Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My September Netflix Faves

Over the past month I've been watching lots of films on Netflix. It's been ages since I've watched a TV show and now that I'm starting work I don't want to start watching something I can't finish for ages.

Love, Rosie - a film adaption of Cecilia Ahern's 'Where Rainbows End', Rosie (Lily Collins; The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) and Alex (Sam Claflin; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1) have been best friends since the age of six, but as they are approaching university, fate forces them to go their separate ways. Can their relationship survive the years and the miles? And at the back of Rosie’s mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them out of each other’s arms, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for the chance to be together at last? When I watched the first part of the film I was very confused and thought it wasn't that great but when I got to the end I really enjoyed it.

Best of Me - I remember seeing the advert for this when it was in the cinema and really wanted to see it. Written by the people who brought us The Noteboo, is about two high school sweethearts who drift apart and are then reunited after 20 years due to a death. Even though both had moved on and made a life for themselves. They both realise after seeing each other that they still love each other. The end is really sad and I cried my eyes out. Such a good film...make sure you have tissues at the ready. 

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - the Mission Impossible franchise has been going for years and is now on its 5th installment. Ghost Protocol is the 4th film in the series and it has some amazing stunts. I was never really a fan of the previous MI films but after stumbling across this on Netflix I'm completely converted. 

Monsters University - I remember watching Monsters Inc when it came out originally years ago and I loved it. I recently watched Monsters Inc on Netflix so I was so happy when Monsters University was released. This is a prequel to the first film and features Mike and Sulley at university before they became best friends.

There have been plenty of new additions to Netflix this month for the whole family. Whether it's a new Netflix original series or the latest in the Hunger Games collection. Have you watched any of the above films, what did you think?

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.

Friday, 25 September 2015

What Joey wore #25

It's been nearly 2 weeks since we last did a #Weekendministyle post. Joey has been having settling in sessions at nursery so life has been a bit cray cray! But we're back with a few outfits Joey's worn over the past 2 weeks.

Outfit 1
This outfit was worn on a Sunday and we went to Carr Mill dam to go and feed the ducks. 
Top: Zara |Bottoms: Zara |Trainers: Nike

Outfit 2
This was worn on Saturday, the weather was lovely so it was nice to put a short sleeved tshirt on him. Poor thing has been suffering from his first cold so he's not been a happy chappy. 
Top: H&M |Jeggings: Zara |Shoes: Clarks
The H&M top has already made a few appearances on his style posts  and I think it's so cute with the little waistcoat and bowtie. I teamed it with his new pair of Jeggings from Zara which are actually from the girls section.

Outfit 3
On Monday we had to get up early and take daddy to work and then go food shopping. 
Cardigan: Ralph Lauren |Top: H&M |Jeggings: H&M |Shoes: Clarks 
It was a little bit chilly out but Joey's coat was in the wash so he wore his Ralph Lauren cardigan, it's age 9 months but still fits him. His top from H&M is another favourite of ours but it's a bit summery so he won't be wearing it soon. His H&M Jeggings haven't been worn a lot recently because of all the autumn bottoms I've been buying him.

That's it for this week, I hope you've liked Joey's outfits. As usual I'm linking up with This Mama Life.
This Mama Life
Until next week

Also linking up with:

A Slice of My Life Wales

Thursday, 24 September 2015

My Home improvement wish list*

A day doesn't go by when I don't daydream about things I'd like to improve or change about our house...doesn't everyone. Especially since Joey came into our life I've started a list of things I want to do in the house. The house isn't perfectly furnished, I'm completely useless at being creative and this is our first ever home so it will take us a while to know how we want things.
When we bought the house 4 years ago it was all freshly decorated with a new bathroom, kitchen and flooring. Instead of taking the time to decorate as we wanted,  we moved in straightaway and only got round to doing any decorating after 2 years. We live in a 3 bedroom semi detached house which is a good size but the downstairs is rather small. We have a front garden with driveway and a good size back garden with a decked seating area. So here are a few things that we'd like to improve...

Joey's bedroom - even though Joey has been in his room for ages now there are still things I  need to add. I really want to put some shelving up, some more pictures and some carpet or a lovely fluffy rug. 
Flooring - the flooring in our front room, hallway and dining room is all hardwood flooring and then in the kitchen is slate tile. Before we had Joey we liked having hardwood floors throughout but since having Joey I've been wanting to get carpet in the front room. He's not had many accidents but I suppose having wood flooring is easier to clean food off of. Joey's bedroom also has wood flooring and it was so cold last winter so I'm hoping to get that carpeted soon.

Driveway/front garden - A couple of years ago we were so close to doing up the front but it was so expensive to do. At the moment we have a driveway long enough to fit both of our cars, a bit of grass and hedges around the front and side. The driveway looks so miserable, the flags are cracked and ideally we would love to get it block paved. We have had an ongoing issue with our neighbour over the road who constantly blocks our driveway. So we'd also get rid of the grass and block pave that so it's easier to get both cars in and out. We'd love to get rid of the hedges and have a small fence instead.

Loft conversion - a loft conversion is a great way of utilising space in the loft and guaranteed to add value onto your house. Before my dad died we lived in a bungalow and he started doing a loft conversion which would have been my bedroom and ensuite bathroom. With our house we're not pushed for space at the moment but I'm sure when Joey is older he'd love to have a whole floor to himself. With the addition of specially made roof windows from a company called VELUX, it would give the loft a flood of natural light. The great thing about VELUX produts is the great variety of blackout blinds you can purchase to make the room completely personal. We could definitely do with some blackout blinds in Joey's room at the moment to stop him from waking up so early when it's light. A loft conversion could set us back atleast £30,000 so unless we win the lottery or sell the other house it's just a dream at the moment.
Our kitchen
A lot of the things we want to change with the house are expensive but they are things that we can do gradually. Are their any home improvements you want to have done?

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Joey's 15 month update

Joey is now 15 months old and boy so much has happened over the past month.
After I'd posted last months update I took Joey to get weighed at our local Sure Start centre. The last time Joey was weighed was in June, so it had been over 2 months since he'd last been weighed. As of the 27th August he weighed 24lb 74oz, I thought he would atleast be 25lb but because he's been so active he's burning a lot of energy. While talking to the health visitor I mentioned that Joey's feet are always pointing in a weird angle when he's walking with his walker and she said to go back in 8 weeks time if it's no different and they'll refer him.

Since last months update Joey hasn't had any problems with teething but I can see that he has rosy red cheeks while I write this. So I'm guessing he'll start teething again soon. 

Over the past 2 weeks Joey has been a proper lazy bones and only waking up at 8am or sometimes 9am. I don't know why his sleep pattern has suddenly changed but I'm not complaining. Over the weekend however, Joey has caught a cold from nursery and for the past 3 nights he hasn't slept well at all during the night. I bought him a Calpol Vapour plug in but it certainly didn't help his congestion. So because of his cold he's been waking up at 6.30am and the days just seem even longer now.

Joey is eating like a champ. He loves his food but I need to introduce more fruit into his meals that he can chew easily.
He has 3 meals a day and snacks in between. In terms of his milk he is still on 3x4oz bottles and then 3oz at bedtime. Sometimes he can give or take a bottle during the day.
No new milestones have been reached but he has started walking with the help of his Vtech First Steps walker, he is so fast I'm sure he'll be running in no time. I've desperately been trying to teach Joey some words, he can say Dadda and mamma but not all the time. I read to him and always point out the names of things but still nothing. Hopefully with him starting nursery he'll start learning a lot more.
That's all for this month's update, I get so excited about each month and seeing how much Joey has changed.

Until next time

Friday, 18 September 2015

Blogs I love to read

It's been a year now since I started blogging and over that time I have discovered some amazing bloggers.
Not long after I started blogging I did a post about my favourite bloggers at that time. Now that I've become a blogger myself I've become more involved with other bloggers and there are a handful of blogs that I read all the time. Here are (in no particular order) some of my favourites:

Sparkles & Stretchmarks - Hayley is a mum of 2 who is actually from my neck of the woods up north. I first came across her when she appeared on ITV's This Morning. I love her site and I love how normal and down to earth she is.

First Time Mummy - Hannah is mum to Austin who is a few weeks younger than Joey. She's recently come back after a break from blogging but we're glad she's back.

This Mama Life - previously known as Knott Bump & Us, Sarah is mum to Isla and in charge of our favourite Weekend Mini Style linkup.

Lilypod & Sweetpea - Jess is mum to Jasper and step Mummy to Reece, this was the first parenting blog I started reading when I was pregnant. I think because little Jasper is a bit older than Joey she prepare me for what was to come with being a new mum.

Mummy & the Bubbas - Stacey is mum to Jacob & Reika who are the most stylish kids I've ever seen. 

A Slice of my Life Wales - Leanne is guessed it...Wales and is mum to Aria. Leanne has recently started her own style linkup which we love linking up to.

The Dad Network - most of the parenting & lifestyle blogs you find are created by women but Al is one of a few daddy bloggers that we love, he has a little boy called Teddy and writes from a dads perspective on parenting. 

You'll find with the blogs I've added above they all have the same theme; parenting. I do read non-parenting blogs but the majority of the time these are the blogs I've found most enjoyable and helpful in my own journey as a new parent and blogger.

I'm always on the lookout for new blogs to read so let me know your faves.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

What Joey wore #24

As you can see, I've decided to change the title of our WMS posts to make it a bit more personal. This week has been very boring for us and we haven't really been anywhere exciting, the weather has been so up and down. Sorry there aren't any flatlays this week, I haven't been feeling great. 

Outfit 1
Top: H&M |Leggings: Zara
If you regularly tune in to Joey's style posts you will recognise the top as being part of a set that I bought Joey back in January and is 6-9months. The trousers that came with the jumper are way too small for Joey but I'm so glad that the top still fits, H&M clothes have always lasted Joey ages! Because the jumper is black I thought it would go well with his lovely Zara leggings.

Outfit 2
Top: Matalan|Leggings: Fred & Noah 
We're trying to make use out of Joey's summer clothes and of the couple of pairs of leggings that will be too small for him soon. It was pretty warm so he wore this green tshirt from Matalan with his grey elephant leggings. Basic block colour t-shirts are great because you can pair them with any pair of bottoms. I absolutely love his monster leggings and I think they look great with the green top.
That's it for this week. Don't forget to link up with Sarah at This Mama Life.
This Mama Life
Also linking up with: 
A Slice of My Life Wales

Until next week

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Going back to work after 16 months off

So, the time has come for me to go back to work. This time next week I'll be doing a training day for my new job and then starting in October. As soon as Joey turned one I knew it was time to get back to work but it's just taken a while to find the perfect time and opportunity.
I went on maternity leave end of April 2014 and you may have read that in September of that year I was made redundant, 3 months into my maternity leave. I tried not to worry about what would happen when I came to the end of the 9 months but I went job hunting in February and actually got a job. But it wasn't meant to be, the bosses of this new job completely messed me around and I was only their for a week. I decided that I would wait until after Joey's first birthday to then get back into job finding mode. While on my search for new jobs I only applied for company's that I actually wanted to work for and thankfully I am now due to start at one of my favourite fashion retail stores...can you guess which one?

So with me going to work it means that Joey will be going to nursery atleast 4 days a week. I feel better putting him in nursery now than back when he was 10 months old, he can do a lot for himself now so I'm not worrying as much. I think that Joey will enjoy nursery, I hope that he doesn't get too upset when I leave him. I also think he's ready, he'll learn so much more at nursery than he would from me and he'll make friends. So I think this is going to be good for the both of us.

As much as I've loved being a stay at home mum and being able to see Joey growing up, it's time to get back to work. I've missed working, earning my own money and actually talking to people. Being back at work will mean we have more money coming in and hopefully be able to afford a holiday next year. I know at first things might seem difficult, we'll have to create a whole new routine that incorporates Joey's nursery times and I suppose paying £38 per day will start to impact us slightly. I'm confident that after a few months that everything will then run smoothly and we can look forward to the future and concentrate on my career in retail.

As you can probably guess, I probably won't have the time to blog full time when I start working. I still love the blog and I love writing but their will just be fewer posts. I'm excited though for this new chapter in my life and as always I will try and share this new experience with you all.

How did you mummy's adapt to going back to work and getting baby settled into nursery? Any advice would be great.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 4 September 2015

Weekend Mini Style #23

Yet another week and Joey's had some more winter clothes to add to his collection. I'll do a post soon of everything he's got so far but here's what he's wore this week...

Outfit 1
On Bank holiday Monday all 3 of us had a day out to Southport, it seems to be a tradition every bank holiday. The weather was warm but due rain so it was perfect weather for this outfit
Top: Zara| Leggings: Tobias & the Bear| Shoes: Nike
The Mr Bear leggings from Tobias & the Bear have already been featured in a WMS post but I love them! I recently ordered a few things from Zara and the top was one of the items and it goes so well with the leggings. It's like a wild/outdoorsy theme.

Outfit 2
We just had a chilled out day at home but I've been itching for Joey to wear his new Zara leggings.
Top: George at Asda | Leggings: Zara
The top was bought ages ago from Asda and was only £2.50. I love that it says "I Love Mummy". Because the top is grey I think it went well with the leggings. The leggings are a new purchase from Zara, they were £6.99 and are amazingly soft. I love the colour and the triangle pattern, the different coloured pocket makes them even better.

No doubt you'll be seeing plenty more Zara purchases on future style posts. Don't forget to link up with Sarah at This Mama Life (previously Knott Bump & Us).
This Mama Life
Also linking up with
A Slice of My Life Wales
Until next week 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

A year of blogging

I've been blogging for a  year now and I really didn't expect to still be blogging a year on. I thought nobody would read or like anything I post about but I've been surprised at the amount of love The Life & Loves of Lolly has had over the past year.
My 1st post 
When I first started this blog it was mainly an outlet for me to woffle on about life as a new mum. I didn't know the first thing about blogging so everything was very basic. A year ago the only blog I read religiously was Lilypod & Sweetpea, now I read about 10 blogs religiously and I'm discovering new bloggers all the time.

I've dabbled in a vlog or two but I can safely say the camera doesn't love me so I'll stick to writing instead. I've had some great opportunities to do product reviews for products/brands I truly love, and I'm so excited to be a part of the Netflix Stream Team. Joey's recently been chosen to try out some Pampers which us exciting. Over the past few months we've also linked up with Sarah at knott Bump & Us with #weekendministyle which allows us mums (and dads) to show off our kiddies outfits, I love linking up with different bloggers and getting some style inspiration.
The blog design has changed quite a lot over the past year but I love it's current design. I'd love to change a few things in the next couple of months, I've seen some great illustration ideas to make the blog look even more personal.

What I love...

  • writing about the things I enjoy or love
  • having a corner of the Internet to say what I want.
  • writing posts that people find helpful.
  • connecting with other mums from all over the place
  • Learning more about parenting from blogs than any book I've read
  • getting clothes/style inspirarion, most of Joey's clothes have been inspired by bloggers or instagram.

What I don't love...

  • trolling, I haven't come across any negatives comments about my blog but I have witnessed some negative comments on other blogs I follow. There's no need and I hope I don't experience this.
  • the lack of comments I get on my blog, most of the comments I get are related to the style posts which is great. I always take the time to comment on other people's posts and sometimes the love isn't returned :(
  • the time it takes to write and edit posts
  • not having a nice fast Apple Macbook. My laptop is so old and takes ages to edit anything.

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives though.

Am I going to be the next Zoella? No definitely not, they're some amazing bloggers who deserve that kind of success over me. I'm just happy with this being a hobby for now. My goal is to get on the Tots 100 table, I'm a long way away yet though.

I'd just like to finish by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has visited the blog, left comments etc. I appreciate the time you take to read about our lives.

Here's to another year!