Sunday, 20 April 2014

Beach Baby


With Tyne now having reached the ripe old age of 1, it's easy to think that most of his "firsts" have already been experienced...but this weekend we experienced another one, and it has to have been one of the most fun so far.

This weekend, we headed to the beach!

We've been on plenty of seaside trips before of course - I blogged about one just last weekend infact.

But while we have enjoyed lots of seaside walks, ice creams and rides in the arcades - Tyne had never yet set foot on the sand.

We were saving that for a trip to Exmouth beach when the weather was nice enough....and this weekend, it was.



The first thing Tyne noticed about the beach was the seagulls....he LOVES the seagulls (not like his Mummy, I find them terrifying!)

He mimics the sound they make, and just loves to watch them.

Once we set him down in the sand we eagerly watched to see what he would make of the feel of the sand between his toes - he was delighted!!!!

He thought it was all highly amusing, and had endless fun trying to pick it all up and watch it running through his fingers.




He loved digging in the sand to find shells and rocks, and banging his treasures together.


 He did end up with a couple of mouthfuls of the stuff of course....but after a couple of times he seemed to learn his lesson!



He loved exploring near the sea with Daddy.....


And writing his name in the sand....






While Mummy chilled out on the sand!



He loves to watch the water..... 


And, much to my horror, crawling off at full speed across the sand was lots of fun for him too....although we chased straight after him just incase he encountered anything unfriendly!



He loved us burying his toes under the sand and digging them back out....






And of course there were the usual Daddy games! 


He certainly enjoyed his first trip out to the beach, and we can't wait to go again soon....

We've decided to book another holiday to Cornwall this Summer after seeing how much fun Tyne had on the beach, so we're looking forward to that.



I kept the first shell he dug out from the sand, and i've put it in his memory box so he can always have a little keepsake from his first time on the sand. 

I love having these family days out, and finding out more about Tyne's personality as he grows - I did a lot of research into his starsign when he was born as he's the first Aries I've ever known and everything told me that Arian's are very outgoing, that they're the Brave Warriors of the astrological world - I've always found astrology interesting though I don't know how much I believe in it - but I do find his starsign so far to represent him well. He is so adventurous and brave!

My little Beach Baby.....


Next Post Coming Soon On Sparkles & Stretchmarks: Baby Boy Summer Haul - Matalan & Tesco

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Competition: Faux Fur Scarf!


We have a bit of a treat for all your fashionistas out there - a chance to win a beautiful vintage inspired faux fur scarf from luxury brand Danilo Gabrielli.

The Danilo Gabrielli brand is a high end fashion label founded in NYC by Italian designer, Danilo Gabrielli. 

Born and raised in Porto Santo Stefano, Monte Argentario – a small island off the West coast of Tuscany, Italy -  Danilo graduated from the Accademia Pistoiese in Rome, Italy and achieved a duel degree in Fashion and Costume Design. 

Danilo Gabrielli’s mission is to design beautiful, timeless designs for women that allow them to feel elegant and confident while being guided by a combination of rustic Italian beauty and classic luxury.

The competition prize is a Faux Fur Scarf worth £140.00 - inspired by the classic mink stoles of yesterday this beautiful scarf is made from the finest faux fur and is silk lined - the perfect addition to any wardrobe!

Visit  www.danilogabrielli.com for more beautiful pieces.

To enter the competition, just complete the Rafflecopter form below:



Good Luck!

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Friday, 18 April 2014

Slimming World Friendly Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork


This is one of my favourite recipes for an easy but delicious tea, without the guilt factor as it is entirely slimming world friendly - in fact the BBQ Pulled Pork is FREE of syns on the Extra Easy plan.

You Will Need:

*A slow cooker (Or you could cook it in a conventional oven on a low heat for 4 or 5 hours covered with foil)
*1.5-2 kg Pork Shoulder - All visible fat removed
*5 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
*1 heaped tsp of mustard powder
*3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
*500g Passata
*2 cloves of garlic, crushed
*3 tbsp sweetener
*Salt and pepper

How To Prepare:

*Remove all fat from the pork and place in the slow cooker


*Combine all other ingrediants in a jug or bowl, and mix well


*Pour the sauce over the pork, and cook covered on a low heat for approximately 6 hours



*It should come out looking something like this....


*using a knife and fork, shred the pork roughly 



*And that's your lot!


*Serve with sweet potato fries and healthy coleslaw, Salad, crusty bread or whatever you see fit....and enjoy!!!




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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Guest Post: The Harmony Test

A harmony test is a non-invasive way of accurately fetus determining the risk of your baby having Down Syndrome. 
Whilst most babies are born without problems, about 1 in 700 babies will be born with Down Syndrome.  This is a genetic condition caused by an imbalance of hormones. Each of us are born with 46 chromosomes, 23 from our mother and 23 from our father, however a person with Down Syndrome has 47 chromosomes, specifically they have an extra copy of chromosome 21. 
This causes a genetic imbalance that leads to a variable amount of physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

Why opt for a Harmony Test?

The simple and safe Harmony test is able to measure the fetal cells present in the mother’s blood to produce a 99% accurate screening result for Down Syndrome.

For some, knowing that the baby has Down Syndrome will have no effect on whether to continue with the pregnancy or not, however it will allow them to mentally prepare to have a baby with this condition. Parents will be able to read up on information regarding raising a baby with Down Syndrome and learn more about the genetic disorder. This will give them insight into what to expect such as the practical challenges that will arise as well as the emotional impact on not only themselves but their surrounding family.

On the other hand, others will choose not to continue with the pregnancy after learning that their baby has Down Syndrome. This is not in any way an easy decision for a couple to make and whilst it may seem unfair on the unborn fetus, the decision is completely personal.  The parents may not feel that they are psychologically cut out for a life filled with not only mental disabilities, but emotional ones too. Choosing to end a pregnancy due to Down Syndrome will still be a heart-breaking one regardless of the decision being their own.

Before having to making either of these decisions, it is important to be completely sure that the fetus has this condition. Until recently, the combined first trimester screening test, also known as the nuchal scan, was the most accurate way of determining the risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome, identifying about 95% of affected babies as being at high-risk. This means that 5% of affected babies will be given a low-risk result and may go undetected. Additionally, about 3% of babies unaffected by Down Syndrome will be given a high-risk result. The Harmony test is able to identify 99% of the affected babies as high-risk, and report less than 1% of unaffected babies as high-risk.

This advanced screening test surpasses the nuchal, quadruple or integrated test due to its accuracy and is able to offer peace of mind after a non-reassuring or missed 12 week scan.


Author: If you would like reassurance on the normality of your pregnancy, the Harmony test is for you. The London Ultrasound Centre offers this safe, non-invasive test from 10 weeks gestation. Call 020 7908 3878 to book an appointment today and receive expert care and support from the team of professionals on hand.

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Tyne's Easter Basket



Easter baskets have been a tradition in our family for a pretty long time....

I don't remember when we started it, but I know that at least since my 6 year old niece Amelie has been on the scene - Easter Baskets have been done every year!




Of course, last Easter Tyne was only 4 days old....so far too little for Easter Baskets ... although he didn't miss out on Easter entirely of course!




But this year, he is old enough to join in with the celebrations and I am so excited for that!

Ok he's too little to do any Easter baking or crafting with me...but he can certainly join in with our traditional Easter Egg Hunt followed by a nice Easter family Lunch....and he can finally have an Easter Basket!

I thought it might be a bit of a challenge putting together an Easter Basket for a little boy - I really wanted to get him a blue bonnet but Jon refused to let me (I'll let it go this year as he's too little to decorate it anyway, but trust me....next year there WILL be a bonnet!).

But I have actually been surprised at how easy it's been to put his basket together, and in fact I have ended up buying too much and am now having to restrain myself from buying more when I`m in shops!

The only thing still left for me is his Easter card but I have already taken care of that as I ordered one one online! I love everything personalised, and Dom & Geri have a fantastic range of personalised cards on offer for all occasions - I ordered my Fathers Day cards while I was there too as that's not too far away now either!

So here's what I bought to fill the basket:


I have always loved Beatrix Potter characters, and since I found out I was having a boy I was so excited about introducing Peter Rabbit to his nursery - so when I saw these super cute Talking Peter Rabbit plush toys advertised on TV recently I had to have one!

I know he'll just love it, and it's so fitting for Easter - I also bought one for my nephew Kier who, at 6 months old, is too young for chocolate gifts!


Of course, there HAS to be an Easter Egg in the basket - and I just loved these baby blue wrapped Bunny Boxed Eggs from Marks & Spencer!


He has way too many of them but Tyne does LOVE stuffed toys, so I had to get an Easter Chick of course!


This cute little Easter Egg tin was a winner as its mainly blue - I've hidden some chocolate bunnies inside!


I just thought this carrot shaped bag was adorable! I've had a hard time finding a boyish bucket for Tyne to use during the Easter Egg hunt, so when I saw this I thought it'd be just perfect!


I've put some Milka chocolate bunnies in here too - he'll have enough chocolate bunnies to last him a lifetime at this rate! 


I just adored this blue windmill when I saw it in Hobbycraft, and thought it'd make a lovely decorative touch to the basket!


I've mentioned before how important it is to me that Tyne gets books for every gift-giving occasion and Easter is no different!

I ordered these Peter Rabbit & Peppa Pig Easter-themed board books from Amazon - I know he'll just love them!


I thought this teeny little blue bunny basket was adorable, and the blue Easter chicks were a must too - both from Hobbycraft.


And yes...once again, I've put chocolate in the basket - mini eggs this time, not bunnies!

So there you have it....Tyne's first Easter Basket!

 Will you be putting together an Easter Basket for your little ones? What are your families Easter traditions?
As always, I'd love to hear from you!

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