11/30/2014

Silent Sunday

11/28/2014

DIY Cake Smash - The do's and don'ts


I think that a cake smash is the perfect way to celebrate and photograph a baby who is about to turn one. On the days leading up to Noah's 1st birthday we decided to take on our very own DIY cake smashWhat I thought would be a very stressful and messy catastrophe ended up being a truly enjoyable and memorable experience. We managed to capture a dozen images that I absolutely love and will treasure forever.

I've had a few people ask for tips and advice as they wanted to do their own cake smash too so I thought I would share my do's and don'ts. 



DO

  • Decide in advance where you are going to take the photo's. The ideal spot would be an area that is large and flat and one that gets a lot of natural light. You can buy backdrops but I had Noah sit in front of a neutral wall on laminate flooring.


  • Be prepared. Have your babies outfit and smash cake ready the day before. I like babies simply in their nappies or a fancy cloth nappy for a cake smash. I would of liked to of made Noah a matching party hat if I had of had the time. 


  • Set your camera and test the lighting right before you sit your baby in front of that cake. Take a few test shots because you don't want to start clicking away and then realise you have missed those vital first shots because your images are way too dark or out of focus. 


  • Take photo's of the cake on it's own before your baby gets in on the action.


  • Make sure your baby is in a good mood and well rested because you don't want any tears and tantrums in those photo's. Have fun with it. If you are having fun your baby will have fun too. 


  • If your baby becomes bored have someone wave some toys about to make them laugh or distract them. 


  • Don't stop taking photo's. I literally did not stop clicking because I didn't want to miss one movement or one expression. Everything happens so quickly that is better to take too many than not enough.


  • Have dozens of towels, wet wipes and cloths ready because it will get really messy. As soon as the shoot was over we wrapped Noah up in a towel and took him straight for a shower because there is only so much mess that wipes can handle.  




DON'T

  • Don't do it on your own. You need someone there to help as you don't want to keep having to rearrange the baby and the cake when handling the camera. 
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself or the baby, you will become stressed out and they will pick up on it.  

  • Don't over do the background and the props. For me this looks too busy and takes the focus away from the baby and the cake. 

  • Don't be afraid of the mess, embrace it! 




Have you had a DIY cake smash? Do you have any do's and don'ts that you would like to share? 
  

11/27/2014

Review: October Nonabox

Noah and I have been lucky enough to review a Nonabox for a while now. We always get very excited when we know that our monthly box is on the way. I am a huge fan of subscription boxes and Nonabox is high up there with the best. It is a must have for Mum's and Mum's to be and you can subscribe here


So what was inside? 


Aden & Anais Star Swaddle – £44.95

         Chilli Peeps 3in1 Spout – £6.50

Bennetts Aqueous Bath Drops – £3.00

Bennetts Baby Bum Creme – £2.69

Nuk First Choice Bottle – £4.99

           Nuk Silicone Soothers  – £5.49

Water Wipes Sample Pack - free


There were 7 items inside Octobers Nonabox and although it did feel a little empty there were some nice products included. 

My favourite item by far has got to be the Aden & Anais pink star swaddle. 
I already own this particular swaddle in the orange star print and absolutely love it. When Noah was little he was obsessed with it and I did think it would end up being a comfort blanket for him. Not only was it good for swaddling your little one but it also doubled up as a play mat, muslin cloth, changing mat, comforter. I found endless uses for it! I was very happy to see it inside Octobers box as I think it would be a valued product to any Mummy out there.  


Overall I was happy with this months box. It wasn't as good as others but it was okay. I look forward to seeing what exciting products are in next months edition.


- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own. 

11/26/2014

Noah's first year in photo's

If you follow me on twitter, facebook or instagram you will know I am probably one of the worst culprits when it comes to babyspam. I'm obsessed and there hasn't been a day that I haven't taken Noah's photo. 

On the lead up to Noah's first birthday I decided to choose a photo from every month to see how he's changed from month to month. Considering how many pictures I take it was really difficult to choose. 

So here they are Noah from newborn to 12 months.. *cries*















He's such a little love and so very cheeky, I'm so proud of him. What a whirlwind of a year! 

11/24/2014

Stand up for good snacks with Ella's Kitchen


Ella's Kitchen is possibly the most well known and loved brand when it comes to baby food and snacks. If you haven't heard of Ella's before then you must of been living under a rock for the past 8 years. They specialise in making tasty, healthy and 100% organic food for not just babies but toddlers and children too. 


Ella's Kitchen want to change the way our children snack and are doing so by offering up a new and exciting range of goodies that not just taste delicious and healthy too. Each type of snack contains no added refined sugar or salt, no concentrates and no additives which is what all parents want. 

We were asked if we wanted to take part in Ella's Kitchen's Good Snacking Revolution and being the fans that we are we jumped straight on board. To get the wheels on our snacking revolution rolling we were sent their new range for Noah to try out. This new range is perfect for him age wise as it is specifically designed for toddlers and children up to 6 years of age.



So here is what we thought: 




First we have the range of multigrain nibbles which come in 4 different flavours; stawberries and banana, carrot and cumin, apples and cinnamon and tomatoes and basil. A great choice of snack as they contain 4 different wholegrains which is not just fabulous for filling up our hungry offspring but is a good source of energy, essential for digestion and can also encourage sleep too! 

At first glance they reminded me of cereal so the thought of the savory flavours was a little strange to me but I did think it was a refreshing idea. It took a while for Noah to get used to the taste and texture of the multigrain nibbles and although they aren't his favourite out of the range he does like them and will eat them. 


Next up we have the cookies which come in two flavours; oat and spelt and raisins and spelt. For those that don't know spelt is a special type of flour which is lower in calories and higher in protein compared to regular flour which makes it a good choice for an ingredient base in a snack that is designed for our little ones.

I knew the cookies would be a hit before even opening the packet because who doesn't love a nice cookie? The cookies are shaped into very cute sun and cloud shapes which I thought was a nice touch. Although Noah only has his two bottom teeth you would be surprised by how many cookies he can get through. 


Noah certainly takes after his Mummy when it comes to his love of savory snacks and crunchy crisps so I was very excited for Noah to try the new multigrain wheels and sticks. 

The wheels come in a different and very yummy cheddar and leeks flavour and Noah snaffled half the bag in one sitting. The carrots and lentils sticks were just as much as a hit and I think they were his favourite out of the two. 


Last but certainly not least are the amazing cracker bites which come in two flavours; parsnips and poppy seeds and tomatoes and fennel seeds. The cracker bites are a tasty, nutritious, filling and handy snack to reach for when our little one's bellies are rumbling. 

I am always trying to add more fibre into Noah's diet so these cracker bites are ideal for me and Noah absolutely loves them too. In particular the tomatoes and fennel seeds flavour is divine. I sampled some of them and I could of easily eaten the whole bag, they were simply delicious.


After sampling the new range all I can say is wow, they've done it again. Ella's Kitchen never fail to impress and Noah and I are certainly on board on this new Snacking Revolution! #standupforgoodsnacks

- We were sent these products for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own. 

11/20/2014

Baby Diary: 12 Months Old


Oh my word. You are now 1, one year old, 365 days old! How did that happen? How did this year go so fast? It was your birthday on the 12th but I still haven't come to terms with it. 



Character
You are still that ever so funny and cheeky boy. You are generally always happy and smiling unless you are teething or having a rare grumpy day. You absolutely love to make people smile and laugh. When you discover something that makes us giggle you will do it over and over again, it's really sweet. You are a very smart boy who is quick to learn anything mentally. All the positive traits aside you are still very strong minded and quick tempered at times, you know what you want and how to get it.


Size
You haven't been weighed recently but this month I feel like you have really bulked out and have gotten a lot taller. Although you don't have much fat on you, you are solid and weigh a ton. You are still wearing size 4 nappies and have size 3 feet. You are still wearing 9-12m in most clothing but I don't think it will be long until we are moving up into the 12-18m sizing in trousers and babygrows. 


Health
You have had a bad month when it comes to your health as it's been one little thing after another. You've had bouts of colds, viral infections, rashes, constipation, swollen lymph nodes and have been teething too. We had to take you to A&E for the rash because it was worrying us a little but it turned out to be a side effect from a viral infection. Then a week later we noticed a lump on your neck and I almost fainted with panic. After a quick google we felt better as swollen lymph nodes are common in infants especially after viral infections. We took you to the GP to make sure and he confirmed what we had read and told us to keep an eye on it. You still have the lump at the moment but if it's not gone by the end of November we are to take you back.

Teething has been a big issue for us this month and you hadn't been handling the pain very well. I feel so sorry for you. It wasn't all pain no gain though because you finally cut your first tooth (at 11 months) and then the second came through a few days later. So now at 12 months old you have your two bottom teeth, very cute!


Feeding
You now drink cows milk and absolutely love the stuff. You drink more cows milk than you ever did formula. You now have 3x 7oz bottles of cows milk a day which is 6oz more a day than you took with formula! I have found that the cows milk can make your stools hard if you don't drink an adequate amount of water. You drink roughly 7oz of water a day are are usually good with it but it all depends on how you are feeling, sometimes we need to encourage you to drink it and other days you guzzle it. 

You have three meals a day in between the bottles and pretty much eat whatever we are having. You tried curry for the first time this month and really enjoyed it. It had hardly any spice in it and was full of vegetables so it was no surprise that you wolfed it down. 



Sleep
Last month we thought we had finally cracked the whole sleeping and napping malarkey and sang from the rafters about it. You have always slept well through the night with the occasional wake up for your dummy but that's the only issue we have had. Towards the end of this month both napping and sleeping has been very hit and miss and we think it's all down to teething and the leap you are currently going through.

Last month we could simply lay you down in your cot for your nap but lately when we put you down you cry, especially when I leave the room. I have resorted to letting you cry a minute or two when this happens and you usually self settle. If you don't I go in and comfort you without taking you out of the cot. I am hoping we can get back to normal when this leap is through.  


Milestones

- You turned ONE! Obviously! I still cannot believe it!

- You finally have teeth! You cut your first tooth two weeks before your first birthday and then the second one a few days later. Now at 1 year old you have your bottom two teeth and they are very cute.

- Crawling. You finally mastered the bum shuffle last month but this month you started crawling in the normal fashion.

- Cruising. You can now pull yourself up onto furniture and cruise along it. You are still a little wobbly at times but you are figuring it out very quickly.

- Walking with your push along walker. We hadn't practice much with this so when you toddled off with it suddenly we were very shocked!

- You walk well with our fingers so I think you COULD be walking by Christmas. We will have to wait and see. 

- Balancing. When you are walking with your walker or stood up against something you like to push back and test your balance. 

- Pulling up. You now pull yourself up on anything and everything.

- Round and round the garden. Your Nanna taught you the song round and round the garden and when someone sings it you draw a circle on your palm with your finger, very sweet. 


- Feeding. You now drink full fat cows milk and love it. We also ditched the steriliser at the same time and have had no issues. 

- Understanding. You started cuddling and kissing a few months back but if we ask for a love or a cuddle then you will give us one. If I say "night night" you put your head down and pretend to go to sleep. It's crazy how much you actually know and you baffle us on a daily basis. 



Things you like

- Dancing. Whenever you hear any sort of music you bob along to it. You can be crawling, standing, sitting or laying down and you will still manage to bust a move no matter what position you are in.

- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, still obsessed with the hotdog song. You have also taken a real liking to Jake and The Neverland Pirates too. 

- Climbing. You are so happier now you are mobile and your favourite thing to do is to pull yourself up on things and you are attempting to climb. 

- The laptop. You are infatuated with gadgets but this month you have been fixated with the laptop. So much so that I am unable to go on it when you are in the same room because you will stop whatever you are doing, crawl over and bash all the keys! 

- Ted. You love our cats but your favourite is Teddy and you are ever so good and gentle with him. It's very endearing to watch. 

- The remotes. You are happy to sit on the floor for ages with a remote in both hand. You know how to turn the channel over and will point the remote directly at the TV and laugh when it turns over. 

 - Fruit. Ever the fruit bat! 




Things you don't like

Napping. This month you have gone backwards and have started crying when you go down for a nap.

When Daddy leaves the room. Once Dad is home from work you just want to be with him so when he leaves the room you cry your eyes out like you think he's going back to work. 


Being spoon fed. You eat the majority of food yourself and you are practicing using the spoon but there are some occasions when I need to spoonfeed you and you really fight it! 









11/19/2014

Christmas Gift Guide - The Beauty Queen Edition

Do you have a member of the family who is all about their lotions and potions, a self confessed beauty queen? I do and I am also partial to a pretty beauty gift set too so I thought I would share my recent favourites. I think that would make the most perfect Christmas gifts.







L'Occitane Almond Collection

- RRP: £45.00

First of all how gorgeous is that gift box? I would be happy enough to receive that alone. The set contains all 6 products from the L'Occitane award winning almond range. 






Molton Brown Precious Gems Soap Collection

- RRP: £25.00

I think this is a gift which is suitable for everyone; sisters, mothers, aunties, grandma's. I would be shocked to discover someone who didn't approve on a lovely gift from Molton Brown. These luxurious soaps are bound to brighten up anyone's Christmas and bathroom! 










Estee Lauder Pleasures Captivating Gift Set

- RRP: £36.00

The last gift set on my list is this scent duo from Estee Lauder. With hints of flora and the rare essence of exotic Rose it will certainly charm me this Christmas.













Do you have your heart set on a beauty gift set this Christmas? What has tickled your fancy? If you would like a little bit of inspiration take a look at this beautiful video from L'Occitane. 




- This is a PR Collaboration. 

11/18/2014

Noah's 1st Birthday - The Birthday Party


If you read the blog you will know that Noah turned 1 last Wednesday. Crazy right? I still can't comprehend it. I don't understand how the last year has flown by so quickly. 



We celebrated his birthday day in a rather relaxed and easy going way. We woke up in the morning wishing Noah a Happy Birthday and brought him in bed with us for snuggles and his morning bottle. We then went downstairs for a bit of breakfast and then got ready for the day. 



It was then time to show him all his presents and balloons which were waiting for him in the front room. When we walked in he smiled and pointed straight at all the balloons. He wasn't very interested in his presents and preferred to crawl through the dozen balloons. 



We had to really encourage him to open his presents but to be honest we had to open the majority of them for him as he was too busy crawling about. His favourite present was his ball pool which he couldn't stop beaming at. We had a good play for a while before it was time for his morning nap.



We then spent the rest of the day shopping and visiting family. All in all it was a lovely day. 



On Saturday we held his 1st birthday party at the new house. It was the first time we have ever thrown our own party but how perfect is it that our first party was our sons first birthday in our first home! 

I'd had the invites designed, printed and sent off a few weeks before and had invited all our close family. 


Everyone arrived shortly after 12pm and Noah absolutely lapped up the attention, he loves having guests and was truly in his element. 

We had laid on a huge buffet with the help of Noah's Great Nan and I had ordered his birthday cake off one of my close friends too. I thought we had provided way too much food but I was surprised with how much food was eaten! 


Noah had such a good day surrounded by his family and we all did too. Happy Birthday baby!