Friday, 28 August 2015

Weekend Mini Style #22

After last week's #WMS Joey's very first Zara delivery arrived! Zara Kids have recently released their Autumn/Winter collection and they have some amazing stuff.

Outfit 1
Bib: F+F|Top: Peacocks|Leggings: Zara Kids 
I had a look in peacocks last week and I came across a pack of 3 long sleeved shirts in autumnal colours for £6. I also picked up a pack of socks that also came in a pack of 3. The Zara leggings were only £6.99 and being the first time I'd ordered anything from Zara I am VERY impressed. The leggings have a mountain pattern and are perfect for winter. They are super soft and even though they are 12-18months they have plenty of room in them to last.

Outfit 2 
Shirt & Shorts: George at Asda|Top: Matalan|Shoes: Asda
Today Joey and I went to the baby clinic to get him weighed. It was lovely outside so I chose this denim shirts and shorts combo. The denim shirt and shorts came together, he's worn the shorts a few times but this is the first time he's worn the denim shirt. He looks super cool! And Mummy wore her denim jacket aswell so we were twinning a little bit. Under the denim shirt is a plain white top from Matalan, this came in a pack of 3 and actually has a embroidered football logo on it. After lunch I had to change Joey's Shorts as he'd got lunch all over them so I just threw on his Fred & Noah elephant leggings and I think they go really well.

With the summer weather soon coming to an end I'm trying to make the most out of his summer clothes. As you may have seen on instagram,I've started to buy stuff for Joey's Autumn/Winter wardrobe which I can't wait to be featured in future style posts! Don't forget to link up with Trendy Tot Thursday and Weekend Mini Style.


The Knott Bump & Us
A Slice of My Life Wales
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Toddler meal ideas

Joey is 14 months old now and he's basically fully weaned, he loves his food which I'm so pleased with. 5 years ago I could even cook pasta and now I'm able to make stuff that a child can eat.

I've been making meals for Joey for a while now but sometimes I've relied on the jars of baby food aswell but we haven't bought any jars for ages and I don't think we'll be buying them again. I know I'm not the best cook in the world, I can knock together a good meal but I still lack confidence when it comes to making meals for Joey. He pretty much eats anything I give him but foods like bread are a bit hit and miss as he sticks so much in his mouth that he can't swallow and then I have to fish it out. During lunch and dinner time he mainly feeds himself apart from his tea time meal, I'll spoon feed him and then he feeds himself the fruit and veg. Here's an idea of what Joey likes to eat...

Breakfast

Porridge and fruit - the mornings are super busy so the Porridge is just a quick option really.

Lunch

Joey's lunchtime meals usually consist of toast or sandwiches, Fruit, vegetables, ham, cheese and a yogurt. Things can change depending what we have in but i like to try and get atleast 2 of his 5 a day in this meal.

Dinner

Spag Bol 
Spaghetti Bolognese is a popular dish in our household. Chris hates mushrooms so I always try and add some form of vegetable into the dish usually carrots or peas.

Fish pie
Very early on in Joey's weaning journey I gave him an Ella's Kitchen fish pie pouch and he hated it. I absolutely love fish, my favourite is salmon so I've been really keen to get Joey to like fish.

Salmon & Broccoli Pasta
This was a recepie from Annabel Karmel's Baby and Toddler Meal Planner. I absolutely love salmon and a big fan of creamy pasta dishes. Joey absolutely loves this!

Spanish Omelette 
Another recepie from the Annabel Karmel meal planner. It was the first time I'd made it and the first time Joey had had egg and he loved it. Their are lots of different Ingredients you can swap and change so it's different every time.

Roast chicken
No Sunday can be without a traditional roast dinner. We love roast chicken and recently we have been getting a whole roast in the bag chicken from Aldi for £3.89 and there's loads of meat on it. Joey loves his veg so happily tucks into broccoli and carrots we usually have with it.

Usually Joey will have whatever we're having for dinner unless we're having something that isn't particularly healthy. I've found Annabell Karmel's Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner book really helpful for this stage of weaning, the recepies are ideal for the whole family aswell.

What do your toddlers enjoy eating? Feel free to share any meal ideas or recepies.


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Joey's Pixifoto experience


Last Friday I took Joey to Mothercare Warrington for a Pixifoto sitting. The shoot was for their annual competition to find the 'Face of Pixifoto', we paid £4.99 for a half price photography sitting and for that you get a photography shoot and a complimentary 12x10 print and then the option of buying additional photos or packages.

Pixifoto was established in 1971 and are a professional photography company who specialise in baby, child and family portraits. They operate from a number of stores such as Boots, Mothercare, M&Co, Matalan, Superdrug, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Debenhams, Toys R Us and the Co-op as well as other independent stores. Pixifoto have pop-up studios, along with their permanent locations nationwide.

Our sitting was for 2.30pm inside Mothercare Warrington, when we booked the shoot the Pixifoto colleague that we spoke to told us to bring 2 or 3 different outfits and anything that is special to Joey e.g. teddy or blanket. So we made our way up to the ELC section where the Pixifoto studio is in the corner. We were greeted by kayleigh who was doing our shoot, she was lovely and told us what would happen during the session. The studio was lovely and clean, their were lots of props and backgrounds to use aswell.

The first outfit I put Joey in was his Fred & Noah blue clouds set, the first background that was used was blue aswell. The first couple of shots that are taken you get to pick your complimentary print out of, so make sure you are happy with those first couple of shots before moving on. As Joey's already been photographed in a studio he was really relaxed and not too phased by the lights or flashing. Kayleigh was great at giving us direction for different poses or positions to put him in and she was so good interacting with Joey. After a few shots on different backgrounds it was time to put him in his second outfit. At the end of each sitting Kayleigh would show me the shots and made sure I was happy and gave me the opportunity to add or change backgrounds or props.

The second outfit was a H&M top with his jeggings. The shots from the second part of the shoot were great, lots of props were used along with Joey's special blanket and keepsake toy. Kayleigh was great and encouraged Joey to just move around and be himself. We thoroughly enjoyed the shoot, once we picked our complementary photo we left Kayleigh to edit the others while we had a look round.

We went back after 20 mins and were showed into a different room to see the final images and edits. They were all amazing and I wanted to buy every single one. The Pixifoto price list is, for me, quite expensive. However, I have been informed that the prices are changing. The new PixiFoto prices are going to be competitive and good value for money with packages starting from just £105 with the option to set up a payment plan in permanent locations to spread the cost. 

I would highly recommend Pixifoto for a baby shoot, I really wish Joey had had a newborn shoot now. Even if you dont want to buy any additional prints, its a fun experience. We were really impressed with the service and the quality of the images. The 'Face of Pixifoto' competition ends on 30th August so enter your little ones while you still can. Also, check with your local Pixifoto studio for any promotions, you can find them online here at:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

What did you enjoy about your PixiFoto experience?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Joey's 14 month update

This month has seen a lot of developments for Joey. He's 14 months old and he doesn't look or feel like a baby anymore.
Teething
Over the last month Joey has had bouts of teething. I'm not exactly sure how many teeth he has because he won't let me anywhere near but I'm guessing about 9 or 10. The teething comes and goes and  so does his waking up during the night because of the pain. We've gone over a week without the use of any calpol which is good.

Sleeping
When he isn't teething, he's amazing at sleeping through the night. He's usually asleep for 8pm and then recently wakes up around 7am. During the day he usually has 2 naps, in the morning and then the afternoon. Over the last 2 weeks Joey has been rather against having 2 naps and mainly just had one.

Feeding
Joey is doing well with his cows milk, at the moment he has 3x4oz and a 3oz bottle at bedtime. Trying to reduce the amount of milk he has is really difficult, he loves his milk. In terms of food Joey has made a major leap, he is eating a lot more fruit and veg, most of the time feeding himself.
Spanish Omelette, ham and strawberries 

Milestones
A major milestone has been reached this month, he is now walking with the help of his Vtech First Steps walker. He only got it last Sunday but he's already whizzing around the house with it. I don't think it will be long until he's walking. Even though he babbles a lot the only proper word he says is 'Dadda', he says it constantly! I read to him and always try and teach him different words.

I'm so proud of Joey's development so far, I know he'll be learning new things all the time. So excited to see what awaits for next months update.

Thanks for reading


Friday, 21 August 2015

Weekend Mini Style #21

Completely forgot to join in with last weekends linky, but we're back!

Last Friday I ordered Joey his first pair of leggings from Tobias & the Bear, the service was fantastic and they arrived the next day. So we started the week with his new leggings.

Bib: Asda|Top: Peacocks|Leggings: Tobias & the Bear
Jorys worn his 'Hello Ladies' top a few times and I think it adds a pop of colour to the whole outfit. I went for the Bear print leggings because they'll be great for Autumn and winter. They are super soft and I'll definitely be buying more.

Joey's second outfit this week was a lazy day outfit but I think it looks comfy yet stylish.

Top: George at Asda|Joggers: Primark
The Mickey Mouse tshirt is from a pack of 3 and I thought the colours were very autumnal. I really love buying Joey Disney clothes. The joggers were bought for Joey at Christmas and even though they are tracky pants I love the print and they look stylish.

Don't forget to link up with Sarah at knott Bump & Us.
The Knott Bump & Us
Until next time...


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Pampers Baby Dry*

Pampers are one of the most popular nappy brands in the UK but until recently we'd never used Pampers on Joey. We were chosen to trial some on behalf of Savvy Circle and we were so excited.
In the pack that we received we were given:
- 1x pack of Pampers Baby Dry (Size 4+)
- 1x pack of Pampers sensitive wipes
- 5x packs of 12 sensitive wipes

Nappies are THE most important baby product and as a first time mum it's important that I buy nappies that keep Joey clean and happy especially during the night. Pampers baby dry have been designed for baby to get upto 12 hours of dryness:

  • they contain unique Micro PearlsTm that absorb up to 30 times their weight and lock in wetness.
  • Extra sleep layer keeps wetness away from baby's skin
  • Flexible sides expand and contract with your baby
  • Breathability
Over the past 13 months we've mainly used ASDA Little Angels nappies,  when he was a few months old we then swapped to Aldis mamia nappies which were great. Only on a few occasions have we encountered any leaks. To me, Pampers are the most popular nappy brand in the UK but when ever I've looked at Pampers in the supermarket I've always become confused in all the different ranges they have. Having used own brand nappies religiously I was curious to see how Pampers compared.

Design
Most nappies these days have some sort of Unisex picture/pattern on them. Pamper baby dry have an image of a monkey and then the rest of the nappy has faint little polka dots. The nappies also feature a tightness Indicator so it's easy to know when it's thime to get the next size up. One thing I noticed about Pampers compared to Joey's usual  apply brand is that they are really quite light and thin. 

Absorption
We were really impressed and Joey had no leakages at all. Pampers seem to keep the absorbtion more compact and doesn't expand as much as our usual brand which I think is quite good. Joey would go 12 hours at bedtime and still no leaks but the nappy was obviously very heavy for his first nappy change when he woke up. Joey's number 2's were held just as securely as normally. Joey has never had any nappy rash so I was happy that he didn't get any with these. 

Fit
I chose the 4+ size and at first I was slightly worried that they would be too small as Joey is very nearly in Size 5 nappies but they fitted perfectly. They didn't seem to dig into his chunky thighs which is a major thumbs up. The sticky tabs were always sticky and held the nappy in place, now and again we've bought nappies and a few have had no sticky tabs.

Price
One of the main reasons I'd never bought Pampers before was because of the price, they are more expensive than the ASDA Little Angels nappies that we usually buy.
- Pampers Baby Dry Size 4+ (24 pack) = £5 at ASDA.
- ASDA Little Angels Size 4+ (44 pack) = £4.50 or 3 packs for £12.
In ASDA which is where we buy the majority of baby products they offer two pack sizes for Pampers
1) Carry pack - includes 19-30 nappies for £5.
2) Giga pack - between 90-100 nappies for £14.
So price wise as you can see Pampers are the more expensive brand. You get less for your money than the other brands.

We really enjoyed using Pampers Baby Dry nappies and the Sensative wipes. I've learned about the science that actually goes into making nappies that I didn't before. Has it made me want to change brand? I don't think so, if Pampers are ever on offer then yes I would buy them but for the simple fact you get a lot less I wouldn't be tempted to change. They have been a great product and like I mentioned the only issue I have is the price.

What nappies does your little one use at the moment?

Thanks for reading


*Disclaimer: We were sent the above products to review for free. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Losing your identity after having a baby

So you've just had a baby and the sleepless nights, pooey nappies and being sicked on is never ending. You start to wonder when things will be normal like they were before baby...newsflash...never!
Before I fell pregnant I was quite high maintenance; I went to the hairdressers religiously, my brows always tamed and lovely manicured nails oh and of course lovely stylish clothes and expensive handbags. After Joey was born I really struggled to come to terms with not feeling like myself. Because I was breast feeding for 10 weeks that made me lose a bit of baby weight but when I stopped breast feeding the weight piled on. So not being able to fit back into pre pregnancy clothes is upsetting and having to buy new clothes in a size 14 is just depressing to me. I've always taken pride in my image especially working in fashion retail, I miss not having manicured nails and being able to straighten my hair when I want. My idea of a pamper these days is finding 10 mins while Joey is having a nap to jump in the shower.

A few months ago I posted the above pictures and I really miss the girl in these photo's. I miss wearing new/stylish clothes, straightening my hair and having makeup on. The reality now is that i mainly have clothes just for knocking around the house, I wash my hair maybe once or twice a week and have to pull it up into a pony tail. I know changing how I look is down to exercise and dieting but I don't have the time or money to join a gym and trying to do exercise at home is impossible. It's not just how I look it's also about getting out as a couple without Joey, we don't go out a lot and sometimes I really miss just nipping out for a meal.

Ofcourse, I knew that life would change dramatically when Joey arrived but I just didn't realise how much it would affect me mentally. Hopefully once he's in nursery and doesn't rely on me as much then things might be different. I don't for one minute consider Joey as an inconvenience, he's my son and I love him more than anything.

Has anyone else felt the same? I'd love to know your feelings about this.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 10 August 2015

Britax Eclipse car seat

As you may have read in a recent post, we've bought Joey a new car seat. You can read about the service we received here.

We decided to go for the Britax Eclipse from Mothercare at £64.99 in the sale. The Eclipse is a Group 1 car seat and has the following features:
- Suitable for children from 9kg/20lbs to a maximum weight of 18kg/40lbs (approximately 9 months to 4 years old)
- Side impact protection
- Multiple recline positions
- Slim base to fit smaller vehicles
- Can be installed using either the 3 point seat belt or a 2 point lap belt
- Washable covers
- Car seat dimensions:D58xW43xH66cm
- Car weight: 7.3kg
The Eclipse comes in a variety of different colours but at different prices. We went for Black Thunder which was the most basic colour. As we didn't get to test the car seat in my car while at the store, I fitted it inside my car as soon as it turned up. I have a Ford Fiesta 2005 model which is a 3 door so I was expecting it to be difficult trying to get it inside but I was pleasantly surprised.

Securing seat
The seat slid into the back seat no problem, no jiggling it around and securing the seat with the seat belt was fairly easy. The only thing I seem to be struggling with is the red seat belt clamp, you have to press a button to open the clamp and put the seat belt into it. Because I have a 3 door and you have to thread the seat through the holder furthest away from the seat belt fastener it is really difficult to see what you're doing.

Transferring to different car
After using it for over a week, we have also transferred the car seat very easily into my husbands Ford Focus (5 door). It's slightly easier to secure the fiddlier bits when you can open the side door. So thumbs up for being easy to transfer to other cars.

Adjusting harness
The harness is really good and the straps don't get twisted like they did in his old car seat. The straps can easily be adjusted by pressing a button underneath the seat fabric and then to tighten the straps you simply pull the silver strap. The only thing that is going to be difficult is highering the straps as Joey grows taller and trying to adjust the height of the straps. To keep the straps in place at the back of the seat a metal plate stops the straps from coming through. I tried to pull this metal plate through but it is really tricky.

Reclining
The seat has about 3 recline positions and when it's at it's most reclined I was initially worried that the position would be uncomfortable for Joey to sleep in. But he fell asleep in it for the first time the other day and he fell asleep no problem and his head didn't lull forward. 

After the service we received in store I was half expecting to absolutely hate it once it arrived but we are happy with it. Joey seems a lot more secure in it than his previous seat and he loves being able to see me. We got it at a great price and as long as Joey is safe that's all that matters.

Have you got a Britax Eclipse? What do you think?

Thanks for reading

Friday, 7 August 2015

Weekend Mini Style #20

Top: George at asda | Leggings: Fred & Noah
I saw this top in ASDA and just had to get it for Joey, it says "I love Mummy" and it was a bargain at only £2. Of course no outfit is complete without a pair of Fred & Noah leggings, usually I'd put a plain top with any F&N leggings but I think the two go very well together.

Top: H&M | Jeggings: H&M | Shoes: Nike 
Didn't go anywhere during the day but I had to go out and have an MRI. So I had to take Joey to meet the hubby near the hospital.  I love his Run DMC t shirt and it goes perfect with a pair of Jeggings or jeans. I love putting Joey is Jeggings instead of jeans as I find them a lot more stretchy. His Nikes are so cute, he wears them all the time because he'll soon outgrow them. 

Thanks for having a peek at what Joey wore this week. Don't forget to link up with Sarah at Knott Bump & Us.
The Knott Bump & Us

Until next week


Thursday, 6 August 2015

What to watch on Netflix in August

As it's now the summer holidays this month's Netflix faves are all about the kids. Whether you have pre-school or older children there's something to watch for the whole family.

Babies/toddlers
Joey is 13 months old and we watch a lot of animated children's tv and movies. He loves Peppa Pig and Spongebob Squarepants. Netflix has its very own kids section so it's so easy for children to select a kid friendly show to watch. Recently Joey and I watched Despicable Me 2 and we both really enjoyed it and it was funny.

Older kids
Netflix is really good at having a variety of films and tv shows for all age groups. Shrek's "Puss in Boots" has a Netflix original series which will keep the kids occupied on a miserable day. Their are also plenty of Disney films like The Lizzie Maguire film which is one of my favourite films when I was younger. 

Teens/tweens
For the teenager in your life there is a lot to keep them occupied. Netflix has some really good documentaries about Dinosaurs and natural planet which are very educational. A great film to watch is "Oz the great and powerful" which is a modern remake of the classic Wizard of Oz.


What do your kids enjoying watching on Netflix? 

Thanks for reading



Disclaimer: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I have been given 12 months subscription and an Apple TV in return for writing regular posts about the service. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Car safety as a new driver*

For many people buying their first car is a big deal, it's the second biggest purchase we ever make in our lives so making sure you get the most ideal car for your budget and needs is really important. A car gets us from A to B but sometimes a car is the key to getting a job or just becoming more independent.

In July 2011 I finally passed my driving test, it took me 3 attempts to do the theory and just 1 attempt for the practical. I'd wanted to drive for as long as I could remember and I couldn't wait to get my own car. So 2 months after I passed my test I bought my first car, a 2003 1 litre Vauxhall Corsa. A Corsa seemed like an ideal car for me as a new driver, it was small and pretty cheap to run even though a years insurance cost more than the car. Driving it from the dealership to my house was a pretty surreal experience with the window down and some quality music playing.

As exciting as becoming a new driver and getting a car is, making sure that your car is safe to drive is extremely important. Now that I'm a mum I am always extra cautious when I'm driving, especially with Joey in the car. In my opinion, if you own a car then you should know some basic car knowledge like how to pump your tyres up, knowing if your tyre tread is low etc. Over the past 4 years I haven't had much luck with tyres, I always went for the cheapest option of having part worn tyres instead of brand new. A few years ago when I was driving on the M6 to university I had a blow out to the rear drivers side tyre. Thank god there wasn't much traffic and I didn't lose control of the car or I may not be here now. I'm now on my second car and have Joey in the car all the time so now I have his safety to think about.

Tyre blow out
Tyres are the only part of a car that have contact with the road; our steering,accelerating and breaking rely on the contact between the tyres and the road so it is extremely important to maaintain them. Point S are tyre dealers in the UK, they have a wide range of car tyres to accomodate different budgets. If you suspect that your tyre tread is low then a new tyre is the best option to ensure the safety of you and your passengers.

My current wheels
The next time you're about to go out in the car, double check your tyres. If you don't know what to look for then take the car to a garage and ask for them to be checked over.

Thanks for reading


* This post is in collaboration with Point S.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Weekend mini style #19

This week has been very quiet, the weather has been so off and on recently, sometimes it's felt like it's winter again.

Saturday
We just went out to visit my mother mother in law. It was sunny but very windy.

Top: Ted Baker at Debenhams| Leggings: Fred & Noah| Shoes: Nike
The top was a gift from Aunty Caseman for Joey's birthday, I love the blue and grey together. It seems like ages ago since Joey last wore his Fred & Noah leggings. His elephant ones will be too small for him soon so we'll have to get plenty of wear out of them before then.

Sunday
We were up at 5am to go and sell some stuff at the car boot sale. It was really chilly but sunny at that time of the morning but it was due rain later in the day.
Hoodie: H&M | Top: Everton top | Jeggings: H&M | Shoes: Nike
Joey's hoody is actually 6-9months I bought it months ago and it's always been really big for him. H&M clothes are actually quite generous in size but I'm glad he can get plenty of wear out it. You can't really see his Everton top but he usually wears it on weekends. The Jeggings he's had for ages, I mostly put him in Jeggings rather than jeans.

Thursday
We just nipped out to ASDA to get a few things.
Top: George at Asda|Leggings: H&M|Shoes: Nike
I bought Joey's top about 2 weeks ago in the sale at asda, it was in a 3 pack for £4. I loved the pastel like colours.

That's it for this week. Don't forget to link up with Sarah at Knott Bump & Us.
The Knott Bump & Us

Until next time