Sunday, 12 February 2017

Mum and baby weekly routine


Scrolling through Twitter during one of our many night feeds I came across this post by Claire from Now My Name is Mummy on the activities her and her son Henry like to get up to. I loved reading through and getting inspiration for things we might like to do during our weeks so thought I'd jot down what we usually get up to each week!

Mondays are usually cosy home days...


We start the week off slowly.. usually Monday for us is a home day... I thought whilst I'm off on maternity leave why not make Mondays a day for me and Aria to spend in our PJ's doing the classic mat leave tradition of watching This Morning!

I also try to do a little sorting out around the house (baby allowing) and then do the Tesco shop online for the week. We've got a great little set up going with our meals; my partner looks through all of our recipe books and puts together a menu for the week on a Sunday; I then do the online order on Monday and then he does all the cooking for us for the rest of the week. This week we've got some yummy meals coming up, for example- Dal Makhani and then Rice and black bean burrito bowl.

Tuesday's are sing and sign classes...

Aria's nanny gave her some money for xmas and instead of buying more clothes (the girl has a better wardrobe than I do!) I thought it would be nice to use the money for some sing and sign classes.  We found our local class using this website. We've been three times now and although Aria seems more interested in the other babies I'm learning a lot of signs to use with her.. like nappy, bedtime, mummy, daddy and her all-time favourite which she actually signs already... milky!

Wednesday's are for playgroup and shopping...

We found a really lovely playgroup just down the road from us in a church- although we aren't religious in any way I thought we'd give it a go and I'm so glad we did; the playgroup has a specific area just for babies, mums get free cake and unlimited cups of tea and everyone who I've met there has been so warm and welcoming. The only part of the session that touches on religion is storytime.. fine by me as they also incorporate signing so I get some more practice on our signing!

We found this playgroup in our most recent copy of Link magazine; a magazine for parents and carers of young children around Sheffield. You can check them out on Facebook here if you live locally.

Thursday's are to meet up with mums (and babies!)...

We meet various mum friends during the week before or after our planned classes and groups for cups of tea but I do like to specifically have one day a week where we spend a good few hours socialising, partly for my own sanity and partly to get Aria familiar with her baby pals.



With one set of mum friends we usually go to a playcafe or to Pizza Express; we all use our o2 Priority app to get lunch for £5 each.. bargain! Although the service hasn't been great at our local restaurant recently I do find the food is very good value for money, the restaurant itself is baby friendly and it means I get a good warm lunch at least once a week..even if I have to eat it one handed (although I do always ask them to cut up my pizza for me!) Other weeks we sometimes just hang out at each others houses and have lunch together. Or if we feel energetic we do crafty things like making baby leggings!

Whilst I was pregnant with Aria I signed up to Mush (I wrote a blog post about it here) and ended up meeting a lovely mum who lives close by.. we spend time together each week and we have such a lovely time! She's a second time mum and in a way I think it helps me be a bit more relaxed and I can ask her for advice! We sometimes hang at each others houses with the babies, we sometimes go shopping or just nip out for a coffee.

Friday's vary each week...

Swimming

On alternate weeks we go swimming.I'd have loved to sign up to a specific swimming class for babies but my god they are expensive! So instead I head over to Kenwood Hall Hotel for a dip with the babe. It's a tenner per visit but the pool is so warm, very quiet and really close to where we live.

Visiting cafes

Okay, well this one is obviously more for my benefit but Aria does love to people watch whilst we are out and about! We regularly pop down to Costa and sometimes on the walk down Aria falls asleep in the pram so I can enjoy a decaf coffee in peace!

Virgin Lounge

When we venture into town we always use the Virgin Lounge as a stop off point. I rant on about how brilliant the virgin lounge is to everyone I meet so its only right I mention it on my blog too. We've opened a savings account for Aria with Virgin and as a customer we can use their lounge whenever we like. The facilities include a bowling alley, kids play area, free hot and cold drinks, baby change and of course a small section of the lounge is for banking! I really cant get over how brilliant the lounge is. I'm happy to breastfeed Aria anywhere but its nice to know that I can nip into Virgin and sit down on a comfy sofa with a warm drink.

Walking

I love getting out for a walk around the park at least once a week; sometimes if Aria is being particularly grouchy it helps to just pop her in the pram and get some fresh air. I'd love to do longer walks out in the beautiful peak district we have just a bus ride away but I find I don't have the energy due to the nighttime wakings (a blog post to come on this at some point soon!)

Things I'd like to try over the next few months...

Music Bugs- I found them on Facebook this evening and as our sing and sign classes are coming to an end I thought this might be nice for Aria; she seems to be a fan of watching people singing!

Baby time at the library- I love reading to Aria in the evenings before bed but we rarely do during the day so this would be nice to encourage us to look at books.

Messy Fingers Messy Toes- ohhhh this looks amazing... just letting the babies get totally messy whilst playing in all sorts of things.. breakfast cereal, pasta, ice-cream, autumn leaves... basically all the stuff you'd never want thrown around your own house!  We'll have to hang on a bit until Aria is sitting up properly though.. and maybe after she's had her first taste of food as I'm sure she'll try to put everything in her mouth. 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Feeding the future

I'm doing what comes most naturally to me so please don't make me feel like an anomaly. 

She's my daughter and no, she doesn't sleep through but really, what's her sleep got to do with you? 

I feed when she fancies and sometimes that's every hour but just remember she won't be like this forever.. soon enough she'll be running around asking me to switch the iPad on. 

My world is put on hold to nourish this child so please don't turn and look at me like I'm doing something wrong and make me feel like i'm an anomaly.

I don't spend my money on powder and bottles instead I spend it on cake and decaf.

I'm all for choice so do as you please but I prefer to travel lightly; a nappy, these boobs and that beautiful baby. 

I'm not flashing my tits...I'm feeding the future; so don't make me feel like I'm an anomaly. 

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Night times with the Meemoo Meelight

When I added the Meemoo Meelight to my Amazon xmas wish list I was questioned by a few relatives..."why ask for a light for christmas? Its a bit boring Holly!" but ohh how wrong they were. The Meelight is potentially one of the most useful gifts I've ever received! 

When I first had Aria I found myself using my phone a lot during the night as a torch but found the bight white light on the iPhone too harsh; it would often wake her up and also meant that I would get sucked into reading through my Twitter feed at 3am...switching my brain out of sleep mode and making it harder to catch those precious zzz's. 

I'd been following Meemoo on twitter for a while and had my eye on the Meelight but originally thought that £39 was a little steep for a light so resisted purchasing it and hoped someone would buy it for me for xmas.  Thankfully, my parents purchased it for me and I've used it every night since. 

The Meelight is a stylish palm sized light designed to use when getting up for night feeds, nappy changes and whatever else the little babes decide to do during the early hours!
As you can see in the picture above there are three settings to the soft golden glow; low, medium and high. Usually when doing the feeds in the middle of the night I just click the light once for the lowest setting then if we have to do the dreaded middle of the night nappy change I use the brighter settings.
The light unclips from the base and can be attached to your bra strap/pj's or can just be used as a handheld light. I quite often use it to try and locate the dummy Aria manages to spit out across her co-sleeper!
Not only does the Meelight help massively during the night it also acts as a bedside lamp; perfect to help make a calm relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom when giving her her last feed just before midnight. Once we move the babe into her own room the Meelight will be perfect in her nursery for massage time and night feeds; then when she's older it will be perfect as a reading lamp for her!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I originally thought that the Meelight was on the expensive side but after having used it for a few weeks I think its completely worth the money; us mothers spend so much time awake at night I think its only right we have the right tools to make the job easier on us. 

Check out the Meemoo website here.


XOXO

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Babybundle review and giveaway

Brrrr its been getting nippy outside these last few weeks hasn't it? 

I've been layering up myself so of course I've needed to add some cosiness to Aria's outerwear. But, I'm pretty sure every mum will have encountered the moment when the babe is asleep but you need to get them into the pram ready to go out. How on earth do you manage or even contemplate putting a jacket on a sleeping baby?!
Well, Babybundle have just the perfect product for these occasions; their Snuggleblanki hooded travel blanket. The Snuggleblanki has been designed with handy openings to fit 3 or 5 point harness straps so you can move baby from the pram or car seat to shopping trolley whilst they are cosy and (fingers crossed) still sleeping!
Once you've popped the pram or car seat straps through the Snuggleblanki then wraps around the baby and can be loosened to suit the temperature as needed. Its suitable from birth and as its lightweight so it can be used all year round.
The blanket comes in a neutral grey colour which suits our style and Aria's outfits. Babybundle suggest it can be used in car seats,pushchairs, shopping trolley baby seats and baby gyms.
The Snuggleblanki currently retails on the BabyBundle website for £25.49 - I personally think its a pretty good price as we've used it daily since having it a month or so. 

This week we've started to use the next part of our Silvercross pushchair and having this blanket has been fantastic; its meant that if Aria falls asleep after a feed and we need to go out I can pop her in the pushchair, secure her in and wrap her up without needing to wake her to put her jacket on. 
 I'll be recommending the Snuggleblanki to my mum friends now that the weather is getting colder and colder each day- a top essential in my opinion!
***GIVEAWAY****

You might have also seen me link to BabyBundle in my most used baby items post back in November; I mentioned the Buggytug wrist strap as one of our essentials.


Babybundle have kindly sent me a wrist strap to give away to a reader- if you'd like to enter then head over to my twitter for more information!

Check out the BabyBundle site here for more baby essentials!

What's your top baby travel essential?

XOXO

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

My top breastfeeding clothes

Throughout my pregnancy I didn't really splash out on many items of maternity clothing; I made do with what I already had and just adapted some of my outfits to fit my expanding middle. But, once Aria arrived and I began breastfeeding I quickly realised that my wardrobe contained about 3 items I could wear that provided easy access to the boobage area.

I went on an online mission during night feeds to find some suitable nursing outfits.... sounds easy right? Well, it bloody hasn't been! I'm so surprised at how limited the range of clothes are for  breastfeeding ladies from high street shops... they seriously need to up their game! Yes I'm breastfeeding, but that doesn't mean I want to surrender my sense of style and dress like a 1970's teacher.

I've also found that the majority of high street brands who do stock a small number of breastfeeding clothes lump the easy access items in with maternity clothes- why do I want to buy clothes that I see modelled on pregnant women.. I'm not pregnant anymore!

Aria is now 4 months old and I've only just started to feel like I have a selection of clothes that are both practical and stylish; here are the items I've been wearing the most-


Fatface - Layla Demin dress £49.50- Not specifically a breastfeeding dress but I've found this dress super useful since purchasing just before xmas. The straps unbutton at the shoulder for easy access and I can mix and match the tops I wear underneath. They don't have to specifically be breastfeeding tops either because the bottom half of the dress keeps my tummy covered up.

New Look- Grey nursing cami £7.99- A cheap and super useful vest to have as part of the breastfeeding wardrobe- I mainly wear this underneath my usual jumpers and shirts; again, it means that I don't have to flash my tummy when feeding as the straps unclip to reveal a hole around the nip area. This vest is also available in white and black. 

JoJo Mamanbebe- Grey Marl feeding top £29- I very often chuck this top on with a pair of jeans and a bobble hat and I'm ready to go; its warm, got a hidden slit for nursing and is similar to a top I had and loved before i began breastfeeding. 

Topshop- Funnel neck feeding top £20- I love funnel neck tops and this one is specifically for nursing; it has a hidden slit across the chest area for easy access. I've been wearing this under the Fatface denim dress; this outfit makes me feel confident as it's pretty much an outfit i'd chose to wear even if I wasn't breastfeeding. The only downside of this top is that its only available in black...not ideal for those occasional moments when baby decides to be sick on me after a feed!!

JoJo Mamanbebe - Breton Striped feeding top £26- Out of all the items I've featured I wear this top the most... I team it up with jeans or the denim dress and tights. This top also has a concealed slit across the chest area and is available in a number of different colours. 

Topshop- Moto Demin Oversized Shirt £38-  Again, not specifically a breastfeeding top but one I've found very handy to put on over the feeding vests. I do find I have to be a bit more confident about getting more flesh out when wearing shirts and the vest but it doesn't bother me much anymore. 

I pretty much just wear the above 6 items with jeans at the moment and then accessorise with a different bobble hat or different coats to add some variation! I'm still on the lookout for some more breastfeeding friendly dresses, do you know of any good websites? Have you come across the same problem when looking for nursing wear?

XOXOX

Friday, 23 December 2016

Baby update: 3 (and a bit) months

It's so crazy Aria has already hit the three month mark; as every parent on the planet says.. time goes 
so quickly when you're raising kids! I thought I'd do a little update on how things are going in general, partly to share with you all but also as something I can look back on in the months to come and remind me of how things are at this point in time.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Thanks I Love It- Curated Gift Sets

Friends galore but time poor? Well Tili could be the answer to all your gifting needs! Thanks I Love It or Tili for short have recently launched a new gifting concept; a hand selected bundle of products, beautifully packaged and locally sourced from around the UK.

Tili was founded by best gal pals, Danielle and Sarah, after they both became tired of the repetitive, endless hunt for meaningful and unique gifts for their friends. As well as wanting individual, interesting gifts the ladies also wanted to support UK busineses, so they made it their mission to gather together the best of local goods and package them up in carefully thought out gift packages. 
If you're anything like me and have little time to go on the hunt for gifts these boxes will be just the thing for you! Till kindly sent me over 'The Glam' box to review.
 Each box comes with a brand information card; explaining the concept of supporting UK small sellers and also mentioning that 10% of their profit goes to charities around the UK. Alongside this it also comes with a 'menu card providing more information on each of the products found in the box.