High Street Clothing Haul – Breastfeeding Friendly for Autumn

So I finally decided to go shopping for my autumn wardrobe as my maternity clothes are all too big (Hurrah!) & my pre-baby wardrobe was mainly work clothes & isn’t breastfeeding friendly. The only thing I’d like to point out to you is that I’m 5’ 11” tall so the high street is a bit of a minefield for me. So here’s my high street clothing hall for Autumn! Continue reading “High Street Clothing Haul – Breastfeeding Friendly for Autumn”

Make Your Own Nursing Vest!

Here I’ll show you how in under 10 minutes you can turn any thin strapped vest into a nursing vest. It allows you to feed easily without stretching your vest or revealing your midriff. The best type of vest for this are the ones that have a little bit of stretch in them so they stay up when you cut the strap off. And you don’t need to be any good at sewing! Continue reading “Make Your Own Nursing Vest!”

Thatching The Roof – Part One

When we tragically lost Mr. L’s dad in 2014, just two weeks after our wedding, we knew we wanted to invest the inheritance wisely. So last year we purchased our forever home. We knew it needed a lot of TLC to make into the home we would raise our family in but that was fine. There was only us two to worry about, we could live there & plod through the work as & when.

What we didn’t know on moving day was that I was pregnant. You know what they say – new house, new baby! Continue reading “Thatching The Roof – Part One”

Sleep Training – Why It’s Not Right For My Baby.

Sleep training was the goal this week. It soon became my #parentingfail. Except I don’t feel like I’ve failed at all.

I wasn’t following any strict guide to sleeping. I’d taken advice from several sources & come up with this stupid idea that Ella should be some ‘EASY’, self-soothing, picked up & put down, non-controlled crying, independent sleeper in a co-sleeping cot, super napping machine. Continue reading “Sleep Training – Why It’s Not Right For My Baby.”

My Top Five Favourite Bloggers & Vloggers.

Here I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 bloggers & vloggers. They all feature on this list for different reasons although many of them are parenting related. Check them out – you might like them to.

Although I’ve only been blogging for a short while I’ve been enjoying the content of others for years. My interest grew when I needed something to while away the hours that I spent either heavily pregnant or nursing.

In no particular order:

Mrs Meldrum

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Rebecca / Mrs Meldrum

 

Mrs Meldrum or Rebecca to use her first name is a stay at home mother to two beautiful little girls, Safiyah, 5, & Florence, 2. She is married to Lee who works off shore. So for a large chunk of time Rebecca is solo parenting. Her vlogs on YouTube cover a wide range of topics mainly parenting but also fashion, food, travel… the list goes on. She really does cover every aspect of family life the ups & the downs. I enjoy her honesty & her sense of humour  plus who could resist those gorgeous girls of hers! Plus we both have an insatiable shopping habit with similar tastes.

Aby Moore at You Baby Me Mummy

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Aby has personally inspired my own blogging journey. In just 18 months she went from hobby to professional blogger & now spends a great deal of her time supporting others. She supplies blogging tips, tricks, courses & mentoring by the bucket load – pretty much all for free & her blog is a great source if you want to start blogging yourself. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time from Aby & I know there is so much more coming up for me & my blog in the future purely because of the support she provides. Her blog is not just about blogging though! She also posts about her daughter, nicknamed Baby, & general lifestyle topics to. If you’re into photography you should check out Aby’s instagram.

The Michalaks

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Stef, Hannah & Grayson are a family of three from London who post weekly vlogs about their lives as a family & professional vloggers. Their honesty & integrity about family life shine through in their beautifully edited videos. Every week you’re treated to a little visual work of art. Although it is clear in the videos how much effort goes into every single second of playback. If i ever venture into vlogging it would be this level that I would aspire to. Stef & Hannah are doing a wonderful job of enriching Graysons life & capturing it all on camera for him to keep forever. Hannah has her own blog & boutique make up bag company. Together they run small printing business printing quotes that use in their vlogs. Stef is the brain child of wantfeed.com a wishlist website – he’s also pretty good at coffee art…

The Unmumsy Mum

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Jude, Sarah & Henry
Jude, Sarah & Henry

If you’re looking for someone to talk about being a parent with a bucket load of humour this is your woman. Sarah has been blogging for a while & recently after releasing her first books became a Times Number 1 Bestseller. She tells the tales of being mother to her two little boys, Henry & Jude, with unfiltered honesty. She says what we’re all thinking when you’re knee deep in a parenting fail situation. Her laugh out loud stories connect with parents on many levels, she can be soft & heartfelt about those parenting milestones we all encounter, such as Henrys first day at school.

Henry, Sarah & Jude.

Giovanna Fletcher

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Giovanna is mum to two boys, Buzz & Buddy, & wife to Tom (of McFly fame). Author of several bestselling books (they’re pretty good btw) she starting vlogging with Tom to keep in touch with his sister Carrie. Because of this she covers many aspects of life but what I like the most is her natural, caring approach to motherhood. Gi & Tom really are raising well mannered, talented little boys by simply loving them. It’s positive parenting in action. But don’t get me wrong Giovanna shares the tough side of being a parent to. Tom’s  YouTube channel is the perfect partner to Gi’s so make sure you check that out to. Giovanna is passionate about many topics & supports worthwhile campaigns such as the CoppaFeel – ensuring women know how to check their breasts regularly.

So there you have it – my top five favourite bloggers & vloggers. Do you have any favourite bloggers or vloggers that aren’t on my list?

Top 5 Bloggers Vloggers Pin

All photos belong to their respective owners & are not to be used without their permission.

A Puppy & A Baby.

There is one other baby in our family who deserves an introduction. Morse, the six month old labrador puppy. He joined our family in June, when I was 36 weeks pregnant.

Along with cuddles, basic training was the aim of the game. The housetraining came fairly quickly – luckily we hadn’t put any new carpets in the house! He knows the basic commands but with a baby on our hands we are guilty of not being quite strict enough with him. He does think he’s slightly less of a dog & more of a baby than perhaps he should! But who can say no to those gorgeous brown eyes.

Morse 10 Weeks Old

People said we were crazy for getting a puppy shortly before having a baby & at times they were right. There are definitely days when I’ve been home alone all day with both of them & he has driven me round the bend. But I know it’s because he’s young & needs the attention.

There were also comments about how it may be dangerous to have puppy around a newborn. I can safely say Morse has never caused any harm to Ella & neither do I think he would ever intend to. If she cries he’s right there beside her trying to calm her down. Unfortunately for Ella this comes in the form of licking – I hate him licking her because I know what else he licks!! But the training is beginning to pay off.

This is Morse meeting two day old Ella for the very first time.
This is Morse meeting two day old Ella for the very first time.

Morse loves to get in to trouble. His favourite game is to steal rolls of toilet paper or socks. He’s learnt to pick blackberries on his walks & apples in the garden. He is forever coming into the room carrying something in his mouth that he shouldn’t.

It’s a bit like having a toddler running about. I know that if he’s not in the room & all is quiet he’s probably doing something he really shouldn’t. Slowly though he is turning into a typical labrador and spends most of his days laying around sleeping!

Getting out of the house with Morse is a catch twenty two situation. I like to get out the house with Ella & walking Morse is the perfect excuse. However, actually getting out with a baby & a puppy can be bloody hard work. If I take the pushchair we can’t go off road & give Morse the run he needs. But if we do go off road with Ella in the sling Morse can sometimes forget the rules & run riot! He thinks every other dog walk wants to be his friend and bounces about. Grabbing him while I’m wearing the sling is a little bit of a challenge.

Ella had perfect aim & vomited on Morse's nose! Here he is a 6 months old.
Ella had perfect aim & vomited on Morse’s nose! Here he is at 6 months old.

Morse is beautiful little boy & we all love him a lot. I wouldn’t change the way we decided to have a dog & a baby pretty much at the same time, although I wouldn’t recommend it! I know that this first year with both of them will be a challenge as he grows up but it’s so lovely to watch him & Ella together already. She loves watching him run around – it wont be long until she’s chasing him. I have no doubt that they will grow up to become the best of friends & Ella will be joining in on his mischief!

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What’s In My Changing Bag?

My changing bag is often full of crap – at least two dirty nappies, a sicky muslin & too many lipsticks. I also have a load useful stuff that I can’t leave the house without. I often tip the whole thing out & start again just as a way of keeping it down to the essentials.

Before baby I was spoilt & used my beloved Mulberry Bayswater handbag every single day. Knowing it would be in storage for the next few years I started the hunt for the perfect changing bag. I wanted a stylish bag that didn’t scream Mummy!

I stumbled across CoCo Bow by Motherknot & knew I had to have the Ebony bag – but could I justify the £220 price tag? For a bag that I would use every day for at least two years, yes I could!

Coco Bow Ebony Changing Bag

Its a lovely black leather bag with gold detailing in the form of zip, logo & key chain. It has loads of pockets for separating out your essentials. The bag comes with long shoulder strap & smaller straps for attaching to your pushchair. Also, it comes with a foldable changing mat & a removable lining which you can use as a separate bag. Great for when you hand baby over to someone else! As changing bags go I think it’s a bit of a beauty.

So here is what is in my changing bag on a good day…

Nappy Changing Essentials:

  • Nappies – I tend to carry 4-8 depending on how long we’re out for.
  • Baby Wipes
  • Nappy Sacks – you can also bring dirty clothes home in them.
  • Sample size nappy cream – I use the Sudocrem sooth & protect that I received with a Bounty pack.

Nappy Changing Essentials

 

Things For Me:

  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitiser – never know where you’re going to have to do a nappy change.
  • My Purse
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • A snack for you – Especially if your breastfeeding. You need to keep your energy levels up & it saves you having to buy something while out.
  • Water – A breastfeeding mum should be drinking around 3 litres a day.
  • Breast pads in case Ella skips a feed and things get a bit damp!
  • If I’m going to a place where I’d like to look especially nice all day then I will pack a spare top for myself. But most of the time I just wipe myself clean – Baby wipes are so useful!

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Things For Ella:

  • A toy for baby.
  • Two spare baby grows – Make sure you change the sizes in your bag as baby grows!
  • Weather appropriate accessories, like a hat, gloves & a cardigan.
  • Muslins – At least two plus one for a breastfeeding cover up. Just use a safety pin to attach it to your top if you have to feed somewhere you aren’t comfortable.

Baby Bits

I find it helpful to separate the items into categories & always store them in the same place. No matter what I do though Mr L can never find anything!

So that’s what I carry every day now I have a baby – is there anything extra that you carry in yours? What about tips & tricks to reduce the amount I carry?

 Whats In My Changing Bag

Dear Daughter…

Dear Daughter,

You are now 3 months old. That time has gone so quickly & yet I feel like you have been here forever. I have never felt love like the love I feel for you. You are the most beautiful, perfect, little thing in the world.

You came into this world by causing me most pain I have ever experienced. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Continue reading “Dear Daughter…”

Red Lipstick- My Top Five Favourites.

 

Red lipstick, concealer & a bit of mascara is all I wear some days – it’s my ultimate go-to mum makeup. I might not feel ready to face the day & I certainly can’t have a stiff drink to sort myself out (the downside to breastfeeding!) but I can at least make myself look like I can handle life; even if I’m really not.

I own more red lipstick than I probably should & certainly more than Mr L knows about. But they’re all in my collection for a reason. Here I’ve whittled it down to my five favourites. Some of these are long-standing & some are new but I’m always open to more suggestions. What are your favourites? Continue reading “Red Lipstick- My Top Five Favourites.”

Mother & Baby Groups with Mummas & More!

The thought of going to mother & baby groups before Ella was born made me feel a bit sick. I didn’t want to spend all my time talking about babies, & battling my way through the minefield of mum cliques.

I suppose the first baby group I joined was a pregnancy yoga class. This put me in good stead as to what baby groups should be like. Since Ella’s birth we have transitioned to baby yoga which includes the mums from pregnancy yoga plus their new additions. Its lovely to carry on that journey & together with some mums from my NCT group I’ve definitely made some great friendships.

 

 

The worst experience I came across was actually at a highly recommended mother & baby group local to me. As soon as I arrived I was welcomed by two mums who seemed lovely.

One of the women pointed to a little boy and said ‘See him? There’s something wrong with him. He doesn’t play with the other children & he’s a bit slow. His mum’s pregnant with twins, God knows how she’ll cope.’  I could tell from her tone she was just being bitch. There is nothing wrong with the little boy; he’s autistic & I’m sure his lovely mum will cope just fine.

It made me think if those women could talk about another mum to me, a stranger to them, then what would they say about Ella & I? I don’t know if we’ll discover that Ella has a disability later down the line. I certainly would not want other mums making those kind of comments about my daughter.

My favourite of all the groups I go to is a group run by local mum, Emily, & is called Mummas & More. Mummas & More was set up by local mums who wanted to get together with their babies but not necessarily talk about nappies, sick & poo.

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It reminds us that we were all busy doing something before we were busy doing motherhood.

They run craft workshops, talks with invited hosts, events & dad days where

mum stays at home in bed!

The latest event was a talk held by other bloggers JustSayingMum, Marmalade Pie & #100DaysNoTV (before sure to check these ladies out!) For a beginner blogger like myself it was lovely to spend a couple of hours talking about something I enjoy in a baby friendly environment, with a cup of tea & yummy homemade cake!

Local mums who attend the events are also welcome to take part during events by getting involved & presenting their skill or knowledge to the group. And if public speaking isn’t your thing there’s always time for Q&A.

Of course the nice thing about Mummas & More is that if you want to talk about babies, you can & to be honest we inevitably do – but there’s no obligation. The children have plenty of toys provided for them so they can sit & play while the mum’s relax a bit. You feel happy that people are always looking out for each others children while you grab yourself a coffee. It’s so much easier to enjoy an environment when the children are happy too!

 

From my experience of mother & baby groups so far I’d definitely say its important to put yourself out there & try them. If you don’t like a certain group you don’t have to go again. Just remember when you nervously walk in to that room for the first time that every mum in there has felt the same at some point. Be brave.Mother & Baby Groups