Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Baby Haul- Holiday clothes


As I mentioned in yesterday's post we did a fair bit of shopping over the weekend in preparation for our holiday. Before going to my mum's Nath and I got out all of Ava's Summer clothes and made a list of what she needed and what she didn't. Basically she has more dresses than you can shake a stick at but not many shorts or swimsuits. Here is what we bought:

Zara Baby £4.99
Zara Baby £10.99

Next £10
My mum was itching to buy Ava a dress but settled on this lovely playsuit when I told her that she already has too many dresses.
Primark £6.00

H & M £2.50
Primark £4.00


Primark £1.50
I think there's a bit of a flamingo theme going on!

Asda £4.00

I also bought Ava some basic leggings and jeggings from Primark. I can't wait to see her in these outfits. She has a better holiday wardrobe than me. She still needs a pair of sandals and another hat and she'll be all set.

What are your favourite shops for baby Summer wear?

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A Sunny Bank Holiday

Hi All!

I hope that you all had a lovely weekend! Yes, I know that it's Wednesday but I have been away you see. We went to see my mum, step-dad & younger brother in Milton Keynes on Saturday and came home yesterday. We had a brilliant time but it always goes by so quickly!
Wasn't the weather amazing?! To be honest we spent most of our time shopping for our upcoming holiday but that didn't stop us from enjoying a few drinks in the garden and a Mr Whippy!

Ava's walking has really improved. So much so that we decided to by her a pair of reins so that she could tootle about safely. She constantly wants to walk which can be a bit frustrating at times.

Here is what we got up to:

We arrived to be greeted by this lovely plate stacked high with homemade goodies. We knew from that moment that the diet was going out of the window for the weekend.



 Ava quickly got stuck in!



 She showed off her driving skills and found a new hiding place. In mum's bookcase!





On Saturday evening we had a lovely chicken tagine followed by mum's choco mallow pie. I will pinch the recipe and share it with you guys. It's amazing!


On Sunday we did a lot of shopping and enjoyed an ice cream. It got a bit messy...


In the evening we went out for a lovely meal at the Olde Swan in Woughton on the Green. I had a Pesto and Mozzarella Burger with Sweet Potato Fries that I'm still day dreaming about. It was that delicious that I forgot to take a picture. Oops!

Ava looked stinkingly cute in her Primark dress and John Lewis headband.




Me with my lovely mum.


Ava and I in the garden. I'm wearing a Zara top, Zara jeans & a New Look necklace. Ava is wearing a Primark dress and Clark shoes.



On Monday we went to the new Primark and we bought Ava some more bits! We had to get the obligatory photo of Ava sitting on my brother's bench. 


We had a lovely relaxing weekend and I'm always sad to leave. Luckily we don't have to wait too long until we see them again. Tenerife in 3 weeks! I just can't wait.

Tomorrow I will be posting a baby haul of all the holiday clothes that we bought for Ava so keep your eyes peeled!

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Friday, 24 May 2013

Featured Favourites- Bump to Baby

Today I am sharing another of my favourite blogs with you all.



Bump to Baby written by the lovely Alex. Alex is a brand new mummy to gorgeous Ethan, She takes beautiful pictures and I love reading about his progress and what they've been up to. It's just lovely and very well put together. You can pop over to Alex's blog here. I know you'll just love it!

Why did you start a blog?

Well, to be quite honest… Life is great.
 I haven’t ever felt more content and happy then I do right now. I got married to the man of my dreams {my childhood sweetheart} Adam in August of last year and less than two weeks before that we discovered that we were expecting our first child, who is now 5 weeks old and is named Ethan. Since marrying Adam and having Ethan I’ve been walking on cloud 9! I figure that this may well be one of the most amazing times of my life and I don’t want to forget even the tinniest of details so I created Bump to Baby to document our journey.

How long have you been blogging for?

Since May 2012. I used to write a cruelty-free blog called 'The Modern Vegetarian' I then changed the name to 'Blogs and Mogs', but stopped this blog when I created 'Bump to Baby' in January of this year. I wanted to move away from solely blogging about cruety free beauty and instead start blogging about pregnancy, baby and everyday life. I still include snippets of my vegetarianism in my current blog as it's something I'm very passionate about.

Where do you see your blog this time next year?

Full of many happy memories I hope! I intend to write lots more blog posts offering advice and support to both Mum's-to-be and new Mums. I think there is such a lovely community of Mummy bloggers and it's nice to connect with each other through blogging.


What do you love the most about blogging?

I guess I kind of touched on this question above. I love the community feeling.  Getting comments on my posts makes me really happy, I appreciate it so much when someone takes the time out to comment on something I've written. Blogging is a great way to make online friendships with people who are in the same situation as you but that you otherwise would never have had the opportunity to speak to.
I also love Blogging for the 'diary' feel it is has to it, you can capture feelings and moments in time and it's still there years later for you to look back on.

And what do you hate?

I don't like seeing blogs that have just purely been created for the purpose of PR reviews. I like reading reviews but my favourite posts are the personal ones, I like to be able to get to know the writer behind the blog.

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

Be yourself when you start a blog, see you blog as a sort of diary. You wouldn't pretend to be someone else in your own diary so don't do it in your blog. Join Twitter and Facebook groups so that you can connect with people who blog about similar things to you. Blog because you want to not because you feel you have to.

What are your three favourite blogs?

Oh this is really hard, they're so many great blogs about but I will go with:

My Little Rays Of Sunshine -  Written by Joanna
I absolutely love reading Joanna's posts, they're so personal and I love reading about her Son Oliver. She is such a talented writer. Her blog is just pure blog-reading heaven for me!

Coffee and Heels - Written by Sascha
Again Sascha is another very talented writer, she is a word genius! I really could read her blog all day long. It's not a Mummy blog its a cruelty free blog with a bit of everything in it. Her blog has been a long time favourite of mine and I think always will be!

Sparkles and Stretchmarks - Written by Hayley
I love Hayley and her blog, she is such a lovely person and I'm just so glad that we found each others blogs. I love reading about her new Son Tyne who is only a few weeks older than my own Son Ethan. She really is such a great blogger!

You can follow Alex here:


Previously featured blogs:

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mummy's favourites part 1

It can be tough be a new mum and trying to figure out which products work for your baby and which ones don't. 

It was a real trial and error with certain things in our house but we now have some well established favourites that I wanted to share. 

I have made a list of my top 10 favourite products but have broken it down into two separate posts as it would just be too darn long! 

These products are in no particular order as I love them all equally.

 Please note that this is not a sponsored post. These are all my own thoughts and honest opinions.

The Gro Company

Grobags, in my opinion, are fabulous inventions! As a first time mum the thought of Ava kicking her blankets over her head in the night terrified me but the Gro bag has given me such piece of mind! The designs are beautiful and you can pick between various togs. We currently have three but I am thinking of investing in some more as Ava absolutely loves hers. She loves them so much that I actually bought her a duvet but she HATED it with a passion and screamed until I put her back into her Gro bag! New mummies this is definitely one for the checklist!



Angelcare monitors

For me Angelcare are the créme de la créme of baby monitors. Yes they are pricey our movement and sound monitor cost around £70 but I would not be without mine. The movement pad is placed under baby's mattress, be it Moses basket or cot and it picks up babies breathing, an alarm goes off after 20 seconds if nothing is detected. Yes we've had some pretty hairy moments when I've ran into Ava's bedroom in the middle of the night with the sound of the alarm ringing in my ears, only to find that she'd rolled off the sensor pad and it couldn't detect her. The few scary moments we've had are incomparable to the amount of peace of mind it has given me. To be honest I have never had to use the monitor part as our house is relatively small and I keep the doors open. I've 100% had my money's worth from this product.

Little Me 

Johnsons baby products don't do it for me. I know that when you think of baby bath products you automatically think Johnsons but their products just did not agree with Ava's skin. I have mentioned in previous posts that Ava's skin was starting to dry out, I tried various products and then came across Little Me's products. What I love about these products is that they are made by mums and they are organic. I use the Oh So Gentle body wash and the Oh So Gentle bubble bath. You can pick them up in your local Boots store. Whilst Ava still has the occasional dry patch these products have helped her skin no end. I highly recommend.


Oilatum Junior

Whilst we're on the subject of skincare I may aswell share another tip. I don't use talcum powder on Ava. I used to and I love them smell but it just dries out her skin too much! I was recommended Oilatum Junior by my auntie who uses it on my cousin. Every night after her bath I smear it on her "problem" areas and it's really helped to re-hydrate her skin. What I'm saying is don't feel like you have to talc your baby after every bath like I did. Some babies just don't take to it. It's okay to moisturise too and oilatum is a goodie!



Ella's Kitchen

I've spoken before about my big love for Ella's kitchen. If you're a regular reader you will know that I was terrified of weaning. Utterly terrified! But Ella's Kitchen really helped me. Ava's always been a fab eater, it was always my issue with choking that created the fear but Ella's Kitchen pouches are brilliant. The "stages" really helped me to progress and when Ava started on lumpier foods the lumps were just the right size. Not as big as the lumps I found in the usual baby jars. They ooze goodness and I love the different flavours. Ava now eats what we eat but these were a huge hit with her and I cannot praise them enough!

So those are my top baby brands so far! Stay tuned for the rest!

What are your favourites?

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Monday, 20 May 2013

Weekly Round-Up #16



You know when you have those kind of weeks that just seem to all blur into one. Well that seems to be happening a lot at the moment and it gets a bit awkward when you try to write these kind of posts as it's hard to know what you've actually done...

Wearing

I've given the old bank balance a rest this week but it's been Ava who has been rocking something new.


This gorgeous Benetton dress was sent to us for review by the lovely folk at Zalando. You can read the full review here.

Watching

I haven't been watching anything note worthy this week but if there are any shows you think I'd like please feel free to share!!

Eating

Just had to share this picture of Ava's VERY orange face after smearing her spag bol all over it!


Nath also cooked for me! It was chicken fajitas and I didn't die! Result! In all seriousness they were very nice and I was very grateful.


Today has not been a great day. I had a minor procedure done this morning and it didn't go very well. It left me in a lot of pain and although I went to work I left early. Not before stocking up of a few treats from Tesco. Sushi in bed anyone?


Listening to

Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith- La la la

Thinking about

This time next week I shall be at my mum's having a bit of R & R. I cannot wait!!

Highlight of the week

Ava is now walking!! I have a video but it won't upload so I will try and add it to my next post. She's still a bit unsteady, like a drunken dad at a disco but she's getting there.

Picture of the week




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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Zalando Review



I was recently contacted by Zalando who offered me the change to review an item from their website.


Zalando is a young, new e-commerce boutique who stock a wide range of products from Women and children's clothes to homeware. They are currently the market leader in Germany but still fairly new to the UK. They stock popular brands such as Benetton, Adidas, Clarks, Converse, Diesel and many others.

I chose this gorgeous Benetton dress for Ava.


Benetton dress £19.00

The delivery was extremely fast which is obviously very important!. It arrived by courier within 3 working days and I also received a text to tell me my item had been dispatched and was on it's way to me and another letting me know it had arrived. I really liked this part of the service as I'm always anticipating deliveries, especially when it's clothes!

As soon as I unpacked the dress I fell in love with it! At first I was worried it might be a little too small even thought I'd picked the size age 1. But as soon as she had it on it was a perfect fit, Ava is quite a small baby so if you are planning to buy any Benetton clothing keep in mind that the clothing is quite small. The pattern is gorgeous and it is made from thin cotton which will be perfect on holiday. It is quite long and although she has started to walk (!) she still prefers to crawl and was getting a bit cross when it kept getting caught under her knees. But I'm sure she'll be a fully fledged walker by the time we go on holiday and I can't wait to pair it with a cute pair of sandals!

Here she is modelling it:


All in all I fully recommend Zalando. Great service and lovely products. 

If you are looking for something a little different you can find their website here:

http://www.zalando.co.uk/

 *All thoughts are my own. I will always give an honest review of any items that I am sent*

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air...

Picture by http://www.pbartworks.co.uk/


I always say that you can never explain to anyone what having a baby is like, that is until they have one of their own and then they know what all the fuss is about!

Being a mum is amazing, fun and exciting but it's also exhausting, frustrating and sometimes scary.

Yesterday one of my favourite bloggers Charl, who I have mentioned before, posted this fab post about keeping it real. I thought god she's right! I rarely post about my trials and tribulations but this week has been a long one so I thought I'd follow Charl's example and share some things that are true but I try and hide under the carpet:

  • Sometimes when Ava wakes up and starts whinging I'll lie there for a while willing her to go back to sleep. She rarely does. Then I get up.
  • Sometimes I wish that Ava wasn't such a darn fast crawler and that she would actually start to walk properly. My back is in pieces from bending down to pick her up.
  • I've discovered that I don't deal with lack of sleep very well and I get a bit short-tempered and very sweary. Sorry mum.
  • I wish my house didn't look like a bomb site 24/7 but it does. Then again I wish I wasn't so messy and disorganised. I still blame the baby.
  • I check on Ava before I go to bed more times than is probably considered normal. Even though she still sleeps with her Angel Care monitor on
  • I HATE washing up and more often than not will leave it until the next day.
  • I wish more than anything that my mum lived closer to us. She lives over 2 over away and to be honest it bloody sucks!
  • Most nights I don't take my make-up off. I'm lazy.
  • I try and go to the gym 2-3 times a week and I honestly work my socks off when I'm there but so far I've not seen much change so I might aswell give up and just eat cake!
  • I have an intolerance to wine which is just devastating so some nights, usually on a Friday I'll have a vodka & orange juice. Large vodka/ orange. I'm all about the hard liquor.
  • Sometimes I think about the non-baby years and sigh and remember how easy it used to be. And the lie-ins. Oh the lie-ins. What are those again?
  • Some nights I really can't be bothered to make a meal from scratch. Ava can have tinned Peppa Pig pasta shapes on toast and I'll just have cereal. (This rarely happens FYI)
    • Sometimes I just lie on the sofa and let Ava loose in the living room. She reeks havoc but I don't mind. She's happy.
So there we have it. Those are my confessions.

What are yours?

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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Daddy's Words

With Father's day coming up I wanted to do something a bit different and a bit special. I wanted Nathan to put into words what being a father means to him. So he did.


When we found out that Harriet was pregnant there was only one emotion to describe it- excitement. I'm from a big family and have always been around babies, being a father didn't faze me at all, in fact I couldn't wait!

Most people thought that I would like the baby to be a boy but as long as it was happy and healthy it really didn't matter to me and I knew that if the baby was a girl she would end up being a daddy's girl.



During Harriet's pregnancy I enjoyed watching Harriet's bump grow, each scan was more incredible than the last but I am so glad that we didn't cave and find out the sex of our baby. To me it just added to the excitement  We spent days daydreaming of our soon to be  family of three and deciding on a name for our baby which was much harder than I thought. Small milestones such as buying the pram or buying the baby's first pair of Converse made everything seem a little more real and I couldn't wait to meet the tiny baby who would be filling those shoes.



I can still remember every detail of the day Ava was born. Harriet was 8 days overdue and not a happy lady! I did feel for her, the back ache and the heartburn seemed pretty awful and by now we both couldn't wait to meet our baby.  On the day nerves took over but I tried to keep it together, when Ava finally arrived I couldn't believe it. The overwhelming feeling of unconditional love just took over. I was now a father. She was my daughter, that tiny little person will be looking up to me for the rest of her life. That's some responsibility!

I had my first taste of fatherhood pretty soon after Ava's birth as Harriet had to go into surgery which was upsetting for us all as she's been fantastic through labour. I had to feed Ava myself which was nerve-wracking as I wasn't sure if I was even doing it right!



The early days were sometimes scary too. Two young parents so unsure but I think that we muddle along pretty well and I can only remember one very bad night with Ava. We were so lucky.

Now when I look at her I can't believe where time has gone. Where my baby once was an almost toddler stands in it's place with a cheeky smile and bright blue eyes. It's hard to sum out how I feel about being a dad but in one word I would say that it's amazing. I love coming home every day to see her smiley face waiting for me in the window. She's so happy and even though it is quite tiring and she's on the go all day I wouldn't have it any other way.



If I had to share some advice with Ava it would be to enjoy life while you're young. Live life to the full but always remember to treat people as you would like to be treated yourself. I hope that we bring her up well and that she has a happy life.

That's all I wish for her, to be happy and healthy.

I'm looking forward to the future and to creating some more memories.


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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wedding Chat- Bow Ties, Brogues and Braces



On your big day the focal point will (obviously) be your dress, but you want your new husband to be looking dapper too right? When reading wedding magazines I found there to be next to no information about menswear so I had to take matters into my own hands!

I have to say I'm not a fan of the "Top hat & tails" suits. In my eyes they're dated. Nath and I are young and we want what we wear on the day to reflect that. Nath is only of slight build and a great hulking suit jacket with shoulder pads would swamp him. Luckily we're on the same wave length when it comes to his attire on the day. Skinny fit suit, bow tie, brogues and braces. 

Now we are by no means the fashion mavens but I have been trawling the internet and have found some bits that I really love: 

I love the colour of this Reiss suit which I think would be perfect for a summer wedding. I like the idea of the waistcoat underneath which still gives the Groom that dressed up edge if he decides to lose the jacket later on in the day.



I think that it would look particularly dashing paired with this pink Reiss tie, which compliments my colour theme perfectly.




Not forgetting the funky socks to finish off the outfit, also from Reiss.




Now I have been searching for the perfect "look" for ages and where better to look than Pinterest?
 Here are some of my favourite looks for my Groom and the Best Man & Ushers. 





Not forgetting the page boy

All pictures from www.pinterest.com


I love the light coloured suits but especially the braces, bowties and rolled up shirt sleeves. At the reception I want every one to wind down and enjoy themselves and I like the idea of the guys still looking dressed up but with a cool casual edge. 

I'm also a big fan of brogues


All pictures from Pinterest.com
What I like the most about brogues is that is doesn't matter where you buy them from. Whether they're from Ted Baker or TK Maxx, they're always going to look shiny and smart

I'm not yet sure exactly what colour to go for yet. Nath and I both like blue but I've always liked grey too. This wedding business is very hard you know.

We still have a lot of planning to do but things are slowly coming together. I shall be picking my mums brains next weekend!

What do you think of this look?

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