It’s happened. My daughter is 1! 

  

Well. It’s happened. My bump turned into a baby and my baby has now turned into a fully fledged toddler- tantrums and all. Bethany now has an official age. My little girl is 1 year old. How did this happen? Surely someone has pressed the fast forward button on life. Me and the fiancé were chatting away in bed on Sunday evening after a successful day celebrating her birthday when it hit me. I was pregnant in 2014. Why oh why is time passing so quickly? And yes, I am tucking into a box of Thorntons chocolate as we speak and no they do not help my emotional state, but they’re so delicious I can’t stop piling them into my mouth. 

After a very rushed and busy Saturday, which consisted off a cake smash photo shoot in the morning, picking up last minute gifts, finishing decorating our new living room, making sure party bags were finished and then wrapping the presents up, it was safe to say me and Daddy were so ready for bed. But then once in bed, I was reflecting on every little detail of what would have been happening at this point in time a year earlier. I couldn’t of ever dreamed of how much life would change or how much I could love my child. 

Sunday morning arrives and queue the chorus of happy birthday being sung to Bethany as we go into her bedroom. She hasn’t a clue, but still is pleased with the lovely wake up call. With Christmas being only weeks ago, Bethany still remembers about gifts and is extremely happy to see some waiting downstairs for her. She was very happy about having balloons. We bought her a toy pram to push around her little dolly, so as you can imagine she thought she was much older than 1. After opening gifts and face timing her closest family members, it was time for a nap and for me and Dad to prepare the party food and decorations. We didn’t want to do anything too fancy for her first birthday so we chose to have a small family gathering at our home, with the people who are important in Bethany’s life. This way she was happy in her own home, surrounded by her own toys and loved ones. It’s a perfect first birthday celebration to us. Once she woken up from her nap, her first guests had arrived. 

Bethany had the most amazing day. She adored walking around the house, seeing all her favourite faces staring at her with pride and laughing at her. She may only be one but we are confident she had a brilliant time. It made me and her Daddy truely thankful to have such special, wonderful people who love our daughter as much as we do. This past year has been an absolutely blast. I’ve made some amazing memories and loved every single second of every single day. My little one has her own personality now and is changing and learning everyday. I’m so excited to see what the next year will bring. I know I face many more challenges but I’m so proud of how far we have come as parents, and even prouder of the child we have raised. But for now, here’s a few of her achievements at 12 months: 

  • Able to walk confidently and navigate herself around obstacles 
  • Starting to self soothe and sleep better through the nights 
  • Plays peekaboo with you 
  • Can hold your hand and take you to what she wants 
  • Drinks and feeds herself happily 
  • Sings some nursery rhymes 
  • Sits and reads through books with care, the right way up, babbling as she goes
  • Can draw pictures with chunky crayons 
  • Knows how to brush her hair and teeth 
  • Associates different actions to different people
  • Can shout her pet and some names 

  
 
Oh and another milestone was reached. I finished writing in my Bump to Birthday baby journal. It’s been my reflective, milestone keeper since the start of my pregnancy and now it’s all filled in and ready for Bethany to read and to keep when she’s older. 

  

Quick Update 

Hi everyone. 

Just a quick update to let you all know I am still here and will be posting regularly again in the near future. With Christmas happening I’ve been so busy, not only that I have moved house, literally days after Christmas, I know crazy – so I don’t have a spare five minutes to sit and blog. 

My little girl B has her first birthday this weekend so I will be blogging next week letting you all know about her progress and her day. But as a sneak preview, she’s walking properly and confidently and everywhere now, and touch wood we have cracked self soothing and full nights! It’s also my fiances birthday the week after so as you can imagine, I have my hands tied at the moment. 

I miss reading all your lovely blogs and visiting my favourite links but I’ll be back soon! Just thought I’d keep you all updated and thanks for still visiting my blog, even though I haven’t posted. You are amazing! 

See you shortly guys! 

Christmas 2015: Our first family Christmas. 

Can you believe christmas over with? We build up to it so much and for so long, and in 24 short hours it’s gone in the blink of an eye. But I had a wonderful first Christmas as a family of three.

My little girl B is one in January so we didn’t want to go overboard on gifts because we knew we’d end up stuck on presents for her birthday. Plus with her being the baby we knew our family would spoil her as well, which would mean literally no space for anything in our already tiny house. Christmas Eve was magical. We had a full day of Christmas films, food and wrapping gifts in the evening. Little B had a nice bubble bath, new Christmas pjs on and then was tucked up in bed waiting for Santa to deliver her gifts.  Unlucky for me, she was awak from half 1 until half 4 because she is teething. She was no trouble but we spent that time awake in bed watching The Grufallo and reading some stories. 8am rolled around and the magic began. 

  
We deliberately asked Santa to leave the gifts for B where her advent calendar had been. This is a place she had gone to every morning, knowing she will have a treat so when she came down and saw her calendar replaced with gifts, she was eager to know what these things were. B had so much fun ripping the paper, with lots of encouraging cheers from mum and dad of course. She was really happy to find lots of books, toys and jigsaws under all that bright paper. After a fun morning B tucked into a nice egg sandwich watching her favourite programmes, giving mum and dad time to get things organised to spend the day with family. 

   After all the gift opening, B tucked into Christmas dinner at her Nannas house. The house was pretty busy and loud so she didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought she would. Ht still enjoyed it all the same. She likes to know what’s going on and takes her a while to come out of her shell in busy places, especially after a nap. 

  

It was a truly wonderful day. I couldn’t dream up a better first Christmas for my little one. She saw everyone in her life who is important to her, got well and truly spoilt and spent the day dancing, eating and giggling. Christmas really is a time for family. 
Oh and Dad asked Mum to marry him (keep an eye out for my engagement blog). So it looks like our perfect family is going to be a complete unit. It was totally unexpected and including be happier, the picture is a touch blurry and it’s a shot from the video. Now I have a first birthday and wedding to plan for.

  

Hoping everyone had an amazing Christmas. 

 

Lovely Things

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Baby Update: 11 months. 

No. It can’t be. Surely not. 11 beautiful months since my little B was born. It’s so cliche to say but time really does pass by so quickly. I’m getting slightly emotional thinking of where my small 7lb 11oz newborn has disappeared too, but very proud of all she has accomplished in her 11 months. Here goes…

Teeth: B got her first two teeth through no problem at four months old, so I thought teething was going to be a doddle…How wrong and naive.For months we sat and waited for another little peg to pop through, we have been lucky though and only had one bad teething night so far. But anyway this month it finally happened. Another little tooth has broken through, taking B up to a total of three teeth! 

I wonder which one will pop through next?

 

Physical: B has also started to stand by herself. She’s still a little wobbly and quickly sits down but her control is amazing and her confidence is growing as well as the duration of her standing each time. Each day she’s getting a little more confident and it’s amazing to think how far she has come in 11 little months. She’s super confident and speedy at crawling, climbing, rolling, crushing, walking with her push along walker – you name it she’s doing it. And finally on 10th December 2015, a few steps have been taken! 

Communication:  B has always be a good communicator, well with me and her family anyway. She’s come along so much with her talking. Her latest words she’s trying to say are birdies, nod nod, bye, Bronson (our cat). They aren’t clear or noticeable to others but we can now tell the difference between things she is saying. She’s so good at non verbal communication. She joins in enthusiastically with nursery rhymes too…wind the bobbin up she has mastered, actions and all. (See I’m well in up with pride!)

Sleep: B is still sleeping from around 8:15pm – 7:30am, but she has been waking up at some point in the night and not going back to sleep for an hour or so, or fighting with us before giving in. I really hope this is a stage that mums have experienced and not sleep regression. She still has a good nap in the day, so I try to catch up on some sleep when I can. B seems happy enough though which is the main thing. 

Eating: B is now very much wanting to feed herself now. Which makes it difficult for me as a worrying mother because I constantly feel as if she hasn’t ate enough. I also have to think of meals that she can feed herself it has she hasn’t mastered the coordination it takes to use a fork or spoon. She is a very good eater, I’m yet to find a food she dislikes. She is a big fan of corn on the cob. She experienced her first Nandos date with mum and dad. B does go through days of not wanting to eat, and days of eating everything. I’m putting this down to teething. B drinks plenty of water and milk through her own sippy cup by herself, only having one bottle at bedtime and maybe in the morning if she feels like it. 

Favourite things:  B loves stories. Her favourite is The Gruffalo and I Love my Daddy. She also loves to play with bouncy balls or any ball of any sort. Bing Bunny is her absolute favourite CBeebies character and she does love a good Christmas song or anything she can dance too for that matter at the moment. 

Not so favourite: B is 100% at that stage where she wants to do what she wants. She hates being told no. She will or tend to cry, before quickly getting distracted with a nearby toy. B doesn’t like wry overcrowded noisy rooms as we found out at her Uncles birthday party (she soon cheered up when she had a slice of pizza in her hand). 

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B 11 month update.

11 months done. Now to savour this final month before my little one is one year old. Wow. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The Christmas Markets.

Living in Manchester, I get the opportunity to go to the Christmas Markets every year. It’s a festival and attraction that many people travel here to come and visit. And it’s definitely worth it. There’s nothing like wrapping up nice and warm, walking around visiting the beautiful log cabin stalls sipping on a tasty hot chocolate, sampling lots of delicious food underneath Manchester festive lights. It certainly gets me in the Christmas spirit every year. So Tuesday evening, baby free, me and my boyfriend set off to visit one of our favourite Christmas traditions! I really didn’t want to take Little B. It’s just so busy and hectic, the weather isn’t the best at the moment too. Maybe next year when she can be bribed with a yummy treat looks forward to the fun Christmas celebrations, but for now she’s happy with her Nanna and Grumps watching Bing Bunny eating beans on toast. Which is just as well because it’s a great opportunity for us to have some us time. 

The stalls themselves are beautiful and they sell lots of different things from food to fashion to faux fur rugs. Some of the decorations you can buy are absolutely exquisite, and handmade too. My mother in law purchases a lovely beaded bauble every year and they look beautiful up in her living at Christmas time. My favourite stalls of course are the food stalls. As soon as November comes creeping up, I start fantasising about tasting cheese, sausages and most of all…yummy Dutch mini pancakes with icing sugar and chocolate sauce. Honestly as a stay at home mum, these are the moments I live for. Last year being pregnant I couldn’t enjoy the cheeses…especially blue cheese. So trip this year I was super excited to take full advantage of the free samples. I was a big fan of the Peri Peri flavoured cheese and C loved the Sticky Toffee flavoured cheese. Again I tried more than I should have a couple samples of the cheeses. The markets serve yummy hot food as well as desserts, C had the spicy German sausage and I had the normal. I think they are traditionally  called Bratwursts. They were delicious whatever they are called! We also wanted some Garlic mushrooms in a cheesy sauce but they were sold out, it shows how popular they are. They are absolutely delicious. You can get lots of different foods at the markets, so I really would reccommend tasting what you can. It’s worth it. There’s something for everyone’s tastes from sticky chocolate brownies to spicy grilled burgers to sweet mature cheddar. 

As well as food the markets off a selections of drinks, both alcoholic and non. You can stick with a traditional beer or you can Christmas things up and try a hot cherry ameretto with whipped cream. I’m a boring one and a hot chocolate was fine for me, but C took full advantage enjoying a cherry lager. You also get your drinks in a lovely Manchester Christmas markets mug or glass (which is a deposit of £2 which you can get back when you hand the mug back to the bar staff or you can keep). We always hand ours back, but if you wanted a nice momento they are perfect. This year the markets did a raspberry liqueur and prosecco has made its way onto the drinks menu too. 

Me and C have a tradition when it comes to the Christmas markets. We buy a chocolate pack and have done every year. It has lots of different size Santas and Christmassy shape chocolates in it, along with some baubles for the tree. We always buy these and pop them on the tree. We can’t eat them until Christmas Day though. Of course we popped by the stall and picked a pack up. It wouldn’t be Christmas without! 

Here’s some pictures of our evening and the beautiful Manchester markets. If you get the chance to go to a Christmas market, do go! It’s a lovely experience. It can get busy so be weary with children, especially young ones but it’s a perfect way to celebrate the festive season. It’s lovely walking around hearing carol singers sing, smelling lots of delicious food and seeing everyone have a lovely time celebrating Christmas.  

 

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Make Up Favourites  

I don’t usually post about make up but this week I had a bit of a treat and bought myself a nice new outfit, along with some new make up (my make up bag is long overdue some new pieces). It was one of those Christmas presents to me from me, it’s December after all so it’s allowed surely. I always see my friends have flawless faces on there Facebook picture and Instagram so I set out bare faced and ready to find some products that just give my make up bag and my self a little boost. 

  

 I’ve already got a full set of make up brushes and the odd sponge that I use to apply and blend my make up, but I picked up a pink latex free blending sponge. I’ve heard absolutely wonderful things about them. If you use different foundations, highlighters and powders like I do then this product is super good. The tear drop shaped sponge can easily get all over your face and really blends the make up well. It’s super soft too, which is always a bonus, especially for sensitive skin folk like me. I usually believe that there is no need to buy a product that everyone has, and that you can probably find a cheaper alternative but I really do love this sponge and it does a better job than the sponges I have already, well in terms of blending. It’s definitely worth a purchase if your looking to find a sponge that’s good for blending. I bought B. Latex Free Blending Sponge from Superdrug at £5.  

  
If you’ve read any beauty blog or magazine, watched any beauty videos or blog then you know that contouring is 2015’s biggest beauty trick. I’ve had a foundation pallet in the past that I’ve used to contour but could never find a good powder to set my look. Maybelline Master Sculpt in Light/Medium is a surprising little purchase at £6.99. It comes in a compact little case it’s a mirror and a small brush, so it’s great to pop in your handbag. I found that the powders went on really easily and blended nicely together with my foundation. I do wish the highlight section would  be a shade lighter though, just to give your look a little more definition. 

  
I do love a good full coverage foundation, and a gentle contour. All I seem to hear about is highlighting. This is the technique that is used to really emphasise your cheekbone, cupids brow etc. I purchased this Speedy Highlighters from Collection 2000 for a cheap and cheerful £3.99. I found it does the job lovely, especially if you don’t contour massively like me. I like to keep it natural so this product is great to just add a touch of definition to your features. With it being a chubby stick it’s easy to apply and you can blend with your fingers or brush/sponge. I think this is a product that is going to last a while as you do get quite a bit of product in the stick, and for the price you really can’t complain. 

  
I am a big fan of lips, which is strange because I used to be all about a big bold eye. But now I know that I have quite full lips naturally, I love to give them a little extra attention. I’m not a big fan of a bold colour though, except for when going out to an event or party, so I was searching and searching for a perfect nude lip. I found this little jem at £5.49. It’s Rimmel London Long Lasting Lipstick Shade 40 by Kate Moss. It’s got a lovely little coral tint to it and also a tiny little shimmer. I love it. It’s nice and silky, making the application is very smooth. I wore this shade out on Saturday night and it really made me feel lovely and girly. It still looks nice and natural which I love about this nude lip. It’s a real suttle piece. Check out my before and after lip look (I use Vaseline to put over the finished lip look as I don’t massively use gloss and find that Vaseline blends any harsh dark colours and blotts well):  

products used in my nude lip look

A nice natural lip result.

 
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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday