Friday, 28 February 2014

Midlands Meet Ups - watch this space!

Blogging is great and I have made some fab friends online as a result but sometimes, you just want to meet people face-to-face. 

Rather than waiting for someone else to arrange a meet up in the Midlands, I organised my own event for mummy and lifestyle bloggers with my friend Emma

The first ever #midsblogmeet took place on Saturday 22nd February 2014 in Nottingham and over a couple of months of planning and organising, we built a list of 30 bloggers keen to come along. We worked with some fantastic brands, including Weleda, Tommee Tippee, Poddle Pod and MamaBabyBliss, to put together prize packages and goody bags for everyone on the day, plus I built a relationship with the local Body Shop, who gave a talk on new products and provided exclusive discounts for our guests.

The feedback on the event has been amazing, both from those who attended and those who wished they could have been there, so we're currently planning some further meet ups for the near future. 

We had such fun putting organising the first meet up and have lots of ideas on how we can do more later this year. As we both have blogs that cover a variety of interests, and many of our blogger friends are the same, we're working on planning separate meet ups for mummy bloggers, beauty bloggers and craft bloggers. Why organise just one event when you can organise three?!

We already have a list of brands who want to be on board and from the response we've had, we know there's so many people who would like to come so keep an eye out for details over the next few weeks.

If you're a brand and would like to be involved in any future mummy / beauty / craft blogger meet ups, please contact me - we'd love to work with you.

Bags of choice - but which one to choose?

I'm not the kind of person to covet designer bags, shoes, sunglasses or clothes. I really can't see the appeal in having something super expensive just because it has the 'right' name. Maybe it's because I've never owned anything that's cost a lot of money, but I'd rather have ten pairs of shoes than just one pair that has a fancy label, and price tag, attached. Paying for a name just doesn't make sense to me.

That being said, I do want to treat myself to something with my big birthday coming up. Whilst I do treat myself to things I like as anyone else does, my tastes are high street not high end. However, I want to push the boat out just a little, just this once, as I feel I deserve something special.

My sights are set on a Cambridge Satchel, personalised with my initials K.V.O. I have always loved satchels and The Cambridge Satchel Company is THE name to go to for this classic design. I love handbags and my husband treated me to a couple of beauties for Christmas from Zara, which are in fact the most expensive bags I own (which goes to show just how much money I spend on myself compared to a lot of people my age). Whilst friends of mine lust after Mulberry, I'd be more than happy with the still much coveted Cambridge Satchel under my arm.

The only trouble I have now is choosing which one to buy.

There's so many different styles now, from the classic to the brogue to the batchel (a more business like version of the satchel, complete with carry handle on top) and even a handbag design, and there's every colour under the sun too. From the new pastel shades and metallic finishes to browns, reds, blues and fluoros, there's a satchel for every occasion and every outfit.

It all comes down to what I will use it for. If I want a bag to use every day, from the office to the home, then a larger bag may be best, like the 13 or 15 inch styles, so I can fit A4 files and notepads and everything else I like to cart about. If I'm buying one bag then I want to get my money's worth.

But then, what about pure play? Wouldn't it be nice to choose an iconic, 'out there' satchel in my favourite colour and to heck with practicality?

I'm currently in two minds as to whether I should just buy two to satisfy both my needs. I know! Never spent much money on things like this and now I'm getting carried away and considering buying two satchels because I can't make up my mind!

I'm thinking a larger satchel in a black, brown or tan shade would look ├╝ber professional whilst my heart is rather taken with an 11 inch pink design - the fluro is simply stunning if you ask me!

My sensible favourites

Saddle Leather Satchel in tan, 14 inches
(this one will crease and wear with age to add character and charm)
The Classic in dark brown, 14 inches
The Batchel in black, 15 inches
My fun favourites 

The Fluoro, 13 inches
The Classic, 13 inches

So, what do I do people? Play it safe, have some fun or cheat and buy two different bags?? Which satchel would you choose?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Tips for caring for baby's teeth

There's always something new to learn when babies are concerned and the old adage that they don't come with a manual is true. We need as much help as possible to help us manoeuvre the mummy minefield and my main source of information is from the NHS email subscription I signed up to when pregnant and of course, you lovely people on Twitter and in the blogosphere.

As there's no better advice than the advice from one mum to another and since I began this blog, I vowed to share my experiences so hopefully I can help other mums navigate everything from weaning to walking (I'm yet to experience the latter with Ethan!).

Recently, I shared the teething troubles my little man has been going through and it's become one of my most popular posts of late, so it seems I'm not the only one who needs advice on the various stages our little ones go through.

Now this may sound bad, but I didn't have a clue about how to care for Ethan's teeth. He has one and a half teeth on the bottom row at the moment so I started thinking when I should start brushing them. They seem so small and insignificant, I just didn't realise that as soon as they appear, you should be cleaning those tiny toothy pegs twice a day. Naughty mama.

So, I've been reading up and thought that other mums may appreciate a post of top teeth tips:

1. Clean twice a day, every day, as soon as a tooth comes through. This will help baby get used to this daily part of their routine and will keep their mouth and teeth nice and healthy. First thing in the morning and after their last feed, if possible, is best.

2. Buy a soft, small toothbrush. There's plenty of toothbrush choice available for 0-2 years old, all of which should have soft, round-ended bristles and a small, angled head. Replace the toothbrush every three months, or sooner if it's looking a bit worn.

3. Choose a low fluoride toothpaste. Again, there's lots of baby friendly toothpastes available in Boots or larger supermarkets, all of which will be low in fluoride - the active ingredient which helps prevent tooth decay but can be harmful if too much is swallowed.

4. Keep it bland. Choosing mild toothpastes as opposed to flavoured options, such as strawberry, will help your baby understand that this isn't food, so as they grow up, they won't be tempted to 'eat' the paste.

5. Use sparingly. When baby is young, they won't be able to spit the toothpaste out after you've brushed their teeth, so only use a dot of paste no bigger than a grain of rice each time you clean their teeth. As they get older, you can encourage them to start spitting it out.

6. Brush in circles. Brush each tooth with small, gentle circular movements and try to focus on where the tooth meets the gum. It may be tricky, but if you do this slowly, you're less likely to upset their tender gums.

7. Let them join in. If your little one squirms or refuses to let you clean their teeth, you could try giving them a brush to hold themselves whilst you do it, so they feel involved. And try cleaning your teeth in front of them too, so they can see it's normal and to peak their interest.

8. Register at a dentist. The experts advise that babies who have teeth should be taken to the dentist at the earliest opportunity so perhaps at your next appointment, take them along so they get familiar with the environment and to register them at the practice.

Did you know...?
> Baby's will eventually have 20 milk teeth, which will come through by the time they are around two and a half years old.

> Toothpastes made specifically for 0-3 years have no more than 1,000 parts per million of fluoride and are best for little ones.

> NHS dental treatment is free for under-18's.

The NHS rough guide to teething stages:
  • Bottom front teeth (incisors) – these are the first to come through, at around five to seven months
  • Top front teeth (incisors) – these come through at around six to eight months
  • Top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth) – these come through at around nine to 11 months
  • Bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth) – these come through at around 10-12 months
  • Molars (back teeth) – these come through at around 12-16 months
  • Canines (towards the back of the mouth) – these come through at around 16-20 months
  • Second molars – these come through at around 20-30 months

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wear your blogger status with pride

A brief post today but an apt one if you're a blogger...

Being a blogger seems to be quite a trendy thing of late, so much so it's been influencing fashion.

Next has introduced two fab new tshirt designs that pay homage to the humble fashion blogger and I for one couldn't help but snap them up as soon as I saw them.

The 'I'm kind of a big deal on my blog' slogan reminded me of Ron Burgundy and is really tongue-in-cheek / available in white and navy - whilst ' love fashion blogs, coffee and you' sums up things nicely.

They're only £15/£16 each so go on, take a look at the Next website and wear your blog tshirt with pride!

Win it Wednesday with To Become Mum and Weleda

I have been a big fan of Weleda ever since I first tried their calendula baby face cream and since then, I've come to rely on their teething granules and have worked with them to put together some fantastic goody bags for #midsblogmeet.

So, I thought it was only fair for me to share with you a little Weleda love, in return for a bit of blog loving.

For the next couple of weeks, I'm running a mini 'win it Wednesday' competition where I will choose one lucky person to win a selection of Weleda samples, just for following me on Bloglovin, liking my Facebook page or RT'ing my tweets.

The person I will pick at random who has helped support this blog in any or all of the above ways will receive this bundle of beauties in the post:

Just let me know when you've followed me, either on Twitter or by commenting on this post, so I know to enter you in the competition. 

Weleda kindly provided samples to me for the blogger event I co-organised and I had a few left over so I wanted to put these to good use. Postage will come out of my own pocket so really, this is just a bit of fun and a way for me to say thank you for reading my blog. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Give it some lip

I'm a big fan of lippie and have amassed quite a big collection of tints, stains, glosses, crayons, sticks, liners and balms through my quest for the perfect pout.

Whilst hubs doesn't like it when I wear anything on my lips, I just have to have something to add some colour or keep them feeling soft. I'm pale and with my light blonde hair, I need an injection of colour, so I rely on painted nails, a flush on my cheeks and a slick of lipstick to give my look a lift.

I love peachy pink shades and with spring around the corner, I'm sure it won't be long before I start my love affair with all things coral again. A red pout really packs a punch whilst everyone needs a nude or a tone close to their own lip colour for a more subtle effect.

This season, there's three key lip trends to look out for and anyone can find a way to make them work:

1. One liner
- Lip liner is back ladies and no, don't worry, it's not about lining the outline of your lips with one shade then filling in with lipstick, like we are were all guilt of in the 90's / early 00's. Lip liner is now an on-trend way to build long-lasting colour. Choose a soft pink or red shade and carefully line the edge of your lips before filling in. Blot, then dab some balm with the pad of your finger or dot some clear gloss on top to add moisture and shine. This look is really strong at the moment and has staying power too.

2. Berry nice - Berry shades have been seen across the catwalks and whilst they may seem a little too much for some, gothic even, everyone can find a colour to suit. The trend is about looking good enough to eat, so think lips that have been stained with blackberries or strawberries and you're on the right lines. Tints and crayons are a great way to get this look without going too heavy and are perfect for day time wear. Try a few swatches out and see what works for you.

3. All about orange - The biggest, boldest look of all for lips right now is orange. Rihanna rocks a beautiful orange lip and it's a lovely fresh colour to introduce to your make up bag this spring. Go for an orange hue of red lipstick to really get the look or, to put your own spin on it, try a slightly peachy orange tone. I am a fan of mixing colours to make something different that works for you so why not try an orangey red lipstick base, blot, then use a  lighter peach toned lip gloss on top to soften the finished look.

Following on from #midsblogmeet at the weekend, I snapped up a rosy red lip liner and a lovely punchy peach lipstick from The Body Shop. Here's the liner - I wore it all day and loved the colour, which was soft and didn't dry my lips.

I really can't pout, I just look moody!

Which lip trend will you try?

Monday, 24 February 2014

The first ever #midsblogmeet - read all about it here!

So, after months of planning, some of the best (and loveliest) mummy and lifestyle bloggers came from across the Midlands to The Malt Cross, Nottingham, for a day filled with chatting, treating and eating! 

Back in November 2013, Emma and I were talking with a few other people on Twitter about how nice it would be to meet and soon after, we decided to put the idea into action and organise a blogger meet up of our very own. We're both very much 'do-ers', not wanting to wait around until someone else arranges something, and working in PR myself, I relished the chance to co-organise a great event.

And - I hope that everyone who attended will agree with me here - it was a great, great day. It was so nice to put faces to names and to find out more about some of the lovely ladies I tweet daily and who's blogs I read every week. You feel you get to know people pretty well through their blogs so meeting for the first time face-to-face was quite strange really - we know quite a lot about each other without ever officially 'meeting'!

Emma and I had worked hard to put together a fun, relaxed and inspiring event and hopefully we did just that. We kept a lot of surprises under our hats and hopefully this added to the excitement of the event.

We first welcomed everyone, gave 'hello my name is stickers' and asked each person to introduce themselves briefly so we all knew who was who, before we started nattering away at ten to the dozen.

Emma had baked some yummy cupcakes for everyone and we enjoyed a delicious bespoke lunch prepared by the extremely helpful team at The Malt Cross.

We were then treated to a guest visit from Sophie and Autumn from The Body Shop Nottingham team, who came armed with lots of new products to tell us all about, and we got to try some of them too. The hair chalks went down REALLY well, and even the children got involved and had their hair coloured. We were also given a fantastic voucher and while Emma and I were tidying up at the end of the day, everyone headed over to The Body Shop for more beauty trials and purchases.

We also ran a few prize draws on the day, having received some fantastic products to giveaway from some great brands to some of our lucky attendees. Poddle Pod gave Lauren and Kelly a product to review, plus Ellie received the chance to run a competition on her blog for someone else to win a pod (so watch this space!). Tommee Tippee kindly gave Lauren a weaning prize package worth £30 worth, including new feeding spoons, bibs and a serving plate, and lucky Cate scooped up a rather lovely pamper prize from MamaBabyBliss – a gift set containing relaxing bath soak, mummy baby balm and a bliss stick. 

At the end of the day, the remaining people put their names in the hat to be in with a chance to win the big prize bundle we had put together from most of the brands who supported the event. Sarah was the lucky lady who walked away with a gift set from The Body Shop, some great goodies from Weleda including their renowned Skin Food cream, a 'make your own cookies' jar gift from Baked By Me and other bits and pieces including a signed copy of the book What To Expect When You're Expecting and the film too (donated by myself).

The lucky ladies

Congratulations to everyone who won something on the day. 

However, no-one left #midsblogmeet empty handed, oh no! We had prepared a special goody bag for every blogger, containing samples, special offers and information from Weleda UK (who also provided us with the bags themselves), Swizzels Matlow, Baked By Me, Bake It Yourself by Neff and The Body Shop. We're hoping that these treats and all our chats on the day provided everyone with some great blog inspiration - our heads are just buzzing with ideas right now!

Thank you's

Emma and I would like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who came along to the first ever Midlands Blogger Meet Up event – it was wonderful to meet you in person and we hope you had a fun day. It just wouldn’t have been possible without you so thank you so much.

We hope you have made some great friends and that you will tell all your own lovely readers about the meet up.

Here are the names, blogs and Twitter ID's of the lovely ladies who enjoyed the day with us - be sure to follow them, tweet them, like their posts... they're all amazing people and fab bloggers too:

Emma Berry (Host)
Samantha Schofield
Sue Barsby
Laura Candlin
Amanda Wright
Laura Strong
Cate Elder
Emma Tustian
Iris Choo
Ellie Aindow
Sarah Athow-Frost
Bel Smith

We would also like to say a HUGE thank you to all the lovely brands that have supported us – without them, we wouldn’t have been able to give you so may goody bag treats, prizes and opportunities.

Here’s a list of all the brands that have supported us:

Weleda - @WeledaUK
Experts in natural skincare for almost 100 years, Weleda gave some great samples to everyone to try, including their Calendula Face Cream (great for baby AND you!), Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash, Oat Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner and their new Wheat Balancing Shampoo.
The Body Shop - @TheBodyShopUK
The team from the Nottingham Bridlesmith Gate branch came along to show everyone the very latest products and we all got to try something new. Inside the goody bag there was also a very special voucher so we could all treat ourselves on the way home. 

Poddle Pod - @PoddlePodUK
The Poddle Pod is a baby snuggle nest that is designed so that you can quickly put your baby down safely when you need to get things done, whereas Toddle Pods are designed to be used from approximately 6 months to around 3 years.

Poddle Pod kindly offered two bloggers a product to review, one pod as a prize and another blogger the chance to run a competition in the near future (as well as myself - details to follow soon!). 

Tommee Tippee - @tommeetippee_UK
One of my favourite baby brands, Tommee Tippee, donated a great bundle of weaning products.
MamaBabyBliss - @MamaBabyBliss
MamaBabyBliss gave a lovely gift set of a relaxing bath soak, mummy baby balm and a bliss stick. Lucky lady!

Swizzels Matlow - @SwizzelsMatlow
The sweetie specialists are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Love Hearts this year and they gave everyone you some treats to enjoy on the journey home – that's if anyone could actually wait that long!

Baked By Me - @BakedByMe
If you’re a keen baker or just like to make cookies and cupcakes for fun with your children, THIS is the website for you! The baking and activity kits are a great idea and we love the cookie mix jars too – they make nice gifts, that is if you can bring yourself to give them away!

The lovely Iris provided a chocolate mould in all of the goody bags so we'll all be making our own shaped chocolate treats soon.

Bake It Yourself by Neff - @_BakeItYourself
Once just a PR campaign phrase dreamed up by moi (“let’s tell people to BIY rather than DIY!”), Bake It Yourself has grown over the past two years into the second largest baking community in Europe. With lots of recipe inspiration, competitions and a brilliant Facebook forum, Bake It Yourself by Neff gave a cookbook to each blogger to help us all cook up a range of tasty meals.

Keep an eye out for everyone else's blog posts and tweets about the event and the great products we got to see and try. Just follow #midsblogmeet on Twitter to keep up to date.

It was so much fun that I'm sure a second meet up may be on the cards for later in the year... although we may have to think about making it a ticketed event or asking people to pay for lunch in advance if necessary as Emma and I were left with quite a large bill on the day as around six people we were expecting didn't turn up and hadn't told us in advance.

But this aside, we're so pleased that everyone appreciated our efforts and I'm sure our arms can be twisted to do something again in the future! 

Thank you again everyone, we had a blast.

Kelly x

P.S. If anyone would like to use any of my photos from the event, please just drop me an email and I'll gladly provide them to you if you can include a link back. Thank you muchly!

Friday, 21 February 2014

It just keeps getting better

The feeling when you bring your newborn home for the first time is indescribable. It's more a mixture of emotions than any one thing alone - excitement, fear, shock, love, you feel them all - and for the first few months, you have to take things one step at a time. You've never been a mum before, you've never met this little person before and you've never felt the way you do before. It can all be a bit much.

When your baby is young, you don't get very much feedback from them. They're so small and vulnerable and need you for everything, you simply give them what they need, knowing they can't communicate or do very much in return. This may sound a bit obvious but it came as a surprise to me just how one-sided relationship it can be during those first few months. I've always tried to be as honest as I can be on this blog, and many other mums its seems are doing the same. The Motherhood posted this last week, including an interview with Clemmie from Gas and Air, who wrote this post on the truth about maternity leave, which went viral.

I feel it's really important to tell other women, if they want to know, the truth about mummyhood, rather than an edited, life-is-wonderful, I-am-so-fulfilled version. I am very much a 'the more I know, the less I worry' kind of gal, and I wish someone had told me before Ethan was born just how much of a roller-coaster it can be when you go from just you two to a new family of three.

My favourite quote of Clemmie's is this:

"You will feel like a failure and that you can’t do it. You know in labour when you said ‘I can’t do this is’ and your partner and midwife said ‘You can and you are doing this’, well remember that. Because all over the country and the world other mothers are thinking the same thing. You are just climbing the huge mountain of motherhood. And no one said it was easy. Share your fears and anxieties with your mum mates because we need to be sisterly in all of this and be honest with one another."

With all that being said, mummyhood is still the most amazing experience and over time, it is more and more rewarding. As the months fly by, and they do once the sleep deprivation starts to subside and you have got used to having a baby in your life, you notice every little change and every sign of development. From smiling at you for the first time to learning to wave, laugh, sit up, crawl - every day, your baby becomes a little person who can communicate with you more and more.

I loved those early days with Ethan, with hours spent snuggling on the sofa; he would daydream about his next feed and I would daydream about the boy he'd grow into. I made him pinky swear he'd never leave me and would never be too old for cuddles.

But as each month has passed, I've found more and more to enjoy about my little boy. I remember the date of his first smile (18th June), when he first sat up unaided and then just the other day, I was so proud to see him learn how to use a toy, where you drop a ball at the top of the tower, and it spins all the way around to the bottom. Such little things but which each step, he grows stronger and his personality shines through.

He's at an age where he's starting to play by himself, making funny noises and waving his arms around. It even sounds like he's trying to join in the conversation at times and he definitely understands us more every day.

I look at this little boy of mine and I'm amazed at how much he has changed and how much fun he is. As much as us mums are nostalgic for the past, when we had a small bundle to wrap up warm and hold nice and tight, the older our babies become, the more they become their own person.

I had a wonderful day with Ethan this week, just the two of us, and I thought to myself, it just keeps getting better.

And it does. I promise.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Two days and counting until #midsblogmeet

Over the past couple of months, Emma and I have been working hard to organise a fabulous event for Midlands based mummy and lifestyle bloggers and the day after tomorrow, our efforts will be rewarded.

We have around 30 brilliant bloggers coming to The Malt Cross, Nottingham, for a day filled with chats, treats and surprises. We don't want to give too much away as we don't want to spoil the surprise, but we have had support from some amazing brands and every one who attends will receive a special goody bag, loads of blog inspiration, the chance to win some prizes and there's also a few exclusive offers and blogger opportunities for us to share too.

Emma has emailed everyone on the list the final details and we'll be sending one more email with our mobile numbers in case you need to reach us on the day, but do get in touch if you want to check anything before you come along.

As a final recap, here's the details of the event:

What? Midlands Blogger Meet Up
When? 11am to 3pm, Saturday 22nd February 2014
Where? Malt Cross, 16 St James's Street, Nottingham

We'll be taking photos of the day and sharing everything that happens on our blogs and Twitter feeds, as well as showcasing the brands that have been involved, in the days following the event so everyone can see what we go up to.

If you're coming, don't forget to tell everyone about the day using #midsblogmeet in your tweets.

Thank you for all your support and here's to a fab first Midlands Blogger Meet Up!

Kelly x

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

#midweekmealsformums - chorizo & beetroot hash and best ever bubble and squeak

When I started my midweek meals for mums, I was looking for recipe inspiration to help me cook quick, fresh, affordable meals to enjoy as a family during the week when the last thing I want to do is spend time in the kitchen. I'd much rather spend some quality time with Ethan and my hubs, thank you!

However, since then, hubs has started working away three nights a week and on the days Ethan is at nursery, he has already had his dinner before he comes home, so I've had less need to try new recipes as there's only me to feed.

I do still love to cook though and I'm keen to continue sharing recipe ideas with you because I know that you must get like me sometimes - uninspired and just reliant on the same old meals when time or budget are an issue. 

I'm always searching the web for meal ideas and wanted to share with you a couple of ideas from Asda's recipe finder search tool, which is really useful. All you need to do is choose what type of meal you're looking for or what key ingredient you want to use, then you can refine results according to the cooking difficulty or time. What's more, you can then add the ingredients direct to your basket for a fast online shop - brilliant for busy mums if you ask me! 

I tried the top recipe at the weekend and it was really tasty and with plenty leftover to be reused the next day. My tip would be to add a tin of chopped tomatoes before putting the dish in the oven, just to add some moisture because it could be quite dry by itself.

300g King Edward potatoes, cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
300g pack cooked beetroot, cubed
2 red onions, cut into wedges
225g chorizo, cut into 2.5cm cubes (or buy it ready-diced)
1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for frying
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 large free-range eggs


500g Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp oil
275g savoy cabbage, shredded
25g butter
4 lean back bacon rashers, chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten

I love the simplicity of both recipes and how they can both be made from leftover vegetables and cupboard staples or can be made in advance to be eaten later in the week. Meals like bubble and squeak just get better next day in my opinion!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

#treatyourselftuesday - The Body Shop Beautifying Oil

I'm quite the beauty hoarder and it takes little more than a sign saying 'new' to draw me to a product when I'm shopping. I particularly can't help myself if said product happens to have 'beauty' in it's name. Oh, and if it's from The Body Shop, you really can't hold me back!

I've been a huge fan of The Body Shop since my early teens. It was a staple of my Christmas stocking and every one of my friends had their own scent - be it zingy Satsuma, fruity Strawberry or feminine White Musk. Ah, how scent can condure up so many memories. I even visited the factory in Littlehampton a couple of times, with £10 pocket money in my purse and excitement in my eyes.

Today, I love going into The Body Shop when I haven't been for a while, and simply wandering around, not sure what I'm looking for but sure I'll find something to catch my eye.

A few weeks ago, I had a few minutes to spare at Euston station so I decided to have a look around the small Body Shop store and see what I could find. There was a display, with a sign saying 'new', so naturally I went over to have a look.

There was a new line of Beautifying Oils lined up over a few shelves and I knew I had found a new product to try. I'd only read a review of these new oils the day before, in this post by my fab blogger friend, and co-organiser of #midsblogmeet, Emma, so there was no question that I would have to try this for myself.

It took me about 10 minutes to decide which scent to go for, however, as I really couldn't decide. There's 10 different scents to choose from and in the end, I was torn between Shea and Olive. Honestly, I stood there sniffing one, then the other, and just couldn't decide. I didn't think I would be drawn to the Olive version but this was the one I chose as it has a really nice, light, fresh scent that I find quite invigorating.

I've posted before about my skin needing a lot more TLC and moisture as of late, so I thought this oil would make a great addition to my night-time routine (I actually have one now, which is a big step forward for me, as I've been pretty lazy with my skincare for a while).

You can use the oil on your face, body and hair, to add moisture and a little illumination. It hydrates your skin and as it's a dry oil, it doesn't feel greasy. It smooths really nicely over your skin and the scent is subtle but really pleasant.

I've been using this on my face after my night moisturiser and I've also also used it as an alternative to serum on the ends of my dry hair. It feels light on your skin but does seem to help tackle dry patches. It feels luxurious to use and I have to say, the hype is true in this instance - it really is a beautiful oil.

A little really goes a long way and I can see so many uses for this product. Emma suggested in her blog post that you could add brown sugar to the oil to make your own body scrub and I'm keep to try a couple of make-your-own face masks, using natural ingredients from my fridge and cupboard, so will definitely add a couple of drops of this oil.

If it ever does run out, I'd love to pick up a couple of the other scents but I think it could take a while, which makes this £9 bottle great value, particularly as it can be used in so many ways.

I can't say whether it's made me more beautiful, but it certainly makes me feel like it every time I use it.

Monday, 17 February 2014

If you'd like to nominate me for the MAD Blog Awards 2014, I'll love you forever!

This blog began as my pregnancy diary and now is my daily record of my life and my baby boy. It has become more than just a place for me to vent, but a place for me to meet new people, many who are new mums like myself, and a way to share ideas, information and advice. You never stop learning as a mum and the best support network you can have is other mums. This blog and my Twitter page connect me with some lovely people and I have made some lovely friends and had so many great opportunities. I enjoy this blog so much and it has come to mean a lot to me, and hopefully to Ethan too when he looks at it in the future.

To nominate me, please click here

If you're a blogger, you may already know about the MAD (Mummy and Daddy) Blog Awards, which have been going for five years now. Celebrating the wonderful world of being a parent blogger, these awards highlight the best of the blogs and this year I've thought I might as well give it a go - you never know unless you try!

So, I'm asking you, my fabulous readers, to nominate me if I've ever made you smile, if I've ever shared something really useful or if you enjoy reading about my adventures in mummyhood. Hey, if you simply love me sharing photos of my gorgeous little boy, that's a good enough reason as any!

Whether you liked my post about striving to be a yummy mummy, enjoyed my regular product reviews and test posts, laughed at the top skills I've learnt as a new mum, found my #weaningwednesday weekly posts useful or tried some of my #midweekmealsformums recipes, I would LOVE it if you would vote for me.

The MAD Blod Awards 2014 have a variety of categories in which you could nominate me or another of your favourite bloggers, from best new blog to best writer and best baby blog. Nomination is easy - simply visit this page, pop in your email address and paste the URL of my blog ( into any or as many categories as you wish. Then just cross your fingers!

Nominations close on 14th March 2014.

To be nominated would be amazing in itself - there's so much competition so to be shortlisted would be an incredible achievement - but knowing I have your support means the world.

Thank you!

Kelly x
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