Monday, 30 June 2014

The Potty Training One

Hi and welcome back to another Mummy Monday!  Today I thought I would blog about a recent milestone we have achieved in the Laura Evelyn household...Potty Training!!!  I decided to write a little diary of our first week of potty training, and I am so glad I did as reading back on it now just makes me giggle.  I guess I wanted to write this post because when I started out potty training, I found it really useful to read about other peoples actual experiences in those first few days.  You can find so much on the internet about how to do it, but I just wanted to read that someone was finding it as tough as me at times, and they were!

So to begin with there was alot of Googling, asking friends and family how they potty trained their little one, and then a bit more Googling (how did anyone parent before Google?!).  I summarised that I would completely do away with nappies on our first day of potty training.  I would only put Baba into nappies for her nap time and then bedtime.  This included no nappies when we were out and about or at local groups (EEEK!).  I also prepared myself that if Baba had an accident, I would not make a big deal of it, just tell her never mind and we would try and get it into the potty next time.  I also needed to give her  lots of praise for any progress, no matter how small.  So these were my potty rules...now for the fun part...for your reading pleasure, my potty diaries....




Day one...around 4pm...
How anyone is potty trained in the human race is beyond me.  It feels like the hardest and most impossible thing to achieve.  Especially now on day one.  I was convinced Baba was ready for toilet training, she was showing all the signs that the books say, but now I am seriously doubting myself.  It is 4 pm and so far the closest we have got to a wee or poo on the potty is a little trump on it about half an hour ago.  I am also questioning why I was looking forward to this stage, because so far I have just had to clean up pools of wee on my carpet.  I think I am going to give it two more days and if there is no progress, we can try potty training at a later date i.e. when she is 10 years old or something. Urgh. 

4.30pm
I have now Googled (for the hundredth time) more tips on potty training and mums are saying you need to be within arms length of your child at all times so you can catch them weeing and put them straight onto the potty for them to finish their wee on there.  I now feel like a bad mum because I certainly have not been within arms length of Baba at all, and I have wandered to other rooms and left her playing, so maybe it is my fault she is not getting the hang of it! Do these mums have Mr.Spaghetti arms? Urgh.

6pm
We've managed a walk with Pablo the dog, and I put Baba in her big girls pants and lined the pushchair with a carrier bag and towel.  Baba managed a whole hour with no accidents, but when we get home she did a wee up the side of the table whilst I was feeding Pablo.  Urgh. 

6.30pm
We finally have success!!! YIPPEE! Before her bath I put Baba on her potty and miraculously she wees in the potty!!! We make a big deal out of this sacred wee and Baba seems pretty pleased with herself too.  Maybe we can do this after all?...Hold on, I think we celebrated too soon.  Because we both got so excited, the potty got knocked over and I am now cleaning up more wee.  Urgh. 

Day two...

I have woke up with a renewed sense of determination and eagerness to do this potty training thing!! However, four hours later and we have had two accidents and I haven't managed to catch a single wee...maybe I dreamt that wee on the potty yesterday. 

11am

Something magical has happened...we get a wee in the potty!! Hurrah!!!! And then before Baba's nap time we managed to get another one in...oh my god....I think we are getting there. We can do this. 

1pm

I have made the big mistake of putting Baba to bed for her nap without a nappy on....ten minutes later there is a poo disaster...no, a poo catastrophe.  Maybe I got a little bit ahead of myself.  Poor Baba.  What the hell was I thinking?!?

6pm

The rest of today has felt pretty much like Day One.  Me being too slow, and Baba being too quick...more mess.  Thank god we have got wooden floors.  I will see how tomorrow goes and if its bad I'm giving up. 

Day three...

Again, I wake up with renewed determination.  this is going to be the day!

10am

Erm, no its not.  I need to remember that Baba needs to go on the potty straight after breakfast...I completely forget and she did a wee on the floor.  No problem, I tell her, don't worry, I tell her.  Inside I'm thinking how much wee can one person clean up in a whole day?

1pm

We have had a success...woop woop! I have actually made up a potty song and dance and I proceed to chant this around the house like an absolute mad woman.  The tune is the same as 'who let the dogs out' if you are interested!!!  Baba finds it hilarious.  Cue 10 minutes of dancing and singing. 

6pm

Not as bad as yesterday, but definitely not there yet.  No more accidents, but no more success on the potty either.  Baba wees in the bath. I hope tomorrow is a good day. 

Day Four...

I think we are making progress, we have had only two accidents, and we got two wees in the potty.  But disaster strikes around 5pm. My husband is due home from a long haul flight in 30 minutes and I have been thinking I could smell something funny for the last 10 minutes.  I then discover Baba has done a poo in the dining room, then walked it into the kitchen to come and tell me she has done said poo.  Its everywhere and she even got some up the wall. The dog then tries to eat it and I want to run out the front door and let them both sort it out themselves.  I don't, obviously, and quickly clean it up and open all the windows so that my husband doesn't think we have been living in squalor for the last week.

Day five...

We decide we need some motivation for this potty training.  We pop to Sainsburys and buy a little ladybird hand stamp.  It works a treat.  Every time Baba goes on the potty, she gets a hand stamp.  We only have one accident all day!!! Woop woop!!! Maybe we aren't so bad at this after all???

Day six...

We are on a roll.  Baba wont actually tell us when she needs a wee, but every hour or so, if we take her to the toilet she goes and then holds her hands out for her ladybird stamp.  The girl doesn't like pooping in the toilet, but after a bit of Googling (!), I am reassured that alot of children do this, and just to try and encourage her to go.  The bonus is Baba has being doing a poo in her nappy at nap time, and then first thing in the morning, so I can kinda live with this until she gets used to it.

Day seven...

I think we may have got it.  We are still having the odd accident, but if I am honest, its usually when I am distracted and I forget to take her to the toilet.  We managed to go to a group this morning and this afternoon which I was dreading, but Baba held herself and went immediately before and after the group! I was so proud! And yep, I'm still doing the potty dance as and when its needed! 

So, there you have it, our first week on the potty!  And I don't think either of us did too badly. Well, we both survived.  So this all happened about two weeks ago and Baba will now ask to go on the potty and we haven't had an accident for well over a week.  Baba still isn't keen to do a poo on the potty, but will go in her nappy at nap time and first thing in the morning.  I can live with this and I think this part of potty training will come in time. 


My advice to any mum or dad about to potty train is RELAX.  The first few days feel like you are never going to get there, but you will.  Just have lots of cleaning products, towels etc, in every room.  Also, we did this during a week where we had no groups to go to and I didn't have to go anywhere, I found this really helpful because I could concentrate on Baba and the potty. I definitely would recommend just going for it and not using pull-ups or nappies if you are going to potty train (just use them for naps and bedtime).  And just to add, only do it when you think they are ready.  I have already seen some competitive mums trying to sit their child on a potty before they can even walk....well slight exaggeration there, but you know what I mean. There will always be someone who potty trained their little darling at 6 months old, but whatever.  Take the lead from your child, and if they aren't quite ready enjoy changing those nappies and not having to clean up wee from your carpets for a while longer!!


Next Monday I will let you know my essentials for potty training when you are out and about. 


Thank you so much for reading!


x


Friday, 27 June 2014

The Smart Jogger

Can a trouser that resembles jogging bottoms really be dressed smartly and look ok?  Well yup, according to Topshop they can and I actually agree with them.  I, as usual, had made a detour from my 'essentials' only shopping trip, and I had suddenly found myself in Topshop (!).  I was actually looking for a midi-length skirt that I had seen on buynowbloglater's blog, but the skirt looked absolutely awful on me and I looked like an escapee of an old persons home.  Anyway, I had blindly grabbed these trousers off the rack mainly because I liked the colour, but I didn't have high hopes for them.  How I was wrong!!



These trousers are so so comfortable to wear and I think the cut of them actually makes them look like a smart trouser rather than a pair of jogging bottoms.  I love the pinky colour of them too.  I wore them on a recent meal out with the girls, and I teamed them with a black vest top from Vera Moda, similar link here.  I completed my outfit with my New Look nude heels link here and a chunky Primark necklace.

The trousers are currently on sale in Topshop for £20, I can't find them on their website, but I have seen them in the sale section in my local store.  Online there is a black version link here and a pink version available link here.

I felt really comfortable in this outfit and would definitely recommend giving them a go.  What do you think? Yay or nay to the smart jogger? And I promised I wouldn't use the pun, or do you think they should just jog on!!!  
Happy Friday everyone! Hurrah its nearly the weekend!

Laura
x

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Art of Nail Art or Not

Hi and thanks for stopping by! Today is my Whatever Wednesday and I thought I would blog about my recent ventures into nail art (!).  I think this has largely come about by me writing this new blog and my interest in what other bloggers are doing, instagramming and tweeting about.  I shall begin with my venture into nail caviar.

On a recent trip to Sainsburys, I saw that Marie Claire were giving away a Ciate nail caviar kit with their magazine...amazing I thought, and I popped into my trolley (I am a sucker for a magazine give away!).  I chose the shade Kiss Chase.  Now as I am very new to tweeting, I decided that I would tweet Marie Claire to inform them of my buy and that I was planning to do my nails.  Not 100% if this is done the thing, but they kindly re tweeted my tweet, which I was pretty excited about.  But, I then felt alot of pressure to actually bloody get caviaring and get the dam stuff on my nails. I mean I had tweeted Marie Claire, I couldn't possibly let them down (yup, this actually went through my mind).  

I then discovered that nail art ain't so easy when your two year old keeps running off with the bottles and then attempts to eat the actual caviar (N.B no caviar was ingested during the making of my nails).  After struggling with the stuff and waiting for it to dry for an hour...I had done...and actually I was pretty impressed with the results.  Ta-dah!


But wait, then came the realisation that caviar isn't exactly ideal if you have got to quickly clean the kitchen and then bath Baba.  I lost count of the amount of tiny balls that I found scattered around the house.  It looked like there had been an explosion of rainbow drop sweets! (If only!)

I did indeed tweet Marie Claire my finished picture, and they never re-tweeted it!  I immediately took this personally and decided it was because it didn't look good enough and they were distancing themsleves from me for fear I would put off the whole population of the UK in applying nail caviar. Ever. 

I must say, my sorry little fingernails looked awful the next day (which I didn't tweet about, I didn't want to rub it in Marie Claires face), half were caviared, half not.  So they actually lasted a total of 12 hours.  Having said all of this, I would recommend it if you have a special event to go to, and I think I would try just caviaring one nail like I have since seen some people doing instead of going for the whole ten.  Just do not under any circumstances expect the beads to stay insitu whilst you clean up!!!

Now you may think this would be enough to deter me from my escapades in nail art, but alas, I thought I would give something else a whirl after I had seen Lily Pebbles, over at Lilypebbles.co.uk, painting.  She had chosen two pastel shades and painted each nail in half and half.  The overall effect looked really pretty, and almost like sweet shop candy.  So off I went rummaging in my drawer for Rimmels 60 second polish in Mind the Gap Vistoria, and also in Rose Libertine.  In my head prior to painting I had high hopes for this. Hmmmmmmm...


The result I immediately thought, looked like I was supporting a football team for the world cup and this was re-iterated when my husband came home and asked why I was getting into the spirit of the World Cup so much!!! It took me bloody ages to do though, so I decided World Cup Football or not, these babies were staying on the whole weekend.  I did instagram a picture of my nails, and the first person to like the picture?  This is no lie, it was someone with the username 'Brasil World Cup 2014'.  I rest my case.

I am still on the look out for nail art that I can actually achieve and will keep you updated with all my attempts.  Even if my nails look a mess at least I have a funny blogpost to write about if I fail!

Thank you for reading.  See you Friday. 

Laura
x

Monday, 23 June 2014

A very special guest...

Today is a very special post for two reasons.  Firstly its my birthday! Woop woop!! I am not going to give my age away, but lets just say I am a step nearer to reaching my mid-thirties (gulp!).  I had a good think about what I should blog about today, and I kinda wanted something that went along with my birthday vibe whilst keeping in with it being a Mummy Monday.  Having a birthday is an important point you should know about me.  I am not one to shy away from it being my birthday.  I tend to drag it on for a good two weeks, though I recently saw that someone had coined the term 'birthday month'...so yep that will be happening next year!!  So anyway, enough about me.  I came up with having a very special guest on my blog...introducing my mum...June!!!!  


I asked my mum to make a guest appearance as after all, this time 30+ years ago, the woman was giving birth to little old me! As a side note you should know a few things about my mum. She is a very funny lady and to give you an example...you know at baby showers when you all bring a baby photo of yourself and then people have to guess who is who, well we were playing this game at my baby shower and my mum brought a photo as instructed.  After we had all finished guessing we found her giggling to herself.  She then informed everyone she couldn't actually find a baby photo of herself so she had just brought an old one she had found in an album but she wasn't quite sure who they actually were!!!!  

My mum is very wise too, and I don't always like to admit it but this lady comes out with some pearls of wisdom.  She is also the best person to shop with ever...you give her a brief and she will somehow find you the item at a discounted price, or even better, find you an even cheaper alternative.  She is the Harry Potter of mums!!!  So that's an incredibly brief introduction to June, my mum!  I asked my mum what advice she would give to any mums out there.  This is what she wrote for me, and I haven't edited it at all (apart from her spelling mistakes).   Hope you enjoy. 


I am the mother of two beautiful daughters, Laura and Rachel.  From the moment they were born, your instincts seem to take over and you want to protect them forever.  They are three years apart in ages, but I used to always dress them the same until they were about 8 years old. I can hear them cringing now! 

I used to be the mum that was always volunteered by my daughters to go into school to help out.  I would hear children read to me, go on trips to the swimming baths (even though I cant swim myself and I can barely stay afloat).  I once went down a coal pit with my daughters class with a hard hat on which did nothing for my permed hair (ha!).  I worked as a waitress in a pub, and when I read one of my daughters essays, she had written that her mum goes to the pub twice a week...hmmmmmm!

As a mum you take your children here, there and everywhere.  You are always at hand to help them when they need it, to sometimes nag at them, but you will always try to put them first.  

Bringing your baby home for the first time can be very exciting, challenging and very very frustrating.  At the time I probably did things wrong and may have not got it right first or second time.  But its a learning curve. Sleepless nights and night feeds and clock watching all become a thing of the past.  When my babies first smiled, took their first steps and had their first tooth, I will always remember those memories.  

Being a grandmother now I say to my daughter, we did it this way or that way, but it is always the parents that know best.  If I had to give advice, I would say,

1. Never be afraid to ask anybody for advice or help. 
2. Never feel as though you have to be the perfect mum.  If things don't go right, that is natural.  Just go with the flow. 
3. Don't worry about everyday chores.  They will always be there but the time with your baby is precious.
4. Everyone has bad days. Tomorrow is another day, and before you know it, your baby will become a little independent person. 

Being a grandmother now I say to my daughter that we did it this way or that way, but at the end of the day its the parents that know best.  A mum never judges her children but gives them all her love.  There is nothing bigger than a mothers heart. 

Thank you so much for reading today's special blog.  Wishing you all a very lovely and happy day. 

Laura and June
x





Friday, 20 June 2014

Florals, Art and Afternoon Tea

Hi and welcome to another Fashion Friday! Can you believe this is my third one!!???
So this week I had a really lovely day out in Manchester and I wanted to share my OOTD with you all. Hope you like it!


I first spotted this skirt on one of my friends when we were having a group get-together and I just fell in love with it.  I thought it was so so pretty.  Luckily, my friend was ok with me purchasing the same skirt for two reasons, 1) because she is so lovely and 2) we don't actually see each other that often so I could justify getting my wear out of it and not turning up to the same places looking like her clone :-)

The skirt is from New Look Link Here and its currently on offer for £14.99!  Its a really nice soft material, and doesn't crease too easily.  I wore it all day and it still looked good in the evening.  I think a maxi skirt is perfect for Summer and is very versatile, taking you from day to night too.  I paired the skirt with a black vest top from Vera Moda, which I can't actually find on their website. It has buttons down the front and then it kind of crosses over at the back.  The closest I could find was this black top from their website Link Here

I then wore my long time favourite Dune Hobart sandals, which I have worn to death and I think they may eventually just turn to dust around my ankles.  But for now I adore wearing these.  I have searched on the internet but no-where seems to be selling them anymore, but it looks like there are a few for sale on eBay if you are interested.



We actually spent the day in Manchester because it was my mums birthday.  Me, my husband and Baba spent the morning at the Lowry art gallery, and then we all met up for afternoon tea at the Lowry hotel.  The food was aaaaammmmmmaaaaazing!  I don't think I have perfected my skills as a blogger yet because I didn't take a single snap of the food (not one!), I just ate it all up and then only remembered when I had an empty plate (and if you wanted to see an empty plate you could just look in your cupboards!!!).  Anyway, I am sure you can imagine the most delicious little cakes, scones and sandwiches!!!  It was so nice to spend the afternoon with the family and the sun shone all day.  It was just perfect!

Hope you all have had a good week and have a lovely weekend.  See you on Monday for a very special post and special guest!

Laura
x


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A cushion is as good as a change

I popped into my local T K Maxx at the weekend and bought some bargain cushions for my living room. I am loving looking at what they have in at the moment, and because they seem to change and update their stock so much, there is usually something that catches my eye (which some could see as a bad thing-ahem-husband!). 

The cushions in my lounge are something which I seem to be always changing.  Aside from the fact I love a cushion, I have Christmas cushions which are rolled out over the festive period, and then at random intervals over the year I will be on the look out for cushion updates!  It sounds silly, but I think if you can just make small changes to a room, like adding a bit of colour with accessories, it can really have a big impact without you having to get the paint and wallpaper stripper out!

The last few cushions I have bought have been quite muted brown colours, so I was definitely on the look out for a bit of colour.


The first two I picked up are by a brand called Malini, who I must say I have never heard of. They are floral, and one is in blue/green tones, whilst the other is almost a sepia colour.  They are a good size, and very comfortable as they are feathered cushion.  I only paid £10 for each of them as they were in the clearance section.   

The other cushion I bought is the same brand, but is much larger and heavier.  It is a beige base colour with a black velvet floral pattern.  This one was only £8, again in the clearance section.


As always, when I get new cushions, Pablo, is banned from sitting on them and I have done a good job of protecting them so far.  We will have to see how long this lasts though before he gets his little paws on them!!

Do you regularly update the cushions in your home or is it just me?
Thanks for reading and see you on Friday. 

Laura x

Slight update on the Pablo and cushion situation...this happened...


the rascal! 



Monday, 16 June 2014

How to walk a dog

Hi everyone, 
So today I thought I would share my experience of attempting to walk Pablo the Dog and Baba. Before I had Baba, I never really gave much thought to the logistics of this task.  I guess I had maybe seen one too many Hollywood movies where the new mum walks effortless down the street with her one handed steer pram, baby asleep, with the dog trotting obediently by her side. Hmmmm....I needed a reality check!!!

Walking a dog with a pram is hard work!!!! Pablo is by no means a naughty dog.  He does however, like to smell every single scent on the pavement, do a wee on every single scent he can smell, oh, and he also hates the postman. How my first few trips out with Pablo and Baba taught me some valuable life lessons.

The first was that I could not really hold a lead at the same time as pushing the pram. Pablo did walk lovely next to the pram, but the act of holding the lead and the pram meant my hand cramped, and it really wasn't comfortable.  I also learnt that if we encountered the postman on our walk, then I had to put the brakes on the pram and wait for the poor guy to pass us.  I did also try to venture out with Baba in a baby carrier.  But when Pablo did his business, I had to crouch whilst keeping upright to pick up his business so Baba did not topple out.  I used to have thigh ache for days after!!!!

After browsing the internet, and yes, a little Google, I couldn't really see that anyone had invented anything that would help me, so I came up with my own little belt to wear.  I took a strap from a holdall and fastened this around myself, so I looked a bit like Rambo...and then I clipped Pablo's lead onto this.  This meant I had both hands free to push the pram, and it also meant no more upright crouching to pick up Pablo's business.


Take one ordinary holdall shoulder strap and....


Ta-dah! Hands free dog walking!


I love going out and walking at the moment, and I see it as fresh air for me and Baba, Pablo gets a good walk and I get some exercise too.  Because we have always gone out walking everyday, Baba seems to be used to it and will happily sing and point out things on our walk.  I try to walk for around an hour a day. Admittedly, it has not always been so enjoyable, and I can remember walks where I have run home with Pablo in tow because Baba has been crying and wouldn't stop. Or on one occasion I had to carry Baba because she was screaming, and I then had to push the pram and keep hold of Pablo at the same time!! That was not my finest hour and I probably shed a tear once we had got home, maybe due to exhaustion or the pain in my back!!!  Luckily, that day is behind us!

Definitely give the belt idea a try if you have a baby and dog...and if your baby is small I would say hang on in there, because juggling baby and dog definitely gets easier...or you just get an expert at juggling them!!!

Thanks so much for reading, and let me know if you have a baby and dog in tow, and any tips that you have for when you are out and about whilst maintaining your sanity and the safety of all!

Have a good Monday. 

Laura x


Friday, 13 June 2014

A Tale Of Two Stripes

I do love a stripe...when I am shopping the stripes seem to have their own magnetic field and I am immediately drawn to purchasing yet more for my wardrobe!  Here's two pieces from my wardrobe at the moment that I have been loving and wearing (alot!).

The Zara top...

I bought this from Zara and I have worn and worn it. Link here.
It's only £19.99, and I think the lace detail around the neck makes it something a bit different from just a plain t-shirt.  I have hand washed it because I was worried about it shrinking which I do find with Zara tops sometimes, and so far this top has lasted pretty well.  The length of the top isn't too short and falls nicely when you wear it with jeans, so you don't have to worry about any midriff showing!  I think having pieces like this in your wardrobe are fab for when you just want to throw something on without fussing too much about your outfit.  I normally throw this t-shirt on when I haven't got too much time to think about what I'm wearing.  Particularly on the grocery run, so maybe the people in Sainsburys think this is all I own!

The shoes are from H&M which I picked up recently, and I am loving them!!! They remind me a little of wearing a pair of slippers...but I have seen them alot in the shops.  The bonus with these shoes is that they were only £9.99...bargain! Link Here

The H&M top...


I saw this in H&M, and felt this top was a bit different from what's already in my wardrobe (aside from being stripey).  The top is still available online here Link.- and its now in the sale too!

The top is cropped with 3/4 length sleeves.  I don't normally like cropped tops, as I am not one for showing my midriff, but because the top is quite thin, I can layer this with a white vest underneath if I am wearing it with my jeans, and the extra layer is also a plus for the cold British weather!!!  
I do also own a few pairs of trousers with quite a high waist and these shorts (which are past season from Zara), means no midriff is visible!!!

As an aside note, you really have no idea how hard it is to pose with one leg balancing on a tree. In the majority of photos I looked like a flamingo.  This is the best of the bunch!!
Baba was also copying my poses (or lack of) and she naturally nailed it in the first shot!


What about you...are you yay or nay for stripes? 

Happy Friday everyone and hope you all have a good weekend! Thanks for reading. 

Laura x

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Fathers Day Gift Ideas

For everyone in the UK, it is Father's Day this Sunday if you didn't already know.  I always struggle to think of new ideas of what to get my dad and father in law for Fathers Day.  Usually for their birthdays I tend to ask them what gifts they might like, but for Fathers Day I like to buy them a gift that I have thought of (sorry, what me and my husband have thought of!!!).  So here is my top 5 gifts for Fathers Day, and whilst I am no expert at crafts, gift picking or presentation (I have these AMAZING ideas that never translate as well in practice), I hope I will inspire and help you for this coming Sunday.

1. For The Foodie



I have given a little food hamper as gifts on several occasions now and it always goes down a treat!!! Who doesn't like receiving a basket full of delicious goodies, and the bonus is if you put it together yourself it needn't be that expensive.

First of all, you need something to put the food into.  I tend to have a look in T K Maxx for baskets, which are usually really cheap, but to be honest loads of shops tend to stock baskets now.  If you don't want to buy a basket, another idea is to wrap all the food in cellophane, and then fasten at the top with ribbon.  Or, places like M&S do nice shopper bags for around £1.50.

Next, you just need to have a think about what your dad likes to eat.  Maybe hes into chocolate, so I would buy a selection of different biscuits, maybe a box of chocolates, a small bottle of wine/ prosecco or maybe a bottle of beer? The good thing is you can tailor this to exactly what your dad likes.  Other ideas are coffee, cheeses, liqueurs.  The bonus is you can get all of this stuff whilst you are doing your weekly shop, or I quite like having a ferret around those gorgeous farm shops for lovely treats!!! I would just stay away from fruit though cos you don't want it to look like a basket you take to someone in hospital!!!!

So then, you just need to put everything together, and make it look pretty.  In all honesty, I have two confessions to make.  I bought the bag in the picture and then realised that the things I had bought were fitting quite snuggly inside to say the least.  I may swap to a bigger bag, I'll see how it goes!  And, there were a few more treats to go inside this bag that have mysteriously gone missing (wipes crumbs from laptop), but do not fear, I am off to Sainsburys on Thursday and these shall be replaced and no-one will ever know.  Hurrah!

2. For The Film Lover


This is a good gift for a dad who likes his movies or the cinema.  Pick a movie or two you know your dad will like, then pair it with treats and goodies so your dad can have a real movie night in! If you can't find a movie your dad will like, then you could consider getting a subscription to an on demand movie service like LoveFilm or Netflix...or you could get him a gift card for your local cinema.

Me and my husband recently watched Captain Philips and we think my dad will absolutely love this film (would definitely recommend watching), so I have paired the DVD with some popcorn and sweet treats.  I have wrapped the gift in cellophane (definitely get a roll from Ebay if you haven't already got some.  I am always using it) and then I made a cute gift tag to finish it off. And I think the finished gift looks pretty good. 


3. From The Little Ones


I always get a little gift from Baba too now, and this year as she is nearly two, I have decided to put her artistic talents to good use and frame some of her work as gifts.  I bought small frames from Wilkinson's (they were only £3 each).  I think this size will easily fit onto a desk or table, rather than presenting them with a large A4 version.  I then asked Baba to draw a picture of herself and granddad, and open to some artistic interpretation, I think they are works of art! I think the granddads will love them!  I've added the mandatory granddad socks (which were only a couple of pounds from the card factory), and a new mug (from Tesco)! (If you haven't got children, I acknowledge you may think there is nothing worse than receiving a scribble as a gift).


4. A Thoughtful Meal


If you are really unsure of what to get your dad, or they are the man that already has everything, why don't you think about treating your dad to a meal this Sunday.  Whilst going out to a restaurant is a lovely idea, sometimes it is just as nice for you to put that extra thought in and cook for your dad.  You have two options really, one is to do the cooking, and the other is to buy food in if you are not that handy in the kitchen (like the M&S meal deals!)  For the first option, think about your dads favourite meals and then plan a meal for him.  You could wrap a cookery book up to give your dad on the day and bookmark and recipe with the words 'this is what I am making you for lunch'! 
Or how about taking it Alfresco with a BBQ or picnic.  In all honesty, if there is fire involved your dad is going to get stuck in too.  If the weather isn't looking great, how about an indoor picnic? Buy lots of little snacks and sweets treats, throw a rug down in your front room and voila!  I've found that doing things like this are the most fun and most appreciated gifts. 


5. A Bit Of Fashion


So for my husband, I decided to have a mooch around town to see if I could find any clothing that he might like.  I always seem to drop on in Next, and that is where I picked up this lovely shirt.  
You can't see it too clearly on the shirt, but there is tiny white spots all over it.  I do try and pick something for my husband that he might not normally pick himself, and usually he is pretty pleased with the outcome. You can buy this shirt from Next here
I will pair this shirt with a few other goodies for him (I know, he's a lucky guy).  And then I plan to make us a yummy breakfast, I'm thinking waffles, and then we are going out for lunch. My husband is under strict orders not to look at my blog until after Sunday!!

For more ideas, you can take a look at my other Fathers Day gift ideas post, and there you have it, I hope I have given you a little bit of inspiration for Fathers day.  I hope you all enjoy spending the time with your Dads, or with loved ones if your Dads are not near. 
Wishing you all a lovely day. 

See you on Friday for a bit of Fashion!
Laura
x





Monday, 9 June 2014

Breastfeeding Undercover

The thing that struck fear into me after I had had Baba was how on earth I was going to breastfeed her when we were out in public.  I could not understand how anyone was able to breastfeed, latching a baby on and maintaining their dignity at the same time.  I watched in awe as one of my friends attached her baby in a nano-second, with a perfectly placed shawl covering her modesty.

I decided to bite the bullet and have a trial run in the living room at home...cue me looking flustered, taking 5 mins to get Baba positioned correctly, the shawl being wrapped round my neck and gently strangling me, and then Baba coming off the breast and milk going everywhere.  Hmmm...I needed a different plan.  Or I could just become a hermit.  Luckily for everyone I went with the first option.  

Now please don't get me wrong,  I was proud to be breastfeeding and in no way was I ashamed.  I think I was just very self-conscious about what I was doing.  Furthermore, I was having trouble latching Baba on, so I had to do an exaggerated attachment which meant a little bit more positioning than usual.

Then tah-dah, after a quick Google...enter the Bebe au Lait nursing cover which I chose in Chateau silver! Link Here


So the cover has an adjustable loop which you place over your head, and it has a open neckline which means you can keep an eye on what baby is doing, and also allows airflow which is kinda important.  This really was the answer to my prayers!!! I felt so much more confident knowing I had this packed in my bag, and it just meant I had something to cover me while I was messing around getting Baba's latch right.  I also think that because I was covered I felt less pressured to get Baba latched quickly, and this is turn actually meant I was more relaxed and did it quicker.  Baba was also prone to being sick after feeds, so if I had the cover on, it also meant it protected what I was wearing (but in all honesty Baba always seemed to have a very accurate aim onto my clothes!!!).

I wouldn't necessarily buy this cover if you want no-one to know you are breast-feeding.  I didn't buy the cover because I wanted to hide this fact, it was more to save my blushes of boob flashes and milk accidents. I did have the cover on once and a lady asked me if I was trying a dress on...she was quite surprised when she saw two little legs poking out of the side!!!!! So I think you may or may not get a few looks as nosy people wonder what is going on under the cover!!


But, if like me, you feel at all self conscious or are struggling with your latch, then I would definitely recommend this cover.  It washes really well too.  Those few months of having a baby are stressful (and amazing) enough, so anything to make things a little easier!!!

What are your tips for breast-feeding out in public? Did you find it harder than you thought or are you like my friend and can breastfeed your newborn with your eyes closed and standing on your head whilst eating a panini?

Laura x




Sunday, 8 June 2014

7 Days As A Blogger

Hi...and welcome to another weekend bonus blog...I am on a roll!!  So I thought I would do a little blog post about my experiences this week as I launched this blog exactly seven days ago, and I feel in this very short space of time I have learned ALOT!  For anyone reading this who is very established at blogging, I hope my naivety and cluelessness makes you chuckle, and for anyone reading this who is thinking about blogging, I hope you will find my experience helpful and it will give you some tips for when you launch yours!!!


Without further ado, here's my 6 blogging lessons learnt in the last 7 days...(maybe 7 in 7 would have sounded better but I am keeping it real and these are my lessons!!)

1) Don't expect anyone to read your blog at first :-) This is what everyone says, I know, but, I think somewhere in the back of my head I was convinced I would have alot of readers on the first day.  Why the hell I thought this I do not know.  This led me to be feeling somewhat deflated on Sunday evening (12 hours after I had launched my blog) when I had only had a few page views.  I started to think that maybe this wasn't a good idea after all, and maybe my blog wasn't that good....yada yada yada....poor old me!!!! But then I took a reality check and remembered why I had started blogging in the first place.  This is about me expressing myself and writing about things I am passionate about, and me enjoying writing for the first time in a long time.  So I stopped my moping and I decided to continue to blog...readers or no readers.  Looking back now, that sounds a little drastic that I was going to quit before I had even started, but I think that reality check was what I needed to feel more determined to give this a go.  Lesson learnt...Be realistic with your blog and remember why you are doing it. 

2) Blogging is actually harder than it looks.  I am loving blogging, but I don't think I really understood how hard bloggers work to put their content out there.  There are lots of components to a blog, the writing, the pictures, the editing, the publishing and then pushing it out there.  Bloggers are a pretty talented bunch.  I am still learning but I am definitely taking tips from how the pros do it.  Lesson learnt...Be prepared to work hard!

3) There is a whole universe of blogging that I had no idea about!!! I have been reading blogs and watching YouTube vloggers for about 2 years now, but I was very much on the sidelines and didn't really comment or take part in any online discussions.  I have been missing out!!! As soon as I launched my blog, I registered with blogger, and I realised there is a whole community of bloggers and blog readers that I never even knew existed.  I never realised that to launch a blog, you really have to put yourself out there and be active with other peoples work and projects.  Lesson learnt...you have got to be active in the blogging community.  Appreciating other peoples blogs is nice for other people to hear and you can pick up alot!  (And be genuine too, don't go commenting on how someone grows their sprouts if you couldn't really give a monkeys!!)

4) You kinda need social media.  No, you NEED NEED social media!  I, for some reason, decided to set up a twitter on the same day as launching my blog.  Twitter kinda confuses me (I am sounding too old?!) so trying to figure out how to tweet people and get involved was a new concept to me.  This was probably a bit much as I was trying to figure out my blog too.  But its not just twitter, its Instagram, its commenting, its that 'being involved' again via other types of social media.  Lesson learnt...be better at tweeting!

5) Bloggers must have spouses/husbands/friends with the patience of saints.  How the hell do bloggers manage to get such gorgeous photos of their outfits of the day? My husband took a photo for me, with the top of my head cut off and then he was fed up about taking any more!!! My ideas of posing next to a tree with the sun setting behind me went out the window...husband wanted to get home cos he was hungry!!!!  Unless I carry a tripod round with me I think my husband is going to need to be seriously persuaded to keep taking snaps of me whilst I am twirling about in a new outfit on our road!  Lesson learnt...have snacks and treats ready to tempt husband to take one more photo so I look OK!

6) I am a rubbish model and my selfies aren't the best.  How do bloggers look so amazing in their selfie  photos??? I try to do natural poses and I look like I am deeply disturbed or unwell.  There must be a knack to posing for photos...Will let you know when I have figured it out!!!! But then I suppose that's me...my blog was never meant to look like the pages from a Vogue shoot and my face is kinda my face!! 
Lesson learnt...hmmm, this dilemma is ongoing.  Need to get better at selfies whilst also being more confident in just being me!!

In all seriousness, this has been such an exciting week for me, and I have felt really excited completely stepping out of my comfort zone.  And yes, it is really scary just putting yourself out there.  But am I going to quit now? NO! I have gotten over my preliminary self doubt and I am going to continue blogging, getting involved in the blogging community, trying to not look constipated on selfie/outfit of the day poses and I'm going to tweet to whoever cares to listen.  This is my blogging journey and I am excited as to where this will take me!

See you on Monday!

Laura x

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Make Up Timer Test Tag

Ohhh how I love a good tag video on YouTube! When I saw that Lily Pebbles had done her own tag for bloggers I was very excited and got to work straight away! 

Lily's tag is the Makeup Timer Test Tag and the rules are as follows:

1) Set your stopwatch to record each step, stopping and resetting in between each one.  Don't forget to write down the timings!
2) Do your everyday makeup routine at your usual speed, don't feel rushed. 
3) Write a post with your timings and what products you used.
4) Have fun!

So, to try and be as scientific as possible and to recreate my everyday routine, Baba made sure she interrupted me and I had to pause the stopwatch whilst I 1) hunted for my concealer that she had hid in her shoe and 2) I stopped briefly to help Baba use the potty.  I thought it fair to not include these timings into my overall time!!

Here is how I got on with my timings and the products I used...

Foundation: 1:03
Rimmel Wake me up foundation

Powder: 0:11
Rimmel Stay Matte

Concealer: 0:40
Collection 2000

Eyebrows: 0:47
Benefit Quick look busy

Eyes: 4:38
Mac brule, patina and vex.  Benefit thanks a latte & quick, look busy. Rimmel scandal eyes rockin curves mascara

Blush: 0:47
Benefit High Beam and Mac Sincere blush

Lips: Nothing!

Which gave me a grand total time of...drum roll please...8 minutes and 10 seconds!!


I'm actually a little quicker than I thought I would be, but I am not sure why I am messing about for 5 minutes with my eyes!!!  

I hope you enjoyed this tag and thank you to Lily Pebbles for the original.  If you are reading this...I tag you!!

Laura x








Friday, 6 June 2014

The Denim Dress You Need...

I haven't worn a denim dress in a very, very long time...probably the last denim dress I owned was a Levi dress when I was channeling the vibe of Nelly Furtado in her 'I'm Like a Bird' video.  So, like I said, it has been a while!!!

I was in Topshop buying my sister a voucher for her birthday, and that should have been warning enough that there was just no way I was leaving the store with a voucher alone. After having a little snoop round, this dress caught my eye, and I just think it is so wearable, pretty and versatile, and yup, it came home with me!


What I Iike about this dress is that it is a lovely length and I think you could get away with wearing it dressed up or down.  It would look cute with a pair of converse or sandals.  I wore it last night to go out for a meal with the girls and I paired it with a pair of nude heels from New Look. (I could only find the shoes as Wide Fit on their website- Link here), a chunky necklace from Primark, and my trusted mulberry bag (Similar style-Link here).  I decided to plait my hair in a fishtail braid too.  I have actually just mastered the art of this braid and thought it went with my smart/casual outfit!


I felt dressed up, but not too OTT if you know what I mean, and I felt comfortable to boot! The cut of this dress meant that after I had polished off my Thai curry and chocolate souffle, the signs of my food baby were undetectable! Result!

The dress is still available at Topshop Link Here

Laura x







Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Nails Of The Day

Hi there! So I thought I would do a post about what I am currently wearing on my nails...but before I get started, I think I may actually start with a bit of a disclaimer that I am no nail expert...I pick the pretty shades and whack it on and that's about as technical as it gets!!

So, on my feet I am wearing this cute pastel shade...503 Mind the Gap, Victoria by Rimmel and it's one of their 60 seconds polishes. 



I adore the Rimmel's 60 second polishes.  I think you definitely have to apply quite thin coats in order for it to dry quickly, and maybe just because it says it dries so fast I believe it...but because I am usually rushing around, I just find that you can't go wrong with this line of polishes.

On my fingers, I am trying a Models Own polish...it's from their Speckled Egg Collection, and it is in the colour Dove Pink. 


I may be a little late in jumping on this band wagon, but this polish just reminded me of Mini Eggs, and I think the pink is a really pretty shade.  


I applied two thin coats and then a clear top coat.  The only thing you need to be mindful of, is that because there are lots of little black speckles in the polish, you need to make sure that as you apply it you are distributing these evenly on the fingernail if that makes sense.  Otherwise you end up with speckles just in one corner of the nail.  I think without the top coat the polish would chip pretty easily.  I've had a few comments as to how nice my nails look so I will be sticking this on for a while I think!!

I have also been lusting after a few other colours that I have not yet managed to purchase.  Laura from BuyNowBlogLater reviewed another Models Own colour, Beach Bag (Link Here), which looks gorgeous, but I haven't been able to track in down in my local store as yet to try it for myself. 

I also saw on Instagram, that Mollie from the Saturdays was loving Essie's Absolutely Shore, (Link Here).  It looks like a gorgeous pastel green colour.  When I toddled into my nearest Boots however, I just could not face putting an £8 polish into my basket...does that make me sound like a scrooge? Hmmm, I think because I already had a fair few bits and pieces in my basket I just could not face bumping up the total at the till any further! I guess this clearly shows you certainly are not reading the blog of someone with lots of money and a disposable income!!! 

However, having said all of that, fear not, because I do have a plan, and I think I might sneak it into my basket when I am shopping next month...stay tuned...I think for the moment I will stay lusting after it and stick with my mini eggs colour!!! 

What are your favourite colours at the moment?? Any that you think trump Essie's Absolutely Shore that I should be looking at? Or any dupes that will save my purse £8?!

Thanks for reading!

Laura x