baby

Birth Announcement: Introducing...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

On 27th August 2014, we welcomed our new baby girl to the world. 



27/08/2014
10.17am
8lb 5oz
Still nameless!


Unfortunately I can't take her home just yet and have awful signal in hospital so will update more when we are allowed home.

xxx

What's in my hospital bag?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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
Slippers
Toothbrush/Toothpaste
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
Books

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?

You Know You Are Pregnant When...

Monday, August 25, 2014



  • 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.

gold stars

Parragon Gold Stars Big Workbook

Friday, August 22, 2014

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

38 Weeks Pregnant

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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 www.theforeverhousecharm.com 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!



baby skincare

Competition: Mustela UK Baby Skincare Bundle

Monday, August 18, 2014

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 random.org) 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

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

children reading

Review: Lost My Name Personalised Story Books

Sunday, August 17, 2014

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 http://www.lostmy.name/

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

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

Amazon

Christmas in July

Saturday, August 09, 2014



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.

Amazon


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

Diamonfire
JCM
Endless
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!


36 weeks pregnant

36 Weeks Pregnant

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

36 weeks pregnant! How did that come so quick?! By the end of this week my baby will be classed as 'Full Term' although I am hoping not to go into labour before my Csection date. Yes that's right, we have a date! I've decided to keep the date quiet so we can announce for ourselves when we are ready that she has arrived. This includes family, I don't want any Facebook slips so they will also have to wait and see. Of course I now have the matter of deciding what to do with Gracie and Zach on the big day. Not an easy decision when you haven't really got people to leave them with. 



I have had a strange week. I was suffering awful nausea for a whole week starting early last week but thankfully that has eased the last few days. Although I have been having lots of tightenings! I think it's just Braxton Hicks for now but eek it's scary! I'm also feeling huge bump-wise but by the looks of Twitter all my fellow bump bloggers are feeling it too. Must be one of those weeks.

I've been nesting majorly! I have done so much cleaning, sorting and decluttering this week it feels great but I keep getting the urge to just throw out, sell or give away everything I see. Might have to have a word with myself before we have nothing left. Unfortunately my decorating isn't going quite as well and I'm almost certain me and baby will spend the first few weeks sleeping in the living room unless we fix it quick!

I'm feeling a bit more organised with baby's stuff. Clothes are all washed, folded and in size order in the wardrobe. I still haven't packed my hospital bag BUT have most things ready to throw in it. I have a lovely new car seat sorted to bring her home in just need to wait for it to be delivered along with her bedside cot. 


maternity

Review: Tiffany Rose Maternity

Monday, August 04, 2014

I know one thing I struggle with whilst pregnant is looking and feeling glamorous. No matter what I wear I feel...well whale-like! Thankfully, though there are now companies that think about pregnant ladies when it comes to occasion wear. I was sent a beautiful dress by the lovely people at Tiffany Rose especially to wear at Britmums Live last month. I chose the Amber dress in Midnight Blue as I wanted something suitable for both day wear and evening wear that would make me feel more confident about the way I looked on a day that was nerve racking enough.


The first time I tried it on back in April

Tiffany Rose actually began in 2003 with the aim of offering pregnant women the chance to wear exciting, elegant, beautiful and well-made designs for special occasions. Their collection ranges from beautifully tailored jersey and lace maternity dresses, silk evening gowns and an amazing selection of maternity bridal wear. All of their items are designed and made in Britain and many of the most stylish celebs have been spotted wearing their beautiful dresses.

Ready to go to Britmums Live!
Anyway about the dress.. It worked! As nervous as I felt about the weekend away, I felt a million times better once I had done my hair and make up and put the beautiful dress on. I really did feel glamorous and had so many lovely comments about the dress all day on the Friday and it wasn't until I had got back to the hotel, took my make up off and stuck my PJ's on that I realised I hadn't taken any full length pictures of it!


July- 34 Weeks Pregnant
Luckily I had a friends birthday party this weekend and so had the perfect excuse to wear my dress again and get some nice pictures. It still looks great with my now huge bump and was just as comfortable as the first time I wore it. The material of the dress feels lovely, the inner lining is made from a breathable jersey meaning thankfully that even in the current heatwave I didn't suffer wearing it in the heat. You can really tell it is fantastic quality and very well made. The only issue I had was the belt which comes free with the dress doesn't have anything to fasten it into place. So although it looked great on it just wouldn't stay put. You would definitely need to figure a way of fastening it tightly or holding it together as it kept coming loose and falling down so ended up being popped in my handbag after an hour which was a shame. For an extra £5 though you can swap the satin belt for a ribbon sash which sounds like a great alternative.


July- 34 Weeks Pregnant


I would definitely recommend Tiffany Rose Maternity Wear to all pregnant women. I can't help but swoon over the whole collection especially the wedding gowns. They 'almost' make me want to tie the knot myself! I'm a little sad I've only just found Tiffany Rose in my last pregnancy. If only I had found them a few years back, I could have saved myself so much stress at finding nice clothes for weddings and parties seems as I've spent most of the last five years pregnant.

You can see the full range of Tiffany Rose maternity wear on the website www.tiffanyrose.com The Amber dress is now available in the sale for just £75!

You can also follow them on social media for the latest news and updates
Tiffany Rose UK Facebook
Tiffany Rose UK Twitter

Disclaimer
I recieved the dress featured free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

children's clothing

Review & Competition: Toogiez T-shirts

Saturday, August 02, 2014

A Brand new business dedicated to cute, fun clothing for children, Toogiez are a range of stylish T-shirts that come with specially designed and adorable plushy toys which can be attached to the child's T-shirt and accompany them anywhere. Kids are attracted to cute characters and Toogiez have a range of different characters to choose from so your child can choose which one they identify with most. We received a prototype Toogiez T-shirt for Gracie to try out along with one Toogy Character. 



When it arrived there was no stopping Gracie sticking it straight on and her and Zach were amazed that the Toogy could be pulled off and stuck back on again. I have to say I was immediately impressed with the quality of the velcro on the t-shirt and Toogy. It is really easy to take off and reattach the character yet it stays on without looking like it's ready to drop off. Gracie's t-shirt was aged 3-4 years and at 3.5 years she fits perfectly in it so I would say that the shirts are pretty true to size. Everyone who has visited in the past week has been shown Toogiez and exactly how they work it certainly seems to be a proud possession of hers already.




As I mentioned before ours is just a prototype, Toogiez have just revamped the final designs in time for their Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter campaign allows you to order Toogiez in different affordable bundles as well as big bundles if you were buying for a group. You can find the Kickstarter here for more information, pictures and to order your Toogiez.



If you like what you see then feel free to enter the competition below. Toogiez have kindly offered to give one lucky reader a t-shirt and Toogy character of their choice. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form below. Oh and if you are posting a blog comment under the anonymous option please add your name to the comment so I know it is you! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms & Conditions
Open to UK only. The competition will end 16/08/2014 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 random.org) The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widget. One winner will receive a Toogiez T-shirt and Toogy Character of their choice. No alternative prize will be offered. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery of prize.

baby gifts

Newborn Baby Gift Guide: What to buy a newborn

Friday, August 01, 2014

It can be so difficult to buy for other people's babies at times, especially if either you haven't had children yet yourself or you just simply don't know what they might already have. Here I have just a few fantastic suggestions of unique gifts for a newborn baby. I hope it inspires you if you are currently looking for the perfect gift!
                                                                    Bright Starts Safari play mat from Amazon


I had a mat very similar to this when I was pregnant with Gracie and it was fantastic for helping her experience tummy time for the first time. I love the safari design on this one. This would make a great gift for a newborn as it is so compact (great for travelling or visiting friends/family) and it is such a good price! It is currently available to buy here on Amazon for £11.98






 

Play to Learn Neville The Newt from Amazon




I fell in love with this toy the moment I saw it and I have to say the size is deceiving. It looks like your average small cuddly toy in the picture but it's actually really big! The bright colours make it so appealing to little ones and it's not just the colours that make him great fun. His head rotates, his tail bends, he has a dragonfly on his back along with a mirror, there are also parts of him that make crinkling and squeaking sounds. Neville The Newt is currently available here on Amazon for £17.60.


 

Bambeano Baby Bean Bag

 
This bean bag is probably the most unique gift in my guide. Designed especially for babies, it has a safety harness to keep baby securely in place and it looks so comfy! The raised back positioning of the seat makes it ideal for after feeding as it will help prevent acid reflux common in young babies. My favourite thing about it is it comes with a free toddler cover too so once baby outgrows it you can swap the beans over and pop them inside the toddler cover which can even be used outside. It is them suitable for up to five years (although I think it could be used even longer!). The Bambeano Baby Bean Bag is available exclusively to Bean Bag Bazaar at £49.99



Tiny Tatty Teddy Ceramic Money Box

 


Well every baby needs savings. Whenever we have visitors my little ones are usually given a few pennies or pounds to put in their money box for a rainy day. The money is usually saved either for their holidays or their savings accounts. In fact they have a box for each. Not only is this gift practical but it's also a lovely keepsake that looks perfect in the baby's nursery. You can buy this beautiful Tatty Teddy money box for £8 from the Me To You online store






Disclaimer
I was sent the products free of charge for the purpose of this guide. All opinions are my own and only products I would use for my own baby were featured. All prices correct at time of publication.

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