Monday 31 October 2016

Guest Post - Halloween Party Games for Adults and Children

My final halloween guest post comes from Charlotte who writes at Here she tells you about some games that are perfect for everyone.

So Halloween is nearly upon us and you have a party to plan with your friends or one with the kids perhaps? Then this post is packed full of ideas for adults and children. Most the games below contain alcohol but you can swap them for sweets and treats for the kids. 

So decorate your living room and your garden if it's nice weather, and have some fun with quite a few giggles I can assure with these games. (trust me, I literally had a doughnut smack me in the face, I know a dream right but a cruel one)

So Lets start:- 

There are the obvious - Ducking Apples but with a twist for adults, fill a bowl with alcohol, cider, beer anything you like, carve numbers into the apples turning them numbers down into the water, and then duck for them! Whatever number you bring up that is the number of shots you have to drink and also consume the alcohol filled apple! 
For kids, obviously just water and only carve numbers 1-4 then if they bring up a 3 then they get a treat and if 1 then something boring like having to eat a vegetable.

Pumpkin hiding, get pumpkins (get everyone to bring one along) carve them out and put alcohol bottles in some of them. It's a treat and a thrill to find the alcohol. Kids could be the same but for chocolate sweets. If you are really creative you could give clues to the pumpkins or just let them run wild.

Pumpkin racing - place pumpkin between legs and race each other to a finish line (great if got a big garden) Trust me though it’s not as easy as it sounds, you have to grasp it enough but not squish it. I’ve tried it and it has been hilariously funny the waddling we were doing. 

Mummy wrap - Great if already a bit tipsy. Split into pairs, one has a toilet roll and wrap, spinning the other around to wrap one up like a mummy. Perhaps make a forfeit on the team who fails to make them drink a horrible shot.

Hang the doughnut-  (The time I got smacked in the face by a doughnut numerous times) Tie ringed doughnuts up with a strip just above head height with perhaps a drawing pin and everyday string. Then spin around and try to grab your doughnut - For adults, make a forfeit for the last person to do a shot or such. 

Stocking head - Put a tennis ball in one end of a pair of tights then put the crotch over your head so the tennis ball is hanging over your face. Have a line up of water bottles on the floor, bend over and two of you race to knock over all the bottles. The winner gets a nice alcoholic drink/treat, the loser a not so nice shot. 

Pumpkin golf - Carve out big pumpkins with massive mouths and get creative with eyes and such. Get kids gold clubs and plastic balls, start playing with the course all around the downstairs/upstairs of the house. Trust me this is very fun!

I hope you have a fun and spooktacular evening (ha. cheesy I know!) Don’t forget to post all those hilarious pictures on social media and let me know to follow you and laugh with you. 

Happy Halloween, 

About Rose above the Thorns 

Hey, I’m Charlee, a blonde to auburn haired crazy lady with a passion for photography, fashion, writing and anything sugary. 
My blog mostly incorporates all of them attributes and much more such as travel vlogs/posts, lifestyle and occasionally makeup when I have finally learnt something new! 
I have a graphic design under that imaginary belt everyone chirps on about when your 16, but mainly you’ll find me doodling/editing away on my Wacom tablet with not much meaning.
Hope to see you around.


When Baby Decided to Stop Breastfeeding

When my second child was born she took to breastfeeding immediately. I often think that was because I was more relaxed about the whole thing second time around. As soon as I was able to hold her after the caesarean, I put her straight to my chest and a bond was formed immediately. It was a wonderful feeling.

I knew this time around, I wanted to be in it for the long haul. On my first child I had to stop feeding at 9 months as I was returning to work. I work in an operating theatre on various shift patterns so it was impossible to even keep one feed up a day. It broke my heart. Both of us suffered and it wasn't a pleasant experience at all. This time, I wasn't returning to work so I had every intention to just keep going.

Breastfeeding Ophelia was like a dream. I was confident at it and very comfortable doing it in public. It was our 'alone' time together. Something that was just ours. Even when she started weaning on solids we were still feeding about 4 times a day. It was all going so well. 

At about 8 months she cut back on breastfeeding but was still feeding every morning and every night-time. She still used me for comfort if she was upset or unwell. I honestly couldn't have predicted what was about to come.

We'd had a very successful family photo shoot and I had decided that I'd like a couple of pictures of us breastfeeding. We were setting a date for the shoot. I couldn't wait as I hardly have any pictures of me feeding Eva and it's such a lovely thing to remember.

I can't remember the exact date that she rejected me but I remember where we were. At around 9.5 months old we were sat on one of our sofas. I had Eastenders on so I was watching that whilst getting ready to feed. I popped her to my chest and she just looked at me. I pushed her on but she swiftly pulled back and started getting a bit aggressive, hitting and pushing me away. To say I was shell shocked would be an understatement. At first I thought it was some sort of game she was playing. She would pinch me and I would try and get her to latch on. After about 10 minutes I soon realised she just didn't want to feed. So many feelings were running through my mind. As someone suffering from PND as you can imagine this did not help with my mental state. I tried to talk to my husband about it but all I could do was cry and he just brushed it off and said 'she's probably tired, she's bound to do it again,'.

I listened to him and I was hopeful which I certainly regret now as I think it would have been easier to have just carried on thinking she was done. I attempted to feed her more times that day and each time I was met with grabbing and pulling. This went on for days. I tried everything. Lots of skin to skin time, cuddles and love but she just repeatedly rejected me. I clung on to the hope for a long time. I began getting desperate. I would try and put her to my chest for weeks, just hoping that she would start up again but she wasn't having any of it. 

I really didn't know how to deal with the situation. As the mum, I always thought the decision on when to stop breastfeeding would be mine. I always thought I would be in control. I'd never heard of this happening to anyone I knew. I trawled the internet looking for something personal that I could relate to but I didn't find anything. I felt like a total utter failure. I slipped into that dark, depressive PND state again. I let the situation be worse than it was.

I can't tell you how many weeks I cried for. I was overcome with so many emotions. I blamed myself. Of course I would. I was a bad mum, it was my fault for going out with my friends one night, my fault for not paying her enough attention. 

It took another blogger saying to me, 'just think of the positives Kerry, you've fed her for 9.5 months which is great and she has made the decision to stop herself. She taken it our of your hands. She was ready,' that I realised it wasn't my fault.

It was me that wasn't ready. It was me that had the issues not Ophelia. I guess in a sense I thought that once she stopped feeding she wasn't my little baby anymore. She would be more grown up. As you know my PND has engulfed me this year and changed who I am. However, the one thing I knew I was fantastic at as a mum and something I always got right was feeding Ophelia. I didn't want that taken away from me as I knew I rocked at it. On the days when anxiety took over and I couldn't leave the house, I knew that I was still able to feed my baby and have that bond with her. I just wasn't ready.

I'm ok with it now. I can see how happy she is and that's the main thing. I'm just gutted that we never got that photoshoot. At least the memories are there.


Friday 28 October 2016

Minnie Sweets and Candy Van Review

It's amazing to see how differently Eva now plays with toys. She really uses her imagination and is constantly engrossed in role/imaginative play. She'a always making up stories and situations. She was very kindly sent a Minnie Mouse Sweets and Candy Van to review which has been ideal for her. It's great for her new found love of role play.

The van is a food truck. You can drop the side down to reveal a kitchen and seating area for baking.

The van is a pretty pink colour with a turquoise trim and yellow interiors. It's very eye catching so as you can imagine Eva was delighted as soon as it arrived. It also has flashing lights and there are sprays of glitter (another one of Eva's favourite things, she's instantly drawn to glitter). 

It comes with lots of little pieces such as cakes. These pieces are small so keep them away from younger children. Ophelia is also quite enamoured with the toy (much to Eva's frustration) so I have to watch her with all the little bits.

The Minnie Mouse figure is a good size. She's very cute to look at and has a little apron on and a chef's hat.

Eva loves this toy. She finds it easy to push around so it's an ideal size for small hands. It's not heavy. Even though it's plastic it is very robust. She has dropped it plenty of times or crashed it into a wall and there still isn't a chip or scratch anywhere insight. That has really impressed me as a parent.

It's not too large in size. She'e been taking it to restaurants etc with her, which she carries herself in a normal sized rucksack. 

She loves baking and treats so this is a lovely set for any other child that enjoys the same things. As you know we are huge Disney fans in this house so of course this toy is now one of her firm favourites. 

The only thing left for us to do is find Ophelia an alternative of her own. Have you seen any Minnie/Mickey alternatives suitable for a baby?

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Guest Post - 5 Items For Last Minute Halloween Preparation

Over the course of the next few days I will be bringing you guest posts from other bloggers all centred around the theme of halloween. The first post is from my blogging friend Beth who writes over at Here she shows you 5 items you should have around your home that will help with last minute panic plans for halloween. This is going to be very useful to me as I can put my hand up and say, I am very last minute when it comes to being prepared for Halloween.
The last few years I've been so unorganised when it comes to Halloween. I always decide on the day that we should do something and whilst the last few years Charlie has made do with a skeleton onesie I always tried to make a bit of an effort to get into the spirit. But at 4.30pm on Halloween it can be a bit of a panic so here's 5 items you probably have knocking around that can help you add a touch of Halloween magic and look a bit spooky.
  1. Dry shampoo - this is just brilliant for creating spooky grey hair (and perfect for one night that you don't have to worry about your actual greys!)
  2. Crackle nail varnish - dark or crackle nail varnish gives an extra gothic look - I like to have black or white to get into the spirit!
  3. Eye liner - heap it on for a scary witch or it can double up as cat whiskers drawn on your cheeks. A simple way to add a splash of face paint and get into the spirit at the last minute!
  4. Leopard print - the perfect accessory to your eye liner face paint as you can rock the cat theme. Team with black leggings and a black top and voila!
  5. Talcum powder - this again is great for white skin and white hair to go for the typical Halloween look and is super easy to wash off.
So incredibly simple to enter you into the spirit as you trot along behind the kids as they go trick and treating. Believe me - this is my fail safe!
Happy Halloween


Sunday 16 October 2016

My Favourite Weaning Products

Ophelia is nearly 11 months old and therefore very settled into her weaning journey. This time around we took a much more relaxed approach to it all. We allowed her to let us know when she was ready. We did a mixture of baby led weaning and mashing things but she now pretty much eats anything and everything. 

There's been a few items on our journey that have really helped us out, so i've rounded them up in a list of my favourites. Hopefully they can help you on your weaning journey.

1) Babymoov Nutribaby

I always find that whenever it comes to baby products there are always so many of them. The Nutribaby has become a bit of a lifesaver in our house. It has certainly freed up some room in the kitchen. It has 5 functions which are bottle warmer, steriliser, steamer, defroster and a blender. It's the ideal product for weaning as it does everything you need for your journey. 
I've written about the steriliser function here, Steriliser. I will also be writing about the other functions in future posts.

This cup is easily one of my all time favourite weaning products. I am gutted I didn't know about them when we were weaning Eva. Ophelia wouldn't take to drinking from a beaker. We therefore had to try and give her water through a cup which as you can imagine, resulted in both her and us getting soaked. 
This cup really is a miracle worker. This doesn't spill water at all!!!! Not even in your change bag. You can tip it upside down and shake it until your heart is content but the water won't spill out. When a baby sips out of it, it reseals straight away. 
It's also really easy to clean as it has no sprouts etc. I cannot recommend this enough. 

I've batch cooked a lot of Ophelia's meals to put in the freezer. These bowls are airtight but best of all you can write on them. This is such a handy feature. You can then clean the markings off when you wash the bowls.
I've also used these when we have been on picnics. Eva loves to help prepare food for a picnic and then pack them away into these bowls.

These spoons are brilliant for the first stages of weaning. They also last a long time as we still have the ones we used on Eva. They are very soft, so are perfect for tender gums. I love how long the handles are as you can reach the bottom of jars and pots. Ophelia loves to grip them and attempt to feed herself.

This highchair is ideal for all stages of weaning. It grows with your baby as you can adjust the height. 
It's very sturdy, matches well with our kitchen and is very easy to clean. I can't begin to tell you how many red pasta sauces have been sprawled all over ours but there are no stains.

The final pick is this Bibetta bib. It's been everywhere with us including our holidays abroad. It washes really well in a washing machine. 
There is a fold out pocket which is brilliant for catching all those dropped pieces of food. 

What are/were your favourite weaning items?


The Siblings Project - October

It's been a couple of months since I last wrote a siblings post. You can read the last one here, August post.

A lot has changed since my last post. Eva started preschool which she attends at our local primary school, 5 days a week from 9am - 11.30am. This means Ophelia is alone with me for a couple of hours. I love the fact that we get some alone time together, even if it is for a very short amount of time. 
I don't think this has had an effect on their relationship yet. Perhaps it will when she will be full time from next September.

Ophelia also goes to nursery one day a week for a full day. If i'm not working on that day then I get to spend some quality time with Eva. I think she needs this time as she does still feel quite left out.

The girls' relationship and bond is getting stronger and stronger every month. I've never hidden the fact that for a long time I found it very difficult to get them to bond. Eva really wasn't interested. Thankfully she is now including her sister in a lot of things.

Ophelia is more on the move which of course makes her a lot more appealing to her sister. She's not walking yet but the fact that she can get herself from room to room makes Eva chase her. They also seem to be play fighting already. This usually starts when Eva rolls over her and then we get a lot of hair pulling and general scraping. It's quite amusing to watch as it shows Ophelia trying to stand her own ground.

Ophelia is now quite vocal too. She says mama and dada and i'm sure in her own way she is trying to say Eva. They constantly have little chats or shouting matches together. The cutest thing is when they both have giggling fits. Ophelia also claps whenever Eva is singing or dancing which she loves.

In the last couple of weeks Ophelia decided she didn't want to breastfeed anymore. I was devastated. However, it's meant that Eva can help with giving her a bottle which she really enjoys. It makes her feel important and she loves helping out.

Next month is a busy month for them. We have lots of big family birthdays, daddies birthday and Ophelia's first birthday so we are busy making plans for all of that. Ophelia's birthday will be a very new experience for Eva. I'm not entirely too sure how we get her to realise it's all for Ophelia and not her. She's still not great at sharing. Any tips?
The Me and Mine Project

Saturday 15 October 2016

Jord Watches - Review

As you know I have a passion for fashion. I love to dress well and I always try and find accessories to match. One thing I can't be without wearing is a watch. I'm always worried about how many hours there are in the day and with busy school runs and schedules, I need to keep track of what time it is. But most of all I want to make time count with my family.

If you follow me on social media then you will know that the watch I normally wear is pink. Whilst I adore it, it's not that practical in matching all of my outfits. As i've already said I like to match my accessories to my outfits. Therefore I was delighted to be asked if I would like to review a new watch from the brand Jord.

Jord are a brand that create unique wooden timepieces. They have a great brand philosophy which is that 'moments are better than minutes and your watch should tell more than just time'. They like to create watches for a modern lifestyle for both men and women.

I spent a long time browsing the Women's Shop. Even though each one is made of wood, they are all very different in appearance. I chose the Cora in Maple and Silver. The watches are dispatched from the USA but delivery was quick. 

It came in a lovely wooden presentation box. The watch is gorgeous. When you look at it close up, you notice the intricate details that make it so special. The glass is sapphire crystal but my favourite part are the swarovski crystal markers. 

The Cora is the ideal style if you want something to match all the seasons. The maple wood will compliment the warm summer tones and even the cold winter tones. 

I've never seen a watch like it. It really is unique. I love how much thought has been put into creating these and how they truly are statement pieces. It looks and feels luxurious and you can tell it's well made.

My husband was also really impressed with my watch. So much so that he has created his own wishlist from the men's selection. He's a bit of a watch fanatic and seems to collect them. It's a good job he has a birthday and christmas coming up.

I'm very excited to share a competition with you. To win a 75 dollar voucher to spend on the site, simply fill out this from, All entries will also receive a 20 dollar coupon. It's a great prize with christmas coming up. 

Wood Wrist Watch

Tuesday 11 October 2016

A Pamper Evening at Ken Picton Salon

As part of our quest to find the best ways of getting mums me time with friends, myself and some other Welsh parent bloggers were invited to Ken Picton salon in Cardiff Bay for a pamper evening. The evening was also in conjunction with 'Layered Online's - Big Hair Do,' which is where salons open their doors and throw a big hair party. My hairdresser comes to my house, therefore it'd been a very long time since I'd actually been in a salon and felt pampered, so I was really looking forward to the night.

This was us after our makeovers

When I arrived I was shocked at how big the salon actually was. It's a very large space and nothing feels cramped. It certainly feels like luxury and offers a 5 star service.

I headed straight for the refreshment bar. The bar is a permanent fixture which serves a variety of drinks from coffee to wine. I have to say that having a glass of wine or champagne whilst having your hair done, really is the epitome of pampering and relaxation. On the night we were treated to two special cocktails and also some very tasty canap├ęs made by local caterers, Spiros

First up for me was a colour consultation. I always find that I like to change my hair colour deepening on the seasons. I'm normally lighter in the summer and richer and darker in the winter. It was great to get another opinion on what would suit my skin tone.

I then sat down with a lovely hairdresser who asked me how I would like my hair after it was blow dried. I really like my hair curly but I struggle to create natural looking waves/curls. She very kindly taught me how to do them. I can honestly say this was my favourite part of the evening. She was so patient with me and really ensured that I knew what I was doing. I'm eternally grateful for her help and support as I am now actually quite good at recreating the look she did for me on the night.

Next up was 10 minutes of bliss. I had my hair shampooed (which is always soothing at a salon) whilst sitting in a massage chair. As a mum this can only be described as divine. I closed my eyes, switched off from the world and enjoyed every single minute of it. I then returned to have my hair curled. It was so full and bouncy. I loved it.

I then had my nails shaped and painted. This is always a treat for me due to the fact that I work in an operating theatre. I can never have nice nails. I chose a deep purple colour which was fab for autumn. 

I desperately wanted to have a make up consultation but we simply ran out of time. I was so busy chatting away that I missed it. You could have also had a skin consultation too with Carita.

I was so impressed with the event and the salon. I think it's great that you can have a variety of things such as hair, make up, nails, facials and waxing, all in the same place. It really is the perfect place to have a pamper and to feel good about yourself. I will definitely be heading back asap for another bouncy blow dry.


Thursday 6 October 2016

Mama Style - Stylish Coats For The School Run

I think it's safe to say that we are officially in autumn. The warm tones of oranges and reds are taking over are trees, the weather has a slight chill about it and we need to start preparing for winter.

I love doing the school run when it's a nice autumnal day, the sun is shining but it's still crisp. However, it has rained on most of the school run days I have been on in the last month. This made me realise that my coat is rather impractical. I've had my same Joules coat for 4 years (can't fault it for quality) and whilst it keeps me warm, it doesn't have a hood. I've attempted to walk to school, pushing a pram, umbrella in one hand whilst navigating the pram in the other and trying to chase after Eva. Cue one very soaked mama. It's also not very good for layering underneath as it's a tight fit.

I've read that we are due a very cold winter and apparently quite a bit of snow (although i'm sure they make these weather predictions up). Just in case it's time for me to find a new winter coat that's stylish but practical. Here, i've trawled the internet for my favourites.

First up are a couple of cute bomber jackets. Bomber jackets have really hit the fashion scene this year. They were seen all through spring/summer and they are here to stay for the foreseeable future. They have had a makeover and come in quite a few styles whether that be the traditional form, long, velvet, leather or oversized, there is a style for everyone. They've also had a smart makeover too. No longer are they just for casual wear, you can now where them for smart/work wear.

First up is this Khaki Bomber Jacket £68 from Next. If you've seen my winter wardrobe you will know that Khaki is my favourite colour for this time of year. This is a shower resistant jacket with a faux-fur hood to keep you warm and best of all dry. I love the fact it has pockets. If you're a mama like me, pockets are invaluable. Honestly, if you look in mine I have all sorts of things in them from dog poop bags to Eva's hair bobbles. This jacket will look fab against jeans and teamed with a pair of boots.

This is a black Faux Fur Collar Bomber Jacket £39.99 from New Look. I think black is such a versatile colour as it can be worn with pretty much everything. Even though this jacket doesn't have a hood, it does look cozy. Team it with a cute bobble hat, skinny jeans or leggings and either fashion trainers or boots. It's perfect for a relaxed, casual look.

The next two coats are smarter so they'll be ideal for dashing off to work, meetings or an outing with friends.

The first one is a Khaki Military Coat £75 from Next. This one has a military feel about it which again is a trend for this season. The buttons are which set it off for me. I'd wear it open with a jumper, skirt and heeled ankle boots. The long length will keep you warm from head to toe.

I think this coat is one of my personal favourites from the list. It's a black Bar Back Split Maxi £44.99 from New Look. It was featured in Elle magazine. Even though it's a casual fit, it is perfect for a smart look. I'd wear it with skinny jeans or leggings, a shirt and heeled ankle boots. You could also pop on a black floppy hat to finish off the look.

My final two picks are from Joules. As i've already mentioned i'm a big fan of their coats. These are both the same coat, which is called 'Coast',  but in different colours. It's £89.95 which is reasonable if it is going to last as long as my last Joules coat. I really can't decide which colour I prefer. It's 100% waterproof which is exactly what we all need on the rainy day school run. It has a soft lining which will make it warm. It's also quite a loose fit which means you should be able to add a few layers underneath for the very cold days.

That concludes my top picks of coats for the school run. Stylish but practical and just what we need during the winter months.

Which one is your favourite? Have you seen any good school run coats?

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