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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

On the hunt for trendy, non-frumpy duo purpose maternity wear

 On the hunt for trendy, non-frumpy duo purpose maternity wear, as in that you can wear where you actually have a baby not just a bump? And ideally that you can breastfeed in too, if you are choosing to feed that way of course. 

I looked and looked and well there isn't much choice out there, not that is my kind of style anyway. Not that I really have a "style" as such, but I mean I just wanted some key pieces that won't make me look like a frumpy, round pregnant lady and allow me to still feel slightly young, and dare I say it, fashionable. And then to add on to that I wanted a few pieces that I could actually wear after I give birth to hopefully breastfeed in too.

There are a few places I have got some nice pieces from such as New Look, H&M & ASOS but I do find the availability poor for my size range, so I found if you wanted anything in a small - medium then more often than not it just wasn't available in my size. Although when I did get hold of them, they were of decent quality and some of the prices are good. You don't really want to be spending too much on something that is only going to serve its purpose for a few months but then again you also want to feel nice.

I was introduced to Angel Maternity online and was really surprised with what I found. There is so much choice and actually so much I would personally buy for myself!

I have the top left top in size XS (I am usually an 8-10 as standard UK sizing) and absolutely love it. Although Angel do lines that have separate purposes of maternity and nursing, this is an item that is dual purpose. You would think it is just maternity, it covers the bump nicely, gives a nice shape and doesn't drown me or just go straight up and down which so many items do! Then under the cross over bits (which don't just float open to flash all to every Tom, Dick & Harry) there are "slits" to allow you access to your nursing bra to feed discretely from. 

I still have my baby firmly in my bump but after having Daisy previously I just know that this will be a godsend when baby does arrive.

I would love to hear of any other places I can try to find more key pieces for my bump and feeding wardrobe. 

This posts includes a PR Sample, but all opinions are my own

Pregnancy Diary: 34 Weeks update

So here we are again, another week down and another update to bore you with!

I had another midwives appointment yesterday and all seemed well, little heart beating away, bump growing nicely and on track and all other tests looking fine. I had the last (hopefully) set of blood tests taken, which for me felt like a massive milestone. For someone who absolutely hates the thought of blood and all things medical they can make me feel very anxious and unwell so hopefully they are all out of the way now, fingers crossed all being well.

Baby boy is still head down, slightly engaged but not as much as my last visit (last week) so that just shows how second time around they can jump in and out of your pelvis with ease.

I can feel he is head down and in an evening I can feel him lower himself down into my pelvis and get himself comfortable for the night! Or at least that is what I think I am feeling. My bump is certainly on the large, football shaped size now and movements feel slightly different. I still feel plenty of movement, all day and night but it is quite a different sensation now. It is almost like he is attempting to stretch out and push my uterus wall to get more space, space must be getting limited now, so no more acrobatic movements for him for a while!

I mentioned in my last video how people comment on your bump and how sometimes it can touch a bit of a nerve if you are feeling a little sensitive or hormonal at the time, it is lovely to get the recognition of a blooming bump but to hear wow you are HUGE! Can sometimes put you into a bit of a Debbie Downer moment. Other times it won't bother me at all, I know it is temporary and it has to be of a certain size to house this little man safely! My bump this time around is quite different to how it was with Daisy. Daisy sat quite high right up until I had her but this time its much lower. Albeit the same kind of shape and size!

Daisy bump > Boy Bump both at 34 weeks

I did a video update this week on my YouTube channel:

Letting our little explorers do what they do best... #LittleTrikers

Is there anything better than being outside in the summer? Seeing the sun shine on your children, the breeze blowing their wispy baby hair and ice cream dribbling down their chins... 

It feels like we haven't had the sunshine for such a long time but the weather this week has brought us a little bit of promise... finally! Fingers crossed for more good weather in the summer so we can get out and about and do some exploring!

Daisy loves nothing more than being outside and rooting around for interesting things, even more than she loves Peppa Pig!!! Anything I can do to get away from that little pink rascal is good by me! 

Building on last year’s award-winning Little Trikers Challenge, Little Tikes is once again encouraging us parents to enjoy adventures with their family by getting out and about with their Little Tikes’ Trike. They are offering you the chance to go on an adventure with your own Little Triker by winning one of 20 trikes!  You can find out more and join in at www.facebook.com/littletikesuk.

The idea being that you leave the pushchair behind at home and take a trike instead! A much more fun option for toddlers yet still a relatively easy one for us mums and dads who still need to get them about with as least hassle as possible.

All you need to do to be in with the chance of winning is to share your family fun days with the Little Tikes Team by posting videos or photos to the Facebook page. The competition runs until Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May and the winners, chosen at random, will be announced on Tuesday 3rd  May.

We have been lucky to have the new 5-in-1 Deluxe Ride & Relax® Recliner Trike to get out and about with. We absolutely love it and even being heavily pregnant its so light and easy to move about that even I can manage! Even if I do have to take it much slower than Daisy would like and have lots of rests! 

This is a little video of us using it earlier in the week, trying to make the most of the spring time sunshine!

This post is in collaboration with a PR company but all opinions are our own

Controlled crying: Why it is not for me...

Controlled crying is one of those parenting topics that gets brought up time and time again, it will always cause division in opinions and cause some kind of controversy.

I was always never of a direct opinion for the technique and was always open to trying anything I could / still am to making our family life as easy and comfortable as possible.

Having never tried controlled crying consistently with a firm approach I can't 100% say that it didn't work for us, I dipped in and out of the technique but never gave it a full go. I recently published a video about why I never really went for it, I will post the link at the end of this post for you to see. you will be pleased to know it is a nice quick one and I don't jabber on for as long as I often do in my videos!

But the short of it is I am coming around to the idea that I perhaps partake in what some people (always a label for everything hey!) call attachment parenting or even gentle parenting, where you follow your child's lead and basically just react to their needs, rather than attempting to change behaviours pro actively. I don't actually agree with these labels and they somehow suggest those that do partake in controlled crying or that aren't into attachment parenting are not "gentle", which is just ridiculous.

I know many people who have used controlled crying (which by the way is very different to the cry out technique!) and it has worked wonders for them! It has taken hardly any time at all and they have perfect little sleepers. So it clearly does suit and work well for some people.

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

Pregnancy Diary: 33 weeks pregnancy update

So these weeks really are whizzing on by now, each week that goes by does give me a real sense of relief. With the aches and pains I have had I am really grateful to keep hold of him for that added time, I have a really big feeling though that although part of me is panicking he will be early that in fact I will be waiting for him well over our due date.

I am in fact off to the midwife again shortly as I have been having a few new symptoms that I am not too sure of and that I don't remember having with Daisy, obviously Google is anybody's worst enemy at times and sadly I did the old Google trick and so am now going to be more safe than sorry! Nothing to worry about I am sure, just some TMI symptoms that I won't make you sick with!

Overall I am feeling quite well, albeit a little tired, but that is to be expected. The aches and pains are still present and I am watching that like a hawk but I do think they are just part of this pregnancy and are a way of my body saying I need to take it easy and that it's stretching to an inch of its life! On the back of this and the last midwife appointment I had I decided to bring my maternity leave forward, so  I am now on countdown to that! I look forward to not having to worry about having baby whilst working and hopefully having a little rest and some time with my princess Daisy before her brother comes and changes our world a little!

I am measuring slightly ahead in terms of bump measurements but it is nothing to worry about for now, we will see how it looks over the next few weeks. Being only 5 foot nothing there isn't far for this baby to go except outwards so I am not overly concerned personally at the moment, where do we expect him to go?!

If you haven't caught up on my latest video update then the link is below, I talk about possible pre-term labour signs, having a whopping huge bump and how other people react to my ever growing tummy!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Creating memories & looking back on them: Easter

A few weeks ago I talked about Easter traditions and how I aspire to ensure we have some traditions set that as a family we can create happy memories from, some traditions just seem to fall quietly into place.

It was a year ago, I can't quite believe it, that I started to vlog a little on Youtube. I started to share snippets on of our day to day life with my blog followers and although I didn't go all for it, head first, I still enjoyed putting the content out there. And looking back and realising that Easter 2015 was one of the first videos I shared, I am so pleased I did. To see how much has changed and how much Daisy has grown in that time really made me smile.

Our Easter was "delayed" a week this year, Ben's parents were away and so we thought it nice to push it back a week. In my post from a few weeks ago you will remember that we aren't all that religious so in effect it was just a family day that we planned a week later.

I didn't really vlog it as I completely forgot, I will never make a vlogger! But I did manage to pull this mini montage together...

Choosing the right travel system for a 2nd baby

I did a brief over view of the Icandy Apple pushchair sometime a year or so ago but now I am thinking about what to do for this new little package that is due to arrive in the next couple (okay, a few more than a couple) of weeks.

Do I keep the Icandy and invest in the adapters to transform it into the double (we went for the Apple 2 Pear model), do I not bother and hope that Daisy will cooperate by walking a little more or babywearing as often as I can, or do I go for something completely new?
The truth is I am really undecided.

I have really enjoyed our time with the Icandy and do think it would be a waste not to get the adaptors to transform it into a double but then I do think it may also be nice to try something different.  When I first started looking at prams I researched in quite a bit of detail before going to look at them, online, in various catalogues and review sites as well as the usual word of mouth recommendations by friends who have babies.

The Icandy is easy to use, it folds nicely and fits into my car easily and I have had no issues with it at all. I had the black variety pack so I could use it again for future babies and let’s be honest they're not cheap are they in the first place! It has stood its ground and it still looks decent after almost 2 years of use, although a quick clean and service wouldn’t go a miss!

 My only disappointment is that around the nuts and bolts areas of the frame it did start to rust a little, which I can only put down to wet weather, but surely these things should be weather proof? We do live in England after all! I tried to get it sorted with the supplier but they were moving premises etc and by the time they had moved it was too far to go to get it looked at, and potentially nothing be done anyway. But overall it is sturdy, reliable, practical and the shopping basket is brill!

The trouble when I was purchasing my Icandy was that they won't sell online and they don't allow stores to display the pricing either. Their thought being once you see it and try it you won't look elsewhere. I went to a local store to try some out and ended up comparing the oyster and the icandy against one another. I found the Oyster to be a bit of a cheaper replica of the icandy style, sadly though you could really feel the difference in the frames in terms of sturdiness but then you pay for that too!

If money was no object and I didn’t have to be sensible about these things then I certainly would have my eye on these. I much prefer the traditional shape of a pushchair, 3 wheels don’t really do it for me. Don’t ask me why but that is what lead me to getting the Apple rather than a model like the Peach in the first place.

The Wayfarer by Silver Cross is lovely, and the colour selections are gorgeous! So much choice!

The new Icandy Peach with the leather handle bar and the shiny chrome is just gorgeous!

And these models from Cosatto are just amazing too!

Too much choice!


All opinions are my own

Anaemia in pregnancy: How I am dealing with it & some tips!

If you have watched my latest pregnancy update (30 weeks) then you will know it has been discovered that I am showing some deficiencies in iron and folic acid in my latest blood tests, which would explain why I have been feeling so droopy, low and generally lethargic over the past few months, on top of the usual pregnancy exhaustion and being a toddler mum of course!

I was prescribed an Iron supplement combined with folic acid in tablet form, to be taken every day. It took around 5-7 days for the effects to be felt and I must say they were mixed! The positive is that I feel pretty much more human, I have a bit more energy, my complexion isn't so ghostly, my under eye bags aren't (quite) so big and I can catch my breath a little easier too. So that is a win!

However, it also left me feeling queasy, nauseas at times and with horrible tummy side effects too. It is as if you win some, but you must lose some too! I did some research online and by talking to others who have had the same treatment and it seems that there are a few alternatives I could try, or at least mix in with these tablets anyway!

Firstly you can really up your intake of Iron and folic acid into your diet and that can make you really feel better. So I already knew about things like red meat and broccoli but that was as far as my knowledge went. So here are a few bits that I picked up that I have found really helpful.

I have found pinterest great for recipe ideas and meal plan ideas as well as finding a few smoothies and easier things to try out! 

So that is what I have been really focusing on with my diet, but I have also been trying a few other things too. 

I was recommended a liquid iron supplement that is far softer on your tummy, although it doesn't have the iron concentration that the prescribed tablets have. I have been doubling up on this (as it says to on the packaging!) on days where I have been using this and having an iron rich to compliment it. I have been doing 2 days on tablets, one day liquid iron and some extra good food! And luckily it has worked for me! That one days rest from the tablets seem to have really helped with my digestive "issues" as well as upping my water intake and trying to drink orange juice when I can, which is proven to help absorb iron into the body! 

Have you tried anything else that I may be missing? 

I also did a video about this for my channel this week, you can watch it here:

Hayley xxx

30 weeks pregnant; Video diary

Here we go again, another two weeks have passed... and actually if I am being honest, I am actually closer to 31 weeks now than 30!!

These past two weeks have been a little up and down, baby seems to be growing nicely but I just feel like I have struggled a little more. The joys of the third trimester I am sure. Baby is head down and although I don't think she is engaged she does seem to be staying in the ideal position, the only way I know this is from the familiar sensation of his hiccups "downstairs"!

I am feeling heavy and my body feels really tight and at bursting point, when I know in reality I have got a fair few more weeks of growing to do yet! I have felt worn out and more drained than usual, but recent blood test results have shown I have some deficiencies so that can explain that!

I am now on Iron and folic acid supplements which I guess are helping with energy levels but they really don't do my digestive system any favours at all which just makes me feel yucky! I have been trialling some alternatives which i will do a post on, which do seem to be helping slightly but we shall see.

I still have my cough and cold which has been lingering for about a week now, and then today I seem to have pulled a tummy muscle, from coughing no doubt! Just what I needed to top it all off! It makes this cough even more painful! And well doing anything a bit painful really !

Braxton hicks are becoming a regular treat too, which in one way is quite reassuring that my body is doing some good training sessions to get this baby out but on the other hand is rather uncomfortable and can take my breath away at times!

I am sure you will think I have grown pretty big in the past two weeks, I can really feel and see the difference!

Hayley xxx