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NEWBORN ESSENTIALS | DOONA CAR SEAT

Friday, 30 December 2016
safest carseat reviews



watch my first impressions and review of the innovative Doona Car Seat, the only one in it's kind to have the ability to transform from car seat to pushchair with just one button - making parenting simpler!

Shop the range here :- www.cuddleco.com

*this post includes PR items that have been sent in exchange for an honest review.

NOMI HIGHCHAIR | REVIEW

Friday, 23 December 2016


Review of the Mother & Baby gold award winning Nomi Highchair by Evomove.com

A beautiful, minimalistic Scandinavian design that seamlessly becomes part of your home. A highchair that can be used from newborn to toddler & beyond.

Customise your Nomi highchair here at www.evomove.com/uk

*this post includes PR items that have been sent in exchange for an honest review.

WHAT'S INSIDE ELLA'S CHRISTMAS EVE BOX?

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

SNUGGLE UP U-SHAPED PREGNANCY PILLOW

Wednesday, 14 December 2016
*I was kindly offered this product in exchange for an honest review. As always the opinions expressed are completely my own.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE

Sunday, 11 December 2016



After uploading a photo of Ella & I by the Christmas tree on Instagram (here!) I've had lots of requests to do a post for my tips on how to decorate. I'm by no means suggesting my tree is harrods worthy, however I do think my method of decorating works well & gives it a full, finished effect.

So without further ado, here are my top tips to festive finesse!

1. Have a Theme

This is probably the most important tip of all. Whether you're starting from scratch or you've had the same box of decorations for years, it is crucial to have a theme or colour scheme. Personally, I think it always works best if you keep the same tones as you already have in your living space or wherever your tree will live for the next month. My tree is in our living room where I have a fairly neutral palette with some champagne and silver tones. By carrying the same colours over to my tree decoration it means the tree doesn't look out of place and makes it one cohesive space. This simple tip  adds value to your overall finished look and appears well thought through.


2. Start with Simple

Once you're finished the dreaded unravelling of branches and you're finally ready to start decorating I always think starting with your simple bauble packs works best. Roughly sort them out into groups of the same decoration and spread them evenly across your tree. These are the ones that you can afford to have at the back and leave space at the front for your special decorations. I bought 5 x 6pack boxes of large baubles from B&M a couple of years ago & they were only £2 per box. They have similar in store here :- Luxury Christmas Baubles. The size I use is 80mm, I tend not to go any smaller than this as you don't get the same fast fullness with smaller decorations!

3. Touches of Texture 

A tree filled with the same plastic baubles is well, a little bit boring. By adding in decorative touches of different textures you can really make your Christmas tree look expensive! Include beaded, metal, glass and fabric decorations to your tree to give it the wow factor. I found that ASDA & Matalan had lots to chose from in their christmas ranges and they're very reasonably priced. Buying in 3s and 4s works best for evenly spacing them out. 


4. Festive Fillers

Once I have all of the simple baubles on & I've placed on my more special decorations like the glass baubles and the textured pieces, I like to fill the gaps to give my tree that fully iced look. I picked up  little snowflakes from ASDA Home last year (similar here) and I don't hang them on the tree, instead I wedge them in the spaces between branches to give it a fuller effect. I also try to create a little bit of dimension by putting some decorations on the inside. I have 30 glitter pine cones that you can purchase from B&M or make yourself and I just place these inside the tree and again in-between branches. This is good for when you run out of branch hanging space and also for when you're at the end of you decorating shift and have lost the will to live! 


5. Make it Personal

One of my favourite parts of looking out the Christmas decorations is having a nosey through the personal bits & pieces we have collected over the years. We have one for our dog, Lola that we were given by my brother & sister-in-law, a few 'My 1st Christmas' baubles and the most special one of all is the trinket bauble I have with mine & Fraser's initials on it where he popped my engagement ring in last year to propose to me - aww what a hopeless romantic! (queue the 'boy did good' nods of approval). It's so nice to have a story behind some of the pieces you put on the tree, so as much as the creative and decorative flare is important, I think having some sentimental value is what makes your tree extra special.


I hope you all enjoy putting up your Christmas trees & making them look beautiful. If anyone has any tips on how to take them down when it's all over then let me know! If only I had the space to just wrap it in cling film and store it fully dressed.

HOW TO : MAKE A CHRISTMAS EVE BOX

Saturday, 10 December 2016

GLASGOW CHRISTMAS MARKET & SHOPPING

Thursday, 8 December 2016

32 WEEKS | PREGNANCY UPDATE

Wednesday, 7 December 2016
I can't quite believe my last update was 3 weeks ago, this pregnancy is just flying in. At this point when I was pregnant with Ella I was ready for tearing my hair out - I was just so desperate to meet her! Not that I'm not just as desperate or excited to meet my little man in the next 8-9 weeks but I feel like I'm so distracted with Ella & working that the weeks are passing by without me really noticing!
It probably helps massively that the last leg of my pregnancy has fallen at this time of year. The buzz of the festivities and all of the plans that go with it are helping me to keep in perspective that it really does suit me to have him here next year. Again, with it being winter, I'm finding this time round that I can dress sooooo much easier than the dreaded Spring/Summer months with Ella. A simple dress, tights, boots & coat combo seems to be my go-to look these days!

Mum baby and dog photos


I'm sorry if I keep making comparisons to my first pregnancy in a bid to describe this one but it's sometimes the only way I can. I feel so different this time round in every way - sickness, appetite, energy & even the way my bump looks. I'm definitely a walking ad campaign for the 'you carry boys to the front & girls all round' as this time I can still see my waist and hips & almost remind myself of the pregnant barbie doll (weird I know) that I had when I was little where the bump just detaches... did anyone else have this? Of course I am in no way saying my figure resembles a barbie doll, a girl could only dream... but this little guy does seem to be like his own little (large) island on my tummy & I could literally draw a big circle right around my bump but flat to my skin and still see it looking straight forward if that makes any sense at all like it does in my head.

At my latest midwife appointment I was told that baby is lying 'transverse' which is just a fancy word for sideways, he's basically planking! He is also back to back meaning he is facing outwards towards my belly button. Because of this I have many weird and wonderful little limbs poking around the front of my tummy - we can even sometimes feel tiny hands/feet wiggling about. It's so strange! I'm not really worried at this stage that he is not head down because he still has time to turn - failing that I will have to get out that birthing ball shortly & get bouncing away! People often ask what it feels like when he is kicking, I try to explain but it's like no other feeling you would ever experience. Sometimes it amazing and others it's a little bit uncomfortable. I swear I feel like he could explode out of my tummy when he is having a big stretch which is only going to get stronger as the weeks go on.

32 week pregnancy update blogger


I'm still suffering from the usual heartburn/indigestion/acid reflux that I have been experiencing from quite early on with this little guy. I did have these symptoms briefly with Ella but nowhere near as bad as what I have this time around. He will end up having withdrawals from the Gaviscon when he is born at the rate I have to take it. I can only live in hope that he will come out with a full head of gorgeous hair to make it all worth it, if he is bald I'll be looking for some sort of explanation! At this point I'm fortunate I've not got much in the way of swelling although I am so paranoid I have a 'fuller' face. I think everyone gets this, my friend & I were chatting about it recently and it's not until I look back on photos of me before I finished up for maternity leave with Ella that I notice how puffy my whole face was. Someone teach me to contour pronto...

Everyone keeps telling me how big I am, often comparing my bump to a bowling ball/ football/ watermelon & any other large circular shapes you could you to describe how rotund I am! They're right though, I am pretty big. Some people might find that mildly offensive but I just can't help but think it's true anyway so what's the big deal?! At least the opinions are consistent unlike the ones of a few months back where I felt I went from speaking to someone one minute saying how big I was getting and then 30 seconds later speaking to someone else who would say 'gosh you're so neat'. I never used to know who was the fibber!

Generally I'm keeping fairly well. My iron count is good & I'm not being sick as often. I'd say my appetite is much better but still for all of the wrong things. I'm beginning to feel a bit more organised too as we have started his room albeit he won't be in it right away but we do need a space to put all of his things like clothes and baby toys etc. Stay tuned to my YouTube channel for 'Project Nursery' and watch the transformation as it unfolds!

I have so many new pregnancy products I have tried this time round which have really made a difference & I'd like to chat to you about but I will do this in another post really soon.

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments & supportive messages you have sent to me recently, especially after my 2nd Baby Guilt Video (click here to watch). I was so overwhelmed & touched with all of the private messages I received. Thank you again  



LITTLE DISH POTS & PIES | REVIEW


ELLA'S VISIT TO SANTA AT DOBBIES GARDEN CENTRE

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

NUBYEN NUDE LIP AUGMENTATION GLOSS

Friday, 2 December 2016
how to make lips bigger


I've recently noticed my Instagram blow up with lots of girls using the 'NUDE by Nubyen' Lip Augmentation Gloss & their results look amazing! Since lip products are kind of my thing, I was so excited when Nubyen got touch with the opportunity to review this product for myself! Having tried lots of lip products with claims to boost your pout and never been that impressed, I was hoping this wasn't going to be another fad that I'd fallen for in a bid to get a Kylie Jenner kisser.

I'm a total sucker for cute packaging, aren't we all? So I wasn't disappointed when I opened this cute little tube in the mail. The sleek, monochrome design made me instantly fall in love with Nubyen's whole branding concept - it's so simple yet effective. Inside there's a 2.5g lipgloss & a few little leaflets about the ingredients.

HOW IT WORKS

Basically, it's a clear gloss that can be applied over lipstick or used alone to amplify and intensify the volume of your lips. It does this with the use of natural ingredients :- cinnamon, lemongrass & hyaluronic acid which help to boost natural lip colour, plumpness and fullness as well as keeping them supple and healthy.

full lips without injections


I applied the product over my lipstick as suggested, I just feel during this season there are too many beautiful shades that you don't get the opportunity to wear any other time of the year so to opt for a natural lip colour with gloss was just too fresh & summery for me.

The formula smells lovely, like honey & lemon. When you apply it, it feels really thick and sticky which was good to keep control of where the product was being placed. I must admit you don't need much of it, in fact, I'd actually say be careful how much you apply because if it drips on to the skin on your chin it can make it feel a little irritated.

DOES IT WORK?


Almost instantly after applying you can actually feel the product working. I can only describe it as a sort of nipping & tingling sensation but not uncomfortable in the slightest. This feeling does wear off after about 2-3 minutes.
how to get big lips like Kylie
BEFORE

Big lips
AFTER


The product definitely gave my lips a much fuller appearance. The usual little lines and creases I find on my lips were completely gone and my lips looked and felt significantly plumped as you will see from the photos. The effects of the gloss lasted for a few hours before I had to reapply which I thought was pretty good going considering I'd been out & had a few hot drinks. 

The only thing I could say I didn't enjoy about this product was that the wind kept blowing my hair into it while I was out shopping which was really annoying however that is hardly a criticism of the product itself as this would naturally happen with any gloss. Note to self : wear hair up next time! Another thing would be that Ella kisses were off limits, in fact, so were Fraser kisses... so beware of the mistletoe location when you're wearing this because not everyone wants lip filler effect!

This being said, I feel that the pros faaaar outweigh the cons I have listed and this product has definitely delivered on it's claims. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to achieve a fuller lip but does not want to go to the extent of having fillers. This gives you a short term result of the desired look and at just a fraction of the cost!





BEABA BABYCOOK REVIEW

Thursday, 1 December 2016

CHRISTMAS BUCKET LIST



Can you believe it's the December already? I say it every year & I always feel like it's such a clich√© but where has this year gone?! It seems like only yesterday I was complaining about my lack of summer wardrobe to accommodate my growing baby bump. I must admit, Winter is definitely the easiest month to dress when you're pregnant as I find myself just hiding away in big cosy jumpers and dresses with tights. The only downside being that sometimes I feel like I'm resembling something of a baby elephant when there is no 'bump definition' and the line between looking with child and overweight gets a little blurred!

Since this is our last Christmas as a family of 3 and the first one where Ella is at a nice age to get involved in the festivities, I wanted to make a bucket list of activities we can enjoy together. 

Because Ella is only 18 months & I'm heavily pregnant, we are quite limited in the things we can do - Ice Skating is definitely one to save for next year! 


CHRISTMAS BUCKET LIST
Put up our Christmas Tree
Visit Santa
Watch a Christmas Movie (or 5)
Go to a Christmas Market
Go to a Pantomime 
Make a Gingerbread House
Buy matching PJ’s
Write Ella’s Christmas list
Make our own family Christmas Cards
Deliver our Christmas cards
Build a snowman (fingers crossed for snow!)
Bake Christmas Cupcakes
Make Ella's Christmas eve box

It's not an exhaustive list of plans but it's definitely a start and no doubt we will end up adding things that we hadn't thought of before. I think making family traditions around this time of year is so important, it's what makes the festive season so special! It doesn't need to cost the earth but just a few staple yearly traditions are all that it takes to make your Christmas memorable for all of the family.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?





WHAT THE POSTMAN BROUGHT #2


MY EVERY DAY MAKE-UP ROUTINE

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Of course, I am human. As a busy mum I don't aaalways have make-up on but when I do this is my 'go-to' routine with my fail safe products! I hope you enjoy this video, please subscribe to my channel if you haven't already.

Products used

Bobbi Brown - Face Base
Make up Forever- ULTRAHD Foundation
MAC - Mineralise skin finish powder 
MAC - 'Give Me Sun' bronzer
Make up Forever - HD Powder
Make up Forever - Contour Kit #2
BECCA - Shimmering skin perfector highlight in 'Opal'
MAC - blush in 'fleur power'
Benefit - 'Goof Proof' brow pencil in #6
MAC - lip pencil in 'spice'
MAC - matte lipstick in 'Velvet Teddy'
Bourjois - liquid eyeliner 'jet black'
Urban Decay - 'All Nighter' make-up setting spray





MY 2ND BABY GUILT | HOW CAN I LOVE 2 CHILDREN?

Thursday, 24 November 2016

10 THINGS THEY DON'T TELL YOU ABOUT BREASTFEEDING

Wednesday, 23 November 2016
With the impending arrival of baby number two, I can't help but feel nostalgic of the first few months with Ella & how much motherhood has taught me. Often it takes some reflection to truly appreciate the situation & as I prepare to make some decisions about feeding, birthing plan, pain relief etc I had a good think (and laugh) to myself about my breastfeeding experience with Ella. There are so many hidden truths about feeding that I wish I'd known before I started, although it didn't put me off since we exclusively fed for 14 weeks and combination fed for a further few weeks after that, here are the realities of breastfeeding.

1. It Hurts

- A lot. Now many people will say 'you've not got your latch right' but that takes time! As a new mum where your body has just known what to do to make a baby & deliver them, frustratingly the feeding them part doesn't come quite as easily. Who'd have known a tiny human leach would be able to cause so much discomfort?! But you won't complain, because that would make you feel like a failure and as a new mum you'll never want to admit defeat. You've got this whole thing under control.... and can have a mini breakdown to daddy about it later Who will no doubt suggest the 'B' word, yes you guessed it 'why don't you try a bottle?' to which you will want to scream 'ARE YOU MAD?!?!'. Like he'd just suggested giving your little darling a can of diet coke to quench their thirst. 

2. Congratulations, you have another limb

Which ironically actually inhibits the use of the preexisting ones. Yes, you'll feel like you have an additional and frankly debilitating body part. You'll watch like the green eyed monster as your partner enjoys a cup of tea whilst simultaneously composing a tweet & you're just trying the perfect the 'rugby hold'. The calorie burn selling point clearly only works on the basis that you don't have enough free hands for any length of time to stuff your face, food deprivation to be exact. But hey, you'll live off of cereal bars at 4am when you're starving.

3.  Save money or sanity?

If you thought you were being a savvy saver by breastfeeding then think again. Your unlimited supply of nipple cream a £10 a pop will more than likely run out faster than a tub of formula if you apply it at the rate I had to, killing any economic pros you'd admirably tried to list. Team that with the other breastfeeding paraphernalia you'll accumulate like shields, pumps & covers and you'll have spent a few months formula cash, but it's cool because it's triple points in boots and that's always damage limitation the next drug store haul.

4. Towels are the enemy.

Your softly laundered Egyptian cotton bath sheets take on the form of sand paper... need I say any more? 

5. Mind that spray.

You'll feel like you missed your calling to become one of Dr. Evil's 'fembots' every time you take your bra off... especially after a shower. Be careful of your aim & give clear warning before you drop that towel.

6. This isn't an all you can eat...

After hours, surely there's nothing left? If they suckle any longer they'll turn you inside out! Oh but they're 'just increasing you supply' of course they are, of course they're going through a growth spurt. *Adds to the list of excuses people give you for your baby being a greedy little horror!*

7. What a waste! 

Breast milk will become a valuable commodity. One step short from taking it to your local 'cash for gold' you'll want to savour any mere dribble you produce. So just imagine the heart sinking feeling of milk streaming from the boob baby isn't latched to... It can only be compared to the same kind of devastation felt when you accidentally over dunk a biscuit into a perfect cuppa tea. 

8 Self Education 

When you finally manage to master one handed breastfeeding you'll spend 90% of feeding times googling how to feed. 'How to perfect my baby's latch' will be on the top searched items on your internet history and believe me, you still won't get it exactly right. 

9 Who's Formula then hmm?

Like some sort of insanely jealous ex-girlfriend you'll hate the fact that your baby will enjoy spending time with formula milk. They might take a little time to get used to the bottle but the milk will be like pure joy and their full tummies are bound to keep them content & sleep for aaaages. Mummy on the other hand is feeling very inadequate, thanks for that Aptamil ...

10 Must. Go. On

But despite all of this, you'll still power on because you're stubborn and apparently are enrolled in a mini competition with yourself! Each week completed is like a level in a game you never knew you were playing. The countdown to weaning week feels like a bigger deal than Christmas like it should come with it's own advent calendar. Andddd of course it's a special bond like no other. Despite all of tribulations, looking down & seeing how much that tiny human is depending on you is probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It could bring me to tears just thinking about it.




NYX LINGERIE LIQUID LIPSTICK | REVIEW & SWATCHES

Monday, 21 November 2016


29 WEEKS | PREGNANCY UPDATE

Thursday, 17 November 2016

hyperemesis gravidarum


I know it seems like a pretty odd milestone week to do a pregnancy update but I feel like I should start now because if my memory serves me right, at this stage with Ella the changes from week to week were so vast that if I leave it until my 8 month update so many things may have happened.

So without going into the fine detail over the past 7 (and a bit) months I've been keeping fairly okay. I say this even though most people would say I've had yet another horrible pregnancy but all I can compare it to is my first one with Ella and for those of you who know how things were then - anything is better.

I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum; (HG) 'complication of pregnancy that is characterised by severe nausea and vomiting such that weight loss and dehydration occur.'  It's often summarised as 'acute morning sickness' which is slightly amusing since that would only be accurate if it was restricted to the morning as the title suggests. How about morning, noon, night and 7 months later sickness? Or at least that's what I had to deal with in my first pregnancy. I can sense the ability to go off on a tangent here on my experience with HG, there's so much content I could write on it despite it being almost 2 years ago. Let me know if you'd be interested in knowing my story I would happily write a dedicated post or film a chatty video for my channel.

pregnant photo


So as much as the severity of the HG I suffered from this time around was moderate in comparison, it was still horrendous. Add a baby into the mix and some days were unbearable. It was a vicious circle of:
 1.Throwing up
 2. Lack of appetite/scared to eat in the fear of throwing up some more
 3. feeling drained of energy because of points 1 & 2

Luckily (if you can call it luck) my doctor is very aware of how I suffer from HG and as recently as 2 weeks ago prescribed me with some more anti-sickness medication. I can go for a few weeks sometimes feeling pretty normal and then it just hits me one day and I'm way back at square one. I'm back on top of things now so let's keep our fingers crossed that I'm not going to go through another blip anytime soon!

Since I'm still working, albeit part-time, I'm shattered most evenings. I say this on the rare occasion where I'm actually awake to see past 10pm but that's because I'm not long home. Had I been sat on the sofa all night I can almost guarantee I'd be presently studying the back of my eyelids having failed yet again to watch through an episode of I'm a Celebrity - Get me out of Here! I'm just trying to  listen to my body. When I'm tired I sleep - where I can.. I'm fortunate that Ella is in a good sleep routine. She goes to bed around 8pm and sleeps for 12 hours so often I like to copy her sleep pattern or at least that's what I like to call it. I can tell the Ash 4 months in the future is going to look back at this post with complete envy at the written evidence that I used to have 12 hours sleep - or even sleep at all?!
glasgow blogger

At my last appointment my midwife said baby boy is 'breach'. As soon as that word is mentioned, naturally alarm bells start ringing. It only always has negative connotations so I was a little confused why she thought that with this long to go it was even worth describing his position as breach. He has lots of time to turn. If nothing else it explains the constant annoyance that is acid reflux. Honestly I'm sure if I was to breathe hard enough fire would come out my mouth like a dragon. The only thing I could say that is keeping me going is my best friend Eilidh (here's her blog) suffered with horrendous heartburn & acid reflux in her pregnancy and little Oliver was born with the most impressive head of jet black hair, seriously check out her blog for the pictures he's adorable! So if the old wives tale is true then I could be set for sharing the hairdryer with another man in this house sooner than I thought!

I'm definitely feeling bigger second time around. So far I've put on half a stone which I think is fairly average at this stage. Although they say baby is probably weighing around 3lbs at this stage when you take into consideration the extra water weight etc I think I've actually been quite fortunate! It's probably all just damage limitation for the free reign I plan on giving myself over Christmas, the diet start in January, right?

So far so good on stretch mark watch. I practically glide into bed every night having applied every lotion and potion I have. If Fraser were to give me a cuddle I'm sure I'd scoot right out of his arms!! Instead I'm enjoying being the big spoon & baby likes to give his daddy little kicks on his back. I'm not going to hold my breath though, realistically there's only so much you can really expect your skin and body to cope with. The odd stretch mark or whatever on my tummy really wouldn't both me, I'm not sure I'd really suit the Christina Aguilera 'dirty' low rise chaps and belly top combo even if it came into fashion anyway!

We are going to be starting the little one's room shortly. I'm going to vlog the whole transformation as it's a total rip out! We are having an attic nursery that you access through a staircase in our bedroom. I've been going a little overboard on Pinterest with ideas, I just can't wait to get everything finished now - it's so exciting!! So stay tuned for the first instalment of Project : Nursery on my channel here!

Oh, did I mention I finish for maternity leave in 4 weeks...? I. CAN'T. WAIT.





OUR WEEKEND MORNING ROUTINE

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

BLOOMING LOVELY JEWELLERY

Sunday, 13 November 2016
I can't quite get my head around how fast this pregnancy has flown in. This week marks my 29th week meaning I'm well into the third trimester and our little boy's impending arrival is much sooner than we think! In a bid to create a close prenatal bond with baby I have been making a conscious effort to caress my tummy a little longer when I'm applying my lotions because I feel that's like I'm giving him a comforting touch and we have been talking to him using his name too! These are the things we practiced when I was pregnant with Ella & it really helped us to create a sense of identity with her.

Mexican Bola charm
PRETTY SILVER BOLA - £32 *

I was looking for other ways I could try to connect with our unborn son so when I was offered the opportunity to work with 'Blooming Lovely Jewellery' I jumped at the chance.

Blooming Lovely Jewellery blossomed out of the tradition of the Mexican Bola: a chiming pendant also known as a 'harmony ball' which is worn low across the expectant mother's blossoming bump. The soft calming chimes of the harmony ball are heard by the unborn baby in utero and the reassuringly familiar sounds create a sense of security from birth & beyond.

After wearing the pendant for a period of time I can begin to feel the calming benefits of the soothing chimes, they make for an addictive sound. Admittedly, I thought that after a while of wearing essentially a small bell could take it's toll however it's quite the opposite. Even Fraser commented saying that the sound was really nice & Ella loves to listen to it too. It's a very inconspicuous and elegant music it plays.

There are many different styles to choose from, I opted for the Pretty Silver Bola with Silver Chain, I felt the dainty design complimented the delicate tones of the bola charm.

This would make for a perfect special gift for an expectant mother, something she can always keep and look back on, particularly coming up to Christmas where us pregnant ladies are not the easiest to buy for! I was so impressed with the gorgeous packaging that the pendant was received in & a beautiful little jewellery bag to keep it safe when storing.

I will be interested to see how our little boy reacts when he hears the sound of the charm when he is born, I've read that sometimes the calming sound of the Bola can settle babies to sleep as it makes them reminiscent of their time in the womb. I will update you when he arrives in the New Year.

*this product was kindly sent to me for the purposes of review, all opinions are my own.


SO THE JOURNEY BEGINS...

Saturday, 12 November 2016
If you're reading this, welcome! You have found your way to my little corner of the internet. For anyone who doesn't know me, I'm Ashleigh, 24 from Glasgow in Scotland where I live with my Fianc√© Fraser & our Shar Pei dog, Lola. We have a little girl Ella who is 18 months & are expecting a baby boy in February.

I started an Instagram account over a year ago now when Ella was around 3 months old. It began pretty organically, I set the account up initially because contrary to my initial plans I'd become 'one of those mums' who constantly posted pictures of their baby on social media. For me, that's not a problem at all, the more the merrier I say! But I couldn't help feeling like I was bombarding everyone with photos of Ella.

Glasgow lifestyle blogger
In a bid to have all of her photos in a timeline format, I decided to sign up to a brand new Instagram account where I could document her development in on a 'guilt-free' platform. Don't get me wrong, despite doing this I couldn't help but still share photos on my personal accounts but the volume was significantly less!

From there it grew into something of a baby fashion account where I would post outfit of the day style photos like those you would see from fashion bloggers. It was all a bit of fun and I started to chat to other mums who were doing similar things, the sense of community was so lovely. I was often asked where many of Ella's clothing items were from so I started to tag the relevant stores in the photos. Before long I was offered brand representative positions for Ella with a number of online stores. We were delighted! A little hobby that was simply a mummy & daughter playing dress up was turning into something that was paying a little dividend too. It was a win-win situation & so long as Ella was happy to have her photo taken, I was happy to continue.

After such a long time on Instagram, I wanted to branch into other platforms like a blog and YouTube channel. I love watching vlogs, hauls, reviews & tutorials on YouTube so I took inspiration from there and decided to take the plunge! Admittedly, I was expecting it to be one of the most nerve wracking things I'd done, but I think once you become a parent you seem to adopt this care-free attitude and the opinions of other people no longer become your self-validation. So with this in mind I filmed by first video. The only way I can describe the whole experience was 'odd'. I felt so strange speaking to a camera lens, well, that would have been the case if I could stop getting so distracted by the viewfinder since I pretty much watched myself the entire 1st video. Fourth video in and I think I can see a steady improvement already!

Throughout the time I've have reviewed many products, clothing companies and much more. We are just your average young family, making mistakes & learning as we go ... because let's be honest - it's probably the best way! My intention is to recommend products that I can't live without and be honest enough to say things I'd steer clear of 2nd time around. Particularly when you're shopping for your first baby, it's so easy to get sucked into all of the gimmicks and added extras that you just don't need!

My first year of motherhood has taught me many things. The biggest lesson of all is how much time I used to waste! Long gone are the days of hour long showers and taking until lunchtime to perfect my make-up. Trips to the toilet is often with the company of tiny toes & no morsel of food makes its way to my mouth without a little voice exclaiming 'please, thank you!..' followed by a presumptuous open hand as she patiently waits for you to practice what you preach and share.

I'm looking forward to sharing the next chapter in this crazy journey that is parenthood. Having 'two under two' is going to make for some comedic viewing I can tell! I can't say I'm going to be an expert. I'm not the 'eco-mum' or the 'routine-mum' or the 'everything-organic-mum' but I'm going to try and be the best mum I can be to these two little monsters (well, one & the other is half baked) and hopefully I can keep my sanity along the way...


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