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Newborn Baby Wishlist

Most of the 'big ticket' items for my little Mr have now arrived, including his pram, crib and car seat, so I've started thinking about some of the little extras I want to get him. I've always enjoyed sharing wishlist posts, so I thought I'd put one together featuring some newborn baby items I've got my eye on!

Musical Toy Crumble Bear - Mamas and Papas
Crumble bear plays a lullaby when you gently pull his suitcase. What's not to love about that? I loved teddies when I was younger and still do, so I imagine my little one will end up with plenty of cuddly friends in his nursery.

Sophie la Girafe Starter Set - Lucy and Belle
I've heard so many good things about this baby skincare brand, bought to you by the makers of the Sophie la Girafe teething toy! It was launched last year (I believe) and features eco-certified, vegan natural and organic ingredients. I definitely want to make sure I'm using gentle and kind products that haven't been tested on animals, so this starter set really appeals to me.

Millie & Borris Bear - Mamas and Papas
You can never have too many teddies and I just love this Millie & Borris Bear! His little bow tie is adorable and he looks so, so soft.

Little Star Gro Swaddle - Gro
Gro is another brand that I've heard really good things about. Their swaddle blankets are designed to help young babies feel warm and secure, mimicking how they felt in their mummy's tummy. They have a specially designed shape, allowing for easy swaddling and don't use any poppers or ties, so you don't have to worry about it being over-tight. I love the Little Star Gro Swaddle and think it'll look really cute with the little Mr's cloud print crib sheets.

Milestone Baby Cards - Amazon
I've seen so many people using these Milestone Baby Cards when taking pictures of their babies and think they're such a good idea! They come in a number of different designs but these are my favourite. I definitely want to pick some up so I can look back at photos of him and know exactly how old he was at the time.

Gro-Egg & Owl Shell - Gro
I couldn't resist featuring this Gro-Egg & Owl Shell (sold separately). It's a thermometer that also doubles up as a night light. As well as telling you the temperature of the room, the thermometer also adjusts in colour, so you can tell if its too low, high or just right at a glance. The Owl Shell can be placed over the top to make it look that little bit cuter. Other animal designs are available too. I just love them!

Bandana Dribble Bib Pack - M&S
Last but not least are these adorable bandana dribble bibs from M&S. They've very reasonably priced (you get 3 for £6). Some places seem to charge a fortune for bandana bibs so I definitely think I'll be picking up a pack of these and maybe another one of their designs. I've been told you can never have too many bibs!

So there we have my newborn baby wishlist. Are you currently shopping for a newborn? Feel free to leave your recommendations for products and essentials below!

30 weeks pregnancy update

Yesterday I hit the big 3-0 – that’s right 30 weeks pregnant, which means there’s only 10 weeks until my due date! As the little Mr's arrival is getting closer and closer, I thought I'd share a little (or should I say rather big) update.

My week - I’ve spent the week working, catching up with friends and doing baby shopping. Thank goodness for the Internet, as I’m not sure how long I’d last traipsing round town for everything! The pram car seat and mini crib arrived, which was really exciting! I ended up going for the Silver Cross Surf in black and the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat. I also decided to buy the Mothercare Hyde Crib rather than a Moses basket, as I liked the look of it better. Everything’s currently boxed in what will be the nursery but I’m hoping to have a little peek at it later.

I've also got a bouncer coming from Mamas and Papas next week, as I was lucky enough to win a £50 voucher! I seem to be doing pretty well with baby competitions - I also recently won a Mam breast pump and bottle set too!

The little Mr has been kicking away and I’m starting to get a better idea of his routine. He also pushes out bigger body parts when he’s trying to get comfy and makes my tummy jump all over the place. I’ve noticed that he’s quite active when I’ve eaten or when I’m online shopping (for him). I wonder if it’s something to do with all the feel-good hormones that are produced when I’m doing these things? Who knows! Still, it’s pretty funny.

Symptoms - I’m starting to get quite tired and I’m definitely a lot slower in doing things. Bending over to pick things up is a real struggle and don’t even get me started on trying to paint my toenails! I’ve also found getting up off the sofa and rolling over in the night a little more troublesome but that’s to be expected. I’ve only had one case of my ankles swelling so far and I’ve not really had any heartburn. I almost fee a little guilty, as I know heartburn is something a lot of pregnant women suffer with – especially in the third trimester! I’m trying to keep everything moving by going on dog walks and this is something I hope to do right until the very end. It’s good to get some fresh air!  

Weight gain - I still feel really well in myself, albeit pretty huge. I noticed that my face looks a lot fuller now and I already had a moon face so that’s rather funny. I’ve also noticed that I’ve put a little extra weight on my hips – but I can’t say I’m too bothered. I know that I’ll be a lot more active once the little Mr has arrived and although I’m not going to get obsessed over losing all the baby weight quickly (no fad diets thank you very much), getting fitter is something I want to do anyway.

Stretch marks -  I’ve still not got any stretch marks on my stomach (hurrah!) however there are plenty on my hips and the tops of my legs to make up for it. Again, this is not something that bothers me greatly. It’s all part of the experience and I know they’ll fade eventually. I’ve been wearing the Secret Saviours bump band from the Anti Stretch Mark pack every couple of days to provide extra support. I’m planning on doing a little review next week. So keep an eye out for it!

Cravings -  I don’t know if I’ve had any proper cravings as such, however I’ve definitely been enjoying all sorts of foods from risotto to cheesecake! My mum’s pregnancy craving was ice cubes and I can totally understand why! I’ve been getting so, so warm and there’s nothing quite like chomping on an ice cube to cool you down.

Appointments -  I’m off to see my midwife next Friday, when I’ll be almost 31 weeks. Looking forward to hearing the little one’s heartbeat again. I’ve also got a growth scan at the beginning of next month as I have hypothyroidism and they want to check on his size. I did have my bump measured at my last appointment and everything was as it should be so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about! I'm so excited to see him again, especially as it’ll probably be the last time before I meet him properly!

Plans for next week - Next week I plan to print off a checklist so I can keep track of all the baby items I’ve purchased and what I still need to buy. I’m also thinking of picking up some of the things I’ll need for the hospital when I go to Nottingham with Sophia (who is also pregnant) on Friday. I’m sure I’ll end up picking up a few more baby bits too, because she’ll definitely be an enabler!

So I think that’s about it! I’m not quite sure how often I’ll be sharing updates – just when I feel like it but I have a few more baby posts planned for the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back soon. 


The Pawsome & the Purrfect

I'm pretty sure Jazz has learnt what the word 'Pawsomebox' means, as every time I mention it, he gets super excited! July's Hello Summer box was one of my favourite's yet and I think the boys definitely agreed. Inside was a frisbee (pictured above), a squeaky camper van toy, multi-vitamin paste, a bowl, a chewing bone and some treats from Muff & Jeff.

Oby was quick to claim the Armitage camper van toy as his own and they've been inseparable since. Ask him to fetch a toy and you can guarantee it'll be the camper van. Say it's bed time and the camper van will always make it's way into the dog bed with him. I don't even mind the crazy squeaking noises because he loves it so, so much!

Overall I was really impressed with all of the items featured in this month's Pawsomebox, however one of the stand outs for me was the bowl. It's great for walks and travel because it's flat and compact. You just need to pop it up, pour in the water and your dogs can enjoy a refreshing drink! I also love that it's bright pink and I'm sure the boys secretly do too.

Thomas was also kindly set another Purrfectbox to try. In this month's box there was multi-vitamin paste, a litter shovel, Delicious Happies treats by Trixie, a catnip toy, an interactive glitter ball toy and treats by Pet Munchies.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, Thomas is a little old for toys now and can't be bothered to play with them, so what we decided to do was pass them onto Donna, one of my dad's friends at work. She took them along to the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham, where they could be enjoyed by all of the gorgeous little kittens and even managed to snap a few pictures!
Kittens at the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham playing with the toys from the June and July Purrfectboxes.
Of course, Thomas was more than happy to indulge in the treats he'd been sent, with his favourites being the Pet Munchies Gourmet Fish Fillet treats. These treats are made from 100% natural ingredients and also happen to be low in fat, gluten free and easy for cats to digest. They're packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, helping to keep cats (even golden oldies like Thomas) looking and feeling healthy.

Thomas wasn't impressed with having to wait for me to snap a picture before he could enjoy his new treats!
A Pawsomebox* or Purrfectbox* subscription will make the perfect monthly treat for your little friends. It's a really great company, as not only do they provide amazing subscription boxes for pets but also contribute financial aid towards the upkeep of cats and dogs in animal shelters.

Would you consider buying your pet a subscription box?

*PR items

Baby Boy Haul

Ikea Cat Rattles (2 pack) - £2.50 // Mothercare Giraffe Toy - £2.99 // Mothercare Cloud Print Crib Sheet - £7.99
Ever since finding out I was pregnant, I've been way more interested in buying clothes, toys and other bits and bobs for my little Mr than things for myself. Obviously I've bought a few maternity bits here and there (my bump is way too big for my old tops and dresses) but I seem to be far less interested in makeup and so much more interested in cat rattles, cute giraffe toys and beautifully printed crib sheets.

This adorable rainbow stripe jumper is something I spotted in the Next sale and simply couldn't resist. It was around £3.00 and although it's not the most practical piece of baby wear - you can't deny it's cuteness.

Boots 3 piece Elephant set - £8.00 // Ikea Elephant Toy - £3.00

Mint green is one of my favourite colours so I had to pick up this beautiful elephant print sleepsuit from Boots. It comes with a matching bib and a little star print bodysuit. I also got the matching muslin cloths from Boots and this adorable elephant from Ikea. The plan is that little Mr's nursery will be mint green too!

I think nautical themed baby boy clothes are adorable so I was happy to see so many to choose from in the recent Next sale. Everything was half price so I ended up buying quite a few sleepsuits, rompers and t-shirts in a variety of sizes.

The sleepsuit on the right with the boats and dog print came as a pack of three with two other patterned sleepsuits. I've not featured everything here as I just wanted to show the type of things Next (and other brands) have to offer!

My mum and I are obsessed with Next's lion baby clothes - you may have seen the brightly coloured sleepsuits and hats in my previous mini baby boy haul. Well when we spotted this little tee we couldn't resist. We also picked up a pair of lion dungarees for when he's a little older.

Last but not least, we have these gorgeous little bodysuits. I'm really into grey and think the tipi print is adorable. These came as a pack of three - they're just so tiny, I hope they fit him!

If you are currently buying for a new baby, I definitely recommend checking out Next - they've recently launched their A/W collection and it's gorgeous. I'm in love with these duck print sleepsuits. I'm not sure when their next sale will be but if you can't wait, it's always worth checking out their clearance section. You have to do a bit of searching, as it's not the most user-friendly setup but you can pick up some real bargains, like I did with the two snowsuits featured in my last baby boy haul.

Where's your favourite place to buy baby clothes from?

Summer Nails

I don't know about you but when it comes to nail polish, I have certain colours for certain seasons. In autumn and winter I tend to stick to oxblood reds and deep purple shades, whereas in the spring and summer I like to play around with pretty pastels and brights. Since we're currently enjoying summer (even if the weather isn't always that summer-like) I thought I'd share my top 5 nail polishes for the season...

1. Blue no Blues - Bourjois
I think this has to be one of my favourite nail polish shades ever. It's a gorgeous turquoise blue that has a beautiful gel-like finish. The fan shaped brush makes applying the polish really easy and it dries within just a few seconds.

2. So LA - Leighton Denny
If you love statement nail colours, So LA will tick all of the boxes. A gorgeous fuschia pink shade, it'll brighten up your outfits and have everyone asking what polish you're wearing.

3. Caspian - Barry M
Another one of my all-time favourites is Caspian from Barry M's Aquarium collection. This may not look like much in the pot but when it catches the light it has a stunning rose gold tint. I can't get enough of it!

4. Lava - Miss Beauty London
Lava by Miss Beauty London isn't a shade I'd typically pick up in store, yet I think it's perfect for summer. A gorgeous coral pink with shimmer running right through it - the ideal polish to take on holiday with you.

5. Fuzzy Peach - Models Own
Peachy orange shades are a must-have for summer and look great with a tan (not that I've got one of those right now). Models Own polishes are always great quality and this is one of the stand-outs from my little collection.
I'm the first to admit that I'm not so great at painting my nails, nor do I particularly enjoy it. I'd absolutely love to be able to do nail art but it always ends up rather disastrous, especially when it comes to doing the dreaded second hand. Although I rarely have my nails done professionally, it's something I'd definitely like to do more. I think I may have to treat myself just before my birthday and baby shower - a little gift before my baby boy arrives late autumn!

If like me, you're not so great at painting your own nails or simply prefer having them done professionally, I recommend checking out the Book Your Lifestyle website. There you can simply enter your location e.g. 'London' and the treatment you're looking for and it'll match you with nail and beauty salons in your local area, many of which will be offering online discounts. It's great for getting money off those must-have nail treatments and may even help you discover a new beauty place in your local area.

What are your favourite summer nail polishes?
Do you prefer DIY or professionally-painted nails?
*Sponsored content

Cute Cake Pops

Last Christmas I bought my mum some baking bits and bobs so we could have a go at making cake pops. Nearly eight months later and we finally got round to it! My mum's awesome at baking; me not so much but I'm pretty proud of how our cake pops turned out so I thought I'd share the simple recipe here on my blog.

Ingredients (makes 20):
2oz Butter
2oz Caster Sugar
2 oz Self Raising Flour
1 egg
100's and 1000's
Wilton Candy Melts Blue (or other colour of your choice)

You will also need:
Silicone cake pop mould (Lakeland - £4.99)
Cake pop sticks (Lakeland - £1.98 for 50)
Cake pop stand (Lakeland £1.99) or 2 jam jars

Mix butter, caster sugar and self raising flour together, with your beaten egg, like you would with any old cake. Fill the bottom half of your cake pop mould with the mixture and pop on the lid (the lid has a little hole in the top). Place in heated oven at 180°C for 15 - 20 minutes. Take out and leave to cool in mould.

Pop your candy melts in the microwave following the instructions on the packet. You need to stir them in between heating them on a low temperature. Once the mixture is nice and runny and your cake pops have cooled, it's time to get decorating!

I'm not going to lie, I found decorating the cake pops fairly tricky. Since making them, I've read that if you leave them to chill properly and dip the sticks into the candy melts mixture before inserting them, it'll stop your cake pops falling off.

To ice them, all you need to do is dip them into the candy melts mixture, using a twizzling motion to ensure they're pretty coated. Sprinkle your decorations on top and voila! As I said before, I'm not a natural baker so mine didn't come out perfect. I made no effort to cover them entirely or create a smooth finish and I think they still looked quite pretty! Even better, they taste absolutely delicious after they've been chilled in the fridge for a little while.

I'll definitely be making these again, as I'm planning on having them at my baby shower. Practice makes perfect so we'll see how attempt number 2 turns out!


Essence Candles Review

Like many other bloggers, I'm a huge fan of candles, so when Essence Candles sent me their beautifully packaged, Fresh Linen scented soy wax candle jar*, I couldn't wait to give it a burn!

Fresh linen and cotton scents are my favourite, so I instantly took a liking to this candle. The scent of the candle was light, yet present and added what I'd describe as a 'comforting feel' to my bedroom. Even after I had blown it out, the gentle scent remained for a good while - a sign of a great candle!

The combination of fresh notes of green apple and watermelon, combined with floral notes of freesia and violet and sensual tones of musk and sandalwood, make for the freshest, yet most indulging scent. I find it really calms me, making it a great candle to burn when I’m busy writing posts.

Something else I love about this candle is the fact it burns evenly! I always get so frustrated when they dip in the middle, as it feels like a waste but I won't have the same problem with this one. It has a burn time of 70 hours, which I think is excellent for the price of £19.00.

I think you’ll agree that the packing of the candle is absolutely beautiful. The glass jar and label are really elegant-looking and I love that it comes with a lid, as it means your candle doesn’t get dusty in between burns. If you are looking for a high end-style candle, without the outrageous price tag, Essence Candles make a wonderful alternative.

Each soy wax candle jar is handmade with love by husband and wife duo, Carl and Stephanie. They initially began making their candles at home in Cumbria as gifts for their friends and family, before turning it into an Etsy business. They also create smaller candles as personalised wedding favours, which I think is such a wonderful idea. I always admire people who make their own products – it makes me want to get back into crafting again!

Whether you're looking for a signature scent for your home or a gift for someone special, a candle jar from Essence Candles will make a lovely choice. Follow them on Twitter and be sure to visit their Etsy store.


July Favourites

It's monthly favourites time again (albeit a little late) so here's what I was loving in the month of July...

Soap and Glory Vitamin C Facial Wash*
Since receiving a sample of this from Boots, it's become my go-to facial wash for morning cleansing. I use it in the shower and find that it leaves my skin feeling super clean and refreshed. The little pink beads provide gentle exfoliation and a little really goes a long way. I've recently used up the sample, so I went out and purchased the big bottle, as it's now a firm skincare staple in my routine. Boots currently have the Vitamin C Facial Wash on offer for just £5!

Palmer's Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks
I picked this up in my local Boots after seeing that the Palmer's Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks was out of stock. Initially I found the consistency of the Tummy Butter very weird as it was really hard in the pot but once I realised it just needed warming up a little with the fingers, I soon got the hang of it. This has a really thick consistency, which you'll either love or loathe. I personally love it because it leaves my bump feeling very well nourished. I also use it on the stretch marks on my hips and legs at night time and I dare say it's improved them a little. The thing I love most about this product is the scent - it's cocoa butter with a hint of lavender and it's absolutely divine. I definitely think the lavender helps to relax me just before I head to bed.

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer
The Mary Lou Manizer receives a lot of love in the blogging world and rightly so! It's a beautiful golden highligher, great for sweeping over your cheekbones (or in my case non existent cheekbones) to create a more youthful and glowing appearance. I've still not got the hang of the whole strobing thing but if you have, I'm sure this will be a great product to use for it!

Undated Diary
During a recent clear out, I found this adorable little diary that I bought a couple of years ago. I have a feeling it made its way around the blogs at one time. Since rediscovering it, I have been using it to plan my weeks and make little notes. I love that it's undated, as it meant that I could just pick up where I left off, without having to change all the dates. I've found a seller on eBay that still stocks them but colour choices are limited.

L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper
As great as I think strong brows look on other gals, they're just not for me. Don't get me wrong, I fill them in a little but I can never be bothered to go all out with them. I think this is why I love the Brow Artist Plumper by L'Oreal. It's a simple brow gel that adds a tint of colour and helps to structure the hairs, ensuring they don't end up all over the place. I think the key with this is to make sure you don't have too much product on the applicator or things can end up a little crispy. With the right amount on the mini-brush, you should find it plumps up the brows nicely, without making a mess.

Which products have you been loving recently?