Monday, 30 November 2015

Personalised Ben and Holly Xmas book by Penwizard

If you're a regular reader of my blog then you will know I'm a big fan of personalised children's items. Therefore, I was so pleased to be asked to review a new personalised christmas story book from Penwizard staring Ben and Holly and of course Eva.

You may remember that I reviewed one of their princess potty books which starred Eva. She got on really well with that book. Catch up on that review here, Potty Book review.

You can have the book in paperback or hardback costing either £14.99 or £19.99. You can view it here, Ben and Holly Christmas When purchasing the book you then get to personalise a character to star in it by adding their name, hair, eye and skin colour and their hair style. You can also add a message to the book which I think is a lovely sentiment as it makes the book more special. The book arrived very quickly after it was ordered.

The story is about Ben, Holly and your child going to the north pole. It features all the TV programme's main characters such as Gaston the ladybird, nanny Plum and the wise old elf etc. The gang then help Santa deliver presents to their human friend Lucy.

Eva has loved the book. She loves anything to do with herself so to hear her name being read in the book, immediately grabbed her attention. She listens to me read the pages and then she takes great pleasure in finding herself in the illustrations. She loves spotting herself among her favourite characters and of course Santa.There's a particular part in the book where Santa is talking to Eva. She thinks that part is great. The wording is easy for her to follow and the story is engaging for little one's. She asks for it to be read every night before bed.

Both of us are really happy with this book. The quality is great. I love the fact that you can have it in a hardback as even though softback's are nicer for children to hold, I find they get ruined quite quickly though being bent etc. The book took minutes to create and it arrived quickly. The story makes for a unique, enjoyable christmas read that is a must for any Ben and Holly fans. I've now got my eye on the Peppa Pig christmas book and the Snowman and the Snowdog books for christmas.


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Thoughts on raising children in today's cruel world

Last weeks events in Paris have been playing on mind constantly. Not a week goes by nowadays where we aren't seeing something hideous and completely inexplainable going on in our world. I think its affected me a lot as I am about to bring another child into this world and it leaves me asking myself 'when did it all become so cruel and evil?.'

As a parent you do anything and everything in your power to love, nurture and protect your children in any way you can. I never really understood this power and need to protect somebody so much until I became a parent myself. It makes you realise what your parents did for you and what your grandparents did for them. 

At the moment I feel I am able to shelter my daughter from the terror that surrounds us but of course the older she gets the less I will be able to do that. For now she doesn't see or understand ways in which I protect her from danger and harm, she just sees the fun and laughter that we share. The same will be for my newborn. I am pleased she isn't frightened yet by what goes on around us, but i'm sure that time will come. 

I can't stop thinking about whether we are parenting differently in this day and age or whether it is the world that has changed. By that I mean that when I was growing up I don't recall being frightened or scared of anything going on. I wasn't scared of terror attacks, violence, racism, inequality or anything else that goes on. I was a child of the 80's where it was socially acceptable to be playing in the street on your own with your friends, or walking to school or the shops on your own with friends. We didn't have mobile phones then. If you were told to come home at a certain time, you just did. How did our parents cope? Were we more trusting back then or was the world genuinely a safer place? Did our parents keep us from harm in different ways? Did they have the same worries that we have now? 

I honestly don't know how any parents coped back then. I can't even bear the thought of my children playing in the street these days for fear of them being taken etc. I recently saw that a fellow blogger had cancelled a trip to Disneyland Paris after the recent events in the country. This is the type of struggles and worries we as parents face today. I feel so saddened to think we are living in our world where we don't even feel safe anywhere. I often also question whether the media has made us more worried and frightened. Perhaps we are exposed to much more now through the Internet. 

I don't know what the future holds for this world. I cant predict what dangers we may encounter. All I know is that as a family we cant live in fear and we have to live everyday to the max. All I feel I can do as a parent is to teach my children to be strong, passionate, honest and caring people. I'll teach them what is right and what is wrong. Teach them to treat everybody as equals and that diversity isn't a bad thing. I'll educate them on the world and the people in it. I'll take them on adventures. I'll always teach them to be fearless and try anything once but I'll always be close by to protect them. 

I am eternally grateful to my parents for how they brought me up. I had a fun childhood that wasn't limited by the fears that are in the world today. 

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that it is the world that has changed or is it the way we parent our children these days? Do you blame the media for the fears we face?

#ABloggersChristmas linky number 5

Welcome to the fifth edition of my christmas linky. The countdown to christmas really is on now. The christmas adverts are on the tv and everything is in the shops. 

I've set up this linky as a place for us to share wonderful ideas and experiences and to help us be prepared and organised. Thank you so much to those that joined in last time. We had some great recipes and gift and craft ideas.

#ABloggersChristmas encorporates everything about Christmas so you can share any posts relating to Christmas. I want to see days out, travel, shopping lists, crafts, recipes, traditions and much more. 

Thank you to everyone that linked up last time. It was great to see a range of different posts. 

The linky for now will run fortnightly and you can share 2 posts old or new. The next one will start on the 2nd December. Please make sure you comment on at least 2 posts including the one directly above your own. When commenting please use #ABloggersChristmas so we know where you have found the post. Also please tweet me at 'amininorrisblog' so that I can retweet your links.

cannot wait to read your posts. 

The rules:

1) You can share up to 2 posts per linky 

2) You have to comment on 2 other posts including the 1 directly above your own and comment using #ABloggersChristmas

3) Add the linky badge to the bottom of your post

4) Tweet the link you shared to me @amininorrisblog 

All about a mini Norris


Monday, 16 November 2015

A review of Insta Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask

I was recently sent an Insta Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask to review which you can buy from Amazon for £21.95. 

The mask is designed to be used all over your body. It's made from all natural ingredients. It also includes shea butter,  jojoba oil, aloe vera, calendula oil and hickory bark extract. These are all renowned in healthy skin care. The natural remedy is designed to help with blemishes, dry and oily skin, acne and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It's recommended that you use the mask once a week. You should apply a think layer of the mask to clean skin and then leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Once it's applied the treatment starts working to absorb any excess oil, toxins and dirt from your skin. You then use warm water to remove the mask from your skin.

When the mask arrived I was surprised at how big the tub was. I must admit, at first I thought £21.95 was a very steep price for a mud mask but once I saw the size of the tub, I understood why.

I've had the mask just over a month now so i've used it at least 4 times. I like to use the mask when I've had a bath. For me using a mask is supposed to be relaxing and not a chore so I tend to have a good long soak in the bath and then apply the mask. You really only need a very thin layer. The mask is a nice texture to apply. It's soft and lightweight. I hate the feel of gritty one's so I've been more than happy to use this. It really does harden up after 10-15 minutes and I have to say I did panic slightly the first time I used it as I didn't think i'd be able to get it off. 

Once it's removed it really does make you feel like your skin is super clean and hydrated. My skin is soft and smooth after using it. I've been particularly impressed with how much it has helped with my dry skin. Since being pregnant my skin has been so dry and dehydrated but using this mask has helped.

I can't comment on it's effects with blemishes and acne as fortunately enough I don't really suffer with anything like that. I am also very lucky to have quite youthful looking skin for a 30 year old, so again I can't comment on whether it is reducing any fine lines or wrinkles. 

Overall, I have been really happy with this product. I wouldn't let the price put you off as the tub is massive and it goes a long way. I still have more than 3 quarters left of it. My skin feels great after using it so I would recommend it to anyone. 

Have you used any of their products before? Do you use any masks? I reviewed their stretch mark cream before which you may like to read as I was also very impressed by that, Stretch mark blog post. If you read my blog regularly and follow me on instagram you'll see that I've been putting pictures of my bump up and there are no stretch marks to be seen.


Sunday, 15 November 2015

Bump Watch - Week 40

Week - 40 and 3 days. I knew i'd be late! I don't mind but when everyone else due after me has their babies then I get grumpy.

Baby Developments - There's not really anything I can say here as baby is fully developed. All I can say is that she's cosy. I do worry though as the longer she stays in there, the heavier and longer she becomes!!!!! Ouch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Bump - Bump is still looking great. No stretch marks but quite veiny. I'm really pleased that i've managed to carry everything all at the front. It is pretty big now but hey that's understandable when you're overdue.

My symptoms - Where shall I start. I pee every 15 minutes probably including at night time. I don't get any sleep due to the frequent trips to the bathroom and the sheer uncomfortableness. She seems to love turning around which is so painful. The braxton hicks contractions I get are very sore to say the least. I do not remember having them like this last time.

Cravings - I'm still enjoying ice-cubes daily! I had a huge craving for madagascan vanilla though this week so I ended up by the ice-cream and normal cream.

Aversions - No aversions at all.

Exercise - Don't be daft! Getting out of bed is all the exercise I need for the day. 

Baby items purchased - At last we finally bought some things. We got a snuzpod which arrived today and I also went shopping to the Jojo Maman Bebe christmas event. They were doing a lucky dip at the till where you win 10, 20 or 50% off your purchases and I got 50. Wahoo. I bought bump 3 new baby grows including a christmas one.

Best moments this week - On my due date the hubby and I went to a cooking class that was taken by a chef that we both like called Omar Allibhoy. He's a spanish chef and we have his cookbook at home. It was blogging event which I was unsure whether I'd get to but luckily I did. It was fab and we both had a great time and learnt quite a lot.

Worst moment this week - Knowing at least 3 people who are due after me and they have all had their babies. :(

What i'm looking forward to - Hopefully feeling a bit more organised. I still don't feel ready.

How Eva is feeling - Eva keeps saying that her sister is coming out soon. I hope she's right.


Friday, 13 November 2015

A letter from Santa's post office

We've really been looking forward to the festive season this year and I think that's because Eva is now at an age where she is starting to understand it all and gets very excited at the thought of it. She loves nothing more than telling us what she wants for christmas and talks about the big man himself all the time. It seemed the obvious year to make sure she received her first letter from Santa.

We were asked if we would like to receive and review a letter from, so I jumped at the chance. The letters cost £4.99 and are quick and easy to make. There are 4 different designs of letter to choose from. Once you've chosen your design you fill out a few details about your child for the personalisation part of the letter and then place your order. You can also select a delivery date, whether it's the next day or some time in the future. 

Eva loves nothing more than receiving post (which she doesn't get often). She seems to get so excited when the postman arrives and runs off downstairs. You can imagine how excited she was to see this envelope in the door. There was a lot of screaming with glee and wows a plenty.

 I just love the look on her face that I managed to capture. It was quite emotional seeing her getting so excited and she was genuinely amazed.

We enlisted daddy's help to read the letter which mentioned that santa knew Eva wanted a garage for her cars and also mentioned Alfie our dog. We would've liked to have put Eva's sister's name in it but seeing as I haven't had her yet, we obviously couldn't. 

We were all really pleased with the letter. I think it's perfect for her age group as the illustrations are warm and friendly and still very child like. The envelope was a huge hit and captured her attention and got her extremely excited straight away. 
The wording is easy for a young child to understand. Eva really was captivated by it all and listened in carefully. What is great to see is that she talks about things that were mentioned in the letter. This gives me hope that the letter is actually working and she believes santa is watching her every move.

I'd recommend this to anyone with young children. The letter was easy to make on the website and it arrived very quickly. It was a wonderful, magical moment seeing Eva receive it. It takes pride of place now in our kitchen under Eva's orders. 

How old was your child when they received their first letter from Santa?


Ideal gifts for 2nd time parents

I've decided to write this post as lots of people have been saying how stumped they are about gifting second time parents. I've had a good, long think about what I think would be practical, useful and very much appreciated. First time around there are so many things you want but as you have more children, it becomes harder to think of new things. This post obviously isn't just for second time parent ideas but obviously 3rd, 4th etc.

1) Babysitting:

I can guarantee you will make any parents smile by offering them some babysitting. Even if it's only taking the other child/children for an hour. You could make up your own little vouchers and gift them to them. A friend of mine recently had our daughter over to sleep for the night. I think it's one of the kindest gifts i've ever been asked and given! I can't tell you how much we appreciated it.

2) Food:

One thing I really appreciated first time around was when people brought us meals to pop in our freezer. I honestly didn't realise at the time how much this helped. It was amazing to be able to go in the freezer and pull out a chilli or stew etc and know dinner was covered without me having to do hardly anything. I can only imagine this being even more useful with already having children as there will be even less spare time to do anything.

3) Vouchers:

Seeing as most things were brought first time around, vouchers can be an ideal gift. This gives the parents the freedom to get things they actually need. You could get any kind of vouchers. Clothes vouchers are ideal for letting them choose things for the new baby. Supermarket vouchers are a great way of helping them cut the cost of their food shopping. Mums tend to like going for a coffee when they are on maternity leave so what about Costa or Starbucks vouchers. Other good ones could be cinema vouchers (if they ever get a chance for a date night) or spa vouchers for a bit of a pampering and much needed time out.

4) Cleaning services:

How about paying for a cleaner to go and blitz the house. During the first month or so you get so many visitors and I don't think people understand how stressful it is trying to ensure the house is always clean and tidy when people pop over. Not only that with other children in the house it is bound to be even messier.
On the same kind of theme you could pay for ironing to be done. 

5) A coffee machine:

I can't even begin to tell you on my first how many times I attempted to make myself a hot drink and either never got around to actually making it or by the time I made it and drank it, it was stone cold. Parents need caffeine to help with the serious lack of sleep!
We have a coffee machine in the house but it's way too technical and takes up too much time. An ideal splurge gift would be a pod coffee machine. Imagine how easy you would make their lives. All they would have to do is pop the pod in, press a button and hey presto a hot drink is made. I'd recommend something from Nespresso.

6) Membership passes:

One thing I worry about with having another child is that I won't be able to afford to entertain my toddler all the time whilst i'm on maternity leave. I still want her to enjoy herself and have a fab time with me but as you know, money ends up tight. A great gift to give someone would be an annual or membership pass to attractions and play centres. This will help new parents be able to continue having fun days out.
I bought an annual pass for myself and my daughter for a local play centre called Mountain View Ranch. It cost £20 each per pass but we can now go as many times as we want for a year. I think I had more than paid for the 2 of them in about 6 weeks as we visited quite a few times cause I already knew the cost was covered. I think people worry that they won't go but if you know it's already paid for you don't have a lot to lose. Even if it's a far away attraction, you would still make the journey a few times. 
Another place that I know do annual passes which is a fantastic day out in Wales is Folly Farm. I wrote a blog post about our trip there earlier this year, Folly Farm blog post. It's amazing value for money there anyway but with an annual pass you could go anytime of the year.
Other suggestions would be Noah's Ark Zoo FarmLongleat and Merlin. Check your local areas and see what one's are on offer close to you.

7) Things to entertain the other children with:

Someone pointed out to me that more often that not the other children tend to get missed out and forgotten about when it comes to gifting. Visitors come over with gifts for the new baby but tend to forget the other child will be there and will feel left out. 
Bringing things to entertain the other child will be handy in more ways than one. Even if it's a colouring or sticker book, it'll make the child's day. It will keep them entertained when visitors are there to see the new baby and also when the parents are feeding the baby. I can imagine in the first few weeks it's difficult to get them to understand that when you are feeding the new baby you can't give them your undivided attention.

8) Photography

Something that would be a great help is vouchers for a photography session. It's always nice to get professional photographs taken. 
You could also get vouchers for places like Photobox or Snapfish. That way the parents know they can get the endless amount of photos they take actually printed or turned into unique gifts.

9) Food subscription boxes

This is one of the best gifts I think. You can get a food subscription box delivered. This is so beneficial in more ways than one. The food is delivered to the house and it comes with a recipe. That way the new parents can have something lovely for dinner without the thought of having to go shopping and the hassle of thinking of something to cook.
It's also a nice idea for date nights for them as they can make a lovely meal to enjoy at home. It's not the same as going out but when you're a new parent you'll take any attempt at a date. We've tried the boxes from Gousto before and they were amazing. 

10) Stay at home boxes

How about creating hampers or boxes for the parents to enjoy at home. You could theme them such as 'a spa from home' and fill it with luxurious candles and beauty products or a 'movie night' and fill it with popcorn, a dvd etc. The list of these is endless but I think they would make a really thoughtful, unique gift.

What would you have liked to receive?

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Easybelts review

We were recently asked to review some toddler belts from Easybelts who make toddler belts for all ages including adults. I jumped at the chance as I can never find any belts to fit Eva's tiny waist. Even though she is coming up to age 3 she is definitely not in that size and more often than not, trousers end up to big for her and they need to be worn with a belt. I can never find any belts in her size, they all seem to start at age 3 or older. Easybelts are all velcro fastening which really got me intrigued.

I allowed Eva to pick the belts she wanted to have from the range on their website, toddler girl belts . She of course loved doing this herself as she is her mother's daughter and loves nothing more than a spot of shopping (providing it's for her). She chose a pink one with a heart motif and a black one. All I then had to do was measure her waist and pick the size that suited her best. The sizes are offered in inches rather than age which is perfect for little ones. 

When they arrived Eva loved them. They are quite plain looking but the motifs on them give them a more 'pretty' look. They are easy to use which make them so suitable for toddlers. I quickly taught Eva how to thread the belts through her jeans and then she easily learnt how to tighten it herself. The velcro feature is what makes the belt so special. Even the smallest of hands will be able to use them.

I think the belts are great for a number of reasons. Firstly, the velcro allows them to be suitable for your toddler to use themselves without your help. This is great especially for when they need to go to the toilet. We all know how children tend to leave a trip to the toilet until the last minute, so the fact that the belt can be quickly undone in these situations is wonderful. It allows them to still remain independent and in control.

Secondly, the velcro is a great safety feature. I won't bang on about how dangerous normal belts can be if used in the wrong areas. At least with velcro you know you can undo and loosen them in an instant. 

Thirdly, it's allowed Eva to wear many of her jeans and trousers again. I had so many pairs that she couldn't wear cause they were always falling down. It's also allowed me to buy her things from shops that she never normally fits into. It's great to see her in something other than leggings.

Lastly, they are such great value for money. They are only £6 each. This may seem more than one's you can get in a shop but at least you know these one's are safe and easy to use. 

Overall, we are both very happy with the belts and would recommend them to anyone with small children.

Do you get the same problem with your child's waist size and finding belts to fit?


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Pregnancy style - Look 6

This will hopefully be my last pregnancy style post. With 2 days until baby is due I'm not planning on buying anymore clothes until my bump has disappeared. 

A few weeks ago I was faced with a fashion dilemma. I had a party to go to and guess what I had nothing to wear whilst I was so heavily pregnant. I really didn't want to buy a maternity dress as I knew I wouldn't get that much usage out of it. I contemplated buying a breastfeeding dress but seeing as I'm not sure what dress size I'm going to be I didn't want to waste my money on something that may only fit me for a few weeks. 

I decided to head into town and have a nose to see if  I could find anything suitable. I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of money so I headed straight for Primark. It's one of my favourite go to shops for something cheap, that's fashionable.

I found a couple of dresses to try which was great. I fell in love with this gorgeous black laced dress. The style of it is very me, so I was really hoping it would fit. I grabbed it in a size 8 in the hope that perhaps I could squeeze myself into it and therefore still be able to wear it after I have had the baby.

Luckily enough due to the boho styling of the dress, I actually got into the size 8. I couldn't believe my luck. I had found a dress I actually liked, was comfortable in and I knew I could still wear it after the baby was born. I can't remember exactly how much it was but it was definitely less than £20. I've already worn it 3 times so I am getting my money's worth.

The style of the dress is perfect for this winter season. With regards to fashion it ticks all the boxes as it's, black, lace and has the boho/70's styling to it. It's a great staple piece for your wardrobe as it'll go with so many things. I wore it with a pair of slouchy black calf length boots. You can't see them very well as i'm at the stage where my bump takes up most of the room in a picture! You could wear a different colour pair of shoes or boots to add a pop of colour and to make the dress more evening/occasionwear then don't wear any tights.

I wanted to share this look with you to highlight the fact that just because your pregnant you don't have to wear maternity clothes all the time. I think we tend to fall in a trap of always getting maternity clothes as we feel that we need them when it's better to try and find things that you will be able to wear again. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of maternity clothes as I find them so comfortable but it is wasteful when you are only wearing them for a short period of time. 


Bravado Yoga Nursing Bra Review

I was recently sent a Bravado Yoga Nursing Bra to review. I'm not nursing yet (as the baby hasn't arrived) but for now i'm reviewing it as a maternity bra as it can be worn before hand. I've never tried a Bravado bra before so I was looking forward to testing it out.

The bra comes in 2 colours, pink and grey. It makes a nice change from the usual black or white you see in sports/nursing bras. It costs £34 which is about what I would expect to pay for a decent nursing bra. It's available in sizes small to extra large and there is a size chart available on the website to help with sizing.

The bra is designed to fit into an active mums everyday lifestyle. It can be worn during low impact training such as yoga, pilates and walking or as an everyday nursing essential bra. It has some special features such as, anti-microbial technology which prevents the growth of odour (which causes bacteria). This is a great support feature for working out. It also has a 4 way stretch fabric which moulds to your ever changing shape! This again is great as you can change size quite often whilst you are breastfeeding.

The bra also has removable pad inserts. I think these are a good idea as they give extra support for when you wear breast pads. Breast pads always make a strange shape in your bra but with these moulds already in the bra, you can't tell that you have any on. The straps have an easy unclip feature to allow for discreet nursing and if you wish the cup can come fully down for skin to skin contact.

The bra itself is actually prettier than I expected it to be. I'm always put off by sports bras and nursing bras as they are normally fairly plain and unflattering. 

One feature is that you can adapt the straps so that it can either be worn as a normal bra or in a criss cross shape at the back to go underneath sports tops. This makes it a very versatile bra as you could use it for everyday wear as-well as for when you are working out.

I've found this bra to be extremely comfortable. In fact, I hardly feel like I'm wearing one. It is definitely the most comfortable one I've owned. It feels very light when it's on which will be great for when my milk comes in. 
Even though I don't feel like I'm wearing a bra it is very supportive. I'll be honest and say I haven't exercised whilst wearing it but in my everyday life where I'm running around after my toddler, I feel very secure in it. It fits well under my clothes and you can't notice it through tops etc. 

Overall, I'm really pleased with it. I think it looks good, is comfortable to wear and is very practical too. I am looking forward to using it for low impact sports once the baby is born.

You can buy the bra here for £34, Bravado yoga bra.

Have you bought a Bravado bra before?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Love2read personalised book review

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I love nothing more than personalised photo products. As you can imagine I was delighted to be asked to review a book from Love2read. They are a company who make photo reading books for children. They are passionate about encouraging children to read and therefore their books are designed with key images and words to help with the process.

They have a huge range of books that you can choose to create from focusing on different family members to key events and experiences. You can view the full range here, books. There were so many I could have created, but I chose to focus on something that I knew Eva had enjoyed so much this year and that was our holiday. Eva talks about the holiday all the time so I knew the book would be a perfect way for her to relive the memories.

The book has 10 pages that you can add photos too. You can add a photo and a caption to every page and you can also change the background colour and text colour. The back page shows keywords which is designed to allow you to start a discussion with your child about what they can read and understand. I managed to create the book quickly and easily. I found it a really enjoyable experience to create it.

When the book arrived Eva was absolutely thrilled. It combines 2 of her favourite things and that is reading and looking at pictures of herself!! She instantly wanted to read it and was amazed at seeing herself on every page. 

The text is a good side print which I think helps encourage her to actually attempt to read it. I like the fact that the book only has 10 pages as it keeps her captivated. She certainly is associating key words with the pictures and therefore is learning as we read it. It's helping with the look and say technique of reading.  The book itself is a good size as it's easy to hold for small hands and it's not heavy. She loves this book and asks to read it all the time. In fact she recently took it over to a friend's house to show her. 

I can't recommend this book enough. It was an instant hit with Eva and myself. I am honestly seeing an improvement in her reading since we've had it. It's a wonderful way of capturing and reliving key experiences and moments in your children's lives. I'm definitely going to order some more and I've got my eye on one called My Baby Sister. Eva's sister is due to arrive in 3 days and I think it will be a perfect way to educate her on how to help with her sister and to also make her feel special, wanted and needed. They'd make great stocking fillers this christmas.

Have you heard of this company before? Does your child like to read?

Monday, 9 November 2015

My favourite pictures of me and Eva

I'm just 3 days away from my due date for expecting baby girl number 2 and call me silly but i've been a bit emotional about it today. I'm very sad at the thought of having another girl. I know some people are probably reading this thinking 'well what the hell are you having one for then?'. What I mean is that Eva is my best friend. I love spending time with her and we have an unbreakable bond. I am really struggling to understand how I will love another child (especially a girl) when I already have everything I could ever wish for in my daughter. Anyway I know I'm being silly and i'm sure when she's here, and I look at my new daughter for the first time, I will be bowled over with love. I've enjoyed a day of looking through thousands of pictures of my life with Eva and I thought i'd share some of my favourite one's with you. There were so many to choose from as we've had so many wonderful memories and experiences. 

 I think this was the very first selfie I ever took of the two of us when she was just days old.

I just love the way she is looking at me in this one. Again this was taken very early on.

When Eva was a baby I used to love nothing more than snuggles on my bed with her. 

I honestly had a fantastic maternity leave with Eva and the weather was amazing. This is a picture of us enjoying one of those days in the garden.

 Just look how happy we both are here!!! 

This was us trying to perfect a pouting selfie lol!

This was the first time I took her ice-skating (this was also the last time I took her ice-skating as we were both rubbish)

 This was on an easter Sunday after we had been for afternoon tea.

 This was our first trip to Disneyland Paris.

 This was our second trip to Disney which was last christmas time. We are all huge Disney fans in this house.

 This was taken a couple of days before my 30th birthday in Dubai. I loved how we were dressed very similar for our meal out.

This again was in Dubai at the Atlantis the Palm waterpark. We absolutely loved it there.

Finally this was taken a few months ago when I decided to take Eva on a special mummy and Eva day out to Cadbury World.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

A review of GRRRRR by Rob Biddulph

We were lucky enough to receive the second book written by Rob Biddulph to review entitled 'GRRRRR'. His first book 'blown away' was a bestseller and won the children's book prize at Waterstones. By day he is the art director at Observer magazine and his inspiration for his books has come from making up stories to read to his three children.

The story is about a bear named Fred. Every year the forest holds a contest for all the bears that live there and Fred has won for the last three times. He's brilliant at everything but is best known for his very loud GRRRRR! A new bear called Boris has moved into the forest and he starts sneaking around at Fred's house at night. On the day of the contest Fred has lost his GRRRRR. The other animals of the forest rally around to help him find it and in doing so help teach Fred a valuable lesson about friendship.

The book is written in rhyme which is of course a favourite for children to hear. Rhyming always seems to keep children captivated and Eva was definitely engrossed in this story. She loved to hear me make the sound GRRRR and she now joins in whenever that part of the story appears. The words and names in the story are easy for young children to understand and connect with.

The illustrations are gorgeous. The first page is bursting with beautiful autumn colours so is perfect for story telling at this time of year. Fred isn't a scary looking bear and neither is naughty Boris. 

Overall, we both love this book. Every time I read it to Eva, I am finding something new which is what makes the book so great. I love the hidden meaning's of friendship and honesty that are the focal points of the story. You can view it here on amazon, GRRRRR. We've not read Rob Biddulph's first book but I will have to buy it now after enjoying this one so much.

Have you read any of Rob Biddulph's books?

Bump Watch - Week 39

Week - 39 + 3 days. This may well be my last bump update. We'll just have to wait and see when she decides to arrive. I am thinking I'm going to go over my due date now.

Baby developments - Bump is now the size of a watermelon. How big is that!!!! It's crazy to think there is something that big in my belly. 

My Bump - I'm at the stage where I can't seem to notice the bump growing anymore but people tell me it is. Still no stretch marks though which is amazing. It's definetley dropped.

My Symptoms - I am having tightenings/braxton hicks all the time and they are quite painful. I don't remember them being like this last time. I spend most of my time searching for the nearest toilet as all I want to do is empty my bladder. Sleeping ah night is pretty minimal. If I lie on my side, my bump hurts. If I lie on my back, my bump and back hurts. It's really a no win situation!

Cravings - I'm still munching on ice cubes every day. 

Aversions - I've still not had any aversions to anything specific although I seem to not be able to eat much. It's almost as if I've gone off food.

Exercise - Chasing Eva everywhere is about as much as I can handle now.

Baby items purchased - Nothing this week.

Best moment this week - Having the feeling of relief at the bump dropping. My chest is so much more comfortable now.

Worst moment this week - The tightenings. Some times they are so bad I feel like I'm going into labour.

What i'm looking forward to - Not being pregnant anymore and being able to wear normal clothes. My wadrobe is now rotated between about 5 things but I am not buying anything else as I have hardly any time left.

How Eva is feeling - Eva talks about her sister all the time but honestly I still don't think she fully understands that a baby will be coming to the house. 


Friday, 6 November 2015

Pregnancy Care & Wellbeing Kit by Indigo Herbs

I was recently sent a lovely pregnancy gift to review from Indigo Herbs. They are a company that aim to supply the finest natural heath products to help you on the path to happy, healthy wellbeing. Their website contains many different products ranging from aromatherapy to whole foods.

There are a few different gift sets to choose from on their website. The chocolate making one was a huge hit with a friend of mine and also the herbal tea one.

I was sent the pregnancy care and wellbeing gift set to try out. It's suitable for use during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy. It contains raspberry leaf tea, a tea infuser, massage oil and a pregnancy oil. 

I have never tried raspberry leaf tea before but I had heard about it's benefits in pregnancy as it has a high content of vitamins and minerals. It's also thought to tone the muscles in your uterus! I actually like the taste of it. I didn't think I would. I leave it to brew in a pot for 5 - 15 minutes and then enjoy it. The tea infuser that comes in the gift set is also an adorable touch. 

By far my favourite product in the gift set is the pregnancy care essential oil. It has so many uses such as burning in a diffuser, popping some in the bath, inhaling it with a steamer and using it directly on the skin when mixed with a cream. I have mainly been using it in my bath. I love having a bath during pregnancy so i've been adding a few drops of the oil to the water when i've been going in. It smells amazing and it always makes me very relaxed. It has an almost spa scent to it. If I close my eyes I feel like i'm somewhere else. I also love the fact that the smell seems to last on your skin too which allows me to stay relaxed all night.

The pregnancy care massage oil is also lovely. I'm not normally a fan of oils as I hate the texture. However, oils are the best way to keep your bump smooth and supple and help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. You just need to apply a small amount to your palm and the rub it on your belly. The scent is equally as nice as the other oil. 

Overall, i'm really happy with the gift set. It certainly has helped me relax in the bath. I think it would make a lovely gift for a pregnant woman to enjoy as it's so important to try and stay calm and relaxed during pregnancy.  It's always nice to give a pregnant woman something for her to enjoy and to feel like she's getting a bit of a pampering. 

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