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 :) 


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Joey's AW14 Essentials

We're in November now and even though the weather has been quite mild I seem to be wrapping Joey up more when we go out now. He will be 5 months old in a few weeks time so I thought I would share some of his AW14 essentials with you all. 

1) Faux Fur Snowsuit - £12
This is a must have in any baby's wardrobe. An all in one that's all snuggly warm. Joey's is £12 from George at Asda which is a great price. It also comes with detachable mittens
2) Fleece Trapper Hood and Gloves Set - £4
Another great essential from George at Asda. A lovely and soft hat that covers babies ears with a lovely matching pair of gloves. One thing I will say about the gloves is that they are very tight, there is no give in the elastic at all.
3) Long sleeve shirts
Another must have in any baby's wardrobe. Joey has quite a lot of long sleeves now that it's getting colder and you can pair them with anything whether it's jeans or tracksuit bottoms. 

You will notice that most of Joey's clothes are from Asda, they do have a great range of baby and children's clothes. I especially love the Disney stuff they do. The only reason I buy all of his stuff from Asda is purely because it's really the only place in my town that does baby clothes at a decent price. We do have Tesco, they do great clothes too but I've found that Asda offer more for your money. And not only that it's just handy to pop in when I need anything. Our nearest Mothercare is 30mins away and I haven't been since Joey arrived. 

When your dressing your little one to go out in the winter layering is very important. I usually put Joey in a vest, t-shirts and trousers. Now, depending on how cold it is I'll just put him in his normal coat or his all in one coat. I always have a hat and a pair of mittens in his changing bag. 

I hope youve found this post helpful. Ill finish with a picture of Joey's favourite winter get up at the moment, his Me To You all-in-one. How cute does he look!

Thanks for reading :) 


Check out my Tots 100 Blogger Badge!

TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100


This morning I signed up to TOTS100 and here's my blogger badge. I don't think it's in the right place but I'll figure it out in a bit :)

I was doing a bit of blogging research and i came across the TOTS100 website, and after a bit of reading looks like a wonderful community for all those mummy and daddy bloggers out their. In a nutshell it's just full of bloggers and TOTS100 will share your blog with other bloggers and will aim to increase your readership among other things. 

So if you haven't already go and have a look at their website http://www.tots100.co.uk or just click on the blogger badge on this post or my main page. 

Thanks for reading :)





Saturday, 8 November 2014

Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew

As you all know from my previous posts, Joey has started teething. He's cutting 2 teeth but there's one that is shooting through. I've got every baby teething essential and ive just added something to his collection...

Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew
Quite a genius idea really, a dribble bib AND a teether in one! GENIUS! And the bib is reversible so you have 2 designs on both sides.

Cheeky Chompers was created by two 'mumtrepreneurs' (love that word) Amy & Julie. They even took the product onto BBC show Dragons Den. Aswell as neckerchews there are also Comfortchews (next on my list).  

Price - cheeky chomper products range from £9.99 for a basic neckerchew to £27.99 for the bib and comforter pack.  Joey's bib was £11.99 from Cheeky Chompers ebay site. 

Design - I went for the Luck Stars design for Joey and as you can see one side has stars on and then the reverse is dark blue. The material of the neckerchew feels slightly thicker than any other dribble bib which means it's quite good at absorbing all of that baby dribble. 

I absolutely love this neckerchew, Joey couldn't go without it now. So if your a mummy..or a daddy that are forever misplacing your babbas teether and dribble bib then this is a great product for you. Soon I'm hoping to get Joey the comfort chew as he's forever grabbing his blanket or comforter and putting them in his mouth. 

You can find the full collection at www.cheekychompers.com



Thanks for reading :) 


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Miracle Babies

Did anyone see Miracle Babies  on Tuesday night? If you haven't, but plan to then make sure you some tissues.

Tuesday on Channel 5 a series started called Miracle Babies which over the next 4 weeks takes an in depth look at several families who's baby's are being treated on the neo-natal unit at Liverpool Women's hospital.

I don't even know where to start. Nobody likes to see children in pain but this programme really puts into perspective your own life and just makes you so thank full that your own child is well. I really couldn't imagine what these parents were going through.
As Tuesday was the programmes first episode it mainly featured on a baby called Ethan who was only an hour old after being taken to the neo-natal unit at Liverpool Women's. Now, I don't know Ethan or his parents personally but I do know Ethans godmother and i remember the posts on Facebook about Ethans mum being induced etc. This was sometime in May and I was weeks away from having Joey so I was really quite interested to see how everything went. I knew that Ethan wasn't very well but until Tuesday I didn't realise how touch and go it really was. If you've watched the programme then you'll know that Ethan makes a full recovery after being in hospital for a while and I see pictures of him on Facebook and he seems like the happiest baby ever.
Not only does it put into perspective our own lives but it also made me so proud of the NHS and especially the children units. They work so hard to make our children well and they don't get enough credit for what they do. I'm sure the parents of any child who has been treated in high dependency units are forever grateful.

So if you haven't already, go and watch Miracle Babies...have some tissues to hand.

Thanks for reading


Monday, 3 November 2014

Joey sleeps in his own room - Week 1

On Sunday night I posted about it being Joey's first night in his own room and in his cotbed.   I thought I would share his first week with you...

When I first put him in bed on Sunday night he made me laugh so much, he kept lifting his legs up and then throwing them down onto the bed and he like properly made the bed shake. But because he had his sleeping bag on he sort of looked like a mermaid flapping about. Me and the hubby were in fits of laughter.
So, shortly after my blog post was published on Sunday at about 10pm Joey woke up screaming. I was reluctant to pick him up but his dummy wouldn't even stop him crying. I picked him up and took him into my abed and patted his back until he fell asleep. I tried him again in his room with his tranquil turtle and he fell back to sleep. He was absolutely amazing during the rest of the night, it was me who was a nightmare! I just couldn't get to sleep, worrying about him being on his own and scared that the baby monitor would just stop working. I was so tired but didn't want to go to sleep. I ended up drifting off and then waking up and going to check on him. I even had a dream that I actually thought was real...I dreamt that Joey walked into our bedroom saying he couldn't sleep. He's 4 months old...I thought I was going mad!
I had to get up a few times in the early hours of the morning because his dummy kept falling out and he kept huffing and puffing. But he didn't properly wake up until after 7am. Which for him is brilliant! He usually has me up at 5.30.

Monday Night: 
Joey was surprisingly calm on Monday night, no crying or anything. I took him up to bed at 7.30pm got him changed and gave him a bottle. He didn't actually fall asleep until 8.30/9pm. He had a better nights sleep and I was a lot calmer. I still got up a few times during the night to check on him. He woke up a bit before 7am but at least it's not 5.30am like it was before. 

Tuesday Night: 
Tonight was a bit of a fail. I tried to put Joey in his own room, he fell asleep watching the soaps on my bed. I picked him up and he didn't wake up until I out him in his own cot. He just didn't settle and all and he ended up back in our room Inn his moses basket. I doubt he'll be in his own room tomorrow... it's bonfire night and already people letting off fireworks near us. 

Wednesday night:
Bonfire night - the night that all parents, babies and pets hate. Because of the fireworks I put him in our room. The fireworks kept him awake

Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: Still in our room. Fireworks still being let off and their even worse than bonfire night. 

So all in all. These week has been an epic fail. I really need to just get him in his own room though. He's getting too big for his moses basket. If you have tips to get him to sleep in his own room please let me know. 

Thanks for reading :) 

Lolly x 

Joey's teething journey

Not long ago I mentioned that Joey has started teething...Poor bugger :( He is forever sticking his fist into his mouth and drooling everywhere...oh and crying his eyes out at night. 
Well he did just have the 1 tooth appearing but now there's 2! The first one I noticed seems to have slowed down a bit and the 2nd one I noticed is shooting through...
Excuse the really bad picture. You can sort of see the white coming through on his top gum. 

So it seems that the teething pain really gets to him at night at around 6pm, it doesn't really bother him during the day just at night. 

Joey's Teething Essentials:
Dentinox teething gel - I apply this to his gums throughout the day and let him nibble my finger a little bit. 
Ashton & Parsons Infant Powders - these are pretty expensive at £5.99 for 20 sachets and from what I hear they are like gold dust to get hold of. He's only been taking it for 2 days so we'll see whether it's worth the money. 
Calpol - no medicine cabinet should be without this. I only give him the standard 2.5ml dose at night time and it seems to take the pain away enough for him to sleep. 
Teething rings - standard teething rings you just pop in the fridge. These can be a bit of a hit or miss, sometimes he just won't graphics them or they won't fit in his mouth properly. 
Tommee Tippee Teething guards - these are sort of like gumshields but with the rubber in the shape of their gums. I've tried these with him once and he just started to gag with them but ill try again. 

As.of yet he hasn't been put off his milk or anything which is good. I just hate seeing him in so much pain :( 

Feel free to offer any other teething advice. 

Thanks for reading :) 


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Joey's first night in his own room

Ok so, it's like 10pm on Sunday evening and i'm so tired but don't actually want to sleep. Why you might ask??? It's Joey's first night sleeping in his cotbed in his own room.
As much as this is a pretty big milestone, I am quite terrified! He's been asleep for over an hour and every little sound I hear I tiptoe into his room to check everything is ok. I know that some people may think it's wrong that at 19 weeks he's in his own room but the little chunk has literally outgrown his moses basket. I'm so scared that I'm not going to hear him while I'm asleep, he is only in the next adjoining room and I have the Baby monitor but I am just really anxious.

So far he has settled in quite well but he is teething at the moment so I wonder whether he'll wake up in the early hours crying.

How did your little one settle into their own room? 

Thanks for reading :)