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Staycation Isolation

1 Apr

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all doing okay. So much has changed & happened since my last blog post!!! How crazy is everything at the moment?

We’re very lucky, as both me & the hubster & the kids are all home safely together. Oh & we can’t forget Coco too. The hubs is now working from, so we’ve been self isolating for quite a while now. Seth has no idea about the virus really, I mean, he’s only 4 yr old, so we decided it was better to keep it from him. We didn’t want him feeling scared or worried. Our families don’t live close by, so it isn’t like he see’s family everyday. So in that respect… he’s not noticed any difference. He did ask about nursery… but we just said we are having extended holidays from school for Easter. He hasn’t even questioned it. And Ted, well, he’s only 17 month old… so he’s none the wiser too.

I’ve been focussing on keeping the boys entertained. It was easier last week, as the weather was so lovely! So we could get out in to the garden.

 

We’ve chalked our walk, we’ve played in the mud kitchen, picnicked in the garden etc… while the weather has been nice… we’ve been out breathing as much fresh air as possible.

To make this time as fun as possible, we’ve decorated the house for Easter, early. I just wanted to inject some fun & some colour around he place. We’ve also added rainbow colours to our windows too.

We’ve had so much fun crafting & making decorations. With Seth only being in preschool for half a day each day, I’ve decided not to make a home schooling timetable. I’m still encouraging learning & I’m constantly asking little maths questions etc… while we play, but I wanted to focus this time on fun & making memories rather than it more about school. It’s such a scary & uncertain time, so our focus is being fun, carefree & present. I’m making a photobook for the boys of this time… so in years to come they can revisit this time & see that even though things were scary… we tried our best to make it fun. Like a colourful, cheerful, Staycation.

We’ve had PizzaParty picnics, we’ve camped in the front room, we’ve excavated dinosaur eggs, we’ve had wildlife in our front room, we’ve painted etc… Seth keeps telling me this is the most fun holiday he’s ever had. I think he loves that his Daddy is home all the time & working in our office at home & isn’t going out to work. I think he’s loving the novelty of it all. The weirdest part is that he hasn’t asked to go out at all. He’ll ask to go in the garden, but he’s not asked for days out. I really thought he would have. But it’s like he’s so happy & content at home. This whole thing has made me realise though, just how much I actually go out. I’ve always gone out a lot & joined groups etc… with the boys. But since passing my test in December & buying a 2nd car, I’m out even more.

I’ve been trying each day to find a positive in this whole saga. So far… I’ve come up with so many. It’s also opened up my eyes to how much stuff I take for granted too. I have a new found respect for food. I mean, I waste very little food anyway, but now, I’m literally making sure that each thing is used & nothing is wasted.  Today I got an amazing Fruit & Veg delivery from a local market stall… everything is so colourful & looks & smells amazing. I’ve never been so excited to eat a salad for tea!

I’ve had some amazing video calls with family  friends too. The amount of giggles I’ve had is fab – considering the circumstances. I do feel that it’s brought people together.

I’m planning each week on Sunday & making a menu for things to make for tea.

Keeping organised is really helping me to get through this bizarre saga. I love meal planning & prepping… I find it really therapeutic. I’m in the process of making some strawberry yogurt… I can’t wait. The boys love fruit yogurt – so I’m on to a winner!

I do hope you’re all keeping safe, well & positive. I cannot wait for the massive celebrations to be had once this is all over!

Love, huggles, & much love,

Hayley xxx

App-Tastic

6 Sep

Hi folks,

Whether or not you like technology… it’s here & it’s here to stay. Being a blogger & a lover of gadgets, I very much embrace it. My husband works in a field that is very much technology based too. Before having children we discussed the use of technology at home… how will we moderate it & integrate it. It’s a fairly scary subject to people who are comfortable with it… so I can’t imagine how people feel about it who are’t very confident with it.

Seth is almost 2 years & 6 months old. He’s very aware of technology. He see’s people on their handheld devices, laptops etc… It doesn’t matter how much we try to shield him from it at home… he sees it when we’re out & about… he sees it on TV & in books. So, we made the decision to introduce him to it ‘on our terms’. We bought him an Amazon Kids Fire Tablet. He doesn’t get it 24/7. It’s more for when we are out, travelling or ‘sometimes’ at home for an hour.

I’m all about imaginative play… making things… making up stories etc… But, I do believe that technology has it’s place too. It can help our children to learn & develop if used in the correct ways. And not just used as a ‘nanny’ device.

Over the last month or so, Seth has been playing with the KidloLand Apps. The first thing for me that I like, is that it is Kid Safe Certified.

There is so much to explore on these apps. There are games, quizzes, songs, stories… etc…  Seth is a bit of an artist/creative thinker & also a total problem solver. The first area he explored was the drawing apps. He could draw, create shapes & patterns… the colours are stunning. And there’s also a lovely little tune going off in the back ground too. He kept saying ‘Wow Mammy… the colours’. I don’t think he’d ever drawn on tablet. So he thought it was ‘magic’. It was great though, as while he was playing with it, I could ask him what all of the colours were called or I could ask him to choose a ‘green’ etc… so yes he was having fun & playing which he thought was great & total playtime… but really… he was learning too. It’s not just mind numbing ‘youtube’… it’s an actual app that makes our little ones think & create.

Seth adores a problem solving game… recognising shapes, animals & patterns. You’ll find all of that with Kidloland. There’s also a massive library of stories, rhymes & songs.

Seth’s loved exploring the ‘Balloon Pop’ games & ‘Sorting Games’… I kind of don’t feel guilty about him having a tablet when he’s actually doing some educational.

The other great thing about this app, is that it works offline too. As long as you’ve downloaded the games & activities you want to use. I know it’s rare that you go somewhere that doesn’t offer free wifi, but you can guarantee that the one time you’re relying on wifi access… it’ll be down or super slow. Seth just asks for his ‘Animal games’ or his ‘Animal Books’ & I have them right there. It’s like his only little compact library in one place.

Another plus to the KidloLand Apps, is that they can be installed onto Android & iOS devices. If you fancy the sound of these apps… you can find them here via these links:

For Android:
If you’re looking for some creative, fun learning apps for your little ones, I’d recommend looking into Kidloland.
Thanks so much for reading!
Love & Huggles,
Hayley xxx

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

28 Feb

Hi folks,

Wow… I cannot believe that Seth turns 1 year old in 2 weeks time!!! It’s just so surreal. It seems like only yesterday I was holding him in my arms for the very first time. As you can imagine – I’m in full birthday mode. I’ve already sorted the party bags, the cake has been ordered, Seth has a new outfit & the gifts have been wrapped! I’ve organised a little tea party of close family & friends & then, we’re off to Centre Parcs. So we shall be there for his actual birthday. I just can’t wait for a little break in my most favourite forest.

This year has just simply flown by. Time seems to move so fast when you’re Mammy-ing. Everyday goes so super fast & everyday just feels like a dream. I don’t think this elation of finally being a Mammy will ever leave me. I love spending my days with Seth. He’s developed & learnt so much, but so have I. This whole journey into MammyHood has been such an eye opener. I think I’ve actually become more fun & carefree. Things that used to bother me, really don’t anymore. Everyday is like a little party when you’re with Seth. His sparkling personality is just so infectious. He just smiles & giggles all of the time. He’s my perfect little dreamboat. Although… he does keep you on your toes… he crawls at the speed of light. No time for putting your feet up I can tell you.

Seth is now walking!!! He started last week at only 48 weeks. He’s my little star! He’s also saying: Mama, Dada, Hiya, All Gone, Dog, Good Girl & Coco! I think Coco is his best friend… he literally adores her & Coco seems to have taken it upon herself to be his body guard. It’s just so super cute watching them together. I can’t wait for more family days out in the better weather… altogether picnicking & making memories. The best part about him walking now is that he’s slower than his crawling lol… so I shall enjoy this small dose of respite before he learns to run!


So… what have I been up too… well…

Driving is becoming so much fun! I’ve had 13 lessons so far & love it. I feel like I’m actually making so much good progress now. At the beginning I was just like… whaaaaaaaat!? But now I can drive pretty much ‘stall’ free lol. However… if you’re ever behind me on York Road in Saturday traffic at the traffic lights… I do apologise if I hold you up. This will be my year to pass my test. I’m so determined. Getting a bus places with Seth is totally manageable… but if I’m to have another bambino… I just couldn’t face it… 2 under 3 on a bus… no thank you. I NEED to drive! Then there’ll be 2 cars on the drive & a fight over who keeps the current car & who will get a newer car. It won’t be a new new car though… just ‘newer’ lol.

I’ve got some fab reviews coming up! So keep your peepers peeled for that!

Me & Seth have been lunching lots & generally just being social butterflies as per really. We’ve also just gotten a place in a new Music Bugs class for older bambinos. So tomorrow shall be our last day at ‘Baby Bugs’ & next Monday we will start our new ‘Bigger Bambino’s’ class. I don’t actually know who enjoys it more… me or Seth lol. Well, I’m saying we’ve been social butterflies… last week Seth came down with laryngitis & tracitis… It’s been so awful! I hate it when he’s not well as it makes me feel so helpless. We totally experienced our very first sleepless night too. For 3 nights on the trot he was just inconsolable bless him. He just wanted cuddles all night. So, after 3 nights of cuddles in our bed – we decided we needed to upgrade to a Kingsize bed lol. Sunday morning… we went out & bought a one. I so cannot wait for it to arrive. But, you shall all be pleased to know that Seth is back to his usual 11 to 12 hour sleepies through the night. Pheeeeew! See… Mammy-life is so much fun lol. Thank God for make up & coffee! I tell you… life’s never been so glam lol.


I’m still plodding on with my long term weightloss journey. I love cooking & coming up with colourful, healthy creations. But, sometimes ‘life’ gets in the way with it’s ups & downs & suddenly you find yourself snaffling a Greggs pasty & a greasy fat pizza. Yes… that totally happened when Seth was poorly. Also, there shall be cake, pie & goodies at his party… ooooops! This is why I always refer to my ‘diet’ as longterm. It’s a lifestyle. I eat healthy & I eat bad. But 80% of the time it’s good choices. Life is all about balance & I need to teach Seth good habits. Everything in moderation. I’m currently a size 14 & around 13st 4lbs… pretty good going I’d say. But… I shall be 12 stone once again… at some point. I shall strive for it, slowly & sensibly. I’m no longer that 19 & a half stone girl… that’s what I have to tell myself. I’ve come a long way. I’m also working toward a blog post all about healthy eating & feeding your family on a budget. I’m currently experimenting with lower priced products to see how it all matches up & compares to higher priced goods. Once I’m done with my research… I shall be sharing my post & findings on saving money but eating well.


I’m so looking forward to tomorrow… My Mammy is coming to visit – yey! Not so yey though that I have a hospital visit on Thursday. But Friday shall be Mammy/Daughter/Seth day. I’m sure it will involve going out for lunch. My Daddy will be coming down at the weekend too. So it’ll be a lovely family weekend. Then… next week shall be the countdown to the BIG 1st BIRTHDAY! Seth will have both sets of Grandparents & all his God parents here… I’m sure he’ll be one spoilt little boy.

Well… I think thats everything!

Oh my God… I’m so not finished! I almost forgot the most important bit! I bought a sparkly new kettle! I mean… it’s actually sparkly AND… it has a massive diamantè on the lid! Now come on… nothing says class like a big diamantè knob mind lol. £24.95 from B&M… utter bargain! Makes a good brew too! (the pics totally don’t do the glitter surface justice at all… I promise you it’s nice!)


Oh &… before I forget… if anyone would like to buy a Cofi Coo Quillow, I have been sent a unique discount code to share with you all. Head to their website & enter code: IxxyPoco for free delivery & 10% off!!! I’ve ordered a one for my niece as a little non-chocolate Easter gift.


Well… I shall leave it there. Thanks so much for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

www.HayleyThorne.co.uk

 

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

    “To Vlog or Not to Vlog… that is the Question!” 

    10 Oct

    Hi folks,

    My life just seems to be getting busier & busier… But I love it. Just to make things even busier, I’ve decided to start vlogging. So many of you have contacted me over the years about setting up a YouTube channel… Now is the time I think. I want my videos to be pretty much like this blog really… I want to review, chat, bargain hunt, cook, do make up, discuss weightloss & just life in general. So please stay tuned for the big reveal! It’ll be me in my very noisy, busy & sparkly home just generally being me.

    Oh… I have a review coming up soon actually. I’ve been testing & trying some of the Make Up Revolution Palettes which I have a new found love for. Such pretty pigmented shadows.

    So… What have I been up to? Driving lessons are going really well & I’m still really enjoying it. So much so that I’m already looking at cars lol. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll end up with our Hyundai & the hubster will get a new car. I’ve been continuing with my healthy eating & I’ve managed to lose a further 10lbs in the last 4 weeks! I feel like a bit of a fraud though really coz in that time I’ve had a MacDonalds, Dominoes & a Chinese Take Out. Not to mention Sparkles & Wine! Talking of sparkles… Ocado are doing a fab offer at the moment on Gift Boxed Black Label Lanson – 2 bottles for £40! Perfect for stocking up for Christmas. I bought a bottle of Vintage Moet for £30 from them a few week back… that shall be our Christmas Dinner Sparkles. I’ve got a right little stockpile of Christmas goodies going on in our pantry lol. Thing is though, Christmas is such an expensive time of the year that you need to plan well in advance to spread out the cost.

    I’ve been super busy with work, so much so that I’m neglecting my blogging again. But I’ve had loads of exciting emails with regard to it & that’s what is giving me the push to branch out into vlogging. Plus it’ll give you all a chance to find out a bit more about me & who I am etc… Well for those of you who don’t know me in person that is. Normally the first thing that people tend to say is; “Wow… your accent is so broad… you sound like Sarah Millican” lol. I’ve also got an event coming up too which will involve a trip down to London. I can’t wait to cover that. Maybe I could do a Facebook Live video?

    Seth is getting so big now. He will be 7 month on the 15th of this month!!! Where is the time going!? He has 2 teeth… He can crawl… He’s sitting up on his own… He’s also now trying to stand up on his own by pulling himself up on the furniture!!! He’s such a little tinker… but so utterly scrumptious. He’s just the cutest. I’ve just bought him 10 books from The Works for £10. They’ve got some right online bargains at the moment. They have such a large selection of Christmas books. I’m going to do the whole Christmas story everyday day over the month of December thing. I know Seth can’t read yet, but he loves being read too & he just loves looking at books. Oh I can’t wait to introduce him to Christmas… I’m just far too excited. Well you all know what I’m like… I’m already feeling Christmassy.

    Halloween… Now there’s something I can throw myself into to try & calm me down about Christmas. Me & the hubster have bought a few spooky decorations to hang outside. Last year we only did pumpkins really… so we’ve decided to up our game a bit this year. We’ve not gone totally crazy though… we’ve only bought some spooky bunting & a full sized floating ghost lady thingy that shreaks & glows. I’ve actually already put together my treat bags for the Trick O Treaters. I do like to be organised. Oh & of course Seth has a few new outfits for it.

    Well I’m gonna leave this post right here. But, if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in my vlogs… Just let me know! Stay tuned for them coming soon.

    Thanks for reading!

    Love & Huggles,

    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

    Learning On the Job

    23 Jun

    Hi folks ✨

    We had such a fun day yesterday… Not only was the sunshine shining (it’s so sad that I get excited for a hot sunny day as it means I can get my washing out lol) but we had our first class at Music Bugs. It was so cute. Seth adored it. I think it may have been sensory overload for Seth though as he fell asleep 10mins before the end. But, he is by far the youngest in the class. I would totally recommend this class to anyone with bambino’s. Here’s a link to their website if you’re interested in finding out a little more info.

    We’ve got our name down for a few more other classes that will be starting  in September. Mammy/Baby meet ups are fun & lovely, but with Music Bugs I feel like Seth is learning too. He already loves his books, we’ve got some lovely touch & feel board books. He loves the textures & the colours. So a few other classes to go with Music Bugs will be lovely. 

    Mammy-ing can be such a minefield. The patenting arena can be so competitive… Do you breast feed? Does your baby sleep all night? Do you use soothers/dummies? Cloth or disposable diapers? Dress like a baby or a mini adult? Allow your pets to interact with your baby? Wean at 4 or 6 month?  Honestly… Does it matter? Whatever happened to Mother knows best? All of our bambino’s are different & we nurture according to their individual needs. 

    Seth has been a tummy sleeper since he was 3 weeks. A lot of people disagree with tummy sleeping… But it’s the only way Seth likes to sleep. He can push himself up & he can move his head side to side. It also eased his colic 100%. Seth also has a soother. He doesn’t sleep with it, but he has his soother whenever he wants it through the day. Seth will not settle in a GroBag at night. So he has a blanket…. Again – something I was told NOT to do. Seth was breast fed for 9 days, but when my milk disappeared I switched exclusively to formula. I use Pampers or Aldi Mamia disposable diapers. I plan on weaning him from 4 month. Seth has slept all night from 8 weeks. All I can say is that I have a happy content baby… I don’t do things by the book… I’m learning on the job. I do what I feel is right for Seth. 

    When you share with the world that you’re expecting a gorgeous bundle of joy, everyone suddenly becomes an expert. I think I listened too much to everyone else’s opinions. After a while it makes you feel really crap. Those people may be experts with their own babies… But the only expert for your baby is you. I’m very relaxed with my nurturing/parenting methods. I feed on demand – he has as much or as little as he likes. I get him dressed each morning then Pjs on an evening so he becomes accustomed to daytime & nightime. I let him nap when he wants to nap, etc…. The result is a happy contented Seth. 

    Through the day I try to make things as exciting as possible for him. I do this around blogging & running our little business… Hopefully big business one day lol & still while trying to prepare & cook healthy meals. We sing songs… Have tummy time… Go for walks… Have baby meet ups… Sit in the garden… Play on his baby gym or just play on a blanket with soft toys & interactive toys. Seth just loves being talked too & sang too. They’re like his ultimate fave things. These things work for us… But not for everyone. 

    The best advice I can give anyone who is about to embark on their journey of parenthood is:

    1. Don’t have expectations… Go with the flow
    2. Enjoy it all… Even those sleepless nights  at the start… They don’t last long
    3. Buy lots of muslin cloths!!! 

    Mammy hood is the best job I’ve ever had. There’s no induction pack or probation period… You’re thrown in head first… But it’s AMAZING!!! I simply cannot wait to give Seth a  baby brother or sister. That won’t be for at least 18month, but it’s definitely on the cards 💙💕

    Thanks for reading folks… I’ve noticed more countries & readers popping up on my stats… I really appreciate it ✨

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley & Seth xxx

    Christmas… Reviews… and Resolutions for 2016

    29 Dec

    Hi folks ✨

    I hope you’ve all had a fantastic Christmas!? We’ve had a lovely family Christmas here. It’s been nice & relaxed… which was just what we needed with how hectic things have been lately. We’re now looking forward to a nice New Years Eve & a fantastical & sparkly New Year to come ✨

    Christmas Eve was such a lovely day… It’s also my most favourite day of the year. We spent the day with two of our best friends. We had lunch at The Boat Inn which was beautiful as usual & then we came home for cups of tea… giggles & some gift opening. Oh I also lit my Christmas Eve candle. I buy a one each year 🎄 

       
    We decided to be really good this year & not spend too much on each other for Christmas. Purely as we’re putting money aside for our little bundle 💙 But… the hubster was really naughty & still totally spoilt me with a new laptop… laptop bag & Gwen Stefani Urban Decay palette. I think he thought by giving me them before Christmas then they wouldn’t count lol. I still seemed to have loads of gifts though on the day… I felt very spoilt! 🎁 

        
        
        
        
     It’s funny, even though I’m obviously not drinking alcohol with being pregnant… people are still buying me sparkles & vino lol. So it’s pretty much safe to say that I’ll be fully stocked for next Christmas! 🍾 

       
    Our laid back Christmas day began with Christmas Tree crumpets & orange juice. I don’t know about about you  but I can never be bothered to make a full on English Breakfast on Christmas morning. Crumpets are always a good quick breakfast. For New Years Day I have French Pastries in the freezer ready to be baked fresh. Mmmmm yummy! 

     
     Our Christmas Dinner was traditional apart from the fact I did a Chicken rather than a Turkey. I also did homemade piggies in blankies, roast potatoes, root mash, sprouts, broccoli, yorkshire puddings, roast parsnips & petite pois. Oh & sage & onion with pork sausage meat stuffing balls… It was so yummy. But wowzers we were stuffed. I think Christmas Dinner is most definitely my most favourite meal of the year. I never thought I’d be able to make a Christmas Dinner as nice as my Mam’s… but I think I could give her a run for her money these days. Even Coco had herself a little mini Christmas Dinner. Eeeeeck… we’ll have our gorgeous little boy joining us for dinner next year. I just cannot wait. I feel so lucky knowing that our little family is growing 💙 

        
     Boxing day was sooooo lazy. We stayed in our PJs… watched films… ate yummy food… It was a much needed relaxing day. I also managed to use up the leftover chicken in fajitas… I washed my fajitas down with sugar free cranberry juice.

       
    Being so lazy all day meant that we had plenty energy saved up for a spot of shopping on Sunday. We headed to a local retail park. We went along with every intention of treating ourselves… but we ended up just buying things for our little Prince 💙 We’ve bought him lot of things ready for his little vacation to next Years Winter Wonderland at Sherwood Forest. There’s just so much cute clothing out there… It’s hard to stop buying! 

        
        
        
       
    Monday – we headed into town to spend our gift cards & treat ourselves. I got 3 bottles of perfume: 100ml DKNY, 50ml Vera Wang & an Estee Lauder gift set… I love having new perfumes to add to my collection. 

     When we got home I started to sort out Baby T’s little reading corner in his nursery. A lot of the books are my own books from when I was little. They’re all in pristine condition. It’s going to be so nice reading him the stories I loved having read to me as a child. I’ve also made a list of must have books I need to buy him. I really want literacy to be something he is very confident with. I’ve always been good with English as a subject & I really believe it’s all down to being read too, then reading myself from a very young age. 

     Today marks being 27 weeks pregnant. So exciting 💙 I’ve spent this morning filling in our new family organiser & sorting out our menu’s for the next 4 weeks. One of my New Year Resolutions is to carry on my healthy eating & cooking as many things from scratch. I want to remain healthy & then to lose my baby weight gain once Baby T is here. So far I have gained 11lbs. My midwife seems really happy with that. I can still fit into my size 14 & size 16 clothes so I’m happy. But I definitely want to be back into my size 12 dresses as soon as possible. I seem more focused when I’m organised & have set goals to work toward. 

        
     I have lots of reviews coming up. On 23rd December… Coco received a lovely Bark Beats Christmas box. So keep your peepers peeled for her review coming up very soon. 

     Also that day, I received some Benefit goodies & Caudalie goodies to review. I’ve received so much lately. I’ll be doing a full review asap!!! 

        
     Well I’m gonna leave this post here & I’m going to do some more travel system research. Me & the hubster are off to test out & try lots of different systems this Saturday & hopefully we’ll find the perfect set of wheels for the little Prince 💙 Then… we need to by us some new wheels too in the shape of a family car. Oooooo… Exciting!

    Thanks again for reading ✨

    Love & Huggles,

    Hayley xxx

     

     

     

     

    Festive Fun with Friends

    20 Dec

    Hi Folks ✨

    Sunday once again… I do love a slow paced relaxing Sunday. I’m feeling thoroughly Christmassy… Not that I wasn’t already, but, since we had such a fun, festive Saturday – I’m now feeling feeling ‘super’ Christmassy! 

     I’m sat blogging from my dinning table & I can smell our fresh Christmas centre piece arrangement… it smells so nice. It’s really putting me a fantastical mood. We also bought some little snowmen on sticks from the florists yesterday to pop into our house plants in case they were feeling left out with not being all dressed for Christmas 🎄

     Yesterday evening we had friends over for a catch up. We headed into the Village for a stunning Indian Meal. I really meant to take lots of pics of the yummy food, but we got chatting & laughing  & it completely slipped my mind. So I’m sorry I have no pics to share. After a gorgeous meal, we headed back to our home for more chatting. I drank sparkling water all night with one glass of cranberry juice… I actually felt really giddy & tipsy! I think I was having such a lovely time I got caught up in the Christmas spirit. See… who says you need alcohol to have a good time. Not drinking really doesn’t phase me at all. I didn’t drink at all during all of my surgeries, so this time round I just see it as a happier reason not to be drinking. Having said that… I do have some gorgeous Moet waiting in the pantry for me when our little Prince arrives. That shall be my little tipple of choice when I feel I want to celebrate his arrival 💙 

     This morning I sorted out our menu for the coming week… lol… it’s so not a healthy one! Tomorrow is our 4th Wedding Anniversary. Normally we either go away for the weekend to celebrate or we go for a lovely meal somewhere… but as the hubster doesn’t finish work until 23rd Dec for Christmas, then with Coco recovering from surgery & with me being up & down with sickness… we made the executive decision to celebrate at home for a change. So… It’s gonna be some kind of naughty take out for tea & for pudding we’ll be cutting our Christmas cake which was lovingly made by my Mammy. Wednesday evening shall be party table snacks as we’re having our neighbours over for a festive drinkie. Christmas Eve will be spent with our best friends for a meal at lunchtime followed party food in the evening & copious amounts of pink lemonade & Christmas films! Then Christmas Day will be a day of consuming homemade Christmas Dinner followed by lots of chocolate lol. Eeeeeck! I just can’t wait!!! ✨ 

       
    Ooooo… Today I’ve started using my first item that The Journal Shop kindly sent me. I’m using my small Un Jour De Reve notebook from the Iconic range. It’s a gorgeous little book that is stitch bound down the spine. It’s a great price at £2.95.  I’m using mine to keep track of the items I’m sent for reviews. It’s the perfect size to fit in your handbag. It’s so light meaning it won’t be a chore to carry around. In fact, it’s so slim & lightweight that it’ll fit quite nicely in the inner zip pocket you tend to find in most hand bags. It’d be great for making your shopping lists in! I love the little cute rabbit design too. The paper itself is very good quality. I like writing in liquid gel ink & sometimes you find with a low quality paper that a black ink will come through the pages which I utterly hate! But there’s no chance of that happening in this little beauty! It also comes in 4 different designed covers… so you can choose the one that most suits you. Or… at £2.95… why not buy all 4!? I’ve also been using my Iconic Sticky Book too. Priced at only £4.95… This is another little bargain. It’s so slim & lightweight that it’ll fit inside the front pocket on my personal Filofax. So it’ll fit comfortably in any A5 organiser. There are 3 different sized sticky notes – great for little reminders or tabbing up pages making them easy to access during meetings when you need to find facts & figures fast. This book is also from the Iconic range & my book is the ‘Antique’ design cover… but there are 9 designs to choose from. This is another item I can thoroughly recommend. When you’re working between two sites like I do – everything needs to be ‘travel’ friendly… I hate having to lug around a heavy bag. So both these little stationary items are brilliant for on the move as they’ll tuck away neatly & won’t add any extra weight. I’m going to use my Un Jour De Reve medium notebook this week… I have some little ideas of what I’ll use it for… so stay tuned for a little breakdown & review of that. I LOVE this stationary!!! It’s just such good quality & well… It looks & feels fancy. I work in a University library… so I can be a bit snobby with how a book is put together & I have to say… I love a stitch bound book. Now… does that sound sad!? Lol. 

        
        
      

    After a lovely slow relaxing morning it was time to get a bubble bath. I’m making the most of my bubble baths right now as I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m finding it difficult to get in & out of the bath & will have to make do with just a shower. I decided to use some festive bubbles from Avon… But opened a new bottle of Molton Brown for my ‘wash bubbles’. I love this scent – Black Peppercorn… It’s my favourite Molton Brown fragrance 🛀🏻 

     There’s nothing nicer than a lovely soak in the tub ✨

    This afternoon had been spent watching Star Wars 

     There’s nothing cosier than snuggling on the sofa on a wintry day watching films ❤️ 

    Tomorrow marks our 4th Wedding Anniversary & I simply couldn’t be happier. We’ve been spoilt with gifts as usual. The hubster surprised me with the new Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette – so there’ll be a full review of that coming up!!! My parents buy us Champagne & Truffles every year, so even though I can’t drink it right now – they didn’t want to break tradition.  

        
        
     So… What a gorgeous little Sunday today has been! I’m off now to watch another Star Wars film lol ✨

    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday & thanks for reading 💕

    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