Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What's in my hospital bag?

This time round I have known all along that I would be having a c-section. This made it much easier to pack exactly what I need. My aim this time was not to overpack like I did the last two times. So what have I packed in my hospital bag? You can see here;

For Me:
PJ's and nightie
Breastfeeding top
Nursing Bra
Breast pads
Maternity Towels
Disposable Briefs (fantastic for after a csection)
Arnicare cream for any bruising
Nipple Cream
Lip balm
Apple Juice
Snacks- cereal bars/sweets/biscuits

For Baby
Mix of sleepsuits in different sizes; one for a smaller baby, the rest up to 3 months, *TIP* take a footless suit incase you have a long baby.
3 knitted cardigans
Knitted blanket
Knitted booties
Muslin Squares
Water Wipes ( it's not easy fetching water for cotton wool after a section)
Around 12 Nappies
A dummy (just incase)

I'm using a holdall with wheels to make it easier when leaving post op. I'm bound to have forgotten something but I'm sure I have the essentials. If not I always have Andy to fetch things for me.

Did you overpack your hospital bag? What packed items did you find useful/pointless when it came to using them?

Monday, 25 August 2014

You Know You Are Pregnant When...

  • The smell of your once favourite foods are enough to leave your head in the toilet bowl.

  • Your handbag now consists of a big book of maternity notes, enough vitamins to set up a pharmacy and an empty wee sample pot at all times.

  • You can't help crying at just about EVERYTHING!

  • Painting your toe nails or attempting any kind of hair removal from your lady parts or legs suddenly becomes impossible.

  • You have to resort to doing up your favourite jeans with a hair bobble, IF you can get them around your new found thunder thighs that is.

  • At least once you have a terrified stranger ask 'You are pregnant aren't you?'.

  • The best use of any 'Me time' becomes having a nap (this doesn't go away once baby arrives).

  • Family members suddenly think it is ok to tell you what forms of contraception you can use once baby arrives (as if you do not know this already) (worse third time round when they all tell you about the miracle they call sterilisation).

  • You can no longer sleep without the need to wrap your legs around a bunch of pillows or the duvet (much to your partners dissatisfaction).

  • You have at least once woken up horrified to have had inappropriate dreams about a friend or acquaintance. OR

  • You have woken up gutted to find you didn't in fact get lucky with Chris Hemsworth that night. Damn it!

  • Just a laugh or sneeze leaves you at great risk of peeing yourself.

  • You find yourself actually WANTING to bleach every surface in the house for fun.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Parragon Gold Stars Big Workbook

Whilst at Britmums Live I got to chat with the lovely Parragon Books team again, who we have worked closely with as book buddies for the past 12 months. They showed me their Gold Star workbooks for children and sent me home with the 'Ready for School Big Workbook' recommended for Pre-school children aged 3-5 years. This was perfectly timed for us with Gracie being so excited to start school soon and so eager to do anything concerning school and learning.

The idea of the workbooks is to encourage children between the ages of 3-11 years old to take part in the 'Summer with Gold Stars' challenge. Keeping them active and engaged over the summer holidays. The idea of the challenge is to complete a page a day in the book for 30 days of the summer holidays. Every child that successfully completes 30 pages of their gold stars book will receive a congratulatory letter and personalised certificate via email.

Although we haven't done a page every day, we have been doing 2-3 pages at a time and have tried to do it once or twice a week. I've found this suits Gracie much more at the moment as I think going from no school type work straight into doing it everyday would have been too much. She gets very excited as soon as she sees the workbook and pencil come out and in the short amount of time we've been doing it I've noticed a huge difference in her concentration levels. She doesn't get as distracted now as she did the first few times and she gets very proud of herself at the end of each page when it's time for the gold star! 

I think these workbooks are brilliant! I have said I'm going to buy more to do at home with her over the next few months to help with the bits she struggles most with so we can keep practising until she's happy and confident with them. 

You can catch up with the latest news and products on Parragon's social media pages

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

38 Weeks Pregnant

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant! I didn't write an update as I had a last minute week off. Andy had the week off work so I thought it was a great opportunity for us to enjoy some time as a family of four. We managed to fit in a cinema trip, a couple of meals out, a family movie night and lots of fun and games. It was really lovely and we still managed to get a load of work done in the house. It looks like our room should be decorated just in time for baby's arrival very soon! You can see all the latest updates on our renovations on that's if you would like to of course!

I've been feeling really nervous the last few days, knowing that our op date is coming so quick, I can't stop thinking about the operation itself and the waiting for our turn. It's a strange nervous excitement more than anything. Health wise I've been a bit all over the place. Last week I was sent to hospital after babies heartbeat was abnormally fast luckily all is fine and it turned out it was only going up while she was being really active. This week I've been having waves of nausea again and my heartburn has been horrendous. Mostly though I'm feeling ok and have been trying to keep busy with housework and the kids to pass the time. 

I packed my hospital bag! I'll write up a post this week actually showing what I've packed. I struggled to decide what was necessary and what wasn't as I always overpack! 

It's crazy to think that in a week or so I will be posting a birth announcement rather than my usual bump update. Let's see if I can fit a last one in next week!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Competition: Mustela UK Baby Skincare Bundle

It can be so hard choosing a brand when looking at skincare either throughout pregnancy or for your new baby. Many of the 'top brands' you find all over the supermarkets are in fact not the best for baby's skin. Well I found one or two completely dried out Gracie's skin when she was a baby anyway and instead, after a doctors recommendation, opted for less known brands that use more natural ingredients and always found them leaving her skin much softer. Mustela UK are experts in baby skincare and have offered me a bundle of baby skincare products and samples to give away to one lucky reader. I haven't tried any of their products yet but have heard lots of great things so I look forward to trying some soon. Here is a little bit of info about the company themselves taken from their website;

Mustela UK has specialised in skincare products for babies for more than 60 years, carrying out new research in an ongoing effort to better understand the needs of the delicate skin of babies. Mustela knows that there is nothing more precious than your baby and so are committed to safety first and foremost. Developed in collaboration with healthcare professionals, all of Mustela's products are hypoallergenic, high-tolerance and do not contain any parabens, phenoxyethanol, phtalates or alcohol. Before being marketed they are systematically put through the strictest possible tests to confirm that they are the safest quality.

The prize bundle contains:
For your chance to win the bundle you just need to follow the instructions via the Rafflecopter form below. 

Terms & Conditions
Open to UK only. The competition will end 15/09/2014 at 12am.  All entrants must complete the mandatory entry on the rafflecopter form. Those who don't will have all entries removed. The blog owner will choose the winner through the rafflecopter form (which uses The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widget. One winner will receive a Mustela UK Baby Skincare Bundle. No alternative prize will be offered. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery of prize. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received no compensation in return for running this competition. The prize however was kindly given by Mustela UK.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Review: Lost My Name Personalised Story Books

We love books in our house and it's even better if they are personalised for the little ones. Both Gracie and Zach were very lucky to each receive a personalised book from 'lost my name'. Each book is unique to the child it belongs to as the adventure follows the child desperately searching for their missing name, with different characters helping them along the way by presenting them with one of the missing letters from their name. 

We received ' The little girl who lost her name' for Gracie in which the little girl turns out to be Called Gracie when she puts all her collected letters together. Then in 'The little boy who lost his name' the little boy turns out to be Zachary of course!

I think one of my favourite things about these books is it highlights the individual letters used to spell the child's name so if you have a young child it is great for teaching them to recognise the letters in their name. I also like how you can input your child's name into the website so you can view the entire book online before buying. I know sometimes I get put off buying personalised items online when I'm not sure how they are going to look. 

Not only is it a lovely story book to read together, but I think it would make a great keepsake or gift for a child. 

The lost my name books retail at £18.99 each. This might sound a lot for a book but I definitely think it is worth it. In fact I will most definitely be buying a copy for the new baby once she is here too!

You can view or buy the Lost my name story books from the website

You can also find their social media pages below
Lost My Name Book Official Facebook Page
Lost My Name Book Twitter Page

We were sent the items featured free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Christmas in July

I know many people will fill with dread at the mere mention of Christmas at this point in the year. Some of you may be more organised and have been bargain hunting since the January sales. Either way we are over half way there and you will find that the retailers know already what will be popular this Christmas. For this reason many companies and retailers hold Christmas previews throughout the month of July to showcase what they have to offer over the seasonal period. I don't often venture into London but I was lucky enough to manage one trip last month in which I got to attend two very different and exciting Christmas events and so I thought I would share with you a few sneak peeks at some of my favourites from these events.


Well I'm not even a big Doctor Who fan but check out this tea set. One of the first things that jumped out at me whilst browsing. Isn't it cute?!

Again I'm not going to claim to be a great cook but I love the look of these cake moulds, perfect for a child's birthday cake.

Now this is more my area, baby and children. I saw lots of great new products including:

Recaro Easylife stroller. I hadn't really been bothered about this pushchair until I saw it in real life and noticed how small it folds. I have to say I was pretty impressed.

V-Tech Toot Toot Playsets. I have a feeling Zach would love these. Definitely high up on his Christmas list this year.

V-Tech KidiPet Friends Kitten. I grew up with tamagotchi's and this is the preschool equivalent that I think Gracie would love!

CMJ Media Winter Wonderland
Before having kids I always wore jewellery and I'm still a big fan of nice jewellery whenever I get the chance to go out. The CMJ Christmas event was quite magical. The items were dressed beautifully with gorgeous props and fake snow, not that they needed it. The pieces spoke for themselves, lots of eye-catching jewellery from lots of great designers. It's safe to say a few pieces are on my Christmas list already. As pictures ALWAYS speak louder than words here are some photos for you to see for yourselves.

Alexis Dove

Marco Bicego
As you can see there were so many beautiful pieces. In fact I couldn't possibly choose a favourite! Ladies I suggest you remember these names and drop them to your partners as much as you can over the next few months!