Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April Review

I know that I say this every month but March seriously has flown. I can't believe how much Ava is changing, not so much of a baby now. Sad times.


April was an odd month weather wise. A few rays of sunshine here and there but nothing to get overly excited about. It's time to get into holiday mode. Less than 8 weeks! I'm so ready for some nice weather. 

Some fun things happened though, I've linked some of my favourite posts from the last month below:











Image from weheartit.com





I think that I'm becoming more confident as a mother. Weaning no longer scares me, I enjoy giving Ava different foods and bless her heart she gobbles it all up. We've got a great bedtime routine in place that sees Ava through the night (I've just jinxed that one haven't I) and we're really getting to spend some fab days as a family.


I'm very excited about this Summer. I can't wait to see what little adventures it will bring.


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Grab your passport and a bikini...

Urgh I'm feeling absolutely rotten at the moment so I thought what better way to cheer myself up than to post about holidays.



I love a good holiday-who doesn't, let's be honest. You can't go wrong with a bit of vitamin D and having spent most of my life in the South of France, where I was constantly as brown as a berry might I add *sigh*, I have a need for sunshine when the Summer months approach.  I've been lucky enough to have been on some amazing holidays in my time and we have already taken a holiday as a family.



Last year we took Ava to Cyprus with Nath's mum and sister. Ava was only six months old and it was great to have another pair of hands to help out with her. This year we're going to Tenerife (in 8 weeks!) with my mum, step-dad and younger brother. They wanted in on the holidaying with Ava situation, this also means they have baby occupying duties whilst I get my tan on...



Anyway, I was apprehensive about taking Ava on holiday for the first time. What would we need? How will I sterilise her bottles? How will we cope in the heat?
Well we pretty much cracked it and had an amazing time. Here are a few of my tips:
  • We stayed in an apartment which made things a lot easier as we had kitchen amenities such as fridge, microwave and a kettle. Essential when you have a baby on board.
  • Invest in a big plastic bowl. The washing up bowl in the apartment wasn't big enough for us to soak Ava's bottles in overnight so we bought one from the local shop. Cheap as chips and super handy.
  • Pack your baby's plane hand luggage wisely. Scratch the cute dresses and sandals, babies want comfort, especially on a long flight. We dressed Ava in a babygro for the journey (remember planes are chilly with the air con) and we kept the cutesy outfit in the hand luggage for later. Quick change before we arrived and she was good to go. Kim Kardashian would have been proud.
  • Take a bottle (we fed Ava when the plane was taking off and landing, the sucking motion helps when your ears pop)snacks and toys on the plane. Babies get bored too and there are only so many times the old guy behind you will think it's cute that you're baby's sticky face keeps popping up over the seat in front of him.
  • I bought some Boots sterilising tablets for her bottles. Pop your bottles in you brand new plastic bowl, pour some boiling water over them, throw in sterilising tablet and leave over night. Done. Easy as pie.
  • Have a routine in place. We cracked this one, we'd go down to the pool about 10am and Ava would have her morning splash about. We'd then take her back up to the room around midday when it was starting to get rather hot, she'd have her lunch, play and nap until about 3.30. We'd then go back down and swim some more. We'd also bath her before going out for a meal in the evenings and she would usually fall asleep in her buggy.
  • Take teething medicine & regular baby medicine. Ava was teething when we went on holiday and Ashton & Parsons teething powder was our saviour. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you forget your baby's meds all hell with break loose and you won't be able to find the right medication where ever you are. It's called sod's law. Even if they aren't ill just take it. You can thank me later.
  • Sleeping bag/ Gro-bags. Ava still sleeps in hers, (she HATES the cotbed duvet I bought for her!) we have them in various togs and took the lightest one with us. Very handy if you or your other half likes to sleep with the aircon on. You can rest easy knowing that baby won't kick the blanket off and get cold.
  • And the very obvious: suncream, hat, suncream, hat, suncream, suncream, suncream, hat! I was captain cautious on holiday and would slather Ava in factor 50 every 10 minutes. Lots of majorly cute hats for babies out there too!

I hope some of my tips helped a little. Even if you aren't going abroad this year we have some gorgeous places to visit here in the U.K. I'm hoping to visit Brighton soon. Are you going away this year?



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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Taking five

If you're a parent too you will know that it's pretty full on and tiring and if you've been following my blog for a while you'll know that occasionally Nath and I like to take five and have some time together.

Back in January we went to Chester (you can read that post here) and it's usually pretty exhausting when we go away. We get to the hotel, get ready, head out for a meal, then drinks, don't get back to the hotel until very late & wake up early to go shopping. We tend to leave even more exhausted than when we arrived and although we have a lovely time it's not a rest as such. So last time we were away I suggest to Nath that next time we would actually relaxed and do nothing.


So a few weeks ago we booked to stay over at Carden Park Hotel. It's about 45mins away from us, has 2 golf courses and a spa. It's in the countryside but only a short drive from Chester city centre. It's also a popular wedding venue (but a tad out of our price range). We'd been looking forward to this stay for weeks but unfortunately a few days before Ava developed a horrible cough, she was back in our bed, restless nights and prickly eyes all round. I took her to the Dr's on Tuesday evening, he told me that she had a mild chest infection and prescribed her some antibiotics. Being the paranoid mother that I am, I no longer wanted to go away. She was due to stay with Nath's mum who is obviously more than capable of looking after her, but I felt so guilty! I didn't want Ava to think that we'd just abandoned her and I also didn't want Nath's mum to feel put upon. Nath assured me that by Thursday she would be feeling better and she was.



We arrived at the hotel around 4.00pm it was a five minute drive up the long winding path which sits between both golf courses, the hotel is very plush and welcoming. We quickly headed up to our room, threw our bags on the king sized bed and admired the view of the golf course and rolling hills out of the window. This is going to sound extremely sad but as Nath and I don't get to work out together very often we made our way to the gym, it was a lot smaller than I'm used to but we got on with it and Nath showed me some new exercises. Back in our room we bought out the treats!



I proceeded to shower, take my makeup of, put my favourite PJ's on and settle into bed with a cold Corona, tube of Pringles and some dips. Pretty much heaven.

 We ordered some room service and put a film on, by the time our burgers arrived we'd eaten the whole tube of Pringles and I for one was feeling pretty sick.


It didn't stop me from giving the burger my best shot though, It was topped with bacon & cheese and it was pretty darn good. Unfortunately it defeated me. We then bought out the chocolate and Nath fell asleep half way through the film as standard. Early night then!

After a good nights sleep in the huge bed we head down for breakfast. Now breakfast in a hotel is pretty much my favourite so much choice and it's all so good. Breakfast at Carden Park did not disappoint! I started with Pain au Chocolate, yogurt and berries and sausage, hash brown, beans and egg to finish. Nath went a bit crazy-Coco Pops, toast, pastry and a full English! We were meant to be checking out the pool and spa facilities after breakfast which is included in the room price but Nath, unsurprisingly, felt a little full so we went back to the room instead.

Ready to shop! This is one of my typical daytime outfits: Hat- Topshop, Cardigan-Topshop, Vest tops- both New Look, Jeans- River Island, Nike Blazers, Necklace-New Look

 After our 11am check out we went to Chester, we have a Christening tomorrow and I wanted to buy a new dress. I bought a Topshop number and Nath got himself a new shirt. It's nice to go away sometimes but I always miss Ava like crazy! She had her measles jab yesterday afternoon bless her and I've somehow caught a cold and feel completely rotten! Oh well, back to it! If you have any nice hotels to recommend I would love to hear them!

Dress- Topshop £35

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Weekly Round-Up #13

Wow! I'm super late with this post this week. Ava's been a poorly girl so the lack of sleep has taken it's toll on me!

Wearing

It was an exciting week last week! Ava had her first pair of shoes on Monday. Proper little leather pre-walkers from Clarks. They're so cute and they really make a fuss in Clarks. They give you a special "first shoes" box to keep them in, take a picture, give you a little book and a chart to track babies foot growth. Ava was pleased as punch with her new shoes and they've given her a lot more confidence. She's holding her balance a lot better with these on her feet and- I know I say this every week- I really think she'll be walking soon!


The sun also shone on Saturday so I dug out a jumpsuit that we bought her for Christmas (we were keen for some sunshine even then!) it's made with very thin material so it was the first time she had worn it, it's from H&M and the lacy Tshirt underneath is Primark.

Watching

Made in Chelsea is back! Yay! Another cure for my trash TV addiction. If you've never watched this programme (why not?!) it's a reality show about a group of hot young things from Chelsea in London (the posh area) and what they get up to. Usually contains alot of tears and tantrums. Gripping stuff!



Eating

I went out for a lovely meal on Tuesday with some friends. We went to a local restaurant for the early bird. I was too busy nattering away to take any nice pictures, I really am useless on the picture front, i need to get better! I also made one of our favourite meals this week Lorraine Pascale's salmon and sweet potato fishcakes. They're amazing but I wouldn't dare post a picture as they definitely don't look amazing...


Listening to

This is my song of the week. It's making me think of the summer.


Thinking about

Nath and I have planned a night away on Thursday but I took Ava to the Dr's last night as she's had a nasty cough for a few days and he told me that she has a mild chest infection. She's been prescribed anti-biotics which I've started to give to her but if she still isn't well I won't want to go. Hoping my little sausage feels better soon.


Highlight of the week

We had a nice saturday with some of my friends. We took Ava to the park and went for a drink. They all make a big fuss of Ava which is really nice.
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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Amoralia Nougatine Nursing Bra

I was recently sent a nursing bra and matching underwear from Amoralia.
 



Now I know what you're thinking. I don't breast feed Ava nor am I pregnant BUT whilst pregnant I found it extremely difficult to find nice maternity underwear of any kind.
The last thing that you feel when pregnant or in my case post-pregnancy is attractive and I found most maternity underwear unflattering and Bridget Jones-esque!



Amoralia is different, I was sent their Nougatine nursing bra and matching thong and it is easy to see why it has been their best selling product for over for years and winner of the Junior Pregnancy & Baby best nursing bra award. The Nougatine nursing bra is made with stretchy satin and lace which not only makes it comfortable but super pretty to boot. The clips on the nursing part of the bra are discreet and easy to fasten which I liked, there are also numerous hooks at the back so that you can wear it throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding.


I love how feminine and glamorous the set is, perfect for those days when you're feeling more Moby Dick than Mila Kunis. Amoralia also stock nightwear and swimwear, one of my favourite pieces was this nightie with a matching babygro for a newborn or baby 3-6 months. Perfect as a gift.

Honey Nightdress and Matching Babygro £55

Although I only managed to breast feed Ava for three weeks I plan on giving it another go when we eventually have another so the Nougatine set will definitely come in handy.

The Nougatine Nursing Bra retails at £40 and the matching Nougatine Thong retails at £20

You can check them out here:
http://www.amoralia.com/

*All thoughts are my own. I will always give an honest review of any item that I am sent*
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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Supermarket Chic

When we are having one of our "lazy Wednesdays" or if Ava is off to nursery to paint and play in sand, I tend to put her in one of her "cheaper" outfits. By cheaper I mean something that has been bought from Primark, H & M or indeed from a supermarket.

Before having Ava I never really thought about buying clothes from supermarkets but now I love them! Cheaper definitely doesn't mean compromising on quality or cuteness! And I feel that babies grow out of things so quickly it seems daft to spend hundreds of pounds on a wardrobe selection which will only last a few months. They have some great cheap & cheerful bits on offer!

Here are some of my picks-

Florence & Fred- Tesco


Floral Print Mac £8.00
Pineapple Tshirt £3.00
Pink Chinos with Floral Belt £6.00
Spot Tshirt and Ruffle Dungarees set £10
High Top Shoes £5.00
Leopard Print Harem Trousers £5.00


George at Asda

Heart Print Woven Shorts from £4.00
All Over Print Top from £7.00



Jersey Jumpsuit from £6.00



2 Pack Nightdresses from £5.00



Marks and Spencer

Striped Dress with Belt from £18



Wide Waistband Floral Trousers from £12


Walkmates Leather Plait Sandals £22


Walkmates Leather Floral Appliqué Shoes £22


So next time you're out doing your grocery shopping make sure you take a walk down the clothing aisle. 

You'll definitely find some hidden gems at purse friendly prices.



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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Weekly Round-up #12

Wearing-  
 Yesterday I popped Ava in her super cute H&M dungarees. Doesn't she look adorable. I teamed it with her bright pink Bluezoo top and stripy M&S tights.

Watching-
We've been having the cartoons on for Ava recently, she seems to enjoy them. Peppa Pig and Curious George have become regulars in our household lately. So that's what I've been watching... how sad!

Eating- 
Whilst still on my heathly eating quest I made the nicest soup ever this week, even if I do say so myself... Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Garlic. It was very tasty. Ava tried a Cornetto for the first time. She wasn't sure. Mummy had to finish it, what a shame...

Listening to-
This is just my favourite song at the moment
J Cole- Power Trip

Thinking about-
Lots of things this week. Our night away, our holiday, our wedding. Brain explosion is imminent.

Highlight of the week- 
I am super tired tonight after a very busy but very enjoyable day. Nath has been working a lot this week but we snuck in some family time today and took Ava to Blue Planet Aquarium. She was very serious and took it all in, I think she enjoyed it though. The sharks creep me out though and they also have a spider area. Not ideal for my phobia but anyway. We had a great time.



Another highlight this week was holding my first giveaway. If you haven't entered it yet you can do so here


Picture of the Week

Ava playing with daddy at the aquarium. So cute!


I'm also looking for mummy bloggers to write a guest post for my blog. If you're interested please get in touch.


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