Sunday 30 September 2012

The Mad Blog Awards

II may not have been there as a finalist but getting to mingle with fantastic bloggers and dress up was not an opportunity to be missed so I was delighted to win a ticket.  The Mads took place in a swanky hotel in central London and there were people on call to do our hair and make up before the big event.  I was very impressed that the girls from Regis managed to curl my hair, and that they stayed in! This is a first and I am hoping that with the samples they gave me I can recreate the look at home

The awards were preceded by a delicious three course meal where I got to catch up with one of my favourite bloggers, Kate from Makeshift Mummy.  There were some fantastic winners including the brilliant Mamasaurus, and the wonderful Coombe Mill but all the finalists have such fantastic blogs that my google reader is now very full! 

Maternity dress, dressing up maternity, beautiful bump, tiffany rose
Tiffany Rose, a company selling gorgeous maternity dresses provided me with an outfit to wear and I felt so elegant, despite having a rather large bump.  The dress was stunning and beautifully made, perfectly flattering for pregnancy and I had a lot of compliments.  Now I could really do with some more invitations to glamorous events before February so I get to wear it again!  

liberty gown, maternity evening wear, tiffany rose

The Liberty gown is a gorgeous two layer deep blackberry coloured dress, floor length even with 5 inch heels on (and I am 5 foot 9)!  There is a removable sash that helps show off the bump and the cowl neckline hangs beautifully.  I absolutely loved wearing it and felt very glamorous! 

Before I had to run off to catch the last train home (next time I am definitely booking a hotel!), there was just enough time to climb aboard a giant red stag in the hotel lobby with fellow pregnant blogger Katie from Mummy Daddy Me.  Surrounded by cushions it was far too inviting and I know for sure we were not the only ones making the most of the photo opportunity!  

pregnant on a stag, Radisson edwardian, pregnant bloggers

 Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners of this year's event, and thanks to the wonderful orgnaisers!  I would love to go back again next year!

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Thursday 27 September 2012

Brush Baby Review

We started brushing Dylan's teeth when the first signs of those little white buds were peeking through.  We wanted him to get used to the routine, and brushing the gums can help with teething.  We bought a little toothbrush and some toothpaste, and got in the habit of visiting the bathroom with him twice a day to clean those little toothy-pegs.

He has never seemed particularly excited or bothered by the process, but does enjoy watching himself in the bathroom mirror!  He also loves having a good chew on the toothbrush, and sucking off the toothpaste!

Brush Baby were kind enough to offer us one of their chewable toothbrushes, which encourages independance as it consists of a small silicone piece, with bristles designed to be chewed.  Dylan holds the brush himself and has a great time exploring his mouth with it and biting down.  They also sent us some of their apple mint toothpaste, which is low in flouride so less worrying when they inevitaby swallow it!  Teaching a 13 month old to spit out the bubbles is near enough impossible and Dylan seems to love the flavour of this one!

brush baby, baby brushing teeth, baby toothbrush, baby holding toothbrush

We had a few issues to start with as he put the whole toothbrush in his mouth but with a little help he has learnt the right way to chew it, and loves that he can do it alone.  

Brush baby is designed by a dentist and can be used without toothpaste as a teether too.  You can even store it in the fridge for cool relief.  We have found it really easy to get on with and would recommend it to anyone whose children prefer to chew a toothbrush rather than brush with it! I am hoping that when we do have to move him onto a proper brush he will understand a bit better what to do with it and will transition easily.

Disclaimer:  We were sent a Brush Baby toothbrush and toothpaste for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Wednesday 26 September 2012

Glow Stick Bath

Dylan has always loved bath time, splashing around and playing with his toys.  This week we had a special bath time though, a glow in the dark one!

I turned off all the lights and shut the curtain.  The one benefit of the evenings getting darker is that by bath  time it is getting dark outside and  there is less natural light coming in so it does make it easier.  I bought a pack of 20 glow sticks from the pound shop and popped them into Dylan's already run bath.  VoilĂ , a glow in the dark bath!

glow stick bath, sensory ideas for one year old, homemade sensory

He loved playing with the glow sticks and watching them swirl around and didn't even try and eat one! (I wouldn't recommend letting them near your child's mouth.)  He was in there until his skin was all wrinkled and even then he didn't want to let go off the fluorescent green stick!  

I think this is a great sensory experiment for babies who are growing out of the everything in their mouth stage and would be great for older children too - I mean who doesn't want their bath to glow!  Add some music and you have your very own bath disco!

I would love to tell you where this idea came from as I know I have seen it before but I have no idea of the source unfortunately. 
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Tuesday 25 September 2012

Jackernuts - Tasty Flapjack Review

 Pregnancy has let to my snack habit becoming even worse than usual.  I have always been a fan of snacking but being pregnant I find it hard to go longer than a couple of hours without eating and I am prone to spells of dizziness and fainting if I attempt to.  My lovely friend has sent me some of her delicious new snack bars, Jackernuts and I am finding them the perfect handbag sized treat. 

tasty flapjack snack, tasty snacks, nutty flapjacks

Homemade and individually wrapped they are sold as a 'nut butter bar' and are like flapjacks.  There are many different flavours, with the hazelnut being my favourite.  They are lovely and crumbly and I am using this as a great excuse not to break any off and share it!  

flapjack, small business flapjack, tasty nut snack

I have just tucked into the plain bar as I type this post and I can whole heartedly and full mouthedly recommend these! 

Disclaimer:  I was sent these snacks by a friend who is also the creater of them.  I was not asked to write a blog post, I just wanted to share them as I am a huge fan. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Monday 24 September 2012


Sometimes I sit back and realise what a beautiful, smart and wonderful child I have created.  I may be bias but to me he is perfect.  He cries, he tantrums and there are days I am counting down until bed time, but all in all he is such a happy and content little boy and I know I have been blessed.

With another baby on the way, I cannot let myself believe we will be lucky enough to have two children like this.  Whilst we do have only the one and all our time and energy to focus on him, we are making some transitions now to prepare him for toddler-hood.  He has always transitioned so well; from milk to solids, from breast to bottle, from crib to cot bed and from feeding to sleep to self soothing.  We have never had struggles or battles and he has done everything in his own time.  There are still a couple of changes we wanted to make though and it feels right to do it now before we have our hands full with two.

We are in the process of cutting out bottles.  There seems to be so much conflicting advice on how long to keep milk in bottles for, but eventually they must all move on and the time feels right for Dylan to start having his milk in cups.  He only has milk twice a day - when he wakes up and at about 5pm so we have already changed one feed over to his trusty cup.  Turns out - he isn't too bothered!  As long as he gets his milk he is happy whatever the vessel.  Next week we will drop the morning bottle in favour of a cup as well.  It feels sad to lose another 'baby' thing, but whilst he can transition so easily it seems silly to keep the bottles.

Our next challenge is moving from sleeping bags to a cot duvet or blankets.  He is 13 months now and old enough for proper bedding.  We have decided not to introduce a pillow until he is older, but are going to see how he goes with pajamas and blankets rather than sleepsuits and gro-bags.  He still manages to migrate around the cot at night, so we have started this now whilst it is not too chilly to see how it goes.  I know you can buy sleeping bags for children up to 3 years, but I love snuggling under my duvet and I am hoping he gets used to his before it gets chilly.

My little baby is growing up far too fast, but I am so proud of how well he copes with change.  He is becoming an inquisitive, talkative and adorable little boy and I really hope that any future changes are met with such ease and smiles.

How have you found making changes in your child's life?
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Friday 21 September 2012

18 Weeks Pregnant

Somehow I have made it to 18 weeks pregnant, and it really feels like the time has flown by.  I think having a toddler to run around after means you have a lot less to time to just be pregnant.  My next update will signify the half way mark and it is not long until the anomoly scan where we can check everything is ok, and hopefully find out the gender!  Squish is about the size of a bell pepper now and busy putting on weight as he or she is getting bigger by the day - just like me!  Here is my 18 week bump shot;

18 weeks pregnant, 18 weeks pregnant with second baby, bump shot, 4 months pregnant, 4 months bump second pregnancy

On the Outside

The bump growth has definitely slowed down, although I still have a lot of people convinced there is twins in there (3 under 18 months . . . ahhhh!)  I have done quite a bit of maternity clothes shopping as I am finding them a lot more comfortable and all I have from my last pregnancy is shorts and vests.  My skin is definitely feeling better and  my hair is refusing to let go of any odd strands and getting thicker.  I am not a believer in the pregnancy glow, but I am feeling very healthy.  

On the Inside

I felt the first proper kicks in the bath a couple of days ago and it was lovely.  I have felt lots of bubbles and wriggles but now there are little kicks I am hoping the bloke will be able to feel squish moving soon.  Still feeling very healthy and full of energy, although I did fit in a day time nap on tuesday and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I bought a couple of newborn bits this week (let's hope I guessed the gender right) and it is so strange seeing how teeny tiny they are - Dylan is going to seem so big when Squish is here
I am having the same odd and annoying symptom I had with my last pregnancy where my left ear gets blocked and I can unpop it by turning my head upside down (nothing else works) yet the moment my head is the right way up it is blocked again.  It happens mostly at work or if I am out walking, which makes doing any exercise very difficult! It didn't go last time until I had the baby so looking forward to another 22 weeks of blocked ears!

It's not too late to enter my giveaway and win some Palmer's cocoa butter goodies, just take a guess whether you think Squish is a little brother or sister for Dylan - all will be revealed very soon!

You can also check out my other pregnancy posts 
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Wednesday 19 September 2012

The End of Summer

As much as I love Autumn, it is sad to say goodbye to the summer.  Days out at the beach, picnics at the park and bath time in the garden are all coming to an end as we move towards crunching leaves and jumping in puddles in our warm winter wellies.  We have been making the most of every last sunny day this September by enjoying the great outdoors.  

baby sat in the sea, baby enjoying the beach

We are lucky enough to live right by the sea so have been making the most of it, (and soaking our clothes) building sandcastles, paddling and just playing with the sand and
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Monday 17 September 2012

The First Flutterings

There is nothing more reassuring than feeling that little growing baby start wriggling around.  The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are hard, with the tiredness, the secrets and the sickness for some, but I found every little symptom reassuring, as it told me that my baby was doing well, getting comfy and telling my body about its presence.

12 weeks comes and goes, and the symptoms start to lessen..  My energy came back and everyone knew about our pregnancy.  My bump started to slow down growth as the bloating became more baby, but I had no way of knowing that this little creature was ok in there.

baby first movements, baby first kicks, 16 weeks pregnant bump I remember the first time I had felt Dylan move.  I was having a spring picnic with some friends and had bought myself a coca cola, even though I knew I couldn't really handle caffeine.  I had to leave early and walked to work.  When I sat down at work I felt this odd sensation in my tummy, like bubbles popping against it, and all in  the same place.  I remember sitting there with a giant grin on my face as I finally understood this was my baby moving.  It wasn't the first time I had felt something similar but suddenly it was stronger and more confident and I knew what it was. I was 19 weeks and with an anterior placenta I had been told it might be later that I felt the baby kick.  At the 20 week scan it was all confirmed.  I mentioned where baby was moving and the sonographer scanned over that part and saw his little legs kicking outwards.

This pregnancy, my placenta is at the back, meaning there is less of a barrier between Squish and the outside world.  It means I was likely to feel movement a lot earlier and I certainly have.  I was nearly 15 weeks pregnant when I first felt this little wriggler and I knew that it was my baby telling me everything was alright in there.  I don't feel it all day but most days, several times a day I feel the all too familiar bubbling that tells me Squish is awake and having a wiggle.  

I know it is still early and it will be quite a while before you can feel the little kicks and punches from the outside.  I know that some days I don't really feel anything, either because I am too busy to notice or because Squish is facing in a different direction and kicking my bladder or something else.  I do however, cherish every single movement, and if you see me sat there smiling, hands hovering over my tummy then you know there is a little party going on in my womb.

Those first flutterings are magical.  They are light and small but powerful in their own way.  It won't be long until I am wishing this baby will nap at appropriate times and let me get some sleep, but until then I intend to enjoy my little secret kicks - I love not having to share my little Squish with anyone as I know once he or she is here, everyone will be wanting a cuddle!

How did your baby's first movements make you feel?  Do you still remember the first time you felt them?
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Sunday 16 September 2012

Silent Sunday 16.09

baby's first steps, learning to walk, 13 month old baby boy, baby walking in the park

Love All Blogs
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Friday 14 September 2012

Funny Faces

Children seem to pull such a variety of faces and one of the great pleasures of being a parent is capturing as many as possible on camera.  Here are some of Dylan's expressions through the year.

one week old baby boy,baby rooting for milk
Already making us laugh at 1 week old!
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Wednesday 12 September 2012

Crave Maternity Review

During my first pregnancy I put off buying maternity clothes until I had stretched many of my normal clothes beyond repair.  This time it was not an option as my tummy seemed to expand before I had even announced my news and I still had all my clothes from the previous summer in the back of the wardrobe.  This pregnancy I will be biggest over the winter however and so I have quite a bit of maternity shopping ahead of me!

Crave were kind enough to offer me some of their products and I picked some skinny jeans as well as a black tunic top  I loved them as soon as they arrived.  The material felt soft and thick enough for the winter and they looked stylish and well fitted.  I don't like the idea of losing my style just because I am pregnant so love finding pieces I would wear normally.  

I love the jeans and find that even after a couple of days wear they are still a nice skinny fit.  The stretch is in small panels on the side meaning wearing them after the baby, it is not noticeable that they are maternity.  They are priced at £75 which I think is great value for superb, comfy jeans.  They are a staple in my wardrobe and I know they will last until the end of the pregnancy.  

The top is easy to wear and I plan on teaming it with leggings in the autumn and the skinny jeans when it gets cooler.  Black is so versatile and I think it would be easy to dress up with tights, small heels and some colourful jewellery too.  Again, it looks good with a tiny bump but has plenty of space for my expanding waistline giving the flexibility to wear through pregnancy.

I am really impressed with both items and they are forming the staples of my winter pregnancy wardrobe.  I have been eyeing up several other pieces too and think this maternity dress would be so easy to dress up or down! 

Disclaimer:  I was provided with these items for the purpose of the review but all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
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Monday 10 September 2012

Where is my baby?

Sometimes I wonder where my baby has gone, that squidgy little thing with a little bit of black hair and those skinny legs.  The one who lay back and took in the world.  I console myself with the little boy who has learnt to blow kisses and clap his hands when he has done something well.  This child who waves and says hiya to every single person that gets on or off the bus.

I see something in him that I recognise but he is certainly not a baby.  When did my baby become a toddler?

little dude, 3 day old baby boy

He is learning new skills every single day and he amazes me with how fast he can pick things up. This weekend saw his first shaky steps although I think it may still be some time before he is walking around. This child, if you start counting with number one, will follows by saying 'two' and is trying so hard to copy our words.

He has a cheeky smile - he walks to the end of the sofa, gives me a flash of it as he waves and then dissappears round the corner.  He knows when he is being naughty although this doesn't mean he will stop doing something!

He loves nothing more than to explore and is desperate to discover everything. He crawls and cruises around every room finding the most everyday items more fascinating than his toys.  I have never seen someone look so impressed with a bus ticket before!

baby car, 13 month old boy

My baby used to smell of milk.  He used to spend his days curled up on my chest , never having to go far for his next meal.  He used to open his eyes only for a few minutes every day and only in-front of mummy and daddy.  No-one else was privileged enough to see those baby blues.  The little boy is wide eyed and curious - intently analysing everyone and fluttering those long lashes at all the ladies.

We measured my baby's life in days and eventually weeks.  This little boy is thirteen months - A whole year old and some more.  We waited in anticipation for my baby to meet his next milestones - to hold his head up, to smile. We watch the little boy growing bigger and smarter by the day and wish he would slow down.

I love both these children - the tiny newborn and the mischievous child but I do sit back some days and wonder where my baby is!

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Saturday 8 September 2012

Nurture Box Review

Nurture Box is a new company set up by a couple expecting their first baby.  It is aimed at parents of children aged 0-3 and involves a monthly subscription to a 'nurture box' tailored for your child.  Every month you will get a box through the post with 4-5 products in, one of which is always for mum or dad and which are natural, eco-friendly and organic.  With each box you buy, you are also making a donation to the World Food Program.

All products are chosen and tested by a parent panel, meaning companys cannot pay to have their products in the box.  I like the fact that this gave smaller companies a chance to get out there.  Each box comes beautifully presented with a handy letter too telling you a bit more about the products.

nurture box

 I was asked if I would like to review the August box and it contained some lovely bits.  Along with some handy hints for summer fun, we got:

A Picalilly sun hat
A Green Baby Orgnaic beach towel
Green People organic sunscreen
Organic mandarin body lotion
and for me . . . A Green People travel body care duo

We have been using all the products quite a bit as we spend lots of time at the beach and they are all practical and useful things.  They are also worth a lot more than the £20 odd subscription charge.

inside the nurture box

I loved the box and the products and it was great to try out some new brands.  I will definitely be checking out the Picalilly website! I think that the boxes would make great presents, especially for family and friends whose children you do not see so often, or for the child that has everything, but as a parent I would find it difficult to justify £22 a month to subscribe.  Saying that,  I am very curious to see what is in September's box!

Nurture Box are offering  a 20% discount to my readers on any new subscription order* - this will be valid on the first purchase made before 1stOctober 2012.  Please enter Nurture1 when you place your new subscription order.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a nurture box for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions  are my own.
*Nurture10 offer valid for new subscriptions only. For monthly subscriptions, 20% discount is applied to first month only. Offer not valid for previous purchases. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Other restrictions apply

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Friday 7 September 2012

Baby Brain

Today baby brain got the better of me.  I had an opticians appointment and desperate not to wake the baby, I had the pram ready outside.  All I had to do was lift him out of his cot, down the stairs and into the pushchair without waking him and we were off.  Well I managed that.   I put him safely in the buggy and covered the top with a blanket to keep it a little darker in there.  I shut the door and walked down the front path before realising, just as I heard him waking from his slumber, that I had left my sunglasses and bag in the house.

Panic hit me as I realised I had no money and no keys and the bloke wasn't due home until 7pm.  Luckily my trusty phone lives in my pocket or I would have been really stuck! I managed to put my sensible mummy hat on and we strolled down to the bank where they nicely let me withdraw some money even with no ID - lucky as I somehow had to feed my son with no money otherwise!  I arranged for my dad to bring us a spare key when he finished work at 5pm and we had the day to amuse ourselves!

parent and child at the beach, enjoying the sunshine

With the temperature reading at 27 degrees, there was only one thing for it! Dylan and I strolled down to the seafront and got busy playing with the sand.  He has always loved the beach, but every time I have let him dip his toes in the big blue sea I have been met with screams. I decided to try again today though and suddenly he loved it! I held his hands so he could stand and as he giggled he walked forward, before plonking himself down where the tide would keep washing him.  He loved watching the waves roll in and over him, covering his nappy and the bottom of his T-shirt in salty water, and even kept his hat on nicely for a little while!

baby in the seababy in the sea

It was lovely to see him enjoy the seaside properly and it won't be long until we are building sandcastles and paddling.  Although my nappy bag is always pretty stocked (luckily we had suncream and a sunhat in there), I had not brought a change of clothes with me, so he spent the rest of the afternoon in just a nappy- not that he was complaining!  We went up to the greengrocers and chose some fresh fruit to have our own little afternoon picnic and made the best of a bad situation.

baby discovering sandmummy adventure

It was a lovely day but in future I do find having my purse and keys pretty handy!
blue sky beach
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Thursday 6 September 2012

16 Weeks Pregnant and Giveaway

So 16 weeks and well and truly into the second trimester! 

16 weeks pregnant, 16 weeks pregnant second baby

On the Inside

I am certainly starting to
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Wednesday 5 September 2012

Bruised and Battered

I can't be the only one whose child is looking more and more battered by the day.  New skills are certainly leaving their marks as his skin is starting to fill up with red and black marks showing the failed attempts. 

It was only a few short weeks ago that he sat nicely playing with his toys.  His skin still soft and pink and all body parts intact.  Currently he is sporting 3 bruises on his face down to clumsiness and several on his knees, possibly due to crawling but I can't be sure.  I feel embarrassed taking him out with a big red mark down one cheek but can't explain to everyone we see that he tried to pull himself up on an empty toy box and it couldn't hold his weight.  

bruised baby, toddler learning to walk and bruised

I try my hardest to keep him out of danger but sometimes he has to learn and sometimes I just cannot predict what he will do.  I hate seeing him in pain and would do anything to take it away from him but luckily (unless he is super tired) he is quite good at picking himself up and getting on with things again after a few tears and a cuddle.

I am hoping this is a stage all toddlers go through as they learn and become more mobile but it doesn't change how horrible it is seeing him fall and the marks and bruises that inevitably follow.  Are your children as bruised and battered as my little dude? (please say yes!)
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Tuesday 4 September 2012

Orbit G2 Pushchair

When we were invited to a press day for the new Orbit G2 pushchair I was more than curious.  Reading the information beforehand and seeing the pictures I was in two minds.  On one hand the Orbit had solved every problem you may have with a travel system or pram.  It had gadgets and answers and a very impressive spec.  On the other hand it wasn't the prettiest and vain as it may sound, that is important to me.

Seeing the pushchair in real life and the man behind it was very interesting.  I love the
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Monday 3 September 2012

Toddler Tantrums - The Terrible Ones

Turning one has been a huge milestone for Dylan.  His first birthday, learning to crawl, learning to pull himself up and cruise and my least favourite - learning to tantrum.

He knows what he wants and how he feels but doesn't yet have the words to express it so instead he arches his back, throws himself backwards and lets out the frustration in an almighty roar.  He screams and throws himself round and bites and hits if you attempt to calm or comfort him.  Tantrums can be about anything, from being told no to struggling to do something like pull himself up and I don't like a single one of them.

Some days are worse than others.  Some start with
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Saturday 1 September 2012

26.6.12 - We are Pregnant

After a week of extreme tiredness and clock watching, waiting for seven o clock so I can send Dylan off to bed and collapse on the sofa, I decided to take the test.  I had an inkling at Britmums and went easy on the wine but I didn't want to be too hopeful and have to suffer the disappointment if it was not so.

The ever so important pee on a stick test,.  Nervous for the result, I hid it under a towel while I counted to 200 seconds before slowly peeling the towel away.  I was greeted with two fat lines.  One to say yes I had correctly peed on a stick and the other to tell me I was infact having a baby

A baby, a t
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