Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Best and Worst Linky #20

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hello and welcome to the twentieth (can't quite believe it!) week of our linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself, we're really pleased to welcome you. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few weeks!

This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

We're delighted to see you here and hope you enjoy taking part and we're really looking forward to reading your posts. We have had a great few weeks with some new blogs linking up and our wonderful regulars and we both love reading the posts that link up, so thankyou!

Each week we will both choose our favourite posts from the week before and feature you on the next weeks Best and Worst, we will also feature you on our Twitter feed. 

My favourite link up from last week was from Sara over at Mummy's Little Blog, it rung true with me about how we all strive to be the 'perfect mum' packing bento lunch boxes and who does sensory play but in reality we are all just trying our best and that is actually the most important part. It's a great post, please go and have a read.

This week Sarah is back, she's got a whole new blog design and everything! I'm glad to have her back :)

Don't forget to check out our new linky which goes live every Thursday from 6:30am...... Throwback Thursday is our photo linky where you can share old photos and memories, come and join in, it's a right giggle! Have a little look at last weeks which should whet your appetite!



Rules
  • The linky will open at 6.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou. We continue to see that some people aren't commenting which we are monitoring.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from

Best of Worst




    

Window Watching.



Ok, so I might have put him in the window ..........  he liked it in there though.....honest!

brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Cohorted Beauty Box September - Review


It's Cohorted time again, the beauty box that I love so much. You can read the August review here. This is my third box and so far I have been impressed. I am particularly pleased with quality of items that are sent. I've said previously one of the big differences in this box is the calibre of items that are received. 

The Cohorted beauty box costs £19.99 + p&p, this months box content has a value of £71.50 which is fantastic!



The first item that caught my eye was the biggest item this month, theBalm Nude Tude EyeShadow Palette (RRP £35.00), this is an awesome palette, this is a new brand for me to try out and so far I am loving it. The selection of colours are gorgeous and all very versatile so ideal to take away or wear during the day or for an evening out. I also adore the packaging and quirky design, it's lush. Very pleased with this item.




To accompany the palette also sent in the box was a theBalm Put a Lid on it Eyelid Primer (sample size). This quick drying primer is designed to give a bold look and staying power to the eyeshadow. I don't use a primer very often as I always forget but a nice item to be sent to use in conjunction with the palette. 



There was also a little bottle of Molton Brown Seamoss Bath and Shower Gel (RRP for 50ml £10.00). Smells delicious and will be handy when we go away for the weekend, cute item to receive. 



I then discovered we were sent another shower gel, at first I thought it might have been body cream...good job I re-read the packaging else I might have ended up covered in shower gel, oops! I have to admit I was a little disappointed to be sent another shower gel but it will get used. Gucci Premiere Shower Gel (RRP £7.50) this does smell delicious and I would be interested in trying the perfume after smelling it. 



The final item made me squeal with delight, eeeee! A Nars product......so excited by this, I bloody love this brand! Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie (RRP £19.00), this is a gorgeous product and the shade is fab, I think very versatile to be worn by many people so a good choice to be sent. 




Another great box from Cohorted, a nice selection of items, my only wish from this month is that perhaps 2 shower gels wasn't ideal but it's quite easy to overlook that with the other great items that were sent.

What do you think of the September contents?


Family Fever

Monday, 28 September 2015

If I Knew Then What I Know Now....

Well having 2 children has been a little bit of an experience. It's had its challenges and I'm certainly not going to say it's been easy but this is life now and I've been learning a few things. So if you thought it was a shock becoming a Mum first time around, be prepared for life with two..... *insert evil laugh here*.

So what have I discovered?

  • Straightening my hair is now a complete luxury. I used to be able to pop Alfie in the bedroom with some toys and I could straighten it. Now with a hyperactive toddler and a nearly crawling baby it is simply far too stressful to even attempt it.  If I'm super organised I will straighten my hair if I can be bothered when the oldest is at nursery or sneak upstairs on a weekend when hubby is around! Most of the time my hair is literally chucked up in some messy bun.
  • I literally have no time by myself, ever.....ever. Apart from when I go to the .....nope. No free time. Ohh no wait I do, the amazing couple of hours that I spend in the hairdressers every few weeks which is actually bliss, but generally my consists of one child either clinging off me or launching toys at my head.
  • Sunday naps, ahhhhhh how I used to love a cheeky little Sunday snooze. I would leave Alfie with Daddy and head upstairs for an hour, not so much these days as something or other usually needs doing. 
  • I have become an actual speed demon at putting a full face of make up on in the morning. Some Mums might not bother but it's one of the things that I make sure I do and quick as a flash within 15 minutes I resemble a human and less like the walking dead.

  • My washing pile is un.be.liev.able. The other day I actually saw the bottom of the basket, did a little happy dance and literally within an hour there was various garments in it. I swear I must do around 1o loads a week! How much washing can one family produce?!
  • I cuddle one the other cries. One cries the other cries. Tag team, arghhhh!
  • I need eyes in the back of my head. With one it wasn't so bad but now I am watching Alfie and then find Elarna has rolled to the other side of the room. I watch Elarna and Alfie has somehow managed to open the back gate and is legging it down the street. Arghhhh and it's only going to get worse!
  • Nothing is sacred anymore. Peeing in peace, that's gone out of the window and I still have to sneak in the cupboard if I want a bit of chocolate without being caught red handed!


  • Trying to get a family photo is nigh on impossible. I think we only have a couple of the four of us all together. Either one is crying and the other is grumpy or none of us are actually in the mood as we're family frazzled.
  • Germs. They spread like wildfire. It's been the house of ill this week and it is tough. With one child it's much easier when the adult is ill to get some rest but with 2 it's a different matter. I've been ill, Elarna has been ill so isn't sleeping well, Alfie is snotty, Adi is starting to hack and cough..........the illnesses seem to last for agesssss. Sad faces all round.
  • I am constantly washing bottles, wiping sticky faces, standing on lego, using endless amounts of wipes, being shouted at, being spewed on, changing nappies, making food, wiping the sides, tidying, then tidying some more, then giving up, then tidying some more. 
  • The more the day goes on the more I hate the sound of my own voice. Alfie, don't take your clothes off, Alfie, stop doing that, Alfie , no don't hit your sister, don't sit on the cat, arghh Elarna has been sick on the carpet....again, nooooo Elarna don't roll under the sofa, NOOOOOOO just NOOOOOOO. 
  • Getting out the house with one was hard enough, getting out with two is hilarious. Even just going out for a simple walk to the park has to be skillfully timed taking in to account nap time for Elarna, lunchtime for Alfie, Elarna needing milk...etc,etc. It's a bit like a military procedure.
Of course I wouldn't change it (well maybe less germs and more sleep at the moment would be nice!) but these days do feel ever so busy! I have no idea how I will fit in work around all of this. Anyone else feel like this on a daily basis?


MaternityMondays



Mummascribbles

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Weekend Style #9

It's that time of week again, time to talk about the style from the last few days. We have been embracing the last bit of Summer and enjoying pastel colours and patterned shirts! This week I am featuring both Alfie and Elarna.......wahoo I actually got him in clothes, yey! Ha. 

I love this candy coloured striped dress, I have to admit she hasn't worn it much as it's very summery and pretty but I couldn't resist putting her in it while the sun was out the other day. I added a little broderie anglaise cardi and some little socks.....although I'm not really sure the socks go but at least her toes were warm! 

Candy Striped Dress - Baby George (Asda) - Unsure of cost.

White Cardigan - Next (£5.00ish from what I remember!).


I also couldn't resist featuring this absolutely gorgeous red coat and beret set. As soon as I saw it,  I knew Elarna had to have it ready for the colder months! Actually can't wait to see her in it. It's in a size 6-9 months so I'm hoping she'll fit in it later in the year......considering that she's still fitting in to several 0-3 sized clothes it may be a little big, but we'll see!

Red Bow Beret and Coat Set - Ladybird from Very (£19.00)


Up next is my gorgeous and very stroppy little threenager :-). We popped over to the zoo last weekend so obviously Alfie chose to wear his safari shirt. I managed to snap a few pictures while he on the move, if only he was smiling! I love this shirt, covered in lions, zebras, giraffes amongst other animals I think it probably is one of his favourite shirts as he loves all of the animals on it! It also wears really well, if you know what I mean.


Safari Print Shirt - Next ( I can't remember how much but I did spot it in the VIP sale!)

Denim Shorts - Next (around £9.00, last season)

Shoes - Clarks (£34.00)


I really need to go through Alfie's wardrobe particularly and sort out what we need over the winter months, at the moment he's still pretty much living in shorts and t-shirts but I'm thinking he's definitely going to need some new trousers and jumpers ......my poor back balance!

What do you think of our outfit choices this week?


This Mama Life

A Slice of My Life Wales

Friday, 25 September 2015

Body Image - My Honest Story

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with body image. It started at a young age, but in my teenage years it definitely reached a peak. As soon as those hormones started surging and various things started to grow I definitely started with many, many insecurities. I have no idea if my close friends at that time realised the internal battles I was having and the extent that I went to to try and 'fit in' and be skinny, in fact I think it was only in the last few years that I fully opened up to my Mum about things....... but in this post I'm going to be very honest. 

It was finding a picture among hundreds at my parents house that made me stop and remember and prompted me to write this. It's a photo that I don't really want to share as it upset me but basically it was a photo with my Mum and our dog and I was wearing an outfit that didn't flatter me at all. It showed all my lumps and bumps and the worst thing was the sadness that I could see in my eyes. There was no sparkle, no smile on my face and no happiness there at all.......I was just existing and horridly unhappy.

I take you back to my high school years, I started to smoke because it was 'cool'...and then there were boys, but boys didn't really pay attention to me, I guess I was a bit of a plain Jane to be honest with very little self confidence. I was plump and hid myself behind unflattering clothes, mainly black, my boobs were huge, I absolutely hated them.....I hated myself. Many a day I would cry my eyes out because of them....I couldn't understand why I had to live with these stupid, huge boobs.....erghhh, girl problems and all that. It didn't help that people thought calling me names was the way to go, the very creative 'Helen melon, 'brabera' and a variation of my maiden name.....'breaston', not so funny, people can be very cruel at times. Shopping for clothes and bra's was utterly miserable and  often I would be in tears being consoled by my (long suffering) Mum and leaving the shops empty handed. I knew I needed some drastic action so during one summer holiday I decided that best way to resolve this was to start a 'starvation diet'(*disclaimer* this is my personal account and no way should anything like this be ever done, ever, ever......ok!). I went through days surviving on fags and an apple a day, or sometimes a bag of crisps. My Mum would make me lunch and tea, I would pretend to eat and then I would throw it in the bin and hide it............I would also eat chewing gum to curb my appetite. When I look back I do not know how the hell I survived, these days if I go without lunch I turn into a hangry beast!

Feeling very fat next to Sarah!

I would try and make myself sick if I felt I had eaten too much but couldn't do it as I hated the feeling of puking. I think I was so, so close to becoming anorexic or at least having some major eating disorder, I remember feeling consumed by wanting to be skinny, not a nice feeling and such strong thoughts for a 14/15 year old. When I returned to school I knew that I had lost a lot of weight, clothes were hanging off me and one of my friends even commented about how much weight I had lost. I wish I could find some photos to show the weight loss but I don't have any as they are all at my parents. Meeting Adi, my now husband was one of the things that pulled me out of the mess that I was in, it wasn't just a case of me not eating much I wasn't really in a great way with my social life.....I was getting up to all sorts of bother (drinking, smoking naughty things and messing around with the wrong sort of boys). I was not a very nice person to life with either, yes I was in the teenage years but I treated my parents house like a hotel at times. 
Adi, bless him, slowly built me back up and over time my confidence grew, I started to eat more and actually started to enjoy food, I began to feel like I had a worth. I never considered taking my own life or anything like that but at times I was definitely very, very low.  I think come 17 I was feeling in a much better place and focusing more on the future, I turned in corner in my life and I'm so thankful for that.

I have a tendency to ramble on.....so I'll try keep it a reasonable length. Through the last few years I put on alot of weight, in 2012 I was at my biggest.......the dress I was wearing in the above picture was a size 18, I was disgusted with myself that I had let myself get this big, I had a whole wardrobe of clothes that I could hardly fit into. Bizarrely though I was pregnant with Alfie at this point and didn't know and through my pregnancy I then lost 2 stone! After I had Alfie I was back in a size 14 which I was chuffed with but over the last couple of years my weight slowly crept up again..............clearly I like my wine and chocolate too much, my vices. I fell pregnant with Elarna and again I lost weight, size 14 were fitting me perfectly if not a little big! Currently my weight is creeping back up again but more slowly, I am trying to be more aware and think I'd like to join Slimming World to try and shift another couple of stone as I don't want to end up back where I was in 2012. It's such a vicious circle!

Take a few weeks ago, reasonably happy here
You know I accept that I am never going to be a skinny minnie, I have curves and over the years I have learn to embrace them and live with them...........I still hate my boobs....breast feeding made them worse than I could ever imagine and if I could ever afford a lift and reduction and I am so there! There are other things that of course I would love to change, my stomach is saggy, I have bingo wings and I have thunder thighs but do you know what I'm not miserable, I'm in a happy place right now and that's how I would rather it be.
 I
I didn't fit in this dress in 2014! This was taken about a month ago.

 I truly hope that noone ever has to go through and feel how I did when I was a teenager, it made my teen years extremely miserable at times and what I did to myself was not good, not good at all. What I have learnt from it is to be aware what you eat and lead a healthy lifestyle, fad diets and quick fixes are just not beneficial. Being happy far out weighs trying to be someone I am not. Enjoy life because you don't know when something shite will come and bite you on the bum. Focus on the future and not the past. 

Thanks for reading my ramble, I kind of feel like I've just had a huge counselling session courtesy of my blog!

How were your teenage years? Good, bad or plain ugly?


Best of Worst

The Reading Residence

thumbnailsizeBinky Linky


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Throwback Thursday Linky # 3

Beautiful Things

Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hello and welcome to the third Throwback Thursday linky hosted by myself, Helen and Sarah over at RunJumpScrap. We are slightly mad I think as this is our second linky we host! We currently run the Best and Worst on a Wednesday, we enjoy it and thought what the heck lets start another one! 

Throwback Thursday is exactly what you expect. We want you to share photos from the good ol' days, baby photos, family photos, embarrassing photos or drunken photos, anything goes! We're quite excited by this linky and think it will be alot of fun, we can't wait to see what you share. Feel free to add a sentence or two about the photo you are sharing.

Each week we will choose our favourite link up and feature it on the next weeks Throwback Thursday as well as on our Twitter feed. 

Last week we was another great week with some awesome link ups. Without a doubt one of my (and I'm sure Sarah's) favourite link ups from last week has to be from Baby Pink and the Boys......someone fancied themselves as an extra Take That member (tehehe!), you must have a look! The other linkup I enjoyed seeing was from Learning to Become Mrs C with a throwback to her in her brownies uniform and what they are like now, such a lovely photo, go check it out! 

Sarah is still migrating her blog so it'll possibly be me that is commenting but I'm sure Sarah will be having a nose when she can.

Best and Worst, our other linky is still open if you fancy popping over and joining in! Click here to add a link, old and new posts welcome!

Rules
  • The linky will open at 6.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm
  • You can link up one post each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. Linkies only really work if you share the comment love so please do try and be generous!
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday so everyone knows where you have come from. If using Instagram please do the same!

BeautifulThings





What was I Thinking?


My Throwback Thursday photo this week is definitely a cringey one. When I found it my thoughts were 'what the actual hell am I wearing?!?!'. I'm not totally sure of the year, I'm guessing I must have been around maybe 10? This was taken at Duxford Air Museum.....that's my BFF beside me.........no wonder she's turning her back, ha! I mean, look at the state of me, the shoes....the socks.....the leggings and what is that coat about?? Don't even get me started on the hat *CRINGE*.

BeautifulThings

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Dream House

I absolutely love anything to do with home decorating or accessorising and the finer details, it's so much fun. I think it money were truly no object I would love to design our own house, how awesome would it be to find the perfect plot of land and design the perfect, dream house from scratch..............everything that you want or dream of you could include in your design. Imagine watching your ideas and your imagination being built from nothing into something incredible. I have been having on the *homify website which is providing me with a load of home inspiration! 


My dream home would consist of a few things...........not that I would want much of course! Firstly I would love a swimming pool, I just think it would be so cool to have a swimming pool in your own house! Check out these pictures below, how lush are they! 




Eclectic style pool by PARQUEARTE Piscinas como iconos de diseño.
Image: Parquearte Piscinas Como Iconos de Diseno / homify

Swimming pool : Modern pool by Flairlight Designs Ltd

I would also love to have a fully 'specced' out kitchen with all sorts of ridiculous kitchen gadgets, modern but with a cosy and cottage chic feel, the sort of kitchen that you can imagine all the family having a glass of wine and chat in before having something yummy to eat. 

Eclectic style kitchen by Sobrado Ugalde Arquitectos
Flairlight Project 1 Oxshott, Tudor House : Modern kitchen by Flairlight Designs Ltd

I would of course want need a dressing room, firstly I have alot of makeup and secondly I am so desperate for a girly area that I can make pretty and put my makeup on in peace without sticky hands trying to steal all my expensive stuff, little terror! A place of calm and tranquillity that I can just sit in front of a dressing table and be the girl I used to be and not just 'Mummy'!! Ahhh those were the days.

Cotswold Cottage : Country style dressing room by Emma & Eve Interior Design Ltd
Furniture : Modern dressing room by Maple & Gray
Image: Furniture by Maple & Gray / homify

Anyway, these are all dreams but that's ok, we're all allowed to dream big aren't we otherwise what would be the fun of having an imagination. Maybe one day I'll win the lottery and I'll be able to build a house to our specifications.....until then I will focus on our actual house that we are in the process of buying! 

So if you were building your own house what sort of thing would you want in it? It's nice to dream isn't it. 

Best and Worst Linky #19

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hello and welcome to the nineteenth week of our linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself, we're really pleased to welcome you. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few weeks!

This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

We're delighted to see you here and hope you enjoy taking part and we're really looking forward to reading your posts. We have had a great few weeks with some new blogs linking up and our wonderful regulars and we both love reading the posts that link up, so thankyou!

Each week we will both choose our favourite posts from the week before and feature you on the next weeks Best and Worst, we will also feature you on our Twitter feed. 

This week you may notice that there is a slight difference! I have a new co-host for the week, the lovely Mama from My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows is grabbing the reins and helping out while Sarah moves her blog over to wordpress. So please treat her gently and ease her in hehe. 

My favourite link up from last week was from Becky who blogs over at And Then There Were Two. Her open letter to the parents of the children in her new class had me in bits! Alfie will be heading to school next year and I'm already anxious, I hope that the teachers he encounters are just like Becky, please do go and have a read.

Don't forget to check out our new linky which goes live every Thursday from 6:30am...... Throwback Thursday is our photo linky where you can share old photos and memories, come and join in, it's a right giggle! Have a little look at last weeks which should whet your appetite!



Rules
  • The linky will open at 6.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou. We continue to see that some people aren't commenting which we are monitoring.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from

Best of Worst




    

Devil Horns.


I'm not a devil Mummy but these are my horns.

brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Outlook Solar Shade - Review




One sunny day a few weeks ago we popped out and had a lovely family day out over in Thetford....you can read about that here! It happened to be one of the hottest Saturdays that we'd had in ages and brilliantly I had just received the day before a solar shade to review, so it was a perfect opportunity to test it out. 

Up till now I have never purchased anything similar to this, in fact, even with my first I never got around to buying a parasol, if it was a hot day quite often I'd be the Mum with the muslin casually chucked over the top of the pram to protect my child.......bad mummy alert! 

The outlook solar shade, available from babys-mart.co.uk (RRP £19.99 but is currently on sale for £15.99) is packaged in a compact bag (for easy storage), is universally fitting (always handy), UPF50, extends and adjusts and has a handy zip to check on your child without disturbing them. Designed to offer shade and protection for your child while blocking 99% of harmful UPF rays.



I've decided to spilt this review into the pro's and cons for the item, I normally end up waffling on but I think it will fit this style of review.

Pro's:

  • I like that it's universal, not only does it fit when I have the car seat on, but also on the buggy attachment when we use that.
  • It's a reasonable price, I believe that we will use this item alot on hot and sunny days, especially when you do (eventually) manage to fold it back up it is extremely compact.
  • I like the zip on the top, handy for just having a quick check on baby, although I could see her underneath the hood which makes me wonder if we hadn't fitted it correctly. 
  • It's very secure when fitted, nothing was moving it even when I bumped over the forest floor! 
  • I like it in black, it fits in well with our pram and looked pretty good on.


Cons: 

  • I have to admit we struggled to fit it on, we did look a bit like idiots while we tried to follow the instructions to tie it on and as said above compared to the pictures online I'm not sure we really got it correct after all!
  • It is a little bit cumbersome.
  • You have to pack it in an exact way to get it back in the storage bag.
  • It was difficult to move it up to get Elarna out.
All in all I really quite liked the solar shade and I think come next summer we will get alot of use out of it ....... weather dependant of course! For the price I think it's a decent item and does what it says it does which is the main thing and lets face it when it comes to the safety of our children that it the main priority.

What do you think of the solar shade? Would you purchase it? 

* Please note I was kindly sent the shade for free in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own.





Family Fever#ToddlerApprovedTuesday