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What 2016 Has Taught Me 

19 Dec


Hi folks,

Well we’re officially on our Christmas countdown! I’m just so excited for our first Christmas with Seth. He simply is the most perfect & prescious little gift. 

Around this time of year I always become very reflective. I can’t help but look back on what has happened over the year & I always miss those who aren’t here with us anymore. 2016 has taught me so much. Not only about me… but about others & life in general.

I began the year pregnant & somewhat anxious really. I had a very up & down pregnancy with lots of heightened emotions. I did enjoy my pregnancy – but all of the complications did make me nervous. I just couldn’t wait for Seth to arrive safely. Then he did! The overwhelming love I felt instantly was just something I’d never felt before. For the first time ever I think I actually loved my body… the body that homed & grew my baby boy. 

When I became a Mammy, something in me just changed. Suddenly things that would’ve bothered me before, became insignificant. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still me – but my whole world now is being a Mammy. I mean, I still love going out for a spot of sparkles or purchasing a designer handbag. But Seth literally comes before anything. 

I think I’ve also become more driven & passionate too. I’ve always been stubborn & determined to achieve things,  but I now have even more of a reason to succeed… I want to make my little boy proud. I think I’ll always battle against my weight & food demons – but I want more than anything to be a good role model for Seth. 2017 will see me plough on with my ongoing weight loss journey & healthy eating. Of course I’ll be indulging over Christmas – who doesn’t!? But 2017 will see a happy healthy me. I’ve lost over 3 stone since Seth was born & I’d like to lose another stone or two. Then it’ll be all about maintaining that goal when I reach it. 

I’ve also become freelance & working for myself! Yikes! Now that is a tad scary – but kind of exhilarating too. August saw me resigning from my job of 11 years. A job I truly loved because of the amazing colleagues I had. I’m lucky to still call those colleagues as good friends. I was offered a job that was simply too good to be true… literally. We’ve waited so long for Seth that he deserves a happy Mammy… not a stressed out Mammy too focussed on work & drama. I feel so guilty that for 2 month I was so consumed with the stress & drama of a new job that quite frankly was just hideous. I was made to feel stupid & pathetic for being a new mother. Told I had psychological problems for not wanting to leave my baby in childcare with a stranger. Parenting is very personal & something that someone should not dictate. We have no family around us where we live & so we have no childcare. I just don’t personally feel comfortable leaving Seth with someone I’m not related too. Well, not until he’s ready for nursery. Pressure & conflict was not a healthy combination for me & my prescious little family. So as a family unit we decided resignation was the only option. So…. 2016 has seen two resignations. I’m gutted about that as I never give up on anything, but sometimes people give you no option. I’ve actually still not had an acknowledgement that I’ve resigned… bizarre. I wish I’d listened to the numerous warnings from others before accepting the position. But… you live & learn. The experience has taught me so much. As always I try to see everything as a positive. I have no time in my life for negativity. 

So, with the support of my hubster I’ve become a freelance blogger. I absolutely love it! I feel very lucky & privileged. I choose my own hours & the projects/campaigns I’d like to work on. It means Seth gets a full time Mammy who is happy & fun. It means he has my undivided attention during these core years. My consultant told me I may never conceive again… so I don’t want to miss a thing. 

2016 has brought fantastic new people into my life. I’m lucky to have an amazing support network of best friends & family I’ve known for years. But I always have space for new amazing souls. I’ve made some lovely new ‘Mammy’ friends as I call them. Ladies who don’t make you feel nuts for asking ridiculous questions you sometimes have as a new parent. Ladies who I can have a giggle with over a cuppa. I’ve heard lots of people say when they become a parent they lose some friends. Well I can honestly say – I haven’t. Maybe I’m just super lucky. But all of my friends just embrace my new Mammy life & Seth. Yes, there’s some who don’t bother with us… but to be honest those people were like that before I became a Mammy anyways. So it’s not really changed if you know what I mean. 

I think this year has taught me to be stronger, to be more patient & to not suffer fools. Really, 2016 has been an epic year… & it’s still not over! In the last 8 weeks I’ve become a God Mother, I’ve been on an amazing Christmassy Vacation, had Seth christened, met Santa 3 times & been on the Northpole Express, I’ve had meetings with some amazing companies & brands, I travelled to London on my own to a press launch (major achievement for me) & I met the beautiful & rather lovely Myleene Klass. I can’t wait to see what will occur over the next 12 months!

Life is simply magical & I feel I’m right where I should be. Someone said to me this year: “I’d hate to be just a mother… I’m more than that”. I have to say… if the only thing I’m remembered for in life is ‘Hayley – loving & caring mother to Seth’… I’d be more than happy. But I’d also like to be known as a good blogger lol… you know just as like a little sparkly after thought lol. 

So… my New Years Resolutions for 2017 are:

  • Be the best Mammy I can be to Seth 
  • Continue to work hard at building up my little growing business 
  • Continue to battle my food addiction & continue on the path of achieving my goal weight & being the healthiest I can be 
  • Surround myself with positive people 
  • Keep a watchful eye on the negative folk 

    I hope you all have an amazing Christmas & all the best for the New Year. I’m sure I’ll be blogging again before the end of this year & sharing some fab reviews with you all. 

    Love & Hughes, 

    Hayley xxx

    Living ‘Sparkly’ the IxxyPoco Way

    9 Aug

    Hi folks ✨


    Well… It’s no secret that I like fancy things. I love to live life sparkly & being surrounded by nice things & designer labels. I like eating nice food & drinking sparkly yumminess. But, I like all of these things at the best bargain price. 

    I’m the Queen of coupons & the Princess of bargain shopping. There’s no shame in bargain hunting. The cost of living has become so high that quite often treats are forgotten. Well, life is for living & I love a treat. 

    I’m such a handbag & purse pervert… I’m always scouring glossy magazines for the latest stunning arm candy. Once I have my heart set on a new bag – I’ll stop at nothing until it’s mine. Generally I’ll head to my current bags that I own & I’ll either have a cull & sell anything I’ve not used in the last 12months & put the money toward my new purchase. Or… I’ll get down to some good old saving. Even if it’s just £5 a month… I’ll save until I have the pennies to buy it. I’ve just sold 5 handbags & with the money I’ve managed to buy myself a new Kate Spade Purse & a Vivienne Westwood Tote. It’s a great way of freeing up some room as well as buying something new. And, your old bags go to a new home. It’s kind of like recycling really. I really need to start organising ‘swishing’ parties. A Swishing Party is basically where everyone brings something they no longer want, then you swap with someone else. So you could bring clothes, shoes, bags, scarves… Anything really! Such a good idea & a money saver! Plus, it’s a good excuse to get the girlies over to sip some sparkles. Talking of sparkles…

    Sparkles ✨ Now, we all know I love a glass of sparkles. Whether it be a good bottle of Champagne or a cheap Cava. The whole reason I call it sparkles is so it’s very ambiguous as what’s in my glass. It’s always bubbly, it’s always dry… But is it always Champagne? Heck no! I’d love to be sipping Moet every weekend, but that’s become rather pricey! So, my wine rack consists of Cava that I’ve bought at £4 on offer, Prosecco when it’s 5 for £25 & Champagne when there’s money off. Even Moet, Lanson & Veuve go on offer sometimes. When they do I tend to buy a bottle to keep for a special occasion. Places like Aldi & Asda are great for picking up a bottle of Champagne for £10… Sometimes cheaper if you’re lucky. 

    Food… Now I LOVE food! I cook from scratch & I make my own sauces. Meat etc… Can be a bit pricey at times. But it’s all about where you shop & quantities. If you follow my diet page you’ll know I use my Crock Pot a lot. I buy my meat pre-frozen from Asda which saves a lot. I tend to buy whole fresh chickens as it’s cheaper to buy a whole chicken sometimes & then it’s lasts a good few days. There’s so many different things you can make with chicken. I buy rice & pasta in bulk. I’m lucky & have a big walk in pantry which is great for storage. I tend to buy giant sacks of pasta & rice which is so much cheaper. I also buy tinned items in bulk too whenever I see an offer. If I see a vegetable offer in a local market I’ll buy it in bulk then blanch & freeze them. We eat well… We have gorgeous food… But at a good price. 

    Make up… I couldn’t live without the stuff. Again I buy when there’s an offer. I buy most of my make from Debenhams & Boots. Both places have excellent points cards. It’s the best way to buy. Make sure you use the offers & coupons to boost your points. That way you build up a good balance to spend at a later date. I can get up to £200 worth of boots points on my card within 6 month. It just makes your pennies go that little bit further. I also have some amazing acrylic storage which I bought from Muji. It’s so much cheaper than a Kardashian Acrylic Cube. 

    Somethings in life I won’t scrimp on like SKY TV (sad I know lol) Eating Out & things for Seth. But that’s fine because I try to get everything else at a bargain price lol. 

    So there you have it… This is my sparkly way of living life ‘fancy’ & Sparkly ✨ 

    Thanks for reading & have a great day 💕

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx

    Christmas Holidays 

    14 Dec

    Hi Folks ✨

    So I’m now on my official Christmas Countdown! As of 12noon Friday gone – I began my Christmas holidays. I’ve then got annual leave until the end of January 2016… Followed by my maternity leave commencing Feb 2016 to Feb 2017 💙 

    Friday was such a lovely last day at work… Well… half day. I had loads of paperwork to finish off, so I started the day with a large Chococcino & a Cadbury ‘reindeer’ Chocolate Cake  

     I was given a lovely ‘Thank You’ card off Amanda at work. I’ve literally only known her a few weeks – but she’s so lovely.  

       I also got a little plant from everyone as an ‘annual leave’ gift lol  
     It’s so cute & is currently living on my kitchen windowsill. I’m a bit superstitious & I didn’t want any ‘baby’ gifts yet. Plus, I’ve not officially started my maternity leave yet either. I have plenty time now to organise my baby shower. I was initially thinking of having it here at home, but since there’s so many people already who want to come – I think it’s gonna be easier to book somewhere & have it there instead. Plus, Coco will be beside herself if there’s too many people here. I mean I have two nice big reception rooms… But I can’t be bothered making constant cups of tea lol. So… I’m thinking I’m gonna source somewhere nice to have afternoon tea. Then they can have the mess to clear up lol 💙

    After loads of Huggles all round I headed into to town just to have a little look round the shops… Then I picked up a naughty KFC lunch, then headed home. I figured I was allowed a KFC since it was a bit of a celebratory day. When I got home one of my lovely neighbours popped round with a parcel she’d taken in for me. Oooooooo & it was from Paperchase!!!  

       They’ve sent me a cute little organiser & an index box file. I’m gonna use them over the course of this week & I’ll give a full review of them at the end of the week. But just on how they look… They’re super cute! Thank you Paperchase for sending me such lovely items 💕

    Friday evening was spent looking at my website I’m having built. My hubster bought me my domain name bless him. My website is looking so good!!! It just needs some tweaks etc… But the colours & the layout look fantastic. I’m gonna have some pages on there dedicated to my reviews. So for any companies who would like to contact me, it’ll be even easier. Of course my blog will be on there too, along with all of my social media channels. Here’s a little sneaky peeky:  

    I’ve been asked a few times to start a video blog. Is that something you’d like to see? So many people have approached me about lit now that I’m seriously starting to think about it. 

    Saturday was spent with the hubster ❤️ We popped to town to buy one more thing for under the tree for him, then we headed to Wetherspoons for lunch. You gotta love Wetherspoons for how cheap & cheerful it is. The food is always nice from our local Wetherspoons. The weather was horrid & rainy, so it was very much needed, to sit & have a relax over a nice lunch. While we were sat relaxing I received loads of pics from my Mam of all the snow they had this weekend… I was so jealous!!! ❄️🌨☃ 
        
     They ended up with several inches of snow!!! We live in South Yorkshire & we literally get no snow! We get like a little flurry now & then. My hubster is from Liverpool & he’s said that down there they don’t get much either. Yet up in County Durham they get some beautiful amounts of snow. It makes me quite ‘homesick’ for where I’m from. I love where we live & I’m really happy here… But now we’re starting our own little family – I think we’d like to look into maybe relocating over the next few year. I’d love our little ones to grow up in such a pretty part of the U.K. with snowy winters. Plus it’d be lovely to have the support of my Mammy too. I also feel as though we’re missing out on so much with our little niece growing up. She’s the only niece we’ll ever have as my hubster is an only child & my brother is the only uncle our children will have. Maybe it’s because it’s Christmas… But I seem to be missing my family a lot lately 💙 

    When we got home from town my BirchBox was waiting for me. It was beautiful!!!  

     It arrived in a glitzy clutch bag – I think I’m gonna use it as a pretty sparkly make up bag. Inside I had:

    • Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
    • Model & Co Lippy
    • Ciate Nail Polish 
    • Skin & Co Shower Gel 
    • Benefits They’re Real Liner 
    • Benefits Puff Off Eye Cream
    • Face Mask

    So worth every penny at the bargain price of £6.95… Especially when the collective total is £60+ I’ve had word that there’s still some left! So follow this link then add code: CLOUDXMAS to order yours! 

    Sunday was a gorgeous day 🎄 we got to spend the day with Carol & Eddie at their Wedding. Although, I was a little stressed about finding something to wear for the Wedding since my bump is getting bigger & bigger everyday  

        
       Luckly I managed to shimmy into a size 16 TopShop number. It was actually so comfy – so that was a massive plus!!! The Wedding didn’t start until 3pm, but from 12noon I was by the Brides side ✨ I did hair & make up & then helped her get into her gorgeous dress. We even watched Elf to calm some nerves ☺️ She drank sparkles while I drank Diet Coke lol… It was such a lovely start to the day. So so so Christmassy 🎄 The Wedding took place at the Race Course – it was so beautiful inside.  
        
        
       The service was lovely & the reception was utterly stunning  
        
     I was so unbelievably touched by a gorgeous little gift I was presented with  

     Such a gorgeous delicate sparkly necklace. 

    All day I’d been craving a Cadbury Wispa bar… Then at 7pm when the evening guests arrived… My friends hubster was an utter star & turned up with this!!! 

     What an utter hero! Lol.

    It was a lovely day & an amazing evening spent with fantastic people & surrounded by Christmas trees 🎄 What more could you want!?  Now I’m just feeling utterly Christmassy… Even more than before ✨

    So… My first day of my Christmas Holidays has been spent in my Christmas Mickey Mouse Pyjamas snuggling Coco  

      

     Coco’s favourite place to sleep these days is on her brother… She loves my bump 💙

    My Little Box arrived today!!! It’s such a good box this month… My Little Magic Box  

     The the thing I love about My Little Box is that you don’t just get beauty products… You get lifestyle products too. To subscribe it’s £11 per month plus £3.95 p&p. This month I received: 

    • Navy Mittens with Gold Sparkles
    • Navy & Gold due Nail Polish  
    • Nars Blush
    • Rituals Body Lotion 
    • Kushmi Russian Tea
    • Denim Make Up Bag

    The bag itself is really cute. I can’t wait to wear the mittens. If you want to subscribe, just follow this link

    Tea tonight was fajitas… So nice!  

     
    Well… I’m gonna leave this post here… I’m super sleepy this evening so I’m gonna spend the rest of the night relaxing with the hubster & the Chi ❤️

    Thanks always for reading ✨

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx

    Wonderful Weekends

    7 Dec

    Hi Folks ✨

    Wow… well this weekend has been a fantastical one… It’s been spent with loved ones… Just the way I like it. As you all know, it was a little touch & go whether my parents would would be able to make it for the weekend with my Dad being poorly. Normally they’d travel down on a Friday evening, but because my Daddy has been poorly they arrived on Saturday morning instead,  after picking up a much needed prescription. Then they headed on down to chilly South Yorkshire. I already had my dining table set up for our North Pole Breakfast… well actually… it became more of a brunch after all of the initial cuddling & gossiping we did as they arrived. My mammy made us an amazing Christmas cake & a gorgeous Apple Bakewell Tart. So… we basically drank tea… drank mango juice… ate Christmas Tree shaped crumpets & various sweet treats I’d purchased from Ocado. The Heston Blumenthal mince pies were truly delicious & worth every penny! Even though they’d proved a controversial choice to my parents as they’re fond of the ‘traditional’ mince pie… but… they were totally converted. They’re worth every penny!

      
      
      
      
      
    My Mammy is so talented… The hours of work she has spent knitting some beautiful garments, along with pram blankets & a Royal sleeping bag. I’m not a big lover of ‘blue’… So she’s made the sleeping bag in the most gorgeous mint green. It’s simply stunning. Already his little wardrobe is building. I love homemade knitwear… It’s just so personal & full of love. Sometimes tradition is the way forward. I can’t wait to see what she does with the Christening cape I’ve asked her to knit.

    During brunch I received a special delivery from MAM UK They’ve sent me an amazing Breastfeeding Starter Kit. Such a lovely company to deal with… I cannot recommend them enough. (See my blog post ‘Mammy to Be’ for a full in depth review of MAM UK.)

     Normally when my parents visit we go out & about & shopping… but we decided upon a really relaxed ‘stay at home’ Saturday. I wasn’t gonna argue at that, since I’m still a bit under the weather. It was lovely just spending much needed quality time together surrounded by Christmassy-ness & Christmas Music.

    Ooooh, we did pop out though to put the lotto on & to pop into Sainsbury’s to buy Mog’s Christmas Calamity. I bought a one for my little niece & a one for Baby T. It’s by Judith Kerr who wrote came to tea. At least £2 of the proceeds from Mogs Christmas Calamity go to Save the Children – helping Children with literacy. An amazing worthwhile charity. Go get your copy before they all sell out!!!

     With my appetite being a little up & down & obviously with my new Crock Pot purchase… I decided home cooked healthy food was the way forward & I opted to test drive the Crock Pot. I made a Moroccan inspired Pork Stew & served alongside couscous… it was divine! You can find all of my recipes via Facebook on my Diet Page. Every plate was literally clean… so it’s safe to say that my recipe & the Crock Pot were a major success! I have to say though… That I needn’t have bothered with the homemade food & all of my little decorations, as the star of the show seemed to be my Lindt chocolate Santa place settings lol… Honestly my mam & Dad just loved them so much! They are pretty neat little things & would be great for parties or Christmas Weddings… either as favours or place settings or both! I bought mine for £4 for two packs. Each Santa is individual with a little place to add someone’s name.

      
     The rest of the evening was spent cozied up chatting & drinking hot drinks.

    Sunday morning seemed to come so quick… So that meant my Mam & Dad were packing up & ready for their drive back up to Durham. They always leave pretty early on a Sunday, to give me & the hubster a day to ‘us’ over the weekend. I mean, when you’re working full time Mon – Fri… It is nice to have some time to spend together & to have a chill out before Monday morning arrives again.

    Although… I had a busy Sunday a head of me in the shape of Carol’s Surprise Hen Party. Around 10 of us headed up to The Earl of Doncaster for a Champagne Afternoon Tea… Although mine was ‘lemonade’ based rather than Champagne. Oh how I miss my sparkles… It’s all for a good cause though. It was so lovely. It was exactly what Carol wanted… Fancy, Low Key & Christmassy. There was a pianist in the corner of the large room singing Christmassy tunes… It was just really lovely. But obviously… we all ate far too much… Oooops!

      
    When I got home I was very much ready to slip straight into my Christmassy PJs & cuddle up with the hubster & the Chi. Coco was actually sat waiting for me to come home… She’s such a little sweetheart! No early night was on the cards though with it being the ‘I’m a Celebrity’ final!!! And of course Vicky won it! I’m so chuffed she won it… I really do love her zest. She’s super funny too. A very deserving winner in my eyes with all of the trials she completed. I’d be no good in the jungle lol… I like my creature comforts too much & I’m so not brave when it comes to insects, no make up & curly hair! lol… Eeeeck living without my hair straighteners for me would be an utter nightmare! Did you know that I have 3 pairs of GHDs, 1 pair of She & 1 pair of Kodo just in case one breaks??? lol… seriously… curly locks isn’t a good look for me lol.

    So after a busy Sunday… I was very tired this morning & of course needed my Choccocino for when I got to my desk. This week also marks my last week before beginning my Christmas Holidays… followed by annual leave… followed by maternity leave. So as of this Friday I shall be off work until February 2017! Can you actually believe that!? So you can expect lots more blogging & fabulous reviews as I’m currently working with some fantastic companies right now.

     Today just randomly turned into a ‘meatfree’ Monday. I do try & make us at least one vegetarian meal a week as I’m conscious of having too much meat in our diet. Lunch was a lovely homemade salad of lettuce, rocket, cucumber, peppers, olives & mixed veg cous cous.

     Tea was vegetable fajita’s… So nice.

    I’m still trying to be healthy with ‘most’ of my food choices during this pregnancy.

    Tomorrow is gonna be pretty exciting… The hubster is off work all day as we’re having our new carpets fitted!!! We’re having new carpet in the lounge, porch, stairs, landing & the nursery. I’m so glad that we could schedule it in before Christmas. I just can’t wait to have everything all nice & neat & tidy in time for Christmas. I’ve literally wanted new carpets since we moved in, in March. But there just seemed bigger things to do before the carpets. I think next Summer will see the dining room & lounge being totally re-decorated & possibly new double glazing… we shall see!

     Well… I shall leave this post here.

    Thanks again for reading!

    Love & Huggles,

     

    Hayley xxx

     

     

    Mammy To Be

    7 Dec

    Hi Folks,

    As a first time Mammy to be… It can be a little scary & daunting reading up on this whole new world that you’re entering. As most of you know, me & my hubby have wanted a baby for sometime, but with having to have various other surgeries over the years… we weren’t quite sure how easy or quick this would happen for us. Luckily… we conceived naturally & have later found out that we’re really lucky to have done so since finding out about my fibroids & the infection I have in my womb… So this little baby boy of ours is our very own little miracle 💙

     I’ve been doing so much research online around different companies… especially the ones who make bottles, sterilisers etc… I’ve decided that I really do want to give breastfeeding a go. Since I’m not allowed to give birth naturally for various medical reasons… I feel as though I want to do this as a bonding thing & because so many medical professionals say it gives your baby a great start. I have spent such a lot of time researching breast pumps etc… So if I’m successful at breastfeeding my husband can be a part of it too. Well… One company that kept jumping out at me is MAM baby UK. If I’m totally honest, the first thing that first appealed to me about this company was it’s name. I’m from the Northeast so we say ‘Mam’ instead of ‘Mum’ lol… as silly as that sounds, it was literally a big green light for lol. But not just that… They’ve won so many awards too… This company really does just seem like the one for me. I haven’t technically used any of their products yet as my baby boy isn’t here yet, but already I feel more confident about entering the breastfeeding arena with some fantastic knowledge & products behind me.

    MAM have sent me the breastfeeding starter kit & it’s fab. Again, I’ve not physically used the set yet, but would it be wrong to say I can’t wait until I can? They have a fantastic online shop with some great prices right now. I was actually planning on buying this set this weekend from a well known high street retailer for £75.00. Right now however, you can buy the set direct from MAM at the bargain price of £37.50 here. It’s a great kit to get you started. The postage costs are a flat rate of £3.99 within the UK. The set includes:

    • Manual breast pump
    • 3x 160ml anti-colic bottles
    • 3x sealing discs
    • 3x storage solution
    • 2x nipple shields with a serilisable carry case
    • 10x breast pads
    • Anti-colic bottle top
    • Teat tongs 

    I know a lot of you have been in touch with me to talk more about sterilisers. Hopefully Mam may send me a one & I’ll be able to pass on my findings to you 🙂 I still haven’t bought a steriliser as I’m still looking at reviews myself etc… Is it just be who gets overly obsessed with researching these things? lol

    They also have a great little offer on right now with a Try Me Bottle & Soother. It comes in white so is totally unisex. I for one will be getting this for my little Prince. It’s only £7.99 with an offer via this link here.

    20150908105651_mam_try_me_bottle_soother_130ml

    I really can’t wait to receive & review more packages from this company. Once Baby T is here I’ll be able to give you all an in depth & better insight as to how user friendly everything is. Maybe even some pics of our bundle enjoying all of his MAM products.

    I hope this post has been helpful 🙂 Please let me know if there’s anything in particular you want me write about or review. You can comment on this post or contact me via Twitter here: IxxyPoco if you follow me I’ll follow back just in case you’d prefer to direct message me.

    Or you can also find me on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ixxypoco/

    Thanks again for reading!

    Love & Huggles,

     

    Hayley & Bump 💙 xxx

     

    There’s a Blog Post Brewing 

    6 Dec

    Hi Folks ✨ 

    I’ve had such a lovely weekend but I’m super tired now. So I shall do a full blog post tomorrow evening when I’m home from work & in my pjs. I’ve also got a review coming up for MAM uk with plenty of links to some good buys with them at the moment ✨ 

    Tomorrow’s post will be a lengthy one – I promise… with a full update & pics of this weekends Christmassy happenings 🎄

      Love & Huggles,
    Hayley xxx 

    Drama at Thorne Towers

    4 Dec

    Evening Folks,

    Today has felt like the looooongest day! It really has. About as long as my hair actually. Seriously… My hair has grown like 3 inches in the last 9 weeks since I last had it cut. It’s so much thicker too & mega glossy. It must be pregnancy hormones. I’ve not dyed my hair since last Christmas. It’s looks in the best condition it’s been in years. I so hope this continues. I tried to catch a pic of my hair from a side angle… also catching a glimpse of the bump too.

     Felt so tired this morning when my alarm went off for work… really didn’t sleep last night at all… so obviously when I got to work I needed to head to Campus Coffee for a large choccocino to get me through the morning. It was soooooo good!

     Literally not long after getting there Amanda from level 4 appeared with a lovely gift for me… An Elf on the Shelf!!! I was so excited! I was gonna buy a one next year for the bambino, but now I have a one for this year to play with lol. After much deliberation & some input from Garry – I’ve named him Tavistock 🙂

      
    I finished work today at 12noon. I originally booked the afternoon off as my Mam & Dad were meant to be coming down today for the weekend… but because my Dad has been poorly they’re not coming now until tomorrow morning. But I decided to keep my afternoon off anyways as we had a major drama in Thorne Towers… Our slow cooker started to drop to bits! Now that is a major tragedy in here as I use my slow cooker all of the time for my healthy diet friendly meals. So my early finish meant a trip in to town on my way home to buy a replacement. But of course I needed to pop into Primarni on the way… I couldn’t resist these cute Christmassy Minion Pyjama’s… or as my little niece would say; “Inions”.

     I also popped into Marks & Sparks too, to get some yummy food for this evening as the hubster is at his Christmas ‘Works’ party. So I got some quinoa & salmon for lunch & then salad with mini chicken fajitas for tea… so yummy!

      
    So… after some spontaneous shopping I trekked to Argos which was totally hideous I may add! It was red hot & full of frantic Christmas shoppers!!! I hate shopping in December. This is why I do all of my shopping waaaaaaay before December. I can’t stand the crowds & it’s even worse when you’re pregnant. I decided to upgrade us from a cheap slow cooker to an actual proper Crock Pot! lol. I mean I can’t grumble really coz I only paid £10 for our old slow cooker like 5 year ago. I only paid £36 for our new beautiful Thyme Crock Pot though so it’s an utter bargain! I can’t wait to try it out tomorrow! So stay tuned for a full review of it. I’m gonna make a Moroccan inspired feast tomorrow evening. I know it’s not pink… but I could only get a pink Crock Pot from the Official American website & I just simply couldn’t wait that long for it to arrive. I tell you what though… It was a right mission of epic proportions getting that Crock Pot home coz it bloody weighed a ton! Even just getting it up the drive was an epic feat! Although I did have time to snap a pic of our gorgeous wreath on the front door that the Hubster bought us yesterday from York on his way home.   

    I think the Thyme Crock Pot fits nicely into our Pink & Lemon KitchenIMG_7649

    When I got home I had a much needed chillax in my new Minion PJ’s. Then I got to work on my Christmassy dinning table ready for our North Pole Breakfast in the morning. I’ll take lots of pics of the yummy non-diet food we have lol.

      

    These little Lindt Santa’s are a great alternative to a place setting card… And they’re a tad yummier too lol.
     So… while the hubster is out I’m having an evening of Chihuahua cuddles… TV… & writing. I’ve been approached by some big Baby brand companies to do some writing for them… So I need to get some practice in lol. Plus with Coco reviewing for two doggie companies now she needs some practice too… Maybe one day, Coco will collaborate on a book with me lol.

      
    I hope you’re all having a lovely Festive Friday evening. Oh & I just wanted to remind you all again about the amazing coupon code I’ve been given for the Christmas Birchbox! Follow this link: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/zd49d then use coupon code: CLOUDXMAS to get your box for £6.95 including the delivery. You’ll get a clutch bag, Benefit goodies, Liz Earle… loads of nice things. Also you’ll get £5 worth of points to spend in the Birchbox Online Store… You should have it before Christmas.

    Anyways… I shall leave this post here.

    Thanks again for reading!

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx

     

     

    Who Wants a Christmas Gift? 

    3 Dec

    Hi Folks ✨ 

    Eeeeeck I just can’t believe we’re already 3 days into December 🎄 To say thank you for reading & also to say a big sparkly ‘Merry Christmas’… I’m having a Christmas Gift Giveaway 🎁

     I’ll draw the winner Saturday 12th December… So hopefully you’ll have your goodies in time for Christmas! 🎄

    All of these goodies will come in a pink GlossyBox:

    • Guerlain Smartphone Case
    • 200ml Naobay Calming Toner
    • 100ml Summer Sorbet Body Lotion
    • 75ml Body Shop Skin Polish
    • 30ml Sass Skin Conventrate
    • 20ml BioDerma Eye Make Up Remover
    • 10g Eastern Treat Handcream
    • 5ml Malin+Goetz Lip Cream
    • Trilogy MakeUp Be Gone Balm
    • Me Me Me Eye Wand in Enchanted 
    • Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask x2
    • English Laundry Perfume
    • Nail Decals
    • Travel Mate Mask
    • Garnier Beauty Oil
    • Paperchase Light Up Rose Pen
    • Paperchase Sparkle Stickers
    • Robert Fredrick Note Book

    You can also enter via my Instragam Page  https://www.instagram.com/ixxypoco/
    It’s totally free so why not give it a go & enter 🎁 it’ll be a lovely little gift to pop under your tree 🎄

    I’ve not had the best of days today. At 23wks pregnant I’m still suffering with sickness. Plus I just didn’t sleep well with pain. So I didn’t end up going into work which I feel utterly horrendous about. I hate feeling like I’ve failed at something. I will most definitely drag myself into work tomorrow though. Coco was on hand today though to keep me company  

     Look at her little pose… She’s so pretty bless her. She’s likes a little model. She sat with me while I sipped a cuppa & did some menu planning for this month  🐾 I really wanna try & stay as healthy as possible over the festive period. 

       I opened a new Christmassy Wax Tart too, to fill the house full of a Christmassy scent  

     Red Apple Wreath smells so nice. Over Christmas I tend to buy mostly cinnamon based scents. But this a lovely alternative. It’s kind of fruity along with the smell of fresh pine needles. We never buy a real Christmas tree because we have Coco. The pine needles would become stuck in her paws & I just could do that to her. So having a pine needle smells without the pine needles is so nice. I always buy my Yankee Candles & Wax Tarts from Yankee Direct – they always have amazing offers & you can collect points too, to redeem against future purchases. Visit their website here: http://www.yankeedirect.com/m-index.asp

    I opened door number 3 on my calendar off Carolyn, this morning. 

     I love the cute little ‘Love’ necklace. It’s so pretty. I love this calendar. It’s so exciting to find out what each day’s treat will be 😁✨

    Only one more day until the weekend ❄️ I’m really looking forward to setting up my Northpole Breakfast 🎄 I have a feeling that it isn’t going to be the most healthiest of meals though… Ooooops! Really hope my Mam & Dad can make it too… My Daddy hasn’t been too well, so hoping he’s better & able to come for the weekend. It’s been ages since I’ve seen then. Months literally go past in between seeing them. I think that’s the worst about not living in Durham anymore. I keep telling the hubster he needs to keep an eye on job vacancies at Durham Uni or Museums around the Durham area. It’d be amazing coz my Manmy doesn’t work, so I’d have full time child care lol. Not to mention all the homemade cakes I could be supplied with lol… It’d be a win win situation 🍰 

     I’ve also got Carol’s hen party this Sunday too – I shall take plenty pics. I think it’s gonna be a lovely, Christmassy, ‘tasteful’ affair. I can’t wait! 🎄

    Eeeeeeck… When the hell buster got home he’d bought us a Christmas wreath – I love it  

     The hubster has been on cooking duty tonight bless him. He’s made us yummy grilled sirloin steak & roasties with some safe & onion flavouring… He’s an utter star ⭐️  

     And I washed it’d own with some lemonade & frozen lemon & orange slices  

     I think the evening is gonna wrap up in bed watching I’m a Celebrity. I’ve been voting via the app to save Vicky. I so want her to win. She’s been amazing in all of the rials. I’d be an utter nightmare in the jungle lol. I’d have frizzy hair… A red face & I can’t stand creepy crawlies. I don’t think I could even do it for £1 million! I’m such a wimp.  

    Right I think I shall leave this post here. Don’t forget to enter my Christmassy giveaway… The rules on entering are on the pic at the beginning of this post. Good luck 🍀 here’s another look at the goodies up for grabs   Enjoy the rest of your Thursday & thanks so much for reading ❤️

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx 

      

    Getting Advice from Victoria Beckham 

    2 Dec

    Hi Folks ✨

    Hope you’ve all had a lovely Wednesday. I always find Wednesdays are such funny days… they’re kinda like a non-day I think if that makes sense lol. Its just that midway point you’re dying to get over to the latter half of the week… where you can almost taste the weekend! ✨

    Something that I love about December is that it’s totally acceptable to snaffle chocolate at breakfast. Since I didn’t open yesterday’s door on my advent calendar, I got two chocolates this morning. Don’t ask me what they were meant to be though as their shape didn’t really resemble anything… nor did they look anything like the picture inside the door. But hey… they did taste good with my cup of tea whilst getting ready 🙂 Oooooh &… I got a necklace in my calendar off Carolyn 🙂 🎁

       

    Coco was being a major diva this morning… She flat out refused to get out of bed. OUR bed I may add. She sort of cocooned herself in our duvet all snuggly. I think she thought that if she wrapped herself up, then we’d not move her. She’s so small though that she can’t jump off the bed herself, nor can she get down the stairs herself. So when we go downstairs we have to take her with us. Coco was not impressed. I did give her one of her most favourite bones though, so that made her a tad happier 🐾

     

    When I got to work this morning, I had to giggle to myself. The first thing I spotted when I walked in to our office space was the desk decor that had been created by our media team. I love the effort they’ve gone too. With finishing work next week early for Christmas, I wasn’t going to bother with any desk decorations, but I kind of feel shamed in to it now. I’m really looking forward to some relaxation time over Christmas. I’m hoping we’ll get some lovely white sparkly snow too! ❄️

        
     

    Today’s lunch was a very sensible homemade pasta salad. It had peppers, lettuce, cucumber, pine nuts & pasta with pesto. It was really yummy & a tad better than yesterdays Pot Noodle! 

     

    As you’ve probably noticed – I’ve really been throwing myself into blogging collaborations & approaching big companies about reviews. I just figure now’s the time to strike. I’ve done reviews in the past & tend to get quite a lot of freebies etc… But I feel like now I could be doing more. I’ve said like a hundred times before that someone whom I really admire is Victoria Beckham. She seems to achieve everything so effortlessly with style & grace. Yet really… she’s working hard & raising a family. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with her & ask her advice on business. For all my hubster has had his business for quite sometime now & we’ve officially been collaborating for a year… I feel as though I’m still a little unsure of things. Well really… I think I underestimate myself… a LOT. I’ve been so overwhelmed by some of the fantastic emails I’ve received from businesses complimenting this blog & wanting to work with me… I kind of can’t believe it. I originally started this blog whilst planning our Wedding… then it became a sort of diary whilst going through surgery… then it became all about documenting my weightloss & now i’d say it’s simply about my life.  It’s funny how our day to day experiences  begin to carve out who we are. I’ve always said that’d I write a book & I’m totally going to make a start on it now. I’ve finally decided on the ‘flavour’ & direction of the book. And… I just cannot wait to share it with you all. I’m a big believer in making our dreams happen… so That’s what I’m going to do.VB

    This evening is gonna be another snooze fest I think. I had to leave work 45mins early simply due to the pain I had… It’s really knocked me a bit sick. So it’s pjs on & cuddles on the sofa. Then an early night 💤

    I hope this finds you all having a lovely evening ❤️

    Thanks again for reading ☺️

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes 

    1 Dec

    Hi Folks ✨ 

    I’ve had a pretty exciting two days of emails from various companies UK & USA based who want to collaborate with me. Eeeeeeck – exciting stuff!!! Even a Doggy company have approached me who’d like to send Coco her own subscription boxes to review. Coco is totally gonna be my co-blogger 🐾 

     I’ve always wanted to write a successful blog… So thank you to each & everyone one of you who continue to read ✨ Maybe one day I’ll make it to the National Blog Awards!!! I literally started with like 10 views & now I’m hitting over 9,000 views! So a MASSIVE huge thank you! As a thank you I’m gonna put together another giveaway of goodies. So once I’ve sorted that out, you can all enter again 🎁

     So then… What have I been up to today? Well this morning started with my weekly blood tests. It’s a total chore… But then it is kinda nice & reassuring that me & my Bambino are being closely monitored & looked after 💙  I headed straight to work afterwards… When I got to work I found a lovely little gift off Carolyn.  
       I know it’s not technically the ’12 days of Christmas’ yet… But she said I was allowed to open it like it was an advent calendar. It’s so cute & I love it ✨ I haven’t actually opened my proper advent calendar yet though coz me & the hubster got up at different times this morning & he’s working late this evening… So I’m gonna wait until he gets home so we can open them together  

     Nothing fancy this year… Last year I got a Benefit MakeUp advent calendar & it was such a waste of money. So I decided on good old Cadburys this year for the grand total of £2 ☺️  

    Oooooh actually I’m going to have to back track a little as I really wanted to talk through some of my current favourite makeup must haves!  

     I’m simply loving my Mineral Touch Younique foundation. It’s such a silky consistency, it literally glides on. I have such a pink complexion & it’s by no means ‘flawless’, but this foundation gives the illusion of it being so. I always use Benefits Fake Up under my eyes to disguise any dark circles. Then I set in place with a Clinique translucent loose powder.  

     I don’t go in for any of this ‘contouring’ malarkey… But I do always use a Benefit blush across my cheek bones to give a little colour. My favourites are Hoola, Sugarbomb & Rockateur. Today I used Rockateur.  

     Benefits Stay Don’t Stray is an amazing eye shadow primer. This morning I used a Benefit highlighter under my brows with a little shimmer power from Virgin Vie. Urban Decay Naked Smokey was my eye make up of choice & of course my brows are preened with Benefits Brow-zing palette.  

    Eyeko Fat is my new fave must have liquid liner. It’s also a big fave with Alexa Chung. I used Benefits They’re Real Mascara & Younique Moostruck Kohl Liner for under my bottom lash  line  

     Then finally I finished off with a festive red lippy. I used Younique precision lip liner in Primal & a red glossy lipstick by My Little Box. My Little Box is my favourite monthly subscription box. If you fancy giving it a go just follow this link: https://www.mylittlebox.co.uk/home

      This was the finished look. If any of you are inspired to try Younique, you can order direct here via a friend of mine: https://www.youniqueproducts.com/gemmadover
    So…. Back to my day…. It was so cold in my office that I totally needed a Wispa Hot Chocolate  

    Confession time: it’s actually been such a naughty day so far with my food choices… Not only did I have a hot choc but I had a Pot Noodle of all things for my lunch!!! So bad!  

     I think I talked myself into the bad choices simply because it was blood test day lol. Tonight for tea we’re planning on having a take out pizza when the hubster gets home. So… The healthy eating shall recommence tomorrow. I mean…. We’re allowed a naughty day aren’t we!? 

    Work was pretty normal… Writing more procedure manuals & sorting out our Social Media sites. Since getting home I’ve done nothing apart from snuggle Coco under my fleece blankie whilst watch How I Met Your Mother & The Big Bang Theory. I can predict that next up will be first look Hollyoaks 😁 Tonight is literally gonna be a lazy night under my blankie whislt watching trashy TV… Sometimes you just need nights like this. Ooooooo and let’s not forget ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here’. I can’t wait to see who wins in the final… I’ve been voting each night via the app to keep Vicky Pattison in. I’d love to see her crowned Queen of the Jungle. 

    Well, I’m gonna leave this post here. I hope you’re all having a fabulous Tuesday whatever it is that you’re up too. 

    Thanks for reading ✨

    Love,

    Hayley xxx