Wednesday, 17 October 2018

32 weeks pregnancy update, baby number two

I've made it to 32 weeks in good health, both physical and mental, and am at the stage where we are starting to countdown, rather than counting up as the weeks of this pregnancy go by. As everyone keeps saying, baby could decide to arrive early, so really we are five weeks away from that being a likely possiblility...

Oh. My. Gosh.

We're really are having a baby, aren't we?!

Here's an update on how my pregnancy has been going now that I am well and truly in my third trimester (you can catch up with my pregnancy announcement, 12 week pregnancy update, 18 week pregnancy update AND second trimester post too, to catch up on anything you may have missed)...

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Brilliant boots for autumn walks #HotterWalkies

In case the colours of my blog and most recent posts on here and on Instagram didn't give you a hint, I LOVE autumn! A big part of this is of course the changing of the seasons outside, seeing the leaves change colour and fall from the trees, and wrapping up to go out and enjoy it all.

Warm colours, comfy boots and snugly scarves are some of my favourite things about the season.

Being 32 weeks pregnant, I am trying to remain active but also conscious of not overdoing it too, and of being a bit steadier on my feet. This is all good news to our dog, Watson, as he isn't that fond of walking too far, or of wet weather, so a quick trot around the block and home again for cuddles does the trick.


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Monday, 15 October 2018

The second trimester - pregnancy update, baby number two

When I first blogged for Natural Birthing Company, I was sharing the story of my journey tobecome mum first time around, and how we found out we were expecting our secondbaby, due in early December. My first trimester was full of anticipation, nerves and some anxiety, I have to be honest, as having experienced a miscarriage last year, we were far more cautious this time around. We had extra, private scans early on to be sure everything was going ok and it was nice to finally reveal to everyone our happy news when all the signs looked positive.

So, how has the second trimester been? You can see this post over on the NBC website too, as I am a blogger ambassador for them, but there's lots to cover, so I have shared it here too to keep you up to date...


Well, I do have to say I feel like I have been pregnant a LONG time, but that isn’t in a bad way - I really do enjoy having a bump and, touch wood, everything is going well and I am feeling good. In fact, during the course of my second trimester, my overall health and well-being seems to have improved a lot; my skin has been really clear, my hair seems to be growing and thickening and I do feel good in myself. I had one or two days around 24 weeks where I suddenly felt quite sad, for no apparent reason, but it didn’t develop into anything and I talked to my husband about how I was feeling, so I’m putting it down to pregnancy hormones.

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Sunday, 14 October 2018

My two little pumpkins #MySundayPhoto

I have gone a little pumpkin crazy, you could say. We went pumpkin picking at Essington Farm last weekend (glad we did, as it's tipping down today...) and brought home six pumpkins in varying sizes and colours. I'm getting a healthy dose of pumpkin spice lattes. And even my wardrobe is being taken over by the colours of the season.

I just bloomin' love autumn!

I am also loving time with my family, especially as we are the countdown to when bump turns into baby. Ethan is very excited and has been very caring and protective over me during my pregnancy, and this photo I know I will cherish as both my little pumpkins are with me, just before our life changes all over again and I become a mum of two.

Can't wait to revisit next year with a 10 month old in tow...


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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

What to Pack For A Stag Do Abroad?

The big night of bidding goodbye to your bachelorhood is one of the most important nights in an engaged man’s life. The celebration of his singlehood, before he becomes a husband and leads a happily married life, has been a long standing tradition enjoyed and followed for years now.

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A stag do abroad means lots of travelling, exploring and facing unexpected challenges and overcoming them happily, because it’s your friends’ stag do. Travelling abroad and having more than one night of stag celebration has become one of the top ideas for a stag do.

Whether you’re travelling for your stag do to UK or somewhere else in Europe, or anywhere in the world, there are certain essentials that your suitcase must have. So here’s a list of things to help you pack your bags and have a great stag do with the lads.
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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Pumpkin picking at Essington Farm, Wolverhampton #MySundayPhoto

Autumn is my favourite time of year. What's not to love? Beautiful colours as the season changes, the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes, warm cardigans, boots and blankets to cosy up in and of course, pumpkins!

Having something of a pumpkin myself being carried around with me (I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant), I couldn't wait to go out this year to a local pumpkin patch to pick some of our own, in different colours, shapes and sizes, and to take the chance of getting some autumnal family photos.

And to think, this time next year, we can go out to the farm again with baby along for the ride too...


We visited Essington Farm, near Wolverhampton. It's well signposted from the M54, free to enter and you pay for what you pick. This was the first weekend they opened their pumpkin fields to the public, and they are open every day until Halloween itself, with tractor rides to the furthest field running at weekends (check their website for details).

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Saturday, 6 October 2018

Jurassic Park Live in Concert at Symphony Hall Birmingham

Both hubs and I were huge dinosaur fans when we were growing up, so it's probably no surprise that Ethan loves these prehistoric creatures too (well, we did create a dinosaur themed playroom - now his bedroom - when he was just a few months old)...

Jurassic Park is one of those films that has stood the test of time and one that we still enjoy very much to this day. Ste has fond memories of seeing it at the cinema with his mum when it was first released and I used to happily spend a Sunday afternoon re-watching it on VHS tape.

When we heard that Jurassic Park would be live in concert at Symphony Hall Birmingham, we naturally jumped at the chance to have an afternoon of dino-sized fun.



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Friday, 28 September 2018

#OneTwoFreeYourSkin - an ode to my psoriasis prone skin


Smooth.
Pale, prone to freckles and moles, up and down.
Doesn't tan much, more fond of shades of pink that sun-kissed brown.
Not something really thought about, it's just a part of me.
A part of me that everyone can see.

Patchy.
A red blotch appears one day.
And doesn't seem to want to go away.
Some moisture here, a good scrub there.
But it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Itch.
The patch becomes quite angry and sore.
It makes it's presence known, until I can't ignore it anymore.
Soon, this patch isn't alone, and more appear.
Another on my head, my arm, and then under here.

Fire.
This isn't just a little itch to scratch.
My skin feels tingly and hot like a match.
It's spreading all over now, it just won't stop.
I think about it an awful lot.

Cover.
Once just something never thought about.
Is something that I want to shout about.
I used to have some of my skin on show.
Now I hide it wherever I go.

Scratch.
Who wants to see red exposed skin?
No-one needs to know what I am living with.
Leggings in summer, long-sleeves a must.
A condition revealed only to those I trust.

Battle.
Every day, it's hard not to let it overcome.
Who you are, what you do, how you have fun.
Your skin feels like it's against you.
And that it'll do what it likes, no matter what you do.

Try.
Everyone's different, and will respond in different ways.
To lotions and potions, applied several times a day.
Eating better, staying calm, getting fit.
You've got to try lots of things, do your bit.

Relief.
When you find something that works for you.
Oh, how amazing that feeling is, it's true.
To have something take away some of the worst.
Make you feel in control, you're so happy you could burst.

Routine.
It's something you need to build in each day.
Make time for yourself, treat your skin this way.
Regular care and attention can be the change.
So one day, you won't have to hide again.

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Hen party ideas for a pregnant bride

A hen night is one of the most special nights for a bride to be and also one of the precious duties of a maid of honour. While hen parties are usually made up of lots of booze, dancing and hen do activities, it doesn’t have to mean that a pregnant bride cannot have fun at her last night as a Ms.


* Collaborative post
Source:pixabay.com



Booze can be replaced with non-alcoholic margaritas, there can still be a little bit of casual dancing, nothing too strenuous and there are plenty of hen do activities for an expecting bride to enjoy. Depending on how far along the bride is in her pregnancy, you can plan a day or an entire weekend filled with relaxed and yet fun activities that will make for a memorable hen do.

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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Win one of two pairs of tickets to The Baby Show, 19th-21st October 2018, Olympia London

With some 10 weeks or so left to go, our baby preparations really need to kick up a notch as I'd love to get everything sorted with a few weeks' to spare. If you are in nesting mode or even if you've just seen those blue lines appear for the first time, a trip to The Baby Show is well worth it, for ideas, hands-on experience and expert advice too.


This October, The Baby Show, with MadeForMums, will be taking place from Friday 19th until Sunday 21st October at Olympia London. It is a must-attend event that gives visitors the opportunity to compare, try and buy – all under one roof! I've been to the show in Birmingham a few times now and have always found it to be worthwhile, especially as you can see so many things up close and give them a go before you buy.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The vintage charm of sash windows and how to make them more efficient without losing it


Are you wondering how to make your Sash windows more efficient and useful? With pretty window treatments done to make your home's interior appear more aesthetically pleasing and stunning, you also want to make it more productive, especially when it comes to energy efficiency. This is even more important if you have nicely decorated timber casement windows, metal windows or double-glazed sash windows that make winters even more magical and ethereal.



Sash Windows & Their Charm
Sash windows add to the splendour and voguish ambience of your home. The window has two frames that slide vertically. This facilitates ventilation and the airflow within your house. There are different types of sash window designs that you can choose from like single-hung and double-hung to name a few. The specific design first originated during the mid-late 17th century in England and has since been a popular element of the mid-late 17th century. These are apt for retaining heat during cold weather, so your home stays warm and cozy. Sash Windows with double glazing are ideal to step up the winter vibes, add to your interior's overall aesthetics, and improve the airflow.

How To Make Sash Windows More Efficient
Use the following procedures like draught-proofing, double glazing, use of shutters and secondary glazing to make your sash windows more efficient and use-worthy and to improve their thermal performance. Make sure you have a professional window-repairing firm renovate your sash windows.

Simple draught-proofing
Wooden frames for sash windows are often affected by draughts and gaps, which result from timber warping and deflection over time. Add draught-proofing strips to the window frames to minimize draughts and the overall heat loss in winters. With draught stripping, you can minimize draughts to almost 90%, as per studies. It is also good to use close-fitting roller blinds or heavy curtains to cut down heat loss from sash windows in extreme cold weather.
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Thursday, 20 September 2018

#TBT To friends, on the day your baby is born

To my friends,

You have welcomed into the world the baby you have hoped and dreamed of for the past nine months, and more. Your bundle is fresh and new and whilst you start to memorise every little detail of their face and breathe in that newborn smell, you'll no doubt find your mind racing ahead to the days, weeks and years ahead of you. What will it feel like to bring them home? How will you go from being a two to a three? What will they grow up to be?


It's such an amazing time and one that you can't really describe. Everything is new, you're terrified that you might break her and you realise that there really is no handbook delivered with your baby. You go home when someone else tells you too and you're allowed to just take them with you and start caring for them.  Just like that. With no guides. No step by step instructions. This is it - you're a parent now.

But it'll all come to you and whichever way it does, however you feel and whatever you choose, it'll be the right choice for you and for your baby. I don't think anyone really knows what kind of parent they will be or how they will find all the new experiences.
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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

A purrfect day out - win tickets to the National Pet Show at NEC Birmingham

We are big animal lovers in our house. When hubs and I bought it, 12 years ago, we soon added a cat to make the house a home - Sherlock, a rescue kitten we named before finding out she was a girl. The next year, we added a dog as Sherlock needed a Watson, and brought home another kitten - (Mori)Arty. Our animal brood expanded again last summer when we got two rabbits, Hudson and Gryffin. They keep us busy, but they're all part of the family!

If you are a little pet crazy like we are, or you are thinking about getting a pet for your family and for your children to care for, then there's a show coming up that will be right up your street... or if you just love animals, you'll have a great day out too!

The National Pet Show exhibition is coming to Birmingham, NEC, on the 3-4th November, and not only is it set to be bigger and better than ever before - I have two sets of family tickets to giveaway!

Not only can you meet some of the hundreds of animals at the event, you can watch animal action displays, listen to talks from the experts, experience interactive demonstrations and shop for the festive season! This year Noel’s Ark returns, creating a fun filled area for kids to enjoy, storytelling and book signings. Whether you’re into dogs and cats, hamsters and rabbits, snakes and spiders or fish and ponies, the National Pet Show is the perfect day out for animal fanatics.

Full details on the show are below, as is entry to my competition, via Rafflecopter, where you could be one of two winners to pick up a set of family tickets (for four people) to use on a date of their choosing...
Full details on the show are below, as is entry to my competition, via Rafflecopter, where you could be one of two winners to pick up a set of family tickets (for four people) to use on a date of their choosing...


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Monday, 10 September 2018

Getting ready for a new baby and saving money in the lead up to maternity leave

In less than a week, I enter the third trimester and for me, that’s when things start to get real. Properly serious. There’s a baby coming!

Whether it’s your first child, second (like for me) or third or fourth, there’s always going to be a great deal of preparation involved. For us, the first time around, it was really unknown territory and we had to think about EVERYTHING. We had to buy ALL the gear and equipment and furniture, from changing mats, cost and Moses baskets to travel systems and car seats and all the cute clothes in-between.



One consideration at the time was our car. I had a Clio back then, and fortunately it was due for an upgrade at the time so we could consider what the latest model had to offer and pick an option that would suit our growing family. Size, safety and affordability were all priorities - it’s only natural to want to get the best but at the best price too. With maternity leave on the horizon, I needed to be sure to save as many pennies as possible to cover not only the things we needed to buy for baby, but also my contribution to bills and so on. 

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Thursday, 6 September 2018

Preparing for baby - with help from Aldi

Preparations for baby really got underway at the weekend for us, as we took stock of the baby things we stored away from Ethan’s early days, cleared the nursery and even put together our travel system.

Nesting has well and truly begun!

I’m only a week away from the third trimester and I know the next few weeks will fly by so the more I do now to plan and prep, the easier it will be further down the line.

You may have seen my Aldi haul from their recent Baby and Toddler Specialbuy event, so you can see that I’m starting to get the essentials in as well as a few other nice things here and there, for baby or for the nursery.


I first started shopping at Aldi when Ethan was young because their Mamia range and baby foods were really good and great value. The team is kindly sending me off to pick up all the bits you need for a newborn - nappies, wipes and so on - so that I know we have got everything ready in plenty of time.
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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Making a good impression with bespoke design and printed presentation products


One of the things in life I have a bit of an obsession for is stationery. I love the stuff! The start of a new notepad is always exciting, I get a kick out of organising my work into folders and over the years have kept a presentation folder of highlights, that dates back to work experience achievements when I was a fresh-faced student. I should also say, that I like to hoard!

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A blast from the past - how my blog used to look a couple of years ago!


I have so many sticky notes, notecards, binders, document wallets, pens, highlighters… you name it, I have it stored in my bureau. My desk at work holds more delights…

I'm in the need of some new business cards that reflect my blog design now, rather than an old look it had a while ago, and if I were ever to consider making this space of my a full-time job, I would of course need even more stationery and design needs. 

I am all about branding and consistency. If you want to be taken seriously and create a strong identity for yourself that will be recognised and understood, you need to have good visibility. A memorable logo, defined branding pack including colours and fonts, and a clear presence across platforms that all ties together is a great way to ensure you are seen and make an impact.
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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

A look at the Fearne for Boots Mini Club A/W 2018 collection

Last Wednesday, I took Ethan to London for the day as we’d been invited to the launch of the autumn / winter 2018 collection from Boots Mini Club - with a very special guest. 

Only my celebrity best friend.
Not that she knows it.
But for years I’ve loved her. Her TV shows. Her radio show. Her books. Her style. 

Fearne Cotton. (Who’s birthday it was yesterday, FYI).


She has designed clothes for Boots Mini Club for a while and the new season drops feature some fun and colourful options for baby, plus boys and girls, with the range now going up to the age of seven due to popular demand.

I jumped at the chance to go to the event - being on annual leave meant that it was easier than normal for me to actually say yes to an invite like this for a change - and knew that Ethan would enjoy the adventure, getting to go on the train and squeezing in a visit to Hamleys, the Lego shop and M&M World whilst we were there.

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Sunday, 2 September 2018

The boy in the tree #mysundayphoto

It’s the last few days of the summer holidays and looking back at everything we have done and enjoyed together, it’s clear how much Ethan has grown.

We have lots of adventures captured in his summer holiday scrapbook and photos like these two are really special for capturing those ordinary moments that seem extraordinary.

This was taken at our local park and the opportunity to climb a low tree presented itself. Ethan is in the moment, at five years three months old, and it just feels like I’ve captured something of his personality at this age.

The boy in the tree.




Photalife
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Friday, 31 August 2018

8 Interesting Facts Related To Laminate Flooring

If you are following home renovations shows like Love it or List it, you might have seen the interior designers opting for practical and stylish flooring that fits for every type of homeowner. This kind of flooring is called laminate flooring and it is definitely trending. Below are some facts related to laminate flooring that will surely surprise you.
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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Enjoy the last of the summer holidays - visit ThinkTank #review

Last week, before our Bank Holiday break away, we visited ThinkTank, Birmingham's award winning science museum, and boy was there a lot to see! We have never been before - well, Ethan has but on a preschool trip, so it was our first time visiting as a family - and there's plenty to take in across the four floors of interactive displays, plus the outdoor science garden.


There's everything covered; animals and dinosaurs, the human body and medicine, materials and manufacturing, transport and trades, and even space in the Planetarium (extra cost applies).

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Making your money go further this Christmas

Ok, I'm going to mention the 'C' word. I know that it's still August and technically still summer. And I know it's crazy when the shops start to stock festive cards before we've even had the need to turn the heating on at home. I know, I know. BUT, I am one of those people who likes to be prepared and with a baby coming before Christmas, my planning is starting even earlier.

I have started making lists when present ideas pop into my head and it won't be long until I am compiling my annual Santa's grotto guide for the Midlands (it'll be my fifth one this year!) - although we will have to think about when we book in to see the man in red ourselves as my due date is 8th December...

Planning is also my way of spreading the cost. We'll all have our own ways and tricks for saving moneys, bagging bargains and making sure we budget for the big day, and the earlier you start thinking about these, the less stressful life is all round, I find.

* Collaborative post


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Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Catching up on our magazine reading with Readly

There’s a week left of summer holidays for us so we are fitting in a few last adventures, and moments of quality time at home, before the routine all kicks in again. And today, I am taking Ethan on the train to London (so excited to reveal what it’s all for... follow me on Instagram for live updates on my Stories!) and I have got everything packed in my bag to keep both of us entertained on the journey. 

Including the Readly app.


I’ve been making an effort to sit down and relax more and to read more too. I love reading but often feel too tired and it’s been an age since I last bought a magazine. I pick up free ones and Ethan gets the odd one too to keep him happy and occupied, but generally they do cost quite a bit, especially if you or the rest of your family have varied tastes, and it can be hard to find the time.

But not any more!
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How to get your house ready before starting a family


When it comes to starting a family, there’s never going to be a perfect time. However, there are ways to prepare your household for the changes parenthood will bring.

* Collaborative post


The key to starting a family is preparation. The longer you take to prepare for a new child, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle the challenges family life brings. Of course, you’ll never be truly prepared, but the tips below will definitely help to get your house as ready as it can be.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

6 stress-free ways for creatives to earn extra cash online

These days, it seems like everyone is on the hunt for a fast way to start making cash on the internet. In a world where companies everywhere are beginning to embrace the benefits of hiring part-time remote workers, contractors, and freelancers to help them with digital tasks, there are endless ways for people to start padding their bank account with a little extra income while working from home. 

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If you've got a creative mind or a particular skill that gives you something special to sell, then you're already on the right path towards success. Here, we're going to look at some of the simplest and most stress-free ways that creative people can earn cash online. 
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Capturing summer memories with Truprint #WhereverLifeTakesYou

This is the first summer holiday for us where Ethan has been at school and we have had the juggle of taking care of his six and a bit weeks off alongside work, annual leave and all the things we want to pack into it.


So far we have... visited Monkey Forest. Had breakfast with the Cadbury characters at Cadbury World. Enjoyed a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine at the Watercress Line. Done lots of crafts, including painting rocks and playing with a Fuzzikins Campervan playset. Wolfed down a delicious meal at Oldbury Cookhouse and Pub. Spent days at home enjoying simple things and time together. Dressed up as pirates at Cannock Chase. Visited the sea animals on an Octonauts Shark Mission at National Sea Life Centre Birmingham.

And we've stayed with my parents, went to family parties and probably a few other things that I have forgotten but my phone will remind me of when I scroll through the photos!


But like so many of us, I keep those memories locked in my phone and don't often take time to print them, save them or display them. Which is a shame.

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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

August beauty finds

I love a bit of a pamper (who doesn't?) and have been taking much better care of my skin of late, with a few new things being added into my routine that I am really loving.



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Monday, 20 August 2018

Two transitional dresses for autumn from Boohoo Maternity

Following on from my little red dress post, I have a couple more to share with you, gifted from Boohoo Maternity, that are so comfortable to wear but have a really nice look to them - and they're great for this transitional period, as autumn starts to approach.


Autumn is my favourite time of year and it's a good time to start stocking up on a few things to update your wardrobe, particularly when sleeves will be needed again and if you have a growing bump like mine, you may need some new staples.

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Saturday, 18 August 2018

How I'm trying to Boss My Birth - birth and baby course review

Any website or course that starts with the proclamation that 'you are going to boss your birth' is something that I want to find out more about.

I am 24 weeks pregnant with my second child. I've reached the viability stage (I hate that word, but it is a milestone that you can't help but think of as it approaches). I am slowly realising that yes, I am growing a human (pregnancy can be such a surreal experience,  but it's all sinking in now) and that said human is going to have to come out, one way or another.

And I can't help feel a bit anxious about that. 



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Friday, 17 August 2018

Plan your kitchen renovation for smooth results

Getting a new kitchen is super exciting. You'll have a brand new room that's sure to continue looking shiny and new for a while - until the kids have an impact on it, anyway. A new kitchen is one of the top choices if you're trying to raise the value of your home, but it's also just a great way to carry out an awesome transformation.

It can take a little while to complete, though. Even if it only takes a couple of days, it can still be a huge inconvenience. If you want to make sure it gets done as quickly as possible, do these things to help it go smoothly.

* Collaborative post

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Thursday, 16 August 2018

A lighter slice - Dr Oetker Yes It's Pizza review

Anyone who knows me knows I love pizza. I LOVE it! In fact, so does hubs and Ethan. It's easily our favourite takeaway, and we regularly buy a frozen pizza or two to have in the freezer as a quick meal option. What's not to love? The crispy base, rich sauce, melting cheese... I'm making myself hungry just writing this!

Well, one thing not to love so much is perhaps how eating too much pizza isn't really a good thing, as they aren't the lightest meal you can enjoy.

Until now!

Indulging my love of the round Italian delight that is pizza, I've discovered a lighter alternative that's full of veggies and flavour, and is really quite delicious.

Yes It's Pizza, from DrOetker.


This range offers two different colourful pizzas, one with 35% beetroot used in its base, the other with spinach, so create something that's different and a lot lighter than other pizzas.

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Making your interview outfit work for you


Did you know, that it takes an interviewer seconds to decide how they feel about you? As, believe it or not, when it comes to interviews, first impressions really do count. You might have the best CV they’ve seen, the handshake you’ve been practising might be just right and your interview questions are on point. But one thing that many people trip themselves up on? Their interview outfit.

* Collaborative post

Whether you’re going for a job at your local, a big interview at an up and coming office in the city or support worker jobs with your local council, you should never underestimate the power of a great interview outfit. So here are 3 of the best tips on how to get it just right on the day.
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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Review: Fuzzikins Campervan Carry Case

So we've reached the halfway point of the summer holidays, and for many of us, there's still three weeks of so to fill. ANOTHER THREE WEEKS! Don't get me wrong, having so much time with Ethan has been so nice, but it is a struggle with work and sharing annual leave with hubs, and it can be easy to run out of things to do. 


Every child will have a 'I'm so bored' day so in these instances, I bring out the creative kits and get Ethan making something to play with.

We were kindly sent a pretty cool new colouring carry case from Fuzzikins. Cool, because I love campervans myself, and fun for Ethan as he loves playing with figures and colouring, as two of his most favourite things.
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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

A little red maternity dress

Take one simple t-shirt style bodycon dress, one pregnant lady and a dramatic manor house backdrop and voila! You’ve got yourself a photo shoot!


It’s crazy just how good this £10 dress from Boohoo’s Maternity collection looks. I wore it when we were just having a typical family day out on Saturday, which included a trip to Monkey Forest than Shugborough Hall and when at the latter, there were just some great opportunities to take a few photos - and my red dress made me feel super glam despite it being quite a basic staple.

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Sleep soundly with Leesa - and save £100 on a new mattress with TBM!

Sleep. Something that everyone needs. Some more than others (that's me!). Something that can elude you when you're pregnant, or have a newborn, or there's a heatwave. Of course, a good night's sleep comes down to having a good routine and a welcoming bedroom environment to promote those zzz's, and nothing is more important than your bed.

Your mattress, to be precise.

We invested in a new mattress around six years ago, which was long overdue, but of late, we've been a bit uncomfortable and with baby bump growing each day, my sleep routine has been affected, so the sound of a new mattress was music to my ears.
  

Enter Leesa - a magic mattress (my words) that comes tightly packed in such a relatively small box and then when you open it up (magic words optional), it slowly unfolds and expands and within an hour, you're ready to test it out.

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Monday, 13 August 2018

Top tips for family holidays on a budget

Ethan is five years old now and aside from a trip to Disneyland Paris in January (which was fantastic, but far from a budget holiday!), we have never been abroad together on a family holiday. Paris is as far as Ethan has gone so far, but at least it involved an aeroplane!

This is our first summer with Ethan being at school age, so we are getting used to the holiday time juggle between hubs and I, taking it in turns for annual leave, and with me being 23 weeks pregnant now and looking ahead to maternity leave, we knew we wouldn't be able to squeeze in a holiday this year. I guess the heatwave has meant we haven't missed out all that much...

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Friday, 10 August 2018

Written in the stars - beautiful star map prints

I am a bit of a romantic at heart, unashamedly so, and I also enjoy personalising my home with meaningful touches that reflect our personalities, our interest in some way document our life together. From when hubs and I met almost 15 years ago, to our wedding day nearly eight years ago, to Ethan's arrival, this new bubs on the way and all the adventures and jobs and life changes along the way.

We have photos, mementos and all sorts around our home from holidays and events, including our wedding, Ethan's milestones and presents from friends.

And now we have something really special.

Something I have seen before and that I think is just really beautiful, in its look and in its meaning.


We have a stunning star map, designed especially for us by Jennifer at Modern Map Art, depicting the night sky and constellations on the day, time and location of our wedding day, on 18th September 2010.

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The importance of teaching kids car safety


It’s important to teach kids how to behave in any vehicle - keeping the family safe in the car should be everyone’s responsibility, don't you agree? We are always reminding Ethan to sit up properly and to make sure that his seatbelt is in the right position, and think it's important that children are aware of the dangers of unclicking their seatbelt and moving around the vehicle when it’s in motion. Even altering the belt’s position could have a devastating effect in the unfortunate event of an accident, and it really doesn't bear thinking about. 

Here's some useful advice and links on when and how to approach the subject, which I thought would be really useful to share...

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Bing Live! at Birmingham Town Hall

Have you heard of a little bunny called Bing? If you have a young child, chances are you have come across Bing, the excitable bunny who has a parent figure / toy called Flop (does anyone know what Flop is meant to be?!) and who learns about sharing and good manners and how to be a nice friend.

Bing was an early find for Ethan and I am sure he would still jump up and down if he saw that familiar face.

Unfortunately we have plans when this is on, but I wanted to share news of a new Bing event coming to Birmingham Town Hall later this month, as I am a blogger ambassador and know that other parents in the area might be interested in going to this.

So here's all you need to know about Bing Live!...


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Go the whole hog on your wedding day

It'll be our 8th wedding anniversary in September and when I look back, we had such a great day as we did things our way, choosing what we wanted at the time to make it a personal, special and memorable day for us and our friends and family. Just the way it should be! You want to splash out on some super heels? Do it! Hubs-to-be wants a full hog roast and all the trimmings? Go for it!

* Collaborative post

Your wedding day is something that should be all about you, and whilst there's always going to be some compromises along the way - be it accommodating a distant relative or doing a few things yourself to save some pennies - it's important to remember that it is your special day, so if you and your partner want to make something happen, then there shouldn't be anything holding you back.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Peep peep! Our Thomas adventure on the Watercress Line

We had a great time visiting my parents this weekend, and a highlight was visiting the Watercress Line because, whilst Ethan knew we were going on a steam train with Nanna, he didn't know that Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends were going to be there too!


The special event is on now so you can enjoy a day out with Thomas until end of play this Sunday, and there isn't a better time to go if you have little ones because not only can you see Thomas, but there are other friends to spot, plus passports and colouring in certificates, fairground rides and miniature trains, and lots besides so you can make it a packed day out.

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Monday, 6 August 2018

Garden ideas and home security

It's summer, we are still in a heatwave and so of course, our attention turns to how we can make the most of the warmer, brighter months. Getting the chance to take some time off work and enjoy being at home, and the sunny climes we're experiencing, means that I have started to spot odd jobs here or there or think about ideas as to how we can improve our home and our very own great outdoors - our garden.

* Collaborative post

Our garden, front and back, is neglected most of the time and we only really use the patio space to care for our two rabbits, so with the weather being that much kinder, it's really nice to use our outdoor space a little more.

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A big baby bargain to be had at Aldi's Baby and Toddler Event

I'm 22 weeks pregnant now and starting to pick up a few things here and there as baby bump gets bigger and we start to think ahead to what it actually be like to have another baby again. We're going to be parents... again!!!

I'm really proud to have worked with Aldi for the past three years - can you believe, that before that, I had never been in an Aldi store? - and I particularly love their special buy events, so I am pleased to share with you information about their upcoming Baby and Toddler special offers as they are always really good and not to be missed if you are expecting or have little ones.

You can see what we picked up last time around, and I've been sent a few preview items for our little Peanut which I am so pleased with, so couldn't wait to share with you...



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Saturday, 4 August 2018

FREE pair of tickets to the London Homebuilding & Renovating Show this September for EVERY reader - worth £36!

I am a big homebody type person, as much as I do love to explore and enjoy days out, and our home really is our castle, however humble. I have loved interior design for as long as I can remember and seek inspiration from magazines, Instagram and also home related shows - I just can't get enough of decor! That's why I am really excited to share this special offer with you... as all To Become Mum Readers can claim a pair of free tickets to attend the London Homebuilding & Renovating Show (21 - 23 September 2018, ExCeL, London) - worth £36!


Across three packed days, visitors to the show can speak to over 500 exhibitors and access free advice sessions, seminars and masterclasses on essential topics which can tackle any problem, from implementing the latest intelligent security systems to funding a remodelling project.

And thanks to the team and this little blog of mine, YOU could be going with your DIY mad hubby or interiors buff buddy for free.

I've included all you need to know about the show below, and you can also follow this link for more details. Just keep scrolling for my exclusive free ticket link to claim. And be sure to tell your friends too, there's really no catch - just free tickets to the show for everyone who stops by this post!
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