Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Ordinary Moments: Family Time



This week has been the first since Noah arrived into our lives that I have been feeling back to normal again.

I'm almost fully healed after the c-section now, and finally starting to feel human so I've been enjoying getting back to a bit of normality.

We've been getting out and about more this week - from days out shopping for some non-maternity clothes and a summer wardrobe for Tyne, to days just having fun at the local park - it's been lovely to just be out enjoying the sunshine we've been having.

This week my parents came to visit, and when Noah was born we made a pact that whenever my parents were around we would take advantage of having a babysitter so that we could do two very important things...

1) Have some Mummy, Daddy & Tyne time

and 2) Have a Date Night!

We managed to achieve both this week, and I feel so much better for it!

On Monday, my parents looked after BOTH boys for the whole day - which gave me the chance to catch up on the housework and odd jobs around the house as well as get more up to date on my work - and when the evening rolled around, Jon & I got ourselves ready and took ourselves off the cinema for the first time in over 2 years! (If you don't count Peppa Pig...which I don't!)

We went to see Cinderella (My choice, clearly!) and I absolutely adored it! We pigged out on hot dogs and ridiculously over priced chocolate, and had such a nice relaxing evening. It really is so nice to just have time to be yourselves again without being Mummy & Daddy for just a few hours! I can't tell you how alien it felt to not have nappies in my bag! 

Sadly there are no photos from our date night as I decided that date night meant NO phones or cameras for a change! Which was actually quite a relief! 

On Thursday, we set about having some Mummy, Daddy & Tyne time...this is something we decided to do before Noah was born as we were worried about Tyne feeling pushed out when his little brother arrived.

This week our day out was at Pennywell Farm which is somewhere I'd heard lots about but never actually visited before.






Farms aren't really my thing if I'm honest...I'm scared of most animals and the smells don't appeal to me! ... but I wanted Tyne to see the animals and I thought he'd enjoy getting to stroke and cuddle them too.

We spent the afternoon looking at all the various animals, going on the rides, and having fun in the soft plays and parks dotted around the farm yard.








These days were very much how our Ordinary Moments were spent last year...the three of us out and about, having days out, exploring, making memories...now of course these moments as a 3 are something much more extraordinary.

It was lovely to spend time one on one with Tyne again although we all missed Noah too...infact I think Tyne missed him more than anyone as he kept asking where he was!

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Newborn Fashion Favourites







Since giving birth to my second child 3 weeks ago, I've found myself falling in love with newborn fashions all over again.

There are many people who would say that the words "Newborn" & "fashion" shouldn't go together but I disagree - while I completely understand that many people choose not to get too caught up in dressing baby as they outgrow their clothes quickly, I personally find shopping for babies to be one of the most enjoyable experiences.

There's nothing quite like dressing up a newborn in tiny adorable little clothes and who am I hurting by wanting to drool over these cute little outfits?!

I've created some of my favourite looks for baby boys with outfits put together from the fabulous Melijoe website, who offer fantastic designer childrenswear to be coveted! 

I would love to dress Noah in all of these looks!

And of course there are so many gorgeous looks available for baby girls too - from the traditional romper to the adorable chevron print sleepsuit! I am obsessed with chevron print right now and think the colours in this are just adorable!







Did you enjoy shopping for newborns or did you prefer to keep it simple with sleepsuits while they're tiny?


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Friday, 24 April 2015

Stepping Out Of Stepford

Just like most other bloggers, Instagram has become something I use every day...

My iPhone is permanently glued to my hand, and since the memory on it was eaten up with 5,000+ pictures that I never get around to transferring anywhere - having the Instagram app has been a lifesaver as it still allows me to snap photos when my standard iPhone camera doesn't!
It also lets me edit them and share them to Facebook right away....ideal for lazy people like me who want to show the grandparents 250 miles away the latest cute photo of my sons but can't be bothered with the hassle of logging in to different websites, uploading, etc.

I only started using Instagram about a week before Tyne was born....I now have just over 1,500 followers on there...not a great deal compared to many but when I compare that figure to the number of people I actually KNOW in reality, it's considerably higher!

But lately I've been noticing a huge difference in the way that I personally use Instagram and the way tons of the people I follow use Instagram.

While I was scrolling through my feed from my sick bed today, I noticed that only 10% of the images I was seeing were natural looking snapshots of a persons day to day life....the other 90% were far more posed, more staged, and designed to create a certain look.

When I looked closer at peoples accounts....it was easy to see that I've been pretty naive where Instagram is concerned...instead of using it as a sort of online album of snapshots like I have been, many of the people I follow are using it to portray and sell a lifestyle and an image.

Their accounts are filled with perfectly lit images of immaculate homes, pretty trinkets and decorative touches in corners of rooms, posed children in beautiful outfits with cushions seemingly casually strewn across a bed but - upon closer inspection - clearly deliberately placed just-so.

And it got me thinking....and it got me wondering....

It's a similar story with blogs, of course.

With magazine sales on the decline, blogs and online media are the new black....and whereas a family blog was once a space for a parent to keep a record of their childs life and share their motherhood anecdotes, I'm now noticing a trend that leans much more heavily toward lifestyle blogging - and really what is a lifestyle blog if it's not selling a lifestyle?

It's all about image, and there's nothing wrong with that...but I feel a little silly for not having realised so before.

I also feel a little silly for not having realised that I myself have become part of it - I see what looks good on other Instagram accounts and I become conscious of it when I snap my own images. And I try harder to conform to what is the current trend for selling perfection in the social media and blogging world.

Always happy, always smiling, always bright, always clean, never an item out of place, everything so white and pristine, everything perfectly baked.....everything so samey....every feed looking exactly like the next persons.....Same colour schemes...Same brand of laptop...same screen saver...same Anthropologie mugs....

When did this Stepford World Of Social Media start? And why didn't I realise sooner that I was slowly edging my way toward becoming a part of it?

When I get a higher number of "likes" than usual on an Instagram photo, I feel good....but why?

 Because a "like" signifies what exactly? Admiration? Success? Envy?

I fear it may be the latter in many cases.

I can't count the number of times I've looked at a high profile Instagrammers photos of her perfectly dressed newborn daughter laying in her perfectly decorated and spotlessly clean nursery, as her mother poses looking beautiful, elegant, stylish and effortless all at once next to her....

And I've thought to myself: Why can't I look that way? Why isn't my home that clean and tidy? Why doesn't my child sleep that well and allow me the time to make that photograph possible?

And then I suddenly stopped and thought to myself....When people like the images that I post, do they ever feel that way too? If my photos are edited and posed to look a certain way, does that create that envious feeling in somebody else? That feeling of not being enough?

And if it does....why would I want to do that?!

Is that a feeling I really want to impose on another person...whether I intended to or not?

Because you know, when you look a little closer at some of these images....you can see the cracks.

I took note of one particular image on the feed of a very high profile instagrammer from the US who I have followed and admired for a while, and I tried to recreate it myself...

This was the image I ended up with:


It got a fair amount of likes on social media....It portrays quite a glam look....and the tagline I put with it suggested I was enjoying an afternoon of preening and pampering myself while my son napped.

In reality....he was on the floor next to me playing with his toys, and I was wearing my pyjama bottoms, with no make up on my face except for my lipstick....My bed wasn't made yet and I hadn't yet managed to eat breakfast....

See?




And that's when I realised how easy it is to fool the world with a carefully staged photograph on Instagram or a blog.

Remember my recent Babyliss hair curler review where it looked like I was taking my time to curl my hair in peace?



This was the reality...with my son demanding that I stop every 10 seconds to read him his story...it took about 45 minutes to curl my hair that day for those photos!



On any given day, there will be toys strewn across my living floor while my son plays the day away....there will be dishes piled up in the sink....there will be half-drunk cups of cold coffee laying about for hours that I never got a chance to finish....there will be tears and tantrums (and that's just from me!)....

Life is not picture perfect...I don't believe that anybodys is.

Perfect mothers do not exist - everybody has their down days, every body blows their top sometimes, every body gets stressed and everybody feels overwhelmed.

Perfect children do not exist - they all cry, they all have nights of bad sleep, they all have tantrums at some point.

Perfect relationships do not exist - everybody bickers or fights sometimes, you can't see eye to eye 100% of the time (I can't think of anything more boring if I`m honest!)

And as nice as it is to see those perfect images published on Instagram, I think it would do us all a lot of good to remember that a perfect Instagram shot does not a perfect life make.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Cloud Babies

We were recently given the chance to try out one of the adorable new Cloud Babies dolls for Tyne and today I'm feeding back our thoughts on Baba Blue.

If you're not familiar with the range, Cloud Babies is an adorable Cbeebies childrens show all about the super-cute Cloudbabies who live in a house on a cloud and look after the sky.

Tyne is a fan of the show and already had a smaller Baba Pink doll from a different range, so was delighted when Baba Blue arrived!

I've discussed my thoughts on the Cloud Babies Dolls in the below review video, where you can also see Tyne's first reaction to opening the doll.


Cloudbabies dolls are extra-sensory dolls designed for ages 18 months + .

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

PopBook Review & Giveaway!


If you're a bit of a snap-happy iphone addict like me then chances are you will constantly be on the receiving end of that dreaded pop-up message - "Iphone storage is full...please check your settings".

If you're a proud mummy who just loves to snap photos of your children like I do, then chances are...you will be faced the very same dilemma that I am each time that pop up appears..."OH NO! But I love all of those photos and I don't want to delete any!"

Of course you can always import your photos to your computer, but since the digital age well & truly took over - how many of us ever bother having our treasured and adored phone snaps printed off?

We have all these beautiful images of our children, our special captured family memories - all sitting in our phones or ipads - but with nothing tangible to be able to flick through with our hands instead of on a screen.

Personally, I pine for the days of REAL photos that you can get out to show visiting relatives or that you can sit and look through when you feel like reminiscing - hovering over a screen just isn't the same.

The problem I have is that I take SO many photos that if I were to buy individual prints, I'd need to remortgage my house!

But what if it didn't have to be expensive to have those priceless photos put into print?

What if you could have them made into beautiful little books to treasure and keep safe forever for UNDER £5?!

What if you could do all of this straight from your iphone or ipad with a simple to use app?

Well...you guessed it...it turns out that you can!!


Just how stunning are these beautiful little Pop Books?!

Each PopBook holds 21 photos, and you can crop them and order them as you wish - even adding gorgeous filters to really get the most out of your images.

Pop Books are available in 10cm x 10cm or 13 cm x 13 cm, and with a choice of a matte or gloss finish.

They cost just £4.99 INCLUDING delivery - I was so impressed with this price that I actually had to look twice to make sure I wasn't missing something. I really do think they are such a bargain!




My plan is to create a Pop Book of my favourite photos every 2 or 3 months - so I'll have a collection of cute little record books of our years, without breaking the bank!

To find out more about these cute little photo books just visit www.popbook.eu or download the free app here (please note that Pop Book is currently available on ios only).

To be in with a chance of winning a code to create your own Free Pop Book, just complete the Rafflecopter form below!

There are 5 chances to win!

*Please note, you must have an ios compatible device to download the app and create your book - open to UK residents only, and codes expire on 19th June 2015.



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