Second term of ballet

So today Tia had her first class of her second term of baby ballet. She had a week off and couldn’t wait to go today,  practically dragging me out of the front door.
I was a little worried as I knew it would be all new songs and dances, but I really didn’t need to worry. She quickly picked up all the new steps, and even ran around on her tippy toes perfectly.
She managed just about to balance the tambourine on her head and really enjoyed doing the new hickory dickory dock routine.
It was her first time wearing her new ballet shoes and they fit her perfectly, they didn’t fall off once so I’m really happy with that purchase. She also looks so adorable in her knitted baby ballet wrap around cardigan.

I was gutted to find when we got there I had left my phone at home so no photos, we took a few when we got home instead. Next week we’ll be wearing red for red nose day, I’m so excited for this. Tia actually has an amazing big red tutu from Itsy-bits, though it will clash horribly with her baby pink leather shoes lol.

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Meal planning.

Since late last year we’ve been trying to cut back on our food waste, and keep an eye on how much money we spend on food.
An easy way for us to do this was to start meal planning, and since doing it I’ve honestly no idea how we ever managed before without one! I totally used to wing it, going to the shops sometimes four times a week buying whatever I fancied that day. And of course I can’t walk into a supermarket without buying at least one of the tempting offers.
This in turn meant a lot of waste. Stupid.

So anyway, I’ve just sat down and wrote out next weeks plan and thought I would share it, you never know. It might just inspire you. Each week I tend to pick a different book, this weeks is Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals.
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Friday. Paella, the inspiration for this came from another blogger called Olana and you can find the recipe here.

Saturday. Order in. We’ve got company and ordering in will be a treat.

Sunday. Roasted belly of pork with all the trimmings. I always try to cook a roast on a Sunday, even in the summer.

Monday. Wonkey summer pasta from page 46. A easy simple pasta dish comprising of Parmesan cheese, egg yokes, fresh lemon, fresh basil and that’s it. I’ll cut up fresh lasagne sheets for the pasta, I always cook a simple pasta dish on Mondays and this sounds wonderful to me.

Tuesday. We always have dinner with the in-laws on Tuesday’s so I don’t have to cook anything today.

Wednesday. Chicken pie, smash and posh peas page 92.
I’ve not made pie for about a month, and this looks like a nice recipe. Smash is smashed carrots with a bit of fresh thyme and the peas are cooked and added to little gem lettuce, butter, chicken stock, fresh mint and a bit of lemon juice. Lovely!

Thursday. Mustard chicken with quick dauphinoise potatoes and greens. Page 98. Another recipe I’ve not tried (I try to cook at least one new thing every week) the chicken is cooked in cream, mustard, white wine and leeks. The potatoes have red onions, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, cream and fresh thyme.
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So that’s it, I always do a shopping list so I know what I need to buy and I stick to that. Always checking dates as I go along to make sure nothing will get wasted. What will you be eating next week?

Choosing a baby name.

I truly think this is not as easy as one might originally think. Picking a name for someone, someone who will need to live with said picked name their whole life! Then they’res so other things to consider, some like popular names, others despair if their chosen name is in the top 100. Then if you’ve already gotten children, you want them to sound nice together, and don’t even get me started on middle names and how many is an acceptable amount to have!

With my first born I had several names picked out, we didn’t know the gender so we needed to be prepared. If a girl she was going to be Brooke, but I had always liked the name Tia and when I first looked into my beautiful daughters eyes my mind was set. She was Tia.
I only had one thing to consider, I didn’t want a name that could be shortened (although I’m sure she’ll be called T by teen friends when older)

This time around we know we’re having a baby boy, this makes things much easier as we’ll be following a family tradition when naming him. Had he have been another girl, I would have dug out my old name books and perhaps downloaded one of those new fancy name apps like this one to help me pick.

My husbands family traditions however is that the first son is passed his daddies name, continuing down the full family name. So our son will be called Michael louis (louis is my brothers name) so very much a family traditional name.

How did you pick your child(rens) names? Leave me a comment, I love reading them.

My nappy love week two.

Hey guys, welcome back to the second instalment of my nappy love. A massive thank you to those who joined in, shared and read last weeks. If you missed it, you can catch up here.

So this week it’s turned all springlike outside, lots of daffodils appearing and showers a plenty. So it had to be a Totsbots incy wincy spider nappy for this weeks post. This nappy screams spring to me, it’s colourful and a real favourite of ours. We’ve teamed it today with a cute dress from next (which will be finished with tights and a cardigan)
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totsbots v4 easyfits are available in a range of colours and prints. They’ve won awards and are a superb nappy for us. Made from a mix of minkee and bamboo, they dry quickly but are also highly absorbent. We adore the prints and have several of them, they take quite a while to build up the absorbency. So when we first got them we got a few leaks, all sorted now and we get a great fit using the hook and loop (velcro) fastening.
They’re a birth to potty style nappy so they will all be saved for baby boy :-)
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Rules of the linky

Linky will be live for seven days every Wednesday from 8am, if you would like a tag to remind you let one of us know!

5 links per blogger (you can catch up by adding in reviews and old posts this week)

Posts must be a fashion based cloth nappy post (photo is fine) or review.

Your link up can feature a change bag of your choice or change bag review if they show or feature cloth nappies.

All posts will be RT by Chelle and Kelly if using the #clothnappylove hashtag.

Commenting on other posts isn’t essential but it is a nice thing to do :-)

And that’s it, get linking below.

24 week pregnancy update.

This week baby is 12.5″, is the size of a corn and weighs around 1.25lb.
109 days to go and very much counting :-)

Symptoms
I’ve had such a good week, not a single migraine which must be the first week since falling pregnant! I got my first leg cramp last night (all the fun) and I’ve noticed that Im starting to need to go to the toilet more often again. Mainly as baby loves kicking downwards. *crosses legs*

Tia
Tia declared this week that her brother isn’t allowed to play with her toy kitchen as he’s too small haha. She showed him some pepper pig video on my phone via my belly button, and has started asking me approximately a million times a day when he’s coming. She also declared today after lifting my top up, that he’s gotten bigger. I think she’s right lol.

Movements
Lots and lots now, I even watched my belly move the other night which was amazing. He’s still being a monkey and not letting anyone else feel though!
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Body
I feel much bigger this week, I’ve actually got the midwife today who’s going to measure me. Which will be interesting :-) looking forward to hearing the heartbeat too.
I’ve started itching as my skin is stretching, I’ve several gorgeous thick creams which stop it in its tracks. I’m also struggling to tis my laces now, I have to sit on the stairs and let my belly fall in-between my legs, if I don’t I get winded!

Preparations
I’ve not bought anything this week, but I’ve done a swap with another blogger. She’s getting some of Tia’s girlie bits in exchange for some of her sons old clothes. I’m looking forward to receiving those, baby boy is also getting a super cute personalised bath robe sent to him for us to review. I’ll share some photos when it’s arrived. I also attended the recent baby show in London, and got quite a few goodies that I’ve put away.
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Thanks for popping by and continuing to read my weekly updates.

My beebies maternity clothing essentials.

Hey guys,
I wanted to write a quick post on a few basic items I have bought from Beebies baby store as I basically live in these items, I find them comfortable, stylish and very good value for money. No one wants to spend a ton of money on essentials that will only be worn for a few months.

I have pretty much lived in jeans and comfy tops due to it being winter (I’m normally very much a dress kinda girl)
These basic maternity tops are so comfy an easy to wear, and very reasonable at £12.99 each. They come in a choice of colours, I’ve got black* and violet and plan on buying the cappuccino soon.

I’ve worn the black top every week in my weekly pregnancy updates (since I’ve got it) so I can get a good idea on how much im growing. I find it helps to wear the same thing and these tops really flaunt your ever-growing bumps off, which I love!

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Lastly is this beautiful dress in blue which is apparently a formal dress, but I find it so easy to wear no matter the occasion. Priced at £22.99 and free shipping it’s a lot of dress for your money. It will grow with me, and I even wore it long before my bump became apparent and no one noticed it was a maternity dress. Meaning I’ll get to wear it afterwards too, making it even better value for money.

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I adore this dress so much, I love the colour and the cut and feel quite pretty when wearing it (which doesnt happen much these days) It’s from the same range as the tops and is also in a stretchy material. The only downside I’ve found to this, is they take a little longer to dry than cotton.

P.S I’m so sorry about the teeny spots on the photos, the perils of living with a teeny toddler!

My nappy love.

Hey guys, welcome to the very first instalment of a brand new linky, My nappy love which will be hosted by myself and the gorgeous Chelle over at The mumington post There won’t be many rules but the ones we have are listed below, I hope to see you all here every Wednesday.

We’ll be hosting this as a chance to showcase gorgeous cloth nappies and how you dress them up. A weekly cloth nappy fashion post, and I’m super excited to share with you this week my favourite nappy.

This week Im featuring my limited edition “Audrey” Bumgenius freetime nappy. This nappy is 100% my favourite nappy, Tia also asked to wear it a lot. You can buy Bum genius nappies from a few selected UK stockists including Babipur A large majority of my cloth nappy stash is mad up with Bum genius Freetimes, I love the fit, the designs and how well they work and wash etc. They’re super absorbent but are easily boosted, and the design of the nappy means they dry quickly. Perfect for these cooler months when drying outside isn’t always an option.

I’ve teamed it up this week with a beautiful handmade dress from my good friend Sophie who owns Baba be boho
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Rules of the linky

Linky will be live for seven days every Wednesday from 8am, if you would like a tag to remind you let one of us know!

5 links per blogger (you can catch up by adding in reviews and old posts this week)

Posts must be a fashion based cloth nappy post (photo is fine) or review.

Your link up can feature a change bag of your choice or change bag review if they show or feature cloth nappies.

All posts will be RT by Chelle and Kelly if using the #clothnappylove hashtag.

Commenting on other posts isn’t essential but it is a nice thing to do :-)

And that’s it, get linking below.

23 week pregnancy update.

Hey guys,
I skipped last weeks post due to several reasons, I had a really tough week and in the end I just ran out of time. I didn’t even manage to take my weekly photo *sad face*
So baby is now the size of a large mango and weighs about 1.1lb. As you might have seen we had another scan last week, and baby is measuring perfectly according to his dates.

symptoms
I’m well and truly into my second trimester and experiencing a lack of anything untoward which is lovely, I never had a break with Tia. So it seems every pregnancy really Is different. I have had a couple of migraines over the last couple of weeks, but I’m sure they’re stress related.

Tia
She’s so amazing, I know I say this every week but she really has shocked me. She’s still not showing any signs of being anything but a protective older sibling. No signs of jealously yes, although I’m sure that will change when baby boy is here. We can’t go into any shop now without baby boy “needing” something. The other day we did a little top up shop in Tesco, and she demanded we go down the baby aisle as baby “needs” pyjamas haha!
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Movements
Lots and lots now and it’s honestly amazing. Still waiting for daddy to have his first feel, baby boy is a monkey and stops when he tries to feel lol.

Body
I feel like my boobs have slowed right down (thank god) and it’s just my ever growing belly now. I’m also still not showing any signs of swelling yet. I’m not sure if it’s just because? Or if it’s because when I was carrying Tia it was in the warmer months. Either way I’m pleased Im still able to wear my wedding rings, I was so lost without these last time. Lower back pains have started, but they started the day after my recent car crash so I’m not sure they’re pregnancy related to be honest.
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Preparations
I’ve missed a week so I’ve lots of new bits for baby boy, including some new clothes, a few more cloth nappies and muslins. A new sling and I bought some development cards too.

Just me and my girl.

As Im fast approaching being six months pregnant, I’m becoming aware that things will be changing massively soon. It’s always just been me and my favourite girl, she’s always been with me (she’s never been to nursery etc) and she will have to start sharing me soon.
I’m sure everyone worries about this and it’s perfectly normal, I’m not even sure I’m “worried” so to speak. Just thinking about it, I’ve heard others worry about not having enough love to go around and it’s got me thinking. Deep down I know your heart must just grow with each child, making more room for extra love. It must do because my love for Tia won’t lesson, and I will gain love for baby boy.
I already love him so much and I’ve yet to see his face, breath in his smell.

So I’m making the most of the rest of the time me and Tia have together alone. We’re doing more painting, playing, adventuring, playdoughing, baking etc. It’s not going to be just me and my girl for much longer, deep down I know there’s more to it than baby boy. She will start pre-school in September and Im dreading it. She’s never been away from me, but I know she’ll love it so much. She’ll thrive and make more friends, it will be so good for her. She’s such a confident little lady that I’m not worried about her, but it’s the end of an era, she’ll soon be at school. SCHOOL!

Tia changed my life, who knew you could love someone so much. So today we’re going to have lots and lots of fun, just me and my girl.
Xx

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Close pop in nappies.

It’s no secret that I adore cloth nappies. They can (if you don’t buy hundreds like me) save you lots of money. They’re great for the environment, better for baby’s skin (no yucky chemicals) and of course they look amazing.
Close pop ins are a brand that I love and trust and recommend a lot, they come in both newborn size which I plan to try with baby boy, and a birth to potty size. You can buy them in either minkee or bamboo and they’ve brought out two versions so far.
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I was kindly send a v2 bamboo birth to potty nappy* to try with Tia, and loved it so much I went on to buy a whole set of five pastel colours and also a minkee to try, here’s what I thought.

The V2 close pop in comes in three bits, the watertight shell and two boosters that pop in. The shell itself has a set of poppers down the front so that you can adjust the size of the nappy depending on the size and shape of baby. Then it has a large strip of velcro along the top to fasten the nappy up using two small velcro tabs. When being washed, the two small sticky velcro tabs fold down onto wash tabs that are hidden in a pocket at the back of the nappy. (This wasn’t a feature on the v1 nappies)
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It has a double gusset which catches everything, I honestly wish more nappies had double gussets. Then sewn in the middle is an absorbent panel which draws and holds wetness to the middle of the nappy, this creates extra dryness between nappy changes.
The back of the nappy is elasticated and the tabs which come around to fasten the nappy stretch with it lovely to make sure you get a superb fit.
The two snap in boosters come in two sizes, the large one which snaps in at the top and bottom of the nappy, and a smaller additional booster which snaps into the larger booster if needed. I find I use both for my toddler but for younger babies, one should be enough. Bamboo is highly absorbent, it’s very thin but can hold ten times its own weight making it perfect for nappies. It’s also super soft against babies skin.
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The fact the whole nappy pops apart makes it really easy to dry them, bamboo takes a while to dry. Separating them helps to speed up the process. You can also get additional charcoal snap in boosters for night time use. I don’t use nappies like this normally at bedtime because of how long they’re on for, I need a super absorbent nappy and normally only a two parter can offer me this.
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However I wanted to fully test this nappy before writing this review, and it only worked didn’t it! It lasted the whole 14 hour bedtime with a toddler. I’ve no idea how, it’s so slim line in comparison to her normal bedtime nappies, but after trying several times and never getting a leak I know it wasn’t a fluke. They really are that good! Again I chose to leave both original inserts in the nappy, and I wrapped the night time booster around them both, this made the nappy a bit harder to fit as it was pretty bulky. But it was well worth persisting with as it lasted all night.
So I’m really impressed with it as both a day and night time nappy, all I need to do now is collect the amazing prints that they do. Baby boy will need the robots for sure!
I’ve yet to try the minkee nappy, it won’t be as absorbent at the bamboo so I think I’ll wait until baby boy is here and he can use it. It’s also an older v1 model so I’m looking forward to seeing if it performs differently. Other than the laundry tabs being different they seem pretty similar.
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You can buy close pop ins at most good online nappy retailers and also in Argos. It’s estimated that you will need only 20 nappies versus the 5000 disposables needed to last baby from birth to potty. That’s a whole lot of money and wastage saved isn’t it.
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