Friday, 30 January 2015

Weekend Baby Style #4

This week has been very busy at Lolly HQ, the hubby has been off work for a week so we've been decorating. We haven't exactly been out with Joey apart from taking him to his nan's so his style choices have been rather low key. We've also had some heavy snow so another reason why we haven't been out much.

So here's Joey's WBS...

Top: H&M long sleeved bodysuit

Another quite laid back outfit today but with an ounce of style. Lets start from the top, Joeys neckerchew from Cheeky Chompers is a dribble bib and teether all in one. I wrote a review about it here. I went for the Twinkle Twinkle design which is baby blue with stars on on one side and then a plain design on the reverse. Joeys top isn't actually a top, its a bodysuit from H&M. I ordered a bunch of basics last week from H&M which I blogged about here so that he could wear a plain top with his patterned leggings. So, I've already gushed about how brill the Fred & Noah leggings are but don't they just make an outfit pop? I love them. They have some great designs for both boys and girls and they look really comfy. While theirs still lots of snow on the ground I think comfy outfits are a must, I'm currently writing this post while wearing my onesie. 

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Thanks for tuning in for this weeks WBS

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Blog Makeover

As you can all see, the blog is looking all sparkly and new. At the end of 2014 I decided that once the new year came I was seriously going to look into getting the blog designed whether it was premade or custom. Since I started blogging I've tried to tweek the design myself but it never gave me that professional look I was after and if I want to be taken seriously in the blogging business I knew I needed to "go hard...or go home". 

So last week while browsing Twitter I came across Sarah at Trisarahtops Smile who is a blog designer. I had a look at her portfolio online and was really impressed with her work, so decided to get intouch with her. Sarah was really quick at getting back to me to explain the procedure, everything sounded very straightforward which is exactly what I wanted. I'm really not a creative person, but I had an idea of what I wanted my blog to look like. 

After getting intouch 5 days ago, the blog design has been finished and installed and I couldn't be any happier, I'm so pleased. For a full custom blog design Sarah charges only £20, which I think is very reasonable. If you're looking for a new look for your blog get intouch with Sarah for the best possible service. Also, in addition to the makeover The Life & Loves of Lolly now has its very own facebook page for you to keep up to date with everything that happens at Lolly HQ. 

I hope you all enjoy the new look :)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Joey's clothing haul - it's all about the basics

Last week I ordered Joey some clothes from H&M, this is the first time I've shopped at H&M for Joey and I must admit they have some great stuff.

I was only really shopping for basic stuff, plain tops, generally stuff he can wear with  his Fred & Noah leggings. I ordered 6 or 7 items and everything was reasonably priced, at the moment H&M are doing a 3 for 2 offer on baby basics which is great. Joey's clothing haul included...
- Grey hoodie
- Hi-hi! jumper and legging set
- White long sleeve t-shirt
- White long sleeve bodysuit
- Grey long sleeve bodysuit
- Black & White stripe long sleeve bodysuit

I bought everything in the 6-9month sizes, the 2 piece set has plenty of room so will last a while. Joey hasn't worn the rest of the stuff yet. If I'm honest I've never been a fan of H&M but I'm really impressed with the baby collection. I'll definitely be ordering more stuff from them. 

If you haven't shopped for your bambino at H&M already go and check it out.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Joey's 7 months old

Joey is now 7 months that last month has flown by. There have been so many little changes in him it's unbelievable, he doesn't feel like a babba anymore.

Yesterday we took Joey for his monthly health check up and he weighs 20lb 5oz, which means he's only put on 5oz since his last weigh in a month ago. I suppose 5oz is better than nothing but their isn't really any explanation as to why he hasn't put on any weight. He's still as happy as ever, he hasn't been ill and he's been on 3 meals of solids for a month (aswell as his milk). It has worried me quite a bit, he may seem fine but their might be something wrong that we can't see. Joey is due to see a specialist at the beginning of February about his chest, but his chest seems to have gotten a lot better over the past month or so. 

Their haven't been many of these recently :( I'm starting to worry that he isn't starting to crawl yet and he can't pull himself up yet either. He always has plenty of tummy time, he's always liked it and never bothered him, he can push him self up with his arms but then he gets a bit tired and buries his head into the floor. He has started to move about in his walker though, he can move backwards. Joey is a proper chatterbox, he constantly keeps saying mama and baba. 

Joey's night time sleep routine is driving me insane! He's always been so good at sleeping through the night. He may wake up during the night screaming if his gums are causing him pain. But recently he's started waking up at 5am every morning and no matter how many times I put his dummy back in he just won't go back to sleep on his own. So I started getting him in bed with us and he'd go back to sleep no problem and have at least an hour or two. I suppose I should be lucky that he isn't waking up in the very early hours, I just hope this little phase ends soon. During the day however, he seems to not need that much sleep anymore. He usually has 2 or 3 naps for about 30 minutes. 

Joey's weaning has been a great success, he loves everything I give him. He is well and truly on 3 meals a day and has 4 x 6oz bottles a day but has a sneaky 4oz before bed. He just won't go to sleep unless he has that last bottle in bed, sometimes he has gone without that bedtime bottle when he's been completely knackered. To top it off, my Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine broke so I've had to send it off and now just relying on the good old fashioned kettle. 

Well Joey is well and truly in the 6-9 months section, apart from in sleepsuits he still fits in his 3-6months, the 6-9months are way too long for him. I have found recently that the 6-9month vests that I've bought him are really tight, it won't be long until I have go up a size. As far as Joey's wardrobe goes I've tried to be a bit different and explore different designs and colours.

Joey Loves...
- Bath time: he's recently mastered the art of splashing in the bath, he's always loved his baths from when he was born.
- Tickle time: I've found out that Joey is ticklish. The back of his thighs and on his sides just make him giggle his head off. It's the cutest thing.
- making mummy do squats: this is getting increasingly harder to do the heavier he gets but I hold him in my arms and then bend down as if I'm doing squats. I make silly noises which makes his giggle and shriek.

what we love...
- Your smile is just amazing and melts my heart.
- How happy you always are, when ever we take you anywhere we always get lovely comments about how well behaved you are.
- your laugh is so cute
- your blonde locks, you've finally sprouted some hair. It was really thick and dark when you were born but it then disappeared and now it's looking very promising.

Each month that passes is simply amazing and we're all enjoying watching you grow up.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Weekend Baby Style #3

So this is Joey's 3rd week being involved in the #weekendbabystyle linky. I think he's enjoying it...

However I must apologise for today's rather mismatched outfit. 

Joey's new Fred & Noah leggings turned up this morning and I couldn't wait to put them on him, but I sort of forgot that Joey has no plain tops or jumpers at all. All of his tops have either a picture on or are striped, he just has no basic clothes. This is totally my fault but in my defence I did order loads of basic baby stuff last week from H&M and i'm still waiting for them to be delivered. So please don't judge Joey too much.

Top - George at Asda
Leggings - Fred & Noah

Joey's top was the best thing I could find that would go ok with the leggings. When you have a piece of statement clothing that has a vibrant colour or pattern then it's best to then match with something that is plain and just one block colour. Ideally I would have paired the leggings with a black or white top.   The Fred & Noah leggings are just lovely. These are Joey's 2nd pair of F&N leggings, I went for this particular kangaroo design because baby kangaroos are called Joeys'. Fred & Noah make some lovely handmade leggings and sell over on their Etsy page. Please go take a look at their amazing range. 

So overall, this weekend's style has gone out of the window. Hopefully next week will be a lot better.

Don't forget to add your baby's #weekendbabystyle to the linky.

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Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Becoming a mum, without a mum

When I first started blogging, I wrote a really personal post about my life but then deleted it, my life has been way too depressing to feature on my lovely blog. But I feel that in order to make this blog completely personal I should explain my background, and maybe even help people who have been in the same situation as myself.

In May 1992 my mum and dad welcomed me into the world. Over the next few years to follow I presume I lived a normal childhood, my photo album shows me enjoying life on holiday with my mum and dad...and sometimes my gran.

In November 1997 my life changed forever when my mum passed away from breast cancer. I was only 5 at the time and an only child. I remember my mum being ill, we used to go and visit her in the hospital. But most memorable was the moment my dad and my mum's best friend broke the news to me. I also remember her funeral like it was yesterday. My dad was completely devastated as would any husband be and I don't think he ever really came to terms with her death. The years that followed were terrible, I was a young child being brought up by a single father who didn't really know how to bring up a girl. My dad very quickly turned to alcohol to escape his loneliness. Three years after mum died when I was 8 years old my dad made the decision to put me in an all girls boarding school 200 miles away from home and from whatever family I had left.

Then, during the summer holidays of 2007 while I was round at a friends house, I was given the news by police that my dad had passed away by a suspected heart attack. He went on a walk on his own and apparently just collapsed. I was 15 years old and due to go back to school to start my GCSES. I was now an orphan.

So needless to say, I have been dealt with a rubbish set of cards but my situation has never held me back. I've just got on with life. I don't like it when people take pity on me. Sure, times have been hard and there was a time when I would cry myself to sleep every night. But I'm sure if I hadn't of gone through all of that, then I wouldn't be the person I am today. But now I'm a mum to a beautiful little boy, my family is complete...but it's not at the same time. I miss my mum so much, now more than ever. I've gone through my childhood, teens etc without her and now I'm facing the biggest challenge ever of being a new mum without her by my side.

I know that their are plenty of people out their who have lost 1 or both parents, it isn't just me and we all miss them being by our side. I would have loved to have had my mum with me during my pregnancy and birth, that one woman who you can confide in no matter what. Since Joey was born, people tell me that I've taken to being a mum like a duck to water, which is probably true, but it still doesn't fill that void that something is missing. I have a great mother-in-law, I've know her most of my life but it's different.

If any of you have lost their mum or maybe you really just don't talk to her, don't worry things are going to be fine. We're not helpless and should focus on making our mums proud by being the best mum we can be to our children. On the other side, if your someone who still has your family intact, don't ever take them for granted. I don't think I would have got through all of that sadness if it wasn't for my close friends and family, especially my hubby. He really gets me and understands the pain I've been through.

I know this is a really deep blog post but hopefully all of the sad times are now in the past and I can concentrate on being a mummy and a wife. Thanks to every single one of you who take the time to read my posts, it makes me so happy.

Until next time...

Friday, 16 January 2015

Joey's Weekend Baby Style

This week the weather hasn't been too great so we've stayed in and had lots of playtime and cuddles.

Joey has some really cute outfits and i always like to see him well dressed. So I've picked out Joey's favourite outfits from this week...


For Christmas Joey was gifted an outfit from my godmother. It is a 3 item set so you get the Happy Chappy top, navy joggers and moustache dribble bib. I believe it is from Matalan, it suits him so much because he is a " Happy Chappy".


Again, not great weather today it's been raining, hailing and snowing so another lazy day indoors. So I put Joey in a lovely wintery 2 piece set from George at Asda "Big bear hugs are the best". The little bears on the top are nice and fluffy and comes with dark grey joggers.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing Joey's weekend baby style. I'm excited to see everyone else's.

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Thanks for reading 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Mr Nutcase Phone Case

You all must know by now how much I love personalised products. So when I was given the opportunity to create my own phone case I jumped at the chance.

The website is called Mr Nutcase and they sell phone cases that are either pre designed or you can design them yourself. They also sell mac book covers. I designed the personalised phone case my self using a collage of my favourite pictures, mostly pictures of Joey. Their are 3 phone case options to choose from; executive flip leather style,  ultra lightweight slimline and Premium full wraparound. I went for the slimline case for my Samsung Galaxy S5. The design process is very easy, if you opt for a picture collage case then you simply upload your pictures from your computer, Facebook or Instagram. There are several collage designs to choose from, background colours and text.

I ordered the case on Monday and I've just received it today. Great delivery, so fast. The case is made out of clear acrylic and is very light. Everything seems to fit really well. I'm really impressed.The case cost £14.95 with free delivery which I think is great. Usually for personalised items like this you usually find that you pay £20+.
I've got a surprise for all of my lovely readers get 10% off a case from Mr Nutcase by using discount code: “Thanku10”

Thanks for reading

* This product was sent to me free of charge in order to review. All opinions are my own.

Goals for 2015

January...the month when most people set themselves new years resolutions that nobody sticks to. I don't believe in making resolutions, I do however have a set of goals for 2015.
  • Lose my mummy tummy - Joey you know I love you but you have left mummy with a jelly belly. So before the summer I'm hoping to slim down and get rid of this tummy. At just over 5ft, I'm very petite and I have skinny legs so this belly just does not suit my frame whatsoever. I'm not planning to go on any crazy diet, just eating sensibly and cutting out all the crap. Going to the gym isn't an option at the moment so i'll be relying on my workout dvds and just trying to move more. 
  • Spending more time with hubby - since having Joey most of my attention quite rightly has been on Joey but it's still important to have time alone with your other half. I think we've both felt quite neglected by each other over the past few months so we're going to start doing date nights.
  • Me time - because most of my time is spent looking after Joey I seem to have neglected myself quite a bit. Pre baby I would be at the hairdressers regularly, hd brows done, nails, shopping etc. Maybe I was too high maintenance but I loved to take pride in my appearance. So this year I am going to pay more attention to myself and treat myself now again to the hairdressers or having my brows done. 
It's never a good idea to set goals that are unachievable, that being said isn't anything achievable????

Have you set yourself a resolution or goals for 2015? I'd love to know your views on this.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Weekend Baby Style

I absolutely love buying Joey clothes and showing them off to all you lovely people in order to recommend some great brands out their. Recently, Hannah over at First Time Mummy has started a weekend baby style linky which I've been wanting to join.

I'm trying to be a bit more experimental with his wardrobe and venture further than the likes of Asda. Last week I ordered a pair of fabulous Fred & Noah anchor leggings and they arrived this morning which gave me a perfect excuse to start doing a BOTD when I can. So this is Joey's favourite outfit this weekend...

Cardigan: Ralph Lauren kids
Leggings: Fred & Noah 

Joey did have a top underneath but it was only a plain one. The Ralph Lauren cardigan was a gift from one of my closest friends from school when Joey was born. I've been itching to get him in it, I thought the outfit looked quite nautical. The leggings as mentioned above are from Fred & Noah, they hand make all of their childrenswear and have some great designs. I'm hoping to buy him some more Fred & Noah stuff soon. 

If your bambino has a favourite outfit of the week then head over to the linky.

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Thanks for reading


Friday, 9 January 2015

Get your marks, set....Weaning

We're well in to Joey's Weaning Journey and he is a little champ.

Since our last weaning update we were told by the health visitor that I needed to reduce his bottles and start him on 3 meals a day. Typically in one day Joey can have 6 to 7 6oz bottles. It has been suggested that once at 6months and weaning that baby's should be having between 500ml/ 600ml (about a pint) a day.
With that in mind, I was so confused as to what I actually needed to reduce...The amount of bottles he has or the ounce of milk per bottle. I've managed to knock out 1 bottle so far so he's on about 5 bottles a day now. His routine has only changed slightly to introduce his 3 meals a day.

In terms of food Joey seems to like everything.
Breakfast: Oat & Banana Multi grain or porridge
Lunch: Heinz Cheesy Veg pasta or tea leftovers
Tea: Spaghetti Bol, fish pie, roast pork, beef stew

At the moment I am still relying on pre made packets or jars for his meals. Once I'm pretty confident of his tastes and what he likes then I will start making food myself, blending it up and storing in the freezer. The pre made sachets are great but they are expensive, some are more than £1 which is understandable because of the great ingredients.

So far he has had a lot of combination. He's had meats, pasta and veg. One of the things that is most important is to make sure that at this stage that baby is getting plenty of iron. The iron that baby would have got from being in mums tummy will now have been used up. So finding those foods that are high in iron is so important.

Another tip is to invest in some little pots to freeze/store baby food. If I buy a big jar of baby food, once opened has to be used in either 24/48 hours. To minimise waste I separate the jar into small pots that I can then pop into the freezer and then just defrost a couple of hours before lunch or tea.
Hopefully sometime this month I will be investing in a blender of some kind so that I can make my own food. I haven't a clue what I'm looking for...maybe a hand blender??? I need some help or advice so if you know a great hand blender or other equipment used for weaning I'd love to know.

Thanks for reading :)
L x

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Lolly's Loves - January

Christmas is done and dusted for another year and now it's 2015. A new month of a new year means more Lolly's Loves...


Silent Witness - I absolutely love Silent Witness and it's back for a new series. I was hooked by the last series...anything that has crime scene investigation in it really.
Celebrity Big Brother - January always means the start of a new series of CBB. Last series was the first ever series that  I'd watched all the way through. As long as their are no Gary Bussey's this year I'm sure I'll enjoy it.
Stars in their Eyes - this has always been my all time favourite show.  I'm so happy it's back but this time with Harry Hill presenting who I also love.
Taken and Taken 2 - Last week I watched for the first time the film Taken which stars Liam Neeson. I've seen it advertised quite a lot recently so I'd thought I'd find out what all the fuss is about. The first installment is amazing and completely grips you. I watched the second straight after and it was good but not as great as the first which is what you usually get with film trilogy's. Taken 3 has just come out in cinema so I'm looking forward to seeing that soon. 
Netflix - Seeing asthough I'm spending so much time at home I thought I'd subscribe to it. Netflix is a great thing and their are so many films and tv shows to get your teeth into but I wish they would put some more new movies on. 


Soap & Glory - for Christmas I got 2 Soap & Glory sets. One of the sets I had to buy myself before Christmas because its a limited edition and sells out really quick. Chris then got me a set for £10 which had all the 50ml products in. So at the moment I'm loving using all of the amazing smelly products that leave my skin feeling soft.
Typography of Love - as you all may know I'm a big fan of personalised products. Back in September I bought Joey an amazing TOL canvas for his room, I then bought the Mother-in-law a TOL mug for Christmas which she loves. So when Toxicfox announced an amazing offer for £20 off TOL frames, I had to get one! So I bought one frame...and then another. I can't wait to get them and put them up in the front room.
Fred & Noah - a business that handmakes some gorgeous childrenswear and accessories. I've ordered Joey some little leggings with anchors on. I've been wanting to buy some stuff from them for ages. They are so brilliant that they are going to make Joey's leggings with plenty of room for his chunky thighs.
Mamas & Papas Baby Bud - for Christmas I was going to get Joey a M&P booster seat, something that he can sit on  on the floor and take out if we need to. It arrived the other day and I'm looking forward to Joey using it. 

These days my time is mostly spent looking after Joey but when he lets me have a few minutes to myself I always find myself watching the television or a movie. I'm also finding that i'm doing a lot more online shopping, especially things for Joey. There are some great online brands that I buy from on a regular basis and I love to share them with all of you lovely readers. I love to share everything with all of you, I hope you have enjoyed this months Lolly's Loves. 

Thanks for reading 

L x

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Joey's 1st Christmas

I hope you all have had a great Christmas... I know that a lot of you are probably having your 1st Christmas with a new baby just like me.

This time last year we were saying "This time next year it will be baby's first christmas". December has been a lovely and magical month, getting ready for Christmas. Joey is only 6months old so I know he doesn't understand or know what's going on but for me and Mr V it's just been such a memorable time.
We didn't go mad with presents this year, Joey got things that he needed and got spoiled by his nan and Auntie. I've already written a post about Christmas a while ago about my hopes for this Christmas and future Christmas's but this year was so important to start those family Christmas traditions. So on Christmas eve Joey was allowed to open one present which was his new big boy pyjamas.

I put Joey to bed as usual and he didn't wake up until about 8 am on Christmas morning...I happened to be awake at about 5 am. I couldn't wait to see Joey opening his presents. He loves the sound of rustling paper but he was more interested in eating the wrapping paper.

I got more or less everything that was on his Christmas list....
- Boco Baby minky blanket
This was Joey's main Christmas present, I'd seen quite a few of these blankets on instagram and i love anything personalised. Boco Baby is a business created by mumpreneur Chandler Sykes which creates some lovely personalised baby items such as blankets, trousers, headbands and hats designed using your child's name. Chandler says "Parents spend 9 months coming up with the perfect name, why wouldn’t they want to announce it to the the world with style!" So I ordered a regular minky blanket in slate with navy minky material. Their are loads of different designs, colours and fonts to choose from which enables you to have a completely bespoke item. I absolutely love Joey's blanket and it is something he can keep forever.
- My 1st Years personalised booties
Another brand that I'd found online is My 1st Years which specialise in personalised baby products. As a self confessed Ugg addict, a girl can never have too many pairs and even though Joey is a boy I think these booties are so cute. On the back of the booties you can add personalisation such as a name, Joey has Joseph on the back of them. They are so soft and come in a variety of colours and are sent in a lovely blue keepsake box.
- Sounds 'N' Tunes Crib Piano
Joey's godfather got him this from Smyths which was nice of him. Joey absolutely loves it and it gets his legs moving. It has 3 different sound modes so it keeps him entertained.
- Leapfrog MyPal Scout
I was going to get him a Mickey Mouse Talking teddy but I saw this in Smyths for £12.99 and it does a lot more than what Mickey promised to do. Scout teaches colours, animals, songs etc and you can programme it to say your child's name and favourite things. Joey has played with it quite a lot and he really likes it.
- Baby Mickey Activity Ball
The first time Joey got his hands on this it made him laugh uncontrollably. You have to either whack or drop the ball for it make a noise. At £5 I thought it was a great little toy.
- Sophie La Giraffe Teether
I'd wanted to get him one of these for ages but could never decide which one to go for as their are a few varieties to choose from.
I really wanted to get him a Mamas & Papas Baby Bud seat but I decided to wait until after Christmas to see if their were any offers on, I ordered it the other day so hopefully next week we'll get it.
After round 1 of the present opening was done it was time for us to get ready and go to the mother-in-laws for Round 2 and our Christmas dinner. We all got rather spoilt, but Joey had the most gifts.  Then it was time for Christmas dinner, cooked by the mother-in-law which was amazing as always. Joey even had his very own Christmas dinner thanks to Ella's Kitchen and in his new high chair.

We all had such a great day but by 5pm we were all shattered. Joey's gums were hurting so myself and Mr V took him home. Because it had been such a long day I knew Joey would be asleep for 6pm and then have me up so early the next morning so I was asleep for 7.30pm. Even though Joey didn't have a clue what was going on it was still such a memorable day. I took lots of pictures of him not just on Christmas day but throughout December. I will also be keeping most of this year's christmas cards and putting them in his memory box.

I'd love to know how you all enjoyed your Christmas with new babies.

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas's and had a fab new year.

Thanks for reading
L x