2015 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

5 Tips To Beat the New Years Blues.

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Christmas has come and gone. The presents have been unwrapped, the food has been eaten and tonight we will welcome in a new year. Sometimes the beginning of January can bring the "New Year Blues." After all the build up and excitement of the festive season we now face a long month before the next payday. A bare living room with no twinkly lights and more cold weather on it's way. If there is any month of the year where you could do with a bit of cheering up then it's definitely January. Here are some things that I've tried and tested in years gone by and plan on doing this month.

1// Clean & Organise! 

Taking down the Christmas decorations always makes me sad. The living space looks so bare and empty but I try to look at it as a good excuse to do a good old fashioned spring clean. The sofas get pulled out, the floor underneath them gets vacuumed (the kids love this because all their lost pieces to games and puzzles inevitably get rediscovered.) I reorganise the toy cupboard. Afterwards although the decorations may be packed away for another year, at least I get to look at a clean and tidy house.

2// Try A New Hobby.

One year it was knitting, another year I discovered my love for the gym and exercise. This year I've decided that I am going to dedicate even more of any spare time I have to my space here. Think of something you've always wanted to do and give it a go. Always wanted to take a dance class? Learn how to decorate cakes? Perform karaoke? Do it... Whats the worst that could happen?

3// Get outside!

So it may be a bit chilly? Wrap up warm and try getting outside for a walk each day. Exercise is proven to better your mood. I have to really work hard at this one though. The dark morning, early evenings and grey skies really kill my mood and I would be quite happy to hibernate from November until Spring hits. When I do force myself to get outside though I immediately notice the difference in how I'm feeling. Plus if you have kids, it lets them burn off some energy. Win win.

4// Make Time For Yourself.

Easier said than done right? After the stress of December, whether it was buying all those gifts or hosting all of your family on Christmas Day, it's important to make some time for yourself. Maybe try a pamper night. I love finding a new face mask, having a bath, painting my nails and then curling up with a good book. Taking an hour out to rejuvenate can make the world of difference.

5// Go Green.

You only have to take one look at my skin at the moment to know that I have been over indulging the past two weeks. Every year I do it and every January I start off by feeling sluggish and not my best. (Hence the one year I discovered my love of exercise) I don't believe in the whole, January means going on a diet and running five miles a day. I do like to try and have a little detox though. I drink more water. I add some more fruits and vegetables back into my diet and just try to be a little more healthier.. I could never give up chocolate completely though!

What do you do to try and beat the New Year Blues? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks :)

Happy New Year!


New Years Eve Outfits.

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Since becoming a Mum I have become a hermit. No more Saturday night on the tiles for me and I'm not sad to say goodbye to them. Most of my late teens and early twenties were spent partying the weekends away and not rolling in the door until 3am.. The same can be said for New Years Eve. Many a new year I have seen in with a drink in my hand, standing on some random night club dance floor. Every New Years Eve you will now find Anthony & I at home, eating pizza and watching movies. It's become a tradition you might say. That being said, last night I was thinking about how nice it would be to get dressed up and feel all pretty for a night. Those thoughts then led me to searching google for New Years Eve Outfits, which led to this post.. A little outfit inspiration if you will.. 

Scallop Bodycon Dress in Oxblood From Missguided
Was £35.00 now £17.50

Do it anyway multiway Maxi dress From Missguided 
Was £35.00 now £20.00

Boohoo Eyelash Lash Skater Dress from Asos

Asos Scoop Back Cami 


Faith Carey Nude Patent Court Shoes 


Anyone that knows me will know that although the idea of hitting the town for the night may sound like a great idea, the chances are that I would be falling asleep at the table by 9.30pm.. A girl can still want to dress up though! 

What are your plans for the big night? 


Christmas Recap.

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I cannot believe Christmas has been and gone! All that planning, present buying, wrapping, worrying about whether the kids are going to like their presents was all worth it but I feel like I've blinked and it's been and gone. I decided to take a blogging break over the festive period. It was lovely but I am so excited to jump back in with two feet!

Christmas day was lovely. The kids woke up at half past six which is so much better than years gone by. We didn't end up getting out of bed until nearly seven though and the look on both their faces when they saw the presents piled up under the tree was amazing. We then opened gifts. Emilie was a pro this year. She dug straight in!

They played for a bit and then we went to Anthony's brothers house for dinner. Our sister in law cooked an amazing dinner, I ate so much which is unheard of for me but it tasted so good! James and Emilie loved spending the day with their cousin and it was so nice to have a real family Christmas. Since James was born we've always spent Christmas at our house so this was a lovely change and watching the kids all play together made it even better.

My Nan has been in hospital for the past week after having surgery and the doctors let her come home on Christmas day. She still needs a lot of help so I've spent the past few days running between her house and mine. It's such a shame that she's been so poorly over the festive period but hopefully she's on the mend now. 

Boxing day and today have been quiet and low key. Anthony has been home with James & Emilie in the mornings whilst I've been with my Nan and then by the afternoon's I've been wiped out. Last night I just needed some time to relax and not have to think about anything. I switched the tv on and Twilight Eclipse was on so I spent two hours on the sofa with chocolate. It was bliss :)

I love Christmas but by New Year I am so ready to get back to normality and routines. To tidy the house and find homes for new toys. To clear out the chocolate stash and to replace it with fruit and vegetables. 

How was your Christmas? 


Favourite Jaclyn Hill Videos.

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Over the past six months I have watched so many makeup tutorial videos on You Tube. Some I've loved, others not so much. When I find one I like though I tend to head over to their channel and check out their other videos. This is how I found Jaclyn Hill. I searched for 'smokey eye makeup' found one of her videos and was instantly hooked. She's passionate, funny and amazing with makeup. I thought today I'd share some of my favourite videos that she's uploaded.

1// Smoky Cat Eye - (The video I mentioned above)

2// Thanksgiving/Fall 2015 Makeup Tutorial

3// Emerald Smokey Eye

4// How To Look Fresh & Awake When You're Exhausted 

5// Old Hollywood Glam - Makeup & Hair Tutorial

Do you have any YouTube favourites? Share away! 


Two Front Teeth.

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Most mothers wants to wrap their children up in cotton wool and never let anything or anyone hurt them. You want to protect them from all the evil in the world and keep their innocence in tact for as long as possible.

Yesterday walking home from school, James was walking in front of me with a friend and I was letting Emilie walk along with me whilst I pushed the pram with one hand and guided her with the other, and chatting to the Mum of James' friend.

Next thing I know their is a blood curdling scream from James. I look up and blood is pouring from his face. He's hysterical and next to him his friend is holding is own hand also screaming. I'm on my knees trying to find out where the blood is coming from as James is screaming too much to tell me. I look down and in his hand are two teeth.. His own teeth.

Through the two boys screaming we managed to decipher that his friend had punched him in the face and took two teeth out with it.

I was calm on the outside and freaking out on the inside. I didn't bring the wipes with me but I find a tissue in my pocket. I hold it up to James' gums. It is instantly red.

Emilie, normally running all over the place is rooted to the spot, a look on her face I've never seen before. She doesn't move the whole time.

I grab my phone and call the dentist. They tell me to call NHS direct. I phone them. The blood is still pouring. I wonder how gums can produce so much blood. My hands are covered in it. NHS direct tell me to go straight to A&E.

James is still crying. He tells his friend that he hates him. His friends screams back. I bundle Emilie into the pushchair. We start walking quickly towards home. I phone a taxi. I phone Anthony. I'm still calm on the outside. Freaking out on the inside. Did all the teeth come out? Is their teeth still in his gums? Will the bleeding ever stop?

I drop Emilie off at a friends house. We go to the hospital. A doctor examines James and tells us that there is nothing they can do. We just have to wait for his new teeth to grow down. I'm grateful they were baby teeth. James tells me that his gums hurt. He tells me that he isn't going to school tomorrow. I phone Anthony again.

I blame myself. If Emilie had been in the pram I wouldn't have been distracted. If I had made James hold onto the pram he would have been right next to me.

James tells me he wants a McDonalds for dinner. I oblige..


6 Must Have Makeup Brushes.

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I love trying new makeup brushes. I've acquired quite a few new ones since I started my Makeup Artistry course and watching my collection grow makes me happy. It's the little things obviously :)

I do have my favourites though and I wanted to share them with you today. I sat down this morning and chose 3 face brushes and 3 eye brushes that I reach for everyday without fail. 

First we have the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. This I use for my foundation and is by far the best foundation brush I have ever used. My foundation goes on flawlessly with this and I believe it only cost about £10. Bargain :) 

The middle brush is part of a 9 piece set I ordered from Amazon. Every brush in this set is so great! And the best part was the price... £5.99!! I normally stay away from really cheap brushes, fearing that they won't be very good but these had such good reviews that I risked it and the risk paid off. I use this one mainly from my bronzer. It's soft and fluffy which just makes me love it even more. 

The last brush is from the same set and I use this for highlighting. It's not as fluffy but just as soft. I love how thick the handles are on these brushes. They feel like such great quality for hardly any money at all. 

Oh how I love a good eye brush. Doesn't everyone? :) 

Firstly is my absolute favourite. The sigma E25. I use this for everything. Packing on colour, blending, crease colour. If it's to do with the eyes then I use this brush. It was totally worth the money and washes brilliantly too. 

The middle brush is the Expert Crease brush from Real Techniques. I love how thick this is! It's perfect for getting the colour right into the crease of your eye. 

The last brush is again from the Amazon set. It tapers into a point and I find that it's great for transitioning and blending colours in the crease and just above. I have hooded eyes so I tend to take my eyeshadow and little bit higher and this brush is perfect for that. 

If I had to get rid of all my brushes and only keep a few then these 6 would be the ones to make the cut. And to think only a year ago I was using my fingers to apply eye shadow.. Shocking!

What are your favourite brushes? I'm always on the look out for new recommendations.


The Christmas Tag.

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I've seen a lot of people posting their Christmas Tags and it looks like fun so I'm jumping on the bandwagon. 

1// What is your favourite Christmas movie?

There are so many that I love. I wrote about this on Monday actually! However my absolute favourite has to be Miracle on 34th Street. I could watch it over and over again.

2// Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? 

The kids get one present each on Christmas Eve. It's always new PJ's to wear that night. I try and get the kids to eat breakfast before opening any gifts on Christmas morning though. It was how we use to do Christmas when I was little and I like that everyone has eaten and we can then all sit down together and open gifts without melt downs due to low blood sugar! 

3// Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

I have so many memories from this time of year as a child. It always seemed so magical and even now I can recall that feeling of running downstairs on Christmas morning, opening the living room door and seeing all the presents and realising that Santa really had been. 

4// Favourite festive food?

It is not Christmas until you have a tin of Quality Street and a tin of Roses in your house. There is something about those chocolates. My favourite part of Christmas dinner has to be pigs in blankets.. This is now making me hungry....

5// Favourite Christmas gift?

One year I asked for a bike and I had no idea if I was going to receive it or not. That morning we all ran downstairs and I looked around the living room and there was no bike.. Then my Mum told me to go into the kitchen and there was a brand spanking new bike. I think I spent the rest of the day outside :) 

6// Favourite Christmas scent?

I love the normal christmassy smells like orange and cinnamon. However, I've written before about the whole sausage roll tradition.. The smell of them cooking, whether that is Christmas morning or in the middle of July just screams Christmas to me. 

7// Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? 

James and Emilie get to open their new PJ's. Then once they are dressed ready for bed we have Gingerbread men and hot chocolate whilst watching a movie. It's one of my favourite things to do at Christmas. The kids are so excited and I'm like a big kid at this time of year anyway!

8// What tops your tree? 

Normally we have an angel but it broke last year when I was packing the tree away. I haven't replaced it yet so right now we don't have anything on the top of tree. I need to rectify that this week. 

9// As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I actually have no idea! I think I was always pretty sensible with my gift-asking.. I'm going to ask my Mum though :)

10// What's the best part about Christmas for you?

Watching James and Emilie and seeing it all through their eyes. Christmas was always fun but now we've got children it's 100 times better. Already at only two years old Emilie keeps talking about Santa coming and leaving Reindeer food outside on the path. I literally cannot wait! 


Expecting Too Much From Children.

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Yesterday, I stumbled upon this article about how we should let kids be kids and that we expect too much from them at such young ages. 

And then I realised...

I am guilty of this. 

I am so quick to expect to much from my children. I'm quick to tell them to keep the noise down and to tell them to stop running from the kitchen to the living room. I tell them not to climb on the furniture or jump on their beds. 


This article really made me stop and think. If they're not hurting themselves or someone else then why can't they run circles in the living room. Why can't they go and jump in every puddle that they can find? Is it because I'm worried about what people will think if they see my children shrieking at the top of their lungs? Probably, a little. 

Kids should be allowed to be kids. They should get dirty and muddy. They should be allowed to use their imagination and make a den out of the kitchen chairs. They should be allowed to make messes and noise. 

And me.. I should stop worrying about what people think of my parenting and let my kids be kids. As the article says. 

"They have 60-80 years of adulthood but only 18 of childhood. It’s just not fair to expect them to be adults when they’re so little."

It was this quote in the article that really made me pause. 18 years out of 80 is nothing. It's a drop in the Ocean. It's the only time they have to be carefree with no worries or stresses. Pretty soon they'll have bills and mortgage payments to worry about. They'll get up everyday and go to work. They'll have their own families to raise. So right now I just want them to be kids. To get messy, to shout, to run, to use their imagination and make memories. 


3 Awesome Christmas Movies!

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We've had a weekend full of Christmas movies. Hence what has inspired this post :) I admit that I am one of those annoying people that start watching Christmas movies in November. The cheesier the better. It doesn't matter that you know that it's going to start out all lovely, something awful will happen and by the end of it two people will have fallen in love and it ends with the best Christmas ever. 

So what do I think are the three best Christmas movies?

1// The Santa Clause.

I have so many memories of watching this movie as a kid. I watched it this weekend with James and I loved the fact that he was watching the same movie that I grew up watching. Okay, we may have watched The Santa Clause 2 on Sunday also..

2// Elf.

Who doesn't love this film? I have yet to find a film with Will Ferrell that I don't like (Blades of Glory!) Elf just screams Christmas at me whenever it's on and automatically gets me into the festive spirit.

3// Miracle on 34th Street.

This is another one that I grew up watching and is hands down my favourite. I love it that much that a few years ago my Mum brought it on DVD for me. This is just all the Christmas magic wrapped up into two hours. It isn't Christmas until I've watched this.. And then watched it again..

What are your favourite movies that you love to watch at this time of year?


Christmas Gift Guide For Boys.

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Last week I shared my Christmas gift guide for Girls and now today it is time for the boys! Just like with the girls all these toys come from Mulberry Bush Toys, just because I love them and James is receiving pretty much everything off this guide for Christmas. A few weeks ago I found him sat with their catalogue ticking everything that he liked. It made shopping for him very easy :)

Mikes Auto Garage - £75.00
Simple Stopwatch - £7.99
Jig map Europe - £9.99
Spy Science Secret Messages - £9.99
Camping Set - £23.00
3D Spiral Fun - £9.99
Snakes & Ladders - £7.99
Chemistry At Home Set - £27.00

I am so glad that all of my Christmas shopping is finished. Now I just have the daunting task of wrapping it all. How are you all getting on with your gift buying? 


On Post Natal Depression.

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Over the past few year post-natal depression has been spoken about more and more which I personally think is fantastic. Whether it's because more celebrities have spoken out or maybe because social media is helping to make it less of a taboo subject.

I never thought that I would suffer from post-natal depression. I wanted children desperately. I went through so much heartache to become a Mum. Month after month.. Doctor appointment after doctor appointment.. Year after year..

When I fell pregnant with James I didn't quite allow myself to believe it. Surely this would end like all my other pregnancies. Although we had a few scares during the pregnancy and labour, James was born and I was the happiest woman out there. It was love at first sight.

When people say the words "post-natal depression" I think that most people think of it as not bonding with your child or not being able to cope with the demands of parenthood and in severe cases, wanting to hurt your baby. It's not always like that.. In fact I was the exact opposite.

My post-natal depression came in the form of fear. I had lost five babies through miscarriage. I had nearly lost James during delivery so why should I be so lucky to be able to bring home a healthy baby now? I was terrified that something was going to happen to him so I never left his side. I wouldn't allow anyone else to do anything for him. At five weeks old he was put onto medication for his reflux and I wouldn't allow anyone to give him it apart from me. It wasn't that I didn't trust the people around me. I just knew that if I administered it then I knew that the dosage and timing were correct. If a mistake was made then it would be my fault. Before his reflux diagnosis James would scream all day every day and because I had no idea what was wrong with him I would take him temperature.. All the time.. In my mixed up head, if he didn't have a temperature then there wasn't something seriously wrong with him.

At the time I thought all of this was normal. Looking back I can see that it wasn't. I wouldn't leave James with anyone. I drove myself insane by trying to do everything on my own. It was all brought on by fear though. Fear that I would loose my baby. Fear that something terrible would happen to him.

I finally spoke to a doctor after seven months and they offered therapy and medication. I took both and combined they really helped. I wish I hadn't waited so long to admit that I wasn't coping. I think about how different those early months may have been if I had opened up a little more and not tried to cope all by myself.

I feel awful when I hear that other Mum's are too scared to go to the doctors for fear of being judged. Post-natal depression doesn't mean that you don't love your baby. It doesn't mean that you aren't fit to be a Mother. You shouldn't fear admitting that you need a bit of help adjusting to the massive rollercoaster that is raising a child.


I've Discovered The Best Cleanser Ever....

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Truth time? I was never that good at remembering to take my makeup off before bed. I was either too tired or just forgot. That is until I started my Makeup Artist course. Now I'm all clued up as to why it's a good thing to take a few extra minutes before bed to take your makeup off before and how it benefits your skin (& your pillows!) 

I've never had the greatest skin. Even at the age of thirty I sometimes break out like a teenager and I go from being too oily to too dry. I've tried pretty much every face cleanser out there but I had never heard of Sunday Riley until I won a giveaway a few weeks ago. 

I received this Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser in the post and honestly, it's changed my skin. I've only been using it for about ten days but already I've noticed such a difference. My skin is smoother, I'm not getting as many breakouts and it's helped with the few spots I had at the time I started using it. I only use it at night and in the morning I use my Micellar Water along with witch hazel. This cleanser though.. I may cry when it runs out. It retails for £35 so it's the most expensive form of skin care that I have ever used but I guess it's true that you get what you pay for. 

A little goes a long way with this and it foams as you rub it into your face. It is said to tighten pores, purify the skin and stimulates collagen and circulation. Plus the natural essential oils tone and help balance the skin. I don't think I have a bad word to say about it. I even like the smell :) 

I do wish their other products were in my price range! I guess it's something to work towards. If you're looking for a new cleanser though and have teenage skin like me go grab some of this. You will not be sorry! 


Weekend Recap - Solving Problems.

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What a weekend. Anthony and I have spoken a lot recently about what we want to do with regards to housing. Our home isn't really big enough but at the moment we don't really have the option to move. It's been getting me down lately. Looking at all the work that needs doing. Trying to arrange the kids bedroom to accommodate them both, then having most of their stuff in our bedroom because theirs just isn't big enough for everything.

We spoke about it again on Friday night and decided rather than just moaning about it. Lets do something instead. Moving isn't an option so on Saturday morning Anthony set about switching the kids into our bedroom and vice versa. It was a mammoth task and it took him all day but it's done! The kids have the bigger bedroom and we managed to get our stuff into the smaller one. I was a little worried that we wouldn't be able to get our bed and furniture in but we done it! It actually looks really cozy and James and Emilie love the extra room that they now have!

The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning and trying to organise bits and pieces. It actually felt really good to try and fix a problem rather than just moaning about it. Although I do think that I may need another weekend to recover from this one..

The next two weeks leading up to Christmas are busy. James has a lot going on at school and Anthony starts a new job tomorrow. Even Emilie has a party at her nursery to attend. I swear both kids have a better social life than me!

I've got some exciting things coming up this week here too.. I think I have found the most amazing face cleanser that ever existed so stay tuned for that!



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Reading// I've gone back to Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I got half way through it last time. It's such a great book but so long! I love learning about his childhood and his rise to fame. 

Watching// Last nights X-Factor. Most years I watch it religiously but this year I just haven't been feeling it so I've missed most weeks. Next week is the final though so I wanted to catch up with it this weekend. 

Eating// Don't judge me if I say a chocolate bar.. 

Drinking// Water! I'm getting better at choosing water over anything else. 

Planning// Lots of things.. The next few weeks posts for my space here. The food I want to get for Christmas. James & Emilie's schedules for the next two weeks. 

Pinning// Mostly makeup looks. 

Anxious// James has an appointment with his pediatrician tomorrow for his epilepsy and I always worry beforehand. It's a mothers prerogative.  

Appreciating// Doctors, warm drinks, cozy blankets and the fact that I think *touch wood* that we may be nearing the end of potty training! 

Wearing// It's Sunday which always calls for comfy clothes so I have a hoodie and jogging bottoms on. Doesn't get much comfier than that!

Surprised// By the weather. Seriously, where have all these storms that we've been having lately come from? I've been watching the news and the north of England especially is being battered by Storm Desmond. We've had awful wind for two days now, I don't think we'll have any fence panels in our garden left soon. 

Noticing// How quickly Emilie is growing up, especially since she started Nursery a few weeks ago. It makes me happy but also a little nostalgic. It was three years ago today that I found out I was pregnant with her! 

Inspired// I have found so many new blogs recently and the women behind them are so inspiring.  


A Good Nights Sleep.

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I never use to have many problems sleeping. I was the kind of person who would be asleep before my head hit the pillow and I wouldn't stir again until my alarm went off. All that changed once James and Emilie came along. Now quite often I have trouble sleeping. Whether it's because I haven't slept properly through the night for nearly seven years thanks to children or whether it's because as a Mum I sleep with one ear constantly listening out.. Who knows. Once I'm awake though I find it so hard to get back to sleep. Doesn't it seem like everything feels worse at night too? You find yourself remembering that bill you forgot to pay. You lay there thinking about the jobs you didn't get finished the day before.

There's a few things that I've tried recently in a bid to help me sleep better at night that I wanted to share here, in the hopes they may help one of you..

1// Limit caffeine - Especially in the early evening and before bed. This was actually one of my November goals which I've done quite well with. I use to drink a lot of energy drinks, which we all know are loaded with caffeine. I've definitely noticed an improvement in the sleep department since cutting those out.

2// Relax before bedtime - Sounds silly, right? Relaxing before you go to sleep. Relaxing your mind works in helping your body prepare for sleep. I've found reading a few pages of a book is enough to switch my brain off. You could try taking a bath or having a warm (non caffeine!) drink.

3// Write a list - Is something bothering you? Is it playing on your mind? Write it down. Is there something that you have to do tomorrow that you cannot stop thinking about? Write that down too. Sometimes just getting it onto paper helps to clear your mind.

4// Love your bed - I love nothing more than sprucing up my bed with new bedding. Or climbing into bed when I've got freshly washed sheets. There is something so relaxing about it. I recently brought a new duvet set for our bed and as soon as the kids were asleep, I had a bath, fell into bed and was out like a light. Best nights sleep ever!

Available from Yorkshire Linen's bedding range. 

Available from Marks & Spencers bedding range. 

Available from Debenhams bedding range. 

And as it's now December and the season to be festive.. How about some Christmassy bedding! 

Available from George Asda bedding range. 

Do you love clean sheets or new bedding? What are your tips for when you can't sleep at night?


Our Christmas Traditions.

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Hands down Christmas is my most favourite time of year. Apart from the weather I pretty much love everything about December. The movies. The music. The food. The joy. The magic. The happy children. The decorations and lights. What's not to love? 

Since having James and Emilie I've been big on making 'Christmas Traditions.' Some we've started ourselves and some that I've brought with me from my own childhood. I've moulded them together and I hope I'm helping to create some wonderful memories for our children. I decided to share some of our favourites here today :)

Every year James and Emilie get a new decoration for the tree. When they're older they can then have them. Either just to keep or to put on their own tree. I have a feeling that a grown up Emilie may appreciate this more than a grown up James but I'm hoping that he'll humour me! 

{The boots & Fox - Their decorations from last year}

On Christmas Eve, Santa delivers one present early. It's always the same thing. New PJ's to wear that night. Who doesn't love new PJ's!? James hasn't cottoned on yet that it's always the same kind of present and last year was so curious as to how Santa got into the house and left a present on each of their beds whilst we were all downstairs... 

{PJ's Santa has brought for this year!}

Once they're all dressed ready for bed we then put a Christmas movie on and have hot chocolate and gingerbread men. When James was little he had an intolerance to wheat & gluten (as well as dairy and soya) so I had to bake them from scratch and change most of the ingredients. It's a lot easier now that I can buy them. 

When I was a kid, each Christmas morning we all had to get up, dressed and have breakfast before we could open any presents. (One year Mum actually made us wait until after dinner! Us kids nearly spontaneously combusted) For breakfast though she always cooked sausage rolls and to this day the smell of them baking always takes me back to Christmas as a kid. That's one of my favourite traditions that I've brought with me. The first thing I do when I wake up on Christmas morning now is to bake sausage rolls. If you walk into my house on Christmas morning expect to be greeted by a plate of warm goodies! 

Do you have any traditions for this time of year! Let me know in the comments :) 


Christmas Gift Guide for Girls!

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I love Christmas shopping for James & Emilie! Making the lists, searching the stores, finding deals online. I'm not such a fan of the whole wrapping process but I'll take it in exchange for seeing the looks on their faces as they rip into their gifts. I'm more excited to give presents than to receive them and seeing the joy on their faces makes it all worthwhile.

Today I'm sharing my gift guide for girls and next week I'm going to share a guide for boys gifts too. All of the toys on this post come from Mulberry Bush. I first heard of them a couple of years ago from my sister and I've shopped with them ever since. They have what I call 'proper toys.' Gorgeous dolls houses, wooden trains. And it's not over priced either which is a win-win in my opinion. A lot of James & Emilie's presents have come from them this year. 

1- Bay Tree House £25.00 
2 - Sadie Doll - £30.00
3 - Picnic Basket Tin Tea Set - £18.00
4 - Fairy Car with Skittles - £22.00 
5 - ABC Chunky Puzzle - £19.00. 
6 - Cafe Machine - £25.00
7 - Finger Printing Art - £7.99
8 - Breakfast Tray Puzzle - £25.00 

Are these not adorable gifts?! The Picnic set, I brought for my niece last Christmas and I'm so excited for Emilie to receive one this year. Plus, that dolls house! I almost wish I was young enough to put one on my wish list. 

Do you have a favourite shop where you love to buy gifts? 

December Goals.

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December! My favourite month of the year is here! Although I'm not too sure how it has come about so quickly. Is it just me or does every year seem to go quicker and quicker? Before I know it the kids will be tearing into their presents and I'll be cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Before I get onto my December goals, lets recap Novembers.

1// To get the bulk of my christmas shopping finished. I know that I'm not going to be able to completely finish it but I'll feel better if most of it's done.  Finished! All of it! 

2// Complete my next two assignments for my course. That will leave me just two more to do before I've completed the course! I failed with this one.. I didn't even get one finished. Just not enough hours in the month of November. 

3// Take more photos with my camera and not just my phone. I've already gotten slightly better at this over the past two weeks or so but there is always room for improvement. This went well. Definitely took more photos with my camera than the previous few months. 

4// Go back through my older posts here and clean up the tags. I was trying to sort my categories out yesterday and the number of tags that don't need to be there astonished me! Time to sort that out!  There has been a lot of behind the scenes work going on, including cleaning up the tags :) 

5// Drink more water. I started off last month on little to no caffeine but I've slipped back into old habits. I'm still drinking a bit too much caffeine but have definitely upped my intake of water. 

1// Continue to post five times a week here. I've gotten into a groove and I like it. My month working with Samantha was worth it's weight in gold and she has taught me so much. 

2// Sort the kids toy cupboard out. With Santa's impending visit I think I need to get rid of the old (& broken) and make way for the new. 

3// Read two books that I haven't read before. This past month has been so busy that reading has had to take a back seat. Not only that but I have a habit of re-reading books that I love. That isn't a bad thing but I want to read some new books. 

4// Write and actually send Christmas cards. I always buy them. Most of the time I actually write them. It's not very often I end up sending them though. I always forget and then it gets too late so I just give up on them. This year I actually want to send them! 

5// Relax over Christmas. I am one of those people that always has a million and one things on the go. Places I want to be and jobs I need to finish. I want to take the Christmas period and forget about the to-do list. I want to watch Christmas movies and drink hot chocolate. I want to bake with the kids and make meals from scratch.

What are your goals for this month? 

Happy December! 


Finding My Confidence As A Parent

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I remember walking out of the hospital when James was three days old. He was tucked into his car seat and as I stepped out of the doors and onto the busy London Street I had a moment where I thought to myself, "They are actually letting me leave with him. What do I know about looking after a baby?"

Those first few months were hard. James had awful reflux and he would vomit from one feed to the next. He was in so much pain so pretty much just cried. I couldn't lay him on his back at all so those first six months were a blur of washing bibs and a fog of exhaustion. 

According to Neurofen for Children it takes most new Mum's six months to feel confident as a parent. We're sleep deprived. We're overwhelmed. Sometimes we're alone, especially if no other family members live nearby and it can be scary. You have this tiny human being that is depending on you for everything and they can't tell you what they need. They cry and you have to guess.

When James was seven months old, he woke up one morning with a sniffle and a temperature. As it was a Friday I decided to get him checked out at the doctors before the weekend was upon us. The doctor basically told me that I was overreacting and that he was fine; it was just a cold. My instincts told me otherwise but I walked out of the surgery feeling like I had wasted the doctors time.

The next day James was worse. His temperature was over 39 degrees celsius, he wouldn't eat and screamed for most of that morning. I knew this was more than just a cold. Something was wrong. I decided that on a busy Saturday afternoon it was best just to take him to A&E. As I sat in the waiting room with James burning up on me I started wondering if the first doctor was right. Was I just over reacting? Was I just inexperienced at dealing with poorly babies?

After waiting for what felt like hours, James was diagnosed with Swine flu, croup and bronchitis. The doctor told me that I had done the right thing in bringing him to the hospital and gave James the medicines that he needed. That night, I sat there and swore to myself that I would always trust my motherly instincts. It hadn't let me down that night.

That's the first piece of advice I always give new Mum's. Always trust your motherly instincts. They are they're for a reason and since that night six years ago, I've kept that promise to myself and my children.

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The Differences Between Boys & Girls.

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When I was pregnant the second time and found out that I was having girl so many people said.. "Oh girls are so much easier than boys.." 

They were lying.. 

No, seriously. They were. 

Girls are fantastic but Emilie by far has been 100 times harder than James ever was.. 

1 They are more demanding. 

2 They are emotional. 

3 They shriek at a pitch I didn't even know existed. 

4 They are picky.. With their clothes, their food, their hair.

5 They learn quickly to say, "It wasn't me. My brother done it."

6 They also quickly learn the butter wouldn't melt look.

7 They don't care if it's raining and five degrees. They want to wear their sandals. (Please note that if you continue to say no to the sandals request then girls will deploy number 3) 

8 Their tantrums seem to last a few hours longer than boys.. Maybe that's just Emilie though. 

9 They assert their independence a lot quicker than boys.

10 They learn quickly that turning on the tears normally helps them get what they want.  

That all being said.. Girls really are amazing. They're funny and sweet. My little lady is my mini me and I wouldn't change her for the world :) 

What do you think? Which are easier, boys or girls? 

You Baby Me Mummy


Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends over the pond! Although it's a holiday that isn't celebrated here in England I think it's always good to remember what we're thankful for.

My children. My husband. Sunshine. Health. Slow Saturday mornings. Coffee. Frosty mornings. A roof over our heads. The internet. Laughter. Books. Rainbows. Music. Babies. Family. Friends. Sunsets. Open fires. Hot chocolate. Fresh flowers. Snail mail. Slow cookers. Candles. Movies. Dance parties in the kitchen. Fluffy socks. Children laughing. Pizza nights. Pancakes day. English breakfasts. Leaf piles. Notebooks & pens. Photos. Water. Colours. Seasons. Warm clothes. Doctors. Sunrises. Cuddles. 

What are you thankful for today? 


Five Great Books for Toddlers.

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Between me, Anthony and the kids, I'm pretty sure we have enough books to fill a library. Ever since I can remember I've had my nose stuck in a book and it's one of the better traits of mine that the kids have picked up from me. Emilie is at the stage at the moment where she has her favourite books and asks me to read them over and over again... And then again..  Here's our five favourites at the moment. 

1// The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

Who doesn't love this book!? James is six and still likes to read it. I think it's the colours and the simple storyline that makes it such a big hit with little ones. Emilie's favourite page is where it lists all the food he ate on the sixth day. This is definitely a must in any toddlers book collection.

2// Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney

I brought this for James when he was about ten months old. It's since been made into a tv cartoon but I still prefer the book. It's such a sweet story and now Emilie loves it just as much as James did.

3// What The Ladybird Heard - Julia Donaldson

This is my favourite one to read to the kids for two reasons. The pictures and the fact that it rhymes. When you're reading a book for the 50,000th time rhyming helps! The kids love the storyline of this book and how it's the quiet ladybird that saves the day. 

4// Pirate Pete & Princess Polly, Please and Thank you.  

This was the first book in the Pirate Pete and Princess Polly collection that I brought for Emilie. It is all about teaching children manners and I love how it's done in such a simple way but it works. 

5// Princess Polly's Potty 

A potty training book for girls. There is another one for boys called Pirate Pete's Potty. This book helped us so much when we first started potty training Emilie. She loved picking out her favourite underwear and potty in the book. When we first brought this she wouldn't read any other book for so long! She also loves the fact that it cheers for Princess Polly when she goes on the potty!

So those are our favourite books at the moment. What are yours? Are your children a fan of the Pirate Pete and Princess Polly books?

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