Sunday, 31 May 2015

Silent Sunday - Baby Love



Thursday, 28 May 2015

Presents For a New Mum...

When you have a baby, it suddenly turns into "present time", not that I'm complaining of course. Third time around, it still seems to be present time, and I was pretty happy when my mum treated me to this lovely top from Laura Ashley. I love the silky material, and it's also great for feeding as I bought a size larger than usual.

Laura Ashley Pocket Detail T Shirt - £30 but currently has 30% off
Laura Ashley has 30% off fashion at the moment which brings this t shirt in at £21, pretty good value considering how lovely it is. Speaking of pink, and baby girls, I also couldn't resist this beautiful butterfly blanket also from Laura Ashley, but that will only be of interest to you if you've recently had a baby girl!

Laura Ashley Butterfly Fleece Blanket £20 but currently has 30% off!
It is the nicest most fluffiest blanket ever, I love it!

It hasn't gone unnoticed that the hubby is yet to pull a nice pressie out of the bag for me as my "push" present. Previous pressies include a Louis Vuitton hand bag and a Tag Heur watch. Though he did buy me (from our joint account) this lovely dress yesterday from Crew to cheer me up. Note the button down front, definitely a good feature for a feeding mother...

Crew Belinda Dress from Crew - £50 in current offer
I'm not sure it's the sort of thing I would normally buy, but it fit, looked nice, and I can feed in it. Bonza!

Anyway, back to pressies for new mothers. Of course the obvious thing to buy for every new mum is a lovely bunch of flowers. I've recently found Aussie florist FreshFlowers Australia who also deliver internationally! EVERY new mum likes flowers after all.
 

What was your favourite pressie when you became a mum?

Friday, 22 May 2015

I got me a girl! My birth story...

I can hardly believe I'm writing this, but last Sunday I gave birth to my third (and definitely final!) child, a baby girl! I think I'm still in shock, but I was 100% convinced I was going to have another boy, one of life's little surprises I guess?  After having two boys, having a girl has completed our family, and we are over the moon and can hardly believe our luck. Now I will have an ally against boy stuff, war films, cricket and lots of other boring stuff that I formerly believed I would have to take part in. Happy days!

Although I was expecting to have a C section due to a low lying placenta, the consultant sent me for an MRI scan which showed that in fact, the placenta was 3cm from the "exit route", with the magic number being 2.5cm. My waters broke last Friday night/early Saturday morning though unfortunately I didn't start having contractions naturally. The hospital told me to wait 24 hours to see if anything developed (it didn't) so I had to go in at midnight to be induced. The induction worked REALLY well for me (some might say too well!) and I went into active labour two hours after starting the Syntocin drip last Sunday morning. I was totally unprepared for how painful it was to be honest, bearing in mind that during my last labour I managed without any pain relief at all, even gas and air.

I managed to get to 2cm dilation with no contractions at all, then they started coming on thick and fast and I was totally unable to cope with the pain! After begging for an epidural I actually suddenly needed to push just as the anaesthetist was setting everything up.  With only two pushes I gave birth and could hear everyone shouting, "it's a girl!" I definitely think that induced labours are more painful as last time I was in labour for two days and managed really well.

So here is my darling girl! 8lb 7oz and thriving.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

New Baby Money Saving Tips!


When you find out you're expecting a baby it is the most exciting time of your life, but after the bubble of finding out pops, you then realise that you've got a new person to pay for and you need to budget wisely.


Nobody really wants to think about finance when there’s a bundle of joy to get excited about, but being money savvy can ensure that you save essential pennies for the things that really matter. Following just a few simple steps will give you a helping hand in budgeting for your bundle of joy, and ensuring you don’t have any money worries in the most important months of pregnancy.


Childcare

Childcare is the most expensive element in raising a child and its often the most essential too, but with the average parent spending an average of £30,000 over 3 years according to this Baby calculator , childcare is cost that not everyone can afford. You could try to ask family members if they are able to help out with childcare as this could reduce the cost of nursery fees or child minders. Luckily, as of autumn 2015 a new tax free childcare voucher scheme is coming into place saving you up to £1,200 a year. Do your research on these avenues and see what you’re able to save and the opportunities that are out there.


Reusable Items

It’s lovely to have brand new clothing items and you should definitely buy a few things brand new but buying some itemssecond hand will save you a lot of money, especially in the early stages as babies grow out of clothing so quickly. This is also the same for items such as pushchairs, toys, furniture. If you’re a dab hand at DIY you could also try making it yourself!


Alternatively if you’ve had a child before and plan on having another keep your items and reuse them for your next baby asthis will reduce the cost next time around. You can also ask friends and family if they have anything that they no longer use that could be passed onto you.


Items to Buy

There are a few things that you should buy straight from a reputable retailer such as your baby’s car seat; you should never buy a second hand car seat as you have no idea if it has been in a car accident before or if it has certificated protection for your baby. There are many online Child Car Seat Guides available that can help you to find one that fits your budget as well as the safety precautions.

Also items such as sheets, duvets and other bedding accessories should be brought new so you know they are fresh and clean ready for baby’s arrival.


General Money Saving Tips

Do your grocery shopping online as this will stop you from impulse buying and therefore reduce how much you’re spending, allowing you to either save the money or spend the money you’ve saved on something useful for your little one.

You may end up spending a lot of money on parent and baby classes or just general socialising events, so why not bring that into your own home and create your own group filled with neighbours and friends.


Have a look into making your own baby food also with the help of a good blender and experiment with different vegetables and fruit to find out what your baby likes, you can then make batches and save money buying pots every week!


Track what you’re spending and each month reflect on what you have brought and see whether in the oncoming months you’re able to take it down anymore.

Having a look online and comparing brands and retailers will save you a lot of money rather than just walking into a shop and picking up the first thing you see, which we all do!


Research is the aim as you’ll see the incredible savings that can be made.

 

 This is a guest post. 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Easy Peasy Joules Dress and Lovely Oasis Culottes!

So I only have two days until my due date. Woohoo! So obviously I can't wait to get rid of my hideous maternity clothes and get back into my normal wardrobe. My old clothes look so TINY, especially my skinny jeans. It's hard to believe that I once managed to get into them to be honest. We've recently moved house and bizarrely now have LESS storage space even though we've moved to a bigger house. So I keep telling myself I have no room for more clothes, though it is tempting to treat myself to something new post baby.

I spotted these little lovelies in Joules the other day, and managed to negotiate a 15% discount at the til, so what the hey. What do you think? (click on the caption under each photo to take you to the website!)

Joules Striped Dress £29.95
I bought this colour in the end but was also tempted by the pink and the blue.

Joules Blue Dress £29.95

Joules Pink Dress £29.95
I think these will be great throw on dresses for Summer,  for wearing around the house or dressing up with a silk scarf or accessories. I've got some Joules pumps that I think would go well with them also. But do I need all three?

Speaking of footwear, I bought these very sparkly sandals in George the other day, and I'm really pleased with them. Super cheap and super comfy also. Winner!

George Footbed Sandals, Gold, £10
I've also noticed there are various other flootbed sandals including some polka dot ones that might actually go better with these dresses. Nice!

If you're looking for something a bit more fitted and less sack like (my mum did mention that these dresses have a slightly "nightie" type appearance) then this might be for you. I keep seeing culottes everywhere and I think these are my favourites so far!

Oasis Culotte £28.50
There's actually a photo on the Oasis website of the model wearing them with this pink top, I think it's a great pairing.

Pink Plain Dip Back Cami £22
Here you can see both items together, I LOVE this outfit. I'm not acutally sure it's the same vest but I reckon any pink will do.



Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Is your garden BBQ ready?


Summer is finally coming  around which means BBQ season is almost here!


The warm weather will bring back those memories from wonderful past BBQ’s with family and friends, which are just going to leave you wanting more.

One problem though. You remember you haven’t paid any attention to your garden since that last BBQ, probably of September last year. Most likely you’ve left the chairs and table out all winter which have now gone rusty, and are also now looking a bit tatty. The grass is looking like its seen better days and there isn’t a section of that once beautiful garden that isn’t swamped with weeds.

Don’t fear. There are a few simple steps to get your garden looking in tip top condition for those BBQ’s, ensuring your family and friends will leave feeling in awe of your garden.


Tidy up

Before you do anything, have a tidy up of the garden. Cut the grass, pull the weeds out and go down to the local garden centre and pick up some beautiful flowers to plant around the garden, this will liven up the space by spreading some colour. Try buying some more soil or overturn what you already have to make those flower beds look really fresh and new, also putting lawn edging down around flower beds to make it look neat and tidy. Just doing these few simple things will give you the basics of a beautiful garden again, just a little more to go until its perfect.


Create storage

Having somewhere to store the lawnmower and other garden devices is really handy but having somewhere that’s big enough to also store children’s garden toys when they’re not being played with is a great idea. Especially if your BBQ is an adult’s only event, you don’t want your kids’ push bike, tennis rackets and balls scattered all over the lawn. Take a look at investing in either a shed or a garage, both are really good storage options and give you a lot of space; I’m sure there are plenty of good offers out there this summer too so have a shop around.

 

Furniture

Furniture is a really important part of making your garden BBQ ready, there is no way you can attempt to host a BBQ without having anywhere for your guests to sit. Try looking online at a new table and chairs; as I’m sure last yearsfurniture that has been left out for most of the winter is no longer in its best condition. To avoid buying new furniture every year which is far too expensive and very excessive; store it during the winter in a garage or shed and place a waterproof sheet over it for extra protection.


Finishing touches

It’s the little things that matter at BBQs to make it feel more special and personalIdeas such as hanging bunting around the garden, putting candles out around the tables, adding extra lighting for when the evening goes on a little later than planned. For more inspiration and ideas have a nose around on Pinterest and you’ll be sure to find some really creative ideas for your BBQ and for your garden.


This is a guest post. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Asda baby and toddler event!

I love a good bargain - clearly. And since I swore I would never ever have another child and chucked or sold all my baby things, I've had to eat humble pie and beg, borrow or buy cheaply (no stealing) everything I need for my third child - who is due a week today?! 

Although I plan on breastfeeding for at least six months, there's no harm in being prepared, so I was lucky enough to be sent these tommee tippee bottles fresh from the Asda Baby and Toddler Event. 


In love all the different colours and I can easily use these with my tommee tippee breast pump should the need arise. I know some people are anti bottle but I think it's always best to be prepared.

I also went and bought this play gym as at £12 it's a total steal. And cheaper than buying second hand I'm sure! 

There's lots more bargains to be had, just going for a quick browse now! 

I was sent a pack of tommee tippee bottles for the purpose of this blog post. 

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