Blog Everyday In August

I recently decided to set myself a task to blog everyday in August after a recent blogging block when life bits and bobs got in the way so I am hoping that this will get me back in to the swing of things. I would love for lots more of you to get involved if you want. Below are my prompts what I will be using feel free to use them everyday use them in the same order or mix them round create your own basically do what you want. I would love it if you do decide to join me please post your blog link so I can check out your posts.
  1. Greatest achievement
  2. A photo of us
  3. Life goal
  4. Happiness is...
  5. Something new
  6. A day in our life
  7. Guilty pleasure
  8. Get crafty
  9. Self portrait
  10. How are you today?
  11. Something beautiful
  12. Nature
  13. Best bit of your day
  14. Your favourite photo
  15. I'm thankful for...
  16. Tradition
  17. 5 favourite blogs
  18. A summer memory
  19. Things you should know about me
  20. You need to read this...
  21. Promises
  22. Time for change
  23. Why do you blog?
  24. A quote to live by
  25. A wonderful day
  26. A role model
  27. Wishlist
  28. When I grow up
  29.  What's on your mind
  30. Today I ate
  31. Blog goals for next month



Steri-Bottle Review *

Everybody knows that bottle feeding is in no way as fuss free as breast feeding (Once you have mastered it that is) With breast feeding you don't have to worry about being caught short without a sterilised bottle when you are out and about. To make that easier for bottle feeding parents Tommee Tippee have bought out these Steri-Bottles. These bottles are BPA free they have special "breast like" teats so that if you use these along with breast feeding your little one wont get confused.

These bottles would be fab to keep in your changing bag just in case especially with a small baby because a trip may over run and nobody wants to be caught short away from home with a baby screaming for their next feed.

They are also handy for day trips with older babies you can just give them their morning bottle in the car and then bin it when they have finished simple as that. You can get these bottles in packs of 5 so I would probably get these if I was going abroad instead of taking my own bottles and sterilizing equipment it would be so much easier especially in areas where you can't use their tap water.

A sign that Thomas loves his milk a little milk dribble.


Hopeful House Move

You may or may not have noticed that I have been pretty distant from the blogging and Twitter world it first started with a week off whilst we enjoyed our first family holiday but since then all of my spare time has gone in to trying to find us a new house. I mean literally every spare minute I have been searching Zoopla or Right move and trying to arrange viewings to go see houses and getting pretty down about it all as it seemed every house I phoned about had gone as soon as it went on the website which can make you feel pretty down about it all and thinking we are never going to find another house. 

 At last I think we have finally found our new home although we can't properly get the ball rolling until the beginning of August because the move in date wouldn't be until September but fingers crossed for us. Although we are trying not to get our hopes up we have already started to have a clear our which we needed to do anyway whether we move soon or not.

Having a new house means out with the old and in with the new but trying to do it on the semi cheap. One of the main things I want it for Thomas to have a bedroom that looks good with furniture that matches so we will be selling his old mismatched wardrobe and drawers and he will be having our wardrobe and drawers which are still fairly new because they match his cot and then we will be getting some new furniture in our room which I have already priced up and started to save for and that is a couple of bits from the Malm collection at Ikea and I want them in white as I want our new bedroom to be a nice calm tranquil room with no mess... Yeah right with my husband.

Have you seen the Ikea "My Pad" video on youtube? I love it, I've included it below even though it's a spoof type video it does also give a bit of inspiration for furniture and room looks. There is also a video on the Ikea Uk channel called One Room Paradise and this might sound a bit daft but it actually brought a little tear to my eye it's so cute! go and have a look


My First Nappy Cake

A good friend of mine has just finished work to start her maternity leave and I was sort of in charge of getting her present she mentioned that she wanted a gift voucher for our local shopping center but I didn't just want to get that as it isn't very thoughtful but like most mums she already has everything that she needs. So in a last minute decision I decided to make her a nappy cake.

This is how it turned out and I am really pleased with it.

I thought I would tell you how I made it just in case you wanted to give it a go to make a lovely gift to a soon to be mum.

Firstly there a few different ways you can make the base layer, most were to fiddly for me in the short amount of time I had to make it with Thomas around so I used an old Glossybox I rolled up a packet of 24 size 1 nappies and secured them with bobbles (you can use elastic bands but I couldn't find them anywhere) and stood them up in the box and at the centre I stood a bottle of Johnsons baby shampoo but you could anything really that is a similar size this will give the next layer of nappies something to to be tied to.

Around the box are 2 muslin clothes just to make it look prettier and they are also handy because every mum needs a lot of these.

For the second layer I used rolled up vests secured with a bobble again and then to keep them all in place I used a rolled up muslin which is tied round the back.

I used a cute rabbit comforter round on top to cover the top of the shampoo bottle but you could use anything really. The second rabbit in the first layer is a cute little rabbit rattle and I also used some rolled up bibs to look a bit like flowers and just make the nappy layer look a bit more pretty.

You could just leave your nappy cake like that but I chose to put it all on a cardboard cupcake stand because I had a few more little bits to add and also needed somewhere to put the gift card.

This nappy cake was actually pretty easy to make and I may experiment with more in the future. If I can make one then anybody can


Letter's To My Son #8

Dear my beautiful Thomas

We have recently enjoyed your very first holiday and what a lovely time we had. Although you were harder work than normal you enjoyed every second and so did Daddy and I, we absolutely loved watching you toddling around have having fun. We got you a little paddling pool and you LOVED it, you didn't even wait for me to put your swim shorts on half the time just climbed in fully clothed. You love being treated like a big boy, you enjoyed your morning walk to the shop with daddy to get a paper and watching you toddle off waving at me just filled my heart with so much love.

You have recently learned how to get peoples attention and how to make people laugh the main thing you do is the cheeky grin like in the photo above and you are a monkey with it! You like to pull it out when you know you are doing something naughty like throwing your food on the floor and I tell you it's naughty and you flash this grin I have to turn away because it makes me smile so much. You do it all the more if we smile or laugh at you.

If we are in a small shop or if I am talking to somebody and they don't speak to you or pay you any attention you will make noises and try to get in their line of view until they speak to you and then you act all cute.

Just lately you seem to be learning something new everyday and I'm just left in awe of you just lately grandad taught you to climb stairs which I wasn't too chuffed about as now every step you see you want to climb up. You recently come home from Grandads after an afternoon of playing with your cars together and you now make "brrrrrm" noises whenever you play with them it's just so cute and special I love watching you in your own little world when you're playing. You are growing far too quick but I am loving every second.

Love you so much baby boy
Mummy xx


Recent Favourites #2

I have been loving this blusher palette just lately as I have been really enjoying experimenting with different blusher shades especially the peachy sort of shades as I have found they actually quite suit me. I have had this for ages and got it from Ebay if you just search "blusher palettes" they come up and I think this was about £4.99 it is from Hong Kong so maybe if you have sensitive skin you may not want to try it but I've never had any problems or reactions from it.

Is there anybody who doesn't use this Rimmel Stay Matte? I love it and for £3.99 it is brill, I have been using it with my new Real Techniques powder brush and it just sets my face and foundation lovely. It can be used during this hot weather with no foundation to keep shine at bay.

The Real Techniques brush is also one of my favourites this month. It is so lovely and soft and I love how big it is, it just makes it so easy to dust powder over your face.

No7 Melting gel cleanser and face brush. I have been loving this duo and a full review will be coming on them soon so that is all I have to say at the minute.

I have been loving this Miss Sporty lippy lately it's the "my lips but better" sort of dusky pink and for the price which is around a couple of quid it's brill but I'm afraid the shade name has rubbed off.

My new love my Tangle Teaser this just makes brushing wet hair sooo easy! I bet it would also make brushing little girls hair a lot more easier and less painful.


Thomas Makes A Doggy Friend

On the Friday during our holiday my sister and her boyfriend came to us as they were staying in the caravan the week after and my sister brought along her dog. Thomas was fascinated by her, he has seen other dogs before my auntie has a dog but Poppy is a lot more calmer so Thomas dared to get a little closer.

"You stay there Poppy so we can look out of the window"

"What can you see Poppy" 

It was very cute watching how Thomas was with the dog he was desperate to touch her and kept trying to get really close but Poppy just wandered off. By the end of their time together Poppy did finally let Thomas stroke her although it was a bit more heavy handed than a stroke and she soon trotted off again.


Holidaying As A Parent Is Not Relaxing

Here are a few things I learned during our first family holiday.

  • Country air does something funny to Thomas
  • Not taking a travel cot was a big mistake
  • Bedtime goes out the window
  • Long drives with a toddler who is awake are not fun
  • Keeping a toddler entertained in a car is hard work
  • Snacks will be your best friend
  • Thin curtains result in waking up before 6am
  • New environments are extremely exciting for toddlers
  • Hundreds of drawers and cupboard doors that are in a toddlers reach are not good and results in lots of trapped fingers.
  • Curtains and nets that go down to the floor are really fun for toddlers to play hide and seek in
  • Afternoon naps are a waste of time


Recent Empties #2

My project use up has been going pretty well lately and I have been managing to work my way through quite a number of products. The lame part of me feels a great sense of satisfaction when I finish a product that has been hanging around for a while.

I have used up my first bottle of Rimmels Wake me up foundation. I have mentioned this a number of time now on my blog I love it, I love the coverage it gives and how it leaves my skin looking and I have already bought my next bottle.

No7 Hot cloth cleanser - I have also talked about this product on my blog before and it is another favourite of mine. I actually prefer this to the Liz Earle and will definitely buy this again but I have a couple more Hot cloth cleansers I want to try out first.

No7 Protect & Perfect beauty serum - I think I got this sample as part of a free goody bag that was on offer a while back so I have recently been using it up there isn't much to say about it really other than it made my skin fairly soft but I don't really think I will give serums a go for a while as I have so many face creams to use up.

NYC Showtime mascara - I really liked this and I think it was about £1.99 and for that price it was really good it made my lashes appear longer although it did dry up rather quick but for the price I would buy it again.

No7 Beautiful Skin day cream - I really liked this moisturiser and I have reviewed it before on my blog. I would think about buying it again after i've used up the moisturisers I have already.

Natural Collection tinter moisturiser - This is your basic tinted moisturiser it's pretty good for use on hot days when you don't want to wear foundation. There are better products out there but this would be good for younger girls to try out as it's only £1.99 so maybe if you have a teenage daughter who wants to wear make up but you don't want her to wear proper foundation?

Vaseline lipbalm - I think I prefer using the vaseline in this way rather than in a tin. It's a make up bag must have and a great lipbalm and the first one I have ever finished.

Garnier Eye roll on - I was a bit disappointed with this I don't really know the point of it, I didn't notice that it did anything and I wont be buying it again.

Time moisturiser - I got this sample in a beauty box and it did the job and kept my skin soft but I wasn't wowed by it so I probably wouldn't think about trying to find it to repurchase.


Let's Go To The beach

Whilst on holiday Thomas had his first trip to the beach. it took him a little while to get use to walking on the sand especially where the sand was really soft. Thomas is an expert sandcastle crusher as quick as you build one he knocks it down again.

Taking Thomas to the beach was the one experience I was looking forward to the most during our holiday. Seeing my beautiful boy having fun and playing in the sand without a care in the world and for that half hour or so the world was perfect.

However I will be glad of the day when Thomas doesn't think the sand looks tasty you literally can't take your eyes off toddlers for a moment as they will try to take a mouthful of sand. I did warn him it would hurt on the way out though....


Our First Family Holiday - Part 2 Thomas Becomes One With Grass

My son use to be a bit weird with grass it use to bother him for some strange reason but whilst on holiday he started to love it when he realised there was nothing bad about it and it actually hurt a lot less if he fell on it.

Mamma I'm coming for you

Helping mummy eat/drink her slush puppy


Our First Family Holiday - Looe Part 1

We are back from our first family holiday, let me just say holidaying as a parent is hard work and in no way relaxing and that is just my view from one holiday with one 13month old. More on this another time though.

 I think this is my favourite photo from the whole holiday and it was the first photo I took
It just shows Thomas at his cheekiest.

Thomas's first trip to the beach... He slept

We bought Thomas a little paddling pool to use at the caravan to keep him cool and he absolutely loves it, it just makes me sad that we don't have a garden for him to play with one at home.

Thomas loved his first BBQ

Being a little tinker and climbing on his deck chair

When did my baby get so big? Thomas looks like such a big boy in this photo

Thomas absolutely loved being in a new environment the first day he spent just walking around the caravan exploring all the different rooms although we had a couple of trapped fingers as there were so many cupboards and drawers we couldn't keep up with pulling him away.

As you can see from the first photo there were double doors leading out to a little balcony which was safe for him to go on by himself so because of the heat we kept the doors open all week so he could go out whenever he wanted which I think he enjoyed.


A Weakness for Clarins

Self-esteem is a tricky one - take any given number of people and you might well find that same number of differing opinions about how to maintain it. For me, it seems to involve spending money!

At its heart, self-esteem is about believing that you’re worth it (as a certain hair advert tells us) and for me that means making the effort to look after myself. Since giving up work due to PND, and ending up staying at home with my children, this has taken shape in new ways. I no longer have the gym membership that came with the job (nor the time to use it!), I clearly don’t need to wear a suit or smart shoes to race around after two small people at the playground, and there is no point putting on my favourite hand-wash-only cashmere jumper in order to serve pasta and tomato sauce for supper. And since not earning means economising, it’s easy to neglect things that others might regard as essential like having one’s hair cut from time to time, and therefore also easy to start feeling unkempt and by association, un-cared for.

At a particularly low-point, I happened to wander into a big department store, feeling even more invisible and cumbersome than usual (a difficult combination best attempted only when dressed in one's oldest baggiest clothes and whilst pushing a large pushchair), and somehow caught the eye of the assistant at the Clarins counter. She saw likely prey and gave me several free samples, which had the desired effect - I had never felt so pampered as I did when I used that stuff! This was the start of a slippery slope, and now I can freely say that when I’m feeling scruffy, greying and untidy, what perks my spirits up is super expensive beauty products. (Yes, I did say economising came into life, but there have to be exceptions, and this is mine!)

You may call me shallow (yes, I can hear you, thanks for that), but it works. Clarins, Liz Earle, Chanel - these are the things that make me feel like a grown-up: if I’ve washed my face properly, toned it and moisturised it with something that smells divine, and spritzed on a little bit of perfume, then somehow putting on yesterday’s t-shirt and jeans, complete with mud on the knees and a used tissue in the pocket, doesn’t seem quite so scummy.

Maybe no-one else notices, but I do, and those few minutes in the bathroom when I get to “do my face” feel like a snatched moment in another world, even when there’s a toddler clawing at my knees because she wants me to hurry up and read her a story, or change her smelly nappy...

So come on - share your secrets too: what makes you feel better about life on the days when you’re feeling sleep-deprived or just generally down-trodden? What does it for you?

Fiona Lewis is one of those plate-spinning stay-at-home parents, trying to clear head-space among the lego for blogging (www.peelinganapple.blogspot.co.uk) and keeping her grown-up sanity by making fine silver jewellery, for sale at www.morganandpink.etsy.com (where you can get 10% off throughout July with code cijuk10). She also has ambitions to be a domestic goddess, but has quite a long way to go yet in that sphere...


You Know Them Days When...

Your toddler wants to
Sit on your knee
But they don't, they actually want to sit on the floor
but then they start to cry because they do really want to sit on your knee
They are hungry and desperately need food
but they think it would be more fun to throw it on the floor
or on mummy's head
What they really want is a drink
but they don't really they want to chuck that on the floor because actually
they want to eat their food.
Then your toddler wants to go play
after they have thought about it they really want to sit on your knee
They swiftly decide they made the wrong decision there so they push your face out of the way
struggle down back on to the floor and cry.
Repeat a few more times
Your toddler now decides they are tired
but they don't want to sleep
They want to play instead
but then they cry because they really want to sit on your knee
They decide they are getting hungry
You put the tea in the oven
They decide just to have a little lie down until their dinner is ready
Then they fall asleep
Don't you just love days like this


Returning To Work By Ella At Bells Little Ones

In two weeks time, my little boy and I face the biggest change our lives have ever seen since the day he was born. Less than two months shy of his second birthday, I have been offered a job and I am going back to work which can only mean one thing.... childcare.

This subject alone is probably enough to fill out a whole post but today, I'm not writing about that. Suffice to say that we have chosen our childcare (a convenient and well recommended nursery) and Oliver has a few 'settling in' sessions with them next week.

If you'd asked me a month ago who I thought would find this transition harder, I'd have said "Me!" without a shadow of a doubt. However, kids seems to have an uncanny ability to pick up on change and in the last few weeks, true to form, my little boy has started to get upset whenever I leave the house without him, even when being left with daddy or the most trusted of babysitters and earlier this week when I had the audacity to leave him in the creche at our local leisure centre for half an hour so I could go for a swim, he cried immediately upon arrival (I have no idea why, he's never been before so he couldn't have known I was going to leave) and, despite my calming him and then leaving when he seemed happy, apparently he cried for the whole of my swim and the poor girl ended up pushing him around in his pushchair the entire time!

Needless to say, none of this bodes well for a smooth nursery transfer and I'm now dreading it somewhat. I can't help thinking that most children have been in some form of regular childcare by the time they reach this age and that no doubt it is easier to start them when they are younger and are less aware of what is happening to them. I hope I have not made life too difficult for us both by keeping him with me until now but ohhh how I've loved every second of it!

Do any of you have any stories like this which have a happy ending and might reassure me? If you want to find out how we get on, please come and visit us over at Bells Little Ones!


NEWSFLASH People Have Different Parenting Style

Every so often a news story comes about and it seems to cause uproar amongst mums, especially on Twitter people then seem to think it's ok to turn against each other and be pretty bitchy. A small number of people seem to believe that there is only one way to parent and if you go against their parenting styles well then quite frankly you are the most rubbish parent on this earth. To these people I say get a grip nobody knows what your family life you are the only one who knows how to parent your child. What works for you may not work for your neighbour, sure I have asked for advice from people who had children before I had Thomas some of it was the best advice I have ever been given, some didn't work for us it doesn't mean that they had it wrong it just means our children are different. If people were to ask me for advice which they have before I can only tell them my views and experiences on things if doesn't work for them doesn't mean I've done anything wrong.

I often feel like banging my head against something very hard on days like this you can't do right for doing wrong and you will definitely never win. I have compiled a list of things not to do so I hope it helps you become one of those perfect parents.

Don't bottle feed because that's bad
Don't Breastfeed because that is also bad especially if done in public
Don't co-sleep because that's bad
Don't rock your baby to sleep because that is bad
Don't let your baby cry it out because that's bad
Don't move your baby in to their own room too soon because that's bad
Don't wean your baby before 6 months even if you feel they are ready because that's bad
Don't wean your baby with purees because that's bad
Don't follow BLW because that is bad
Don't give your baby anything sweet because that is bad
Don't put your child in nursery
Don't take your child to a childminder
Don't go back to work
Don't be a SAHM

These are just a few rules you should follow during the first year of your child's life so that you can be sure you are doing it right. Although what do I know I bottle fed, co-sleep sometimes, moved Thomas to his own room before 6 months, fed Thomas purees and also we did a bit of baby led, I give Thomas sweet stuff, I put Thomas in nursery and shock horror I went back to work! So I am pretty rubbish on the parenting scale but we can't all be perfect parents can we?


Happy Birthday To Meeeeeee

Today I turn 24
Getting closer to my mid-twenties
Nearly a quarter of a century!


The Tangle Teaser

I know Tangle Teasers are old news now as they have been out for a couple of years but I finally got round to buying one. I saw these bright orange ones in my hairdressers and I had a bit of birthday money David had given me to buy something pretty so I finally treated myself to one.

I have already been converted, where has this brush been all my life? Lugs are now a thing of the past the Tangle teaser it also makes brushing through wet or damp hair a doddle too and makes it so fast.

I also use the Tangle Teaser on Thomas's hair and he just sits and lets me brush his hair through. In fact if he sees the brush about he will just give his own hair a quick brush. This is a definite handbag essential for me now too.

You can buy Tangle Teasers from Boots, Amazon and lots of other websites


Thomas's First Trip To The Hairdressers

I did it, I finally did it, I had been putting off taking Thomas to the hairdressers for the longest time. I have given him a couple of little trims myself but he needed a full on tidy up so I finally bit the bullet and booked him at my hair dressers.

I was so proud of Thomas he sat on my knee for around 30minutes and he was such a good boy, of course he kept having a look around but that was easy to deal with I am just so pleased he would sit on my knee that long without wanting to go for a walk.

Thomas's hair looks so much neater now all ready for his first holiday next week.

How did your child's first hair cut go?


Children Grow Too Quick

On Monday my baby moved up to the Tweenies room at nursery that means my baby is now a big boy. I knew this day was coming since he started walking but Monday morning when I took him to his new room I felt a little sad, it was the end of another little chapter in his life. Moving up to the next room was the end of him being a baby, I know he hasn't been a "baby" for a while now he has become more independent, he started walking and now he has moved in to the toddler room.

 My baby is now a toddler

What next? Talking more, being transferred in to a big boys bed, potty training, becoming a big brother? It is very true what people say time goes so fast when you have children and babies don't stay babies for long.

Even though Thomas is growing older
He will always be my baby


Mine And Mummy's Books

I have recently decided to create a new blog especially for book reviews somewhere I can share reviews of books I read with Thomas and I am also hoping it will help me rediscover my love of reading because I have hardly read at all since having Thomas.

I was also thinking it may be fun if others want to share book reviews on the blog so if you would like to please email me.

Here is the link for now www.mineandmummysbooks.blogspot.co.uk I'm hoping to keep it updated as often as I can


A Little Bird Told Us About A Curious Caterpillar*

Thomas loves anything he can pull and push around the floor so I knew he would love this little caterpillar. Suitable for 6mnth+ it is a great little toy that as you can see it very brightly coloured to catch a little ones eye.

The caterpillar also comes out of his little pull along apple chariot so that he can be played with separately. I guess even babies younger than 6 months could play with the caterpillar on it's own as it rattles and it also crinkles so it would be great for a first sensory toy.

As you can see Thomas loves pulling the caterpillar out and will sit for ages 
just pulling it out and putting it back in.

This toy is really well made and you just know a good quality toy like this will last ages. You can buy this toy from www.littlebirdtoldme.co.uk


Headmasters Styling Range*

Today I am bringing you some new products from Headmasters that I have been trying out over the last few weeks which are exclusive to Tesco.

Headmasters Big Glam Hair Root Boost Mousse - This mousse claims to give your hair a boost from the roots making your hair look much more voluminous. I would agree with this I have been rubbing to mousse close to the roots of my hair and then I find drying my hair with a hair dryer upside down gives my hair lots of body and bounce.

Headmasters Colour Brilliance Frizz Free Glossing Serum - I'm really in to using hair oils lately, anything to help my hair look glossy and I'm on it because lets face it who wants their hair to look dull? This serum works well it keeps fly aways under control and leaves your hair looking shiner than normal.

Headmasters Big Glam Hair catwalk Hold Hairspray - I don't really have much to say about this hairspray, it did the job for what I need hair spray for which is to keep my hair from going fly away. I don't wear my hair in elaborate styles so I don't need much hold; I must say I wasn't keen on the smell of the hairspray it smelt a bit like a cheap mans deodorant.

If you are interested in any of these products they are currently on offer at Tesco for just £2!
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