Happy Easter!

Just wanted to quickly drop by and wish you all a happy Easter! I hope your days were filled with roast dinners and chocolate!

We spent the morning at home where there were no eggs so it just felt like a normal day. Chris went to work and C and I headed up to my daddy's. He had set out some wee eggs for me (21 and he still says the Easter Bunny brought them!). 

I just want to share some photos of our first Easter with little C.



(A few photos of C in his new outfit from Granny M)

(My eggs from my daddy)

(My huge Thorntons Easter egg with C next to it for comparison)

(Admiring himself in the mirror)

(Meeting Choco the rabbit)

(C's first egg)



The Blissful Baby Expert by Lisa Clegg - REVIEW


The lovely Lisa Clegg sent a public tweet asking if any mums/mums-to-be would be interested in reviewing her new book, The Blissful Baby Expert. Being a first time mum, I raised my hand high! I downloaded the eBook and loved every single word of it.



Lisa is a maternity nurse and mum of three children so she’s gotta know what she’s talking about, right? The testimonials at the beginning of the book completely supported that. They all praised her work so I couldn’t wait to get through it myself.

Before I had C, I never read any parenting books. I think this was partly because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself and partly because I thought if I read the baby books, it became ‘real’. As C was in NICU/SCBU for 17 days, the nurses taught me how to look after a newborn properly, from changing a nappy to cleaning his face, but once he got a little older and more awake and alert during the day I felt as though I was thrown in at the deep end. What do I do with him? How do I keep him entertained?

As we’re a young couple, we do have suggestions on how to parent C thrown as us left, right and centre. After reading this book I am much more determined to do this as I see fit.

CHAPTER 1 – BEFORE BABY IS BORN
“Your hospital bag should be packed and ready from around 32 weeks.” No one told me this! I had C at 33 weeks +2 days. I had no bag packed and had only just bought my new hospital towels and pyjamas two days before! Cue a very stressed and worried Chris trying to find everything that I might need!
Equipment to buy – these are very handily put into three headings of “essential”, “helpful” and “not needed”. I REALLY recommend reading this part as I bought quite a few things that we never used and are taking up space. I spent months writing lists of what I thought we needed to buy, consulting numerous websites and here it all is in one convenient place!
The British Safety Standard guidelines are mentioned which are great as I had no idea on what to look out for when purchasing baby items. BPA-free is another. I knew that everything we bought had to be BPA-free but I had no idea why! This really opened my eyes.

CHAPTER 2 – GOING INTO HOSPITAL
I spent around three months compiling a list of what I needed to pack in my hospital bag. It gave me many headaches and it felt as though I was going round in circles. I consulted lots of sites which all say that you need different things but I would definitely recommend new mums-to-be to take a look at this list.

I love the information given about writing a birth plan. At 33 weeks, I still didn’t have one written (not that I even needed one anyway as I ended up having an emergency Caesarean section!) The reason why I didn’t have one written was because I simply didn’t know how!

I fell pregnant at a young age so everything was very new to me. I didn’t know much about pregnancy and delivery (and I was still none the wiser before reading this!) Now I know all the jargon from ventouse to forceps! If I’d read this before delivering C, I think I would have been much more relaxed. As I previously mentioned, I had a Caesarean but even as I lay on the operating table, I didn’t know the ins and outs of it.

You’re also given information about the various tests that are performed on your baby after delivery. After reading through I realised that some tests were done on C that I didn’t even know about! It’s nice to know what happening so you can ask if you have any questions.

CHAPTER 3 – COMING HOME
This is the main part where I’m shouting inwardly “Why didn’t I read this when C was just a newborn!?”

I love how everything isn’t angled towards breastfeeding. You’re reassured that bottle feeding is okay too. If you’d spoken to me whilst I was pregnant, you would have known that I was dead set on breastfeeding and the thought of not being able to broke my heart. I thought it would be easy.
After the delivery, I wasn’t able to see C for 2 days but I still had midwives in trying to get colostrum from me. Any milk after that was put into a little syringe. It didn’t look like much but it’s all he needed. He only had 1ml every hour.

When I was more mobile, I tried expressing with my manual pump. I tried for well over a week but I could never get anything more than 10ml (from both breasts combined) in any one session. He was continually being topped up with formula and thriving. I remember once, in the middle of the night, bringing my expressed milk to the NICU in tears because I felt I’d failed my son. I was reassured that I’d had a tough time of it and he was happy enough on the formula. I didn’t need to feel guilty (I think I always will though!).
We move on then to bathing. There’s a detailed ‘how to’ which is fab. We were never show how to bath C so we just went with what worked best for us.

CHAPTER 4 – FEEDING
Even now, I sometimes think “ooh, should I be giving him more milk?” and here we have a feeding routine. I wish I’d had this when C was discharged (I’m actually modifying it slightly for C who, at six months, is embarrassingly still not in a routine).

Lots of different people gave me different advice on how to prepare a bottle feed. Here, a concise list is given so you can choose which is best for you and what will make your life easier.

This chapter really goes into detail about everything you may need to know. It really is the perfect manual for first-time mums.

The advice on how to breastfeed is my particular favourite area. I feel as though I should have pushed harder for help. If I ever have a second child, this book will be my go-to.

The visual aids for how to feed and wind are great. C was terrible for getting his wind up and we had to try to many different positions to get it up.
Many people think that babies, for the first few months anyway, behave in a textbook manner (myself included) but for every item in this book you are given what may happen for different babies.

In this chapter we are told about reflux. When C was around 4 months old, he was continually being sick after each bottle. Not bringing up milk, but a thick, yoghurt-y substance. Our GP prescribed Carobel and said he had reflux and that was all we were told. After reading this we now know what causes it.
There is an easy guide on how to make the transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding which is great for women who are going back to work.

CHAPTER 5 – SLEEP
Reading about cot death still scares the life out of me. Six months after having C and we still don’t have a baby monitor so I don’t let him sleep in a different room from where we are. Maybe because he was premature, I don’t want to let him out of my sight. I felt the urge to skip past the ‘cot death’ part as I don’t want to read about it but it’s real. I took my time and went through it all and I’m glad I did. I learnt some things that I didn’t previously know (which may have worried me a bit more though!).

It’s nice to find a parenting book that tells you to trust your instincts when it comes to sleeping rather than telling you outright what to do.

The sleep association advice is great. C gets very grouchy when we try to put him to bed and he’ll moan and groan for around half an hour before eventually falling to sleep on his own.

The signs of tiredness given have really helped us. You’re told to put your baby to sleep before they get overtired. We could never tell when to do this.
C’s feeds and naps weren’t in a structured routine before I read this book. We’ve implemented the advice given and now we know when he’s due a feed and nap and life is so much easier for us now. It is brilliant for sleep training babies.

CHAPTER 6 – WEANING
There is so much confusion surrounding weaning. Guidelines are changing all the time and you’re constantly being told different things.

As we’ve just reached the weaning stage, this book was perfect for me right now. Beforehand I was confused about the whole situation and it felt as though we were going in blindly but I have taken so much advice from this book. There is some brilliant advice on both baby-led weaning and spoon fed weaning. I found myself writing down the guide given to use myself. It tells me what to feed and when.

There is even an FAQ section which is again, very handy to first-time parents.

CHAPTER 8 – COMMON PROBLEMS & ILLNESSES FOR MUM AND BABY
Really good advice so that new mums aren’t rushing to the doctors about every little thing that they think their child might have.

We took C to see a doctor as he had a sticky eye, cough and runny nose as I had laryngitis and I hoped he hadn’t caught it. Turns out it was just a cold and they couldn’t do anything. Cue me feeling very silly for time-wasting!

CHAPTER 9 – DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES – IS THIS NORMAL?
I loved this as I’m always wondering whether C should be doing more for his age than what he is doing.

All in all I’d give this book a huge 5/5. The whole way through I was reading out excerpts to my partner saying “We need to do this”. In my eyes it is a must-have for any expecting/new parent and I will most definitely be recommending it to everyone.
You can buy your copy here at a discounted price of £2.06!


The Toadstool are looking for toy reviewers!

As you all may be well aware, The Toadstool are looking for toy reviewers.

I'd love to be given this opportunity as I'd never had one like this before and (shh!) I'd also love the exposure for my little ol' blog!

I love trying out new things, passing my thoughts onto others and spreading the word about little known brands.



You can find their Facebook page here where they have all the details to apply.

If you think I'd do a good job being a Toy Reviewer for this fab company, please leave me a comment below!

Thanks & good luck to all those who apply!


My partners' blog

Hello, just a quick check-in to let you all know that my lovely partner, Chris, has started his own blog!

He will mostly be reviewing video games and TV shows (in particular Supernatural & The Walking Dead!).

If that sounds like your cup of tea then you can find it here. He's a lot wittier than me so I'm sure you'll all enjoy it!


Oriflame fragrances REVIEW (Signature, Divine, Amber Elixir Night)

When Oriflame by Julie posted on Facebook that she needed people to test out a few aftershave and perfume samples, I jumped at the chance. Myself and Chris have been using the same scents day in, day out for the past two years and we occasionally find ourselves smelling everything in Boots!

I received Signature aftershave, Divine perfume and Amber Elixir Night perfume. (Sorry for rubbish photos - perfume samples are hard to take photos of!)



Signature aftershave


This aftershave is described on the website as:

"Woody and fruity Signature is a fragrance for the discerning man. With pear for originality, nutmeg for artistry and vetiver for elegance, Signature represents a man of creativity and culture."

I'm normally useless when it comes to scents. I just say "it smells nice/horrible" and that's it but as soon as my partner put this on I automatically noticed how fruity it was. It was very different to what I'm used to smelling on him but I think I preferred it!

5/5

Price: £21.95 for 75ml


Divine perfume



This perfume is described on the website as: 

"Divine Eau de Toilette celebrates the ultimate woman with light, natural notes of bamboo, violet petals and ivy. An enchanting six-petal orchid heart blooms before descending into a sensual harmony of white musk and sandalwood."

Now, I'm not usually a musk fan and the first scent that stood out to me was the violet. I tend to stay with fruity fragrances but I think I might make the change over to this as it's a lot more understated!

5/5

Price: £15.95 for 50ml


Amber Elixir Night perfume


This perfume is described on the website as:

"Seductive and warm light a lover's caress. Amber Elixir Night Eau de Parfum casts it's dark, sensual glow with lush orris and creamy bourbon vanilla for an unforgettable scent that speaks the language of seduction."

This, for me, was my least favourite. Not a fault of the perfume though! I have NEVER liked vanilla. Vanilla scents, vanilla flavouring, my stomach just churns. The vanilla scent is very strong with this so it's just not for me. I know a lot of people love the vanilla scent so please don't let me put you off.

3/5

Price: £14.95 for 50ml


The scents of all three of these fragrances lingered for well over 12 hours which really surprised me. As I mentioned before I usually stay pretty faithful to my trusty old perfume but I really feel that the Divine perfume will make me stray. At between £14.95-£21.95 a bottle you really can't go wrong!

(Disclaimer: I received these three samples from Oriflame by Julie free of charge in exchange for an honest review)



Happy St Patrick's Day!

Hailing from Belfast, I just wanted to drop in to wish you all a Happy St Patrick's Day!

This day last year, I remember lying in bed at my parents' house, not being able to eat anything (and wasn't able to for days!) with the most horrid stomach pains. 

I later found out that I was expecting C. 

Fast forward a year and now my little munchkin is here and I dress him up in so many silly outfits that he's bound to hate me for it later in life!

What a difference a year makes!





I bought a little blogging notebook today so hopefully my posts will be plentiful once I get my thinking cap on. Watch this space!

Also, if you want to follow me on Bloglovin or Networked Blogs, I'd really appreciate it!


Bloglovin'

I've finally linked my blog with Bloglovin'. Go follow!


Follow my blog with Bloglovin


My birthday & my 1st Mother's Day

This weekend has been fab! 
It was my 21st birthday on Saturday and instead of going out and getting completely bladdered like most people my age would, I woke up with my baby boy in my dad's house. I spent the day with my lovely partner and son. When C went to bed, Chris and I cuddled up with a movie and a Chinese takeaway. It was honestly the most perfect way to spend my 21st.






The following day was then my first Mother's Day as a mum! Obviously C's a little bit wee to be making cards etc, but Chris was fab. Got me some lovely gifts & I got a beautiful breakfast of boiled eggs - my fave! Took a trip to see my MIL as it's her first Mother's Day as a grandma and we'd got her some presents. 










C decided today was the day that he'd start sticking his tongue out and sitting up on his own! My little baby is growing up! :(










All in all, it was the perfect weekend. Chris had booked the week off but he's back to work today. Gonna be lost without him!





C's First Trip to the Zoo

As it's my birthday on Saturday and Mother's Day on Sunday, Chris booked the week off work. We decided to take C to Belfast Zoo yesterday (Tuesday) as it would be really busy on Saturday and buses would be like gold dust on Sunday.











Chris, being the adorable fellow he is, packed us up a picnic of ham salad sandwiches, egg and onion sandwiches, jammy joeys, biscuits, crisps and bananas.











I was a bit worried that at 5 months he may not enjoy it but he's very interested in seeing new things and his favourite things to see were the zebras, meerkats and the pigs at the petting zoo.











All in all, it was a great day!


























































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