Monday 26 September 2016

Yoga with Soul Review

If you follow me on social media you will know that I recently started a health and fitness kick. I used to love exercise and staying healthy but ever since I had Ophelia I seem to have had cabin fever about getting back into it.

In the past I have found that undertaking a variety of different exercise keeps me passionate, driven and focused. I found that if I did the same things I got very bored. I also found that going to classes worked better for me as I was pushed for the whole class and stayed motivated.

I was delighted to be asked if I would like to review a class at the new Yoga studio ‘Yoga with Soul’ in Caerphilly. The studio was set up by Diana Brook

I’ve only ever tried a yoga class once before which was a very long time ago. I decided to give the hot yoga class a go which is known as ‘Fire and Flow’. It was on a Wednesday evening at 7pm and was taken by the wonderful Adell Bridges.

The studio is located on Western Industrial Estate which is literally a 5 minute walk from my house. There is plenty of parking spaces available if you are driving.

The studio is a good size. Upon entering the room, I felt immediately calm and relaxed. As it’s a hot yoga class, the room is heated to a high temperature using portable heaters. Mats were provided which was very handy as I don’t actually own a yoga mat.

At the start of the class we were asked to think about what our goals were for the class. I just wanted to feel more relaxed.

The class was taken at a low pace and every move was demonstrated and explained very well. One thing that really made an impact on my experience was that Adell was constantly making sure you were performing the stretches/poses correctly to ensure safety for yourself as well as making sure you could push yourself to the best of your ability.

The words spoken during the class were positive and taught you how to free your mind and relax yourself from busy/unwanted thoughts. It taught me how to adjust my posture and facial expresions to be happier in life.

I was very shocked at how stiff and inflexible I was but this didn’t tarnish my experience at all. Quite the opposite in fact.

The heat didn’t bother me. I embraced it. I actually love to be hot. I’m one of these people that will always have a very hot bath so the heat was welcome. I don’t think it’s too hot for you to feel too uncomfortable during the class.

Through Adell’s words, the heat and the stretches, I can honestly say I achieved my goal at the end of the hour. I was extremely relaxed. When we were lying on the mat at the end of the class, I honestly felt like I had no troubles in the world. I felt light and weightless. I could have fallen asleep. It was clear that the hot yoga class had been a form of escape from my busy, sometimes stressful lifestyle.

When I got home from the class I eagerly told my husband that I wanted to sign up for a block booking of classes as I was keen to keep this happy/relaxed feeling in my life. You may be aware that I am suffering from postnatal depression. You can read about it here, PND posts. I have suffered with it for a long time now and I’m only just starting to get the help and support I need. I’m told exercise is a great way of combatting depression as it releases good endorphins and encourages you to stay active. It has so many benefits. I honestly believe continuing with Yoga will have such a positive impact on my life as it is wonderful for the body, mind and soul. It’s just what I need for complete wellbeing.

Overall, I was very impressed with the studio. I am definitely going to be doing more classes (even though my flexibility is currently not great) and I’ll be blogging about how it impacts my fitness and postnatal depression so keep your eyes peeled for those posts.

To find out more about the classes and packages on offer at Yoga with Soul click here,

Have you tried Yoga before? If so what is your favourite style? What exercise do you like doing, if any?


Teething Jewellery from Crab And The Fox

Ophelia cut her first 2 teeth at just 12 weeks old. Luckily for us she didn't suffer too much with it but showed the usual symptoms of diarrhoea, red cheeks and temperature. 

She now has 8 teeth and we're pretty sure she has some more on the way. I'm still breastfeeding her a few times a day and she seems to be using me as a form of teething soother which as you can imagine, is not the most pleasant experience. When she's suffering she bites everything around her.

I was asked if I would like to review some teething jewellery from Crab and The Fox which couldn't have come at a better time. I'd actually never tried teething jewellery before so I was looking forward to seeing if it helped. 

I got to choose a bracelet and a necklace which sounds nice and easy except it took me ages to decide what to pick as there was such a good selection. You can view the whole selection here, Teething Jewellery

The necklace I chose had shades of pink, nude and black, I wanted something that would match a lot of my wardrobe so this one was ideal for me. The beads are silicone and the cord is made from nylon satin. It's completely BPA free. It's stylish but practical.

I now wear it all the time. It's something that Ophelia can use as a toy or a teething ate. I love the fact that it's multi-functional and therefore less stuff for me to carry in my change bag. 

She loves to bite it when she's sat on my lap or she plays with it when we are out and about. It's also a great distraction when changing her nappy. I forgot how hard that was to do once they are on the move!

I absolutely adore the bracelet I chose.  It's cream in colour but actually looks a very pale pink. It's big and chunky which makes it perfect for tiny hands to grasp. I love the fact that it doesn't even look like a teething bracelet but just like a normal piece of jewellery.

Teething jewellery is so handy as it's something you you will always have on you. It can either be used for soothing sore gums or as a toy. 

Crab and The Fox is quickly becoming one of my favourite baby shops. They have unique clothes, nursery items, toys and books. Make sure you check out the website I have such a huge wish-list from there.

Do you use teething jewellery?


Friday 23 September 2016

Mama Style - Wedding Guest Edit

Yesterday we were invited to a wedding at the stunning Llanerch Vineyard. If you follow me on social media you will know that i've started a health and fitness regime which ended up leaving me in a bit of a pickle about what I could wear. I've already changed shape and I didn't fit into anything in my wardrobe! Hooray an excuse to shop. This normally would be my idea of heaven (shopping alone for myself that is), however i'm very in-between sizes at the moment and I really didn't want to spend lots of money on something I wouldn't be able to wear again.

I must've trawled around every shop in Cardiff and tried a million outfits on. There were quite a few things I liked in Coast but they were going to cost a small fortune. I eventually stumbled into Monsoon which generally isn't a shop that I look in for clothes for myself (love their kids clothes).

I found a gorgeous black lace dress which I thought would be perfect. I just prayed that it would actually fit.

I tried it on in 2 different sizes and I was amazed to find the smaller size actually fit me. i couldn't have been happier as it meant the dress should hopefully last me a while. What I really liked about it, is how versatile it is. With the right shoes, bag and accessories it could be worn for a special occasion or with a smart pair of flats or kitten heels, it could be worn on a date night. It's black which is great as it can match anything and everything.

The style is very victorian. The lace and high neck make it special. I loved the cap sleeves too. 

I picked up a beautiful bag from Accessorize. I was instantly drawn to it. I felt like my daughter. I saw something pink, flowery and sparkly and I had to have it. It's the perfect size for a clutch bag as I managed to fit all my essentials in it. They have a beautiful selection of bags that are similar to this one so if you need one, i'd highly recommend checking there first. 

I wore the dress with a pair of nude shoes that I had from Marks and Spencer. They are the comfiest pair of high shoes i've ever owned. I must remember to see if they have them in any other colours. 

As you can see from the pictures, it was a beautiful, sunny day. I forgot my actual camera so we had to take all these photos on my phone which i'm gutted about as the quality would have been much better on the camera. 

I've been to the vineyard many times before for a drink (you know me, I love my wine) but i'd never been there for a wedding. It was a stunning venue and the food was fantastic. 

Here's the links to the items


Wednesday 21 September 2016

Review of the Babymoov Nutribaby: Steriliser function

As part of our Babymoov weaning ambassador role, we were kindly sent a Nutribaby to use for our journey. The Nutribaby is a food steamer and blender that provides all essential functions to feed baby from birth right up until fully weaned. There are 5 functions which are,  bottle warmer, steriliser, defroster, steamer and blender. This post will focus on how we are getting on with the steriliser function.

Ophelia was exclusively breastfed up until she was 5/6 months old so i'll fully admit I didn't think we'd have much use for the steriliser. However, we started to give her a bottle occasionally so that I could go to work or go out with friends. We also had to start giving her a dummy as she was suffering with her teeth and constantly wanted to bite on something (she was using me as her teething aid, which wasn't pleasant to say the least).

The steriliser is very easy to use. You simply pour water into the bottom of the compartment.   There are 2 basket sections and to get more room when sterilising, I usually remove one basket. You then place all items in to be sterilised, pop the lid on and turn the nutribaby on. Select the steriliser function and press ok. It is automatically set to 10 minutes.

My favourite thing about the steriliser is how quiet it is. Don't get me wrong it still makes a noise but all you can hear is the steam. It's a stark contrast to the steriliser that I used on Eva which had to be placed in the microwave and therefore was very noisy. I can imagine this feature is perfect for anyone needing to sterilise a bottle during the nighttime and doesn't want to wake anyone.

I really like the fact that the display counts down the minutes for you so you know how long is left. I also like the fact that it automatically finishes sterilising and will alert you with a beep. It's great that you don't have to be near it to switch it off. 

The compartment itself is big enough for what I require it for. I can normally get a couple of bottles or beakers in there and a few dummies. However, I do think if you were bottle feeding you may want a bigger compartment but with how easier it is to use I think that doesn't matter.

I always find there are so many baby products you need and they always are big and bulky and take up way too much room in your house. Also more often than not they aren't nice to look at. I find the nutribaby matches well with my kitchen and I don't mind leaving it out on display as it has so many functions. It saves on me having a separate steriliser, steamer, food processor etc. I use it more than once a day so I am happy for it to be on display.

What items did you sterilise whilst weaning? Have you heard of the nutribaby before?


My Parenting/Friendship CV for the mums at the schoolgate

Personal Information
Kerry Norris
1985 - I may be 31 but in my head i'm still early 20's
Casa Del Norris 

Personal Statement
When it comes to being a mum I may not be Martha Stewart or Mary Poppins but what I will say is I know I am fantastic at it. I am not perfect and I don't always get it right but I know I am the best mum I can be.
I may not cook them healthy/nutritious meals everyday but at least they eat. 
I may not be able to craft (even though I try, I really do), I seriously haven't got the patience for it but my pinterest profile is full of the most fantastic ideas so I have all the best intentions. 
My house is a shit tip. Let's face it, with 2 adults, 2 small kids and a dog it is never going to be sparkling. It's messy but it's lived in! 
I take pride in my appearance. Some days I am out of the house not only scrubbed, hair clean but I may have make up on but then there are somedays when you know to just look at me and don't even ask. They are known as 'child has had an epic tantrum days' and I may or may not be sipping wine out of my flask pretending it's tea. In fact I have a flask that says 'there's a rather large chance this is wine' on the front. You have been warned, so don't judge.
Speaking of appearance I may often be at the gate without a coat on. It'll probably be on the days when it's freezing or chucking it down with rain but that's because trying to get my child out of the house in the morning is sometimes as stressful as trying to take your drunk friend home from a night out. Honestly, the slowest, hardest thing ever. I spend so much time coaxing her out of the door (not that she doesn't want to go to school she's just fussy and obviously has to take a million and one insignificant things with her) that I forget anything I need. But hey, I made it out of the house with 2 kids in tow before 9am! What an achievement.

As a friend I am supportive, I will always be there for you if you need me. I think i'm rather funny, so if you ever need a good giggle and a cheering up session, you can always count on me to bring the fun. 
I'm a good listener, if ever you want a talk, I am your woman. 
Speaking of talking that is something I do a lot of. Quite often you find you won't be able to get a word in edgeways but I mean well so don't let that put you off. If ever there's awkward silences, I will be the one to break them.
I'm always on my phone (don't judge me) so I am free for what's app group messages of any kind especially the kind when you need some mum support and somewhere to vent in private! 

Education, qualifications and Training History
Learning life skills since 1985
Parenting since 2013
Daughter age 3.5 also going on 18
2nd daughter aged 10 months

Logistics coordinator:
I can navigate myself around city centre shops or Aldi with a baby in a carrier, a trolley or a basket and a small child hanging off me somewhere. 
I can work out where each child needs to be on a daily basis with the help of my diary, my calendar, my school diary (yes i have 2 diaries), my phone calendar and many, many lists.

Shit stains on a white rug? I am your gal. I can polish that out of there in no time. Complete expert at that. Red wine on the carpet? Once again you know who to call. 
I'm not just an expert at stains, I can make clothes, toys and any other items vanish in 5 minutes (just don't look in my study when you come over).

Have you noticed your child has every emotion and feeling under the sun, pretty much every day. If i'd have taken a degree in this I would have come out with a first class honours with the amount of troubles I have to deal with. I can always manage to get a smile on their little faces though and make the baddies go away.

As previously mentioned, I may not give them home cooked food everyday but I am one hell of a batch cooker, I can dash to the supermarket in no time at all and pick something up and if all other efforts have failed then my freezer is never without a box of fish fingers. 

I can read books, count to 10 in a couple of languages, sing and dance, teach life and social skills and I have a wonderful, creative imagination to make up stories on the spot.

I am solely responsible in taking my kids everywhere. However, on a night out never ask me to drive. I am never the driver! You'll understand why when you get to know me better.

I am the mum boss! Call me what you like, warrior, head of the tribe or leader of the pack. I run this house. 

Key Skills
Punctual - I may be late for a date but hey I have 2 little kids. Just getting there is a bonus

Reliable - I genuinely am reliable. I will do anything for anyone. However, I tend to have a habit of answering texts in my head and not actually sending them so if I don't get back to you for a few days, give me a nudge and don't get offended.

Wine drinker - Yes I did just list this as a key skill. I have the ability to polish off a bottle in 10 minutes.

Confidence - If I put my mind to anything I can achieve it...eventually.

Dynamic - I get on with all sorts of people. 

Initiative - I can take the initiative to arrange meet ups. If you want a mums night out, I can be on the case quicker than Usain Bolt can run 100 metres.

Hobbies and Interests
I love a playdate. Anything to keep me entertained whilst attempting to entertain the girls is a gift from above. This whole parenting thing can be very lonely at times and adult conversation is much needed.

Pass the Rioja and I shall drink it. If you need wine, I will be there with not 1 but 2 bottles in hand. I love the stuff. I'm very passionate about my reds and I have been known to drink on a school night. Shhhh don't tell.

I am a self proclaimed shopaholic. If you want to know where to get your next outfit for a special occasion or where is selling the nicest school shoes etc, come to me. I can shop till I drop.

I love the cinema. It's dark and perfect for a sneaky snooze. No seriously, I do love the cinema.

Mum dates:
There is nothing I find more exciting than a mum date with no kids. Us mamas need to stick together and have some adult/me time for our own sanity.

Believe it or not but I do like exercise. If you need a fitness buddy, please take me. I need the support and motivation.

So there you have it mums. I hope my CV hasn't put you off and you are just like me?! I hope you accept my application to be your friend.


Saturday 17 September 2016

A Walk In The Park - Sweet Summer Challenge

Can you believe summer has been and gone already. I know it is said all the time but I honestly cannot believe how fast the year is going. We had a lot of plans for the summer, camping trips, various other travels, days out and home improvements. One thing that was top of our list was to spend as much time together as a family as possible. Eva has just started pre-school so she is in every day for 2.5 hours. We wanted to make the most of having our days free before she started school by taking every opportunity we had to get out and about.

We did make a summer bucket list which included things like having picnics, going to the beach, lots of dog walks and making daisy chains. We managed to do most of our list but the weather was rather temperamental over the summer period. 

We were contacted by Donna from Sweet Whimsy Photography to see if we would like to be involved in her 'Sweet Summer Challenge,' which was being photographed as a family embracing the summer. We jumped at the chance as we hadn't had any photographs taken of us as a family of 4.

We decided to meet Donna at a local field at around 6pm. It was a bit of an overcast day but at least it wasn't raining. Donna is absolutely lovely and was fantastic with the kids. Eva thought she was brilliant and in true to Eva form, didn't stop talking. Donna made us all feel very relaxed. In fact most of the time it didn't even feel like she was there. She certainly captured us in a very natural way.

We chased each other around the field. We played hide and seek which we all loved. We threw the kids up in the air and we tickled each other. It was a lovely way to end the day. We giggled and smiled and enjoyed each other's company.

It always amazes me how the simplest things in life can bring you the most enjoyment and pleasure. This was one of those moments. 

After the shoot I couldn't wait to see the images. When they were sent through hubby and I were completely blown away. They are stunning. Simply breathtaking. Every single picture is worthy of being framed on our walls. Donna is incredibly talented. The lighting she has captured is beautiful and we can't thank her enough for giving us such special memories. 

We are definitely going to use her again. I am hoping to get some shots of me breastfeeding Ophelia (before she stops) and we are planning to have a winter shoot around christmas time and hopefully get Alfie our dog in those too.

You can find out more about Sweet Whimsy photography's prices here, Session Fee's

Donna has kindly allowed me to run a giveaway for a free photo shoot to one of my readers. I am so excited to be able to offer this to you as I can't recommend her enough. She is amazing. If you are local to South Wales then please enter using rafflecopter below. Winners will be picked at random and the closing date is Monday 26th September. Good Luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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