What I’ve Been Loving In January

January is finally at an end! I swear this month has lasted forever. Christmas seems an age away now and I don’t think I have ever had to stretch such little money so far before – it’s not been fun. However, a new year has brought about some exciting new things so here are my top picks of the bunch.

Mamas & Papas x Tiba & Marl Collab

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I am a massive fan of nappy bags that don’t look like nappy bags. I hate the idea of lugging around a giant bag that just screams ‘I’m a Mum now’ – just because I have a little one in tow doesn’t mean I am going to give up my sense of style and individuality! Tiba & Marl are the perfect answer to this and their colab with Mamas and Papas is just everything. I am literally obsessed! I’ve been loving their previous designs, especially their leopard print changing clutch and mat, but as soon as I saw that leaf print I instantly fell in love. Their products are something you are almost proud to be seen with, and in a world of dirty nappies and numerous amounts of dribble and god knows what else, they are a little bit of luxury that just brighten your day. I love being able to hide away the practical Mum things inside something beautiful and not be seen as just Ted’s Mum and products like these allow you to do that! So if anyone would like to buy me that fab leaf changing clutch or bag I would be eternally grateful!

L’eau De Chanel

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I think it’s almost a rite of passage that everyone has their No 5 moment. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to talk about it as eloquently as the wonderful Sali Hughes does here , she’s spot on when she says it’s the ultimate unflappable, powerful and feminine scent. I must say L’eau De Chanel feels lighter, a little softer and more delicate than it’s original and I have been loving it! It’s still floral, slightly citrusy and iconic in its own right, but it feels younger and something I have been wearing almost daily since receiving it this Christmas.

Dusty Pink

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There is not too much more I can say about this…I’m just totally obsessed with all things pink right now. Literally can not get enough of it! Home wear, clothing, accessories…give it me all!

La La Land

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This movie was just everything! A week later and I am still thinking about it and have booked to go again! The cinematography, the directing, the acting and the script was all perfection. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must!

Denim Jackets

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My love for the denim jacket fades in and out, but I have well and truly fallen in love with them again – especially after finding this amazing pink version in Topshop. They are so easy to wear and look fab layered up over thick knits to keep out the chill at the moment. I can’t get enough! How many jackets is too many?

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Here’s To The Ones That Dream

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As I sit here listening to the soundtrack for what must be the millionth time, I think it is fair to say I have officially caught the La La Land bug! I’m obsessed. Not just because it’s an unbelievabley well scripted and shot film that happens to include a certain Ryan Gosling wearing the best suits and brogues (literal dream), but also because some of the messages in this film have come through at the exact point I needed them to! I’m not talking about reviving Jazz and returning it to it’s glory days, even though I will admit that after seeing it just once I suddenly find myself passionate about Jazz Music and have a sudden urge to start tap dancing or learn the piano. I’m talking about not giving up on the plan you have made for yourself – that ideal in your head that we all strive for. We all have that one thing that we want from our lives and it’s easy to admit defeat and leave that idea behind.

I have found myself in a bit of a rut lately. I love my new mother role and Ted is my world, but I can’t help missing parts of the old me. The part of me that spent hours wondering around exhibitions, discovering quirky, independent cafes and shops and the creative me. I miss being surrounded by great design. I know the older that Ted gets the more I will be able to get out and do these sort of things again and I can’t wait to share them with him and be creative together. I always dreamed of being a designer or running my own Insta-worthy, independent shop or both maybe. Yes, I am starting to get back into designing now and I am loving it, but part of me can’t forgive myself for letting my confidence hold me back and not go for it sooner. So in the spirit of January’s new beginnings, I am going to channel my inner Seb and Mia and I am going to work to make my dreams happen. I’m feeling confident for the first time in forever and I am motivated. I am going to go freelance and surround myself in creativity once more. I will provide a good future for Ted and I and make him proud of his mama. I might even invest in a pair of monochrome brogues to mark the occasion as I tap dance away to another day of sun!! Watch this space!

Love Trumps Hate

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I have learnt over the last few years that expressing your views on politics is a really easy way to end a friendship. In fear of upsetting someone or causing unnecessary drama, I have learnt to hold my tongue and keep my opinions to myself. It’s easier to remain quiet than to start debate and risk people not liking me. It is strange because before I was never one to keep my views to myself and it often got me into trouble. I guess as I grew up I didn’t want to get into trouble anymore so just gave up expressing my opinions.

Recently I read a post online which included the following quote: “In the cause of justice: never stay silent just so that others can remain comfortable”. It really got me thinking that maybe I was wrong to just sit there and keep quiet to avoid upsetting someone even if it was upsetting myself. There is nothing wrong with voicing our opinions as long as we voice them with a sense of consideration and respect. Politics doesn’t have to be divisive. We can disagree about issues and still love one another. There is nothing wrong with standing up for something you believe in or against something you don’t. Simple as. When something isn’t right we should stand up against it without fear and speak out for what we believe in.

Yesterday I had a very heavy heart. Replacing an intelligent, cultured and kind President with someone who mocks the disabled, sexually harasses women and who is outright racist has made my heart ache. Trump becoming President has shown the world exactly how backwards it still can be. It has shown that people can still see one type of person to be better than another and how little respect these apparent ‘lower’ people receive. Trump has voiced his opinions loud and clear, some might say he is entitled to, but he has done so with such little respect and consideration. He had offended and hurt so many, and the really scary thing is that he has followers who think what he is saying is right. They believe that women are second class, that it is ok to mock someone with a disability or to judge someone on the colour of their skin or by who they love. I genuinely can not get my head around how someone can think this way and that people are having to protest against this still. It’s 2017…this shit should be well in the past by now.

Today is the day Women all over the world are marching together for equality. They are standing up against division, fear and hate! It’s a march for solidarity, equality and a voice for all and it is bloody brilliant. I don’t want to see the next generation grow up disrespecting one another. I want my son to grow up in a world full of equality. Where people love and respect and where people help each other to be the best they can be. Ted will learn to have the upmost respect for everyone he meets. He will learn to love and value everyone’s opinions and views but also speak out against things he believes to be wrong. I have kept quiet about so many issues for too long but this is one I simply can not hold my tongue on. Unfortunately I can’t make the march today but I will do all that I can to show my support of these fantastic marchers and will never let someone with a derogatory view go unchallenged. Thank you to every women who is marching on our behalf today. I am with you in spirit and salute with you awesome wonder women. Watch out Trump because there is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise!

Nine Months In, Nine Months Out

 

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On the 2nd of January, you were nine months old.

We’ve passed the six month stage and still have a way to go until your first birthday, yet for some reason I’m very nostalgic that you’ve been alive nine whole months.

Because that’s the amount of time you were inside my body. Nine whole months – from egg to cell to foetus. That’s the amount of time your body developed in my body.

And in that same amount of time out of my body, you’ve learnt how to feed. How to differentiate night from day. You’ve established a rough sleeping pattern. You rolled over. You’ve devoured numerous cottage pies and spa bols. You’ve turned that roll into some sort of army crawl. You can sit up unaided and cross your feet out in front of you whilst doing so. You know to be gentle around animals and have the sweetest way of saying Mama. And just about the cutest of all these things – you chatter away in your little voice when you wake in a morning.

I love how you now play and interact. How you are not loyal with your smiles and just flash them to anyone and how infectious your laugh is. I love how you sit and entertain yourself with toys – and even watch TV. You light up to the familiar sounds of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First and In the NightGarden. Seriously – Sofia is definitely your first love. Never seen someone light up quite like you do.

In nine whole months, it’s ridiculous how far we’ve all come. And how much you’ve changed. But most of all, you’ve become your own little person. So content and happy. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the first concerns were made about the sheer size of you. Where I was already looking full term and waddling about all over the place.

I love my new role as a mama more than anything. I love that I can be your role model. That you touch (pull) my hair and my necklace. But I can’t wait til those are the things you want to talk about and play with. You’ve awoken a drive and determination in me that I never knew I had.

I’m taking the slow down advice very seriously more than ever now in fear of your first year just flying by. Winter is the perfect, snuggly time of year.. So we are going to cuddle up together and see away the cold and the rain. Enjoying each other’s company in our pj’s a few hours more than we really should some days. In the beginning, I was forcing myself to be showered, dressed and made-up. I was worried that if I didn’t, I’d fall into a trap of never getting changed or leaving the house. So it is nice to take time of us and not rush around like a blue arsed fly each morning.

We’ve gotten out of the last nine months exactly what we wanted from each other; you learning how to feed and entertain yourself, me learning more about myself than I have in my whole lifetime. The next few months have some big moments to look forward to. You have the excitement of nursery; learning more new things and making new friends. I get to work in new role where I too will have to learn new things and make new friends. But we’re both well equipped. We’re happy, strong and determined.

 

Looking Back Over 2016

What a year it has been! It is fair to say the year Ted was born in wasn’t exactly the best but this year has been everything to me as it’s the year I earnt my mum badge and had my world turned upside down. I know everyone says that you never feel love like you do when you first meet your child but boy are they all right. Ted is the best thing to ever happen to me and I fall more and more in love with him each day! Let’s take a look back at this whirlwind of a year…

JANUARY

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January saw us properly rly announce our pregnancy by making it facebook official. We were always nervous of doing it too early so felt New Years Day and being six months pregnant was the perfect time to do so.

FEBRUARY

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February marked my baby shower and the start of my maternity leave. My baby shower will always be a highlight for me as it was such a lovely day where I was lucky enough to be surrounded by so many friends and family that now adore Ted and have been so supportive. I really can’t thank them enough.

MARCH

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The march baby we thought we were having was not meant to be! I celebrated one very sober and practical Birthday by satisfying my extreme pizza cravings with friends! It was throughout this month that I ballooned even more and developed a severe waddle at the sheer size of the dinosaur I was carrying everywhere. Oh and England won the Six Nations!

APRIL

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And he arrived! Two days late, 21 hours of labour and one emergency c-section later, I had my 9lb 6oz little man in my arms and my life felt complete.

MAY

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May saw one of my best friends marry the love of her life. Months of planning pulled together to form the most beautiful day and Faye made the most gorgeous bride!

JUNE

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My signature short bob made it appearance once again and my god was it the best decision…made me feel so much more me again after weeks of feeling a bit of a nobody. It also saw the dreaded EU referendum, which wasn’t a highlight of this year, and the Queens Birthday which we celebrated in true British style.

JULY

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July was a month of firsts…first time swimming, first trip away, first ever gig and also the first HOT summer in god knows how long!

AUGUST

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August was our first proper family holiday to Brighton and even though it pissed it down, I wouldn’t of changed I for the world. I fell in love with Brighton and now I can always hold it close to my heart as it was the best choice for Ted’s first trip to the seaside. You can’t get more British than fish and chips on Brighton Pier. This month also saw us move into our first family home and meant the nursery I had been dreaming of for Ted could become a reality.

SEPTEMBER

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I managed to land myself a Product Ambassador job for Cath Kidston so I returned to work and earned my working mama badge. As hard as it was to go back to work and not be with Ted 24/7, it was amazing to have something for me again and to get my brain back into gear.

OCTOBER

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Ted’s first Halloween…need I say more! Also Ted turned six months old!!

NOVEMBER

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November saw us celebrate Daddy’s birthday and, as the weather turned, called for lots of cuddles away from the cold. I think I spent most of November getting way to excited for Ted’s first Christmas.

DECEMBER

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This was a crazy month for us. Ted had his christening at the start of the month and then it was full steam ahead until Christmas. All of our family and friends were excited for the bear’s first festive season so it was full of trips out, parties and lots and lots of presents. Looking back now it was the perfect way to celebrate Ted’s first Christmas and the most perfect way to round up Ted’s birth year!

The Guilt Fairy

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One thing they don’t tell you when you give birth to your first child is that you also give birth to a little fairy too. We are talking the kind of fairy that sits on your shoulder and stays with you throughout your journey of motherhood. She is kind of like Tinkerbell but without the cute pom pom slipper or that amazing hourglass silhouette and she is a complete and utter total b***h. Instead of a wand, she carries a little cloud of guilt doom and her purpose is to make you feel guilty about everything from the get go. If you have pain relief during childbirth, you are weak or selfish. God forbid you have a C Section as that is just cheating! She is great at making you feel like you have failed.

She pops up again when it comes to how you fed your child. She loves bottle feeders or failed breastfeeders as she likes to call them. If you ever get frustrated because you are just that tired and are no longer functioning correctly, she will be there. She will also be waiting for that moment you turn on CBeebies because you desperately need to get ready, or if you just can’t bring yourself to sit through another baby sensory or massage class.

Then the ultimate guilt hits. The time where your maternity leave is coming to an end and you have to think about going back to work. God forbid you want to provide for your child and consider working again. That shitty, little fairy will make you feel horrendous for leaving your child. I can only imagine that the guilt is going to grow evermore as Ted grows up. “Oh he is watching TV again”. “Chicken and chips for tea…that’s nutritious…#MumOfTheYear”.

She knows that it does get tedious playing the same games over and over again and that sometimes I would rather flick through instagram instead of rolling than running around bringing a ball back because your little one can’t crawl to it yet. However, there is a way to shut her up for a bit. Somewhere in the fog that is your mummy brain is logic, and logic is the key to keeping her quiet. If you stay off the scary Facebook groups and shut those parenting books, the logical part of your brain will start working and you will realise that you aren’t doing as badly as you think. All of those things you feel guilt about, chances are every other mum out there are feeling them too, despite what they say! As long as your child is happy and healthy, you really shouldn’t feel bad about the decisions you make. You are the one that knows what is best for your little one and no shitty guilt fairy can tell you otherwise!

Planning Ted’s Christmas Christening

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When planning a christening or naming ceremony, you want to make sure it is the most perfect day for you little one. So when the idea for christening Ted came about, I started to have a look around on the internet for inspiration to make sure I could make the day special for all those who love and care for him. It soon became very apparent that people go all out for these things. I have seen so many examples where people must of spent a fortune and, for me, that is not what it is all about. I immediately told myself that Ted’s christening would be nothing like that; In fact it was going to be quite the opposite. I wanted a really simplistic day where we can all get together to celebrate Ted, not break the bank, and just have a really good time! It doesn’t have to be OTT as, lets be honest, your baby isn’t going to remember it are they? So I have put together a few tips on how to put together a christening that won’t break the bank and will allow you to enjoy the day not having to worry about the ice sculpture melting or having to remortgage the house to pay for it all!

First things first…work out how many people you are roughly looking to invite. Without this piece of information you can’t look into churches or party venues as they will depend on how many people you will have there. Joe has the biggest family so this was really hard for us. If we were going to invite a good proportion of his family we would of had only a handful of choices for a party venue and big venues book up so quickly. In the end, we had to be really tight with numbers as we realised we only wanted an intimate occasion that didn’t cost the world.

Next it’s on to choosing the venues. Choosing a church, I felt, is the easy part as we often have connections to a certain church. I asked for a handful of dates that the church was available and made sure all the prospective Godparents could make one of them before confirming. Once all of that was agreed and in place, we then looked at securing a party venue. With the smaller number it was far easier to find a venue especially since the time of year we picked does meant there were less big functions on. However, if you are looking for a big headcount, don’t finalise anything with the church until you have found out what dates the venue is available on as that will probably dictate more so than the church.We settled on a local farm shop that had an amazing open fire and did the most fabulous roasts. I wanted to capture that feel of a family Sunday meal, where it is simple yet cosy and lovely to be with the ones you love. Have a good look around and see what is in your local area because you might come across something you wouldn’t normally consider.

After you have your head count and your venues set it is on to the fun part! This is the time where you can start to think of a theme if you want one, plan decorations, order the cake, get your invites sorted and plan your outfits!

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Now we have a Christmas theme to our christening. I’m not talking Santa’s and Reindeer, I’m talking red, green and white colour ways, ditsy tree prints and a carol or two in the church. I designed the invites myself based around this idea. The invites are made to look like presents wrapped in brown paper with gingham bows and finished with a gift tag addressed the the recipient. They cost hardly anything to make; just the cost of some card, bakers twine, gift tags gingham wash tape and a bit of printers ink. In total it came to around £20. To have bought them off the high street I would of been at towards double that and I would of missed out on the great fun I had making them up.

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When asking the Godparents if they would like to be one and if they when they were free, I didn’t just want to ask them straight out…I wanted a simple yet different way of asking. I came across Creighton Chocolate at the Berylune craft event I blogged way back in May where they were making up these fab personalised chocolates bars. They were something I hadn’t come across before, yet such a simple idea and I knew I wanted to get one of these for each of the Godparents. I simply attached a piece of brown card with demo printed labels spelling out ‘would you be my Godmother/godfather?’. Ted was able to hand these over to each of them (with a little help from us obviously) and they loved them!

In terms of decorations…you can go as big or a simple as you like. It completely depends on the person you are, your budget or what the venue can take. Our venue can’t allow for too much decoration so we are limited in what we can do. We have really simply opted for giant confetti balloons, a small balloon Ted banner to go across the front of the cake table, and Christmas crackers in everyone’s place. The balloons are the same ones I had a my baby shower so though it would be a nice nod back to that and I just love confetti balloons so they were a must.

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 It is nice to have a little something for your guests as a thank you for being a part of your little one’s special day but they really don’t have to break the bank. We decided on Christmas crackers  and selfie props. I know my guests love taking photos so selfie props are brilliant fun and make for great memories. Having something which makes people take photos is a must in my book as the more photos to remember the special day, the better. I also made sure I put a little activity in the place of any children. No matter what, it is a long day for a child, so to avoid any tantrums put out sticker books, colouring sheets or craft sets for the smallest guests to keep them happy.

The most important thing though, is to enjoy yourself. Keep it simple and lighthearted so you can enjoy the day just as much as your guests. The last thing you want is to be rushing around or having to stick to a strict time schedule…we all know that never works with a child!

What I’m Loving: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Kitsch Christmas!

It is fair to say that I am so unbelievably excited for Christmas this year. If I could I would have the house decorated already.I can’t wait to get everything looking all festive, get wrapping presents and prepping the house for my Christmas Eve dinner! Here are a selection of some of the fab pieces I have come across that aren’t helping the excitement!

Oliver Bonas Christmas Decorations

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Pineapples, cacti and flamingos…what more could you want? If you are looking for the perfect kitsch Christmas tree than look no further than Oliver Bonas. They have a fab selection of decorations, lighting and general home accessories to get you ready for the festive period!

Berylune Christmas Accessories

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Berylune have always been a favourite of mine and I know I will be paying them a visit for a lot of my Christmas presents this year! I love how crafty and unique all of their products are and their chocolate box shop is literally adorable. I’m definitely after some of these paper star decorations to create a feature wall in my front room!

Paperchase Christmas Decorations

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Again if you are looking for a kitsch and child friendly selection of Christmas decorations, Paperchase is your place to visit. Cacti have been huge this year so why not end the year with the trend adorning your Christmas tree. I love the extreme use of colour in their pieces this years. Gone are the muted metallic golds and silvers. They have been replaced by neons, multicoloured sequins and ombre sprayed designs!

Habitat Christmas Decorations

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Robot baubles, pom pom garlands, paper honeycomb Christmas trees and metallic wreaths…what more could you want?

 

 

 

What I’m Loving: Space Edition 

Cambridge Satchel Star Collection

I’m a massive fan of whatever Cambridge Satchel do. Their bags are a thing of pure beauty. If it wasn’t for me already owning two of them, then I would definitely have one of them on my Christmas list.

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Space prints for both boys and girls is what it is all about. This gorgeous prints decorates a variety of children’s wear this season and it’s beautiful. This illustrative style is just so me and I’m seriously considering buying Ted one of those jackets to put away for next year when he will be able to fit into it!

John Lewis Wooden Rocket


Blast off to outer space with this star-striking magnetic Janod Rocket Toy. Your little astronaut can build their own space vessel then whoosh it around at light speed!

Zara 


It wouldn’t be a favourites if Zara wasn’t mentioned at the moment. Zara’s ditsy star print is just gorgeous and teamed up with their staple shirts and ruffles it’s just dreamy!!

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers Of Space Book 


This book is a brilliant gift for any budding astronaut out there. Beautifully illustrated and packed with awesome facts and images, this is a book any child would get excited about. Why don’t adult books come like this…children’s books are so much cooler!

Ride On Rocket


What little one wouldn’t want a ride on Rocket. It’s literally amazing!! I don’t know what more I need to say other than if I had the room, I know what I would be getting Ted for his first birthday!