The Kindness of Strangers

By 12/22/2015 , , , , , ,
On the 11th, myself and Isla took a long trip to an event hosted by a company we are going to be working alongside for the next year (more on that soon!). This meant four trains, cars, walking and a lot of stress as I have never done anything more than a local bus with a pram.

I was thoroughly overwhelmed by the time we got home by how kind strangers can be when I was always so accustomed to the usual heads down eyes forward behavior of the public.

To the man on the first platform who helped me get Isla's pram on the train, when you could clearly see I was in a panic- thank you.

To the two businessmen who pulled faces at Isla and made her smile, talked to me for the whole first leg of the journey about your own children and then helped me get off the train while complimenting Isla's behavior- thank you.

To the other two women with prams on their way to Chessington for a day out, who chatted to me and Isla, and made sure there was room for all of us in the wheelchair/pram spaces- thank you.

To Sophia from the PR company Cirkle organizing the day out, who kept me updated on her problems parking and did everything she could to get me to the venue as quickly and smoothly as possible- thank you.

To all the staff and hosts at the wonderful event and all the other mums and dads who were so exceptionally friendly towards both me and Isla, thank you.

To the platform guards who cleared the huge crowd of commuters and ensured I was able to get on the train without having to collapse the pram or stand for an hour, and the two boys who offered to help me if I had any troubles getting through the mob of people- thank you.

To the group squashed in around the pram who played peek-a-boo and funny faces and generally giggled with Isla when she was being cranky from being in the pram so long- thank you.

Now I will add here at this point in our journey things didn't run so smoothly, and I was angry for days, but after a lot of thought and looking at the funny side I realise it was not done on purpose and I am grateful that the platform guard tried to help.

So, to the platform guard that directed me to the disabled carriage for the train stopping at Bedford and helped me get settled before it set off- thank you for trying to help even though this train didn't stop at Bedford and I ended up on a direct train to London an hour and a half away from my intended destination.

To the man who saw my crying when I realised I was on the wrong train and went to find someone in charge, sat comforting me and Isla, offered to let me charge my phone on his computer, kept me updated with train times and possible journeys home and the plan to get me home, offered me money for food even though I gratefully declined and was genuinely lovely to me- thank you. I wouldn't have had a clue what to do without you.

To all the women in the quiet carriage who (despite Isla crying) stated how peaceful and well behaved she was to save my guilt for her being noisy, thank you.

To the rail employee on the London train who promised me everything would be okay and get me and Isla onto the fastest train home and into a nice area to sit, ensuring the staff on that train knew why I didn't have a ticket- thank you.

So many people were so lovely to us on this journey with all it's ups and downs and I really wish I could find each person and thank them. Even the people who offered a simple smile to Isla or said how well behaved she was, it was so appreciated on what could've been a super stressful journey.

Thank you.

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Everyone needs a break sometimes.

By 11/23/2015 , , , , , ,
It's been a while hasn't it? Sometimes everyone needs a little break.

I read a lot of blogs and see a lot on social media that can make you wonder how people can be so happy and perky all the time, and for me recently that unfortunately hasn't been the reality.

I've struggled with writing recently. Nothing has sparked my creative flow and all I've wanted to write about is how I was feeling a few weeks ago. It may not to be everyone's taste but if I can let just one other person reading this know that it's okay to need time and space to work on 'you' then this post will be worth it.

I don't know what hit me- maybe the bad weather and the quicker darker nights, or maybe it's just a case of being over tired for the past year finally catching up with me. I was feeling blue and feeling guilty for how I felt.

Part of me wanted to put on a face and happily blog and go out and do things, but I've learnt that isn't the healthiest option and it was best for me to be a little selfish and take time for me.

Of course I have everything to be happy for- I have an amazing family and my daughter is so smart and beautiful. I have a roof over my head and food in my stomach and nice things. This added into my guilt- why should I be sad?

I want to tell anyone reading this who might be feeling how I felt that it's okay to need time to yourself, to say no to friends who want to go out. It's okay to worry about the smallest things and the bigger things. Don't feel bad if you sometimes wish your little one would take a longer nap so you can rest and recover. Don't get hung up on the laundry or the washing up- they can be fixed after you feel yourself again. Talk to your significant other about how you are feeling, bottling it up can make it worse and nothing heals a blue mind better than a cry and cuddle with the one you love.

Don't worry about deadlines and link ups and blogging. Have a bubble bath and watch a crap film and ignore your twitter. Turn off your phone.

In hindsight I feel like I wasted a lot of time moping and hiding but i also feel like it's what i needed. Personal TLC always comes first. It's not selfish, and you shouldn't feel guilty.

Things always pick up in the end.

This post is a shambles and after trying to write something about how I've been feeling for weeks now it still doesn't seem to express fully what I want it to. But I hope it's given you more of an understanding about my absence and if you feel like I did, I hope it helps even a little.

Steph xo

Advice From The Heart

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Isla's Five Month Update

By 10/20/2015 , , , , ,


I can remember when Isla was barely a week old and we would watch her for hours, getting excited when she did something as simple as open her eyes or smack her lips. It's crazy to think that those simple movements are something I don't even notice anymore. Isla is five months old and developing in leaps and bounds and I couldn't be more proud.

She hasn't been weighed for a while but at 16 weeks she was nearly 17lbs so it is safe to say she has likely topped 20lbs. She's a little shorty though and her feet are so tiny- any socks 0-3 months will fall off in no time...hopefully she's a little taller than my 5ft2 when she's older so she can reach things for me. We recently had to go into size 5 (UK) nappies because the size 4 were barely fitting around her chunky legs!

Although most babies roll from their tummy to their backs first, Isla has done it all backwards. She can roll from her back to tummy and thankfully will stay there for quite a while or even fall asleep (this coming from the baby who screamed after 30 seconds of tummy time.) I caught her going back to her back once but she hasn't tried since oddly. Mostly she just shuffles her legs one after the other as if she was crawling and she has recently started lifting her bum but not at the same time as her legs. 

If I prop her hands on her ankles she can sort of sit up like a tripod for a whole verse of If you're happy and you know it... which is amazing to me. I think the time in her Jumperoo is helping strengthen her back and teach her some balance.



Speaking of Jumperoo, someone has finally learnt to jump! Well.. she hops from one leg to the other and throws herself backwards and forwards. If I jump up and down in front of her she will giggle and copy me but it's great that she is finally getting some use out of it other than dribbling on the toys she can reach.

It's all in her leg strength at the moment. If she is on your lap, she is standing and it is a nightmare trying to get her to bend her legs but she just loves standing! Part of me wonders if she will skip the rolling around faze and walk by one!

We still have loads of teething signs but no teeth which is frustrating but they'll come in their own time.

Isla loves to smile and loves to giggle. Her face lights up when we talk to her and she's starting giggling at more things so we don't have to work as hard to get them out of her. She has fully found her voice and loves to squeal to herself and will sit chatting to us or herself quite happily for the entire length of a really interesting TV show!



I can't believe my tiny girl is a big bubbly 5 month old. I'm so proud of her every day and as much as I sometimes miss her newborn phase, I am so excited to see how she is going to change over the next month.

Mummascribbles

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Cute Cute Boutique- Review!

By 10/19/2015 , , , , , , ,


Ever since I found out I was going to be having a little girl, I have had my wishlists and shopping lists filled with cute outfits and visions of pretty dresses and gorgeous hairbands to go with them.

There is something about being a woman with a little girl- I can't resist all of the fashion out there to make her look like a little princess! I love getting Isla dressed every day and accessorizing with socks that match perfectly and cute hairbands. I can't wait till her hair gets long enough to be put up in bunches and to be styled (if she let's me!)

With that said, I was ecstatic when the Cute Cute Boutique told me they were going to be sending me some hair accessories for her!

The Cute Cute Boutique is an online store filled with lovely homemade fashion accessories that will make any photo picture perfect- they provided hair bands, hair clips photo props, and loads of personalized plaques that would complete a little girls room or make great gifts for grandparents.

The company has even been featured in Vogue- this little girl has more fashion sense than I do!



I was so happy when my package came in the post I didn't even allow myself time to take many photo's of the beautiful wrapping because I was so desperate to see what we had received. 

Isla was sent this beautiful handmade hairband with diamante gems which I knew right away would go with most of her dressing up clothes and look great with a day-to-day look as well.



The band itself is so soft which was a relief as I've had problems in the past where I couldn't use a hairband as the elastic wasn't soft enough- babies have such sensitive heads, you don't want to put on something that is going to leave a mark or make them uncomfortable.

We also received a lovely matching hair clip. Sadly Isla's hair is so thin but as soon as it starts growing I know this will be an adorable way of pushing her hair off her face and securing it. Until then I could even wear it and give this whole mummy-daughter 'twinning' fashion thing a go?!

Both items came beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and were presented on cute cards from the Cute Cute Boutique.

I am so grateful to the Cute Cute Boutique for sending us these bits- be prepared to see them featured in more outfits and photographs to come! 

You can check out the full product range for yourself at their website-



I was sent one free hairband and one free hair clip in exchange for this post/review. All photographs (other than the Cute Cute logo), opinions and words are my own. Thank you Cute Cute!


Family Fever

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Visiting the Warner Bros Studio Tour

By 10/13/2015 , , , , , , ,
I'm a huge fan of reading and I spent a lot of my early years with my nose stuck in a book; but one of the series that truly captured me and changed me was the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I've read them more times than I can even begin to count and I've seen all the films to the point where I can recite them as I watch them. I have an abundance of merchandise and have dressed up to attend the midnight book launches. I can't put into words how special this international sensation is to me and I know a lot of people feel the same way as me.

A few months ago, my dad and his girlfriend told me that as an early birthday present, they had got tickets for me and Jack to visit the Warn Bros Studio Tour where they filmed all eight of the films...I was finally going to Hogwarts after all of these years.

Jack had never seen the films so we spent September and October watching them all and getting into the wizarding spirit; Jack wasn't a huge fan but he enjoyed them and the excitement built for our trip.

The night before our trip, my dad knocked on the door unexpectedly to tell update us on the plan for the morning and to tell me that a bird had been hanging around outside.... he presented me with my Hogwarts letter (after 11 years of waiting!). I cried several times that night because the excitement was too much!



We exited the train station to the sight of an amazingly decorated Harry Potter bus- I couldn't control my happiness as we boarded and the atmosphere was built even further when they played a welcome video telling us all about the studio. Even Jack, barely involved in the Harry Potter fandom was getting pumped!

The emotions I felt when I saw the studio at last were overwhelming. This was the home of my childhood and all of my favourite things under one roof; the actors and writers and the entire production tean were all once here and I couldn't believe that a fan like myself was able to visit and really experience the magic. It was something I never thought would happen.

The tour was amazing; I don't want to write too much as reading reviews over the past few years gave away surprises for me on the day, and anyone reading this who hasn't been? Unless you want to see pictures and learn some of the secrets I would skip ahead to the end!

Being in the Great Hall at last- the actual set where we saw Professor Quirrel screaming about a troll, Harry Potter being sorted all the way up to the last film where it was partially destroyed and full of the wounded participants in the battle of Hogwarts... I couldn't describe how I was feeling and promptly started crying. It was just as I had seen it on the big screen, and I was stood there taking it all in. The craftsmanship and detail put in was amazing; so much extra work that you would barely notice through the films. It really is a beautiful set.




We got to see countless sets and props from Hogwarts and the wizarding world. Jack said that even though he wasn't a huge fan he really appreciated how much work and effort went into making the films look so amazing and I agreed that seeing it all in person made me really understand all the hard work the people behind the scenes put in. It was those people who made Hogwarts real and magical as much as the actors.

Being a proper Potter-head, I knew a lot of the behinds the scenes facts and snippets of information but there were staff on hand who really knew it all. I learnt things I never would have known if it wasn't for this visit and it's crazy that after all these years I am still learning things about JK Rowlings world.



We flew broomsticks against a green screen, drank Butterbeer (SO tasty!), walked down Diagon Alley, climbed aboard the Hogwarts express, pressed buttons to activate some amazing special effects in the creatures department and I cried more than I thought I would and more than anyone there.



It's a breathtaking place to be for any Harry Potter fan or even just someone interested in how movies are made. I can't thank Warner Bros enough for allowing people to visit and all the staff for being so friendly and knowledgeable, or my dad and his girlfriend for sending us on such a magical day out.

'Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.' -JK Rowling


Mummascribbles

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September Round-Up

By 10/01/2015


I can't believe it is October already and September is over- I hope someone remembered to wake up Greenday! (Note: I tell this joke incessantly every year and it never gets old for me.)

Hopes for September:
  • Finish watching all the Harry Potter films!
  • We're off on holiday to Skegness- I wan't to have a good time.
  • Go for at least two walks a week
  • Find time to blog more- there's so much I want to write this month!
  • Go to one of the mum groups running again now summer is over.
  • Find the time for a date night with Jack.

September has flown by and Autumn has hit us with some hot weather which is a let down because I was hoping for fluffy jumpers and boots by now, but it also means the creepy crawlies stay outside rather than seeking shelter in my house and I can still hang my laundry on the line.

We finally finished watching all the Harry Potter films as Jack had never seen them, and I am so pleased to say by the last film he was so invested that he actually told me to stop talking in case he missed something. It's got me so excited to go to the Warner Bros studio tour next weekend!

I still haven't been to a mum and baby group but I've found time to hang out with one of my good mum friends and do some catching up. Isla and her daughter are only six weeks apart and we were both pregnant at work together so it is nice to see them both changing so much together.

We had an amazing time on our holiday to Skegness and it was so good to reconnect with my dad as we hadn't been on a holiday together in around 6 years. It was great for Jack to spend some one on one time with dad and his girlfriend as they got to know each other so well. We made some amazing memories and I think we are going back next year as it was so fun! You can read about our trip here

Blogging

So I didn't write as much as I wanted to with holidays and movie nights but I've started making some friends on twitter and getting more involved with the community which is really nice! I've had the most views and followers in the history of my blog which feels like a bit of a reward and I've made some lovely contacts with companies I might be working with in the future which again feels like a lovely reward for the work I put in. I wrote a post about my first 6 months blogging here

Post partum body

I stopped trying to lose weight and worrying about my figure and what happened? I lost weight! Alright- I gained weight first, I got heavier than I was for a few months but I've started to lose it again and I've found I am still eating fun things but in smaller portions and cutting out snacks and fizz. I've started walking to meet Jack and the train station and although there and back only takes 40 minutes, with pushing a pram it's still more active than I was most afternoons. I officially have to keep pulling my jeans up which is a big change.

Isla

Guess who is rolling over! I am such a proud mumma! Isla has now rolled over from her back to her stomach (the opposite way to what most babies learn, little bugger!) and has been rescued from her stomach more times than I can count now. She hasn't figured out how to get back again and is a furious hater of tummy-time. Her latest trick has been rolling over in the bath while I am trying to wash her and hold her head at the same time while she is all slippy and wriggly- nightmare.



I am also 90% sure she is about to cut her first tooth as I can feel some rough scratchy points on her gum- either that or I really have no idea what I am feeling for while she dribbles buckets on me.

It's been a whirlwind month sorting out house stuff, Jack starting to study for his exams and a now even wigglier and active baby.

But now it's October (Note: HAPPY HALLOWEEN-TOBER!) and it's going to be great, it's one of my favourite months of the year and we've got some great plans.

Hopes for October:
  • Have the most MAGICAL day at the Warner Bros studio tour
  • Get Isla the cutest ever outfit for Halloween
  • Decorate the outside of the house properly for the kids on the street
  • Carry on walking at least twice a week
  • Try and help Isla learn to roll from her stomach to back
  • Get to the bottom of the laundry basket
  • Start planning Christmas presents 
Thanks for reading,

Steph xo

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What I've learnt from my first six months blogging

By 9/29/2015


I've been blogging for around six months now and wow has that gone fast! I had to take a hiatus when Isla decided to put me into hospital at 31 weeks trying to come out far too early; luckily they managed to stop the labor and she held out another 7 weeks.

Since coming back into blogging after Isla was born I've been looking back at my old posts and blog design and I can't believe how much everything has changed in such a short time.

So here are some of the key things I have learnt since I started blogging; I hope that anyone else just starting out like me finds these points helpful.


I am not the Queen of social media

Before I started to blog, I'd only really used my personal Facebook and I rarely posted on my Instagram; I signed up to everything I possibly could in an attempt to network but I've realised with a 4 month old baby it's nearly impossible to keep up with pinterest, instagram, twitter, facebook, bloglovin' and the countless other options. I couldn't find the time to put into all of them what I wanted to. Now I've settled for being active on just two or three social media sites I've found I'm able to connect and post often and it's much more enjoyable.

Social media means being social

To begin with, I would post and get no reaction and get a strop on. No-one would tweet me, no-one was following me. It's a bit of a confidence dropped to start with but then I read a really great post (I'll link it if I find it again!) talking about comment karma and it hit me that not many people in the real world will talk to you if you stay silent! I've learnt that to get interactions sometimes you have to put in the effort; tweet someone, like something they have posted, leave a nice comment on their blog post and they are likely to return the favour and you can make some great friends along the way.

Keep the design simple

I have changed my blog design at least 4 times in the past 6 months. I've had excessive widgets, excessive font changes and crowded headers. I realise now that a lot of my styles and choices made the blog seem cluttered and unappealing; I would yearn for the simplistic and sweet style that other people had but even when I changed it, it still didn't seem me. I stopped lusting after fancy designs and learnt some simple CSS and now I have a clean and clear design that I am happy with and will probably keep for a long time.

Speak in my own voice

When I read blog posts I really enjoy feeling as though the writer is speaking directly to me through their text; it is more of a narrative or story. I've always tried to ensure that my writing voice is accessible and entertaining. I don't want to sound like Wikipedia or like I am over complicating something unnecessarily to sound smart. If I'm overthinking what I'm writing it's more likely to sound forced and if I was really enjoying talking about something out loud it would flow, so why shouldn't it flow in text form?

Don't get hung up on numbers

With all the sites and stats and follower counts it is really easy to get hung up on the numbers. I do join in with some ranking sites but I'm quite far down and honestly that doesn't bother me. It did to begin with; if I dropped rank even though I thought I'd had a great week or month I'd get really downhearted but it doesn't mean I'm rubbish at what I do. I might not be the highest rank or have the most followers but I really enjoy what I am doing and I love the people I do follow and who follow me even if there aren't many of them.


I may not be professional or award winning or followed by thousands, but I am so proud of my little corner of the internet. I've been given opportunities and met some wonderful people (albeit only online so far!) and it's such an amazing outlet.

Do you have any tips or advice for people new to blogging like me?

Thanks for reading

Steph xo

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Milestone cards from Landmark Moments & GIVEAWAY!

By 9/21/2015


Isla is now over 4 months old and is very thoroughly photographed and filmed. I've had to clear the memory on my phone so many times to make way for more memories and I want to make sure I never forget a moment.

I was recently contacted by Landmark Moments to review this wonderful pack of milestone cards. I've seen similar products being used by other mums on my Facebook and Instagram feeds and wish I'd had something like this when Isla was first born!

Visit their Amazon store at http://www.landmarkmoments.co.uk

The idea is the card has some milestone or landmark on and this will make it easier for you to take a photo of a special memory with a cute picture card addition and a date that you can add. Not only do they make a lovely photo accessory, they've made me pay so much more attention so I can make sure I catch the moment on the cards.

We were a week late on this one but you can see how great they look!

Even though Isla has missed the opportunity with the younger baby cards, there are still so many more for the next year that we can use and the pack comes with a blank selection for you to record your own special moments that aren't included and I can't wait for her to hit her next milestone so I can use them more!

The cards themselves are really well made- they have curved corners and the card is a good strong material so if your little one is as dribbly as mine they won't get chewed to bits during a photo opportunity!

So- how exciting- I've been given the opportunity to host my first competition & giveaway! You have the chance to win your own full pack of 38 beautiful milestone cards. Even if your little ones are grown up they make a great gift for someone who is expecting or just had a new baby!

Complete the entries below for a chance of winning and good luck!

Landmark Moments Milestone Card Giveaway


The winner will be provided with one 100% discount code to claim their pack from the Landmark Moment's amazon store via email, with instructions on how to do so. Please ensure you enter the correct email when entering.

Note: I was sent one pack of milestone cards for the purpose of this review; all thoughts and opinions are my own! I also received one 100% discount code for the giveaway winner to claim their own pack of cards.




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Our Holiday to Skegness

By 9/21/2015


Nothing beats a British seaside holiday and we've been so lucky that we managed to fit in our second this year.

My Dad and his girlfriend packed us off for an amazing trip to a Park Resort in Skegness for four nights and we really had the best time.

Picture it- a tiny caravan with five people- one of them a baby who rarely sleeps through the night and every single adult snored. It may sound like a nightmare to a lot of people who prefer to go for the flash static caravans but being all cramped up together and running to the toilet block (which was really nice compared to what I was used to as a youngster!) in the middle of the night...this was a proper English caravan holiday!



The first day we were woken up to the smell of home made bacon egg muffins, and a crowd of friendly ducks wandering around the entrance of the awning.

We spent most of the first few days at Fantasy Island. When you think about seaside funfairs, you picture rusty log flumes and a few spinny rides- this was beyond that by far! There was three massive roller coasters, drop rides and more adrenaline rides than I ever imagined. We were lucky enough that they were hitting the end of season and the usual £16 wristband was being offered at a BOGOF rate for £5! Safe to say we got our moneys worth!

Jack managed to haul me onto a ride that I've always been nervous about whenever I've encountered it and I spent the whole time being thrown upside down and backwards crying out and I honestly swore it was worse than giving birth. I'm a wimp but I did it (even though Granddad saw them doing something with a wrench while we waited for our turn and it was out of order for the rest of the holiday. Jesus Christ!)

They have an enormous market that took us hours to get around and I had more than my fair share of sweets and slushies- a sugar crash was definitely the cause of me being so exhausted by the evening.

We headed over to the park entertainment hall because nothing beats tacky entertainment on a seaside holiday. After reading reviews I didn't have my hopes up but the acts were actually hilarious with a lot of naughty jokes that only the adults would understand.

On the Friday we spent the day on the Skegness promenade; we went go-karting on a track worthy of Mario Kart after 7 years of promising Neomi that we would do it. I was far too cautious and nervous to go very fast and was nearly lapped by the other two so many times...how embarrassing.

We even got ourselves all dolled up for some old-timey photo shoots!



I spent way too much money in the arcades over the course of the holiday and other than Jack getting a yo-yo we came out short. Luckily Isla was presented with this huge-ass turtle (god knows where this giant will live but I love it!) from her Nanny & Granddad and she seemed quite keen on it.



We of course went back to the funfair and went back on all our favourite rides (the spinning upside down ride of doom was still out of order....) and even got a stint on some bumper boats by the sea.

To finish off, we headed to the beach and tried to build a sandcastle. Neither myself or Jack are very creative however, so we dug a massive hole instead like the grown ups we are haha.

We made so many memories on this holiday and if I was going to write about them all you'd be reading this for hours. I love a good seaside holiday and it was so nice to all spend time together as a family (and to be with two people who are strangely desperate to take on the nappies and night feeds!).




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Don't let the toilet dinosaur eat me!

By 9/03/2015


Children have the silliest fears, and I've been thinking recently that one day I'll have to deal with Isla's. Will she think their is a monster in her cupboard? Will she be afraid of the doorbell for some ridiculous reason?

Looking back to when I was a little girl, I had some of the craziest fears and theories about monsters that might jump out and get me, and I decided to share them with you.

The Toilet Dinosaur

Everyone loves Godzilla right? Jurassic Park? Well I'm sure that you've all seen the second installment to the JP franchise, and have a clear memory as I do of the scene with the T-Rex in the back garden. The little boy see's the T-Rex, it eat's his dog, drinks the pool water... terrifying.

I had nightmares about dinosaurs so much. It got to the point where I had a genuine belief that if I flushed the toilet at night, a dinosaur would hear me and come to eat me. If I did have to flush, it'd be a crazy sprint into bed to ensure the dinosaur didn't see me through my curtains and gobble me up like that poor Jurassic Park puppy.


Alien Motion Sensor

Picture it- I'm a young sleepy girl, snug up in the top bunk at my dad's house ready for bed. As I blink and look at the ceiling, I see a tiny red dot moving around it. I watch for a while, unable to figure out why it is there and why it won't go away. Oh- I'm not dreaming!

I cried for my dad and yelled bloody murder until he rushed in- I pointed at the ceiling. It was gone. This was repeated several times with me sobbing and blubbing about aliens and lights that no-one else could see. I was dreaming, he said. What rubbish.

It turned out the next morning that my dad had been stood outside with his laser pointed wetting himself silly the more and more freaked out I got. He'd wait a moment before pretending to rush in, turning it off as he did. Looking back it's hilarious but I was genuinely terrified.

In my dad's hallway, there was a motion sensor in the corner over the bathroom with a little red light. Of course, even though he told me the ceiling dot was him, I was still reasonably nervous that it was the work of aliens and was petrified of going past it to pee at night; combine this with the toilet dinosaur theory and having to jump into a top bunk for safety...using the bathroom at night became something I avoided heavily.

All children have some irrational fear; did you have any or do your children?

Thanks for reading!
Steph xo

”Twinkly
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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August Round-Up

By 9/01/2015

Happy September everyone! How is it September already? I thought that now I was an adult the summer holidays might slow down (they used to fly by as a child) but apparently they still go just as quickly! I am excited to be getting closer to Autumn; Autumn brings Halloween, bonfire night and warm fluffy jumpers!

So last month I made a nice little list of things I wanted to do this month;

Hopes for August:

  • Go to our first party/night out since having Isla 
  • Get under 12 stone at last and stay down at size 12
  • Take Isla for a proper swimming lesson
  • Get our spare bedroom organized and set up with the new bed
  • Keep on top of the housework
  • Investigate a mums & babies group to meet more local mums
  • Do something exciting for bank holiday weekend

We did go for our first night out and it was amazing! You can read all about that here. It was a great start to the month and such a great night out. I really think that parents should ensure they get out for a grown up night every now and then.

We managed to clear out our spare room junk room  and built our single bed and Jack's weight bench- it's nice to have it more organized and it's made the upstairs of the house feel so much more open and clutter free.

We are heading off to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in October, so I've also managed to get Jack to watch the films with me this month- he's got three left and if we spread them out we should finish right on time for the tour next month!

This month, Jack's Grandad turned 70 and we had a lovely night at their house, catching up with family, drinking champagne by the fire and doing quizzes.

Weight

I'll admit I've given up some of my efforts. I've realised that while we are still out of a proper routine and so busy all the time, it's hard to have healthy home cooked meals and exercise. I'm still cutting down my snacking but I've realised I'm quite happy even though I'm bigger than I ever have been. I'm staying healthy but I'm not going to fixate on the weight loss.

Day Trip- Woburn Safari Park

So bank holiday weekend we originally had plans to go to one of the farms near us for a day on the Monday, and do a couple of car-boots on the Sunday morning. The car boot was a bit of a washout and my brother just so happens to work at the Safari Park and got us all in for a great day out! I'll be making a post about the day soon- I will say now it was so so much fun!

Isla

Every day Isla is trying harder and harder to roll over- she can manage it so well if she is propped up slightly but when she is flat she can't quite manage it. She is getting into a great routine; I can pinpoint pretty much exactly when she is going to be waking up and wanting her food. She's full of character and loves being out and about in her pram. I regret introducing her to certain things; it seems now the only way I can make her laugh is singing 'Teletubbies' in the same really god-awful annoying voice over and over again.

I didn't manage everything I wanted to do this month, but it was still a great month full of new experiences and I really can't believe how fast it's all gone!

Hopes for September:
  • Finish watching all the Harry Potter films!
  • We're off on holiday to Skegness- I wan't to have a good time.
  • Go for at least two walks a week
  • Find time to blog more- there's so much I want to write this month!
  • Go to one of the mum groups running again now summer is over.
  • Find the time for a date night with Jack.
Hope you had a great month!
Steph xo

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What have you been doing all day?!

By 8/24/2015


It's a question put forward by every working father to the new stay at home mother, or vice versa. While they've been beating the books and commuting and staring down a spreadsheet, you've been home taking care of the little bundle of joy and avoiding doing household chores.

Now I will put it out now, I am sat writing this while a pile of washing up sits just conveniently outside my field of vision and a pile of laundry sits at my feet.

I'm not lazy. I'm not avoiding it all on purpose; the fact is Isla has finally gone down for her nap and while I should take advantage of this free time to battle the grime around the taps or sort socks into pairs, my head is screaming to sit down and do nothing.

Looking at it from Jack's point of view, I don't really do as much as I should or could- What have you been doing all day?! he cries as he has to spend precious post-work relaxation time de-cluttering the sofa just to sit down on it.

I tell him how hard the day has been- little Isla puked, then pooped, then puked while I was cleaning the poop..then she did something funny with her toy so I spent half an hour trying to get her to repeat it for the camera...then of course I had to feed her a million times and then wash the bottles and then she puked again and I'm lucky if either myself or her are dressed by 3pm.

(Odd, he says, isn't it; how well behaved and easy she is on the weekends...!)

I've been trying to step it up. I am a home-maker and a responsible adult now and I can't rely on threats and groundings to get my chores done... (not that that ever worked when I lived with my parents either).

The truth behind it all isn't a lack of sleep or that Isla is difficult. It's that I haven't had a whole 24 hours of me time for months and when she goes to sleep I try to de-frazzle. I constantly need to be thinking ahead of time for what she might need or want or what needs doing and by the time she's asleep for 45 minutes I'd rather sit and play Candy Crush than clean toilets.

I'm definitely going to be trying so much harder to keep this house clean! I'll be wiping plates and wiping bums with my eyes closed whilst a cake bakes in the oven before you know it.

(Or I'll at least make sure Jack has some pairs of socks ready for work...)

How did you find being a stay at home mum? I can't be the only one who hates chores!

Steph xo

Twinkly Tuesday
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Blanket Houdini tests out the Grobag

By 8/23/2015 , ,


I've always been a huge fan of products that advocate safe sleep in babies; so this week when I received a new gorgeous 'Peek-a-boo' Grobag to try out for Isla I was more excited for bed time than normal!



We always put Isla to sleep in a vest, sleep suit and then a few blankets. She goes down like an angel, we tuck our little bundle up and we quietly shut the door. Five minutes later there's a scuffling noise from the baby monitor and the screen shows a very smiley baby cheekily kicking off her once tucked in blankets and pulling them all around her face and the cot.

The blanket escape has been an on-going battle since the day she was born. Hands covered by gloves or a blanket? Not going to happen mummy! Keep my covers safely tucked in? Never! The little rascal is determined to have me running over to her when she yanks her blankets up over her face. Like most mums, I panic- she could suffocate, and if kicked down to her feet, she could get cold and that would wake her up.

Trying in vain to kick her legs out of the Grobag!

The Grobag is designed like a little baby sleeping bag; however they are sleeveless. This promotes air circulation and allows for heat to leave the bag in the case that your baby may be getting too warm (and keeps our little Houdini happy!)

The Grobag came with a cute stand up room thermometer which lets you know how warm your room is and what tog rating of Grobag/level of clothing would be appropriate.

On the first night, it was a bit of a battle to get her in it- she wasn't so keen once she had her bottle and was ready to sleep. Fumbling around trying to get it on when I hadn't used one before woke her up and she started her usual nightly routine of kicking mummy and kicking blankets as much as she could. Thankfully, the Grobag we received has a handy zip so you don't have to shuffle your baby in- you can just lay them down and zip them up all cosy...(Try and escape from a zip little lady..!)

She of course, attempted to fight her way out of it but once she had worn herself out she was quite content to fall asleep and I felt much more content to not keep checking the monitor to see if she was playing peek-a-boo with her blanket or had left herself vulnerable to cold.

Night feedings were simple as she was comfortable to stay in her cosy bag while eating and it meant I didn't have to faff around with tucking her in and trying to stick her under her blankets (I was honestly considering stapling them to the mattress.)

All-in-all, she was a lot calmer in her bed. She's a little fussy from suspected teething so she has been waking up a little off her normal pattern but at least I can rest assured that it isn't because she is uncomfortable or cold.



It's definitely a product I've wanted to try and one I am going to carry on using; and who can resist when they have such lovely designs? You can see the full range here;  http://www.gro-store.com/grobag-baby-sleep-bag/full-range-of-grobags.html

What do you put your little ones to sleep in?
Thanks for reading,
Steph xo

I received one Peek-a-boo Grobag for the purpose of this review. All words, images and opinions are my own.



MaternityMondaysFamily Fever
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Snot, Naps and Tantrums- and that was just me!

By 8/17/2015


Now you may call me dramatic- and I can be very dramatic when I have even the slightest hint of a sniffle- but the past week or so I have literally never felt more unwell in my life.

That may be an exaggeration. I was a pretty regular tonsillitis/chest infection sufferer as a teenager but this has been my first illness since before I fell pregnant with Isla, and my first illness as a mother.

Picture this; it's 3am, I'm sat on a very comfy beanbag in a dim room feeding my beautiful baby. A pretty picture yes? She smiles sweetly up at me while snot slowly drips from my nose onto her pajamas, she can barely hold the bottle in her mouth because I am shivering so hard and despite the shivering, her hair is saturated from my newly produced elbow sweat (Who sweats from their elbow crease seriously?!)

Disgusting I know and I'm really not sorry. New mums and dads need to be warned. Do not get sick when looking after a newborn!

As hard as it was for me, it was much harder for Jack and Isla to deal with me as like I mentioned above I can get very dramatic and honestly part of me thought I would never breathe through more than one nostril again (resulting in a small crying tantrum in the garden when I insisted to Jack that I was the sickest anyone had ever been).

I found myself so exhausted that my poorly side convinced my mummy side that it was okay to put a dummy back in Isla's mouth to get her to sleep another three minutes- she's tired, she doesn't need me to feed her yet...if I lay down for another ten minutes that nappy wont explode.... the washing up can do itself...

I wish I had asked for help sooner. The fifth day of the worst-sickness-ever found me laying on the sofa in a pool of tears and sweat and snot (note: I'm still not sorry for the TMI) and Jack walking in from work and trying to send me right to bed. He was an angel feeding Isla, feeding me, letting me watch rubbish TV and then sending me to bed when I finally gave in at 9pm with the instruction to actually sleep; not sit up trying to beat him on Candy Crush.

So what advice can I give you ladies and gents who are yet to fall ill while caring for an already snotty enough baby?

Ask for help. Without Jack, my Dad and his girlfriend, and Netflix.. I don't think I would have pulled through.

Hydrate! I ended up very dehydrated which probably lengthened my illness.

Claim control of the TV remote- honestly, it helps- tell your partner I said it helps and stick on a really bad film that you'll sleep through anyway.

Don't take on too much. The house won't explode if it isn't spotless and you can always order takeaway. (But a reputable takeaway because boy do I regret getting a mystery meat hot dog from that glass case on the counter of my local corner shop.)

I'm finally feeling so much better thankfully!

Steph xo

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Weightloss Wednesday #3

By 8/06/2015



It's becoming a bit of a tradition for me to post these updates on Thursday morning isn't it? I should've picked Thursday as Wednesday always gets filled up with a visit from Isla's Nanny and Grandad (Note: I'm not always very good at planning, as you'll come to learn!)

During this week, I broke a few rules by heading out to a house-warming party and drinking more calories than I normally eat, following the day with the standard slightly hungover greasy food fest. Besides this bad weekend of eating I have had some amazing dinners; Jack made the most delicious meatballs I have ever had (homemade sauce countering the amount of carbs I consumed!)

I will add in so many of my dinners have been brown but I've been making a much more active effort to ensure I eat two good sized meals at least every day in the hopes of speeding up my snail speed metabolism.

I've been out and about walking so much and now that Isla needs a lot more attention and likes to be active I rarely find time to slob on the sofa for hours on end!

I weighed in at: 12st 4lbs


Weight lost: I gained 3.6lbs.
(We should rename this segment weight-gain...)


I can't really make excuses anymore. My eating isn't great- I have opted for convenient dinners way too many times and it's starting to be a struggle for me. I need to really gear up and motivate myself. While my figure is shrinking the number on the scales isn't and I guess my figure is what is more important to me but I just want to feel more healthy and lower my BMI!

I can add that the time in my cycle often makes me heavier through water retention so I need more fluids to push the excess water through!

Plan for the next week:
- Healthier lunches- I stick to what is quick and easy and a lot of the time that is where all my excess calories come from

- Less calories from liquid- I drink a lot of fizzy drinks and sugary juices, I definitely need more water in me!

- More colour to my dinner- pasta and rice is always easy so we seem to see a lot of brown on our plates!


It's so hard losing weight when I love food so much- I need to learn to say no! Keep an eye out next week for an update!

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July Round-Up

By 8/03/2015

So July flew by. I'm going to say that every month because since I got pregnant, every month has literally flown by. It has been a really busy month and we made a lot of memories!

Our Holiday to Haven

We went off to Haven for three nights, just a few miles from Great Yarmouth and not only was this Isla's first holiday it was actually mine and Jacks first time on any sort of holiday together! It was a fantastic trip and we made a lot of fun memories losing all our money in arcades, going on funfair rides, Jack swimming in the sea and of course spending quality time with family :)
(Read my post about the holiday here)



Isla's first time swimming

We took Isla swimming for the first time as the pool in our Haven resort was nice and warm and she had recently had her first jabs- the doctor gave us the go ahead and she loves floating gently in the water and listening to all the new sounds

Smiler-Isla

This month (even though she started before July!) she has been a super smiley little girl. She learnt to grin back at us as we sing-song said 'Say cheeeeese!' and by the end of the month her smiles had slowly started to develop into what we know is the start of her laugh- a long squeak with a few heavy breaths 'heurrhurrr' while she grins non stop at us!


Getting out more

During pregnancy and during the first month or so of Isla being here, I didn't really like to go out much. I worried about being away from home or boring my company but over the month of July I have made sure to go out and about at least twice during the week (Thank you Grandad Wednesdays!) and we are always busy during the weekend. It's felt great to be more active!

Blogging

So this month I tried to get myself back into the blogging world. I really enjoyed it but so much came up with pregnancy and birth complications that I avoided the online world and shied away from it all- now I'm back with a vengeance and absolutely loving it! I'm getting to know some lovely other mums and discovering some great blogs every day. My stats and views have rocketed (although that isn't as important to me) and I'm loving having a creative outlet.

Postpartum

My weight hasn't changed as you'll know from my weightloss updates on Wednesdays but I'm feeling so much more tight and toned- I guess I'm gaining muscle! I feel so much more myself. My episitiomy scar still aches but the doctor has assured me it is normal and it because they severed a lot of nerves which take longer to heal than the actual wound itself. My periods are back and trying to kill me and my boobs didn't stay as huge as I'd hoped they would but really at nearly 12 weeks PP I feel great and hope I carry on doing so!

Hopes for August:

  • Go to our first party/night out since having Isla (We recently did this before I had a chance to post- check the night out here!)
  • Get under 12 stone at last and stay down at size 12
  • Take Isla for a proper swimming lesson
  • Get our spare bedroom organized and set up with the new bed
  • Keep on top of the housework
  • Investigate a mums & babies group to meet more local mums
  • Do something exciting for bank holiday weekend

Did you have a good month? Let me know!
Steph xo

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