Friday, 31 March 2017

Our dream lounge

Now that life has started to settle down a little bit after the arrival of the baby I've started to think more about the house and how I'd like it to look. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've missed lusting over home accessories, prints, throws and furniture!

I love scrolling through Instagram looking at people's living spaces and imagining what our living room could look like with a bit of styling.  I'm trying my very best to keep our lounge as baby-free as possible and as time goes on I hope it stays this way.. I want a room to escape to in the evenings that makes me feel relaxed and cosy.. even if the dining room is covered in dried up porridge, plastic toys and washing waiting to be hung up to dry! I want a room I can add nice accessories to and somewhere that I feel has a touch of our personalities. At the moment we've kind of still got a blank canvas.. the walls are rather bare, the bookcase needs replacing and we are in desperate need of a new TV unit.

I've been lust listing bits and pieces for a while now and wanted to share a mood board on my blog.. maybe by the end of the year I'll have made some progress with it all... fingers crossed!

The only piece of furniture I love in our lounge is is our French Connection Zinc sofa so I'd like to find a few more pieces that compliment it and make the room feel a bit more finished. 


French Connection 4 Seater Sofa (DFS) £899- This is the sofa we already have in the lounge.. I love the simple design as its easy to fit into any space.. just change the throw cushions to match your colour scheme!

Renee Wood Chest (Oliver Bonas) £650- This would be perfect to have our TV on.. I cant stand being able to see all the wires around the back of the unit we have at the moment.  In this unit theres space for the games console we have and enough draws and sections to hide away bits and pieces we currently have on show. 

Macrame Rope Artificial Terrarium (New Look) £14.99- I'm crap at looking after real plants so this artificial terrarium would be perfect to hang up in the corner of the room... just a bit of dusting needed now and again!

Nevio Tufted Wool Rug (La Redoute) £259- Ohhh I love this rug.. it would go with the sofa beautifully. 

Stretto Large Shelves (Made.com) £399- I'm a lover of organised pretty clutter; I've got loads of random antique pieces I'd like to display on this unit plus it would also look good with some storage baskets in to hide away some toys if needs be. 

Retro Celling Lampshade (Marks and Spencer) £49- A room isn't complete without a nice lampshade is it? This coppery one would be perfect to add a bit of shine. 

Scandinavian Minimalist Poster (Inky Gorilla) £6- Simple yet so on trend!

White Artificial Cactus Plant Pot (New Look) £5.99- Again, love a good artificial plant to add a bit of green to a room. 

Jacob Accent Chair (FishPools) £399- I love this chair; I've always wanted an armchair to sit in and read a book.. simple things eh! If you'd like to have a browse through some more sofa's and armchairs then check out the range available at Fishpools here and here

Have you bought any homeware pieces recently? 
Where do you find the best bargains?

XOXO

*This post contains collaborative links but my selection of products is totally honest. 



Thursday, 16 March 2017

Mother's Day Gifts- £30 or more

Earlier on this month you might have seen my post on gift ideas for Mother's day for less than £30 (if you didn't you can read it here) This post is going to be the gifts I'd recommend if you want to spend a little more...why not treat that hardworking mama a bit eh!?



First up are these Topshop Rain macs (£49-£60)-  Whether your buying for a new mama who strolls through the park with the babe, a mama who does the school run or a mama who takes the dog out at the weekend, a nice practical coat is a godsend. I have the red mac and love it to bits. It's lightweight enough to wear on warmer days but spacious enough to wear over jumpers in the colder weather. I honestly cant recommend this jacket enough!



Fancy treating mum to a nice box of biscuits? Well, Biscuiteers are THE most beautiful ones I've seen! I first heard about them on one of Zoella's vlogs and although I haven't tried them out for taste yet I cannot get over how visually appealing they are...nearly too lovely looking to eat right?! This Mother's Day Bouquet box  is £39.50 but what a treat it would be to receive this.

Of course no Mother's Day gift guide would be complete without including a Selfish Mother top. Perfect for the warmer weather this 3/4 length sleeved tee (£35) would be ideal to chuck on with a pair of skinnies and converse.

Next up is a practical but I'd say pretty luxe gift to be given.. the GHD hairdryer (£99). I've had mine for a few years now and it really has changed by hair drying experience. It takes me about 5 minutes to dry my hair and the ionic technology built into the dryer leaves my hair feeling sleek and soft. I don't think I could ever go back to using a standard hairdryer now after having this magic tool!

Buying for a mama who's still doing nightfeeds? Well this is THE perfect gift. Buying a torch for someone might seem a bit odd but trust me, she will appreciate this. I use my Meemoobaby Meelight (£39) every night when tending to the baby, navigating around the bedroom trying to find my phone charger or even just going to the loo. I blogged about it here earlier on in the year too.


Last but by no means least, some chocolate! This Hotel Chocolat Prosecco and Chocolate Collection (£70) is the ultimate gift for a sweet toothed mother! It contains caramel and milk chocolates, strawberry and white chocolate puddles,chocolate batons, chocolate almonds and a bottle of Prosecco. How many sittings would it take you to polish this lot off?! me? Probably just one...!

Hope you've found some inspiration in my Mother's Day gift guides; I love browsing through and picking out the gifts I think would work for other mums out there.

What are you planning on buying this Mother's day?

XOXOX

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Mother's Day gift ideas- under £30

I've recently been lusting over some mama related products that I'd love to receive for Mother's Day (hint hint Aria/Mr) so I thought it would be nice to  share my top gift ideas.

Maybe your looking for inspiration for your mama, your baby's mama, a mama friend in need of a treat or just some inspiration to hint about in the run up to Mother's Day on the 26th March

First up, gifts under £30....

1. The (not) #Babyspam pin £6
Does your baby mama/mama friend apologise for posting pictures of their beautiful babe?  I see so many parents still hashtagging their photos of their babies with #babyspam but lets stop it; we are proud of our creations and they shouldn't be put  in the same category as annoying PPI emails and junk mail.  This #notbabyspam pin by Mother Merch is perfect for Instagram loving mamas!

2. Mother Like No Other T-shirt £19.99

Totes love a statement slogan piece and this Mother Like No Other raglan t-shirt is perfect for the spring/summer paired with jeans and converse. As well as being super stylish part of every sale is donated to the Panda Foundation, a charity who provide support to women suffering from pre and postnatal depression. 

3. Nobody Told Me by Hollie McNish  £10.49
Whether you breastfeed, bottle fed, co-sleep, don't sleep, sling your baby or use a pram...all mothers out there will in some way relate to this book. I was given this book in the first few weeks of being a mother and have loved every page of it. It even inspired me to write my own little bit of poetry; check it out here. I've recommend this book to so many people I just couldn't leave it out of my gift guide. Hollie writes about her experience of adapting to motherhood, her difficulties of going back to work and many more of the worries all us mamas go through. Its witty, tear inducing, comforting and just simply amazing.  Available from Waterstones

4. Thanks I Love it Mothers Day Gift Box £25.50
Looking for a luxurious collection of items for a mama who loves a good pamper? Well, Thanks I Love It (Tili) have created this cute gift box especially for Mother's Day! It includes a bar of Doisy & Dam chocolate, a pomegranate and pear candle and bath bomb both by Yorkshire Soap. It also comes with a Lydia Meiying card and Tili will hand write your message inside so the box can be sent straight to your mama.. perfect for those who are short on time to organise a gift!

5.Oh Sew Bootiful Embroidery kit £16.50
Sometimes buying for a mama is tough if they have everything they want/need! So, why not go for something a bit different, like this Love Heart Oh Sew Bootiful embroidery kit from Etsy. Either order in advance and sew it yourself and wrap it up for them or give them the kit so they can spend some time working on a needle craft project.  If I had more time on my hands I'd love to do something like this!

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Next week's gift guide will be on gifts ranging from £30 to £50.

Which is your favourite of the five items I've featured this week?

XOXO

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Mama wear OOTD

You've probably noticed I love this coat right?! Well, to go along with my trusty Topshop rain mac I've been sent a couple of new wardrobe additions.. yay!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

MUSH: My story


Before having Aria I hadn't really thought about how my maternity leave days after her birth would be; I was more focused on the getting her out part and the first few weeks. But, every mum out there knows how quickly those early days pass and before you know it, daddy's back at work, the baby is a couple of months old and you find yourself sitting there daydreaming about having a conversation with an adult....even for just 5 minutes. 

I've got some lovely 'normal life' friends but they all work full time, only a few of them have kids and do they really want to sit and listen to me talk about how tired I am each week? Probably not. So, how do I meet other mum's in the same boat as me? 

Back in August 2016 I spotted an advert in Gurgle magazine about Mush and thought I'd try it out. 

Mush is an app that helps you find local like-minded mamas; you can search for mums using various parameters, for example, children's ages, interests, mama's ages and distance from your location. 

I use apps for a lot of things in life; boiling an egg, sharing photos of my life, tracking my pregnancy, banking.. the list goes on and on so, for me it seemed like the ideal way of meeting other mamas (or mamas to be at that point) local to where I live.
Once I'd dowloaded the app, set up my profile and added my location I then began to scroll through some of the other mums close by to me; checking out whether they'd already had their babies and whether we had any interests in common. 

I added a few of the ladies I came across in the first hour of being on the app and not long after a message popped up in my Mush inbox from a girl called Hannah. It read " Hello :) I've not done this before but seen your due at the same time as me..plus I also live in (postcode prefix)" - Hannah and I then went on to have a bit of a chit chat about whether we knew if we were having boys or girls, how long we were having off work and also a bit more specific about where each other live. We also swapped Instagram handles so we could spy on each other through photos. 

Fast forward to October; me and Hannah had both had our babies and we got in touch again to arrange to meet up; admittedly I was a little nervous before meeting Hannah as I'd been out of touch with the real world for a few weeks but when we met for a cuppa and chats at Costa and instantly hit it off.  
(The babies are not amused!)

We've got the same dry, sarcastic sense of humour,we both have very similar views on parenting and importantly, we both are the type to just be happy with relaxing at our houses with the babies, snacks and cups of tea. 

Having Hannah as a friend since meeting her on Mush has been pretty amazing; she's a second time mum which I find refreshing as she's more relaxed and her approach to how she raises her children encourages me to just go with the flow. I admire how motivated she is and how she juggles being a mum and wife whilst still having time to spend time with her mum friends each week.  She's one of the people I turn to when I need to have a rant, when I need advice and just when I need some words of encouragement when mumming gets hard!
Since becoming Mush friends Hannah, me and the babies have been swimming, danced around like idiots at a baby rave, spent numerous afternoons shopping and found playgroups to go to together. We've sat and chatted in numerous coffee shops together, I've cried on Hannah, she's looked after Aria for me when I went on a first aid course, we've chatted during the night and made lunch for each other when the mornings have just been hard work and food is the last thing we think about. 

Although Hannah and I live about 5 minutes walk from each other our paths wouldn't have ever crossed; we don't go to any of the same baby groups and we haven't got any friends in common.. so, thanks to Mush I've gained a mum friend who adds fun to my weeks and of course the little babies will grow up playing together and hopefully be life long pals! 


Have you downloaded Mush yet? If you have then tell me about the mum friends you've made! 

If you haven't downloaded it yet then click here (if viewing on your phone) or visit the app or google play store to download it.

Happy Mush-ing!

XOXOX

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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