Saturday, 30 March 2013

Sneak pic into Ava's wardrobe

I have expressed my love for Zara Baby before in this here post and my Zara baby love continued on Sunday when we took a family trip to Chester to spend some of Ava's birthday dollar (lucky girl!)

Here is what I bought for her

Bunny with braids t shirt £6.99

Twill Trousers in yellow £11.99


Denim leggings £6.99


These beauties are next on my wish list Leopard Print Plimsolls £17.99

She also received some lovely things for her birthday-
Her auntie bought her these Vintage Basketball Boots which I have been lusting over. £17.99


She was also bought this lovely H & M jacket by her Godfather. With the A on the front she just had to have it. £19.99. It's a little big at the moment but she'll grow into it. Although she doesn't look too impressed...


She received this lovely dress for her birthday (M &Co)


And this beautiful Zara number which she will be wearing at our Easter lunch tomorrow.



I have also bought some beautiful bits for her bedroom and will do a nursey tour once they arrive.

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Teething Monster

Every once in a while an unwelcome guest visits our house, every parent will know him. We call him The Teething Monster!



He's a horrible old thing who takes my lovely happy girl and replaces her with a dribbly, cranky gremlin child.

We've been quite lucky, The Teething Monster hasn't been around for a while. But on Sunday night he thought he'd pay us a visit, very kind of him. At 10.30pm Ava woke crying, nothing that I could do for the next hour helped. She didn't even want any of my mummy cuddles and pushed me away (which did hurt my feelings a bit I must say.) Ava has struggled with her teeth but some Nurofen or Calpol usually helps to settle her.

One of the things that I use to find indispensable when she first started teething was Ashton & Parsons teething powder and guess what? The discontinued it in Boots! WHAT?! Crazy right! It was clearly discontinued by a childless person. No parent in their right mind would discontinue such a gem. I miss it.

The Teething Monster is also full of germs and usually bring Ava a nice little cold or tummy bug to go with her poorly teeth. At the moment we have a stinking cold, horrible cough and atomic nappies. Good times!

I'm hoping that the Teething Monster goes soon and that I get my happy girl back.
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Monday, 25 March 2013

Weekly Round-up #10

Wearing- 

Honestly I was expecting to be in tshirts by now, not back to my winter thermals! What is going on with this weather?! Since we've been snowed in for the last 3 days I've been living in my onesie and PJ's! Guilty 3 day slob fest! Oh and you know those Nike Blazers I was moaning about last week? Well I rung the shop. Apparently they're meant to be like that...awkward.


Watching-

Now we all know that I love a good reality tv show (well generally they're not good, they're darn right trashy) and on Thursday a new show started on BBC Three that grabbed my attention. It's by the brains behind Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (Amazing) and it follows 3 young couples and a single mum who have all been put into the same block of flats in South London. It follows their trials and tribulations as new parents and it really struck a cord with me. It was interesting to watch and it brought back memories of those first few weeks when I was a new mum, so nervous and unsure.



Eating-

I've cracked and have been a bit naughty this week. Not sure if it's due to the cold or me just wanting to be a pig (probably both) but I'm craving comfort food at the moment. Give me chocolate!



Listening to-

I need some new songs to get me in the mood for the gym. I'm liking this Rhianna one at the moment



Thinking about-

This horrible snow and wondering when it's going to let up?! I want to take Ava out on her trike! I'm also having my hair done on Thursday and I'm getting it dyed a darker blonde. Not appreciating the speed at which my roots grow through.



Highlight of the week-

I hate snow with a passion! It's cold, wet and horrible but it's meant that I have spent some quality time with Ava.



Picture of the Week-

Lovely girl watching the snow
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Saturday, 23 March 2013

An Unexpected Snow Day

I had a whole different post planned for today (about Ava's Spring wardrobe to be precise) but when I opened my curtains this morning and was met by THIS- Yes that's snow in Spring! It kinda threw me and our day turned out differently than we'd planned.


Now I'd heard some whispers about this snow but I don't tend to listen to these weather types as they're usually wrong! Remember that heat wave we were meant to have last Summer? Yeah that! Still haven't forgiven them for getting my hopes up!


So with the best part of 5 inches of snow outside and me unable to get our car out of the cul-de-sac, nursery was cancelled for Ava and work was for me. Here is what we got up to instead. We hung out in our slobs (onesie for me, hoodie & joggers for Ava).


Did lots of napping



Built some stuff


Baked some Annabel Karmel Oat Cookies


Made some lovely scrambled eggs for Ava with fresh farm eggs (which she threw on the floor!)


Ava watched the snow



Today looks to be more of the same. The snow is still falling! I'm going to get cabin fever before long! I'm thinking of moving to sunnier climates what do you think?

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Monday, 18 March 2013

Meanwhile on Instagram...#1

I love Instagram, I'm forever uploading pictures (mainly of Ava and food) so I thought I would add a new feature to share with you some of my favourite pictures from the last few weeks.
Don't hesitate to follow me here!


1-Ava's 1st farm yard experience//2-Ava's Welsh gold charms//3-Birthday tea party
//4-Birthday girl//5-Love these//6-Trike ride

 

1-Building blocks//2-Messy eater//3-Gorgeous Zara dress
//4-Making leek & potato soup//5-Nandos//6-Baby Primark haul

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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Weekly Round-Up #9

Wearing-
So today I bought some hi tops. I've been wanting some for ages as they are easy to wear and comfy and I've jumped onto the Nike Blazer bandwagon-which I didn't really want to do but they were pretty and I liked them. So after parting with £70 of my hard earned cash in Chester's Footlocker today. I opened the box once at home to gaze at them and noticed that there were black scuff marks ALL OVER them! Even on the laces! What a joke! I've basically been sold faulty trainers. I'm gutted! I'm going to have to go all the way back to Chester on Saturday to change them.


 
Watching- 
Ok, I'm a sucker for reality TV programmes and at the moment I'm enjoying "People Like Us" on BBC 3. It's set in Harpurhey in Manchester and it's a real reality show if you know what I mean. Not scripted like Made in Chelsea or The Only Way Is Essex (although I like them too).



Eating-
 I'm trying so hard to be good and yesterday I did make my favourite leek & potato soup.


Listening to- 
I'm loving Bastille at the moment. They are amazing. Just listen.





Thinking about-  

Sunshine. I'm really lacking some vitamin D in my life at the moment.



Highlight of the week-
Definitely Ava's 1st birthday party which you can read more about here. It was brilliant but so so tiring. She had a lovely day though which is the main thing.


Picture of the week-

So many but  I love this one of Ava on Friday eve, on her birthday trike from us off for a little stroll. Cute!


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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Ava's Birth Story

I have never shared the story of Ava's birth so I thought that since she is now 1 (eek). I'd better get a jiggle on! Don't read if you're squeamish! Oh and it's probably going to be quite long.

Once upon a time Basically I was 8 days late, very frustrated and uncomfortable. I was beginning to think that my baby would never be born, that I would forever walk around with a baby in my tummy like a giant weeble.


After many a midwife appointment I was booked in for a sweep on Monday 12th March. Now I'd heard mixed reviews about these. "They hurt!", "They don't work.".... Honestly I'd heard mostly negative comments so I wasn't holding out much hope. Next option-dynamite.


On Monday off we went for my sweep. I was trying not to get  my hopes up too much but I got slightly excited when the midwife told me I was already 1cm dilated! "Not long until I meet my baby!" I thought.

Well I thought wrong didn't I. Turns out I'd made a pretty snug home for baby...

One positive though-The sweep worked! Hoorah! By Monday afternoon I was getting lower back pain and mild cramping! Result! I've never been more excited for pain! By the evening we knew that this was it. Labour was starting! The moment that I had read about in my pregnancy books and watched on One Born Every Minute. It was finally happening. I'd like to point out now that Nath and I didn't find out the sex of the baby. We weren't fussed either way and to us it made it so much more exciting. However, I was 100% convinced I was having a boy. No particular reason but I'd convinced myself.

Anyway as the evening wore on and the pain became stronger I rung my mum to let her know, I wanted her at the birth but as she lives 2 hours away I had to give her some notice. We were going to see how things progressed and she was going to make sure that she made it on time! Nath rung the midwives to ask them what we should do. The advice was "paracetamol & a bath" really?! We then realised that we had no paracetamol in the house! Nathan had to race round to his mums for some. By now it was heading into the small hours and I told Nath that I thought it was time to go in.

So off we went to the midwife let unit, hospital bag that had been packed for weeks in tow. Excitement (Nathan) & anxiety (me) brewing. 

We were seen by the nurse who examined me and guess what? I was STILL 1cm!! What?!! I couldn't believe it! I was gutted and so was Nath. She then proceeded to rub salt into the wound by telling me that I would get a whole lot more uncomfortable and there was a lot more pain to come. Wow! Thanks love! She sent us on our way and told me that if I came back and was still not dilating I would have to go to the main hospital in Shrewsbury. Darn it! I didn't want to do that! I had my heart set on giving birth in the little homely midwife led unit which was cosy and close to home!

For some reason I remember vividly having a bath at 5am. Isn't it odd the things that you remember. Nath slept on the sofa that night as I was tossing and turning, fiddling around with the TENS machine I'd been given.

At 8.00am I couldn't stand it any longer! I went to wake Nath up and declared that we were going in again. I was sure that I would be on my way by now!

We were seen by the same nurse who had given me the sweep the day before. Lovely lady she was. Or so I thought until she told me I was still only 1cm dilated. Are you being serious? I felt like crying! We were so close to meeting baby. I was already 8 days late, why didn't it want to meet us?! She told me I was going to have to be transferred to Shrewsbury which I wasn't very happy about but she had managed to get us a family room. So off we went. By this time my mum had the low down and was on her way.

Once there we were shown to our family room. Our own bathroom and and Nath got his own bed and TV. I was given some Meptide to take the edge off the contractions but it made me very sick, it did the job though. My mum arrived and her and Nath took it in turns to do for lunch or to the shop. I was then given some pethidine which would be my painkiller of choice, it did make me feel a bit woozy but the pain of the contractions wasn't half as bad.

Around 8.00pm it was time. I was taken into the delivery room! Eeek! Time to meet my baby! I was offered gas & air which I didn't like. It made me too thirsty and I couldn't do it properly. Nath and mum were fab, taking it in turns to fan me with a magazine!

I was 9 and a half cm dilated and the nurse told me to wait before I started pushing. It's the weirdest feeling! I tried but I just couldn't! Once I started pushing she was born so quickly. She didn't cry, she just made this odd little whingey sound. She was handed to me so I could check the sex.

IT WAS A GIRL!! All 7lbs9 of her.



"How do you feel?" asked mum. "Bewildered" I said. I was so sure that she was going to be a boy. What a lovely surprise! I then spent the next few minutes calling my family to let them know that SHE was here safely.

But it wasn't over yet for me. Unfortunately I couldn't deliver the placenta so I had to go into theatre. That was the worst part for me. I was exhausted and after all of my hard work I still had to have an epidural! I was gutted but as long as Ava was ok I didn't really care.


I would never choose to have an epidural, it was pretty horrific. I had to have a catheter and couldn't feel my legs after it.

It's funny looking back to that first night in the hospital. Every snuffle Ava made I'd pick her up! I was so glad to get out of the hospital and into the midwife led unit. The hospital was like a cattle market and the food was crappy. I had Darth Vader opposite me (well it sounded like! She was a pro snorer! I was very tempted to cover her head with a pillow but I managed to restrain myself).


I was in the midwife led unit for 4 days. It was lovely. And then that was it, we were off to start our lives as a family of 3.

It's strange thinking back to those early days or even the days when I wasn't a mum. I couldn't imagine my life without her now. Everything is better with her around. She is everything. People used to tell me that you can't explain to someone what motherhood is like and I understand why now. 

It's so many different things tiring, happy, exciting, scary...

But lets put it this way. It definitely hasn't put me off having another one.



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Thursday, 14 March 2013

One whole year

So I'm now mummy to a one year old! When did that happen?! This year has gone by in a flash!

 It's crazy to think that a year ago I was a brand new mum, I was so nervous and unsure. 

Becoming a mother has changed me so much. I'll share my birth story in the next few days but for now I want to share with you the lovely day that we had yesterday. 

Just a word of warning there will be a lot of photos in this post.


Unfortunately Nath had to work, but she was allowed to open one present in the morning.


My lovely gran came to visit 


And bought Ava a trike

 

She also had a bike from Nath and I


I put the teddy bear's picnic together





I wanted a vintage girly tea party theme but didn't want to spend a fortune. Luckily I managed to do it on a budget, got my nan to make the fairy cakes and I made Ava's birthday cake which was a doddle. 


Here is the recipe for a super easy & fast choccy cake.

For the sponge

8oz margarine
8oz caster sugar
6oz self-raising flour
2oz cocoa powder
2 Tsps baking powder
Pinch salt
1 Tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
100ml whole milk

Pre-heat the oven to 170c
Place all of the ingredients together into a food processor and blend together.
Pour into one cake tin and place in oven for 45-50mins
To check if the sponge is cooked insert a knife into the middle of the sponge, if it comes out clean, it's ready! 
Slice through the sponge so that it becomes 2 halves

Buttercream ingredients

100g butter
100g icing sugar
2 Tsp cocoa powder

Blend all of the ingredients together with a handwisk until light and fluffy
Plop onto one half of the sponge and even out with a knife. Plonk the other half ontop

Icing ingredients

100g decent milk chocolate (i.e Lindt)
15g butter
30g cocoa powder
50ml water
1 Tbsp golden syrup

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn
In a saucepan put the water, cocoa powder and golden syrup, heat until almost boiling.
Add to the chocolate and butter
Stir
Leave to cool
Plop ontop of the cake and smooth over.

I decorated Ava's with raspberries and white chocolate buttons but you can use almost anything.

Voila!

Some of Ava's baby friends arrived along with lots of family members.



Ava was extremely spoilt with gorgeous clothes, lovely toys and some money!

She was brilliant. A perfect day for a perfect girl.


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 I will update you all on Ava's birthday party which went extremely well yesterday. She was a very spoilt girl indeed.

I have heard through the grapevine that is Twitter that GFC will be no more! (Sniff)

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Featured Favourites- Write Like No One's Watching

So I thought that I would add a feature to show you guys some of the blogs that I absolutely LOVE and to give you a chance to discover them too (and I know you'll just love them) .

For my first Featured Favourites we have Charlotte whose blog Write Like No One's Watching I recently discovered via Bloglovin', and I can't tell you how glad I am to have found it.


Charlotte (mummy to William & Max the dog) is an amazing writer, her posts never fail to put a smile on my face, they have both made me laugh & cry. I actually had tears of laughter rolling down my face whilst reading this post

If you do one thing today I suggest that you go and follow her blog straight away, I can guarantee you will thank me for it.

Follow her on:

 Twitter 

Facebook

Bloglovin' 


Why did you start a blog?

 I just wanted to write more. I never began as a Mummy Blogger - in fact, my son (William, also known as Wilbo) was a surprise! I began just writing. I work as a business journalist, which I really enjoy, but I just wanted to write about girly stuff for a change. I used to write about relationships, my gym adventures with my personal trainer, and how annoying periods were. Then I became pregnant and I started documenting my motherhood journey instead. Now, it's all about having it all - having my cake, eating it too AND sharing it with my baby, all while trying to juggle a busy job and a house that always seems to need tidying!

How long have you been blogging for? 

 I have been blogging for just over two years - I started back in January 2011 and I still can't believe I've kept it up for this long! It's not easy sometimes!

Where do you see your blog this time next year? 

 Hopefully documenting a happy life! Sometime in the next couple of years we will start trying for baby number two, so that could be exciting! I'd also like to make sure I keep writing things that people enjoy reading and that I stay true to myself too - it's hard to find that line when you desperately want your little blog to do well. But I think I'm doing okay...right?

What do you love the most about blogging?

I love the relationships. I love being able to publish something that is very special to me and see the difference it makes. It may only be one person that comments or reads it, it may be 100 plus, but it's meeting all of these wonderful new people and forging relationships that matter. I have so many mummy pals who I've only spoken to online, but they are really special to me.

And what don't you like?

I don't like it when people use blogs as a place to rant or single out other people. I can sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable being a working mum, or a breastfeeder, or a mum whose baby doesn't sleep through. Blogging, for me, is about being honest, but not malicious with opinion. Agreeing to disagree is the right way to go - because there is no manual for children after all. Hell, it would be a hell of a lot easier if there was!

What advice would you give to a new blogger or someone looking to start a blog? 

 For the sake of sounding as corny as anything - stay true to yourself. Don't try and be like that blogger that you really like with loads of followers, be you. You won't gain readers if you are just like someone else. And don't blog something that you aren't enjoying writing about, it will show. I'm no expert though. I just do it because I love it!

What are your three favourite blogs?

My favourites have to be:

More than Toast - Written by Alice, who is mama to the adorable Elfie and Hux. Alice is just THE LOVELIEST person and she writes so well. I love reading her honest opinion about motherhood. She tells it like it is and I love that about her. She also recently set up online magazine, MAMA UK, which you obviously need to read! http://morethantoast.org/ and http://mamauk.net/

Oh! You Pretty Things - Written by Josie, who is mama to the beautiful Amelie. Josie has such a talent in writing - she's so upfront and honest and she really tackles issues that touch a lot of mums out there. Her photography is stunning too. http://ohyouprettythingsuk.blogspot.co.uk/

My Little Rays of Sunshine - Written by Joanna who is mama to the gorgeous Oliver. Joanna has been a friend of mine for what feels like ages now. I love reading her updates, and I love that she embraces being a mum, and loving nail polish as much as I do. She's a little ray of sunshine herself! http://mylittleraysofsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Thanks Charlotte. Stayed tuned for more soon x



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