cup by my much greener, Eco- friendly sister.

It’s not enough to prepare our children for the future. We have to prepare the future for our children.

There are going to be so many changes in the world while our children grow up, I'm sure many of them will completely shock us, just like the changes which have occured since my birth shocked my parents. We will be left feeling older than our years, reminiscing on the times that we had to carry countless heavy text books to and from school and of poured over books in libraries.

As much as some of the advances that will occur in my son's lifetime, the worry and sadness I feel about those does not even compare to how I feel about our planet decomposing in front of my child's eyes. I want Leo to have the most vibrant and joyful life a person could ever have, but the world still needs to be intact for him to do that. I am going to start doing my part where I can, starting with this cup to home my coffee in.

You can find one of these cups for yourself on Keep Cup's Website here:


Friday, 10 June 2016

I am one of those people who struggles with spontaneity and even more so since having my little boy. I like things to be in order, planned out and in the know of everything that will or may be happening throughout any sort of trip. As last minute plans were being made to take the train down to Brighton during half term I was secretly freaking out inside. My fiancé and I had just started potty training Leo, something I had put a lot of stressful over thinking into before starting. I was only able to focus on everything that might go wrong. Leo unleashing his bodily functions on the passengers of the hour long train was a big worry.

As we made our way to the train station, sweating like nobody’s business, carrying a heaving bag of emergency clothes for Leo on my back. With his potty hooked to the pram, I couldn’t help but think what an awful idea it was. These negative thoughts were quickly erased once we arrived. We had survived the over packed train journey without an accident in the pram! The breeze as we stepped off the train was incredibly refreshing, being able to see the sea as we strolled down to our hotel calmed all the worries I had before setting off.

We spent the majority of our time on the beach. We eagerly tip toed down to the water, attempting not to fall over while sinking into the millions of multi coloured rocks. Leo loves sticking his toes in the sea, no matter how freezing cold the water is. Squeals filled the air as the waves crashed in to his little legs, just missing his trousers that I was not able to roll up any further because of my obsession with dressing him in skinny jeans.

Leo collected rocks, crouching down to get the exact one that was worthy of being lugged back to the sea in his little bucket. Calling out “mummy, cayou!” when he realised the bucket was far too heavy for him to carry all the way back, I swung him on my hip and we proceeded to launch the rocks back into the sea, giggling as they hit the water.

After a quick accident avoiding pee (Leo, not me) in a little dug out hole on the beach we then set off on the pier to hunt down some treats in the form of  mini donuts. My sister-in -law and I opened our umbrellas to block ourselves from the extremely confident seagulls who were patiently waiting for someone to expose their food enough for them to swoop down and grab it. The last couple of times I have been to Brighton I have been their victim. First they flew in and snatched my food out of my hands, nipping my finger and giving me a fright. The second time one landed on my head and I shrieked at the top of my lungs causing everyone to turn and stare, much to my embarrassment.

There was a lot of jumping around yelling "yaaaaaaay" from Leo while in Brighton so we left feeling calm and full filled. I felt like I learned a very valuable lesson. Sometimes going with the flow instead of focusing in on all the little details is the best recipe for the perfect little trip.