M&S Summer Beauty Box – Is it worth the money?

In between rugby training for the 4 year old and strategic buggy-bound nap times for the 11 month old, I dodged the rain on Saturday and headed into Marks and Spencer for a little look around. I haven’t been into retail stores for an age. To be honest, those days of mooching around the shops at a leisurely pace are but whimsical fancy these days – I’m either at work or with the kidlets and it’s probably good for my bank balance for it to be that way.

There’s something about M&S that is warm and reassuring – the smell of fresh coffee from the cafe, the warm smiles from the staff (who by the way are the best of the best when you have kids in tow) and just that general sense of good quality. Clearly though, as a mum, the first priority is to go to the kids section. The standard mummy internal narrative of ‘how can I possibly spend my hard earned cash on myself before the kids’ took precedence as I found myself selecting matching lobster t-shirts (cute as) along with multi packs of 12-18 month vests that will constantly be in the washer due to the littlest ones propensity for a rather explosive digestive system.

As I went to pay for these essential purchases slightly sad that my youngest will shortly no longer be categorized in the 0-12 month baby section (sob), the cheery lady on the checkout admired the sleeping not-such-a-little-baby-baby and pointed out the M&S Summer Beauty Box offer. I’m not really one for impulse checkout purchases and have always thought of these boxes as being full of sample sized stuff that I’m never going to use.

M&S Beauty Box

Well slap me with some ginseng moisturizer and call me atlantic kelp converted. There is a minimum spend of £40 (fairly easily done if you have a penchant for matching lobster tshirts like me) but for £15 you get £135.00 worth of products. And they are not sample sizes. There’s a full size perfume, nail polish and lipstick in there for a start. I found some great hair products that are actually really nice (is it just me but I never know where to start with hair products) and a bunch of really nice treats, all of which I’ll definitely use.

And so as I was pondering over these delights, the sales assistant delivered the killer line. “You should make sure you treat yourself, not just the children’. Yes you well trained M&S lovely person, yes I should. And as I handed over my card to be swiped, I thought why not get a little treat for myself. I work bloomin’ hard in the office and am dedicated to the cause of nose wiping during my ‘non-working’ time. Whats a little Deep Sleep Pillow Spray between friends.

And was it worth the £15.00? Hell yes it was. I would totally recommend that if you have a few things to get from M&S, you treat yourself too – for £15 it’s an absolute steal!

If my renewed love for M&S means I’m hurtling towards middle age then I’m embracing it. And for the record,  I also have a National Trust membership to engender my aspiring-working-class-on-the-edge-of-forty status.

You can check out the beauty box here and see what’s inside for yourself.

*This post was not sponsored or gifted in any way, I just surprised myself as to how much I loved the box and wanted to share the love!

Mummy Sleep Deprivation – Top 3 Survival Tips

Wake up coffee

As a mum of a 4 year old and 10 month old, the sleep deprivation struggle has at times been real. Those early days of motherhood when you’re feeding your little one every 2 hours is really bloody hard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But, those 2 hourly sessions do quickly become 3 hours (I promise!) and then you might actually get a 4 hour stretch in the middle of the night and immediately feel like a new women who can take on the world!

I was certainly fuelled by caffeine and sugar during those early days with my two but I do think the older they get, the more complicated the sleep dynamic can occasionally become. Firstly, they lull you into a false sense of security. When your little one first arrives, one of the main topics of conversation is ‘oooo, how’s the sleep thing going?’. After a few months of feeling like the walking dead, you do finally get over the line of regular 6-12 hour sleep. And then ‘sleep regression’ kicks in. You know it’s an actual thing when it has a relatable title. But that too shall pass (thanks to controlled crying in my case – I know, how controversial am I) and as you start to state your child’s age in years not months, you confidently feel that those sleep deprived days are behind you and give yourself a self congratulatory pat on the back for your excellent parenting.

And then they start waking up in the night again. A lot. And that false sense of security they lulled you into is quickly replaced by the fear that your child has a nocturnal alarm button that is pressed as soon as your eyes start to flicker to a close. I’ve got to be honest, we’ve only had small episodes of this for which we are very grateful but for many, a childs nightly sleep (or non-sleep) tendencies can disrupt lift for several years. Urgh, I need more coffee just thinking about it. In my experience, here’s what works for us – I am in no way trained in sleep therapy and every child is different. Also, this shizzle could all fall apart for us at any given moment and I’m constantly walking on the same tightrope as you;

  1. Children wake up for a reason

Yes, this is true. At least at first. Children genuinely do at times have feelings of anxiety and worry that they can’t necessarily articulate so their behaviour reflects these feelings in different ways. But kids are resilient. Far more resilient than adults. And the original emotional issue that was originally causing them to wake could well have been forgotten 2 weeks into calling you 7 times a night to ‘find’ Nanny the Rabbit. They probably just quite like the 2 am chit chat now. I do think that as adults we over analyze lots of stuff. Children (obviously depending on any complexity in their life) don’t have the same frame of references (or baggage) that we do so can move on much more quickly.

2. Routines are too restrictive

Well, depending on how you apply the routine in my view. I work four days a week and my children attend a mixture of nursery and grandparents houses. Their days are punctuated by different people taking care of them who all have slightly different ways of doing things. But they both start and end the day with the same routine. I believe it gives them some kind of sense of security when one day they’re at rolling around in shaving foam at nursery (anyone else loathe messy play??) and the next they’re sat in a grandparents house having a contraband sweet treat and quiet cuddle. But we always eat breakfast together and leave after Ben & Holly has finished (yes we have the TV on, I’m not supermum you know!) and they always have bath, story, milk and bed at night. That said when times are tough (and the chance of getting your child to contemplate sleep is slim) breaking the routine for a night can be like pressing the re-set button. It’s use is multi-purpose in my view.

3. You’re a parent, sleep deprivation goes with the territory

Well, yes and no on this one. I do think that we’re the only ones who can usually solve the problem as we do know our children best but there is a caveat to this that comes later. Perhaps a sleepover at Grandmas could break the cycle – although you won’t get any sleep whilst they’re away as you’ll be too guilt ridden that your children will have separation anxiety (they won’t, remember the contraband sweet treats I mentioned earlier) or that Grandma will never have them over again as they’ve had such an appalling night. But just remember, ‘Grandma’ was ‘mummy’ back in the day and the familiar zombie feeling may gain you some renewed empathy.

When I mentioned earlier that we’re the only ones that can solve the problem, the caveat was that we don’t actually need to do it all on our own. There’s a reason why people such as sleep consultants exist. You are not alone sleep deprived manic state, we’ve all been there at some point. There’s no silver bullet that will solve every possible child sleep issue but just try not to lose your mind, ask for help you need it and never EVER let the Nespresso supply run too low. x

What got you through the sleep deprivation stage and would you do anything differently?

Learning to ride a bike – Lessons we can learn from our children

So we’ve been suffering from major parental guilt since the smallest person arrived that we haven’t spent enough time with our 4 year old and his bike. We bought him a pedal bike for his 3rd birthday which, in typical frugal parenting fashion, was both second hand and slightly too big for him.

He’d been burning around on a balance bike up until then, and in fact, until just the other weekend. The husband was determined that no stabilizers would be required and he would transition straight from his balance bike to a regular bike. With one thing and another though, we’d just not got out with him on his big boy bike and as he’s recently turned 4 years old, decided we needed to give him some focused time to master cycling.

So one crisp and cold Saturday afternoon, we got Ellis’ bike out and as the other half and I were wrestling the smallest into an all-in-one snowsuit (what is the knack in getting those things on?), I could hear Ellis getting onto his bike. And as I turned around. There he was. Riding the bike around the garden. Like he’d been on it for years.

We really had geared ourselves up for a stressful afternoon of pushy parenting perseverance from us inevitably leading to hot tantrum of tears from the 4 year old. How wrong was I.

It got me thinking about how often we build a situation up to be more than it has to be. How we might rehearse the scenario in our own head, creating outcomes that could be totally removed from reality. Sometimes we will put things off until ‘we’re ready’ or just avoid them all together as the uncertainty of the outcome puts us off even attempting to make a start.

My eldest boy taught be a valuable lesson that day – sometimes you just need to get on the bike and ride.


My top 5 tips for surviving the first few months of Motherhood

autumn walk

So here we are, 4.5 months post-partum and just about surviving parenting life with the help of my top 5 essentials to make it seem like you’re nailing motherhood when in fact you would actually bite off your own little finger in exchange for just one full nights sleep. I am aware that most posts of this title would provide you with nuggets of wisdom for nurturing your small people and recommendations for the must-have baby products on the market. I’m making no bones about it, this post is much more about sanity and survival. It’s also about the person who needs to keep their shit together for your family to get through this – you!

  1. Bobbi Brown Corrector

Now I’m 4 months in and the smallest one is still not sleeping through the night. Granted, it’s just one feed that takes all of ten minutes but then I need to get back to sleep afterwards. And that can take a while. Therefore, anything that will make me look slightly more awake and less like I’ve been punched straight between the eyes due to my insane dark circles is a winner in my book. The Bobbi Brown corrector uses a pink or peach based formula to neutralise undereye circles. It also doesn’t cake up into those fine lines that have suddenly appeared recently too.

2. Instagram Stories

When I had my firstborn son 4 years ago, Instagram wasn’t quite the ‘big thing’ it is now. During the midnight hours I had only my Facebook feed which was mainly full of my actual friends rather than the sponsored posts and status updates from people I’ve never met (friends of friends twice removed or something) that endlessly pop up now. The downside of this was that no one really updated their status at 4am or, most inconsiderately, more than once a day. Can you even imagine such a thing. Conversely ‘Insta-Mums’ have recently (and in my view unnecessarily) gained a bad rap for selling out and becoming too commercial on the Instagram platform but I can tell you, they provided that 4am lifeline I was looking for second time around. As well as beautiful imagery that can be silently scrolled through during the early hours, the creation of Instastories takes away any mum guilt for staring at your phone for all of 15 seconds whilst chaos ensues around you. You can get a quick fix without having to carve out 15 minutes to watch a complete Youtube video, as if you had that amount of spare time, it would be spent catching up on the aforementioned lack of sleep. My favourites who happened to have babies at the same time as me and who provided much hilarity on their lactating escapades are @susiejverrill and @mother_pukka

3. Coffee

Now, whilst pregnant I abstained whole heartedly from caffeine. I’ll be honest and say that although I appreciated the health benefits of removing this much maligned substance from my daily routine, I tend to develop a ridiculous intolerance to caffeine whilst pregnant so it really was a no brainer. And, like many of us, I was steadfastly on the bandwagon of continuing to abstain when baby arrived having gone through the headache/irritable/tired withdrawal week and realising how much I was actually consuming. I’d say my resolve last approximately 48 hours post birth and my consumption has continued to see new heights ever since. I am of course entirely blaming the 4am feed…….have I already mentioned that? I’ve had a Bosch Tassimo machine for the last few years which has been great for a super convenient one-handed quick fix but am shortly to cross to the other side and join the Nespresso club very soon. Whist I’ve loved the Tassimo, the range of coffee options is in my view quite limited and seems to be increasing in price so I can’t wait to see how my new Nespresso machine satisfies my caffeine addiction. Santa will be bringing me my new toy but I’m hoping for something like the Krups Nespresso U Machine or the CitiZ Nespresso Magimix. There are obviously much more pricey versions on the market but as I’m not a qualified barista, these budget friendly options suit me just fine.

4. Dry Shampoo

If like me you have hair of a reasonable length, the whole palaver of not necessarily washing but in fact drying your locks is a time luxury you can no longer afford. Attempting to not look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards will encourage you to actually leave the house in your kiddy stained attire to get some much needed fresh air and human interaction, saving your sleep deprived sanity. My experience of dry shampoo in the past has not been entirely splendid as many appear to leave a strange white residue on your hair which may be mistaken for a manic episode with the baby powder. Colab Dry Shampoo is a game changer and does exactly what it says on the tin without making your hair look like a slightly bonkers dandruff infested birds nest.

5. Walking

It’s a money-can’t-buy recommendation this one as it’s entirely free. If you’re currently wrestling with motherhood first time around, well done you if you even managed to get dressed today. And just to confirm, feeling like you’ve been run over by a bus is completely normal. But even if you’re a second, third or fourth time mummy, I really do think that getting out of the house with the pram for walk in the fresh air is soothing for the soul. I’ve always found that the days cooped up in the house are much more testing than those that are sprinkled with a little bit of outdoor time. You don’t have to take yourself off to the rolling countryside if it’s not on your doorstep, just pound the streets and let the movement make you feel (if only slightly) more alive once again. We do have a National Trust membership (signalling the ultimate advent of middle age?) which I would totally recommend but just a 10 minute power walk around the block is all that’s sometimes required for some much needed head space.

What are your best tips for the first few months of motherhood? Did you have a bunch of favourite things that helped you get through the day? I’d love to hear all about them x

autumn walk


C-Section – My Positive Birth Experience

After something of a blog hiatus, what better way to make a return than to introduce the newest member of our family who has been something of a distraction over recent months. Thomas Walter Peters was born on 30th June 2017 by c-section. This pregnancy had been pretty uneventful compared to my first which was somewhat complicated by preeclampsia and a breach baby. Having had a 2 week stay before the birth last time, it was my mission to try and stay out of hospital for as long as absolutely possible this time around……..because that’s really within my control, right?!

c-section experience

Due to the issues we had with my eldest, growth scans had been scheduled by my Consultant pretty early on and by 34 weeks it was clear that Thomas had stopped growing. The doctors couldn’t really explain why but with no symptoms of preeclampsia like last time (an asprin a day really did keep the doctor away, for the most part) it just seemed that my placenta was starting to stop functioning. I had scans every other day to check it was still working and told to monitor the babys movements closely as we were at a higher risk of stillbirth (no pressure then!) so I was very much relieved when one Wednesday morning I was told that our baby would be delivered on the Friday of the same week. As baby was already looking to be on the small side at around 5lbs (my eldest was 5lb 15oz), off I trotted for the first of two steroid injections. For anyone who may have to have these, there really is nothing to fear (apart from the slight indignity of revealing your granny pants for the needle in the posterior) but they do really smart in a toe curdling way!

It was all systems go as I was back at the hospital on the Thursday for more blood tests and another not-so-lovely steroid injection but I had managed to stay out of hospital until the delivery date this time, hurrah!. As I said a teary goodbye to my big boy I realised it was that last time he would have Mummy all to himself and next time he saw me I certainly would not be up to any rough and tumble play time. I also had that completely irrational ‘What if something goes wrong’ moment which I’m sure everyone has.

But of we trotted to hospital where we ‘checked in’ and were advised that we were the first on the list due to being a priority case. The Paediatrician would be in the theatre to check baby over as soon as he arrived and a neonatal bed was ready just in case it would be required. My biggest fear about the whole situation was baby being taken away from me and the only way I could calm myself was to insist that my husband stayed with the baby if he/she needed to be whisked away.

After waiting outside theatre and meeting the surgeon, I trotted through to the theatre and perched on the operating table whilst attempts were made to insert the cannula into my hand. Definitely the worst part of the whole process believe it or not, but 4 attempts (and 2 bruised wrists later) we had success. Temporarily. From my lofty view on the table I could see the theatre assistants covering the instrument trays. An emergency case was coming in so down I hopped ready to wait a little longer for our turn. As great as the NHS is, at that moment the ridiculousness of having one theatre available for c-sections in a reasonably large city was moderately irritating. But, after the emergency case was successfully dealt with, it was our turn once more.

For anyone worried about how the spinal feels, the only sensation is the small scratch of the local anaesthetic being administered. I have no idea how big the spinal needle is (and after 2 c-sections have no desire to know) but can happily confirm I couldn’t feel a thing either time – only the sensation of my legs becoming soothingly warm and heavy as I was spun around and positioned on the table. The glamourous process of inserting a catheter (there’s no dignity when it comes to having babies) was swift and discreet before the anaesthetist sprayed a cold spray down my side to check what sensation I had.

It’s worth noting that you do have some sensation of something occurring down there behind the screen but absolutely no pain. My best advice at this point is to remember treat the anaesthetist as your best friend – tell them everything about how you’re feeling and they will have something in their bag of tricks to see you through the process without being uncomfortable at all.

Now it would appear that they prefer to tell you that they have started the operation quite some time after they actually have started, usually just as you begin to feel someone starting to push on the top of your abdomen, just below your chest. With my first, he was well and truly wedged up in my ribs the wrong way around so it felt like the surgeon was pretty much wrestling him out. This time, pressure was definitely felt but not quite so intensely.

Oh, I must also mention that you may start to shake/tremble. Alot. Apparently,a side effect of the medication and I suspect, of the nervous reality of actually being operated on whilst awake! I actually had a further episode of the tremors at home about 3 days later which was rather odd but I kept calm and after a few minutes the crazy shaking stopped.

These rather odd sensations during the procedure really don’t last long though as within about 7 minutes of the surgeon starting (a little longer if you’ve had a c-section before) your little bundle of joy will be lifted over the screen for you to see in all their birthday suited glory before being whisked to the side of the room for some initial checks. Happily, Thomas weighed in at a mighty 5lbs 11oz and in good health so was able to stay with us throughout.

c-section experience

My husband stayed by his side whilst the surgeon put me back together. That part unfortunately does take a little longer than the aforementioned 7 minutes but in the giddy realisation that an actual human has emerged from your tummy, you really don’t notice. And, whilst everyone’s different, I certainly never have felt cheated out of giving birth ‘naturally’ nor has it made me love my children any less. And for anyone who tells you you’re ‘too posh to push’ or taking an easy option, let me tell you, the recovery is no walk in the park. You’ve just had major surgery after all, but we’ll cover that off another time.

We were really fortunate once again to have the support of a great surgical team and midwife who made the process of an elective c-section an entirely positive one for us. As we’d had some minor complications both times during pregnancy, the whole situation could have been entirely overwhelming had it not been for the relaxed, friendly and wholehearted professionalism of the team who put our minds completely at rest.

I’ll be honest though, whilst my experience of an elective c-section is entirely positive both times, the recovery really sucks. But I’ll talk about that in my next post. Right now, I just want to reflect on my positive birth experience which resulted in the arrival of my beautiful gorgeous son. We truly are blessed with two lovely boys x

c-section experience

Photo Credits: Valanda Photography

The Lincoln Mums Expo 2017 – Entertainment and Enlightenment

As the Mr had decided to take himself off to the exotic holiday resort of Butlins, Skegness (!) for a boys night out on Friday night, he was clearly going to be in no fit state to help entertain an energetic 3 year old on Saturday morning. So I was glad to hear that the Lincoln Mums Expo could be the answer to my problems. I had arranged to attend with a group of friends and their children but an outbreak of scarlet fever and chicken pox meant they were very much in quarantine.

So myself, bump and the small person headed off to the Bishop Grosseteste University campus to take a look at what fun was to be had. And we weren’t disappointed. First stop was a glitter tattoo from the lovely Leanne at Colour Me Happy. Beautifully applied but I do feel duty bound to mention that the tattoos are waterproof only because the little Mr still has his perfectly in place more than 24 hours later. He does have a bath every night. You know, just in case anyone was wondering.

Next step was the excellent play area provided by Bounce Wright Castles. As you can see from the picture, a push along bike was immediately commandeered and only reluctantly surrendered when the lure of the bouncy castle was just too much. The equipment provided was to such a great standard and the range available would be great if you were to hire a church hall style venue and needed to fill it with lots of soft play fun.

Whilst it would have been lovely to have attended one of the talks that was on offer (particularly the brilliant Lisa from Opti-Mum) the clock was ticking with a increasingly over-tired 3 year old in tow. So we opted to have a quick scoot around the marketplace where lots of stands displaying local children’s activity and product providers were located.

We said ‘Hi’ to Annual, our new favourite uber-cool children’s lifestyle store in Lincoln. An eclectic selection of Instagram-able stock with a quirky twist – be prepared not only to have the urge to buy everything on offer but to just hang out in the carefully curated surroundings.

We also had a really interesting chat with Jo from Emotionally Aware Feeding. I’m really interested to try a different approach to weaning with the next baby but also would like to  encourage the 3 year old to widen his food repertoire a little. Obviously this conversation was occurring whilst he was wolfing down a packet of sugar laden Love Heart sweeties. Look, I was in full bribery territory by that point as I was determined to get around all the stands!

There were so many great businesses there that this blog post would be insanely long if I mentioned them all. But what really stood out to me was the passion from each and every one of the business founders exhibiting, all of whom were super lovely and able to each offer something unique and personal.

The event was really well organised and laid out and I would really recommend attending if Lincoln Mums are kind enough to put on another event in the future. Don’t be shy if you’re pregnant or attending on your own – I made it around with a small person and a growing bump and emerged not only unscathed but positively enlightened x

My Review of joinflex.tv : Social Home Workouts for Mums

Flex social fitness for mums

Although my burgeoning pregnant belly precludes me from taking part in my usual HIIT style classes and weights based training, I’m keen to continue to exercise during this pregnancy and I’ve been taking a look at home workouts that are available. I’m less concerned about the old weight gain/body shape change as I’m resigned to the fact that I will become the size of a small detached house.

But I do want to keep a little more in touch with my body and do whatever I can to stave off the high blood pressure that was like a monkey on my back when I was ‘with child’ first time around.

I’m still going down to my local gym when I can and I’m also seeing an absolutely fantastic specialist Sports Coach (who I’ll tell you about another time). However, there are times when I fancy trying something a little bit different but either;

  1. Can’t face dragging myself down to the gym
  2. Can’t actually get down to the gym due to having a small person asleep upstairs
  3. Can’t quite muster up the motivation to peel myself off the sofa

I came across www.joinflex.tv via twitter @joinflextv. It’s an online platform where fitness instructors can upload their classes and you can participate on the social home workouts live in the privacy of your own living room.

Flex home Workouts

There’s a whole bunch of different classes you can have a go at including Cardio, Dance, HIIT, Pilates, Yoga. There’s even a specialist pre/post-natal section which has proved to be off particular interest. The signup process is extremely straightforward and takes no more than 2 minutes to enter your details and class preferences. Your personalised calendar is then automatically populated with classes that will suit your interests with the live times.

At first, I wasn’t too sure about the live classes – surely pre-recorded options i.e. youtube would make it much more convenient? But the uniqueness of the site is the focus on accountability – according to Flex, you’re 86% more likely to achieve health and fitness goals by involving someone for support and accountability. If you don’t check into a class, expect to receive a friendly little nudge from Flex prompting you to take action. There’s a link to Facebook so you can involve your network and there’s also a live chat functionality when the class is running – but I’m not too sure how well that bit really works when you’re a contorted sweaty mess, trying to keep up with your pilates move/focus on your breathing/work that pelvic floor but it’s a nice option to have.

I do think platforms like Flex and home workouts are fantastic for those who practically cannot get out of the house or arrange childcare to participate in a physical class. It’s also a fantastic resource for those who have never stepped foot in a gym before and think that everyone will look like those leotard clad dancers from the Eric Prydz Call On Me video. Believe me, they really don’t.

Also, the creators of the site seem to really embrace the concept of creating community. We all know that as fantastic as motherhood is, it can be a teeny bit isolating at times when you simply can’t nip out and about at the drop of a hat. So, having tried a couple of initial classes, I’m going to continue with the online exercise scene, keep a little bit in touch with my rollercoaster pregnant body and see who else I may meet along the way x

You can find out more about Flex here https://www.joinflex.tv/ There’s a free 30 day trial option and then it’s £9.99/month.


16 Weeks Pregnant – Riding Over the Bumps in the Road

Having been to see my midwife today for my 16 week check (well, 16 weeks 5 days to be exact) I must say the time is flying by.

The first 12 weeks were slow mainly due to the usual pregnancy symptoms – nausea, exhaustion and a general feeling of yuck. After the magic 12 week mark passed (and along with a good dose of iron supplements) normal service has almost resumed.

I say almost as I can’t imagine any pregnancy continues without some level of random symptoms as your body adjust to this invasion by what is now a 5inch growing machine. One of the slightly amusing ones is the dreams. Ah, the dreams. Psychedelic, random and more often then not slightly hilarious. One of the lesser amusing pregnancy side effects is that when I’m not dreaming away, I’m awake. Really awake. A lot. I suffered with pregnancy insomnia during my 1st pregnancy except that this time when I do manage to drop off, the familiar call of ‘Mummy, I need a wee wee’ rouses me from my dreams of candy floss caves……….someone tell me the hidden dream meaning in that one.

Another frustrating aspect is the mood swings. Not completely psychotic pregnant mad woman. Just a moderate feeling of flatness when anything moderately rubbish occurs. 80% of the time, completely usual glass half full kind of girl. 20% of the time, what would normally be a bump in the road becomes totally insurmountable. And then I have a ‘good nights sleep’ (ha, see aforementioned) and everything is once again ok.

What is also more than ok is that I heard the heartbeat today for the first time. It was a bit like listening to galloping horses I must admit and even though I’ve done this before, I find it really hard to comprehend that we are blessed to  have an actual little person tucked away in there. Just the focusing on that thought certainly helps to smooth the bumps in the road. That and a pack of Cadburys Cream Eggs x

Re-decorating – Boys Bedroom Ideas

Now our big boy is the grand old age of 3.5 years, and growing constantly it would seem, we’ve decided that now is the time to think about re-decorating his bedroom. I’m not going to lie, this decision has also been driven by the influx of additional toys since Christmas (cue a requirement for clever storage ideas) and the anticipated arrival in the summer of baby number 2 who will be commandeering the 3.5 year olds toddler cot bed.

Whilst I really like the idea of a mid rise sleeper such as this one, the big boy is still in fact a little bit too small so rather handily his cousins old bed frame from Next will see him through a little longer until we upgrade him to one like this from furniture123.

Mid Rise sleeper

Whilst one remains rather fickle regarding his pure love for Paw Patrol or Ben & Holly, I’m thinking a flexible decorating scheme could be advisable as something he can grow into and I can adapt without spending another fortune. I really like the idea of these stripes on a feature wall incorporating the navy blue without a solid block of colour which may close the room in a little. Also liking the idea of a splash of red.

As it would appear that the current obsession for this week is E.T (it is a classic I have to say!) I’m thinking that incorporating some stars into the space could create a little more interest without having too much of a fixed ‘theme’. I’m currently loving these curtains from John Lewis and the fact that the stars glow in the dark will surely be a winner with the judging panel.

I’m currently on the hunt for some space inspired wall stickers to ensure the room is in keeping with a 3.5 year olds imagination as I’m feeling that it could be a little too grown up for him. It must be a natural reaction to try and keep gawdy cartoon characters out of the way which is entirely impossible with a small person.

However, I have ordered this wardrobe and matching set of drawers from M&S which rather handily is currently in the sale.

And after all this, I’m still yet to solve the problem of toy storage which was the main catalyst for the re-decorating project. It seems there are a plethora of options available so that shall be my next step – toy storage, more research required! x

11 Weeks Pregnant – What’s Been Happening

So we’ve sped along from a 6 weeks pregnant blog post to an 11 week update. You may be wondering what’s been happening in between?

Well, it turns out that having a 3 year old in tow, working almost full time and preparing for Christmas doesn’t half create a tremendous distraction from the early pregnancy aches and pains that seemed to last forever during my first pregnancy.

The nausea has been something of a constant companion, coming and going over the last 6 weeks. I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security as its abated only to come back with an absolute vengeance. The initial belly bloat has subsided only to be replaced with that ‘I ate too many mince pies’ layer of Christmas blubber. Don’t think I can blame the pregnancy for that, I really have eaten too many mince pies!

Sharp tummy muscle pains have also been a favourite and every time a feel a sneeze coming on I’m never sure how long I’ll be clutching my tummy for. The best symptom though has to be the psychedelic dreams, which go some way to making up for the pregnancy insomnia. I never knew my imagination could be quite so wild and I can’t quite remember how long they lasted for in my 1st pregnancy but they generally cause me to wake with a chuckle.

I have felt pretty tired I guess but a more accurate description could be just a little bit ‘meh’. I usually love to fill every second of my time and am pretty productive on an evening but of late it comes to 8.30-9.00pm and I am completely done in. We have been extra busy on the run up to Christmas due to meals with friends, full days out and Father Christmas Fun Runs (don’t ask) but I’ve still felt much less motivated than I usually am. I had my first blood count taken the week before Christmas and had a call from the Doctor yesterday to confirm I’m anaemic. Already. Isn’t it a bit early for all that? I had a few health issues with my 1st pregnancy (preeclampsia and all that jazz) but that wasn’t until much later.

I was initially pretty disappointed to be told there would be a prescription waiting to be picked up but, on reflection, realise that it does answer the question as to why I haven’t been feeling myself.

We’ve got our 12 week scan next week which I can’t wait for. Although we had a 6 week scan and saw the heartbeat pumping away, I’m keen to ensure that everything has developed properly and we’re on the right track. I’ll let you know how we get on! x