Mama & Baby

Spark their imagination with Carousel 


It’s something I’ve talked about before on my blog that during this crazy journey called motherhood more often than not something crops up and slaps my pre baby naive self in the face. For example when I was pregnant and I purchased an all white play mat for Evie because I thought it would look ‘lovely’ in my lounge and it went with the colour scheme. Well fast forward to when she was born and I soon realised she wasn’t reallllly getting any stimulation from it so I swapped it for an all singing, all dancing, all flashing brightly coloured play mat. Not only did she enjoy it much more even from a very young age but it also made me feel a million times better knowing she was getting some stimulation and sensory development from her new play mat. But it’s hard isn’t it, knowing what your baby will like and what your baby won’t!? I can’t tell you the amount of toys I’ve got piled up in a box that she just didn’t really take to or she grew out of super quickly. As a parent you want them to enjoy playing with their toys but you also want to know that it’s aiding their development, testing their little brains and sparking their imaginations. Because after all we have big dreams for these little people.

We were very kindly sent a selection of toys from the brand Carousel which is exclusive to Tesco. Evie must have thought Christmas had come early as we started to set the toys up in her bedroom she was so excited and she immediately toddled over to lion and gave him a hug!Carousel Let’s Play Drum and Piano Set £24

If you are a frequent viewer of my Instagram stories you might *most definitely will* have seen Evie dancing away. She’s not fussy with her choice of tune as long as it has a beat she can shake her shoulders to she’s going to throw some shapes! So as you can imagine she loves anything that’s musical; even when it comes to her little toy kitchen all she tends to do is bang the metal pans together to make a tune. So this  duo toy set which is made up of a drum and a xylophone (which can also be used as a piano) is an absolute hit with Eves. It has 10 different musical sounds, flashing lights and bright colours which grabbed her attention straight away. She seemed to pick it up pretty quickly and figured out she could make the best noises by picking up the yellow stick and hitting the drum!

Carousel Play and Learn Cube £24

Next up is the play and learn cube which is made up of 5 interactive sides. Toys such as this definitely appeal to Evie’s inquisitive nature as there are so many different components for her to explore. From buttons with flashing lights, a spin the rattle and a flip book with animals there’s plenty of things to keep her brain ticking over. That’s what I love about sitting with her and watching her play is she’ll prompt me to join and and she wanted me to flip the pages of the book and talk through the animals with her where we did all the sounds.

Carousel Wriggly Lion £8

Sometimes a picture just speaks a thousand words. Although this wriggly lion is from 0+ months it’s clear to see it’s not too young even for a 14 month old! Evie beamed from ear to ear as soon as I showed her this and the first thing she did was give it a big hug (too cuuuuuute). It’s made so that it can clip to a cot, stroller or play mat and it’s definitely something she would have also loved as a newborn but now she’s a bit older it’s lovely to see her interact with it giving it hugs and kisses and playing with the spinning rattle. This is one of those staple toys I’d throw in the changing bag and give her if we were eating out and she needed entertaining!

Carousel Music and Learning Table £35

Finally we have this beautiful wooden activity table. I mean with 4.8 out of 5 stars and 135 reviews on the Tesco website it kind of speaks for itself! Not only is it wooden which gives it an extra special feel to it (wooden toys are just so beautiful aren’t they!?) but it’s also an ideal height and perfectly proportioned to encourage little ones to stand and walk. This table is made up of 6 different activities and again it incorporates musical elements which obviously Evie loved! As with most of the carousel toys you’re getting serval different activities on one toy meaning that it’s really cost effective. They’re all so versatile and have the longevity to grow alongside your baby. Evie is pretty obsessed with animals at the moment and we’re learning all the noises (currently her favourites are woo-woo for a dog and wack wack for a duck) so this was a big hit with her! The activity table encourages parent and child interaction (depending on age) as Evie wanted me to show her how to drop the animal shaped building blocks through the relevant holes so she could then copy what I did. I just love the fact she is constantly learning new things alongside playing and having fun.


Carousel toys are available to buy from Tesco and they would make amazing Christmas presents. These are the kind of toys that spark children’s imaginations and involve engaging ways to play so they have fun for longer, time and time again. Their range starts from 0 months all the way up to 8 years old so there are plenty of new worlds to explore through play as your child gets older.

This post was sponsored by Tesco but as always I would only ever work with brands that I believe in and I feel like nothing reiterates this more than the fact I have previously purchased Carousel toys for Evie such as the floor piano which we both love! I would never recommend something I didn’t trust and love myself. As a first time parent it can be a minefield trying to make a purchase for your child whether that be a pram, furniture or toys so I am always on the look out for recommendations and reviews from other Mums whose opinion I trust. 

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Christmas

Christmas Gift List

I started compiling a gift list, wish list, gift guide, call it what you will and half way through it just struck me. I am so basic. I mean I had an idea that I would fall into the category of being ‘basic’ in certain aspects of my life (you know the festive coffee cups and extreme love for autumn) but upon making this list it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I wish I could be slightly quirky and original but I just ain’t. So if you’re basic as hell (join the club), have a love for Christmas and are needing some inspiration for present buying or even what you would like to be bought for you then you have come to the right place!

Gift List - Xmas

  1. HA Designs personalised pyjamas £50
  2. Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution red carpet red £24
  3. Violet Voss Holy Grail eyeshadow palette £40
  4. Next marble stacking mugs £18
  5. The White Company winter candle £26
  6. Topshop Je Suis a Vous t shirt £20
  7. Hivetique grey felt letter board £25
  8. Clarins skincare stocking filler £10
  9. Adidas Stan Smiths £75
  10. The White Company Seychelles Christmas cracker £25
Lifestyle

Balance

The main thing I’ve come to learn since becoming a Mother is that life becomes one big juggling act. There is always so much to do. So many places to go, things to buy, people to see and rooms to clean that we barely stop to just enjoy our time with our family. Danny and I became homeowners and parents within the space of six weeks so as you can imagine this was one hell of an adjustment for us. Things we had never done before like pay utility bills and do the food shop we now had to do regularly as well as look after our brand new tiny human. 12 months later . . I’m back at work doing 3 days a week so throw that into the mix along with wanting to focus on my blog and I feel like I’m constantly chasing my tail. The toss up between getting stuff done and spending quality time with my family is what tugs at my heart strings the most! It’s so difficult to find the right work life balance but what I’ve come to learn is there a few things you can do to help you regain the balance.
The biggest struggle for me at the moment is that fact that Evie is walking now that she really isn’t a fan of sitting still for very long. If it’s in a high chair you can probably push her to 20 minutes but that includes constantly bribing her with food for the whole duration. So as you can imagine the food shop has become very “interesting” shall we say. If I manage to get there on my own (on my own meaning without Danny as Evie is surgically attached to my hip) during the week then it’s a reenactment of Supermarket Sweep running round as fast as I can throwing stuff into my trolley following no list as such just random notes I’ve made off the top of my head. If we go during the weekend when Danny is off then it’s a pretty full on job involving one of us pushing the trolley/entertaining Evie/handing out snacks like they’re going out of fashion whilst the other follows the list and tries to bring home our supplies for the week. And it almost always ends up with a cuddly bear/rubber duck/singing toy joining our bread and milk on the conveyor belt. So in order to make my life a little bit easier I ordered my Tesco food shop online and not only that I used their new same day delivery service. Shopping online saves me time and money (no extras creeping into the trolley) and takes out the fuss (and stress) of taking Evie to a supermarket because as much as she loves Carol behind till 9 I’m not sure she is stimulated by the food shop as she is when we’re out at the park or playing in a ball pool having lots of fun! But it’s with the new added benefit of the same day delivery service that really appeals to me because even when you leave your shopping to the last minute (always me) then you’re still able to order it, get on with your day and still have it arrive that same day! It just means there’s no hassle of ordering online and having to wait a few days for it to arrive which means you don’t have to plan in advance which suits me down to the ground. So we ordered our food shop in the morning, booked our slot for between 7pm – 8pm (as it meant no little sticky fingers would be trawling through the shopping as we try to unpack) which left us with only one thing to do . . Decide how we were going to spend our new found freedom!? (Okay I’m being dramatic but not trekking to Tesco with a baby in tow frees up a good chunk of our day!) So we opted for a brisk autumn walk to the village where we met Grandad and Maisie (or the woo woo as Evie calls her) for coffee and cake!

So at half 7 that evening we had a knock on the door and our shop was delivered. I could just be easily pleased but I am pretty made up that someone had not only done our shop for us but also delivered it to our door in the same day! And with Evie fast asleep we were able to unpack it within minutes, make a cup of tea and actually relax.

So this is my reality. I’m a mother, a wife, a sister, a cleaner, a chef, a daughter, a blogger, a friend, a walking talking Filofax, a children’s entertainer, the list goes on. I am many things but what I need to remember is I can’t be everything all of the time. That’s why by doing something as simple as ordering my food shop and having Tesco bring it straight to my door all within the same day gives me that little bit of relief from life’s list of never ending tasks. I can work on getting the balance right and spending my time more wisely (aka eating cake and drinking coffee)

Thank you to Tesco for kindly sponsoring this post. As always, I would only promote a brand or product that I believe in and all words and opinions are my own.

Mama & Baby

One.

Even getting round to writing about our first year as parents has taken me two months. I think that in itself sums up parenthood perfectly. Time becomes this precious thing you want to grasp on to with every inch of your being because as soon as you give birth you enter some crazy parallel universe where in fact time is sped up beyond unimaginable measures. Well at least that’s how it feels. Everyone can try to prepare you, give you all the advice and ‘opinions’ in the world but until you are living it it’s only then you’ll realise just how fast time goes by. 

We’ve lived one whole year of loving another human beyond our wildest dreams amongst the anxiety, the fear, the tiredness, the lonliless, the sadness, the happiness, the excitement, the craziness. I will admit here and now I was never ‘maternal’, I knew I wanted kids but I didn’t really think I had that maternal spark where I was drawn to kids or that I was a ‘natural’. That was Lucie, my sister, she had the knack, she loved babies, she always wanted to be a teacher, she was the maternal one. That was until I had Evie and my whole world shifted. Suddenly everything I thought was important, wasn’t. My whole attention was fixated on Evie and I loved every second of being her Mother. Now I am a mother before being anything else, it’s my priority. It’s no walk in the park and nobody would tell you that but I just absolutely adored every single day and I didn’t want to feel ashamed in saying so. Everyone’s experience is different but sometimes people belittled me in the early days for expressing my joy and excitement. They questioned why I had make up on everyday or why I was out the house before 10am with a newborn. I would simply explain it was all to do with Evie and nothing to do with me. She was a dream baby, she was pretty content I would say and the response I’d get back was “oh that won’t last”. You can’t win with people, you can’t do right from wrong. I would never ever say it was easy (because it’s not!) but I didn’t find it as difficult as people made out, if that makes sense!? In the run up to giving birth people would put the fear into me, “life as you know it will change” and oh my god it does but not in the negative way they made be believe. I feel like when you’re pregnant you get bombarded with comments like “you’ll never have a lie in again”, “you won’t be able to do that once the baby comes”, “say goodbye to any spare money you have”, “you’ve only been married for 6 months!”, “enjoy this time before the baby comes because before you know it it’ll be all nappies and sick” and a lot of it is negative. Yes it’s nice to have spare money to buy a bag or a fancy holiday and yes you can’t just nip out to Tesco for an onion and yes your baby will not understand the concept of sleeping in until 9am at the weekend (or any day for that matter) but to me none of this matters. The things that people kept telling me I’d miss I infact don’t care about at all. You can keep your lazy Saturdays and breakfast in bed and your nights out and your fancy holidays because my priorities have changed. As soon as I gave birth they changed and I’ve never been happier. It’s okay to admit you’re struggling, it’s hard, you need a break or a helping hand. But it’s also okay to admit you’re happy, you’re loving every second and you wouldn’t change it for the world. We live in a world where if you’re enjoying motherhood then you’re seen to be bragging or showing off and if you’re struggling with motherhood then you’re not coping like you ‘should be’. Where is the middle ground!? 

This past year I have grown as a person in so many ways. Yep I’ve lost my shit, I’ve shed a few tears, I’ve gained a few lbs (many), but more importantly I’ve smiled every single day, I’ve had my heart burst with pride over and over and I’ve learnt to enjoy the little things. I thought I’d be a crazy control freak of a mother and instead Evie makes me feel calm and I am more myself than I ever have been. This all sounds kind of crazy because the last thing I feel when she’s pulling out all the crap from under the stairs or screeching like a banshee for no reason is calm but I found a quote that is a pretty perfect summary. 

“Before I was constantly looking for happiness within other people, places, things or whenever I could find it. Motherhood has helped me to love myself through loving you. I no longer wonder what the world holds for me because I am already holding my whole world in my arms.”

And on that note I give you 12 months of Evie Pops.

Lifestyle

Be quids in with Quidco

The pre-baby, pre-homeowner Emma would quite literally rinse her bank account on payday on clothes, shoes, make-up, food, holidays without a second thought. Now I have a mortgage to pay and baby to provide for and after a 12 month stint on maternity pay you could say I’ve become quite the tactical spender. I’m not ‘stingy’ by any stretch of the imagination but I like to look out for a voucher code or do my research and see if I can find a cheaper price elsewhere. So when I do spend my hard earned cash it’s an added bonus if I can save myself a few quid or even make some money back!

I’ve spoken about Quidco many times before on my Instagram account and I must sound like a broken record at times. Even before I collaborated with them I was shouting about them from the rooftops and it wasn’t long ago that we switched energy suppliers via Quidco and received £40 cashback! If we were to have switched energy suppliers by going direct then we would have missed out on £40 cashback bonus. So, how does it work you ask? Simply put, when you spend money online and on the high street (after registering your debit card) with Quidco you then receive cash back on thousands of purchases. I initially found out about Quidco about 6 months before we were due to move into our first home, my friends in work told me about it and in all honestly I didn’t really think it was all that it was cracked up to be. I, dubious as ever, thought that there must be a catch somewhere!? However I signed up anyway via their recommendation and I began to purchase things like furniture and electrical goods for our new home. By the time we had kitted out our house with the essentials we ended up saving ourselves over £200 just through cashback we received! Absolutely.no.catch.whatsoever.

So when Quidco got in touch and asked me to part of a campaign that involved online shopping (all in the name of research of course) I obviously jumped at the chance! They asked me to track my purchases for 2 weeks to see how much cashback I could make on everyday items. As much as I thought this was a brilliant idea I did also think this could possibly end in divorce when Danny sees an itemised list of all my spending. So during the 2 week period I made 8 purchases via the Quidco website, one of them being train tickets to London (Chrizz Up here I come!!) which is something I would never have thought to do before. There is actually a whole section dedicated to travel where you can earn cashback on train tickets, hotel rooms, airlines etc so this is something I am definitely going to make a note for all future getaways! The other purchases I made during the 2 weeks consisted of 2 transactions to Dominos Pizza (am I giving away all my dirty secrets here?!) and a few Christmas present purchases from online retailers such as The White Company, Boohoo and ASOS (at the time of purchase Asos actually had an offer on of 10% cashback!). So *drum roll please* . . In total over the 2 week period I made £8.54 in cashback. That’s £8.54 from simply clicking through a website, £8.54 made through money I would have spent anyway, £8.54 being returned to my bank account. The way I look at it is you might not always make a huge amount of cashback in one transaction, for example my cashback from Dominos Pizza tracked at £0.38, however even from a 2 week period it’s clear to see that it all adds up!

It’s so simple to sign up and at the moment there is a £10 welcome bonus for new customers (just in time for you to begin your Christmas shopping!) all you need to do is click here. It’s so quick and easy to register, all you need to do is enter a couple of details, and then you will be able to benefit from genuine rewards just simply from shopping via the Quidco website. For me, it’s a no brainer. I earn money back from shopping, it goes straight into my bank account, it’s absolutely free and I can also use it to my advantage to convince my husband it’s totally fine that all these parcels turn up to our house every day! 

Thank you to Quidco for kindly sponsoring this post. As always, I would only promote a brand or product that I believe in and all words and opinions are my own.

 

Lifestyle

Pumpkin Patch

I feel as we come towards the end of October that it’s only right I dedicate a blog post to pumpkins because I’mma miss them when they’re gone! However not the smell. Definitely not the smell. It’s probably the most ‘basic’ thing I’ve ever participated in and I’ll admit at first I was going just for the cute photos (because yes I’ve become that mother) but in all honesty we had such a lovely time pumpkin picking that I couldn’t care less about it’s new found ‘clicheness’. Suddenly the leaves start turning and everyone goes crazy for autumn (me included) but I swear there is something in the October air that makes me so giddy. I am right there loving the classic autumn cliches of dark nights, wrapping up warm, scarves, jumpers, fireworks, golden leaves etc you get the jist! However I will point out now that I think pumpkin spiced lattes are repulsive. (Prepare for onslaught of outraged Starbucks lovers).

We probably spent about half an hour picking our pumpkin (inclusive of said photo shoot) and Danny and I started to take it very seriously. “No that one isn’t round enough”, “no that’s not orange enough”, “is that one too big?”. I mean seriously if we went to Tesco we would have paid a quarter of the price and not faffed about the aesthetics half as much but you know, it’s all about the experience! And it did make me feel all October-y and festive. Is there such a thing as feeling festive for Halloween?


Although Evie is probably (definitely) too young to realise what the hell we were doing I think it’s such a cute tradition to start and I genueinly can’t wait to see her running around the pumpkin patch next year picking her favourite pumpkin even if it might not be up to mine and Danny’s standards! 

It’s fair to say she didn’t really take kindly to the pumpkin which we painstakingly selected this year even after my impressive name carving. Oh well, better luck next year hey Eves!

Lifestyle

Mama you’ve got this

Pregnancy is no walk in the park. You’re tired, swollen, nauseous, chubby, hangry . . The list goes on. I know some people are super lucky and don’t have any ‘side effects’ when pregnant but the majority of us do. And it ain’t pretty. No I’m not glowing Sheila, I’m profusely sweating.

Besides the fact your body is rapidly changing and your adapting to a new way of life you also have to adjust to a lot of big changes to your lifestyle. No alcohol, no cured meats, no soft cheese etc etc but where do you go to ask all the burning questions? Your Dr? Your GP? Your friends? Everyone has conflicting opinions or information and sometimes you just want it simply put. You don’t want to be preached at or thrown into an oblivion of scientific jargon. For this exact reason Mama Mio have teamed up with Melissa Schweiger Kleinman and created the ‘Mama You’ve got this’ e-book. A totally free, informal, friendly and honest guide to help you through pregnancy. The book covers so many topics such as sleep, skincare, mindfulness, recipes and fitness to name a few.

I was invited to Manchester to celebrate the launch of their new e-book and to celebrate all things pregnancy. We started the day with meditation followed by lunch and a session in the spa at Hale Country Club. Then later on we went for a meal at Grand Pacific which was simply delicious! It was so lovely to meet and and chat to like minded women. It’s nice to know there’s a brand out there like Mama Mio who are doing it for the pregnant ladies. Because with pregnancy it might not be easy, but it’s always worth it and like the book says ‘Mama you’ve got this’!

A huge thank you to Mama Mio for inviting me I had the best time and met some gorgeous ladies! It was a brilliant day and I’ve just added a few photos of our day and what we go up to. I wish I took more photos but we just had so much fun chatting and getting to know everyone!

Mama & Baby

They see me rollin’ | BabyZen YoYo+

Is there a switch in your brain that suddenly flicks when you become pregnant to make you obsessed with prams? Surely there must be because before Evie I never once looked at a pram and thought ‘phhwoar’ yet now it’s a daily occurance. Yes a gorgeous looking pram was very high up on my list of priorities when I was pregnant but a couple of months into being a mother I realised there’s so much more to a pram than just how it looks. For me the older Evie got the more I could not be bothered lugging the heavy chassis in and out the car, clipping the seat on and off to dismantle it and also removing the wheels just so it fits in the boot. So you can imagine my excitement on discovering the BabyZen YoYo+, look how small it folds up!!! *Danny just stand there and act natural* queue the eye roll . . The poor life of an Instagram husband.


The BabyZen YoYo+ in my opinion is a hybrid between a pram and a stroller. It’s a little more fancy and a lot better looking than your ‘average’ stroller yet it’s so much lighter and niftier than a pram. We were extremely lucky to be gifted a YoYo+ (thank you BabyZen!) and I have honestly had a ball road testing it! When a Mum gets a new pram it’s the equivalent of a man getting a new car right!? The claim is that the YoYo+ stroller can do anything, anywhere! So we took it to the park, we took it round the shops, down cobbled streets, in coffee shops and obviosuly to Tesco. It folds and unfolds, it is unbelievably light (around 6kg), can be carried like a bag and can be one-hand driven. I kind of felt like I was pushing a go kart at times because it’s that nifty, there is no heaviness to it; even with a chunky Evie Pops in it it seems so light and effortless to push! 

Obviosuly the biggest test of them all was WILL THE BABY WHO REFUSES TO SLEEP IN HER PRAM SLEEP!? And I am happy to report back SHE SLEPT. I was dubious at first as the hood comes down to a 90 degree (ish? I’m no mathmatician) angle and when trying to get the noseiest baby in all the land to sleep it’s usually essential to block her view from everything. However she drifted off to sleep with no problems whatsoever! The seat doesn’t recline flat like some other strollers, I would say it reclines to a 135 angle (oh I am laughing at myself, my sister would be proud as she’s a maths teacher) but I think Evie preferred that as she can be a bit of a crier when laid flat in a pram or stroller. *side note I just googled it and it’s a 140 degree recline*

One of the main selling points of the stroller is that when it’s collapsed it can be classed as an item of hand luggage and you can take it onboard most aeroplanes (as long as it fits within their hand luggage dimensions). I don’t know about you but have you ever flown to Palma airport and had to carry a 20 something lb baby all the way to the luggage carousel? Because I have. And let me tell you it’s near on back breaking. Having this stroller to hand as soon as you step off the plane is going to be game changer I’m telling you! *wondering now whether this is a good enough excuse to book a holiday!?*

If one of my ‘Mum friends’ (what a creepy term) asked me whether they should get a BabyZen YoYo+, my answer would be YES! I’m seriously impressed by it and me being the savvy forward thinker that I am even chose it in the colour grey as I knew I would use it for baby number 2 (if we are lucky enough) and therefore making it non gender specific. I say that because they do this in the most gorgggggeous ginger colour (a muted pink tone) which I kind of regret not getting . . but I keep having to remind myself I’ve been sensible by choosing grey. I just know we will get so much use out of this stroller that it seemed like the right thing to do by picking grey! Although they do sell separate fabric packs so you can swap and change colours to your heart’s content. On a final note as I feel I have rambled quite a bit (standard Emma) I thought I would just summarise some of the key features of the stroller . . . It fits into the overhead aeroplane storage when folded (H52 x W44 x D18cm), it has a good sized shopping basket, includes a raincover, has 4 wheel suspension, it’s a soft-drive system, fabrics are machine washable and interchangable and the hood has UPF 50+ protection. If you want to use the YoYo+ from birth you can simply just buy the newborn pack which is sold separately. The newborn pack transforms the stroller to a lie-flat parent facing pushchair. Once children reach six months of age, parents use the six month + pack which converts the YoYo+ into a forward facing stroller. TA DAH. 

If you’re interested in the YoYo+ you can visit the BabyZen website by clicking here and check out all the different chassis and fabric colour combinations!

Thank you to BabyZen for kindly sponsoring this post. As always, I would only promote a brand or product that I believe in and all words and opinions are my own.

Mama & Baby

The first of many

I’m a self confessed party planner addict. I’ll be the first to admit I get carried away but ever since planning our wedding it just sparked a little obsession for me. I love spending hours during an evening scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram and I just enjoy being able to get my teeth stuck into a little project. So when we realised that our whole family would be in our home town for our cousins 18th it seemed like the perfect oppuritiny to throw a birthday bash for the girls 1st birthdays. Evie and Isla are only 12 days apart in age and Lil and I are best friends as well as cousins so it just seemed so perfect for our girls to have a joint party. 

Our cakes were made by a lovely lady called Laura who is local to me and I found by chance when I ordered cupcakes from her a few years ago. It turns out she went to my high school, she lives round the corner from my Mum and Dad and she’s a slimming worlder too (@raising_3boys_sw). She currently only makes cakes for friends and family however when her youngest son starts school next year she will be focusing on her cakes so if you’re local to the Southport area keep an eye out on Laura’s page because you can see just how incredible her cakes are!

Our beautiful cake toppers and cupcake toppers were made by the lovely Anna at Lucy Rose Party who makes the most fabulous party decor. The toppers are the perfect finishing touches to any cake.

I came across @whirling.in.wonderland on Instagram and I was immediately obsessed with these garlands! Once I saw it I couldn’t get it out of my head (anybody else like me and just obsess over things until you get them!?) and I knew it would make the most stunning back drop for the party table. I messaged Kimberley and asked if she could squuuuueze me in as I knew her order books were pretty full but luckily she had a slot so I ordered the 15 twirl garland in pastel colours and as you can see from the pictures it looked incredible! I’ve never come across anything like this before I just think it’s so unique and eye catching!


I was lucky enough (and when I say that I really mean it. I’m so thankful and grateful when people send me things. I would never ever contact a shop or business and ask for something for free because I’m just not about that life but I am genuinely grateful when people do send me things out of their own choice. TANGENT.) to be contacted by Aimee who owns Make My Day Stationery and asked if I would like some unicorn party boxes. Of course I jumped at the chance because quite frankly they’re bloody fabulous! What I didn’t expect was all the extras Aimee sent to us too including personalised straws, thank you tags and some beautiful prints.

I have been following Pretty Little Maison since before I was pregnant and had been in awe of Alice’s talent. She kindly made us a family name sign which we’ve had for well over  a year before she ventured into working on chalkboards full time. I knew I was going to order Evie a birthday board for a very long time so when it came round to it I was so excited to design it with Alice. It’s such a lovely keepsake and we will be framing ours and putting it up in Evie’s bedroom.

Isla also had a beautiful birthday print which was created by the lovely Emma who owns Mackymoo Creations.

I decided to do the party ‘favours’ myself as it was just a little something for people to be able to take home if they wanted to so I made the cone popcorn bags which I purchased off eBay (click here) they were only £1.85 for 25 cones and pink ties which I then stuck unicorn thank you stickers on also from eBay (click here) and filled with popcorn!


Beaus Little Bakery then very kindly sent us the most beautiful unicorn biscuits which finished off the party favours perfectly! Look how cute they are! Shimmery rainbow unicorn biscuits. AMAZING.

Also I just want to say a huge thank you to the always lovely @_eviemichelle for the beautiful bows for Evie and Isla which went perfectly with their party dresses! I’m so glad I was able to include so many Instagram shops and businesses into the girls party as we have shared our first year of motherhood with so many of you through Instagram which has had a few lows but so many highs! There’s an mixture of gifted items but also a lot of things which I purchased with my own money here and I hope this comes across as genuine and grateful and not braggy in any way. I know this is slightly excessive to some and the girls won’t remember a thing but we created so many amazing memories and shared such a lovely day with our family and that’s what it’s all about. 


Oh and one last thing. What is a 1st birthday party without your own snapchat geo filter hey!? (Really easy and simple to do, just log into Snapchat on a computer or laptop, create your filter, select your location and purchase! Ours cost just £5!!)

Mama & Baby

Collect with Clubcard

If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while you’ll know that 70% of my maternity leave has been spent in Tesco. Okay maybe that’s an exaggeration but I have spent a hell of a lot of time over the past 12 months. I’ve just got a slight addiction to that shop . . . But with a baby in tow it’s without a doubt the best shop for our family as it literally has everything under one roof. Not only that but I always get sent vouchers and coupons through my Clubcard and as the saying goes “every little helps” (particularly on maternity leave!)

Tesco have re-launched their Clubcard which is now contactless so a tap is all it takes and it’s really simple to use alongside the newly designed app. It’s now easier than ever to collect your points, keep track of them, watch them tot up and then spend them in-store or even convert them into exciting days out. It’s that simple to turn your shop into big adventures. Which let’s face it, when you’ve got a family being able to save money on days out just by doing your weekly shop is win win!

If you’re anything like me I am constantly losing paperwork and most stuff that comes through the post gets thrown into a draw never to be seen again. That’s why I find the app so handy because it saves all of your vouchers and coupons in one place and you can simply print them off as and when you need them. It also gives you a running total of your points and the cut off date to collect points before you receive your vouchers. We’re saving ours up to take Evie to Nickelodeon Land as 50p of Clubcard vouchers coverts into £1.50 to spend at Blackpool Pleasure Beach; therefore a £24 adult ticket will only cost you £8 in Clubcard vouchers!

If you head over to the Tesco Clubcard website you can see for yourself just how many different rewards are available. I’ll be totally honest I thought the most you could get with Clubcard points was a cheap pizza when eating out but there is so much more that you can use your points on. From spa days to holidays, driving lessons to breakdown cover, a trip to the zoo or even paint balling. It’s a really simple and cost effective way to keep the whole family entertained as there are hundreds of places and activities to choose from. It’s always a bonus when a family day doesn’t have to break the bank!

And one last thing; before motherhood turned me into a bit of a self confessed Tesco addict (this is definitely confirmed when you are on first name terms with some of the checkout staff) I had no idea I had been collecting Clubcard vouchers so I had a lovely £19 voucher waiting for me when I logged into my account! So it’s definitely worth logging in to your account (click here) regularly to check for vouchers and keep track of your savings.

Thank you to Tesco for kindly sponsoring this post. As always, I would only promote a brand or product that I believe in and all words and opinions are my own.