I’m Going to Blog On May ’17!

This coming weekend I’m going to my first ever Blog On conference. I went to Britmums last year, but have heard such amazing things about Blog On I was really determined to find out what all the fuss is about.
I’m really excited to get to catch up and meet up with bloggers that I speak to most days, and to actually talk to them face to face! WARNING – I’m a hugger!

But I am also sh*tting myself quite frankly! I’m always worried I don’t ‘fit in’ and people will wonder who on earth I am. Or that I’ll trip over walking into a session and make a complete tit of myself. Even though I had a really lovely experience at Britmums last year I’m still feeling really anxious. I don’t have my baby bump to hide behind for starters, and I’ll be going in by myself rather than with some of the other Welsh bloggers.
In my usual Last Minute Larry fashion, I’ve still not finalised all the details of travel etc for the weekend, and this is probably the last addition to the Blog On ice breaker linky but I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to answer these and attempt to introduce myself.

 

 

Share a recent picture of you (if you are an anonymous blog, a drawing is fine)



I’m almost always found with sunglasses. It’s not a wannabe fame thing, pregnancy gave me super sensitive eyes. 

These were my absolute favourite pair, til I sat on them earlier in the week. Balls.

Quite possibly wearing this dress to the conference l, though I haven’t decided what will be comfiest/coolest/easiest to pump in!

Describe yourself in three words

Eclectic, imaginative, loyal.

How long have you been blogging and what made you start?

It’s been roughly 3 years, but its been a gradual thing.
It was supposed to be a baking/cookery blog, but it developed over time as most people’s blogs do. I think it was inspired by the Great British Bake Off as some of them already had food blogs.



• What was the inspiration behind your blog name?

It’s my surname, and just something I’d referred to our home as for a while.

What is the best thing to come from your blog so far?

Friends! Genuinely lovely people I’m pleased to call true friends that I’ve come to know both online and in “real life”.

Your most remembered thing from your childhood

Summer holidays spent with my cousins. Washing up liquid on tarpaulin sheets, learning to ride my bike confidently, making rose petal perfume, making mud pies, trips to the beach. So many lovely times spent with them.



• Something interesting you might not know about me is…

I met my husband at 16 and we’re still happily together now, 12 years on.



• Which social media platform best describes your personality and why?

Twitter. Random, flaky, can be very strange and occasionally writes some gems. I like to think that describes me fairly well.



• What is your happy song?

McFly’s Stargirl. It’s been an alarm song on my phone for years but lately my 3 year old really loves it and dances along. It really cheers me up, proper small child “dance like no ones watching” dance party.



• What is your favourite alcoholic drink?

I don’t drink all that often usually, but I can’t resist a cherry brandy and coke, especially at Christmas time.



• What is your favourite cake?

Lemon Drizzle cake. Especially Mr H’s Gran’s lemon drizzle cake.



• What is your favourite takeaway dish?

Pizza. I can never say no to pizza. Ever!



• Where is your dream holiday destination and why?

Florida, I’d love to go to Disney and the Universal Studios. I’d like to spent at least a week in the Harry Potter one. In fact I reckon my dream trip would last at least a month to spend enough time everywhere.

What would your superhero name be?

OctoGirl, becasue I always have at least 8 different things on the go.



• If you had a magical power, would you want to have and why?

The ability to freeze time (anyone remember Bernard’s watch on CITV?) think of all the stuff I’d actually get done!



• What one weapon would help you survive a zombie apocalypse?

Wasn’t it vinyl records beheading zombies in Shaun of the Dead? That’s the only “zombie” film I’ve seen so I’m going to go with a boomerang vinyl record, that always comes back so I’m always armed.



• If you could send something into space, what would it be?

Donald Trump. No need for an explanation really is there!?



• What would you have on your gravestone?

Told you it was as bad as I said ;)
I may be a slightly over dramatic person.



• You make headline news around the world in 2 years time… but for what reason?

I’d genuinely like it to be as writer or vlogger.
But most likely it would be something daft like “Clumsy woman trips and falls into most obvious hole ever!”



• If an EMP wiped out all mechanical forms of transport, how would you get to BlogOn?

I was going to say boat, but I definitely do not have the sort of fitness to row from South Wales to Manchester. I don’t even know if thats possible. So I’m going to say I’d borrow a horse. Would need some paracetamol and a comfy seat by the time I get there though.

 

 
 

So that’s a little bit of weird and (hopefully) interesting info about me!

 
Will I be seeing you at Blog On this weekend? Please don’t be afraid to come and say Hi! 

 

Mrs H xxx

Blog ON Conference

In The Night Garden Baby

It’s not always easy being the second child. Especially as he’s the same gender as his big brother, though in fairness I don’t think much would have changed had he been a girl. 

I would say that there’s not a day that goes by where B isn’t dressed in something that was his big brother’s….or cousin’s! And as for toys? Well, G’s “big kid” toys have well and truly taken over, and being totally honest, I haven’t made the effort to make space for any baby stuff. But now that B is starting to show more interest and move about a bit more, it’s only fair to give him his share too.

Thankfully we were sent a couple of new toys from the In The Night Garden Baby range to give him his very own toys that he hasn’t had to thieve from big bro! 

They’re really lovely toys. The characters that we are very familiar with (in this house at least) have had a slightly mellow makeover, making them slightly more gentle and pastel coloured, as well as being super soft, just perfect for little ones to grab (and chew!).

Upsy Daisy has a handy Velcro tag, brilliant for attaching to the car seat or pushchair bar to keep them amused on the go. Her skirt is made from ribbon tags which B loves playing with and sucking on, and she has a gentle bell rattle that he loves, but isn’t so loud as to drive me round the twist every time he launches it! 

Iggle Piggle is the softest toy. He’s so lovely and cwtchy, B has loved snuggling up to him at nap time, and G has had to “borrow” him once or twice too. He also features a gentle bell rattle, noisy enough to amuse. It not obnoxious enough to wake anyone up. B loves grabbing at his hands and feet too which crinkle when pressed. Iggle Piggle has become a firm friend…poor sod can’t escape from the army crawler now no matter how far he’s been flung haha! 

I’ve had few “technical” issues (probably because I’m terrible with technology!) getting the photos of B playing with his new friends to upload, but I’ve been trying to get this review up for ages so I wanted to get it posted and tell you all about them. I’ll update this with a few more pics soon, or keep an eye out on my social media channels to spot them! 

Do your littles have a cuddly bff? 

Mrs H xxx 

*Disclaimer – we were sent both toys for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own

It’s Time to Wean!

 

The health visitor came for a home visit recently, to talk about weaning B. Can someone tell me how on earth it’s time for this conversation already!? Didn’t I JUST give birth!? Apparently not.

The time has come to start weaning him onto solids. B certainly has got a strong interest in what we’re all eating and is always trying to grab stuff out of our hands. There’s no doubt that he’s ready for food.

We’ll be weaning in the same way we did with G, just because it’s what feels right for us. Starting with purees, first tastes will most likely be baby rice followed by veg and fruit purees. But we also encourage finger foods alongside this, but found that both boys are similar in actually wanting to eat rather than just play.

It’s been really strange, because I’m so used to making stuff for G or giving him new things to try off my plate, that I’ve had to stop myself from doing the same with B sometimes, but now that the time is coming to give him food I’m struggling to remember what I’ll need and what to make!
 

Luckily OXO Tot have sent us some really lovely things to get started with.


BOWL –

Divided into two sections, it’ll be great to test out new flavours and textures with B. As I said we’ll do a combination of purees and baby led finger foods, so it will be brilliant to have options available at each meal time, without having to lay out several bowls. Less washing up! Always a winner!

The bowl also comes with a clip on feature that will help to have somewhere to rest the spoon and help limit spills, again, a huge bonus. Another clip on feature is a lid. So they didn’t eat all the meal? no problem, because you can pop on the lid and store for later (using common sense and proper food safety of course!).

The bottom of the bowl has a grip on it so that when they start feeding themselves it won’t slip around the highchair tray or table.

SPOONS –



I love that they are ‘proper’ metal spoons, but coated to make sure they are soft and gentle on babies gums. they’re not too wide or deep either, something I found was an issue when we were weaning G. The coating is super soft too, I found that even the plastic spoons seemed quite sharp or tough at times, so these seem a lot more gentle for delicate gums. Concentration will be on tasting the actual foods and not an uncomfortable spoon! Sounds simple but its a big deal to a small baby.

 

CUP –



I can’t believe it’s almost time to start giving B a little cup of water with his meals! G has kindly offered to test it out already, in the interest of “sharing”, and its great. Sturdy and easy to hold, and most importantly of course, it’s free flowing.
Like the bowl it comes with different attachments to change from a spout to a top that makes it more like a regular cup.

Apart from the fact that all items are really practical, and also come with additional extras too which will make them multi use and longer lasting, the most important thing? They look great! They’re a lovely turquoise and white combo, fun and bright but kind of stylish too.

 

 

We bought a new stash of Nom Nom pouches to have ready for homemade purees and snacks, though I need a refresher course on what foods to try and when. I’m sure I had printed some sort of chart off when we weaned G and ticked off stuff as we went along. I’ll need to try and find something for B or I’ll be feeding him all the wrong things! It’s crazy how much you can forget!

We still need to sort out a highchair as the one we have he’s not keen on, and of course we are going to need a huge pile of bibs! 
And to stock up on the stain remover and washing up powder!

Is there anything we’re missing? What are your weaning essentials?

Mrs H xxx

 

 

 

*We were sent the products from OXO Tots for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own

Easter Traditions and Must Dos

We’re never massively prepared for Easter. I always have lovely visions of spring decorations, pastel coloured wreaths, a tastefully adorned Easter tree. But every year it seems to arrive without any decorations, a big panic about who and how many chocolate eggs we need to buy. And I’ve still not got an Easter tree!

But there are a few things that we try and do every year, apart from scoffing far too much chocolate.

Easter egg hunt – 2017 seems to be the year of the hunt, as theres one on Good Friday, Easter Sunday (morning), Easter Sunday (tea time) and Easter Monday! All in different venues. Easter Sunday morning is just going to be a little thing for G in our house. We did it for the first time last year and it was so lovely to watch him tear around finding them that we wanted to do it again this year. All the other events will be joined by friends and cousins which will be really nice to see.

Easter breakfasts – is it even easter if you don’t eat more than your fair share of hot cross buns for breakfast!?

Making treats – even before having children I’ve enjoyed making chocolate egg nests so having children to make them with is just a better excuse. Although if I’m honest, ends up being a few days after when we realise just how much chocolate we have!

The big question of course?? Cornflake or Shredded Wheat nests!? Always mini eggs on top though.

Roast Dinner – we love a good roast dinner, and easter is no different. Just another excuse for me to make sure lamb is the star of a Sunday roast. It’s my absolute favourite Sunday dinner.

I asked my fellow bloggers what they’re up to this Easter and what their usual traditions are.

“We really focus on an Easter Egg Hunt around the house. We set up clues and little poems to get the kids hunting high and low for treats! This is the main focus for us at Easter 😘”

http://www.kellyallenwriter.com
 

“We always have a roast dinner with family on Easter Sunday”

http://www.allaboutamininorris.com

 
“We always go to my parents for dinner. We don’t over do it as it’ll be too much for Z. This year my sister an niece are down to visit too, so will be a nice family day!”

http://www.firsttimevalleymam.com

 
“We always make Easter nest cakes on Easter weekend. I have photos of my kids doing them every year and it’s lovely to see them growing over the years… and their faces covered in chocolate where they sneakily try to scoff loads of the ingredients and I pretend not to notice!
We also have an egg hunt in the house and our dining table decorated in all sorts of Easter tat.”

http://www.cardiffmummysays.com

 
“With our children grown up we have a visit to a garden centre before Easter and spend the time in the garden. If the sun comes out we have a BBQ and admire our work”

http://www.teddybearsandcardigans.com

 
“Easter Sunday we always have a big roast dinner 😊 and the easter bunny leaves lily some treats too of course! This weekend we will be decorating our living room and just chilling out! Xx”

http://www.bettertogetherhome.com
 

“Each year we have family and friends round, we always do a giant Easter egg hunt in the our garden. We get an annual photograph of the 5 children so we can see how our group has gown over the years, we do this before the egg hunt starts. It’s lovely to be all together for the day.”

http://www.chamoagneandpetals.com

 
“Every year, we spend the entire Easter weekend with family. On Good Friday we do Easter crafts at home and take our son out for the day to do something fun. On the Saturday we have a family get together with a roast dinner and a little Easter Egg Hunt for the children. Then on the Sunday and Monday we see more family for fun activities etc. In our family, Easter lasts from Friday to Monday and we usually get gifted with an egg for each day, per person. That’s how it’s always been since I was little and now we’re carrying it on for my son.”

http://www.kaidenlaverty.com

 
“We always have a day out over the weekend to an Easter egg hunt at an attraction or stately home. We don’t always manage days out on normal weekends so make the most of the bank holidays!”

http://www.themamastory.com
 

“Egg hunt and little Easter basket for the girls! Then starting a new tradition of a yummy roast dinner, just the 4 of us and quality family time :-)”

http://www.runjumpscrap.com

 
“We tend to go out on Good Friday with family to a National Trust place. Then we do an Easter Egg Hunt on the Sunday followed by a roast dinner with the other side of the family for a catch up! :) x”

http://www.sophiesnursery.com

 
“On good Friday we spend the day making Easter bonnets, decorating Easter cakes and making Easter cards for family.”

http://www.fivelittledoves.com
 

“My sister has an amazing enormous garden and every year she hosts an Easter egg hunt for all our little ones. My mam crocheted the kids little Easter baskets that they can use every year. It’s very cute and has become our little tradition.”

http://www.nomipalony.com

 
“On Good Friday our village school hosts a run, so we wander down to that and watch my husband and others run it! It’s lovely to see lots of people we know and have a hot cross bun whilst sat waiting… plus I feel sporty by association!! The rest of the weekend is spent with lots of food and family time!”

http://www.devonmama.com
 

“We do an egg hunt for my daughters and neice / nephew / cousins. Currently packing treats into plastic eggs!!”

http://www.realmumreview.com

 

 

 

What do you like to do for Easter?

 

Mrs H xxx

Body Positivity – My Postpartum Truth

 

Near the end of my pregnancy I wrote about body positivity and rocking my bump. About how great pregnancy made me feel, and that I wanted to hang on to that post pregnancy, remember that my body had grown two beautiful humans and that was awesome no matter how my shape had changed.

 

Well I’m here to tell you I’ve failed. Miserably.

 

I do not feel like the awesome warrior I did. I do not feel remotely empowered or like I’m owning my body.

 

I feel tired. I feel lumpy. I feel achy. I feel drab.

 

I was “lucky” that not long after I’d given birth I was back to my pre pregnancy weight and back in my usual Jeggings. I was already over weight and hadn’t actually gained a huge amount so this wasn’t like the “spring back” you see from celebrities, but it was gone.

 

But then life happened.

 

Weight Gain –     I make bad food choices, I didn’t make good on my original plans to have delicious and healthy meals prepped and ready in the freezer. I snack on convenience food, fast food, chocolate bars. And when Christmas hit, well that was just another excuse (not that I needed one) to eat every single pig in blanket within sight! It was ok, I’d grown a person. And looking after two small humans gave me the need to consume so much sugar. Or carbs. Or preferably both. And my weight ballooned to being the heaviest I’ve been. Ever. Including during pregnancy.

I know that this diet is neither healthy or helpful. I’m getting the energy boost from a sugar hit, but I’m also getting the lows of the comedown. And then the tiredness hits harder and the cycle continues. I say it often but I really wish I drank coffee, at least a caffeine hit would be a bit better than an early morning sugar dose. I know this can’t continue.

 

 

Breastfeeding –     Occasionally I feel totally badass for breastfeeding. I’m fascinated by what I can produce to nourish my baby. And when I feel like it might not be enough, I take a look at my chunky little baby and am reassured, most of the time. However, there’s an aspect that I wasn’t really prepared for. Fashion.

I need to be accessible at all times. Accessible without flashing too much flesh. Vest tops layered with a bigger t shirt or jumper has become my new uniform. Which is great, it’s comfy and can take what this job throws at it. Or throws up on it. But I am constantly thinking about my tummy. Is the vest covering it? Is it riding up as the baby wriggles? Is anyone looking at my flabby belly!?

It’s like a constant reminder of the weight I’ve put on. Sat on the sofa, being held hostage by this adorable and hungry bundle, and avoiding eating a decent hot meal so I don’t risk spilling anything over him.

 

 

Hair Loss –     During pregnancy your hair pretty much stops falling out. Your hormones have got better things to do than to keep up with a normal cycle or hair loss and regrowth that is normal. So it kind of ‘stocks up’. Your hair seems thicker, healthier and you fell fab. I felt fab.

Then a few months after you’ve given birth, those pesky hormones panic. They’re trying to get back to normal. Essentially they panic, and it seems all the extra hair they’ve been clinging onto need to go. That instant. Next thing you know you’ve got enough hair to make a wig just from one brush.

For some unknown reason, this is happening more in the areas above my temples. I know that this is a common thing, for the hair to thin and regrow around the temples and hair line. But mine seems excessive. And there is nothing that makes me feel less confident than the bald patch on the left side of my head. It’s not a “thinning patch”. It is bald.

 

 

I am a mess. I couldn’t feel further from the glowing, curvy woman I was just a few months ago. And it’s down to me to fix it. If all it took was for someone to tell me I was still beautiful, I wouldn’t have a problem. Mr H has told me daily, at the very least once a day, how beautiful I am to him. But unfortunately I don’t feel it.

 

 

So I know I need to take control. No one is going to deliver healthy meals to me, I need to organise them. No one cares what I look like when I’m feeding, if they see anything it’s the super cute baby and not my flabby tum. And if they do? Sod it! Hair grows. I’ve had to adjust my style to distract from The Patch, but at some point that hair will grow back (and no doubt I’ll be back to have a small whinge at the fluffy, sticky out regrowth, but I’ll forget about that for now).
I want that feeling loving my body and myself back.

 

 

Did you struggle with postpartum body issues? what is your best tip to overcome them?

 

 

Mrs H xxx