Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Food | Tattoos | Southampton

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy Christmas - see you in the New Year


Anyone else very excited right now?
Our house is feeling very festive. All the presents are under the tree.
Our Christmas food is in, and we have mulled wine at the ready.

We'll be treating ourselves to more Christmas films (Love Actually, The Holiday, maybe more Arthur Christmas cos I am loving that film) and an evening on the sofa tonight ahead of our first Christmas as a family of three.
I'm honestly feeling truly happy. All I've ever wanted was a family of my own, and Christmas is the best time of year for families I think. I know that Henry is going to have no idea what is going on really but I'm still so excited - yes I'm busting out the camera for the ENTIRE day!!

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Thursday, 22 December 2016

He's behind you | Robin Hood at The Mayflower Theatre


I really think Christmas is the season for experiences. It's not all about presents and food (although they are both pretty damn good) but all the experiences that make December such a magical and memorable time of the year.
In keeping with starting some new traditions this year (see our Gingerbread Houses, Henry's Christmas Eve box and the start of our Christmas decorating) I went along to the pantomime.

I haven't been to a pantomime in a long time, since I was a little girl and my Nan would pay for us to go at Christmas. I'm fairly certain we saw Cinderella and Snow White. It's another tradition I really want to do with Henry when he's a little older as I think there's something so special about the panto. It's like nothing else you'll see on stage, and creates some amazing memories.

The Mayflower Theatre* kindly invited myself as part of the Sotonbloggers to attend their press night of Robin Hood, and it was an experience I'll never ever forget!

*SPOILER ALERT*
I won't detail the whole show, but there will be a few spoilers, so if you want to go in as clueless as I did, stop reading now!!

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Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Purrfect Christmas



With Christmas just days (yes, DAYS) away we've been thinking a lot about how we're going to spend the day.
Of course it's a pretty special one as it's our first with Henry, but it's also Archimedes's first Christmas on his own without Dante as a companion for two years. We've decided we want to make this Christmas even more special as Archimedes has been so good with Henry the last six months (OK the first three he kind of pretended that Henry didn't exist, but since then, he's been brilliant).

I'm working with WHISKAS to show you our purrfect Christmas, with a little help from Archimedes.
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Friday, 16 December 2016

28 parenthood confessions


We all know that parenting is hard work. And we all know that there is no real right or wrong way to bring up a child - with a few exceptions of course. But it's really easy to get bogged down with the perfect appearance of parenthood that is broadcast across social media and blogs. Hey, I'll even admit that I don't exactly publish posts on all the crappy bits of having a baby. I want my bit of the internet to be as positive as possible, but I also want to be realistic.

I've made a lot of mummy friends through this blog via social media, and they are all great girls. I'm loving see all the new babies joining us month by month (at getting mildly broody too - my tiny baby is getting big very fast!). One thing I've noticed though is that we don't always share the little secrets of parenthood.

So today's blog post is a little, ok, maybe a bit of a large list of confessions from my six months as a parent. None of them of really big issues, just little things, that I';m sure many parents have experienced, or that new ones are going to shortly. The secret side of parenting.
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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Henry's six month update


It's that time of the month again!!
Yep Henry is another month older, and we've hit the half way mark to his first birthday, and my return to work!
Not going to lie, it's been the fastest six months of my life, and I'm slightly scared how fast the next six months are going to go.

We're fast on the approach to our first Christmas as a family, which I'm so so excited about, and Henry has many super cute outfits - which I bought in 6-9 months, so they're going to be too big initially but thought they'd get better wear out of them!

As with his five month update, I'm going to include a little list of facts and fun bits about Henry:

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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Time travel for parents with Lifecake


Since Henry was born I've become a bit of a photo junkie. Ok,well, I've always been a bit of a photo junkie - you only need to look through this blog to see I spam you guys with about 100 photos for every blog post - sorry about that.

But since Henry arrived, my photo addiction has definitely gotten worse. To be fair, he is super cute, and as he's gotten older I've definitely been taking more and more photos (some of this may be down to realising I didn't take as many as I would have liked when he was really little, probably due to life adjustments and lack of sleep, so I'm compensating). And like any self-respecting mother I want to share ALL of the photos. However I'm very aware that not everyone on my Facebook friends lists wants to be inundated with photos of Henry. And I have a set criteria for images for my blog, so a lot of them aren't appropriate.

We also live quite far away from both sets of Grandparents, so they only really see him every couple of months, and through photos.

Recently I was contacted by Lifecake to try out their mobile phone app* which is specifically designed for parents. I'll describe the app the way the team does "parents can upload images and videos of their child, creating a seamless timeline of every moment. They can then privately share them with friends and family". Basically this is absolutely perfect for us. And I'm going to tell you why.
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Monday, 12 December 2016

Gingerbread Houses with Friends


I think one of the best things about Christmas has to be the food. Am I right? There's nothing like really good good to get you in the festive spirit.
And the food at Christmas is always so special too. Pigs in blankets, mince pies, chocolate log, Christmas pudding, turkey, candy canes and gingerbread houses.

And I seriously love gingerbread houses. We decorated our own a couple of years back, but as this is the year of starting traditions, it only seemed right to get decorating again.
As Henry is still a little young (OMG next Christmas guys, next Christmas is going to be amazing!!) we decided to have a decorating contest with our friends (and Henry's Godparents) Alice and Arran one Friday night!

Alongside our competition we had Bailey's and Bucks Fizz, pigs in blankets and mince pies of course, to get really Christmassy.

We picked up the houses with lots of decorations and icing from Tesco.
Here's some photos from our evening - we even voted on a fave - but you'll have to wait til the end of the post to see who Twitter crowned as our winner!!

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Sunday, 11 December 2016

6 things I've learnt in six months as a parent


I actually can't believe I'm writing this post.
Well I can, but it's come around so so fast. Every single month when I write Henry's update I can't believe another month has gone by.
It's singularly been the hardest and best six months of my entire life.
I've grown so much as a person and changed so much in these short six months, but bringing my little human into the world has been the best and biggest achievement of my life.

There have most certainly been really really hard days, hard hours, more tears than when Alice in Wonderland tried to drown Wonderland and many a frustrated moment. But there's also been the biggest smiles, smiles that hurt my face and brought happy tears, laughter from an entire room, and the biggest sense of pride.

Every day brings a new challenge and a new adventure, even on the days when we've stayed at home away from the cold. And honestly, I could not imagine my life any other way. Henry, my little boy, the light of my life, has taken my breath away.

So he's to six months, and six things I've learnt in that time.
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Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas Gold with Cue Camera


On Wednesday, things got a little bit festive.
If you're a local to Southampton you may well have seen the shiny gold mini building that has joined Guildhall Square for December, and contained inside is a little Christmas treat.

Cue Camera is making it's mark on the city, and helping city-goers get in the spirit with their mini photo studio/large scale photobooth. Now I'm a BIG fan of photo booths. I've worked for a booth company and class the owner as a good friend. I also love photos (like you couldn't already tell) and I REALLY love Christmas. So basically this was always going to be a winning combination for me. Throw in a group of bloggers and it's a match made in heaven.

Right, so the Cue Camera pop-up studio is two shipping containers that have been transformed into a photography studio and changing rooms, and kitted out with literally 100's of Christmas costumes (there's a brochure on their website) for everyone in the family, including babies and the dog! Using green screen technology, you get dressed up and throw some shapes, and their professional photographers snap away and create your perfect Christmas card photo. At the end you select your favourite and take it home!

I popped along with the Sotonbloggers for the evening*, which included a lot of laughs, and singing Merry Christmas to the people passing us by!


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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Winter walks are good for the soul


I'm writing up this post (sorry it's going to be scheduled) after we took a little winter walk to the woods. We just got home, and I'm feeling really happy. Like content happy. And I just wanted to share really - and I guess that's kind of the point of blogging isn't it.

So basically we had a Saturday afternoon with zero plans. Absolutely nothing! And because the weather was clear, we decided to take a walk to the woods near our house and get some fresh air. Myself and Henry have been a little bunged up with the start of colds,and have been hiding away for the last couple of days, so I thought a little walk would help clear us up a little and give us something to do - anyone else always fall into arguments if there's no plans for the day?? Maybe that's just us!

So out we went in layers of jumpers, walking boots, and Henry in our Ergobaby on Dann.
And it was nice.
We talked, away from social media, without TV, without distraction. We talked about Dann's TKD, about dinner ideas, plans for Christmas, what we want for the future. We took a shed load of photos too (you'll be seeing them here - ha ha sorry, not sorry). We found a horse and of course went and said hello. Henry took a nap. We found a local pub. We popped to the shop and picked up bits for dinner.

And we came back happy and content.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A card with a difference with Choosey cards


Anyone else in love with this season? I didn't think it was just me.

We're really getting into the festive spirit over here, including present wrapping (I love present wrapping for getting me in the Christmas mood) and card writing. This year, I'm trying to put in more effort into my Christmas cards, especially as they'll be the first ones with Henry included in them. I swear becoming a parent has made me so sentimental!

Anyway, alongside our normal charity box of cards, I've gotten some extra special cards for family members courtesy of Choosey*.
Like many card sites online, you choose from a selection of designs, for different purposes, and then tailor the inside to say what ever you like.
What makes Choosey unique is that you can add an AR video to the inside of your card - and to be honest, it's pretty cool.

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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas Eve box


We're properly getting into the Christmas spirit over at our house, and are loving creating lots of new traditions for our little family. After all, Christmas is all about family and traditions.

One of the things I've seen on Pinterest and Facebook over recent years is Christmas Eve Boxes, and I fell in love with the idea. Of course, having Henry meant I needed to start the tradition straight away.

I love the idea of getting the Christmas joy started as early as possible (in December, I'm not completely insane), we get our decorations out on the 1st December and do little trips out to the local Christmas Markets. We have an advent candle, and next year will do advent calendars too. This year though just made sense to start our Christmas Eve Box, and I thought I'd share how I've done it, and on a budget too.

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Monday, 5 December 2016

Seven good moments of motherhood


Motherhood is damn hard!
I knew it was going to be hard, but I guess I kind of under-estimated it, but, boy it is it worthwhile.

Sometimes it's really easy to get bogged down with all the bad stuff. I mean it's always easy to let the bad times over-rule good things in almost any aspect of life, but combined with sleep deprivation and a steep learning curve, it'seven easier to focus on what isn't right, than what is.

So to help me, and hopefully you, I'm sharing seven good moments from my motherhood so far!


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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Why we're choosing Baby Led Weaning - and what we need!


We're fast approaching six months! Yep that's six months as parents. Henry is nearly six months old!!
And with that, means FOOD!!

I've known from the start that I was going to follow Baby Led Weaning for Henry. Today I'm going to talk about why it is right for us. Now as a little disclaimer, every baby is completely unique, and that is wonderful. And every parent is also completely different. What works for one, may work for another, or it might not. I'm by no means an expert. And I certainly don't want to say that I'm doing everything right (gosh if only - but that is never going to happen). I'm hoping that by sharing our thoughts and feelings I can start a discussion, and maybe help someone else with their research, because it's a decision that all parents have to make, and it isn't always an easy one. Who knew feeding could cause so many dilemmas!! You just got to go with your instinct.

So Baby Led Weaning. What is it? 

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Friday, 2 December 2016

Keeping it spicy with Turtle Bay


Ok so you guys know about my love affair with food right? It's no secret that I love to eat, and to be honest, my waistband thinks I should probably cut back, but hella am I listening when there are so many amazing places to eat in the city, and more coming all the time.

The Cultural Quarter of Southampton is really up and coming, and is really starting to make it's mark, and leading the way is Turtle Bay. In fact Turtle Bay was one of the very first residents to the new Guildhall Square and is a firm favourite of mine, with many a lunch (especially since I've been on maternity leave) spent there. Turtle Bay is the home of spice. jerk, rum and reggae, and embodies a rustic beach style, with authentic grills and one pot meals.

Earlier this week (Wednesday to be completely accurate) we popped along for an evening meal*, our first as a couple almost completely on our own since Henry was born (he was with us for our starters, then Alice, his Godmother popped along and took him off for a walk and a cuddle - not going to lie I felt like I'd lost an arm, and I'm now completely dreading returning to work as I miss him so much, but it was nice to have half a meal without distraction and outside of the house!).
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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas decorating with Homesense

It's December ladies and gents!! That means it's officially the month of Christmas and our house is decorated ready for the festive season!! And I'm so so excited!! 

With this year being Henry's first Christmas we really wanted to set up some family traditions - some of which I'll be blogging about, such as his Christmas Eve box, and visiting the Christmas Markets in Southampton and Winchester. 
But the first is all about decorations. 

I think one of the most magical and exciting things about Christmas is how everyone (well almost) decorates their homes to get in the spirit of Christmas. There's trees, and sparkles, and reds and golds and silvers, santas and elves, and holly and mistletoe. 
I always knew that the moment I had a child I would want Christmas to be their favourite time of year, and that starts with the decorating - and the decorating starts on the 1st December (or on the 30th November so it's ready for the first - in the case of this year... we decorated on the 25th Novemeber because I just could not wait any longer!). 

This year, we're starting our collection properly, and we've had quite a lot of help from Homesense
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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Getting Christmassy with Degustabox

One of the best things about Christmas is the food. We all know that when the festive season hits, all diets go out the window and we definitely over indulge. But the food is just so so good. 

I also love trying new things over Christmas too, so the November Christmas Degustabox* is practically perfect. 
This box has to be my absolute favourite of this year. It is jam packed with great food and drinks, with a sparkly Christmas theme. So of course to go with the theme, I had to do my photos with plenty of tinsel and some Christmas decorations, and I think they might just be my favourite photos too. 

Anyway, on to the inside of this delicious box (you can get £7 off at the end of this post FYI)
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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

98 thoughts while watching the Gilmore Girls Revival


I'll start this with a huge SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven't watched.... Do not read!!!

The Gilmore Girls was a huge part of my teen years. My sister and I used to love the show, and when it appeared on Netflix I was literally over the moon. I mean Lorelai and Rory were an amazing pair! Then when they announced the Year in a Life I was practically counting down the days to the return.

I'll leave my final thoughts til the end of the post, but thought I'd share my thoughts whilst watching the revival series!

Here goes...

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Remember when we lived here - a keepsake to remember


You guys know how much I love books. I mean I've talked about them enough over the last few months haven't I?
The thing is I loved books as a little girl and would literally be reading all the time. It was a running joke in my household that you couldn't get my attention as I always had my nose in a book. And I have so many fond memories of the books that shaped my childhood (some of which you can read about here) that I want to make sure that Henry gets that same experience.

I really think books make the most perfect gifts. Maybe it was your favourite book from when you were little (like when Alice and Arran bought Funny Bones for Henry just because they adored the book as a kid), or it was a book you really wanted to read but never got the chance to (we have the entire Faraway Tree collection from Emily, which I have never read, but am so looking forward to reading to Henry when he is older), or maybe it's a book that they can treasure forever.

Earlier in the month I wrote about Lost My Name and their amazing personalised books. We adored their first book, so were over to moon to receive their second one - The Intergalactic Journey Home*. Whereas the first book talked all about creatures that spelled out your little ones name, The Intergalactic Journey Home is space themed, but ends with your little one coming home - and of course it's personalised to your actual home.

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Teething Troubles


We've hit that age where teething is an everyday worry.
Alongside teething, babies produce a lot of saliva as a defence against bacteria as they put things in their mouths. Of course they have absolutely no control over it, and it literally appears that your small child has turned into a water fountain of the slightly sticky variety.

With teething comes the usual drool, with extra dribble thrown in for good measure, as well as sore gums.

With this mind, Cheeky Chompers have produced a must have collection of baby bits perfect for every teething baby and slightly damp mother/father.

The centre piece for Cheeky Chompers is their award-winning Neckerchew*.

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Friday, 25 November 2016

Get your Taco on - Taco Bell Southampton


There's something new about Southampton this November, and I'm not just talking about the new Christmas German Market.
To add to the amazing selection of restaurants and fast food places in the city centre, we have welcomed Taco Bell. Yep Taco Bell is in Southampton, and we're already very excited!

The American fast food chain is so so popular in the states, being the hangover food of choice. We're so used to KFC and McDonald's and maybe the occasional Subway, that it is so great to see a new contender to the naughty food empire.

As part of the Sotonbloggers, I was invited along to the VIP launch night on Monday (ahead of their official opening on Wednesday 21st November) to try out their menu and get a feel for the place. And boy oh boy, did they impress.

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

3 time-saving tips for parents

Becoming a parent is a huge adjustment. The hours of sleep dwindle, someone else relies on you pretty much entirely, and life as you once knew it is changed forever.

For instance,  I'm writing this post, on my phone, with Henry asleep in the crook of my arm as it's the only way to get him to sleep for more the 45 minutes. I'm busting for a wee, and its 8:57am and we've been up since 5:35am.

One of the biggest things I've learnt since becoming a parent is how much you have to adjust. And it isn't just once when your baby is born. It's continuous. As they grow and change, so must you.

But life still has to go on. There's still all the adulty things that you need to do, which to be honest you now barely have the time to do, nor the inclination.

So today I'm sharing some time-saving tips, so you can parent and still get all the adult stuff done too!

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Monday, 21 November 2016

Behind the scenes of a family/lifestyle blogger


I've been a lifestyle blogger for over a year now, and a general blogger for over two years. In that time I've gone through a number of changes on a personal level, which have impacted my blogging life.

Blogging is a huge hobby to undertake. It comes with so many added extras if you let it. If you want to make money, or collaborate with brands, you have to promote and engage. You need to be 'out there' on social media. You need to write, and photograph, and edit. You need to plan and schedule. It's practically a 24/7 job even if it's just a hobby - I can't imagine the time and commitment required for running a blog full time.

So what is it really like running a blog as a family and lifestyle blogger?
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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Animal loving baby clothing

 
We all love a good shopping haul right? Well recently I went a little mad at Next buying lots of new clothes for Henry ready for when he  goes up a size. 
As he's pretty much bang on the 50th centile on the growth chart,I think he's going to go into his 6-9 month clothing sometime in December, so I wanted to get prepared. 

Although this growing lark is pretty pricey for us parents, I have to admit I really love updating his wardrobe every few months. And Next are absolutely nailing the boy fashion trends this Autumn and Winter.  
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Friday, 18 November 2016

Authentic Japanese with Kyoto Kitchen


Kyoto Kitchen* in Winchester is a hidden gem.
Now you all know my love affair with food, especially Japanese food. We've even been trying it at home (at home sushi here, and katsu curry here FYI) so when we were asked by Alice to join her for a review of Winchester's premium, authentic japanese restaurant, well, we jumped at the chance, especially as it was my birthday!

Kyoto Kitchen is a japanese food specialist, particularly with sushi and sashimi, which we were really excited about as none of us had ever tried real sashimi before.
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Thursday, 17 November 2016

A lesson in MAC


You guys know I'm not a beauty blogger, but man do I love playing with make up. I just really can't afford the good stuff so I've always stayed clear of the bblogger realm. But with beauty blogger friends, it was only a matter of time before I gave in and started to learn about some of the best beauty buys and trends. 

After a recent blogger event at MAC in Westquay, and of course seeing MAC featured in any self-respecting bloggers beauty stock, I jumped at the chance to get a make-up lesson with one of their artists. So off I went last Friday, and I just had to share the experience with you guys. 

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Henry's five month update


How is it November already?! And half way through too?!
I say this every time I do these updates, but gee is time flying!! Five months old already!! How?!

My teeny baby is gone, and is becoming a rather robust and cheery little soul. It's hard to imagine that next month we'll be weaning and I'll be half way through my maternity leave!!

I'm so proud of my little Henry,  he's literally stolen the heart of everyone he meets. 

Some five month facts for you.
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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Wind in the Willows at the Mayflower Theatre


I really love going to the Theatre. But isn't it always the way that we can't always indulge in the things we really love.
In all honesty I've never really done shows. I've been in the theatre loads, especially since moving to Southampton, but usually for comedy performances, but I think things are about to change.

As part of the Sotonbloggers, I was invited, along with a group of other bloggers to see the Wind in the Willows Musical at the Mayflower Theatre,* and boys and girls, I'm afraid I've turned into a theatre lover through and through.

I've always loved anything involving a little dance, and if there's some really good singing, well I'm as happy as a pig in... well I'm sure you can guess the rest!
Now to let you in on a secret... I was a bad blogger, and did literally no research before the show. But actually it was kind of nice. I didn't have any expectations going in, I had no idea what it was going to be like. I also couldn't quite remember the story of the Wind in the Willows, having read the book a VERY long time ago.

The thing is, it was beautiful. It was so much more than I could have imagined, so I'm glad I went in with no idea what I was going to see.

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Saturday, 12 November 2016

My simple Choc Chip Banana Loaf

Autumn is basically the perfect season for baking isn't it. 
Nothing beats the smell of fresh baking on a cold windy day, and as I'm spending a lot of time at home right now, I've decided to try some recipes and make them my own! 

For my first recipe, a tried and tested favourite banana loaf bread. However I've mixed it up a bit with a little chocolate, because, hey why not. Banana bread is literally one of the most simple things to bake, and perfectly uses up those last couple of old bananas, because we all know we leave two in the bowl for far too long. 

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

27 facts about me


Well this morning I turn 27 years old!
I tell you, that makes me feel well and truly old, and creeping ever closer to 30.
I'm pretty certain I should feel like I have my shit together by now, but honestly, even with all the 'adulty' things I've done,I still feel like a kid trying to find my way around life (I imagine it's the same feeling a duck would have if they tried to paddle through treacle -tricky and slightly sticky).

But I have had a good run so far.
I've achieved a lot, and am pretty damn happy with my lot, and know that my life is really rather good, apart from when the hormones take over!

So in honour of turning the grand old age of 27 I thought I'd share some little known facts about me.
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Teething fashion with Seb and Roo


Teething ain't no funny business, but there are a few ways to help your little one battle through the discomfort and save all of your worldly good becoming stuck in your child's mouth.

Henry has been teething for what feels like forever, and we have a number of toys to help soothe those sore gums, including our Sophie La Giraffe and liquid filled teething rings. These are great, but are more for at home. The last thing you want is the teething toy to hit the floor, especially outside, where you can't clean it properly straight away.

Luckily Seb and Roo has the perfect answer in their teething jewellery range. These modern silicone teething necklaces and bracelets are a total win for teething on the go. Not only are they made from food grade silicone, meaning they are perfectly safe for little hands and mouths, they look great for mummas too.

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Monday, 7 November 2016

Reviving old to new fashion


There's something to be said about originality.  And this is especially true when it comes to fashion.
I'm all for budget clothing... At the end of the day, most of mine is covered in spit up or dribble anyhow. But I love unique pieces too.

I loved textiles in school. In fact I was gutted when I had to do graphic design instead of textiles for GCSE, which is now a little ironic considering I do graphic design as part of my living. Unfortunately I never went much further with it, and I really wish I had. But that could all change soon.

Recently we had Henry's Christening and I wanted something special for it.
Back last year, I bought a beautiful dress for a family wedding, but have since never worn it. The fabric is so gorgeous, I didn't want to get rid of it, but also was having some difficulty finding an excuse to wear it again.
I'm very fortunate that my sister-in-law is a dab hand on a sewing machine, as she offered to turn it into a skirt for the Christening.  

And voila... A brand new custom skirt.
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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Lost My Name - the perfect children's gift


I love books.
I love children's books.
I love books as gifts.
So a children's book as a gift is like the perfect present to me.

The thing with books,is that can create the most amazing memories - more so than any toy. They're pretty timeless, especially if they're taken care of. They can become hand-me-downs to your children, and kept for nostalgic reasons for decades. You can see some of my own children's books in this post, which I will be reading to Henry.

Anyway, I always like books as a gift. I don't think you can really go wrong with them. You can get classics, or pop-ups or something modern. Or you can get something truly personal.

The Lost My Name books* are pretty much the perfect gift for a little one. Something they can keep forever. A story about them that will stay with them til adulthood.
(there's a 15% off link at the end of this post too so you can get your own!)
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Friday, 4 November 2016

Wild friends for little dreamers - Kippins Baby Comforter

Who knew babies would need so many toys?
But all those toys are a huge part of babies development, from teaching them different textures and colours, to comforting them. 

I'm a big believer in multi-tasking, especially when it comes to children's toys.

So when I was sent the Kippins Baby Comforter* by Crab and the Fox, I knew it would be a hit with me and Henry. 

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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

At home Katsu Curry

Ok so you guys must know I love me some Japanase food right? If you didn't, well I do! It's one of my absolute favourite foods. The thing with Japanese food though is it's not very well advertised as an at home kind of meal. But luckily that is starting to change with a little help of Yutaka.

Back in August I made my own sushi at home, which was so much fun. This month, I'm making Katsu Curry* in the kitchen.

What I really love about Japanese cooking is that it is so much fun to make. It's a little bit different to your normal at home cooking, and really pushes you to try new things.

For the Katsu Curry, we received Panko Breadcrumbs, Japanese-style Curry, and Sushi Rice.
We've used sushi rice before so knew our way around it, but we've never cooked with Panko Breadcrumbs before.

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Saturday, 29 October 2016

How I'm changing my social media


Recently I've been really thinking about my social media and how I use it.

As any blogger will know, social media is the cornerstone to a blog. Without it, growing a readership and following is pretty difficult (though not impossible, SEO can gain you many more views).

The thing with social media though, is knowing how best to use it to get the best possible return for your effort.
So I've been doing a bit of thinking and assessing, and have decided on how I want to use my social media platforms going forward, and I thought I'd share it with you so you know what to expect.
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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Winter baby skin tips with Water Wipes


Baby it's cold outside! And although I love it, but my skin, and Henry's skin doesn't. 
My skin always dries out that little bit quicker in the winter, and I suffer really badly from chapped lips, so I'm on the lookout and doing my research, to make sure Henry doesn't follow suit, and if he does, the most natural way to look after his super soft and delicate baby skin. 

Water Wipes* are the World's purest baby wipe, containing only two ingredients; 99.9%water and 0.01% fruit extracts, meaning they are as gentle to a baby as cotton wool and water - perfect for the harsh UK winter months coming up. 
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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Autumn Degustabox


Anyone else loving Autumn right now? I know it's not just me - I'm pretty sure autumn is sponsoring all bloggers this year with all the love it is getting right now.

I'm loving all the crisp autumn days, with lots of sunshine and hot drinks, and getting all the layers. Plus food, I swear food is just better in autumn and winter!

So to celebrate the start of Autumn, Degustabox* has put together a super cue box of autumn goodness.
(see the end of this post for your discount code!!)
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Books from my childhood


Reading has always been a huge part of my life, and a really big part of my childhood and growing up. I can't tell you how many hours I spent in the local library, or how many books I borrowed from there over the years.
With Henry, I also want it to be a big part of his childhood. We've already started his collection of books for his library, which to be honest is a quite enviable collection.

With this post I wanted to share some of my favourite stories from when I was little. Books that have followed me for the last 26 odd years, and moved home with me for the last eight years. Books that I want to share and love with my little boy, and any other future children I have.
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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Oxygen Free Jumping


Last weekend, I kind of did some exercise!!
I know, don't freak out, but it wasn't the traditional kind of exercise, and you guys are going to love it.

A little while back, Oxygen Freejumping came to Southampton, and ever since I've really wanted to go. And last weekend thanks to the Sotonbloggers I got to go!!

Oxygen Freejumping is basically a huge trampoline park! And it is the most amount of fun!
The park is filled with trampolines across the floor and walls, with sections for little ones and dodgeball, as well as the professional area including wall-walking. There is also a foam filled obstacle course, and giant airbag to throw/bounce your way into.
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Monday, 17 October 2016

Living a life of Hygge #thelittlebookofhygge + microwave mug brownie recipe


Since starting a family a major priority of this is making sure we have lots of happy times. And a major part of this is making family time. This is where hygge comes into play.

Hygge is of Danish origin and kind of means a mixture of different things. 
According to The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute, hygge can be explained as 'creating intimacy', 'cosiness of the soul' or 'taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things'. And in the infamous words of Winnie-the-Pooh "you don't spell it, you feel it" - much like love. 

The reason I've found hygge so completely fascinating is that it truly resonates with me, and how I want my life, and my families life to be. I want to create a feeling of togetherness and closeness within my family, and I really feel that hygge is so appropriate for creating this.
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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Pumpkin Patch


I love autumn, and that ain't no lie.

We're really lucky about where we live, as we're really close to the city, but also are surrounded by loads of rural adventures like farms and woodlands.
Within walking distance of our home is Pickwell Farm, and it's a place that both myself and Dann have both expressed a want to visit. So luckily for us, when Alice messaged me last weekend to invite us on an impromptu trip for pumpkin picking,we strapped Henry into our Ergobaby and wandered on down.

We had beautiful October sunshine for the lunchtime trip, and honestly we had such a laugh. I mean three bloggers (Arran also blogs - Alice and Arran are basically working on being the Beyonce and Jay-z of the blogging world, I swear) and a pumpkin patch, plus a sleeping four month old, made for a picture perfect photo session, plus we all needed MANY pumpkins for our homes. Alice will be getting crafty with hers, and ours will be used for Henry's Christening at the end of the month for our autumn picnic theme party!

Here's some photos from our morning in the fields (word of warning, this post is very photo heavy!! But you know that's kind of my jam!!).

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Mumma multitasking skincare with Bee Good


Life is a bit manic as a parent. So much time is dedicated to looking after your little ones and making sure they are happy, healthy and cared for. Free time is not exactly in abundance, and that free time is usually used for eating, downing a glass of wine, and catching up on your favourite TV shows before getting that much relished sleep. Skincare really isn't high on the agenda, and unfortunately after giving birth and dealing with lack of sleep and general day to day skin trauma, your beauty regime is very much needed.

Luckily there are multitasking skincare options out there to give us mums a helping hand, minimising our time spent in the bath room, whilst giving us ladies beautiful skin again. 

NectaPerfecta Beautifying Mask* from Bee Good is the UK's first multi-usage head-to-toe enzyme treatment mask, and it is a must for every mum.
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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Henry's four month update

So we're at four months!
Four months of being parents, and being responsible for a small human!
Not going to lie, I still can't believe he's mine, that we created this little person who takes up our whole lives. People really don't exaggerate when they say kids take over your life!

Our little guy has changed so so much in the first four months of his life, and although it has been a rollercoaster, I don't think I'd change it for the world.

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Monday, 10 October 2016

Travelling tips with babies


We love travelling in our house! Well I do at least, Dann does as long it doesn't involve flying or really hot weather. And to be honest Henry doesn't have a choice in the matter, but I'm hoping he develops my love for travel too.

You may have seen that we took a trip up to Leeds a couple of weekends back for the Bloggers Blog Awards. As Henry is still young, it only felt right for him and Dann to come up with me, so we drove up for the weekend.

With that, we learnt a few things about travelling with a little one. Back in the summer, I blogged about car essentials for travelling with little ones, but this time I'm talking about the essentials for the trip, especially overnight with a baby.
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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Westquay's Your 5

What girl doesn't love to shop? And with us heading straight into Autumn and Winter right now, the fashions are a'changing and that means a wardrobe update is required.

And what shopping trip is complete without a little personal shopping.

Last weekend, Westquay's team of personal shoppers and stylists were helping out us ladies of Southampton with our five key wardrobe items for AW16 - Your 5. 

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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Liptensity with Mac Cosmetics

You all know about my love of lip colours right?
I'm usually a budget girl when it comes to make up. Yes I like good quality but I don't relish paying out lots of money for lipstick - well that is until recently.

Being close friends with a number of beauty bloggers means I'm getting a real education in make up and the pros of paying a little more for a great brand.
I have to admit the two brands on the top of my wishlist for lipstick is Urban Decay and Mac, so when Mac Cosmetics in Southampton's Westquay invited bloggers to their recent lip launch I was really excited to learn a little more about the brand and what they had to offer. 
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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Bloggers Blog Awards 2016


The 2016 Bloggers Blog Awards. They were literally all over twitter the last couple of months, and rightly so because anything that celebrates the hard work and dedication of bloggers should always be a viral cause in my opinion.

This year I was lucky enough to get a ticket to go up to the awards ceremony in Leeds, and a number of my blogging friends were also nominated so we decided to meet up there and give each other some support.

Here's a few photos from our afternoon at the Canal Mills.
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Sunday, 2 October 2016

A day in the life of a stay at home mum

 Being a stay at home mum is a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It has huge ups, and massive downs, and twists and turns unexpectedly, and occasionally makes you want to throw up. It also has the ultimate highs and that amazing feeling of being completely invincible.

I decided before Henry arrived that I wanted to take the full year of maternity leave that was on offer. We've been making sure that we have money saved for the last three months of the leave when maternity payments stop so we should be fine.
It's been an odd few months getting used to being at home with a little one and developing a routine.
More often than not our days are pretty consistent, with the occasional curveball thrown in for good measure and to keep me on my toes.

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Friday, 30 September 2016

September Degustabox


It's a new month which can mean only one thing... it's Degustabox* time!
The September Degustabox is as good as always with a great mix of old and new brands with lunch, dinner and snacks covered. I still really love getting the boxes through the post, and discovering new foods and brands. I've really enjoyed learning about lots of different brands, and have really fallen in love with different foods from them over the last few months.

You can get your own box delivered direct to your home with my special £7 money off code at the end of the post.


So inside the September box splits rather perfectly into the larder, snacks for work or play and plenty of hydration.
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