Wednesday, 29 April 2015

I don't like it, I love it #1

With us, hopefully, moving into our new home soon I thought I'd share with you a few bits of homeware that I've added to my wish list.

We're looking at replacing most of the light fittings in our new house as they're very dated and where better to find modern, inexpensive lights than IKEA? This gorgeous FOTO Pendant Lamp is £12! I couldn't believe it. It'll look great in our kitchen.

Continuing the light theme, how sweet is this Tealight Lantern from H&M. I love it's quirky look, I think it would be a great addition to our front room.

The floors in our new home are lino and we're having the hall, stairs, landing, Ava's bedroom and living room all carpeted in grey. To save the entrance I want to add a runner and this Home Sweet Home Runner from Next would be ideal. It would be a great feature too.

Copper is my new thing and this fruit bowl from Tesco is lovely.

I have recently discovered Anthropologie and they have the most amazing, kooky, kitchen bits & bobs. How adorable is the little sugar bowl?! And I'm loving these cool measuring cups in the shape of a milk bottle. I'm heading to London towards the end of the month to see some friends so we might have to pay the shop a visit.

In the Spring/ Summer months I love nothing more than a pop of yellow, this Honeycomb vase would look fab on my new kitchen table filled with some beautiful flowers.

What do you think of my wishlist?


Monday, 27 April 2015

The weekend linky

Charl has been a blogger I have admired for a long time, her blog "Write like no one's watching" was the first mummy blog I came across and I have been an avid reader ever since. Her blog has made me laugh and cry over the years, in equal amounts. Every Monday she brightens up my day by
re-capping her weekend, like myself Charl is a working mum and weekends are centred around family time and squeezing every last drop out of those two days of freedom!

As I am incredibly nosey I thought it would be a fun to turn Charl's idea of weekend re-cap posts into a weekly linky. With Charl and I as co-host, every Monday we want fellow bloggers to link up and share what you have been up to over the weekend.

We know that motherhood can sometimes be quite simple and ordinary but there are always memories to be made.

We're excited to discover new blogs and to find some new ideas of things to do with our own families.

The linky will be going live a week on Monday so don't forget to record what you get up to next weekend.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Is there a right time to have another baby?

Photo by PbArtworks

It's no secret that I am getting increasingly broody. Babies are on my mind a lot lately, but so are the pros and cons of having another child, at this moment in time. We definitely want another baby, there is no question about that, I want a sibling for Ava. Someone who she can grow up with and share memories and an unbreakable bond, a friend for life.

But part of me feels like the timing isn't right. We are yet to move into our new house and want to be settled before we think about another child. There is also the financial aspect, with me currently working part time we haven't got a huge amount of money to fall back on and we know how expensive children are! The selfish part of me is also enjoying having a part of my life back and I'm starting to get my body where I would like it to be.

The conflicting side of me wants a baby right now, I don't want to leave too much of a gap between Ava and a brother or sister. I want them to be able to have a close bond and I definitely want another by the time I'm 30 (I'm 28 in July). I feel like another child will complete our little family and I'm excited at the prospect of having another baby to love.

Ava was our surprise baby, Nath and I hadn't been together for that long before we had her but she was definitely the best surprise we've ever had. I've always thought that next time we have a child I'd want it to be planned properly and I've often found myself doing sums in my head, calculating what month imaginary baby would be born if I were to get pregnant.

The exciting birth and pregnancy announcements from fellow bloggers  have me daydreaming about a potential family of 4. The tiny babygros and newborn cuddles. Having had a child, and survived, I feel well prepared for another. Although I can't predict the future I'm hoping that another baby isn't too far away.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Last week a very exciting parcel arrived for Ava, she had been asked to review some toys from the George at Asda range and it's safe to say she was thrilled!

Ava is obsessed with Play-Doh, and I mean obsessed. I'm not too keen on it myself, purely because it get's everywhere and she leaves tubs open so that the Play-Doh goes dry. That being said I know that it would make her day if she had a new set. George has a huge arts & crafts section which includes many well known brands. I chose the Play-Doh Ice Cream Parlour for Ava and she was keen to get it unboxed. The product is for ages 3+ but it was something that I had to help her with, I had to build it for her and some of the parts were quite fiddly. We enjoyed using this and she's been playing with it on a daily basis, a great toy for a rainy day.

From the arts & crafts section we also chose the Frozen Cool Cardz Design Studio. I wanted something crafty that Ava and I could do together but I must admit I didn't look at the description of the product, I just saw the words Frozen and card and assumed that it was a Frozen greetings card maker. Well I was wrong, that will teach me in future. It was a gadget to make Frozen laminated cards which I think for £17.97 is super pricey. It's for ages 6+ which, as we were going to do together I didn't think would be a problem, but the instructions were that complicated I doubt a child of 6 would have been able to use iton their own. We were disappointed with this product but that is partly my fault for thinking it was going to be something it wasn't.

We then got some Lego , Lego brings back amazing memories from my childhood and I knew it would be something Ava would enjoy. We got the Lego Junior- Pony Farm which comes in it's own plastic storage box which I loved. I have to admit I think I enjoyed this as much as Ava. We built the farm together with me telling Ava which pieces I needed and her getting them for me. The farm is very easy to make and the instruction booklet comes with endless possibilities of things to make which makes the product go much further.

We also received the Lego Juniors-Beach Trip  set which again, she loved. She's enjoyed putting it together and using both the Beach Trip set and the Pony Farm set together. Fantastic for her fine motor skills.

I also wanted to mix it up a little so I chose the Lego Creator Treehouse for my cousin. He's a huge  Lego fan so I knew that he would love it. He liked the fact that you can make 3 different things out of the same pieces but the treehouse was the first one that he was going to build.

I was impressed with the huge range of toys on offer at George, it's definitely somewhere you can get a huge variety of popular children's toys.

*Disclamer- We were sent these toys for free as part of this review, however, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, 20 April 2015

A weekend of R&R

Last week was a tough one, stress over our new house, for which we are still waiting on a completion date, had me practically tearing my hair out, so on Saturday we made the 2 and a half hour journey down to my mum's in Milton Keynes.

There is no one quite like your mum to spoil you and make you feel better. We were lucky to have glorious sunshine and it was great for Ava to get outside and play in the garden. Something that she has been missing since we have been temporarily living in a flat above Nath's parent's pub. 

My mum is an amazing cook and she whipped up a feast as usual. Homemade chicken kievs and the most amazing sweet potato chips I have ever tried.

She also made a Tarte au Citron for me. 

On Sunday mum, Ava and I went to IKEA. I haven't been for years and have never had the meatballs, safe to say I was missing out! So good!

We could have spent all day there and we picked up some lovely homeware bits.

I'm going to use this tea light holder as a makeup brush holder, how cute?!

Ava and mum then went on to do some baking, which Ava loved.

I've been feeling a little lost lately, not only with my blog but with myself. I felt pretty down last week, a culmination of things but I've started the week thinking positively and I'm sticking to it. I've made the decision to get back into my healthy lifestyle which I think is going to help me enormously. I can't wait to feel the benefits.

Although we only spent a very short while with my mum & stepdad, it was just what I needed. I've been feeling very down in the dumps lately and just spending time with my family has given made me feel a lot happier and positive. Ava and I are heading down again at the end of May, I'm already counting down the days.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Thomas Land Expansion review*

You may remember that last September, Ava and I were invited to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor park for the VIP screening of Thomas the Tank Engine- Tale of the Brave film. We then got to spend the day in the park and had such a wonderful, memorable day. It was the best day out Ava and I have ever had.

This year we were lucky enough to be invited back, for the grand opening of Thomas Land's 2.5 million expansion, which includes new rides such as Captain's Sea Adventure, Flynn's Fire & Rescue & Toby's Tram Express. There is also the Sodor airport which has a café and themed rooms that will be opening this Summer and a host of Victorian Fairground attractions such as "Hook a Duck".

Ava was beside herself with excitement at the thought of returning to Thomas Land and our journey was going extremely well until we neared Drayton Manor and I realised I'd completely underestimated half-term traffic. I was late and started panicking that I wouldn't be there for the opening of the new expansion, but I needn't have worried, the event was extremely well organised and we sailed into the event smoothly.

My first impressions were very good, the Sodor Airport is the main focus of the expansion, which stands tall and proud with balconies that allow you to look out across Thomas Land. Our first stop was the Flynn Fire & Rescue ride in which you had to stand in the "Fire engine cage" and squirt water at the "fire" as we moved up & down, we got wet but Ava enjoyed it. 

She was too small for the other two rides (Captain's Sea Adventure & Toby's Tram Express) but that allowed us to go on our favourite ride from our first visit, Jeremy Jet's Flying Academy which we went on twice. We pottered around, admiring the new Fat Controller fountain and Ava danced along to the band playing in the new bandstand.

We also tried our hands at the new Victorian games, I was shockingly bad at the coconut shy and hoop games but we faired a little better at Hook a Duck and Ava won a Percy soft toy which I'm pretty sure made her day.

Once the expansion opened to the public we went onto Lady's carousel and walked through the main park to the zoo, which Ava had loved last year. We then ended up in the second part of Thomas Land, at Spencer's Play Area where we had spent a lot of time last September.

After a ride on Thomas back to Knapford and a couple more rides it was time to go home. We had a wonderful day at Drayton Manor and it's somewhere that I can't recommend enough! The new expansion has made Thomas Land even better which I didn't think was possible!

Thank you for having us!

* Disclaimer- We were invited to Drayton Manor park for free in exchange for this review, however thoughts and opinions are as usual 100% my own

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Learning to let go

Yesterday was a pretty momentous day, not only for Ava but also for me.

She tried on her new school uniform, as on Tuesday, she starts her new pre-school. I'm so anxious about it but I know it's the right thing to do, I've mentioned in my vlogs that our new house (which we've STILL not moved into) is 4 doors up from her new school and she will be automatically go on to the primary school there, so it will be an easy transition.

I finally managed to pick up the green cardigan and grey knee-high socks to complete her uniform, I had no idea it was so hard to pick up uniform pieces in ages 2-3 (Ava's very diddy), and with her brand new Clarks on her feet she was set.

She was so excited to try it all on and asked me to put her hair in pig tails. When I saw her looking so grown up I felt such a swell of pride but I must admit that I did have a little cry and poured over her old baby photos when she'd gone to bed.

I still can't believe she isn't a baby anymore, I look at her and realise that she is growing and changing every day & those baby days are long gone. Having a 2 month old nephew has brought it home to me even more. Those days seem as though they were light years ago but when I look back at photographs I remember how anxious I was as a first time mother, those soft newborn cuddles and the dozy feeling after a sleepless night.

I feel so proud that we're now here, we've arrived at this next chapter but this is the part where I learn to let go a little. I can already picture her little face on Tuesday, so shy and unsure, clutching my hand but I know she'll soon be running ahead of me, eager to get in and play with her new friends.

This new chapter feels so huge and I keep thinking that she's not ready for it but I know in my heart that she's 100% ready for this, it's me whose not ready for her to grow up. Why does it go so fast?

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Interior decorating ideas- toddler room

I've already shown you my ideas for our new living room so I thought I would move on to the next room to get the makeover treatment, Ava's new bedroom.

I want Ava's room to be girly but not pink and as her previous bedroom was yellow  it was a tricky decision. I love pastels and had my eye on a mint green or duck egg blue but Ava chose a gorgeous lilac which I was more than happy to go with. Her room is now all painted (which you will know if you saw my latest vlog) but we are still waiting for the carpet to be put down.

You may remember Ava's bedroom furniture if you saw this post, we are thinking of getting her a new bed as the cot-bed won't last forever and I just love these French style day beds.

This one is from Dreams, I think it would be gorgeous with a bed canopy and fairy lights hanging above it.

I love this bedding from Laura Ashley. It would look perfect in Ava's new room as it would go well with the lavender walls.

For our wedding I bought reams of floral bunting from Amazon. I'll use these to decorate the ceiling in the bedroom.

I bought this cute little night light from a  gift shop in my town, I've had my eye on it for ages and Ava does like a light on while she falls asleep. You can also get it from Not on the Highstreet.

I've just ordered these two prints for the bedroom walls. I love the panda illustration by Andsmile Studio who I discovered on Twitter, the lyrics are from an Ellie Goulding song and is from Not on the Hightstreet.

I can't wait to see her room come together, which of course I shall be sharing on my blog. I want to create a little reading nook for her too, with lots of funky cushions.

What do you think of my ideas so far?


Dry Like Me competition

One of my goals last year was to have Ava dry by our wedding in August and thankfully, with the help from Dry Like me, we achieved it! I was lucky enough to review their Dry Like Me- Potty Training Pads  at the time and today I'm giving you the chance to win a "Smarter way to potty train" pack which is worth £24.

In anticipation of Dry Like Me's first TV advert, launching this month, I am giving away this brilliant prize which includes:

-Each variety of the Dry Like Me pads
-A reward chart & stickers
-The award-winning "How to Potty Train" book

Did you know that research shows that around 2 years old is the best time to potty train?

Some of the signs that show your child could be ready to begin potty training are:

- Good communication skills
-Good physical skills, i.e being able to climb up & down stairs
-Being able to take direction i.e being shown to wash hands

For more fantastic tips from the mum's behind the brand as well as more information and special offers, head to Dry Like Me's website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Our new home, an update

You may remember that a while ago I posted some exciting news on this here blog.

We were about to buy our own home, a very exciting prospect indeed! Somewhere to finally call our own, or not.

It's been almost 4 months since we put our offer in, two months since we signed the paper work and almost a whole month since we sent across our deposit but we STILL have not moved it. As you can imagine it's all slightly fraught around these parts ! Do you know what is holding it all up, a letter. Yup, one measly letter from the council. I won't bore you with the ins and outs as quite frankly I don't really understand what it's about myself but all I know is I'm fed up.

I've spoken before now about how in "limbo" I am feeling right now and with Ava due to start her new pre-school in two weeks, I honestly thought that we would be all settled in by now.

I am honestly starting to wonder if we will ever move in at all, which is a very bleak thought.

The only shining light in all of this is that we have always had a key, due to Nath knowing the family selling the property and, as I've mentioned before, the house is empty. We have been able to start decorating so I'm hopeful that the house will be ready when (if) we get a moving in date.

I'm hoping for some good news soon but am still feeling a little anxious. Have any home owners out there ever had this problem?

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