Friday, 28 September 2018

#OneTwoFreeYourSkin - an ode to my psoriasis prone skin

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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.


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.


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.

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.

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...


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. 


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.

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!

* Sponsored post

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.

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.


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.

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