SOCIAL MEDIA

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Unique and Essential Items for Pregnancy

This week I'm 18 weeks pregnant. The time is certainly flying by! Over the past few months I've been exploring some unique items for use during pregnancy which I will share below. I've also started to plan what will be in my hospital bag! 



For use in pregnancy...

Blueiron Liquid Iron
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can result in women becoming low in iron. Iron is essential for baby's cognitive brain development and as pregnancy progresses and blood volume increases, woman's bodies need more iron. Blueiron has been specially formulated for pregnant women. It is gentle on the stomach and doesn't contain an array of other vitamins meaning it can be taken alongside daily pregnancy supplements. For more information just click here!
blueiron

Modibodi
As you may have discovered, pregnancy can put a little strain on your bladder meaning you may be prone to a few leaks. With Modibodi absorbent underwear you can go about your day in confidence, knowing their leak-proof, absorbent and comfortable undies will have your back! They can be washed, dried and reused meaning the are much more environmentally friendly that disposable products. Find out more and explore the range here.
modibodi
Colief Mum to Be Cream 
To help prevent the appearance of stretch marks and to keep skin soft, supple and itch free, a good quality moisturising cream is one of my must-haves during pregnancy. I love this one from Colief. It nourishes and rehydrates skin and is enriched with plant extracts and vitamins. This one is fragrance-free, perfect for those ultra-sensitive pregnancy noses! Available at Amazon


Menthoderm 
Pregnancy can result in changes in your skin. My skin has started to be quite itchy over the last few months. Menthoderm is a Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free menthol in aqueous cream, perfect for cooling and soothing hot and itchy skin. It is available in three sizes and in three different strengths. Itching can be a sign of Obstetric Choleostatis so always let your GP or midwife know. For more information on Menthoderm, click here.

menthoderm

What's in my hospital bag...

Spritz For Bitz- My expert Midwife
For swelling and soreness of the vulva and perineum as a result of childbirth, this soothing spray will offer relief and comfort. It includes lavender to soothe and tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties as well as witch hazel to promote healing. Explore the range from My Expert Midwife here



Water wipes
I used these for my second born and they were one of our favourite products. They are so gentle, containing 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract and can be used on newborn skin reducing the need for fiddly cotton wool and water. These will certainly be in my hospital bag! Find out more here


Multi-Gyn Compresses
These are handy compresses for use during pregnancy or after childbirth. They can be used for discomforts including overstretched skin, injured skin or hemorrhoids for example, providing relief and supporting the natural healing process. The little sachets are perfect for popping in a hospital bag. Find them here
Multi-Mam Compresses 
Also from the Multi range is the Multi-Mam Compresses which work as an intensive nipple treatment for breastfeeding mums. They have a direct soothing effect on sore nipples, reducing swelling and preventing infection. I wish I had known about these with my first two babies. These will definitely be in my hospital bag! Find yours here.
multi-mam
Stay tuned for more pregnancy updates soon! 

Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted some of the items in this post (except the Colief cream). I was sent a sample of water wipes a few years ago! 

Cooking Up a Storm With VonShef

Recently we were invited to explore the products on offer from VonShef; a British company providing high quality innovative products for use in the kitchen. They stock a vast array of items to make cooking, baking, dining, food prep and storage not only easier but more enjoyable! 

We opted to review the 5 Piece Stainless Steel Pan Set. My previous pan set desperately needed replacing. The rubber part of the handles had fallen off meaning that I had to use a tea towel or oven glove to lift the pans which certainly wasn't ideal and so it was a real treat to receive some brand new saucepans in full working order!

saucepans

The set includes a 24cm frying pan, a 14cm milk pan as well as 16cm, 18cm and 20cm saucepans with glass lids. When the pans arrived the quality was evident. The are made from durable, corrosion-resistant stainless steel and feature a sturdy handle with heat-resistant silicone grips. 

saucepan


saucepan handle

The pans have an aluminium encapsulated base which ensures the pan heats evenly. Inside the pans there are super handy capacity markings and they also include pouring lips.

saucepan

The three glass lids included in the set contain holes on the rim for straining. This is particularly useful to prevent the need for a colander- less washing up! 

saucepan

The pans stack neatly together meaning they can be stored easily too! 

The frying pan contains a nonstick Xylon coating, which means not only is it easier to clean but you also will need less oil to cook with. 

frying pan

I've been so impressed with these pans. There has been lots of attention to detail in the design to make cooking just that little bit easier. The pans have been used for a couple of months now in our home and still look brand new. It's clear that these will last for a long time. 

I will certainly be ordering some more kitchen products from VonShef in the future! 

To explore the wonderful products available just click here

Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted these pans in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Body Confidence With UK lingerie

Since having my two little boys, when it comes to lingerie, I will often opt for practicality, comfort and familiarity. This has meant that some of my bras date back to my first pregnancy, the breastfeeding years and later, just ones I picked up quickly whilst out shopping for the boys! Before the children came along, I loved buying beautiful matching sets of underwear which would make me feel confident but due to the demands of motherhood I have rather got out the habit of buying things for myself. When UK Lingerie invited me to try some of their beautiful pieces of lingerie, this felt like the ultimate treat! 

I have previously worked with this company exploring pieces from their swimwear site UK Swimwear and was so delighted with the range and quality of the items on offer that I couldn't wait to discover the items available at the UK Lingerie site. I spent a long time exploring the site looking at the ranges of lingerie, nightwear, bodywear and shapewear available. There were so many stunning pieces on offer. Being a larger cup size, I often struggle to find bras which are both comfortable and pretty, finding that often, it always seems to be one or the other so I decided to explore the bras available on the site to see if I could find anything that ticked both boxes. Finding bras available in my size was easy to do; I simply had select my cup size and I could then narrow the results down even further opting for a particular style eg balconette, full cup, underwired etc, as well as a particular brand or colour. I was delighted to see so many truly beautiful styles available. The first bra I decided to try was the Fantasie Imogen Underwired Side Support Bra. I teamed these up with the matching briefs. 

Fantasie bra

This bra offers a four section cup for truly wonderful support. This, along with the the underwire, lined interior and side support, results in a beautiful shape. The soft sheen and lace design on the cup make it feel really luxurious to wear. Not only that, but the beautiful floral design is so pretty. 

The briefs, available in the same soft and shiny material are really comfortable to wear. I love the lacy design on the sides which offer a really beautifully feminine style. You can tell that Fantasie lingerie is designed with both style and comfort in mind. 


The next bra that I decided to try was the Blush Harlow Full Coverage Underwired Bra. I can't tell you how much I love this bra. Firstly, the soft blue colour is stunning. The lacy design is unbelievably beautiful and the side boning, underwired support and lacy design underneath the cups results in a a shape that I have longed for for a long time. I found that it gives you a delicate separation between the breasts so that they are not pushed together resulting in a fuller cleavage. I've always been advised when being fitted for bras, that the middle piece between the cups ideally should sit flush to the skin and this bra does this perfectly. It made me look a smaller cup size too which delighted me no end as I've always felt a little out of proportion. I was so delighted with this bra that I immediately purchased another one so I had a spare! 

Blush bra

I again teamed this bra up with the matching briefs. These match the stunning blue colour and lacy design of the bra, feature a little satin bow and are so soft and comfortable. 

Blush briefs

UK Lingerie comes highly recommended from me. The lingerie sets I tried made me feel a little more confident, shapely and sexy which as a result, made me feel a little more like my old self. Wearing this underwear serves as a gentle reminder that it is certainly ok to treat oneself every now and again and seeing as underwear is something you wear every single day, why not make sure it's as comfortable, beautiful and lasting as can be?

Thank you UK Lingerie! 

To explore the range of beautiful items available just click here

Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted the sets above in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 
Monday, 10 February 2020

Keeping Active With Hotter Shoes

Last weekend my family and I took a trip to the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire, a large expanse of woodland with marked walking trails, an exciting play area and plenty of room for my boys, their two cousins and one energetic Cockapoo to run about and play. Knowing that the ground was likely to be muddy and that there was a good chance of showers, we were sure to pack the car with the boys' boots, warm coats, hats and scarves. I usually walk about in my wellies which I must admit perhaps isn't the most sensible footwear for long walks but now that I'm pregnant I wanted to be sure that I wore something more supportive and with a significantly better grip to help prevent any nasty slips or falls. That's where Hotter Shoes comes in! I was delighted to be offered the chance to try one of the styles from their active and GORE-TEX® range.  I opted to try the Mist GTX® in Blue River/ Navy. 

hotter shoes

The Mist GTX® is one of Hotter's most popular walking shoes and it's easy to see why. They are comfortable, supportive and 100% waterproof! They are ideal for countryside rambles or for walking the dog. It features a cushioned Oil Aqua Nubuck and Aqua Suede mix upper to offer support when walking and the grip on the sole below helps protect against slips and falls on uneven or slippy surfaces. The shoe also features GORE-TEX® technology which ensures that your feet will be kept completely dry. The sole contains millions of air bubbles which means they are also really light. 

hotter shoes

Wearing the shoes on our walk around the forest was a real treat. They were light enough to feel like trainers but offered more support and a better grip than any other shoes I own. My feet were warm and dry and each step felt cushioned. I own a pair of sandals from Hotter which are so comfortable to wear that they almost feel like slippers and the Mist GTX® did not disappoint either. What I loved about the shoes was that they were less bulky and cumbersome than walking shoes or boots which as a result I'm not quick to select when we go out for walks- hence the wellies! Apart from the mud marks which I was able to dust off easily, the sole looks virtually untouched. I can tell that these will last a long time. 

walk forest

If you are yet to try Hotter Shoes, I certainly recommend them. They offer a wide range of shoes in a variety of different styles and for a range of different purposes. I had not been aware that they offered an active range of shoes and I will certainly be sure to explore the range especially when I try to get my pre-baby body back! 

Find out more and explore the range here!


*Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted the shoes in exchange for an honest review. 
Saturday, 1 February 2020

Male Hair Loss Solutions

Many men will experience hair loss. It can happen due to a combination of hormones and genetics and it affects about 50% of men over the age of 50. Hair loss can occur at any time after puberty. For some men this can cause lack of confidence and distress. 


With wigs and hair pieces, men can effectively disguise hair loss if they wish to. Hairbro offers a customized and professional service, with excellent products to solve man's hair problems. They offer custom men's toupees in a variety of different styles made from 100% human hair. This can be the perfect option for those that wish to sport a full head of hair. Hairbro pride themselves on offering a completely natural look at low prices. Their hair systems are designed to replace the hair loss completely or partially.

What else can be done? 
  • Minoxidil medication
  • Finasteride medication
  • Hair transplants
  • Hair styling. 
For more information on the options available visit Hairbro

Disclaimer: collaborative post

Time for a new look with LilyHair

Since I became a mother, I've mainly had the same hairstyle. I tend to wear it down, keeping it at a similar length (a few inches below my shoulders) and it tends to be the same colour. Sometimes I feel the need for a complete change and I love scouring the internet for some different styles. 

LilyHair offer a vast array of human hair wigs, toppers and hair extensions in a range of different styles. I have played around with hair extensions before opting for a pink streak which I absolutely loved. I've never tried wigs or toppers before and so I was keen to learn a little more about them. 



Hair Toppers
Hair Toppers can make your hair look much fuller adding volume and body and can also hide areas of hair loss. The hair toppers at LilyHair are made from 100% human hair. Each piece is tailored to the individual and is available in a wide range of colours, styles and lengths. There are a few different options to choose from; Swiss Lace, a base which is super light and undetectable, Mono Top, which enables you to part where you want and Silk Base which is said to be the softest and most comfortable option. 

Wigs
LilyHair wigs are made from 100% full-cuticle hair and are available in many different styles and colours. The Monofilament wigs offer multiple parting options with a natural looking scalp appearance. The Lace Front wigs use an undetectable lace and create a natural looking hairline whereas the Hand-Tied wigs are incredibly light and soft. I was interested to learn that with the Hand-Tied wigs each hair is individually tied to the cap one strand at a time!

Extensions
Hair extensions can help make your hair look fuller, more shiny and healthy looking. There are eight different kinds; Clip ins, Tape ins, Flip ins, Pre bonded, Micro ring, Nano ring, Microchet and Magic ponytail hair extensions. With so many options to choose from you'll be sure to find the right one for you! 

To explore the range of wigs, hair extensions and toppers just click here!

*Collaborative Post

To The Moon and Stars

I wanted to write to you to tell you how loved you are and how proud I am of you but each time I try, I wonder whether my words are enough. The other day, out of curiosity and anticipation of the funny answer you might provide, I asked you if you knew what love is. You said it was 'something to do with the heart' (your brother argued that actually it was something to do with the park but that's another story!). You were right of course. It is. Love is everything wonderful and happy; it's warm and it's tender and it's as fierce as it is gentle. But it goes beyond all this, to somewhere unknown, to an all encompassing, unfathomable place. For me, it creeps into my pores, it sneaks up on me and makes me catch my breath. It is the flip of my heart when I see the school is calling me for some reason. It's the protectiveness I feel when someone says you're quiet (you've an inner confidence that I'm so proud of). It's in the second before I hear the sound of your breath when I check on you in the night. It's the panic when I lose sight of you for a few seconds. It's woven into the trust I have to place in others when I hand you over to the school each day. It's in my most terrifying and scariest thoughts. It's in the giggles and in the tears. It's there when I'm asleep and when I'm awake, when my mind is on other things and when it's solely on you. It's out of my control now. It's in the silence, it's in the guilt, it's in the calm and it's in the storm. It's the happy and it's the sad, it's the hurt and the fear. It's what life is now.

Everyday, I stand on the edge looking down, knowing this life is as fragile as a whisper. And I fall for you over and over. You were the one that tore my heart wide open, that made me both stronger than I knew I could be but also more vulnerable. Love is all of this. It was and it always is. A trillion times over and over. But I don't say any of this to you. I will simply summarise with 'I love you'.



January 2020 Round Up!

Wow, a whole month of the new year has passed by in a blink. Hopefully we should soon be on our way to spring. I did notice some snowdrops in the garden after I dropped the boys at school and it certainly seems a little milder. I love spring, it seems like winter lasts such a long time. 

So here is my January 2020 Round Up; a little summary of just what we've been up to as a family including the products, tv, books, days out or food etc, that we have enjoyed.

What's New....

15 weeks pregnant! 
I'm now 15 weeks pregnant. Although I still have days of feeling really queasy I must say it is starting to ease somewhat. I'm just waiting for the surge of energy that's supposed to come with the second trimester! It's a strange time between the first and second scan as you start to feel a little more 'normal' yet quite often are still awaiting the first kicks which are so reassuring. I've had a few feelings that could have been kicks but I'm not 100% that they were. The boys now know that they have a new baby on the way. They are both pretty convinced it's a girl. I have no idea! 


pregnancy

What have we loved....

Motif Calendar
I love having a new calendar in January. I always vow to be a little more organised at the start of each year. This year we have a personalised calendar from Motif which features some of our favourite family photos from last year. You simply download the app to your Apple device and it will help you create a range of photo gifts including calendars, cards and photo gifts. It's so lovely to look at the images we loved from last year. It makes a great keepsake or gift for family members too. We will make sure we make a personalised calendar each year from now on. 


Real Good Ketchup
It's always good to find ways to reduce sugar and salt in the boys' diet and so when we found out about Real Good Ketchup which has 75% less sugar and 78% less salt than the market leader, I was keen for them to try it. They both enjoy ketchup and will opt to have it with many of their meals. It's made with all natural ingredients, contains no hidden nasties and is allergen-free and vegan friendly. One 15g serving contains 13mg of Lycopene and is a source of Vitamin C. My four year old didn't notice that the ketchup was different! 
ketchup


Where have we been?

Hanbury Hall, National Trust
We've actually had quite a quiet month as the boys settled back into school and I've been busy dealing with morning sickness. We did have a lovely day out to a National Trust Property with our friends. It was lovely for the boys to have a run round the fields to burn off some of that energy! 


hanbury hall

What have we been reading?

Gotta Get Theroux This: My Life and Strange Times in Television- Louis Theroux
I'm making my way through Louis Theroux's account of his life and experiences in television. I've not got very far in as I keep falling asleep but I'm enjoying it so far! Hopefully I can review it properly in time for the February Round up. 


Louis theroux

Mr Men Complete Collection- Roger Hargreaves
My eldest had the Mr Men books for Christmas and both boys are now slightly obsessed. We read them at bedtime and the boys both enjoying drawing pictures of them and watching the Mr Men TV show!

Are there any places, products, books, films or tv you have enjoyed this year? I'd love to hear more in the comments below! 

*Disclaimer: We were kindly gifted the Real Good Ketchup and Motif calendar in exchange for an honest review. I was impressed so they made the round up!

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2020!

*AD 

If you're looking for a special treat for your loved one this Valentine's Day or fancy dropping some hints to your other half, then look no further with my 2020 Valentine's Day gift guide! 

Popcorn Shed Gourmet Popcorn
The ultimate treat to share (or devour youself) this Valentine's Day. This award-winning gourmet popcorn will be sure to tantalise your tastebuds. It's made by hand using natural ingredients which are carefully sourced and is free from nasty preservatives or additives. It's suitable for vegetarians and is gluten-free too! Available in a range of different flavours including Pop 'N' Choc, Salted Caramel and Berry-licious to name just few. You'll be spoiled for choice! Find out more and explore the range of popcorn gifts at https://popcornshed.com/.
popcorn
Willow Tree Together Figurine
This stunning Willow Tree figurine available at Gift Giving All Wrapped Up perfectly captures the closeness and affection of a couple in love. It would make the perfect gift for Valentine's Day; a way to express how you feel about the other person without words. Each Willow Tree figurine has been painted by hand after being cast in resin from the artist's original carvings. The figurine includes a gift tag with the beautiful sentiment 'For those who have found their true partner in love and life'. You can find one here. 

willow tree

Lily O'Brien's Desserts Collection
I'm a huge fan of Lily O'Brien's chocolates. The luxury Irish chocolatier makes the most delicious, beautifully presented chocolates and the Desserts Collection certainly does not disappoint. Inspired by the world's best loved desert recipes, this selection includes Hazelnut Torte, Banoffee Pie, Passion Fruit Posset, Crème Brûlée, Raspberry Infusion and Key Limey Pie. They are available from all major retailers and at www.lilyobriens.co.uk. The only question is, are they too good to share? 
chocolates
Ted Baker Zacks Small Bifold Leather Wallet
This gorgeous soft leather wallet available at Mainline Menswear is as stylish as it is practical. It features four card slots on each side with slide space behind and a top compartment for notes. It it is made with beautifully soft, dark brown leather and the Ted Baker logo is embossed inside and in gold on the outside. It comes in a smart gift box too making this a very special gift to present to a loved one. Find yours here!

wallet

Mermaid Pink Gin 
For a beautifully refreshing pink gin, Mermaid Gin is sure to be a hit. It is infused with succulent strawberry flavours using strawberries from the Isle of White's Arreton Valley. It has a subtle, yet vibrant flavour and is less sweet than traditional pink gins. The bottle is stylish and unique making this a wonderful gift for Valentine's Day. You can find out more here. 
Love Is Valentine's Day Cards
The range of Love Is Valentine's Day cards available from Danilo are so sweet. Featuring a black and white image with red hearts and a cute caption, it's the perfect way to express how you feel about your better half! Explore the range of cards from Danilo here.



GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand
She will love this GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand. Not only does it create natural looking curls and deep hair waves, but due to GHD's tri-zone technology, it also promotes healthier looking curls which stay locked in for a long time! 
ghd wand


*I was kindly gifted the first six items in this feature in exchange for an honest review. It also includes a paid link. 
Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Redecorate Your child's Room In Style

When we moved into our home four years ago, bizarrely each room had been previously painted a dusky pink colour. We were keen to quickly redecorate, in particular in my little boy's room so that he could quickly become settled in his new bedroom. Because I was eight months pregnant at the time with my second little boy, we didn't have a great deal of time and so we opted for a blue paint along with dinosaur stickers. We painted the nursery a neutral white colour. Now that they are both older we are keen to redecorate in a style that suits their individual personalities. 


nursery
Image credit Pinterest

Children's Bedroom Wallpaper
One option that we had not considered previously but which would give us endless options would be to use wallpaper. There is an array of different designs and styles to choose from that can cater to every individual taste. By searching for online wallpaper for children on Google, it became clear that we were not going to be short on ideas and inspiration for our little boys' bedrooms!

Children spend lots of time in their bedrooms. It is often the place where they will go to play, where they hang out with their friends and where they unwind. Their bedrooms are a place where they can foster creativity and imagination as well as being a place they can settle and unwind after school. Children often take pride in their own little corner of the house, where it contains their favourite possessions, even if they don't keep it quite as tidy as you would like! Therefore, creating a little haven for your child is imperative. 

Wallpaper has come on a long way since I was a child. Due to developments in printing and in the creation of new materials, it is not only available in a variety of styles but is also easier to install and is both sturdier and more durable than it was in my childhood. 

There are so many styles to choose from, many with intricate designs and prints that quite simply would be impossible to recreate by hand. Just take a look at the designs below found at Wallpaper from the 70s.

For superhero fans, this wallpaper will be right up their street. Featuring many of the Marvel favourites which have made a massive comeback in recent years, this wallpaper will be the envy of their friends!


Marvel wallpaper

I also really love these two space-themed wallpapers. My little boys are fascinated by space and would love this wallpaper. They could imagine they were falling asleep amongst the stars! It will certainly help them have a great night's sleep.


star wallpaper

space wallpaper

With a new baby on the way, there are also endless options for us to redecorate the nursery with. Each one helping to develop and captivate our new baby's imagination. I love the Colette wallpaper with a beautiful and simple cloud design. 


cloud wallpaper

I simply had no idea there is so many different styles and designs available to choose from which will enable us to provide our children with bedrooms as unique as they are.

Have you used wallpaper in your home? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!