Monday 31 March 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 17 Week Bump Update

17 weeks already. I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is going. To be fair though, I didn't tell anyone that I was pregnant with C until I was around 24 weeks gone!

We had our gender scan on Wednesday and found out that we're having a little girl! We've done a little bit of shopping and bought pink vests and a gorgeous red Minnie Mouse romper. Chris's mum also bought us some pink dribble bibs. Her wardrobe is beginning to fill! 

This past few days my lower back has been aching. I don't remember this with C and especially not this early! The bottom of my tummy is feeling heavier so she's definitely growing! I've felt her move for the first time this week too.

The skin on my face is very oily apart from my forehead which is SO dry! Craving-wise, I've really wanted curry - but only from our local Chinese takeaway, mmm! 

At 17 weeks, she is now around 11cm long and weighs approximately 140g. Her skeleton is rubbery cartilage but will start to harden soon. Her sweat glands are developing too! 

Tiffany Rose Eliza Maternity Dress - Review

Tiffany Rose was founded in 2003 and the aim was to give pregnant women the chance to wear exciting, elegant, beautiful and well-made designs for special occasions and they are all made in Britain. They stock a wide range clothing from dresses to trousers and even bridal wear!

I'm really excited to be pregnant during the summer (mainly so that I can show off my bump in dresses!) and Tiffany Rose very kindly offered me the chance to review a dress from their Spring/Summer collection. I opted for the Eliza short dress in Wild Rose. 

When I first received the parcel, I loved how it was packaged. It arrived in a Tiffany Rose branded box so it didn't get squashed or lose shape. When I opened it out, it was heavier than I thought but that just shows how great the quality is - it's not cheap material. It doesn't feel heavy on though!

I received a size 10, which is my usual dress size, the jersey middle just gives enough space for a growing bump with a gorgeous lace over the top. The dress comes with a detachable fuchsia sash which really adds to the elegance. I love the floaty skirt and just feel really glamorous wearing it.

I cannot recommend this dress and Tiffany Rose enough. I know when you're pregnant, you feel big and frumpy but this dress makes you feel comfortable yet stylish at the same time. 

The Eliza short dress retails at £169.99 and can be purchased in Aqua Marine as well as Wild Rose. 

You can find out more about Tiffany Rose at their website, Facebook and Twitter

(Disclaimer: I received this dress free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Our Gender Scan

Today, we had our gender scan! We left C at Chris's mums for the morning as we knew he would never sit quietly. Every time I asked Chris, he'd say "i think it's a boy". I honestly had no inkling, but with C, I had a feeling right from the start that he was a boy. 

We arrived a bit early but hoped they'd bring us through before our appointment time, and they did. I've heard stories of people not being able to see their baby's bits because they weren't active enough but we were the complete opposite. The baby would not stop wriggling around so we couldn't get a good look. We saw all 4 chambers of the heart and the sonographer said that everything looked perfectly formed but obviously, they will be looking in more depth at the 20 week anomaly scan but I was happy enough to be told that at least everything looks healthy now. 

Chris and I were trying to nosey at the baby's bits but we couldn't make head nor tail of it. After around 15 minutes, we were told that it looked like a baby GIRL! 

She showed us the 3 lines which sort of determine the lady bits. I couldn't believe it! We're going to have one of each!! She then flipped into 3D and we saw the baby scratching her face and wriggling around. Amazing! 

Say hello to our little lady! 

Monday 24 March 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 16 Week Bump Update

I am FOUR MONTHS pregnant! Ahh how quickly has that gone by!?

This past week has been a bit rubbish. I've had constant headaches which Chris has put down to not drinking enough and eating very little. I'm trying to force myself to eat and drink more and I've been headache free for 2 whole days! I'm trying not to worry that it could be blood pressure related. I don't want to deal with preeclampsia again. 

Baby is the size of an avocado, 4.5 inches long and around 3.5 ounces. It's legs are more developed and head is more erect. It's eyes are moving to the front of it's face and it's ears are in their final position. It's starting growing toenails too!! 

We have our gender scan on Wednesday morning. I'll be sure to update you all!!

Friday 21 March 2014

JJ Cole Metra Unisex Changing Bag in Blue Diamond - Review

The changing bag that we were using was a beautiful Pink Lining Yummy Mummy bag. Yes, it was lovely but I'm sure Chris felt a bit awkward carrying such a girly bag when out on his own. Enter the JJ Cole Metra Blue Diamond changing bag. 

Blue is one of my favourite colours and combined with the grey and black, it makes the perfect unisex bag. 

Firstly, it's a lot deeper than any other changing bag that we have used and we were taken aback by how many compartments it had. 

At the front we have a small zipped compartment and a larger zipped triangular pouch. You are able to lift the smaller compartment up to reveal an area to keep little bits and bobs. 

The side have two insulated bottle holders and it even comes with a dummy holder!

Inside the bag, we have the main area but it also has a variety of mesh and fabric pouches so that you can easily find everything. They are a generous size too. 

Directly in front of the main part, there is a slightly hidden zip. Again, this is really spacious and stores the changing mat. The mat is very compact but opens out and even has a pouch to hold a nappy and wipes. 

The shoulder strap is padded and extendable but my favourite but about the bag is the stroller hooks. I'd never seen them before but they are genius!! 

It is a really gorgeous bag and I think it's the first one that Chris has genuinely liked - hurrah! It's easily wiped clean and has plenty of space. What more could you ask for!? 

The JJ Cole Metra Blue Diamond changing bag retails at £54.99 and you can purchase it here.

(Disclaimer: We received this item free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

C at 18 Months

I can't believe that my little man is a whole YEAR AND A HALF old! How did that happen!? 

He's properly become a little monster now! He's learned to stomp his feet when he's angry (I don't know where he got that from!) but it's really funny to watch. 

He's more vocal but it's nonsense. I do sometimes worry that he doesn't speak much but I'm hoping that in the next 2-3 months, he'll pick up more words. He understands commands and when I pick one of his shoes up, he gives me his foot.

He's biting. Really sore when he has 7 teeth and he seems to think it's funny when we say 'ow'! 

He's learned to stand up using his hands to push himself up off the ground when he falls on his bum. Beforehand, he'd shuffle to the neares sofa or table to pull himself up. He was so proud of himself when we praised him for it!   

He's a typical boy. Whenever he 'passes wind' (to put it in the nicest way possible!) he laughs and waves his hand like he's wafting the smell away. It is hilarious! 

He loves being outside. We took him to the park recently and he ran around for about an hour just collecting sticks. It was lovely seeing him so happy. 

His new trick to get out of saying 'thank you' is to give a kiss instead. He's such a charmer! Last night, his daddy was pretending to cry so C pushed his head up, kissed him then put his hands over his eyes and pretended to sob. He's too smart! 

Thursday 20 March 2014

TOMY Jungle Magic Sounds Aquadoodle - Review

We were lucky enough to be picked as Babies R Us Babyologists recently and C was sent the TOMY Jungle Magic Sounds Aquadoodle to try out. 

When I opened it, the first thing I noticed was how bright and colourful it was - perfect for stimulating a child! C couldn't wait to get his hands on it.

Inside the box was the Aquadoodle mat, pen and water compartment. Batteries aren't included but they are easy enough to get your hands on so I wasn't too bothered. The water compartment is easily filled and slots into the main 'pen'. The pen is chunky enough for C to hold in his hand comfortably. 

He picked up on how to use it straight away but as the water compartment only slots in, he was able to pull it out. After a few "no"'s though, he soon stopped! The pen is lightweight and mat is durable so I feel that it is great quality.

There are four animal sounds around the edge of the mat and you push the end of the pen down on the sound that you want then that sound is made whilst you draw. C had a little bit of trouble doing this by himself as you need to press down quite hard.

C found it really easy to draw on the mat and it doesn't take overly long to dry out so he was able to continue drawing. He sits for well over an hour playing with it - it's the only toy that's ever kept him that occupied! It's great that it's teaching him how to draw and I don't have to worry about him making a mess. My 12 year old sister even said she wanted one!

The Aquadoodle is recommended for children aged 18 months+ and you can purchase your own TOMY Jungle Sounds Magic Aquadoodle at Toys R Us for £24.99.

(Disclaimer: We received this item free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Finding the Perfect Double Pram

I posted this on Facebook a few days ago about how I felt that the perfect double pram doesn't exist. Maybe it's because we're too fussy? Here's what problems we're facing:

The new baby is due 13 days before C's second birthday. Neither of us drive or use public transport so we literally walk EVERYWHERE. A buggy board with a single for the newborn would be a no-no because we do sometimes be out for hours and I know C's legs would get tired. 

We don't like side-by-sides. Our doorway is very narrow so I wouldn't be able to fit it through and if I'm by myself, I don't really fancy having to get the 2 kids out of the pram by myself then wrestle to get it in. 

Tandem is our best bet but we don't like the ones where it looks like the child at the bottom is basically IN the basket! I also worry about little hands poking out and touching the wheels. 

We tried C in a Cosatto All Star Tandem but he looked very squashed up. He's 18 months so I can't imagine he'd have very much space to move at 2 years! It was also very hard to get up kerbs. 

Realistically, we didn't want to spend much more over £500. Our two favourite prams at the minute seem to be the Baby Jogger City Select Double and the Hauck Duett Tandem Pushchair

I don't think I'd be very comfortable with a buggy for C and newborn in a sling (especially for extended periods of time!) 

Does anyone have any experience with either of these prams? Or have I overlooked one that would be perfect!? 


Tuesday 18 March 2014

Degustabox: February - Review

Last month, I reviewed Degustabox's January box and abolutely loved it so I was really excited to receive February's box too.

Inside this months Degustabox was:

1. Scheckter's Original & Lite Organic Energy Drinks - I have to admit that I didn't drink these, Chris did. I'm not a fan of energy drinks in general but now that I'm pregnant, I'm being very overcautious! He said that they tasted great but he didn't quite get a burst of energy from them.

2. Ryvita Thin Bites in Cheddar & Cracked Black Pepper and Sweet Chilli - these were absolutely delicious. I would sit snacking on them in the evening and not feel guilty as they're only 80 calories per serving! I will definitely buy them in the future.

3. Tyrrells Apple Crisps & Apple Cinnamon Crisps - I love Tyrrells original crisps but I must admit that these were a bit strange for me! I much prefer savoury crisps to sweet crisps. They are made with real apples and the coats are left on!

4. Soreen Banana Lunchbox Loaves - We have bought these for C in the past and he loves to snack on them so I was really pleased to see them in this box. They're very moist and have just enough banana in them. They're only 95 calories too so I have no problems with him eating them.

5. Soreen Original Toastie Loaf - Like the banana loaves, we have bought this for C. It made a great change to his usual breakfasts of normal toast or cereal and it tastes great toasted with butter.

6. Bahlsen Pick Up! Biscuits - Oh my goodness. These are amazing! A thick layer of chocolate sandwiched between two layers of biscuit - yum! We think they tasted great dipped into a cup of tea!

7. Bahlsen Waffeletten Dark Chocolate - Ooh, these are yummy! Thin, rolled waffle wafer with one half dipped in dark chocolate. Very nice but a little messy to eat!

8. English Provender Company Damson & Port Chutney and Redcurrant & Rosemary Sauce - I have to say that these were my least favourite items in the box. I'm not a fan of ANY preserves so I passed these on to my parents. The Damson & Port Chutney is said to be plummy and taste great with creamy camembert and stilton. The Redcurrant & Rosemary sauce is juicy and reportedly great with lamb and venison.

9. Peppadew Mild Piquante Peppers - I'd never tried jarred peppers before as I always thought that fresh would be better. We added ours into spaghetti bolognese and it was a lovely change. They gave a sweet heat/tang and I'll definitely buy them again.

I was over the moon with the items in my box and I think that it's definitely worth the £12.99! They've given me a discount code to share with you to get £3.00 off. Just enter ASQ0F at the checkout.

You can find Degustabox on their website, Facebook and Twitter

What do you think of Degustabox? Would you subscribe?

(Disclaimer: I received this box free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 17 March 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 15 Week Bump Update

Hello 15 weeks! 

This week I've felt sooooo much better! Sickness has completely gone and I'm really hungry all the time. I lost 5lbs during the first trimester as I was unable to really eat anything and I really don't think it will take me too long to put it back on!

I've been using my Doppler more (not every day though - that would be crazy ;))  and I love knowing that baby is okay in there. 

I haven't felt baby move yet but I know what to expect now and I can't wait. I don't think I felt C until I was about 22 weeks! 

Our gender scan is next Wednesday and I'm counting down the SECONDS. I keep window shopping at baby clothes but neutrals/unisex clothing is just not for me. I need pinks or blues!!!

The baby is now about 4 inches long (about the size of an apple). It can now move amniotic fluid through it's nose, legs are now longer than arms and it can move it's joints and limbs. Although it's eyelids are still fused shut, it can sense light so if I were to shine a flashlight at my belly, it would move away from it. Amazing! 

Next week is a big week! Boy or girl? Place your bets now!!

Saturday 15 March 2014

Little Sweet Designs - Review

I know I'm only 14 weeks pregnant but I'm already thinking about what Baby #2's nursery will be like. Little Sweet Designs very kindly sent me a beautiful print to get me started with the decorating process. 

I received the Up, Up and Away print and it really is beautiful. It arrived in a sturdy envelope to ensure that no damage would occur in transit and when I opened it, I discovered that it was wrapped in white tissue paper with a rope bow around it. A lovely touch! 

I think that the colours are pretty neutral so it will be suitable in either a boys or girls room. It's a gorgeous addition to a child's bedroom or baby's nursery and they do a wide range of prints and room decor. 

Prices start at £8.00 and you can get it framed or unframed. 

They also currently have a limited edition print that I wanted to tell you all about. As you know, my son was born prematurely and Bliss Charity is a charity that is close to my heart. Sweet Little Designs have a limited edition print - You Are My Sunshine...Elephant Love - which is £18 to buy. Proceeds from this print will be donated to Bliss Charity. A wonderful cause. 

You can find out more about Little Sweet Designs on their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter

(Disclaimer: I received this print free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Friday 14 March 2014

Canvas Design - Review, Discount Code & Giveaway

I take a lot of photos (mainly of C) and because we live in a rental property and can't decorate the way we want to, I like to inject a little bit of 'us' in by displaying family photographs. I love canvases and I have quite a lot of shop bought ones but none with family pictures, surprisingly!

Canvas Design were offering the chance to review a canvas and I jumped at the chance. I take my photographs on my iPhone 5 so they aren't the best quality. As the quality wasn't so great, I received two small canvases instead of a large one as my image would be a bit distorted. 

They arrived really well packaged and upon opening them, I was so pleased. I had chosen two gorgeous photographs from a recent visit to the park with C. 

The wood is very sturdy and the images are wrapped around well and securely. They are the perfect size to hang along my staircase and even come with hooks to make the hanging process even easier! They're very lightweight too so no worries about them falling off the wall! 

I would definitely recommend Canvas Designs and their canvas start at £5.99 to £60 depending on size and the thickness of the wood. You can view their pricing and size guide here.

They very kindly given my readers a discount code for 15% off your order if you use BLOG15

You can find out more about Canvas Design at their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I received these canvases free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thought and opinions are my own.)

As well as the discount code, you now have the opportunity to win a canvas with your photo on it! All you need to do it fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. This is open to UK entrants only. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thursday 13 March 2014

Shoplet GLO Aluminium Wall Clock - Review

One thing that we don't have in our home is a clock! It may sound strange but in a world filled with technology, we never really needed one. We could always glance at the laptop, TV or our phones to check the time.

When Shoplet got in contact about reviewing one of their GLO Aluminium wall clocks, I was definitely up for it. I love having things hanging on the walls (mainly photos of my son - I take way too many!) and, like I said, a clock was something we didn't have.

Upon opening, I was very pleased and couldn't wait to get it hung up on the wall. It measures 310mm in diameter so it's a great size. It doesn't come with a battery but it only takes 1 AA one and we always keep a stock pile of those in case one of C's toys needs it. 

It really makes a welcome change into our living room and injects a bit of colour into our bland beige rental property's walls. It is a lot lighter than I thought it would be so I had no worries about it being too heavy to hang. The black number markers and hands make it look very contemporary and against the orange background, the time is very easy to make out. I love the aluminium trim against the orange face.

I received the orange but it also comes in green, yellow, pink and purple and retail at £10.74.

You can find Shoplet at their website, Facebook & Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I received this item free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Project b Pregnancy Subscription Box (12-15 weeks) - Review

I'm a sucker for a good subscription box and recently I've been lucky enough to receive my first Project-b Pregnancy box. 

If you aren't familiar with Project-b, here's how they work. The subscription is 7 boxes in total and you receive them at different stages in your pregnancy. 

Box 1 - 'Nurture' 12-15 weeks
Box 2 - 'Blossom' 16-19 weeks
Box 3 - 'Energise' 20-24 weeks
Box 4 - 'Relax' 25-29 weeks
Box 5 - 'Prepare' 30-34 weeks
Box 6 - 'Nest' 35-39 weeks
Box 7 - 'Arrive' baby's arrived/congratulations box

Each box contains around 5-10 items from healthy eating to household and pampering as well as expert advice regarding your month of pregnancy, a recipe to try and exercise to try out. In addition to the boxes, Project-b also have a panel of pregnancy experts offering advice and information, including live Facebook chats. They are £14 per box.

I recently received the 12-15 week box. It came in a cute little Project-b branded box and upon opening, I found a welcome note, list of what I would find in my box and 4 cards (I'll go into these in more detail below). Beneath these was tissue paper wrapped around my products and sealed with a Project-b sticker. 

And here we have my contents:

1. WaterBaby Pregnancy Care Drink - I actually reviewed WaterBaby a couple of weeks ago and loved them so I was so pleased to see it in the box. If you missed my review, WaterBaby is a flavoured water which is fortified with your recommended daily intake of folic acid and a blend of vitamins including zinc and calcium. Perfect to keep a pregnant lady refreshed!

2. 7 day sample of Pregnacare - I'm actually taking Pregnacare at the minute and as its quite expensive, it was lovely to see included. I'm sure everyone has heard of Pregnacare. I love taking it as I do worry that my baby isn't getting enough vitamins from me so these are a good reassurance!
3. Femfresh Feminine Freshness Deodorant - this deodorant smells so fresh and gives 24-hour comfort and protection.

4. Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks - During my first pregnancy, I didn't do much to prevent stretchmarks and I ended up with horrible ones. This time round, I'm doing more about it! I religiously apply stretchmark oil or lotion twice a day in the hopes that I don't develop more. I love the scent of Palmers and it massages into the skin really well.
5. Bergamot Organic Lip Balm, Pai Skincare - this lip balm is infused with the same Bergamot Oil that flavours Earl Grey tea and it contains sweet almond oil to help condition your lips. Since falling pregnant I've noticed that my lips are drier than usual and are more chapped.

6. Nakd cereal bars in cocoa orange & berry delight - these cereal bars are free from gluten, wheat and dairy and taste absolutely delicious. They're made from fruits and nuts with no added sugars or syrups. The perfect healthy indulgence!
7. 2 Weleda Massage Oil for stretchmarks - Weleda is such a well-known pregnancy brand and you can never have too much stretchmark lotions.
As I previously mentioned, my box also contained 4 cards:

These cards contained information on how my baby is developing and how I might be feeling at this stage of pregnancy, information on eating healthily, a guide to maternity clothing and the importance of regular exercise during pregnancy.

In total, the items in my box come to around £16. This is £2 over the price of the box. It may not be much but it's still over! I really like all of the products in this box so I'm very excited about my next one!

You can purchase your own subscription or even just a one-off box at the Project-b website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I've received a Project-b Pregnancy Box Subscription free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)