Friday, 29 December 2017

Setting SMART intentions for 2018.

I have said pretty much every January since the birth of my blog how much I do not like resolutions. Resolutions are usually broken by the 10th of January and are usually wildly unobtainable or just so vague that you don't ever stick to them.

In my day job I work in project management, and quite a lot of those techniques can be carried forward into your day to day life, making measurable and smart goals or intentions being one. By smart I don't just mean well thought out or intelligent. I mean SMART > specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based.

With this in mind I decided to set myself shorter goals, monthly or bi monthly intentions that are achievable, measurable and realistic. So I will check in every once in a while and see where I am at and reflect and refocus.

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Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone.

However you spend the festive season, I hope it is filled with joy and happiness
And a lot of yummy food and drink.

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Monday, 11 December 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 11th December

Yet another frugal meal plan this week, December is the actual worst. I am so close to just cancelling Christmas and hibernating until January. Anyway I am boring myself with my money whinging now so I'll shush and get on with the meal planning...

I am doing a lot of making from scratch with pie and soups in the slow cooker to last us a couple of days, with leftovers for lunches.

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Now you are Three.

Dear my darling Zoe Jean, I can hardly believe I am writing this on the eve of your third birthday. How these first three years have flown by, but at the same time I cannot even picture what my life was like without you in it; what did I even do with all my time?!

You have come on so much this past 12 months, not just with important developmental things like potty training and speech acquisition but so strongly in your personality. We are starting to see glimpses of the person you are turning into, and I am not going to lie, you are pretty rad.

You are hugely into films, which is kind of weird for someone so young, but you have this incredible attention span and love nothing more than snuggling with us and watching a good film. Recent favourites include; Night at the Museum (1,2&3), Hotel Transylvania (I love how you pronounce Dracula as Draclear) and Coraline. You remember the words to songs really well, and your latest favourite film is Ballerina; you love to stand and dance along with Felicie - we really must get you to a ballet class soon.

You love playing with dolls and plaiting hair, you are so caring to your toys and often like to pretend they are in hospital and you are the doctor making them well again, or that it is bedtime and you tuck them up ready for sleep. You love drawing and colouring and your pictures are starting to resemble actual things now, your people have arms and legs and faces and look like people!

You have finally got the hang with your scooter steering and you really fly along now! You are so brave and strong at the park, tackling the big kids frames and climbing so high with little fear. You are not scared of anything, which is so strange for me as I was a really frightened kid. You watch movies with monsters and like the dark and talking about ghosts. You climb high and slide down the highest slide at soft play all by yourself - I am in awe of you.

You are such a sociable little person and will speak to anyone and everyone, whether it is a lady walking her dog who get a 'good morning lady, good morning doggy' as we pass, or waiters in restaurants who you chat away to like old friends. People are drawn to you, not just for your amazing hair, but because of your infectious smile and open heart - I hope you never lose that.

You see the very best in people and help me to see it too, you notice everything and point it out, making me stop and really take in the little details of the world around us. You force me to stop and think and smile and that is an amazing gift.

This year hasn't been without its fair share of challenges though, you are a very strong minded little girl and once you set your mind to something it can't be easily changed. You get frustrated very easily if something proves difficult and I try very hard to encourage you to push through and try again. I can see a little perfectionist streak coming through especially with your drawing, you want to draw a horse but when it doesn't look like a horse you are upset, but I hope with time you will see that practise and perseverance are important and not all things will come as easily.

I cannot wait to see what is next for you, Seeing you grow and blossom into an amazing person is just simply amazing and I want the next 12 months to go a bit slower so we can really enjoy this time with you before we start to think about school and everything that goes along with that.

Happy 3rd Birthday Zoe Chops.

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 4th December

December is a weird old month for meal planning as it feels like you are on countdown to the big day; the big meal... when actually you need to still eat on the 23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th... Its awkward. You can't just live off the cheeseboard. Well I mean I could, but I have a child to feed too.

We are attempting to be as frugal as possible, as December always seems to be an impossibly long month, there is always a bit too much month at the end of the money.

It is Zoe's birthday on Friday, I have yet to decide what we are doing on the day, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know. *disorganised mum alert*

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Friday, 1 December 2017

Gift Guide for the Threenager in Your Life

It's December everybody! Which means Christmas shopping is in full swing. I have been fairly organised this year and have most of my presents bought and hidden away. However, I know not everyone is like me so you may be panicking over what to buy the people in your life. So, with that in mind, I am going to be sharing a few gift guides over the coming week.

To start us off, here is a gift guide for any threenager's in your life; or more specifically if you have a kid a bit like mine who despite my best intentions is very into pink and dolls and disney...

1. Dressing Up Outfits

We managed to get a bundle of great Disney dress up outfits second hand from a friend on Facebook, we have Anna, Rapunzel and Jesse. Zoe loves to dress up so I cannot wait to see her face on Christmas morning, and then have all the costume changes throughout the day. I paid £15 for all three, and they are like new.

2. My First Bike

My wonderful in laws are getting Zoe her first ever bike! I am pretty excited, she has seen a few friends out and about on their bikes and I know she is going to loose her tiny mind over it. This particular bike is a Townsend Bella Girls Pneumatic Tyre Bike from Halfords - £102.99.

3. Illustrated Harry Potter Book

I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and I have spent most of Zoe's young life trying to get her on board with the obsession. I have partially succeeded in that she knows what HP is and has watched the first two films and we have read the first book as a bedtime story, so this is probably more a gift for me, but I can't wait to sit and read it together. I got this Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. on Amazon for £14.

4. Lottie Doll and Accessories

Zoe is a huge doll fan, she has a couple of disney barbie-esque ones which she loves dressing and undressing. So we shopped around looking for the perfect doll, as I am not a huge fan of barbie, with her unrealistic body image. We found Lottie Doll and I loved their ethos. The dolls are a little smaller than barbie, but have more childlike body shapes and more relatable to children in their clothes and accessories. We picked up the Muddy Puddles doll with a couple of outfits, a dog, and a horse to go with it.

5. Playmobil Advent

We decided to get a toy advent calendar this year, I did plan to find a re-useable one and fill it myself, but then I stumbled onto the Playmobil ones and was totally sold! I used to love Playmobil as a kid and I think Zoe will love it too. I picked this one up reduced in Mothercare for £15.

6. Wooden Dolls House and Furniture

We really struggled to come up with a 'main' present for Zoe for Christmas, with her Birthday so close to Christmas too it was even harder. Then I saw the great range of wooden toys in Asda and we decided to go with a dolls house. We ordered this pink cottage style one, which is now sold out sadly - but they do have other styles in the range still available. The house itself was £35 and we got the bumper furniture set for £20.

7. Christmas Pyjamas

New PJs for Christmas are essential and I fell in love with these great pink festive print ones from Mothercare (they also do a Navy version if your kid isn't as into pink as mine). Although knowing me I will probably buy at least 10 different christmas themed PJs in the run up to the big day.

8. Strong Brave Smart Sweater

Last but by no means least, we absolutely LOVE this postive affirmation sweater from Mother Like No Other. I love supporting small businesses and this is one of my favourites. I love the strong powerful message on this and cannot wait to see it on Zoe.

I'd love to hear what is on your kids Christmas lists this year? What is this year's big toy?

NB This is all stuff we bought ourselves, no gifts or promotion here

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Mama Style - The Motherhood of the Multifunctional Skirt (of dreams)

I don't go out very often these days, I wouldn't go as far as to say becoming a Mum means your social life ends, but your priorities certainly change, and going out and spending money on cocktails when your kid needs new shoes is just not realistic. I do still get the occasional night out, but it tends to be a couple of drinks then home by 10pm.
So, as a result of my lack of nights out, I don't tend to buy specific 'going out out' clothes anymore. I just don't get the wear out of them, and then get the guilts over wasting money on glitzy garments sitting unworn. So, the only solution is to find clothes you can dress up for a night out, but also dress down for a playdate.

My wardrobe is very much multifunctional, what I wear for work, going out and playdates with kids are pretty much the same but with different accessories and shoes.
For those who got the ever so subtle early 2000s movie reference in my post title, this skirt is like the jeans in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (not seen it? Go watch it now, I'll wait)... I swear it would suit any occasion, dressed up with heels, dressed down with a slogan tee and converse... Truley multifunctional - and bloody beautiful to boot!

Top - Simply Be £8, Skirt - Simply Be £40, Boots - Simply Be £25,

I was asked by Simply Be to try out some of their Partywear, so I decided to try something that could be dressed up, but also be worn during the day. I had seen this pink velvet skirt on Jess - On the Plus Size and fell in love, I was worried it might not look as good on me, but I am really trying to push outside of my comfort zone and channel a bit of Zoe from Dress Like a Mum, she always looks so stylish, so after a glass of Malbec or two I though "Go for it".I am go glad I did as I love this skirt, its so shimmery and soft, and fits so well. For it looking so fancy its surprisingly comfortable, with its elasticated waist and lightweight feel.

I teamed it with a black bardot top and leopard boots for a bit of a day look for a recent trip to see Olaf's Frozen Adventure (the glamour of parenthood), I felt fantastic and even got a few compliments in Tesco, which is always lovely. When I wear bright and bold clothes I start to feel a little more like my old pre-child self and it definitely gave me a huge confidence boost, even if I was just off to the pictures with my kid.

I can definitely see me wearing this skirt again, maybe a more relaxed look with a slogan tee and converse as well as possibly some heels for my work Christmas night out. This post is a bit of a huge leap out of my comfort zone so I hope you enjoyed it, if you dig this sort of post or want to see more fashion (from me or Zoe) let me know in comments? I studied fashion design at university and love clothes so much, but never really think others would be interested in what I am wearing.


Disclosure - I received the items in this post from Simply Be in exchange for this post, all opinions and thoughts are completely my own.










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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Gift Guide for the Colourful Mamas in your life.

I was going to style this out as a generic 'for her' gift guide, but who am I kidding? I might as well call this dear Santa. So if you have a woman in your life who loves coffee, feminism, colourful stuff and mama merch then listen up, as this will be everything you wanted and more...


1. Pompomzigzag Ugly Beads

I literally cannot get enough of these ugly bead necklaces. I already own 4, but each is so unique and different I want more! They come with a child-friendly clasp which I actually really like, and it means Zoe can wear them too. I like the chunky paracord and how different each necklace is, I feel like these necklaces are my signature style to a tee.

2. Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman.

My Feminist book wish list is getting longer by the day, but this has been on the top of it for a while now. Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman is a non-fiction, feminist book based around women in the public eye and the status quos they have kicked down and made their own.

3. Monki Oversize Shirt Dress

Being a mum (and therefore having an extortionately high childcare bill) I don't often prioritise buying myself clothes these days, I know £30 for a dress doesn't seem much but I definitely get the mum guilt spending that much on one item just for me. Monki is one of my favourite retailers right now and this oversize shirt dress gives me ALL THE HEART EYES! *UPDATE* I managed to nab this at a HUGE discount on black friday!

4. Grrl Gang Art Calendar

Grrl Gang Art is one of my absolute favourite etsy sellers, the body positive message and unique quirky illustration style speaks to my soul! I simply NEED this calendar to get me through 2018.

5. Girls Who Grind Coffee

I am a big coffee lover, almost as much as I love supporting female run businesses. So stumbling across this female led coffee roastery; Girls Who Grind , on Instagram was like fate. I have yet to try their coffee, but I promise as soon as I do I will share what I think.

6. Slippers

Christmas just isn't Christmas to me without a new pair of slippers, I love the colours and quality of this pair from Accessorize, Don't they just like fluffy rainbow clouds for your feet? If I do get these for christmas I might never leave the house again!

7. Mother Like No Other Phone Case

I am slightly obsessed with my phone, I mean isn't everyone? As soon as I saw this every mama is different illustration I had to have it, its the perfect phone accessory for the modern mama. Also, I get the warm and fuzzies over supporting a small mama run business like Mother Like No Other.

8. Mere Soeur Coffee Cup

I am sensing a theme with this gift guide, yet another coffee/mama related item. This Stay Strong Mother Hard Cup has been on my lust list for a long time. I try to make my own coffee at home in the morning to take to work with me (to save me from the temptation of a shop bought coffee - that stuff is pricey). I have a few different take out cups, but they al have white lids, which is less than idea if you -like me- are partial to a bright lip. This double walled porcelain cup with a silicone black lid is just perfection.

So tell me, what is on your Christmas list?

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Gift Guide for the Bearded Gentleman in your Life.

I don't know about you, but I find men so so hard to buy for. Growing up my dad always got some sort of generic aftershave gift set and a shirt and tie from Burton for every birthday, christmas or fathers day. Pretty uninspired.

When it comes to the women in my life I can think of hundreds of possible gift ideas, but with the fellas I draw a complete blank. So with the help of my own bearded gent, here is a little handy gift guide for those like me who are feeling a little uninspired .

gift guide for men

1. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Sony Uncharted: The Lost Legacy for PS4 is a spin off from the popular uncharted game series, but instead of playing as Nathan Drake, you play as Chloe and Nadine, women from previous uncharted games. According to reviews it is the best uncharted game yet, and I personally love the fact that it has female leads.

2. Fat Face Pembroke Hoodie

I feel like there is something really traditional and lovely about giving a jumper for Christmas, but novelty ones are a bit of a waste really as they only get worn once a year. My Husband is king of casual so I chose this more relaxed Pembroke Zip Through Hoodie. Fatface quality is really good and I know he would get a lot of wear out of this.

3. Thiery Mugler - Pure Malt

My Husband is a fragrance addict, he loves to smell good and I can't say that I mind. He has a vast collection of different fragrances, but Pure Malt is a firm favourite and in fact is the one he wore on our wedding day. It is a warm, spicy and slightly woody scent with hints of whiskey and coffee... What is not to love?

4. Sennheiser Urbanite XL Headphones

My bearded gent is a big music fan and swears by these Sennheiser Urbanite XL Over-Ear Headphones, they have amazing build quality, the signature Sennheiser sound quality with enhanced bass. They are also foldable with a detachable cord, making them perfect for commuters too. He has had many MANY pairs of headphones over the years but these are the stand out ones.

5. Mo Bros Beard Comb

We couldn't have a bearded gent gift guide without a few beard accessories. This Mo Bros beard comb is cheap yet effective, a great stocking stuffer! I love the look with the mo bros logo carved into the wood. Its the perfect size to carry with you, and does the job of keeping his wild facial fur in tip top shape.

6. Hofmeister Beer

Hofmeister is a bit of a blast from the past for my husband and has made an award winning come back in recent years and was the first 5 star winner of the Best Lager award in the 2017/8 IWSC awards. Hofmeister is the perfect gift for lovers of craft beer and lager, it is very easy to drink but with a slightly hoppy aftertaste which I really like. You can get a box of 12 Hofmeister for just £19.99 on Amazon, which is a perfect treat for the festive period (also get free delivery if they enter the code FTBHOF17 at checkout).

7. Woody's Beard Balm

Beard balm is a must have for any self respecting bearded gent, this particular Woodys Beard Balm is not only affordable but its not too greasy, has a nice light fragrance (sandlewood), and my own bearded gent ranks it better than alot of the pricier balms on the market. Tried and tested favourite.

I hope this helps anyone struggling to shop for the gents in their life. What have you bought for the men in your life? If you have stumbled upon any gems please do share them in the comments too!

Disclosure - there are affiliate links within this post, which means that while it doesn't cost you any more to purchase any of these items, I get a little commission if you do.

I was also sent a box of Hofmeister to try, which I then included in this gift guide, although all thoughts and opinions are very much my own.

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Toddler Takeover | Great North Museum

A friend of mine messaged me recently saying she had booked tickets for the Toddler Takeover at the Great North Museum and asked if I'd like to go too. I had never heard of it before, but with Zoe's recent Museum obsession; fuelled by the Night at the Museum movies, it sounded like a perfect way to spend a Friday morning.
The event itself is free but divided into hour long sessions, so you have to prebook to get a place (and it is pretty popular so book fast!). When I first read the itinerary I didn't think we would spend the full hour, as keeping a toddler engaged for an hour is a tough task! However, the hour flew by and she didn't want to leave!
I had really hammed up the fact that the museum staff needed her help, as I was worried beforehand that she would be bored or not be engaged by it. But I shouldn't have worried as I literally had to drag her from the place to cries of "But mummy, they neeeeeeed my help!" and the promise of a Happy Meal.

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Monday, 20 November 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 20 November

Another OK week last week, but with Christmas fast approaching the need to be extra frugal is weighing heavy, I have actually been fairly organised this year and most of the presents have been bought and stashed away. Although December always feels like such a long old month, so frugality is the word of the week.

I am a little obsessed with Christmas food planning at the moment, I'd love to hear any Christmas food traditions that you have, or alternative menu ideas.

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Our Perfect Little Wedding Day.

My official photos are back and I have finally stopped crying (with happiness obvs) long enough to share a little more about our perfect little wedding day with the world. I did share an initial post on how we planned our Wedding on a tiny budget, but now I want to just share how the day itself wend down and all of these beautiful photos... LOOK AT THEM!
Firstly of course I have to do a GREAT BIG SHOUT OUT to our fantastic photographer Hannah from Lifeline Photography, please go check out her website and give her some love as she is just amazing. She fit in so beautifully with our laid back day and knew exactly the type of shots we wanted. If you are looking for a slightly quirky and bloody talented wedding photographer, pop her at the top of your list, OK?


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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

What I'm really thinking; The Mother of a Ginger Child.

I recently read this article in the Guardian and I had so many thoughts and responses I decided to write my own account of what I am really thinking, as a ginger mother of a ginger child.
I struggle to remember Zoe's birth very clearly in a bit of a blur of gas and air and pain, but I vividly remember when she was born, firstly asking "Is this her?" as they plonked her on my chest. She was so tiny and I'd been told over and over what a chunky giant baby I was going to have, so I almost didn't believe this tiny little thing could be my baby, despite literally watching her come out (sorry for that visual).
The second question I asked Paul was "Is she ginger?". I remember the midwife saying something about all babies looking ginger due to blood and stuff, as if she was trying to comfort me in the fact she might not really be ginger. The reality was that I really really wanted her to be ginger; like me.
It makes me incredibly sad to think that so many people are possibly disappointed when recessive ginger genes appear in their children, as if this pesky gene is a passport to a lifetime of bullying and should be something to hate.



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Monday, 13 November 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 13th November

We definitely had a slightly better week last week, much less shop bought and more homemade. I still think we could do better though, especially with my work lunches. If we don't have leftovers from the night before, I tend to end up buying a sandwich and it all adds up.
So my pledge this week is to be prepared, have my breakfast and lunch sorted each day. I'd love to hear the sorts of things you make for lunches at work? Hit me up!


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Monday, 6 November 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 6 November

Last week was not good, not good at all... Far too much takeaway, far too little meal planning. The irony that I posted my 'How to Meal Plan Like a Boss in 5 Easy Steps' last week while chomping away on my second take away of the week. I need to sort my life out.
I am in a serious life funk at the moment, I am busy and stressed with work, which means I am tired and grumpy by the time I get home and get the toddler to bed. So this week we are determined and focussing on quick and easy meals.
Wish me luck!


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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss in 5 Easy Steps (Free Printable)

meal plan printable and avocado lunch
I have been posting fairly regularly on here about meal planning for the last couple of years. It is something I feel is really essential to not only cutting costs, but also keeping food waste to a minimum. On weeks where I don't meal plan I really notice a sharp increase in the number of top up trips to the supermarket, and also the amount we throw away. So for those of you new to the meal planning world or who are noticing your food bills creep upwards, I thought I would share some of my top tips so you too can MEAL PLAN LIKE A BOSS.
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Monday, 23 October 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 23 October

Its been A WHILE since I had a coherent meal plan. The husband went away for two full weeks (three weekends) and I thought it would be a great opportunity to eat what I like, lots of veggies and slightly more adventurous foods... In reality I was cooking for one so ended up with toast or cereal a lot.
Does anyone really bother when its only themselves to feed?
Anyway, he is back, back to normality, so here goes with this weeks meal plan. I should also mention
I am trying my hardest to not spend money on coffee/food at work, so taking stuff from home.


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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Autumn in Full Effect.


Hands down, Autumn is my favourite time of year visually. Especially early autumn when its still warm enough to run around with bare legs and cardigans but the leaves are turning and the colours are just incredible. We recently took a trip to Rising Sun Country Park for some fresh air and horse spotting, we grabbed our best friends and threw leaves, made dens, climbed trees and had the most wonderful day. The light was just perfect and I couldn't resist snapping some beautiful photos of my beautiful girl - who lets face it, is autumn personified with those auburn curls.


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Friday, 29 September 2017

How We Planned our Perfect Wedding (on a really really tight budget)

How We Planned our Perfect Wedding (on a really really tight budget) from Nelly's Cupcakes
I decided to publish this post before my official pictures came back, as I wanted to do it while it was all fresh in my mind, so these pictures are pinched from friends and family. I'll share a second post once I get the fancy photos.
Weddings are BIG business, its a well known fact that if you tell a business you are getting married they tend to double the price of whatever it was you were planning to buy. I know that sounds super cynical and I know not all businesses do this, but I experienced it a fair few times first hand.
When we got engaged we were really overwhelmed by all of the wedding websites and blogs quoting thousands and acting like that was cheap. I lost count of the number of blog posts I read claiming their £7k wedding was cheap/a bargain. I felt like we might never actually get married. We had little savings and it all felt a bit disheartening. We were very fortunate that a wonderful family member gifted us £500 which helped us get the ball rolling and we embarked upon trying to make our perfect day, on a shoestring budget.
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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Life Lately - September 2017

Life has been a little hectic lately, I mean when is life with a toddler not hectic? But this past few months has been just a little bit extra. The main source of the stress has of course been my recent nuptials. I mean we purposefully went for small and fun to try and avoid any sort of bridezilla moments and for the most part we managed to keep things together, but my brain has been pretty occupied with a lot of 'But what if no one comes?!' or 'What if it all looks a bit shit?!' and its left little room for much else.
So now its all done and dusted and I am fully fledged Sadie (funny girl reference alert), I thought I would once again peek into the blogosphere and see what's been occurring.
So here is a little glimpse at my life lately and what to expect coming up on my little corner of the web.


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Monday, 7 August 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 7 August

WE SURVIVED! Two weeks of no childminder. We did succumb to take away once, and I did have toast for dinner one night, but we survived! This week we are sort of back to normal, Zoe is back to the childminder but Paul is away Monday-Thursday being a super important big shot with work, so I am fending for myself.

On one hand I am anticipating feeling a bit lonely and sleeping with the TV on (tell me I am not the only adult who gets a bit creeped out being home alone?!) but on the other hand I am excited to plan meals just for me! I feel a bit overwhelmed by choice, as nothing is off limits!

Monday:

Breakfast: Porridge with banana and honey
Lunch: naked noodles with seeded toast and avocado
Dinner: Leftover roast chicken pad thai.

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries and honey
Lunch: Leftover pad thai
Dinner: Roasted broccoli fritata with haloumi

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Porridge with banana and honey
Lunch: Red pepper and tomato soup.
Dinner: Pineapple and olive pizza.

Thursday:

Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries and honey
Lunch: Red pepper and tomato soup
Dinner: I am out with friends for Newcastle Restaurant Week, we haven't decided where yet as we are indecisive.

Friday:

Breakfast: Cereal, toast and coffee
Lunch: We are planning to be out and about during the day, so we'll grab something on the go.
Dinner: Pesto pasta with bacon and garlic bread.

What is everyone else eating this week? Don't forget you can grab my free PRINTABLE MEAL PLANNER over on last week's Meal Plan Like a Boss post.

What's on your meal plan this week?

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

World Breastfeeding Week - Demand more from your nursing bra.

It's World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August), and I realised I have never really discussed my own experiences of breastfeeding on this blog. Mostly that was purposeful, as it is such an emotive topic, I didn't feel 100% comfortable sharing my own experiences as my decision to combi-feed can sometimes be met with negativity online. However, I did manage to breastfeed Zoe for 12 months and I am incredibly proud of that fact.

One thing I absolutely hated about breastfeeding was frumpy nursing bras. I searched high and low for a decent nursing bra, which not only fitted my ample milk filled boobs, but also looked nice. I mean it is hard enough to maintain your sense of self in new motherhood. I struggled to find high street retailers who stocked my size in store, and I was a bit daunted by shopping online, in case they didn't fit. So I ended up venturing to M&S, where it took me so long to find the measly two styles they had in store, which were hidden on the bottom row under the post-surgery bras - nothing saying 'normalize breastfeeding' like crawling on your hands and knees in marks and spencer to find a nursing bra.

The two I bought were beige and navy with twee polka dots and a bow on the front. They didn't really fit well, but they had the little clippies and I made do. They provided no support, and I felt frumpy in them, but I didn't realise there was any other choice out there.

So, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a shop which specialises in edgy, modern design which is functional but also a little bit (dare I say) sexy! I certainly wish I knew of them back when I was feeding.

The Lucky Muthah Nursing Bra design is a nursing bra like no other! After having her daughter in 2015 Carly Foster became disheartened with the lack of edgy and modern nursing bras available. She craved to have a nursing bra that was functional, a bit sexy, not beige, and basically something she didn't mind people getting an eye-full of when her darling daughter pulled at her top to demand more 'Boo Boos!' in the middle of the coffee shop. (we've all been there right?)

On-trend prints, modern cage-detailing, natural shaping and lift (yes, even for those with larger busts). What also makes their Nursing Bra unique is the 'Y' strap detail. This not only aids support (which we all know our milk-filled boobs need as much of as possible), but is also a fashion detail that can be incorporated with your outfits and can turn any outfit from 'Frumpy Mum' to 'Lucky Muthah'!

To celebrate both World Breastfeeding Week and one year of selling their amazing bras, Lucky Muthas will be having a month long sale (25% off!) on ALL nursing bras, and bringing back a few Limited Edition favourites that had previously sold out.

There is also an Instagram competition to win your own Lucky Mutha Nursing Bra by sharing your own Breastfeeding story/brelfie/experience using the #DemandMoreFromYourNursingBra hashtag.

The aim of the campaign is to get Mamas talking about breastfeeding. The good and the bad. Our lows and our highs. Let’s be real! Let’s talk about how itchy breast pads are, and how scary it can be when you first breastfeed in public. How you’ve been wearing the same grey ‘sleep bra’ for months because it’s impossible to find a decent fitting nursing bra on the high-street! To discuss how impractical and dated high-street nursing bras can be. To empower breastfeeding mothers to share a brelfie (breastfeeding selfie) and talk about how we want to demand more from our usual boring nursing bra. Being a new Mama and hardly having time for a shower is tough enough, without feeling like your tender, leaky bosom aren’t being supported enough. Let’s share how proud and Lucky we are to be able to breastfeed and empower other Mamas to do the same!

To take part in the campaign, or to just help spread the word and help get the conversation surrounding nursing bras flowing, you just need to post your picture on instagram and use the tag #demandmorefromyournursingbra.

So please get involved and start demanding more from your nursing bra.

(This is not a sponsored post, I am just really quite passionate about this and wanted to share this great shop/campaign)

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Family Fun - Pick Your Own Farm.

We recently packed up the car and took a little weekend road trip down to Suffolk to visit family, so I thought I would share some of our adventures from our trip. Our original plan was to leave around bedtime on Thursday night so that Zoe would sleep for most of the 5-6 hour journey. It seemed like such a great idea which had totally worked the last time we travelled (when she was much younger and winter) however, it didn't work nearly as well as this time. We didn't factor in that it was the middle of July so BRIGHT sunshine until nearly 10pm at night, also she is now potty trained so despite putting a pull up on her (she still wears one at night) she was awake so still insisted on stopping to wee.

So despite our great plans and best intentions, we listened to non stop Disney songs and stopped at most of the service stations on the A1, arriving at nearly 11pm, BUT my little trooper was great and after a quick hello and milk pit stop, went straight off to bed.

One downside of being away from home, and also co-sleeping with a toddler, I was rudely awoken at 5am every morning while we were away. Thank HEAVENS for the Kindle Fire which bought me at least 40 minutes of dozing time each morning. Although note to self, take your coffee machine with you next time, the countryside might be beautiful and peaceful and green, but there are no coffee shops anywhere, not one.

On day two we took a trip to a nearby Alder Carr Farm to pick some raspberries (sadly we were a bit too late for strawberries). It's something I have wanted to do with Zoe for a while, but not having a car makes it a bit more difficult to visit farms, another minus in the countryside column is the lack of public transport (city girl fo lyf!)

Alder Carr Farm is lovely, it has a wonderful farm shop filled with delicious produce and locally sourced ingredients and a great little cafe with the most wonderful cake selection. There is not much else for children to do, but Zoe really enjoyed picking (and eating) the raspberries, spotting the juiciest ones hidden out of sight.

We ended up with two HUGE punnets of raspberries and a slightly sticky toddler, but we had lots of fun. Sadly we had to pack up and travel home the following day so didn't get a chance to make anything with the raspberries, but I am reliably informed they were turned into jam and cake after we left.

I really enjoyed snapping these pictures and getting to grips with my new camera lens (50mm is EVERYTHING guys) so I am just going to leave these pictures here... I hope you love them as much as I do.

Stay tuned for more adventures from the countryside!

I've already had messages so just editing to add that Zoe's skirt is from Tu at Sainsburys and her hat is M&S.

Babyfoote
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Monday, 31 July 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 31st July

We are now on week 2 of our childminders holiday, so I am off back to work, and Paul is taking the week off with Zoe. So this week's meal plan will be a bit disjointed, with planning for all three of us eating at different times/places.

Monday:

Breakfast: Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Zoe is deep in a jam sandwich addiction right now, so no doubt that will feature heavily this week for her. I usually buy a large pot of soup which lasts a couple of days lunches.
Dinner: Leftover roast chicken egg fried rice.

Tuesday:

Breakfast:Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Paul is planning lots of day trips and picnics this week, so we have lots of picnic things like Babybel cheese, mini cheddars, veggie sticks, hummus etc... I'll be having the second half of the soup.
Dinner: Slow cooked beef stew

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Leftover beef stew with bread and butter for all.
Dinner: Paul and Zoe are going to have a freezer tea (fish fingers) and I will make myself a jacket potato when I get home.

Thursday:

Breakfast: Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Paul is taking Zoe on a playdate to the Discovery Museum, so packed lunches it'll be! I will probably turn to one of the naked noodle pots I have stashed at work.
Dinner: Bangers and mash with veg and gravy

Friday:

Breakfast: We are all off together today, so I think so treat Maple Syrup Pancakes might be in order.
Lunch: I'd love for us to go down to the coast as a family today, so will take a packed lunch and some pennies for ice cream.
Dinner: Pesto pasta with bacon and garlic bread.

What is everyone else eating this week? Don't forget you can grab my free PRINTABLE MEAL PLANNER over on last week's Meal Plan Like a Boss post.

What's on your meal plan this week?

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