Sunday, 1 January 2017

Christmas At Kew & Happy New Year

Having heard so many fabulous recommendations about Christmas at Kew from friends and family we decided we would book and come and see for ourselves. We managed to get a hold of tickets for New Years Eve and we were so happy we did. Gone are the days of staying up until the early hours celebrating New Years with friends (for now anyway!) Christmas at Kew meant we could get out of the house in the evening and celebrate with our little ones. 

Christmas at Kew has so much and for everyone, there's the trial which is animated with over 60,000 lights, karaoke, mulled wine, hot chocolates, marshmallows for toasting over the burning fire and lots of yummy food stalls that sell burgers, hot dogs and chips etc. For younger ones there's a Victorian carousel, helter skelter, Santa and his elves and so much more! 

I took my new Olympus Pen camera to capture the evening.

To anyone who's interested in going to see Christmas at Kew in 2017 make sure you do! It's absolutely amazing and truly magical, we will definitely be going back this year. 

I hope everyone has had a lovely first day in 2017, I just can't believe 2016 has been and gone! It has been one of the best years of my life and I can't wait to see what 2017 brings for me and my family. We have a busy year ahead with our wedding and trying to find and buy our new house but we're so excited and ready so bring it!



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide: For Him

I hope I'm not the only one but I really do find it tough buying for Freddie. He never seems to want anything or has a list of things he's lusting over, me on the other hand has a Pinterest board and a list on my phone ready to go at a moments request! I've basically put together gifts that I would want to receive if I was a man. So lets get started..

Scotch and Soda Leather Toiletry Bag. It comes in a choice of three different colours and is made from real leather. It has a large zip-open compartment and an extra inner pocket. I love the design of this bag and I think it's understated and stylish at the same time. 

Happy Socks. I absolutely love these socks! Bold colours, funky patterns and amazing quality. You can either buy a pair or a gift set which includes four pairs in a dark blue origami style gift box. The socks are made from combed cotton so there breathable and super comfortable.

Body Shops Modern Gents Shaving Kit. With Movember out of the way it's time to treat him to a smart shaving kit. This Body Shop one includes a Maca Root Shaving Cream, Maca Root Razor Relief and a Cruelty free Shaving Brush.

Multi Tool. To be honest there's not much I know about a multi tool but what I do know is every man should own one. There especially handy for all the blue jobs round the house!

Bose Bluetooth Headphones. Freddie has a long commute into London and back which totals up to 2 hours of travel a day. I think these Bose headphones would make the perfect Christmas present as one of his main presents. Crisp powerful sound, enhanced microphone system for clear calls in wind, rain or noisy environments all wireless and using bluetooth. The headphones also benefit from having up to 15 hours of playtime before they need a charge.

Barbour Scarf & Gloves Gift Box. I love Barbour for mens scarves and gloves in particular this set which has a gorgeous tartan print and is made from 100% lambswool. There really isn't much to say about this gift as I think it's an easy win and I'm sure Freddie and most other men would love it!

Tom Ford For Men. Have you smelt this scent? If you haven't make your way promptly to your nearest perfume shop. It is absolutely divine! Apparently Tom Ford created this scent to appeal to refined, seductive and sophisticated men (fancy) The fragrance has lemon leaf oil, Italian bergamot, mandarin zest, fresh basil, violet and ginger notes coupled with deep amber and cedar wood to give it a rich and exotic smell. I would bathe in this stuff if I could.

Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield. I wear my Daniel Wellington watch pretty much everyday and what's not cuter than gifting one to your man so you can have matching his and her watches. The Sheffield has a darker leather strap and can be chosen in either rose gold or silver hardware. Daniel Wellington watches make the perfect gift because there minimalistic and a timeless piece that will never go out of fashion. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Why is this so hard?

Everyday on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and in general day to day life I see these incredible mums who have tidy houses, children in clean clothes, healthy meals on the table and I'm here running around like a headless chicken trying to get my 2.5 year old to eat a piece of broccoli whilst the screaming baby (who's been in her jumperoo for the last 20 minutes) screams wanting to be held. I never imagined how hard this whole mother of two children would be. I mean I see mums of two everyday and they look happy, like they've got their shit under control, some of them even have two or more kids! WTF! Why? How? I spend my waken hours sipping cold tea and coffee (if I even get a chance to make it) a toddler who wants mummy to play with him, a baby who constantly wants feeding, then there's nappy changes, weaning, a house that needs tidying, laundry baskets that are constantly always over flowing, a dryer full of clothes that need putting away, a washing machine with wet clothes that need to be put in the dryer but will stay there for a couple of days before needing to be re washed again, an empty fridge because I never have time keep putting off doing the food shop. Bloody hate the food shop! Sometimes I wonder if I put too much pressure on myself to be perfect that it all falls apart because I'm not dedicating myself to anything I'm just half heartedly completely day to day tasks. All I want is the perfect balance. Why is this so hard?

 I've heard it gets easier as the second baby gets older and can join in on activities with the older child but to be honest I'm dreading it. I can already see how different both my children are. Max is boisterous and wants to rough play whilst reenacting Spider-Man scenes he's seen off YouTube. Emmie is a gentle little soul with wants to sit on her own and play and hates it when Max interferes. They may love and adore each other but boy their already having arguments and upsets that cause all hell to break loose. I feel like I'm constantly saying 'Max leave your sister alone' 'Play nicely you two' 'Can we share our toys please' it's draining and just not fun. 

I feel like this is such a negative post but sometimes you just have to let it all out. I love my children more than anything in the world it's just hard sometimes to really understand what it is you're meant to be doing. Shall I lay on the floor and play cars with Max whilst the housework builds up. Shall I feed Emmie to sleep for 45 minutes whilst Max is on his own and needing me too. I really do hope this gets easier. I want to enjoy both my children but it's difficult when their both at different developmental milestones and their needs and wants are so far apart. If I could split myself in two I would. I don't want you to think I'm not grateful for my children because I am, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, I have everything I've ever wanted. A roof over our heads, two healthy children, Freddie who's an amazing dad and fiancé. It's just tough at the moment especially in the sleep deprived state I'm in, I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a full nights sleep, if ever since Emmie was born. In a few days, weeks, months, years when I look back on this post I'm hoping I'll think to myself it does get better, it does get easier and it's okay not to be perfect. I hope I would have found the perfect balance even if sometimes it did mean the housework had to suffer or feeding the kids chicken nuggets and chips more than I'd like to. I think every stage of motherhood has it's ups and downs and I just hope there's an UP coming my way very soon.

And breathe...

How did you find the transition from one to two children 6 months in?


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

Christmas! I can't believe I'm already writing a post on Christmas. I feel like it was only yesterday we were celebrating the new year and becoming excited about welcoming our second baby into the world. It's kind of scary how once you have children the years begin to fly by. With less than 35 days to go until the big day I thought I'd start a Christmas Gift Guide series on my blog. Kicking off with what to buy her (or me hint hint Freddie) I have to admit I have rather expensive taste and a few of the items mentioned below are part of a 'one day' kind of list but I mean one can dream right?

1. Gucci Soho Disco Bag. If money wasn't an option and childcare fees weren't extortionate this bag would be at the top of my list. It's absolutely gorgeous and perfect to house my essentials when out with Max & Emmie. It's compact yet big enough. It gets a perfect ten from me. 

2. Good Genes Treatment by Sunday Riley. With my wedding looming and the lack of sleep I'm getting I need to be on top of my skincare regime. I've only heard amazing things about this product and I'm desperate to give it a go. The only thing stopping me is the £85 price tag, I'm sure its worth it and will help control the onset of those mummy wrinkles.

3. Diptyque Eau Duelle. This for me is the perfect Autumn/Winter scent. It's described as gentle in character, feminine with white vanilla and frankincense notes. Pure indulgence and worth every penny.

4. Olympus PEN E-PL8. This camera is every instagrammers dream. It's super stylish, has a vari-angle touchscreen, on camera editing, built in wifi and a cool app that sends photos directly to your phone. I'm desperate to get my hands on this camera in white preferably. 

5. This Works The Big Sleep. I'm a big fan of the This Works products I even use them on both Max and Emmie. As soon as I spotted this gift set I was instantly sold. It contains five of their best loved and most potent sleep solutions. The pillow spray, night oil, bath soak, sleep balm and a new deep sleep breathe in plus a luxurious eye mask. I don't need must encouragement to sleep but anything that will instantly calm and help me unwind after a stressful mummy day with the kids is must appreciated. 

6. NARS Give In Take Palette. This palette has everything I need to help transform me from mombie to glamour mum. It contains six wet/dry eyeshadows and three blushes some of which are limited edition. I absolutely adore NARS products the quality is always great and the colours just perfect. 

7. Katie Loxton Pouch. I love a pouch. I think there the perfect accessory to have in your handbag or changing bag, they can even be used as an evening bag too! The Katie Loxton pouches are gorgeous and come in a heap of different colours and reasonable priced which is always a bonus. I have my eye on the stunning Rose shade. 

8. Nails Inc Gift Set. I was instantly sold when I read the slogan because Prosecco really is always the answer. The gift set comes with two colours New Globe Walk Snowglobe and Colville Mews Gel Effect nail polish all in a cute cosmetics bag. 

9. Aesop Resurrection Hand Wash I've spotted these gorgeous hand washes by Aesop placed in the most gorgeous kitchens on instagram. The packaging is simple yet stunning and will look good placed by any kitchen or bathroom sink. Oh and the product itself gently cleanses without dehydrating your skin and is ideal for us frequent hand washes like myself. If you're anything like me once you've finished with the product you can always refill it with a cheaper handwash, ha!

10. and last but not least. Since starting my wedding planning I've come across the most gorgeous typography and that's modern calligraphy. I started contacting wedding stationary companies about  invitations and save the dates and it became clear that I'd need to pay the price if I wanted modern calligraphy as our font of choice, it's SO expensive! So I thought it would be amazing if I could teach myself. To get started I'll need the Modern Calligraphy Set which comes in the most stylish turquoise straight wooden pen and pot of black ink. And the Nib + Ink book which guides and teaches you how to write in modern calligraphy. If bought this for Christmas I'll definitely spend many of evenings practising, I've also heard its very therapeutic and relaxing which I need after a hectic day with the kiddies.

What is on your Christmas wishlist? Do any of my gifts take your fancy?


Saturday, 19 November 2016

Life Lately...

The first few months of becoming a mother to two children was pretty good and plain sailing. Emmie slept most of the day and her night time sleep was relatively good for a newborn. I remember thinking to myself this isn't as hard as people make out. Oh how wrong was I! Emmie hit the 4 month mark and her sleep became non existent which meant she was more alert and needed actual stimulation during the day not to mention she wanted to spend every waken hour on the boob. I started to find managing two children really difficult and often wondered how I would make it through the day. Emmie's life from 4-6 months has been a bit of a blur, Ive survived most of it on lots coffee, cake and chocolate (damn you 4 month sleep regression) Now we've hit the 6 month mark life seems to have calmed down a bit. We've started weaning (more on that in another post), she's finally decided to sleep and we're starting to develop a routine for naps and bedtime. Max has always been a routine baby and a brilliant sleeper so it really hit me like a ton of bricks when I was gifted with a baby who likes to feed on demand and wake every two hours at night. We're getting there though and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fingers crossed.

Apart from my life as a mummy to two gorgeous little humans I'm also in the process of planning our 2017 wedding. It's so exciting and gives me something to focus on when both the children let me! We've set a date, chosen our wedding venues, an amazing photographer and now it's time to focus on the little parts of our wedding, like decor etc. I've been pinning my heart out and created tons of wedding boards on Pinterest, Pinterest is my life at the moment. So far planning has been fun but I know as it edges closer to our day I'll become a bridezilla and start freaking out, ha! I can't wait to become a Mrs and actually share the same surname as my family! There's going to be a few blog posts on how my wedding planning is going and what my ideas are for the big day so stay tuned for those if you're interested.

Blogging wise I've been a little slack actually I've neglected it. It's SO hard to manage two littles, a house, wedding planning and just general life circumstances as well as my blog. I found I was becoming so overwhelmed with everything and needed a breather. I went for brunch with a close friend and she said what's happened to your blog? I get that quite a lot, it did make me reevaluated everything. And so I've decided that I need to set dedicated blog time each week, I love my blog so much and I really do miss it. I hope you haven't minded the radio silence but I'm back and will hopefully have two new blog posts a week for you guys, kicking off with a couple of Christmas gift guides because I mean we only have 35 days left it's basically Christmas now!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

3 Months Of Breastfeeding

I did all my breastfeeding homework when pregnant with Max and even paid to sit in a 3 hour breastfeeding class. Nothing could prepare me for breastfeeding than actually trying to nurse with my newborn baby. Max's breastfeeding journey sadly ended after a few days I then went onto express soley for a further 10 days. It was painful, hard and absolutely exhausting. I promised myself I would try harder next time but decided not to put so much pressure on myself like I did with Max. I'm writing this now on my phone whilst nursing Emmie and I just cannot believe we've made it to 15 weeks! 

Here's what helped me breastfeed especially in those very early weeks of newborn life. 

• Nurse whenever your baby wants to feed. I remember how difficult those early few weeks were, Emmie literally never came off the boob. Luckily I had Freddie off on paternity leave to help keep Max entertained so I could focus on Emmie's frequent feeding. I've been told the reason why newborns nurse so frequently is because their trying to build up your supply and It has nothing to do with not having enough milk to feed.

• Try and have as much skin to skin with your baby as possible. I spent most of the first 5 days with Emmie on my chest or tummy under a blanket. It's a great way to bond, build up your supply and learn their feeding cues.

• If you have another child to look after keep a breastfeeding toy box to hand and wip it out when you need to nurse. That way your child is entertained and you can feed the baby without any interruptions. I kept toy cars, sticker books and colouring books and pencils in ours. 

• Invest in a good quality breastfeeding pillow. I bought the My Brestfriend one from Mothercare. It's on the pricey side but I pretty much used it for every feed within the first 3 months, I even took it out with me! It meant I had my hands free to eat my dinner etc. It also helped ease my back and arms from the mega cluster feeding sessions. This particular pillow even has a little pocket so you can keep  all your breastfeeding essentials in one place.

•Talking about essentials, make sure you have them to hand. The last thing you want is to sit down and begin a feed without your water bottle, snacks, nipple cream etc. Breastfeeding is thirsty work so you need these essentials with you before you begin feeding. 

•Figure out what position works for you. I found that on my left breast the rugby hold position worked best. My milk let down in my left breast is fast so I found she preferred being held in this position to ease off the flow. On my right side she prefers the standard cradle breastfeeding position. We also like the laying down position too. I use the laying down position the most at night when I'm able to nurse and sleep at the same time. Use the first week testing out different positions to figure out what works best for you both.

• Use nipple cream before and after every feed and even before you're due to give birth. I haven't suffered from sore or cracked nipples (touch wood) and I can solely say it's because of Laninsoh nipple cream. I slathered the stuff on! There's also no need to remove it before a feed with is a massive bonus.

• And finally find out where your local breastfeeding clinic is. We thankfully haven't needed to visit but I've heard brilliant things about them from my NCT friends. The counsellers can help with positions, your baby's latch etc. It's also a nice place to meet and chat to other breastfeeding mums over tea and cake.

Just remember to try not to put pressure yourself. If you can breastfeed than brilliant and if you can't that's okay! As long as your baby is fed, happy and healthy that is all that matters. You're doing an amazing job.

What are your tips on how to breastfeed for 3 months and upwards? I've heard it becomes a little tricker as they become more alert and interested in the world around them x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Emmie's Birth Story

Countless amounts of sweeps later I was sat waiting to be seen by my consultant on Friday 6th May 2016, one day before my due date. By this point I was exhausted, heavy and wanted this baby out! The weather was summer like and I just couldn't bear walking around in black leggings whilst squishing my poor swollen feet into flip flops. I was ready to poor my heart out to my consultant asking her if there was anything she could do to hurry this baby along. See max was 10 days overdue, weighed 10lbs 8oz and was welcomed into this world by an emergency c section. I could just sense history repeating itself all over and I desperately wanted my VBAC delivery. Once in my appointment my consultant said 'Look, let me give you one last sweep and we'll go from there.' It turned out I was 2cm dilated, she could feel the baby's head and my waters were bulging. 'Right, I want you to come in tomorrow first thing and we're going to break your waters for you!' I could have kissed her I was so happy! 
That night we sat outside in the garden just the three of us having our last supper and went to bed. Waking up the next morning it felt like Christmas Day. HELLO due date! We grabbed our hospital bits and Max's overnight bag and dropped Max off at his Grandparents house. I've never felt emotion like I have done the moment I left my baby to go and have another. I closed the front door and was in floods of tears the entire trip to the hospital. 'End of an era.' I thought.
In the hospital we were shown our room and had to wait an agonising 8 hours to be seen! Then it was finally our turn. 'Shit, this is actually happening!' 
Waters broken we were told to go for a walk. We sheepishly wondered over to the local Sainsbury's and then quickly decided it probably wasn't a good idea as I kept having mini gushes of water that no sanitary towel could hold. I was standing outside Sainsbury's with water gushing/trickling down my leg, it wasn't a good look and so embarrassing!
Back in our hospital room I could feel pangs of contractions that were coming every 5-6 minutes. 'These contractions aren't bad at all. I hope they continue like this'. I continued pacing around the room, bouncing on my birthing ball trying to hurry things along.
A few hours passed and my contractions were more intense and coming more frequently around 2-4 minutes apart. My midwife gave me an internal and said I was 5cm dilated. By this point I remember the pain exactly. Hunched over the bed with the gas and air nozzle in one hand and my tens machine strapped to my back. I couldn't help but moo like a cow and scream like a banshee. 'I need an epidural, someone please get me an epidural!!' I roared. The midwife explained that the anaesthetist was held up with another labouring woman and I was second in the queue and off she went, leaving  us in our room so I could continue to labour. It had only been 20 minutes before I was pressing the buzzer demanding the midwife to get the anaesthetist for my epi. 20 minutes just felt like an absolute lifetime! I remember I kept pressing the buzzer everytime I got a contraction, haha!
I continued on gas and air when my midwife decided to check how far dilated I was. 'You're 10cms' she said. I can remember how shocked she was that I had dilated so quickly. A few hours previously she was ready to move me onto a ward because she didn't believe I was in 'active' labour. 'You'll be ready to push in the next 30 minutes' she said as she closed the door behind her. I remember exactly how I felt at this point, relieved I had made it to 10cms but also extremely scared and anxious. With Max's labour I got myself to 10cms but wasn't able to push him out and all of a sudden I was in the theatre room being prepped for an emergency c section. I wanted a VBAC this time!
30 minutes flew by and before I knew it there were 2 doctors in the room and a whole bunch of other people ready and waiting for baby to arrive. 
I pushed for what felt like hours and her head would come down but then go back up so the doctors decided to help and gave me an episiotomy. Two pushes later and my baby entered the world. 'Is she okay? Is she okay?' I kept saying. 'Yes she's perfect!' She was placed on my chest and I immediately put her on my breast to nurse which she thankfully took to. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of pure love and euphoria. I did it! I got the VBAC I wanted and I just couldn't believe my little baby girl was here. I had Emmie Jane de Metz at 5.50am Sunday 8th May and was home with Max by early evening ready for his bedtime bath. So perfect and exactly what I wanted.