Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 highlights

In a couple of days time it will 2015...a new year and it's got me reminiscing about 2014 and what a great year it's been. So I thought I would go through my best bits with you all...

January
20 week scan - we got to finally find out the sex of baby Varley

March
Love Exclusive Makeover - I've already written a post about my amazing makeover/Photoshoot, you can read it here. I enjoyed it so much and I loved the pictures especially the bump shoot.

April
Start of maternity leave - the end of April meant the start of my maternity leave from work.  I couldn't wait to finish work, I was commuting 50miles a day on the M6 everyday and always got stuck in traffic. I was so looking forward to just getting everything ready for our new arrival.

May
Carrie comes to visit/Corrie tour - May signalled the start of my maternity leave and meant that I had time to chill out and do things before Joey arrived. My best friend Carrie (Joey's godmother) came to visit and I had a full couple of days planned for us. We went to the Coronation Street Tour which was amazing and then the day after we went shopping to the Trafford Centre.

June
Officially baby month, Joey's due date was 11th June but he was 8 days overdue and was finally born 19th June.

July
Birth of the blog - In July I started this blog, not knowing if anyone would actually read it. I love blogging and I can't wait to do more of it in 2015. 
September
Sunday 28th September was Joey's christening. It was such a lovely day and he was so well behaved. When he is a little bit older we will start to take him to church, my hubby was brought up Catholic and Joey's nan goes to church every week.

December
Joey's 1st Christmas - the lead up to Joey's 1st Christmas was lovely and especially the big day itself. We didn't go over board with presents as it's only his first. We spent our day with Chris's mum and sister, Joey even had his own Christmas dinner.

I must say, 2014 has been a great year and I'm sure that 2015 will be even better. 

Wishing all of my readers a very happy new year! 

Thanks for reading 

L x

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Joey's 6 months old

It's finally here, Joey's 6 month update. Can't believe he is half a year old already...and it's his first ever Christmas.

Not a lot has changed since last month's review, I mean yes I can see a lot of changes and progressions in Joey but nothing to really write home about. The day before his 6 month birthday (can I really class it as a birthday at 6months??? Well I don't know how else to word it) I took him for his monthly baby clinic where he gets weighed and checked by the health visitor. His weight as of 18th December is 20lbs..and hell I can feel every one of those pounds. He's not fat but just really solid and mummy's back is really suffering. He is a little chatterbox, forever just sat chunnering to himself and it's so cute, he makes some lovely little brumm brumm noises aswell. 

I've probably mentioned in a previous update but Joey has had a really bad chest for a few months now. He's already been on a course of antibiotics and an inhaler which have both not made any difference. So a few weeks back I took him back to the doctors and he referred us to a specialist for February and on new years eve he will be having and chest X-Ray.  I'm guessing that the results of the X-Ray will be discussed with us in February. 

Milestones 
I thought his 6th month would bring lots of lovely new milestones but it hasn't really. Joey can sit up a lot more unaided which is great. He's still trying to master the art of rolling over which is fun to watch, he only manages to get on his side and then gets very frustrated. His hair is coming along nicely, it's all a bit fuzzy at the moment and he's definitely going to be a blondey.
Look at that hair!
Sleeping 
Joey's finally sleeping all the way through. He sleeps from 7/7.30pm until about 6am, although he has had me up a few times at 5 am but when he wakes that early I change his nappy and just get him in our bed and try and get him to sleep for an hour. His naps during the day see becoming shorter and shorter, unless we've been doing something exciting during the day he may nap for an hour if I'm lucky. 

Weaning 
At his 6 month check up I was advised/told that I need to reduce his milk drastically and introduce more solids. He typically has around 7oz per feed and he'll have around 5 feeds per day. Over the past few weeks we have been doing a bit of weaning to introduce him to different foods and textures and he has been leaving about an oz or 2 in his bottle. As I'm writing this Joey has been on 3 meals a day for about a week and he seems to be enjoying everything. I am just using pre prepared baby food until I know the types of things he likes. For breakfast he has either multi grain, porridge or mango/banana brekkie. For lunch he'll have Heinz Cheesy Veg with Pasta or a left over dinner pouch. 

Teething 
Joey's peggies are still yet to make a proper appearance, they are still bothering him. Christmas day he was in quite a bit of pain with them...Poor thing. I really had hoped by Christmas he would have had at least 1 tooth through. 

Clothes 
Joey is well and truly in the 6-9months range now. Some of the 6-9month sleep suits are a bit too long for him, so pj wise he's in 3-6 months. 

Well that's Joey's 6 month update done and dusted. 

Thanks for reading 


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation

For the past God knows how many years I have had to live with annoying acne. It blighted my teenage years and now at the age of 22 it still curses me. Over the years I have spent hundreds maybe even thousands of pounds on products and treatments that promise to reduce the appearance of blemishes  but nothing has really disguised the acne scars and spots leaving a flawless finish....until now.

Ladies and gents I'd like to introduce to you Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation, my makeup problems have finally been answered. I was kindly sent the corrective foundation and the settling powder and I couldn't have been more excited to try it out. I'd seen maybe 1 or 2 blog reviews about the product and I was really interested in seeing the coverage on my skin type. Vichy claim that the Dermablend foundation "expertly conceals minor to moderate skin imperfections such as; uneven skin tone, dark circles, redness,  scarring, etc.". I've been using a mineral powder concealer and foundation for about 5 years but it just hasn't given me that full coverage I've been after. I'd heard of the Vichy brand before but I wasn't aware of their Dermablend products so I had no idea what shade I would be, I went for the Nude and at first when I first squeezed it out I immediately thought it was too dark but it actually wasn't. As soon as I had warmed the fluid up and applied it to my face I found that it really blended in well with my skin tone. Please excuse the messy hair, overgrown brows etc...

Before & After
I thought the foundation may have been really heavy on my skin but I was pleasantly surprised, it felt so light and I couldn't tell I had any makeup on. Generally, my skin is just really rubbish, i never seem to be without a spot, I get my biggest breakouts just before I'm due on usually around my jaw/chin area. Before I used the foundation for the first time I had a list in my head of all the things I needed it to do/hide. I felt like it was really important that I really put the following issues to the test...

Redness/skin tone
Vichy explain that "Soft-focus" pigments conceal imperfections with a beauty result comparable to that of a conventional foundation. Due to the redness in my skin it means I don't have an even skin tone, when reading the info about this foundation one of the main reasons i wanted to try it was becuase they claim to conceal imperfections. Other foundations I have previously used haven't evened my skin tone or hid my imperfections. I'm really happy that my spots, scars and redness are mostly hidden.
Long lasting
Dermablend foundation promises "up to 16 hours high coverage, with 30% pigment concentration for a flawless coverage. With my previous foundation I have felt that after a few hours that I feel like its melted off my face. I really like that the foundation still looks the same as it did when I first applied before going out. 

How to use Dermablend foundation:
1. Apply the Foundation using your fingertips or a small sponge, working gently from the centre of the face outwards. In the case of more marked skin flaws, dab the foundation onto the area concerned, then spread out lightly.
2. Blend downwards towards the neck, then out to the ears and up to the hairline to avoid leaving lines.3. Repeat application until desired coverage is achieved.

I have found the foundation and settling powder really easy to use and I am so glad I was able to try it. I will definitely be using Dermablend foundation from now on, I give it full marks. What I really love is that I don't have to bother applying a concealer, the foundation covers everything. It really does hide everything and doesn't make spots appear bigger. It also blends in so well and doesn't leave a dreaded line on my neck or hairline. For the first time in my life I feel like I've found the answer to all my skin worries. I can use this foundation without having to worry about how my face looks. Thank you so much Vichy, you are a lifesafer!

Vichy Dermablend Foundation and the Dermablend Settling Powder can be purchased from Boots and other stockists. I was sent this product free of charge in order to review. All opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading :)


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Joey's Weaning Journey

Joey will be 6 months old on 19th December, a whole half a year old! But 6 months also means it is the recommended age for weaning.

I started Joey weaning when he was 4 months old, just on the baby rice, baby porridge and the odd melted rusks. And even though they are quite bland introductory foods he's seemed to like them. He hasn't pulled any faces or turned away anything so I take that as a sign that he likes his food. Once I was certain he had no alergies to those first foods I then tried him with Cow & Gate fruit puree pouches and again he seemed to like the taste of that aswell. Aswell as the fruit purees, Joey has also tried the little jars which I'd say are more for lunchtimes and tea time. He's had baby cauliflower & cheese, creamy carrot & potato and Grandpa's Sunday lunch. 
Thanks for the pink spoon Daddy
His routine hasn't really changed, he just doesn't nap for as long but his feeds look a bit like this:
6/7am: Joey wakes up and has 1st bottle of the day. Sometimes he'll nap straight after his feed.
8/9am: Naptime or porridge if he isn't sleepy
9.30am: 2nd bottle 
11am: 3rd bottle 
1/1.30pm: 4th bottle
2/3pm: Yoghurt
4pm: bottle 
7pm: last Feed before bed
7.30pm: Joey's bedtime 
This routine isn't set in stone so sometimes bottles are at slightly different times depending on what we're doing during the day. Also he doesn't have food every day, 3 times a day, I just introduce it as and when I think he needs it. 

As you've probably read in a previous post, Joey already has his own baby Christmas Dinner courtesy of Ella's Kitchen. I'm really excited that we've started his weaning and i can't wait to see him discover different tastes. When Joey is eating more than a few spoonfuls I'll probably make his food myself. I still need to get the equipment to do that, for the meantime the little pouches are fine. I seem to be giving him a fee spoonfuls and then because they only last 24 hours in the fridge I then have to throw them away with loads still in. So I am on the Luck out for some little pots I can separate the pouch into and then freeze. 

I look forward to updating you all with Joey's progress. Any handy tips or food recommendations would be great! 
Obviously enjoying his food
Thanks for reading :)
L x

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

12 Week Scan Anniversary

A year ago today was our 12 week scan, the first scan, the first time we saw our baby. It was the best picture I had ever seen. Before the scan, I was slightly worried that I wouldn't be able to make anything out...just like in Friends when Rachel can't see make out the baby in the scan. But I had no problems, everything was so clear...
Our little bean, with his hands up in the air.
I'd done a bit of reading up about what to expect during the scan and about having a full bladder.  So I drank nearly 2 litres of water before I drove to the hospital, I could hardly walk i was so desperate to relieve myself. I managed to get to the maternity department and had a short wait. When the sonographer called us, she looked at me and she asked if i was alright and I told her I'd drunk loads of water, she let me  go to the toilet thank god. So I laid down on the bed and tried to get comfy, it wasn't easy with the sonographer jiggling my belly to get a good picture. We were so relieved that everything looked good, baby seemed happy and healthy.

The 12 week scan also meant that I felt comfortable in telling people I was pregnant. I had told a few people, mainly just close friends, family and work. It killed me not putting anything on facebook but I felt that I needed to wait until the 12week scan, we wanted to know that everything was fine. We had such a great response when we announced it on Facebook, with a few people commenting that it was about time. Me and Chris were in a good place, we'd been married 4 years, we had our own home and our jobs. It just seemed like the perfect time to start a family...and what an amazing family we've made. It's been an amazing 12 months and I love seeing Joey grow into an amazing little boy.

Thanks for reading

Lolly x 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

That time of year is upon us already, I cant believe its here all ready. It's looking a lot like Christmas in the Varley household; the tree and decorations are up, present shopping is nearly done and the presents I've bought have all been wrapped. The only things left to buy now are the last of Joey's toys from Smyths. Hopefully, this Friday me and the hubby are going to go to the Manchester christmas markets, we've been to the Birmingham markets a few times and we fell in love with the city. Now that we have Joey we didn't want to leave him and go to birmingham which is quite far away from us so we're treating ourselves to a day out together.

As people are starting to plan their christmas dinners it never really occured to me about what Joey was going to eat on the big day. But thanks to Hannah at First Time Mummy for the tip off, Joey now has his very own baby friendly Christmas dinner from Ella's Kitchen. Apparently, these Christmas dinner pouches are like gold dust and you can only get them from massive Tesco stores. So any mummy's who want to get their hands on one, get to your local Tesco ASAP before they sell out.
The tree & Joey's crimbo dinner
Now that it's December everything seems to be Frozen...and i don't mean the weather! Let it go, Let it gooo...its doing my head in! I've no4t even seen the film Frozen but it seems to be in my face a lot lately and I'm wondering how long I've got until I have to introduce this madness to Joey. Don't get me wrong, I love a good animated fairytale movie...Hello I was a child of the 90s, Disney movies were my world. 

I really can't wait for Christmas. It's going to be an amazing year. I'll finish off with a gorgeous picture of Joey in his new Christmas jumper. 


Thanks for reading :)

Lolly x 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Should we be worried about the NHS?

Depending on which part of the world you're reading this, some of you may have heard about the tragic story of Charlotte Bevan, the Bristol mum who went missing with her 5 day old daughter from hospital.

Charlotte Bevan, 30 was caught on CCTV leaving St Michael's Hospital in Bristol on Tuesday 2nd December, with her newborn daughter without being stopped. Her daughter was only 4 days old and was wrapped in just a blanket. Unfortunately Charlotte and her daughter were found dead.
The question that is being asked at the moment by many people is 'Why was Charlotte Bevan not stopped?' Surely she must have passed a nurses station or someone saw her carrying a newborn in just a blanket might have thought it was odd and alerted someone. The hospital where I gave birth was impossible to leave the maternity unit without a midwife opening the doors. There will no doubt be an investigation in order to ask/answer those questions so that this doesn't happen again. No doubt the Bristol hospital is getting it in the neck by the NHS bosses and i'm guessing the local social services will have an investigation. Nobody truly knows what was going on in Charlottes life or how she was feeling about becoming a new mum. 

When I heard the story about Charlotte it got me thinking about my own experience with the hospital I gave birth at, and then I found this post Charlotte Bevan Highlights NHS Failings written by blogger London Mum and it suddenly clicked that yes the NHS are failing new mothers. The birth of my little boy was proof of that, not the actual birth but i'd say the lead up and then straight after the birth. I have documented my birth story in a blog post but ill just concentrate on the complication after I had given birth. So Joey was born at 9.25pm on 19th June 2014 after 5 hours of labour, he was placed on my chest and cried as soon as he was born and he was all fine. For some reason in all the chaos my husband wasn't allowed to cut the baby's cord. After I was cleaned up myself, hubby and the baby were left for hours while the midwives did paperwork. A midwife did pop her head round the door to tell me I could have a shower, this was probably about 11/12pm. I got a shower, which was a bit difficult, i then started to pack my stuff away for them to move me onto the ward. We were waiting for ages and when hubby popped out to ask when I was getting moved they just kept saying "it will be soon". I couldn't lie or even sit on the bed in the delivery room as they had taken the bedding off, hubby was cuddling baby in the one chair in the room. I managed to sit myself on the very edge of the bed, and then the next thing I know I wake up lying on the bed feeling very woozy. I'd basically fainted and had a fit because of the exhaustion and hubby ran out to get a nurse. They came running in asking me what was wrong, they got me on heart monitors you name it and it was just down to exhaustion and hunger. I asked them for some toast after I gave birth but that didn't turn up, I'd run out of snacks and all the shops in hospital were shut.

Finally at 3am we were moved onto the ward, before I got moved Joey had breast fed for ages so he was finally asleep resting his noisy lungs. I was put on a ward with 3 other mums and babies so hubby had to go and i literally begged them for him to stay but rules were rules. I had about an hours sleep that whole night. All I wanted to do was for me and baby to go home, I knew that I would feel better and more relaxed. But we only got discharged that day at 5pm. They were very reluctant to discharge me as breastfeeding wasn't fully established, I had the breast feeding nurses coming in to see me and I knew that everything would be fine once we got home. I just felt completely alone with my baby, and I feel everything would have been better if I had my husband their for support. I cried quite a few times during my stay in hospital, which I know is expected but even a week after the birth I still had a bit of the baby blues. Part of me getting so upset was the breastfeeding, it was so stressful, especially in the early hours of the morning. 

I've read a lot of blogs recently and there seems to be a pattern emerging with mums being pressured to breastfeed. London Mum suggests that the NHS is putting too much effort and money into encouraging breastfeeding both before and after the baby is born instead of focusing more on the basic post-natal care. I completely agree, from my first booking appointment with a midwife this time last year when I was only about 8 weeks pregnant I had been booked onto a breast feeding class in 5 months time. At that stage in my pregnancy I didn't know which route I was going to take. I even felt slightly pressured by people I knew. Don't get me wrong, the NHS is a great institute and we would be stuck without it, but surely the case of Charlotte Bevan just shows that the immediate post-natal care is just not good enough. It needs major improvements and less of the breast is best army within the NHS (I'm not bashing Breast feeding..I've tried it). I did subsequently breast feed Joey exclusively until he was about 10 weeks old, I then moved on to combination feeds and then moved onto just formula feeding by about 12 weeks.  We tried it and it was ok very early on but we just found that formula was the best option.

With my own experience after birth I definitely had a case of the baby blues, I seemed to cry all the time at nothing. I had no problem bonding with Joey, that aspect was fine and I knew that I loved him straight away. But I must admit I didn't tell my health visitor or doctor that I was struggling a bit in those early days, I just got on with being a mum. I'm first to admit that I'm the sort of person that likes to keep up pretences and i won't seek help immediately which is the wrong thing to do. 

Again, I am not saying that the NHS is irrelevant but more emphasis on the post natal care side of things needs to be assessed. Maybe and this is a BIG maybe, if nhs strategies were different Charlotte may have felt more supported or know that there was more support out their and may not have felt the need to do what she did. My heart goes out to Charlottes family and her partner. Ofcourse, it has been well documented that the NHS is strained and that midwives in particular are in short supply and aren't getting paid enough either. I just hope that the NHS can just improve things so that new mums and health care professionals can work happily together and provide more support. 

I'd really like to hear your views on this. 

Thanks for reading 

Lolly x 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Gro Hush Baby Calmer

 Last month, Joey and I were chosen by The Gro Company to review their new product, the Gro-hush. Which has been deemed the next 'must have' baby product. Well it arrived last week and I've been using it on Joey, he is the intended target market...even if mummy uses it sometimes aswell.

The Gro Hush is a hand held white noise baby comforter that can be used from birth. It has 3 different white noise sounds and they can be operated by pressing the buttons which consist of heartbeat, rain and waves.

Obviously, research has been done by the Gro Company as to the different levels of white noise and they've gone all scientific on us. I was kindly sent the research findings and i found it quite interesting, reading this sort of took me back to my uni days reading all those case studys. Without boring you too much and giving you lots of info I've gone through the most interesting information. Now, we should all be slightly familiar with decibels, there are different levels such as dangerous levels, extremely loud and very loud. The Gro Company has sort advice from the The Children's Hearing Institute to give some examples of noise levels that some of us encounter on a daily basis.


According to the info provided by Gro Company it is advised that "anything fewer than 80 Decibels is safe for humans for an unlimited length of time". The Gro Hush is set at 75 decibels, so is perfectly safe our bambinos delicate ears.

Enough of all the scientific talk, Down to the actual review. I've used the Gro Hush quite a few times now with Joey, mainly at night when I'm trying to get him to sleep. The first few tries he just kept pushing it away but recently when I've used it I've laid him at the side of me in bed and left the Hush at the side of him and he falls asleep. Usually he won't fall asleep straight away and he likes having the TV on in the background. So last night I still had the TV on but when I put the hush next to him he turned his head away from the TV and towards the Hush and then fell asleep. Joey is nearly 6 months old so I can't get him to sleep by holding him anymore. People say that the best way to calm your baby is holding them near you and that's all the calming they need. But Joey loves a bit of white noise to calm him or get him to sleep.

In hindsight I wish I had been given this/bought the Gro Hush when Joey was newborn. I think all those sleepless nights may have been slightly better with this product. Will it last much longer with Joey? I don't know, is the answer, he's teething and he's getting older and more restless so only time will tell. It's handy to take out and about so you could use it during the day. The material that goes against baby's ear does come off and can be washed which is great. This product would be great for any new mums or mums-to-be looking for something to calm baby. The Gro Company are a fantastic brand and have a variety of other products available, we also have the Gro-egg room thermometer in joey's room which is great.

The Gro-Hush retails at £34.99 and is available from a wide range of stockists. I was sent this product free of charge in order to review. All opinions are my own.

I hope you have found this review helpful.

Thanks for reading


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lolly's Loves - December

We're now in December and that means 1 thing...Christmas. My hasn't it sneaked up on us quickly!

I've done a lot of blogging over the past month. So much happens and I just love telling you all. Christmas is the time of year when we get all of those lovely TV specials, we also go a bit mad on shopping and no doubt someone will have that dedicated Christmas album or radio station playing in the background. So here are my loves for December....

Watching
As always I'm always watching the telly. As I'm writing this I am watching the itv3 coverage of Phillip Schofields Live 24 hour TV Marathon for this year's Text Santa appeal. I love a bit of behind the scenes action.
I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here started about 2 weeks ago and I really wasn't bothered about watching it, I thought it was the worst line up ever! But I find myself watching it every night and I must admit I love it. It was really sad that Craig Charles had to leave because of the sudden death of his brother. I'm not so sad to see the back of Gemma Collins, I've never been a TOWIE fan but I liked Gemma and i just thought what a waste when she decided to leave the jungle. After Gemma left I thought oh hell  they're dropping like flies. But the I'm a celeb team got 2 new recruits and i think it's worked out so well. I can't really see a winner at the moment though.
X Factor has been on for a while now, it's only 2 weeks until the final. I've always watched XF, even though I love it I'm feeling a bit disappointed with the acts though. I really hope Fleur wins, I do like Andrea but he is a one trick pony, Lauren is a great singer but there are so many singers out their that are the same.
Dance mums with Jennifer Ellison is another show I'm really enjoying at the moment. Similar to the American dance mums show, Jennifer is the dance teacher and it's typical scouse behavior. If you haven't watched then it is on Lifetime channel on Mondays 9pm.

Listening
I absolutely love my music, music is such an important part of life in my opinion and i have my own tastes. At the moment I've been seeing and hearing so much of Sam Smith, I think you'll all agree he has an amazing voice and his songs are great too. When Sam released his first song I wasn't too keen but when I heard I'm Not the Only One, I was hooked. He is like the male version of Adele. Jessie J is smashing it across the world, I've been a fan for years and I've seen her live. Bang Bang has been Number 1 in several countries and she has appeared on a few high profile awards shows performing with Arianna Grande & Nicki Minaj. We're going to see some great things from Jessie J. 

Shopping
Most of us have been doing some Christmas shopping haven't we? I started my Christmas shopping in October and i still have things to buy. Friday just gone was the dreaded Black Friday, a stupid American tradition that turns us crazy when it comes to those sales. I didn't go out, I comfortably browsed the Web from the comfort of my home and bought some gifts. Some stores have great discounts and i probably wouldn't have purchased without the discount. I got a great deal on some personalised sheepskin booties from My 1st Years for Joey. I love wearing my uggs and i wanted to get Joey some...even though he's a boy. I also received my alphabet scarf from Matalan in aid of Alder Hay Children's hospital, it's lovely and snuggly. No Christmas or birthday can be complete without some form of ClaireaBella product and my main Christmas prezzie is an original bag. I've asked Claire not to take a picture of it and I won't open it until Christmas day.

You may have seen on my instagram that I got a new tattoo recently. Something I've been planning since Joey was born. Hopefully in the next week or so me and the hubby will be going to the Germans Christmas Market in Manchester. We've been to the Christmas markets twice in Birmingham and they were brill so thought we'd try closer to home. I will hopefully be doing a blog about it. On Sunday we put up our Christmas decorations, and ive just been wrapping some presents.

Thanks for reading

Lolly x

Thursday, 27 November 2014

What I would change...

I've been blogging for about 3 months now and I have recently been thinking about my blogging journey so far. I know i've only been blogging for a short time but I'm starting to feel like I could have done things differently.

Blogging during pregnancy
As soon as I had written my first post, I felt sad that I hadn't started the blog during my pregnancy, but in hindsight, I wouldn't have had time to really commit to it. I was working full time up until Ma, when i was woriing i only got 1 day off and that was spent doing household chores. But I look at all those blogs I love so much and I feel slightly jealous that I don't have anything to catalogue such an important time in my life. I may never be pregnant again, so it would have been lovely to read over my older posts.

Blog host
I really just started this blog without really researching anything about blogging. I just googled blog hosts and Blogger was the first one I picked. It looked simple and easy to use. Looking back, I think I should have gone with Wordpress. It just looks like a more professional site and they have some really nice themes/templates for your actual blog.

Custom domain
As I didn't have a clue about starting the blog I just had lollyv92 as the url, it was getting on my nerves so last week I purchased my very own domain name from Go Daddy. It looks so much more professional and its the title of my blog aswell so less confusion.

Blogging anonymously
My whole plan right from the start was to blog anonymously...just incase it was all a big disaster, I'd have nothing to lose. But I feel you can't truly connect with your audience if you are anonymous. It would mean not mentioning your child's name or sharing pictures. Another reason why I wanted to blog anonymously was because of people I actually knew, reading my work or about something personal. If I'm honest I don't really promote the blog through Facebook, I have shared a few posts via facebook but I tend to use Twitter or Instagram to promote.

Now that I've bought my own domain name I feel like I'm on my way to making this blog great. It's not great yet. Hopefully in January I'll get the blog designed by a professional, I've had a look already and their are some great designers.

I love blogging, it seems to be a form of therapy. Time will tell how popular it will be, i've had just over 1000 page views but sadly no followers and only about 5 comments. I know people are reading my blog and I get some great feedback from people. I just wish you lovely people would follow so I could have more interaction with you all....I'm not scary...promise. That can be your Christmas prezzie to me...follow me...it's free. 

Thanks for reading my blogging journey so far. If you have any ideas for my blog like design or layout that sort of thing please get in touch. 

Lolly x 



Gender-specific Childrens Toys

I was watching This Morning today and they had a segment asking "Should we buy gender-specific toys?". This isn't the first time i've seen a debate on this topic, but now that I have Joey I seem to be thinking about this more. 

I remember when I was a kid I had most of the popular toys for girls. I had the collectors edition Barbie's, normal barbie's, Baby Born you name it. I loved playing with my dolls and dressing up. I never remember playing with any boys toys, I didn't have any brothers or young cousins so they just weren't something I ever got to play with. I wouldn't say I was a girly girl, but I wasn't a tomboy either. I have a little boy now, he's only 5 months old so I suppose up until he can ask for stuff himself I will just buy him the boy toys. When he's a few years old he may ask for a barbie or something a bit girly and I suspect that i'll let him have it. I wouldn't want to upset him and buy something different that he won't use. I also suspect that my hubby wouldn't be too pleased and wouldn't let him have anything girly. Months ago, as I started to let Joey watch the television I'd put Peppa Pig on and it got me thinking...is this cartoon aimed at boys AND girls??? You must admit their is a lot of pink, and I know they're pigs so I suppose they have to be pink but I don't seem to find a lot of George Pig things it all revolves around Peppa. When I was growing up I used to watch Tellytubbies, Noddy, Rainbow, Barny, Mr Blobby etc which aren't targeted to a specific gender which was great. 

I read one of the This Morning facebook comments about this story and I read that one lady had asked her grandson what he wanted for Christmas and the little boy replied back with "Whats the point? Santa never brings me the girly toys that I like" or something to that effect. I would be absolutely heartbroken if Joey said something like that to me. As long as he is happy and healthy, it shouldn't really matter should it? 

I would love to know your thoughts on this. What toys do your children love to play with? 

Thanks for reading :)

Lolly x 

Christmas Wishlist

So it's exactly one month until Christmas and Joey's very first Christmas. I've blogged previously about my hopes for Christmas and I admitted that i didn't have a clue what to get him. After asking a lot of people and scowling the internet I've finally come up with a list.

I've been on the lookout for a new seat for Joey for ages, he won't be in his bouncer for much longer. So  I thought this would be a great alternative and it has a tray aswell. The baby bud is just under £40 and comes in a variety of colours. This seems like a good investment, as it can be used from 6 months to 3 years old. 
2) Sound 'n' Tunes Crib Piano - £9.99 RRP: £11.99
I saw this an i thought why haven't i already bought this! This little crib piano is from Smyths toy store and at the moment its on sale, which is even better. Joey has really strong legs and forever moving them about so I think this would be a great toy to work some of that energy out. 
This little activity ball is a great soft ball that is meant to "stimulate manual skills and coordination, helping visual and auditory development and recognition of the relationship between cause and effect". It's only £7.99 which sounds like a great toy for a great price. Again this is from Smyths. 
4) Disney Baby Mickey Mouse Talking Plush - £12.99
Another great Mickey Mouse product, this great plush has activation pads on its hands, feet and tummy. It plays songs and speaks to baby and teaches them letters, colours and numbers. This looks like a great development toy, I can't wait to go out and get it. 
5) Worlds Apart Zebra Square Ball Pit - £24.99
I used to love playing in the ball pen in Ikea play area when i was a kid so i thought this would be a great idea to keep Joey entertained...and probably throw balls at mummy. Even if i didn't want to put all the balls in it he can just have his favourite toys...and even take a nap in it. 

This Christmas will mainly be focused on Joey but here is my little wishlist, its important for mummy's and daddy's to get treated aswell...
1) Yankee Candle 
I'm sure you lovely ladies out there will agree, Yankee Candles are just amazing. Their are too many different scents to choose from. Even though it's Christmas and they do have their own Christmas collection, I'm not too keen on the variety of scents in that collection. I absolutely love the salted caramel but I've heard that the Chocolate Layer Cake one is incredible...and you don't consume any calories, just the smell. Yankee candles are expensive depending on what size you go for, that's why it's on my Wishlist. I've probably owned 1 of their candles. But would love another. Yankee candles are available through a variety of stockists. 
I've only discovered Soap & Glory within the last year and I can't live without their products anymore. At the moment I'm down to 2 S&G products in my collection and I desperately need to replenish my stock.  This get set includes: THE RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™ Body Butter, CLEAN ON ME™ Creamy Moisture Shower Gel, HAND FOOD™ Hand Cream, THE SCRUB OF YOUR LIFE™ Smoothing Body Scrub, plus a bonus suds-boosting body polisher! I really hope hubby gets me this. 
3) Baby Feet Necklace - £39.90 RRP: £69.90
I love anything that's personalised, so when I came across My Name Necklace I was amazed at the vast collection of lovelly personalised jewellery. I love the little baby feet necklace which you can personalise and can have baby's name and date of birth and even their birthstone. At the moment they are on sale for £39.90 which is a great price and you can pick the length of the chain aswell. 
My Christmas/birthday list is never without some form of ClaireaBella. Hopefully, you would have read my post about my ClaireaBella Addiction. ClaireaBella onesies were released very recently and as soon as I saw them I wanted one. They are a lot similar to the aBella hoodies just in a onesie. Aswell as ladies onesies, children's and mens are available. They come in a variety of colours; pink, black, grey, blue, red and white. You also get to personalise your aBella and have text aswell just like the other ClaireaBella products. I have just bought myself a ClaireaBella Original bag (which I didn't plan on doing) so I don't think I'll actually be getting a onesie now but you never know.  

So that's mine and Joey's Christmas Wishlist. No doubt I'll blog or Instagram a photo of all of our prezzies and Christmas in general after Christmas. 

Thanks for reading :)

Lolly x 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hello Baby 4D Scan

In April, just before i went on maternity leave i had a 4D scan at Hello Baby, which is one of two baby scan centers in St Helens. I had bought a Groupon voucher a few weeks earlier which meant that we paid £49 for a 15 minute session instead of £60. As soon as I found out i was pregnant i couldn't wait to book one but actually finding a date was pretty difficult as me and the hubby worked full-time and it was difficult to get days off together. Hello Baby has been really popular with pregnant celebrities living in the north-west, Jennifer Ellison has visited the boutique on many occasions during her pregnancies even having one of her baby showers their. Their are a variety of packages available; early scans can be done as early as 7 weeks, sexing scans from 16 weeks and they also offer HD Live. One thing I was really impressed with are the range of extras you can buy on the day of your scan like key rings, gender scratch cards etc. For any info regarding prices please visit the Hello Baby website.

So, Chris and I went for our scan. It was really busy and had to wait a while before it was our turn. Even though the boutique is quite small, it really is lovely. The decor is a mixture of baby pinks and blue with lovely furniture in the waiting room. We were shown into the scan room which is equipped with all the relevant scanning equipment and a hospital style bed. In front of the bed, on the wall is the television screen where the scan is shown. All of the scans at Hello Baby are performed by highly qualified ultrasound scanners, the lady who scanned me was american and very nice. As I was 34 weeks, i was warned that the scan may not pick up an image of the baby well....and they were right. Their wasn't one single picture that was good, it was no fault of the scanners, Joey was just so big and didn't have a lot of room to move. Hello Baby kindly invited us back in a weeks time to have another scan and it was much better. A 4D scan works more or less the same way as a normal sonogram at the hospital, you lie on a bed the sonographer puts jelly on your belly and you see your baby or babies. After the scan we then went onto the computer and chose 2 pictures to be printed out and then the rest went on a disc for us to take home.

Now that he's been born you can't really see any resemblance to the scans which I know with some you can. The only thing that resembles Joey is that when he was in my tum his hands were forever in front of his face and he does the same now. But it was such a lovely experience and I'm glad that we did it. Hello Baby have such a good reputation and if we were to have baby number 2 then I would definitely go back. If any of you mums-to-be have a 4D scan centre nearby and you've never had one done before the I would recommend you get one done.
                               
Thanks for reading :)

Lolly x 

Friday, 21 November 2014

All I want for Christmas

It's that time of year again folks! Christmas time! To be honest, I don't class it as Christmas until I've heard this....
Anybody else agree???

I have heard that classic song this week but it was being played by a brass band so i'm guessing that still counts. To be honest, Christmas has never been my favourite time of year, losing my mum at the age of 5 my dad and I just didn't really bother celebrating Christmas. I was lucky in the fact that my dad would take me abroad every Christmas just to get away from the happiness and to try and forget that we had lost the most important part of our family. Dad's been dead 7 years now and I have actually celebrated Christmas like a normal person. Don't get me wrong it's still hard to be thankful when life hasn't exactly been easy. 

But now we have Joey I want to make sure that we start those family traditions like all of us wearing new pyjamas on Christmas eve, leaving cookies out for Santa...that sort of thing. Probably the main thing I want Joey to learn about Christmas is that it isn't about presents, that's just a nice thing that comes with Christmas that a lot of people can't even afford these days. Don't get me wrong I love getting prezzies and i love buying people things but I think it's important to instill to our children the significance/importance of special holidays and events. 

But we all get asked that question of "What do you want for Christmas?" Don't we. Most of us ladies write their other halves a list of stuff we want and even write lists for stuff we need to buy people. I've been really organised this year, I bought my first present in October and i'm nearly all done. The only problem I'm  having is I don't know what to buy for Joey! I've ordered him a Boco Baby minky blanket but that's it. I want to get him some toys but nothing Is really jumping out at me. Amy suggestions would be appreciated...Joey will 6 months at Christmas. 

I'm seeing lots of people are putting their Christmas decorations up already, we got ours out of the loft about 2 weeks ago and I haven't started to put them up yet. My tree decoration skills aren't very good and I always end up rearranging it. We're a week away until December so hopefully I'll have them up soon. I have bought Joey some Christmas clobber though....and even a jumper for me
Left: This is Joey's christmas collection...he does actually have a reindeer fleece all in one in his wardrobe that we got in the Christmas sales last year. So he has a 'My 1st Christmas' dribble bib which was £1.50 from Asda, something he can wear all the way through December. Next we have Joey's elf costume, also from asda at £7 complete with a little hat. He also has some cute little reindeer shoes, £3 from Asda (again). These are the first pair of shoes/booties Joey has and they go amazingly well with his Reindeer jumper. 
Top right: This is my Christmas jumper from Peacocks, it was £16. A little bit pricey but I'm really picky when it comes to crimbo jumpers, I don't like tacky and i think this is just really nice. 
Bottom right: The reindeer jumper is from Peacocks at £9 (I think). Peacocks has some great little Christmas outfits for babies and children. 

So that's my first christmas post. I hope you enjoy reading. I can't wait for this Christmas. I'll leave you with a final picture of my cosy Christmas bedding...from Asda.


Thanks for reading :)
Lolly x 


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Joey's 5 months old

Joey your 5 months old already! Where is the time going at all.

There have been a lot of firsts for him this month...
  • sleepover at nanny's
  • Halloween
  • sleeping in his own room/cot
  • weaning
  • teethin
This month was Joey's first Halloween, I bought him a cute little pumpkin outfit from asda and he had a pumpkin dribble bib aswell which was cute. Also over the past few weeks Joey has had a really bad chest, he was put on a course of amoxicillin for a week but it didn't really do anything and he throws up after every feed now. We have since been back to the doctors and he has a little inhaler now that he has to use for 4 weeks. The doctor explained that for children under the age of 1, the nerves in their lungs haven't properly formed so it's hard to shift the mucus. Joey has also started to grab the little mushroom on his chair to make it play a tune. He hasn't rolled over yet but you can see he is trying. He can sit up for a few seconds and he's forever grabbing his feet.

Sleeping - Joey had a few nights in his own room/bed but because of the fireworks we had to move him back into our room. He is definitely sleeping all the way through from about 7.30pm until 6.30/7am. He also had a sleepover at his nans while me and the hubby had a night out in Liverpool. Poor thing was teething so he had a bit of a bad night but he woke up all smiley apparently.

Feeding - he's still on 7oz bottles, sometimes he finishes it all but sometimes he leaves an oz or 2. I've started to introduce him to food, he's tried baby rice, baby porridge, fruit puree, Rusks and some Brocolli and cauliflower cheese. He hasn't pulled any funny faces so I assume he likes them.

Teething - he's got about 2 teeth coming through but there is 1 that is really quickly coming through. He'll definitely have at least 1 tooth for Christmas.

Shopping - I've gone a bit mad this month on buying clothes for Joey. He's growing out of everything and we've had quite a mild October/November so I've had to invest in some Autumn/Winter pieces. I absolutely love his Baby blue minky all-in-one from Asda.I also bought him an elf outfit for Christmas, yes very cheesy but he'll look super cute. Obviously, I've started the Christmas shopping and I have ordered a personalised minky blanket from Boco Baby. I can't wait for it to turn up.
My gorgeous boy
Something that I'm really excited about is that we have been approached by The Gro Company to review the new Gro Hush. After we've used the product for a few weeks I'll be posting a review. I'm so pleased that we've finally been approached to do a blog assignment hopefully it will encourage more brands out their to get in touch.

I can't wait until next month, it will be Joey's first Christmas and I'm sure there will be a lot more milestones. 

Thanks for reading :)

Lolly x 

End of maternity leave...what to do next

In February my maternity pay will stop as I will have been on maternity leave for 9 months. I originally planned to have a year off as Joey was my first baby and I had no idea what to expect.

I'm now finding myself in a bit of a pickle and for the first time in my adult life I don't really have a plan. As you may have read in one of my posts, I was working for Phones4U who in September went into administration and was subsequently made redundant like everyone else. So I don't actually have a job to go back to, I have to start from scratch again when I had already given so much in order to get that job back in August 2013.

I do and I don't want to go back to work. I want to go back to work to earn money but then I don't want to leave Joey. I suppose I should be grateful that I have a husband who works full - time and we have a property we rent out aswell. Going back full time wouldn't be an option, for starters I don't want to be a non-existant mum. When he's a bit older and in nursery then yes full time would be great but I don't want to be putting him in nursery yet and I literally only have the one family member who would look after him but they couldn't do it for anymore than a day or too. Also having to pay for childcare while I went to work part time wouldn't really work either.

There is possibly an option of going on some form of benefit which I'm a bit reluctant to do but it would only be a short term thing. I've worked since leaving school at 18, I've got a degree so it shouldn't be impossible to get a job but it may take me a while to find a job that I want to stay in to progress my career. I don't know if I want to stay in retail which I've been doing for 4 years or try and do something with my events management degree.

Either way I just want to do the best for my little boy and be able to provide for him.  If any of you have been stuck in a rut like me, what did you decide to do? Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks for reading :)

Lolly x 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Baby Brands you need to know about

Ever since I've started blogging and reading other people's blogs I've come across some amazing baby fashion brands and most of them seem to be across the pond in the U.S. I don't know why this is, I know there must be some amazing British baby brands on our small little island.

Joey's clothes are mostly from the likes of Asda or Tesco and that's just because those stores are nearby and convenient and also don't make your eyes bleed when you look at the price tag. But recently I've been coming across these cute little baby brands that are producing some great little items which don't break the bank even being shipped from the states. I'm a great believer of being a shepherd not a sheep but sometimes you just can't help in buying stuff that everyone else has. These little brands allow you to shake up your babes wardrobe and have something that not a lot of people will have.
So here are some baby brands you need to check out:

I literally have just found this brand on instagram. Some great little baby grows that are handmade and designed by hand aswell. It looks like they are creating a website at the moment to take orders but I love this little Cèlfie vest. Very similar to the designer Celine tshirts and jumpers.

Boco Baby

This is an amazing company which specialises in making personalised clothing and accessories for babies, toddlers and children. I was introduced to this brand courtesy of Hannah from First Time Mummy, her little boy Austin has a minky blanket from Boco Baby. Their products include; minky blankets, swaddles, tops, bottoms, hats, headbands and full outfits. Again, like meenieMe, Boco Baby is based in the U.S. so there is a shipping fee. As these products are personalised and handmade they aren't exactly cheap. A regular size minky blanket is about £50. I have ordered Joey a minky blanket for christmas and i can't wait to see it. Even though it is slightly pricey, i'm confident that he'll keep it forever and use it a lot. 

Simple Sawyer 

Another amazing little brand which sells handmade clothing is Simple Sawyer. Again, these are based in the U.S. and the products are mostly leggings. Now, my little chunk Joey has some chunky thighs, he is nearly 5 months but the 3-6months trousers he has are too tight for him now. So, i've started to buy him just leggings and tracksuit pants. Again, i found this brand from Hannah at First Time Mummy as little Austin is their brand rep. They have a great range of leggings and some other things. These are currently in my basket and i'll be buying them soon. 

These baby brands are great and i'm hoping to order some stuff for Joey soon. Its so important that we support small businesses like these, especially when the products are beautifully handmade. I'd love for Joey to be a brand rep for a little baby boutique and represent the amazing work they do. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, if you haven't all ready please have a look at these brands and feel free to recommend any others. 

Thanks for reading :) 

Lolly x 




The Honest Guide to After the birth

Attention all mums-to-be! This post is directed to all those soon to be mummies who are wondering what the heck happens after you have given birth. Yes, you have that small bundle of joy in your arms but have you wondered what happens to your body after birth?

I found this really helpful article The Honest Guide to After the Birth on the Bounty website. I had Joey about 22 weeks ago so i have been through everything in this article (and more) from the leaky boobies to having stitches. I sort of knew before i gave birth that all these things would happen anyway but i thought this article just gets straight to the point. 

Don't be afraid ladies, this happens to every new mum. You'd think after being uncomfortable for 9 months and going through hours of labour that we would be able to relax and get used to our new post-partum bodies. Oh no, mother nature then drops a massive bombshell and subjects us to leaky boobs, postnatal bleeding and stitches.

Stitches - I had to have stitches after Joey was born, i wasn't cut i just had a little bit of a tear but dear lord those stitches were so uncomfortable. It was agony to sit down, lie down, walk...you name it. They healed in about a week which wasn't too bad. 

Postnatal Bleeding - The postnatal bleeding started as soon as Joey was born and i had loads of maternity pads. I bled for about 6 weeks, every woman is different and can bleed for about 2 to 6 weeks. its just like having an extremely long period. There are different varietys of towels you can get but most midwives recommend the really thick ones that are padded which provide comfort if you have stitches aswell. 

Leaky boobies - I also had leaky boobies which was a nightmare, i was breast feeding so they leaked all the time. Obviously, I invested in a shed load of breast pads but i found that some brands of pads were just rubbish and just absorbed really quickly. The most annoying time they would leak is when i was getting in/out of the shower and if my boobs were really full they would squirt in different directions. I only breastfed for about 12 weeks and my boobs went back to normal really quickly. I tried loads of different breast pads but the ones i liked the most were Asda's Little Angels

There are few things that aren't in the article that i experienced and probably a few women experience. Without going in too much detail, piles were a big problem for me. I must have pushed and strained so hard to get Joey out that i was left with a few piles which when you have stitches aswell were just horrendous. One thing i used to get rid of them was a cream called AnuSol which you can get from most chemists, pretty pricey at £5.99 but it got rid of them pretty quick. 

Every woman is different and can experience so many different things both during and after pregnancy. If you  are suffering with anything at anytime during your pregnancy/after and you are not sure then please seek medical attention. I hope you've found this blog post useful. 

Thanks for reading :)



Thursday, 13 November 2014

Love Exclusive Photoshoot Experience

Back in March when I was around 30 weeks pregnant I had a photoshoot makeover at Love Exclusive in Deansgate, Manchester. I was chosen by a friend of mine who had had her own makeover done to be selected for a VIP makeover. That basically meant that the whole makeover was free and I could take a friend or partner with me, I took my sister-in-law Louise with me. The weeks leading up to the makeover I was really nervous, I was pregnant and didn't have a thing to wear. We were told to bring at least 4 outfits for the shoot co plate with shoes and accessories. Being as pregnant as I was hardly anything fitted me in the way of going out dresses, I hadn't gone out and bought any maternity dresses  and I didn't really want to just buy a few dresses to wear for an afternoon. So I took 4 dresses to squeeze into and my beloved Louboutins which go with everything. Even though my outfits weren't the best I was confident that the photographers would use their magic to make me look amazing.

But the day came and off we went to Manchester, the Love Exclusive studios are based in Deansgate, Manchester right next to the Hilton skyscraper hotel. The studios aren't too far away from Manchester City centre and there are some really nice restaurants nearby. We arrived at about 12pm and were seated in the main reception area which we also saw was used for some of the photoshoots. Before our treatments started we had to fill in a form with basic personal details but also about how you want your pictures to be retouched/photoshopped. Now, because I've suffered with acne and acne scarring for years I just asked for any spots or imperfections on my face to be removed...and maybe make the top of my arms thinner. Not long after, we were taken through to the treatment rooms for our facials. It was then time for our makeup which was the best and most important part, Louise and I sat next to each other while two makeup stylists did our make up using the best products. I was so pleased with the makeup and the hair. 

The photoshoot was really great. The photographer made me feel really comfortable which is the most important thing, the last thing you want is to have a photographer who you feel uncomfortable with but she really was amazing. Their was one main studio and each side of the room had different backdrops and props to use. The main reception was also used during the shoot which I thought was such a genius way to have more looks. I felt so comfortable the whole time and I would love love love to do it again. After the photoshoot was finished we got dressed and sat in the reception where we were given a light lunch of sandwiches, cake and a drink. We then had to wait a while until our pictures had been edited on the computer. We were then shown to a lovely little room which had an array of photographs on the walls as examples of the sort of work you could take away with you. The photo editor went through each of our pictures and we picked a few that we liked and then tried to whittle it down to just the one. It was so hard! Most of the pictures were amazing and I wanted to have all of them but that would have set me back about £500. Even though my session was free because I was nominated by a friend who had paid for their experience, there is an actual price. There are several packages/experiences on offer but the one that I had included:
  • Champagne Reception
  • Clarins Facial
  • Mini manicure and OPI nail varnishes
  • Celebrity stylist makeover experience inc 1 hair and make up change
  • Photography shoot with female photographer in state of the art studio
  • 1 image on Cd
  • Light Lunch 
This package is usually £199 which I agree is expensive and if I hadn't of had a VIP invite then I wouldn't of paid that myself, not because the whole experience wasn't great but simply because I had a baby on the way....and my hubby would have killed me. The whole day was fantastic so I'm not saying it wasn't worth the money but on top of that there are the price of any pictures you want to buy. You do get to choose 1 image to have on a disc and take home, as I was pregnant and had quite a bit of a bump I went for one of my bump pictures so that I could have a reminder of such a special time in my life.

I absolutely love this picture, I've been saying for months that I'm going to get it put on a canvas. 
I had such a good time at Love Exclusive and it was an amazing experience. If you are thinking of having a photoshoot experience and not far from Manchester then I would highly recommend but only if you can afford it or if you've been gifted it. I really wish I had the money to buy the rest of the pictures because they were lovely. If the studio still had my pictures and wanted to gift them to me that would be amazing, i would love those pictures as it was such a special time in my life being pregnant and they did such a great job.
Maybe in a few years time I may treat myself but in the meantime I'm happy with my bump picture.  

Thanks for reading :) 



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Lolly's Loves - November

Seeing as though I've got quite a bit of time on my hands these days I though I might write a post each month of the things I'm loving...and maybe hating. Things like what I'm watching, reading or listening to. So here is November's...

Loves

Watching 
I seem to be watching lots of telly lately...maybe I should get out more. I have just finished Season 2 of Orange is the New Black and i'm really sad. When I watched the first episode I didn't really know what to think but it's quite exciting. If you haven't watched OITNB then the plot basically revolves around main character Piper Chapman who is in prison for a crime she committed 10 years ago with her girlfriend. The show also features the lives of several of the other inmates who's crimes include murder and fraud. The series is only available on Netflix, if you haven't used Netflix before then you can sign up for a free months trial. There are quite a few other things I'm loving watching at the moment Seven Days with... Is a brand new reality series on itvBe which spends 7 days with some of the UKs celebrity couples. I love watching anything that shows a glimpse into how the other half live. I've also started watching The Missing on BBC1 about a little boy who gets abducted in France, really gripping stuff. Finally, my all time favourite show Gogglebox, it's so funny and I've been watching since the very first episode.


Reading 
I don't get to read much these days...I can't read AND feed Joey at the same time. I do love reading though and once I get into a good book I can finish it within a day. My latest book at the moment is What a Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk. Lindsey is the author of the amazing bestselling 'I Heart....' series and What a Girl Wants is the second book to follow on from About a Girl which follows Tess on from stealing her flatmates job AND identity. I haven't even got halfway through it and I love it. If you haven't read any of Lindsey's books then you need to!


Shopping 
We're only a couple of weeks away from Christmas and I'm starting to think of Christmas shopping and I think I'm pretty organised this year. So one of Joey's Christmas presents was ordered the other day...a personalised minky blanket from Boco Baby. It's coming all the way from the U.S. And I can't wait. I've also bought an Alphabet scarf from Matalan to raise money for Alder Hay hospital. My local Matalan had completely sold out so I've ordered mine online, get yours while you can and to raise money for a great charity.


That's it for Novembers Loves...Thanks for reading :)