Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Mum & Dad's Surprise 30th Wedding Anniversary Party

Mum and Dad's surprise party was great! They totally didn't have a clue whilst they were out with my mum's brother and his wife (in other words my aunty and uncle). My Aunty text my cousin and said :) It all went to plan, apart from my parents didn't go in the front door, they came all the way round the back and in the conservatory door. Even thought all the cars were for someone else doing something. We spent the afternoon decorating and setting up. The middle one of us 3 baked the cake and did most of he homemade food, whilst my other sister put up some decorations then went off to Sainsbury's with her boyfriend to pick up last minute food and paper plates and cutlery etc. Steve put together the outside table and chairs and cleaned them down, whilst I looked after Ben. And then I put up a few decorations, and helped organise the food etc. on the table.

I think the biggest surprise for mum and dad were that my cousins came (my dads sisters 2 boys who live around 3 hours away), they caught the coach up by themselves, it was lovely to see them again as well. And also my Aunty Sarah (dads sister) and Uncle Martin, who live in Singapore, and had said they weren't coming over till this week, so they didn't even realise they were in the country.

It was a lovely day seeing family members we hadn't seen for ages, some hadn't met Ben or even Steve.

 Dad came in first.

Then mum

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Life Update #1

I hope you're all enjoying my sudden increase in posts, I totally had a spur to post more, and aim to try and get 2 posts up a week. Every now and again I'd also like to just write little update posts on what is going on in my life, and a little look at things to come on my blog.

So yesterday, I wrote down loads of blog posts titles, as they all just jumped into my head. I'm trying to do some beauty, fashion, baby/toddler and life related posts. As you know if you've read my previous posts we are going on holiday, and I have a list of posts focused around that too. And I'm hoping to still be able to upload scheduled posts whilst away.

We are going to the South of France again with Steve's parents, his nan and her friend. Exactly like last year, we both can't wait just to get away. And by then we'd have worked 3 and a half months without any time off work. And Ben should be able to take more in this year. I'm already planning what to take even though we don't go until September.

All 3 of us went out for a meal to celebrate my parents 30th Wedding Anniversary nearly two weeks ago now, We went to a restaurant called The Belgian Monk, I chose a chicken kebab (which was massive) and it came beautifully presented. And then for dessert I had a trio of chocolate puddings. Ben also shared with me, and had some of his Great Grandmas bread roll as well.

My sister had a great idea of doing a surprise party celebration as well, so more family could celebrate, this is actually taking place today! I will try and take lots of photos so I can do a post about it. So both my sisters and I have arranged this. It's been a bit harder for me to purchase items as I don't know what my sisters have bought already. Yesterday my sister came over and we spent the day getting a few more things sorted, bought and made.

On Wednesday we're off out for another meal, this time at The Trafford Arms, as my Aunty who lives in Singapore is back for a few days, and it will be good to have a proper catch up. She only comes back once, or twice a year.

Thank you for reading x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Review - Liz Earle Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise

I've been using the Liz Earle cleansing routine for nearly 10 years now. My mum got me a set for a Christmas present one year, as she was using the products herself. It was my first proper skincare routine that I actually stuck to, although I only ever used it in the morning (lack of knowledge I put that down to).

The cleanser you use on dry skin, work it in all over, even the eye area, which I spend more time on to help with removal of mascara. Then you wet a muslin cloth in hand hot water and wipe off the cleanser along with any make-up, dirt and dead skin cells. I love the fact that the muslin works as a exfoliator as well. Then splash your face with cold water. Most cleanses just tell you to rinse them off with water - I always find this annoying as the water gets every where and your clothes get all wet! Where as you don't get that with this product. The cleanser comes in 2 formats, you can either have a squeezy tube like I have, or there's a pump version, when one pump will dispense enough for your whole face.

Next you use the toner, put a little on a cotton pad and sweep it all over. Or there's a spray bottle version that you can just spray straight on to your face. I find this totally refreshes my face and helps removes any traces of cleanser, make-up or dirt that you may have missed

They have one cleanser and one toner suitable for all skin types.

There's 3 different types of moisturiser. I used to use the Light version, which is aimed and more acne prone, oily skin as it's not very thick. I have had to move on to the normal/combination version, as I was getting a lot of dry patches on my skin, I needed something thicker, but I was still getting the odd break out as well (mostly hormone related). I think my skin changed after I gave birth to my son, I don't know whether that's normal or not? There's also a dry/sensitive version of moisturiser too. So it works great, just make sure you're using the correct one for your skin type. The moisturiser also comes in a variety of containers, there's a pump version or a pot version. My squeezy tube version came as part of a set on QVC.

The first thing I noticed when I started using this was I had less acne. When I was a teenager I used to have at least one spot at all times. Once I started using this cleansing routine I noticed a huge improvement in my skin as I was only getting the odd few spots, a gain mainly around that hormonal time of the month. I also noticed how my face felt smoother.

I think the fact that it's nearly 10 years later and I'm still using the same cleansing routine just shows how great I think it is. I also like that all the ingredients are natural.

You can purchase Liz Earle products from the Liz Earle website (there's also a couple of shops), QVC, John Lewis and some Boots stores.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Ben's 15 month update

It's time for Ben's 15 month update. Now I'm back into blogging again, these will be every month. This will be one massive post, as I haven't done an update for a while.

I honestly have no idea! He hasn't been weighed since 28th Jan, and then he was 18lb, 6 and a half oz. So I'm guessing he's around 21lb? He's not the biggest of toddlers.

At night, sleep is great, he normally gets at least 11 hours, the other day he slept for 12 and a half. He normally sleeps through the night and if he wakes he puts himself back to sleep. We no longer co-sleep, and put him down awake at bedtime. Nap time is a different story, we went through about 2 weeks of not napping. Now I manage to get him to sleep, but either in my arms, his rocker or he will fall asleep in his buggy if we're out.

He eats 3 meals a day, and 1 or 2 snacks a day. I am aiming to start cooking more, so Ben can have what we have. The only issue with this is Steve and I working, there's 3 nights a week when we eat separately. Ben's also off breast milk completely, and now drinks full fat cows milk with every meal and his snacks. We have a straw cup of water on the floor most of the time for him to help himself too, and sometimes he has both milk and water with some of his meals.

Our routine is pretty good I would say, Ben wakes up normally at around 8PM, sometimes earlier  the odd time later. I normally let him sit in his cot for a while, whilst I wake up properly as he doesn't cry or anything. Once we're both downstairs, I give Ben his first drink of milk, I have a cup of tea, and then it's breakfast time, then some play time, before he sits in his rocker whilst I shower. When I get dressed etc. I put Ben in his bedroom to play. Once we're both up and dressed I let Ben play with his toys downstairs whilst I do the washing up. Then we play together. Lunch is around 12pm. Naptime is all over the place, the past couple of days he's napped in the morning, he'll only have been awake for around 2 hours. Other times he won't nap till the afternoon though. Dinner's around 6-7pm, bathtime is normally at 7:30pm, followed by lotion, teeth cleaning, hair brushing, reading him his bedtime stories, then I put him in his sleeping bag, give him lots of cuddles, and then put him down to bed. He mostly falls asleep around 8:30pm now.

He seems to be doing pretty well health wise. He's got 8 teeth, 4 top 4 bottom. He's been teething quite a bit, and his first double teeth are slowly coming in, but haven't cut yet. Sometimes he'll just randomly cry out in pain and put his hand in his mouth, so we know that his teeth caused him to cry out. We use Calpol and Teetha granules to help ease the pain.
Ben also has had quite a bit of dry skin. He went through a faze of dribbling his drinks out of his mouth, so he got dry skin under his chin, and as it's and easy place for him to reach and scratch it's taken a while to sort out. Slowly getting better though, Just had to moisturise constantly!

Ben still fits in some 9-12 month clothes, and most of his 12-18 seem to drown him. He's short like his mummy and daddy, so all his shorts seem to come down to his ankles, and that's if they even fit him round the waste.

Stacking cups, bath time, grapes, cheese, getting into his own cupboard in the kitchen, throwing toys, music, dancing, cuddles, walking, talking, pulling books/DVDs/CDs off shelves, bathtime, his sleeping bag

Napping, teething, having his teeth brushed, having his face wiped

Ben took his first few steps at 11 months of age, but we didn't push him into it, and still crawls places now at 15 months old. He can crouch down and stand up again. But hasn't learnt how to stand up on his own yet, and still stands up with help from furniture or the walls. He makes lots of noises, and says some words, like Mumma, Da (Daddy), cat, cup, car, pea and duck. He loves to point at everything, and seems to understand a lot, and knows what things are even if he can't say it.

I can't believe Ben is now 15 months old, where has the time gone? Love my little man so much!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Boys Toddler Haul

I've recently bought Ben a few new things, that I thought I would share with you.

Firstly we took a trip to H&M Kids, all these items were in the sale. They are selling some t-shirts for £1, and you just can't say no to that much of a bargain. If you haven't you must go and check it out. All the t-shirts I got in 18-24 months. Ben will be 18 months in October, but I find that H&M sizes run quite big, and some of Ben's 12-18 months clothes still look really big on him. So I'm hoping he'll be able to wear these next Summer, if not then we can layer him up in the winter with a plain white long-sleeved vest/top under neath. The cardigan is 12-18 though, I mainly bought it as a light cover up for cooler days, and when we're on holiday and the cooler days & evenings there.

We also popped into Jojo Maman Bebe (has to be one of my favourite baby shops) and got this super cute London themed sleepsuit, for £14. And some sunglasses to protect his eyes on the sunnier days here & on holiday, and these were only £5.

On a separate shopping trip my aim was to get Ben some shoes for his holiday. He is currently wearing a size 3F that we bought in Clarks when we first got his feet measured. So far these are the only pair I have gotten. Cute little jelly shoes from Boots Mini Club. I did pick them up in a size 4 after trying them on him there is plenty of room to grow, so hopefully will still fit come our holiday (we go in September). Still plan on getting another couple of pairs of new shoes, my boyfriend would like to get him some croc style shoes. And I also plan on taking a trip to Clarks a few days before we go to get his feet measured, just to check his size and if his then current pair of main shoes are still okay for him to wear.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Haul - River Island, Primark and The Body Shop

With the impending holiday, I really wanted to buy some new earrings, for some reason I always like new earrings to wear on holiday. Very strange.

I picked up these three sets from River Island, they have some really nice pieces for very reasonable prices. As you can see these were all £2 each.

I also found this set of earrings for £1.50 in Primark, if they go a funny colour or you lose them it doesn't really matter for how little you pay for them. I went for a silver set, as I normally go for gold stud earrings, and I love the pale pink colour that's on some of them. I also picked up this daisy bun hair tie. I already have a hair doughnut, that I don't use much, but thought on a hot day with this hair tie around it to help cover any left over hair it would look really pretty and add a little something extra.

Lastly I stopped off in The Body Shop, I must be honest and say I haven't been in there in years. But with people raving about the Chamomile Cleansing Oil (£10.00), and the Raspberry Body Scrub (£12.50), I had to go and purchase them to see what all the fuss is about. I also picked up this Blueberry Body Scrub (£5.50) as it was in the sale.