Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday Five

I have been MIA for a while and apologise for that.  Things have been hectic- our house buyers pulled out last minute so we had to frantically re-market our place. Talk about HIGH stress levels! We have found new buyers and are hoping the move will take place in November! EEEEKKKK Fingers crossed. 
I am back with....


1. October 15th - Wave of light celebration


October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  At 7:00 along with thousands of other people we will be lighting a candle in memory of a baby boy who lost his little life just before he was born.  As I am celebrating Baby Es 6 month birthday another mother who was part of our NCT group (pregnancy preparation classes) will be trying to come to terms that 6 months ago when she was 10 days overdue and in hospital about to be induced something horrible went wrong.  I will not go into it and do not know all of the details but whilst the NCT group was waiting to hear about their beautiful baby we were told something that shocked us to the core. Her baby did not make it.  We hand't given birth yet but the pain and empathy we felt inside is beyond anything I could explain. I still cry thinking of their loss and how difficult it must have been to carry her baby to full term, feel the love the bond and then never get to meet him........
so at 7:00 we will be lighting the candle to remember this little boy and give strength to his mum and dad.
For further information visit the following websites:

2. Celebrating 6 months with Baby E

Baby E... 30 minutes old

I can't believe she is 6 months old today!  Time sure has flown by and I finally feel as though I have properly settled into motherhood.  She makes me smile with amazement every single day (even on bad days)

3. Crafting this weekend

These ribbons will be involved and it will be super easy- post to follow shortly

4.  Making these!

I have seen these all over Pinterest and although they are not 'healthy' per say THEY are BAKED and they look amazing! Has anyone made these before? Any tips

5. Sunday Lunch 

Photos of The Long Dog, Waddesdon

This photo of The Long Dog is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We will be meeting up with one of our best couple friends for a long leisurely Sunday Lunch at The Long Dog in Waddesden.  Super excited as I LOVE Sunday Roasts but also excited to catch up with really good friends.

Monday, 30 September 2013

The Weekly Chase

I have just found a GREAT weekly goal setting idea called The Weekly Chase from the blog live, love & run.  
It is really simple, every Monday bloggers post a weekly goal.
 I have an end goal..... to loose weight.  
I do not have just 'a few pounds to shift'... more like a few stone to shift!
I like the idea of setting a weekly goal and then reviewing it on Sunday night.
 SO welcome to my very first post of The Weekly Chase.
I think I need to start off with something that is achievable

My goal for this week is:
To keep a food diary (photos) of everything I put in my mouth.  

I know how good it is to record a food diary.  I am the type of person who 'thinks' I have eaten really healthy BUT seem to 'forget' the odd biscuit or chocolate bar.  By keeping a food diary I will become much more aware of what I am eating and will be able to see what triggers bad eating and if there are any patterns.

I know this is just one small goal but the whole idea behind this is that these small goals will help get us to the end of our journey.

I am starting this journey for Baby E

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Tree of Life

How to say Thank You

Baby E was a long time coming. 
We had fertility issues and tried conceiving 'naturally' for 1.5 years only to eventually be told that 'it would be a miracle for it to happen naturally' following specific tests.  
So our journey began....
JUST before Egg Transfer (baby E was put back inside me to GROW!)
This is not an IVF journey post, rather a post about saying THANK YOU to someone who helped bring Baby E into our lives.
My acupuncturist Liz
She is an amazing woman who was SO much more than just someone who put 'needles into me'.
I will not include the copious amounts of research that supports acupuncture (especially with aiding IVF procedures)...I also know that there are a lot of people out there who do not agree with it BUT I KNOW it helped us conceive our first round of IVF.

YES at times I did feel like a PIN cushion but what she ALSO did was keep me on track and keep me focused during every step of the procedure.  SO there were the physical benefits she gave me, the knowledge and guidelines about nutrition during each stage but also the emotional support. She specialises in fertility and was recommend by a friend who also conceived the first time.  
She 'grounded me' and reined me in when I felt stressed and worried and lost HOPE.
NO gift could EVER repay her for helping to give us our miracle, Baby E but I need to find something

My theme is around Trees.....mainly because I see her as the woman who HELPS give LIFE and for some reasons trees remind me of life...
The Tree of Life 

I love this print and actually have it in our house.  It is just beautiful and makes me smile every morning.  It is available from Missemai online botique

Or I could give her an actual plant, such as this Olive Tree by giftplant

Or this stunning tree necklace from Etsy shop thelovelyraindrop

I know she doesn't NEED, WANT or EXPECT anything but I know she played a MASSIVE role in helping bring Baby E into this world.
Sorry for the SOPPY POST

Friday, 27 September 2013

Friday 5

Thank goodness it is Friday!
It has felt like a VERY long week. Baby E has had her first streaming cold which means last night I was up and down like a YO YO. However, after swimming today she appears to be a little better? Maybe the humidity and the steam unblocked her?
Anyways loving this weekly post....

1. Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte OH MY

I think it is a North American thing but the minute this baby is available from Starbucks it defo feels like Autumn is here! The way I like it is: A grande soya pumpkin spiced late with 2 pumps.  Normally they put 4 pumps of syrup in the thing but it is just TOO sweet! 2 pumps is all I need

2. Same love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Mary  Lambert) 

I heard this song whilst watching the MTV Video Music Awards (yes I still act like a teenager) and fell in love with it.  The beats, the words, the message and Mary's voice are AMAZEBALLS.  Give it a chance if you haven't heard it...

3. Driving in the English country side on a sunny Autumnal day with the roof open (but heat on for baby) and music playing (not blaring due to baby)

4.  This whole outfit is perfect for this cooler weather


5. Petit Pumpkin Spiced Donuts

Like I said before its a North American thing...
Autumn=PUMPKIN EVERYTHING and I stumbled upon the gorgeous little beauties from here and am going to make them AT SOME POINT


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Wallpaper Wednesdays

Ok I am starting a regular blog post: 

Wallpaper Wednesdays

This might shock some people because I have NEVER used wallpaper in any of the rooms I have occupied in my adult life.  The last room I can remember having wallpaper in was when I was a little girl, it was zoo fact I loved the wallpaper SO much that when we moved house I asked if I could take some with me......................

BUT in our new house I have been thinking that the time has come to use some wallpaper.  I need to be brave!  

Whilst watching the newest episode of Giuliana and Bill (one of my favourite shows) I fell in LOVE with some wallpaper in her new office.

The picture below makes it appear more 'pink' then it actual is.  It is very much grey and white

WELL I have tracked it down and am seriously considering this for our new house.  It is from Cole and Son and is the Paisley collection!

It is MY wallpaper of the week!

 I think the wallpaper works SO well with the panelling, especially the way the panelling has been coloured to match (although the pictures are not that clear).

In my bid to 're-create' this look I found 
Check them out.  I think panels can make a REAL difference to a room and I am seriously considering which room to include these two new finds

Monday, 23 September 2013

Operation find a Nursery- Pre - Visit Prep

As mentioned here  I explained why it is going to be very difficult to find childcare that is 'good enough' for Baby E when I go back to work.

Today I am going to share top tips of things to consider  before visiting potential childcare settings..although I have written 'Nursery' we are also considering childminders.

I must stress that none of these should individually impact your choice for setting, instead they should all play a role in deciding where to visit.  I also understand that finding time is very difficult and some of these might appear time consuming BUT for me personally this is helping me decide who will be taking care of my child for the majority of the working week, so I was willing to put in the time along with my husband.  In fact he enjoyed some of the responsibilities (I have him 1 and 3 - together we did 5)

1. Map It Out

If you are totally new to this it is the easiest thing to do.  For example  I  typed  'day nurseries in Leeds' and this map appeared with links to the nurseries and locations.  This is very useful to get a feel for how many are around you.  
It is crucial to think about the commute you and/or your partner make to get to work and highlight nurseries that are convenient. 
Also it is worth while considering places near your or your partner's work- convenient and if your child falls ill suddenly it can be easy to get to them quickly

2. Ask Around

Personal recommendations go a LONG way when looking for childcare and schools.  Do not be afraid to ask friends or even acquaintances.  Also if you are a member of a  local 'mummy facebook' group or just a local group there is no harm asking for recommendations.  Sticking to just 'Google' could be flawed as not every childcare option may be on the map.
I must also add that it is important to not be swayed entirely by what/who friends suggest.  Although tempting to have your children go to the same place as their best friend bear in mind that that place might not be RIGHT for your child

3.  Fees


Most childcare settings have fee information on their website or a brochure/perspective parent book can be requested prior to the visits.  In my experience while settings can vary on their costs, they are not usually widely different but it is important to have that information beforehand to help making your decision of where to visit.

4.  Ofsted Reports


Ofsted reports can be a very useful document when thinking about childcare and schools for your children.  I will be detailing in my next blog post how to use the Ofsted website effectively.

5. Rank Your Top Choices

If you have done tips 1 to 4 (or some of them) you are going to have a lot of pre-visit information.  It might feel like a little TOO much. However, time is not something we have on our side and I am not personally able to visit every nursery/childminder on the map.  As a result I would prefer to make an 'informed' decision of the childcare settings I decide to visit.
It is important to decide how many visits you are able to make (with or without partner) and then rank the settings that are of highest interest.

6.  Book visits

I would suggest booking your visits to the nursery between Tuesday-Thursday as these are often the busiest times.  This will allow you to see a much more 'accurate' picture of how the settings runs.  Monday and Fridays tend to be quieter (as these are the preferred days off work) and everything runs much more smoothly on quiet days but this is not a 'true' picture of the day.

Do you have any other TOP TIPS that worked for you? If so please share in the comments section.

If you are 'totally new' to this and not sure where to start I would strongly recommend that you visit  more than one childcare setting.  I can assure you that no settings are the same and you need to find the 'right fit' for your child.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Operation - Find a Nursery


The time has come...... 
I have begun looking for childcare for Baby E for when I go back to work in April

I know this is not going to be easy.

I need to set the context as to why I am going to find this task particularly challenging.

In my role I am an Early Years Consultant - my background is that I am a qualified teacher who developed a passion working with the youngest children and as a result got an MA in Early Years Education.  I have worked in many schools and in my last school I was the Early Years Team Leader who helped lead my school to be deemed 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.  Following this I was approached to become an Early Years Consultant-my current role

In a nut shell this means that I spend a lot of my work days working with different early years settings (nurseries, pre-schools and schools) to improve current practice.

I know what 'oustanding' early years settings should look like and have very high expectations of every setting I work with.  Whilst teaching, I also had extremely high expectations of myself and my staff.  The reason for this is that I KNOW the difference we can make in the lives of children.

So this is why I think finding somewhere for Baby E will be very hard. Not only will I have my 'expert' hat on I will also have my 'mummy' hat on....

Over the next few blog posts I am hoping to share some of my TOP TIPS when looking for childcare.  Although I will be focussing on childcare for young children, a lot of what I will write about could also be used when looking for schools.